How’s That Refugee Program Working For You?

We have all seen or heard about the increase in crime in countries that have taken in large numbers of Muslim refugees. We have been told that it is safe to do so despite the fact that a large number of these refugees are military-aged young men with no women in sight. Vetting is questionable at best, and recently the United States Justice Department announced that an Iraqi wanted for murder in Iraq was arrested in California (story here).

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that told the following story:

Ashwaq was kidnapped by ISIS in 2014 when the terrorist group attacked Kurdistan-Iraq.

When Ashwaq fled to Germany she saw the man who sold her as a sex slave. The man confronted her on the street and asked her if she was Ashwaq. She told him, “No, I don’t know an Ashwaq. I don’t know you.” The man responded, “Yes, I know you and you know me. And I know how long you’ve been living here.” She said she was so scared she could hardly talk. He said, “Yes I am Abu Humam and you are Ashwaq.” He then told her, “I know that you live with your mother and your brother.” And he repeated her address.

Ashwaq says many Yazidi women have seen their Islamic state abusers on the street in Germany.

Obviously Abu Humam and any of his friends that might be a threat to Ashwaq or her family need to be promptly arrested. I seriously doubt that will happen. The percentage of Muslims of military age in Germany has reached the point where the police are reluctant to take action against them. When German women and children were being molested by young Muslim men in public swimming pools, the Germans simply put out leaflets explaining that molesting women and children in public was not acceptable behavior in Germany. Some pools have posted security guards, and some pools have simply banned Muslims. This is the result of uncontrolled immigration. Military-aged male Muslim immigrants need to be send home to clean up their own countries.

Unfortunately This Is Actually Plausable

The Washington Times posted an opinion piece today about President Obama. The title of the opinion piece is “America really did have a Manchurian Candidate in the White House.” The piece lists some of the actions of the Obama administration that weakened America and caused discord around the world.

The piece notes:

After returning from a tour of some of the war zones in the Middle East — which ended with the Free Iran Gathering 2018 in Paris — I am struck by the realization that America really did have a Manchurian Candidate in The White House for eight years. If you look at the evidence, there really is no other conclusion. The calamitous consequences of the Obama presidency will be felt for the foreseeable future.

In the short year and a half that President Trump has been in office, he has put in place policy that has mitigated the damage that President Obama inflicted on our national security and on our allies. The speed with which Trump has been able to turn things around points to the diabolical depths the Obama administration went to in order to undermine our national strength and way of life. All Trump had to do was stop doing things that hurt America; America could then take care of itself. The results are plain as day. However, it will take decades for the Obama damage to be completely undone. The deviousness of the Obama sedition runs deep.

Some examples cited were the support of an Egyptian President with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the ousting of Moammar Gadhafi, who had given up his nuclear weapons, the premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, and the Iran treaty. Any one of these policies could be viewed individually as bad judgment, but when you look at all of these decisions together, there is a pattern. All of these policy decisions weakened America and made the world less safe. It is extremely doubtful that was simply a coincidence.

Please follow the link above to read the entire piece.

Cultures Matter

America is not a perfect country, but we need to be grateful for the freedom it allows us. We need to make sure those who come here to live understand the freedoms and responsibilities of America and are willing to honor the laws of the country they now reside in. One of the challenges America is facing now is the assimilation of many legal immigrants who have no understanding of western law and western culture. That problem was illustrated recently by events in Texas.

The National Review posted an article today about Maarib Al Hishmawi, a sixteen-year old who was reported missing by her father.

The article reports:

Two Iraqi immigrants allegedly beat, choked and threw hot oil on their sixteen-year-old daughter because she refused to enter into an arranged marriage that would have netted her parents roughly $20,000, according to local police.

The couple, both of whom immigrated to San Antonio, Texas two years ago, are facing family abuse charges, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

Authorities first became aware of the situation after the alleged victim, Maarib Al Hishmawi, was reported missing in January by her father, 34-year-old Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, according to the local CBS affiliate.

Maarib told police when she was found earlier this month that she ran away to avoid the arranged marriage, which she eventually consented to in order to stop the abuse.

…“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused, with hot oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten by broomsticks. At one point she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness,” said Salazar.

Maarib and her five younger siblings have been placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

The man who planned to pay Maarib’s parents $20,000 to marry her will likely also face charges.

The thing to remember here is that this young lady is lucky to be alive. In Iraq, the parents could have killed her in what is called an honor killing. It is likely that the only reason she is still alive is because the parents wanted the $20,000 they would have received for selling her into marriage.

This is the type of problem that is created when immigrants do not understand the laws and practices of America and are not being taught to follow those laws.

This Is What Victory Looks Like

ISIS no longer controls Mosul. So what does that mean? On Christmas Eve, the Voice of America posted an article illustrating one thing that has changed since Mosul was captured by Iraqi forces.

The article reports:

For the first time in the more than three years since Islamic State militants took over vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, Iraqi Christians have gone to church to celebrate Christmas in Mosul — a former militant stronghold. Worshipers and Muslim activists say they are hoping the holidays may bring some healing.

During the time Islamic State militants ruled Mosul, this church was a prison.

Today, worshipers celebrate Christmas here for the first time since Islamic State militants took over the city in 2014, forcing the entire Christian population — about 200,000 people — to flee.

The article concludes:

Worshipers at this church say they hope to go home if or when they are more confident Mosul is safe, but so far, less than a dozen Christian families have returned.

Both Christians and Muslims attended the service today hoping that once again Mosul will start to re-grow its diversity.

Diversity in Muslim countries is rare. Israel is the only nation in the Middle East where Christians, Jews, and Muslims can all worship freely. Many Middle Eastern countries will not allow someone to enter their country if the person has traveled to Israel. Unfortunately Iraq is now a satellite country of Iran, so we will see how long this freedom lasts.

When The Press Interferes With National Security

Terrorism is a worldwide problem. As ISIS is being defeated in Iraq, its members go to other parts of the world to commit terrorist acts. Bringing down ISIS worldwide would be a major step in the direction of peace. However, not everyone is working toward that goal.

Yesterday the following video was posted on YouTube:

An article at The Conservative Treehouse that included the above video. In the video, General Tony Thomas explains how leaked intelligence foiled the capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse quotes a Fox News story from July 21st:

“We have absolutely dismantled his network,”  Gen. Tony Thomas, speaking of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, said at the Aspen Security Forum. “I mean everyone who worked for him initially is dead or gone. Everybody who stepped to the plate the next time [is] dead or gone. Down through a network where we have killed, in a conservative estimate, 60,000 to 70,000 of his followers, his army.”

In a wide-ranging interview moderated by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Thomas, who leads the Special Operations Command, said his team was “particularly close” to Baghdadi after the 2015 raid that killed ISIS oil minister Abu Sayyaf. That raid also netted his wife, who provided a wealth of actionable information.

“That was a very good lead. Unfortunately, it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead,” Thomas said. “The challenge we have [is] in terms of where and how our tactics and procedures are discussed openly. There’s a great need to inform the American public about what we’re up to. There’s also great need to recognize things that will absolutely undercut our ability to do our job.”

The article mentions that the comment about a national newspaper probably refers to a New York Times article that appeared in June 2015.

I wonder how the Department of Justice would have handled this sort of leak during World War II. There is no doubt that this leak cost lives–either in America or other places around the world. A major international terrorist was allowed to escape because a newspaper wanted a headline. I understand that a free press is necessary for a representative republic such as America, but what about a responsible press?

 

There Is A Pattern Here That Needs To Be Acknowledged

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about terrorist attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan began May 26, and so far there have been three attacks and 149 dead, not counting yesterday’s attack in London.

The article reports:

Islamist terrorist groups usually use the holiday to mount more significant terrorist attacks, and promise their followers extra benefits for dying in such attacks during the holy month.

The major attacks of Ramadan 2017 include twin suicide bombings in Baghdad and a massive suicide borne vehicle bomb in Afghanistan. An unconfirmed terrorist incident also occurred at a casino hotel in Manila earlier this week. These attacks occurred before a reported deadly incident on London Bridge Saturday.

Make no mistake, Islam is not a religion of peace. The month of Ramadan is a time radical Muslims are encouraged to attack infidels. Western leaders need to understand that Islam has been at war with western civilization since before the founding of America. We can either fight this war or we can close our eyes in surrender. The choice is ours.

A Necessary Explanation

President Trump has referred to ISIS. President Obama referred to ISIL. What is the difference, and why should we care? Actually the difference is significant, and the change is an important step in the right direction.

On Wednesday the American Center for Law and Justice posted an article on their website explaining the difference between ISIS and ISIL.

This is the essence of that article:

The change of leadership in the White House just produced a striking change of terminology in the war against the Islamic State terrorist group. The name preferred by the Obama Administration, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (or ISIL) goes away. In its place comes the name favored by President Donald Trump: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

A February 13, 2017 memo from the Office of the Secretary of Defense James Mattis says the switch to “ISIS” makes the Pentagon “consistent with” Trump’s language in a January 28 directive in which he called for a new plan to defeat the extremist group. That plan, to utterly destroy the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, is due on the President’s desk today, although we may not know the details of the Pentagon’s recommendations for some time.

ISIS traces its roots to al-Qaida in Iraq, which declared an Islamic State of Iraq in 2006. In 2013 the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, renamed it the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

Al-Sham is an Arabic word for a vaguely defined territory that includes what is now Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, virtually all of the Middle East. It is often translated as the Levant, the closest English term for the territory it describes and the term preferred by the Obama Administration. Alarmingly, the concept of Levant lumps Israel in with all the countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean in a nameless and demeaning fashion, thus denying that the historic land of Israel even dates back to the time of Abraham as their ancestor.

Al-Baghdadi claimed that the territory under his control would be a Caliphate, or Islamic State.  ISIS further believes, while it is not yet a political or geographical reality, that even now their self-proclaimed Caliphate is the moral and religious authority for this entire region, including the nation of Israel. Consistent with this viewpoint, violence is justified, even encouraged, against the Infidels living in these lands who do not recognize the “lawful” authority of the Islamic Caliphate.

Parenthetically, the opponents of ISIS in Iraq and other Arab countries call the Islamic State Daesh, an Arabic acronym corresponding to ISIS. The term is deliberately designed to mock and insult ISIS because it diminishes its territorial claims. It is also close to the word “dahesh” meaning “one who tramples,” an apt expression for the majority of the Muslim world who oppose the terrorist organization.

All of this makes the Obama Administration’s preference for the term “ISIL” all the more disturbing. In contrast with the Trump Administration’s decision to officially refer to ISIS, the Obama Administration’s official policy referred to the Islamic State as ISIL. Why?

The very term “ISIL,” with its intentional connection to the Levant as the land from which this murderous group would rule the Middle East, is aspirational. It reflects the ambitions of ISIS and its leader, al-Baghdadi. It elevates the group’s territorial conquests. This provokes two questions: (1) Why would then-President Obama, or anyone else for that matter, want to acknowledge the claims of a group of genocidal jihadists and use the name that this hateful group prefers? And 2) Why would anyone use a name that constitutes an encouragement for this bloody group which reifies their objective of conquering all of the Middle East, if not the world?

Provoked by such changes, since November 2015 the ACLJ has been critical of the terminology preferred by both the terror organization and President Obama. We have contended for almost two years that the name ISIL tacitly acknowledges the irrational claims of the terrorist group. To call them ISIL legitimizes this radical Islamic group, which commits genocide on Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities and murders all who stand in their way, including their fellow Muslims.

This is another example of the Trump Administration’s understanding the fact that Israel is our only true ally in the Middle East and that we need to support them in every way possible. Somehow the Obama Administration was not willing to do that.

Not Comforting News

Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall today about an investigative report done by CNN. The report states that the Venezuelan government has been issuing official passports in Iraq  to anyone who is willing to pay for them–even if they have ties to terrorism.

The article reports:

One confidential intelligence document obtained by CNN links Venezuela‘s new Vice President Tareck El Aissami to 173 Venezuelan passports and ID’s that were issued to individuals from the Middle East, including people connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.  

The article at Townhall reminds us that Venezuela is a close ally of Iran. Iran is the backer and money behind Hezbollah. Until 9/11, Hezbollah was the most prevalent terrorist organization in the work, and before 9/11, responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. A dubious honor at best.

The article further reports:

ISIS, which has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, has hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal to purchase official passports. Additionally, the terror army has set up their own fraudulent passport system. 

President Trump recently signed an executive order barring all refugees and visas holders from seven countries, including Iraq and Syria, without proper vetting procedures.

I think this report shows the wisdom of that ban.

 

 

While We Were Watching The Election Campaign

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the battle in Dabiq, Syria.

The article reports:

Dabiq is the Syrian village that ISIS promised would be the scene of an apocalyptic showdown, an Armageddon, in which Muslims would win a great battle against the infidels, consisting of 80 nations each ten thousand strong. But recently, as I noted here, ISIS had to abandon Dabiq under pressure from Free Syrian rebels backed by Turkish and U.S. air power.

ISIS’s occupation ended not with an apocalypse, but a whimper.

ISIS has an explanation, though. Will McCants of Jihadica reports that ISIS says the conditions for its apocalyptic prophesy were not present in Dabiq just now. For one thing, the “Mahdi,” a messiah figure, did not appear to lead the battle (the reason for his no-show is unclear). Not only that, the expected 80 infidel armies did not turn up to be defeated.

Prophesy is a difficult racket.

It is good to know that some progress is being made against ISIS. However, we need to remember why ISIS exists. ISIS is the result of the failure of the American State Department under the Obama Administration to secure a reasonable status of forces agreement with Iraq after President Obama took office. President Obama was so obsessed with being the President who ended the war in Iraq that he did not take the necessary steps to secure the victory. A war is not over until both sides have stopped fighting. Somewhere along the way, President Obama decided he had the power to unilaterally end the war in Iraq. Obviously, he didn’t, and our military is currently paying the price for that decision. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Clinton, is no smarter now than she was then. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for further chaos in the Middle East. However, it is good to know that at least in this case, ISIS was routed and their plans altered.

Lying Is Not Acceptable

The idea that we are all Americans working together for the good of our country has somehow been lost in recent years. We have lost our identity as a nation and are sacrificing the lives of our military as a result. Regardless of how you felt (or feel) about the war in Iraq (or realize that one of the main reasons we went into that war was to salvage the UN peace deal that had been worked out with Saddam Hussein), leaving the war the way we did caused problems. What has come to light in the past few days is the fact that the Obama Administration has been lying to Americans about the progress made against ISIS since we left Iraq after the war.

Yesterday Fox News posted a story about the findings of a House Republican task force regarding what Americans have been told about ISIS.

The article reports:

Intelligence reports produced by U.S. Central Command that tracked the Islamic State’s 2014-15 rise in Iraq and Syria were skewed to present a rosier picture of the situation on the ground, according to a bombshell report released Thursday by a House Republican task force. 

The task force investigated a Defense Department whistleblower’s allegations that higher-ups manipulated analysts’ findings to make the campaign against ISIS appear more successful to the American public. 

The report concluded that intelligence reports from Central Command were, in fact, “inconsistent with the judgments of many senior, career analysts.”

Further, the report found, “these products also consistently described U.S. actions in a more positive light than other assessments from the [intelligence community] and were typically more optimistic than actual events warranted.” 

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who was involved in the House report, said Thursday the data was clearly “manipulated.”

“They wanted to tell a story that ISIS was the JV, that we had Al Qaeda on the run,” he told Fox News. “This is incredibly dangerous. We haven’t seen this kind of manipulation of intelligence … in an awfully long time.” 

Those of us with family members in the military need to remember this when we vote in November. For whatever reason, the Democrats record on military issues–defense spending, military benefits, VA hospitals, etc.–is horrendous. If you want the American military to remain strong, you have no alternative but to vote Republican.

About That Last Republican Debate

I will confess that I did not watch the entire Republican debate. I don’t deal well with cage fights. However, I did see the part of the debate where Donald Trump attacked Jeb Bush for the actions of George W. Bush in Iraq. Aside from the fact that it was totally tacky to attack George Bush on his brother’s record, all of the charges made were simply false.

Donald Trump seems to have forgotten that there were a number of reasons why we went into Iraq. Saddam Hussein was consistently violating a United Nations established no-fly zone–therefore, the credibility of the UN was at stake (I would just as soon get rid of the UN, but that was the situation). Saddam Hussein had already used poison gas on the Kurds (WMD). Saddam Hussein had previously fought with Iran and invaded Kuwait, and was not a stabilizing force in the region, and Saddam Hussein was training terrorists (google the airliner frame that was used to practice hijackings).

In 2006, Fox News posted a story about the discovery of WMD’s in Iraq. The Bush White House decided not to make a big deal of the discovery. I think this was a mistake, but you can follow the link to read the article.

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article that sheds some light on the fact that we were not ready for 9/11.

Some excerpts from The Washington Times article:

As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hammers away at former President George W. Bush for not stopping the September 11 attacks, another factor could be added to the debate: Mr. Bush inherited from Bill Clinton an intelligence community in terrible shape.

This fact comes not from a Republican partisan but from George Tenet, President Clinton’s CIA director, a post that at the time made him the country’s top intelligence officer.

…In addition to Mr. Tenet’s book, other intelligence sources have told The Washington Times that the CIA in the 1990s dramatic cut the number of case officers — the people who recruit spies — from 1,600 to 1,200. The CIA closed operating bases, even the one in Hamburg, Germany, where September 11 Islamists plotted the attack. The NSA, the nation’s listening post, was not keeping up with the Internet revolution and was stymied at times by cell phone technology.

Mr. Bush reversed that trend by pouring billions of dollars into the CIA to hire new officers and into the NSA to set up new technology development units.

Mr. Tenet wrote that he personally asked President Clinton for billions more, but received no increase.

…“Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right?” Trump said Saturday at a debate in South Carolina.  “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none.”

With that line, Mr. Trump is picking up the slogans of the left wing which said, “Bush lied, troops died.”

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a special blue-ribbon panel looked into the claim, and both unanimously concluded the WMD finding was solely the product of the intelligence community, free of White House interference. Neither Mr. Bush nor the CIA lied, the panels said.

So I have a few questions about this attack. Why was Donald Trump spouting Democratic talking points? He also failed to mention that because of the actions of Al Gore and Bill Clinton, President Bush was not able to put his security team in place in a timely manner–his election was declared later than usual and he was delayed in putting his people in place. Donald Trump also failed to mention that Iraq was on its way to being a stable ally before President Obama prematurely withdrew his troops.

I am not a supporter of Jeb Bush, and I believe that his response to this attack was totally ineffective, but the attack was totally out of line and inappropriate. If I were a supporter of Donald Trump (which I am not) his actions during this debate would cause me to reconsider.

We Obviously Need A New Foreign Policy

Jim Geraghty posted an article in The Corner at National Review today about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the article he reminds us that CNN reported the following:

During a National Security Council meeting held at the Pentagon on Dec. 14, President Barack Obama told top military officials and other officials he wanted to see a better job of having the so-called “narrative” of the war on ISIS communicated to the American people, a senior defense official told CNN.

Communication is not the problem.

The article at The Corner reports:

In Afghanistan, Taliban Controls Most Territory Since 2001; ISIS Preparing ‘Greatest Religious Cleansing in History

The story includes this report from a German journalist:

A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country – Israel.

In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.

“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”

The writer said that ISIS wants to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.

This doesn’t sound as if we are making progress in the War on Terror.

From A Friend On Facebook

I don’t know if this is true, but it’s a great story.

One of my sons serves in the military. He is still stateside, here in California. He called me yesterday to let me know how warm and welcoming people were to him and his troops everywhere he goes, telling me how people shake their hands and thank them for being willing to serve and fight for not only our own freedoms, but so that others may have them also.

But he also told me about an incident in the grocery store he stopped at yesterday on his way home from the base. He said that ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed in a burkha.

He said when she got to the cashier she loudly remarked about the U.S. flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock. The cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly, “Yes, I always wear it and probably always will.”

The woman in the burkha then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

A gentleman standing behind my son stepped forward.

Putting his arm around my son’s shoulders and nodding towards my son, he said in a calm and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman: Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief that had you been this outspoken in YOUR own country, we wouldn’t need to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so loudly and clearly, I’ll gladly buy you a ticket and pay your way back to Iraq so you can straighten out the mess in YOUR country that you are obviously here in MY country to avoid.”

Everyone within hearing distance cheered!

Illogical Foreign Policy

The Kurds have been standing up to ISIS since ISIS decided to do horrible things in the Middle East. All of American aid to Iraq goes directly to the Iraqi troops who have, unfortunately, dropped their weapons and run away, giving ISIS access to some really good weapons technology. For whatever reason, the Obama Administration has consistently insisted that all weapons going to Iraq go through Baghdad to Iraqi troops and not directly to the Kurds (who obviously do not cut and run). Well, it’s even worse than that.

Yesterday the U.K. Telegraph reported that the Obama Administration is blocking the attempts of our Middle Eastern allies to send weapons directly to the Kurds.

The article reports:

Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

They now say they are willing to “go it alone” in supplying heavy weapons to the Kurds, even if means defying the Iraqi authorities and their American backers, who demand all weapons be channelled through Baghdad.

High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.

I have very mixed emotions about this. First of all, the Gulf states should not need American approval to fight ISIS. They should automatically just do it. However, there is another side of this story. Fighting ISIS strengthens Iran. The only difference between the goals of ISIS and the goals of Iran is who will be in charge of the Islamic Caliphate they want to set up. ISIS and Iran both have plans for a worldwide caliphate which they plan to start in the Middle East. The dispute is over who will rule it and whether it will be Sunni or Shia. Both Iran and ISIS have plans to eliminate Israel, so supporting either one puts the Jewish state at risk. Note also that ISIL stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” The Levant includes the land of Israel as part of the Islamic state.

The article further reports:

The Peshmerga have been successfully fighting Isil, driving them back from the gates of Erbil and, with the support of Kurds from neighbouring Syria, re-establishing control over parts of Iraq’s north-west.

But they are doing so with a makeshift armoury. Millions of pounds-worth of weapons have been bought by a number of European countries to arm the Kurds, but American commanders, who are overseeing all military operations against Isil, are blocking the arms transfers.

One of the core complaints of the Kurds is that the Iraqi army has abandoned so many weapons in the face of Isil attack, the Peshmerga are fighting modern American weaponry with out-of-date Soviet equipment.

At least one Arab state is understood to be considering arming the Peshmerga directly, despite US opposition.

I think we need to get out of the way and let the Arab states arm the Peshmerga. In terms of the Middle East, lately we seem to have a gift for coming down on the wrong side of history.

Actions Have Consequences

The withdrawal of American troops in Iraq paved the way for the ISIS takeover. Last Tuesday BBC News posted an article about what life in Mosul, Iraq, is like under ISIS.

I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article, but here is one example:

“One day I felt so bored at home that I asked my husband to take me out, even if I had to wear the full khimar [a long, cape-like veil that covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear]. I had not left home since IS took over the city. As I was preparing, he told me I would be forced to put on a niqab [veil for the face]. I was shocked at this and considered staying at home for a moment, but eventually I relented.

We went to a nice restaurant by the river we used to frequent during our engagement. As soon as we sat down, my husband told me that I could finally reveal my face as there was no IS presence and the restaurant was a place for families.

“I was very happy to oblige and so I revealed my face with a large smile. Instantly, the restaurant’s owner came over begging my husband to ask me to hide it again because Islamic State fighters made surprise inspection visits and he would be flogged if they saw me like that.

The article continues:

“I was threatened and harassed [by Sunni extremists] before the capture of Mosul, but I kept on delivering babies for women from all religions and sects. I never differentiate between my patients as I believe everyone deserves equal care.

“However, I had to flee as Mosul fell. I escaped with my body unharmed, but my soul remained where I had left it: at home with my books.

“After moving to Irbil [in Iraq’s Kurdistan region] I received shocking news: Islamic State had confiscated my house and marked it with the letter ‘N’ [for Nasrani – a word used by IS to refer to Christians]. I immediately telephoned my friends in Mosul and begged them to save my books.

“But it was too late. They called back saying my library had been emptied onto the street. However, some of my neighbours were able to rescue some precious books that remain hidden.”

Another story:

Fouad: “I was arrested by IS. They came to our family home looking for my brother. When they couldn’t find him, they decided to take me to prison instead.

“Then they tortured me. The guy who did it wouldn’t stop unless he got tired. He was edgy all the time and he wouldn’t listen to what his prisoners said. He flogged me with a power cable and also tortured me psychologically.

“When my brother handed himself in, they found out that the accusations against him were false but they still kept me in prison until they judged me well enough to leave.

“They had hit me so hard with the cable that the marks are still visible on my back.”

Daily life in Mosul:

“IS takes a quarter of everyone’s salary as a contribution towards paying for rebuilding the city. People can’t say no because they would face harsh punishments. The group controls everything. Rent is paid to it and the hospitals are for its members’ exclusive use.

“The group has even replaced the imams in the mosques with pro-IS people. Many of us have stopped going to the mosques because those attending are asked to give an oath of allegiance and we hate that.

“Meanwhile, my brother was given 20 lashes just because he didn’t shut his shop during prayer time – as if you can just impose religion by force!”

I don’t have an answer–I don’t want American troops there–this is a civil war and we need to stay out of it. However, the rise of ISIS is the result of letting Prime Minister Maliki purge the Iraqi government and army of Sunni Muslims. When President Obama allowed him to do this, we paved the way for what is happening now. The possible answer is to arm the Kurds directly–not go through Baghdad. Meanwhile, the people of Iraq suffer.

It’s Not The Fault Of The American Military

Fox News posted an article today quoting President Obama’s statement that “When a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon, then I will share it with the American people. We don’t yet have a complete strategy.” The statement was made in reference to training Iraqis to fight the Islamic State.

It’s very hard for me not to go totally ballistic on this. Has President Obama forgotten that he ignored the requests of the military to leave American troops there to prevent the takeover of Iraq by Iran (which is essentially what has happened–if we fight against ISIS, we are fighting with Iran)? The American military leaders saw this coming–President Obama chose to ignore their advice. I have no doubt they are continuing to advise the President. I also have no doubt that he is continuing to ignore that advice.

As someone with a family member in the military, I don’t want to see any of our military put in harm’s way unless the rules of engagement are in our favor and unless there is a planned strategy. President Obama’s policies have offered neither.

Military leaders are all about plans for all contingencies and possibilities. President Obama is relying on the ignorance of the American people to avoid taking responsibility for the mess he has made of the Middle East.

Is There A Realist In The House?

While I sit here in North Carolina enjoying the beautiful weather, the Middle East is falling apart. There are three articles in today’s Wall Street Journal that cause me to wonder about the future of the Middle East and the future of America.

The first article, entitled, “Sunni Tribes in Iraq Divided Over Battle Against Islamic State” deals with the problem of tribalism in Iraq. Many Iraqis oppose ISIS. They understand that ISIS is not who they want running their country. They are willing to fight ISIS–right up to the point where as Sunnis they are asked to fight with Shiites. Some Sunnis support the Islamic State being created by ISIS. Many do not. It is very difficult to fight an ISIS takeover of Iraq when all Iraqis do not oppose such a takeover.

The second article, entitled, “Islamic State Gains New Leverage in Syria” deals with the ISIS capture of Palmyra in Syria. Palmyra, home to many archaeological treasures, is now in the hands of a group that has destroyed many archaeological treasures in the past.

The article reports:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group that monitors the conflict via a network of activists inside the country, said that following Palmyra’s fall on Thursday that Islamic State now controls half of the country, including most of its oil fields. The crude provides a steady stream of revenue.

The third article (actually an editorial), entitled “I Don’t Think We’re Losing” deals with President Obama’s recent statement after the fall of Ramadi in Iraq. What does losing look like according to the President?

The article reports:

It’s also worth mulling over Mr. Obama’s claim that he always “anticipated” this would be “a multiyear campaign.” This is the same President who criticized George W. Bush for conducting endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan and vowing to end it in both places. The Iraqi city of Mosul fell last June, Mr. Obama laid out his anti-ISIS strategy in September, and eight months later he promises years of more American commitment to Iraq.

At least Mr. Bush, for all his mistakes after the fall of Saddam Hussein, ordered a change of strategy that left Iraq stable by the time Mr. Obama took office. On present trend Mr. Obama’s Cool Hand Luke generalship will leave his successor an Iraq in turmoil and a mini-caliphate entrenched across hundreds of miles. If this isn’t “losing,” how does the President define victory?

I don’t have the answer to the problems in the Middle East (and the rise of ISIS). However, I do know that there are some very good leaders in our military who do have answers. I question whether or not they are currently being listened to. I do not support ground troops, but also do not support standing idly by as innocent civilians are being killed or forced to flee with only the clothes on their backs. We said ‘never again’ after the holocaust killed millions of Jews. This is our ‘never again.’ ISIS is killing both Jews (if there are any remaining in the Middle East outside of Israel) and Christians. I believe God will hold us accountable for our inaction.

Even When The Obama Administration Helps, It Doesn’t Help Much

On Wednesday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the battle for Ramadi, Iraq. For whatever reason, American has chosen to provide only minimal air support to help defend the city.

The article reports:

U.S. air strikes had been instrumental in helping to keep ISIS at bay. Without such support, the defenders of Ramadi have said they cannot hold out.

Unfortunately, during the recent rounds of fighting, U.S. air support reportedly was minimal. Local officials say they were told that U.S. aircraft are occupied on other fronts. It’s difficult to imagine what front is more critical right now than Ramadi, the site of some of the most intense fighting by U.S. troops during our war against al Qaeda in Iraq.

U.S. Central Command confirms the paucity of U.S. bombing. A spokeman said that the U.S. made two attacks on ISIS in the Ramadi area during the period from Friday through Monday. On Tuesday, it carried out one additional strike.

We have noted before that the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS fails remotely to approach the intensity of our efforts during the early days of the Afghanistan war or during the Kosovo campaign. Even so, our failure to average even one raid per day while ISIS came close to overrunning the defenders of Ramadi is shocking.

I fear that the Obama Administration, when looked at in historical perspective, will be seen as generally being on the wrong side of history. Somehow America under President Obama has forsaken the defending of freedom and either directly supported the forces of tyranny or simply stood back as they advanced. This is not who we are.

What Coalition?

The Hill is reporting today that Turkey has stated that it will not allow the United States to use its military bases in Turkey as operational bases against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The article reports:

National security adviser Susan Rice said Sunday on NBC that Turkey agreed to let the U.S. use its bases and territory, including the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, to train moderate Syrian rebels.

“That’s the new commitment, and one that we very much welcome,” she said.

However, on Monday, Turkish officials denied reaching such a deal, according to local media reports that said both sides were continuing to discuss the use of the military bases and Turkey’s airspace.

Turkey does not want the United States doing anything that will strengthen Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Turkey also does not want anything to happen in the area that will strengthen the Kurds.

The awkward situation regarding Turkey, a supposed United States ally, illustrates the complexity of meddling in the Middle East. Every country where America has toppled a tyrannical dictator has disintegrated into chaos. Our ‘good deeds’ have resulted in people dying and an increase in Christian persecution. Oddly enough, I am not including the ousting of Saddam Hussein in this statement. The problem with Saddam Hussein is that had he been left in place, the United Nations would have been totally destroyed. As much as I would not object to the end of the United Nations, it is the world umpire we are currently dealing with and Saddam Hussein was thumbing his nose at the United Nations on a regular basis. Saddam Hussein had violated every condition of the peace treaty signed after the first Gulf War and he needed to be reminded that his behavior was unacceptable.

It is time to put an adviser in the White House that has some understanding of the Middle East. Right now we seem to be lacking that expertise.

 

A Solution To The Middle East Problem From Someone Who Would Know

Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin posted the following on his Facebook page:

 

I have hesitated to write this posting because I have been trying to find an alternative to what I will propose here.

The situation with ISIS is very serious now as I am sure that everyone is aware. The Obama administration is totally inept and not serious about reducing the threat to America and American interests. These airstrikes are not effective because they have not been well directed at real targets in most cases and they have not been in large numbers.

So what do we need to do now? I hate to recommend this but I have considered the alternatives and I find none acceptable.

We need to do 5 things right now:

1. Put forth a significant intel effort against ISIS. This includes flying drones throughout the ISIS area of operations as well as a big Human Intel and Signals Intel effort. The idea is to find ISIS targets and kill them including the leaders and the command and control nodes.

2. Put as many Special Operations teams on the ground as the US Special Operations Command calls for. They should operate with the Kurdish Peshmerga and any Sunni tribal entities who can reasonably be assessed as true anti-ISIS entities. They should be equipped with SOFLAMS (Laser Designators) for controlling air strikes.

3. Deploy ground forces of at least one full US Army Armor or Mechanized division with supporting assets to go into the urban areas and to ferret out ISIS an kill them with anti-tank systems and attack helicopters. Yep, I know this is controversial and I don’t like it either but we have to destroy ISIS and reduce them as a threat. The US division must go in order to convince and persuade other nations to do the same. Even the NATO nations have to see that they either stop these pigs in Iraq and Syria or they will fight them on their home turf in Europe. The same applies to America. Now we cannot deny that they are coming across the US southern border since members of congress are now acknowledging the same thing.

4. Arm the Kurds directly and not through the Iraqi government. Anything going through the Iraq government never gets to the Kurds. Fly plane loads of arms and equipment into the city of Irbil and off load it there where the Kurds will get it themselves.

5. Cancel all foreign aid and foreign military sales of US arms and equipment to any nation that will not fight with us. Start with Turkey. Turkey is not a reliable ally and Erdogan is an Islamist himself. He has no intention of ever doing anything to stop ISIS. He wants Bashar al-Asaad’s head and has no interest in destroying ISIS because they are his strongest allies in the fight against al-Asaad. NO MORE US $ for nations that will not stand with us in the fight against ISIS.

The Problem With Attempting To Rewrite Recent History

The problem with attempting to rewrite recent history is that there are too many people around who remember what actually happened and that some of them write books. Such is the case with the political spin President Obama has used to explain why there were no troops left behind in Iraq.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article yesterday about Leon Panetta‘s new book “Worthy Fights,” excerpted in Time Magazine.

The article reports:

In Panetta’s forthcoming memoir “Worthy Fights,” which Time Magazine has excerpted, Panetta argues that Iraqi leaders privately wanted U.S. forces to stay behind after the formal 2011 withdrawal; that the U.S. had “leverage” to strike a deal; and that the Defense and State departments attempted to do so. However, says Panetta, “the President’s team at the White House pushed back” and thus no deal was reached.

This statement agrees with statements made by Ryan Crocker, ambassador to Iraq during the period in question.

National security should not be governed by politics. Unfortunately, under President Obama, every decision is governed by politics. We need to elect leaders who will put the good of America ahead of their own desire for personal gains.

After A While You Wonder If They Mean Anything They Say

When American forces left Iraq, many military people warned that not leaving significant forces behind would be a mistake. The Obama Administration and many political leaders seemed to overlook the fact that we currently have forces in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, despite that fact that those wars have been over for a long time. Despite the warnings from military leaders, President Obama celebrated the fact that our troops were coming home from Iraq, and many Democrats celebrated with him. So what are these people saying now?

Politico posted an article today with the headline, “Liberal doves run as war hawks.”

The article cites a few examples:

Democrat Kay Hagan didn’t mince words about the Iraq War during her 2008 Senate campaign against Republican Elizabeth Dole.

“We need to get out of Iraq in a responsible way,” Hagan declared in May of that year. “We need to elect leaders who don’t invade countries without planning and stay there without an end.”

Hagan is striking a different chord these days. Locked in a tough reelection battle, the first-term senator boasts that she’s more strongly supportive of airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants than her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, and says she’s been pressing the Obama administration to arm Syrian rebels since early last year.

…Take Bruce Braley, the Democratic Senate candidate in Iowa. He picked up a Republican-held House seat largely on the strength of his opposition to the war in Iraq. He backed cutting off funding for military operations and spoke out against the surge.

When his opponent warned at a 2006 debate of chaos if the U.S. cut and ran, Braley responded: “Chaos already is ensuing in Iraq.”

Just last August, Braley demanded Obama get congressional authorization before taking any military action in Syria.

Now Braley is running against military veteran Joni Ernst in one of the most contested Senate races in the country.

“ISIS is a threat that must be stopped,” Braley said during a debate Sunday. “Anytime American citizens are attacked by a terrorist group, they need to be brought to justice or to the grave.”

Follow the link to the article to read more wiggly-worm statements.

Admittedly, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East is fluid, but it is very obvious that many of the positions taken regarding the war in Iraq and the withdrawal of troops have been purely political. In this country there are men and women who love America more than they love political power. We need to start electing them.

 

I Guess Everyone Has An Achilles Heel

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about the ISIS fighters. They do have a weakness–they are afraid that if they are killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven. This is amazing to me. Despite what President Obama says, ISIS is an Islamic organization–they believe in Sharia Law–that is the reason they have no problem with killing infidels. However, it is interesting to me that a religion that treats women as badly as Islam does has spawned men who are afraid that if they are killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven.

The article in the New York Post reports:

A 27-year-old female Kurdish fighter named Tekoshin fighting in northern Iraq recently gloated to AFP: “I think [ISIS] were more afraid of us than of the men.” The Kalashnikov-toting fighter added: “They believe they’ll go to hell if they die at a woman’s hands.”

Some women who have fled the brutal oppression of ISIS have been organized into special Women’s Protection Units in Syria to do battle.

Hend Hasen Ahmed, a 26-year-old female fighter in Syria’s Kurdish region, told Britain’s Telegraph during the ISIS siege of Mt. Sinjar: “We are being trained to use snipers, Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades … For myself and for my people, I will go to [Mount] Sinjar to either die or live there freely.”

Radical imams have invoked interpretations of Koran passages to recruit jihadists, promising them a trip to paradise and 72 brown-eyed virgins if they die in battle or in what’s considered a martyrdom operation.

Seeing a woman staring at them down the barrel of a machine gun apparently isn’t what they had in mind.

I have very mixed emotions about sending women into combat–I think it goes against the natural feminine instinct, but it does make sense to me to see women standing to defend their country–it reminds me of a mother bear protecting her cubs–not something you want to mess with. With superman it was kryptonite; with ISIS it is women fighting to defend their country. We need to find a way to use this to our advantage.

Politics Is More Important Than Action

We have been hearing for a while now that ISIS is a serious threat. President Obama has made a few speeches emphasizing the importance of recognizing and dealing with the threat. I suspect most Americans who are actually paying attention also believe that ISIS is a threat. So what does the Senate do?

Yesterday The Hill reported that Senate Democrats have decided to debate and vote on a broad resolution authorizing military strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after the election.

The article reports:

“We’re going to take up the construction of a new authorization for the use of military force. It’s long overdue,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

The authorization would focus narrowly on ISIS, likely bar the deployment of ground troops and set a one-year time limit on military action.

The plan to vote on a resolution specifically authorizing strikes against the extremist Sunni group could help reassure liberal Democrats nervous about supporting a measure that authorizes President Obama to train and equip moderate rebels in Syria.

Durbin announced the roadmap at a Democratic leadership press conference shortly before the chamber was scheduled to vote on a government funding measure that included the so-called Title 10 authority to train the rebels.

Durbin said he is pushing the measure with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

“This is one of the most important votes we can cast,” he said.

Durbin said the Senate would take up the measure when the pending authorization for training Syrian rebels expires on Dec. 11.

I guess the Senate Democrats believe that ISIS is a problem that can wait until after the election. That belief goes on my rather long list of reasons the Democrats in the Senate need to be voted out of office. If the threat of ISIS is as important as the President says it is, the Senate needs to figure out what it wants to do to counter the threat as soon as possible.