March 1, 2015

Pakistan: Taliban set their sights on police; Egypt goes to war on ISIS


ISIS's brutalities and conquests in Syria, Iraq, and Libya have received the world's attention for good reasons, but it's where they're headed next that should concern us even more. Saudi Arabia is their ultimate destination, but they also have their sights on Egypt and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has always been a strong ally of Egypt and Pakistan, so if ISIS takes Mecca and Medina, what will the rulers of Egypt and Pakistan do?

What happens in Syria, Iraq, and Libya is not as nearly as important as what happens in Egypt and Pakistan. Egypt is half the Arab world, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and they're both ruled by corrupt military regimes so Islamists have an easy time in the propaganda war against them. Plus, in the case of Pakistan, many lower rank soldiers sympathize with the Taliban, so anything could happen in the future. A failed state in Libya is manageable, but a failed state in Pakistan is not.

The Taliban and ISIS will grind away at the Egyptian and Pakistani states, and continue to drain its resources. Pakistan is dependent on U.S. aid, so it is fragile and vulnerable to any economic shock or shift of direction in Washington. And Egypt has to beg Gulf princes just to pay salaries to its officials so it is not strong enough to wage a war against Islamist insurgents indefinitely. Whether or not there will be disastrous consequences depends on the response of the Egyptian and Pakistani rulers. Do they have enough vision and wisdom to win this war? Most likely no.

Sisi looks like a smart ruler, and he says good things, but he is not a spiritual leader so he will prove inconsequential in the war against ISIS, which is making religious claims and has to be countered religiously.

The person with belief who is fighting for an idea always beats the person who is only fighting for a salary and is only there because he can't find a job outside of the army. ISIS proved this in Mosul and other areas of Iraq, where corrupt officers of the Iraqi army ditched the fight in the middle of the night. It was the PKK who rescued hostages on Mt. Sinjar, and it was Shiite militias who came to the aid of the capital Baghdad. The Iraqi army was not a factor.

The Taliban and ISIS also have a clear advantage over the Egyptian and Pakistani police and military in the ideological field. They are fighting for a big idea. They have a transnational and religious vision. They get recruits from all over the world. They can point to the military leaders of Egypt and Pakistan and say that they have been backed by the United States for decades and question their allegiance to Islam. Egyptian and Pakistani rulers have no response to this.

II.

An excerpt from, "Egypt goes to war on ISIS, masses troops against Islamist Libyan stronghold at Darnah" DEBKAfile, February 28, 2015:
Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi has deployed his troops for all-out war on ISIS strongholds in Libya, the first Arab ruler to challenge the Islamists in a fellow Arab country, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. 
His intiative dramatizes the spillover of the Islamist State’s threat across the Middle East, and the fading impetus of the US-led coalition effort to reverse Islamic State gains in Iraq and Syria.
Title: Pakistan: Taliban set their sights on police. Source: France 24. Date Published: February 27, 2015.

USrael Is Sneakily Playing A Very Shrewd Game In Iraq (And Syria)


An excerpt from, "Islamic State conspiracy theories sway Iraqis" by Shukur Khilkhal, Al Monitor, February 27, 2015:
In a phone interview from Diwaniyah, Hamza Fadel Youcef, professor of modern literary criticism at al-Qadisiyyah University, told al-Monitor of a theory popular in his city involving an alleged Operation Hornet’s Nest undertaken by the international coalition. Youcef explained, “People believe that the US strikes IS in a certain region to eliminate its militants and allows the Shiite popular mobilization forces to enter the area. Then, the United States encourages IS to occupy the region again to eliminate the Shiite militants only to strike IS once again. Such a scenario ultimately leads to killing the biggest number of militants from both sides.” 
According to Youcef, people believe this scenario because of stories told by members of the popular mobilization forces who participated in battles against IS. They claim that the United States abandons them as soon as they liberate regions from IS control. This allows the IS militants to regroup, like a hornet’s nest, and reoccupy the liberated region, and then the United States attacks them once again. 
Killing two birds with one stone. Very nice, great success.

II.

It's obvious that Washington's policy in Iraq is to get Sunni extremists and Shiite extremists to fight each other in a last battle of Armageddon type scenario.

And they want to repeat this shrewd strategy across the Middle East, especially in Syria and Lebanon, where the seeds of sectarianism have been planted. In Syria they have been successful, with a little help from friends like Israel, who the U.N. has accused of supporting Al-Nusra on numerous occasions.

Is this policy defensible? Yes. Let's put it this way. The U.S. killed 500,000 innocent kids in Iraq in the 1990s as a result of its illegal sanctions, and its leaders have defended their actions without giving any rational or logical explanation. Two decades later, it is directing its power and might against thousands of terrorists. Moving from killing kids to killing terrorists in Iraq in a generation is a huge step in the right direction. This is what progress looks like, folks.

Historically, the U.S. is a country that is always reaching towards moral perfection, and this is another example of that long process. So this is a great leap forward. But Washington may not be done killing kids in Iraq just yet. ISIL terrorists are using child soldiers, and force-feeding children their dogmatic doctrine, so the prospect of terrorist kids is already here.

By the time they come of age, after gaining experience with executions and beheadings as kids, they will eat Iraq and Syria alive. And who knows where else. Saudi Arabia? Qatar? The children will eat their fathers.

And this war won't end any time soon. The child soldiers of today will be training the child soldiers of tomorrow. As long as the U.S. and its allies continue to pump money, arms, and fighters into Syria and the rest of the region, then children will be pulled into the conflict. It is a tragic and predictable cycle. This always happen in failed states suffering from prolonged conflicts, especially when international powers are keen on prolonging them to promote their own interests.

Who knows. The U.S. might be doing God's work in Iraq. Getting terrorist militias to kill each other is not a bad plan.

Both ISIL and extremist Shiite militias want to impose their worldview on people with force, and kill anyone who has a slight difference of opinion than them. Shiite militias are cleansing Sunni areas and confiscating the private property of average citizens, especially those who are sympathetic to ISIL, while ISIL terrorists behead innocent people for fun and wipe out entire villages, tribes, and towns that stand in their way, taking their women and children as captives.

No side is fighting a just battle with clean hands. And there is no accountability for them. Shiite militias are better in that they at least have leaders who can be held accountable to the public and to the international community, whereas with ISIS terrorists it is a free for all. They have no direction and guidance, other than from shadowy American, British, Turkish, Saudi, and Israeli intelligence agencies who are leading them to ruin.

Half the time they're too busy killing each other to worry about the Shiites, the Jews, the Americans, the Kurds, the Christians, the infidels from the West, the Yezidis, the Assyrians, etc. The unfortunate thing is that Sunnis are the majority in the Middle East, and a little bloodletting isn't at all fatal to them.

February 28, 2015

U.S. And Turkey Will Begin Training A New Batch of Jihadist Terrorists On March 1st

Obama and Erdogan vs. Putin and Assad. Muslim Brotherhood (US-Turkey) vs. Secular nationalism (Russia-Syria).

It is Russia and Syria vs. the U.S and Turkey. Obama and Erdogan vs. Putin and Assad. In the global media Putin and Assad have been demonized non-stop. They've been called evil, monsters, dictators, etc. But it is Obama and Erdogan who are training and arming ISIS terrorists, and it is Putin and Assad who are fighting them. The U.S. and Turkey have supported terrorism not just in Syria but also in Libya. 

An excerpt from, "Turkey, US to begin training Syria rebels Sunday" AFP, February 27, 2015:
"I can say that the train-and-equip [program] will begin as of March 1," Tanju Bilgic, spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry, was quoted as saying by the state-run Anatolia news agency.

After several months of negotiations, Ankara and Washington signed an agreement on February 19 to train and arm Syria's anti-regime fighters.
An excerpt from, "Libya PM: Turkey Keeps Supplying Anti-government Militias with Weapons" The Tripoli Post, February 28, 2015:
Libya Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has strongly criticized Turkey for supplying anti-government militias with weapons in violation of international law and Security Council resolutions. 
These militias are in alliance with extremist Islamists and the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliate groups in Libya. 
"Turkey is a state that is not dealing honestly with us. It's exporting weapons to us so the Libyan people kill each other," he told Egyptian TV channel CBC late on Thursday.

February 27, 2015

The Heat discusses US foreign policy in the Middle East

Photo: U.S. embassy in Yemen. Source.

Title: The Heat discusses US foreign policy in the Middle East. Source: CCTV America. Date Published: February 26, 2015. Description: 
With Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya all ravaged by conflict, ISIL is gaining ground and Israelis and Palestinians are still no closer to peace. Has U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa failed?
Does this question even need to be asked? The answer is in-your-face.

The video below also forgot to mention that the Taliban is set to reclaim what it lost in Afghanistan in the coming years with Pakistan's help, and all the while the U.S. is paying Pakistan. Obviously, the U.S. is not to blame for everything that has gone wrong in Afghanistan. The leaders of Pakistan must take responsibility. But if history is any guide, don't count on that happening any time soon. They're not smart enough to change course. They will back the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan until middle class Pakistani society can no longer bear the costs of blowback.

The Audacity of Bibi

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon.

It's better if Prime Minister Netanyahu gives the speech to Congress in March, to a half empty room it looks like. Let him make a fool of himself, as he did on the floor of the United Nations with his cartoon bomb, and as Ahmadinejad did at Columbia University when he said there were no gays in Iran. LOL.

Hopefully, Netanyahu will go the way of Ahmadinejad. The world has had enough of irrational messianic leaders who make foolish statements and pour fuel on fires. If Netanyahu wants the world to burn so much he should step down as the leader of Israel and join ISIS.

Below are two articles that shed light on why President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu don't see eye to eye on a lot of things.

An excerpt from, "The roots of why Obama and Netanyahu dislike each other so much" by Terrence McCoy, The Washington Post, February 26, 2015:
Obama’s opinions on Israel have long contrasted with the militant view adopted by Netanyahu’s Likud, a point he made clear during the 2008 campaign, which made some pro-Israel hawks nervous. “I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re opposed to Israel, that you’re anti-Israel, and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel,” Obama said.

These statements weren’t lost on the Israeli public, and in a 2010 Jerusalem Post poll, only 9 percent of respondents said Obama’s administration was pro-Israel. Nearly one-half called it pro-Palestinian. Roughly three-fourths of Israelis who considered themselves right-wing — like Netanyahu — said Obama’s worldview was pro-Palestinian.

Now the differences between Netanyahu and Obama — on matters from settlements to modern Zionism — have come to a crossroads, a showdown set for next week when analysts say all of that building disdain between the men may finally come to a head. It will be a “tense political drama of the kind that House of Cards writers can only dream about,” said Haaretz.
An excerpt from, "Obama, the Jewish President" by Peter Beinart, Times of Israel, April 16, 2012:
During his run for the US Senate in 2004, in response to a questionnaire from the Chicago Jewish News, he criticized the barrier built to separate Israel and its major settlements from the rest of the West Bank, a remarkable statement given that that same year, after the International Court of Justice condemned the barrier, 361 members of the House backed a resolution supporting it. When his US Senate campaign — at the request of local Jewish activists — submitted a position paper on Israel, the activists deemed it too weak, and obtained a rewrite.

Obama’s description of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope,” is also telling. In the one paragraph Obama devotes to the conflict, his central theme is the similarity between Israelis and Palestinians. He describes talking “to Jews who’d lost parents in the Holocaust and brothers in suicide bombings” and hearing “Palestinians talk of the indignities of checkpoints and reminisce about the land they had lost.”

Flying by helicopter over Israel and the West Bank, he says he “found myself unable to distinguish Jewish towns from Arab towns, all of them like fragile outposts against the green and stony hills.” While such rhetoric is hardly radical, it subtly contradicts the view of major American Jewish leaders, who usually reject any equivalence between Jewish and Palestinian suffering. The American Jewish establishment generally stresses the moral dissimilarity between Israelis and Palestinians; Obama in “The Audacity of Hope” does the opposite.


Perhaps most revealing of all, as an insight into Obama’s view of Israel’s occupation, is the fact that he read, and vividly remembers, David Grossman’s 1988 book, “The Yellow Wind.” Grossman is not only one of Israel’s leading novelists, he is among its leading intellectual doves, and “The Yellow Wind” is his searing account of the occupation, as he witnessed it during seven weeks on assignment in the West Bank for an Israeli newsweekly. It is difficult to read “The Yellow Wind” without being profoundly disturbed by its portrait of Palestinian life under Israeli rule. That Obama read it, along with the novels of another famed Israeli dove, Amos Oz, lends further credence to Arnold Wolf’s claim that in his pre-presidential years, Obama “was on the line of Peace Now.”

February 26, 2015

Col. Joel Rayburn - Iraq After America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance

Follow Col. Joel Rayburn on twitter for Iraq news and updates.

Title: Iraq After America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance. Source: New America. Date Published: September 24, 2014. Description: 
More than a decade after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, most studies of the conflict focus on the twin questions of whether the United States should have entered the country in 2003 and whether it should have exited in 2011, but few have examined the new Iraqi state and society on its own merits. This is especially disconcerting in light of the recent crisis with the Islamic State.

In his book, Iraq After America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance, U.S. Army Col. Joel Rayburn notes that the authoritarianism, sectarianism, and Islamist resistance that dominate Iraq’s post-U.S. political order have created a toxic political and social brew, preventing Iraq’s political elite from resolving the fundamental roots of conflict that have wracked that country before and since 2003. Rayburn also examines key aspects of the U.S. legacy in Iraq, analyzing what it means for the United States and others that, after more than a decade of conflict, Iraq’s communities—and its political class in particular—have not yet found a way to live together in peace.
"What we've seen since 2003, I think, is a hardening of Iraq's sectarian and ethnic fractures into a rigid political order. So that Sunni-Shia and Arab-Kurd rivalries dominate every political question, and they enable ethno-sectarian extremist groups and terror networks to thrive inside the society. I think this process began when mainly ex-patriot parties returned to Iraq in 2003 without a mass following, but with sectarian agendas in mind. And I think they set out consciously to polarize Iraqi society along sectarian lines in order to create constituencies for themselves, and things spiralled downward from there." - Col. Joel Rayburn.

February 21, 2015

The Truth About the Rehab Industry and 12-Step Programs


Title: The Truth About the Rehab Industry and 12-Step Programs. Source: TomWoodsTV. Date Published: February 17, 2015. Description:
Dr. Lance Dodes, retired professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical SCHOOL, debunks the bad science behind "rehab" and 12-step programs, which have miserable success rates.