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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘defeat’

How the Next President Can Defeat ISIS

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS website}

Chief among the many foreign policy challenges that President Barack Obama faces — and his successor will have to meet — is how to successfully defeat ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or Daesh.

When ISIS burst onto the scene in 2014, by taking advantage of Middle East instability and conquering large swathes of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria, the international community was shocked by the sheer speed with which the terrorist group inflicted its brutality on the region’s inhabitants, especially non-Muslim minority groups, such as Christians and Yazidis.

Since then, a United States-led loose coalition, comprised of more than a dozen European and Middle East countries, with the mission to slowly erode ISIS’ control in parts of Iraq and Syria, has had limited success. While coalition airstrikes and Iraqi government ground forces have made progress against in Iraq, the ongoing civil war in Syria, where ISIS has its de-facto capital in Raqaa, has enabled the terrorist group to continue to operate, and even carry out terror attacks abroad.

Amid this slow progress, a new organization, The Committee to Destroy ISIS, believes an alternative is needed to defeat the terror group. It proposes creating a secular homeland for Sunni Muslims and other minority groups in western Iraq.

JNS.org spoke with the organization’s executive director, Sam Patten, to get his thoughts on the current situation in Iraq and how the US can successfully destroy ISIS.

Who’s behind your organization?

Sam Patten: “The Committee to Destroy ISIS brings together Iraqis and Americans who share a vision for a better way of combating the scourge that’s the so-called Islamic State. Our members include business people, former members of the military, intelligence community, policy and political officials and experts.”

What’s your background and how did you became involved?

“My own Iraqi background includes work for the International Republican Institute (IRI), which I served as resident political director in Baghdad in the run-up to the first Iraqi elections in early 2005. I’ve also done advisory work for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Erbil in 2005 and 2006 and advisory work for former Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq during the 2014 parliamentary elections. My experiences in Iraq have led me to the conclusion that Sunnis have gotten a bad deal in the last 13 years, and rectifying this is critical to restoring any semblance of balance in the country and the region.”

How does your group seek to defeat ISIS?

“To destroy ISIS, it’s necessary to address the environment which it arose. Before “liberating” Mosul, why [did it fall] to ISIS so quickly? Why did the Iraqi army drop their guns and run in the summer of 2014? The Iraqi army and associated Shi’a militias so brutalized the population during an era of heightened sectarianism, that they’d become not protectors, but hated occupiers. Now that ISIS has left Fallujah, what is happening there? Reuters recently published a damning account of how the abuses of the local population that survived ISIS domination have ramped up significantly over the last couple months. This is precisely the cycle of mass human rights abuse that seeds the desire for vengeance and delegitimizes the Iraqi state and its current enforcers.”

What’s the answer to handling the sectarian tensions in Iraq?

“It is to create greater autonomy for West Iraq so the people there can essentially govern, and protect themselves. This would deny groups such as the so-called Islamic State territory from which to organize and expand their campaigns of terror.

“We’re not talking about ‘Sunni-stan.’ Rather, we’re talking about a secular statelet (small state). Other groups in this area, like Christians and Yazidis, have also suffered enormously in the past couple of years under ISIS. Islamic governance has failed the region, whether it comes from Tehran, Baghdad or Raqqa. Sunnis are generally quicker to eschew Islamic governance than Shi’a, and even more so after the past 13 years. Instead, we’re talking about a secular form of governance for West Iraq that equally protects all religions under law and denies the very basis of sectarianism.”

President Barack Obama’s complete withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 is considered a contributing factor to ISIS’ rise. What else has the Obama administration gotten wrong in Iraq?

“In recent years, the US has taken a policy of accommodation towards the Baghdad government that has reaped negative consequences.  Much of this, we fear, stems from the Obama administration’s evident zeal to pursue a nuclear deal with Iran, for which much else has been sacrificed. Consider the 2010 Iraqi elections. A secular Shi’a, Ayed Allawi, won with the support of more than 80 percent of Sunnis. But the Obama administration bowed to pressure from Tehran to keep their man, Nuri al-Mailiki, in power. As such, sectarianism increased dramatically once this permission was given. While there’s been more emphasis by Washington in recent months on destroying ISIS, the underlying issues haven’t changed. The US didn’t invade Iraq in 2003 to create the current disaster. We believe there exists a moral responsibility to restore the broken balance.”

It sounds like your plan is very similar to previous proposals to partition Iraq into separate states?

“When partition was first suggested by then-Sen. Joe Biden in 2006, the timing was wrong. But the idea was arguably a decade ahead. A recent article by a former George W. Bush administration official, Mark Pfeifle, called on the next president to consider regionalizing Iraq. A day or two after this piece came out, TV talk show host Joe Scarborough asked Biden again about his plan. And while he’s in a different role now [vice president], he’s tried to pay lip service to the fading notion of a unitary Iraq, it was clear that he too still supports the basics of our plan: more budget authority, more security and policing authority, and more self-governance for Western Iraq.”

What about Iraqi Christians and other minority groups who have suffered from ISIS. Should they get their own region?

“Christians and all other groups will be welcome constituent parts of West Iraq. This region has been tremendously diverse for millennia it should remain so.”

Which presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, has the best plan to defeat ISIS?

“We are not endorsing US political candidates; we are suggesting that America’s next president adopt a longer-term vision with respect to Iraq and the region. The significant shift to Tehran we’ve seen in the last six or seven years is destabilizing for the region. Whoever wins the November election, we hope will be less committed to the ‘legacy’ of an Iran deal and better able to take a balanced view that puts the interest of people in places like West Iraq into the equation. We look forward to the debates and hope this issue will be discussed, as it should, because it’s a critical element to destroying ISIS.  And that is something that matters to all Americans.”

Sean Savage

Defeat For Terror Victims, Windfall For Iran

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

American victims of Iranian terror were handed a $400 million loss with the payment of that sum to the Iranian government earlier this year. Whether it was a ransom payment for the release of hostages or, as defined by the White House, the payment of Iranian claims against the United States that was used as leverage for the hostages release, the fact of the matter is that the Obama administration has turned its back on American victims of Iranian terrorism.

My daughter Alisa, a 20-years old Brandeis University student studying in Israel, was murdered in 1995 by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a client of the Islamic Republic of Iran that was caught red-handed funding PIJ murders. Using the provisions of a 1996 federal law, our family pursued the Iranian government for its role in the attack, and in 1998 was awarded approximately $250 million in damages.

The small feeling of victory that led me to believe we would hold Iran financially accountable was soon dashed to bits by the Clinton administration as it fought to prevent us from collecting money from the Iranians. Every time we attempted to seize an Iranian-controlled asset in this country, we were confronted by a phalanx of lawyers from the departments of Justice, State and Treasury.

Despite our courtroom losses, a number of victims’ families banded together to press the fight in the Congress and in the press. As a result we were able to convince the Clinton administration that something had to be done and President Clinton selected Jacob Lew, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, to act as a sort of mediator in the discussions between the families and the government.

Lew’s efforts were rewarded with an agreement that would allow terror victims to receive payment on a portion of their damage claims. Not wanting to take taxpayer money, I insisted that the money come from designated Iranian assets, the main one being the $400 million of Iranian money in the Foreign Military Sales Program account. Lew assured me the money would have to come through the Treasury but there was that account to reimburse the government for any payments.

With the families in agreement as to the nature of the payments and their source, President Clinton signed Public Law 106-386 on October 28, 2000. Payments were made to my family and others, and the issue of the Iranian money faded into the background until earlier this year when it was revealed that $400 million was paid to Iran. The same amount as in the FMSP account.

At this point I should be beyond being shocked at the treatment of American terror victims by our government, but I am not – as the source of money that was to be used to reimburse American taxpayers for the money I received was used for other purposes.

Notwithstanding the grandiose verbiage used by the White House and the State and Treasury departments to describe the payment and the reasons behind it, I can only view it as a sellout of American victims of Iranian terror and of the American taxpayer.

I have publicly stated that, despite what happened to Alisa, I was never opposed to the restoration of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, that restoration had a price – Iran had to account for its role in the murders of Alisa and so many others. Indeed, the statute that gave us our payments provides just for that.

No doubt, the White House and other government spokesmen will come up with more platitudes as to just what the statute means. To my mind, they can say what they want; the bottom line is that terror victims have seen their claims pushed aside by a government desperate to bring Iran to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, it’s more of a poker table, and the Iranians hold the cards.

Stephen M. Flatow

New Objective from Obama: ‘Defeat’ ISIS, Not ‘Destroy’

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama apparently has taken a second look at the spreading influence and control over territory wielded by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group, and reconsidered his options as Commander-in-Chief.

His vow to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the barbaric terror organization changed in a speech Friday to “degrade and ultimately defeat” the group.

According to a retired U.S. Army officer and military analyst interviewed by the Washington Times, That’s a big change: there’s a major military difference between the two terms.

“Destroying the enemy… means we will kill all combatants and their means to continue the fight – factories, transportation networks, economy,” explained military analyst Robert Maginnis. Defeat could mean a political solution that leaves the enemy combatants alive and ready to fight another day.”

Political leaders in the U.S. are debating the level of resources to commit to this particular war on terror, not understanding its relevance to the homeland because it is being fought outside the United States. A number of ISIS-linked operatives have already been caught in the U.S. by law-enforcement agents.

Intelligence sources have made it clear that at least 100 American-born terrorists have flown to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS; some were already sent back to the U.S. to form their own sleeper cells to await attack orders from abroad. Others remain with the group in order to translate documents and help produce the slick Internet recruitment materials — including an online magazine, “Inspire” — that ISIS uses to draw more Western young people to its cause.

The group already controls large swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria, and has used homegrown operatives to infiltrate farther-flung areas such as the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, Israel, and numerous cities throughout Europe as well.

Rachel Levy

Message from a Man in Black…to a Man of Hate

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

I love this video – posted to YouTube around 5 months ago… it’s a message from one Hassidic Jew (representing so many others) to a man of hate (and to so many like him). It was posted before the Jewish holiday of Purim…

Purim is the story of a Persian king, his right hand man who wanted to kill the Jews, a Jewish man and his niece, who becomes the queen. An evil plot… unraveled at the last moment, twisted around to destroy the one who created the plot. It is about justice in the end, but more, it is about the Jewish people and where we put our faith. It is why we defeated Haman, that ancient Persian… and why we will defeat his ancestors – the followers of Ahmadinejad… and today’s “moderate” Iranian president who joined his outgoing colleague just days ago in wishing Israel off the face of this world.

Ari Lesser – you’re great! I hope this video reaches around the world…

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/message-from-a-man-in-black-to-a-man-of-hate/2013/08/08/

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