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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Guerrilla-Terrorists ISIS Seize Mosul, Iraq: Territorial Strategy

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

While it is not clear yet how much of the city the terrorists hold, what is clear is that Iraqi government forces collapsed and fled from the advancing ISIS attackers (“Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham,” also called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant).  The collapse of Iraqi authority has been underway since Sunday, and the most recent reporting indicates thousands of local residents are fleeing to escape ISIS.

In conjunction with the persistent ISIS assault on Anbar Province, to the southwest, the attack on Mosul is a geostrategic one.  ISIS is, in fact, trying to position itself to eventually take over Iraq, and control the interior nexus between Iraq and Syria.

Mosul isn’t just any city in northern Iraq.  It’s the most important hub of government and commerce – and the reason for that is the same reason ISIS wants it.  Mosul sits astride the Tigris River, which forms one of two main approach corridors through western Iraq to Baghdad, the other being the Euphrates River.  (See maps. Map 2 shows the Euphrates corridor six months ago, from this analysis of the growing ISIS threat.)

Map 1. The Tigris and Euphrates approach corridors -- and lifeblood arteries -- into central Iraq. (Google map; author annotation)

Mosul is downstream from the extremely important Mosul Dam, which was built on a flawed construction premise in the 1980s and is in a precarious condition.  Central Iraq is heavily dependent on Tigris water, and if the guerrillas can hang onto Mosul, and the access points to the Tigris, they will sit between the river’s main reservoir in Iraq and its customers.

ISIS corridor in the Euphrates valley. Google map; author annotation.

That is the same position they’ve been fighting for in Anbar Province along the Euphrates.  These guys aren’t stupid, and they’re not just blow-em-up-Allahu-akbar terrorists.  They’re executing, slowly but surely, a pincer move on Baghdad.  If ISIS has any hope of establishing itself on territory, it has to control some water.  In arid Iraq, water and lines of strategic approach are the same thing.

They’re also the lifeblood of civilization.  The farmers need water from the two great rivers, and so do the city-dwellers.  ISIS doesn’t have to be in charge of doling out the water, at least not at first.  The position its leaders aspire to – beyond holding what’s necessary to consolidate a territorial redoubt for themselves – is being able to threaten the water supply.  They are very close now to achieving that goal.

I do not assess that ISIS has a plan to literally attack Baghdad any time soon.  For the time being, ISIS wants to hold Baghdad at risk and be able to extort and snipe at the Maliki government.  Subverting Baghdad itself won’t be feasible until ISIS has established a broader base in both western Iraq and Syria.

What are ISIS’s chances of success?  The way to frame the answer is to recognize that conditions will have to change to defeat ISIS.  Iraq can’t do the job by herself.  Unless those conditions do change, ISIS has pretty good chances.

But conditions in the region are almost certain to change, as much as they need to, to defeat ISIS.  All three of Bashar al-Assad, Tehran’s mullahs, and Russia have reason to intervene to beat back the ISIS insurgency.  (There’s a significant presence of Chechens and Dagestanis – bane of Moscow – in the ranks of ISIS.  For the security of her entire southern flank, Russia needs to see the ISIS effort crushed.)

In Gallup Mid East Poll Only Israel Viewed Highly Favorably

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Americans’ views of eight important Middle East countries were fairly stable over the past year, after a decade that saw shifts in several of their ratings, a Gallup poll released Tuesday sowed. About seven in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country of those Gallup tested.

Less than half of the Americans asked view Egypt favorably, and only a third have a favorable view of Saudi Arabia. Less than 20% have a favorable view of the remaining five, including Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

These results are based on Gallup’s 2014 World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll measures Americans’ views on a variety of foreign policy issues, as well as the favorable and unfavorable images of a number of countries. The poll was initiated in 2001 and is updated each February.

gallup-mideast

At 13%, Syria’s minimal U.S. favorable rating is similar to what it was a year ago, but down slightly from 2012, continuing a gradual slide in that country’s image since 2005.

gallup syria

However, Iran’s position in American public opinion has been improving, in response to the massive propaganda brainwashing of the media. As the U.S. and other world powers are engaged in high-level talks with Iran over its nuclear program, never mind the results, Gallup finds little change in the overall percentage viewing Iran favorably, remaining near 85%, but there has been a decline in the percentage viewing Iran very unfavorably, now at 42%, down from 52% in 2012.

No doubt about it, fewer Americans fear and hate Iran this year. It makes for a great slogan: Iran – you don’t hate us so much any more.

gallup iran

The poll shows some differences among different age groups’ view of the Middle East, with young adults aged 18 to 34 holding somewhat more positive views of some Arab countries than do adults 55 and older. This applies to Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the Palestinian Authority.

It’s also clear that older Americans have more favorable views of Israel, while there is no difference by age in views of Saudi Arabia.

Libya and Egypt, the two “Arab Spring” countries, receive positive evaluations from the youngest Americans. The older folks – not so much.

gallup by age

Suicide and Car Bombs Kill More than 30 in Iraq and Syria

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

At least 13 Iraqi soldiers and 18 Syrians, including woman and children, were killed Thursday in another round of the seemingly endless fighting in both countries.

Iraq was supposed to be safe from democracy after the American invasion, but it has been neither safe nor democratic since then. Bombings by anti-government and Al Qaeda terrorists have returned as an almost daily event.

Thursday’s suicide bombing struck an airfield where Iraqi recruits were registering,

The car bomb in Syria exploded in the province of Hama, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria’s official state media claimed on Wednesday that opposition forces attacked two of its chemical weapons facilities.

Damaged Torahs Found in Iraq Buried in New York

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Damaged Torah scrolls found by U.S. troops in Iraq’s intelligence headquarters were buried in a cemetery in New York on Sunday, according to Jewish law for disposing of unusable religious objects and texts.

More than 100 people, including Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., attended the ceremony at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, Long Island. “This is a statement by the government and people of Iraq that we are here to respect the heritage of the Jews,” Faily said.

Thousands of Jewish ritual items were discovered by U.S. troops in 2003, after the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops found the items in the waterlogged basement of Iraq’s intelligence headquarters, and they were shipped to the National Archives, where experts set about restoring them.

An exhibit there on display through Jan. 5, is the first opportunity to see them.

Nasrallah Spreads the Blame, Accuses Saudis for Suicide Bombings

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Hezbollah supreme leader Hassan Nasrallah for the first time has accused Saudi Arabia of hunting down his terrorist organization. He blamed the kingdom for an attack two weeks ago on the Iranian embassy in Beirut, where 23 people were killed. An Al Qaeda-linked group previously has taken responsibility for the suicide bombings.

Nasrallah also blamed Saudi Arabia for similar attacks on Iraq.

His accusations on Tuesday were followed on Wednesday with his blaming Israel for the assassination of one of Hezbollah’s most senior terrorists, who was gunned down in Beirut, as reported here.

The God of Global Warming

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin said that the storm was divine punishment for “being in Iraq under false pretenses.”

Not only was a Liberal deity taking a position on WMDs and punishing George W. Bush by evicting a lot of black people from their homes; but the Democratic divinity was paradoxically also committed to progressive housing policies.”This city will be a majority-African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be,” Nagin promised.Bush is out of office. America is no longer in Iraq. And Democrats have been forced to search for new theological explanations for hurricanes, typhoons and volcanoes.

In response to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan; the green prophets of the left are prophesying that their liberal deity is angry over capitalism and industrialization.

“Whenever Mother Nature wants to send an urgent message to humankind, it sends it via the Philippines. This year the messenger was Haiyan,” The Nation wrote.

The message was apparently that Mother Nature, not to be confused with the nice elderly lady who runs a blog about alternative medicines, really hates prefabricated housing.

“That it was climate change creating the super typhoons that were taking weird directions was a message from Nature not just to Filipinos but to the whole world,” The left-wing magazine claimed.

For those infidels questioning whether Nature (capital N) was really speaking through a struggling lefty publication begging readers for money to pay its postal bills, its expert on typhoon theology had an answer.

“Is it a coincidence, ask some people who are not exactly religious, that both Pablo and Yolanda arrived at the time of the global climate negotiations?”

It is of course the very definition of religious faith to assume that a bearded woman in the sky is sending storms to threaten global climate negotiators (while missing them by two hemispheres and 6,000 miles). A more cynical person might suspect that climate negotiations are arranged around storm season for maximum effect.

The Nation, which regularly condemns “Bible Thumping”, had switched over to “Whole-Earth-Catalog Thumping”; building a religion around a Mother Nature who communicated her wishes through hurricanes and bankrupt liberal magazines.

Pacific Islanders used to believe that volcanic eruptions were angry notes from their volcano gods. The Yaohnanen tribe in Vanuatu on contact with civilization modernized their beliefs, and after encountering a younger Prince Philip decided that he had come from the volcano and that they ought to worship him.

And so the Prince Philip Movement was born. The islanders are modest in their requests of their god. “If he can’t come perhaps he could send us something,” the Yaohnanen Chief suggested, “a Land Rover, bags of rice or a little money.”

The Philippians may seem absurd, but their religion actually took a step forward from worshiping a volcano, which did nothing constructive and just destroyed things leaving the tribesmen to wonder whether the volcano was angry at their unjustified presence in Iraq or the waste carbon emitted by their cooking fires, to worshiping the Duke of Edinburgh, who can do constructive things like send them autographed photos. And perhaps one day a Land Rover.

While the savage tribesmen were approaching the margins of civilization; Prince Philip’s son was reverting to savagery and blaming everything wrong with the world, from local weather to the Syrian Civil War, on the great volcano god of Global Warming.

After some winter storms, Prince Charles announced that, “severe weather conditions in our country are, I have no doubt, the consequences of man-kind’s arrogant disregard of the delicate balance of nature.” It was the sort of statement that would have been commonplace a century ago. The only thing missing was that “Nature” had replaced “God”.The Yaohnanen tribe had moved on from worshiping a volcano god only capable of destruction; but the son of the living god they worshiped seemed eager to find a volcano god to worship. The savages were trying to become civilized, while civilized men were trying to become savages.At the Washington Post, the Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a former president of the Chicago Theological Seminary and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, gathered the tattered remains of her religion around herself and argued that Typhoon Haiyan was caused by human sin and needed to be atoned for by “confessing” that human beings cause typhoons.

But then Thistlethwaite, displaying less faith in whatever god she believed in than Ray Nagin had in his Chocolate City divinity and The Nation in its typhoon-hurling Mother Nature, added that “These “superstorms” aren’t an “act of God,” but an act of willful disregard for God’s creation.”

That is to say, God is dead. Instead Republicans must confess to the liberal theologians who speak for the superstorms, that they were the ones who made the winds blow. And if they don’t, then the speakers-to-superstorms will also hold them responsible for the next hurricane.

What miracle is the Rev. Dr. Thistlethwaite’s faith in superstorms founded on? Like the storms themselves, it’s a bit circular. “The fact that we are having to invent new language to describe such massively destructive storms, like “Super Typhoon Haiyan” or “Superstorm Sandy” suggests we need to take a different look at such violent storms today and theologically assess the human responsibility for them.”

Using the Rev. Dr. Thistlethwaite’s reasoning, the fact that we have a word for Superman suggests that we need to seriously investigate whether there are superhuman beings among us who can leap tall buildings in a single bound. But worshipers of the liberal God of Global Warming who hates the War in Iraq, white people living in New Orleans and carbon have a looser relationship with facts than Pacific Islander tribes.

The term Superstorm isn’t new. And neither are superstorms. In a listing of storms from 1932 onward, the first one shows up in 1940.

Back at the UN Climate Change summit, which apparently incites Mother Nature to spout off  typhoons like soda bubbles, the representative for the Philippines, Naderev “Yeb” Sano, threw a tantrum and demanded that Global Warming skeptics visit the islands to see the devastation.

Then he announced that he was going on a hunger strike until something meaningful was done.

In 1991, Tropical Storm Thelma killed over 5,000 people in the Philippines.The President of the Philippines has estimated that the death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan will be less than half that

Before Christianity and Islam, people in the Philippines believed that storms were brought by Saraganka Bagyo, the God of Storms, or Galurâ, a giant eagle who brings storms. Another story has it that they originated from a dispute between the descendants of the sea god and the sky god. Now Carbon has become the new Storm God, bringing bad weather because people won’t do anything meaningful, like cripple their economies and destroy their standards of living to appease him.

Sano, like Prince Charles and Ray Nagin, is reverting to a paganism buttressed by a science so bad that it is indistinguishable from superstition and magical thinking.

Despite the Rev. Dr. Thistlethwaite’s faith in a superstorm apocalypse derived from spending too
too much time watching the Weather Channel, there is no actual pattern of increased storm activity. Nor is Mother Nature targeting UN climate negotiations with typhoons. The only pattern here is the one that a liberal religion that believes in little except human evil assigns to storm patterns.

If the God of Global Warming worshiped by The Nation and the Rev. Dr. Thistlethwaite seems senselessly malicious, it is because it exists in their minds as a reflection of human evil. The left proclaimed the death of God only to find themselves in need of some entity to inflict ruthless punishment on those who did not believe in their left-handed path; which in the absence of the Gulags they were no longer able to do.

Liberalism in act of idolatry built the God of Global Warming in its own image. Like liberals, their deity can destroy, but not create.

The God of Global Warming is the embodiment of liberalism and holds all the politically correct beliefs while carrying out brutal atrocities in the name of the left’s favorite political causes. With a moral logic as flawed as that of its worshipers, it is a deity that kills people in the Philippines for the carbon crimes of Americans and kills people in New Orleans because Bush bombed Iraq.Science only truly began to take off when scientists stopped trying to base it around their preconceived worldviews of how things should be, but began to actually draw conclusions from the data, instead of fitting the data into their conclusions.The human race did not suddenly become much smarter in the last few centuries. Instead our greatest minds learned a little humility and began getting out of the way of the data. Instead of trying to force reality to conform to their philosophy, they experimented with building a philosophy around reality. The left has killed reality-based science, along with so many other human accomplishments.

Global Warming is the worship of the left. It elevates its petty biases against industry and the middle class to the status of a religion. It insists on their right to act as the mediators between individuals and the economy or else the God of Global Warming will unleash her superstorms on the bourgeois infidels.

Syrian Rebels Kill 17 Hezbollah Fighters in Direct Hit (Video)

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Syrian opposition media have posted a video that shows a direct rebel strike on a Hezbollah building near Damascus, killing a large but unknown number of the terrorist organization’s fighters.

Hezbollah has been losing popularity in Lebanon following reports of hundreds of casualties since the terrorist group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah sent them to fight along soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

Hezbollah initially claimed its fighters were in Syria to protect Shi’ite religious sites against attacks by Sunni Muslims.

In what appears to have been a separate clash in Damascus on Saturday, at least 15 Hezbollah fighters were killed, and a separate video showed dead soldiers with Hezbollah label patches on their uniforms.

Media  coverage of the destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons has neglected the ongoing civil war that could tear Syria into several warring regions.

Al Qaeda, which has become a major force in the war against the Assad regime, lost control of a major border crossing with Iraq on Saturday when Syrian Kurds captured it after a three-day battle.

In the south, rebels took over the town of Tafas after weeks of heavy  fighting that killed dozens of people, according to, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/syrian-rebels-kill-17-hezbollah-fighters-in-direct-hit-video/2013/10/27/

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