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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Jordan Bombs ISIS while US Debates

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Jordan vowed to chased the Islamic State (ISIS) “wherever they are” in Iraq as well as in Syria while President Barack Obama is afraid to be more aggressive in the face of Congressional ambivalence.

Following Thursday’s raids by Jordan that hit ISIS training centers and weapons storage sites, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told Fox News:

We said we are going to take this all the way, we are going to go after them wherever they are and we’re doing that.They’re in Iraq and they are in Syria and therefore you have to target them wherever they are.

U.S. military aircraft provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to Jordan.

Jordan has a stronger reason than the United Starts to attack ISIS because the terrorist organization controls parts of two countries on Amman’s borders, and Kong Abdullah does not have to deal with the Constitution, Congress and leftist media. However, the ISIS has been a golden opportunity for President Obama to show the world that the United States still is a world leader.

The U.S. Air Force has joined the strike force. That helps Obama “spread the blame” but he also will to spread the credit when ISIS finally is defeated.

Most Americans favor the U.S. Air Force’s bombing of ISIS targets, and Obama has the back of the Western world, shocked by ISIS barbarity. The ISIS is an easier target than a country with established leaders, such as Syrian president  Bashar al-Assad, but Obama reflects the timidity of an American that has lost its confidence.

Previous presidents have launched military attacks on Serbia, Panama, Grenada, and even the Korean War was carried out without Congressional approval. Obama authorized bombing Libya without asking Congress.

Obama has not relied on his presidential power to  bomb the ISIS to smithereens.

Instead, he has been leaning on previous authorization from Congress to support the American participation in the war on terror.

Despite polls that show backing for U.S. bombing missions against ISIS, Americans are paralyzed by dumb, costly and useless wars, dating back to the war in Vietnam and including the supposed “defeat” of terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Obama is prepared to ask Congress for specific authority to bomb the ISIS, but Congress is doing a good of talking. Wimpy Democrats want a time frame that would place a deadline so that military operations won’t drag on like previous wars.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner put the onus on the president to convince the American people. He said Thursday:

His actions are going to be an important part of trying for us to get the votes to actually pass an authorization. This is not going to be an easy lift.

Democrats are hesitant and want any authorization to be limited for three years, while most  Republicans want a broader authorization.

Republican Sen. John McCain said Thursday, “Overall, there’s still no strategy from this administration as to how to combat ISIS.”

Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter told McCain at a Senate hearing on Wednesday that he “absolutely” believes the U.S. needs an ISIS strategy, but he disappointed McCain when asked for specifics.

“I think the strategy connects ends and means…to strengthen” Iraq’s security forces…and to try to build the forces to keep them defeated” in Syria, he said.

McCain shot back, “Well, it doesn’t sound like a strategy to me.”

Report: Jordanian Air Force Kills ISIS Troops and Commander in Iraq

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Arab and Kurdish reports say the Jordanian Air Force struck in Mosul, Iraq, killing dozens of ISIS terrorists, perhaps as many as 56, including an ISIS commander for the Ninveh area, Abu Obeidah El Tunisi.

Other reports add that the Jordanian troops and armor are massing on the Syrian and Iraqi borders.

These report are still unverified at this point.

Jordan has threatened to take extreme measures against ISIS for the obscene murder of the Jordanian pilot. On Wednesday morning, Jordan executed two ISIS terrorists in response to the murder of the pilot.

Economic Bomb of Plunge in Oil Prices Crippling Hezbollah and ISIS

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

The plunging price of oil may do the long-term work for Israel and cripple Hezbollah, the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist groups that owe their existence to income from oil.

The price of black gold has plunged by 50 percent in less than half a year, and all signs point to it remaining less than $50 a barrel, and possibly even dropping below $45.

Western sanctions have not harmed Iran enough for it to halt its development towards procuring a nuclear weapon, but a continuing slump on the oil market is more effective and non-negotiable.

Militarily, Israel on several occasions has bombed advanced weapons destined for Hezbollah, and on Sunday the IDF wiped out Iranian and Hezbollah commanders who were planning attacks on Israel.

However, Hezbollah still has approximately 150,000 missiles that its leader Hassan Nasrallah could launch a catastrophe in Israel.

The dizzying drop in the price of oil endangers the capabilities of Hezbollah and the very existence of the Islamic State.

Hezbollah has cut the salaries of some of its members, and one of its commanders told Newsweek, “There are many members…who are now paid their wages much later. Some are getting less money than before.”

Hezbollah uses oil revenues to finance its massive support system that has made it the de facto government in southern Lebanon, a system copied by Hamas in Gaza and in some parts of Judea and Samaria.

One widow in a Beirut suburb told Newsweek, “Our family only gets half of the medical care and medicine that we need. This used to come every month without any problems, but today we are suffering.”

On the political front, Hezbollah no longer can buy off allies the way it once did when oil was selling at $110 a barrel.  At least two politicians said they now receive only half of the former $40,000 a month from Hezbollah.

“Salvaging the regime in Syria and fighting ISIS in Iraq have forced Iran to divert more resources away from Hezbollah at a time when the resource base in Iran is shrinking,” Hezbollah expert Randa Slim, a director at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, told The Christian Science Monitor.

One of the guiding hands behind the drop in the price of oil is none other than Saudi Arabia, which is no less afraid than Israel of Iranian and Islamic State ambitions.

The Saudis are the leading influence in OPEC and has not cut its production of oil to encourage a rise in prices.

Another victim of the dropping oil revenues is Russia, which has poured hundreds of millions of dollars to prop up the Assad regime in Syria, which is still less than Iran’s $1 billion to $2 billion monthly payments for military aid to Assad’s forces and salaries for Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria.

“Absent Iranian largesse, Assad would not be financially solvent today,” Karim Sadjadpour, a senior associate of the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the Monitor.

Although Hezbollah  is far from bankrupt thanks to its huge investments and makes millions of dollars from drug smuggling and other illicit trade, the drop in oil revenues has increased pressure on senior officials to stuff more money in their own pockets.

The Monitor quoted one Lebanese politician as saying, “The whole thing is falling apart. It’s corruption on a cataclysmic scale.”

Jerusalem Cleric Shares Tale of 4 Childred Martyred by ISIS

Monday, December 15th, 2014

‘A great miracle happened there, in our days,’ each year reminds us of the historic events that led to the creation of the ancient Jewish Festival of Lights, Chanukah.

The story is told about the Jewish revolt of the Macabees and the miracle of the single cruse of purified oil for the Holy Temple which lasted an entire eight days until a new supply could be secured. And it includes the tale of Chana and her seven sons who were involved in the war, each of whom refused to bow down to an idol – right down to the youngest, a mere young child – preferring to die for the sanctification of God’s Name rather than profane it.

Imagine the irony, therefore, to know that now and in our present day, there are Christian children led by a cleric who once learned in a yeshiva in Jerusalem, who this year were faced with the very same dilemma.

The little Christian children were threatened with death by extremist “Muslim” monsters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, if they would not convert to a faith not their own.

Like the Jewish children of old, they refused.

All four children were under age 15, according to Canon Andrew White, the “Vicar of Baghdad,” who told the tale from Jerusalem in late November to the Orthodox Christian Network.

“ISIS turned up and said to the children, ‘You say the words that you will follow Muhammad, and the children, all under 15, four of them, they said, ‘No we love Yeshua… We have always followed Yeshua.’

“They said, ‘Say the words! They said, ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry,” recounted Canon White.

“They are my children. That is what we have been going through and that is what we are going through.”

ISIS is currently hunting for the vicar, he was warned. The Archbishop of Canterbury has ordered him to leave Iraq as a result, for his own safety. Having once learned Old Testament from its original sources in an Orthodox Yeshiva in Jerusalem’s ancient neighborhoods, and Biblical analysis from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, perhaps it was only natural for him to return to the Holy Land when it was time to leave Iraq.

“I am in Israel now,” he explained, adding that some 250,000 Iraqi Christians are displaced. The group once numbered 1.5 million. There once were more than 300 churches in Iraq; most recently there were 58.

On Monday, ISIS launched a siege on a cafe in the busy commercial and government center in Sydney, Australia. As of 6:30 am Monday morning Israel time, the terrorists were still holding customers hostage in the cafe.

Iran Bombs ISIS in Iraq

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Iranian warplanes bombs Islamic State (ISIS) forces in inside the Iraqi border as Tehran openly joins the western-led war against the Sunni terrorist army.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John F. Kirby implicitly confirmed the Iranian aerials strikes, saying that he has “no reason to believe” the reports about them were untrue.

Tehran’s overt offensive further turn the Middle East into a constantly changing maze of upheavals that are light years ahead of the United States’ ability to grasp what happened yesterday, let alone today.

The previous and current American administrations

have invested billions of dollars in Iraq, and the willingness of Iran to stage aerial bombings in Iraqi air space could further de-stabilize Iraq, torn by intra-Muslim wars.

Fighting the ISIS also gives Iran a handy lever to use against the United States while it continues its unsupervised nuclear development program.

ISIS ‘Prince’ of Iraq’s Anbar Province Killed

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The “prince” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Anbar Province is dead, according to a report by Al Arabiya.

Senan Meteeb, the so-called ISIS “emir” of western Anbar, was reportedly killed early Wednesday in a coalition air strike.

At least 24 other ISIS fighters were also allegedly killed in the attack, and numerous others were wounded.

The strike came one day after ISIS terrorists slaughtered 25 people from the Albunimr tribe in Anbar, Al Arabiya reported. Hundreds from the Sunni Muslim tribe have been murdered by ISIS.

Tribal fighters are demanding more air support from the U.S.-led coalition and Baghdad. The tribe’s cooperation with the Iraqi government — which is Shi’ite-led — is seen as key in order to defeat ISIS in the province, where the terrorist group has made considerable gains.

In the Short Run, Biden Might Well Keep his Promise that Iran Won’t Get Nukes

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

{Originally posted at author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

It’s not just the promise, of course.  It’s the Bidenesque way he makes it:

Monday, Biden had to remind Israeli leaders that the U.S. is not seeking a negotiation with Iran at Israel’s expense.

“I have heard so much malarkey about our position on Iran,” Biden said. “We will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon, period. I would not put my 42-year reputation on the line if I were not certain when I say it. We mean it.”

Daniel Greenfield casts a doubt or two on that 42-year reputation, and that’s fair enough.  We would be fools to take seriously such assurances from Joe Biden.

But there are reasons why Iran may well delay that moment of focused provocation when the radical Islamic regime proves itself nuclear armed.  If the Iranians don’t have the means to offer that proof yet, they are very close to it – so close that it is now their choice how fast to move, and in what way.

Where we are

Iran now lacks only the public demonstration of uranium enrichment to a weapons-grade level (above 95%), and a detectable warhead detonation.  To talk of a “breakout” capacity – a bomb-in-waiting – as something we are still looking for is now misleading.  Using such terms suggests that there is something more we need to see from Iran, before we officially set the breakout watch.

But the reality is that there is nothing we have yet to see that we can reliably expect to see.  We’ve reached the point at which it is prudent to assume the breakout watch has already started – and imprudent not to.

Fifteen years ago, Iran did not have a reliable uranium enrichment process; did not have an industrial-scale infrastructure for enrichment; did not have a stockpile of enriched uranium; did not have her own uranium production capacity; did not have a detonator mechanism for a uranium warhead; did not have a missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead; and did not have anything close to an intercontinental missile capability.

As little as six years ago, moreover, the United States had more than enough ready combat power, between our Air Force and Navy, to quickly strike a meaningful blow against an Iranian nuclear infrastructure that was still comparatively rudimentary and geographically concentrated.

Both of those conditions have changed significantly.  Iran now does have all the things she lacked in 1999: enough low-enriched uranium for at least 7-8 warheads; a proven enrichment process, including enrichment to higher purity (19.75%); an industrial-scale infrastructure, with geographic dispersion; an indigenous uranium production capacity (see here and here); a tested detonator mechanism for a nuclear warhead; at least one medium-range ballistic missile series that could deliver a nuclear warhead; and a satellite/rocket program advanced enough to support ICBM testing in as little as 1-3 years.  Iran has acquired almost all of these things since UN sanctions were implemented in 2007, and under the regime of IAEA inspections.

Reminder: Nothing has interrupted the trend of Iran’s uranium enrichment. Red column shows low-enriched UF6 stockpiled (versus total cumulative enrichment in blue), once Iran began enriching some stock to 20% in Jan 2012. Although Iran has “downblended” her 20%-enriched stock, the rate of increase in the total stockpile of 5% LEU has been robust: 17% from 11/13 to 11/14. (Data source: IAEA)

Reminder: Nothing has interrupted the trend of Iran’s uranium enrichment. Red column shows low-enriched UF6 stockpiled (versus total cumulative enrichment in blue), once Iran began enriching some stock to 20% in Jan 2012. Although Iran has “downblended” her 20%-enriched stock, the rate of increase in the total stockpile of 5% LEU has been robust: 17% from 11/13 to 11/14. (Data source: IAEA)

American military power, in the meantime, has declined to such an extent that mounting a quick, comprehensive strike on the Iranian infrastructure is no longer feasible.  We couldn’t do it quickly.  Not only could we not do it quickly; we couldn’t do it without first restoring the readiness of military units we no longer keep at their highest readiness level.  It would take months to prepare for a comprehensive strike campaign – and would require the prior allocation of special funding from Congress.

Where Iran once wanted to be

Iran’s vision for the future has been shaped, as everyone’s has, by the consequences of the Arab Spring.  It has also been shaped by the withdrawal of American power under Obama.

Four or five years ago, Iran took as a given the U.S. posture in the larger Middle East.  That posture included a key strategic presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan; close partnerships with almost all the Gulf Cooperation Council nations; special relationships, including military cooperation, with both Egypt and Israel; and unchallenged supremacy on the regional seas.

Iran’s basic objective was to peel America’s partners away through the pressure of proxy insurgencies (and other underhanded tactics), and thus squeeze us out of the region.  The first-order purpose of having the bomb was to immunize Iran against retaliation in that process, as the USSR had immunized itself with a nuclear “deterrent” force when it worked through proxy conflicts in the Cold War.

Iran also set her sights on chokepoints in the regional waterways, from the Strait of Hormuz through the Red Sea and all the way to Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar.  No one was close to having a navy that could challenge the U.S. Navy, but even great navies are vulnerable in chokepoints.

At a kind of eschatological-strategic level, meanwhile, just as the Arab Spring was unfolding in early 2011, Iranian TV was running a mullah-approved “documentary” that outlined a scheme of military preparation for the arrival of the “twelfth imam.”  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad figured as a great military commander from Shia prophecy in this fantastical oeuvre, which depicted a dénouement in the armed conquest of Jerusalem.  (“Rescuing” Jerusalem had already figured for years in Iranian policy rhetoric, as well as in the concept of some major military exercises.)

Where Iran now wants to be

In the years since Obama took office, much has changed.  One thing hasn’t, and that’s Iran’s interest in gaining leverage at critical chokepoints in the regional seaways.  But some of the focused urgency has been bled out of the pressure campaign against America’s regional partners, in part because of the Arab Spring, and in part because Barack Obama has been doing an excellent job of peeling them away from us himself.

The momentum of Iran’s efforts has shifted to a new, more geographically focused vector, one that as recently as 2011 appeared to be unthinkable.  Where once Iran was confined to putting general pressure on various American partners in the region, and perhaps maneuvering to leapfrog nearby territory in which we seemed established – Iraq, Jordan, Israel – Iran can now realistically contemplate making an “internal” line of communication (LOC) through that territory.  She might accomplish that by proxy first, and then, eventually, exploit the LOC directly.

In fact, with much of the territory in question now disputed between ISIS and a weak Iraqi government, Iran has all the more reason for being there, with advisors and military equipment.

The bonus?  The U.S., weakened and compromised as our power is, has signed up to do at least some of the fighting against ISIS.  If Iran plays her cards right, American forces will open her strategic LOC through the heart of the Middle East for her.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/in-the-short-run-biden-might-well-keep-his-promise-that-iran-wont-get-nukes/2014/11/13/

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