Tag Archives: Iraq

Iraq recaptures Mosul mosque from ISIS

Iraqi troops have recaptured the Mosul mosque where ISIS declared its caliphate three years ago.

After eight months of grinding urban warfare, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque at the heart of Islamic State’s de facto capital Mosul, and the prime minister declared the group’s self-styled caliphate at an end. Iraqi authorities expect the long battle for Mosul to end in coming days as remaining Islamic State fighters are bottled up in just a handful of neighborhoods of the Old City.

The seizure of the nearly 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque — from where Islamic State proclaimed the caliphate nearly three years ago to the day — is a huge symbolic victory. “The return of al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba minaret to the fold of the nation marks the end of the Daesh state of falsehood,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement, referring to the hardline Sunni Mulsim group by an Arabic acronym.

The fall of Mosul would in effect mark the end of the Iraqi half of the IS caliphate, although the group still controls territory west and south of the city, ruling over hundreds of thousands of people.

Its stronghold in Syria, Raqqa, is also close to falling.

This defeat of ISIS by Iraqi government forces has been building for months as they have been pushing steadily but slowly forward in heavy street fighting in Mosul. The victory is even more significant in that it has been achieved by Iraq, not American forces, though they have been happily allied with us, and have gladly taken our aid.

Will this victory lessen Islamic radicalism worldwide? No, not likely. The last eight years of bad foreign policy has allowed this evil to fester. It will take a lot more than just the fall of ISIS to cleanse the wound. We still have the Iran government and numerous terrorists organizations running governments throughout the Middle East that are their allies. They are not going away, and their goal of destroying the infidel remains.

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Liberated Mosul districts reconnect with satellite television

This story from SpaceWatch Middle East outlines the effort by the Islamic State to block access to information in Mosul, and how the recent liberation by Iraqi forces has allowed citizens to regain access to satellite television and the internet.

This website by the way is an interesting one. It is based in Switzerland, and appears focused on covering the business of space from a European/Middle East perspective.

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How Bush after 9/11 overwhelmed Al-Qaeda

Interviews with one of the planners of the September 11 attacks on the United States has revealed how the initial quick and harsh response by the Bush administration caught them off guard and prevented further attacks.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of the masterminds in the 9/11 attack, said that “the ferocity and swiftness” of former U.S. President George W. Bush’s reprisal to the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil astonished Al Qaeda. The new revelation was found in psychologist James E. Mitchell’s new memoir, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America.”

Mitchell wrote, “How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down? Khalid explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks.” Khalid said they were unable to re-attack because the whole al-Qaeda was stunned by the “ferocity and swiftness” of Bush’s reaction, wrote the psychologist.

These interviews also reveal indirectly why both the Bush and Obama administrations failed in later years to put these terrorists out of business. The U.S., after hitting them hard initially, then eased the attack. First Bush limited his effort to Iraq, allowing the Islamic terrorists to develop safe havens in Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and other Arab countries. Then, Obama left Iraq too quickly, while focusing his entire effort only half-heartedly in Afghanistan. The result was that these groups could re-organize and rebuild, taking advantage of the power vacuums left by these weak American leaders.

The correct approach would have been a variation of what Bush did initially, which in itself was a variation of the military philosophy first demonstrated by Grant in the Civil War and followed by every American general since. You do not retreat, you do not let up, you demand total victory, and do not stop the attack until you win, entirely. Eisenhower epitomized this approach in World War II, and it worked. Had Bush been in charge in World War II he would have stopped the war effort after Normandy and the recapture of France, allowing Hitler to remain in power in Germany. And this would have failed miserably, as did the efforts of Bush and Obama have failed in the past decade.

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Are thousands of Kurds abandoning Islam?

The article, published by a Kurdish news source, describes what appears to be a growing disenchantment with Islam in that region as a result of the violence and destruction of the Islamic State.

Many Muslims are confronted by the violent extremism of the Islamic State (ISIS) and wonder how to reconcile their personal beliefs with the actions of the extremist group. The Kurdish population is approximately 94% nominally Muslim. Recently, however, there have been many reports of Kurds leaving Islam or converting to other religions. The Zoroastrian movement claims to have as many as 100,000 followers in Iraqi Kurdistan. Christian organizations assert that thousands in the region have been seeking out Christianity as they reject ISIS’ interpretation of Islam. There are also reports of growing numbers of atheists and agnostics.

This quote however by an ordinary citizen I think is more significant:

[Sanger Najim, a young man living in Erbil] points the finger of blame at religious leaders for the rise of extremism and growing number of people turning away from Islam. “We don’t have [a] response when people from [the] West [are] telling us that Islam is cruel, Islam is Daesh. We don’t have a response for this. Why? The Mullahs never tell us what real Islam is. They are just reading us some history facts. They are just telling us some history… from old times. They are not able to link it with present society… They have to link Quran with the real life.”

He is horrified by the actions of the Islamic State, but cannot get a satisfactory answer about why this is not Islam from his own Islamic Mullahs.

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Islamic State in retreat in Iraq?

Good news? Reports out of Iraq strongly suggest that the Islamic State is in retreat there.

The most encouraging part of the above report is this however:

[I]n the face of a host of problems, Iraq is continuing the democratic process. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, for all his faults (some of which contributed to the rise of Islamic State), relinquished power peacefully. He didn’t give in to the self-fulfilling spiral of paranoia that infects so many Middle Eastern rulers, where you ruthlessly hold on to power in order to keep yourself from being killed by your political opponents. Flawed as Maliki was, he’s been nowhere near as bad as Saddam Hussein, or Bashar Assad, or Ayatollah Khamenei. While Islamic State has rampaged north and west, the Iraqi parliament has investigated the fall of Mosul, pushed back against government corruption, and passed a budget. They’ve plodded along like a normal country, despite their abnormal circumstances

There actually may be cause for some hope in at least this one corner of the Middle East.

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Whose side is Obama on?

I ask this frightening question because it is becoming increasingly clear that Obama’s loyalties do not seem to be firmly lodged on the side of western civilization, the United States, or even our allies in the Middle East, both Jewish and Muslim.

To give you an idea, here is a small selection of links:

The last is interesting in that it includes these comments by Obama:

In a Nowruz (Persian New Year) video address, Obama said that a “reasonable nuclear deal… can help open the door to a brighter future for you, the Iranian people. I believe that our nations have a historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully — an opportunity we should not miss,” added Obama.

The collection above is only a sampling in the past week. It ignores past stories, such as Obama’s snub of the Charlie Hebdo demonstrations in France, for example.

I repeat: Whose side is Obama on? The evidence sure is mounting that he is not allied with the United States.

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Five terrifying consequences should Baghdad fall to ISIS

Link here. The analysis is precise, honest, and educated. It is also beyond worrisome, especially with the childish, shallow-minded and politically-correct crowd we are presently stuck with in the White House.

All five points are frightening, but the worst might be #3, as it will likely lead to many more horrific beheadings of Americans.

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ISIS in retreat?

This story is one of several published the last few days that have described the retreat of ISIS from several Kurdish and Iraqi villages.

I hadn’t posted any of the previous stories because I was unsure of their reliability. The number, however, keeps increasing and the sources are becoming more trustworthy. If true, it is mostly good news, though one should always be hesitant about the leadership of any faction in the Islamic Middle East. They might start out sounding good, but too often they end up being either incompetent or as evil as can be imagined.

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Identification of unknown airstrikes in Libya revealed

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have admitted they launched combined air strikes in Libya this past week.

There are two aspects of this story that are significant. First:

Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said. It is almost as if the theme of ignoring and/or mocking US superpower status exhibited most recently by both China and Russia, is gradually spreading to even the more “banana” republics around the world. Because, while one can debate the pros and cons of any previous administration, it is very much improbable that any regime, especially ones as close to the US as the UAE, and to a lesser extent Egypt, would have conducted such military missions without preclearing with the Pentagon first.

Desperate to stop radical Islamists from taking over Libya, Egypt and UAE made the decision to act without U.S. involvement, on their own. They no longer felt obliged to get our advice, or even tell us what they intended to do.

Second, the air strikes illustrate how the Middle East is becoming increasingly destabilized. The U.S. is seen as weak and unwilling to act. Thus, the radicals move to grab power, and the status quo elites feel compelled to respond.

As long as Barack Obama is in power, expect this unstable situation to become even more unstable. When we occupied Iraq we brought stability and the promise of civilized rule of law. Until recently that stability was held together by either our presence or the belief that we would return if things got out of hand. Now everyone in the Middle East knows the U.S. will do nothing, no matter what happens. They are on their own. And the crazies are moving to take advantage of our absence to bring chaos to the region.

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A new map of the Middle East

Link here. The wide extent of Islamic State control is scary. It is also interesting that all of the U.S. airstrikes are outside those areas. At first glance it appears that we have terrible aim and are missing our targets. It is more likely that these are areas of dispute and we are supporting Iraqi and Kurdish efforts to regain the initiative.

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Only some in the Muslim world condemn ISIS

The Islamic world’s reaction to the ISIS persecution of non-Muslims is decidedly mixed.

This sentence from the link sums the situation up nicely:

At the same time that Islamic religious leaders are mostly silent on the genocide, Islamic political leaders have spoken out.

It appears that Islamic political leaders have generally been forthright in condemning ISIS’s actions, something that we should take heart from. Islam’s religious leaders however have taken a more partisan stand, worrying that ISIS’s actions might harm Islam and thus condemning it for that reason. That Christians and other non-Muslims might be murdered however does not seem to be a concern for these Islamic religious leaders.

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Maliki steps down in Iraq

Good news: Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has agreed to step down as per the legal demands of the country’s government.

Maliki was a poor and weak ruler who even tried to engineer a coup when the government decided to legally remove him. He has found that the army wants to support the rule of law (something we might have taught them) and would not back him in his coup attempt. He is now gone, and maybe the new leadership in Iraq, chosen legally, can unify the country in its battle against the Islamic fascists that are attacking them from Syria.

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Maps showing the territories of the Kurds and the Islamic State

Since I think it useful to have a rough geographical understanding of the situation, I have been digging around to find some maps that will outline the territories controlled by the both the Kurds and the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]), including the areas of dispute. This link provides the best selection I’ve found so far.

Based on these maps, I wonder when ISIS will start moving into next door Iran, as its western regions are adjacent to their present holdings.

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Christians flee Islamic jihadists in northern Iraq

The religion of peace strikes again! Hundreds of thousands of Christians flee northern Iraq as Islamic State take over the region and jihadists tear down churches and destroy Christian manuscripts.

This analysis of the situation now in northern Iraq asks some pointed questions of President Barack Obama, who withdraw American troops from that country far sooner than any military or local expert advised.

This analysis explains why President Barack Obama seems so unconcerned about the fate of these Christian refugees. To use his words, this kind of violence and terrorism and genocide is just an example of these groups acting with “extraordinarily irresponsibly”.

I ask: When are the American people going to finally get tired of electing children to office and have the courage to elect an adult?

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Islamic terrorism and bigotry for all to see.

The religion of peace: “In a sort of reverse Passover, ISIS activists have marked the homes of Christians with the letter N for “Nassarah,” an Islamic term for Christian, to identify the homes whose inhabitants were to be slaughtered.”

The article also shows, with pictures, the violent nature of the Muslim demonstrations against Israel in France, and the intolerant treatment of Christians by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq.

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