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Dennis Michael Lynch fears Americans are giving up and giving in on immigration

Dennis Michael Lynch appeared at an event sponsored by the Sarasota Patriots in Sarasota, Florida on August 22nd as part of his Fighting for America Tour 2014.

Lynch began his presentation by lamenting the fact that two of his appearances in Texas were cancelled. Lynch attributed it to “infighting” between TEA Party Conservatives and establishment Republicans. Lynch also notes that he is seeing a 25% drop in attendance at his 2014 tour events compared to his 2013 tour. Lynch fears that Americans are giving up the fight against illegal immigration.

Highlights of his remarks included:

  • The surge (migration) of illegals will continue and grow in the coming months. Camps in Mexico that can accommodate an estimated 100,000 illegals are being set up.
  • President Obama will soon sign an Executive Order granting de facto amnesty to the 44 million illegals currently in the U.S.
  • The media is focused on the children coming across the border when they make up only 15% of the illegal migration.
  • Putting the national guard or militias on the border will not stem the flow of illegals.
  • The number one issue in America today is the illegal migration according to recent polls, a sea change since he began speaking about it.
  • For every illegal one American loses his or her job, at every level of employment ( the landscaper becomes the carpenter, who become the plumber, etc.)
  • President Obama will exempt illegals from the Obamacare mandated insurance provision, which will take even more jobs away from legal American citizens. When President Obama exempts illegals from the Obamacare insurance mandate, businesses will hire them to avoid both the costs of insurance and paying any IRS penalty for failing to provide insurance.
  • President Obama is inflating the deportation numbers by counting “turn backs” as a deportation. A turn back is when the border patrol catches an illegal along the border and turns them around (escorts them) across the border back into Mexico. If that illegal turns around and returns and is turned back again and again and again, that is being counted as a deportation.
  • The Obama administration is legalizing the movement of illegals across the Southern border by coyotes (those paid by illegals to smuggle them into the U.S.). Human trafficking is if a person is kidnapped and moved across the border for the purpose of selling that person to another (e.g. for prostitution). Coyotes transporting illegals are being paid upward of $10,000 to $50,000 per illegal. According to Lynch this is nothing more than the profitable business of human smuggling not human trafficking.
  • Multiple diseases are coming across the border, with little or no screening. These diseased illegals will end up working in our restaurants, using our hospitals and attending public schools.
  • The Department of Justice has declared that public schools cannot ask students for papers showing they are in the U.S. legally. Schools cannot turn away an illegal, no matter how much it harms the district or the community (e.g. , takes resources away from current legal students).
  • Terrorists, including members of the Islamic State (IS), are coming across the border unchecked, which is a major threat to the national security of the U.S.
  • People like Senator Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck going to the border and handing out $2 million in free food, teddy bears and soccer balls is making the problem worse. Better to take the free food and toys to Houston, Texas and give it to needy legal children.

Lynch looked at the current field of potential Republican presidential candidates (Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Mitt Romney) and dismissed them all as too weak on immigration and not having the gravitas to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Lynch believes that a candidate will emerge who will have what it takes to become the next President, but not from the usual pathway. Lynch prefers a strong leader from the business community. He mentioned Donald Trump as an example, not as a potential candidate.

Lynch is concerned about the internal struggle going on in the Republican party between conservatives and moderates (liberals). A uniting force is needed to bring these and others on board or America is lost.

Lynch presented clear solutions to solving the illegal migration problem:

  1. Enforce the laws. President Obama and his administration are completely ignoring the immigration laws.
  2. Punish businesses who hire illegals, if they continue prosecute them.
  3. Cut off all monetary support for illegals and they will self-deport.
  4. Deport first those recently here illegally before they become “embedded” in our communities.
  5. Deport the remaining 30-40 million illegals in the U.S. over time. It is cheaper to give them a check, let them keep their earnings/possessions and send them home on a plane than to support them in the long term.

Lynch concluded with a Q&A. He was asked if he would consider running for President. He said that if he had support like that of a Dr. Ben Carson, he would. Without that he will continue on his mission to tell the truth about what is really going on along the Southern boarder with Mexico. Lynch said he is coming out with a feature film next year. If it takes off, like the films of Michael Moore and  Dinesh D’Souza then he will consider his options.

Lynch looked tired and worn out. He was not the same man that I saw a year ago. We are all worn out, being ground down by the barrage of attacks from all fronts. But that does not mean Lynch is not in the fight.

Americans among 12,000 Muslims from 50 countries waging jihad in Syria

Where did these Americans learn their understanding of Islam? We all know, on pain of charges of “Islamophobia,” that no Muslims in the U.S., none, agree with the Islamic State, or want to bring Sharia Westward, or have any desire to restore the caliphate. None, you greasy Islamophobe. So how did these Americans come to misunderstand Islam? Were they reading “Islamophobic” writings that they mistook for the genuine article?

“Americans among 12,000 foreign fighters in Syria: US,” AFP, August 21, 2014:

Washington (AFP) – Some 12,000 foreign jihadists from 50 countries, including Americans, have gone to fight in Syria since the conflict began, the US State Department said Thursday.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, estimated that more than 100 US citizens have traveled or tried to travel to Syria to join the conflict.

They have traveled to join radical groups including the Islamic State (IS), militants fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria who have expanded into neighboring Iraq.

“We think that there are approximately 12,000 fighters from at least 50 countries in Syria — foreign fighters, including a small number of Americans — that may have traveled to Syria since the beginning of the conflict” more than three years ago, said deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

“They may all not still be there,” she said, without revealing an estimated number of Americans.

US officials have been unable to identify an organized recruitment effort aimed at US citizens, as is the case in Europe.

Washington has publicly stated that Western fighters pose an especially dangerous risk, especially when they return to their countries of origin.

In late September, President Barack Obama is scheduled to host a Security Council summit with other heads of state focusing on the acute threat posed by foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.

During his August 12 visit to Sydney, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington and Australia agreed to take concerns about the threat posed by jihadist foreign fighters in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to the United Nations.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

California: Black convert to Islam killed waging jihad for ISIS in Syria
Hagel: Islamic State “an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else”
Islamic State threatens jihad mass murder attack in Chicago
Hamas-linked CAIR’s Nihad Awad: “Israel is the biggest threat to world peace and security”
Kentucky Catholic church paints ن on door in solidarity with Christians persecuted by Islamic State

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as they wave al-Qaida flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 16, 2014. (AP).

CAIR: A Shocking Textbook Expert on Peace and Religion

Why is the above image wrong?  Let us count the ways.

1. The quote does not come from the Council on American Islamic Relation (CAIR). It does not even come from a press release. It comes from a fatwa issued by the Fiqh Council of North America at a press conference convened by CAIR. The press release, dated a day earlier, did not contain any such line.

2. CAIR is not a religious authority. It is an activist and advocacy group. In fact, in that press release, CAIR described itself as, “America’s largest Muslim civil rights group.” Educational material should not use advocacy groups as authorities, let alone as experts on religious interpretation. Perhaps the textbook should have quoted a Muslim religious scholar or just explained that the Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa on this issue. Maybe the authors thought that using the correct terminology would be scary or confusing. But that would be kind of bigoted, wouldn’t it?

3. Neither the quote provided in the text nor the full fatwa actually validate the textbook’s claim that “people may mistakenly think that Islam encourages violence.” This fatwa does call on Muslims to refrain from violence against civilians, including terrorism. But it does not state anything about the religion encouraging or not encouraging other forms of violence, such as against militaries.

And finally…

4. No one should listen to CAIR on the issue of peace. The organization simply is not credible. If you are wondering what we mean about this, just look up the following phrases together: CAIR, unindicted co-conspirator, joint venturer, U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation.

If you care about accuracy in textbooks, contact Verity Educate to find out what you can do.

Does The Vatican Need A Quick Reactionary Force?

By Alan Kornman and Wallace Bruschweiler –

The events in Iraq by the Islamic State and other Islamist groups against Christians and  ‘others’ are only the last of a long (and very little reported) series of horrible “events” in Iraq, Syria, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Lebanon, Sudan, etc.

The Vatican has called on Muslim leaders to denounce unambiguously the persecution of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq – and ‘hinted’ that it is ‘considering’ breaking off dialogue with Islamic representatives if they fail to do so.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue said ISIS had committed “and was continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts”. To reinforce the point, it listed some of the atrocities for which ISIS is reported to have been responsible. They included “the massacre of people solely for reasons of their religious adherence”; “the execrable practice[s] of decapitation, crucifixion and hanging of corpses in public places”; “the choice imposed on Christians and Yazidis between conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) and exodus”; “the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, old people, pregnant women and the sick”; “the abduction of women and girls belonging to the Yazidi and Christian communities as war booty (sabaya)”, and “the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation”.

The Guardian reports, “Pope Francis gave an early indication of the Vatican’s hardening attitude last Sunday when he said that news from Iraq had left him “in dismay and disbelief”. Last Friday, the pope named Cardinal Fernando Filoni as his personal envoy to the region. The cardinal was due to fly out on Tuesday after his departure was postponed on Monday, apparently because of security fears.”

How come ‘security fears’ of Cardinal Filoni are valid and not being applied to the rest of the ‘normal’ Christians?

St. Peter’s Doors Closed, Armed Neutrality

In September of 1943, the Nazis entered Rome and the gates of the Vatican were shut, and closed for the first time ever.  The doors of the Vatican are partially closed to the cries from hundreds of thousands of Christians being slaughtered, tortured, raped, and displaced by the followers of Islam fighting under the black flag of Jihad in Iraq, Syria, Middle East, and the world.

Pope Francis must realize the threshold of ‘prudential judgement’ to go to war has been crossed a long time ago. The Pope must acknowledge this fact by acting decisively, with no further delay, to engage the Islamist enemy wherever Christians are attacked and slaughtered.  For the Vatican to consider breaking off interfaith dialogue with Islamic representatives is feckless bluster.

Pope Francis can no longer hide behind the neutrality of the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City.  In today’s world, there is no active military force that will come to the aid of persecuted Christians with a singularity of purpose.

Conclusion

The so-called news media (written and TV) is either blind and deaf or just “politically correct”. The sleazy advances of violent Islamic extremists must be stopped before it is too late.

Action today is imperative.

The Vatican must utilize its vast resources in forming a Quick Reactionary Force (QRF) of mercenaries to protect and defend Christians wherever and whenever they are under attack around the world.

Wallice bruschweiler

Wallace Bruschweiler

ABOUT WALLACE BRUSCHWEILER

Wallace Bruschweiler, a quadri-linguist and subject matter expert on counter terrorism and national security issues. Over 30 years experience operating in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa.

“ISIS HERE” banner in Ferguson, Missouri

ISISWhiteHouse2

ISIS flag in front of White House. Click on image for a larger view.

This banner is in line with supporters of the Islamic State taking photos of the Islamic State flag held in front of the White House and other landmarks. The objective is to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60) and to emphasize the desire of Islamic State jihadis to strike within the U.S. The fact that they have supporters here in the U.S. who can hold the banner in Missouri and the sign at the White House shows that such a strike is a very real possibility.

Meanwhile, not just the jihadis quoted here but Hamas-linked CAIR and other Islamic supremacists in the U.S. are trying to exploit the unrest in Ferguson to further their own victimhood narrative. It has carried them this far, why abandon it now?

“‘How is democracy treating you guys?’ ISIS militants take to social media to encourage Ferguson protesters to embrace Islamic extremism,” by John Hall, Daily Mail, August 19, 2014 (thanks to Bob):

ISIS militants and their supporters are using social media to encourage protesters in Ferguson to embrace radical Islam and fight against the U.S. government.

Jihadists in Syria and Iraq and their sympathisers in the West have taken to Twitter to send messages of support to hundreds of demonstrators taking part in a ninth night of angry protests in the U.S. city following the shooting by police of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

The militants’ tweets denounce local officers for the way they have attempted to quell the violence, make reference to historic acts of police brutality, and even use the hashtag #FergusonUnderISIS in an attempt to get angry young men in the city to declare allegiance to the Islamist group.

The news comes as footage purportedly taken from the scene of the Ferguson protests appeared to show one demonstrator marching along a street holding a sign reading ‘ISIS is here’.

One ISIS sympathiser calling himself Mujahid Miski, who claims to be from Minneapolis–Saint Paul but suggests he is now based in ‘the horn of Africa’, has led the campaign to encourage those taking part in the protests to embrace radical Islam.

In one message he tweets: ‘So how is democracy treating you guys? #FergusonUnderIS #Ferguson.’

He adds: ‘I thought u guys back in #Ferguson were supposed to be Free & that u had equal rights. I’d really like to know what changed? #FergusonUnderIS’.

Miski goes on to retweet dozens of messages by a Twitter user with the handle @AmreekiWitness, who claims to monitor and support the growth of radical Islam in the U.S..

Amreeki Witness’ messages focus on the treatment of black people in the U.S., praise Malcolm X for embracing Islam and urge angry young black men to take up the religion as it means the police ‘will fear you’.

In one message Amreeki Witness mocks the curfew police have imposed in Ferguson to bring an end to the disorder, saying: ‘We IS guys hate you for your freedom, eh? Just like that freedom uplifting curfew in #Ferguson? Wake up, or they’ll never let you outside.’

As the social media campaign began to take hold, with dozens of radical Islamists commenting on the Ferguson protests, Amreeki Witness tweeted: ‘May be time to organize the Muslims in America upon haqq and mobilize to #Ferguson. Defend the oppressed, start jihad here.’

The message attracted a large response, with one Islamist calling himself Amarka Al-Ahlam responding: ‘Preach, brother. We must organize brigades in preparation for the oncoming storm. #FergusonUnderIS #JihadinFerguson.’

Amreeki Witness added: ‘They cower in fear of us whilst they massacre and oppress you! It’s time to strike fear into the hearts of the oppressors. #FergusonUnderIS’.

News of the militants’ campaign to encourage Ferguson demonstrators to embrace radical Islamism comes as footage purportedly from a CNN live stream of the protests appeared to show one young man holding a sign reading ‘ISIS is here.’

It is not known whether the banner – footage of which has not yet been independently verified – was in support of the militant group or, as seems more likely, it was an attempt to compare ISIS to the local police force or the U.S. government.

Nevertheless stills of the alleged CNN footage were embraced by jihadists who have claimed they prove jihadists are already playing their part in the protests.

Chilling images of the alleged ISIS banner being carried by demonstrators have been widely shared by ISIS sympathisers on social media, who have used them to encourage supporters based in America to travel to Ferguson to further stoke the violence in the city.

News of ISIS’ attempt to hijack the Ferguson protests come as Palestinian Twitter users sent messages of support to the demonstrators and gave advice on the best way to cope with the tear gas police are using to disperse crowds.

As images emerged of heavily armed police and armoured tanks on the streets of nearby St Louis, many Palestinian Twitter users expressed their solidarity with demonstrators.

The messages of support from Palestinians come amid reports that many of the Ferguson protesters were heard chanting ‘Gaza Strip’ as they marched through the heart of the city.

RELATED ARTICLE: California: Black convert to Islam killed waging jihad for ISIS in Syria

Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross’

ISISWhiteHouse2The Islamic State jihadis think of the U.S. as a Christian nation, and so they think of destroying it as breaking the cross, which language is also reminiscent of this:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Bukhari 3.34.425)

“Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross,’” Reuters, August 19, 2014:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State, the Sunni militant group which seeks to establish a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, released a video on Tuesday that gave the strongest indication yet it might attempt to strike American targets.

The video with the theme “breaking of the American cross” boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious over “crusader” America. It follows a video posted on Monday warning of attacks on American targets if Washington struck against its fighters in Iraq and Syria.

The latest footage speaks of a holy war between the al-Qaeda offshoot and the United States, which occupied Iraq for nearly a dacade and faced stiff resistance from al Qaeda.

Islamic State’s sweep through northern Iraq, bringing it close to Baghdad and in control of the second city, Mosul, drew U.S. airstrikes on the country for the first time since the end of the American occupation in 2011.

The video showed footage of President Barack Obama as well as strategic U.S. ally King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and attacks on American soldiers.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Islamic State beheads US journalist James Foley in video
Islamic State jihadist justifies beheading as “100% Islam”
Islamic State jihadis screaming “Allahu akbar” burn Bibles, cut fingers off for wedding rings
Islamic State to U.S.: “We will drown all of you in blood”

ISIS Beheads American Photo Journalist — Threatens second U.S. Captive

The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, in retribution for US air strikes in Northern Iraq, released a video of the purported beheading of intrepid American Photo Journalist James Wright Foley attired in an orange jump suit.  Foley was captured in Northern Syria in November 2012. Foley was previously held captive by Gaddafi forces in Libya in 2011 for 44 days. Foley, a native of Rochester, New Hampshire was working for the on-line Boston publication, Global Post that had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to find and release him.  The video of his beheading was promptly taken down from YouTube under rules that Google has established as being too violent.    At the conclusion of the video there is a shot of another captive American Journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff.   Sotloff according to a report in the International Business Times (IBT) was captured near Aleppo on August 4, 2013. Sotloff, the IBT noted was,” a freelance journalist who had reported on Egypt, Syria, and Libya for TIME, the Christian Science Monitor, the National Interest and Foreign Policy magazine. There is also rumored to be another American aid worker captured by ISIS in the Syrian civil conflict.

Steven Joel Sotloff with ISIS Executioner

Steven Joel Sotloff with ISIS Executioner. Source: #ISIS.

This barbaric act by ISIS is reminiscent of the beheading on February 1, 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan  of Wall Street Journalist, Daniel Pearl, by Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Karachi, Pakistan and American Contractor Nick Berg executed on May 7, 2004 in  Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of the predecessor of ISIS, Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The Reuters account noted the contents of the graphic ISIS video entitled, “A Message to America”:

The video opened with a clip of U.S. President Barack Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.

“Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims,” words appear in English and Arabic on the screen.

It showed black and white aerial footage of air strikes with text saying “American aggression against the Islamic State”

A person identified as James Foley and wearing an orange outfit is seen kneeling in the desert as a man in black dress with a black mask stands beside him, holding a knife.

“I call on my friends family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality,” the kneeling man says.

The man in the mask speaks in a British accent and says: “This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State.”

“Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.”

Following his statement he beheads the kneeling man.

At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say “Steven Joel Sotloff” as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen.

Global Post published this early account this evening of the loss of their colleague, Foley, “Reported beheading of James Foley not yet verified”:

The video asserts that the alleged killing of Foley is in retaliation for recent airstrikes by the United States against IS militants in northern Iraq. In it, Foley, kneeling next to an apparent IS militant, makes comments against the US for its actions. The militant also claims to be holding journalist Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing in Syria a year ago.

Philip Balboni, GlobalPost CEO and co-founder, made the following statement: “On behalf of John and Diane Foley, and also GlobalPost, we deeply appreciate all of the messages of sympathy and support that have poured in since the news of Jim’s possible execution first broke. We have been informed that the FBI is in the process of evaluating the video posted by the Islamic State to determine if it is authentic. … We ask for your prayers for Jim and his family.”

GlobalPost, for whom Foley had reported in Syria, has mounted an extensive international investigation since November 2012 to determine who kidnapped Foley and where he was being held. Significant research has been undertaken throughout the Middle East, including along the Syria-Turkish border, in Lebanon, in Jordan and in other locations.

“Although Global Post’s investigation at one point led us to believe that James was being held by the Syrian government, we later were given strong reason to believe he was being held by Islamic militants in Syria,” Balboni said. “We withheld this information at the request of the family and on the advice of authorities cooperating in the effort to protect Jim. GlobalPost, working with a private security company, has amassed an enormous amount of information that has not been made public.”

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden affirmed in a statement that US officials are working to authenticate the video.

“We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen James Foley by ISIL. The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available,” the statement said.

Foley was on a freelance assignment for GlobalPost when he was abducted in northern Syria on Nov. 22, 2012. He was on his way to the Turkish border when he was stopped by a group of armed men. Foley reported for GlobalPost from Libya and Afghanistan before traveling to Syria in the early days of the now long-running civil war that has taken the lives of more than 170,000.

Foley’s last article for GlobalPost detailed the growing frustration with the war among civilians in Aleppo.

The fact of Foley’s kidnapping was revealed publicly for the first time by his parents, John and Diane Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire, on Jan. 1, 2012, two months after his abduction. The only other American whose identity has been publicly revealed is Austin Tice, a freelance reporter for the McClatchy News Service and the Washington Post, who was kidnapped in August 2012.

The Foley family’s last public statement on the kidnapping came in October 2013.

While covering the Libyan civil war in 2011, Foley and two other journalists, American Claire Gillis and Spaniard Manu Brabo, endured a 44-day captivity in April and May of that year at the hands of then Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Gaddafi. A fourth journalist, South African Anton Hammerl, was killed when the journalists were captured by Gaddafi fighters near Benghazi in eastern Libya. Foley later returned to Libya to cover Gaddafi’s fall and eventual death. Foley and GlobalPost correspondent Tracey Shelton were at the scene of Gaddafi’s capture in October 2011.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.

Most top Islamic State [IS] jihadis were once held by U.S.

But “incarceration was a school for jihad, and they emerged tougher, better connected and more dedicated” — so why were there no effort made during their incarceration to challenge their jihadist beliefs? Because to have done that would have been “Islamophobic.” And why were they released at all, since any fool would have known that they would return to the jihad?

“The Islamic State’s potential weakness,” by David Ignatius,Washington Post, August 14, 2014 (thanks to Ou Tis):

The Obama administration’s Iraq policy seems premised on the idea that the terrorist Islamic State is so toxic that it will be self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating. But that’s not the view of U.S. intelligence officials.

In a briefing for journalists Thursday, a panel of five U.S. intelligence officials summed up their assessment of an organization that has shown a remarkable durability because it is “patient,” “well-organized,” “opportunistic” and “flexible.” Under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group has rebounded from about 1,500 fighters in 2010 to more than 10,000 today — becoming a global jihadist organization that communicates in many languages.

“We don’t assess this as something that will collapse on its own,” said one of the officials, who commented based on an agreement that their remarks would not be attributed. “But with pressure and alternatives [that might draw away its Sunni supporters], it could collapse over time.” The intelligence experts cautioned that counterterrorist tools, such as drone strikes and other air attacks, wouldn’t be sufficient “to defeat it rather than just ratchet it back.”

The officials expressed skepticism that Baghdadi could be deterred from striking the United States by the threat of pulverizing attacks. “We assess that the group sees conflict with the U.S. as inevitable,” said one official. Although the group is preoccupied with its battles in Iraq and Syria, another official noted a chilling Internet statement several months ago: “America, we have not turned our gaze away from you.”

The briefing was a rare example of intelligence officials sharing information about a problem that policymakers are still debating. The group skirted direct policy questions but not their context. Asked, for example, whether the Islamic State can be contained if its bases in Syria aren’t bombed, one official said that such cross-border havens have been “a perennial challenge” in fighting insurgencies since 1945.

The portrait of Baghdadi and his Islamic State was chilling. Under its original name, al-Qaeda in Iraq, the group ferociously battled U.S. forces. Most of its leading fighters were imprisoned by U.S. occupation troops, but incarceration was a school for jihad, and they emerged tougher, better connected and more dedicated….

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Threatening anti-Semitic flyers placed at Jewish-owned business near UCLA
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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a man about to be executed in a propaganda video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The image is courtesy of the New York Daily News.

Syrian Kurdish Fighters, not Obama, Rescue Yazidis Stranded on Sinjar Mountain

President Obama may be dismissive of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist army, calling them flippantly in a New Yorker interview the equivalent a “JV team putting Lakers uniforms which doesn’t make them the equivalent of Kobe Bryant”. Anything for this President President to avoid calling  IS, what it is, a powerful international  force of barbarous  Salafist Jihadis. A veritable terrorist Army who now control a Caliphate covering a broad swatch of Syria and northern Iraq equipped with hundreds of millions of US and Russian arms captured from fleeing Assad and Iraqi soldiers. All financed with billions in loot and war booty from their blitz-like rampage. IS is currently engaged in ethnic cleansing of  Nineveh province.

It is conducting a patent Islamic genocide campaign dispossessing and ousting Christians and  Kurdish speaking Yazidis. Yazidis whose ancient Mesopotamian faith preceded Islam.  

Hundreds of thousands have fled into the sanctuary of  Iraqi Kurdistan.  The Kurdish regional Government (KRG) defended by tough peshmerga forces equipped with ancient Russian weapons from the regime of the late Saddam Hussein. As a result of the IS rampage, a combined humanitarian and military crisis occurred in August 2nd with the fall of Sinjar, Iraq and the flight of  tens of thousands of Yazidis. The rapid advance of IS in both Syria and Iraq was evident to most observers; the exception being the National Security Staff in the West Wing of the White House. They were deflected by the turmoil of establishing a new government in Baghdad, opposed by Shiite autocrat and PM,  Nouri al-Maliki who had deprived the Kurdish regional Government of their fair shares in oil revenues and modern US  supplied arms and weapons.  In June the President sent in 300 military coordinators and planners, since ramped up to an estimated 800 contingent.  US diplomats in the ‘green zone’ in Baghdad and some in Erbil have been flow out to Jordan.

The blame game between the U.S. broke out with sudden capture  by IS of Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in mid-June threatening the Iraqi Kurdistan and Peshmerga force. The flimsy excuse offered by President Obama for ordering the limited air assault against advancing IS forces was the threat to US several hundred military coordinators and diplomats in Erbil, the KRG capital.  Add to that  the humanitarian crisis caused by the flight of more than 45,000 Yazidis to Sinjar Mountain cut off from possible sanctuary in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Watch this WSJ report with Intelligence Journalist Siobhan Gorman on why the US Intelligence community underestimated the sudden rise of IS:

 The Presidential order of August 7th initiating limited air strikes against IS forces only dented their progress  after capturing  the  strategic Mosul Dam astride the Tigris River. The IS blitzkrieg  came within 30 miles of Erbil, the modern capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan.  Humanitarian air drops of water and food by both the US and U.K. to the cowering Yazidi tens of thousands of refugees on the arid 3,000 foot mountain, only provided a brief respite. IS forces seized hundreds of Yazidi women as sex slaves or buried them alive  as  they are considered infidel polytheists and alleged ‘devil worshippers”  under Islamist doctrine.  Iraqi Peshmerga fighters were engaged in pushback of IS forces and recapture of towns along their long frontier with the terrorist Caliphate forces.  It was left to Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga in adjacent Rojava- their homeland – to come to the rescue of the Yazidis.  By August 7th, the same day the President announced  the limited air operations and humanitarian air drops Sinjar Mountain, the Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga successfully opened a secure path for Yazidis to come down off the mountain and enter the adjacent area of Syria to safety an  eventual re-entry into  adjacent KRG.

An AP report, “Syrian Kurdish Fighters Rescuing Stranded Yazidis”, reveals the successful humanitarian corridor created by these Rojava  Kurdish Peshmerga fighters without US and UN assistance.  Note these excerpts:

While the U.S. and Iraqi militaries struggle to aid the starving members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority with supply drops from the air, the Syrian Kurds took it on themselves to rescue them. The move underlined how they — like Iraqi Kurds — are using the region’s conflicts to establish their own rule.

For the past few days, fighters have been rescuing Yazidis from the mountain, transporting them into Syrian territory to give them first aid, food and water, and returning some to Iraq via a pontoon bridge.

The desperate condition of these stranded Yazidis was described:

“The (Kurdish fighters) opened a path for us. If they had not, we would still be stranded on the mountain,” said Ismail Rashu, 22, in the Newroz camp in the Syrian Kurdish town of Malikiya some 20 miles from the Iraqi border. Families had filled the battered, dusty tents here and new arrivals sat in the shade of rocks, sleeping on blue plastic sheets. Camp officials estimated that at least 2,000 families sought shelter there on Sunday evening.

Nearby, an exhausted woman rocked a baby to sleep. Another sobbed that she abandoned her elderly uncle in their village of Zouraba; he was too weak to walk, too heavy to carry.

Many said they hadn’t eaten for days on the mountain; their lips were cracked from dehydration and heat, their feet swollen and blackened from walking. Some elderly, disabled and young children were left behind. Others were still walking to where Syrian Kurds were rescuing them, they said.

We are thankful, from our heads to the sky, to the last day on earth,” said Naji Hassan, a Yazidi at the Tigris river border crossing, where thousands of rescued Yazidis were heading back into Iraq on Sunday.

The U.N. estimated around 50,000 Yazidis fled to the mountain. But by Sunday, Kurdish officials said at least 45,000 had crossed through the safe passage, leaving thousands more behind and suggesting the number of stranded was higher.

The Syrian Peshmerga swung into action:

Syrian Kurdish officials said soon after Yazidis fled their villages, they began fighting to create a safe passage. They clashed with Islamic State fighters upon entering Iraq, losing at least 9 fighters, but by Aug. 7 had secured a safe valley passage, cramming Yazidis into jeeps, trucks and cars to bring them some 25 miles away. Some of the ill were even rushed to hospital.

“We answered their cries for help. They were in danger and we opened a safe passage for them into safety,” said military official Omar Ali. “We saw that we had to help them and protect them; they are Kurds and part of our nation.”

The AP report noted that autonomy that Syrian Kurds established in Syria that allowed them to undertake this rescue of the Yazidis after the KRG Peshmerga retreated:

In saving Yazidis, Syrian Kurds were also demonstrating their own ambitions for independence as Syria’s civil war rages on.

They announced their autonomous area of Rojava in January, and rule several far northeastern Kurdish areas of Syria. Government forces stationed in the area were redeployed over two years ago to battle rebels seeking Assad’s overthrow, Syrian Kurdish officials said.

But in entering Iraq, the Syrian fighters are also challenging their Iraqi Kurdish rivals. They say they entered after the Iraqi Kurdish fighting force, called the peshmerga, fled Yazidi villages after short battles with Islamic militants. The peshmerga say they were outgunned by the militants.

The gratitude of the Yazidis for the action of the Syrian Kurdish fighters:

For now, with the peshmerga gone and state aid ineffective, the Yazidis who survived the mountaintop ordeal were counting on the Syrian Kurdish fighters. Covered in dust among crowds at the Tigris crossing, Hassan said without the fighters all would have been lost.

“Were it not for them, no Yazidi would be saved,” he said.

If the West is serious about blunting, if not rolling back the IS Jihad blitzkrieg, it must rapidly equip and train both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish peshmerga with basic small arms, mortars and grenades, as well advanced weapons.  The irony is that desperately needed  weaponry would be used to destroy US weapons and munitions abandoned by regular Syrian and  Iraqi Shiite forces that were slaughtered or fled in panic acquired during the IS rampage.  There is an immediate source that could be drawn immediately less than 601 miles away from Kurdistan, the U.S. War Reserve stockpile in Israel. All it takes is for President Obama to authorize the Pentagon to make those draw downs and undertake  emergency airlifts to  equip and train those tough  Peshmerga fighters on the frontlines in both Syria and Iraq.

What did Sir Winston Churchill say about U.S. lend lease efforts prior to our entry into WWII in a radio broadcast on February 9, 1941:  “Give us the tools to finish the Job”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured image is of a Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga fighter in Derika, Syria’s Refugee Camp. August 10, 2014 Source: AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed.

White House: U.S. is not at war with the Islamic State

“Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State.” Yes, but they have made it abundantly clear that that is not their only goal, and that they desire ultimately to strike inside the United States. We are not at war with them, but they most assuredly are at war with us.

“Airstrikes in Iraq: What You Need to Know,” by Ben Rhodes, White House Blog, August 11, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

President Obama has authorized the U.S. military to execute targeted airstrikes in Iraq.

The President takes no decision more seriously than the use of military force. So it’s worth taking a few minutes to make sure you understand exactly what is happening in Iraq right now, who is involved, and why we are taking action. Here are a few answers to some key questions Americans may be asking:…

7. Is ISIL more dangerous than al-Qaeda right now?

While both are terrorist forces, they have different ambitions. Al-Qaeda’s principal ambition is to launch attacks against the west and U.S. homeland. That’s the direct threat that we have taken direct action against for many years. Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State. So they’re different organizations with different objectives.

8. Are we at war with ISIL? Will we be sending troops back to Iraq?

No. There is no U.S. military solution to the larger situation in Iraq. The United States’ chief goals are to protect our personnel and facilities, and to prevent a potential act of genocide. That is the scope of these operations. As the President said, we will support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, but no American combat troops will be returning to fight in Iraq.

9. What’s our plan moving forward?

We will protect our citizens, and we will work with Iraqis and the international community to address the humanitarian crisis facing the Yezidi people.

As we carry out that mission, we will pursue a strategy that empowers Iraqi leaders to come together, forge an inclusive government, and build security forces that can fight back against threats like ISIL. The Iraqi people have named a new President, a new Speaker of Parliament, and a new Prime Minister–an important step towards forming a government that can unite communities in Iraq. The U.S. will work with this new government and other countries in the region on a broader counterterrorism strategy moving forward.

[Emphasis added]

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Iraq is an American War

Like many Americans I advocated ending our participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was wrong. Being war-weary is no excuse for not realizing that we are in a very long war with the enemies of civilization and reluctant to being fully engaged in it.

On Monday, President Obama had to take a break from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to make a short televised statement that, as far as he’s concerned, this is Iraq’s war and, though he did not mention him by name, Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has got to get out of the way of the newly constituted Iraqi government. At this writing he’s refusing to do that.

You could see how unhappy Obama was when he had to authorize U.S. forces to engage again in Iraq, this time to slow the advance of the Islamic State’s (IS) forces on Erbil using air power while declaring that there would be “no boots on the ground.” He only took action when it was clear that an IS genocide was in the making. Only the U.S., England and France had the capacity to drop food and water, and provide aid to the refugees.

Both the President’s and his press secretary’s earlier statements emphasized the need for “Iraqi forces” to take the lead in opposing the IS, but unmentioned was the way two divisions of Iraqi forces fled from combat with them and left a treasure trove of U.S. weaponry, tanks, and vehicles. Those who did not escape fast enough were taken prisoner and killed. Crucifixions and beheadings are favored by IS along with killing Christian women and children, reportedly by burying them alive.

The Iraqi government is barely functional. Its military, despite years of equipping and training by U.S. advisors, were clearly reluctant to die for Iraq. Maliki had replaced many of the seasoned officers with political appointees. If there is anything left of the Iraqi military, there is little mention of it.

The military of the Kurds, one of America’s best allies in Iraq, has been begging the U.S. for military equipment, but the Obama administration waited to provide any until there was no other option. The government of Maliki—if it still is under his control—has denied the Kurds military aid and funds due them. If they survive IS, the Kurds have every right to declare themselves an independent state. Of strategic importance is an airfield that U.S. planes could use to attack IS, but Obama doesn’t want to do that in a way that will destroy them.

So that makes what is occurring there our war, an American war, just as the decision to respond in Afghanistan after 9/11 was an American war and the decision to depose Saddam Hussein as Iraq’s dictator was an American war. In both cases Americans learned that there was no real government to take charge if they left, so they stayed. Most Arab nations were and are run by monarchs or men who seized power. They have little experience with democracy and the divisions between Sunni and Shiites work against cooperation.

American forces stayed in Iraq until President Obama pulled them out. They are, as least in the skies above Iraq, back and there is a small contingent of “boots on the ground.” We have forces in Afghanistan, but as Obama told a West Point class, he will take them out in 2015. Telling the enemy when you’re going to leave is not taught to West Pointers any more than telling the enemy when and where you intend to attack.

Obama - Prophet of IslamObama’s disdain for our nation’s military is rivaled only by his devotion to Islam.

We have a President so lacking in any military experience or desire to use our military that he has been more than happy to let “sequestration” reduce our forces to the pre-World War Two level. That was a bad idea back then and is a worse idea today. Another bad idea is the reduction of captains and majors—some in war zones—that is being implemented. These are the leadership corps to whom non-commissioned officers respond.

His lack of regard for our nation’s military contributed to the neglect of the problems that were revealed in the Veterans Administration; problems Obama was aware of as a U.S. Senator before he ran for office declaring the conflict in Iraq “a dumb war.”

On August 12 The Washington Times reported “The president who spent years touting the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq suddenly has had to distance himself from that action. At the White House on Saturday morning — less than 48 hours after authorizing airstrikes against Islamist militants and humanitarian air drops to save the lives of trapped Iraqi civilians — President Obama blamed his predecessor, George W. Bush, for the absence of American troops in Iraq and rejected the assertion that he could have left a small peacekeeping force in the war-torn nation.” How pathetic is that?

In the real world there are real enemies and using force to repel and destroy them is the essence of history. I doubt Obama has the character or the wisdom to engage the Islamic State with sufficient force to destroy it.

Attacking the Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria is an act of self-defense for America in the same way the attacks on al Qaeda were and are self-defense. Better to do it in Iraq, Syria and anywhere else we must than to have to do it here.

With the anniversary of 9/11 just weeks away, it behooves us all to remember we were attacked on our homeland and a far more barbaric entity, the Islamic State, will surely attack us if we do not kill them first.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Israel’s “Long War”

Tom Jocelyn, the American counter terrorism expert and Senior Fellow at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies is the editor of The Long War Journal. It is a chronicle of the global Islamic jihad in the 21st Century, now in its 13th year. The global jihad was sparked by what the US State Department has taken to calling “core Al Qaeda”, most dramatically with 9/11. Subsequently it has metatisized driven by the Salafist doctrine seeking to replicate the great barbarism of the first jihad that burst out of the Arabian peninsula 14 Centuries ago. In many instances it has been a long war against indigenous populations, both Muslim and not. In the later case, it has witnessed the self-declared Caliphate of the Islamic State, formerly ISIS, confronting non-Muslims with the choice to convert, be subjugated, leave or be killed. It is sacralized barbarity emboldened with arms and advanced military technology abandoned by fleeing armies. It is financed by extortion and billions in booty, money seized in conquered territories and oil resources.

Mideast Israel Palestinians

Israeli Merkava tank leaving Gaza staging area August 5, 2014. Source: The Guardian.

Virtually alone and surrounded by these Jihadist forces is the Jewish nation of Israel. Israel has conducted a long war of its own over the 21 years since the conclusion of the 1993 Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority. An agreement orchestrated by former President Clinton between Israeli Prime Minister, the late Yitzhak Rabin and the late Yassir Arafat, first President of the Palestinian Authority. Arafat went on to ignite the Second Intifada in September 2000 using the excuse that the late Israeli PM Ariel Sharon had made an unauthorized visit to the Temple Mount. That intifada saw thousands of Israeli causalities, both dead and wounded,  that morphed into a seemingly unending series of military Operations. It began with Operation Defensive Shield following the bloody Park Hotel Passover suicide bombing in March 2002 that killed many Holocaust survivors. It culminated in the siege of Arafat in the Mukata in 2004 in Ramallah. A brief hiatus following the demise of Arafat saw Israel build a security barrier in the disputed territories that virtually brought to a close the Second Intifada. The late PM Sharon left Likud to found a new coalition party, Kadima, on the strength of a letter in 2004 with former President Bush giving Israel permission to defend itself with US assurances.

That led Sharon in 2005 to order the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza of 9000 settlers and 10,000 IDF personnel under the misguided pretext that it would make Israel more secure. The Bush Administration was preoccupied in the Long War in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It sought to foist the myopic view that the Islamist world could be transformed into budding western style democracies. This despite the rise of anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood elements in Gaza, Egypt and other adjacent Muslim countries. They had been kept in check by autocracies supplied with both US and Russian military assistance and aid. Thus, the Bush Administration thought it had a willing peace partner in Arafat’s successor, the long serving PA President, Mahmoud Abbas. The Bush Administration prevailed upon Israel to relinquish its control over the strategic Philadelphi corridor along the Egyptian Gaza frontier installing Fatah bureaucrats. 2006 saw the one vote, one time election in Gaza of a Hamas dominated Palestinian Legislative Council. That  lead to the June 2007 ejection and literal defenestration of Fatah from Gaza, leaving Hamas virtually in control. Israel was forced to engage in a series of air assaults that resulted in assassinations of Hamas leaders, co-founder Sheik Yassin and Dr. Rantisi. Hamas took over the Rafah border with Egypt through which arms, rockets and missiles were infiltrated along with huge infusions of cash from foreign Muslim charities and backers, Iran and Qatar.

In 2006 Israel was embroiled in the Second Lebanon War with Iran proxy Hezbollah supplied by the former with thousands of rockets. That conflict was triggered by a kidnapping of two IDF soldiers followed by massive  Hezbollah artillery rocket barrages. The 34 day War with Hezbollah saw more than 4,000 rockets rain on Israel setting a pattern that was copied by Hamas in Gaza in 2009, 2012 and 2014. In that first clash with Hezbollah saw Israel’s population in the north sweltered in crude shelters or displaced to the central Mediterranean shore. It also sparked the development of technical countermeasures to protect the both Israel’s population and IDF defense. Those developments included the now recognized Iron Dome system of batteries equipped with Tamir anti-rocket missiles, and the less well known, Trophy system, used effectively in the most recent 2014 Operation protecting armored vehicles against anti-tank rockets and missiles. Just prior to the Second Lebanon War, a cross border raid by Hamas operatives kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, holding him hostage until released in an October 2011 exchange for 1,027 Palestinian terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

In June 2009, President Obama made a dramatic speech at Cairo University extending outreach, many believed that emboldened Islamist elements in the Muslim ummah. In December,2011 the self-immolation of a fruit vendor in Tunisia sparked the so-called Arab Spring that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East. Autocracies in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt were overturned. The latter witnessed the ousting of strongman Mubarak with rise of the Muslim Brotherhood that saw the election of one if its prominent leaders, Mohammed Morsi as its President in June 2012. Morsi was backed by a National Assembly  composed of dominate Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties. They sought to impose Sharia law on women, secular elements and the country’s ancient minority Coptic Christian community. Virtually, a year later, Morsi and thousands of Muslim Brotherhood leaders were ousted, jailed and killed during a coup by his Defense Minister Gen.Abdel- Fattah El-Sisi. He was engaged in a counter terrorism campaign against Hamas linked Salafist terror groups in the Sinai.

The overthrow of the Libyan strongman Qadaffi, with aid from the US and NATO, spawned chaos with warring tribal and jihadist militias. That culminating in the Benghazi attack that killed the US Ambassador and three other Americans, a communications aide, and two CIA-contractors on 9/11/2012.

Meanwhile, Israel was concerned about security on its southern border with Egypt in the Sinai. Following cross border attacks near the Red Sea resort of Eilat it constructed a 200 mile security barrier seeking to prevent intrusion, only to be left exposed to rocket attacks. On Israel’s north eastern Golan frontier a raging civil war in Syria, now well into its third year, saw the Assad regime forces ranging across the Golan frontier fighting opposition rebel groups. These included al Qaeda affiliates the Al Nusrah front and the extremist Salafist spinoff, the Islamic State, formerly ISIS.

The latest IDF Operation Protective Edge that began on July 8th with barrages from Gaza from both homemade and Iranian supplied long range rockets covered fourth fifths of Israel. It was triggered by a botched kidnapping by Hamas operatives and that resulted in the murder of three Jewish yeshiva students, whose remains were discovered on June 30th. The Palestinian Authority in late April had announced a unity government with Hamas that scuppered any chances of a possible final stage agreement sought by US Secretary of State Kerry. Hamas is a foreign terrorist group so designated by the US, Canada and the EU. Its 1988 Charter, had sought not only the destruction of Israel but the killing of Jews globally. Israeli PM Netanyahu and his coalition cabinet had no choice but to call up what ultimately would be a massed IDF force of 80,000 elite brigades and reservists to conduct the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge. That culminated in the launch of ground operations in Gaza that ended with the seventh truce on August 5th that is holding for the moment. That truce occurred ironically on the Jewish Fast Day of Tish B’Av commemorating historic catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people over the millennia.

Jocelyn’s FDD Long War Journal had this entry:

Israel

Israel accepted a Gaza ceasefire plan that will start with a preliminary 72-hour truce beginning tomorrow morning. Israeli officials will work out further details of the ceasefire over the next few days in Egypt. As of Aug. 1, at least 2,909 rockets had been fired at Israel from Gaza and 66 Israelis had been killed. In the first fatal attack in Jerusalem in three years, a Palestinian construction worker drove an earthmover into a bus, flipping it over and killing one Israeli and wounding five more. PM Netanyahu’s spokesman said Israel’s military campaign to destroy the Gaza tunnels is coming to a close, but that the overall operation will not cease until Israel experiences an extended period of quiet and security.

Jonathan Spyer, of the GLORIA Centre in Herzliya, published an assessment of Israel’s Long War in a PJ Media article, “Netanyahu’s Long War Doctrine.”  In it he paid tribute to Netanyahu’s cautious, but resolute position, overwhelmingly supported by Israelis, to bring to a conclusion the Hamas genocidal threat to the Jewish nation. A threat backed and financed by Qatar, a wealthy gas-rich emirate, a supporter of Muslim Brotherhood and extremist Salafist al Qaeda spinoffs. Qatar and the terrorist Salafist groups it funded and gave sanctuary to, including Hamas leaders, are viewed by Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia as a dire threat to their regimes. That created a coalition of interest with Israel tacitly condoning the latter’s war against Hamas. The Administration in Washington and the UN were desperate to end hostilities seeking to engage MB supporting regimes in Turkey and Qatar to convince Hamas to stand down. Newly elected Egyptian President El-Sisi, who had ousted MB President Morsi and closed Gazan smuggling tunnels, had endeavored to broker several cease fires during the 28 day Operation Protective Edge. It became evident that Hamas had been seriously degraded, nearly three dozen terror tunnels neutralized, sustaining an estimated $5 billion in destruction of buildings and infrastructure in the 25 mile square area of Gaza. All while the world media falsely portrayed Israel as perpetrating mounting civilian casualties most graphically at UNWRA- run schools and refuge centers where over 180,000 Gaza residents had sought shelter. These schools were reported to have held rocket caches, that enabled Hamas rocketeers to launch barrages some of which misfired resulting  in civilian casualties. This barbaric strategy was confirmed in a captured combat manual of Hamas uncovered by the IDF in Gaza City.

As to Israeli PM Netanyahu’s conduct of Operation Protective Edge Spyer observed:

Netanyahu, in stark contrast to his image in Europe and to a lesser extent in North America, is deeply cautious when it comes to the use of military force.

Indeed, the record shows that Israel elected to begin a ground campaign on July 18th only when it became clear from its actions and its statements that Hamas was not interested in a return to the status quo.

Netanyahu’s caution derives, rather, from his perception that what Israel calls “wars” or “operations” are really only episodes in a long war in which the country is engaged against those who seek its destruction. In the present phase, these forces are gathered largely under the banner of radical Islam.

Spyer concludes his assessment of Netanyahu:

Netanyahu’s vision is a chilly one, though it is not ultimately pessimistic. It aims to provide firm, durable walls for the house that the Jews of Israel have constructed. Within those walls the energies of Israeli Jews will ensure success — provided that the walls can be kept secure, thus believes the Israeli prime minister. It is from the point of view of this broader strategic picture that the current actions of Israel need to be understood. Operation Protective Edge — like Cast Lead and Orchard and Lebanon 2006 and the others — is intended as a single action in a long and unfinished war.

The Tish B’Av truce concluding Operation Protective Edge saw IDF forces leave Gaza, remaining ready if the truce is broken to return, if recalled. The current truce may still hold, but, will not last, unless and until Gaza is demilitarized and its leadership dispatched.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.

The Malaysian Air MH17 Missile Attack: A Chilling Prod to Airline Security

The destruction of Malaysian Air Flight MH17 over the Ukraine by a Russian SA-11“Buk”air defense missile on July 17, 2014 took the lives of 298 passengers and crew on board from more than 11 countries. While the largest contingent was 154 Dutch nationals, there were significant numbers of Australian passengers and more than 98 participants in an international AIDS conference in Australia, among them leading researchers and a World Health Organization official. 80 children lost their lives. One Australian family lost relatives on both Flights MH17 and MH370. The Boeing 777-200ER was a sister aircraft to Flight MH370 that disappeared on March 8, 2014 under mysterious circumstances with the loss of 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 nations.

That act allegedly by Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine may have been a blunder by Russian President Putin that brought Western approbation at the UN Security Council debates on July 18th.  The possible complicit involvement of Russia in the missile attack on MH17 is reminiscent of the shoot down by Russian fighters of Korean Air Line Flight 007 from New York to Seoul on September 1, 1983 with the 269 men, women and children on board.  Also recall the accidental missile attack by the USS Vincennes guided missile cruiser that destroyed Iran Air 655 on July 3, 1988 during the Tanker War of 1984-1988 in the Persian Gulf, with the loss of 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew.

BUC SA-11 SystemThe Downing of MH17

The alleged Russian SA-11 missile attack on MH17 raised the matter of airline security in an era with increased threats to international civil aviation from irredentist and terrorist forces. Those threats are not only in the Middle East and Eastern European conflict zones, but elsewhere, including the Western Hemisphere.

The Malaysian Air dispatcher and the flight captain could have judiciously altered the flight plan of MH17 to avoid the no-fly zone over the eastern Ukraine. They could have used more southerly routes followed by major air carriers to reach destinations in South Asia. Instead they chose to fly above the contested eastern Ukraine no-fly zone at an altitude of 33,000 feet. By doing so, they exposed the flight to a missile attack from a mobile SA-11 missile battery similar to one used to down a Ukrainian military transport and fighters. By foolishly opting to economize fuel consumption on a shorter and more dangerous flight plan, they may have inadvertently triggered the deadly attack.  The two Malaysian Air disasters in 2014, MH370 in March and MH17 in July, have claimed the lives of 537 passengers and crew. Under the international Montreal convention, formerly the Warsaw convention of 1929 regarding aviation liability, surviving families may be entitled to $175,000 in compensation. That would translate to $94 million if Malaysian Air  is found liable.

The result was, in the words of a former National Transportation Safety Board investigator, the creation of “the world’s largest crime scene” 30 miles from the Russian border. The area patrolled by separatist militia with little respect for the remains of the deceased passengers has seriously complicated recovery and forensic investigations by NTSB and FBI agents. Standard recovery procedures have been severely compromised by looters, and the forensic operation has become chaotic. Ukraine’s government accused pro-Russian rebels of removing 38 bodies from the scene of the crash and of trying to destroy evidence. The Russian separatists have made it difficult for the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe monitors to even approach the massive debris field.

Finding the MH17 black box and data recorder may be difficult if it has been removed from the scene, and other means may have to be used to corroborate the SA-11 missile attack. Certain data from the INMARSAT system drawn from the ill-fated flight’s engines may at least confirm altitude and flight conditions at the time of missile impact.

The Malaysian Air Flight MH17 incident sends a wake-up call to the Montreal-based UN International Civil Aviation Organization, and major country airways safety groups. These include the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington.

SkyShield SystemThe Elbit SkyShield/C-MUSIC Anti-Missile Defense System

The incident may also lead other airlines to consider the ground-breaking anti-missile defense systems that Israel’s airlines, El AlArkia, and Israir are now installing on the Jewish nation’s civil aviation fleet. The SkyShield/Commercial Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasures (C-MUSIC) laser system was certified for use in February 2014 and was announced by Elbit Systems, Ltd. (Elbit) of Haifa, the major Israeli defense contractor that developed it.

SkyShield/C-MUSIC has the ability to deflect the guidance systems of incoming man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), using advanced laser technology and thermal imaging to deflect incoming threats by means of jamming their guidance system, usually well before the pilot of the plane may even be aware a threat is on its way. It has the potential of also protecting the plane from high altitude surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) like the SA-11 and the more sophisticated Russian S-300 systems, which have been sold to both Syria and Iran.

Israel’s program to develop this civil aviation missile defense system was prompted by a close call in Mombasa, Kenya, when a terrorist fired a MANPAD at an Israeli Arkia Boeing 757 with 261 passengers aboard in November 2002. That led to an Israeli government-sponsored development program that chose Elbit to develop the Sky Shield system. We understand that, despite the Arab Boycott of Israel, that both Qatar Airways and Emirates Airways have reached out to Elbit seeking information on the Sky Shield system for protection of their air fleets.

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the Israeli government ran a series of live-fire trials of the SkyShield missile protection system in February 2014. Brigadier General Eytan Eshel, head of research and development at the Defense Ministry was very satisfied with the experiment, saying, “SkyShield has been validated under the most complex and sophisticated testing conditions ever conducted in Israel and … included a wide variety of threats that the SkyShield system would have to tackle in order to protect passenger aircraft. It is now ready to protect Israeli airlines . . . . The capabilities are extraordinary.”

Watch this brief Elbit YouTube video on how the SkyShield System operates:

MANPADThe Air Defense Threat that the Elbit SkyShield System addresses

There are potentially multiple terrorist threats from MANPADS and mobile air defense missiles that could attack civilian airliners in commercial air lanes over international waters. A 2012 Defense News report pointed out more than 20,000 MANPADS went missing from the arsenals of the late Libyan dictator Gaddafi. Less than 5,000 of those have been recovered. Some of those have been interdicted in transit across Egypt, destined for Hamas in Gaza, and Salafist and al Qaeda affiliates in the Sinai. The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, may have picked up MANPADS and air defense missile systems during its blitz-like conquest of both Syria and Iraq. Not only is the region awash in weapons in the bazaar of weapons-trafficking that now exists in the Middle East, but IS has been systematically looting the stores of American weapons that had been left for the Iraqi military by the departing US forces.

An ex-CIA covert operations officer, who goes by the nom de guerre “Beowulf,” considers a MANPAD attack on vulnerable US and foreign airlines a plausible scenario in the near term. As co-author Freedman commented, “only Israel’s national airline EL AL has fully equipped its fleet” with pods capable of deflecting MANPADS. Freedman observes that Israel is particularly vulnerable to MANPAD attack, as Ben Gurion Airport, Israel’s primary international airport, is only kilometers away from the disputed West Bank, from where many of the attacks against Israel emanate. Having participated in a number of MANPADS threat exercises with DHS, the Coast Guard, FBI, TSA and other national security agencies, she underscores the seriousness of the concern. “MANPADS are a largely under-rated threat here in the US. But the threat is as real here as it is in the Middle East. MANPADs are relatively easy to acquire, transport discretely, and deploy from almost anywhere.”

In a US Aviation and Space Technology Weekly article on February 2014, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld discussed the MANPAD threat. She pointed out that while the US has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on development of a counter-measure, Israeli defense systems company Elbit has successfully developed and installed the light weight Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure system (MUSIC) for both aircraft and helicopters. Israelis are well respected for the speed and efficiency with which they are able to develop cutting edge technology, outperforming most high tech development around the world, and developed this highly sophisticated system within three years.

Ehrenfeld was asked why the American commercial aviation industry has resisted adopting what Israel’s El Al has done to protect its air fleet and passengers:

Despite the alarming spread of MANPADS, U.S. aviation security experts argue that the threat to America’s civil aviation fleet posed by MANPADS is minimal. They say the cost of equipping passenger aircraft with MANPAD countermeasure devices–estimated at $43 billion–is prohibitive and unjustified. However, if a single missile found its way to Hezbollah operatives in Mexico, was then smuggled into the U.S. and fired at any of the 7,000 aircraft comprising the U.S. civilian fleet it would be devastated. Then, U.S. government officials and airline executives could not claim they were unaware of the threat. They could be held responsible for hundreds of deaths.

The downing of MH17 has brought the threat of attacks against commercial airliners to a new level. Because shoulder-fired MANPADS generally have a target detection range of about 6 miles, and an engagement range of 4 miles, aircraft flying above 20,000 feet are relatively safe from them. But the use of a sophisticated SA-11 missile by Ukrainian/Russian separatists has changed the game. MH17 was reported to be flying at 33,000 feet, and was brought down by a SAM. The Israeli SkyShield/C-MUSIC system was developed to defend against multiple threats posed by MANPADS. Three general types of MANPADS use command line of sight, laser guided, and infra-red seeking technology. Whether SkyShield/C-MUSIC can also effectively deflect the longer range SAMs, such as the SA-11 or the S-300, using radar technology to hone it on its target, is not currently known.

However, the technology is already in place and this new threat is not likely to go unnoticed by Israel’s defense industry. Following the downing of MH17, improvements to SkyShield/C-MUSIC will undoubtedly provide a new standard of security for the entire airplane industry.

EDITORS NOTE: This article originally appeared on The New English Review. The featured image is courtesy of the UK Daily Mail.