Tag Archives: ISIS

THE TROUBLE WITH ISIS

BLOG 286 January 18, 2016

Last week we started the New Year by considering the problems facing Israel. This week we look in the opposite direction: the problems with ISIS. While the Islamic push has been slowed, the issues have far from slipped from the headlines. The West must remember what makes this terrorist menace tick and why fringe personalities fall for their propaganda.

Regardless of what Western politicians say, ISIS is fighting a religious war and the people who are recruited believe they are fighting for Allah. History has made it clear that the worst expression of hostility is a religious war because the soldiers believe God is on their side and He sanctions every act they commit. Consequently, ISIS remains an extremists expression of medieval Islam. They believe that even their defeats were predicted in the Koran and are a sign of the approaching final battle between good and evil (of course all non-Muslims are the bad guys). When they are pushed back, it is only another indication that the final end is near.

Is such thinking powerful? Simply look at American history. William Miller believed Jesus Christ would return sometime between March 1843 and March 1844. Fifty thousand believers lined up to follow the Millerite frenzy. Joseph Smith started Mormonism with the proclamation that that the New Jerusalem would be in Jackson County, Missouri. Even today a small band of Mormons expect the resurrection of Adam and the prophets along with Joe to start the new millennium. Are these proclamations magnetic? Absolutely!

Obviously, all Muslims are not jihadists anymore than the Millerites represent biblical Christianity. However, the extremist are the order of the day in Syria, Iraq, and the new state called ISIS. Bernard Haykel, the foremost secular authority on the subject, said, “there is an assiduous, obsessive, seriousness” about their dedication to the Koran.

ISIS’s destruction of objects dating back to antiquity is violence in the name of the quest for racial purity. The Koran specifies crucifixion as one of the punishments for infidelity. While the massacre of prisoners is completely repugnant to the West, the beheadings and destruction are following the prophecy and example of the prophet Muhammad in punctilious detail. ISIS is fundamentally reliving the earliest period in its history when Islam conquered with the sword. Suicide bombers get an automatic free ticket to heaven along with other benefits for killing themselves in religious warfare.

Obviously, such promises are powerful tools for recruiting soldiers. The poor and unstable are ready for their trip out of this world. Beats Obama Care all to pieces!

If the current administration believes it can bomb this ideology out of existence, they better think twice. The West has again been pulled into a war that has gone off and on for over 1,200 years. Where do we go next? There is no easy road out.

As long as Russia props up Assad as the ruler of Syria, the civil war will continue. In the meantime, more innocent people will be killed or attempt to immigrate. Sorry, but it doesn’t look like a good year ahead.

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HOW ABOUT A LITTLE TURKEY?

BLOG 267 August 24, 2015

When you say “turkey,” Americans think of the Thanksgiving Holidays. In the Middle East, Turkey means a nation that was once the Ottoman Empire stretching back to 1299 when it all started. The Ottoman Empire reached across Southeast Europe, Western Asia, North Africa and held what today is called the Holy Land. The Turks were Muslims and are remembered for the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians. (And that’s one reason we should pay attention to what they are doing.) The Ottoman Empire began to disintegrated with World War I and lost the Palestinian region to the British.

Periodically, I have written about the current President Recep Toyyip Erdogan and his ambitious attempts to restore the Ottoman Empire because the West needs to be aware of what his intentions are. Most recently, Erdogan granted the United States the right to use the Incirlik base in Turkey for air strikes against ISIS. The Allies were moved dramatically closer to hitting ISIS.

Erodogan didn’t make this shift because he’s a nice guy nor was the issue fighting ISIS. He would certainly be delighted to see Assad fall, but Erodogan does only what serves Erodogan’s purposes and saving Syria isn’t in the cards.

Erodogan’s grant of a Turkish base for the war is only a cover for his actual purpose The goal is to attack the Kurds.

The Kurds have proven to be valiant fighters and made some of the most important gains during  the civil war in Syria. Their success gained important attention in the West and new backing from the Allies. Kurdish victories united several areas along the Syrian-Turkish border. They are no longer a forgotten minority.

Kurdish success worries Erdogan.

If the Kurds continue their military success, they could gain control of a 500 mile stretch of the border with Turkey. What worries Erdogan is the possibility of the emergence of a Kurdish controlled country along his border.

At this time, American air power and the Kurds have driven ISIS back to the east and south. Erdogan apparently wants to use his air force with the Sunni Islamist rebels in Aleppo to destroy the ISIS stronghold between Jarabulus and Marea. The goal is to remove ISIS control of all territories along the border and replace them with groups favorable to Turkey before the Kurds take the area.1

Observers on the scene report that Erdogan probably has a much larger personal objective. He is working hard to gain a parliamentary majority so he can push the country toward a Muslim caliphate-dominated government. If he gains that edge, he will undoubtedly attempt to change the constitution and give his office more power.

Turkey has had a significant secular population that has so far rejected attempts to turn the state into a Muslim religion dominated country. Erdogan continues to press for a reversal of this situation.

Make no mistake about it. Erdogan does what suits Erdogan best – and nobody else.

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HEARD FROM EGYPT LATELY?

BLOG 252 May 11, 2015

I have always resisted the urge to blame “this, that, or the other thing” on the media. After all, their job is to report the facts whether we like the truth or not (though they conjecture about “possibilities” far too often). However, lately it seems Washington has learned how to manipulate the media by what the government says or doesn’t say. Case in point: Heard anything about Egypt lately?

The Obama administration has become largely indifferent to Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Egypt’s gulf allies. “Looking the other way” has pushed Sisi into the posture of going it alone. That is not good for Egypt or the USA. Obama appears reluctant to even acknowledge the entire regional dimension to the ISIS problem.

In addition to the recent revolutionary upheavals, Egypt struggles with overwhelming endemic problems. A population explosion in the midst of illiteracy with unemployment and staggering poverty drags the country in a downward spiral. Corruption on an epic scale pushes Sisi’s government further toward the edge. They have attempted to distance themselves from Gaza and Hamas by closing the Rafah crossing and destroying more than 2,000 contraband tunnels. Yet, Hamas is out there and a problem.

The times that I have been in Egypt have always impressed on me how almost impossible it would be to govern such a situation. Drinkable water has always been a problem.  The old tourist joke was visit Egypt last on your tour of the Middle East because you will be going home sick. (Once you’ve been down that road, you won’t think it’s a joke).

Today, sporadic terrorist attacks still occur in Egypt (though the media never mentions it). Attempts to defeat Islamic insurgency in the Sinai have not been particularly successful and the situation has reached a stalemate. The problem is that no matter how many jihadist’s crazies they kill, more pour in through the vast mountainous and desert regions between Egypt and Libya (the border is 745 miles long). The recent beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians underscores the serious problems in that region. Moreover, Egypt along with Saudi Arabia must continue to worry about what is coming out of Iran.

The United States decoupled Iran’s terrorist activities from the negotiations over  their pursuit of nuclear weapons. This procedure may have obtained an agreement but it didn’t slow down the shipment of weapons and missiles coming from Iran. Egypt has to worry about this turn of events.

America remains worried about the things that really count, like—did Tom Brady know about deflated footballs, –can the country survive David Lettermen leaving the late night show, –and what everyone will do for entertainment on Memorial Day weekend.

At the least, the West needs to listen to President Sisi and the needs he expresses. Certainly, there are many problems with military government rule in Egypt – but we’ve already seen the alternative when the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. That reminder should be sobering enough.

Don’t let the lack of coverage by the media keep you from paying attention to the situation in Egypt.

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THE MUDDLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

BLOG 245 March 23, 2015

Twenty-four hours after winning the election in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu threw the world a curve ball. Bibi snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A dear friend of mine always says, “All politicians are liars and thieves.” Netanyahu certainly didn’t help that image.

Many thoughtful Jewish people are dismayed and angry at how this election was won. About to lose, he played the racist card. Netanyahu screamed that the Arabs are coming to the polls “in droves” and the Jews better pull together and vote. Of course, Arab citizens  have a right to vote. Such a tactic came straight out of the Jim Crow days in the Deep South. Arabs, Jews, and the White House rebuked such a tactic.

Worst of all, Netanyahu denied his support for a two-state solution and suggested the Palestinians could lump it. Certainly, there are many Jews in Israel who feel this way but the rest of the world disagrees. Netanyahu’s statements further alienated Europe that has also become a rocky road for Israel. The United States responded that they would no longer protect Israel in the United Nations debates on the Palestinians. Twenty-four hours later Netanyahu withdrew those positions after the election was over.

How bad can it get?

In his last minute attempt to win, Bibi has demonstrated it can get worse. Regardless of 47 congressional signatures on a letter to Iran, he has seriously damaged his currently shaky personal relationship with the United States. The strong Jewish voice and the right-wing unequivocal support of Israel as well as the pressure of the USA’s need of an important Middle East ally will definitely not end the diplomatic, military, and security  connection with Israel. However, the Prime Minister’s office may soon discover the line is busy when he attempts to call the United States.

Netanyahu’s trip to speak to Congress put the Obama administration on the defense. Netanyahu’s twenty-four hour flip-flop amazingly switched the chairs. Obama has come out on top because of Netanyahu’s own maneuvers. While the Prime Minister was making gains in his opposition to a treaty with Iran, he has now spent most of the capital. It appears the West will close a deal with Iran whether Bibi likes it or not.

As damaging as the foregoing is, what Netanyahu has done to his own image is no small matter. No longer does he appear to be a statesman sounding a trumpet of alarm. He has come off as a predictable politician that will say anything to win. At this point, he may even have trouble forming a government as local politicians back away, forcing him to develop a cabinet from religious and nationalistic groups. Such a result would further deepen the racist charge against his government. Moshe Kahlon, the other big winner in the election, may be pulled into the new cabinet. However, Kahlon and Netanyahu dislike each other and that tension could bring down a new government quickly.

With ISIS functioning around 20 miles from the Israeli border, the issues are super serious. Netanyahu’s next moves may be the most important in his political life with dramatic effects on the future. He’d best think carefully and be cautious in what he says this time.

Is winning at all cost worth it? History answers no.

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SOME GOOD NEWS IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM

BLOG 226 November 17, 2014

Since the emergence of ISIS (now called the Islamic State), there has not been much good news coming out of the war in Syria that has spilled over into Iraq when the sudden appearance of this coalition of extremists burst out of the civil war in Syria, Iraq appeared about to be swallowed as the army dropped their arms and fled. With the entry of American and allied air strikes, the situation has begun to change.

This past week Iraqi armed forces pushed the militants out of a strategic oil refinery near the town of Beiji, north of Baghdad. This particular refinery is the largest in Iraq and will now require repair to function again. This accomplishment is the most significant advance that the Iraqis have made since the terrorist captured much of northern and western Iraq and is the latest setback for the Islamic State. Beji will now become a base for attacks to take back Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

This past week the Associated Press released a statement indicating the Islamic State had lost hundreds of fighters because of the air strikes by the United States and its allies. Kurdish fighters have also made significant progress in fighting ISIS. Kurdish fighters made advances in the important town of Kobani in Syria. Since the entry of American airpower, ISIS has had few successes. At the same time, the Iraqi army has also  had a low number of advances. The war remains intense.

This weekend the chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey made a surprise unannounced visit to Iraq and met with General Babkir Zebari as well as other military officials. Dempsey indicated that more American troops may yet be needed to create stability.

In the midst of these positive developments, ISIS terrorists have committed another atrocity filmed for television release. Aid worker Peter Kassig came to Syria to help the needy and wounded when he was kidnapped by ISIS. While his parents were reluctant to make public responses because they knew this was what ISIS intended in their propaganda campaign. As a last resort, they made a plea for their son’s life. Tragically, the ISIS leaders remained barbaric and Peter Kassig was beheaded and a video was sent across the world.

The civilized world finds it difficult to understand how a beheading could be a recruitment tactic. The depraved know different. Psychopathic personalities are often drawn to the macabre and diabolical. Sadly, Peter Kassig was used to satisfy the appetite of the demonic.

While ISIS may think they are frightening the West, they have galvanized a military response. The current advances in Iraq are not large, but they signal that ISIS will be stopped. Beheading helpless prisoners will be met by bombings and renewed Iraqi troops that will exact their own price. ISIS has failed to learn that he “who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.”

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Reminiscing on Labor Day

BLOG 216 September 1, 2014

September’s here and you get this day off to have time to sit back and reflect on the summer and the Fall ahead. Sip a nice cool glass of ice tea, put your feet up, and reflect on where we are on this day in 2014.

Do you realize that 100 years ago and four thousand miles away we entered the Great War in France? World War I took 40 million lives with 116,000 Americans dying in only 19 months. While the British attempted to minimize the American role, the USA contributed mightily to the successful outcome of the Allies. My question? After 100 years, has military conflict improved?

Last February, I was in Israel and visited the Dead Sea Scrolls monument that remembers the ancient Jews that lived by the Dead Sea and wrote of the conflict between the Sons of Darkness and the Sons of Light. They had an important insight into conflict because the war with the Sons of Darkness has never stopped. Two thousand years later, we are still fighting the creatures of the night. World War I is both a long time ago and yesterday morning.

A week ago, an Israeli missile flattened a 11-story apartment building where Hamas military leaders lived. The sudden strike followed more rocket attacks aimed at Israel and signaled that Israel would not hesitate to make more audacious military forays into Gaza. As I predicted in a recent blog, Hamas held a victory rally after they accepted a cease fire proposal they had earlier rejected. What they were celebrating remains a mystery as they have been flattened like the 11-story apartment building.

That war probably goes on.

Twenty-one Egyptian soldiers were killed near the isolated Farafara oasis in western Egypt not far from the Libyan border. An attacking gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade into an ammunition cache that killed the soldiers and left four other wounded. Jihadist groups from Libyan continue to run wild. The struggle continues in Egypt.

We could wander off and ponder the lying Prime Minister of Russia who is currently attacking and fomenting strife in the Ukraine. But Putin is too far from the Middle East to ponder in this biog  –though the most ridiculous political statement of the last two centuries was George Bush’s asserted he looked into Putin’s soul and saw brotherhood. If he had really seen into Putin’s soul, Bush would have run for the door.

Another sign of the times was this weeks about-face by Syrian President Hassan Rouhani. Reversing himself, Rouhani stated the USA can never be trusted. He acknowledged Iran’s attempts to by-pass sanctions that they consider crimes against humanity. It is not clear exactly what Rouhani is expressing. Because the Obama administration has just imposed new sanctions intended to affect Iran’s nuclear arms program, Rouhani may be reacting in order to improve their position at forth-coming negotiations with the West. On the other hand, the hard-liners pelted him with eggs for talking with Obama and negotiating with the West. Rouhani may be trying to protect his backsides from violence against himself in Iran. Hard to say.

And I haven’t even mention ISIS in Iraq –

Well, on this Labor Day you might want to think about these conflicts. The Sons of Darkness still seem to be at it. Perhaps more than rest, we ought to pray.

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THE HOLY WAR GOES ON

             Some months back I warned about the racial objectives of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he betrayed Israel’s Mossad agents and appeared bent on creating an Axis of Muslim Power sweeping from Turkey through Iran. Many Turks fear Erdogan is using emotional foreign policy issues to divide secular and conservative Muslim voters. Erodogan hasn’t backed away from his earlier objectives one notch.

The Western world continues not to grasp the basic and fundamentally religious impulses behind the upheaval in the Middle East. Certainly Erodgan has personal objectives for power and wealth in his actions, but reaching out to incite conservative Muslims places him in the middle of the religious struggle.

In Iraq, the ISIS army invasion has already killed thousands in the name of religious cleansing of the country. People are buried alive, shot execution style, beheaded, etc., and that includes both sexes. In northern Iraq, hundreds of Yazidis are running for their lives. A small religious minority, these people have a religion that is neither Muslim or Christian. The Yazids practice a 4,000 year old faith rooted in Zoroastrianism. Tragically, this faith makes them apostates to ISIS and their lives become expandable. In this struggle, hundreds of women and girls are kidnapped to be used as bribes for jihadists. Their choice is simple: convert or die.

The isolation and desperation of these people fleeing into barren mountains has created the impetus for American President Obama to order food and water drops as well as attacks the advancing ISIS troops who are an extreme expression of Sunni Islam. The pressure is on to remove Prime Minister Nouri Malaki so a more balanced government can bring political stability to the country. The ultimate defeat of ISIS demands a political realignment.

In addition, Christians are equally in grave danger. Jihadists seized Iraq’s largest Christian town Mosul, sending thousands fleeing for their lives. The Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah reported the towns of Qaragosh, Tal Kayf, Bartella and Karamlesh have been emptied of their original populations.  The town of Qaragosh alone had a population of 50,000 Christians.  In response to these overnight attacks, Pope Francis called on the international community to help protect Iraq’s Christian population. Without intervention, massacre is a certainty.

Last week ISIS laid down an ultimatum to Christians in Mosul to convert, pay protection money, or be executed. Of course, the town emptied. The reports of brutality, murder, and mayhem continue to mount in the name of Allah.

Patriarch Louis Sako heads Iraq’s largest Christian Orthodox denomination. Fr. Sako estimated that over 100,000 Christians had been displaced. He reported churches are taken over and their crosses destroyed as well as 1,500 vital and precious manuscripts destroyed.

Western democracies seem to find it impossible to recognize that radical Islam is waging a holy war. Tolerance in the West has kept governments from facing the conclusion that a religious group would commit genocide and murder in the name of their god. The time has come to take a second long hard look at what ISIS and its associates are about because more carnage is on the way.The West must recognize the extremes that these groups will go to in pushing their religion.  Holy Wars are the most dangerous and deadly of all conflicts.

Make no mistake! The West is facing a frightening enemy.

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JULY 4TH!  FIREWORKS DISPLAY AVAILABLE IN IRAQ!

Here we are! Our great national holiday and the big firecrackers are going off around the world – not in your backyard. The Iraqi Army on Saturday claimed to have pushed the Islamic extremists from a major city only 50 miles from Baghdad. Independent sources confirmed Tikrit’s government buildings and major road had been liberated but that’s about the only good news coming out of the government’s side of the war.

And guess what came out of Russia? Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov issued an ultimatum of sorts that Russia “will not remain passive” while jihadists push an offense in Iraq. More fireworks on the way?

Apparently, America’s lack of military response has been an attempt to increase the pressure on Malaki to resign and get a more inclusive leader in office who can run the country. Drone are in the sky but rockets are not hitting the ground. Into this vacuum, Uncle Vladimir Putin is now sticking his nose in. The Ukrainians told him they want involvement with Europe, not Russia. Obviously, he was more than hacked off. So, today Putin is sabre-rattling over Iraq. And oh yes, Ryabkov has rejected America’s position in supporting moderate rebels in Syria. Surprise. Surprise.

Actually, the man to look to for insight is Vice-President Joe Biden. From way back at the beginning of the Obama administration, Joe Biden had Iraq put on this plate. Many people see Biden as a bumbling sort of politician with a talent for saying the wrong thing. However, the current fireworks in Iraq may prove to be a vindication for Biden.

Back in 2006, Biden proposed dividing the country into three largely autonomous regions. At this time, that is exactly where the current fighting is going. The three areas would be Kurd, Sinni, and Shi’ite dominated. The Kurds are holding their own while the other two duke it out. When the speaker from the Peanut Gallery Dick Cheney interjects his negativity, Biden’s camp notes that it was the current Iraqi government who opposed keeping even a small American force in the country.

Actually, Iraq was divided into exactly these same three divisions before World War I crumbed the Ottoman Empire and clumsily created the current boundaries. Biden’s better idea was to return to these natural religious and political dividing lines. Currently, Biden is not blowing this horn in an effort to support the Obama administration’s attempt to create a unity government. Of course, that figures.

The problem is that the Obama State Department and John Kerry fail to recognizes the religious realities of the Middle East. As people like myself predicted months ago, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would fail. The same fate is now staring the Malaki government in the face. Malaki and company’s  religious differences with the ISIS are that the two sides are from two different planets (and the ISIS are little more than a religious extremist killing machine).

If the situation continues to deteriorate, Biden’s idea could make an important come back.

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AMERICA BACKS AWAY FROM COOPERATION WITH IRAN

As the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) troops continued their civil war inside Iraq, the Obama administration backed away from working with Iranian troops that are already inside Iraq. What’s going on?

Inside Syria, the country has virtually imploded with three different groups building on the ruins from the civil war: the Assad regime, the Kruds, and the jihadists that have become dominated by ISIS. These three factions hold different parts of the country with no hope of negotiations in sight. The Kurdish enclave in the north close to the Turkish border are holding their own against both Assad and ISIS. Of course, the world now knows that the brutal  ISIS forces have turned their attention to defeating the Shia in Iraq and are making dramatic headway in defeating the current Maliki government.

Last week some American politicians talked of cooperation with Iran. Why did Obama back away? Take a look at the actual record of current Iranian President Hassan Rohani and see what you think. The Canadian Parliament just concluded their investigation of how Rohani has responded to human rights violations in Iran. Their conclusions are not good for Iran. Here’s their findings.

1. Prior to Rohani’s election, Iran had the highest per capita execution rate in the world. The alarming rate of executions has actually increased under Rohani. More than 650 executions have been carried out since he became president. Over 250 executions have been carried out since the beginning of 2014 alone.

2. Currently, there are 895 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience sitting in Iranian jails. The UN reporter on human rights Dr. Ahmed Shaheed describes these people as being political activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and leaders in Iranian society. Virtually all jailed activists before Rohani’s election are still there.

3. Dr. Shaheed described detainees as being subjected to torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment including prolonged solitary confinement to coerce confessions. Torture includes beating, whipping, and assault in 100% of the cases. Rohani has not only been silent, but promoted the head of the prison system to the office of director general of the Justice Department in Tehran Province.

4. Persecution of the practitioners of the Baha’i faith include the incarceration of a group of seven Baha’i leaders. The Iranian regime’s systematic persecution of Baha’i has resulted in widespread hate crimes against the group with no attackers ever brought to justice.

5. Iran continues to imprison more journalists than almost any other country. During the 2009 contested elections, dozens of journalists were arrested.  Often the regime intimidates and harasses their families in an effort to pressure journalists to discontinue their work.

6.  Judicial independence and the rule of law is completely absent in Iran. Forty lawyers have been detained since 2009. Rohani’s appointments to justice minister and the office of legal affairs are men with long histories of human rights violations, including the 1988 massacre of 5,000 political prisoners.

This history is so gruesome it sounds like I made it up, but this is simply the report from the Canadian Parliament of their conclusions.  The United States backed away from involvement with a government that is as bad as the ISIS.

Can’t criticize the Obama administration for that move!

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Iraq Blows Up!

Iraq is falling apart. At the risk of repetition for my faithful readers, I have already covered how the war between the Sunni and Shiite (Shia) factions is endless. What we are witnessing in Irag today is a return to a holy war.

Let me put this in contenxt.

The world has traditionally recognized three types of war: just, unjust, and the holy war. The unjust war is an assault in which for one side attempts to destroy the other. World War I was of this order.  The just war occurs when one side is clearly fighting to restore justice and stop the other from illegitimate aims. Beside of the violent objectives of Hitler as well as the Holocaust, World War II was considered just. The holy war develops when one side believes God has sent them on a divine mission. The Crusades were created by the Pope sending soldiers to reconquer the Holy Land in Medieval times.

Holy Wars are the most violent and dangerous form of combat.

In Iraq, the ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) have issued edicts stating the harsh terms under which they will govern under Sharia Law. They have already murdered government officals and police officers. ISIS kills relentlessly. They are unrelenting and purist in their religious objectives. Their ultimate objective is creating a caliphate, an Islamic religious nation spanning sections of Iraq and Syria. ISIS is fighting a religious war!

The Shia- Sunni conflict has remained at the epicenter of Islam due to the fact that it is not only persistent in ideological differences between Shia and Sunni sects, but also a disagreement about who possesses the rightful claim to political power. Although this conflict has been persistent within Islam for centuries, the rift between Shia and Sunni factions has only widened over time, creating a power struggle which became illuminated due to the 9/11 attacks and the emergence of Jihad as the defining aspect Islam.

The 2003 United States occupation of Iraq can be argued to have been the initiator of the rise of ‘jihadist’ movements within Iraq in the twenty-first century.  The U.S. invasion and occupation fueled the growth of Islamic militancy across the world and in Iraq. The American attack became a major instigator for the concept of Jihad affecting so much of the twenty-first century politics.

Today Republicans blame Obama for the deterioration in Iraq. They have forgotten Obama ran on a platform of stopping the war and getting soldiers out of that country. His position won the election. Americans had enough. Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and all America did was stir up a holy war. Maliki’s incompetence and political  problems continue because he won’t allow  Sunnis in his government. Why are the Iraqi soldiers dropping their weapons and not fighting? Same reasons. No one trusts Maliki to be democratic and inclusive.

Can we at this late date make a difference? Not unless we want to nuke ISIS and kill everybody in sight. Of course, American will not do so. And so the war goes on and all we can do is decide between getting back into “their war” or same out of the fray.

Let’s hope the politicians don’t do something stupid.

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