The unfolding collapse of Iraq’s government before the legions of al Qaeda jihadists is the capstone of Barack Obama’s incompetent and politicized foreign policy. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), armed with plundered American weapons and flush with stolen money, is consolidating a Sunni terrorist state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq, replete with mass executions, sharia law, and the beheading of violators. With revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling the Shia faithful to arms, a vicious civil war between Shia and Sunnis will likely intensify in the coming days. But whoever wins, the fallout for our security will be disastrous – a Shiite “crescent” from Aleppo to Mosul allied with Iran, which looks ever more likely to be nuclear armed, and a safe haven for terrorist training camps to prepare “martyrs” for attacks against the West. And our allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all will to various degrees find their own security and interests impacted by this administration’s criminal foreign policy negligence.
Two and a half years ago, the U.S. pulled every soldier out of a mostly quiet Iraq. In the void thus created, formerly al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists calling themselves “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” are now tearing apart the country, leaving medieval savagery in their wake.
Obama partisans are blaming the Bush administration for going into Iraq in the first place. But critics counter that Obama wanted out of Iraq before the 2012 election at all costs. The result of that reckless skedaddle is that we have thrown away the hard work of the 2007–08 surge that finally broke the back of both al-Qaeda and Iranian-backed Shiite terrorists.
Leon Trotsky probably did not quite write the legendary aphorism that “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” But whoever did, you get the point that no nation can always pick and choose when it wishes to be left alone.
Barack Obama, however, never quite realized that truth, and so just declared that “the world is less violent than it has ever been.” He must have meant less violent in the sense that the bad guys are winning and as they do, the violence wanes — sort of like Europe around March 1941, when all was relatively quiet under the new continental Reich.
The swap of probable deserter Bowe Bergdahl for 5 “high-risk” Guantánamo detainees is about more than political public relations. By releasing some of the worst murderers, this deal prepares the ground for Obama’s long-term goal of shutting down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and releasing the remaining detainees. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, a senior Pentagon official claims Obama nixed plans to rescue Bergdahl because “the president wanted a diplomatic scenario that would establish a precedent for repatriating detainees from Gitmo.” Given that on his second day in office Obama issued an executive order shutting Gitmo down, and as recently as this year’s State of the Union speech repeated this pledge, his failure to do so has aroused serial complaints from his progressive base. With his reelection behind him, Obama may now think he can fulfill this promise, no matter the danger to our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism.
To the awe of its readership, a recent Daily Mail article reports that the “jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIL],” which is currently entrenched in Raqqa, Syria, “publicly crucified two Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria in revenge for a grenade attack on members of their group.”
While the Daily Mail is to be commended for exposing these barbaric acts—along with posting photos of the crucified—it nonetheless minimized their significance, in two important ways: 1) by repeatedly saying things like “even al-Qaeda is distancing itself from ISIL,” and so implying that the act of crucifixion is some wild aberration that even the poster-child of jihadi terror, al-Qaeda, wants nothing to do with it; and 2) ignoring the much “sexier” story that Christians in Syria are also being crucified simply for refusing to embrace Islam (as opposed to the rather mundane but politically more correct story of jihadis crucifying each other in the context of vendetta killings). Continue reading “Christians ‘Crucified Again’ for Refusing Islam”→
Far from being repentant of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, is again targeting Armenians; is again causing their
death and dislocation.
In the early morning hours of March 21, al-Qaeda linked Islamic jihadis crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border and launched a jihad on the Christian/Armenian town of Kessab. Among other thing, “Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages.” Reportedly eighty people were killed.
The jihadis later made a video touring the devastated town. No translation is needed, as the main phrase shouted throughout is Islam’s triumphant war cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or, according to Sen. John McCain’s translation, “thank God”).
Last November Raymond Ibrahim was interviewed by Egyptian reporter Sherif Awad. The interview appeared in several Egyptian magazines and websites, as well as American ones, such as the Westchester Guardian. The interview follows:
Awad: Can you tell us about your family and their profession and how and why they decided to migrate to the US? Tell us about your childhood and the intercultural elements that shaped it until you decided to select your profession.
Ibrahim: My father and mother, both Copts, one from Cairo the other Alexandria, left Egypt in the late 1960s for America, where I was born. They left Egypt for a better life. I grew up speaking both Arabic and English and visited Egypt with my parents often when I was young. It was natural, then, for me formally to study the region, its languages (primarily Arabic, which I already spoke), its history and conflicts, in college. Growing up in Egypt in the 1940s-1960s, my parents experienced little by way of direct persecution, but they did experience religious discrimination, and that was one of the reasons they came to America, for better opportunities.
Awad: In regards to your MA thesis and book about the Battle of Yarmuk, can you compare its events to the happenings that led to the ending of Islamic rule in Andalusia? Do you consider researching the Islamic empire in Andalusia? About the Crusades? Continue reading “The Past and the Future”→
While many were fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent letter to the American people, another letter from another Russian leader—this one directly addressed to the U.S. president—was missed.
On September 10, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill issued a letter addressed to “His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President, United States.” Whether one wishes to interpret this communique as a product of politics or sincerity, it accurately highlights the plight of Syria’s Christians, especially in the broader context of a larger civilizational struggle.
I repost major portions of the letter below, interspersed with my observations for added context:
We’ve all run across the pill bug in our gardens. At the first sign of danger, the tiny paranoid crustacean suddenly turns into a ball — in hopes the danger will have passed when he unrolls.
That roly-poly bug can serve as a fair symbol of present-day U.S. foreign policy, especially in our understandable weariness over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the scandals that are overwhelming the Obama administration.
On August 4, U.S. embassies across the Middle East simply closed on the basis of intelligence reports of planned al-Qaeda violence. The shutdown of 21 diplomatic facilities was the most extensive in recent American history.