Monday, June 29, 2015

The Islamic State a year later

The Inquisitr notes:

The Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, has turned one-year-old. It was only in June of 2014 the extremist group decided they wanted to solely be referred to as the “Islamic State,” reported Al-Jazeera. The Muslim terrorists further got their point across by removing mention of them as anything but the “Islamic State” on their various official documents.
And retired Marine General James Mattis told TIME he’s concerned about the Islamic State’s longevity.
“They’ve been able to hold ground for a year. The longer they hold territory it become this radioactive thing, just spewing out this stuff as fighters go there and then come home again.”

Cassandra Vinograd and Ammar Cheikh Omar (NBC News) continue:

 Despite a massive international campaign to defeat the the brutal militants, ISIS has not only managed to hold onto the territory but has expanded its reach beyond those borders over the last 12 months.
"It's been a great year for ISIS," according to Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center. "This would be close to a best-case scenario for them."

Majeed Al-Hamadani, a 43-year-old high-school teacher in Baghdad, agreed. "Nothing was changed during the past year," he told NBC News. "ISIS lost some territories but they were able to take over other areas. The Iraqi soldiers do not have the will to fight." 

It's now over a year since US President Barack Obama held a press conference to rebuke the Islamic State and to insist that Iraq needed a political solution to solve the crises (plural) in the country.

And instead of aiding work towards a political solution, the US government has done what?

Let's allow government employee -- he works for you -- Brett McGurk to explain:

  1. 30 new airstrikes last 24 hrs; 9 near destroyed multiple units responsible for attacks against civilians. Details

  • 21 new coalition airstrikes, w/multiple strikes in northern near , , ,

  • That's pretty much his Tweet every day.

    And we'll be kind to the person who yesterday lumped Brett in with the global coalition and forgot that Brett was first and foremost an employee of the State Dept.

    Brett's always been confusing to many.

    The Cult of St. Barack, for example, hates the 'surge' but is too ignorant to grasp Brett's role in it.  Well cults are usually filled with less than bright people to begin with, that's how they end up so easily manipulated to begin with.

    But here's Brett's State Dept bio:

    Ambassador Brett McGurk serves as Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. His previous assignment was Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs with a focus on Iraq and other regional initiatives. In the Obama administration McGurk has served as a special advisor to the National Security Staff and as Senior Advisor to Ambassadors Ryan Crocker, Christopher Hill, and James Jeffrey in Baghdad. In these capacities McGurk participated in President Obama’s 2009 review of Iraq policy and helped manage the transition from military to civilian lead following the U.S. military drawdown. During the Bush administration McGurk served as Director for Iraq and then as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq and Afghanistan.
    In 2008 McGurk served as a lead negotiator and coordinator during bilateral talks with the Iraqi Government on both a long-term Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement to govern the temporary presence of U.S. forces and the normalization of bilateral relations between Iraq and the United States. For these assignments he received the State Department's Distinguished Honor and Superior Honor Awards. He was also one of the chief architects with President Bush of the strategy known as “the Surge,” which contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq and set the conditions for the responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces. McGurk had earlier served as a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and then the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad under Ambassador John Negroponte.
    McGurk is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, where served as Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. After law school, he served as a law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Denis Jacobs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit, and Judge Gerard E. Lynch, on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He holds a B.A. in political science with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Connecticut. Follow McGurk at @brett_mcgurk on Twitter.

    Outside of his sex scandals, that's a pretty good portrait of Brett.

    And he and his department have confused themselves with the Defense Dept so it is troubling when you read a site, like yesterday, mentioning him and forgetting to note that he is an employee of the State Dept.

    (He is also a failed nominee for US Ambassador to Iraq.)

    In Brett McGurk's Tweets, you can find all that is wrong with the US policy which continues to be bomb and bomb some more while refusing to help Iraq come to a political solution.

    Adam Jacques (Independent) speaks with Emma Sky, the author of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.  Here's Sky:

    Isis can only be defeated by the Sunnis And they are only going to turn against Isis when they see that it can't win, that there are better alternatives, and that they are getting support from the Iraqi government and the US, who, along with Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, need to hammer out a plan to deal with Isis and cajole the Iraqi elites into accepting agreement. But even after 10 years we don't look at how to set a national strategy that delivers a political outcome: I don't think we've learnt anything from the past decade in Iraq.

    Yet they've done everything in the last 12 months but work with the Sunnis -- "they" being the US government but it's really true of Haider al-Abadia's Iraqi government.

    And along comes RAND -- one of the most damaging institutions in the country -- and they want you to know that the Sunnis should not be armed -- at least not yet.

    A trove of documents, they insist, from 2010 tell a story.

    Internal ISIS documents may tell many stories but only the truly stupid believe self-documentation sent to leaders.

    For example, FBI files are notorious for being wrong -- not just typos but outright wrong.

    And that's when they're trying to make a case against someone.

    When you're justifying your existence to the lead of a terrorist organization, you have even more reason to inflate 'success.'

    A little skepticism should always greet self-reporting but this is especially true when the self-reports go to a leader who may respond by ordering your death if they're not happy with your progress.

    The best RAND can apparently offer is this:

     Fast forward to today: Several figures described in the document remain key players in Iraq's Sunni political landscape. Atheel al-Nujaifi, governor in absentia of Nineveh and the brother of Iraqi Vice President Usama al-Nujaifi, continues to try to build a 3,000-man local security force to fight the Islamic State after he was sacked in May, when a majority of Iraqi MPs voted to fire him for corruption and complicity in the fall of Mosul to the Islamic State. Even if such a security force ostensibly fell under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's National Guard, Nujaifi has indicated that he would continue to “work as a politician in the governorate and will be a fighter in the liberation process.”
    In September of last year, Nujaifi paid (PDF) $300,000 of his own money to a Washington consulting firm to help rally support among influential foreign-policy elites and policymakers in the United States for his plan to arm a state militia for Nineveh. This May, Nujaifi and Issawi met with key players in Washington's foreign-policy circles and gave a talk at the Brookings Institution. In the talk, Issawi emphasized the dire security situation and pleaded for help, arguing that the Shiite militias are nearly an equal threat to the stability of Iraq as the Islamic State is. Issawi also noted that he and Nujaifi were two of the few Sunnis to participate in politics since the beginning of the new Iraqi state, as others boycotted politics for years. The sidelining of such key Sunni politicians diminishes the chances that successful political reconciliation between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite groups will occur. 

    Atheel al-Nujaifi hiring a consulting firm may be news but it really doesn't go to supporting any alleged connection he has to IS.

    Also, point of fact, a majority of Iraqi MPs did not vote to fire him.

    The Constitution was not followed -- this is known across the Arab press even if RAND is stupid or too quick to lie.  The majority was in the number present.  But the number present was not sufficient to fire him or to hold the vote.  Oops, RAND caught lying again.

    And Third?

    As Stevie Nicks sings in "I Can't Wait" (written by Stevie, RIck Nowels and Eric Pressly, first appears on her Rock A Little album):

    Blame it on something at first sight
    Put the blame on me if you want to

    And it is me.

    I am sick.  As usual, when I finally get time to be home, I immediately get sick.  So that was my weekend.  And at 10:30 PST, when Third wasn't done, I said I was going to sleep and did. Third will go up tonight.

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