Archive for Syria

Thots’n’Prayrs

As the Curies were the first to learn, atomic work is dangerous work:

Unknown assailants killed five nuclear engineers on Sunday while they were on a bus just north of Damascus near the research center where they worked, AFP reported on Sunday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of sources on the ground for its reports, later told AFP four of the engineers were Syrian, while one was Iranian.

“Unidentified attackers murdered five nuclear energy engineers who worked in the scientific research centre near the neighborhood of Barzeh, northern Damascus,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, according to the report.

He later said, “Four of the engineers were Syrian, and one was Iranian. Their bus was ambushed while they were on their way to the research centre. Their assailants shot them dead.”

Ouch. We condemn such violence.

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I Hope the War Against Ebola is Going Better Than the War Against ISIS

It couldn’t be going worse:

BEIRUT — The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners in its war against the Islamic State.

Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.

Other moderate fighters were on the run, headed for the Turkish border as the extremists closed in, heralding a significant defeat for the rebel forces Washington had been counting on as a bulwark against the Islamic State.

A Jabhat al-Nusra base was one of the first targets hit when the United States launched its air war in Syria in September, and activists said the tensions fueled by that attack had contributed to the success of the group’s push against the moderate rebels.

“When American airstrikes targeted al-Nusra, people felt solidarity with them because Nusra are fighting the regime, and the strikes are helping the regime,” said Raed al-Fares, an activist leader in Kafr Nabel, in Idlib.

“Now people think that whoever in the Free Syrian Army gets support from the U.S.A. is an agent of the regime,” he said.

Doing to the Syrian opposition what he did to health care.

Obama does so many stupid things—I mean really numb-skulled, moronic, imbecilic things—I’m beginning to wonder if he’s as smart as they’ve been telling us. I’m thinking not.

PS: Didn’t Harry Reid declare Bush’s war in Iraq “lost”, when it was shortly after won? Where is he now (but on his way out, on his ass)?

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As We Were Saying

Well, we were.

The rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air—all for show:

US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS or ISIS) in Syria continue Saturday night, but are failing to slow the jihadis’ advance on the Kurdish border town of Kobane.

Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), backed by fighters from the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), have been engaged in a fierce battle with ISIS, as the Islamists seek to seize control of the key town on the border with Turkey.

But though US airstrikes – which President Barack Obama pledged would “degrade and destroy” ISIS – have extended from Iraq to Syria to aid the defense of Kobane, local sources say the strikes have been largely ineffective.

“They struck empty buildings,” YPG’s chief of defense for Kobane, Ismat Sheikh Hassan, told The Independent. “ISIS fighters used to be there but they left, so they haven’t helped us. If anything, they are now fighting harder to push forward before there are more strikes.”

Maybe if Obama put the latte down when he saluted the men who serve at his command, he’d see how badass they are, and how a few of them might actually scare ISIS. Fireworks don’t seem to be doing the trick.

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Blowing [Bleep] Up [UPDATED]

You know me, I love blowing [bleep] up. Well, you don’t know me, not really, and I don’t blow [bleep] up myself (not even on the 4th of July), but I like it when my government does. When it comes to munitions, I say nothing succeeds like excess.

But give me a break:

Col. Peters is decrying the bombing of buildings at nighttime, when they would be empty, instead of mid-morning, when they would be full of bustling adjutants and corpsmen (pronounced core-man, Barack).

But they already were empty:

Reuters reported Wednesday that ISIS has gone underground in its Syrian stronghold since Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes on the group in Syria, disappearing from the streets, redeploying weapons and fighters, and cutting down its media exposure.

In the city of Raqqa, 450 kilometres northeast of Damascus, residents say Islamic State has been moving equipment every day since Obama signalled on Sept. 11 that air attacks on its forces could be expanded from Iraq to Syria.

As the United States tries to assemble a coalition to fight ISIS, the jihadist group appears to be trying to leave as much uncertainty as possible about its strategy.

Facing U.S. air strikes in Iraq, ISIS fighters abandoned heavy weaponry that made them easy targets and tried to blend into civilian areas. In anticipation of similar raids in Syria, the group may already be doing the same.

In Raqqa, the group has evacuated buildings it was using as offices, redeployed its heavy weaponry, and moved fighters’ families out of the city.

“They are trying to keep on the move,” said one Raqqa resident, communicating via the Internet and speaking on condition of anonymity because of safety fears. “They have sleeper cells everywhere,” he added.

“They only meet in very limited gatherings.”

That report was from a week ago. So all those cool shots of building being blown to smithereens? For show. All that shock (“without awe”, they assure us, to differentiate from Bushitler)? Window dressing. All that b-roll of cruise missiles being launched from American warships? A dog and pony show.

Without the pony:

A documentary filmmaker who spent time with the Free Syrian Army said that moderate rebels are “laughing” at President Obama’s plan to arm them against the Islamic State, claiming they simply “don’t take this seriously.”

VanDyke warned that removing the Islamic State from vast swathes of Syrian territory will create a “vacuum” that Assad-regime forces will rush to fill, leaving moderate rebels powerless to stop them. “When the administration announces that they intend to train 5,000 soldiers in Jordan, of the Free Syrian Army, to go and claim these territories, that figure doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

“It’s actually quite ridiculous,” the filmmaker continued. “I’m not sure how the administration even expects people to believe it.”

So, if we don’t put “boots on the ground”, and if Syrian boots on the ground aren’t going to get it done, whose boots will?

Hello…? Hello…?

I reiterate: you can’t blow up enough [bleep] to please me. I don’t even need a reason. But does it seem to you that ISIS needs an office building? Does it strike you that they operate from cubicles with desktops—Dilbert with Kalashnikovs?

And will the media flunkies cheerleading the president’s hawkishness still be waving the pom-poms when the next two hostages get their heads hacksawed off on HD video? Becuase if you put on a show, ISIS will top it.

PS: Could it not be said we engaged in “disproportionate” force? Israel put boots on the ground in Gaza; indeed, many thought (including me) that they should have marched those boots all the way to the Mediterranean and annexed the benighted Strip (or at least toppled Hamass). We’re just bombing [bleep] from the air without any thought for what’s happening on the ground.

UPDATE
As I was saying: And will the media flunkies cheerleading the president’s hawkishness still be waving the pom-poms when the next two hostages get their heads hacksawed off on HD video? Because if you put on a show, ISIS will top it.

French hostage Herve Gourdel was abducted and beheaded, a killing shown on video, French President Francois Hollande told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

Gourdel was kidnapped over the weekend in Algeria’s Tizi Ouzou region east of Algiers, the French Foreign Ministry said. The video was posted online Wednesday. It shows armed men who claim to belong to Islamist militant group Jund al-Khilafa — or Soldiers of the Caliphate — in Algeria. They pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The U.N. Security Council issued a statement condemning the “heinous and cowardly murder.”

Oh, shut up.

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My Strategy

If Obama’s “Strategy” against the ISLAMIC State is to be not-Bush, maybe I can articulate mine as being not-insane.

Like telling ISIS “Don’t worry about boots on the grounds, jihadis. Ain’t gonna happen.” I’d keep that to myself.

This fellow has his own objections:

The problem is that the strategy — to provide logistical support for Iraqi forces, limited air strikes, and a strong Free Syrian Army — is a foolish strategy that is unlikely to succeed.

The president’s strategy calls for U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in support of Iraqi army forces and the Free Syrian Army rebels who are fighting the Islamic State on the ground. Obama made it clear that the U.S. military commitment will be limited to air strikes, as he will not order U.S. ground forces into either Iraq or Syria.

Instead of ground forces, however, the president said that the United States will increase training and logistical support for those armies on the ground, but herein lies a critical flaw: The Iraqis have not proven to be a reliable partner in the war on terrorism. And this, despite ten years of U.S. military training and equipment provided by the United States.

In Iraq, the Islamic State has swept Iraqi forces in a number of recent engagements, with many Iraqi units simply abandoning their posts and refusing to fight. This problem is not one that can be solved through additional training. Even with the added power and confidence-boost of air strikes, a root issue is sectarianism. On a number of occasions, the Iraqi army failed to fight the Islamic State not simply because of bad officers and cowardice: Sunni units simply did not want to fight fellow Sunnis, even if they were extremists.

Okay, so after Obama abandoned Iraq, their military resolve suffered a tad. But in Syria, they don’t care whom they fight as long as they fight. Surely, they can be counted on.

Don’t call me Shirley:

In Syria, our other alleged ally, the Free Syrian Army, is fighting not only the Islamic State, but the Syrian army. And here’s a problem with arming them: It is strictly against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s interest to allow the Free Syrian Army to become strong enough even to challenge the Islamic State, because that would also increase the risk to his regime.

Given the ruthlessness of his previous moves, it is likely that Assad will continue to order military attacks against the Free Syrian Army rebels at the same time that the United States is trying to build up the capacity of the Free Syrian Army to serve as the ground force component of the Syrian campaign of Obama’s new strategy. And under those conditions, it will be very difficult for the Free Syrian Army to succeed. This obstacle could require the United States to further expand its mission to include attacking the Syrian army in order to allow the Free Syrian Army to combat the Islamic State.

Well, that sounds like a cluster.

But let’s not be unnecessarily critical. Go ahead and blast ISIS from the sky, Mr. President. Light ‘em up. We’ll just hold you to what you said (unlike the press).

PS: The “no boots on the ground” promise was not meant to assure ISIS, but the Democrat moonbat base. If one can tell the difference.

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Michelle Says: PleaseStopBeheadingOurBoys#

Feeing safer now?

Don’t you remember all those get-togethers, circa 2008,2009,2010 when your friends droned on about how much safer they felt now that Obama is President and how much respect we have regained, worldwide? Where are all those guys? Discussing their gluten-free diets? Investing in a brew pub? In any case, they seem to have changed the subject.

ISIS has released a video that it claims shows the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and says the murder is retaliation for the Obama administration’s continued airstrikes in Iraq.

Sotloff is the second American journalist to be killed by ISIS, and his death comes two weeks after James Foley was executed in a similar video.

In the video entitled ‘A Second Message to America,’ Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter.

The executioner appears to be the same man who killed Foley – known as ‘Jihadi John’ and tells the camera: ‘I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”

Sotloff calmly read a statement moments before his murder: ‘I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing.

He tells the camera: ‘Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?’

While he speaks, a militant calmly holds a knife at his side and stands next to Sotloff.
The man believed to be Jihadi John also says: ‘As your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike necks of your people.’
Prime Minister David Cameron said the Islamic State video showing an apparent beheading was an ‘absolutely disgusting, despicable act’, and he would be making a statement later.

Foley’s family released a statement after Sotloff’s execution, calling it ‘just horrific,’ according to WHDH-TV.
On Thursday, Sotloff’s mother Shirley Sotloff went on television to make a direct appeal for her son’s life. She addressed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-claimed caliph of ISIS.

At the link, you can watch a very sad video that his mother made last week, begging for his life, if you’re so inclined.

– Aggie

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Who You Gonna Crawl To?

Like an aphorism, a haiku, or a parable, there’s so much wisdom to discover in this miniature:

The Al-Jazeera network reported Saturday that members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force stationed in Daraa in southern Syria are abandoning their posts and fleeing to the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

If you haven’t been following, UN (ahem) “peacekeepers” in Syria got routed by some of the myriad rebel groups. Some Philippine and Fijian forces were captured. Now, those that are left are running scared to safety in Israel. Oh well.

What are we to learn? The uselessness of the UN, for starters, but if we don’t know that already, as Bob Dylan wrote in “Idiot Wind”, it’s a wonder that we still know how to breathe. Expecting someone from Fiji to face down the coldest-blooded killers stalking the planet today—there’s a bright idea.


Ready, aim, watch.

Let us not forget the daily lesson (like spelling or long division) of the hostility of the part of the world Israel inhabits. Hamass runs Gaza, Hezbollocks runs Lebanon, Assad runs Syria (if we’re lucky—if we’re unlucky, ISIS does, along with Iraq), messianic mullahs run Iran, leaving the fraternal order of Jordan and Saudi Arabia as Israel’s bosom buddies in the region. (You read right.) It’s never clear whether Israel’s neighbors want to kill each other or the Jews more.

We also learn that what is true of the individual is also true of the institution. Israel is vilified by every element of the United Nations, from the diplomats to the committees to the General Assembly to the Security Council. Add the various UN spinoffs like UNRWA, UNESCO, and UNICEF that also demonize Israel every chance they get, and you have an entire world body riven by faction but united by a loathing of the Zionist state.


Abandoned UN post (Photo: AFP)

Until the shooting starts.

As long as hating Israel is safe, and anything but submission to Islam is punishable by death, I see market conditions continuing in this manner: a surfeit of Jew hating, and precious little of anything but submission to Islam.

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Foley Murdered By Brit With London Accent

Because British culture produces the best butchers.

British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond says that the government is “urgently investigating” the identity of the apparently British executioner of US reporter James Foley, whose death was shown in a video released by members of the self-declared Islamic State in Syria. The IS member’s apparent ties to Britain highlight increasing concern in the West about the radicalization of European and American nationals by jihadi groups and the threat they pose if they return home.

The video published overnight on YouTube shows the hooded, black-clad IS member speaking extensively in both English and Arabic before killing an orange-jumpsuited man described as “James Wright Foley, an American citizen.” In what the Daily Telegraph describes as a London accent, the executioner says that the US has “been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State,” before killing Foley.

But at least David Cameron takes this seriously:

Over there: “U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer vacation to return to London and chair urgent meetings on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, calling the video ‘shocking and depraved.’”

Over here:

President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.

Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

Administration officials have insisted for weeks that the president just wanted to return to the White House for a series of meetings, but the explanation was met with a healthy dose of skepticism, since Obama rarely interrupts his vacations.

Oh, Obama did make a statement about the beheading, before heading off to play a round of golf:

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the entire world is “appalled” by the brutal death of American journalist James Foley, who was shown in a video released by the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq being beheaded.
“No faith teaches people to massacre innocents,” Obama said in his statement. “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.”

“People like this ultimately fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy,” Obama said.
Obama also called Foley’s parents to offer his condolences and told them that a nation was heartbroken for their loss.
According to a pool report obtained by Politico, Obama went to the Vineyard Golf Club following his statement.

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Meanwhile, Our Brave And Brilliant President Refuses Help To Families Trapped On A Mountain

You thought we were helping those poor people, didn’t you? Mission Accomplished!

The United States military has concluded that there are too few Yazidi refugees still trapped in the mountains of northern Iraq to warrant mounting a potentially risky rescue, the Pentagon said late Wednesday.

Military advisers who earlier in the day visited the Sinjar mountains, where as many as 30,000 people were thought to still be trapped, said that they found “far fewer” Yazidis than expected and that those who were there were in better condition than anticipated. Food and water dropped in recent days have reached those who remain, the Pentagon statement said.

The Pentagon said the visit proved that the actions the United States had taken in recent days had succeeded in preventing the Islamic State from capturing and executing the Yazidis, members of a religious sect that Sunni extremists view as heretics. It said the assessment team encountered no hostile forces during its visit and “did not engage in combat operations.”

Brett McGurk, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, said the assessment team had spent 24 hours in the mountains. He declared via Twitter that the U.S. actions had “broken the siege,” a sentiment repeated by State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf: “President said we’re going to break the siege of this mountain, and we broke that siege.”

Well, aren’t we special? We broke the siege. Phew. The people who are still on that mountain are just fine, don’t you worry your pretty little head.

And what exactly was happening on that mountain anyway? There are reports that children are so thirsty, their parents are cutting their own hands so that their kids can drink the blood of the parents. Sounds sort of religious, doesn’t it? Only as I understand it, ordinary parents are not supposed to be offering their blood up to their children.

So I don’t know, and I don’t suppose that any of us really do. If it is ok for more than 170,000 civilians to die in Syria, why are we obsessing about this group on the mountain? On the other hand, how can we be so cruel as to ignore this? What is the matter with us?

Here’s the real question: If we’d had competent leadership in the White House, would we be talking about any of this?

– Aggie

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How to Lie

Not that I’m an expert (more than any other blogger), but one of the first rules of lying is to commit to one lie at a time.

Isn’t that right, Mr. President?

At a Saturday press conference, a reporter asked President Obama a question that’s been on our mind since Obama announced a new U.S. military intervention in Iraq: “Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq? And does it give you pause as the U.S.–is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?”

“What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision,” Obama replied. “Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government.”

So, he’s going to blame Bush. Five and a half years into his administration, almost a lame duck himself. Very well, if that’s his plan.

Why then, pray tell, this?

“We needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system,” the president said. The Iraqis rejected that demand. “So let’s just be clear: The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because . . . a majority of Iraqis did not want U.S. troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq.”

What do you mean “we”, Kimosabe? Don’t you mean “they”, the previous administration? Or is there more to this “we” than we thought?

In an April story for The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins painted a more complicated picture. U.S. military commanders told Filkins that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “said that he wanted to keep [U.S.] troops in Iraq,” but that “parliament would forbid the troops to stay unless they were subject to local law.” But “President Obama, too, was ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq”:

For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis–like how many troops they wanted to leave behind–because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” [James] Jeffrey [the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad in 2011] told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’ ” At one meeting, Maliki said that he was willing to sign an executive agreement granting the soldiers permission to stay, if he didn’t have to persuade the parliament to accept immunity. The Obama Administration quickly rejected the idea. “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, [an] Iraqi member of parliament, said.

How many different euphemisms for the First Prevaricator did you count? And how many ways does he sound responsible for the decision?

Obama himself said as much, during the third 2012 presidential debate with Mitt Romney:

Romney: With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should have been a status-of-forces agreement. Did you–

Obama: That’s not true.

Romney: Oh, you didn’t–you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?

Obama: No, but what I–what I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down.

So, somewhere between 0 and 9,999 troops, sir? Or are you saying you would have stationed more than 10,000? It’s so hard to tell with you.

It’s hard to take responsibility for your hopeless eff-ups in politics, I get that. But it’s easier than this game of solitaire Twister.

Speaking of hopeless eff-ups:

In a wide-ranging interview with the New Yorker, President Barack Obama compared Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq and Syria to junior varsity basketball players, downplaying their threat as small-league. He also shared what he thought were the chances of reaching Middle East peace agreements.

New Yorker editor David Remnick pointed out to the president that the Al Qaeda flag is now seen flying in Falluja in Iraq and in certain locations in Syria, and thus the terrorist group has not been “decimated” as Obama had said during his 2012 reelection campaign.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told Remnick. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

Remnick characterized Obama’s analogy as “uncharacteristically flip.”

Yeah, I’d say so. But don’t say that to Obama or he’ll call “horse[bleep]“.

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Meanwhile, ISIS Is Forcing Christians To Convert To Islam, And Then Beheading Them

Hey Europe! Where are the protests? Why aren’t you attacking people on the streets over this? And for that matter, where are the protests in the US? Where is our State Department or our Great Leader, President Obama?

If you’re following the news about ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, you might think you’ve mistakenly clicked on a historical story about barbarians from millennia ago.

In a matter of months, the group seized territory in both Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic caliphate, celebrating its own shocking slaughter along the way.

“I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world,” a member of the Yazidi minority in Iraq told the New Yorker. “In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza.'”
In Syria, the group hoisted some of its victims severed heads on poles. One of the latest videos of the savagery shows a Christian man forced to his knees, surrounded by masked militants, identified in the video as members of ISIS. They force the man at gunpoint to “convert” to Islam. Then, the group beheads him.

ISIS has targeted members of numerous minority groups in the region, including Christian nuns, Turkmen and Shabaks, according to Human Rights Watch.

ISIS is apparently beheading children too. So, again, where is the Western world? Or don’t you care?

– Aggie

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Hey World, Wanna Know Where The Genocide Is?

Try Iraq. And Syria.

While all the haters are accusing Israel of genocide, they are happily ignoring this:

A group of men is placed in several trucks. They are driven through the streets and out of town into an open area surrounded by trees. They are beaten around the head with rifle butts, made to run in a group towards an open mass grave. A mere handful of armed guards make them lie in the grave like sardines. Then they are shot one by one in broad daylight.

The horrific spectacle, highly reminiscent of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen Aktions in the Soviet Union in 1941, was, in fact, the mass murder of some 30 men that took place in Iraq just this week.

While the numbers in Gaza creep horrifically higher by a hundred or so a day in the full glare of the media,

ISIS makes short work of its executions, whose numbers are not yet known. So belligerent is the “Islamic State,” that they proudly released the video with music accompanying the execution. The victims, whose lives are seen being ended on the video, were dressed in civilian clothes and are believed to have been Iraqi Army deserters, although they were clearly not being shot for any military purpose (no matter how criminal that would have been). Their lives were ended for being Shia Muslims. The 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide states clearly that the killing of a religious group, in whole or in part, is an act of genocide.

When ISIS warns Christians “there is nothing to give them but the sword,” we need to take their threat seriously. Over 35,000 Christians have fled Mosul to escape their murderous intent. When would-be victims leave, it is generally a clear sign of real threat. People do not leave their home, heritage and livelihood without considerable fear. Such is the level of the intolerance of religious freedom held by ISIS that all religious groups in the territories they currently have control of are under imminent threat. And the threat does not stop there. When ISIS supporters recently marched through the Netherlands chanting “death to Jews,” be clear, they really mean it.

We have made the mistake many times before of conflating conflict and genocide. Every effort was going into defeating the Nazis, but the Holocaust was not diagnosed despite ample evidence that genocide was being committed. Had the ideology of genocide been detected earlier, more could have been done sooner to save lives. When the Tutsi were being butchered in the genocide in Rwanda, it was billed as “civil war” and “tribal conflict” and the word “genocide” studiously avoided. We must not make the same mistake with ISIS. Power struggles and violent conflict often happen at the same time as genocide, but they are not the same thing. The only way to tell the difference is to look at the ideology at play and diagnose the intent. We now have sufficient insight into ISIS to know that their ideology is the pursuit of exclusive utopian power with a willingness to use lethal means against all groups it deems unworthy to live in its new world order.

Make no mistake: This is genocide in the making, and would-be victims feel its imminence and are the most powerless to act. Shia Muslims are a majority in Iraq. If civilian and military forces are unable to protect them — and there is no sign that they can — there could be a bloodbath of unthinkable proportions.

There’s more at the link.

Yawn. Hey, how’s your summer been? We’re having great weather here in New England. Tough to worry about any of this, ya’ know?

– Aggie

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