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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obama: Islamophobia harms US Interests; Daesh/ISIL a dangerous Fringe



By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –
President Obama’s last State of the Union address this year was largely lacking in specifics and replete with high ideals and ambitious goals like curing cancer.
But he did address some issues in everyday politics. One of the more powerful moments came when he implicitly attacked Donald Trump and several other GOP presidential candidates for trying to get ahead by fanning the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry or by stereotyping Latinos or African-Americans.
“That’s why we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith. His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I stand tonight that “to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.” When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.” 
If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time an attack on Islamophobia has figured in a State of the Union address; but surely in any case it is the most extensive defense of Muslims by a sitting president in history. Obama makes the important point that the image of intolerance projected by Trump and others toward Muslims damages US national security and makes it more difficult to secure the cooperation of Muslim-majority states. Racial prejudice on a large scale always has foreign policy implications. (Arab satellite t.v. was swooning over this part of Obama’s speech).
Obama also took a victory lap concerning his succesful negotiations with Iran to curb its nuclear enrichment program:
“That’s why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.” 
You wonder if originally this para was a bigger part of the speech but perhaps the section had to be cut down because the Iranians took 10 US sailors prisoners just before the speech began. 
Obama devoted the most space to the fight against Daesh (ISIS, ISIL). He made several points. First, Daesh is not a new Soviet Union or some large important state. It is just a radical fringe, dangerous for the terror it can spread or the soft-target civilians it can kill, but hardly a threat to the existence of the United States. Obama was pushing back against the over-the-top rhetoric of GOP presidential candidates.
“I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead – they call us. 
Obama appealed to the notion of a mysterious political collapse in the Middle East, which he said it will take many years to replace with a new system. Some of the collapse, he said, is rooted in age-old sectarian struggles (this is not true). He concluded, “It’s up to us to help remake that system. And that means we have to set priorities.”
I was a little taken aback that Obama should speak of “remaking” the Middle East “system.” Didn’t he learn anything from the mistakes of Bush?
Obama specified,
“Priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks” but this is just routine counter-terrorism, not WW III:
But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. That’s the story ISIL wants to tell; that’s the kind of propaganda they use to recruit.
Obama then praised his own gradualist approach to destroying Daesh:
That’s exactly what we are doing. For more than a year, America has led a coalition of more than 60 countries to cut off ISIL’s financing, disrupt their plots, stop the flow of terrorist fighters, and stamp out their vicious ideology. With nearly 10,000 air strikes, we are taking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, and their weapons.”
While Obama may be right that his retraining program for the Iraqi army is having some success (the retrained brigades fought successfully in Ramadi), it isn’t true that his training efforts have yielded any success at all in Syria.
Obama asked Congress for a declaration of war that specifically targets Daesh. (The Republicans have signaled that he won’t get it).
Obama didn’t say much about all this, but isn’t it weird that the GOP talks about Daesh as though the sky is falling, but then won’t authorize a use of force against it?
Obama also criticized all the talk on the Republican Right wing of carpet bombing Syria. He said that many places in the Middle East and Asia may become unstable:
Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees. The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.” 
Obama was also impatient with implicit calls to conduct foreign invasions and do nation-building on a large scale:
“We also can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. That’s not leadership; that’s a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us. It’s the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq – and we should have learned it by now.” 
He concluded by urging patience, wisdom and coordination in the midst of a political season full of bluster and cowboyism:
“Fortunately, there’s a smarter approach, a patient and disciplined strategy that uses every element of our national power. It says America will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies; but on issues of global concern, we will mobilize the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight. That’s our approach to conflicts like Syria, where we’re partnering with local forces and leading international efforts to help that broken society pursue a lasting peace. 
Obama’s argument for the success of his approach looks more solid the wake of the retaking of Ramadi by the Iraqi government.
Obama was not, however, entirely forthcoming about actual US policy in Syria, which has been for the CIA to use Saudi Arabia as a pass-through for delivering T.O.W. anti-tank munitions to “vetted” rebel groups which, however, have often tactically allied with al-Qaeda in Syria (the Nusra Front) or Salafi allies of al-Qaeda. This replay of 1980s Reagan Afghanistan policy can only end badly for the US, which is strengthening, willy-nilly, the hand of Ayman al-Zawahiri in the Middle East (al-Zawahir was a mastermind of the 9/11 attacks).
Obama’s counsel of decent gradualism and alliance-building thus hides a dependence on shady covert operations, dubious allies, and extra-judicial tactics like the use of drones. Even his actual policies, as opposed to the ideals of which he spoke, however, are of course far preferable to the proposals being batted around by the GOP frontrunners, which come as though from another dimension and if implemented would throw the world into chaos.
—–
Related video:

54 comments:

  1. I am so tired of hearing politicians being stupid;

    it's nice hearing one being smart, for a change.

    ReplyDelete
  2. .

    I'll be out of here this morning so, luckily, I won't be here when O'Bumble climbs out from under his bed, peers tentatively out between drawn shades, and then settles in at his computer.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  3. .

    I didn't watch the speech but if Jaun Cole is correct it sounds like Obama did a good job.

    [By the way, his speech the other day on guns was probably the best I've seen from him, well written, well delivered. [Of course, being the cynical prick I am, I didn't agree with it all and also thought the tears were a bit much.]

    I also have to complement Jaun Cole on what seems to be an objective review of the speech. He points out the good, some mistakes, and though he doesn't use the word some of the hypocrisy, which I suppose are par for the course on these type speeches.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  4. With you gone we'll all be fortunate, indeed.

    I liked having the CAIR boys in the audience.

    Nice touch.

    Is it not a wonderful thing to know one will never sit through another O'bozo State of the Union Address?

    Where you off to, Quirt ? Selling bottles and caps for lottery tickets ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally trading in the hub cap collection ?

      Delete
  5. While O'bozo is promising a cure for cancer for all, the Islaelis are actually doing it:



    January 13, 2016

    Another Miracle from Israel? Prostate Cancer Cure in 20 Minutes

    By Karin McQuillan


    One in six American men will develop prostate cancer. It is the most common cancer after skin cancer, and the second biggest cancer killer for men. Two Israeli scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel promise an almost miraculous cure, now in clinical trials at New York’s Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It is the culmination of 20 years of basic research by plant scientist Avigdor Scherz and cancer researcher Yoram Saloman.

    Professor Scherz took a naturally occurring form of chlorophyll from aquatic bacteria:






    …chemically modified by Prof. Scherz's lab at Weizmann to fit the team's pharmaceutical needs. Once the photosensitized drug is injected, it meets up with the second crucial element in this therapy—light—at the targeted tumor site… from highly focused fiber-optic lasers that have been inserted near the tumor. As the chlorophyll absorbs the light, it can then interact with the third component in the process—oxygen—to produce oxygen radicals. This interaction initiates a fast cascade of pathophysiological events that cause instantaneous closing of the blood vessels leading to the tumor, followed by oxygen and nutrient deprivation at the tumor site, as well as other active processes that kill tumor cells. In 24 to 48 hours, the tumor undergoes complete necrosis.

    The treatment, called vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy or VTP is a one-time 20 to 30-minute procedure. There have been no side effects in urination or sexual function.

    The Israeli team foresees applications for breast, ovary, lung and pancreas tumors. The latter has no effective treatment to date and has been a tragic death sentence.

    As I read about these medical breakthroughs from Israel, my mind goes to Germany today, and yesteryear. The Nazis killed off their Jewish citizens, their best and their brightest, out of envy, greed and spite.

    Attracted by Nazi Jew-hatred, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood allied with Hitler. The Arabs’ price for their allegiance, valuable because of the promise of sabotaging the British in the oil fields of the Middle East, was to deny Europe’s 6 million Jews refuge in Palestine, their only lifeline. Germany, Britain, and America under FDR had the same policy in this regard -- do not upset the Muslim Brothers, it being preferable to let Europe’s Jews be wiped out by Hitler by forbidding Jews refuge in their own Palestinian Jewish Homeland. Divine Justice has brought that evil decision back to haunt us.

    The jihadi movement is Hitler’s enduring gift to us. The Third Reich sent Eichmann to Egypt to train the Muslim Brothers in antisemitic propaganda, bomb-making and other sabotage techniques, giving birth to the modern jihadi movement. The Nazis built the Muslim Brothers up from ten thousand to a million members. Ayatollah Khomeini listened to Nazi-Arab broadcasts from Berlin every day of the war years. (Read my column on Hitler’s jihadi legacy here, and more from Dr. Matthias Kuntzel here).

    We are all suffering the consequences today. We had a second chance. If the world had stood behind Israel in the face of the post-war 60-year antisemitic Islamic onslaught seeking to destroy them, we would have marginalized and starved the jihadi movement long ago. But Europe chose to indulge the Arabs in their Jew-hatred, only partly to kowtow to the oil-rich Arabs. It was also Europeans’ pleasure, and the pleasure of European and American leftists in particular, to pretend the Jews were the bad guys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now Germany is inviting the jihadis out of their Middle Eastern hellhole and into their midst. In her misguided invitation for the Muslim invasion of Europe, German Chancellor Merkel is driving out the rest of Europe’s Jews, who are targeted by Europe’s hate-filled Arabs, and consigning Germany and Europe to cultural and demographic suicide. The Arab population of Europe has been terrorizing Europe’s Jews and forcing the younger generation to flee for many years now, but the rest of Europe considered this acceptable. The final tragic chapter in Europe’s self-destruction is at hand, with antisemitism at its core at every step.

      And then my mind goes to the other side -- all those lost Jewish lives. Would cancer have been cured decades ago if not for the Nazi-Arab pact of evil that wiped out 6 million precious lives? Jews undoubtedly have genetic gifts, but much of their cultural flowering is from Judaism itself, a religion that fosters reading, thinking and debating – in a word – individualism and freedom. Merkel is instituting the final purge of Judaism from Europe and substituting a million followers of ‘Submission’ (that’s the translation of the name Islam).

      Luckily, this time around, the Jews of Europe do have a place to flee and to flourish, and to develop their gifts of life for the benefit of the rest of us. Men over sixty have a special reason to be grateful to Israel this week.


      One in six American men will develop prostate cancer. It is the most common cancer after skin cancer, and the second biggest cancer killer for men. Two Israeli scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel promise an almost miraculous cure, now in clinical trials at New York’s Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It is the culmination of 20 years of basic research by plant scientist Avigdor Scherz and cancer researcher Yoram Saloman.

      Professor Scherz took a naturally occurring form of chlorophyll from aquatic bacteria:


      …chemically modified by Prof. Scherz's lab at Weizmann to fit the team's pharmaceutical needs. Once the photosensitized drug is injected, it meets up with the second crucial element in this therapy—light—at the targeted tumor site… from highly focused fiber-optic lasers that have been inserted near the tumor. As the chlorophyll absorbs the light, it can then interact with the third component in the process—oxygen—to produce oxygen radicals. This interaction initiates a fast cascade of pathophysiological events that cause instantaneous closing of the blood vessels leading to the tumor, followed by oxygen and nutrient deprivation at the tumor site, as well as other active processes that kill tumor cells. In 24 to 48 hours, the tumor undergoes complete necrosis.

      The treatment, called vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy or VTP is a one-time 20 to 30-minute procedure. There have been no side effects in urination or sexual function.

      The Israeli team foresees applications for breast, ovary, lung and pancreas tumors. The latter has no effective treatment to date and has been a tragic death sentence.

      As I read about these medical breakthroughs from Israel, my mind goes to Germany today, and yesteryear. The Nazis killed off their Jewish citizens, their best and their brightest, out of envy, greed and spite.

      Delete
    2. Attracted by Nazi Jew-hatred, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood allied with Hitler. The Arabs’ price for their allegiance, valuable because of the promise of sabotaging the British in the oil fields of the Middle East, was to deny Europe’s 6 million Jews refuge in Palestine, their only lifeline. Germany, Britain, and America under FDR had the same policy in this regard -- do not upset the Muslim Brothers, it being preferable to let Europe’s Jews be wiped out by Hitler by forbidding Jews refuge in their own Palestinian Jewish Homeland. Divine Justice has brought that evil decision back to haunt us.

      The jihadi movement is Hitler’s enduring gift to us. The Third Reich sent Eichmann to Egypt to train the Muslim Brothers in antisemitic propaganda, bomb-making and other sabotage techniques, giving birth to the modern jihadi movement. The Nazis built the Muslim Brothers up from ten thousand to a million members. Ayatollah Khomeini listened to Nazi-Arab broadcasts from Berlin every day of the war years. (Read my column on Hitler’s jihadi legacy here, and more from Dr. Matthias Kuntzel here).

      We are all suffering the consequences today. We had a second chance. If the world had stood behind Israel in the face of the post-war 60-year antisemitic Islamic onslaught seeking to destroy them, we would have marginalized and starved the jihadi movement long ago. But Europe chose to indulge the Arabs in their Jew-hatred, only partly to kowtow to the oil-rich Arabs. It was also Europeans’ pleasure, and the pleasure of European and American leftists in particular, to pretend the Jews were the bad guys.

      Now Germany is inviting the jihadis out of their Middle Eastern hellhole and into their midst. In her misguided invitation for the Muslim invasion of Europe, German Chancellor Merkel is driving out the rest of Europe’s Jews, who are targeted by Europe’s hate-filled Arabs, and consigning Germany and Europe to cultural and demographic suicide. The Arab population of Europe has been terrorizing Europe’s Jews and forcing the younger generation to flee for many years now, but the rest of Europe considered this acceptable. The final tragic chapter in Europe’s self-destruction is at hand, with antisemitism at its core at every step.

      And then my mind goes to the other side -- all those lost Jewish lives. Would cancer have been cured decades ago if not for the Nazi-Arab pact of evil that wiped out 6 million precious lives? Jews undoubtedly have genetic gifts, but much of their cultural flowering is from Judaism itself, a religion that fosters reading, thinking and debating – in a word – individualism and freedom. Merkel is instituting the final purge of Judaism from Europe and substituting a million followers of ‘Submission’ (that’s the translation of the name Islam).

      Luckily, this time around, the Jews of Europe do have a place to flee and to flourish, and to develop their gifts of life for the benefit of the rest of us. Men over sixty have a special reason to be grateful to Israel this week


      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/another_miracle_from_israel_prostate_cancer_cure_in_20_minutes.html#ixzz3x8RLT9oC
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

      Delete
    3. How many times did O'bozo use the "I" word last night ?

      Anyone keeping count, or losing count ?

      Delete
  6. Take the Klock if going into town, Quirk-O,

    Don't forget your ammo, and vest.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's one thing to talk about a cure for cancer, another thing entirely to pull it off.

    ReplyDelete
  8. American Thinker Blog

    Obama promises a cure for cancer 'once and for all'
    January 13, 2016

    Obama promising a cure isn't much different than what hucksters and snake oil salesmen were selling a hundred years ago. More


    Sounds like it was a speech specifically designed for lame brained fools like Rufus, alright. Kind of stuff Quirk got rich selling to nitwits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  9. Avigdor Scherz was pitching this particular "cure" back in 2006.

    google can be your friend

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our poor old Republican Lords and Masters have been fervently hoping for a recession, this year, but I'm beginning to think that they might not get it.

    Recessions are almost always preceeded by a Spike in gasoline prices, not a plunge.

    ReplyDelete
  11. my favorite bit in the speech was when he noted that about the only ones in the country who held jobs for 30 years and had a full pension upon retirement were sitting in that room.

    ReplyDelete
  12. STATE of DISUNION


    By
    James Taranto

    “I stand here confident that the State of our Union is strong,” President Obama summed things up last night. To which one might have puckishly responded: Strong maybe, but what union?

    The invited audience at the annual address included many human symbols of national division: culture-war conscientious objectors Kim Davis and the Little Sisters of the Poor; Jim Obergefell, victor in the Supreme Court battle that occasioned Davis’s objection; representatives from Black Lives Matter and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. There were even empty seats to show disrespect for the Second Amendment and opposition to abortion.

    The president acknowledged the country’s divided state in the most interesting line of his address:

    It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency—that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. There’s no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I’ll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office.

    Likewise, there’s no doubt our column would improve if we wrote as well as Shakespeare: We thank God for our humility.

    It would have been more interesting—and shown real self-awareness—if the president had acknowledged his political talents are in some respects wanting when compared not with the universally acknowledged great presidents but with the successful presidents of his own lifetime. We’re thinking here of Reagan and Clinton, who like Obama held office during fractious (if not quite as fractious) periods under divided government. In terms of both compromising with the opposition and emerging victorious from confrontations with it, Reagan and Clinton each enjoyed considerably more success than Obama.

    There’s a glaring disconnect in Obama’s characterization of partisan “rancor and suspicion” as being among his “few regrets.” What he’s saying is that he does not regret his actions, only their inevitable consequences. In his 2008 campaign he aspired to unify the country, but he also aspired to “transform” it, “fundamentally” no less. Transformation turned out to be the priority.

    His signature “achievements”—we’re thinking here of ObamaCare and the Iran deal—were won by bullying doubters in his own party, shutting the other party out entirely, and, crucially, ignoring overwhelming public opposition. He’d have accomplished a lot more had the country been on his side, but had the country been on his side, there would be no need for fundamental transformation. He seldom evinces any doubt that he is right and his detractors—even if they include the large majority of the American people—are wrong.

    That attitude expresses itself in what David Gelernter, writing in the Weekly Standard, calls “the Obama sneer”:

    FDR’s bouncy, feisty smile, Reagan’s geniality, Clinton’s one-of-the-boys grin, W’s good-natured earnestness are part of history; and Obama’s real “legacy” (aside from worldwide crisis) is that bitter sneer. His rudeness to political opponents has made a rotten political climate much worse.

    The Obama sneer is polarizing, which serves him poorly in some regards and well in others. It makes him look weak and reactive and alienates people who are not already on his side. On the other hand, it’s an effective technique for rallying his partisans. And Obama has set the tone for the campaign to succeed him. Both parties’ leading candidates to succeed Obama—Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders—are following his lead in that they are running campaigns of division.

    The sneer was very much in evidence last night (note that these quotes are from the address as prepared; there were slight variations in the delivery):

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction. . . . Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely. . . . I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. . . . As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. . . . Our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage. We also can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. That’s not leadership; that’s a recipe for quagmire. . . . We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. . . . When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.

      Toward the end, he observed: “A better politics doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything.” But as the above, far-from-conclusive list demonstrates, he demands agreement on a hell of a lot.

      The assertion that “it diminishes us in the eyes of the world” when “a kid is bullied” (“called names” in his ad-lib) is just bizarre. The idea that we can “try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis” is unrecognizable even as a caricature of any view anyone currently espouses. (It sounds like a caricature of George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural.)

      The reference to carpet-bombing was an allusion to something Cruz said, but Obama seemed to be reacting to Trump more than anyone else. The liberal site Talking Points Memo has a list of “Obama’s Top 10 Shots at Trump in the State of the Union Address.” (Trump himself was in typical form last night, tweeting “The #SOTU speech is really boring, slow, lethargic—very hard to watch!”)

      The Republican response was also widely understood as a rebuke to Trump. Real Clear Politics’ Caitlin Huey-Burns:

      Nikki Haley’s response to the president’s State of the Union address on behalf of the GOP was much more a rebuttal to the Donald Trump-style of politics that has tainted her party in the race to succeed Barack Obama.

      “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation,” the South Carolina governor said from the statehouse in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday night.

      That Trump was evidently such an influence last night confirms his status as the most dominant figure in American politics today. He is likely to retain that status at least for the next four weeks, and he hopes it will be closer to nine years. Just how long it turns out to be will have a lot to do with the ultimate character of the Obama legacy.

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. O'bozo has no musical talent.

      Looks to be a natural born tap-dancer, but can't even do that.

      Worthless is every way.

      Delete
  14. It's all talk about nothing.

    Few people watched, fewer paid attention, all will be forgotten by this evening.

    We ought to do away with this 'tradition', it's not worth the time or the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  15. .

    Sounds like it was a speech specifically designed for lame brained fools...Kind of stuff Quirk got rich selling to nitwits.

    We've debited this months order to your credit card.

    .

    .

    ReplyDelete
  16. For QUIRK, JDQ (Juris Doctor Quako) -


    January 13, 2016
    Muslim Women Must Be Emancipated
    By Michael Curtis

    In the mid-19th century an early British feminist, Caroline Norton, involved in a law case resulting from her disastrous marriage, wrote that the law must be changed. Women, she held, were not appealing for an exceptional law in their favor; on the contrary they were appealing not to be made an exception from the general protection of the laws.

    Her argument is still pertinent in view of continuing Islamic subordination of women by legal and other means. Indeed, the essence of it has led to discussion of the issue in a bill introduced in October 2015 by another Caroline, Baroness Cox in the House of Lords. This legislation is intended to outlaw gender discrimination in the Islamic sharia courts in the U.K. It would make illegal anything that constitutes discrimination, harassment, or victimization on grounds of sex.

    The surprising announcement on January 8, 2016 that Shamim Qureshi, a Bristol Crown Court Judge, had been granted permission to sit as a presiding judge on a sharia court, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT), in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, set up in 2007, has drawn extra attention to the issue of discrimination against women, as well as the appropriateness of mixing official, national, secular law with religious law.

    The MAT, which has undermined the rights of women, has jurisdiction over issues such as Islamic divorce, inheritance law, wills, and family mediation.

    Parenthetically, its leader, Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, is a political activist. He led a demonstration of the Muslim Action Forum on February 8, 2014 in Downing Street, outside the gates of the official residence of the British prime minister, objecting to the cartoons, caricatures, and depictions of the Prophet in Charlie Hebdo, a month after Muslims had massacred 11 of the CH journalists in Paris.

    There are two issues involved. The purpose of the Cox bill is to restrict the powers of sharia courts, now estimated to number 85 in the UK, and sometimes referred to as sharia councils, to help vulnerable women who need protection from exploitation and to end gender discrimination by Muslims. It addresses the problem of religiously sanctioned gender discrimination. The second issue is to question the growth of an alternative Islamic quasi-legal system that undermines the fundamental principle of one law for all.

    The disapproval of sharia law results from the reality that it condones domestic violence and physical abuse against women, and that it undermines equal rights and protection under the law. Under sharia law, the process of halala allows a man to divorce his wife by uttering the words “I divorce you,” three times, divorce can be had by mail, and polygamy to the extent of four wives is allowed. Women are handicapped on issues of child custody, inheritance provisions, and rules of evidence in trials as women’s testimony accounts for only half that of men. The inequality is that the rule in MAT is that male heirs in an inheritance dispute receive twice the amount of women involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a special problem since not everyone is aware of the national, secular law.

      Moreover, women are often pressured by their families to go to the sharia courts or councils. And women may be abused because of the nature of the closed communities in which they live. The evidence is strong that sharia councils operate in a discriminatory and unacceptable fashion.

      Sharia courts deal mainly with religious questions, but some also incorporate sharia law into legally binding arbitration. The issue of quasi law, or a parallel legal system, is growing, even in criminal law. For example, there are 100,000 Muslim marriages in the UK not registered with civil authorities and therefore not recognized by English law.

      Regarding criminal law, the sharia courts claim jurisdiction over domestic violence and bodily injury. According to the British Arbitration Act of 1996, whose intention was to clarify principles by which arbitration should be conducted, certain civil disputes can be resolved according to the law of another legal system, in this case sharia principles. But this does not entail rejection or repudiating adherence to the fundamental principles of British law, especially nondiscrimination.

      Freedom of religion is a cardinal principle, and it is undesirable to interfere with theological beliefs of those who voluntarily practice particular faiths. Similarly, there should not be official intrusion into private life, but limits on them are appropriate to protect the lives of women and people of non-Muslim faiths, and to punish acts of violence and discrimination.

      The conclusion must be that if practices under a different culture or jurisdiction, such as sharia law, are recognized as incompatible with the culture and jurisdiction of the national country, they should be prohibited. The ultimate law is the law of the country.

      The problem is that official authorities may be unwilling to take such action because of political correctness or fear of offending the minority community. This was the case of what has been called the “Rotherham complex.” In August 2014, an official report recorded that in Rotherham, an industrial town in northern England, gangs of local men almost all of whom were alleged to be Pakistanis, raped, coerced by drugs and alcohol, and sold more than 1,400 girls, all white, over the past 14 years. To its shame the Labour Party local council not only failed to halt this abuse but sometimes denied what had happened and even perpetuated it. By their standard of institutionalized political correctness, to act against the Muslims alleged perpetrators would be “racist.”

      In the present climate when murders and massacres in the United States, France, and other countries are being committed by Muslims on the basis of fulfillment of sharia law, when mass migration to democratic countries is rapidly increasing, and when the number of sharia courts is growing in the U.S. as in European countries, attention must be paid to the crucial problem of Islamic discrimination against women.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/01/women_must_be_emancipated_.html#ixzz3xAQKoVfa

      Delete
    2. The following is worth repeating, as it is exactly what Uncle Bob, JD, was concerned about during a former discussion of this issue with my antagonist on the subject, Quirk -

      (((((( Moreover, women are often pressured by their families to go to the sharia courts or councils. And women may be abused because of the nature of the closed communities in which they live. The evidence is strong that sharia councils operate in a discriminatory and unacceptable fashion. )))))

      Delete
  17. As a survivor of prostate cancer and as a contributor to a blog composed of a high percentage of PPT Gentlemen (Past Prime Time Gentlemen) I thought this might be of interest to some -

    January 13, 2016
    Another miracle from Israel? Prostate cancer cure in 20 minutes
    By Karin McQuillan

    One in six American men will develop prostate cancer. It is the most common cancer after skin cancer, and the second biggest cancer killer for men. Two Israeli scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel promise an almost miraculous cure, now in clinical trials at New York’s Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It is the culmination of 20 years of basic research by plant scientist Avigdor Scherz and cancer researcher Yoram Saloman.

    Professor Scherz took a naturally occurring form of chlorophyll from aquatic bacteria:

    … chemically modified by Prof. Scherz's lab at Weizmann to fit the team's pharmaceutical needs. Once the photosensitized drug is injected, it meets up with the second crucial element in this therapy—light—at the targeted tumor site… from highly focused fiber-optic lasers that have been inserted near the tumor. As the chlorophyll absorbs the light, it can then interact with the third component in the process—oxygen—to produce oxygen radicals. This interaction initiates a fast cascade of pathophysiological events that cause instantaneous closing of the blood vessels leading to the tumor, followed by oxygen and nutrient deprivation at the tumor site, as well as other active processes that kill tumor cells. In 24 to 48 hours, the tumor undergoes complete necrosis.

    The treatment, called vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy or VTP, is a one-time 20- to 30-minute procedure. There have been no side effects in urination or sexual function.

    The Israeli team foresees applications for breast, ovary, lung, and pancreas tumors. The latter has no effective treatment to date and has been a tragic death sentence.

    As I read about these medical breakthroughs from Israel, my mind goes to Germany today, and yesteryear. The Nazis killed off their Jewish citizens, their best and their brightest, out of envy, greed, and spite.

    Attracted by Nazi Jew-hatred, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood allied with Hitler. The Arabs’ price for their allegiance, valuable because of the promise of sabotaging the British in the oil fields of the Middle East, was to deny Europe’s 6 million Jews refuge in Palestine, their only lifeline. Germany, Britain, and America under FDR had the same policy in this regard – do not upset the Muslim Brothers, it being preferable to let Europe’s Jews be wiped out by Hitler by forbidding Jews refuge in their own Palestinian Jewish homeland. Divine justice has brought that evil decision back to haunt us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The jihadi movement is Hitler’s enduring gift to us. The Third Reich sent Eichmann to Egypt to train the Muslim Brothers in anti-Semitic propaganda, bomb-making, and other sabotage techniques, giving birth to the modern jihadi movement. The Nazis built the Muslim Brothers up from ten thousand to a million members. Ayatollah Khomeini listened to Nazi-Arab broadcasts from Berlin every day of the war years. (Read my column on Hitler’s jihadi legacy here, and more from Dr. Matthias Kuntzel here).

      We are all suffering the consequences today. We had a second chance. If the world had stood behind Israel in the face of the post-war 60-year anti-Semitic Islamic onslaught seeking to destroy them, we would have marginalized and starved the jihadi movement long ago. But Europe chose to indulge the Arabs in their Jew-hatred, only partly to kowtow to the oil-rich Arabs. It was also Europeans’ pleasure, and the pleasure of European and American leftists in particular, to pretend the Jews were the bad guys.

      Now Germany is inviting the jihadis out of their Middle Eastern hellhole and into their midst. In her misguided invitation for the Muslim invasion of Europe, German chancellor Merkel is driving out the rest of Europe’s Jews, who are targeted by Europe’s hate-filled Arabs, and consigning Germany and Europe to cultural and demographic suicide. The Arab population of Europe has been terrorizing Europe’s Jews and forcing the younger generation to flee for many years now, but the rest of Europe considered this acceptable. The final tragic chapter in Europe’s self-destruction is at hand, with anti-Semitism at its core at every step.

      And then my mind goes to the other side – all those lost Jewish lives. Would cancer have been cured decades ago if not for the Nazi-Arab pact of evil that wiped out 6 million precious lives? Jews undoubtedly have genetic gifts, but much of their cultural flowering is from Judaism itself, a religion that fosters reading, thinking, and debating – in other words, individualism and freedom. Merkel is instituting the final purge of Judaism from Europe and substituting a million followers of "submission" (that’s the translation of the name Islam).

      Luckily, this time around, the Jews of Europe do have a place to flee and to flourish, and to develop their gifts of life for the benefit of the rest of us. Men over sixty have a special reason to be grateful to Israel this week.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/another_miracle_from_israel_prostate_cancer_cure_in_20_minutes.html#ixzz3xAU3aEv7


      Sounds better than eight weeks on the rack, to me.

      Delete
    2. How is that "Obama Economy" going again, Rufus ?????

      In the economy Obama says has recovered, actually just 7% of counties have


      posted at 3:21 pm on January 13, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

      Share on Facebook
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      44 SHARES


      During his State of the Union address, the President said that the United States has “the strongest, most durable economy in the world.” It was a clear shot across the bow at those who might not be feeling the love at the moment and critics who don’t see things through rose colored glasses. So how is the recovery going? The unemployment rate as defined by the Department of Labor is certainly back down to a manageable number, but that doesn’t really speak to the factors which affect people in their day to day lives.

      The Wall Street Journal took at look at the data this week (assembled by the National Association of Counties) and they arrived at a somewhat different conclusion. They examined factors including the total number of people who are actually working, wages and property values. Broken down by county, not even 10% of the nation is back where it was before the crash of 2007 and 2008.


      More than six years after the economic expansion began, 93% of counties in the U.S. have failed to fully recover from the blow they suffered during the recession.

      Nationwide, 214 counties, or 7% of 3,069, had recovered last year to prerecession levels on four indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, size of the economy and home values, a study from the National Association of Counties released Tuesday found…

      “Americans don’t live in a single economic place,” said Emilia Istrate, the association’s director of research and outreach and one of the study’s authors. “It tells you why many Americans don’t feel the good economic numbers they see on TV.”

      Hey, but at least some of the counties have recovered, so that’s good, right? Barack Obama clearly seems to be willing to take credit for that. But where did the decent bits of recovery really take place? Anyone who’s been paying attention to the news won’t be shocked at these figures.


      As was the case in 2014, when just 65 counties had fully recovered, most of those that bounced back are in states benefiting from the energy boom. Last year, 72 of the recovered counties were in Texas, the most of any state. Nebraska followed with 22. Minnesota, Kentucky, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas each had at least 10 fully recovered counties.

      Meanwhile, in 27 states, not a single county had fully recovered.

      So out of 214 counties that recovered in all four categories, 94 of them were found just in Texas and Nebraska. That’s nearly half. More than fifty more of them came primarily from places where heavy fracking and other energy extraction is taking place. With that in mind, Obama might not want to be taking too much credit. In fact, the recovery we’ve experienced – such as it is – has come largely from the energy sector so one could fairly say that it was taking place not because of Barack Obama, but in spite of him.

      That could go a long way toward explaining why national approval levels of the President’s handling of the economy are still underwater in double digits. You can post some sunny numbers and give a flowery speech, but when people are still struggling financially in their daily lives and their houses are still worth less than they paid for them they probably aren’t going to buy into the hype.

      from Hot Air

      Delete
    3. We recall O'bozo wanted gas prices to rise, to 'save the earth'.

      What is saving our ass is the private sector via fracking.

      Which, of course, O'bozo has done his very best to discourage.

      ONLY ONE MORE YEAR OF THE SHIT BIRD IN THE WHITE HOUSE !!!!!!!!!

      yippeeeeeee

      Delete
  18. The Good News ?

    O'bozo has promised us all a CURE FOR CANCER !!!

    (but probably not in our lifetimes)

    ReplyDelete
  19. .

    (((((( Moreover, women are often pressured by their families to go to the sharia courts or councils. And women may be abused because of the nature of the closed communities in which they live. The evidence is strong that sharia councils operate in a discriminatory and unacceptable fashion. )))))

    I have little knowledge of what is going on with Sharia courts in the UK. It's fairly low on my radar screen since I am mostly concerned with things happening in this country. One thing I do know is that if I wanted to find out what was actually going on in the UK, I wouldn't waste my time looking it up in articles out of the American Thinker.

    As far as the US, we have a long history of ecclesiastical and canonical courts in this country, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Lutheran, Hindu, Buddhist, and others. Sharia Courts are late to the party.
    Most of the issues of these courts center on issues of marriage and divorce, division of assets, custody, etc. Most also deal with disciplinary actions regarding clergy. In most cases, dealing with the congregation, these courts use persuasion and arbitration to reach their decisions. It’s quicker and cheaper that taking it to litigation. As long as the decisions align with existing civil and criminal law, SCOTUS has said they won’t interfere with them. And when I say civil law, I am talking all applicable law including those associated with issues of race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.

    Applying God’s Law: Religious Courts and Mediation in the U.S.

    The most important thing to remember about all of these courts is that they their decisions must be reconcilable with US local, state, and federal civil and criminal law and statutes. If they don’t they will be overturned in US courts.

    If you have a problem, restrict the discussion to the US experience not to the UK or EU or anyplace else.

    .

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so disappointed in you Quirk.

      Usually when you go down to defeat you do better than posting lame crap like that.

      I repeat for your study tonight:

      (((((( Moreover, women are often pressured by their families to go to the sharia courts or councils. And women may be abused because of the nature of the closed communities in which they live. The evidence is strong that sharia councils operate in a discriminatory and unacceptable fashion. )))))

      This type of pressure is not restricted to one country. Why ? Because it is cultural, not country specific.

      Delete
    2. .

      Disappointed?

      Aw, gee. now I will be losing sleep because of the guilt trip.

      .

      Delete
    3. .

      I repeat for your study tonight:

      (((((( Moreover, women are often pressured by their families to go to the sharia courts or councils. And women may be abused because of the nature of the closed communities in which they live. The evidence is strong that sharia councils operate in a discriminatory and unacceptable fashion. )))))



      And, I repeat because of your problems with short term memory loss,

      1. Don't waste my time with any more garbage printed in the American Thinker.

      2. And don't offer me anymore sentences sentences starting with chickenshit CYA phrases like 'and women may be...

      3. Or, shit like...

      The evidence is strong that sharia councils operate in a discriminatory and unacceptable fashion. )))))

      - A statement with no evidence provided.

      - Unacceptable? Unacceptable to who? Michael Curtis? Some bigot from Idaho?

      - And as I said before, don't bother me with shit from the UK or EU. We've seen how they seem to screw up everything including their immigration policies and failure to integrate immigrant populations.


      I also have to ask if you are so upset by Sharia courts, why aren't you politicking against Jewish Battei Din courts that handle the same type of issues?

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      This from the link I provided in my initial response to your vapidity above.


      Religious Divorce

      Nevertheless, granting Jewish divorces is an important task for most battei din, including Perlman’s. When both the husband and wife agree on the terms, obtaining a Jewish divorce, known as a get, is largely routine. On other occasions, however, rabbinical authorities can help adjudicate issues such as child custody and the division of property, which also must be ratified by a secular court to have the force of law.

      In Orthodox Judaism, a woman cannot obtain a divorce – and therefore cannot remarry – without her husband’s consent. Sometimes, in order to obtain money or attempt to stop a divorce, a husband will refuse to grant his wife a get, no matter how broken the marriage may be. In such cases, a beit din cannot divorce the couple. But both Perlman and Weissmann say that to sway an obstinate husband, rabbis may issue rulings calling on the community to exert social pressure on the man by, for example, barring him from the synagogue or protesting outside his home or workplace until he relents.


      If a Jewish woman's husband refuses to grant her a get, she can't get a divorce. However, what that means is she can't get a Jewish divorce. She may not be able to remarry in the Jewish religion but the decision does nothing to diminish her civil rights. She can still get a civil divorce. She can still claim her custody and property rights. She still has the protection of the law if her husband threatens her.

      The same applies to Sharia law or Catholic canon law. The Mormons learned that certain practices their religion allows are unacceptable under US law.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      You just continue to provide example after example showing how stolid and benighted you are. Some of them are so laughable and poorly thought out as to be laughable. Your argument for not allowing Muslims into the country is, for example, one that provides plenty of yuks.

      .

      Delete
  20. ISIS burns fighters alive for letting Ramadi fall

    By Hollie McKay
    Published January 12, 2016
    FoxNews.com
    Facebook Twitter livefyre Email
    Fox News terror analyst Walid Phares provides insight
    Now Playing

    How reclaiming Ramadi changes the fight against ISIS

    ISIS fighters who fled to the terror group’s Iraqi stronghold of Mosul after being defeated in Ramadi were burned alive in the town square, sources told FoxNews.com, in an unmistakable message to fighters who may soon be defending the northern city from government forces.

    Several residents of Mosul recounted the grisly story for stateside relatives, describing the deadly reception black clad jihadists got when they made it to Mosul, some 250 miles north of the city retaken by Iraqi forces operating with cover from U.S. air power.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    “ISIS is fracturing, paranoid from within.”

    - Michael Pregent, former to Gen. David Petraeus

    “They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle,” a former resident of northern Iraq now living in the U.S. but in touch with family back home told FoxNews.com. “And set on fire to die.”

    Several Iraqi-Americans and recent refugees with close relatives in Mosul told of ISIS fighters fresh off defeat in Ramadi being shunned – and executed – for not fighting to the death in Ramadi.

    Michael Pregent, a terrorism expert and former intelligence adviser to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, said such an act isn’t new for the callous terror group. A similar fate was meted out to fighters who lost Saddam’s hometown to Kurdish forces last year.

    “There is no surprise on executing ISIS fighters from Ramadi,” he said. “They did the same to fighters after Tikrit.”

    The retaking of Ramadi, the capital of the mainly Sunni-populated Anbar Province which ISIS took over last May, was a major setback for ISIS. Just 80 miles west of Baghdad, the city was overrun by ISIS in June, 2014. Iraqi forces, fighting with Sunni tribes and supported by coalition forces, recently took it back but the city remains in ruins. Booby-traps, landmines and a broken infrastructure have rendered it mostly uninhabitable for the time being.

    With government, Kurdish and coalition forces now mustering to recapture Mosul, which fell to ISIS approximately 18 months ago, an increasingly paranoid ISIS has stepped up its murders of women and children, according to people trapped in the city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “They come to the house and take the children and accuse them of being spies,” said a stateside Iraqi with knowledge of the situation. “If the mom cries and gets upset at them, they accuse of her being a spy too and take her to the jail and later kill her.”

      The terrorist group is feeling the heat of a coming onslaught, said Pregent.

      “ISIS is fracturing, paranoid from within,” Pregent continued, noting that ISIS has two intelligence directorates – one for internal threats the other for external ones – and both are focused on unearthing “threats” to their existence within areas under their thumb. “They are using women and children executions to intimidate – the harsher the tactic the more desperate the leadership is.”

      Clint Watts, Fox fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, agreed.

      “They continue to lose territory, we’ve seen a growing number of defections and a rise in the number of alleged internal spies – many of whom they have killed mercilessly without demonstrating significant evidence of internal espionage,” he explained. “ISIS pattern of internal killings looks remarkably similar to al Shabaab’s decline in Somalia. As Shabaab lost ground and defectors increased, internal killings and harsher punishments were meted out across the terror group further accelerating the loss of local popular support.”

      Earlier this year, activist group Mosul Eye reported that ISIS committed mass executions of men and children at Alhud Village just south of Mosul, accusing the entire township of apostasy and affiliation to the local Iraqi police forces. In late December, several teenagers aged between 12 and 16 were reportedly caught trying to flee across the Tigris River toward the Kurdish region, and subsequently accused of being “spies” by ISIS and within minutes publicly executed in front of their families.

      As it stands, communications within the besieged city remain spotty, but many are able to get messages out via telephone or Internet – although at great risk.

      “The residents have little electricity or water, there is no salary for people working, there are no medicines to cure illnesses,” another insider based in Iraq observed. “Civilians are in a state of despair.

      “Everyone just lives their lives in complete fear,” he said. “They don’t know who will be next – man, woman or child.”

      Delete
    2. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/01/12/isis-burns-fighters-alive-for-letting-ramadi-fall.html

      Delete
    3. If the term 'eating one's own' applies to anything it must apply here.

      Delete
  21. Any woman in the Western world who would choose to have her affairs adjudicated in a Sharia Court is mentally incompetent and should be put under the protection of the Court with a Western lawyer appointed to see to her affairs and well being.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since anyone can see Quirk is making no sense he needs to be placed under the Protection of the Court, with a Court appointed Council as well.

      Maybe someone like Judge Jeanine Pirro.

      Back to Fox News....

      Delete
  22. .

    Any woman in the Western world who would choose to have her affairs adjudicated in a Sharia Court is mentally incompetent and should be put under the protection of the Court with a Western lawyer appointed to see to her affairs and well being.

    Right. And they should also be kept barefoot and pregnant.

    Who the hell do you think you are you pompous, sexist hick? What gives you the right to determine what these women should be doing given their own free will? You are as bad as any Sharia court you can dream up.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  23. Court is closed, Quirk-O.

    res judicata


    Case closed.


    Go drink it off.

    All lawyers win some, lose some.

    You lost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops...

      forgot the....

      you urban dickhead

      Delete
  24. Oh well...

    Think of it this way Quirk-O....

    Think of a Jew opting to be tried in a Nazi court in 1943.....

    Even you, with your anti-Semitic tinge, would feel something not right here.....

    Now consider a woman in Sharia = 1/2 of a man.....

    If you can't figure this all out, well, fuck you just the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Read my post at

      QuirkThu Jan 14, 01:27:00 AM EST

      and then answer my question from

      QuirkThu Jan 14, 01:13:00 AM EST


      I also have to ask if you are so upset by Sharia courts, why aren't you politicking against Jewish Battei Din courts that handle the same type of issues?

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      Did you read the link I put up above from Pew Research outlining the status of ecclesiastical courts in the US or did you have to send it over to Jihad Watch to have it translated into bigoted vitriol so that you could understand it?

      .

      Delete
  25. Further, urban brain death, your blessed Sharia Courts are an obvious attempt to establish a religion in these fair states, something our Constitution does not allow our government to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I see you avoid the questions.

      Bluster on.

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      Had you read the link I put up you would have seen how SCOTUS views the constitution when it comes to these courts.

      Go volunteer as a Trumpette.

      .

      Delete
  26. Pentagon Outlines Plan To Take Back Key Territories From ISIS

    Militants have lost 40 percent of the territory they once held in Iraq, and 20 percent of their territory in Syria.

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter laid out broad plans Wednesday to defeat Islamic State militants and retake the group's key power centers in Iraq and Syria. And he announced that a special commando force has now arrived in Iraq.

    Speaking to troops from the 101st Airborne Division who will soon deploy to Iraq, Carter also said he would meet in Paris next week with his defense counterparts, mainly from Europe, and will challenge them to bring more capabilities to the fight.

    He said he will be meeting with defense leaders from France, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and "will not hesitate to engage and challenge" them to get them to do more.

    "Each of these nations has a significant stake in completing the destruction of this evil organization, and we must include all of the capabilities they can bring to the field," he said.
    Some contributions the U.S. has requested already are special operations forces, fighter jet and reconnaissance aircraft, weapons and munitions, training and other combat support.

    Carter's broader message signaled the completion of a military plan to help Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces retake Mosul in northern Iraq and to assist the Syrian moderate forces oust Islamic State militants from their headquarters in Raqqa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He described operations that would send Iraqi forces from the south and Peshmerga forces from the north to encircle and cut off Mosul. But he warned that taking it back will not be quick or easy, and he offered no timelines.

      Carter announced in December that the U.S. would deploy about 200 special operations forces to Iraq to better capitalize on intelligence and put more pressure on the enemy.

      "The specialized expeditionary targeting force I announced in December is now in place and is preparing to work with the Iraqis to begin going after ISIL's fighters and commanders, killing or capturing them wherever we find them, along with other key targets," Carter said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
      His speech offered an upbeat assessment of the anti-IS campaign, saying that coalition-backed forces, supported by the airstrikes, are taking back territory and going after the groups finances. This week airstrikes hit an Islamic State cash center in Mosul.

      Military leaders have said that the militants have lost 40 percent of the territory they once held in Iraq, and 20 percent of their territory in Syria. The effort has been aided by strong support from Kurdish troops in northern Iraq, as the U.S. worked to build up Iraqi Army forces.

      The Iraqi forces struggled for months to retake Ramadi, but backed by airstrikes and other logistical support they were finally able to drive IS from the city last month.

      His remarks came a day after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, expanding on the message that the U.S. must build and work with local forces in Iraq and Syria to have lasting success. He said the U.S. must not "Americanize" the conflicts because that would allow militants to accuse the West of occupying the country.

      The ongoing U.S. effort, however, has come under fire from members of Congress and critics who say it's a failed strategy that isn't aggressive enough and should involve a more robust military presence to both defeat IS, and protect fleeing refugees, particularly along the Turkey and Syria border.
      About 500 troops from the 101st Airborne headquarters group will deploy at the end of February. About 1,300 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Iraq in late spring.
      The brigade will be training Iraqi and Peshmerga forces.

      Carter's speech comes in the wake of recent attacks, including a suicide bombing at a shopping mall this week in Baghdad that killed 18 people.

      Abadi described the attack as a "desperate attempt" by militants after they lost control of the key western city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. Iraqi forces drove the extremists out of Ramadi last month, but Islamic State still controls much of northern and western Iraq.

      Delete