July 10, 2017

Victory in Mosul?

So that seems so 2005!

The lesson here is if we don't do what it takes to win this peace.

If we again abandon and withdraw. If we again fail to support those who fought ISIS and make sure they get a fair shake and voice in Iraq, I will have to write another Mosul falls to.... (insert Islamic terror brand here) and then another "Victory in Mosul 2023" post.

There is no one else who can act as a fair moderator, insuring that the Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds are treated fairly by the heavily Shia and Iran dominated Iraqi government.

By Howie at 11:45 AM | Comments |

October 22, 2015

Special Forces Liberate 70 ISIS Prisoners

We lost a man rescuing these people from ISIS.

One U.S. soldier was killed in an operation that freed more than 70 ISIS hostages in Iraq, military sources confirm to Fox News.

The Arab hostages were freed from an ISIS prison in northern Iraq near Tikrit. "People were chained to walls," one well-placed military source said.

"A mass atrocity was averted," a senior U.S. defense source tells Fox News. Rescue forces moved in when it was apparent that ISIS hostage takers were planning to kill the hostages.

According to a senior U.S. defense official, Kurdish Special Operations forces known as Peshmerga were in the lead during the operation.

May the Lord accept him and well done.

By Howie at 10:15 AM | Comments |

September 15, 2015

ISIS Turns off Euphrates River Spigot

You behead a guy, he's dead. You shut down a damn in the middle of a desert? Every one downstream dies:

ISIS has been blocking the flow of the Euphrates River from Syria in a renewed bid to turn the vital waterway into a strategic weapon against the Iraqi government.

“ISIS closed the Tabqa Dam in Syria almost a week ago, causing the water level of the Euphrates River to drop in Anbar’s towns,” a member of the Anbar Provincial Council said Sunday.

Hamid al-Dulaimi warned in an interview with Iraqi Kurdish Bas News that the closure poses a “disaster to Anbar and other provinces” in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a source close to ISIS told Al-Jazeera that the group was using its control over the dams to “put pressure on the Iraqi government as part of the open war between it and the group.”
And it's not just the lack of water. Cutting off the river's flow has meant that hydroelectric production downstream is slowly being choked off. Oh, and sewage treatment plants are failing.

So, Iraq has that to look forward to.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:00 PM | Comments |

May 18, 2015

Awesome: ISIS Takes Ramadi

Over 80 Marines and soldiers died taking Ramadi in 2006. Their sacrifice, it seems, now in vain:

Iraqi and U.S. officials are maintaining that the tide will soon turn back against ISIS, whose fighters seized control of Ramadi on Sunday after a prolonged offensive using explosive-laden bulldozers and other vehicles driven by suicide bombers.

But many observers say that recovering from the loss of the strategic city -- the capital of Anbar province, Iraq's Sunni heartland -- will take a long time.

"This is a huge setback to Iraqi forces and to the U.S. strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS," said Peter Mansoor, a CNN military analyst who was a colonel in the U.S. Army.

The ISIS victory in Ramadi, after more than a year of fighting, shows the Sunni militant group's broader resilience in the face of sustained airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition and pressure from Kurdish forces in the north.

It's funny how a few weeks ago the media was busy celebrating the fall of Saigon, and none of these asshats seemed to want to make the connection with Iraq.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:31 AM | Comments |

April 02, 2015

Tikrit: Let the Looting Begin!

Iraqi forces retook Tikrit this week.


Pro-government militiamen were seen looting shops in the centre of the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday after its recapture from the Islamic State jihadist group in a month-long battle.

The militiamen took items including clothing, shampoo and shaving cream from two shops in central Tikrit before driving away.

Free shampoo!

Mass graves.

Pictures of the executions released by the IS group showed the police building and several recruits in plainclothes being frogmarched to the waterfront, shot and pushed into the river.

Ghaban said a burial site was found a few metres (yards) away in the riverside complex of palaces that former president Saddam Hussein had built in his hometown.

- Matching IDs -

"We found dozens of ID cards in a pile of waste near the site," said policeman Hussein al-Rikabi, who took AFP to the site.

He said the documents matched the names of Speicher recruits known to have been executed or who had gone missing since jihadists took over Tikrit and large parts of Iraq in June 2014.

Traces in the ground suggested that earth moving machinery had been used to bury something.

"We don't know how many bodies are in this mass grave, we are waiting for a special committee to come and carry out the work," he said.

Its nice to see Islamic culture blossoming.

By Howie at 09:15 AM | Comments |

December 26, 2014

Islamic State of Losers Plagued By Problems of Running a State

In stark contrast to earlier reports where IS paves some roads and passed out some of the war booty, IS has run out of booty.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The Islamic State’s vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies to fighting battles and enforcing strict rules.

Services are collapsing, prices are soaring, and medicines are scarce in towns and cities across the “caliphate” proclaimed in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State, residents say, belying the group’s boasts that it is delivering a model form of governance for Muslims.

Slick Islamic State videos depicting functioning government offices and the distribution of aid do not match the reality of growing deprivation and disorganized, erratic leadership, the residents say. A trumpeted Islamic State currency has not materialized, nor have the passports the group promised. Schools barely function, doctors are few, and disease is on the rise.

When your only tool is a Koran, everything looks like a neck, but it will be be hard from Islamic State to murder its way out of winter.
In the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group’s self-styled capital, water and electricity are available for no more than three or four hours a day, garbage piles up uncollected, and the city’s poor scavenge for scraps on streets crowded with sellers hawking anything they can find, residents say.

Videos filmed in secret by an activist group show desperate women and children clamoring for handouts of food, while photographs posted on the Internet portray foreign militants eating lavish spreads, a disparity that is starting to stir resentment.

Bombs falling from the sly, the gutters running with blood, death, destruction and starvation!

Its Islamic Utopia!

Update thanks to pst314 for the awesome edit.

By Howie at 09:23 AM | Comments |

December 08, 2014

Baghdad SNAFU


Doug Ollivant: I wouldn't say it's better than people think it is. I would say it's more nuanced than the perception here is.

A couple things jump off the page at you. Life in Baghdad is normal: people are going to work, there are traffic jams, etc. Even though, in some places, the Islamic State isn't that far away, Baghdad's just very normal.

Its just like the rest of the Muslim world. Work, Play, Terrorists, Bombings and Murders.

Just another day.

By Howie at 03:55 PM | Comments |

November 29, 2014

Buy This Book

Laughing Wolf's latest photo memoir of the Iraq war is out. Buy it or the puppy gets it!


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:51 PM | Comments |

November 11, 2014

Iraqi Woman Requests Assylum


SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A woman escaped from the grits of ISIS terrorist in the Middle East and is making a plea to the United States to be her permanent home. In a story you'll only see on ABC7 News, we get an inside look as she explains how ISIS is making life unbearable for Christians in her country.

Because the woman's husband is still living in Iraq, we will protect her identity and call her Shoshan.

Shoshan made her case before an asylum officer in San Francisco Monday morning.

Members of the Bay Area religious community are standing up to ISIS, the militant Islamic group that has terrorized Christians in Iraq and Syria.

Church members are sending relief supplies and are also helping refugees to seek asylum.

Shoshan is an expecting mother and is among the estimated quarter-million Christians facing persecution in Iraq at the hands of ISIS militants.

We MUST grant her Assylum and if her husband can be found bring the whole family.

The US needs to take a portion of these refugees.

By Howie at 09:22 AM | Comments |

November 03, 2014

ISIS Commits Another Genocide Against Albu Nimr Tribe

The US airdropped aid to the Albu Nimr tribe on Oct 28th. This tribe was part of the Sunni awakening councils and was under assault by ISIS. ISIS seeks to eliminate anyone who they believe might oppose them.

The carnage first began last week with tweets of a mass execution in Hit.

Its went downhill from there.

WAPO: Islamic State extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 tribesmen and women in Iraq’s Anbar province, officials said Saturday, the latest mass killing attributed to the group.

The shooting happened late Friday in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of the provincial capital of Ramadi, Anbar councilman Faleh al-Issawi said.

Militants accused the men and women of Al Bu Nimr tribe of retaliating against them after being displaced from their homes when the group seized the Anbar town of Hit last month, Issawi said.

“These killings are taking place almost on a daily basis now in the areas under the control of the Islamic State group, and they will continue unless this terrorist group is stopped,” he said.

An official in the Anbar governor’s office confirmed the death toll. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to brief journalists.

On Thursday, authorities found the bodies of 48 Sunni tribesmen in Anbar who are believed to have been killed by the Islamic State.

That was far from the end. With reports now that between 255 to 322 men women and children have been murdered in an effort to totally wipe out the tribe.
The Iraqi government said Sunday that at least 322 members of the Al-Bu Nimr tribe were murdered by Islamic State fighters over the past week, including dozens of women and children whose bodies were found dumped in a well.

Tribal leader Sheikh Naeem al-Ga'oud said that 75 members of his tribe were killed on Sunday while trying to escape the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). They were gunned down and dumped near the town of Haditha.

“The number of people killed by Islamic State from Al-Bu Nimr tribe is 322. The bodies of 50 women and children have also been discovered dumped in a well," the country's Human Rights Ministry said on Sunday.

The Al-Bu Nimr tribe is a Sunni clan that has been fighting the Islamic State. The tribe held IS off in western Anbar province for weeks, before running out of fuel and ammunition. After the clan withdrew, IS rounded up the members and has been executing them since the beginning of last week.

Al-Ga’oud also told Reuters that IS fighters had killed 50 members of his tribe who were fleeing IS in Anbar province on Friday. They were on foot in a desert area of the province near Tharthar Lake when they were intercepted and killed by IS.

Ga’oud said he had asked the Iraqi central government on numerous occasions to provide his tribe with arms and men – but received nothing.

In a separate incident, a security official from Anbar said that 35 bodies had been found in a mass grave.

By Howie at 09:11 AM | Comments |

October 01, 2014

War Porn: Kilroy Was Here Edition

War porn of Royal Air Force striking ISIS targets.

Bonus! US Totally Blows up ISIS' monkey bars.

By Howie at 07:27 AM | Comments |

September 25, 2014

ISIS Murders Iraqi Muslima For Describing Them as Barbaric

Its pretty ironic that in an effort to quell speech about ISIS barbarism ISIS resorts to, you guessed it, barbarism. Um Yeah.

The United Nations says militants with the Islamic State group have publicly killed a rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after finding her guilty of apostasy in a self-styled Islamic court.

The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq says Samira Saleh al-Naimi was seized from her home on Sept. 17 after allegedly posting messages on Facebook that were critical of the militants' destruction of places of worship in Mosul.

Samira was so far as I can tell a fairly devout and modest Sunni woman.

The key here I believe is publicly criticizing ISIS. Especially in a forum where there are Kuffir present. In many interpretations of Sharia its unlawful for Muslims to criticize other Muslims in front of the Kuffar, so that Islam don't look bad in front of the Kuffar.

It must be done privately. Which is a pretty good excuse for any despots that might, you know, slip through the cracks. Apparently in the ME its not so much if a despot will slip through, its more a question of which despot.

But probably ISIS would have murdered her anyway even if she had spoken out in a forum other than the internet.

Remember no one kills more Muslims than al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. Hands down, nobody.

By Howie at 07:31 AM | Comments |

September 05, 2014

Boston Blogger Becomes ISIS Media Head

American Thinker:

Yet another American is suspected of joining ISIS and using skills acquired in this country to advance the goal of a global caliphate. Ahmad Abousamra, a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston with a degree related to computer technology, is suspected of being the social media manager of ISIS and is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
Ahmad Abousamra is a long time participant in the Cyber Jihad.

Jawa Report first ran his addition to the most wanted list in December of last year.

He is a long time associate of convicted terrorist Tarek Mehanna, who still maintains that he's, you know, totally innocent, convicted, he claims, of "thought crimes."



Thought crimes, as in when two US soldiers were dragged through the streets and burned in Iraq he called it..

nice juicy BBQ
I want ... more BBQ sauce videos
There is still an online campaign to free Mehanna.

Here are all the Jawa Report posts that reference Abousamra.

As well as Jawa Report's coverage of the arrest and conviction Tarek Mehanna

Imperial Good News: Terrorist Blogger Tarek Mehanna Found Guilty on All Counts
Arrested Blogger Identified: Tarek Mehanna.
Tarek Mehanna's Mouthpiece to Whine Free Speech And Request Dismissal of Material Support of al-Qaeda Charge.
#OccupyBoston Hosts Supporters of Accused Terrorist Supporter and Online Jihadi Tarek Mehanna.
Boston Blogger "Sought Terror Training".
Internet Jihadi Charged With Aiding al Qaeda
Muslim Blogger Arrested in Boston?
Arrested Blogger Identified: Tarek Mehanna
Blogger Terek Mehanna Arrested AGAIN!
More About Tarek Mehanna's Online Jihad
Boston Blogger Assisted al Qaeda in Iraq
Boston Area Imam Mentored Two Aspiring Terrorists
Just Another ‘Typical American Kid’ with Terror Aspirations
Witness In Terrorism Case Sentenced To Probation
Are There Any Domestic Terrorists NOT Tied to Islamic Networking website?
The New England Jihadis
NY Muslims: I Love Osama bin Laden & I'm Friends with Terrorists
How Sweet: Indicted Terrorist Writes Known NYC Terror Supporter a Love Letter
Feds Offered Mehanna Chance to Flip Prior to Arrest
Appeals Court Upholds al Qaeda Blogger's Conviction.

An example of the early work done by Ahmad Abousamra and Tarek Mehanna is here.


Another known associate is convicted terrorist Daniel Maldanado.

Maldonado pic.jpg

Both Mehanna and Ahmad Abousamra cut their radical teeth so to speak under the guidance of Sharon Imam Muhammad Masood who was later deported to Pakistan for visa fraud.

Image credit Miss Kelly

With Masood starting in on Ahmad Abousamra as early as age 14.

I would just like to add this comment from Rusty:

The charge is yet another indication that internet jihadis are often dangerous and should be taken seriously.
The online Jihad is just not speech, its often times advocacy and material support for the most extreme and terrorist organizations on Earth. Terrorists who are at war against all of us. Tolerating it as just thought crimes leads to what we have now in Syria and Iraq. Its just as, if not more dangerous in the long run as the car bomb on the field of combat.

The Jihad must have recruits it must be promoted and that is where people like Daniel Maldanodo, Terek Mehanna and Ahmad Abousamra become not just a a bother, but a truly dangerous aspect of the Islamofascist war against all who would stand against an extreme sixth century caliphate like the one ISIS is creating in Iraq and Syria.

By Howie at 09:53 AM | Comments |

August 25, 2014

Meanwhile in Amerli Iraq

The leadership of Army Aviation to deliver humanitarian aid and Almún of food and medical supplies to families in the besieged city of Amerli, was evacuated large groups of women, children and patients trapped by the terrorist gangs Daash.

Amerli is a town in Northern Iraq.

Amirli (also spelt Amerli) is a town in the Tooz District of Salah ad Din Governorate, near the border with Diyala Governorate, in northern Iraq, about 100 km from the Iranian border. It has a population of 26,000, mainly from Iraq's Turkoman ethnic minority. It is the centre of a farming region.[1]

On June 7, 2007, a bombing in the market place killed 105 people and injured 250.[2]

The town, and its nearly 15,000 Shia Turkmen,[3] has been besieged by the Islamic State since June 2014.[4] It has been running out of food, water, and supplies. A U.N. representative stated, "The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens."[5]

By Howie at 03:18 PM | Comments |

August 15, 2014

Everyone Wave Buh Bye to Nuri Kamal al-Maliki

Peaceful transition of power, its rare in the Arab world.

AGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said Thursday night that he had agreed to relinquish power, a move that came after days of crisis in which his deployment of extra security forces around the capital had raised worries of a military coup.

Mr. Maliki’s decision held out the prospect of a peaceful transition of power, based on democratic elections and without the guiding hand of American military forces, which would be a first in modern Iraq’s troubled history of kings, coups and dictatorships.

His decision to step aside came after heavy pressure from the United States, which has deployed warplanes in Iraq to target Sunni Islamist militants and suggested that more military support would be forthcoming if Mr. Maliki was removed from power. Iran also played a decisive role in convincing Mr. Maliki that he could not stay in power.

Mr. Maliki, 64, agreed to end his legal challenge to the nomination of his replacement, Haider al-Abadi, 62, a member of Mr. Maliki’s own Dawa Party, who was chosen Monday by Iraq’s president.

Happens every four to eight years here, which blows their little Arab minds. Its a must have though if Iraq is ever to become something other than a sectarian sh*thole.

By Howie at 09:05 AM | Comments |

August 12, 2014

Videos: Humanitarian Aid Drops to the Yazidis

You know that asshole Malaki is a big fat liar, saying our airdrops failed.

By Howie at 09:50 AM | Comments |

August 08, 2014

Wipe ISIS Out. All of Them

*I've never been prouder of President Obama than right now. But Mr. President ISIS is no pushover. See Headline.

President Obama authorized airstrikes "if necessary" against Islamic militants if they move toward Erbil in northern Iraq where American military, diplomats and civilians are stationed.

During a late night statement Thursday from the White House, the president said he's okayed "targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."

Mr. Obama explained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in recent days has "continued to move across Iraq and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces to stop the advance on Erbil.

If you're going to use our powah, Use it very liberally Mr. President.

And you keep saying if necessary Its long past necessary, sir. Failure to crush ISIS will be a mistake we'll pay dearly for.

Update: Right on cue the ISIS supporters whine, but but civilians.

You mad bro?

*Didn't take much to reach that level, but if he bombs the living crap out of ISIS he begins filling that very large hole he's been digging.

August 07, 2014

Today on Kurdish TV

But don't worry Obama is actively monitoring the situation.

By Howie at 01:44 PM | Comments |

Meanwhile Near Mosul

Jesus Wept.


But on the other hand, Free candy!


Someone needs to tell Michelle Obama they are passing out free candy. This will totally outrage Michelle and she will finally force the 1st, I mean 2nd Vagina to save Iraq.

Update: Obama Takes Decisive Action, releases a statement on Dept of State website condemning ISIS.

The United States is actively monitoring the situation in the Sinjar and Tal Afar districts of Ninewa Province where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has launched a series of offensives against civilian populations, including in the town of Sinjar. We are gravely concerned for the safety of civilians in these areas, including the vulnerable minority communities who for years have been targeted by ISIL and its progenitor, al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI). We deeply regret the displacement of innocent civilians and mourn the loss of life from recent fighting, including from the ranks of courageous Kurdish Peshmerga units who have been fighting to defend these areas.

The United States is supporting the Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga Forces working to defend these areas against ISIL. Our Joint Operations Centers in Erbil and in Baghdad are sharing information with ISF and Peshmerga commanders. Ambassador Beecroft has met this morning with the President of Iraq, Fuad Massum, and the Deputy UN Special Representative for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, to discuss a coordinated approach to the humanitarian situation. We urge all Iraqi authorities, civil society, and international partners to work with the United Nations to deliver lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

The ISIL assault over the past 48 hours on territories along the border of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and focusing on towns and villages populated by vulnerable minorities, demonstrates once again that this terrorist organization is a dire threat to all Iraqis, the entire region, and the international community. We will continue to facilitate coordination between authorities in Baghdad and Erbil and provide direct assistance wherever possible. We further call on all Iraqi leaders to move swiftly pursuant to their constitutional timeline to form a new government that can help pull the country together and harness national resources against this common enemy.

Oooooh, "actively monitoring the situation." that should leave ISIS quaking in their sandals, no?

On the bright side at least Obama has the idea of actively supporting the Kurds. I consider actively supporting to be a bit more than a few bags of USAID flour. Like maybe some air support or wiping out some ISIS convoys.

So I'm waiting (foot stamping impatiently)

Update: Although its not specifically mentioned in the release it appears the above atrocities occurred in Deir-ezZor province Syria. Although those claims are as foggy as the original release.

By Howie at 10:17 AM | Comments |

August 06, 2014

Good News: ISIS Forcibly Converts 400 Yazidi Brides

Should they escape and not make it to freedom ISIS will kill them.

The Islamic State (IS) allegedly captured more than 400 Yazidi women from Sinjar in northern Iraq Tuesday night, reported pro-Kurdistan news Shafaaq News Wednesday.

“IS distributed the captured women to its fighters in the forests of Mosul and Tal Afar,” reported a correspondent for Kuwaiti news channel Aladalah TV on Wednesday.

Should they escape and return home the Yazidi will kill them because they are not allowed to marry outside the faith.

Rock, meets hard place.

Iraq, what a wonderful smell we've discovered.

By Howie at 12:34 PM | Comments |

July 29, 2014

Dueling Atrocities

Yesterday a defector from the Assad regime called Caesar released a report on the Assad's regime, its eliminating its opponents on an industrial scale.

At Hospital 601, not far from the presidential palace in Damascus, Syrian guards ran out of space to store the dead and had to use an adjoining warehouse where military vehicles were repaired.

A forensic photographer working for Syria's military police walked the rows and took pictures of the emaciated and disfigured corpses, most believed to be anti-Assad activists. Numbers written on the bodies and on white cards, the photographer said, told regime bureaucrats the identities of the deceased, when they died and which branch of the Syrian security services had held them.

U.S. investigators who have reviewed many of the photos say they believe at least 10,000 corpses were cataloged this way between 2011 and mid-2013. Investigators believe they weren't victims of regular warfare but of torture, and that the bodies were brought to the hospital from the Assad regime's sprawling network of prisons. They were told some appeared to have died on site.

The report comes complete with graphic images of the dead and highlighted evidence of torture. And Assad's forces to torture. I've seen videos of them chopping off wounded Jihadi's fingers and general abuse of corpses and the living. I've seen Assad's forces dumping Jihadi bodies by the dozen into ravines and rivers. In general they are pretty brutal..

The full report is here(pdf). And embedded her at the Guardian.


What a coincidence ISIS is also killing on an industrial scale and yesterday released a new video to prove just how efficient their genocide against the Iraqi Shia can be.

Near the end they are killing people and pushing them into the river. I guess to poison the water down stream. The dock they push the victims from is soaked in blood.






Q: So which side is worse?

A: Both.

Update: More at Gateway Pundit.

ISIS supporters cheered the bloody massacre video.

The comments on YouTube were overwhelmingly positive. One supporter called the massacre a “most beautiful Christmas bonus (present).” Another supporter praised the massacre with, “Allahu Akbar!”

By Howie at 08:38 AM | Comments |

July 23, 2014

Paris Quiet on News Christians in Mosul, Iraq Expelled

I meant to get to this yesterday, but it's almost too depressing to read:

After being issued an ultimatum from ISIS in Mosul, some of the city’s last Christian families have fled, only to be robbed of their last possessions at ISIS checkpoints. Friday at noon was the deadline for Christian families to meet ISIS’s demands: Convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, leave Mosul, or be killed. But the day before the final exodus, Christians were informed jizya was no longer an option. The order came to convert, leave, or die.

Gathered along an unlit street on the edge of Hamdaniyah, a majority Christian town on the outskirts of Mosul, large, well-dressed families of refugees from Mosul shared their stories in their only remaining set of clothes, trying to make sense of what had happened. According to the Iraq-based Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, whose field office was receiving internal refugees in Hamdaniyah, 1,500 Christian families have fled Mosul in the last four days. They were the last of the last.

Those families leaving from the checkpoints on the eastern side of the city were harassed and robbed of their possessions but ultimately allowed to leave Mosul with only the clothes on their backs and possibly cab fare. All families who fled on the last morning reported having money, belongings, jewelry, and even documents stolen from them. Women had crucifixes torn from their necks.

Jesus wept.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:28 PM | Comments |

July 21, 2014

Iraqi Town of Zowiya Destroyed

And by Destroyed I mean utterly wiped off the map by ISIS, because the residents refused to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A small Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad put up a fight when Sunni Muslim extremists from the so-called Islamic State tried to impose their rule on the town.

The residents lost, and now the town, Zowiya, just outside of Tikrit, is destroyed. More than 200 of its homes have been blown up, and the residents have fled.

Abu Saad rented a little home in Erbil he shares with his four married sons and their families.

"We have good houses, very luxury houses," he says. "I'm businessman. I have two houses for my sons. They bomb it." Everything is gone: passports, furniture, memories.

"Because we fight them, they destroy us," Abu Saad says.

The young men of the village fought for four hours, and when the ammunition ran out, everyone fled. At least 15 people were killed in the battle, two of them women.javascript:wrapSelection('i')

He asked us not to use his name for his protection. The rest of his family fled only this week, after government air strikes rained down, killing nearly two dozen people.

The men say they would go back and fight, if they could fight with an army they trust.

Well Obama, you're sure doing a heckuva job there. There's plenty of Iraqi Sunni Muslims out there willing to fight ISIS if they could fight with an army they trust. They at one time drove AQI and ISIS to the brink of extinction with our support. Now we have abandoned them to ISIS savages. No wonder they hate us.
So it was that on Friday the Christians of Mosul, a community of thousands settled in the city since the early days of Christianity, were given 24 hours to either convert or face the sword. A third alternative was to pay jizya, an Islamic tax historically levied on religious minorities.

But only a brave or gullible “infidel” would put much faith in protection of that sort, and Christians as well as Yazidis and Shabaks, two other Iraqi minorities, are now fleeing for their lives.

For the Christians this is not a new catastrophe but rather the consolidation and systemisation of a terrible process of extirpation from their historic homelands that has been under way for years. It is nonetheless remarkable that the West has so far had nothing in particular to say about it.

They are describing the ISIS offensive as worse than Genghis Khan.
"This has never happened in Christian or Islamic history. Even Genghis Khan or Hulagu didn't do this," he said. Hulagu Khan led a Mongol army which sacked Baghdad in 1258, killing tens of thousand of people, destroying a caliphate which lasted nearly 600 years and leaving the city in ruins for centuries.

Muslims at the service held up leaflets declaring "I am Iraqi, I am Christian", some writing it on their shirts.

So Genghis Khan destroyed an Islamic caliphate? Where is he when you really need him.

By Howie at 09:19 AM | Comments |

July 15, 2014

When It Comes to Iraqi Kurdish Oil US Should BUY IT!

NPR reports this morning on the US and the Iraqi regime opposing the right of Iraqi Kurds to export oil directly via a pipeline through Turkey.

Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga, have taken over two major oil fields near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The fields have the potential to put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Kurdish regional government.

But there's a hitch: Even if the Kurdish government has control of the oil, it doesn't necessarily mean it can export it — thanks to the Baghdad government and the U.S.

On May 22, about 4 million barrels of crude oil surged through a pipeline running from the autonomous region in northern Iraq, which is controlled by Kurds, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The crude was loaded into four tankers commissioned by the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG. One tanker, the United Leadership, sailed through the Mediterranean toward Morocco — where the first alleged buyer of the oil was, says Ben Lando, editor-in-chief of the Iraq Oil Report.

Related NPR Stories

Soldiers with the Kurdish peshmerga man an outpost near Kirkuk, a city they've sought to control during the chaos that has gripped Iraq.
The Two-Way
Kurdish Leaders Boycott Iraqi Government Meetings
Secretary of State John Kerry (second from left) arrives at Irbil International Airport with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft (fourth from left) on Tuesday. The president of Iraq's ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that "we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq."
The Two-Way
Kerry Visits Kurds To Urge A United Iraq
A member of the Kurdish security forces stand guard atop a armored vehicle at Taza district, south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday, June 20, 2014.
Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos
"But just as it was about to reach the port and unload, the Moroccan authorities refused entry and forced it back into international waters," Lando says. That's where the tanker remains, he says.

"This is because the Iraqi government and its international lawyers and the U.S. government pushed back and essentially claimed that this oil is stolen, it's smuggled, that it hasn't been exported with the authority of Baghdad and thus would be considered illegal," he says. "They convinced the Moroccan authorities not to 'play ball.' "

When asked about the move US officials said some crap like
The U.S. also opposes oil exports by the Kurds because it could undermine Iraq's unity, says State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

"Our position has long been that we don't support exports without the appropriate approval of the federal Iraqi government, and certainly we do have concerns about the impact of those continuing," she says.

The basis being that there are not personal mineral property rights in many of these countries. They are all held by the state and the US still sees the Malik regime Malaki as the legitimate holder of these rights in a unified Iraq.

The problem is that we are caught flat footed yet again. The reality on the ground is that there is no unified Iraq. ISIS controls much of Iraq and has an outlet for its Syrian and Iraqi oil through the Syrian regime via the Baathists in its ranks. ISIS will use its oil money to further its insurgency.

Now ISIS is not without problems. Its saddled with running a large portion of Iraq and Syria. Now taking that area and ruling it are two different things. The Kurds can make things hard on ISIS be keeping open another front. Leaving ISIS involved in battles on all sides of its little Caliphate. It will be very difficult for ISIS to both maintain all those fronts and implement a regime that satisfies the people. I mean we tried it, let it be their effing problem.

The Kurds are a natural counter to ISIS power. If we fail to back the Kurds this time there will be no one to oppose ISIS in all of northern Iraq. And lets face it the Kurds deserve our help.

I don't care how they work it out, if there has to be a royalty or kickback to the Iraqi government that's fine, whatever. But this oil must flow, lest the Kurds not have enough income and resources to hold Iraqi Kurdistan from ISIS.

So like I said, THERE IS NO UNIFIED IRAQ ANY LONGER. The US led Iraqi transitional government is a defacto failure. It will be lucky to hold Baghdad and the south.

The sooner we face that reality and make the required adjustments the better. Delay and failure to adjust only serves ISIS interests.

By Howie at 08:36 AM | Comments |

July 11, 2014

Kurds Seize Two Oil Fields Price of Oil Down

Coincidence? I think not.

Iraqi Kurds have taken over two oil fields amid a growing dispute with the government in Baghdad, Iraqi and Kurdish sources say.

Kurdish peshmerga forces seized control of production facilities at the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields in the north of the country on Friday.

Kurdish MPs have also withdrawn from Iraq's central government.

They did so after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused the Kurds of harbouring extremists.

Kurdish forces have moved into areas of north-western Iraq abandoned by the Iraqi army during the advance of Islamist insurgents led by the Isis (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) group over the past month.

The Kurds have since declared plans to hold a referendum on independence in the areas seized, escalating tensions with Iraq's central authorities.

Lets face it the Kurds have been getting screwed too long. Its their turn to play pitcher.

Go Kurds!

By Howie at 02:12 PM | Comments |

July 09, 2014

Why It's Hard to Hear the Voices of Moderate Muslim Clerics

Did you see that article about ISIS goons desecrating the tomb of Jonah? Pretty bad. But read all the way to the end:

Three Sunni clerics were also killed by ISIS gunmen in Mosul after calling on locals to reject the terror group and refusing to leave the city, authorities said.

The victims were Khattab Hassan, 43, Riyadh al-Wandi, 39, and 48-year-old Abdul Ghafoor Salman.

Oh, and they found 53 people dead near a Shia town. Their hands were tied and they were shot in the back of the head. But, you know, we're supposed to be more outraged that some tomb that no one actually believes contains the earthly remains of Jonah (the whale guy) and Seth (Adam's son).

Priorities, people. Priorities.

Oh, and very much related: What, me worry?

Iraq's government has lost control of a former chemical weapons facility to "armed terrorist groups" and is unable to fulfill its international obligations to destroy toxins kept there, the country's U.N. envoy told the United Nations.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, made public on Tuesday, Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said the Muthanna facility north of Baghdad was seized on June 11. He said remnants of a former chemical weapons program are kept in two bunkers there.

But Osama bin Laden is dead and "al Qaeda is on the run" so if you question Obama's foreign policy then, racist!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:53 AM | Comments |

July 07, 2014

Turns Out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a Fatass


Iraqi authorities are looking at a video that purportedly shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Mosul to determine whether it is really the notorious leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Iraq's military spokesman said Sunday.

The video surfaced on social media sites tied to ISIS, the terror group that now calls itself the Islamic State. It shows a man identified as al-Baghdadi conducting Friday prayers at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri.

As part of that declaration, an ISIS spokesman said the group would now be known as the Islamic State, and al-Baghdadi as its leader would be known as Al-Khalifah Ibrahim -- a reference to the leading religious figure considered a successor to the Prophet Mohammed.

The video, which was released by the media arm of ISIS, identified the man as Al-Khalifah Ibrahim.

The video is here. If say something were to happen to it, after all ISIS is a specially designated terrorist group, I have saved a copy of Fatass' speech.

Look at that fat f*cking f*ck, not a scratch on him and while Syrians under his rule starve, he apparently hasn't missed a single Kabaab. Also he apparently doesn't spend ANY time outside, he's paler than vinnie's description Rusty's pasty white ass.

al-Arabia translates Fatass' speech here. Or is it here, I'm not sure.

By Howie at 09:28 AM | Comments |

July 02, 2014

Good News: al Qaeda Affiliate Continues to Fight "Islamic State" Caliphate

You know your new "Caliph" is a loser when the official al Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al Nusra, wants you dead:

Following the defection of a local brigade affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) to ISIS in the border town of Abu Kamal on June 25, JN sent reinforcements to bolster remaining rebel forces and prevent the town from falling to ISIS. In cooperation with rebel groups, the JN reinforcements set up roadblocks, demanded that ISIS hand over its weapons and leave the city, and imposed a curfew on the city’s residents. Clashes between rebels and ISIS escalated on June 28, with an SVEST targeting an ISIS headquarters in the city, killing 3 and wounding 18. A subsequent regime airstrike on the city targeted a building that had been taken by JN and rebel fighters during the fighting. Contrary to reports circulating in western media, the JN-led Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in Deir ez-Zour Province denied that ISIS is in control of the city on June 29. ISIS is reported to have sent reinforcements from the T2 oil station and from al-Qa’im on the Iraqi side of the border. With these new forces ISIS was able to seize control of a neighborhood at the northeast entrance to the town.
The bad news here is that it looks like ISIS is now in control of the area mentioned above. But that's just territory swapped between bad guys -- bloods taking over your neighborhood in lieu of the crips.

The good news is that al Qaeda's local boys continue to fight ISIS -- Red on Red.

The more of these guys that kill each other, the better we'll all be.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:22 PM | Comments |

June 30, 2014

So, if Islamic State is a "Country" Now ....

... does that mean we can declare war, carpet bomb them, then round up their leaders and try them for war crimes before executing them? If only:

In an audio statement posted online that coincided with the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), announced that the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the "caliph," or leader, of a state whose territory extended from the city of Aleppo in northwestern Syria, to Diyala province in northeastern Iraq.

The spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, described al-Baghdadi as "the imam and khalifah (caliph) for the Muslims everywhere." He also said that with the establishment of the caliphate, the group was changing its name to just the Islamic State, dropping the mention of Iraq and the Levant.

"The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph's authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas," al-Adnani continued. "Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day."

My opinion? Part of me says let them have their caliphate. It's about time the Islamist supporters realized their dreams and are forced to lie in the beds they've made.

Like communism, the fantasy of the ideal will only be crushed by the hard facts of reality: life under Islamic law is oppressive.

Then again, it took 50+ years for the Soviet Empire to collapse under it's own weight. Can we really wait 50 years for these people to figure out that their utopian experiment is doomed to failure from the start?

That's not really a rhetorical question. I'm actually torn as to what our response, if any, should be.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:29 PM | Comments |

June 13, 2014

ISIS Militants Firing At Random Vehicles (Updated: Full Video With Translation

These savages videotaped themselves shooting civilians in vehicles:


They are also beheading captives and executing civilians in the street. The story is HERE.

UPDATE: The leader of the ISIS currently wreaking havoc in Iraq was released by Obama in 2009.

UPDATE II: I've been informed in comments and by email that this video was released several weeks ago. The victims may be military or Iraqi police. It may be a clip from a much longer video found HERE. (Thanks, Birbal & ShortTimer!)

Update III by Howie: The full video release is here at Jihadology, with English subtitles. Note they aren't just shooting cars but at random pedestrians as well. Later in the video they make Sunni members of the Awakening Councils dig their own graves.

At 29:26 they change an anti-Christ(ian) slogan, "Break the Crosses and destroy the grandsons of Monkeys." Referring to Jesus Jewishness and Christianity's heritage as religion having its roots in Jewish theology.

But I'm pretty sure they didn't mean it like it sounds because Islam is a Religion of Peace and they respect People of the Book.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Later they go beating on doors searching Muslim's houses in the dark of night. Taking more murder victims, they wear uniforms so that the victims cannot be sure who is taking them. Didn't Muslims get outraged when the US searched for insurgents? And we were not shooting them in the head in their own front yard, so do you see Muslim outrage at the same behaviour by ISIS? Not quite.

At 52:55 a member of Iraq's counter terror unit resists the terrorist. The tape then cuts to after the struggle showing the man has been beheaded in his own bedroom.

By DMartyr at 04:13 PM | Comments |

Iraq: 800 Militants Defeat 30,000 U.S. Trained Iraqi Soldiers

This isn't that shocking if you understand that we are not fighting a conventional enemy. We are fighting a radical ideology that permeates every part of the Middle East. It knows no boundaries. Its sole goal is to conquer all.

From Military Times:

The extremist group seizing vast swaths of Iraq this week is most likely fielding a small force of less than 1,000 fighters equipped with little more than small-arms weaponry and soft-shelled pickup trucks.

But the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, apparently has routed an estimated 30,000 Iraqi Army soldiers who were trained by the U.S. military and given billions in sophisticated American military equipment.

The stunning outcome reflects widespread desertions among the Iraqi units in the north as well as the Sunni-Shiite sectarian tensions that underlie the military battles, experts say.

"It's a relativity small force that managed to take the city [of Mosul], and it’s shocking that they were able to do that," said Charlie Cooper, who studies Islamic extremism for the Quilliam Foundation in London.

"To me, that suggests there is collusion or at least deliberate capitulation on the part of Sunni tribes in western and northern Iraq," Cooper said. "It's likely that this happened because Sunni tribes in the area let it happen."

No amount of training or equipment will change a belief system. We cannot fight an ideology with weapons. Until we understand that, we will never defeat Islamic terrorists.

All this mess reminds me of a story I posted a while back. Here's an excerpt, but it's worth a full read.

"You were a philosophy major or minor at that podunk little college you went to long ago," said the Time Traveler. "Do you remember what Category Error is?"

It rang a bell. But I was too irritated at hearing my alma mater being called a "podunk little college" to be able to concentrate fully.

"I'll tell you what it is," said the Time Traveler. "In philosophy and formal logic, and it has its equivalents in science and business management, Category Error is the term for having stated or defined a problem so poorly that it becomes impossible to solve that problem, through dialectic or any other means."

I waited. Finally I said firmly, "You can't go to war with a religion. Or, I mean... sure, you could... the Crusades and all that... but it would be wrong."

The Time Traveler sipped his Scotch and looked at me. He said, "Let me give you an analogy..."

God, I hated and distrusted analogies. I said nothing.

"Let's imagine," said the Time Traveler, "that on December eighth, Nineteen forty-one, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke before a joint session of Congress and asked them to declare war on aviation."

"That's absurd," I said.

"Is it?" asked the Time Traveler. "The American battleships, cruisers, harbor installations, Army barracks, and airfields at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in Hawaii were all struck by Japanese aircraft. Imagine if the next day Roosevelt had declared war on aviation... threatening to wipe it out wherever we found it. Committing all the resources of the United States of America to defeating aviation, so help us God."

"That's just stupid,' I said. If I'd ever been afraid of this Time Traveler, I wasn't now. He was obviously a mental defective."The planes, the Japanese planes," I said, "were just a method of attack... a means... it wasn't aviation that attacked us at Pearl Harbor, but the Empire of Japan. We declared war on Japan and a few days later its ally, Germany, lived up to its treaty with the Japanese and declared war on us. If we'd declared war on aviation, on goddamned airplanes rather than the empire and ideology that launched them, we'd never have..."

I stopped. What had he called it? Category Error. Making the problem unsolvable through your inability - or fear - of defining it correctly.

Read it all.

By DMartyr at 02:22 PM | Comments |

Obama Sends Message To Iraq: 'Come Together'

This administration just doesn't get it. These terrorists believe it is their religious and moral duty to conquer for Allah. They don't want a part in government, they want to control everything. They don't care about money, land, country, family, or peace. All they want is a world-wide caliphate.

The only choice they will give us is to convert, submit or die.

The Obama administration delivered a message Friday to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as Al Qaeda-inspired militants took control of more cities on their march toward Baghdad, reportedly leaving a trail of decapitated government forces in their wake:

"Come together."

Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the message, putting the onus on the Maliki government to "put sectarian differences aside and to come together in unity to begin to be more representative and inclusive."

Yeah, that will work. /s

If that doesn't, Obama threatened to gather his administration together to sing "Give Peace A Chance" until the terrorists relent.

By DMartyr at 11:08 AM | Comments |

June 12, 2014

Good News! ISIS Captures Blackhawk Helicopter

Update: There is some question as to the accuracy of these reports. CBS is reporting the Mosul airport is taken and helicopters seized by ISIS. As for questions about ISIS ability to fly, all they really need is a pilot, put a gun to his head. Piloting skill aquired.

By Howie at 10:00 AM | Comments |

ISIS Imposes New Rules in Iraq


* All Muslims in the city have bee instructed to attend mosque for the five daily prayers.

* It confirms that it seized up to half a billion dollars from the Mosul branch of the Bank of Iraq but states it can be trusted with the funds. Any one of its members who breach this promise will have their hands cut off.

* No drugs, no alcohol and no cigarettes allowed

* No public gathering other than those organised by ISIS will be allowed

* No guns will be allowed

* All tribal leaders and sheikhs in the area have been warned not to co-operate with the state.

* Finally all women must dress in concealing clothing that preserve decency. Females should only go outside "if necessary".

Well it looks like they picked some of the finer points of their policy from the Democrat party?

I'm sure its only to protect the Iraqi people from themselves.

By Howie at 09:58 AM | Comments |

June 11, 2014

Good News: Terror Group Considered too Extreme for al Qaeda Now Has More Money than al Qaeda Ever Did!

You've heard about the military hardware that the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) captured in the past few days, but what about all the cash they've taken? Yes, they're are banks in towns like Mosul and Tikrit and ISIS now has all that cash. How much? I've been seeing claims on Twitter from ISIS sources claiming as much as ... wait for it .... $500 million dollars:

Nevertheless, this is very significant, and analysis of the fall of Mosul so far has given it short shrift. If the number is accurate, ISIS now has more money than Osama bin Laden ever did -- not accounting for inflation, but also not counting ISIS's previous bankroll and the fundraising bonanza that its conquest of Mosul is likely to produce.

Media coverage has thus far focused on pictures circulated by ISIS of its jihadists driving around in American Humvees captured from the Iraqi army. But you can't fly a Humvee into a skyscraper in Manhattan. Armor travels regionally, money travels globally. ISIS is now arguably in a better position to bankroll global terrorism than al Qaeda ever was.


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:31 PM | Comments |

Dog Bites Man: ISIS Takes Over Turkish Consulate in Mosul

But don't worry, ISIS claims that the consul general and the 45+ other Turks being held against their will aren't "hostages" ... they're holding them pending an "investigation". If they're being "investigated" for "crimes" them I'm pretty sure we know what the outcome will be.

Why is this a dog bites man story? Because the vast majority of foreign jihadists in ISIS's ranks came through Turkey, which today mostly ignores the problem and up until last year was actively encouraging them to do so and helping them on their way.

The silver lining here is that maybe this will push Turkey into taking more action in securing it's borders. And maybe, if we're lucky, they'll take some military action against ISIS strongholds in Syria.

Update by Howie: Rusty says above, I'm pretty sure we know what the outcome will be...

Right on time:

Police officials also told the British Telegraph that the group had freed some 300 inmates in a city prison there and made advances in parts of Kirkuk; local authorities have reported mass beheadings throughout the city.
Mass beheadings? The cell phone networks there must be simply overloaded with bloodcurdling snuff porn downloading, but mostly peaceful, followers of the Religion of Peas.

The above victims appear to be shot.

Hat Tip: Pat.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:41 AM | Comments |

ISIS Moves on to Tikrit And Samarra


Officials say militants are now in control of some parts of Tikrit - Saddam Hussein's hometown which lies just 150km (95 miles) north of Baghdad.

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has vowed to fight back against the jihadists and punish those in the security forces who have deserted.

The insurgents who attacked Mosul are from the ISIS group.

It is not confirmed who is attacking Tikrit but one report said there was also fighting further south in Samarra.

ISIS - the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also known as ISIL - is an offshoot of al-Qaeda.

It controls considerable territory in eastern Syria and western and central Iraq, in a campaign to set up a militant enclave straddling the border.

Yesterday it was reported that the ISIS offensive has created between 150 and 500 thousand refugees fleeing ISIS strict Islamist rule, that even bans cigarettes.

Analysis here at Intelwire.

By Howie at 09:50 AM | Comments |

Point of Order To ABC on The Fall of Mosul

Um, I have a bone to pick with ABC on this report about the fall of Mosul to ISIS.

In the report ABC claims that the forces who fled in the face of ISIS are the same troops that the US trained. The Sunni Awakening Councils that expelled al-Qaeda in Iraq from Mosul Diyala and Fallujah back in 2008 and 2009

In Mosul, many troops in the Iraqi army and police forces — which the U.S. spent billions to train and equip — simply dropped their weapons, stripped off their uniforms and fled, according to numerous reports. And they left behind many of their heavy weapons, which have now fallen into the hands of the rebels.
They even include a video clip of General Petraeus (1:24) saying, "I don't think you'll have that problem here." when asked if al-Qaeda would intimidate the new Iraqi troops once the US left.

But the plan was, and the Shia led Iraqi government agreed, to integrate these local Sunni militias into the regular Iraqi security forces. Up till that point the US had armed trained and funded those militias.

ABC could not resist taking a swipe at Petraeus to to protect President Obama.

Its a low blow, because after Obama failed to secure a status of forces agreement and withdrew our forces from Iraq, we could no longer put pressure on the Shia led Iraqi government to keep its promise to fold these local militias into the security forces.

New York Times, March 23 2009.

The same day, one group of the fighters north of Baghdad announced they were resigning from their Awakening Council, the Iraqi name for what the Americans call the Sons of Iraq. And in the town of Salman Pak, councils in southern Baghdad and its suburbs, an area once called “the ring of death,” met to denounce Iraqi efforts to integrate them.

These are among the signs that the fighters’ patience is fraying badly at a difficult moment. After months of promises, only 5,000 Awakening members — just over 5 percent — have been given permanent jobs in the Iraqi security forces. Those promises were made last year when Iraq was flush with oil money.

Now with Iraq’s budget battered by falling oil prices, the government is having trouble paying existing employees, much less bringing in Sunni gunmen already regarded with suspicion by the Shiite-led government.

In interviews with leaders from a dozen local Awakening Councils, nearly all complained that full-time jobs were lacking, that pay was in arrears and that members were being arrested despite promises of amnesty.

Perhaps most ominously, many expressed concern this might drive some followers back to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a largely Iraqi group with some foreign leadership, at a time when both Iraqi and American military commanders say that the group seems to be making gains, small but worrisome, around Baghdad.

The complaints are not completely new, as Awakening members bargained for power and cash, but the threat to rejoin the insurgency has grown more fervent as more time has passed without government jobs.

“Until now, promises are all we’ve gotten,” said Adil al-Mashhadani, a leader of the Awakening Council in the Fadhil neighborhood in Baghdad, where 12 of the 180 members have been able to join the police. “When the government does not even pay them enough to stay alive, Qaeda and armed groups are ready to pay them generously.”

So even as the writing was on the wall that the US was leaving, the Iraqi government began going back on its promise to integrate the fighters we had worked so hard to split from al-Qaeda. After we left the problem only worsened, with Shia forces from the south moved to Sunni areas to keep a lid on Sunni Baathists like Ansar al-Sunnah, al-Qaeda allied groups and Sunnis in general.

The forces that fled Mosul, ditching their equipment and uniforms were most likely NOT the same local forces that General Petraeus trained to keep al-Qaeda from retaking northwest Iraq.

Then Obama's policy debacle in Syria only worsened the problem. But when you think about it that was Bushes policy too, the domino effect, where if Saddam fell then there would be an Arab Spring and many Muslim Nations in the middle east would witness a big giant democracy cakewalk. And it would all be hunky dory.

As we find out on the train, destabilizing the despots in the Middle East is a bad idea. They are there for a reason.

By Howie at 07:51 AM | Comments |

June 10, 2014

Map Definitively Shows al Qaeda Not On the Run

Okay, technically they're no longer part of al Qaeda. In fact what we have here is a group so bloodthirsty that even al Qaeda disavowed them. Controlling large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. So, this isn't exactly proof that Obama lied when he told the American people that "al Qaeda is on the run" because this isn't al Qaeda. It's worse. Much much worse.

But, hey, Obama killed Osama bin Laden. So I guess it's all good.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:54 PM | Comments |