This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hitting ISIL

"We are hitting ISIL, harder than ever."
"The point is, ISIL leaders cannot hide and our next message to them is simple: 'You are next'."
U.S. President Barack Obama

"The American people are smart enough to know when something is working or not, and it's obvious that the president's current strategy isn't working"
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican 

"As the only person to have won the Nobel Peace Prize on the basis of sheer hope rather than actual achievement, Barack Hussein Obama could be expected to do everything within his power to vindicate this unprecedented show of trust. Instead he has presided over a clueless foreign policy that has not only exacerbated ongoing regional conflicts but made the world a far more dangerous place. Nowhere has this phenomenon been more starkly demonstrated than in the Middle East where the Nobel laureate has abetted Tehran's drive for regional hegemony and brought the regime within a stone's throw of nuclear weapons; driven Iraq and Libya to the verge of disintegration; expedited the surge of Islamist terrorism; exacerbated the Syrian civil war and its attendant refugee problem; made the intractable Palestinian-Israeli conflict almost irresolvable; and plunged Washington's regional influence and prestige to unprecedented depths,[1] paving the road in grand style to Russia's resurgence."
Efraim Karsh, Middle East Quarterly, emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies,  King's College, London 
Obama warned Assad that the use of chemical weapons was a "red line" that could trigger a U.S. military response
President Obama found success when U.S. Intelligence was finally able to pinpoint the presence of Osama bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. He increased the use of drone attacks to destroy the lives of Islamist Taliban who were fighting NATO and U.S. forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He had fighting forces on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and declared both countries capable of defending themselves from the ongoing attacks by Islamist jihadists.

Which gave the opportunity for an al-Qaeda affiliate originating in Iraq to break away and declare itself a state which its militias expanded into a 'caliphate' by occupying a third each of Iraq and Syria to create a new country of a landscape devastated by sectarian blood-letting. Now, the world is focused on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant which has distinguished itself for its ferocious atrocities and its professional use of social media.

Al-Qaeda succeeded in mounting the most devastating of attacks ever committed within the United States, but Islamic State has succeeded in taking the hearts and minds of young Islamists eager to be recruited to their ranks, to be part of its spectacular success. Rampaging through Syria and Iraq in its vicious predations on Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and Shiites, the terrorist hordes have enriched themselves through oil revenues, looting banks, and capturing U.S.-made weapons.

It's still a toss-up though, which is the more devastatingly brutal in Syria, the Alawite Baathist regime of President Bashar al-Assad or the Islamic State militias. The former using chemical weapons and tens of thousands of barrel bombs to fracture the lives of Sunni Syrian civilians, slaughtering countless vulnerable people and ruining civil infrastructure. Or the latter wreaking fear and violence wherever its militias march, using mass rape, slavery, crucifixion, beheadings to make their point.

So the United States administration is faced with a double challenge; to stop ISIL where it thrives in the Middle East, and to detect and apprehend its sympathizers spurred to violent action within the United States; citizen-terrorists on their assault-sprees gaining additional martyrs for the Islamic State roll of honour. Recent claims of progress in Iraq and Syria by the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIL have reversed earlier setbacks.

Hundreds of airstrikes in more recent days are said to have dealt massive blows to ISIL ranks in Iraq. Without American troops on the ground, strikes are imprecise, logistics inaccurate, numbers questioned and the morale of the Iraqi military a point of contention despite the intensive training and munitions given it by the U.S. American special forces have been charged to liven things up and create the atmosphere for greater success in a dismal showing.

Islamic State fighters overrunning an Iraqi position near Samarra

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