Iraq

Our ISIS problem solved: Iraqi PM doesn’t want our help

Sending the SAS or not to send the SAS?   Key vs the left and the media?   All of this is no longer a problem.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi [yesterday]ruled out any foreign ground intervention to assist government forces in retaking territory lost to jihadists and urged Sunnis to give up such hopes.

Abadi was speaking in the city of Najaf after a rare meeting with the most revered figure among Iraqi Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and before a trip to neighbouring Iran.

“No ground forces from any superpower, international coalition or regional power will fight here,” Abadi told reporters, reiterating previous remarks on the issue.

“This is my decision, it is the decision of the Iraqi government.”

Some officials and Sunni tribal leaders in areas most affected by the unrest have argued the world should step up its involvement from air strikes to a ground intervention against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

Ignoring the fact that ISIS are quite happy to have foreign boots on the ground, the fears of the Iraqi PM seems to be more about being invaded by stealth:   Read more »

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Chemical weapons? Oh how convenient. Lighting does strike twice

The whole debacle surrounding chemical weapons (Weapons of Mass Destruction) that were used as the justification for the USA, UK and its allies to roll all over Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and then subsequently not actually finding any (they were all moved into Syria, just in time!), has been central to the criticism.

Tony Blair is still considered a war criminal by many for this, with many people thinking it was nothing but deception with the help of a compliant media to get the fear factor going.  The fear subsequently drove public approval for the invasion of Iraq.

So call me a conspiracy theorist if you must, but this is just a little too convenient

ISIS controls a vast compound in Iraq containing 2,500 rusting chemical weapons rockets, according to the Iraqi government.

The site was bombed by the US during the 1991 Gulf War, but the munitions there were only partially destroyed, according to the UN – then left to Iraq to take care of.

However, Iraqi officials wrote to the United Nations this summer claiming that abandoned weapons containing the lethal nerve agent Sarin are still in the ruins of the Muthanna State Establishment, which made chemical weapons in the 1980s and early 1990s, and that this is now in the hands of the violent jihadists.

They warned that they had watched equipment there being looted on CCTV.

Ok, they never found chemical weapons, but now we have a factory?  And partially destroyed munitions?  And… oh I give up.  REALLY?

This is the “evidence”.

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Anyone can draw boxes on a map.  This is apparently what ISIS have taken over and “looted” the chemical ordinance from: Read more »

Would people who have no knowledge of military matters stop making silly suggestions

SAS-Baddass

NZSAS after operation in Kabul to sort out some Taliban ratbags

David Farrar opines about Vernon Small’s article that New Zealand sends military transport and not our highly skilled SAS to Syria and Iraq.

But first lets address Small’s report.

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand could offer the airforce’s “airlift capacity” as part of a contribution to the international military action against Islamic State (IS) militants.

The extremist Islamic group, also known as Isil, and Isis, has rapidly moved to control and destabilise Iraq, sweeping in from Syria in the north. The group has beheaded aid workers, journalists and carried out crucifixions and mass executions.

Key is also signalling that Cabinet will tomorrow take the first step towards cracking down on New Zealanders who go to fight alongside IS, by extending the time passports can be cancelled and by making fighting with IS an explicit criminal act.

Speaking on TV One’s Q+A programme, Key said a range of options were being considered for New Zealand involvement in the IS conflict but more work was needed before a final decision.

Any action should be “useful, practical and work”, he said. That could range from humanitarian action, which was already under way, and include military options such as training, “to ultimately people who would be there right on the front line”.

“The last bit is some sort of military support, but not necessarily people on the ground, so it could be airlift capability.”

Let’s look at the stupidity of that suggestion, from Key and reported by Vernon Small.   Read more »

You cannot bow down to threats

John Key states the obvious in saying that threats of reprisals from the head-hackers of ISIS won’t cloud any decision to go ISIS hunting.

Good we must not live in fear of these scumbags.

The threat of terrorist reprisal won’t sway New Zealand’s decision on whether to join the US-led response to Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Prime Minister John Key said yesterday it was unlikely that committing military forces to Iraq would put New Zealand at greater risk, but that could not be a factor in the decision.

“If you weren’t prepared to do anything solely on the basis of that [increased risk], then you actually start losing your independent foreign policy because by definition you’re saying that the actions of terrorists will stop you standing up to those terrorists.”

Officials are set to brief Key this week on options for Iraq, and he has not ruled out a military contribution.

Professor Robert Ayson, strategic studies professor at Victoria University, said the range of options being weighed up by Key would likely include humanitarian aid through to deploying New Zealand’s special forces troops, the SAS.

Australia had already done so and the New Zealand SAS had proven itself in other theatres.

Read more »

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Andrew Sullivan on Islam, jihadists and western apologists

Andrew Sullivan comes up with a brilliant explanation of Islam, jihadists and western apologists like Ben Affleck.

he made these comments in response to the video of the Bill Maher/Ben Affleck debate.

I think it’s pretty indisputable that any religion that can manifest itself in the form of something like ISIS in any period in history is in a very bad way. I know they’re outliers – even with respect to al Qaeda. But, leaving these mass murderers and sadists to one side, any religion that still cannot allow its own texts to be subject to scholarly and historical inquiry, any religion that denies in so many parts of the world any true opportunities for women, and any religion whose followers believe apostasy should be punished with death is in a terrible, terrible way. There is so much more to Islam than this – but this tendency is so widespread, and its fundamentalism so hard to budge, and the destruction wrought by its violent extremists so appalling that I find Affleck’s and Aslan’s defenses to be missing the forest for the trees.  Read more »

We actually don’t need UN permission to attack ISIS

There is a great deal of huffing and puffing from terrorist loving politicians and commentators.

They don’t want us to go deal to the ISIS terrorist scumbags and want some sort of UN mandate.

The only problem with that sort of b.s. is that we actually don;t need UN mandates, ISIS is not a country they are a band of rampaging thugs and we can deal to them any time we want with or without a UN mandate.

In the UK the same types of terrorist huggers are saying the same things.

MPs who vote tomorrow on whether to go to war with Isis will not have the security blanket of a UN Security Council resolution, so it is important to understand why, as a matter of international law, they do not need it.

They are not being invited to overthrow the regime of a sovereign state, which they wrongly decided to do in the case of Iraq in 2003, or to support a feckless reprisal bombing of Syria, which they rightly rejected last year. Isis is a group of international criminals, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity with genocidal intent, and the right – arguably the duty – to protect their victims does not depend on Russian approval in the Security Council.

Isis has been killing innocent civilians because of their religion and issuing blood-curdling incitements to kill “all non-believers”.  They have been executing without trial, recruiting children as soldiers, taking and killing hostages.  They are, in the Latin phrase used in international law, hostis humanis generis, the enemies of humankind.  As with the pirate, torturer and slave trader, no UN approval is necessary for law-abiding states to use force against such barbarity.

But our complicity in the invasion of Iraq has cast a long shadow; Ed Miliband, for example, has evinced a “preference” for a Security Council resolution.  This is unnecessary and in fact undesirable – action in humanitarian emergencies should not be vulnerable to the veto of the Chinese, or of President Putin.  A resolution was necessary for the invasion of Iraq – a sovereign state where there was no basis for humanitarian intervention. President Bush expressly excluded this justification for his (and our) war.  As for last year’s proposal to bomb Syria, it was a one-off punishment reprisal of questionable legality and doubtful purpose and it was sensibly rejected by Parliament (and people).

Is there any difference (as some MPs seem to think) in the legitimacy of bombing IS in Iraq (which has expressly invited the coalition to do so) and bombing it in Syria?  This is a pettifogging point – going to war should not depend on technicalities (the US justified the Vietnam war on the basis that it had been “invited in” by the puppet government of South Vietnam).  In any event, Syria has not complained and its consent to the attack on its most dangerous enemy can be inferred.  The real question for Parliament tomorrow is whether the attack on Isis is lawful and, if so, whether it is right.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

From the post about ISIS, Olivia Pierson writes:

I’m so glad you put this up Cameron. I have to say I felt a twinge of disgust when I read Andrea Vance’s op-ed; again with the staggeringly militant ignorance of NZ journalism on geopolitical issues which deeply matter!

Firstly – Vance says; “In the last two decades, Iraq has not been far off the military radar.

Military intervention to eliminate weapons of mass destruction was built on a fallacy, years of slaughter failed to remove the threat of terrorism or install democracy.”

The removal of the psychopathic Saddam Hussein Baathist regime was inevitable and appallingly long-overdue, a reality which Tony Blair knew along with President Bush – hence the Anglo-American coalition to overthrow it. The questions around WMD was only ONE of the reasons which put this coalition on the right side of history.

According to the United Nations, there are four egregious acts where breaking even one of them, can and should result in regime change; Saddam broke all four:
1 – committing genocide (against the Kurds),
2 – the invasion of a neighbouring state (Iran & Kuwait),
3 – proliferating nuclear weapons (Saddam himself boasted that Iraq was on its way to acquiring a centrifuge (we now know he only had a blueprint) and remember the 550 metric tons of yellow cake airlifted out of Iraq and shipped straight to Canada in 2008? Should the world have just taken a violent psychopath’s word that the enriched uranium was intended for peaceful purposes only?)
4 – aiding and abetting terrorism (Saddam was a renowned and prolific supporter of terrorism to many Islamist militant organisations, among them Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who moved freely between Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan and Iraq – a fact which obviates Saddam’s blessing.) Read more »

Should NZ get involved against ISIS?

There are many commenting now on whether or not NZ should get involved in the fight against ISIS.

Andrea Vance has an opinion piece in the Sunday Star-Times about the issue where she takes the side of the cowards and insists parliament must debate the issue.

This of course plays into the hands of the jihadists and Islamists, who don’t ever have to worry about the niceties of a parliamentary democracy.

In 2001, Helen Clark took a resolution to Parliament to supply SAS troops to the War on Terror which passed 112-7. In fact the offer was made in Washington a month earlier, and Clark insisted the approval of Parliament was not necessary, but she wanted troops to know they “had the full support of MPs.” It was the beginning of the end of New Zealand’s ”independent foreign policy.”

New Zealand faces a tough choice. Stand by impotently as many more hostages are murdered by a network of death? Or join another US-led crusade in a Muslim country?

With one foot in the West and one in the East, and vying for a seat on the UN Security Council, it must be remembered that not all nations choose the US as their global policeman.

In the last two decades, Iraq has not been far off the military radar. Military intervention to eliminate weapons of mass destruction was built on a fallacy, years of slaughter failed to remove the threat of terrorism or install democracy.

The conflict in Afghanistan also saw mission creep. Initial action was targeted at taking out Osama Bin Laden and dismantling Al Qaeda, but became a protracted quest to implement democracy and destroy the Taleban. Key admitted New Zealand paid a ”heavy price” – the death of 10 soldiers.

The latest strikes on Iraq have been condemned worldwide for lacking strategy and tactics. All the warning signs are that taking on ISIS will be a long, bloody war, with complex and unpredictable consequences.

At the very least all this is worthy of a parliamentary debate.

Read more »

A Guest Post – Psychological Warfare

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Another murdered hostage, and another bleak day.

It is true that good people die every day and it is absolutely appalling to hear the news – whether it is gun violence on the street, domestic violence in family homes, or ISIS executions.  What ISIS is doing though is hitting our western sensibilities via the “method” and this is of course their intent.  Kidnap an innocent, let the world see him plead, listen to his family implore compassion, listen to our politicians make statements, murder that hostage in a grievous way, and then introduce us to the next hapless victim.  Then repeat the cycle, and with the Internet we can all see this in our homes and our governments can’t prevent that.  We all talk about it and we are uncertain of the future and many of us are scared.  Some of the locals, not many mind you, agree with this method for their own reasons and start to talk amongst themselves about this extreme tangent and feel empowered to take out whatever grievance they may have and join the cause – either locally or in the Middle East.  Don’t assume for one moment this is not a highly organised game of psychological warfare going on here.  To give all of us some credit I think we all know this.   Read more »

UN reports on ISIS war crimes including slavery, rape and mass executions

For apologists of ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism the latest UN report into happening in Syria and Iraq makes for grim reading.

Foreign Policy reports:

In early August, fighters from the Islamic State swept into the small Yazidi village of Maturat in Iraq’s Sinjar district and took women to the Badush prison in Mosul. Hundreds more women and girls were herded into an ancient citadel in the town of Tal Afar in the northern province of Nineveh. From Tal Afar, a group of 150 unmarried girls and women, mostly from Christian or Yazidi families, were selected and reportedly sent to Syria “either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves,” according to a report released on Thursday, Oct. 2, by the United Nations’ human rights office in Iraq.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, captured the world’s attention last June by declaring the creation of a caliphate in parts of both Syria and Iraq and embarking on a ruthless military campaign marked by mass executions, beheadings, and ethnic cleansing of ancient Christian, Shiite, and Yazidi communities. The 26-page report — which documents rights abuses from July 6 through Sept. 10 — constitutes the most detailed U.N. account of crimes committed by the Islamic State and sheds further light on its mass enslavement of women and girls. Evidence was compiled by a team of U.N. human rights investigators inside Iraq. Most of the interviews with eyewitnesses were conducted in Erbil and Dohuk, where thousands fled the Islamic State’s military offensive.

By the end of August, the U.N. documented the abduction of up to 2,500 civilians, mostly women and children, from the northern Iraqi towns and regions of Sinjar, Tal Afar, the Ninewa Plains, and Shirkhan. Once they were in captivity, fighters from the Islamic State sexually assaulted the teenage boys and girls, witnesses told the United Nations. Those who refused to convert to the groups ran the risk of execution. “[W]omen and children who refused to convert were being allotted to ISIL fighters or were being trafficked … in markets in Mosul and to Raqqa in Syria,” according to the report. “Married women who converted were told by ISIL that their previous marriages were not recognised in Islamic law and that they, as well as unmarried women who converted, would be given to ISIL fighters as wives.”

A market for the sale of abducted women was set up in the al-Quds neighborhood of Mosul.  Read more »