Assad to use (Saddam’s?) chemical weapons in desperation?

June 29, 2015
x

Yet another Baathist murderer

But… But… But wait! Obama said Syria didn’t have any chemical munitions anymore!

Well… About that.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe there is a strong possibility the Assad regime will use chemical weapons on a large scale as part of a last-ditch effort to protect key Syrian government strongholds if Islamist fighters and other rebels try to overrun them, U.S. officials said.

Analysts and policy makers have been poring over all available intelligence hoping to determine what types of chemical weapons the regime might be able to deploy and what event or events might trigger their use, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Last year, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad let international inspectors oversee the removal of what President Barack Obama called the regime’s most deadly chemical weapons. The deal averted U.S. airstrikes that would have come in retaliation for an Aug. 21, 2013, sarin-gas attack that killed more than 1,400 people.

Since then, the U.S. officials said, the Assad regime has developed and deployed a new type of chemical bomb filled with chlorine, which Mr. Assad could now decide to use on a larger scale in key areas. U.S. officials also suspect the regime may have squirreled away at least a small reserve of the chemical precursors needed to make nerve agents sarin or VX. Use of those chemicals would raise greater international concerns because they are more deadly than chlorine and were supposed to have been eliminated.

As a reminder, this is what the president said:

Assad gave up his chemical weapons. And that’s not speculation on our part. That, in fact, has been confirmed by the organization internationally that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons.

I guess no one told our fourth-greatest president ever “not quite.”

Regardless, the WSJ article mentioned Syria “developed” new weapons in the time since the inspections and removal. And  perhaps they did; with Iranian money and logistical help it wouldn’t be at all surprising. But, later in the article, there is this interesting snippet:

More worrying, U.S. officials said, would be the possibility that Mr. Assad could tap into a secret supply of sarin and VX. He might also be trying to reconstitute elements of his chemical-weapons program.

Hmmm… Where could this secret supply have come from? Sure, Assad could have squirreled it away to hide it from the original inspectors, but there’s another possibility: it’s stock that Saddam shipped to Syria before we took him out in 2003:

“There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands,” [former Iraq General George] Sada said. “I am confident they were taken over.”

(…)

Mr. Sada, 65, told the Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.

“I know them very well. They are very good friends of mine. We trust each other. We are friends as pilots,” Mr. Sada said of the two pilots. He declined to disclose their names, saying they are concerned for their safety. But he said they are now employed by other airlines outside Iraq.

The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including “yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel.” The pilots said there was also a ground convoy of trucks.

The flights – 56 in total, Mr. Sada said – attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam collapse in June of 2002.

“Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming,” Mr. Sada said. “They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians.”

There were rumors of this at the time of the invasion and for years afterward, never substantiated, but never wholly dismissed, either. One speculation had it that the WMDs were secreted in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, an area control by Iran and Syria’s client, Hizbullah. Could Iran have authorized Hizbullah to give some of the old Iraqi stock to Assad? Strategically, they need to gain/keep control of Syria to funnel aid to Hizbullah, so that the latter can keep threatening Israel. So, if such weapons exist, and if Assad’s situation is as desperate as the Journal article makes it out to be, then it’s not beyond the pale to imagine.

Saddam’s great legacy is murder, after all.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt newsletter


ISIS: Is Barack Obama merely “incompetent,” or malevolently so?

June 10, 2015
Leadership

Leadership

I was wondering what that sound was I heard the other day. Turns out it was jaws dropping at the Pentagon when they heard their commander in chief say this:

The US does not yet have a “complete strategy” for helping Iraq regain territory from Islamic State (IS), President Barack Obama has said.

He said the Pentagon was reviewing ways to help Iraq train and equip its forces.

But Mr Obama said a full commitment to the process was needed by the Iraqis themselves.

How long has ISIS/Daesh/The Islamic State been in the news as they rampage across what used to be Syria and Iraq butchering thousands? Over a year? And yet the president says his military still hasn’t presented him with a “complete strategy?” (Which begs the question of why he wasn’t pounding his desk demanding one, being the commander in chief, after all.)

Reacting to the news that they’ve just been thrown under a bus, a Pentagon official had this to say:

One military official reacted angrily to Obama’s blamesmanship:

“What the f— was that,” the official told Fox News. “We have given him lots of options, he just hasn’t acted on them.”

I guess this is how community organizers smooth over civil-military relations: take no responsibility for what’s in your job description and then find a scapegoat to take the fall for you, hoping enough of your toadies in the press will run with that to at least confuse the issue of your own failings. Deflect and distract, it’s the Obama way.

Of course, we’ve known for years that he just isn’t really that interested in his job, especially foreign affairs, which is one of his three major constitutional responsibilities. Hence his failure to really act on the options the military chiefs have given him and his need to blame someone else for his own failings.

As the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, sometimes says, if Obama really were trying to destroy America’s foreign relations, what, exactly, would he do differently?


Syria: You know it’s bad when your allies have to execute your own officers

June 9, 2015
x

Soon to be an ex-dictator

Via Anne Bayefsky:

Iranian commanders overseeing the Assad regime’s fighting efforts on the frontlines south of Idlib have reportedly executed three Syrian army officers.

London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi said that the three officers were Sunnis who were among the regime troops that withdrew from the Mahmbel and Bsanqoul checkpoints following rebel advances in the southern Idlib province area on Saturday.

The three officers, who were also accompanied by several soldiers, were accused deserting their duty and “betraying the homeland,” the daily reported Sunday.

According to the report, none of the other Syrian officers or soldiers present at the time were able to prevent the execution as “officers responsible for military operations in the Jourin area are under the command of Iranian officers.”

A Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander told the paper that “the regime has handed over the operations room to Iranian officers and leadership.”

“The recent execution has caused a state of fear and terror among remaining regime troops,” the FSA commander added, saying he expected “more defections and more field executions.”

“There are still Sunni soldiers and officers bearing arms in the ranks of the regime’s army who will receive humiliating treatment during the coming period.”

Activists in the Latakia region also spoke to the paper about the impact the Iranian takeover of the operations room has had on morale among regime troops.

“Morale is very low among regime soldiers; in fact, it has become non-existent since the Iranian officers took over the operations room,” according to an activist identifying himself as Abu Said.

“Syrian officers, among them Alawites, have become secondary members, whose tasks can sometimes be reduced to handing out tea and coffee.”

Assad’s position is crumbling, and the only thing keeping him afloat is Iranian aid. And that means the Iranians are the senior partners and call the shots. And shoot people, even their “allies.”  One reason Iran is taking this hard line, aside from being refugees from a medieval lunatic asylum, is that they cannot afford to lose Syria, which gives them a strategic foothold in the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean, and also serves as a conduit through which to send money and supplies to their Hizbullah cats-paws in Lebanon. Wouldn’t want to lose that opportunity to strike at the Zionist Entity (1), would we?

Meanwhile, Assad can surely escape; dictators like him usually have a few million dollars stashed in Europe and a jet on standby somewhere close. But, for his minions left behind? They’d better hope the Iranians like the tea and coffee they serve.

Footnote:
(1) That’s Israel, for those lacking an Islamic-Fascist to English dictionary.


ISIS: “‘I rejoiced when we had our first sex slave, forced sex ISN’T rape and they should be thankful”

May 22, 2015
Don't these women look happy?

Don’t these women look happy?

(Graphic via Raymond Ibrahim)

I’m at a loss of words to describe the twisted evil that is ISIS. All I can say is “kill them all.”

ISIS has released a chilling document in which it justifies the kidnapping and rape of slave girls – and brands Michelle Obama a prostitute whose ‘price won’t even exceed a third of a dinar’.

These shocking admissions are made by a jihadi bride in the ninth edition of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, in a feature entitled: ‘Slave girls or prostitutes.’

For years Islamic State has been enslaving and sexually abusing the women it captures – particularly from Iraq’s minority Yazidi community – and sending the ‘prettiest virgins’ to depraved auctions, a United Nations envoy claimed this week.

ISIS has not only confirmed this to be true, but the terror group justifies the cruel sex crimes as Sunnah, which roughly translates as ‘a way of life’.

A counter-terrorism expert told MailOnline that this was another example of how ISIS is twisting the holy text to recruit young male fighters – who often can’t get wives in their own countries – by telling them their spoils of war will be women.

That last is simply not true: sexual slavery of infidel women (and the Yazidi women count as infidels) is justified in both the Qur’an and the hadiths (the sayings and deeds of Muhammad). Robert Spencer provides several examples. Here’s one:

The seizure of Infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6)

Be sure to read the rest.

Meanwhile, let me pull from my shelf the “Reliance of the Traveler,” a manual of Islamic law certified by al-Azhar university, one of the chief intellectual authorities of Sunni Islam. Section o9-13 (p.604):

“When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.”

In other words, she is war booty — possessed “by the right hand” (the sword hand)– and is her captor’s to use as he wishes, including sexually. This is from a sharia law manual certified as in accord with Sunni practice and faith in 1991. The unnamed expert may know what  he’s talking about when it comes to counter-terrorism, but he’s ignorant or fooling himself when it comes to Islamic law.

Back to the joy infidel women should feel when subjected to rape — pardon me, “forced sex” — by Muslim men, the woman (sic!) who wrote the Dabiq article goes on:

The hate-filled rant is penned by a suspected jihadi bride named Umm Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah, who called for her ‘sisters’ to emigrate to Syria and become wives to Islamic State extremists in the previous edition of Dabiq.

(…)

And she openly admits that ISIS has plundered villages and kidnapped women, saying: ‘As for the slave-girl that was taken by the swords of men following the cheerful warrior then her enslavement is in opposition to human rights and copulation with her is rape?!

‘What is wrong with you? How do you make such a judgment? What is your religion? What is your law? Rather, tell me who is your lord?’

‘Allah has opened the lands for His awliya [supporter], so they entered and dispersed within the lands, killing the fighters of the kuffar [non-believer], capturing their women, and enslaving their children.’

She angrily adds: ‘I write this while the letters drip of pride… We have indeed raided and captured the kafirah women, and drove them like sheep by the edge of the sword.’

Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah expresses deep disappointment to Islamic State fanatics who refuted the mass kidnappings of Yazidi girls, saying: ‘So the supporters started denying the matter as if the soldiers of the Khilafah [Caliphate] had committed a mistake or evil.’

Emphasis added. She’s partially right. The jihadis of ISIS aren’t misunderstanding Islam, they are not insane, but they are evil. These brave knights of Allah are instead operating under a wholly different paradigm from the post-Enlightenment West, a paradigm under which what they are doing is right and is justified by their holy texts, no “twisting” needed. ISIS is practicing Islam and jihad as Muhammad intended.

I said last night on Twitter that there are some evils in the world that must be fought for their evil, regardless of geopolitics or national interests. This new “Caliphate” is just such an evil.

ISIS needs to be destroyed.

via Jihad Watch

UPDATE: Dear God. Those monsters burned a woman alive because she wouldn’t perform “an extreme sex act.” (h/t Amy Otto)

RELATED: If you want to enjoy (?) a bitter laugh, compare the above to the feminist pearl-clutching about the so-called “rape culture” in the US that my blog-buddy Sister Toldjah rants about in one of her latest posts.


Like clockwork: in revenge for US raid, ISIS vows to kill Obama

May 16, 2015
"Still the JV?"

“Coming for payback?”

Following up on this story, it looks like we really did get someone important; the jihadis are doing their usual, tiresome chest-thumping about revenge:

“If they took Abu Sayyaf, we will take Obama,” one ISIS supporter posted in the hours after the raid, which took place near the eastern Syrian city of al-Amr.

(…)

Vocativ analyzed social media across Syria in the wake of the strike and discovered some ISIS supporters claiming the news was U.S. propaganda intended to counter the momentum ISIS gained after it took most of the Iraqi city of Ramadi this week. Others tweeted from outside the Syrian city of Raqqa vowing revenge for the strike, saying they heard explosions and helicopters.

Here’s one of them on Twitter this morning:

(“If your goal is killing Abu Sayyaf then our goal is killing Obama and the worshipers of the cross. We have attacks coming against you.” Translation courtesy of Vocativ)

“Worshipers of the cross” is an Islamic insult aimed at Christians. Attacking and killing Christians is something ISIS (and other jihadi groups) have been doing a lot of in Syria, and this message threatens to bring it here to the US.

While we rightly mock the savages of ISIS, this is not a threat to be taken lightly. The conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch has repeatedly claimed that ISIS has a presence on the other side of the border in Mexico, though these claims have been disputed and denied by the government. Yet we do know other jihad terror groups have a presence in Mexico, and it is a fact our southern border is about as secure as a tissue-paper fence. We’ve already experienced several jihadi attacks here in the US, so we discount the threat from a group as determined as ISIS at our own peril.

Revenge is important in a honor-and-shame culture such as the Arabs’, and we can expect them to try to take it.

via Jihad Watch


American soldiers kill ISIS commander, rescue slave. Yeah, we’re still the Good Guys.

May 16, 2015
"X"

“Nice work.”

John Wayne would be proud: Kick in the door, kill the bad guy, and free his captive.

Boom.

U.S. commandos mounted a rare raid into eastern Syria overnight, killing a senior Islamic State commander in a firefight, capturing his wife and rescuing a Yazidi woman held as a slave, the Pentagon said Saturday.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the raid, identifying the militant as Abu Sayyaf. He said no U.S. forces were killed or injured in the operation.

(…)

A U.S. defense official said the raid was conducted overnight Friday (Friday evening Washington time) by a team of Army Delta commandos who flew from Iraq into eastern Syria aboard V-22 Osprey aircraft and Blackhawk helicopters.

Upon arrival at the target, which was a multi-story building, the Americans met stiff resistance. A “fairly intense firefight” ensued, including hand-to-hand combat, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the raid by name.

The U.S. estimates that about a dozen IS fighters were killed but no civilians were wounded, even though women and children were present. The Americans returned to their base unharmed by about midnight Washington time.

The IS leader who was killed was a Tunisian national designated by IS as the organization’s “emir of oil and gas,” according to the U.S. official.

(…)

The statement said the commandos rescued a young Yazidi woman “who appears to have been held as a slave” by the slain militant and his wife. IS militants captured hundreds of members of the Yazidi religious minority in northern Iraq during their rampage across the country last summer.

The target was apparently at an oil and gas facility that some elements of Syrian state media also claim was attacked by Syrian forces, though not all government organs broadcast the news. It’s possible this raid was carried out in conjunction with the Syrians: it wouldn’t be the first time enemies have cooperated to take out a mutual foe. The subsequent silence and denials might have been to keep this occasional cooperation clandestine, as certain other parties might not be happy to learn that Washington and Damascus were talking. In that case, the single mention was an accidental “blabbing.”

Or, the Assad team was simply trying to grab some credit. It will probably be a long time before we know, if ever.

Regardless, a rare “well done” to President Obama for ordering this operation, to our commandos for their valor (never rare), and good wishes for the former slave as she recovers from her ordeal.


Morons. We have morons on our team, national secrets edition

February 24, 2015
"Hey! Look what we're doing!"

“Hey! Look what we’re doing!”

First heard about this from Melissa Couthier last night; my head still hurts from hitting the desk over and over. I have just one question:

Can anyone in this government keep a damned secret?

The Pentagon let slip that one of its training camps to help fight Islamic State terrorists is in Jordan — information the pro-U.S. kingdom had specifically requested be kept private, and the latest gaffe in a series of sensitive leaks coming out of the Department of Defense.

In order to hide its flub, which was first announced to reporters during a briefing last week, the Pentagon has scrubbed its public transcripts of any mention of the training camp.

Pentagon officials acknowledged Monday that one of its officers, who was briefing reporters on condition of anonymity last week, likely made the mistake. The Pentagon’s policy is to discuss only the contributions its partner nations are making to its operations against extremists in Iraq and Syria only after those partner nations have publicly spoken about those contributions.

In Jordan’s case, that did not happen, a senior Pentagon official said.

Security analysts are befuddled by the high-level operational “screw-up.”

“Either the official made a mistake or is deliberately leaking information to put the administration’s plans for Syria in a better light in an attempt to defuse criticism that the administration has bungled efforts to aid Syrian rebels,” said James Phillips, a national security analyst at The Heritage Foundation.

I’m betting on the latter. No wonder no one over there trusts us anymore. If Obama had been president during World War II, he’d have leaked the Manhattan Project, just to show he was “out front on this war issue.”

Inauguration Day 2017 cannot come fast enough.


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