Tag Archives: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Ron Paul: Is Chaos An Excuse For Escalating U.S. Forces In Iraq?

Despite admission of failed policies, the strategy for resolving the the battle against the Islamic State seems to be escalating U.S forces in Iraq.

It’s been 12 years since the war started, yet three-time presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Ron Paul has been dealing with our government’s intervention in Iraq since 1998. Even with half a million people killed and billions of dollars wasted, it seems the policy direction is staying the same.

President Barack Obama announced Monday that despite not having a specific strategy for Iraq, he is sending 500 troops there to set up a new base. These troops won’t be on the front lines, Obama said.

In his latest Liberty Report, Paul countered that any truck, any base, any embassy—any U.S. presence over there is a target. He asked, “Where are the front lines?

Paul shared his thoughts on the efforts to rally support from other countries in the fight against the ISIS. “I’ve heard some of the generals on TV and some of the political pundits say, well, we need to get Turkey to act differently and be on our side more,” he said. “At the same time, you don’t hear much about what Israel should be doing. Nobody really talks about Israel. But they are very much involved.”

Daniel McAdams, co-host of the Liberty Report, concurred. “Certainly, in regard to Syria and the goal of overthrowing Assad, Israel is firmly on the side of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which is in favor of overthrow,” McAdams said. “In fact, it’s been shown many times that Israel treats wounded al Nusra fighters—which is the al Qaeda franchise in Syria—on Israeli soil. So they are certainly involved in this.”

Paul also noted U.S. Gen. John Allen‘s comments about about the U.S. military fighting the ideology of ISIS. “ISIS is not the country of Syria or Iraq,” Paul said. “It’s amorphous and it is ideological. Ideas, good and bad, are very difficult to handle. But when that idea becomes popular with the people, good and bad, the ideology becomes very important.

Watch the full episode above and check out more episodes of the Ron Paul Liberty Report here at Truth In Media.

In case you missed Ben Swann’s Truth In Media episode on ISIS watch it below:


Ben Swann: Is ISIS Run By Millennials?

Filling in for Steve Malzberg, Ben Swann covers how ISIS—now known as the Islamic State—grew so powerful so quickly. ISIS has adopted a strategy that is using social media, video, power, violence, mystique, wealth to build and recruit a massive network. While the president continues to add more boots on the ground and we begin to move back to war with Iraq—and make no mistake, we are going back to war in Iraq—we must consider how ISIS was given this opportunity in the first place. Is there a strategy to combat ISIS with more than just bullets and bombs? Because on their end, the strategy, believe me, is far more comprehensive.

Here are three points on the Islamic State:

1. Funding—Data has proven that they now control more than $2 billion in assets, including military equipment, oil fields in Mosul and cash from bank robberies.
2. Cruelty—They endeavor in mass executions. Christians are being slaughtered, soldiers are being decapitated, and other shocking acts of violence are part of their strategy.
3. Tactically Millennial—Their social media savvy, development of a mobile app and the production behind the video of James Foley’s beheading demonstrate how different this militant group is from any other.

ISIS continues spreading violence as ‘children are being beheaded’

In a video interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo has described the current situation for none Muslim civilians in the Islamic State as a “Christian genocide.”

During the video, Arabo described how thousands of Christians in Iraq are fleeing to neighboring countries as violence is continued to be spread by ISIS.  Specifically, Arabo told Mann, “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

“There’s actually a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick,” Arabo said.  “They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes that you can think of.”

Graphic images of the violence can be found here at Catholic Online.

Opposing Views is also reporting a surge of systemic violence towards non-Sunni Muslims in the Islamic State saying Christians, Kurds, and other Muslim denominations are facing similar levels of violence.  This violence has killed at least 5,500 civilians, wounded close to 12,000, and driven some 1.2 million from their homes since January according to a July report from the Guardian.

ISIS has also been behind numerous bombings of religious sites throughout the Islamic State, such as Christian churches and Shiite mosques.

Currently, France is leading the effort to grant asylum to those trying to escape the violence of ISIS, reports the Gospel Herald.

“This is genocide in every sense,” said Arabo.  “The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

More US troops to be sent back to Iraq

After announcing last week the U.S. would send about 300 military advisers to the war-torn country of Iraq, the White House is now sending an additional 300 more troops to Iraq, bringing the total U.S. troop count in Iraq to approximately 750.

The additional troops are being sent to strengthen the security at U.S. specific places such as the embassy in Iraq and other areas where U.S. citizens are located or own property.  CBS News also reports part of the troops will be sent to reinforce the security details at the Baghdad International Airport.

These troops will not be involved with the other troops previously sent to Iraq as military advisers, reports The Journal.

Part of the additional military forces have already been deployed to Iraq, arriving as early as Sunday before the announcement was made late Monday night.

“This force will remain in Iraq,” President Obama wrote in a letter to Congress.  “This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat.”

Air support in the form of helicopters and drones will also be sent to the country to help raise “airfield and travel route security,” said John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, according to the Navy Times.

“The presence of these additional forces,” Kirby said according to USA Today, “will help enable the embassy to continue its critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraq on challenges they are facing as they confront Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).”

ISIS Video Mocks “Obama, Did You Prepare Enough Diapers For Your Soldiers?”

The Islamic State (TIS), the new caliphate born from the ISIL controlled regions of Iraq and Syria, already faces the challenge of retaking the Iraqi city of Tikrit, while taunting the U.S. to interfere in their controlled areas.

Tikrit is a Sunni dominant city and fell to ISIL early in the group’s swift offensive through Iraq.  According to Al-Jazeera America, Iraqi military forces have been working to retake the city since Saturday when various assaults were launched.  ISIL has thrown back most of the attacks, but the Iraqi military spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi said Sunday, the Iraqi forces had control of the university in the city and he was confident in the military advances in Tikrit.

“The battle has several stages,” al-Moussawi told Al-Jazeera America.  “It is a matter of time before we declare the total clearing (of Tikrit).”

After TIS established itself, a video was released via the Gateway Pundit showing ISIL members raising their adopted flag over a former military base and exploring what remains in the area from the fighting.  Abu Saffiya, the narrator for the majority of the video makes various statements about the Iraqi military including, “they are nothing but cowards,” as he shows off abandoned Border Patrol vehicles and military patches seemingly left behind by Iraqi forces.

Near the end of the video, another ISIL soldier asks the camera, “Yo Obama, did you bring enough diapers for your soldiers,” as laughter is heard in the background and the speaker smiles on.

ISIL has already made plans to expand their reach after suicide bombers claimed by the group struck parts of Lebanon.  The bomber prematurely detonated himself in the hotel he was staying in after security forces stormed the hotel.  The bomber was the only casualty, but four members of the security force searching the building were injured.  Reports say the attack is the first f many on Lebanese soil to be carried out in the name of TIS.

A caliphate is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as a “political-religious state compromising the Muslim community and the lands and peoples under its dominion in the centuries following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.”  Some say these lands though, historically, stretch from Spain over North Africa and through the Middle-East to the edge of historical Persia, now Iran.


Michael Reagan: Conservatives Share Blame for Chaos in Iraq

After the US spent untold billions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives in a failed attempt to remake Iraq into some type of secular Jeffersonian-style democratic republic, the Persian Gulf nation has slipped into a full-blown civil war. Some experts are suggesting that Iraq might even split into three separate countries. With the Sunni rebel group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria having seized control of huge sections of the nation and neighboring Syria, Iraq’s US-backed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is swiftly losing credibility as a leader.

Iraq War veterans have been forced to watch their efforts unwind on television, after many lost friends securing since-fallen areas like Mosul and Fallujah and spent significant time training Iraqi forces that would later drop their weapons and run in the face of conflict. Understandably, a broad debate has emerged over what went wrong, with neoconservatives blaming Obama for pulling out of Iraq, despite the fact that he did so according to the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement signed by former Republican President George W. Bush. On the other hand, US Senator Rand Paul pointed the finger at neoconservatives like Dick Cheney, expressing that, had we followed the foreign policy of former President Ronald Reagan, the nation never would have gotten itself involved in the quagmire in Iraq in the first place.

Michael Reagan, the adopted son of former President Ronald Reagan, seems to agree with Rand Paul’s point of view. In March of this year, when Rand Paul penned an op-ed for Breitbart called “Stop Warping Reagan’s Foreign Policy,” Michael Reagan tweeted a link to the article with the added comment, “Rand Paul gets it.” This week, the son of the Republican Party’s favorite President went even further in an opinion piece for the Albany Herald, apologizing for his own support of the War in Iraq.

Said Reagan, confessing early concerns about the sensibility of the Iraq War, “I had serious doubts about the United States going to war in Iraq in 2003. But I joined the bipartisan parade and supported the commander in chief. I figured George W. Bush knew more than I did about the situation in the Middle East. I also figured he had lots of good reasons to go to war and assumed his administration knew what it was going to do after our easy military victory.” However, he was skeptical of the need for a full-blown invasion if the rationale was to stop Saddam Hussein from developing weapons of mass destruction. “If the whole idea of going to Iraq simply was to get rid of Saddam Hussein and his invisible weapons of mass destruction, we should have just sent some Special Forces guys in to do the job in the middle of the night.”

Though Reagan indicated that President Obama bears responsibility for the disaster in Iraq, he penned tough words for his ideological allies who also supported the original push for war, “But we conservatives have to take a lot of the blame too. It was us who supported going to war in Iraq in the first place, even though Bush 43 didn’t have an entrance strategy or an exit strategy.”

After so many American families lost loved ones in a war that seems now to have served little purpose, Michael Reagan humbly offered an apology for his own support of the invasion and occupation, “As a conservative who supported the war in Iraq and my president, I apologize to all of the families of those killed or wounded in Iraq. Going to war in Iraq seemed so right at the time. But I didn’t think it through and neither did Washington. Next time, I promise I’ll know better.”

Report: Military action in Iraq would hurt, not help

A new report from the Crisis Group on the ISIS crisis in Iraq claims any military intervention from outside of the country would not stop further actions, but runs the risk of “stoking the conflict.”

This report comes in the wake of President Obama vowing to send up to 300 military advisers to the country to help contain and end the conflict.  There has been no word yet as to whether or not the U.S. government will use airstrikes in Iraq as requested by the Iraqi government.

Iran has already sent about 500 Revolutionary Guards into Iraq to aid the local government according to CNN.

The report claims the attacks, and method ISIS has captured towns and strongholds, is not a military achievement or great military feat by any means, but rather the string of events has been likened to a person simply leaning on a “house of cards.”

The crisis has further polarized the divide between Sunni and Shiite denominations as well as ethnic Kurds across the country. ISIS is made of Sunni followers, according to Iraqi News, while the majority of government forces are made of Shiite forces.

These two groups have been divided across the globe for many years, and the discord can be traced back to the schism which occurred across Islam after the death of the Prophet Muhammad.

Military intervention within the country, according to the report, would only bolster further support for ISIS as the military forces would be seen as fighting for the current, Shiite dominant, Iraqi government.

The report from the Crisis Group claims in order to stop further bloodshed and prevent a civil war across the country, the Iraqi government needs to form a “genuine government of national unity,” where all three major political and ethnic forces within the country are included and given equal political sway.

The Crisis Group’s senior adviser on the Middle East and Africa, Peter Harling, said in relation to the crisis, “A U.S. military response alone will achieve very little… Counter-insurgency cannot be successful without an effective Iraqi army to ‘clear’, an accepted Iraqi police to ‘hold’, and a legitimate Iraqi political leadership to build.”

Largest Iraqi oil refinery under ISIS control

The largest oil refinery in Iraq, located in the city of Baiji, an estimated 155 miles north of Baghdad, is under “75% control” by ISIL fighters.

The Baiji refinery went under siege last night and the complex was hit by mortar fire which started a few fires.  The battle and subsequent siege lasted until early this morning when militants claimed most of the refinery.

An unnamed source told Reuters the militants had managed to break into the refinery and take control of over 75% of the complex including, “production units, administration building and four watchtowers.”

This refinery in particular is responsible for more than a quarter of Iraq’s oil production, nearly all of which goes towards foreign consumption and exportation.

TIME is reporting that since this refinery is responsible for so much of the country’s oil exports, there are risks of “long lines at gas pump and electricity shortages…”  This could also spell higher gas prices at pumps around the world.

The town of Baiji was taken last week by ISIS militants, and the oil refinery sent all foreign nationals working in the complex to their respective countries while local workers stayed behind.

This is the latest of many business operations to be captured by ISIS militants, who have been using oil businesses, namely in Syria, to boost the organization’s profits.

Did the US Train ISIS Rebels to Fight Against Assad in Syria?

Special note: the above Fox News video, from 2013, references the existence of a US-led training program in Jordan aimed at strengthening the Syrian opposition against Assad, which some have alleged might have equipped ISIS fighters with the tactics they are currently using against the US-trained Iraqi Army.

Iraq has fallen into total disarray, with a rebel group called ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, having conquered broad sections of the nation, along with a significant amount of territory in neighboring Syria. Though the Iraqi military claims to have ISIS contained, clashes are currently taking place within 140 miles of Baghdad. The US is sending ground troops back to Iraq, and officials representing the government of the war-torn nation have asked the US to provide air support against ISIS.

However, is it possible that the very rebels fighting against the US-backed government in Iraq were trained by American forces in an effort to strengthen the Free Syrian Army’s rebellion against Assad in Syria? Back in March of 2013, Reuters reported that the German magazine Der Spiegel published an account by organizers of the Syrian rebellion claiming that US trainers, some wearing uniforms, were seen providing anti-tank training in Jordan to anti-Assad forces. Though the article mentioned that the training program was meant to exclude radicals that might turn against locals in Jordan, it is challenging to run background checks on everyone who joins a rebel group. Also, individuals who seemed ideologically moderate at one time could later on join a group like ISIS, especially considering its escalating momentum.

In January of 2014, a rift formed between members of the Syrian rebellion and ISIS, largely over tactics. However, ISIS has been successful in its military campaign against the Iraqi government, and this has led its ranks to grow. It’s difficult to know whether the rebels allegedly trained by the US in Jordan have since joined ISIS, but The Washington Post is reporting that ISIS just released a new propaganda video touting its American-style military tactics. The video not only shows a capable military force with mature training, but it also contains footage of rebel fighters using an anti-tank guided missile system.

It is tough to conclusively prove whether or not ISIS fighters were the individuals being trained by the US in Jordan. However, the group’s beginnings lie in the Syrian rebellion, and its military tactics look distinctly American. The latest ISIS propaganda video even demonstrates sophisticated anti-tank tactics, which were the focus of the alleged 2013 training session in Jordan. The division between other Syrian rebel groups and ISIS didn’t grow until January of 2014, several months after Der Spiegel‘s report. The Guardian also corroborated Der Spiegel‘s assertions, noting that special operators from the US, UK, and France were working together in Jordan to strengthen the Syrian opposition and that anti-aircraft missiles, like those seen in ISIS’ new propaganda video, were being funneled over the border from Turkey to Syrian fighters. An Associated Press article referenced by CBS News also noted the existence of the training program.

At this point, not enough clear evidence exists to confirm or deny the rumors that the US might have inadvertently provided ISIS with the training to defeat US-trained forces in Iraq. However, this would not be the first time American tactics and weapons have been found on both sides of a conflict. Also, ISIS’ latest propaganda video demonstrates a tactically mature force using anti-tank weapons, which was the specific focus of the alleged training session in Jordan. When the fog of war clears, it is entirely possible that history will reflect that the US inadvertently armed and trained the very opposition group that would later undo all of its efforts to strengthen the government in Iraq.