Thursday, December 26, 2013

When will the world join forces to counteract Islamic terror...and ditch a patchwork, knee-jerk approach?

If the world wants a foretaste of the future of Afghanistan, following the departure of U.S. and NATO forces, we have only to look to Iraq, where Al Qaeda insurgency is bombing Christians leaving Christmas mass from St. John's Roman Catholic church, and is gaining control in both Iraq and in Syria. There is little doubt that Islamic terrorists, under several covers all pointing back to the Al Qaeda model, are stepping up their intensity in many regions of the globe. Just today, a recorded video appeal from a U.S. citizen captured in Pakistan to President Obama asking for his help in freeing him from captivity brought the Al Qaeda response that he would not be released unless and until the U.S. stops bombing Al Qaeda camps in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, a demand the president of the U.S. is highly unlikely to accede to. Adding further complications to the U.S. relationship with Al Qaeda, the Congress refuses to permit the White House to bring Guantanamo-housed prisoners to the U.S. for trial, fearing a backlash from their voters who themselves fear violence from the prisoners in their local prisons, before, during and after a trial.
Anyone who thinks that this scurge on the human race, especially on Christians, and Jews everywhere around the globe is going away any time soon should rethink that view. The scourge is not only not going away, it is gaining strength, including footholds in many regions including both Iraq and Syria, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan.
On the other side of the "ledger", just yesterday, the Egyptian temporary government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist agency, as part of its attempt to bar former president Mohammed Morsi permanently from regaining political power in Cairo.
Nevertheless, without a concerted, co-ordinated and coherent strategy from all the countries which hold memberships in the General Assembly of the United Nations, a non-state actor will continue to wreak havoc whenever and wherever they detect vulnerabilities in the defences of the west, soft-spots in the economies of those countries, and especially where they detect weak and ineffectual governments, and ever more critically, in failed states.
Patchwork approaches that garner headlines are not the answer to this cancer.
We need collective political will and action to design a plan that is much more pro-active and reactive, in order to stop playing catch-up. And U.S. diplomats who pour soothing words into ready and available microphones that there is less violence in hot spots, in order to calm the U.S. people should be put under strict orders to keep quiet, and to release only those pieces of data that bear directly on the seriousness of the growing problem. Inducing the American people into another sleep-walk of both innocence and ignorance is not the approach that is needed.

U.S. Sends Arms to Aid Iraq Fight With Extremists
By Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt, New York Times, December 25, 2013
The United States is quietly rushing dozens of Hellfire missiles and low-tech surveillance drones to Iraq to help government forces combat an explosion of violence by a Qaeda-backed insurgency that is gaining territory in both western Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The move follows an appeal for help in battling the extremist group by the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who met with President Obama in Washington last month.       
But some military experts question whether the patchwork response will be sufficient to reverse the sharp downturn in security that already led to the deaths of more than 8,000 Iraqis this year, 952 of them Iraqi security force members, according to the United Nations, the highest level of violence since 2008.
Al Qaeda’s regional affiliate, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has become a potent force in northern and western Iraq. Riding in armed convoys, the group has intimidated towns, assassinated local officials, and in an episode last week, used suicide bombers and hidden explosives to kill the commander of the Iraqi Army’s Seventh Division and more than a dozen of his officers and soldiers as they raided a Qaeda training camp near Rutbah.
Bombings on Christmas in Christian areas of Baghdad, which killed more than two dozen people, bore the hallmarks of a Qaeda operation.
The surge in violence stands in sharp contrast to earlier assurances from senior Obama administration officials that Iraq was on the right path, despite the failure of American and Iraqi officials in 2011 to negotiate an agreement for a limited number of United States forces to remain in Iraq.
       The move follows an appeal for help in battling the extremist group by the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who met with President Obama in Washington last month.       
But some military experts question whether the patchwork response will be sufficient to reverse the sharp downturn in security that already led to the deaths of more than 8,000 Iraqis this year, 952 of them Iraqi security force members, according to the United Nations, the highest level of violence since 2008.
Al Qaeda’s regional affiliate, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has become a potent force in northern and western Iraq. Riding in armed convoys, the group has intimidated towns, assassinated local officials, and in an episode last week, used suicide bombers and hidden explosives to kill the commander of the Iraqi Army’s Seventh Division and more than a dozen of his officers and soldiers as they raided a Qaeda training camp near Rutbah.
Bombings on Christmas in Christian areas of Baghdad, which killed more than two dozen people, bore the hallmarks of a Qaeda operation.
The surge in violence stands in sharp contrast to earlier assurances from senior Obama administration officials that Iraq was on the right path, despite the failure of American and Iraqi officials in 2011 to negotiate an agreement for a limited number of United States forces to remain in Iraq.

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