ISIS spreads as the West stands by and lets Anti-semitism grow

Apologies for the lack of posts since Friday. I’ve been suffering from a severe case of over-bloggingitis (aka writers’ block together with an overdose of internet) combined with too many chagim.

To say that the Middle East is in turmoil is both an understatement and a cliché. The news seems to get worse every day, and yet nothing seems to be moving on the ground.  The main theme of the day for most of the international media is the ISIS crisis (I love the poetry in that).

Syrian Kurds cross the Turkish border in droves at Kobani

Jeffrey Goldberg has a heart-rending report in which he quotes a Kurdish intelligence official who says “A terrible slaughter is coming” in the Kurdish town of Kobani, on the border with Turkey:

I just got off the phone with a desperate-sounding Kurdish intelligence official, Rooz Bahjat, who said he fears that Kobani could fall to ISIS within the next 24 hours. If it does, he predicts that ISIS will murder thousands in the city, which is crammed with refugees—Kurdish, Turkmen, Christian, and Arab—from other parts of the Syrian charnel house. As many as 50,000 civilians remain in the town, Bahjat said.

“A terrible slaughter is coming. If they take the city, we should expect to have 5,000 dead within 24 or 36 hours,” he told me. “It will be worse than Sinjar,” the site of a recent ISIS massacre that helped prompt President Obama to fight ISIS. There have been reports of airstrikes on ISIS vehicles, but so far, Bahjat said that these strikes have been modest in scope and notably ineffective.

Kobani is located on the Turkish border, but Bahjat said he is receiving reports that Turkey is pulling its troops back, rather than risk armed confrontation with ISIS. “It’s unbelievable—Turkey is in NATO, so you literally have NATO watching what is happening in this town. Everyone can see it—the TV cameras are there, watching. It’s terrible.”

Kurdish fighters are outnumbered by ISIS, and they have no heavy weaponry. There are reports coming out of Kobani that at least one female Kurdish suicide bomber has struck at ISIS terrorists already. The situation is grim, growing grimmer, and one in which hesitation by the international community may not be easily forgiven.

What can explain this horrific situation where the world sits by and does nothing? Jerry Gordon at The New English Review attempts to explain why Turkey and the US Administration have doomed the Kurds in Kobani:

Perhaps  the most insightful analysis of this looming disaster in Kobani came from  former Reagan era OMB Director and veteran Wall Street banker,  David Stockman , in his Contra Corner blog commentary, The Siege Of Kobani: Obama’s Syrian Fiasco In Motion .  Stockman is as disturbed as many Americans about why the valiant Kurds in Kobani are being abandoned to their doomed fate.  He clearly is in command of Kurdish history in the modern era and the failure at the Treaty of Versailles following WWI to the present to recognize a non-Arab ethnic state of more than 30 million Kurds drawn from enclaves in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran.  Stockman is unforgiving about the current duplicity of the Islamist regime of President Erdogan of Turkey, the Saudis and the baleful failure of the Administration to exert leadership in the face of the provocative barbarism of ISIS and even its acolytes here in the US.  Stockman presents the real-politick behind the doomed plight of the PYG fighters trapped in Kobani.

Stockman blames the Obama Administration for not going in with boots on the ground or at least carrying out a massive sustained airstrike against ISIS.   As for the Turks:

For us, ISIL and the (Kurdish) PKK are the same,” Erdogan said in televised remarks today in Istanbul.

And that’s literally true because from Turkey’s vantage point the Kobani showdown is a case of terrorist-on-terrorist. The Kurdish fighters in Kobani are linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK. The latter has waged a separatist campaign of armed insurrection and terror inside and around Turkey for 30-years and has long been considered Turkey’s top security threat. In fact, Turkey has received untold amounts of US aid, equipment and intelligence over the years to help suppress this uprising. That’s the reason that PKK is officially classified as a “terrorist” group by the U.S. and the government in Ankara.

The US Policy in Iraq that armed ISIS.

Washington’s foolish delusion that it was spending $25 billion to train and equip an “Iraqi army” added fuel to the fire.

“No Turkish politician can explain to the public why the government is aiding the PKK and its affiliated groups after fighting against it for 30 years,” he said by phone.

Likewise, the Saudi’s want to destroy the Assad regime because it is allied with their Shiite enemy across the Persian Gulf in Iran and because they fear their own abused Shiite populations which are concentrated in their oilfield regions. Consequently, they see the fight against ISIS as essentially a pretext for escalating their war against Damascus, and are not even interested in bombing the non-ISIS jihadi like the Nusra Front that they see as allies in the campaign against Assad.

What to make of the US led Coalition Air Exercise?

At the end of the day, Obama’s air campaign amounts to nothing more than a glorified international air force training exercise. Pilots and air crews from the UK, Denmark, Belgium, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan etc.  will get to run a few live fire sorties at politically correct targets. So the Brits will bomb in Iraq but not Syria; the Saudi’s will bomb ISIS targets close to Assad-held territories, but not Nusra Front positions; and the Qataris will go along for the ride pretending to help, even as they preserve deniability that they ever dropped an actual bomb for that day down the road when they seek to make a pipeline deal with the Islamic State.

Stockman’s Conclusion.

Never in recorded history has a fading imperial power conducted a more feckless, pointless, and strategically irrational war. Indeed, the real lesson is that by inserting itself into tribal and sectarian conflicts in these pockets of anarchy Washington only succeeds in generating more of the same. That is exactly what the siege of Kobani is all about.

The way the free world is milling about aimlessly without a serious coordinated action against ISIS has echoes of the way the Allies abandoned the Jews during the Shoah.

Parchin nuclear facility

Meanwhile at the centre of the web of Middle East violence in Iran, a massive explosion occurred on Sunday night at the Parchin nuclear facility:

Two people were killed in an explosion at a defense ministry plant east of Tehran for the production of explosives, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported Monday.

The Defense Industries Organisation, quoted by IRNA, said the fire broke out at the plant on Sunday night but it gave no further details.

The BBC, citing a report from the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), reported on Monday that the incident happened in an “explosive materials production unit” at the site south-east of the capital Tehran.

According to ISNA the blast was so powerful it shattered windows up to 12 kilometers away and the glare from the explosion lit up the night sky.

Several arms facilities and military bases are located east of the Iranian capital, including Parchin. UN nuclear inspectors have been seeking to visit the site to answer concerns about Iran’s atomic program.

The base lies at the centre of allegations of past Iranian research into sophisticated explosives that can be used to detonate a nuclear warhead.

Was it sabotage? Or just an accident? Will we ever discover the truth?

You would imagine that with all this mass murder and barbarity, not to mention the severe danger of a rogue nuclear regime, international academics would forget their obsession with demonising Israel. You would be wrong.

The latest anti-Israel tactic from the BDS bigots is an academic boycott by hundreds of anthropologists, including from such Ivy League institutions as Harvard and Yale:

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5 Responses to ISIS spreads as the West stands by and lets Anti-semitism grow

  1. peteca1 says:

    Anne: Just one view.
    When it comes to ISIS, I dont think I have ever seen such confused media coverage, or such a complete lack of solid information. The daily news reports that reach the American public are literally “all over the map”. Furthermore, its not even clear that western governments themsevles have a clear idea of the strength and layout of ISIS. ISIS appears to be the “unseen and unknowable enemy”.

    For example, we are recieving constant news reports showing American bombs blowing up ISIS targets. And yet we are also getting constant reports that say things like … “ISIS steadily advancing through Northern Syria, ISIS laying siege to Kobani, ISIS occupies Abu Ghraib and is now on the outskirts of Baghdad”. There is such utter confusion in all these reports – that no sane person can make heads or tails of the real situation.

    Perhaps that is a significant part of the problem. The West cannot make heads or tails of the real situation in the Middle East right now.

    Pete, USA

  2. Brian Goldfarb says:

    update on Kobani: this am, BBC Radio 4 news was reporting that after a number of bombing raids on the forces besieging Kobani, there appeared to be a lull in the fighting. Further, that many if not most civilians had been evacuated (eastwards) from the city, leaving only (or mostly) fighters there.

    That said, why is the Turkish army sitting on the border, just inside Turkey? Look at the press photographs and one would conclude that the Turkish army could blow ISIS away: the latter is not an army – but then it hasn’t met an army yet.

    The question at the start of the last paragraph was rhetorical, btw.

    Anne, compared with France, Belgium and even “liberal” Holland, so far it’s very peaceful here in the UK, despite the rise in antisemitic incidents. Then again, I’m not bearded, do not wear a yarmulka (even occasionally) on the streets, and don’t look particularly “Jewish” (whatever that means!).

  3. peteca1 says:

    Brian … the Turks want to see the Kurds get annihilated. The Turks are primary supporters of ISIS. “The enemy of my enemy .. is my friend”. They are using ISIS to defeat the Kurds and undermine the PKK. Hence the Turkish forces are blocking the Kurds from reinforcing their town.

    Pete, USA

    • Brian Goldfarb says:

      Sadly, your right, I’m sure. Pity the Turks aren’t going to get a nasty surprise from Kurdish resistance.

  4. Reality says:

    Because of Obamas uselessness &wishy-washy ways together with the rest of Europe ISIS is advancing.Until it hits the streets of USA or Europe(which at that point it’ll be too late to contain) nothing will be done.Personally I think all the leaders don’t know that if they attack ISIS &thereby help Assad or Turkey will that be a good thing or bad.Also at the end of the day it’s Arabs against Arabs so Obama probably doesn’t want to get too involved.
    Re the terrible anti semitism on campuses, in the Jerusalem Post today there was an article about a group called AMCHA.It’s run by Tammi Rossman -Benjamin.The article is written by Gil Troy.This Amcha Initiative basically hands out lists of professors &lecturers who are anti semitic .The lists are available to Jewish students in order to help them avoid taking certain courses.(of course each course is money).The proffessors are trying to stop this initiative in the name of free speech,but Amcha has said that if the deans of universities won’t stop anti semitism and poloiticalisation in the name of free speech,so too Amcha in the name of free speech will warn Jews away from those courses.Good for them.Isn’t it interesting that free speech is only allowed when its used for attacking Israel but not the other way around?Sadly the same goes for the leftists here in Israel.

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