Friday, September 5, 2014



*  Special thanks to "Google Images", "The New York Daily News,
"News Week", "The New York Times" and "The Daily Beast"

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA
9. 5.14

President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, on Thursday. US fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon said.   (AP Photo)  (left)

Video Purportedly Shows First Public Appearance of ISIS Leader in Iraq 
The Associated Press reports that a man purporting to be the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has made what would be his first known public appearance in a video promoted on social media sites tied to ISIS.
The video claims to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city which fell last month to the Islamist insurgents, leading prayers at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri. He wears black robes and a black turban, according to the AP, "a sign that he claims descent from the Prophet Muhammad."  (right)

Last week we began a discussion of the terrorist group “ISIS” and President Obama and the President’s plan for Iraq as he has now once again actively engaged the United States in military actions in Iraq.  The United States has now been involved with or in Iraq now for over 25 years. This week we will conclude this article as we complete “Obama And The Terrorist ISIS” in part two.

To conclude this two part series we have selected four articles for your consideration:  (1) ISIS Seizes Chemical Depot Near Baghdad, May Have Access To Deadly Sarin Gas Rockets, "New York Daily News"  (2) Bombing Iraq Is Already Costing $7.5 Million A Day, "Newsweek"  (3) Airstrikes On ISIS Should Expand To Syria  "The New York Times" and  (4) Obama's Iraq Plan Has A Killer Flaw And Airstrikes Alone May Not Save It "The Daily Beast".  We are not including a lot of commentary for this story - you are a member of the "Noodleman Group" and are capable for doing it yourself!    

Iraq crisis: the bare faced ISIS executioner who spreads terror with his open killing
Shakir Wahiyib is a feared enforcer for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham who does not cover up his face in videos of his killings  (Telegraph Photo)

ISIS Seizes Chemical Weapons Depot Near Baghdad, May Have Access To Deadly Sarin Gas Rockets
The Islamic terrorist group took over the facility, which dates back to Saddam Hussein's regime and could contain 2,500 degraded rockets filled with the gas, but U.S. officials say the materials are too old to be useful.

BY Bill Hutchinson
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 5:25 AM

The terrorist group captured a chemical weapons depot near Baghdad – similar to this one in northern Iraq – but U.S. experts have downplayed risk posed by the rockets within.

US MILITARY/AP The terrorist group captured a chemical weapons depot near Baghdad – similar to this one in northern Iraq – but U.S. experts have downplayed risk posed by the rockets within.

A terrorist group bent on turning Iraq into an Islamic state has seized a chemical weapons depot near Baghdad stockpiled with sarin-filled rockets left over from the Saddam Hussein era.
The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, better known as ISIS, captured the facility in Muthanna on June 11, according to a letter made public Tuesday at the United Nations.

The site, about 35 miles southwest of Baghdad, was once operated by Saddam’s army and is believed to contain 2,500 degraded rockets filled with potentially deadly sarin and mustard gas.
But U.S. officials have played down the seizure, saying the degraded chemical remnants date to the 1980s and were stored at the facility after being dismantled by UN inspectors.

 “Whatever material was kept there is pretty old and not likely to be able to be accessed or used against anyone right now,” U.S. Defense Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Iraq’s ambassador to the world body, said the facility was overrun by “armed terrorist groups” who detained soldiers guarding the sprawling complex.

“The project management spotted at dawn on Thursday, 12 June 2014, through the camera surveillance system, the looting of some of the project equipment and appliances, before the terrorists disabled the surveillance system,” Alhakim wrote in the letter dated June 30.

SIMON WALKER/AP  Iraq's ambassador to the UN said the country could not 'fulfill its obligations to destroy chemical weapons' because of deteriorating security conditions.

He informed Ban that Iraq is unable to “fulfill its obligations to destroy chemical weapons” because of the deteriorating security conditions.

In his letter, Alhakim cautioned that the seizure included bunkers 13 and 41 at the complex.
UN weapons inspectors reported in 2004 that Bunker 13 housed 2,500 sarin-filled chemical rockets and about 180 tons of sodium cyanide, “a very toxic chemical and precursor for the warfare agent tabun.”

The report, made after weapons inspectors left Iraq in 2003, said Bunker 41 contained 2,000 empty artillery shells and 605 1-ton containers with mustard residue, which can’t be used for chemical warfare.

ISIS, an Al Qaeda splinter group, has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, including oil and gas fields, in recent weeks. It recently declared one of its fanatical leaders, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to be caliph, or leader of the world’s Muslims.

With News Wire Services

Read more:

Since President shut down the American involvement in Iraq earlier than anticipated by the military ending combat missions in 2010 and declaring the war over in 2011, the President did not insure the Iraqi government would be strong enough and capable enough to protect the country from terrorists returning to Iraq.  Muslim Jihadists were easily able to resume operations in Iraq almost immediately upon the US military pulling out.

The United States has always maintained a policy of "nation building" after conducting a military campaign such as the Iraq war with as much determination by the military and us aid as used during the war.  With President Obama's preemption to the US Government's and Militarise exit strategy the success for the Iraq war was sold short and handed over  to future terrorism and extremists.  Problems in Syria are also possibly traceable to President Obama's lack of commitment in the region. 


Bombing Iraq Is Already Costing $7.5 Million A Day

By Reuters
Filed: 8/29/14 at 4:00 PM
Flight deck crew member confirms the deck is all clear before a F/A-18C Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-87) take offs the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), in the Gulf August 12, 2014. Planes have been taking off from the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN77) to strike key positions taken over by the Islamic State fighters in Iraq. Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Filed Under: U.S.IraqIslamic StateIslamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military operations against Islamic State in Iraq have cost an average of $7.5 million per day since they began in mid-June, the Pentagon said on Friday, a figure that means the department has spent more than $500 million on the conflict.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told a briefing the expense of U.S. operations against Islamic State in Iraq had varied since U.S. forces became involved on June 16 but on average "it's costing us about $7.5 million per day."
"As our op (operational) tempo and as our activities have intensified, so, too, has the cost," Kirby said, noting that the figures were based on a snapshot of expenses between June 16 and Aug. 26.

He did not offer an estimate of the Pentagon's total costs so far, but an average cost of $7.5 million per day for 71 days would mean the department has spent roughly $532 million.
By comparison, the Pentagon has been spending roughly $1.3 billion per week on Afghanistan, analysts said.
The estimate includes like fuel for flying reconnaissance and strike missions, the cost of missiles and other weapons fired, as well as some payments for personnel, defense officials said.
The military so far has carried out 110 air strikes while flying about 60 reconnaissance aircraft sorties per day, defense officials said. In addition, it has sent more than 800 troops to evaluate the situation.
The operation is being paid for from the Pentagon's war-spending budget, which included some $80 billion in 2014, mainly for the conflict in Afghanistan.
"We're well within the limits that we need for 2014," Kirby said, noting that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has previously said the Pentagon would not require additional funds to cover the costs of Iraq this year.
But he said Hagel has noted the Pentagon might have asked Congress for more money in the 2015 fiscal year, which begins in October.
"Right now, in Iraq and elsewhere around the world, we've got resources sufficient to the military tasks that we're accomplishing," Kirby said.
"Once you get into '15, if we're still involved at this level or a higher level, then we've got to have another discussion about what the funding levels might be," he added.
He noted that the Pentagon was facing a larger budget problem in 2016 if automatic, across-the-board budget cuts return. The department is currently under orders to cut nearly $1 trillion in projected spending over a decade.
Congress agreed on a two-year deal for the 2014 and 2015 budgets that gave the department some relief from the financial uncertainty it has faced since being ordered to implement the cuts. But the automatic reductions are due to return in 2016.
The National Defense Panel, a group of former military and defense officials, warned in a recent report that the defense cuts ordered in 2011 constituted a "serious strategic misstep" that threatened to undermine U.S. security and global leadership.


"The New York Times"

Airstrikes On ISIS Should Expand To Syria
Ryan C. Crocker
Ryan Crocker, a former ambassador to Syria and Iraq, is the dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
UPDATED AUGUST 22, 2014, 6:21 PM

The rise of ISIS presents the gravest threat to United States national security since 9/11. Although disavowed by Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as too extreme, ISIS shares the same agenda: the establishment of a twisted version of the Prophet Muhammad’s Islamic caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. That ISIS is a mortal enemy of ours is beyond question after the vicious murder of journalist James Foley.

This doesn't mean an alliance with Assad. We simply need to fight an enemy of the United States and not get involved in Syria's civil war.

But ISIS has a much broader agenda. In spite of some setbacks in northern Iraq, thanks in large part to U.S. airstrikes, they continue to make gains. In the region, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are at risk. The Saudis know it; that is why they have mobilized troops near their border with Iraq. There is nothing between ISIS and them except sand.
We too are at risk. This Al Qaeda mutant is far better armed, equipped and financed than the original. Unlike any variant of Al Qaeda since 9/11, it controls significant territory where, secure from attack, it has the space and time to plan its next set of operations. Anyone who believes the U.S. is not on that list is delusional.
So this is not just about protecting refugees or helping allies in Iraq secure limited objectives. This is war. The Obama administration has said our aim is to disrupt, degrade and defeat Al Qaeda. This is Al Qaeda Version 6.0. A sustained, focused air campaign supplemented by a significant number of Special Forces advisers, and including help from Iraqi tribes, can make a difference. But we cannot limit ourselves to Iraq. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has declared the Iraq-Syria border nonexistent – the caliphate cannot be divided. We should carry our air campaign to targets in Syria. This is a unified enemy and must be met by a unified strategy.
What this does not mean is any form of coordination, let alone an alliance, with the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad. We need to fight an enemy of the United States, not involve ourselves in the Syrian civil war. But it might be that the systematic degradation of ISIS will allow the secular opposition to gain some momentum. After all, these terrorists probably have done more damage to them than to Assad.
But we need to move forcefully and quickly. As Senator Diane Feinstein rightly said, using an alternative name for ISIS, “It takes an army to defeat an army… we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future.” And it may be on American soil.

"The New York Times"

"The Daily Beast"

Obama’s Iraq Plan Has A Killer Flaw—And Airstrikes Alone May Not Save It



The U.S. gambled on local militias to keep ISIS in check. The president’s authorization of airstrikes is an admission that bet didn’t pay off.

Jacob Siegel
Jacob Siegel is a reporter and editor at The Daily Beast and an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was an author and editor of Fire and Forget: Short Stories From the Long War, the first anthology of fiction written by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Friday morning, with a humanitarian mission already underway, the United States began airstrikes on ISIS in northern Iraq. What had been the U.S. policy—to rely on local forces to contain ISIS while waiting for a new Iraqi government to reach a political solution—is finished. The new policy is still taking shape, but it may eventually lead to more involvement from the special operations troops who have been in Iraq for weeks.
President Obama said Thursday night he had authorized airstrikes to protect American personnel and the Yazidi minority group stranded by ISIS on top of Mt. Sinjar. A senior administration official later stressed to reporters that U.S. forces were not launching a “sustained campaign” against ISIS in Iraq.  
But with the Kurds, America’s closest allies in the fight, recovering from heavy losses, some analysts and military veterans say that airstrikes alone may not be enough to turn the tide. A sustained—if small-scale—campaign may be the only way to achieve that.
The Peshmerga, the Kurdish military, had been acting as a bulwark against ISIS, keeping the group tied up on a northern front while it also battled against the Iraqi military in the south and west.
Then, starting on Saturday evening, came the waves of ISIS attacks on positions in northern Iraq. A senior administration official described it as “a multi-pronged attack across hundreds of kilometers in northern Iraq.” This official said ISIS “acted with tremendous military proficiency.”
The Kurds were overrun. The surviving religious minorities and other vulnerable groups who had lived under their protection fled into the mountains to escape ISIS.
And now these vulnerable groups—especially the Yazidi, trapped around Mt. Sinjar without food or water before an American airdrop—are at risk of being slaughtered.
That’s what triggered the current humanitarian crisis and the growing threat that impelled the U.S. to act. The airdrop mission consisted of a C-17 and two C-130 aircraft that were escorted by two F-18 fighters. The cargo planes dropped food and water for 8,000 people, according to a senior administration official, who added that there were no U.S. personnel on the ground on Mt. Sinjar. 
No one questions the Kurds’ willingness to fight, but their military prowess appears to have degraded in the years since the U.S. military stopped training them and withdrew from Iraq.
Though the Kurds have begun a counteroffensive with assistance from the Iraqi Air Force, ISIS has continued its march, seizing new towns and critical infrastructure—including a major dam near Mosul. For the first time, some observers believe that the Kurdish homeland itself, where the U.S. embassy and military forces are stationed, is under threat.
President Obama said late Thursday that he would authorize air strikes to protect those personnel. “When the lives of American citizens are at risk, we will take action,” Obama said. “That’s my responsibility as commander in chief.”
The Peshmerga have long been considered the fiercest fighting force in the region.
Since ISIS began its rampage through Iraq in early June, both the U.S. and Iraqi governments have tacitly bet on the Kurds’ ability to repel ISIS advances in the north. But betting on the Peshmerga to hold the line now looks like a riskier proposition after ISIS broke through Kurdish defenses and set in motion the current crisis.
In truth, it was never that safe of a bet. Since early June, representatives of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government have warned the United States that the Kurdish Peshmerga were not positioned to protect the Yazidi and Christian minorities in the Kurdish region.
“We have significant interests and assets in the region,” one senior Kurdish official told The Daily Beast in June, describing the message to the U.S government. “But also more worryingly, we have a Yazidi and Christian populations that are gravely under threat right now.”
At the time, the Kurdish Peshmerga did take up positions in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, where they remain to this day. But in the case of Kirkuk, there was a strong Kurdish interest in repopulating the city with Kurds who were driven from it by Saddam Hussein.
The consensus among ex-CIA analysts, former military officers, and Iraq veterans who spoke with The Daily Beast is that the Peshmerga’s abilities were overrated. No one questions the Kurds’ willingness to fight, but their military prowess appears to have degraded in the years since the U.S. military stopped training them and withdrew from Iraq.
Douglas Ollivant, a former Army officer who advised Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq and served under two presidents in the National Security Council, expressed a view common among military and intelligence officers: “I think the general consensus among the American military people in country is that the Kurds just aren’t any better than any other military force in Iraq, and we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re having the same lack of success as the rest of the Iraqi army.”
A former Special Forces officer in Iraq who maintains extensive contacts among the Kurdish forces points out another factor affecting their performance. “The Kurds’ biggest weakness is the size of the border they have to protect from ISIS and the imperative they are under to yield nothing,” he said. “ISIS can give up territory, but the Kurds cannot.”
Air strikes against ISIS targets can weaken the group, buy time, and prevent it from massing on Kurdish forces, but according to military and CIA veterans, air power alone will not be decisive.
“The advisors need to be pushed out, if they haven’t been already,” said Nada Bakos, a CIA veteran who led the team analyzing the terrorist network that was ISIS’s predecessor in Iraq. The advisors she referred to are the special operations troops who have so far stayed away from the battlefield, offering intelligence and advice from headquarters in areas remote from the fighting.
A former Special Forces officer and Iraq veteran described how the troops currently on the ground, some 800 elite special operations soldiers, could impact the battle: “If SOF [special operations forces] advisors moved to the front, they would be able to help organize and plan the maneuver of Peshmerga, provide up-to-the-minute intelligence to protect line units, and give greater speed and fidelity to close air support. It would also give a tremendous morale boost to Peshmerga units under fire.”
That could be a great boon to the Peshmerga, but not without costs. Moving U.S. special operations forces onto the battlefield, even as advisors, “greatly raises the profile of American involvement and will eventually lead to highly visible American casualties,” according to the Special Forces veteran.
President Obama made his political career, in part, on his opposition to the Iraq war. Those casualties are something he is desperately trying to avoid. But the situation on the ground in Iraq may leave him no choice.
— with additional reporting by Eli Lake

"The Daily Beast"

No matter how you feel about President Obama, no matter how much you support his agenda, the policy in the Middle East is beginning to become clearer with each new out break of violence in the region.  As in the days of the Roman Empire, This region of the world must receive constant attention and should not be left to it's own devices.  Anarchy and chaos will surely follow without a strong Government to keep the Jihadists in check.  

Unfortunately the Obama administration has decided to undertake this operation alone making the United States the sole financial supported.  During the First Iraq War, also known as "Operation Iraqi Freedom" the US was part of a five member nation coalition participating in the removal of the Hussein Regime and the destruction of al Qaeda.  The United Nations also participated in inspecting Iraq for WMD's.

A big part of the problem in Iraq and throughout the Middle East where terrorism advances is North Korea.  Selling weapons to those eager to spread their holy war throughout the world North Korea is a supplier which must be eliminated.  Again the United Nations needs to become more actively engaged before the process will be able to move forward effectively. Until nations such as Iraq, Syria and so many others are able to police their countries and check terrorism.  This has been Felicity again with the "Noodleman Group"!

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