FYI: Islamic State in Iraq, Syria & Levant (“I.S.I.S.”/ISIL)

To further debate & discussion (does not mean endorsement):

  • Pope Francis’ Lesson: The Abrahamic religions need a spiritual summit meeting, not dialogue-by-press-statements
    “… the pope’s statement – and subsequent misinterpretations – clearly show how urgently the leaders of the three Abrahamic religions need to start talking face to face rather than through press statements. The crisis in the Middle East goes far beyond the military and political conflict, horrific as it is. At a deeper level, the spiritual identity of all three religions is under assault from the militarization of language and glorification of conflict.”
  • Genocide in Iraq
    Anouar Majid is the author of five critically acclaimed books on Islam and the West and the novel Si Yussef. He edits the online publication, whose mission is to enlarge the debate on Islam and its history. He also maintains the blog
  • Israel Firsters Latest Cause: Don’t Let Iran Help In Iraq
    “So working with Iran is a natural and pretty much everyone is for it except…the Israel Firsters.”
  • No ISIS Strategy; Obama’s Rare Moment of Candor – Hawks Push Escalation, But Lack of Strategy Not an Oversight
    “President Obama’s reticence to escalate the war to the outrageous extent that some want shows at least a modicum of prudence on his part. It would’ve been nice, however, if he’d given such careful thought before launching an unwinnable war in the first place.”
  • The DNC’s braindead attack on Rand Paul
    ‘”We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn’t get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria,” Paul writes. “That new regime might well be ISIS.”‘
  • How to Understand the ISIS Threat – Talk show rhetoric doesn’t equal good intelligence on the domestic danger posed by Iraq’s terrorists.
    “Perhaps not so oddly, we have heard variations on [this] theme before, something about a mushroom cloud rising over Washington…
    Given the apparent general lack of reliable information regarding the metastasizing Syrian insurgency, one is compelled to ask where the intelligence is to back up the claim that ISIS is intending to expand its activity to the so-called Christian world, which would seem to be at odds with their much more obvious regional agenda in the Middle East. Does it really make sense for ISIS to take steps that would unite a gaggle of Western nations against it at this time, when success at creating a quasi-independent state in the heart of the Arab world is within its grasp?”
  • ISIS: a monster made by the moralists of the West
    “ISIS might be doing the killing, but the space in which ISIS could rise and gain influence was provided by Western forces, by the Western invasion of Iraq and Western intervention in Syria. To listen to the very facilitators of ISIS’s emergence now say that ‘we’, the good and the powerful of the West, must stand firm against this new ‘Islamofascist threat’ is almost too much to stomach.”
  • ISIS, the Neocons, and Obama’s Choices
    If ISIS is to be contained or defeated without using American ground troops, it is necessary to examine the regional forces ready to fight it. There are of course the Kurds, a small group which can perhaps defend its own region, if that. The biggest potential player is Iran. With its majority Shia population Iran takes a dim view of Sunni jihadism; the Iranian population was pretty much the only one in the Muslim world to display open sympathy with Americans after 9/11. By the standards of the Middle East, it is a scientific powerhouse, with a large freedom aspiring middle class, and considerable artistic community. According to published reports, Iranian tanks have reportedly engaged ISIS near the Iranian border—probably with American approval. We are likely, I would guess, to hear more about Iranian tank brigades in the coming months, even root for them.
    The other serious force willing to fight ISIS is Syria, led by the Alawite Bashar al-Assad. Assad is a dictator, as was his father. His regime is strongly supported by Syria’s Christians, by Iran, and by Hezbollah, the Sh’ite militia in neighboring Lebanon. Syria has been caught up in civil war of shocking brutality for the past four years. The largest faction opposing him is ISIS—and American arms distributed to the Syrian “rebels” have often ended up in ISIS hands. By opposing Assad, the United States has in effect been feeding ISIS.
  • ISIS in Perspective
    “The extent of any terrorist threat to the United States does not depend on killing any one organization. It will depend partly on those political processes in countries such as Iraq and Syria. It also will depend on how well the United States, in going after any one monster, does not create other ones. In that regard we cannot remind ourselves often enough—especially because this fact seems to have been forgotten amid the current discussion of ISIS—that ISIS itself was born as a direct result of the United States going after a different monster in Iraq.”
  • How Hillary Clinton’s ‘smart power’ turned Libya into a dumpster fire Another successful intervention. Another failed state riven by chaos and Islamist gangs.
  • Iran, Israel and Isis
    “…the jihadists’ official position is that fighting the ‘infidels’ takes precedence over fighting Israel. Responding to a question regarding the group’s position vis-à-vis the current conflict in Gaza, an Islamic State spokesman said: “The greatest answer to this question is in the Qur’an, where Allah speaks about the nearby enemy – those Muslims who have become infidels – as they are more dangerous than those who were already infidels.””
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