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10. Juni 2014, 19.14 Uhr:

Stupid Shit

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Es kam mit Ansage, der Sturm von ISIS auf die zweitgrößte Stadt im Irak, Mosul, die heute morgen mehr oder weniger in die Händer der Jihadisten gefallen ist. Hunderdtausende fliehen in die kurdischen Gebiete, werden sich in Lager drängeln, die jetzt schon hoffnungslos überfüllt sind, die irakische Armee, unter Premier Maliki eher in eine schiitisch dominierte Miliz verwandelt, erweist sich als unfähig zum Kämpfen, ISIS kontrolliert jetzt ein Gebiet, das von den Vororten Bagdads bis zu den Vororten Aleppos reicht.

Dies kommentiert und analysiert Aboud Dandachi auf seinem Blog treffend:

Let’s be clear about the nature of ISIS and the scope of their ambitions. This is an organization dedicated to the establishment of a strict Islamist state wherever God created land on this planet, and by whatever means possible. It is a group whose Iraqi dominated leadership has managed to attract multitudes of foreign born Jihad-wannabes from all over the world. (…)

Under Obama’s watch, ISIS has grown from a group hiding in caves to one that controls major cities and large swathes of territory. Not quite sure how much more stupid “doing” could have been compared to “not doing stupid shit”.

So assuming that one accepts that ISIS is a global problem, and not one that can be contained but needs to be tackled, what should the Obama administration be doing in light of the fall of Iraq’s second largest city to the group, and the threat it continues to pose in Syria and the world at large? (…)

ISIS and its excesses legitimizes Assad among his core supporters. Heck, even I almost fell for it, and you can be sure Assad will milk ISIS for everything they are worth. Syria has proven to be the perfect environment for the group’s resurgence, which looks well-nigh unstoppable.

Actually, it isn’t. If you want a job done right, get people with a proven track record to do it. Since the beginning of 2014, ISIS’ aggressions have served to galvanize Syrian rebel groups against it.

In the space of a few months, ISIS was expelled from Aleppo city and much of the city’s countryside, as well as from Idlib province. ISIS has lost every border crossing it had in the north. (….)

When you have deadly bacteria, you do not hope and pray that it stays within its petri dish. You flood the dish with antibiotics, and the sooner the better. Bacteria is not killed by making eloquent speeches and having Michelle Obama pose in mournful twitter hashtag pics.

The moderate Syrian rebels are the antibiotics to the disease that is ISIS, Hizbollah, Iranian influence and above all else the Assad regime. which would be happy to have the chaos it created exported to the rest of the world. The world is well within its rights to take whatever measures it deems necessary to tackle Assad’s efforts to spread his particular brand of mayhem. (…)

It seems that Iraq has little prospect of taking back Mosul short of a full scale intervention by the USA, something America has neither the military resources or level of commitment within its military that such an intervention requires. If ISIS is allowed to remain in Mosul as it has remained in Raqqa, it does not bode well for the future.

Chaos cannot be contained, oceans and distances no longer afford the protection they once did. Al-Qaeda and ISIS’ resurgence in the world is Obama’s legacy, a legacy he appears to have every intention of shoving off to his successor to deal with.

Obama is a man incapable of taking hard decisions, decisions that may not have perfect outcomes. Almost nothing in politics has a perfect outcome, and the politician who waits for the perfect set of circumstances will be perpetually paralyzed into inaction. “Dont do stupid shit” sure, but better to do shit that’s half stupid than to do nothing and have to clean up a whole lot of shit in Mosul.

10. Juni 2014, 12.52 Uhr:

Den iranischen Antisemitismus ernst nehmen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Gastbeitrag von Stephan Grigat


Der US-amerikanische Historiker Jeffrey Herf, Autor von Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World und Koautor von Iran im Weltsystem. Bündnisse des Regimes und Perspektiven der Freiheitsbewegung, hat einen wichtiges Essay zum Antisemitismus des iranischen Regimes und der verfehlten Iran-Politik des Westens geschrieben. Das Bündnis STOP THE BOMB hat eine deutsche Übersetzung angefertigt: „Die Entscheidungsträger sind unwillig, radikalen Judenhass aufrichtig und offen zu erörtern, sofern er sich aus islamistischen Quellen speist… Die Islamische Republik Iran ist nach Hitlerdeutschland das erste Regime, für das der Antisemitismus das zentrale Element seiner Identität bildet.“

6. Juni 2014, 22.52 Uhr:

Sieger in Teheran

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Teheran hat mal wieder eine Wahl gewonnen:

With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad winning a third term in office in an election denounced as a sham by the West, his chief ally, Iran, is trumpeting his victory as its own. Top Iranian officials have been celebrating not only the affirmation of Assad’s continued hold on power, but also the defeat it appears to signal for three years of U.S. policy in Syria, which has as its stated goal Assad’s fall.

Iran vowed early in the conflict that it would not permit Assad to fall, and it has so far delivered on its word, pumping billions of dollars into the Syrian economy and providing weapons and training to loyalist forces. Shiite militias from Iraq, funded and trained by Iran, have provided much-needed manpower, as has the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite Hizbullah movement, which played a crucial role in turning back Syrian rebel advances over the past year.

6. Juni 2014, 13.05 Uhr:

Deutliche Botschaft aus Kafranbel

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

6. Juni 2014, 00.43 Uhr:

Neues Gesetz gegen 'Sexual Harassment' in Ägypten

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Man soll sie erwähnen, die kleinen Fortschritte, die keineswegs kleine sind, so etwa dieses neue Gesetz in Ägypten:

A new anti-sexual harassment law was also passed as an amendment to the Egyptian penal code, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi said on Thursday.

Mansour applied the amendment after it was approved by the cabinet a month ago and legally reviewed by the State Council.

The law imposes jail terms of no less than six months and/or fines of LE3,000 to LE5,000 ($419 to 700) on those who are found guilty of sexual harassment in public or private areas, with harassment defined as gestures or words or any modern means of communication, or any other action that carries sexual or pornographic hints.

If the harasser continues the action, essentially stalking the woman before being caught, he will be punished with no less than one year in jail and a fine from LE5,000 to LE10,000.

In case the offense is repeated over time, the maximum penalties of imprisonment and fines are doubled.

Another amendment of the law states a punishment of one year in jail and a fine of LE10,000 to LE20,000 for soliciting sexual conduct. (…)

Reacting to Mansour’s amendments on Thursday, Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) described the decision as “an honour” for Egyptian woman and an important step towards eliminate this shameful phenomenon.

“(The decision) reflects the keenness of the state and the interest in the protection of women and preservation of their rights,” the NCW statement said.

5. Juni 2014, 23.20 Uhr:

Ach, mal wieder Giftgas. Nichts weiter

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Fast jeden Tag kommt in Syrien Giftgas zum Einsatz. Eigentlich keine Meldung mehr wert. Ist ja nur Giftgas, in Syrien. Und außerdem sterben täglich eh mehr Menschen von barrel bombs. Und wie vor einigen Wochen eine Mitarbeiterin der Hilfsorganisation Al Sareej bei einem Treffen in Beirut meinte:

“Giftgas ist schlimm, ja. Aber wenigstens srirbt man schnell davon. Barrel bombs töten langsamer und verbreiten mehr Terror. Eigentlich sollte man Assad bitten, öfter Giftgas und seltener Barrel Bombs gegen uns einzusetzen. Das ist Syrien 2014.”

Ganz Recht hat sie nicht, auch Giftgas tötet langsam:

A suspected chemical attack against the Damascus suburb of Irbin left two civilians dead and seven injured on Thursday, a local hospital reported.

According to a statement issued by the Surgical Hospital of Irbin, seven kilometers (4.3 miles) northeast of the capital, nine patients arrived at the hospital at noon suffering from symptoms of an “unknown gas poisoning.” Two of the patients were unconscious at the time of their arrival, and exhibiting severe symptoms including a bloating of the face and redness in the eyes.

The patients were hysterical upon regaining consciousness, suffering lack of sensation in the limbs, the statement said.

4. Juni 2014, 12.13 Uhr:

Rücktritt aus richtigen Gründen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Der ehemalige amerikanische Botschafter in Syrien, Robert Ford, erklärt, warum er von seinem Posten zurückgetreten ist: weil die syrische US-Politik eine einzige Katastrophe ist.

“I was no longer in a position where I felt I could defend the American policy,” he said. “We have been unable to address either the root causes of the conflict in terms of the fighting on the ground and the balance on the ground, and we have a growing extremism threat.”

Ford left Syria in February 2012 amid the escalating civil war. He remained ambassador until earlier this year; the embassy has been extremely active on social media.

Syria is holding presidential elections on Tuesday, but ballots are only being cast in areas controlled by President Bashar al-Assad, and his only two opponents were government-approved.

“There really is nothing we can point to that’s been very successful in our policy except the removal of about ninety-three percent of some of Assad’s chemical materials. But now he’s using chlorine gas against his opponents.”

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