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1. November 2014, 19.58 Uhr:

Kein Plan, keine Strategie, keine Vision, aber ganz viel Mikromanagement

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Wie die Obama Administration ihren Krieg gegen den IS führt, beschreibt Daily Beast in einem erhellenden Artikel, der alles bestätigt, was man seit August befürchtet hat: Dass es nämlich weder einen Plan, noch eine Strategie noch eine Vision gibt, weshalb inzwischen nicht nur hochrangige Militärs, sondern selbst der Chef des Pentagons das Weiße Haus ganz offen kritisieren.

Derweil rückt im Irak der IS weiter vor und in Idlib in Syrien, liefern sich Einheiten der FSA schwere Gefechte mit dem Islamischen Staat und der Al Nusra Front - ohne dass sie irgendwelche Unterstützung erhielten. Ganz scheint es, eine einzige Regel dominiere, ja nichts zu unternehmen, das den Iran verärgern könnte, denn, wie Lee Smith treffend schreibt, die Nahoststrategie des Weißen Hauses  laute “détente with Iran and a cold war with Israel".

“We are getting a lot of micromanagement from the White House. Basic decisions that should take hours are taking days sometimes,” one senior defense official told The Daily Beast.

Other gripes among the top Pentagon and military brass are about the White House’s decision not to work with what’s left of the existing Syrian moderate opposition on the ground, which prevents intelligence sharing on fighting ISIS and prevents the military from using trained fighters to build the new rebel army that President Obama has said is needed to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into a political negotiation to end the conflict.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel himself is among the critics of Obama’s strategy in Syria. Hagel wrote a memo last week to Rice warning that Obama’s Syria strategy was unclear about U.S. intentions with respect to Assad, undermining the plan. (…)

Many military officials, including at CENTCOM’s headquarters in Tampa and its air base in Qatar, from which the ISIS air campaign is run, are barred even from communicating with Syrian opposition representatives unless those rebels are on a White House/State Department approved list. Many Syrian opposition leaders complain that Free Syrian Army brigades fighting ISIS now are offering help in making the strikes against ISIS effective but are getting no response from the administration.

The international coalition against ISIS, led on the U.S. side by retired Gen. John Allen and State Department official Brett McGurk, is working with Sunni tribes in Iraq to coordinate against ISIS. But it is not working with the corresponding tribes on the Syrian side of the mostly nonexistent Iraq-Syria border. ISIS has slaughtered hundreds of these tribesmen in eastern Syria who refused to yield to the group’s demands.

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army, largely written off by the White House, has been suffering heavy losses to ISIS as well as to the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, which has opened up a third fighting front against the FSA in Idlib and other cities. FSA brigades that have been vetted by the U.S. government, including the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and Harakat Hazm, have seen their non-aggression pact with al-Nusra disappear. (…)

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that there is no military solution to the Syria crisis and said the U.S. is reaching out to Russia and Iran, among others, to seek a new political negotiation. Syrian National Coalition President Hadi al Bahra told The Daily Beast last month that there is no genuine interest in a new political process in the West, which he described as being “in a coma.”

“There have been so many things said on Syria that were not delivered,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Nobody thinks the president really wants to do anything on Syria. Even currently serving officials realize that you cannot bomb your way out of this and you need to have a plan for a political solution, but we don’t have it. There needs to be a fully thought out strategy with a political dimension that involves the opposition. If you don’t do that, you can’t solve this problem.”

1. November 2014, 00.46 Uhr:

Wahlergebnisse

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Wahlergebnisse in Tunesien stehen jetzt fest:

Secular party Nidaa Tounes has been officially declared the leader in Tunisia’s legislative elections after the High Independent Authority for Elections’ full release of the vote figures early Thursday morning. With 85 seats in the National Constituent Assembly, Nidaa’s victory marks the first time a party with a secularist platform has been democratically elected to power.

Islamist party Ennahdha, who claimed a sweeping 89-seat majority in Tunisia’s first democratic elections in 2011, was widely predicted to take the lead in the 217-seat assembly this year. The party finished with 65 seats this year, or 31.79%, compared to Nidaa Tounes’s 39.17%. Nidaa’s success comes as a surprise to many, although early indicators of the upset win have long manifested themselves in slashed approval ratings for Ennahdha.

Following the two leading parties in the NCA are millionaire Slim Riahi’s Free Patriotic Union (UPL) with 16 seats, the leftist Popular Front with 15 seats, Afek Tounes with 8 seats, and a combination of other parties comprising 24 seats.

 

31. Oktober 2014, 14.41 Uhr:

'Das syrische Regime profitiert'

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Der US-Verteidigungsminister spricht:

Chuck Hagel on Thursday acknowledged the Syrian regime is benefiting from U.S.-led airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants in Syria, however he noted the United States is pursuing a long-term strategy in the region.

Und die “benefits” sehen unter anderem so aus:

Bombing runs by the Syrian air force over the past 10 days have killed at least 221 civilians, a third of them children, a group monitoring Syria’s civil war said on Thursday.

The intensifying offensive by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces has heightened concerns among his opponents that he may be taking advantage of U.S.-led air raids on Islamic State insurgents to regain territory elsewhere in the country.

Since Oct. 20 the Syrian military has staged at least 769 attacks including barrel bombings in many areas of Syria, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and more than 500 people have been wounded.

It said the strikes targeted the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, Homs in central Syria as well as contested provinces in the more populated west such as Latakia, Quneitra, Hama, Aleppo, Idlib and Deraa, as well as the fringes of Damascus.

30. Oktober 2014, 18.42 Uhr:

Internationale Angelegenheit

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Der Islamische Staat ist in der Tat eine ganz internationale Angelegenheit der Umma, fast möchte man schon von einem Einwanderungsland sprechen. Sie strömen und strömen ins Kalifat, die Kämpfer, aus allen Himmelsrichtungen und  können sich dort dann auch noch auf die guten und verdienten Dienste ehemaliger baathistischer Offiziere und Geheimdienstler verlassen:

“The rate of travel into Syria [by foreign fighters] is greater than we saw into Afghanistan prior to 9/11,” Randy Blake, a senior strategic advisor in the U.S. Office of Director of National Intelligence, said Tuesday during a panel at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in Orlando, Florida. “It’s greater than anything we’ve seen into Afghanistan, into Yemen, into Somalia, into Iraq, or anything that we’ve seen in the last 10-year period.” ‘

Blake said the number of Westerners heading to Syria to fight has risen so rapidly in recent weeks that a new law enforcement video shown at the four-day event is already out of date.

“The video said there are somewhere around 12,000 foreign fighters in Syria. We would update that number to about 16,000 foreign fighters who have traveled to Syria from over 80 countries,” Blake said, adding that roughly 2,000 of those fighters hail from Western countries – including “at least 500 from the U.K, 700 from France, 400 from Germany, and more than 100 Americans [who] have traveled, or tried to travel into Syria.”’

29. Oktober 2014, 00.02 Uhr:

Islamisten Wahlverlierer

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Über die Wahlen in Tunesien:

Tunisia’s Ennahda party, the first Islamist movement to secure power after the 2011 Arab spring revolts, has conceded defeat in elections that are expected to make its main secular rival the strongest force in parliament.

Official results from Sunday’s elections – the second parliamentary vote since Tunisians set off uprisings across much of the Arab world by overthrowing autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali – are still to be announced.

But a senior official at Ennahda, which ruled in a coalition until it was forced to make way for a caretaker government during a political crisis at the start of this year, acknowledged defeat by the secular Nidaa Tounes party.

“We have accepted this result and congratulate the winner,” Lotfi Zitoun, an Ennahda party official, told Reuters.

Zitoun said the party reiterated its call for a unity government, including Ennahda, in the interest of the country.

Earlier, an Ennahda source said preliminary tallies showed Nidaa Tounes had won 80 seats in the 217-member assembly, ahead of 67 secured by Ennahda. The Nidaa Tounes leader, Beji Caid Essebsi, had already said on Sunday night that there were “positive indications” his party was ahead.

Defeat is a huge setback for the Islamists of Ennahda, who headed a coalition government with two non-religious partners for more than two years after winning the election for the constituent assembly (the precursor to the new parliament) in October 2011.

28. Oktober 2014, 15.52 Uhr:

Seite an Seite mit den Al Quds Brigaden

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Dass der Iran längst wohlgelittener Teil der anti-IS Koalition ist, man es bislang nur nicht so laut sagt, auch damit ist jetzt Schluss. Das Mullah Regime in Teheran wird gerade nämlich förmlich umarmt und Australien erklärt nun ganz öffentlich, auch keine Probleme zu haben, Seite an Seite mit den Al Quds Brigaden im Irak zu kämpfen - jenen Brigaden, deren Name alleine Programm ist, ist ihr Ziel doch die “Befreiung” Jerusalems von zionistischer Besatzung und die Vernichtung Israels. Auch sonst gibt es kaum eine terroristische Aktivität im Nahen Osten, in die sie nicht direkt oder indirekt in den letzten zwanzig Jahren verwickelt wären, ihr Chef Quasim Suleimani ist sozusagen ein Mastermind des Nahosterrors:

Australian commandos could work alongside soldiers from the feared Iranian Quds forces in the battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq, Defence Minister David Johnston has said.

Senator Johnston said the crisis created by the Islamic State’s brutal capture of vast tracts of territory was sufficiently acute that differences should be put aside in the common interest of stopping their reign of terror.

His remarks came as the government revealed that Australians were continuing to join extremist groups such as the Islamic State either as fighters or supporters, with the total now reaching about 185.

Senator Johnston, when asked whether Australia’s commandos, who will advise and assist Iraqi forces, would work alongside Iranians, told Sky News: “They may be. I don’t see a problem in that, given the nature of the threat.”

Was diese Liebschaft mit dem Iran konkret im Kampf gegen den Islamischen Staat bringen soll, außer den Iran weiter regional zu stärken, das bleibt das große Geheimnis, denn je stärker der Iran involviert wird, je geringer werden die Chancen den IS zu besiegen, wie Oliver M. Piecha in der letzten Ausgabe der Jungle World erklärt:

Das ziellose Eingreifen der USA und ihrer Verbündeten nützt vor allem dem »Islamischen Staat« selbst. Seine Klientel sind die Sunniten, und je deutlicher sich abzeichnet, dass die Anti-IS-Koalition iranischen Interessen dient, desto einfacher hat es der IS, die eigenen Reihen geschlossen zu halten. Für die Bevölkerung des sogenannten sunnitischen Dreiecks im Irak sind die vom Iran gesteuerten schiitischen Milizen noch weniger eine Alternative zum IS, als es die als Besatzungsarmee empfundene irakische Armee war. Den geordneten Ausbau des »Islamischen Staats« mag das Bombardement stören, doch eine Situation, in der die teuersten und modernsten Flugzeuge der Welt Jagd auf einzelne Jeeps oder von Jihadisten bemannte Motorräder machen müssen, kann sich für den IS nur vorteilhaft entwickeln.


24. Oktober 2014, 00.25 Uhr:

Säureterror in Isfahan

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Gastbeitrag von Andreas Benl

In Isfahan verbreiten Säureattentate auf ’schlecht verschleierte’ Frauen Angst und Wut. Christoph Hörstel, ein Irankenner aus der Liga von Jürgen Elsässer, Udo Steinbach und Sheikh Attar vermutet das Werk ausländischer Geheimdienste, die “dem Iran schaden” wollten. Hörstel war allerdings das letzte Mal im Land, als “der erfolgreiche Teheraner Bürgermeister Ahmadinedschad … soeben zum Präsidenten gewählt worden” war.

Während neun Jahre später in Isfahan der Abschaum des Regimes Tugendterror verbreitet, hatten sich in den letzten Tagen ausgerechnet dort prominentere Gäste aus Deutschland gezeigt. So der Bürgermeister von Freiburg, der nicht zu spät Geschäftsbeziehungen knüpfen will, sollte der “Durchbruch bei den Atomverhandlungen zur Nutzung der Kernkraft im Iran” gelingen, gegen die er als Grüner sonst anscheinend nichts einzuwenden hat. Ausserdem der deutsche Botschafter, der laut IRIB das Verhalten der deutschen Presse gegenüber dem iranischen Regime wesentlich positiver beurteilt, als der selbsternannte “Verschwörungsfreak” Hörstel: “Michael Baron von Ungern-Sternberg sagte: Die deutschen Medien haben mittlerweile eine gute Grundlage geschaffen, um Vorurteile gegenüber dem Iran zu überwinden. Heute haben die Deutschen vom Iran keine falschen Vorstellungen mehr".

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