Hat Tip: BB
Hat Tip: BB
By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts
Once again, tragedy strikes the Coptic community with the brutal murders of twenty-one Christian Copts in Libya. Living under constant threat of a hate-driven and blood-thirsty Islam, Copts of Egypt have learned to expect anything at any time, and mourners go about the streets. A few days ago a young Coptic man was burned alive in the province of Al-Minya. Muslims harassed and targeted this youth in the heart of a peaceful village hoping to spark the retaliation of Copts in order to trigger destabilization of the region. But Copts have not reacted, waiting instead for law enforcement to take its course.
For more than 1,430 years, Copts have suffered the brutality and aggression of Islamic doctrine along with Jews and other non-Muslims. History shows how Islamic doctrine played an important role during WWI and in WWII with the massacre of more than six million Jews in Europe. As well, Muslims become victims of their own system. A video showing a Jordanian pilot hostage set ablaze recently caused Jordan’s leader to respond with military action.
Egypt leads the world against terror
However, one leader who has truly taken the lead against terrorism in the moment is Egyptian president Al-Sisi as the Egyptian military strikes at ISIS in Libya. Al-Sisi’s war against Islamic terrorism began during his presidential election campaign when he asked for the renewal of Islamic discourse and implied that the status of religious minorities should be one of equality as he declared that “there are no religious minorities in Egypt.”
Voice of the Copts supports Egypt’s President Al-Sisi in his war against Islamic terrorism and hopes that other leaders will follow in his footsteps in order to protect the world from further atrocities. The question that arises now concerns world leaders who listen and take their lead from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian terror organization banned from Egypt, to actually aid its branches of terror in the Middle East rather than oppose them. Will Egypt’s current strike against Libya be countered by unlikely sources behind ISIS on the ground?
Voice of the Copts offers condolences
We offer our condolences to the grieving families of those who suffered barbaric acts most recently in Libya and Syria. Also, our sympathy goes out to the family and community members of the young Copt burned alive in Egypt’s Al-Minya Province.
We must continue to remember all the lost souls sacrificed to racial and religious genocide and from this gain the strength to fight for freedom and liberty around the world.
Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts
Ashraf Ramelah was interviewed by Al-Arabiya newspaper on March 17, 2015 in response to Egypt’s airstrikes against Libya:
Al-Arabiya: Egypt is bombing ISIS targets in Libya and so far has launched eight strikes immediately following the release of the purported execution video of Egyptian hostages. How far will Egypt go?
AR: Chances are good that Egypt will stop at nothing now. The leaders of ISIS miscalculated Al Sisi. With these killings, ISIS was testing Al Sisi’s sincerity on his commitment to fight Islamic terrorism, which Al Sisi has so far defined as Islamic hate doctrine and its violent perpetrators. ISIS wanted to call Al Sisi’s bluff on this issue demonstrating that Al Sisi would not attack Muslim Islamic fighters on behalf of Egyptian Copts and avenge the killings of Christians. Had ISIS been correct in its calculation, ISIS would have succeeded in achieving an internal problem for Al Sisi. Al Sisi would have lost his support from the Christian population and others inside Egypt to destabilize his position. ISIS has now discovered that Al Sisi is far from its hero Morsi.
Al-Arabiya: Do you think this aerial campaign will last?
AR: Yes. Al Sisi put Islamic terrorists on notice awhile back. I believe Al Sisi’s campaign now will last until Egypt achieves its calculated goals set by the Egyptian military.
Al-Arabiya: Do you see Egypt joining the anti-ISIS coalition officially?
AR: Anti-ISIS coalition? — There is none. Egypt and Jordan stand and act alone. They are the only Islamic countries ready to fight against Islamic terrorism in the Middle East.
Al-Arabiya: Will Egypt now divert focus away from Sinai insurgency and focus more on threats from Libya?
AR: No. I believe that Egypt will remain in Sinai to combat Hamas because this is a priority of Egypt’s new president. Egypt is strong enough militarily to be on both fronts at this time. If the slaughter of 21 Egyptians by ISIS is to instigate a diversion tactic to summon Al Sisi to a second front and ease up on Hamas, ISIS is sorely mistaken. ISIS will now face a fierce enemy and will most likely be completely annihilated in Libya. In doing so, will Egypt do a favor for the American president or create a problem for his administration? It is hard to tell.
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
I warned everyone that despite the posturing by the Jordanians and Obama, that ISIS is not on the defensive… they aren’t on the run either. They are advancing and they are ratcheting up their barbarity. In a scene reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Stand, ISIS just paraded 17 Kurdish fighters in cages on the back of trucks through the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. They will meet the same fate as the Jordanian pilot in retaliation for the Kurds killing ISIS fighters and dragging them through the streets of Kirkuk earlier this month. These are the tactics of Genghis Khan – they are both lethally barbaric and effective. As ISIS approaches each new city, people flee in panic… those that can anyway.
Onlookers jeered and taunted the prisoners as their captors played to the crowds during the procession.
A total of 17 Peshmerga were led through the streets of what is apparently Kirkuk in northwestern Iraq.
From the Daily Mail:
Heads bowed in terror the orange-clad Kurdish fighters are paraded through streets filled with jeering militants in the latest horrifying video release from Islamic State.
In a grim echo of the terrible fate which befell Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh the captives, reportedly Peshmerga fighters, are dressed in orange jumpsuits and shackled in cages.
Just as Lt. al-Kaseasbeh was burned alive on camera, IS are planning to do the same with their latest prisoners, according to posts on social media.
The grim procession apparently took place through Kirkuk in northwest Iraq, an oil rich Kurdish stronghold where ISIS now has a presence after mounting repeated attacks in recent weeks.
The parade, reportedly through the Hawija district in the southwest of Kirkuk, could be seen as revenge for horrific reports of Kurdish forces dragging the bodies of ISIS fighters through the streets of the city in the Kurdistan region of Iraq earlier this month.
In the nearly four minute long video 17 of the Iraqi Kurdistan military forces are driven one by one on the backs of white pick-up trucks with ISIS flag-waving militants toting AK-47s accompanying each prisoner.
At the end of the clip the long line of cages can be seen retreating into the sunset over the heads of massed crowds of militants.
Lt. al-Kaseasbeh was filmed being burned to death by Islamic State extremists in a nightmarish 22-minute film which was expertly edited before being posted online.
Titled ‘Healing the Believers’ Chests’, it showed the captured airman locked in a cage before a trail of petrol leading up to its bars is set alight.
It is thought he was immolated while heavily sedated before debris, including broken masonry, is poured over the cage, which is then flattened by a bulldozer.
Officials believe Kasasbeh had been killed almost one month earlier, despite ISIS attempting to carry out a prisoner exchange in return for the captured pilot.
After the footage was released, Jordanian officials executed two Iraqi militants connected with ISIS.
They included Sajida al-Rishawi, the female would-be suicide bomber whose freedom ISIS had originally demanded in exchange for releasing Kasasbeh.
Thousands of Jordanian troops have been deployed to the country’s border with Iraq to stop Islamic State militants from infilatrating the country, it has been reported.
The country has already carried out airstrikes on ISIS targets in revenge for the murder of their pilot.
The latest procession of captives scene played out against the backdrop of ISIS taking the town of Al-Baghdadi in western Iraq.
The fall of the town, which the Pentagon played down as a minor setback, came as IS extremists launched an unsuccessful assault involving suicide bombers on the nearby Al-Asad air base.
Posts on social media suggested the Islamic State militants plan to set fire to the Kurdistan warriors.
Obama is looking for war powers for three years… enough to hobble our military throughout the remainder of his term and into the next presidency. These powers don’t call for ground troops and they limit attacks from the air as well. What he says he seeks is the opposite of what he means and it proclaims what our military intends to do, which is just plain suicidal. It hobbles us militarily from attacking the enemy to defeat them. The Pentagon is also spewing propaganda. It’s all smoke and mirrors. They are playing up the strength of the Iraqis, who I believe are infiltrated with ISIS fighters. The latest procession of captives is played out against the backdrop of ISIS taking the town of al-Baghdadi in western Iraq. The fall of al-Baghdadi may indeed not be all of Anbar or Iraq, but it is a foreshadowing of such and that fall may come within hours. The Pentagon played down the event as a minor setback and it came as ISIS extremists launched an unsuccessful assault involving suicide bombers on the nearby al-Asad air base.
Iraqi soldiers repelled the ISIS assault on the base Friday which involved several suicide bombers. A group of 20-25 ISIS fighters, most of them wearing Iraqi army uniforms, carried out the failed attack, which appeared designed to have been an initial wave of suicide bombings followed by gunmen storming in. All of the terrorists were killed or died when detonating suicide bombs. An Iraqi army colonel and a defense ministry official said the botched attack involved at least seven would-be suicide bombers using a military vehicle.
What we should do is send in troops and munitions to support those 300 Marines that are now surrounded at the al-Asad air base. ISIS is within five miles of that base now. As I see it, Obama will do one of two things here. The first and most likely is that he will have the Marines evacuate as he did in Yemen. He wants the world to see our warriors running away with their tails between their legs again. He wants them humiliated and debased even more than in Yemen. Second, and I believe this is the one Obama would prefer, is to have them slaughtered by ISIS. He doesn’t care about repercussions… what that would do in his eyes is make the US look weak and vulnerable, while making ISIS and the Caliphate look strong and unbeatable. It would gift them radical Islamic street cred.
Al-Baghdadi is only nine miles away from the air base, where Iraqi officials had to call for reinforcements.
I share Allen West’s notice of the symbology of the 300 Marines in the line of fire currently. There were 300 Spartan warriors that were led by King Leonidas. These brave warriors faced off a numerically superior force from Persia – the Army of Xerxes. They fought and killed ferociously… that is until they were betrayed. Obama, anyone? Did you know that the Iraqi army has lost contact with its people inside the base?
This video was released by ISIS showing al-Baghdadi burning:
Reuters is reporting that al-Baghdadi is under complete ISIS control. So, once again I repeat, the Pentagon and Obama are spinning propaganda trying to make it look less severe than it is and keep it out of the headlines. But 300 Marines will fight to the death if need be. They’ll either win or they will take a whole bunch of dirt bags with them. Right now, ISIS fighters number between 20,000 to 31,500 in Syria and Iraq. And that’s a conservative estimate.
ISIS is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, American intelligence officials assert, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror. There are less formal pledges of support from “probably at least a couple hundred extremists” in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen, according to an American counterterrorism official. I fear that with the help of Obama, all of Iraq is gone and next on the menu is Jordan and Israel.
So, while all this goes on, 17 Kurdish fighters will almost assuredly be burned to death and videotaped for the world to see in living and dying color. ISIS will keep stepping up their horrific displays of strength. Let’s pray that that does not include the deaths of Marines. Because if that piece of propaganda is given to ISIS, Obama may try and shrug it off, but America will be so outraged that he saw it coming and did nothing to prevent it, that his time in office may indeed be cut short. We will not quietly stand by and betray our 300 as Obama would certainly love to do.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Was the brutal murder of three Muslims in North Carolina this week a case of “random violence,” or were the three targeted because of their Muslim faith? And why, of all the murders committed across the country this week, did these three grab so much national media attention? The FBI has now joined the investigation.
Perhaps the lessons learned from Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in January of 2011 could inform the answers to these questions, and serve as a reminder of the dangers of biased reporting on murder cases. But, unfortunately, the mainstream media continue to perpetuate a confusing double standard when it comes to reporting on the deaths of innocents.
Why, for example, did the deaths of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina gain traction at The Washington Post, Reuters, and many other media outlets which speculated that it was a possible hate crime, while this black teen murdering a white classmate and taking a selfie with the corpse didn’t receive anywhere near the same treatment? And what about the murders occurring in Chicago every day? Don’t those deserve headlines, and candlelight vigils too?
“However, I do think it’s fair to say that attributing political motives to individual killings is much more of a phenomenon on the left than on the right,” argues Mark Hemingway for The Weekly Standard in a column regarding the recent execution-style shootings of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.
The alleged shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, liked the “Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy,’ Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups and similar progressive pages” on Facebook, notes Hemingway. Maddow didn’t mention any of that on her show when talking about the incident.
Hicks displayed a habit of posting snarky pictures with slogans like, “Democrats aren’t perfect but at least they haven’t been shoving poor Jesus up my c—ch and Ronald Reagan down my throat.” Another picture he promoted reads, “So Rick Santorum thinks that when people get educated they stop believing in God? Best advertisement for Atheism I’ve ever heard.”
And Hicks commented on Ground Zero: “Seems an overwhelming majority of Christians in this country feel that the Muslims are using the Ground Zero Mosque plans to’mark their conquest’ [sic] Bunch of hypocrites, everywhere I’ve been in this country there are churches marking the Christian conquest of this country from the Native Americans. Funny thing is the Christians did that while defying our Constitution, and got away with it!!”
“It was logical for some people to hear about the shootings and wonder if recent news involving the Islamic State—including the deaths of a Jordanian pilot and an American hostage—could lead to some sort of reprisal against Muslims, said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” reported the Post regarding the three deaths on February 11.
In 2011 the SPLC’s Richard Cohen blamed the shooting of Rep. Giffords on Sarah Palin’s political rhetoric, citing the work of staffer Potok. The Discovery Channel plans to air a documentary, “Hate in America,” this month with the SPLC as a partner helping “examine the current realities of intolerance in America.”
The SPLC runs a hate crimes racket, and the media—desperate to promote headlines that fit their pre-existing left-wing narratives about race, inequality and religion—are quick to swallow their propaganda.
“I think it’s perfectly natural to guess that this is anti-Islamic,” Potok told the Post in the interview regarding the triple murder. “Not just because the three victims are Muslim, but because there has been so much terrible news in recent days about extremist Muslims.” Potok also appeared on MSNBC on the morning of February 13 with the news anchor Tamron Hall, and there was no mention of Hicks’ political leanings, which appear to be consistent with their own.
It is ironic that Hicks, himself, may have, at least in part, allowed the SPLC to fuel his own brand of hate—if it was hate, and not a longtime dispute over parking—that caused Hicks to allegedly kill three innocent people.
“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was…But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers,” wrote Paul Krugman of The New York Times after the Loughner shooting.
“Keith Olbermann had a special edition of his ‘Countdown’ show on MSNBC the night of the shooting, in which he had a series of guests on who all speculated that Loughner was influenced by ‘right-wing extremists’ and that the Right was far more guilty of violent and hateful speech than the Left, creating a climate conducive for this sort of action,” I reported back in 2011.
Have the media learned from their past attempts to politicize violent shootings, or does the marked omission of similar rhetoric regarding the Hicks case simply indicate that the mainstream media hope that the progressive ideology of this alleged killer will not actually be used against them?
If Hicks was a champion of liberal causes such as gay rights and abortion, and one’s ideological background has any bearing on the decision to brutally murder someone, then why isn’t the media likewise exploring in depth Hicks’ motivations—his likes, dislikes, ideology, inspiration, etc.—as they did when they erroneously blamed the right for Loughner’s shooting of Giffords? Instead, the Post published a story on the “particular tensions between Islam and atheism” which allowed atheist groups to denounce and separate themselves from the killer. If Hicks had any deeper motivation rooted in progressivism, you wouldn’t find it there.
On February 11 The Washington Post authors quoted from the SPLC, then linked to Hicks’ Facebook page, and failed to inform their readers of Hicks’ admiration for this group.
And the motivation of the attack remains in dispute, despite the hate crime allegations. “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime,” said the victims’ father Mohammed Abu-Salha. His evidence: “This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt.”
More recent news reporting by the Associated Press indicates that when Hicks “talked with them with his gun in his belt,” as the father described, it was likely during a dispute over a visitor’s parking space. According to the AP, a resident of that condo “said Hicks complained about once a month that the two men were parking in a visitor’s space as well as their assigned spot.”
It continued: “He would come over to the door, knock on the door and then have a gun on his hip saying ‘you guys need to not park here,’ said Ahmad, a graduate student in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. ‘He did it again after they got married.’”
The victims in the most recent case appear to be the type of Muslims whom many in America would embrace as fellow patriots, rather than as radical fundamentalists who prompt what some term “Islamophobia.” The murdered couple was active in charity efforts. “Barakat had recently posted about providing free dental supplies and food to dozens of homeless people in Durham, something he had done twice in recent months, buying toothpaste, brushes, floss and mouthwash that he put into individual bags for each homeless person,” reported the Post. And his wife had traveled to the Turkish border last year, not to join the Islamic State but to “deliver dental supplies to a Turkish town…”
But then again, Barakat and his wife met while helping to run North Carolina State’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) chapter. Perhaps they weren’t aware of the origins of that organization. The MSA is a Muslim Brotherhood front group, and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the group that spawned al Qaeda and Hamas. President Obama has embraced the MB at home and abroad, and this is a subject that the media should thoroughly explore, while there is still a chance to diminish their influence. Unfortunately, very few in our media are willing to investigate the MB—or even acknowledge their influence—instead they treat them like some benign, charitable group such as the Kiwanis International.
While it would be convenient for the media, and its allies on the left, to proffer evidence of a violent Muslim backlash when speaking about the culture of hate in a world full of news reports about Islamic State militants beheading their captives, or the Charlie Hebdo murders, not every murder’s newsworthiness should be coldly calculated based on the race, faith, or the known ideology of its participants—or perpetrators. There is an average of about 40 murders a day in this country, most of which we never hear about until the media find one that fits a narrative for them. Or at least they think it does. And then it takes on a life of its own.
By: Alan Caruba
The ongoing Syrian conflict, the fall of the Yemeni government, the burning of the Jordanian pilot, and other events make one wonder why even those Arab nations with significant military capabilities tend not to use them against a common enemy.
The attacks on ISIS by the Jordanian air force have been a dramatic example of what could be done to eliminate this threat to the entire region if the other military forces would join in a united effort.
This raises the question of why the armies of various Middle Eastern nations do not seem to be engaged in destroying the Islamic State (ISIS). The answer may be found in a casual look at recent history; these armies have not been successful on the field of battle. Most recently what passed for the Iraqi army fled when ISIS took over much of northern Iraq.
Since 1948 the Arab nations that attacked Israel were repeatedly defeated. The Iraq-Iran war conducted by Saddam Hussein finally stalemated after eight years. Later it took the leadership of the U.S. to drive Saddam’s Iraq out of Kuwait.
In October 2014, the Business Insider published a useful ranking of Middle Eastern militaries put together by Armin Rosen, Jeremy Bender, and Amanda Macias. Ranked number one should surprise no one. It was Israel which has a $15 billion defense budget, 176,000 active frontline personnel, 680 aircraft, and 3,870 tanks.
Unlike previous administrations dating back to Truman, while the U.S. is technically still an ally of Israel, in reality the Obama administration has demonstrated animosity toward the only democratic nation in the region. Indeed, the U.S. has been engaged in lengthy negotiations with Iran that would ultimately permit it to become a nuclear power. There isn’t a single Middle Eastern nation that wants this to occur and it has greatly harmed U.S. relations with them.
Ranked second militarily is the Turkish Armed Forces with an $18.1 billion defense budget, 410,000 active frontline personnel, 3,675 tanks and 989 aircraft. This nation has shifted heavily toward being an Islamist state as opposed to the secular one it had been since the end of the Ottoman Empire in the last century. Its military hasn’t been involved in a conflict since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. It is a NATO-allied military but that doesn’t mean it will support NATO in a future conflict. It was used against the Kurdish separatist movement in the 1980s, but these days the Kurdish Peshmerga, between 80,000 and 100,000 strong is now ranked as “one of the most formidable fighting forces in the Middle East” and it is likely the Kurds will carve their own nation out of an Iraq which barely exists these days.
Number three among the Middle East militaries is Saudi Arabia with a $56.7 billion defense budget, 233,500 active frontline personnel, 1,095 tanks, and 652 aircraft. It has been closely allied with the U.S. for decades, but the Obama Iranian nuclear negotiations have negatively affected that relationship. One can assume the same from its other allies, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia has also provided “substantial assistance” to post-coup Egypt.
The rankings put the United Arab Emirates a #4, Iran at #5, Egypt at #6, Syria at #7, Jordan at #8, Oman at #9, Kuwait at #10, Qatar at #11, Bahrain at #12, Iraq at #13, Lebanon at #14, and Yemen at #15. The Business Insider article noted that “The balance of power in the Middle East is in disarray” and that’s putting it mildly.
Debka File, an Israeli news agency, reported on February 5 that “The group of nations U.S. President Barack Obama assembled last September for an air offence against ISIS inroads in Iraq and Syria is fraying.”
It deemed the participation of the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Bahrain as “more symbolic than active” noting that Iraq has no air force to speak of and an army in name only while the Saudis “allotted a trifling number of planes to the effort” and Bahrain has no air force at all. The UAE has the biggest and most modern air force and it has reportedly joined with Jordan to attack ISIS strongholds.
Debka reported that the coalition is “adamantly opposed to Obama’s policy…and loath to lend their air strength for its support” and that is very good news for ISIS, but not for the rest of the Middle East.
In October, Commentary magazine published an analysis by Ofir Haivry, vice president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem, about the “Shifting Alliances in the Middle East.” It began with the observation that “The old Middle Eastern order has collapsed” as “the ongoing Arab uprisings that begin in late 2010 have unseated or threaten to unseat every Muslim government in the region.”
Postulating ‘five broad, cross-regional, and loosely ideological confederations”, Haivry concluded that “Perhaps our biggest challenge is not a new Middle East, but a new United States in paralysis. Under the Obama administration, America’s historic aspiration to shape events in the region has given way to confusion and drift.”
It should not come as that much of a surprise that Israel has been developing intelligence and security relations with several Arab nations, including what the Middle East Monitor described as “growing secret cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia.” That sounds like very bad news for Iran and very good news for the rest of us.
© Alan Caruba, 2015
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
After last week’s barbaric execution of a Jordanian pilot who was burned alive, the King of Jordan is vowing shock and awe against ISIS. I believe he will give it everything he’s got, but it won’t be enough. Military equipment is very, very expensive to get and maintain. The US is already giving Jordan $1 billion in economic and military aid this year and has signed an agreement with Jordan boosting security assistance by up to $400 million a year through 2017. But Obama has refused to give them drones and vital military equipment that could actually go towards defeating ISIS and the clock is ticking. Since Obama’s sympathies lie with Islamic extremists, I believe he wants to see Jordan fall and he may very well get his way. Jordan is being forced to use ineffective bombing campaigns, either putting many civilians or their pilots at risk and they will have a very limited success against ISIS.
As Jordan begins its military maneuvers against ISIS in Syria, they have released a video montage highlighting their military prowess and kicking off their retaliatory air campaign. It is a moving display with fighter pilots showing their might and Jordanians writing messages on bombs meant for the barbaric hordes of ISIS. Over 20 Jordanian F-16s struck ISIS targets while US F-22s, F-16s, surveillance and tanker aircraft supported them. The video is meant to show Jordan’s strength, but what it reveals is disturbing on a number of fronts.
During wartime, it is common to see messages written on bombs to one’s enemies. The Jordanians are also putting messages on the noses of their second-hand F-16s. Most swear vengeance and decry ISIS’ ideology. But according to FoxTrotAlpha, what stood out the most was the fact that those F-16s are loaded with dumb bombs. Very few in Jordan’s fleet seem to have precision guided munitions loaded onto their weapon’s stations. Those that have them are smaller and older. These were GBU-12 laser guided bombs that are more suited for bombing small buildings and vehicles than larger structures.
Dumb bombs are much more accurate at lower heights. The lower the bomber goes, the better chance he has of hitting the target. The higher the bomber is when he deploys, the greater his Circular Error Probability is. This is true even when F-16s are used with digital avionics employed. Using this method of weapons delivery from over 15,000 feet, above most man portable air defense systems (MANPADS) and anti-aircraft fire, it makes hitting individual targets very dicey. One way to overcome this issue is to throw more sorties at each target, but for each attack made, the risk to aircrew making follow-on attacks increases. It also increases the likelihood that civilians will die as a result of additional bombings.
If the decision is made to bomb at lower altitudes, the pilots risk being taken down by anti-aircraft and small arms fire. Their chances of hitting their targets is greater, but the risk of being killed or captured rises dramatically. This would be foolish tactically of both Jordan and the coalition to take this approach. More rescue missions would ensue, meaning even more risk for military personnel. The unsettling possibility that Jordan may be putting aircrew at high risk due to the possible lack of adequate guided munitions also comes as US CSAR assets are now confirmed to be operating out of northern Iraq, a move that seems way, way overdue.
What the widespread use of dumb bombs by Jordan equates to is a set of puzzlingly simple tactics being used, ones that are highly ineffective or highly risky, while trying to obtain a very complex outcome. If Jordan hit all high-priority targets on a targeting list, they are either doing so at great peril to any innocent people nearby, or to themselves and the coalition, or they are creating a target list based on their limited weapons stores and capabilities.
This would mean that they could be selecting a few high-priority urban targets for precision guided munitions and the rest of the targets would be those in rural areas with little potential for unintended casualties when dumb weapons are applied. Either way, dictating what targets you hit, especially on the first day of a highly invigorated air campaign, based on the limited munitions you have at hand is a poor way to fight a modern air war in 2015 and it could usher in either a large loss of innocent life, which could dangerously erode support for the operation as whole in the region, or Jordanian forces are mainly hitting very low priority targets that are located literally in the middle of nowhere.
Another issue that could have led to the use of so much unguided weaponry could be Jordan’s lack of targeting pods for their F-16AM/BM fleet. Costing millions of dollars themselves, they could be, and probably are, in very short supply. This would make the delivery of precision guided munitions impossible for much of the RJAF F-16AM/BM fleet as Jordan has not purchased GPS guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) that do not require a laser targeting pod when used against fixed targets.
When you take into consideration that this first strike by Jordan sent out half their fleet and that only a small number of their jets were using precision guided munitions, it becomes apparent that the Jordanian’s don’t have the means to sustain a projected air campaign against ISIS. Not without help anyway. This explains why King Abdullah went to DC to plead with Obama for munitions, countermeasures, fuel and spare parts. They will need all of that and more to combat ISIS over the long haul. I am surprised that the Jordanians were not prepared for such a development and that their weapons and military situation is so dire. They are not prepared for a protracted war and don’t seem to have faced the fact that one would eventually come.
I also find the targets that the Jordanians went after perplexing. After the US has spent months bombing the heck out of ISIS, how could there possibly be such large targets left on the list that the Jordanian F-16s could go after using unguided weaponry? After this long a period, those large targets should all be decimated. The only possible explanation points directly to the US and Barack Obama not being serious about taking out the enemy. It should not have been that difficult, considering ISIS does not posses an integrated air defense system or any aerial defenses at all beyond shoulder-fired missiles.
If the U.S. is in fact dragging its feet when it comes to striking ISIS targets deep inside Syria then the whole operation needs to be questioned. If this is not the case and these are just new targets acquired from recent intelligence, then how are they magically low enough of a priority to have Jordanian F-16 pilots slinging dumb bombs at them? Or if they are not new, but are of such a low priority that they were not even worth hitting with precision weapons by coalition forces long ago, then why on earth are we risking Jordanian and American air crews on them at all? If ‘optics’ is the answer then Washington has some serious explaining to do.
If Jordan’s use of a large portion of dumb bombs on its first ‘alpha strike’ against supposedly key ISIS targets in Syria is a matter of lack resources on Jordan’s part and lack of prior commitment on the coalitions part, then the U.S. should immediately transfer large stocks of precision guided munitions, targeting pods and spare parts to Jordanian forces to that they can continue to do what the US and the coalition will not — keep the pressure on ISIS in their own backyard via precision air power. Additionally, considering it costs America way more to field similar expeditionary forces in the region over the long haul, reinforcing Jordan’s fighter and ISR (information, surveillance, reconnaissance) fleet should be examined in the near term as well. There are plenty of used F-16s available and U.S. stocks of precision guided weapons are better off being used by Jordanian pilots protecting their own region than American ones sent there to do it for them.
The Jordanian video is a sleek piece of propaganda meant to intimidate their enemies. But ISIS is very adept at their own propaganda. Just putting fighter jets in the air and bombing alone does not speak to a strong strategy for winning a war or defeating a brutal enemy. I am sure that King Abdullah knows this and that is why he went to DC. His enemies will see through the video and they know exactly what the score here is unfortunately.
The whole coalition approach to defeating ISIS and the Caliphate is flawed and doomed to failure if things don’t change and radically. No one has put forth a serious plan to eliminate ISIS – one that lays out taking out their leadership and strongholds. One that includes executing them en masse and meeting barbarity with swift and deadly force. I see no concise strategy for victory here… just the opposite in fact. Not even close.
As I have said from the beginning, Obama seems to have no strategic plan to defeat ISIS. He is bombing targets that have little to no effect. The US definitely has some explaining to do here. I personally do not believe that Obama has any intention of defeating ISIS. He supports the Caliphate and those that will rule it. The entire anti-ISIS operation as a whole is rigged for failure. There has been a lot of big talk by Obama and others on how ISIS needs to be defeated, but there is no really plausible strategy for victory, yet alone the resources available needed to realize it when it comes to Jordan. King Abdullah came to DC hat in hand to plead with Obama for more military help and all he left with was his hat and faux assurances.
Hat Tip: BB