02/9/15

The Arab Armies

By: Alan Caruba
Warning Signs

Arab Armies

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.

Israeli fighter jets

Israeli fighter jets

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

02/7/15

Patriot or Traitor

By: Gary Kubiak
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri
Southeast Michigan 912 Tea Party

Patriot or Traitor

Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Leaders Hosted at State Department

The State Department hosted a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leaders.last week. The delegation included Sarwat Nafei, a self-described liberal elected as speaker of the Egyptian parliament in exile; Waleed Sharaby, secretary general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood; Maha Azzam, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council; Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, an exiled Muslim Brotherhood member and Egyptian parliamentarian; and Mohammed Gamal Heshmet, an exiled member of the Muslim Brotherhood shura council and Egyptian parliamentarian.

The delegation sought help in restoring former President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt. On June 30, 2013 the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt led to the ouster of then President Mohamed Morsi. Bringing into power anti- Muslim Brotherhood President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi. el-Sisi has called for a “religious revolution” asking Muslim leaders to help in the fight against extremism. If this is so then why would the Obama administration want to host a terrorist group hellbent to unseat, assassinate or otherwise destroy the elected President of Egypt? President Obama should be working hand in hand with this reformer and US ally. Patriot or Traitor?

A few days after the delegation visited the State Department, a Brotherhood affiliated television warned foreign tourists and business interests to leave Egypt, or risk becoming a “target for the revolutionary punishment movements.” The Muslim Brotherhood also called for “a long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated as a terrorist group by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. President Obama does not consider the MB a terrorist organization. Patriot or Traitor?

What they are saying.

  • Pamela Geller. “Obama is neither clueless, naive, or stupid. He knows just what he is doing, and it’s treason.”
  • Linda S. Heard, Middle East expert. “If the White House is out to offend some of its closet Arab allies and is intent on heightening their suspicions, it’s succeeded.”
  • Said Lindawi, Egyptian international affairs expert. “The meeting of the MB leaders with State Department officials means that the Obama Administration has given the organization a green light to carry out terrorist attacks against Egypt.”
  • Patrick Poole, terrorism expert and national security reporter. “The MB and State Department meeting is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood.”
  • Terresa Monroe Hamilton, NoisyRoom.net. “In a world filled with intentionally increasing danger, it is more important than ever to speak the truth clearly and boldly. We are in a dangerous position with President Obama who supports the Muslim Brotherhood and yet has 2 more years in office. In essence…. Pray with your eyes wide open!”

When will ALL of us wake up. You decide.
Patriot or Traitor?

Waleed Sharaby, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture at the State Department in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol. The enemy within, dealing with the Obama Administration. Patriot or Traitor?

The President gives excuses for what ISIS is doing, and compares them to the Crusades, and slavery in our own country. The President just gave ISIS the best recruiting commercial they could hope for. Patriot or Traitor? Ask your church this weekend. Is it right for the President to compare ISIS with Christians?

“Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.”
Calvin Coolidge

01/8/15

Press Release – Response to Recent Comments by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

January 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today letters were issued to several Islamic organizations in the United States by a Coalition of concerned citizens to get their official response to recent comments by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The organizations contacted for their response included the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the North American Islamic Trust.

The Coalition sought responses for the following questions:

  • Is it the position of your organization that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of your organization that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of your organization that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

On New Year’s Day, President Sisi addressed the famous Egyptian University, Al Azhar. Occasionally called the “Vatican” of Islam, Al Azhar is a major center of Sunni Islamic thought, one of the most important scholarly institutions in the Islamic world.

President Sisi urged the imams (religious leaders) at Al Azhar to denounce the violence and revolution that has defined the Middle East since the Arab Spring. He urged the venerable institution to condemn the idea that “1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!”

Since the Arab Spring, the moderate and stable regimes have been under sustained assault by terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other affiliated networks. President Sisi came to power in Egypt following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, who is himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Sisi’s speech is seen as a direct challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood and the idea that jihad, or war against non-Muslims, must define Islam. According to the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad is the duty of all Muslims, and the highest honor for Muslims is actual death fighting jihad. (The motto of the organization states, “God is our objective; the Qur’an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; death for the sake of God is our wish.”)

In November, CAIR and MAS were designated as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have also designated the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic umbrella organization operating around the world, including in the United States, as a terrorist organization.

The Coalition, which includes retired military leaders, journalists, and citizen activists, will publicly release any and all responses from these organizations.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Identical letters were sent to the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society, the North American Islamic Trust, and various chapters of the Muslim Students Association.

LETTER TO THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

January 7, 2015

Mr. Azhar Azeez
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
P.O. Box 38
Plainfield, IN 46168

Dear Mr. Azeez:

This is a request for your organization’s official response to the speech given by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

On New Year’s Day, President Sisi stated (in part) before an audience at Al Azhar University in Cairo:

“I am referring here to the religious clerics.   We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before.  It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In light of President Sisi’s comments, we ask for public clarification on the following points:

  • Is it the position of ISNA that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

Please note that this letter will be made public and published.  We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Wallace Bruschweiler
Data Security Holdings

Leslie Burt
The Counter Jihad Report

Mark Kohan
Conservative Party USA

Trevor Loudon
New Zeal Blog

Gary Kubiak & Dick Manasseri
S.E. Michigan 9.12 Tea Party

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
NoisyRoom.net

Charles Ortel
Washington Times Columnist

William Palumbo
Qatar Awareness Campaign

Brent Parish
The Right Planet

Thomas E. Snodgrass, Colonel, USAF (Ret)
Right Side News

Hannah Szenes
Journalist

Paul E. Vallely, Major General, US Army (Ret)
Stand Up America