Cutting ISIL’s money supply – Al Jazeera English

The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) isn’t just a military one, according to the US government. Cutting off any ties to the global financial system is just as important, according to the US Treasury and State Department.

On Tuesday, the US announced new sanctions against 30 individuals and organisations with ties to ISIL. Those individuals include Tarad Mohammad Aljaraba, a Saudi national who reportedly helps shuttle people in and out of ISIL territory via Turkey, and Aqsa Mahmood, a British national from Glasgow who is being targeted for recruiting women via social media and being a member of an “all-female police unit” in ISIL-held territory in Syria.

The US says this is an important step in the fight against the group but how effective will it be? US officials admit that most of ISIL’s money comes from revenue generated within its own territory in Syria and Iraq. According to the Rand Corporation, oil revenues, selling looted antiquities on the black market and local taxation are the primary sources of funding for the group.

Many analysts say the effect of the new sanctions will be minimal and have little real impact in stopping them.

“The effect will be in the black and grey market,” said Christopher Swift, a National Security Studies professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. “Anyone who does business with ISIL will be punished.”

Blaise Misztal, from the Bipartisan Policy Center, added that the sanctions raise, “a red flag for partner countries, such as Turkey, in which these individuals might be trying operate.”

But according to Swift, there’s another important reason for the move. The White House has been pushing the US Congress to give them new legal authority to conduct military operations against ISIL. Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama submitted a draft resolution to lawmakers for the Authorisation for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that would grant him that power.

According to Obama, the authorisation would hand him, “the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in other, more limited circumstances, such as rescue operations involving US or coalition personnel or the use of special operations forces to take military action against ISIL leadership”. At the moment, US operations have been limited to military training and a bombing campaign.

But so far, the Republican-controlled Congress has yet to pass it. By expanding US powers financially against ISIL, this new move, according to Swift, is an acknowledgement, “that thing [AUMF] is going nowhere”.

Donald Trump: I would send Syrian refugees home:

Donald Trump has said he would send home all Syrian refugees the US accepts, if he becomes president.

The billionaire, who is the current frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House, told a New Hampshire rally: “If I win, they’re going back.”

It marks a reversal in policy – earlier this month he told Fox News the US should take in more refugees.

A migrant crisis has gripped parts of Europe and the US has pledged to take 10,000 refugees from Syria next year.

Half a million people have crossed the Mediterranean into Europe in 2015, with the largest number from Syria, where 250,000 people have been killed in a civil war.

On Wednesday night, Mr Trump told an audience at Keene High School: “I hear we want to take in 200,000 Syrians. And they could be – listen, they could be Isis [Islamic State].”

Describing them as a “200,000-man army”, he later added: “I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they’re going back.”

Donald Trump in Keene, New Hampshire
Mr Trump has made immigration a central plank of his election campaign, pledging to build a wall on the southern border.

He was harshly criticised after saying undocumented Mexican immigrants were “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists”.

His latest comments about sending Syrians home are more in line with his hardline immigration policy, although at odds with what he said earlier this month.

Asked whether he thought some of the migrants travelling into Europe should be allowed in the US, the business mogul said: “I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what’s happening, you have to.”

He blamed President Barack Obama for the crisis and added: “It’s living in hell in Syria. They are living in hell.”

Migrants walk through Hungary

The US has allowed 1,500 Syrians to re-settle since the start of the conflict four years ago.

A number of Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have urged the US to increase the number of Syrians from 10,000 to 65,000.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged to take more refugees worldwide, raising the yearly cap from 70,000 to 85,000 next year and to 100,000 in 2017.

ALERT — Obama forces U.S. Army change to Muslim Brotherhood style patch | RedFlag News

In order to be more ‘Muslim friendly’ Obama has changed the Army’s patches to resemble those of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Notice that none of these now Army Muslim Brotherhood look-a-like patches have an American flag on them? Also, you’ve never seen scimitars on Army patches until now. These patches are on those so called ‘non-fighting’ fighters in Iraq against ISIS.

That’s fitting in Barack Obama’s America, since he so indefatigably aided the Brotherhood when they took power in Egypt and continued to do so even after they were toppled, and since the Brotherhood is a chief competitor to the Islamic State in wanting to establish a caliphate of its own. It’s also a fitting symbol for an America that is ideologically fractured and confused in the face of a growing Islamic jihad threat, and no longer confident of its own heritage or principles.

But this patch has no resemblance to U.S. Army patches of the past, which featured the American eagle and other recognizably American imagery, not the two swords of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In case you’re not sure which is which, the Brotherhood symbol is on the left and the Army patch is on the right.


New Patch for U.S. Troops Fighting ISIS… Looks Like ISIS Logo

by Mac Slavo, SHTFplan.com

Believe it or not, American soldiers fighting against ISIS in Syria and Iraq will actually be wearing the emblem of ISIS – the infamous crossed-swords logo. Well, almost.

Controversy has stirred because many think the patch looks too much like our boys are fighting for the enemy… just another sign of confusion about the counterproductive Obama-led war against the notorious and shamefully exploitative jihadist army.

The Military Times noted that:

“A combat patch worn by U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq on the mission against Islamic State is drawing flak from service members and veterans who say the patch — with its palm wreath, stars and crossed scimitars — looks like something the enemy would wear.”

Site like JihadWatch are arguing that the:

“new U.S. Army patch for fight against the Islamic State closely resembles Muslim Brotherhood logo.”

While the Islamic State is using barbaric tactics to remake the Middle East closer to its own vision of a Caliphate, the United States and its allies also seek to remake the Middle East, and use thespecter of terrorism to aid in regime change in Syria and elsewhere.

The triangulation and cross-purposes are both confusing and aggravating to many Americans.

According to USA Today:

Soldiers in Iraq will soon have a new shoulder sleeve patch to signify their service in the fight against the Islamic State.

All told, there are about 3,335 troops in the region training Iraqi troops, providing security and conducing bombing missions on Islamic State targets in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

The Army’s patch features crossed scimitars, a palm wreath and stars. The scimitars, short swords with curved blades, are meant to symbolize the twin goals of the U.S.-led coalition: to defeat the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIL, and to restore stability in the region, according to Army documents.

Arguably the “twin goals” of Operation Inherent Resolve – better known as the fight against ISIS / ISIL – is fitting with the War on Terrorism in general which always, like a double sword, cut both ways. Symbolically, the double sword cuts both ways, and plays of opposite goals, and embraces conflict, which creates chaos, and begs for a savior and a solution.

But the U.S. has, in fact, created and breathed life into the TV villain known as ISIS. From. the. beginning.

The naked hypocrisy of the U.S. effort to fight ISIS is that the West has been building up and unleashing terrorism upon the Middle East region in order to facilitate chaos and regime change – and give the United States a pretext for stationing troops there, funding budget and spewing rhetoric across the media.

President Bashar al-Assad himself recently called out the United States and other Western allies for actually fostering terrorism – and providing arms, funding, training and soldiers for ISIS and other groups. Assad stated bluntly:

But as for Western cooperation with the al-Nusra Front, this is reality, because we know that Turkey supports al-Nusra and ISIS by providing them with arms, money and terrorist volunteers. And it is well-known that Turkey has close relations with the West. Erdogan and Davutoglu cannot make a single move without coordinating first with the United States and other Western countries.

Al-Nusra and ISIS operate with such a force in the region under Western cover, because Western states have always believed that terrorism is a card they can pull from their pocket and use from time to time. Now, they want to use al-Nusra just against ISIS, maybe because ISIS is out of control one way or another. But that doesn’t mean they want to eradicate ISIS. Had they wanted to do so, they would have been able to do that.

Meanwhile, Putin put in a “call” at the global poker table, vowing to take on ISIS and defend Assad with its own fighter jets, tanks and military equipment.

In a taunting and vexing spin on the United States’ own mission in the Middle East, Putin invited the West to join hands and eradicate ISIS once and for all, as SHTF recently reported.

Moscow, realizing that instead of undertaking an earnest effort to fight terror in Syria, the US had simply adopted a containment strategy for ISIS while holding the group up to the public as the boogeyman par excellence, publicly invited Washington to join Russia in a once-and-for-all push to wipe Islamic State from the face of the earth.

Of course The Kremlin knew the US wanted no such thing until Assad was gone, but by extending the invitation, Putin had literally called Washington’s bluff, forcing The White House to either admit that this isn’t about ISIS at all, or else join Russia in fighting them. The genius of that move is that if Washington does indeed coordinate its efforts to fight ISIS with Moscow, the US will be fighting to stabilize the very regime it sought to oust. 

But Putin won’t be holding his breath. Neither should we.

Should we view the patch as a U.S. “resolve” to stop ISIS, or as part of the “inherent” contradiction that serves the larger purpose of terrorism and U.S. foreign policy at the expense of U.S. troops, U.S. taxpayer money and U.S. sovereignty?

And is WWIII near when the U.S. and Russia lock heads so pointedly as they are right now? And who is the real enemy?

Are Aircraft Carriers Worth the Cost? Or is this Obama wanting to do more damage to our Military?

The Navy’s operations, on which the sun never sets, are the nation’s nerve endings, connecting it with the turbulent world. Although the next president may be elected without addressing the Navy’s proper size and configuration, for four years he or she will be acutely aware of where the carriers are. Today they are at the center of a debate about their continuing centrality, even viability, in the Navy’s projection of force. Far out into the South China Sea, China is manufacturing mini-islands out of reefs, many of which used to be underwater at high tide. China is asserting sovereignty above and around these militarized specks in the congested cauldron of this sea. Through it and adjoining straits pass half the world’s seaborne tonnage; five of America’s most important 15 trading partners are in this region. Until President Trump launches his many trade wars, those partners include China, which is America’s third-largest export market and largest source of imports. The Obama administration has rejected challenging China’s audacity by not sailing through its claimed territorial waters — within twelve miles — around the new reef-islands. RELATED: The U.S. Navy Needs to Radically Reassess How It Projects Power Henry J. Hendrix of the Center for a New American Security argues that, like the battleships which carriers were originally designed to support, carriers may now be too expensive and vulnerable. China has developed land-based anti-ship missiles to force carriers to operate so far from targets that manned aircraft might become less useful than unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) operating from smaller, less expensive carriers. The newest carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, to be commissioned next year, cost $12.8 billion. Add the costs of the air wing, the support of five surface-combat ships and one attack submarine, and 6,700 sailors. The bill for operating a carrier group: $2.5 million a day. China, says Hendrix, could build more than 1,200 of its premier anti-ship missiles for the cost of one Ford carrier, and one of the 1,200 could achieve “mission-kill,” removing the carrier from the fight for months. The bad news is that America’s entitlement state is devouring the federal budget. The good news might be this axiom: As money gets scarcer, people get smarter.

“Europe: Seizing Homes to House Muslim Migrants” – Hampshire Hog

Source: “Europe: Seizing Homes to House Muslim Migrants”

Idiot who draws on the experience of ONE PERSON to condemn an entire continent.
“In a deeply disturbing development in the Muslim invasion of Europe, Europeans are being forced from their homes to accommodate the invaders… Swedes’ homes may be confiscated to accommodate asylum seekers using obscure legislation from 1992, the “Threat and Risk Assessment Commission”… “German nurse shocked after being forced out of flat to make way for […]

https://gachiyellow.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/europe-seizing-homes-to-house-muslim-migrants/

Putin’s Jets in Syria Are a Threat to the U.S. 

On Sept. 30, Russian lawmakers unanimously approved Pres. Vladimir Putin’s plan to begin combat operations in Syria — and hours later Moscow’s warplanes in the region began attacking ISIS militants.

Right before the bombs rained down, a Russian general arrived in Baghdad warned the U.S. military planners to keep America’s own warplanes out of the way. U.S. officials said they would not alter their flight plans.

This is the beginning of a dangerous new phase of the international intervention in the Syrian civil war. Not only has Russia tried to order U.S. forces to step aside, it actually has the firepower to back up its demands. Some of the 35 warplanes Russia has deployed to Syria are specifically designed for fighting foes like the United States, not ISIS.

Seemingly out of nowhere on Sept. 21, they appeared at an air base in Latakia, a regime stronghold in western Syria—28 of the Russian air force’s best warplanes, including four Su-30 fighters and a number of Su-25 attack planes and Su-24 bombers.

Soon six more Su-34 bombers and at least one Il-20 spy plane followed, part of a contingent of Russia forces reportedly including some 500 troops plus armored vehicles and SA-15 and SA-22 surface-to-air missiles.

For U.S. and allied officials observing the deployment, there has been plenty of cause for confusion…and alarm. It’s not just that, more than four years into Syria’s bloody civil war, Russia has decided to jump in and make things more complicated.

No, it’s what kinds of weapons—planes and missiles, especially—Moscow decided to send, and what those weapons say about the Kremlin’s ultimate plan in Syria. Many of them don’t seem to be well-suited to fighting ISIS. They’re built to battle adversaries like the United States.

To be clear, 35 warplanes and a few surface-to-air missiles aren’t a lot in the grand scheme of things. There’s no shortage of military aircraft flying over Syria five years into the country’s bloody civil war.

Every day some of Syria’s aging Soviet-made planes —from the 300 or so that have survived four years of combat—take off from regime airfields to bomb ISIS militants and secular rebels slowly advancing on Syria’s main population centers.

Meanwhile hundreds of jets from the American-led international coalition have been waging, since the fall of 2014, an intensive air campaign against ISIS and al Qaeda targeting just the militants.

What’s weird and alarming about the Russian contingent is that it’s not really optimal for attacking lightly armed insurgent fighters. Surface-to-air missiles are only good for destroying enemy aircraft, which Syrian rebels do not possess. And the Su-30s are best suited for tangling with other high-tech forces.

Who in region possesses these high-tech forces? The United States, for one. Israel, too. Why, the United States, of course. Russia’s warplanes and missiles in Syria could pose a threat to America’s own aircraft flying over the country—all in order to carve out and preserve a portion of Syria that the United States can’t touch.

Russia’s warplanes and missiles in Syria could pose a threat to America’s own aircraft flying over the country—all in order to carve out and preserve a portion of Syria that the United States can’t touch.

Officially, Russia has deployed its forces to Syria to reinforce embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and help defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

“There is no other way to settle the Syrian conflict other than by strengthening the existing legitimate government agencies, support them in their fight against terrorism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with American news networks ahead of his Sept. 28 meeting with President Obama at the United Nations in New York City.

“There are more than 2,000 militants in Syria from the former Soviet Union,” Putin said. “Instead of waiting for them to return home we should help President al-Assad fight them there, in Syria.”