I’d just like to draw a couple of things to the World’s attention. Not that I’ve got delusions of grandeur or anything.
The following extract is typical of hundreds of media sites ‘reporting’ on ISIL and Jihadists in Syria: ‘JIHADISTS are on the verge of seizing the key Syrian border town of Kobane in Turkey after a three-week assault by the Islamic State’.
So, it’s a key border town. But it doesn’t make it into Google Maps – the little red blob showing location is there because I asked Big G a specific question about where it is:
The “key border town” is given a population of of 300,000 by Al Jazeera. But Wikipedia and most other sources (including the Syrian census) say it holds 40,000. It is a administrative town for the Syrian canton of the same name. But why is it “key”? We’re not told. Far more ‘key’ to the Syrians, however, is Aleppo with a population of some 2.1 million. But the Jihadists haven’t gone anywhere near it.
But two days ago, ISIL was “closing in on Baghdad” as well. And last night the Washington Post said it was “on the verge of overruning” Anbar. Previously on MiddleEasters, ISIL had also been overrunning a military camp in Saqlawiya, near the city of Fallujah, a large Syrian military base on the outskirts of the city of Raqqa, an Iraqi air force base near Baghdad, and Qaraqosh, the largest Christian city in Iraq.
Examine this more closely, and it looks to me like ISIL is overunning in several directions at once. They race to Baghdad from Kobane, and then to both the North and East. At this rate, they’ll take the Turkish capital Ankara by the weekend after next:
‘Left unfettered, with only cosmetic airstrikes by an indecisive Obama administration to deal with, IS continues growing in strength and confidence, as Western powers again stand idly by…’ (US backed Middle East Forum)
‘….“Airstrikes alone are not going to do this,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said, according to a press release issued by the Defense Department. “They’re not going to fix this. They’re not going to save the town of Kobani.” As he spoke, battles between ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters raged in and around that city, a strategic garrison along the Syrian-Turkish border. “We know that,” Kirby said. “We’ve been saying that over and over again. And yet we continue to get questions of, well, ‘why aren’t you doing more? And how come they aren’t more effective?’”…’ (WallSt Cheatsheet)
‘…Despite US pressure urging it to act militarily, Turkey (which has sheltered the refugees from Syria), remains a mute spectator as the ISIS goes on slaughtering people just few kilometres away in Kobani.
The US has been pressing Turkey to do more and act militarily against ISIS to prevent the massacre but Turkey has so far done nothing besides stationing tanks on its border with Syria. Turkey has refused to act militarily in favour of Kurdish fighters as it considers them an extended part of PKK, which they have branded as a terrorist group. Turkish inaction over Syria comes despite a nod by its parliament last week, allowing military strikes against ISIS.
To convince Turkey to act against the ISIS, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as well as President Barack Obama’s two envoys to the anti-Islamic State coalition, retired Gen. John Allen and Ambassador Brett McGurk, arrived in Ankara on Thursday for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan….’ (zeenews)
Sound familiar? 1. Air strikes alone aren’t going to cut it. 2. Let’s drag Turkey in because a key town on their border is being threatened. 3. ISIL is clearly much bigger than we thought so we need to rethink our level of military presence.
Funny, is it not, how this ISIL group has been so successful in destabilising Assad in three months flat, when other Jihadists got nowhere for over three years. Funny how they had 250 followers last January…and now the figure is close to 80,000. Funny how they seem to be everywhere at the same time.
My remote view remains cautious. I have yet to see photographic or other compelling evidence that (a) ISIL has the troop strength to really threaten Baghdad (b) that shelling really is going on in Baghdad suburbs (c) that Erdogan believes ISIL has the remotest intention of invading his country – he’s just as anti-Kurd as they are – and (d) why, if ISIL was a serious threat to a NATO member, they wouldn’t have gone for Aleppo instead.
I think ISIL is once more taunting the US into more invasive action – a great recruitment strategy for them, and a medium-term way to drive a wedge between the US and the Saudis. I think the McCain/Pentagon/GOP/CIA Hawk tendency is exaggerating the ISIL threat in order to sell arms and increase their influence over the White House. And I think GOP monkeys working for the oil business are working hard to stress the oilfield supply threat…an ancient but still powerful US obsession.
There are times when that latter factor is blindingly obvious. And to raise today’s second point, here we find the clear link between the propaganda applied to Ukraine, and that applied to ISIS: pipelines.
The vast majority of informed interneteers know most of this already; but the MSM paints it as conspiracy theory. And as such, that makes me a non-violent extremist. So at some point – by applying pressure via Washington and Wall Street to WordPress – the Cameron government will (if they get their anti-terrorism laws) be able to shut down The Slog.
This isn’t about anti-terrorism: it about protecting arms dealers and and US business interests. It’s about maintaining the supply of cheap energy to hard-pressed US homes and gas-guzzling automobiles. It’s about undermining the ability of the Russian bear to do equally despicable things via energy blackmail. And on my own home turf, its about ensuring that the switch to anti-democratic corporatist dictatorship goes ahead as planned.