An Inaccurate Description

As Nour Malas and Joe Parkinson, writing for The Wall Street Journal, put it in a larger piece,

They [Western officials, including especially US officials] now face the choice of launching a major armament program to Kurdish forces, and risk accelerating Iraq’s dismemberment, or offering smaller supplies but failing to turn the Peshmerga into the definitive proxy force against the Islamic State.

Of course, the choice is not limited to these options, nor are these options accurate reflections of reality. An obvious third choice is arming, and supporting with other means, the Peshmerga so that they can do far more than just be someone else’s proxy, but instead guarantee the Kurds’ survival as a society and a polity against ISIS’ attempts to crush, if not exterminate, them—even to crush ISIS instead.

Gradual Escalation

We’ve been taking potshots at ISIS targets, ostensibly to bring relief materials to the Yezidis trapped on mountaintop in northern Iraq. The potshots, though, are having a different effect.

Islamic militant forces in northern Iraq appear to be shifting tactics….

[U]ntil now [ISIS] was behaving like a well-organized army, moving with strategic intent and pursuing military objectives. Now, officials are seeing at least a partial shift to classic insurgency tactics, as militants begin to blend in among the population, making targeting more difficult.

Negotiate with Terrorists?

Democratic Party Presidential contender and current Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) had some thoughts from the Progressive side of the situation unfolding in Iraq. In supporting President Barack Obama’s tepid moves vis-à-vis ISIS, the Yezidis, and the Kurds, Warren said this:

It’s a complicated situation right now in Iraq and the president has taken very targeted actions to provide humanitarian relief that the Iraqi government requested, and to protect American citizens. But like the president, I believe that any solution in Iraq is going to be a negotiated solution, not a military solution. We do not want to be pulled into another war in Iraq.

Lasting Solutions

President Barack Obama has said, in defense of his inaction against the current and planned atrocities of ISIS, that there can be no lasting solution in Iraq until the Iraqis have resolved their governmental failures and impasse—a true national reconciliation.

He’s right about the need for political resolution—for Iraqis. What Obama carefully elides, though, is the lasting solution that will occur vis-à-vis Yezidis and Kurds if we continue our inaction.

Laughingstock, Part 2

I’ve written before about this matter. This week, Spiegel Online International, not a fortress of Conservatism, brought it up again.

John Kerry has spent months rushing from one conflict to the next, but has little show for it. His failures are symptomatic of an America that lacks a foreign policy identity—and of a country that seems uncomfortable with its role as a superpower.


In recent days, global diplomacy has seemed like an absurd form of theater, with John Kerry in the role of the tragic hero. He doesn’t look like the secretary of state from a world power, Haaretz jeered, but like “an alien who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”

An Attack on the UNRWA School in Rafah

…for which the US—President Barack Obama and his mouthpiece, Valerie Jarrett and Samantha Power, and his State Department’s mouthpiece, Jen Psaki, have roundly condemned Israel. A typical Obama administration rush to judgment without tarrying for such trivia as facts.

Lenny Ben-David, Managing Director of the Israel Consult, Inc, and erstwhile Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission in DC, has put together some imagery that sheds light on the…incident…with the school. I’ve reproduced them below, together with Ben-David’s twitter captions of them.

What about a Palestinian’s right to freedom?

This is the headline of a FoxNews op-ed by Faheem Younus, President of the Baltimore branch of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA and a senior fellow at the University of Baltimore’s Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics. It’s a fair question.

Younus asks us to

think of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” which shows the quest for freedom of an innocent banker serving two life sentences under hopeless circumstances. The cast goes like this: the criminals are Hamas, the warden is Netanyahu, Andy—the banker convicted of murder—is your average Palestinian, and Shawshank is Gaza.

UN Gaza Facilities and the Line of Fire

UNRWA says another of its schools has been hit by Israeli fire.

UNRWA has been caught three times storing Palestinian Authority rockets in their facilities, “unused” or occupied by refugees, for later use in terror attacks on Israel. On one of those occasions, UNRWA carefully turned the cache over to the PA, and on another occasion, UNRWA authorities simply abandoned the facility and the refugees they were pretending to shelter. UNRWA’s disposition of the third collection of stored terror weapons is unknown.

On another occasion, a terrorist tunnel was discovered beneath a UNRWA facility.

A Border Crisis Stop-Gap Immigration Bill

Late Friday, the House passed this—along party lines, because the Democrats in the House wanted no part of it. The bill provides roughly $700 million, less than a quarter of President Barack Obama’s original $3.7 billion do deal with the situation. What it does is this:

  • increases funding, to $70 million, for the relevant States’ National Guards, with the funding to go directly to those States, bypassing the Federal government. This alone is anathema to Democrats
  • provides $400 million for border security
  • provides $200 million for housing and “humanitarian assistance”
  • adds more immigration judges and detention spaces

Equal Outcomes

Because, moral equivalence.

Navi Pillay, outgoing (her six-year term is up) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had this to say the other day:

[B]y putting and firing rockets within both heavily populated areas both sides were violating international law and therefore committing war crimes.

“Locating rockets within schools and hospitals, or even launching these rockets from densely populated areas are violations of international humanitarian law,” said Ms. Pillay, referring to Hamas, but added that doesn’t “absolve” Israel from disregarding the same law.

Because Israel is violating “international humanitarian law” by defending itself against these terrorists.