Review Category : Iraq

The IRGC, a terrorist organization that should be designated so

The Trump administration is determining whether to designate Iran’s elite arms unit, the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as a foreign terrorist organization. Officials from both the US State and Defense departments had warned the President to hold off on the order. The State and Defense departments’ hesitation is largely due to the fear of losing Iraq, as Baghdad heavily relies on both the IRGC and the US for military aid. The fact remains that Iraq has already been lost to Shia dominance since former Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has favored his own majority, rather than serving beyond ethnic and sectarian lines.

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Kurdistan and Israel: A friendship that must come out in the open

In a region where stability is rarely seen, the two non-Arab inhabitants of the Middle East – the Jews and the Kurds – need each other more than ever. Israel and Kurdistan share a deep history dominated by comradeship. Kurds must openly embrace their Jewish allies, and Israelis must publically call for a Kurdish state. Israel is a miniscule state that requires more friends than enemies if they wish to succeed.

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The Case for a Kurdish State in the Middle East

Many international bodies including the United Nations, the European Union, and the Arab League continue to push for a Palestinian state, while ignoring calls for a Kurdish one. For far too long, the Arab, Turkish and Iranian peoples and leaderships have used the Israeli-Palestinian issue as justification for their own problems.

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Shia Ambitions in the Future of Syria

“If we can be successful against Daesh and liberate our soil, we can go into Syria if our brothers there need help against Daesh”, said former prime minister of Iraq, Nouri Al Maliki, in Tehran at the beginning on the month.

Iraq failed under Maliki, depriving the Sunni population while gambling against the Kurds in the North. The former PM gave full control of Baghdad to Tehran’s Ayatollah. Today, Iran controls not only Baghdad, but Damascus as well. The expansion of the Shia crescent into Syria leaves the United States without any real leverage. The next US administration must consider realistic alternatives; this translates into recognition of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria.

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Be the ‘Strong Horse,’ President Trump

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they will naturally want to side with the strong horse. When people of the world look upon the confusion and atheism of the West, they see that Islam is the strong horse.” Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden thought the United States was weak, and this weakness provoked his attack on 9/11 that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. 

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VIDEO: EMET’s 2016 DC Conference “Emerging Threats Out of the Middle East: The Impact on a New Administration”

Sarah Stern
Founder & President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Senator Mark Kirk
Recipient of the Winston Churchill Award for Moral Integrity 

Representative Eliot Engel
D – NY
Recipient of the Winston Churchill Award for Moral Integrity


Geostrategic Analysis of the Middle East: Panel Discussion
Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.) & Chairman of Stand Up America
Dr. Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum
Eitan Arusy, Intelligence Specialist & CEO of Global Impact Services LLC
Frank Gaffney, Founder & President of the Center for Security Policy

Q&A Session for Geostrategic Analysis of the Middle East Panel

The Security Threat from Iran & Hezbollah

Congressman Jeff Duncan, Chairman of Foreign Affairs’ Western Hemisphere Subcommittee
Dr. Harold Rhode, Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute
Joseph Humire, Executive Director at the Center for a Secure Free Society

Q & A Session for Security Threat from Iran & Hezbollah Panel

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Time for Kurds to Plan for Autonomy

It is no secret that Kurds have been working towards self-rule for decades now. Iraqi Kurds gained autonomy in 1992 after the U.S. implemented a no-fly zone during the first Gulf War. Syrian Kurds are also carving out their historical territories in northern Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011. Sykes-Picot is slowly but surely fading; world powers U.S. and Russia are scrambling to maintain influence. While the international community is occupied with Kurdish referendum calls, in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Rojava gaining broader support in Syria, Erdogan has quietly upped his aggression towards the Kurds in Turkey.

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Who’s Who in Mosul: A Guide to the Most Important Battle in the Fight Against ISIS

by Adam Turner & Diliman Abdulkader

On October 17, the Iraqi government officially declared its plans to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State, more than two years after the city was captured. Unfortunately, winning will require cooperation many different parties. The Shiite government of Iraq, as well as the country’s Shiite militias, both want to be involved in the recapture of Mosul. So do Sunni actors, which include Iraqi tribes, Turkey, and the Kurds. And then there are the forces of the Yazidis and Christians.

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A Week in the Life of John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry has had quite a week recently.
On March 1, he admitted that while there may be alleged violations to the Syrian “ceasefire” that he negotiated, which should be tracked down, “there was currently no evidence to suggest it would destabilize the fragile peace.” The Syrian opposition begged to differ with Kerry, and considering that the “ceasefire” that was agreed to by the Russians, who are currently doing most of the bombing in the country, does not actually require them to cease their firing against Syrian groups, including ISIS, al-Nusra and other Syrian opposition militias, they seem to have the better argument.
That same day, Secretary Kerry was reported to be undecided about whether to include Christians when the Administration formally announces that the Islamic State is committing “genocide” against Yazidis. ISIS has killed thousands of Christians, sometimes by crucifixion; enslaved Christian women for sex;assassinated Church leaders; tortured Christians; destroyed churches, monasteries, cemeteries, and Christian artifacts; routinely made public statements taking “credit” for mass murder of Christians and expressing intent to eliminate Christian communities from the “Islamic State;” and even sent in trained killers disguised as refugees into UN refugee camps to kill Christians, including “in their beds.” Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled their original lands in Iraq and Syria as refugees. But this is apparently not yet enough to meet Secretary Kerry’s definition of genocide. However, it does seem to meet the Genocide Convention definition of genocide, which is defined as killing and certain other acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

On February 25, Kerry was questioned on Capitol Hill during a hearing about the amount of frozen funding released by the West to Iran in January because of the Iran nuclear agreement. He reiterated, “Our estimates are it’s somewhere in the vicinity of $50 to $55 billion at some point in time but it’s way below that right now.” He added, “And in fact, they are complaining about the slowness with which there has been a process of repatriation.” Of course, Iran has already crowed that it received $100 billion, and Marie Harf, senior advisor for strategic communications to Secretary Kerry, has already conceded the point, blaming the U.S. Treasury Department’s bad math for the $50-55 billion figure.

During that same hearing, the Secretary bragged that the nuclear deal with Iran was key to the speedy release of the ten American sailors who were illegally seized as hostages by the Iranians. “If we hadn’t done this agreement and I didn’t have a relationship with (Iran’s) foreign minister, then they probably would have been hostages and they might still be there,” Kerry said of the sailors. This is not the first time Kerry has made this claim. Secretary Kerry has things backward here. Because the Iranians have seen the great lengths this Administration has gone to appease them – including the Iran deal and the Administration’s unwillingness to confront Iranian aggression against the U.S. and Western allies – they do not fear breaking international law by seizing American hostages and humiliating them.

Also during that same hearing, Kerry appealed to lawmakers to hold off for the moment on renewing the long-standing Iran Sanctions Act — which maintains a broad range of financial and other penalties on Tehran that are unrelated to the nuclear program. Of course, the Administration had originally promised that sanctions unrelated to the nuclear program would not be impacted by the deal, and thus, the U.S. could raise them if it so chose. Apparently, that promise is no longer operative now.

Kerry also claimed that Iran has fulfilled its commitments under the Iran agreement so far. This may be news to some, since Iran has refused to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency investigating its Possible Military Dimensions; violated the conventional weapons ban by purchasing Russian fighter jets; violated UNSCR 2231 by testing multiple ballistic missiles; and announced that it plans to conduct a rocket test in violation of the deal. Regarding the ballistic missile tests, Kerry had originally claimed that Iran was required to refrain from such missile testing. However, he later changed his tune. Luckily for Iran, their defense is simple – they can justifiably claim that they never endorsed this deal or the UN Resolution that enshrined it, and therefore they have committed no violations of anything that binds them at all.

Cataloguing Secretary Kerry’s misstatements and poor judgment is getting to be a regular job. One expects much more from a would be “messiah.”

Originally published at Townhall: https://townhall.com/columnists/adamturner/2016/03/10/a-week-in-the-life-of-john-kerry-n2130767

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