How to make Isis fall on its own sword | Chelsea E Manning | theguardian.com

If properly contained, Isis will not be able to sustain itself on rapid growth alone, and will begin to fracture internally. Photograph: via AP

The Islamic State (Isis) is without question a very brutal extremist group with origins in the insurgency of the United States occupation of Iraq. It has rapidly ascended to global attention by taking control of swaths of territory in western and northern Iraq, including Mosul and other major cities.

Based on my experience as an all-source analyst in Iraq during the organization’s relative infancy, Isis cannot be defeated by bombs and bullets – even as the fight is taken to Syria, even if it is conducted by non-Western forces with air support.

I believe that Isis is fueled precisely by the operational and tactical successes of European and American military force that would be – and have been – used to defeat them. I believe that Isis strategically feeds off the mistakes and vulnerabilities of the very democratic western states they decry. The Islamic State’s center of gravity is, in many ways, the United States, the United Kingdom and those aligned with them in the region.

When it comes to regional insurgency with global implications, Isis leaders are canny strategists. It’s clear to me that they have a solid and complete understanding of the strengths and, more importantly, the weaknesses of the west. They know how we tick in America and Europe – and they know what pushes us toward intervention and overreach. This understanding is particularly clear considering the Islamic State’s astonishing success in recruiting numbers of Americans, Britons, Belgians, Danes and other Europeans in their call to arms.

Attacking Isis directly, by air strikes or special operations forces, is a very tempting option available to policymakers, with immediate (but not always good) results. Unfortunately, when the west fights fire with fire, we feed into a cycle of outrage, recruitment, organizing and even more fighting that goes back decades. This is exactly what happened in Iraq during the height of a civil war in 2006 and 2007, and it can only be expected to occur again.

And avoiding direct action with Isis can be successful. For instance, in 2009 and 2010, forerunners to the Isis group attacked civilians in suicide and car bombings in downtown Baghdad to try and provoke American intervention and sectarian unrest. But they were often not effective in their recruiting efforts when American and Iraqi forces refused (or were unable) to respond, because the barbarity and brutality of their attacks worked against them. When we did respond, however, the attacks were sold to the Sunni minority in Iraq as a justified response to an occupying government favoring the Shia government led by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Based on my intelligence work in Iraq during that period, I believe that only a very focused and consistent strategy of containment can be effective in reducing the growth and effectiveness of Isis as a threat. And so far, Western states seem to have adopted that strategy. With very public humanitarian disasters, however, like the ones on Mount Sinjar and Irbil in northern Iraq, and the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, this discipline gets tested and can begin to fray.

As a strategy to disrupt the growth of Isis, I suggest focusing on four arenas:

Counter the narrative in online Isis recruitment videos – including professionally made videos and amateur battle selfies – to avoid, as best as possible, the deliberate propaganda targeting of desperate and disaffected youth. This would rapidly prevent the recruitment of regional and western members.
Set clear, temporary borders in the region, publicly. This would discourage Isis from taking certain territory where humanitarian crises might be created, or humanitarian efforts impeded.
Establish an international moratorium on the payment of ransom for hostages, and work in the region to prevent Isis from stealing and taxing historical artifacts and valuable treasures as sources of income, and especially from taking over the oil reserves and refineries in Bayji, Iraq. This would disrupt and prevent Isis from maintaining stable and reliable sources of income.
Let Isis succeed in setting up a failed “state” – in a contained area and over a long enough period of time to prove itself unpopular and unable to govern. This might begin to discredit the leadership and ideology of Isis for good.

Eventually, if they are properly contained, I believe that Isis will not be able to sustain itself on rapid growth alone, and will begin to fracture internally. The organization will begin to disintegrate into several smaller, uncoordinated entities – ultimately failing in their objective of creating a strong state.

But the world just needs to be disciplined enough to let the Isis fire die out on its own, intervening carefully and avoiding the cyclic trap of “mission creep”. This is certainly a lot to ask for. But Isis is wielding a sharp, heavy and very deadly double-edged sword. Now just wait for them to fall on it.

arabbara:

R.I.P. The 2976 American people that lost their lives on 9/11 and R.I.P. the 48,644 Afghan and 1,690,903 Iraqi and 35,000 Pakistani people that paid the ultimate price for a crime they did not commit

#NailedIt

Today, my dad told me that “those people” attacked the U.S. because of their religion.

undonevalor:

September reflections… Hope none of you forget what we’re fighting for!

Dumbest.  Post.  Ever.
Ask yourself “why did they attack the U.S?”  (Psst:  It wasn’t because women can vote & wear pants.)
Do your homework.

undonevalor:

September reflections… Hope none of you forget what we’re fighting for!

Dumbest.  Post.  Ever.

Ask yourself “why did they attack the U.S?”  (Psst:  It wasn’t because women can vote & wear pants.)

Do your homework.

Someone needs to end Murdock.
 (via Judge Says Men Smeared By NY Post Over Boston Marathon Can Sue For Libel: Gothamist)
The NY Post has been trying to block a libel lawsuit stemming from a Boston Marathon bombing cover photo suggesting that two uninvolved students were the bombers. But this week, a Massachusetts judge denied that bid, giving the smeared individuals free reign to run Rupert Murdoch down.
Salaheddin Barhoum, 17, and Yassine Zaimi, 24, filed the suit last year when a cover featuring the two of them wearing backpacks—a cover emblazoned with the headline, “BAG MEN,”‐ran after the April 15th bombing. Barhoum, a high school student, and part-time college student Zaimi were not involved in the attack, and Barhoum had to go to the police to clear his name. The Post’s editor, Col Allan, did not accept blame for the cover at the time: “We stand by our story. The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects.”
According to the suit, the two men maintain they “were not suspects and were not being sought by law enforcement.” The Daily News reports that the suit will continue on.

Someone needs to end Murdock.

(via Judge Says Men Smeared By NY Post Over Boston Marathon Can Sue For Libel: Gothamist)

The NY Post has been trying to block a libel lawsuit stemming from a Boston Marathon bombing cover photo suggesting that two uninvolved students were the bombers. But this week, a Massachusetts judge denied that bid, giving the smeared individuals free reign to run Rupert Murdoch down.

Salaheddin Barhoum, 17, and Yassine Zaimi, 24, filed the suit last year when a cover featuring the two of them wearing backpacks—a cover emblazoned with the headline, “BAG MEN,”‐ran after the April 15th bombing. Barhoum, a high school student, and part-time college student Zaimi were not involved in the attack, and Barhoum had to go to the police to clear his name. The Post’s editor, Col Allan, did not accept blame for the cover at the time: “We stand by our story. The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects.”

According to the suit, the two men maintain they “were not suspects and were not being sought by law enforcement.” The Daily News reports that the suit will continue on.

I watch 911: In Plane Site

Meh.  I think on a lot of stuff, they were really s-t-r-e-c-h-i-n-g on many things.  The 2nd plane is sketchy though.  The flash just as the plane makes contact (steel on steel) seems obvious to me.

Everyone yelling “I heard an explosion” as evidence of some conspiracy is ridiculous, because folks were also saying the Capital was bombed w/ a car bomb, etc etc.  A lot of stories were happening that day, and even the next day, many of which were incorrect.

Building 7 - no idea.  If it was under a controlled demo, why?  No one gave a shit about building 7.  It was just another building.  So why “pull it”?

I do wonder what happened at the Pentagon.  The pics of the plane on the surveillance cam is one thing, but how many cameras are around the pentagon, the most secure building in the world?!  No other feeds were looked at or released?  Fishy.  They also mislead on that one, because the 14ft hole in the wall was allegedly the front of the fuselage coming to a stop.  Makes sense, on one hand.

People can say Bush did it to get into Iraq, avenge the attack on his father, control oil, or whatever, but why are so many people coming out and saying Bush was warned about an eminent attack and that he ignored it, then it was too late?  Was there really an attack planned by 19 people who successfully pulled it off?  

The film is kooky, and probably made to continue on the 9/11 hype train, especially after other more important films.  The whole thing seems like it was made in a basement.

Ultimately, I don’t have a huge opinion on the events of 09.11.01.  I don’t think it was all government instigated but who knows.

This explains everything, in just under three minutes.

It’s all about perspective, and when citizens of the United States and Britain fail to see the perspective of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc - then the war for oil and Imperialism against terror will never end.

Happy 9/11 Day, America!
Murderer-in-Chief barry obama has murdered more people than George Bush & the hijackers put together.  He’s still plotting more ways to kill more men, women, children, and unborn babies.
MURRICAH!

Happy 9/11 Day, America!

Murderer-in-Chief barry obama has murdered more people than George Bush & the hijackers put together.  He’s still plotting more ways to kill more men, women, children, and unborn babies.

MURRICAH!

The way in which “America’s soul is totally poisoned” is evident in virtually every debate over US policies of militarism. Over the weekend, several pro-war national security “experts” argued: “I’d pay closer attention to critics of drone strikes if they explained their recommended alternative.” This is a commonly heard defense of Obama’s drone assaults: I support drones - despite how they constantly kill innocent adults and children - because the alternative, “boots on the ground”, is worse.

Those who argue this are literally incapable even of conceiving of an alternative in which the US stops killing anyone and everyone it wants in the world. They operate on the assumption that US violence is and should be inevitable, and the only cognizable debate is which weapon the US should use to carry out this killing (drones or “boots on the ground”?). Even though they have no idea who the US government is killing, they assume, with literally no evidence or basis, that those being killed are “terrorists” who want to attack the US and that therefore they - and anyone close to them - must be killed first. As Jonathan Schwarz noted on Sunday, they have literally embraced the same mindset as the Terrorists they claim to loathe: we must use violence and killing, even if it means we kill innocents, because we simply cannot conceive of any alternative.

Never once do they stop and wonder: why are there so many people in the world who want to attack the US? Never once do they do what King so bravely and rather subversively urged: “the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence” is it “helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves”. King explained: “from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.” King thus urged the nation to “understand the arguments of those who are called enemy.”

Glenn Greenwald, MLK’s vehement condemnations of US militarism are more relevant than ever (via maarnayeri)

Boston bombing suspect ‘cites US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as impetus for attacks’ — RT USA

The surviving Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan spurred him and his brother to carry out last week’s deadly assault, US officials told media.

US officials believe Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev acted on their own when targeting the Boston Marathon and were not linked with any terror cell, AP reports quoting its own sources.

The hospitalized 19-year-old suspect, who has been upgraded to fair condition, specifically provided the US invasion of Iraq, which officially ended in December 2011, and the ongoing US-led mission in Afghanistan as inspiring the brothers to carry out the attack, the Washington Post reports.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev further took responsibility for his role in planting explosives near the marathon finish line last week. Despite his role in the assault, he had previously said his brother was the primary driver behind the terror plot.

The elder Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died on Friday after a fierce gun battle with police.

However, the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that Tsarnaev offered up his admission of guilt on Sunday, when he had not yet been read his Miranda rights.

While attorney’s for the suspect are likely to challenge the legal admissibility of his statements, including claims that he and his brother acted alone, a senior police officials said authorities already believe their case is watertight based on eyewitness testimony from the man who the brothers abducted late Thursday night.

“We just killed a cop. We blew up the marathon. And now we’re going to New York. Don’t [expletive] with us,” the witness recounts one of the suspects as telling him when the carjacking first commenced.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and with malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He is accused of setting off pressure-cooker bombs that left 3 killed and wounded 264 during the Boston Marathon on April 15.

He is also due to be charged separately with the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer shot during the manhunt on Thursday.

While there is no excuse for attacks that purposefully target civilians, the fact that the suspects cite US foreign policy as a primary motivating factor in the bombings should come as a surprise to no one, John Glaser, an editor at Antiwar.com, told RT.

“Every attack that wasn’t an FBI-hatched sting operation since 9/11 has had that component. All of these terrorists that want to attack the United States and commit heinous violence on us have in their mind some motivation of US foreign policy; US aggression in the Middle East.”

The next step in the investigation is expected to be an indictment, during which new charges could be added.
A possible hearing was set for May 30, with two death penalty lawyers appointed to represent Tsarnaev, AP reported.

Meanwhile, police are continuing to look into the suspects’ online and telephone communications to prove the younger Tsarnaev’s statement.

Currently, about 50 people remain in hospital, with three of them in critical condition. At least 14 of the wounded lost all or part of a limb, while three others lost more than one limb.

CCTV cameras captured Dzhokhar manipulating his cellphone and lifting it to his ear just moments before the two blasts, according to the FBI.

With the legal process against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev commencing, there are still those who believe he is innocent. A group on Facebook in his support has attracted about 11,000 supporters over the last week.

———————

You know, this isn’t really news - at least to those who understand the why’s of attacks on the U.S.

See - the United States government is a bully.  Most of its citizens are stupid & blind enough to be bullies by proxy, whether shaming someone for not voting, or dismissing them as crazy for speaking out against the government in general.  All this happens while the same masses extol the virtues of free speech, and supporting the troops.

The United States has repeatedly pushed its way into other countries, either to establish a political influence (ie: imperialism), or to overturn its leader in favor of said imperialism as well.  War is good for business, yet it’s never good for human beings.  Those human beings affected by war are the ones speaking out.  Oddly, most citizens don’t realize just how affected they are, by war.

There’s a system in place with drones called “double tap”.  Whether in Boston, New York City, or Afghanistan, when a bomb explodes in public, the first thing that happens is first responders run to the scene to assess human damage, and tend to those who have been wounded and injured.  Double Tap sends a second drone strike shortly after its first to destroy the first responders.  It’s a bit like the Boston bombings.  First bomb went off, people started running away from it, and what was waiting for them down the road?  Another bomb, mere seconds later.

If China, or North Korea, or Russia had opened the playing board & were striking on the United States, and their soldiers were occupying the streets of our neighborhoods with tanks, military trucks decorated with guns and other weapons - there is no doubt that the locals would create IED (improved explosive devices) to constantly fight back against those military persons from another country.  

All that being said, how does anyone not expect Afghans, Pakinstanis, Iraqis or otherwise to not do the same?  How can we not expect people whose extended families, neighborhoods, and cities are being destroyed by the U.S. military to not blow up that military at every chance?  If it happens on U.S. soil - so be it.  The same day as the Boston bombings, there was a drone strike of a wedding in Afghanistan.  Thirty people were killed, and a hundred or more injured.  No al Qaeda or Taliban were near it.  The U.S. admitted “oops, we might have missed our target”.  Yet thirty people are dead. Double Tap works.  It’s a murder machine, even shaming Josef Mengele’s efforts. 

I’m an Anarchist.  I don’t believe in violence, other than to defend myself or my family, or anyone that would call on me for help.  I don’t believe in aggression against my neighbor either in the next apartment, or the next country, or the next continent.  I don’t believe in an eye for an eye, because that leaves the whole world blind (to quote Gandhi, another pacifist who was an anarchist as well).  Unfortunately the military hasn’t learned that yet. They never will.  Neither will the government.  The government will never try to understand the people that attack the U.S., because its arrogance won’t let it.  The U.S. waging war is good and honest and patriotic.  But Iraqis or Afghans fighting back against that aggression is somehow wrong?  

Expect more attacks.  Either from two boys who had motivation for the wars overseas, or from a larger more organized community.  They will not stop, until the U.S. stops first.  That’s the simple truth.

Exploding Like A Bomb In Boston

The fucking media.  The news anchors with crinkled brows, leaning into the camera, and emoting like a motherfucker - makes me sick.  

It’s not that I don’t think that they are void of feelings, but gheezus.  ”Terrorism In Boston!”  Red letters, exclamation points.  It’s all very tabloidish.  While I understand it’s a developing story, even near-24 hours later, the over-stating of the tidbits of information that comes out, it’s like a grizzle to a hungry, rabid dog.

And while the fact that an 8 year old boy lost his life yesterday, I dread the press using him & his life as the poster child for horrors in the world.  An hour or two after the thing happened, I shut off the television.  I was already tired of that VINE video (that I posted earlier) of the bomb going off.  How many times can we see it?!  How can anyone wonder why people are so desensitized to violence in culture, when it’s beaten into your head non-stop from many sources? There’s no contrast anymore.