"US attacks on the Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and its cooperation and arming of the ruling Shi’ite government there, is the latest signal that the West is moving towards an arrangement with the Shi’ite Iranian axis, which includes Hezbollah, Iraq, and Syria.
Such an alignment has been feared by the Sunni world and Israel for some time." Jpost
The SecDef/CJCS presser yesterday was illuminating in many ways. Most obviously they were covering for the absent Golfer in Chief whose smiling and laughing person is so evident in the media, Dempsey stated forthrightly that IS is especially dangerous because its ambitions are both limitless and apocalyptic, and that eventually the movement will have to be defeated and destroyed. I agree with that assesment. The Jpost quote above is merely Israeli logrolling expressing their frustration with not being able to "move" the Golfer's foreign policy in the detail they would like. You can expect to see a maximum effort by Bibi's vendu US Congress to block a nuclear deal with Iran (or any other kind of deal). I agree with Dempsey that IS is an existential threat to all the regional governent except Israel and Iran. Having said that, I remind everyone again that it was the US invasion of Iraq and destruction of the existing Iraqi state as well as US agitation leading to the Arab Spring disasters that were the root causes for the disorder that now infests Iraq, Syria and potentially all the other Arab States. It was one of the main functions of the previous governments to suppress the Sunni extremists who have now found their voice in IS. We broke these governments and now we truly and unfortunately own the mess. We are going to war against IS. This time there should be a declaration of war by Congress. That would clean up a lot of the legal issues that plagued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan pl
"General Lord Dannatt’s comments come almost a year since David Cameron lost a Commons vote authorising air strikes on President Assad in response to chemical weapons attacks on civilians – action that would likely have toppled him from power.
Britain and its allies have repeatedly called for Assad to step down to bring the three-year civil war that spawned Isil to an end.
Isil must be “opposed, confronted and defeated” in Iraq and Syria before it spreads through the region, Lord Dannatt told BBC Radio 4.
"The Syrian dimension has got to be addressed. You cannot deal with half a problem," he said.
"The old saying 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' has begun to have some resonance with our relationship with Iran.
"I think it's going to have to have some resonance with our relationship with Assad."
"I think whether it is above the counter or below the counter, a conversation has got to be held with him." Telegraph
Danatt's conclusion in this matter is so full of common sense that some of the newsies are beginning to understand it. In spite of all the Likud inspired AIPAC/neocon/R2P pressure and propaganda, it should be clear now that the cooperation of the Syran government is needed to defeat IS and the Nusra Front. Yesterday Dempsey repeated the tired, shop worn drivel of the Golfer's policy hacks with regard to Syria. I prefer to believe that he does not really believe what he said but is forced to say the words if he wishes to remain CJCS. pl
"The Palestinian Facebook page posted a photograph of a mosque in Gaza City, where a crowd stood and waited in anticipation of more executions.
Earlier Friday, Hamas security forces killed 11 suspected collaborators at a Gaza police station. Shortly afterward Hamas killed seven more Palestinians in a public execution in a central Gaza square on Friday, witnesses and a Hamaswebsite said.
The victims, their heads covered and hands tied, were shot dead by masked gunmen dressed in black in front of a crowd of worshipers outside a mosque after prayers, witnesses andal-Majd, a pro-Hamas website, said.
In a sign of Hamas's increasing tight grip in the enclave following Israel's targeting killings of three of the group's senior commanders, nearly a dozen Palestinians were reportedly killed at the Jawazat installation in the Strip."Jpost
It has been clear for some time that Palestinan Israeli agents are pervasively present in Gaza as they must be in the West Bank. The rapidity and pin point accuracy of Israeli air strikes on personnel targets as they present themselves can be accounted for in no other way. Expect a lot more executions. pl
"Three-quarters of Israeli Jews and nearly two-thirds of Israeli Arabs would not marry someone from a different religion, according to a poll.
Conducted by Haaretz and the Dialog company on Tuesday and Wednesday, the poll found that opposition to interfaith relationships was highest among haredi Orthodox Jews, at 95 percent. But 88 percent of traditional and religious Jews, as well as 64 percent of secular Jews, also opposed interdating.
Seventy-one percent of Muslim Israeli Arabs opposed interfaith relationships, but only half of Christian Israeli Arabs were opposed.
Across religious denominations, Israeli Jews would be much more opposed to their relatives marrying Arabs than they would be to relatives marrying non-Arab gentiles. Only a third of secular Jewish Israelis would be opposed to a relative marrying an American or European Christian, but a majority would oppose a relative marrying an Arab. Seventy-two percent of Israeli Jews overall would be opposed to a relative marrying an Arab. JTA
One of the key indications of progress toward the elimination of ethno-sectarian hostility in the ME (or anywhere else I suppose) has been a willingness to have consensual sex with "the other." If this is reflected in actual marriage with all its explicit cross communal responsibilities and civilities so much the better. There used to be a fair amount of sex between Israeli Jewish women and Palestinian men. I have known a number of Arab men who had Jewish mistresses. The comments of the Arabs as to why they had them were quite complimentary to the Jewish women. There were even a few marriages. Anthony Bourdain (now there is a lovely man) in his Israel sited TV show episode of "Parts Unknown" visits a mixed faith married couple who are running a restaurant out in the country. Such faith is touching to behold. In Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon such marriages were fairly common twenty years ago, but no more.
This is a really bad sign. pl