September 2nd, 2014
By AARON KLEIN
A newly released research paper from the West Point counterterrorism center cites U.S. weapons being sent to Syrian rebels that now may be in the hands of ISIS.
The West Point paper, released in the August edition of the academy’s CTC Sentinel magazine, is entitled, “ISIL’s Political-Military Power.”
ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is now known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
The West Point paper relates that field reports show ISIS utilized “recoilless rifles, shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons, and, less frequently, guided anti-tank missiles.”
A footnote in the report explains how ISIS likely obtained those weapons. It cites a March 8, 2014, posting entitled, “ISIS Deploys Croatian Weapons Against The Iraqi Army,” from the Brown Moses Blog.
According to that blog post, Saudi Arabia in early 2013 “began smuggling weapons it had purchased from the Croatian government through Jordan to the south of Syria, to forces loyal to the Free Syrian Army.”
The blog noted videos surfaced on the Internet in March 2013 of some of those weapons being brandished by jihadist organizations, including the al-Qaida-linked Ahrar al-Sham.
Meanwhile, the West Point paper documented numerous Syrian rebel extremist groups have joined ISIS.
Many of those groups were reportedly aided by Arab countries to fight in Syria.
Asks the West Point paper: “What makes ISIL more appealing to foreign fighters than other jihadist groups? Is it because ISIL is more welcoming of foreign fighters, or is it because other groups prefer to rely on Syrian fighters rather than foreigners? It is also possible that a new wave of foreign fighters will be attracted to ISIL’s unbounded enthusiasm and seemingly unstoppable ‘victories.’”
Lost in the report is the alleged U.S. involvement in arming Syrian rebels now reportedly joining ISIS.
According to the New York Times, the CIA started helping Arab governments and Turkey in obtaining and shipping weapons to the rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Times reported on March 25, 2013, that this covert aid to the Syrian rebels started in early 2012.
The Times reported U.S. intelligence officers aided Arab governments obtaining weapons “including a large procurement from Croatia.”
The Times reported in its March 2013 article the weapons airlifts to Syria began on a small scale and continued intermittently through the fall of 2012, expanding into a steady and much heavier flow later that year.
The Times reported that from offices at “secret locations,” American intelligence officers “helped the Arab governments shop for weapons . . . and have vetted rebel commaders.....
September 1st, 2014
The Russian president is reported to have boasted his forces could sweep into Kiev in a fortnight if he wanted to as Nato announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force
By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent, in Brussels and Nick Squires in Rome
Vladimir Putin has boasted to European leaders that his forces could sweep into Kiev in two weeks if he wanted.
The Russian president reportedly made the threat to the European Commission president during talks on the Ukraine crisis.
Mr Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks,” Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper reported, implying this could be the result if the EU stepped up sanctions against Russia.
His comments, relayed by Mr Barroso to colleagues at last weekend’s EU summit, emerged as Nato announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force of up to 4,000 troops that can be flown into eastern Europe in 48 hours to respond to possible Russian aggression.
The EU’s new head of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, also warned there was no military solution to what is now Europe’s biggest crisis in decades.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary general of the alliance, said Nato faced multiple crises on its southern and eastern borders that could erupt at any time.
Leaders of the alliance’s 28 members are expected to agree to the new force at this week’s Nato summit in Wales, and it is likely to include British troops.
The spearhead force is part of a package of measures to sharpen up the alliance as it faces crises in Iraq andUkraine.
A senior Nato official said allies would take turns to command the spearhead and many of the arrangements would be in place by the end of the year. Troops would be based in their home countries and come together when necessary.
The summit will agree to stockpile supplies in eastern Europe so that equipment and ammunition are waiting for the force when it arrives.
The alliance will also boost the number of exercises in the area, so that troops are constantly cycling through it. Mr Rasmussen said the new spearhead force would “travel light and strike hard if needed”.
Related Articles from the Telegraph
September 1st, 2014
THINKPROGRESS / BY IGOR VOLSKY
A conservative think tank is protesting the federal Labor Day holiday by staging a work-in on Monday in a gambit to celebrate “the freedom to keep your job when you choose not to join a union.”
“We’re calling it Right-to-Work Day,” Tom McCabe, CEO of Washington state’s Freedom Foundation, announced in a post on the organization’s website. The name refers to an effort by conservative lawmakers across the country to advance so-called “right-to-work” legislation that would allow union members to opt out of paying union dues while still benefiting from union contracts.
“At the Freedom Foundation, we celebrate freedom of choice and transparency – ideals the labor movement has vowed to oppose. Consequently, we’ve chosen to spend our holiday honoring the right-to-work movement instead,” the post says. McCabe goes on to argue that all problems in society can be “traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor.”
Refocus Notes: True, the Veterans Administration is a shining example
But according to research from the Economic Policy Institute, right-to-work laws — which have the impact of weakening unions and lowering union membership — have almost no impact on job growth and actually reduce wages for union and non-union workers by up to $1,500 a year. Workers are also less likely to receive “healthcare or pensions through their jobs” and are hurt on the job with greater frequency. “For instance, the occupational-fatality rate in the construction industry—one of the most hazardous in terms of workplace deaths—is 34 percent higher in right-to-work states than in states without such laws,” David Madland, Director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund,notes.
Refocus Notes: That's because construction is actually happening in Right-to-Work states as opposed to Pro-Union states.
Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, after U.S. marshals killed two men in the ill-fated Pullman Strike, a railroad workers’ boycott against high rent and low pay. Government violence against the labor movement became a major political issue and “in the immediate wake of the strike, legislation was rushed unanimously through both houses of Congress, and the bill arrived on President [Grover] Cleveland’s desk just six days after his troops had broken the Pullman strike.” In the succeeding years, labor unions built political momentumto pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek, helped end child labor, and worked to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers.
Though unionization rates have been in decline for years, a recent analysis of Census data by the Center for American Progress, found that middle class Americans bring home a larger share of aggregate earnings in states that have high rates of union membership than in those where fewer workers are organized.
Refocus Notes: Indeed and with much higher unemployment factors as well, Detroit serves as a most excellent example.....hell, they even pay you not to work in some cases....sounds great until you wind up with this (Below pic)....Look, the final and ultimate truth comes forth when one but looks at the bedfellows of trade unions--one being Obama's crony-capitalism machine, the other being Occupy-style Communism....need one say more?
September 1st, 2014
By Barry Secrest
While many in both America and western civilization at large have been disturbed by reports of possible Muslim extremist attacks in the US, that worry took on a new face when three Columbus, Indiana churches were vandalized with a message from Islam scrawled across their outside walls.
The spray-painted references from a verse in the Quran warn of the terror coming to infidels in America.
The verse “Qur’an 3:151.” speaks a warning to all non-Muslims:
“Infidels!” “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”
The messages were found on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church, Lakeview Church of Christ, and East Columbus Christian Church.
According to a WTHR report, "Columbus Police said they've never had anything like it - three churches vandalized in the same night."
The report continues:
"Someone spray painted them on the outside. It's the words used, though, that have some people asking if this was more than a prank.
“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!'” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew's Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.
Parishioners saw that, along with the word "Qur'an 3:151" on their way into mass Sunday morning.
“It's certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.
Specifically, that passage of the Qur'an reads: "We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers."
Saint Bartholomew's wasn't the only Columbus church vandalized.
“It's really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It's not like we're all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us,” asked Father Marcotte.
Outside East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ, members there found the same kind of graffiti Sunday morning.
“Is there somebody that really believes this that we're all infidels so they felt the need to write it all over our church? “ asked Father Marcote. “Is this some sort of nasty prank? Is this someone that's trying to incite people against Muslims? I mean I don't know,” he added.
Columbus Police said they're looking at surveillance video to help figure it out.
Until they do though, parishioners at Saint Bartholomew's have been unsettled by the defacing of their church, at the very least."
September 1st, 2014
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.
In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.
The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.
After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.
Then-Senator Barack Obama inspected decommissioned artillery shells in a warehouse in Donetsk, Ukraine, and argued that Congress should allocate money to speed up the destruction of thousands of tons more
Photographs from the trip show Obama inspecting a plant where Soviet-era artillery shells and shoulder-fired missiles were collecting dust, leftovers dumped in Ukraine after the USSR withdrew from Eastern bloc nations after the once-mighty communist nation fell apart.
The United Nations had already identified some 7 million small arms and light weapons, and 2 million tons of conventional ammunition, warehoused in more than 80 weapons depots spread across the country.
Many of the artillery shells shown in photographs from Donetsk, multiple weapons experts told MailOnline, would be the same types of ammunition required to repel advancing Russian divisions as they advanced to the west, had they not been destroyed.
'Vast stocks of conventional munitions and military supplies have accumulated in Ukraine,' Obama said in am August 30, 2005 statement from Donetsk. 'Some of this stockpile dates from World War I and II, yet most dates from Cold War buildup and the stocks left behind by Soviet withdrawals from East Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungry and Poland.'
'We need to eliminate these stockpiles for the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.'
More than a year later, President George W. Bush signed into law a proposal authored by Obama and Lugar.