Even Australia Ready To Move Into Iraq (Daniel 7:7)

Australia set to fly arms to besieged Iraqi town

Australia is reportedly set to fly arms into Iraq to help Kurdish fighters besieged by Islamic State terrorists.

News Corp reports Australia has agreed to a request from the U-S to airlift support into Northern Iraq.

The aircraft, including C-17 Globemasters, could fly their first mission within days in a multinational effort alongside the UK, Denmark and Italy.

It comes as Iraqi security forces, Shi’ite militiamen and Kurdish fighters launched a major operation to break the more than two-month jihadist siege.

Officials say the operation has been in the works for days, with Iraqi aircraft carrying out strikes and forces massing for the drive toward Amerli, which has been besieged since militants led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group launched a major offensive in June.

Residents face major shortages of food and water, and are in danger both because of their Shi’ite faith, which the jihadists consider heresy, and their resistance to the militants, which has drawn harsh retribution elsewhere.

Army Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir al-Zaidi said the operation to free Amerli from the jihadists has been launched with support from Iraqi aircraft, vowing that ‘we will be victorious over them’.

Karim al-Nuri, spokesman for the Badr Organisation militia, said thousands of its fighters were taking part alongside civilian volunteers and security forces.

Forces from two other Shi’ite militias – Asaib Ahl al-Haq and powerful Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam forces – had also been gathering north of Amerli for the attack.

And Karim Mulla Shakur, a Kurdish political party official, said that Kurdish peshmerga fighters were also involved.

Officials have said that the US is weighing both aid drops and air strikes to help the town.

‘It could be a humanitarian operation. It could be a military operation. It could be both,’ a US defence official said on condition of anonymity.

There is ‘no possibility of evacuating them so far’, Eliana Nabaa, spokeswoman for the UN mission in Iraq, has said of Amerli residents.

And UN Iraq envoy Nickolay Mladenov has called for an urgent effort to help Amerli, saying residents face a ‘possible massacre’ if the town is overrun.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2014/08/31/aust-set-to-fly-arms-to-besieged-iraqi-town.html#sthash.6ZsmunMk.dpuf

United States Allowed Israel Set Up Nuclear Program

Newly declassified documents reveal how US agreed to Israel’s nuclear program

Israel Tests Jericho Series Jericho III intermediate-range ballistic missile

Israel Tests Jericho Series Jericho III intermediate-range ballistic missile

The Obama administration this week declassified papers, after 45 years of top-secret status, documenting contacts between Jerusalem and Washington over American agreement to the existence of an Israeli nuclear option. The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which is in charge of approving declassification, had for decades consistently refused to declassify these secrets of the Israeli nuclear program.

The documents outline how the American administration worked ahead of the meeting between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir at the White House in September 1969, as officials came to terms with a three-part Israeli refusal – to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty; to agree to American inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility; and to condition delivery of fighter jets on Israel’s agreement to give up nuclear weaponry in exchange for strategic ground-to-ground Jericho missiles “capable of reaching the Arab capitals” although “not all the Arab capitals.”

The officials – cabinet secretaries and senior advisers who wrote the documents – withdrew step after step from an ambitious plan to block Israeli nuclearization, until they finally acceded, in internal correspondence – the content of the conversation between Nixon and Meir is still classified – to recognition of Israel as a threshold nuclear state.

In fact, according to the American documents, the Nixon administration defined a double threshold for Israel’s move from a “technical option” to a “possessor” of nuclear weapons.

The first threshold was the possession of “the components of nuclear weapons that will explode,” and making them a part of the Israel Defense Forces operational inventory.

The second threshold was public confirmation of suspicions internationally, and in Arab countries in particular, of the existence of nuclear weapons in Israel, by means of testing and “making public the fact of the possession of nuclear weapons.”

Officials under Nixon proposed to him, on the eve of his conversation with Meir, to show restraint with regard to the Israeli nuclear program, and to abandon efforts to get Israel to cease acquiring 500-kilometer-range missiles with one-ton warheads developed in the Marcel Dassault factory in France, if it could reach an agreement with Israel on these points.

Origins of nuclear ambiguity

Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity – which for the sake of deterrence does not categorically deny some nuclear ability but insists on using the term “option” – appears, according to the newly released documents, as an outcome of the Nixon-Meir understandings, no less than as an original Israeli maneuver.

The decision to release the documents was made in March, but was mentioned alongside the declassification of other materials less than a week ago in ISCAP, which is headed by a representative of the president and whose members are officials in the Department of State, Department of Defense and Department of Justice, as well as the intelligence administration and the National Archive, where the documents are stored.

The declassified material deals only with events in 1968 and 1969, the end of the terms of President Lyndon Johnson and Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, and the beginning of the Nixon-Meir era. However, it contains many contemporary lessons. Among these are the decisive nature of personal relations between a president like Obama and a prime minister like Benjamin Netanyahu; the relationship between the diplomatic process of “land for peace,” American guarantees of Israeli security in peace time, supplies of weapons to Israel and Israel’s nuclear status; and the ability of a country like Iran to move ahead gradually toward nuclear weapons and remain on the threshold of military nuclear weapons.

In the material declassified this week, one document was written by senior officials in the Nixon administration in a working group led by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, exploring the nature of the Israeli nuclear weapons program known as “NSSM 40.” The existence of the document and its heading were known, but the content had so far been kept secret.

The document was circulated to a select group, including Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and CIA director Richard Helms, and with the knowledge of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Earle Wheeler. In it, Nixon directed Kissinger to put together a panel of experts, headed by Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco.

The experts were asked to submit their intelligence evaluations as to the extent of Israel’s progress toward nuclear weapons and to present policy alternatives toward Israel under these circumstances, considering that the administration was bound to the pledge of the Johnson administration to provide Israel with 50 Phantom jets, the diplomatic process underway through Rogers, and the aspiration to achieve, within the year, global nonproliferation – all while, simultaneously, Israel was facing off against Egypt on the Suez Canal during the War of Attrition.

The most fascinating parts of the 107 pages discuss internal disagreements in the American administration over how to approach Israel – pressure or persuasion, as Sisco’s assistant, Rodger Davies, put it in the draft of the Department of State document. Davies also formulated a scenario of dialogue and confrontation with Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Yitzhak Rabin, the IDF chief of staff during the Six-Day War, who continued to sign his name using his military rank of Lieutenant General.

The documents are an intriguing illustration of organizational politics. Unexpectedly, the Department of State’s approach was softer. It opposed threats and sanctions because of the fear of obstructing Rogers’ diplomatic moves if Israel hardened its line. “If we choose to use the maximum option on the nuclear issue, we may not have the necessary leverage left for helping along the peace negotiations,” Davies wrote.

The two branches of the Pentagon – the civilian branch headed by Laird, his deputy David Packard (a partner in the computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, who objected to a previous sale of a super-computer manufactured by Control Data to Israel, lest it be used for the nuclear program) and their policy advisers; and the military branch headed by Gen. Wheeler – were more belligerent. Laird fully accepted the recommendation of the deputy secretary of defense in the outgoing Johnson administration, Paul Warnke, to use supplying the Phantoms to leverage far-reaching concessions from Israel on the nuclear issue.

Packard’s opposite number in the Department of State – Rogers’ deputy, Elliot Richardson – was Packard’s ideological ally in reservations regarding Israel. However, Sisco’s appointment, rather than an official from the strategic section of the Department of State, which agreed with the Pentagon, steered the recommendations of the officials toward a softer stance on Israel.

There was also an internal debate in the American administration over the extent of Israel’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. The Department of State, relying on the CIA, strongly doubted the evidence and described it as circumstantial in light of the inability to collect intelligence, including during the annual visits to the Dimona facility. As to conclusive evidence that Israel had manufactured a nuclear weapon, Davies wrote, “This final step is one we believe the Labor Alignment in Israel would like to avoid. The fierce determination to safeguard the Jewish people, however, makes it probable that Israel would desire to maintain the ultimate weapon at hand should its security again be seriously threatened.”

The Department of Defense, based on its intelligence agency, was more decisive in its evaluation that Israel had already attained nuclear weapons, or would do so in a matter of months.

Rabin, with his military aura and experience in previous talks on arms supplies (Skyhawks and later Phantoms) with the Johnson administration, was the key man on the Israeli side in these discussions, according to the Americans. This, even though the decisions were made in Jerusalem by Meir, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Foreign Minister Abba Eban and their colleagues, who were not always happy with Rabin’s tendency to express his “private” stances first and only then obtain approval from Jerusalem.

The Johnson and Nixon administrations concluded that, in talks with Rabin, it had been stated in a manner both “explicit and implicit” that “Israel wants nuclear weapons, for two reasons: First, to deter the Arabs from striking Israel; and second, if deterrence fails and Israel were about to be overrun, to destroy the Arabs in a nuclear Armageddon.”

The contradiction in this stance, according to the Americans, was that Israel “would need a nuclear force that is publicly known and, by and large, invulnerable, i.e., having a second-strike capability. Israel is now building such a force – the hardened silos of the Jericho missiles.”

However, “it is not really possible to deter Arab leaders – and certainly not the fedayeen – when they themselves represent basically irrational forces. The theory of nuclear deterrence that applies between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. – a theory that requires a reasoned response to provocation, which in turn is made possible by essentially stable societies and governments – is far less applicable in the Near East.”

Four years before the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 and the general scorn for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, the Nixon administration wrote that Israel “would never be able to rule out the possibility that some irrational Arab leader would be willing to sustain great losses if he believed he could inflict decisive damage on Israel.”

Sisco and his advisers worried that a threat to cut off arms supplies “could build military and psychological pressures within Israel to move rapidly to the very sophisticated weaponry we are trying to avoid.”

According to the documents, the Nixon administration believed that Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would spur the Arab countries to acquire their own such weapons within 10 years, through private contracts with scientists and engineers in Europe. Moreover, “deeply rooted in the Arab psyche is the concept that a settlement will be possible only when there is some parity in strength with Israel. A ‘kamikaze’ strike at the Dimona facilities cannot be ruled out,” the document states.

The Nixon advisers concluded that, all things considered, “we cannot force the Israelis to destroy design data and components, much less the technical knowledge in people’s minds, nor the existing talent for rapid improvisation.” Thus, Davies wrote in July, two months before the Nixon-Meir meeting, the lesser evil would be to agree for Israel to “retain its ‘technical option’” to produce nuclear weapons.

“If the Israelis show a disposition to meet us on the nuclear issue but are adamant on the Jericho missiles, we can drop back to a position of insisting on non-deployment of missiles and an undertaking by the Israelis to keep any further production secret,” Davies added.

The strategic consideration, mixed with political considerations, was persuasive. The draft of Meir’s unconditional surrender – formulated in the Pentagon without her knowledge in her first month in office – was shelved, and the ambiguity option was born and lived in secret documents until the Obama administration made them public, for reasons (or unintentionally) of their own.

Antichrist Calling the Shots in Iraq to “Unify the Horns”

Iraq: Sadr calls for new regional foreign policy

Antichrist Calling the Shots in Iraq

Antichrist Calling the Shots in Iraq

Baghdad, Asharq Al-AwsatIraqi Shi’ite leader Moqtada Al-Sadr called on Baghdad to pursue a new regional foreign policy with the formation of a new government led by prime minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi.

“We must open up to the other countries [in the region] to end the security and sectarian crises,” the Sadrist leader said in a statement at a joint press conference with Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) leader Ammar Al-Hakim.

Hakim, another senior Shi’ite figure in Iraq who opposed Maliki bid for a controversial third term in office and is now backing Abadi, reiterated Sadr’s call for a new regional foreign policy, saying it was a mistake for Maliki to avoid allying with neighboring Arab states.

“One of the mistakes that the Maliki government made was to avoid allying with neighboring states, including Saudi Arabia. We must return this relationship to return security [to the region],” Sadr said.

Sadr and Hakim both publicly announced their support for Abadi and the national unity government he is seeking to form during the press conference which was held on Thursday in Najaf.

Abadi has until September 10 to form a new government. Sadr and Hakim confirmed that government talks are well under way, with the distribution of ministerial portfolios currently under discussion. Abadi has pledged to form a national unity government that includes all components of the Iraqi people.

“We will strongly support the new government to end the political and security crises through dialogue so that it will be a true government of national participation,” he said.

ISCI MP Mohamed Al-Kash told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Some parties are seeking true participation, including the ISCI and the Sadrist Movement. However other parties do not want the Abadi government to succeed and this represents a grave threat to Iraq.”

He called on all parties to deal “realistically” with the situation in the country and work together to form a government as soon as possible.

A Sea of Glass Mixed With Fire (Revelation 15:2)

Why Indian and Pakistani sea-based nukes are so troubling

The K-15 Indian Submarine Nuclear Missile

The K-15 Indian Submarine Nuclear Missile

The danger of sea-based nuclear weapons in Asia depends on the strategic context of the potential protagonists, along with the particulars of the platforms, delivery system, and doctrines.

Perhaps the least menacing in the short term is the interaction between India and China as each builds its sea-based nuclear capability. There are still years to go before each state has systems coupled with the need to deploy them in locations that could lead to dangerous interactions.

A second dyad, between US sea-based nuclear weapons and the growing Chinese maritime nuclear arsenal, has the potential for misunderstanding, risk-taking, and escalation, but Washington and Beijing are not in a state of on-again, off-again militarised hostilities. This, coupled with the distance from China that US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines are likely patrol, limits some potentially dangerous interactions.

The India-Pakistan dyad, however, carries the potential to be the most menacing in the short-to-medium term.

Both India and Pakistan are at the initial stages of deploying nuclear weapons on submarines. Being new to a deployed technology and operational technique does not mean the two governments and their militaries will not be careful or capable. Both states are likely to be highly cautious and professional in their deployment of these capabilities. However, there is always a learning curve with new capabilities and therefore always chances for misperception, miscalculation, and the threat of escalation.

Three additional factors in the South Asian context make this newly emerging set of capabilities particularly troubling.

The first is the very short range of India’s first generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (the K-15 has a reported range of 750km) and Pakistan’s likely submarine-launched cruise missile (the Babur, with a reported range of 700km). The second is that it appears Pakistan will be deploying its sea-based nuclear capability in a dual-use platform, a diesel-powered attack submarine. Finally, the two states have a history of wars and militarised crises over a range of disputes that will not be resolved anytime soon.

Unlike the deployment of nuclear warheads on land-based missiles or nuclear gravity bombs, sea-basing of nuclear weapons carries a much greater chance of close-up and regular interaction between the forces of two potential protagonists. In peacetime, once India and Pakistan actually have operational platforms deployed, it can be expected that each side will seek to gather intelligence on the acoustic signature of the other side’s submarines, along with information about operating patterns and locations. This creates chances for accidents, incidents, or heightened tensions, particularly as the relatively short ranges of the missiles mean that deployment areas may be relatively close to the other’s territorial waters.

Yes, such submarine-versus-submarine interactions occur already without any public acknowledgment of increased tensions, but the importance of nuclear weapons may cause both sides to take greater risks both to gather intelligence and to defend a nuclear-armed platform. Similarly, both sides may become more aggressive in patrolling and defending territorial waters, contiguous zones, and even exclusive economic zones if they want to deny the other side from gaining operational familiarity with a particular stretch of water.

If another militarised crisis between India and Pakistan were to occur after the deployment of sea-based nuclear weapons, the chances of inadvertent escalation will be higher than in an environment absent these platforms. In the case of Pakistan’s likely nuclear platform – an Agosta-class submarine basically indistinguishable from its conventionally-armed counterpart – Indian naval commanders and their civilian leadership may be faced with a difficult dilemma.

Protecting India’s surface and submarine fleet from Pakistan’s submarines in a crisis or war requires aggressive detection measures and attacking potential contacts. However, India may feel constrained if it does not want to inadvertently escalate a crisis or conflict by destroying the ‘secure second-strike’ portion of Pakistan’s nuclear triad. If India were to destroy a Pakistani submarine carrying nuclear-armed missiles as part of a conventional war, would Pakistan’s leadership interpret this action as crossing a nuclear threshold?

Similarly, in a future crisis or conventional war, what would Pakistan do to place itself in a better position to track and, if possible, destroy the INS Arihant or its successors? Pakistan has shown itself both willing and able, as far back as 1971, to undertake long-range, risky submarine operations in an attempt to strike at high-value Indian assets on India’s east coast. Would India view such a Pakistani operation in a future crisis as escalatory? What would its response be?

THE END Not By the Hand of God … But By the Hand of Man

International Day Against Nuclear Tests Should Push Us All to Demand Global Zero

Man Creates the Bowls of Wrath

Man Creates the Bowls of Wrath

According to the 2000 Report of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, the long-lasting effects of nuclear testing can be qualified in simple scientific terms: “Radiation exposure can damage living cells, causing death in some of them and modifying others.” Translation: death, cancer and birth deformities, to name but a few.

These long-lasting effects aren’t limited to nuclear testing. They are the same horrors that afflicted victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But what the rest of us should know, and need to know, is that the nuclear threat has only grown more dangerous.

Today marks an important milestone in our fight to eliminate the nuclear threat. Five years ago when the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution to declare August 29 the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, they said that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world,” reminding us that there is still much more work to be done.

The truth is, as long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not safe. The human and environmental devastation caused by nuclear weapons — whether by testing, mistake or malice — is the very reason we need to eliminate them altogether. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which in 1996 set out to ban nuclear tests, is an important step, but we need to do more — and we can.

With political will and public pressure, we can achieve a world without these weapons of mass destruction. Just 10 days ago, we saw all of Syria’s chemical weapons destroyed because of bold leadership and effective diplomacy. And as I write this, the U.S. and other P5+1 leaders are amidst talks with Iran on a final end to the Iranian nuclear-weapons impasse. What we need now is intense public pressure. We must hold leaders accountable and demand a safer future.

Global Zero, the international movement to eliminate nuclear weapons, is spearheading the effort to put this critical human-rights issue at the top of the public and political agenda. Their activists are hitting the streets with bold action, pushing world leaders to make this an urgent priority. In fact, earlier this month on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Global Zero turned out more than 400 activists in a global day of action that spanned three continents, five countries and seven cities to commemorate one of the world’s most shattering tragedies and to demand progress toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Together, they’re calling for the first-ever Nuclear Weapons Summit. There, key nuclear and non-nuclear countries will come to the table to advance the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons by 2030. But that starts with a global commitment to achieve a nuclear-free world.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, including signing the Global Zero declaration to commit to a world without nuclear weapons by 2030, visit here.

Russia One of Ten Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

Don’t mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says

Putin Threatening With Nukes

Putin Threatening With Nukes
By Alexei Anishchuk

Aug 29 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”

Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate.

Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armour to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people. Russia denies the charge.

Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts,” he said at the camp on the banks of Lake Seliger. “We don’t want that and don’t plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia.

“Russia’s partners…should understand it’s best not to mess with us,” said Putin, dressed casually in a grey sweater and light blue jeans.
“Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”

Putin spoke easily with the students, many of whom looked to be asking scripted questions about demography and history. Other times he accepted gifts or, smilingly, played down their praise.

When a student said that she had not heard a single negative comment about Putin’s presidency from camp speakers, he responded with a grin that “objectivity” was important.

His tone darkened when speaking on Ukraine, blaming the United States and the European Union for the “unconstitutional” removal of Kiev’s former Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich and replacement with a pro-European government.

He said eastern Ukraine did not agree with Yanukovich’s removal and was now subjected to “crude military force” from government planes, tanks and artillery.

“If those are contemporary European values, then I’m simply disappointed in the highest degree,” he said, comparing Ukraine’s military operations in the east of the country with the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War Two.

“Small villages and large cities surrounded by the Ukrainian army which is directly hitting residential areas with the aim of destroying the infrastructure… It sadly reminds me of the events of the Second World War, when German fascist… occupiers surrounded our cities.”

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Writing by Thomas Grove; editing by Ralph Boulton)

Much Easier for ISIS to Conquer Kurds, than Sadr and Shiites

ISIS Capture of Mosul

ISIS Capture of Mosul
The capture of Mosul was a significant and easy victory — but that was in June. The capture of Baghdad was proving too difficult, and had shifted to a long-term goal. Thus the areas north and west of Mosul — particularly Shingal — were easy targets that could hand the group another victory. Photo: AFP

By Abdulmajeed Gly

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Islamic State’s attack on Yezidi Kurds in Shingal opened up a wide battlefront against the Kurds this month and marked a strategic shift for the insurgent group, which previously stated that its main goal was to capture Baghdad.

While it’s impossible to read the minds of IS leaders, there are some factors that may have inspired them to suddenly attack the Kurds.

The first is the fear of a Sunni-Kurdish alliance against the IS. Just a week before the IS attack on Shingal, several Sunni political and tribal leaders met with US State Department officials in Erbil, hoping to persuade the Sunnis to revolt against the radical group.

Right after the meeting, Twitter was abuzz over the possibility of a Kurdish-Sunni alliance to destroy IS. There was no proof to support this rumor of course, but the timing of the comments couldn’t have been worse. The IS began to feel threatened, especially in Kirkuk and Tikrit.

Even two weeks before the invasion of Shingal, IS and Kirkuk Baathists, who had an agreement with the Sunni al-Assi tribe, were engaged in a fierce battle against each other in Rashad, Hawija and Riyaz.

This worried IS, which feared facing a similar scenario in Mosul and decided to crack down on former Baathists, arresting 65 in Nineveh’s capital. Most were members of Naqshabandi, a Sunni-Sufi group led by Iraq’s former Vice-President Izzat al-Duri, which has spoken out against the extremists.

According to US estimates, IS has an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 insurgents. Assuming those figures are correct, unless IS forms a solid alliance with Sunni tribes there simply aren’t enough fighters to control Mosul and Tikrit for long.

A potential Kurdish alliance with the Sunni tribes must have served as a wakeup call for IS leaders, even though there was never any hard evidence of a Sunni-Kurdish pact against IS.

The second key issue is that the Islamic State needs more wars and more victories.

The capture of Mosul was a significant and easy victory — but that was in June. The capture of Baghdad was proving too difficult, and had shifted to a long-term goal. Thus the areas north and west of Mosul — particularly Shingal — were easy targets that could hand the group another victory.

IS uses psychological warfare just as much as it engages in battle. In order to increase its popularity, especially among its fighters and fans, it needs to show that the self-proclaimed caliphate is constantly making gains.

This kind of propaganda encourages hundreds of foreign fighters from Britain, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and other countries to make their way to IS and join its holy war.

Despite swiftly defeating the Iraqi army in Mosul and other Sunni areas, IS underestimated its enemies. While it quickly and confidently declared an Islamic caliphate and pledged to take Baghdad, capturing Iraq’s capital isn’t as easy. Baghdad isn’t the same as Mosul, where the majority are Sunnis and people were willing to accept anyone to rid the city of outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite rule.

There are 5 million Shiites in Baghdad, and Shiite militias such as Asaib Ahl Alhaq and Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army will never lay down their weapons and run away in the face of an IS attack, as the Iraqi army did. They are more than willing to die.

Even in Sunni strongholds like Anbar, Haditha and Salahaddin, the Islamic State is often in a defensive position and hasn’t had much success against the Shiites.

The final point to consider is that the attack on Shingal, a town so close to the IS stronghold of Mosul, wasn’t expected, but that in itself presented the group with an opportunity. Over the past two years, most of the group’s successes have been surprise attacks. The capture of Mosul, of Tabqa airbase in Raqqa, Syria and of many villages near Aleppo proves that IS relies on unpredictable tactics.

Yet when the group prepares for an operation and word gets out, it has never won a victory. The Nusra front, the Syrian regime and other opposition groups have managed to foil many planned IS attacked.

Antichrist and al-Hakim Unify Iraq

Sayyed Sadr, Sayyed Hakim Stress Unity of Iraq

Moqtada al-Sadr and al-Hakim

Moqtada al-Sadr and al-Hakim

Muslim cleric Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of a powerful political movement and a major Iraqi figure, visited Sayyed Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, to tackle the latest political and security developments, asserting the importance of Iraq’s unity.

After the meeting, Sayyed al-Hakim considered that the federalism is the political system and that all the sectarian divisions are rejected, adding that the National Coalition is mainly concerned with stability in Iraq and with forming a new government as it represents the parliamentary majority.

For his part, Sayyed Sadr asserted that all the parliamentary blocks cooperate to form a new government and to serve the nation.

Too Little, Too Late

Birth Defects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Birth Defects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The UN International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29 is an opportunity to remind the world about the inhumane consequences of nuclear explosions. It is a day which has a special meaning for the many thousands of people who, like me, grew up in Eastern Kazakhstan.
I was born 100 kilometres from the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site where the Soviet Union exploded more than 600 nuclear devices between 1949 and 1991.  They have had terrible physical consequences for the people who lived near them.
I came into this world without arms. People often ask me if I can be sure that radiation was the cause. If you had lived in my home town or region, this would not be a question.
In the place where I grew up, I saw mothers and midwives shocked at the sight of their babies. I saw families too embarrassed to show their children to the outside world, hiding them deep inside their homes and bringing them out only briefly for fresh air and sun.
The most terrifying fact about this story is that we didn’t understand the impact these explosions would have. We were taken completely by surprise – and this, I believe, is why it is so important that we use August 29 to warn the world about the impact of nuclear testing. We must never forget what happened or allow others to remain in the dark.

I saw so much tragedy and suffering in my homeland that I decided to do everything possible to ensure that my generation is the last to suffer such damage. I became an activist in an anti-nuclear weapons movement and found peace in expressing my pain through art.

I use my feet and mouth to hold my brush and pour out in my own colours my inner world, calling on others to follow my cause. Today, I am an honorary ambassador of The ATOM Project, an online campaign to encourage the global leadership needed to totally eliminate the nuclear threat.
Since its launch two years ago, The ATOM Project has taken the stories of Kazakhstan’s nuclear testing survivors around the globe. On my travels, I have made many new friends in many countries who have encouraged us to continue our work.
We now have over 90,000 supporters from more than 100 countries and have set ourselves a goal of reach the 100,000 mark by August 29. You can help us reach this milestone by signing the petition and showing your desire for a nuclear-weapons-free world.
And over the last two decades we have seen progress. Even before Kazakhstan became a fully independent country, our leader, and now President, Nursultan Nazarbayev shut down the Semipalatinsk test site in 1991 in defiance of then Soviet government in Moscow. On independence, our country also voluntarily gave up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal, which we had inherited from the Soviet Union. Similar courageous decisions were taken by Ukraine, Belarus and South Africa who all renounced their nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programmes.
In 1996, a major step was taken when the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was adopted by the United Nations. It has since been signed by 183 countries and ratified by 162. But the treaty cannot enter into force until it is signed and ratified by eight more countries: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.
It is to the leaders and lawmakers of these eight countries that I and my fellow nuclear testing survivors address our plea for understanding and leadership. Sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Help ensure that not one more person suffers from the consequences of nuclear testing and nuclear weapons use in the future.
I joined The ATOM Project because it inspired me to complete the mission I began decades ago. It may be that finally achieving the goal of eradicating the planet’s entire nuclear arsenal will have to be left to future generations. My vision is to make sure that every single person around me knows what was concealed for decades – the consequences of testing nuclear weapons.
Twenty years ago when I was in the United States, I met a Shoshone Indian chief. When he saw me, he fell to his knees, tears welling in his eyes, and whispered something down into the ground. A translator explained to me that the chief was begging for forgiveness from the Earth. He later urged me and my friends to continue to warn the rest of the world about the dangers of so profoundly defiling the planet.
That is my mission. I don’t have arms. I can’t know what it feels like to grasp someone by the hand. But I do have feet with which I can paint and I have a voice that enables me to speak.
Karipbek Kuyukov is the Honorary Ambassador of The ATOM Project.

Antichrist’s “Peace Brigade” Prepare to Attack ISIS

Shia-Iraqi “Peace Brigade” militia approach outskirts of besieged city Amerli

The City of Amerli Held By ISIS

The City of Amerli Held By ISIS
The forces of the ‘Peace Brigade’, the renamed version of senior cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, are heading to Amerli (A Shiite District) to lift the siege imposed by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The Peace Brigade intends to enter the blockaded city within the next two days. As of Wednesday they are only separated by 17 km from the borders of the city.The Brigades spokesman, Salah al-Obeidi stated that, “The Brigades accompanied with security forces as well as armed clans, have arrived to the outskirts of Amerli , pointing out that, the brigades, security forces, and the rest of the mob became very close to the district.”Al-Obeidi said: “We have prepared a joint battle that will not last long before redeeming the city” and according to a security source in Salahuddin province, a large force of armed volunteers from mobs headed towards Amerli to lift the siege, will be there soon.
ISIS militants blockaded the district of Amerli for about two months, meanwhile, the people of the city were receiving aids of food, weapons and supplies thrown down from airplanes.

Sadr's Peace Brigade Prepares to Fight ISIS

Sadr’s Peace Brigade Prepares to Fight ISIS
Sadr's Peace Brigade Heads to Amerli

Sadr’s Peace Brigade Heads to Amerli