The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and brinkmanship.
Iraqi Military Makes Gains North of Baghdad in Conflict With ISIS: It will be interesting to see how the response to the ISIS offensive plays out both in Iraq and in the wider world. The INA is a broken reed and any gains they make will be fleeting. I fully expect a stalemate to ensue shortly wherein Iraq is effectively partitioned. We are saying the beginning of bloody fighting. Think of it as Sunni Triangle II.
Ukraine Says Russia Has 38,000 Troops on Border Amid ‘Invasion’: The biggest news out of this story is not that Russia is massing limited numbers of troops on the Ukraine border or even that Russian SF agitators are probably already in Eastern Ukraine but that Gazprom has cut off gas supplies to Ukraine. Supposedly through traffic to the EU is continuing but who thinks they won’t shut that off too if the EU gets too froggy about their support for Ukraine?
Putin Backs Cease-Fire in Ukraine Amid Russia Army Drills: I am simply amazed at the level of duplicity displayed by Russia regarding events in Ukraine. I am even more amazed that the Western powers are not calling them on it. It is obvious that the rebels are getting arms from the Russians yet the European powers refuse to acknowledge that and when Ukrainian or US authorities say it aloud the silence from our supposed allies is deafening.
Ebola ‘out of control’ in West Africa: MSF: A new strain of the Ebola virus is a potential nightmare. It is 90% lethal and apparently the strain currently spreading through West Africa is more easily transmitted than previous strains although news reports are not explicitly saying that. If this virus ever becomes airborne transmissible, all bets are off.
Kerry issues warning after Syria bombs Iraq: In the most ironic thing of all, I have to wonder if some Western leaders are privately beginning to think that Assad is not that bad after all? At least Assad made sure that his corner of the middle east was fairly stable, and it is obvious that a large chunk of the Syrian people support him as well.
ISIS Tries to Grab Its Own Air Force: The significance of Balad falling would not be in ISIS control of aircraft, but in Iraqi loss of same. I find it difficult to believe that ISIS counts a large number of pilots in its ranks, much less pilots qualified to operate combat aircraft and the aircrew to keep them operational. The fall of Balad and Taji, were it to occur, would be a further symptom of how rotten the Iraqi army is. Of course, I called that ten years ago when I was helping to establish the first Iraqi training program for the INA we were rebuilding.
BREAKING: ISIS Shows Off MASSIVE SCUD Missile in Military Parade: I am not certain that the Iraqis need to worry overmuch about ISIS getting their hands on artillery and SCUDs. Those are very technical weapons and if they are not served right are more dangerous o the operator than the enemy.
Poroshenko ends Ukraine ceasefire, says government will attack rebels: If Russia withdraws support for the rebels the separatists could be crushed within weeks. If however, Russia is just playing for time then this could last months yet. It is also significant that apparently someone has admitted that Russian control of European energy supplies is a major factor in the tepidness of the European response to blatant Russian aggression all along. Of course, the time for strong sanctions and pressure on Russia is now when energy needs are not as acute as they will be this coming winter.
Ukrainian forces tighten grip on Slavyansk as retreating rebels regroup: Now it is up to the Ukrainian Army to “keep up the skeer” and not pause in applying pressure to rebels who are now clearly on the defensive and have lost the initiative.
Hamas rockets reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: I am curious to see if Israel will finally be smart, ignore international public opinion, and teach the Palestinian Arabs a brutal, bloody lesson they won’t forget for a generation. They probably won’t though. The Israelis will piss around, kill some Arabs, lose a few troops, and go back to the status quo. Western leaders, Israel included, refuse to face the bitter truth that the only thing Arabs understand is force, everything else is weakness.
ISIS militants take sledgehammers to Mosul tomb of Prophet Jonah: Yet more peaceful destruction from the adherents of the Religion of Peace. Unless and until the Iraqi government gets their collective heads out of their 3rd point of contact ISIS and it’s adherents will continue to commit these outrages.
IDF strikes 80 Gaza targets in under thirty minutes: One would think that at some point the Israelis are just going to evict all the Arabs from Gaza and bulldoze the slums that have been built there.
Germany Cites Deep Rift With U.S. Amid Second Spy Case: If the allegations are true this is one of the dumbest possible things the US could do. Germany has been a staunch US ally since the founding of the FRG in 1949. What possible intelligence could be worth losing an ally?
Israeli troops wounded in first ground incursion in Gaza: I wonder how long it will take Hamas to organize a mass firing on an Israeli city in hopes of overwhelming the Iron Dome system? If something like that does happen then a ground invasion is a virtual certainty.
Russia warns Ukraine after shell crosses border: The fighting in Ukraine continues with government forces slowly making inroads and regaining control of territory. The likelihood of cross-border incidents only increases as gov. troops regain control of territory and I would not be surprised if at some point Russia does not use such an incident as a causus belli to get involved and support their proxies.