Monday, December 22, 2014

ISIS Pushed Back

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday there was some good news about the battle against ISIS.

Kurdish fighters, called the Peshmerga, forced ISIS out of a 2500 square mile area around the Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq.

The Peshmerga brought in 10,000 fighters and then an addition 350. Together with US fighter jets, they forced ISIS out. Local can now, finally, come home. Most of the people who had been displaced were Yazidis - tens of thousands were living in transit camps with no water.

Peshmerga means "those who confront death" in Kurdish. It should be clear that when you join the Peshmerga you are expected to fight to the death.

This recent victory against ISIS brings with it great hope. The area around the Mount Sinjar is large. Now the allies and the Peshmerga must work together to expand control and to slowly and progressively continue to oust ISIS

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Syria Making Local Truces

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Iran's powerful speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani is on a visit to Syria where he met with Syrian President Bashar Asad.

Assad told Larijani that Syria is in favor of developing small, local, regional treaties as a way to ease, if not bring about a total cessation, of civil war in Syria.

The principle behind the instituting of treaties is that local leaders, even leaders who oppose Assad, will come to an agreement about local resources and security. It really would be mutually beneficial to break the area down into regions controlled by tribal leaders - that way all sides are satisfied, but with some reservations.

For obvious reasons, the two groups which would be left out of these treaty agreements are al Qaeda / al Nusra and ISIS. They are what Assad calls the terrorists.

Iran was very pleased to hear about the Assad plan and the potential for alleviating much of the internal conflict fueling the Syrian civil war. If the plan progresses as Assad hopes it will, it will demonstrate a clearer identification of ISIS and al Qaeda / al Nusra as the enemy.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

2% Of Pledges to PA Have Been Paid

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Months ago donors gathered in Egypt and pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza. The pledges far exceeded the expectations. That was not surprising.

And since then, almost no one has paid their pledges and those that did come in were for only a fraction of the promise. Once again, as I always say, this is not a surprise.

Thus far of the $5.4 billion only $100 million has been paid and that was by the United States and the European Union. That comes to about 2% of the pledges. And those were monies already in the pipeline.

Qatar promised $1 billion, the Saudis $500 million.

Now, we also know that the supplies that have been delivered to Gaza are either in storage waiting for proper supervision or they have been stolen and Hamas is using them to rebuild tunnels and create new ones.

Of the pledges, 50% was to go to rebuilding and the other 50% was to go to bolster the Palestinian economy.

Recent history of donor conferences and pledges has taught us that the only group that actually fulfills pledges and pays on time is the United States. And that is the only reason that the United States still has influence in the region.

The Palestinians cannot run to the highest bidder because the bidder may not pay, may not pay on time or may not pay the pledged amount.

Welcome to the Middle East.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Did Israel Infiltrate Inner Circle of Hezbollah

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The name of the Israeli double agent inside Hezbollah was divulged by Al Jazeera. His name is Mohammed Shurba. Shurba lived in Southern Lebanon. He was head of foreign operations and at one point was even in charge of Hassan Nassrallah's security detail.

When the announcement first came out saying that Hezbollah had captured an Israeli spy, they gave only the letter M as his name.

Reports are that Hezbollah followed Shurba to business meetings and witnessed him meeting with his Israeli handlers. It was at first unclear that the reports were actually true because, in the past, Hezbollah declared on more than one occasion that they had rooted out spies. But this report rings more true than previous reports.

If this really is true, it will be a great loss for Israeli intel.

This highly placed and reliable resource helped prevent massive terror attacks against Israel and aided in assassinating numerous terror leaders.

Here is the remarkable piece. If true, that means that Israel successfully infiltrated Hezbollah at the very highest levels possible. They had a double agent in place, since 2008, in the inner circle of Hezbollah.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

2 15 Yr Old Brits on Flight to ISIS

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

At a London airport a flight was stopped on the runway as it was about to take off.

On board were two 15 year old girls from East London who has saved up their own money to fly to Istanbul and from there, they were planning to cross over the border into Syria.

One of the girls was detained and brought back home by the police and she will be dealt with by the proper authorities. But the other 15 year old escaped before the police arrived. She will certainly be found.

The girls are minors so the law will be more lenient on them. If charges are proffered against them, the law will certainly treat them as minors. But affiliating with a terror organization is a serious charge - even for a minor.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Al Qaeda Takes Main Route in Syria

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

It was two days of non-stop battle and in the end 100 Syrian soldiers were killed and 80 al Qaeda al Nusra fighters were killed.

When the fighting stopped control of the strategic base in Wadi Deif which controls the central artery between Damascus in the South and Aleppo in the north switched hands.

Now the essential base is in the hands of al Qaeda which not only killed 100 Syrian soldiers but also captured 120 Syrian soldiers.

These numbers and many details come to us courtesy of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British group which has been the eyes and ears of the West in Syria.

This strategic base is an essential site in Syria. Whoever controls Wadi Deif has control of almost all trade and transport in Syria. Al Qaeda now has that control. But I predict that within the next week Syrian land forces and the Syrian air force will launch a campaign to retake the base.

Assad cannot allow that route to be shut down and he cannot permit the south of Syria to be cut off from the north.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ISIS Behind Australian Kidnapping

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

ISIS and the West - so complicated and yet, so very simple.

ISIS wants to invade the West and destroy it. But Islam is multi layered and complex. Sunnis hate Shiites and Shiites hate Sunnis.

When a Shiite refugee from Iran kidnaps Australians and demands an ISIS Sunni flag, even we in the West should get recognize that things are not so simple.

The Lindt Cafe terrorist, Man Haron Monis, was inspired by ISIS.
There is no doubt about it. To deny that is to both be deceived and to deny our potential to properly protect ourselves from ISIS terror.

ISIS is not just about weapons and beheadings. ISIS has created a huge web and social network presence.
ISIS Youtube videos are impressive and they inspire young people to join their mission in the West.

ISIS wants to take over the West from within. They promise their followers respect, wealth success, sex and power. And their followers believe ISIS.

That is what happened in Australia.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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