Tuesday, September 30, 2014

US Air Strikes Hit Grain Silos- Not Reported

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
The US led coalition against ISIS struck targets in Manbij the other day.

But instead of hitting an ISIS camp, the coalition planes hit a series of grain silos. And instead of killing ISIS or al Nusra al Qaeda terrorists, the missiles killed locals who were processing food and flour for people in need.

Reports of the attack came from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory is a British group which, form the beginning, has been in Syria documenting, reporting and broadcasting on the casualties of the conflict.

We use the Observatory numbers and in general, they are accurate.

They are anti-Assad government but they report on massacres perpetrated by all involved parties. There is no reason to doubt their report - especially because they explained that the fighter
pilots probably mistook the silos for a training camp.

One should know that in air attacks there is a possibility for civilian deaths. It is unfortunate and civilized countries try their best to eliminate civilian losses.

But here is the double standard: the world lambasted Israel and the Israelis went far beyond necessary in warning civilians about missiles. Here in Manbij the United States gave no warning at all.
Interestingly, there was almost no coverage of the attack and of civilian losses at the hands of the coalition. No outrage. No critique.

I am not criticizing the United States. I am pointing out the holier than thou approach when it came to Israel and now, with the coalition, it seems there is no response. No coverage. No preachy comments. Just business as usual.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Abbas At the UN

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The biggest problem with the speech given by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before the United Nations General Assembly is that Abbas was perpetuating a terrible lie.

The president of the Palestinian Authority declared that Israel had perpetrated a genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. He said it took place before the eyes and ears of the world.

That is not what happened in Gaza -- not at all what happened. And Abbas knows it.
Yes, Palestinians died. But there was no systematic plan to murder or destroy Palestinians or the Palestinian people.

The plan was to defend Israel by destroying the terror tunnels emanating from Gaza into Israel and to degrade the ability of Hamas to launch rockets into Israeli civilian population centers. And, by the way, a byproduct of the action taken by Israel was to bolster and secure the leadership of Abbas.

Calling Israeli defensive actions an act of genocide is perverse. It is diplomatically irresponsible. It is blatantly untrue. It is an affront, an insult and an abuse of the Holocaust.

To call what happened to Palestinians the greatest catastrophe in the modern era is simply wrong. Abbas knows what happened and he knows about the Holocaust. For those of you who don't know, Abbas wrote his PhD on Israel's use of Holocaust.

The statements made by Abbas at the GA were met with applause. The United States responded by calling them incitement and not productive.

But words mean something. It is hard to call the person you hope to establish a long term working relationship with a genocidal murderer. And it is hard to make peace with someone who labels you a genocidal murderer.

Abbas was interested in building a united world front against Israel. It all begins with lies and conspiracies - de rigueur in Arab Middle East politics and diplomacy. I hope that some world leaders and some nations can see the truth through the lies and deception.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Turkey Egypt in Verbal Conflict

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

In typical fashion, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a stinging attack during his recent UN address. His target was Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al Sisi.

The Turkish leader accused al Sisi of destroying democracy in Egypt by ousting the first elected president last summer.

Of course, the Turkish leader neglected to say that the previous Egyptian government systematically dismantled the new democracy and replaced it with Islamic law. He also did not mention that the then-elected leaders of Egypt were members of the anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt wasted no time and shot back at Turkey accusing Erdogan of sponsoring terror. Here is the official response of the Egyptian foreign ministry.

"There is no doubt that the fabrication of such lies and fabrications are not something strange that comes from the Turkish President, who is keen to provoke chaos to sow divisions in the Middle East region through its support for groups and terrorist organizations."

Egypt and Turkey will continue to spar. Erdogan and his party are Islamic. Al Sisi defines himself as a leader committed to combating Islamic political parties and their advancement I the Middle East. Conflict is inevitable.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rosh HaShanah The Jewish New Year

Shannah Tova

I will not be posting Thursday Friday and Saturday.
Wishing everyone, Jews and non Jews a happy new year.

See you Again on Sunday.

Micah Halpern

Fighting ISIS

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The US led coalition against ISIS requires constant activity and vigilance. Much effort will be required keeping the coalition together and keeping up the pressure on ISIS.

This is a military battle. It is also a battle of PR and social media. ISIS thus far has successfully frightened the masses. Almost everyone fears their brutality and their massacres. The question is when or whether ISIS will start to realize the power of the West and the coalition.

The first major airstrike was significant. It hit 50 targets with multiple ordinances from various launching positions.

But is seems that ISIS knew the US was coming. According to various on site reports, especially from the human rights organizations in Syria, 23 to 25 ISIS and al Nusra fighters were killed. It seems all those locations that we saw get blown up on tape were empty.

According to reports, those people who were killed were mostly manning the check posts that prevent people from travelling from one location to another without paying protection money aka a toll which they call Zakat, or charity for the poor - which in this case is for the greater good of ISIS.

Interestingly, after the strike, the Syrian government, which up until the strike warned the US saying that a coalition would been as an act of war, supported the coalition bombing of the terrorists. Now Syria stands with those who fight the terrorists.

As an important aside it seems that the United States sent messages, using the United Nations General Assembly in New York City as their conduit, to the Syrian ambassador that the airstrike was to take place. And it appears that the Iraqi ambassador served as the intermediary.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ISIS Says Kill Civilians

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

ISIS called on followers to attack civilians of their enemies wherever they live.

ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adani released a 42 minute video in which he called on all followers to fight the coalition that is being formed against ISIS. The video explained that there are groups organizing against ISIS and ISIS needs to strike back. He asked that

ISIS followers join together in the upcoming ground war against the coalition and explained that those ISIS followers who are living among ISIS enemies all over the world should attack the civilians.

There is no way to misinterpret this message. It is a rallying call for volunteers to come to the Islamic State and to support it in any way possible.

This message comes on the heels of last week's Australian plot that, thankfully, was discovered and stopped. ISIS supporters were planning on kidnapping and decapitating someone - just anyone. Those plotting the attack received their indoctrination and their training on line and swore allegiance to ISIS. Kidnapping and decapitating was supposed to be dagger to the heart of the West.

Members of the Western coalition and the many Arab leaders joining forces with them will be confronting ISIS - all at the very same moment ISIS intended to strike in the heart of the West. In Australia ISIS was going to send a message that would shake the West and the coalition to their very core.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Hezbollah Drones

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

We know that Hezbollah has drones. We know it because Israel has shot down some of the drones as they entered Israeli airspace and when they attempted to fly over the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa.

And in a major moment of embarrassment a drone, probably sent forth by Hezbollah, was shot down in the southern Negev having gone undetected for some time. There was some thought that the drone was Iranian - but it was probably from Hezbollah.

These drones, known as UAV's (unmanned aerial vehicles), were reconnaissance gathering drones. They were not armed.

But yesterday was different. Yesterday Hezbollah used one of their drones and attacked al Qaeda in Syria killing 20 to 25 al Qaeda members who were engaged in battle. Many more were injured.

This is the first time we have seen Hezbollah using armed drones in conflict. These drones could prove very effective for Hezbollah against ISIS and al Qaeda.

The use of drones changes many operational points. Most importantly, it gives Hezbollah the ability to watch, see and to stop ISIS and al Qaeda without endangering their own fighters.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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