The Conversation

Foreign Affairs: What's going on around the world.

United States of Hollywood Diplomacy #sarcasm

Oct 19, 2014 6:45 PM PT

I figured it out. America is now engaged in Hollywood diplomacy. #Diplomacy was a 140 character failure so now we have a TV drama to demonstrate a successful Secretary of State aka Madame Secretary fighting against Iran and our enemies around the globe. Apparently when Iran and other enemies see first run episodes or on DVR they will figure out they've lost and capitulate to our way of thinking.

It's brilliant and you don't have to spend all that time with your head in the sand which makes it difficult to breathe. Probably the greatest danger we face with this type of diplomacy is a bad translation so our language experts better be on their best game.

How come America didn't catch on to the sheer brilliance of this administration and the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who traveled over 1,000,000 miles just to get to Hollywood.

Maybe they can write in a grandchild watch just to keep up with recent events.

That's all for now from the "sarcasm, just one more service that I offer" editorial.

ISIS Calls for Murder of Civilians and Disbelievers in the U.S. (and Among Our Allies)

Oct 13, 2014 4:36 PM PT

The latest edition of a glossy magazine published by the Islamic State (ISIS) contains numerous calls to kill Americans, including civilians, along with our European and Australian allies.

The ISIS magazine is called Dabiq. The fourth issue was released last month. The second item in the publication is an English transcript of a lengthy speech by ISIS' chief propagandist Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani ash-Shami. Next to a photo of businessmen walking down a street captioned "crusader 'civilians'" he calls on those sympathetic to ISIS to murder Americans and their allies:

So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.


So O muwahhid wherever you may be, hinder those who want to harm your brothers and state as much as you can. The best thing you can do is to strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American, or from any of their allies.

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Regrets? The ISIS Ladies' Auxiliary has a few

Oct 11, 2014 8:23 AM PT

There were rumors a few weeks ago that one of the teenybopper Austrian cuties who went nutso for jihad and signed up with ISIS had been killed in Syria, but according the UK Telegraph they're both still alive, and having second thoughts about life in the caliphate.  It all looked like so much fun from a distance!

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, had been dubbed poster girls for the jihadist groups after fleeing to Raqqa in central Syria. They have since married foreign fighters in the city and become pregnant.

But the city’s strict Islamic lifestyle has turned sour for the girls, who want to return to Europe.

They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) jihadis.

But they also said they don’t feel they can flee from their unwanted new life because too many people now associate them with Isil.

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ISIS on the move... in Libya

Oct 11, 2014 8:04 AM PT

Operation Goose My Poll Numbers isn't going well for President Obama.  He thought he could sprinkle a few bombs around, get everyone off his back about the Islamic State, and maybe pick up a point or two in the polls from the traditional "rally around the President in wartime" effect.  Instead, he's actually managing to lose the war to ISIS.  

It's not just one of those ambiguous-stalemate deals where both sides claim to be accomplishing their objectives, a low-intensity simmering pot of suck that Obama can spin by talking about all the "coalition" airstrikes that have been carried out.  The Islamic State looks like it might be about to score a significant, unambiguous strategic victory by taking the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani.  They've got control over about half the city now.  The atrocities that will be perpetrated if they take over will be unspeakable.  The secondary effects are already damaging Turkey, which decided to sit back and watch the Kurdish city on their border go down, after deploying some units to keep Kurdish refugees at bay.  Kurds in Turkey are rioting in response; the long Kurdish insurrection that only ended a few years ago might be about to flare up again. 

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I'm starting to think maybe Obama was wrong about the Islamic State not being Islamic

Oct 8, 2014 11:13 AM PT

The Nameless Non-War spills out from the hazy borders of Syria and Iraq into Germany, where Kurds and Islamists had to be separated with water cannon, as reported by Reuters:

German police used water cannon to stop clashes between hundreds of Kurds and radical Islamists in Hamburg overnight, and 14 people were injured and another 22 arrested, authorities said on Wednesday.

Around 400 Kurds had gathered by a Hamburg mosque, which they believed to be used by radicals, to protest against Islamic State insurgent attacks on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. A rival group of 400 hardline Islamist Salafists then formed. Police said they confiscated numerous knives and batons.

Earlier on Tuesday 500 Kurds had protested in central Hamburg, with a group of about 50 briefly blocking rail tracks at Hamburg station.

In the northern German town of Celle, Kurdish demonstrators clashed with an Islamist Chechen group, leaving five people and four police officers injured.

Germany is home to one of Europe's largest Kurdish diasporas. Salafists make up only a tiny proportion of Germany's Muslim population of 4 million but German intelligence says their numbers grew to 5,500 in 2013 from 4,500 the year before.

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An Update On Those 'Moderate' Syrian Rebels The U.S. Is Arming

Oct 7, 2014 9:25 AM PT

Even though it's been known for over a year that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is infested with "Muslim Brotherhood types" and al Qaeda fighters, Congress voted last month to let the United States arm and train them.

Via Andrew McCarthy at NRO, a report from Caleb Weiss of the Long War Journal, reveals how the FSA continues to ally with al-Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria to topple the Assad Regime.

The Free Syrian Army has recently allied with Islamist rebels fighting in al Harah, a town in the southern Syrian province of Deraa. Elements from the Free Syrian Army coordinated their efforts with the Islamist Syrian Revolutionaries Front, the Islamic Front, and the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, to take the al Harah Hill and the surrounding town.

The Free Syrian Army utilized several BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles during the fighting, which the United States supplied to "vetted groups" in April.

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Ted Cruz lays out the case for bringing the Nameless Non-War before Congress

Oct 6, 2014 9:16 AM PT

Hey, did you know President Obama's already-debatable authority to unilaterally bomb Iraq and Syria runs out today?  Is the War Powers Act still "the settled law of the land," to borrow a phrase?  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) lays out the case for bringing the Nameless Non-War before Congress for a vote, over at National Review.  

Cruz lists seven concerns, the first of which is that the Non-War against the Non-Islamic Islamic State doesn't even have a name... while President Obama's dispatch of 3,000 U.S. troops to fight Ebola in West Africa does.  (It's called Operation United Assistance, if you're curious.)  "By deliberately not naming this mission, the President is creating confusion and incoherence," Cruz alleges.  That's a feature, not a bug.

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The ISIS Ladies' Auxiliary is still recruiting

Oct 6, 2014 8:47 AM PT

The bizarre, and disturbing, saga of young women raised in the Western world fleeing into the arms of ISIS continues, as the Washington Free Beacon chronicles:

The British government reported that more than 50 young girls have fled to Syria to fight with or marry fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

Families of these girls were left shocked and confused by their fleeing daughters, and are desperately working to return them home.

CBS This Morning profiled 15-year-old Yusra Usain, who fled her home in a Somali community of western England to fight with ISIL.

“Yusra, we are missing you,” her mother said in a video. “If you’re watching this, please contact us. You’re not in any trouble and we’re not angry with you. We just want you home.”

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14 Pictures of Lenin Statues in Ukraine After They Were Toppled by Protesters

Oct 3, 2014 3:30 PM PT

More than 200 statues of Lenin have been pulled down in Ukraine this year by protesters seeking to symbolically reject Russian influence in the country.

Using a site called Leninopad (traslation: Leninfall), protesters upload before and after pictures of the monuments they tear down. According to a count made by the Washington Post, more than 200 statues have fallen so far this year. Below are some of the best photos of fallen statues of Lenin./p>

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