Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday 21 September 2014

David Singer On Why Obama's Plans To Destroy The Islamic State Seem Doomed To Failure

Here, entitled "Syria Hysteria Dooms Obama’s Plan To Destroy ISIL", is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

President Obama’s failed policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt and the West Bank do not bode well for the success of the President’s current plans to end the threat to world peace posed by the meteoric rise of both the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF). That threat was articulated by UN Security Council Resolution 2701 – passed on 15 August – which expressed:
“its gravest concern that territory in parts of Iraq and Syria is under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF)“
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council strongly condemned:
“the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, numerous atrocities, mass executions and extrajudicial killings, including of soldiers, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks on schools and hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and obstructing the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education, especially in the Syrian governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo and Idlib, in northern Iraq, especially in Tamim, Salaheddine and Niniveh Provinces;”
America has subsequently acted as though Resolution 2701 had never been passed. In his speech to the American nation on 11 September Obama declared:
'Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.'
The President is wrong on both counts.

First, ISIL is Islamic – as its formal Declaration of Statehood on 29 June 2014 proclaims – and this analysis asserts:
“The Islamic State is not only a terrorist group. It is an extremist, Islamist, political and military organization that holds a radical interpretation of Islam as a political philosophy and seeks to impose that worldview by force on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Expelled from al-Qaeda for being too extreme, the Islamic State claims to be the legitimate ruler of all Sunni Muslims worldwide. They have established what they regard as a state which includes large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, governed from Raqqa in Syria.
It advances a number of theological opinions to support its claims. Its adherents hold that they are merely practising Islam fully, pronouncing those who disagree with them takfir (heretics).
This designation is used as religious justification for killing the Islamic State's opponents”
 Secondly, ISIL is a State – meeting the legal requirements of Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”
Obama’s claim that ISIL is recognized by no other government is irrelevant – as Article 3 of the Montevideo Convention makes indisputably clear:
“The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states."
Obama’s false assumptions are a recipe for policy failure – as the goals enunciated by Obama in the same address clearly demonstrated:
“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.” 
Destroying the UN-condemned Al Nusrah Front did not rate a mention. A lukewarm response from 57 Islamic States to help defeat ISIL’s declared world threat to peace was not factored into Obama’s thinking.

Four days later an international conference held in Paris made it clear that Syria was not even part of the battleground where ISIL was to be confronted, degraded and destroyed.

Mouram Daoud – a member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria – an internal opposition coalition – opined that ISIL cannot be defeated militarily without Syria and Turkey’s backing:
“The US administration should first pressure the Turkish partner to stop the flow of jihadists through its airports and stop buying oil from IS. According to [United Nations] Resolution 2170, the US will not be able to strike IS sites in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government, which is eagerly awaiting this type of cooperation to restore its international legitimacy. 
 But the US will not include the Syrian government in this war, and will not recognize the government either. This means that the US will stick to its decision to only provide weapons to the Syrian [rebel] factions.”
 Obama’s mantra  – first delivered in August 2011 – remains unchanged:
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
 Not even 200,000 deaths and the creation of millions of Syrian civilian refugees since 2011 have produced any momentum for rapprochement between Obama and Assad that would enable Assad to extend  – and Obama to accept – any invitation to confront ISIL in occupied Syria.

Any expectation that Assad and his backers – Russia, Iran and Hezbollah – will help Obama by destroying ISIL in Syria  – is a pipe dream.

Syria hysteria seems destined to entrap Obama in yet another political quagmire.


  1. Again though, everyone gets this wrong. Obama is driven by one and only one thing - domestic politics shaped by domestic media. Period. All that he does and says is to benefit he and his party HERE. It could be ISIS or Iran or the price tomatoes in Mexico. It doesn't matter what 'it' is. Because those are meaningless things Obama uses to kick the US media around so that it helps Obama. And given all of that, he still has a 38% approval rating. Even with an endless trail of monumental failures he still carries 2 out of 5 Americans. But don't be mislead. Obama won't do thing one about this just as he does nothing about anything everywhere. Those things simply do not matter in and of themselves. And in a week or two the newscycle will exhaust itself prattling on what Obama ''might" or 'should" do and we move on to the next fake calamity.

  2. I don't think Obama has any intention of defeating ISIL. Everything he does is so wrong-headed and ineffective that it will achieve the opposite of his stated aims.

    One lesson I have learned in life is this:
    "When the consequences of incompetence become indistinguishable from the consequences of malice, it is wiser and safer to assume malice."

    Or as one very famous Jew said, "By their fruits you shall know them."

    Some people are eyeing a prophetic interpretation of Psalm 83 as the near future.I have wondered if ISIL could provide the core of a terrorist conspiracy against Israel. If I am right then a major war is uncomfortably close and Obama has done everything to promote it happening.

    1. Thanks, Ian. btw, I thought of you when reading the letters page of an Aussie Sunday newspaper and saw a letter from an English and history teacher deploring the dropping of traditional RE lessons from the curriculum - she argues that knowledge of the Bible is vital to the understanding of so much of culture and philosophy and that children are all the poorer in their knowledge for the end of RE lessons.

    2. I can only agree. For clarification to other readers, it is traditional RE that has been dropped. In it's place is an all-faith mish-mash that is unfair to all faiths. It lacks intellectual integrity and any academic rigour. It is one of the reasons I left teaching, as it had ceased to be the subject I was teaching when I started. For the benefit of your Jewish readers, traditional RE always included a good portion of the Old Testament/Tenach. The New Testament is misinterpreted without that knowledge. The loss of the OT background means that claims which would once have been dismissed as nonsensical are now believed e.g.Jesus was a Palestinian, Israel has no claim to the Land and so on. The loss of the moral Law results in an increasingly dysfunctional society. Finally, Antisemitism can raise its ugly head as Israel's contribution to Western civilisation has been air-brushed out.

      Melanie Phillips is one Jew, not the only one, who understands this. In this day and age Jew and Christian must stand together. Those Christians who oppose Israel do themselves no favours.

  3. Obama has now apparently seen the light in deciding to attack ISIL in Syria. Wonder if he read my article?

    Another article by me to discuss Obama's change of mind will follow in a few days. Any thoughts you may have for material to be included will be carefully considered.


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