Terror group ISIS has been bulldozing and destroying the ancient biblical city of Nimrud, Iraqi officials have said. The U.N. and the international community at large have condemned the "war crime," which Iraq has said is aimed at erasing the country's history.
BBC News reported that on Thursday ISIS began the destruction of the ancient Assyrian site, founded in the 13th Century BC.
"In a new crime in their series of reckless offenses they assaulted the ancient city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy machinery, appropriating archaeological attractions dating back 13 centuries BC," the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO said. more >>
Iran is the gravest danger to the U.S. and the world. Not ISIS. Not Boko Haram. Not Kony. Not Al Shabab. Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress helped refocus the distracted Obama administration's attention on this rising threat. It did not force them, unfortunately, to reconsider their ill-advised course. But at least it made President Obama and Secretary Kerry respond to the case made by Netanyahu before the American people and the world.
Our attention has been distracted of late by the medieval horrors of ISIS (Islamist Savagery Inspired by Satan). They have beheaded and burned and crucified innocents in their drive to rivet the attention of the world to their barbarism and menace. Of course, ISIS must be dealt with. more >>
The Obama administration has assured the world that a nuclear-armed Iran is not an acceptable outcome of ongoing negotiations. The President stated in 2012 that "preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon isn't just in the interest of Israel, it is profoundly in the security interests of the United States." No doubt the rest of the civilized world agrees. Russia, China and North Korea are among the very few nations who support the Iranian regime achieving its long-standing ambition of fielding nuclear warheads.
Nuclear weapons in the hands of a fanatical group of Shia "Twelvers" present an existential threat to the world that has never been seen in history. President Obama and his senior diplomat and negotiator, John Kerry, seem to have decided to allow Iran to continue enriching uranium and developing warheads. The proof is that, at the end of 2013, Iran had enough enriched uranium for seven warheads. A year later (Dec 2014) they now have enough for eight. By any measure, this does not reflect progress for the US and its allies in these negotiations.
Nukes, Not Electricity more >>
The Jewish Festival of Purim, celebrated this year on March 5th, "commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia (modern day Iran) from Haman's plot 'to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.'" Instead, Queen Esther, a Jewess, stepped forward and bravely saved her people.
Tuesday on Capitol Hill, we heard about another grave threat to the Jewish people. As I sat in the House Chamber and listened to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I heard a leader who respectfully but urgently conveyed a single, compelling message, the same message Esther gave to the Persian King Ahasuerus: the Jewish people are under threat, and need immediate help.
This was not, contrary to some press reports, a partisan event. Seated in front of me were former Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman and former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. These men are divided over many things, but united in their understanding that the American-Israel alliance must never be compromised. more >>
A recent report reveals that the "grave humanitarian crisis" in Gaza is even worse now than it was during the Israel-Hamas war last summer. With an international embargo hampering reconstruction efforts, close to 1.8 million people are living among the destroyed buildings in the region, and facing a 70 percent unemployment rate.
"One of the most difficult parts of our trip was seeing how much people have lost hope," said Sami El-Yousef, Catholic Near East Welfare Association's regional director for Palestine and Israel. "They really could not see any bright spot at the end of the tunnel; the tunnel does not even exist for them."
El-Yousef added that the atmosphere among the locals is one of anger. more >>
Late last week The New York Times ran an essay by a Marine infantry officer, Timothy Kudo, based on Mr. Kudo's experience giving orders to kill men in Afghanistan. He didn't pull the trigger, but he gave the orders — often viewing the action on grainy screens. His essay is thoughtful, though it doesn't square with either my own reflections or the reflections of others I know that made similar decisions in similar circumstances.
I salute him for his service, and I'm not here to judge how he processed the kill orders he gave.
There is, however, one segment of his piece that I think demonstrates that anguish and self-doubt are at least a partial product of our military's failure to educate and motivate. We shy from describing the enemy's true moral nature and ascribe responsibility to our own soldiers for innocent deaths that are truly the enemy's fault. Read these two paragraphs: more >>