The U.S. Special Forces two attempts to rescue hostages held by Islamic State terrorists in Syria were thwarted on Thursday night.
American military operatives abandoned the mission to free a Jordanian fighter pilot held hostage by ISIS after heavy fire resulting in one helicopter coming down, according to the Daily Mail. Both coalition forces and militants clashed over the pilot who was taken captive by Islamist terrorist last week during a mission in Syria.
Early Friday morning, fighter jets heavily bombed the area surrounding the house where the pilot, Moaz Safi Yousef al-Kassasbeh, is reportedly being held, reported Turkey's Anadolou news service. Two U.S. military helicopters were intended to rescue to pilot, but heavy fire prevented the helicopters from safely entering the area. more >>
The Islamic State has released a new guide informing mothers within the caliphate how they should properly raise their babies to be fully prepared to fight in the Muslim extremist jihad.
The publication, called "Sister's Role in Jihad," surfaced online and is designed to encourage mothers to begin training their children at an infant age to take on a radical mindset in order for the kids to be prepared for battle when they reach the appropriate age to join ISIS' fighting ranks, the Daily Mail reports.
The publication, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute in a report they are conducting on the indoctrination of children, asserts that the most important job for women in the ISIS caliphate is indoctrinating their children into Muslim extremism "while they are babies." more >>
Earlier this week I began my response to James Fallows's Atlantic cover story, "The Tragedy of the American Military." His thesis is rather simple: The military — riding its astounding popularity — escapes "serious external scrutiny," and consequently the military not only suffers the consequences for its alleged lack of accountability (through bloat and inefficiency), it finds itself committed to war again and again by a public and political leadership increasingly divorced from the real consequences of combat. As Fallows puts it:
Too much complacency regarding our military, and too weak a tragic imagination about the consequences if the next engagement goes wrong, have been part of Americans' willingness to wade into conflict after conflict, blithely assuming we would win.
According to Fallows, Americans are "eager to go to war, so long as someone else is doing it." more >>
An Iraqi man who claims to be one of the 50,000 "ghost soldiers" on the Iraqi military's payroll, revealed over the weekend that corrupt superior officers within the Iraqi military are allowing soldiers, who have failed to report for duty, to stay on the military's payroll in exchange for a portion of their salary.
Thirty-eight-year-old Mazin, who works full time as a cab driver in Baghdad while collecting a monthly salary from the Iraqi army, said in an interview with NBC News that he made an agreement with an Iraqi superior officer in 2009 to give up half of his own monthly salary (about $950) to the superior officer in exchange for not having to report for duty anymore and still remaining on the payroll.
"The officer used to call me every month to receive my salary and give him his share," Mazin said. "He used to call me whenever we needed, for example, to renew our identification cards." more >>
Muslim attempts at "reformation" continue to be limited to words not actions. A few days ago, efforts to set a minimum age for marriage in Saudi Arabia "received a blow after the Grand Mufti said there was nothing wrong with girls below 15 getting married."
Two years earlier, the justice ministry began pushing for setting a minimum age in the Arabian kingdom. According to Gulf News, "It submitted an integrated study on the negative psychological and social effects of underage marriages to religious scholars and requested a fatwa that sets a minimum age."
However, the ulema—the "religious scholar," the learned ones of Islamic law—responded by totally ignoring the request. Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, its Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, shrugged the whole matter off by saying "There is currently no intention to discuss the issue." In other words, case closed. more >>
"Tragically, the growing scourge of man's exploitation by man gravely damages the life of communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by respect, justice and love," writes Pope Francis in his Jan. 1 World Day of Peace Message.
But as the message's title – "No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters" – indicates, the pope is reminding us of the Good News that Jesus has freed us from the slavery of personal sin and the structures of societal sin, and invites us to accept this divine freedom, to live it out in our lives, and to share it with all people.
However, instead of offering freedom and fraternity, the exploitation of countless human beings by many who hold power, "leads to contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression of their freedom and dignity," laments the pope. more >>