ISIS: Frogmarch, Killings and Beheadings of Soldiers

Yesterday, ISIS posted photos of captured Syrian soldiers being forced to march across the desert in their underwear, presumably to their deaths. A video (non-violent) is here. Today Reuters reports ISIS released another video showing they were all killed.

Also today, ISIS issued another "blood message" to the U.S. warning it about helping the Kurds. In the video, now gone from You Tube but available elswhere (no links please) it shows a bunch of captured Kurdish soldiers in orange jumpsuits (likely to mimic Guantanamo.) One soldier is then beheaded on camera, while a warning to the U.S. is made about helping the Kurds. This took place in Mosul, in front of the Rahman Mosque.

ISIS also posted a video of it beheading a Lebanese soldier.

CENTCOM announces today it has struck a tank, a humvee, 4 armed vehicles, a construction vehicle and damaged a checkpoint.

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    They are remarkably stupid (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by toggle on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 04:38:26 PM EST
    Has there ever been an enemy of the United States that had as little public sympathy as ISIS?

    It's not like they don't have an angle they could work. Even after 9/11 people were saying bin Laden had some legitimate grievances. Certainly people said that about the Sunni insurgency during the occupation. But ISIS seems to be determined to fight everyone on every front. For a group that wants to be recognized as a state they seem to be going about it the wrong way.

    Good point (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 04:46:46 PM EST
    Possibly the Nazis.  But even them not until all the information about the camps came out.

    It's like Hitler was making movies of the camps to show in American theaters starting in 1941.


    Stupid (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:44:19 PM EST
    For a group so "stupid", as you make them out to be, they appear to have taken over half of Iraq and the eastern part of Syria with little opposition.

    Yes their weakness is that countries that normally are at odds with one another are becoming allies. So you sort of have a point.

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last
    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria

    Alexander Cockburn the Independent

    But, to call them stupid because America hates them sounds a lot like American exceptionalism. And considering what we have wreaked in the mid-east, calling them stupid because they have made us not like them sounds absurd.


    That's Patrick Cockburn, not Alexander (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 09:03:40 PM EST
    Sadly, Alexander Cockburn died a couple of years ago.

    Yes (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 10:14:38 PM EST
    I know... old habits die hard...  Patrick..

    They're Sunni (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jack203 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:50:43 PM EST
    And they took over Sunni populated lands.

    They didn't take Baghdad which many in the media (not here) were sounding the panic button over.  They won't take Shiite Baghdad.

    They didn't retake the Mosul Dam from the peshmerga as Jeralyn reported a couple days ago.  They won't.

    We are NOT playing into their hands by helping the peshmerga.  We are scaring them half to death by helping the peshmerga.   What are these bozos good at?  Driving around in columns of pickup trucks looking tough.  What is our military good at?  A lot.  And blowing up columns of pickup trucks is a piece of cake.  Remember the Highway of Death also in Iraq?  What is our military not exceptional at?  guerrilla warfare.  We should never ever again set ourselves up for a guerrilla war again.  The only Americans stupid enough to do that to us again are the neocons who are up for any war anytime in the Middle East no matter the costs or consequences.

    Don't worry about ISIS like the neocon news (drudgereport) wants Americans to be.  ISIS are the ones who are scared and are lashing out like the petulant children they are.

    Once ISIS lose the momentum they are toast.  They are in the process of losing the momentum right now. They will linger around in the Sunni populated lands of Iraq and Syria committing atrocities and generally acting like the psychos they are.  Eventually the civilians and rational Sunnis will tire of them and depose them.  


    Wow Pot Tarts (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 03:08:57 PM EST
    Nothing to it?

    We are scaring them half to death by helping the peshmerga.

    You may want to believe that but I believe your thinking is wishful at best.

    Patrick Cockburn of the Independent has been reporting on these groups for many years. I find his take more compelling than yours.

    One of the revelations of the last week has been that the Peshmerga ("those who confront death" in Kurdish) did not deserve their high reputation as a military force. This should not have been the surprise it was. One veteran expert on Kurdish affairs has long referred to the Peshmerga as the "pêche melba". Brave self-sacrificing guerrillas they may have been in the 1980s, but they have not fought anybody for over a decade. Even in 2003, the last time they heard a shot fired in anger, the Peshmerga advanced slowly, supported by a massive US air umbrella battering Saddam Hussein's demoralised army that was not shooting back.

    At Jafr al-Sakhar, a Sunni town 37 miles south-west of Baghdad, local men are joining Isis and are being paid between $400 and $500 a month, though payment may be irregular. Imad Farouq, a 22-year-old local man, told the online magazine Al-Monitor that "the main reason why some young people are attracted to Isis is because they are looking for jobs and it is easy to join it. Isis has opened the door for Sunnis in the area that stretches from southern Baghdad to the outskirts of Fallujah, by providing a good salary." If Isis takes over this area, it will encircle Baghdad on three sides.

    The Independent


    I've read some of your other posts (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jack203 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 03:20:57 PM EST
    And you think we're falling into ISIS hands by helping the peshmerga.

    We'll see.

    You're article was 15 days old.  The last 15 days haven't been good for ISIS.


    No (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 03:37:52 PM EST
    I do not think we are falling into ISIS hands. My point is that they are not to be underestimated, and I am not really sure what will stop them.

    Baghdad shia's and the army are certainly not up to the challenge of ISIS. Corruption and disorganization seems to be the theme of Shia controlled Iraq and IMO the Iraqi army will flee at the sight of ISIS, imo.

    Once they surround Baghdad, it will be crushed..

    And yes I know that the article is two weeks old. Meanwhile ISIS had taken over half of Syria.


    Questions (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jack203 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 03:49:59 PM EST

    When do you predict Baghdad will be "crushed"?
    I predict it won't be.

    Do you think

    1. We should help Baghdad?
    2. We should help the Kurds?

    And by the way, ISIS has not taken over "half of Syria" the last two weeks.

    Baghdad (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 04:25:54 PM EST
    I think that the Iraqi government is a mess. ISIS is far more determined, focused and equipped than the rag tag shia's. I think that they are a broken people at the moment and easily defeated.

    No I do not think that the US should defend Baghdad. That would mean another Iraq war, imo.

    Cockburn suggests funding the PKK which is listed as a terror group. We did it once before

    The only other military force which can resist Isis in Syria is the militia of the 2.5 million-strong Kurdish minority. Divided into three enclaves, the Syrian Kurds have been holding off Isis attacks for weeks. Surely we should be helping these doughty fighters whom Isis cannot crush?

    Unfortunately, we do not do so because they are the military arm of the PYD, the main authority among the Syrian Kurds. The PYD is the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which the US, EU and Nato label as "terrorists". This is a pity because the PKK has plenty of recent military experience and rushed to combat Isis with some success when the armed forces of the KRG fled.


    Some say we have been funding them in Iran, and elsewhere.. It may even be the group that Hillary was so adamant to fund when she was at State.

    And it does appear that ISIS has taken Tabqa.

    Syrian army troops are engaged in a fierce battle to hold Tabqa airbase in Raqqa province, the fall of which would open the way to Hama, Syria's fourth-largest city.

    Further north, Isis has captured crucial territory that brings it close to cutting rebel supply lines between Aleppo and the Turkish border. The caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June already covers the eastern third of Syria in addition to a quarter of Iraq. It stretches from Jalawla, a town 20 miles from Iran, which the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga are trying to recapture, to towns 30 miles north of Aleppo.

    My god (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 03:46:36 PM EST
    No questionable editing there.  These people are like postmodern extremists.  
    interesting cartoon at one of the sites posting the gore.  (No gore)

    Foley and others waterboarded (none / 0) (#4)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 05:11:20 PM EST
    by ISIS, says Washington Post article.

    "At least four hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including an American journalist who was recently executed by the group, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, according to people familiar with the treatment of the kidnapped Westerners."

    from the Hufpost: (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 08:28:42 PM EST
    Interestingly, while the Post has, like most mainstream outlets, typically been reluctant to call methods such as waterboarding "torture" when it was practiced by Americans, the paper had no apparent problem calling what ISIS did to Foley "torture."

    The Huffington post needs to learn (2.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 11:18:34 PM EST
    how to read. The Post said Foley and others had been waterboarded, not tortured. The only reference to torture was this quote:

    "A second person familiar with Foley's time in captivity confirmed that he was tortured, including by waterboarding."


    The Post cited several people who ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 06:25:06 AM EST
    ... classified waterboarding as torture, including President Obama and Sens. Feinstein and Whitehouse.  This would put them in the company of more than a hundred law professors, military judges, human rights organizations, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.  Oh yeah, ...

    ... and John McCain.


    Well, this could get interesting (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 09:37:50 AM EST
    From the NYTimes today:

    "Nearly a dozen Americans are known to have traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militant group that the Obama administration says poses the greatest threat to the United States since Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."


    "Boots, start walking."

    "Are known to have" (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 09:59:37 AM EST
    Being the operative phrase.  Hundreds of French and Brits and Danes also "known". Who presumably can all return any time they like.

    Well (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 10:08:17 AM EST
    Except for the ones who were dumb enough to have told authorities why they were going - hence, "known".

    I read that is actually happening.  Which is hopefully a good sign regarding the caliber of the recruits they are attracting.


    Two of them have been killed (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:48:40 AM EST
    In fighting in Syria

    They're watching them


    Yup, (none / 0) (#14)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 10:09:25 AM EST
    England's warning system went to "Severe" (attack imminent)this morning.

    Meanwhile (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 10:59:41 AM EST
    we waste energy, time, and resources "getting tough" with the Russians over their incursions in a country that was part of Russia for hundreds of years.

    And also being adversarial toward China, an "emerging super power" that was, in large part, built up by the out-sourcing, downsizing powers of the U.S investor class and international finance..

    All at a time a time when a well-organized, well-equipped, well-financed bunch of unhinged, blood-thirsty fanatics are destabilizing Iraq and Syria.  


    Getting tough won't (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:11:34 AM EST
    Change the fact they as as much a threat to them as us.  Perhaps more.

    That's what I've been getting at (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:15:11 AM EST
    as underhanded as they can be at times, at least the Russians and Chinese are pragmatic secularists
    and well-equipped to help nip this Islamist Manson Family in the bud.

    Yup (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:29:29 AM EST
    Anyone who thinks Putins invasion of Ukraine is accidentally timed has not been paying attention

    Yes (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:19:26 AM EST
    we waste energy, time, and resources "getting tough" with the Russians over their incursions in a country that was part of Russia for hundreds of years.

    Should we give California back to the Mexicans?

    Time to remap the Austrian Hungarian Empire?

    And what about Texas?

    New Orleans?

    Apart from the jokes...  the Russians did not let Jews from the Ukraine into Moscow or St Petersburg, and from the looks of the Russian Nationalist movement to set the boundaries back 100's of years, it looks like the Jews are fast becoming a target again.

    The movement, which you appear to be supporting is very similar to the movement in Germany in the 30's.

    Russian Nationalism is all about pure russian blood, and eliminating or managing the impure.


    I think you're oversimplifying the issue (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:30:37 AM EST
    somewhat, Ms Power. To put it mildly. There's a lot more going on there than the gross hyper-nationalist, neo-fascist caricature you're laying out.

    Similar to Germany in the thirties? Lets have some specific verifiable examples that justify that comparison.

    And, no joke, yes on Texas and yes on New Orleans.  


    Passports are Being Reviewed (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:49:23 AM EST
    For years since the break up of the Soviet Satellites, Russians with family in Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, etc..  had dual passports and did not have to spend $$$$ on getting visas.

    Now exit visas are starting, and they are asking questions about dual passports.

    A close friend of mine, who is Jewish and left Russia in the late 70's for US, just spent a couple of months in Russia, visiting friends and relatives. The Nationalist movement is clearly anti-semitic.

    It is about Purity.

    Hungary right now is almost exactly like Germany in the 30's. There was a movement that barley got defeated to make jews wear star of David.

    Gyongyosi, who leads Jobbik's foreign policy cabinet, told Parliament: "I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary," according to a video posted on Jobbik's website late on Monday.

    "I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary."


    And certainly Russian problems are many, but in the mix a virulent Right Wing Nationalist anti-semitic movement is spreading quickly.


    Great (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:01:36 PM EST
    just in time to make Jews feel less paranoid..

    This deeply ingrained delusion in the minds of some people having to do with ethnic "purity": what an absolute and utter crock and waste of energy. What the eff is wrong with people?

    You know that great, unimpeachable hero Churchill spent a good part of the twenties publicly obsessing about "Jewish-Bolshevik" conspiracies. They always leave that out when they do these Dickinsian dutch uncle portrayals of him. Don't get me started.


    Well (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:03:52 PM EST
    On the bright side, some of Putin's best friends are Jews..  of course they are also billionaires..  

    the billionaire (none / 0) (#27)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:04:54 PM EST
    thing tends to smooth things over

    Yeah, being a billionaire helps, (none / 0) (#37)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 06:58:06 PM EST
    but, Putin has also thrown some B-Boys in prison for indeterminate sentences. There are, also, other Jewish Billionaires that are on Putin's $hit list, but, because they have formed coalitions, and, banded together Putin has decided he doesn't need to take on that fight right now. But, the clock is ticking, and, their days are numbered.

    It's almost comedic that Putin is telling the Ukraine Jews that anti-Semitism is rising in Ukraine, and, he, Putin, being the Liberal, open minded, lover of all mankind, is the only force standing between the Jews, and a massive Ukrainian Pogrom.

    But, what is definitely not funny is that anti-Semitism is rising very rapidly in all of Europe. I just read a poll in the Times measuring anti-Semitism in each country and the results are just startling. Even France, 41% of their citizens blame the Jews for all the problems in the world. And, Germany, which for obvious reasons, has been very strict in trying to control anti-Semitism, has seen anti-Jewish, Nazi groups on the rise.

    Anti-Semitism, like racism, is always lurking just under the surface. And, it wouldn't take much for things to get much, much uglier.


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 04:02:49 PM EST
    The nationalistic anti-semitic  Putin "cure" for Russia's problems is co-mingled with the generation of an anti-modernity, anti-West sentiment (e.g.,anti-gay laws).  All aided and abetted by the Russian Orthodox Church.  Those billionaires should not get too complacent, and the Russian Orthodox Church needs to hit the history books to note that the Czar and the Patriarch were motoring in the same sedan when it went off the cliff in 1917.  

    Part of Russia for hundreds of years? (none / 0) (#28)
    by unitron on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 01:14:49 PM EST
    I got the impression it was more like "a chunk of land fought over at one time or another for hundreds of years by many countries, amongst which several times was Russia".

    Yea, the history of the Ukraine (none / 0) (#29)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:40:30 PM EST
    is complex.
    But perhaps you should ask the ethnic Ukrainians how they feel.
    And you might ask the Crimean Tatars how they feel about Russia's take-over of Crimea, as well, while you're at it.



    What percentage... (none / 0) (#38)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 03:31:27 AM EST
    ...would agree that the Ukraine was part of Russian for hundreds of years?

    I was referring to (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 04:41:27 PM EST
    The number of ethnic Ukrainians who would not be very happy about Russia invading, occupying, and taking over the Ukraine.
    Not how many, or what percentage of, Ukrainians were knowledgeable about the of the history of the Ukraine.

    What, (none / 0) (#41)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:40:17 AM EST
    in your opinion, is the difference between what Russia is doing in the Ukraine, and what the US is doing to "protect its interests" in Iraq?

    I'm not saying that there isn't a difference.
    But I can't figure out what it might be at the moment.


    I just hope that (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:30:59 PM EST
    much of the Ukraine does not become part of Russia again.
    I actually don't think that Putin will annex the whole of the Ukraine, or even the majority, into Russia, but he clearly wants a state that will more directly connect the Crimea to Russia.  And I also think that neither the Crimea nor whatever part of Eastern Ukraine that the Russians/Russian rebels manage to "liberate" will become an actual part of Russia, but they will be puppet states.  
    And I suppose we could argue that we are not trying to create a "puppet state" in Iraq, but are instead, as you said, "protecting our interests."
    I guess there's a difference technically, but not enough of a one, unfortunately.

    Things may be looking up (none / 0) (#43)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 11:32:39 PM EST
    Talks are now going on, with the Separatists forfeiting their goal of annexing Eastern Ukraine. They are willing to keep Ukraine "whole," but, designate the disputed Eastern portion as something like a State. It would remain totally Ukrainian, yet, have some liberalized laws recognizing some of the features the Rebels wanted.

    The offer seems to have Putin's blessings. I think it would be a pretty good compromise as it would avert war, while leaving the Ukraine whole.

    It seems like the sanctions have worked somewhat, with more promised being a bitter pill for Putin to swallow. Putin may be popular with the people but, it's the Oligarchs that matter in Russia. And, with them, it's the money, always the money. The present sanctions, together with the proposed sanctions, have caused a rift between Putin and the Billionaires, and, when it comes to power, it's just like in the U.S, the Billionaires always win.  


    See (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 10:14:57 AM EST
    Comment #12

    That's (none / 0) (#40)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:37:44 AM EST
    all David Cameron has.

    Frighten the hell out of the populace.

    Can the US be far behind?

    Nothing like the threat of an attack from a foreign country to frighten the citizenry and get them to accept suspension of all rights and the establishment of domestic tyranny.

    Of course, its different if the UK or the US kills its own people.

    More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country.

    How many are killed by lax controls on product safety?

    But, that's homegrown. Our government isn't too anxious to do anything about it. No "we must act!" to address the deaths of 30,000 Americans annually by firearms or corporate malfeasance.

    But a foreign threat serves a nice purpose:
    The consolidation of power by governments who have either no interest in the welfare of their people, or lack the intelligence or commitment to help the people in their own country. So, fearing that they might be thrown out at the next opportunity, they engage a foreign adversary, and everybody runs for the duct tape and plastic while the leaders breathe a sigh of relief that their positions are secure.


    Hard video to watch again (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 11:52:59 AM EST
    Fight them!  Just get one gun away from one of them....so sad