New Video Message From Hostage John Cantlie

Here's the latest video message from ISIS hostage John Cantlie. Watch now, because You Tube keeps taking it down. He quotes a lot of U.S. officials and argues Obama was caught off guard and the air strikes won't succeed.

He says Iran is running Iraq, and the appointment of "a new puppet" in Iraq is an important piece of the puzzle of America's Gulf War III.

He points out the pre-911 Afghans are already back in control of large parts of Afhanistan. He says not since Vietnam, have we witnessed such a potential mess in the making. [More...]

He says that current estimates of 15,000 troops to fight ISIS are laughably low. He ends with a quote from Michael Sherer that the Islamic jihadists have been fighting since 1979 and they have never been stronger than they are today.

Cantlie is animated and quite a good speaker. While he's clearly reading from a teleprompter, he is very comfortable with the script and he modulates his voice for emphasis at certain points. He's up to date on the latest details of the coalition countries. I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote the script himself. The language is very Western, with none of the flowery words the English speaking ISIS folks use. There's no reference to religion or Allah.

Does he have Stockholm syndrome? Does he believe ISIS might let him live if he plays his part well, or might increase the abuse if he doesn't? Or does he genuinely believe what he's saying? Since he makes some good points (or at least ones I agree with, particularly about the futility of the war against ISIS) I think it's possible he does believe what he's saying.

He makes an issue of how Obama and U.S. intelligence officials were caught so off guard by the rapidity of ISIS' advance, they were left stumbling for a response. But Obama put al Baghdadi on the State Department's capture or kill list in August, 2013.

The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information that helps authorities kill or capture Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This reward is second only to information leading to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of Al Qaeda’s network, and symbolizes our ongoing commitment to helping our partners in the region eliminate this threat from their territory.

In this regard, the United States is prepared to work closely with the Iraqi Government to confront the threat posed by Al Qaeda in Iraq and other terrorist groups. We look forward to discussing bilateral cooperation in this and other areas, pursuant to the Strategic Framework Agreement between our two countries...

Obama recognized the threat of ISIS, even after its change of name from al Qaida in Iraq to ISIS and after it moved from Iraq to Syria:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu D'ua, is now based in Syria and has changed the name of AQI to the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). He has taken personal credit for a series of terrorist attacks in Iraq since 2011, and most recently claimed credit for the operations against the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, the suicide bombing assault on the Ministry of Justice, among other attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi citizens going about their daily lives.

(One would assume garden-variety terrorists are put on a terror watch list, not a "capture of kill" list, and that the "capture or kill" list is used for high level terror leaders who the government views as a significant, ongoing threat to America. If not, the capture and kill list is unconscionable, with no redeeming value.)

So while it's possible that Cantlie is right that Obama and U.S. intelligence didn't recognize the speed with which ISIS would take over such a large amount of physical territory, gain followers and capture U.S. equipment, Obama clearly realized ISIS was a threat. And he was determined to assist Iraq rather than putting us into another war. I wish he kept that position, because this war is going to be a disaster for us.

American and European moral outrage at ISIS beheadings (which I share) was not a reason to go to war. It's also bad strategy, because by putting all our military might in the ISIS basket, we are just giving al Qaida central and its allied factions, who truly hate America and want to destroy us, room to grow.

We should have stayed out of ISIS' path, and kept our watchful eye on Al Qaida. It will soon have the strength to return, whether we destroy ISIS or not. Sometimes you need to see the forest through the trees.

Good luck to John Cantlie. I certainly don't blame him for doing whatever he thinks best to stay alive.Maybe our new besties, the moderate rebels, will free him. I suspect instead we'll soon see the black-clad executioner, following through on ISIS' threat to kill Alan Henning, and that Cantlie will meet a similar fate as soon as he's outlived his usefulness to ISIS. After today's airstrikes, I won't be surprised if the Henning video airs tomorrow. There were reports from anti-ISIS activists in Raqqa this weekend that ISIS had taken a hostage to the desert. They saw the caravan of cars and trucks, just not who was inside or whether he was actually killed.

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  • Display: Sort:
    oy, first of all... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:44:52 AM EST
    ...he would have ZERO way of being able to verify ISIS troop strength. Come on, this is getting silly. He is a hostage. He is saying everything he is saying while thinking he might get his head sawed off while he's alive. And if he were REALLY speaking truth, he'd be criticizing his captors too. But we know he can't do that. Yes, mistakes of monumental proportion are being made -- by those on ALL sides, ours and the side of the psychopaths who make our psychos seem like pikers. ISIS are essentially cannibals. Figure it out.

    Look, we all know what's coming. A nuke or bio weapon, or something that kills tens of thousands, will be unleashed in "the west," because ISIS and their ilk are both stupid and nihilist. The result, IMO, probably in my lifetime, will be the vaporizing of almost the entirety of the middle east, with the assent of all major military powers. Hate to say it, but humanity has already made its bed, and we are a from all rational appearances a dead proposition, it's simply a matter of how long it takes for us to destroy ourselves and our species.

    I agree with you that (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 11:14:00 AM EST
    This is only a video of a poor man under the worst duress.  I disagree though Dadler that anyone is going to vaporize the ME.  Even if anyone was able to get a dirty bomb through to somewhere.  We would be at war hunting down the perps, but that does not involve nuking the ME Dadler.  

    I should emphasize that WE are stupid, too (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:47:11 AM EST
    Make no mistake. But the theocratic nihilism of ISIS and AQ make their stupidity, their willful retarding of their own minds, much more pitiful and dangerous.

    Of the two (none / 0) (#4)
    by lentinel on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 05:15:41 PM EST
    dummies here, I suspect we are the dumber because we have allowed ourselves to be dragged into this conflict.

    We had those 700 military bases (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by jondee on Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 11:26:24 AM EST
    scattered around the world long before this current round of violent instability began. Those bases aren't there to help people plant crops and mend fishing nets.

    Of course we were and are going to be "dragged in". Over and over and over again.

    The U.S's traditional, heavy-handed style of conducting foreign policy is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy.


    interesting (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 08:12:26 PM EST
    There were reports from anti-ISIS activists in Raqqa this weekend that ISIS had taken a hostage to the desert. They saw the caravan of cars and trucks, just not who was inside or whether he was actually killed.

    You would think that with the surveillance capabilities available to us an ant could not move there without being seen.  Let alone a caravan going into the desert.  Not doubting it happened just wondering if it was seen and if not why not.

    Well, the CIA lost track of the (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 08:36:11 PM EST
    Afghanis they were training in the U.S.

    Interesting article... (none / 0) (#7)
    by unitron on Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 09:05:29 AM EST