Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan. On July 29, in Tajikistan, five ISIS members deliberately plowed their car into the American couple and their two temporary cycling companions, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands.
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, a young American couple, both graduates of Georgetown University, who decided to quit their humdrum office jobs and go on an epic bike ride and camping trip that would take them all over the world. …
Austin, a vegan who worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Geoghegan, a vegetarian who worked in a college admissions office, were both 29 years old â€“ old enough, one would think, to have some idea of just how dangerous a route they had mapped out. …
Both Austin and Geoghegan were seasoned travelers, who had separately gone on backpacking adventures in exotic lands and, together, had recently biked across Iceland as a sort of prelude to their odyssey through Africa, Europe, and Asia. …
[T]o read Austin’s blog is to see no hint of hesitation, on the part of either of them, to keep on cycling â€“ no sign of fear that their luck might run out at any moment. Their naivete is nothing less than breathtaking. â€œYou watch the news and you read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,â€ wrote Austin during their trek. â€œPeople, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted….I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own.â€ This rosy view of humanity suffuses Austin’s blog. …
Austin’s blog also provides a window on his (and presumably her) hippie-dippy worldview and ultra-PC politics. Elephants, writes Austin, â€œmay very well be a smarter, wiser, more thoughtful being than homo sapiens sapiens.â€ When white South Africans tell them â€œthat the nation and its redistributionist government are making poor, ignorant choices,â€ Austin sneers at their â€œEurocentric valuesâ€ and their failure to realize that â€œ[n]otions like private propertyâ€ are culturally relative. This is apparently a comment on the South African government’s current expropriation of white farmers’ land without compensation. …
Austin also sneers at Thanksgiving, â€œa strange tradition built upon a glossy, guiltless retelling of a genocide, in which we show our appreciation for what we have by killing a quarter-billion turkeys, eating to the point of discomfort, queueing up outside shopping malls to buy electronics at reduced rates, and otherwise yearning for that which we do not have.â€ When President Trump announces his plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Austin and Geoghegan are in Morocco, where the people are outraged. Yes, because they hate Jews. But Austin’s response is to be so ashamed of his American identity that he tries â€œto disappear into the soft plushâ€ of a couch cushion. …
The [August 7] Times article about Austin and Geoghegan drew hundreds of reader comments. A surprising number were by other people who’d bicycled or backpacked in far-off, dangerous places. Most saw Austin and Geoghegan as â€œheroic,â€ â€œauthentic,â€ â€œidealistic,â€ â€œinspiring,â€ â€œa Beautiful example of Purity and Light.â€ Sample reactions: â€œTheir candle burned brightly before it was extinguished.â€ And: â€œGood for them! They followed their dream.â€ Then there’s this: â€œI only see the beauty of two people taking steps to live the life they envision….The good experienced in their journey far far outweighs any negative.â€ Easy to say when you’re not the one in the body bag. â€œWhat is more dangerous,â€ asked yet another reader, â€œexposing yourself to the world and its dangers, and living a full vivid life, or insulating yourself in a safe box, in front of screens, where the world and its marvels and dangers cannot touch you? Jay and Lauren understood that safety is its own danger. They are awesome people.â€ No, they’re mangled, decaying corpses. â€œSafe boxesâ€? That’s what they’re both in now: boxes.
The Danish government has been inadvertently paying benefits to citizens fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, Danish officials said Tuesday, as outrage grows that militants are manipulating the countryâ€™s generous welfare system.
About 145 Danes have traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight for militant groups since 2012, according to the Danish security and intelligence services.
Officials said this week that they had identified a number of Danish citizens who, while receiving government disability pensions, had traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
â€œIt is a huge scandal that we are paying out money from the welfare funds in Denmark to people who are going to Syria and elsewhere in the world to undermine democracy that we have been fighting for for hundreds of years,â€ the countryâ€™s minister of labor, Troels Lund Poulsen, said.
Last year, the news media reported that more than two dozen Danish citizens receiving unemployment benefits had traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS, even though the law requires recipients to live in Denmark.
(rough translation by someone who never studied Spanish in school:)
It is logical that this happens. It makes perfect sense that Islamic State terrorists kill the good Christians and not the evil that confronts them. I have tried to explain to Europeans and Yankees the best I can for 35 years without success because what I say is counterintuitive, and this is what I have been expressing in this forum since the beginning of Facebook. Just that the first to be liquidated by the jihadists will be those who want to be their friends or that send them messages asking to live in peace. Why does this happen? You have to understand the mentality of these people. For them every gesture of restraint is a sign of debility and if you transmit weakness that means that you will allow them to kill you, that you will not defend yourself, that you’re a very easy target. The second thing they recognize is that you do not believe in your own religion either, because alien evil could not propagate or organize in your midst, if there was opposition to them or to their wild preachings. On Facebook, since the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011, there have been a collection of examples of instances in which the target was the good Westerner approaching the Arabs to provide them with “social aid,” trying to redeem them from what from Europeans or Americans considered to a be a “lower evolutionary state.” Thus they are naturally indignant and kidnap, violate and kill the young leftists going to the Middle East seeking peace and friendship with the Arabs, including these irresponsible girls with a completely anti-Jewish message, part of the Anti-Israel Movement. Such gestures to the Arabs did not work. They ended up as sex slaves and were then killed. Remember that the Arabs do not like to be treated as if they were American Indians in the times of the Jesuit missions. They do not need any Westerner to put them to work, to order their lives, and to tell them what it is they have to do. Any French or German during this European Civil War who shows himself to be a friend of Muslims, he is a candidate for the morgue. The prospects of surviving and conquering are open and complete for the Islamic enemy. Once again, note that Islamic State hardly ever operates against Israel, having found that at the moment it is lacking an operational capacity to overcome her. Let everyone draw his own conclusions. The warnings were duly presented.
Michael Curtis, at American Thinker, explains that ISIS has adopted a classic Western military doctrine invented by the German military during the Napoleonic wars and fundamental to the philosophy of the US Marine Corps.
[A] February 2016 article in the French edition of the ISIS online propaganda magazine, Dar al-Islam, has explained its campaign to wage war against the West.
In a surprising revelation, ISIS’s article rediscovers the basis of German maneuver warfare. It says it is copying the 19th-century tactics of Auftragstaktik, a combat doctrine of the German army similar to Mission Command in the U.S. and U.K. That doctrine was adopted as a response by Germany after its military defeats by Napoleon.
The article cites a 1908 German infantry manual asserting that there is nothing more important in tactics than educating a soldier to think for himself. Though a little un-Germanic, it asserts that a soldier’s autonomy and sense of honor push him to do his duty even when it is not in front of his superiors.
The ISIS article explains that the terrorists plan three types of attacks. These include large-scale plots coordinated by the leaders, though these now seem a lesser priority. More important is a warning to the West that the attacks also include isolated actions of individuals who have no direct contact with ISIS but act in its name. This means that followers of ISIS will carry out terrorists attacks without them being traced to the central chain of command.
The concept of Auftragstaktik means a method by which leaders give subordinates a mission, a target, and a time frame by which it should be accomplished and allow those subordinates to carry out their tasks independently. This implies allowing the subordinates complete tactical autonomy and flexibility at the operational level. The leadership is not informed of tactical details of the “lone wolf” operators. The perpetrator adapts tactics to the local situation in flexible fashion.
The concept also means that the subordinates understand the orders, are given general guidance, and are trained to act independently. This means decentralized warfare, terror by autonomy, while following centralized orders.
Which attacks, you know, really, are what we used to call An Act of War.
Personally, I think the Belgian Army, all by itself, would be quite adequate to march through all the territories controlled by ISIS, shoot all armed opposition, and generally do to that portion of the Fertile Crescent what Sherman did for a 50 mile-wide stretch of territory between Atlanta and Savannah. But Belgium is, after all, part of NATO, and the NATO Treaty says that attack on one NATO member state is an attack on all of them. So all of NATO ought to declare war, today, and start assembling Operation Sherman, the military expedition intended to make large portions of Northern Syria and Western Iraq howl.
And from now on, somewhere in [Libya] is a man with a precision rifle and the high degree of intelligence and training that is required to use it. It may be days, months or even years, but this time he clearly knows his purpose and, unflinching, faces his destiny.
WASHINGTON, D.C. â€“ Senior U.S. officials are literally calling â€œfowlâ€ after the Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by President Obama publicly defected to the Middle Eastern terrorist group ISIS.
Popcorn the Turkey, now calling himself Babakurn al-Turki, was pardoned from the dinner table only yesterday by President Obama in a public ceremony at the White House. Normally the pardoned bird is sent along with its competitor to live out its remaining days at Morven Parkâ€™s Turkey Hill in Leesburg, Virginia.
However, U.S. officials have now admitted that al-Turki instead hijacked an Osprey out of Andrews Air Force Base in nearby Maryland and flew like a bat out of hell to Syria.
A group of senior intelligence officials and ornithologists with birds-eye surveillance of the war-torn country have suggested he is nesting in Raqqah or across the northern border in another neighboring country.
Al-Turki, who was originally raised as an animist before converting to Islam, has already appeared in several propaganda clips and tweets for ISIS, gobbling anti-American rhetoric and leaving furious American officials grousing.
Syrian rebels blow up Russian rescue helicopter with TOW missile.
The ecstatic ululations of “Allahu Akbar!” make my blood boil, and here we find ourselves, allied with Turkey which just shot down a Russian fighter in defense of Islamist insurgents.
But, as Walter Russell Mead points out, if we don’t stand by Turkey, who ever is going to believe we will stand by the Baltic States or Poland and the rest of Central Europe or do anything meaningful to stop Russia swallowing Ukraine?
The rapid deterioration of global order took an ugly turn this morning and we all moved a little closer to the abyss: Two Turkish F-16s have shot down what appears to be a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian border. Two Russian pilots parachuted out of the plane as it went down in flames. One pilot was captured by Turkmen fighters in Latakia province, with early reports indicating the second pilot did not survive the ordeal. Turkey is claiming the bomber was warned ten times about being in Turkish airspace before it was shot down. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has called for a special consultation with Turkeyâ€™s NATO allies.
The facts of the case arenâ€™t clear as I write. The Kremlin is calling it a â€œvery serious incidentâ€ but said it was still studying the specifics. Russiaâ€™s initial spin appeared to be that the plane was brought down by fire from the ground, but that story is not likely to hold for long given that Turkey is insisting it did the shooting. The plane was â€œexclusively over Syrian territory throughout its entire flightâ€, Russiaâ€™s foreign ministry maintained. â€œThis is recorded by objective controls.â€ Turkey, however, has released a radar trace of the incident purporting to show that the plane had crossed into Turkish airspace over the province of Hatay.
Russia has been flying missions over Latakia province since it began combat operation in Syria at the very end of September, and has by some accounts upped their intensity since Russia fingered ISIS as the party responsible for the downing of its civilian airliner over the Sinai. ISIS is not known to be operating in Latakia, however, and just yesterday, Prime Minister Davutoglu had said that Turkey would â€œnot hesitateâ€ to act on Syrian soil to protect the Turkmen people. (The Syrian Turkmen minority is one of many groups scattered between China and Bulgaria who speak a Turkic language and share cultural and historical roots with the Turks of Turkey.)
Regardless of the facts of this case, the root cause of the problem is continued aggressive Russian activity in and around Turkish airspace. That aggression was bound to cause problems at some point. Whether Russia or Turkey is more to blame with respect to this particular situation, overall there is no doubt that Russia is the country that bears the political responsibility for the incident.
Itâ€™s now critical that Russia not be allowed to intimidate or pressure Turkey over the episode. That means NATO support. Turkey, unlike Georgia and Ukraine, is a full-fledged NATO member, and failing to stand behind it threatens to unravel the alliance. Putinâ€™s number one goal, we must remember, is to break NATOâ€”or at minimum to show that it is a paper tiger.
Ankara— Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known by the MÄ°T acronym, has drawn a lot of attention and criticism for his controversial comments about ISIS.
Mr. Hakan Fidan, Turkish President’s staunchest ally, condemned Russian military intervention in Syria, accusing Moscow of trying to ‘smother’ Syria’s Islamist revolution and serious breach of United Nations law.
A more cheerful perspective comes from an anonymous Facebook friend who is apparently some sort of US spook, and who is very hostile personally to Russian intervention in Syria:
Never forget that Turkey’s army is 3X larger than Russia’s, is better trained and equipped, has far better air support, and that they have access to 60 nuclear weapons held for them in a U.S. bunker at Incirlik.
And then there’s this: Turkey is a member of NATO, has been forever, and has as much right to invoke Article 5 as do Germany, France, UK or the US.
Putin was warned, explicitly, by dozens of us that the risks of a shoot down like yesterday’s were “very high” when he put his foot in the shitpile. He didn’t listen.