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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Getting a Proper Handle on the Islamic State

An article I recently did on 'Command Post,' the blog for RallyPoint, a social network for active duty, veterans, and supporters of our armed forces, on coming to grips with the Islamic State threat: 'Getting a handle on the Islamic State: To Know Your Enemy, You Must First Accurately Name Him.'

The U.S. Government was concerned about al-Qaeda before September 11, 2001. However, following that horrific event, that organization and its enigmatic leader was the focus of most of our efforts. We sent troops first into Afghanistan and subsequently the ill-fated foray into Iraq, and the main objective was to eliminate al-Qaeda.

Despite the killing of Osama bin Laden; al-Qaeda and its worldwide affiliates continue to be a security threat. However, in the past two years, they have been eclipsed by a force that unfortunately grew out of our operations in Iraq; the Islamic State. As it grew out of al-Qaeda’s franchise, the Islamic State originally was known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Meanwhile, Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi aligned his Jama-at al-Tawhidw’al-Jihad with al-Qaeda in response to the U.S. invasion in 2003. When Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike that same year, AQI was weakened and his successors rebranded the organization as al-Dawa al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham, or ISIS. The al-Sham in the title roughly corresponds to the Levant, which led some to call the organization the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. This rebranding reflected the broadening aims of the organization to create a new caliphate in the region, taking advantage of popular uprisings in Syria.  Read more . . .


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Check My Blogs over at Daily Kos


Daily Kos is a progressive site dedicated to progressive and liberal political blogging, a place where people who believe strongly in the freedom of expression can share their views with a broad audience. A few weeks ago, I was invited to submit my musings, and after considering it a few days, decided to do just that. You already know my political philosophy if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, so you won't be at all surprised at what you find in my diary over at Daily Kos. Go to here and check it out. Comment, and then come back here and tell everyone else what you think.

I go even farther afield at Tremr.com. See my Tremr page at https://www.tremr.com/charles-ray. And finally, there's a site in the UK dedicated to helping creative types spread the word about their art. I have a page on Niume that's beginning to generate buzz on both sides of the Atlantic. Check it out.

Okay, that's enough blatant self-promotion for now. Enjoy what you see, and tell your friends about it.