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President Obama Comments on ISIL Strikes Within Syria: VIDEO

Isis_obama

On Tuesday morning before flying to the United Nations to meet with world leaders including prime minister Abadi of Iraq, President Obama delivered a statement on the strikes begun last night against Islamic State (ISIL) targets within Syria, taken out by the U.S. and an Arab coalition including Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Said Obama:

"America is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these nations on behalf of our common security. The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone. Above all, the people and governments of the Middle East are rejecting Isil, and standing up for the peace and security that the people of the region and the world deserve."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Chelsea Manning Breaks Silence, Speaks Out On ISIS

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Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the U.S. intelligence analyst who made headlines in 2013 after leaking thousands of classified documents depicting abuse and torture being carried out by U.S. soldiers to WikiLeaks, recently took to The Guardian to share her thoughts on how the American military could best deal with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, colloquially known as ISIL or ISIS. They key to dismantling the jihadist group, Manning says, is to let its leaders prove how unsustainable its hypothetical caliphate would be in reality.

“Let Isis succeed in setting up a failed ‘state’ – in a contained area and over a long enough period of time to prove itself unpopular and unable to govern,” she reasons. “This might begin to discredit the leadership and ideology of Isis for good.”

Manning also points out that the U.S. isn’t doing enough to combat ISIS’s well documented and effective use of social media to spread its propagandistic messages. In addition to a physical presence within Iraq and Syria, she says the U.S. needs to “counter [ISIS’s] narrative” that the organization uses to recruit youth fighters into its ranks.

Reactions to Manning’s piece have been mixed, but generally positive. Ben Kesling, a marine Corps veteran and Wall Street Journal reporter, took issue with Manning’s logic considering her rank at the time of her dishonorable discharge.

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ISIL Compares Gays to Pedophiles, Says They Are The 'Worst of Creatures' - VIDEO

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The Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant, the unrecognized jihadist terrorist group operating Iraq and Syria, has made effective use of social media to disseminate its propagandistic messages. Since August the extremist group has released videos depicting the beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, two American journalists as well as David C. Haines, a British aid worker.

The organization has consistently released videos encouraging its members to remain steadfast to the ISIL cause and remain wary of danger “kafir,” Western infidel, influences like drug dealers, pedophiles, and gay people. The West and non-Muslim countries, an ISIL fundamentalist claims in one of the group’s more recent videos, is targeting Muslim children.

“If you have family in these kafir countries, what is gonna happen most probably? You don’t have control of your children. Maybe in some of the countries it is a must for you to put your children in the kafir schools, and who’s gonna teach your children? It’s gonna be maybe a gay, maybe a drug dealer, maybe a pedophile, you know? So it’s very important for you to protect your children from these animals, from these dirty people, Allah says that they are the worst of creatures.”

Initial reports claimed that the masked ISIL fighter speaking in the video was a disaffected Arsenal soccer player who had left his life in Portugal to pursue ISIL’s cause. British intelligence subsequently identified the man as Celso Rodrigues da Costa, a 29 year old man from Portugal who had moved to England to pursue his studies.

“[ISIL] is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates,” President Obama said during a speech explaining the US’s plan to combat the terrorist group. “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”

Watch footage of ISIL-supporter Celso Rodrigues da Costa's call to beware of gay people AFTER THE JUMP...

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Vladimir Putin Speaks 'Directly to the American People'

Vladimir Putin has written an op-ed in the NYT imploring the U.S. to not bomb Syria:

PutinRecent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies....

...No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance....

More here.


President Obama's Address to the Nation on the Syria Crisis: VIDEO

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In a special primetime address to the nation, President Obama argued his case for the use of military action in Syria, and recent developments that could lead to a diplomatic solution to the crisis over chemical weapons. Specifically, a proposal that international monitors take control of Assad's arsenal and ultimately oversee its destruction.

Watch the speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

The NYT offered an excellent summary of the rapidly-changing developments shortly before the speech:

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in London that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria could avert a strike if he turned over his chemical weapons stockpile within a week, adding that such an outcome was unlikely. Mr. Kerry’s staff later described the remark as a “rhetorical exercise,” but by Monday night his apparently off-the-cuff proposal had gained broad support, including a warm welcome from both Syria and Russia, which said it would bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. On Tuesday, France said it would propose a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Syria to allow weapons inspectors to oversee the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile and to require it to sign the international treaty banning the use of such weapons. But Russia responded that the French resolution was “unacceptable” because it allowed for military enforcement, and said it would propose its own measure.

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Jon Stewart Responds to the Syria Crisis, McCain's Poker-Playing Response: VIDEO

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Jon Stewart hilariously shredded Senator John McCain last night for playing a game of iPhone poker during the Syria intervention hearings, but mostly just threw his arms up at the Groundhog Deja Clusterf**k of it all.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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