Offensive vs ISIS PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 November 2015 10:37

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

It seems only the United States is taking a different stand on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Radical responses have firstly come from France itself, followed by Russia, with the US taking a tamer stand.

“French President Francois Hollande vowed to destroy the Islamic State group on Monday after its atrocities in Paris, promising tough new anti-terror measures at home and intensified bombing of Syria.” (MB)

The French leader described the terroristic coordinated attacks that killed 129 people as “acts of war,”

Hollande urged for a global fightback to rout the IS, saying he would hold talks with his US and Russian counterparts on a new offensive, although not mentioning a unified one.

He added, there is need to destroy Daesh (ISIS) and this involves the entire international community. Speaking to lawmakers, who burst into an emotional instantaneous singing of the Marseillaise national anthem after his speech.

Hollande concluded, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean in a move to “triple our capacity to take action” against IS in Syria.

The strikes will continue in the weeks to come and there will be no respite and no truce, continued.

On the other hand, Tass News Agency reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin appealed to Western leaders to bury their differences with Russia and jointly strike at the “barbarian” Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria, saying Friday’s Paris terrorist attack underscored the need for such concerted action.

In a condolences telegram sent to French President Francois Hollande, Putin said, “This tragedy is another proof of the barbarian nature of terrorism, which challenges the human civilisation. Clearly, for effective(ly) fighting this evil, the entire international community should unite efforts,”

And there’s more as taken from the net. In a move to assist the French government, the Russian supremo ordered the deployment of soldiers from a plank of his fearsome Spetsnaz unit to root out and eliminate packs of fleeing jihadists.

“A battalion of elite paratroopers also ghosted into the war-torn country (Exactly where, not cited) this week as Putin ramps up his assault on the Islamist fanatics and rebel forces fighting to topple dictator Bashar al-Assad.” (The Net)

The Spetsnaz, the elite of the elites in Russia’s army underwent a grueling training programme to earn their status, is the latest example of “the megalomaniac leader’s ruthless determination to shore up the rule of his close ally.”

Especially significant is, many of these men have a deep hatred for jihadists from their experience fighting in Chechnya’s bloody civil war, when Islamist fanatics battling for independence carried out frequent atrocities against Russian citizens.

Taunted as among the world’s most efficient killers, they have been tasked to mercilessly hunt down and slay ISIS fighters, and are also seen to play a role searching out terrorist strongholds to be targeted by Russian bombers.

And this move surfaces after it came to light that Putin is set to send 150,000 troops to Syria to wipe out “the evil hate group once and for all.”

A military source told the Mirror: “They are extremely aggressive and highly trained. They are there to mop up after air strikes, and call the in air strikes…”

And this is how US President Barack Obama reacts on the matter. “Obama firmly rejected calls for a shift in U.S. strategy against the Islamic State following the Paris attacks, saying Republicans who want to send ground troops into the volatile region are ‘talking as if they’re tough’ but fail to understand the potentially grave consequences.” (MB)

He rebuked the apparent radicals saying, if they think that somehow their advisers are better than the chairman of his Joint Chiefs of Staff and the men who are actually on the ground, then they meet and debate on the issue.

However, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Obama’s statements “excuse-laden and defensive, not exactly explaining why.

Obama admitted that the attacks in Paris is discernibly a “terrible and sickening setback” in the anti-Islamic State campaign, but he insisted his strategy of building an international coalition to launch airstrikes, while training and equipping more moderate forces on the ground, as the best approach.

* * * *

As all these horrifying events unveil, it is noteworthy that local AFP and PNP authorities are on their toes.

Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Arthur Biyo is fast on the draw, reporting that the military has placed its security forces in Zamboanga City in full alert following the series of attacks in Paris, France on Saturday.

This comes as the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and Daesh claimed responsibility for the carnage that left more than 120 people dead in France

Col. Arthur Biyo told reporters here that the military is anticipating the possible so-called sympathy attacks and are ready for it. He disclosed, they have doubled their security preparations in the city together to anticipate any terror plot from ISIS sympathizers from the nearby islands,” Biyo said.

The AFP official, however, said their present validated reports of such sympathy attacks from the south as based on their monitoring is not noticeable.

But just the same, he said, necessary security preparations by the military here are in place to thwart any possible attempt.

Biyo issued a call for everyone’s help, as he said they need very good intelligence reports, to sharing vital pieces of information with them, urging the public to report to the AFP and the PNP here any suspicious looking persons and movements for their immediate action.

And Zamboanga City Police Director Sr. Supt. Angelito Casimiro is just as quick to the draw. Casimiro said they coordinated effort with the military to maintain peace and security in the city in light of the coordinated terror attacks in Paris, France that left hundreds dead and the world shocked.

Casimiro, while stressing that terrorist groups operating in Mindanao are mostly engaged in kidnap-for-ransom and extortion/bombing activities, contingency plans are still in place to thwart any possible sympathy attack in the city.

There are Jihadist groups coming from Malaysia and Indonesia who are radicalizing the local terrorist groups.

With all these security measures in place, let’s keep our fingers crossed, Zamboanga is indeed safe.

* * * *

Fire-breathing Rigoberto Tiglao fires away again, “It was an ill-mannered, even unpatriotic, act for President Benigno Aquino 3rd to bad-mouth his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a formal speech before an international audience, the APEC CEO meeting, the other day. I don’t think any other head of state has done that in an APEC meeting or before any international audience.” (TMT)

Tiglao further said, “Worse, though, he was either lying, ignorant, or just plain stupid when he claimed that the years under Arroyo were a “lost decade.”

And cited facts, he did, saying Aquino should be thanking Arroyo, not disparaging her, since her P330-billion fiscal stimulus program, called the Economic Resiliency Plan, prevented the economy from contracting. Resultant therefrom, GDP still grew 4.2 percent in 2008 and 1.1 percent in 2009. In contrast, the GDP of most of our neighbors (Malaysia, Thailand, and even Japan) had contracted.

* * * *

Sen. Grace Poe hurdles first test. The nine-member Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) dismissed a petition to disqualify her over her citizenship.

And from the looks of things, politics saved her. See through the manner of voting.

“Except for Sen. Nancy Binay, all senator-members of the electoral tribunal voted in favor of their 47-year-old colleague.

Binay, meanwhile was joined in the voting by the three tribunal members from the judiciary, including the tribunal’s chairman, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio of the Supreme Court (SC).

Members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal were tight-lipped on the voting.

But a GMA News Online report quoted tribunal member Sen. Loren Legarda as saying only one vote decided Poe’s fate.” (TMT)

See the trend?

The citizenship issue is question of law. Ergo, among the 9-member tribunal, who could interpret the law better?

You said it. Lawyers. Magistrates, to boot.

There are three (3). They voted for disqualification. Only Binay, a non-lawyer joined up with them.

And the five other senators dissented. Non-lawyers all.

Judging from their political leanings, we can all tell the tale. Political patronage or so it appears prevailed.

Of course, petitioner has other options left, such a motion for reconsideration. But it can clearly be seen, there will be no change in the voting.

But hold on there, folks. Notice, this corner’s opening line on this issue that read, “Sen. Grace Poe hurdles first test. “

That SET victory is on citizenship. Former Sen. Kit Tatad still has a pending case on lack of residency versus Poe.

This could be another Junjun Binay victory. Remember? On the first case, the Supreme Court sided with him. But on the second, the SC directed the Court of Appeals to junk his petition.

Now, this bears watching.