The foster parents of Isis and the other Sunni jihadi movements in Iraq and Syria are Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies and Turkey. This doesn’t mean the jihadis didn’t have strong indigenous roots, but their rise was crucially supported by outside Sunni powers. The Saudi and Qatari aid was primarily financial, usually through private donations, which Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, says were central to the Isis takeover of Sunni provinces in northern Iraq: ‘Such things do not happen spontaneously.’ In a speech in London in July, he said the Saudi policy towards jihadis has two contradictory motives: fear of jihadis operating within Saudi Arabia, and a desire to use them against Shia powers abroad. He said the Saudis are ‘deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shiadom’. It’s unlikely the Sunni community as a whole in Iraq would have lined up behind Isis without the support Saudi Arabia gave directly or indirectly to many Sunni movements. The same is true of Syria, where Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to Washington and head of Saudi intelligence from 2012 to February 2014, was doing everything he could to back the jihadi opposition until his dismissal. Fearful of what they’ve helped create, the Saudis are now veering in the other direction, arresting jihadi volunteers rather than turning a blind eye as they go to Syria and Iraq, but it may be too late. Saudi jihadis have little love for the House of Saud. On 23 July, Isis launched an attack on one of the last Syrian army strongholds in the northern province of Raqqa. It began with a suicide car-bomb attack; the vehicle was driven by a Saudi called Khatab al-Najdi who had put pictures on the car windows of three women held in Saudi prisons, one of whom was Hila al-Kasir, his niece.
For America, Britain and the Western powers, the rise of Isis and the Caliphate is the ultimate disaster. Whatever they intended by their invasion of Iraq in 2003 and their efforts to get rid of Assad in Syria since 2011, it was not to see the creation of a jihadi state spanning northern Iraq and Syria run by a movement a hundred times bigger and much better organised than the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden. The war on terror for which civil liberties have been curtailed and hundreds of billions of dollars spent has failed miserably. The belief that Isis is interested only in ‘Muslim against Muslim’ struggles is another instance of wishful thinking: Isis has shown it will fight anybody who doesn’t adhere to its bigoted, puritanical and violent variant of Islam. Where Isis differs from al-Qaida is that it’s a well-run military organisation that is very careful in choosing its targets and the optimum moment to attack them.
Assad, Qaddaffi, Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, are all original Cold War products, which Cold War was the product of Marxism and more particularly, Leninism-Stalinism, and WWI, versus Fascism and those versus the remnant of the British Empire and versus the American Empire. The US has only offered wishful thinking to replace them.
With Qaddaffi and Saddam gone and with Assad having been under attack for years now, only Mubarak's successor, Sisi, remains.
If left unchecked and if allowed to sell oil on the open market (doubtful), IS will become a regional power because it knows no borders in its mind. Its intention is world domination. The Caliphate is not simply to reconstruct the Caliphate of old but take over the entire planet and rule it with an iron rod. It won't succeed, but that won't stop them from trying.
Frankly, the Obama administration made serious errors when opting for military strikes rather than striking moderating deals with both Qaddaffi and Assad and Saddam Hussein. Qaddaffi admittedly shot his mouth off, but that shouldn't have given rise to the US believing he couldn't be dealt with. The US had dealt with him before and had moderated him. Benghazi was where it started after some there saw the "Arab Spring" in Tunisia and then Egypt. Qaddaffi overreacted verbally and physically/militarily. However, he was well aware of who was waiting off on the side to take advantage of the Arab Spring, namely al Qaeda. The US did not listen to him through his saber rattling. It should have.
Attacking Saddam Hussein earlier made even less sense (no WMD; all lies), and attacking Assad after what happened in Iraq and then Libya was nothing short of moronic.
Assad was stupid not to hold out the olive branch to the moderates. He should have reformed ASAP with substantial carrots. Had he played his cards right, he could have remained in power and had most of the US as an ally. The Zionists would have hated it, but too bad for them. They're much worse than were the White supremacists of Apartheid South Africa.
Iran and Turkey are special cases. Iran hasn't gotten over Operation AJAX, which it shouldn't really until the US apologizes and stops attempting regime change there but rather works to moderate the Iranian leadership (which would love to get along with the US and would moderate if it could be sure the US wouldn't pose a threat any longer). Iran also hasn't gotten over US military support for Saddam and Saddam's use of chemical weapons against the Iranians.
Turkey, of course, is a NATO member but not fully accepted into the European community because Turkey is predominantly Islamic. Turkey needs to wake up to why many ethnic Europeans rightly fear Islam. Mohammed wouldn't agree with ISIS, but that's not going to reassure ethnic Europeans.
That's all just barely scratching the surface.
Regardless, what should happen is the following:
- The US should stop the overthrow of Assad under the condition that Assad do what he should have done earlier (reform) but also not insist that Assad step down but rather allow the ballot box decide.
- The US should stop thumping Vladimir Putin in the chest and should insist that the Eastern Ukrainians be given the right to decide whether they want to stay in Ukraine, join Russia, or become independent. The Russian Ukrainians' suggestion for a more federated union should be seriously considered by Western Ukraine. It's probably the best solution but would require the greatest change of heart in Western Ukraine where many real fascists are sharing power at the top with non-fascists unable to hold things together without those fascists. The second best option would be joining Russia, but that would require a real relaxation of US imperial ambitions.
- Turkey, Kurdistan, and Iran (with Assad and Hezbollah) should agree to form a united front against ISIS and should put them down if they won't stand down.
- After that, Iraq unfortunately should probably be divided along ethnic lines. I say that because ethnicity and religious denominationalism are very strong. I'd love to see everyone overcome all of that without a strongman forcing unity; but it would be a huge educational undertaking, and there isn't all the time in the world, so to speak.
- Saudi Arabia should become a constitutional monarchy at worst. It's a real problem-state.
- The Zionists in Israel should be forced (yes forced via sanctions or what have you) to grant Palestinians full and equal rights in Palestine/Israel as one democratic state overseen under international law outlawing 1) racial or ethnic supremacy and 2) theocracy. If the Jews want to live in Palestine/Israel, they'll have to forego a "Jewish" state; and the Palestinians, whether Arab or otherwise, may not create an Islamic state. Palestine/Israel will have to be secular.
The above wouldn't fix everything. It is far from what I'd really like to see (the real Christian spirit of Jesus to prevail), but it would be vastly better than current US foreign policy. It is also all doable if the leader of the US would stand up and make it happen via the bully pulpit. A coward won't do. A person who fears the Zionists won't do.
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