ISIS in Iraq: Another view
OK, I admit from the outset that I am something of a conspiracy theorist. Not about everything you understand, just certain aspects of modern political machinations. ISIS appeared out of nowhere. Had you heard of them, before the excitable news reports? Suddenly, this supposedly unspeakable fundamentalist organisation was conquering northern Iraq, sweeping all before it. They were murdering Muslims and Christians, in fact anyone who did not agree with their stated ideals. But what are their stated ideals? Do any of us really know them, or understand what they are about?
It was plain to see (or was it?) that they were unstoppable. No amount of force from the Iraqi army, or the Peshmerga militia forces, could halt their seemingly irresistible advance, and their capture of much of the country, and possibly, Baghdad. These were a new brand of military fundamentalists, a volunteer army of multinational Jihadists, set on a course of massacre and destruction. Nobody was safe from them. Ancient sects, obscure religious groups, other Muslims, and crucially, Christians, were all to be killed in their thousands, or cast out as refugees.
This gave the West the ‘moral authority’, to intervene with air strikes. We have seen them on TV, but do we really know what they are, and what they are striking? I don’t. Then came the ‘execution’ of the American journalist, supposedly held for two years, in Syria. Remember that, Syria. A brutal, pointless execution, was broadcast on the Internet. Or was it just that? Do we still believe anything we see, in 2014, I wonder? This gave the Americans and their allies even more justification to expand operations. Soon, the British Prime Minister, ‘recalled from holiday’, declared that UK planes would start to assist in attacks on ISIS. He didn’t really say why. I doubt that the execution of an American journalist would usually be sufficient cause.
ISIS was proclaimed to be a rag-tag army of dedicated fundamentalists, with foreign fighters flocking to their cause. Many of these were said to come from the UK, including the killers of the US journalist. There was also the suggestion of both backing and manpower originating in Syria. Remember that. How did ISIS do so well, in such a short time? They captured American equipment in northern Iraq. This was presumably given up with little resistance from the Americans and Iraqis that previously had charge of it. Suddenly, these militiamen from all over the planet, including ordinary young men from southern England (apparently) could operate sophisticated weapons systems. They knew how to drive modern tanks without training, and manage the weapons delivery systems and computerised controls inside them. Ask anyone who has ever joined the tank regiments, in any army. It takes months of intensive training to be able to be proficient in this modern technology. They used missile systems, rockets, and other modern weapons, all of which require substantial training to become familiar with.
But we are expected to believe that these Jihadist fighters took to all this in the matter of a few days. They drove all opposition before them, and even frightened mighty America, with their military prowess. The air strikes have slowed them down, so we are told. We now have to look beyond Iraq, to see where ISIS gets its ‘real support’. Syria, naturally. The Assad regime, unpopular in the west, has been tarnished with this accusation, whilst unable to offer any defence. Next stop, Damascus perhaps, supposedly to eliminate ISIS.
So, what do I think about all this, for what it’s worth? I believe that ISIS is funded and organised by the west. I think that American and British special forces are training and leading this group, as they did with the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan, in the 1980s. Their sole purpose is to blame Syria, to engineer a reason to remove the Assad regime, and destabilise that country, as they have done with so many others. If the execution is real, it was carried out by western soldiers, not simple Jihadists, and the reports of massacres and refugees have been grossly overstated, to rouse public opinion. Time will tell perhaps, but I will be sticking by my contention.
Iraq and Gaza: Very different agendas
I watched the news today, trying to contain a feeling somewhere between a wry grin, and outright rage. The military success of the Islamic fundamentalist organisation ISIS (now called ‘Islamic State’) in Iraq has caused the flight of many people from the city of Erbil, which is currently in danger of being overrun by this group. The Kurdish Peshmerga army can no longer stop the advance of the militants, and there is grave concern for non-Islamic religious groups in the area. On the TV, there was a lot of discussion about a possible genocide against these groups, and many civilians have fled into the hills, to avoid any contact with ISIS fighters. There are Americans in this city too. As well as consular staff, there are other civilians, ground troops and advisers. The general feeling seems to be that there is little chance of stopping ISIS eventually reaching Baghdad, and taking control of the country. This would result in a Taliban-style government, fiercely opposed to all non-Muslims, and foreigners of any kind. Some might argue that this would always be the eventual outcome of the war against Iraq, and the subsequent destabilisation of the region.
However, the current US administration is not about to give up that easily. Using the justification of ‘humanitarian aid’, because of the refugees from Erbil, (and the presence there of Americans) they have commenced air strikes against ISIS positions around the city. President Obama has been on television laying out his reasons for intervention, and the British Government has shown support for this action, and pledged to assist with logistical help, and humanitarian aid for the civilians in danger. The western powers do not want to sit by and watch innocent civilians put in danger, or lose their lives, because of the actions of an aggressive, well-equipped, religious fundamentalist army, intent on overwhelming all opposition.
So what about Gaza then? No help for the Palestinians? Are they not in the same situation? They are being overwhelmed by a superior force, intent on their destruction. This force is determined, very well-equipped, and has a religious agenda just as plainly stated. It also cares little for the loss of civilian lives, and is pursuing its campaign irregardless of opposition from many countries in the world, as well as the United Nations. So why are Obama’s jets not attacking Israeli tanks, to stop them killing innocent people in Gaza? And why is the British government not pledging humanitarian aid to the Palestinian civilians, who are equally in danger of losing their lives?
I think we all know the answers to those questions.