The Islamic State seems to be the grain of sand irritating the oyster of world order designed by ruling western elites. From the grand theft auto styled drive-by shootings on main supply route Tampa (highway 8) to the slick media campaign on Twitter and YouTube, the Islamic State seems to be a force that utterly confounds those who seek to have different plans for the region. Every day I read some new article about the brutality, primitiveness, and backwardness of the supposed pseudo-sharia caliphate. Just yesterday I read another article about the problems in Iraq and the implied solution of Western intervention. I guess the New York Times has not learned their lesson from Judith Miller. It seems a lot of people want to re-fight the Iraq war. I do not mind if they do, I just wish they do it with their own blood and treasure.
The Islamic State was formally known as Islamic state of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS). It is a group of Sunni militants who had its genesis in the Iraq war and the Syrian Civil War. When they fought against President Assad in Syria, they were actually in line with Western interests. When they decided to focus their forces in a different direction, they became an enemy of the West. An enemy so great that American politicians actually contemplated cooperation with Iran in operations against them. This change of perception highlights the lack of sincerity in Western foreign policy. It also shows the shortsighted thinking of giving weapons out like candy. What’s even more enlightening to even the dumbest of war hawks within America is that most of the solutions proffered to counter the Islamic State “problem” is more aid and weapons.
Some people say the Islamic State is brutal and follows a backward interpretation of the religion of Mohammed. Let me inform you that in that neighborhood of the world there are far more brutal players than the Islamic state. While it has been confirmed that the Islamic State executes people for being on the wrong side of the fence, that is almost the norm for that area. Until I see bodies that have fingers sawzalled off and cordless drill holes in the knees, elbows, and shoulders from electric power drills like the ones in Baghdad in 2007 and 2008, I don’t believe the Islamic state is the most brutal player in that game. Why is this theme of their brutality repeated? It is almost like this news coverage is a form of emotional manipulation to get people to support some type of intervention that most likely will benefit those pull the strings.
If reason cannot prevail, emotional appeal is the next best thing to get people on board for an intervention. What are some of the reasons people say we should stop the Islamic state? Some people attribute a quote to the Caliph Ibrahim that he intends to conduct terrorist operations outside the nation of Iraq against Americans. While this claim is not very credible it is still believable to a sizable population. It is even reported that the Islamic State is destroying old tombs and historical sites during their conquest of northwestern Iraq. Their various atrocities against certain ethnic minorities are also highlighted. What is very interesting is that they were doing the same thing while they were fighting the regime of President Assad in Syria and no one in the West seemed to care about it then. An better counterexample to intervention would be the nation of Pakistan. That nation has nuclear weapons, harbored Osama Bin Laden, and never really has a stable government but no one advocates for intervention there.
The world in 2015 is heading back to the world of 1999. Odds are that the Taliban will be back in power in Afghanistan and some type of Sunni dictator will be running things in Iraq. The only difference is that trillions of dollars have been appropriated out of the federal treasury and funneled to certain companies and corporations that profit from war. I get a morbid giggle when I see the ghosts of 2003 pop up in the news cycle trying to justify their actions in the past. Some of them even invoke the honor of veterans who fought in Iraq as an excuse to justify another intervention in Iraq so their “sacrifices were not in vain”. Sorry Dick Cheney, but a fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh battle of Falluja will not make things right.
So what would happen if Caliph Ibrahim and his Islamic State are allowed to continue to fight in Iraq without western intervention? I’m guessing the Shia dominated sectarian government in Baghdad will be on the receiving end of some serious payback for events that happened in 2007 and2008. Contrary to the popular historical narrative that the General Petraeus “Surge” of United States personnel brought peace to Iraq during that time, the green light to Shia militias to ethnically cleanse and dominate Baghdad caused the Sunnis to recede from the conflict. How would they do now? Judging from the empirical evidence of the failed Shia uprising of 1991, the Shia dominated government in Baghdad cannot succeed without somebody to hold their hand.
Looking at this situation with reason instead of emotion, one can see that the Islamic State has upset the order of things quite immensely. After hearing that US reconnaissance flights over northwestern Iraq were conducted by F-18s launched off of aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, I can assume that the governments of Saudi Arabia Kuwait and Qatar will not allow US flights from their territory. This might mean that the Sunni world is gearing up for a wider conflict with the Shia world.
With the Islamic State’s seizure of oil cash and gold in northwestern Iraq, they have become self-funding . This along with the romance of the “Islamic conquest” similar to Mohammed in his time makes quite a few Imans and royals in Saudi Arabia nervous. Aside from oil prices, there is no real need for western intervention. For the most part, no one in the West has a horse in this race except for those scheming merchants of death who want to cash in like it’s 2003 all over again. So let them do it if they wish but on their own dime and on their own time.
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