Ever since the uprising against the Assad regime in Syria began in 2011 the country and its people have endured one horror after another. The carnage has led to not only a quarter of a million dead, and many more wounded, but the worst refugee crisis in recent memory. Words fail to describe what has become an ongoing nightmare with no end in sight. Adding to the mix of chaos and violence are Saudi Arabia, Turkey Iran, Russia, and the U.S. Washington searches in vain for what are called “moderates.” The Syrian cocktail of unrelenting violence is made even worse by the emergence of ISIS and its ability to hold large areas of territory. Atrocity follows atrocity. Words such as appalling and horrifying have lost meaning.
ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is the latest chapter of the so-called war on terror. One should point out that you can’t have a war on a tactic. ISIS has displaced al-Qaeda. It is violently addressing unresolved issues relating to European imperialism and the creation of artificial borders and states. After WWII, the U.S. supplanted Britain, France and Italy in the region and became its self-appointed guardian. Washington’s footprint in the Middle East is enormous. It has created a network of allies consisting of emirs, sheikhs and generals. These leaders are despised by most of the people they rule. They are seen as puppets of Washington. Israel is isolated. Meanwhile, ISIS is growing. What is its appeal? How is it, as the Pentagon says, “tremendously well-funded”? How has it inspired attacks as far away as Ottawa, Sydney and Copenhagen?
ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, aka Islamic State, is now the latest threat to our security. Or so our leaders tell us and the media repeat. It has seized territory in Syria and Iraq. The U.S. has been meddling in the Middle East non-stop for decades. What has it produced? Wars, militias, sectarianism and strife. And lots of oil and weapons sales. U.S. policy in the region is shrouded in propaganda about democracy and human rights while in practice Washington backs feudal regimes like Saudi Arabia. The U.S. is bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Kurds in both countries are fighting ISIS. Turkey, which has its own major issues with its large Kurdish minority and had allowed jihadis to enter Syria through its borders, is now permitting Iraqi Kurdish fighters to go into Syria to fight ISIS. The endless war on terror has taken new twists and turns. Interviewed by David Barsamian.
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