October 30, 2014
The terrorist group ISIS is located in Iraq and sporadically throughout parts of the globe. ISIS Terrorists has many World Leaders scrambling to get a handle on them while their citizens fearfully wait and wonder how and when they will strike next. Others, however, are trying to figure out just how they came to be, and who to blame for them.
It would be opportune for the present Iranian regime to first put blame for ISIS on Iran but if you look closely at the facts you will see a very different story unfold.
If a finger must be aimed then it may need to be aimed right back at us, the United States of America. Western Europe, and their allies also have fingers pointed at them as well. This may not be a popular stance for some Americans but the facts speak for themselves.
Before the U.S.’s disastrous incursion and occupation, which was markedly supported by Britain, there was no al-Qaeda or allied Salafi fanatic existence in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Once the U.S. invaded, the extremists took control of most of the northern and western parts of Iraq, despite claims to the contrary by the Bush administration.
Hussein’s regime prevented Al Qaeda from operating out of Iraq, according to a Senate Intelligence report. “Iraq had also been supported by the West before the 1991 Gulf War as a counterbalance against the revolutionary Islamic Republic during the Iran-Iraq War,” reports The Diplomat. “The U.S.-led invasion changed all of that.”
Once Hussein’s rule was taken down the country was destabilized. Both the Armed forces and civil service were eliminated and “replaced by partisans of sectarian Shiite parties and factions, some of which were closely allied to Iran,” reports The Progressive. “Sunni extremists, believing Iraqi Shias had betrayed their country to Persians and Westerners, began targeting Shia civilian neighborhoods with terrorist attacks. The Iraqi regime and allied militia then began systematically kidnapping and murdering thousands of Sunni men. The so-called ‘sectarian’ conflict, then, has been a direct consequence of U.S. policy.”
Al-Qaeda, ISIS’s forerunner, was established in 2004. But when the U.S. stepped in to help institute Iraq’s new government it constantly supported Iraqi’s Prime Minister Maliki’s unending persecution of civil protesters and dissidents. The Sunnis became alienated and discriminated against both in government and the armed forces.
Protesters were slaughtered and journalists were either assassinated or imprisoned. Thousands were tortured and/or detained, without trial, for years. The Sunnis, faced with uncontrolled discrimination, looked upon the Maliki government with mounting disdain as the rest of the world looked on understanding it to be one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.
Armed with weapons made by the U.S., in 2013 Maliki’s troops ravaged Sunni protest camps. It was too late by the time the U.S. and Western Europe decided to take Maliki seriously and end his regime. The groundwork was already in place for a strong ISIS-led Sunni uprising in Western Iraq and became the latest offspring of al-Qaeda-fashioned radicals.
In a move that seemed to indicate the Maliki regime was not worth dying for, the Iraqi army failed to fight.
Let’ go back to 2011 for a moment and see what was happening in Syria during that same time frame. Peaceful pro-democracy protests began to be silenced by the Assad regime. It wasn’t long before the civilians transformed themselves into an armed rebellion.
The reason for this rebellion was that “In the early stages of the war, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey began funneling arms to opposition forces, seeing an opportunity to destabilize a key ally of Iran and Hezbollah, their geopolitical foes,” reports The Diplomat. “As the civil war deepened, extremist groups joined the fight against what they saw as an odious secular regime. The also became the beneficiaries of large amounts of arms and funding from Americas regional allies.”
So, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the U.S. knowingly financed extremist groups, such as al-Qaeda’s affiliate group, Jabhat al-Nusra who became one of the most efficient insurgent groups going up against Syria’s regime. Many of the al-Nusra rebels began fusing with ISIS.
In short, it is the belief of many that the $25 billion spent in American taxpayer money training and arming the Maliki regime in Baghdad has a direct correlation to the rise of the ISIS terrorists.
ISIS has grown exponentially since its seemingly meager beginnings, not only in numbers but in wealth as well.
CIA estimates that the ISIS group is 20,000-50,000 strong and growing. As they take over cities and territories they focus on the prisons and release as many as possible who are then recruited or killed. In lieu of the fact ISIS are few in comparison to the 250,000 Iraqi troops, not to mention armed police, it shouldn’t be a problem to hold them off, right? Wrong.
The Iraqi army is a mess, at best. Even though they had 40 to 1 odds, the Iraqi troops ran from 800 ISIS rebels. As stated earlier, they did not wish to fight or die for a government they did not believe in so they ran.
Jayson Lyall, a Yale University insurgency expert, said, “It appears that the Iraqi Army is cleaving along sectarian lines…The willingness of Sunni soldiers to fight to retake Mosul appears limited.” What Lyall is saying is that the Sunnis are under a government that oppresses them and they don’t wish to fight each other over it. That being said, the end result is the same and ISIS runs rapid.
With the lack of opposition, ISIS has been able to not only secure enormous wealth from taking over eastern Syrian oilfields in 2012 but has also acquired income from smuggling raw materials and priceless antiquities from different archeological sites. It is estimated that ISIS’s wealth was around $875 million before the Mosul takeover. After the city was captured and all taken into consideration, money from banks and other supplies, ISIS is estimated to be worth $2 billion.
It would seem this long ago, small group of fed-up individuals has not only surpassed all expectations in growth, but in wealth as well.
We now know how ISIS came to be and just who needs fingers aimed at them for starting the terrorist group, but just who is going to stop them?
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By, Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier