Today al-Qaeda-type movements rule a vast area in northern and western Iraq and eastern and northern Syria, several hundred times larger than any territory ever controlled by Osama bin Laden. It is since bin Laden’s death that al-Qaeda affiliates or clones have had their greatest successes, including the capture of Raqqa in the eastern part of Syria, the only provincial capital in that country to fall to the rebels, in March 2013.
There are about 2000 ISIS fighters controlling Mosil, a population of 1.5 million. How is that possible? It is possible, I believe because they fear Shia domination and massacre from the puppet Iraqii government we support more and are willing to support ISIS if they will fight them. We could put a seam in this Sunni solidarity if we would acknowledge that the Sunnis in the area controlled by ISIS deserve a separate state if they will sue for peace with their neighbors. The ISIS fighters would not accept this but many Sunnies would and I believe this would weaken them. Yes ISIS is savage but so is the puppet Shia government we have put in place in IRAQ.
I’m tempted to say that ISIS is proof of the success of the “War on Terror,” as it is simply the latest metamorphosis of the permanent enemy that the Military-Industrial Complex manufactures to perpetuate the state of permanent war needed to justify its bloodsucking existence.
This is the same game of empire that has been playing for thousands of years. In Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas,
empires have risen and fallen on the fortunes of conquest. The thread of economics is woven heavily into the fabric of empire,
but a consistent supporting thread has also been religion. After Rome, Christianity became the engine of conquest in the West. Christianity,
way back then, was good old Roman Catholicism. When the Protestant Schism happened(Reformation is a bad term, as nothing was really reformed),
England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands were torn apart - because there were competing versions of Christianity. The throbbing factions of
Protestants are still doing serious damage - watch the US as the 2016 election cycle heats up. In the Mideast, south, and east Asia, in 2015, it is ridiculous
to think so many people are so recalcitrant in their beliefs - the “other” isn’t “right” The new empire of the day, that of transnational financiers, is more than happy to continue this murderous campaign of exploitation, no matter what abstract belief system happens to be at work. No one will learn, because religious extremism won’t allow for it.
I believe it was in Paddy Chayevsky’s Gideon that he sought to explain the genesis of horrific events.
The conclusion the author relayed came from the Bible’s Book of Job, and therein the premise activated: “That which I feared most hath come upon me.”
It would seem a fitting title for Western elites’ interventions and failed plans in the Middle East.
There is no doubt–to any thinking person–that U.S. imperial ventures borne of fixed facts stirred the hornet’s nest that now unleashes its own version of killer bee squads.
During my sojourn in Singapore (2004) where my best friend was a devout Buddhist who introduced me to the head Buddhist at a big monastery in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, and arranged for me to meditate for 10 days at Kopan Monastery in Nepal, he told me that among devout Buddhist monks, there was the understanding that the Muslim world would indeed rise up against the West. Through their deep meditations, this was the vision that had been collectively shared.
At the time these words were spoken (2004), I didn’t think much of them. Now I do, and Mr. Cockburn’s clear and piercing analysis of events explains why.
I agree about the inside job and that greed and power have a lot to do with the martial calculus. What I don’t agree with is placing into parenthesis, the whole of U.S (or global) citizenry and asking when WE will ever learn.
Many have no issue with their neighbors.
Many are tolerant of other religions.
Many are satisfied with a roof over their head and food for their families.
And I would say that these 3 references apply to a majority of the world’s people.
Those who are peaceful by nature, are not wanting to pick up weapons to fight off those who prefer to use force, deception, and coercion to work THEIR will onto and over others.
This is a problem that’s many centuries in the making. It’s the problem of disproportionate POWER.
Many attribute it to Capitalism, but in my view, Capitalism is but one effect of a far more deep-seated cause.
Others attribute it to racism, and certainly racism factors into the calculus.
The point is, that it’s about time that people understood that much in the way of history has been put into motion through elites. They control media, the religious houses, much of academe, law, and would be representative bodies.
THEY are the ones that don’t want the People to rise above the level of consciousness that makes war possible.
One does not give their consent when they are facing a firing squad or a gun to their head. And that’s pretty much the story of Mars’ rules for centuries.
A few have run things, used armies and financial carrots and sticks, added to religious and media deceptions to create enough fear and/or obedience in population pools. That way, they could continue to run the show according to their own metrics and desires.
So I’d ask you to revisit this broad-based WE assumption.
Learning and knowing are not the same thing as power, access, influence, or control. THAT is what has to change. Many HAVE learned (or knew all along) that war doesn’t solve anything.
Essays like this one by Patrick Cockburn point out the degree to which war spreads ruin, privation, misery, poverty, and destruction. Words like winning are obscenities in such instances and should be retired. War is not Super-bowl.
To the fair-minded moral person, the mind of a serial killer is an unfathomable alien sphere.
I agree with much that you’ve stated; however, the nature of religious extremism is that it only allows for loyal followers. Any truly authoritarian societal arrangement does away with dissent and dissenters. Look at what happened after the Arab Spring? Egypt ends up with a military government and female protesters are forced to endure “virginity tests.” And now there’s talk of bringing back polygamy.
One thing that is ALWAYS true of any Authoritarian Regime is the suppression of women’s rights. In exchange for men facing domination by other men, lots of men wittingly or otherwise accept the tradeoff that grants them absolute power over women.
I’ve been over the reasons–ranging from the DNA design to cosmology–for gender balance as the quintessential foundation for any truly just and equal society. The treatment of the female determines a society’s level of evolution and how much it will accord with Life-preserving protocols and teachings rather than the warrior’s preference for the power OVER life, via endless ways and means to kill, plunder, pillage, rape, mutilate, and destroy.
Worship of the Great Mother–and Her Presence in the fecundity of nature and all the lands bequeathed to human beings–would be a good place to start in decommissioning this long, dark HABIT for war. Yes, this habit has, of late, rubbed off onto some very twisted females–albeit a relative few who trade in their morality for positions of power. Nonetheless, it’s essentially the modus operandi of Patriarchy and thus a Male Thing.
Balance is its antidote. And the disease will kill us all if it is not soon applied.
The war on terror is just about as effective, and justified as the war on drugs: kindergarden bullshit.I do not agree that ISIS is the result of it. It is more interested in creating a so called caliphate-with oil resources, than fighting the West. They are a local revolution intent on basically creating a State where the rules are that of the Koran. Contrary to what so called Muslim moderates say, it follows the Koran very closely- a version and interpretation that had been abandoned as Islam became more secular, but it is a completely valid Islam, and is revitalized. They stem more from the Arab Spring, and from a lassitude and a resentment against current nation-state entities. We (large oil interests) are flipping out because they are grabbing land, yes: LAND containing oil resources that they will not let be controlled by us; this means WAR. I am worried.
I think appropriate to think of Hannah Arendt and “the banality of evil”. People who cannot think outside of taking orders or swallowing whatever someone in authority says as the way to go happens over and over again. Perhaps mankind has this fatal flaw which will be eventually the end of our species. Like the ants who see another ant hill, the only objective is war and destruction–a tribal reflex.
When will we ever learn? Most of the majority of PROGRESSIVE. Americans have learned, but that is irrelevant and the question should be: WHEN WILL THE 1% EVER LEARN?
Response to Siouxrose11
It was not before I read your response to “smipypr” that I gained any assurance that you were the same “Siouxrose” I had encountered on “these ramparts” on many other occasions. This time, I’m with you, with a very few exceptions, all the way girl. I would like you to re-examine, and perhaps qualify some of your “all encompassing”remarks:
“Many have no issue with their neighbors.
Many are tolerant of other religions.
Many are satisfied with a roof over their head and food for their families.
And I would say that these 3 references apply to a majority of the world’s people”.
Would you not, at least concede, that “many” is a far cry from “most”? Or that there should be be “zero tolerance” of religions that “terrorize” or want to “mititarize” human beings? Your third metric, concerning “shelter and sustenance for their families” is agreeable to me, although it has never been to any elite, who are “possesed” always with the fear of “their never having enough”, of anything.
“Those who are peaceful by nature,” (and I would also add the word “nurture”) “are not wanting to pick up weapons to fight off those who prefer to use force, deception, and coercion to work THEIR will onto and over others.”; is also a fair appraisal.
“The point is, that it’s about time that people understood that much in the way of history has been put into motion through elites. They control media, the religious houses, much of academe, law, and would be representative bodies.
THEY are the ones that don’t want the People to rise above the level of consciousness that makes war possible.”
Much of what you write here is true, but much more discussion and learning is required. All humankind has much more to learn, mostly about his own nature and his inter dependency with nature and other men. We, all of us, have as great a need of our “intelligent elite” as that group has a need for all of us. A recognition by all of “mankind” that; “time”, “mortality” and “lack of knowledge of himself” are man’s greatest enemies and the battle that must be won.
The biggest lie ever told us was simply; “All men are created equal”. An infamous untruth.
I don’t mind your use of the word “We” at all. We need more visionary leaders at every level of our society. And the word “visionary,” I should like to think, implies idealism rather than fear-biter’s paranoia.
Terrorism has existed since the beginning of mankind. Certain countries and individuals however have been more successful than others in containing it. They had better focus than the United States or the European countries right now.
Why don’t we think that these special countries and individuals (certain Irish women and men of a few years ago come to mind) are worthy of discussion and consultation? Why instead do we throw gasoline on every fire? We could try some water or sand, we really could. We could push loudmouth warmongers into the background or even off the stage. We need to pull humanists up front and center.
Patrick Cockburn’s excellent assessment quotes Richard Holbrooke, the man who engineered the Dayton Accords. Why does every commentato in the United States insist on being glib, cynical and out of focus, unlike Holbrooke.
Who among the current crop of American leaders works toward peace? Who among them understands how to talk to the 1.6 billion Muslims, a quarter of the world’s population as the article tells us? Bargain hard? Make sure to get their backs up? Ensure World War III as soon as possible?
Is that how Bruce Laingen taught us to speak with Iranians, say, after he and his delegation were kidnapped and held for over a year in Teheran?
We value firmness and “toughness” overly much, if you ask me, almost as if every American imagines that he or she is John Wayne. Where are our soft and sensitive American diplomats? Disappeared from earth as far as I can tell. We need focused people who are better able to make distinctions than John Kerry.
Sorry, Kerry, but you don’t cut it. Nor does anyone else in the current scene.