The Middle East is suffering the blowback from rotten U.S. policies, disastrous wars, and cultural turmoil. ISIS and its ilk are one result.
ISIS may have made a "brilliant" move by aligning the Baathists with it, but their beheadings and setting their enemies afire were atrocious moves. Its almost as if the CIA had done it to bring bad publicity upon it. ISIS hasn't learned from its enemy to kill without publicity.
War is stupid for all sides.
ISIS exists to stop a non-Sunni crescent from Iran to the Med. Look at a map, it is fairly obvious.
There's a major difference between Islam and the other monotheistic faiths and that major difference is oil. Muslims who don't live in the Middle East oil patch tend to behave much the same as everybody else. In the U.S. they often want their kids to get into good colleges and they often have 401k plans.
Muslims who do live on top of all that expensive oil usually have horror stories handed down from generation to generation. The first oil war started in 1914 when Britain wanted to give the Turkish empire a minor defeat, so the Brits promised a local Saudi warlord named Saud that he could be king of Saudi Arabia.
Shiite version: In the 1950s Iran wanted to preserve their democracy and mostly they wanted the money, so the CIA took care of that. In 1980 Iran got rid of the puppet in a mass nonviolent revolution. Then in the 1980s the CIA set up Saddam Hussein to slaughter millions of Iranian soldiers with nerve gas and other tools. Also, I remember reading that a mysterious bomb blew up most of Iran's democratically elected congress. You couldn't do that in any other country, could you?
Sunni version: The U.S. Army is responsible for propping up the house of Saud in Saudi Arabia, as well as the other wealthy oil puppets. Actually, they're rich enough that we don't know who is the puppet and who is the master these days. Some dedicated Muslims started pointing out that the prophet Muhammad's home country is essentially occupied by a non-Muslim, ostensibly Christian but really money-worshipping power based halfway around the world. It's all about the oil. Then the U.S. demonstrated that when they invade a country they just blast anything that moves, they leave depleted uranium all over the place to turn the land into a giant cancer factory and they torture people for fun and profit.
In any case we now see the Shiite-dominated Bashar al-Assad government working hand in hand with the Ultra-Sunni ISIL government, the Syrian and Iraqi Al-Qaeda affiliate, to militarily wipe out any remaining Syrian warlords that want to affiliate with the universally hated U.S. government. It sounds like the CIA has almost run out of friends in this area, except everyone hated the Kurds for so many years that the Kurds are willing to be Washington's friend.
From the article:
"Sadly, the hostile political environment in Washington doesn’t give the president much space to honestly discuss these issues without being labeled as anti-American or some other nonsense."
With all due respect to the authors, Obama's drone campaign doesn't help much either. I notice this particular form of carnage was left off this list:
..."But what are we going to do with the simmering resentment in the Middle East over colonialism, invasions, bombing, and torture?"
Consider the possibility that the creation of ISIS (or "Daesh," or, as I like to call them, "the Izzies") was no accident - but a welcomed, foreseen, and perhaps even engineered result of deliberate policy choices made during the invasion & occupation of Iraq. The neocon dream of "permanent war" requires the creation & maintenance of a permanent & reliable supply of enemies, after all.
Neocon sez: If they're fighting each other they ain't fighting Israel.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the USSR, news articles appeared in the American press questioning the future role for the CIA and foreign intelligence services. There was speculation that the transnational corporations would increasingly need to protect their interests in an increasingly competitive world economy. With the systematic invasion and destruction of governments from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc... and the accompanying slaughter of millions of civilians, the military has insured it's place as "protector" far into the future. Think: the hybrid resulting from wedding Private Military Contractors with organized crime - the ultimate Transnational Protection Racket for the Permanent War Economy. No shortage of enemies here. Wherever it goes, it plants the seeds of tomorrows "terrorists."
True, but, we are running out of time, because another big bully enemy is starting to win another war... climate change.. we need to get the dirty bastards out .....and really really fast...