U.S. President Barack Obama’s solemn declaration of war against the Islamic State, as well as being pathetic, provides clear evidence of the Western political elite’s growing cynicism. The commander-in-chief of the world’s most important military power and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize declared war on another gang of murderers which the West has created, just as Bush had done previously against al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. Certainly, many of his words were reminiscent of those of his predecessor.
I have not been able to find a great deal of difference between the ideological and political approach of the Islamic State and al-Qaida, as both of them support the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and the application of an aberrant version of Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout the world.
What does link these two organizations is the fact that they have arisen out of war policies, plundering, pillaging and the massacring of civilians undertaken by the United States and its allies against the Muslim people, in particular against those who support the Sunni branch of Islam. It is well known that Washington also attacks mainly peoples, states and organizations which are Shiite — the other major branch of Islam — as is the case with Iran, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, with more hatred than the Sunnis, given that the Persian state and the patriotic Lebanese resistance are among the forces effectively driving back imperialist and Zionist policies.
A synopsis of the United States’ wars in recent decades brings us to Afghanistan, where the CIA, allied with the ultra-reactionary Saudi kingdom and the Pakistan special services, armed a legion of fanatical extremists, the future Taliban, in order to fight the Soviet occupation troops, destroy the secular state and suppress the progressive trends that exist in the country. Out of that alliance, al-Qaida emerged under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, Saudi prince and prominent CIA operator against the Soviets. Although not the subject of this article, it can be argued that the invasion of Afghanistan was one of the Soviet Union’s most serious foreign policy mistakes.
Among the fundamental consequences of the United States’ recent wars are the destruction of the Iraqi state and the death of hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants, including tens of thousands of children. Iraq was a secular state which, with all the objections the U.S. may give, maintained an attitude of resistance toward the imperialist Zionist expansion in the Middle East; a prospering country, due to its thriving economic, political, social and cultural development, where hardly any resentment existed between Sunnis and Shiites or the minority Christians and Turks. The United States systematically destroyed its extraordinary industrial infrastructure of services and communications with all its odious sanctions and the Gulf War of 1990.
Its most recent aggression in 2003, which was founded on the disgusting lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, crushed any remaining credibility; through a deliberate policy of counterinsurgency, it caused hatred between religious and ethnic communities, which has led to a string of sectarian massacres and the death or emigration of thousands of professionals, scientists and intellectuals, both male and female, as well as members of the clergy.
Once it had occupied Iraq, Washington chose to govern it by relying on the most despicable characters of the majority Shiite community, who pursued a policy of exclusion and repression of Sunni Muslims, which was at least tacitly supported by the occupiers.
The Kurds of Iraq deserve special mention, forever repressed in generally all states where the minority live, but whose current political direction in Iraq is allied to the United States and Israel.
The Islamic State, the serpent’s egg that was conceived in Afghanistan, later hatched in Iraq and multiplied exponentially with the imperialist wars against Libya, Syria, the tribal zones of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. In Libya and Syria, the United States brought together hundreds of thousands of extremist Sunnis financed and generously armed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil monarchies in order to launch a legitimate attack on the government of Bashar al-Assad. Jordan and Turkey facilitated entry into Syria, providing intelligence and training to many of them.
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