Surge in ISIS terror fits Israeli script

By Ameen Izzadeen
The more one studies the canker that is ISIS, the more one is certain that the group is not only far from Islam, but also has the support of some powerful hidden forces. A neighbour of the killer who mowed down 38 foreign tourists, 30 of them British, on the beach of Tunisia last Friday said, “Seiff killed Islam”.
Seifeddine Rezgui, the gunman with links to ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), did not visit the mosque in his neigbourhood, according to the neighbour, and consumed alcohol, though his university colleagues said he had extremist views.
British Prime Minister David Cameron in an oped article to the Daily Telegraph said, “unshakeable resolve” and a “full-spectrum response” were needed to tackle Islamist extremism, which he described as a “poisonous ideology”.
Police and security services must be given the tools to tackle online propaganda and terrorism must be dealt with “at its source” in places such as Syria, Iraq and Libya by supporting governments to tackle political instability, Cameron said.
Then he went on to remind the British people — still recovering from the worst terror attack since the July 7, 2005 London bombing — that British aircraft were involved in air strikes over Iraq, airborne intelligence assets were assisting other countries over Syria, and the UK was working with the UN, EU and US to support the formation of a Government of National Accord in Libya.
Laughable indeed, if these were the measures Cameron thinks would stop the ISIS. The United States and Britain are part of a grand coalition formed to take on the ISIS. The coalition also includes Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. But these Arab states have of late scaled down their participation or virtually opted out of the coalition.
The coalition’s military operations started in August 2014, but air attacks for one year have miserably failed to stop ISIS. On the contrary, during this period, ISIS has grown from strength to strength, gaining more territory and spreading its spiteful ideology to every nook and corner of the Arab world and beyond. Western media reports say ISIS is controlling large swathes of territory in northern Afghanistan and fighting the Taliban. ISIS videos show captured Taliban fighters being executed by Afghan ISIS members. Reports also say ISIS is seeking a presence in Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population.
Last Friday, the day the world witnessed the butchery on the beach in Tunisia, Kuwait was also shocked by the carnage at a Shiite mosque when an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 27 worshippers during Friday prayers.
Early this week, an ISIS suicide bomber targeted a Shiite funeral in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, killing scores of people. A month ago, ISIS struck a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia. In March, in Tunisia, gunmen suspected to be having links with ISIS killed 19 foreign tourists at a museum in the capital Tunis. In lawless Libya, ISIS has established a strong foothold. It is said the Tunisian killer was trained in an ISIS camp in Libya, which is being used by the terror group as a command centre to destabilise and disintegrate North Africa, including Egypt. On Wednesday, more than one hundred died in clashes between ISIS-backed militants in Sinai and Egyptian security forces.
What is more abhorrent is that the surge in violence comes at a time when the Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan during which they are required to discipline themselves to achieve ‘Taqwa’, which, according to scholars, means God-consciousness or a state of mindfulness that prevents one from doing evil and thinking evil.
But ISIS, turning the teachings of Islam upside down, urged its supporters around the globe to launch attacks during the holy month. “Make it a month of disasters, defeats and disgrace for infidels everywhere,” ISIS spokesman Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, said. According to ISIS, even Muslims who do not subscribe to its version of Islam are infidels. That is why it is killing Shiites, the Druze and even Sunni Muslims such as the Kurds and members of Syrian rebel groups such as Jaish al-Islam and al-Nusra.
The call to kill infidels came as ISIS marked the first anniversary of the caliphate declared by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. During this one year, according to IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, ISIS has carried out 3,097 attacks.
Now how did ISIS become so powerful? How could it capture territory after territory? Why could not US satellites and intelligence foretell ISIS movements when the group marched towards Ramadi in April? Why have the air strikes by the US-led coalition turned out to be a damp squib?
It appears that the US and the West have little interest in eliminating ISIS. The US and British air attacks have been largely perfunctory, probably aimed at misleading the people into believing that their governments were fighting the evil forces. One can hardly describe the coalition’s military operations against ISIS as intervention. In comparison to George W. Bush’s ‘Shock and Awe” during the early days of the Iraq invasion in 2003, the air strikes against ISIS appear ‘Peck and Caw’. This almost amounts to non-intervention, which, according to international relations scholars, is also a kind of intervention. This happens when the country that has the moral obligation to intervene sees an advantage in the outcome of its non-intervention. It is not known whether the US and Britain benefit from ISIS success, but their ally, Israel, certainly does.
Israel keeps the Arabs busy fighting each other, so that it can continue its land grab and ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Two weeks ago, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a damning report on last year’s Gaza war, stating that the Israeli attacks amounted to war crimes. The report made news, but within a day many mainstream news outlets ignored it, because they were focusing on ISIS and the Greek debt crisis.
Also under-reported in the media was an attack by the Druze in the occupied Golan Heights on an Israeli military ambulance that was carrying two wounded Islamic militants. One of the wounded militants died in the attack. The incident adds credibility to claims made by Iraqi and Syrian officials that Israel maintains a corridor to provide medical and military aid to ISIS rebels.
What is unfolding in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and the rest of the Middle East fits the script of Oded Yinon, an Israeli strategist. In a strategy paper he presented in 1982, he called on Israel to reconfigure the geopolitical environment of the Middle East through the balkanisation of the Arab states into smaller and weaker states, so that the Jewish state could maintain its regional superiority and set up Greater Israel, stretching from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq.

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About ameenizzadeen

journalist and global justice activist
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