The fight of a generation, terror has undoubtedly come to define how nations, people and of course religious communities relate to one another. The evil of our modern days, terror has been pinned on Islam; the devolution we were told of an ideology which creed sits in the deserts of Arabia, as violent and as unforgiving as the history of its people.
From the moment the World Trade Center tumbled to the ground, media, politicians and officials have drummed in their pre-packaged reality, playing fear, hatred and revenge to fuel the war narrative, pointing angry fingers at Muslims the world over so that the “free folks” would remain oblivious to the shackles their states slowly weaved around their neck and feet – one civil liberty at a time, one executive order at a time.
For well over a decade western nations have followed their leaders in wars and in fear, in anger and in disillusion, forever more blaming “those Muslims radicals” for seeking to destroy their freedom and democracy. But as wars succeeded to one another, as fronts opened up in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan; terror still advanced, radicalism still claimed more men and more territories to its name.
In perfect synchronicity with terror’s progress, Washington and its allies have raised the bar, forever inflating their defense budget, forever commandeering more resources and more solutions in view of cracking this terror algorithm. And yet, before the rise of this cancer, superpowers have proven seemingly powerless.
A decade into this war and terror has not receded, instead it carved itself an empire at the heart of the Greater Levant, merging territories and communities under its banner. For all its technological prowess and its economic might, the West has failed before ISIS, watching from afar as terror militants organized themselves into a state, building an economy and military power to match their hegemonic ambitions.
But are we really to believe that Western powers, those powers which proved so confident in their own strength that they could challenge Russia and threaten Iran with war over allegations that both stood a distant threat to western order, now stand clueless before ISIS? And if western powers are not looking to destroy ISIS where it stands, like Washington’s neocons warned they would do Iran should it so much as blink the wrong way, how long before we dare assume that terror was indeed engineered to serve a covert agenda?
Conspiracy theory? Well not really … US officials have already owned up to creating and funding Al Qaeda, so admitting to ISIS is not that big of a stretch. Back in 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton very publicly admitted to the engineering and funding of Al Qaeda as a tactical weapon of war in Afghanistan. Bearing in mind that Al Qaeda came to be in the late 1980s to rebuke Moscow’s ambitions in Eurasia and keep the old geopolitical ley lines in check, some 25 years of expertise on playing war with radicals would likely look like ISIS does right now – lean, mean, well-trained, well-equipped and well-strategized. If Afghanistan was the training ground we can assume Syria and Iraq are the end-product.
In a report for Mintpress this February Sean Nevins wrote, «The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] has created an empire that stretches hundreds of miles through the countries of its namesake. It has accumulated riches that enable it to fund a war, govern a population of around 8 million people, and operate massive amounts of infrastructure in the areas it has conquered».
How does one go about creating an empire if not with allies, and if not that, at least patrons? Armies and resources to fund expansionist wars do not simply manifest from thin air, nor can advances be consolidated without strong logistical and political support. As of 2014, Iraqi officials estimated that ISIS had as much as £2 billion in its coffers. A year of looting, ransacking precious artifacts and siphoning natural resources most likely raised the financial bar even higher – no such thing as recession in the land of the black flag!
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