Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Does America Share Responsibility For the Rise of ISIS?

Did the Obama administration enable ISIS, also known as Daesh, to unleash its reign of terror in Iraq and Syria? Have the policies of successive prior US administrations contributed to rising wave of global terrorism today? Is the American filmmaker Oliver Stone right when he says "we are not under threat. We are the threat"? Let's examine answers to these questions in light of available facts and evidence.

US Support for ISIS:

A recently declassified DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) document of August 2012 said that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI (Al- Qaeda in Iraq) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.”

The document DIA declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), analyzed the situation in Syria in the summer of 2012 and predicted: “If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

In an interview with Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera, former head of DIA and President-elect Donald Trump's National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn confirmed that it was a "willful decision" of the Obama White House to transfer arms to the Salafists and Al Qaeda in 2012 to defeat the Assad regime in Syria. Here's what General Flynn told Mehdi Hasan:

"I don’t know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision (US arms transfers to Salafis and Al Qaeda fighting in Syria in 2012). I think it was a willful decision....Well, a willful decision to do what they're doing, which, which you have to really – you have to really ask the President (Obama), what is it that he actually is doing with the, with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing? I’m sitting here today, Mehdi, and I don’t, I can’t tell you exactly what that is, and I've been at this for a long time. ...I think it was a strategic mistake. I think history will not be kind. It was a strategic mistake"

Here's a video clip of General Michael Flynn's Aljazeera interview with Mehdi Hasan:

https://youtu.be/i0_BEPfYk4A






US Role in Iraq:

In an interview with Vice News, President Barack H. Obama acknowledged that the rise of ISIS was directly linked to the 2002 American invasion and occupation of Iraq during President George W. Bush's administration.

 “Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said in an interview with VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”

More recently, the CIA agent John Nixon who interrogated Saddam Husain has revealed that the former Iraqi dictator had predicted the rise of ISIS... a prediction that has turned out to be accurate. Here's what he told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in a interview:

"When people ask me, you know, "Was it worth taking him out of power?" I say, "You know, look around you. Show me something that is positive that happened." Iraq, right now, is a country that has 2 million displaced people. Parts of its territory are held by ISIS. You have a dysfunctional government that is probably more corrupt than Saddam’s government was. And if ask the average Iraqi—Sunni, Shia or Kurd—you know, "Were things better back then? Were services better? Did the government do more for you?" I think they would say yes. I can’t find one thing. And if you said, "Well, maybe, what about the Kurds? They’re almost independent now," that was happening already. I can’t find one thing positive that came out of his removal from power". 



US Role in Afghan Soviet War:

In an earlier testimony to the US Congress, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said very candidly that "the terrorists we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago".  Here's what she said:

"We also have a history of kinda moving in and out of Pakistan.....Let’s remember here… the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago… we said let’s go recruit these mujahideen. .....And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union.  And guess what, they (Soviets) retreated....it led to the fall of the Soviet Union.... It wasn't a bad investment....But let's be careful what we sow because we will harvest....we then left Pakistan. Now you deal with the stingers...you deal with the mines....we don't have anything to do with you...in fact we are sanctioning you...  ”

Here's a video clip of Ex US Sec of State Hillary Clinton's testimony:

https://youtu.be/XY-BWScpdZw



Summary:

All the evidence suggests that the US policies have significantly contributed to the growth of global terror. I hope the West, particularly the United States as its leaders, will introspect about the West's actions in the Middle East in the past and the dangerous consequences of such actions the world faces today.  I hope the leaders of the West will ponder the unintended consequences before starting more overt or covert wars in the region.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Did the West Sow the Seeds of ISIS?

General Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan

Unintended Consequences of Charlie Wilson's War

Jihadis Growing After Afghan and Iraq Wars

US Invasion of Iraq

Global Power Shift After Industrial Revolution

Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective

Straight Talk by Gates on Pakistan

What If Musharraf Had Said No to US After 911? 

Who Are the Haqqanis?

Creation of the State of Israel


6 comments:

Tambi Dude said...

"All the evidence suggests that the US policies have significantly contributed to the growth of global terror. I hope the West, particularly the United States as its leaders, will introspect about the West's actions in the Middle East in the past and the dangerous consequences of such actions the world faces today. I hope the leaders of the West will ponder the unintended consequences before starting more overt or covert wars in the region."

This is what Trump is also suggesting. But low IQ Muslims like you were so much against Trump.

Riaz Haq said...

TD: "But low IQ Muslims like you were so much against Trump"

"Low IQ Muslims" like me and other minorities in America are more concerned about Trump's hateful rhetoric and his regressive domestic agenda to roll back Obama's progressive domestic policies.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2016/11/impact-of-trumps-top-appointments-on-us.html

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia's tilt towards #Pakistan will be a body blow for #India's security. #China #Afghanistan http://www.dailyo.in/politics/isis-india-pak-ties-russia-pakistan-afghanistan-ties-cpec-china-taliban/story/1/14918.html … via @dailyo_

At a high-level meeting held in Moscow on December 27, 2016, representatives from Russia, China and Pakistan underlined the growing influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afghanistan and the deteriorating security situation in the region.

According to the statement issued at the end of the meeting: "The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China as the UN Security Council permanent members confirmed their flexible approach to delisting Afghan individuals from the UN sanctions lists as their contribution to the efforts aimed at launching peaceful dialogue between Kabul and Taliban."

What has surprised everyone is the exclusion of Afghanistan from the negotiations, apparently aimed at discussing the security situation in conflict-ridden Afghanistan. This trilateral initiative stands in open contrast to the publicly-stated positions of all the countries of supporting the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process. Sensing the mounting Afghan opposition, the group has finally decided to include Afghanistan in the next meeting. While Iran is soon going to be part of the group, there is no proposal to involve India.

Much to India's disappointment, the emerging axis between Moscow, Islamabad and Beijing seems to have put Pakistan in the driver's seat, according it greater control over the future of Afghanistan.

Russia's diplomatic efforts to accommodate the Taliban as an instrument against the ISIS, in tandem with Pakistan and China, may also have unexpected ramifications for Indo-Russian ties. The Indian leadership, both publicly and behind diplomatic corridors, has been trying to convince Russia that Pakistan is the fountainhead of terrorism in the region. But India's traditional ally Russia is not convinced.

Even though Russia' diplomatic engagement with the Taliban has begun to strain Moscow-Kabul ties, as well as put Russia's historic and strategic partnership with India at great risk, Moscow's engagement with the Taliban is driven by a number of counterterrorism and security reasons.

Russian foreign policymakers believe that engagement with the Taliban is essential for maintaining long-term political stability in Afghanistan; Moscow can use the Taliban's opposition to Islamic State (ISIS) to further Russia's counter-terrorism objectives; and Pakistan's role is crucial in bringing peace to war-torn Afghanistan.

The Russian leadership views the Taliban as a useful partner in its fight against the ISIS. Putin has long worried about jihadists from former Soviet republics joining the ISIS' fight in Syria. For this very reason, Russia sees ISIS as a particular threat in a way it doesn't see Taliban.

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia's Putin Ordered ‘Influence Campaign’ Aimed at Helping #Trump Win U.S. Election, US Intelligence Report Says
http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/us/politics/russia-hack-report.html?_r=0

American intelligence officials have concluded that the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, personally “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” and turned from seeking to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

The conclusions were part of a declassified intelligence report, ordered by President Obama, that was released on Friday. Its main determinations were described to President-elect Donald J. Trump by the nation’s top intelligence officials earlier in the day, and he responded by acknowledging, for the first time, that Russia had sought to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems. But he insisted that the effort had no effect on the election, and he said nothing about the conclusion that Mr. Putin, at some point last year, decided to aid his candidacy.

The report, a damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russia’s efforts to undermine the American electoral system and Mrs. Clinton in particular, went on to assess that Mr. Putin had “aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”

The report described a broad campaign that included covert operations, including cyberactivities and “trolling” on the internet of people who were viewed as opponents of Russia’s effort. While it accused Russian intelligence agencies of obtaining and maintaining “access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards,” it concluded — as officials have publicly — that there was no evidence of tampering with the tallying of the vote on Nov. 8.

------


The report, reflecting the assessments of the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency, stopped short of backing up Mr. Trump on his declaration that the hacking activity had no effect on the election. “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” the report concluded, saying it was beyond its responsibility to analyze American “political processes” or public opinion.

The intelligence agencies also concluded “with high confidence” that Russia’s main military intelligence unit, the G.R.U., created a “persona” called Guccifer 2.0 and a website, DCLeaks.com, to release the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of the chairman of the Clinton campaign, John D. Podesta.

When those disclosures received what was seen as insufficient attention, the report said, the G.R.U. “relayed material it acquired from the D.N.C. and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks.” The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has denied that Russia was the source of the emails it published.

The report makes clear that Mr. Putin favored Mr. Trump in part because he had previous success dealing with “Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia” — it named a former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, as an example — and in part because he viewed Mr. Trump as a more likely ally in forming Russia’s version of a counterterrorism coalition against the Islamic State. Mr. Trump described his eagerness to do so in an interview with The New York Times in March 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

#Obama's actions speak louder than words. 3 US bombs an hour were dropped in 2016 on 7 Muslim nations incl #Pakistan

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-bombed-iraq-syria-pakistan-afghanistan-libya-yemen-somalia-n704636

The U.S. dropped an average of 72 bombs every day — the equivalent of three an hour — in 2016, according to an analysis of American strikes around the world.

The report from the Council of Foreign Relations comes as Barack Obama finishes up his presidency — one that began with promises to withdraw from international conflicts.

According to the New York City-based think tank, 26,171 bombs were dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan during the year.

CFR warned that its estimates were "undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single 'strike,' according to the Pentagon's definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions."

Related: U.S. Airstrikes Kill Twice the Civilians Previously Thought

Some 24,287 bombs were used in Iraq and Syria, where the U.S. is helping drive ISIS militants from swaths of both countries. In 2015, the U.S. dropped 22,110 bombs in Iraq and Syria, CFR reported.

Last year saw a sharp uptick in strikes in Afghanistan, with 1,337 compared with 947 in 2015, CFR found.

The study, which drew data from a variety of military and press sources, showed that three bombs were dropped on Pakistan during 2016, 14 in Somalia and 34 in Yemen.

A similar study looking at 2015 showed that 11 bombs were dropped in Pakistan during the year, 58 in Yemen and 18 in Somalia. The 2015 analysis did not include Libya.

When he was campaigning for president in 2008, Obama pledged that when he became commander-in-chief he would "set a new goal on day one: I will end [the Iraq] war."

Upon accepting the Democratic nomination that year, Obama again outlined priorities that would make the country safer, saying: "I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan."

However, ISIS later seized parts of Syria and Iraq — and the Taliban won back territory in Afghanistan as the number of NATO troops in the country dwindled.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq ‏@haqsmusings 12m12 minutes ago
#India vehicle sales dropped 19% to lowest level since 2010 after #Modi's #Demonetization http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-01-11/it-s-hell-on-two-wheels-in-india … via @bfly
===

You do realize that it is temporary. It is not as if people don't have money to buy vehcile.
The pent up demand is expected to be back quickly. It is similar to a temporary dip in laptop or iphone sales
when the next version of iphone or windows is ready for release.