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ISIS-Is US the real cause??

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq.
After 2010 the group rebranded and refocused its efforts on Syria. The group has referred to itself as
the Islamic State or IS since it proclaimed a worldwide caliphate in June 2014 and named Abu Bakr alBaghdadi as its caliph. As a caliphate, it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims
Opinion 1: Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror
designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Irans growing influence in the
In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take
a look at the organizations American-backed roots. The 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq
created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups, like ISIS, to take root. America, rather unwisely,
destroyed Saddam Husseins secular state machinery and replaced it with a predominantly Shiite
administration. The U.S. occupation caused vast unemployment in Sunni areas, by rejecting socialism and
closing down factories in the naive hope that the magical hand of the free market would create jobs. Under
the new U.S.-backed Shiite regime, working class Sunnis lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unlike the
white Afrikaners in South Africa, who were allowed to keep their wealth after regime change, upper class
Sunnis were systematically dispossessed of their assets and lost their political influence. Rather than
promoting religious integration and unity, American policy in Iraq exacerbated sectarian divisions and
created a fertile breeding ground for Sunni discontent, from which Al Qaeda in Iraq took root.
There are essentially three wars being waged in Syria: one between the government and the rebels,
another between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and yet another between America and Russia. It is this third, neoCold War battle that made U.S. foreign policy makers decide to take the risk of arming Islamist rebels in
Syria, because Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a key Russian ally. Rather embarrassingly, many of
these Syrian rebels have now turned out to be ISIS thugs, who are openly brandishing American-made M16
Assault rifles.
The invasion of Iraq has partially satisfied Washingtons thirst for oil, but ongoing air strikes in
Syria and economic sanctions on Iran have everything to do with Israel. The goal is to deprive Israels
neighboring enemies, Lebanons Hezbollah and Palestines Hamas, of crucial Syrian and Iranian support.
ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror used by America to topple the Syrian government; it is also used
to put pressure on Iran. An Intelligence Report published in 2012, endorsed by all sixteen U.S. intelligence
agencies, confirms that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Truth is, any Iranian nuclear
ambition, real or imagined, is as a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.
Opinion 2: US didnt create ISIS, of course, though some of its Gulf allies certainly played a role in it. US
has exploited the existence of Isis
A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies werent only supporting and arming an
opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the
creation of some sort of Islamic state despite the grave danger to Iraqs unity as a Sunni buffer to
weaken Syria. There was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the US and Britain invaded. And the US has certainly
exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western

The calculus changed when Isis started beheading westerners and posting atrocities online, and the
Gulf States are now backing other groups in the Syrian war, such as the Nusra Front. But this US and
western habit of playing with jihadi groups, which then come back to bite them, goes back at least to the
1980s war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which fostered the original al-Qaida under CIA
US and western policy in the conflagration that is now the Middle East is in the classic mould of
imperial divide-and-rule. American forces bomb one set of rebels while backing another in Syria, and mount
what are effectively joint military operations with Iran against Isis in Iraq while supporting Saudi Arabias
military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen. However confused US policy may often
be, a weak, partitioned Iraq and Syria fit such an approach perfectly.

In words of a Syrian Migrant: My message to Cameron and Obama is this: We were living in a good
situation. But you helped to cause the problem for us. We want you to stop protecting the rebels so that we
can return to our own country.
The terrible civil war in Syria has been fuelled by interventions from neighbouring countries, each with
their own objectives. Iran and Russia are throwing their weight behind the Assad regime, while Saudi
Arabia and the Gulf States back the jihadists (probably including ISIS). For the Saudis, longstanding
enemies of the Syrian government, the campaign against President Assad has some of the characteristics of
a vendetta. And there is no easy solution to this terrible conflict. It is too late to halt the wave of refugees
pouring out of Syria, at least in the short term. If this most gruesome and tragic situations is ever to be
resolved, all of the neighbouring nations must cease to meddle with fragile and beautiful Syria. But there is
a powerful lesson for the West as well. Their reckless attempts to shape the Middle East by intervening
with guns and bombs have caused nothing but chaos and murder.
Bush or Obama: Who is more responsible??
Against Obama: In the view of those who see Obama as primarily responsible for the rise of ISIS,
the original Bush strategy had been sound and was working until Obamas full military withdrawal from
Iraq opened up an avenue for the ISIS invasion. And that invasion was launched from ISIS foothold in
Syria only after Obama had paved the way for its rise there by refusing to support moderate anti-Assad
forces, which could have blunted the rise of ISIS, even as they fought Assad. Obama did subordinate the
significance of force to a fine notion of seeking stability in troubled regions through soft-power policies
designed to assuage anti-American sentiments. And its possible that he could have negotiated a status of
forces agreement with Iraq that could have made possible an ongoing U.S. residual force in that country.
The lack of such a force no doubt contributed to the ISIS emergence. Americas complete withdrawal
allowed former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to act on his deeply divisive authoritarian and sectarian
impulses, which in turn created the ISIS opportunity in Iraq.
Against Bush: the ominous rise of ISIS must circle back to the tragic actions of George W. Bush,
who lost his way almost immediately after the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans as they went
about their daily routines in their own land. The powerful events of that fateful day demonstrated that
America had a new enemy that needed to be understood fully. The enemy was Islamist radicalism, a
substantial body of sentiment within the broader world of Islam. Bush quickly concluded that Islamist
radicalism was a warped and alien impulse within Islam that could be countered by demonstrating to
mainstream Muslims the virtues and joys of Western democratic institutions. This was his first mistake
First, America must refrain from actions that could unnecessarily inflame the world of Islam,
including actions that could unleash anti-American fervor and also actions that could stir sectarian strife in
regions where sectarian tensions have always been just beneath the surface of society. Second, it must enlist

forces within Islam that were themselves hostile to Islamist radicalism and could assist in the effort to keep
it under control.
Bush ignored both of these imperatives when he invaded Iraq, and the fallout belongs to him. The
invasion unleashed profound sectarian strife when minority Sunnis, who had dominated the region for
centuries, suddenly found themselves vulnerable to vindictive Shiite leaders installed by America. Many
Sunnis aligned themselves with Al Qaeda elements that flooded the country, bent on exploiting this chaos
to establish a safe haven for themselves.
Thus, while Obamas policies lacked any serious degree of strategic coherence, some of his biggest
mistakes resulted from his embrace of the Bush outlook that originated the current unwieldy chaos in the