Alternative Insight

Did Banality Cause ISIS?

The U.S. invasion of Iraq had its banality, all of which exposed its evil.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's remark that "If you break it, you fix it," lacked adhesive - the Bush administration broke Iraq and Obama's administration has been unable to fix it.

President Bush added a few memorable banal phrases, one of which was, "Aren't the Iraqis better off then under Saddam Hussein?" The hundreds of thousand of killed Iraqis cannot answer the question but their staggering relatives, many of whom became refugees, cannot be content with the incompetent Iraq government and its impotent military, waves of suicide bombings, slaughter of Christians and rise of the gruesome ISIS.

For Americans, to whom the U.S. government must answer, the preferred question is "Who is more threatening to the United States, the former Hussein and present Assad regimes or the Islamic Caliphate?" This is a no brainer - neither 21st century Hussein nor Assad had been threats to the United States. ISIS was a threat the first day its fighters set foot in Syria and united with those in Iraq. The U.S. administrations, NATO and Middle East friends of the western powers have been criminally delinquent in combating terrorism. Similar to events in World War II, they have allowed personal animosities and political decisions to override commitments to their own citizens.

On 1 August 1944, with the Soviet Army approaching Warsaw, a Polish Resistance unit started a rebellion to drive the German occupiers from the city. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill eagerly approved of the insurrection and appealed to Soviet Union Prime Minister Joseph Stalin to attack German forces and assist the resistance in the liberation of Warsaw. The Soviet PM did not comply, and German forces crushed the Resistance.

A clouded and contradictory historical record does not resolve the issue of why the Soviets slowed their advance and why Churchill, knowing of this decision, still encouraged the Polish Resistance into an obvious self-destruction. Stalin claimed that his army had gone too far too fast, could not cross the Vistula too easily, needed time to refresh and should prepare its own strategy. He sensed the Polish Resistance was too weak to combat four German tank divisions. Beneath the military decision lay a political dispute - the rebellion would liberate Warsaw before the Soviet army entered and establish a Polish sovereignty administered by the Polish Government in Exile before the Soviet-backed Polish Committee of National Liberation could take control. Messages between Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. described at, clarify positions on the issue.

Aug. 4, 1944 message from Winston Churchill to Josef Stalin

At urgent request of Polish Underground Army we are dropping, subject to weather, about sixty tons of equipment and ammunition into the southwest quarter of Warsaw, where it is said a Polish revolt against the Germans is in fierce struggle. They also say that they appeal for Russian aid, which seems to be very near. They are being attacked by one and a half German divisions. This may be of help to your operation.

Aug. 16, 1944 message from Josef Stalin to Winston Churchill

After the conversation with M. Mikolajczyk, I gave orders that the command of the Red Army should drop arms intensively in the Warsaw sector. A parachutist liaison officer was also dropped, who, according to the report of the command, did not reach his objective as he was killed by the Germans.

Further, having familiarized myself more closely with the Warsaw affair, I am convinced that the Warsaw action represents a reckless and terrible adventure which is costing the population large sacrifices. This would not have been if the Soviet command had been informed before the beginning of the Warsaw action and if the Poles had maintained contact with it.

Seventy years later, a similar occurrence unfolded in the Middle East, an embattled Kurdish Resistance fought to preserve the Syrian city of Kobani against an invading ISIS enemy - not exactly the same circumstances as the World War II tragedy but with characteristics that invite a comparison.

The Soviet Union, by its non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, enabled the Nazis to occupy Warsaw. Despite the change in alignment of interests, Marshall Stalin was not eager to assist an organization that would prevent the Soviet designated Lublin government from obtaining control of Poland and he denied the allies landing rights for airplanes attacking the Nazis in Warsaw.

NATO ally Turkey facilitated ISIS volunteers to enter Syria and capture Syrian territory. Turkish President Erdogan, not eager to assist PKK Kurdish fighters survive attacks by ISIS, initially denied the U.S. air bases to target ISIS in Kobani.

In both situations enemies were fighting a greater enemy.
In both situations the power that could give assistance had reasons for abstaining - Stalin outlined his reasons; Erdogan feared an Islamic backlash and probably made a deal with ISIS for release of captured Turkish nationals.

One notable difference: The western powers that urged the Soviet Union to interfere in Warsaw did not initially urge Turkey to interfere in Kobani, which may, in a perverted way, make sense - NATO's and the United States' military actions have often created instability, destroyed those who can help in the war against terrorism and enabled terrorists to gain firmer ground.

Fifteen years after surreptitiously supporting Osama bin Laden in organizing infrastructure for fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, the United States disposed of Saddam Hussein, paving the route for the entrance and strengthening of Al Qaeda and eventually ISIS in Iraq. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Al Qaeda elements had no presence in Iraq; six months later they were prominent throughout Anbar province. Despite vigorous denials from top U.S. officials, the history clearly shows that the George W. Bush administration is responsible for the emergence of ISIS. Not only did U.S. occupation of a weak and dismantled Iraq invite al-Qaeda elements to enter Iraq and challenge U.S. military authority, but President Bush handpicked an Iraqi leader, a corrupt and despotic Nouri al-Maliki, who provoked the Sunni population into finding a terrrorist ally to overcome the consolidation of economic and military power for a preferred Shi'a population. A PBS Frontline Report, Oct. 21, 2014 states that, as early as 2007, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq, David Petraeus, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker warned President Bush that Maliki was using his power to consolidate Shi'a power at the expense of the Sunni population and radicalizing the Sunni provinces. The ever mistaken Bush did not listen, and General Petraeus was forced to spend $400 billion in cash to bribe the Sunni tribes, and have the Sons of Iraq take up arms and subdue al-Qaeda, at least until Petraeus left.

We have witnessed the violent deposition of the tyrannical Saddam Hussein, who was no threat to the United States, managed to keep several ethnicities together in a united Iraq, allowed freedom of expression for religions, and prevented Radical Islam from breathing, and his replacement by Nouri al-Maliki, a more corrupt tyrant, who has fractured Iraq, pitted all religions against one another, stimulated the growth of ISIS and presented the United States with an uncalled for threat.

Who are these ISIS leaders? They are remnants of Saddam Hussein's controlled and secular administration transformed into more violent and fundamentalist expressions. Documents seized in an Iraqi military raid of the home of an Islamic State leader reveal the governing structures of the new self-declared caliphate.

The organization chart of Caliphate leader Abu Bakkar is described at
It shows that his two principal deputies are Abu Ali al-Anbari and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, veteran Iraqi military officials who served under Saddam Hussein These two deputies oversee Syria and Iraq, and "deliver orders to the governors in charge of the various sub-states in Syria and Iraq under ISIS control, who then instruct local councils on how to implement the executive branch's decrees on everything from media relations and recruiting to policing and financial matters."

How did these miscreants arrive to their positions? NATO, in its wars against Yugoslavia and Libya destroyed those who could assist in the war on terrorism and replaced them with impotent and chaotic regimes. By helping Radical Islamists to overthrow Moammar Ghadaffi, NATO invigorated al-Qaeda to do likewise to Syrian leader Bashir Assad. Western powers ignored the financial and military aid supplied by its Middle East partners to Radical Islamist fighters, which enabled ISIS to grow into a substantial fighting force and gather adherents from disenfranchised local populations. Strangely, the U.S. Treasury department showed no effort to punish culprits and halt the flow of money from known individuals in Kuwait and Qatar to ISIS. Only after ISIS became firmly entrenched in Syria and Iraq, displayed military superiority to competing forces and established a semblance of a governing structure, the United States administration concluded that "it is time to confront ISIS." - confront and not combat - U.S. policy is geared to halt ISIS expansion and has no demonstrated means to reverse its course.

The latest proposal for dislodging ISIS is to form a more representative Iraq government by 2015; twelve years after it was posed as the reason for deposing Saddam Hussein in 2003, and have a united military engage the declared Caliphate. Ignored is that the Sunni population has come to view the Iraq military as an occupying power and that the Shi'a in the Iraq military do not have any incentive to enter the Sunni provinces and fight to preserve Iraq sovereignty - the Southern Shl'a population has its oil and seaport, does not care to share them, and would rather have the Sunnis and Kurds fight one another for the remaining resources. And fighting there will be -- Iraq is faced with an apocalypse, a future battle between the Sunnis, led by the ISIS fighting force, and the Kurds for the oil rich city of Kirkuk. Because the Caliphate will not consider itself complete until the black flag flies over Baghdad and Damascus expect a battle between ISIS and Shi'a for Baghdad. The resulting devastation might be almost as great as the World War II destructions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

There are no more Sons of Iraq to bribe into combating al-Qaeda - just the opposite - the former Sons of Iraq are now the Sons of ISIS, maybe not welcoming ISIS but not prepared to battle with the Radical Muslims as long a ISIS does not interfere with the tribes and remains involved in contesting a despised Iraq regime.

After years of training soldiers and supplying weapons at a huge cost to the American taxpayer, ($25 billion is the most accepted estimate) the U.S. succeeded in establishing a fighting force in Iraq, only it was an ISIS military and not an Iraqi army. Primarily due to captured U.S. weapons, ISIS has been able to viciously subdue antagonists in the Northern Halab countryside outside of Aleppo, Syria and in the Shu'aytat villages of western Syria. It is doubtful that any local militia will be able to organize a competent force to repulse ISIS. Even if ISIS is severely defeated a legacy remains. The Institute for the Study of War at: describes the legacy: "The consequence of ISIS' failure, however, may not be the dismantling of the Caliphate, but rather the devastation of the cities and systems that comprise Iraq and Syria such that they never recover."

Now that Saddam Hussein is history and Bashar Assad approaches history, the means for defeating ISIS is limited; no effective fighting force exists internally within Syria and Iraq to demolish ISIS or provide effective governance if a defeat can be obtained. The mistakes of the past are evident. In the uncalled for invasion of Iraq, special interests, including those of foreign governments were placed before the interests of the U.S. citizens. A detailed investigation of how this debacle occurred is definitely necessary. Otherwise the destructive and manipulated mindset of the American people, which has encouraged wars since inception of the United States Republic, will never change.

october 25, 2014