Thursday, July 3, 2014

ISIS Origins and Their Surprising Benefactors

2014 has been a wild year and its only half over. We've got a border crisis, a Ukrainian crisis, a 'chained in the basement' economic crisis looming, and out of nowhere, the Iraq that we have spent trillions of taxpayer dollars on, suddenly has to deal with a seemingly 'brand new' terror threat, one that is even WORSE than Al Qaeda (didn't think that was possible did you?). This post will give a holistic view of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham) problem in Iraq - where they came from, who funded them, what do they want, and where this crisis is ultimately headed. Hope it's more interesting than another 1-0 World Cup game.

So first things first, I'm not a poli-sci major, have no history degree, am not an expert on muslim studies or geopolitical studies (so I guess that means I'm 'gainfully employed'), or give a shit who wins the Sunni vs Shiite war (I'm in the 'nuke them, let God sort them out' group, as they probably feel about us, so whatever). In case things get testy to any wimpy knee-jerk liberal reader who lacks contextual interpretation, nonlibs feel the need to provide disclaimers so here goes:

"I don't dislike followers of Islam. 99% are nice people. I know a handful of them and they are all good people who do not hold extreme and dangerous beliefs. They've been hijacked by fanatics and are probably embarrassed to even be associated with them." <end disclaimer>

Anyway, ignore what you are hearing on cable news, as its just finger pointing. CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS/NBC/PBS/NPR/NYT will all pull the 'I told you so' card with Iraq (and like a broken clock, they would be right). Fox News and mainstream talk radio will blame Obama's hasty withdrawal of troops (as if he put them there in the first place). Anything coming out of a Bush administration official should be summarily dismissed, because they were wrong. Their criticism of Obama is invalid. Stick to making fun of Obama on every other policy that he screwed up (there's upwards of 40), but he gets a pass on Iraq because YOU put the troops there in the first place. Hell, I voted for the Bush twice and supported the war and have friends who proudly served, and I can actually look back and say "Saddam was a piece of shit, but he kept these fringe groups at bay." Watch this 1994 clip from none other than Dick Cheney on how BAD it would be to invade Iraq, because it would be a quagmire from which we would create even more havoc and a power vacuum:

They KNEW going in that it would be a disaster that could give rise to extreme elements of a mentally unstable Islamo-fascist groups. But....but '9/11' so therefore all bets are off. Here's the rundown of where we are today.

Sunni vs Shiite Battle
If you take away one thing from this, its that the rise of ISIS stems from the boiling hatred between Sunni and Shiite factions within Syria and Iraq. Both sects have hated each other for centuries, and its not going to change any time soon. ISIS aligns themselves with the Sunni side of the fence (mostly Saudi Arabia), whereas Iran is predominantly Shiite. Both groups have had their core principles compromised by the extremist islamofascists, and much like the Catholics of the 12th through 18th centuries, they have themselves a public relations nightmare. Please indulge me in a Tale of the Mohammedan Tape:

This is a Christian capturing a lazy Cliff's Notes version of the Shia/Sunni war. If I overlooked or oversimplified, get over it. So here's the deal - 2010, post US troop surge, Iraq holds elections and prime minister, Iranian-backed Shia Nouri Al-Maliki retains power and refuses to tap his opponents for positions in his cabinet (as promised). Over the next three years, there is an antagonistic attitude against Sunnis by the Shia-led government, which results in unrest, rampant poverty, and job discrimination (among other things). ISIS breaks away from Al Qaeda after a handful of victorious village skirmishes, and breaks 500 militant prisoners out of Abu Ghraib in Baghdad. Fast forward to now, and ISIS keeps taking over large cities like Mosul and Tikrit (Saddam's hometown). On Sunday, they did the ballsiest thing yet - they declared an Islamic Caliphate across Syria and Iraq. That is a huge development, as this is the equivalent to rebuilding an ancient empire. Here is their new map:

They have declared a caliphate ("Islamic State"). Their five year plan involves Northern Africa, Russia, and most of Europe. Their religious and political leader is the newly declared caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. They are deemed too extreme by Al Qaeda. No one is stopping them. They are planning to take Baghdad within weeks, and will basically claim the state of Iraq for ISIS, which has now just been renamed Islamic State. They've also just asked for all muslims to pledge allegiance to them (calls not returned by 99% of well-behaved muslims). All this in a few weeks span. US can't do anything except gradually send in hundreds of troops every so often. The Shiite government says they have everything under control (because Iran is funneling troops and weapons to them). Russia is also arming them, but I fear ISIS will cut through them like a knife through butter. But one question that no one is asking is this: Who the hell is arming these savages? Where did they get their weapons? The answer may surprise you.

It's no mistake that Saudi Arabia has special status with the United States. 15 of the 19 terrorists on September 11th were from Saudi Arabia (yet we attacked Iraq and Afghanistan). Saudi Arabia loses if Russia, Iran, and Syria unite to build oil pipelines through their countries as an inroad through Turkey and up into southeastern Europe. They also control the Chechen rebels in the Russian Caucasus, who also happen to be Sunni. So we have Sunni Saudi Arabia who gaves us Sunni Saudi 9/11 attackers orchestrated by Sunni Saudi Osama Bin Laden, who control Sunni Chechen rebels, refuse to stop Sunni Al Qaeda, and now we watch as Sunni ISIS takes over the Middle East. Notice a trend?

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and little cute baby Kuwait that we 'liberated' in 1991 are showing their gratitude by engaging in major money laundering in Kuwait. Funds, weaponry, and personnel are being kicked to the ISIS cause by wealthy Gulf donors. The splintered Sunni rebel factions in Syria (you know, the ones we armed against Assad last year?) are now joining ISIS in droves because of their hatred of the Assad regime. Saudi Arabia coordinates with Kuwait Sunni donors the funneling of funds through Jordan and Turkey ultimately to the rebel groups in Syria. It creates chaos for the Syrian regime as well as the al-Maliki government, which both have Shiite ties. It also keeps Iran nervous and 'at bay' in the conflict (despite Iran supporting the Iraqi government). But most importantly, chaos in the middle east fomented by Sunni terrorist groups, funded by oil-rich nations who NEED a petrodollar recycling scheme to stay relevant prevents a Russia/Iran/Syria gas pipeline to Europe. So again, I'm not a 'war for oil' guy, since we aren't benefiting from this (gas up from 2003-2008 followed by crash then up again since 2009?). I'm firmly in the 'war for stabilization of the petrodollar' camp. Saudi Arabia is now pumping 90% WATER instead of oil these days. They are desperate. Their money train (the US) is about to crash and their oil revenues that served them well since the Kissinger Petrodollar Scheme of the early 1970's will start to dry up. They can't let this happen under any circumstances. So they create unrest. They quietly and tacitly allow terrorists to run roughshod through Shiite strongholds. They harbor terrorists of different spectrums inside their borders. They've also engaged the US to help them train the rebels.

Jordanian officials have come forward to explain how the US specifically TRAINED Syrian rebels in Safawi, Jordan in 2012, with the intent on being used to overthrow Assad in Syria. Remember - we have Alawite Assad (friend of Iran, various high ranking Shiite leaders) against Sunni rebels. US was on record arming rebels in Syria, as we did in Libya. Except we didn't properly 'vet' the rebels. Turns out they were extremists and have now aligned themselves with what we now know as ISIS. According to German newspaper Der Spiegel and London's Guardian news site, we trained these rebels in anti-tank weaponry at a Safawi training base. According to WorldNetDaily, it also appears that A) Obama has known about the advancing forces for two months and done nothing and B) we also had a joint training exercise at the Icirlik Base in Adana, Turkey that also trained ISIS personnel, and it was upon completion that a good number of these rebels made their way through Syria to enter Iraq. To date we've given upwards of $150 million to provide support to various unvetted rebels, most noble, but a portion diabolical, maniacal, and pure evil. Obama is now asking Congress to approve an additional $500 million for the rebel causes in the middle east, but this time its for MODERATE Sunni rebels. To me that is an admission that we blew the vetting process in Libya and last year in Syria. Remember McCain going apeshit when he was accused of hanging out with known terrorists last summer? Poor guy sounded like an old woman who'd been ripped off by a telephone scam. "They sounded so nice...... I thought I could trust them...."

To reiterate, we started training what we thought were noble Free Syrian Army rebels, non-terrorists that simply wanted to overthrow the Al-Assad regime. Ok, cool. No beef with the US policy and Obama at that point. But then we just started training every Tom, Dick and Hassan without even vetting their background. Inevitably, Al Qaeda and ISIS started to take advantage of this and infiltrate the ranks. There was growing a rift between the two groups in January - while most stayed in FSA, many went to ISIS since it was the shiny new toy. The rest was history. It's almost like a redeux of the 'Rumsfeld armed Bin Laden in the early 1980's' meme that resurfaced ten years ago. The world is a wild place, and the enemy one day becomes the reluctant ally the next. My infantile brain can't process it.

So here we are. ISIS is forming a caliphate, we aren't doing a damn thing to stop it (although watch the slow, quiet ramp-up in troops. It started with 250 military advisers. Now its been upped to 300 new ground troops. Air strikes are expected if Iraq can't quell the invasion). Combine this with the looming Ukraine crisis I've spoken off twice recently, as well as the growing Mexico border conflict (I would imagine islamofascists are slipping through every day). Can you see a recipe for disaster if ISIS takes the middle east and northern Africa? Hit your knees and pray for peace. Until next time, Happy 4th of July to liberty loving Americans. 

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