Whence ISIS?


Ilana Mercer

For the neoconservatives, ground zero in the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS) is the departure of the American occupying forces without a Status of Force Agreement (SOFA). At the behest of President Barack Obama, or so the allegation goes, the American military decamped, in December of 2011, without securing an SOFA. A residual American military force in Iraq was to be the thing that would have safeguarded the peace in Iraq. Broadcaster Mark Levin regularly rails about the SOFA amulet. Most Republicans lambaste Obama for failing to secure the elusive SOFA.

So high is Barack Obama’s cringe-factor that conservatives have been emboldened to dust-off an equally awful man and present him, his policies and his dynastic clan to the public for another round.

The man, President George W. Bush, did indeed sign a security pact with his satrap, Nuri al-Maliki, much to the dismay of very many Iraqis. Although the agreement was ratified behind the barricades of the Green Zone, journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi “spoke” on behalf of his battered Iraqi brothers and sister: He lobbed a loafer at Bush shouting, “This is a farewell… you dog! This is for the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

Saddam Hussein—both dictator and peace maker—had no Status of Force Agreement with the U.S. He did, however, use plenty of force to successfully control his fractious country. Highly attuned to the slightest Islamist rumbling, Saddam squashed these ruthlessly. When the shah of Iran was overthrown by the Khomeini Islamist revolutionaries, the secular Saddam feared the fever of fanaticism would infect Iraq. He thus extinguished any sympathetic Shiite “political activism” and “guerrilla activity” by imprisoning, executing and driving rebels across the border, into Iran. It wasn’t due process, but it wasn’t ISIS. This “principle” was articulated charmingly and ever-so politely to emissaries of another empire, in 1878: “My people will not listen unless they are killed,” explained Zulu King Cetshwayo to the British imperial meddlers, who disapproved of Zulu justice. They nevertheless went ahead and destroyed the mighty Zulu kingdom in the Anglo-Zulu War (1879), exiling its proud king.

Ask any ordinary Iraqi struggling to eke out an existence in what remains of his pulverized homeland, and he’ll tell you: “Keep your Status of Force Agreement. Give us back the Iraq of Saddam Hussein.” True, the Kurds were not in a good place. And Shia madrasahs were regularly shuttered. But some reconstruction was underway. Democratic plans were being drafted (albeit slowly). A “nonaggression pact” and a “cooperation council to promote economic and cultural development” had been established with the Arab neighbors (Kuwait, not so much). Best of all, Iran was on the run.

A 2012 Zogby poll, highlighted by The American Conservative, questioned Iraqis about the impact on their lives of the American invasion. “For the most part, Shia and Sunni Arabs perceive almost every aspect of life to have become worse or not [to have] changed.” And this was in Iraq BI: Before ISIS.

Not long after the “great” American troop surge of 2007, Global Policy Forum questioned Iraqis, too. (This was more than Bush had done when he ordered that BLU-82Bs be dropped on their neighborhoods.) What do you know? With the surge and without an SOFA, Iraq was oh-so violent. By September, Iraqis were still citing a “lack of security and safety in general” as one of their most pressing existential concerns.

The answer to the question, “Who do you blame the most for the violence that is occurring in the country?” placed the U.S. up there with al Qaeda and foreign Jihadis as the root of all evil. Harmony being what it was in Iraq during the halcyon Bush years—Shia blamed Sunni and Sunni blamed Shia for their respective woes.

Guess who, in 1994, had advised against an invasion he went on to orchestrate, in 2003.

… if we had gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn’t have been anybody else with us. It would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over and took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world. And if you take down the central government in Iraq, you could easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it the Syrians would like to have, the west. Part of eastern Iraq the Iranians would like to claim. Fought over for eight years. In the north, you’ve got the Kurds. And if the Kurds spin loose and join with Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

This astute, if utilitarian, analysis was that of Bush’s Vice president, Dick Cheney. The architect of the invasion of 2003 had counseled against it in 1994. The man’s predictions have come to pass.

The Bush SOFA specified a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces by Dec. 31, 2011. Despite negotiations thereafter, Iraqis rejected any further infringements on their sovereignty.

In short, it was not the departure from Iraq that guaranteed the rise of ISIS aka ISIL (in Yiddish) alias Daesh (if you want to sound as cool as John Kerry); but the invasion of Iraq.

ILANA Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the United States. She pens WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, “Return to Reason.” She is a contributor to the preeminent libertarian site Economic Policy Journal and to Junge Freiheit, a German weekly of excellence. Ilana is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an award-winning, independent, non-profit, free-market economic policy think tank. Ilana’s latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. She blogs at www.barelyablog.com.

8 comments

  • According to ISIS itself “ground zero” for its ideas and practices is the teachings and life example of Mohammed. They are trying to be as like him as possible – following the same dream of spreading Islam as far as possible (without limits) and slaughtering all those oppose them. Including the “hypocrites” who claim to be Muslim but are not “true” followers of Mohammed.

    If you believe that ISIS are mistaken in their view of the life (the deeds) of Mohammed, please present your evidence.

    Talking about the Zulus (who were not Muslim) is not relevant – especially as you leave out the crimes of the Zulus towards other tribes (and the tyranny within their own tribe). Pretending that the problem with southern Africa was the British – an odd idea.

    As for Saddam Hussain – I doubt that a man who had a copy of the Koran written in his own blood and swore (over and over again) to be the new Saladin (that Saladin was actually a red haired Kurd was something that Saddam did not stress much) who would crush the infidels all over the Middle East, was a reliable ally against Islamic radicalism. Indeed some of Saddam’s senior people are now key people with ISIS.

    In Iraq the largest group are the Shia – who Saddam oppressed without mercy. There are also the Kurds – whom he also savagely attacked (for years – gassing them and so on). There are also Sunni Arabs – the group that Saddam himself came from, and the group from which ISIS comes from (both in Iraq and in Syria). Saddam himself tried to combine Islam and socialism (the Arab Socialist party was the party he came from, as does Assad in Syria) – but as he grew older, he became more religious (as is often the case). Although he continued to hate the Shia of Iran (as well as his own local ones) – after all only one great warlord can ride into the cities of the world on his white horse – and if it is to be the Shia “Hidden One”, it could not be Saddam.

    What Saddam would have done with nuclear weapons is not hard to work out – but people kept destroying his nuclear bases. For example the Israelis blew them to bits more than 30 years ago (they hit Assad’s main nuclear development base only a few years ago).

    So Saddam had to make do with chemical weapons – which he used often. He also had Mig Aircraft, T72 tanks, as well as standard Soviet Bloc small arms (and so on).

    This is what Rothbardians and the BBC call “British and American arms to Iraq”.

    Full disclosure – an old family friend “Uncle Bill” served in what is now Iraq in the interwar period (1920s and 1930s).

    The tribes of Iraq (sorry I mean – peoples) are not nice and have never been nice – which is the reason I was against invasion in 2003 (whatever happened someone nasty would end up in control of Baghdad – so what was the point of thousands of Western soldiers dying about it?). O.K. the Kurds may be alright – but they are not going to end up in control of Baghdad – they live too far away.

    If I believed what the Rothbardians teach about Iraq, that the locals are lovely, I would have supported the invasion – to liberate them from Saddam, who was indeed a vicious dictator.

    The odd thing is that the Rothbardians and Neo Cons (who so hate each other) teach the same thing about the locals – that they are nice.

    The Rothbardians teach that the locals are nice – as long as the evil West does not intervene.

    The Neo Cons teach that the locals are nice – or would be if only the West gave them more help.

    Both groups are in error – the locals are not nice.

    And it is nothing to with the West – either way.

    Oh, by the way, it was (not was not) the removal of American troops that led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq. The Sunni tribes went over (in large part) to ISIS after the Americans left – as the government of Iraq (and its army) is Shia (of course it is – they are the biggest group, and the Americans insisted on the wonders of democracy…..). Now some of the Sunni tribes may be turning against ISIS (as Americans are slipping back into northern Iraq – and are paying them to turn against ISIS).

    Not that the Iranian backed Shia groups are actually much less genocidal in their plans than ISIS is.

    Neither side (Sunni or Shia) actually limits Islam to Iraq or to the Middle East – Islam is a world religion and the followers of Mohammed have always been quite open about that.

    It is not their fault if people prefer to cling to illusions of a peaceful world. A world in which warfare and the global struggle for survival are optional.

    Historically some people can avoid fighting because other people fight for them. The weird thing about the modern world is that some Western people seem to feel this intense need to urinate on those who protect them – in the modern world the United States Armed Forces. Even the President of the United States feels this need to spit on and urinate upon the U.S. Armed Forces (hence his efforts to undermine them).

    It is rather odd – after all in the 19th century Sweden (for example) did not feel any need to spit on the Royal Navy for the “crime” of protecting Swedish interests (for example Swedish ships) around the world.

    Nor did academics come out with studies “proving” that such things as Islamic pirates were “created by British Imperialism”.

  • One thing I should have mentioned, but forgot to, is the vast increase in population in the Middle East and North Africa since the 19th century.

    What were little more than villages in the Victorian age, are now vast cities – very hard to keep order when dealing with such huge populations.

    The interesting thing is that the land itself has not changed – it remains the horrible semi desert it has been ever since the forces of Islam gradually ruined it after the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The great difference between the West and the lands of Islam being (since at least the edict of Q in 877AD) the relatively greater security of private landholding in the West.

    The difference was not just over philosophical-theological matters such as whether human beings could work out moral right and wrong (the Western position being that humans could – the mainstream Islamic position being that humans could not, and therefore had to totally rely on scripture), and whether humans could make real choices between moral right and wrong (the Western position being that humans could, and the mainstream Islamic position being that all actions were predetermined – with free will being an illusion), but over very practical matters also……

    Does the ruler have the right to take a landed estate from one family and give it to another?

    The mainstream Western answer to this question was “no”, the mainstream answer in the lands of Islam was “yes” (with the Islamic rulers declaring themselves the protectors of the poor, preventing their exploitation by Western style landed families, and greedy Western style town merchants – in the West town merchants openly displayed their wealth and governed towns and cities, things were very different in the lands of Islam).

    This had very radical consequences.

    It became physically obvious in the condition of the land.

    It still is. Which bodes ill for the long term fate of those vast populations that Western medicine (and so on) has helped create in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Perhaps that is why they want to come here – and it would be very unwise to allow them to do so.

  • To be fair, I did initially vote this article “up”. It is a rather logical analysis of what seems to have gone wrong in the entire sad Iraq nonsense over the last (let’s be honest) 25 years.

    The poor British, who everybody kicks and loves to hate, had I think several goes at Iraq, all unwillingly too, every time, for each time we got handed the _bitter cup_ , we were bust, bankrupt, exhausted and tired and irritated. And don’t let’s even start on Afghanistan. (I blame the “League of Nations” (whatever that was meant to be), me. At least for the first one.)

    I could also argue on a long/grand historical stance that if it hadn’t been for (firstly) Czarist Russia and then (secondly) fascist leftist-imperialist Russia, that we’d not have needed to get involved in either of those foul places full of nasty flies and diseases, atavistic barbarian survival-manuals, dead-people, curved-sword-wielding towel-heads, bleached bones and fetid huts (if you were lucky).
    It makes you prefer to love Bootle, on a rainy day in February.

    Either the murdering psychpathic pig Saddam was a good man or a bad one. I think the latter, personally, going simply on his record, much of which he trumpeted himself. If paleolibertarians (whatever those might be: am I one then? I don’t know) thought that murdering hundreds of thousands of people – or rather more in fact – for thinking the wrong thing or believing the wrong version of the Koran, or cheering his tank-parades in the slightly wrong way, or shooing away his political officers who visited villages, was good, then I’d like them to say so.

    I think Paul’s two comments above really say everything better than I can.

  • It’s a game of numbers. If Muslim populations (in general) continue to exhibit above replacement birthrate, whilst non-Muslim populations (in general but in the western world in particular) continue to exhibit below replacement birthrate… the result is inevitable.

    Yes, this is a war of ideologies not of weapons. The dominant ideology will be the one that is reproductively successful. I don’t see any evidence of Western Civilization delivering that.

    • That’s fine John. Then, can anyone deliver a suggestion as to:-

      (a) why do Moslem populations continue to continue to show positive-ARB, and
      (b) why specifically Western populations show negative-ARB?

      It cannot be that sex is “more instantly pleasurable” (per man-orgasm per woman-shagged-per-unit-time) for Moslems (who allegedly contain persons of all the various Races of Homo sapiens-sapiens) for “Moslems” than for “Westerners”…now…can it.

      Or…I try a hypothesis here….
      Perhaps it is! (More pleasurable for Moslem men?) It could be that _their abject females _don’t resist_ …because is would (a) either be lethal because the Man Is The Master, or (b) “is against the teachings in the Koran”, or (c) they’ll get their heads bashed in if they resist.

      I’d have loved, in retrospectively viewing the fullness of my life which is long and coming slowly to its end, to have been perhaps 15 or 20 years older than I am. I could have taken advantage of “the 60s and 70s and 80s liberation of women” in more fullness. Instead, I was first a penniless student, and then a penniless worker who was not a “disk jockey” or “beat group star”. So I was never presented with ordinary White British Ethnic human females in hugely-large quantities who wanted me to shag them “now”. But perhaps I wouldn’t like it in retrospect, for I’d have been an object of investigation in “Operation Yewtree”. I would not like that at all as I am nearly 101.

      To not digress then, human females that wanted simply to stay alive, which beats being dead by a long chalk and even in the Arabian desert in the 7th century AD, would have gone along with all sorts of rapist and ordinary Abusist-Nazi abuse.

      The answer to your main question is that White Ethnic British(all types) GramscoFabiaNazi GramsoFemiNazis have decoupled, successfully, the urge to have sex and procreate children from the sensations that allow a man (that’s the important bit really) which is to say: the “male partner”, to get an erection and have a full, successful orgasm inside the female’s body, _without condoms_ . If he can’t do that, then there’s no sex.

      I expect that this was the primary strategic objective for the entire time.

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