Monday, 11 August 2014

Isis and Crisis in Iraq: Plots, Paranoia and Radical Conspiracies.

As I write this, the US is launching air strikes against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq and dropping humanitarian relief parcels to the Yezidis who have been foreced from their villages and towns by the militant group who regard them as "Devil worshippers' fit for conversion or extermination.

ISIS have killed and slaughtered civilans in their attempt to carve out their Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, decapitating Iraqi state soldiers and policemen, crucifying Christians, and surging deep into Iraq to within striking distance of the capital, Baghdad.

They have attracted Sunni allies and even jihadists from the West to join in attacking a fragile state created by the US and Britain after the invasion 2003 and prone to sectarian and ethnic conflicts ever since, a consequence Blair was warned about prior to the invasion but ignored because 'Saddam is evil'.

No matter whether one was opposed to the invasion, not even the most ferocious 'anti-imperialist' could regard ISIS as anything other than barbaric and as a force that had better be defeated. The question, of course, is how and for some, more importantly, by whom.

Even so, despite the need for scepticism about whether air strikes could actually prove to make a bad situation worse, the usual and predictable armchair 'anti-war' ideologues have been out in force trying to oppose anything that could be termed 'intervention', even of a non-military sort.

The worst example comes from Sami Ramadai, an 'anti-war' sociologist based in London, who claims the intervention is neither humanitarian nor would it protect 'the people of Iraq'. The fact that the air strikes are specifically mean to protect some Iraqis such as the Yezidis and the Christians is considered largely unimportant,

Ramadani bats off with this weary set of claims about how hypocritical US foreign policy appears to be,
'Here we go again, the US is using a humanitarian catastrophe to implement imperialist objectives and pour petrol on fire.

It is sickening to see Obama and the Western media shedding crocodile tears for the Iraqi people, after the US-led occupation pulverised Iraq as a society and killed a million of its people. It is obscene to now suggest that the US will fight terrorism and protect the Iraqi people, when the rise of terrorism was the direct result of the US-led invasion of the country. 

Emergency humanitarian help to Yezidi, Christian, Shia communities and all victims of ISIS is essential. But this has to be done through genuine humanitarian organisations and the UN (like in Gaza)'
The first thing to notice about the propaganda is that it does not even start off with mentioning the fact there is a humanitarian crisis. Ramadani's main gripe, put forth in sulky adolescent language, is that the effort, even in fact as regards dropping humanitarian supplies by aircraft , is that it is 'imperialist'.

In fact the entire polemic and many others like it could be translated according to the following translation:

'The first thing to remember in any situation where the US is involved is to hate the US unconditionally while affecting decent scepticism about previous interventions. However, no matter what case could ever be made and for whatever reasons for humanitarian intervention, we would oppose it anyway. 

So this intervention is not humanitarian but, just in case it could be intended as such, it won't be effective ( just in case you had illusions about that ).In order to pretend I care about those Yezidi, Christian, Shia communities who could be slaughtered by ISIS, I need to make windy comments about the UN intervening in a 'genuine' humanitarian way. 

Then , I will explain why the Kurds are stupid to accept US help because of their the superpower's sinister imperial motives. Then, in the safety of my cocoon here in Western Europe I can feel satisfied I have taken the correct line. The important thing is to use the crisis to ramp up the resistance to imperialism. Nothing much else matters.'

It is difficult to think how dropping humanitarian parcels, as the British RAF is doing at present, could make things worse. How the UN would be able to get near the conflict zone without being themselves exterminated is not something Ramadani has given much thought to and for a simple reason: he does not care.

Instead, Ramadani is not even prepared to accept that the Kurdish region is autonomous because the Pashmerga have decided to cooperate with the US in order to drive ISIS back and accept US arms and assistance. As a consequence, they are in league with the imperialists and that's more damning that fighting ISIS.

'The actions of the Kurdish leaders run against the interests of the Kurdish people.' Says Ramadani. Why ? Because he says so. Note he wants to tell the Kurdish leaders what they should do while criticising 'imperialism'.If the Kurdish leaders are prepared to align with the US for whatever tactical reasons they are mere 'tools'.
The actions of the Kurdish leaders run against the interests of the Kurdish people. A similar policy was followed by the Kurdish leaders in the 1960's and 1970's. They, like today, relied heavily on US and Israeli backing. They became so dependent on the US, and its ally the Shah of Iran, that they had to abandon the Kurdish people when the US decided to ditch them. 
Only this is not the 1960s and 1970s. Back then there was a strong state, albeit one lead by the tyrant Saddam Hussein by the 1970s. No doubt there are realpolitik strategies at work with the US. But the Kurdish region is strong, relatively safe and autonomous at present and would have an interest in checking ISIS.

But ISIS is also serving Israel and US interests, apparently. Only this genius has the visionary ability to glean patterns and trends not nearly always associated with other more humble mortals,
'It is clear to me that ISIS is serving Israeli and US economic, political and military objectives in the region. The US is also using ISIS terrorism as a stick to impose conditions on Baghdad, i.e. to cut links with Iran and Syria'.
So not only the Kurdish leaders but also ISIS are 'objectively' in the grand scheme of things 'tools of imperial dominance'. Evidently, that Washington aims at defeating and rolling back ISIS as a means to save the Iraqi state ( the one Ramadani wants preserved ) and trying to put pressure on Baghdad to create a 'unity government'.

Ramadani, however, then put foward the paranoid idea that ISIS serves both the US and Israeli interests. This is despite the fact Israel and the US have been at odds over Israel having wanted to see Kurdistan as an independent republic and the US insistence that the Iraqi state should stay together and not fragment. He opines,
It was noticeable that the ISIS "Caliph" and Israeli war criminal Netanyahu declared the death of Sykes-Picot borders between Iraq and Syria on almost the same day. The Caliph did not mention Israel or its war crimes in Palestine and the region, while Netanyahu declared that the Jordan river will be where Israel will "defend" itself. He also declared his support for an independent Kurdish state. 
There is no 'plot'. Ramadani is paranoid. The fact that the Sykes-Picot borders are breaking down is simply a standard observation of fact with regards northern Syria and Iraq, not some sort of sinister statement of the intent to 'detabilise' the region. Moreover, it is flat out untrue that the Caliph has not condemned Israel.

On July 31st 2014, some eight days before Ramadani's miserable and feeble polemic appeared on the 'Stop the War Coalition' site, it was reported that the Caliph declared it was "only a matter of time" before they got to Palestine to join the fight against "barbaric Jews".
"As for the massacres taking place in Gaza against the Muslim men, women and children, then the Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its paths towards Palestine".
This sort of statement would tend to deflate Ramadani's assertion-'It is clear to me that ISIS is serving Israeli and US economic, political and military objectives in the region.' By aiming to murder everyone in the Middle East, including the Jews, it is difficult to see how that advances Israeli strategy.

In fact, Israel under PM Netanyahu was again at odds with President Obama because he supported Assad in Syria as a lesser evil than having a Muslim Brotherhood government backed by Turkey and Qatar in its place or, perhaps, even more radical Sunni fundamentalists in power in Damascus.

That makes Ramadani's next claim even more bizarre,
 'Similarly, the US is using ISIS terrorism to make Iran halt supplies to the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements and to cut its aid to Syria. Generally, the aim is to make Iran more amenable to US objectives in the region.'...
That is why ISIS started fighting the Free Syria Army backed by Qatar and Turkey-and the West and against Assad, Iran's main ally in Syria along with the Shi'ite Lebanese Hizbollah. If this is a plot, then it would be a plot by the the US and Western powers against themelves for some bizarre reason yet to be revealed.

And this is what is supposed to be 'cutting edge' commentary revealing the true yet 'concealed' reasons for US intervention in northern Iraq.

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