Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Isis: ‘Manufactured” by US, says Counterpunch.

with 5 comments

From US ‘Tool Box’ Says Counterpunch. 

Counterpunch published over the weekend these latest wise-guy revelations…

ISIS: the Useful Enemy

by ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH

The dark force of ISIS is apparently an invincible and unstoppable war juggernaut that is mercilessly killing and conquering in pursuit of establishing an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In reality, however, it is not as out of control as it appears. It is, indeed, carefully controlled and managed by its creators and supporters, that is, by the United States and its allies in the regions—those who now pretend to have established a coalition to fight it! 

Plumbing the depths Hossein-Zadeh tries to make political capital out of Kobane and the brave Kurds fighting there,

While the Kurdish city of Kobani in Northern Syria is being attacked by the disproportionately better armed forces of ISIS, and thousands of its besieged residents face certain mass killings if it falls, the forces of the “coalition to fight ISIS” are watching—in effect, playing a game of hide-and-seek, or perhaps trick-or-treat, with ISIS—as the outgunned and outmanned Kurdish forces are valiantly fighting to death against the attackers. Only occasionally the coalition forces carry out bombing missions that seem to be essentially theatrical, or just for the record.

Further,

The inaction or half-hearted action of the United States in the face of the preventable slaughter of the Syrian Kurds, which makes it complicit in the carnage, can be explained by its political horse-trading with Turkey in exchange for the Turks’ collaboration with the pursuit of its imperialistic interests in the region.

It is self-evidently true that the Islamist government of Turkey is viscerally hostile to the PKK and those in Syria allied to it. But Hossein-Zadeh does not propose any measures to alleviate their plight, or indeed express any solidarity with the people of Kobane.

How one could help them – leaving aside the inconvenient truth that the Peshmerga are actually there – are not his concern. He simply wallows in it.

The ‘argument behind all of this?

That, the US and its tentacles are at work. If  you thought Seamus Milne’s Theory of why the USA is against the ‘multi-polar world’ is half-baked read this:

The U.S. approach to ISIS would be better understood when it is viewed in the context of its overall objectives in the region—and beyond. That overriding objective, shared and reinforced by its client states, is to undermine or eliminate “the axis of resistance,” consisting of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and, to a lesser extent, Shia forces in Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Achievement of this goal would also be achievement of another, even broader, goal: undermining Russia’s influence and alliances in the region and, by extension, in other parts of the world—for example, its critically important role within both the Shanghai Cooperation Council (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) and the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

And one doubts if many would go as far as this

To intervene in order to achieve these goals, the U.S. and its allies need pretexts and/or enemies—even if it means inventing or manufacturing such enemies. Without ISIS, resumption of U.S. military operations in Iraq and extension of those operations into Syria would have been difficult to justify to the American people. A year or so ago, the Obama administration’s drive to attack Syria was thwarted by the opposition from the American people and, therefore, the U.S. congress. The rise of ISIS quickly turned that opposition to support.

Viewed in this light, ISIS can be seen as essentially another (newly manufactured) instrument in the tool-box of U.S. foreign policy, which includes “global terrorism,” the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, weapons of mass destruction, Iran’s nuclear technology, Al-Qaeda, and many other radical Islamic groupings—all by-products of, or blowbacks to, imperialistic U.S. foreign policies.

Let us, generously, assume that this article is not the famous Hope-Tipping (Hat-tip Rosie) famous for saying the opposite of what everybody else believes (accusing”D H Lawrence of showing  a neglect of “the consciousness of sexual relationship, the male and female element in life).

So it is not to strike a pose the author claims, “Just because everybody thinks that Isis is virulently anti-US means….that the US created it……”

No we will not claim this. Counterpunch has published extremely well-informed material on the origins of Isis in the Iraqi and Syrian Matrices.

Well, okay,l one that I can find quickly:  The Rise of ISIS and the Origins of the New Middle East War Tariq Ali talking to Patrick Cockburn.

…..they come most immediately from al-Qaeda in Iraq, which was at the height of its influence in 2006 [and] 2007 when it was an element–but not the only element–in the Sunni resistance to a Shia government and the American occupation. Ideologically, it comes out of the Jihadi movement and actually its religious beliefs are not that much different from Saudi Wahhabism, the variant of the Islam which is effectively the state religion of Saudi Arabia with its denigration of Shia as heretics, [along with] Christians and Jews.

It’s just carrying these beliefs to a higher and more violent level but it’s very much in the context of the Jihadi movement. …. ISIS has a number of different kinds of support. It has support of the alienated Sunni community in Iraq and also in Syria.

That at least their victors, after all these people have been defeated – they were defeated in ’91 by the Americans, they were defeated again in 2003, they were marginalised, persecuted – so victory is important to them. I think also they appeal to jobless young men, I mean sometimes referred to as the underclass, but actually just the poor, poor young men.

One could develop further from this that the group has an internal totalitarian dynamic,  a machine of “disciplining and punishing” grounded in Islamism, that represents,as Cockburn suggests,  not a radical break with other forms of Islamism, but an extreme exaggeration of their repressive efforts to shape human beings according to Divine Law. Or, failing that to cage them within it.

We can discuss for a long time the geopolitics, the Invasion of Iraq, and at present, the Syrian civil war, the stand of Turkey’s government, that have favoured these developments.

The contradictions within the Iraqi Kurdish power  and the various Kurdish  movements (including their own Islamists) and the complex issue of the Kurdish movements, the PKK’s inspiring programme of egalitarian social measures, decentralised power, secular freedom and sexual equality would fill pages.

But the point now is to mobilise support for the Kurdish fighters against Isis/Islamic State.

All this is blown to the winds by Hossein’s ramblings. – more than typical of the contributions on the site.

Is this deliberate?

That the real wish is to pile all the misery of the beloved peoples of the Middle East on the ‘West’s’ back?

Who can be certain?

Counterpunch – just when you thought unpleasant conspiracy theorists had had enough.

5 Responses

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  1. I’m more surprised he didn’t blame Israel (if not the Jews as a whole) for it.

    Rhys Needham

    November 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

  2. Crowds of clever poeple, who have not been foled by the cunning stunts of imperialism, are claiming that ISIS is a US-created force (as well as all the other outrages mentioned above), in which case, why aren’t these people devoting every ounce of their energy to denoucing it?

    Sue R

    November 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

  3. Good point, we look forward to the anti-Isis/anti-US demo by the Stop the War Coalition.

    Meanwhile in the real world,

    “The endurance of the YPG together with international media coverage, though, has turned the tide in the last week. Against Turkish objections the US has intensified its air campaign and dropped weapons and ammunition for the YPG, realizing not only that the Kurdish fighters are the only ground force in Syria capable of holding ISIS at bay, but also that the battle presents them with a strategic opportunity to tie down and eliminate thousands of ISIS insurgents.

    What is more, Kobane has become “a defining moment for nationhood and identity” for Kurds everywhere and has often been referred to as the “Kurdish Alamo”. Across Turkey and Europe Kurds took to the streets in the tens of thousands to protest Turkey’s cynical game with Kurdish lives. Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, threatened that if Turkey allowed Kobane to fall the peace process with the PKK would be dead in the water. And Massoud Barzani negotiated with Turkey the free passage of a contingent of peshmerga through Turkish territory to aid the defence of Kobane.

    Such display of pan-Kurdish solidarity, however, may prove short-lived. While it is true that the PKK had distinguished itself earlier in the defence of Erbil when the Iraqi Kurdish capital was threatened by ISIS in August, the PKK and Barzani are decades-long rivals for supremacy in the Kurdish nationalist discourse. They come from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum and, as outlined above, have widely differing views on the nature and future of Kurdish national self-determination.”

    Amidst ISIS war, Kurdish discourses on national self-determination
    HANNES ČERNY
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/hannes-%C4%8Derny/amidst-isis-war-kurdish-discourses-on-national-selfdetermination

    Andrew Coates

    November 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  4. Nonsense conspiracy theories about ISIS (albeit slightly more sophisticated than Counterpunch’s) demolished, here:

    http://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/critique-of-patrick-cockburns-whose-side-is-turkey-on/

    Jim Denham

    November 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

  5. Thanks for that – I’ve read the LRB article and wondered what was wrong with it!

    Now I know.

    Andrew Coates

    November 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm


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