This blog explores the anarchy in the world today from the perspective of a civil libertarian.

Even as John Foley, the American journalist was being beheaded by the Syrian jehadi militants, the world woke up to the startling fact that several of the militants associates with the ISIS are white men from USA, UK, Scandinavia and even Russia. USA has been doing everything in its power to help the jehadi forces gather strength and move towards establishing their stranglehold  over Sunni Arab states. The refrain that is being heard from Washington that ISIS is beyond anything "we have ever seen" suggests that USA is aware of the dangers inherent in letting ISIS have a free run and yet Obama and John Kerry his Secretary of State were willing to use American air force against the Assad forces who have been fighting ISIS for the past two years. In parts of Syria and Iraq which have been overrun by ISIS, the level of brutality that has been unleashed is unspeakable: stoning of women, mutilation of limbs, mass executions and forced conversion of people like the Yazdis.


The ISIS emerged as a part of the Free Syrian Army which was encouraged, trained and funded by USA. The Arab states like Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding the jehadis in the hope that the radical Islamists would not encourage subversion of their own regimes which are intrinsically unislamic. USA did not understand the ground realities and started attacking al Assad and pursued the same policy that had led to the collapse of Iraq and the unravelling of the fabric of Iraqi society. Under Saddam Hussein women and other ethnic and religious minorities were safe and to a substantial degree acquired skills and education. By deliberately discounting the progressive nature of the baathist regimes, the US Administration successfully demonised secular and modernizing leaders like Saddam Hussein and Assad. In Afghanistan too the US followed the same policy when it encouraged the Mujahideen which later spawned the al-qaeda.   Ronal Reagan famously equated the warlords of the Northern Alliance with the founding fathers of the American Republic.


In the case of Syria the ISIS is able to inflict heavy loses on the forces of Assad because the fighters affiliated with the ISIS have modern equipment which they seized from the retreating Iraqi Army. In many instances the Iraqi Army, trained and equipped by uSDA just abandoned their weapons and deserted. The few who stood their ground as in Mosul were caught and executed by the victorious ISIS. Under these circumstances Obama has no choice but to seek the support of al-Assad and Iran. Unfortunately USA is still pursuing a self defeating policy of non engagement with these two powerful regional forces. In libya, the French succeeded in arming a group that overthrew Col Qadaffi and the mildly progressive Libya has now descended into civil war  and inter tribal conflict. One of the many victims of the Libya conflict wa of course the US Ambassador at Benghazi.


The leader of the Syrian dominated ISIS the self proclaimed Caliph, Abu- Bakr al Baghdadi was once a prisoner of the uSA, a subject of the many illegal acts of kidnapping done by CIA under the label, extraordinary rendition. The whole of northern Syria has fallen to ISIS and unless Iran, USA and Syria act in concert ISIS will soon reach the Mediterranean Sea.

on Aug 27, 2014

I'm mostly with you here, Bahu.  Our foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster.  I hate to be too cynical, but at times it is very hard not to believe that the results we see today are exactly what was intended by the administration.  Before Obama, half the world hated the US.  His singular achievement has been to piss off our remaining allies and now everyone hates us.  Quite a feat for the 'healer of the planet'.

on Aug 27, 2014

I think Obama is trying his level best to further the interests and goals of the Jehadi forces and USA is becoming part of the process of strengthening global jehadism. After knowing the disater in Iraq, if Obama puruses the same policy in Syria then there is something fundamentally wrong.

on Nov 03, 2014

there is no good side to be on is the problem. ISIS is the enemy of Assad and Iran. So if the end game includes getting rid of Assad and creating a situation in which Iran has less influence over Iraq, then it is not necessarily a good idea to eliminate ISIS too quickly. We have created the situation in Iraq that the analysts at the Naval War College warned about before we got rid of Sadaam. Three ethnic groups that hate each other, the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shia. Then add in the fact that the Turks  hate the Kurds and you really see the mess  we are involved in. I saw a program on cspan a few weeks ago where several us and British military officers  and analysts testified in front of British parliament as to what the Brits should do. All of them including the U.S. military advisors said the same thing......contain ISIS until the Iraqi govt and military gets their shit together so that a political solution can be Worked out. we are talking quagmire for several years to come, my best guess being that the Iraqis will fail to form an adequately representative govt of all three factions so it will ultimately be divided into three separate countries, or maybe a republic comprised of three distinct ethnic regions. As to Syria? Your guess is as good as mine. I don't think we will ultimately let Assad stay, however when push comes to shove our foreign policy has never necessarily favored democracy over autocratic regimes. We just want enough stability to keep Enough oil flowing to the worlds economies.

You can blame whoever you want but containment is the Pentagons policy so don't kid yourself when you ignorantly assign blame. About the only thing up in the air is whether or not to supply arms to specific groups and whether or not to do it openly or covertly. Part of the whole Benghazi issue was that it was a CIA outpost where some covert arms trading was going on to supply arms to the conflict in Syria so it is really difficult to assess whether we are supplying arms to any particular group since we usually do it convertly.