The Islamic State Is More Fractured Than It Appears
War Is Boring

You Started it

First the Red Terror, now Islamism; the U.S. has a history of creating its own enemies. Does the world really need a bully in the backyard?

The thesis that more war is not a solution to the ISIS problem is an important step toward a more hopeful future. But it is only half a step.

The idea that the media does not recognise JUM, Boko Haram, ISIS and others as separate and distinct entities — is to be sold a dog, buy a dog and then complain it isn’t a cat.

To deal with the media first — it has become like most everyone else in their 40s and above, this millennium. Fat, complacent, driven by agenda more than fact, and just too darn lazy. Point — media is reporting the difference and nuance and history. Question is: who’s reading that kind of media?

War Is Boring is right. Islamist terror is a human rights and corruption problem. The thing is, it wasn’t a global or even a regional problem, till the U.S. made it so.

Where once there was home

The American mindset has always required a Mc-Donalized vision of the world. Neatly packaged; categorised into comprehensible shapes and sizes; easy to grasp; and most importantly, served on trays, easy to discard after the meal is done.

Which is why mainstream scholarship, political dialogue and media chatter on Islamist terror always begins with 9/11. What popular discourse forgives but politicians are now beginning to remember is that the Jamaat in Bangladesh and Pakistan; warring tribes in Afghanistan; Islamism in all of the Middle East; were local problems till well into the 1980s.

More importantly, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria were comparatively modern countries where Islam took a back seat. In large parts of the Middle East, Women wore short skirts and sleeve less shirts, went to college and had a right to go out and drive on their own. If you have difficulty believing that today, have a look:

The only Middle Eastern problem that was not a local problem was the Arab-Israeli problem. And that was a land issue, not a religion issue.

History starts at the beginning

So how did we get from there to here?

The first time it became a global problem was when the United States decided to wage a proxy war on the (late) U.S.S.R which then occupied Afghanistan. At the time Afghanistan was led by a brutal but secular regime. That was the style of M.E. politics before American intervention. Now they are brutal and Islamist.

In order to get the U.S.S.R out of Afghanistan, the U.S. funded (via ally Pakistan) friendly Mujahideen in Afghanistan. That armed terrorists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and now Bangladesh.

U.S.S.R was evicted in 1992 but the U.S. helped create Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen, Jamaat-Ul-Mujahideen, Jamaat-ul-Ulema, Al Queda and the Taliban.

Secretary of State, former first lady, and now Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton explains it in her own words

Is this running back to back on mainstream news channels, republican or democrat? Funnily enough — No. Democrats leaking each others’ mails is.

Lessons Unlearnt

If one is tempted at this time to dismiss these as lessons of wayback history that the U.S. is now learning, here’s news for you — the U.S. is not learning those lesson. April this year, Janes’ Defense Weekly reported continued shipments to Al Qaeda, quoting .

Shady rumours were always around that the U.S. had funded ISIS. Now hard news followed. Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan interviewed former Defence Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn about it.

Ignoring the politics of both Flynn and Hasan (remember the brush tars Democrats and Republics, U.S. and Britain) : Flynn finally confessed to establishing ISIS. He says he expressed his reservation, but either way, it was the government’s “wilful decision”.

Listen in: at the very least from minutes 8 to 18.

What the General doesn’t see, a democrat should

The general sees part of it. In his own words, “America is invested in conflict.”

He believes even more American involvement in world affairs, this time with his prescribed notion, will absolutely bring about world peace.

We’ve heard it before. At every Miss World Contest. We’ve ho’ed and we’ve hummed. Every American presidential contestant has some version of the same thing with variations in D and B.

The thing is the world needs less American intervention, not more.

When American invests in conflict, the only industry that wins is the war industry and the conflict industry.

It happened during WWII and it’s happening now. The Cold War turned Red Terror, which might otherwise have been a Russian and Chinese pre-occupation, into a global nightmare.

Then too, the U.S. and U.K. first turned to the U.S.S.R in their fight against Nazi Germany, happy to feed it half of Europe including Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and half of Germany itself.

However, even before the European treaty was signed, captured Nazi scientists were already being turned against Soviet allies and the U.S. would spend the next half a century chasing its former ally and the Red Terror around the globe.

What the general doesn’t see is the pattern. On the international stage, Americans are dubiously self serving and completely untrustworthy. When Americans invest in a region, the entire world pays the price.

It is better for a region to sort out its human rights issues through civil society interventions, in their own civilisational process. There are enough and more global human rights groups, enough technology available today to help people reach out. Heavy handed governments, local or global, are no panacea.