Tuesday, December 08, 2015


The idea for an Islamic state goes back to 1999. When America went in to Iraq in 2003, it helped lay a path for its realization. When the Shia marginalized the Sunni after the fall of the Hussein regime, recruits were created. They established their state in 2006, and took up residence in the no mans land around the Syrian/Iraqi border, operating within al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. We knew them as the “insurgents”, without understanding the ideology they were working under and towards.  In 2011 when the Syrian rebels began to try to oust Assad, and US armed forces left Iraq, it created even more instability in the region, and ISIS grew exponentially. ISIS routed the Iraqi army, and took US weapons as spoils. When we did not arm anti-Assad rebels, many of them defected to ISIS. Some people think that if we had armed them, they would not have defected. But arms have a way of migrating to the wrong people over there, and people you thought were good today end up bad tomorrow.
Its been that way since 1919 when the Brits had t try to figure out what arms to give them to fight the Turks.
What Lawrence of Arabia said back then holds true today:
“Its better that the Arabs do it poorly than we try to do it for them”

I've seen a few interviews with an expert on the subject, Will McCants.
The man gets to the point quickly, and has a book that came out before the Paris bombings. Regarding the many questions about ISIS he says:

Making sense of it all would require a guide proficient in Islamic theology and history, modern jihadism, clandestine bureaucracies, and Arabic. That’s what I am, and I am going to take you on a tour of the Islamic State.

For a good synopsis of the book, click here.

If you don't have time for a book, but have an hour for a Charlie Rose interview, I suggest this, from November 19, 2015. I cant imagine finding three people who seem to know as much about ISIS as these three.

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