The Islamic State story doesn’t end with killing of the founder Al Baghdadi
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: syria;
The killing of the founder and leader of Daesh by US commandos operating in Syria should certainly further weaken the most vile and deadly movement to emerge in the Middle East in the modern era.
The world is certainly a better place with Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi dead and a measure of justice meted out on behalf of all the women Daesh raped, all the journalists Daesh beheaded and the tens of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis it abused.
Good for President Donald Trump for ordering it, for the intelligence agents who set it up, for the allies who aided in it and for the Special Forces who executed it.
But this story is far from over, and it could have many unexpected implications. Let’s start at home. Trump was effusive in his praise for the US intelligence agencies who found and tracked Al Baghdadi to the lair in Syria where he blew himself up to avoid being captured.
And the same intelligence agencies who tracked down Al Baghdadi are the same ones who produced two whistle-blowers high up in your White House — who complained that Trump abused the power of his office to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, touching off this impeachment inquiry. So thank you for clearing up this confusion.
We now know that the same intelligence services who have been heroic in protecting the US from those who want to attack its constitutional democracy from abroad are the same heroes who have stepped up to protect America’s constitutional democracy from within.
Let’s not forget that Daesh was a terrorist organisation that emerged after President Barack Obama’s administration eliminated the previous holder of the worst-person-in-the-world title, Osama Bin Laden. Al Baghdadi’s death — a very good thing in and of itself — is not the end of our troubles in and from the Middle East.
Trump’s effort to play down the significance of Obama’s killing of Bin Laden — while playing up his killing of Al Baghdadi as the key to creating the peace to end all peace — only shows how ignorant he is about the region.
Daesh emerged in 2014 as the product of three loose factions or movements, as I pointed out in a column back in 2015. One faction comprised the foreign volunteers. Some were hardened extremists, but many were losers, misfits, adventure seekers and young men and they joined Daesh to get all three. Daesh offered a pay cheque, power to men and women coming from closed societies or cultures where none of that was available.
Daesh’s second faction — its brains and military backbone — was composed of former Baathist army officers and local Iraqi tribes, who gave Daesh passive support. The third Daesh faction was composed of the true religious ideologues, led by Al Baghdadi. They have their own apocalyptic version of faith. But it would not have resonated so far and wide were it not for the first two factors listed above.
And that leads us back to Trump and his foreign policy. He is blind to the fact that the next Al Baghdadi is being incubated today. He kept going on and on in his news conference about how he, in his infinite wisdom, was keeping US troops in Syria to protect the oilfields there so maybe US oil companies could exploit them. He even boasted that while he was against the Iraq War, we should have taken over all of Iraq’s oilfields to pay for it.
This is a prescription for trouble in the future. If America has any role in the Middle East today, it is not to protect the oil wells but to protect and enhance what I call the “islands of decency.”
These are places like Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan, Jordan, the UAE, Oman, Lebanon and the frail democracies in Tunisia and Baghdad. These countries promote more moderate versions of Islam and religious tolerance, they empower their women, and they do encourage modern education.
Source: Gulf News