Wednesday, September 24, 2014


The hypnotic charms of Old Egypt's 'mother goddess', the assembler of dead Osiris little bits, Bobby Dylan's paean to loss and recapitulation and now the nemesis of western civilization are enshrined in the name ISIS - the latest civilized way of expressing an idea for english-speakers that we can hardly get our heads around. if we can't say it we'll give it an acronym - at least its not something entertaining like SPECTRE or UNCLE.

ISIS (الدولة الإسلامية - ad-Dawlah l-ʾIslāmiyyah) (al daesh) appeared as an offshoot in the Syrian civil war - one of the numerous groups attacking the Al Assad regime. Shortly after it first hit the press in the west it was announced that it had 'usurped' AlQaeda and was facing off against other rebel groups. In short order it had subsumed those who agreed with it and destroyed the ones that didn't. The latter included the very small 'moderate' rebels favoured by America. It did however 'fall heir' to a large quantity of  their US-supplied arms and resources. ISIS soon became the main contender in central and south eastern Syria and it had strong ties to the Sunni areas of Iraq, particularly the restive province of  Anbar.

There are less positive schools of thought that lay ISIS directly at the door of the CIA and or Israeli Mossad or both. If that is the case, then either there is a plan for disrupting the oil region to benefit America (what could be wrong with $30 a barrel ISIS oil?) or ISIS has, like AQ before it, escaped the control of its masters. If it isn't the case, then somebody was sound asleep at a very important switch....the same people who are now trying so sell an salutary war.

The Monster

When the Baghdad government failed to put down the Sunni uprising in Anbar, fighters from Syria soon became involved, until, this past summer, ISIS itself became involved in Iraq, removing the government presence from Anbar and a large swathe of the Iraqi northland. It was opposed, practically, only by the Kurdish forces around Basra and Kirkkuk.

It was at this point America decided that action needed to be taken to prevent a seizure of the whole of Iraq. The Iraqi government was resupplied, as were the Kurds, and an offensive mounted to 'hold' ISIS forces.  When ISIS threatened a "humanitarian disaster' the US undertook a  tactical bombing campaign in support of non-ISIS forces.

This bombing campaign has now been extended to Syria and is upgraded to a 'strategic' campaign to reduce, and eventually eliminate ISIS completely.

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