From the media and the announcements of various politicians it is easy to see large areas of Syria and Iraq as being populated only by psychopathic Islamic fundamentalists. However, most of the people there are merely trying to live their lives as best as possible under very difficult circumstances. They want to be able to feed themselves and their families, to be able to get medical care for their children if they become sick.
Putting Thugs In Control
Most places I have lived have one or two well known gang/families who are the local ‘heavies’. What would the result be if some of them were funded and armed to ‘keep the peace’. Do you think that this would be a good idea? Alternatively do you think that they would use these resources for extortion, corruption and settling disputes with rivals? Put this into a context of existing religious tensions – for example arming Protestant gangs in Northern Ireland – then perhaps this idea becomes even worse. What state do you think that the country would be in after 30 years of this rule by armed gangs as has happened in Afghanistan.
The western forces have been arming, funding and supporting paedophiles, rapists and murders in Afghanistan1,2. The have supported murder squads in Iraq in a similar fashion in which they have done in other places such as El Salvador3.
In Syria they have been supporting Islamic fundamentalists including Al Qaeda who bring “discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA [Free Syrian Army] needs al-Qaeda now.” This was not something that they did not know at the time but “The unspoken political calculation among policymakers is to get rid of Assad first—weakening Iran’s position in the region—and then deal with al-Qaeda later.”4
Even now with US lead airstrikes against the Islamic State there is no let up in the ‘more important’ goal of removing Assad. Our governments will continue to support the ‘moderates’ .
It is true that some of the local population in Northern Iraq support the Islamic State over the Iraqi government and that some people in Afghanistan support the Taliban over the Afghan government. A lot of what we hear about ISIL and the Taliban is undoubtedly correct so how bad does the governments that we put into power and continue to support in Afghanistan and Iraq have to be that people prefer to live under the Taliban/ISIS.
It could be argued that the general population in areas controlled by ISIL and the Taliban should have risen up against such oppression. Perhaps the general population in this country should rise up against our politicians who are complicit in atrocities.
1 Afghanistan’s US-Backed Child-Raping Police, Counterpunch, July 30, 2009, (http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/07/30/afghanistan-s-us-backed-child-raping-police/)
2 Exit Afghanistan,aAVPRO/Tegenlicht documentary by Mariusz Pilis and Olaf Oudheusden (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo-R_Yp2py0)
3 From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington’s man behind brutal police squads, The Guardian, 6 March 2013 (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/06/el-salvador-iraq-police-squads-washington)
4 Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria, Council on Foreign Relations, August 2012 (http://www.cfr.org/syria/al-qaedas-specter-syria/p28782)