ISIL: Who Benefits?

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DemonstratorsBy Viktor Mikhin

[I]t’s a well known fact that ancient Romans while leisuring under olive trees and sipping cold wine were able to deduce offenders. Mind you that it was long before the times of Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, let alone Nat Pinkerton. Ancient lawyers fully relied on the famous dictum: Cuiprodest? Cui bono? – Who benefits? Roman books tell us that judges before ruling their decision inquired on who could be a beneficiary. as a rule, this was the way of recognizing an offender, and (or) the puppet master behind him. Let’s follow a good example!

Is this rule still viable today? Is it possible to trace an offender by learning “who benefits?” The unexpected rise of a terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, that is now has become known as an Islamic State (IS) couldn’t have possibly been spontaneous. Initially the IS along with the notorious Al Qaeda fought in Syria against the legitimately elected Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Then the leader of the IS, Abu Bakr alBaghdadi recognized that they were not achieving any noticeable results in the fight against the regular Syrian army, so he decided to move its fighters to Iraq where they unexpectedly hit a jackpot. Islamists have managed to occupy a relative large area of Iraq with predominantly Sunni population they’ve also managed to capture a noticeable amount of weapons that were initially used by the Iraqi army. Now the IS was able to accumulate substantial financial resources obtained through vulgar bank robberies, ransoming and selling oil cheap to the black market.

All in all, this provided Abu Bakr alBaghdadi with the confidence he needed to announce the establishment of an Islamic caliphate that, in his opinion, would automatically obtained the support of Saudi Arabia for him. And it must be said that the today’s Islamic state manifests itself as the second largest jihadist group in the world and probably the strongest one.

But Abu Bakr alBaghdadi  haven’t obtained the full approval and support of the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, so he started to threaten their interests, and even started calling on his supporters, which are numerous in Saudi Arabia, to play a more active part in the kingdom. At this point a number of countries began to show anxiety over the IS activities and they urged its allies to take harsh measures to restrict the activities of the organization.

According to the principle “who benefits?” who took the lead? Not the states that were threatened by the criminal activities of the IS, the United States suddenly came to rescue. It’s strange that Washington has become so preoccupied with the rise of the IS. Previously, when these militants raged on Syrian soil, slaughtering women, children, old people and destroying whole villages and even cities, Washington watched these bandits in silent admiration, since their activities were in line with the policy of the United States.

But times have changed, and all American politicians, starting with President Barack Obama and ending with a long list of  US senators have suddenly become preoccupied with the fate of the people of the Middle East. And now we’re seeing the US Secretary of State John Kerry rushing from one Arab country to another in an attempt to assemble a coalition against the IS. Poor John Kerry was in such a hurry on his tour, that one time he had to travel in the luggage compartment of a military transport plane​​. In all likelihood, the next time you will hear that a Secretary of one of the most powerful and most aggressive states in the world would be traveling in a toilet.

At least we should give kudos to Washington for its ability to act quick when the situation turns from bad to worse, especially when big money are on the line. And now, in the Saudi city of Jeddah, according to the Arabic edition of The National, the leaders of a number of Arab states have signed the declaration, which had previously been drafted by Washington think-tanksthat would form a coalition against the terrorist organization Islamic state. All members of the coalition have agreed to work together to combat terrorism, including the activities of the IS. The parties have agreed to cut findings and weapons supplies to such groupsThis document was signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, along with the countries of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf. The only regional player that has refused to sign the declaration is an important one – Turkey. Earlier, its representatives have expressed their willingness to fight against the IS, but this fight must be carried out through limited means such as sharing intelligence reports among the countries involved and strengthening the border.

In an attempt to aggravate the situation even more, President Barack Obama addressed the nation by stating that Washington is ready for air strikes on the IS positions  in Iraq and Syria. Nevertheless, the head of the White House stressed that the United States is not going to carry out a ground operation in Iraq, instead uhumanitarian  aid would be sent to those regions. American politicians have already been “trapped” in Iraq a couple of time before.  However, the media in the US believes that in order to carry out effective operation Pentagon needs new bases in the region.

Here we are. It turns out that the whole saga was invented only just to improve  of Washington in the region, it can be achieve by the creation of bases and providing them with military personnel and advisors. It is clear that Arabs wil have to fight the IS on their on while the US will be busy building bases..

Naturally, the normalization of the situation does not serve the interests of Washington that is going to allegedly bomb the IS positions in Syria. Obama stated that the White House would not cooperate on this matter with Syria‘s President Bashar al-Assad. In this regard, a question arises – who will ensure that the air strikes will be carried out against IS positionsnot the positions of the government troops? At best, American officials would apologize for their “petty mistake”, at worst – the notorious Jen Psaki in her own manner would declare that: “We have no information on this matter.” Once again the principle of “who benefits?” works flawlessly. 

Minister for Reconciliation nationalities Syria Ali Haidar said that any foreign intervention would be regarded as an act of aggression, if it will not be given permission by Damascus, according to Reuters. According to him, all actions must take place in cooperation and coordination with Damascus.

Application of United States air strikes on the positions of the terrorists “Islamic state” in Syria without the consent of the official Damascus and UN sanctions would be an act of aggression against the country, and a flagrant violation of international law. This was stated by Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. According to him, in this case, the pass can get the Syrian government forces, which can cause a further increase in tension in the country.

By the way, Russia has been featured on the list of possible threats (along with the Islamic State) that was adopted by NATO in Wales. For any sane person that is no stranger to analysis, such labeling that has been applied to separately existing problems in different parts of the world shows that the US motivation has nothing to do with a sincere desire to solve certain problems. In order to succeed against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups international players must act collectively without using possible excuses to evade partnership.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on September 10 that Moscow has repeatedly voiced its readiness to cooperate with Washington in countering terrorism, Lavrov said. Secretary of State John Kerry, in response, has proposed that the US, Russia and countries in the region cooperate to work out “a balance of interests so that they could eliminate terrorism threat,” he added.

First appeared on NEO

Viktor Mikhin, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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