Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Islamic State, the gift that keeps on giving

George Monbiot is spot on in his latest blog post: Beware of politicians making themselves look big by inflating security threats. But he could have taken the analysis further. If we look at what has happened in the Middle East over the last 60 years, we can see that the constant meddling of the Western powers, manipulating events, continually creating more trouble and strife, deliberately fomenting unrest.

In 1953 the UK and US governments sponsored a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran, because that government was about to nationalise the British owned Anglo-Iranian oil company (now called BP), and thereby return control and profits of Iranian oil to the people of Iran. With the full backing of the CIA, a military coup ensued, overthrowing the government and installing instead, the Shah of Iran as dictator. This was a progressive, socialist government, and Iran was fast becoming a modern, quasi-secular country. The Western intervention turned the clock back and led directly to the rise of fundamentalist Islam, the inevitable overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Caliphate, with the rights of women and democratic process drastically curbed.

This story is repeated across the Middle East. Western intervention has continually undermined social progress, even though the propaganda claims the opposite.

The West, particularly the US, created Saddam - they funded him, they backed him and then they toppled him when it suited them. After the two Iraq wars, the country was reduced to turmoil and rubble, and in the ensuing power vacuum, Islamic fundamentalism has once again, predictably, risen to the fore. The same happened in Afghanistan The same in Libya. Always a bogeyman is toppled, the West intervenes, chaos ensues.

And then in Syria, they West attempted to do the same. Dislikable as the Assad regime is/was, it was democratically elected and there was relative peace amongst its population as well as secular, modern values. Certainly far, far more so than in Western ally countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Cue the Western/Saudi/Qatari backed attempted overthrow of Assad, and the same pattern is repeated. Disintegration of society, massive loss of life, hoards of refugees and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

Directly out of Western involvement in the Middle East, comes the rise of ISIS. These are once disparate rebels/freedom fighters/insurgents/terrorists (depending on how the West chooses to label them when it suits), who have been funded, trained AND armed by the Western allies. The creation of ISIS is no coincidence and one can only conclude it is deliberate. Why? Because the Western corporate/military complex loves nothing more than war and chaos. It always reaps from the whirlwind. It is about profit, and nothing else. And now David Cameron and the other Western allies have the perfect bogeymen, yet again, to justify even more war, military intervention, and ultimately, more profits for the major corporations who have always promoted war. And furthermore, this never-ending crusade gives governments the perfect excuse to crack down ever harder on their own citizens, to take away more basic rights of privacy and protest, to extend the power and control ever deeper.

For those who would manipulate us, the banking and oil cartels, the corporations and their puppet politicians, Islamic State is the gift that keeps on giving.

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