The Consequences of ISIS (DĀESH) Surge
The British analyst Alastair Crooks is wrong in saying that: â€œThere is really almost nothing that the West can do about it (DĀESH), but sit and watch.â€ Whereas it is the West, whose primary responsibility is to develop a strategy and a new approach, to deal with the growing phenomenon of Dāesh, because West itself is the catalyst, as Noam Chomsky rightly says:
â€œThe appearance of ISIS and the general spread of radical Jihadism is a fairly natural outgrowth of Washington wielding its sledgehammer at the fragile Muslim societies. The situation is a disaster for the US, and a natural result of its invasions. One of the grim consequences of US â€“UK aggression was to inflame sectarian conflict that are now tearing Iraq and Syria to shreds, and have spread over the whole region with awful consequences.â€
The brutalities of â€˜shock and aweâ€™ committed on Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Ghaza, drew the â€˜hate-lineâ€™ of frustration, despair and revenge and the consequential growth of resistance by Taliban, Dāesh, Hizbullah and Hammas. The world organizations and the Security Council remained almost passive spectators of brutalities committed on the Muslim Societies. Therefore the West just cannot sit and watch. It has the responsibility to find â€œproper response, with balming effect, and not the bombingsâ€ which have caused such chaos, death and destruction to the Muslims of the world.
Dāesh comprises three elements mainly â€“ the Iraqi, Syrian and Saudi. The Iraqi group consists of Saddamâ€™s disbanded army, supported by Iraqi Sunnis. They are the strongest of the three, being well trained and possess enough military hardware captured from the Iraqi military (INA). Their commander is Izzat Ibrahimi, and the target is Iraqi regime. Ideologically they are close to Salafi school of thought. Their strength is estimated at 50,000 â€“ 60,000. The Syrian group consists of The Syrian Opposition Army and the Moderate Opposition of Syria, who were trained and equipped by US and Sunni countries of the region, against the Syrian regime, now have joined Dāesh, yet their primary target is the Syrian regime. Ideologically they are close to Salafis. Their strength is estimated at 30,000 â€“ 40,000. The Saudi Group consists of the Wahabi dissidents, who oppose the Saudi regime, â€œbecause the Saudi government has modernized / westernized and has drifted away from the puritan ways of the Wahabisâ€. â€œTheir real potential for destruction lies â€“ in the implosion of Saudi Arabia.â€ Alastair Crooks. There is a constant flow of Saudi dissidents, joining the group. The strength of the group, commanded by Khoshgi is estimated 8,000â€“10,000.
These three components form the coalition under Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi, who has declared himself Caliph. His primary aim is to establish the Islamic State over the territories, which once were part of the Ottoman Empire, but in 1920 were divided into several countries. Dāeshâ€™s main asset is the perennial source of Jihadi volunteers, pouring-in from â€œeighty countries of the world. â€“ UN.â€ Thus, Dāesh poses threat to the three regimes mainly and a lesser degree of threat to other Muslim countries. The threat to the regional states could be as serious as described here:
â€œGulf will never be the same again and the Middle East will be un-recognizable, as the new Sunni State â€“ is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony, drawn by Dāesh Salafi ideology.â€(Alastair Crooke).
Beyond the Islamic State region, the Dāesh threat is likely to emerge in two forms. One may be the repeat of Afghan jihad fall-out. After the defeat of the Soviets, â€œthe 60,000 jihadis who had come from seventy countries of the world â€“ CIAâ€ went back to their homelands except those who were considered dangerous and were not allowed to return. They became non-citizens of the world, like Al-Qaeda and others, and still continue to wage jihad in Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa and the Middle East. Something similar may happen in case of Dāesh also, as the Jihadis from USA, UK, Europe and other countries, start returning home, and there should be no bar on such returnees, because at home, they can be kept under watch. The â€˜ideological threatâ€™ to Muslim countries will be limited, because countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, follow the â€œDÃªobandi, Barelvi, Maliki, Qadria and Naqshbandi order, and are opposed to Dāesh ideology.
The world at large seems to have no viable option to deal with Dāesh. Air strikes and Kurd re-enforcements are weak responses and will prove counter productive. Therefore, it would be better to look at the problem dispassionately. The Dāesh are, attempting to correct the wrong done in 1920â€ and want to establish the Islamic State of the Levant. To grant them this right, is an option. Nearer at home, in Afghanistan the Taliban are trying to correct the â€˜wrong done in 1979 and 2001. To grant them the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan, is an option, because the ground realities suggest that, with American forces leaving, the Taliban would prevail. The Afghan National Army (ANA) cannot stand-up against them:
â€œThe ANA hide from battle. It cannot lead or fight at night. Soldiers refuse to fight, and hide behind rocks and among trees. I am sure, when the Americans leave, Afghan Army will scatter like leaves in the stiff breeze. There are no illusions about the consequences of ANA. Zero.â€ Maj. Gen. Robert Seals, Green Beret, USA, Washington Times, 26 October, 2014.
The West has to accept these realities and correct the course, by looking deeper into the â€œheart of the matterâ€, i.e. â€œabandoning the politico-ideological crusadeâ€ which aims to transform the Muslim societies into liberal/secular and modern entities, â€œwho prefer an order that favors individual autonomy and marginalized God. Not God first but We first, whereas Muslims believe that human existence should be a God created human order.â€ â€“ New York Times. Simply stated: â€œleave the Muslims alone,â€™ the policy Chinese follow in dealing with the world beyond their borders.
The Muslim societies, during the last fourteen hundred years have learnt to assimilate all such elements. Pakistan is a perfect example of a moderate Muslim Society, living peacefully with all schools of religious thought such as, Kharji, Takfiri, Salfi, Wahabi, Qadri, Naqshbandi, DÃªobandi, Barelvi, Shia and Sunni. But unfortunately the â€œpolitical-ideological crusadeâ€ has debased the very face of the moderate Muslim society of Pakistan. The West has to accept the reality and correct the course, for the good of the humanity.