As the reports from Brussels flow in, the voices on television are all saying the same things. We will have a call for tighter security. We will hear anti-immigrant bigotry and hate for the Islamic religion.
9/11, Charlie Hebdo, London, Madrid, Paris, and now Brussels: every time this happens, the response of the mainstream press and political establishment is the same. One of the classic definitions of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results.
This time, why not acknowledge the reality of where ISIS came from, and why ISIS remains strong?
Where did ISIS Come From?
The leaders of the United States, NATO, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia remain committed to the violent overthrow of the Syrian Arab Republic. The Syrian government, an independent, secular state — where Sunnis, Alawites, and Christians live together with equal rights under the leadership of the Baath Arab Socialist Party — is in the crosshairs of western leaders.
For the past five years, foreign fighters, money, and weapons have been flowing into Syria. While western media has propagated the illusion that the opposition “rebels” are “freedom fighters,” “revolutionaries,” and “human rights activists,” the reality is quite different. The opposition to the Syrian government is dominated by Sunni extremists who want to establish a caliphate, thereby ending the country’s religious freedom.
This is not a battle for “democracy,” but a battle to bring down an independent Arab nationalist state that has supported the Palestinian resistance and presides over a centrally planned economy. The major supporters of the anti-government forces in Syria are autocratic monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
ISIS did not appear out of thin air. The reality is that ISIS originated as a faction among the anti-government fighters in Syria. ISIS, along with the Al-Nusra Front (previously called Al-Qaeda in Syria) and other religious fanatics, have been receiving military training at CIA camps in Jordan. According to CNN, at least a few ISIS fighters have actually received military training inside of the United States.
As the Syrian government, with Russian and Iranian support, is scoring real victories against ISIS on the battlefield, the Syrian-Turkish border remains open. Weapons and supplies continue to flow into ISIS hands from the NATO state of Turkey, which refuses to close its borders.
The world has seen the horrors of ISIS crimes in Syria, Paris, and now Brussels. Many people in western countries are very afraid that they or their loved ones could become the victims of ISIS’ next attack. John Kerry recently accused ISIS of genocide.
Trump Accurately Describes US Policy
The most honest voice, genuinely articulating the thinking behind US policy in Syria, has been Donald Trump. In a conversation with Scott Pelley of the US television program 60 Minutes, Trump said the US should allow ISIS to defeat the Syrian government.
“So, we lay off ISIS for now? Lay off in Syria, let them destroy Assad? And then we go in behind that?”
“Yes, that’s what I would say.” Trump replied.
This is exactly what US and NATO leaders have been doing. Instead of fighting ISIS, they have worked to weaken the Syrian government, along with its allies like Russia and Iran. Western leaders continue to support Turkey and Jordan as those countries enable ISIS, allowing them to use their borders.
While people continue to die in terrorist attacks and ISIS remains a threat, figures like Trump, Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, and John Kerry are not concerned about keeping people safe. Rather they continue to chant “Assad Must Go” — the deranged foreign policy slogan on which ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the White House, and the Pentagon can all agree.
A recently leaked e-mail from Hillary Clinton goes as far to predict an all-out Sunni-Shia war throughout the region in the aftermath of a Syrian government overthrow. Hillary Clinton says that “in the view of the Israeli commanders this would not be a bad thing for Israel and its western allies” because it may lead to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
No Real “War on Terror”
ISIS continues to be a threat and kill innocent people because in reality, western leaders are not fighting a war against terrorism. They are fighting a war against economically independent and nationalist regimes around the world. Since 9/11 they have toppled the secular government of Iraq; the Islamic socialist government of Libya; and the Taliban in Afghanistan. In each of these countries, which were somewhat stable prior to the attack, Al-Qaeda and ISIS have become stronger.
As Iranian revolutionary guards fight ISIS every day, the US continues to demonize Iran for testing ballistic missiles. As Russia aids the Syrian government and scores real defeats to ISIS, the leaders of the United States accuse Putin of being “aggressive” and put sanctions on the country.
The origins of the Sunni Takfiri current that spawned ISIS go back to the 1980s. Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda emerged as US allies in an all-out fight to destroy the secular People’s Democratic Party that took power in 1978.
Support for these fanatical extremists remains very strong within the US-aligned Saudi Kingdom. Zacharius Mossawi, a convicted 9-11 hijacker, has confessed under oath that the Saudi regime was involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks.
However, western leaders remain very friendly with the oppressive Saudi regime that works closely with major US oil corporations.
The people who have taken responsibility for the horrendous Brussels attack are the direct beneficiaries of US foreign policy. By opposing independent-minded countries — like the Syrian Arab Republic, Russia, Iran, and China — US foreign policy is strengthening ISIS. By attacking the enemies of ISIS and similar forces — and in some cases, directly arming and training them — Western leaders have created instability and strengthened ISIS.
While the individuals directly responsible for the Brussels attack most certainly need to be held accountable, why not hold accountable the leaders of the western countries who work each day to enable them?
The Syrian government has never attacked or killed innocent civilians in the United States or Europe. Neither have the leaders of Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, or China. If the terrorism of ISIS is to be defeated, this all-out drive to topple independent-minded governments around the world must be abandoned.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.