ISIS, the Sunni Islamic militant force, is the birth child of a marriage between Saudi Arabia's regional ambition and the United States' geo-strategic interests. It's really that simple. It's ramifications are not quite so simple.
The Americans have always been aware that having Sunnis in charge of a country keeps the lid on things - to their benefit. It's been an ongoing theme now for almost 80 years. Saudi Arabia is the "world headquarters" for the Sunni sect. It has the strategic alliance with the US. It has the money because of that alliance, and it uses the money to arm itself and its Sunni allies. The same is true for Iran - with the exception of who is in charge since the Shah of Iran was overthrown in the late 1990's. There is a common thread throughout this history. It cannot seriously be denied. It's obvious. The United States lies behind Saudi Arabia, and American controlled Sunni governments are kept in power to preserve that alliance.
In recent times, there are two classic examples of Sunni leaders that were brought down by US military power at the behest of Saudi Arabia - Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Both challenged Saudi Arabia's control of the Middle East, and both were overthrown with the decisive assistance, or actual military intervention of the US. Each publicly stated the US would never overthrow them, because to do so would mean Al Qaeda would take over. Both were wrong. It begs the question, why were both so convinced that the US would not overthrow them and let Al Qaeda, a Sunni militant movement, take over?
The answer lies in US "strategic interests", not just in the Middle East, but beyond. ISIS, the new version of Al Qaeda, is challenging for control of Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In Yemen, ISIS is fighting the Shia Houthi, who have overthrown the Saudi-supported Sunni leader there. In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is aiming for full control of both countries, and the overthrow of their Shia leadership. ISIS is even attempting to destabilize Hezbollah (Shia) in Lebanon, and challenge Sunni Hamas over control in the Gaza strip. In effect and reality, ISIS is the foreign legion of Saudi Arabia and therefore the US.
Now, people will say that ISIS is a threat to the West. That simply is not true. ISIS is a threat to Shia governments in the Middle East, and too-moderate Sunni governments, but has no chance of harming Western civilization. Some will sight the deaths in Canada and Europe at the hands of ISIS as proof that our civilization is under threat, and draconian laws are necessary to stop them. That simply is not true. In fact, all ISIS did was activate two people, in the case of France three, to conduct targeted hits in Western countries that caused fury - but no national damage. It was not there, then it was there, and now it is not. A bogey man so too speak. Enough of a scare that people would get behind their military intervening in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Not enough to do any sort of damage whatsoever to the security of these Western countries. A slight of hand if you will.
It challenges the mind to think that the combined air might of Western countries could not reduce ISIS in Syria and Iraq into dust within a few weeks at most. It did so when ISIS went rogue and tried to take Iraqi Kurdistan in Iraq's north. ISIS was almost immediately stopped dead in its tracks. Of course, the Kurdish lands in northern Iraq have become almost a US protectorate - and US oil company haven. But, in the rest of Iraq, it seems the air campaign has almost no effect on ISIS operations.
Now, just yesterday the major Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen to ISIS. And, today, thousands of Shia militia men are gathering to try and take it back. Ramadi is important for several reasons. Firstly, it is very close to Baghdad and provides a major base of operations for ISIS to attack Baghdad itself. Secondly, it is a major psychological blow to Iraq's Shia government and its people. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, it is a direct threat to Iran. It is a threat that Iran will no longer be able to ignore. Hence, Iran's Minister of Defence arrived in Baghdad today for "talks". Iran's allies in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and now Iraq are being seriously threatened by ISIS, on behalf of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the US. Its back is now close to being up against the wall. If it fails to militarily intervene in Iraq decisively, and early enough, it risks having the ISIS hordes on its own border. If it does intervene now it risks a counter military intervention by Saudi Arabia in Iraq. It's all in the calculation. Unfortunately for the world, it appears now the calculations are pointing toward war with Iraq being the primary battleground.
So, is ISIS a Frankenstein created by Saudi Arabia, out of control, and allowed by the US, or is it bait to lure Iran into a decisive war and its ultimate defeat. One thing is certain, it's not both. ISIS is not a Frankenstein that once created has left the control of its master, and is rampaging across the Middle East out of control. No. ISIS is a tool to undermine Shia influence in the Middle East. To destroy it. To establish once and for all that Sunnis are to dominate power over all the Middle East, and especially the Shia. It's an ancient battle of the two Islamic sects. Each considers the other heretics. Each believes heretics must die. ISIS is a weapon. A weapon of mass destruction. An invitation to much greater mass destruction on a regional level, and then perhaps a global level. ISIS is bait to lure Iran into war, and then presumably Russia, China, India, etc. ISIS is also a weapon to lure the US into a war against Iran in the "defence" of Saudi Arabia. It's a playbook if you will for a world war. ISIS is a weapon in the hands of men that don't want peace or stability in the world. In that way, ISIS is a menace to all of us.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)