Military responses = a global ‘danse macabre’! America’s Incestuous Relationship with Isis . . .
Posted on January 3rd, 2016


“She had all the best things wrong with her – incest, insanity, drug addiction, bulimia, alopecia: you name it. All the perfect stuff for a memoir. She’s so lucky.”– Peter Cameron, author.

The Paris attacks, wrote Tom Dispatch founder, Tom Engelhardt, left him not knowing whether to rant or to weep. “They were clearly acts of calculated provocation meant to reshape our world in grim ways. Worse yet, their effectiveness was pre-guaranteed because, as has been true since 9/11, the leaders of such terror groups, starting with Osama bin Laden grasped the dynamics of our world, of what makes us tick and especially what provokes us into our own barbarous acts, so much better than our leaders, our militaries, or our national security states have understood them.”

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“Here in a nutshell is what bin Laden grasped before 9/11,” wrote Engelhardt: with only modest millions of dollars and a relatively small number of followers, he and his movement couldn’t hope to create the world of their fervid dreams. If, however, he could lure the planet’s ‘sole superpower’ into stepping into his universe, military first, it would change everything and so do his work for him. And indeed an operation mounted for an estimated $400,000 to $500,000, using 19 dedicated (mostly Saudi) followers armed only with paper cutters, did just that!

In the past 14 years of failed wars and conflicts of every sort, American military power, aided and abetted by the Saudis, the British, the French, and other countries on a case-by-case basis, essentially fractured the Greater Middle East, noted Engelhardt. “It helped create five failed states – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen – worlds in which terror groups could thrive and in the chaos of which they could attract ever more recruits.”

To continue to grow, ISIS and the various al-Qaeda groups needed the US and its allies to lend them, as Tom puts it with refreshing candour, “an eternally destructive hand to further smash the worlds around them”! So in response to the Paris attacks, President Francois Hollande’s bombastic promise that France “would lead a war which will be pitiless” was just what, in Tom’s considered view, the terror doctor himself had ordered, in keeping with the growing pressure in Washington for a ‘big military response’ to the Paris attacks.

The first French reprisal air strikes against ISIS’s Syrian ‘capital’, Raqqa, were indeed launched within two days.

Wrote Engelharadt: “All of this is like manna from heaven for the Islamic State, the more ‘pitiless’ the better. After all, that group’s goal, as they claim in their magazine and online, is “the extinction of the gray zone” in our world.

“In other words, they seek the sharpening of distinctions everywhere, meaning the opening of abysses where complexity and interaction once existed. Their dream is to live in a black-and-white world of utter religious and political clarity (and calamity), while engaging in what American pundits like to term a ‘clash of civilizations’. And – what a joy for the Islamic State! – Republican presidential candidates are already responding to the Paris attacks, as Marco Rubio put it, “This is not a grievance-based conflict. This is a clash of civilizations . . . And either they win, or we win.”

Jeb Bush tried valiantly to offer his meaningless two-cents’ worth: “This is an organized effort to destroy Western civilization and we need to lead in this regard. The answer, of course, is war.” [A fall-back to the same old tried-and-failed Bush-Cheney ‘doctrine’, as readers will surely recall!]

But various Republican candidates are also now calling for only accepting Syrian Christians as refugees in the US, prompting Engelhardt’s pertinent comment: “You can’t be more black-and-white than that.”

In the European context and with the destruction of those ‘gray zones’ in mind, the Paris attacks should also be considered the Islamic State’s first foray into the politics of the 2017 French presidential campaign, Engelhardt reminded readers. “Think of those mass killings as a wholehearted endorsement of the extremist candidate Marine le Pen, whose poll numbers were already on the rise even before the attacks, and her anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant National Front Party. She is now, in effect, ISIS’s chosen candidate, the one most likely to go after gray zones. In the process, of course, pressure on France’s large, and increasingly isolated Muslim population will only increase.”

Unsurprisingly, in the wake of the Paris attacks, Konrad Szymanski, the European Affairs Minister for Poland’s new far-right government, declared his country was unlikely to abide by recently negotiated European Union quotas on accepting refugees from the Greater Middle East. “We’re only going to see more of this in the post-Paris world,” commented Engelhardt. “With the assistance of ISIS and other jihadist groups, the elimination of such gray areas in Europe could, in the end, help crack the EU open, while pushing France’s Muslims into an even worse situation, which would mean more potential recruits for groups like the Islamic State.” In other words, the Paris attacks and other similar acts represent, in Engelhardt’s view, “a potential horn of plenty.”

At this point, Engelhardt made an exceptionally perceptive observation: “The relationship between that ever-more powerful ‘shadow government’ in Washington and the Islamic terrorists of our planet is both mutually reinforcing and unnervingly incestuous. Both, of course, emerge as winners when the ‘gray zones’ begin to disappear.

“When Paris is hit, after all, law enforcement agencies in the US instantly increase their ‘alert levels’; the FBI heightens surveillance of Americans under investigation for apparent ties to the Islamic State; and, while local law enforcement ‘vigilance’ rises even in places like Niagara Falls, New York.”

In Los Angeles, post-Paris, extra patrols were typically sent “to ‘critical sites’ and [the city’s police department was] monitoring the ongoing situation, even though it said there were no known threats.”

The lack of obvious threats is, of course, beside the point when American ‘safety’ is at stake! In the meantime, the road toward a more locked-down, secretive, governmentally intrusive, less democratic world is being well paved.

Engelhardt suggested that readers think of this as a kind of global danse macabre in which ISIS attacks – eight committed guys spread death, chaos, panic, and alarm in our world at next to no cost at all. In response, Washington and its allies engage in a big-budget version of the same, including intensified air campaigns which will, of course, end up taking out civilian targets and infrastructure. American bombs and ISIS weaponry and booby-trapped houses will insure that those towns would end up largely uninhabitable wrecks, littered with corpses and the mere skeletons of buildings.

Similarly, plans by the US to bomb the Syrian oilfields under the control of ISIS reflect a strategy that is guaranteed to further wreck the infrastructure of the region. This will help ensure that, no matter what happens to ISIS, ‘Syria’ or any state structure like it will be no more. In fact, says Engelhardt, such acts of destruction, largely from the air, have been taking place across the Greater Middle East since 2001. Though unsuccessful, it has only helped create a zone of failed and increasingly fragile states, uprooted populations leading skeletal lives in haunted lands that also become the hunting grounds for extremists of every sort.

“A dance of death indeed,”

concludes Tom.

8 Responses to “Military responses = a global ‘danse macabre’! America’s Incestuous Relationship with Isis . . .”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    GOOD.

    But I DISAGREE with this NONSENSE.

    “Wrote Engelharadt: “All of this is like manna from heaven for the Islamic State, the more ‘pitiless’ the better. After all, that group’s goal, as they claim in their magazine and online, is “the extinction of the gray zone” in our world.”

    This is NOT true. HEAVY Russian bombing has actually REDUCED ISIS. IF it continues at this rate, ISIS will be driven OUT of all strategically important places and will starve to death in the desert.

    But the US and NATO were NEVER really bombing ISIS. They were only pretending. That is the problem.

    Somewhat like SL. During 1990s our SLAF had something like 30 air raids per year. USELESS. After 2005 we had 300 air raids a year. That made a difference.

    You CAN bomb terrorists into extinction.

    We proved it against Tamil Tigers. USA proved it in Japan. UK proved it in DRESDEN. Russia proved it in BERLIN. Russia is now proving it in Syria.

    But USA and SAUDI should STOP helping ISIS secretly. If they continue to help ISIS, no one can beat them without first BOMBING SAUDI and QATAR to dust.

  2. Jag Says:

    “You CAN bomb terrorists into extinction.”

    This or any other method will ONLY work ”if” they do precision bombing of terrorists just like our own SLAF.

    But everyone knows how the cowboys rampage areas with minimal terrorist deaths with a large number of civilian deaths and also destroying vital infrastructures like hospitals.

    That will lead to the end result what Engelhardt is predicting. He knows his own people better than anyone else.

    Whether people agree or not, this is the 3rd world war. There won’t be peace in the world as long as Saudis and Americans scheming together for superiority on the one hand and the Palestinian issue on the other.

  3. aravinda Says:

    I disagree with Selvam Canagaratnam’ article. I wonder how many remember Paul Harris? He was a British journalist who worked in Sri Lanka 15 years ago. He was the Colombo reporter for Daily Telegraph 2000-01 and I believe he wrote for a local newspaper as well. He wrote a book about LTTE, and was expelled by Ranil Wickrasinghe in December 2001. Paul harris was the only foreign analyst to be critical of LTTE at that time, and for that he lost his job. The LTTE demanded that he be expelled from Sri Lanka and Ranil duly obliged.

    Paul Harris said what no other had courage to say. Only way to solve Sri Lanka’s terrorist crisis is to kill terrorists in large numbers. To hell with holding land, to hell with diplomacy with terror groups, just eradicate the terrorists for greater good of society. He was so right. If we took his advise in 2001, war would have ended much earlier. When Englishmen are good, they are very very good. Paul Harris is a living example of that.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Jag,

    USA is NOT bombing ISIS (including FSA). They only bomb civilians and SAA (Assad’s army).

    That is why don’t achieve anything.

    IF they bomb terrorists like the Russians do they CAN bomb them into EXTINCTION as we did to Tamil Tigers.

    The fault is NOT in bombing but in INTENTION to EXTERMINATE terrorists. USA will NEVER do that!!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Aravinda,

    TRUE.

    He is a SCOTSMAN.

    2002 was a perfect time to EXTERMINATE Tamil Tigers when the world was fighting against AQ. Our fools didn’t listen.

    KILLING is the ONLY solution to terrorism as in SL, Syria. KILL more than they can produce and it is game over.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Agree with Aravinda.

    Growing terrorism (put it into the correct ‘soil’, ‘water’ it, ‘nurture’ it) and then coming in as ‘saviors’ to save the people affected from terrorism, is a formula that appears to have worked.

    Points to note in the case of Lanka :

    *. In the case of Lanka, INDIA grew the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. Can INDIA be Lanka’s ‘savior’ after weakening the country ?
    INDIA perhaps can now play a role in helping Lanka, but never as the chief ‘savior’.

    *. The JVP must act as a watchdog for the integrity of the Nation mainly, and never run behind -isms that bring senseless violence and annihilates them in the end.

    SHARING Resources of countries in a fair manner (international Market Place), and Internal PEACE (individuals as well as countries), imperative for the wellbeing of the world.

  7. Cerberus Says:

    Agree with Aravinda and Lorenzo. Ranil W is the curse of Sri Lanka along with CBK. They are both interested more in exterminating the Sinhalese, removing Buddhism and spreading Christianity more than anything else. Here are some examples.

    1. Ranil W along with John Ameratunge and others who are now in the UNP cabinet were responsible for killing about 60,000 JVP during the UNP regime during JR and Premadasa time. Ranil W was personally in charge of Batalanda. The Batalanda commission after a full investigation found him guilty and recommended that his civil rights be removed. CBK covered it up since RW is supposed to have helped her to cover her Waters Edge transactions, pocketing of insurance money from the 12 Air Lanka planes destroyed by LTTE. See
    http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2005/10/23/if-batalanda-commission-report-correct-how-could-ranil-contest-election

    2.RW & CBK were only laughing at the Sinhalese. When over 1000 soldiers were cut off without water at Elephant Pass, CBK and her nephew Daluwatte did nothing to help those men who died of thirst. She could have done so many things to help these men. Instead as Chief Commander she did nothing !! This is unforgivable.

    3. RW kept trying to hand over the North and East to appease Prabahakaran. He even stopped a crucial military operation in 2001 where the army knew the exact location of Prabahakaran and were ready to take him out. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZWO5fWDikQ

    4. He is now trying to run the country. He has done nothing to develop the country in one year. The economy is sliding down fast. He blocked the investigation of Arjun Mahendran Governor of Central Bank who indulged in insider trading to supposedly provide money to UNP to buy the election. Our Parliamentry opposition has been silenced by threats and bribery.
    RW seems to be someone with a massive complex and is not suitable for Governance of the country. He is supposed to have had Gonawela Sunil who was released by JR on his instructions as his lover and bodyguard. Just as Hitler with his enormous complex ruined Europe RW will destroy Sri Lanka and the region if he is allowed to carry on.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Be VERY CAREFUL of those who say THERE IS NO MILITARY SOLUTION TO TERRORISM. Stalin thought same about (S)Hitler until he realized the truth and went to war.

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