Because this is America in 2015, and the people have twice elected an African American man as their President, it is no big surprise when Republicans blame every problem facing America on the Black man occupying the Oval Office; especially the world-shattering problems caused by his predecessor George W. Bush. What is surprising though, even in the midst of a presidential nominating race, is a “new Democrat” blaming Bush’s greatest disaster on another Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State; the one who accepted the position six years after George W. Bush invaded Iraq and created the dreaded Islamic State (IS, ISIL, ISIS).
There is really no kind way to say it, and feelthebern acolytes will be offended, but Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is in error; Hillary Rodham Clinton did not have a part, or play a role, in “the emergence of ISIS.” That special accomplishment is solely on George W. Bush and everyone on the planet knows it including Bernie Sanders and every Republican in the nation. Remember, there no such thing as ISIS in Syria, or al Qaeda in Iraq, until Bush invaded Iraq, disbanded Saddam’s army, and sent over two million Iraqi Sunni Muslims and Saddam Hussein’s Baathist generals into Syria to destabilize the country, pretend to be Muslim devotees, and become the Islamic State in Syria and Levant; all before President Obama nominated Mrs. Clinton to head the State Department.
Not only do most competent human beings understand this, one man who has studied every terrorist group since the 1980s has laid out who ISIS is made up of, what their motivation is, and why “affiliates” commit acts of terror; Hillary Rodham Clinton never enters into the terror expert’s assessment. As an aside, about four years before Mrs. Clinton became Secretary of State, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad predicted correctly, and warned anyone who would listen, that the American invasion of Iraq and steady flow of displaced Sunni Muslims and Baathist’ generals would destabilize his nation and allow radicals to gain a foothold and terrorize the entire region. Love or hate Mr. Assad, the man was spot on and because of George W. Bush’s incompetence, ignorance, and arrogance Assad’s once-stable and tolerant country is in crisis.
The man who America and its allies confronting ISIS should give their undivided attention to is Robert Pape. Pape is a political scientist at the University of Chicago who founded the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism and, who with his colleagues, has studied every terrorist suicide attack in the world since 1980 and carefully evaluated over 4,600 in all. Pape quickly disabused any bigoted Republican or evangelical’s idea that ISIS has any connection to Islam except as a recruiting tool; a tool that America made all the more potent when Bush invaded Iraq creating the Islamic State. Of course, ISIS has profited immensely from the recent emergence of American terrorists in the GOP being controlled by WWE and reality television celebrity Donald Trump and Fox News.
The focus of Pape’s study is the connection between the Islamic faith and the Islamic State he reports is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent. Remember, it is a very serious violation of Islamic law to kill innocents under any circumstances, particularly other innocent Muslims; something ISIS does regularly. In fact, Pape says that religious fervor is not the motivation for ISIS atrocities, but it does serve as “a tool for recruitment and a potent means of getting people to overcome their fear of death and religious aversion to killing innocents.” Pape said, “Very often, suicide attackers realize they have instincts and religious beliefs for self-preservation that they have to overcome. There have been many hundreds of secular suicide attackers proving that radical theology doesn’t explain terrorist attacks.” To make his point, Mr. Pape noted that from 1980 until 2003 the “world leader” in suicide attacks were Tamil Tigers, “a secular Marxist group of Hindu nationalists in Sri Lanka.”
According to Pape’s research, the underlying expressions of religious fervor supporting ISIS’ goals, like most terrorist groups, are like 95 percent of all suicide attacks; “a specific strategic motivation to invite military intervention, specifically a military occupation, of territory that the terrorists view as their homeland.” Obviously, Bush’s response to the terror attacks on 9/11, invading and occupying not one, but two Muslim nations, played directly into al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s hands and, coupled with America’s war crimes and atrocities targeting innocent Muslims, proved the greatest recruiting tool groups like ISIS could never exist without. In fact, as Pape notes, “ISIS has emerged from the insurgency against the US occupation of Iraq just as the Al Qaeda network traces its origins to the Afghan resistance to the Soviet occupation in the 1980s;” Hillary Rodham Clinton did not have any part in, as Bernie Sanders said, the “emergence of ISIS in Syria.”
As many Islamic academics have noted, like Mr. Pape, that “ISIS uses outward expressions of religious fervor to serve its secular objectives of controlling resources and territory. Virtually all of the group’s leaders were once high-ranking officers in Iraq’s openly secular military.” Pape’s research and assessment are consistent with Lydia Wilson’s findings after interviewing captured ISIS fighters in Iraq. She wrote;
“They are woefully ignorant about Islam and have difficulty answering questions about Sharia law, militant jihad, and the caliphate. But a detailed, or even superficial, knowledge of Islam isn’t necessarily relevant to the ideal of fighting for ‘an Islamic State’ as we have seen from the Amazon order of Islam for Dummies by a British fighter bound for ISIS.”
As Pape points out, and facts verify, America’s strategy against ISIS is working without acquiescing to the terror group’s demand for American boots on the ground. In fact, ISIS has lost over 10 percent of the territory it once held and it is why their recruiting efforts have expanded to include terror attacks outside of the Middle East that are, like Bush invading and occupying Iraq, being greatly enhanced by the likes of Donald Trump and Fox News.
The Middle East has always been complicated and the current situation is no different; including America’s pesky habit of interfering for oil. But one thing is clear; it was Bush’s reaction to the Saudi terror attacks on 911 in 2003 that created ISIS out of Iraqi Sunnis and disbanded Iraqi military leaders fleeing American aggression; not the Islamic faith and certainly not Hillary Rodham Clinton.