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De the history of the islamic state. a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 14:45
... Because the Iraqi Army left their equipment largely intact, ISIS got access to tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters (which they don’t know how to use yet), and a large amount of ammunition, uniforms, and other types of hardware to help them consolidate rule over north and central Iraq. In addition, they robbed the central bank of Mosul and other banks across Iraq which led to them claiming up to 400 million dollars in cash.

In addition to the arms and cash, ISIS also seized the precious bounty of oil fields across northern Iraq and now makes perhaps 3 million a day in black market oil sales according to experts. Cash and oil has made ISIS self-sufficient, and it is perhaps this conquest strategy is a large reason why they abandoned al Qaeda central leadership to begin with. ISIS had no intention on sharing the spoils of their hard-fought labor with an isolated leadership far away from the battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The success of ISIS has led hundreds of people from Europe and other parts of the world streaming into the area under ISIS control to pledge allegiance to their organization, with some estimated 6,300 aspiring jihadists migrating to Syria and Mesopotamia in the month of July 2014 alone.

Upon conquering northern and central Iraq, ISIS changed its name to the Islamic State (IS), and declared Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as Caliph Ibrahim. Upon declaration of the restoration of the Caliphate, the Kurds also formally announced their plans to break from the Iraqi central government, hearkening the subsequent rebirth of Kurdistan.

In response to the ISIS takeover, Obama sent 300 advisors to Iraq. Ironically, the Iranian revolutionary guards are also in Iraq at the time of this writing to help bolster the defenses of Baghdad in expectation of an ISIS push to take control of Baghdad. At the end of August, Obama announced yet another 300 troops were to be sent back to Mesopotamia following the execution of American reporter James Foley and ISIS threats to murder another, Steven Sotloff.

The Islamic State and Kurdistan

The Kurds are dispersed throughout the Middle East, although they have a large territory in the Northeast of Iraq in the mountain ranges between Iraq and Iran and on the border with Turkey. Ironically, this is where Zarqawi initially found refuge when he fled Afghanistan.

ISIS began operations on Kurdistan in late July of this year, but prior to the commencement of those hostilities, they had been rooting out religious minorities under their dominion in Mosul and Anbar province. The message to the non-Sunnis was to convert to Islam or pay a "jizya," which is essentially a tax for not being a Sunni Muslim. After a short period, ISIS arbitrarily changed the message to "leave or die," thus triggering an exodus of Christians from northern Iraq.

After the Christians, the jihadists turned their sights on the Kurds, and the opening of this front is where the line in the sand was drawn by the United States. In the geopolitical theater, Obama had no intentions on allowing ISIS to usurp Kurdistan, as such a development posed a grave threat to the geopolitical balance in the region as it would place ISIS on the borders of both Iran and Turkey.

Iraqi Kurdistan is a socially divided entity. There are Salafi jihadist Kurds who generally are youth and low caste tribesmen. Kurds are also mostly Sunni Muslim, which would have meant that the transnational ISIS would possibly be able to incorporate Kurdistan as one of its "emirates."

The Kurdish leadership has a good relationship with Washington, as they were the chief, unflinching collaborators with the US occupation. They are also considered a vital part of the intelligence apparatus in the greater Middle East area, as they work with Mossad and the CIA to spy on neighboring Iran.

International outcry came about once ISIS added the Yezidi religious group to its genocidal hit list, leading to a set of massacres and the hot pursuit of a civilian Yezidi population up Shingal Mountain. The Yezidis began dying of thirst in the caves of their makeshift stronghold in the ensuing ISIS siege and it was at this time that the Americans made a humanitarian air drop to them while the world watched on. Assistance to Yezidis facing genocide was ...

De .the history ... ISIS ... e índice. a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 15:05
The History of the Islamic State

by Walead Farwana, 24/8/2014
... ... ...
... Assistance to Yezidis facing genocide was the political cover story for launching airstrikes on ISIS. The way I see Washington’s message to ISIS is “don’t mess with the Kurds, you can have everything else.”

While Obama was probably willing to tolerate the Sunni parts of Iraq falling to ISIS, the Kurdish regions were a red line. This is evidenced by the fact that there was no vitriolic reaction to the fall of Mosul and the drive of ISIS toward Baghdad. In fact, the central government of Iraq essentially had to turn to the Russians, who are allied with Assad and Iran, in order to assist them with the vital problems facing their rule in Iraq. Furthermore, there is the question as to why NATO member Turkey never sought to crush ISIS, despite the fact that they were willing to go as far as to stage a false flag attack on their own civilians to justify such a measure. Perhaps the US did not trust the Turks enough not to violate the sovereignty of the Kurds, whom they have been in on-and-off wars with for decades.

The relatively muted US response, which includes only limited airstrikes, and only airstrikes in ISIS’s Iraqi half, could be because it wants to keep ISIS intact enough that it continues to constitute a thorn in the side of Iran on its eastern border and Assad in the West. Perhaps Washington has learned its lesson regarding the dangers of creating power vacuums. The best case scenario for Washington may be a prolonged war between the Sunnis of Iraq and the Levant and the Shiite countries bordering them.

Notes on the Kurds

The information I’m including below is not to vilify Kurds, but rather to provide some clarity about the people who Washington is supporting.

Kurdish rule in Iraq is essentially a dictatorship led by the Barzani clan. It is a tribal area, like the culture of their Sunni Arab adversaries. In 2011, they violently suppressed protests by their fellow Kurds protesting the Barzani dictatorship. It is also an area where female genital mutilation is considered normal and, despite a nominal “ban” in response to Western pressure, the practice continues unabated. Note, male genital mutilation is also endemic across the Middle East, although it is FGM which generally gets Westerners up in arms, so I highlight this because it flies in the face of the narrative purported by the US government that it is assisting a free, democratic bastion of civilization against murderous religious fanatics. Truth is, it is one medieval set of people clashing with against another set of people whose psychologies lie somewhere between the invention of the agriculture and the Industrial Revolution.

Notes on US involvement

I think it is necessary to recap how the US helped precipitate this crisis:
1. They invaded Iraq, thus upsetting the balance of power there and leaving a vacuum to be filled by Zarqawi and JTJ
2. They pursued a policy of sectarian divide-and-conquer, thus effectively setting up sectarian military boundaries in Iraq when they simultaneously armed Sunni tribes alongside the Shiite-dominated central government
3. The attack on Libya that toppled Gaddafi created the rise of jihadists there and a subsequent flood of weapons into Syria that bolstered ISIS
4. US support for rebel groups in Syria undermined Assad who was a bulwark against Jihadism in the region, again bolstering ISIS

-------- Walead Farwana is an American researcher, writer, and amateur historian currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in biology. Walead is fluent in Arabic, with over a year of Middle East travel under his belt. You can follow him on Twitter @Walled_Farana

Islamic State, ISIS, DAESH, Terrorists, Jihad, ... AlQaeda,


-- Jama’at al Tawhid w’al Jihad
-- Iraqi Tribal System
-- Sectarian violence in Iraq during the US occupation
-- Islam and tribalism
-- JTJ metamorphoses into Al Qaeda in Iraq
-- Sahwa Militias and the disintegration of the Iraqi state
-- Describing Jihadi Organizations
-- 2011
-- US destabilization of Syria
-- Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS
-- The Islamic State and Kurdistan
-- Notes on the Kurds
-- Notes on US involvement

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