So, what do you know about ISIS or ISIL or whatever they are calling themselves? Are they a threat to us in the US? What is their goal?
You might think that ISIS grew out of a desire by Muslims to reestablish the Muslim caliphate in the middle east. You might think that they have banded together to throw out the western dalliance in the political and petroleum policies of the region. You might think it was all designed to threaten the existence of Israel.
If you thought any of those things, you would be wrong.
Do you remember when western governments and regional governments in the middle east were all trying to bring down the Syrian regime in Damascus over the alleged gassing of their own people? I think that was back in September of 2013. The UN, NATO, Turkey, Saudi Arabia (and even Israel) were supporting an all out invasion. Everything was in place to make that happen and bring down Bashir Assad.
All that saber rattling failed. Vladimir Putin took the lead, put his foot down, and it never happened. Thanks Vlad for saving countless American lives from sure death in another oil war...because that is what it would have been.
Since the failure of that plan in 2013 however, the US, NATO, the Turks and the Saudis have gone with Plan B. The intelligence and military agencies of these countries have pooled their economic resources and military equipment and built The Islamic State (ISIS). They tell people they want to establish the Islamic caliphate, but their real purpose is to continue to pressure the Syrian government to the point of collapse and remove Bashir Assad from the area. They seem to be succeeding. Assad is very close to folding up his tent and going home. Partition of Syria is very close.
So why all this animus in the Arab world against Assad? Well, for one thing he is Shia Muslim and his opponents in the middle east are Sunni. The Sunni variety of Islam would like to maintain control of the middle east. They despise the Shias and the feeling is mutual. Beyond that, their Saudi cousins along with the Turks, would like to put a natural gas pipeline through Syria and run it north to Turkey and beyond to Europe. This would change the entire economy of the Mediterranean and Europe itself.
Currently, Europe and the Mediterranean are dependent on Russia for all their natural gas and petroleum products. With the advent of a Saudi pipeline, this would all begin to change. It would threaten the economy of the Russian Federation and maybe even bring collapse.
This is why the west is scrambling to bring down Assad with ISIS and why the Russians are scrambling to shore up their relationship with other Asian countries (China) and certain South American countries like Brazil and Venezuela. It also explains the recent outreach of the US to Cuba, a longtime Russian ally, and the mess in Ukraine.
One has to wonder....is it Syria that is the target here or is it really Russia?
Whatever the case, it is still not clear who is winning this imaginary war. What is also not clear is what will happen when Assad falls. Will ISIS continue to be a factor in the middle east or will they disappear back into the desert? Will Turkey then bring about the Sunni caliphate? Will they go to war with the Shia Muslims and Israel? Will they be used to threaten North Americans and will we hear new calls to ratchet up internal security and suspend more rights? We live in interesting times my friends and that can be a problem.
Please go here to read recent (and here) US government documents exposing the West's support for ISIS. It is a tangled web. It seems that the World is balanced continually on the edge of a very sharp knife. The nations rage.