Problems on hold
A recent news item on the front page of the Cairo topmost daily ++al-Ahram++ brought to my mind a long, disturbing email I recently received from an Egyptian friend who lives in Denmark. The news item said that the United States was considering various scenarios of plans to attack the strongholds of Daesh in Libya and that it was close to a decision. The growth of the terrorist Daesh, the news item reported, had to be checked. President Barack Obama had met his national defence team at the White House to look into bolstering the military campaign against Daesh on all fronts, and to maintain efforts to battle terrorism in Libya and elsewhere.
The news item in itself did not spark my interest; such news have become almost staple on all news reports for the past two years, so much so that they now arouse nothing but scepticism. About a year and a half ago a large coalition was formed, led by the US and with membership of NATO States, to destroy Daesh and put an end to the terrorism it wages, the genocide and the destruction of heritage in Iraq and Syria. Today, Daesh has grown and taken over large swaths of land that straddle over one-third of the territory of both countries. To say nothing of the belligerent threats the terrorist group directs left and right to the whole world. I always wondered at the inability of the world powers with all their might to confront this terrorist group that replays the history of the barbaric Moghuls and Tartars in the 21st century. I found no answer other than conspiracy theory, an answer I have always disliked and evaded but which has been imposing itself on my mind, insisting that Daesh is an American creation that has been unleashed in our region to destroy its States and peoples, and reshape them according to American interest.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the news item reminded me of the disturbing email I received from my friend who is a man of integrity and objectivity, never one to offer unstudied rash views. I will here share this email with my readers, since it rings an alarm regarding the turmoil which has been engulfing our region ever since Daesh emerged and played havoc with the destiny of nations while world powers refrained from standing up to that terror. These same world powers had one day stood up to Nazi Germany and its Axis allies during WWII; today, 70 years later, these powers behave as though they are incapable of confronting Daesh. Or are they? I invite you to read the email sent to me by my friend Cherif al-Ayouti, under the title: Are they fooling us?
“Whenever I ponder the issue of ISIS [Daesh], I become sure that we are living one of the biggest deceptions in history.
“ISIS appears all of a sudden. From one day to the next, the world discovers an army of 20,000 soldiers in full war paint. Combat uniforms, Kalashnikofs, heavy machine guns, mortars, satellite communication equipment, new all-terrain pick-ups, food and ammunition supply lines as well as field hospitals, military style messes and sleeping quarters. The unknown army runs easily over Iraqi army posts and invades villages as well as large towns in Iraq. The army is not a rag-tag gathering of Fortune Soldiers descendants of African gold and diamond conflicts. It is structured in highly disciplined military hierarchy with a leader declaring himself the new Khalifa (Caliph) who informs the world that he is running the most powerful country which he calls Daesh or ISIS.
“The world’s strongest head-of-state publicly declares that the conflict with ISIS poses the greatest threat to America and the world and will be a long one. How long? Perhaps more than two decades, as long as the conflict lasted with al-Qaeda which is sort of forgotten these days. ISIS is also equated with the World Communist Movement of old days.
“Hold on a minute here. The US President is not talking of a Soviet Union, a Mao era China, a drug funded Taliban nor a Saudi financed al-Qaeda and yet calls ISIS the greatest threat to the West? ISIS does not have a spy satellite. It does not have a war radar or an anti-missile interception system. No Patriot, no Iron Dome, no F-16s, no Stealth bombers, no Sukhois, no AWACS, no drones, no tanks, not even a pesticide spraying aircraft. If ISIS seizes control of their enemies’ airports, it uses the airstrips for collective prayers, holding there the ceremonies for the pledge of allegiance from the conquered as well as Islamic education sessions of its own interpretation of religion and public displays that shows it cutting its enemies’ heads if they do not pledge obedience to their Khalifa who nobody knows how he was chosen as leader.
“ISIS as an army, is a completely naked target for Western warfare technology whether inside a building, a mountain cave or in tunnels under the eternal desert. ISIS did not place space stations or satellites. It did not send probes to the Moon, Mars or Saturn and definitely has no scientists developing weapons of mass destruction. It does not have a navy with torpedo boats, destroyers, battleships submarines and aircraft carriers. Its leader was not told by God to fight the Jews and Israel, but he targets only other Muslims of every faction while giving the choice to Christians between converting to his form of Islam or losing their heads to the sword.
“Isn’t it remarkable that ISIS has bases, staging areas, hospitals and training camps in Turkey, which is a NATO member through which all ISIS recruits arrive and freely transit to their ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria? Isn’t it bizarre that ISIS members originating from all Western countries can return to their homes unopposed during their breaks from warfare activities under ISIS flag in the Middle East? How come the West is incapable of locating Abu-Bakr al-Baghdady, the leader of ISIS and taking him out? Western technology can identify every single flying bird across thousands of square kilometres of desert and listen to billions of radio and phone communications between any two parties on earth and see any one moving over the whole Middle East and yet ISIS fighters are still going strong after two years in the open desert. The NSA can listen to Merkel’s and Hollande’s cell phones but cannot locate al-Baghdady?
“ISIS captures oil production facilities and sells the oil to Turkish businessmen. It ransacks banks and homes, sells antiquities and valuables on the Internet, pays its fighters, holds banking transactions, buys food, weapons and ammunition as easy as buying a pack of cigarettes. Yet Western financial sectors that monitor every single dollar movement across the world for taxing purposes, still cannot cut off ISIS money supply lines.
“It seems that ISIS has recruited highly sophisticated financial advisers, marketing consultants, media specialists, military strategists, intelligence agents and propaganda gurus from around the world to form the most intelligent government on earth. There is no posting on any social media or the open Internet that is critical of ISIS that is not hacked and removed within a couple of days. CNN, BBC, Euronews, FOX and other Western media channels can hardly send a negative news item about ISIS without having tons of screaming listeners asking them to deny such item.
“ISIS has removed from its education curriculum the studies of chemistry, physics, history and arts and prevents anyone from practising sports while demanding long beards for men and burkas for women. It established slave markets in the territories it declares it has liberated.
“I am posing a question to your inner conscience: How on earth can ISIS represent a danger to the world that will take twenty years to deal with?
“Honestly, is this a historic deception? Or what?”
I stood before this analysis and asked myself: Why do I find it rational and convincing, whereas the declarations of the President of the United States make no sense?
7 February 2016