In my last update to this site, I said that the world is once again is in the throes of a very vicious conflict, a ferocious clash which I called in the new war, with two major theatres, the first is in the Middle East, which is spearhead by the militant and extremely fundamentalist group, ISIS. The name which I am going to use now, ISIS burst on the scene very recently and are dominating the news after their successes in Iraq and Syria, which allowed them to control large swathes of land in those two countries and helped them carry out some horrifying atrocities. A situation which is creating a great backlash against them and is threatening its explosion into a much larger one, but I am also going to talk about the Ukraine crisis, the recent confrontation between the Americans and their allies in Europe, who are backing Ukraine against Russia, creating the most serious crisis between these two adversaries since the days of the cold war, a crisis which adding a lot of fuel to the already highly explosive situation in the Middle East. I am going to start with few notes on the ISIS and its most recent atrocities.
I have talked about this group on several occasions on this blog, and I am sure a lot of people have learned a good deal about it, its origins, its development and its repulsive practices, but I would like to mention something about some of the theories other than what is being circulated, namely the suggestion that this infamous group was in fact invented by one or another of the plethora of America’s intelligence agencies, a suggestion which I cannot accept at its face value. I think that what the American politicians actually did was creating the background and environment which provided the fertile soil which allowed ISIS to emerge, like the sledge hammer methods and their naive and simplistic approach to its problems, all of which created a great deal of bitterness and resentment by the people and primed a very fertile soil which facilitated the emergence of this notorious group.
ISIS is an offshoot from the old Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, which has been in decline after the assassination of its founder in May 2, 2011, and the passage of its leadership to the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri who lacked bin Laden’s intelligence and charisma and allowed it to weaken and deteriorate, which opened the way to the new wave of fanatics and more violent groups like the Islamic State to take over. A monstrous category which has already committed a number of an unimaginable acts of totally abhorrent brutality like the beheading and the burning alive of their victims, which included some American, British, French and Japanese hostages, but in spite of the horrific nature of these acts, I will mention some of them, because of the potential they have for escalating the current international tension, and the threats they pose to the world’s peace and security.
On Tuesday February 2, 2015, the Islamic State released a 22 minute video showing Jordanian air force pilot Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by the group after his jet crashed last December, when he was attacking their base in Syria as part of the American led coalition which has been conducting an air campaign against the group for the last few months. The pilot was led by masked members of the group clad in black attire, he was put in a cage, and an inflammable liquid is splashed on his orange clothing and trailed along the ground. After the trail of fire to his cage is ignited by one of the masked fighters, he is seen standing as the flames consume him, he falls to his knees, and dies. Jordan’s King Abdullah was in the United States when he heard news of the brutal murder, prompting him to cut short his visit, after meeting with US president Barack Obama. This cowardly terror which is perpetrated by a criminal group, has no relation to Islam, it the duty of all citizens to stand together, the King said in a short televised appearance, and threatened a shattering response equal to the seriousness of the crime. US President Obama was quick to condemn the killing and said “it was clear that these people are only interested in death and in destruction, and this is just one more indication of the viciousness, and barbarity of this organisation,” Obama said, this I think he continued, should redouble the vigilance and determination on our part and our allies in the global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated. And as if that shocking act against the young Jordanian pilot was not horrific enough it was followed by another massacre few days later which involved 21 Egyptian Christians working in Libya.
In a new video released Sunday February 15, by ISIS, the militant group claims to have beheaded 21 members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority on a Libyan beach. The five-minute video, released by the terror group's propaganda wing, includes a masked English-speaking jihadist who says, "The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden's body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood." Then on cue, all the victims are pushed to the ground and beheaded.
Egypt's President, el-Sisi confirmed in a statement that Egyptian "martyrs" had fallen victim to terrorism and expressed his condolences to the Egyptian people, The White House condemned the attack, saying ISIS' "barbarity knows no bounds.”
Two days later the group burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, who are believed to be members of the security forces, but this group’s brutality is not showing any sign of abating.
Last Friday was the first anniversary of the Maidan protests [the central square in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev] , where huge demonstrations against the then pro-Russian Ukrainian president, Victor Yanukovych, grew extremely violent and led to the death of more than a hundred protestors, the backlash of which forced the president to flee the country. The pro Russian regime was followed by a pro-western regime, which created a very serious crisis between the Americans and their European allies and Russia, and started a bloody mayhem there which is showing no sign of abating. In spite of some efforts by the various players at solving it like the recent ceasefire which was reached in the Belarusian capital Minsk, this month between the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and the Ukraine, which is already showing very serious signs of collapsing since taking effect just a week ago, a collapse which would kill the agreement which was aimed to end the year long conflict.
The Ukraine crisis is adding a lot of fodder to the already very tense international situation, the inability of the western alliance to reach a coherent and effective strategy or in the words of the British house of lords of formulating an authoritative response to this crisis and the one which is created by ISIS. It has been until now in the case of ISIS no more than few airborne attacks in Iraq and Syria, and the several regimes of sanctions and the great deal of rhetoric by the western politicians against the Russians and their allies in eastern Ukraine, which is creating a great deal of pain to Russians, and damage to the country’s economy. It is clearly not severe enough to force their leadership to stop their involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine and their continuing support to the antigovernment groups there. In fact the separatists are building up forces and weapons, in the south east in preparation for an assault on the very strategically placed port Mariupol which is a big city in south-eastern Ukraine, situated on the north coast of the Sea of Azov at the road which connects eastern Ukraine to the black sea peninsula, the Crimea, which has been annexed recently by the Russians.
The new world war which is engulfing the world nowadays is very definitely escalating, this opinion is shared by some very important European personalities like Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6, who recently during a speech at King's College, London, warned that the crisis was no longer just about Ukraine, it was much bigger and more dangerous, and highly explosive, he said, that any attempt by Western countries to arm Ukraine, could lead to an escalation on the ground and even cyber attacks by Russia against the West, with unpredictable consequences.
Saturday February 21, 2015