News of the latest highly-public execution of a young, humanitarian westerner by the assassins of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is begging the question, louder and louder, about the motives behind these deliberately sadistic and graphic public killings.
So far, the only explanation provided by the conventional sources is that the leaders of ISIS somehow believe this is helping to swell their ranks with new recruits, including from among otherwise disillusioned youths from the west.
I doubt that. It could be, but solely to the extent that the only recruits ISIS is interested in are murderous, sadistic sociopaths. Certainly no one with any idealistic motives to make a better more equitable world, to seek justice for the downtrodden against the evil American empire, would find anything but revulsion in such behavior.
So, facing up to what may really be the motive involved may be as hard as watching the beheading or torching videos on YouTube. So far I have avoided any of them, finding no reason, nor any socially redeeming value, to scar my memory with such images.
It seems clear to me that all this is a massive public relations effort to draw a reluctant Obama administration into a new war in the Middle East. If it weren’t as visible as ISIS has made these killings (and the mass media playing into it with all the notoriety they’ve provided, including the tell-tale clue that Fox News actually aired one of the assassinations), they couldn’t have shaped an environment in the U.S., in particular, where an anti-war president is now under enormous public and political pressure to reconsider his efforts to withdraw forces from the region.
Yes, the intended target of these horrible killings is the American public. ISIS is doing an end run around the president and U.S. national security policy to, with the aid of the media and American politicians who are always beating the drums for a new war, put the heat on this president to change his war-making policy.
How could there be such a convergence of interests between the ISIS murderers and Sen. John McCain and all the other right wing war mongers in the U.S. corridors of power? They both want the same thing: the U.S. to put boots back on the ground and to go to a new war in the Middle East.
Consider a couple of things in this context. First, the U.S. never had any reason to go conduct a ground war in the region, to begin with. After 9/11, hunting down al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden was a special forces responsibility and very circumscribed by that. So, for the American-centered “military industrial complex,” to significantly advance its agenda necessarily involved a U.S. ground invasion and protracted war in the region.
Thus, we got Iraq. President George W. Bush was able to parlay unfocused U.S. public sentiment in the wake of 9/11 to justify an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with that, while sadly too many slavish Democrats in Congress, hoping to avoid the image of being anti-war in that context, went along.
Second, the U.S. invasion was a failure. It didn’t go as planned. Schemes for permanent war in the region, including in Afghanistan, were thwarted by repeated failures, growing domestic public opposition and the election of a new president who promised he’d get the U.S. out of there.
It took awhile, but it began happening. With it, the “permanent war” agenda of the “military industrial complex” has been in trouble. Failure to prevent the re-election of this anti-war president worsened the problem.
In this context, the sudden rise of ISIS seems like a blessing out of the blue for the war mongers. And who’s to say it was left to chance for such a thing to happen?
The U.S. CIA has a long history of creating deadly militaristic cults, including the Mujaheddin that it assembled, trained and deployed in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. Many assets from then, in the likeness of the now-dead bin Laden, have been maintained to the present.
Doesn’t this explain the rise of ISIS?