Thursday, October 9, 2014

Uncle Sam in a bind

We had presumed that the assassination of Osama Bin Laden by US Special Forces on May 2, 2011 in Bilal Town, Abbottabad, Pakistan would cripple the foremost terrorist group, Al Qaeda, to a great degree. Indeed it did, but not global terrorism as a whole. The truth bares that terrorism has escalated even more given the emergence of a strong, well-oiled army of terrorists named, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is now wreaking havoc in the Middle East. This group, per CIA estimate, now numbers around 31,000 or so strong and determined bodies of jihadists recruited from all over the world, including the United States, England and other European countries and Asia, which includes the Philippines. Driven by their Islamic faith and their deep-seated hatred to Israel and America, their aim is to impose Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East—and the world eventually—and eliminate all remnants of westernization in that area at a price and in a method totally unacceptable to the modern world.

Today's realities are now haunting America  with a question of whether she was right in toppling Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi from their thrones as iron-fisted rulers of Iraq and Libya without correctly projecting its impact on terrorism-balancing forces, and addressing the consequence thereafter. What is happening in Libya and Iraq—and eventually Syria—is exactly what happened to Iran, when Mohammad Reza Phalavi, the then Shah and monarchical ruler of that country was toppled from power by fundamentalist Islamists, under the passive nose of America, as believed. What happened next was a score of vengeful atrocities against this nation's westernized and non-fundamentalist citizens orchestrated by his mad cleric successor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, resulting thus to what erratic Iran is now today.

Without the world's intervention—under America's lead—Iraq, Syria and Libya will surely fall into the hands of the extremists which will therefore result to more problems, more than what Iran is creating now for the world to bear. After Iraq, Syria and Libya, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East countries will fall into their hands too, including Saudi Arabia, who has long been suspected of having engaged in an appeasement contract with the terrorists by financing their movement. This was made clear when eight months after  9/11, amid the global inquiries about Saudi Arabia's role in the attack, Sheik Saad al-Buraik, a Wahhabi cleric employed by the Saudi government went audaciously on state-run Saudi television, which was then conducting a telethon that had raised $109 million to pay the families of the Islamic suicide bombers, to denounce the United States as "the root of all wickedness on earth" and called as well on the Palestinians to wage more atrocity on Israel. 

It is basic that a movement, such as ISIS—which, unlike Al Qaeda, now openly possesses a strong fighting army of its own—cannot move without substantial budget. And Saudi Arabia, which Osama Bin Laden and Sheik Saad al-Bakir are citizens of, logically, is the financing leader. The United States has known this all along, and they even sat down with the Saudis to demonstrate how 20% of charities given to Islamic organizations in Saudi Arabia lands in the hands of the terrorists.  

The United States cannot question the Saudis openly for their role in the Islamists' destructive advocacy because Saudi Arabia is still regarded by America as their MVP (most valuable partner) in the Arab world. 

The policy of appeasement is what Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister in the late 1930's, adopted to confront Hitler's threat to the whole of Euorope—which proved to be a mistake. Hitler was not appeased. After annexing Sudenteland, a territory of Czechoslovakia, which was the prize of the appeasement for him in their Munich Agreement of September 30, 1938, Hitler went ahead nonetheless to occupy the whole of Czechoslovakia. And it's now history what the dictator did to humanity after his betrayal of the Munich pact. 

In Hitler's wake, contemporary historians have now defined that appeasement is "the granting from fear or cowardice of unwarranted concessions in order to buy temporary peace at someone else's expense." And this is where Saudi Arabia seems to fit, and Uncle Sam too, in the context of America's relationship with the Saudis, who had provided them a land base to attack Iraq and dislodge its ruthless dictator from power, whose fearsome rule in his country was loathed by the world but whose ultimate demise was cheered on by ambitious extremists ever anxious to take over the land to base their evil aim to destroy, rather than reconcile with, humanity.

As today's realities now offer, there is a considerable debate among academics and politicians whether or not the world, especially the United States, would, in retrospect, have adopted Chamberlain's policy towards Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi—to preempt the emergence of a stronger organization of terrorists, which now owns a strong, fanatical army, and potentially to own land bases too that could enjoy international recognition as not mere belligerent but independent states. 

While President Obama has vowed "to degrade and eventually destroy ISIS," the United States is squarely in a bind in the matter of Saudi Arabia along with its global commitments on the issues against China and Russia. There are contrasting schools of thought governing now the world's political landscape which seem to have put the United States in a no-win situation. One is whether America should focus more its resources to destroying the ISIS and the rest of the terrorists' cells now operating worldwide or prioritize its original strategy of containing China's economic-military growth in the Pacific and Russia's bullying tendencies in Europe. 

Obama's plan to commit 60% of America's foreign expenditure budget with NATO, obviously to contain Russia, seems now in jeopardy of not materializing in view of ISIS. What deeply perturbs the West is ISIS's ability to recruit its jihadists from all over the world as their jihadist terrorism-trained citizens would surely pose a great threat to their internal security upon their return. For the terrorists are merciless Islamic fanatics, killing mostly the innocent, as what they did to the 270 unsuspecting passengers of Pan Am Flight 103, which they blew out of the skies over Lockerbie Scotland in December, 1988, and to the more than 3,000 lives they had mercilessly ended without moral compunction in their 9/11 attacks in the United States thirteen years past.

While America's intervention in global problems is mainly couched on her interest, the ISIS problem is one thing she cannot set aside now without having to face more catastrophic terrorism occurrences henceforth. Yet, America could not do it all at the same time; but she must prioritize one over the other. Unfortunately, the Islamist terrors and her problems about China and Russia are of parallel concerns facing today's world, which definitely have put the US now in a bind.

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