Questioning US seriousness in ME
The brochure contained a cartoon, which depicted the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) or ISIL as a human grinder. The sign on the top right corner read in Arabic: “ISIL collection office,” while the mincing machine had a plate that read “ISIL.” Obviously, this was the new counter-terrorism method of the world’s superpower in this deeply troubled part of the world.
This prompted those familiar with the developments in the region to ask the following questions: Whom the US was telling about the violent methods of IS with these cartoons, when the whole world was already a witness to it? Is this a lesson to IS or is this educating the people there with facts? Or does the US think that this is the right method to fight the “mentalities that give rise to radicalism?”
The region where these brochures were dropped is the city of Rakka, which had been under IS control since a long time. The terrorist organization uses this city as a base in Syria. This city is completely under IS control from its education system to its courts, from its social life to utility services. Therefore, IS holds all the legislative and enforcement powers. Obviously, the residents of the city are aware of IS massacres more than anyone else and have to follow the rules of the region regardless. Therefore, people will not be discovering anything new in those brochures. This method is neither educative, nor informative, nor helpful in resolving the problem.
The real question is that if the US is aware that it will not be able to achieve anything with this method. The debate that started when President Obama asked for a congressional authority to use military power to fight IS, brought him the support of the Republicans but also raised the doubts that “US is still using old methods” in the Middle East. These doubts are reasonable as the US’ Middle East policy since its Afghanistan invasion, had miserably failed in every aspect and brought upon horrible disasters not only to the Middle East but to US itself as well.
However, the 2015 National Security Strategy published by Obama a couple of days before the draft was presented to the Congress, is thought provoking. Obama, in this letter, argued that fighting the ideologies that lead to radicalism should be a top method in order to achieve long-term success against IS and its likes. In other words, Obama offers the idea that we have been championing a long time: “Fighting the causes that give rise to terrorism instead of the terrorists.”
This approach of Obama is clear evidence that the US is very much aware of the real danger in the Mideast as well as the solution to it. Actually, it is difficult not to see it; all the other methods employed to stop terrorism gave rise to new terrorist organizations, made terrorists’ methods more brutal and made not only the countries enemies against each other but also turned Muslim communities in those countries against each other.
The fact that radicalism and terrorism intensified this much as the Middle East is constantly beaten down with rockets, shows that the problem is not about being able to deter or not, but rather, it is about the mentality.
Let us ask this question: Why is the US still using weak and primitive methods instead of an education strategy that will change the problematic mentality, even though Obama clearly pointed out to the necessity of focusing on the mentality?
One fact we encountered and has been clear for a long time: There are deep powers that have influence over the US and that they will never accept a warless Middle East due to their faiths and expectations. As long as this state of mind continues, it is difficult to see the US as a savior, or a superpower to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East. Although the US presidents believe that education can solve the problem in the Middle East, the deep states will always continue to make US part of the war.
Even though the spokespersons of the State Department later “made the necessary corrections,” US Secretary of State John Kerry’s words of “having to negotiate with Assad eventually,” need to be also taken into account. These words, which were uttered in an apparent memory loss of the fact that Assad and his supporters shed so much more blood than IS, is a reflection of the deep state policies of the US. The deep state of the US had picked Assad over IS a long time ago thinking that “the evil we know is better than the evil we don’t know” and only for this reason, silently watched the horrific Syrian civil war unfold.
As the countries continue to pursue policies toward each other, the blood of Muslims, the innocent are being shed everyday in the Middle East. Instead of trying to solve that, throwing cartoons out of the warplanes is either not getting the situation right or not taking it seriously. If the US President and his supporters truly understood the situation in the Middle East, then they should describe true Islam and should start a comprehensive education program together with Muslims following the true teachings of Islam. The deep states might use threats, but those who realize the oppression in the Middle East must make peace their true goal and become stronger than those, who are trying to make Middle East a battlefield. This call is especially for Obama.
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated into 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He tweets @harun_yahya
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