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Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs
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The US and the Emergence of Islamic State (IS): The Paradox of Americas War on Terror

Prince Williams Odera O*

Department of Political Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author:
Prince Williams Odera O
Faculty of Social Sciences
Department of Political Sciences
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra, Nigeria
Tel: +2347069492820
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: November 05, 2015; Accepted Date: December 21, 2015; Published Date: December 29, 2015

Citation: Prince Williams Odera O (2016) The US and the Emergence of Islamic State (IS): The Paradox of America’s War on Terror. J Pol Sci Pub Aff S2:001. doi:10.4172/2332-0761.S2-001

Copyright: © 2016 Prince Williams Odera O. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

This research work studies “The US and the Emergence of Islamic State (IS): The Paradox of America’s War on Terror”. One cannot study the history of the contemporary Islamic terrorism without the involvement of the US. This is because the US has always been at the front burner of the war for and against terror, depending on the situation at a particular point in time. The emergence of Islamic State (IS) has given more impetus to international terrorism, chaos is spreading from the Middle East to other parts of the world as hundreds of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees pour into other regions of the world especially Europe for refuge. Over the last decade, millions of Iraqis and Syrians have fled their homes. Many also have been killed in this campaign of Islamic terror. This work moves from cataloguing the activities of the IS to a historical analysis of how the US invasion of Iraq led to the monster we today call IS. This work is guided by the psycho-cultural theory of conflicts, this theory is adopted as result of the fact that it is a psychoanalytical tool that addresses violence at a personal, cultural and psychological level. The psycho-cultural theory of conflicts contends that psychological, religious and other cultural and identity based contradictions are the basis of conflict in the society. This work hence discovers that the US invasion of Iraq is the chief cause of the IS led violent conflict going on in the Middle East presently. The reason for the invasion and the sectarian favouritism the US extended to the Shia population spurred the Sunni who felt short-changed into what we now call IS terror campaign. Secondly, the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, which involved the US armed forces had a radicalising effect on the Iraqi Sunni population and members of the deposed Hussein’s secular Baath Party. Finally, a sizeable number of the prisoners in the US detentionfacilities in Iraq during the occupation were Islamic extremists and former members of the deposed Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who converted to radical Islam in American prisons. Thus when the occupation ended, these men had every reason to pick up arms to create an Islamic State where they will feel safer. This work, based on the findings, concludes by proposing recommendations on how the threat posed by IS could be ameliorated, and also how to prevent the emergence of such a large scale terror campaign in the future.

Keywords

America; War on terror; Globalisation; Islamic state; Torture; Psycho-cultural conflict; Terrorism; US; Invasion; Middle East

Introduction

In the face of the ever increasing and audacious terror campaign of the Islamic State (IS), chaos is spreading from the Middle East to other parts of the world as hundreds of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees pour into other regions of the world especially Europe for refuge. Over the last decade, millions of Iraqis and Syrians have fled their homes. Many also have been killed in this campaign of Islamic terror. While a lot of Western governments still dilly-dally and trade blames over the problems caused by this new wave of terror, more people die and the world is being pushed to the brink of a major migration crisis. In the midst of the chaos and destruction that accompany the IS terror campaign, one question that boggles the mind is, how did we get here? There is a popular adage among the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria that says that one does not know how to shade himself from the rain if he doesn’t know where it started beating him. Thus it is pertinent at this point to move from cataloguing the activities of the IS to an analysis of its origin and causes so as to exhume the driving force of the menacing and disturbing phenomenon. One cannot study the history of the contemporary international Islamic terrorism without the involvement of the US. This is because the US has always been at the forefront of the war for and against terrorism, depending on the situation at a particular point in time. The United States of America has at various times in recent history provided support to terrorist and paramilitary organizations across the world. It has also provided assistance to numerous authoritarian regimes that have used state terrorism as a tool of repression. Spiegel [1] note that the US supported an insurgent group; the Contras, against the socialist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua in the 1980s. It is also widespread knowledge that the US armed and trained the local Mujahedeen in Afghanistan against the USSR invasion of 1979, American guns in the hands of the Mujahedeen succeeded in sending the USSR out of Afghanistan in 1988. The paradox becomes that it was these same American guns that made up the pioneer arsenal of the Taliban (insurgents of Mujahedeen origin), thus with American guns, international terrorism was given more impetus some years after the first recorded international terror incidents (the highjack of El Al airliner en route Rome from Tel Aviv by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and also the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by Palestinian Terrorists). Various reasons have been advanced to justify such support. These include destabilizing political movements that might have aligned with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, including popular democratic and socialist movements. Such support has also formed a part of the war on drugs. Support was also geared toward ensuring a conducive environment for American corporate interests abroad, especially when these interests came under threat from democratic regimes. Terrorism is now squarely in the eye of the beholder. And nowhere is that more so than in the Middle East, where today’s terrorists are tomorrow’s fighters against tyranny and allies are enemies often at the bewildering whim of a western policymaker’s conference call (The Guardian, 6/3/2015). At this point, it is pertinent to quote extensively a report by the Washington’s Blog. According to Washington’s blog [2]: “The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – noted: Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world. The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950’s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister. The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960’s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Nine months earlier, a false flag attack was discussed in order to justify an invasion of the Dominican Republic. Specifically, according to official State Department records, Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles wrote on June 3, 1961: The Vice President [Lyndon Johnson], [Attorney General] Bob Kennedy, Secretary [of Defense Robert] McNamara, Dick Goodwin [who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs], [head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] General Lemnitzer, Wyn Coerr, and Ted Achilles were here. Bob McNamara and Lemnitzer stated that under the terms of the contingency paper, they were required to be prepared to move into the island on short order if required to do so, and this, in their opinion, called for substantially more troops that we had in the area. After some discussion we considered two more aircraft carriers, some destroyers, and 12,000 marines should be moved into a position some one hundred miles off the Dominican Republic shore. The tone of the meeting was deeply disturbing. Bob Kennedy was clearly looking for an excuse to move in on the island. At one point he suggested, apparently seriously, that we might have to blow up the Consulate to provide the rationale. His general approach, vigorously supported by Dick Goodwin, was that this was a bad government, that there was a strong chance that it might team us with Castro, and that it should be destroyed–with an excuse if possible, without one if necessary. Rather to my surprise, Bob McNamara seemed to support this view. The entire spirit of this meeting was profoundly distressing and worrisome, and I left at 8:00 p.m. with a feeling that this spirit which I had seen demonstrated on this occasion and others at the White House by those so close to the President constitutes a further danger of half-cocked action by people with almost no foreign policy experience, who are interested in action for action’s sake, and the devil take the highmost [At a subsequent meeting], Bob McNamara went along with their general view that our problem was not to prepare against an overt act by the Dominican Republic but rather to find an excuse for going into the country and upsetting it. Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.” As Chris Floyd and many others have noted, this plan has gone live. United Press International reported in June 2005:U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance. There is substantial additional evidence of hanky-panky in Iraq.”

From the above, the paradoxical nature of the present war on terrorism waged by the US is brought to the fore, in that, while they support, and arm terrorist groups and even initiate terrorist attacks in some places, they fight and counter terrorism in some other places. Hence there appears to be a connection among America’s national interest, terrorism and America’s involvement in counterterrorism. This synergy between American interest and terror has also played out in the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 based on the allegation that the Saddam Hussein government was sponsoring terrorism and amassing nuclear arsenal, then ten years later IS attacks began in the same Iraq. This paper thus examines the effects of this invasion on the current situation in the Middle-east.

Theoritical Framework

Psycho-cultural theory of conflict

A widely recognized analytical tool that addresses the roots of all forms of violence is the psychoanalytic model developed by Sigmund Freud. The psychoanalytic model is employed in this research because it addresses the instinct and drive behind conflict situations. For the purpose of this research, a psychoanalytical tool; psycho-cultural theory of conflict is employed. The psycho-cultural theory of conflicts contends that psychological, religious and other cultural and identity based contradictions are the basis of conflict in the society. The proponents of this theory include inter alia, Ross, Faleti, Northrop. Psycho-Cultural conflicts take long to resolve because in this kind of conflict, passion for the protection of one’s identity, religion, culture and freedom overwhelms reason and inflames conflictual behaviours. Identity is an unshakeable sense of self-worth, which makes life meaningful and includes the feeling that one is physically, socially, psychologically and spiritually safe [3]. Hence Northrop [4] opines that “events which threaten to remove the feeling of safety that is tied to different forms of identity usually lead to defensive reactions aimed at avoiding such spiritual and physical exposure”. Seymour [5] emphasizes that identity influences the process of conflict and must not be overlooked when attempting to understand the origins of conflict and when planning its resolution. The process of globalisation have seen nations encroaching into overseas territories with new ideas, methods, religion and thought system. Sometimes the recipients of these encroachments are piqued when they feel they are being robbed of their original identity and given new ones, which many a time lead to both violent and nonviolent revolts. The process involved with globalisation have also contributed to outbreaks of terrorism. With faster communications and transportation, outside forces – usually western – intrude into local societies. Economies are disrupted, and, even if winners outnumber losers, there are still losers. Further, local cultures, including religious components, are threatened by globalisation, especially when it has been accompanied by secularisation. Terrorism in many cases can be seen as a reaction to globalisation [6] point out that “it is perhaps ironic that Muslims in the Middle East feel threatened by the intrusion of European or Western values at the same time that the groups in Europe feel threatened by individuals from Middle Eastern cultures with Islamic ideas”. The American occupation of Iraq was widely viewed by the Iraqi populace as an attempt to impose a power shift in Iraq, favouring the country’s larger Shia population at the expense of the dominant Sunnis. This roused the Sunni to an anti-US insurgency which quickly gathered steam across and around central and western Iraq. An invasion that was sold to the world as aliberation and an anti-terror and nuclear war, had become a grinding occupation exacerbated by the overthrow of the Sunni led regime of Saddam Hussein. This disenfranchisement of the Sunni population threatened their sense of religious and political security and thus they turned their guns against the US and the beneficiaries of Hussein’s overthrow; the Shia population. Irobi [7] argues that memories of past traumas magnify people’s anxieties. The US fought back and captured terror suspects whom they incarcerated and tortured at Abu Ghraib and camp Bucca prisons. This in turn threatened the sense of self-worth of most of the terror suspects who were later to make it out of the detention camps. With the revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib came a wave of radicalisation across Iraq, the populace, especially the Sunni population saw the purported civility of American occupation as a little improvement on the perceived tyranny of Saddam. It is the unification of different Sunni backed insurgent groups like Jeish Ahl al-Sunnah al-Jamaah, Jam’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (TJ) etc., which emerged during the American occupation of Iraq that forms what we see and call ISIS today.

The US and the Rise of IS

The US invasion of Iraq and rise of IS

In a recent interview with Shane Smith, the founder of VICE News, President Barack Obama said: “ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion, which is an example of unintended consequences.” This submission is a pointer to the cause and effect relationship that exists between Western military interventions in the Muslim world, and the rise of reactionary armed militia groups. Evidently, there seems to be a reoccurring pattern whenever Western states, especially the US, attempts to meddle in the affairs of other sovereign states, either through military intervention, regional proxies or subservient dictators. In most cases, American intrusion in other countries is to protect their economic interests or to make geopolitical advancements, and Iraq was no exception to this rule [8]. Prior to the anti-communist war in Afghanistan, there was no Taliban in Pakistan, the same goes for the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi led Jam’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (TJ), which was born out of the Iraq war. Jam’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (TJ) emerged as a coalition of Sunni resistance groups fighting the US invasion. TJ changed its name on multiple occasions during its evolution to becoming IS. In late 2004, TJ officially joined Al-Qaeda, after Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden, and became known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In 2006, AQI became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which later became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) when it branched into the Syrian civil war [8]. A chronology of the activities of the US government and armed forced in Iraq goes a long way in buttressing the above stated facts. First, the US invaded a sovereign state based on false intelligence. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the head of the Khaldan military training camp in Afghanistan, was captured at the end of 2001 and sent to Egypt to be tortured, he made a false confession that Saddam Hussein had offered to train two al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons. Al-Libi later recanted his confession, but not until Secretary of State Colin Powell had used the story in February 2003 in an attempt to persuade the UN to support the invasion of Iraq. President Bush hurriedly invaded Iraq based on this false intelligence; a long-time objective of neoconservatives as part of their plan to reorder the Middle East. The Bush Administration officials justified preventive war based on false intelligence usually gleaned by torture. War advocates planned to establish a liberal government aligned with the West, governed by an American puppet, friendly to Israel, and home to bases for the US military operations against its neighbours.

The US achieved their immediate objective by ousting the Saddam Hussein government from power. After ousting Hussein whose authoritarian rule held the nation together, the administration mishandled the occupation at every turn. The US failed to exert control, allowing widespread looting, and disbanded the military, creating a large pool of angry and unemployed young men. Then Washington attempted to remake Iraqi society, pushing an Americanmade constitution and deploying US political appointees even to draft Baghdad traffic regulations. But the administration established a sectarian regime in Iraq as conflict flared and Iraq disintegrated: perhaps 200,000 Iraqis died, hundreds of thousands of Christians fled their country, and millions of Iraqis were displaced. In the midst of a virulent insurgency and civil strife the administration underwrote the “Sunni Awakening,” through which Sunni tribes turned into al-Qaeda in Iraq. However, Washington failed to achieve its underlying, essential objective of sectarian reconciliation. Bush continued to support the Maliki government even as it ruthlessly targeted Sunnis, setting the stage for Iraq’s effective break-up. Bandow [9] reports that in 2007 US military adviser Emma Sky wrote of the US military’s frustration “by what they viewed as the schemes of Maliki and his inner circle to actively sabotage our efforts to draw Sunnis out of the insurgency.” Al-Qaeda in Iraq survived, mutating into the Islamic State. The Bush administration then became one of the Islamic State’s chief armorers when Iraqi soldiers fled before IS forces, abandoning their expensive, high-tech weapons which US aircraft had to destroy last year. The American occupation produced sectarian radicals and provided targets for them. In short, but for the Bush administration’s decision to blow up Iraq there would have been no Islamic State rampaging through a chaotic Mesopotamia. The invasion was the critical mistake [9]. The Obama administration has also contributed to the situation at hand. President Obama continues to back Iraq’s Maliki government despite the latter’s sectarian excesses, and thus like its predecessor has continued to fan up the embers of sectarian hatred. The Obama administration turned Libya into another cauldron of violence, through a NATO backed Operation Odyssey Dawn that promoted low-cost regime change in the name of rescuing the Libyan people from the authoritarian regime of Muammar Gadhafi. The policy generated chaos, highlighted by competing governments and proliferating armed bands. More recently murderous Islamic State acolytes filled the void. President Obama also put US credibility on the line by making IS’s sectarian war in Iraq and Syria America’s own, without committing sufficient forces to do much more than contain the Islamic State. The Obama administration became a source of weapons for the Islamic State after “moderate” insurgents backed by Washington repeatedly surrendered both personnel and arms to more radical forces. Ironically, one of the most effective Islamic state commanders, Abu Omar al-Shishani, had been trained by the US as a member of the Georgian Special Forces. Two years ago he joined ISIS and has played a leading role in organizing attacks on the USsupported Free Syrian Army [9]. Judging from the events surrounding the US invasion of Iraq, it becomes impossible to exculpate the US of the blames accruable to the tragedy now overwhelming the Middle East. Washington bears substantial responsibility for the catastrophic conflict. Although President Barack Obama shares the blame, George W. Bush made the most important decisions leading to the destruction of Iraq and rise of IS.

State Torture by the US and the Rise of IS

Salonnotes, “Among the most notable victims of torture was Sayeed Qutb, the founding father of modern Political Jihadism. His 1964 book, ‘Milestones’, describes a journey towards radicalization that included rape and torture, sometimes with dogs, in an Egyptian prison. He left jail burning with the determination to wage transnational jihad to destroy these regimes and their backers, calling for war against all those who used these methods against Muslims” [2]. ‘Milestones’ remains one of the Arab world’s most influential books. Indeed, it was the lodestar of Al Qaeda leaders like Ayman Al-Zawahiri (who was also tortured in Egyptian jails) and the late Osama Bin Laden [2]. In other words, it was torture which drove the founder of modern jihad to terrorism in the first place. Torture creates more terrorists. Many members of IS were members of Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who converted to radical Islam in American prisons. The latest international terror organization, Islamic State (IS), which is taking terrorism to bigger and far reaching dimension, is led by Abu-bakr al- Baghdadi a radical and violent Sunni Muslim from Iraq. Baghdadi was born Ibrahim ibn Awwad al-Badri al-Samarrai in 1971, in the Iraqi city of Samarra. There are indications that al-Baghdadi who leads this big terror network, has always been fanatical but became more ruthless after his stay at camp Bucca, According to The Telegraph [10], “members of his local mosque in Tobchi (a neighbourhood in Baghdad) who knew him from around 1989 until 2004 (when he was between the ages of 18 and 33) considered Baghdadi a quiet, studious fellow and a talented soccer player. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Baghdadi was earning a degree in Islamic studies in Baghdad”. But the narrative solidifies in 2005, when al-Baghdadi was captured by American forces and spent the next four years a prisoner in the Bucca Camp in southern Iraq. It was from his time there that the first known picture of Baghdadi emerged. He was detained by US forces months after he had helped found a militant group, Jeish Ahl al-Sunnah al-Jamaah, which had taken root in the restive Sunni communities around his home city. The reason for his arrest and detentions is yet to be known publicly, he could have been arrested on a specific charge or as part of a large sweep of insurgents or insurgent supporters. The small militant group that Baghdadi headed was one of dozens that sprouted from a broad Sunni revolt – many of which would soon come together under the flag of al-Qaida in Iraq, and then the Islamic State of Iraq. These were the precursors to the juggernaut now known simply as the Islamic State , which has, under Baghdadi’s command, overrun much of the west and centre of the country and eastern Syria, and drawn the US military back to a deeply destabilised region less than three years after it left vowing never to return.

The situation at the US detention facility (camp Bucca) where al- Baghdadi and other POWs were held is reported to have led to the radicalization of not only al-Baghdadi, but also other inmates who were to become commanders and combatants in IS. According to Hisham al-Hashimi, the Baghdad-based analyst, the Iraqi government estimates that 17 of the 25 most important Islamic State leaders running the war in Iraq and Syria spent time in US prisons between 2004 and 2011 [11]. Kelly [12] reports, “In January of 2004 I visited Bucca Camp, a U.S.-run POW camp … located near the isolated port city of Umm Qasr, in southern Iraq. These men at Bucca had been marched naked in front of women soldiers. They’d been told to say “I love George Bush” before they could receive their food rations. They’d slept on the open ground in punishingly cold weather with no mat beneath them and only one blanket. The guards had taunted them and they had had no way of telling their friends they were still alive”. This confirms that like in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, torture of prisoners was also going on in camp Bucca. The revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib had a radicalising effect on many Iraqis, who saw the purported civility of American occupation as little improvement on the tyranny of Saddam. While Bucca had fewer abuse complaints than Abu-Ghraib prior to its closure in 2009, it was seen by Iraqis as a potent symbol of an unjust policy, which swept up husbands, fathers, and sons – some of them non-combatants in regular neighbourhood raids, and sent them away to prison for months or years. Not only was torture a factor at camp Bucca, another point worthy of note is that a sizeable number of the prisoners in the detention facility were Islamic extremists and former members of the deposed Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who according to Washington Blog [2] “converted to radical Islam in American prisons”. Thus camp Bucca created a cauldron where potential terrorists from all over Iraq who ordinarily wouldn’t have met before eventually met and exchanged contacts and phone numbers which they wrote on the elastic fabric in their underwear, and thus was IS born in a US detention camp. Abu Ahmed, one of IS commanders who also met al-Baghdadi at camp Bucca, in a chat with The Guardian says “I cut the fabric from my boxers and all the numbers were there. We reconnected. And we got to work. Across Iraq, other ex-inmates were doing the same. It really was that simple”. Critics of the facility say it had in effect become a terror training institute, run by resentful inmates under a strict interpretation of Islamic law. “It is al-Qaeda central down there,” said Sheikh Ali Hatem Suleiman, a tribal leader from Anbar province. “What better way to teach everyone how to become fanatical than put them all together for scant reason, then deprive them?” [13]. Indeed, many of the top IS commanders including Abu Ayman al-Iraqi and Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi were high-level Iraqi officers under Saddam Hussein who were imprisoned at Camp Bucca by American forces [14].

Conclusion

A massive campaign of Islamic terror led by the Islamic State (IS) is going on in the Middle East. Lives are being lost, properties destroyed, and many more are escaping the tumultuous region in droves. In the midst of the chaos going on, the US cannot be exonerated of the blames accruable to the tragedy now overwhelming the Middle East. Through a psycho cultural analysis of the events going on in the Middle East, this research has been able to find out that the US invasion of Iraq is the chief cause of the IS led violent conflict going on in the Middle East presently. The reason for the invasion and the sectarian favouritism the US extended to the Shia population spurred the Sunni who felt shortchanged into what we now call IS terror campaign. Secondly, the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, which involved the US armed forces had a radicalising effect on the Iraqi Sunni population and members of the deposed Hussein’s secular Baath Party. Furthermore, a sizeable number of the prisoners in the US detention facilities in Iraq during the occupation were Islamic extremists and former members of the deposed Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who converted to radical Islam in American prisons. Thus when the occupation ended, these men had every reason to pick up arms to create an Islamic State where they will feel safer. The problem of IS terror campaign is already here with us, hence it is a problem that needs to be solved, and then measures are to be put in place for the prevention of its repetition. We have been able to trace the historical and remote causes of this problem and thus recommend:

• The UN Security Council should Institute measures for ensuring that future joint counterterrorism operations do not run afoul of human rights standards, participation in such operations should be based on the commitment of the participating governments towards the protection of human rights, this is because human rights abuse (that maybe in the form of torture) can lead to widespread radicalism among the wronged people.

• The UN as a world body should be more aggressive in checking America’s invasion of other sovereign nations (who in many cases are members of the UN). This is informed by the fact that the US invasion of Iraq was based on self rather than collective international interest.

• External Military interventions in the affairs of sovereign nations should only be carried out when it has been deliberated upon and accepted on the floor of the UN Security Council and other relevant organs of the UN.

• This research strongly recommends against the arbitrary and sudden ousting of regimes around the world through military intervention. The cases of Libya and Iraq speak for themselves. The strong authoritarian regimes that maintained order in these countries (Muammar Gadhafi of Libya, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq) were suddenly toppled by US-led actions with the help of local allies without a proper replacement, thus the situation in these territories became government of the people, by the violent and for the violent, which has given room for the emergence of terror groups and the limitation of the power of constituted authority over the affairs of the nations involved.

Serious social and traditional media campaigns should be embarked upon by various national governments so as to educate the people across the globe against the ills of terrorism, this is aimed at reducing the rate at which people from other regions of the world move into the Middle East to join the IS.

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