In the aftermath of the November 13 massacre in Paris, there is a growing sense that the terrorist attack may have furthered a tectonic shift in world leadership and direction. In spite of pledges to get tough, France, the US, Europe and most Middle East countries cannot find it in themselves to pursue a meaningful strategy to combat Islamic State (IS, ISIL or ISIS). Their failure to produce a clear-cut plan is propelling the West straight into Moscow’s coalition with Tehran.
Unlike everyone else, Russia and Iran not only have plans, they also have boots where IS has roots: Syria.
Since last weekend’s bloodbath, France’s President Francois Hollande has closed his country’s borders and proposed draconian civil measures to snuff out the enemy’s fifth column within.
Outside those borders, he has authorized French fighter jets to bomb an IS stronghold in Rakka. And he has called for a coordinated effort by all Western states to knock the snot out of IS. The Paris attack, he said, was “an act of war.”
While dead leaders of the French Revolution, champions of civil rights, rolled over in their graves, a child of that revolution, the United States, stepped up to the podium.
Its leader, President Barack Obama, has devoted years to leading an international effort to legalize the Islamic Republic of Iran’s military nuclear program. Driven by an abracadabra premise that removal of moral, economic and military sanctions against Iran’s theocratic mullahs would bring about reform, the US has worked tirelessly to abolish all restrictions. Moving out of the region, withdrawing its presence and leadership from the Middle East, the US vision has been for a reformed Persian empire to take care of IS, along with other niggling problems in the area.
Little wonder that President Obama’s response to Islamic terrorism in Paris was tepid.
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Wearily, he said last Saturday that the attack was an “outrageous” act of “terrorism and extremism.” But, he added, “I don’t want to speculate... who was responsible.”
Why not? Perhaps because IS has been a blessing for Iran, enabling it to become the regional power Obama wants it to be.
Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow on the Council of Foreign Relations. Last weekend he published an expert analysis on IS vis-a-vis Iran. IS has been a “blessing” for Iran, he said. It “is using ISIS’ ascendance in the Middle East to consolidate its power.”
What IS has done for Iran is destabilize the Arab heartland.
Behind the headlines – and headless victims – Iran has maneuvered in Iraq, Syria, Israel and Yemen with minimal interference, laying the foundation for its own global caliphate. Accordingly, Takeyh concludes, Tehran’s “clerical regime has no interest in diminishing the sectarian bloodbath that has allowed it more influence than at any time since the 1979 revolution.”
IS, he adds, “has given the regime its best shot at an empire.”
Indeed, and now more than ever. In the aftermath of Paris, Western nations are furious, shocked; but not with Iran or Russia. Quite the opposite.
Ostensibly they are the nations doing the most to fight IS.
On the one hand the West sends battleships and fighter jets. According to the Israeli intelligence news service DEBKA, yesterday the US deployed the USS Harry S.
Truman aircraft carrier and its strike group to the Middle East. It is joining “the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Persian Gulf area and will assist in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-ISIS.”
On the other hand, what are those jets and aircraft carriers going to do? They will launch a few missiles and drop a few bombs. But without a mission, without a mandate, without a war to win, the attending fireworks will only be for a bit of IS bloodshed and a lot of show.
Unwilling to do anything on the ground, anything faceto- face with IS or anything to clean up after the mess, the global consensus is this: regardless their agendas, let Russia and Iran handle it.
What then is the tectonic shift happening right now? What is the new direction in which the world is heading? Simply put, its 300-year-old course aiming for governments “under God” that offer “freedom and justice for all” is being abandoned.
With no corporate sense of good versus evil, democratic states find themselves unable to lead the world toward meaningful human rights. Disdaining Deity as their moral compass, they open wide their doors to religious fascists. In the name of Allah, devotees of IS and its ilk are entering the gateless portals of the world’s dying democracies and almost without effort, taking over. The only ones who will fight the IS cancer, really fight it, are pre-existing authoritarian states with their own agendas for world domination.
Across the globe, as the light of human freedom flickers, a robust blaze is beginning to burn. It is a fire that offers the warmth of security to a frightened world that is moving toward the shadows, toward a night of tyranny. Israel, imperfect as it is and like it or not, may be the only exception.
In such a time as this.The author is bureau chief for USA Radio Network News and for Bridges For Peace News. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSchrauger. This article was originally published at BridgesForPeace.com.
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