Before Daesh (Islamic State) al-Quaeda had already thrown down the gauntlet to the West on 9-11 2001 with coordinated attacks on the symbols of Western might: Wall Street (finance), the Pentagon (military) and the failed attack on the White House or Congress (political). Politicians and pundits today are referring to the recent attacks on Paris and Brussels as a state of war, some referring to them as the beginning of “World War Three.” How understand radical Islamism, the rage unleashed by the naïvely misnamed “Arab Spring”? Proximally Daesh is reacting to a century of western imperial domination. But the wound to Muslim pride is far deeper, goes back much farther in time. The key to appreciating the depth of rage is the term the radicals use to refer to the West: “crusaders.” As, for example, Watch Daesh Fantastic Dream, End of World by Conquering Crusaders in Rome. It was the pope in Rome who, in 1096 initiated more than two centuries of conquest to wrest control of “The Holy Land” from Islam. Rome is the symbol of western superiority over Islam.
Radical Islam’s Crusader Agenda
As espoused by Islamist radicals today (and not just Daesh/ISIL) Islam is today in a state of war against the West (Christendom). And while the emotion inspiring the war is easily described as based on humiliation of a century of western colonialism, the term the radicals used to describe Radical Islam’s enemy, the crusaders, references an earlier aggression long-disappeared into the mists of history by the West. Obama's "pivot east," as was Bush’s “surge,” was intended to provide a measure of dignity to mask America's retreat from the Middle East. In 2007 the Surge masked the failure of American arms, marked the final defeat to Iran in Iraq. Obama’s loudly trumpeted diplomatic victory with Iran, his JCPOA of 2015, legitimated the Islamic Republic to regional power, transferred overall custodianship of the region to resurgent Russia. In fact the JCPOA fulfilled Kenneth Waltz’s dream, his dubious hypothesis regarding the regional nuclear balance as a stabilizing force for the region. According to the “dean” of America’s foreign policy analysts and adviser to presidents, parity between Israel and Iran would bring military balance, stability and peace to the Middle East! My response to Waltz's nonsensical worldview appearing in Foreign Policy, Why Iran Should Get the Bomb may be accessed here. American weakness is not lost on our former regional allies; nor is it lost on America’s regional “enemies-now-imagined-allies.” The embarrassing theatricals of Iran jubilantly parading captive American seamen soon after signing Obama's JCPOA was just one more humiliation intended to provide a visual display of “superpower” groveling at the feet of triumphant Iran. Whatever possible benefits the Iran nuclear deal may (more likely not) one day yield the region and the world (more likely increased regional instability and a nuclear arms race) the JCPOA clearly describes a tired and retiring American "superpower" at the head and sheltering an aged Europe showing signs of dementia, both eager to leave the chaos resulting from a century of imperial rule.Recently Obama expressed his intention to defeat Daesh. And it does appear the terrorist “caliphate” may face defeat as a “state” power. But its defeat will not have been a victory of American diplomacy but rather Russian arms.Before Bush invaded Iraq; before Obama followed Waltz’s road-map regarding “peace in our time” regarding a nuclear Iran, America standing behind its promise of a regional nuclear umbrella was the glue that kept regional tensions under control. America’s “pivot” east declared the “umbrella” tattered, the region takings for Islamic radicals, “Rome” unprotected and vulnerable. Radical Islam’s Crusader Agenda, first stirrings with the CIA alleged to have provided Osama bin Laden and his mujaheddin training and arms in 1984 to fight Russia in Afghanistan. Those arms and training the turned against America by his mujaheddin-turned-Al-Quaeda on 9/11, radical Islam’s first response to the millennial grudge. Daesh is the next generation evolved from Al-Quaeda as Al-Quaeda and Hamas were the next evolutionary step from Muslim Brotherhood which Obama sought as “democratic” replacement after deposing President Mubarak. Paris and Brussels today are just the beginning, the opening phase of a likely decades-long and far more amorphous war against the West. Even President Obama recently acknowledged the twenty-first century escalation of terror to WMD, weapons of mass destruction. Daesh today, he describes, possesses poison gas and possibly biological weapons. At his recent summit on nuclear proliferation Obama acknowledged that terrorists today have the ability to develop and deliver suitcase nuclear bombs capable of killing people in the hundred’s-of-thousands!Is it too late to avert what is developing as, is already being described in the West as “World War Three”? Can the genie that an American policy of empowering Iran and abandoning the Middle East be returned to the lamp? Jeffrey Goldberg describes the president with a thought-out and committed program accommodating his understanding of America’s new and emerging interests in the world. (see Goldberg's The Obama Doctrine) I suspect the president had not factored into his calculations regarding those changing “interests” whether such factors as the rise of Daesh, or the impact of a passive America on Iraqi and Syrian civilians. From all reports of past and present high ranking administration personnel, from his “inner cabinet” to his defense chief and state department heads: even regarding generals in the field Obama, as Bush before him, seems determined to follow his own advice. What consequences possible the result of a faulty “doctrine” at odds with facts on the ground? If history teaches anything it is that rigid adherence to faulty logic inevitably leads to disaster. With hundreds of ISIL “sleeper cells” already described as spread across the EU and possibly also the US, neglecting the threat closer to home may conflict with his “pivot” east doctrine: it may also result in “unanticipated consequences” at home even as they developed across the Middle East.Look for a response to Goldberg's, The Obama Doctrine in coming weeks.