Skip to comments.Greenfield: The US Didnâ€™t Create ISIS -- Assad and Saddam Did
Posted on 11/07/2015 7:58:00 AM PST by Louis Foxwell
The US Didnât Create ISIS -- Assad and Saddam Did
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
The Russia-Iran-Assad axis and its useful idiots in the West claim that the United States created ISIS. Some of the loonier conspiracy sites that gleefully repost Russian propaganda allege that the Caliph of ISIS is a Jewish Mossad agent named Elliot Shimon or a CIA agent named Simon Elliot.
Elliot doesnât exist, but ISISâ Deputy Caliph Abu Ali al-Anbari, who was Saddamâs major general and a Baathist member, does. The Caliphâs right hand man, Abu Muslim al Turkmani, was also a Baathist and a lieutenant colonel in Saddam's military intelligence organization before being killed by a drone strike.
Considering the history between Saddam and the USSR, it is likely that one or both of the Caliphâs deputies received training from Russian intelligence advisers during their careers. Turkmaniâs DGMI in particular was closely entangled with the KGB. One of the reasons ISIS is much better than its Sunni Islamist opponents is that its top people had been trained by Soviet experts.
The ISIS blowback doesnât lead to America, but in a completely different direction.
Before the Islamic Stateâs current incarnation, it was Al Qaeda in Iraq and its pipeline of suicide bombers ran through Syria with the cooperation of Assadâs government.
Assad and Al Qaeda in Iraq had a common enemy; the United States. Assad had a plan to kill two birds with one stone. Syrian Islamists, who might cause trouble at home, were instead pointed at Iraq. Al Qaeda got manpower and Assad disposed of Sunni Jihadists who might cause him trouble.
Meanwhile Al Qaeda openly operated out of Syria in alliance with the Baathists. While Syriaâs regime was Shiite and Iraqâs Sunni, both governments were headed by Baathists.
The Al Nusrah Front, the current incarnation of Al Qaeda in the area ever since the terror group began feuding with ISIS, named one of its training camps, the âAbu Ghadiya Campâ. Abu Ghadiya had been chosen by Zarqawi, the former leader of the organization today known as ISIS, to move terrorists through Syria. This highway of terror killed more American soldiers than Saddam Hussein had.
The Al Qaeda presence in Syria was backed by Assadâs brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, who had served as Director of Military Intelligence and Deputy Defense Minister. His real job though was coordinating Islamic terrorist organizations. During the Iraq War, he added Al Qaeda to his portfolio.
Handling terrorists without being burned is a tricky business though and the blowback kicked in.
In 2008, a US raid into Syria finally took out Abu Ghadiya and some of his top people. A year later, General Petraeus warned that, âIn time, these fighters will turn on their Syrian hosts and begin conducting attacks against Bashar al-Asadâs regime itself.â
Shawkat was killed by a suicide bomber three years later. Assadâs support for terrorists had hit home. Those Sunni Islamists he had sent on to Iraq who survived returned with training and skills that made them a grave danger to his regime.
Exactly as Petraeus had predicted.
Anti-American Leftists who claim that the US created ISIS were cheering on its early terror attacks as the work of a Baathist âResistanceâ. ISIS these days is accompanied by top Baathists including General al-Douri, a close Saddam ally. The same outlets claiming that we created ISIS celebrated the âResistanceâ campaign against NATO âneo-colonialismâ when what they were really celebrating was ISIS.
Putinâs regime has claimed that it is fighting ISIS, but it was supporting Assad back when Syria was a conduit for ISIS to attack Americans. The Baathists in Syria and Iraq had both been Soviet clients and it was the USSR which turned international terrorism into a high art.
The United States has gotten plenty of the blame for supporting Mujahedeen in Afghanistan against the USSR, but the USSR had started the practice much earlier and had signed on to the Red-Green alliance. As Primakov, a top Soviet leader and KGB figure closely involved with the Muslim world, had said, the "Islamic movement" has a "radical trend which is strongly charged with anti-imperialism."
Itâs no coincidence that ISIS has thrived best in countries that were former Soviet clients whose governments attempted to fit Primakovâs definition by walking a fine line between Socialism and Islam. Nor is it a coincidence that in addition to its beheadings and sex slavery, ISIS plays up its free medical care and price controls. ISIS is still offering Socialism and Islam with a bigger emphasis on Islam.
While Baathism is often described as secular, it actually sought to blend Islam with its politics. It was a leftist Islamism that emphasized Socialism in contrast to the rightist Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders were often businessmen and landowners with a more capitalistic bent.
These distinctions, which led the USSR to build ties with the Baathists while Western countries got involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, were more style than substance. The preference of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Turkish AKP for crony capitalism as the next best thing to a lost former feudalism did not make them friendly to the West. And the Baathists were tribal dictators who cloaked their clannish authoritarianism and familial feuds in a blend of hollow Socialist and Islamic platitudes.
Critics claim that there would be no ISIS if Saddam were still in power, but the Iraqi dictator helped create ISIS through his alliances with Islamists. ISIS did not suddenly rise out of the ruins of his regime. Instead it grew within Saddamâs regime as the dictator responded to his setbacks against Iran and Saudi Arabia, two Islamist states, by reinventing Iraq and Baathism as explicitly Islamist entities.
During the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam had begun building ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, hoping to bridge the old split between Baathists and Brotherhood and meet Shiite Islamism with Sunni Islamism.
After the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein went in a blatantly Islamist direction. The man in charge of his âReturn to Faithâ campaign was General Al-Douri, who would be the key ally that Al Qaeda used to move its people through Syria and who would live long enough to fight alongside ISIS as it retook Tikrit.
Allah Akbar was added to the Iraqi flag and Islamic education was embedded into the system from elementary schools to Islamic universities. It is likely that the Caliph of ISIS owes his own Islamic education to Saddamâs newfound interest in the Koran.
By the mid 90s, Saddam endorsed a Caliphate and implemented Sharia punishments such as chopping off the hands of thieves. When ISIS amputates hands, itâs just restoring one of Saddamâs Sharia policies.
Everyone knows about Saddamâs palaces, but fewer know about his campaign to build the worldâs biggest mosques. One of the biggest of these had a Koran written in Saddamâs own blood. This mosque would become a major center for ISIS allied operations run by a Muslim Brotherhood organization.
The Caliph of ISIS was recruited into the Muslim Brotherhood by his uncle. And like so many Jihadist leaders, he moved on to Al Qaeda. His own Baathist-Islamist background made him the perfect man to take Saddamâs vision of a Pan-Islamic state with Sharia and Socialism for all to the next level.
Saddamâs outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood helped create ISIS, just as Assadâs backing for Al Qaeda did and much as Gaddafiâs LIFG deal with the Brotherhood paved the way for his own overthrow.
Barzan, Saddamâs brother and the leader of his secret police, had warned him that his alliance with Islamists would lead to the overthrow of his regime. And that is what likely would have happened. American intervention changed the timetable, but not the outcome.
ISIS is a Baathist-Islamist hybrid that devours its creators, turning on Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, and at times even threatening its Baathist allies. Its hybrid of Socialism and an Islam so medieval and brutal that it even frightens Al Qaeda and the Brotherhood has its roots in Saddamâs Iraq. Televising new and more extreme tortures was a tactic that was more Saddam than Osama.
Even ISISâ most revolutionary step, declaring its leader the Caliph, echoes Saddamâs effort to don the vestiges of the Abbasid Caliphate by linking himself to Caliph Al-Mansur. The difference between Saddam and ISIS is that it is willing to follow through on the symbolism.
For Saddam, Islam was a means. For ISIS it is an end. ISIS is Saddamâs Islamized Iraq without Saddam. It uses Saddamâs tactics and infrastructure for purely Islamic ends.
ISIS is blowback, but not against America. Itâs the outcome of two Russian client states that climbed into bed with terrorists only to see the terrorists take over their countries. Saddam and Assad were both warned about the consequences of their alliance with Islamists.
Saddam aided the Muslim Brotherhood in trying to topple Assadâs father, yet learned no lessons from it. Assad aided the Al Qaeda attacks on Americans, but didnât consider what would happen when Al Qaeda turned its attention to him. Both regimes sowed the Islamist seeds of their own destruction and made inevitable their transformation into Islamic terror states.
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Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US “Created” ISIS As A “Tool” To Overthrow Syria’s President Assad
Greenfield’s right again... thanks for the ping.
Somebody better tell Alex Jones!
Jesus Christ: You can't impeach Him and He ain't gonna resign.
This will never be acceptable to liberals.
Interesting views & analysis. The article fails to explain 2 major issues and points:
1) Ex-Soviet “Stans” one or two more than others are where you’d find pro-ISIS sympathizers, in that part of Russia nowadays. But today’s Russia doesn’t like to keep Islamists in Russia. They are dealt with decisively, when possible & found out. In old Russia i.e. the USSR, they were kept in check even more.
Furthermore, most Islamists do not immigrate, and have never immigrated to Russia; not willingly. The same applies to when Russia was the USSR. They immigrated and were permitted to do so to the West.
Many Iranian Regime mullahs and their cronies, communists, and Islamofascist included, have been in the USA and Western world, and have business & personal investments in the West for 3 decades at least. Not so much in Russia.
2) Let’s assume the USSR back in 1978-79 was responsible for installing the Mullahs regime in Iran. Then again, we know James E. Carter Jr was the U.S. president at the time. and Iran back then was rather closely allied to the U.S.
More importantly, Why is it that after nearly 4 decades, successive U.S. administrations, Democrat or Republican have failed to address the Islamist issue in Iran?
The above are fundamental questions which I’m waiting for the author and Frontpagemag to address in-depth.
Saddam did not have any US weapons to use against us. Iraq obtained its weapons from the Russians, China, France, etc.
The only thing we sold him were some unarmed helicopters, though he had the outfitted with Russian guns later, so I don’t know what you are talking about.
The Russians had no problem with entertaining Zawahiri inside the country.
Nobody wants to immigrate to Russia; even Russians aren’t that fond of it.
And why would Russia want the expense of supporting its own Islamic operatives when it can use the welfare systems of the west to feed and clothe them? All it need provide is training, and keep on helping western socialists milk their countries dry with welfare programs to support the parasites.
So why so many Muslim Brotherhood in Obama’s administration? What about all the American weapons brandished by these barbarians? What about all of Obama’s vocal support for the Arab spring? America just changed the timetable by being stupid? Hard to agree with that conclusion.
Well, my husband and I were living over there from 1980-84 (KSA) and what news we did get was usually filtered through too many media to be believed. I take your word for it.
First time I disagree — strongly — with Uncle Dan.
ISIS is a Baathist-Islamist hybrid that devours its creators, turning on Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, and at times even threatening its Baathist allies. Its hybrid of Socialism and an Islam so medieval and brutal that it even frightens Al Qaeda and the Brotherhood has its roots in SaddamÃ¢â¬â¢s Iraq. Televising new and more extreme tortures was a tactic that was more Saddam than Osama.
Saddam aided the Muslim Brotherhood in trying to topple AssadÃ¢â¬â¢s father, yet learned no lessons from it. Assad aided the Al Qaeda attacks on Americans, but didnÃ¢â¬â¢t consider what would happen when Al Qaeda turned its attention to him. Both regimes sowed the Islamist seeds of their own destruction and made inevitable their transformation into Islamic terror states.
Obama has overseen the rise and empowerment of ISIS. It has been on his watch that this barbarian cult has emerged as a major player internationally. Daniel's position is that ISIS was birthed as an extension of Assad's and Sadam's efforts to support the emergence of a virulent form of primitive Islam to counter their then enemies. Obama has similarly downplayed the awful demonic activity of ISIS as a means of bringing about the global chaos he seeks.
You may be correct to some degree. However, it isn’t Russian doing or fault that the West has allowed almost free immigration to the West & no less paid those in question in welfare. These people came to the West because they could/can and get paid welfare according to western laws the west determines, not Russia.
Nor have we had any problems hosting islamists on our soil. Do you really think one Islamist can make too much difference? For example hizb ul tahrir is banned in Russia whereas they aren’t in Australia. Now, I can see pro and con arguments for keeping your enemy close & allowing transperancy instead of pushing tgem underground. That’s one argument.
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