November 2, 2014 by wimvincken
The chaos of events in the Middle East does nothing to make people understand what actually is going on.
Let’s see. We have Syria, which is currently being torn apart by violence. What started with civilian protests, it turned ugly and changed into a civil war. That changed into incursions of Islamic extremists fighting the Syrian authorities and each other.
That resulted in hundreds of thousands of death and millions of refugees. A big part of the refugees managed to fly to neighboring countries, causing destabilization and economical pressure for their governments and populations.
Iraq has its own problems. There is the problem of discrimination between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, which went and is totally out of control. In Iraq the Sunni Muslims are a minority.
If that is not enough, the central government of Iraq is actually suppressing the Sunnis and that causes more tensions and problems.
Then disaster struck and ISIS managed to defeat the Iraqi army and occupy 40% of Iraq. ISIS further is threatening the rest of the country.
ISIS is a Sunni organization and it counts on the strong support of the Sunni population in Iraq.
Furthermore ISIS declared the creation of the Islamic State and within the implementation of true Islam, exactly according the Koran and governing their state according Islamic Law or Sharia.
The same occurs for many years in Saudi Arabia, where the Islamic Law is practiced. There are of course some differences between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State. The main difference can be found in the expansion of true Islam.
ISIS is expanding Islam with all means, and focuses on violence. Saudi Arabia is choosing politics, diplomacy, economical and financial support to many Islamic groups throughout the world.
An additional problem with this is the tension between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims. Both ISIS and Saudi Arabia, together with many other Muslim states are Sunni Muslims. Iran is a Muslim state as well, but it’s mainly a Shi’ite state.
Iran is already for years countering the efforts from Saudi Arabia with doing exactly the same, but supporting their own Shi’ite groups. Furthermore it supports the Syrian government financially, economically and militarily, which enables the wars within Syria to be expanded in intensity and duration, causing more death, destruction and even more refugees.
Many Sunni Muslim states are supporting the many Islamic extremist groups in Syria to fight the Syrian government. The US is joining this effort in a limited fashion. The US claims that it tries to support the least extreme Islamic group. But the intensions of the US is different. They like that their supported Islamic groups are fighting the ISIS instead of the Syrian government. That does not work, of course.
If you would summarize the the current chaos in Iraq, Syria and surrounding countries, then the following :
- The core of all those problems is clearly the conflict between the Sunnis and the Shi’ites.
- Additionally, there is the actual implementation of the true Islam.
The Islamic State is applying the Islamic Law literally and in full public view. Saudi Arabia is doing exactly the same, but not in public view.
Both states are beheading people and more.
ISIS is going a step further and is following the decree from their Mohammed and follow the example of their prophet literally. That means lying, manipulating, slavery, violence, war, murder, violence and much more.
Israel, Palestinians and Hamas
And then we have Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians are already physically and politically divided. We see Gaza with the terror organization Hamas in charge and the West Bank with the Palestinian Authority in charge.
Hamas and Israel just ended their latest conflict. Israel was quite easy being manipulated and dragged into the latest conflict with Hamas.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers and Israel responded with bombardments in Gaza with the intension to destroy Hamas ability to fire rockets and to stop the violence.
The side effects of those bombardments resulted in more then 2,000 Palestinian death and an international condemnation.
The results of the actual conflict was zero then only a large number of death and devastation in Gaza.
The positive side effect for Israel was the successful use of the Iron Dome, the anti rocket system, which defended the Israeli population centers quite successful against the barrage of Hamas rockets.
The positive side effects for Hamas was that the world attention was again on Hamas and the increased change of possible financial, economical and military support.
A more limited positive side effect for the Palestinians is the increased attention and awareness of the Palestinian cause.
The Palestinians claim that Israel imprisons the Palestinians in Gaza.
The Israelis counter that claim that they want to avoid the smuggling of weapons and building materials being used for tunnels, which might enable terrorists to access the Israeli population.
Egypt is blocking access to and from Gaza as well, to stop terrorists and smuggle of weapons.
Furthermore, Israel is continuing to support settlers, who occupy land in the West Bank and continues to grab Palestinian land for the settlers. Certain members of the right winged part of the government claim that this is the answer and response against terror.
The actual official reasons for the current settler politics of the Israeli government is unclear and vague.
Another side effect of the last conflict between Hamas and Israel is the political and diplomatic fights all over the world.
First, you have the accusations from the Palestinians that Israel performed genocide and war crimes. It’s a brutal attack on the international institutions to fight actual genocides and war crimes, because the Palestinians are manipulating, cheating, lying and abusing those international institutions in order to gain political objectives.
Secondly, we see the efforts from the Palestinians to legalize their Palestinian state. In my opinion this is an improvement compared with the usual Palestinian violence and terror.
Thirdly, we see the efforts from Palestinian senior figures and Hamas to create an artificial uprising from the Palestinian population, which will gain points to the diplomatic and political efforts for the creation of the Palestinian state and to further isolate Israel internationally.
Fourthly, we see in the Israeli population a radicalization against the Palestinian people and their cause. Being openly political left winged suddenly becomes risky. The support for the religious and right winged political parties has sharply increased.
Fifthly, we see the amusing ‘fights’ between the administrations of Israel and the US. Those so called adults are going so far that they are calling each other names. That is not without reasons and we can see that very clearly with the Palestinians.
After tedious efforts of the American administration to guide Israel and the Palestinians to peace, the efforts failed on a grand scale and left bad blood behind. Resentment and blame was the result of that effort.
The Palestinians dropped any help and assistance from the Americans and went solo in their efforts to create their Palestinian state and the Israelis and Americans exchanged sessions of amusing name calling in public.
And then we have the efforts of the American administration to stop or destroy ISIS. After ISIS had multiple times challenged the American administration to fight them, they finally took the challenge. Well, partly that is.
The efforts of the American administion is containment. The American strategy is using their airpower to reduce ISIS and to support several groups in Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, the administration tries to isolate ISIS politically, financially, diplomatically and in public relations. The American administion announced multiple times that they will not use American ground forces to fight ISIS.
In public relations, the ISIS is very successful. Their popularity worldwide increased dramatically. The American administion’s efforts in public relations are almost not existing and that what does, is amateurish at least.
The effort to harm ISIS financial does also not work. Economically, the American administion has some more success, except very limited. The only move they made was attacking the oil production installation within the Islamic state territory.
Politically the fight against ISIS does not work very well. It’s mainly empty words. The American administion does not have much support in the Middle East and only hate and active dislike by the people living in the Middle East.
Diplomatically they have more success and a coalition of several states are formed, with several Arabic states included. But only a handful of states are actually helping and Turkey is even rebelling.
No, it does not go well for the American administion. Only words, no actions, no results.