Some "home truths" on the Islamic State phenomenon from Bruce Hearn Mackinnon (senior lecturer in the Department of Management at Deakin University) in yesterday's Age. While Mackinnon's opinion piece is inadequate in certain respects, it is probably the best commentary on the subject to have appeared thus far in the Australian ms press. Here's just the gist:
"First, the US and its allies armed, trained and supported Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organisation in its dirty war, first against the leftist government in Afghanistan, and then against the Soviet Union who intervened in a doomed attempt to prop up the collapsing regime, which was at war with the Islamists, backed by Pakistan. This ultimately led to the September 11 attacks on the US itself. The Taliban today continues to be trained, financed and supported by forces within the Pakistan security and military establishment.
"Second, the West's support for Israel in its continued occupation of Palestinian territory and its constant and growing humiliation of Palestinian people, has been a festering sore, breeding resentment, frustration anger not only from Palestinians but the wider Muslim community, particularly in the Arab world. As if this wasn't bad enough, let's not forget that Israel was also happy to secretly fund and encourage the terrorist organisation, Hamas, in its early years, as a means of undermining the secular mainstream PLO, led by Yasser Arafat.
"Third, the US (supported by Australia) invasion and destruction of Iraq, justified by the lie about (we now know, non-existent) weapons of mass destruction, resulting in about half a million deaths, was the direct catalyst for for the formation of the Islamic State terrorist organisation - whose current military leaders are former generals from saddam Hussein's then predominantly secular Baathist regime.
"Fourth, the West's eagerness to destroy the largely secular Gaddafi regime has left Libya as a failed state, allowing criminals and terrorists a free rein to engage in violence on a mass scale.
"Fifth, the West's support for violent opposition to the Assad regime in Syria has left his country in ruins and allowed Islamo-Fascism to become the military opposition. All the talk about supporting 'moderate' opposition forces has been exposed as a lie. Syria is in the grip of a full-on sectarian war between the Shia-backed regime and the Sunni extremists, including IS and al-Nusra (al-Qaida). The West's support for the opposition in Syria has taken the form of support for Islamo-Fascism on the ground in Syria.
"Finally, the Islamo-Fascist movement, whether operating in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq or elsewhere, is known to have received financial, ideological, religious and military support from the West's key allies in the Middle East, the brutal Islamo-Fascist regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
"You reap what you sow." (After the Paris attacks: How to confront this Islamo-Fascist plague, 16/11/15)