What ISIS Really Has In Mind
By Eric Margolis
December 13, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - Recent attacks by
ISIS sympathizers in Paris, London and San Bernardino, California,
are not random acts of mindless violence and gory atrocities.
Far from it, they are part of a well-developed
strategy by the Islamic State, or ISIS, to draw the western powers
into a far larger war in the Mideast. They are being aided in this
quest by the loud-mouthed right of American, British and French
They are drawing inspiration from the defeats of
the Anglo-British army of Hicks Pasha in the Sudan in 1883 that was
lured up the Nile then ambushed and swamped by 300,000 Dervish and
tribal warriors. And by the defeat in Afghanistan of the British at
Maiwand in the second Anglo-Afghan War of 1880.
Five years ago, I asked an Iranian militant if he
did not fear a US invasion of Iran. “We will welcome one,” he told
me with a smile. “America will break its teeth on Iran.”
Five years later, it’s the turn of ISIS militants
to advocate the same strategy.
The objective of ISIS and other anti-western
groups is not to kill Americans, Britons and French, as many
foolishly believe, but to drive the western Great Powers out of
their hold over the Mideast and Muslim world.
My second book, “American Raj – How American Rules
the Muslim World,” is all about this little understood subject. No
American publisher would handle this taboo subject. The book was
printed in Canada and other countries.
What we call “terrorism,” a mindless, empty term,
is really blowback, a reaction from our meddling in the Mideast and
All Muslim nations that have tried to stand up to
western domination – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Algeria, Somalia,
Afghanistan, and most lately Yemen – have been smashed to pieces,
usually by western air power. Nothing can withstand the might of the
US Air Force and Navy. The skies of the Muslim world belong to US
air power and its extension, Israel’s air force.
For example, US forces would have been long ago
driven from Afghanistan had there not been 24/7 air cover by
American warplanes ready to intervene on minutes notice. A look at
the Afghan clinic at Kunduz shredded by a fearsome USAF AC-130H
gunship shows the terrifying power of America’s air fleet – the
modern equivalent of the British Empire’s Royal Navy.
In the 1890’s, writing of the British conquest of
Sudan and the slaughter of the Dervish Army at Omdurman, the poet
Hillaire Belloc wrote the memorable lines that summed up western
colonial history in the Muslim world and Africa:
“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.”
The Maxim gun was the fist version of the machine
No Mideast force could withstand western military
technology on the battlefield. In 2003, the Iraqi Army met the same
fate as the sword-wielding Dervishes at Omdurman. Anyone wanting to
understand ISIS and its kin should hasten to see the superb, 1966
The only way that nations of the Muslim world
could confront western forces was by close infantry tactics:
fighting hand-to-hand where western air or land power could not
prove decisive. Israel learned this hard lesson in its disastrous
2006 invasion of Lebanon.
Many Mideast militants regard western forces as
weak and cowardly, as they rely almost entirely on air power and
heavy artillery, fearing to fight “mano a mano.” They say: “ If we
could only draw the western imperial forces deep into our countries
and then attack them piecemeal.”
ISIS has precisely such a plan in mind. This is
why it has staged such frightful provocations in Europe and the US.
Osama bin Laden taught: “enmesh the imperial powers in a number of
small, bloody wars. Wear them out and bankrupt them. The economy is
the Achilles heel of western powers.”
Demagogic western leaders like Marine le Pen,
Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Hillary Clinton who call for more
attacks on the Muslim world are falling right into the trap laid by
ISIS. ‘Onward Christian soldiers,” they cry, unaware of the
dangerous desert sands they lie before them.
Crusades rarely have positive endings.
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning,
internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in
the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles
Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation –
Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news
sites in Asia.