William Blum is a Washington D.C. based analyst and historian whose books chart the history of CIA abuses and U.S. government crimes abroad. His latest article for Counterpunch is an excellent critique of the recent months-long ISIS hysteria in American media and culture.
He makes the point that we shouldn’t uncritically trust the dominant narrative on ISIS coming out of U.S.-Saudi-NATO media establishments, especially when it was this very alliance that produced and fed this Frankenstein monster in the first place.
Indeed, while the U.S. Department of Treasury has publicly blamed governments like Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia for funding the most radical elements on the Syrian battlefield, the White House continues enlist the help of those very countries in its supposed anti-ISIS campaign. But in all the constant barrage of ISIS coverage in mainstream media, one almost never gets truthful investigative analysis of how ISIS came to be so strong. As even the Vice President of the United States has publicly admitted, it is the American alliance in the region that has directly assisted the terrorist group’s meteoric rise.
If your day is anything like mine, you get in the car and hear about ISIS on the radio, then you hear ISIS discussed at work, you drive home and hear about ISIS on NPR, and if you turn on evening TV you see and hear yet more about the supposed unique brutality of ISIS. In all of this, you hear moral revulsion in the voices of those speaking about ISIS. But never forget that only a year ago, while ISIS was beheading and bombing only Syrians within Syrian sovereign territory, no one spoke about ISIS or about its victims. On the contrary, ISIS received the collective praise of the West as part of the insurgent coalition fighting the Syrian government.
Americans who fume and steam about the horrors of ISIS must be reminded over and over and over again just how it was that ISIS grew so strong: with supply networks, or rather ratlines, funded with Gulf/NATO money, overseen by the CIA, all made logistically possible through the open border policies of U.S. allies Turkey and Jordan. After all this, should we entertain any narrative that seeks to obfuscate such essential context?
Why You Can Hardly Believe a Word of What You Read About ISIS
You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).
You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS.
You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure which side of the conflict any of these mideast countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if in fact it’s only one side? Why do they allow their angry young men to join Islamic extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed so many Islamic extremists to cross into Syria? Is Turkey more concerned with wiping out the Islamic State or the Kurds under siege by ISIS? Are these countries, or the Western powers, more concerned with overthrowing ISIS or overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad?
You can’t believe the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. You can’t even believe that they are moderate. They have their hands in everything, and everyone has their hands in them.
Iran, Hezbollah and Syria have been fighting ISIS or its precursors for years, but the United States refuses to join forces with any of these entities in the struggle. Nor does Washington impose sanctions on any country for supporting ISIS as it quickly did against Russia for its alleged role in Ukraine.