ISIL, the expansion of a system that should be stopped?





The Daily Journalist Opinion.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was the offspring of  Tawhid Al-Jihad, created by Abu Musab Al Zarwaqui a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war in cooperation with other Salafist Islamist sympathizers on early 2000. 

The group rearranged after the US invasion of Iraq and was notorious for killing ex members of the Iraqi National Guard who were Saddam loyalist. They also kidnapped and beheaded journalist from many different western countries.

In 2006 with the help of Ayman Al-Zawahiri the JTJ joined forces with Al-Qaeda Iraq (AQI) and created the umbrella organization of Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) who started to be very successful on their campaigns against anti-sunni targets. 

AQI started to decline financially and eventually separated from ISIS on terms of ideology once it officially became an independent cell, but with the civil war in Syria,Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda Syria) Joined forces with ISIS to defeat Bashar Al Assad. Once helping the Free Syrian Army, they became enemies also turning their back on Al Nusra, and the Islamic Front…

ISIS is now on a dangerous rampage and is now called ISIL (the mutated form of international ISIS), on central Iraq and on northern Syria, beheading minorities, mostly Christians, Kurds, Yazidis, Alowites, Chiias… including children and other gruesome pictures which  unfortunately I had access too. Probably the most dangerous terrorist cell to ever have existed. 

Here is the question.
1) Should the US once again enter Iraq and eliminate ISIL, instead of just supporting Al-Malikis (Sons of Iraq) with defense air support?  Would destroying ISIL’s command-and-control with ground invasion tactics and army deployment be a better solution, than to simply preventing them from entering Mosul and other regions? 
2) Do you condone the west humanitarian intervention on Iraqi soil, considering that eventually as in the case of Saddam departure, Iraqi’s as whole might also eventually turn their backs on the US and France once they defeat ISIL? Is it a double edge sword, to support those who might fight against you for religious ideological reasons once the common threat of temporary unification is eliminated? 
3) Could ISIL have the logistics and financial means of committing a terrorist act on US soil? (Considering they also have recruits from many western countries fighting in IRAQ and Syria (Holland, Belgium, US, UK to name a few) 
4) Should groups like ISIL be exterminated without reprisal, or is democracy always the blind gateway to acquire peace with religious fanatics? Is democracy the final solution always with these violent groups?   
5) 21 century! Is Islam really a religious of peace considering that 90% conflicts related with terrorism involve a Islamic groups worldwide? Boko Haram another problem in Nigeria (soon another intervention)…. Is democracy and Islamism conflict? Which you support? 
6) The US should not of stuffed their nose on Iraq based upon the Photoshop pictures Collin Powell showed to the lazy media back in 2003, fabricated by a student of UCB pointing to an imaginary WMD bunker! Oh well! 

-Would Iraq be better off with Saddam Hussein and his two tyrannical sons, than with the forced indoctrination of westernization on Iraqi soil? Is brutal dictatorship the best solution to control sectarian and religious violence on Iraq and most Muslim countries as history has repeatedly showed?



Sokari Enkine. 

(An independent writer, a blogger for 9 years and a life long political activist; co-editor of African Awakenings and Queer African Reader both published by Pambazuka/Fahamu Press; she writes regularly for and New Internationalist)

Why is it that the west led by the US feel they must provide “humanitarian aid” to fleeing Iraqi civilians yet sit back and condone the murder of over 600 children and hundreds of Palestinian civilians, bombing of schools, shelters and hospitals,  and god knows how many thousands injured and a continued occupation?  But if one Israeli soldier is missing or killed in combat, there is a massive outrage by the US and UK?

Why is it that these same governments fail to condemn the racist & even some genocidal statements by Israeli / Zionist?

Why is it that some people are worth saving yet others are not?

As for whether Islam is a peaceful religion – well I am not a Muslim but read the Koran and you will find more peace within its words than in the Christian bible which is full of death murder, revenge,  and destruction.

The question should be why do some Muslims and really a tiny percent feel they must take up arms and commit acts of terrorism?   When Christians were murdering and lynching Black people in the south of the US or murdering and dehumanizing Black South Africans under apartheid did anyone question the fact that the white perpetrators of these crimes were devout Christians that went to church every Sunday?

THIS IS modern history – 20th C history, and  not some distant past when we cannot even begin to narrate the terrible acts of violence committed under Christianity.  Whole people have been wiped out under the banner of Christianity yet we are supposed to ignore this fact because.

You speak of the danger to the US from ISIS / ISIL?  Right now the gravest danger to US citizens as I see it is to young Black kids who are being murdered on the streets of US cities by cops and white folks who have demonized Black youth.

This whole series of questions contribute to a distortion of reality



Peter D. Rosenstein.

(He is a non-profit executive, journalist and Democratic and community activist. His background includes teaching; serving as Coordinator of Local Government for the City of New York; working in the Carter Administration; and Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia)

1- At this time there is no support in the United States for putting ground troops back in Iraq. But we must try to help eliminate ISIL in any other way we can. The airstrikes in support of the efforts of the Kurdish pesh merga forces are crucial and seem to be helping. But in the long run the Iraqi military must be the ones to defeat ISIL. They can and should get the support of the United States and the largest possible coalition we can build to do that.

2- I fully support the humanitarian efforts and intervention on Iraqi soil by the West. We must do all we can to stop the mass slaughter of innocents being carried out by ISIL and to help those fleeing with food and water and whatever they need to stay alive.

3 – I don’t definitively know the answer to that but we must assume that at some point they will have the potential to do that if they aren’t stopped.

4 – I don’t think the word exterminated is appropriate. But I think we must stop the leadership of these groups in any way we can and take away the means they have to terrorize the world. Religious fanatics unfortunately will always exist and they have through the ages but without leadership and finances and weapons they have less ability to commit acts of terror on a large scale basis.

5- I think we must recognize that the true religion of Islam is a religion of peace. We must also recognize that the religion is being hijacked by fanatics who want to kill  in the name of the religion. Those of the Islam faith who believe in peace, and most do, will have to speak out and even fight if necessary to  save their religion and their proud heritage.

6 – We can’t move backwards and try to pretend we know what would have been better. I was against the Iraqi war that the United States entered because I believe that it was up to the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam Hussein. He was a brutal tyrant.

But then we must deal with the world as it is today and the fact is there really is only one super power left in the world and that is the United States. But we shouldn’t always act alone and the need to build coalitions and to support rather than take over for the good people in any nation is important to achieving just solutions to their problems. The final solution in Iraq  will be up to the Iraqi people but we do need to continue to help both tactically and with humanitarian aid as long as that is needed. We cannot walk away now.


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Barna Donovan.

(He is the acclaimed author of three books on film and audiences, is a graduate of the film school of the University of Miami and he earned his doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)

1.     At this point it seems like there is no one easy solution to the ISIL threat and with every passing day it looks like it will be impossible to keep more American troops out of Iraq. Some number of boots, unfortunately, will have to be on the ground. ISIL forces have spread far enough throughout Iraq that, as most military analysts advise, it would be impossible to neutralize the threat by air strikes alone. Given ISIL’s ruthlessness, it is only a matter of time before the terror group will attempt to counter aerial attacks by using human shields.

Furthermore, even if the U.S. attempts to simply keep a limited number of troops as advisors or as aids in humanitarian relief efforts, those troops can come under fire themselves and will in any case require supply and logistical efforts to keep them safe and doing their jobs. Thus, while a full scale deployment to rout out and destroy ISIL’s command structure might be more effective than air strikes and advisors functioning in a very limited capacity, U.S. public support for another full scale ground war is also very unlikely today.

2.     The U.S. cannot stand by and refuse any attempts at humanitarian intervention in Iraq. The reports of ISIL atrocities coming out of Iraq every day rival anything that could have been committed by the most depraved of medieval barbarians. We are witnessing the sort of religious and ethnic cleansing in Iraq today that the world has repeatedly vowed – all the way from the Holocaust to Cambodia’s killing fields massacres and the ethnic cleansings of the Bosnian war – never to tolerate and leave unchallenged.

A danger in not intervening in ISIL’s reign of terror, in their attempt at overthrowing an Iraq so many thousands of Americans have bled and died for, is that it will be interpreted as a sign of the west’s weakness and lack of resolve in protecting itself and its interests. While it might be regarded as a cliché by some, the fact is that all that evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

3.     This is exactly the reason why the ISIL situation is so dangerous and why the U.S. can not afford to not challenge this terrorist army’s rampage across Iraq. According to numerous reports, ISIL’s march across Iraq had them looting banks and amassing hundreds of millions in cash and gold bullion.

Today they are not only much richer than al-Qaeda was before 9/11 – many analysts have already declared them the richest terrorist organization in history – but they are vowing to bring the jihad to the U.S. and, according to one of their recent videos, “raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” With the money at their disposal right now, they are certainly in a position to recruit and arm enough like-minded fanatics to carry out terror attacks against the west and the U.S. So terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are not only a possibility but, in my opinion, should be considered a clear and present danger.

4.     Democracy, unfortunately, is not any sort of a dependable solution for dealing with violent religious fanatics. Democracy, in fact, is incompatible with religious fanaticism and fundamentalist religious organizations are inherently undemocratic. A fundamentalist religious movement, or a sect or a cult will demand unyielding and unquestioning adherence to the commandments of the faith.

When the commandments of a faith are believed to be the absolute truth of an infallible deity, there will be no room for debate, dissent, or any of the activities of democracy. Such movements are also led by a class of priests and religious authorities that will command their followers rather than be led by the will of their people. If the leaders of a theocracy believe they know the will of an almighty deity, there is hardly any room for questioning and disagreement. Looking at the depravity of the violence ISIL is capable of committing to further its agenda of imposing a fundamentalist Sharia law across Iraq and Middle East and to wipe out those who do not convert to their same extremist version of Islam, it does not look like we can realistically expect this organization to ever negotiate or accept any political compromises with the U.S. and the west.

As far as ISIL members are concerned, they are on the side of god, on the side of righteousness, and all those who oppose their beliefs deserve to be exterminated. This is an organization that respects only strength, ruthlessness, and violence and one that can only be dealt with, unfortunately, with force.

5.     This is a complex issue because, on the one hand, a mistake the U.S. has often made – particularly under the George W. Bush administration – was believing that the imposition of democratic systems across the Middle East will be the antidote to terror. President Bush, in fact, had clearly said that democratic countries will not produce terrorism. The problem, however, is that democracy can not be so easily introduced to societies that not only do not have democratic traditions but whose histories and cultures are steeped in religious rule.

That said, however, it’s also inaccurate to say that Islam is inherently a violent religion. Islam has many of the same tenets of peace, charity, love, and forgiveness as all other major religions do. Islam, unfortunately, has, in recent history, been hijacked by extremists who have perverted the tenets of the faith into something that condones and encourages violence and repression. While it might be true that most of the conflicts with terrorism involve Islamic terror groups, those terror groups do not represent the majority of Muslims any more than Jim Jones or David Koresh were representatives of the majority of Christians.

6.     In hindsight we know that the U.S. committed to an invasion of Iraq based of faulty, inaccurate, and often downright dishonest intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. We also know that Saddam Hussein and his sons ran Iraq like a sadistic gang of thugs. The brutality of their regime is offensive to American and democratic sensibilities. Foreign policy, however, needs to be formed through pragmatism.

America’s elected officials need to craft foreign policy with the safety and interests of America and Americans being of paramount concern and we now know that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was less of a threat to the U.S. than what we have to deal with in Iraq today. The war in Iraq became a quagmire we were barely able to extricate ourselves from and now ISIL and the fundamentalist terrorists overrunning that country are threatening to pull us back into that same quagmire yet again.



Jose Luis Chalhoub Naffah.

(He is a political scientist with a masters in international oil trading and an independent politics consultant on politics and geopolitical risk based in Venezuela, focusing on Russia AMD Middle East issues. He speaks fluently English Russian Fench and Arabic. Director of BYBLOS CONSULTING a firm specializing in political risk analyses) 

The Islamic State for Iraq and Sham (Syria and Iraq) resembles much of what Boko Haram is doing currently for example in Nigeria with its primary focus on christian population, and with the ISIS targeting mainly on iraqi christian minority and yazidis, there´s a danger that we can face a so called clash of civilization first theoriced by Samuel Huntington, and with the Vatican amazingly justifying the US intervention on behalf of christians there on iraqi´s soil.

The ISIS responds actually to a shia sunni ever growing divide along different fault lines in the Middle East and the whole arab world, and undoubtedly funded by the House Al Saud to diminish iranian influence over Iraq. The thing that actually amazes me is the whole motive that prompted the White House to finally and sadly late to intervene through air strikes is the threat of taking over of the Kurdistan oil rich region by the ISIS insurgency, which could end up in a definitive partition of the Kurdistan autonomus region off the whole Iraq territory, strongly supported by Washington, but i would like to see the turkish position towards this issue (the kurdish issue) now that Mr Erdogan was reelected and its stance on turkish traditional alliance with the US.

So, it looks like that under the umbrella of this shiia-sunni confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, there´s a controlled chaos promoted by Washington and the European Union under the known and traditional rule of divide and conquer trying to collapse the whole nation state concept in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf and the Islamic world, redrawing the old borders designed after the 2nd World War under such agreements and treaties such as the ones of the Sykes-Picot and the likes, on behalf of the great powers interest, and of course pointing at controlling the huge energy resources of the Persian Gulf.

The same will happen with countries such as Libya and Afghanistan, and threats over Lebanon by the ISIS, that will keep on check Washington´s ability to cope with these situations.

One interesting thing is how ISIS is dealing and trading oil to freshen its money flow taking over refineries and wells, showing that all this issue has to do with oil geopolitics, and how Islam is interpreted by any tiny or small group on its own way to take grip of power, undermining its basic and fundamental principles and concepts. And this is basically by the longstanding confrontation between shias and sunnis and one place to look at this clash is in Lebanon where the threat of ISIS is on.

Islamic religious extremism and radicalism is what´s undermining its image worldwide and reinforced by western leaned media, and this is precisely by the lack of a unified religious hierarchy and the growing divide between Saudi Arabia and Iran which has always been the source of the HAMAS, the Hezbollahs and the ISIS and if this issue is not resolved, there will be many of these groups trying to take the lead in the so called name of Islam and for Washington to understand the very basic roots of this conflict is hard. The only logic has been oil and gas. It wont matter anything else. But, surprisingly where´s China and Russia answer to this intervention?


Catherine Haig.

C. Bonjukian Patten.

(I am a Financial Consultant with my own Bookkeeping/Office Management LLC working in the Greater NYC Area for clients in a cross section of industry)

My short answer is that America is not and should strive to not get involved with other countries problems and had POTUS GW Bush kept us out of Iraq (when they clearly had nothing to do with 911) we wouldn’t be there in the first place.

Other than that – I believe that Iraq is better off without Hussein unfortunately countries like this that are Muslim will succumb to other extremist rulers because they are misguided. The only way America should get involved with other countries like this will be to protect our interests abroad and at home.

The biggest problem I see in America today is illegal dreamers and aliens who must be deported.


Claude Nougat. 

(Passionate traveller (80 countries+) 25 years experience in United Nations: project evaluation specialist; FAO Director for Europe/Central Asia)

These are very topical issues that are likely to stay with us a long time, perhaps through the rest of this century. Someone said back in 2000 (I don’t remember who, maybe you or one of your readers can help) that the “21st century will be a religious century or it won’t exist!”

Is “forced indoctrination of westernization on Iraqi soil” possible? Can it ever give fruits and return the country to a (semblance) of democracy and peace? It certainly doesn’t look that way now. Forced indoctrination – no matter how good and valuable – is always a bad idea because it is forced.

That of course is also the driving force behind Islam: forced indoctrination. And, no matter how many victories the Jihadists will score, it will, in the end, turn out to be a bad idea. Precisely because it is forced. Brutal dictatorship will necessarily arise in contrapposition, like a Hegelian antithesis to the thesis, but that doesn’t mean the synthesis is the next and final step.

The synthesis could be a long time coming, as thesis and antithesis alternate without ever moving to the next step – it could even take several generations for people to learn what peace and human free choice entails and why it is better than the alternative (which to be clear here, is: no free will, Islam or death!)

My personal opinion is that to intervene in the Middle East was a mistake back in Saddam’s days, and now in Bashar Al Assad’s time, it is still a mistake. There are two main Islams at war with each other (Sunnis and Shiites) and no one can stop them from fighting each other. The position in the West now is minimalist and intended to help protect minorities (Christians, Kurds etc) and that is commendable. Let us hope we can stop there, with the “protection-of-minorities” mission and not go further; the danger is obviously that we might get dragged into a conflict that is of no concern to us.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed (the cross being of course a very Christian symbol…)


Jaime Ortega-Simo. 

(The Daily Journalist president and founder) 

1-  Based upon strategic interest, the US holds the worlds key as the largest sovereign power to take out this Islamic organization without international support. In history, the nation with the power of rule has the ability to not abide with demand, but with reality.

Iraq, should be left alone. Supporting  the Shia Mahdi Armi, only endorses the Iranian expansion into the Middle East, which is nay a good solution.

Kurd’s have been oppressed by both sectarian groups, so its good they have a chance to regain back some authority in the region. Kurdistan is doing very well financially speaking, and unlike Mosul, or Baghdad its showing peaceful growth.

2-  The problem with the Middle East is that support doesn’t solve any issues overall. You kill a monster, to help nurture the next one. Also support last a blink of an eye on these countries, you help them get rid of a problem and soon after you accomplish the mission, culture starts to creep in and they want to kick you out.

Based on ideological beliefs, which is what their culture mandates infidels cannot dwell on the lands of Islamic nations. Its okay to help them eliminate a threat, but its not okay to promulgate western values that many admire. I find that sheer hypocrisy.

I believe minorities, should be helped and relocated to nations were they will be able to adapt better and not beheaded based upon their beliefs. Who wouldn’t?

3- ISIL has the financial means to strike any western country, no matter how good their national security is. Sadly I think, based upon intelligence, they will be successful… They will target something which represents a capitalist evil symbol. Ex KGB scientist sell information for cheap.

4- Democracy is an imaginary dogma. Democracy was used by the Greeks as a philosophical  argument to explain rights and freedoms of individuals. Capitalism and Socialism don’t represent true democracy, but somehow given ignorance and lack of understanding, people miss interpret its true meaning.

Islam outside of its religious claims, is also a political well structured system that would scoff out democracy if it truly had its way. Did democracy help when The Islamic Brotherhood and Hamas, won their elections? I laugh at this!

Violence is one system that works very well in the Middle East.  What the US needs to do is forget about rights, go where ISIL is located an exterminate their group without remnants, violently and cold blooded. I am firm believer, that war triggers peace, and not the other way around. History and nature dictate that for themselves, and oppose ‘democracy’.

1258, Mongol reprisal in Baghdad.

5- Islam did not began as a peaceful religion. Raids, forced conversion and violence is the grounds of its true foundation; history doesn’t require of ignorant opinion in regards with its origin, despite what some advocates openly deny. Islam was the twin brother of the Holly Roman Catholic Church, but in the Middle East. Same origins, no real difference.

Politics play second nature on Islamic countries, religious ideologies rule supreme on everyday decisions and few illuminates can ignore such reality. In the end of the day, the non-Islamic people are consider infidels yes or yes, its in the doctrine. That’s is why, western values will not alter or transform their well based structure. So yes, its a clash of civilizations and unlike the Jesuits and Templar’s of the Holly Roman Catholic Church,  the Jihadist have become the fly that needs to be swash.

6) The Middle East needs tyrants and brutal dictators to control its sectarian differences. Eliminating Saddam, was the single and most stupid mistake the US has committed in the past 20 years. It shows how ineffective and ludicrous the CIA has become as an intelligence Agency.

Western allies if anything should have prevented the Arab Spring, supporting the know dethroned dictators on countries like Syria, Lybia and Egypt.  For what porpoise is to help get rid of a problem, and make the following worst? Some people in Washington need an IQ check.








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