"The tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free," trumpeted US President George W Bush aboard aircraft carrier USS Lincoln on 2 May 2003. "Al Qaeda is wounded, not destroyed."
On the contrary, Al Qaeda cells in Afghanistan reproduced a new 'base' in Iraq.
Many of us warned about this before Operation Iraqi Freedom was unleashed but we were dismissed as prophets of doom. While meeting with Prime Minister John Howard on 20 December 2002, we explained the delicate demography of Iraq and cautioned against further fuelling the anger of a nation already crippled by sanctions: another injustice in Iraq will be another magnet for Al Qaeda.
Those who understand what hides beneath the foliage of the 'Arab Spring' also warned that the uprising was hijacked by those sowing seeds for a theocracy, not a democracy. Exhibit A: al Nusra Front. Exhibit B: ISIS.
Comparing the new brand of 'social media' terrorists such as ISIS with al Qaeda is no longer scaremongering, as this next breed of masked men make Al Qaeda look like their elderly parents. Indeed, Al Qaeda has backed al Nusra Front over the delinquent ISIS in Syria.
Those western voices who falsely declared the democratisation of Iraq a decade ago should now be given the attention they deserve. None. Yet the US have again dispatched hundreds of 'military advisers', to counter ISIS in Iraq but not Syria.
They are the same 'Arabists' and 'experts' who failed to forecast the 'Arab Spring' and gave no warning about the recent rise of ISIS.
Those western voices have lost credibility with their amoral 'enemy of my enemy' compass: the Salafi jihadists attacking the Assad government are freedom fighters, our friends. But if those same mercenaries step over the border into Iraq to attack al-Malaki's government, they are now insurgent terrorists, our enemies.
This appears to make no sense as both the Syrian and Iraqi ISIS groups ignore the border in their quest to 'reclaim' a Salafi caliphate. The English acronym is wrongly translated as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but the last letter actually stands for Shaam, or Levant, an axis that includes Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Palestine. Hence, their Arabic name is pronounced D-A-E-SH. The car bombings that rocked Beirut last week, attributed to Daesh, confirm that their Shaam extends way beyond Syria into all of the Levant. This week, their self-declared caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared that the 'Islamic State' is 'breaking the borders' and will conquer the 'world of Allah the Highest.'
Why would western voices tolerate the Syrian branch but not the Iraqi branch?
The more credible explanation has nothing to do with Iraq or Syria or justice or democracy.
It has everything to do with the two greatest allies of the US in the region: Saudi Arabia and Israel.
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