Senator John McCain wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal In early October titled “To defeat Islamic State, Remove Assad”. In it, he argues that Assad is a magnet for Islamic extremism:
After Islamic State stormed into Iraq in June, Mr. Obama argued that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s alienation of Sunnis had strengthened the terrorist group. Destroying Islamic State in Iraq, the administration suggested, required Mr. Maliki’s removal and an inclusive new government. Why not the same urgency about Syria?
Mr. Assad all but created Islamic State through his slaughter of nearly 200,000 Syrians, and he has knowingly allowed the group to grow and operate with impunity inside the country when it suits his purposes. Until we confront this reality, we can continue to degrade Islamic State in Syria, but Mr. Assad’s barbarism will continue to empower it.
Of course, Mr. Obama did not hear the Senator and went about his way to appease Iran for a deal he may not secure. Thanks to his defunct policy, we are seeing ISIL growing rapidly from one country to another. Its latest victim is Libya, a nation rich with high demand oil that would provide ISIL coffers with endless possibilities. Still, Obama refuses to see the logic of Senator McCain. Of late, Jordan has also become a target of ISIL. Two Arab countries under siege mean ISIL is still growing in spite of US strikes.
When Obama began to strike ISIL and refused to strike Assad, we predicted that ISIL would either grow or go underground if defeated (Assad to Syrians is what AQ is to America, Fanatics never forgive, or forget, they just fight, The most videotaped war in history, Why Obama is ISIL dream recruiter). In the same Blogs, I also predicted that ISIL will siege two more Arab countries and Arab Sunnis would see ISIL as their champion since it is the only one willing to stand up to Iranian terror and aggression in Syria.
The leading cause of ISIL strength is Assad himself. For Arab Sunnis who are watching Assad butcher Syrians and Obama coming to his aid by striking ISIL only, they think there is a big conspiracy against Arab Sunnis. There have been many articles trying to blame ISIL on a garden variety of issues; however, with the exception of Senator McCain’s Op-Ed, little has been attributed, publicly at least, for ISIL growth to the Assad savagery.
Some people have their heads in the sand trying to convince themselves that Muslims are joining ISIL to marry a Jihadist or to establish a Caliphate. I said it before and I repeat it now, if the US does not remove Assad by force, ISIL will keep growing and no one will be able to defeat it once it reaches the point of no return. Its base of support comes from 350million Arabs Sunnis, tens of millions of them already seething with anger over the hopeless lives they lead. ISIL is their Arab Spring 2.0 sparked by letting Assad off the hook.
You cannot imagine the impact the videos showing Assad dropping barrel bombs on civilians have on the Arab street. In the eighties, Assad hid Hama very well, but today, his terror and barbarism are out in the open. Did you know that buildings in Syria do not have shelters or basements? There is no place to hide from the Assad terror. Western media has no clue what effect this small piece of information has on highly charged emotional people. This is what separates a western mind from an Arab mind.
We have to fight ISIL and destroy it; but it ain’t going to happen unless the Assad regime is destroyed as well. Next month, more than likely I will write another Blog to talk about ISIL besieging two more Arab countries. By the time Obama leaves office who knows, maybe the Islamic State would have swallowed Saudi Arabia by then.
Afghanis terrorized us because they perceived the US as an occupier, not a friend coming to their aid. Imagine then, how Muslims from 80 different countries fighting for ISIL feel about one of their own killing their women and children. Deliberately and with extreme savagery. Get the big picture? If we do not defeat Assad, ISIL may defeat us. Incidentally, the ISIL numbers of fighters is far larger than those published.
ISIL and Assad are connected; the sooner we realize it, the sooner we can defeat ISIL. If we wait too long, ISIL may defeat us.
Senator McCain ought to write a new Op-Ed entitled “It is not too late to help the moderates Mr. President”.