Part of Obama's Legacy: The Islamic State?

Dennis Loo | October 1, 2014

It is a testament to the bankruptcy of those who now run the world that they relentlessly ridicule and suppress the values that must guide humanity and the planet. The planet is being systematically destroyed by capitalist values. The need is dire for brave individuals here and there, and small groups of people, to chart a radically different course and to win scores and eventually millions to their path. The planet ‘s fate hangs in the balance.

What has Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, done? The man who rode into office on anti-Iraq war sentiment with his cred made by his speeches against the Iraq war, is now forced to act in the only way he and the Empire he presides over know how to to try to quell the rapid spread of that which the US intervention and war crimes created in the first place: through doing an even more intense version of the same. Killing and more killing. Lying and more lying, Destroying and more destroying. Fear mongering and more fear mongering.

Obama’s answer to global warming literally the day after the huge Climate March: Bomb ISIS. Bomb ISIS. Bomb ISIS. Bomb ISIS. And, lest we forget, at the same time he talked grandly about the need to be more ambitious about protecting the planet at the UN Climate Summit he nixed the idea of charging for the use of carbon. To be truthful the Nobel Prize Committee ought to offer an Enemy of the Planet Award and honor Obama for that. He should also get the Biggest Hypocrite Ever Award for his deceitful speeches.

Iraq was a secular state before the US invasion. Any Muslim fundamentalist caught in Iraq was to be shot, per orders of none other than Saddam Hussein.

Recall that Obama a year ago planned to drop bombs on Syria to try to bring down the Assad regime and backed off because of opposition within ruling class ranks that his plan for waging war on Assad might introduce too many wildly unpredictable results, due to resistance from other governments, and due to public protest. Some good anti-war folks celebrated this result a year ago as a victory for the anti-war movement but as I wrote at the time, the victory was not mainly due to public protest which to be honest, was only in the beginning stages of mobilization and insufficient by itself to produce the interruption of Obama’s plans.

A medical analogy to the US’s “war on terror” helps to illustrate the present and future dilemma that the US government faces in its violent campaign to pursue US “interests” in other sovereign nations’ affairs:

When a patient is given massive doses of antibiotics to fight off an infection, the antibiotics not only kill the bacteria they are aimed at, but also necessarily wipe out the friendly bacteria as well. The patient’s system becomes prey to the rapid spread of damaging yeast no longer held in check by the body’s friendly bacteria.

The US government’s campaign against ISIS is going to succeed as well as someone who has declared war on his own shadow.

At this point, the ranks of those opposed to this obscenity of a policy are small. Many citizens are being bamboozled by the US propaganda and by their own fears into thinking that the main danger is ISIS.

Looking like a group straight out of central casting, ISIS fighters pose for pictures. The news is filled with stories about the US and its partners going to war against ISIS. At this point, and for the public’s benefit, this war is exclusively from the air. But these airstrikes - that government spokespeople say could last for years - will not remain exclusively an air campaign. It’s an elementary fact that you cannot win wars from the air alone and boots on the ground are necessary. Because the US cannot and ultimately will not rely on various factions on the ground, it will be forced to commit ground troops. That, of course, will bring its own set of consequences. Even if that were not the case, however, and even if the US could prosecute a “degrade and destroy” air war alone, the airstrikes themselves will produce their counter-response in the form of increased recruitment to groups like ISIS and in the form of more terrorist incidents in the homelands of the US and its current allies. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand the dynamics of the situation that is exploding in the Middle East.

Add to ISIS the Khorasan Group, the Nusra Front, and the yet to be known and those yet to emerge splinter groups from mother al-Qaeda like Khorasan and Nusra, germinating from the enriched soil due to the US’s relentless efforts to “degrade and destroy” its rivals. What is being done in our name as Americans by the US government is a towering crime. The desperate measures being undertaken by Obama et al are generating a deeply unstable, profoundly unjust, exceedingly dangerous, and capriciously unpredictable world. They are desperate because the crucial Middle Eastern region is threatening to get out of their imperialist control, something that the Empire cannot allow if it is to continue to be the Empire. The Bush Regime invaded in order that the US could dictate the terms and bar any rivals from emerging. It has not worked out according to their plans.

Nothing underscores the unfitness of this system of capitalist exploitation of people and the environment than our rulers’ behavior towards this region in particular, towards the world as a whole, their contempt for justice and for the truth, for people’s and other species’ lives, and their bankrupt and toweringly criminal inability and unwillingness to safeguard the planet against sure climate disaster. They stand naked before the world for this, if you probe beneath the surface appearance of things to see the stark reality beneath.

Dennis Loo is a member of the Steering Committee of World Can't Wait. This article originally appeared on on September 27, 2014.


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.