IS needs to be checked, but how?

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

THE

United States has once again raised the spec­tre of Is­lamic State (IS) with Di­rec­tor of its Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency (CIA) claim ing that IS mil­i­tants have tens of thou­sands of fight­ers around the world, a far greater num­ber than Al-Qaeda had dur­ing its peak time ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties. Ac­cord­ing to John Bren­nan, the mil­i­tant group’s ter­ror­ism ca­pa­bil­ity and global reach are not di­min­ished, de­spite gains against it on the bat­tle­field.

The world is still strug­gling to tackle the ‘threat’ of Al-Qaeda, which was pre­sented as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion by the United States to im­pose wars on Iraq and Afghanistan re­sult­ing into deaths of hun­dreds of thou­sands of in­no­cent souls. Now when the IS is be­ing por­trayed as a more po­tent and stronger threat than Al-Qaeda no one knows what con­se­quence will it have for peace and sta­bil­ity of dif­fer­ent re­gions es­pe­cially the Mid­dle East and the world at large. In the first place, it is iron­i­cal that the phe­nom­e­non of ter­ror­ism or mil­i­tant fight­ers of ISIS is be­ing glo­ri­fied by the world me­dia, at­tract­ing many to join such groups. But more im­por­tant than that is the dou­ble stan­dards ap­proach be­ing pur­sued by the United States in ad­dress­ing the men­ace of ter­ror­ism. This se­lec­tive ap­proach is quite vis­i­ble in this part of the globe as well where Wash­ing­ton is press­ing Pak­istan to take ac­tion against Afghan Tal­iban groups and is also tar­get­ing them with drones but is re­luc­tant to strike at those en­gaged in anti-Pak­istan ac­tiv­i­ties and killing in­no­cent Pak­ista­nis. Same is true of ISIS and a lately re­vealed re­port states that the then Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton re­ceived a clas­si­fied in­tel­li­gence re­port stat­ing that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion was ac­tively sup­port­ing Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the ter­ror­ist group that be­came the Is­lamic State. Sim­i­larly, the US has spent more than 13 years in Iraq un­der the guise of fight­ing ter­ror­ism but a re­cent sur­vey shows that nearly one-third of Iraqis be­lieve the US sup­ports ter­ror­ism or Is­lamic State. This be­lief has been per­pet­u­ated by video re­ports show­ing US forces’ sup­port to IS fight­ers. Last year, Iraq’s Par­lia­men­tary Com­mis­sion on Se­cu­rity and De­fence claimed to have re­vealed doc­u­ments and pho­to­graphs show­ing air­crafts be­long­ing to the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion de­liv­er­ing weapons and sup­plies to IS. Un­der these cir­cum­stances, it is not dif­fi­cult to imag­ine that the United States is ex­ploit­ing the phe­nom­e­non of ter­ror­ism in a se­lec­tive man­ner to ad­vance its re­gional and global ob­jec­tives and there­fore, there is no point in ex­pect­ing calm and tran­quil­lity un­til and un­less Wash­ing­ton shuns hypocrisy.

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