IS needs to be checked, but how?
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.