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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


While the forerunners and later derivative groups of what is now ISIS, or IS as they now prefer to call themselves, were busy fighting Israel’s enemy in Syria, Israel and the US together with their Western allies were content to let the al-Assad regime forces and the Islamists slug it out between them. Both sides remain, however, the enemy of Israel. But, as the civil war in Syria progressed, so the various Islamist forces ranged against al-Assad began to coalesce. Though still not quite fully united, the group that now calls itself the Islamic State has emerged by far the most influential. It has grown almost exponentially over the last twelve months or so and has now spread itself into Iraq where it has become a regional threat as it continues to collect more and more fighters both locally and from overseas.

But its growth has now reached a tipping point. Not only is it a threat to the already unstable politics of Iraq as the movement expands eastward out of Syria into Iraq, but it has now also become a threat to Israel as Israel and its Western allies begin to realise that IS hasn’t taken its eye off the ball in western Syria where it borders with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

So far the Islamists that have flocked to the so-called ‘Islamic State’ forces have been busy consolidating their forces in the territories they now occupy where they are using local recruits to slowly expand holdings in order to build and establish their ‘caliphate’.

However, in western Syria the IS are now also beginning to become influential and the Israeli fear of having them on their border has startled the Israeli government and, just to assure IS that Israel is still a potent force, Israeli yesterday demonstrated its potency by shooting down a Syrian jet strike aircraft when it strayed over the border into Golan Heights airspace on the very same day that the US and their allies attacked IS targets in Syria. With the US attacking IS and Israel demonstrating there is no let up in its desire to see al-Assad gone, it’s clear that Israel remains intent on not allowing the polarising of forces fighting each other in Syria to influence its own long term strategic goals of defeating both the so-called ‘Islamist’ extremists on one side and al-Assad and his allies Hezbollah and Iran on the other.

It’s also clear that Israel and the US, together with their allies, have colluded with each other to define a strategy to defeat a direct threat to Israel without letting it be seen that the West and its allies are taking the battle to the IS in Syria in order to protect Israel. It could very well be the reason why Netanyahu called a sudden halt to the onslaught against the Gaza Strip at a time just when his extreme right-wing partners in his government were calling for the complete occupation of the Gaza Strip and the destruction of Hamas.

As the ceasefire in the Gaza was announced almost unilaterally by Netanyahu there was barely a murmur of protest from the extreme right-wing. Something clearly had upset Netanyahu’s plans for the Gaza Strip. Could it have been the growing threat of the IS potentially coming to Israel’s doorstep in the Golan Heights? It certainly seems that way.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the analysis on ISIL and you make a good point too about "special forces" secretly in operation "in the field" already as they are seen as strategic capabilities by governments.
I decry the slogan "boots on the ground" which pretends that ordinary soldiering is separate to commandos.
Thus the former is seen as a big negative to avoid, yet governments then break that "promise" by pretending that commandos are different, which makes it alright to put them "in the field" and definitely on the ground.

Finally, I'd like to ask you a question about ISIL's origins.
Even reading shonky newspapers like "The Australian" over the past three years during my lunch break at my desk as I eat a sandwich (borrowed from a mate at work), I've been reading about CIA and MI-6 etc secret training for Syrian "moderate rebels" against Assad.
Supplies, training in Jordan, free helicopter rides across the border into Syria etc too.
So would it be fair to say that ISIL is simply yet another monster the Yanks fed and helped until it escaped from their leash and now is on the loose?.
Ergo, if the yanks hadn't of helped these anti assad rebels who transformed later into ISIL, would be even be having this discussion and yet another war over there?.
Forgive my ignorance, but its an earnest question about the precise origins of this ISIL crowd and any U.S assistance that nurtured them over the past three years I've been reading about over lunch.
Thanks mate,

Nylon Shirt

Damian Lataan said...

“So would it be fair to say that ISIL is simply yet another monster the Yanks fed and helped until it escaped from their leash and now is on the loose?”

You’ve hit the nail on the head, NS! And not just the Yanks, the Israelis and most likely the British and even the French as well.

While they were fighting al-Assad then all was well as far as they were all concerned because it kept Hezbollah (Shia) off the Israelis back while they supported al-Assad and wedged Hezbollah and Hamas (Sunni) at the same time. Before the Syria thing blew up Hamas and Hezbollah had a close relationship. They still talk but the sectarianism between the two has caused problems. To a certain extent the same is so with Hamas’s relationship with Iran and for the same sectarian reason. Meanwhile, Israel is more than happy to see their enemies fighting among themselves.

However, what’s happening now is that ISIS has gone well over the top and are not just fighting al-Assad and his ‘moderate’ opponents but also are getting more and more violent against their own kind. Indeed, these last few weeks have seen the slaughtering entire Sunni tribes – their own people – in Iraq. They have effectively isolated themselves from everyone and now everybody wants to get rid of them. Even al-Qaeda apparently has had enough of their extremism.

Now, as ISIS grows, the US, Israel and the West are getting very worried. As you suggest, regardless of what the coalition are saying about not having ‘boots on the ground’, you can guarantee they are. It’s a bit like the ‘advisors’ the Americans had in Vietnam; they were up to their necks in the killings that went on there during the war. They were the ones egging on the South Vietnamese into killing anyone and everyone who showed the slightest sympathy toward the Viet Minh and the later Vietcong. The same will happen with ISIS. The Americans and their Western allies will be egging the Iraqis on to do the same in Iraq. Once that start turning the tide on ISIS there’ll be a bloodbath as the Iraqis exact revenge. Then the same will happen in Syria. And then who knows where it will all end.

Hope all this doesn’t ruin your lunch, NS. It’s a lot to digest!


Anonymous said...

G'day Damian,

I appreciate your explanation and analysis on this matter.
So it is true then that ISIL is a creation of the yanks and other nations directly via the material support, training and aid they've received in the past few years as well as financial help from oil rich Arab nations (all reported on breathlessly by the Murdoch "press" here), just as I understood it to be!.

But now, its all gone pear shaped, that prologue has been forgotten (again) and now the world is being told that ISIL just appeared out of Syria, without the narrative of the U.S and its lackeys helping them in the first place!.
This is a global scandal surely as people must be told that this whole situation is mainly the fault of the yanks and their twit mates.
It reminds me of other past "monsters" who have been nurtured and later escaped from the yanks leash.
Remember in 2013, the army in Mali had been helped and trained by the yanks, but when the islamists came in force and tried to capture Mali, the yanks admitted to having a big shock when their Malian Army lackeys, just gave up and joined in with the islamists coming toward the capital!.
The French had to intervene then and sort out the mess.

In the case of ISIL, I've heard senior yanks admit to yet another "intelligence failure" as to being surprised by the rise of ISIL, (they're too busy doing easy spying on the civilian populations of democratic nations rather than their real daily job in detecting nutters like ISIL, yet the narrative of their own responsibility in creating this monster has been officially forgotten.
Would that be a fair assessment as that's as I see it.
I welcome further analysis and thank you for your time mate.

Nylon Shirt

PS I saw Robert Fisk on "lateline" last night who reckons the "Free Syrian Army" doesn't actually exist either!.

Damian Lataan said...

It’s just a matter of remembering the chronology of how this all got started, NS.

First off, Israel and the West were keen to get rid of al-Assad in Syria who was supporting Hezbollah. When the so-called Arab Spring swept through the Arab world Syrians jumped on the bandwagon in an effort to oust al-Assad. Al-Assad resisted and the whole thing escalated into civil war between pro and anti al-Assad Syrians. The Israelis and the West supported the rebels and armed them. Meanwhile, the Saudis and the Qatari’s supplied the money and support to the Sunni fighters among the rebels who eventually broke away from the secular rebel groups of what was by then known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) supported by the Israeli and the West. Eventually the Sunni rebel fighters broke away from the FSA and began to attract foreign Sunni religious fighters who had been associated with al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups. Soon, as well as fighting al-Assad forces, these groups began to fight each other. Eventually they realised that their strength lay in their unity and the fanatics slowly got the upper hand. As we can now see, the fanatics won. The FSA is as good as dead now and the various jihadi groups have now coalesced into the monster we see today and which is continuing to evolve.

It is not what the Israeli nor the West wanted. Now it’s got completely out of hand and has even spread to Egypt, particularly in the Sinai where they are now seen as a direct threat to Israel where the Egyptian jihadists recently pledged their support to ISIS.

Not unsurprisingly, the Israeli and the West are now not ken to remind the world of their role in the creation of the ISIS monster.


Anonymous said...


Sorry to be a bother and veer off the subject, but I have another question.

We often hear from the yanks and their mates claiming how the U.S navy keeps the world's sea lanes and maritime "global commons" free (another weird and invented term they've devised) and safe.

Yet I ask, where is the "threat" to international sea trade that warrants this prowling of the seas by the yanks?.
No nation is threatening world sea trade and hasn't since WW2.
Even during the cold war the USSR was dependent on trade by sea and never threatened to sink commercial ships and never did.
Indeed I recall they needed Argentinian grain in the early '80's after lacklustre harvests in the USSR.

Piracy is a more recent activity but thats only in the west and north Indian ocean and hardly requires aircraft carriers and nuclear subs.

I still have a copy of "Flight International from 1985 that describes the Thai Fokker F-27 maritime enforced plane that looks for pirates near their coasts etc.
Hardly requiring big ships.
Finally Iran and Iraq attacked ships in the '80's, but that was confied to the Persian gulf and of course that war was egged on by trhe yanks pushing Saddam to attack Iran.

So is it true that this whole U.S navy claim of "protecting the sea lanes" is just a big lie and in truth there is no threat to global shipping and never really has since the end of the war?.

They must get very bored looking for imaginary threats that don't exist.
Thanks mate,
Nylon Shirt

Damian Lataan said...

G’day NS. The US regards itself as the world’s policeman – albeit self-appointed. They also regard themselves as the world only superpower since the decline of USSR/Russian power. They certainly, by far, have the world’s largest navy. All this adds up to them being able to project power in international waters which, in turn, projects their hegemony thus giving the impression they are not to be messed with. This then enables smaller weaker countries to seek protection from them which again in turn allows the US to seek both overseas ports and bases without actually having to invade and also advantageous trading terms with those they regard as their allies. Take Australia as a classic example of how all this works…
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Thank Damian,

I agree with your assessment but I'm struck that so few people have actually challenged this myth the yanks have perpetuated about themselves regarding the "keeping the sea lanes open" claim!.
From what exactly?.
Interestingly, their navy and indeed military (which they put many resources and acclaim for) is actually in real strife.
Ship numbers are declining and what is there is often not available due to age and maintenance difficulties.
Costs are rising and they find themselves in the same position the poms were in during the post war decades of decline, decolonisation and colonial wars- which they all lost too.

Cheers mate,

Nylon Shirt

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