The border between Iraq and Syria is under ISIS/ISIL control (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria/al-Sham/the Levant).
This means the weapons being funneled to ISIS and its allies by the US in Syria (via Turkey & Saudi Arabia) will now have a safe channel to flow into Iraq in the ISIS effort to encircle, and ultimately seize, Baghdad.
The Islamo-Fascist Caliphate that George W. Bush conjured up 10 years ago is now at risk of becoming a reality. The decades-long Western occupation and military intervention in the Middle East has spelled disastrous, effectively giving direct aid to Al Qaeda to see their goal met; something which was, at the outset, extremely unlikely.
For some extra context here, I suggest checking out the letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, where Zawahiri (Bin Laden’s buddy and the current leader of Al Qaeda, likely now hiding in Pakistan) explains the general goal and strategy of establishing an Islamic state in the “Levant”, a region in the Middle East, and imposing Sharia law.
While ISIS is an Al Qaeda break-off group, it’s all too certain that they share the common goal of establishing an Islamic state which spans multiple national borders, across countries like Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.
If anything, what differs between ISIS and Al Qaeda is their tactics. Nobody would argue that Al Qaeda hesitates in their use of brutality and violence, but even they believe ISIS is taking things a bit too far in this respect. As you will learn in the Zarqawi-Zawahiri correspondence, Al Qaeda sought to hold at least some degree of legitimacy among the common citizen. The use of excessive force, the Al Qaeda commander believes, will ruin that. This ostensibly explains the ISIS-Al Qaeda split.
What must be understood by the American people is that the general goal of the Bin Ladenites was to fight the “far enemy”, which is primarily the United States. They wanted to remake a Vietnam war, or a Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, wherein a large power is dragged into a decades-long military quagmire, draining the powerful country of resources, destroying its domestic economy, as well as it’s international legitimacy.
We’re seeing this before our eyes today, as we have in past decades, as constant Western military intervention spurs on precisely the same problems which it claims to be trying to solve in the first place!
It seems, at best, unlikely that the ISiS militants have any fear of the United States armed forces. It may, in fact, be just the opposite. Many of them are battle-hardened veterans of the Iraq War and the civil war that ensued in its wake, as well as the current conflict in Syria. A new US military effort in Iraq will possibly provide morale for the Islamic militants, as well as serve as an effective recruiting device in their cause.
A full-blown military campaign isn’t probable, but even assuming the United States goes in and wipes out a thousand ISIS fighters, one can’t imagine this being sufficient to actually solve the underlying issues at hand. It will be yet another example of treating symptoms, while provoking ever-more unintended consequences, potentially for decades into the future.
By getting involved in Iraq again–or rather by continuing to do so–the United States is further accomplishing Bin Laden’s goals almost to a T. The US is following his plan step-by-step, inciting ever-more generations of Muslims to extremism all across the region, further perpetuating their international Jihad, and pulling the United States into yet another fruitless, wasteful, conflict.
And so the US government continues to live up to this eternal truth, applicable to all governments everywhere at all times: Whatever their goals may be, whatever their intended outcome, always expect precisely the opposite.
May Allah protect the poor people of Iraq.