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U.S. policies give rise to thugs in the Middle East


Illustration by Khaled Sayed
Illustration by Khaled Sayed

By Khaled Sayed
The Guardsman

Isis, Isil, Islamic state, or whatever they call themselves, we should call them what they really are – thugs! These thugs are working hard to create their own story, and the Western media has been helping them reach their audience. They are filming and photographing their victims to attract more psychopaths and dominate the conversation.

We also need to stop calling them Muslim, because these thugs are about as Muslim as the Ku Klux Klan is a Christian organization. There is no “radical” Islam. There are only people who are radical, and choose to terrorize others and kill for their own agendas. We should call these thugs terrorists, not Muslims.

Like many people, I was horrified by the barbaric killing of the Jordanian pilot this month and the beheading and killing of many of their captives from other countries. But we seem to forget that these thugs have been on a killing rampage for a few years now, not only killing American, French and Japanese journalists but also terrorizing and killing over 4,000 Arab Muslims in Syria and northern Iraq.

According to a United Nations report from the Human Rights Office of the Commission for Human Rights, released in September of 2014, Isis has executed and targeted both Sunni and Shia Muslims alike, if they don’t support them and join in their ugly war. “As of August 2014, an estimated 1.8 million Iraqis had been displaced due to the ongoing violence. Some 1,000,000 are displaced in areas under the control of ISIL (Isis)  and associated armed groups or in areas under government control, while 800,000 were displaced in the Kurdistan Region. Ensuring the protection and basic humanitarian needs of all civilians remains of critical importance.”

Calling them thugs brings attention to the nature of their agenda and helps people realize that what they are doing has nothing to do with Islam. They are using the name of Islam to spread their hate and anger toward the west and attract new followers.

Looking at these barbaric thugs, I can’t help but credit U.S. policies in the Middle East for creating the environment that has allowed them to rise to the international stage with such brutality and hate.

However, we need to put things in perspective when it comes to the Middle East. We have to notice the connection between the U.S. invasion of Iraq and how our failed Middle Eastern policies created this explosion of militant thugs.

We need to keep in mind that the U.S. invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 tragedy. That invasion resulted in over 100,000  Iraqi civilians and thousands of U.S. military personnel dead. It fragmented the country, bringing Iraq to civil war.

We should have been horrified by the absurdity of a war on Iraq, but the media foolishly went along with the failed war from the beginning. We should have been horrified when Isis was committing mass murders in northern Iraq in 2013, but the whole world watched and did nothing.

We need to realize that all lives are sacred, and no person’s life is more important than another. The Charlie Hebdo incident was a terrorist attack on journalists where 12 people were killed in Paris at a newspaper whose main focus has been to make fun of Muslims. Around the same time, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram killed 2,000 people, and their horrific act gained very little attention from the western media.

The international news media was saturated with the Charlie Hebdo story, and very few bothered to give as much attention to the 2,000 people who were killed in Nigeria. None of the top powerful countries did anything to stop Boko Haram.

While the U.S. chose to take armed action in the Middle East, they were OK with the Israelis carrying out attacks on the Palestinians in the summer of 2014, or the Syrian government killing their own citizens, and they are also OK with Isis killing Arab Muslims.

I’m not simply blaming the U.S. for the barbaric way these thugs are behaving, but can you imagine them gaining this much of a foothold without the Iraq invasion? The Middle East would still be the same as it was ten years ago, with all the nations and their borders intact, and all the dictators the U.S. originally put into power.

So before you become outraged with the latest actions of these thugs against a few non-Muslim targets, you really need to consider what the U.S. policies in the Middle East are doing to give them power.

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