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ISIS Is Filling The Holes Left By The US War On Terror

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09/15/2015 06:23 AM
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ISIS Is Filling The Holes Left By The US War On Terror
ISIS Is Filling The Holes Left By The US War On Terror

What gave rise to ISIS and how is the group holding onto power? To answer these questions, journalist, activist and political commentator Phyllis Bennis connects the dots between the fall of Iraq, the U.S. “War on Terror,” and oil.

By Sean Nevins

September 14, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "MintPress" - WASHINGTON — ISIS is not a guerrilla organization that popped up out of nowhere, figured out how to hold onto territory, and take on the Iraqi and Syrian armies all by themselves, says Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive multi-issue think tank in Washington.

ISIS is powerful, she argues, because the group enjoys political and military support from the Sunni communities in Iraq that were left defenseless against the Shiite-dominated government the United States put into power following its occupation of Iraq in 2003.

“The Sunni, who are a large minority, around 20 to 25 percent, have been kind of isolated from any kind of access not only to major power but to any part of [Iraqi] society,” Bennis said in July at Busboys and Poets, a restaurant and community organizing spot in Washington.

“So there’s a great deal of antagonism towards the government, and for a lot of people there’s a sense of, ‘Look I don’t like these guys, but maybe they can be the one force that can fight back,’” she said during a discussion of her new book, “Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer,” which asks and addresses basic questions about ISIS and the U.S. “War on Terror.”

As MintPress News reported in a February analysis of the terrorist group, ISIS emerged as one of a number of Sunni organizations fighting the American occupation of Iraq.

However, in 2008 al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), as it was then known, was in a state of “extraordinary crisis” as a result of Sunni tribes joining coalition forces during the Anbar Awakening movement.

It was reported in April 2010 that AQI’s top leaders, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, were killed by U.S. troops.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had been radicalized while imprisoned in Camp Bucca, a U.S. prison in Iraq, was appointed the new leader of the group the following month. It is at this point that Bennis launches into her exploration of the group’s power.

A diversified economy

Illustrating Phyllis Bennis’ point that ISIS has the support of former state officials, is that, unlike al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, ISIS gets its funds not only from donations from abroad, but from a diversified economy.

George Kiourktsoglou, visiting lecturer at the University of Greenwich in London, told MintPress that the group represents the next evolutionary step in global jihadism. While al-Qaida was primarily funded by donors, he said, “ISIS is a different beast.”

“ISIS does receive donations, but it’s practically a syndicate of crime bankrolling an ideology, smuggling crude oil, antiquities, human trafficking, weapons trafficking, extortion, everything you can think of,” Kiourktsoglou explained, emphasizing that ISIS’ economic strength comes from a variety of sources.

Kiourktsoglou and his colleague Alec D. Coutroubis, principal lecturer at the University of Greenwich, wrote ”ISIS Export Gateway to Global Crude Oil Markets,” a paper about one source of ISIS’ funding, smuggled oil, which is possibly being sold on the global market.

Their research into ISIS’ oil smuggling took place between July 2014 and February 2015. They looked into the extraction, transportation, and sales of oil on the black market by the terrorist group.

Read more here:
[link to www.informationclearinghouse.info]