From Karachi to Mosul terror is the winner

Fall of Mosul to militants far more loathsome than Al Qaeda has tore down the fantasy the US President Barack Obama has been selling the world for past many years. Neither has he been able to defeat Al Qaeda nor eliminate militancy. The scenario today is rather on the contrary. Recent incidents in Iraq and Pakistan bear out the fact that the world today is in greater peril than it was before 9/11. Terrorists are wining everywhere; they are gaining momentum as state powers are fast losing out to dramatic and chilling onslaughts from non-state players.

Two back to back attacks in Karachi and the dramatic fall of Mosul in Iraq convinced us that thirteen years of war on terror has failed to make our planet safer. Obama cannot claim any credit for ending wars; he has simply been running to the doors to get out of a war which is far from over.

Iraq's northern hub and its second largest city Mosul fell to Al Qaeda inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant where only 800 heavily armed militants ran over 3,000 soldiers of Iraqi security forces and took control of a huge cache of American weapons supplied to Iraqi forces including a few Humvees, a civilian airport, at least a black hawk chopper, banks and a television station.

The marauding and rampaging militant fighters moved further south to take control of Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit for a short period but drawing dangerously close to Baghdad. At least 200,000 people from these places fled and heaven knows how many killed. In both Mosul and Tikrit the fleeing Iraqi soldiers left behind their uniforms, weapons and ammunition to be captured by Isis fighters.  

In a daring attack on Karachi International airport Taliban militants mowed down over two dozen people and forced the airport to close down for over thirty six hours. In the past one year terrorism has snuffed out at least 2,000 lives across the world and this is in addition to hundreds and thousands killed in Syrian civil war.

The Karachi attacks were undoubtedly spectacular and daring. But in terms of implication, the fall of Mosul in Iraq is momentous. Today the terrorists are standing poised to achieve what they have always aspired — statehood. "ISIS may, in fact, be nearing its dream: The creation of a caliphate governing the land from the Mediterranean to Iran's Zagros Mountains."

In Iraq, unless the United States intervenes again with its military might, Al Qaeda inspired Isis is ready to undergo a dramatic transition from being non-state player to state player. And if this happens, militancy across the world, especially in Middle East and southern Asia, will gain unprecedented momentum.

Pardonnez moi if I sound disparaging but I prefer to tell the truth undiluted, neat, straight from the bottle. And the truth is that the United States is primarily responsible for the fresh crisis in Iraq.

Fall of Mosul and Tikrit is the effect of utterly wrong policies pursued by the United States in Middle East. Neither President Barack Obama nor his predecessor George W. Bush can avoid their culpabilities. Iraq today stands as an indictment of George W. Bush. He brought extremism and Al Qaeda into the country by his invasion. He lied to the world to justify his invasion and created a fertile ground for militancy to grow.

Equally, if not more, galling have been the myopic policies of Barack Obama. He is responsible for the rise of militancy and revitalisation of Al Qaeda in the whole of Levant. In his indomitable desire to bring in regime changes in Libya and Syria Obama used Orwellian subterfuge and made Al Qaeda a partner in his campaign.

Pursuing a strategy that smacked of moral hypocrisy Washington used Al Qaeda and its affiliates America's boots on the ground in Libya and Syria. They were supplied with weapons and probably trained in fighting against Gaddafi and Bashar Al Asad.  

It is undeniable that the forces which have today captured Mosul and is extending their reach further south are the same forces that Washington has been supporting with everything that it could in Syria to bring about Assad's fall. In Syria these disruptive forces are called rebels and were fed with arms enabling them to gain momentum. Washington's policy enemy's enemy is a friend has gone awry.

It is evident today that the so-called rebels in Syria have been pursuing a different agenda and it is to create a caliphate in the contiguous areas of Syria and Iraq. The United States failed to anticipate the design; Obama has made the things worse in the Levant by his inability to pre-empt that any move in Syria will have a deep and lasting effect in neighbouring Iraq.

The takeover of large swathes of Iraq by militants should be seen as a damning indictment of Obama's ill-judged decision to abandon the country to its fate so early in his presidency, says Con Coughlin, The Telegraph's Defence Editor and a world-renowned expert on global security and terrorism. And Coughlin is spot on in indicting the US President.

In his bid to create a political capital as an anti-war president Obama virtually left Iraq vulnerable and America's task in the country incomplete only to be caught subsequently between the devil and deep sea. Obama may have distanced himself from the terrible mischief committed by his predecessor but left Iraq on a precipice. He left Iraq at the mercy of the wolves.

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.


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