Abu Omar al-Shishani
The U.S. paved the way for the rise of ISIS and the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East by its multiple interventions and especially the 2003 Iraq invasion. And now the evidence is building that the current situation was considered desirable by some. Here is a link to an excellent article from Brad Hoff at the Levant Report. (I find their work very informative and compelling).
“a willful decision”
But of course, the Middle East is not the only place that the U.S. intervenes. In 2006, American special forces were training Georgian troops who later got into a short but disastrous little war with Putin’s Russia ( a precursor to the more serious Ukrainian crisis ) and included among their trainees was the man who went on to become “Omar the Chechen.”
Another story by Brad Hoff details the rise of Abu Omar to be one of the top ISIS commanders.
In effect U.S. policy was ironically successful in killing two birds with one stone. Provoking the Russians on the one hand and training one of the most formidable terrorist leaders of ISIS on the other. Are the people who do this profoundly stupid or are they profoundly evil? Living in a city that has twice been involved in terrorist attacks which were clear incidents of “blowback,” I’d like to know the answer to that question.
Now President Putin and the Russians have apparently had enough and are beginning to push back. Regardess of what one thinks of Mr. Putin, what he said recently at the United Nations is a scathing and thoughtful critique of US policy.
Here is an excerpt from Putin’s speech:
“In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.
The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.
It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.
I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here?” [my emphasis]
What should Catholics say or do about this catastrophic situation? Come home America, come home.