Francesco Sisci: the U.S. is sending a dangerous message

Francesco Sisci: the U.S. is sending a dangerous message

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Americans can say and argue that “we are not helping ISIS”, and that is fine, but looking at things from the outside: if the U.S. is not helping indirectly ISIS, and ISIS still survives, it looks even worse for the U.S. It looks as if it has lost any grip there … which may be true, but it is extremely dangerous.

But I would take a step back and follow Bhadrakumar’s reasoning. Basically ISIS shoots and survives, thus it gets money to feed its soldiers and buy weapons and ammunition.

Then a) besides their official credo some of them do business with some infidels who sell them weapons, and b) they are NOT totally surrounded.

Then these are the questions: who does business with them and why? In Pakistan for many years officers were playing the Americans and the Talibans, who were fighting the Americans. The U.S. was aware of that and treated this as some kind of necessary evil to deal with the region. Turks, Saudis etc. may be doing the same now, like the Pakistanis then.

Is the U.S. then treating these possible dealings between Turks and ISIS like those of the Pakistanis with the Taliban? Is there calculation? Distraction? Is it completely wrong?

Now, of course, there is a completely different risk with ISIS and Iran, but the U.S. had underestimated the danger of militants in a remote area once before, and we had 9/11 . Isn’t there any danger that relatively well armed and trained fighters may wish to bring the fight to the heart of the empire once again?

Plus, compared with ISIS, like with Al Qaeda of the past, Iran is a state with some trappings of democracy and growing secular society, may look like an island of civilization, despite its nuclear program. And thus Tehran can more easily smuggle forward its nuclear program by arguing: you worry so much about me but you abet or turn a blind eye to those madmen in Iraq and Syria, who is really dangerous me or you?

I think it is a very risky message to spread, no?

Francesco Sisci
Francesco Sisci is an Italian sinologist, author and columnist who lives and works in Beijing. He is the contributor for Il Sole 24ore, and a frequent commentator on international affairs for CCTV and Phoenix TV.
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