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Interview with Fars News on IS, US and the only way out

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Tehran (FNA)- Eric Walberg, a Canadian journalist, believes that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group will continue to flourish as long as the US continues its aggressive policies to dominate the Middle East.

Q: What role do you think the United States has played in the creation of the ISIL. Is this another plot orchestrated by US and its allies? If so, why?

A: Re 9/11, this and other such spectacular terrorist events are the result of manipulation by the geopolitical schemers of the oppressed peoples' humiliation. It looks like we will never know the full story on such events and to what extent the imperialists actually created, trained and armed groups such as the ISIL.

I recently came across Low intensity operations: subversion, insurgency, peacekeeping, by Frank Kitson (1971), who was a military officer in Kenya in the 1950s, and later Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces from 1982 to 1985. He admits that British 'intelligence' in Kenya in the 1950s created a false resistance movement to discredit the Mau-Mau and provoke violence. Humiliated natives are putty to the empire.

Whether or not the US actively schemed to create the ISIL is impossible to say at this point. But such groups and their 'success' is definitely due to the actions of the US in the region. They will continue to flourish as long as the US continues its aggressive policies to dominate the region.

Q: High-ranking US officials have repeatedly claimed that they are fighting against the ISIL and that they will uproot them soon. But We are seeing double-standards again as they now say that "it’s not an easy task". Is this a bogus claim? What do you think?

The US no longer controls the situation and is trying to stop the advance of the ISIL. The dynamic of the situation is: a) destabilize Assad by assisting the insurgents b) try to control the insurgency c) if this fails, then allow a weakened Assad to prevail, hoping the Islamists will be defeated.

The situation is out of control of the US at this point. Iran's patient support of Assad is the only policy which makes sense. Even the US is being forced to realize this now. Let's hope it is not too late.

Q: ISIL which controls parts of Syria, sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq in June and quickly seized large swaths of territory straddling the border between the two countries. The militants have terrorized the entire Iraqi communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadis and Kurds while executing a large number of civilians and soldiers. What do you think are the major objectives of the ISIL?

A: They have a distorted vision of how to advance Islamic civilization, unwilling to work with existing forces such as the Palestinians and Iran against Israel. What I find particularly disturbing in recent developments in Iraq is the unwitting agreement between ISIL, Israel, the West, and the Arab monarchies towards the Palestinian struggle.

Undermining of the Palestinians by anti-Islamist government like Egypt's dictatorship, and the Saudi and Jordanian monarchies in collaboration with Israel, is understandable (though odious). Fearing Hamas’s example as an honest no-nonsense government, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan have openly sided with Israel against Hamas. Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s fight against political Islam thus mirrors Israel’s. Diatribes against Hamas on Egyptian TV are even broadcast by Israel into Gaza. "The Arab states’ loathing and fear of political Islam is so strong that it outweighs their allergy to (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu. I have never seen a situation like it, where you have so many Arab states acquiescing in the death and destruction in Gaza," Aaron Miller, a former Middle East negotiator under several presidents, told the New York Times.

Q: Do you believe that the Zionist regime is funding the terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria?

A: I don't know. I don't think this is necessary. There is a certain perverse logic at work, the logic of imperialism. ISIL has been able to capture western military hardware and benefit from intense hatred of the US.

Q: Do you consider the current crisis in Iraq and Syria the result of a division between the Shiites and the Sunnis?

A: Yes. This is the greatest dilemma facing the Islamic resistance to imperialism. It is a policy long cultivated by the imperialists, building on the  parochialism of the past.

Q: According to the latest reports, ISIL may have up to 6,000 fighters in Iraq and 3,000-5,000 in Syria, including perhaps 3,000 foreigners; nearly a thousand are reported to hail from Chechnya, 500 or more from Britain and hundreds of others from France, the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. What's your take on that?

A: Again, the perverse logic of imperialism is at work. Blowback is part of politics, and the imperialists do not control all the variables. We all will suffer from the current crisis.

Q: The US turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the massacre in the Gaza Strip by Israel and suddenly US President Barack Obama decided to authorize military strikes on the ISIL positions in Iraq for the so-called humanitarian purposes. What’s behind this sudden change of approach? Is this related to the geopolitical position of Erbil?

A: The US is caught in a nightmare of its own making. The most sensible thing for Obama to do would be to arrest George W. Bush and Cheney as traitors, to end US funding of Israel and Egypt, to make peace with Iran, and push for the end of the Saudi monarchy. But this is unfortunately not something that will happen soon.

Interview by Javad Arab Shirazi

a longer version of this appeared at http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930609001369

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html