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The endgame of the US 'Islamic State' strategy

By       Message Nicola Nasser     Permalink
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Dismantling what the former US President George W. Bush once described as the Syria -- Iran component of the "axis of evil," or interrupting in Iraq the geographical contiguity of what King Abdullah II of Jordan once described as the "Shiite crescent," was and remains the strategic goal of the US -- Israeli allies in the Middle East unless they succeed first in "changing the regime" in either Damascus or Tehran.

The US, Israel and their regional allies have been on record admitting that the final target of their "regime change" campaign in the Middle East was to dismantle the Syria -- Iran alliance.

With the obvious failure of Plan A to dismantle the self- proclaimed anti-Israel and anti - US Syrian -- Iranian "Resistance Axis" by forcible "regime change" in Damascus, a US -- led regional alliance recently turned to its Plan B to interrupt the geographical contiguity of that axis in Iraq .

This is the endgame of President Barak Obama's strategy, which he declared last September 10 as ostensibly against the Islamic State (IS).

This would at least halt for the foreseeable future all the signed and projected trilateral or bilateral Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian pipeline networks to carry oil and gas from Iran and Iraq to the Syrian Mediterranean coast.

Israeli Col. (res.) Shaul Shay, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a former Deputy Head of the Israel National Security Council last January 21 anticipated in writing what he called the "Salafi Crescent" that is emerging to challenge the "Shia Crescent."

"The growing involvement of Sunni Salafi jihadis in Iraq (since 2003), among the rebels in Syria (since 2011), and in Lebanon has created a 'Salafi Crescent' " from Diyala [in eastern Iraq] to Beirut," he wrote.

"A positive outcome" of this Salafi Crescent "will be a decline in Iranian influence in the region", Shay concluded.

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Conspiracy theories aside, the eventual outcome is a sectarian Sunni military and political wedge driven into the Iraqi geographical connection to the Iran-Syria alliance in a triangle bordering Turkey in the north, Iran in the east, Jordan in the west and Saudi Arabia in the south and extending from north eastern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala which borders Iran.

Iraqi Kurdistan is already effectively an independent state cut off from the central government in Baghdad, but separating Iran and Syria as well and supported by the same US-led anti-IS coalition.

Amid the misinformation and disinformation, the fact is that the IS threat is being used as a smokescreen to confuse and blur this reality.

The IS was conceived and delivered in an American womb. The US-drafted and enforced current constitution produced the sectarian government that is still trying to rule Iraq. Sectarian cleansing and exclusion of Sunnis inevitably created its antithesis.

The IS was the illegitimate fetus born and nurtured inside the uterus of the US - engineered political process based on a constitution legalizing a federal system based in turn on sectarian and ethnic sharing of power and wealth.

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This horrible illegitimate creature is the 'legacy' of the US war on Iraq, which was 'conceived' in the 'sin' of the US invasion of the country in 2003, in the words of the president of the Arab American Institute, James J. Zogbi, writing in the Jordan Times on last June 16.

US Senator John McCain, quoted by The Atlantic last June 23, thanked "God, the "Saudis and Prince Bandar our Qatari friends" for creating the monster.

The pro-Iran government of former Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki was squeezed by the IS military advances to "request" US help, which Washington preconditioned on the removal of al-Maliki, to which Iran acquiesced. However, al-Maliki's replacement by Haider al-Abadi in August has changed nothing so far in the sectarian component of the Iraqi government and army. US support of Iraq under his premiership boils down to supporting continued sectarianism in the country, which is the incubator of the survival of its IS antithesis.

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

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