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Welcome to the New Crusades

Politics / US Politics Aug 15, 2014 - 11:08 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


A Fine Vacation
President Obama had a plan. Take two weeks and have a fine vacation (not taking his problem to the United Nations) in Martha’s Vineyard, rapidly becoming the Graveyard of US foreign policy. Boots would soon be on the ground in Iraq, about 600 of them to start with, and the Kurdistan he studiously never mentioned as a thing or “near nation” that exists would soon receive US arms shipments. The ISIS or Islamic State which received funding, in Syria, from the USA's NED or National Endowment for Democracy, was now The Enemy. It seems to be threatening oil supplies...

Despite a conciliatory hug from Hillary Clinton, in Martha's Vineyard, and as and other Middle Eastern newswires reported in their English-language services, 14 August, Clinton has now seriously “distanced herself” from Obama. In a long and rambling interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of 'The Atlantic', 10 August she said that Obama's “stupid stuff is not an organizing principle” for Great Nations like the USA. To the extent that her one-liners can be treated seriously, Clinton seemed to say that the only Great Nation in the Middle East is Israel -with a population of 7 million! At least it has an “organizing principle” as it showed in Gaza, very recently.

Rather incredibly at a moment when the US is forced to count on Iranian “boots on the ground” to save Humpty Dumpty Iraq, and it is for the least uncertain if Iran is going to do that, Clinton repeated her refrain that Iran equals Evil. Ending her often farcical interview with Goldberg of 'The Atlantic' we were told, by him, that “Defeating fascism and communism is a pretty big deal” followed by Clinton saying that “The resilience, and expansion of Islamist terrorism means that the U.S. must develop an “overarching” strategy to confront it”' which she equated with the struggle the US waged against Soviet-led communism.

Welcome the New Crusades
In a sure sign of rising political hysteria in the US, the previous no-word “Crusade” has returned, for example in the mouth of Clinton. The Islamic Crusade will beget the Anti-Crusade like day follows night. Twitter and Facebook will give you the details. Supposedly and for Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush was much too bellicose and belligerant, actually using the then-no-word Crusade after 9 / 11 but dropping it very soon after that. Bringing it back under new wraps is now needed because as Clinton said, the Islamists “actually control territory in Syria and Iraq”. A surprise discovery!

The Crusade is obligatory. Exactly like its forebears (of 1095-1299) there is a strict necessity of No Logic. Obama himself has already proven that. Kurdistan must be armed to fight the Islamists - but Kurdistan did not officially exist until last week! ISIS in Syria was an arms-length “ally of the west” sapping, attacking and eroding the regime of Bashr al-Assad. It was supplied any kind of “non-lethal aid” from night fighting  goggles and body armor, to jeeps, fuel and even spare parts for their weapons – but not the weapons themselves – by the US and its European allies. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and other Sunni regimes of the Gulf purchased the weapons from the US and its European allies, using petrodollars and gas dollars, and passed them on to ISIS. It was a done deal.

Exactly as in the historical Crusades, constantly shifting alliances of forces on the ground or “in theatre” means that today's enemy is tomorrow's ally – and vice versa. During the historical Crusades on repeated occasions, the Knights Templar defending Jerusalem would for example ally with some Muslim forces to fight some European armies they did not like the look of. It was pot luck. At the time, Shia insurgents in today's Syria were the first to develop the war doctrine of  kamikaze attacks on political targets to sap the morale of The Enemy.

There is logically no way the USA of today can sustain the type of Crusader war that Hillary Clinton can so gayly, and belligerantly belt out as her “new doctrine”. Why the historical Crusades ground to a halt in 1299 was simple. The region was overrun by the Asian hordes of Genghis Khan, reaching as far south as modern Egypt. Mongol warlords were quick to operate their own shifting alliances, for example by converting to Islam, but the Mongols were driven back – finally concentrating themselves in today's Turkey, which will certainly play a role in the defeat of ISIS.

No Time for Crusades
Crusades take time, and the historical model shows they either had zero or negative ROI-return on investment. Whether she becomes 45th president of the US or not, Hillary Clinton will trim her rhetoric and will accept reality. Obama, as far as we can judge, has already done so.

Anytime they like, the ISIS hordes can destroy a large part of Iraq and with it, the oil production, refining, transport and export installations for oil. In that case and immediately, Iraq becomes of no interest at all to any outside power. After all, as US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said before the 2003 war against Iraq “Iraq floats on a sea of oil so we had to intervene”. It can drown in it and a sea of blood, also. ISIS will be very likely to help.

Knowing that, a high-tech Crusade of the 21st century is even more unreal than its 13th century models. These templates for Terror War, by the later Crusades of the historical type, always featured the systematic massacre of civilians – every man, woman and child (and their livestock) – in selected front line towns and cities along the war front. Apparently, western public opinion does not want to know what has happened in Syria since 2011 with the systematic slaughter of Christian, Armenian, Kurd, Shia and other communities along the front line – but it happened. This is what Crusade means.

Take it or leave it, but you will be the loser if you run a New Crusade.

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2014 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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