No sooner had Barack Obama announced a new international alliance to fight what is known as the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq than an international conference was held in Jeddah to put it into effect. Seventeen countries represented by their foreign ministers attended the conference, including US Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of 10 Arab countries; in other words, America’s agents in the region. They came out with an agreement to confront ISIS and cooperate in waging a war against it with the objective of eliminating it. However, Turkey and Qatar refused to sign the final statement.
What does the US gain from this, and why did it opt for the meeting to be held in Saudi Arabia on September 11th, the anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers in 2001? America never makes a move unless it has some sort of strategic goal or interest behind it; what exactly is the goal that it hopes to accomplish with this? Does America actually feel that ISIS poses a threat or danger to it in spite of those who say that it is a creation of US intelligence and that is infiltrated by many other countries? These are legitimate questions, and if we read into the events and take a look at what has gone on in the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, we can say that America is continuing its war on the Islamic states started in 2001 against Afghanistan and calling it the “war on terror”. President George W Bush stated explicitly at the time that it was a crusade, for which he later apologised, claiming that it was a slip of the tongue, but it wasn’t; he was telling the truth.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, former US President Ronald Reagan said that America had eliminated the red enemy, referring to Communism, and that it was time to eliminate the “green enemy”, a reference to Islam. Since that time, America has been preparing for its war on an enemy it created and used terrorism as a pretext to wage war against Islamic states. Afghanistan was followed by Iraq, and America made its way into the region and wreaked havoc and corruption on the ground. It also helped France in its war against the Muslims of Mali and fought in Libya to overthrow the regime and spread chaos in the country. It is now using Arab and Islamic countries as a legitimate cover to wage war on the rest of the Arab world under the pretext of fighting ISIS and the danger this terrorist organisation, as they describe it, poses for the rest of the countries in the region. The US has used the Islamic State as a scarecrow to frighten kings and emirs that their thrones will be grabbed by ISIS, which lurks on the borders of their territory.
In order for this war not to be labelled as a crusade, America held its meeting in Saudi Arabia, the symbolism of which is not lost on anyone, while the government in Riyadh saw this as a chance to lead the Islamic world, especially the Sunni Muslims, and for Egypt to be subject to Saudi Arabia instead of the opposite. The coup-led government in Egypt also tried to benefit from this meeting and come out with some gains, but it failed because the government wanted to add the Muslim Brotherhood and its own war on the movement into the mix and make it a part of the international alliance to fight terrorism, as a means of gaining financial and moral support, but it was unable to achieve this.
The Arab states which signed the final statement are nothing but pawns in the hands of America, being moved however and whenever America wants and according to its interests. These states, thrones and emirates on the map have only been established and allowed to exist in order to achieve America’s goals in the region. We have an international alliance, but against whom is it pitted?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.