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article imageOp-Ed: A bun fight — the mud of the Middle East

By Kev Hedges     Oct 9, 2014 in World
Several years ago I attended a gentleman’s evening with buffet and drink offered in copious amounts. As the drink flowed and noise levels were building up, the atmosphere became a little volatile. Then it all kicked off and became very riotous.
Food was being thrown at every one and fists were flying. Nobody involved in the conflict knew who they were hitting or why. There were no sides, just mayhem. You could be forgiven for thinking the murky world of Middle East conflict has just become even more baffling than some ancient stag night where everyone was a target and it was hit or be hit, after witnessing on the news the key city of Kobane about to fall to Jihadi militants, we know as IS (Islamic State). President Barack Obama has a staggering 61 nations backing up the U.S. — many of them Arab states — in a coalition to defeat an increasingly-bold bunch of militants.
The West is currently trying to help a beleaguered Iraq from being overrun entirely by IS militants. It already controls large swathes of land in the north of the country and has also held most of northern Syria. But the Islamic State jihads have many friends in Saudi Arabia — individuals that are bankrolling the militants and funding the war effort. But the West likes Saudi Arabia, doesn't it?
The West does not like Syria’s president Bashar Assad however, so anyone that does battle with him has to be a friend with the coalition, right? Wrong! IS jihadists are also fighting against Assad. IS are about to overrun Kobane, which is right on the border with Turkey. Turkey has mobilized its forces but so far has refused to help the Kurds defend Kobane and will not take on the militants jihadists. Why not? Because Turkey dislikes Kurdish militancy and has been in direct conflict with them for some time. Turkey also wants Assad out of Syria and is frustrated with the U.S. for turning its attentions away from Assad and focusing the fight onto the IS militants. Are you still with me so far?
The West has often been bitter enemies against Iran in recent decades, but Iran is supporting Iraq in wanting IS militants to be ousted. So, it would seem some of the West’s friends are supporting the enemy and some of the enemies of the coalition are supporting those who are friends of the US.
If the factions the West want to defeat are eventually defeated, then they will be replaced by those who will turn out to be much worse than the people the West have just defeated. This has effectively already happened with the ousting of Saddam Hussein and his destruction by the West. While in power, Hussein kept all the Sunni and Shia factions under a tight rein and there was little threat to the outside world.
But since Saddam and the Revolutionary Army were overthrown, and the West discovered they never did have those weapons of mass destruction, it has had to face confusion and now a very real threat to the outside world. IS jihad is currently just yards from the border of Europe and the entire world cannot seem to stop them. Moreover, this bunch of militants don’t even have an air force. One would hate to think how the world would protect itself against an alien invasion. It would be lambs to the slaughter, just like in the film Independence Day.
All this mess was actually started by the West trying to drive out terrorism that existed in Iraq (remember the War on Terror?). Problem is, there wasn't that much of a threat in the first place, but after eight years of coalition forces occupying Iraq and 13 years in Afghanistan, we can safely say “they are there now!” And as for West, it must seem like they have just been hit by another big messy custard pie in the face. Order gentleman, order, order please!!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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