Is Daesh collapsing?

Daesh faced defeat in Mosul last week. Iraqi forces and the Iranian-backed Shia militias recaptured the city. The Daesh fighters used civilians as human shields, but the exasperated Iraqi and other military commanders inflicted massive ‘collateral damage’ i.e. civilian causalities. It was a protracted and arduous military campaign that began in October last year.

But the bragging of characters like Donald Trump and other western leaders of inflicting a decisive defeat and ‘breaking the backbone’ of Daesh may be premature. Daesh has suffered military setbacks and has lost more than half of the territories it once controlled. Its appeal and ability to recruit new layers of frustrated youth as jihadists has somewhat diminished due to these setbacks.

Abu-Bakr Baghdadi, its supreme leader, is presumed to be either dead or on the run. However Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was considered the second-most powerful leader had said in May 2016: “Whoever thinks that we fight to protect some land or some authority, or that victory is measured thereby, has strayed far from the truth.” This was a desperate attempt to reinvigorated espairing ISIL fighters but its retreat is indubitable. However, this does not mean that the twenty first century caliphate is vanquished and this monstrosity is over.

Daesh’s proto-state in the Levant still controls large swathes in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and in Afghanistan as the Islamic State of Khorasan directing the group’s operations in South Asia. Confronted with mounting attacks in Iraq and Syria, ISIL has unleashed a wave of terror attacks in faraway lands. Daesh strategists are accused of orchestrating the recent attacks in Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. The Boko Haram in Africa and the dreaded terror outfits in the Philippines declared loyalty to the ISIL and became its franchises.

Daesh’s state in the Levant still controls large swathes in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Khorasan directs the group’s operations in South Asia

 The ISIL is not necessarily as organised and cohesive as its apologists and propagandists would like us to believe. Nor are the various sectarian Islamic groupings correctly described and understood by the western media.

The political and socioeconomic grievances along with Islamist beliefs motivate the terrorist groups such as the Daesh. The accumulated black capital is also a major incentive and precursor of this terrorism. The barons of religious chauvinistic groups started to amass black wealth through drug trade, extortion, kidnapping and other heinous crimes under the US tutelage to finance the CIA’s counter-revolution against the Saur revolution of 1978 in Afghanistan.

Now this has morphed into a terrorist economic cycle expanding throughout Asia, Middle East and beyond. This lethal plague of Islamic terror cannot be obliterated only through a brute military force and air strikes. And such inhuman beasts cannot be trusted. But the Arab monarchs and regional states are still persisting on this catastrophic policy of promoting terror outfits for their vested interests.

These proxy wars are aggravating tensions and conflicts between Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other states of the Gulf. Now the ramifications of these proxy wars will surge beyond the killing fields of Syria. Hence the so-called anti-terrorist alliance projected by the US imperialists is not the solution, but the actual problem itself.

In Syria, the battle to recapture Raqqa has just begun. But the forces fighting against the ISIL are themselves at loggerheads. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by the US and despised by the Turkish rulers, the Al Nusra front inked to the Turkish state and the Syrian National Army backed by Russia and Iran have been fighting against each other all over Syria.  Hence even if Raqqa is ‘liberated’, it will be a city of chaos and ruin.

 Daesh, Al-Qaeda’s splinter groups, various Taliban alignments are still inflicting bloodshed and misery. The obscene wealth and extravagantly lavish life styles of the royal Arab dynasties are protected by despotic states carved out by the imperialists for their lust to grab black gold. The aggravation of conflicts and clash of interests is also a reflection of the stark internal crisis these regimes are plagued with.

The ISIL and other religious terrorist organisations thrive on these contradictions. Daesh’s financers are not veiled any longer but the imperialists dare not expose or touch the royal sponsors of this vilegroup. These obsolete regimes are rotten to the core. They narrowly escaped the rising tide of the upheaval in 2011.

The inertia and malaise that had set-in after the movement receded made societies vulnerable to reactionary tendencies. That’s where we saw the gruesome rise of the ISIL and other groups. But the situation is becoming intolerable for social existence of the toiling classes with this burgeoning barbarity and socioeconomic devastation. The masses shall rise again sooner than most expect.

On the basis of a revolutionary leadership, this upsurge of a mass revolt will lance these cancerous outgrowths of Daesh, Al-Qaida, Al Nusra and others from the body politic of the region that has rich traditions of great historic civilisations. Such a revolutionary storm in the Arabian Desert shall also wipe out the despotic monarchies.

 

The writer is the editor of Asian Marxist Review and International Secretary of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign. He can be reached at ptudc@hotmail.com

 

 

Published in Daily Times, July 17th , 2017.

 


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