ISIS is promoting its own form of imperialism

Sunny Hundal writes: It seems as though every atrocity committed against the West by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is followed by claims in the media that such attacks are the result of our military action against them. The former mayor of London Ken Livingstone told the BBC yesterday: “All these terrorist attacks, the statements they make on their websites and so on are all about foreign policy.” He added that the French-led military intervention against the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was “coming back to haunt [it].”

This attitude isn’t isolated. Not long after the Paris attacks, Stop the War Coalition, which organized the million-plus march in London against the war in Iraq in 2003, tweeted an article claiming Paris “reaped the whirlwind of Western extremism.” It was hastily deleted. Writing for Salon, foreign-affairs columnist Patrick L. Smith opined, “We brought this on ourselves,” while in The Guardian yesterday, the Al Jazeera English presenter Mehdi Hasan suggested that the Paris attacks were the result of geopolitcal blowback.

Claiming that terror attacks such as those that shook Paris on Nov. 13, are a “blowback” isn’t just offensive to its (mainly Muslim) victims—it misreads the very nature of ISIL. It amounts to an excusal of the terrorist group’s intentions, as if to say that ISIL would not have done any of this if the US, UK, France, and company weren’t so meddlesome. This is a convenient tale, which is told to push a non-interventionist foreign policy, but it doesn’t reflect reality. [Continue reading…]

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