The Daesh Project

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Through a thought-provoking, analytic fashion, Daesh is probed into by portraying its underlying ideologies, goals, and missions which are ultimately linked to the Western and Middle-Eastern Daesh supporters.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

Narration: On June 29th, 2014, the extremist terrorist group called “ISIL” otherwise known as “DAESH” declared a Wahhabi-oriented so-called caliphate in the region straddling the Iraq and Syria border; later citing intentions for a bigger and a more global project.

In the weeks prior, this extremist group had already garnered public attention, capturing weak territories and morbid imaginations. This, thanks to treacherous politics in specific Western countries and dangerous economics in certain of their Middle Eastern counterparts.

The Wahhabi doctrine, which lies at the core of ISIL’s worldview, is an ideology that fosters sectarian hatred, indiscriminate violence, and extreme social conservatism, and bitterly ironic enough, emanates from the West’s second-most strategic ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

With its public statement of instituting a so-called caliphate, DAESH initially chose to showcase a series of unforeseen land-grabs. A short while later, it became clear, their sight is firmly set on goals of a more geopolitical nature: Scrapping the Middle East region’s “geographic and demographic” maps.

One of the things, ISIL leadership has highlighted in videos, since claiming a self-styled so-called Wahhabi Caliphate is the vision and mission of destroying the borders between Iraq and Syria as a prelude to destroying borders beyond the two; Frontiers as set by the Sykes-Picot accord; otherwise known as the Asia Minor agreement.

Reference here being made to the dismembering of the Levant region by the British and French colonialists over a century ago, which after the fall of the Ottoman reign, carved up territories of the Levant region, cutting arbitrarily across age-old and sensitive tribal, ethnic and sectarian lines.

While Sykes-Picot is not DAESH’s only symbolism in waging a war on humanity, it is indeed a revealing one. It encompasses the colonial-minded interests and threats to the Middle East as exhibited by the West. It is therefore, not surprising that, although an ideological symbol, Sykes-Picot, tells us a lot about how ISIL sees its origins, “as it tells us” of its plans for the future.

Although, ideology does play a key role in how ISIL operates, their “current” objectives are not entirely driven by it. Instead they revolve and have evolved around the acquisition of money, resources, and power, as a prerequisite for embarking on a major project of ethno-religious cleansing.

As such, for DAESH, claiming a so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria is perhaps the beginning, not the end. This however, does not mean the indefinite geographic expansion of the so-called caliphate’s physical boundaries. Yet, it does signify a historicized “will” to enlarge its “aspired Caliphial domain” beyond the Levant region, to support the “viability of an invented proto-state-building project”.

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

Narration: No doubt DAESH faces intrinsic contradictions and irreconcilable differences within itself; namely: objections to its “systematic brutality” and “erratic ruling behavior”, an “inadequate governance capacity”, and “tensions” between “foreigners and locals within its ranks”.

Its military approach has also changed over time, from an emphasis on offensive warfare to more defensive operations, and just recently, to attempts of taking advantage of their opponents’ political and military weaknesses, as done in mid-2015 with advances in Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq.

The latter method was witnessed in ISIL’s recent downing of a Russian airliner and attacks in Paris and Beirut, which except for the Paris carnage, were not initially acknowledged as “their” doing, but were definitely induced and as a result portrayed as being DAESH inspired. Conversely, if these attacks were to be “all” seen as official DAEsh actions, they can “then” be perceived as “them” hitting the French and Russians “where it hurts the most”, and “not as a geo-strategic plan” to “expand geographic borders beyond the Middle East” and as an example into the heart of Europe.

Ideologically said, DAESH, thrives on “global condemnation”, and depicts “Western denunciation” as a “reason” for fighting a holy war with a “perceived crusading army of infidels”. Although ISIL’s hostility and hatred knows no boundary, but oddly enough, it is most pointedly directed “not” at the US or Europe or even Christians or Jews (for that matter), but in fact, at their own “supposed co-religionists”: The Muslims; “especially”, the “Muslims”.

Clearly, DAESH is facing a number of “fatal problems” that are forcing it to adapt even its theater-level operations. Confronted with “internal rifts” arising from its methods of governance and its “failing attempt to unify members with diverse ethnic and national backgrounds” under a single umbrella, this violent group is now “turning inward, biding its time and buying much more”, in a grisly attempt to rear a “new generation of loyalists” who would (supposedly) form the first “indigenous” citizens of their “made-up” so-called caliphate.

VOX POP [Arabic] Young girl: “Where are you from?

I’m from the countryside of Aleppo. I came today to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

-How old are you?

-I’m 11 years old.”

Narration: The more than year-long U.S.-led fight against DAESH has been “ineffectual”, and restricted to alleged targeted air strikes. This is because; the American coalition’s focus has invariably so, “neglected the socio-economic components” of ISIL’s geo-strategic plan. This is “if” we opt to dispense with factual proof, linking the creation of DAESH “and its geo-strategic plan” to that of, US regional policies in the first place.

Yet, one more reason for the failure of US-led operations, is their “typical disregard for local state-actors”, and in Syria’s case, acknowledging that the Damascus government, is indeed “every part of the solution”, and “therefore” supporting it, legally and pragmatically speaking, “the only solution” possible, there.

Following the recent tragic events, in France, Lebanon and Mali, and despite the continued “Western hypocrisy in supporting the supporters” of ISIL, (namely Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and ironically enough, “Israel”), it now seems, somewhat of an international consensus “might be shaping” to confront this terrorist group.

In short, the primary goal as pursued by ISIL or DAESH in view of its “project” is one of “rapid dominance”. This constitutes one major pillar of their would-be strategy, which is to Last and “then” expand.

Given the “origins of extremism in the Middle East region”, it is argued, the “sure way to eradicate DAESH” is to address and redress the “radicalizing roots” of “social marginalization within Europe” and “cultural colonization in the Mideast”. This however, need be achieved “concurrent” with cutting ISIL’s financial and political lifelines “while” also striking militarily at its leadership and fortifications.

This is something, which can be accomplished “Only”, by “enabling ” the sovereign governments in “Baghdad and Damascus”, and “empowering” the “local people” there, to lead the way toward uprooting “such deep-seated violence”, in an “organic manner” and “from within”.


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