CounterPunch, 14 January 2015
The U.S.-backed Afghan jihad was the birth of the modern Islamic fundamentalist movement. The jihad attracted and helped organize fundamentalists across the region, as U.S. allies in the Gulf state dictatorships used the state religion to promote it. Fighters who traveled to fight in Afghanistan returned to their home countries with weapon training and hero status that inspired others to join the movement.
The U.S. later aided the fundamentalists by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, destroying Libya and waging a ruthless proxy war in Syria. Fundamentalists used these invasions and the consequent destruction of these once-proud nations to show that the West was at war with Islam.
In short, the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have destroyed four civilizations within Muslim-majority nations. Once proud people have been crushed by war — either killed, injured, made refugees, or smothered by mass unemployment and scarcity. These are the ideal conditions for the Saudi-style Islamic fundamentalism to flourish, where promises of dignity and power resonate with those robbed of both.
Phi Beta Iota: This is a useful article for strategic context. The matter of whether the attack was a false flag attack intended to punish France for supporting Palestine while also attracting French Jews to settle in Israel has not been properly addressed by the mainstream media. The Sunni – Shia split has been aggravated by the aggression of the Saudis and their selected Gulf partners and could be vastly more violent than any conflict between Islam and the West. Intelligence with integrity that can be shared with Congress, the media, and the public is helpful in devising strategy with integrity, policy with integrity, acquisition with integrity, and operations with integrity.