As the Obama administration goes to war in Iraq again — without calling the action a war or even securing permission from Congress, as the Constitution requires — the crucial role played by the U.S. government and its allies in creating and empowering the threat is once again being overlooked. From sending weapons and providing training to the same jihadists in Syria who later crossed into Iraq, to tacitly endorsing the bankrolling of Islamic terror groups by supposed American allies, U.S. foreign policy has been critical in the emergence of the monstrously barbaric self-styled Islamic State “caliphate” formerly known as ISIS.
Now, under the guise of fighting the threat it helped create, the administration is again putting American lives and treasure at risk in violation of the Constitution. The aerial bombing campaigns have already started, supposedly aimed at halting the advance of the Islamic State and its efforts to massacre minorities such as Christians, Yazidis, and others. Despite Obama’s repeated promises of no “boots on the ground,” U.S. Special Forces were reportedly operating in northern Iraq this week as well.
More U.S. weapons, meanwhile — large quantities of which have already been seized by the Islamic State as it advanced through Iraq — are flowing to Kurdish militia forces known as Peshmerga. Separately, even more U.S. military and financial support for the Iran-allied regime in Baghdad is expected soon, too. None of the latest scheming has been authorized by the American people’s elected representatives or the U.S. Constitution.
Like so many of the supposed “threats” to U.S. “national security” in recent decades, however, the barbarity engulfing the region has its roots in Washington — as more than a few high-profile voices have pointed out. “The Iraq war strengthened Iran’s influence in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Sunni extremists backed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have filled the vacuum,” explained Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in a recent column. “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken over the cities of Mosul, Tikrit and is on the march to Baghdad.”
Indeed, as The New American reported in June, U.S. officials admit that many of the weapons being used by the Islamic State terrorists to butcher Christians, Shias, and other Iraqis were actually paid for by U.S. taxpayers before being seized by the rampaging barbarians. Before that, other American weapons now in the hands of those terrorists were acquired in Syria, where the Obama administration and its allies were fomenting and supporting “jihad” in a half-baked plan to overthrow the anti-ISIS Assad dictatorship. Some analysts even said Obama has "switched sides" in the terror war.
Worse still, according to Jordanian security officials cited by WND journalist Aaron Klein, the U.S. government actually trained some of those very same jihadists at a secret base in Jordan. “The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria,” Klein reported. “The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.”
Sen. Paul has also highlighted the troubling U.S. government role in the making of the Islamic State. “This administration, through bad decision-making that I specifically warned against, has already indirectly aided al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria — the very group some now propose to counter with U.S. troops,” he wrote, citing previous warnings about arming, funding, and training jihadist rebels in Syria. While neocons and Democrats were demanding more aid to the Islamists, Paul chastised them for supporting al-Qaeda. In retrospect, the warnings proved to be a troubling foreshadowing of what was to come.
Now, the same out-of-control politicians and officials responsible for the mess are demanding even more U.S. interventionism to supposedly deal with the problem. “For the small group calling for boots on the ground — how can we ask our brave men and women to risk their lives for a country the Iraqis aren’t willing to fight for themselves?” he asked. “Iraqi soldiers are stripping off their uniforms and fleeing this fight. We shouldn’t ask our soldiers to put their uniforms on to take their places.”
In a stunning example of irony and Orwellian doublethink, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also blamed Obama’s foreign policy for the rise of ISIS. However, instead of identifying the unconstitutional meddling and support for regime-change jihad as the culprits, Clinton claimed the administration was to blame for not offering even more support to the “Syrian rebels.” She said that “left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”
As countless media outlets, experts, governments, and sources on the ground have pointed out, however, the jihadists are and were the rebels. Even the “moderate” rebels were Islamists working with al-Qaeda and other terror groups, by their own admission. Similarly, in Libya, Obama openly provided weapons, funds, and air support to self-styled al-Qaeda leaders, many of whom went to go fight in Syria with U.S. support after overthrowing the “apostate” Muslim dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Of course, the Obama administration is not the only force responsible for the current bloodshed — numerous supposed U.S. allies are also deeply involved. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was ousted from power this week amid pressure from the Obama administration, has been among the high-profile voices pointing at the Sunni autocracies ruling Qatar and Saudi Arabia for their role in supporting ISIS and other Islamic terrorists butchering their way across the region.
“I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements,” Maliki, a Shia, said in an interview with French television earlier this year. “I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them. I accuse them of leading an open war against the Iraqi government. I accuse them of openly hosting leaders of al Qaeda and Takfirists [extremists)].”
ISIS is hardly the only Islamic terrorist group to have benefited directly and indirectly from U.S. foreign policy. In fact, today, it is common knowledge that the U.S. government armed, funded, trained, and radicalized Islamists in Afghanistan who eventually became the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Before that, the U.S. foreign-policy establishment helped bring mass-murderers such as Cuba’s Castro and China’s Mao to power. Even today, American taxpayers are being fleeced for billions of dollars handed to regimes that are known to support terrorism — and in some cases, even providing the aid directly to terrorists in violation of U.S. laws. Undoubtedly, there is much more unconstitutional mischief going on behind the scenes.
Now, Obama claims he will unleash more violence to save the world from the chaos and terror his administration and its predecessors helped create. Considering even just recent history, however, the notion that the U.S. government will be “saving” Christians, for example — one of the primary justifications for the current beating of the war drums — almost sounds like a sick parody. As The New American has documented extensively, U.S. foreign policy has directly and indirectly contributed to the ongoing extermination of Christians in nations across Africa and the Middle East.
In Iraq, to examine just one instance, the ancient Christian communities there were thriving until the U.S. invasion and occupation began in 2003. Since then, the population of Christians has plummeted from an estimated 1.5 million to some 200,000 today. More than a few analysts and experts expect Christianity to be non-existent in the area if trends continue. The decimation and ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Christians was a direct result of U.S. foreign policy, and the Bush administration was warned in advance of precisely such an outcome.
Many of the Christians who fled Iraq following the U.S. “regime change” operation crossed into Syria, another (now former) safe-haven for persecuted minorities despite its brutal autocratic regime. With behind-the-scenes machinations by the Obama administration and its globalist allies, however, Syria has become a killing field, with Christians among the primary groups in jihadist crosshairs. Without Obama’s support for the “Syrian rebels” — mostly a coalition of globalist-backed Islamists, many of whom now make up the Islamic State — the bogus “popular revolution” almost certainly would never have happened. There are numerous other examples of Christian massacres resulting from U.S. government policy. As if more evidence of the U.S. government's views on Christians were needed, it was recently exposed training American troops to consider evangelical Christians and Catholics a terror threat on par with al-Qaeda.
The last thing the world needs right now is for the Obama administration to launch more unconstitutional wars wherever and whenever he and his backers feels like it — whether that be in Iraq, Syria, or any other place. If Congress feels that intervention is necessary, after an open debate, it can declare war or issue a letter of marque and reprisal to permit the targeting of non-state actors such as ISIS. As numerous lawmakers have pointed out, though, the president has no constitutional authority to launch attacks without congressional authorization. The results of such lawless and anti-constitutional scheming are clear: See Libya.
Americans as individuals and communities can and should do what they can to support the victims of U.S. foreign policy around the world — in this case, the innocent people of northern Iraq. Perhaps charities could even hire private military contractors or security firms to protect endangered innocents and minorities in the region. Congress, though, must restrain the Obama administration before it unleashes even more death, destruction, and mayhem on the world.
Photo of protestors calling for Obama to intervene in Iraq: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at