Blowback. Bush's unprovoked invasion of Iraq, followed by 8 years of US occupation created a lot of resentment, especially among Sunnis who lost their long dominance of Iraq to the Shiite majority. For many Sunnis the US was seen as siding with Iraq's Shiites, as oppressors of the Sunni minority. A persistent Sunni insurgency sprang up to resist the US occupation, and was brutally suppressed by US forces largely subduing it temporarily, creating more simmering resentments.
Then after the US withdrew its forces in 2011 the Maliki government rejected becoming more inclusive for Sunnis, and stepped into the US role of occupier in Sunni areas of Iraq.
Now it appears the the US is returning to its former role in Iraq, appearing to side with the Shiite dominated government and once again taking on the despised mantle of "Crusader" for Sunnis in Iraq. This may prove to be another blunder by the US judging by some recent reports in the media. ISIS tightly controls information coming out of their so called "Islamic State" (which I and many Muslims think insults Islam) but intelligence is still flowing out of ISIS controlled areas.
ISIS has 100,000 fighters, growing fast - Iraqi govt adviserCrusader meaning the United States of course.
“[The] Islamic State didn’t come from nowhere,” according to Hisham al-Hashimi, who advises Iraq’s intelligence services and analyzes raw information gathered on the ground. He has studied the group’s progression for years.
The organization “is an extension of groups that existed before – historically and ideologically,” al-Hashimi told Mashable.
And with the capture of Iraq’s Mosul – a Sunni stronghold – in June, the group gained access to thousands of new recruits, among them former officers from Saddam Hussein’s army, vehemently opposed to the current Shiite-majority government. Those who didn’t join up voluntarily were forced to do so, al-Hashimi says.
More worryingly still, its growth is being spurred along by American airstrikes.
Recruitment has never been easier, according to al-Hashimi. The organization’s leader, “Baghdadi carries now the flag of the jihadi against the crusader.”
A recent rise in Shiite militias has also contributed to sectarian fear and some joining up with the IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a result.
“Most of those who joined — and I know them personally — are either former army officers or their sons,” said another expert and former intelligence officer, Salem Aljomaily.
A third specialist in the field, also an intelligence officer, Ibrahim al-Sumaidei, backs al-Hashimi’s assessment, giving a grim forecast.
“The Islamic State’s members have multiplied in a very dangerous way… Having plenty of arms and funding has made the Islamic State swallow the fighters of the other Sunni insurgent groups,” he said.
ISIS: Slick PR, great wealth and strategies to rival any corporate machine
Perhaps surprisingly, this extremism does not put everyone off.
“These beheadings on TV are a way of trying to get Western military intervention,” said Dr Jones. “You’d think that wouldn’t be what [ISIS] want, but when young Muslims see this treatment of their ‘brothers’ it creates a camaraderie, and they want to fight.
Here's how ISIS characterized the Kurds and Obama:
"the slaves to secularism and agents of the Freemasons appealed to their Crusader master, the Black of Washington, to save them from the assaults Knights of the Khilafah, who have become very close to capturing their capital (Ibril), and eradicating their malice from the land of Muslim Kurdistan.Could US airstrikes be counter-productive over the long run in the same way the invasion of Iraq was? I have great sympathy for the Kurds but what if our intervention on their behalf results in strengthening their enemy ISIS, and posing an even greater threat to Iraqi Kurds in the future? I should also mention Iran is now sending the Kurds military equipment.
So the dog of the Romans thrust his air force into a new dilemma; and entered into a military pact with the agents of yesterday, the Kurds, to commit the same stupidity that he has not awakened to, even until now!"
There seems to be remarkably little debate or opposition to this latest US intervention in Iraq. I think its time to start considering the consequences of where we're headed in Iraq. Please share your thoughts on renewed US intervention in Iraq.