‘US fighting ISIS and its enemies at the same time, which makes no sense’
RT:The US President last week said good progress had been made in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq. But even while it's being pushed back in Iraq, it's making progress in North Africa. What do you make of Obama's comments?
Daniel McAdams: We have to also understand the context of his comments. He was having the first state visit from the Iraqi PM and he felt he needed to put a positive spin on what was happening. He also wanted to announce that he was giving another $200 million to Iraq. So that is an important factor. But if you look at the places like Tikrit, it was cleansed of ISIS without very much help from the US. It was primarily Iranian backed militias that did a lot of the heavy lifting there. Of course the US was furious about it. So the idea that ISIS is being pushed backed everywhere, that the US will have a victory - which is what Obama claimed last week - is patently false and that is precisely because Obama and the US doesn’t have an idea what ISIS is about, they don’t understand the enemy. ISIS is an idea, it’s not a country or a place where you to attack. And that’s why they will defeat them in certain areas in Iraq and they will pop up in North Africa. They don’t understand what’s caused ISIS which is interventionism and particularly US interventionism starting in Iraq. So therefore there is no way they can logically have a victory against ISIS.
RT:Some in Congress have said the US looks too often to the military to solve all America's foreign policy problems. They suggest strengthening diplomatic efforts instead. Would that really be effective with a terrorist group? What can be done to prevent this situation from escalating?
DM: The point is that the problem isn’t here. ISIS poses no threat to the US whatsoever. The countries in the region should, could and will find a way to solve it, but the US absolutely refuses to address the prime sponsors of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Middle East. And that’s countries like Saudi Arabia, which has been backing extremists in Syria since 2011. If the US hadn’t been attempting to destabilize the Syrian government all these years - which has been fighting against ISIS and al-Qaeda - then maybe they would not have the strong foothold they have in the country. You can’t fight ISIS and fight the enemies of ISIS at the same time. It makes absolutely no sense.
RT:Obama has been criticized for only talking about what he thinks is a success in Iraq. But it is a wider picture with ISIS growing across North Africa, isn’t it?
DM: And that’s once again sounds like a broken record, that’s once again caused by US intervention. We were told by President Obama, Hillary Clinton and all the people in the White House that if we only overthrew Gaddafi in Libya - democracy would break out. Meanwhile, we are aligning ourselves with what became ISIS in Benghazi and lo and behold in the chaos that followed the US intervention in Libya, ISIS and other extremists groups broke out. The same was true in Iraq. That was a precedent that was simply ignored because the interventionists refuse to learn from their mistakes, they continue to repeat them and sadly no one looks at them as discredited as they should be.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.