While our government keeps perpetuating the slaughter by insisting on regime change, Al Qaeda has virtually taken over. As Jason Ditz reports:
The Raqqa Province in northern Syria is more or less entirely the domain of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and as they have fought off rival rebel factions in the area they are moving forward with plans to set up an “Islamic State” in the provincial capital, providing a glimpse of what a AQI-ruled nation could look like.
The city of Raqqa and its 200,000+ people are now facing dramatic new restrictions on day-to-day life, including a full ban on public music and photography, mandatory Friday prayers, and full face veils for women.
The harsh interpretation of Shariah law is something al-Qaeda factions have been talking about for a long time, but Raqqa is the first major city held by AQI long enough for them to seriously try to impose the system on them.
This was an area that once had relative religious toleration. Christians and different sects of Islam lived in a stable peace with one another. It was all enforced by a brutal dictator, though there is no reason to believe he is more brutal than the Islamic extremists, especially toward Christians.
The United States decided to get involved in Syria’s internal matters and end all that. Not only have we been arming “rebels”—many of whom are actually foreign invaders, but our work in Iraq has strengthened Al Qaeda’s hold in the region. Right now, the mainly Shiite government of Iraq is admitting that the Sunni terrorists are going to be hard to defeat.
Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, a top Iraqi official warned Monday, a frank and bleak assessment of the challenge posed in routing the insurgents as a new wave of bombings killed at least 31 people.
Since late December, members of Iraq’s al-Qaida branch — known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. They also control the center of the nearby city of Fallujah, along with other non-al-Qaida militants who also oppose the Shiite-led government.
Iraqi government forces backed by Sunni tribal militias launched an all-out offensive Sunday to seize back control of Ramadi and surrounding areas from the militants. Five government-allied tribesmen were killed in the initial fighting, and 15 tribesmen and government forces were wounded, provincial spokesman Dhari al-Rishawi said.
None of this would have been possible without U.S. intervention. Like Assad, Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who enforced religious toleration and protected Christians. Al Qaeda never had a foothold in Iraq. As you can see by checking a map, Iraq and Syria are next to each other. The Islamic extremists in one area can help their neighbors in the other.
Great job U.S. foreign policy “experts”! What country do you plan to flood with Al Qaeda terrorists next?