The New York Times’ recent opinion editorial has gone even so far as to suggest that Washington should treat Daesh (ISIS, ISIL, IS, Islamic State) in Syria “the same way” the US “encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan.”
On April 12, The New York Times published an op-ed piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas L. Friedman entitled “Why Is Trump Fighting ISIS in Syria?”
“Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State [Daesh] in Syria?” Friedman asked.
As if Daesh had not conducted a series of genocidal terror attacks in the Middle East and beyond, the journalist argued that the real goal of the terrorist group is “to defeat Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria — plus its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies — and to defeat the pro-Iranian Shiite regime in Iraq.”
However, back in February 2017 CNN highlighted that since declaring its “caliphate” in June 2014, Daesh has already gone global conducting and inspiring 143 attacks in 29 countries around the world. At least eight of the assaults were conducted on American soil by attackers who pledged allegiance to the terrorist group.
It appears that it doesn’t embarrass Friedman.
“We could simply back off fighting territorial ISIS [Daesh] in Syria and make it entirely a problem for Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and Assad. After all, they’re the ones overextended in Syria, not us,” the journalist argues.
Guided by this flawed logic he continued: “Trump should want to defeat ISIS in Iraq. But in Syria? Not for free, not now. In Syria, Trump should let ISIS [Daesh] be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan.”
It is no secret that the game-changer of the US’ Operation Cyclone aimed at supporting Afghani jihadi warriors from 1979 to 1989, was providing them with FIM-92 Stingers — portable, lightweight anti-aircraft defense systems.
Did we mishear? Did Friedman actually mean arming Daesh militants by saying “the same way”?
Let’s not forget that the US’ covert operation in Afghanistan resulted in the emergence of the terrorist Taliban organization.
Seth J. Frantzman, a Jerusalem-based political commentator, has busted Friedman’s arguments on his blog.
“What evidence is there that ISIS [Daesh] has spent its main resources fighting Assad?” Frantzman asked, noting that the terrorist organization has spent most of its resources “fighting the Kurds in Syria and persecuting minorities, blowing up religious shrines and historical sites and committing crimes against humanity.”
The commentator asked rhetorically whether everyone has forgotten that it was Daesh that beheaded James Foley and Steven Sotloff, burned people to death and murdered 1,700 people at Camp Speicher in Iraq.
“It’s hard to believe this appeared in a major mainstream newspaper, it is even harder to believe it appeared in the New York Times,” Frantzman highlighted, “Of all the groups in the world to argue for letting it be someone else’s problem, why would ISIS, after its years of genocidal crimes, be let off the hook?”
“Suggesting that it should be allowed to ‘be’ in order to make Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia ‘bleed’ is not merely cynical but tantamount to saying that the US should have reduced pressure on the Nazis to keep the Soviets bleeding,” he argued.