Despite US President Donald Trump openly linking the presence of US troops in the Middle East to oil, the American establishment continues to justify military presence in terms of American self-defense against militant threats. According to Politico:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn’t see a clear end to the American presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria — nations facing down the threat of the Islamic State and other dangerous groups.
Gen. Mark Milley on Sunday said the mission to ensure Afghanistan isn’t a terrorist haven is “not yet complete.” That mission won’t be complete until the country’s government and security forces are able to sustain their own internal security, he added.
“That effort is ongoing. It’s been ongoing for 18 consecutive years,” Milley told host Martha Raddatz of ABC’s “This Week” in his first interview since assuming his new post. “I suspect it will be ongoing into the future for several more years.”
Milley said it’s in the national interest to also be in Iraq and Syria to prevent the resurgence of groups like ISIS: “We will be there for a significant amount of time.”
Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the midst of escalating frustration over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. The withdrawal allowed Turkey to invade the region and attack U.S.-allied Kurds, who have been instrumental in fighting ISIS.
Milley said Sunday that around 500 to 600 troops remain in the area and acknowledged the possibility of an ISIS reemergence without maintaining pressure. Baghdadi’s death disrupted the organization, he said, but the U.S. is closely monitoring his replacement.
The general said: “There are still ISIS fighters in the region and unless pressure is maintained … there’s a very real possibility that conditions could be set for a reemergence of ISIS.
“The footprint will be small, but the objective will remain the same: the enduring defeat of ISIS,” he said.
America’s military presence in the Middle East is simply the latest iteration of the West’s centuries-old foreign policy of empire-building, whose purpose is to exploit the wealth and resources of the world for their elites at home.
Serious empire-building first began towards the end of Christian civilisation in Europe, with the emergence of Portugal and Spain as major powers built on conquest of the Americas. It was then that the West’s tortured legalistic justifications for imperialism first came into play. Christian Europe, though loyal to a single pope, was ruled over by multiple competing kings. Christian doctrine provided for territorial expansion, under the principle that the Pope is supposed to be the spiritual head for all mankind, not only those in Europe. But for any European king to justify Western expansion under Christian doctrine would mean dependence on papal sanction. To circumvent this, the Spanish theorist Francisco de Vitoria justified Spanish imperial acquisitions through ingeniously introducing the concept of self-defence for what he claimed were peaceful Spanish visits to the Americas desiring no more than the universal rights of free movement and free trade. This legalistic approach became established Western practice in the aftermath of the Peace of Westphalia with the development of the nation-state concept. Empires were justified based on the ‘voluntary’ submission of local rulers to Western powers, their consent having been in reality facilitated by Western deception or coercion. This legalism was necessary not for the sake of the local population, who knew only too well what had actually transpired, but in order that their new Western masters could maintain their legal fiction in their own societies.
With the 18th Century fall of the Ottoman State from the position of the leading power in the world, the West gained wide access to the vast riches of Asia and Africa and quickly replicated their now established approach across those great continents. The formal end of empire after World War II was in reality just the beginning of a new phase of imperialism designed to open Europe’s boundless imperial acquisitions to American domination. The collapse of the Soviet Union opened the global strategic prize of Muslim lands to direct American military occupation. General Milley’s protestations about the insignificant threat of a crushed militant group is simply the latest deceit legalising the global American empire.
The extreme exploitation of Western imperialism surpasses all of history. The geographical limitation of the West’s nation-state concept results in them forever thinking of other peoples as alien. Even the Roman Empire ultimately allowed selective Roman citizenship across all of its territories. The most correct solution to the rise and fall of state power is provided by Islam, which seeks the expansion of the state by including new peoples on absolutely equal terms.
Allah (swt) says in the Noble Qur’an: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” [al-Hujuraat 49:13].
And the Prophet ﷺ said: «أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَلَا إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّ أَبَاكُمْ وَاحِدٌ أَلَا لَا فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى أَعْجَمِيٍّ وَلَا لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ وَلَا لِأَحْمَرَ عَلَى أَسْوَدَ وَلَا أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ إِلَّا بِالتَّقْوَى» “O people, verily your Lord is One and your father is one. Verily there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a non-Arab over an Arab, or of a red man over a black man, or of a black man over a red man, except in terms of taqwa.”
History bears testament to the fact that over a millennium of rule, the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) never exploited one people for the benefit of another; all being treated equally. Indeed this is the secret of the astonishing expansion of the state to encompass most of the civilised world. With Allah’s permission, the righteous Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of the Prophet ﷺ shall soon be again established and complete its mission bringing peace and justice to the entire of humanity.