MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
new report by the Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which is a project funded by the European Union, a large number of the guns - including high-capacity rifles - used by ISIS were originally supplied to other forces by the US military. "Islamic State forces have captured significant quantities of US-manufactured small arms and have employed them on the battlefield," the report states.According to a
The Conflict Armament Research report and an article in The Independent include a large number of photos indicating the US origin of the weapons. The Independent article states:
James Bevan, CAR director, told [The Independent] that around 30 to 40 per cent of arms his team were able to document were US-made, reflecting the fact that Isis captured most of its weaponry from the Iraqi army when it made stunning territorial gains earlier this year.
Other nations - including Russia and China - were the source of some ISIS weapons, captured as the self-proclaimed caliphate swept across a wide swath of territory in Syria and Iraq and seized arsenals from defeated forces.
But the ISIS use of firearms made in the US is only a small part of the picture. It is clear from photos and videos on the Internet that ISIS has captured US Humvees, Jeeps and other vehicles. It is likely that they are also in possession of US mortars and perhaps even anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, among other high-powered weaponry.
It is no small irony then that a new CNN poll indicates that the majority of US polls respondents "are alarmed" by ISIS:
Days before the anniversary of September 11, 2001, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday reports that Americans are increasingly concerned that ISIS represents a direct terror threat, fearful that ISIS agents are living in the United States.
Seven in 10 Americans believe ISIS has the resources to launch an attack against the United States, just days before President Barack Obama plans to address the nation on the subject.
It is understandable that those in the US are dismayed by wanton beheadings, summary mass executions and forced religious conversions. However, it is only the latest in a cycle of violence that has been going on the Middle East for years and years. This, of course, includes the cataclysmic US assaults on Iraq and Afghanistan (including the use of torture and the death of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis) and meddling in Syria. Many would argue that these "actions of empire" precipitated the emergence of ISIS, which is now, at least in part, fighting US “allies” with captured US weapons.
The US military intervention and creation of puppet governments in Iraq and Afghanistan (with a new puppet prime minister installed in Iraq) clearly was a factor in the radicalization of particularly young Sunni Muslims, who saw a fundamentalist religious state as a response to Western domination of the Middle East (including support for undemocratic governments in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the latest Egyptian rulers).
It is horrifying to see the brutality of ISIS's actions unfold - but it is also foreboding to see that the US military domination of the Middle East for oil has created an endless cycle of war, death and destruction.
The weapons manufacturers are the biggest winners in this endless conflict. No matter who is fighting, arms flow freely, as does the money that pays for them. There is no end in sight to the gruesome state of war in the Middle East, which means continued profit for the munitions industry.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.