Marco Rubio's Islamic Dreams

    Marco Rubio, from interview with Marco Rubio in the UK Guardian:

    “The only way to defeat Isis is for Sunni Arabs themselves to reject them ideologically and defeat them militarily,” Rubio said. “They must be defeated on the ground with a ground force that is made up primarily of Arab Sunni fighters from Iraq, from Syria, but also from Jordan, from Egypt, from the Emirates, from Saudi Arabia.”......“Whatever it is, we’re going to do that. If you’re going to engage militarily, you have to ensure you have the resources to win, not simply to have a symbolic gesture. “So unlike this president, our troop strength in an effort like that will be determined by what’s necessary to achieve victory, not some artificial constraint or an artificial number that I make up in my own head.”

    It has already become clear that the Islamist Kingdoms and Emirates of the Sunni Persian gulf are ideologically closely aligned with ISIS.

    So much so that Op-Ed's arguing this point are being published in the staid and conventionally respectable pages of the New York Times.

    See Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It. Excerpt:

    Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.

    Rubio's Islamic Dream is that the rich Sunni Islamists of the region and Gulf will join and be linked in battle with US infidels, fighting to the death against more radical but their ideological soul mates, Sunni Islamists of ISIS.

    The biggest plus about ISIS for powerful Sunni rulers in Saudi Arabia, is that they are not Shiites, as Shiites are the ultimate regional enemy, controlling and being the dominant population in Iran and from Baghdad on south in the former Iraq.  Iran also supports Assad in Syria, who supports Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon, which have fought for Assad in Syria.

    Additionally, Sunni's in Iraq's Mosul have little motivation to overthrow ISIS either, as it would put them back under control of the Shiite government of Baghdad.

    The Iraq government run by Shiites has little motivation to free Mosul or beyond it would just bring more Sunni back into the government.  Essentially that would be Shia dying to free Sunni, their past oppressors.

    So Rubio's Dreams are just that, delusional and/or intentionally deceptive blather misrepresenting the realities of the region, nearly as wild as similar fabrications used by the last Republican administration to start the war in Iraq in 2003.

    Does Rubio dream that after Sunni defeats Sunni in Syria, that structures like the Shiite Mosque to Ammar ibn Yasir and Uwais Qarni will be rebuilt?  The mosque relates to the beginning conflicts of the great Muslim civil war, the Battle of Siffin in 657. It's destruction tells you about the chances of a Sunni - Shia rapprochement, or of Sunni fighting Sunni, and everyone living happily ever after in the region.

    The Uwais al-Qarni was totally destroyed by the anti-Shia Muslim, Sunni Muslim, fanatics of ISIS on May 31, 2014 when they took control of Raqqah Syria.

    The former Raqqah Shi'ite mosque before it was destroyed by Sunnis of ISIS.


    From Rubio's comment about "troop strength" and the assessment to accomplish tasks, it seems that he may have Obama and GW Bush mixed up since General Shinseki was the last military figure with balls enough to say how much of that strength would be required to do something in particular. Since that time, work has been planned more on a "time and materials" basis.

    NCD, I take your point that getting a jamboree together to denounce ISIS on an ideological basis is not something to hold one's breath for. But the element missing from your account is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are at war with the House of Saud. The fighting in Yemen is the most obvious recent form of the conflict but it is easy enough to research the 15 year house by house search for Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.

    Now I don't claim that this additional element missing from your account (much less Rubio's) makes everything clear about what should be done. But leaving the element out does not add to clarity.

    You have a very superficial understanding and your link reinforces my point:

    In military terms, the Saudi security apparatus is probably capable of suppressing Isis on its own territory, just as it did with al-Qaeda a decade or so ago, but it is in no position to confront Isis at the ideological level. The problem here is that Isis and the Saudis’ Islamic kingdom are ideologically similar, so attempts to challenge Isis on ideological (I would add on military grounds outside of Saudi Arabia too)  grounds risk undermining the Saudi state too.

    The Islamic State is more 'Islamic' than the Saudi's are, and the Saudi's are afraid the implications for the ruling family inside the infidel/west collaborating Kingdom.

    The hypocrisy of fighting with the western infidels against Jihad could send the Saudi ruling family to their penthouses in London or villas in Monaco, exile, like the Shah of Iran when the Shia Mullahs took over Iran.

    They have absolutely nothing to gain from helping the west. The Saudi motto is fund Jihad there so they won't Jihad here. If any of those nations Rubio listed had an interest in fighting ISIS they wouldn't need a Rubio invitation to do it. They aren't doing it. They would laugh at anyone who asked them to lead or join a ground campaign.

    It's why much Saudi/Wahabbi/Salafi oil money is likely flowing in quantity to ISIS to buy protection for the Gulf states.

    The Saudi's want their white ISIS ideological cake to retain power and wealth, and to keep their unIslamic military alliances and financial alliances with the west as well.

    Sending the Saudi Army into the field against the most Sunni Islamic outfit on earth, as Rubio suggests as feasible, is the last thing the Saudi's would do.

    It sounds like you are agreeing with the underlined sentence, not debating it. In addition to the political problems you observe standing in the way of Saudi Arabia moving up north with an army, the Kingdom does have its hands full fighting on its borders.

    The question we are debating is ultimately about how much the efforts to take down the House of Saud will matter in the next few years. The white/black game won't mean much if one side or other is beneath the sod. I do not think the Saudis are playing 3D chess but are actually in a fight for their lives. You don't think that struggle is important in the long run. Is that a fair statement of the differences of our points of view?

    Er, yes. Rubio's idea is not going to happen.

    The people in the region need to think the problem is important.  I don't think the Saudi state is in danger. They would likely be in danger if they sent their army off to bloody Syrian battlefields where the officers might be radicalized and come back and start a coup, Sadat was of course killed by his own troops for collusion with the west and Israel.

    Thank you for answering my question regarding where we differ on the matter. It provides a starting place for future discussion.

    Rubio has a lot of rocks in his head that roles around. He doesn't think well on his feet but is good at repeating what is said to him.  His ideas probably came from his Miami benefactors.  

    Rubio seems to believe is a warrior Prince of Arabia, he commands, they follow and fight to the death.

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