Does Kissinger want ISIS to stay?

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

In a recently published column in the same daily, Iranian writer Amir Taheri commented on Henry Kissinger’s views regarding the West’s confrontation of ISIS and similar groups in Syria and Iraq.

Kissinger’s advice is not to rush into eliminating ISIS and similar groups because this means paving way for the Iranian Khomeini republic to dominate in Syria and Iraq.

This theory surprised Taheri and he voiced his opposition of Kissinger’s opinion by stating that the latter hails from an old political culture that’s based on the principle of “balance of powers” which is a remnant of the European Westphalian eras.

To Taheri, eliminating ISIS does not mean not eliminating the Khomeini regime later as Khomeinism, ISIS, al-Qaeda and Taliban are all faces of one ugly truth.

Taheri added that during World War II, eliminating the Nazi threat was not postponed out of fear of the USSR’s expansion, noting that the USSR was later eliminated. He thus concludes that the same must happen to confront the threat of ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

In order to eliminate ISIS and other similar groups, “Khomeinism” must also be confronted

Mashari Althaydi

Confrontation over leniency

Kissinger is not the first one to convey such views as there are several American figures stating that President Trump must confront such threats in the Middle East and compensate for the years lost or rather for the leniency, which Obama adopted in hopes of some “Khomeinist moderation.”

Last week, Foreign Policy said in a report that Trump confronts another threat and which is to be reminded by history that he defeated ISIS only to pave way for the Iranian caliphate.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the West, including Russia, that letting groups affiliated with Iran dominate in Syria is something that Israel completely rejects considering its effects on Israeli security. We all remember the Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in Syria.

There’s a frantic race in Syria and bids for dreams and plans following the defeat which ISIS, al-Nusra and similar groups is suffering from and after armed factions affiliated with the “moderate” opposition “complied.”

Bashar’s illusions

Bashar’s regime has its illusions that everyone will become obedient while Syria’s Kurds have dreams to achieve through their enthusiastic confrontation of ISIS in East Syria. Iran’s groups, such as Hezbollah, also have aspirations such as Nasrallah’s recent attempt to force the Lebanese government to normalize relations with Bashar.

Aside from Taheri’s argument, there is no doubt that defeating ISIS, al-Nusra and their propaganda machine cannot be achieved by deploying the Supreme Leader’s soldiers guided by Qassem Soleimani in Syria.

This only provides an environment which produces more of ISIS and al-Qaeda. In order to eliminate ISIS and other similar groups, Khomeinism must also be confronted.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.