The Rise of ISIS: A series of unfortunate events
WWI – Turkish empire broken up, Britain and France draw borders in Middle East with little regard to tribes and sects and self-determination.
WWII – After the European genocide of Jews the United Nations backs the State of Israel for the Jewish people in the Middle East. Palestinians are disenfranchised.
Arab leaders lose credibility with loses to Israel in the wars of the 60’s and 70’s.
Political Islam is looked to as an answer to failure of leadership.
Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
The Islamic Revolution in Iran takes down the Shah of Iran.
Afghanistan becomes a haven for jihadists (including bin Laden) who are supported by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Saudi Arabia financially backs the message of Wahhabi fundamentalism and Salafi teaching around the world.
Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait, International Community including United States pushes Saddam back.
US troops are stationed in Saudi Arabia offending Osama bin Laden and other jihadists.
Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda start attacks around the world in the 90’s.
September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda hits New York and DC with terror attacks.
United States invades Afghanistan.
United States invades Iraq.
Sunni groups and tribes are disenfranchised after the invasion in Iraq. Baghdad government becomes dominated by Shiite groups.
Al Qaeda suffers loses but is able to metastasize in other parts of world including Iraq itself.
United States pushes back Al Qaeda resistance in Iraq in the surge of 2007.
Former Baathists and Jihadists come together in resistance to new order. Baghdadi is part of the struggle.
Osama bin Laden is killed in 2011.
United States military forces leave Iraq in 2011.
Arab Spring hits the Middle East in 2011, popular uprisings against aging dictators and authoritarian regimes.
Authoritarian regimes fight for survival and start killing and imprisoning resistance leaving only the best organized resistance able to continue, Islamists and Jihadist groups or the Military of the regimes.
2013 Assad gasses his own people in Syria. Thousands continue dying in brutal Syrian civil war.
The world does nothing in Syria and the civil war continues. Jihadist groups fill the void like al Nusra and ISIS.
ISIS in 2014 goes on offense into Iraq taking Fallujah and eventually take Mosul in summer of 2014.
Now ISIS has enough territory and momentum to declare an Islamic State and Baghdadi its Caliph.
ISIS inspires others and seeks recruits across the world.
With ISIS on the march the international community slowly wakes out of its slumber as massacres and beheadings become spread over the internet and on the news.
2015 ISIS has been slowed down by the resistance of the Kurds and Shiite militias with support of US and coalition air power.
So you see there are many variables and ingredients to this soup. It is a mixture of geopolitics, religious extremism, dictators, wars, genocide, terrorism, invasions and a series of unfortunate events.
The confused story that is human history continues…