March 21, 2017
Günter Meyer, Director of the Center for Research into the Arabic World at the University of Mainz, said he has no doubt about where ISIS gets its funding.
“The most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf States, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates,” Mr. Meyer told Deutsche Welle.
He said that the Gulf States’ motivation in financing groups like ISIS was to support their fight against the regime of President Bashar al Assad in Syria.
Russian Sukhoi Su-34 in Syria, Photo Courtesy: By Mil.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43968139
Three quarters of the Syrian population are Sunni Muslims, but Syria is ruled by an elite drawn mostly from the Alawite minority. The Alawites are an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, a number of terrorist financiers have been operating in Qatar.
In an interview broadcast on Guns and Butter, in February 2016, with Dr. Michael Hudson, President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, a Wall Street financial analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Dr. Hudson said the Obama Administration not only helped finance ISIS, it also supplied ISIS with weapons.
“ISIS and Al Nusra are acting as America’s Foreign Legion. When Hillary Clinton overthrew the Libyan government, the arms and military stockpiles were turned over to ISIS. Libya’s central bank resources were robbed and also turned over to ISIS. When America marched into Iraq, it turned the Sunni army and all those billions of dollars of shrink-wrapped hundred-dollar bills over ultimately to ISIS. So although America opposes ISIS when they kill Americans, ISIS is basically America’s way of breaking up countries that may threaten not to be part of the global dollar standard.”
It is difficult to get an accurate estimate for the cost of the war, in no small part because there are so many costs: people killed and injured, cost of caring for refugees, destruction of infrastructure and the environment and lost growth opportunities.
The mosque dedicated to the blessed Prophet Jonah in Mosul prior to its July 2014 demolition by ISIL, Photo Courtesy: By Roland Unger – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34201076
In September of 2016, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the death toll from Syria’s then five-year civil war had past 300,000 victims – with 86,000 civilians among the 301,781 reported killed.
Moreover, destruction of Syrian villages and cities fuelled a refugee crisis that has confounded political leaders in Europe and the Middle East.
Subsequently, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that between March 15, 2011 and March 12, 2017, between 312,358 and 451,358 people had been killed.
There is no accurate estimate for the economic cost of the ongoing war.
A recent report by the charity group World Vision and the consultant group Frontier Economics estimated that the conflict has so far cost Syria $275 billion in lost growth opportunities.
If the conflict ends in 2020, the cost of the conflict will grow to $1.3 trillion, it estimated. A World Bank report estimates the damage to the capital stock in Syria as of mid-2014 to be $70-80 billion.
The Blessed Imam al-Askari’s Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, after the first attack by ISIS in 2006. Photo Courtesy: By U.S. Army photo – http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/mar2006/a032706dg1.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2242851
According to a U.N. Report in March 2017, about 11 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes.
This includes about 4.8 million refugees who have been forced to seek safety in neighbouring countries.
Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq have borne the brunt of the economic impact of the war. Already in fragile situations, many of them are facing tremendous budgetary pressure.
The World Bank estimates, for instance, that the influx of more than 630,000 Syrian refugees has cost Jordan over $2.5 billion a year. Cash-strapped Lebanon is also stretched to a breaking point and Turkey needs continuous financial assistance from EU countries, as it can no longer afford to take in refugees.
Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar in August 2014, Photo Courtesy: By DFID – UK Department for International Development (picture: Rachel Unkovic/International Rescue Committee) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/14915495042/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35030087
In response to this carnage, aided and abetted by the U.S. Government, at taxpayers’ expense, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups; and it will prohibit the government from funnelling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.
The legislation is currently cosponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Scott Perry (R-PA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Tom Garrett (R-VA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Veterans for Peace, and the U.S. Peace Council.
Official 113th Congressional photo of Tulsi Gabbard, Photo Courtesy: By United States Congress – Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23633337
While this is a significant show of bipartisan support, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling for the support of all Americans, including every member of Congress.
“The fact that American taxpayer dollars are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every Member of Congress and every American. We call on our colleagues and the Administration to join us in passing this legislation,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said.
Can American liberals sue their government for its share of responsibility for the Syrians and Iraqis killed, refugees, and the future they lost for generations?
Can the American courts give fair compensation to the families of victims of ISIS who were killed by ISIS’s American arms?
Can American lawmakers investigate how Obama ordered hundreds of drones that killed and mutilated humans just like themselves?
The Canadian Charger