In an interview with the Tasnim News Agency, Rick Staggenborg, a political analyst and peace activist from Oregon, hailed the end of Daesh rule in Syria and Iraq as a result of strong resistance by the “defenders fighting for freedom”.
He also said that the defeat of the “invaders motivated by anger and greed” marked the worst loss for creators of Daesh, namely an Anglo-American-Israeli empire, over the past 70 years.
Here are Dr. Staggenborg’s responses to Tasnim:As you know, the recapture of the Syria town of Al-Bukamal from Daesh on November 19 marked an end to the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate it had declared in 2014. What is your view about this development and the factors in the fall of the notorious group
: The fall of Daesh was inevitable, thanks to the courage of the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) and its Russian, Iranian and Lebanese partners. They were fighting for a just cause against mostly mercenary invaders who were not given enough support to be an overwhelming force. In such situations, the defenders win in the end if they do not give up. When they understand that the only alternative is death, enslavement or chaos they will keep fighting despite staggering losses. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has described the termination of Daesh rule as a service to all humanity and a blow to the creators and supporters of the terrorist group, including the US. What are the implications of the fall of Daesh, given Iran’s constant encounter with the US policies in the Middle East
Staggenborg: I agree with Ayatollah Khamenei's assessment. Daesh was an outgrowth of the Anglo-American-Israeli Empire's attempt at world domination through control of the Mideast. The US military and CIA attempted to use it for the purposes of those who dictate foreign policy in the US, but it had to be controlled lest it harm those interests through independent actions such as we have seen with terrorist attacks in the West attributed to Daesh. While the US military coordinated to a degree with Daesh in the battle for Deir ez-Zor, there were limits to how much they could cooperate because it could not be too obvious to the American public that the two were working together. Thus, in the end the Axis of Resistance prevailed, and the Empire has suffered its most serious loss since WWII.
The significance of this victory cannot be overstated. Israel and its neoconservative allies in the US will have to entirely rethink their strategy for controlling Iran and Russia, if they continue to be arrogant enough to think that they can dictate the affairs of the rest of the planet. In more than three years of Daesh rule in Syria and Iraq, the world witnessed a battle between an armed group killing people in the name of religion and an alliance of Iranian, Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Afghan and Pakistani Muslim forces taking up arms against terrorism. What is your take on it? What, do you think, made a large of number of young people join Daesh and commit crimes under a delusion that it was true Islam, while the “axis of resistance” Muslims helped the regional countries
: The terrorist hordes were mostly mercenaries from poor countries, generally those led by corrupt leaders who often promoted a twisted version of Islam that directed anger outward instead of at them. They were justifiably angry at the West, desperately poor and goaded on by religious leaders and politicians whose motivations were often less than pure, and who interpreted the Quran in a most bloodthirsty manner. The invaders were motivated by anger and greed, while the defenders were fighting for freedom. In such a match, and without overwhelming force behind the terrorists such as had been the case in Libya, there was no contest.The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey attended a summit in Sochi on November 22 to discuss peace in Syria and pave the way for a subsequent congress for Syrian-Syrian talks about the future of the Arab country in the post-Daesh era. Syria’s allies maintain that the Arab country’s fate should be decide only by its own people. What are the congress’ chances of success, considering the effectual outcome of Astana political negotiations for Syria peace, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey
: I would much rather try to explain the result than to predict it!
If "success" means that Syrians will ultimately determine their own fate, there is a fair chance, but by no means is this a certainty. The problem is that Russia and Turkey will be looking out for their own interests, and both have troops on the ground in Syria to enforce their demands. Russia may want to continue to favor the interests of the Kurds, as they have historically. It could pressure Syria to grant them the kind of autonomy that could lead to a situation like that in Iraq, where the Kurds are in conflict with the central government. However, Russia is also trying to improve relations with Turkey, which it may regard as more important than maintaining the favor of Syrian Kurds. Russia could therefore stay neutral on the issue in exchange for total withdrawal of Turkish troops. The fact that the US seems to be backing the Kurds might help or hurt their chances for autonomy, since the US is not in a position to dictate the outcome unless they want to get deeper into a mess they have an opportunity to get out of. Certainly, Syrians will not favor autonomy for Kurds, who are widely regarded as having been disloyal to the country and the government of Bashar al-Assad.