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Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Causes of Rise Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 23rd, 2020


This paper argues that the rise of ISIS to its current prominence appears to serve the U.S. geopolitical agenda, and as such, it cannot be considered thoroughly phenomenological. In support of this idea, the paper provides a number of references to the web-based and printed sources of interest.


One of the reasons to believe that the cause of ‘promoting democracy’ throughout the world can longer be considered a legitimate principle of the U.S. foreign policy, is because due to this policy’s practical implementation, the world became a much more dangerous place to live. This is something that can be illustrated, in regards to the emergence of the organisation ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). The rationale behind this suggestion is quite apparent.

After all, there is a plenty of evidence available that the emergence of this monstrous organisation, which calls for the complete physical extermination of ‘infidels’ (including Muslims who do not agree with ISIS), is the direct consequence of this country’s current policy of supporting ‘fighters for freedom’ in Syria, which overwhelmingly consist of Islamic radicals of the worst kind. In this paper, I will aim to explore the validity of the above-stated at length, while referring to the discursively relevant web-based and printed articles, concerned with enlightening people as to what ISIS really is.


As of today, the world has already learnt a great deal about ISIS, as the organisation that consists of nothing short of sadists, serial killers and sexual maniacs. After all, the reports of what account for the organisation’s murderous ‘feats’ continue to appear in the world’s Media on an almost daily basis. According to these reports, spreading the reign of senseless terror appears to be the only purpose of ISIS’s existence (Syria and Isis, 2014). In the areas of Syria and Iraq, controlled by ISIS, it became a commonplace practice, among the organisation’s members, to gang-rape women on a massive scale – something that world has not known ever since the time of the WW2.

What is even worse – the acts of sexual violence, perpetrated by ISIS, often concern underage children, (‘Barbaric’ sexual, 2014). The actual scale of the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Syria, which is being commonly linked with the continual functioning of ISIS, does provide a certain rationale to refer to it in terms of the, “Biggest humanitarian crisis we face today in the world” (Massive scale-up, 2014, para. 2). Thus, there can be only a few doubts that ISIS is nothing short of the embodiment of evil on this earth, and as such, this notorious organisation deserves to be destroyed.

The problem existed for about a year now, at least in the formal sense of this word. However, even as far back as two years ago, there were a number of signs that many of the so-called ‘fighters for freedom’ in Syria were about to create yet another extremist Islamic organisation. There can be a few doubts that the problem is indeed rather intensive.

The fact that almost every new day brings reports about the criminal acts of ISIS, validates this claim more than anything else does. As of today, the membership of ISIS is estimated to account for at least 20 thousands strong and it continues to grow (Sciutto, Crawford & Carter, 2014). ISIS is now appears to be in control of Eastern Syria and Western Iraq. The organisation’s members use a variety of different weapons. The bulk of it, however, consists of weapons ceased from the Iraqi army, which proved itself utterly inefficient opposing ISIS (Rubin & Gordon, 2014).

It appears that ISIS is being financially supported by certain circles in Saudi Arabia, interested in escalating violence in the Middle East. In addition, ISIS has been reported to operate a number of oilfields in Syria and Iraq (Mosendz, 2014). The organisation in question has firmly established itself in both of the mentioned countries. However, it continues to apply a great effort to spread its activities to other countries in the area, as well.

The following is the attempt to expose the true causes behind the emergence of ISIS. The task will be addressed within the format of a critical literature-review.

Body of the paper

As of today, we can speak of three major perspectives on the phenomenon of ISIS and on what are the main causes behind the organisation’s rise – American, European and that of the rest of the world.

According to the U.S. State Department spokespersons, ISIS appeared out of the blue and it represents just another target for American guided missiles. For example, even as recent as one year ago, the country’s top-officials did not only remain thoroughly arrogant, as to the existence of ISIS, but they kept on insisting that that the major ‘evil’ in the area, at that time, was the legitimate government of Al-Assad in Syria. In the year 2013, the State Department’s officials used to insist that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had attacked its own citizens with chemical weapons, which is why he needed to be removed from the office – regardless of what happened to be the stance of the U.N. Security Council, in this respect.

Back then, the U.S. considered al-Assad a ‘bloody dictator’, while providing Syrian ‘fighters for freedom’ (Islamic fanatics) with much needed, diplomatic, financial and even military support (hence, the ‘phenomenon’ of them having been armed much better than the opposing governmental troops). However, since the beheadings of a few Western hostages took place at the hand of ISIS, the U.S. began to realise that this organisation needs to be prevented from growing ever stronger. As of today, however, ISIS effectively replaced Al-Qaeda on the country’s list of ‘hit priorities’.

The validity of this suggestion can be illustrated, in regards to the fact that it is specifically the existence of ISIS, which America considers the justification for its would-be invasion of Syria: “ISIS has some known strongholds – in Raqqa, Syria, for example – which could be neutralised by airstrikes… But airstrikes have their limitations” (Masi, 2014, para. 4). The most notable aspect, within the context of how Americans go about explaining the rise of ISIS, is that this country’s officials do not even bother to sound logical. According to them, the rise of ISIS is a ‘mystery’ – as if America were not supporting Islamic fundamentalists in Syria up until 2014, out of which ISIS is being made (Leverett, 2014).

One should naturally assume that there should be a unified Arab perspective on what ISIS is all about, as well. This, however, is far from being the case. The reason for this is apparent – the organisation in question is closely affiliated with the Sunni version of Islam, which means that it could not possibly be favoured by Shiites. This is exactly the reason why ‘non-Sunni’ Muslims, such as those from Russia and Iran, strongly oppose ISIS. According to them, this organisation’s very existence, is an abomination to Islam.

The same cannot be said about Sunnis, because ISIS promotes the Islamic ideology of wahhabism, which in turn is closely related to the official religion of Saudi Arabia – Islamic Salafism. This partially explains how ISIS is being financed – Saudi Arabia’s ‘oil money’ is definitely at play, in this respect (Cockburn, 2014). This again points out to America’s complicity in the rise of ISIS – Saudi Arabia is the major ally of the U.S. in the Gulf. Nevertheless, given the fact that luxury-crazed ‘kings’ and ‘princes’ from the Gulf, supported by the U.S., are being intensively hated throughout the Muslim world, it can hardly be doubted that ISIS only formally relates to Islam – it has nothing to do with what this religion is all about.

Because of the earlier mentioned American and Arab perspectives on the rise of ISIS, one will assume that there should be the European one, as well. However, given the fact that most of the members of EU are also the members of NATO, controlled by the U.S., this perspective is not being much different from that of the ‘beacon of democracy’. This is the reason why, as it happened to be the case with their American counterparts, the EU top-officials refer to the rise of ISIS in the clearly defined phenomenological terms.

That is, according to them, no comprehensible explanation can be given, as to why this organisation continues to grow ever more powerful. The fact that the EU continues to support Islamic ‘fighters for freedom’ in Syria, which in turn helps ISIS in a variety of different ways, is not being mentioned. What appears particularly odd, in this respect, is that Europe itself in being gradually turned into one of the organisation’s bases. As Fisher noted, “A growing number of Europeans, often from predominantly Muslim immigrant communities, are not just expressing their support for ISIS in polls: they are traveling to Syria and Iraq to join up” (2014, para. 6).

Partially, the fact that the top-ranking bureaucrats from the EU act in the way as if Europe had nothing to do with the rise of ISIS, is related to the policy of ‘multiculturalism’, which has been enjoying the official status in Europe for about 20 years (Farrell & Baxter, 2014). Apparently, these individuals simply refuse to admit that is was namely due to the enactment of this policy that there are members of ISIS in just about every large European city. The reason for this is that, had they adopted a clearly defined anti-ISIS stance, this would result in undermining their chances to be reflected, as it is being only the matter of time, before Muslims become a majority in Europe.

Even though, as it was suggested earlier, the West prefer to ‘play dumb’, when it comes to defining the reasons behind ISIS’s rise, the rest of the world is perfectly aware of what were the actual reasons behind this organisation’s most recent successes. The following, represents the line of reasoning, deployed by people in the non-Western world, in regards to what should be considered the discursive significance of ISIS:

Ever since the allegations about Al-Assad having used chemical weapons turned out fallacious, the U.S needed to find another excuse to proceed with making plans for the ground-invasion of Syria – the emergence of ISIS came in handy, in this respect. Therefore, there is nothing odd about the fact that, as time goes on, more and more people begin to suspect that the phenomenon on ISIS cannot be discussed outside of what used to be the main objective of the U.S. foreign policy, for the duration of the last few decades – namely, setting as many ‘hot spots’ around the world, as possible.

What adds to this process an additional momentum is that there are a number of proofs that the origins of ISIS can be traced to the CIA – just as it happened to be the case with the origins of Al-Qaeda. In its turn, this explains why there are “conspiracy theories… circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking” (Kirkpatrick, 2014, para. 1).

It simply could not be otherwise – as it was mentioned earlier, it has only been one year, since the U.S. State Department’s officials used to find it thoroughly appropriate pledging their full support to the Syrian ‘freedom fighters’, who at the time posed eating the hearts of their killed enemies on camera, and who later created ISIS. As Vladimir Putin noted, “President Obama spoke about the Islamic State (ISIS) as one of the threats. But who helped to arm the people who were fighting Assad in Syria?

Who created a favourable political and informational climate for them? Who pushed for arms supplies?” (Meeting, 2014, para. 65). The above-mentioned may well make one wonder why the U.S. would be interested in destabilising the world by the mean of organising the so-called ‘orange’ revolutions throughout the world (Tunis, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine), which in turn result in the creation of such monstrous organisations as ISIS?

It can be speculated that the answer to this question has to do with the fact that, by the year 2019, the U.S. budget-deficit is expected to reach $18 trillion. What it means is that America will continue finding it increasingly harder to ensure the investing appeal of the so-called ‘The U.S treasury bonds’, sold to the third parties (such as China and Russia) – the practice that is currently preventing the collapse of the country’s economy, due to hyperinflation (Hudson, 2008).

For America, there is only one way out of this situation – trying to sow the seeds of chaos in as many countries, as possible, while paying a particular attention to the resource-rich ones. The reason for this is perfectly clear – in times of instability, investors prefer dealing with whatever happened to be the world’s most stable currency, which continues to remain the U.S. Dollar – even though it has been de facto devalued long time ago (Norfield, 2011).

Whatever ISIS does, is not consistent even slightly with the religious provisions of Islam. However, if one was to apply the ancient inquisitive principle cui bono? (to whose benefit?), the mentioned illogicality would make perfectly good sense – ISIS serves the double-purpose of legitimatising the intended invasion of Syria by the U.S., on one hand, and dehumanising Muslims, in general, on the other. As it was pointed out by the anonymous author, “ISIS exists… (to) sway public opinion to favour the invasion of countries in the Middle East” (ISIS, 2014, para. 3).

Partially, this explains the cheer ineffectiveness of the U.N., within the context of how it strives to lessen the extent of the ISIS-related humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq (Relief efforts, 2014). This, of course, suggests that, despite all the politically correct rhetoric, heard from politicians in the West, it is not people’s irrational hatred/religious fanaticism, which ultimately results in the creation of organisations like ISIS, but the continuing fierce competition for the limited natural resources between the world’s most powerful countries.


I believe that the earlier provided line of argumentation, in defence of the idea that there are naturally occurring conspirological overtones to just about every analytical discussion of ISIS, is fully consistent with the paper’s initial thesis.


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Cockburn, P. (2014). Web.

Farrell, R. & Baxter, S. (2014). Web.

Fisher, M. (2014). Web.

Hudson, M. (2008). America’s monetary imperialism. Web.

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Kirkpatrick, D. (2014). Web.

Leverett, F. (2014). Web.

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Mosendz, P. (2014). Web.

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Rubin, A. & Gordon, M. (2014). . Web.

Sciutto, J.,Crawford, J. & Carter, C. (2014). Web.

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