The New York Times sought to mock the conspiracy-minded Iranian public for believing ISIS is “created” by the United States in a top article claiming it was the result of Iranian state media propaganda.
Yet considering it from the viewpoint of the average Iranian, it’s not hard to see where that belief came from, with the US loudly backing Syria’s rebels, of which ISIS is by far the largest and most successful faction, while Iran backs ally Bashar Assad’s government.
Even at this point, when the US is directly insinuating itself into a massive war with ISIS, the view from the ground is pretty stark. ISIS is awash in US weapons, provided to “moderate Syrian rebels,” and driving US-made vehicles looted in Mosul, giving them all the outward appearance of an American proxy.
For decades, Iranians have been presented with the United States as a powerful enemy, one which is constantly threatening to attack them. They now find an ISIS army equipped with decidedly made-in-America gear, it’s hard to blame them for jumping to conclusions.
The reality is that the United States foreign policy has played a massive role in the creation of ISIS as the huge problem it has become. It’s blowback from the massive incompetence of that policy, which is an important distinction, but one which probably doesn’t make a huge difference to the people fighting them.
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