ISIS History Civil War Revolution & Oil


ISIS - Marching through Iraq
Image from The New Yorker (Wright, 2014)

Members of the Islamic State marching through Iraq.

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” – Gerald Seymour (Seymour, 1965, Ch. 5 para. 4)

ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham.  These soldiers marching in the picture above are members of the Islamic State, which they now call themselves.  You may be thinking Al Qaeda are an Islamic group, and the infamous Taliban are an Islamic group, right?  Well, they are not the only Islamic groups. “The ideal of this movement, as it’s theorists saw it, was the establishment of a Caliphate that would lead to the purification of the Muslim world” says Lawrence Wright, and this uprising was started by Zarqawi and his progeny, now led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is the Caliph (Wright, 2014). They are claiming the reestablishment of the caliphate which reigned over the Muslim world from AD 632 until the 1920’s, when WW1 ended the powers at be (Jenkins, 2014).

Hillary Clinton has said publicly: We (The U.S.) created Al-Queda

It was the civil war in Syria and “The Iraq War” which opened the door for this succession (Beauchamp, 2014).  These Muslim’s pray for hardships and believe it brings them closer to God (The Islamic State [Full Length], August 14, 2014). The video in the previous citation will give you a clear picture of their character and mission.  They have established a court system in Raqqa, Syria which punishes through Sharia laws, from the Koran.  This sounds like insanity, when you first realize the reality of this situation. ISIS leaders have documented the establishment of a tax for non-Muslims and claim to have a contract allowing them to live within the Islamic State, harm-free (The Islamic State [Full Length], August 14, 2014).  These fighters claim they are not aiming to cause terror, but they are attempting to reclaim their homeland under Sharia law.  The Sykes Picot agreement separated these two regions and soldiers now are destroying the barricades, reclaiming what was once governed by the Ottoman Empire prior to WW1 (The Islamic State [Full Length], August 14, 2014).

The Islamic State [Full Length] from Vice

The lack of governmental control in the below depicted areas leave the Islamic State as the ruling power, for now.  I have seen other depictions which claim the Islamic State holds larger portions of the Arabian Peninsula, even into North Africa. During the beginning of the ISIS siege into Syria & Iraq this was the most accurate depiction of land controlled by ISIS.

ISIS - Control 2014
Illustration of the Islamic State (ISIS/Aaron Zelon) (Beauchamp, Z., 2014)

A more recent map shows the land controlled by ISIS has grown in 2015.

The map also brings to light the particulars related to oil and the chosen targets.

ISIS - Oil Map
Image from @Karybdamoid (Engel, 2015)

And this website is tracking the control of land by ISIS in real time:


For the past 15 years, since 9/11/2001 there has been an issue, which the American people have been forced to reconcile with, and this is not the first nor last time.  The war on “terror” is an ambiguous use of language manipulated from the French Revolution.  You can learn more about this history here:

Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Syria and Iran have all played a major role in the Middle Eastern crisis.  In my opinion, there has never been a state of peace in this region of the world, at least not as it is in America.  Our Civil War ended and we have grown from it.  The civil wars and revolutionary wars within this region of the world are far from over, but someone will win and take control eventually.

ISIS? Should Americans care? Should anyone besides the Middle East?


Several politicians have taken opposition to Bush and his so called war mongering tendencies.  Obama seems to be the transition also taking heat, half stepping away from the battleground, leaving the conflicted area to reconcile itself, manipulating different groups of interest with air support.  I find both arguments regarding the United States’ involvement under strong true premises.  These types of issues cannot rely on falsehoods. Although, European support has been lacking. Also, the EU has been accused of buying oil from ISIS.

One argument, would say until they are in my backyard or attacking our homeland, there is no threat.  My family and country should not be involved in someone else’s war. There are several extremist groups around the world, and when one takes over a country, we do not always rush to aid.  There are several extreme methods of communism in effect today as close as 500 miles from my home, Cuba.  We have a flourishing trade agreement with China through the WTO, another communist nation.  There are several theocratic governments which we do not interfere with.  If they want to rule by the Koran, they can.  We have already spent billions on Middle Eastern conflict and lost thousands of lives, we need stay out of it.

Those who prefer to focus on our homeland first and foremost will undoubtedly agree with the first argument, adding our country is only as strong as its weakest link or status quo can be affected through non-military aggregation.  Our economy needs money not foreign economies, and so on.  We are wasting money on a fight that is not ours, for show, or oil, or political gain…The premises are real and the argument is valid, but unconvincing to me.

A second argument, would say we should not wait for an attack on an American city, and act now.  We should not risk another attack similar to September 11, 2001, which my family and country suffered great loss.  They are murdering innocent children and men and women, there are “40,000 minority Yazidis” trapped in a mountainous area being starved to death (Carter, C., Tawfeeq, M., Starr B. & CNN, 2014).  The Iraqi people are our responsibility now, we did hang their former leader publicly, and must ensure their economic stability.  This is our fight now. The energy resources controlled by ISIS in Iraq & Syria are also affecting international markets.

Of course, I could go on and on with several premises for both sides.  The real issue is whether we value national security more than global security and vice versa.   One could ask does global security affect national security, and of course it does.

The New York Times reported on ISIS & Oil. Watch the video here.


Donald Trump (the leading candidate for 2016) says, “Bomb the oil”

Trump could very well be the next POTUS, and global conflict is one of his clear agendas. Although, he does say it is not our fight and seems to be educated on the civil wars and revolutions that are the catalysts of Middle Eastern conflict.

Globally perceptive views are keen to agree with the second argument, and would add our allies and United Nations involvement compels our action.  I agree the bond of trust is sacred and should not be undervalued in times of crisis.  Peace is the ultimate benefactor in a country or region that all other aspects of growth and development depend on.  Securing areas of violence and settling conflicting regions will be a constant fight we must not stray from.  We can use the known “weapons of mass destruction” cliché, if we must, but the threat of those types of weapons are real.  Strategies such as Obama’s choice of air tactics are going to be key in reducing our investment financially and physically.  As noted before, our allied forces are also depending on us and we could not hold our flag with such integrity if we let them suffer or fight alone.  Our personal involvement in global conflicts represent a path for which other nations may follow and guide others after them.  If you watch the video I have in my references you will understand the reality of our situation, and the reality which these extremists live in.  Empathize and analyze my friends, the argument is in our difference in realities.


Beauchamp, Z. (2014, Jun. 14) [Illustration] 11 facts that explain the escalating crisis in iraq. In Vox. Retrieved from 

Beauchamp, Z. (2014, Jun. 14) 11 facts that explain the escalating crisis in iraq. In Vox. Retrieved from 

Carter, C., Tawfeeq, M., Starr B., CNN (2014, Aug. 10) Officials: U.s. airstrikes pound isis militants firing at iraq’s yazidis  Retrieved from

Engel, P. (2015, Jun. 30)  This detailed Syria map shows what territory ISIS is truly fighting for. Retrieved from

Jenkins, P. (2014, Jul. 6) Isis could regret caliphate: Column. In USA Today. Retrieved from 

Seymour, G. (1965) Harry’s game. Available from’s freedom fighter&f=false 

The Islamic State (Full Length) . (2014, Aug. 14) [Video] Vice News. Retrieved from 

Wright, L. (2014, Jun. 16) [Digital Image] Isis’s savage strategy in iraq. In The New Yorker. Retrieved from 

Wright, L. (2014, Jun. 16) Isis’s savage strategy in iraq. In The New Yorker. Retrieved from 



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Christopher Kemmett

Founder of The Real Strategy and Lowest Priced Advertisements.