Trying to catch up on current events, I watched PBS/Frontline's The Rise of ISIS. I wasn't even aware of how Malaki (Shiia) stoked the fire for the rise of ISIS, but I think we can still blame ourselves for Iraq's destabilization that's led to the current ISIS. Sure, there are percentages of fault to consider, and I won't try to prove that the current atrocities would have been completely avoided if Bush II hadn't landed us square in the middle of Muslim Hell.
Saddam Hussein was a saint compared to ISIS.
So I read a bit on the differences between Shiia and Sunni beliefs, history, practices. I've said to TAers here that we should be nurturing moderate Muslims more than condemning Islam as a whole. From what I've read so far, it seems that the Sunni despots are relatively "moderate" in this context, holding back the crazy-ass destroy-the-world-until-we-win Sunni extremists. We ignorantly stepped into a huge pile of shit and then self-righteously kicked it around at everyone. (Actually years ago, my analogy was that we went in there to beat on hornet nests.)
If we insist that this is solely a war against religion, we push the moderates into extremism. This is a war against extremism, in any form. (Don't forget North Korea. The population there is even less informed about the rest of the world than ISIS barbarians.) If I had a button that could wipe out ISIS all at once without killing moderates, I might just push it in an angry moment. But that form of simplistic mentality is what got us into this mess.
That, and oil, from where ISIS gets its money. I wonder if the oil cartel, threatened by ISIS takeover has been lowering prices to reduce ISIS profits from oil? I'm certain of one thing, which is that the world oversimplifies some of these complex problems and solutions. It takes a lot more understanding of human nature and a lot more self-inspection to come up with better analyses of our historical predicament. Don't just blame the current president; presidents are only human. It should also help us to mitigate the dangers of empires or despotic governments controlling extractive economies by (e.g.) going green, or at least by continuing to enhance local rather than overseas production.