The feature article of the fourth issue of the Islamic State's (IS) English-language magazine Dabiq, titled "Reflections on the Final Crusade," proves that the IS closely follows the debate within U.S. foreign policy circles and tailors its arguments to Western readers accordingly. Alongside the standard Islamic rhetoric, the article claims that America's policy in its war on the IS is irrational, since it serves nobody but America's enemies, Iran and Russia.
Unlike other articles, which seek to deter the U.S. by threatening retaliatory terror attacks on Western soil in response to the military campaign against the IS, the article appeals to American self-interest. Well aware of President Barack Obama's policy that seeks an equilibrium between Shi'ite Iran and the Sunni world and which effectively means supporting Iran, it argues that Iran poses a greater danger to America than the IS. To make its point, it quotes former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (whom it calls a "Jewish Crusader"), and others who express a similar opinion, who observe that Iran has created a "Shia-belt from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut," whereas the IS does not pose a geostrategic threat of the same magnitude.
The article argues further, citing former CIA intelligence officer Michael Scheuer, that, since the Obama administration has set out to reduce American commitments and expenses, it is odd that the U.S. is intervening once more, instead of sitting back and enjoying a situation where "all [its] enemies are killing each other and it is not costing [it] a cent or a life."
Taking another jab at the Obama administration, the article accuses Obama of actually pursuing the same line as former Preisdent George W. Bush: "We find that two Western leaders – Bush and Obama – are determined to do everything possible to strengthen Persian and Russian influence in the Middle East."
Below are excerpts from the article:
"...After centuries of Western conflict with Persia and Russia, we find that two Western leaders – Bush and Obama – are determined to do everything possible to strengthen Persian and Russian influence in the Middle East.
"Regarding Bush's blunders, Shaykh Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir said, 'I want to remind the fool who is obeyed by his people (Bush) that he was able in a very short period to revive the glory of the ancient Persian Empire. Thus, he became more ominous for his country than Gorbatchev was for his Union (the USSR). Bush enabled the spreading of Persian (Iranian) influence over Afghanistan after it had been a tough obstacle for the Persians. He seconded with Iraq and opened up its treasures for them while they had not dreamt of drinking a sip of its water. And now they suck up its oil, loot its treasures, and enslave its men. Third, he panicked its rafidi-nusayri [Shi'ite-Alawite] tyrant – through an embargo upon Syria – into opening his country up to hundreds rather thousands of the Persians to nationalize themselves there and become supporters for the agent of the anti-Christ Nasrullat who is called Nasrallah and who just emerged from a so-called victory against the pinnacle of the Roman military machine (the Israeli military). And thus, the ancient Persian empire completed and expanded from Mawarannahr (Transoxiana) to Iran then through Iraq – the location of al-Mada'in (the imperial capital of Persia) – ending in Sham (Syria/Lebanon/Palestine). So do you think that the Magian Persians will ever be able to repay this fool – Bush – who revived their ancient glory for them without them shooting a single bullet or sacrificing a single soldier? And do you think that the reasonable of the Romans will realize that they have become slaves for the Persians and have become mercenary fighters who fight for them without pay...'
"A number of Americans and Westerners have spoken about their ancient Iranian enemy and its allies – possibly the common enemy referred to by the Prophet... The Jewish crusader, former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, has said that, 'in all the crises roiling the world, the U.S. shouldn't lose focus on Iran,' as paraphrased by Scott Simon of NPR.
"Henry Kissinger also said, 'There [has] come into being a kind of a Shia-belt from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut. And this gives Iran the opportunity to reconstruct the ancient Persian Empire, this time under a Shia label. From a geo-strategic point of view, I consider Iran a bigger problem than ISIS. ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can become a geo-strategic, permanent reality. I think a conflict with ISIS – important as it is – is more manageable than a confrontation with Iran.'
"Former CIA Chief... Michael Scheuer said, 'For now, however, the beginning of wisdom is to look at what is going on in Iraq and Syria and see it clearly. In both places all of those folks that multiple U.S. administrations have identified as enemies of America are killing each other. In Syria, the Assad regime, Iran, and Lebanese Hizbullah are killing Sunni mujahedin from all over the world, as well as their local allies and supporters. In turn, the Sunni Islamists in Syria are killing Assad's troops, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and Hizbullah fighters. This is a perfect circumstance for the United States, all our enemies are killing each other and it is not costing us a cent or a life.
"'Over in Iraq, we see much the same marvelous phenomena occurring. Multinational Sunni mujahedin and Saddam's former military personnel are fighting and killing Maliki's dictatorial regime, its Shia military forces, and their Iranian military supporters. And, as in Syria, Maliki and his gang are killing our Sunni Islamist enemies. In Iraq there also is the potential for a delightful bonus coming to fruition. If the United States stays out of the affair, the renewed war in Iraq may trigger a widespread Shia-vs-Sunni civil war in which our Muslim enemies – as they are defined by our bipartisan political elite may begin to kill each other for a prolonged period and at unprecedented levels, and, again, at no cost to us in lives or dollars.
"'So let us take both a deep breath and Lt. Col. Peter's advice and sit back and watch what is going on in Syria and Iraq with equanimity and absolutely from the sidelines. Cheer for neither side, answer no one's call for help – especially not one from the near-frantic Neocons who now know they sank their beloved Israel with the 2003 invasion of Iraq – and pray that Obama does not cooperate with Iran to restore Maliki's Shia tyranny and thereby earn the eternal enmity of all of the Sunni world.'
"He also said, 'What to do now? First, stay out of Iraq completely and utterly. To re-intervene would cost more American money and lives, and it would drive up oil prices even faster. It also would amount not only to the United States again intervening in an oil-rich Muslim country, but intervening in a Sunni-Shia religious war on the side of the Shia, who are fiercely hated by the overwhelmingly Sunni Islamic world.'
"Although his words contain hope for the further killing of Muslims at the hands of the rafidah [i.e., Shi'ites] as the U.S. watches with glee, he expresses a truth that should be reflected over and that is, why does America bother itself in a war between two of its enemies and side with one of them in a manner that only serves its enemy's interests in the region and no one else's?
"Obama now strengthens the Iraqi regime, which is undeniably backed by Iranian intelligence, military, and finances. Iranian Shia militias currently fight to 'defend' Baghdad. The Iraqi regime and its Iranian founder have been one of the biggest allies of the Assad regime in Syria. They have sent fighters to the Abul-Fadl al-'Abbas battalion. The Assad air force has stopped all airstrikes against the Islamic State in a number of Shami wilayat [Syrian districts], probably because it is cheaper for them to benefit from the US airstrikes on their behalf, especially since the Assad regime is collapsing financially and isn't very good at hitting targets accurately. At the same time, it has managed to 'hide' chemical weapons from the West and use them without a deterrent. Hezbollah has sent guerillas to fight against Muslims in Iraq and Syria. The Houthis of Yemen – allies of Iran – have overrun Sanaa.
"Most significantly, Russia – Iran's biggest ally as well as an ally of China – has entered the Ukraine, which is supposedly claimed by the West. Russia continues to arm the Assad regime against the Muslims of Sham. They have boasted of their nuclear capabilities once again. And yet Obama insists upon strengthening 'the Persian Crescent' and Russian influence in the region. It seems American leaders are blinded by their love of the Jewish state into doing things that only damage supposed Western interests."
 The idea of engaging with Iran (and to a lesser extent with Assad's Syria) emerged in 2006 when the U.S. Congress appointed a bipartisan panel headed by former secretary of state James Baker and former representative Lee Hamilton. For the report and recommendations, see: Media.usip.org/reports/iraq_study_group_report.pdf. In the current crisis, this policy has numerous advocates. See for example Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council of Foreign Relations, who advocates cooperating with Assad, as well as working with Iran and Russia." Cfr.org/iraq/us-playbook-iraq-syria/p33161. In an interview with The New Yorker, Obama welcomed the "equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran." Newyorker.com, January 27, 2014.
 Dabiq 4, pp. 32-44; the text has been lightly edited for clarity.
 A play on Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's name, replacing the name Allah with the name of the idol Allat.