U.S. President Barack Obama has labeled the jihadist juggernaut that calls itself the Islamic State a "cancer," while his defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, has called it more dangerous than al-Qaida ever was, claiming its threat is "beyond anything we've seen." No monster has ever been born on its own. So the question is: Which forces helped create this new Frankenstein?

The Islamic State is a brutal organization whose members take pride in carrying out beheadings and flaunting the heads of their victims as trophies. This cannot obscure a fundamental reality: The Islamic State represents a Sunni Islamist insurrection against non-Sunni rulers in disintegrating Syria and Iraq.

Indeed, the ongoing fragmentation of states along primordial lines in the arc between Israel and India is spawning de facto new entities or blocks, including Shiastan, Wahhabistan, Kurdistan, ISstan and Talibanstan.