Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Caliph's Fifteen Minutes

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.

Blaise Pascal

They're a bunch of deadly fucks, even if they can't settle on a name. First it was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. Then they became the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS. Now they've settled on The Islamic State, rather like Brother Trump decided to call himself, The Donald.

Their leader is a guy named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at least that is the name he has used in the past. According to various sources, including his own organization, his real name is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai. It is a mouthful, but when you claim to be a direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad you probably want something regal sounding. NBC reports he is rarely photographed and seen. According to mid-east expert, Patrick M. Skinner this secrecy increases his prestige among those of a similar bent. That is one theory--another, held by some cynics, is it might indicate he knows there is an armed U.S. drone cruising around the wide blue skies at this very moment with his name on it.

His group has issued grand statements. First and foremost among them is they have established a new Caliphate of Islam which will, "trample the idol of nationalism, destroy the idol of democracy and uncover its deviant nature." A second is the dude now known as Caliph Ibrahim has declared every other Islamic terrorist group null and void and therefore all of them must obey the direct orders of--yes--him. A third was, of course, his version of Islam is the only acceptable one and anyone who thinks different is a heretic. Why isn't that a surprise?

The Islamic State also posted a global map on the internet showing the extent of the new Caliphate. It covers the northern half of the African continent, Turkey, every square inch of the middle east, including Iran and Pakistan, plus all of India, Sri Lanka, and it runs as far east as Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Caliph, or leader, didn't provide us with any clues about how he was going to rule this vast expanse, or how long it would take his army to conquer it. No doubt he is a big picture man and prefers to leave those sort of details to the little people.

The media is running wild with the story and politicians everywhere are pointing fingers.

Ibrahim's outfit got it's chops fighting in the Syrian civil war and now has been able to take control of a large area in Iraq, so they've had a degree of military success. In the process they've also managed to slaughter thousands of civilians and murder several hundred, if not more, prisoners of war. They've even paraded around a captured scud missile which most experts believe is not operational.

So yeah, all this blow and go is impressive and if you live in Iraq you are in serious danger. However, the truth is they fought in Syria, but couldn't win. When that little adventure bogged down, an about face was ordered and they grabbed a large patch of Iraq which has an army who, twice over the last quarter century, has proven itself to be one of the worst in the world. The Islamic State's heavy armor consists of some surplus Humvees and Toyota pick up trucks either mounted with machine guns, or manned with guys toting rocket propelled grenades. They haven't a soul, at least to date, who can fly a helicopter, much less a jet fighter and there hasn't been a report by any news outlet saying they possess even a single tank, or know how to use one if they did.

In addition they haven't had to actually run a place. You know--take care of the water supply, repair the sewer system, pick up the garbage, pave a highway, or install a street lamp--any of the sort of things the general public demands of a government.

Yes, these monsters can create a of a lot of havoc in Syria and Iraq, but they aren't going anywhere else. Does anyone really think the rulers of Kuwait, the Emirates, or the Saudi royal family are going to submit to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? After you mull that question over think about how the Ayatollahs of Iran, the Turks, Pakistanis, and the entire sub continent of India will react to them.

Faith and some success can attract thousands of recruits from prisons, the ranks of the disaffected, and the newly converted, but it still can't get you to Tel Aviv, much less places like Istanbul, or Tehran without an air force and more than a few armored divisions.

In response to this terrible nonsense the United States has nearly 1,000 troops on the ground in an advisory capacity. There are also a handful of Russians in the country along with some aircraft sent from Moscow with love. The Iranians are on record as saying they'll supply the current Iraq government with enough arms to defeat the, "terrorists."

ISIL, ISIS, or IS, take your pick, has won a few battles, but in doing so, their victories combined with their over blown hubris have made sure they'll never expand beyond northern Iraq and parts of Syria. In the final analysis no one in the sane world wants to put up with the sort of horse shit they spout. Let's face it, if the Iranians are calling you terrorists you've reached a low that is unimaginable.

Hey, even the Taliban knew their brand of Islam wouldn't sell outside of Afghanistan, or the tribal areas around the Pakistan border. Their one mistake was not giving up bin Laden. If they had, they'd still be running the country. This new violent trip back to the middle ages just doesn't wash outside of very small places like the minds of the people wanting to force it down everybody else's throats.  

What it boils down to, Caliph Ibrahim, is you probably want to live it up right now and enjoy the view, because, honestly, your fifteen minutes are coming to an end soon.

Trust me.


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