Saturday, May 16, 2015

Islamic State on the Move and the Downside to Being Part of the Jihad

If we've learned anything over the past few decades it is the Iraqi army isn't worth a shit. We've also learned that there is no amount of training in the world which will turn a bunch of inept clods with rotten leadership into a modern fighting force. The other thing we ought to have figured out is if we give these same bozos bazillions of dollars worth of hardware--everything from light weapons to artillery and heavy armor--in the end all of it will eventually wind up in the hands of people we consider the bad guys.

Yeah, sure, the Iraqi army, with considerable help from Sunni tribesmen, were able to retake Saddam's home town of Tikrit. However in the last 48 hours they got their asses kicked and have lost almost all of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. That puts IS troops within 60, or so miles of Baghdad.

Meanwhile other Islamic State units are on the outskirts of Palmyra in Syria. The extensive Roman era ruins there are considered a historical treasure. If the IS does move into them, given their record with ancient artifacts, what has been called, "The Bride of the Desert," will certainly cease to exist after a wild orgy of industrial strength vandalism. .

The fact is what started out as basically a mob of disaffected, pissed off felons has turned into a highly maneuverable combat force who routinely outfights and defeats an army we have spent years and billions of dollars sponsoring. The next logical step for this ruthless band of marauders is to somehow put together an air force.

Of course things aren't going well for Islamic extremists everywhere. You could ask Abu Sayyaf, but don't expect an answer. Thanks to a United States Army Delta team he is dead. Sayyaf was a senior IS leader who, according to reports, was in charge of oil and gas operations. The Obama approved raid into Syrian territory ideally was supposed to capture him, but he and about a dozen other militants were killed in a firefight which, at least one source said, included hand to hand combat.

The American troops captured Sayyaf's wife and rescused a young woman described as a member of the Iraqi Yazidi sect. She was being kept by the couple as a slave, because--you know--people mired in 6th century religious mores do that sort of thing.

In Egypt, former president Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to death for his part in a 2011 mass prison break. In addition Mohammed Badi, a Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, and Islamic scholar Yousseff al-Qaradawi were among many others scheduled for an appointment with Doctor G. Reaper. In Egypt's five thousand year history Morsi was it's first democratically elected leader, although more than a few maintain the Muslim Brotherhood fixed the election so he would be certain to win.

The Brotherhood maintains his administration was undermined by supporters of the ousted Hosni Mubarak. Whatever the case public outcry boiled over when Morsi enacted policies which made him look suspiciously like Mubarak in terms of accountability. Which is to say it appeared he was taking measures which would ensure he'd not only be the first democratically elected Egyptian president, but the last.

Finally it looks like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will take the hot shot at some future date. A federal jury voted unanimously to give him the death penalty for his part in the Boston Marathon bombing a little over two years ago.

How long it will take to strap him onto the gurney is up for speculation. The only clue we have is that Tim McVeigh rode off into the sunset four years after his conviction, although the Oklahoma City bomber didn't waste any one's time by appealing the verdict.

So there we have it on this muggy Saturday afternoon here on the southern plains. The IS thugs are still on the move, but being part of this self styled Jihad has a deadly downside. Unfortunately for all of us we've learned one more thing. We can off all the psychopaths in the world who lead this crusade against civilization and decency, but we're guaranteed there will be other, equally demented fucks, ready to take their place.

Tragically that's the nature of the cruel and unusual beast.

sic vita est


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