(From my Facebook page…and it’s not very literary, I know.)
I keep seeing this line of thought on Facebook: “I firmly believe that airstrikes are only going to create more jihadist terrorists.”
That is so inane it’s infuriating. Bombing ISIS targets inside their Caliphate will no more create jihadists than bombing Nazi targets in the Third Reich created more Nazis. Just how stupid do we (and that’s a rhetorical we) think the 99% of the population in the Caliphate living under ISIS terror are? They are being executed by the hundreds by jihadists on a daily basis–shot, beheaded, crucified. So they join up when we start bombing? The US accidentally bombed a couple of Nazi concentration camps during World War 2, and the collateral damage was horrific, hundreds of dead Jewish inmates. Yet oddly enough, surviving Jews didn’t rush to join the SS. Of course, even had they wanted to they wouldn’t have been allowed. Then again, none of the apostates living inside the ISIS Caliphate (and nearly everyone there except ISIS members are considered apostates or potentially apostate, it takes very little to find yourself on the wrong side of a beheading knife) would be allowed to join ISIS anyway, even if they wanted to, because they are apostates. And that exclusion is the justification for executing them on a regular basis, either singly, in batches, or by the village full. It’s this tiny exclusive group (probably numbering less that 50,000 members) of extremely violent fanatics that is the source of the problem, actually. This is how it all began. The attacks on Paris and the like, going after us, the people who go to rock concerts and eat at little chichi cafes, those are new. Why this is so difficult a concept to grasp for some of us I do not understand. Perhaps we watch too much TMZ.
Nor do I understand what is it about so many progressives that they assume the rest of the world is way dumber than they are. Like these silly Arabs and Kurds and Shiites and Yazidi slave girls can’t be trusted to think these things through logically all by themselves. It’s interesting how no one assumed that the people living in the immediate neighborhood of the recent shoot out in St Denis went flocking to join ISIS when police accidentally shot up their balconies. But Parisians are smart and sophisticated, like us. It’s those Arabs you can’t trust. Blow up the guys who beheaded all the men in the family, and sure enough some of the daughters will run off to join ISIS…. Apparently there are some of us who believe that, thought perhaps they never thought of it quite that way.
I don’t believe we had this sort of misconception about the victims of Nazi brutality (or Japanese brutality) in World War Two. This is a new mode of thought. A whole generation of us raised on Howard Zinn who can’t get over the idea that we are the smartest people in the world. Talk about American exceptionalism….and you thought that was just a right wing thing. Well think again. Facebook anymore is awash in American exceptionalism from both Left and Right.
Oh yeah, if you are looking for somebody to endorse putting, as they say, American boots on the ground, I’m not the guy. I see a lot of that talk from these newly minted progressive hawks on Facebook too. But if that’s a consensus building, you can leave me out. I say we can bomb ISIS, arm their enemies, even use special forces for training and emergencies (as we saw working very well in Bamako a few days ago), but sending in regular US troops or Marines is nuts. This is not our war. ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. ISIS terrorism in the US could be a serious problem (though it hasn’t been anything yet), but the Caliphate aka, in English, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is not an actual strategic or military threat to the United States. It is not worthy of us mustering an army and invading the place. We just did that twelve years go. I don’t recall you all being so gung ho then.
I say just let France (who crushed the Azawad jihadis in Mali a couple years ago) and the Kurds (who already have ISIS’s number) and Iraqis and Iranians and Turks and whoever handle it this time. ISIS hates most of them worse than us anyway (they really hate the French), and more than anything ISIS wants armies of Crusaders (their term) to attack them on the plain of Dabiq in Iraq so they can whomp us there as predicted in the Koran. When they attack us in Paris and elsewhere, and threaten to attack us in New York or London or Brussels, that is just to get us so stirred up that we send that Crusader army to do battle with them on the plain around Dibiq. Because that is where they will meet us in battle, vanquish us, and begin the End of Days. Dibiq is their Armegeddon, the battle that brings on the Apocalypse. And after beating the Crusaders there the invincible army of Jihad will re-conquer all the lands once ruled by the first Caliphate (in the 8th and 9th century) from Persia to Spain. Victory after victory. They will reach Rome (not the capital of Italy but Istanbul, aka Byzantium, which they call Rum, or Rome, as Arabs did in the 7th Century), and they will sack it as the Ottoman Turks did in 1453, which had brought to an end the Roman Empire. (Somehow the fact that Rum, aka Istanbul, Turkey, has been an Islamic city since 1453 is skipped over.) It is then, after the sacking, that the anti-Messiah, named Dajjal, will appear from out of eastern Iran with a vast army of apostates and unbelievers and rout the true believing jihadists. Finally the last five thousand jihadis will be trapped, besieged, in Jerusalem. But just as they are about to be overwhelmed, Jesus appears (yes, the same Jesus, but in Islam, he is a prophet second only to Mohammed and not the Son of God). Grabbing a spear Jesus runs Dajjal through, killing him, and leaderless the vast army of the anti-Messiah melts away. Allahu Akbar!, God is Greatest!, the day of Judgment is at hand. The jihadists (and pretty much only the jihadists) attain Paradise, and all the rest of us (including nearly every Moslem ever) will burn in hell.
ISIS scholars (and they are real scholars) quibble about the geographic details, but the order of those events is the Word of the Prophet. So by definition it is the ISIS plan of action, their grand strategy. It may sound a tad looney to us apostates, unbelievers and Crusaders (even Al Qaeda thinks ISIS is nuts), but this is precisely how ISIS sees the near future happening. It’s not a scenario, not a possibility. It is how the future–the immediate future at that–will play out, inshallah, i.e., in English, God willing.
But of course Allah is willing. It was His idea in the first place. Mohammed was merely His prophet. Which means there’s no point in keeping any of this secret. That’s the thing about predestination, it’s not like anybody can do anything about it. So ISIS has explained all this, repeatedly, as it makes for a very effective recruiting pitch, apparently, if you are young and bored and not averse to slaughtering people in the name of God. So you can find it all laid out in very lucid English with maps and gruesome photographs in probably every issue of their magazine Dabiq, which is as disconcertingly beautiful an online magazine as you will ever see. Honestly, it is. Remember those gorgeous Lilli Riefenstahl paeans to Nazi madness, Triumph of the Will and Olympia? This magazine is that gorgeous, that demented, that evil.
Deep down, ISIS is just another Koranic literalist messianic cult who sees it as the duty of every true Muslim to kill everyone who is not a true Muslim. That is what they do. They’re not the first. They’re certainly one of the richest (they scored hundreds of millions in gold and US dollars when they seized Mosul and its banks) but they are not the first. There have been Christians like this too (and still are…imagine the Westboro Baptist Church with guns instead of signs), and Jewish sects (like the Kach affiliated cult that today venerates Baruch Goldstein). It’s ugly scary deadly stuff. Abrahamic religion can be a motherfucker sometimes. Mostly though, it’s sweet. It’s important not to forget that. ISIS is not Islam any more than the Manson Murders were Beatlemania. It’s just that Charlie Manson and all those little mop tops listened to the same records.
God I’m sick of writing about ISIS. So I’ll stop. There’s more to life than death.