Risk goes Mideast

The more the media spreads news about ISIS or ISIL or IS or Da’ish, the crazier it gets. The current Wikipedia entry is one of the longest I have ever seen. But let’s take a reality check here. ISIS is a digital creation as much as a successful terrorist operation that feeds the current media frenzy with Islam and terrorism. If social media precipitated, or at least facilitated, the Jasmine Revolution that blossomed into a wider Arab Spring, then cyberspace is the spontaneous generator of ISIS. This is no homegrown group, despite the caliphal self appointment of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (remember “whose your daddy?”) It has been hugely successful in recruiting, with estimates as high as 31,500 fighters according to the CIA over a month ago.

Wikipedia’s red scare

I am not sure who took the census, nor if anyone was counting the disaffected white guys who crossed the Turkish border over the past several months, but this is a rather large number for a ragtag wannabe caliphate. It is a bit of a mystery how this number, incredible as it is, has been so successful against the Iraqi army, said to have 271,500 active personnel and 528,500 reserve, or Syria with 250,000 active personnel in its army. If this were a RISK game, I would say that both Iraq and Syria are not into gambling as much as ISIS is. Remember those games when your nerdy friend put all his troops in Kamchatka and conquered all of Asia only to lose everything before his next turn when everyone else ganged up on him. If only this was a Risk game.

ISIS has a glossy side

I am fully aware of the horror of ISIS. If you read Revelation and like Armageddon scenarios, these guys are the Beast, the Antichrist and even the Whore of Babylon rolled into one. And why not throw in that stealth Mohammedan Barack Hussein Obama. Beheading, cold blooded murder, rape and all in the name of Islam. Here come the Camelmen of the apocalypse, only they are riding jeeps made in America and liberated from the retreating Iraqi army. And why not throw in the Ebola epidemic as well. Islamophobes the world over are in heaven over this hell on earth.

Thank you, Jesus

ISIS is evil; that hardly needs saying. But they are also slick. I wonder what Madison Avenue firm is behind their promotion. They even have a glossy magazine called Dabiq. The oil they sell, at a very reduced price, is bringing millions into their coffers. Don’t ask who is buying this oil, of course. All they need is their own money. Well here they go: the newly minted (at least digitally) Islamic State dinar, supposedly modeled on a first century Umayyad dinar. I guess the designers conveniently ignore the fact that the first Umayyad dinars continued the Byzantine design. But of course they must not have been true Muslims, because they had not read Ibn Taymiyya.

You can make anything with digital printing

This early Umayyad caliph was probably not wearing an expensive watch

A glossy magazine, their own coins… all they need is a dedicated website. When I put isis.com into Google, I found a prompt that it was a site coming soon. Now that is scary. Isis.org hung up on me. As for isis.gov, Safari said it could not find the server. I bet the CIA knows;they probably own the url. I am beginning to think these people keep changing their names so no one can pin down their personal webpages. There actually is http://abu-bakr-al-baghdadi.com. It is a site about “Jihadiots”, which has rhetoric like this:

We laugh at you Jihadiots. We smile and shake our heads in disdain. We don’t fear you. We scorn you as mentally deranged religious idiots that need to be dealt with the same way we deal with any psycho with a gun. Your days are numbered. You will not win your Jihadiot war. Your great numbers mean nothing. It does not matter if there are billions of you. We only need to push a few buttons and your people and religion will be turned to glass. We did it once and we will do it again.

If you want to read more, the site lets you click on a revolving revolver. I think you get the message.