ISIS poses a threat to today’s liberal world-view analogous to the threat posed by national socialism in the 1930s. But ISIS makes the Nazis look like pikers. ISIS, flying the black flag of Islam, murders, rapes and pillages with breathtaking speed and efficiency. In a few short months, ISIS has taken over much of Iraq, as this map from the Daily Mail illustrates:
ISIS succeeds mostly because it is incredibly brutal. Normal people can’t deal with mass murders, crucifixions, systematic rape, and so on. ISIS documents its reign of terror on the internet. These photos explain why pretty much everyone–including, unfortunately, Iraqi soldiers–flees when ISIS comes calling. Here, ISIS leads victims to a place where they will be murdered:
This is the fate that awaits those who do not subscribe to ISIS’s brand of Islam:
News reports suggest that ISIS only crucifies its enemies after they are dead, but the guy on the right looks very much alive:
Note how crucifixion, as in Roman times, is a public spectacle intended to serve a political purpose, now aided by cell phone cameras.
They behead children, too, but those photos are too grim to post.
At the moment, ISIS is exterminating Yazidis and making slaves of their young women. But far more Christians have been killed, enslaved or driven from their homes. Christians are being slaughtered across the Middle East, and if American Christians have noticed, it has escaped my attention.
Islam has always been expansionist and imperialistic, more a political movement than a religion. Today, ISIS is the leading champion of Islam, having surpassed al Qaeda in that regard. It is impossible to know how many of the world’s Muslims are cheering on ISIS’s rampage, but it is surely a large number, since everything ISIS does is, I believe, authorized by the Koran. And everything I have read about Mohammed suggests that he would be proud of ISIS.
That the leaders of ISIS are tougher than Barack Obama, John Kerry and other members of the liberal entourage goes without saying. Unfortunately, they are smarter, too, and perhaps better funded. ISIS’s blitzkrieg across Iraq was foretold, but our foreign policy apparatus, headed by Obama and Kerry, was asleep at the switch. Or perhaps they just didn’t care. Indifference to events in Iraq was, after all, the central plank in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
As for money, the hundreds of millions of dollars that ISIS stole when it captured Mosul, along with its other funds, is more than sufficient for its purposes. America, on the other hand, is rapidly going broke, with a national debt around $18 trillion and an administration that has proclaimed that the debt is no longer a problem. ISIS isn’t going broke, and won’t be for the foreseeable future.
If the Obama administration is the bulwark of civilization destined to resist the most barbaric force of our time–or, perhaps, any time–God help us.
PAUL ADDS: ISIS is indeed rampant in Iraq. But in Syria it seems stalled.
ISIS had its first major successes in Syria, where it focused its attention in defiance of Ayman al-Zawahiri who had urged it to concentrate on Iraq and to leave Syria to the al-Nusra Front. But ISIS has not made the kind of inroads in Syria that it recently has in Iraq.
Indeed, there have been indications that ISIS cooperates with the Syrian government. For example, it reportedly sells some of the oil supply it controls back to the Syrian government.
Why has ISIS stalled in Syria? In part, it’s because in Syria ISIS has clashed with other rebel outfits. But it’s also because the Syrian government, which once looked ready to fall, has been propped up by Iran and Hezbollah.
In other words, faced with a regime in Syria that’s supported by a “strong horse,” ISIS has backed off, at least for now. And it has turned its attention to a government in Iraq that doesn’t have the kind of foreign backing that Assad enjoys.
In short, for ISIS the Iran-backed Syrian regime is too tough a nut to crack. By contrast, the U.S.-backed (sort of) Iraqi government is low hanging fruit.
It’s encouraging to remember that ISIS is hardly an irresistible force. But it’s distressing to realize that, so far, Obama’s America has been too weak or uncertain a horse to give rise to much resistance in Iraq.