Monday, 18 August 2014

The Islamic State: Climate Change, Terror and the Making of a Caliphate.

The Caliphate ( Islamic State ), established and centred on Raqqa in Syria, does clearly have its origins on uneducated mosque imams contantly extolling the Caliphate as a symbol of a lost spritual and political realm towards which Sunni Muslims should aspire and realise through jihad.

Syrian writer Hassan Hassan cites the Syrian cleric Mohammed Habash claiming "Isis did not arrive from Mars; it is a natural product of our retrograde discourse." and while that is true, the sad reality is that it has caught on because of a civilisational crisis in this part of the Middle East that has induced it.

One thing that comes across from Vice News's report 'Spread of the Caliphate' is that the foot soldiers of IS are both brutal and banal, largely semi-educated men all the more dangerous for the indoctrinated certitude with which they assert their credo that they are on a roll and shall follow God until victory is assured.

The ISIS jihadists are in for the long game, indoctrinating and grooming the children to become future warriors as the only way for the Caliphate to survive and strive forth towards its destiny of creating some sort of pure community that is uncontaminated by enemy influences from without and within.

If they were not so deadly, their corny attempts at piety would be entirely laughable as opposed to merely contemptible. Hence the point of their headless corpses strewn across pavements and sticking heads on spikes is meant to give the impression that they are, in fact, very serious.

The aim is to spread the Caliphate out, kill or convert the Infidel ( or with Christians make them pay a tax ) and to be part of God's project as it unfolds and is realised. Women are to be nowhere seen on the streets of Raqqa. Jihadists previously living in Europe claimed they left the girls behind for the cause.

Women need to be properly concealed in order to thereby maintain the fundamental purity of the Caliphate from within, the better to make it more ferocious and formidable without against Indidels and Hypocrites ( secular Arabs). It says so, they claim, in the Qu'ran.

This myth of the return of the Caliphate is one held on to by the simple minded but it could only spread in the conditions of lawless chaos of the sort that existed in Afghanistan in the 1990s. ISIS is similar to both the Taliban and Al Qaida but this time rolled into one-and with control over lots of oil resources.

IS is selling crude oil on the international black market, something even reported to be reducing oil prices. It is making $1 million a day from the sale and the rush of adrenalin from that and the prospect of using revenues to expand their Caliphate is causing millennial style fervour.

The support among Sunni Arabs for this is based on a revolt of those living in lands where crop failure, desertification, drought and having been pushed out of ant prospect of adequate poliitical representation in either Syria or Iraq has led to the Caliphate as a "solution" to all earthly evils.

The Sunni Arab zone in northern Syria and Iraq is trapped between other regions with far more resources both as regards the vast majority of the oil wealth ( which lie in the Kurdish regions to the east ) and those absolutely vital to life such as water. Iraq is a resource war over oil and water.

The River Euphrates drying up as a consequence of climate change, decreasing precipitation and increasingly hot summers. Turkey was alleged to have reduced supplies along the Euphrates upstream. That makes the necessity to spread the war as far as possible even more 'vital'.

So many Sunni Arabs in Iraq have come to believe nothing to lose by aligning with a pyschopathological group that asserts their interests as against the Kurds, Turks, and Shi'ites. IS attempted to take the Mosul dam so as to have control over electricity and water: this is a resource war.

The cause of jihad is precisely what they have to sustain them both materially and in hope of regaining the dominance Sunni Muslims once had in the region more generally and in Iraq, in particular, under Saddam Hussein who used to use control over the water supply as a tool of control over the Shi'ite south.

Evidently, IS pursues policies that are evil and mad but there is, beyond evident sadistic cruelty and pleasure in murdering Infidels and Hypocrites, a method and motive to the madness and mayhem and the clear intention to instil terror and utter fear. They need to be taken seriously.

If Iraq and Syria were to break up, it is difficult to see how there could be a secure and viable state for Sunni Arabs as that would depend on the wars in both states having any prospect of ending. And so IS is taking the destiny of Sunni Muslims into its own hands, destroying the Sykes-Picot borders of 1916.

ISIS is an outgrowth of failed attempts to back Sunni forces by the Saudis as a check on Iranian influence in Syria, the idea of Sunni persecution and yet historical superiority, myths of the Caliphate and the collapse of Syrian and Iraqi Sunni regions especially through climate change and war.

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