So, last week we and the Kurds and the Iraqis – or the Kurds and the Iraqis and us – went and did a hostage rescue mission in Islamic State (IS) territory. It was, by all accounts, a highly successful mission: hostages were freed, the base the hostages were in was then obliterated by the US Air Force, and ‘we*’ lost only one man to combat (Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler). As combat raids in a war zone go, this one ended very well.
I’ve long held the opinion that this administration, when it wants to be competent in foreign affairs, actively attempts to imitate the last administration. Because – and this will come as a shock to the folks who have been drinking too deeply from the antiwar movement’s poisoned wells – the last administration actually was competent at foreign affairs*. Which would be great, except that this administration doesn’t actually know what the last administration is like – so it imitates the fever-dream version of the Bush administration, and then wonders why things keep turning to crud.
Case in point: “More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.” Although contra the Daily Beast, this situation is not particularly like what happened in 2003. What happened in 2003 was, essentially, that George W. Bush decided to take no chances in trusting the good intentions of an uncontrollable dictator. What’s happening now is that the military cadre that interacts with the Executive Branch is too ready to tell the Executive Branch what it wants to hear, and the Executive Branch is collectively too arrogant – or just too stupid – to realize that this is happening. Continue reading News not-flash: Brass altered intelligence reports on ISIS to appease Barack Obama.
So instead I just need to figure out what the heck is causing Ed Schultz to come to the conclusion that we’re probably going to end up killing a lot of IS death cultists. Who knows? If it’s environmental, perhaps we can reproduce the effect elsewhere.
Islamic State (IS) is, literally, an apocalyptic death cult. Which is to say, they believe that they are all going to die in a violent fashion that will lead to the end of the world; that the various atrocities that they commit in the process are all pleasing to the entity that they worship; and that there is no point to reason with IS on this, because they’re right and will gleefully die for their beliefs. Your basic High Fantasy Evil-With-A-Capital-E Cult, in other words.
You probably didn’t need this Atlantic article to tell you this, although it’s nice to have the background material on the aforementioned death cult. It’s a very detailed article, by the way. Well worth your time.
Under no circumstances should anybody who can write “I even enjoyed their company” after meeting one or more of IS’s High Priests should be allowed anywhere near a position of authority or responsibility or influence when it comes to American foreign policy. I understand and appreciate that author Graeme Wood went on to write “…and that frightened me as much as anything else,” but unfortunately better safe than sorry when it comes to possible ethical infections.
Details here, and may Christ welcome and comfort those martyrs. You already know my opinion of their murderers. And my opinion of a foreign policy that seems indifferent to the rapid spread across the Middle East of what is, in point of fact, a literal death cult. One that practices human sacrifice on a regular basis.
Let’s just establish a few things about the fact that Fox News’ decision to show Islamic State’s (IS) ritual human sacrifice of downed Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh.
The Fox News link is here. It does, in fact, show, a graphic ritual human sacrifice done by evil death cultists. The professional-level quality of the video editing confirms that this was done deliberately, ritually, and as part of a larger plan.
I fully understand that somebody might not want that in their head. I didn’t want it in my head, either.
Demonic death cults – and no, I am not trying to be funny* – do not go away when you put your head under the covers.
Talking Points Memo (I’m singling them out because they were the first ones that came to hand) seems to have a problem with #3: at least, they carefully quoted Malcolm Nance, who is right now desperately trying to argue that when a demonic death cult starts broadcasting their ritual human sacrifices, the best response is to pull up that blanket and hide.
It will shock precisely nobody here to learn that Malcolm Nance notoriously downplayed IS/ISIS/ISIL, back when it was known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Which is to say: the man who told you that these people weren’t really a problem then is the same person who wants you not to look at their metastasized descendants now. But, hey: Mr. Nance gives a good quote, am I right?
The Washington Post has Fox News’ response: “After careful consideration, we decided that giving readers of FoxNews.com the option to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video,” said John Moody, who as Fox News’s executive vice president and executive editor has authority over the Web site. “Online users can choose to view or not view this disturbing content.”
Again: I do not blame any person who doesn’t want to have those images in their head…
…in retaliation for the Islamic State ritual sacrifice of Jordanian military pilot Moaz al-Kasasbe. Lt. al-Kasabe has been reportedly burned alive by the death cult: the New York Times is visibly ill at the idea of showing the footage to that, and I can’t make myself blame them*. You need to know who you’re fighting; but some stuff you don’t need in your head.
No links to the reported plans because the Jordanian response is currently being reported at a level that’s just a half step up from Internet rumors. But I will say this: we forget, sometimes, that the relatively civilized and not-entirely-grotesque state of foreign affairs that we ‘enjoy’ today is the product of a sixty-year American hegemony over half the world, and a twenty-year one over all of it. Burning people alive is from older days. Older, nastier days: it will be interesting to see whether Jordan decides to indicate that it’s going to go back to those days too when it comes to their response. I hope not: the pax Americana was a good thing, all around. We’re going to miss it, when it’s finally gone…
*Just that, though. I can easily blame them for a whole other bunch of things that are related to this story.