We are at war with an ideology, the ideology of radical Islam, in the same way we were at war with the ideology of communism during the cold war.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is growing by an estimated 1,000 Islamists per day; the Caliphate currently has a population greater than Austria and growing. The care, feeding and governing of tens of millions of people is no small undertaking and is not cheap.
Back to those 1,000 new recruits to ISIS per day — they need to be fed, housed, trained, armed, paid and cared for; a very expensive undertaking. In the early days the ISIS Caliphate had it fairly easy; they murdered thousands of Christians, seizing their assets. They seized banks, stores, warehouses and oil production and had billions in cash. ISIS “arrested” just about every wealthy person in the Caliphate and set a ransom for their freedom, an enormous special tax on the wealthy 1%, and if families did not pay, heads rolled.
Foreigners were kidnapped and held for ransom. Most countries quietly paid millions; a few did not and saw fellow countrymen beheaded on camera in a bloody example of fundamentalist and brutal Islamic law. The murders were documented in professionally-produced and directed media releases.
Non-Muslims allowed to live are taxed at a higher rate by ISIS than Muslims; something we would never allow, but a practice that has historic roots in Islamic law. After receiving the word of Allah and organizing the Muslim religion, Mohamed led a successful attack on Mecca, a wealthy city on the lucrative trade routes. After the seizure of Mecca Christian and Jewish capitalists were killed or exiled, the economy suffered greatly, the masses lost jobs and income and things were in a general mess. Mohamed learned from his mistake and received Allah’s blessing to allow select Jews and Christians to live for economic reasons if they paid a special tax, as now written in Islamic law.
Besides taxing the people, the practice of “Baksheesh” an Arabic word that means, tipping, charitable giving, political corruption or bribery is widely practiced. It is hard for us to understand how charitable giving and bribery can be interchangeable, but they are; welcome to the non-Western world.
ISIS funding the Islamic Caliphate comes mostly from selling oil on the not so black market, kidnapping, ransom, extortion and individual donations. In the past eliminating terrorist funding was complex, difficult and successful; a small group of forensic accountants working for the FBI and CIA followed the money and severely restricted the cash flow to terrorists. ISIS simply operates with barrels of cash and shuns electronic banking, making it impossible to follow the money and restrict the income flow.
ISIS also makes a good bit of money selling Christian women into plural marriages, a practice I have never found a parallel to in history. Selling women into slavery or arranged marriages are ancient and despicable practices, but non-family members selling women into religious-sanctioned marriage in mass numbers is new to history.
The level of involvement the United States should exercise in stopping ISIS is one of those few areas the left and right agree on: we should do almost nothing. Doing nothing is certainly a course of action; however it is the wrong course of action in this case. ISIS has figured out how to fund the Caliphate, to recruit, train, equip and field armies of terrorists, and to win the propaganda battle in the Islamic world. ISIS has an approval rating in the 90 percent range in the Islamic world. If ISIS only gains the direct support of 20 percent of the Islamic world we are going to deal with a minimum of 320 million devoted radical Jihadists.
ISIS is a nation on the Fascist model; it is a socialist state that has a national religion and encourages nationalism, straight out of Benito Mussolini’s play book and a system the German Nationalist Socialists Workers Party (NAZI) would approve of. History teaches us containing the German Fascists was a policy used by the world leaders in the 1930’s and it failed miserably.
Our containment strategy, “in Iraq” has been a success according to President Obama, but isn’t ISIS in Yemen and Afghanistan and expanding? Isn’t ISIS now controlling an area the size of England? Isn’t ISIS growing at a rate of 1,000 radicals a day? Mr. President, saying it or wishing it doesn’t make it true. Deal with them now or “contain” them now and deal with a stronger more dedicated and dangerous ISIS later.
As always, our military will pay the price in blood and repair the mistakes of our political and media class.