Thursday, August 14, 2014

ISIS, ISIL, IC Is Different From All the Rest

The part of the world variously called, or including, the Mideast, Arabia, the Balkans, North Africa, Thrace, Rumelia, is aflame. Armies have fought over, pillaged and plundered this area for millennia. The Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottoman Turks, and Russians, the British and French, as well as lesser empires, have laid claims to the areas. Conquerors, like the Mongols, have roamed through, while others, such as the Huns, moved through the region from Central Asia. Conquerors were often ruthless. For example, Alexander the Great was known to exterminate entire populations. The Romans were not known to be merciful. Diaspora, exile, enslavement, genocide were common over the past two millennia. The last, great conquerors were the Ottoman Turks. The House of Osman reigned for six centuries. The Romans and Byzantines spread Christianity and the Ottomans Islam. The Jews persevered through all. The Ottoman Sultans ruled over an ethnically and religiously diverse empire. Sultan Mehmed II in conquering Constantinople in 1543 entered a city that was in steep decline. The population had shrunk and the buildings deteriorating. While many churches, such as the Hagia Sophia, were converted to mosques, many remained as churches. He moved the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church and the Chief Rabbi to Constantinople. He invited, often forced, the Greeks, Genoese, Jews and others to repopulate the city. Sultan Bayazid II invited the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition into the Ottoman Empire. (Anti-Semitism arose in later centuries). The Sultan’s major advisors, such as Grand Viziars and the architect Sinan, and concubines, such as Suleiman the Magnificent’s wife Roxelana were non-Turkish. The Sultans could be ruthless, but they embraced a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious empire throughout their reign. The tolerance of religious minorities was continued by despotic dictators, such as Assad and Hussein. The House of Osman fell in 1923 and the Caliphate in 1924, creating a void. Some branches of Islam in the Mideast have increasingly become militant, espousing a narrow, intolerant interpretation of Islam. The Sunnis, for example, view the Shia as infidels. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda’s leader, was one such Muslim leader. Al Qaeda in Iraq sprang up in Iraq after the American invasion of the country. Militant Islam, the Islam of Osama bin Laden, is like a multi-headed hydra. Lop one head off, like Osama, and others spring up. ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) also known as ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant) is in turn an offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became its leader four years ago after his three predecessors were killed. Al-Baghdadi was ordained by Allah and released by America. Isis’ tenets include a strict adherence to Sharia Law and death to infidels, which include all non-Sunni Muslims. It does not believe in idolatry. Its methods and practices essentially combine the worst of the Khmer Rouge and the Taliban. Beheading infidels and defeated opponents is normal for them. Destroying temples and monuments, the cultural history of the world, shows obedience to Allah. ISIS is perfecting the barbarity of 3,000 years of Mideast history. President Obama said Russia was on the wrong side of history in invading the Crimea. Secretary of State Kerry said of the Russians “You just don’t in the 21st Century bring in 19th Century practices ….” Not to mention 20th Century practices – or 18th, 17th,16th, 15th, 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st Century practices. The sword and the scimitar have proven effective over the millennia. ISIS is using 21st Century weapons of war and communications to impose a narrow 7th Century vision of Islam onto the world – a vision which will suck the humanity out of the coerced adherents of their Islam. The President and Secretary of State possess a dangerously naïve view of the world. The fate of the religious minorities in this part of the Islamic world was shown by the initial attack on the inclusive Lebanon government in 1958. Lebanon had a Maronite Christian President, a Shia Speaker, and a Greek Orthodox Deputy Speaker/Deputy Prime Minister. President Eisenhower sent 5,000 Marines into Lebanon to restore peace to the country. A façade of peace lasted until the 16 year civil war unleashed in 1975. The majority population of Lebanon is now Muslim with the Hezbollah controlling much of the country. ISIS arose in Iraq, but grew in power as one of several rebel groups fighting the Assad Administration. It’s cachet as a Sunni Muslim group serving Allah while fighting Assad and the other infidels fueled its growth. Success is now fueling success as Islamicists globally flock to its black flag. ISIS is fighting for Allah. The ISIS fighters will die for Allah. The Obama Administration is fighting to stay out of Iraq. It's no contest.

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