Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Hey he’s wearing a watch. Isn’t he supposed to shun modernity? Or is he a two-bit fraud?
When I was around the age of 7, I had this habit of throwing tantrums whenever I didn’t get my way. My parents, in a broad coalition of the willing that included my two elder bros, immediately activated tantrum control protocol TC1962-1 – trying to make me laugh.
Most times, the protocol was a success since I was generally a happy kid who could be made to laugh quite easily. One bro just had to hold me down while the other tickled my ribs or the soles of my feet and I would dissolve into hysterics.
On certain occasions though, TC1962-1 didn’t work and TC1962-2 had to kick in – ignoring me completely. They all began pretending I didn’t exist. They drew a sort of invisible perimeter which if breached, I would get beaten up. They even stopped calling me by my name, referring to me in the third person instead, as ‘the little kiddo’.
Now that did work. I threw things and made an ass of myself for a little while but then I soon ran out of steam when I saw my mother laying the table with heaped plates of biryani. That was the end of my rebellion.
Sometimes being subtle and letting a trouble maker know he does not count, does not have an audience and does not impress you one bit, can neutralize him much faster than rising to his tantrums and starting a scrap or trying to punish him. Nothing deflates an ego faster than making it feel insignificant.
Unfortunately, for the great white man of the west, watching a middle-eastern upstart with a beard call himself ‘Caliph’ , scream Allah-o-Akbar, slit open a few white throats ear to ear and carve up a Quebec sized territory for himself, is just too much to bear.
If you hear a Christopher Lee-type chuckle with an Arabic accent, it is this upstart Caliph, the man who has created the two dreaded words, ‘Islamic State’. Up until now he has got exactly what he wanted. The great white man of the west has almost been on cue so far. The upstart invented the name and the west made the name legit, by repeating it over and over.
So here is my ‘open letter’ to Obama………….
The first step to quelling an insurgency is to give it a name you choose, not him. In this case, ‘Terrorist State’ would have been more apt. Naming an adversary with an unpleasant moniker can be a very effective snub. When the Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, delivered a rousing speech to his soldiers in the front-lines of the 1971 War with India, calling all Indians ‘dogs’, Indira Gandhi had a fitting response. She urged all Indians to name their dogs, ‘Bhutto’. Overnight we had thousands of dogs named Bhutto all over. The upshot? India sliced Pakistan in half.
Next, stop the rhetoric, curb the bluster, that ‘follow them to the gates of hell’ bullshit. It does not impress the upstart. It gives him a standing within his ‘community’. Stop making him look like a larger-than-life monster and more importantly, stop believing that he is. He isn’t. He is just one big stupid ar—-le.
Further, stop deluding yourself. Surgical air strikes seem like a glib modern term but it amazes me to see that you actually think mere surgical strikes will eradicate this vermin. Surgical strikes will only cause a surge in recruitment. Hasn’t history, very recent history, taught you that sustained bombing campaigns and drone attacks on militants do not work?
Then again, how many of your surgical strikes shall end up in ‘friendly fire’ casualties that make surgical strikes seem as if the surgery was done with blunt scalpels by sloshed surgeons and brushed off as ‘unfortunate unintended consequences’? You know very well that your soldiers are just bulls in designer shades and crew cuts, blundering through a china shop.
And please, stop depending upon those ‘friendly’ Arab states that you have cobbled together as yet another ‘coalition of the willing’. There are no friendly Arab states, only slimy opportunistic ones. They are pissing in their pants already. Behind your back they have begun cutting deals with the upstart so he will leave them alone. Like political commentator, Phyllis Bennis puts it, this is not a coalition of the willing, it is a ‘coalition for the killing’.
Stop arming the ‘moderates’. There are no moderates in the Arab world. Stop arming anybody. Build a virtual perimeter round the territory that you believe is governed by the Terrorist State. Institute a strict embargo. Nothing goes in and nothing comes out, except humanitarian aid. It will be a territory under siege. Freeze all trade and banking. Within that perimeter let them live the way they want. Leave them the f—k alone. Let them crow over the oilfields they own. Great. What are they going to do with the crude? Drink it?
Try to understand the ethos of the middle east. They have been and will be squabbling among themselves, killing each other for eons. A Sunni hates a Shia even more than a non-Muslim. Al-Baghdadi’s minions, when taking over Iraqi villages and towns, gave the Christians there the choice of converting but slaughtered the Shias without a second glance.
The upstart is just a two-bit schmuck who has not realized that there is no way that his megalomania can ever come true, no matter how many suckers blow themselves up for him. He does not understand that no matter how pure a form of existence he directs his followers to live, they are only human and they will sin. They will do drugs, they will use alcohol, they will f–k out of wedlock, they will rape little boys and they will covet western lifestyles.
And above all, do not negotiate ransoms or any other arrangement with hostage takers. The hostages were reporters and aid workers, adults who went in with their eyes open. It was a life they had chosen, knowing fully well the consequences and the risks, and sometimes, like in the case of James Folley, going repeatedly back, being kidnapped multiple times by the same kind of people. With real time news available free on the internet, journalists on the ground have become redundant. If they still chose to get in harm’s way, it was by their own free will.
Just lay siege and hang on. Ignore the m—er f—ers, pretend they don’t exist. Jam their internet and cut their communications. If your drones make a positive ID through human intelligence, by all means vaporize the bastard. Before long Al-Baghdadi and his killers will retreat into caves, haunted, the way old man Ayman Al Zawahari spends his days, watching his back.
The upstart has not yet realized that Islam, the way he sees it, is not a doable religion.