Politics, et Cetera

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

They Said It:

The story told in this book ended some four centuries ago, but is not without relevance to our own times.

The present writer has shown in another work [Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion] how closely the Nazi phantasy of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy of destruction is related to the phantasies that inspired Emico of Leningrad and the Master of Hungary; and how mass disorientation and insecurity have fostered the demonization of the Jew in this as in much earlier centuries.  The parallels and indeed the continuity are incontestable.

But one may also reflect on the leftwing revolutions and revolutionary movements of this century . . . Those who are fascinated by such ideas [egalitarian Millenarianism] are, on the one hand, the populations of certain technologically backward societies which are not only overpopulated and desperately poor but also involved in a problematic transition to the modern world, and are correspondingly dislocated and disoriented; and, on the other hand, certain politically marginal elements in technologically advanced societies – chiefly young and unemployed workers and a small minority of intellectuals and students . . .

During the half-century since 1917 there has been a constant repetition, and on an ever increasing scale, of the socio-psychological process which once joined the Taborite priests or Thomas Muntzer with the most disoriented and desperate of the poor, in phantasies of a final exterminatory struggle against “the great ones”; and of a perfect world from which self-seeking would be forever banished.

Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium, 1957.

 

WHAT ISIS WANTS AND WHY WE SHOULD GIVE IT TO THEM.

In the wake of the Islamist terrorist attacks on Paris, the American Left has developed a new strategy for avoiding ever having to do anything serious about Islamic terrorism or even, for that matter, to call it out by name.  As it turns out, doing anything – anything in retaliation for Paris, anything to preempt another attack, anything to address Islamic terrorism at its source, anything at all – is “what ISIS wants.”  And if ISIS wants something, heaven knows we should not do it.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.

As with many such memes, it seems that the whole business started with the President himself, who spent most of last week running around the globe demonstrating that the kind of unexplained episodes of criminality that occurred in Paris are capable of upsetting him, even to the point of causing him to lash out at the civilized world’s real enemies, i.e., the Republicans.  The Washington Post quotes our boorish and petty President from Manila as follows:

President Obama on Wednesday angrily accused Republicans of feeding into the Islamic State’s strategy of casting the United States as waging war on Muslims, saying the GOP’s rhetoric has become the most “potent recruitment tool” for the militant group . . . .

“I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate,” Obama said during a news conference at a leadership summit here, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

The president said that the group “seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the West, and when you start seeing individuals in position of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land that feeds the ISIL narrative.”

Obama wasn’t the only politician to make such charges, though.  As is her wont, Obama’s would-be successor, Hillary Clinton, saw an opportunity to pile on the Republicans and proceeded to do so, using almost exactly the same words to express exactly the same sentiment, i.e. ISIS is bad, but the Republicans REALLY suck:

The obsession in some quarters with a “clash of civilizations” or repeating the specific words “Radical Islamic Terrorism” is not just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers, more standing than they deserve and it actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side.

Unfortunately, as is often the case these days, the mainstream press took its cue from the Democratic leaders and marched off obediently to use almost exactly the same words to express exactly the same sentiment – over and over and over again.  CNN’s least-original-thinker, Sally Kohn, tweeted “Y’all realize ISIS wants to provoke a war, right?  If we go to war, we’re doing exactly what the terrorists want.”  The left-ish Huffington Post insisted that “the West is giving ISIS exactly what it wants.”  And the Los Angeles Times even went after the French, still reeling from the massacre, insisting that they too were playing into ISIS’s grubby, blood-soaked hands, publishing an op-ed from renowned liberal law professor Bruce Ackerman insisting just that, from a legalistic, rather than moral position:

In calling for a war against Islamic State, French President Francois Hollande is engaging in a tragically counterproductive enterprise.  Under international law, “war” can only exist between sovereign states.  Hollande is rashly giving Islamic State precisely what it wants: legal recognition.

Such a move would not only represent a profound defeat for the West in the war of ideas; it would also have immediate practical consequences.

Like we said, to Obama and his assorted friends and flatterers in the media and academia, doing anything at all is “giving ISIS what it wants” or “letting the terrorists win.”  All of which is to say that it is far better NOT to do anything.  Why, after all, should we upset the bad guys?  Maybe if we just keep our heads down and shut up, they’ll forget we’re even here?  “Shelter in place” can be more than just a short-term, emergency tactic.  It can be a foreign policy strategy.  Just be nice and speak in calm, soothing tones, and everything will be fine.  Right? . . . .

Right?

Now, as you may have guessed, we’re skeptical of this emergent strategy offered by the liberal establishment.  It’s not that we object in principle to the proposition of doing nothing in the face of certain alleged “crises.”  Indeed, we’re big fans of Silent Cal’s famous observation that “four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear, if we would only sit down and keep still.”

In this case, however, the impulse to do nothing and to do it out of fear of “giving ISIS what it wants” ignores everything we have learned about ISIS since it rose from the ignominy of “jayvee team” status.  To be more specific, there are several significant problems with the Left’s passive strategy.  The first and most obvious of these is that it presumes that the Islamic State’s leaders are rational actors pursuing rational ends.  In a public choice sense, this may be true, which is to say that the Islamic State, like any actor, has a list of outcome preferences and is taking the actions it believes are most likely to maximize these outcomes.  In a real-world sense, however, the supposition relies on the notion that the members of the Islamic State have preferences that might mirror ours.  And that’s just nuts.

Consider, if you will, the case of Osama bin Laden.  He, we presume, had a great, long list of preferred outcomes.  And while we won’t even pretend to speculate on the entire list, we can safely say that “martyrdom” was right up near the top.  After 9/11, the U.S. military destroyed bin Laden’s terrorist network.  It demolished his safe-haven.  It crushed his state-within-a-state.  It killed his friends, seized his assets, and forced him into hiding.  Before long, the global jihad was led by others, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for one.  By all reasonable measures, the United States won the war against al Qaeda and won it decisively, even if it lost the peace.  Bin Laden was unable ever to mount another attack against the West and died in unkempt home surrounded by stacks of low-rent porn.

And yet, he died a “martyr.”  Does this mean he “won?”  Does it mean that the United States should never have responded to 9/11, that it should have avoided “giving bin Laden exactly what he wants?”

Consider as well the case of Mullah Mohammed Omar.  He was, at one point in time, the supreme leader of the Taliban and the “Emir” of Afghanistan.  And then, some jerk that he knew from the old days and who just happened to live and train in Omar’s emirate, killed a bunch of Americans.  Before all was said and done, Omar was living in caves, saw his house and his 10 year-old son blown up, saw invaders take his country and crush his holy regime, took a job as a potato merchant, and then died alone from TB.  Did he win?  Was it worth it?

From a Western perspective, bin Laden’s war and Mullah Omar’s complicity in that war were disastrous, not only for the two men, but for their organizations, their causes, and their religion.  But that’s not to say that they weren’t “successful” from Osama’s and Omar’s perspective.  In the end, they both died protecting their faith and both should, therefore, have been welcomed to heaven by 72 Golden Raisins.  To them, that’s victory, isn’t it?

Regular readers will, of course, recognize this as the fallacy of “mirror-imaging,” a delusion to which the contemporary Left is especially susceptible.  We discussed mirror-imaging in some detail in a series of pieces in the spring of 2014, detailing the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures with respect to Russia.  In those pieces, we quoted heavily from, among others, Richard Pipes, the distinguished Harvard professor of Russian history, who also happens to be the father of our old friend, the equally distinguished Middle East analyst and historian, Daniel Pipes.

The senior Dr. Pipes also had the great distinction of heading “Team B,” the outside group of analysts and experts assembled by the CIA in the late 1970s to assess and evaluate the Agency’s internal intelligence estimates on the Soviet Union.  Dr. Pipes and his team famously found the CIA’s analysis lacking and suggested a different course, one which would form the foundations of the Reagan administration’s successful efforts to defeat Soviet communism and raise the Iron Curtain.  Pipes explained the Agency’s shortcomings as follows:

Now he who speculates on the motives of others can proceed in one of two ways.  He can ask himself: (1) given what I know of these people, what can be on their mind?; or (2) if I were in their shoes, why would I do what I observe them doing?  Clearly, the first of these approaches is preferable.  It is also the more difficult because it requires knowledge of alien cultures and psychologies, not to speak of an effort of the imagination.  If we add to this difficulty the fact that the scientists and engineers entrusted with responsibility for preparing these estimates tend to belittle the influence of cultural factors on human behavior, it is hardly surprising that the U.S. intelligence community, in assessing Soviet strategic programs, has relied heavily on the second approach, popularly known as “mirror-imaging.”  This practice attributes to others one’s own motives and intentions on the unspoken assumption that these alone are “normal” or “rational.”  “Mirror-imaging” is the very antithesis of the scientific method which seeks to eliminate personal and subjective factors from the process of observation and analysis.  Yet, paradoxically, it is precisely how scientists are likely to proceed once they leave the realm of the exact sciences.

A Nation’s intelligence community reflects the habits of thought of its educated elite from whose ranks it is recruited and on whom it depends for intellectual sustenance.  The CIA is no exception.  Its analytic staff, filled with American Ph.D.’s in the natural and social sciences along with engineers, inevitably shares the outlook of U.S. academe, with its penchant for philosophical positivism, cultural agnosticism, and political liberalism.  The special knowledge which it derives from classified sources is mainly technical; the rest of its knowledge, as well as the intellectual equipment which it brings to bear on the evidence, comes from academia.

What’s happening in this case is, obviously, even worse than that which Dr. Pipes described.  Outside, perhaps, of Bruce Ackerman, none of the critics insisting that we’re “giving ISIS exactly what it wants” has any academic or intellectual qualification at all to make such an analysis.  Barack Obama, of course, is a former “community organizer” and part-time law professor.  Sally Kohn was also a community organizer, shockingly enough.  And as for Hillary Clinton, as we know, her greatest accomplishment in life is being her husband’s wife.  All of which is to say that the mirror-imaging done in this case is substantively less authentic even than the group-think that dominated the intelligence community in the 1970s.  It amounts to little more than wishful thinking and partisan posturing.

A second, related problem with the desire to avoid “giving ISIS what it wants” is the notion that what ISIS wants is necessarily going to be good for it.  The presumption in all of this is that if the Islamic State wants something, the West must, by definition, want the opposite.  Again, this is logically fallacious.  A course of action is not necessarily wrong for the West simply because the Islamic State thinks that it is right for its caliphate.  The Islamic State may well be completely wrong about what it thinks it wants.  Like all global actors, the Islamic State operates with imperfect information.  And given the fact that this particular band of radical Salafists considers the 8th century to be the ideal historical era, it is entirely possible – if not likely – that the Islamic State actually has less perfect information than most contemporary actors.  In any case, history is replete with examples of global actors getting what they want and it turning out to be disastrous for them.  Think, for example, of Hitler and the invasion of Mother Russia he so desired.  How’d that work out for him?  Writing for National Review Online, Charles C.W. Cooke makes the argument quite bluntly:

All in all, this is a peculiar way of looking at this question, not least because it presumes that ISIS’s calculations must inevitably be correct.  It is certainly true that one of the outfit’s central aims is to shock the West to such a remarkable degree that its people begin to generalize about Islam, and, thereby, to alienate and radicalize the moderate Muslims who live among them.  It is true, too, that ISIS and its ilk hope to set up a broader fight with the world’s liberal democracies, and, ultimately, to parlay that fight into the establishment of an expansionary global caliphate.  But for us to acknowledge these risks is not necessarily to place them above all else.  For as long as men have fought one another, there have always been downsides to the use of both military and government force.  As such, the question before us today is not “Are there any drawbacks?” but “How do those drawbacks stack up in context?”

As is often the case with foreign affairs, I am not entirely sure what the best answer is here, and in consequence am happy to hear a wide range of opinions from those who know better.  What I am not prepared to do, however, is to accept without challenge the suggestion that the nasty little buggers who just wiped out scores of free people should get to call the shots going forward.  Upon closer investigation, it might well turn out that there are more efficient ways of eradicating ISIS than taking them on head-first.  Likewise, we may discover that restricting the flow of refugees to the United States does little more than annoy the very people whom we need on our side.  But for us to arrive at either of those conclusions, the arguments in their favor will have to be presented from the ground up.  Merely asserting that a particular reaction is “what ISIS wants” will not cut it.  Sometimes in life, we have to accept that a third party wants a fight and that there is no other choice but to give it to them — yes, even if that fight is likely to be messy and costly, and to have a series of potential downsides.  Determining whether this is one of those times will take more than idle sloganeering.

Unfortunately for us – and for the rest of the world – “idle sloganeering” is precisely what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and their obeisant media do best.

The final and perhaps most important reason why refusal to “give ISIS what it wants” is a poor substitute for an actual coherent strategy is a sort of culmination of all that we know about ISIS and therefore of all that we know about what ISIS might want.  When the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton insist that the Islamic State “wants” a war, or that it wants to drive a wedge between the West and Islam, convincing both sides to fear and resent the other, they are discussing mere tactics.  Some of these tactics, of course, are pure horse hockey, meaning that they are tactics that Obama or Clinton dreamed up and which they think sound reasonable.  Others are likely the Islamic State’s actual tactics, the real, intelligence-verified plans used by the radicals in pursuit of their ends.  But that’s the catch right there.  They are means used in pursuit of the ends.  They aren’t the ends themselves.

The interesting thing is that we don’t actually have to look, think, or investigate very long or hard to discover what the Islamic State’s “ends” really are.  They’ve told us what they want.  Over and over and over, they’ve told us.  And the only reason that the Barack Obamas and Hillary Clintons of the world focus on tactics is because their ideology does not allow them to acknowledge the bigger picture, the “ends” toward which those tactics are directed.  Yes, the Islamic State wants a “new caliphate.”  And yes, it wants a clash of civilizations between the decadent West and the devout Islamic world.  And yes, it wants to expand its holdings and the global ummah . . . and everything Muslim imperialists have wanted for 1,500 years.  But again, that’s all prelude to what it really wants.  And what it really wants is the Apocalypse.

Last spring, over a span of a couple of weeks, we discussed the Islamic State and its true ends, namely its desire to bring about the “end of days.”  We cited a long, exhaustively researched, and very well received article from The Atlantic, penned by Graeme Wood.  As others – notably the blogger Tom Maguire – have noted, this piece is relevant again, as we are treated to endless discussion of “what ISIS wants.”  As a reminder, Wood noted the following:

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic.  Very Islamic.  Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe.  But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail.  Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do.  But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. . . .

For certain true believers — the kind who long for epic good-versus-evil battles — visions of apocalyptic bloodbaths fulfill a deep psychological need.  Of the Islamic State supporters I met, Musa Cerantonio, the Australian, expressed the deepest interest in the apocalypse and how the remaining days of the Islamic State — and the world — might look.  Parts of that prediction are original to him, and do not yet have the status of doctrine.  But other parts are based on mainstream Sunni sources and appear all over the Islamic State’s propaganda.  These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.

The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo.  It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when (at great cost) it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains.  It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp.  The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo or its Antietam. . . .

Now that it has taken Dabiq, the Islamic State awaits the arrival of an enemy army there, whose defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse. . . .

After its battle in Dabiq . . . the caliphate will expand and sack Istanbul.  Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth, but Cerantonio suggested its tide may never reach beyond the Bosporus.  An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem.  Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus — the second-most-revered prophet in Islam — will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.

As it just so happens, we have made the study of contemporary and historical millenarian movements one of the focuses of our work over the past couple of decades.  Between Norman Cohn (The Pursuit of the Millennium, Cosmos Chaos and the World to Come) and Eric Voegelin (The New Science of Politics, Hitler and the Germans) we have covered the 20th century’s greatest thinkers on the subject at length, penning at least a couple dozen pieces on the subject over the years.

We certainly would never try to pass ourselves off as experts on the subject of millenarian movements, but we have learned a few things over the years.  And among the things we’ve learned is the absolute incontrovertible fact that millenarian movements are pure fantasies, pipedreams fashioned from desperation and confusion in the midst of social, political, and economic upheaval.  Millenarian movements cannot achieve their ends, of course, because their ends are unachievable.  Heaven on earth – be it a religious or secular Utopia – is not going to happen, now or ever.  It is, quite simply, an impossibility.

Given this, one would assume that the powers that be in the West would actually want nothing more than to confront the millenarians and to demonstrate to them and especially to their followers that what they want is not possible, thereby exposing the Utopian fantasy for the fabrication that it is.  And yet our leaders – Obama, Clinton, etc. – not only do not confront the Islamic State, but make an effort NOT to confront it.

As best we can tell, there are three possible reasons why a political leader would choose NOT to confront a millenarian movement.  It is possible that he is simply so ill-informed about the nature of millenarianism in general or the movement in particular as not to understand what it is happening or what  the stakes are.  It is possible that he is unwilling to confront the millenarian ideology because to do so would conflict with his own ideology.  And it is possible that he is either sympathetic to or afraid of the movement, which is to say that he believes its ultimate ends are possible and either wants to see them achieved or is afraid of contributing to their realization.

Out of kindness but against our better judgment, we’ll presume that in the case of Barack Obama, only the first two apply.  It doesn’t really matter, though, because a failure to confront the millenarian movement, whatever the reason, means that the movement will, despite its preposterousness, nonetheless persist.  The Brethren of the Free Spirit did not simply vanish into thin air.  They were, over the course of centuries, confronted and disbanded by the established religious and political authorities.  The Anabaptists and the Zwickau Prophets did not simply give up their utopian egalitarian ends and go back to their lords’ farms.  They were defeated – and slaughtered by tens of thousands – by the German aristocracy.  The Nazis did not voluntarily surrender their thousand year Reich.  They were defeated, pummeled into submission by American, British, and Soviet forces.  The Soviet Marxists did not abandon their dreams of a “workers’ paradise.”  They saw that paradise destroyed in front of their very eyes.

This last example, we think, is particularly relevant.  Recall that the Cold War was not won until Ronald Reagan was elected president and insisted on victory.  It is fashionable on the Left today to dismiss Reagan’s efforts to defeat the Soviets, to leave “Marxism and Leninism on the ashbin of history.”  He was lucky, they say.  He benefitted from the pure historical coincidence of having been in office as Marxist economics brought the whole business to a crashing halt.  Reagan was hardly alone in spotting Marxism’s economic troubles, they insist.  Others, notably Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized what Reagan recognized, yet they claim no credit for any special insight.

All of this is pure historical revisionism  The smart set – which included everyone from the foreign policy establishment to the mainstream media to official Washington and indeed most of the rest of the West as well – assumed that the Soviets were both indomitable and, moreover, not worth the trouble anyway.  Reagan felt differently, of course, and he said so.  Moreover, Reagan had the backing of the aforementioned “Team B,” which had dispensed with the ridiculous and counter-productive “mirror-imaging” and described the Soviets for what they really were, quasi-religious zealots intent on achieving their Utopian state regardless of the costs.

Reagan, in turn, understood intrinsically what all this meant and thus attacked the Soviets at their ideological core.  He purposefully and bluntly called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” and warned that to pretend otherwise was to be complicit it that evil, to “remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.”

Here’s what we know.  The Islamic State is a millenarian enterprise motivated by a millenarian ideology.  But that ideology is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, unique to ISIS.  Indeed, the millenarian ideology is, almost without question, the ascendant religious interpretation in Islam today.  The contemporary manifestation of the Islamic millenarian ideology predates the Islamic States by several decades.

Without question, the best known Islamic millenarian prophet is the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the Iranian Shiite revolution, established contemporary state-sponsored terrorism, and founded the world’s first so-called “Islamic Republic.”  Khomeini was hardly alone, however.  His lesser-known, but perhaps more important Sunni counterpart was Sayyid Qutb, the second great philosopher of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the principal advocate of the modern-day caliphate, and the founding father of the global jihad.

Qutb was a virulent and aggressive opponent of the colonial order.  In his opposition to what he saw as Western/Christian imperialism, Qutb sanctioned violence in God’s name.  He was also an unyielding critic of the contemporary world, advocating a return to a better, holier time.  In short, Qutb championed what Norman Cohn called the “Golden Age irrecoverably lost in the distant past,” but soon to be replaced by a Golden Age “preordained for the immediate future.”  In 2003, the author Paul Berman noted the following about Qutb and his pursuit of this “Golden Age:”

Qutb’s vanguard was going to reinstate shariah, the Muslim code, as the legal code for all of society.  Shariah implied some fairly severe rules.  Qutb cited the Koran on the punishments for killing or wounding: ‘‘a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear.’’  Fornication, too, was a serious crime because, in his words, ‘‘it involves an attack on honor and a contempt for sanctity and an encouragement of profligacy in society.’’  Shariah specified the punishments here as well.  ‘‘The penalty for this must be severe; for married men and women it is stoning to death; for unmarried men and women it is flogging, a hundred lashes, which in cases is fatal.’’  False accusations were likewise serious.  ‘‘A punishment of 80 lashes is fixed for those who falsely accuse chaste women.’’  As for those who threaten the general security of society, their punishment is to be put to death, to be crucified, to have their hands and feet cut off, or to be banished from the country.

Qutb, of course, was inspiration for a great many Muslims both of his generation and the succeeding one, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s philosophical guide and the current head of that formerly dominant organization.  The fact of the matter is that the Islamist movement we see today, and especially the jihadist aspects of that movement, constitute and ideology derived directly from the philosophy and teachings of Qutb and filtered through the likes of Zawahiri and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

What all of this tells us, unfortunately, is that the Millenarian Islam is not going to be defeated any time soon.  The Islamic State’s fortunes may wax and wane in its pursuit of a caliphate, but the underlying ideology will remain and will be alluring to young Muslims as long as it seems plausible.  In order to eradicate this allure, the leaders of the not-so-free-world will have to confront the ideology directly.  This is not to say that they will necessarily have to go to war against the millenarians.  But it is to say that they will have, at least, to acknowledge the Islamic nature of the ideology and demonstrate its utter fraudulence, none of which our political leaders are willing or able to do today.

All of this is complicated, we should add, by the fact that the Islamic State is hardly the only Islamist power that must be confronted in order to expose the hopelessness of the ideology.  The Islamic Republic of Iran will also have to be confronted, since it shares the Islamic State’s millenarianism, albeit with some of the details changed to support a Shiite interpretation.

At present, Barack Obama has negotiated a peace of sorts with the Iranians and is in the process of refilling their erstwhile empty coffers with hundreds of billions of dollars.  Moreover, the United States and other Western powers, not to mention the Russians, seem to believe that Iran is an “ally” in the fight against the Islamic State.  And while it may be true that the Iranians would like very much to crush the Islamic State, they do so not because they oppose millenarianism, but because they wish to impose their own version of it on the Islamic world.

Unless and until a Western leader arises who is willing to confront the Islamic Millenarian ideology directly, that ideology will persist in some form or another, causing unrest and war throughout the Middle East and perpetrating terrorist murder throughout the rest of the world.  The ideology must be named, confronted, and exposed.  And only then will the Islamic State and its successors have what they really want, much to their utter shame and humiliation.

In the meantime, get ready for a rough ride.

Copyright 2015. The Political Forum. 3350 Longview Ct, Lincoln, NE  68506, tel. 402-261-3175, fax 402-261-3175. All rights reserved. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from recognized services, issuer reports or communications, or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us, and we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness, and we are not responsible for typographical errors. Any statements nonfactual in nature constitute only current opinions which are subject to change without notice.