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“Will you station police-officers at every henroost; and keep them watching and cruising incessantly to and fro over the Parish, in the unwholesome dark, at enormous expense, with almost no effect: or will you not try rather to discover where the fox’s den is, and kill the fox?” – Thomas Carlyle.
I’ve just come across an article (published on World Net Daily) advocating the use of tactical nuclear weapons against the very much Islamic State. The author of the piece – Larry Klayman – justifies his position thus…
“If we really want to destroy ISIS” he writes “…and set an example for other radical Muslims and the Putins of the world to fear us and leave us in peace, we must use the tools that can do this. Put simply, we should employ tactical nuclear weapons to wipe out the enemy. We cannot worry that Islamic civilians will be killed in the process. In the end this strategy, as was true of the Japanese in World War II, saves not just American but Muslim lives as well.”
I don’t know much about Mr Klayman or his background. If he is a Christian (as he implies elsewhere in the article) he ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself. There are Christians in ISIS controlled territory (some of whom descend from the earliest generations of the church) desperately struggling to survive, desperate to ensure their faith stays alive in the cradle of its first vitality. To drop a nuclear weapon on that kind of situation (or even to advocate it) is the lowest Talibanic barbarism.
Still, I will agree with Klayman that drastic measures need to be considered. And while nuclear weapons are clearly too large and clumsy to achieve a moral end, there are other high-yield, non-radioactive weapons that might fit the bill.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast device (or MOAB – to give it its mock-biblical acronym) has an explosive power exact to 11 tons of TNT. Properly deployed, the weapon can flatten a neighbourhood, a strategic headquarters or a spread out training camp, all the while leaving surrounding areas perfectly in tact. These bombs have rarely been used in modern combat, if at all, since the conditions that would recommend their use have never before arisen. They have now.
I believe that ISIS represents the first post-WWII conflict in which very intense firepower can play a constructive (if you’ll allow that phrase in this context) and effective role. Innocent people are crying out to us for relief, and we are plainly failing to supply it.
It is clear to any reasonable person that simply fighting the tentacles of ISIS when they choose to unfurl is a foolish game, and one that fails to yield any lasting reward. Bombs of high explosive power dropped on known regime headquarters (which can be exactly ascertained by satellites) is the only way to substantially degrade the potential of ISIS to wage war. Nuclear weapons will only kill the citizens we wish to protect. Light, conventional weapons (JDAMS and the like) are pin pricks. There is a happy middle-ground to be occupied if we develop the moral courage to do so.
As to a general strategy, we should make be making placing greater emphasis on local anti-ISIS forces. While Islamic State has yet to openly threaten the Israelis, a photo-shopped propaganda picture released last month shows a column of ISIS trucks advancing towards the walls of Jerusalem. It is painfully obvious that ISIS fosters genocidal ambitions towards the Jewish State and so pre-emptive air raids by Israel would surely be greeted by the world as both justified and heroic.
To repeat my core argument, we cannot win by simply reacting to ISIS movements and fighting battles at the time and location of their choosing. The headquarters of ISIS must be attacked with overwhelming force. As Mr Klayman was right to say, we cannot be obsessively concerned with civilian casualties when such people are being randomly killed anyway.
Let’s fight ISIS – and fight like we want to win.
Defend the Modern World said:
As I’ve written before, I would support the use of nuclear weapons where appropriate. For example, it would be the only way to face down Russia if they grow more belligerent, or Saudi, Iran or Pakistan if they threaten us with nukes. In this context, we have enemy forces closely entangled with the civilians we want to help. I believe in cultural solidarity. Muslims help out other Muslims. The West should help other kaffir.
AJ Liberphile said:
Agreed. I wouldn’t describe current bombing efforts as even half-hearted. How can Islamic State be still operating oil facilities? ‘Anti-IS’ forces don’t appear to be trying very hard at all.
Defend the Modern World said:
We can’t trust the Saudis at all. Why are we even allied to them in this case? ISIS is a product of Saudi preaching.
I don’t understand the point of fighting IS. If we are fighting them because people are being oppressed and killed for not being Muslims then surely we should be fighting quite a number of Muslim countries that proscribe the death penalty for apostasy for example. If its because we are defending Christians then why aren’t we defending Christians in other Muslim countries? Why didn’t we intervene in all the various places in Africa where such things happen?
If the reasoning is that they have threatened the West then surely we should be attacking Iran as well, they have long been screaming Death to America. wikipedia shows a photo of a mural with the enscription on it in Tehran:
I don’t think mere threats are enough of a reason to go to war. It seems far more alarming to me that Obama is trying to give nuclear technology to the same country with such a large and prominent mural displayed in its capital city. Israel may be threatened by IS but its threatened by Iran and Hamas as well. There is a demographic time bomb ticking away in Palestine.
It seems to me Iraq is falling apart because the country is full of groups of people who cannot get along with each other. The boundaries were just lines drawn on a map without any reflection on reality. Saddam Hussein merely kept the lid on the tensions for a long time. Wouldn’t it be better to just let the region sort itself out? If a Sunni region of Iraq breaks away and forms a new smaller country then it might even bring some stability to the area in the long run. Of course the atrocities are terrible, they are designed to make the West angry and attack, but maybe attacking is the worst response. It might even increase anti-Western hostility in other nearby countries and destabilise them, leading to the very worst nightmare – the emergence of a Sunni super-state in the region. Surely its better to quietly support the other states to stop this happening.
Is the plan to keep a feeble and unpopular government in place in a divided country? What will that achieve in the long run? I don’t think we can defeat IS without ground troops anyway. If the plan was to invade again and this time divide the country up into more stable regions, then that might make some sense, but it would add greatly to anti-Western hostility. The current approach is not going to work. Bombing training camps wont work they will just come up with some way of disguising them or training in other ways. There’s enough fighting going on for them to learn on the job as it were anyway. One thing is clear enough, these people do not love life, the threat of death is not a deterrence.
Defend the Modern World said:
For me, the logic in defeating ISIS is to make an example of them. ISIS feel they are backed by the creator of the Universe. It is our job to show them (and their prospective members elsewhere) otherwise.
I think that the IS is more of the threat to the Muslim countries than to the West. It’s primarily their threat and they should deal with it.
The Islamic State(IS) is a self proclaimed Caliphate. All their actions so far are consistent with this designation.
The goals of this neo-Caliphate are clear, for they hope to mimic the original Caliphate and are as follows.
1. Unite all (Sunni) Muslims and Muslim lands under one government.
2. Eliminate all heretics, especially the ‘Rafida’ Shia, particularly the impudent Shia state of Iran.
3. Use the resources & manpower of this united Muslim state to launch a war of conquest, starting with the nations on the borderlands, with special attention to Israel and India.
This is as ridiculous as today’s Mongol tribes reuniting to launch a war of global conquest like Genghis Khan, but at the same time it’s not as ridiculous because of the broad mainstream moderate Muslim support for such a goal (in abstract.)
Now, the goal 1 should be threatening to the existing Sunni Arab Monarchies, particularly Saudi Arabia, for although the IS is the ideological child of Saudi Salafi Wahabbism, they differ from the ‘mainstream’ Wahabbis in that they reject subservience to the Saudi Royals.
The IS have already declared a Khalifa or vice-regent of Allah and so the Saudi Royals are in effect rebels and interlopers against this divinely sanctioned authority, and an obstacle in the path to a Global Islamic State.
And, because the Saudi funding and encouragement of a literal interpretation of Islam is one of the root causes of this upsurge in religiosity & extremism in the Sunni Muslim world, it would be delicious poetic justice if the Saudis are hoisted on their own petards and made to taste their own medicine and suffer as they they’ve made others suffer because of the climate of intolerance and violence that the Saudis have actively funded and encouraged.
Also, a Global Islamic Caliphate should definitely have the Holy Cities of Mecca & Medina under their control or they lose all legitimacy in the eyes of the average Muslim. Imagine the turmoil in the Muslim world should this conquest actually happen.
Goal 2 is also a direct & an existential threat to the ‘Death to America! Death to the Jews’ sloganeering Shia state of Iran. The stupid mullahs who rule Iran are one of the main culprits who released the genie of political Islam out of the box, and it’s ironic that the Sunni political Islamists are their existential foe & not the ‘Zionists’ or the Americans according to the Ayatollah’s propaganda.
Moreover, for the IS to achieve goals 1 & 2 itself will take decades (if it ever achieves it) and in the process would create enormous divisions, turmoil and bloodshed in the Muslim world.
The average mainstream Muslim today is more and more convinced that Islam is the perfect ideology and the a society based on pure Islam and its laws will bring an utopia on Earth.
The turmoil that the IS would cause in the Muslim world in achieving this dream would put an end to such dangerous fantasies, once they start realizing that the root cause of this turmoil is the belief that Islam is ‘perfect’.
Already the turmoil of sectarian conflict is making many Iraqis skeptical of religion, imagine, what would happen to the Islamist’s cause if this skepticism spreads across the Muslim world and the Salafis are looked as upon as kooks instead of heroes & martyrs. (Just like the trauma of the Second World War makes the Western world look at any overt racists with askance & contempt)
So goal no 3 is almost never going to happen. The overt actions of the IS, (unlike the covert and stealthy actions ,like demographic conquest, of the Islamists of the Wahabbi or Muslim brotherhood variety) has a chance to reduce support to Islamism within the Muslim world and alert the non-Muslim world.
The IS is a realization of an ideology that considers Islam and Islamic systems to be perfect and not subject to alteration or improvement. As long as this thought remains prevalent within the Muslim world, organizations like the IS will keep popping-up.
So, I would have the non-Muslim world, especially the West, NOT interfere, not waste their treasure and the blood of their soldiers, wasted in a conflict, where the real beneficiaries of the IS’s destruction, the Gulf monarchies and Iran, will never be grateful to the Kafirs and once the threat of IS is eliminated, would further fund and encourage anti-Western organizations. Let them reap what their own ideology has sown . They deserve it.
Defend the Modern World said:
And what about the increasingly irreligious Kurds, or the Christians, Yazidis, Israelis?… If IS destroy governments across the Islamic world, then the region will become a theatre of chaos. I’m aware that this would be bad publicity for Islam, but is that really worth it? The refugee crisis would get much worse, leading to a great enlargement of the Muslim population of Europe. Israel would be forced into an endless conflict. The oil economy would be upended and an economic crash would follow soon after. Is that worth it?
There isn’t even evidence that IS want to attack Saudi. They are more likely to go for the Shia parts of Iraq. I hope they do, and that Iran-backed militias destroy them.
A large portion of America’s economy is said to be owned by Saudi royals. America would almost certainly intervene to protect them, leading to a far greater loss of blood and treasure.
The Western economy depends upon Middle Eastern stability and the free flow of oil. You don’t think we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan out of the goodness of our hearts? It had to do with pipelines, natural gas and breaking up the monopoly of OPEC. It even involves the Russians.
Finally, for all their battlefield success, ISIS are a force of maybe 20,000 soldiers. Given continued air support, the Iraqis/Iranians will win. If not, the Saudi and Gulf militaries will work with the Jordanians, Egyptians and Americans to repel them. The idea of IS capturing Mecca and Medina is fanciful. The only people truly vulnerable to IS are defenceless Christians, atheistic Kurds and pseudo/non-Islamic Yazidis. To allow them to be slaughtered just to make a point is savage.
We can continue to use the crimes of ISIS to expose Islam long after ISIS are broken into pieces. There has been so much beheading, amputating, rape and torture that we have all the evidence we need of what Islam looks like in practice.
Defend the Modern World said:
ISIS will be defeated soon enough. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.
1. And what about the increasingly irreligious Kurds, or the Christians, Yazidis, Israelis?
Support and arm an independent Kurdistan! The non-Muslim populations of the Middle East, which are tiny, can easily be accommodated in Kurdistan and later given refuge in the West.
They could become the most Islamo-aware immigrants and could significantly dent the Islamophilia of the leftists in the West.
2. If IS destroy governments across the Islamic world, then the region will become a theatre of chaos. I’m aware that this would be bad publicity for Islam, but is that really worth it? The refugee crisis would get much worse, leading to a great enlargement of the Muslim population of Europe.
Why is it automatically assumed that refugees from the Middle East have a free pass to European citizenship?
Attitudes in Europe are already hardening against the Muslims. The Leftists are in control now, but for how long?
If a major Western country like Australia could have a sensible policy towards ‘asylum seekers’, how long will it be for Europe to catch-up?
3. Israel would be forced into an endless conflict.
Israel is already in an endless conflict!
4.The oil economy would be upended and an economic crash would follow soon after. Is that worth it?
I think that we are already at the beginning of the end of the oil economy.
Please read this great and very informative but long article by Tim Urban.
A conflict in the Middle East would only give impetus to the oil-dependent economies to invest more into non-oil energy alternatives. It’s science is solid. The technology is already here. It just needs more political will and investment. Also, not all oil is in the Middle East.
5. There isn’t even evidence that IS want to attack Saudi. They are more likely to go for the Shia parts of Iraq. I hope they do, and that Iran-backed militias destroy them.
Let the ‘Death to America and Death to Israel’ Iranians do the job and take the casualties. Let them learn a lesson as to who their real enemies are.
6. A large portion of America’s economy is said to be owned by Saudi royals. America would almost certainly intervene to protect them, leading to a far greater loss of blood and treasure.
So do the Chinese and the Japanese. If the Saudis are forced to liquidate their American holdings, it will be at a loss. And thus a gain to any other investors picking them up at bargain prices.
Moreover, American opinion against the Saudis is hardening against the Saudis. Many American opinion makers have started to realize the truth about their two-faced ‘ally’.
The recent rapprochement towards Iran, which happened in-spite of vehement Saudi protests, is a sign that America is beginning to ignore the Saudis.
Also, most Americans have not forgotten the fact that the 9-11 attacks were financed and manned by the Saudis, their ‘ally’ and not Iran, their ‘enemy’.
Also, the imminent end of the oil economy, which is very feasible, in my opinion, (see point 4), will further weaken the position of the Saudis with the Americans.
7. The Western economy depends upon Middle Eastern stability and the free flow of oil. You don’t think we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan out of the goodness of our hearts? It had to do with pipelines, natural gas and breaking up the monopoly of OPEC. It even involves the Russians.
Not for long!. See Tim Urban’s article again.
8. Finally, for all their battlefield success, ISIS are a force of maybe 20,000 soldiers. Given continued air support, the Iraqis/Iranians will win. If not, the Saudi and Gulf militaries will work with the Jordanians, Egyptians and Americans to repel them.
Even less reason for the West to get involved. Let the Saudis and Turks deal with it, if they have the will. If not, then we should ask the question, loudly and publicly, why not?
9. The idea of IS capturing Mecca and Medina is fanciful.
Yes. It is fanciful. But I wish they attempt to do it. Let the Islamists’ chickens come home to roost.
10. The only people truly vulnerable to IS are defenceless Christians, atheistic Kurds and pseudo/non-Islamic Yazidis. To allow them to be slaughtered just to make a point is savage.
Kurdistan. Asylum in the West. (Better quality immigrants than the Somalis and other ‘migrants’)
11. We can continue to use the crimes of ISIS to expose Islam long after ISIS are broken into pieces.
Like I said, the Saudi will fund another ISIS after the current one is broken into pieces. There is no point in destroying an organization, unless it’s ideology is destroyed.
12. There has been so much beheading, amputating, rape and torture that we have all the evidence we need of what Islam looks like in practice.
There are no bad people, but only people with bad ideas. Let the bad ideas be exposed for all the world to see and to ridicule.
Defend the Modern World said:
The Israelis are winning the war against Palestinian terrorism. They don’t need a war against ISIS in Syria to replace it.
In time, ISIS will re-arm, reorganise itself and launch more attacks on the Kurds.
We are certainly finding other sources of oil and new forms of energy, but we have a long way to go before we can say goodbye to OPEC. The reality is we still need some semblance of stability in the Middle East.
1. The Israelis are winning the war against Palestinian terrorism. They don’t need a war against ISIS in Syria to replace it.
The IS’s clear goal is to deal with the internal enemy (Shias, apostates and non-practicing secular nominal Sunnis) first and then deal with the external enemies, starting with Israel.
2. In time, ISIS will re-arm, reorganize itself and launch more attacks on the Kurds.
The IS battlefield successes and ‘Magnificent’ victories have been so far only against Shia armies defending Sunni cities. The Shia soldiers of the Iraqi and Syrian armies have no motivation to defend a people who essentially hate them. Note that the IS have made no progress in taking the majority Shia city of Baghdad, (The natural capital city of a neo-Caliphate which wants to imitate the past Caliphates.Control of Mecca & Medina will be ideal, but Baghdad would be a great triumph), because unlike the Sunni cities, the Shia soldiery will fight to the death to defend their own people and their holy cities of Karbala & Najaf.
I met an Iraqi Shia who was at a conference in the UK, and he said that most Iraqi Shias want a partitioned Iraq with their very own Shia state, which has most of the oil wealth of Iraq, by the way. They are dreaming of an independent Shia state, rid of a restive and increasingly ‘Rafida’-Shia-hating, extremism -supporting suicide-bombing supporting Sunnis.
(As a side note, he also mentioned that the anti-Arab feeling among the Kurds is so high that even-though the Kurds are nominally Sunni Muslims, they never give the kids Arab names, including Muhammad, because Muhammad is an Arab name)
Also, note that the IS has not made any progress against the more determined Kurdish fighters.
3. We are certainly finding other sources of oil and new forms of energy, but we have a long way to go before we can say goodbye to OPEC.
The OPEC has at the most 15-20 years for their oil to be valuable. If transport (except Air transport) is off gasoline, many experts are predicting oil prices in the range of 10-20 dollars per gallon and falling.
4. The reality is we still need some semblance of stability in the Middle East.
The Middle East is normalizing and will hopefully stabilize in the future. The present day borders, where populations who hate each other are forced to be one nation, are unsustainable, and have been so far only been maintained by ruthless dictators.
The IS have so far only occupied Sunni areas within weak artificial countries. They have no hope of ‘conquering’ well-run wealthy, stable & natural countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Iran.
We need not be too alarmed about the the IS.
All I want is that the country who financed & is financing IS: Saudi Arabia, the country which is facilitating the free movement of goods and fighters to the IS: Turkey, and the country that is a declared heretic state by the IS: Iran, should fight this fight.
The West should not be (yet again) a mercenary soldiery to the fat Saudi Sheikhs. They created this monster and they are most threatened by this monster and hence they should fight it, if they have the will. They are too eager to fight against the Houthis Shias in Yemen. Why can’t they show such determination to fight against the IS?