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Friday’s attack did not occur without a greater context. Though it’s too soon to speak with certainty, it would appear that ISIS (aka Islamic State, aka ISIL) is beginning to weaken and may soon collapse. The evidence for this proposition is plentiful. After years of superhuman military performance in which towns fell to the group in a matter of hours, often having been emptied of resistance beforehand by the sheer (justified) terror of remaining, great swathes of IS-held territory are now falling (just as rapidly) to Syrian and Kurdish troops. The controversial Russian intervention seems to have greatly diminished ISIS morale and the US and UK drone strikes (which today disposed of a particularly vicious fool known as Jihadi John) are steadily picking off the group’s here-today, gone-tomorrow leadership. And while ISIS boasts of being the penultimate destination of all Muslim believers, the number of ‘Western’ Muslims travelling to Syria to join the nascent Caliphate has been falling consistently for months, perhaps a reflection of a declining reputation on its part.
Let’s be optimistic and presume this is the case. Let’s presume that ISIS has but a few more blood-soaked months of life left in it. What happens then? What should happen to the thousands (and there are still many thousands) of ISIS members when their protective unity is no more? Obviously, this will initially require one of the largest mass arrests since the fall of Nazi Germany. But what comes after that? What sentence or punishment would be sufficient for the crimes these savages have delighted in committing over the past five years?
You’ve probably guessed my answer already, but I’ll detail it regardless. If an ISIS militant is captured in the midst of combat, he should face the death penalty. If this sounds excessive (and I’m sure you don’t think so), remember that had any of the medieval crimes ISIS members have committed over the last few years been committed in America, a death sentence would have been issued in every case. This really is no different. Furthermore, we’re already issuing death sentences from the air with our drone strikes. I can think of no valid counter-argument to this.
After the fall of ISIS, captured fighters should not be extradited to their home countries, but promptly turned over to the Syrian military (the Kurds, Russians and Jordanians are too humane). Given the moral standards of the Assad regime, we can be sure the correct action will be taken, and with little compassion or fanfare. ISIS members have lived by the sword, and they shall die by it, too. For over half a decade, they have massacred uncountable civilians, beheaded them, cut their arms off for ‘witchcraft’ and other imaginary offences, thrown gays from the top floor of bombed-out buildings, gang-raped non-Muslim women, and sold others into sexual slavery. They have recently shot 200 CHILDREN in the head and uploaded footage of the crime onto the internet. Before that, they butchered Christians on the shores of the Mediterranean, turning the sea a dark shade of red. They fed other Christians to dogs, watching gleefully as they were agonisingly ripped apart.
Just as the Nazis were hung for their crimes, so must ISIS hang for theirs.