Japan then, Iran now 1

We continue commentary on the article we discussed yesterday in our post How to defeat Islam (immediately below):  

In his well reasoned article recommending that Iran be treated as an enemy of the US – and the world – and utterly defeated, John David Lewis argues:

Given that we should win, how then must our government confront Islamic Totalitarianism? Let us call again upon the defeat of Japan in 1945 as a valid, and vital, historical precedent. …

The basic similarities between the two conflicts begin with the ideas that motivated the attacks. The Japanese were motivated by a politicized religious ideology — Shintoism — that posited an all-powerful deity, indoctrinated their children, infected every aspect of their culture, and drove them to suicidal military actions that killed millions.

Islamic jihad is motivated by just such a “politicized religious ideology”. It too posits an “all-powerful deity” in whose name Islam “indoctrinates its children” with its aggressive, supremacist, totalitarian ideology that “infects every aspect” of Muslim culture, and “drives them to suicidal military actions”.

An educational rescript of 1890 — an Imperial decree, and one of the most influential documents in Japanese history — built this “mytho-religious ideology” into the classroom, making worship of the Emperor and duty to the State into the primary goals of education. Japanese people memorized its tenets, and were inculcated with what one Japanese scholar called “socialization for death’. A Japanese civilian remarked how, when she heard that the Emperor was going to address his people — an unprecedented event — the words she had memorized as a child rose in her mind: “Should any emergency arise, offer yourself courageously to the State.” Such ideas, deeply internalized and mandated by law, motivated suicide bombers — kamikaze — to throw themselves fanatically against superior U.S. forces, and gave them hope for a final battle over weak-willed Americans. This kamikaze fire was extinguished by the crushing American offensive of 1945.

The key to extinguishing this fire, I submit — the sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihadand suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.

He describes how this was done in the case of Japan:

Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …

When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.

We agree with him that “State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated”. And we agree that war on Iran, the utter defeat of the Iranian Islamic theocracy, would go a long way to achieving that end.

But there is an important difference between Japan then and Iran now.

He makes it clear that the Japanese people were heart and mind, unquestioningly, with the Emperor; with his government and his military in wanting to make war on America and the world.

In the case of Iran, however, it is apparent that the people are not in agreement with the tyrants who rule them. It is not their will that war – ultimately nuclear war – should be waged on America and the world. 

The Iranian people rose in rebellion against the regime in 2009. The uprising was called “the green revolution”. [Nothing to do with environmentalism.] Much regret has been expressed that President Obama did not help the protestors. Had he helped them, the reasoning goes, the regime might have been toppled.

But Obama did not want regime change. He wanted to make friends with the Ayatollahs. Why remains a matter of conjecture. The explanation given by his administration was that negotiating a “deal” with the Iranian government would stop the development of Iranian nuclear bombs. But that is belied by the terms of the “deal” itself, which allows Iran to become a nuclear armed power in little more than ten years after the date of the agreement.

To want regime change is to want to save the Iranians from their oppression.

To want regime change is to want the defeat of the Ayatollahs – but not of Islam.

And Lewis’s whole point is that the defeat of Iran would effect crushing defeat on Islam as a whole. It would prove that Islamic state totalitarianism would not be tolerated. It would be a severe deterrent to jihad.

In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …

The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole.

So by his well-reasoned argument, war on Iran – not regime change – is essential. War and total defeat.

And the methods he advocates – the methods used on Japan, now capable of being much more quickly applied, including the deployment of nuclear weapons before Iran has them to retaliate with – could achieve the objective.

But unlike the Japanese in the Second World War, the Iranian people are not deserving of retribution. So war cannot be waged on Iran as it was waged on Japan.

The bombing would need to be targeted on nuclear facilities. And Obama stopped Israel doing just that in 2014 with threats of forcefully intercepting Israeli bombers. He would have ordered Israeli planes to be shot down before they could reach their target, according to credible reports (which were neither officially confirmed or denied by the US or Israel).  

Lewis makes a strong case that the devastation of Japan, the starvation of the people, the use of nuclear bombs was morally justified, and so too would be the devastation of Iran.

Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them

But would it be morally right to kill millions of Iranians whose “values and goals” are not those of their government? If not, then only something less than total war would be morally justified.

Iran’s nuclear facilities are now deeper underground and so much harder to destroy. Still, they must be destroyed. Iran must be kept from becoming a nuclear power. May President Trump find a way to achieve that end!

The destruction of Islam will be even harder.

Posted under Iran, Islam, Japan, jihad, middle east, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 9, 2017

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Now will the Islamic State destroy Palmyra? 1

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The ancient theatre of Palmyra

This is from GOPUSA:

The historic city of Palmyra has fallen almost entirely under the control of Islamic State, after forces loyal to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, collapsed under a seven-day siege that has left the magnificent ruins there exposed to near-certain destruction by the terror group.

Not so much a “terror group” – terrifyingly savage though it is – as an Islamic army on the warpath for conquest, subjugation, destruction and loot.

The ancient city, once a Silk Road hub and one of the cultural centres of the ancient world that occupies mythological status in Syria, is home to some of the most beautiful and well-preserved ruins of antiquity, including the Temple of Bel, built in the first century.

Isis considers the preservation of such historical ruins a form of idolatry and has destroyed temples and historic artefacts, as well as ancient Assyrian sites in Nineveh in Iraq, after conquering the province in a lightning offensive last year.

The group has profited from looting historic treasures, in addition to scoring propaganda victories by the wanton destruction of archaeological sites, and Palmyra is likely to face a similar fate now. …

Experts say the group benefits from its destruction of cultural heritage because it shows the militants can act with impunity and exposes the impotence of the international community in the face of the provocations.

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Valley of the Tombs: The Royal Necropolis of Ancient Thebes was located south-west of Palmyra in an area called the Valley of the Tombs. This image shows an underground burial chamber for three wealthy brothers

Posted under Arab States, Civil war, Commentary, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, News, Syria, Terrorism, Videos, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 23, 2015

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The riches of ISIS 9

The Islamic State is a state, whether the world likes it or not (and its doesn’t). A state is populated territory governed by an authority which is able to enforce its will internally and hold off its enemies. IS/ISIS/ISIL is fully able to do that. It is doing it. (Though being at war, its borders are not yet firmly established.) It does not require recognition by other states, nor to be a member of the ludicrous United Nations.

What is more, it is a rich state.

From the Heritage Foundation:

The army of radical Islamists [IS/ISIS/ISIL] controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria. By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day. …

The oil revenue, which amounts to nearly $100 million each month, allows ISIS to fund its military and terrorist attacks — and to attract more recruits from around the world, including America.

According to James Phillips, veteran expert in Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation:

ISIS sells oil to consumers in territory it controls, roughly the size of Maryland, inside Syria and Iraq. The terrorist group also sells oil to a network of smugglers that developed in the 1990s during Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s rule; that network smuggled oil out of Iraq into Turkey to avoid sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

ISIS also reportedly sells oil, through middlemen, to the Assad regime in Syria that is trying to quell rebellion there. When it comes to making a fast buck, the Middle East has no shortage of “strange bedfellows” willing to do business with each other.

[This is very likely to be true. It is the sort of thing that happens in the Arab Middle East. In Lebanon in the early 1980s, when war and civil war were raging there, I learnt that certain factions bought their weapons from other factions that they were fighting fiercely every day – JB]

Oil is only one of the sources of revenue for the Islamic State.

This is from Business Insider:

ISIS brings in nearly $12 million a month in revenues from extortion and other shady practices in the Iraqi city of Mosul alone in addition to $1 million to $3 million a day selling oil illegally. …

In a recent interview with Der Spiegel, Brookings Doha Center fellow Charles Lister explains how ISIS uses its control of food and water supplies to further its goals:

Money is key here. It is well-known that the IS is almost entirely self-financed. Its money comes from the control and illicit sale of oil and gas, agricultural products like wheat, the control of water and electricity and from imposing taxes within areas it controls. It is literally earning millions of dollars each week, and a great deal of this money is pumped into social services.

ISIS’s advance throughout northern Iraq has put vast quantities of prime farmland under the control of the militant organization. Large portions of five of Iraq’s most fertile provinces are currently under ISIS control.

These provinces are collectively responsible for producing 40% of the country’s wheat crop. The militants have also raided between 40,000 and 50,000 tons of grain from government silos in the north of the country.

Al Arabiya reported that ISIS has transported at least 700 tons of grain from western Iraq into Syria for milling and refining. ISIS then proceeded to sell the grain to the Iraqi government through third-parties in order to raise further funds.

ISIS has expanded this effort recently by making flour using the grain it stole from government mills throughout Mosul.

A source at Iraq’s Agricultural Ministry told Reuters that ISIS has placed close to 30% of Iraq’s entire farm production at risk.

This scarcity and food insecurity has driven up prices and increased the windfall that ISIS receives from its wheat trade.

Control of water resources and hydroelectric power stations provide further funding for ISIS. The control of massive pieces of infrastructure, such as the Tabqa Dam outside of ISIS’s de facto capital of Raqqah, Syria, along with the group’s short-lived seizure of the Mosul Dam in Iraq, further demonstrates ISIS’s capabilities and ambitions. … The dam generates electricity for Aleppo and the surrounding region. ISIS fighters made sure that the dam’s staff was left relatively unmolested, in order to ensure that the dam remained operational.

ISIS collects taxes on a variety of commercial items, such as trucks and cellphone towers Raqqa’s Credit Bank has transformed into a functioning tax authority, with shop owners paying $20 every two months to ISIS in exchange for utilities and security.

ISIS [also engages] in extortion, carjacking, and kidnapping. Kidnappings have become an especially lucrative source of funding for the organization as the group targets foreigners, and attempts to ransom them.

If kidnappings have “become an especially lucrative source of funding” for the Islamic State, it must be because some of their attempts to ransom the captured foreigners have been successful.

ISIS also seized cash and gold from the banks it captured.

Hundreds of airstrikes by the US Air Force will not destroy the Islamic State. Words of condemnation at international summits will not defeat it. The West has allowed the growth of this savage force, has encouraged Islam to believe that it can conquer the Middle East, Europe, and eventually the world. Islam is crowing its triumphalism. It will take iron resolve, a huge commitment of military forces, persistence, and first and foremost the precise defining of the enemy as Islam, if IS/ISIS/ISIL is to be destroyed.

President Obama has poked the nasty thing with a tentative finger, and reluctantly sanctioned some attacking of it from a dizzy height. He will not call the engagement a war. He has sent a few hundred military personnel to Iraq to … what? Advise someone about something?

He’s hoping other nations will do any real fighting that might be necessary. His fervent wish that America will not be perceived (by whom? his political base? the Nobel Peace Prize Committee?) as leading a coalition of states using military force is so desperate that he includes China, and even Iran in his hopes.

Meanwhile the Islamic State is growing, strengthening, flourishing, mass-murdering, and drawing tides of men from all over the world to join its wild jihad.