It was the nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire who first remarked that “the devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.” This maxim resonates when I think of ISIS. First, pairing the Devil and ISIS seems apropos as a general principle. But, second, ISIS has a disappearing trick too in its kitbag. In this case it works to persuade the ninnies in the West to think that terrorism will somehow disappear if only ISIS can be routed.
Almost all terrorist attacks these days are linked to the influence of ISIS. Ergo, where ISIS goes so does terrorism. Wrong, ninny, this is a non sequitur. The real instigator of terror existed long before ISIS and will exist long after ISIS is just a fetid memory.
I don’t care what anybody says about the vast amounts of money now being spent on education. Under the corrupting influence of political correctness, the general IQ and good old-fashioned common sense of people in the West is, and has been for some time, clearly plummeting. With a brave few exceptions, this is particularly evident among the political elite, academics, Christian church leaders, and those in the media.
Toeing the post-modern line, we sheep are meant to accept that Captain Cook ‘invaded’ Australia, presumably with cannons a-blazin’ against the well-fortified positions of the indigenous inhabitants; that gay marriage is only about equality; that ‘husbands and wives’ is an exclusionary concept; that all cultures are equally valuable (ahem, except our own); that those of European heritage are heirs to a history of bloodlust and exploitation; that bringing in millions of people with starkly different cultural values will produce a feel-good multicultural nirvana; that individuals can be whatever gender or ethnicity they would personally like to be; that ninety-seven per cent of climate scientists accept the alarmist global warming thesis (after all, in a post-modern world, a fiction repeated often enough will become true).
I could go on but I find it so mentally taxing and enervating that the apparition of death appears as a welcome release. But the debilitating effects of the above sophistries, all put together, will be as nothing if political correctness continues to obfuscate the blood-spattered trail between cries of Allahu Akbar and butchery.
The formation of ISIS (or ISIL as some know it), an extension of ISI (Islamic State of Iraq), was announced by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in April, 2013. The roots of ISI/ISIS can be traced to 1999 under al-Zarqawi (see, for example, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS by Robert Spencer). Its resurgence, post ‘The Surge’ of US troops in Iraq in 2007, occurred after President Obama withdrew the remaining US troops from Iraq in December 2011. Recall his peerlessly myopic pronouncement at the time: “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq.”
Wikipedia provides a selective list of those Islamist terror attacks “that have received significant press coverage since 1980.” I am assuming that this source is reliable enough to draw broad conclusions. Eight such attacks are listed during the 1980s, 31 during the 1990s and 117 during the 2000s. There have so far been 247 attacks since the start of 2010, including the cruel and horrific attack in Lahore on 27 March.
A first thing to be clear about is that Islamic terrorist attacks – as defined – were trending up steeply before ISIS was on the scene. However, a second thing to concede is that the rate of attacks since the start of 2013 has accelerated. Almost half of the ‘selective’ attacks listed from 1980 have occurred since the start of 2013. Even though ISIS is not directly implicated in all of them, it is evident, I think, that its influence is material.
It therefore seems reasonable enough to conclude that defeating ISIS will likely lead to a diminution in terrorist attacks; at least for a time. That is an essential reason to rid the world of it, as is reducing refugee flows and preventing atrocities wherever it sets up camp. But, it would be foolish to mistake a symptom for the cause. ISIS is a symptom. Islam is the cause.
Australian National Security currently lists twenty terrorist organisations, all but one of which — the Kurdish PKK – is Islamist in character. All claim to draw imprimatur from their religion. A child could connect the dots; but evidently not those whose common sense has been devoured by political correctness.
For the sheer counter-cultural fun of it, imagine – however impossible it seems – that common sense undergoes a revival among our leading citizens. Take Mr Turnbull* as a case in point. Here he is, Churchill-like, standing by the side of President Trump in the White House Rose Garden early next year.
“It seems inevitable, once ISIS is gone, that its progeny will emerge perhaps from out of one of its extant Islamic terrorist cousins. Defeating ISIS is not like defeating Nazi Germany. Nazism was just an invention of Adolf Hitler and his evil cohorts. Islam is an immutable invention of Allah and his Messenger. There is a big difference which only to our peril can we ignore.” Trump looks at Turnbull approvingly and nods in agreement. Turnbull continues buoyed by Trump’s evident approval.
“There is religion and then there is religion. Thuggees in India apparently considered themselves related to a goddess, but that didn’t stop the British from putting a stop to them. You simply can’t have 1.6 billion people owing allegiance to a religion which has an immutable scripture giving imprimatur to supremacism, intolerance, discrimination and violence. It is just not acceptable. Muslims have to be persuaded to leave this pernicious creed behind and live more enlightened lives. Nothing else will do! Islam cannot be reformed, and that is the irreducible fact of it.”
And pigs might fly – as they and dogs, not to mention various categories of humans, would have to do to escape their fate, if those paying not the least homage to political correctness were ever to take over.
(editor’s note: Mr Turnbull’s turn in the Rose Garden will strike many as a good deal less likely today, considering the latest poll.)