“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”
George Bernard Shaw.
Undeterred by opposition and strident in their belief that God wants them to commit wanton and mindless mass murder, the lunatics who comprise ISIS have used their unfettered access to the lawless region in Syria and Iraq to run roughshod over a populace they presumably seek to govern in a would-be Caliphate. ISIS has shown they are competent in sawing off heads and immolating live human beings, but they possess no capability to deliver services and protect their “citizens” – and never will. Even the Taliban in Afghanistan ran a number of valuable civil programs, but ISIS is so far off the reservation they have no future. If their actions were not so ugly and heinous, the concept of ISIS running Mayberry let alone an enclave of millions would be hilarious. Unable to produce necessary commodities, engage in global commerce, and sign treaties, the only way ISIS could accomplish anything but mayhem is if the entire world set the way-back machine to 700 AD and re-entered the Dark Ages – which is what I suspect is the quixotic goal of ISIS.
I’m confident that ISIS will eventually cross a line that will draw in an overwhelming obliterating force made up of most regional countries as well as Western forces, but in the meantime, ISIS continues to demonstrate their complete disregard for humanity.
Since taking over Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, ISIS has ensured that life there resembles a season in hell. And just the other day they posted a video of their apelike rank and file pounding and smashing rare and important artworks stored and exhibited in the Mosul Museum and the Nirgal Gate. Showing complete disregard for their own history and heritage, ISIS has destroyed ancient relics that go back 2,800 years in some cases. As usual, the reasoning is that the artifacts on display pre-date the Prophet and are therefore un-Islamic, and that the figures are nothing more than idols that infidels once worshipped.
I recall when the Taliban in May 2001 – in a harbinger of more destruction to come a few months later on September 11 – blew up monumental ancient statues of Buddha under the logic that objects of living beings were forbidden by the Koran. The Buddhas of Bamiyan were unfortunately situated on Afghanistan soil under the thumb of fanatics, and despite efforts to dissuade the Taliban to reconsider they proceeded to inflict mortal damage. Museums from around the world had offered to spend millions to move the huge statues, but the Taliban leaders refused. In fact, they castigated the West for willingness to spend money on preserving statues but not to help poor Afghans, as if the pitiful conditions of the country were the fault of anyone but the Taliban. The mentality is clear – destruction and demolition are the path to purity (plus it’s easier to break stuff than to build stuff.)
The amazing thing is that these ancient artifacts that ISIS and their ilk have destroyed in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere survived centuries of warfare and turmoil – largely because even the most evil of marauding invaders recognized their importance. And therein lies a fundamental difference between oppressive regimes of the past that found it possible to rule for centuries, and the visionless ISIS that must peter out by the end of the decade.
I said earlier that I was confident ISIS would be obliterated. They offer no sustainable proposition to the people they subjugate, so to stay relevant and sustain the ability to continue terror by recruiting soft-headed jihadists, ISIS must ratchet up the perversion. And although the countermeasures from the better equipped opponents hasn’t succeeded as yet, ISIS will make a step that truly threatens the region (and maybe the world) at which point existential instinct will force a conclusion once and for all. Cut off from access to ransom money, oil, food, weapons, and recruits, ISIS will crumble. And because they created nothing to be left behind, ISIS will cease to exist – even as a memory.
Watch Insane Sociopaths in Syria (ISIS) demonstrate their vision for the future.
RIP: Leonard Nimoy
Forever to be known as Mr. Spock for his three-year stint portraying the half-Human/half-Vulcan Science Officer on TV’s Star Trek (and his coaxed reprisals of the role in a half-dozen motion pictures in the film franchise), Leonard Nimoy succumbed to lung disease the other day at age 83.
Despite the title of his 1975 autobiography – “I Am Not Spock” – Nimoy actually acknowledged the positive impact the role had on his life, and after many people who probably didn’t read the book took offense to what they perceived as Nimoy’s ungratefulness at having risen to stardom thanks to being Mr. Spock, Nimoy’s next autobiography was titled, “I Am Spock.”
No doubt much will be written and broadcast in the coming days about the exotic-looking Nimoy, so there is little to compel this blog to dive deep. But at least one instance of Nimoy cheese must be highlighted as a service to readers who never had the opportunity to view it and cringe: “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.”