I would argue that there is no “original sin.”  We are not all born guilty of faults committed by our forefathers.  That’s just rubbish intended to rush you into a church, mosque or temple.  However, while not all men are born to be evil, some rise to the occasion.  My analyst sixth-sense suggests just such an occasion is about to transpire before our eyes.  On this occasion I shall choose to blink…or perhaps take a long nap in a sound-proof room.

Why the discomfort?  I am sarcastic, not sadistic.

Watch the news.  No, not the Twitter silliness we will call governance in modern Washington.

Watch the news in Iraq.  No, not the Kurds.  The Kurds, despite their vote for independence are realists.  Pragmatists who learned from their Armenian neighbors.  Nationhood takes time and suffering.  Unless one follows the Southern Sudanese path…then nationhood becomes annihilation.  The Kurds are not nihilists…unlike an apparent significant minority of Spain’s Catalonian population.  The Kurds have figured out you need to reach a truce with the neighbors—even if that means delaying insipid nationalist tendencies for another fortnight.

“Original sin” would suggest the Kurds would have thought better and declared victory.  Pragmatism, bred by generations of punishment, led to better judgment.  A bit of schooling Caliph Ibrahim’s jihadi warriors seem to have taken to heart.

Allow me to explain.

Watch the news in eastern Syria and western Iraq.  Yes, that news.  The part about Caliph Ibrahim’s army melting into a sea of surrendering “cooks” and “clerks.”  (We call them “administrators” or soldiers who prefer to remain in the “rear with the gear” rather than become “trigger pullers.”  “Trigger pullers” have an affinity for death that does not seem to afflict logistics wizards.)


With me now?

The news has been nothing but about ISIS surrender.  Five hundred here, a thousand there.  What gives?  Aren’t these the homicidal maniacs who burned prisoners alive, placed dissenters’ heads on pikes and fought to the death in Fallujah or Mosul?  What happened to the string of suicide bombers and sacrificial snipers?  Have they all become “cooks” and “clerks”?  A tooth-to-tail ratio that would appear normal for a Western army—10 logistics types for each trigger puller.  Or are we being led down a garden path that likely ends at the compost heap.

Back to my sixth sense.  After you have abandoned family, friends, society, and…frankly, modernity…it seems a little strange to start surrendering enmasse to the Kurds.   Who have little experience handling prisoners of war, conducting interrogations or marshaling a gaggle of angry young men formerly well familiar with firearms.  (Cooks and clerks in the Caliphate are likely better shots than your cousin who deer hunts once a year out in a harvested cornfield.)

I smell a rat.  Surrendering to the Kurds might just be the smartest tactical move a commander could imagine.

The Caliph’s latest version of a Trojan Horse.

Let the jihadi surrender.  They’re still alive.  In all likelihood the Americans will see that they get fed…Allah forbid the Washington Post or New York Times discover the Kurds are not adhering to the Geneva Convention.  We all know the Turks, of course, abide by those gentlemanly civilities.  Wait, I haven’t seen any New York Times reporting on Turkish treatment of Kurdish prisoners.  Perhaps the Times reporters were all busy chasing sexual harassment in Hollywood, because we all know that’s breaking news.

I digress.

Here is what I foresee.  The Kurds will kindly house the Caliph’s misfit army.  The jihadi who will never recant their faith.  To commit taqiyya (lying so as to preserve your faith and soul) is not forbidden in the Quran.  Hence all the cooks and clerks.  Only foolish suicide is absolutely forbidden in the Quran.  Now you see where I am heading.

Surrender you soldiers of Allah, surrender to anyone but the Iraqi or Americans.  Tomorrow you will get to fight another day.

The caliphate is not withering.  The Caliph is simply bidding his time.  Alas the Kurds will be caught in the middle.  Life imitates Osiris.

 Eric C. Anderson
9 October 2017