Facts About ISIS


   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

    Just when you thought you knew everything about ISIS, IS, ISIL. Certain Muslim sects have been trying to create the Caliphate for well over a millennium. The Caliphate has at least two meanings. One is a unified government for all Muslim countries and the other a world-wide dominion by a Muslim government. Both these visions have all laws and customs based on religious laws. The current struggle, no matter how brutal, is essentially a religious war. The current black-garbed fanatics are the contemporary version of those who think they are so right that all who disagree deserve and require death.

17 things about ISIS and Iraq you need to know

By Zack Beauchamp

Oct 9 2014, 12:57p

    ISIS used to be al-Qaeda in Iraq
    ISIS wants to establish a caliphate
    The conflict between Iraqi Sunnis and Shias sustains ISIS
    Iraq’s former Prime Minister made the ISIS problem worse
    ISIS has a really important base in Syria
    ISIS funds itself through oil and an extortion racket
    The global oil market was spooked by ISIS’ initial advance
    The conflict has been a boon to Iraq’s Kurds — but that may have changed
    ISIS isn’t the only anti-government rebel group
    ISIS has made significant territorial gains in Iraq
    The Iraqi army is much stronger than ISIS, but it’s also kind of a mess
    Iran is fighting on the Iraqi government’s side
    The US and Iran have talked about Iraq
    The US has launched a campaign to destroy ISIS
    Some Americans blame Obama for this
    Iraq’s Sunnis and minorities will probably suffer the most
    ISIS captured and executed James Foley and Steven Sotloff, two American journalists
The conflict between Iraqi Sunnis and Shias sustains ISIS

    Perhaps the single most important factor in ISIS’ recent resurgence is the conflict between Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Sunnis. ISIS fighters themselves are Sunnis, and the tension between the two groups is a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS.

    The difference between the two largest Muslim groups originated with a controversy over who got to take power after the Prophet Muhammed’s death, which you can read all about here. But Iraq’s sectarian problems aren’t about relitigating 7th-century disputes; they’re about modern political power and grievances.

    A majority of Iraqis are Shias, but Sunnis ran the show when Saddam Hussein, himself Sunni, ruled Iraq. Saddam spread a false belief, still surprisingly persistent today, that Sunnis were the real majority in Iraq. Thus, Sunnis felt, and still feel, entitled to larger shares of political power than might perhaps be warranted by their size.
    The civil war after the American invasion had a brutally sectarian cast to it, and the pseudo-democracy that emerged afterwards empowered the Shia majority (with some heavy-handed help from Washington). Today, the two groups don’t trust each other, and so far have competed in a zero-sum game for control over Iraqi political institutions. For instance, Shia used control over the police force to arbitrarily detain Sunni protestors demanding more representation in government last year.

    So long as Shias control the government, and Sunnis don’t feel like they’re fairly represented, ISIS has an audience for its radical Sunni message. That’s why ISIS is strong in the heavily Sunni northwest.


  FYI. Most politicians in the U.S. who make policies about the American response are unaware of these distinctions and historical trends. In ignorance lies mismanagement.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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