Thursday, February 26, 2015

The State of the Islamic State


Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at

February 26, 2015


                Today, finally, in an interview today on “Democracy Now!,” Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The (London) Independent, reporting from the Kurdish capital, Erbil, gives us a credible description of life inside the Islamic State Cockburn points out that the IS now controls an area larger than Britain.  They are funded primarily from among the Arabian Gulf states. The vast majority of the armed forces of the IS are inductees of the IS draft/conscription.  Recruits from the US who aren’t fluent in Arabic are ineligible for combat training and service.  Groups fighting the IS in Syria hate each other more than they hate the IS.  Iraqi forces, mostly irregular Shiite militias, have made no substantial territorial gains against the IS so far.  Human rights organizations are preparing for a massive wave of refugees should the US begin to bombard Mosul.  In the unlikely event that IS forces were driven out of Mosul, the occupiers would be irregular forces—independent Shiite militias, who Mosul residents fear at least as much as they fear IS occupiers.

                The implication is clear: trying to degrade and destroy the IS is a fool’s errand, and the threat of IS recruitment in the US is a non-issue.  Love and peace, hal

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