The next act in the war on terror
The United States conducts air strikes and forges a new alliance policy against the holy war of the Islamic State
In Mesopotamia, irregular militias have managed to become a regional power factor and proclaimed an “Islamic state.” They wage their war in order to consolidate their existence and extend their reach. In the West, the new power, which rules over parts of Syria and Iraq, is perceived exclusively by the bloodthirsty ways they enforce their rule: mass executions of overpowered enemies, soldiers and civilians alike; brutal expulsion of ethnic groups with the wrong beliefs or wrong loyalty; but especially by the demonstrative beheading of people the jihadists consider to be representatives of the West. The Islamic state and its objectives are fully subsumed under these barbaric practices — and because they admit no justification, no good reason for it, politicians and public opinion in the West deny the unwelcome upstart absolutely any political motive and purpose. President Obama grants “neither religion nor state!” to the ravages of these warriors. They are the pure evil that wants nothing more than the destruction of the good: violence for the sake of violence, murder for the sake of murder. The Islamic state is declared to be an enemy of mankind that must be destroyed in order to save civilization. All violence against it is legitimate and the help of all countries is due.
Anti-imperialism today: Jihad against the infidels
The Islamic State (IS) itself can definitely present a political orientation and political consequences that are necessary in view of the situation. Even the brutality it admits to serves, as a matter of course, not unlike the tactics of American presidents with their “Shock and Awe,” not only a good cause, but the best. After conquering the city of Mosul, IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a kind of programmatic statement in an impassioned Ramadan sermon, with which he announced the creation of a new caliphate.
“And there is no deed in this virtuous month or in any other month better than jihad in the path of Allah, so take advantage of this opportunity and walk the path of your righteous predecessors. Support the religion of Allah through jihad in the path of Allah. Go forth, O mujahidin in the path of Allah. Terrify the enemies of Allah…
By Allah, we will never be mujahidin as long as we are stingy with our lives and our wealth. By Allah, we will never be truthful as long as we do not sacrifice our lives and wealth in order to raise high the word of Allah and bring victory to the religion of Allah. So take up arms, take up arms, O soldiers of the Islamic State! And fight, fight!
Indeed, the ummah of Islam is watching your jihad with eyes of hope, and indeed you have brothers in many parts of the world being inflicted with the worst kinds of torture. Their honor is being violated. Their blood is being spilled. Prisoners are moaning and crying for help. Orphans and widows are complaining of their plight. Women who have lost their children are weeping. Masājid (plural of masjid) are desecrated and sanctities are violated. Muslims’ rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Shām (the Levant), Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Ahvaz, Iran [by the rāfidah (Shia)], Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, in the East and in the West.
So by Allah, we will take revenge! By Allah, we will take revenge! Even if it takes a while, we will take revenge, and every amount of harm against the ummah will be responded to with multitudes more against the perpetrator.
Soon, by Allah’s permission, a day will come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master, having honor, being revered, with his head raised high and his dignity preserved. Anyone who dares to offend him will be disciplined, and any hand that reaches out to harm him will be cut off.
So listen, O ummah of Islam. Listen and comprehend. Stand up and rise. For the time has come for you to free yourself from the shackles of weakness, and stand in the face of tyranny, against the treacherous rulers – the agents of the crusaders and the atheists, and the guards of the Jews.
O ummah of Islam, indeed the world today has been divided into two camps and two trenches, with no third camp present: The camp of Islam and faith, and the camp of kufr (disbelief) and hypocrisy – the camp of the Muslims and the mujahidin everywhere, and the camp of the Jews, the crusaders, their allies, and with them the rest of the nations and religions of kufr, all being led by America and Russia, and being mobilized by the Jews.
Indeed the Muslims were defeated after the fall of their khilāfah (caliphate). Then their state ceased to exist, so the disbelievers were able to weaken and humiliate the Muslims, dominate them in every region, plunder their wealth and resources, and rob them of their rights. They accomplished this by attacking and occupying their lands, placing their treacherous agents in power to rule the Muslims with an iron fist, and spreading dazzling and deceptive slogans such as: civilization, peace, co-existence, freedom, democracy, secularism, Baathism, nationalism, and patriotism, among other false slogans.
Those rulers continue striving to enslave the Muslims, pulling them away from their religion with those slogans. So either the Muslim pulls away from his religion, disbelieves in Allah, and disgracefully submits to the man-made shirk (polytheistic) laws of the east and west, living despicably and disgracefully as a follower, by repeating those slogans without will and honor, or he lives persecuted, targeted, and expelled, to end up being killed, imprisoned, or terribly tortured, on the accusation of terrorism. Because terrorism is to disbelieve in those slogans and to believe in Allah. Terrorism is to refer to Allah’s law for judgment. Terrorism is to worship Allah as He ordered you. Terrorism is to refuse humiliation, subjugation, and subordination [to the kuffār – infidels]. Terrorism is for the Muslim to live as a Muslim, honorably with might and freedom. Terrorism is to insist upon your rights and not give them up.
O Muslims everywhere, glad tidings to you and expect good. Raise your head high, for today – by Allah’s grace – you have a state and khilāfah, which will return your dignity, might, rights, and leadership. It is a state where the Arab and non-Arab, the white man and black man, the easterner and westerner are all brothers.”
The experiences worked up into this diagnosis are even recognizable in this unusual version: the new caliph looks over a broken world region in which life as he knows and values it is no longer possible. Twenty years of American and American moderated wars, from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east to Libya in the west, have left behind ruined countries and economies and therefore nothing but misery. Al-Baghdadi also alludes to colonialism and the current hegemony of the Western world powers, which keep pro-Western collaborators in the Islamic states in power and appropriate the wealth and resources of the region, especially its oil.
In view of this situation, the preacher in Mosul draws his own conclusions. The man of God defines perpetrators and victims religiously. He interprets the ruthless, self-serving actions of the US and its allies and creations in his region and worldwide and their devastating effects as an attack on what to him is holy: on the hierarchically well-ordered community of devoted servants of God, which he believes to be the true calling of all Muslims and imagines to have been realized in the former caliphate of the golden past. What deeply outrages him about the increasingly desperate living conditions in the countries the West brazenly claims as its “Middle East” is the arrogance of power at work there disregarding and destroying everything that — at least in his pious imagination — had once characterized the pride and greatness of the Muslim community. In the misery and neglect of the masses as well as in the meanness of their rulers and their foreign principals and sponsors, the new caliph recognizes as the real evil the impotence of the orthodox community, and what is really unbearable about that is the humiliation of those who as agents of the Most High have every reason to rise above the rest of humanity.
With this standpoint of the offended honor of true Muslims, imperialism, pervading the whole world with its violence and its creations, is exhaustively boiled down to its pious essence. It is an attack of the infidels on the faithful with no other goal than to kill the disciples of Allah, to enslave them, to degrade them as “followers,” to dishonor them and alienate them from their religion. Whether Americans and Europeans achieve something with their attack on the Muslim world other than the insult to the true faith is not important. The whole economy of imperialism is known only as another example of the desecration of Islam.
The battle plan of the IS, corresponding to this peculiar imperialism theory, consists in the militant self-assertion of the oppressed, God-fearing community; in revenge for the humiliation suffered; and in the restoration of the honor of Muslims and their faith. For that, the followers of the caliph must be willing to make the supreme sacrifice, up to a useful death for the good cause it offers them as an opportunity to fulfill themselves as true mujahidin and martyrs. To them, real life is regarded as nothing when it comes to the survival of the community. Fearlessness in the face of death is required en masse, because the IS, as opposed to Al Qaeda and various Taliban, which for quite some time have carried out their struggle against the West with a similar diagnosis and objective, has drawn one conclusion: the self-assertion of Islam, the righteous path, is only to be had for Muslims by a comprehensive radicalization of this struggle.
Attacks, whether they be as great as that on New York in 2001, are but manifestations of the will to holy war, not war itself, just pinpricks that do not approach the might of the enemy. No symbolic war, only real war, can liberate Muslims and drive out the infidels. The goal is to conquer territory and hold it, to create Muslim liberated areas, to organize there a life pleasing to God according to the rules of Sharia, and use these areas as a base for the struggle for further conquests.
The doer of jihad is secondly thus defined more radically. It is not enough — and according to the IS would even be wrong — that a country or people defend themselves against imperialist penetration or foreign domination. The caliph criticizes all attempts to resist the West and its lackeys in the form of a national opposition, and thereby to invoke Islam, as being the wrong track. Instead, he propagates the idea of the return of a “crusader”-shattered community that he intends to recreate by war, and for which he claims the membership of all Muslims, regardless of their nationality, which is only the divisive work of the enemy anyway. An opposition party may call on those who are dissatisfied in a country or even across nations to rebel against an unjust rule under a fancied legal title, and perhaps organize the transition from civil disobedience to armed struggle, but from the perspective of IS, Islamic parties fail often enough with such endeavors. The new movement is defined conversely by war, which it wages for its just cause wherever it goes, worldwide according to its ambition; for that, it founds a fitting community on conquered territory. The caliphate gets to its bellicose work on behalf of the global Islamic community, the imagined ummah in the preaching of the caliph; accordingly, the true believers are, for their part, called on all over the world to join the fight. Every single Muslim, no matter where he lives, is, to the extent capable, obliged to migrate to the war fronts and to place himself at the disposal of the holy war. Everything below the global community of the faithful — states, peoples, economic systems, and political programs — is declared by the IS to be machinations of the enemy, inventions for blinding and dividing in order to weaken the Muslims in their self-assertion. They have let themselves in for these borders and distinctions far too long, rather than relying on the only power they have: the unity of faith.
The image of the enemy and the war that goes with it is thus radicalized: the global ummah is facing the one, again consistently construed power of unbelief, to which, led by Americans, Russians, and Jews, actually all nations belong. To the entire world, the IS, which recognizes no nations or borders, declares a global and permanent war for its — in any case not so quickly achievable — long-term goal: the empire of Islam.
The IS presents itself as a worldly political power that arises solely from the strength of faith and firmness of will. It brags about the ruthlessness of its fighters toward themselves and others, and accounts for its success with the readiness of its people to sacrifice themselves for jihad up to suicide attack. On the one hand, this self-praise is a piece of information about how successfully the imperialist powers have overpowered the resistance to their hegemony in the Middle East. The states that have obstructed them with dissenting claims and rights and corresponding resources of money, weapons, and human material have found their former existence ruined by the US in long wars and the remnants of their old or, by America’s grace, newly established statehood made dependent on it as far as possible. One remaining nation with a dissenting reason of state, Iran, has been placed under such economic, political, and military pressure that self-assertion against the US is difficult. What remains in opposition to imperialism in the region is a bunch of irregular fighters who are proud to hold out in this unequal struggle, fighters who have accumulated the remains of disintegrating national authorities and deployed them — weapons, money, oil — in their war. The state they themselves have proclaimed and established intends — at least until further notice — not to be a new sovereign that is after acceptance by its peers and on that basis takes up pragmatically calculated relations with other states. It draws its strength — this is its reason of state — entirely from itself and certainly not from alliances with real-world nations. To the faithful, courage born of desperation and megalomania are in this case one and the same — and without it this program really would not work.
But, of course, what the caliphate followers undertake works not only due to, and with, their fierce determination. Their strength and their successes are themselves the product of the world they fight against, and the result of what imperialist wars and business have caused in this part of the world. The region, the military assets, and even the fighters themselves are largely a legacy of Western machinations in the Muslim world from North Africa to Pakistan. The international bunch of IS fighters consists of surviving militiamen of the many wars and civil wars in Africa and Arabia, Chechnya and Central Asia. Fighters who were beaten and driven out everywhere and yet had not given up have combined to form the biggest militia to date in the Syrian-Iraqi region, recruiting more supporters from the ongoing regional slaughters and gaining additional means for their struggle to the degree of their military successes. They wage war with Western weapons they got their hands on, before being outlawed, in service to Western interests or to the power interests of the Saudis and other Western-allied Sunni oil sheikhs in order to strike Assad in Syria or the Shiites in Iraq. Or they have captured them from deserting Iraqi soldiers who were equipped and trained by the United States to defend a country they do not want. The IS can establish itself where, because, and as long as it can exploit the fact that the American wars and the civil wars stoked from many sides in Syria, Iraq, and other “failed states” of the wider area have not left much of the once established force monopoly.
Finally, the IS owes the West the influx of additional human resources who initially are not proven fighters, but doubtless supply candidates for suicide attacks and Internet propaganda. From the capitalist centers, mainly in Europe, young men and women migrate to the IS, “born” Muslims and converts alike, who have found meaning and purpose in life in its Islamic communities. They need to learn, and the agitation of the IS makes every effort with every means of modern communication for the correct judgment, that the vast community of devout Muslims is treated so badly that corrective action, which is anyway the duty of every believer to contribute to, is urgently needed. They find an opportunity to radically stand up for this duty in just this successful and world-rousing war of the IS against the enemies of the community, in which they have found what they have been looking for in their search for a higher meaning of their short life on earth.
The American answer
President Obama has taken note of the successful expansion of this group, their relentless religiously motivated fighting spirit, and their ambition to succeed globally and proclaims the IS — ahead of Ebola and the Russians — the new, main enemy. It deserves no respect; it needs to be exterminated. To mark the launch of the campaign, the leader of the world power explains why to the UN General Assembly:
“Belief in permanent religious war is the misguided refuge of extremists who cannot build or create anything, and therefore peddle only fanaticism and hate. And it is no exaggeration to say that humanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along fault lines of tribe or sect; race or religion.… No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.” (Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by President Barack Obama, Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2014)
In the art of depicting a concept of the enemy and citing everybody and his brother for that, Obama is the equal of the caliph of Baghdad in every way. The will to destroy, which he so expresses, is also not restrained. Quite differently from the evil enemy, however, the US President knows how to distinguish between a concept of the enemy and enmity toward it. The latter is practiced with calculatingly dosed means and sorted into a world order agenda that aims to achieve far more than the elimination of a very special disruptive factor.
Obama recognizes the failed policies of the US creations in power in Iraq as a cause of the extensive conquests of the caliphate state. For the United States, it has already long been an extreme offense that prime minister Maliki has not brought his country under control. The fact that it’s more important to the man to eliminate his competitors as well as to suppress the former state-supporting elite and in fact those on the frontline between the quarreling Islamic beliefs; more important than any approach to America's ideal of a pacified oil state suitable as a vassal and wealthy to boot, brings him more and more into discredit. All the more can he not be forgiven for refusing the United States its desired invitation to continue its benevolent occupation regime. Given this, the flight of his inept army in the face of the fanatics of the caliph is, in the American point of view, first of all a just desert for proven insubordination and secondly an opportunity to force policy and personnel changes by making the necessary military aid to save the government in Baghdad dependent on them. The Parliament does as it’s told; and the new boss provides a starting point for Washington’s demanded policy of “inclusion” of all relevant forces with, among other things, the appointment of a Sunni as defense minister. He has by virtue of his office and denomination to see that the Sunni tribes sympathizing with the IS can be bought off again by and for the right side, and that the army is not used so one-sidedly as a Shiite terrorist instrument.
Obama knows that the success of the caliphate army has not arisen from the will and ideas of its fighters, but rather from religiously motivated financing and equipping by sympathizers from the Gulf States; it has become big from the start through the local monarchies’ massive aiding and abetting of civil war in Syria and the religious fanaticism raging there. That these states, after all America's creations and veteran allies, generally take care of the regional world order is not bad in itself. It is completely undesirable, however, that they do not always do that in enlightened self-interest approved by America, but under their very own viewpoint about order and with self-defined goals. And it's a really bad thing that their great project — to educate not only their own people but also foreign peoples to accept moral guidance from Mecca and political orientation to one of the competing capitals on the Arabian Peninsula — lacks an unambiguously pro-American thrust, and is even understood as anti-Western, as an inequation between Allah and America. In view of such aberrations, the advance of the IS fighters and the theological-political megalomania of the caliph — far surpassing that of the Wahhabi monarchy — offer the US president the opportunity to sound a loud “wake-up call in the region.” Specifically, its big Saudi partner is immediately doubly enlisted. First of all, it is enlisted for a radical, theological delegitimization of the caliphate enterprise; for the strict, ideological exclusion of anti-Western sentiment — which not only pervades the leading minds of the IS fighters — from the spectrum of what is Islamically permissible; and for the authoritative clarification that the properly understood faith always sanctifies the prevailing world order and does not want to overturn it. Secondly, not least in the interest of the unconditional credibility of this effort at persuasion, the Gulf States are obliged and authorized to show what their pilots have learned and can do with their Air Force purchased from America: with joint air attacks on IS positions, the US establishes an active wartime alliance, which in the optimal way links a certain recognition of the oil monarchies as strategically useful actors to their integration into America's war scenario and thus under America's leadership.
This war scenario includes a decision that seems at first like a self-limitation of the US and is also taken by fanatics of American military power as a clear sign of weakness: America will not intervene in the action with combat troops on the ground. In this case, Obama surely knows better than his critics that for the total elimination of IS and a fortiori for the establishment of a secure monopoly on force by a cooperative government in Baghdad — not to mention the establishment of pro-Western rule over Syria — the bombing by allied air forces is not sufficient. But even here, the world power pursues its own strategic, and in a broad sense, world-order plan. Where it discovers, i.e., defines, a need for war, it doesn’t commit itself automatically to be a warring party; the fact that that can be costly and not necessarily successful, that on the contrary it can be highly counterproductive, is a lesson that Obama has drawn from the awkward legacy of the Bush wars. His strategy is called “leading from behind.” The world power gets others to fight; especially where it also becomes expensive and bloody for one’s own side. It is not merely about saving on expense and one’s own victims. Such a strategy fits much better, at least according to the present US government, in a global world-order policy that counts on functionalizing, namely, mobilizing, and with equipment and support directing the self-interest of other sovereigns for the preservation or establishment of conditions that benefit and suit America. This minimizes — when it succeeds — not only quite crucially the expense the world power must afford to keep or bring the world of states under control; it thereby creates, wherever necessary, a sphere of state authorities that align their reasons of state to cooperating with Washington. For this effect, it is not necessarily a bad thing and it may even be very productive if the process of clearing up a regional breakdown drags on. In the roughly ten years Obama estimates for the final victory over the evil religion-warriors of the IS, a few habitually solidified, useful relations of dedicated leaders to their great patron in Washington should at all events be established in the region; relations based on a wartime alliance, which is still always the best premise for an imperialistically useful friendship of nations.
In the current case, Obama can immediately send the Kurds into battle as infantry — even before the Iraqi army, which first has to be rebuilt under US direction and is supposed in the long run to guarantee a subservient relationship to America. The Kurdish self-interest, which he can rely on, is first of all an immediately defensive one: Kurdish towns and communities are among the first victims of the attack of the caliph; on the other hand, are not defenseless but rather capable, battle-ready, and thus useful auxiliary troops. Secondly, they add to their involvement the calculation of getting perhaps a decisive step closer to their historical goal of their own state as allies on the side of the world power; in this way, they are at least consolidating their autonomy in northern Iraq. Using the Kurds costs the United States no more than some equipment and emergency aid dropped from the air. America’s finely metered alliance with the Kurds of various nationalities admittedly makes for some additional, strained relations with their easternmost NATO ally, which, however, with regard to the prospects of political order in the region, do not necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Of course, Obama knows that promoting Kurdish fighters to the rank of quasi-allies, from which the PKK, previously outlawed as a terrorist organization, is not really ruled out, damages Turkish interests. But relations with the Turkey of the “moderate democratic Islamist” Erdogan have appeared to the US for quite some time to be in need of revision anyway. This partner sees its fulfillment by no means in the function of the “bridge to the Islamic world” the EU would like to utilize it as, nor in the role of the well-functioning, enormous base the US has intended to use the country for. The Turkish government very autonomously and willfully defines the countries of the surrounding area to be in its zone of influence; among them the Assad government, defined as an enemy who ought to be replaced with friendlier ruling figures; Iran as an interesting rival; and Israel as a problem, with which Ankara clearly announces at least its claim to co-responsibility for the miserable, permanent discord in the region. All this has not only not been developed in coordination with the world power as a Turkish contribution to America’s regional-order interests; from the American perspective, the ally is engaged in nothing but high-handedness, crosses Western interests, even disrupts them. The war right over the southeastern border of Turkey, as America wages it “from behind,” also contains some pertinent messages, especially negative ones: an opportunity for Ankara to operate offensively and make headway in the age-old Kurdish problem together with the more recent Assad/Syria problem is not opened up. Instead, Turkey is expected to tolerate Kurdish activities toward the goal of autonomy and recognition. In this case, states are more or less being founded anew — and the large, highly interested neighbor finds itself relegated to an imperialistically rather subordinate position.
In Baghdadi’s caliphate, the world power fights a warring party that the Syrian army is also in combat with and that Iran also mobilizes its own deployment against. This results in a de facto alliance with an outlawed ruler as well as an avowed opponent of US hegemony and a problem case for Obama’s world order in terms of nuclear technology; and this is decidedly not welcome support, but a challenge of its own kind to “leading from behind.” In the case of Syria, the US president has decided on the interesting step of promising training and delivery of weapons to the pro-Western, anti-Assad opposition, whose own experts have recently denied any ability to effective resist and that has no chance compared with the militant religious radicals and still less against the IS militia; and bombing the IS on Syrian soil explicitly without consultation; so at least it’s made clear that the leadership in Damascus, fallen into disgrace and put on the democratic hit list, is anyway not to be rehabilitated by having a common enemy. As for Iranian combat operations, the US government is also pursuing the development of the Iraqi army under American direction as a precaution in case Iran gets too much influence over its western neighbor, or even takes control of the defense of the IS. Iran will anyway not be released from its predicament brought about by the harsh sanctions that are supposed to blackmail the government into giving up its autonomy, already taken too far, and its competition for regional supremacy.
The development of the war on IS into a case for America's world order ambition and for its enforcement by “leading from behind” is not confined to the region and to a substantial, practical assignment of status and function to those in power there. With the place he chooses for his global, public declaration of war on the caliphate and its Herostratus-like[*] actors, and with the high tone he strikes there, the chief of the world power trains his sights equally on the whole world of states. With strategic intention in his diatribe before the UN General Assembly against the “cancer of violent extremism,” Obama makes the joke of first interpreting the Islamic faith to Muslims and then laying claim to pedagogy for the progress of the world toward eternal peace:
“Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them — there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country. … It is the task of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world. No children — anywhere — should be educated to hate other people. There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source: the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.” (Obama, op. cit.)
With this speech to the assembled nations, the US president introduced UN Resolution 2178, which obligates the states to a catalogue of measures — signed by all — that really packs a punch.
The measures are aimed at “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” defined as
“… individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training …”
“Violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism,” is outlawed quite generally. All countries of the world are thereby committed, for the purpose of eliminating the evil incarnate in the Syrian-Iraqi desert area, to prevent any cross-border movement of people, money, and goods that could be of benefit to the Holy World War of the IS. No possibility of recruiting fellow combatants may remain open, no possibility of retreat for caliphate supporters, no opportunity for donations to their cause, for smuggling out of its territory or delivery into their territory, no free movement of terrorist suspects back or forth wherever… Not only is border traffic to be subject to tough control but also opinion and faith and preaching and in general the attitude of the people inside the states is to be monitored in order to recognize, in a timely fashion, deviations from citizens’ normal consciousness that could perhaps lead into sympathy with the anti-western evil; best to check well in advance when the extremist-to-be still suspects nothing of his future career. For it is necessary to prevent improper nonsense as long as it occurs, and otherwise to combat it as a “cancer” with all constitutional force — upgraded as necessary.
The resolution was carried in the UN because the force monopolists who share dominion over the world spontaneously and always have placed the greatest importance on steering the “hate” their native countrymen are capable of in a controlled manner in the right direction. They possess the necessary control authorities anyway; the threat of terrorism as a good reason and point of view for thoroughly inspecting within the country makes sense to them all. The UN resolution, however, adds a not unimportant element to the easily delivered consensus of the ruling authorities. The self-commitment to effective, anti-Islamist control of the masses is a legal title that the statesmen, who are able to make use of it thanks to the magnitude of their might and scope of their influence, readily use to supervise others, the world power naturally above all others. It permits itself — anyway, but now also openly and by invoking the consent of those concerned — a deep look into the mindset of the nations of the world as well as into the related security policy of the states. It stands ready to concretize the requirements arising from the resolution — on intelligence agencies and the judiciary, on the legislature and surveillance agencies — to provide assistance, such as with punctilious government access to the dangerously free communication on the Internet. Even such cooperative, standards-setting, liberal states like Germany are made familiar with one or another thing to catch up on in terms of suppressing extremism.
That everything is staged as a UN decision — in fact on the initiative and under the overall control of the United States, which presents itself with reference to decapitated citizens as the prime victim of the evil caliph — is furthermore, for Obama, of interest in a more general sense and includes a certain imperialist benefit. In a matter that after all extends deeply into the moral inner life of nations, i.e., purports to be much like global domestic policies, the US government operates as the supreme governing authority; without another sovereign contesting its right to it, America puts “leadership” into practice. Though this is not a fundamental contribution, it is still a contribution to the world looking first of all to America in all important affairs; in that sense a building block for the world order America pursues in which the nations autonomously adjust to American requirements. The moral emphasis with which Obama puffs up the disruptive activities of the IS militia to the status of global danger and declares a world war, once again calculated to be of longer duration, of American Good against sheer Evil has its not-at-all ridiculous significance in that.
In this sense, then, the deep hatred of the Islamists to imperialism, such as they understand it, could perform a good service to the world power. And not merely the countless other victims, but even the decapitated US citizens, would not have died in vain. A world power must be allowed this much cynicism.
[*] An ancient Greek arsonist whose name has become a metonym for someone who commits a criminal act in order to become famous.
© GegenStandpunkt 2015