Ludwig von Gress
When a Muslim terrorist group desperate for medial attention and sick of being insultingly called “peaceful Muslims” decided to call itself a state, some poor man was complaining that his daughter’s name is Isis and she is as sweet as you can get (a misogynist male or a normal woman would say she is obviously still too young to be a standard, run-of-the-Guardian-mill feminist harpie) and it is not just not fair. Before he could take the gang leaders before the Anti-Discrimination and Offended Feelings Commissars, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) changed the name to ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and then to a plain IS. The Verb Protection Society is thus far silent.
Digressing somewhat – At this stage you are probably feeling sorry (by the way, feeling sorry is good for you, some humans do nothing else, ask Sarah Hanson-not so Young) for those unfortunate females called Julia or males called Gough.
Whether the area currently controlled by one branch of the peaceful Islam is really a state could be a matter for a debate; should any debate be in the politically correct Australia allowed, of course. Even Wikipedia has a problem: “There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the state.”
That ought to surprise no one but an academic.
“The term “state” refers to a set of different, but interrelated and often overlapping, theories about a certain range of political phenomena. The act of defining the term can be seen as part of an ideological conflict, because different definitions lead to different theories of state function, and as a result validate different political strategies.”
Methinks this was written by an academic.
“The most commonly used definition is Max Weber’s,which describes the state as a compulsory political organisation with a centralised government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a certain territory. General categories of state institutions include administrative bureaucracies, legal systems, and military or religious organisations.”
Islamic State certainly is compulsory, religious more than political; centralised – who knows, but doubtful; monopoly yes, though ‘legitimate’ is somewhat uncertain at this stage, though UN will “legitimate” anybody and anything anti-American and anti-freedom. However, rather than a “state”, the current geographical and theological phenomenon would be better described as a “horde”. As everybody, except ABC victims knows, there were “hordes” before: – Hordes of the Jochid Ulus, also known as White, Blue and Gray hordes, around 1226; Golden Horde, a Turkic-Mongol state around 1240s; Nogai Horde, a Turkic clan of the Caucasus, around 1390 and Great Horde, between 1466 and 1502. A curious reader can easily find what they were all about. And – if it looks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck – why not call them Islamic Horde?
There is another fact militating against the self-given name. After all, nobody called Cambodia Kampuchea just because the murderer-in-charge Pol Pot said so. Oops – nobody but the world media, academics etc.
Now we sorted out the nomenclature, what about the Horde itself?
It counts, according various sources, between 20 and 30 thousand men, presumably all fighters. Depending on which army and when, this number would represent two divisions at the most generous. Modern armies have many support personnel, armed and in uniform, but not fighters as such. Militarily then the Islamic Horde should represent no great obstacle to a determined force. For at least some comparison – WW II Operation Crusader in North Africa when British Commonwealth forces (7 divisions with 118,000 men, 756 tanks and 1,000 planes) pushed Axis forces back and relieved Tobruk at the cost of 2,900 KIA, 7,300 WIA and 7,500 MIA. The 10 Axis divisions under Rommel lost 2,300 KIA, 6,100 WIA and 29,900 MIA. The operation took place between November 1941 and January 1942, approx. 70 days.
At that time the fighting was for real though, and, I guess, only the most woolly-minded academic was making apologies for peaceful Nazism. Today the Western politicians, experts and, sorry to say, generals are striving to create a meme that the struggle will take long, thirty years perhaps. That time frame, most importantly, would take it past everybody’s retirement age and the allusion to Thirty Years War is also useful. It was the war where nobody knew who is fighting whom and why, sides were frequently changed and the conflict had vaguely religious tinge.
Let us hope that the experts are wrong.