The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What Should We Expect?

Barack Obama's trained hamsters in the media tried very hard for a very long time to downplay the threat of ISIS (ISIL)—the barbaric Islamist group that has currently seized more than 35,000 square miles of territory in the Middle East. The reason was, as always, to protect this president from charges that his inaction (he dismissed ISIS as the "JV team" less than a year ago) over the two years enabled ISIS's power to grow.

ISIS fully intends to eradicate or convert all non-Muslims in the Middle East and to do so with a level of barbarity that is surprising, even among groups like al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezballah, Boko Haram and the like. They have likely infiltrated Western members of their group into Europe and into the USA (via our porous southern border) and have stated that they want to fly the ISIS flag over the White House. But the media remained relatively silent, until, ironically, one of their own was beheaded—that's right, beheaded—by ISIS on a video that went viral.

The usual suspects, in the media and in Washington, have asked the predictable question, "What Should We do?"

At this point, a better question might be: "What Should We Expect?" The answer to that might better inform a realistic answer to "What Should We Do?"

It's readily apparent that ISIS gets off on terror—they acquire their power through terror (hence, the beheadings, the rapes, the genocidal acts). Their view of terror is much more expansive than, say al Qaeda's. I believe their leadership understands that terror must be used to create societal chaos, and that societal chaos will then lead to destruction from within.  Because they are barbarians, their target will be very broad (unlike al Qaeda, who attacked specific targets.) Their goal is to breakdown the fabric of our society, that they perceive as soft and weak, and to do so in a manner that is long lasting.

So ... what should we expect? Here are a few possibilities:
  • the destruction of critical nodes of our electric grid
  • the introduction of a deadly disease (e.g., Ebola) into the population
  • the detonation of a dirty bomb in one or more major cities
  • the destruction of major bridges or tunnels
  • an attack on one or more major hydoelectric dams
  • the use of nerve gas or some other agent in one or more mass transit systems
  • coordinated attacks on schools/shopping malls/stadiums
I know these possibilities (and many others) keep homeland security and intelligence agencies up at night, but the difference here is that ISIS, unlike al Qaeda, has a large number of western adherents who could operate much more freely in Western countries. After all, we can't profile "folks" (to use Obama's terminology) who are known to have visited the Middle East or who are associated with radial mosques, can we? That would be wrong, wouldn't it?

If ISIS were able to use any one of the attack vectors noted above, the resultant societal and economic chaos could be devastating. For example, if we lost the grid for even one month, food and water shortages would be severe in many places. First price gouging, then hoarding, then looting, and finally lawlessness might follow. It's not a pretty picture and we certainly don't want to find out what would really happen, except to say it wouldn't be good.

So ... that's what we can expect from the 21st century's Nazis.  Now, what can be done? More on that in the next post.