ISIS Gets Rebranding

Well, that was fast. ISIS let it be known that it hereby considers the Islamic Caliphate established, and will henceforth be known as IS – short for “Islamic State”. There is no need to refer to Iraq or Syria anymore, seems to be the message, as these states have ceased to exist in the territories controlled by IS.

As Reuters reports:

 

“An offshoot of al Qaeda which has seized territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic "caliphate" and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on Islamist websites and Twitter said on Sunday. The move poses a direct challenge to the central leadership of al Qaeda, which has disowned it, and to conservative Gulf Arab rulers who already view the group as a security threat.

The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and also known as ISIS, has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "Caliph" – the head of the state, the statement said. "He is the imam and khalifah (Caliph) for the Muslims everywhere," the group's spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in the statement, which was translated into several languages and read out in an Arabic audio speech.

"Accordingly, the "Iraq and Sham" (Levant) in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration," he said.

The Sunni Muslim militant group follows al Qaeda's hard-line ideology but draws its strength from foreign fighters battle-hardened from Iraq. It seeks to re-create a medieval-style caliphate erasing borders from the Mediterranean to the Gulf. It deems Shi'ite Muslims to be heretics deserving death.

"It is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to (him) and support him…The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khalifah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas," the statement said.

Fighters from the group overran the Iraqi city of Mosul last month in a lightning action and have advanced towards Baghdad. In Syria they have captured territory in the north and east, along the frontier with Iraq. In Syria, the group has alienated many civilians and opposition activists by imposing harsh rulings against dissent, even beheading and crucifying opponents, in areas it controls. In Iraq it has been accused by rights groups of carrying out mass executions in the northern city of Tikrit and in Lebanon the group claimed a suicide attack at a hotel on Wednesday.

"Whatever judgments are made in terms of its legitimacy, (the) announcement that it has restored the Caliphate is likely the most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11," said Charles Lister, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center.

"The impact of this announcement will be global as al Qaeda affiliates and independent jihadist groups must now definitively choose to support and join the Islamic State or to oppose it."

 

(emphasis added)

Just a wild guess: there will be more joiners than opposers.

 

A member loyal to the ISIL waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa

Black-clad IS trooper waving the movement's goth flag, presumably humming the Arab version of “This land is my land” under his breath.

(Photo source: Reuters)

 

Strangely Unconcerned Desert Monarchs

There is one group that should be getting worried. So far, the Saudis seem far more interested in opposing the new Shi'ite power center that has evolved in Iraq than in worrying about IS. However, as we have pointed out previously, the Sunni monarchies have every reason to fear it, judging from the hints occasionally dropped by spokesmen for the group. However, it appears they actually don't. The notion that they do is at the moment apparently mainly a case of wishful Western thinking:

 

“Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia are likely to be alarmed by the open declaration of a caliphate that challenges their power and the dynastic system on which it rests. Saudi Arabia fought al Qaeda militants for several years, finally crushing their campaign in 2006. "Gulf rulers will view the statement as evidence that the organization poses a grave external threat to their stability," said Kristian Ulrichsen, Gulf expert at the U.S-based Baker Institute. They could also use it to defend themselves against any Western accusations they have been providing material and logistical support to the group by arguing that they stand in the front line against it, he added.

But some dismissed the idea that this would have a significant effect on the Gulf region. "It might sound good to some circles who always have this dream of an Islamic state of a sort, but we all know that this Baghdadi, ISIL, they are not the kind of entities that could bring back the Islamic state," said Emirati political scientist Abdulkhaleq Abdullah. "This guy (Baghdadi) doesn't have one iota of the credibility and credentials that (Osama) bin Laden had," he said, referring to al Qaeda's late leader.

The group crucified eight rival rebel fighters in Syria, a monitoring group said on Sunday, and it has frequently fought against al Qaeda's Syrian wing and other armed Islamist groups.

Such infighting has killed around 7,000 people in the country so far this year and complicated the three-year uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”

 

(emphasis added)

The uprising against Assad has been “complicated”? Ya think?

As to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allegedly lacking the cachet Bin Laden had –  it sure seems to us that he is working on it. We are still wondering though why the various monarchs in the Gulf seem so unconcerned. Maybe they have a good reason, by way of sub rosa agreement with IS? Stranger things have happened in this part of the world, where alliances are in constant flux. In fact, from a realpolitik interventionist PoV, it seems to us that some in the West are quite happy with the chaos, which can come in useful in many ways. The problem is only that it seems doubtful anyone has the situation actually under control.

As far as we are concerned, there is hardly any point in supporting any particular groups in the region (for instance, president Obama recently spoke of wanting to extend financial and military help to “moderate” rebels in Syria. Good luck finding any!). Today's allies are bound to become tomorrow's backstabbers. Not to mention that it seems rather obvious what interventions have so far produced – however, as noted above, that may well have been the point.

 

caliph-1Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thinking about Osama and his cachet among jihadists.

 

Iznogoud-The-Relentless-6Planning session in a-Baghdadi's tent.

Iznogoud-The-Relentless-7Advanced planning session in al-Baghdadi's tent.

 

Iznogoud-The-Relentless-8Even more advanced planning session

(Cartoons by René Goscinny and Jean Tabary)

 

 

 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 


 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • A Surprise Move in Gold
      Traders and Analysts Caught Wrong-Footed Over the past week gold and gold stocks have been on a tear. It is probably fair to say that most market participants were surprised by this development. Although sentiment on gold was not extremely bearish and several observers expected a bounce, to our knowledge no-one expected this:   Gold stocks (HUI Index) and gold, daily. As noted in the annotation above, a Wells Fargo gold analyst turned bearish at the worst possible moment...
  • May Away
      May Gone in June... Yes, now that June is here, it is indeed the end of May. Theresa May, to be precise, the henceforth former British Prime Minister. After delivering her unparalleled masterclass in “how to completely botch Brexit”, British cartoonists are giving her a well-deserved send-off, which we are documenting below. But first, in case you don't know anything about Ms. May's heroic “Brexit”-related efforts, here is an explanation of how she tried to finagle the best...
  • Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Bamboozle American Voters
      A Plan for Everything! The run-up to the presidential primaries offers a funhouse reflection of American life.  Presidential hopefuls, hacks, and has-beens turn to focus groups to discover what they think the American electorate wants. Then they distill it down to hollow bumper stickers. After that, they pump their fists and reflect it back with mindless repetition.   A plea for clemency from Mr. 1/1024th crow. [PT]   Change We Can Believe In.  Feel the...
  • Fed Chair Powell’s Plan to Pickle the Economy
      A Loose Relationship The Dow Jones Industrial Average made another concerted run at the elusive 27,000 milestone over the last several weeks.  But, as of this writing, the index has stalled out short of this psychosomatic barrier.  By our estimation, this is for the best.   Since early 2018 the DJIA has gone nowhere, albeit in interesting ways... [PT]   While not always apparent, the stock market generally maintains a loose connection to the underlying...
  • Paul Tudor Jones Likes Gold
      Gold is Paul Tudor Jones' Favorite Trade Over the Coming 12-24 Months In a recent Bloomberg interview, legendary trader and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones was asked what areas of the markets currently offer the best opportunities in his opinion. His reply: “As a macro trader I think the best trade is going to be gold”. The relevant excerpt from the interview can be viewed below (in case the embedded video doesn't work for you, here is a link to the video on...
  • The Italian Job - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Lira Comeback? The price of gold jumped 35 bucks last week, and that of silver 48 cents. The dollar is now down to 23 milligrams of gold. Keith is on the road this week, so we will just comment on one thing. If Italy is serious about moving back to the lira, that will make the euro less sound (to say nothing of the lira). That will drive people mostly to the dollar, but also to gold.   Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini (as the leader of the Lega party he is...
  • Bitcoin: What is the Best Day of the Week to Buy?
      Shifting Patterns In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have discussed Bitcoin’s seasonal pattern in the course of a year. In this issue I will show an analysis of the returns of bitcoin on individual days of the week.   Bitcoin, daily – since bottoming in early December, BTC has advanced quite a bit. It remains an excellent trading sardine. [PT]   It seems to me that Bitcoin is particularly interesting for this type of study: it exhibits spectacular price...
  • Feeling the Heat of a Civilization on the Downside
      An Epic Folly for the Ages Today we begin with a list.  A partial list.  And in no particular order... Angela Merkel. Donald Tusk. Mario Draghi. Donald Trump. Jerome Powell.  Shinzo Abe.  Haruhiko Kuroda.  Theresa May. Boris Johnson. Mark Carney. Xi Jinping.  Emmanuel Macron.  Vladimir Putin. Justin Trudeau. Juan Trump.  And many, many more...   Politicians and bureaucrats of the modern age of statism and central planning... fighting a rearguard action...
  • Silver Remains a Monetary Metal - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Silver Price Driven by Reservation Demand The price of gold went up a buck last week, but the price of silver dropped back 13 cents. And the gold-silver ratio marches further upwards. Keith spoke at a conference this week, about how to analyze the fundamentals of supply and demand in gold and silver. He talked about the basis of course.   Silver coins – silver prices are partly influenced by an industrial demand component, but the fact that they move most of the time with...
  • “We’re All Socialists Now”
      An Ominous Sign of Things to Come Despite being probably robbed of the Democratic Party’s nomination by the Clinton political machine, the success of the Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign with his advocacy of “democratic socialism” was an ominous sign of things to come and, in some sense, more telling of the political climate than Donald Trump’s improbable victory in November, 2016.   Bernie Sanders, yet another professional finger-wagger (he is actually famous for his...
  • How Do Stock Prices React to Rate Cuts by the Fed?
      The “Greatest Economy in History” Stumbles “This is the greatest economy in the history of our country”, Donald Trump opined just a few months ago. Alas, recently there is growing evidence of an economic slowdown.   The Morgan Stanley MSBCI business conditions gauge plummets to its lowest level since 2008, as recent economic data releases ominously persist in disappointing. [PT]   This has fueled speculation of imminent rate cuts by the Fed. You may...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment

j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Archive

Dog Blow

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!