Thursday, February 27, 2014

 Those Incorrect, Ignorant Bastards

"We say to his killers, may your hands and your act be damned. We will wait five days for official response from day of this message and if you refuse then you know we have been patient for over a year.
"A year of infringements, fake accusations, distorting our image, but we ignored this to prevent greater evil and we waived our rights....
"And by God, if you refuse the Law of God again and do not stop your infliction on the nation, the Muslim nation will take on your incorrect, ignorant ideology and banish it, even from Iraq!"
Abu Mohammed Al-Golani, Al Nusra leader
This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, shows fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) marching in Raqqa, Syria. (AP Photo/militant website, File)

A rupture between the militias of Islamist jihadists, each of whom have committed atrocities in the name of Islam and in service to Allah. This is a riff on that old adage of 'honour between thieves'; in this instance honour can be seen as a truce in their abhorrence of one another. Both are dedicated to a similar goal, to destroy the lives of fellow Muslims who are not adequately dedicated to their version of acutely vicious Islamist fundamentalism.

 Al-Qaeda's head of operations in Syria has warned its Iraq-based offshoot it has five days to agree to his ultimatum or be "banished". Their disagreement has morphed into a violent split with the jihadist movement spiralling into a vortex of uncontrolled rage against one another. What a splendid opportunity for each to contest the other for influence and control of Syria.

Should it turn out that they can not, will not, and do not come to some form of accommodation to restrain themselves from committing further mayhem on one another, it may just be possible that Syrian civilians may be saved from their further predations as they focus on eliminating one another. In a war of savage attrition they could quite conceivably commit dire damage on one another.

To the point where few might be left to tell the tale.

But that, of course, is just malicious thinking on the part of those who would wish these warriors of Islam in their holy war to implement a vast sharia-imposed state for an Islamic Caliphate throughout the Middle East, ill on their way to victory. The Syrian rebels, genuine Syrian Sunni protesters against the continued rabid reign of terror unleashed by Syria's tyrant Bashar al-Assad have also suffered violence from the Islamists.

But it is when they undertake to slaughter one another in a feckless inter-Islamist conflict of power that ferocious verbal aggression leads the way to the kind of bitter animus that has an envoy marked for assassination as Abu Khalid Al-Suri was. From medieval times killing the messenger was recognized as very ill mannered behaviour, condemned by all but the most aggressively oppressive tyrants.

Killed by two Islamists firing shots, one of whom blew himself into martyrdom in Aleppo on Sunday morning. The killing, according to Clint Watts of the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, familiar with Al-Qaeda, represents a struggle between Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which spread its operations from Iraq into Syria, not to miss out on any opportunities.

The purpose of killing Mr. Suri was to send an unmistakable message to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the head of Al-Qaeda, that ISIS "Is in Syria for the long haul and there will be no remediation", said Mr. Watts, who feels he should know. Though ISIS has been disowned as Al-Qaeda's formal representative in Syria, it remains a powerful threat both in Syria and in Iraq, where it has taken possession of several towns.

If the feverishly imagined scenario of the two opponents fighting it out to the end ever materializes, to the point where there is no looking back and their hatred for one another results in each destroying the other, this might be the point where the West could intercede. To nominate the one Islamist left standing for the Nobel Peace Prize?

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