Not Islamic and not a state but a murderous death cult.
Heading on a cartoon in The Guardian of Britain showing a hooded, grinning skeleton of an IS killer carrying a rifle and sword.
Terrorism abroad and in America has some pundits, politicians and presidential candidates calling for war.
But war is not the answer to the Islamic State (IS). As Nation magazine said recently: “Talk of fighting a war against criminals bestows on them a dignity their despicable killings do not warrant. It merely covers them with glory.”
While not at war, drone strikes at IS positions show the seriousness of U.S. opposition to the grossly irreligious group. The IS is an organized crime ring.
It massacres innocent people in Europe and America, seizes territory in Syria and Iraq, enacts taxes and tolls on people in conquered lands. This leads to paying smugglers for protection. In Syria the terrorists closed a hospital because so many doctors fled in fear.
The IS beheads foes. It holds journalists for months for ransom. It enjoys killing. One jihadist says: “It is pleasant to see the blood of disbelievers flow…I rely on Allah while killing European and American disbelievers.”
Reactionary Saudi Arabia supports the jihadists financially and by reading its viscous doctrines in Koranic schools, mosques and among clerics.
Analyst Noam Chomsky describes Turkey’s phony “war” on terrorism as “one of the most hypocritical gestures in the annals of diplomacy.” No wonder Russian President Vladimir Putin called Turkey “accomplices of terrorists” for downing a Russian jet fighter.
In America, gun massacres have erupted in California, Colorado, Connecticut Oregon and South Carolina. After each one, outraged cries fill newspapers, airways and social media. Yet after each one a reactionary Congress remains adamant: no gun controls.
Europeans are astonished that Congress backs the notorious National Rifle Association, calling deaths from homicides in the Western world “as rare as deaths from falling tree limbs or plane crashes.”
But the majority of congressional politicians are beholden to the NRA for campaign funds. Money trumps massacres. Congress will not even consider expanding background checks and denying gun purchases to terrorists on the government’s no-fly list.
California has the toughest gun-safety law in the nation. But it is not tough enough as the recent San Bernardino massacre proved.
The two attackers there had Smith & Wesson and Panther Arms assault rifles. Those are military and police weapons. They should be outlawed to private citizens.
“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that people can legally purchase weapons designed to kill with brutal speed,” The New York Times editorialized. “They are weapons of war, marketed as tools of macho vigilantism.”
The San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Mank, 29, fired 75 bullets in the Inland Regional Center for treating disabilities and 75 more in the police shootout that killed them.
An ironic religious note: Farook presented himself to her on an online Muslim dating site as a devout believer, memorizing the Quran. He grew up in southern California. She was born in Pakistan and sometimes lived in Saudi Arabia.
They married and lived in a comfortable suburban home near San Bernardino. The comforts of home included a huge arms stockpile: 2,500 rounds for automatic rifles, 2,000 rounds for pistols and 12 pipe bombs.
After every massacre politicians offer prayers but nothing useful like reforming puny U.S. gun laws.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. (email@example.com)