The extremist Islamist terrorist groups, ISIS, released a video (See Below) presumably laying out their grievances and the plan they claim is their goal and the means by which to accomplish their desired end. First and foremost we want to make clear that in no way does our presenting reasons why their grievances have merit mean we support their actions or even the end result such a resolution would produce. ISIS is claiming that their fight is to undo the subversion and sabotage inflicted on the Arab and Muslim causes as a result of the Sykes-Picot agreement. The Sykes-Picot agreement was a treaty entered into by the victors of World War I and initiated for the most part by the British and French whereby the lands of the Ottoman Empire were broken into the countries which currently still exist across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The borders of these countries ignored tribal lands, family potentates and other logical and binding areas and intentionally broke these groups such that the borders placed parts from each existing community in separate countries. In some cases these borders ignored promises made with Arabs and other groups made by the British and French in order to gain additional forces fighting with them against the Ottoman Empire. Where the reasons which caused the Ottoman Empire to enter World War I can be debated ad-nauseum, the validity and merit matter little as their choice was made and they chose poorly. What also should be mentioned about the results of World War I is that many of the borders drawn in Europe that broke up the Austria-Hungarian Empire were also formed with little concern for existing communal groups and appears to have used a similar design as the borders of Sykes-Picot had done to MENA peoples.
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The basic design behind Sykes-Picot was to form nations which would, by design, suffer from internal rivalries and violence requiring the ruling government to allot much of their time and resources to quelling these rivalries and maintaining order. The method setup by the French and British with the endorsement and confirmations of the allied powers was to place compromised and controllable dictators in power over these fragmented and often rivalrous sectarian segments of the society which would tend to have hostile relations causing breakouts of violence which would require the governance to quell the fractious groups which might require assistance from the European power each would be paired with. The demarcation of responsibility lines between France (Blue Area and Area ‘A’ under French Mandate will become Syria and northern Iraq), Britain (Pink Area and Area ‘B’ under British Mandate will become Transjordan and southern Iraq), Russia (Yellow Area), Italy (Green shaded and Area ‘C’ under Italian Mandate) and International Area under League of Nations and Allied control (Tan Area which was the area from which Israel was formed and was left mostly to British control) are displayed in the map below.
ISIS claims that their desire is to erase the false borders imposed by the Western powers after the end of World War I with the defeat of Germany, Austria-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Their claim is that the dividing of the lands which were united under the Ottoman Empire denied the Muslim peoples of their Caliphate and that wrong must be nullified and erased by the formation or renewal of the Caliphate with its borders erasing the Western imposed individual states with the unified Caliphate. What the leadership of ISIS is intentionally ignoring is the right of the victorious powers after a conflict, especially one in which they were the responding powers fighting a defensive war against the aggressors who initiated the hostilities. They are enabled to disposes those lands as they desire even to incorporating them under their banner and retaining rule over those areas. Initially this was what the allied powers did with the conquered lands of the Ottoman Empire and in time drew their arbitrary lines and established puppet states. The argument the allied powers probably made was by setting the borders as they did, it fulfilled the majority of their promises which were given those who cooperated and assisted their efforts against the Ottoman Empire. Whatever the reasoning, the allied powers had legal rights to do as they chose with the lands in question under International law applicable at that time.
That leads directly to the question, how could the Caliphate be reestablished other than by force of arms? The most obvious answer is that the peoples of the individual nations could elect new leadership and petitions the other nations, those would need to likewise elect leadership so inclined and reestablish the Caliphate uniting one nation after the other through elections and new treaties. This method would take time, effort and a uniting of peoples from different tribes and other differentiating alliances within each nation and then do the same with even more peoples, groups, tribes, and religious sects within Islam as they added additional nations to the reestablishing Caliphate. Of course there is the downside of not being able to pillage cities and towns, pilfer and rob banks and financial institutions, destroy ancient religious and cultural sites from antiquity selling off the precious items located to black market thieves, murder those who might disagree with your plans or methods or simply because they worship in a different form of Islam or religion other than Islam under the banner of righteous cleansing and establishing the one true form of Islam, and simply butchering and raping your way as you go marauding across the entire Middle East should you succeed at your quest for a new Caliphate. Hopefully you have kept an idea in the back of your tiny little brains that should you murder all who fail to measure up to your particular ideas and ideals then you will not have many people in your caliphate and that could cause some real difficulties along the way and potentially ally so many against your idea of how to populate your caliphate that you will utterly fail. Perhaps if ISIS was being a little more compassionate and inclusive, they might find the world somewhat concerned about the issues ISIS claims to be fighting for; but doing so would take a bite out of their taking pleasures as they present themselves in any opportunity.
That is the first of many problems being caused by ISIS and the methodology they are pursuing to form their dreamed of Caliphate. Add to those problems there are also those same Western nations which came together and so carefully; all-right, so carelessly and with little effort or thought; crafted their divisions of the land establishing borders as they saw fit, or by a bump of an elbow assisting in drawing parts of the border for Jordan as it has been alleged. Then there is the violence which you have displayed which included direct threats to the Western nations as you flagrantly performed the inhuman act of beheading thus far three citizens of these nations, freelance reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff from the United States as well as aid worker David Haines from Britain with another British victim threatened to be beheaded presumed to be Alan Henning who was delivering aid such as medical supplies and other necessities. Where ISIS claims they are performing acts of righteousness and are being guided by the Quran, the Hadiths and practicing Islam in the manner of Muhammad; the rest of the world even including many of the Islamic faith (even a spokesperson claiming to represent al-Qaeda) have denounced ISIS because of their limitless brutality and inexcusable actions against the innocent including children. There have been comparisons equating ISIS plundering, malevolence and slaughtering of innocents to that of the Mongol Hordes, though the brutalities committed by ISIS may make the Mongols acts pale by comparison. The worst is accusing ISIS of such criminal malevolence would be received as if a compliment, and there lies the base reason that their defeat, nay, evisceration is necessary. Some actions can only be interpreted as a cancerous tumor which murders everything precious and valuable that falls within its grasp and as such must be excised and expunged simply to restore the return of civilized behavior and peoples.
Forces such as ISIS have aspects that though disturbing to most still attracts a segment of society, mostly outcasts and mentally defective souls who, when able, will ally with ISIS willingly, even anxiously, as has Boko Haram, another terrorist entity which practice similar traits that ISIS performs such as rape and selling of young women into slavery, even sexual slavery, beheading and murdering those who worship in other manners than exactly the prescribed manner of Boko Haram ideas of Islam. One must consider that ISIS was denounced and rejected by al-Qaeda as being too extreme even for those extremists. ISIS has announced their intention in their video to erase all the lines, the borders imposed, presumably illegally according to ISIS claiming they were forbidden by Islam, by the Western powers starting with the one the spokesperson is standing upon, the Syrian-Iraqi border. The spokesperson points out the border police station building just before it is detonated and destroyed, claiming that just that form or marking of any borders currently in existence will face the same degree of violation. Such fortuitous and infantile savagery is a refusal of the Western ideals of civility and as thus is simply the conflict between the Islamic lands within MENA and Western civilization of Europe and North America. One could almost draw a similarity to the divided world in Orwell’s 1984 with some alterations but still with three major divisions and the threats from each on Oceania. That aside, the threat from ISIS is a direct threat placing their perception of Islam and the teachings from Muhammad and the stated expectations from Allah as interpreted from the Quran and Hadiths. What is necessary and will be of great interest are the reactions from the Islamic nations, especially those who face the most immediate threat from ISIS. The Western nations who take part in the coalition should and must have the Islamic nations of MENA who elect to join the efforts to deter and hopefully eliminate the threats posed by ISIS to state their purpose. Where it is acceptable for their reason to be self-preservation; it would be far more preferable if their reasoning was to eliminate this malignant form of Islam as it is unacceptable and goes against the teachings of the Quran, Muhammad, and most of all Allah. Their reason, if it should become known, will tell the world much about the real teachings in the Quran and how they are viewed by those who make up the body of Islam, namely the Muslim nations around the world. If ISIS is claimed to be acting properly as viewed by the Islamic world and they join the coalition, assuming they will, simply for the reason of maintaining their rule and not because ISIS is blaspheming Islam, then the rest of the world should expect at some future date for the Islamic world to attack the rest of the world demanding as ISIS has that all believe exactly as they do or face a genocidal cleansing. This is the most frightening thing about ISIS, that they are acting exactly as an obedient Muslim should act once they have surrendered their will to Allah.
Beyond the Cusp