ISIS Changes Name, Declares Caliphate


no flags no masters

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has over the last month taken control of vast swaths of Iraq, has declared itself an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria a few days after the al-Nusra Front, the Syria Al Qaeda affiliate, was reported to have signed a "loyalty pledge" to ISIS. In the statement it released, with English translation (PDF), ISIS claims to have "demolished" the governments of Syria and Iraq, to have "disgraced" infidels and "humiliated" heretics. It also called Sunnis "masters" and "esteemed." The dick-swinging comes after the group's declaration that it had transcended race- and class-based distinctions in favor of "piety," the kind with which they "forced the noses of the cross-worshippers onto the ground with the most miserable of weapons and weakest of number."

The group also claimed that the "ummah" (the Muslim "nation" for which ISIS claims to speak) "succeeded in ending two of the largest empires known to history in just 25 years and then spent the treasure of those empires on jihad" and claimed it would be a sin for them not to declare an empire of their own, called a caliphate, with  their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, naturally chosen as the caliph.

"The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph's authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas," the statement read. According to news reports in an audio statement a spokesperson followed that up with "Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day."

ISIS formed amid the Syrian civil war, when the Islamic State of Iraq, the Iraqi Al-Qaeda affiliate, joined in the hostilities.  Last April, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the Iraq Al Qaeda affiliate, announced that they had merged with al-Nusra but the Syrian group denied the merger and reiterated their loyalty to Al Qaeda, which was also upset by ISI's attempt at a hostile takeover. ISI continued to fight on its own in Syria, against the government, more moderate rebels, and other jihadists, eventually becoming ISIS. The group's declaration of an Islamic state and its leaders megalomaniacal claim to be a caliph is aimed not just to the governments in the Middle East (and the world) but to Al Qaeda affiliates in the region as well.

The ability of ISIS or any jihadi group to fell an empire, as they claim such groups did to the Soviet Union (which spent its last decade mired in an occupation in Afghanistan) and the United States  (whose two land wars in Asia showed it a very bad idea to wage two land wars in Asia) goes only as far as empires are willing to mire themselves in the kinds of wars and military interventions that can only benefit such groups.

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  1. “We’re not megalomaniacs or anything, but we hope all Muslims throughout the world will obey us on pain of death. Thanks, toodles.”

  2. The Caliphate I understand — it’s a big promotion, and obviously well-deserved; the parking spot is nice, too.

    The name change OTOH… what gives? I was just about to start my “Muslim Extremist Groups That Sound Like GIJoe Villain Conglomerates” Tumblr, to include the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS of course. Oh well, at least I’ll always have my Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Lover t-shirt.

    1. They had to change the name once they found out that Isis was a female superhero who wore a short skirt.

    2. “50 cent word”-NY times

    3. “We want to be called…Loretta.”

      1. “Splitters!!!”

    4. As a fan of series “Archer” I have a hard time suppressing a snicker at some of the news mentioning ISIS if I happen to pass it through my Archer filter instead of my reality filter.

  3. This is how world wars start.

    1. That’s what I was thinking.

    2. You mean, great powers getting involved in proxy wars in client states?

      The first one, sure. The second one, not so much.

    3. Go long on popcorn and build a fallout shelter.

    4. This is how world wars start.

      At least “The War Against Islam”.

    5. This is how all states start, too — military conquest. One armed band of thugs overthrows another, civilized government leaders complain, then eventually give the new thugs a seat at the table as a “sovereign” state. At least that’s what will happen if the airstrikes and advisers fail.

      1. It’s a great example of how anarchists are just wrong. There will always be a gang of thugs with the last word in violence. And there can be no such thing as peaceful market competition among security firms. There can be war, but no market competition. Like they said on Highlander

        1. Not sure that follows. It’s a little like saying the Depression is a great example of how capitalism is doomed to fail.

          I think you’re conflating anarchism with chaos. ISIS is the product of one civil war and one tottering shithole, neither of which contained anyone who wanted to live in a stateless society.

    6. Either that or we’re being punk’d. It’s hard to tell anymore.

    7. Yeah, and I’m worried that our non-aggression pact with the Empire of Austria-Hungary has run out.

  4. Time to do a gut check on the sunk costs fallacy.

    What’s our ROI on getting stuck into Iraq again? Not good? Then I say we stay out. Let the Shi’ites and the Sunnis slaughter each other; they seem to enjoy it, as they have been at it for hundreds of years. Who are we, in this age of multi-culturalism, to say nay?

    Barbarians gonna, err, barbar? Something like that.

    1. Barbarians gonna, err, barbar? Something like that.

      Disrupt the world’s oil supply sending prices through the roof, resulting in price controls which cause shortages, just as people need to buy heating oil to get through the winter. Good times.

      But yeah. I agree. Let them kill each other. Make a few bucks selling arms to both sides like we did in the Iran Iraq war.

      1. So far the effect on oil prices has been pretty muted. We can thank the fracking oil-and-gas revolution here and Kurdish boldness in exporting oil over there.

        1. Between the shit that’s going on in the ME, and Putin’s dance with Ukraine, I’m not looking forward to heating my house this winter.

          1. Don’t worry-by that time we might be in a serious recession and that will cause prices to crater! Along with my employability!

          2. I might have to burn religious texts to heat my house.

            1. Go long Gideon!

        2. Yeah, thanks, NY, for pussing out on fracking. You national energy independence wimps.

      2. I like how you inserted “resulting in price controls” as if it is inevitable that mercantilist idiots run things in government and are prone to knee-jerk reactions to things like markets that they don’t understand…. oh, right.

    2. Isn’t that pre-9/11 thinking though? In fairness, I guess 6/30 is pre-9/11.

    3. Who are we, in this age of multi-culturalism, to say nay?

      Saudi Arabia’s and Israel’s bitch.

  5. Support your state, which grows every day

    So, they have a lot in common with Democrats and Republicans?

  6. From a FB Proggie:

    Whats the difference between our religious right and ISIS?
    Both want a country run by religious doctrine.
    Both are uncompromising in their views.
    Both are armed to the teeth.

    See, no difference!

    1. One is killing people and the other isn’t. But that’s only a minor detail.

      1. I am sure if I pointed that out, he would respond with Boosh wars!

        1. I don’t do Facebook. And if I did, I would avoid politics like the plague.

      2. OUR religious fundamentalists had to settle for long prison sentences.

    2. I would suggest they meet both in person and let them know how their views are wrong. See which one turns out better.

    3. FB Proggie should go hang out in ISIS held territory for a while and find out.

    4. One lobbies congress to get some restrictions on abortion, the other cuts the heads off gays. Pretty much identical, just as the prog writes.

    5. By virtue of him posting he proves how wrong he is. I’m religious and have guns. I’ve managed to not shoot people that I think are fucktards for my entire adult life, which as a military man can be trying.

  7. Libertarians have never really understood the importance of protecting your brand.

    1. Speak for yourself.

      After I brand one of my minions, I make sure they keep a clean bandage on it for at least 4 days.

      1. I understand that. A good minion is hard to find.

        1. But easier to recover, once branded.

    2. it would be a sin for them not to declare an empire of their own

      Libertarians, are you listening?

      1. I think we’ve already declared our empire. We just need something solid to put it on.

        Maybe when Obama has imported all of the Guatemalans to here, we can just walk right in there and take over the deserted place.

    3. skwerlz at it again?

      Your comment does not appear to be written in an English script. Please comment in English.

      1. Never got that one before.

      2. Squirrels are grammar nazis?

      3. Yoo Lighting in Engrish again?

  8. So, they’re a nation now?

    How long before they apply to join the UN? And what will the UN say when they do?

    1. *Thats* your concern??

      1. I’m looking for some lulz, here, MOFO.

    2. Why bother joining the UN? Why don’t they all just dress up as Guatemalan peasants and walk across our southern border?

      1. Damn, he’s on to me.

        /The Caliph

      2. Why bother joining the UN?

        For the junkets, cocktail parties, and get-out-of-NY-jail-free card?

      3. Why bother joining the UN?

        To bugger the children in war-torn countries?

      4. Mexicans would kill em.

    3. And what will the UN say when they do?

      Why, immediately promote them to be in charge of the United Nations Human Rights Council of course.

      1. The United Nations will blame Israel.

    4. If they promise to vote against Israel, they’ll roll out the welcome mat.

  9. ISIS never stood for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The name, transliterated from Arabic, is al-Dawlah al-Isl?m?yah f? al-?Ir?q wa-al-Sh?m.

    Al Sh?m doesn’t mean Syria; it means the Levant, which is why lots of people correctly call it ISIL in English.

    The Levant covers a lot of territory, most of it occupied by crazy belligerent people. The only thing that would be crazier than their millenia-old interneccine squabbles would be for some outside power like the US to get into the middle of them.

    1. They do have that made-up quality of video-game bad guys going on. Is this really the news or the new version of Battlefield or Cal of Duty?

      1. “New” version

        1. Canadian is nominally English.

          1. Damn you, tree rats!

          2. Er I was making fun of the cookie-cutter 60$ DLC shit that characterizes the ‘new releases’ from both of those IPs.

            1. It posted in the wrong place. Supposed to be at the end of:

              Raston Bot|6.30.14 @ 3:15PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

              skwerlz at it again?

              Your comment does not appear to be written in an English script. Please comment in English.
              reply to this

              Cytotoxic|6.30.14 @ 3:18PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

              Never got that one before.

              I am glum.

          3. I don’t get what you’re talking aboot, eh?

    2. It’s a conspiracy to merge with the Libertarian ISIL.

    3. I thought the Levant was a nude island off of France?

      1. You’re thinking ‘L’avant’. Which refers to the ‘one’ in front, or your penis.

  10. the group’s declaration that it had transcended race- and class-based distinctions in favor of piety

    A leftist conundrum right there.

    1. I just want to know what the state of income inequality is within ISIS. That’s the defining issue of our time, after all.

      1. I thought it was birth control? I bet they have different idea of “access to birth control” too…

        1. ” I bet they have different idea of “access to birth control” too…”

          No, not really. Both Lefties and ISIS are probably both in favor of government provided birth control. Granted, the technical details might differ. 😉

  11. OT: Looks like the $30 an hour fast food worker is really going to happen.

    Fast Food Worker of the Future

    1. I like the comments.

      James Thornton
      January 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm
      Yes, say prayers.

      That’ll change something!

      Except it won’t.

      Because you can’t really bend reality to your will.

      You fucking donkey.

      1. There’s some troll there raving about crazed Murikans with gunz.

    2. No, robots work for free.

      1. Maybe I should have said ‘Here’s what the prospect of $30 an hour fast food workers leads to?’, but I thought it was too obvious.

        1. Or you’ve got one guy in the building earning $30/hr to feed and maintain the machine.

          1. I can just see the band of proggies out front lamenting that those robots took our jerbz!

            1. And I’m sure they’ll do it in typical redundant fashion.

              “Those ABM machines are stealing our jobs!”

              translation: “Those Automatic Burger Machine machines are stealing our jobs!”

            2. I would not be surprised in the slightest to see them transition seamlessly from “these are worthless Mcjobs that shouldn’t exist” to “the hardworking burger-flipper has always been the foundation of a strong middle class and now his livelihood is under attack by corporate greed”.

              1. That’s precisely what they did with manufacturing jobs. Once they were such low paid drudgery that workers needed unions to protect them. Once “protected,” the jobs dried up due to mechanization and outsourcing. Now they’re suddenly part of the leftist nostalgia.

                1. No shit. I worked in a factory cutting steel when I was 22. Nothing fun or romantic about it.

    3. Looks good. I’d try it.

      1. I think I’d rather that robot handle my food than most of the fast food workers I have seen.

        1. I did several years in fast food restaurants, in and shortly after high school. They are good at enforcing sanitation with corporate efficiency.

          1. Sure they do. I still remember being in the john at a Mickey D in Dover, De.
            Employee comes out of the shitter and breezes right out the door. Man was I glad I hadn’t put in my order yet.

            1. He was probably just doing a line on the toilet tank.

  12. This will be troublesome for the American media, who have so far been able to avoid saying Islamic, choosing instead to refer to them as the made up term “Istamlist”. They’ll probably just refer to them as “is” from now on.

    1. That depends what the definition of is is.

    1. I think he already has. He just decided that he needs to appear on the teevee to appease his adorning minions, like ButtPlug.

    2. LIVE: Obama is Announcing He Will No Longer Uphold His Oath of Office?

      1. When did he start?

    3. I was busy watching the World Cup instead of some worthless politician.

    4. “Congress hasn’t done everything I wanted them to do. Since their sole reason for existing is to give me what I want, I will now go on without them. All media outlets, blame the Republicans. Thank you and good day.”

    5. Wow, is he going for 9-0 SCOTUS beat down #14?

      1. Of course not, he knows he’ll probably only get a 5-4 loss on something like this and he’ll spin that as “the Evil Conservatives have destroyed the Supreme Court. So now I have no choice but to bypass Congress and the Supreme Court.”

  13. You almost wish someone could plug a megalomaniac in the region who, while nasty and brutish, could at least keep the area stable. Amenable to Western ways but native enough to have enough followers to keep the tribal factions in check. Oh well….

    1. Maybe someone whose last name is our president’s middle name?

    2. No I don’t. Syria tried that and it worked out even worse than democracy.

    3. You almost wish someone could plug a megalomaniac in the region

      I’m flattered, but no thanks.

  14. This swinging of dicks by ISIS will be a costly mistake. I read a BBC story on an interview last night with some guy…in charge of a Sunni tribe that was a big component of the Anbar Awakening (Duadni tribe?). He openly said that they were not fighting for an Islamic state and just wanted Maliki gone and further would fight ISIS as soon as Baghdad was taken care of. Further, he said that ISIS isn’t as strong as AQ in Iraq was back in 2004 by a long shot. It was very interesting. Baathists in the uprising are also uninterested in a Shariah state.

    1. He openly said that they were not fighting for an Islamic state and just wanted Maliki gone and further would fight ISIS as soon as Baghdad was taken care of.

      Sounds eerily similar to what happened in Egypt.

      Egypt street just wanted Mubarak gone, and they ended up with an Islamic state, but the Islamic state is way more committed than Egypt street.

      1. It’s like a better ending to High Noon.

      2. That’s basically what happened in Iran in 1979, too. There were three groups that led the overthrow of the Shah – two groups of socialists that hated each other, and the Ayatollah’s people. Guess what happened to the socialists after the revolution succeeded.

        1. That’s basically what happened in Iran in 1979, too.

          Absolutely, bunch of commie intellectuals were all “Revoluuuuushun maaan”

      3. Yeah. The Egypt street has to mobilize behind a typical ME strong man. Someone who might be a bit ‘offputting’, but can control things.

        Someone like….I don’t know….Mubarak?

      4. The Russian revolution was much the same. The Communists under Lenin were very much in the minority, but they were well organized and absolutely ruthless. The revolution wasn’t even over before they started to convert or execute their revolutionary allies.

    2. Maybe. Or …

      Step 1: Recruit non-Islamists to wipe out Baghdad.
      Step 2: With Baghdad out of the way, wipe out remaining non-Islamists.
      Step 3: Caliphalooza

    3. Well obviously Baathists don’t desire sharia nor do most Iraqis, after all that region and it’s people have a somewhat secular heritage and they love their booze and social hookah pipe gatherings too much to give it up to some wannabe Mohammed successor,

    4. “He openly said that they were not fighting for an Islamic state and just wanted Maliki gone and further would fight ISIS as soon as Baghdad was taken care of. Further, he said that ISIS isn’t as strong as AQ in Iraq was back in 2004 by a long shot.”

      He might find that the Duadni tribe isn’t as strong as they were with 50,000 Americans and the USAF backing them up with smart bombs either.

  15. “The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by … the arrival of its troops to their areas.”

    Hmmm. Any of its troops gonna arrive in, say, DC?

  16. “The dick-swinging comes after the group’s declaration that it had transcended race- and class-based distinctions in favor of “piety,” the kind with which they “forced the noses of the cross-worshippers onto the ground with the most miserable of weapons and weakest of number.””

    I can’t be entirely sure, but I *think* this refers to the Muslim victory over the Byzantine Empire over 1,000 years ago, when they took over Syria and Egypt. The reference to fire-worshippers (pagan Persians) from the same era seems to bear this out.

    1. Fire worshippers? Melisandre and Stannis were there?

      1. Zoroastrians. I suppose I shouldn’t have called them pagans.

        1. And if you made a Game of Thrones reference, that was literally worse than ISIS.

        2. Clearly I need to refresh when I come back from meetings.

    2. The reference to fire-worshippers (pagan Persians) from the same era seems to bear this out.

      Would that be Zoroastrians? I know next to nothing about Zoroastrianism. They’re associated with fire worship?

      1. IIRC they use fire in certain rituals – Muslims (and some Eastern Christians) call them fire-worshippers as a sort of taunt.

        1. Jon Snow is born of a virgin and has not dad.

          That is all.

  17. a few days after the al-Nusra Front, the Syria Al Qaeda affiliate, was reported to have signed a “loyalty pledge” to ISIS.

    So just your average corporate takeover with middle management .dog-fucking everything up.

    1. Only the Nusra fighters in that Syrian border city defected. There is now intense fighting between ISIS and a hodge-podge of other Syrian rebels including Nusra over that Syrian border city.

      1. Yeah, its always the branch offices where the merger runs into the most trouble.

        1. Branch offices? You have Branch offices? Why weren’t those included on the spreadsheet? /my workplace, right now, literally. LITERALLY.

          1. That’s some top-notch due diligence, there.

            1. Diligence is a dirrtay fucking word around here right now.

    2. “You were supposed to fill out your Total Power of Sharia (TPS) report. Didn’t you get that memo?”

      1. “Um, yeah, we’re gonna need you to come in Saturday for a beheading, okay? Thanks”

        1. “We could put as many as [holds up three fingers] three jihadis under you, and give you a virgin-sharing plan. Would that help you feel more motivated?”

          “Sure, Mo, whatever.”

          1. They’ll pay for birth control too, I mean, it’s invasive female genital mutilation, but they’ll pay for it.

    3. I’m sure then that is settled. AQ will never betray ISIS. Because they signed something.

  18. The only way these people will be happy is to split up into warring tribes and fight each other over who is the best 7th century oppressive tribe. We need to leave them alone to do that. It will keep them happy and occupied.

    1. To be fair, I think there’s a Silent Majority (TM) which doesn’t want to take part in the killing – they’ll either wait to see who wins, or emigrate to a less explode-y part of the world.

      1. Sure, but either way, there isn’t any chance of us intervening making it better.

        1. You’re clearly not in the political class.

          For them, intervention is making it better.

          1. There TOP MEN. Then there’s TOPPER MEN. And finally TOPPEST MEN.

  19. If ISIS/whateverthefucktheyarecallingthemselvesnow has you feelin’ low, maybe this will help.

    1. The next iteration of their name will be pricewaterhousecoopers.

      1. PriceWaterHouseCoopersTDAmeritradeTimeWarner.

        Seriously, ISIS can’t change their name. That’s the perfect evil secret organization name ever.

        Like they have a whole Island with a command center in it or something.

        1. Makes creating an actual G.I. Joe team that much more plausible.


        2. Seriously. “ISIS” is some grade A evil-legion-of-doom type shit.

          “ISIL” sounds like ‘itchy vagina cream’.

          1. Sounds like just what the women will need after infibulation.

  20. This is the end result of attempting to enforce arbitrary states on people whose loyalties run to family, clan, and tribe, in that order.

    Let them kill each other, facilitate them killing each other, and do business with whoever is left standing.

    1. ^ We should have that whole sentiment put on billboards and napkins and such.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen it encapsulated so perfectly.

    2. Which is fine, but they’re sitting on half of the black goo that makes the rest of the world run. And we need our black goo.

      1. well, hence the “do business” part. Unless you’re meaning we don’t have time to wait, which would be debatable.

      2. Just make it clear that we won’t kill them in job lots unless and until somebody fucks with the oil deliveries.

        If they do, then we have our live fire practice on whoever is fucking with the oil deliveries. Its our only national interest in the region, after all.

        1. +1

          Or, for shits and giggles we could develop our national resources and work on being energy independent. Or, we could but fuck each other for big money from the left to promote solar and coal regulation. Kind of a toss up really.

    3. Loyalties are: Religion, sect, family, favorite goat, clan and tribe. Okay: Religion, goat, sect, family, clan, and tribe.

  21. I see no reason to be worried. We Won Already

  22. C’mon, 100 comments and No Clash? Has the whole world gone mad?

    1. Dude, I was waiting for the right moment, and I.didn’t see one.

      “Khalif, he don’t like it.”

      1. Khalif? KHALIF??

        I hate it when people get the words wrong. Nobody gets woolly. Women get weary. They don’t get woolly. Nobody gets “stress.” They’re wearing a “dress.”

        The appropriate retort to this is, “*NOTHING IS WRITTEN*, SHERIF ALI!”

        1. Auda abu Tayi: What ails the Englishman?
          Sherif Ali: The one he killed is the one he brought out of the Nafud.
          Auda abu Tayi: It was written then. Better to have left him there.

        2. Chill, dude, I know the right words, I was *adapting* them.

  23. Well, at least the progs will shut up about Halliburton. 🙂

    Also, I count T-minus 10 seconds before the Liberals get warboners and insist on bombing some fuckers. No ‘boots on the ground’ obviously. They hate getting their hands dirty.

  24. “I came in from the east
    with the sun in my eyes
    I cursed there one time
    and I rode on ahead”

  25. I’m glad.
    I hope they ass-rape all of the middle-east. I want to watch the talking heads spin O as “The Supreme World Leader” as reports of rape, stoning, and beheading flow-in.

    Short version…BOOOOSSSSSHHHHHH

  26. It all could be hyperbole. But, the ME might be headed for a total apocalypse. Which, in many ways, it deserves.

    Buy gas futures, though.

  27. Reason kept saying for years that Al Qaeda and what not were on the run and not a real threat.

    Guess you were wrong Reason.

    Don’t ever close your eyes assholes.

    1. Obviously this means we should send in 500,000 troops to an area that we still haven’t pacified despite occupying it in various stages for the last 24 years.

      1. Nope, just mean Reason hasn’t been paying the fuck attention and has been preaching ignorance to their readership.

        I mean, they’re blithely calling ISIS’s holocaust killing “dick-swinging”. They’re fucking killing hundreds and thousands of people.

  28. Am I the only one who reads this name change as a desperation move. I think they are losing momentum and the making too many enemies, Turkey, the Kurds, the Iraqi Government, the US, Russia, Iran, Assad’s Regime, I think they don’t have the men or material to win a protracted war and are going for Hail Mary play to upset the balance and tip the war back into their favor. I don’t think it will work, they blew their wad too early with no late-game strategy.

    1. My understanding is that the Islamist government in Turkey supports them. What country are most of the Europeans passing through to get into Syria and Iraq? Turkey.

      What the Turkish government says publically and does behind the scenes are two different things. Erdogan has ties to al Qaeda.

      1. Well, this is a line-up of local Shi’ite powers:

        the Iraqi Government, Iran, Assad’s Regime.

        So, all the locals that oppose ISIS are Shi’ites. Wonder of wonders, ISIS is Sunni. As are their supporters (Qatar, Saudi, etc.)

        The US is irrelevant. The Russians are opportunistic.

        The Turks are nominally secular, but seem to be more (Sunni) Islamist as time goes on.

        Still a Shi’ite/Sunni civil war. Whether ISIS has shot its wad remains to be seen.

        1. you’re right, but it’s not just religion, but regional power politics.

          Russia and the U.S. aren’t irrelevant though. Russia is propping up Assad and we’re not intervening. What’s going on is what U.S. non-intervention really looks like. ISIS creating a caliphate. Assad holding on to his part of Syria. yada. yada. yada.

    2. Re incorporating one’s DBA works to avoid liabilities in the Western business world but maybe not in the Islamic Jihadist world.

  29. I was looking at picture Reason provided regarding Isis. The flag on the left is interesting. The middle word in the white circle looks like the word “jews.” It looks like the Moussad is everywhere these days.

  30. It doesn’t just benefit “those groups”, it also benefits the politicians fighting them; terrorists and tough-on-terrorism politicians are in a symbiotic relationship.

  31. As long as they don’t change their name to the “Redskins”, the Left will have nothing bad to say about them.

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