Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's Caliphate

Steven LeBlanc

Two days ago Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent out an eerily calm message calling for doctors, engineers, and judges to join him. He aimed his message beyond the Arab world: within half an hour, translations into multiple languages, including English, French and German, had appeared on jihadi websites. Hundreds are making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the new Caliphate.

ISIS includes thousands of foreign fighters and has been attracting many jihadist volunteers from Europe and North Africa. Today ISIS claims to have over 16,000 fighters most coming from the Middle East, but around 3,000 are believed to have come from Europe, including Britain, and over 100 have come from South America and North America.

Without American ground troops in the region, the outcome of Iraq remains uncertain. The Iraqi army’s lack of preparedness and morale is obvious, overwhelmed with political infighting we see that part of the nation is falling apart. A Bedouin proverb says–When the shooting starts climb on your camel and head for the mountaintops.—One million have done just that (in Iraq) and have fled cities in Iraq because of ISIS.

07 05 2014

Why is Baghdadi extremely popular with many Jihadis? For one, he has established a Caliphate (an Islamic Empire)—something that has not been done for 100 years. It may be short-lived, but he has done it. Also, he has been victorious on the field of battle, taking control of over 30 villages, towns and cities in Iraq and Syria. Their biggest prize to date is the capture of Mosul—a city of 2 million people.

Should America become involved once again in Iraq—the president is contemplating such a decision—at least some degree of involvement. But remember, many Americans and Europeans now see America’s previous involvement in Iraq as a terrible mistake costing the U.S. thousands of lives and over one trillion dollars.

God warned ancient Israel, “I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19). He was warning ancient Israel and future generations of the consequences of national sin, of turning away from God. He also said, “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies” (Deuteronomy 28:25). The cold truth is God is not blessing our nation when it comes to international conflicts. Our sins are too great! And God is angry. The president should consider standing aside this time around—perhaps the best decision would be to let the Sunnis of ISIS and the Shia of Bagdad fight for the control of Iraq without America’s intervention.

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