A recent piece in the Financial Times called “ISIS inc” sets about trying to explain exactly how this ragtag group of a couple of thousand Wahhabis has somehow resisted the combined might of the “coalition” military to become a massively wealthy Wahhabi super villain. I think we should be grateful to the FT for giving us such a clear and concise picture of the official narrative, which goes like this:
On the outskirts of al-Omar oilfield in eastern Syria, with warplanes flying overhead, a line of trucks stretches for 6km. Some drivers wait for a month to fill up with crude.
Falafel stalls and tea shops have sprung up to cater to the drivers, such is the demand for oil. Traders sometimes leave their trucks unguarded for weeks, waiting for their turn….This is the land of Isis, the jihadi organisation in control of swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory.
Ok now I can see some of you might already be thinking “hang on, six km of stationary trucks? Falafel stalls and tea shops? It doesn’t sound as if these people have much fear of attack. How can this be so given the coalition has been attacking ISIS non-stop for over 12 months?” Well FT has the answer.
The trade in oil has been declared a prime target by the international military coalition fighting the group. And yet it goes on, undisturbed. Oil is the black gold that funds Isis’ black flag — it fuels its war machine, provides electricity and gives the fanatical jihadis critical leverage against their neighbours. But more than a year after US President Barack Obama launched an international coalition to fight Isis, the bustling trade at al-Omar and at least eight other fields has come to symbolise the dilemma the campaign faces: how to bring down the “caliphate” without destabilising the life of the estimated 10m civilians in areas under Isis control, and punishing the west’s allies?
There, you see? The reason why after “more than a year” Obama’s air strikes have had precisely zero effect on ISIS’s massive oil industry is perfectly simple. It’s because Obama doesn’t want to risk harming civilians!
You know – like the ones in that hospital in Afghanistan.
Yes, ok, American airstrikes have killed more than 450 civilians in Syria since its campaign began, and yes, it has been estimated US drone strikes kill 28 civilians for every one terrorist, and yes there are claims that nearly 90% people killed in recent drone strikes were not the target, but that’s different, ok? When it comes to ISIS and those oil fields, Obama gets all fuzzy inside. He won’t let the USAF hit that 6km long convoy of stationary trucks at al-Omar, or any of ISIS’s oil production infrastructure, in case a dear little girl or some kittens get in the way.
So, he has absolutely no choice but to sit and watch while ISIS ships out “34,000-40,000” barrels of crude per day.
You see? You get the picture?
But what, I hear you say, of those other nagging questions regarding how a random and unskilled collection of Wahhabi jihadis somehow managed not only to fight a winning war on at least two fronts, but also build this awesome oil empire up from scratch in just a few months? Well, once you read FT it all becomes very simple. You see, “ISIS’ oil strategy has been long in the making.” and a “local sheik from Hawija” helpfully fills in some detail:
“They were ready, they had people there in charge of the financial side, they had technicians that adjusted the filling and storage process…..They brought hundreds of trucks in from Kirkuk and Mosul and they started to extract the oil and export it….”
The “local sheik” doesn’t say where they got the trucks from, but they probably just stole them from al Qaeda like the matching Toyota Hiluxes (yes, ok the US was donating SUVs to the perps of 9/11, but that’s just realpolitik, ok?)
And, in case you’re about to ask, there’s no mystery about how ISIS gets those engineers and financial officers. They recruit from the industry!
ISIS headhunts engineers, offering competitive salaries to those with the requisite experience, and encourages prospective employees to apply to its human resources department.
See, what could be more plausible than that? ISIS has a human resources department. If you want a job with them you just call in or write and get an interview. Ok, yes, according to FT they do also have “secret police”, called the Amniyat, whose job it is to “ensure revenues go where they should — and mete out brutal punishments when they do not.” But they are terrorists after all, even if they are plugged into international banking and the oil industry in an unusually robust fashion.
Ok, yes, I can see you’re probably wondering why those “prospective employees” from the oil community stick around for the “brutal punishments”. Well FT doesn’t tell us that, but ISIS probably just has really good health cover and holiday plans or something. Anyway, never mind, it’s really not important. The important thing is ISIS is unstoppable, and that’s why we haven’t stopped them.
Oh, and also the Russians are only using ISIS as “an excuse” to do…something bad.
What? Do I hear some of you crazies saying that in the modern world, where a handful of banks and corporations control global finances and most of the world’s resources, ISIS simply could not become “ISIS inc” without the co-operation and assistance of some very highly placed and influential entities?
Oh dear me. Oh dear dear dear me. That is simply tinfoil hat nonsense. A conspiracy theory.
Probably made up by a Putinbot.
Drunk on vodka.
The Financial Times has told us the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. ISIS is a multibillionaire lone terrorist network, shunned by the civilised world, whose massive oil empire/ military complex/recruitment network and movie industry can’t be destroyed because the US doesn’t want to hurt innocent people.
Now go back to sleep.