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Goldstein 2.0: ISIS has a new big bad leader

Kit Knightly

The fast-paced world of geopolitics can be disorienting to follow and unsettling to witness.

The US Empire teeters on the brink of total collapse, and lashes out recklessly this way and that as feuding factions struggle for control. The world’s finances are a dystopian mess of imaginary money, controlled by an elite class who care nothing for ordinary people and have rigged the game so they win no matter where the roulette wheel stops. And the less said about the environment, the better.

In these uncertain times, it’s important to take comfort in the familiar and the predictable…

…like the mainstream media flashing up a photograph of an Arabic man, and crowning him the evilest man in the world.

That’s right: ISIS has a new leader. At least, according to the press (or, more accurately, the people that tell the press what to say).

This is Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, and he is the new Public Enemy Number One.

That’s what the Guardian says, anyway:

The new leader of Islamic State has been confirmed as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, according to officials from two intelligence services. He is one of the terror group’s founding members and has led the enslavement of Iraq’s Yazidi minority and has overseen operations around the globe.

Oh, and the Daily Mail too:

The new leader of Islamic State has been revealed as Iraqi Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi. Two intelligence services said al-Salbi took over from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the terrorist leader blew himself up in October. Al-Salbi, who helped found ISIS, brought in brutal Sharia Law in Iraq and Syria, led the enslavement of the Yazidi and has operated across the world.

(Sidenote: When a schoolfriend of mine copied my homework with that little effort at rewriting we both got in big trouble. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume they’re both copying from the same GCHQ memo.)

Interestingly, neither article actually names the “two intelligence services” who provided this information. In fact, they give us no evidence the man even exists. They just say it, because they were told to, and we need a new “face of evil”.

Just as Osama Bin Laden was killed (several times), and then buried at sea…only to be replaced by al-Baghdadi. So is al-Baghdadi killed (several times), and then buried at sea…only to be replaced by al-Salbi.

(I’m sure, when the time comes, the next Democrat administration will happily kill off al-Salibi, claim to have “done what Donald Trump could never do”, only to replace him with Arabic Terrorist #4 from central casting before the end of the year.)

Whether or not he’s real – whether or not that photo is real, stolen from the website of some cricket team, or invented entirely in photoshop – we have our new Goldstein. Get familiar with him, because you’ll likely be hearing about him a lot.

For starters, don’t be surprised if his “fortification” of ISIS means Donald Trump can’t pull out of Syria after all.

Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil.

There’s the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out.

Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It’s much less messy that way.

Or, hell, maybe we’ll return to the hits of the 90s and early 2000s, and Islamic jihadists will get back to work in Chechnya.

Whatever happens, ISIS are back baby. And that means that some way, somehow, Mr al-Salbi is about to make the foreign policy goals of the United States much easier.

That’s what Goldsteins are for.