Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fighting back against DA'ESH

The self-styled "Islamic State" which I prefer to describe as "DA'ESH" (for very similar reasons that  that I describe the party led by Adolf Hitler as the Nazis rather than the National Socialist German Workers Party) has been instrumental in destroying or wrecking thousands of lives and the more powerful it becomes the more lives this utterly evil group will destroy.

So I was very pleased to learn today that hate preacher Anjem Choudary has been convicted of terrorism offences for inciting support for DA'ESh - it is suggested that he may have inspired up to 500 people to join the organisation.

Many of those people will have lost their lives in battle or to airstrikes, and worse, many of them will have killed innocent people. Choudary will be sentenced in September and I hope the judge puts him behind bars for as long as the law allows.

DA'ESH is guilty of the most dreadful crimes against everyone else in the region and even their own people, but their crimes against women in general and Yazidi women in particular have been particularly odious.

Rumour has it that the men who fight for DA'ESH have the childish idea that if they are killed by a woman they will go straight to hell.

This is of course nonsense: any God who acts solely on the basis of justice would send the whole lot of them straight to hell no matter who killed them, but both Christianity and the sort of real Islam which every Muslim I have met believes in (as opposed to the travesty taught by DA'ESH) say that God is also motivated by compassion and love, and has an infinite capacity for forgiveness.

We cannot know all the circumstances which have led these men to be where they are today or know that an infinitely wise, loving and compassionate God might not offer them forgiveness - although I do not think the gender of the person who killed an individual DA'ESH fighter would be one of the criterion such a God would use in deciding whether to grant forgiveness.

Daft though the belief may be, it is something which can be used.

The Kurdish Peshmerga forces who have been some of the most effective opponents of DA'ESH on the ground have included women-only units.

Yazidi women, including some escaped former slaves who have particularly suffered at the hands of the DA'ESH barbarians have also formed a female battalion called the Sun Ladies to fight back against their abusers.

It occurs to me that the West too can use DA'ESH's primitive beliefs against them. I think there is some potential here to undermine their morale.

One of the Western weapons system which Al-Baghdadi's barbarians most fear are drones such as the MQ-9 Reaper drones deployed by both the USAF and RAF. By January 2016, RAF Reapers had flown 1,000 sorties against DA'ESH, and they fired 258 Hellfire missiles in 2015. The RAF has procedures to obtain legal and command clearance before a drone makes a lethal attack.

How difficult would it be to ensure as part of that procedure that the person who actually pushes the button to fire a Hellfire missile is a woman officer? I don't know the answer to that question, but I doubt if DA'ESH do either.

Assuming that it would sometimes be the case that a woman gives the fire order or pushes the button, it would do no harm to let this be known in the Middle East - no need to release precise details, which would never happen anyway for security reasons.

The casualty rate among DA'ESH fighters has been high and there are signs that their morale is under considerable pressure. For many the last thing they ever heard has been the sound of a Hellfire missile approaching. If they can be persuaded that those missiles have been fired by a woman and therefore, in their sick worldview, will not just kill them but deprive them of paradise,  the pressure on their morale will be even greater. If that makes them crack sooner and reduces the number of innocent people killed under Al-Baghdadi's rule, this would be an objective well worth achieving.

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