Our American housing market is on a slow recovery as we climb out of the mortgage meltdown and the subprime crisis. Our gas prices are coming down – relatively speaking — thanks to innovations such as fracking, and state and private land energy exploration. For whatever reason, we just cannot get B. Hussein Obama to come to grips with approving the Keystone XL pipeline project and give a boost to our energy security, enabling America to produce, consume, and even export energy resources.
But those folks at ISIS sure recognize economic opportunities when they see them!
For one thing, ISIS is ALL OVER oil exploration, considering they’re earning anywhere from $3-$6 million daily from oil sales. And now they’ve discovered a whole new revenue stream: real estate!
As reported by Iraq Business News,since they’ve taken over the northern city of Mosul, ISIS has a new source of income. “The group has confiscated the properties of all those who fled or taken them off those they consider enemies. Locals say the plan is to auction the real estate off and make more money.”
“After taking control of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in early June, (ISIS) has been busy “coming into some property.” They have “inherited” houses, industrial real estate and agricultural land around the areas they control in the province of Ninawa, mostly due to the fact that the rightful owners have fled or been forced out by the group. All of this real estate is considered to be under the control of the group’s so-called treasury system, or Bayt al-Mal. Historically this was a kind of public fund, that was supposed to help pay for social development in Muslim kingdoms.”So, there is indeed a strategy and a business plan behind the savagery of ISIS. The group is apparently interested in amassing lands for exploitation and profit — after all, I’m quite sure they’re hoping to establish a little jihadi getaway. I suppose part of recruitment scheme is to guarantee an affordable mortgage for a new home — homes taken from millennia-old Christian community — yep, coexistence alright. I know, the cultural jihadist apologists will say, no one had to flee, they could have stayed there and lived in peace — sure, just pay the submission “jizya” protection tax and you can survive — maybe.
“On the ground in Mosul, the IS group has been collecting rents and taxes for their own version of the historical treasury, acting just like the Mosul municipal authorities used to do, with a lot of rent coming from the two big commercial areas on either side of the city. It’s estimated that there are more than 5,000 businesses in these areas. The IS group is also collecting rent from other parts of town – including industrial projects elsewhere and even tourist facilities in Mosul’s greener areas.” Yep, quite the vacation hot spot ya think?Iraq Business News says “Property owned by individuals that the IS group considered their enemies – such as Iraqi army and police, government officials, politicians, judges and public prosecutors – has also been seized. And recently the group decided they should also own the property belonging to specialists in certain fields, such as doctors. The result of all this property: another huge source of funding for the extremist group, possibly amounting to more than the money it makes from selling oil and oil derivatives on the black market here.”
We are witnessing the establishment of a new entity – can’t call it a nation-state — but the beginnings of viable structure of which will have an army, a funding means, and most of all, territory. And if the United States over the next two years under Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t contend with this expansion and consolidation in its infantile stages, it will become a far more formidable entity.
In my assessment, ISIS is looking to eliminate Kurdish existence, drive out Bashar al-Assad, isolate Baghdad and use terror tactics to destabilize the Iraqi government, turn its sights on Jordan, and eventually set its sights upon the ultimate goal: the destruction of Israel. And generating revenue is key to its expansion and strategic objectives.
As a Sunni movement, ISIS will draw the wider support of the Islamic world against the Shia world led by Iran. Now I know many of you are saying, nice, let them all just fight amongst themselves and kill each other. That does sound rather inviting, however, there’s that ol’ maxim of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and the ultimate enemy of the Islamo-fascists is Israel and America.
We can ill afford to allow a new Axis of Evil to develop which will be Islamic terrorists, Iran, Qatar, Turkey, and to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia. This alliance would find temporary alliance and use of Russia and China as those two nation-states would see an opportunity for them to expand their aims and objectives, restoring Russian hegemonic dominance and Chinese Pacific dominance, while America and the West would potentially be bogged down or simply paralyzed by an imploding Middle East that would encompass the Maghreb and the Sahel.
This is indeed a long-term strategic issue and can’t be simply politicized — or worse, dismissed as some faux Operation Inherent Resolve. The longer ISIS remains in place and establishing its own legal, economic, and military systems, the greater the threat of its growing alliances — dangerous alliances. And the longer ISIS exists and auctions off seized property, the less hope that these properties will ever be recovered — as records of course will have been destroyed and rewritten. If ISIS survives, it becomes viable and will not be seen as a temporary phenomenon. That does not bode well.
The true lesson in comparison was the immediate response of America against al-Qaida and the Taliban in 2001 in Afghanistan. That is what is understood by Islamic jiahdists: strength, power and might. The problem then became America’s inability to pursue and complete the destruction of the enemy — we shifted to nation-building. I don’t believe “if you break it you own it” — one of the most important things we must learn to break is the will of this enemy. We have clearly failed to do so. And in breaking the Jihadist will, we must seek out the young secular Muslims who do indeed want a better future — and to coexist.
We are totally focused on the combat offensive operations of ISIS. What we had best come to understand is that ISIS is developing established systems of governance. That is not what a jayvee team does.