ISIS’ Dreams Of Conquest Crumbling As Thousands Abandon Failed Experiment

The idea behind ISIS was actually pretty simple: Create a single fundamentalist Islamic state (that’s the “IS” in ISIS) that would encompass the world’s Muslim population. And they had a pretty good start, too. They seized large chunks of Iraq and Syria, grabbed a bunch of oil fields and set up a functioning infrastructure to provide food, water, education and so on. But, like many revolutionaries before them, ISIS is finding out the hard way that it’s easier to blow trains up than it is to keep them running on time:

But that statehood project is now in distress, perhaps more so than at any other time since the Islamic State began seizing territory in Iraq and Syria, according to a range of interviews with people who have recently fled. Under pressure from airstrikes by several countries, and new ground offensives by Kurdish and Shiite militias, the jihadists are beginning to show the strain.

Some fighters have taken pay cuts, while others have quit and slipped away. Important services have been failing because of poor maintenance. And as its smuggling and oil businesses have faltered, the Islamic State has fallen back on ever-increasing taxes and tolls imposed on its squeezed citizens.

Without a steady source of income, the “State” part of the “Islamic State” is going to collapse– and fast. Even Muslims that are gung-ho to live under a theocratic regime are going to become disillusioned when said regime can’t provide fresh water or basic sanitation:

The caliphate “is in more need than ever before for experts, professionals and specialists who can help contribute to strengthening its structure and tending to the needs of their Muslim brothers,” read an appeal last year in the group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq.

But that call has come up short, leaving the jihadists struggling to find people able to run oil equipment, fix electricity networks and provide medical care, former residents say.

I guess the downside of running a “country” based in the 14th century is that no one from the 21st wants to work for you.

None of this means that ISIS, as a “country” is going to implode any time soon but it does mean they will transition from a “government” to an occupying army that has to keep even those once willing to stay from fleeing. Even worse, once ISIS finally -does- collapse from both internal and external pressures, we’ll still have a very angry terrorist organization to deal with that will blame the infidels for destroying their “Caliphate” that was totally working, honest!, until the West came and bombed them out of existence. It doesn’t matter that the whole experiment was doomed from the start, it will still spawn generations of resentful fanatics bent on revenge.

Featured image via Wikipedia