Dear Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),
Our leadership felt bad about all of the tough press you’ve been getting lately and – given our talent for ruining Gaza while enjoying endless love from the media – we thought we’d share some pointers with you.
We’ve been at this Islamist terrorism thing for decades now, so we can offer some helpful tips for your war to establish a Caliphate – a goal we LOVE. After all, if you overrun Jordan, we could even become allied forces in the West Bank, from which we can jointly conquer Israel.
So, during one of our tunnel-side chats, our most seasoned jihadists compiled this list of best practices, in the hope that these suggestions can improve your performance:
1) If the U.S. ever insists that you participate in elections when there are no democratic traditions or institutions in place, say YES (we won over half of the legislature in Gaza’s 2006 election).
2) But if power-sharing arrangements eventually cramp your style, try a violent coup. We did that with our 2007 takeover of Gaza, and were recently planning a second putsch (in the West Bank) and mega-terror attacks until those pesky Israelis foiled our plot. But gaining and keeping power through violence and fear is KEY. In 2007, we even threw our political opponents off rooftops for good measure. When in doubt, use brutality to quell any inconvenient dissent. Actually, you’re doing just fine on this point – keep it up!
3) If you’re lucky enough to have peace-loving idealists hoping for your success and giving you income-generating resources, destroy their gifts to solidify your poverty credentials. Looters ruined more than 3,000 greenhouses that Israel left us in 2005 and this strengthened our image as economic victims that much sooner. And we attacked Israel so many times (including our tunnel-assisted abduction of Gilad Shalit and sometimes 30 rocket attacks per day on Sderot) that Israel had to seal Gaza’s borders to limit our weapons imports from Iran. But Israel’s silly desire to limit how we can kill Israelis did wonders for our victimhood because the media forgot all about the cause of the blockade and focused only on the hardship it causes us. It gets better: when Israel opens the blockade to send us humanitarian aid, we even bomb the crossing and NOBODY cares (or wonders if maybe we’re responsible for the blockade or Gazan misery generally). Pretty cool, right?
4) We use clinics, schools, mosques and charities to gain legitimacy among our people and inculcate them with the values of jihadi terror. Oh wait, you do that too. Good job!
5) But you should definitely use more human shields to protect yourselves from U.S. airstrikes. We LOVE human shields – they’re cheap and effective. Just remember to tell mourners how you fast-tracked the victims to heaven.
6) You WANT dead babies. This is HUGE. The ever-shortening attention span fueled by social media is awesome because it relieves everyone of intellectual hassles like historical context, nuanced moral judgment, deeper analysis of cause and effect, etc. Just show that the people you’re trying to kill have caused baby deaths while defending themselves, and you win. It’s that simple.
7) Another technique that we HIGHLY recommend is offending every rule of decency. That means:
c) bombing your own people and then blaming your enemy (we killed nine Gazans and scared the media into faulting Israel; when an Italian journalist revealed the truth after he was safe from our threats, nobody cared),
d) using child labor to build your terror tunnels (we killed about 160 in the process and nobody cared),
f) diverting humanitarian resources for terrorist use (we could have built at least seven skyscrapers with the concrete expropriated for our terror tunnels) while protesting your poverty even as your leadership lives well,
g) intimidating and deceiving the press into promoting your narrative (if they don’t do so on their own, like when the BBC disseminated inaccurate photos of Gaza)
8) We also have some positive feedback for you, ISIS. You have impressively excelled at championing our core values! We’re all for: hateful incitement against religious minorities, treating women as second-class citizens and endorsing honor killings, giving homosexuals the death penalty, letting Islamic morality police govern economic activity, teaching war rather than human rights, and attacking Christians (or just using their church to launch rockets). You’re awesome at this stuff!
9) We condemned the assassination of Osama Bin Laden as much as you aspire to surpass him. But PLEASE stop trying to involve the West (as you did with your threats against Norway, Spain, and especially the US – Obama just pressured Israel into letting us keep our military capabilities, so be nice!). The key here is to complete your domination of the Middle East by first eradicating its only democracy (Israel) and its moderate Arab states. You want to lull Europe and the U.S. into spineless passivity by reinforcing their naïve assumption that we’ll be appeased enough to stop at the Middle East. We need Western “powers” to cower away from our region long enough for Iran to get nuclear weapons. Yes, we know that you, our fellow Sunnis, have a thing against Shiites, but the Iranian regime hates Western infidels as much as we do, so we can all work together in the service of Jihad. Indeed, Iran is our main sponsor (we get our best missiles from them!). And once Iran has nukes, THEN we can go after the EU and U.S. But this game takes patience, guys – not that much because Iran (thanks to Obama’s “strategy”) could have nukes in two months. But until that happens (or you somehow help us to destroy Jordan and Israel beforehand), you really need to chill out on the rhetoric against the West.
10) If you want to skyrocket your international popularity, you should attack Israel ASAP. You may hear some perfunctory condemnations but you’ll be secretly admired. Better still: compel Israel to defend itself militarily – that’s when you can literally surf a tidal wave of global support. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of having Israel as your opponent — anyone else really won’t do. Why do you think we rarely attack Egypt (which also blockades Gaza)? Because they’d flatten Gaza and nobody would care. Remember Ansar Dine? Our fellow Islamists in Mali were thousands of miles from France, but nobody cared when the French started bombing them in 2013 without any threat against France’s security. To guarantee world support for your Islamist ways, your enemy must be Israel. But DON’T use donkeys (as we do) to blow up Israelis because this will upset the animal-rights group PETA.
Destroying Western civilization is far easier than building it, but still requires a disciplined strategy, so we hope these pointers come in handy. Feel free to get in touch with any questions.
With love and support,
Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.