Back in the late 1990’s a successful Star Trek series featured the Borg. These sci-fi characters were a melding of artificial intelligence machine and human hosts. They were a hive of intellectually connected super beings that absorbed the civilizations they encountered in conquests throughout the galaxies, enlarging their empire and “assimilating” the subjects into their own culture. Today The Caliphate is mirroring this aggressive movement in similar ways. The ongoing destruction of churches, Muslim shrines that do not reflect the 7th century interpretations of Islam according to the Mahdist sect and now archaeological sites such as Nimrud are being assimilated into the Mahdist sect’s worldview. This, ladies and gentlemen of the Western world is what has to expect as The Caliphate of Iraq and Syria (and Libya, Yemen, Indonesia and other places) grows its territory. As the UK gradually becomes Islamized, Mahdi-style, watch for Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey and other infidel sites to be demolished by Jihadists. Paris, Washington and other targets will follow. This is not a terrorist group; it is an army of a sect of Islam that even Muslims fear. Jihadists accept only full submission to their version of Islam, all others are apostates. Infidels are the enemy to be slaughtered with no mercy.  It is time to face the facts.

The second Iraq invasion in 2003 under the weapons of mass destruction ploy began an unsuccessful incursion by the United States that grew in unprecedented fashion into a democratization effort that failed when under the Obama Administration declared victory and set about leaving Afghanistan and Iraq. Iraq collapsed and Afghanistan has reverted to being Afghanistan. The lessons of Alexander the Great, Queen Victoria and the late, great USSR went unheeded. As the current Administration withdraws behind a foreign policy that promotes job programs for Jihadists, emailing battle plans to the enemy and reducing its previous military strength to the level of a third world country, the vacuum is rapidly filling with a brutal interpretation of Islam.

Iraq was once a place that held empires such as Akkad, Ur of the Chaldeans, Babylon and Assyria. It has been justly titled “the cradle of civilization” and now hosts a raging army of single-minded conquerors whose view of civilization includes massacres of Christians, apostate Muslims, obscene beheadings and executions and using YouTube to share these horrors and intimidate all opponents. Destroying any previous culture and replacing it with their own is a standard operating procedure and it is in the plan as they conquer. Nimrud is the latest scene of rewriting history for The Caliphate.

To be sure, the artifacts from looted churches, museums and archaeological sites will hit the underground art market. Museums and ethical collectors are being alerted, but the oligarchy of the ultra-rich has deep pockets and close friendships, no questions asked. The funds will increase the Caliphate’s treasury in multiple ways. The Caliphate is not a terrorist organization. It is a State, it has a head of State, it has territory and it has an army that is growing worldwide. As these sections begin to connect and coordinate can the Western governments deal with it? Like that sci-fi program, they are single minded, well-armed and no one seems to know how to defeat them. Israel and its new allies Jordan and Egypt know the mindset: The Caliphate will only recognize force, firmness and action. Is the West, particularly the United States up to the full commitment that it will take to stop this annihilation of nations, cultures and hearts and minds? The clock is running.