(…and can they ever be unmasked and made to pay for their crimes against humanity?)

The common perception that ISIL is a faith-based and driven entity is wrong. Nor is it the product of some kind of parthenogenesis emerging from a ragtag collective of criminal misfits and extreme Islamist zealots. It is instead the product of a very carefully conceived, planned, well-funded enterprise by a disciplined group with a highly sophisticated agenda to achieve some sort power enclave in that region. Their use of a perverted version of Islam is simply their camouflaging instrument to conceal that agenda.

The primary method they have adopted to advance their objectives is a well-crafted, calculated, and selective application of terrorism to intimidate and achieve dominance over all other powers in the region, and a warning to others beyond it, not to interfere or otherwise attempt to intervene against them.

What makes ISIL such a threat to the rest of the civilized world is that they came up with the inspired concept of combining the state of the art in cyber technology…the internet’s social media…incryption applications…with a content it calls “jihad”…to induce a murderous insanity of purpose in those who may be susceptible to such psychological manipulations no matter where these may be…and thus become its remotely controlled agents of terror to project its “power” anywhere in world. In that sense we might say this is the equivalent of the flea-infested rats which spread the Bubonic Plagues that ravaged the Medieval Era.

Which raises some critical questions here: What is it about that “jihad” content which makes it so infectious as to induce that kind of murderous insanity, including self-immolation? Even more critical…what kind of antidote or countermeasures are needed to neutralize its capacity to infect susceptible minds exposed to it? Until we can find answers to those questions, whatever military actions, police surveillance, or intelligence sharing efforts are made will have relatively negligible results…and the slaughter of innocents will continue as ISIS wills.

If this seems a somewhat bleak perspective about the situation…it is. The recent attacks in Paris are a clear example of what to expect from here on unless the entire world community comes to the realization that this is not a question of containing an aberrant strain of religious fanaticism, but rather, of somehow completely neutralizing a weapon in the form of a highly contagious mental disease, which ISIL developed to achieve its agenda. Viewed from that kind of perspective, as being a highly contagious disease, we can then perhaps develop more effective measures to eradicate it from our world.

There is also a broader historical context which relates to ISIL which may be helpful in understanding how to properly develop ways and means to defeat it.

One of the earliest efforts in modern times to expose a master plan for a calculated, well-crafted, and coordinated application of programmed terror in support of political and military objectives, was outlined in detail by the late noted journalist Edmond L. Taylor in his 1940 book titled-The Strategy of Terror – by which he showed how the NAZI Hitler regime was doing it.

In the many decades since then there has evolved a long chain of ideological DNA directly derived from that NAZI Hitler regime which has morphed its way throughout many of the political structures found in the Middle East region. Among these are the ideological foundations it provided for the Ba’athist Parties of both Iraq and Syria, which they used as the basis of power for the Assads in Syria, and Saddam Hussein, in Iraq. Calculated and planned application of terror was thus used by both to maintain their control and strangleholds on power. Later, in the aftermath of the fall of the Hussein regime in Iraq, hardcore remnants of that Ba’athist Party fled to Syria, along with all the loot and weaponry that could be hauled away with them (including those “non-existent” chemical weapons which couldn’t be found in Iraq).

While that briefly enhanced the Assad regime’s power position, the Iraqi Ba’athists soon realized that they could never have a share in that power despite their joint political views, thus, when Assad the elder died, they saw the resulting internal power struggle there as their opportunity to gain some of it for themselves, by providing behind the scenes support for the younger son who, once he became the new President…would then be their grateful and obliging puppet. Much of all this power mongering and maneuvering is quite murky, we admit, but it seems the most plausible explanation for what happened next.

For some reason, however, none of that worked out to the Iraqi Ba’athists advantage, thus frustrated and dissatisfied with their situation, a more hardcore element of them formed their own secret group conspiring to destabilize the new Assad regime instead so that they could take over. It’s therefore quite possible they were the ones who, for that purpose, helped provoke the popular protests which ignited the subsequent civil war, and, under cover of the ensuing chaos and conflict there, began putting together both a military and political structure with which they could then carve out their own power enclave within that chaos, by using…terror…as their weapon of choice.

If this sounds too much like a weird dot-connecting exercise from the conspiracy school of history there does seem to be sufficient circumstantial substance to support its plausibility. Here’s why: These were not just a renegade break-away element, but more than likely dissenting and dissatisfied members of the upper political and military echelons of that Iraqi Ba’athist clique, with the financial means, political savvy and sophistication, and military experience and discipline, to organize and launch such and enterprise.

Which is why we are coming to believe that these are the hidden architects of what became ISIL, shrewd enough to use the motivating factor of extreme religious zealotry to gather in and train the foot soldiers they need to achieve their goals, and, as camouflage for their real agenda. Even more telling is that the pattern and methods of their terror operations are eerily similar to those used so long ago by the NAZI Hitler regime, further indicating the ideological linkage they have with it.

If these are indeed the hidden power behind the ISIL phenomenon then a strong international concerted effort to unmask them and track them down is the only way we can ever hope to achieve their defeat and destruction.