The Islamic terrorist army often referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has made a faster womb-to-superstardom ascension than Justin Bieber. Largely unheard of just a few weeks ago, the group is now the self-proclaimed new ruler of an Islamic caliphate, or republic, extending across Iraq and Syria. These countries currently have internationally recognized heads of state -- but, you know, whatever, man. It's not like U.S. President Barack Obama is going to stop ISIL. In fact, he's asking Congress to give it $500 million, under the guise of funding the "Syrian opposition."
Recipients of this money will be carefully vetted, of course. Just like they were during Operation Syraqi Failstorm -- Part One.
Russia responded with a warning against such funding, with Russian President Vladimir Putin no doubt thinking, "Did you not just see this movie already, bro?" It's the one in which ISIL takes the cash, toys and training from the Syrian conflict and makes its way toward Baghdad.
Russia's Foreign Ministry spelled it out in a statement this week: "Given the real situation on the ground, these considerable funds, if allocated, would in fact serve entirely to strengthen the terrorist 'caliphate' proclaimed by the ISIL. Under the circumstances in which terrorist and extremist groups have secured their dominant role among anti-governmental forces in Syria, the best arms and best prepared fighters would end up with them."
By insisting on funding this fiasco, Obama is also about to drop another load of fail onto his so-called economic "pivot" to Asia. While American companies are already spending millions to fight terrorism in Southeast Asia (so they can safely build infrastructure that will one day be nationalized to the benefit of China and Russia), Indonesian extremists are traveling to Syria, joining ISIL and becoming the ultimate benefactors of the American largesse that Obama is now asking Congress to approve.
Unless the end goal is to foment Islamic terrorism from the Middle East to Southeast Asia, what exactly is this administration hoping to achieve? It's getting its backside handed to it by the jihadist version of a startup, and Obama risks becoming its venture capitalist in chief.
Here's some of what investors -- including Gulf states -- get for their money.
ISIL circulated a map on Twitter showing its short-term empire expansion goals, which include Portugal, Spain, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, India, roughly half of Africa, former Soviet satellite states and part of China. The group has already attributed a new name to each entity. Did I mention that's just the FIVE-year plan?