There is an Islamic State that, for almost the entirety of its history, has never ceased to wage war against its neighbors, and even other countries around the world. For half of the last century, this Islamic State violently toppled, or attempted to topple, dozens of democratically-elected governments because those governments didn’t buy into the Islamic State’s repressive, fundamentalist ideology. This Islamic State has been named, by one of it’s own reformers who was subsequently assassinated, as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, and it has consistently refused to answer charges brought against it by the World Court and United Nations, among other groups. This Islamic State regularly argues that things like the Geneva Conventions do not apply to its military forces, and is highly resistant towards many worldwide initiatives like curbing greenhouse gasses or ceasing to use landmines.
This Islamic State has a long history of repression, including over 300 years of slavery. It has committed a genocide that literally cleared a continent of its indigenous peoples, using overt violence, starvation tactics, forced migration, and biological warfare. It has more recently failed to pass laws ensuring that women will be paid as much as men for the same work, and has also given religious rights to certain powerful ideologues and organizations that are denied to everyday citizens.
The Islamic State in question is hyper-violent. The essentially single-party government encourages all citizens to carry deadly weapons at all times, so that they can freely intimidate one another, especially intimidating minority groups, and citizens are encouraged to be perpetually prepared to kill one another. This Islamic State is the largest purveyor of arms in the world, and has supported other violent regimes like the Taliban, Saudi Arabia’s monarchy, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. In fact, the majority of weapons used worldwide have their source in the factories of this Islamic State.
Based on its overwhelming ideology, this Islamic State has no apparent concern for civilian casualties, and in one of its most recent wars of aggression and occupation, actually made it illegal for the few journalists allowed to report on the violence to report on civilian casualties. This Islamic State has a long history of violence against its own people, including minority groups, and especially any groups formed by the working poor in an attempt to gain equality and basic human rights. Thousands have been killed, and many more imprisoned, in this Islamic State’s history, simply for organizing and demanding basic rights like food, access to medical care, and housing.
This Islamic State has not only admitted to using secret prisons and torture against its enemies, but has actually gone so far as to declare such indefinite imprisonment and torture to be entirely legal and moral, as long as it serves this Islamic State’s security and ideology. For more than a decade, this Islamic State has held captives without trial or even habeas corpus on military bases, far from contact with journalists, the Red Cross, or family and friends. These captives, most of whom were literally purchased by this Islamic State through a system of bounties, are unapologetically held without any evidence being presented.
This Islamic State has the most prisoners per capita in the world, and is in the process of turning its prison system over to private ideologically-driven organizations, signing guarantees that the prisons will be kept full regardless of concerns for justice. In these prisons, minority groups and the poor are the vast majority of those held. For one minority group in particular, a third of all adult males are part of this system of incarceration, and the Islamic State has made no effort whatsoever to rectify this situation. Minority groups are also far more likely to be killed as part of this Islamic State’s “justice system,” despite overwhelming evidence that the State has executed innocent people in the past.
Among its ideological neighbors, this Islamic State is the only one to deny many of its citizens access to higher education or basic medical care. As for its geographical neighbors, this Islamic State has a long history of causing migrant peoples to die of privation and exposure in its expansive desert regions, and is currently holding tens of thousands of displaced children in cramped, inhumane housing. The ideology of the citizens of this Islamic State is so powerful that some of them travel by choice to the desert border, heavily armed and prepared to murder anyone seeking to migrate, whether child or adult. These same people regularly sabotage humanitarian attempts to provide water for those crossing the desert. At the same time, this Islamic State depends on millions of undocumented laborers who work for starvation wages harvesting and processing food. These laborers are forced to live in tents and temporary camps outside of cities and towns, and are denied basic human rights.
All of this injustice, all of these morally reprehensible policies, are justified ideologically and religiously, and ultimately enforced by the largest military force ever seen on Earth. This Islamic State is a threat to all freedom-loving, democratic peoples worldwide, as it is already capable of waging multiple simultaneous wars, and its repressive regime spends more on the military than most of the rest of the world combined. Only through a concerted effort of long-term resistance and education can we possibly hope to counter the violent and repressive influence of this Islamic State.
Oh, did I say Islamic State? I meant the United States.