Islamic State / ISIS / Daesh has been forced to cut salaries in half, following a collapse in revenues, thus proving that there’s only one ruler in this world. The Iron Bank.
It can’t be easy for the men who control Daesh to admit that they have no money for their fighters, their administrators, their priests, their police or their street-cleaners. After all, they promised the poor fools that God would provide, but there you have it. They’ll brazen it out because these are men who have known humiliation in the past and who have overcome it.
These men, remember, are Saddam Hussein’s senior commanders, kicked out of a job during Paul Bremer’s insane purge of the Iraqi Baath Party and they’ll tell their demented religious puppets whatever lies they consider necessary to keep them fighting and getting killed. Besides, it’s not as if they planned to keep the same fools alive once they carved a new state for themselves out of the ruins of Iraq and Syria.
But isn’t it hilarious that Daesh are collapsing under money worries, just like the rest of us? Not only has their oil production been curtailed by bombing raids on refineries but now they have to deal with the collapse in world petroleum prices, just like the Saudis and the Canadian shale-sand polluters.
Did the men who control Daesh ever think they were part of a globalised economy? Of course they did. These men are all educated in Western universities and trained in Western military academies. They have tasted the finest of Irish and Scotch whiskeys, the best of French cognacs. The purest that Colombia could supply them. The keenest racehorses. The best cuisine. The sweetest invitations that money can buy. Delights undreamed-of by a Daesh foot-soldier from the sink estates of Birmingham, the alleyways of Marseille or the crushing poverty of a Tunis slum.
Imagine what would happen if these ignorant, homicidal, fanatical youths came to realise how well their masters are living. Would Saddam’s fat former generals find themselves swinging from lamp-posts? Actually, probably not, since these Republican Guard ex-officers are professionals and this has already been war-gamed by them. Unlike any US president in history, these boys have an exit strategy. They had it from the start, long before they began to create the fantasy that they called Islamic State — a cruel mockery dreamed up by people who were part of Saddam’s distinctly unIslamic vision.
When Daesh implodes, as it inevitably will, the men in the shadows will be long gone, but meanwhile it will be hilarious watching their HR department trying to cope with wage demands, go-slows, working to rule and outright strikes.
How will they handle that? Will they behead everyone who refuses to operate the water treatment plants? And if they do, who will do the job instead? Allah?
Will the cuts affect the beheaders? Will there be cuts in beheading? Will output be reduced?
Will there be redundancies?
In many ways, ISIS has a lot in common with David Cameron, our own Enda Kenny or for that matter Donald Trump. Slashing the salaries of public servants is something these politicians have dreamed of for years, but not one of them had the guts to cut wages in half.
Don’t be surprised if our government hires them.