ISIS? ISIL? IS? Ah will yiz make up yizzer minds
Published 14/08/2014 | 02:30
Oh, what's the proper name to bestow on the lads currently beheading, torturing and executing their way through an increasingly large swathe of the Middle East?
You know the ones I'm talking about, the really devoted and dedicated followers of the religion of peace who will happily disembowel you if you disagree with them?
When they first began to emerge from the chaos of Syria they preferred to be known as ISIS - the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.'
Then they sort of morphed into ISIL - 'the Islamic State in the Levant', which encapsulates more than just Iraq and Syria, but would include all of Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and parts of Turkey.
I suppose, if anything, both of these handles were easier than their original moniker 'Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād' , or 'The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad.'
In fairness to a group which has now changed their name more often than Prince, that one didn't exactly trip off the tongue, although 'Monotheism and Jihad' would make a nice name for a fancy Islamic food store. Think Fortnum and Mason with mass executions and hummus to literally die for.
But now they have gone and changed their name again, this time to a simple 'IS' or 'Islamic State', to reflect their newfound ambition across the world. Why target just the Levant when you also want to raise your flag above the White House?
And how have the media and the UN reacted to ISIS/ISIL/Whatever you're having yerself and their corporate re-branding?
Have they poured scorn and derision on the group's newly decided and utterly deluded ambitions for a truly global caliphate?
No, they have simply accepted the new name with less fuss than greeted the transition from Marathon to Snickers.
If it is possible for one single human being to represent everything that's wrong with the UN, then current bumbler-in-chief, the hapless Ban Ki-moon wins that prize.
So it was no surprise to hear him refer simply to the 'Islamic State' during a press conference yesterday.
When several observers raised a quizzical eye brow, Ban Ki-moon's people were quick to point out that this was what the group was now calling itself and therefore that was the appropriate handle to use. And that, of course, is merely more mendacious rubbish.
What if they had decided to call themselves the 'Legitimate Government of the Middle East'? What if they had decided to call themselves Obama Is A Big Silly Head? Ned's Atomic Dustbin?
Maybe they could have chosen to name themselves in honour of their delightful leader and started using a letterhead marked 'al-Baghdadi's Crazy Black and White Army'?
Hell, I'm sure some Millwall fans would be flattered if their terrorist equivalent even adopted the chant 'nobody likes us and we don't care.'
Names are crucial because they signify what the group represents. That's why people are either too stupid or too scared to accept that simply calling themselves the 'Islamic State' is an acceptance of their open declaration of intent - and of war against the West. Thankfully, at least we have seen mass protests by Western Muslims and their trendy fellow travellers who are outraged by the group's action.
Oh wait, we haven't. Funny that.
Cops - ever hear of TMI?
The death of Robin Williams was undeniably shocking and, equally, unsurprising. After all, anyone who cares to look at his early stand-up material will see a man who existed on a perpetual psychological knife edge.
But anybody who watched the truly squalid press conference where Lieutenant Keith Boyd of the Marin County police department acted more like Perez Hilton than a cop, will have surely have felt growing disgust at the details that were being released. Frankly, it was more like a lurid tabloid report than a straight media briefing.
But even that pales into insignificance when compared to the on-line lunatics who were quick off the blocks with their own theories.
My favourite came with the reaction to an episode of Family Guy, which aired on BBC3 on Monday night. That featured Williams committing suicide and the conspiracists were quick to latch on to the timing.
"It couldn't just be a coincidence!" fumed one website. Well, either it was an unfortunate strokes of bad timing, or Seth McFarlane and the BBC arranged for Williams to die. You decide.
Now that's what you call evasion
Monday's iSpy touched on PETA and their most recent sick little stunt. That involved them exploiting the dismembered leg which was found in a Dublin recycling dump. They somehow took this tragedy and thought they could make capital out of it. I pointed out their well publicised links with domestic terrorists in America, the fact that they had previously equated the battery farming of chickens with the Holocaust and had been previously censured for joking about prostate cancer, saying it was a result of drinking milk. Oh, and some branches in the States kill up to 97% of the animals in their care. Frankly, they are to animal welfare what Charles Manson was for traditional family values.
As is their right (and long may that right last) they were quick to send in an angry letter which, presumably, was going to refute or contextualise the accusations against them?
Well, not quite. They ignored the charge sheet against them and simply pointed out that boxer David Haye is a vegan. Which goes to prove... well, nothing.