The independent today reported that ISIS is slashing salaries after airstrikes and other efforts have upset and degraded the group’s revenue streams, specifically its black market trade in oil. We can only wonder if layoffs are next, or whether or not ISIS fighters will be forced into part time work, with a slash in benefits? Certainly they will see cuts to their quality healthcare programs, and I am guessing ISIS 401k plans are virtually worthless, prompting many ISIS retirees to wonder whether they will have to pick up part time atrocity and plunder jobs to make ends meet.
Truth is, as much as the military wants to claim their trophy-head with their strategy that everything is solved with a bomb, there are, in fact, market lessons to be learned from the rapidly failing and flailing ISIS experiment. ISIS’ lone wolf terror outreach program around the world is an indication of a collapsing gang culture. though there have been a hand full of spectacular headline grabbing attacks, spread widely around the planet, such as in Indonesia, San Bernardino and Paris, the likelihood of being a victim of ISIS terror is still worse than winning at Powerball. Largely, the attacks have succeeded materially in giving Donald Trump another half hour as a candidate.
The real lesson here is a market one. ISIS, as I discussed in my last book “A Tragic Fate: Politics, Oil, the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Looming Threats to Civil Aviation, ” relied on three streams of income; ransom, plunder and black market oil sales, principally to Turkey. But the collapse in oil prices due in part to a global glut means that their attempts at selling below market oil is virtually worthless, and certainly unprofitable. Reverses on the battlefield by Iraqi’s defense forces and Kurds, with the loss of key cities, and the insular nature of ISIS means the plunder spigot has virtually disappeared, as has the ransom shtick.
The other aspect of all this is how ISIS chose to structure its economy in the first place. It was not a legitimate entity. It was a gang, led predominantly by the thugs and organized criminals who, growing out of the US invasion of Iraq and the festering civil war in Syria adopted a pseudo-legitimacy from religion, which they ultimately began to believe themselves. Economies are about people, not simply profit for profit’s sake. They are a mix of freedom, tempered by a fine line government oversight meant to keep it from becoming predatory, or in the case of ISIS, short term and self aggrandizing and without conscience.
WC Turck is the author of more than a dozen books. He is an artist, critically acclaimed playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His latest book “<em><strong>A Tragic Fate:</strong> is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17</em>.” His first novel, “<strong>Broken</strong>” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “<strong>Everything for Love</strong>,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “<strong>Occupy my Heart</strong>” and “<strong>The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden</strong>.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He hosts “<strong>Helter Skelter</strong>” a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics on Que4 radio in Chicago. he is also an organizing board member of Chicago’s only community radio station dedicated to supporting diversity in media. Turck also hosted Revolution and Beer, with co-host Brian Murray, a weekly TV and radio show. He has been featured on radio, television and newpapers across the country, including The Thom Hartmann Show, WLS, WCPT, The Grant Cordone program, NPR, the Chicago Tribune and more. Turck also has nearly two decades experience in the airline industry, working for both Lufthansa and United Airlines. He is also an expert in Balkan and European History, Nationalism, PTSD and Issues of Genocide and Racism. For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit http://www.wcturckhelterskelter.wordpress.com</em>