‘I approached a small, thin woman, hunched under her all-encompassing black robe. … [S]he was nineteen years old… When she was thirteen, she said, ISIS fighters arrived in her village near Aleppo and took her with them when they moved on. Since then, she had been married four times to foreigners and twice to Syrian fighters—six husbands in as many years. Each time a husband was “martyred”—meaning killed in battle—she was passed on to another. “How do you feel about that?” I asked. “It was fine because I was following the word of the Prophet,” she replied, speaking as if by rote. She showed no emotion. “All of this is for the glory of God.” Haj Omar told me that she had been unable to have children, that she felt weak all the time and suffered persistent vaginal bleeding. I asked why she thought that might be. “I was injured in the womb by bombing,” she said. In her eyes, all the ills that befell her were caused by the Americans, who had not only pursued her and her husbands from place to place with their aerial attacks but also sponsored the mainly Kurdish forces that fought ISIS on the ground. To me, it seemed more likely that being handed on from one man to the next from such a young age was the cause of her gynecological problems, but this did not appear to have occurred to her.’

Snapshots from the Caliphate.

“Crucially, because Muthana’s 18-month-old son was born outside the US and the father was a Tunisian ISIS fighter, the question of whether Muthana is a US citizen determines her son’s citizenship, too.”

This Vox piece is the best summary of Hoda Muthana’s situation I’ve seen; it predates a judge’s recent ruling that she is not in fact an American citizen. Certainly the details in my headline suggest that, along with requesting Yemeni citizenship (her father was born in Yemen), Muthana could approach Tunisia on behalf of herself and her son.

Furthermore, ISIS remains wealthy; it is certainly in a position to give Muthana and her son money to buy citizenship in any number of countries that trade citizenship for hard cash. She might ask private wealthy sympathizers (from the Gulf states?) to give her money; or a Go Fund Me page might be set up by family and friends for this purpose.

The only full-throated defense of welcoming Muthana back to the States that I’ve seen is Noah Feldman’s sober warning that revoking her citizenship will “set a terrible precedent for others whom the government might try to strip of their citizenship in the future.”

To which ol’ UD says: Well, there’s precedent and there’s precedent. How often, in fact, has the US government revoked a person’s citizenship? My sense is that it happens exceedingly rarely. And why? Because it’s exceedingly rare that a US citizen voluntarily leaves the country to become a terrorist in an organization at war with the US, an organization that carries out mass murder all over the world, and in its own territory tortures, takes slaves, and publicly beheads. As her first act abroad, Muthana filmed herself burning to ashes her despised passport; and as her second act she broadcast international propaganda calling for the extermination of Americans. This series of acts Feldman characterizes as “offending public sentiment.”

The next time a U.S. citizen abroad offends public sentiment, you can expect the government to start looking for ways to pull his or her citizenship. That prospect is worrying to say the least.

Yes, the next time some old hippie in France burns the American flag you can expect… Really? Muthana did much more than hurt our feelings; she tried to fucking kill us. UD‘s beloved Christopher Hitchens said it best: My enemies are the theocratic fascists… I want to destroy them. In the case of Hoda Muthana we want to keep her out of our country rather than destroy her.

Feldman points out that this desire originated with the politically liberal Obama presidency; his administration was the first to tell her no. In this extreme case of indeed virtually unprecedented degeneracy and obvious threat, public sentiment is not offended; it is united in being justifiably terrified and disgusted.

“Virtually all women [in ISIS detention camps] wear the niqab, the full-length black veil demanded by ISIS’s rigid interpretation of Islam…”

Is the niqab/burqa, as this New York Times reporter writes, the sort of thing you will wear (and make your female children wear: “A small girl of perhaps 7 or 8 was sitting atop a pile of humanitarian food aid boxes, clad in the black abaya and jilbab of a grown woman, but in miniature…” ) if you are a rigid, strict, fundamentalist, literalist Muslim? Actually, Mehdi Hasan makes a compelling argument that ISIS isn’t Islamic at all, but rather a cultic perversion of the faith. Plenty of others have observed that ISIS people tend to know shit about Islam and present instead as nihilists who like violence. ‘“I’m struggling to reconcile the two things, wanting to look at them as displaced people and human,” said Dareen Khalifa, an International Crisis Group analyst who has visited [a women’s detention] camp; but some of the women are “very ideological, and the atmosphere is very ripe for all sorts of indoctrination…”‘ It’s maybe the best thing about us, qua humans, that we struggle like hell to see fanatics, who unapologetically enslave, rape, and behead, as fellow humans, as sufferers, as (trying our very hardest here) confused and fragile victims…

UD remembers, thirty years ago, sweeping her eyes over images of bloated bodies on a hill in Guyana and feeling (along with a sense of witnessing inassimilable grotesquerie) almost unbearable pity for the suicidal stupidity of the Jonestown fanatics.

But ISIS is homicidal, mass homicidal, which makes the business of pitying (looking at them as displaced people and human) very much more difficult. Even those who haven’t literally killed, let’s say, but only enslaved… It’s like – well, here’s another memory. UD remembers trying hard to feel something human toward Hedda Nussbaum, who watched two children being tortured (one to death) by her partner and did nothing, and who at his trial claimed to have been afraid and herself brutalized, etc. Highly educated, an editor at Random House, a successful Manhattanite, Nussbaum asked us to believe this…

UD finds more worthwhile, in these and associated matters, to pose Ron Padgett’s question: What makes us so mean? Padgett writes a long, amusing poem, inconclusively pondering this. But having read lots of interviews with/memoirs by ISIS and other degenerates, UD is at least willing to conclude this: Sadism – watching it, taking part in it, even being the object of it – is for many people terribly, terribly, exciting.

‘Dispersing ISIS members to national jurisdictions would largely deny victims the ability to testify, while simultaneously depriving prosecutors the ability to secure convictions that sufficiently reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed. An [International Criminal Tribunal] would allow victims of ISIS crimes to have their day in court, increasingly understood as a key element of successful transitional justice processes.’

Another thoughtful argument for trying them over there.

‘Experts are now warning that female members of ISIS are a serious security risk, especially those seeking to return to their countries of origin. “Many,” cautioned the head of the U.K.’s Metropolitan Police counterterrorism command, Richard Walton, “will pose just as much of a security threat as their male counterparts.”’

In a recent France 24 documentary on ISIS foreign women in the Kurdish-controlled Al-Hawl camp in north-eastern Syria, a camp director said that “when they [foreign ISIS women] gave themselves up, some of them told us that the IS group briefed them, telling them, ‘Surrender, go back to your countries, get your strength back and we will start again.’”

The Unsinkable Molly BOOM.

‘The government informed Muthana more than three years ago that she is not a citizen and canceled her erroneously issued passport… Muthana — who was at the time a member of ISIS — failed to act timely in response to that notification, [and] remained in a war zone through hostilities for a period of years. Plaintiff should not now be permitted to turn Muthana’s own delay and acquiescence — not to mention her decision to join a foreign terrorist organization in Syria — into an emergency requiring special solicitude for granting her a speedy hearing and speedy relief.’

This is from the government’s response to Hoda Muthana’s father’s lawsuit.

************************

It’s kind of funny picturing her telling her husband Hey I need to try to renew my passport…

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Judge denies her request to expedite her case. So no meatloaf with the folks this Sunday.

The New ISIS!

I miss my mum. I know that sounds a bit toddler-ish… Even if I could just see my mum… I would like just a phone call, I don’t know if Britain can do that for me here, but I’d like just a phone call to my mum – it’s been two years. If I could make a request. I’m probably not in a position to make requests. That’s it all, really. I miss my mum.

Bride of Isistein

Start here, mes petites:

In October 2017, the [Islamic State’s] newspaper called on women to prepare for battle; by early last year, the group was openly praising its female fighters in a video that showed a woman wielding an AK-47…

The women once married to Islamic State militants who are now seeking to return to the West may claim to have simply been housewives, but from the beginnings of the group, some women were more radical than their husbands…

[T]he move to allow female combatants is born out of desperation. The group has lost essentially all its territory. Most of its male fighters have been killed, wounded or arrested…

Civilians in Iraq are certainly aware of the new face of the Islamic State. According to a survey a colleague and I conducted in Mosul in December, 85 percent of 400 respondents said that in the past, Islamic State women were as radical as men and 80 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they played an important role in the group; 82 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed that Islamic State women will be dangerous for Mosul in the future.

**********************

Now let’s hear from fans of the repatriation of these women.

It’s not just the use of phrases like ISIS bride and ISIS widow rather than ISIS member, ISIS fighter, ISIS propagandist, etc. As two-X chromosome fanatics begin knocking on the doors of Western democracies to be let back in now that their massacre-Americans broadcasts have been suspended, we’re being treated to full bore sexism on their behalf. ‘Researchers [say] the “tendency to ascribe rational motivations to men and emotional motivations to women” [persists], even though there [is] no evidence that the drivers of radicalisation differ by gender.’ 

When she was a 15-year-old the police were aware that she was being brainwashed and groomed by Isis, in the same way that people are sexually groomed. [Not her fault. Impossible that a young woman could examine a murderous ideology and decide she liked it. Our fault! Put the police in refugee camps!] When she went to Syria she married a man twice her age [Um. That would be thirtyish. Problem?… Age of consent? That’d be 16 for England and … for ISIS? 16 months?] within a few days of arriving there. [I certainly hope England has mandatory cultural competence classes. Who are you to say that the function of women is not immediately to begin making fighters for a cause?] It’s sexual exploitation as well as [ideological grooming]. [Yes, babe, lay it on. And wait – there’s more.]

The police, [school and] Tower Hamlets were aware she was being groomed and they did not tell her parents. That’s a shocking level of incompetence. [We’re all at fault. Shockingly. Only her parents and her mosque are not at fault by this reckoning.] The police gave her a letter to say they wanted to interview her; it was found in the schoolbag after she was gone. [Wonder why she ignored it? Oh right – her groomers made it impossible for her to understand its contents. And look how pathetic the police were! Instead of hauling her in and deprograming her, they wrote her a civil letter. Shocking incompetence.]

She has said things that have been surprising. I was a police officer for 30 years and every time I had to move a dead body, it shocked and fazed me. The idea that a 19-year-old is not fazed seems bizarre to me. We need to look at what she has been through. [So very traumatized! And such a convenient way of looking at things: The kind of people who can witness suffering and death coldly are not cold people; they are fragile, wounded, damaged people. If this woman said to you ‘You’re a wimp because suffering and death faze you; I’m a revolutionary, and they don’t faze me,’ you’d shake your head and weep yet more for the poor dear. But it would be better if you took a look at the BBC interview in which she said videos of beheadings that she watched well before she went to Syria inspired her to go.]”. [Details of this woman’s morbid nihilsm here.]

*****************

[Former UK national counterterrorism coordinator for protect and prepare] said there “must be consequences” for joining Isis.

“People are trying to say she was a groomed child but … she planned it herself, nobody dragged her onto that plane, no one kidnapped her and put her there,” he added.

“She went with the clear intention to join Isis and if it hadn’t ended up the way it had, she probably would have stayed there.”

… “Now she doesn’t like where she has ended up and she wants to come back – we can’t have that.”

… “[Terri Nicholson, a former Metropolitan Police counterterrorism officer, said that if ISIS members like Shamima Begum do] return it’s a distraction at a time when security and intelligence agencies are at full tilt”…

“Police have prevented 18 terror attacks since March 2017. If we’re able to prevent more people from escalating those figures then that’s what we should be doing.”

***********************

And therefore what to do with jihadis like this one?

UD likes Belgium’s idea of “an ad hoc international jurisdiction.”

****************

UPDATE: Macer Gifford, a British man who went to Syria to fight against ISIS:

She was fifteen [when she joined ISIS]. When I was fifteen I knew rape, murder, and kidnapping were wrong. There’s no indication that she has any remorse or that she’s any less dangerous.

‘Should I, after tea and cakes and ISIS, / Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?’

Hoda Muthana to US gov’t: Off with your head!

‘[W]hat has been concerning is the number of people reducing the participation of these women in ISIS’ state-building enterprise as a result of being groomed or brainwashed. The insistence on their experience being the result of grooming or brainwashing diminishes the role of the individual’s own agency. The passive portrayal of the likes of Begum and Muthana, who were undoubtedly misled, relegates them to being unthinking, senseless vessels waiting to be filled.’

This articulation reeks of the kind of stereotypical depiction of Muslim women that has too often permeated Western societies: one of submission, obedience and lack of personal agency.

…. ISIS offered these young women something that recognized their agency. Not just homemakers and housewives, but combatants and propagandists, ISIS recognized that women had a role to play in their state-building project. The journey to jihadism for these women was not about coercion, but rather about participation.

There remains a great urgency to help debunk the myths surrounding how and why women become involved in terrorist activities. From combat roles to suicide bombers, policymakers must recognize women’s agency in terrorist organizations and how gender roles function within groups.

**********

Details.

The slutty-wig crisis has orthodox communities nostalgic…

for a quieter time, when the only thing they were famous for was massive welfare fraud.

Wigged out, baby.







“[T]he wrestlers who have come forward have been maligned by Jordan and his colleagues as liars, paid operatives in a left-wing conspiracy, and now agents of the deep state. By next week they’ll be crisis actors.”

Shades of James Tracy, Mike Leach, and other campus conspiracists.

Rather than simply acknowledging the Sandusky/Nyang’oro Principle at our most sports-obsessed schools – university administrators can’t and won’t control anything having to do with big-ticket athletics – Jim Jordan and his fellow conspiracists deny the fucking obvious and the obvious fucking at one more degenerate American university sports program.

Called to account for what happened at Ohio State, they reach way, way outside the orbit of anyone’s moral responsibility.

Indeed the Deadspin writer I quote in my headline is right: Eventually Jordan and Louie Gohmert and company will determine that like the “dead” “kids” of Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, their accusers from the wrestling team are all crisis actors.







“It was crisis as if sprung from the imagination of Don DeLillo…”

UD‘s beloved DeLillo stars in the New Yorker’s account of the YouTube killings.

There will be a temptation to read the attack as a dark parable of the attention economy — the story of someone so hungry for views that she took a handgun to those who, in her belief, had limited them. But the truer story is that going berserk with guns has become a way of American life.

Correct. Guns are now the way America’s berserk turn down the bed and turn out the lights.

[E]very country contains mentally ill and potentially violent people. Only America arms them.







‘During the worst year of the HIV/AIDS crisis, 43,000 Americans lost their lives to the virus. In 2015, 52,000 died of a drug overdose. Never in recorded history had narcotics killed so many Americans in a single year; the drug-induced death toll was so staggering, it helped reduce life expectancy in the United States for the first time since 1993.’

West Virginia has been the hardest hit.

The proximate responsibility for this grotesque overprescription of opioid painkillers lies with West Virginia’s doctors. But no conscientious wholesaler could look at how many painkillers they were shipping to low-population areas of the state — and at how many people were dying from overdoses in those areas — and not realize that they were enabling a deadly epidemic.

Bernie’s calling for an investigation.

But it’s good. It’s all good. The worst of the wholesalers – McKesson – has a CEO who sits on the distinguished board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, shaping the political thinking of America’s best and brightest. The same man will soon be lecturing us on health care policy. Arizona State University has bestowed its Executive of the Year award on him.

All of this cuz, you know, he made sooooooo much money.

What’s his corporation’s secret? Here ’tis:

[Y]ou can make a lot of money selling dope to addicts.

******************

Yes, sadly, addicts die. You just advertise for more.







“Seven years after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the fact that no major Wall Street figure was ever prosecuted for crimes related to the financial crisis remains a sticking point for many.”

We manage to stick them occasionally for insider trading.

FORMER GOLDMAN SACHS DIRECTOR [RAJAT GUPTA] COMPLETES PRISON SENTENCE

….

But the big boys at Goldman seem to have some sort of immunity.

…. ROBERT RUBIN WAS TARGETED FOR DOJ INVESTIGATION BY FINANCIAL CRISIS COMMISSION

Rajat Gupta’s Goldman Sachs crony was targeted… But nothing happened. Strangely, it didn’t go anywhere.

And you wonder why ol’ Bern is doing so well.







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