The Caliphate - Another Scary Bu$hCo Bedtime Story
Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East, and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia.Really? A caliphate? Now there's a word that doesn't get used every day.
Historically speaking, the Caliphate (though there have been others) was the Muslim empire established by the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties in the centuries after Mohammed's death. It lasted about 500 years, give or take, and was eventually overthrown when the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258.
Now this kind of talk might be funny if it weren't such steaming pile of crap! Al Qaeda? Deliver a continent spanning empire? The mind boggles. We're not talking about the 8th century here, where the Middle East is populated mostly by nomadic goat-herders and the predominant political system is tribal feudalism. Imagine Al Qaeda trying to get the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq to agree to submit to a caliphate...with Bin Laden as the Caliph! Or how about the Kurds, armed to the teeth and for the most part pretty secular!? Bwahahahahahah! Iraq is on the edge of civil war, right now. They're not going to unite under a mythical caliphate or under anyone else's leadership.
Rumsfeld, Cheney, Hadley, and Abizaid have all mentioned the caliphate in the last year, but like old crones scaring us with stories of Baba Yaga, they're trying to focus our attention on a storybook threat.
Like my dad's liver and onions, I wouldn't eat if even if he forced it on me for breakfast the next day.