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Mark Largess

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  • The Debacle of the Caliphates: Why al-Baghdadi's Grandiosity doesn't Matter
    • One perhaps not so little elaboration on the end of the Abbasid Caliphate and the sack of Baghdad. The Mongols were Buddhist and animist, it's true: but a significant number of the army was also Christian (including Hulagu Khan's lieutenant, Kitbuqa).

      Also, it's my recollection that the Ummayads call themselves Caliphs, both when they ruled from Damascus and after they were defeated by the Abbasids and their remnants set up shop in Andalus (competing Caliphs were a very early thing!).

      And one comment on ISIS (I wonder how riled they get being called the name of an ancient Egyptian fertility goddess?): Al-Baghdadi may be "in charge", but my understanding of what is happening on the ground at least according to Imran Khan from AJE is that the actual administration of places like Mosul is being done by Sunni Arab Ba'athist veterans. I believe that Mosul is actually being governed by the "King of Clubs" from the 2003 US Invasion Card Deck. I suspect the extreme Salafist jihadists are just being used to generate some light and heat, but that Saddam's people are the ones actually taking back a bit of what they consider theirs.

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