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It's a good time to be in Iraq, if you're a crazed Muslim zealot bent on creating a caliphate, that is. Iraq is suddenly back on everyone's radar now that ISIS is taking over large chunks of that formerly-occupied nation. ISIS, you know, the guys who were a little too extreme for Al Qaeda.

It's a fact that the members of ISIS learned their fighting skills thanks to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, no matter how many people want to blame Obama for this whole disaster. There is no one party entirely responsible for the rise of ISIS, sometimes a crazed violent group of zealots is successful because they play their cards right in a variety of theaters. One of the biggest reasons for their success is the marginalization of Sunnis in Iraq, first by the United States then by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

ISIS did not just pop into existence because Obama was not able to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government. As awful and violent as they are, they are a very savvy group, a group that issues annual reports and has their own app!  (So much for plotting while living in caves.) "Enjoy" the cartoon, and let's hope for some sanity in Iraq. You can read more about the news behind this cartoon on my website.

[Perky female, instructional]

Heh, so you want to make your very own Caliphate?

It's easier than you think!

With "Create-Your-Own Caliphate!"

Just follow these handy steps and you'll be on your way to your very own brutal Islamic society!

First, get the superpower out of the way with a lie-based war, followed by a bogged-down occupation!

Next, make sure they dismantle all existing security and police, so that personnel can go on to sow chaos!

See to it that your Shiite opposition is installed into power and propped up with massive financial and military support.

Make sure the Prime Minister is an unrepentant sectarian who consolidates his power with cronies while bestowing more titles on himself.

And be happy when your sect gets squeezed out of all those positions of power and influence.  Don't worry, it means you're getting closer to your Caliphate!

Meanwhile, practice your fighting skills on the occupying forces, the skills you learn doing that will come in handy later!

Make some sharp outfits that match your flag!  Issue annual reports!

Revel in the fact that your enemy is getting billions in military hardware-- that neat stuff may be yours before you know it!

Hone your fighting and sharia skills next door.  That Syrian territory will make a nice addition to your Caliphate, too!

Once corruption and discontent fester long enough, come back to good ol' Iraq and take over vast swaths of the country with ease!

Now take a break to watch foreigners blame each other for your success, you've earned it!

Heh, enjoy witnessing painfully-awkward new alliances!

Congratulations, you're Caliphate is just around the corner!

Now sit back, relax, and have a miserable theocratic existence!

Create-Your-Own Caliphate.

May cause sectarian retribution, airstrikes and atrocities.  Create-Your-Own Caliphate is not responsible if death does not result in glorious martyrdom.

Originally posted to Comics on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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