There’s a famous line in one of the Godfather movies where Michael Corleone recalls a bit of the education his pops passed down to him. He says “there are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
It wasn’t a Mario Puzo line, although many today probably attribute it to him, but a much older adage coined by either Sun Tzu (who knew a thing or two about war) or Niccoloò Machiavelli, or even Voltaire.
The wisdom that sustains it hasn’t changed for centuries, and never will. It’s basically saying that if you know your enemies really, really well, you’ll have a great chance in defeating them — because you know their shortcomings, their fears, etc.
Which brings us to the following footage, obtained by VICE NEWS, of an ISIS fighter capturing what he sees through a cam strapped to his helmet, while battling Kurdish peshmerga forces in Iraq. To describe it as eye-opening would only be scratching the surface of its allure.
To describe it as mind-blowing, puzzling, encouraging and hysterically funny, would be a much better account. These militant dudes, riding along in an armored vehicle, are dead ringers for the Keystone Cops, completely disorganized and poorly trained to handle the weapons that are scattered all over their open truck, like a toddler’s toys flung from the toy box to the living room floor.
It’s also fascinating to see how many times they say “God Is Great!”. They utter it like a manic, nervous mantra, and during the most inopportune times (like Abu Hajaar, the Gomer Pyle of the operation, who even says it when he’s effing up and getting yelled at).
Also: are those baby wipes next to the rockets?
The fighter responsible for this footage died in March while battling Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq. The fight above took place about 30 miles north of Mosul.