So in recent news, ISIS, or ISIL or IS (Why don’t we stick to ISIS because it reminds me of Archer) has utterly dominated the war in Syria and Iraq in headlines and military successes, as well as been accused of numerous atrocities, including ethnic cleansings, genocide, slavery, and beheading westerners on Youtube.
They are also totally like Nazis.
Okay cute kittens aside, (even villains have their Pet the Dog moments), ISIS aren’t just Nazis because they kill and enslave people under their role (more on this later) but because they fit into the narrative of the greatest real-life villains we love to hate.
They are both box-office busting sequels: For many movie trilogies it’s usually the second one that’s bigger and better than the original i.e. Godfather 2, The Dark Knight etc. Likewise both the Nazis and ISIS emerged from the failures of their weaker predecessors. In this case, the Nazis were more dangerous than the imperial ambitions of the German Empire, while ISIS, once just the Al-Qaeda branch in Iraq eventually became more radical and powerful than the whole of Al-Qaeda.
Their ascents are frightening: When establishing villains as the all-powerful and primary antagonist to the heroes there is often a montage or a background exposition of how they ascended so quickly and how they are a threat. For the Nazis, by conquering France and the Low Countries in little more than a month, they accomplished more than what the Imperial Germany army had bled themselves over for the entirety of World War 1. Their Blitzkrieg tactics and waves of goose-stepping soldiers became the most feared army in the world. ISIS in the same way, captured the city of Mosul despite being outnumbered 15 to 1, and fighting an army equipped with the latest military equipment, then they proceeded to capture more territory than Al-Qaeda in Iraq ever hoped to dream. They have also developed their tactics and capabilities to become a fighting force that even the US military is getting nervous of facing.
Both committed crimes deserving of villains: Villains we love to hate have to establish their status through their actions, often when they are introduced, as there has to be a reason they deserve to be defeated. The crimes the Nazis committed really don’t need a introduction. If you don’t know why they have been the go-to villain for many a video games, than me and your high school history teacher are very disappointed in you. ISIS also hasn’t been quiet in the atrocity front. Unlike the Nazis who at least made some attempts to hide their crimes, ISIS have not only been accused of crimes from genocide to sexual slavery, they post it on the internet. (P.s. if your twitter account has your kid holding up a head, then you seriously need to rethink your qualifications as a dad).
Their defeat will be in the hands of the allies: Nothing is more epic than when the allies team up together to deliver a epic smack down on the stories main villain (The big damn heroes, Ravagers and the Nova Corp teaming up to take on Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy is the most recent example). Bonus points if said allies were enemies before. One of the few great things about World War 2 was that the western powers were nearly at war on the Soviet Union over Finland before becoming firm allies to give the Nazis a thorough ass-whupping.
ISIS has followed the Nazi’s role to being beaten. From antagonizing practically every country, military group (even original flavour Al-Qaeda) they can; they are also losing support in the territory they occupy by being oppressive.
All that we are waiting for is the Alliance. The alliance where Turkey and the Kurds could put aside their enmity, that Iran and the US can sit down and agree that ISIS is a greater enemy, that all these potential allies can actually be allies and fight together to deliver another proper beating on a villain that deserves it (and here’s hoping that the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Syrians can achieve the freedom they deserve).