As one "War on Terror," draws to an end, so starts another. The upcoming withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan should force our politicians to reflect, largely on the utter futility of combating societal and religious problems with bombs. Old habits die hard. Not having learnt that virtually every Western intrusion into the Middle East ends in disaster, parliament's acquiescence to David Cameron's demand that Britain join the fight against ISIS proves our foreign policy is created in a historical vacuum.
Islamic State's blood-thirstiness has been much commented on, as has its use of modern technology. Posting videos of a man issuing threats before killing a hostage ... this is the "new normal" for Islamic State comms, but somehow it's exercised a strange power over many western commentators and politicians.
Ayatollah Nimr represents the Shiite stand against Wahabbism, and the Islamic bow he uses to launch tirade after tirade against the regime only makes this conflict more cogent. His words, and fate empower the path for Shiite communities in the region and beyond. However this may not be the only role he assumes.