09/12/2014 01:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Boots on the Ground


Sounds like a plan? Let's take every hardened criminal in a maximum security prison and dump them on ISIS. Let's plunk the Crips and Bloods down on the Iraq Syria border. We'll kill two birds with one stone. We'll empty out our prisons and have a worthy opponent for ISIS. What would be in it for the criminals? Obviously in one scenario they would emerge as heroes who would be freed from of the first law of criminal thermodynamics: if you can't be good at being good, be good at being bad. All these bad guys could rehabilitate themselves and finally have the chance to become heroes by society's standards (as opposed to being heroes of the underworld). It may sound like an outlandish idea, but your average hardened criminal is like that strain of bacteria which resists all antibiotics. He's the true survivor of the fittest having endured not only the brutal life of the streets, but numerous incarcerations in maximum security prisons. If you can survive in a Texas prison, you are going to find ISIS strongholds no more threatening than a jump in the lake. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, has been talked as a charismatic leader and organizer, but let's see how he does when Lieutenant Colonel Whitey Bulger and his organized crime confederates become our boots on the ground. This could well turn out to be the new Ultimate Fighting contest, the new mixed martial art or cage fight to end all fights. The Mob v. ISIS--with the prize being the conquest of the world.

Photo: mugshot of Whitey Bulger

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}