Friday, September 19, 2014

ISIS Rising

Despite what certain members of the chattering class think, terrorist recruiting is not spurred by American disrespect for Islam. Terrorists attract adherents by pointing to American weakness and by touting their own successes.

Nothing succeeds like success.

I expressed my views in a previous post. Today Charles Krauthammer offers his in his column:

A common mantra is that American cruelty — Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, “torture,” the Iraq War itself — is the great jihadist recruiting tool. But leaving Iraq, closing Abu Ghraib, and prohibiting “enhanced interrogation” has had zero effect on recruiting. In fact, jihadi cadres from Mali to Mosul have only swelled during Obama’s outstretched-hand presidency.

Turns out the Islamic State’s best recruiting tool is indeed savagery — its own. Deliberate, defiant, triumphant. The beheadings are not just a magnet for psychopaths around the world. They are choreographed demonstrations of its own unbounded determination and of American helplessness. In Osama bin Laden’s famous formulation, who is the “strong horse” now?

Does ISIS have another purpose behind its media driven beheadings? Does it have another goal in mind besides showing how powerless American and Britain are to protect their citizens.

According to Krauthammer, ISIS is fighting for prestige against competing terrorist organizations. It wants to stand at the top of the terrorist status hierarchy.

To do so it has needed to get the attention of the West. To be a player it has needed to be recognized by the other players, particularly those in the Anglosphere.

In Krauthammer’s words:

We tend to forget that at this stage in its career, the Islamic State’s principal fight is intramural. It seeks to supersede and supplant its jihadi rivals — from al-Qaeda in Pakistan to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria — to emerge as champion of the one true jihad.

The strategy is simple: Draw in the world’s great superpower, create the ultimate foil, and thus instantly achieve supreme stature in radical Islam as America’s nemesis.

It worked. A year ago, the world had never heard of this group, then named ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Now it is the subject of presidential addresses, parliamentary debates, and international conferences. It is the new al-Qaeda, which itself has been demoted to JV.

But, one might ask why would ISIS invite attacks by the American military? Krauthammer answers: because they believe that America does not have the staying power to prevail in the long run.

He explains:

Because they’re sure we will lose. Not immediately and not militarily. They know we always win the battles, but they are convinced that, as war drags on, we lose heart and go home.

They count on Barack Obama’s quitting the Iraq/Syria campaign just as he quit Iraq and Libya in 2011 and is in the process of leaving Afghanistan now. And this goes beyond Obama. They see a post-9/11 pattern: America experiences shock and outrage and demands action. Then, seeing no quick resolution, it tires and seeks out leaders who will order the retreat. In Obama, they found the quintessential such leader.

The leaders of ISIS see a weak and decadent nation, willing to throw around a few missiles and kill a few militants, but ultimately unwilling to pay the price for victory.

In the long run the West will surely prevail. Some commentators have already suggested that we do not need to do anything, because Islamic terrorism will implode along with the dreams of a caliphate.

And yet, as long as ISIS and its fellow organizations believe that their methods are effective, that they are gaining status and standing, even respect around the world, they will persevere.

They are especially dangerous because they have nothing to lose. They might collapse from their own internal contradictions, but, how many innocent people will they kill in the process?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The West has had plenty of its own wars and revolutions. 20th C alone: Horrific, merciless, w/over 100M dead, & countless millions crippled in body and mind, Europe & Japan in ruins.

The Brits and French were tempted to intervene in our Civil War. Public opinion was so strong, they drew back.

What if they Had come? Better yet, what if say, the Ottoman Empire came to pacify and tame us, save us from ourselves (850,00 dead argues new research)? Would the Mamelukes win our hearts and minds? To ask is to answer.

I tremble to think of the potential carnage in ME. Christians, Yazidis, Kurds as E.Europe in WW2.

But. To put it coldly, it's Their War(s). We've had a belly full of our own last century. Which, IMO, haunt WCiv to this day w/ruin. Look at the birthrates:1.2; 1.3.

I know Susan & Samantha are traumatized by Ruanda, Congo, maybe Albania too. I know.
But expending our exhausted troops, blood, diminished treasure, and resources in ME would hurt us, and not help them.

ISIS ain't the Nazis. Mullah Omar ain't Tojo. And never will be.

Failing or demented Islamic states w/nukes; Jihadists w/nukes and WMDs. Clear & Present Dangers.

We must do all we can to protect ourselves and close allies. "But if we don't go there, they'll come here". Puh-leeze.

They've been here for decades. More coming. CAIR, Islamic "charities", foundations, mosque centers, prison & civilian proselytizing, oil money - here right now.

Tragic, monstrous as it is in ME, it's theirs, not ours, to deal with. IMO. -- Rich Lara

Dennis said...

Rich,

By the same token we are creating a large group of people who will gradually move towards groups such as ISIS/ISIL.The naturall outcome of a feminist war on men is to create large numbers of disenchanted young men with nothing to look forward to in their lives. The haveral of feminists, white knights, et al only add to the recruitment efforts of such groups. Add to that of the Obama administrations desire to push gender warfare and one has the makings of a god send for terrorists every where.
We may not have to care about ISIS et al moving here vice the fact that our own young men may become the problem. One only has to look at the attacks on schools in this country by young alienated men with nothing to look forward to in their lives. Attack everything that is masculine and one create a disrespect for the attackers and the government that enables it.
Our own decadence, et al only serves to exacerbate the gradual move to our own destruction. An action always creates a reaction.
I would disagree with what I believe you are stating about our history, but that is a small thing given what we are doing to the generation of young men in this country. We have moved from equality to special treatment for interest groups at the expense of our own hard working citizens. This is not a recipe for success. We had better pay heed to the Constitution and the rights contained therein or else we will pay a price in larger amounts of blood in this country. The Constitution has the amendment process to create a "more perfect union" so the Constitution is NOT the problem.
I enjoy the fact that women are doing great things, but I would be far happier if everyone was doing well. In the long run the success of the country will depend on the success of the young men who populate it for they are the ones who will ultimately improve and protect it from outside challenges or they will be the ones to destroy it.
A country alienates its young men to its own peril.

Anonymous said...

Dennis: Good points, tho I'd like to know my error on US History.

Margaret Mead was a crappy anthropologist, But she had a good line: "Every culture faces the same problem - what to do about the men (or young men, I forget)."

It's also said that countries are defeated from within. Iffy. The Arabs swept thru the ME so fast because it had been depopulated by war and plague.

This is the US I grew up in. Prof Huntington's last book, "Who Are We" listed many of the problems.

I grew up w/Ike,Truman, JFK. Patriots all, whose efforts were for flag, country, citizens. Even CEOs cared about the country.

As Sam noted, we're now governed and employed by "Transnational Elites" who only care about themselves and fellow aristocrats.

I grew up in patriot times. Now the very word is taken to mean ignorant jingo racist.

I shudder to think about the schools and academia. Only 25% of our young men are fit for military service.

IMO, cupidity, incompetence, corrupt discrimination, lobbyists, tycoons, dogmatic leftists & "Multiculturists" and nutty feminists permeate the land.

Personnel Offices are now called Human Resources, which to me sounds in-human. as if people were coal or corn.

But yeah, our young men are getting shafted, losing proper pride, and deracinated. Not good. I could write a book! -- Rich Lara

Ares Olympus said...

I dismiss Krauthammer's logic on motives, but I think his contemptuous partisanship is hopelessly confusing.

Why does Krauthammer believe his thoughts are original or profound?

Yes, it makes sense that this is a status issue. One gang wants to build a reputation, so they perform some outrageous thing that all the other gangs would never try, and if they succeed, and if they are not struck down and killed, they will have a new reputation, and all the cool kids will want to join their team.

And truthfully, I don't have an answer. We've been suckers all along. We did Iran's dirty work in taking our a hated leader whom we helped keep in power, and then when their incompetent leaders failed to maintain law and order, the enemy of our enemies wants us to come back to fight some more.

As usual I redirect my answers to our own problem - we need a world that doesn't need oil, and when we solve, the arabs can go back to being sheep herders and fight each other with sticks and stones for all we care.

But we're suckers, and so we have to a larger millitary budget than the rest of the world combined so we can protect other countries accesss to middle eastern oil.

At least its all fake money. That's the only laugh we get out of it.

Dennis said...

When one has young women being trained to fear young men by radical feminists one is creating a divide that keep us from being responsible and to some degree respectful of each other. Take the 1 in 5 women will be raped meme which is very questionable to say the least. That means that 80 percent of young women don't face this problem. I could take other statistics and state that almost 1 in 4 men face domestic violence from women. Sounds menacing doesn't it.
Though I agree with much of what you state about political individuals the country has as a whole been a positive to most of the ideas that it espouses. It has been a long time that we have been imperialistic. We have after each war, et al acted more to improve those country that have opposed us. Europe nor Japan would not be the countries they were if not for our desire too see them succeed. When is the last time we tried to take territory as a condition of war?
The people of this country are far better than its leadership though one could make the case that the constant exposure to the corruption of the political class is slowly degrading our moral fiber to the point that many think stealing from other people through confiscatory taxes is fine with them.
Having dealt with Human Resources(?) I know exactly what you are referring to. I can remember a woman, and these offices are almost always populated by women, just reading the riot act to VRA recipients. Somehow these men did not deserve any credit. This even given that the country treated Viet Nam Veterans as a disease or as person better to ignored. Like many veterans from that period I wound up in federal service because otherwise it was difficult to find a job. The very reason why Congress created the VRA.
I suspect this comes the idea that if one does not have to fight for something then one does not respect the freedom or the people who make it possible.

Kaiser Derden said...

"Some commentators have already suggested that we do not need to do anything, because Islamic terrorism will implode along with the dreams of a caliphate."

and pray tell how will that happen ? Are they on the wrong side of history ? the thing is history doesn't have a Seal Team 6 to come knocking in the night ...

History put evil men of the past in the dustbin because OTHER men put them there via force of arms and blood ...

Progress and history are not forces of nature like gravity ... they do not have a trend in one direction ...

Rome fell and the world was plunged into chaos and violence for hundreds of years ...