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Sun Aug 24, 2014, 01:55 PM

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS
BY ZACK BEAUCHAMP
AUG 23 2014, 9:42P

Myth #1: ISIS is crazy and irrational

If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane.

Look at the history of ISIS's rise in Iraq and Syria. From the mid-2000s through today, ISIS and its predecessor group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, have had one clear goal: to establish a caliphate governed by an extremist interpretation of Islamic law. ISIS developed strategies for accomplishing that goal for instance, exploiting popular discontent among non-extremist Sunni Iraqis with their Shia-dominated government. Its tactics have evolved over the course of time in response to military defeats (as in 2008 in Iraq) and new opportunities (the Syrian civil war). As Yale political scientist Stathis Kalyvas explains, in pure strategic terms, ISIS is acting similarly to revolutionary militant groups around the world not in an especially crazy or uniquely "Islamist" way.

http://www.vox.com/cards/isis-myths-iraq/crazy-irrational

An interesting read

16 replies, 2398 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply The 9 biggest myths about ISIS (Original post)
Depaysement Aug 2014 OP
Fred Sanders Aug 2014 #1
samsingh Aug 2014 #6
flamingdem Aug 2014 #13
samsingh Aug 2014 #14
flamingdem Aug 2014 #15
The Magistrate Aug 2014 #2
pinto Aug 2014 #3
Depaysement Aug 2014 #10
brer cat Aug 2014 #4
Depaysement Aug 2014 #9
TwilightGardener Aug 2014 #5
samsingh Aug 2014 #7
pinto Aug 2014 #8
riderinthestorm Aug 2014 #11
MisterP Aug 2014 #12
flamingdem Aug 2014 #16

Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 02:02 PM

1. Myth #7: America can defeat ISIS

"Even if the United States reinvaded Iraq to destroy ISIS which there is no indication it would do there's no guarantee that even this would succeed. The United States did defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq in the late-2000s, but it had lots of Iraqi help. The Bush administration's 2007 troop surge would have failed if the Sunni population wasn't already turning against al-Qaeda there.

"I take the somewhat modest position that the action of 6 million Iraqis may be more important than those of 30,000 American troops and one very talented general," Doug Ollivant, the National Security Adviser for Iraq from 2005 to 2009, told me. Without changing Sunni views of ISIS and the Iraqi government, a stepped-up US ground presence might only further infuriate the Sunni population.

The key structural causes of ISIS's rise, the multi-sided Syrian war and Iraqi sectarian tension, cannot be solved by American bombs alone. The US can block ISIS's advances in some places, as it is doing in Iraqi Kurdistan, but eliminating ISIS is outside its power."

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 03:53 PM

6. just keep going until isis stops

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Response to samsingh (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 25, 2014, 12:10 PM

13. They'll eventually fade out

but it could take ten years.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 25, 2014, 12:41 PM

14. right now they are growing without any checks - they just took over an airport in syria

I think this situation better get contained quickly

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Response to samsingh (Reply #14)

Mon Aug 25, 2014, 12:53 PM

15. I agree. It's easier to block them from taking over cities

than dislodge them once they're embedded.

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 02:13 PM

2. Excellent Piece, Sir: Thank You For Sharing It

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 02:36 PM

3. Great read, thanks for the post.

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Response to pinto (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 07:13 PM

10. You're welcome!

From one Sox fan to another!

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 02:39 PM

4. Very informative piece, Depaysement.

I had thought that ISIS had its beginnings in Syria. From this article: "Between 2008 and 2011, ISIS rebuilt itself out of former prisoners and ex-Saddam era Iraqi army officers. " One more example of the vast mistakes made by cheneybush. I thought from the beginning they were crazy to disband the entire Iraqi Army. It would have saved many problems to try to win them over. And now they are being recruited to help fight ISIS.

Welcome to DU.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 07:12 PM

9. Thanks! nt

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 03:12 PM

5. Overall, pretty grim.

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 03:55 PM

7. the reality is that whenever the super powers support muslim groups against

another enemy, it's only a matter of time before the supported muslim group becomes a violent entity and turns back against it's supporters.

this is the reason why, as murderous as the assad regime has been, a replacement group is not easy to identify that would better the cause of human rights.

nothing good seems to have come out of the Islamic spring.

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 06:55 PM

8. Kick.

Good read.

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Sun Aug 24, 2014, 08:22 PM

11. Great article but the section on women and ISIS isn't very informative

 

"ISIS is dedicated to oppressing women, and uses rape as a weapon to terrify the population into submission in territory it controls. Somehow, perversely, it has managed to enlist large numbers of women to help in that awful effort."


There's no answer in this piece on how this group is getting large numbers of women to voluntarily don burqas, enable mass rape, and brutalize their Muslim sisters.

Because that answer may reveal a lot about why this group is so attractive to the type of man that joins too and how this group manages keep the fanaticism alive and hot for so long.

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Mon Aug 25, 2014, 12:22 AM

12. Islamic fundamentalism ain't "medieval"

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Response to Depaysement (Original post)

Mon Aug 25, 2014, 01:13 PM

16. Problem: ISIS doesn't have a political wing

and this is something else that hinders them.

Sharia law is not government.

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