The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

See on Scoop.itIt Comes Undone-Think About It

With Tuesday’s seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

The story of ISIS’s spread — and its influence — is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group’s influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.

Eli Levine‘s insight:

These folks are no good.

They’re as dangerous, mean-spirited, and delusional as the conservatives of our own society.

Motivated by religious fervor (doesn’t matter which one it is), and an authoritarian desire to impose their vision of how a perfect society ought to be, these people ought to be put into mental health clinics and given actual treatment for being dangers to themselves and dangers to others.

We, the United States, cannot, and should not, do anything to stop ISIS initially.  We should let them take over, let their brutality lead to popular insurgency against them.

THEN, we ask the people of the region, collectively, whether or not they want our assistance in removing ISIS from control and influence in their society.  We want them to be turning these folks in, to be reporting those who are seeking to join these conservative movements to authorities.  Then, we can advise the authorities to treat the incoming prisoner like the mentally ill and psychologically disturbed/traumatized individuals that they seem to be.

We need a mandate and a request from the people living in their SOCIETIES, before we can go in and fight (if we’re going to do such a thing, given our current state of war weariness and spent accounts).  We should not be taking direction just from their governments, and we shouldn’t read their governments’ requests as the need and will of their general public.

When fighting these kinds of conflicts, it’s of the utmost importance that you maintain popular legitimacy and the mandate from the people to use force against what would otherwise be a persistent and deep-seated problem.  These conservatives can only be removed from the social scene when the public wants them to be removed AND, you must be as kind, benevolent, and effective as possible at handling the people afterward.  No impositions, no expectations; just let them lead their lives on their own, once you help them remove a tumor from their society that they want to have removed.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Think about it.

See on blog.foreignpolicy.com

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