Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Islamic State

Graeme Wood has written a compelling piece on what ISIS really is and really wants.  He precedes from the good idea of taking what ISIS says about itself seriously.

This has led to a broader discussion about how much blame Islam should bear for things like the Islamic State.  Fisher makes the point that we need to have a nuanced discussion, led by the President, about what role Islam does play in the problems of the Middle East.

And that's where he loses me.

A nuanced discussion?  About Islam?  In America?  Please.

There are a number of causes for Islamic extremists like ISIS, and they are a combination of psychological, political and economic.  And religion becomes the medium in many ways for this grievance to play out.

Frankly, Obama could have been talking about this during his 2008 "gaffe" where he talked about rural Americans "clinging to their guns and religion" because the party hasn't offered them anything of substance.  The modern world has not been kind to the Middle East, and they are clinging to their guns and religion in the absence of real, substantive progress.

But Islam very much provides the medium in which ISIS operates, and I'd be fine acknowledging that, if we COULD have a nuanced discussion.

But as long as Bill O'Reilly is declaring holy war and Lindsey Graham is peeing his bed, I don't think that will happen.

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