Writing for The Atlantic, Graeme Wood has an absolutely amazing piece outlining what ISIS really wants and how misunderstood it has been by the world powers combating it.

Here’s a snippet from Graeme Wood’s piece – I strongly encourage you all to click the link above to read the whole piece.

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

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2 Responses to The Atlantic: What ISIS Really Wants

  1. Denis Navratil says:

    Let me save you some time. They want territory and sex slaves. They want to kill Jews, Christians, and everyone not with them. Oh, and the Koran’s version of armageddon.

  2. Duane12 says:

    It’s time for both parties to unite on a policy and action on ISIS.

    These guys from a 7th century religion are for real, they are educated, they do not fear us, they are determined, they have a death wish, and they see ALL who do not believe as they do as evil incarnate and must be converted or killed.

    The United States can’t do it alone; Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and other Islamic countries in the region have to be heavily committed and lead in any war on ISIS.

    The civilized world now faces two grave threats: Climate change and ISIS.

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