As we hear the hysterical, reactionary drumbeat from the usual, arrant fools on the right both here and abroad, let's see what intelligent people have to say about ISIS' strategy and how to defeat it.
Here's Fareed Zakaria (h/t Crooks and Liars):
It's worth asking, what does ISIS want? By most accounts, it wants all of this, a world divided between Muslims and non-Muslims. Its propaganda stresses that the West is intractably anti-Muslim. It has always openly tried to draw Western forces into Iraq and Syria hoping to make itself the great army of believers fighting the crusaders. (our emphasis)Here's Shadi Hamid:
“Anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment really play into ISIS' hands," Shadi Hamid, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an author on Islamist politics, told The WorldPost. “The more that happens, the more French Muslims feel alienated and are susceptible to extremist recruitment.”
“France has long had a problem with integrating its Muslim population, and France does have a disproportionately high contribution of foreign fighters to ISIS,” Hamid said. “So there’s a deeper issue here and it hasn’t gotten better, it’s only gotten worse.” [snip]
"You hear Republicans saying clash of civilizations and civilizational war, and they don’t realize that’s exactly what ISIS wants us to be saying," Hamid said. "It’s remarkable to me, and just shows a very basic lack of understanding of the threat that we face." (our emphasis)In the aftermath of the horrific attacks in Paris (and, if confirmed, the downing of the Russian airliner by a bomb over the Sinai, killing 224 people), the response must of course target the vicious, soulless perpetrators. We must not let this crime be used by right- wingers to set citizen against citizen in order to fulfill their xenophobic, authoritarian agenda. That would make us allies with ISIS, a role currently being played by right- wing extremists.
UPDATE: See also this piece by Harleen Gambhir on the same subject.