November 20, 2015 Leave a comment
In your best Jerry Seinfeld voice ask yourself, “…so uh, what’s the deal with the Islamic State”? Now, take Jerry off of your shoulder and put him down on the table and give him some cereal for a moment.
That’s a pretty heavy question, but as heavy as the question is the answer is rather simple–they don’t like us–and by us I mean the West. But really, how can you not like us, we have Hollywood, great chefs, exciting music, so really, what is their “deal”?
In a recent episode of “Democracy Now”, Abdel Bari Atwan, who was the guest on the show, ran through 7 words outlining how the Islamic State came to be. His packaging of the this was rather brilliant and provided a nice digestible way of putting the Islamic State and the Middle East into perspective, the seven words he used are:
- Humiliation – people are humiliated by military intervention and by their own governments which are dictatorships
- Frustration – There are a large number (over 100 million) of young and unemployed people looking for direction and a future
- Marginalization – The marginalized Sunni Sect created an incubator for Islamic State in Iraq
- Military Intervention – causes failed states, which are filled later by the Islamic State
- Lack of good governments – Corruption and lack of human rights
- Under Estimation – ISIS was underestimated as it was gaining power
- Social Media – The Islamic State is using social media platforms to gain followers and broadcast messages to a much larger audience in the past
Now back to Jerry, who just finished eating his Fruit Loops. Jerry – think of the Islamic State as a glob of mercury. The more you bomb it, the more it breaks up, but never really goes away. And it expands in heat, which in this case, think of heat as war. The deal is this, Jerry, it’s eons of frustration that bombing will only make worse. And the refugee situation? Jerry – the more we turn away the more we feed the cycle outlined above. So it’s imperative we accept refugees. The right-wing pundits and presidential candidates are way off-base on this one.
So Jerry – now that you have some perspective on “What’s the deal”, and it’s clear that the solution isn’t a military one – Jerry – you can help. You represent Hollywood in this blog post, and Hollywood is our biggest export. More than anything this is a war of ideology. Hollywood (which encapsulates “the dream” better than anything else can), education, political sanctions, access to food- all of these things can do a much better job of combating the Islamic State than continuous bombings ever will.
It’s time to re-think this strategy and let the George Costanza fly.
Click below for the interview referenced in this post.