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markpkessinger

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NY Times Editorial (and my comment): "The Fundmantal Horror of ISIS"

Here is a comment I just posted to the editorial in The New York Times titled, "The Fundamental Horror of ISIS" (an excerpt of the editorial follows after my comment below):

Mark Kessinger

From the article: "But no Islamist group before, no other offshoot of Al Qaeda or Hamas or Hezbollah, has so nakedly adopted a cult of sadism, not only as a weapon in its stated goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate but as the very reason for its existence." The beheadings, ex-post facto crucifixions, rapes, etc. seem to us to be -- and no doubt are -- heinous, depraved acts of inhumanity. But to discuss the "fundamental horror of ISIS" while at the same time ignoring the very real, fundamental horror of U.S. policy in the Middle East since at least the 1950s is to perpetuate the very collective self-delusion among Americans that has lain at the heart of a disastrous U.S. foreign policy for over a half century, and which drives us in the present moment to respond to yet another crisis in the Middle East by doing still more of what has never worked for us in that region (and is no more likely to work this time around).0

As brutal and barbaric as beheadings certainly are, do we really imagine that the deaths of innocent civilians that inevitably result from U.S. drone strikes are any less brutal and barbaric? To a farmer whose family is counted among the "collateral damage" from such a strike, that is a distinction without a difference.

And while we clutch our collective pearls over ISIS' beheadings, should we not remind ourselves that is the government of Saudi Arabia, our staunch (so we're told) ally, that has popularized the practice in the first place?


Here is an excerpt of the editorial:

[font size=5]The Fundamental Horror of ISIS[/font]

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD OCT. 2, 2014

The mind rebels at the reports of cruelty by the Islamic State, the beheadings, crucifixions, tortures, rapes and slaughter of captives, children, women, Christians, Shiites. The evidence is there on YouTube, in gruesome images and the cries of witnesses too numerous to deny or doubt. Even in a part of the world where terror has been perversely enshrined as a legitimate weapon by Islamist zealots, the Islamic State — led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — stands alone in its deliberate, systematic and public savagery.

The grievances, resentments and frustrations that drive young Muslims to violence and extremism have been analyzed and debated, and the Islamic State, also called ISIS, is a link in a long chain of Arab and Muslim terrorist organizations. But no Islamist group before, no other offshoot of Al Qaeda or Hamas or Hezbollah, has so nakedly adopted a cult of sadism, not only as a weapon in its stated goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate but as the very reason for its existence.

Even Al Qaeda, an extremist movement responsible for the horrors of 9/11 and innumerable other acts of terror, was compelled to disown the Islamic State’s brand of savagery. Yet far from repelling potential recruits, the recorded beheadings and crucifixions have attracted hundreds of willing followers — yes, also from Europe and America. The masked man or men who beheaded the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff apparently came from Britain, yet seemed to revel in taking a knife to the throats of innocent men.

To claim that this savagery is rooted in a certain people or a certain religion is to forget that the great atrocities of our age have been perpetrated on different continents by people professing different ideologies and different religions. Before the Islamic State there was Rwanda, and the Lord’s Resistance Army and the killing fields of Cambodia, and before that, in Europe, the Holocaust.

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Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Oct 3, 2014, 04:02 AM (6 replies)
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