The Middle East is suffering the blowback from rotten U.S. policies, disastrous wars, and cultural turmoil. ISIS and its ilk are one result.
ISIS — or the so-called “Islamic State” — is the latest and most horrifying iteration of the modern terror groups that have plagued the region in recent years. With 20,000 to 30,000combatants and recruits streaming in from all over the globe, the group is unlikely to be significantly degraded by U.S. air strikes — not when political conditions in the Middle East continue to favor it.
The media often depicts ISIS recruits as lost souls in search of a cause or suffering from mental illness. That may be true in some cases. But these explanations are not sufficient to explain ISIS’s resilience and recruitment capabilities.
No organization, especially a terrorist one, can survive without support. That can range from passive acceptance to active assistance, and it comes from individuals who may view ISIS as either the lesser of many evils or else a righteous group waging a holy war.
Both views are fueled not only by decades of Western colonialism, but also by recent U.S. invasions, drone strikes, and the installation and support of corrupt and brutal puppet governments. When Washington holds hands with dictators, or strikes oil deals that benefit only the hyper-wealthy, hatreds are remembered and passed down over the generations.
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