1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

ISIS cannot be squashed

Reader comment on item: ISIS' Imminent Demise

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Dec 8, 2015 at 02:58

Hi, Daniel.

You said, "On the first: ISIS is not exactly the equivalent of Nazi Germany. It's a little bug that the powers could quash at will if they put their minds to it. It survives only because no one really takes it seriously enough to fight with ground troops, the only gauge of an intention to prevail." I think I'm getting to be a cranky old man -- disagreeing with everyone, even with myself (am I Jewish? I don't think so). I might even have said we could "quash ISIS like a bug, if we wanted to", at one time. If I did, let me qualify that statement: Yes, we could squash the Islamic STATE; but we could not destroy their movement.

Maybe you had this in mind too. Just think about it. ISIS, Turkey's AKP, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda, the Free Syrian Army, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram -- they're all fungible: supporters of one become supporters of the other, it seems, overnight. There is NO DIFFERENCE between any of these groups in their ultimate objective; just in tactics. They're like the Green Berets vs. the USAF: same ideology, same motivating force, same loyalty; and they can't be counted in numbers. They're not like the German Army in World War II, that surrendered when the Fuehrer died. The Islamist movement has had many Fuehers, who have died, one after the other; and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi isn't even universally acknowledged as the current leader: AQAP doesn't recognize him, nor Al Shabaab.

Our FBI has its puny brain all tied in a twist, because they can't find a "chain of command" for the latest obvious ISIS attack in the US. That's because there is no chain of command, any more than there was a chain of command for Christianity when it overthrew the Roman Empire. In World War II, we had to literally burn the Japanese out of their holes, because they refused to surrender; but when they found out that Hirohito had renounced his divinity, they stopped fighting. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has never declared himself to be Allah, nor even the Madhi, nor a great prophet. He can renounce his religion and die in a pool of pig fat, and it won't make a difference; because these fanatics honestly believe they are serving the one and only, invisible, King of the Universe. People like that cannot be squashed like a bug.

ISIS may change its name and its leaders a hundred times, but it cannot be squashed. If we snuff it out in Iraq (as we failed to do, even with a decade-long war), they will re-establish themselves in Afghanistan (where we have been equally unsuccessful), or Libya, or Algeria, or Somalia, or Mali, to name a few places. Russia thought they had squashed them in Chechnya; yet here they are in Syria, fighting some of the very same individuals they were fighting in Chechnya. Does the US, or anyone, want to "squash these people like a bug"? Then they will have to convince these fanatical believers that the god they serve is not God.

If we bombed Mecca and Medina, instead of Raqqa; and if we bulldozed Al Aqsa and replaced it with the Temple Mount, I believe the Muslims would see the futility of their false religion; and if we are too scared to do those simple things (Yes, we have buldozers big enough), that just shows the Islamists that the puny god of the West is no match for Allah. Just FYI, I do not worship the god of the West; I worship Adonai Elohei, the God of Israel.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I said nothing about quashing the Islamist movement. That was not the topic of the UNSC resolution or the other fears of ISIS.

I agree that defeating ISIS does not end Islamism.

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to ISIS cannot be squashed by Michael S

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)