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ISIS' goal: Vast war inside Islam

Stashed in: Religion, Awesome, New Yorker, Middle East, International Incidents, Conspiracy Theories, Military

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Unlike Al-Qaida, ISIS is not fighting the west. They want to eradicate Shiites by the most violent means necessary.

Reminds me of William F. Buckley: "When Communists fight with Fascists you don't choose sides, you pray for an asteroid."

No asteroid is coming, so the whole region is in the process of blowing up:

ISIS is fighting Shiites, and a vengeance that goes back more than a thousand years—and seeks to replace all secular states with a unified religious rule—apparently requires even more gruesome methods.

ISIS wants to kill Shiites more than it wants its own nation, it seems:

It cannot be reasoned with.

Learn more about ISIS in this New Yorker article:

Lawrence Wright is the author of The Looming Tower, a history of al-Qaida from its inception through 9/11. Wright's book documents the ideological roots of Osama bin Laden's group in addition to its development as a perpetrator of mass violence. As such, he's well-versed on jihadist belief systems, and he writes at The New Yorker's site today about the ISIS rebels' particular breed of apocalypticism.

Even Bush administration members who wanted to go to war in Iraq say we should stay away:

Ugh, what a mess.

Yes, we should stay away, but that doesn't make the fact any sadder that this was preventable.

Not sure it was preventable. This seems like a situation no one can contain.

Preventable perhaps by not invading in the first place? I remember taking a Near Eastern Studies course in _*1988*_. During the module on Iraq, the professor stressed that Iraq was majority Shi'ih but run by a dictatorship of Sunnis (even from a specific village) and that, if the dictatorship was ever deposed, it would be a bloodbath.

You have religious factions with a armed, fanatical segments in each. This has been the case since the Sunni/Shi'ih split 1300+ years ago. Until there is a transformation and strengthening of civil society and reduction of fanaticism, there is no stable foundation to build a society on. (This is not dissimilar to post-Tito Yugoslavia descending into similar violence.)

To try to shoehorn this sad situation into US partisan politics is very disappointing and distracts from the core, underlying issues.

That is a very good point, Mark. Thank you for the perspective.

Furthermore, we should not take sides in this conflict, otherwise we anger the other side.

Best to stay out of it.

Also, I'm not sure William F Buckley's world view is one we should use in in our policy. That quite suggests a disregard for the lives of others.

The Atlantic has updated its article from 2007 where, among other things, they predicted the breakup of Iraq:

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