In the discussion of ISIS and its actions we need to clearly get a handle on what it is that ISIS is hoping to accomplish with the attacks in Paris and Beirut and Baghdad and the Russian airplane bombing. What they are doing is using terrorism, and even more so the responses to terrorism, to provide them with ways and means that they do NOT themselves have to achieve their ends. We need to recognize and accept that for ISIS terrorism is Psychological Operations (PSYOPs).
PSYOPs are defined as: “Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives. Also called PSYOP.” Calls for closing mosques or special identification for Muslims or religious tests for refugees, let alone simply not accepting any, are all the result of ISIS being able to influence emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of the US government, American organizations and groups, and US citizens. Threats of reprisal and actual attacks on Muslims as reprisals, or those perceived to be Muslim, even more so.
“Life should resume fully,” Hollande told a gathering of the country’s mayors, who gave him a standing ovation. “What would France be without its museums, without its terraces, its concerts, its sports competitions?
“France should remain as it is. Our duty is to carry on our lives.”
In the same spirit, he added, “30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect this commitment,” explaining that they will undergo vigorous security checks.
Hollande noted that “some people say the tragic events of the last few days have sown doubts in their minds,” but called it a “humanitarian duty” to help those people … but one that will go hand in hand with “our duty to protect our people.”
“We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values,” he said.
So far American news media, far too many politicians at all levels of US government, and far too many Americans have decided to provide ISIS the ways and means to achieve their ends. Ways and means that they do NOT actually have. We went down this rabbit hole after 9-11 into a land of demagoguery; fear; and paranoia. It got us two unsuccessful wars without declaring war, a mess of an economy, and no real good solutions for, or resolutions of, how to deal with the extremist, violent strain within Islam that is at war with Islam and the rest of the world. The question that has not been fully answered, though we are seeing hints and teasers of what the answer might be, is have we learned anything over the past fourteen years?
* Image found here.