ISIS police cars
The vacuity of American rhetoric about ISIS grows more apparent every day. The disutility of terrorist as an adjective ever plainer. The Islamic State is, in fact, a state, as I discussed HERE. It is Poli Sci 101. They control territory. They have law. They have a treasury and an army - a good one, in fact. If war is the continuation of politics by other means then we must not neglect the politics. What is their appeal? Objectives? Can they be defeated? Contained? How? By whom? Why?
Certainly not by the tribe we installed in Baghdad. But maybe by their friends in Iran to whom we gave the gift of dislodging Saddam Hussein. Maybe it is just time to admit that we decisively tilted to Iran in 2003. Now that Iran has backed off its nuclear ambitions useful open alliances can be attempted. - gwc
ISIS Transforming Into Functioning State That Uses Terror as Tool - The New York Times
by Tim Arango
ISTANBUL — The Islamic State uses terror to force obedience and frighten enemies. It has seized territory, destroyed antiquities, slaughtered minorities, forced women into sexual slavery and turned children into killers.
But its officials are apparently resistant to bribes, and in that way, at least, it has outdone the corrupt Syrian and Iraqi governments it routed, residents and experts say.
“You can travel from Raqqa to Mosul and no one will dare to stop you even if you carry $1 million,” said Bilal, who lives in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, and insisted out of fear on being identified only by his first name. “No one would dare to take even one dollar.”