Why There Is So Little Attention for the Islamic State’s Defeat
David French wonders why the defeat of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (or ISIS) isn’t a bigger story.
Remember how debates about ISIS dominated the presidential primaries? Remember how Donald Trump and Ted Cruz ratcheted up their rhetoric until they both seemed to promise that they’d commit warcrimes, like carpet bombing and torture, to defeat the deadly threat? ISIS was often the most important and most prominent story in the world.
Now that the wannabe caliphate lies in ruins, though, Americans no longer care. Read more
Dark Side to Coalition’s Success Against Islamic State
The Western-backed effort to drive the Islamic State out of Iraq is making headway. The self-proclaimed caliphate has lost two-thirds of its territory. The battle for Mosul, Iraq’s second city, is well underway.
But there is a dark side to the coalition’s success in Iraq. We’ve seen it in the streets of Paris, Nice and London: The more the Islamic State is cornered, the more of its sympathizers commit terrorist attacks in the West. Read more
Trump Gave a Surprisingly Intelligent Speech to Muslim Leaders
This could have gone a lot worse. The speech Donald Trump gave on Islam and terror in Riyadh on Sunday was surprisingly intelligent.
According to his prepared remarks, the president rejected the clash-of-civilizations paradigm some of his fanatical underlings, like Steve Bannon, have promoted.
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” Trump told an assembly of Muslim leaders.
This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.
That is quite right — and a reversal from Trump’s previous rhetoric. Read more
Defeat in Mosul Will Not Eliminate the Islamic State
As David Downing reported here on Sunday, Mosul could make a quick economic recovery once it is entirely liberated from the self-declared Islamic State by Iraqi government forces.
Not only is the city, once Iraq’s second largest, a hub for northern Iraqi industry and trade; it’s also situated close to major oil and natural gas reserves. The potential for further economic expansion could be close at hand. Read more
Germans Refuse to Panic After Berlin Terrorist Attack
Last week’s terrorist attack in Berlin does not appear to have had a major political impact in Germany. Few blame Angela Merkel and her immigration policy, even though it was a Tunisian man who killed twelve people by driving his truck into a Christmas market.
A Forsa survey conducted for the magazine Stern found that only 28 percent of Germans believe there is a connection between the attack and Merkel’s decision in 2015 to allow in more than one million asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa. Read more
The World Is Much Better Off Than It Feels
There will be few who will miss 2016; perhaps fewer still that will miss 2017. Americans despair their electoral choices (choosing cancer or a heart attack, to some). Brits have quit the European Union. Turkey, post-coup, is also mid-purge. Islamic State’s lone wolves butcher and bomb. Even the pope is using the “w” word to describe the state of planetary affairs.
Yet if we step back, draw our heads out of the bleeding and leading trenches of 24/7 news and glance upon the supposedly pock-marked battlefield of our world, we see not vast burned out cities or massed firestorms sweeping upon us. The picture is much better than they say.