I discussed yesterday what I referred to as the scourge of verbalism when it comes to what we call ISIS, al Qaida, their various subsidiaries, franchises or whatever else. I wanted to flag your attention to this new piece by J.J. Goldberg in The Forward. It is definitely on the verbalist side of the divide. But it's also the best version of the argument I've seen. I would not even say that I disagree with it in its particulars. I read through it and I find myself saying, yes, yes, yes, that yes, this yes.
But on the global point, we're arguing here with strawmen and making a grand battle over something that simply pales in comparison to anything that actually matters in terms of combating ISIS or virtually anything else. Is there someone out there who thinks that ISIS's core recruits don't think they're involved in a religious war or pursuing a purified form of Islam, in fact the only true version of Islam? Who is this person? Is anyone shocked or have their basic strategic perspective shaken up by the thought that the jihadis who run ISIS think they're trying to push forward an eschatological endtime?
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