Graeme Wood’s analysis of Isis in the March 2015 issue of the Atlantic magazine when coupled with Mark Bowden’s article titled “Drone Warrior” from the September 2013 issue of the Atlantic offers some excellent insight into President Obama’s attempts at handling (and conceptualizing) the potential impact of radical Islamic behavior.Some of those on the left find evidence of “Bushobama”behavior.Many on the right find the failure to declare war on Islam weak-kneed and/or duplicitous.
It is reasonably clear that the Islamic state, by self declaration, is a modern day caliphate with all the rules and behavior dictated by religious dogma from the 15th and 16th centuries.President Obama minimizes the religious aspect and tries to see Isis as the jayvee team of Alqueda.Isis may have been but Isil is not.Is the President lying to us ?One of the things that is clear about our President is that he is a man of powerful intellect.He is ,however, bound to deliver a message that can be understood and which discourages a “bomb the hell out of all of them” sentiment from the American Public.Lumping all of Islam together puts Shiite and Sunni together in a way that is unjustifiable and wrong. It puts Sunni fundamentalists together with those Sunnis who embrace the twenty first century and who will work within treaties and organizations toward the betterment of their own people and the world.
The article by Mark Bowden starts the retrospectoscope swinging back to my initial acquaintance with the Cargo cult concept(Columbia cultural anthropology) and its revisiting years later in Yale sociology.It explains why a culture outstripped and puzzled by a devastating technology deals with it by tying the acquisition of its power to its own ideology(often religious) or pulls from the core of its own cultural belief system an antidote to the power of the foreign technology.(Native American Ghost Dancers,Japanese kamikaze pilots etc etc.)What we are seeing is in my view an aspect of millenarianism i.e. the appeal to a preordained superiority in spirituality to defeat a more powerful enemy.It is,in my view,the reason why air power alone can not win wars;a people bombed into numbness become hardened and defiant.(London,Dresden,Berlin,Nanking,Tokyo) The Obama use of the drone while clearly effective has brought on a millenarian response from Islam. the worst aspect of this is Isil.At the same time there is no question but that Isil has a mastery of technology in many areas that appeals to those who for whatever reason hold ” cards of identity” that are not playable by their holders in their own cultural environments.
Our President is not lying to us he is presenting a spin as was his predecessor who finally got his ship of state turned around from the mat of lies and deceptions which he was presented with.GW is a bright man although not of the depth of Obama and his use of the same tools indicates that the projection of presidential power unto the world stage is often dictated by circumstances.The detractors in the end attack these men personally.It is particularly unseeming to invoke lack of love of country as a motive force.The mayor’s mayor is not only the grandson of immigrants but the son in law(?) of someone closely associated with crime.One’s behavior can be interpreted in many ways but in the end the results are what counts.Obama has a monkey on his back it’s the monkey of hate and stereotyping.He is neither a shucker and jiver nor a contemptuous intellectual.He is a bright and decent man whose impact on the U.S. is continually minimized by those who resent and fear the changes that must come as the face of America changes.
The prime minister of Israel invites European Jews to Israel and struggles to undermine a U.S. treaty with Iran.In the pursuit of this objective he isn’t hesitant to undermine Obama.He heads toward his own country’s fundamentalism in order to govern.Is the land for the European population accepting of his offer to come from the miserable slice of land occupied by the Palestinians? He fails to see that a co-prosperity sphere made up of Palestine and Israel is a better “Iron Dome’ than anything that can be structurally created.Perhaps such a sphere is impossible because of the lateness of the hour; nevertheless to attend and address the U.S. congress without the approval of a sitting President seems outrageous!!