Before long the same administration that declared the fighting in Iraq over several times will claim victory over ISIS. The timetable for its push against the Islamic State appears to have less do with the victimized Christians and Yazidis who have been prevented from coming here as refugees in favor of Syrian Muslims than with the Clinton presidential campaign. Like Obama?s declarations that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were over, the announcement that ISIS has been defeated will be premature.
It is based on a profound misunderstanding and misreading of Islamic terrorism.
Long before its current string of defeats, ISIS had begun evolving into another Al Qaeda; a multinational alliance of Jihadists scattered around the world. Bombing Mosul isn?t hard, but try bombing Marseille, Brussels or London. There is no doubt that the ability of ISIS to temporarily establish a caliphate allowed it to build a network that could carry out terror attacks from New York to Miami to Nice to Munich. But it would be dangerous to assume that losing Iraq and Syria will stop ISIS.
ISIS doesn?t matter. The idea of ISIS does. And the idea of ISIS is Islamic supremacism.
The organization we think of ISIS has transformed and rebranded countless times. Even now our leaders vacillate between calling it ISIS, ISIL or, more childishly, Daesh, while it dubs itself the Islamic State. We have been fighting it in one form or another for over a decade. It would be unrealistically optimistic to assume that the war will end just as this old enemy has shown its ability to strike deep in our own cities.
The bigger error though is to think that we are fighting an organization. We are fighting an idea. That is not to contend, as Obama does, that we can debate it to death. It i