Saturday, July 2, 2016

Jihad Goes Uber

Peter Harling, recently of the semi official NGO the International Crises Group, has an article in Turkish Policy Quarterly not about Turkey but about the international Jihad movement that I found pretty enlightening. It's not too long and doesn't contain a lot of obscure minutia.

Other analysis of the Jihad movement, now primarily represented by ISIS, talk about how it uses the media, violence, and the predicted reactions of governing elites to its advantage. Harling places all this in a context of how jihadists are filling voids being created by a changing Middle East reality; the region is changing fundamentally, he says, because of western involvement, destroyed states, and the breakdown of traditional ways of doing things such as according to tribal systems or under authoritarian personality centered regimes. ISIS is barely religious at all, so seeing it in the context of the conditions existing in the modern Middle East is more helpful than thinking about it as Islamic fundamentalism.

He says ISIS is in some ways the opposite of Al Queda, the top down organization founded by Osama bin Laden that now completely lacks credibility to today's active and potential jihadists. ISIS is set up less like McDonald's, with franchises answering to an authoritarian central leadership, and more like Uber -- decentralized, with both more autonomy by and also more cooperation among its digitalized local leaders.

And although he says so only indirectly, it's pretty easy to apply what he says here to what our leaders and leading candidates are saying and rest assured that because of how they're approaching it, jihadism is here to stay.

Which of course many people believe is OK with them and is desired by them, being that it increases their power, allows them to build up the national security state and so forth. What the Soviet Union and the threat of global socialism use to provide is now conveniently provided by jihadism.

By the way, I saw this today on Twitter. 

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