A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughts on Orlando

The horrible slaughter in Orlando has tragically become entangled with the US Presidential campaign. The perpetrator proclaimed his allegiance to ISIS, but had previously expressed support for Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS' bitter rivals. Anti-gay animus is clearly another motive, and the massacre has also reignited the gun debate.

It can never be repeated too many times: the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, and ISIS also seeks to promote a war between the West and Islam, and apparently some in the West are eager to accommodate them. But ISIS is losing on the battlefield: at Falluja in Iraq, Manbij in Syria, and Sirte in Libya, it is on the ropes, so it is seeking to encourage civilian attacks by sympathizers and fellow travelers.

Obviously we must continue to guard against these kinds of horrific domestic terror attacks, but without sacrificing our ability to lead normal lives or sacrificing the values ISIS seeks to undermine.


David Mack said...

With few exceptions, Eisenhower position in 1956 being the most notable, the U.S. does not make good Middle East policy in a presidential election year. This may be true of counter-terrorism policy as well.

Anonymous said...

In the past 50 years, the US has consistently conflated its national security interests in the Middle East with those of a small country in the region. To the detriment of both. Not just in presidential election years, but every day in every year.