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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Democrats and ISIS

Right after Saturday night's television debate, Joe Klein wrote at Time:
The three Democrats who debated in Iowa last night were very, very concerned about the Paris terror attacks and the growing evidence that ISIS—or Da’esh, as it is called in the region—has metastasized into a true global threat. Very concerned. Bernie Sanders even thought that this barbaric challenge to civilization should be “eliminated”…although it was not as great a threat as global warming, he allowed, which—hold on, here—causes terrorism. You know, droughts and floods set people in motion and…well, never mind.
Sanders’ utter lack of proportion on this issue—and yes, climate change is a serious problem, but not the immediate threat to our security that Islamic terror is—is a classic example of how the American left lives in a hermetically sealed bubble, just as the American right does. And the left, and its solipsistic insistence on political correctness, is having an undue influence on the Democrats’ presidential candidates in 2016.
Indeed, political correctness makes it impossible for Democrats to face, head on, by name, the essential problem: the rise of Islamic radicalism—or jihadi-ism, as Hillary Clinton tried to call it (and almost succeeded). This is not just a word game. If we are to come to terms with Da’esh and Al Qaeda and other jihadis, we have to acknowledge that they represent a basic conflict within Islam: the rise of Wahhabi-style fundamentalism over the past century. If we recognize the nature of this battle, it becomes easier for us to identify our friends and enemies, especially the latter. Our enemies are those who have funded and promulgated Wahhabi-style Islam through radical Madrasas throughout the Middle East. That would be Saudi Arabia, whose tottering monarchy made a devil’s bargain with the Wahhabis decades ago. In recent weeks, the Saudis and their gulf allies, have turned their attention away from ISIS and focused on the Shi’a rebels in Yemen, who represent a far less potent threat to global stability (even though they are supported by Iran). And yet, Saudi Arabia—and Wahabi-style Islam–was not mentioned by any of the candidates last night.