Monday, March 02, 2015

CNN and AC360 offer special "The Rise of ISIS"

Anderson Cooper, of AC360, hosted a special report Monday night, March 2, 2015, “The Rise of ISIS” (aka “The ISIS Threat”), with many panelists.  The main link is here
The guests included Mark Hertling, Rob Baer, Graham Wood (author of the Atlantic article), Karime Bernoume, and a parent, Christianne Boudreau, of a Canadian who went to Syria, believing he was going on a humanitarian mission.
The concept that a radical group would hold territory was shocking in early 2014, but became logical in retrospect.  The ability of ISIS to overrun Mosul and other areas in northern Iraq comes partly from the fact that the government in Baghdad is partly Shiite, and people didn’t trust it;  that was a bigger factor than mere military failure. 

Another factor was the people in that part of the world have a Hobson’s choice when dealing with dictators; “It’s me, or the jihadists”.
The program covered the ransacking of artefacts in Mosul.  ISIS has a triage system by which it steals and sells objects, or it destroys them if it thinks they were “idols”. 
They also described life in Raqqa, which has been compared to a prison. 
The program lightly covered the social media recruiting (but not the latest news concerning Twitter, Ryot story here .There is another “diaspora” network which is distributed so that it is harder to monitor. 
They did not get into the idea that civilians in the US would eventually find themselves in the crosshairs or lone wolves or other unforeseen operations.  The concern in larger in Europe, where many more people have been radicalized. 
The panel was a bit like a New Channel 8 “Your Voice You Future” roundtable. 

Wikipedia attribution link for map of Syria   by UN- OCHA, under Creative Commons 3.0 Share-Alike license. 

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