All fear the worldly Caliph.
Below are excerpts from, "Hillary Mann Leverett on U.S. Policy Toward the Islamic State and the Folly of Sanctioning Russia" by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, GoingToTehran.com, August 31, 2014:
“I remember a year ago this weekend. I was on a different program [see here], and I said, ‘Wait a minute. Don’t go bomb Assad’s military in Syria, because they’re one of the only militaries that’s fighting ISIS. We’ll essentially be al-Qa’ida or ISIS’ air force if we do so.’ The president was correct, even though he took a lot of backlash, not to bomb Assad’s army last year, and he’s probably correct not to [mount a bombing campaign against ISIS] this year, because that’s exactly what ISIS wants—they want the United States back in, full throttle, to send hundreds of thousands of troops back and make this an all-out war with the United States to take over their swath of the Middle East.”
Hillary points out another serious defect in the U.S. policy discussion—namely, political and policy elites’ collective and willful refusal to acknowledge that the Islamic State has popular support:
“A Saudi-funded newspaper, Al Hayat, did a poll in Saudi Arabia, of Saudi public opinion. They found that 92 percent of Saudis believe that ISIS conforms to their view of Islamic values and Islamic law. So we have our head in the sand—that this makes no sense, everybody hates [ISIS], and we can recruit our Sunni autocracies as allies to fund even more Sunni militants to deal with this. That is insane…
[T]o the extent that we support governments, like the Saudi government, that Saudis themselves and ISIL have as their target—their target is to bring down the Saudi government, to bring down the other Gulf autocracies and take over the heart of the Hijaz, Mecca and Medina—to the extent we are sending $60 billion in weapons systems to Saudi Arabia, ISIS has us in their sights. Remember that the execution of [James] Foley happened not just because they were looking to kill an American, but when we started bombing them in Iraq. It’s a very deliberate, sophisticated military strategy.”