WANT TO KNOW WHY ISIS ATTRACTS SO MANY PEOPLE?
HERE’S A CLUE
From an excellent Washington Post article this morning about the organization’s propaganda operation, I quote the following:
“Abu Hajer, who is in his mid-30’s, had come from an impoverished corner of Morocco. Now that he is in prison, his wife and children have returned to the encampment where they lived before departing, a shanty village of corrugated tin and plywood with no running water near a cement plant on the outskirts of Rabat.
In Syria, they were given a villa with a garden. Abu Hajer was issued a car, a Toyota Hilux with four wheel drive to enable him to reach remote assignments. He was also paid a salary of $700 a month – seven times the sum paid to typical fighters – plus money for food, clothes and equipment. He said he was also exempt from the taxes that the Islamic State imposes on most of its subjects.”
Post reporters, their stringers in Morocco I’m assuming, interviewed a dozen former travellers to Syria who joined ISIS and were either booted out for a number of reasons or left on their own accord after discovering that the Eight Caliphate wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The Post focused their research on people who held positions in ISIS’ sophisticated and wide ranging propaganda operation with its worldwide reach and effective propaganda campaign. But in general, ISIS takes care of its members with salaries, health care, housing, education, pretty much the same social supports any state provides its citizens.
Media folks are “special” in the ISIS scheme of things because of their reliance on disseminating its videos, magazine and a plethora of propaganda over the internet and their media people receive special privileges that others don’t. The article describes both how these Moroccans – all prisoners today - were attracted to ISIS in the first place, what they experienced while in Syria and what caused them to either desert the cause or why they became enemies of ISIS and fled. While in Syria, this group of media workers were provided the latest models of cameras and other equipment to do their jobs and the article also describes how many of the videos, including the beheadings and mass shootings of enemy soldiers, were meticulously staged, rehearsed, filmed from a variety of positions in many takes and weren’t the spontaneous actions they appear to be in their propaganda releases.
I’ve noticed that since the Paris attacks, there seems to be a marked increase in pundit and former experts appearing on the media, online posts and print articles, attempting to bring some reality to the West’s war against ISIS and attempting to illuminate the organization’s ideology, goals, strengths and weaknesses. And how to counteract them. This, I think, is a good thing. Perhaps if more Americans had a better understanding of just what it is we are fighting, it might help to bring about a more realistic discussion of what the appropriate reactions and actions might be.
The Post article is here:
Have a good day!