ISIS joining forces with Al-Qaeda reminds me of that full-length Batman movie from the hammy TV series in the sixties starring Adam West. The Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and others band together to bring down a perceived common enemy.
ISIS are incredibly media savvy. Every move is calculated with half an eye on how it will play out in the west. Those terrible executions of western workers weren’t a warning to the west to stay away. In fact, quite the opposite. They were bait. An invitation to Arkham Asylum (yes, I know that’s from a different Batman you geek). And Obama and Cameron have fallen for it – hook, line and sinker. American bombs in the Middle East are a lightning rod for every Jihadist around the world to take up arms in solidarity with ISIS. Al Qaeda are the first. Many more will follow.
The only way ISIS can survive in the long term is by turning broader Muslim sentiment away from America and the Coalition. Expect further videos to be released in the near future, this time of innocent civilians charred by American/UK bombs. The West’s last ounce of moral currency in the Middle East was spent during the Blair and Bush misadventures in Iraq back in 2003, the repercussions of which will be felt for generations to come. Given that history, it won’t take long to hit the tipping point when the perceived narrative changes from “Extremists versus the Rest” to “Islam versus the West”.
I don’t know how to solve the ISIS problem but it probably isn’t bombs. Personally I’d suggest investment in education, reducing poverty, cutting off Saudi/Qatari funding, and employing an ethical foreign policy but I could be way off. Either that or some extremist-repellent bat spray?