Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Since 9⁄11, America has been plagued with a media industry churning out counterintuitive “What do the terrorists want” pieces. Sure you might think that the terrorists “want to kill you”. But profound media thinkers who know all about Islam without ever having read the Koran know that what the terrorists really want is for us to kill them. Every time we bombed them, we were just “playing into their hands.”
Today the same bad ideas are being brushed off for insipid “What does ISIS want” thinkpieces which conclude that what ISIS wants most is for us to deviate from the media’s favorite progressive policies.
After letting ISIS overrun its half-dozen countries, the same geniuses responsible for the mess began claiming that what ISIS really fears is more of their failed policies. And what it really wants is Republican policies. If you support bombing terrorists or keeping them out of the country, you’re helping ISIS.
According to Obama, ISIS wants us to turn to “tough talk” and begin “abandoning our values” by keeping Syrian Muslim migrants out. After the Oval Office speech was done, the Caliph of ISIS probably threw up his hands and told his fellow terrorists, “It’s no use. This Hussein fellow just won’t talk tough. We’re doomed. Sure we’ll keep on killing Americans, but what good will it do if he won’t talk tough?”
Biden informed Americans that, “It’s clear what ISIL wants. They want to manufacture a clash between civilizations. They want frightened people to think in terms of ‘us versus them.’” Whereas our leaders know better than to think in such terms, unless the “thems” are Republicans in which case it’s okay.
But ISIS doesn’t care whether we think in terms of “us versus them”, because that’s how ISIS already thinks. The clash of civilizations is here. But according to Biden, what ISIS wants us is for us to recognize that reality. And if we refuse to recognize it, our denial will somehow defeat ISIS in an ostrich victory.
The media is full of unofficial progressive ISIS spokesmen eager to tell us “exactly” what the terror group wants. And according to them, it really wants to be beaten, humiliated and hated.
“Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Exactly What ISIS Wants,” shrieks Think Progress. Because if there’s one thing that ISIS really wants, it’s to prevent its terrorists from being able to reach the United States.
ISIS wants a Muslim ban almost as much as Think Progress’ editors want to be dumped in ISIS territory wearing only giant slabs of bacon and cartoons of Mohammed.
Their level of debate is about that of a contrary six-year-old. “Go to bed.” “No, that’s what ISIS wants me to do.” “Eat your breakfast.” “No, ISIS wants me to eat my breakfast. I’ll be playing into its hands.”
“Turning Away Syrian Refugees is Exactly What ISIS Wants,” the Huffington Post suggests. What could ISIS possibly want more than for us to “turn away” 1,300 ISIS supporters?
Maybe being shot in the head by a United States Marine. And, guess what?
According to The Week, “ISIS wants the US to send group troops”. Almost as much as Hitler wanted American tanks in Berlin.
Also ISIS really, really wants to be hated.
“ISIS Wants You to Hate Muslims”, The Nation declares. “Hating Muslims plays right into the Islamic State’s hands,” echoes the Washington Post. “Want to Help ISIS? Hate a Muslim” adds the Huffington Post.
Conveniently ISIS only seems to want the very things that leftists don’t want. And the possibilities are endless. “Let’s abolish ObamaCare”. “No, that’s what ISIS wants.” “Let’s drop our subscriptions to the Washington Post and _The Nation_”. “Don’t you understand, that’s what ISIS wants you to do!”
So far ISIS wants to be bombed, shot, kept out of America and Europe. And hated. It probably also doesn’t want to be invited to anyone’s birthday parties and enjoys calls from telemarketers.
This masochistic Islamic State has some serious self-esteem issues. Or maybe it’s the leftists who claim to speak for it who do.
“ISIS wants us to close borders”, someone at Greenville News insists. According to Storypick, “ISIS wants the world to hate them”. From the fever swamps of AlterNet, we learn that “ISIS Wants the Paris Climate Talks to Fail.” According to Haaretz, ISIS wants LePen to win in France. ISIS also probably wants the Patriots to win the Super Bowl and doesn’t think Bruce Jenner is either “stunning” or “beautiful”.
At the Huffington Post, the lead singer of Switchfoot informs us that he, “Looked up at the ceiling and asked the darkness, “What does ISIS want?”
The Caliph of ISIS however isn’t lying in bed, looking up at the darkness and wondering what the guitarist for an annoying alternative band wants. That’s one reason why he’s winning and we aren’t.
ISIS is vicious, but it isn’t neurotic. Meanwhile the leftists looking into the darkness keep coming up with very specific things that ISIS “exactly” wants from us.
“This vile cartoon portrayal of refugees is just what Isis wants”, a Guardian headline blares.
According to The Independent, “The needless interrogation of a Belgian academic is exactly what Isis wants from us”. That’s an oddly specific wish on the part of ISIS, but who am I to argue with a publication that also offers me Hamas supporter Jeremy Corbyn singing Happy Birthday, an orangutan laughing and “Five words everyone should hear on gun control” from Jennifer Aniston.
(The monkey would probably have a more informed opinion on gun control than Jennifer Aniston.)
The “Belgian academic” turns out to be Montasser Alde’emeh, a “Palestinian” who describes Muslim terrorism against Jews as “legitimate”.
But if we interrogate the sorts of “Belgian academics” who say things like, “According to Islam all conditions for armed resistance have been met”, we’re giving ISIS what it wants.
“Exactly what it wants”.
The only way to frustrate ISIS is to let terrorist sympathizers run free. And then ISIS will have to throw up its hands in defeat and kill another few hundred people.
“Isis wants an insane, medieval race war – and we’ve decided to give them one,” the Guardian declares.
Technically ISIS is the one giving us an “insane, medieval race war”, the same insane medieval race war practiced by Mohammed, but it wouldn’t be the Guardian if it didn’t find a way to blame us for it.
“It’s hard to think of a more poetic metaphor for our utter lack of ideas than spending several years dropping high explosives on to a desert,” a British hipster at the leftist publication complains.
We haven’t come up with any new ideas for winning wars except killing people. Shame on us. Where’s our creativity?
Juan Cole insists at The Nation, “ISIS Wants a Clash of the Civilizations: Let’s Not Give In”. Juan, like Biden, doesn’t seem to realize that it only takes one side to start a war.
It doesn’t matter if we sit in our corner of civilization with our hands folded refusing to fight. That just makes ISIS’ job a lot easier. Killing people who don’t resist is easier than killing those who do.
Unlike Bin Laden, ISIS doesn’t beat around the bush. It tells everyone “exactly” what it wants.
“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah [Islamic territory] in the heart of our enemy.” It calls for an alliance with “left-winged activists” opposed to Israel to “pave the way for the conquest of Rome”.
But this is much too obvious for the media’s “left-winged activists” who obsessively flip around reality until they can prove that the only way to defeat ISIS is by taking in millions of Muslim migrants and refusing to fight ISIS.
Because letting ISIS beat us is exactly what ISIS is afraid of. But beating ISIS is exactly what it wants.