It may be hard to believe, but in the end Obama may end up looking even dumber than George W. Bush, the fool who opened this whole Pandora’s box in the first place.

The Islamic State, more than war, is engaged in political theater, whose primary audience is not the West, but rather the Middle East’s enormous population of literate, unmarried, unemployed, thus frustrated and angry young men, who live under corrupt, autocratic rulers, seen by their peoples to be American puppets and portrayed by Islamists as degenerate apostates. As these frustrated young men watch their rulers accompany the United States and the former colonial powers, Britain and France, in bombing the Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq all their worst conspiracy theories play out before them.

By pressuring these Arab regimes to bomb the ISIS, the United States may very well be playing straight into the Islamist’s hands. It is significant that the generals of Egypt, ruling over a restless population, where the only free election in Egypt’s history brought an Islamist government, want no part of this operation.

In the Arab countries’ populations, young people are the fastest growing segment, some 60% of the population is under 25 years old, making this one of the most youthful regions in the world, with a median age of 22 years compared to a global average of 28.(…) In the Middle East, educational enrollment rates are high, with nearly universal access at the primary level and nearly 70% enrollment at the secondary level.(…) Further, youth currently constitute an estimated 51% of total unemployed in the region(…) In the region today, nearly 50% of men between the ages of 25 and 29 are unmarried. Financial costs associated with marriage (housing, furniture, wedding ceremonies, etc.) and a lack of economic means contribute to the postponement of family formation. Youthpolicy.Org

Isis is trying to spark underclass animosity among – and give identity to – the untenably high proportion of (mainly young) Arabs who have been excluded by closed and corrupt systems. The heart of its narrative is that the Arab world is a collection of failed and rotting states. David Gardner – Financial Times

(…) there is concern that sympathy for the jihadis among the general public in the region could galvanise opposition to Gulf governments.(…)The reaction highlights concerns about a backlash against the conservative Sunni Gulf states for launching attacks on their coreligionists at a time when sectarian divisions plague the Middle East. “I hope the Americans appreciate the risk the Saudis are taking,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdullah, a Dubai-based political scientist. “There is latent sympathy to Isis there.” Air strikes on Isis launch battle for Gulf hearts and minds -Financial Times

The primary goal of the Islamists is a revolution in the Arab monarchies of the Middle East. The young fighters of the ISIS are just the tip of a demographic iceberg… we are in the process of stirring up a hornet’s nest, one whose blowback in the Muslim world, may be worse than any of our previous, murderous, bumbling.

Cross posted from:

David Seaton

David Seaton