Friday, January 1, 2016

Quotable: Noah Rothman on mistaken analyses of IS propaganda and recruiting

Wednesday, December 30th 2015
Noah Rothman, assistant online editor of Commentary magazine, examined the assertions that Guantanamo is a major theme in ISIS propaganda and recruiting, and he found them wanting.  He gave details in an article, “The ISIS Lies the Left Prefers,” that appeared on the magazine’s website on December 23, 2015.  Here are some other comments:

If America were serious about anti-ISIS propaganda, it would not be drawing attention to the stories of individual ISIS fighters who die what radicals consider a martyr’s death on the battlefield but promoting the freedom in the West to use tobacco products. ISIS’s authoritarian ban on smoking is deeply unpopular inside the “caliphate,” and it exposes the terrorist organization’s internal contradictions like little else. Punishments for tobacco use range from beheading for the unconnected to a light slap on the wrist for those few with the skills necessary to help manage the revolutionary state’s affairs. The ban has even been lifted in restive territories temporarily occupied by ISIS where the militant organization was seeking to ingratiate itself with the locals. In some territories, ISIS militants themselves dominate the black market and sell illicit tobacco products at inflated rates, highlighting the “Islamic caliphate’s” duplicity. Western propagandists might make use of this information, but it would also contradict anti-smoking programs in the West.

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