Broadcast yesterday on PBS television were comments by Clarissa Ward, CNN's award-winning senior international correspondent. She was sitting at Charlie Rose's discussion table. Rose spoke of the Assad regime's war on civilians – mainly Sunnis – as a recruiting tool for ISIS. (ISIS is posturing on behalf of the Sunni branch of Islam in addition to pushing an expectation of Armageddon.)
A compelling recruiting tool that ISIS had! And I think we really get lost. We get so focused on the tunnel vision of radical Islam as the problem. ISIS is not just a problem of radical Islam... ISIS is a product of the lack of any kind of action on behalf of the international community and the vacuum that we created by Assad brutalizing of his own civilians for four years. That is the vacuum that ISIS grew and thrived in. It's also a product of geopolitics and Western foreign policy. It's colonial hang-ups. It's many things. It's complex. It's nuanced. To simplify it under the rubric of radical Islam is to miss the point.
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