Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Convert Or Kill Them

That's the advice Phil Robertson, a reality television star, gave Sean Hannity on the Hannity show when it comes to the Islamic State.  Now why anyone would interview a reality television star on the best US foreign policy with regards to the Islamic State beats me.

The other odd thing about that advice is that it exactly mirrors the views of the Islamic State, which has offered various religious minorities those very options:  Either convert or lose your life.

The utterances of Phil Robertson don't have the same weight as the utterances of the spokesmen of the Islamic State.  Neither do American right-wing Christians kill people the way the soldiers of the Islamic State do.  But it's still worth pointing out the mirroring:  You (the other people) work for Satan, we work for the real god.  All the billions of people in the middle do not matter for either side.  Not really.

None of this is intended as some sort of a "we do it, too" defense of the horrors that the Islamic State is carrying out.  But the reasons why it uses the media to advertize its cruelty are much more complicated than Phil Robertson or Sean Hannity understand, and the best long-run US reaction is very unlikely to be proposed on Fox.