Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Evil That Cannot Be Left Unanswered

International New York Times -- Roger Cohen
The Evil That Cannot Be Left Unanswered

“Across the wide area of Syria and Iraq that it controls, the Islamic State enacts its nihilistic death cult drawn from a medievalist reading of the Koran. They slit throats at public executions, butcher “infidel”’ communities like the Yazidis en masse and turn women and children into sex slaves as they build a self-styled caliphate based on oil revenue, absolutist zealotry and digital slickness.”

At the Yazidi refugee camp, Anter Halef said to me, “We no longer have a life in this world. It’s empty.” He was broken, but at least, unlike his children, he had lived his life. “ISIS has no religion,” he went on. “No sane man would slaughter a child. In one night, they killed 1,800 people.”

For evil, unmet, propagates. To allow Islamic State to consolidate its hold over territory and minds over the coming year is to invite, or at least to accept, an inevitable replay of the Paris or the San Barnardino slaughters. It is to accept that the Syrian debacle will worsen for another year. And that, in turn, will further exacerbate the anxiety and fears on which nationalist, often Islamophobic politicians in Europe and the United States thrive.