The biggest ISIS recruiters are the things cherished in the West.
With increasing frequency, many on the left have taken to declaring the words and actions of President Trump and his supporters to be useful propaganda tools for ISIS.
Seemingly a knee-jerk reaction — consistently accompanied by little or no evidence demonstrating its truth — cries of “THIS IS WHAT ISIS WANTS” ring out when the political right embarks on a course of conduct that is less than agreeable to the left.
In the past, we’ve seen this charge leveled when Republicans were reluctant to take in more than 10,000 refugees from war torn Syria, when President Trump issued travel restrictions on seven middle eastern countries via Executive Order, and even when Republicans speak in a way that rubs the left the wrong way.
The most recent iteration of this intellectually lazy argument surfaced in the wake of the United States’ use of the Massive Ordinance Air Blast Bomb (“MOAB,” often referred to as the “Mother of All Bombs”). Charges of an ISIS propaganda victory formulated quickly on Twitter, retweeted breathlessly by a fawning crowd of followers as though the painfully familiar statement constituted some new information of some kind.
ISIS is smiling. Trump dumps MOAB on Afghanistan. Great for their propaganda and recruitment. Keep drawing US in more and more.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) April 13, 2017
You wanna stop ISIS? So do I. So Stop helping them! (We bombed them in Afghanistan-that helps them recruit, we armed them in Syria-remember?
— Josh Fox #BanFrackingNow (@joshfoxfilm) April 13, 2017
It should be noted this line of faulty logic is not unique among Democrat lightweights. Hillary Clinton made similar statements frequently on the 2016 campaign trail and, just months ago, former President Obama opined, “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate [on Syrian refugees].”
For the sake of argument, let’s accept the premise that everything from Republican rhetoric to the dropping of large bombs in the Middle East is an “ISIS recruiting tool.” Should we allow this to affect our behavior? Of course not. In fact, this should be such a universal truth that Democrats and Republicans ought to zealously embrace it together. Apparently, however, the left seems to think its actions would be just fine by the ISIS standard. I’m not persuaded.
Indeed, nearly every cause Democrats and liberal progressives hold close to their heart is most certainly, as President Obama would call it, “a potent recruitment tool for ISIL.” Transgender acceptance and encouragement? Gay marriage? Tolerating homosexual behavior in any degree? Political and social equality for women?
The list goes on and on. I am bewildered when I see Democrats talk about Republican action or rhetoric as an “ISIS recruitment tool,” because it could very reasonably be said that the entirety of the Democratic Party political platform is precisely that.
Yet each time a Republican does something the left disapproves of with respect to ISIS or the problem of radical Islamic terrorism generally, this charge is almost immediately leveled and unflinchingly parroted throughout the liberal argument bubble without so much as a hint of irony.
We should dispense with this lazy attempt to knock down political opponents. To be sure, when this line of thought becomes the primary argument against a particular course of action, it becomes evident that genuine opposition on the merits to such action is lacking.
Yes, the United States’ use of MOAB may recruit terrorists, but so do a variety of things cherished in the West. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either and I would note that only the former actually results in the death of terrorists.
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