General Question

pleiades's avatar

Have you for once tried to step into the shoes of an ISIS member?

Asked by pleiades (6523 points ) 1 month ago

I just thought about this today. I was thinking to myself, wow, these soldiers are probably about the same age as me (26)

So 9/11 2001 happened these guys were probably 12 or 13 years old… they get essentially wiped out by USA and have to go into retreating. All while perhaps their fathers and uncles even mothers and aunties, cousins perhaps were slaughtered by U.S. coalition. They must have been taught at an early age that the west is the devil and etc in the same vein how some Americans think of most Muslims and stuff.

I’d say all in all, they must have a lot of fuel to go against the tyranny of U.S. imperialism combined with a belief of a justified religious war in their eyes.

I see this no different than the fatigue & anguish American settlers must have felt against the British Empire.

I’m not justifying the recent beheadings, nor am I saying I’m against the U.S. going into Iraq again… Just curious if you’ve ever tried to imagine life from their perspective?

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32 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

Watch the special Vice.com did on them. I think maybe it’s brainswashing. With alot of weapons and money.

johnpowell's avatar

The thing is they are pretty much fighting their own people. I am a American too but sometimes it isn’t about us. The two journalists beheaded are pretty much snowflakes. Great fodder for the news but totally irrelevant.

This was going to happen. Anyone that knew a thing about the middle-east knew it was going to happen in 2002.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Quakwatch's avatar

Qaddafi, Mubarak, Hussein, Assad… All bad men, but all served a regional purpose, which was to quell dissent, and Islamists. By getting rid of maniacal tyrants, we’ve created the fertile environment for the current movement(s).

LuckyGuy's avatar

Lets’ see…I’m 26, have no job, no property or family of my own. I’m hungry…
My religion tells me I am chosen and with God’s granted permission I must offer anyone different the option to pick one of 3 choices. 1) They can convert. 2) They can pay my group a tax. or 3) They will be considered either enemy or lower than animals that I have permission to kill.
I have also been taught that it is God’s will that my group control all land that ever was controlled by my people since the beginning of time. I have an ancient book which tell me so. Anyone else on this land has stolen it.

I can join this new organization that will cloth, feed and house me and tell me I am great. They will give me a purpose. I can play with weapons and with the push of a button or pull of trigger I can do a lot of damage to enemy animals who, according my God (the only correct one), have stolen my ancestor’s land. They are immoral.
My group will make gains every day – first here, then in Europe then in the Americas. We will eventually control the world. I will be granted untold rewards and at last there will be peace.
I am right. My God tells me so 5 times per day.

And… Heck,.... if I don’t join and fight with ‘em, those crazy mofo’s will come after me!

Pachy's avatar

Their shoes are filled with the blood of innocent men, women and children. I have less-than-zero empathy for these barbarians. Their only religion is to do evil.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I thought they wear sandals.

No, I haven’t stepped in their place. Not sure I could without all the cultural crap that goes along with it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

YEs much as @Luckyguy describes is how I imagine it. I don’t hate them, I feel pity for their lack of choices.

zenvelo's avatar

@pleiades I think you’re being a little Western/US-centric in your thinking. They aren’t fighting the US directly, they are fighting Shia Moslems and Kurds. Westerns just happen to be in the way.

And where did you get this 2001 comes along and “we” wiped them out? They weren’t wiped out in Iraq, and these aren’t the people who were and are fighting in Afghanistan.

Re-read what @johnpowell wrote.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Yes.

As in know thine enemy.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Uh NO, I can’t even imagine the most radical neo-conservative being that f_cking crazy, when radicals say see it my way or die, gets me wanting to run for the hills or shoot back.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Two wrongs do not make a right.

Anyone, over here or there, that is using the United States’s bad deeds as an excuse for this behavior is dead wrong.

LuckyGuy's avatar

^^^ (Let’s)

@zenvelo @johnpowell “They aren’t fighting the US directly, they are fighting Shia Moslems and Kurds. Westerns just happen to be in the way.”

For now.

I think the current fighting among sects is just the canary in the coal mine. If they fight like that with each other, imagine how they will treat those people who are not their religion. Once one side enjoys their Pyrrhic victory they will repopulate with 12 kids per family and in one generation the fighting will be all against the West just for being: Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, Israeli, owning property, being an uncovered female, or any one of an infinite number of reasons.

rojo's avatar

Heard a gentleman yesterday speaking about this and other problems in the Middle East, sorry I don’t recall who it was.

His take was that the US does have a problem over there because every ally (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) in the area has a dog in this fight and they are all different dogs. So which dog do we back and whose fears/wants/needs do we ignore? No matter who we side with we will alienate other allies and conversely we will also be assisting one of our enemies; either by eliminating a potential enemy of our enemy or supporting a potential enemy of our enemy. What ya gonna do?

jungle_girl's avatar

They are murders. Evil people. The worst of humanity. Their perspective is to kill and oppress.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I am shocked at people here giving this bunch of murders a pass. This group ISIS should be destroyed. I believe like “jungle girl” they are the worst of humanity and Evil people. I wonder how all of you would feel if they cut off the head of your child? It’s easy to sit nice and safe with your computer and not fear the life of yourself or your children. Being poor (which many of them are not) is no excuse for the Evil they do.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR WHAT THEY DO AND STAND FOR.

rojo's avatar

So, @BeenThereSaidThat When is your hunter/killer team going in?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Nicely put @LuckyGuy . No one seems to notice that for some reason vicious homicidal cliques never arise in societies where everyone has a job, enough to eat and a reasonable expectation that he and his relatives will not be blown to pieces. If you’re born and reared in hell, it must be intensely irritating for you to endure the consternation from outside at the “sudden” appearance of an army of demons.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

You said it, @LuckyGuy. Teenagers are extremely easy to brainwash and indoctrinate. It’s likely that these men have been conditioned, perhaps since the age of 12 or 13, to become militantly religious. Their fates were chosen for them.

No, I’m not advocating any kid-glove or compassionate treatment of ISIS. I’m simply saying that, yes, I can understand how these men grew from young boys into monsters.

LuckyGuy's avatar

In case anyone is confused, I am not giving them a pass. I was merely answering the OP’s question and putting myself in their shoes. You have to figure that people generally do things they think are in their best interest. The nut job who did the beheading no doubt felt he furthered his cause.

Looking at the situation for the other side is a useful approach, by the way. You put yourself in the enemy’s position so you can better understand his mindset and possibly predict and counteract his next move.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@LuckyGuy You didn’t confuse me in the least, and I didn’t interpret your post as a pro-ISIS message.

When trying to understand someone’s actions and behavior, one should begin with his/her motives. The background provides context.

flutherother's avatar

Extremist philosophies develop in extremely stressed societies. I don’t make excuses for ISIS but I look at my own shoes and wonder.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

The Lurve has spoken ITT:

Fluther is filled with terrorist sympathizers.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Secondhand It’s kind of like joining a gang in the US? You get protection,acceptance. The purpose young adults seek.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Yes, it’s just like with gang members:

The US has the means to blast these sociopaths into oblivion.

But won’t.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Their shoes are filled with the blood of innocent men, women and children.
Wonder if that is what the Native Americans were thinking as the settlers they helped were raping, pillaging and stealing their homeland?

rojo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central a vast majority of Native American were dead from smallpox and other diseases that Europeans infected them with both accidentally and as a form of biological terrorism Hmmmmmmmmmm, there’s an idea and so were not thinking about much of anything.

Estimates for the death toll were as high as 95% of the original population by the end of the 17th Century and of this 90% were due to disease.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^^ The deeds of ISIS must not be confused with manifest destiny.

ISIS and it’s ilk can hardly claim imminent domain.

Citing the in inevitable absorption of Native America by the Western world. Is this a thing?

It is as unfounded as it is predictable.

Humanity’s first expansion into North America. Shame!

rojo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke for the sake of argument, why do you not think that ISIS cannot claim manifest destiny?

Do they not meet these criteria?:

1. The special virtues of the Islamic people and their institutions;
2. Islam’s mission to redeem and remake the world in the image of a 7th century caliphate;
3. An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty.

And cannot they use eminent domain to acquire territory based on their:

1. virtue of the Islamic people and their institutions.
2. mission to spread these institutions, redeeming and remaking the world in their image.
3. destiny under God/Allah to claim territory and convert the population.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

The expansions I described above were done in the name of progress.

No rational person can claim that progress is ISIS’s objective.

susanc's avatar

@SecondHandStoke
what does this mean:
“Humanity’s first expansion into North America. Shame!”
Who are you talking about?

Thank you.

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