I thought I would share this ISIS/ISIL documentary which came out a few weeks ago. As I understand it, it is the first documentary produced by a journalist embedded within the caliphate. After watching the documentary, I realized that I had seriously underestimated the intelligence, organization, and capability of this group. Particularly noteworthy (and sad) is the systematic brainwashing of children within the caliphate, the selective use of extreme violence to subdue local populations and intimidate their enemies, their use of a post-colonial and religious framework to justify and legitimize what they are doing, and the extreme motivation of their fighters. This, combined with their ability to make sure the basic needs of people within the caliphate are met, and to capitalize on (and address) resentments and problems that existed prior to them entering an area has provided them with an incredible strategy / ability to capture and conquer territory. It makes me think of a middle-eastern reincarnation of the Khmer Rouge that learned from its mistakes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUjHb4C7b94
PS - For the record, I think it is important to state that ISIS is not synonymous with Muslim. There are Muslims around the world who are offended by (and willing to fight against) ISIS.