Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of al-Qa’ida’s goals, strategy, and tactics. I’m not talking about al-Qa’ida’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.
Yeah, about that whole "absurd" and "never going to happen" thing there, John...
Perhaps it sounds glib to talk about the branding of an extremist Islamist group responsible for the deaths and oppression of thousands. But the branding or, perhaps more accurately, the idea of the Islamic State is exactly what attracts recruits and funding to the group. And even if its techniques have sometimes been crude, the Islamic State has clearly gone out of its way to promote its brand.
What's really worrying is that despite all the confusion over its name, the Islamic State "brand" actually seems pretty solid — and worryingly global. It's distinctive black-and-white flag was flown in London last week, and leaflets supporting it were handed out in the city's Oxford Street on Tuesday. An American was arrested at a New York City airport this month after authorities were tipped off by his pro-Islamic State Twitter rants. The group has began publishing videos in Hindi, Urdu and Tamil in a bid to reach Indian Muslims. There are credible reports that the group is hoping to target Asian countries — and Indonesia is so worried that it banned all support for the Islamic State.
The list goes on and on. Whatever you call it — the Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, or something else — its brand is potent.
They're taking over big chunks of land in Iraq and Syria as well.
Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have taken control of several towns in the northern province of Aleppo, according to reports from activists.
The group seized the town of Akhtarin, 50km (30 miles) northeast of Aleppo city, where Syrian rebels are holed up.
The BBC's Rami Ruhayem says that if confirmed, it would be a significant expansion for IS fighters.
The group holds large swathes of Syria and Iraq, declaring the creation of a caliphate, or Islamic state.
Now, let's be clear here: this mess can all be laid at the foot of Bush and Cheney. But Brennan is terrible and while he's not going anywhere because of politics, the guy really does deserve to be shitcanned.