[ by Charles Cameron — a bullet train of thought re Daesh from the New Yorker ]
George Packer, in Why ISIS Murdered Kenji Goto a couple of days ago, connects a longer distance between ideas faster than the bullet train from Beijing to Guangzhou…
The Islamic State doesn’t behave according to recognizable cost-benefit analyses. It doesn’t cut its losses or scale down its ambitions. The very name of the self-proclaimed caliphate strikes most people, not least other Muslims, as ridiculous, if not delusional. But it’s the vaulting ambition of an actual Islamic State that inspires ISIS recruits. The group uses surprise and shock to achieve goals that are more readily grasped by the apocalyptic imagination than by military or political theory,
That took us from cost-benefit analysis to the apocalyptic imagination in one short paragraph, an almost unimaginable feat.
Which is precisely why bureaucratic “military or political” minds might overlook it.
And may Kenji Goto rest in peace.