By Sal Bommarito
ISIS continues to wreak havoc in Iraq and Syria. The question is what does ISIS want? Here are several possibilities.
ISIS hopes to establish a new theocracy. Such an objective necessitates land, a government and recognition by other countries. This contingency is unlikely. Why would any country in the region be willingly cede territory to ISIS?
ISIS is interested in killing or converting Arabs who are not Sunnis. This ideological angle is reminiscent of the 11th Century Crusades, during which marauding Catholics foisted their religious beliefs on others. In the Middle East, the struggle between Sunni and Shiite has been in play for centuries. It does not appear that ISIS is finding many converts among those conquered. In fact, most Sunnis and even the original Al Qaeda organization object to ISIS’ radical perspectives.
ISIS wants to destabilize the region. So far the terrorists have successfully disrupted Iraq and Syria and initiated a war that has involved countries from around the world. There are few, if any, nations in the Middle East that side with ISIS, including Sunni dominated regimes. In fact, most Arab countries decry ISIS because they fear destabilization and revolution will impact their governments.
ISIS is a band of disgruntled nomads from many places whose solidarity is their unhappiness. They are like a large group of suicide bombers, prepared to fight and die in the name of God. A cult-like, brainwashed mentality may have overcome the members, and the only way to stop them is to exterminate them.
ISIs is a group of bandits who kill, steal, rape and pillage, land pirates if you will. They are using radical Islam ideology to form a cohesive bond between members.
ISIS is interested in destroying and/or terrorizing western nations. The operations in Iraq and Syria could be the beginning of a mission that will inspire other Muslims to assault western societies. This form of fanaticism would be directed more towards killing non-Arabs.
An interesting thought amid all the beheadings, killing, refugees and destabilization is how the leaders of ISIS would respond to being asked what would encourage them to end their reign of terror and make peace.