What would you say if you knew that the Obama administration was well aware of a) the power of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s propaganda arm in terms of its ability to recruit new fighters globally, but b) purposely chose to do nothing about it, despite the fact that the president says his strategy to combat ISIS is “working?”
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably a little upset about that – and with good reason. But that is the situation and, as Zero Hedge is reporting, there doesn’t appear to be anything this administration is willing to do about the ISIS propaganda machine anytime soon.
To wit, Zero Hedge reported in recent days:
“As outlined extensively by Charlie Winter in a study entitled ‘Documenting The Virtual ‘Caliphate,’ ISIS produces nearly 40 pieces of propaganda each day in various formats ranging from video, to print, to radio.
“The workload is divided between dozens of individual production units hailing from all corners of the caliphate from Libya to Raqqa to Mosul.”
The propaganda operation has been successful at recruiting literally thousands of new fighters from around the world, including, according to an earlier ZH report, more than 6,000 from Tunisia, 2,500 from Saudi Arabia and 2,400 from Russia.
“Put simply: recruitment on that scale would be all but impossible in the absence of the al-Hayat Media Center and its myriad offshoots,” Zero Hedge reported.
‘Let’s just study them’
And the propaganda is not limited merely to montages of horrific murder. Indeed, a good amount of IS media is directed at portraying everyday life in the “caliphate.” The IS leaders, of course, want to project an aura of normalcy, in an effort to prove to potential recruits that even in a society where Sharia law is the law of the land there can be modernity.
As Zero Hedge points out:
“Given all of this, one would certainly think that the US would be interested in dismantling the network that serves as Islamic State’s recruiting arm. After all, if the group can’t replace the fighters killed on the battlefield, its ranks will shrivel. As it turns out, the U.S. has “spent months” mapping the locations of the various media production units. … Despite knowing their locations, Washington has refrained from destroying them – supposedly for fear of inflicting civilian casualties.”
The Washington Times notes further that the “secret project” by U.S. intelligence agencies to map out the known media and propaganda production locations, has found that most of the locations are embedded in “heavily residential areas” in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and thus far are not being targeted by U.S. airstrikes.
The feckless Obama
There seems to be no intent to actually do anything about it, but rather, as The Times noted, the White House continues to task the intelligence community to, you know, continue “studying the facilities” used by the Islamic State and its propaganda wings, to see how they operate (which is something that is already known – this is just Obama refusing to act).
And what’s more, it’s only a half-hearted effort, as the paper noted:
“Critics, including a growing number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill and some current and former officials directly involved in the project, say the administration’s effort is badly mismanaged and underfunded, allowing the Islamic State to maintain a physical footprint of media production houses upon which creation of the terrorist group’s most influential products depends.”
In recent interviews, past defense secretaries including Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel and Robert Gates have all said that the Obama administration has no real strategy for defeating ISIS; that Obama’s inner circle of advisers keeps him sequestered and out of the loop; and that the Pentagon is micromanaged to the point of gross inefficiency. So it’s no wonder we aren’t making any real progress with any military effort we are currently engaged in.
And it’s also no wonder that other great powers like Russia and China are on the move; they know Obama is feckless, disinterested and incapable of acting.