What is ISIS?

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The problem with the bomb-Syria-to-stop-ISIS-attacking-us argument is that is that the United States, the world’s greatest military superpower, has been bombing ISIS in Syria for over a year, and self-proclaimed ISIS-affiliates were still able to murder 130 people in Paris and 14 in San Bernardino.

Perhaps ISIS just needs to be bombed a bit more. But even if that is the case (which it isn’t), there’s nothing that says those bombs need to be dropped by British planes. America’s annual military budget is bigger than the ten next highest spenders combined. Britain getting involved is a bit like showing up to a party at Elton John’s house with a bottle of wine. Continue reading “What is ISIS?”

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Public Opinion Is Wrong (featuring Jeremy Corbyn and Jihadi John)

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What a fucking idiot

Islamic State militant ‘Jihadi John’ has allegedly been killed in a US drone strike. Born Mohammed Emwazi in Kuwait before moving to the UK, ‘John’ became notorious after appearing in videos posted online in which Western aid workers were apparently beheaded.

While Cameron and his American counterparts trumpeted John’s death as an unmitigated triumph, Jeremy Corbyn said it was a shame he wasn’t brought in alive and put on trial. Cue a flurry of criticism accusing the Labour leader of being out of touch with public opinion.

He is, and that’s good, because public opinion is wrong about most things. A few years ago, a MORI poll found that people think benefit fraud is 34 times more costly than it actually is, that 24% of the population is Muslim when in fact it’s only 5%, and that 31% are recent immigrants when in fact it’s only 13%. It’s not surprising, because for decades an overwhelmingly corporate news media has done its best to make people woefully ill-informed, prejudiced, and irrationally quick to anger. Continue reading “Public Opinion Is Wrong (featuring Jeremy Corbyn and Jihadi John)”