A lot of us are understandably concerned about the threats posed by ISIS and other terrorist fanatics. But Joan Walsh thinks we’re just victims of “hype and fear”:
Here’s more of her trademark of common sense:
Both the CNN and NBC polls indicate that the single biggest factor behind the surge of fear is the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. In the NBC poll, 94 percent said they’d heard news of the beheadings, which is higher than any other news event polled in the last five years. They accomplished what they were intended to: make Americans feel vulnerable, angry and ready to fight. Mission accomplished, ISIS!
This despite the fact that the beheadings changed nothing about the security situation in the U.S., and gave us little or no new information about ISIS’s capacity in Iraq or Syria.As I wrote after the Sotloff tragedy, nobody came to our shores and snatched those men. Unless you’re judging American security by the safety of freelance Syria correspondents, nothing that happened to them proves that there’s any increased danger to Americans. We learned nothing new about the power or reach of ISIS, or its cruelty. The beheadings were designed to make the U.S. over-react, and to draw the country into a one-on-one war with “the Islamic state.” Let’s hope on that count they fail.
Yeah, those Americans were beheaded, but it happened someplace else. So we’re perfectly safe.
At this point, you may also be asking yourself, “but what about reports of Americans taking up with ISIS?” Joan has a comforting answer for that, too:
No doubt people are also concerned by reports that up to 100 Americans have joined ISIS– and presumably they’d have an easier time returning and causing harm in the U.S.. But those reports turned out not to be true. Roughly 100 Americans have, at some point, gone to Syria to be involved in the fight there – but that count includes moderates fighting on the U.S. side. The Pentagon estimates the number allied with ISIS to be around a dozen.
Joan’s got the inside scoop.