I had the opportunity to do a long interview with Olivier Jutel, host of the Dunedin Radio One show “The revolution will not be televised.” It is a rare occasion when one gets to converse at length about a variety of subjects on radio or television, so this was a nice opportunity to air my views on a number of issues, to include the conflict with the Islamic state, New Zealand’s potential role in it, fear mongering as a political strategy, the impact of social media on political behaviour, etc.
The podcast can be found here.
“IS is a Sunni problem. They’re coming after the Sunnis” – not an actual quote, but my memory of one point you made fairly early in the piece. I’ve been struggling to figure out how IS fits in to the Middle Eastern political jigsaw, and that’s an angle I hadn’t realised was there.
And you’re comments about social media are spot on. That’s certainly what I see here in China. There are many players, including overt and covert government players, and the environment makes it a great place for pushing propaganda, directly and indirectly. The very low trust in official media also makes it a great place for rumour to spread, which has its upsides, but very many downsides as people start to react irrationally to situations based on dodgy information of even dodgier provenance.
What is most puzzling is the Sunni Arab elite response (or lack thereof). They clearly do not want to be seen killing fellow Sunnis (or better said, Whahabists), but either do not understand or are blind to the fact that IS is coming for them first and foremost.
Regardless of their financial support for Islamicist causes (which is basically a bribe to keep Islamicists that also helps in the fight against Assad and Iranian-backed groups), they are ultimately seen as sell-outs to the West and appeasers of Israel and Shiias. So, even as IS takes their money, the first order of business is their elimination. There is no escaping that fact and the West needs to come to grips with it before committing more troops to the battle.
Having the West fight their fight against IS does not remove the underlying problem.
Thanks for posting this interview.
Thanks for sharing the podcast! You are welcome back on Radio One any time.