At PJ Media, I take issue with Rand Paul’s assertion that the rise of ISIS is due to U.S. policy in the Middle East:
ISIS is so potently barbaric that to speak of a cause other than its members’ own depravity is distasteful. Even if it’s true that the war in Iraq created a “vacuum” for the group’s rise, to speak only in the most vague, mechanistic terms—as if the US and ISIS were mere billiard balls, to use the old “realist” analogy—ignores the essence of why ISIS is a problem for the civilized world: it is a destructive gang that runs on its own twisted logic. In this sense it operates outside our notions of cause and effect; its actions stand so far beyond moral norms that their only cause is the perpetrators themselves. If you have it in you to burn people alive, you will do so eventually, regardless of what the United States does.