Terrorism and the media have a symbiotic relationship, without attention a terrorist act remains confined to it's immediate victims. However, with the oxygen of publicity from the media and with intention of sating public demand for information and sales, this coverage can actually result in effective propaganda for the perpetrators of such acts.
Allying with Assad would be worse than poor strategy; it would be morally unacceptable to anyone with an ounce of decency, and to anyone with the slightest stake in identifying and punishing his crimes.
An unfortunate but perhaps inevitable consequence of the growing numbers of young British men travelling to Syria or Iraq to join ISIS is that the communities from which they hail will at best be scrutinised for answers, and at worst be blamed for playing a part in their radicalisation.
Like Saladin, who controlled his image carefully, ISIS have proved shrewd operators in the propaganda war, focusing on their primary constituency: young motivated jihadists, keen to give humiliate outside interlopers and beat them at their own game.
The continuing conflict has led to an unprecedented number of people fleeing their homes in Syria and Iraq. While Europe has taken in thousands of refugees, hundreds of thousands have found temporary shelter in neighbouring countries that struggle to deal with the influx...
The home secretary must be very clear about how effective her proposals will be in curtailing those who pose a serious threat to the UK and what the potential consequences for ordinary members of the public will be.
While British Muslims rightfully celebrate the release of one of their respected and admired leaders, days before the Islamic festival of Eid, I'm sure Moazzam along with CAGE will insist that the struggle between justice and oppression is far from over.
When the Home Secretary said "British values will prevail in the end" against extremism, if she's talking about freedom of speech, then she's certainly missed a trick. The fact that surfaces with the revelation of these measures under the banner of "British Values" is in reality a demonization of a single community - a community just like any other.
Problems start back home, in poverty, with bad parents and poor role models, the children given no mentors or guidance as they're ignored by society at large. The only available guidance they receive - the dirty words from religious clerics and violent lyrics from music. It's all about becoming indoctrinated with vile bile.
n the battle of good vs evil there needs to be balance. For every extremist-made comic there should be one purporting an adventurous alternative. Dilbert's gags about expense reports just won't cut it.
Air strikes alone won't defeat ISIL. The organisation is clearly goading the West into direct confrontation. Once we get the first pictures of Muslim women and children killed by US missiles, no matter how isolated these incidents would be, that would up the ante in ISIL's propaganda war. This is when allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar will get cold feet.
Military action might make us feel better about ourselves and it might even "degrade" Isis but it won't "destroy" it (to use Obama's preferred terminology). How will dropping bombs destroy the hate-filled ideology behind the terrorist group? How will air strikes prevent foreign fighters returning home to the west to carry out revenge attacks?
The strategy of "degrading and destroying" ISIS this way is therefore likely to fail without a comprehensive political solution involving an equitable share of power for the Sunni population in Iraq, a withdrawal of American support for Syrian rebels, and the forcing of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Gulf states to stop sponsoring Islamist terrorist groups throughout the region.
The ideology which terrorists are fed aids this process too. When people take on a belief system, they begin to see the world in an abstract, intellectualised way, rather than through direct perception. They begin to see the world in terms of concepts and categories, developing a dry and rigid outlook which becomes so powerful that it divorces them from the immediacy of experience and contact. It encourages them to see other human beings not as individuals but as units in an abstract, conceptual and deadly game.
In his speech last night, the President stated that the United States had a 'responsibility to lead', and that the values of freedom, justice, and dignity underpin American leadership in an uncertain world. Adherence to these principles has been found wanting in recent years; let's hope that policymakers remember them while they search for a comprehensive response to the Islamic State's provocations.
We can, with our technology, our material and our enviable financial position, intervene on the right side. We can fight the aggressors, the fascists, and rescue Iraq from the scourge of Islamist violence. But this is only possible in coalition, in alliance. Leaving the Kurds to fight the Islamic State alone is immoral; abandoning Iraq is equally bad; and letting the United States shoulder the burdens of internationalism alone fails the very definition of the term.