Don’t Doubt ISIS’s Sincerity

The claim that its recruits are just looking for an excuse to act barbarically is amazingly stupid.

Over 20 years ago, when I was briefly living in Czechoslovakia, I visited Theresienstadt, a Nazi concentration camp. Tens of thousands of Jews were killed there. Even so, as Nazi concentration camps go it was pretty nice. That was by design. The Nazis used it as a Potemkin “Jewish settlement” in an effort to persuade the International Red Cross that the Nazis weren’t mistreating the Jews.

To that end, they shipped out the malnourished and spruced the place up in advance of the Red Cross’s arrival. In the grand scheme of things, this was just a small part of the Nazis’ effort to hide the fact that they were liquidating the Jews of Europe. They couldn’t hide their anti-Semitic brutality of course, but even the SS understood that openly murdering millions of innocents amounted to bad press they didn’t need.