Alberto Fernandez: The war against jihad

An interview with Alberto Fernandez, vice president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

How is the war of ideas won?

First thing: What do you stand for? What is your worldview? The West has lost its way. The West is like Seinfeld. It’s not about anything, or if it’s about anything, it’s about the gods of the West—Eros, Mammon, and Molech. False gods. We’re for a culture of hedonism and consumerism, which is maybe OK for people on a day-to-day basis but does not satisfy. People go looking for things. Some will find it in radical Islam. It gives them a poisonous, diabolical purpose.

Has the United States been out-strategized?

Without a doubt. Great irony: The Obama administration prides itself on great communication but has been outsmarted by not just some guys in a cave, or by Salafi jihadists like ISIS, but also by the Russians and others who have learned to play the influence operation game. The U.S. government sits back in a lounge chair thinking about 2009, “We’ve got this covered, everybody loves us and thinks we’re wonderful.”