Proof that ISIS is -- quite literally -- barbaric
The debate over how to think about Islamic State has mainly centered on important but abstruse questions -- is it evil or not? -- and on what combination of military and economic pressure might be necessary to prevent the establishment of a caliphate.
What the debate is lacking is a sense of history. And the historical antecedents do supply an early analogy to Islamic State -- a warrior people who came out of nowhere, defeated mightier forces in battle, accumulated wealth and, in their bloody ferocity, terrified every civilization with which they came into contact.
I refer to the steppe nomads.
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