Mideast Expert Rubin: ISIS Is Trying to Deconstruct Borders

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 11:27 AM

By Courtney Coren

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The Islamic State broke away from al-Qaida because it thought al-Qaida was trying to establish itself within the Syrian borders too much, and wanted to deconstruct the borders it believes are a convention of the West, says Middle East expert Michael Rubin.

The group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),  "declared itself as a caliphate now," Rubin told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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"It was originally an offshoot of al-Qaida and of the fight inside Syria," said Rubin, author of "Dancing With the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes."

"The reason it became an offshoot was because it felt that al-Qaida was focusing too much on Syria rather than taking on the mission of creating a caliphate, which would actually deconstruct these borders, which ISIS argued had been imposed on the Middle East by the West," he added.

The Middle East expert from the American Enterprise Institute says that ISIS is very different from a terrorist group like the Taliban, who "always pretended to be a nationalist movement."

"They didn't declare a caliphate which would go beyond Afghanistan's borders," Rubin said. "At the same time, the Taliban wanted to be embraced by the West and by the family of nations."

For ISIS, "it wants nothing to do with normal notions of statehood."

However, Rubin says it's a mistake to emphasize the differences between ISIS and al-Qaida.

"The policy implications of emphasizing that are a bunch of hooey," he explained. "All too often when it comes to rogue regimes and terrorist groups we want to embrace this notion.

"Whether it's moderate al-Qaida or whether it's extreme al-Qaida, it's still al-Qaida," he said.

"The fact of the matter is the basic ideology of these groups is so anathema to the West that there is no dealing with them, there's only killing them," he added.


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