Fighting with what?
Trevor Bird

Most ISIS fighters aren’t highly-trained operatives, they’re feckless random volunteers who get a quick boot camp just before being pressed into service. They’re mostly people like #AbuHajaar and friends:

And, most of their weapons and heavy machinery weren’t theirs to begin with — they were taken up as cowardly Iraqi and Syrian regulars and militias deserted in droves. This underlines the cultural problem I was alluding to: that for some 70% of these refugees to be healthy fighting-age males, there’s something deeply troubling and suspect about them both as a culture and as individuals. They’re deeply flawed “men”: selfish, opportunistic, and missing any sense of loyalty and devotion to their homeland and people— by contrast, in the same region the neighboring Kurds have a strong culture of self-defense and have successfully resisted attacks from all sides for decades. It’s not outside support or weapons parity which has kept the Peshmerga fighting successfully: it’s their will to fight which has kept them in their homeland. (That, and their ability to double their effective fighting force by embracing female soldiers.)

And had these “refugees” stayed to fight for their own homeland, guerrilla insurgents can appropriate weapons and/or engage in subtler sabotage along the way. E.g., the French Resistance may have been largely unarmed and always outgunned by their German occupiers and Vichy collaborators, but they still bravely stayed and fought in numerous ways rather than turning tail as “refugees.”

There are only between 20,000 and 32,000 ISIS fighters at any moment; in contrast, there have been over a million asylum-seekers flooding neighboring countries and spilling over into Europe, and there are over 5 million “internally displaced persons.” Even a very low success rate in fighting these ~25,000 militants would have slowed then stopped them by now — if not obliterated them. But healthy fighting-age young men simply aren’t fighting ISIS in significant numbers; they’re either joining up with ISIS themselves, or running away hoping to seek their fortunes in Germany etc. Their lack of will to resist is truly damning, symptomatic of deeper flaws.

I do agree with you that America’s “gun culture” helps ensure our freedom from hypothetical tyranny (as well as real crime — up to 2 million events of “defensive gun use” occur each year here, when we include incidents where the mere presence of a gun is believed to have deterred assault). But I have a hard time believing even the disarmed civilians of e.g. Europe would ever behave as these Middle Eastern migrants have, with orders of magnitude more healthy young men becoming refugees than fighting for their homelands. All I can say for sure is that if peoples became “refugees” every time they faced conflict instead of fighting for their homelands, the globe would look very different today…

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