They certainly have tried and succeeded in many ways, but they are not the only ones. Whatever happened to Rome? Napoleon? Genghis khan? The Soviet Union? Germany? America?
I don't see your point. Yes, other empires have risen and fallen away over the years. This fact does not give us reason to doubt the sincerity of what al-Baghdadi says he wants to accomplish, or how bad things would get if he somehow succeeded, or even how bad things already are in the areas that ISIS controls.
Yes but not with indiscriminate bombing of civilians.
C'mon now. The United States is not indiscriminately bombing civilians. We probably have the capability to kill every living thing in Syria in the space of a day or two - that's if we really didn't care about the difference between jihadis and innocent people. Even if you can't help but attribute the most cynical of motives to the United States, it's seems to me that you have to grant that fact, at a bare minimum. There wouldn't be any civilians left, if that weren't the case.
It can not be eliminated by bombing civilian populations. It is impossible to eliminate all threats. What is possible is taking steps to reduce the incentive to attack an oppressor when the oppressor stops oppressing.
We're not bombing civilian populations - not indiscriminately (see above). And as stated before, there's no particularly good reason to believe any military draw-down will disincentivize the jihadists from waging jihad. They're simply not playing the same game as we are. They're not interested in a world where people who don't think like them get to live their lives in peace. They've stated this plainly, and we have every reason to take them seriously.
What has to happen now is that we need to stop killing civilians and stop trying to dictate, with brutal force, to the Middle East how we think they should live there lives. There are a hundred million Muslims who are sick of the violence perpetrated against them by both the US and by militant jihadists. Or, I guess we could turn the whole Middle East into a giant bowl of glass. That's always an option for people of faith to consider. After all the women and children and men are dead we can take a break and finally admit that we fucked up, but only once the threat has been eliminated. Then we could reflect upon how things would have been different if only they had just acquiesced to our will and superior firepower.
When we find a method of waging war against a group of suicidal terrorists that absolutely forgoes any chance of killing innocent people, then we should immediately press that method into our service. But it hasn't happened yet, in no small part because our enemy truly does not care how many innocent people die in this fight. They know we will make extraordinary efforts to avoid killing innocent people, and they often use this fact to our advantage.
But your solution is to kill everyone in the crowd in order to prevent the suicide bomber from detonating their vest. Can you not see how your idea of dealing with the problem is problematic in and of itself? Yeah, the ones who don't agree with violent jihad or the Caliphate are scared. Some do stand and fight. Some do resist but many flee. Official US policy under Obama allowed for up to 20 civilian casualties during a "surgical strike" to take out one or two ISIS leaders. Trump as said he will disregard the old standard of collateral damage to allow our pimply faced drone pilots to kill as many innocent people as necessary to get rid of the ISIS threat. That will only cause more people to flee, including the terrorists who might think it's a good idea to hide themselves among the refugees so that they may live to strike their terror upon the people of the countries they seek refuge in. Your solution? Bomb them some more! Can't you see that is a futile self defeating method? It's not only completely devoid of any logic whatsoever...it's down right barbaric, sadistic and evil in a self perpetuating sort of way because the people who manufacture those bombs needs to get their paycheck so they can feed their little mouth breathers who believe the biggest threat to humanity is a dark skinned Muslim and mommy or daddy are simply doing their part to save the civilized world from the unwashed masses.
My solution is obviously not "to kill everyone in the crowd in order to prevent the suicide bomber from detonating their vest." That would be brazenly unethical, to say nothing of stupid, mathematically. The only circumstances under which you'd even consider dropping a bomb on a terrorist wearing a suicide vest is if it would kill fewer people than would die if we let the bomber detonate his vest. To the extent that it's possible, I'd be in favor of shooting the suicide bomber (with a bullet, not a bomb that would kill everyone else).
Also, I'm unaware of any Obama administration policy (official or otherwise) that allowed for the murder of up to 20 innocent people in the service of killing one or two ISIS members. If you can cite this for me, please do.
Mere "stability" is not what pushed white nationalism to the fringes of American society. It took legislative action and decades of social activism (not always peaceful). The problem is, the nature of the jihadist threat is significantly different than the one once posed by white nationalism.
The difference is less significant than you think.
I don't think it is. Historically, white nationalists rarely presented the kind of suicidal terrorist threat that we see as a hallmark of jihadism. Even the ones who felt predominantly influenced by Christianity (a religion which glorifies a single human martyrdom as the greatest thing that's ever happened) didn't often take it to that level.
Some enemies will tell you they're willing to die to beat you. But not many demonstrate that they're eager to die if it means taking you with them. White nationalists were not willing to kill other white nationalists in the service of killing a black person and preventing school integration. Jihadists are willing to kill practically anybody in an act of vengeance taken against an infidel who is thought to have profaned a copy of the Qu'ran.
And secondly, the Muslim world, for the most part, does not have a political presence strong enough to apply legislative pressure against reactionary elements in their societies.
I think you are being to broad and generalizing with this statement. Saudi Arabia, Jordon, Turkey, Egypt all have a strong political presence and great influence over what happens in their region. But it's complicated by US and Russian and UN interference.
No amount of foreign interference can explain why to be known as an atheist in any of these countries means that you risk imprisonment (at best) or being beaten and murdered.
Ditto for civic minded individuals who want to organize on a grass roots level. Even in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen (which are not jihadi strongholds), atheist bloggers and freethinkers are routinely beaten, murdered, or imprisoned. It's hard for genuine reformers to find sufficient courage to stand against this tide.
I feel you. This is a problem that cannot be solved by either bombs or atheist bloggers.
If we let free-thought drown in a sea of violent fundamentalism, then the problem will never be solved.
But you're right, we absolutely need to empower moderate and liberal Muslims, the world over. But in Muslim societies, it's far easier said than done. How do we protect them?
I don't know. I am halfway inclined to say just let them sort it out among themselves and stay the fuck out of it until they get it figured out. But we helped create this mess. If we want to help the moderate liberal Muslims we could start by setting the acceptable collateral damage number to zero.
If we stay out of this mess, then there will likely be no one left alive to empower once they get it figured out.