The Security Dilemma and ISIS (Updated)

So I wrote a slightly updated version of my previous post applying the security dilemma to the problem of ISIS. The new version can be viewed here at the International Affairs Review. Enjoy.


DC in Chaos as Interns Declare Caliphate

A Satirical Piece I decided to write. Hopefully I’ll be able to put some more serious posts up soon.

Chaos hit the streets in DC as a group of interns managed to overrun large parts of two different think tanks located in Dupont Circle declare that they have created a new caliphate. The announcement came as a surprise to many who have largely turned away from the various problems happening in the region.

“We thought the interns were bogged down in their location with a heavy workload and dealing with competition from other interns. This will have a destabilizing effect among the greater think tank world.” Said J.M. Berger of Brookings Institution.

After declaring the establishment of a caliphate, the mysterious leader, supposedly a research associate from one of the conquered think tanks, appeared in a video asking for all interns to rush to the new caliphate.

“Rush o interns, to your think tank. Yes, your think tank. It is not a think tank simply for the conservatives or liberals, nor for the Asian experts or Latin American researchers. All interns, no matter your specialty, this is where you can apply your skills.”

Little is known about this research associate. Most likely he was never formally hired or paid, leaving a very small paper trail for people to trace. The video of him has yet to be authenticated. In the video, he also called out of several think tanks and other agencies for violation against interns.

“From Amnesty International to the State Department, be warned. Your crimes against us will end. It might take a while, but we will have our revenge.”

Republican policymakers were quick to blame the Obama administration for failing to arm moderate interns. Senator John McCain was perhaps the most vocal on the issue.

“The failure of the Obama administration to act decisively against these radical interns and the failure to help the moderates out. If the administration had worked to give money and supplies to the moderates, IS probably would never have gained power.”

Others disagreed. “The moderate interns were never that well organized. Between work and trying to make money, the moderate groups lacked the organizational cohesion to actually compete against the radicals.” According to George Washington University Professor Marc Lynch. “The few interns that were given supplies took their tablets and pens to IS due to their frustration with the inefficiency of the moderate groups.”

The repercussions against interns around DC was being felt in public. Public figures such as Sam Harris and Bill Maher have come out and said that the establishment of IS proves the inherently violent nature of internship. Sam Harris has warned that even 20% of interns should be considered radical. Asked to expand on this, he had this to say,

“Well, again, you have to parse this on specific points, like do you favor getting paid for your work, do you think there should be a job guarantee? Even among interns, you’d find more subscribing to one versus the other, depending on the poll you trust. But I didn’t just pull the number out of a hat. There’s a group at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill that has conducted 40 years of study in the intern world – literally every intern that has been hired – and found that these views were prevalent among 15 percent of the interns.

So I would say that if you take this number 15 percent who agree with payment, and then you look at the poll results on specific implementation of intern’s demands – do you want research fellows and government officials to give recommendation letters or should you be hired – you never find the number, with very few exceptions, you never find the number as low as 15 percent voting in favor of these deals. It’s often 60 percent depending on the type of internship. So I believe nudging that up to something around 20 percent is still a conservative estimate of the percentage of interns worldwide who have values relating to employment and work ethics that are really in zero sum contests with our own.”

Despite the complete nonsensical, bullshit logic behind this, this view has remained popular among internphobes.

Interns meanwhile have come out strongly to condemn IS and suggest the should not be perceived as real interns.

“Just look at them and their background. They act like they’re good interns, but look at their pasts. They rarely did any work. They would show up late, never get the projects done, and spend the entire day on Facebook and Twitter. These are just crazy people who have become distant in disenchanted with their own internships, and have turned to what they view as a crazy utopia to fill that empty hole inside them.” Said an intern from Carnegie.

This looks like it will be a long term struggle against these interns.