The Islamic State Is Failing at Being a State – Liz Sly
(dailyalert.org, Dec. 26, 2014)
Living conditions are deteriorating across the territories under Islamic State control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies to fighting battles and enforcing strict rules. Services are collapsing, prices are soaring, and medicines are scarce in the “caliphate” proclaimed in Iraq and Syria as a model form of governance for Muslims.
Slick Islamic State videos do not match the reality of growing deprivation and disorganized, erratic leadership, the residents say. Schools barely function, doctors are few, and disease is on the rise. In the Iraqi city of Mosul, the water has become undrinkable and flour is becoming scarce. In the Syrian city of Raqqa, water and electricity are available for no more than four hours a day, while garbage piles up uncollected.
Meanwhile, crime has plunged, and for many residents the order is a welcome alternative to the lawlessness that prevailed when more moderate Syrian rebels were in charge. One Assad government employee said IS was “not cruel as the regime was.” With the Islamic State in charge, “if you don’t do anything wrong – according to their standards, not ours – they will not bother you.” (Washington Post)