Today's Cato's podcast suggests ISIS is weak because it claimed these recent 'lone wolf' attacks.
Such is the egalitarian mind of a certain intelligence; we are trained to be egalitarian, and it takes repeated violations of our expectations to realize we are dealing with less intelligent people. And even then, we might underestimate their dangers to our society.
So, what should the analysis be?
Well, this is the season of war. We were all stupid once- generations ago many of our ancestors would march off to war in spring time. If it weren't for the devastation of modern warfare, we might still do so. I suppose we have various proxies via different types of sports, but the idea is the same.
These are not lone wolves either. They are part of a Muslim community that has achieved a certain size. Whether they are accurate or not in their assessment, they feel they can score some victories for their clan.
Trevor Thrall suggests this is not terrorism because terrorism is supposed to somehow act on the political system, yet most western political figures appear to have surrendered already to Islam. Thrall is mistaken to assume that terrorism cannot be used directly, in war, as it has been throughout history.
These are stupid people, but they are at war. They expect their atrocities to advance their cause; and the cowardice of western government has only increased their expectations.
The smarter ISIS kill children with Sarin gas and then make crappy videos pretending Assad did it.
Then, I suppose there are a few former Iraqi generals, with slightly more competent military, quietly doing things marginally more sane somewhere in the Middle East. And I'm pretty sure they are happier about having these rejects doing violence in the West rather than having them in their locations, where they might screw stuff up.