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What makes the Islamic State a lot like Starbucks

iranaware

ISIS 2

Rashmee Roshan Lall// What makes ISIL a lot like Starbucks? Both are expanding on account of their franchises. And both are doing so without much hindrance on the part of the US government and others.

This does not matter much when it comes to a coffee chain with no more insidious an aim than to persuade 65 countries its brew is a sophisticated part of the cultural backdrop. It is of huge concern when it is an extremist group with ambitions to enshrine its brutal ideas in a state, complete with a ban on Apple products and buses that run from its so-called capital Raqqa to Mosul.

The ISIL and Starbucks analogy comes straight from a devastatingly honest memo that Richard Stengel, the US state department’s under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs wrote to his boss, secretary of state John Kerry.

It was written after foreign ministers from…

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