SHE UNDERSTANDS – A jaw-dropper from a magazine which never understood anything:

The story itself, by everyone’s old favourite Middle East expert Juan Cole, spends most of it length ridiculing Defence Secretary Mattis for his naive talk about “annihilating” ISIS – jihadis want the clash of civilisations to become a reality, hence fighting them actually plays into their hands – only to give Grande a ringing endorsement towards the end:

Meanwhile, pop singer Ariana Grande, 23, whose concert was attacked by a British ISIL operative in Manchester, announced that she would return to Manchester for a benefit concert for the victims. The second-most-followed person on Instagram stressed that her concert was about inclusiveness and that would not change. “The way you have handled all of this has been more inspiring and made me more proud than you’ll ever know. The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you’ve shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday… We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win.”

Her sentiments, the essence of counterinsurgency when it comes to ISIL’s polarizing plot, were shared by Manchester Muslims, who marched in solidarity with the victims.

I’m hoping that the Pentagon follows Grande’s Twitter feed. Because she nailed it.

Perhaps we can next send Ariana to do a tour of Raqqa, Mosul and Fallujah. Bomb ISIS with compassion, kindness, strength and oneness – “her sentiments, the essence of counterinsurgency”. Juan Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History and director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan.