So why was he talking to me, I asked, since I was a nonbeliever who would do none of those things?
“I mean, we hate disbelief but I see you’re a cool guy,” he said in a direct message.
I’ll be sure to save that endorsement in case the Islamic State storms Northern Virginia.
This isn’t the first time I was reminded that insurgents and their followers — no matter how brutal and misguided — are people, too. In 2007 my infantry unit in Baghdad and Diyala province was battling, among other groups, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, an Iraqi nationalist insurgency group. They tried to sneak off with the bodies of executed American contractors and ambushed us when we arrived. They fired sniper rifles from inside cars and cut into roads with concrete saws to lay massive bombs for our vehicles.