- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that the Islamic State terror group is “arguably the most interesting” non-governmental organization today.

Mr. Clinton made the comments about the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, during the third of a four-speech lecture series he is giving at Georgetown University.

“Arguably the most interesting non-governmental organization today, which proves the importance of inclusion by its shortcomings, but is formidable, is ISIS,” he said. “ISIS is a terrorist organization, an NGO, trying to become a state. That is, they don’t recognize any of the boundaries of the Middle Eastern countries as legitimate. They were all established, drawn largely by Westerners after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

“And so when they go capture a place, they set up their own judicial system, they set up their own rule making, they set up whatever their social services are going to be,” he continued. “And the only thing is, you can’t disagree with them, or they’ll kill you, as we have seen.

“They have a vision, they have a strategy, they think they’re right, but they are anti-inclusive in the extreme,” Mr. Clinton said.

The former president also offered support for President Obama’s negotiations with Iran, given what he described as dire circumstances if Tehran acquires a nuclear weapon.

“I think you live in an exciting time,” he said during the event. “I think that is unlikely these ideological driven conflicts we’re having now with non state actors will be fully resolved — I hope and pray that we will leave behind a system that we can say with some confidence that we could keep really big, bad things from happening, that is why this negotiation with Iran is so important.”

Mr. Clinton refrained from commenting on his wife’s Democratic presidential campaign, saying that “for obvious reasons, I don’t intend to talk much about electoral politics.”

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