It's pretty much this just being honest, but being even more brutally honest it is actually exactly that in every war ever. The only difference is that every great war tends to have a bunch of manipulative psychopathic piece of shit elders basically enforcing an outward explosion of controlled chaos using these men. Wars are themselves the expenditure of that useless, hopeless, alienated, angsty young male energy. Every single war is basically just some absolute twat cajoling a bunch of would be ISIS members and incel right wing terrorists into going and looting the countryside outside of their territories. They pump them up and give them meaning, massively inflate and massage their egos, and give them just enough of the barest structure to not actively go around doing nothing but getting drunk while burning down villages and raping the women.
I don't think it's entirely fair to say that ISIS is medieval even. I mean sure they are, but they are much more technical and modern. The type of society they wish to enforce is indeed a perversion of basically every man's native anarcho primitivist instincts, to sneer upon the modern world and hold up the great values of raising a family and doing nothing but wood working while also incidentally using hacked playstation parts to drive Ork impromptu armored vehicles and drop grenades from drones while utilizing modern propaganda techniques.
I do however think that the one thing which actually made ISIS unique was that regardless of its members being composed of basically unemployable incel hooligans that they did manage to be a genuine apocalyptic death cult and not necessarily a rational actor in the common sense of the term. To this day I am actually rather surprised on just how poorly our military and political and even intelligence leadership appreciated what they were dealing with and were woefully inadequate at understanding this group and its aims. I swear I couldve personally oversaw the operations against them in the beginning and done a much better job, but well that's what happens when your high command is composed of a bunch of lawyer businessmen and boomer carreerists.
Regardless I think it is easy to see and understand both the instincts of ISIS as well as its methodology, its technique, its tactics in recruiting and propagandizing. I think the one other thing people fail to comprehend is first of all it was deliberately provocative. They made those execution videos specifically because they were goading the Americans and Westerners into yet another invasion, and were frustrated by the lack of boots and the ground and constant dronings and air strikes. I think that again it wasnt a traditional rational actor but rather one genuinely driven by ideology, capable of being both fanatical as well as logical and analytical and that that is what made them so deadly and such a dangerous foe to deal with because they knew what they were doing.
I think lastly that it is an important yet routinely overlooked by our corporate media element the way they used those orange prisoner jumpsuits. That was completely understandable to me because of how clear and pointed a message it was: I'm going to hurt you the way that I do. I want you to see what you did to us, to my people, and I want you to hurt like I do. Those jumpsuits happened because of all the blacksites. Some of these men were tortured for months, years, in CIA monitored torture chambers and nightmares like Abu Ghraib. In that respect I cannot objectively blame them. They simply did not control the young men through anything but barbarian war booty including rape which is part of why they failed to materialize as a state in spite of actively promoting an alternative to all the things that even we Westerners hate.
I think that a large number of people are vulnerable to this in a modern society and I think that at least in America trumptards are indicative of that. It is all the same politics in essence and a failure to enfranchise large segments of the population who are now suspicious of, alienated, or outright in conflict with the global neoliberal establishment. The difference is whether you have slimy old men tricking them into enriching themselves, of the neoliberal establishment conning people into coming back into the fold while pretending to be an alternative like Trump did, or barbarians overtly attacking that establishment.
Regardless, I would say that the one thing ISIS was most indicative of was the broad global assault against the great neoliberal citadel and the sheer volume of humanity in all countries now actively opposing it and crying out for an alternative. I think it is a very good moment for us to engage in reflection of why that is.