The Rise of Islamic State

The Rise of Islamic State

ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution

Book - 2014
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"Out of the failures of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring and Syria, a new threat emerges. While Al Qaeda is weakened, new jihadi movements, especially ISIS, are growing rapidly. In military operations in June 2014 they were far more successful than Al Qaeda ever were, taking territory that reaches across borders and includes the city of Mosul. The reports of their military coordination and brutality are chilling. While they call for the formation of a new caliphate once again the West becomes a target. The author analyzes the impact on the war-torn and volatile Middle East."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: London : Verso, ©2014
ISBN: 9781784780401
Branch Call Number: 956.054 COC 2014
Characteristics: xx, 172 pages ; 20 cm
Alternative Title: The Jihadis return


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If one were to exclude the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this seems to me to be the crime of the century, the whole Timber Sycamore fiasco of the Obama administration -- the covert war against Syria which uses Al-Qaeda-type groups, as Cockburn prefers to call them, of which ISIS was one, that is to say, one of the many Salafi jihadist organizations financed by the Gulf monarchies, as proxies. At a little more than 170 pages this book is a very quick read. It can be completed in two sittings. Cockburn is biased by the time at which he wrote it, almost but not quite the apex of the caliphate's reach (the last pages deal with ISIS's first battlefield setback at Kobani at the hands of the Kurdish YPG/YPJ and the U.S. Air Force). So he believes that Shia rule in Iraq is finished. That didn't turn out to be the case. In fact, with the rollback of ISIS, the long-held CIA jewel of Iraqi Kurdistan even suffered a blow, delivered with vigor by a renascent Iraqi Shiite nationalism. I read THE RISE OF ISLAMIC STATE hoping that Cockburn would document the links between foreign intelligence agencies and the Salafists. He does, but not in an exhaustive or explicit fashion. He simply asserts that foreign intelligence agencies play an outsize role in Al-Qaeda-type organizations. He mentions the "moderate rebels" canard, which is where pro-Western opposition militias were dummied up to act as pass-throughs for sophisticated weapons, like anti-tank missiles, to the jihadists.

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