Sunday, 1 February 2015

How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
"The outside world may have been astonished by the explosive rise of Isis, but Iraqi politicians had been warning me for several years that, if the war in Syria went on, it would destabilise Iraq and lead to the full-scale resumption of the Sunni-Shia civil war."
The Free Syrian Army haven't just warned about the rise of ISIS, they've been fighting against them for several years, in a struggle Patrick Cockburn has deliberately ignored. It isn't war as an abstract that has enabled their spread, but Assad's war on Sunni Muslims and the abandonment of those Syrians resisting his war that has given ISIS the space the thrive and has inflamed sectarian differences.
Talking about the Independent, Robert Fisk* is far off into the world of fantasy. "Soon, no doubt, we can expect Isis to have that other necessary accoutrement of modern statehood: an airline. Then it only has to wait for the West to identify the ‘moderates’ in the Islamic State - and I suppose we’ll all be able to go and chat to Caliph al-Baghdadi himself."

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