Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle by Patrick Cockburn

By Patrick Cockburn

From the award-winning writer of The upward thrust of Islamic State, the basic tale of the center East’s disintegration

The Age of Jihad charts the turmoil of today’s heart East and the devastating function the West has performed within the quarter from 2001 to the current. starting with the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, Cockburn explores the immense geopolitical fight that's the Sunni–Shia clash, a conflict that shapes the warfare on terror, western army interventions, the evolution of the insurgency, the civil wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, the Arab Spring, the autumn of nearby dictators, and the increase of Islamic State.

As Cockburn exhibits in arresting aspect, Islamic nation didn't explode into life in Syria within the wake of the Arab Spring, as traditional knowledge could have it. The association gestated over numerous years in occupied Iraq, prior to becoming to the purpose the place it could actually threaten the steadiness of the full sector. Cockburn used to be the 1st Western journalist to warn of the risks posed via Islamic country. His originality and breadth of imaginative and prescient make The Age of Jihad the main in-depth research of the neighborhood difficulty within the center East to date.

“Patrick Cockburn noticed the emergence of ISIS a lot previous to anyone else and wrote approximately it with a intensity of figuring out that used to be simply in a league of its personal. no one else was once writing that stuff at the moment, and the judges puzzled no matter if the govt. should still think of pensioning off the total of MI6 and hiring Patrick Cockburn as an alternative. The breadth of his wisdom and his skill make connections is phenomenal.”
—Judges of the overseas Affairs Journalist of the 12 months Award 2014

“Quite easily, the simplest Western journalist at paintings within the center East today.”
—Seymour M. Hersh

“One of the easiest educated on-the-ground newshounds. He used to be more often than not right on Iraq.”
—Sidney Blumenthal, in an electronic mail to Hillary Clinton

“A compelling sequence of dispatches from a journalist who has realized the challenging golden rule in Iraq: ‘to forecast the worst attainable outcome.’”

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Extra info for Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East

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Even so, I never conceived that ISIS was going to capture Mosul and most of northern and western Iraq. I had forgotten a golden rule when predicting the future in Iraq, which is to forecast the worst possible outcome, which may take longer to happen than one had expected, but when it does occur will be far worse than one’s direst imaginings. Similarly pessimistic calculations made about Syria, Yemen and Libya in recent years would likewise have accurately forecast their present grim situation. It is easy to be a professional pessimist over Iraq and much of the rest of the region, but I have tried to avoid this, sometimes in the face of the evidence.

A related and important ideological shift took place over the same period as mainstream Sunni Islam became increasingly dominated by Wahhabism, the variant of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia. Saudi wealth has spread the influence of this intolerant and regressive strain, which denounces other Islamic sects like Shi’ism as heretical and which treats women as being under the permanent subjection of men. Nowhere else in the world but Saudi Arabia and the Caliphate are women forbidden to drive a car.

It occurred to me then that the Afghan war was not over. ONE The Overthrow of the Taliban Afghanistan, 2001 24 September 2001 Our ageing Russian-built helicopter flies into the Panjshir valley from the north, high over desolate, brown hills. We land at Changaram, a narrow point in the valley where lush, green fields and terraces cling to the sides of the mountains. All along the narrow dirt road are signs of the fate of armies which have tried to fight their way into the Panjshir over the past quarter of a century.

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