The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni

10 thoughts on “The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution

  1. Trish Trish says:

    Patrick Cockburn may come as a surprise to American readers who do not follow his reports in the British newspaper The Independent This book published in November 2014 is a collection of his writings on Syria and ISIS and a summation of his opinion to that time His assessment is not optimistic about stability in the region for some years to come and he is harsh in his judgment of the missteps that led us to this place When I first saw the depth and clarity of his analysis I couldn’t understand why media outlets in the United States weren’t reporting what he was reporting After I finished the book however I could see that Cockburn reserved some of his most lashing criticism for the US government and big media Cockburn believes Western alliances with states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have precluded a clear eyed view of those states’ promotion and assistance of regressive Islamic doctrines like Wahhabism that have since taken up by ISISCockburn is a very experienced reporter; part of this book is the best description of war reporting that I have ever seen He downplays “the fog of war” excuse for the confusion in the Western press about successes or failures of certain specific battles or even the overall direction of the wars in Afghanistan Ira Syria Libya Reporting the war from embedded positions cannot capture the important component of political change in these countries and allows temporary military victories to take on importance than they warrant in light of the overall situation on the ground “Irregular or guerilla conflicts are always intensely political” Cockburn makes the point that although most reporters are trying to do good work in a dangerous environment they were being manipulated by rebel factions their editors the enemy etc and must not so easily accept what is presented to them in English by “opposition forces” in media friendly environmentsIt is difficult to imagine that anyone reading Cockburn would not concede whether or not they agree with him that he makes excellent points I wish I had seen his work earlier for then I could have been discriminating in my own acceptance of official reports and government decisionsSome reviews have complained that this work was not sufficiently edited and that some material is presented twice Each chapter is a self standing article Collected they comprise this book Some material is used twice in pieces that examine different aspects of the conflicts from various angles It was not difficult for me to listen to some of the information twice this is very complicated stuff and I had not seen some of this information before in my reading about the conflicts in the Middle East He does say the United States was disingenuous at best in its targeting Ira and Afghanistan after 911 It was Saudi Arabia and Pakistan who were funding the militants that had the US in their sights but because the US was earning millions each year in military contracts with these two we didn’t even criticize them in a meaningful way The section on Saudi Arabia and its support for the resurgence of Wahhabism was something I had completely missed in the reporting I’d seen to date Read it and weepCockburn goes into some depth about the disintegration of Ira and how that is both fueling and the result of the fighting in Syria He mentions the corrosive sectarian atmosphere in Ira as a root cause for the militancy of Sunnis and cites the corruption in the Irai Army as a reason for why the army can’t or won’t fight His description of corruption has the feel of truth; for years we’d known there were problems with troops unwilling or unable to fight but Cockburn’s description of generals buying their rank at great expense makes it all come together Now it all makes sense Cockburn doesn’t have much hope that Ira can hold itself togetherAs for the fighting in Syria Cockburn thinks US involvement on the side of rebels was a mistake Assad was not a good guy but the resistance did not have enough time to pull together a coalition of different interests and was still very splintered when we began sending arms Saudi and other Gulf states were training and sending in groups which aligned with the radical elements causing less damage to Assad than to the populace and Western interests there Some US arms and euipment showed up in the hands of groups under the ISIS aegis bought given or capturedThe situation in Syria was catastrophic before the overt support for Assad by the Russians this year Cockburn couldn’t address that directly since it happened after his book was published but he does mention that Russia Iran and Turkey have serious stake in stabilizing the region and that the US should never have made Assad’s ouster the linchpin of their policy Cockburn’s argument is that what comes after Assad may be far worse is already far worse than allowing him to regain control ISIS in Syria apparently cooperates with lots of Sunni groups with competing interests some not as radical as those who are spreading fear through the violence of their videos online Saudi funded groups once on the ground in Syria have surprised everyone by taking up with the “terrorists” aligning themselves in ways that are making them independent from Saudi Hence the confusion on the ground and in reporting I recently reviewed Black Flags The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick and am forced to admit that Cockburn’s analysis is far what I was looking for in terms of discussion of events analysis and information Certainly the recapture of Mosul Ira by ISIS affiliates in 2014 was just one of the nasty surprises in store for observers with insufficient information But unless one works up to familiarity with the players and situations in the region reading Cockburn is like drinking from a firehose I’m paying attention nowBy the time I learned about this title prices for it in used paperback had risen to 3000 per on I downloaded the audiblecom version which I highly recommend On the Goodreadscom site different editions of this book have different titles and covers and is called The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution It appears to be available in Kindle format from Verso for less than 3000 I am pleased to report The two books probably contain the same information re edited and re issued only months after the first one was published Read either version This man is enlightening

  2. Robert Robert says:

    A bit repetitive and feels a bit rushed which it probably was Some of the chapters seemed like expanded newspaper articles and I suspect this is what happened A tacked on afterword brings events up to October 2014 Still a very useful overview for me as someone struggling to make sense of the IS crisis The main points are That the Irai govt military are too corrupt to defend the country properly The Irai Sunni civilians are stuck between a national army full of Shia militia members that thinks nothing of shelling them; or a bunch of medieval minded zealots who will shoot kids in the face for the slightest misdemeanour Saudi Arabia and the other gulf monarchies has been funding and supporting the jihadis for years all while pushing Wahabbism throughout the Sunni states and is only now starting to rein it in as the risk to themselves increases Up until recently the Saudi state seemed happy to see Shias taking the brunt of their extremist flavour of Sunni Islam Assad is nowhere near defeat and has never been but the Americans continue to try to support other rebel groups in Syria which either are so small they have no power or turn out to be aligned with IS anyway and share some of the materiel they receive with them They've made the removal of Assad such a central pillar of their policy that they are never going to accommodate him even though he's not realistically going anywhere Turkey has only recently decided it would rather deal with the risk of strengthening Kurdish nationalism than ISIS sitting on their border and have started to let some peshmerga fighters through It's southern border is still the main route for foreign fighters entering Syria Most of the media have no idea what's going on which is why we get such a confusing picture here with what seem like dramatic turn arounds when really we've been given the wrong impression in the first place eg of the strength of the Irai army or how close Assad is to being overthrown not very etc

  3. Michelle Lancaster Michelle Lancaster says:

    The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution Patrick CockburnVerso Books978 1 78478 040 11695 172 pgsOn June 10 2014 the collection of psychopaths known variously as ISIS ISIL DAESH and now as Islamic State captured Mosul the second largest city in Ira in only four days of fighting which is when the western half of the globe looked around and thought “What the hell?” By the end of June IS declared a caliphate comprising an area larger than Britain that is in the words of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi aka Head Honcho Psychopath Number 1 “a state where the Arab and non Arab the white man and black man the easterner and westerner are all brothersSyria is not for the Syrians and Ira is not for the Irais The Earth is Allah’s” xi Mr Kumbaya left out of that statement that Earth is apparently not for Shia Sufis Sunni who are not Sunni enough “apostates” “polytheists” by this he means Christians among others women girls journalists aid workers or anyone else we don’t like today One hundred five days later the United States began bombing Syria For most of us these developments seemed to happen overnight Wrong The Rise of Islamic State by Patrick Cockburn will tell you whyWestern support for the overthrow of Assad didn’t unseat him but it did destabilize Ira 4 The Irai government under Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki was riven with corruption from top to bottom 77 The Irai army took off their uniforms and abandoned their posts and euipment because they buy their positions so they will have a job and because their generals board helicopters and flee to safety 15 Turkey is guilty of the willful failure to control their 516 mile border with Ira and Syria 37 The Gulf monarchies have created a monster that they are now afraid poses an existential threat to them 7The adage about politics making for strange bedfellows is proved by the current coalition trying to destroy degrade? who knows exactly? IS The United States Saudi Arabia Turkey UAE Ira and Iran this is by no means a complete list are all playing in the same sandbox as per usual but this time they have a common goal Of course they all still have lots of other goals too Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech at Harvard on October 2 2014 in which he told his audience that Saudi Arabia Turkey and UAEwere so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni Shia war What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al aeda and the extremist elements of Jihadis coming from other parts of the world xixThe Rise of Islamic State is a straight forward recitation of facts with fairly little analysis I expected from a journalist of Cockburn’s stature who has been reporting from the area for than ten years The narrative is sometimes difficult to follow as it jumps backward and then forward and then backward again in time; I felt it could have been organized so that it flows better There are lots and lots of facts and figures; I would have appreciated anecdotes from individuals living in the region I got the impression the book was rushed into print to capitalize on current events It is mostly basic information that any of us could’ve gleaned on our own if we bothered to read news from the rest of the globe instead of watching the vapid talking heads of CNN or Fox There are long form articles published by American periodicals that are still doing a fine job – see The New Yorker and The Atlantic The Rise of Islamic State is a great primer for anyone who hasn’t been paying attentionI did learn a few things from this book that I didn’t know Cockburn pins the blame for the surge of fundamentalist Sunni terror organizations suarely on Saudi Arabia the home of Wahhabism and Pakistan the enablers of the Taliban – both of which happen to be the closest allies of the United States in the region The late Richard C Holbrooke US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan said “We may be fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong country” 5 There are signs that Saudi Arabia is trying to pull back from the brink but the damage is done 97The “War on Terror” is an abject failure because among other factors the countries responsible for the 911 attacks in this country were never held responsible 58 Islamic State now holds far greater territory than the al aeda of Osama bin Laden ever thought about and they are violent It’s time to think outside the box Maybe it’s time to reconsider the Sykes Picot Agreement

  4. Domhnall Domhnall says:

    A topical book pulled together at speed and published cheaply this is not better or worse than some of the lengthy analytical articles available in the press Indeed given time it would have been a useful thing for the book to have borrowed information from such sources to provide a coherent and structured picture than it manages to do An example is this one giving a lot of information about the origins of ISIS in America's prison camps Still the point is it is not worse and has a lot of interesting insights and arguments The sponsors for the 911 outrage were in Saudi Arabia that great ally of the US elite if not the American people; the agency which made it possible for the Taliban to control Afghanistan was the Pakistani army and its intelligence service who are US allies and beyond reproach; the Taliban was not defeated or even properly engaged by the Americans in their invasion of Afghanistan but stepped out of sight or parked up over the border in Pakistan until the American withdrawal; the Irai Army including its elite Republican Guard were not defeated but slipped out of uniform and went home when the Americans invaded providing a large skilled and unemployed resource for the sectarian violence later sponsored by the US forces in Ira The media were treated to exciting images of American rockets destroying unoccupied tanks The sponsors of violent jihad to the tune of many billions of dollars are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and their motivation is to promote sectarian strife within the Muslim world The Saudi sponsorship of an extreme highly sectarian and overtly violent version of Islam known as Wahhabism is inciting hatred among a growing number of Sunni Muslims towards Shia and Sufi Muslims as well as Christians Jews and atheists not only in this region but around the world The opposition to Assad in Syria is not moderate the moderate opposition if it still exists are shopkeepers not fighters so the fighters being funded euipped and trained by America and its regional allies are jihadists Sunni Muslims in Syria and Ira certainly find the ISIS movement excessively violent and intolerant but are not likely to resist ISIS if the alternative is even worse and in Ira they are uite confident that the highly sectarian government of Ira its incompetent army and its vicious Shia militas are capable of killing them or reducing them to a condition of oppression that is not to be preferred Indeed while ISIS has only small numbers every indiscriminate air attack against them killing civilians and destroying their homes often without harming the fighters who are experienced in guerilla tactics and can hide very well produces fresh recruits from young men among the population wanting to protect and often avenge their own communities not against ISIS but against their common enemies Looking widely the Arab Spring was probably real enough but not capable of transforming the Arab world into secular democracies In Egypt the counter revolution has already undone all that was achieved while in Libya the overthrow of Gadaffi by French British and American air power has opened the country to extremist and despotic forces In Bahrain Saudi Arabia and the other oil states any incipient opposition movements are met with violent suppression In short ISIS is not in itself especially fearsome though it may become so but what is going on to create the conditions for ISIS to prosper is indeed important and deeply worrying This ill humoured account emphasises that the War on Terror which has demonstrably not achieved any of its stated objectives whatever while severely restricting our civil liberties resembles the drunk who searched for his door keys under a lamp post because it is too dark to search in the lane where he dropped them We are being lied to and too many of us appear content to be misled so the problems will multiply and the harm will be immense But we do have a choice We can choose not to be deceived

  5. David David says:

    The most important book you could read this year to understand the conflict in Syria and Ira resulting from the rising power of ISIS and the Wahabists The US politics of convenience are once again planting the seed that will in all likelihood cause devastating blowback in the West not to mention utterly distabilize the lives of millions in the region just as the Reagan administrations support of bin Laden and the Mujhaideen snaked forward to 911Cockburn is a veteran journalist of the middle east and there's no better or sober voice on the topic today Read this book Please

  6. Ahmad Ahmad says:

    Terrible This was clearly rushed to press before the ISIS Crisis falls out of news The book has no coherent structure Some of the chapters seem like articles extended by inserting an anonymous source or two Other chapters seem like first drafts with amateurish gravitas and lack of fluency There is a lot of irritating repetition in every chapter Granted Cockburn's account isn't the black and white narrative of CNN Fox BBC co but it still simplifies the situation He also downplays the Iranian involvement and the Israeli one in Syria Further Cockburn assumes that the Empire and it's European cronies actually want a strong democratic modern Ira when there is a lot to suggest the oppositeI suppose the book is fine if you know absolutely nothing about ISIS but if you're looking for in depth analysis and penetrating insight you're going to find much less here than you would find by following this whole grotesue circus in the UK Guardian the UK Independent Robert Fisk Foreign Policy Tikkun Olam blog for the Israeli and Hizbollah side of things The Long War Journal those VICE documentaries and Debkafile and of course the various ISIS Irai and Syrian government releases

  7. Steven E Steven E says:

    Probably the absolute best thing you can read in an afternoon to come to grips with the nightmare that has befallen the Middle East About a third of the way in Cockburn offers his thesis statementThe 'war on terror' has failed because it did not target the jihadi movement as a whole and above all was not aimed at Saudi Arabia and Pakistan the two countries that fostered jihadism as a creed and a movement The US did not do so because these countries were important Amercian allies whom it did not want to offendCockburn is the best Western journalist working today in the region His columns in the Independent are reuired reading for anyone looking to get an accurate impression of the goings on over there The present volume is obviously ambitious in scope than his weekly output but Cockburn's insight and analysis here isn't diluted by the expanded length

  8. Donald Donald says:

    This is a uick read which alternates between a few things1 the horrifying entanglements between foreign powers 2 the brutal chaos on the ground 3 a broader discussion about the importance of truth and accurate journalismThe reporting on the collapse of the Irai Army is disturbing but it's the need to cut through the mess of lies and distortions that is memorable

  9. Sara Sara says:

    The Saudi plot Through my ratings reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to com Inc listed on Nasda which fully owns Goodreadscom and in 2013 posted revenues for 74 billion and 274 million profits Intellectual property and labor reuire compensation com Inc is also reuested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest health and safety standards at all the company's sitesThe book reads the low impact conflicts currently taking place in Ira and Syria exclusively in the light of an old sunni shia religious rivalry revamped by Saudi Arabia's own brand of fundamentalism Wahhabism which opposes shi'ism and backs sunni movements Tellingly the author compares the Syrian conflict to the German Thirty Years War 1618 1648 The Boznia Herzegovina civil war would probably be a better fit and would reposition the conflicts in point in the ultra modernity space to which I think they belongThe dry anti narrative account offered by someone who has been tracking the two conflicts on the ground is harrowingly clear in setting the record of who backs whom In particular the author is emphatic in exposing Saudi Arabia's role in globally fostering jihadist groups including al uaeda of which ISIS the Islamic State of Ira and the Levant is the military as opposed to terrorist off spring ISIS is organized as a state like formation levying taxes in the territories it controls across Ira and Syria thus becoming increasingly independent of the financial support allegedly provided by Saudi Arabia The religious hatred strand however can take the interpretation of the conflicts only thus far Saudi Arabia is described as 'hysterical' in its pursue of shia ruin and the US as utterly stupid in its misunderstanding of who finances whomWith Brent crude reaching 116 a barrel after the fall of Mosul in June and AK 47 bullets being sold at 2 each in Baghdad at the same time as the author reveals the suspicion that all this complex plot of alliances and internecine fighting is driven by something other than theological considerations urges further investigationsAt civil war level a useful framework is provided by Mary Kaldor's New and Old Wars Organized Violence in a Global Era which interprets these conflicts as directed by combating elites against the emergence of a civil and potentially democratic societyAt geopolitical level these conflicts can be interpreted as the low cost solution for keeping the middle East as a permanent area of instability Israel is the expensive alternative protecting a reservoir of resources that have to be saved for later More on this in Carbon Democracy Political Power in the Age of Oil

  10. Ben Ben says:

    It's true what some of these reviews are saying that this volume seems to have been rushed to publication lest it miss its window of relevance Nonetheless I found it to be a very informative introduction to the ISIS calamity It is rather discouraging to see how little Western governments and media understand the political situation in the Middle East We have this assumption that attempts to overthrow a tyrannical andor corrupt regime are motivated entirely by a thirst for democracy Yet this seems wholly irrelevant to the people doing the actual fighting and the states that are backing them For these latter groups the struggle is between Sunni and Shi'a with the goal of the revolt being to restore Sunnis to a position of power thereby allowing them to forcibly convert or murder as many Shi'a as possible Wealthy Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia play both positions; on the one hand they have been funding Sunni insurgents such as ISIS in areas of Shi'a strength while at the same time staunchly supporting Western capitalist interest in the region The United States meanwhile ignores the blatant fact that sectarian unrest in the area is largely generated by anti Shi'a nations that call themselves US allies Cockburn does not really come up with any solutions to this mess but who can blame him? In hindsight politicians and journalists who claimed to understand the situation on the ground are mocked by history as tragically naive think of Dubya's smiling mug in front of the Mission Accomplished banner So whence comes hope for a peaceful and permanent outcome? I'm listening I hope the decision makers in the region are too

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The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution ❮Reading❯ ➼ The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution ➵ Author Patrick Cockburn – Though capable of staging spectacular attacks like 911 jihadist organizations were not a significant force on the ground when they first became notorious in the shape of al a’ida at the turn of cent Though capable of staging spectacular attacks of Islamic PDF/EPUB ê like jihadist organizations were not a significant force on the ground when they first became notorious in the shape of al a’ida at The Rise MOBI :Ê the turn of century The West’s initial successes in the invasion of Afghanistan weakened their support still furtherToday as renowned Middle East commentator Patrick Cockburn sets out in this explosive Rise of Islamic PDF ✓ new book that’s all changed Exploiting the missteps of the West’s wars in Afghanistan Ira and Libya as well as its misjudgments in relation to Syria and the uprisings of the Rise of Islamic State ISIS Epub / Arab Spring jihadist organizations of which ISIS is the most important are swiftly expanding They now control a geographical territory greater in size than Britain or Michigan stretching from the Sunni heartlands in the north and west of Ira through a broad swath of north east Syria On the back of their capture of Mosul and much of northern Ira in June the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has been declared the head of a new caliphate that demands the allegiance of all MuslimsThe secular democratic politics that were supposedly at the fore of the Arab Spring have been buried by the return of the jihadis As the Islamic State announced by ISIS confronts its enemies the Rise of Islamic State ISIS Epub / West will once again become a target Cockburn cites an observer in southern Turkey interviewing Syrian jihadi rebels early in and finding that “without exception they all expressed enthusiasm for the attacks and hoped the same thing would happen in Europe as well as the US”How could things have gone so badly wrong Writing in these pages with customary calmness and clarity and drawing on unrivaled experience as a reporter in the region Cockburn analyzes the unfolding of one of the West’s greatest foreign policy debacles and the rise of the new jihadis.

  • Paperback
  • 150 pages
  • The Rise of Islamic State ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution
  • Patrick Cockburn
  • English
  • 09 February 2014

About the Author: Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Oliver Cockburn is an Irish of Islamic PDF/EPUB ê journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since for the Financial Times and presently The IndependentHe has written four books on Ira's The Rise MOBI :Ê recent history He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in the James Cameron Prize in and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in .