This video says about itself:
19 March 2016
Afshin Rattansi goes underground on the rise of the caliphate in the Middle East. Patrick Cockburn, award winning journalist and author of new book Chaos & Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the Struggle for the Middle East tells us how ISIS rose from the ashes of UK/US wars in the Middle East.
By Bethany Rielly in Britain:
A catalogue of disasters
Monday 17th October 2016
The Age of Jihad is a damning indictment of Western ignorance, incompetence and downright blundering that has marked the so-called war on terror, says Bethany Rielly
The Age of Jihad
by Patrick Cockburn
AFTER Saddam Hussein’s regime was defeated in 2003, US occupation officials set up their headquarters in one of his palaces in Baghdad.
They were not aware that the sewage pipes were ill-equipped to cope with large quantities of toilet paper, resulting in blocked pipes and a building flooded with human excrement.
It’s a neat metaphor employed by Patrick Cockburn in his book The Age of Jihad to demonstrate the ignorance of occupation forces, who based their decisions on inadequate local knowledge.
But it could be extended even further as a perfect, albeit crude, analogy of Western intervention in the Middle East — a history of blindly blundering into countries and leaving them in the shit.
Taking the reader from one devastating conflict to another, this diary-like account by the award-winning war correspondent takes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.
Juxtaposing each country, Cockburn underlines just how disastrously foreign invasions, repeating the same mistakes again and again, have failed to create peaceful states in the Middle East.
His book is a searing indictment of US and British foreign policy, the consequences of which have deepened sectarian divisions, triggered further conflicts and shaped the so-called war on terror.
Much of Cockburn’s focus is on Iraq, where he reported the invasion and subsequent conflicts up until US tanks finally rolled out of the country. He explains in great detail the aftermath of the war there, in which two further conflicts were instigated by the first — one waged against the US occupation by Sunni militias and the other the more brutal and bloody sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias.
Although most of the narrative focuses on the experiences of others, Cockburn occasionally gives an insight into how the situation affected his own life. He explains how difficult it became to be a journalist in Baghdad during the height of the sectarian civil war because getting around the city became a deadly obstacle course where one wrong move could result in being kidnapped, wounded or killed.
He also touches on the dangers of biased and selective reporting. During the Libyan war many media outlets were so determined to portray the opposition forces against Muammar Gadaffi in a positive light that they were effectively blind to the atrocities that the rebels were carrying out on a daily basis. Libya was hailed in Britain and the US as an example of successful foreign intervention at the same time that the Western-backed opposition were torturing and massacring anyone linked or supposedly linked to Gadaffi’s regime.
Cockburn exposes how these conflicts were often misrepresented to serve the agenda of a foreign invader and that’s why his writings are so valuable.
Untainted by a political agenda, he has created one of the few authentic accounts of the region’s recent history.
The sheer scope of his reporting across the conflicts in Middle Eastern states has put him in a unique position to draw parallels between them and expose the mistakes which have snowballed into the endless wars, humanitarian crises and irreconcilable sectarian divides gripping the region today.
Colin Maclachlan, a former British Sergeant in the Special Air Service (SAS) is being investigated by the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police. This is over so-called “mercy killings” he claimed to have committed in 2003 whilst serving behind Iraqi lines. In a soon-to-be-published book, Maclachlan wrote that he had killed “two or three” mortally wounded Iraqi soldiers near the Syrian border in 2003. Killing wounded soldiers is against British military law and the Geneva Convention: here.
With the US-led offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS), there are increasing reports of death and suffering on the part of Iraqi civilians caught up in the fighting and facing retribution from both ISIS and troops and militias loyal to Baghdad: here.
IRAQI FORCES ACCUSED OF TORTURE IN FIGHT OUTSIDE OF MOSUL “Iraqi government forces killed and tortured civilians south of Mosul, rights groups said on Thursday, the first such reports of alleged abuse in a U.S.-backed campaign to retake the city from Islamic State.” [Reuters]
The latest book by Robert D. Kaplan, one of Washington’s foremost geo-strategists and war apologists, makes a blatant case for transforming Romania into a military stooge for US imperialism and preparing for all-out war against Russia: here.