The Case of Syria and Iraq
Edited By Lorenzo Kamel
Chapter 1: The Steep Cost of Destabilizing Iraq and Syria (Elijah J. Magnier)
Elijah J. Magnier
Chapter 1: The Steep Cost of Destabilizing Iraq and Syria
Every American president since Jimmy Carter has declared ‘war on terror’, a war that has been not merely a ‘clash of civilizations’ (MacDonald et al. 2012: 118). Rather, it has been, and remains, an ill-conceived strategy, because it has aimed to fight the former Soviet Union’s expansion and hegemony and control the very rich energy sources in the Middle East, without foreseeing the devastating consequences of such a strategy for the region’s populations and their cultural heritage (Chomsky 2008: 162–3).
The 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, an ambush of the type the United States suffered in Vietnam, dragged Moscow into a quagmire (Brzezinski 1983: 429; see also Gibbs 2000: 241–2). The arming of the Afghan and Arab Mujahedeen and their victory over the Soviets in Afghanistan gave them the necessary boost to attract thousands of jihadist followers with the objective of establishing an ‘Islamic state’ (Islamic Emirate or Caliphate) in the Middle East and Central Asia. The ‘warriors of peace’ (Fisk 1993) appeared to be the worst enemies of ancient and modern civilization.1 They advocated the return of the ancient glory of Islam, according to their own interpretation of glory and of Islam.
When the Taliban Mujahedeen took power, they presented the world with an example of the kind of rule to expect. Not only did the Taliban carry out indiscriminate killings (Girardet 2011: 306), violate human...
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