When new information comes to light

For a long while, I believed the analysis that our going into Iraq fueled the radical Islamic fervor and set the conditions for ISIS to form, but here’s a new look from David French, “The Rise of ISIS Predates the Fall of Saddam Hussein,”
that dismantles my view and it’s worth studying.  More information should prod us to reconsider our previous conclusions, especially on complex geopolitical issues.  French quotes extensively from Kyle Orton’s New York Times piece, “How Saddam Gave Us ISIS”, so please read both articles.  French begins:

“The New York Times has published a necessary corrective to those who view the invasion of Iraq as essentially Year Zero in the Middle East — the origin point for all the calamities that followed. Have you heard that ISIS is George Bush’s fault? Think again. Writing in the Times, Kyle Orton properly attributes the rise of ISIS in Iraq to cultural and religious forces that long pre-dated the American invasion of Iraq. It turns out that Iraq was no more immune to increased radicalization than any other Middle Eastern state, and Saddam reacted in part by embracing the new religiosity”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/431380/rise-isis-predates-fall-saddam-hussein

Jay Nordlinger added, “Saddam and Fille,” which also expands on French’s piece.

Definitely worth taking time to reassess what we think we know about the history of Iraq and ISIS, because sometimes those things that Rumsfeld dubbed “known knowns” are shown to be incorrect, making it imperative to be willing to reassess when new information comes to light.


Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Islam, Military, Politics, Terrorism

8 responses to “When new information comes to light

  1. JK

    “The takfiri tendency lies in the DNA of the Salafi jihad movement, and has burst forth murderously on many occasions, most horrifically in Algeria in the 1990s, where the local AQ affiliate, the Armed islamic Group (GIA), was expelled from the “official” movement for its indiscriminate killing, just as IS was recently. The only difference now is that the world has noticed.”

  2. JK

    Orton concludes: “The Islamic State was not created by removing Saddam Hussein’s regime; it is the afterlife of that regime.”


    Poor ISIS. Try as they might, the men in black still can’t out-terrorize their enemies or, more pointedly, even their patrons. For the past three years, decapitations have served as the money shots for ISIS’s theater of cruelty. Then on New Year’s Day the Saudis upstaged ISIS by audaciously chopping off the heads of 47 men, including a prominent Shia cleric.


    NR: It’s difficult to imagine that the Middle East would actually be better off if one of its most powerful nations had been allowed to continue down the path of “Baathi-Salafism” that Orton describes. And it’s just wrong to believe that the American invasion of Iraq is the triggering event for the savage jihad that it tearing the region apart (the Arab Spring has been far more destabilizing than the Iraq War).



    Shamil Basayev.

  3. Minta Marie Morze

    Islam is a river that has flowed for over a millennia. Sometimes it grows mightily, overwhelming its boundaries to flood into other areas; somethings it is weaker, flowing turbidly, struggling. Over time it has grown several tributaries, deltas, rapids, floods, and other features of a long-lived, dynamic phenomenon. Right now, ISIS is a surge of riverine energy, combining with overflowing rapids, trying to widen the river at a point in time and with a complex geographic reach, fighting to create a raging, overwhelming inundation of those who would impede its power and flow.

    Water forces itself into any fissure in the river’s surrounding, seeking purchase and growth by force or erosion.

    ISIS is one of many turbulent parts of the Islamic continuum. Look to the Fountainhead. Look to the legends.

    ISIS is imbued with the legends of the Caliphates. It hopes, by its actions, to compel the rest of the river to join its widening tributary.

  4. Minta Marie Morze

    Michael Adams! Did you write a comment at Neo about me? (I didn’t know how to take it.)

    Who are you? Do you have a blog?

    Thanks for the compliment!

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