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”
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.