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Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer Paperback – July 1, 2015
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About the Author
Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She writes and speaks widely on US wars and foreign policy and is the author of numerous books including, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Before & After: US Foreign Policy and the War on Terror. She plays a leading role in US and global movements against wars and occupation.
Top Customer Reviews
"But what about ISIS?" That has been the endless zombie question encountered by all peace activists ever since the propaganda coup of the videos of two U.S. journalist beheadings. And part of the answer has always been: learn where it came from. Phyllis Bennis's new book can help with that job wonderfully. The book is called Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer. Whether you think you understand ISIS or not, I urge you to pick up a copy, or better a box of copies. This is a small book that should be passed out like a vaccine to residents of the enormous camp of refugees from sanity and historicity that we call the United States of America.
Bennis's book is excellent on what to do, although that topic is found in a handful of pages near the end. The focus, however, is on understanding origins and context. If anything, this is overdone, though it's hard to see what the harm could be in people learning a little too much. The book covers Syria, the Arab Spring, Libya, Iran, the United Nations, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other tangentially related topics (I wish she's added a section on the phony reports of ISIS actions in the United States).Read more ›
Bennis sheds light on angles of the conflict I had not considered, putting the information together in a way that highlights possible motivations that are at odds with stated government ideals, oil and guns being the most clearly outlined in her spotlight. I had not realized, for instance, that the low price of oil was a motivating factor for Russia and Middle East countries and their involvement in the Syrian crisis, or that Saudi Arabia was trying to pressure Putin to abandon support for the Assad regime by using its own position of dominance in the oil market.
Added to her analysis, however, are scattered digs at U.S. policy that are arguable: the U.S. launched “a few” airstrikes against ISIS around Kobane [Syria] and “eventually” persuaded Turkey to allow a few carefully vetted units of the Peshmerga to cross the border from Iraq to help defend the city. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the time stressed U.S. efforts were focused on bringing a coalition to the table to rebuild the morale and capacity of the Iraqi army…not focusing the plight of Kurdish civilians in Syria. Some folks may think it lamentable that we cannot, like god, manage all things all the time.Read more ›
Those advocating US ground troops to fight in the Middle East don't know the full political and religious dynamics of the Middle East. Bennis' book should be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks military conflict can defeat the enemy. An enemy who may be your ally tomorrow as political and strategic alliances may change.
Clear ! Understanding ISIS is written in a manner that is understandable.
Phyllis Bennis explains what is generally considered confusing in a direct precise style that is readable and enlightening!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book did have a lot of history and facts about the Middle East, Terrorism and US involvement there. However, its author appears to be very anti-American and anti-Israeli. Read morePublished 2 months ago by George W. Griffith
This was very helpful to me. I appreciate the "primer" organization of the material, so that I could go to specific questions that I had.Published 3 months ago by Susan
This was a gift from a friend who knows I love current events and I am especially interested in geopolitics. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Braeda Libby
I did not read this book. But I am sure it is very informative. I therefore have nothing to contribute her.Published 7 months ago by David L. Roberts - Servant of All
Quite informative. Fills in lots of gaps in my understanding.Published 8 months ago by semi retired