The Syrian war, as well as being a civil conflict, is also an imperial battlefield. But not in quite the way you might expect.
Syria has not been a playground for American imperial activities. Until recently it has seen far too little intervention from the United States. But two countries – at best regional powers – which have imperial ambitions of their own, have filled that gap. Continue reading →
Review – The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency
Jihadism is in many ways the perfect enemy. It insists upon and mandates self-abnegation – even, in some instances, self-destruction; it despises much of what we consider essential for a just and free society; and it is ever planning and ever plotting to wrest many of civilisation’s most enduring accomplishments from our hands. The fact that its credo is often violent in nature is the icing on the cake. Because it is a perfect adversary, one which remains useful for caricaturists and demagogues, understanding this phenomenon is often perceived to be unimportant; extirpation, and the total destruction of its capacity for harm, is more likely to be the order of the day. Continue reading →