How the US Created the Islamic State [Video]

In this episode of Talking Heads, Mark Danner discusses his New York Review of Books essay, “Iraq: The New War.” Danner wrote this essay in mid-2003, outlining how American policy during the Iraq War in many ways effectively helped incite what was then an emerging insurgency.

For starters, the occupation of Iraq post-9/11 created a broad front to which militant jihadists began to flock. The mishandling of the Iraqi army sent thousands of highly-trained, angry men into the streets with no jobs. And photos of Iraqis being tortured by American personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison provided telegenic images that helped these groups recruit from an increasingly indignant public.

Danner’s analysis of the insurgency forecasted how it evolved into what we know today as the Islamic State, over a decade before it happened.



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