Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Carving Up the Middle East

 
In this first episode of a two-part series for his TeleSUR show “Days of Revolt,” Chris Hedges and Sabah Alnasseri, Associate Professor of Middle East Politics at York University, trace the roots of Islamic State to their origins and explore comparisons to the 20th-century genesis of Israel.

Hedges begins by pointing out how the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, responsible for “carving up the Middle East and turning countries into protectorates,” has only been changed twice—once with the Israeli independence and now with Islamic State.

As Hedges put it, the tactics used to redraw the map in the Middle East are both effective and familiar, including the “use of foreign money, use of foreign fighters, tactics of ethnic cleansing and terrorism and this mythical vision—in the case of Israel, the recreation of Judea and Sumeria from the Bible, and in the case of ISIS, the recreation of the seventh-century caliphate.”

Alnasseri agrees, opening his response with the observation that, “to understand the pheonomenon of ISIS we need to contextualize it within the setbacks and counterrevolution against the Arab revolutions.“

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