Jun 12, 2014

Rundle: Advance of militants in Iraq means the end of the West as we know it

The recent arrival in Iraq of the ultra-Islamist group ISIS marks the end of the hegemonic West.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


What fun it is stitching nations together, wrote Gertrude Bell in the 1920s, as she wove together the fabric of what would become the modern nation of Iraq (named for the city of Uruk, the oldest of the ancient city-states excavated in Mesopotamia).


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26 thoughts on “Rundle: Advance of militants in Iraq means the end of the West as we know it

  1. Simon Mansfield

    Mostly agree. Though I suspect there will be a significant airpower based intervention in next few days. There is no other option at this point. Iran could well be a partner in any intervention at this point as well. Would be ironic if Obama cancels his Abbott meeting due to real world issues. A surf board in the oval office is not the kinda look they need to be projecting at this time.

  2. Humphrey Bower

    I had similar thoughts when I read the news today (oh boy!) Deterritorialization is the (dis)order of the day. The frontline is now between the past and the future, tradition and modernity, identity politics and global capital. We of goodwill must paddle as we can to negotiate the rapids betwixt and between, practically, politically and morally. Welcome to the inter-zone.

  3. klewso

    The Coalition of the Shilling dug the hole the country is falling into.

  4. Brian Williams

    Guy – while the US invasion of Iraq certainly unleashed another chapter in the Sunni/Shia 1500 years war, it was surely just another in a long line of conflicts between peoples who all seem to believe that firing an RPG while shouting Allahu Akhbar on every occasion, will eventually provide some basis for a system of government.

    As you correctly insinuated, the attempt to create functioning countries out of peoples whose first loyalties were always going to be towards their own tribes, and therefore their own version of Islam, was doomed to fail from the beginning. At the base level, these people are killing each other because they can’t agree whether Mohammeds father-in-law, or his cousin should have succeeded him 1500 years ago.

    Give me atheism eany day. Religion – the cause of more misery than any other humam invention.

  5. Mayan

    “… promised the Zionists a homeland, partly to keep bank credit flowing for the war effort”

    I thought it was ‘Crikey’ not ‘Der Sturmer’. Perhaps it’s time to give the base stereotypes and baseless conspiracy theories a rest.

  6. Mendoza

    ever get the feeling the world is moving at a glacial speed towards something very dangerous?

  7. AR

    This latest example of the US disease of blowback ought to be salutatory to even the dimmest Drill dills – for the last 3 years the US has allowed Saudi & Qatar to fund & arm Sunni jihadists in Syria. This export of fundi nutters is essential to keep the lid of the garbage can that is the Saudi gerontocracy.
    Now that they’ve had their arses kicked, they are taking on the softer target of Iraq – just another shia abomination – and suddenly everyone acts surprised.

  8. StefanL

    A great pity that the European powers didn’t create a strong and viable Kurdistan at the end of World War I.

  9. Venise Alstergren

    Good one GUY: BRIAN WILLIAMS: I tend to agree with you.

    There is something in the religion of Islam which seems to prevent its followers from being part of the 21st century. We in the west probably got rid of the worst of religious zealotry in the late middle ages. Islam, or the people who follow it, has remained stuck in the one spot. And, as Brian said, it is a curiously ‘tribal’ form of religion and living. The concept of complete loyalty to one’s tribe/family, extended or otherwise, far exceeds any loyalty to one’s country.

  10. Bill Hilliger

    The events in Iraq just once again emphasise prove as did Vietnam and soon Afghanistan that American style hamburger and Coca-Cola democracy is not accepted.

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