Fear of ISIS Used to Justify Continued Military Intervention in Middle East

US Army tanks line up for a training exercise in a photo taken on February 10, 2009. (Photo: US Army)US Army tanks line up for a training exercise in a photo taken on February 10, 2009. (Photo: US Army)

Why do we seem to be trapped in an endless cycle of war, with each new military adventure promised to be different than the last? David Swanson’s War Is A Lie takes apart and thoroughly refutes every major argument that has been used to justify wars, especially those wars most widely trumpeted as just and good. Order the new edition of this vital antiwar handbook by making a donation to Truthout today!

The following is an excerpt from War Is A Lie:

Why was the US public willing to tolerate new US war-making in Iraq and Syria in 2014–2015, after having opposed it in 2013? This time the advertised enemy was not the Syrian government, but terrorists scarier than al Qaeda, called ISIS. And ISIS was shown to be cutting the throats of Americans on videos. And something switched off in people’s brains and they stopped thinking — with a few exceptions. A few journalists pointed out that the Iraqi government bombing Iraqi Sunnis was in fact driving the latter to support ISIS. As if to hammer this point home, ISIS produced a 60-minute movie depicting itself as the leading enemy of the United States and virtually begging the United States to attack it. (When the United States did attack, recruitment soared, just as ISIS had expected.) Even Newsweek published a clear-eyed warning that ISIS would not last long unless the United States saved it by bombing it. Matthew Hoh warned that the beheadings were bait not to be taken. And of course I shouted the warnings of this book everywhere I could. But the US government and much of the public took the bait.

The fomenting of fear, and the characterization of ISIS as evil seem to have been key here in gaining the support of the American public to combat ISIS. Videos of beheadings were characterized as “barbaric” by the US media, while killing done by the United States is considered necessary and often characterized as “surgical strikes” or…

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