"The argument that IS would not exist had Saddam’s regime remained in place is as hypothetical as its counter-thesis that Saddam’s regime had ensured that something like IS would follow it. But, it is untrue that al-Qaeda and IS were not in Iraq before Saddam fell: Ansar al-Islam was an al-Qaeda group and had a proto-statelet in operation that is a direct predecessor to IS. Among those who had joined Ansar before the regime fell were Umar Hadid, Zarqawi’s deputy in Fallujah in 2004 who seems to have absorbed Saddam’s Faith Campaign rather too well, finding he could take Salafism without Saddamism, and Abd al-Rahman al-Qaduli (Abu Ali al-Anbari), the caliph’s recently-deceased deputy. IS’s forerunner group, Jund al-Sham (created in 1999), and its founder, Zarqawi, were in Iraq when Saddam was in control. It is also untrue that Saddam kept a lid on sectarian antagonisms: he had exacerbated them with his deportations of Shi’is during the Iran-Iraq War, his unmerciful repression of the Shi’a in 1991, and his heavy-handed treatment ever afterwards."
Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Kyle W. Orton: Donald Trump is Wrong (Again): Saddam Hussein Supported Terrorism