How US-Backed War on Syria Helped ISIS

Exclusive: By funneling TOW missiles and other weapons to Syrian jihadists for their “regime change” war, President Obama facilitated the Islamic State’s rise with the terrorist blowback now hitting Europe, says Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare

Why are Islamic militants wreaking havoc from Brussels to Lahore? The best way to answer this question is by taking a close look at how The New York Times covered this weekend’s liberation of Palmyra from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State.

The article, entitled “Syrian Troops Said to Recapture Historic Palmyra From ISIS,” began on a snide note. While the victory may have netted Bashar al-Assad “a strategic prize,” reporters Hwaida Saad and Kareem Fahim wrote that it also provided the Syrian president with “something more rare: a measure of international praise.”

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The article noted that “Mr. Assad’s contention that his government is a bulwark against the transnational extremist group” has been bolstered, but added that “his foes and some allies argue that he must leave power as part of a political settlement to end the war in Syria” – without, of course, specifying who those allies might be.

Then it offered a bit of background: “Lost in the celebrations was a discussion of how Palmyra had fallen in the first place. When the Islamic State captured the city in May [2015], the militants faced little resistance from Syrian troops. At the time, residents said officers and militiamen had fled into orchards outside the city, leaving conscripted soldiers and residents to face the militants alone.”

Since the Times claims to have “several hundred” surreptitious contacts inside Syria, the charge that Assad’s troops fled without a fight may conceivably be correct. But it’s hard to square with reports that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) had to battle for seven or eight days before entering the city and then had to deal with a counter-offensive on the city’s outskirts. But even if true, it’s only part of the story and a small one at that.

The real story began two months earlier when Syrian rebels launched a major offensive in Syria’s northern Idlib province with heavy backing from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Led by Al Nusra, the local Al Qaeda affiliate, but with the full participation of U.S.-backed rebel forces, the assault proved highly successful because of the large numbers of U.S.-made optically guided TOW missiles supplied by the Saudis. [See’s “Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda.”]

The missiles gave the rebels the edge they needed to destroy dozens of government tanks and other vehicles according to videos posted on social media websites. Indeed, one pro-U.S. commander told The Wall Street Journal that the TOWs completely “flipped the balance of power,” enabling the rebels to dislodge the Syrian army’s heavily dug-in forces and drive them out of town. Although the government soon counter-attacked, Al Nusra and its allies continued to advance to the point where they posed a direct threat to the Damascus regime’s stronghold in Latakia province 50 or 60 miles to the west.

Official Washington was jubilant. “The trend lines for Assad are bad and getting worse,” a senior official crowed a month after the offensive began. The Times happily observed that “[t]he Syrian Army has suffered a string of defeats from re-energized insurgents … [which] raise newly urgent questions about the durability of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.”

Assad was on the ropes, or so everyone said. Indeed, ISIS thought so as well, according to the Associated Press, which is why it decided that the opportunity was ripe to launch an offensive of its own 200 miles or so to the southeast. Worn-out and depleted after four years of civil war, the Syrian Arab Army retreated before the onslaught.

But considering the billions of dollars that the U.S. and Saudis were pouring into the rebel forces, blaming Damascus for not putting up a stiffer fight is a little like beating up a 12-year-old girl and then blaming her for not having a better right hook.

So the U.S. and its allies helped Islamic State by tying down Assad’s forces in the north so that it could punch through in the center. But that’s not all the U.S. did. It also helped by suspending bombing as the Islamic State neared Palmyra.

As the Times put it at the time: “Any airstrikes against Islamic State militants in and around Palmyra would probably benefit the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. So far, United States-led airstrikes in Syria have largely focused on areas far outside government control, to avoid the perception of aiding a leader whose ouster President Obama has called for.”

The upshot was a clear message to ISIS to the effect that it had nothing to worry about from U.S. jet bombers as long as it engaged Assad’s troops in close combat. The U.S. thus incentivized ISIS to press forward with the assault. Although residents later wondered why the U.S. had not bombed ISIS forces “while they were traversing miles of open desert roads,” the answer, simply, is that Washington had other things on its mind. Rather than defeating ISIS, it preferred to use it to accomplish its primary goal, which was driving out Assad.

The Blowback

But what does this have to do with Brussels and Lahore? Simply that America’s fundamental ambivalence toward ISIS, Al Qaeda, and similar groups — its policy of battling them on one hand and seeking to make use of them on the other — is what allows Sunni terrorism to fester and grow.

The administration is shocked, SHOCKED, when Islamists kill innocent people in Belgium but not when they kill innocent people in Syria. This is why the White House long regarded ISIS as a lesser threat: because it thought its violence would remain safely contained.

Islamic terrorists prepare to execute a wounded policeman after their attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7, 2015.

Islamic terrorists prepare to execute a wounded policeman after their attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7, 2015.


“Where Al Qaeda’s principal ambition is to launch attacks against the West and U.S. homeland,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes explained in August 2014, “ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State.”

Since the only people in harm’s way were Syrians, there was no cause for alarm. The rest of the world could relax.

Hence the confusion when ISIS did the unexpected by striking out at Western targets after all. As the Times observed in a major takeout this week on Islamic State’s Western operations, officials were slow to connect the dots because Euro-terrorism was not supposed to be ISIS’s thing: “Even as the group began aggressively recruiting foreigners, especially Europeans, policymakers in the United States and Europe continued to see it as a lower-profile branch of Al Qaeda that was mostly interested in gaining and governing territory.”

Turkish officials made essentially the same point last week in response to widespread complaints that they have done little to prevent Sunni terrorists from making their way to Syria. Not so, they countered. When they tried to return the jihadis from whence they came, they found that members of the European Union were none too eager to have them.

“We were suspicious that the reason they want these people to come is because they don’t want them in their own countries,” a senior Turkish security official told the London Guardian. Instead, they preferred to see them continue on their way. And why not? At home, they would only cause trouble, whereas in Syria they would advance Western interests by waging war against Assad’s Baathist government.

Thus, Brussels was unresponsive when Turkish officials informed it that they had detained a Belgian citizen named Ibrahim el-Bakraoui in the border town of Gaziantep on suspicion of traveling to Syria to join the jihad. The Turks deported him anyway, but the Belgians remained unconcerned until El-Bakraoui turned up among the suicide bombers at Zaventem airport.

The same thing happened when the Turks intercepted a Syria-bound French national named Omar Ismail Mostefai. Paris was also unresponsive until Mostefai wound up among the ISIS militants who stormed the Bataclan concert hall last November, at which point its attitude turned distinctly less blasé.

In June 2014, Turkish security officers in Istanbul intercepted a Norwegian citizen traveling to Syria with a camouflage outfit, a first-aid kit, knives, a gun magazine and parts of an AK-47, all of which E.U. customs officials had somehow overlooked.

Two months later, they intercepted a German citizen with a suitcase containing a bulletproof vest, military camouflage and binoculars that customs had also failed to notice. When they apprehended a Danish-Turkish dual citizen on his way to Syria, they sent him back to Copenhagen. But the Danes gave him another passport regardless so he could continue on his way. Everyone figured that what happens in Syria stays in Syria, so why worry?

Now, of course, everyone is worried big time. With the AP reporting that Islamic State has armed and trained 400 to 600 fighters for its European operations, talk of ISIS sleeper cells is ubiquitous. Referring to the Brussels district where the March 22 bombing plot was hatched, Patrick Kanner, the French social-democratic minister of youth, warned ominously: “There are today, as is well known, hundreds of neighborhoods in France that present potential similarities to what happened in Molenbeek.”

The implication was that the state of emergency should not only continue but deepen. As hundreds of neo-Nazis descended on Brussels chanting anti-immigrant slogans, paranoia took a giant leap forward as did its handmaidens racism and Islamophobia.

But as much everyone would like to blame it all on Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and others of that ilk, none of this is really their fault. To the contrary, the West’s disastrous Syria policy is entirely the creation of nice-guy liberals like Barack Obama. Desperate to appease both Israel and the Sunni oil sheiks, all of whom for various reasons wanted Assad to go, he signed on to a massive Sunni jihad that has turned Syria into a charnel house.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

With death estimates now running as high as 470,000, which is to say one person in nine, the idea that massive violence like this could remain confined to a single country was absurd to begin with. Yet Obama went along regardless.

Indeed, the administration is still unwilling to back down despite all that has happened since. When a reporter asked point-blank at a State Department press briefing, “Do you want to see the [Damascus] regime retake Palmyra or would you prefer that it stays in Daesh’s hands,” spokesman Mark Toner hemmed and hawed before finally admitting that a takeover was preferable because “we think Daesh is probably the greater evil in this case.” (Exchange starts at 1:05.)

But the next day he walked back even that mealy-mouthed statement. Refusing to endorse Palmyra’s fall at all, he declared: “I’m not going to laud it because it’s important to remember that one of the reasons Daesh is in Syria is because Assad’s brutal crackdown on his own people created the kind of vacuum, if you will, that has allowed a group like ISIL or Daesh to flourish. Just because he’s now, given the cessation of hostilities, willing and-or able to divert his forces to take on Daesh doesn’t exonerate him or his regime from the gross abuses that they’ve carried out against the Syrian people.”

Since Assad is the only one to blame, the U.S. doesn’t have to ponder its own contribution to the problem. Instead, it gives itself a clean bill of health and moves on. Rather, it would like to move on if only ISIS would let it.

But the more aid the U.S. and its allies funnel into the hands of Sunni terrorists, the more groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda will grow and the farther their reach will extend. The upshot will be more bombings and shootings in Paris, Brussels, and who knows where else. Racism and Islamophobia will continue to surge regardless of what bien-pensant liberals do to talk it down.

The liberal center is engineering its own demise.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

22 comments for “How US-Backed War on Syria Helped ISIS

  1. Leon
    April 3, 2016 at 09:18

    If Terrorists were genuine they wouldn’t be going after innocent civilians, there is no benefit in that for a genuine terrorist, a genuine terrorist would be going out to kill heads of state and elitists that rule the world. They don’t do that, so they are all hired to kill innocent civilians, why? Those that rule the world need to continually find ways to motivate their political will and tighten their hold on our mind and freedoms as civilians, they say terror is an attack on our way of life, thus consistently attempting to legitimise their rule by hiring terrorist to kill civilians. Think about it for a moment it’s those that rule the world who are the extremist and supremacist. Ruthless conspirators of war and Mass murder.

  2. Leon
    April 3, 2016 at 08:44

    It’s one lie after another and one illusion after another illusion, there are many facts in this article, however those that are the War mungers are those that are building Guns,Bombs and Bullets, George W Bush(Crown Agent) called this entity The coalition of the willing, they are the blood related European sitting Crowns. It is these sitting Crowns that want War to never end, Hitler was a Crown agent, he wanted to reinstate the German Monachy, but they stopped him. Those who won WW2 have never stopped building weapons for war, they build these weapons to make war in lands that they do not control. The elite Jewish Bankers are still funding the related European Crowns to build Guns Bombs and Bullets and send American boys to War thus costing lives and entire nations bankrupt. Terrorism is funded and designed by these sitting Crowns

  3. Winston Smith
    April 3, 2016 at 08:04

    it is NOT an American “backed” war but one run by America, which is what Covert Operation is.

  4. Richard Steven Hack
    April 2, 2016 at 22:21

    Now who’s going to ask the next question: Was this support for ISIS DELIBERATE?

    Today I read two things:

    First the Pentagon is starting yet ANOTHER program to train rebels to “fight ISIS”. After two massive failures where the trained rebels were either wiped out (and their weapons ended up in ISIS hands) or they defected to ISIS (meaning their weapons ended up in ISIS hands), this this time makes it pretty obvious that that end result – weapons and rebels ending up in ISIS hands – was the REAL intention of the program.

    The second thing I read is that the US is planning to send “many times” more Special Forces troops into Syria. If this isn’t an obvious attempt to destabilize the Assad regime rather than fight ISIS, I don’t know what is.

    I know the old saw about not attributing malice to what is actually incompetence, but I also remember the line from Goldfinger:

    “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”

    This is the third time for “training rebels to fight ISIS”. Wake up and smell the bovine excrement. These programs are DELIBERATE. The Pentagon and CIA KNOW the end result of these programs and knew them before they started. They kept them ridiculously small because anything larger would be too obvious.

    Those Special Forces troops are in Syria not to fight ISIS but to support ISIS and to lay the plans for overthrowing the Assad regime.

    How many times over the last couple years has the US Air Force dropped supplies and munitions that “accidentally” ended up in ISIS hands, both in Iraq and Syria? How many times have the Iraqi army run away, leaving tons of munitions in ISIS hands that was promptly resupplied by the US – so the resupply could end up with the same fate?

    And all of this makes hash of the notion by Gareth Porter that Obama is “distancing” himself from the foreign policy elite in Washington. Even Obama isn’t stupid enough to believe these rebel training programs would be significant in fighting ISIS. He knew what the results would be because the CIA and the Pentagon and the neocons at State told him. And he signed off on it.

    This is Obama’s modus operandi: say one thing in public, do the exact opposite in private. And it’s amazing how many people – even “antiwar” people like Gareth Porter and Ray McGovern – STILL fall for it.

    As I’ve said many times here and elsewhere, the ENTIRE reason for the Syria crisis is to lay the groundwork for a war with IRAN. Israel wants Iran off the board and the US elites want the money to be made by starting another decades-long Middle East war. But Israel can’t attack Iran until Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon are degraded enough to make them ineffective actors in an Iran war. And Hizballah can’t be taken out until Syria is taken out.

    And none of this is going to be achieved if the US rolls over and allows the Syrian government, Russia, Iran and Hizballah to defeat ISIS. So the US is NOT going to roll over. And that is why these rebel training programs and Special Forces are being sent into Syria. The US will never stop trying to degrade Syria until they succeed.

    What do they care if their policy seems insane to everyone but them? No one in the US is going to stop them. Forget Trump or Sanders, they’re a joke – even if elected (even assuming they will be nominated, which they won’t be), the establishment Senate will not pass any of their legislation. The American public has ZERO control of the government at this point (if they ever did.)

    So the US will continue to undermine Syria for the benefit of the military-industrial complex and Israel. We can only hope Russia can continue to outwit the US.

  5. Rick
    April 1, 2016 at 10:43

    The reason Trump is in hot water is because he is not AS adept at winning a lying contest as the seasoned professionals. He slips up occasionally. Which gives me cause to watch the pros carefully. They are at the top of their game in this regard.

    Watch Hillary talk about the email scandal. She truly is a psychopath. She is fully cognizant of what she did in regards to the email server, and also the attempts to cover up.

    As is Cruz.


  6. Secret Agent
    April 1, 2016 at 07:06

    The rise of an Islamic state is central to the Middle East policy. After ending Syria as a nation it would then turn on Hizbollah ending any constraints on Israel. Next in line would be Iran which would be embroiled in a perpetual war on its Iraq border. Finally it would be directed into Central Asia where it would cause generations of war for Russia and China. At the same time it would pump Iraqi oil as quickly as possible to pay for these wars, thus enriching those with the right connections.

    If Isis Tsar Allen’s war on Isis seemed like a farce that’s because it was. The idea was to keep the monster in the lab until it was ready for its mission.

    Putins intervention ruined this plan but there is not much the empire can do about it right now. There will be a price to pay, but lately all the empires schemes have backfired and the empire will not risk war because it cannot win. It’s played its hand badly and the European allies/vassals are at the breaking point.

    It seems the empire will just pretend it didn’t happen and move on to its next target: China.


  7. Peter Loeb
    April 1, 2016 at 04:58


    The above title appears in quotes because it is
    plagiarized from another author in an entirely
    different context.

    This process has been the norm since the invasion
    of North America by colonists with divine guidance
    and always, always, always a “generous spir’t”.. And so forth.
    Daniel Boone could join a Native American tribe for
    the purpose of defeating them, taking their livelihood,
    their lands. (I personally can’t imagine that Mr. Boone
    was entirely chaste in a culture with different secual
    traditions than in the English Puritans/”Afflicted Saints.
    But having become a figure of mythology, no one
    wants to break the spell. Boone’s wife had to shift
    for herself which she did with courage her husband being
    so often absent.

    And of course whatever policies the US supports must be
    altruistic and for the betterment of all mankind. But then,
    you already knew that, didn’t you. And that Obama is such a
    nice and noble man!!! The professorial voice of reason….

    The article of Daniel Lazare, “How US-Backed War on Syria
    Helped ISIS ” provides masterful explanation of the manipulation
    of behavior so common in the West.

    (It seems inconceivable that Syria was not long ago a prime
    destiny for American CIA torture according to the CIA’s
    program of “exraordinary rendition” under the CIA. Syria
    was not alone but joins many other so-called “allies” of
    the U.S. such as Morocco, Jordan and bases of the U.S.
    itself in nations it had conquered in battle (Bagram in
    Afghanistan is one example).

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  8. Kiza
    April 1, 2016 at 00:54

    I was absolutely astounded by one commenter on the regarding the “war on terra”. He simply stated that when the terrarists start killing the members of CRIF and similar Zio-Deep-State outfits throughout Western Europe (and CFR in the US), then we will know that the terra is real. As long as only the ordinary cattle are killed in the acts of terrarism, it is plausible that the Zio-Deep-State is involved in the terra. We, the cattle, mean nothing to the shadow rulers of the World, we just take the garbage out and ensure that toilets flush, a few more or less of us makes no difference to them. Plus every act of terra pushes more power into the Deep State because the cattle want protection by their owners. Cui Bono?

    But if terra was real, would it not target prominent and the well known and powerful Zionist (CRIF members) such as Bernard-Henri Lévy in France, for example? We know that this character has no police protection, so why target concert visitors or restaurant patrons but not Lévy in Paris? What makes cattle a better target in the eyes of ISIS instead of the establishment Zionists? The zerohedge commenter asked this question and I wonder. Call it another conspiracy theory if you like.

    • Tim Hadsfield
      April 1, 2016 at 07:01

      Zionists are safe, because they are the terrorists (or fund and control them, at the least).

      • the lion
        April 2, 2016 at 19:47

        We shouldn’t forget that Hamas was brought into existence by Mossad to counter the PLO, and Al Qaeda itself was brought into existence by the CIA funding in Afghanistan back in Reagans day! America has caused most of the Terrorist activities in the Middle East for years with their funding of groups for regime change, much of that based on an aversion to Baathist Party rule in various countries which they see as Socialists because they were both educating and giving health care for free all members of society. Claims of those countries being regimes that took away the peoples freedoms, were a little circumspect when one looks at the regimes that the US has I fact backed and supported! Look at the Iranians under the Shah who was installed by the CIA’s first covert operation, how many were disappeared in that country by the CIA trained Saavak! Look at the house of Saud, brutal Wahhibist activities in that country allow the Saudi rulers to flourish, want to continue, we could!

        Finally we get to the crux of this story the spreading of ISIS to Europe, and we should realise that the US is directly responsible for the Mass refugee problem from Syria and Nth Africa, it was America regime change activities that has caused this the funding of Al Nusra Front and that is something that they did, with the name change from Al Qaeda in Iraq to Al Nusra Front coming about six years ago, coincidentally with the CIA and State Department funding Al Nusra Front first with training and non lethal supplies like Uniforms food and other logistical items, but later escalating to TOW missiles (they didn’t all come from the Saudi’s) on a return the empty launcher basis to get more missiles (the CIA actually did learn from their Afghanistan days of just supplying Stinger Missiles to Osama (CIA code name Archer)Bin Ladin’s group Al Qaeda and not knowing if they had been used!

  9. Joe Tedesky
    April 1, 2016 at 00:19

    There were quite a few of us, who back in 2004, when they said, we would rather fight them over there than here, said bull frog to that stay the course mantra of these over zealous war hawks. Many of us even then knew that was more than enough short term thinking in the raw, for a rationale person to comprehend. So here we are in 2016, now watching as terrorist are all abound destroying life and property all over this civilized world, of ours. Tell me again why this is such a surprise. Tell me also why that just about everyone who was in charge since at least 2007 (surge) is still around helping to cause (or failing to prevent) even more carnage and chaos. With all of this, is it any wonder, why Americans and their EU brothers and sisters are now voting against the oh so smart establishment? The 1% elite should thank their lucky stars that the people are still at that stage, whereas they the people are still willing to voice their opinion in the voting booth? The elitist would do well to keep it there, and do everything in their power to keep it out of the streets. It’s nearly impossible to control natural evolution.

  10. Gary Hare
    March 31, 2016 at 23:03

    The US, cheered on and supported by the UK, have been in the business of “Regime Change” for many decades – Central and South America, East Timor, Iran, Ukraine’ Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia – the list is almost endless. Have any of these ventures benefited the citizens of those countries? Have they made the world any safer? Have they all not resulted in blowback, in one form or another? Yet we the people continue to vote for the leaders who continue these atrocities. We need to vote in leaders who will respect the boundaries and dignity of other nations. If we leave them alone, and disaster ensues, at least it is their disaster, and probably will lead to a better long-term result for all concerned. And, by the way, stop selling them the weapons they use, and their disasters may be a little less extreme.

  11. Daniel
    March 31, 2016 at 17:16

    The West plays at atorcious war across the ME and Africa, violently interfering with tribal, territorial and religious issues & disputes we may not understand, then scolds the offended parties when they offer some sort of blow-back. Now, nobody likes violence (except war-mongers, perhaps), so we hang our head in sorrow whenever a ‘terrorist attack’ occurs, but we never hang our heads in shame because we refuse to admit to our own blame in this calculation, blame which is especially hidden from the public by the war-makers, as is well documented on this site.

    The West (including much of the US) needs to wake up to the reality that we can expect a more and more escalated brand of ‘terror’ until we decide to share the blame for its very creation in the world and make different decisions about how to co-exist.

    I realize, of course, that peace is incompatible with an industry for profit such as the always-arms-dealing American government, but we must change course from our perennial war economy, petro-dollar be damned. We must find a new way.

  12. W. R. Knight
    March 31, 2016 at 15:29

    “But as much everyone would like to blame it all on Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and others of that ilk, none of this is really their fault. To the contrary, the West’s disastrous Syria policy is entirely the creation of nice-guy liberals like Barack Obama.”

    I’m really disappointed that you aren’t giving Hillary any credit.

    • waky wake
      April 1, 2016 at 10:42

      @ W.R. Knight
      No, “The Donald” is not responsible for this mess and I support his position of pulling back U.S. foreign policy from our military being the de’ facto “WORLD POLICE” and “REGIME CHANGE” diplomacy. I am also in agreement with him on the west being more discriminate on issues of massive, undocument and national economic and culture altering migrations. And yes, hillary clinton’s dirty hands are all over the messes in Libya and Syria. Ukraine is another disaster she played a pivotal roll in ginning up.

  13. waky wake
    March 31, 2016 at 15:19

    I will say the only thing any thinking, responsibly observant person can say; Correct, correct, correct and etc, etc etc!!! I have sympathy for the EU nations that have been hit by these terrorist acts, but like us in the U.S., they’ve been sold out by their own leadership. Go Assad and Putin!!!

  14. bill
    March 31, 2016 at 13:58

    if the US or Europe had ever been remotely honest or trustworthy over Syria,they would have wholeheartedly supported Russia – i for one do not trust Obama,Kerry , Hollande , Merkel or Cameron not to jointly seek a backdoor balkanisation of Syria .Theres a bigger game afoot than terrorist “blowback”

    • W. R. Knight
      March 31, 2016 at 15:30

      You trust Hillary?

    • Tim Hadsfield
      April 1, 2016 at 06:56

      Yup, bigger game afoot. The NWO plan is unfolding, and our leaders are united in betraying us all.

  15. J'hon Doe II
    March 31, 2016 at 13:35

    How US-Backed War on IRAQ Helped ISIS ________

    ‘Only the Dead See the End of War’ Is Hard to Watch

    March 30, 2016
    Matthew Gault
    HBO1 Michael Ware

    It’s tough writing about HBO’s new documentary Only the Dead See the End of War without spoiling it. The final 15 minutes are a revelation — and they retroactively inform the whole film. Without them, Only the Dead kinda feels like war pornography. Albeit war pornography accompanied by the ramblings of an unhinged adrenaline junky.

    But those final moments … Well, they change everything.

Comments are closed.