Behind Enemy Lies

Behind Enemy Lies:War, News and Chaos in the Middle East

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The Future of the US in the Middle East: a question of Chaos or Retreat?

In this urgent and timely book, Patrick Cockburn writes the first draft of the history of the current crisis in the Middle East.
Here he charts the period from the recapture of Mosul in 2017 to Turkey's attack on Kurdish territory in November 2019, and recounts the new phase in the wars of disintegration that have plagued the region, leading to the assassination of Iranian General Sulemani.

Cockburn offers panoramic on-the-ground analysis as well as a lifetime's study of the region. As author of The Rise of Islamic State, and the Age of Jihad, he has proved to be leading, critical commentator of US intervention and the chaos it has wrecked/ And here he shows how, since Trump entered the White House promising an end to the Forever War, peace appears a distant possibility with the continuation of conflict in Syria, Saudi Arabia's violent intervention in the Yemen, the fall of the Kurds, riots in Baghdad, and the continued aggression towards Iran. While ISIS has been defeated, it is not clear whether it has disappeared from the region. Trump's policies has appeared to pour petrol on the flames, emboldening the other superpowers involved in the proxy wars. Following the collapse of the deal with Iran, and the threat of war crimes, is a new balance of power possible?


  • Quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today.

    Seymour Hersh
  • Eminently readable...One of the region’s most distinguished western observers...Soaked in blood, sectarian strife and fanaticism, mired in Great Power hypocrisy and betrayal, this may not be everyone’s idea of feelgood lockdown literature but for anyone interested in the Middle East it is essential reading.

    Justin MarozziSunday Times
  • Cockburn makes a powerful denunciation of double standards in western media

    Irish Times