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By Nir Rosen

Nir Rosen’s Aftermath, a rare feat of reporting, follows the contagious unfold of radicalism and sectarian violence that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the consequent civil battle have unleashed within the Muslim world.


Rosen—who the Weekly Standard as soon as bitterly complained has “great entry to the Baathists and jihadists who make up the Iraqi insurgency”— has spent approximately a decade between warriors and militants who've been difficult American energy within the Muslim international. In Aftermath, he tells their tale, displaying the opposite part of the U.S. struggle on terror, touring from the battle-scarred streets of Baghdad to the alleys, villages, refugee camps, mosques, and killing grounds of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and eventually Afghanistan, the place Rosen has a terrifying stumble upon with the Taliban as their “guest,” and witnesses the recent Obama surge fizzling in southern Afghanistan.

Rosen was once one of many few Westerners to enterprise contained in the mosques of Baghdad to witness the 1st stirrings of sectarian hatred within the months after the U.S. invasion. He indicates how guns, strategies, and sectarian rules from the civil battle in Iraq penetrated neighboring nations and threatened their balance, in particular Lebanon and Jordan, the place new jihadist teams mushroomed. in addition, he indicates that the unfold of violence on the road point is usually the outcome of particular regulations hatched in Washington, D.C. Rosen bargains a seminal and provocative account of the surge, advised from the viewpoint of U.S. troops at the flooring, the Iraqi defense forces, Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents that have been either allies and adversaries. He additionally tells the tale of what occurred to those militias when they outlived their usefulness to the Americans.

Aftermath is either a distinct own background and an unsparing account of what the US has wrought in Iraq and the quarter. the result's a hair- elevating, 360-degree view of the trendy battlefield its consequent humanitarian disaster, and the truth of counterinsurgency.


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This would easily justify ignoring the numbers in ancient histories. On the other hand, I suspect that the reliability of ancient numbers might score closer to 4 (subpar, but estimated by people who at least knew how to keep accounting records and count into the thousands without smoke pouring from their ears). If we believe the questionable death tolls from Hiroshima, Stalin’s Russia, or the Korean War, then we shouldn’t get too skeptical about Alexander the Great. My rule of thumb is that if at least one modern historian treats an ancient body count as credible, then I won’t dismiss it out of hand.

Then it hit a bump in the imperial succession. Wang Mang, former army commander and nephew of the dowager empress, was regent of China, but the young emperor he was supposed to be taking care of had just died mysteriously. Naturally, this thirteen-year-old emperor left no children behind. He handpicked the youngest one he could find to be the new emperor, a one-year-old prince, Ruzi (which translates as “Infant”). Wang Mang, of course, stayed on as regent until the new prince reached adulthood, which didn’t seem likely in the hands of these people.

Having lost 25,000 men, the Suebi escaped back across the Rhine, and Ariovistus was soon rumored to be dead, probably killed in disgrace by his own people. In June 56 BCE, Caesar built a wooden bridge over the Rhine in ten days, the first ever to span the river. This awe-inspiring feat of engineering intimidated most of the local tribes into giving him hostages as a token of surrender. Caesar had to spend only eighteen days across the river burning the towns of the one tribe that resisted him.

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