The barbarism of the US-engineered assault to retake Mosul guarantees that the same conditions which made it vulnerable to ISIS will persist, writes Eric Ruder.
An assortment of US, British and Iraqi military forces and militia fighters from around the region are preparing an offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which fell under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) two years ago. Not only are the civilian casualties likely to be significant, given the house-by-house fighting expected in dense residential areas, but the aftermath could also be harrowing, considering the unresolved question of who will control Mosul after ISIS is ejected.
With Vladimir Putin’s Russia carrying out air strikes in Syria, Eric Ruder, in an article for US website SocialistWorker.org, explains the backdrop to the conflict and the consequences of this new stage in the violence.
At below $USUS50 a barrel on 7 January, the price of benchmark crude oil was well under half its high of $USUS107.68 less than seven months before. The price plunge has been so rapid that even Wall Street’s seasoned traders are alternately downing shots of whiskey and Pepto-Bismol – and that’s before noon.
Gilbert Achcar is an expert in the Middle East and author of The people want: a radical exploration of the Arab uprising. He will be speaking at Marxism 2014 Conference in Melbourne 17-20 April. The following is an edited transcript of a discussion Achcar had with SocialistWorker.org’s Eric Ruder on the eve of the third anniversary of the Arab uprisings.