Defining ISIS

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Supporters of the al-Fadila party perform the simulation of an execution during a protest to ask for justice for members of the Iraqi forces who were executed by ISIS. Sept. 3, 2014 (HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty)

The terror group ISIS continues to claim more regional territory and grow in ambitions -- as well as erode the traditional religious, cultural, and ethnic lines within Iraq and Syria. Vijay Prashad, Professor of International Studies at Trinity College and columnist for Frontline, discusses what exactly ISIS is today, and what it means for the U.S., British, and regional powers' responses to the growing threat.

Comments [19]


Thought this might interest you and your readers/listeners.

Nov. 10 2014 10:04 AM
dikra from USA

Turkey does not consider ISIS a terrorist organization. Turkey also continues to deny that The Ottoman Empire and the modern Turkish state committed GENOCIDE against the Armenians between 1908 and 1922. Much of the ethnic cleansing methods of ISIS are similar to what Turks did to Armenians. The too are very similar.

Sep. 08 2014 12:50 PM
Judy from Larchmont, ny

Great segment on a very complicated issue. Professor Prashad should be in Wales!!! My continuing question is that as a democracy can the US really expect these other countries to embrace our values? Democracy is more than just counting votes - that's the end result not the starting point. For democracies to work there must be a belief in equality, an impartial judicial system and free press. Can these countries embrace these values that seem diametrically opposed to theirs? If they can't why are we there?

Sep. 04 2014 06:38 PM

Abortion from Larchmont

deficiency defined.

Sep. 04 2014 11:32 AM
Amy from Manhattan

This was a great segment. I appreciate the complexity, but it's a lot to take in, even on replay. Could WNYC supply a transcript of the segment on this site? I know it's not something you usually do, but it would be very helpful.

Sep. 04 2014 11:27 AM
Walter from Across the Hudson

Very good segment! Great analysis by Professor Prashad.

Sep. 04 2014 10:32 AM

The Brian Lehrer Official Obama Departure Countdown Clock -

868 DAYS AND 13 HOURS and 25 minutes...... (or just 20,845 hours)

..... until our days of diplomatic retreat, international decline and anti-Semitism in the White House are ended.

Sep. 04 2014 10:31 AM

Just wanted to thank you for having Mr Prashad on- he is bringing fresh clear headed insight to a complicated situation. I hadn't been aware of a lot of the dynamics he mentioned- certainly looking forward to hearing his recommendations .

Sep. 04 2014 10:29 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

FDR said of Trujillo that "he was a bastard, but he's our bastard". The same could have been said of the Shah... how did that work out? Eventually the dogs get off the leash or their own people rise up and put them down. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar the UAE and Israel are no longer "our bastards" and there is no military solution to that issue. Sitting this ISIL nonsense out and watching the conspirators fall out is the smart move.

Sep. 04 2014 10:28 AM
rg from Princeton, NJ

Vijay Prashad is killing it! Very detailed and erudite.

Sep. 04 2014 10:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Mr. Bad

Sykes-Picot from 1916 became irrelevant when the League of Nations was created in 1919. All previous treaties and agreements became essentially null and void.This constant reference to Sykes-Picot is superfluous and irrelevant. Once Woodrow Wilson imposed his "14 Points" and his League of Nations upon the British and French they could no long treat the Middle East as colonies like Africa or India. So why do you even bring up Sykes-Picot today? The fact is that the League of Nations created 11 Arab states and 1 Jewish National Home. None of this was orginally figured into the theoretical Sykes-Picot arrangement.

Sep. 04 2014 10:21 AM

quoting Rumsfeld?

As if the arrogant twit in the WH would ever admit to "not knowing what he doesn't know."

Sep. 04 2014 10:18 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Oh, let the Sunnis have fun with their caliphate. It will have a very short shelf life anyway. What can they really do besides chop off heads? If anyone has to worry about them at all it's Iraq and Iran. Israel is not overly concerned as long as it retains control over the Jordan valley. This isn't 2001. The US has definitely increased security on the mainland here since then thereby making a terror strike inside the US highly unlikely to succeed.

Sep. 04 2014 10:16 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ Kevin from Dyker Heights

LOL, yes whenever there's a push for US intervention in the mideast the usual suspects (with dual citizenship) come out full force for the commitment of more US blood and treasure... ISIL is no threat, they are Saudi/Qatari lackeys looking for a way to get the US to do what they know they can't do i.e. finish Syria off... This has been going on since Sykes-Picot and it won't end with the destruction of ISIL, Al Queda or any oil $ funded terrorist group. The chickens have come home to roost.

Sep. 04 2014 10:15 AM
anon from ny

Can you ask Vijay Prashad how we can respond to ISIS without exacerbating a destructive cycle of violence that contributed to the rise of ISIS. After the mistake we made by invading Iraq, what can we do now?

Sep. 04 2014 10:12 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Interesting. Apparently the administration (alone) uses the term ISIL because it refers to a time before Israel existed.

Sep. 04 2014 10:03 AM
Kevin from Dyker Heights

... ah the resident geniuses pipe in ... just one away from the trifecta

Sep. 04 2014 10:00 AM

Chop off heads ..... but the Wall Street Journal quotes Martin Indyk that the entity that GOLF BOY (the pipsqueak in the WH) is really most "enraged" about (not annoyed, not angry ... but "enraged") isn't ISIS ... but ISRAEL.

Whatever ISIS is or does, it doesn't bring out the emotions in our Little General that those scheming Jews in Jerusalem do.

"Obama's Curious Rage" WALL STREET JOURNAL

"Calm when it comes to Putin, ISIS and Hamas, but furious with Israel."

Sep. 04 2014 09:49 AM
Ed from Larchmont

There is a set of pictures of people ISIS has beheaded going around. (One thing, they are making people re-think abortion.)

Sep. 04 2014 09:19 AM

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