ISIS, Iraq, Islam and a Brief History of Everything


Rarely have I learned more in a single sitting.

The folks at Wait But Why have put together a truly wonderful and informative piece about ISIS and the history surrounding this conflict. For years now, the focus of most international news has been on Shiite and Sunni, on Iraq and the prophet Muhammad, and now on ISIS — but few of us really ever knew anything in-depth about these ever-important subjects. Myself included.

Tim Urban was recently on the ground in Iraq, roaming around Kurdistan just miles from ISIS territory, and put together this impressive history of Islam, Iraq, ISIS, and all the geo-politicial and religious forces tugging at this region. It’s eye-opening, terror-inducing, and written with enough humor and originality to make this post one of the best I’ve read in a long time.

I highly recommend everyone take the time to read it. Check it out here 

Other than learning a whole lot about something very important, it also gives some more perspective on how volatile this region is all on its own, and how outside intervention has historically only added to the problems. My previous post on 9/11 and the new policy about fighting ISIS argues for a greater perspective on the long-term effects of short-term solutions. “Today’s valid reason often only exists because of the collateral effects of a previous intervention that itself had its own valid reasons.” I just quoted myself, is that weird?

After learning more on the history of Iraq and how we got here, I am all the more convinced that no good will come from further playing chess with these people’s pieces.


  • Marcel***

    Too many factual errors.