The New York Times Magazine published an extraordinary report about the recent history of the Middle East.
Titled Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart, it presents a comprehensive review of the recent history of Arab lands, ranging from the heyday of secular despots in the 1970s, through America’s ill-fated war in Iraq in 2003, to the present-day civil war in Syria, the fight against ISIS, the ongoing disintegration of Libya. It offers insight through the personal stories of some select characters, including a Kurdish doctor, a day laborer turned ISIS executioner, or a civil rights matriarch.
It is a very long report, filling an entire issue of the magazine. I just read it. It was well worth the time.
The one thing this report failed to offer is a ray of hope. Something that would stop the endless cycle of violence.