Folly of US "War on Terror" Looms as Jordan and ISIS Exchange Executions

The Jordanian government has confirmed the execution of two jailed Iraqis, both accused of being jihadist militants who planned or participated in attacks within Jordan, in retaliation for the execution by the Islamic State of a captured Jordanian pilot whose death was shown in a video released Tuesday.

“What killed Kassasbeh was not Islam. What killed him are the new dynamics of globalisation and transnational violence that have consumed the Middle East and the Islamic world, unleashed by the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Syrian civil war.” —Asst. Prof. Ibrahim al-Marashi

According to McClatchy:

The Guardian adds:

Though many Jordanians have expressed criticism against the nation’s monarchy government for participating in the U.S.-led war on the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), analysts vary on their assessment about how the execution of the pilot, who was burned alive, will shift public sentiment and impact the overall war which has ensnared the Middle East.

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Several observers have taken the opportunity of these latest developments to reflect on how the mindset and tactics employed in what has become known as the “global war on terror” or (GWOT)—spearhead by the U.S. military—are inextricably linked to what is commonly referred to as the “barbarism” and “savagery” of non-state militant actors like ISIS.

In a post published on The Intercept on Wednesday, journalist and columnist Glenn Greenwald explores how the ritualistic condemnation of ISIS—who he acknowledges is a group “indescribably nihilistic and morally grotesque”—also serves the purpose of obfuscating the inherent violence and depravity of the military campaign that the U.S. has waged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere over the last twelve or more years. After documenting numerous incidents in which the U.S. military’s use of drones, hellfire missiles, white phosphorous, and other weaponry that have resulted in the maiming and death of countless civilians, including many who were “burned alive,” Greenwald writes:

And writing for Al-Jazeera English, Ibrahim al-Marashi, an assistant history professor at California State University, puts the latest tit-for-tat violence between Jordan and ISIS within a historical context—rooted in the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003—that speaks to the growing and worrying way in which the cycle of violence and acts of terrorism and aggression (including by states, aspiring states, and non-state actors) have created and fostered the current situation: