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2015 50 Book Challenge - Page 178

post #2656 of 2657
41. Four 2014 Veronica Roth

Prequel to the Divergent trilogy- covering the two years of Tobias Eaton ("FOUR")'s life in Dauntless before Divergent starts.

Good read, better than Allegiant.
post #2657 of 2657
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower
6. How to be Both
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
9. Levels of Life
10. The Seventh Day
11. Fortunately the Milk
11b. The Sleeper and the Spindle
12. The Agile Project Management Handbook
13. Reykjavik Nights
14. The Siege
15. The Torch
16. Being Mortal
17. Hicksville
18. Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
19. The Buried Giant
20. Another Time, Another Life
21. The Corpse Reader
22. Portrait of a Man
23. All the Birds, Singing
24. Out Stealing Horses
25. Last Winter We Parted
26. The Rabbit Back Literature Society
27. Rituals
28. Bitter Remedy
29. The Ring and The Opposite of Death
30. Old Gold
31. Hausfrau
32. Irene
33. I Refuse
34. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible
35. The Dalai Lama’s Cat


36. Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State
Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State (Quarterly Essay, #58)Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State by David Kilcullen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This essay is a very thought-provoking look at ISIS from a true expert in the field of military counter-terrorism strategy. Kilcullen has worked as a strategic advisor on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous other trouble spots. In this essay, he charts the birth of ISIS from the al Qaeda in Iraq insurgent group and their rise in Syria and in Iraq to the point where they are now a de facto state.

This is possibly the most contentious claim in his essay, and it forms the centrepiece of his recommendations on how to defeat them: stop treating them like insurrectionists or a terror network, and start making war on them as if they were a state with fixed boundaries to defend, supply lines to protect, etc.

It’s a hard argument to discuss, because people get emotive about it. Whenever I have tried to discuss this idea, I have encountered people who get outraged and accuse me of being an ISIS apologist, because they can’t bear the idea of ISIS being considered as a country. Strange to think that there are people who would label someone like Kilcullen an “ISIS apologist”, but there you are. I’m pretty sure this level of unhelpful emotion is a direct result of the scare-mongering politics that ISIS inspires here in Australia.

Kilcullen’s final thought is that defeating ISIS as a state is going to take considerable political will “without surrendering our civil liberties or betraying our ethics”. It’s a shame that, in an essay published in an Australian journal, he failed to discuss the fact that this is exactly what Australian politicians are doing as part of their fear-mongering response to the ISIS threat.



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