"Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants," declares the voice of liberal imperialism in a January 4 article.
The US "newspaper of record" cites fighting in the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi involving "masked gunmen" whom "so many American soldiers died fighting."
It attributes all conflicts in the region to "the emergence of a post-American Middle East in which no broker has the power, or the will, to contain the region's sectarian hatreds."
It is this, we are told, which has allowed "fanatical Islamists" to flourish in both Iraq and Syria. The Times further attributes this situation to struggles between "two great oil powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, whose rulers -- claiming to represent Shiite and Sunni Islam, respectively -- cynically deploy a sectarian agenda that makes almost any sort of accommodation a heresy."
"Linking all this mayhem is an increasingly naked appeal to the atavistic loyalties of clan and sect," the Times adds.
The newspaper makes a fleeting reference to the United States having "touched off" civil war in Iraq with an invasion that is then justified as an "American nation-building effort."
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Chris Marsden's work can be found on wsws.org, a website dedicated to global awareness of socialist issues & which serves as the forum for the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).