I have the pleasure to welcome you to the third in a series of e-books recovering the Pepe Escobar archives on Asia Times.
The archives track a period of 20 years – starting with the columns and stories published under The Roving Eye sign in the previous Asia Times Online from 2001 all the way to early 2015.
The first e-book tracked the interplay between China, Russia, and the U.S. between 2017-2020.
The second tracked the Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the “axis of evil” era, the Ahmadinejad years, the nuclear deal, and “maximum pressure” im- posed by the Trump administration.
This one closely tracks the Forever Wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq, starting one month before 9/11 in the heart of Afghanistan.
The unifying idea behind this e-book series is to recover the excitement of what is written as “the first draft of History”.
Once again, you may read the whole compilation chronologically, as a thriller, following in detail all the plot twists and cliffhangers.
You will find the last interview by commander Masoud before he was killed two days before 9/11; the expansion of jihad as a “thermonuclear bomb”; life in “liberated” Kabul; life in Iraq in the last year under Saddam Hussein; on the trail of al-Qaeda in the Afghan badlands; who brought us the war on Iraq; the Fallujah tragedy; what went wrong – from Kabul to Helmand and from Baghdad to the “triangle of death”; the failed surge in Iraq; the failed surge in Afghanistan; the myth of “Talibanistan”; all the games of Pipelineistan; the – still unanswered – key questions about 9/11; the killings of Osama bin Laden and al-Baghdadi; Afghanistan and Iraq dreaming of the New Silk Roads.
The absolute majority of the articles, essays, and interviews selected for this e-book were written in Afghanistan and in Iraq and/or before and after multiple visits to both countries.
So welcome to a unique geopolitical road trip depicting in detail the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune that continue to shape a great deal of the young 21st century.
Pepe Escobar, Bangkok, December 2020