AMY GOODMAN: We go now to London, where we’re joined by Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent. His new book is called The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising.

Patrick, welcome back to Democracy Now! So, President Obama says we must degrade and destroy the Islamic State. Is this the new line in the sand? Do you see echoes of 2003? Is this going to deal with this violence in the Middle East with this group and the related group, Khorasan?

PATRICK COCKBURN: No, it’s not. I mean, it’s—as he said himself, it’s going to take years. But I don’t think it’s going to work. You know, the first day of bombings like this, or bombardments, are usually the best, and there are pictures on television of large buildings being blown up, and it all looks very effective, but usually the buildings have nobody in them. Remember that this didn’t work when the U.S. had 150,000 soldiers in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, so I doubt if it’s going to work now. It’s going to make it more difficult for the Islamic State to put its gunmen into convoys and launch blitzkrieg attacks on bases and on towns, but otherwise it’s not going to have a decisive effect. And you can see that in Iraq, where they’ve been bombing since the beginning of August, and ISIS, the Islamic State, is still on the offensive.

AMY GOODMAN: Will it have a recruiting effect?

PATRICK COCKBURN: Yes. I think they’re probably not short of recruits anyway. You know, in Iraq and Syria, you have a vast body of unemployed, bitter young men who will look to the Islamic State as somebody who will employ them, somebody who has—shows religious leadership. So, I don’t think that they’ll have any problem with recruitment.

Watch the full interview on Democracy Now!

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