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Tag: Iraq

Why It Doesn’t Really Matter Whether Islamic State’s Leader Was Killed

Rumors are swirling that Islamic State leader Ibrahim al-Samarra’i (who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) was severely wounded and that some of his chief lieutenants were killed by a U.S. airstrike on a meeting of IS leaders Friday.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 READ MORE

Jon Stewart: We May Have Killed Islamic State’s Leader or ‘Some Other Fucking Guy’

Jon Stewart offers his audience an update on the current situation in Iraq, from the uncertainty surrounding the possible death of Islamic State’s leader to the over 3,000 troops President Obama has now sent to the Middle Eastern country.

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Veterans Day

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

VA Closed

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Observing Veterans Day

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Claudia Cuellar

Tomas Young, Veteran Author of ‘The Last Letter,’ Dies at 34

Iraq War veteran and activist Tomas Young has died, “Democracy Now” is reporting.

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 READ MORE

Ex-State Dept. Official Blasts Obama’s Doubling of Troops in Iraq

Former Marine and State Department official Matthew Hoh, the first known U.S. official to resign in protest over the Afghan War, describes President Obama’s authorization of 1,500 additional troops to Iraq in the campaign against the Islamic State as “for lack of a better phrase ... crazy.”

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 READ MORE

Vets Affairs

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Marince Corps/Staff Sgt. Joseph DiGirolamo

Obama Doubles Number of U.S. Troops in Iraq

The president will send an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq. Though they will reportedly serve as advisers, some will head to areas of heavy fighting.

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 READ MORE

Why Is Obama Finally Seeking Congressional Approval for the War on Islamic State?

President Obama said Wednesday that he would seek congressional authorization for his war on the Islamic State after months of maintaining that the authorization of 2001 was still sufficient to underpin this effort. Why the about-face?

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE

Building an Escalation Machine

Sometimes it seemed that only two issues mattered in the midterm election campaigns just ended: ISIS and Ebola. Think of them as the two horsemen of the present American apocalypse. And count on this: Oppositional pressure to escalate will be a significant factor in Washington “debates” in the last years of the Obama administration.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE

How a Republican Congress Could Entangle the U.S. Further in the Middle East

It is not surprising that the GOP gained control of the Senate, but how will the change affect foreign policy?

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Dismayed That Iraq’s Shiite Government Hasn’t Armed Sunni Tribes Fighting Islamic State

Members of the al-Anbar provincial council say they have met with American officials who are “disgusted” at the slowness of Baghdad to arm the Sunni Arab tribes fighting Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 READ MORE

Islamic State Strives Without End

Unembedded Middle East reporter Patrick Cockburn describes the political and economic facts that enable Isis to continue its sweep through Iraq and Syria, and explains why a defeat for the group in the Syrian city of Kobani would not be the beginning of its end.

Posted on Nov 1, 2014 READ MORE

Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani and Chuck Hagel Call for the Arming of the Sunni Tribes of al-Anbar

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is calling, just as is U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, for the arming of Sunni tribes in al-Anbar Province to fight Islamic State in Iraq.

Posted on Nov 1, 2014 READ MORE

Christopher Halloran /

What Would Republicans Do?

Republicans still refuse to articulate any vision for governing.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE

Iraq Boots

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE

‘When Google Met WikiLeaks’: An Exclusive Excerpt

In 2011 WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was visited by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Here, from Assange’s new book, is part of the extraordinary conversation that resulted.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 READ MORE

Turkey Allows Kurdish Peshmerga Paramilitary Troops to Cross to Kobane

Turkish intelligence is facilitating the crossing of a couple hundred paramilitary troops (Peshmerga) from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish town of Suruç, 16 kilometers from the Syrian border.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 READ MORE

Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr in Iraq Really a U.S. Victory?

Apparent good news was announced on Sunday in the fight against the extremist Islamic State organization: The Iraqi army, backed by fundamentalist Shiite militias, managed to take the village of Jurf al-Sakhr, southwest of Baghdad, from IS fighters.

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 READ MORE

Smart Bomb

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 READ MORE


Posted on Oct 25, 2014 READ MORE

A Revisionist Take on President Obama

There is no shortage of bad news for President Obama, but history may be kinder to the man.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE

White House/Pete Souza

President Obama’s ‘Dumb’ War

The adventure against the Islamic State increasingly resembles the sort of conflict Barack Obama launched his career opposing.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE

Is This the End of National Sovereignty in the Middle East?

The legislature of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (a super-province of Iraq) has voted to send Kurdistan forces to the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane to help it fight off a concerted attack by Islamic State.

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 READ MORE

AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Blackwater Guards Convicted of 2007 Iraq Massacre

Four former employees of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater were convicted Wednesday of a mass shooting during the Iraq War.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE


Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE

Iran Proposes an Axis Against Islamic State to Iraq as an Alternative to the U.S. Coalition

Al-Zaman reports that Iranian President Hasan Rowhani has proposed to visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi an anti-IS axis including Syria, Lebanon and Iraq that would be led by Iran, as an alternative to the U.S.-led coalition proposed by President Barack Obama.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Jets Airdropped Supplies for Kurds Fighting in Kobane Against Turkey’s Wishes

In a step that over-ruled America’s Turkish NATO ally, U.S. jets dropped food, first aid and weaponry into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on Monday morning.

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 READ MORE

John Oliver on How America Is Turning Its Back on Middle Eastern Translators Who Risked Their Lives

In a moving (but of course, still funny) episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver sheds light on the plight of Iraqi and Afghani translators who worked for U.S. forces and contractors, a position that jeopardized the well-being of their families as well as themselves.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE

Shells Land in Turkey as Kurds Fight Off Islamic State Forces in Kobane

Kurdish forces at Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) on Saturday fought off an assault by Islamic State that sought to cut the city off from Turkey and completely surround it, according to an Al-Jazeera reporter on the scene.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE

Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle With Islamic State

The U.S. is again at war in the Middle East, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground. Here are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE

Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail

When confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military melted back into the populace. What this behavior made clear was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army to the tune of $25 billion over 10 years had failed miserably.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE

GoBOb /

The NSA Plays Villain to Captain America—Again

You know you’re living in strange times when the most jingoistic superhero goes to war with his own government.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE

Chris Hedges Takes On the ‘Global Culture of Violence’

On Sept. 28, Chris Hedges spoke at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture’s Charley Horwitz Platform on the pervasive violence that characterizes our era and offered possible solutions.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE

Will Islamic State Take Baghdad Next?

According to Al-Jazeera sources, Islamic State has completed the taking of Hit district in the al-Anbar Province of Iraq.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Alex Walters

No Shock and No Awe

It’s not too soon to state the obvious: At this point, the war against the Islamic State can be seen only as failing.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE

White House/Pete Souza

White House Islamic State Strategy Amounts to Wishful Thinking

The notion that Iraq will “destroy” Islamic State at American behest is an illusion, and so is the notion that the coalition just formed can do it.

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 READ MORE

The Wider Appeal of Islamic State and Sunni Grievances

In a worrisome development, radicals throughout the region are rallying to the so-called Islamic State, which is actually just a bunch of armed thugs and brigands.

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 READ MORE

The Middle East

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 READ MORE

Islamic State Has Taken a Third of Strategic Kobani in Syria but Lost Tuz Khurmato in Iraq

Al-Khalij reports that the Syrian Human Rights Observatory says Islamic State fighters are now in one third of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani.

Posted on Oct 11, 2014 READ MORE

Iraqi Journalist Who Embedded With Shiites: U.S. Strategy Will Fail

Two months after the United States began airstrikes in Iraq that expanded to Syria, Islamic State is poised to gain control of more than half of Syria’s border with Turkey. Independent reporter Patrick Cockburn and Iraqi Guardian journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad discuss the “massive military failure” of the response strategy.

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 READ MORE

White House/Pete Souza

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

I could be mad at Vice President Joe Biden, who has been here in Los Angeles for two days and tied up traffic for miles at a time. But it’s hard. He’s just too nice a guy, even if he talks too much—and worse, these days, tells the truth.

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE

Here’s How the U.S., China and Russia Are Supplying Islamic State’s Weapons

The U.S. is preparing to send more military supplies to the Middle East to fight Islamic State at the same time a report has revealed that many of the radical group’s weapons come from America. So how can we be sure the deadly equipment we’re sending won’t end up in the same hands?

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE

The Last Days of Kobani Loom as IS Closes In on Syrian Kurds With Murder on Its Mind

Islamic State fighters have advanced into the Kurdish Syrian city of Kobani with fighting in the streets as Kurds resist, according to the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr.

More Questions Than Answers in War With Islamic State

The decision of President Barack Obama to wage air war against the Islamic State still is swimming in a sea of confusion and doubt.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE

Pan-Mideast War Escalates as IS and al-Qaida Attack Hezbollah Outposts Near the Lebanese Border

There hasn’t been a regional war of this scope since the Gulf War.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE

Friend or Foe

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE

Islamic State Still Taking Towns in Iraq’s Al-Anbar as Coalition Airstrikes Are Delayed

The pan-Arab London daily Al-Hayat [Life] reported Sunday that Islamic State is still expanding its sway in towns in Iraq’s western al-Anbar Province, having just taken Kubaisah in the district of Hit on Friday into Saturday, two days after the district capital of Hit fell to them.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE

The Alamo of the Kurds: Kobane Near Falling to Islamic State

Ismat Sheikh, commander of the Kurdish forces at the border town of Kobane (Ain al-Arab) that is besieged by Islamic State tanks and artillery, says that he expects massacres of its inhabitants if it falls to the Sunni Arab extremists.

Posted on Oct 4, 2014 READ MORE

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