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February 14, 2016
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While America Aged

While America Aged

By Roger Lowenstein
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Islamic State Kills 70 in Bombing of a Syrian Shiite Area in Apparent Bid to Derail Talks (Video)

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for bomb attacks in Syria’s capital Damascus that were probably aimed at derailing peace talks in Geneva.

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State Kidnapped Hundreds in Syrian City—Some Likely to a Fate Worse Than Death (Video)

Over the weekend, Islamic State hit an isolated outpost of the Syrian Arab Army in a few neighborhoods of Deir al-Zor that are surrounded by the extremist group.

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 READ MORE



Obama Says Islamophobia Harms U.S. Interests and Islamic State Is a Dangerous Fringe

President Obama’s final State of the Union address was largely lacking in specifics and replete with high ideals and ambitious goals, such as curing cancer. But he did address some issues in everyday politics.

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 READ MORE



Suspected Islamic State Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 10 in Istanbul

A deadly blast ripped through the city’s Sultanahmet tourist district Tuesday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 more. Turkey’s prime minister placed blame for the attack on Islamic State.

Posted on Jan 12, 2016 READ MORE



Thwarted Territorially in Ramadi, Islamic State Reverts to Terrorism in Baghdad

One of the problems Iraq and Syria will face as Islamic State is gradually rolled back from its territorial acquisitions is that it will demobilize its conventional forces and return to being a terrorist organization.

Posted on Jan 12, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State Threatens to Attack Saudi Arabia After Executions

Islamic State has pledged to attack and destroy two Saudi political prisons where Muslim radicals are typically held and release their inmates.

Posted on Jan 6, 2016 READ MORE



Iraqi Shiites Up in Arms, Claim Saudi Arabia Is ‘Spying on Behalf of Islamic State’

Saudi Arabia’s execution on Saturday of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr has so far not created a crisis between Riyadh and the Shiite-dominated Baghdad government. But Saudi Arabia’s name with the rank-and-file Shiites and parliamentary backbenchers is mud.

Posted on Jan 5, 2016 READ MORE


VIDEO: 2015: The Year in One Breath

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Posted on Dec 31, 2015 READ MORE


Republi-Claus Is Coming to Town: A Truthdig Holiday Animation

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Posted on Dec 24, 2015 READ MORE



The World Mocks the Promise of Christmas

Killing in the name of God is not a new thing in history—and nothing does more to discredit faith.

Posted on Dec 23, 2015 READ MORE



Are the Media Hyping the Threat From Islamic State?

President Obama is clearly frustrated that conservative radio and cable television—and even mainstream cable television—have cooperated with the more belligerent GOP presidential candidates to project Islamic State as some sort of evil superpower and an existential threat to the United States.

Posted on Dec 22, 2015 READ MORE



Fifth Debate Reveals How Eager the Republican Candidates Are for More War

At the final debate of 2015, the Republican presidential candidates laid out how each would be a wartime president, with the most aggressive pledging to rebuild and unleash the full force of the military to slaughter Islamic State globally, confront Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Syria and eastern Europe and conduct cyber warfare and other actions against China.

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 READ MORE



Top 10 Lies and Distortions From the GOP Debate

Another GOP debate, another steaming pile of half-truths, lies and pseudo-facts.

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 READ MORE



The Fifth GOP Debate: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

If ever there was any doubt, the main topic during the first part of the fifth Republican presidential debate was indeed how to defeat the threat of terrorism overseas and at home. Updated

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 READ MORE



Those Radical Aussies, and How They Tackled Gun Violence

What worked so well for Australia—firearm confiscation—unfortunately seems out of reach for the U.S. Even so, there are common-sense approaches in some foreign countries that could work here. Pictured right, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is proposing a 2016 ballot initiative to strengthen the state’s gun laws.

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 READ MORE



If Defeating Islamic State Is So Important, Why Isn’t Ramadi Campaign All We’re Talking About?

Given the large number of vehement pronouncements by U.S. presidential candidates about the dire threat from Islamic State, and attacks on President Obama for not doing more, you would think that the American public would be hanging on every word about any progress against the radical organization.

Posted on Dec 10, 2015 READ MORE


Common Ground

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Posted on Dec 9, 2015 READ MORE



In the Fantasyland Your Neighbors Live in, More War Is a Smart Idea

People in the United States believe that Islamic State is present within the United States trying to kill them. You can’t poll them on what to do in the actual universe, because they’re living in la-la land.

Posted on Dec 9, 2015 READ MORE



Obama vs. Islamic State: Freedom Is More Powerful Than Fear and We Refuse to Take the Bait (Video)

President Obama addressed the nation Sunday night, in an attempt to calm the public mood after the San Bernardino killers were tied to Islamic State—though the connection seems to spring merely from common radicalism and murderousness rather than any organizational tie.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE



In Address About San Bernardino Attack, President Obama Lays Out Plan to ‘Destroy’ Islamic State

Obama sought to convince Americans, including his opponents, that he is capable of handling this phase of the global conflict by pressing forward with a multipart strategy.

Posted on Dec 6, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Who Is Buying Islamic State’s Oil?

Oil is Islamic State’s lifeline—a business that provides the terrorist group with more revenue than any other source, helping to fund its war in Syria and Iraq, as well as providing electricity to the 10 million people living under the group’s control. So who are the individuals and groups involved in refining and selling this oil? And where does it end up?

Posted on Dec 4, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Sending Special Ops Troops to Fight Islamic State, but Do Iraqis Want Them?

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Tuesday that the U.S. would send more special operations troops to Iraq to fight Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 READ MORE



Putin Claims Turkey Was Protecting Islamic State Oil Smuggling as He Urges Kurds to Ally With Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday in Paris that his government had intelligence that the reason Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet last week was to protect oil smuggling from Islamic State (Daesh) through Turkey.

Posted on Dec 1, 2015 READ MORE



The New Nativist Hysteria Is Illegitimate, Divisive and Dangerous

The xenophobic outburst on Capitol Hill and across the heartland won’t make us safer. In fact, it plays directly into the hands of terrorist organizations like Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 24, 2015 READ MORE



States of Terror

We waded into conflicts in the Middle East we did not understand, propelled forward by fantasy. And our folly spawned a death spiral of political, social and economic collapse, widespread poverty, massive displacement, misery and radical jihadism.

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 READ MORE


AUDIO: ‘Left, Right & Center’: On the Post-Paris Era

In this week’s “Left, Right & Center,” panelists give their take on the world after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, engaging in a spirited debate over the origins of Islamic State, what to do about the refugee crisis and how to tackle terrorism on a global scale.

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 READ MORE



Brussels Maintains State of Emergency as European Crackdown Grows

Officials tighten security measures in former border-free zone amid terror warnings.

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 READ MORE


France

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Posted on Nov 22, 2015 READ MORE



For Paris: On Russian Missiles Hitting Syria as Islamic State Oil Facilities Are Targeted (Video)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian airstrikes on the eastern province of Deir al-Zor killed 36 on Friday—a week after the Paris attacks claimed by Islamic State. But bombing alone will not win the war with the militant group.

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 READ MORE



Donald Trump Won’t Rule Out Special ID Cards for Muslim Americans

“We’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago,” the GOP front-runner said.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 READ MORE



From the Vague to the Bombastic: Republican Reactions to Islamic State

The impact of the Paris attacks on the Republican presidential race may turn out to be minimal, especially since the establishment candidates aren’t making any more sense than outsiders Donald Trump and Ben Carson. And Chris Christie went not just over the top but around the bend.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 READ MORE



Islamic State Wants Us to Reject Refugees and Increase Airstrikes

The West’s knee-jerk reactions to the Paris attacks are based on ignorance of what the jihadi organization is and what its motives are.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE



U.S.-Russia Diplomatic Rift Narrows as Presidents Talk Cooperation on Syria

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin appear ready to cooperate militarily as the bitter rift over Ukraine gives way to a common interest in combating Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE



Trail of Paris Attackers Winds to Terrorism’s Longtime Outpost: Belgium

Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s roots in Belgium throw light on the dark role the country plays in Europe’s terror threat. Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, was the target of a police raid Wednesday on an apartment near the French capital.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE



From the Annals of U.S. History: America’s Role in Creating Islamic Extremism

It’s a refrain that has been played and replayed before, but some Americans might need yet another refresher.

Posted on Nov 17, 2015 READ MORE



Standing Up for Refugees, Sanders Decries Post-Paris ‘Demagoguery’

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders reiterates his support for those fleeing war and violence in the Middle East.

Posted on Nov 17, 2015 READ MORE



The Onion Predicted Years Ago That ‘a Million bin Ladens’ Would ‘Bloom’ From the Iraq War

A piece published in 2003 by the satirical news website seems like an eerie prophecy now that Islamic State is wreaking terror on the Middle East and beyond.

Posted on Nov 17, 2015 READ MORE



What Would President Obama’s Critics Do About Islamic State?

As Paris mourns its dead, critics of President Obama’s caution in the fight against Islamic State are full of sound and fury. But those who throw around such words as “weak” and “feckless” should tell us if they support the logical alternative: sending in tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Manufacturing Terror: How Saudi Arabia Helped Create Islamic State

In light of the latest terrorist attacks in Paris, we take a look back at an interview with CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who singled out Saudi Arabia for its role in creating radical extremism in the Middle East.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE



France Launches Airstrikes on Islamic State Stronghold in Syria

After Friday night’s Islamic State-claimed terror attacks in Paris, French President Francois Hollande vowed that retaliation would be swift and forceful. By Sunday evening, he had taken action.

Posted on Nov 15, 2015 READ MORE



Paris at Midnight: Attempt to Push France Out of Anti-Islamic State Coalition in Syria?

It’s likely that the perpetrators have stiffened the resolve of the French government to intervene even more robustly against Islamic State. In 2013, France sent in an expeditionary force to Mali and stabilized that country. France also intervened in Ivory Coast. Will it send in an expeditionary force, say a brigade of 3,000 men, to eastern Syria?

Posted on Nov 14, 2015 READ MORE



Why Islamic State Is a Vast Exaggeration and Can’t Actually Shoot Down Planes (Video)

Islamic State (Daesh) in the Sinai Peninsula made a big deal of claiming it shot down a Russian airliner Saturday morning. It did not.

Posted on Nov 1, 2015 READ MORE



Senior National Security Advisers Urge Obama to Put Spec Ops Troops Close to Islamic State Front

President Obama’s senior national security advisers have recommended positioning U.S. special operations forces closer to the enemy lines of Islamic State (Daesh) in Iraq and even in Syria.

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 READ MORE



Tony Blair Admits Iraq Invasion’s Role in the Rise of Islamic State

But Britain’s former prime minister offers no real apology for the 2003 invasion or the United Kingdom’s role in helping to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Posted on Oct 25, 2015 READ MORE



Political Questions Surround Iraq Raid in Which American Died (Video)

A joint operation by the U.S. Delta Force and Iraqi Kurdish freed 70 captives Thursday, led to the killing of 20 and the capture of six Islamic State (Daesh) forces, and left one U.S. soldier dead.

Posted on Oct 25, 2015 READ MORE



The Aleppo Strategy Against Islamic State: Can It Work?

The Washington Post was the first to broach the issue of Russo-Iranian grand strategy in Syria.

Posted on Oct 21, 2015 READ MORE



14 Years After 9/11, the U.S. and Israel Are Tempted to Ally With al-Qaida in Syria (Video)

Maybe I’m just funny that way, but I object to allying with allies of al-Qaida—the group responsible for killing nearly 3,000 Americans in a single day.

Posted on Sep 13, 2015 READ MORE


Refugees

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Posted on Sep 9, 2015 READ MORE



Enter the Bear: Is Russia Planning Airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria? (Video)

The Israeli press is reporting that Iran has made a firmer military alliance with the Russian Federation in Syria and that Moscow is sending pilots to Damascus to fly missions in that country against Islamic State and other Muslim extremist groups.

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 READ MORE



The Great Unraveling

The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power is collapsing. If we do not quickly dismantle the structures of neoliberalism and global capitalism, we will be swept away in the coming upheavals.

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 READ MORE


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