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December 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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Tag: Isis


Banning Dissent in the Name of Civility

A student group has revoked an invitation for me to speak at a university because of my views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its action is part of the routine censorship carried out on campuses against those who will not read from the Israel lobby’s script.

Posted on Dec 21, 2014 READ MORE



Top 7 Ways Assassination Fails the U.S. as Policy

Wikileaks has released a government assessment of drone strikes aimed at assassinating top leaders.

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 READ MORE



Pentagon: 3 Major ISIS Leaders Killed in Iraq

American forces have killed three high-ranking Islamic State leaders in Iraq in recent weeks, according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



Enter the Dragon: China Offers Iraq Aerial Strikes on Islamic State

The list of powers eager to see Islamic State defeated grew larger this weekend with a report that China would intervene against IS from the air.

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 READ MORE



The Banality of Terrorism: Sydney’s Other Hostage Crisis of 1984

One’s heart goes out to the Sydney hostages. But it is distressing to see the hostage-taker made 10 feet tall by the media and to have Daesh (which is what most Arabs derisively call Islamic State) invoked.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE



Hostage Crisis Unfolds at Sydney Cafe

Five people managed to escape Monday from the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, where they had been detained by an armed assailant who was still holding several hostages. Meanwhile, Australian authorities, from police to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, pushed to defuse the crisis.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE



ISIS—the New Israel

ISIS is employing the same brutal tactics used in the late 1940s to create the Jewish state. As the Zionist guerrillas did, it is swiftly and perhaps permanently redrawing the map of the Middle East.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE



Over 100 Islamic State Fighters Killed in U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq

The U.S. war on Islamic State (also known as Daesh) in Iraq and Syria takes up less and less space in mainstream media. The group and its issues haven’t gone away, however.

Posted on Dec 8, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges and Laura Flanders on Drones and Civil Disobedience

Truthdig columnist, author and activist Chris Hedges paid a visit this week to “The Laura Flanders Show” to discuss U.S. foreign policy, civil disobedience, resistance to empire and the corporate state, as well as a host of other topics.

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 READ MORE


Defense Secretary

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Posted on Dec 3, 2014 READ MORE



Iran-Iraq War 2.0? Iran Flies Bombing Raids on Islamic State Extremists in Iraq

The U.S. Pentagon is confirming that Iranian F-4 fighter jets have flown bombing missions against Daesh or the so-called ‘Islamic State Group’ in Iraq.

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 READ MORE



Mikhail Metzel/TASS

America’s Superpower Thinking Is a Bad Habit From a Bygone Century

China is emerging as the new Number One, while the policy makers in Washington can’t get their heads out of the Cold War.

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 READ MORE



Russians Invade Afghanistan (Again!), Chinese Fight Iraq War (Again!)

After 13 years of doing its damnedest, the U.S. has overseen the rise of the dominant narco-state on the planet with monopoly control over up to 90 percent of the global opium supply and 75 percent of the heroin. It’s also been complicit in the creation of the first terrorist mini-oil state in history, a post-al-Qaeda triumph of extreme jihadism.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE


Obama Strategy

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Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



Malarkey on the Potomac

Unlike my friend M, the well-informed and normally sober Washington Post columnist David Ignatius clings to the fantasy that “Iraq” is or ought to be politically viable, militarily capable, and socially cohesive. But surely this qualifies as wishful thinking.

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE



Here Are Some of the Ways Islamic State Is Losing as It Lashes Out Like a Cornered Rat

Islamic State has not had a good month, suffering substantial setbacks in Iraq and watching with concern as the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad looks set to retake the major northern city of Aleppo.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 READ MORE



Islamic State Loses Refinery City in Iraq to Iraqi Army and Shiite Militias

This is perhaps the most significant military loss for Islamic State since it took 40 percent of Iraq in early June.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 READ MORE



Islamic State Calls for Terror Attacks on Saudi Arabia

A voice recording has surfaced, attributed to Ibrahim al-Samarra’i, the leader of the brutal terrorist group Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 READ MORE



When Will the U.S. Admit to Boots on the Ground in Iraq?

In an age of weasel words and Orwellian diction, it would be refreshing to hear Mr. Obama call the recent escalation in Iraq what it is.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

President Obama and Iran’s Supreme Leader Have Been Writing Each Other Letters

Although the U.S. and Iran have no official diplomatic ties, the most powerful men in each country have apparently decided to cut out the middle men and women.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 READ MORE



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

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Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE


VA Closed

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Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE


Observing Veterans Day

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Posted on Nov 11, 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



Four Months Into Iraq War 3.0, the Cracks Are Showing

What happens to a war in the absence of coherent state policy? Washington’s Iraq War 3.0, Operation Inherent Resolve, is what happens. As the mission enters its fourth month it may be time to ask, in all seriousness: What could possibly go right?

Posted on Nov 10, 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



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


Iraq Boots

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Posted on Oct 31, 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



Shutterstock

Western Masters Now Terrorized by Victims of Imperialism

The threat of terror produced by past victims of American Middle Eastern imperialism is alarming, but not new, and not historically isolated to the Middle East.

Posted on Oct 28, 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

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Posted on Oct 26, 2014 READ MORE


Fear

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Posted on Oct 25, 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



Will the War on Terror Be the Template for the Ebola Crisis?

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that, while President Obama was sending at least 1,600 military personnel to fight ISIS, his first response to the Ebola crisis was also to send 3,000 troops into Liberia in what the media has been calling an “Ebola surge.”

Posted on Oct 23, 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



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



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



Is Iran Close to Reaching a Deal With the U.S. Over Its Nuclear Program Thanks to IS?

It is hard not to conclude that Iran’s outbreak of optimism regarding the nuclear enrichment program has to do at least in part with the rise of Islamic State in Mosul and the consequent U.S. need for an Iranian partner.

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



Climate Change Threatens National Security, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon released a report earlier this week detailing the threats that climate change poses in the near future.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

We Need Medical Boots on the Ground Now

The headlines shift hourly between Ebola and Islamic State. The question is often asked, “Should we put boots on the ground?” The answer is yes—but not in the Middle East.

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


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