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February 6, 2016
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Tag: Middle East


A Civil War Story About Islamic State Might Spark a Peace Movement

The task of the peace movement, now as during the Vietnam War, is to provide an alternative to the story Americans are being told about Islamic State. Muslims are fighting a civil war, and Washington’s job is to adopt policies most likely to keep Americans safe.

Posted on Feb 3, 2016 READ MORE



The Final Breakup of Iraq? Barzani Calls for Kurdistan Referendum

Barzani Masoud, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, has called for an immediate nonbinding referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan over whether its people want to secede from Iraq and form an independent Kurdish state.

Posted on Feb 3, 2016 READ MORE



Foreign Policy Winners and Losers in Iowa (Video)

The Iowa caucus voters likely voted mainly on domestic policy issues, though security and terrorism have been a big part of the campaigns as well. Now that the smoke is clearing, it is worth considering the foreign policy implications of the winners.

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 READ MORE



Want Endless War? Love the U.S. Empire? Well, Hillary Clinton’s Your Choice

If the candidate’s foreign policy record is any guide, a Hillary Clinton presidency would perpetuate and bolster some of our most hateful national characteristics.

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 READ MORE



Turkish-Russian Airspace Conflict Continues as Ankara-Backed Turkmen Flee Syria (Video)

Russia has rejected as “propaganda” renewed charges that its fighter jets had crossed Turkish territory. But it’s likely that Turkey’s complaint is actually about something else.

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 READ MORE



Exasperated by Netanyahu, France Prepares to Recognize Palestinian State

Even the staunchly pro-Israel French Socialist Party has had it with Israeli expansionism and aggression.

Posted on Jan 31, 2016 READ MORE



Iran Unleashed: President Rouhani’s Triumphant European Tour (Video)

Almost as soon as the Iran nuclear deal was approved by the U.N. Security Council, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani headed for Europe.

Posted on Jan 28, 2016 READ MORE



How Putin Started Winning Big in Syria and Got Europe to Embrace Him

Russia is so far winning big in Syria, and making Moscow’s projection of force in the Middle East a reality that the other great powers have to recognize.

Posted on Jan 26, 2016 READ MORE



Failed States and States of Failure

Here, amid Washington’s remarkably unwinnable wars, interventions, and conflicts, is a range of tomorrow’s headlines that could be written today and stand a painfully reasonable chance of coming true.

Posted on Jan 25, 2016 READ MORE



Tahrir Square Five Years On: The Hurdles to Democratization and Arab Youth Revolts

The failure of most Arab states to transition to democracy is unsurprising. Poor countries in Africa, Asia and Central America have had the same difficulties. It has nothing to do with Islam or Arabs. It has everything to do with lack of development.

Posted on Jan 25, 2016 READ MORE



Ayatollah Khamenei Lauds New ‘Strategic Partnership’ Between Iran and China

Iran’s clerical leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke Saturday on the occasion of the state visit to Iran of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Posted on Jan 25, 2016 READ MORE



Netanyahu Demands More Billions From America, Insults U.S. Envoy, Steals More Land

At the Davos World Economic Forum, the Israeli leader insisted that the U.N.-Iran nuclear deal had made his country less secure and that it must therefore get tens of billions extra in military aid from the U.S. And that wasn’t all.

Posted on Jan 24, 2016 READ MORE



Turkey-Russia Tensions Spike as Russia Moves Into Northern Syria

Russian airstrikes in Syria are getting closer to the beleaguered country’s border with Turkey in the northwest, and there are rumors that Russia is considering putting an air base in the largely Kurdish northeast.

Posted on Jan 24, 2016 READ MORE



Half the Foreign Policy Experts Behind Clinton’s Anti-Sanders Letter Have Military Industry Ties

Earlier this week, the media reported on a letter by 10 experts claiming that Sanders had “not thought through … critical national security issues”—without telling readers that fully half of the signers have strong connections to military contractors.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 READ MORE



Your Fear of Terrorism Could Get You Killed

Americans overestimate the risk of attacks by a factor of 1.7 million.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 READ MORE



A Tale of Two Grandmothers (Video)

On a recent snowy January night in upstate New York, a grandmother turned herself in to the Jamesville Correctional Facility, to serve a six-month sentence. Her crime? Taking photos.

Posted on Jan 21, 2016 READ MORE



You Won’t Like It, but Here’s the Answer on Islamic State

Some advice for your presidential candidate of choice—whoever he or she might be. Just don’t expect it to necessarily be an easy sell to all Americans.

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 READ MORE



Benjamin Netanyahu Is Still Trying to Derail the Iran Nuclear Deal (Videos)

As the great powers were certifying last weekend that Iran was in compliance with the U.N. deal permitting only civilian enrichment of uranium, the Israeli prime minister continued his attempts to knock it off track.

Posted on Jan 20, 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



War Talk, Jingoism and White Supremacy at GOP Debate

The GOP presidential debate Thursday night veered even further right on international issues, given the absence of Rand Paul, who represents the party’s libertarian wing, which is less interested in foreign wars.

Posted on Jan 19, 2016 READ MORE



‘Diplomacy Works’: Peace Groups Hail Iran Deal; Clinton Talks Like a Hawk

“The implementation of the agreement proves that diplomacy works.”

Posted on Jan 17, 2016 READ MORE



Triumph of Diplomacy: On the Cusp of Sanctions Relief, Iran Released Five Iranian-American Detainees

Iran’s release of five dual nationals Saturday was another major diplomatic victory for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry—not to mention great news for the former detainees and their families.

Posted on Jan 17, 2016 READ MORE



Doubling Down on a Failed Strategy: The Pentagon’s Dangerous ‘New’ Base Plan

The Obama administration’s consideration of a Pentagon proposal to create a “new” and “enduring” system of military bases around the Middle East confirms that the military intends to stay in the region for decades, if not generations, to come.

Posted on Jan 15, 2016 READ MORE



We Shouldn’t Take Their Oil

Donald Trump’s slippery slogan is delusional.

Posted on Jan 14, 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



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



How the Fate of Syria’s Bashar Assad Divides the GOP Field (Video)

Although many of the Republican presidential candidates probably couldn’t find Syria on a world map, the fate of Syrian strongman Bashar Assad has become a flashpoint issue distinguishing them from one another.

Posted on Jan 11, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Army Agrees to Food Aid Deliveries to Starving Madaya (Video)

The Syrian government agreed Thursday to allow humanitarian aid into Madaya and two other besieged towns near the Lebanese border northwest of Damascus. But it should do more.

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 READ MORE



Civilians Die as Russian Missile Hits Al-Qaida Prison in Syria

The Russian air war against al-Qaida in Syria took a tragic turn Saturday when a missile hit a downtown government complex and prison in Maarat al-Numan.

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 READ MORE


AUDIO: Robert Scheer Interviews Tom Dine, a Longtime Advocate for Israel and Mideast Peace

By Robert Scheer

In Friday’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig’s editor-in-chief speaks with Tom Dine, senior policy adviser at the Israel Policy Forum and former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, about Dine’s career in public service, the thwarting of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Dine’s role in negotiations between Syria and Israel in recent years.

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 READ MORE



American Artists Against War

Artists of conscience have always responded angrily and passionately to war, genocide and torture. This book examines the work of American visual artists from 1935 to 2010 who believed that governments and humanity must be held to higher moral standards.

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 READ MORE



The Most Important Issues for Activists in 2016: An Interview With Kevin Zeese

The longtime political activist pinpoints what activists should be paying attention to in the new year, including the killing of people of color by the government through police violence, the climate crisis and the duopoly scam of American politics.

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 READ MORE



American War Crimes: Candidates Compete to Promise the Most Torture and Slaughter

There’s nothing like the heady combination of a “populist” Republican race for the presidency and a national hysteria over terrorism to make Americans want to reach for those “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Posted on Jan 7, 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



The Execution of Nimr al-Nimr: One More Reason to Re-evaluate the Toxic U.S.-Saudi Alliance

Instead of insisting on al-Nimr’s release during his years in prison and echoing Amnesty International’s condemnation of his “deeply flawed” trial, the U.S. government was silent. Even after the execution, the U.S. refused to issue a strong denunciation.

Posted on Jan 4, 2016 READ MORE


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Posted on Jan 4, 2016 READ MORE



Top 7 Middle East Foreign Policy Challenges in 2016 (Video)

My own feeling is that U.S. engagement with the Middle East is likely to remain intense only for another two decades or so. But in 2016, the Middle East is likely to be the hot-button issue in U.S foreign policy.

Posted on Jan 4, 2016 READ MORE



Turkish President Erdogan Cites Hitler in Case for Presidential System (Video)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday cited Hitler in support of his contention that a presidential system can coexist with a “unitary state,” i.e., with a nonfederal government.

Posted on Jan 3, 2016 READ MORE



2015 in Review: Truthdig’s Best Columns of the Year

At the start of 2016, Truthdig takes a look at some of the columns we published last year that were our favorites.

Posted on Jan 2, 2016 READ MORE



The Most Important Neglected Middle East Stories of 2015

The past 12 months saw enormous political, economic and military shifts in the Middle East, changing its geopolitics for the foreseeable future.

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 READ MORE



The GOP Candidates Know Nothing about Syria

Ending this imbroglio requires robust diplomacy.

Posted on Dec 30, 2015 READ MORE



A Rare Victory for Freedom of Speech in Turkey, as Pianist Is Allowed to Quote Omar Khayyam

In a win for freedom of speech in Turkey, the country’s Supreme Court of Appeals has completely overturned a lower court ruling that sentenced world-famous pianist Fazil Say to a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison.

Posted on Dec 29, 2015 READ MORE



Eyes Are on Mosul Next as Iraqi Army Advances in Ramadi in Face of Stiff Islamic State Resistance

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced Friday that after the city of Ramadi was recovered from Islamic State, the Iraqi army would go on to liberate Mosul.

Posted on Dec 29, 2015 READ MORE


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Posted on Dec 28, 2015 READ MORE



Christmas and Christians in the Middle East (Video)

Whether Christmas, which in Eastern tradition is celebrated after Dec. 25, is joyous, sad or nerve-wracking for Christians in the Middle East this year depends very much on the country in which they live.

Posted on Dec 28, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Armenian Genocide: 100 Years On, the Few Survivors Left Recall Events

Starting in 1915, about 1.5 million Armenians were marched through a declining Ottoman Empire, based in what is now Turkey, to their deaths in the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor and surrounding desert. One hundred years later, only a handful of survivors remain to tell the stories of the Armenian genocide.

Posted on Dec 26, 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



Is Hillary Clinton Right That Donald Trump Is Helping Islamic State?

During Saturday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton at one point alleged that Islamic State is “going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.” Trump on Sunday denied that any such Islamic State video exists, and said of Clinton, “she lies like crazy.”

Posted on Dec 21, 2015 READ MORE



Clinton: Trump Is Islamic State’s Chief Recruiter. Sanders: Get Islamic State First, Assad Later

The latest Democratic debate had a lot of discussion on foreign policy. It’s a shame the Democratic National Convention put it on a Saturday night, when the audience was much lower.

Posted on Dec 21, 2015 READ MORE


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