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Tag: Middle East


The World After Me: Eternal ‘Wartime’ in America

In this era, everything that further militarizes American foreign policy, puts the national security state in command and assures the continued demobilization of a scared and rattled citizenry creates yet more uprooted souls, more children without childhoods, more refugees.

Posted on Jul 27, 2016 READ MORE


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Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (Video)

The visit to Israel of a former Saudi military intelligence officer, Gen. Anwar Eshki, came as a body blow to the Arab in the street.

Posted on Jul 25, 2016 READ MORE



Is Russia Deepening Cooperation With U.S. in Syria, or Is It Hitting Bases Used by U.S.? (Video)

Russian warplanes recently bombed a Syrian base used by the U.S. and the U.K. At the same time, the Arabic press commented on a Washington Post report that the U.S. and Russia are jointly striking al-Qaida in Syria.

Posted on Jul 25, 2016 READ MORE



Arab Nationalist Press Reacts to Erdogan’s Crackdown With Cries of ‘Dictator!’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s firing of some 50,000 educators, bureaucrats, police and military personnel in the wake of the failed July 15 coup attempt has provoked sharp criticism in Egypt, Jordan and other Arab countries.

Posted on Jul 24, 2016 READ MORE



Long Knives in Ankara: Victorious Erdogan Begins Purge of Judiciary and Army (Video)

Turkey’s president is taking advantage of the failed coup against him to oust those who are critical of him.

Posted on Jul 18, 2016 READ MORE



Without a Serious Middle East Peace Effort, Hatred Will Only Grow

I am convinced that it is in the vital interest of Israel to make peace with the Palestinian people, and with the Arab world at large, before the dangerous infection of extreme ideology engulfs the entire region.

Posted on Jul 17, 2016 READ MORE



A Story of Two Syrian Sieges: Manbij and East Aleppo

On Wednesday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (a mixed Kurdish and Arab group) advanced further into the city of Manbij, a major outpost for Islamic State in northern Syria.

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 READ MORE



Is John Kerry Right? Are the Freemen of Syria and Army of Islam Radical Terrorists?

Josh Rogin of The Washington Post has caused a stir by noticing something that Secretary of State John Kerry said at Aspen last month.

Posted on Jul 13, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Troops Foil al-Qaida Riposte in Aleppo as France Warns al-Qaida Could Replace Islamic State

Even as the Syrian army defeated a counteroffensive by al-Qaida in Syria and its battlefield allies in Aleppo, French President Francois Hollande warned that al-Qaida should not be allowed to replace the declining Islamic State in Syria.

Posted on Jul 13, 2016 READ MORE



Is Religion Really Driving Middle East Violence?

Pew Research has released a report saying, “As a whole, the region continued to have the highest levels of religious hostilities in the world. In 2014, the median level of religious hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa reached a level four times that of the global median.”

Posted on Jul 12, 2016 READ MORE



If East Aleppo Falls to Regime, Is the Syrian War Over?

It seems to me that if the Syrian regime can retake and keep East Aleppo, the war will have been decided in its favor.

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 READ MORE



Clintonites in Democratic Party Support Settler Colonialism (Not a 1905 Headline)

The Clinton loyalists debating the Democratic Party platform have defeated an amendment that would have called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and condemned Israeli squatter settlements as illegal.

Posted on Jul 10, 2016 READ MORE



The Real Problem With the Iraq War: It Was Illegal

I won’t disguise my impatience with the release of the Chilcot Report on Britain’s involvement in the 2003-2016 Iraq War.

Posted on Jul 10, 2016 READ MORE



Obama Delays U.S. Withdrawal From ‘Precarious’ Afghanistan (Video)

The president surprised observers Wednesday when he announced a plan for 8,400 U.S. troops to remain in the country when he leaves office in January.

Posted on Jul 6, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State’s Attacks on Saudi Arabia Are Aimed at Undermining the Monarchy’s Legitimacy

Saudi Arabia was rocked Monday by three terrorist attacks, presumably the work of Islamic State, that were symbolically orchestrated to cause maximum tension in the kingdom.

Posted on Jul 5, 2016 READ MORE



Obama Will Finally Release Information on Civilians Killed by Drone Strikes—Will It Be Accurate?

The administration is reportedly prepared to disclose that 100 civilians have been killed in the strikes, but critics argue that the number is much higher.

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 READ MORE



We Live in an Age of Disintegration

Nowhere is the process of destabilization more evident than in the Greater Middle East and Africa, in places where it is possible to doubt that civilization will ever return.

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian War Spills Over: Radical Salafis Attack Christian Village in Lebanon

A wave of suicide bombings launched by four radical attackers struck al-Qaa, a largely Christian Lebanese village on the border with Syria on Monday, killing five locals and wounding 15.

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 READ MORE



Fallujah Falls: The Slow Death of Islamic State and the Future of Iraq

As Shakir Jawdat, Chief of the Iraqi Federal Police, announced the complete liberation of the last, northern neighborhoods of Fallujah from Islamic State, Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi came to the city on Sunday to plant the Iraqi flag right downtown.

Posted on Jun 27, 2016 READ MORE



The Greater Middle East Reacts to Britain’s Exit From the EU (Video)

The oil-rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council may see additional buying opportunities in the British market in the wake of Brexit.

Posted on Jun 26, 2016 READ MORE



2008 All Over Again

Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union presages perhaps another global financial meltdown. Banks will again demand massive bailouts. We will be forced to again swallow austerity measures, and there will be a continued decline in living standards.

Posted on Jun 24, 2016 READ MORE



Dominating the Skies—and Losing the Wars

U.S. pilots have total mastery of the fabled “high ground” of war. And yet throughout the Greater Middle East, America’s conflicts rage on with no endgame in sight.

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 READ MORE



Despite Terrorism Fears, 59 Percent of Americans Welcome Syrian and Iraqi Refugees (Videos)

Despite the raft of Republican mayors who have pledged to keep Syrian refugees out of their states (that isn’t actually a thing) and the sewage that has spilled from the mouth of Donald Trump, a majority of Americans supports helping Syrian and Iraqi immigrants and letting them into the U.S.

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 READ MORE



The End of the Beginning: The Fall of Islamic State in Fallujah

Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi announced on Friday that Iraqi troops had captured the governmental complex in the center of Fallujah.

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 READ MORE



World More Violent in Past Year, but Middle East Drives Deterioration (Video)

The 2016 Global Peace Index has been released, with the bad news that the world is slightly more violent this year than last. But if you subtracted the Middle East, in most of the world there was more peace, not less.

Posted on Jun 12, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Army on Collision Course With Kurds in Race to Raqqa (Video)

With Islamic State ‘capital’ as the prize, Russian-backed Syrian forces have vowed to put down the U.S.-backed YPG (People’s Protection Units).

Posted on Jun 9, 2016 READ MORE



Welcome to the Party, America! Here Are 11 Muslim Women Who Have Already Been National Leaders

Hillary Clinton gave a victory speech Tuesday night positioning her achievement as the logical outcome of the first women’s rights meeting at Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848. But the U.S. is late to the party.

Posted on Jun 8, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Government Troops Enter Islamic State-Held Raqqa Province, Racing Against U.S. Allies

Syrian troops, aided by a Homs-based pro-government militia, the ‘Falcons of the Desert,’ and with Russian air support, entered Raqqa province from Hama for the first time in two years on Saturday.

Posted on Jun 7, 2016 READ MORE



Israel-First McCarthyism: Andrew Cuomo’s Vow to Spy On and Punish BDS Activists (Video)

After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order directing the state to monitor activists in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, critics called the order McCarthyism.

Posted on Jun 6, 2016 READ MORE



New York Governor Ends Public Funding for Sanctions Campaign Against Israel

“What Israel and its thuggish lobby can’t achieve by persuasion, they obtain via repression and coercion,” says one prominent campaigner for Palestinian rights.

Posted on Jun 5, 2016 READ MORE



Fears of Civilian Casualties Slow Baghdad’s Advance on Fallujah (Video)

Estimates of the number of noncombatants trapped in the Iraqi city by Islamic State range from 20,000 to 50,000, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi fears they could get caught in the crossfire.

Posted on Jun 5, 2016 READ MORE



Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton: Yes, Trump’s Foreign Policy Ideas Are Scary. But So Are Yours

“We need a foreign policy based on building coalitions ... [not] perpetual warfare in the Middle East,” Sanders said in a statement.

Posted on Jun 4, 2016 READ MORE



U.S.-Kurdish Force Moves on Islamic State at Manbij, and Turkey Goes Ballistic (Video)

Less than two weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced their campaign against al-Raqqa, the capital of the phony caliphate of Islamic State, the SDF instead has veered off to the west in a bid to capture Manbij.

Posted on Jun 2, 2016 READ MORE



A Multitrillion-Dollar Bridge to Nowhere in the Greater Middle East

The assassination of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan is the latest item on a long list of milestones briefly heralded as significant achievements only to prove much less than advertised.

Posted on Jun 1, 2016 READ MORE


Repeat Deployments









Posted on Jun 1, 2016 ENLARGE



Islamic State Counterattack in Fallujah: Can Iraqi Forces Maintain Momentum? (Video)

Iraqi troops are advancing on Fallujah despite facing fierce resistance from Islamic State, but fear is mounting about the fate of the tens of thousands of noncombatants inside the city who are caught in the crossfire.

Posted on Jun 1, 2016 READ MORE



On Memorial Day, U.S. Troops Are at War With Islamic State Near Mosul

On Memorial Day, it is well to remember that U.S. troops are still at war.

Posted on May 30, 2016 READ MORE



Modern Mongols: Sunni Arabs Outraged at Iran Role in Iraqi Government Fallujah Campaign

Fallujah fell to Islamic State in January of 2014, and I think it is fair to say that there is much more angst in the Sunni Arab world about its liberation at the hands of Iran-backed Shiites than there has been about Islamic State’s brutal occupation of the city.

Posted on May 30, 2016 READ MORE



U.S. Special Ops on Front Line With Syrian Kurds in Offensive Against Islamic State

Agence France Presse got the scoop last week, reporting that special operations troops were embedded with Kurdish People’s Protection Units and wearing their insignia, participating in combat against the I.S. stronghold in northern Syria.

Posted on May 29, 2016 READ MORE



The Desperate Plight of Petrostates

Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, megaprojects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels.

Posted on May 26, 2016 READ MORE


Coddling Extremists









Posted on May 25, 2016 ENLARGE



U.S.-Backed Kurds Begin Campaign Against Islamic State in Northern Syria (Video)

The left-leaning Beirut daily al-Safir newspaper discusses the beginning of a new campaign by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces against Islamic State in the northern half of al-Raqqa Province.

Posted on May 25, 2016 READ MORE



U.S. Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds and Arabs Against Islamic State

The head of the U.S. Middle East Command, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, was there to assess American progress in training the Syrian Democratic Forces division.

Posted on May 24, 2016 READ MORE



Egyptians Are Shocked by Netanyahu Appointment, Note Former Israeli PM’s Accusation of Fascism

Neighbor Egypt has reason to be dismayed by the political earthquake that rocked Israel’s Cabinet last week when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named far-right extremist Avigdor Lieberman defense minister.

Posted on May 23, 2016 READ MORE



Netanyahu Responds to Officers’ Fascism Charges by Making a Far-Right Politician Their Boss

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bolstered his majority and rid himself of a troublesome voice of conscience by replacing his minister of defense with extremist Avigdor Lieberman.

Posted on May 22, 2016 READ MORE



Baghdad Takes Rutba From Islamic State; Jordan-Iraq Commercial Route to Reopen (Video)

Iraqi forces have taken Rutba in al-Anbar province, nearly 200 miles west of the provincial capital, Ramadi, which is also now in government hands (though much of its population is displaced).

Posted on May 19, 2016 READ MORE



Iran Pressing U.S. to Compensate for Damages Dating to 1953 Coup

The bill approved by Iran’s Parliament comes as a result of a $2 billion judgment against Iran entered by a U.S. court and backed by an act of Congress on behalf of the families of Marines killed in a Beirut bombing in 1983. 

Posted on May 18, 2016 READ MORE



Top Hezbollah Commander in Syria Killed in Explosion; Radical Salafis Blamed

Mustafa Badreddine, the Hezbollah commander responsible for Syria, was killed last Friday in an explosion near Damascus.

Posted on May 17, 2016 READ MORE



No, Bill Clinton Didn’t ‘Kill’ Himself Trying for a State of Palestine (Video)

Bill Clinton claims that as president “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state” and maintains that he secured an agreement that the Palestinians turned down.

Posted on May 15, 2016 READ MORE



‘Chaos & Caliphate’: Sanctions, Revolutions and Sectarian War

Excerpts from a new book chronicling a quarter-century of struggle in the Greater Middle East introduce us to a man who risks life and limb defusing land mines for a pittance, and to an idea about the best hope to stop the civil war in Syria.

Posted on May 12, 2016 READ MORE


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