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December 26, 2014
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Tag: Middle East


Have the Kurds Cut the Islamic State in Two, Blocking Supply Lines?

Al-Mada newspaper in Baghdad had an interesting article in the aftermath of the fall of Shinjar to the Iraqi Kurdistan Peshmerga.

Posted on Dec 24, 2014 READ MORE



ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

A Brief Military History of Israel and a Prediction for the Future

The armies of Israel once fought brilliantly and to the benefit of the state, but more recent conflicts targeting civilians only serve to isolate the country and alienate its most important allies.

Posted on Dec 23, 2014 READ MORE



Kurds Inflict First Major Defeat on Islamic State, Rescue Yezidis of Sinjar

The pan-Arab London daily, Al-Hayat reports that the Iraqi Kurdistan paramilitary, the Peshmerga, have taken Mt. Sinjar from Daesh (what Arabs call Islamic State).

Posted on Dec 22, 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



The Senate Drone Report of 2019

Three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars was finally released. Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the Senate floor, and said…

Posted on Dec 19, 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


Former CIA Interrogator Glenn Carle: Torture Is Unamerican

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: CIA veteran Glenn Carle takes us behind the scenes of a black site prison, Juan Cole says there isn’t a Mideast backlash, and Kasia Anderson revisits Zero Dark Thirty.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE


Former CIA Interrogator Glenn Carle: Torture Is Unamerican

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: CIA veteran Glenn Carle takes us behind the scenes of a black site prison, Juan Cole says there isn’t a Mideast backlash, and Kasia Anderson revisits “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



Israel, Egypt Implicated in Torture: Middle East Reactions to Senate Report Lament Their Involvement

That the release in Washington of a dense 450 page report on CIA torture conducted a decade ago would provoke massive demonstrations in the Middle East all along struck me as unlikely.

Posted on Dec 10, 2014 READ MORE



Truthout.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

GOP Squirms at Release of CIA Torture Report, Warns of ‘Violence’ (So Why Did They Torture?)

The Senate report is due out this week and is already the object of a Karl Rove style disinformation campaign by former President George W. Bush and others.

Posted on Dec 8, 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


No Peace On Earth

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Posted on Dec 7, 2014 READ MORE


Max Blumenthal Explains Why His Critics Are the Real Anti-Semites

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Max Blumenthal is chased out of Germany, Robert McChesney is optimistic about revolutionary change, we speak to the creators of the new documentary “Remote Area Medical,” and Robert Scheer interviews Leslie Cockburn.

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 READ MORE


Robert McChesney Is Hopeful About Revolutionary Change

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Max Blumenthal is chased out of Germany, Robert McChesney is optimistic about revolutionary change, we speak to the creators of the new documentary “Remote Area Medical,” and Robert Scheer interviews Leslie Cockburn.

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 READ MORE



Party On!

Unbelievably enough, a bankrupt 13-year-old policy of war to the horizon remains ascendant in Washington, and “war fever” seems to be breaking out yet again. In this context, it’s curious that four crucial aspects of war, American-style, were missing from the blitz of Hagel reportage.

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 READ MORE



Truthout.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

U.N. General Assembly Demands Israel Mothball Its Nuclear Arsenal

The United Nations General Assembly (where all 193 countries in the world get a vote) has almost unanimously demanded that Israel give up its nuclear weapons and cooperate with making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

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



1.7 Million Syrian Refugee Food Crisis Risks Regional Instability

A funding crisis at the U.N.’s World Food Program has left more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt without food vouchers as a “disastrous” winter approaches.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



The Bush Administration Spent Billions on an Iraqi Army With 50,000 ‘Ghost’ Soldiers

Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi announced to his parliament Sunday that inspectors had uncovered 50,000 nonexistent soldiers in four divisions of the Iraqi army.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



Cairo Erupts as Mubarak Declared Innocent in Deaths of Protesters

An Egyptian court Saturday found deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak and his former Interior Minister Habib Adly not guilty (or rather just dropped the charges) in the killing of nearly 900 young protesters by police in January-February 2011.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



Oil Price Fall: Saudi Arabia Targets U.S. Shale Oil, Iran, Iraq, Russia

It is clear that among the major losers in the fall in the price of Brent crude petroleum are Russia, Iraq and Iran. But the big loser will likely be shale oil producers and prospectors in the U.S.

Posted on Nov 29, 2014 READ MORE



Iran Leader Khamenei: We Are Not Opposed to Nuclear Talks and Will Accept a Just Deal

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the clerical leader of Iran, told an assemblage of volunteer paramilitary forces on Thursday that he is not opposed to nuclear talks with the P5 +1 and would accept a just and reasonable deal.

Posted on Nov 29, 2014 READ MORE


Obama Strategy

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Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Anja Niedringhaus

Gratitude in a Warring World

As my children’s seventh Thanksgiving rolls around, I want to teach my boys that the holiday is about more than football and stomachaches.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

A Soldier Among Chickenhawks

Chuck Hagel’s departure from his post as defense secretary has been attributed to his failure to fit in with the Obama cabinet’s crowd. Among his other reported deficiencies was that he was only a sergeant in Vietnam, twice wounded.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Exits, Let’s Take a Look at an Islamic State Scorecard

I don’t see anyone talking about how the Defense Department’s response to Islamic State has gone.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



Islamic State Executes 26 Sunni Tribesmen in Campaign to Take Ramadi

Islamic State (known in Arabic as Daesh) has mounted a major offensive in a bid to take Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar Province in western Iraq.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE


Bird Flu

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Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE



Israel and Mississippi: Racist Plans for Second Class Citizens and Religious Legislation

A controversial bill approved by the Israeli cabinet is much worse than that of Mississippi fundamentalists who want to declare Mississippi a principally Christian state.

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE



An Interview With Juan Cole: The Historical Drivers of Modern Day Developments in Iraq

Bassam Haddad, a prominent Syria specialist at George Mason University, interviewed Juan Cole this fall for the new Web radio program “Status Hour” on the Middle East.

Posted on Nov 20, 2014 READ MORE



You Can Say Goodbye to Some of Your Favorite Foods Thanks to Climate Change

Chocolate, wine, coffee—these are just some of the foods we’ll lose due to climate change; an American expat living in France explains why “Americans are suckers who have themselves to blame for crappy broadband”; meanwhile, a town in Alaska may become the first place in the U.S. to tax churches. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



Is There a Civil War Brewing in Jerusalem and the West Bank?

The killings at the Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday and the spate of Israeli killings of Palestinians in the West Bank are all small harbingers of a coming civil war.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Remains High-Handed—And Wrong—About Ukraine

For a man who had taken a stunning electoral blow two weeks earlier, Barack Obama completed his Asian trip with an air of unperturbed leadership of the world.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



Americans Are 64 Times More Likely to Be Murdered Than Die in an Act of Terrorism

The Institute for Economics and Peace in the U.K. has released a report on terrorism in 2013, which it maintains was substantially up. Conceptually, I have to critique the study.

Posted on Nov 18, 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



U.S. Aid Worker’s Death Confirmed as Islamic State Tries to ‘Mask a Week of Defeats’

American aid worker Peter Kassig is the latest hostage to be slain by Islamic State on video.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 READ MORE



Did Saudi Arabia Wage an Economic War on Iran, Russia and North Dakota at the G-20?

What did Saudi Arabia have to say at the recently concluded G-20 conference?

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



The Bases of War in the Middle East

There is almost no way to overemphasize how thoroughly the U.S. military now covers the Greater Middle East. After 35 years of base-building there, it’s long past time to look carefully at how this garrisoning affects the region, the U.S., and the world.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Shrinking the Empire: A Session on the Imperial Couch

What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally we wouldn’t consider publishing such a private encounter, but the probative news value of the exchange is so obvious that we decided to make an exception.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



This Is What Will Happen If the GOP Senate Derails Iran Talks

The Republican Party is already conniving at ways to derail the U.S.-Iran negotiations over Tehran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program.

Posted on Nov 13, 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



Ferguson & Israel? Netanyahu Calls for Stripping Palestinian-Israelis of Citizenship Amid Protests

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was looking into whether Israel could strip citizenship from those who speak out against the continued statelessness of the Palestinians.

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


Vets Affairs

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Posted on Nov 9, 2014 READ MORE


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