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Tag: Middle East


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


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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



Baghdad’s Government Paralysis Made the Capital Vulnerable to Massive Islamic State Bombings (Video)

Islamic State launched a series of suicide car and truck bombs in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and wounding nearly 200.

Posted on May 12, 2016 READ MORE



Searing Heat May Spark Climate Exodus

Temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could reach unbearably high levels that would make some regions uninhabitable and increase the pressure on climate refugees.

Posted on May 11, 2016 READ MORE



Majorities of Muslim Arabs in North Africa Want Separation of Religion and State

You know those silly anti-Sharia laws passed by evangelicals in U.S. state legislatures? They might as well not bother.

Posted on May 11, 2016 READ MORE



9/11 Mastermind Backs Syrian al-Qaida and Calls for More Global Terror Volunteers

Al-Qaida central leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a mastermind of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., has issued a new audiotape.

Posted on May 11, 2016 READ MORE



The Top 4 Reasons Iran Will Stand by the Syrian Government Despite the War’s High Casualty Count

On Saturday, Iran announced that 13 members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps had been killed and 21 wounded when the al-Qaida-led Army of Islam fundamentalist Sunni coalition took the village of Khan Touman near Aleppo.

Posted on May 10, 2016 READ MORE



Will Climate Change Make the Middle East Uninhabitable and Trigger a Mass Exodus?

Researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute and their scientific partners have found that even with just a 3.6-degree average rise in global temperatures, parts of the Middle East could become too hot to live in.

Posted on May 9, 2016 READ MORE



Al-Qaida Everywhere: U.S. Support for Oppressive Governments Made Bin Laden’s Killing Moot (Video)

I think we may conclude that the decapitation strategy of dealing with al-Qaida does not work and has never worked.

Posted on May 8, 2016 READ MORE



In Syria, Rebels From East Aleppo Strike Hospital in Government-Held West Aleppo (Video)

Muslim fundamentalist rebels, including al-Qaida, took revenge Tuesday on West Aleppo for the heavy government bombardment of East Aleppo that has killed dozens in the past week, including at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders.

Posted on May 4, 2016 READ MORE



The End of American Iraq: Poor Shiites Invade Parliament Over the Corrupt ‘Spoils System’

Baghdad was in a state of emergency on Sunday a day after members of the Sadr Trend stormed the Green Zone and invaded the Parliament building, briefly imprisoning parliamentarians in the chamber (and some in a basement) before letting them go.

Posted on May 3, 2016 READ MORE



Russia Declines to Ask Syria to Halt Bombardment of East Aleppo (Video)

Russia’s stance on rejecting condemnation of the regime for bombing doctors and patients in hospitals is horrible.

Posted on May 3, 2016 READ MORE



Syria: As Fierce Fighting Reignites, Aleppo Is on Brink of ‘Humanitarian Disaster’ (Video)

Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, saw a worrying outbreak of violence last week that could fatally undermine the cessation of hostilities that had held between most Free Syrian Army units and the Syrian Arab Army.

Posted on May 2, 2016 READ MORE



Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Just GOP Boilerplate, Only More Confused (Video)

Donald Trump tried his hand at foreign policy recently, and the results weren’t any prettier than his incessant forays into domestic policy.

Posted on May 2, 2016 READ MORE


One Major High and Many Lows in Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ Foreign Policy Speech

The leading Republican presidential candidate called out the massive ruin caused by the “dangerous idea” that the U.S. “could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western democracy.”

Posted on Apr 28, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN



Reinventing Saudi Arabia After Oil: The Prince’s $2 Trillion Gamble

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, 30, the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, laid out his vision for Saudi Arabia on Monday in a plan called “Vision 2030.”

Posted on Apr 27, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State Endgame: Obama to Send 250 More U.S. Troops Into Syria

President Obama announced Monday morning in Hanover, Germany, that he will send another 250 U.S. troops into Syria, bringing the total to 300.

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 READ MORE



The U.S. Is Finally Acknowledging the al-Qaida Factor in the Breakdown of Syria’s Cease-fire

One of the frustrations of following the Syria conflict from the Arabic press is that when you then turn to the English language accounts, they tend to play down the importance of al-Qaida or the Support Front (al-Jabha al-Nusra).

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 READ MORE


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