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October 23, 2016
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Tag: Middle East

How Bush-Cheneyism Made Mideast in Its Image: Wars, the War on Terror, With Us or Against Us

Thirteen years after the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, it is worth considering its full impact on this country and on the region.

Posted on Mar 22, 2016 READ MORE


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United States Recognizes Islamic State Atrocities as Genocide

Following a unanimous vote in the House, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a statement in which he officially used the term “genocide” to describe Islamic State crimes against religious minorities. But how will this affect foreign policy?

Posted on Mar 18, 2016 READ MORE

5 Questions That Are Unlikely to Be Asked During the 2016 Presidential Election

In October 2012, I considered five critical foreign policy questions that were not being discussed by then-candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Sadly, those questions remain as pertinent and unraised today as they were four years ago. Unlike then, however, answers may be at hand, and believe me, that’s not good news.

Posted on Mar 18, 2016 READ MORE

Syria’s Kurds to Declare Federal Province (Video)

Some pundits are interpreting the Kurdish move as a form of separatism, but so far it seems more like a demand for states’ rights, Alabama-style.

Posted on Mar 17, 2016 READ MORE

The Real Reason the GOP Foreign Policy Elite Prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump

And no, it has nothing at all to do with a wall.

Posted on Mar 15, 2016 READ MORE

In Syria, More U.S. Weaponry Goes to al-Qaida

The al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front reportedly has repeated scenarios it previously acted out against other “moderate” remnants of the old Free Syrian Army.

Posted on Mar 14, 2016 READ MORE

GOP Debate ‘Civil’? Not With Rubio Extolling Egypt’s Military Junta and Israel’s Stand on Palestine

The headlines Friday about the GOP debate in Miami stressed how relatively civil it was, with less name-calling and pissing matches among the remaining candidates. Those editors have a weird definition of civility.

Posted on Mar 13, 2016 READ MORE

Nearly Half of Israeli Jews Want to Expel Palestinian-Israelis From the Country (Video)

A just-released Pew Forum poll reports a startling statistic about the current state of affairs in Israel.

Posted on Mar 9, 2016 READ MORE

As a Bomb Kills 60, Is the Iraq Army Preparing for Armageddon With Islamic State? (Video)

Islamic State has claimed credit for a truck bombing in the largely Shiite city of Hilla that killed 60 people on Sunday and is considered one of the worst terrorist attacks in that city.

Posted on Mar 8, 2016 READ MORE

Farewell, Ben Carson—We’ll Always Have ‘Hummus’

The good doctor’s foreign policy gaffes made for some great political satire, but his ignorance on the Middle East made him a frightening presidential candidate.

Posted on Mar 7, 2016 READ MORE

Mideast Reacts to Trump: ‘Strange Candidates’ With ‘Weird Beliefs’ and Anti-Muslim Pogroms

The meltdown of the U.S. Republican Party is an unlovely sight inside the country, but what do people abroad think about the outlandish assertions of GOP front-runner Donald Trump?

Posted on Mar 7, 2016 READ MORE

Top 5 Crazy Things Ben Carson Said About the Middle East and Islam (Video)

Donald Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner, has drawn the focus of the press and politicians with his erratic and often bizarre pronouncements. But back last fall, he was running neck and neck with Ben Carson—who said things even more wacky than Trump did.

Posted on Mar 6, 2016 READ MORE

Marco Rubio Is Running Out of Time to Deliver Middle East Return on Investment for Big Donors

Can Marco Rubio win Florida to stay in the presidential race? Three billionaire supporters with hard-line views on Israel hope so.

Posted on Mar 3, 2016 READ MORE

Russia Is Open to a ‘Federal’ Syria, but the Opposition Is Worried About Partition

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Monday that Russia supports whatever arrangements for the future the Syrians reach in the current negotiations, including a possible federal state.

Posted on Mar 2, 2016 READ MORE

Is the Syrian Cease-Fire a Sign That Russia Is Winning the War? (Video)

Whether or not the cessation of hostilities in Syria holds, it is a major turning point in the revolution and civil war that began in 2011.

Posted on Mar 1, 2016 READ MORE

John Kerry Warns of Breakup of Syria, but Is That Realistic? (Video)

Amid ongoing talks in Geneva around a cessation of hostilities in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “it may be too late to keep [Syria] ... as a whole ... if we wait much longer.”

Posted on Mar 1, 2016 READ MORE

Tehran Is ‘Liberated Territory’ as Pragmatists and Centrists Win Iranian Capital and Expert Assembly

The era of Iran’s former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also onetime mayor of Tehran, is completely over.

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 READ MORE

Rubio’s Seven Fallacies on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

To please corrupt casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and other GOP donors of his ilk, Rubio immediately jumped into Thursday night’s Republican debate to make a series of completely false and contradictory pronouncements on the Palestinians, about whom he knows nothing at all.

Posted on Feb 26, 2016 READ MORE

War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing.

You could think of American war in the 21st century as an ongoing experiment in proving just that point.

Posted on Feb 26, 2016 READ MORE

Donald Trump Must Honor the Immigrant and Undocumented Veterans of America’s Foreign Wars

Donald Trump, the ultimate “chicken hawk,” pretends to be a big booster of veterans, but he’s been deeply offensive toward a significant group of vets.

Posted on Feb 23, 2016 READ MORE

How a Pink Flower Defeated the World’s Sole Superpower

In the American failure in Afghanistan lies the greatest policy paradox of the century: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped dead in its steel tracks by a pink flower, the opium poppy.

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 READ MORE

Would a Syrian Kurd Defeat of Islamic State Help Democrats Win the White House in 2016?

This has been a war with a lot of seesawing, so it is premature to make any decisive pronouncements. But this is an election year, and if Islamic State is defeated in Syria in 2016, it could vindicate President Obama’s strategy.

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 READ MORE

In Syria, 500 Turkey-Backed Sunni Arab Fighters Cross to Defend Azaz From Kurds (Video)

On Thursday morning, according to the Syria Observatory and the Arabic press, some 500 Sunni Arab rebels based in Turkey crossed back into Syria to help defend the town of Azaz from the YPG militia of Syrian Kurds, which is advancing on the city.

Posted on Feb 18, 2016 READ MORE

The Chinese Are Coming: First ‘New Silk Road’ Train Reaches Iran’s Capital

In a sign of China’s increasingly powerful role in Central Asia and the Middle East, a Chinese train arrived in Tehran on Tuesday after a 14-day journey.

Posted on Feb 17, 2016 READ MORE

Despite Syria’s Cease-Fire, Belligerents Plot Military Victory (Video)

Despite the announcement at Munich of a cessation of hostilities in Syria, to be implemented in the next week or so, all the major fighting forces in Syria have announced a determination to soldier on.

Posted on Feb 16, 2016 READ MORE

Clinton and Sanders on Mideast Wars and Kissinger’s Legacy (Video)

The Middle East conflicts and the ghost of the Vietnam War haunted last week’s PBS Democratic debate.

Posted on Feb 14, 2016 READ MORE

The U.S. Military Suffers from Affluenza

The Pentagon has immense difficulty shouldering blame for its massively fatal failures and wrongdoing, and thus suffers from an institutional version of affluenza.

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 READ MORE

Tom Friedman Surrenders to Israel’s One-State Solution and Predicts a Middle East Apocalypse

Tom Friedman of The New York Times, who for decades championed a two-state solution, has abandoned the polite fiction that there will ever be a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and ridicules American presidential candidates for speaking as though it were still possible.

Posted on Feb 11, 2016 READ MORE

‘The Finest Fighting Force in the History of the World’

Here’s my 21st century rule of thumb about this country: If you have to say it over and over, it probably ain’t so.

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 READ MORE

Did Bashar Assad Win New Hampshire? Trump’s and Sanders’ Mideast Policies

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won big in New Hampshire on Tuesday. So what foreign policies did the good people of New Hampshire vote for?

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 READ MORE

Turkey’s Erdogan Threatened Europe With Refugees; Now He’s Demanding the U.S. Abandon Syrian Kurds

Reuters reports that Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan allegedly bullied European leaders and threatened to drown Europe in refugees if his terms were not met.

Posted on Feb 9, 2016 READ MORE

Massive Donations From Controversial Israel Supporter Follow Clinton’s Pledge to Fight BDS

Recent disclosures show that media mogul Haim Saban is spending millions of dollars to put Hillary Clinton in the White House after she reiterated a promise to oppose a growing campaign to temper Israeli militancy through boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

Posted on Feb 8, 2016 READ MORE

Syria Rebels Face Collapse as Thousands Flee North Aleppo (Video)

The Syrian Arab Army and its Hezbollah and Iranian/Afghan allies made further progress last week in taking the area just north of Aleppo.

Posted on Feb 8, 2016 READ MORE

Syria: The Mother of All Battles for Aleppo Is Joined

Aided by a massive Russian bombing campaign and Hezbollah and Iranian reinforcements, the Syrian Arab Army has broken out of the siege imposed on west Aleppo by rebel forces in the north and now seems positioned to besiege east Aleppo, which is under rebel control.

Posted on Feb 8, 2016 READ MORE

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

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