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Tag: Middle East


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


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‘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 WATCH & LISTEN



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


Beheadings









Posted on Jan 4, 2016 ENLARGE



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


Peace









Posted on Dec 28, 2015 ENLARGE



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 WATCH & LISTEN



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



No, GOP, You Can’t Win by Carpet-Bombing (Video)

At the debate Tuesday night, Ted Cruz came out swinging wildly. But while the Republican candidate has impressive educational degrees and is a wily if not a smart man, he most often is ignorant about the things of which he speaks.

Posted on Dec 17, 2015 READ MORE



How Saudi Arabia Could Fight Terrorism—Without a Vague Coalition (Video)

Over the past three days, Saudi Arabia has abruptly put together a 35-nation Muslim coalition to fight terrorism.

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Here’s What Noam Chomsky Really Thinks About the November Paris Attacks

When asked at a conference hosted by AcTVism Munich what European leaders should do in response to the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on Paris, the renowned linguist raised a crucial question: “It depends what they want to do. Do they want to encourage further terrorism or do they want to end that kind of terrorism?”

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN



Has the Falling Price of Oil Just Won the Democrats the Presidency?

The price of petroleum fell Monday to levels not seen since the crash of 2008, at one point hitting $35 a barrel in New York. But will low gasoline prices help the Democratic nominee?

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 READ MORE



If Defeating Islamic State Is So Important, Why Isn’t Ramadi Campaign All We’re Talking About?

Given the large number of vehement pronouncements by U.S. presidential candidates about the dire threat from Islamic State, and attacks on President Obama for not doing more, you would think that the American public would be hanging on every word about any progress against the radical organization.

Posted on Dec 10, 2015 READ MORE



In the Fantasyland Your Neighbors Live in, More War Is a Smart Idea

People in the United States believe that Islamic State is present within the United States trying to kill them. You can’t poll them on what to do in the actual universe, because they’re living in la-la land.

Posted on Dec 9, 2015 READ MORE



The Long-Term Fight Against Terrorism

“A cancer that has no immediate cure” was not the most soothing metaphor President Obama could have chosen, but it was the most honest. He has no idea how to prevent another terrorist attack like the one in San Bernardino—and neither does anyone else, including his Republican critics.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE



Not Just a Bunch of Killers, Islamic State Is Also a Methodical, Public-Minded Bureaucracy

About 340 official documents, notices, receipts and internal memos obtained by The Guardian show that Islamic State is also made up of bureaucrats and civil servants that have “set themselves to work creating rules and regulations on everything from fishing and dress codes to the sale of counterfeit brands and university admission systems.”

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE



Obama vs. Islamic State: Freedom Is More Powerful Than Fear and We Refuse to Take the Bait (Video)

President Obama addressed the nation Sunday night, in an attempt to calm the public mood after the San Bernardino killers were tied to Islamic State—though the connection seems to spring merely from common radicalism and murderousness rather than any organizational tie.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE



How Turkish President Erdogan Went Wrong: Dividing and Not Ruling (Video)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, was once seen as a political breath of fresh air and a beacon of change in the Middle East.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Who Is Buying Islamic State’s Oil?

Oil is Islamic State’s lifeline—a business that provides the terrorist group with more revenue than any other source, helping to fund its war in Syria and Iraq, as well as providing electricity to the 10 million people living under the group’s control. So who are the individuals and groups involved in refining and selling this oil? And where does it end up?

Posted on Dec 4, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN



The Common Denominator in Mass Shootings: Guns

Until our society recognizes that death comes from a gun, the list of place names that recently added Colorado Springs and San Bernardino will have no end.

Posted on Dec 3, 2015 READ MORE



Sen. Ted Cruz: The U.S. Is Better Off With Assad in Power

He has broken ranks with neoconservative fellow Republicans to say that if elected president, he would not support the removal of Syrian president Bashar Assad or commit the United States to further “nation building” in the Middle East.

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Sending Special Ops Troops to Fight Islamic State, but Do Iraqis Want Them?

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Tuesday that the U.S. would send more special operations troops to Iraq to fight Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 READ MORE



Turkey Stages Coup Against Its Own Press and Generals in Bid to Arm Syrian Militants (Video)

Turkey has jailed two very prominent journalists for publishing video of a Turkish intelligence convoy of weapons to Syrian militants. It has arrested several senior generals who ordered the search of the trucks.

Posted on Dec 1, 2015 READ MORE



Turkey Reels as Putin Imposes Stiff Economic Sanctions (Video)

The Russian sanctions announced by President Vladimir Putin on Saturday could have a severe impact on the Turkish economy.

Posted on Nov 30, 2015 READ MORE



Putin Justifies Russian Tourism Ban on Turkey by Claiming That the Country Supports Radicalism

Russian President Vladimir Putin explained his rationale for asking Russian tourists to leave Turkey last week, and it is ominous.

Posted on Nov 30, 2015 READ MORE



Hollande and Putin Meet as France Considers an Alliance With the Syrian Army (Video)

French President Francois Hollande met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, in his marathon search for a “grand and unique coalition” against Islamic State (Daesh) in Syria.

Posted on Nov 29, 2015 READ MORE



Forget Islamic State: Humanity Itself Is at Stake

The crux of the matter: We either live in dignity together or continue to perish alone, in warring tribes and grief-stricken nations. This is not just about indiscriminate bombing. Our humanity—in fact, the future of the human race is at stake.

Posted on Nov 27, 2015 READ MORE


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