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Tag: Middle East


Watchdog Accuses Pentagon of Evading Questions on $800 Million Afghanistan Program

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE


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9/11 Mastermind Urges Unity Between al-Qaida and Islamic State Against Russia and the U.S. (Video)

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for unity between al-Qaida and Islamic State (Daesh) in the face of American, Russian and Shiite forces in Syria.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE



Putting U.S. Boots on the Ground in Syria Risks Conflict With Turkey, Not Russia (Video)

The White House announcement Friday that the U.S. will keep “less than 50” special-ops troops at a headquarters of the Kurdish YPG in northeast Syria for purposes of training and strategic counseling raised concerns in some quarters that Russia might inadvertently bomb American troops.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE



Why Islamic State Is a Vast Exaggeration and Can’t Actually Shoot Down Planes (Video)

Islamic State (Daesh) in the Sinai Peninsula made a big deal of claiming it shot down a Russian airliner Saturday morning. It did not.

Posted on Nov 1, 2015 READ MORE



Did Russia Change the Facts on the Ground in Syria on the Eve of the Vienna Summit? (Video)

Russia went into Friday’s Vienna talks on Syria in a much strengthened position and could not be very easily dismissed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Posted on Nov 1, 2015 READ MORE



Iran’s Attendance at Syria Talks in Vienna Marks Its Emergence as a Regional Power (Video)

On Friday, Iran and Saudi Arabia will both attend an international summit on Syria and speak diplomatically about its future for the first time. Iran’s presence will mark an enormous turning point in the diplomatic system of the modern Middle East.

Posted on Oct 29, 2015 READ MORE



Iran Is Helping to Build the ‘New Syrian Army’ as Islamic State Fighters Flee to Iraq

AFP Arabic is saying that Russian airstrikes have forced “a large number” of Islamic State fighters and their families, especially foreigners, to flee Syria for western Iraq.

Posted on Oct 28, 2015 READ MORE



Senior National Security Advisers Urge Obama to Put Spec Ops Troops Close to Islamic State Front

President Obama’s senior national security advisers have recommended positioning U.S. special operations forces closer to the enemy lines of Islamic State (Daesh) in Iraq and even in Syria.

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 READ MORE



Has Netanyahu No Shame?

The recent comments of the Israeli prime minister (at right) attributing the Holocaust to Palestinian influence over Hitler is a “blood libel” lie, Rabbi Michael Lerner writes in an op-ed article.

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE



Bush’s Lap Dog Tony Blair Can’t Even Apologize Correctly for Destabilizing the Middle East (Video)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday reiterated some of his previous half-hearted “apologies” for illegally launching a war of aggression on Iraq in 2003.

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE



Is Russia’s Offer of Parliamentary Elections in Syria Serious? (Video)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said three surprising things Saturday in an interview with state-owned television channel Rossiya 1.

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE



Political Questions Surround Iraq Raid in Which American Died (Video)

A joint operation by the U.S. Delta Force and Iraqi Kurdish freed 70 captives Thursday, led to the killing of 20 and the capture of six Islamic State (Daesh) forces, and left one U.S. soldier dead.

Posted on Oct 25, 2015 READ MORE



An Idiotic GOP Is Looking at the Wrong Thing in Its Clinton Probe

The real issue is not protection of a diplomat but the bipartisan zeal for creating military mayhem throughout the Middle East.

Posted on Oct 24, 2015 READ MORE



What If They Gave a War and Everyone Came?

What if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003? How would things be different in the Middle East today? Let’s take a big-picture tour of the Middle East and try to answer those questions.

Posted on Oct 24, 2015 READ MORE



Netanyahu’s Blood Libel Against Palestinians

In saying a mufti put Hitler up to the Holocaust, the Israeli prime minister is attempting to paint Palestinians as congenital Jew-haters—justifying robbing them of their remaining land, their livelihoods and their lives. Netanyahu is wrong on the history.

Posted on Oct 23, 2015 READ MORE


Afghanistan









Posted on Oct 21, 2015 ENLARGE



Netanyahu Points to WWII-Era Palestinian Leader as Cause of Holocaust

The Israeli prime minister practically exonerated Adolf Hitler in remarks made to a group of Jewish leaders Tuesday in which he tried to blame Palestine for the Holocaust.

Posted on Oct 21, 2015 READ MORE



The Aleppo Strategy Against Islamic State: Can It Work?

The Washington Post was the first to broach the issue of Russo-Iranian grand strategy in Syria.

Posted on Oct 21, 2015 READ MORE



Christians Fear the West Is Backing Al-Qaida’s Leader in Syria as He Calls for Attacks on Alawites

The leader of al-Qaida in Syria, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, has called for an escalation of bombings on the population centers of the Alawite Shiite minority.

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 READ MORE



American Hypocrisy: GOP Against Sharia Law at Home but Sees Its Backers as ‘Moderates’ in Syria

The same GOP politicians who denounce all U.S. Muslims for allegedly wanting to impose Sharia on all Americans are talking about the Syrian rebels who want a Sharia society as “moderates” and “U.S. allies” being targeted by Russia. 

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Palestinians and Israelis March Together for Peace

An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian teenager Saturday morning in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. As the death toll in the conflict rises amid concerns over a third intifada, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians marched through the streets of Jerusalem later that evening, chanting “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Posted on Oct 19, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN


Afghanistan









Posted on Oct 19, 2015 ENLARGE



Yes, George W. Bush Bears Some Responsibility for U.S. Vulnerability on 9/11 (Video)

The Donald Trump-Jeb Bush tiff over whether George W. Bush “kept us safe” is another example of how Donald Trump is better than Karl Rove at politics.

Posted on Oct 19, 2015 READ MORE



Truthdigger of the Week: The ‘Drone Papers’ Whistleblower

Thanks to an anonymous source’s exposure of the inner workings of America’s drone war, we now know that nearly 90 percent of people killed in recent strikes in Afghanistan were not the intended targets.

Posted on Oct 18, 2015 READ MORE



Syrian Army Advances Under Russian Air Support as al-Qaida’s No. 2 Is Killed (Video)

Under Russian air support, the Syrian Arab Army of Bashar Assad has made some advances against al-Qaida and hard-line Salafi rebels fighting for imposition of Shariah, or their conception of Islamic law, on Syria.

Posted on Oct 18, 2015 READ MORE



Creating an Un-Intelligence Machine

Reports that U.S. Central Command employs some 1,500 analysts indicate that the military has been ramping up its own labyrinthine set of intelligence structures that are drowning in “information.”

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Iran in Syria? Reports Say Its Troops Plan Idlib and Aleppo Campaigns

The commander of the Jerusalem Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has been spotted near Latakia, urging on a volunteer militia of Alawite Shiites.

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 READ MORE



On Building Armies and Watching Them Fail: Why Washington Can’t Prop Up Foreign Militaries

Prudence might counsel Washington to assume that when it comes to organizing, training, equipping and motivating foreign armies, the United States is essentially clueless.

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 READ MORE


Rebel Training









Posted on Oct 14, 2015 ENLARGE



Israel Is Delusional If It Thinks Violence Will End During Its Occupation of Palestine

“The notion that there will ever be quiet and stability in the context of Israel’s ongoing domination of the Palestinians with no diplomatic horizon is a delusion,” writes Mairav Zonszein for The Guardian.

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 READ MORE



Debate: Sanders Rejects Intervention While Clinton Slams Iran and Putin and Supports Syrian Rebels

Foreign policy came up a bit in the Democratic Party debate.

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 READ MORE


Iranian Courts









Posted on Oct 13, 2015 ENLARGE



Will the U.S. Arming of Kurdish-Led Northeast Rebels in Syria Provoke Turkey? (Video)

Not only is the U.S. supply of weapons to rebels in the northwest in danger of fueling a proxy war with the Russian Federation, but Washington’s supply of weaponry to the Democratic Forces of Syria sets up a proxy struggle with its own NATO ally, Turkey.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE



The Backstory on Bernie Sanders and Israel-Palestine: Why Is He So Quiet About the Mideast Tragedy?

Considering the elevated role of the Israel-Palestine issue in progressive circles, and Sanders’ continued success leading up to the primaries, it’s worth revisiting the candidate’s history on the topic and his early approach to foreign policy.

Posted on Oct 12, 2015 READ MORE



Does Obama Have a Syria Strategy? Putin Does. (Video)

In his “60 Minutes” interview Sunday, President Obama made some remarks on Syria. But do they add up to a policy?

Posted on Oct 12, 2015 READ MORE


Syria Air Traffic Control









Posted on Oct 11, 2015 ENLARGE



Bush and Cheney’s Final Failure: Many in Iraq Seek an Alliance With Russia (Video)

The Iraqi government in Baghdad, threatened by Islamic State and frustrated by the Obama administration’s foot-dragging in taking it on, seems increasingly tempted by a Russian alliance.

Posted on Oct 11, 2015 READ MORE



What Is Russia’s Strategy in Syria and Why Does Egypt Approve?

Over the past week and a half, its strategy is becoming more apparent.

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: No, Donald Trump, the Middle East Wouldn’t Be More Stable Under Saddam and Other Dictators

Donald Trump alleged this weekend that “of course” the Middle East would be more stable if dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still around or Bashar al-Assad could be restored in Syria.

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 READ MORE



Facing Islamic State Propaganda, Russia Denies Its Campaign in Syria Is a ‘Holy War’ (Video)

Remember when George W. Bush lapsed and called his Iraq War a “crusade”? He had to back off that religious rhetoric really quickly because he needed Muslim allies.

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 READ MORE



Flush With Cash, Right-Wing Extremists Train the Future Zealots of Pro-Israel Campus Activism

For right-wing extremists, McCarthyist tactics meet Internet technology on our nation’s college campuses.

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 READ MORE



Is There a Russian-Iranian Dispute Over the Fate of Syria’s Bashar Assad? (Video)

Russia and Iran may not see eye to eye about the future of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad after their military intervention in the civil war.

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 READ MORE



What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About the American Empire

The idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in the Second World War and came home.

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 READ MORE



Why Does the U.S. Care If Russia Bombs al-Qaida and Its Allies in Syria? (Video)

President Obama on Friday pledged not to turn Syria into an arena for a proxy war between the U.S. and the Russian Federation. But he went on to criticize President Vladimir Putin for attempting to prop up Syrian ruler Bashar Assad.

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 READ MORE



It Is Israel That Abrogated Oslo Peace Accords, as Netanyahu Boasted (Video)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas renounced the Oslo Peace accords last week on the grounds that Israel itself has long since reneged on every key provision in the agreement.

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Is Palestine the Exception to Free Speech Rights in the U.S.?

University campuses are the front line of Palestinian human rights advocacy in the United States, but a new study documents hundreds of cases in which students and scholars have been punished for expressing themselves. Watch the testimony of some of those who have dared to speak out, as they describe the backlash they’ve faced.

Posted on Oct 3, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN


The Skies of the Mideast









Posted on Oct 2, 2015 ENLARGE



Is Russia Trying to Defeat Islamic State—or Save Bashar Assad?

Russia on Wednesday morning carried out airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria for the first time, and footage of Russian planes flying over anti-Assad rebels has emerged.

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Palestinian Flag Is Raised at United Nations Headquarters

The Palestinian flag was raised at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday for the first time. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the move signals to the international community that “Palestinian statehood is achievable.”

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN


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