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December 25, 2014
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Tag: Middle East


Why Is Obama Finally Seeking Congressional Approval for the War on Islamic State?

President Obama said Wednesday that he would seek congressional authorization for his war on the Islamic State after months of maintaining that the authorization of 2001 was still sufficient to underpin this effort. Why the about-face?

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



Building an Escalation Machine

Sometimes it seemed that only two issues mattered in the midterm election campaigns just ended: ISIS and Ebola. Think of them as the two horsemen of the present American apocalypse. And count on this: Oppositional pressure to escalate will be a significant factor in Washington “debates” in the last years of the Obama administration.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



Some Surprisingly Progressive Outcomes of the 2014 Midterm Elections

We all knew Republicans would take control of the Senate, but American voters had a few surprises up their sleeves.

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 READ MORE



How a Republican Congress Could Entangle the U.S. Further in the Middle East

It is not surprising that the GOP gained control of the Senate, but how will the change affect foreign policy?

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 READ MORE



Big Setback for the Obama Administration’s Syria Policy as Moderate Stronghold Falls to al-Qaeda

The al-Qaeda affiliate Succor Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) took the town of Deir Sunbul and its environs this weekend away from the Syria Revolutionaries Front, a relatively secular-minded group viewed as “moderates” by the United States.

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Dismayed That Iraq’s Shiite Government Hasn’t Armed Sunni Tribes Fighting Islamic State

Members of the al-Anbar provincial council say they have met with American officials who are “disgusted” at the slowness of Baghdad to arm the Sunni Arab tribes fighting Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 READ MORE



Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani and Chuck Hagel Call for the Arming of the Sunni Tribes of al-Anbar

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is calling, just as is U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, for the arming of Sunni tribes in al-Anbar Province to fight Islamic State in Iraq.

Posted on Nov 1, 2014 READ MORE



Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

What Would Republicans Do?

Republicans still refuse to articulate any vision for governing.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE


Iraq Boots

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Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE



Turkey Allows Kurdish Peshmerga Paramilitary Troops to Cross to Kobane

Turkish intelligence is facilitating the crossing of a couple hundred paramilitary troops (Peshmerga) from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish town of Suruç, 16 kilometers from the Syrian border.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Western Masters Now Terrorized by Victims of Imperialism

The threat of terror produced by past victims of American Middle Eastern imperialism is alarming, but not new, and not historically isolated to the Middle East.

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 READ MORE



Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr in Iraq Really a U.S. Victory?

Apparent good news was announced on Sunday in the fight against the extremist Islamic State organization: The Iraqi army, backed by fundamentalist Shiite militias, managed to take the village of Jurf al-Sakhr, southwest of Baghdad, from IS fighters.

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 READ MORE


Smart Bomb

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Posted on Oct 26, 2014 READ MORE


Fear

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Posted on Oct 25, 2014 READ MORE



Is Egypt Going the Way of Syria?

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has declared a state of emergency for 3 months in parts of the province of North Sinai after two attacks by Muslim radical groups in that province left 30 Egyptian soldiers dead.

Posted on Oct 25, 2014 READ MORE



A Revisionist Take on President Obama

There is no shortage of bad news for President Obama, but history may be kinder to the man.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



Is This the End of National Sovereignty in the Middle East?

The legislature of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (a super-province of Iraq) has voted to send Kurdistan forces to the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane to help it fight off a concerted attack by Islamic State.

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 READ MORE



Iran Proposes an Axis Against Islamic State to Iraq as an Alternative to the U.S. Coalition

Al-Zaman reports that Iranian President Hasan Rowhani has proposed to visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi an anti-IS axis including Syria, Lebanon and Iraq that would be led by Iran, as an alternative to the U.S.-led coalition proposed by President Barack Obama.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Jets Airdropped Supplies for Kurds Fighting in Kobane Against Turkey’s Wishes

In a step that over-ruled America’s Turkish NATO ally, U.S. jets dropped food, first aid and weaponry into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on Monday morning.

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 READ MORE


John Oliver on How America Is Turning Its Back on Middle Eastern Translators Who Risked Their Lives

In a moving (but of course, still funny) episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver sheds light on the plight of Iraqi and Afghani translators who worked for U.S. forces and contractors, a position that jeopardized the well-being of their families as well as themselves.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE



Shells Land in Turkey as Kurds Fight Off Islamic State Forces in Kobane

Kurdish forces at Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) on Saturday fought off an assault by Islamic State that sought to cut the city off from Turkey and completely surround it, according to an Al-Jazeera reporter on the scene.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE



Is Iran Close to Reaching a Deal With the U.S. Over Its Nuclear Program Thanks to IS?

It is hard not to conclude that Iran’s outbreak of optimism regarding the nuclear enrichment program has to do at least in part with the rise of Islamic State in Mosul and the consequent U.S. need for an Iranian partner.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE



Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle With Islamic State

The U.S. is again at war in the Middle East, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground. Here are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Threatens National Security, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon released a report earlier this week detailing the threats that climate change poses in the near future.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

We Need Medical Boots on the Ground Now

The headlines shift hourly between Ebola and Islamic State. The question is often asked, “Should we put boots on the ground?” The answer is yes—but not in the Middle East.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE



Will Islamic State Take Baghdad Next?

According to Al-Jazeera sources, Islamic State has completed the taking of Hit district in the al-Anbar Province of Iraq.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

White House Islamic State Strategy Amounts to Wishful Thinking

The notion that Iraq will “destroy” Islamic State at American behest is an illusion, and so is the notion that the coalition just formed can do it.

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 READ MORE



U.K. Parliament Urges Recognition of Palestine in a Symbolic Vote

There are 650 members of the British parliament, so the vote Monday by 271 of them to recognize Palestine is hardly an overwhelming victory for supporters of this position. However, the symbolic impact of the vote is quite large.

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 READ MORE



The Wider Appeal of Islamic State and Sunni Grievances

In a worrisome development, radicals throughout the region are rallying to the so-called Islamic State, which is actually just a bunch of armed thugs and brigands.

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 READ MORE


The Middle East

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Posted on Oct 12, 2014 READ MORE



Islamic State Has Taken a Third of Strategic Kobani in Syria but Lost Tuz Khurmato in Iraq

Al-Khalij reports that the Syrian Human Rights Observatory says Islamic State fighters are now in one third of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani.

Posted on Oct 11, 2014 READ MORE



Does the Houthi Takeover of Yemen’s Sanaa Endanger World Trade?

The fall of the Yemeni government to radical Zaidi tribesmen from Saadah in the north has gone relatively unremarked upon in the U.S. mass media.

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

I could be mad at Vice President Joe Biden, who has been here in Los Angeles for two days and tied up traffic for miles at a time. But it’s hard. He’s just too nice a guy, even if he talks too much—and worse, these days, tells the truth.

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE



Here’s How the U.S., China and Russia Are Supplying Islamic State’s Weapons

The U.S. is preparing to send more military supplies to the Middle East to fight Islamic State at the same time a report has revealed that many of the radical group’s weapons come from America. So how can we be sure the deadly equipment we’re sending won’t end up in the same hands?

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE



The Last Days of Kobani Loom as IS Closes In on Syrian Kurds With Murder on Its Mind

Islamic State fighters have advanced into the Kurdish Syrian city of Kobani with fighting in the streets as Kurds resist, according to the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr.

More Questions Than Answers in War With Islamic State

The decision of President Barack Obama to wage air war against the Islamic State still is swimming in a sea of confusion and doubt.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE



Turkish President Says IS May Claim Border Town in Syria

According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State forces were closing in on capturing the Syrian town of Kobani on Tuesday. This development was of particular concern to Erdogan, as Kobani is close to the border between Syria and his own country.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE



Pan-Mideast War Escalates as IS and al-Qaida Attack Hezbollah Outposts Near the Lebanese Border

There hasn’t been a regional war of this scope since the Gulf War.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Amira Mortada, El Shorouk Newspaper

Women in Egypt After the Arab Spring: Gains and Losses

Women played a significant role in the 2011-2013 revolutions that shook the heart of the Arab world, as well as in the succeeding turmoil.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE


Friend or Foe

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Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE



Islamic State Still Taking Towns in Iraq’s Al-Anbar as Coalition Airstrikes Are Delayed

The pan-Arab London daily Al-Hayat [Life] reported Sunday that Islamic State is still expanding its sway in towns in Iraq’s western al-Anbar Province, having just taken Kubaisah in the district of Hit on Friday into Saturday, two days after the district capital of Hit fell to them.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE



The Alamo of the Kurds: Kobane Near Falling to Islamic State

Ismat Sheikh, commander of the Kurdish forces at the border town of Kobane (Ain al-Arab) that is besieged by Islamic State tanks and artillery, says that he expects massacres of its inhabitants if it falls to the Sunni Arab extremists.

Posted on Oct 4, 2014 READ MORE



Top 7 Surprising Reasons Turkey Is Entering War on Islamic State

The Turkish parliament voted by a large margin Thursday to allow Turkish troops to make incursions into neighboring countries if necessary to defeat the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Posted on Oct 4, 2014 READ MORE



Palestine Goes to U.N. Security Council to Demand Israeli Withdrawal by 2016

Palestine will argue that Israel has systematically and over decades violated all the international laws regulating military occupations, and that it is quickly marching toward being an apartheid state.

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/MC1 Trevor Welsh

10 Myths About Obama’s Latest War

Reese Erlich was in northern Iraq at the start of the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic State. He says the reality on the ground is far different from the propaganda coming out of Washington.

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE


Intelligence Failure

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Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE


Russell Brand: War Radicalizes People; That’s Just Common Sense

As the United Kingdom joins the U.S. and others in another conflict in the Middle East, the “Trews” host analyzes what war is good for.

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE


Breach

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Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE



Congress Cut $8.7 Billion in Food Stamps in Same Year We’ll Spend $22 Billion to Fight Islamic State

The GOP Congress’ assault on the American working class has been waged with the pretext that the federal government has no money (what with being in debt and all).

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE


ISIS Solar

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Posted on Sep 30, 2014 READ MORE


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