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October 25, 2016
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One Minute to Midnight

By Michael Dobbs

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Tag: Syria

As Election Day Nears, Military Hawks Circle to Promote New Wave of War

A slew of bipartisan reports are hoping to push the former secretary of state to increased military action in the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Posted on Oct 23, 2016 READ MORE


Square, Category Page

Photo of the Week: Will Islamic State Pour Into Syria After Suffering Defeat in Iraq?

Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers celebrated in the town of Bartella, which Iraqi forces recently retook. Not pictured are U.S. officials, who may be cheering the prospect of Islamic State fighters, driven from Iraq, causing problems for Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran.

Posted on Oct 22, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

To Understand Today’s World—Syria, Brexit, Even Trump—Watch This Adam Curtis Film (Video)

In “Hypernormalisation,” the British documentary filmmaker delves into the intricacies of a “strange time” in which “extraordinary events keep happening that undermine the stability of our world” while “those in control seem unable to deal ... and no one has any vision of a different or a better kind of future.”

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 READ MORE

The Hitchhiker

Posted on Oct 18, 2016 ENLARGE

As Islamic State Loses Territory, Will Weak States Gain Strength? (Video)

Political scientist Khalid Rif says that the organization’s forced withdrawal from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria has a religious symbolism that could be fatal to its esprit de corps.

Posted on Oct 18, 2016 READ MORE

After Profiting From Weapons Sales and Then Bombing Yemen, U.S. Calls for a Cease-Fire

The United States and United Kingdom call for an unconditional cease-fire in the conflict “within hours.”

Posted on Oct 16, 2016 READ MORE

Syria Peace

Posted on Oct 12, 2016 ENLARGE

Russia and Turkey Make Up: What Are the Implications for Syria and the Kurds? (Video)

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Turkey on Monday for direct talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, in a bid to further normalize relations between the two countries.

Posted on Oct 11, 2016 READ MORE

Cast Your Vote: How Should the United States Respond to Escalating Tensions in Syria?

Politicians were plagued with questions on foreign policy last week as the relationship between the U.S. and Russia continued to deteriorate.

Posted on Oct 10, 2016 READ MORE

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Asks Rebel Group Linked to al-Qaida to Leave East Aleppo

The United Nations’ Staffan de Mistura (pictured) has addressed the Levant Conquest Front, whose leader has pledged allegiance to an al-Qaida leader. For reasons that remain extremely mysterious, the CIA ignores this group, with which some of its own favorites have sometimes formed battlefield alliances.

Posted on Oct 7, 2016 READ MORE

Absurd Reality (Video)

Posted on Oct 6, 2016 ENLARGE

Barrel Bomb

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 ENLARGE

The ‘White Helmets’ and the Inherent Contradiction of America’s Syria Policy

By embracing the anti-Assad message and imagery of the White Helmets, that organization’s supporters are furthering the messaging used by Al Nusra Front, its affiliate organizations and Islamic State to recruit followers around the world.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 READ MORE

The VP Debate Served to Remind Americans Just How Extreme the Rest of the Republican Party Is

These days, with Donald Trump having dominated the news for more than a year, it’s easy to overlook the Republicans in Congress. But Mike Pence’s stances were a potent reminder of what a Republican Congress and White House would do.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 READ MORE

Mike Pence Is a Trump in Politician’s Clothing—as Dishonest and Erratic, Just Much Smoother

Trump running mate Mike Pence continued the unreality of this election season in Tuesday’s debate by denying many things that are true and asserting many things that are not true.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 READ MORE

Barrel Bombs

Posted on Oct 4, 2016 ENLARGE

How the ‘White Helmets’ Became Global Heroes While Pushing for U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

Backed by Washington and marketed by a top public relations firm, the Syrian civil defense organization is saving civilians—and lobbying for airstrikes and regime change.

Posted on Oct 4, 2016 READ MORE

The U.S. Breaks Off Military Cooperation With Russia in Syria (Video)

On Monday, the United States government suspended talks with the Russian Federation on how to end the Syrian conflict but said the step didn’t imply all joint activity would end.

Posted on Oct 4, 2016 READ MORE

Russia Warns of Mideast Apocalypse if U.S. Attacks Bashar Assad’s Military in Syria

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that a U.S. attack on the Syrian army “will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the territory of this country but also in the region on the whole.”

Posted on Oct 2, 2016 READ MORE

Syrian Quagmire: Has Russia Accomplished Anything in a Year of Bombing?

Russian military advisers have been withdrawn, the Syrian Army HQ has no Russian advisory staff and there is little coordination on the battlefield.

Posted on Oct 1, 2016 READ MORE

Syria and Russia Push to Take Area in Aleppo as Airstrikes Kill 66 and Wound 200 (Video)

Only a week after seeming to agree to a cease-fire, Russia and the Syrian regime in Damascus appear to have decided to wipe out the pocket of rebel resistance in East Aleppo.

Posted on Sep 26, 2016 READ MORE

The Number of U.S. Troops in Iraq Is Approaching 6,000 (Video)

Five hundred more troops will be sent to help with the massive Mosul campaign. They will not engage in fighting at the front but will help call in airstrikes on Islamic State targets and provide tactical advice and training.

Posted on Sep 25, 2016 READ MORE

Xenophobia and Hate Exacerbate the Plight of Refugees Around the World

According to Oxfam, the six wealthiest countries—the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom—“host less than 9 percent of the world’s refugees.”

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE

Russia and Syria Deny Striking U.N. Aid Convoy in Aleppo

At least 20 people died in the bombing of vehicles carrying humanitarian relief to thousands of Syrians.

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE

Chris Hedges and Loretta Napoleoni Analyze Spread of Jihadism, Kidnapping and Refugee Trafficking

On a new episode of “On Contact,” the two writers discuss what is creating the billion-dollar trafficking industry and how the U.S. presence in the Middle East is facilitating the growth of “criminal” jihadism.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

Fifty Million Children Have Been Uprooted Worldwide: What Will the West Do About It?

The most powerful (and richest) countries are the least likely to accept refugees.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 READ MORE

‘Pigs! Crusaders!’: U.S.-Backed Fundamentalists Chase American Commandos Out of Syria

Turning the Americans back across the Turkish border, the Free Syrian Army members cursed them and asserted that the U.S. is attempting a military occupation of Syria.

Posted on Sep 19, 2016 READ MORE

In a Massive Intelligence Error, the U.S. Kills 80 Syrian Troops, Helping Islamic State to Advance

The United States Air Force hit a Syrian military installation in Deir al-Zor that it thought was held by Islamic State. But it turned out to be the Syrian Arab Army position at the Deir al-Zor military airport.

Posted on Sep 18, 2016 READ MORE

U.S. Seeks to Prevent Islamic State From Looting, Selling or Destroying Antiquities

A meeting was convened recently in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to secure and preserve cultural artifacts in the Middle East.

Posted on Sep 16, 2016 READ MORE

Syria Truce Holds, Offering Hopes for Delivery of Humanitarian Aid

The truce that began Monday night in Syria held for its first 24 hours in the areas designated by the U.S. and Russia for a cease-fire. There was little sign of political compromise, however, which is a bad sign for the future.

Posted on Sep 14, 2016 READ MORE

Iran and Hezbollah Welcome Cease-Fire in Syria (Video)

The truce, brokered by the U.S. and Russia, is to take effect Monday evening. Lebanon’s Hezbollah forces have been fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad and get aid from Iran, which stressed that the agreement needs a “monitoring instrument.”

Posted on Sep 12, 2016 READ MORE

U.S. and Russia Plan Joint Air Command to Hit Terrorists in Syria

Some officers in the U.S. military do not like the idea of coordinating with Russia, feeling that it has taken advantage of past cease-fires to advance its interests and those of Bashar Assad.

Posted on Sep 10, 2016 READ MORE

Donald Trump Lacks Sense or Sensibility

The Republican nominee may be the most dangerously ignorant major-party presidential candidate in history.

Posted on Sep 9, 2016 READ MORE

‘What Is Aleppo?’ A Fateful Question for Libertarian Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson

The third-party candidate leaves his interviewers momentarily speechless after being asked about the ravaged Syrian city in an MSNBC interview.

Posted on Sep 8, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

NBC’s Presidential Forum Continued the Shameful Corporate Coverage of the Great American Meltdown

It was a wretched performance by both the network and nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, full of fluff and posturing and “Alice in Wonderland” statements of policy—along with an almost complete derogation of authority by the anchors.

Posted on Sep 8, 2016 READ MORE

Fighting Displaces 100,000 Syrians in Eight Days, U.N. Reports

These people join nearly half of the Syrian population who have been forced from their homes since the war began in 2011.

Posted on Sep 7, 2016 READ MORE

With Defeat Looming, Islamic State Haunts Syria With Six Bombings (Video)

The group is still acting like a military organization, but it has always mixed military with terrorist tactics. On Monday, it slid toward the terrorist end of the spectrum, setting off six coordinated bombings that left more than four dozen people dead.

Posted on Sep 6, 2016 READ MORE

Can Russia and the U.S. Broker a New Cease-Fire in Syria?

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov may be very near a new deal.

Posted on Sep 5, 2016 READ MORE

America’s Shameful Record on Syrian Refugees

The U.S. government played a role in the collapse of Syria. So surely we have helped out with the resultant massive refugee flow, right? Wrong.

Posted on Sep 4, 2016 READ MORE

Eight Syrian-Americans We’d Miss

Here are a few of those with at least some Syrian ancestry who wouldn’t be here if Trumpism had kept their ancestors out.

Posted on Sep 4, 2016 READ MORE

America’s Syria Snafu: Pentagon’s Militias Are Fighting Turkey and CIA’s Militias

U.S. Syrian policy is in disarray despite recent victories against Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 READ MORE

Mr. Erdogan Leads Turkey

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 ENLARGE

Is Turkey’s Incursion Into Syria About Islamic State, or About the Kurds?

A spokesman for the Kurdish army said that attacks by the Turkish military constitute a naked act of aggression and intervention into the internal affairs of Syria.

Posted on Aug 25, 2016 READ MORE

Top Six Reasons Turkey Is Finally Attacking Islamic State in the Syrian City of Jarabulus

Turkish forces and coalition allies launch airstrikes against the Islamic State stronghold near the border with Turkey. (Pictured, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.)

Posted on Aug 24, 2016 READ MORE

The President Tries to Relax

Posted on Aug 23, 2016 ENLARGE

Is Turkey’s Pivot to Russia Aimed at President Erdogan’s Survival? (Video)

Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim Binali has announced a significant about-face in the country’s Syria policy.

Posted on Aug 23, 2016 READ MORE

U.S.-Allied Kurds Advance in Northeast Syria (Video)

Clashes continued Sunday as Kurdish fighters drove the Syrian army from districts of the city of Hasaka.

Posted on Aug 23, 2016 READ MORE

U.S. Jets Almost Tangle With Syrian MiGs, Which Bombed an Area With Embedded U.S. Troops

A new round of fighting between Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian army could drag the United States into war.

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 READ MORE

Angela Merkel: New Islamic Migrants Did Not Bring Radical Terrorism to Germany (Video)

The chancellor pointed out that despite the influx of about 1 million migrants and refugees in the past year, radicalism predated the rise of Islamic State and the current refugee crisis. 

Posted on Aug 21, 2016 READ MORE

Photo of the Week: Omran Daqneesh, Pulled From the Rubble in Aleppo

Covered in blood and filth, his hair tousled, Omran looks shocked but serene, a picture of resignation that suggests a long familiarity with the horror that has struck him.

Posted on Aug 20, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

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