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September 26, 2016
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Tag: Juan Cole


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


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The Last Time Summer Was This Hot, Human Beings Hadn’t Yet Left Africa (Video)

Climate scientist Michael Mann says there is “tentative but compelling evidence” that it was hotter this summer than it has been at any point in 100,000 years.

Posted on Sep 25, 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



Slow Colonial Genocide: Palestinian Leader Abbas Asks Britain for “Balfour” Apology

This extended colonialism is unparalleled in the whole world: No other colonial power now existing is keeping millions stateless and without rights.

Posted on Sep 23, 2016 READ MORE



Why the Boeing and Airbus Sales to Iran Are a Big Effing Deal

The United States has issued licenses that allow these companies to sell commercial airliners to Iran. These aircraft purchases are likely the beginning of a whole new set of relationships.

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE



Here Are 6 Problems America Has That Are Worse Than Terrorism

Every time a person of Middle Eastern heritage who ought to have been committed to an insane asylum but wasn’t (because rich people who don’t want to pay taxes successfully lobbied to get rid of insane asylums) commits violence, our press and politicians hit the panic button.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 READ MORE



Obama’s Approach to Ending Terrorism: Destroying Islamic State in Mosul and Then Rebuilding City

President Obama met Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi and discussed the coming campaign to take the city of Mosul away from Islamic State, entirely destroying the terrorist organization’s territorial power in Iraq.

Posted on Sep 20, 2016 READ MORE



Signs That Wind Power Is Gaining Strength in the U.S. (Video)

Not only is the fuel itself free, but also the turbines are getting less and less costly—a trend that experts believe will accelerate.

Posted on Sep 19, 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



The 2016 Presidential Election ‘Did Not Take Place’

The French sociologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard wrote that for Western audiences, the Gulf War was a staged television conflict. But if that was a TV spectacle, the 2016 election is much more of one.

Posted on Sep 18, 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



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



What Did We Buy With the $5 Trillion That the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Have Cost Us?

The Iraq War was a government-led Ponzi scheme. As usual, the little people are the ones who lost big.

Posted on Sep 13, 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



15 Years After 9/11, Can We Recover Our Republic?

The Founding Fathers thought keeping a standing army was a danger to democracy. The great wars of the 20th century appear to have left the United States with a permanent standing army—a state of affairs only reinforced by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Posted on Sep 11, 2016 READ MORE



Saudi Bigot-in-Chief Declares Iranian Shiites ‘Not Muslim’ (Video)

The statement by the chief mufti for the interpretation of Muslim law in Saudi Arabia is a huge step back from the limited progress the Saudis had made toward being a more inclusive country.

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



A Look at Just Some of the Ways Green Energy Is Helping Americans

As we celebrate American workers, let’s remember where their future lies. And that is, in part, in the renewable energy sector.

Posted on Sep 5, 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



The Plague of the Rule of Uzbekistan’s President for Life

President Islam Karimov wasn’t a partner in counterterrorism; he was a one-man terrorist-creation machine.

Posted on Sep 3, 2016 READ MORE



U.S. Declares Turkish-Backed Campaign Against Our Allies in Syria ‘Unacceptable’

Recent developments in Syria are reminiscent of the cartoon strip “Peanuts” scenario in which Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown at the last minute and he ends up on his back. In this case, Washington is playing Lucy and the Kurds are playing Charlie Brown.

Posted on Aug 31, 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



Islamic State Sends Families Out of Mosul as Kurdish and Shiite Forces Advance

Iraqi military forces have taken the strategic town of al-Qayarah, near the major city of Mosul, from Islamic State. Mosul is the last major city in the hands of the apocalyptic, brutal cult that has lost almost all the territory it took in 2014.

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 READ MORE



In Boon for Electric Cars and Solar Panels, California Will Seek to Heavily Roll Back CO2 Emissions

The Legislature worked on an extremely ambitious carbon dioxide emissions reduction bill for a year and is finally sending it to the governor for his signature.

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 READ MORE



As France Lifts Municipal Burkini Ban, Let’s Ask Why We Should Care What Other People Wear

A French mayor wanted to make women wear revealing bathing suits on the grounds that they are republican and secular, whereas burkinis or loose street clothes on the beach are an ostentatious sign that a woman is pious and religious—inappropriate in the public spaces of a republic.

Posted on Aug 29, 2016 READ MORE



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



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



The Idea of Peace in the Quran

Like the Bible, the Muslim scripture has verses about war as well as peace, but those on peace have been insufficiently appreciated.

Posted on Aug 22, 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



Saudis Bomb Yemen’s Capital City During ‘Million-Person March’

During a massive demonstration by members of the Houthi Ansarullah movement Saturday, Saudi Arabian fighter jets targeted downtown Sanaa—arguably a war crime.

Posted on Aug 21, 2016 READ MORE



Dragon Rising? China Seeks Closer Military Cooperation With Syria

A Chinese official on a visit to Damascus announced that Beijing intends to strengthen its military relationship with the Syrian government, but affirmed that China would avoid involvement in the civil war.

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 READ MORE



Do Russia’s First Strikes on Syria From Iranian Air Bases Change Everything? (Video)

Russian bombers for the first time took off from bases in Iran to carry out airstrikes on rebel targets in Syria—a move that is unprecedented in recent decades and raises many questions.

Posted on Aug 17, 2016 READ MORE



Donald Trump and the Extreme Vetting of Muslims

In an attempt at a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday, the Republican presidential nominee got back to his fearmongering roots by focusing on the threat of Islamic State, which he depicted as a Hydra-headed menace with tentacles in a range of Western countries, including the U.S.

Posted on Aug 16, 2016 READ MORE



Seven Reasons the U.S. Could Not Have Forestalled the Syrian Civil War

Americans are practical people, and they incorrectly believe that all problems have relatively simple solutions. 

Posted on Aug 16, 2016 READ MORE



Residents in Syrian Town Celebrate Freedom From Islamic State (Video)

Men shaved their beards, which had been imposed on them by the fundamentalists, and women threw off their burqas and burned them in the northern town of Manbij on Saturday.

Posted on Aug 15, 2016 READ MORE



Obama Did Not Found Islamic State, Mr. Trump—the GOP Did (Video)

In his daily free-association exercise, the Republican presidential nominee accused the president of creating the terrorist organization by withdrawing troops from Iraq in 2011. But the timetable for withdrawal was set by the Bush administration.

Posted on Aug 14, 2016 READ MORE



Number of Islamic State Fighters Falls to 15,000

Islamic State as a territorial power is slowly coming to an end, but as a source of terrorism it will have a long run.

Posted on Aug 14, 2016 READ MORE



Trump Appears to Threaten Clinton With ‘Second Amendment People’ (Video)

The Republican presidential nominee said Tuesday there was nothing his supporters could do if Hillary Clinton won and got “to pick her judges.” Then he amended his pessimism by making a remark that some observers have interpreted as a deadly threat against his rival.

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 READ MORE



Looming Aleppo Battle an Indictment of Both Sides in Civil War for Breaking Cease-Fire

The only thing worse than the new hero status of Abu Mohammad al-Julani and his Army of Syrian Conquest is the news that he plans to subject all of Aleppo.

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 READ MORE



Iowa Could Go Fully Green With Wind in Only 14 Years, With Few Birds Killed, Mr. Trump

Iowa gets 31 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, the highest percentage in the nation (though Texas generates more than twice as many megawatts from wind). But you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

Posted on Aug 8, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State’s Important Smuggling City of Manbij, Syria, Has Fallen to the Kurd-Arab Force

The war in Syria is nowhere near to being over, but the Islamic State period may be coming to an end.

Posted on Aug 7, 2016 READ MORE



Obama Not Only Did Not Pay Ransom to Iran, He Denied That Country Billions It Had Coming (Video)

Despite what you may have heard in recent days, the fact is that the Obama administration dodged a probable ruling against the U.S. by an arbitration court that could have awarded Iran as much as $10 billion, rather than $400 million.

Posted on Aug 7, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State Captures Thousands in Iraq

The terrorist group is said to have executed a number of young men of fighting age who were attempting to flee territory held by Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 READ MORE



Donald ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Trump

I have long wondered why no one in Hollywood has remade Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” But it turns out that the GOP presidential nominee is remaking the film in real life.

Posted on Aug 4, 2016 READ MORE



Dear Trumpists: Khizr Khan Is Not ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and It Wouldn’t Matter if He Were

A Trump adviser is trying to smear Khizr Khan, the Pakistani-American who lost a son who fought for the U.S. in the Iraq War and spoke at the Democratic convention, as a “Muslim Brotherhood agent.”

Posted on Aug 3, 2016 READ MORE



Six Signs That the Big Global Switch to Solar Has Already Begun

Among several indications of the rise of solar energy, a plane recently flew around the world using nothing but solar power.

Posted on Aug 3, 2016 READ MORE


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