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November 24, 2014
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Tag: Iraq

An Interview With Juan Cole: The Historical Drivers of Modern Day Developments in Iraq


Bassam Haddad, a prominent Syria specialist at George Mason University, interviewed Juan Cole this fall for the new Web radio program “Status Hour” on the Middle East.

Posted on Nov 20, 2014 READ MORE

Americans Are 64 Times More Likely to Be Murdered Than Die in an Act of Terrorism


The Institute for Economics and Peace in the U.K. has released a report on terrorism in 2013, which it maintains was substantially up. Conceptually, I have to critique the study.

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 READ MORE

Here Are Some of the Ways Islamic State Is Losing as It Lashes Out Like a Cornered Rat


Islamic State has not had a good month, suffering substantial setbacks in Iraq and watching with concern as the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad looks set to retake the major northern city of Aleppo.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Aid Worker’s Death Confirmed as Islamic State Tries to ‘Mask a Week of Defeats’


American aid worker Peter Kassig is the latest hostage to be slain by Islamic State on video.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 READ MORE

Islamic State Loses Refinery City in Iraq to Iraqi Army and Shiite Militias


This is perhaps the most significant military loss for Islamic State since it took 40 percent of Iraq in early June.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 READ MORE

Islamic State Calls for Terror Attacks on Saudi Arabia


A voice recording has surfaced, attributed to Ibrahim al-Samarra’i, the leader of the brutal terrorist group Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 READ MORE

The Bases of War in the Middle East


There is almost no way to overemphasize how thoroughly the U.S. military now covers the Greater Middle East. After 35 years of base-building there, it’s long past time to look carefully at how this garrisoning affects the region, the U.S., and the world.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE

Shrinking the Empire: A Session on the Imperial Couch


What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally we wouldn’t consider publishing such a private encounter, but the probative news value of the exchange is so obvious that we decided to make an exception.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE

When Will the U.S. Admit to Boots on the Ground in Iraq?


In an age of weasel words and Orwellian diction, it would be refreshing to hear Mr. Obama call the recent escalation in Iraq what it is.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE

Tomas Young, Rest in Peace


There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE

Why It Doesn’t Really Matter Whether Islamic State’s Leader Was Killed


Rumors are swirling that Islamic State leader Ibrahim al-Samarra’i (who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) was severely wounded and that some of his chief lieutenants were killed by a U.S. airstrike on a meeting of IS leaders Friday.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 READ MORE

Jon Stewart: We May Have Killed Islamic State’s Leader or ‘Some Other Fucking Guy’

Jon Stewart offers his audience an update on the current situation in Iraq, from the uncertainty surrounding the possible death of Islamic State’s leader to the over 3,000 troops President Obama has now sent to the Middle Eastern country.

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Veterans Day

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

VA Closed

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Observing Veterans Day

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Tomas Young, Veteran Author of ‘The Last Letter,’ Dies at 34


Claudia Cuellar

Iraq War veteran and activist Tomas Young has died, “Democracy Now” is reporting.

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 READ MORE

Ex-State Dept. Official Blasts Obama’s Doubling of Troops in Iraq

Former Marine and State Department official Matthew Hoh, the first known U.S. official to resign in protest over the Afghan War, describes President Obama’s authorization of 1,500 additional troops to Iraq in the campaign against the Islamic State as “for lack of a better phrase ... crazy.”

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 READ MORE

Vets Affairs

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 READ MORE

Obama Doubles Number of U.S. Troops in Iraq


U.S. Marince Corps/Staff Sgt. Joseph DiGirolamo

The president will send an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq. Though they will reportedly serve as advisers, some will head to areas of heavy fighting.

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 READ MORE

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

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

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

Islamic State Strives Without End


Unembedded Middle East reporter Patrick Cockburn describes the political and economic facts that enable Isis to continue its sweep through Iraq and Syria, and explains why a defeat for the group in the Syrian city of Kobani would not be the beginning of its end.

Posted on Nov 1, 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

What Would Republicans Do?


Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Republicans still refuse to articulate any vision for governing.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE

Iraq Boots

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE

‘When Google Met WikiLeaks’: An Exclusive Excerpt


In 2011 WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was visited by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Here, from Assange’s new book, is part of the extraordinary conversation that resulted.

Posted on Oct 29, 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

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

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 READ MORE

Fear

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

President Obama’s ‘Dumb’ War


White House/Pete Souza

The adventure against the Islamic State increasingly resembles the sort of conflict Barack Obama launched his career opposing.

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

Blackwater Guards Convicted of 2007 Iraq Massacre


AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Four former employees of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater were convicted Wednesday of a mass shooting during the Iraq War.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE

WMDs

Posted on Oct 22, 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

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

Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail


When confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military melted back into the populace. What this behavior made clear was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army to the tune of $25 billion over 10 years had failed miserably.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE

The NSA Plays Villain to Captain America—Again


GoBOb / Shutterstock.com

You know you’re living in strange times when the most jingoistic superhero goes to war with his own government.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE

Chris Hedges Takes On the ‘Global Culture of Violence’

On Sept. 28, Chris Hedges spoke at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture’s Charley Horwitz Platform on the pervasive violence that characterizes our era and offered possible solutions.

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

No Shock and No Awe


U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Alex Walters

It’s not too soon to state the obvious: At this point, the war against the Islamic State can be seen only as failing.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE

White House Islamic State Strategy Amounts to Wishful Thinking


White House/Pete Souza

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

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

Posted on Oct 12, 2014 READ MORE

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