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March 29, 2015
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State of Wonder

State of Wonder

By Ann Patchett

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Tag: Iraq

America’s Air Wars Are Being Fought Alongside Iran and Saudi Arabia


The United States is now involved in two air wars in the Middle East, not to mention more widespread drone actions.

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 READ MORE

Can You Say ‘Blowback’ in Spanish?


The U.S. wars in the Middle East and the so-called war on drugs in North America have resulted in violent consequences felt in our own cities, whether at the finish line of the Boston Marathon or in communities of color across the country.

Posted on Mar 23, 2015 READ MORE

Journalism as Subversion


The journalist P. Sainath has worked for more than 20 years to amplify the voices and lives of the rural poor of India as corporate-controlled media have attempted to erase them from history. (Pictured, an Indian farmer in his damaged field.)

Posted on Mar 22, 2015 READ MORE

Leaving the Killing to Computers

The Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine, Andrew Cockburn, tells Jon Stewart about the increasingly technologically dependent and hands-off process that American officials use to kill militants and, inadvertently, civilians in other countries.

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 READ MORE

Could the Sunni-Shiite Rift Make Tikrit a Pyrrhic Victory?


The foremost Sunni Muslim seat of learning, al-Azhar University in Cairo, has stirred controversy by issuing a considered legal opinion condemning the Shiite militias or “Popular Mobilization Forces” that are now fighting alongside the Iraq army to take Tikrit back from the Islamic State group.

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 READ MORE

Ghosts of Saddam, Saladin & Khomeini: the Historical Meaning Behind the Tikrit Campaign


The Iraqi forces that are surrounding Tikrit 80 miles north of Baghdad are not just Iraqi forces.

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 READ MORE

Why Jeb Bush Can’t Escape Dubya’s Dubious Legacy


Being singled out as “the smart brother” in an American political and financial dynasty like the Bush family must be a heavy load.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE

Jeb’s Bushian Speech


(Gage Skidmore CC-BY-SA)

Jeb Bush’s highly anticipated speech on foreign policy reminded me of the joke in which two senior citizens are complaining about a restaurant. “Terrible food at that place,” says one. “Yes,” says the other, “and such small portions!”

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE

The Bush Epidemic

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE

The Long War of Foreverness

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 READ MORE

In Iraq, Kurds Repel Islamic State With Help of Shiite Militiamen They Distrust


Islamic State (aka Daesh) fighters unsuccessfully moved Monday on Kirkuk and Erbil, two cities patrolled by Iraq’s Kurdish paramilitary, the Peshmerga.

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 READ MORE

The Uses, and Abuses, of History in the Middle East Conflict


Shutterstock

The murder of Coptic Christians is one more instance of the sheer ignorance that’s influencing events in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 17, 2015 READ MORE

Islamic State Advances to Within 9 Miles of U.S. Troops at al-Ain Base in Iraq


Islamic State (also known as Daesh) has captured the al-Anbar city of al-Baghdadi in western al-Anbar Province.

Posted on Feb 14, 2015 READ MORE

Obama’s Ambivalent War Logic


(DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy)

President Obama’s request to Congress for authority to use military force against the Islamic State explains his view of why to fight this war. But it doesn’t really tell us how.

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 READ MORE

Ashton Carter Succeeds Chuck Hagel as U.S. Defense Secretary


Just shy of three months since Chuck Hagel was obliged to vacate the position, the Obama administration has a new secretary of defense—and Ashton Carter has his work cut out for him.

Posted on Feb 12, 2015 READ MORE

Brian Williams Tells All

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 READ MORE

Brian Williams’ Truth

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 READ MORE

Brian Williams Gets Six-Month Suspension for ‘Misremembering’ Iraq War Incident


After meeting with his boss, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, on Tuesday, the scandal-rattled “NBC Nightly News” anchor was facing some time off but apparently not a dismissal.

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 READ MORE

The Terror We Give Is the Terror We Get


Both ISIS and the West revel in brutality that feeds the fever for war. The line that separates us from our enemies is technological, not moral. We are those we fight.

Posted on Feb 8, 2015 READ MORE

Headless

Posted on Feb 8, 2015 READ MORE

Another Iraq Apology

Posted on Feb 7, 2015 READ MORE

Brian Williams Admits He Got Iraq Combat Story Wrong


The veteran “NBC Nightly News” anchor conceded that a story he told on various occasions about being under fire while on assignment in Iraq in 2003 was not accurate.

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Policy Sows Conflict Across the Middle East and North Africa

The U.N. has warned of “total chaos” in Libya; the U.S.-backed regime in Egypt continues a crackdown on political opponents; and Iraq is coming off its deadliest month in years—all while the rise of the Islamic State continues there and in Syria. “Democracy Now!” surveys the wreckage in these places and others with Vijay Prashad.

Posted on Feb 3, 2015 READ MORE

War Is the New Normal


Back in July 2010, I wrote an article for TomDispatch on the seven reasons why America can’t stop making war. More than four years later, with the war on terror still ongoing, with the mission eternally unaccomplished, here’s a fresh take on the top seven reasons why never-ending war is the new normal in America.

Posted on Feb 2, 2015 READ MORE

Killing Ragheads for Jesus


The movie “American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—including the belief that Christians are called upon to exterminate “lesser breeds.”

Posted on Jan 25, 2015 READ MORE

‘American Sniper’: American Hero or American Psycho?


“American Sniper” exemplifies a sense of macho, white male braggadocio that is symbolic of all that is wrong with the right-wing, pro-war, pro-gun, bully culture of the United States.

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 READ MORE

Obama: Damn the Torpedoes


White House/Pete Souza

“This is good news, people.” With those five words, President Obama made clear that he thinks it’s far more important to win a long-term argument with his partisan and ideological opponents than to pretend that they are eager to seize opportunities to work with him.

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 READ MORE

War Mania Will Only Fan Muslim Cultural Crisis in Europe


DoD photo by Senior Airman Peter Reft, U.S. Air Force

The upheaval in non-Muslim attitudes towards Muslims presents a bigger and more urgent problem than what the Muslims think about us, even when they kill us.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE

Letter to a Young Army Ranger (From an Old One)


AP/Marco Garcia

Rory Fanning, an Army Ranger who served with Pat Tillman and became a conscientious objector, writes this letter to young Americans targeted by Army recruiters. (At right, a recruiter.)

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 READ MORE

Paris’ Place in the Middle Eastern Wars


Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

The recent excitement in Paris produced an occasion of great surprise to an American observer, certainly to one who witnessed the transformational fear exacted from America’s governing elite by the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 READ MORE

A Message From the Dispossessed


The Paris massacre, evil though it was, delivers a crucial communication from the Muslim world about the Western hubris and violence that fuel the rage of the powerless.

Posted on Jan 11, 2015 READ MORE

What ‘Je Suis Charlie’ Should Mean to Us


conejota / Shutterstock.com

To understand what is at stake in this struggle, it is important to look closely at what we are defending.

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 READ MORE

Overreach


A new book is arguably the best account of what went wrong with the project to turn Baathist Iraq into a liberal democracy, but flawed by the insistence that failure was inevitable due to Iraq’s sociopolitical realities.

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 READ MORE

Paris Terrorist Was Radicalized by Bush’s Iraq War and Abu Ghraib Torture


Gerry Lauzon (CC BY 2.0)

Without Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is not at all clear that Sharif Kouachi, one of the gunmen the French police are searching for, would have gotten involved in fundamentalist vigilanteism. And if he hadn’t, he would not have gone on to be a point man in murdering the staff of Charlie Hebdo along with 2 policemen.

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 READ MORE

Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox


The folk-wisdom incorporated into the story of the Tar Baby and Br’er Rabbit applies to the Middle Eastern wars from which the United States and the West want to retreat, but again and again find themselves caught deep in the tar.

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 READ MORE

Whatever Happened to Besieged Kurdish City of Kobane, Syria?


Kurdish forces, supported by Free Syrian Army troops and coalition air strikes, have largely recovered Kobane from rule by Daesh (called Islamic State in the West).

Posted on Jan 6, 2015 READ MORE

President Obama’s Biggest Mideast Policy Challenges in 2015


Barack Obama wanted to be the president who got the U.S. out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and turned America’s diplomatic energies to the more promising Pacific Rim.

Posted on Jan 3, 2015 READ MORE

The Year Iraq Ceased to Exist: Will It Ever Again?


In 2014, Iraq was said to lose 42% of its territory to Daesh (the Arabic acronym for what our press calls Islamic State).

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 READ MORE

Did the CIA Torture So Bush Could Invade Iraq? (Video)


The Bush administration and the CIA tortured al-Qaida suspects because they wanted evidence that linked Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and could be used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Middle East expert Patrick Cockburn writes at The Independent.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE

The Senate Drone Report of 2019


Three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars was finally released. Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the Senate floor, and said…

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE

Pentagon: 3 Major ISIS Leaders Killed in Iraq


American forces have killed three high-ranking Islamic State leaders in Iraq in recent weeks, according to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE

What Will the Widespread Use of Drones Mean for Journalism?


Having so many drones flying around may have “serious implications” for journalists and researchers; India named its first “yoga czar”; meanwhile, a Fox News interview shows the holes in Dick Cheney’s defense of CIA torture. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 READ MORE

Enter the Dragon: China Offers Iraq Aerial Strikes on Islamic State


The list of powers eager to see Islamic State defeated grew larger this weekend with a report that China would intervene against IS from the air.

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 READ MORE

Answering Evil With Evil


Shutterstock

The “debate” over torture is almost as grotesque as torture itself. There can be no legitimate debate about the intentional infliction of pain upon captive and defenseless human beings.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE

CIA Crimes Without Punishment


With the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the use of torture by the CIA after 9/11, the final defense of the indefensible by its perpetrators, advocates and publicists is falling apart before our eyes.

Posted on Dec 10, 2014 READ MORE

Over 100 Islamic State Fighters Killed in U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq


The U.S. war on Islamic State (also known as Daesh) in Iraq and Syria takes up less and less space in mainstream media. The group and its issues haven’t gone away, however.

Posted on Dec 8, 2014 READ MORE

Defense Secretary

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 READ MORE

Iran-Iraq War 2.0? Iran Flies Bombing Raids on Islamic State Extremists in Iraq


The U.S. Pentagon is confirming that Iranian F-4 fighter jets have flown bombing missions against Daesh or the so-called ‘Islamic State Group’ in Iraq.

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 READ MORE

America’s Superpower Thinking Is a Bad Habit From a Bygone Century


Mikhail Metzel/TASS

China is emerging as the new Number One, while the policy makers in Washington can’t get their heads out of the Cold War.

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 READ MORE

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