Iraq

Robert Fisk – A plan must be made for ‘life after Isis’ in the Middle East

February 10, 2016

There are times in the Middle East when nightmares and delusions take the place of the real and growing tragedy which is consuming the Arab lands. More and more earnest are the calls for peace as more and more nations launch more and more air raids, from Kabul to the Mediterranean, and down through Sinai and Yemen and across to Libya. The bloodbath is real, yet no one plans for a future – for “Life after Isis”. By my reckoning, there are now 11 different national air forces bombing five different Muslim countries to “degrade and destroy” their enemies. But what comes afterwards? History teaches us that for 100 years now, the people of this magnificent, dangerous region have sought justice and received only injustice. Foreign and proxy occupation, corruption and dictatorship – the hands of the torturer – have taken from them the one value which so many millions finally sought in the great Arab awakening of 2011: dignity. Yet what are we doing about this? Why have we never addressed the great historical injustices which have caused this human earthquake? Read

Turning Point – 02.01.16

February 1, 2016

Two interviews, re: The danger of US. Military bases overseas; and: Why most Americans don’t care about “Collateral damage”.

Ray McGovern – The Iraq War’s Known Unknowns

January 27, 2016

There is a lot more than meets the eye in the newly revealed Joint Chiefs of Staff intelligence briefing of Sept. 5, 2002, which showed there was a lack of evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – just as President George W. Bush’s administration was launching its sales job for the Iraq War. The briefing report and its quick demise amount to an indictment not only of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but also of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Richard Myers, who is exposed once again as a Rumsfeld patsy who put politics ahead of his responsibility to American soldiers and to the nation as a whole. In a Jan. 24 report at Politico entitled “What Donald Rumsfeld Knew We Didn’t Know About Iraq,” journalist John Walcott presents a wealth of detail about the JCS intelligence report of Sept. 5, 2002, offering additional corroboration that the Bush administration lied to the American people about the evidence of WMD in Iraq. Read

Nick Turse – The Pentagon’s Progress

January 22, 2016

There’s good news coming out of Iraq… again. The efforts of a 65-nation coalition and punishing U.S. airstrikes have helped local ground forces roll back gains by the Islamic State (IS). Government forces and Shiite militias, for example, recaptured the city of Tikrit, while Kurdish troops ousted IS fighters from the town of Sinjar and other parts of northern Iraq. Last month, Iraqi troops finally pushed Islamic State militants out of most of the city of Ramadi, which the group had held since routing Iraqi forces there last spring. In the wake of all this, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter touted “the kind of progress that the Iraqi forces are exhibiting in Ramadi, building on that success to… continue the campaign with the important goal of retaking Mosul as soon as possible.”  Even more recently, he said those forces were “proving themselves not only motivated but capable.”  I encountered the same upbeat tone when I asked Colonel Steve Warren, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, about the Iraqi security forces.  “The last year has been a process of constructing, rebuilding, and refitting the Iraqi army,” he explained. “While it takes time for training and equipping efforts to take effect, the

Paul Craig Roberts – The 21st Century: An Era Of Fraud

January 19, 2016

In the last years of the 20th century fraud entered US foreign policy in a new way.  On false pretenses Washington dismantled Yugoslavia and Serbia in order to advance an undeclared agenda.  In the 21st century this fraud multiplied many times. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Libya were destroyed, and Iran and Syria would also have been destroyed if the President of Russia had not prevented it.  Washington is also behind the current destruction of Yemen, and Washington has enabled and financed the Israeli destruction of Palestine.  Additionally, Washington operated militarily within Pakistan without declaring war, murdering many women, children, and village elders under the guise of “combating terrorism.”  Washington’s war crimes rival those of any country in history. I have documented these crimes in my columns and books (Clarity Press). Anyone who still believes in the purity of Washington’s foreign policy is a lost soul. Read

Iraqi city of Ramadi, once home to 500,000, lies in ruins

January 19, 2016

RAMADI, Iraq — So complete was the destruction of Ramadi that a local reporter who had visited the city many times hardly recognized it. “Honestly, this is the main street,” Amaj Hamid, a member of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces, told the TV crew as they entered from the southwest. He swerved to avoid the aftermath of months of fighting: rubble, overturned cars and piles of twisted metal. Airstrikes and homemade bombs laid by the Islamic State group had shredded the poured-concrete walls and ceilings of the houses and shops along the road. Read

Thomas S. Harrington – Are US Relations With Israel a Proprietary Matter? The People at PBS’ Frontline Seem to Think So

January 14, 2016

There are numerous templates available for the making of effective propaganda. One extremely crude approach, pioneered by the Nazis, and used to great effect but the Bush Administration in the lead-up to its calculated destruction of Iraq, is to have “authorities” and their usually quite willing media accomplices (despite their constant braying about being “fiercely independent”, this is all too often the sad reality of many reporters’ lives) repeat a falsehood so often, and with so much conviction, that it soon takes on the status of an unassailable reality in the minds of a great majority of the citizenry. However, this approach is not without its shortcomings. While very effective in generating short-term mass support, it tends, as we have seen in the years since 2003, to falter in the long run. Perhaps more importantly, it seldom, if ever, convinces a strong plurality of a society’s prosperous and influential educated classes, the 5-10% of the population who, whether we are prepared to admit it or not, often hold the keys to implementing and sustaining long term policy prescriptions at the national level. Read

Project Censored – 01.12.16

January 12, 2016

Linda Sartor speaks about her experiences as an 'unarmed peacekeeper' in conflict zones, including Occupied Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Her new book is "Turning Fear Into Power: One Woman's Journey Confronting the War on Terror." www.lindasartor.info At the end of the program, Anthony Montero discusses the the Black Radical Tradition Conference taking place in Philadelphia January 8 - 10. Anthony Montero is an organizer of the conference, and taught African-AmericanStudies at Temple University. www.theblackradicaltradition.org

Lee Fang – Defense Industry Revenue Forecast Gushes Over Global Turmoil

January 12, 2016

The global aerospace and defense industry is out of its doldrums. According to a new report by the accounting firm Deloitte, “the resurgence of global security threats” promises a lucrative “rebound” in defense spending. The report alerts investors that “revenue growth” is “expected to take a positive turn” due to the terrorism and war in the Middle East and the tensions in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea. Many analysts predicted declining revenue for the weapons industry as the U.S. scaled down military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, as this chart from the Deloitte report shows, no other country even comes close to spending as much as the U.S. does. But now governments around the world have moved swiftly to hike defense budgets to “combat terrorism and address sovereign security matters.” The Deloitte report is almost giddy: Read

MICHAEL R. GORDON – Neglect May Do What ISIS Didn’t: Breach Iraqi Dam

January 11, 2016

WASHINGTON — More than 16 months after Iraqi and Kurdish forces reclaimed Mosul Dam from Islamic State fighters, the structure faces a new threat: the danger that it may collapse because of insufficient maintenance, overwhelming major communities downstream with floodwaters. In the worst-case scenario, according to State Department officials, an estimated 500,000 people could be killed while more than a million could be rendered homeless if the dam, Iraq’s largest, were to collapse in the spring, when the Tigris is swollen by rain and melting snow. The casualty toll and damage would be much less if Iraqi citizens received adequate warning, if the dam collapsed only partially or if it were breached in the summer or fall, when the water level is lower. President Obama underscored the need to make emergency repairs in a call Wednesday with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in which the two also discussed recent advances by Iraqi security forces against the Islamic State in Ramadi, in western Iraq, the White House said. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reiterated the urgent need to maintain the dam during a meeting with Mr. Abadi in Baghdad on Thursday, according to a senior
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