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The Infectious Myth – Greg Lovett on the Burn Pits – Delay, Deny, Hope you Die – 10.31.17

David interview Greg Lovett, maker of a documentary on the burn pits, “Delay, Deny, Hope you Die”, so named because they were where garbage from US military bases in Iraq and elsewhere was burned using jet fuel, generating a putrid cloud of black, toxic smoke from incomplete combustion. This was particularly bad on bases sited on former Iraqi chemical weapon …

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PATRICK COCKBURN – Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong

The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. An estimated 300 civilians have been killed in Aleppo by government artillery and bombing in the last fortnight, and in Mosul there are reportedly some 600 civilian dead over a month. Despite …

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Tom Engelhardt – Tomgram: Engelhardt, Through the Gates of Hell

The one thing you could say about empires is that, at or near their height, they have always represented a principle of order as well as domination.  So here’s the confounding thing about the American version of empire in the years when this country was often referred to as “the sole superpower,” when it was putting more money into its …

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Indonesian woman becomes latest person to be caned ‘for standing near boyfriend’

A 20-year-old woman in Indonesia has been publicly caned for standing too close to her boyfriend, becoming the 14th person to be flogged this month in the same province. The unnamed woman was accused of breaking Islamic Sharia law, which strictly forbids unmarried couples to become intimate, and was flogged in front of a crowd in Banda Aceh province. She …

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PATRICK COCKBURN – This is What Will Happen to Mosul After ISIS is Evicted

I visited Mosul on the day it fell to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and a small detachment of US Special Forces on 11 April 2003. As we drove into the city, we passed lines of pick-up trucks piled high with loot returning to the Kurdish-controlled enclave in northern Iraq. US soldiers at a checkpoint, over which waved the Stars and Stripes, …

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DEEP HISTORY AND THE GLOBAL DRUG CONNECTION, PART 3: A DEADLY BUREAUCRACY

Opium poppies in Helmand Photo credit: U.S. Marines / Wikimedia Introduction by Russ Baker: More musings from Peter Dale Scott, the “father of Deep State analysis.” It’s heady and sometimes difficult material, but no one has gone as deeply as he has in trying to understand the nature of power in America, and ties between the state, the Underworld, and the criminal …

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Story of cities #3: the birth of Baghdad was a landmark for world civilisation

If Baghdad today is a byword for inner-city decay and violence on an unspeakable scale, its foundation 1,250 years ago was a glorious milestone in the history of urban design. More than that, it was a landmark for civilisation, the birth of a city that would quickly become the cultural lodestar of the world. Contrary to popular belief, Baghdad is …

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Nick Turse – The Pentagon’s Progress

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. …