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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. …

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

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, …

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Stephen Lendman – Coming to the Rescue of “Our Terrorists”: US Evacuated Islamic State (ISIS/Daesh) Fighters from Ramadi

Before Iraqi forces retook Ramadi last week, Washington was accused of evacuating around 2,000 ISIS terrorists from the city. Iraqi People’s Mobilization Shiite militia umbrella group commander Hashd al-Shaabi said America delayed the liberation of Ramadi and Fallujah to enable “evacuat(ion) of (ISIS) ringleaders (and fighters) secretly to unknown places” by helicopter. Fort Russ reported an unnamed high-ranking Iraqi official, saying …

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Ramzy Baroud – Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake

I still remember that smug look on his face, followed by the matter-of-fact remarks that had western journalists laugh out loud. “I’m now going to show you a picture of the luckiest man in Iraq,” General Norman Schwarzkopf, known as ‘Stormin’ Norman, said at a press conference sometime in 1991, as he showed a video of US bombs blasting an …

Washington’s ‘New Middle East’ Stalls, the Resistance Rises By Prof. Tim Anderson

Washington’s plan for a New Middle East has hit a rock called Syria. After the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of Libya, Syria was to be the next domino overthrown by a ‘colour revolution’, led by Islamists and backed by the big powers. After ‘regime change’ in Damascus the next most powerful enemy of Israel, Hezbollah, leader …

“No Boots on the Ground” and Other Fairy Tales by JOHN LaFORGE

Last August the president began his air war against the Islamic State which controls two Iraqi provincial capitals and the city of Falluja. Obama declared that his purpose was to “dismantle” the I.S. By April of this year, the Pentagon’s 4,050 missile and bombing strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria had cost over $2.1 billion, over $8 million a …

Washington in Wonderland By Andrew J. Bacevich

There is a peculiar form of insanity in which a veneer of rationality distracts attention from the madness lurking just beneath the surface. When Alice dove down her rabbit hole to enter a place where smirking cats offered directions, ill-mannered caterpillars dispensed advice, and Mock Turtles constituted the principal ingredient in Mock Turtle soup, she experienced something of the sort. …

Islamic State Timeline Shows How ISIS Expanded In One Year From Two Countries To Ten By Alessandria Masi

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the podium at a mosque last June to deliver his first public Friday sermon, the world got a glimpse of the man who led an obscure extremist group from Syria to storm across the border into Iraq and took over the second-largest city in that nation to establish itself as the most serious menace to …

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The Kingpin Strategy – Andrew Cockburn

As the war on terror nears its 14th anniversary — a war we seem to be losing, given jihadist advances in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen — the U.S. sticks stolidly to its strategy of “high-value targeting,” our preferred euphemism for assassination.  Secretary of State John Kerry has proudly cited the elimination of “fifty percent” of the Islamic State’s “top commanders” …

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Life Under ISIS: One of the Strangest States Ever Created

It is one of the strangest states ever created. The Islamic State wants to force all humanity to believe in its vision of a religious and social utopia existing in the first days of Islam. Women are to be treated as chattels, forbidden to leave the house unless they are accompanied by a male relative. People deemed to be pagans, …