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Nick Turse – Mission Impossible Keeping Track of U.S. Special Ops in Africa

Sometimes the real news is in the details — or even in the discrepancies. Take, for instance, missions by America’s most elite troops in Africa. It was September 2014. The sky was bright and clear and ice blue as the camouflage-clad men walked to the open door and tumbled out into nothing. One moment members of the U.S. 19th Special Forces Group …

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Murtaza Hussain, Marwan Hisham – U.S. STRATEGY TO FIGHT ISIS HAS SET OFF A NEW CONFLICT IN SYRIA

FIVE YEARS AFTER the start of Syria’s uprising, the Turkish military directly entered the fray last week, sending troops to occupy the northern Syrian town of Jarablus, previously held by the militant group the Islamic State. Turkey’s intervention represents a significant escalation of the conflict, as well as a sign that the country is likely to take a more aggressive approach …

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Steven MacMillan – How Islamic is the So-Called Islamic State?

Since the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) declared a caliphate in June 2014, Muslim extremism has once again become a major topic in the media and therefore in the public mind. Islamophobic attacks have skyrocketed in the West in recent years, as many people tarnish over one and half billion Muslims with a single brush. In the distorted logic of the modern-day …

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Dahr Jamail – In Arctic, Ancient Diseases Reanimate and Highways Melt as Temperatures Hit “Frenzy” of Records

By the time I’d reached the end of my 10 years of reportage on the impacts of the US occupation of Iraq in 2013, it was impossible for me to find an Iraqi who did not have a family member, relative or friend who had been killed either by US troops, an act of non-state sponsored terrorism or random violence …

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Paul R. Pillar – More Neocon Excuses to Bomb Syria

The complicated, multidimensional nature of the Syrian civil war continues to discourage clear thinking in debate about U.S. policy toward Syria. The involvement in the conflict of multiple protagonists who are each anathema to the American debaters but who are opposed to each other within Syria is a fundamental complication that too often gets ignored. Basic questions of what U.S. interests …

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Andrew Hammond – Libya, not Syria, is now the frontline in the war against Isis

On Wednesday, Italy agreed to “positively consider” any US request to use Italian airspace and airbases for bombing missions against Isis in Libya. The move follows a series of US air strikes against Isis militants in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte on Monday. That action – which President Barack Obama declared as in the “vital national interests” of the US – is anticipated to be the …

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Philip Weiss – Clinton’s ‘infatuation with war’ and neoconservatism stirs misgivings on the left

As the Democratic convention approaches and Hillary Clinton tries to win over, or finesse, the progressive anti-war component of her base, many writers are expressing misgivings about her foreign policy. Not that they are Trump supporters; but they worry about being left out in the cold in a Clinton administration studded with neoconservatives. Here are three new takes on the …

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Vijay Prashad – We Owe It to the Victims of the Latest Bombing Tragedy in Turkey to Ask Why These Attacks Happened

Tragedies are tragedies. Ordinary people stand at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Guns and bombs shatter their lives in an instant. There can be no justification for such violence. It is dangerously random and wicked. Whatever frustrations produce the assailants, nothing could possibly draw a straight line from those grievances and the misfortunes they produce. Each of these attacks …

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Robert Parry – The State Department’s Collective Madness

Over the past several decades, the U.S. State Department has deteriorated from a reasonably professional home for diplomacy and realism into a den of armchair warriors possessed of imperial delusions, a dangerous phenomenon underscored by the recent mass “dissent” in favor of blowing up more people in Syria. Some 51 State Department “diplomats” signed a memo distributed through the official “dissent channel,” …

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Jonathan Marshall – Global Warming Adds to Mideast Hot Zone

While Washington decision-makers debate whether to launch U.S. military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, as if Syria suffers from a shortage of war and foreign intervention, the United States continues to ignore underlying issues that have helped trigger recent conflicts in the Middle East and threaten to create much bigger upheavals in decades to come. Taking the long view, …