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Juan Cole – Top 5 Ways Putin has won big in Syria and why Europe is embracing him

Russia is so far winning big in Syria, and making Moscow’s projection of force in the Middle East a reality that the other great powers have to recognize. As Russia has emerged as a major combatant against Syrian al-Qaeda and against Daesh (ISIS, ISIL), it is being accepted back into a Europe traumatized by two major attacks on Paris. France …

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Peter Symonds – CSIS report: A blueprint for US war with China

A major new report by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has laid out detailed plans for the Pentagon’s preparations for war in Asia. The report, entitled “Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025: Capabilities, Presence, and Partnerships,” examines the range of threats to US dominance in Asia, but there is no doubt that its chief preoccupation and target is China. …

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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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Adil E. Shamoo – The U.S. Should Not Accompany Saudi Arabia Over the Cliff

Like other totalitarian regimes that have no legitimacy and no base of support, the Saudis are wrapping themselves in religion. Saddam Hussein in the 1990s and currently Bashar al-Assad – the heads of the Baath party in Iraq and Syria – both played the religious card. However, Baathist doctrine in Iraq and Syria is basically irreligious. The Saudis are using …

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Stephen Lendman – Latest ISIS Atrocity in Syria. “Moderate Terrorists” Trained by the CIA

CIA operatives, US special forces and their rogue state counterparts train ISIS recruits in the fine art of committing gruesome atrocities, including beheadings, use of chemical and other toxic agents, as well as mass slaughtering civilians. US-led Western imperial ruthlessness bears full responsibility for the latest horrific incident. Dier Ezzor is Syria’s seventh largest city, its largest eastern one, located …

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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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Emails Prove Hillary Knew Libyan Rebels Were Conducting Ethnic Cleansing, Supported Them Anyway

On New Year’s Eve, the State Department released 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails from her tenure as secretary of state. While much of the corporate media dove into investigating pointless gossip, Brad Hoff at the Levant Report decided to look for more clues into understanding the epic failure that was the 2011 war on Libya by the US and NATO. …

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Daniel Lazare – Will Reckless Saudis Seek War with Iran?

Now that Saudi Arabia has severed diplomatic ties with Iran and reportedly bombed Iran’s embassy in Yemen, the big question is whether the Saudis are desperate and unhinged enough to launch an attack across the Persian Gulf. While Saudi leaders insist they have no such intent, there are mounting pressures pushing them in that direction. The ruling family is under unprecedented strain. Its …

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

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 …

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Lee Fang – Defense Industry Revenue Forecast Gushes Over Global Turmoil

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 …