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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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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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Andrew J. Bacevich – On Building Armies (and Watching Them Fail)

First came Fallujah, then Mosul, and later Ramadi in Iraq.  Now, there is Kunduz, a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan.  In all four places, the same story has played out: in cities that newspaper reporters like to call “strategically important,” security forces trained and equipped by the U.S. military at great expense simply folded, abandoning their posts (and much of their U.S.-supplied weaponry) without even …

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. …

ISIS Is The Child Of Chaos, Not Religion By Justin Podur

In the third week of May, ISIS took the city of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, in two, big, high-profile victories. Though ISIS has constantly been in the news for years now, these two cities seem to return the sense of an unstoppable march of Islamist forces across the Middle East. As the beheadings began almost immediately in …

A Prehistory of Violence – George Monbiot

Do you want to know the real reason for the advances by Isis in Iraq and Syria? Changing lightbulbs in America. This is the explanation given by John McCain, Republican chair of the Senate armed services committee. At the weekend he blamed Barack Obama’s inability to magic away Islamic State on the president’s belief that climate change is “the biggest enemy we …