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ROBERT FISK – Do the Tragedies of Syria Signal the End of Arab Revolutions?

Just as the catastrophic Anglo-American invasion of Iraq brought an end to epic Western military adventures in the Middle East, so the tragedy of Syria ensures that there will be no more Arab revolutions. And it’s taken just 13 bloodsoaked years – from 2003 to 2016 – to realign political power. Russia and Iran and the Shia Muslims of the …

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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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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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Anti-Wahhabism spreading in Muslim world

Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Saudi grand mufti and head of the Council of Senior Scholars, spoke to Makkah newspaper Sept. 6, saying, “We must understand that those are not Muslims. They are Majus [Zoroastrians], and their enmity to Muslims — specifically to the Sunni community — goes way back.” Although Sheikh was addressing the Iranian political regime, his choice of words and …

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Tony Cartalucci – Turkey is the Source, Not Solution to ISIS and the Syrian Crisis

A torrent of familiar propaganda has flooded the airwaves as the imminent collapse of Washington and its regional allies’ proxy terrorist forces in Syria approaches. Predicated on “humanitarian concerns,” global audiences are reminded of the torrent of lies, fabrications, and deceit that preceded NATO’s military intervention in Libya – a military intervention that has since left the North African nation …

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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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Tobin Harshaw – Saudi Arabia Has Bigger Problems Than Iran

http://Shia IslamSunni IslamBashar al-AssadSaudi ArabiaSyriaBarack ObamaCentral Intelligence Agency John KerryMiddle EastSyrian oppositionSaudi Arabia’s feud with Iran over the beheading of a prominent Shiite cleric led to a lot of overwrought speculation about Sunni-Shiite tensions rising to tear up the Middle East. Those more steeped in regional affairs point to the other 46 men beheaded, almost all of whom were Sunnis …

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Medea Benjamin – The Execution of Nimr Al-Nimr: One More Reason to Re-evaluate the Toxic U.S.-Saudi Alliance

The brutal Saudi execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr has led to protests around the globe, as well as the burning of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, followed by the Saudi severing of relations with Iran. This exacerbation of Sunni-Shia tensions is the result of the reckless Saudi action against a popular, nonviolent Shia leader. Also reckless is the …

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Robert Fisk – Saudi Arabia’s Mad Head-Choppers

Saudi Arabia’s binge of head-choppings – 47 in all, including the learned Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, followed by a Koranic justification for the executions – was worthy of Isis. Perhaps that was the point. For this extraordinary bloodbath in the land of the Sunni Muslim al-Saud monarchy – clearly intended to infuriate the Iranians and the entire Shia …

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Outrage Follows Saudi Arabia’s Execution of Nearly 50 Prisoners

Saudi Arabia—recently chosen to to head a key United Nations human rights panel—on Saturday executed 47 people convicted of “terrorism,” including at least four convicted of offenses related to political protest. According to Reuters, the executions took place in 12 cities in Saudi Arabia, with four prisons using firing squads and the others beheading. Among those killed was prominent Shiite …