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I misremember Iraq

Scott Long on
Brian Williams

Scott Long comments on the Brian Williams scandal that he lied about his experience in Iraq, but he doesn’t understand why this is an issue. Williams made up a story, but he was in the middle of the most fantastic made-up story in American history. The Iraq war was a gigantic fiction: the reasons were fake, the goals were fake, the triumph was fake. Rather than Williams’ tall tales, the real scandal is journalism’s complete submission, as the “war on terror” raged, to the fantasies of patriotic allegiance.

The Missing Context: ‘Islamic State’ sectarianism is not coincidental 

Ramzy Baroud on
An image made available on a jihadist website during the summer of 2014 which shows Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants holding the organization's trademark flag in Iraq. (Photo: AFP)

The United States didn’t create Iraqi sectarianism. The latter always brewed beneath the surface. However, sectarianism and other manifestations of identity politics in Iraq were always overpowered by a dominant sense of Iraqi nationalism, which was violently destroyed and ripped apart by US firepower starting March 2003. But what the American truly founded in Iraq was Sunni militancy, a concept that has, till recently been alien to the Middle East. What makes ISIS an essential sectarian phenomenon with extremely violent consequences is that it was born into an exceptionally sectarian environment, and could only operate within the existing rules.

Hamas is ISIS for dummies

Philip Weiss on
Boteach ad in New York Times

As you are surely aware, the gruesome murders of American journalists by the Islamic state group in Iraq and Syria have been seized on by demagogues to argue that the US must go to war in the Middle East. Chris Matthews has championed a “nationalistic response” to the killings and faulted Barack Obama for not […]

Palestinian refugees displaced again as they flee Islamic State in Iraq

Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery on
Palestinian Ambassador Nazmi Hazouri to Kurdistan speaks to Palestinian residents of Iraq and Kurdistan about the current situations in Gaza and Iraq. (Photo: Abed Al Qaisi)

Qasi Mustafa Abu Khalil and his family packed all of their belongings into one car and fled their home in the middle of the night. They were too nervous to look back as they left Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq—all eyes were glued on the road for Islamic State (IS) checkpoints, and the […]

Fire Thomas Friedman

James North on

Enough is enough. Thomas Friedman has just published his first column since the catastrophe in Iraq, and it is marked by so much dishonest evasion, pedestrian analysis, and poor writing that his editors should put him out to pasture at a think tank somewhere in Colorado, where he can’t do much more damage. First and […]

The world was right about Iraq– though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

Matthew Taylor on

In most circumstances, “We told you so” is a classless statement. But in this case, it’s justified. In 2003, in the largest global protest in human history, millions of us marched in the world’s streets, loudly proclaiming that invading Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, Israel’s neocon loyalists achieved exactly what they wanted: a […]

Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn’t invade Iraq

James North on

[Here is an alternative history of Iraq that we posted 4 years ago, revised in light of recent events.] Historians would later record how Secretary of State Colin Powell prevailed in a key Cabinet meeting in early 2003, when he refused to go before the United Nations because he lacked proof that Iraq had weapons […]

Reflections of an Iraqi in Palestine

Nessma Eman Bashi on

“Where was your father born?” he suspiciously asks. “Iraq” I reply. Born lost, I have found myself in the home of the landless where I am acutely aware of my identity built on a destroyed foundation. The rolling hills covered by aged olive trees, the scent of fresh lemons on my hand, and the immensity […]

Hope of Healing: for Sundus Shaker Saleh, Iraqi Mother, with my love

Alice Walker on

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003 Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother of three, lost her home and her property, and was forced to flee to Jordan.  A decade later, Saleh is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against six key members of the Bush administration. They’re arguing that, since the war was […]

Leak inquiry launched over ‘NYT’ story on American-Israeli cyberwar targeting Iran

Alex Kane on

General James Cartwright is in the crosshairs of the Obama administration’s latest leak investigation. (Photo: D. Myles Cullen/U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons The Obama administration’s war on leaks has now ensnared General James Cartwright, a four-star general and a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a high-level body of military leaders. Cartwright is the target […]

As Manning trial begins– ‘Does America have a conscience?’

Philip Weiss on

Bradley Manning’s trial begins today. The young Oklahoman is charged with espionage for courageous acts he undertook in Iraq to tell the American people what was happening with their Middle Eastern wars. We have sought to convey the great moral, political, and social urgency of standing up for Bradley Manning. Note that Daniel Ellsberg undertook […]

Boston, Baghdad & Birmingham

Shakeel Syed on

Instead of feasting their feat, innocent men and women of all ages were limping and crying. In a matter of seconds, Boston became Baghdad on the tax day. Bodies, blood and broken limbs were on the streets of Boston and on the television screens of the nation. Everyone I knew, all faiths and ages, confessed […]

Reflecting on bombings in Boston and Iraq

@WomanUnveiled on

The bombings that shook the Boston Marathon yesterday created waves of grief and sympathy around the globe. The race in itself is noted for drawing in thousands of runners from different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions; exemplifying the beauty of diversity in the United States. Investigations into the perpetrators and their motives are still ongoing. Yesterday’s […]

Returning to Iraq after war and exile

Banen Al-Sheemary on

Ten years ago today, I remember sitting in front of the television watching the sky turn bright yellow from the massive blasts. Slowly, I turned away from the screen to see my parents’ reaction: absolute silence. That was the first time I had seen my parents watch the TV news without voicing an opinion. I […]

‘NPR’ airs Ken Pollack’s Iran war games and leaves out his last war

Philip Weiss on

We should all be glad that a strategic war game on Iran at the Brookings Institution lately ended in a terrifying manner, with all-out war, but is Ken Pollack really in a position to be instructing us about the American people’s demands for retaliation against Iran? Pollack is the expert who did more than anyone […]

Iraq/Iran is ‘feverishly working to develop atomic weapons’ — Netanyahu 2012 echoes Netanyahu 2002

Nima Shirazi on

“Would I counsel, necessarily, a preemptive strike on Iran? I’m not sure. I would be very careful about that.” – Benjamin Netanyahu, September 12, 2002 Journalist Jim Lobe has done a tremendous service to those of us who follow the warmongering propaganda of American and Israeli officials over the Iranian nuclear program.  This week, Lobe reminded us of […]

Netanyahu seeks war with Iran so he can ethnically cleanse the West Bank — Machover

Philip Weiss on

Our fundraiser just ended, but you can still get a copy of Moshe Machover’s exciting and challenging new book, Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution, by donating $60 by the end of July. Published by Haymarket, the book is a collection of essays from the last 40 years by a socialist intellectual who was born […]

The crisis of Jewish identity

Philip Weiss on

Last Sunday, Stephen Walt gave a talk on the Israel lobby and Iran at the Church of the Messiah in the scientific community of Woods Hole, Mass., and as my parents have a house not a mile from the church, I walked over with my father. In the past, Walt and Mearsheimer’s assertion that the […]

C-SPAN is ravished by neocons

Philip Weiss on

John McCain will be speaking in a few minutes about Syria at the American Enterprise Institute. He’s been calling for arming the rebels. Then CSPAN is airing discussants on his talk. Three of the five–Michael Rubin of AEI, Lee Smith from the Weekly Standard, and Ammar Abdulhamid of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies– […]

38 and counting: Al Araqib asks Guinness for record of most demolitions carried out by Israel

Today in Palestine on

Palestinian villagers demand Guinness entry for demolition record  Residents of an Arab village in Israel demanded entry into Guinness World Records for breaking a record in the number of demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities.  The Bedouin village of al-Araqeeb, whose population is estimated at 500, is located in the Negev in southern Israel and […]

Between 1967 and 1994, Israel revoked the residency rights of 250,000 Palestinians

Today in Palestine on

Ethnic Cleansing / Land and Resource Theft & Destruction / Refugees & Occupation Israel admits it revoked residency rights of quarter million Palestinians since 1967 Many of those prevented from returning were students or young professionals, working aboard to support their families. Israeli MK, AIPAC behind Senate bid to cut total number of Palestinian […]

MSNBC squelched Donahue, Press and Buchanan to make way for Iraq war cheerleaders

Philip Weiss on

The American Conservative this month has more antiwar articles than any publication on the left. The cover piece is by Jordan Bloom, “When News Is Propaganda,” and its most disturbing section details the ways that the cable news networks folded in the runup to the Iraq war. Jeez, look at the memo about Phil Donahue– […]

11-year-old seized from playground by undercover officers is now ‘under investigation’

Today in Palestine on

11 year old taken from playground by undercover officers for “investigation” Undercover Israeli forces, known as the Musta’rivem , kidnapped a young child from Ras Elamoud in Silwan yesterday, 8 June. Muhammad Ashour,11, was taken by Musta’rivem officers from the playground in Silwan . Ashour remains in custody, with police stating that he is “under […]