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Trump dines, Arabs die

Allison Deger on

President Donald Trump’s admission on Fox that he ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria between bites of “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” makes it the second time he has launched a military attack during a meal.

Woman and child killed in Iraq as US adopts Israeli ‘knocker’ bombs and leaflet drops

Allison Deger on

American forces have adopted Israeli military tactics employed in Gaza of dropping cautionary leaflets and knocker bombs intended to warn civilians of incoming attacks. The method was used outside of Mosul in a recent operation, yet a woman and a child were killed upon re-entering a building shortly after it was targeted by a hellfire missile. The deaths were disclosed by a Department of Defense official in a briefing yesterday on expanding U.S. forces in Iraq as it battles fighters with the Islamic State.

British Parliamentarians pay homage to Dick Cheney during debate over ISIS

Nu'man Abd al-Wahid on

On December 3rd 2015 a statue was unveiled in honor of Richard “Dick” Cheney at the United States Capitol. Coincidentally, the previous day witnessed the British parliament, specifically the House of Commons, inadvertently honor Cheney in the debate on whether to extend the military intervention aimed at ISIS in Iraq into ISIS’s supposed heartland in Syria.

A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII

Ben Norton on

The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the horrors of World War II. There are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an all-time high, as people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen are fleeing violence in their countries. Human rights organizations warn the Gulf states, Israel, Iran, and Russia—all of whom have taken zero refugees—along with the US, Canada, and Europe—which have taken few—are not doing enough. Ben Norton presents a guide to the refugee crisis and how every country you need to know about is responding.

Photo essay: Continually displaced, Palestinian refugees spend Nakba day in Iraqi IDP camp

Abed Al Qaisi on

Baharka IDP camp, Iraq, holds over 1,000 displaced Iraqi families. However in one small section, 18 Palestinian refugee families currently reside. Their displacement began 67 years ago with the Nakba, and has continued to 2015 – all the families have fled from ISIS within the last year. For some of the older Palestinian refugees this is their fifth refugee camp in their lifetime, for the younger generation it is their first. For all however, the plight of being a Palestinian refugee doesn’t appear to have an end in sight.

I misremember Iraq

Scott Long on

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

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

The organization that pushed the latest beheading video in the press is a Zionist group, SITE. And once again, neoconservatives and Zionists are using an American journalist’s gruesome murder to put forward the nonsensical claim that Hamas, a resistance force in Palestine, and ISIS are the same. Sadly, even Chris Matthews is drumming up “nationalistic” response to the killings.

Palestinian refugees displaced again as they flee Islamic State in Iraq

Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery on

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 checkpoints, and the sky for Iraqi Government military jets. The Abu Khalil’s have lived as refugees in Iraq since their family fled Palestine in 1948 during Israel’s war of independence, which forcibly displaced over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and into the life of a refugee. Today, like many Palestinians in Iraq, Abu Khalil and his family find themselves fleeing for their lives yet again. Over 300 Palestinians have recently fled the city of Mosul, which was taken over early June by The Islamic State formerly known as the Islamic State of of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), an offshoot of the Islamic militant group Al Qaeda. “In my mind I don’t think I will ever come back to Mosul,” Abu Khalil told Mondoweiss. Above, Palestinian Ambassador Nazmi Hazouri to Kurdistan speaks to Palestinian residents of Iraq and Kurdistan about the current situations in Gaza and Iraq.

Fire Thomas Friedman

James North on

Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column on the catastrophe in Iraq, titled “5 Principles for Iraq,” is dishonest, pedestrian, and poorly written. Isn’t it time he lost his job?

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

Matthew Taylor on

We protesters against the Iraq war were wrong: we did not see just how bad it would be. But Israel’s American neocon boosters got exactly what they wanted– a “clean break” from the historic power struggle in the region, through destabilization of Arab capitals.

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

James North on

Here is how history might have unfolded in an alternate universe in which the U.S. never invaded Iraq. 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 of mass destruction. “What if the U.N. inspections have actually worked, Mr. President?” he asked. “It would be a disaster if we invade and then can’t find anything.”

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

Alice Walker on

A poem by Alice Walker for Sundus Shaker Saleh. Saleh alleges that the Iraq War was a premeditated war against the Iraqi people — and now she is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against six key members of the Bush administration. 

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

Alex Kane on

General James Cartwright is the target of an leak investigation after a story was published by the New York Times revealing details about the U.S.-Israeli cyberwar on Iran. National security blogger Marcy Wheeler raises an interesting question about the leak: is Cartwright being investigated for what he revealed about U.S. officials’ anger at Israel over a cyberwar program gone awry?

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 similar actions, with more highly-classified documents, and was not imprisoned. And the elite media benefited hugely from Manning’s disclosures, but treat him now as part-traitor.

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 takeaway: We see and hear of victims of terrorism in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, and Afghanistan every day. The death of an innocent, no matter where, is nothing short of horrifying.

Returning to Iraq after war and exile

Banen Al-Sheemary on

Ten years ago today, Banen Al-Sheemary remembers sitting in front of the television watching the sky turn bright yellow from the massive blasts as the US invaded Iraq. She had left the country with her family during the 1991 U.S. invasion. She returned to Iraq in 2012.