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But they hadn't destroyed it.

On Tuesday, a group of Islamic militants that were thrown out of al-Qaeda for being too violent took over Iraq's second largest city. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (abbreviated as ISIS) kicked the Iraqi Army out of Mosul, a wealthy city in northwestern Iraq. Today, ISIS secured another northern city, Tikrit. It currently controls an area "the size of Belgium," according to Jason Lyall, a Yale University political scientist who studies insurgencies. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 11, 2014 - 215 comments

TP-AJAX

In 2011, the CIA declassified documents admitting its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's elected government and installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, details of which were first first disclosed by the New York Times in 2000. Timeline. However, they refused to release them to the public. Today, the National Security Archive research institute has (after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit) obtained and made the 21 documents public. "Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 19, 2013 - 33 comments

How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
posted by shivohum on Feb 18, 2013 - 218 comments

.

Tomorrow marks the official end of the Iraq war. The Obama administration describes it as a 'promise kept'. The war resulted in a great many casualties. Although the final troop movement out of the country is not scheduled to begin for a few days, history will record December 15 as the end of the war, as the flag of the American military mission in Bagdhad is lowered and returned to the US. Scholars at Brown University estimate the total cost of the war at 265,000 dead and $3-4 trillion dollars. The main contenders for the Republican party's 2012 nomination both expressed approval and disapproval. Previously, 339 times.
posted by anigbrowl on Dec 14, 2011 - 95 comments

Borders. Security. Refugees. Jerusalem.

The Atlantic is in the middle of a four-part special report on the Israel / Palestinian peace process, called "Is Peace Possible?" which features multimedia presentations on and analyses of what they believe are the four core issues of the conflict: Borders, Security, Refugees, and Jerusalem. (The latter two will be released on Monday, November 7 and 14th, respectively) The report was put together in collaboration with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 1, 2011 - 21 comments

"For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

Obama calls on Assad to step down. The US and EU announce sanctions on Assad's regime. The New York Times looks at the resistence in Homs. Al Jazeera has an ongoing Syrian Live blog. Enduring America continues to cover the Arab Spring.
posted by empath on Aug 18, 2011 - 65 comments

Landmark of the Resistance

Lebanon has one tourist attraction that's making money, the Hezbollah financed "Landmark of the Resistance", a theme park commemorating multiple wars with Israel.
posted by mikoroshi on Oct 2, 2010 - 38 comments

"We Should Kill Everyone There"

IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement. "During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive." Can Israel dismiss its own troops' stories from Gaza? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2009 - 106 comments

A Social History of the Surge

A Social History of the Surge by Juan Cole.
posted by homunculus on Jul 29, 2008 - 33 comments

Magnum Photos' two newest nominees

American-Dutch photographer Peter van Agtmael and English photographer Olivia Arthur are the two newest nominees recently welcomed into Magnum Photos. Agtmael's images of Afghanistan and Iraq are very powerful - he discusses his work in Conscientious. Arthur's recent work has focused on women's experiences in what she calls the Middle Distance. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 8, 2008 - 8 comments

Admiral Fallon

The Man Between War and Peace. "As head of U. S. Central Command, Admiral William 'Fox' Fallon is in charge of American military strategy for the most troubled parts of the world. Now, as the White House has been escalating the war of words with Iran, and seeming ever more determined to strike militarily before the end of this presidency, the admiral has urged restraint and diplomacy. Who will prevail, the president or the admiral?" [Via Think Progress.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2008 - 50 comments

The Gaza Bombshell

Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 3, 2008 - 94 comments

Challenges Facing the US in the Middle East

Top 10 Challenges Facing the US in the Middle East, 2008 [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 31, 2007 - 54 comments

Adding up US subsidies for auto travel with and without the costs of war

In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way. The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia on Oct 2, 2007 - 99 comments

It's Tuesday

Martin Amis on 9/11 and the cult of death: [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 11, 2007 - 71 comments

Bonaparte and Bush on Deck

Lessons from Past Western Incursions in the Middle East. A speech by Juan Cole at the New America Foundation in which he discusses his new book, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East, and the relevance and lessons of Napoleon's expedition in Egypt to the current American occupation of Iraq. A shorter version, covering many of the same points, is in this article: Pitching the Imperial Republic.
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2007 - 17 comments

"The station's gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah..."

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, ... from their About US page: Alhurra is operated by non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the American people through the U.S Congress. US Govt. Accountability Office abstract about other MBN problems here.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2007 - 44 comments

Doing our homework on the Middle East

22 basic suggested readings on the Middle East from history professor and informed commenter on Middle Eastern affairs Juan Cole.
posted by LobsterMitten on Mar 7, 2007 - 37 comments

The Redirection

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2007 - 40 comments

Drop Today, Kill Tomorrow

The UN reports “ Up to a million cluster bomblets discharged by Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah remain unexploded in southern Lebanon." "What's shocking" (Read down) and quote "I would say completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict when we knew there would be a resolution, when we knew there would be an end. Most of them are from America." who may ban future sales. Some people are campaigning. A brief history (Scroll down). Bravo Belgium. An unexpected link between books and bombs. Last discussion.
posted by adamvasco on Sep 27, 2006 - 154 comments

Partitioning Democracy

The practical future of the country formerly known as Iraq. [NewsFilter, but a significant acknowledgement of something long-in-coming.]
posted by digaman on Aug 9, 2006 - 63 comments

vote early & often

How To Put Your Thumb on the Scales of World Opinion. In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.
posted by scalefree on Jul 31, 2006 - 147 comments

My crystal balls sez:

PINR presents a well educated guess over what is going to happen with the Israel - Hezbollah conflict. They also offer significant background and insight into the mood and motives of some surrounding states.
posted by bigmusic on Jul 20, 2006 - 13 comments

The New Arab Public

It's not the war in Iraq that's revolutionizing the Middle East -- it's the media. "Surprisingly, it may be this new public sphere, rather than the war in Iraq or the Bush's administration's democracy rhetoric, that does the most to promote liberalization and reform in the Arab world. " Marc Lynch, an associate professor of political science at Williams College and the (until recently) anonymous writer behind the popular blog Abu Aardvark, talked to Mother Jones about how the new Arab public is transforming the Middle East.
posted by storybored on Jan 21, 2006 - 12 comments

Hi kids! Do you like violence?

Animated video broadcast on Iran's IRIB state television, apparently aimed at children, seemingly promotes the virtues of becoming a suicide bomber. Coralized wmv link, transcript.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 6, 2005 - 57 comments

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea. Bush had no answers to big questions, such as 'what happens on the morning after.' The Daily Telegraph reports that documents show Prime Minister Tony Blair signed up to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, a year before the conflict started... after he was warned that postwar stability would be difficult and the U.S. had few answers. Oh, no problem. This week, Bush said he is 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq.'
posted by fleener on Sep 19, 2004 - 14 comments

The Moral Case Against the Iraq War

The Moral Case Against the Iraq War
Also on the moral tip, Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings
internal January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales (PDF)
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2004 - 36 comments

That was then...

A Report on Mesopotamia by T.E. Lawrence, August 2nd, 1920.
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2004 - 13 comments

Cherry picking shopping

$20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned...His officers argued at a pre-briefing at Energy headquarters that there was no hard evidence to support the alarming Iraq nuclear charge, and asked to join State Department's dissenting opinion, Energy officials say. Rider ordered them to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Aug 13, 2003 - 22 comments

Say hi to Hi!

The U.S. government launches Hi, a new Arabic-language lifestyle magazine targeted at 18-35 year olds in Middle Eastern countries. Story ideas for the first issue.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 18, 2003 - 13 comments

peace in the middle east?

With today's news of peace between Israel and Palestine my opinion of Bush just shot up several notches, but will the compromises stick and finally acheive peace? In the past, Clinton brokered a similar peace deal, Bush I tried it in 1991, Reagan tried, and even Carter did his best. Even with all the previous work, we're still where we are today, which is less than satisfactory for everyone involved. Will today's announcement finally bring peace to the region or is that too much of a pipe dream?
posted by mathowie on Jun 4, 2003 - 43 comments

Invasion Explained

Iraq in a Nutshell
by O'Reilly Books (not really)

A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK

A light hearted look at the oft repeated justifications for war in Iraq and their counter arguments.
posted by nofundy on Apr 7, 2003 - 85 comments

Leaked U.S. to U.N. Members Memo

Friday Doublethink Fun. "An extraordinary communication from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"

But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Apr 4, 2003 - 24 comments

Reactions from the Arab world

Reactions from the Arab world Meanwhile Israel gets more financial aid from the US further angering Muslims and contributing to Zionist/US conspiracy theories. Sadly, Bush seems to have found how to pay for this war by not supporting the troops.
posted by skallas on Mar 21, 2003 - 34 comments

Bush to remake Middle East

WSJ says war in Iraq really first step in grand scheme to remake the Middle East. Rumsfeld and Fleischer can still be seen on TV news implying "we just want them to disarm". More on What Makes W. Tick from The Atlantic.
posted by dand on Mar 21, 2003 - 37 comments

Water War Iraq

Is the looming war with Iraq the first Water War? Should the signs really be saying No Blood for Water? From -Water Wars: a lecture by (Adel Darwish) "Oil has always been thought of as the traditional cause of conflict in the Middle East past and present. Since the first Gulf oil well gushed in Bahrain in 1932, countries have squabbled over borders in the hope that ownership of a patch of desert or a sand bank might give them access to new riches. No longer. Now, most borders have been set, oil fields mapped and reserves accurately estimated - unlike the water resources, which are still often unknown. WATER is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict in the Middle East."
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 17, 2003 - 25 comments

Blowback: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire plus War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era

Chalmers Johnson is an provocative proponent of the American Empire theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire

I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era of The Whole Wide World

The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?

It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

Newsfilter, I just couldn't help it.

The first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity. via fox news Times Online.
posted by elwoodwiles on Mar 10, 2003 - 41 comments

The first of many wars?

The Pentagon's New Map is probably the frankest asssessment yet of why neo-cons want to go marching into Iraq - and, maybe, keep on marching. An instructor at the U.S. Naval Military College tells us why "military engagement with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good."
posted by kgasmart on Mar 6, 2003 - 79 comments

Terry Jones Monty Python Observer

Terry Jones of Monty Python fame attempts to apply the Bush administration policy to his own neighborhood.
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 5, 2003 - 54 comments

Welcome your new (numerically challenged) liberal media overlords!

Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing on Jan 20, 2003 - 105 comments

An Open Letter to Congress

An Open Letter to Congress from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
posted by mooseindian on Sep 26, 2002 - 91 comments

A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged

A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged to ensure the success of the American side against unspecified Middle East opponents, according to the retired General commanding the Middle East forces. Most amusingly, he managed to sink most of the American navy, and the game had to be stopped so the ships could be "refloated". I have to wonder, does this wargame indicate that America could be biting off more than it can chew, if it decides to invade Iraq by itself, or was this $200million down the drain?
posted by salmacis on Aug 21, 2002 - 45 comments

Voices, Explosions, Silence: The Middle East Turmoil On (And Off) The Air.

Voices, Explosions, Silence: The Middle East Turmoil On (And Off) The Air. "We apologize for the discontinuation of the transmission of the Voice of Love and Peace. The offices, studios and transmission equipment were destroyed totally by Israeli forces in their last invasion of Ramallah." (from Radio Nederlands, more...)
posted by tpoh.org on May 20, 2002 - 6 comments

Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime.

Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime. "A monstrous war crime that Israel has tried to cover up for a fortnight has finally been exposed." Strong stuff from the Independent.
posted by Leonard on Apr 16, 2002 - 103 comments

An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition.

An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition. "For the founders of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition, there is a possible way out of the present murderous impasse in the region: a return to the agreement drawn up at Taba in January 2001. Two of those who drew it up, one Israeli and one Palestinian, propose an alternative way forward."
posted by talos on Apr 16, 2002 - 1 comment

Middle East war predictions

Middle East war predictions "..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]
posted by Voyageman on Mar 27, 2002 - 14 comments

Promises

Promises "What is it really like to live in Jerusalem? PROMISES offers touching and fresh insight into the Middle East conflict when filmmakers Shaprio, Goldberg and Bolado travel to this complex and charged city to see what seven children — Palestinian and Israeli — think about war, peace and just growing up." airs tonite (check your local listings) i've seen a few POV documentaries before and they were pretty good.
posted by kliuless on Dec 13, 2001 - 3 comments

Dead Men Walking

Dead Men Walking Thomas Lipscome urges us to think about 4th generation warfare, the nature of the battle, and the potential dangers well beyond the idea of nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. From the article: "Terrorists become extraordinarily resourceful playing weak hands against the strong and rich. So do revolutionaries. And it is time to realize bin Laden is both" This article is short yet wide-ranging, neatly bringing together the Balkans, Clinton, the Media, and 4G warfare.
via follow me here
posted by cell divide on Nov 28, 2001 - 3 comments

What does it mean?

What does it mean? The two sides are at it again. So I guess they will be declaring war agianst each other some time soon. Anyone really think these meetings will yield something that lasts more than say 48 hours?
posted by brent on Oct 20, 2000 - 4 comments

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