Is Drone Warfare Fraying at the Edges?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It was a typical little news story on Washington’s drone wars – six paragraphs from Yemen, the sort of minimalist report that, in these years, has also regularly come out of Pakistan or even, from time to time, Somalia. “A U.S. drone attack in Yemen killed four suspected al-Qaeda militants on […]

The Long History of Israel Gaming the ‘Iranian Threat’

Western news media has feasted on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s talk and the reactions to it as a rare political spectacle rich in personalities in conflict. But the real story of Netanyahu’s speech is that he is continuing a long tradition in Israeli politics of demonizing Iran to advance domestic and foreign policy interests. The history […]

ISIS in Ukraine

While we’re fighting the Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS, in Iraq and Syria, and American officials tout the alleged danger of an attack on the US homeland, in Ukraine Washington and the Caliphate are fighting on the same side. A remarkable series of articles by Marcin Mamon in The Intercept has documented an aspect of the […]

Thousands Try To Flee Tikrit As 339 Are Killed across Iraq

As fighting intensifies in the Tikrit region, Islamic State militants may be in the process of destroying one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, Nimrud, near Mosul. Meanwhile, at least 339 people were killed, most of them militants. Another 36 were wounded.

Not Quite Goodbye

Having refrained from writing in the first person here before – except in one or two instances that I can recall – I beg my readers for an indulgence to do so now. For you see, this is a special, quasi-column: a not-quite-goodbye. Some of you may have noticed a couple of articles in the […]

Iraqi Forces Make Some Progress; 139 Killed

According to the Minster of the Interior, Iraqi forces are making some progress, if slow, in the Salah ad-Din operation. At least 139 were killed and 16 more were wounded.

New Force Against ISIS Will Not Solve This Dilemma

President Obama recently announced he is seeking authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against the jihadist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Despite the fact that Washington has already launched "2,000 coalition airstrikes," the joint resolution does propose to limit engagement to three years and repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use […]

Bibi Wants War

Here is the one big takeaway from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress: "I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over. "We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We […]

128 Killed in Iraq Battles and Attacks

Iraq forces are making slow progress in their battles to liberate Salah ad-Din province. At least 128 were killed in fighting and other violence. At least six were wounded. The Iraqi army, Shi’ite militias, and volunteer fighters are seeking to seal off Tikrit. The town of Dour is effectively surrounded. But, the only complete victories […]

The US Government Is Making the Problem of Islamist Extremism Worse

The Islamist terrorists are winning and the U.S. government is helping them! Barack Obama just finished a three-day White House conference on countering "violent extremism" but did not want the event excessively focused on law enforcement. Meanwhile, after a masked man from al Shabab, Somalia’s al Qaeda affiliate, threatened the Mall of America in Minneapolis, […]