Obama Administration

Iraqi Chaos May Give Kurds a State

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

Millions of Kurds live in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria but the British-French imperial division of the region left them without a state of their own, adding to the region’s tensions. But some Kurds see the current chaos in Iraq as a pathway to nationhood, as scholar Edmund Ghareeb told Dennis J Bernstein.

Who Violated Ukraine’s Sovereignty?

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the 
U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: The West has accused Russia of violating a 1994 pledge to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for its surrender of Soviet-era nuclear weapons. But the West’s political and economic interference might also represent a violation, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Selective Sympathy in Israel/Palestine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The mainstream U.S. media often reveals its bias by selecting some personal tragedies for saturation coverage while downplaying or ignoring similar horrors to “others,” such as the massive attention given to the search for three kidnapped Israeli teens, as Lawrence Davidson observes.

Learning Little from World War I

Trench warfare during World War I.

Looking back on the century of war and slaughter that has followed the start of World War I, one is reminded of Pete Seeger’s classic lyrics: “When will they ever learn?” Today, major world leaders behave with much the same thoughtless hubris as their forebears in 1914, as Gary G. Kohls recalls.

The Wisdom of Lawrence of Arabia

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, a British intelligence officer who recruited Bedouin tribesmen during World War I.

A century ago, during World War I, a British intelligence officer known as “Lawrence of Arabia” deeply understood the Mideast and saw hope for rational politics, but Western imperial ambitions intervened to ensure regional instability, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship recall.

Europe’s Generational Change

Spain's King Felipe VI.

Exclusive: The persistent European recession has undermined public support for the pillars of the establishment and opened a pathway for a generational change that could reshape the face of the Continent, writes Andrés Cala.

Obama’s New ‘Bias for Action’

President Barack Obama.

President Obama seems so shell-shocked from all the political and media criticism about his “weakness” that he is “doing something” by intervening in both the Syrian and Iraqi civil conflicts, a risky “bias for action” that can do more harm than good, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

NYT Revamps Its False Ukraine Narrative

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Exclusive: Official Washington’s Ukraine narrative has been that it was all Vladimir Putin’s fault, that the Russian president staged the crisis to restore the Russian empire, a storyline that never made sense and is now being rearranged to explain why Putin is seeking peace, writes Robert Parry.

Reaping the Seeds of Iraqi Hatred

An Iranian poster commemorating the shooting down of an Iranian civilian airliner by the USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988, killing all 290 people onboard.

The uproar in the mainstream U.S. news media over the barbarity of Islamic militants in Iraq downplays or ignores the brutality of the U.S. invasion and occupation that unleashed the ethnic and sectarian hatreds in the first place, as Danny Schechter notes.

Iraq’s Depleted Uranium Threat

President George W. Bush and members of his national security team in Iraq in 2007

Over the past two dozen years, the massive damage that the U.S. has inflicted on Iraq’s population, infrastructure and environment includes the residue from American “deplete uranium” weapons that can cause cancer and other illnesses, writes John LaForge.