Tag Archive for Syria

The Kurds Eye Long-Desired State

Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: The sectarian conflict engulfing Iraq has created an historic opportunity for the Kurds, a people who have long dreamed of their own homeland. A new Kurdish state carved out of Iraq also could shift the region’s power relationships, says Andrés Cala.

Kerry’s Poor Record for Veracity

Secretary of State John Kerry (center) testifies on the Syrian crisis before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept. 3, 2013. At the left of the photo is Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. and on the right is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. No senior U.S. intelligence official joined in the testimony. U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: Secretary of State Kerry has earned an unenviable reputation for bombastic exaggeration at times when diplomatic caution is needed, a pattern that he has demonstrated again in rushing to judgment over the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama and the State Department’s “anti-diplomats” are fanning flames of anger against Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine. But some U.S. intelligence analysts doubt the popular “blame-the-Russians” scenario, reports Robert Parry.

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: Neocons are the “masters of chaos” as they destabilize disfavored governments around the world. But real people pay the price as we’ve seen with Israel’s slaughter of four boys on a Gaza beach and an apparent shoot-down of a Malaysian airliner over war-torn Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

NYT Protects the Fogh Machine

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Exclusive: In crises ranging from the Iraq War to civil conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the New York Times has steadily transformed itself into a propaganda organ, promoting false U.S. government narratives rather than providing objective information to its readers, as Robert Parry observes again.

Obama’s Options on Iraq

Coffins of dead U.S. soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2006. (U.S. government photo)

Instead of sending U.S. troops back to Iraq to fight a resurgent Sunni jihadist insurgency, the Obama administration should put the squeeze on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to stop pouring billions of dollars into these radical groups, says Adil E. Shamoo.

Obama’s Half-Billion to Syria’s ‘Moderates’

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

President Obama’s plan to spend another half-billion dollars on Syria’s “moderate” rebels will add more fuel to the destructive violence just as the killing was finally dying down. It’s also hard to see how this investment will promote serious negotiations, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

Sayyid Qutb, a philosopher of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Islamic Fundamentalism frightens the West and that fear has motivated a fierce retaliation deploying more weapons and inflicting more slaughter. But in not understanding what drives the jihadists the military strategies may be making matters worse, observes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

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.

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.