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Guide to Understanding the Middle East

Guide to Understanding the Middle East

Idiots Guide to Middle EastWhat could be simpler than the Middle East? A well-known Egyptian blogger who writes under the pseudonym The Big Pharaoh put together this chart laying out the region’s rivalries and alliances. He’s kindly granted me permission to post it, so that Americans might better understand the region. The joke is that it’s not a joke; this is actually pretty accurate.

Ron Paul: Bradley Manning Promotes Peace More Than Obama

Ron Paul: Bradley Manning Promotes Peace More Than Obama

“Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is [convicted] of providing an enormous stash of classified government documents to WikiLeaks for publication, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize more than President Barack Obama, according to former Texas Rep. Ron Paul. ‘While President Obama was starting and expanding unconstitutional wars overseas, Bradley Manning, whose actions have caused exactly zero deaths, was shining light on the truth behind these wars,’ the former Republican presidential contender told U.S. News. ‘It’s clear which individual has done more to promote peace.’ Manning was nominated for the award in 2011, 2012 and again earlier this year. Obama won the award in 2009.” Continue reading

Glenn Greenwald: Three key lessons from the Obama administration’s drone lies

Glenn Greenwald: Three key lessons from the Obama administration’s drone lies

“It’s entirely unsurprising that the Obama administration got caught making plainly false statements about its killing program. But for the same reason, it’s very significant that it has been caught. In light of this evidence, any journalists that continue to rely on US government statements about its killing program are revealing themselves to be eager propagandists, willing to be lied to and help amplify those lies (the same was true of journalists who continued to rely on government statements about ‘militants’ being killed even after they knew how Obama officials had broadened that term to the point of meaninglessness). How many times do we have to learn these same lessons?” Continue reading

Obama moves towards sending military weapons to Somalia

Obama moves towards sending military weapons to Somalia

[April 2013] “President Barack Obama took the first step Monday toward providing US military assistance to Somali forces battling Islamist militants, after the easing of a UN arms embargo last month. Obama signed a determination stating that having the legal capacity to offer defense equipment to Somalia was in the national interest of the United States and could promote peace and stability in East Africa. The move allows the US Secretary of State to consider the provision of arms to Somalia but does not signal a decision to provide specific assistance. Since 2007, the United States has provided $133 million in security sector assistance to Somalia.” Continue reading

Pentagon sends troops to Jordan to counter Syria chemical weapons threat

Pentagon sends troops to Jordan to counter Syria chemical weapons threat

[April 2013] “The Pentagon’s decision to send a contingent of US troops to Jordan, announced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a congressional hearing this week, raises the question of whether the Obama administration has now moved one step closer to a military intervention in Syria. Mr. Hagel told lawmakers that he green-lighted the deployment last week in order to ‘improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios.’ These troops, a unit from Fort Bliss in Texas, will bring the number of US forces in Jordan to more than 200. The plan is for the US troops to help train their Jordanian counterparts in the finer points of defending their border with Syria.” Continue reading

American Drone

American Drone

“Haunted by a mission gone wrong, U.S. drone sensor operator Calvin Williams begins to feel suspicious about drone warfare and the implications it could have on freedom domestically. When his suspicions turn into reality, he is forced to act. 

Written and directed by Johan A. du Toit” Continue reading

Russian warships enter Mediterranean to form permanent task force

Russian warships enter Mediterranean to form permanent task force

[May 2013] “Warships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet have entered the Mediterranean for the first time in decades. Russia’s Navy Chief says the task force may be reinforced with nuclear submarines, as the country starts building up a permanent fleet in the region. The group includes destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, two amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, as well as a tanker and a tugboat. The ships left the Far-Eastern port city of Vladivostok on March 19 to join Russia’s Mediterranean task force, which currently consists of vessels from Northern, Baltic, and the Black Sea Fleets, including a large anti-submarine ship, a frigate and a Ropucha-II Class landing ship.” Continue reading

US Set to Launch ‘Iraq, The Sequel’, in Syria

US Set to Launch ‘Iraq, The Sequel’, in Syria

“If you liked the run up to the US attack on Iraq, with the lurid fictional tales of mobile chemical weapons labs and Saddam’s nukes, you will love ‘Iraq, The Sequel’, currently unfolding in Syria. It is everything the interventionists have been hoping for: a heady brew of Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya all rolled into one. The possibility for an infinitely more toxic conflagration is exponentially higher, to boot, adding for the interventionists much excitement to the mix. A fourth US warship capable of launching the type of cruise missiles that turned Libya to rubble and paved the way for al-Qaeda affiliates to take control of that country is now rushing to the waters off of Syria.” Continue reading