American Horrors: Regime Change in Iraq to the Rise of ISIS

Subscribe to the Intercepted podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Radio Public, and other platforms. New to podcasting? Click here. Trump is gloating over the reported death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. This week on Intercepted: Amidst the grandstanding and partisan bickering, no one wants to talk about the decades of U.S. policy that helped give rise … Continue reading “American Horrors: Regime Change in Iraq to the Rise of ISIS”

Trois Français condamnés à mort en Irak pour appartenance à Daesh

Un magistrat de la cour de Bagdad a indiqué à l’AFP que trois Français, qu’il a jugés, avaient été condamnés à mort le 25 mai pour appartenance au groupe terroriste Etat islamique. Il s’agit de Kévin Gonot, Léonard Lopez et Salim Machou, arrêtés en Syrie par une alliance arabo-kurde anti-Daesh avant d’être transférés en Irak en février. … Continue reading “Trois Français condamnés à mort en Irak pour appartenance à Daesh”

Boondoggle, Inc.

by William D. Hartung and Mandy Smithberger In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak … Continue reading “Boondoggle, Inc.”

AL ULA, le fabuleux roman de la France-Arabie … Par Hedy Belhassine

Source : Proche & Moyen-Orient, Hedy Belhassine, 29-04-2019 Le premier roman de tous les temps en Arabie saoudite a été écrit il y a tout juste soixante ans par une femme native de La Mecque. Samira était fille de l’unique chirurgien du Royaume et mère de Dodi, celui-là même qui en 1997 dans le tunnel … Continue reading “AL ULA, le fabuleux roman de la France-Arabie … Par Hedy Belhassine”

Sanders, Warren, and Wyden Slam Assange Indictment, a Renegade Use of the Espionage Act to Criminalize Journalism

The Justice Department filed 17 charges against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange on Thursday, deploying the controversial Espionage Act as a cudgel against First Amendment protections and press freedom. It’s the first time the U.S. government has used the Espionage Act to prosecute a publisher, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.   Democratic presidential candidates … Continue reading “Sanders, Warren, and Wyden Slam Assange Indictment, a Renegade Use of the Espionage Act to Criminalize Journalism”

The Indictment of Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act Is a Threat to the Press and the American People

Placards left by supporters of Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian Embassy on Aug. 20, 2012 in London, England. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images A true democracy does not allow its government to decide who is a journalist. A nation in which a leader gets to make that decision is on the road to dictatorship. That is … Continue reading “The Indictment of Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act Is a Threat to the Press and the American People”

Trump’s “Emergency” Sale to Saudi Arabia Must Not Stand

by William D. Hartung Congressional opposition to U.S. support for the brutal Saudi/UAE war in Yemen has been growing in the past few years. It has underpinned the work of a network of peace, human rights, and humanitarian aid groups who are moved to end what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst … Continue reading “Trump’s “Emergency” Sale to Saudi Arabia Must Not Stand”

Exclusive: Julian Assange’s Attorney Decries Espionage Charges as “Grave Threat to Press Freedom”

In an unprecedented move, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 17 charges of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing U.S. classified military and diplomatic documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents were leaked by U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The Espionage Act of 1917 … Continue reading “Exclusive: Julian Assange’s Attorney Decries Espionage Charges as “Grave Threat to Press Freedom””

Paul Bremer’s Legacy in Iraq Is Being Expanded Across the Arab World

Today marks 16 years since Paul Bremer, the former American diplomat, made history three times in the space of one month. First he was appointed head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the administration that ran Iraq after it … The post Paul Bremer’s Legacy in Iraq Is Being Expanded Across the Arab World appeared … Continue reading “Paul Bremer’s Legacy in Iraq Is Being Expanded Across the Arab World”

The Geography of War: No Iraq…? No Iran!

As Iraq/ Iran economic ties continue to strengthen, with Iraq recently signing on for billions of cubic meters of Iranian natural gas, the shift towards Russian influence was certified as Iraq sent a delegation to Moscow to negotiate the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft system. The post The Geography of War: No Iraq…? No Iran! … Continue reading “The Geography of War: No Iraq…? No Iran!”

Iran, Venezuela and the Throes of Empire

Illustration by Nathaniel St. Clair With the Trump administration threatening war against Iran and Venezuela, the question of how the U.S. was brought to this point needs to be considered. To argue that current circumstances are particular to this administration is to overlook U.S. history vis-a-vis both Iran and Venezuela and that between them they … Continue reading “Iran, Venezuela and the Throes of Empire”

The (Small-d) Democrat’s Dilemma

The Trump presidency has been a disaster for the country and the world; a second Trump term would be calamitous.  The menace must be stopped. The sad fact is, though, that for Trump to lose in 2020, a (big-D) Democrat will have to win. This means that the responsible thing for (small-d) democrats to do … Continue reading “The (Small-d) Democrat’s Dilemma”

Gaslighters of God

And Elohim Created Adam by William Blake, c. 1795 A number of evangelical Christians tell us that Donald Trump’s presidency is heaven sent, which indicates that they know God’s will and can even speak for God. In reality, they are using God to gaslight their followers and other citizens into believing that Trump’s presidency is … Continue reading “Gaslighters of God”

Russiagate and the Dry Rot in American Journalism

Photograph Source: Jeff Maurone from Seattle, WA, USA – CC BY 2.0 Hunter S. Thompson dissected the mainstream news long before the false narratives of Iraqi WMD’s and Russian collusion. The 2016 U.S. presidential elections showed how easily a real estate hustler can hijack the public’s attention with the help of all major news corporations. … Continue reading “Russiagate and the Dry Rot in American Journalism”

Senate Committee Votes to Raise Defense Spending for Second Year in a Row to $750 Billion

The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced a major defense spending bill in a closed session this week, agreeing to the Trump administration’s $750 billion request and raising U.S. defense spending to levels not seen since the height of the Iraq War. If it passes the House and Senate, the bill would authorize the second major … Continue reading “Senate Committee Votes to Raise Defense Spending for Second Year in a Row to $750 Billion”

Finally, US charges Wikileak founder Assange with violating Espionage Act

London, May 23, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The United States Justice Department has charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with receiving and publishing what it calls one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States. The 18-count charge was announced Thursday by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney … Continue reading “Finally, US charges Wikileak founder Assange with violating Espionage Act”

The Geography of War: No Iraq…? No Iran!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley

No other country in the Middle East is as important in countering America’s rush to provide Israel with another war than Iraq. Fortunately for Iran, the winds of change in Iraq and the many other local countries under similar threat, thus, make up an unbroken chain of border to border support. This support is only…

Turkey Has Folded to US Pressure, Is No Longer Importing Any Iranian Oil

Turkey blasted US sanctions but decided not actually to run afoul of them Turkey has closed its ports to Iranian oil, fully complying with U.S. sanctions against its main supplier, despite Ankara publicly criticising the United States’ move to end import waivers and warning of a struggle to tap alternative producers. The U.S. decision to … Continue reading “Turkey Has Folded to US Pressure, Is No Longer Importing Any Iranian Oil”

The Belligerence of Empire

Photograph Source: Sgt. Ajenis Nunez – Public Domain “Capitalism’s gratuitous wars and sanctioned greed have jeopardized the planet and filled it with refugees. Much of the blame for this rests squarely on the shoulders of the government of the United States. Seventeen years after invading Afghanistan, after bombing it into the ‘stone age’ with the … Continue reading “The Belligerence of Empire”

What and Who Gave Us Trump?

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair Donald J. Trump’s presidential ambition has simmered for decades. He was and is a regular TV watcher and saw the changing political landscape. One by one, previous presidents diminished the integrity of the presidency and violated the rule of law, paving the way for Trump’s candidacy. Bill Clinton was exposed for serial adulteries and abuses of women and lied … Continue reading “What and Who Gave Us Trump?”

Living in a Nation of Political Narcissists

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair In this country, reactions to the Mueller report have been all-American beyond belief. Let’s face it, when it comes to election meddling, it’s been me, me, me, 24/7 here. Yes, in some fashion some set of Russians meddled in the last election campaign, whether it was, as Jared Kushner improbably claimed, … Continue reading “Living in a Nation of Political Narcissists”

So Many Wars: Remembering Friends in Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Kurdistan and Turkey 

It’s been so long since I have written, that I don’t know where to begin. I pick up a binder and begin scanning through past “Dear Friends” letters.  As I read, memories of trips to Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Kurdistan and Turkey begin to flood my consciousness.   So many beautiful faces and stories.  So many years … Continue reading “So Many Wars: Remembering Friends in Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Kurdistan and Turkey “

War Crimes Pardons: A Terrible Memorial Day Idea

On May 16, 2008, near the town of Baiji in Iraq, 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna, US Army, murdered a prisoner. That was the verdict of the jury in his 2009 court martial, anyway. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but paroled in less than five. On May 6, 2019, US president Donald Trump … Continue reading “War Crimes Pardons: A Terrible Memorial Day Idea”

The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art: Journey of Destruction

A glimpse of the plastic arts in Iraq The contemporary Iraqi plastic art is considered to be the legitimate heir of the ancient Iraqi civilizations of Sumer and Babylon. Relics have beem found indicating that the Iraqi craftsman is the … The post The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art: Journey of Destruction appeared first … Continue reading “The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art: Journey of Destruction”

War with Iran: The Pretext of Proxies

by Kevin L. Schwartz The prospect of war between the United States and Iran is more likely than it has been in decades, with the pretext for justifying a U.S. military strike or invasion already in place. In recent weeks, leading Iran hawks in the Trump administration have presented a framework to assign culpability to … Continue reading “War with Iran: The Pretext of Proxies”

Does the Soviet Regime-Change Analogy Apply to Iran?

by Eldar Mamedov Among regime-change advocates, it´s long been de rigeur to invoke the way the President Ronald Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union as a template for hastening the demise of the Islamic Republic. According to this view, Reagan, armed with moral clarity, almost single-handedly defeated the USSR. If only current Western leaders had … Continue reading “Does the Soviet Regime-Change Analogy Apply to Iran?”

Iraq: Beyond Oil and ISIS

by Austin Bodetti As Iraq continues its lengthy recovery from a ruinous four-year showdown between the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) and an American-led coalition, Iraqi officials are determining which aspect of their country’s reconstruction to prioritize. Among the most pressing challenges remains confronting the twin phenomena of climate change and environmental degradation, problems that … Continue reading “Iraq: Beyond Oil and ISIS”

US Has No Moral Authority to Deem Muslim Brotherhood ‘Terrorist’

As’ad Abukhalil shares his perspective on the Trump administration’s stated intent to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, pointing out that the U.S. has killed countless civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq in recent years The post US Has No Moral Authority to Deem Muslim Brotherhood ‘Terrorist’ appeared first on The Real News Network.

Watch: Interview with Brazil’s Ex-President Lula From Prison, Discussing Global Threats, Neoliberalism, Bolsonaro, and More

Among the planet’s significant political figures, no one is quite like Lula. Born into extreme poverty, illiterate until the age of 10, forced to quit school at the age of 12 to work as a shoe shiner, losing a finger at his factory job at 19, and then becoming a labor activist, union leader, and founder of a political … Continue reading “Watch: Interview with Brazil’s Ex-President Lula From Prison, Discussing Global Threats, Neoliberalism, Bolsonaro, and More”

Vicious Cycle: The Pentagon Creates Tech Giants and Then Buys their Services

Photograph Source: DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force – Public Domain The US Department of Defense’s bloated budget, along with CIA venture capital, helped to create tech giants, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and PayPal. The government then contracts those companies to help its military and intelligence operations. In doing so, … Continue reading “Vicious Cycle: The Pentagon Creates Tech Giants and Then Buys their Services”

Venezuela, Iran : Trump et l’État profond

Les événements qui se sont déroulés au Venezuela et la montée de la tension entre Washington et Téhéran sont présentés de manière fallacieuse par la presse US. On ne peut rien y comprendre au vu des déclarations contradictoires de chaque camp. Il importe d’approfondir l’analyse après avoir vérifié les faits et en intégrant l’opposition entre … Continue reading “Venezuela, Iran : Trump et l’État profond”

Le fort impact sur la Turquie des sanctions internationales contre l’Iran

En Turquie, les importations de pétrole brut iranien ont diminué mais perdurent. Ovknhr / ShutterstockDe part et d’autre d’une frontière de 560 kilomètres, qui n’a pas changé depuis le traité de Qasr-e Chirin conclu en 1639 par l’Empire ottoman et la Perse des Séfévides, profondes sont les relations culturelles, institutionnelles et économiques qu’entretient la Turquie avec l’Iran. … Continue reading “Le fort impact sur la Turquie des sanctions internationales contre l’Iran”

Qatar: The Mouse Whose Roar Might Prevent a War

by Mark Perry America’s 18-year war on terrorism just got complicated—or, perhaps, it just got more complicated. At the center of the complication is the tiny state of Qatar, the Persian Gulf emirate that hosts the sprawling al-Udeid Air Base, U.S. Central Command’s forward headquarters for the region and home of the Air Force’s 379th … Continue reading “Qatar: The Mouse Whose Roar Might Prevent a War”

Lessons from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident

by Paul R. Pillar Disturbing similarities between the run-up to the Iraq War of 2003 and the Trump administration’s bellicosity toward Iran keep accumulating. They include war-selling rhetoric seemingly derived from the same script. But in some respects, the more striking parallel to the present occurred over half a century ago, beyond the living memory … Continue reading “Lessons from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident”

The Real Reason Iran’s Hardliners Don’t Want to Talk to America

by Shireen T. Hunter     Recently, President Donald Trump gave Iran’s leaders a telephone number, saying that he is waiting to talk to them. Observers and analysts in both in Tehran and Washington dismissed this gesture as meaningless. Given the background of U.S.-Iran relations under Trump, especially American withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of … Continue reading “The Real Reason Iran’s Hardliners Don’t Want to Talk to America”

Tulsi Gabbard: “I Don’t” Buy Report that Iran Wants to Strike U.S. Forces, Trump Looking for “Pretext” for War

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate, said she doesn’t buy reports saying Iran poses a new threat to U.S. personnel in Iraq in an interview Sunday with ABC’s “This Week.” *** GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You resigned your DNC post … The post Tulsi Gabbard: “I Don’t” Buy Report that Iran Wants to Strike U.S. Forces, … Continue reading “Tulsi Gabbard: “I Don’t” Buy Report that Iran Wants to Strike U.S. Forces, Trump Looking for “Pretext” for War”

Iran’s JCPOA Exit: Strategic Mistake or Stepping Stone?

by Jalil Bayat Iran’s recent decision to leave the 2015 nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) stage by stage can only mean one of two things. It is either a strategic mistake or a stepping stone for new talks with all the signatories to the deal, including the United States. Following … Continue reading “Iran’s JCPOA Exit: Strategic Mistake or Stepping Stone?”

Pompeo’s Briefing on Iran “Threat” to NATO Europeans Went Over Like a Lead Balloon

The Trump administration’s overhyped claims of an increased Iranian threat went over like a lead balloon with allied officials this week: A NATO military intelligence official who was briefed on Pompeo’s claims about increased Iranian aggression in the Middle East said the substance of the intelligence that the Americans briefed was utterly unconvincing — even insulting. “Do they think that … Continue reading “Pompeo’s Briefing on Iran “Threat” to NATO Europeans Went Over Like a Lead Balloon”

Locked in a Cold War Time Warp

On Saturday May 18th, the New York Times ran a lengthy front-page article by Alexander Burns and Sydney Ember entitled “Mayor Who Brought the Cold War to Vermont,” which exemplifies how the poisonous political climate of the Cold War has not yet receded. The piece details presidential contender Bernie Sanders’ opposition to Ronald Reagan’s Central … Continue reading “Locked in a Cold War Time Warp”

Venezuela: Amnesty International in Service of Empire

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Uncle Sam has a problem in his South American “backyard” with those uppity Venezuelans who insisted on democratically electing Nicolás Maduro as their president instead of by-passing the electoral process and installing the unelected US asset Juan Guaidó. No matter, Amnesty International has come to the rescue with a full-throated … Continue reading “Venezuela: Amnesty International in Service of Empire”

Trump is Making the Same Mistakes in the Middle East the US Always Makes

Photograph Source: Technical Sergeant John L. Houghton, Jr., United States Air Force – Public Domain In its escalating confrontation with Iran, the US is making the same mistake it has made again and again since the fall of the Shah 40 years ago: it is ignoring the danger of plugging into what is in large … Continue reading “Trump is Making the Same Mistakes in the Middle East the US Always Makes”

Trump’s War In Venezuela Could Be Che’s Revenge

Che Guevara had a dream. After decades of chasing the American Empire into guerrilla street fights from Guatemala to the Congo, Che dreamed of drawing that dreadful beast into an unwinnable quagmire on the graves of its first victims in the heart of Latin America, the treacherous mountain forests of Bolivia where the Conquistadors first … Continue reading “Trump’s War In Venezuela Could Be Che’s Revenge”

Imperialism In An X-Factor Age: If The Drugs Don’t Work, The Drones Certainly Will

In Vietnam, Agent Orange was dropped by the US to poison a foreign population. In Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, depleted uranium was used. In western countries, things are a bit more complicated because various states have tended to avoid … The post Imperialism In An X-Factor Age: If The Drugs Don’t Work, The Drones … Continue reading “Imperialism In An X-Factor Age: If The Drugs Don’t Work, The Drones Certainly Will”

That Time Pentagon Wargamed a War With Iran and the ‘Red Team’ Player Sent Its Carrier Group to the Bottom of the Sea

The United States is widely cited as the world’s foremost military power, but the country has a spotty record when it comes to asymmetrical warfare. Now-infamous war games conducted nearly 17 years ago showed a maritime matchup against tactics similar to those of Iran would likely prove extremely deadly for the Navy. A new wave of … Continue reading “That Time Pentagon Wargamed a War With Iran and the ‘Red Team’ Player Sent Its Carrier Group to the Bottom of the Sea”