In a key piece of actual extensive, on-the-ground reporting, the New York Times’s Alissa Rubin has raised serious questions about the official US account of who it was that attacked the K-1 base near Kirkuk, in eastern Iraq, on December 27. The United States almost immediately accused the Iran-backed Ketaib Hizbullah (KH) militia of responsibility. … Continue reading Did Washington use a false pretext for its recent escalation in Iraq?
Yesterday, within hours of President Trump and PM Netanyahu announcing the details of their peace(-less) plan, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) took swift steps to draft and win support for a letter (PDF) that roundly criticized the contents of the plan. Even more significantly, among the first 12 signatories he gathered for the letter were … Continue reading U.S. Democratic senators swift to oppose Trump-Netanyahu plan
It is less than 140 hours since Pres. Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s Qods Force chief Qasem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Since then, the terrified world has watched as the leaders of Iran and the United States lobbed fierce rhetorical attacks against each other, leading to (quite rational) fears of a major … Continue reading Trump & Khamenei de-escalate. Political struggle inside Iraq continues.
With the decision he made late January 2 to kill the head of the Iranian “Qods Force”, Lt.-Gen Qasem al-Soleimani, Pres. Donald Trump set the United States on a course to an upheaval– certainly political and possibly also military– of truly global impact. The first reverberations of the heightened U.S.-Iran tensions have already been felt … Continue reading World poised on post-Soleimani knife-edge. Possible off-ramp emerges?
Actually, only this one, on January 1. I’ve been busy with lots of other things, too.
Earlier today, I published a new piece over at Medium, on how both wings of the bellophilic Washington “blob” are still working to punish and isolate the Syrian government, rather than providing real support to the peace/reform negotiations that have been (creakingly) underway in Geneva since October 30. (By “both wings”, I mean leaderships of … Continue reading New piece on Syria & how the Washington ‘Blob’ still works to punish it
These four privileged older white guys have all sought (and been granted) exposure in the corporate media recently. Paul Wolfowitz, one of the prime architects and advocates of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was given this fine platform on the NYT’s opinion page in order to criticize Pres. Trump’s recent decision to withdraw (or late, … Continue reading What do Paul Wolfowitz, Dan Kurtzer, Aaron Miller, and Prince Andrew have in common?
Yesterday, Pres. Rejep Tayyip Erdogan was here in DC. His presence and the apparently lengthy meeting he had with Pres. Trump both attracted many criticisms and a non-trivial street protest in the square across from the White House. Yes, there are numerous serious things to criticize Erdogan for, including some of those mentioned in the … Continue reading Some quick thoughts on Turkey
Washington, DC — It took less than a week after President Trump announced the summary withdrawal of the tripwire U.S. force deployed in northeast Syria alongside the Kurdish-dominated “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), before the SDF concluded a new alliance with the Syrian government. What happened between, of course, was the large-scale incursion of Turkish forces into the … Continue reading U.S. forces (and policy) in Syria head south
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius had a column in today’s paper that gave a muddled, fairly escalatory take on the continuing crisis in the Persian Gulf between the Iranian government and the forces lined up against it. His lede (intro) is fairly straightforward: It’s a good rule never to start a fight you’re not eager … Continue reading WaPo’s Ignatius gets “mugged by reality” on Iran