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Archives: January 2008

Afghanistan: Danger of Failed State

Several new studies have just appeared warning that things could go very badly very easily in Afghanistan, which could turn into a failed state. One bad side effect, a British study concluded,…

One last Argument with Bush

When Bush first came in, the comedian Will Ferrell did a skit on the television show “Saturday Night Live” that depicted the president cowering under his desk as bombs went off in…

Will the Next President be Irrelevant?

With Obama’s win in South Carolina, it seems clear now that it is a four person race for the White House. On the Democratic side, it will be Hillary Clinton or Barack…

Sunni-Shiite Pact in Parliament

The USG Open Source Center translates a broadcast by the Iranian Al-Alam satellite television station reporting on a new pact between the [Shiite] Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the [Sunni coalition,…

OSC: Iraqi Kurd official says Kurds unequal US ally

The USG Open Source Center translates an opinion piece from a major Kurdish Iraqi newspaper containing quotes from a Kurdish official about the Kurdish-US relationship. The piece maintains that the alliance is…

Mr. Olmert, Tear Down this Wall!

The Egyptian government mounted a small demonstration of defiance of the Olmert government in Israel on Thursday. Palestinians destroyed the blast walls that artificially box them in to the tiny, slummy Gaza…

935 False Statements that Led a Nation to War

The Center for Public Integrity has published a study finding that ‘President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice,…

Barzani charges Michael Rubin with Libel

The USG Open Source Center translates a letter from Kurdistan Regional Authority leader Massoud Barzani slamming the Hawlati newspaper for having published in Kurdish an article by Neoconservative operative Michael Rubin of…

Iraq Dominates Testy Dem Debate

Iraq as an issue was back front and center in Iraq on Monday in the South Carolina presidential debate among the Democratic candidates. Barack Obama complained that his record of opposing the…

Israeli Victory over Asthmatics, Newborns in Gaza

The humanitarian impact of Israel’s electricity blockade of the Gaza Strip. Raw sewage in the streets, which will soon seep into houses; asthmatics choking; hospitals on the verge of switching off life…

King: War Cannot Achieve Even a Negative Good

Martin Luther King will be honored today throughout America as a champion of racial justice and racial harmony. That is a pivotal legacy for the United States of America, which for 87…

Israeli Atrocity on Gaza Civilians

It is a perfect time for the Israeli government to commit a war crime on the miserable civilians of the Gaza Strip. The US primary season has created a news blackout on…

Iraq is Still a Bad Bargain

Andrew Bacevich eviscerates the Iraq War party with this passionate and clear-sighted essay on ‘the Surge to Nowhere’ in WaPo. He points out that the real motivation behind last year’s troop escalation…

Saturday Reading

As Clinton and Romney win the Nevada primaries, Justin Elliot asks at Mother Jones why the leading candidates don’t have more to say about crucial Middle East policy, including Israel-Palestine issues. The…

Wave of Killing of Women;

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that women activists on Thursday organized a conference in Baghdad to protest the increasing problem of women being targeted for killing, especially by religious militias. They said that…

Basra Police Chief Denies Iran Mischief in Iraq

The USG Open Source Center translates an interview with the police chief of Basra, Staff Maj-Gen. Abdul Jalil Khalaf. Therein, Khalaf denies that Iran is playing a negative role and stirring turmoil…

Lebanese Press on Bush’s Middle East Tour

See Charles Smith’s important comments on Bush’s Arab-Israeli diplomacy at our Global Affairs group blog. The USG Open Source Center translates excerpts from opinion pieces in the Lebanese press concerning Bush’s visit…

McCain runs on Iraq in Michigan

My new Salon.com column is out, entitled McCain runs on Iraq in Michigan. The Intro is here: On the stump in Michigan, John McCain campaigns on victory in Iraq. It’s a risky…

Kurds Miffed by New Coalition

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that altogether 150 deputies in parliament (well over a majority) signed a memorandum of agreement aimed at resolving the most contentious issues facing Iraq. For their part, the…

Muqtada al-Sadr Denounces Bush

The USG Open Source Center translates a statement by Shiite clergyman Muqtada al-Sadr condemning Bush’s Middle East tour. “Iraq: Muqtada al-Sadr Statement Condemns President Bush’s Mideast VisitIraq – OSC SummaryMonday, January 14,…

New Iraqi Law on Baath Worries Ex-Baathists

So the big political news today is that the Iraqi parliament on Saturday finally passed a revision of the “De-baathification” law issued by US viceroy Paul “Jerry” Bremer in May of 2003.…

Yamli Arabic software

My readers sometimes ask me about Arabic software tools for the web. I just wanted to flag for them Yamli.com, which I’m finding a real delight. It would be slow for someone…

Iran IRGC Ships confront US Navy

That the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps coast guard would play chicken with the US Navy is not that surprising. Enemies at sea often taunt one another, and I think there were similar…

NYT on Napoleon’s Egypt

A review by Tom Reiss of my book, Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East has appeared in The New York Times.

Blogging AHA

Claire Potter blogged one of my panels at the American Historical Association meeting. (Scroll down). HNN also covered the session (scroll down) and even gives video of myself, Bruce Cumings and Marilyn…

3 US troops Killed; Dulaimi May be Charged; Najaf Raid

Iraqi parliamentarians are attempting to strip Adnan Dulaimi of his parliamentary immunity. They charge that he is complicit with terrorists. Dulaimi leads the 44-member [Sunni Arab] Iraqi Accord Front in parliament. US…

Iraq, the Youth Vote, Women and Iowa

The conventional wisdom among the inside the beltway pundits is that Iraq is no longer a leading issue for American voters. This conventional wisdom is demonstrably untrue. First, some December polls (scroll…

Reading for Thursday

The Justice Department is going to investigate the destruction of videotapes of the interrogation of prisoners in US custody that showed torture. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi keeps asking what Bush…

How Fleeting is Empire

The Maps of War site has a review of Middle Eastern empires beginning about 1800 BC. I’d have added a couple of phases at the end, including the Cold War divisions of…

Zogby: Slight Surge for Edwards, McCain; Giuliani Slips

New Zogby Poll (reprinted by permission) confirms Edwards surge in Iowa but disconfirms Romney lead or Huckabee decline. ‘UTICA, New York—The race for the Democratic presidential nomination tightened slightly over the last…