U.S.: Deus ex Machina or Sorcerer’s Apprentice?

By: Sunday January 12, 2014 9:00 am

In May of 2012, President Obama addressed graduates at the U.S. Air Force Academy in these terms:

“I see an American century because no other nation seeks the role that we play in global affairs, and no other nation can play the role that we play in global affairs.”

Less than two years later, not only has the president’s claim of American exceptionalism been widely derided, the country is in disarray on the world stage.

 

Iraq Violence Claims Nearly 100 Lives as Insurgency Pulls Off Multiple Attacks

By: Monday July 23, 2012 12:40 pm

As Americans mourn the tragic shooting that left 12 dead in Colorado, consider that nearly ten times as many Iraqis died, in a country 1/10th the size, in a wave of attacks from presumably Sunni insurgents today.

Slap on Wrist in Haditha Massacre Resonates in Iraq

By: Wednesday January 25, 2012 3:34 pm

The sad chapter of the Haditha massacre may have been put to bed in a legal sense when Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich received an incomparably light sentence, walking away with no jail time, for ordering the troops under his command to “shoot first, ask questions later” in an incident that killed 24 innocent Iraqis. But this issue isn’t close to being over for the Iraqis in the village of Haditha.

Iraqi Political Crisis Continues as Maliki Threatens Majority Government

By: Wednesday December 21, 2011 7:15 pm

The row between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has grown. Maliki issued a warrant for Hashemi’s arrest on terrorism charges, accusing him of operating pro-Sunni death squads. Hashemi denied the charges, and his supporters compared Maliki’s actions to that of Saddam Hussein. Maliki is now ordering a handover of Hashemi, who has fled to the Kurdistan region.

Iraqi PM Arrests Sunni VP, Politics in Chaos After US Withdrawal

By: Monday December 19, 2011 12:40 pm

The war ended in Iraq last night, and within moments, it seems, chaos has reigned in the Iraqi Parliament. But while this is almost sure to be used as evidence that the military should never have left Iraq, the events here would have played out at some point, in absence of perpetual occupation.

Iraq’s Maliki Takes Syrian Government’s Side in Uprising

By: Monday August 15, 2011 9:58 am

It turns out that the Iraqi leadership essentially backed the Syrian side of the divide over their repressive attacks on their own people. It’s credible to suggest that Iran played a role in Iraq’s decision-making.

The Iraqi government is most certainly not unified on this point. The Parliament has denounced the violence in Syria, particularly the Kurdish and Sunni factions. But Maliki appears firmly in the Syrian camp, in contrast to his government’s anger at Bahrain when the Sunni minority brutalized a Shiite majority. So the sectarian lens has come to govern Iraq’s positions in the region.

Extended US Presence in Iraq Would Cause Mass Popular Unrest, Military Deaths

By: Sunday May 1, 2011 1:00 pm

An announcement of an extension to the US presence will not only lead to the dissolution of the Maliki government, but intensify attacks directly on US personnel. Service members will die, and the purpose of that spilled blood is inscrutable. And the US would take the position of Hosni Mubarak with a mass popular movement arrayed against them, demanding that they exit.

State of Emergency Declared in Bahrain

By: Tuesday March 15, 2011 11:45 am

The US has urged “restraint” in Bahrain while sending emissaries like Mike Mullen and Robert Gates to show support for the ruling regime. They clearly want to hold the Fifth Fleet naval base, and will turn a blind eye to the horrific violence that has already occurred. But the sectarian component of this uprising brings up another point.

Unrest Continues in Libya, Bahrain

By: Monday February 21, 2011 9:35 am

Let’s play a little catchup on the two most deadly flashpoints in the Middle East.

Sadrist Shiites Choose Compromise PM Candidate

By: Monday September 6, 2010 2:45 pm

Despite the US “end” of combat operations in Iraq (hardly an end when troops are helping repel attacks), the biggest near-term problem is the lack of an actual government to resolve the election from March of this year.

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