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Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast. - The New York Times
“My gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me," he said late last year. He was discussing the Federal Reserve, but could just as easily have been talking foreign policy; in 2017 he told a reporter, right after his first meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, that it was his “gut feel” for how to deal with foreign leaders, honed over years in the real estate world, that guided him. “Foreign policy is what I’ll be remembered for,” he said.

But in this case the failure to look around corners has blown up on him at a speed that is rare in foreign policy and national security. The closest analogue may date to 1950, during Harry Truman’s administration, when Secretary of State Dean Acheson described America’s new “defense perimeter” in a speech, saying it ran from southern Japan through the Philippines. That left out the Korean Peninsula, and two weeks later Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader, appeared to have given Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the current North Korean leader, permission to launch his invasion of the South. The bloody stalemate that followed lives with the United States today.
Pol._120  pol.508  Trump  Latino  war  state  legitimacy  Leadership  fear  Power_in_America  Violence_y_Power  Iraq_War 
6 days ago by Jibarosoy
Why presidents should listen to troublemakers and truth tellers - The Washington Post
Holbrooke’s first job as a tyro diplomat in 1963 was working in Saigon for the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Rural Affairs. Its head was Rufus Phillips, a courtly Virginian, late of Yale University and the CIA, who was a protege of Lansdale’s. He taught the young Holbrooke the tenets of “Lansdalism”: To win a war among the people, you had to win over the people rather than blow them to smithereens. This was a simple yet powerful insight, later labeled “population-centric counterinsurgency,” that Holbrooke imbibed long before it became fashionable.
Pol.11  Pol.12  Power_materials  Violence_y_Power  war  vietnam  Iraq_War 
may 2019 by Jibarosoy
About Mosul Eye – Mosul Eye
This blog is set up to communicate the daily events in Mosul to the rest of the world, minute by minute by an independent Mosuli historian...during ISIS occupation
terrorism  Iraq  Iraq_War  Iraq_Book  war  state  leader  Violence_y_Power  Power_materials 
october 2018 by Jibarosoy
The Case of the Purloined Poultry: How ISIS Prosecuted Petty Crime - The New York Times
In a terrorist version of the “broken window” school of policing, the Islamic State aggressively prosecuted minor crimes in the communities it took over, winning points with residents who were used to having to pay bribes to secure police help.

Nearly 400 records and investigation files abandoned in one Islamic State police station and provided to The New York Times suggest that local residents turned to the group for help with the most minor problems.
Iraq_War  terrorism  state  Latino  war  Violence_y_Power  Legal  Pol._147  Pol.11 
september 2018 by Jibarosoy
Five years after Rabaa: From generation protest to generation violence | Middle East Eye
Five years after the Rabaa massacre, the socio-political situation is worse. Today, Egypt detains over 60,000 political prisoners and has built 16 more prisons to handle the overflow. The youth that Amnesty International once referred to as "Generation Protest", is now "Generation Jail". According to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, in 2016 there were 830 cases of torture.
terrorism  authority  Violence_y_Power  Iraq_War  Power_materials  state  Latino  fear  Leadership 
august 2018 by Jibarosoy
Ahmed Saadawi Wants to Tell a New Story About the War in Iraq
A review of Ahmed Saadawi’s novel *Frankenstein in Baghdad* that gives some interesting background information on Saadawi’s personal history.
reviews  Middle_East  Iraq  Iraq_War  literature  world_literature 
june 2018 by micahrobbins
The Cost of War: Parts and Labor
This review of Ahmed Saadawi’s novel *Frankenstein in Baghdad* offers a virtual reading list in Iraq War fiction and sci-fi/gothic literature coming out of the Middle East.
Middle_East  science_fiction  gothic  literature  world_literature  Iraq  Iraq_War 
june 2018 by micahrobbins
ISIS And The Perils Of Moral Clarity
Miller says moral clarity provides an explanation why “we are right to kill and the other side is wrong to kill.” As a general point we should be skeptical about always assuming the moral righteousness of our cause and that God is on our side; many armies in history assumed this and justified some quite horrific things on that basis. But even in cases where we are in the moral right—and I would count the U.S. war against al Qaeda as a case where we are unambiguously in the moral right, and opposition to ISIS as another—that fact should not enable us to do things that are illegal or immoral in the service of our righteous cause. Too often, moral clarity does just that—it tells us that since our ends are just, then any means used to secure them are permissible. This leads us to go to, as Vice President Dick Cheney memorably put it, “the dark side,” and leaves us a decade on with our reputation stained by torture in Abu Ghraib and the legal and moral mess of the Guantanamo Bay prison. This is what I meant by moral clarity being seductive—it feeds the spirit with a sense of righteousness that can sometimes silence the conscience and quietly enable some nasty actions in the service of what we know, in the end, to be right.
Iraq  Iraq_War  Violence_y_Power  state  Power_materials  Iraq_Book 
september 2017 by Jibarosoy
Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart - The New York Times
This is a story unlike any we have previously published. It is much longer than the typical New York Times Magazine feature story; in print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake This is a story unlike any we have previously published. It is much longer than the typical New York Times Magazine feature story; in print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja.
latino  war  proposal  violence_y_power  terrorism  state  Iraq_War  power_materials  latino_war 
november 2016 by Jibarosoy
Obama’s Iraq policy - Synaps
Generally speaking, Obama’s policy is in line with Bush’s in its reluctance to genuinely take ownership, its quest for the fastest way out, and its consequent preference for quick fixes and expedient measures. The end result has been 13 years of kicking this can down the road, with no end in sight, and with the Iraqi people sinking deeper into misery every step of the way. It is tragic that this administration would have contributed its two mandates to such a futile exercise.
obama_administration  bush_administration  Iraq  Shia  Iraq_War  corruption  foreign_policy 
october 2016 by elizrael
No Country For Its People - The Awl, july 2016
A short history of modern Iraq’s ethnic minorities

Mandaeans
black Iraqis
Assyrians
Yezidis
minority  Iraq  Assyrian  Christians  Baath  militarism  Yezidi  ISIS  Iraq_War 
october 2016 by elizrael
The sectarianization of the Middle East: Transnational identity wars and competitive interference – Project on Middle East Political Science
Sectarianism is rooted at the micro-level individual/group. This everyday (or banal) sectarianism is an un-politicized identity marker in multi-communal societies compatible with sectarian co-existence and with broader identities (e.g. Arabism). The first step toward sectarianization is its politicization. This may be a function of the increased competition for scarce resources accompanying modernization, especially in times of rapid population growth and increases in the educated unemployed; when many resources are state distributed, political entrepreneurs are incentivized to use sectarianism to mobilize sects in intrastate competition over resources, as famously in Lebanon and individuals to use sectarianism to gain access to clientele networks. This “instrumental sectarianism” has little doctrinal implications or necessary incompatibility with sectarian coexistence.

Sectarianism’s use in authoritarian regime building in MENA’s multi-sectarian societies further politicized it: patrimonial practices such as reliance on trusted sectarians to foster cohesive ruling groups, as in Syria and Iraq, was a common practice, but it was also balanced by cross-sectarian co-optation of wider social forces, via bureaucratic institutions. Many authoritarian regimes, therefore, both used and contained sectarianism. However, where inclusionary practices eroded, the excluded, feeling themselves victims of sectarian discrimination, might well embrace a sectarian counter-identity, as was particularly the case in Syria and Iraq. But such sectarianization was by no means inevitable or particularly widespread; the system seemed self-reproducing and required external intervention to set off the destabilization of multi-sectarian states.
The current sectarianization is a recent phenomenon precipitated by the unprecedented intrusion of the U.S. global hegemon into the regional power struggle. The destruction of the Iraqi state amidst massive violence (shock and awe) unleashed Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq. The United States constructed a replacement political system that institutionalized sectarianism. This failed state provided a congenial space for international jihadists, including al-Qaeda, to stir up sectarianism by targeting Shia mosques. It also allowed for intense penetration of Iraq by Iranian backed Iraqi Shia exiles and by anti-Shia jihadists transiting through Syria – an unprecedented transnationalization of sectarian conflict. The Iraq conflict spilled over in the region by stimulating sectarian discourse in the trans-state media.
sectarianism  arab_world  Iraq_War  ArabUprisings  jihadists  Shia  Sunni  identity 
september 2016 by elizrael
Who is Golani, Nusra's No. 1 man? - Al-Monitor, Aug 8, 2016
Adnan, the man who was close to Jabhat al-Nusra and who spoke to Al-Monitor, was detained in the Sednaya prison in Damascus from 2005 to 2011 on charges of belonging to Islamist groups. With the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, he was released with his companions. Adnan said that Golani and his group were part of the Jund al-Sham cells in 2003, and he described Golani as “a cultured and committed man, and he is good at a type of martial arts.”

Adnan denied the regime’s arrest of Golani in the Sednaya prison and said, “There were men from Golani’s group with us in prison, and they told us that Golani left Syria to Iraq in 2006.”

According to Adnan, in late 2011, Golani founded with his companions in Syria a cell made up of six people: four Syrians and two men from Iraq. “Golani and his companions who founded the cell later established Jabhat al-Nusra in Damascus in the presence of 33 people, and the group’s first statement was issued mid-2012.”
Mar15  JabhatAl-Nusra  AQ  Iraq_War 
august 2016 by elizrael

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