Iraq

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THE SAUDIS AND IRANIANS NEED TO TALK:

AND WE NEED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

 

In recent years I have worked deeply on quiet conflict management interventions from Afghanistan to Iran, but mostly in Syria. I have watched the unnecessary suffering of countless people, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, the greatest civilian displacement in Middle Eastern history, and I have watched it up close through the lives of my students and friends.

 

As an analyst my job is to study, inquire and reflect. Everything we conflict analysts, peace builders and trainers–Western, Muslim, Arab, Christian and Jewish–are learning from experience in the field, and from our students and friends all over the Middle East, is that we are caught in a deepening maelstrom of violent disasters due to the perpetual state of war between two states with radical philosophies that have been at loggerheads since 1979, Saudi …

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Honor is a killer. Be dishonored. Be dishonored, to save any life. Let those who need honor, delight only in this: the honor of every fellow human being.

 Kurdish Teenager’s “Honor Killing” Fades to Memory as Iraq Violence Swells, Huffington Post

“Dunya was very timid. She wasn’t very social, and she didn’t care about fashion,” said her mother Sahom Hassan when asked to describe her daughter, found dead on May 24. “On the day she was killed, she called me and said, ‘This is the last time you will hear my voice.'”

In Iraqi Kurdistan, suicide by self-immolation has replaced honor killing in many cases. Most often the decision is made by a woman herself either to escape a life of misery or shame, or due to pressure from her family members. The majority of these are reported as accidents. Dunya’s sister-in-law died three years ago in one such

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Fossil Fuel Funds / Baking

by mgopin on October 7, 2014 · 3 comments

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FOSSIL FUEL FUNDS

As long as Sunni fossil fuel jihadi funds continue to flow there will be only two choices for the minorities of the Middle East: Autocracies or shared democracies.

BAKING

Being half baked is such a waste,
You used all those resources, only to make something inedible.
If you bake, bake all the way.
If you live, live all the way.
If you love, love all the way.

 …

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Artificial Dangers / Oil Spills

by mgopin on October 3, 2014 · 3 comments

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ARTIFICIAL DANGERS

Artificial sweeteners
are dangerous to your health,
whether they come
in the form of chemicals,
or disingenuous smiles
from artificial people

OIL SPILLS

Islamaphobia and jihadhysteria has become an excellent cover for the oil industry. Kill on the surface, cover up the toxic bedrock.

 

ISIS Iraq attack

 

(Photo: Prophecy Tracker)…

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“Baghdadi Denial Syndrome” -Now Media

by mgopin on August 14, 2014 · 2 comments

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Very important essay. The only people hurt by conspiracy theories are those that hide behind them. There is much more to reveal about IS over time, but like Bin Laden and those sad conspiracy theories, the truth will be even harder for the Arab world to bear. Honest self examination is the only path forward. It is amazing to me how many people expect the Jews to self examine about Israel yet when it comes to this horrific stage of the Arab Muslim history these folks need to invent Hitler like insanity to avoid hard realities. But change is coming to this region and it will be horrific until the blaming of others becomes less important than the reconciliation of warring Muslims.

NOW, Baghdadi Denial Syndrome by Hussein Ibish

One of the most alarming features of Arab responses to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and

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Reflection on Yazidis

by mgopin on August 7, 2014 · 4 comments

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Yazidi Family (Source: Aquila-Style)
Yazidi Family (Aquila-Style)

 

I am starting to understand the human sacrifice of this people to the so-called Islamic State. They are loved by no one because they are not Muslim, falsely accused of being devil worshippers for having a different theology related to but different than the Islamic narrative, neither Sunni nor Shia. The Kurds have protected them, as they bravely do other minorities, and the Americans protected them, all from Sunni extremists funded by the Arab Gulf. Kurdistan is one of the last hopes of this region.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/15/us-iraq-usa-security-idUSKBN0EQ0UH20140615

Graham last week said American air strikes in Iraq will be needed to halt the advance of militants.

His comments about Iran broach an even more sensitive topic – putting the United States in potential collaboration with a country it suspects of developing nuclear weapons and supporting its own militant groups in places like Lebanon.

Iranian officials, closely allied with Maliki and watchful over the Shi’ite population centered in southern Iraq, have also been alarmed at the sudden seizure of territory by the ISIL.

 

The logic of intending to bomb a country like Iran in one part of the year, and then contemplate an alliance in the next year to defend Baghdad really needs to be defined and exposed. On one level, it is perfectly reasonable. if a year ago, allies Israel and Saudi Arabia were convincing us that Iran is the primary mortal threat, then we decide to …

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THE BOSTON EFFECT AND THE AGE OF OBAMA

by mgopin on April 21, 2013 · 8 comments

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Some observers have claimed that terror won the day in Boston because it managed to shut down an entire modern city of the United States. This is a misreading of the entire episode from beginning to end, and a misreading of the age and legacy of President Barack Obama. Let me digress from Boston to what I am calling the Age of Obama and then return to the Boston terror episode.

Although President Obama has proven to be weak in confronting the worst corruptions of the war on terror, such as Guantanamo, and a slew of illiberal laws in place, the fact is that from the beginning of his aspiration to the presidency he made it clear that war reduction was his priority, and he has followed through on that in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The most important shift he has made, however, from the Age of Bush is to replace …

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Iraq Sentences Tariq Aziz to Death – NYTimes.com.

Is this really a victory for democracy, for freedom? Especially in light of the wikileaks. I find his sentence rather disgusting because it just adds one more body on the pile of reverse injustices. Now we know just how many Sunnis have been slaughtered unjustly. Has this really made Shiites more secure? I don’t see the real transition yet to peace or justice. Of course, the man should be in jail for the rest of his life for the crimes against humanity, but soon he will hang in the gallows the way Saddam did. Will this solidify peace and democracy, has it ever? It is just one victorious side, while millions of Sunnis languish in neighboring countries. There are consequences for these endless cycles of revenge.…

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Recent sputterings of a peace process between Israel and Palestine, the termination of Israel’s settlement building freeze causing a demise of said peace process — again — has produced a loud, global yawn. What else is new in this endless conflict? Negotiations cannot succeed without a vision, and there is no widely shared vision of peace among these people that could truly spur their politicians forward.

The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of the past that create brutal behavior in the present. One way forward may be to suspend skepticism for just a moment, to free the mind to build a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved. Armed with this imaginative exercise it might become easier to lobby for practical ways forward.

Let’s imagine the following: official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza

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