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Obama: 'I Don't Want to be Iraq's Air Force...'

A friend pointed out to me that in this White House interview Obama told Thomas Friedman (paraphrasing) that during the process of ISIS overrunning much of northern Iraq he deliberately withheld massive air attacks on ISIS so that he could maintain political pressure on the Iraqi government to reform itself in directions that are the goals of US policy, i.e., inclusiveness, power sharing with the Sunnis, etc.  

I, too, think that the intensely Shia run government that the US helped come into being in Iraq is unlikely to ever be able to run the country, but the notion that in the face of the onrushing horde of Sunni jihadi "reivers" one could withhold aerial fire support as leverage to bend the Shia government to  one's will is bizarre.
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White House to Syrians: Don't Dare Vote For Assad!

US backing for the overthrow of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was supposed to be all about democracy. As Washington tells it, the people took to the street demanding democratic reforms and Assad did not listen, so he lost his legitimacy and needed to be overthrown. The US helped facilitate that overthrow by shipping in tons of weapons (much of which ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda and ISIS).
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Iraq Ranks In Ten Most Corrupt Countries In World, Again

Iraq, the failed state that over 4,600 (and counting…) Americans died to free from some evil tyrant 13 years ago, is still ranking high internationally in something. Unfortunately, that something is corruption. A couple of other places where America has been intervening for freedom also made the list.
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A Speech that Would Have Made Waves at AIPAC

Much has been reported on United States presidential candidates trying to one-up each other at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC last week as they pledged their intentions to, as president, stand with Israel. Significantly less media attention was paid to another presidential contender, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who, instead of speaking at the AIPAC conference, presented in Utah a speech he says he would have given had he attended the AIPAC conference. While Sanders’ comments regarding Israel were rather nuanced, he did say up front that “Israel is one of America’s closest allies” and that the US is committed “to guaranteeing Israel’s survival.”
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In Syria, Assad Liberates Palmyra While CIA Battles the Pentagon

The big news out of Syria over the past couple of days has been that Syrian government forces with the help of the Russian military have taken back control of Palmyra from ISIS. The fall of Palmyra and subsequent destruction of the spectacular Roman ruins there by ISIS horrified the civilized world. The US government had claimed from the beginning that the Russians were not targeting ISIS at all, but only the "moderate" rebels supported by Washington. That lie now stands bare in newly-liberated Palmyra and onward, as Syrian government troops aided by the Russians speed east toward the "capital" of the Islamic State, Raqqa.
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Media’s Blind Spot on War’s Victims and Blowback

Over at The Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald has written a powerful and insightful examination of how media provides Americans with many details regarding the deaths and suffering caused by terrorist attacks in “western” nations but shields Americans from anywhere near the coverage of victims of the United States and cooperating governments’ attacks in other countries, including the US government’s “hideous civilian-slaughtering strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq.”
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Breaking: Heckuva Job, Merkel - ISIS Terror Squads Swarm Europe

Here's the big -- really big -- story of the day: AP is reporting that ISIS has sent at least 400 fighters into Europe in semi-autonomous cells to rain down a wave of terror that may make the Brussels attacks earlier this week look like child's play. This underground terror army is said to have trained in Syria, Iraq, and possibly some of the former republics of the USSR, and they have infiltrated themselves into Europe to await further instructions.
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Brussels - Unrelated to Interventionist Foreign Policy?

What is the meaning of the Brussels bombings? "Experts" will make endless self-serving suggestions about how to better fight terrorism -- these "solutions" will always include more jobs for these "experts." Meanwhile, none of the elites will for a minute consider the deadly combination of violent Western intervention in the Middle East and an open door "refugee" policy in the EU. Why do none of the experts see blowback, interventionism, sanctions, and neocons as a cause of hatred in the region? RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins the Scott Horton show to peel back the layers of nonsense that cloud the official story of the "war on terror." Listen to the program here.
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Ron Paul: Trump Will Win Nomination Despite Convention Tricks, but May Face Third-Party Challenger

Speaking Friday with hosts John Berman and Kate Bolduan at CNN, former three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul predicted that shady maneuvers, like the rules changes and replacement of delegates used against Paul at the 2012 Republican National Convention, will be used against Trump at the upcoming 2016 party convention. Paul says, however, that he believes Trump will win the Republican nomination despite such “establishment” efforts.
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