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Syria and the 'Red Line' Nonsense

Peter Hart Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
Most pundits are careful about not advocating for direct U.S. military intervention in Syria (that is left to the Republican politicians who appear on the Sunday shows). But their message boils down to a concern over the credibility of the president's threats of violence more important than the credibility of his evidence. The White House has been saying their reticence is informed by the Iraq debacle; many pundits don't seem to have learned a similar lesson.

I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again. (Now with Iran)

Lawrence Wilkerson New York Times
Ex- Bush official confesses. President George W. Bush would have ordered the war even without United Nations support. "That led to a war that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East". This should not be forgotten, since the Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a false impression that war is the only way to address the threats posed by Iran.

When Bombs Fall, There Is Always Someone Underneath

Norman Stockwell The Progressive
The US missile attack on Syria took place on the anniversary, one hundred years ago, of the United States’ entry into World War I. Writing in The Progressive in June 1917, Senator La Follette said that the war party, "justifies entrance into the conflict on the ground that it is in the interest of democracy. If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another, possibly more effective, pretext after war is on."

books

The CIA Story, from Phoenix to Now

Paul Buhle Special to Portside
For those of us who need a reminder of the notorious record of the CIA over the last sixty-plus years, here is a useful up-to-date history. Reviewer Paul Buhle shows some of this new book's high points.

The Rojava Project

Alex de Jong Jacobin
According to the back of Meredith Tax's A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State, a 'democratic society' with 'women on the front lines as fierce warriors and leaders' is growing in the midst of Syria's destruction. This new society - Rojava - was founded by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian-Kurdish offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). How does the PKK function internally, how will it deal with class divisions or regional differences?

Turkey is Now in Syria; What it Means for the Middle East - Two Views

Robert Fisk; Vijay Prashad
The Turks don't want a Kurdish mini-state on their frontier any more than the Syrians want to lose territory to the Kurds (and neither do the Iranians, nor do the Russians want a Kurdish state on their border). And, Turkey is warming up to Russia and Iran in a bid to exit before a total rout of its proxies in Syria. Here Robert Fisk and Vijay Prashad present two nuanced perspectives.
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