War is still not the answer: Antiwar sentiment may mostly have evaporated, but war is as horrible as ever

The unelected Saudi monarchy began the year by executing 47 people. It continues to bomb hospitals, homes, and civilians in Yemen as it has done for nearly a year. In October of last year, a few weeks before the election, the Turkish state almost certainly arranged bombings in Ankara that killed more than one hundred people at a peace demonstration.

The Uses of the Islamic State Group

Who is really fighting ISIS? In Iraq and Syria, ISIS faces Kurdish forces, the Iraqi Army and the Western air forces supporting it, and the Syrian Army and its allies from Hizbollah, Iran, and Russia. The Kurds of Rojava have been fighting for survival, and while outgunned, they have both political and military preparation, and something to fight for. They have been successful in their battles with ISIS, even though they have suffered immensely in the process.

The Haditha Massacre in the Iraq War Diary

I did a query of the Iraq War Diary for all entries on November 19, 2005 (there were 179). Among them was this entry on the Haditha massacre. It has been seriously redacted, possibly more than other entries, as it appears quite incomplete, with no explanation of how the casualties came about:

Report Key: 0A491DB1-A4BB-4983-BE25-6140DB64BF38
Date: 2005-11-19 07:30:00

Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine

Despite not being a dispassionate reviewer, I wrote this review of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. In case you didn't know, I'm not entirely without positive bias. And even with high expectations, the book really impressed. It seems to be doing quite well without my recommendation, but I would like to add my recommendation to the many that are out there. Hope you like the review.

Cindy Sheehan

Since I haven't really followed her work over the past few years, I was a bit annoyed when I heard she had "quit". Who is she to "quit", and to do so so publicly, I wondered? War, empire, are filthy, despicable, genocidal affairs. Opposing them is not like a job that one can "quit", is it? Opposing them, in my view, doesn't even mean one is deserving of special praise. But then I read her exit note, and found it some of the best and most refreshing reading I have seen in some time.

The Genocide Option in Iraq

An important commentary by Ed Herman on ZNet, where he makes the comparison to Vietnam that actually matters: that the US pursued genocidal policies in Vietnam and is moving towards the same in Iraq. I've written before that I dislike talk of how the US was "defeated" in Vietnam and I dislike any talk of "quagmire" for imperialists - the US walked away from Vietnam after having killed several million people and no one in the US answered for it.

Christian Peacemaker Team abductions in Iraq

I have traveled to quite a few places where I've encountered volunteers with Christian Peacemaker Teams. I've never been to Iraq, so that's not one of the places. But I can say this, which is what others have been saying since some of the CPTers (as they are known to anglophones) were abducted in Iraq last week. The CPTers might have the word 'Christian' in their name, but they are no missionaries. They might have 'peacemaker' in their name, but that isn't a euphemism for imperialism the way 'peacekeeping' or 'peacebuilding' can be.


How not to cheapen the impact of the calamities by adding words? A horrible day in which a mortar attack on a religious procession led to hundreds of deaths, days in which hurricanes and floods led to hundreds of deaths.