Monday, July 28, 2014

What Would Jesus Do In Gaza? And Ukraine? And Iraq? The Tears of Pope Francis Give Us a Clue

Saint Peter's Square during the conclave of 2013. Photo by Christopher Dickey,

My latest column:

What Would Jesus Do in Gaza? The Tears of Pope Francis Point the Way
By Christopher Dickey
The pontiff makes a heartfelt appeal for peace in Gaza, Iraq, Syria ... but is anyone listening?

And more bad, sad, disturbing news:

Two Americans Have Now Been Diagnosed With Ebola in Record Outbreak
By Kent Sepkowitz
Seven hundred are dead in West Africa, victims of an 'out-of-control' outbreak—and now two American health-care workers there have contracted the disease, says a colleague.

ISIS's Black Flags Are Flying in Europe
By Nadette De Visser
The symbol of the murderous 'Islamic State' is waving in The Hague. 'Death to the Jews,' shout the demonstrators. Yet the Dutch government authorized the protests.

U.S. Diplomats and Marines Close Embassy and Flee Libya Fighting
By Jamie Dettmer
Chaos, in-fighting and jihadists in Libya prompt American diplomats to evacuate to avoid another potential Banghazi.

Inside the Gaza Schoolyard Massacre
By Jesse Rosenfeld
There are reasons the U.N. agency charged with caring for Palestinian refugees is the focus of Israeli suspicion, but in Gaza it may also be in Israel's sights.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ukraine: Revenge of the Stalin Organ -- How Grad rockets are being used by Kiev in eastern Ukraine

Anna Nemtsova's revealing piece about the multiple rocket launchers, evolved from the Katyusha, or "Stalin Organ," now being used against Donetsk and Luhansk:

Ukraine Denies Deadly Grad Rocket Attacks on Donetsk

Grad rockets pounded Donetsk and Luhansk this week, and human rights monitors say Kiev is behind the carnage. But Ukraine’s new defense minister tells The Daily Beast his forces are not to blame.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Red Skull of Baghdad ... and more

My latest:

Saddam's Former Deputy, the Red Skull of Baghdad, Still at Large in Iraq and Allied With ISIS
Despite a $10 million reward for his capture, the Iraqi tyrant's liaison to the world's most radical jihadists, now 72, is on the loose and in cahoots with the so-called Caliph Ibrahim.

And in case you missed it:

Iraq Is Not Our War Anymore. Let It Be Iran's Problem.
It's time the Iraqi Pottery Barn rule—'You break it, you pay a trillion dollars for it'—is applied to someone else.

Plus these stories by my colleagues --

Anna Nemtsova in Ukraine:

In the Killing Fields of Ukraine with Children Who Saw the MH17 Horror
Investigators will have a hard time explaining why the Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down. But no one who saw the bodies fall will ever forget.

Snatched Outside the 'MH17 Morgue'
Reporters who stopped at the Donetsk morgue looking for clues in the downing of the Boeing 777 were arrested by rebels anxious to impress them with their anger—and their blades.

Jacob Siegel in Iraq:

Who's Murdering Baghdad's Prostitutes?
The slaughter of 29 women and two men in an alleged house of prostitution shows the danger of the Iraqi government's reliance on Shia militias for its defense.

Bikers of Baghdad: Sunnis, Shias, Skulls, 'Harleys,' and Iraqi Flags
In the Iraq Bikers club, a not-so-wild bunch of men, including Christians and Hezbollah fighters, see themselves as "family." Not a bad model for the rest of the nation.

Jesse Rosenfeld in Gaza:

A Child's Funeral in Gaza
In their defenselessness and desperation, Gaza's civilians find determination and a sense of community as they lay their dead to rest.

Palestinians Fleeing Israeli Bombardment in Gaza Have 'Nowhere Left to Run'
As the Gaza war marks its deadliest day so far, Palestinians seek safety and rely on each other.

Barbie Nadeau in Giglio, Italy:

Saying Goodbye to the Salvage Saviors of Giglio
On the Isola del Giglio, the men who salvaged the doomed cruise ship have become part of the island's family. What will the Giglese do when they're gone?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My latest modest proposal about Iran, Iraq, ISIS, the US and Pottery Barn

Iraq Is Not Our War Anymore. Let It Be Iran's Problem, 17 July 2014
It's time the Iraqi Pottery Barn rule—'You break it, you pay a trillion dollars for it'—is applied to someone else.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

How Could the CIA Be So Stupid?

The CIA's Bumbling German Spy Was More Austin Powers and Less James Bond
Washington risked its relationship with Berlin by taking files from a low-level intelligence official dumb enough to volunteer his services to Moscow over email.

The Tragedies of Nineveh: The Destruction of History Recorded in the Bible, and more, and worse by the self-appointed Caliph of the so-called Islamic State

ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq, 7 July 2014
Iraqi antiquities officials are calling on the Obama administration to save Nineveh and other sites around jihadist-occupied Mosul. But are drone strikes really the answer?

Also see this background for the role the Americans played in the destruction of Iraqi culture and history: 

What the Thunder Said:
Art and Culture after Shock and Awe
(Feel free to respond to the comments on this one, which drew more than 1500 readers yesterday...)

And these posts by others:

Nervana Mahmoud on the seductive ignorance preached by ISIS

Salama Moussa on the destruction of the Assyrian Christian community in Nineveh

Iran's PressTV on the destruction of Shia mosques in and around Mosul

Salama Moussa on the Agony of Christians in Nineveh

... In 2003 ... good Christian men from a far away continent sought to bring democracy to Iraq. Their pursuit began the suffering of over 2 Million Assyrians, Iraq’s Christians. Today Nineveh, for 2000 years the home of Arab Christianity, has none. A band of psychopaths may have delivered the final blow, but the weakening started earlier. Now these Christians must contend with the pain of exile and the deracination of their people due to cultural adjustments. Nor were the Americans the sole culprits in this. British recruitment of the Assyrians in the 1920s was a foolish policy, especially when the grand men in Westminster turned their heads at the massacres of the 1930s. ...

Nervana Mahmoud on ISIS and the Tsunami of Ignorance in the Muslim World

@csdickey: ISIS and the Muslim rejectionist exaltation of ignorance. An important essay by @Nervana_1 #Iraq #Caliphate 

"Now we have reached the deep end; the piecemeal approach to the region’s chronic crises will fail this time. States such as Iraq and Syria are struggling to exist; it is time for the oppressors, exploiters, and apologists to pause and change course. If they do not, the tsunami of ignorance will not just destroy their enemies - it will destroy them, too."