ISIS has swept across Iraq in a stunning show of force, accumulating land and capital at a staggering rate. How, after a decade of American presence in Iraq, can this possibly be explained? What language do we even have for this?
Ha ha, here's the greatest picture of the end of the Iraq War, by Al-Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom: the assigned seats at the "Yay The Iraq War Is Over" ceremony also informed attendees in which bunker they should take shelter, in case they were all bombed or shot at or whatever. Enjoy your war zone with no war (sort of)!
"Security companies have started to use Iraqi guards because they work cheaply and know the area. These Iraqi security contractors now try to imitate Americans in their clothing, by wearing trousers with several outside pockets, half-length boots, dark sunglasses and rolled-up sleeves. They have absorbed the way that American contractors look so much that sometimes we Iraqis cannot differentiate between an Iraqi and an American by the way he dresses." —This is fascinating!
Because independent journalists are not allowed to move about freely in Syria, news outlets are depending on reports from people such as [Omar] Shakir and on information collected by international human rights groups to offer a picture of what's happening inside Syria—where, according to the United Nations, government forces have killed more than 5,000 people in the nearly 12 months since protests against the regime began.
"A group of Pakistanis met in Islamabad late last month to discuss the impact of U.S. drone strikes in their communities. One of the attendees was a 16-year-old boy named Tariq Aziz who had volunteered to learn photography to begin documenting drone strikes near his home. Within 72 hours of the meeting Aziz was killed in a U.S. drone strike. His 12-year-old cousin was also killed in the Oct. 31 attack." —U.S. drones have killed 175 children. (via)
"So 2014 is the new July 2011. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the caveats and the asterisks that the Obama administration and NATO want to place onto the dates, and understand that neither date heralds the End Of The War. But there’s a word for politicians who need you to listen carefully to their statements to grasp the full depth of their meanings: liars. They’re putting out a line that suggests on its face that the war will wind down or end when they’re actually promising no such thing." —Oh I see.