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An edited version of this article appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on January 10, 2020. The US drone attack that killed Iranian...
It has always been a mistake for the United States to treat disputed territories in the West Bank as occupied. For one thing, it was impossible for Israel to “occupy” Palestinian territories because no such state has ever existed.
US policy has been a mix of guns and butter in Iraq since 2003: offering military training and arms and trying to butter up some officials that Washington thought would be its champions in Baghdad. But at every turn an Iranian octopus was lurking, outplaying the ham-fisted American attempts to exert influence
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has today welcomed the statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing that "The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements [in the West Bank] is not, per se, inconsistent with international law."
After six years, the tanks of the Syrian Arab Army are rolling back into Qamishli, Raqqa, Tabqa, Tal Tamr, Kobani, Manbij, al-Malikiya and the other towns east of the Euphrates. This is taking place not because the SDF has been militarily defeated. Rather, as needs to be stated plainly, it has been betrayed. By its allies.
Baghdadi’s death is certainly a victory, although it does not affirm Trump’s reasoning for his precipitous withdrawal from much of northeastern Syria nor his abandonment of the US partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)... Nor does Baghdadi’s death mean the threat posed by the Islamic State is over.