Joe Lauria returns to the show to discuss the battle for Mosul, and the degree to which the Iraqi army has defeated the Islamic State. Lauria details the awful destruction of the war: thousands of civilians have been killed, and at least 850,000 people have fled since the fighting started last October, though the origins of the conflict trace back to George W. Bush’s decision to invade in 2003 and the role of the U.S. in aiding ISIS’s rise. Lauria then discusses what’s next: a referendum in Irbil for Kurdish independence from Iraq, the United States attempt to break up the “Shia crescent” between Iran and Syria, and how Donald Trump’s uncertain but aggressive plan in the Middle East makes the situation somehow even more volatile.
Lauria is the author of “How I Lost By Hillary Clinton” and a contributing writer at Consortium News. He is a former UN correspondent and wrote at the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal. You can follow him on Twitter @unjoe.
Discussed on the show:
- Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
- Al Nuri Grand Mosque (Mosul)
- Baath Party (Iraq)
- Raqqa (Syria)
- August 2012 intelligence report predicting rise of ISIS
- Leaked audio of John Kerry saying U.S. tried to “manage” rise of ISIS in Syria
- Pesh Merga
- Al Nusra
- Ayad Allawi
- Haider al-Abadi
- Nouri al-Maliki
- “Iraqi Kurds Build Washington Lobbying Machine to Fund War Against ISIS,” New York Times
- “The Sunni rise again: Uprising in Syria emboldens Iraq’s minority community,” by Patrick Cockburn
- “U.S. military says it conducted airstrike on pro-government forces in Syria,” LA Times
- “Inquiry Points Toward a Pentagon Plot to Subvert Obama’s Syria Policy,” by Gareth Porter
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