The Takfiris may be seeing the end of their short-lived glory marked by gore and horrific acts of public beheadings and burning people alive. Iraqi government forces backed by militias--both Shia and Sunni--have made significant gains in and around Tikrit, hometown of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Husain. Further west in Syria, the Syrian army is making steady gains against them in Aleppo. The takfiris are being squeezed from both sides.
There were a slew of new revelations about the politics of the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq last month, when the Independent newspaper in Britain published details of documents recently obtained under the Freedom of Information.
It was exactly nine years ago that US-led western forces invaded and occupied Afghanistan. The ostensible reason was to avenge the attacks of 9/11.
The problem with taking on the superpowers is that they never seem willing to admit that they are beaten, with the result that however successful the resistance to them, there is never an outright victory. Whenever the superpowers have projected their power and been met by determined local resistance, such as the Russians in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and the Americans in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and (indirectly) Palestine, the resistance faces the problem of actually sealing their victories in political terms.
Their situation being precarious at the best of times, last month was even worse than usual for President Hamid Karzai and the foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan. A day after Kabulreceived pledges of $20 billion in aid from donors at the Paris conference, the Taliban carried out a spectacular raid on the Sarposa prison in Qandahar, releasing nearly 1,200 prisoners, among them 400 Taliban fighters, on June 13.
The US is facing two deadlines in its dealings with the government in Iraq over the proposed “security treaty” by which it hopes to legitimise its continued occupation of the country. The first is the expiry of the UN mandate to remain in the country, which expires on December 31.
When US president George W. Bush claimed last month that Iraq had been a victory for the US, hollow laughter echoed around the world. In this article, KHALIL FADL considers the real legacy of the Iraqwar, five years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
For a year after the US invasion of Iraq, it was the epicentre of military resistance to the occupation, becoming a virtual no-go area for Westerners until the US decided less than two months ago that it had to be pacified by overwhelming force...
The US attack on Fallujah last month, in which at least 1,000 people have been killed, thousands more injured and an estimated 60,000 – out of a population of some 300,000 – forced to flee their homes, appears to have been carried out in a similar spirit...
Although the outcome is still unresolved, the ongoing stand-off between the US-led occupation forces and supporters of young Shi’i alim Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr can hardly be anything but ominous for the neo-conservative hawks in Washington...
American and British claims that Iraq was calm except for limited resistance by a few pro-Saddam stragglers were blown away on June 24, when six British soldiers were killed by angry people in Majar al-Kabbir, a small town north of Basra, in response to aggressive and intrusive anti-resistance operations.
America’s superhawks, also known as "neocons" (neo-conservatives), are ecstatic about the turn of events in Iraq, especially the lack of any effective resistance to the military takeover of Baghdad.
Intoxicated by the devastating display of America’s military juggernaut in Afghanistan, senior US officials have been issuing bellicose statements about Iraq. President George W Bush joined the chorus on November 26 when he warned Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to readmit UN arms-inspectors or face unspecified consequences.