Orobpa, Qoqzaz… Is the “ISIS map” for real?

No one has been able to give a source for this map. It just “appeared on the Internet” as a map of the “Islamic State” envisioned by the eponymous rebel army that has taken over cities in Syria and Iraq. Is this map for real? So many people have reposted it (including some so-called news […]

How many Muslims are joining ISIS?

How many Muslims have gone to join the violent psychopaths of ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever we’re supposed to call it? According to some, such as the ex-Muslim celebrity Ayaan Hirsi Ali, every Muslim is supposed to support ISIS. I mean, most Muslims are good people, but their religion is backward, tribal, and in need […]

Iraq and the American Revolution

Now British forces are ending combat operations in Iraq. I always thought it was remarkable to see U.S. troops in Iraq serving alongside British units, some of whose service histories must go back to the struggle against American revolutionaries in the 1770s and 1780s. The two armies have fought together several times since 1917, of […]

America’s dashboard GPS of war

I’ve read more than one news item describing how drivers sometimes place too much faith in their GPS navigation devices. Guided by the disembodied voice coming from the dashboard, some have doggedly followed dirt roads to nowhere, faced oncoming one-way traffic, or narrowly avoided driving over cliffs. The authority of the voice-in-a-box overrules common sense […]

Beyond the shoe throwing: America fails in Iraq

The Bush Administration has proclaimed so many fake milestones and signs of “progress” in Iraq that (according to Patrick Cockburn in the London Review of Books) a genuine milestone has gone by almost unnoticed. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA for short) between the U.S. and Iraqi governments immediately curtails U.S. military and mercenary autonomy […]