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MIDDLE EAST | 10

Why George Brandis wants to throw me in jail

I travelled to Iraq to see the effects of the war being waged in my name. But under the Foreign Fighters Bill, I could be prosecuted and jailed — and I would have no defence, writes freelance journalist Dan Moss.

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST | 16 UNLOCK?

All good in the Hudood: Pakistan doesn’t need Malala’s secularism, says female pollie

Former Pakistani MP Raheel Qazi believes a woman’s first priority should be her family and that Malala Yousafzai’s goal of a secular Pakistan should never be realised.

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MIDDLE EAST | 11

An ‘apocalyptic death cult’? What IS really wants

Western politicians talk about Islamic State as a devastating, almost mythical terrorist organisation that only wants evil and destruction. Freelance journalist Andrei Ghoukassian finds the group is more of a mid-sized militia.

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JEFF SPARROW | MIDDLE EAST | 24

Critical thinking the first casualty of war

Not only are we not getting satisfactory answers about the new conflict in Iraq — no one is even asking the right questions.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: embracing Islamists abroad while fomenting terrorism at home

The global making and breaking of alliances in the fight against the Islamic State is an incoherent mess. Likewise our own government’s self-serving response to the matter.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Abbott’s (and Shorten’s) lies lead Australia to a sinister place

The government has based its extensions of national security powers, and its involvement in Iraq, on lies. And they will damage us like the previous Iraq war damaged us.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

AFP gagged, state agencies run for cover on terror-Iraq link

The government won’t allow the Australian Federal Police to comment on whether its decision to go to war in Iraq has increased the risk of terrorism in Australia.

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CHARLES RICHARDSON | MIDDLE EAST |

Scots stay put, but there are others in the queue

Despite a resounding win for the unionists in Scotland, other regions around the world seeking independence, like Catalonia and Kurdistan, remain hopeful.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Terror raids a media spectacle, but it’s war that puts us in danger

While we reap the consequences of returning to Iraq, it’s clearer than ever that the campaign against ISIL will struggle to be effective.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: attacking IS will bring the caliphate into being

Taking on the Islamic State will require the West to make some uncomfortable friends. Are we going to arm Hamas? Hezbollah? Is al-Qaeda or Assad our best hope now?

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Brandis goes Left Bank in his search for terror hype

Using words like “existential” to describe terrorism is part of a lengthy, and wholly absurd, tradition of hyping it.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Abbott, the nervy pugilist who may or may not have taken us to war

Tony Abbott’s eagerness to get involved in the “war” against Islamic State obscures how little we know what we’re doing in Iraq, or with whom we’re doing it.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Who benefits from the return to Iraq?

The inconsistencies in the case for intervention in Iraq demonstrate how the US and Australia are struggling to see where their real national interests lie.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Essential: voters disapprove of Iraq venture, and it’s not helping Abbott

Voters narrowly oppose intervention in Iraq, and the focus on security and international matters isn’t helping the Abbott government, today’s Essential Report shows.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Getting to the core of the threat of Islamic State

The threat to the West from Islamic State depends entirely on whom you talk to — a politician, or a security official.

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CRIKEY INTERN | MIDDLE EAST |

Crikey Clarifier: just what is the peshmerga, anyway?

There are a lot of distinct groups fighting off Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Kurdistan. But what is the YPG? The PKK? And PJAK? Crikey intern Andrei Ghoukassian explains.

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST |

Islamic State, homicidal click-bait and the politics of snuff films

Real world violence can too often take on a false cinematic quality for those trying to understand and prevent it. It’s about time we went off-script.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Why terrorists really hate the West

Terrorists hate us for our freedom, right? It’s a bit more complicated than that, writes The Mandarin journalist David Donaldson.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: the real target in Iraq intervention is not IS, but Iran

When it comes to the Islamic State, media and politicians are currently engaging in a competition to out-sententious each other. As always, the bluster and rhetoric hide more grievous atrocities and some harsh geopolitical realities.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Iraqi ambassador rescues Abbott, Labor says ‘trust us’

The government’s intervention in Iraq has been agreed without the claimed support of Iraq. But Labor is docilely following Abbott.

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CRIKEY INTERN | MIDDLE EAST |

Hawks turn dovish on upcoming Iraq invasion

Plenty of usually right-wing commentators seem to have taken a jump to the Left on the issue of whether Australia should commit troops to Iraq this time around. Crikey intern Andrei Ghoukassian gets the lay of the land.

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MIDDLE EAST |

How and why Shiites are sidelined from Australian public life

The majority of Western Muslim organisations are dominated by Sunni Muslims, writes lawyer, author and commentator Irfan Yusuf. But what about the Shia?

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Government breaches its own terror laws in returning to Iraq

In arming the Kurdish regional government, Tony Abbott is helping a proscribed terrorist organisation and placing Australians at greater risk of terrorist attack.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Retracing our steps on the march into Iraq

The parallels between the current path to intervention in Iraq and Syria and the Iraq War 11 years ago are uncanny and discomfitting.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Mike Carlton: Gaza is Israel’s Vietnam, with Hamas victorious

Benjamin Netanyahu has ensured that no Israeli will ever again know peace, writes former ABC war correspondent and naval historian Mike Carlton.

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