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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST | 11 UNLOCK?

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 | 21 UNLOCK?

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 | 6 UNLOCK?

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 | 12 UNLOCK?

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 | 7 UNLOCK?

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 | 4 UNLOCK?

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 | 13 UNLOCK?

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 | 20 UNLOCK?

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 | 10 UNLOCK?

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 | 4

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 | 6

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 | 24

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 | 20

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 | 54

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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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST | 15

Promoting the grisly terrorism theatre of IS

The grisly murder of James Foley is the continuation of a well-established Islamic extremist tradition of media manipulation. And it works.

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MIDDLE EAST | 2

A year after Rabaa massacre, Egypt has gone from bad to worse

A year ago, hundreds of Egyptians were massacred by the police and army. Fast forward 12 months and it’s clear that was only the beginning for human rights abuses, writes Rachel Williamson, freelance journalist in Cairo.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST | 22

War on Terror keeps the terrorist cash cycle going

Despite what the government might say, Australian taxpayers have been directly and indirectly helping fund terrorism for years.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Keane: Iraq intervention part of a war without end

The deteriorating Iraq situation and our response to it merely perpetuates a War on Terror that will always curb our freedoms.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Middle ground on both sides blown away in Gaza conflict

Another big casualty from Gaza conflict is the growing loss of “the middle” — moderates willing to engage with each other to resolve the greater Palestine-Israel conflict, writes Palestinian-based freelance writer Raffaele Piccolo.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: Tarzan narrative of whites v savages not going to work in Iraq

Amidst the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Crikey writer-at-large Guy Rundle says we should listen to what the Kurdish people want, and Sunni and Shia people too.

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MIDDLE EAST |

‘This is Gaza’: amid bombed-out buildings, hope and a helping hand

Freelance journalist Armando Cordoba writes from Gaza, where local grassroots groups are doing what they can to help the local people survive the war.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: Iraq on the brink will change the world, for good or ill

Crikey’s writer-at-large ponders the next stage in the crisis unfolding in Iraq — a situation where the world will not come out as it went in.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Why the UN should send peacekeepers into Gaza

The UN has consistently declined to intervene in Gaza because Palestine is not a state and Gaza is a non-government terrorist organisation. But that is not good enough — peacekeepers are needed to keep civilians safe, on both sides, writes military ethicist Matthew Beard.

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PADDY MANNING | MIDDLE EAST |

Israel still pulls business heavy hitters, but Palestine off the table

The Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce has some big connections in the business world — and they are far too polite (and politic) to mention the current unpleasantness in Gaza.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: the tortured moral philosophy of offshore detention

Degrading the distinction between action and the consequences of non-action undermines all morality. Crikey’s writer-at-large parses the moral arguments for offshore detention and the current bombing of Gaza.

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