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Middle East

Interview on Radio Islam: ISIS' Bloody Trail

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interview in 2nd part (23 minutes into the program) on ISIS


Tunisia: Squaring the ‘Islamic democracy’ circle

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The self-immolation of a 26-year-old Tunisian fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, in December 2010, was the spark that set off the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Do events there since prove or disprove those who see the Arab Spring as an important turning point in the Middle East?

In an irony of imperialism witnessed throughout the region, Islamists in Tunisia (11 million, 98% Sunni) were repressed more after ‘independence’ in 1956, than before under the French imperialists. The French handed power to secularist President Habib Bourguiba, who was pushed aside in a coup in 1988, and his corrupt and ruthless successor Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, was president for the next 23 years.

Contrast with Egypt


Interview on No Lies Radio: ISIS caliphate, Afghanistan

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Interview with Kevin Barrett: Middle East spinning out of Empire’s control

password spinning

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: Bin Laden won

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Osama Bin Laden’s goal in 9/11 was to suck the US into Afghanistan and Iraq, sparking a regional conflagration that would sweep away the imperial legacy and establish a new caliphate. Over a decade later, this plan is still on track. As he led his jihadists triumphantly into Mosul and declared an emirate on Iraq-Syrian territory, ISIS ‘caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced that the 1916 secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain, France and imperial Russia was at last being dismantled.


ISIS and the Taliban: Writing on the wall for Afghanistan

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Afghans sleepwalked to the polls to replace Karzai, with a choice between a US-educated ex-World Bank official Ashraf Ghani (and his warlord VP Dostum), or the Tajik Abdullah Abdullah who threatens chaos if he loses. Iraq’s April elections, the first national elections since the US declared ‘success’ and left in 2011, provide an indication of what could be in store for Afghans. Rather than confirming the new order, they precipitated a ‘surge’ by Sunni insurgents, who quickly capture a third of the country, discrediting the whole US-imposed electoral process.

Plans for consolidating Iraq and Afghanistan as pro-US regimes appear to have collapsed with ISIS’s capture of Mosul, facing virtually no resistance. The Kurdish Peshmurga militia took control of Kirkuk, and in the south, Iraq's Shia brace to resist ISIS. Iraqis are now living through the 1990s Afghan scenario, when the Taliban quickly took over a country in the grips of sectarian violence with the promise to disarm militias and provide security. In Iraq’s Sunni majority areas, a population exhausted by war and violence is now faced by the same prospect of accepting a harsh rule by Sunni extremists who promise security.


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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

Purchase Eric Walberg's Books

Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html