U.S. in Iraq: Where's Our Coalition?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Iraqi girl stands inside of a displacement camp for those caught-up in the fighting in and around the city of Mosul on June 28, 2014 in Khazair, Iraq. Tens of thousands have fled ISIS. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

The U.S. is bombing key ISIS strongholds in Northern Iraq, helping Kurdish forces reassert their control. But what's the role of the other regional powers in helping the cause? Vijay Prashad, Chair of South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, also a columnist for Frontline, discusses the conflict in the region and how other groups are providing help.   


Vijay Prashad

Comments [17]

Counterblast from NYC

Now that we are being told(8/13) that--guess what-- there is not nor has there ever been a humanitarian crisis of the Yasidi will Brian and Ghosh get back on the air and admit to there baseless warmongering. I guess not since I have never heard Brian Lehrer ever admit to his poor intellectual skills and to his uncritical reflection of himself as a talk show host. Now that the fake crisis is over it will only be a matter of time before Brian returns to his anti-Russian rant and who will continue to fail to question the Obama double speak. The real bombing of cities by Ukraine forces and the real humanitarian crisis of pro-Russian Ukrainians goes unnoticed by the American Propaganda Machine but the fake crisis of the Yasidi--which seems more and more like a U.S cover story to provide arms to the Kurds and to protect the oil goes unquestioned by American Media. In doing so America has sealed the fate of Iraq as it has sealed the fate of Libya as another failed state. I do not know if there are going to be any nations in the world who will ever trust Obama or Americans again. Just ask the Germans.

I love to watch you Americans engage in your double think in which you seem to be able to ignore logic and facts all in the service of your unbending ideology---America is always right not because it is but because America does it and therefore makes it right. Now the American Media is already creating another fake crisis over the Humanitarian Aid the Russians are attempting to send. Now we are being told we cannot trust the Russians but we should trust the Americans who have just engaged in bombing ISIS in Iraq over a non-humanitarian Crisis!!! And how many people do you Americans think were killed by these bombs? And why has Brian not asked the question? Is he so inside the Propaganda bubble that he can't even see his failure to pushback against the U.S gov't double think. 2014 is beginning to look like "1984".

I suspect that Americans can't handle the truth because Americans can't ever speak the truth---at least the American Media and Gov't.

Aug. 14 2014 09:08 PM
louis from Freeport, LI

I was really disappointed that you couldn't get your guest to discuss the reasons why Middle Eastern countries won't form a coalition against ISIS. It's an interesting question, but your guest seemed determined to steer the discussion away from it. I hope you can do another show that really addresses this question.
Love your show!

Aug. 12 2014 11:33 PM

"RUCB_Alum" -

Your mindless defense of Barry the Boy Wonder is hilarious.
You guys who live off of affirmative action just can't kick that addiction.

Aug. 12 2014 09:08 PM

"Amy from Manhattan"

Your leftist mush is too pathetic for serious reply.

Aug. 12 2014 09:05 PM
Counterblast from NYC

Anyone who spends one hour listening to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and then listens to Leher should be aware of the Propaganda Bubble Brain seems to live under. In his interview with Ghosh he gushed over how a responsible reporter Ghosh is and then we are made to listen to his over the top Hilter rants about ISIS.

So tell me Mr. Leher, what proof did Ghosh provide for any of this claims and why did you fail to push back enough to force him to support his views and not just assert them?
And why have you ignored questioning the Obama double speak. Let me see, he justifies the air war because of a so called humanitarian crisis that no one has any actual proof for all as a pretense to attack ISIS to help the Kurds who have been playing Americans for the fools they are and Obama thinks the Kurds are going to stay within Iraq and share the oil? Now who is being a fool? Obama and Lehrer have learned nothing. This is a re-play of Libya 2011 a pretense of an humanitarian crisis to boost his then re-election? How many people have to die around the world every time there is a U.S election to be won? I guess Obama needs another war for the Fall and Republicans need another reason to call Obama weak and hopeless. Libya is a now a failed state and Obama made it that way by his stupidity.

So the Obama double think is that the Yazidi need saving but that pro Russian Ukrainians can be bombed by American backed War Criminals in Kiev. America has a right to use air wars to protect its in interest in Iraq but that Russia cannot use air power to protect its interest in Ukraine. Do you Americans really think that those of us who live in the real world do not see through your warmongering and hypocrisy.

Are we just going to follow Lehrer and the rest of the American Media Propaganda Machine into another pointless conflict in Iraq and Ukraine? Brain loves to tell us how superior WYNC and NPR are---but the truth is that they are not and far from it. I for one wish to have a radio station who is not going to assume that Obama and America are always right and Putin is always wrong, that assumes that ISIS are the terrorists but that Israel and Netanyahu are not, that assumes that whatever America does is with the best intentions but that your foes do not.

I would like to listen to that kind of radio program but clearly one will never find it on NPR or WNYC or anywhere else in the American MediaScape. Who needs freedom of speech in a land in which everyone is suppose to repeat the same propaganda?

Aug. 12 2014 08:42 PM
Veronika from Manhattan

@ jgarbuz from Queens really? They're still pissed off because of events in the 7th century? Don't you think it's time to move on?

Aug. 12 2014 02:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


Most Nazis were human beings, had families, loved animals, and even attended church. Hitler was a vegan.

Aug. 12 2014 11:55 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I appreciate Prof. Prashad's recognizing gradations of ideology even in ISIS. We need to remember that even extremists--even in violent extremist groups--are human beings & aren't all the same (although I hope none of them are doing this for "excitement"!). Treating them as if they are leads to approaches like de-Ba'athification & its consequences.

On the other hand, I think "metastasis" & analogies to cancer & other diseases is dehumanizing & works against Prof. Prashad's other points.

Aug. 12 2014 11:42 AM
Joe from nearby

I don't know whether you read these comments, but this segment was excellent. I hope you invite your knowledgeable guest back again for further insight on developments.

Aug. 12 2014 11:35 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Most of the mess is due to the Muslim Arab invasion of the Middle East in the 7th century. If the Arabs had stayed in Arabia none of this would be happening.

Aug. 12 2014 11:27 AM

Keep in mind that the US has permission to fight ISIS in Iraq, but they can just run back into Syria. And congress refused to vote to give the president to launch attacks there. ISIS can easily use the Iraq-Syria board like Hamas uses tunnels at Israel's wall.

Aug. 12 2014 11:24 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There are only three or at most four TRUE states in the Middle East: Israel, Iran, Turkey and maybe Egypt. The rest are just areas the Arabs occupied in the 7th century of the Kurds and others, and these tribal societies have no strong national identity as do the Turks, the Jews, the Iranians and to a lesser extent Egypt, thought that sort of belongs as part of North Africa.
And the areas occupied by the Arab invaders split into religious factions, primarily Sunni and Shia like the Catholics and the Protestants who kept Europe in turmoil for centuries too.

Aug. 12 2014 11:24 AM

Joyce, countries in the middle east are fighting ISIS -- Syria! I'm not seeing where joining forces with them is in the US's best interest, but feel free to disagree.

Aug. 12 2014 11:22 AM

The response must come from the US, because it is our weapons that ISIS/ISIL stole from those we armed and are using against the Iraqi people that we promised to fix after we broke them.

Aug. 12 2014 11:20 AM
Joyce from NYC

Why can't the countries of the middle east fight ISIS???

Uhhhh -- Let me guess --

Because large segments of the populations of these countries agree with ISIS??

Sorry -- we are not allowed to say that --

Aug. 12 2014 11:19 AM
mgduke from manh

Good question, especially regarding the regional superpower Israel.

Israel has been tirelessly megaphoning that its brutal devastation of Gaza is in defense of Western civilization in general and America in particular--claims that are obviously cynical lies given that Israel’s brutal state-terrorism has long been a major factor in causing blowback retaliatory terrorism against us.

But the terrorists of the self-styled Islamic State, completely unlike the Palestinians, are intrinsically murderous enemies of America, so why hasn’t Israel intervened for all these years as IS grew in Syria, which is right across its border, or now in nearby Iraq?

Could it be that Israel is happy to see the festering of murderous anti-Western terrorism likely to launch attacks in Europe and America, and thus chain us even more tightly to Zionist terrorism?

Aug. 12 2014 10:53 AM

The "Let's Invade Iraq!" coalition put together by Dubya was mostly in name only....though for certain soldiers from many nations served and died in theater...

The full cost of lasting peace in what was Iraq was another casualty of the lies that got us there.

Aug. 12 2014 10:39 AM

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