Jul 01 2014

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on Israel’s Retaliatory Strikes, the End of Ukraine’s Ceasefire, and Obama’s Push for More US Troops in Iraq

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Israeli fighter planes are bombarding the Gaza strip in retaliation for the deaths of three teenagers. The bodies of three Israeli teens were discovered in a shallow grave in Hebron this week, prompting an escalation of Israeli firepower. Israeli authorities were searching for weeks for the missing boys aged 16-19, one of whom was also a US citizen. Even before their bodies had been found, there had been airstrikes and arrests of Palestinians, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing Palestinians would “pay a heavy price.” Five Palestinians were killed during the search for the boys and one 18 year old Palestinian has already been killed in the strikes. Netanyahu blames Hamas for the deaths of the Israeli teens but Hamas spokespeople are denying any involvement. Click here for a Guardian report about the story.

Days after Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, signed a major agreement with the European Union, he has ordered military strikes on the positions of pro-Russian separatist forces in the Eastern parts of the country. A ceasefire that had been in place has apparently ended with Poroshenko declaring he would rid Ukraine of what he called “parasites.” He also used the words, “terrorists, militants and marauders,” to describe Ukrainians allied with Russia. Russia’s foreign ministry released a statement saying, “There is an impression that the change in Kiev’s position … could not have come about without influence from abroad, despite the position of leading EU member states,” implying that the US was behind Poroshenko’s actions. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

And finally, in a day heavy on international news, we turn to Iraq where the US is slowly but surely increasing its troop presence on the ground. President Obama just announced an additional 200 soldiers, plus helicopters and drones, to be deployed to Iraq. The troops are there, according to Al Jazeera, to “reinforce security at the US embassy, its support facilities and the Baghdad International Airport.” There are also reports that the US may be considering setting up a military base in Iraq’s Kurdish-ruled north. While Obama has made it clear there will be no combat troops sent to Iraq, those troops that are being sent are apparently “equipped for combat.” Click here for an Al Jazeera article about the story.

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