Not All Islamic States Are Equal

In the Gaza Strip region of Occupied Palestine several Palestinian insurgents with Islamic Jihad prepare for an attack on targets in Israel

There are two quasi-medieval Islamic states in the Middle East making the headlines at the moment. Both have fairly similar initial histories and even closer ideological leanings. One however is a new-born (and possibly still-born) thing battling against an array of enemies while imposing its bloody rule on diverse and often impoverished communities across large swathes of the … Continue reading

6000 Islamic State Fighters Killed In US-Led Attacks?

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

    Back in October of 2014 the CIA estimated that the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq had a military strength of some 20,000 to 30,000 fighters with other US intelligence sources claiming that air-strikes by the United States and its allies had killed several hundred IS combatants up to that point (though just how many were “combatants” … Continue reading

Special Forces, Special Operations, Special Rules

Troops from the United States Army on patrol in Iraq

In a similar vein to yesterday’s post on James Fallows’ controversial critique of the United States’ military in the Atlantic magazine comes this article by Nick Turse over on Tom’s Dispatch examining the remarkable growth of America’s special forces contingents since 2001. As with Britain’s counter-insurgency war in Ireland from the 1970s to late ’90s (and arguably to the present day) a … Continue reading

Military Secrets And Scandals

Volunteers of the Derry Brigade of the Irish Republican Army armed with American-supplied weapons, an M60 general-purpose machine gun and an AR-15 assault rifle, British Occupied North of Ireland,

For those of you interested in the performance of the United States Armed Forces over the last two decades, especially combating the invasion-born insurgent movements of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the many-headed hydra of militant political Islam that US and Coalition operations accelerated in growth and influence) the journalist James Fallows has a provocative opinion … Continue reading

Condemning Rebellion In Occupied France And Ireland

The Roman Catholic hierarchy with John Redmond MP, the leader of the Irish Nationalist establishment, 1912

Today’s Irish Times newspaper carries a deeply offensive article examining the period of 1939-45 in France and what the author of the piece characterizes as the “armed rebellion” of the French Resistance against the mandated administration of the country by Nazi Germany and it’s collaborationist partners during World War II. In particular the journalist questions … Continue reading

Translation Fail

Sign of Albain or Scotland

Cautioning on the perils of machine translation, especially when expectations surpass achievable results, Michael Bauer on his Dear Developer blog posts a letter he has written to the Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser following the latter’s suggestion that Scottish (Scottish Gaelic) be added to the list of languages available on Google Translate: “I’m sure that this is a well-intentioned idea but in my professional opinion, … Continue reading

Je Suis Gael

Je Suis Gael

In 1981 the “reverend” Ian Paisley MP MEP, founder and chief of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, the Democratic Unionist Party and several quasi-terrorist groupings (notably the Ulster Resistance), issued an infamous response to a speech by the Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey where he claimed on behalf of the British Unionist minority in … Continue reading

An Online Fenian Archive From ASF

British militiamen stand over the body of a slain soldier of the Irish Republican Army following the Battle of Eccles Hill, the Second Fenian Invasion of Canada 1870

  I’ve discussed my interest in utilising online resources for researching various historical topics a number of times on ASF, as can be seen in the two brief articles I wrote in 2011 and 2014 on the mainly American origins of the name “Irish Republican Army” (or “IRA”) where I used both newspaper and literary sources to uncover some of the earliest examples of it’s use. … Continue reading

Those Leaked Al Jazeera Emails On Charlie Hebdo

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The National Review Online, the web-version of the right-wing American current affairs magazine, has published a series of “leaked” emails from the Al Jazeera news network under the somewhat disingenuous headline “Leaked Newsroom Emails Reveal Al Jazeera Fury over Global Support for Charlie Hebdo“. In fact the emails don’t reveal any such “fury” but rather … Continue reading

Some Irish Stories

The 1912 Fianna Éireann Ard-Fheis with a large Gal Gréine banner in the background

A few quick links to articles and posts that I have enjoyed over the last week or so. First up is this piece from the excellent historical website, The Cricket Bat That Died For Ireland, featuring a series of photos taken in a British concentration camp in Ireland during the most important period of the … Continue reading

Je Suis Charlie

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

    Like many other people around the world I have been shocked by the events that have taken place in Paris over the last 24 hours with the presumed “terrorist” attack on the home of the French satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo. In contemporary western Europe such awful occurrences remain the exception rather than the rule, perhaps explaining why … Continue reading

The Jacobin View On Ireland

Armed and armoured officers of a Regional Support Unit in the Garda Síochána

    The US-based Jacobin magazine has a lengthy and well-informed article on the current situation here in Ireland, particularly as it relates to the re-emergence of the Left as a force in Irish politics: “Throughout the past fall and again in December, people took to the streets in numbers rarely seen in Ireland. On … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated 2013: Best Politics, Personal Blog Categories; Best Blog Post
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated 2014: Best News, Current Affairs, Politics, Mobile Blog Categories; Best Blog Post

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