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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does.  As a trial lawyer and trial skills teacher aroud the world, its his most important tool. As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally.  As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated.

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Entries in iraq (17)

Saturday
Jan062018

Archive: This Photo Haunts Me to This Day

Archive: On joint patrol with US & Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad in 2006. It was a brutal time with constant small & sometimes not so small arms fire as well as the never-ending threat of IED's. I turned down a small street & saw these two little boys, brothers I think, peaking through a fence. 

They looked me in the face and saw ... what? I slowly pulled my SLR up to my face and grabbed the shot before the gunfire pulled me away, partially out of fear for myself but partially our of fear that my presence before these boys made their lives even more precarious than they already were. 

I should add that as I looked through the lens into their eyes, I saw two other sets of eyes, mine and my brothers. We are about that many months apart and I couldn’t help but make the comparison and I couldn’t help but think about how and why the Gods put us where they did and then subsequently placed these boys in this firestorm. It confused me, angered me and saddened me all at the same time. It still does. I'll never know if they survived. 

This photo has haunted me ever since.

شكرا

Tuesday
Oct242017

[Press TV Tehran] October 24th: Jack Talks Delays in Kurdistan Elections and the Treaty of Versailles

I appear on Press TV Tehran on October 24th.  The Iraqi Kurdistan parliament has voted to delay elections by eight months.  There were as lot of countries watching what was happening out of Erbil. Its clear that Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, and the U.S. is not interested in seeing an independent Kurdistan and it potentially threatens that borders of those existing countries and could also create some short term instability on the region.  Let's face it, the fear is a domino effect in which one move could force another, could force another, etc.  is a very real one where we have seen a lot of instability in the last several decades. 

The problem is that millions of Kurds were disenfranchised and marginalized when the Europeans arbitrarily cut the Middle East up into its current scheme at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.  At the point, millions of Kurds were placed into Iraq, with millions more placed in Iran, Turkey, Syria and even the Southern Republicans.  The net result was a guarantee that none of those Kurdish groups would have a majority voice.

This will be a fun conversation.   

 

Tuesday
Sep262017

[Press TV Tehran] September 26th: Jack Debates Kurdish Independence

I appear on Press TV Tehran on September 26th.  The Kurds in North Iraq held a referendum on September 25th to argue for independence from Iraq. It is an extraordinary move and one that the Iraqi central government quickly rejected. So did the Turks. In fact, the Turks and Iraqis are conducting joint operations along the border to make the point. The Turls have also threatened to cut trade and even slop oil flowing from the Kirkuk to Turkey.  The Iranians have also cut off flight services and aren't happy. 

I try to imagine the Kurdish Peshmerga staring at them across mountains and valleys. Th Kurds must feel somewhat isolated in their desire. After all, it isn't just the Iraqis and Turks who oppose them. Its also the Iranians, the Syrian regime, the United States and even the United Nations.  Everybody.

And yet, and yet, all of these governments are wrong. Each talks at one time or another about freedom, self actualization, and democracy. But none truly care a bout it, at least not from the perspective of the Kurds.  They want their own government and they deserve it.

I will be part of a debate on Iranian Press TV about this issue. If you couldn't guess, you probably know where i stand on it.

Hope you might be able to catch it.

Tuesday
Sep262017

[RTTV Washington DC] September 25th: Jack Talks Kurdish Independence Referendum

I appear on Russian TV Washington DC with Ed Schultz on September 25th.  The Iraqi Kurds are voting unofficially for independence from Iraq.  They want it. They've always wanted it. And yet, the Iraqi central government, if you can call it such, is opposed. So are the Turks, the Iranians, the Russians and the United States. Rarely have so many with different agendas stood in opposition.

And yet, the Kurds are right. They deserve independence. They've earned it. They were screwed by the European powers after WWI with the Treaty of Versailles and have frequently been decimated by the countries in which they have found themselves.

This will be an interesting conversation.

Sunday
Sep242017

[Press TV Tehran] September 24th: Jack Talks Kurdish Independence

I appear on Press TV Iran on September 24th.  The Kurdish people of Iraq are preparing to have a referendum on Monday, September 25th. It is not actually to declare independence but rather a very informal declaration that this is something that they really want to do.  The problem is the the U.S., the United Nations, the Turks, the Iraqis and more are against it because it threatens them.

This will be an interesting conversation because this is a massive issue for the Kurdish people. They were cut into geographic pieces after World War I and decimated by most every country afterward.  They want more and identify themselves as one people.  Will this make a difference?

This will be an interesting conversation as the Iraniangovernment isn't particuarly interested in helping them either.  

Friday
Jun022017

[RT International Moscow] June 2nd: Jack Talks More Civilian Deaths in Iraq and Syria

I appear on RT International on June 2nd.  A recent study just determined that almost 500 innocent civilians have been killed by U.S. airstrikes in Northern Iraq and Syria since 2014.  Sadly, the problem is that with a change in definiations, the numbers of innocent civilian death may actually be substantially higher.  The Secretary of Defense called such deaths a fact of life.  This was a horrible description and one that will actually increase the tension.  

Tis will be an interesting coversation.  Hope you can catch it.

Friday
May272016

[Russian TV International] Friday, May 27th: Jack Talks U.S. Special Forces in Iraq and Syria.

With American special operations forces increasing in Northern Iraq and Syria, I will appear on Russian TV International out of Moscow to discuss the ramifications and just how this may shift the balance of power. Hope you can catch it.

Tuesday
Sep272011

[RT Video Appearance] Monday, September 26th: Jack Talks About Why We Fund Our Enemies

Tuesday
Sep272011

[RT Appearance] Monday, September 26th: Jack Talks Law and Why We Fund Those We Fight

I appear on RT TV on Monday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m. e.t.  It seems that America has a tendency of fighting organizations and countries that we have previously funded.  Think about it.  It has happened in Central America.  It has happened again and again in the Middle East.  And most recently, Afghanistan.  Now the focus is shifting to Pakistan.  Are we going to do it again?

This should be an interesting conversation.  Hope you can watch.