Posts From The Saker

American Economy: R.I.P.

By Paul Craig Roberts The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes, but economists, policymakers, and most of the public are blind to the tottering fabled land of opportunity. In August jobs in goods-producing industries declined by 64,000. The US economy lost 4,000 jobs overall. The private sector created a mere 24,000 jobs, all of which could be attributed to the 24,100 new jobs for waitresses and bartenders.

Second direct Iranian warning to the USA

(see the first one here) TEHRAN, Sept 11— The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Tuesday that the country has identified US weak points in Iraq and Afghanistan. The comments by Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, appointed head of the elite force by the leader of Islamic Revolution just 10 days ago, come amid mounting tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran’s peaceful nuclear drive and its

Serbia threatens new war

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina) – In a recent onslaught against the Kosovo Albanians, the Serbian authorities have gone over from strong albeit diplomatic statements to threats. If Kosovo declares independence unilaterally, Belgrade will take extreme measures – seal the borders, impose a trade embargo and return its troops to the province to restore Serbia’s territorial integrity. Dusan Prorokovic, Serbia’s state secretary for Kosovo, said this in an

Changing course on Iran

by Abbas Edalat and Mehrnaz Shahabi Ahead of the crucial meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which starts today in Vienna, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, has greeted the recent accord between the IAEA and Iran as “a significant step forward“. Following the July visit of the IAEA to Tehran, agreement was reached on an action plan with defined modalities and timetable

Osama Bin Laden video address to the American people – full transcript

(For your information: This is a full transcript of the video address of Osama Bin Laden to the American people (there might be a second video posted after Sept. 11). I cannot vouch for this translation since I do not speak Arabic. Original post here. VS) “All praise is due to Allah, who built the heavens and earth in justice, and created man as a favor and grace from Him.

DEBKAfile Reports: Two US carrier-strike groups are bound for Persian Gulf region, bringing number back to three

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that from the third week of July, the only American strike force- carrier in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea region was the USS Enterprise. By the end of September, it will be joined by the USS Nimitz and the USS Truman Strike Groups. Our sources note that with their arrival, three American naval, air and marine forces will again confront Iranian shores at a time of crisis

Harper’s magazine reports on CIA leaks about an attack on Iran

By Ken Silverstein Until recently, I thought the odds that the United States would attack Iran were less than fifty-fifty, but the chances of a military confrontation are clearly growing (as my colleague Scott Horton has been reporting on for some time). Earlier this year, I asked a former CIA official, who was stationed in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War and served in Iraq after the 2003

Reporting From Baghdad

by Scott Ritter It should come as no surprise that the Bush administration’s newest military-man-of-substance-turned- political lapdog, General Petraeus, maintains that the situation in Iraq is not only salvageable, but actually improving, due to the “surge” of U.S. combat troops into Iraq over the past year. All the president and his collection of GI Joe hand-puppets ask for is more time, more money and more troops. There is no reason

Will the US Really Bomb Iran?

by Alexander Cockburn “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military.” This particular spine-chiller comes from Alexis Debat, excitingly identified as “director of terrorism and national security” at the Nixon Center. According to Debat, the big takeout is what the U.S. Air Force has in store, as opposed to mere “pinprick strikes” against the infamous nuclear facilities. Predicting imminent war on Iran has been one of the top two items

Graziano: Hizbullah has support of 60% of Lebanese and only political settlement can disarm it

Al-Manar TV reports that the consolidated UNIFIL force commander Claudio Graziano said that disarming the resistance can only be done through a political settlement. Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, Graziano stressed Hizbullah expresses its adherence to UN resolution 1701. “It`s a party that has the support of 60% of the Lebanese,” he said. The UNIFIL chief also said that his force can defend itself even if major

Hizbollah ‘did not use civilians as cover’

By Mark Lavie in Jerusalem In its strongest condemnation of Israel since last summer’s war, Human Rights Watch said yesterday that most Lebanese civilian casualties were caused by “indiscriminate Israeli air strikes”. The international human rights organisation said there was no basis to the Israeli claim that civilian casualties resulted from Hizbollah guerrillas using civilians for cover. Israel has said that it attacked civilian areas because Hizbollah set up rocket

APEC? OPEC? Australia? Austria? Bush gets confused

Australia — President Bush had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the Sydney Opera House. He’d only reached the third sentence of Friday’s speech to business leaders, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, when he committed his first gaffe. “Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit,” Bush said to Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Oops. That would be APEC,

25% of Israeli Jews Jews Doubt Israel Will Live Long

AL-QUDS, Sept. 7–A quarter of Jewish Israelis doubt that the occupying regime will exist long-term, an opinion poll revealed Friday. According to the results published in the leading Yediot Aharonot newspaper, more than 70 percent have a bad assessment of the Zionist regime’s security situation. When asked if they “felt certain that Israel will exist in the distant future”, 25 percent of respondents said no and 74 percent of the

Ira Glunts: Israel Lobby Makes Tactical Retreat

By Ira Glunts Considering the attacks that pro-Israel advocates mustered against the authors when their article, of which the book is an expanded version, appeared in The London Review of Books in March 2006, it is startling that the criticism has been so muted. I write this on the day that The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt has appeared at bookstores. I

Bush, Iran and Israel’s Hidden Hand

Nuclear Hypocrisy in the Middle East The internet is loaded these days with reports of the inevitability of a U.S., or a U.S.-Israeli, attack on Iran. Some writers allege that the attack is imminent. Others, including the writers of this article, argue only that the attack will happen sometime before January 2009, when the Bush administration leaves office. Many of these stories have by now been picked up by the

The Saker interviewed by Scott Horton’s radio show on KAOS 95.5 in Austin, Texas

Today, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the anti-war talk show host Scott Horton for his daily show on KAOS 95.5 radio in Austin, Texas. Our conversation covered topics such as the Israel/Neocon Lobby in the USA, its role in getting the US in wars in the Middle-East, its struggle against what I call the “Old Anglo Guard” and Russia’s relationship to the developments in Iran. Please click

Hamas Flag Goes Up in Lebanon Camps

By Anand Gopal BADDAWI CAMP, Lebanon, Sep 5 (IPS) – There is a new look to the entrance of the Palestinian refugee camp Baddawi in northern Lebanon. Hanging above the armed man who guards the entrance are posters of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the slain spiritual leader of Hamas, and other fighters from the Palestinian guerrilla group. Nearby, a huge Hamas banner covers the side of a house, and down the

The Iraq news blackout in the US corporate media

How the press spent its summer vacation by Eric Boehlert News that Katie Couric would anchor the CBS Evening News from Baghdad this week created a major media splash. After earlier suggesting that type of assignment would be too treacherous for a single mother of two, Couric did an about-face. She stressed that as a journalist she wanted to get a better sense, a firsthand account, of how events were

Beware the Wounded Beast: America Has Lost the Iraq War

By Dave Lindorff The Iraq War has been lost. The British are acknowledging this fact by pulling out their troops from Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, handing over the city to the control of Shia militias. For all intents and purposes, the “Coalition of the Willing” is now dead. America is now going it alone. Bush is not acknowledging defeat, but has indirectly admitted it by saying that some troops

Why Bush Can Get Away with Attacking Iran

When Wishful Thinking Replaces Resistance By Jean Bricmont Many people in the antiwar movement try to reassure themselves: Bush cannot possibly attack Iran. He does not have the means to do so, or, perhaps, even he is not foolish enough to engage in such an enterprise. Various particular reasons are put forward, such as: If he attacks, the Shiites in Iraq will cut the US supply lines. If he attacks,

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