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Iranian Parliament Speaker Larijani warns Iraq against US SOFA

Press TV reports that Iran’s Majlis (parliament) speaker says an Iraq-US security pact would have dire consequences for the Iraqi nation and regional states. Under the proposed security agreement, American troops will be able to legally stay in Iraq for three more years after a UN mandate allowing their military presence on Iraqi soil expires on December 31. The Iraqi parliament is scheduled to vote on the controversial treaty on

The Election, Economy, War, and Peace

by Noam Chomsky for ZnetThe Election The word that immediately rolled off of every tongue after the presidential election was “historic.” And rightly so. A Black family in the White House is truly a momentous event. There were some surprises. One was that the election was not over after the Democratic convention. By usual indicators, the opposition party should have had a landslide victory during a severe economic crisis, after

From Irgun to AIPAC: Israel Lobby’s US Treasury Follies Hurt

By Grant F. Smith for “Dissident Voice” via Information Clearing House According to the Jerusalem Post, the US Department of Treasury’s new Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) unit is going after the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. TFI targeted the company and 18 affiliates for their alleged effort to “facilitate the transport of cargo for UN Designated proliferators.” TFI further charges it “falsifies documents and uses deceptive schemes to

Sunni bloc may boycott vote on US pact

Press TV reports: The main Sunni-Arab bloc in the Iraqi Parliament threatens to boycott a parliament session to vote on the Iraq-US security agreement. “The IAF would not enter the parliament if there was no popular referendum over the agreement or assurances from the US side,” Abdelkareem al-Samarraie, a leading lawmaker from the Iraqi Accord Front (IAF), told the Voices of Iraq on Tuesday. The lawmaker said parliament should postpone

Chávez Supporters Win 17 out of 23 Venezuelan States, but Lose 3 Most Populous

from venezuelanalysis.comPresident Hugo Chavez’s governing party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) got mixed results in the regional and local elections today, winning stronghly in 17 out of 23 states, but losing the country’s two most populous states and the Capital District of Caracas, with two more states still to be decided. At midnight Venezuelan time, about eight hours after the first polls closed, the president of Venezuela’s National

What are the Israelis up to next?

Amazing article in Ha’aretz today. Check this one out (my comments added in blue): Defense establishment paper: Golan for Syria peace, plan for Iran strike By Barak Ravid A defense establishment paper recommends making contingency plans to attack Iran, reaching an agreement with Syria that includes leaving the Golan Heights and preventing new elections in the Palestinian Authority, even if this means a confrontation with the United States. The paper

1000 Palestinian kids in Israeli jails

Press TV reports: Nearly one thousand Palestinian children are imprisoned by the Israeli regime, a spokesman of Palestinian prisoners’ affairs ministry says.The spokesman said Israeli forces have detained at least eight thousands of Palestinian children since the start of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) in 2000. About one thousand of them are still in Israeli detention facilities, he added. Marking World Children’s Day, hundreds of Palestinians children on Thursday rallied

Hezbollah Condemns US-Iraq Pact, Calls to Reject It

Al-Manar TV reports that while the Iraqi parliament was likely to approve a “suspicious” pact with the US occupation forces allowing them to stay in the country for another three years, Hezbollah finally broke its silence on Thursday and denounced the pact as harmful and called on all Iraqi MPs to assume their responsibilities and reject it as soon as possible. In a statement it released, Hezbollah emphasized that the

Unofficial Translation of US SOFA from the Arabic Text

By McClatchy Newspapers An Agreement between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America regarding the Withdrawal of the American Forces from Iraq and Regulating their Activities During their Temporary Presence in it PREFACE The United States of America and the Republic of Iraq – which will hereafter be referred to as the two parties – recognize the importance of strengthening their joint security and participating in global

So what’s the deal with the US SOFA in Iraq?

First, let me point you to some other analyses about the SOFA: Juan Cole,Robert Dreyfuss, Stratfor and Pepe Escobar. Reading through these analyses I amazed that nobody seems to be very concerned about the fact that the final text has still not been leaked. It will, probably before the end of the week, but for the time being everybody is commenting mostly on the basis of what can only be

Yes, I am my brother’s keeper

By Siv O’Neall, Axis of Logic Columnist The polarized world Do we need further proof that greed is not the solution for a sound economy? Do we need further proof that capitalism is foundering? Do we need further proof that ignoring the poor is not the way to make the world go round? That selfish accumulation of wealth is not the key to peace of mind and a life worth

English transcript of the speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of Martyr’s Day

The event was organized by Hezbollah at Sayyed Ashuhadaa (pbuh) Compound in Rweiss on 11/11/2008 in the presence of official, ministerial, parliamentary, diplomatic, military, factional, religious, syndicate, municipal, and social… personalities besides a massive audience of citizens. …Every year on this very day – November the 11th- we meet to commemorate a very dear occasion first announced during the early years of the Resistance movement and which was then named

Breaking News: Iraqi Cabinet endorses US SOFA

According to the BBC, the Iraqi Cabinet has endorsed the US SOFA which includes the following elements: placing US forces in Iraq under the authority of the Iraqi government US forces to leave the streets of Iraq’s towns and villages by the middle of 2009 US forces to hand over their bases to Iraq during the course of 2009 US forces to lose the authority to raid Iraqi homes without

So who is really getting US intelligence support in the greater Middle-East?

I have been observing for a while how almost every party in the greater Middle-East is accusing its opponents of benefiting from US support in general and of US intelligence support in particular. The Iranians accuse the US of helping the Kurds, the Kurds accuse the US of being in league with Iran, the Israelis are accused of supporting both Turkey and the Kurds, the Maliki regime is accused of

The President of Iraq’s Kurdistan local government threatens a ‘civil war’ if SOFA not signed

Press TV reports: The President of Iraq’s Kurdistan local government has warned of a ‘civil war’ if Baghdad refuses to sign a security agreement with the US. “If the pact is not signed, the situation in the country may deteriorate to the point of a civil war,” Voices of Iraq news agency quoted Masoud Barzani as saying at a press conference on Wednesday. Barzani had earlier said his region will

Understanding the SOFA

by Ya Baqiyatullah Five years after the invasion of Iraq by the Allied Forces, the people of Iraq find themselves at a crossroad; to accept the SOFA and legalize an occupation or reject it and live indefinitely under the shadows of the US forces. The Iraqi people, after being promised so much in the name of liberation are now left in a dilemma in which either choice will adds to

Russia’s response to the US radar/missile system

Press TV reports: Russia to deploy Iskander-Ms by 2015 Missile brigades in western Russia will be armed with Iskander-M missile system by 2015 to counter a planned US missile shield in Europe. “By 2015, the Iskander system will be put in service with five missile brigades, primarily near Russia’s western border and in the Kaliningrad Region,” a source in the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying

Iran’s Modern History: Beyond the Legacy

It is with great joy that I am publishing the first article in a series on a topic which is practically *never* seen anywhere: the Shia point of view on the events in the larger Middle-East. This is something of a pet project of mine every since I got involved, more than a decade ago already and quite by chance (the Middle-East never was my formal area of expertise), in

War 08.08.08 – The Art of Betrayal

From the website “War 08.08.08. The Art of Betrayal” – is one of the first documentary Internet-films. This is the most outspoken film about the war, that started on the day of opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, the film about the war, in which tens of Russian peacemaker perished as well as hundreds of peaceful Ossetians; it is the film about the war that turned out to