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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,

Iran’s Nuclear Chess Game

By Nader Bagherzadeh and Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich Ali Larijani , who is the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council responsible for nuclear discussions with the West, has called nuclear negotiations a “diplomatic chess.” Perhaps he is implying that like a good chess player he plans a few moves ahead of his opponent. After receiving two sanctions, Larijani had taken the position that as long as the Security Council (SC) refuses

The Next Quagmire

by Chris Hedges The most effective diplomats, like the most effective intelligence officers and foreign correspondents, possess empathy. They have the intellectual, cultural and linguistic literacy to get inside the heads of those they must analyze or cover. They know the vast array of historical, religious, economic and cultural antecedents that go into making up decisions and reactions. And because of this—endowed with the ability to communicate and more able

On How al-Anbar isn’t that Safe and on How its “Calm” is Artificially Produced

by Juan Cole Bush made a surprise visit to Al-Anbar Province on Monday, as part of his propaganda drive to get Americans to think we should stay in Iraq because “progress” is being made. The debate over al-Anbar province is driven by the Bushies’ desire to find any ‘good news’ to grasp at. Indeed, from 2003 forward, their criterion for objective reporting on Iraq was that it gave the ‘good

Rafsanjani elected head of top Iran clerical body

Al-Manar TV reports that the former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected head of Iran’s Assembly of Experts on Tuesday. Rafsanjani becomes the second head of the Assembly of Experts – the body which supervises the work of the supreme leader – after the death of previous chairman Ayatollah Ali Meshkini who led the body for its 27 years of existence. The ex-president polled 41 votes from fellow members

Safavi: US troops vulnerable in ME

Iran’s Press TV reports that Iran’s former IRGC Commander says 200,000 US troops are in weak positions in the Middle East and Iran has identified all their locations. Senior Advisor to the Leader for Military Affairs, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, made the remark Monday in a meeting with Imam Hussein University faculty in Tehran. Safavi said recent incidents have turned the region into the hub of political and security

Brits Flee from Basra: Another Black Eye for US Boasts

By PATRICK COCKBURN The withdrawal of British forces from Basra Palace, ahead of an expected full withdrawal from the city as early as next month, marks the beginning of the end of one of the most futile campaigns ever fought by the British Army. Ostensibly, the British will be handing over control of Basra to Iraqi security forces. In reality, British soldiers control very little in Basra, and the Iraqi

Iraq dismisses allegations against Iran

By Gisoo Misha Ahmadi, Press TV, Tehran Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari dismisses the allegations made against the Islamic Republic that Tehran is meddling in Iraq’s affairs. On the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Zebari told the Press TV correspondent that the good relations between the governments of Iran and Iraq has prompted Tehran to step up its efforts to secure and stabilize the war ravaged-country.

War in Lebanon soon?

First, there was this piece in the (otherwise highly unreliable) Debka file website: ——-DEBKAfile: USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group takes up position opposite Lebanese coast amid trepidation over September presidential election Our military sources report that aboard the Kearsarge group’s vessels are members of the 22nds Marine special operations-capable Expeditionary Unit, ready to execute landings on Lebanese beaches. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Adm. William Fallon, chief of US Central Command and

Strange Goings-On Here in Lebanon

By Robert Fisk “The Independent” — – Stories that just don’t seem to make it into print. Did you know that the Hizbollah “Party of God” has installed its own private communications network in the south of Lebanon, stretching from the village of Zawter Sharqiya all the way to Beirut? And why, I wonder, would it be doing that? Well, to safeguard its phones in the event that the Israelis

Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran

by Sarah Baxter “The Times” – The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert. Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the