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We have entered a new era in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The old days of Israel committing war crimes against the downtrodden, captive Palestinians are over. The world has done zero to address Israel’s fundamental crime of nation-stealing: a megalith crime that can only be described as the longest and most vicious war crime in our... Read More
The permanent man of the hour, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, opened his speech by saying that he has a throat infection that had come upon him this past Wednesday, and that he was not suffering from Covid, as some concerned supporters had inquired after seeing him cough much during his last Wednesday's speech. And this was... Read More
For years Israel's Arab neighbors have grown accustomed to routine unprovoked attacks on their infrastructure, soldiers and civilians by the Jewish state. While Syria's air defense has been increasing its success rate in quashing Israeli raids, the latest exchange between the two countries has opened up the possibility to strike back. Yesterday, a missile bypassed... Read More
By any historical measure, it was a game-changer: the first meeting since the 7th century between a Roman Catholic Pope and a Shiite spiritual leader regarded as a “source of emulation.” It will take a long time to assess the full implications of the immensely intriguing 50-minute face-to-face conversation, with interpreters only, between Pope Francis... Read More
Ten years ago, people across the Middle East and North Africa rose up in protest against their rulers, demanding freedom and democracy. Despotic rulers were toppled or feared that power was being torn from their grasp in countries across the region, as millions of demonstrators surged through the streets, chanting that “the people demand the... Read More
The instinct among parts of the left to cheerlead the right’s war crimes, so long as they are dressed up as liberal “humanitarianism”, is alive and kicking, as Owen Jones reveals in a column today on the plight of the Uighurs at China’s hands. The “humanitarian war” instinct persists even after two decades of the... Read More
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One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder. The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of... Read More
aipacnj
Last September, Donald Trump accidentally upended an entire generation of myths invented by the left and right that purport to explain America's costly and unpopular military adventures in the Middle East: As Mondoweiss pointed out at the time, the explosive admission went completely unmentioned in the mainstream media, which traditionally hangs on every one of... Read More
Beirut, 2020
Yesterday at Chicken Company, a man said I was a cross between Mr. Magoo and Pat Morita, of The Karate Kid fame. If I’m not compared to a freshly perforated corpse, I’m complimented. Chowing out with his hijabed wife and mewing toddler, dude was perfectly groomed, with each black hair impossibly sculpted. What can I... Read More
Robert Fisk, 2010.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Mohamed Nanabhay. CC BY 2.0.
Something remarkable even by the usually dismal standards of the stenographic media blue-tick brigade has been happening in the past few days. Leading journalists in the corporate media have suddenly felt the urgent need not only to criticise the late, much-respected foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, but to pile in against him, using the most outrageous... Read More
hezb10taxi
A warrior’s soul sleeps in his fist. Wakes in his fist. Till his dying breath, will exist in his fist. No gun and no mortal danger can unfold this fist. A warrior will live and die with his fist clenched. This is not for love of violence nor for the thrills of war. Not because... Read More
Robert Fisk and I often used to discuss the merits and demerits of responding in print to personal attacks on us filled with provable falsehoods. The temptation to refute such falsehood is hard to resist, but we recognised that therein lies a trap because even the most persuasive refutation of a gross lie necessitates repeating... Read More
Destroyed Jewish tank in Mleeta, Lebanon, 2020
Every village has its idiot, but in Sidon, they're all idiots, Ali informed me as we drove, again, through this gorgeous and mellow city. And they're cowards too, Ali added, chuckling. "They do not like to fight." "Maybe they're like that because this city is so beautiful." I wanted to say soft, but when speaking... Read More
I first met Robert in Belfast in 1972 at the height of the Troubles when he was the correspondent for The Times and I was writing a PhD on Irish history at Queen’s University. I was also taking my first tentative steps as a journalist, while he was swiftly establishing a reputation as a meticulous... Read More
Probably the least surprising news you will hear in this election season, from Philip Weiss, “Neoconservatives are flocking to Biden (and let’s forget about the Iran deal.” Neoconservatives are flocking to the Biden campaign. The DC braintrust that believes in using US military power to aid Israel in the Middle East has jumped parties before–... Read More
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Much ado about nothing, but Act 2 is coming up
It is odd that the White House is gloating over its claimed peace agreement in the Middle East at the same time as one of the signatories is bombing Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. It all suggests that peace in the region will exclude designated enemies and the friends of those enemies, since the ties among... Read More
The Trump administration, desperate for some good news, just manufactured its own news by confecting a ‘peace’ deal between Israel and a bunch of pipsqueak Arab monarchies - just in time for November US elections. The Gulf monarchies – the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - that signed this agreement are so frightened of neighboring... Read More
Having presided over the recognition of Israel by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, President Donald Trump has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize amid talk of peace breaking out across the region. Assuredly, this is a major diplomatic breakthrough, and Nancy's Pelosi's sour-grapes dismissal of the deal as a "distraction" testifies to that... Read More
President Donald Trump is cock-a-hoop over the United Arab Emirates becoming the first Arab Gulf state to normalise its relations with Israel. He needs all the good news he can get in the months before the US presidential election. “HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab... Read More
Chess board game pieces on Turkey and Israel flag background
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Running out of time, and desperate to gather focus and forces to fast pivot east to confront a rapidly rising Chinese superpower, America is currently arranging for its exit from the Middle East in a way that militarily secures its allies and proxies there, especially that of Israel. Naturally, it has to pick a top... Read More
People march as they take part in an anti-war protest amid increased tensions between the United States and Iran at Times Square in New York, U.S., January 4, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz - RC279E94TY3V
The Global War on Terror or GWOT was declared in the wake of 9/11 by President George W. Bush. It basically committed the United States to work to eliminate all “terrorist” groups worldwide, whether or not the countries being targeted agreed that they were beset by terrorists and whether or not they welcomed U.S. “help.”... Read More
Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the F-35I
First, let's begin with a few (apparently unrelated) recent news items: The latest US PR disaster in Venezuela shows that the AngloZionist Empire truly is agonizing. While this is hardly the first that that a US "special operation" goes down in an embarrassing failure, but even by US standards this latest disaster in Venezuela is... Read More
The Sultan of Oman – Qaboos bin Said Al Said - passed away at the age of 79. He was the longest serving monarch in the Gulf. Within 24 hours, an envelope with his will got opened, and the new ruler was announced and sworn in before the governing family council. His name is Haitham... Read More
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Lies, damn lies and statistics Turns out that Trump and the Pentagon were lying. Again. This time about the true impact of the Iranian counter-strike on US forces in Syria. First they claimed that there were no injured U.S. personnel, only to eventually have to fess up that 34 soldiers had suffered traumatic brain injury... Read More
The Middle East is the key to wide-ranging, economic, interlinked integration, and peace
Under the cascading roar of the 24/7 news cycle cum Twitter eruptions, it’s easy for most of the West, especially the US, to forget the basics about the interaction of Eurasia with its western peninsula, Europe. Asia and Europe have been trading goods and ideas since at least 3,500 BC. Historically, the flux may have... Read More
What ever happened to Iraq? Is it not an independent country with a democratic government thanks to the 2003 US invasion? So says Washington. The murder of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani suddenly shone a strobe light on ‘independent’ Iraq, and what we saw was not pretty. Welcome to the new Imperialism 101. Iraq’s... Read More
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The mainstream media are carefully sidestepping the method behind America’s seeming madness in assassinating Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qassim Suleimani to start the New Year. The logic behind the assassination this was a long-standing application of U.S. global policy, not just a personality quirk of Donald Trump’s impulsive action. His assassination of Iranian military leader... Read More
"Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand," said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these "endless wars." Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly. Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S.... Read More
Is it the US that has weakened or have countries that resist become stronger?
Q: Do we see an increase in the number of countries resisting the bullying of the United States and its allies? What makes this resistance happen? A: I believe that there are two main factors. The first one is the ‘moral one’: People are more and more aware of the brutality of the Western colonialism,... Read More
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After the recent Israeli attacks against Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, the Middle East has found itself in the midst of undeclared war. Almost everyone in Lebanon appears to agree. “This time Israel went too far. In just two days, it bombed three countries,” I am told by a local UN staffer based in Beirut. The... Read More
marandi
The Saker: It is often said that there is an “axis of resistance” which comprises Syrian, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia and China. Sometimes, Venezuela, Cuba or the DPRK are added to this list. Do you believe that there is such an “axis of resistance” and, if yes, how would you characterize the nature of this informal... Read More
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Exploring Geopolitical Trends in the Region
The Western public has been so poorly served, in recent years, by its supposed world-class media organisations that any semblance of a coherent narrative explaining world events and tying together their deeper, underlying, causes to one another, has almost completely disappeared from the programming of the major networks. More often than not, international affairs are... Read More
In October 1950, as U.S. forces were reeling from hordes of Chinese troops who had intervened massively in the Korean War, a 5,000-man Turkish brigade arrived to halt an onslaught by six Chinese divisions. Said supreme commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur: "The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade."... Read More
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Deal of the Century is a 1983 Hollywood comedy about crooked arms dealers conspiring to peddle new weapons that “allow for localized and conventional wars that will keep (the global arms industry’s) business viable into the next century.” Thirty-five years later, a non-fictional crooked businessman, Jared Kushner, has borrowed the title for his so-called Middle... Read More
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So, according to the corporate media, and to President Literally Hitler, himself, while America was sleeping last Friday morning, the U.S. Air Force was just minutes away from bombing the bejesus out of some desolate outposts somewhere in the Iranian desert and launching another catastrophic military blunder in the Middle East. At approximately 0400 Zulu... Read More
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There is “sufficient credible evidence” that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, was responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that he should be investigated according to a UN special rapporteur. Saudi Arabia first denied government involvement in the murder of Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi... Read More
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JARED KUSHNER couldn’t stare down an uncompromising foe if his wife, Ivanka Trump, held his soft, lily-white hand throughout the ordeal. Yet ridiculously, a May 22, McClatchy article claimed Mr. Kushner was fixing to “stare down uncompromising foes in fights over immigration and Middle East peace.” Let us begin with our debutant’s Middle East peace... Read More
Prevalence of Sub-Saharan, North African, and Levantine DNA among indigenous Europeans I recently came across a very interesting study on the presence of African and Middle-Eastern genes among indigenous Europeans, performed by a dozen American and European academics. The article, entitled “Gene flow from North Africa contributes to differential human genetic diversity in southern Europe,”... Read More
Western governments have been swift to pledge action to strike at Isis, as it becomes clear that the organisation was behind the suicide bombings that killed 253 people in Sri Lanka. A video released by Isis after the attacks shows Zahran Hashim, an Islamic preacher and alleged leader of the bombers, pledging allegiance together with... Read More
Former Obama speechwriter, confidant, and deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes had an all-encompassing label for the wonks, experts, think tankers, cable news talking heads, and former or future officials, always ready to spin through Washington’s infamous revolving door, who make up the capital’s “foreign policy community.” He called them “the Blob,” a crew, as... Read More
Must one talk of Donald Trump? One must and not just because of the power of his position as US president, but because the nature of his foreign policy is misunderstood. I was answering questions about the future of the Middle East at a meeting of Independent subscribers on Tuesday evening when there was a... Read More
mission-accomplished
Is it for real or more bait and switch?
Never before has any presidential administration been as all over the place in terms of national security and foreign policy as is that of Donald J. Trump. Indeed, one might well argue that there is no overriding policy at all in terms of a rational doctrine arrived at through risk versus gain analysis of developing... Read More
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A New York Times Columnist explains why
American journalism has become in its mainstream exponents a compendium of half-truths and out-and-out lies. The public, though poorly informed on most issues as a result, has generally figured out that it is being hoodwinked and trust in the Fourth Estate has plummeted over the past twenty years. The skepticism about what is being reported... Read More
It’s now more than 17 years later, years in which American commanding generals in Afghanistan repeatedly hailed the U.S. military’s “progress” there and regularly applauded the way we had finally “turned a corner” in the Afghan War -- only to find more Taliban fighters armed with RPGs around that very corner. Finally, in the 18th... Read More
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Abizaid of Arabia
What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing -- and arguably quite a lot. Abizaid’s proposed appointment is both a non-event and an opportunity not to be wasted. It means next to nothing in this sense: while once... Read More
The 633-word statement of President Donald Trump on the Saudi royals' role in the grisly murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi is a remarkable document, not only for its ice-cold candor. The president re-raises a question that has roiled the nation since Jimmy Carter: To what degree should we allow idealistic values trump vital... Read More
The report was devastating -- or would have been, if anyone here had noticed it. "Between 2001 and 2017," it concluded, "U.S. government efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed." I’m thinking of “Stabilization: Lessons From the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan” put out by the office of the special inspector general... Read More
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Confronting “That Part of the World”
My father and I always had a tacit agreement: “We will never speak of That Part of the World.” He’d grown up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Norfolk, Virginia. His own father, a refugee from early-twentieth-century pogroms in what is now Ukraine, had been the president of his local Zionist organization. A liberal in... Read More
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The US empire spans the globe; it expands and contracts, according to its ability to secure strategic assets, willing and able to further military and economic power to counter emerging adversaries. The map of empire is a shorthand measure of the vectors, reach and durability of global power and wealth. The map of empire is... Read More
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True believer Mike Pence could be a whole lot worse
When President Donald Trump traveled to Davos last week, the second foreign head of government he met with was Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. When the expected groveling before Bibi was concluded the rest of the world learned that Trump is right on board the Netanyahu bandwagon when it comes to making sure that the Palestinians somehow... Read More
PastClassics
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement
The JFK Assassination and the 9/11 Attacks?
Becker update V1.3.2