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In a stunning interview to the Beirut-based al Mayadeen network, Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has outlined how Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani – assassinated by an American drone strike at Baghdad airport a litle over a year ago – was instrumental in convincing Russia to help Syria militarily in its war against Salafi-jihadis. Here is the... Read More
PARIS - There it was, magically empty, on a discreet corner, never spotted by the tourist magma; my favorite little table since the 1980s at the Cafe de Flore in St Germain. I took possession, ordered a Welsh rarebit and a glass of Chablis, and was back in business, reading and watching the world go... Read More
Former United States president George W Bush issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein before bombing and invading Iraq. Nine years later, US President Barack Obama has issued an ultimatum to the leadership in Tehran before ... setting optimal conditions for an "all options on the table" exercise. Obama has made an offer to Tehran to... Read More
WASHINGTON - And now, the end is near; the final curtain drops in a cold, paranoid Fortress DC under maximum red alert. In a contrived Oscar night-style mood, with thanks aplenty, George W Bush delivered his farewell address from the East Room of the White House on January 15. Bottom lines: he turned Afghanistan into... Read More
“Iraq and its costs”, the op-ed published this Monday by the Wall Street Journal and authored by Senators Joe Lieberman (Independent, Connecticut) and Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina)[1] is nothing short of alarming. Even more alarming than counterinsurgency ace General David Petraeus’ show to the US Senate. Coming from the two top surrogates to Republican... Read More
The barely reported highlight of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran for the Caspian Sea summit last week was a key face-to-face meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A high-level diplomatic source in Tehran tells Asia Times Online that essentially Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the... Read More
President George W Bush goes to New York next week for the annual United Nations General Assembly to ratchet up the demonization of Iran, confident that his new French ally is doing "a heck of a job". President Nicolas Sarkozy - widely referred to in Paris as King Sarko the First - has let loose... Read More
In 2002, in the runup to the war against Iraq, the George W Bush administration changed the subject from its failure to destroy al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. In 2007, in the run-up to the coming war against Iran, the administration has changed the subject from its abject... Read More
He was impregnably armored by his good intentions and his ignorance. - Graham Greene, The Quiet American PARIS - With former British prime minister Tony Blair out of the picture, there's now a newer, leaner, meaner, adrenaline-packed "Made in France" version. Thanks to his unrelenting support for President George W Bush's war on Iraq, Blair... Read More
It was four years ago today, Field Marshal von Rumsfeld got his guns to play. A fitting way to "celebrate" the bombastic opening of the most astonishing blunder in recent military/geopolitical history would be to read Andrew Cockburn's book. The late US president Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon, a ruthless judge of character himself, already in... Read More
Bush plans to tackle growing Venezuelan influence in Latin America
US President George W Bush – biting the dust in Iraq, contested at home, despised around the world – is taking a break and heading south on a five-stop tour of Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. He is not visiting the 100,000-hectare family ranch his daughter Barbara bought last autumn in the Paraguayan chaco.... Read More
As the dogs of war ominously circle the Persian Gulf, regime change in Iran could become a distinct possibility – but not exactly according to the desires of US Vice President Dick “all options are on the table” Cheney, whose supreme obsessions are oil, war and their mutual intersection. A leading Western energy consultant, who... Read More
For Part 1: Hezbollah south of the border, click here. ASUNCION - "The Yankees are coming," says a Paraguayan university student in Villa Morra, the slice of North American suburbia in eastern Asuncion. Wait; in fact they're already here. And not only because of the American University, or the rows and rows of private clinics,... Read More
CIUDAD DEL ESTE, at the triple border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay - This is the way savage globalization ends - at least 20,000 shops, stalls, tin shacks and mini-malls crammed into 15 blocks selling everything under the (tropical) sun. There's Little Asia - thousands of Taiwanese, mainland Chinese and Koreans. But above all there... Read More
TEHRAN - Imagine the photo opportunity: US President George W Bush and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad meeting face-to-face in New York. But it won't happen. Blame the public relations machine in Washington and the Islamic guidance handlers in Tehran. Yet it would be so much easier if the two leaders would talk. Ahmadinejad, just weeks... Read More
BRUSSELS - No one is safe: Iraq is hell even for Sunni Arab diplomats. On July 21, the head of the Algerian mission, Ali Belaroussi, who had been stationed in Iraq for two years, and diplomat Azzedine Belkadi were kidnapped in the Mansour neighborhood in Baghdad at gunpoint. This Wednesday, al-Qaeda in the Land of... Read More
If only those "axis of evil" fellas were a little more ... cooperative. In Iraq, the Sunni Arab resistance insists on being on a roll, thus disturbing the Pentagon's plans of quietly building its 14 military bases. In Iran, the new game has not even started, but Tehran and Washington are already at each other's... Read More
"The insurgency in Iraq is in its last throes." - Vice President Dick Cheney, in May Even the Central Intelligence Agency now admits that Iraq is the new Afghanistan - breeding a new, lethal generation of jihadis. Iraq has also been the new Vietnam since the day the resistance was born, April 18, 2003, in... Read More
A member of the Iranian diaspora summed it up, wryly, in just one phrase: "Welcome to the axis of lesser evil." The sophisticated Persian civilization invented chess. The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the EU-3 (France, Germany and Great Britain) is nothing but a game of chess. Iranians are now taking pleasure in reducing President... Read More
He came, he saw, he conquered ... nothing. He had french fries and Napa Valley wine with French President Jacques Chirac, listened without blinking to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in his earphones, was introduced to hundreds of European Union (EU) leaders, officials and diplomats, even attended two summits, by the EU and by the North... Read More
Blame it on Syria. Blame it on al-Qaeda. Better yet, blame it both on Syria and al-Qaeda. Without a shred of evidence - or perhaps profiting from "intelligence" amassed by the Pentagon, the Israeli Mossad, or both - the Bush administration immediately blamed Syria for the bombing that killed "Mr Beirut", former Lebanese prime minister... Read More
"Far more than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the defeat of the mullahcracy and the triumph of freedom in Tehran would be a truly historic event." - Michael Ledeen, neo-conservative and member of the American Enterprise Institute, June 2003 Iran is very much in the US spotlight at present over concerns that it is developing... Read More
Forget Ohio. Forget the mathematics. Forget all the lawyers. By any measure, in terms of direct - not indirect, Electoral College democracy - George W Bush has won this referendum. A president who was never above a 50% approval rate in the past few months, who lost all three debates with challenger Senator John Kerry,... Read More
BANGKOK - Pentagon spin, via Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, has it that "Iraq now is the central battle in the war on terrorism." Al-Qaeda's No 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, aka The Surgeon, has proved Wolfowitz, the Pentagon's No 2, wrong. Al-Zawahiri had warned "the American people" that what they had seen so far were only... Read More
Things are getting interesting in Iraq. In the right corner, we find the American occupation forces. In the left corner, at least 70 brand new Iraqi political parties. The man-in-charge is America's proconsul, Paul Bremer. And now steps into the ring someone who in theory could be the referee: Brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello,... Read More
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt - They've won. They got their war against Afghanistan (planned before September 11). They're getting their war against Iraq (planned slightly after September 11). After Iraq, they plan to get their wars against Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Last Sunday, one of them, Vice President Dick Cheney, said that President George W... Read More
CAIRO - Washington will go to war against Iraq with a coalition of the willing in the event that it decides to bypass the United Nations. Some are calling it the coalition of the wanting. Others are calling it the coalition of the bribed and the bludgeoned. And now an independent Washington think tank has... Read More