Gareth Porter

Pentagon's efforts to blame Iran for acts of sabotage went nowhere — but this feels like 2003 all over again

Last week a senior Pentagon official accused Iran of having sabotaged four oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on May 12 and of firing a rocket into Baghdad’s Green Zone on May 19. Iran executed these events, he said, either directly or through regional “proxies.”

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Israel Plans a New War in Syria - but Not for the Reasons It Claims

Israel is beating the drums of war again, this time over Syria. On February 10 the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out the most aggressive Israeli use of force in Syria thus far. After having bombed a drone base in retaliation for an alleged incursion by an Iranian drone, Israel retaliated for the shooting down of one of its fighter planes by hitting the main Syrian command-and-control bunker and five Iranian communications facilities.

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Exposing a Shoddy Sarin Attack Narrative and Responding to NATO-Backed Critics

Eliot Higgins is a “non-resident senior fellow” with the Atlantic Council whose functions appear to include seeking to discredit any reporting or analysis and documentation that conflicts with the DC-based think tank’s interventionist agenda. Higgins' agenda dovetails closely with his employer's funders in NATO as well as Atlantic Council backers like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey -- the states that have also bankrolled Syrian Salafi insurgents.

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Have We Been Deceived Over Syrian Sarin Attack? Scrutinizing the Evidence in an Incident Trump Used to Justify Bombing Syria

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria issued a report this September that reinforced the official narrative that the Syrian air force dropped a bomb containing nerve gas sarin on the insurgent-controlled town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria on April 4. That conclusion comes several weeks after the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) issued a report that supported sarin exposure as the cause of death and injuries.  

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How a Syrian White Helmets Leader Played Western Media

The White Helmets, founded to rescue victims trapped under the rubble of buildings destroyed by Syrian and Russian bombing, have become a favorite source for Western news media covering a story on Russian-Syrian bombing. Portrayed as humanitarian heroes for over the past year and even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize last summer, the White Helmets have been accorded unquestioned credibility by journalists covering the Syrian crisis.

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Documents Reveal Obama Pushed for Mideast Regime Change in Spite of the Pentagon

Seymour Hersh’s recent revelations about an effort by the US military leadership in 2013 to bolster the Syrian army against jihadist forces in Syria shed important new light on the internal bureaucratic politics surrounding regime change in US Middle East policy. Hersh’s account makes it clear that the Obama administration’s policy of regime change in both Libya and Syria provoked pushback from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). 

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The Real Politics Behind the US War on IS

The US war on the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ or ISIL, also known as Islamic State of IS - the single biggest development in US foreign policy during 2014 - continues to puzzle those looking for its strategic logic. But the solution to the puzzle lies in considerations that have nothing to do with a rational response to realities on the ground. 

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Is Washington About to Torpedo All the Progress It Made in Iran Negotiations?

The Barack Obama administration's insistence that Iran discuss its ballistic missile program in the negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement brings its position into line with that of Israel and senators who introduced legislation drafted by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC aimed at torpedoing the negotiations. 

But the history of the issue suggests that the Obama administration knows that Iran will not accept the demand and that it is not necessary to a final agreement guaranteeing that Iran's nuclear program is not used for a weapon. 

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Did Lebanese Militants Target Israelis in Bulgaria? Revelations Cast Doubt on Rush to Blame Hezbollah

When European Union foreign ministers discuss a proposal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov will present his government’s case for linking two suspects in the Jul. 18, 2012 bombing of an Israeli tourist bus to Hezbollah.

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How the Israel Lobby is Making Diplomacy with Iran Impossible

Negotiations between Iran and the United States and other members of the P5+1 group in Baghdad ended in fundamental disagreement Thursday over the position of the P5+1 offering no relief from sanctions against Iran.

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