Below we outline four hypothetical scenarios for output and prices that could materialize if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear sites. Again, we emphasize that we are not predicting the likelihood of Israel’s action or inaction in any way.
Scenario 1: Exports minimally effected. Concerns would drive initial price response. IEA would likely make statements about willingness to meet any shortfall in supplies. Oil could spike initially to $130 to $140 per barrel and then settle in a higher range, around $120 to $125, in relatively short order as a premium (mostly a risk premium) becomes embedding into the market, at least for a while. The timing of the spike would depend on how much the market is taken by surprise and whether or not the strike is priced in ahead of time.
Scenario 2: Iranian exports cut off for one month. IEA would likely swing into action and Saudi Arabia could begin to offer more oil into market. In this case, we would expect prices could reach previous all-time highs of $145/bbl or even higher depending on issues with shipping. The IEA and Saudi Arabia can meet market needs, but the increase in uncertainty and the loss of spare capacity would affect pricing. In this case, after a few months, we would expect prices could fall back to $130 to $135/bbl range.
Scenario 3: Iranian exports are lost for half a year. This is where the potential outcomes get quite dicey. We think oil prices could probably rally and average $150 for the six months, with notable spikes above that level. The IEA would likely release oil steadily, but consumption will need to take a hit from prices and slower economic activity. Once Iranian crude oil returns to the market and the environment stabilizes, oil would likely return to around $110/bbl or even lower depending on global strength at the time.
Scenario 4: Greater loss of production from around the region, either through subsequent Iranian response or due to lack of ability to move oil through Straits of Hormuz. This is the Armageddon scenario in which oil prices could soar, significantly constraining global growth. Forecasting prices in the prior scenarios is dangerous enough. So, we won’t even begin to forecast a cap or target price in this final Doomsday scenario.
According to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General (via AP), the FBI spied on an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh sponsored by a nonviolent anti-war and anti-discrimination group, pretending it was preventing terrorism:
The FBI gave inaccurate information to Congress and the public when it claimed a possible terrorism link to justify surveilling an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Monday in a report on the bureau’s scrutiny of domestic activist groups.
Inspector General Glenn Fine said the FBI had no reason to expect that anyone of interest in a terrorism investigation would be present at the 2002 event sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center, a nonviolent anti-war and anti-discrimination group.
The surveillance was “an ill-conceived project on a slow work day,” the IG stated in a study of several FBI domestic terrorism probes of people affiliated with organizations such as Greenpeace and the Catholic Worker.
Earlier, in statements to Congress and in a press release, the FBI had described the surveillance as related to a terrorism investigation.
The FBI has broad definitions that enable it to classify matters as domestic terrorism that actually are trespassing or vandalism, the inspector general said. Regarding the Pittsburgh rally, controversy erupted in 2006 over whether the FBI had spied on protesters at the event several years earlier because of their anti-war views.
The report concluded that, while the FBI probes were not generally predicated simply on the views of the targets, at least one FBI field office was focused on a group “as a result of its anti-war views.” It also found that “FBI agents and supervisors sometimes provided the [Office of the Inspector General] with speculative, after-the-fact rationalizations for their prior decisions to open investigations that we did not find persuasive.”
When George Bush called General Musharaf at midnight a day after the 9/11 attacks, he spelled out the doctrine – “either you are with us or against us.” The Pakistani self-appointed President and military dictator had no sense of the time and history to THINK what scenario he was tackling to act or react. As most dictators do, they align themselves with any possibility to reinforce their self- interest and self- survival. This was the opportunity that Commander Bush enticed the four stars Pakistani General and dictator to accept and act right away. General Collin Powell, the then US Secretary of State confirmed the Bush call to Musharaf in many discussions. If Musharaf had imagination and intellectual foresight and knew possible consequences of his disastrous action, he should have consulted with the Pakistani intelligentsia, political leaders and the public before declaring war on the self, the then Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan. Bush offered him money and so called friendship to further the American interests and war strategy in Asia. The facts of the bogus war on terrorism cannot be denied nor modified that it was one-way war on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both nations would suffer for centuries to come. Michael Payne (“America: The World's Master of Double Standards: OpenEdNews: 7/10/2010), offers the context:
“It's really a monumental job that we have to keep all these nations under some kind of semblance of control and compliance; but, then again, someone has to do it and we are the best qualified for the job. That's why we have established the set rules that we expect the rest of the world to follow.”
Does the US war strategy require other nations (willingly or otherwise) to follow the American policy lead of war against all? Stephen Lendman (“America's Permanent War Agenda” 3/01/2010), an American political intellectual and a man of universal conscience puts the history in one nutshell:
“America glorifies wars in the name of peace, what historian Charles Beard (1874 – 1948) called "perpetual war for perpetual peace" in describing the Roosevelt and Truman administrations' foreign policies – what concerned the Federation of American Scientists when it catalogued about 200 post-1945 conflicts in which America was, and still is, the aggressor”
”All US post-WW II conflicts were premeditated wars of aggression against nations posing no threat to America ……..James Petras and others have said behind every imperial war is a great lie, the more often repeated the more likely to be believed because ordinary people want peace, not conflict, so it's vital to convince them………..
Dr. David Duke was invited by German patriots to give a speech in the city of Cologne. He was arrested before he could say one word and has been held in isolation since Friday (but is now free) pending resolution of charges in court at a later date.
Now let’s alter this scenario a little bit. Instead of a pro-White activist, let’s say a pro-Black activist, Jesse Jackson had been visiting Europe to organize the many recent African immigrants in Europe into a voting block. Let’s say Jackson stepped off an airplane in Cologne and before he could give a scheduled speech, he was surrounded by submachine-gun-toting policemen and hauled off to a prison as if he were a serious criminal, who had been robbing banks.
To make matters worse, let’s say the German police held Jackson with little -if any- communication with his friends and family. Under those circumstances, the mainstream media would let out howls of rage over the brutal police state tactics and the lack of freedom in the so-called “Republic” of Germany. The US government would similarly react in outrage and begin threatening Germany with sanctions if they failed to immediately release the US citizen or if they ever repeated such tyrannical actions against a US citizen in the future.
This is how the US and the mainstream media would have reacted if Jesse Jackson or some other politically correct activist were arrested in Europe just before he could give a speech. Because the person being persecuted was a pro-White advocate, Dr. David Duke, his arrest has so far been ignored by the mainstream media, and the US government remains quiet about this too. This should be a wake-up call that the mainstream media has an anti-White bias and they’re secretly happy to see anyone who is pro-White being persecuted.
Dr. David Duke is an internationally known political dissident and his arrest will eventually become known to the American public even if the controlled mainstream media drags its feet in reporting this.
Turkey’s formerly very successful "no problems" foreign policy crafted by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogolu buried old arguments with Syria, Iran, and Lebanon and opened billions of new trade for Turkey’s bustling exporters. Turkey’s red hot economy grew 7% last year – almost as fast as China.
But that was before Libya, Syria and Egypt erupted. Turkey’s highly popular prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was forced to take sides. Turkey called for Egypt’s terminally ill pharaoh, Hosni Mubarak, to leave office, but still kept its support with Egypt’s all-powerful army. This was ironic since Erdogan had just waged a decade-long battle to push Turkey’s bullying army out of politics.
By contrast, Turkey reluctantly abandoned Libya’s Gadaffi, and old friend, with whom Ankara was doing about $23 billion in trade, as a lost cause. Erdogan’s response to Syria was similar: Erdogan insists the Assad family must go and be replaced by a Turkish-style democracy tempered with Islamic values of social welfare and justice.
Cynics here in Istanbul wonder if Turkey is considering turning strife-torn Syria into a sort of Turkish protectorate. Syria is plunging ever near into civil war; a stabilizing force may be needed to sort it out and hold it together. Iraq is also getting involved in Syria.
Syria’s conflict is confusing. It began a year ago when insurgent groups slipped in from neighboring Lebanon. They were armed, supplied and trained by the CIA, Britain’s MI6, and Israel’s Mossad. Their finances came from the US Congress, which voted in the 1980’s to fund overthrowing Syria’s Assad regime because of its antagonism to Israel and support for Palestinians, and from the Saudis.
We are entering our 11th year in a war against a people who are only fighting back because we invaded them.
The enemy in Afghanistan is not the Taliban, a group we organized, armed and trained when we called them the Mujahideen.
What we have built is a hopelessly corrupt bureaucracy that floods the world with narcotics, planted by Afghan farmers, fertilized by the USAID, distributed by the CIA and protected by United States Marines.
Americans are being told we are in a war in Afghanistan, one brought on us by 9/11 but one we are fighting in order to stabilize Afghanistan and aid the region.
In order to silence top critics among many of the factions in Afghanistan, the US has spent over $100 billion on “projects” which have done nothing but pour money into the pockets of leaders in Afghanistan that might actually form a real government, a real army and a real police force.
Now, Imran Khan, a friend and contributor to Veterans Today, a man acceptable to both the army and the people, is likely to be swept into office unless American billions can stop him.
He is demanding an end, by Pakistan, of military cooperation. He would stop supplies from Karachi from crossing Pakistan to supply American occupation forces in Afghanistan.
Is there a single region of the world where the United States government isn’t scheming to grab more control, more influence, and have more of a military presence?
In Pakistan, a memo has been unearthed from “President” Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the joint chiefs of staff, proposing a coup d’etat in which the military and intelligence chiefs would be replaced – with US “political and military support” – in favor of individuals more compliant with the American agenda. Also in Pakistan: an outright attack by US and Afghan forces on a Pakistani military base, a “mistake” in which 28 Pakistani soldiers were killed.
In Iran, we’re running a terrorist operation that strikes at both military and civilian targets, and we’ve just announced a new round of sanctions. Not content with a campaign of economic strangulation, prominent US lawmakers and former top national security officials are harboring, succoring, and defending a known terrorist organization whose goal is “regime change” in Iran. Hardly a day goes by without a threat of military action emanating from Washington.
In Syria, we are supporting armed “protesters” whose goal is the overthrow of the Syrian government. In Libya, our proxies recently succeeded in doing the same. In Egypt, we are reprising our record of support for mobs demanding the ouster of the government – while in Bahrain, we take the side of the reigning king as angry mobs gather in the public square.
All this will come back to haunt us – indeed, it already has, and I’m not just talking about how terrorism is the unacknowledged offspring of US intervention. The economic blowback alone will be severe enough to destroy us: we are well down the road to bankruptcy, and a few more downgradings of US debt will have us in the same condition as Greece.
This week, the media, all of it, traced stories about Iran’s nuclear weapons program to its real source.
The IAEA, which has been unable to locate the vast Dimona nuclear facility in Israel or even begin to ask questions about Israel’s illegal nuclear arsenal, has put together a “rigged” report built of rumors and spin.
The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), a “quasi-official” group is, in fact, an Israeli intelligence organization, long infiltrated, long engulfed, long ago a force for propaganda and, primarily, an organization tasked with helping Israel “hide” its nuclear arsenal “in plain sight” while fabricating evidence.
It is now proven that Israel fabricated the “evidence,” 99% wild conjecture and 1% conspiracy theory, that makes up the current IAEA report on Iran. There is much, however, that is still being kept from the public.
One issue the IAEA neglects is that the nuclear weapon exploded in 2009 by North Korea was identical to the South African/Israeli nukes.
It’s time to admit that Israel is the international weapons black market.
Since that time, Israel, knowing they have always had the weapons themselves, continually invents stories about them, how the Gaza Flotilla had them or the original lie, that Saddam had them, had shipped them by 3 ambulances to Syria who then gave them to Hizbollah who stored them in a hospital x-ray facility for use, eventually, against Israel.
Once again after yet another disingenuous campaign by the corporate media, the "Arab Spring" mobs filling Egypt's Tahrir Square have revealed their true agenda, calling for US corporate-funded International Crisis Group trustee Mohammed ElBaradei to be named by the military as the next "president" of Egypt. Increasing violence in Tahrir Square along with calls by the White House and the EU for a "a quick transfer of power to a civilian government in Egypt," is pressuring the Egyptian military to quickly find a suitable replacement to quell the mobs.
Wall Street and London, via their corporate-media have been building up ElBaradei for at least a year before the "Arab Spring" even began, portraying him as the great hope for Egypt. Foreign Affairs magazine, in March 2010, literally printed an article titled, "Is ElBaradei Egypt's Hero?"
The US International Crisis Group (ICG) trustee Mohamed ElBaradei has spent over a year prying his way into Egyptian politics, landing in Cairo not at the beginning of the recent unrest in January 2011, but all the way back in February 2010. He was met, literally at the airport in Cairo, by the US State Department trained and supported April 6 Youth Movement and Google executive Wael Ghonim. Over the next year they campaigned together for the November 2010 elections, built up the "National Front for Change," and prepared for the protests Wall Street and London had been designing since at least 2008. These protests would then be portrayed disingenuously by the complicitous corporate-media as "spontaneous," "indigenous," and "inspired by" the equally disingenuous, premeditated unrest that had just shook Tunisia.
A critical component of the propaganda campaign paving the way for ElBaradei to run Egypt by proxy for Wall Street has been an attempt by the corporate-media to portray him as "anti-West" and above all "anti-Israeli." Foreign Affairs magazine explained it perfectly back in March 2010 in their article "Is ElBaradei Egypt's Hero?":
As always, no real revolution of any kind will take place until people both understand the balance of power currently held in the world today and how to change it pragmatically rather than politically. Wall Street, a global tyranny of unprecedented proportions, will remain intact until we see them, not petty local tyrants or street mobs as the true enemy, and the systematic boycotting and replacing of their degenerate, global domineering system implemented in full as the solution.
The Question: Do you think we had a right to overthrow the leader of Iran in 1953? And would you again give millions of dollars to the CIA to overthrow the Iranian government under your presidency?
The Question: Do you agree with Mr. Gates that Iran would see a nuclear capability "in the first instance as a deterrent?" And how many nuclear weapons do Western experts believe Israel has? President Carter has said 150, but that was some time ago.
The Question: On Sept. 6, 2006, Gen. John Kimmons, then head of Army intelligence told reporters at the Pentagon, in unmistakable language:
"No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tells us that."
Gen. Kimmons knew that President George W. Bush had decided to claim publicly, just two hours later on the same day, that the "alternative set of procedures" for interrogation — methods that Bush had approved, like water-boarding — were effective. Whom do you think we should believe: President Bush? Or Gen. Kimmons?
The only quote worth noting from the just delivered speech by ECB executive board member José Manuel González-Páramo is the following: "We cannot completely delegate governance to financial markets. The euro area is the world’s second largest monetary area. It cannot depend solely on the opinions of ratings agencies and markets. It needs economic governance arrangements that are preventive and linear. This underscores my central point that a much more comprehensive approach to economic governance is now the priority for the euro area. And this means more economic and financial integration for the euro area, with a significant transfer of sovereignty to the EMU level over fiscal, structural and financial policies." In other words, in order to protect people from the "stupidity" of rating agencies which after years of lying have finally started telling the truth, and the market which does what it always does, and punishes those who fail, Europe must be prepared to give up "significant sovereignty" (sounds better than Anschluss) to Europe's "betters" which is another way of saying 'he who pays the piper calls the tune." And "he" in this case is, of course, Germany. In other words, courtesy of one failed monetary experiment Germany will succeed, without sheeding one drop of blood, where it failed rather historically some 70 years ago.
I have three main propositions.
First, membership of EMU entails much deeper policy changes than were originally realised. In 1991, Hans Tietmeyer, the former President of the Bundesbank, remarked that “monetary union is not just a technical matter. It is in itself, to some extent, a political union”. What has become clear is that countries that adopt the euro as their currency are required to adjust fundamentally the way in which they conduct their economic and financial policies. At the same time, ensuring overall stability requires far-reaching coordination in economic and financial governance. It would be difficult to understand that in the world’s second largest monetary area governance is outsourced solely to the markets and ratings agencies. Effective governance of an economic area of such importance requires much closer economic and financial union.
Second, in response to the crisis, a much more radical change in euro area governance has taken place than many observers seem to acknowledge. Europe tends to reform incrementally, at times creating frustration at the pace of change. But those increments now add up to a fundamental overhaul of its economic management. The reasons this has not been more effective in calming the crisis are complex, but communication stands out among them: In “selling” their reforms, euro area authorities are forced to walk a tightrope between the expectations of national electorates and financial markets, and risk satisfying neither. The only solution to this democracy-market dialectic is, again, much closer economic and financial union.
Third, and contrary to a strand of current thinking, the Treaty prohibition on monetary financing is supporting rather than threatening euro area integration. In the euro area, the central bank is “doubly removed” from the political systems of individual countries: it is not only constitutionally independent, but also elevated to the supranational level. Euro area governments cannot expect the ECB to finance public deficits. As a result, they must be commensurately more ambitious in their economic policies and more disciplined in their management of public finances to support their debt levels. Moreover, given the prohibition on monetary financing, having a banking sector which can support growth and provide adequate financing to the real economy in Europe requires a stronger regulatory and governance framework, so as to prevent negative feedback loops between banks and sovereigns. By forcing policymakers to focus their reform efforts on the right priorities the monetary financing prohibition offers an incentive to closer economic and financial union.
–The sum and substance of the Republican candidates’ debate was that Americans and their government should be furious with Pakistan for not doing America’s dirty work and committing national suicide. Apparently Islamabad providing the United States with help sufficient to lose 6,000-plus soldiers — four times NATO’s dead — and cause a civil war on its territory does not cut the mustard with most of the Republican candidates, or with pundits and Democratic leaders for that matter. What this attitude shows is not the Republican candidates’ toughness, but rather their adolescence. What has been occurring in Afghanistan since 2001 is America’s war, and it will be won or lost based on what the U.S. government and people do. More brutally and accurately, it will be won or lost only through the expenditure of whatever American blood and treasure it takes to win. Except in an adolescent’s fantasy world, America’s task of winning cannot be safely delegated to a country that lacks the resources, will, motivation, and national interests to win it. The Constitution, moreover, has no provision allowing the executive and legislative branches to delegate their responsibility for national defense to a foreign country. Successful war fighting, debt reduction, border control, and energy self-sufficiency can only come at the hands of competent adults, and across the U.S. governing elite, sadly, such individuals are few and far between.
–We are into another spate of “al-Qaeda is dead” nonsense which is flowing from unnamed U.S. military and politician leaders and being broadcast by adolescent journalists whose motto seems to be “leak me anything and I’ll print it as a fact.” Now we are being told there are only two important al-Qaeda figures left to kill in the Pakistan-Afghanistan theater. While the CIA has been admirably successful in killing senior Al-Qaeda leaders, we should keep in mind — as the CIA surely does — that al-Qaeda has survived to date because it plans for leadership succession and has replacements at hand when leaders are killed. The successors surely are not as talented as those killed, but neither are they ignorant of the jobs they inherit, and hands-on experience sharpens their skills. Moreover, with effective and growing branches operating in Pakistan, Yemen, Europe, the United States, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, and across North Africa and the Sahel al-Qaeda has far more de facto leadership schools than it had in 2001. Al-Qaeda on the verge of defeat? Do not hold your breath.
–As the pimply, adolescent dream of the “Arab Spring” implodes, the U.S. elite is still seeing “positive signs” of a movement toward democracy in the Arab world. The Obama administration believes that the interim Libyan regime will be able to disarm the tribal and Islamist militias that were formed during NATO’s war to remove Gaddafi. Readers will recall, I am sure, how successful similar disarmament campaigns have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. And in Egypt more democracy — or is it anarchy? — is springing up as protestors throw rocks and other things at Army and security personnel and are killed by soldiers and police in turn, while the United States grows more hated because the military is using U.S.-supplied ordnance. Then there is Syria, where the efforts of the viragos-in-chief — Mrs. Clinton and Susan Rice — have pushed that country to the edge of civil war, although the U.S. media reports the protestors killed, while ignoring the substantial number of Syrian soldiers being killed by Islamists militias. One hopes that at least some in the U.S. elite know that anarchy is more hated and feared than despotism by Sunni Muslims, and therefore Washington’s anarchy-producing push for democracy in the Arab world may yet yield order-producing Islamic regimes in the states Obama, McCain, Graham, Cameron, and Sarkozy have slated for secular democracy.
The President can’t do it – not in an election year.
The Congress can’t do it – not in an election year, or any year for that matter.
The Zionists have a down payment on the White House, and they own Congress free and clear. Zionist sources are said to provide roughly half of the bribe money euphemistically known as “campaign contributions.” They’ve turned the entire US political class into a gang of treasonous whores who daily pledge undying allegiance to the Israeli flag.
So who can stop them? Who can prevent a ruinous war on Iran?
Only the US military.
US military leaders – the intelligent ones, not the “my God is bigger than your God” loonies like Gen. Boykin – need to schedule some visits to key political leaders. Some very, very brief visits. All they need to say is: “The answer is no.” Then: “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” And finally: “Any Israeli planes that attempt to attack Iran will be shot out of the sky; and any American involvement in an Israeli-instigated war with Iran will be on the side of Iran.”
The Zio-con traitors will whine: “What happened to civilian oversight of the military? Doesn’t the military have to obey executive orders and congressional mandates” ?
Once again, the answer is no. If the executive orders a war crime, or congress mandates a war crime, those orders are null and void. The proper course for a military person ordered to participate in a war crime is to arrest, or in the worst-case scenario kill, the person or persons giving the illegal order.
The news and images coming out of Egypt are deeply troubling. At least 36 people have died since last Friday, and over 1,250 have reportedly been wounded in clashes around Tahrir Square in Cairo (and in several other cities).
On Monday, the Egyptian government resigned and on Tuesday the military regime offered further concessions, and yet the crisis goes on. There is much at stake in the outcome of the confrontations, both for Egypt and for the Middle East as a whole. To anybody who has been following the decline of the Egyptian economy and the repeated failure of key sectors of internal security since the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February, none of this is surprising. Neither is the disappointment of the crowds surprising to any one familiar with the course of the countless democratic and "color" revolutions in Eastern Europe over the past 20 years; some of the latter - specifically the one in Serbia against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic - inspired the organizers of the anti-Mubarak movement.
The danger of chaos is clear in this report, and others; we can only imagine what a power vacuum in the most populous Arab country would look like, and this specter has been drawing nearer by the week since February, as Egyptian currency reserves have dwindled and the Egyptian economy has continued to stagnate. Some analysts, such as Asia Times Online's Spengler, have warned about this danger since the very start.
However, the exact timing of the protests suggests that something more than economics and the inevitable popular discontent may be at play. It is hard to tell what exactly stirs under the surface of Egypt, and this is as true now as it was in early February, or over the summer, when Sinai gradually slid out of control and angry mobs stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.
In January and February, most international media offered a romantic portrayal of what they described as a leaderless resistance facing a vast security apparatus; it took a number of weeks until the first accounts appeared that contradicted this framing, and even then the latter did not receive sufficient attention.
Reflecting on this anniversary, Rep. John Lewis, one of the main organizers of the Freedom Rides, noted that they “changed America. Before the movement … people were afraid. … That fear is gone. People can walk, live, work, and play with a sense of dignity and a sense of pride.”
Fired by the same drive for dignity and pride, six Palestinian nonviolent activists boarded an Israeli settler bus last week to draw the world’s attention to the segregated transportation systems and apartheid conditions they endure living under Israel’s brutal 44-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem. Channeling Frederick Douglass, spokesperson Hurriyah Ziadah asserted, “Our rights will not voluntarily be handed to us, so we are heading out to demand them.”
While the activists were attempting to ride from the occupied West Bank into occupied East Jerusalem, nonviolently demanding their right to benefit from infrastructure created by Israel on their land, the Israeli military stopped the bus and physically removed and arrested the riders, who held signs reading “Freedom,” “Dignity,” and “We Shall Overcome.”
For the benefit of 650,000 Israeli settlers living in Israel’s illegal settlements in these occupied Palestinian territories, Israel has constructed — in violation of international law — a vast alternative infrastructure of roads and bus lines from which 2.5 million Palestinians are all but effectively banned. Palestinians are often confined to their village or town by hundreds of temporary and permanent Israeli roadblocks, checkpoints, walls, and other barriers that prevent Palestinians from exercising their right to freedom of movement. When Palestinians are allowed to travel by their Israeli occupiers, they must do so on circuitous, inferior roads to bypass Israeli settlement infrastructure, making even the most mundane trip a grueling trek. Separate is never equal.
In every aspect of human existence, change is a constant. Yet change that actually matters occurs only rarely. Even then, except in retrospect, genuinely transformative change is difficult to identify. By attributing cosmic significance to every novelty and declaring every unexpected event a revolution, self-assigned interpreters of the contemporary scene -- politicians and pundits above all -- exacerbate the problem of distinguishing between the trivial and the non-trivial.
Anyone claiming to divine the existence of genuinely Big Change Happening Now should, therefore, do so with a sense of modesty and circumspection, recognizing the possibility that unfolding events may reveal a different story.
All that said, the present moment is arguably one in which the international order is, in fact, undergoing a fundamental transformation. The “postwar world” brought into existence as a consequence of World War II is coming to an end. A major redistribution of global power is underway. Arrangements that once conferred immense prerogatives upon the United States, hugely benefiting the American people, are coming undone.
“Is America Over?” That question adorns the cover of the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, premier organ of the foreign policy establishment. As is typically the case with that establishment, Foreign Affairs is posing the wrong question, one designed chiefly to elicit a misleading, if broadly reassuring answer.
Proclaim it from the rooftops: No, America is not “over.” Yet a growing accumulation of evidence suggests that America today is not the America of 1945. Nor does the international order of the present moment bear more than a passing resemblance to that which existed in the heyday of American power. Everyone else on the planet understands this. Perhaps it’s finally time for Americans -- starting with American politicians -- to do so as well. Should they refuse, a painful comeuppance awaits.
After playing a role Wall Street and London meddlers had hoped would translate into the Egyptian military holding the bag while corporate-fascists like those escorted through Cairo by John McCain in June 2011 filled it with Egypt's wealth, it seems as if the Egyptian military, through the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCARF) has gotten cold feet. Perhaps through pangs of nationalism or at least a realistic appraisal of their own future, trading places with the now fully betrayed Hosni Mubarak or Muammar Qaddafi verses their best self-interests, the military, despite grandiose promises to usher in Wall Street and London's "democratic reforms," including the implementation of a constitution literally written by George Soros-funded think tanks, have laid these measures thoroughly, and entirely to the wayside.
With predictable exactitude, the very same protesters, led by the very same US-created April 6 youth movement and Muslim Brotherhood, have once again poured into the streets to either get the military back on the right, Wall Street/London approved track, or as Council on Foreign Relations "fellow" Steve Cook hopes, oust the military from power all together. Al Arabiya News has recently reported that the April 6 youth movement, "would stay in Tahrir Square and continue sit-ins in other cities until its demands were met, including a call for a presidential vote no later than April." The Muslim Brotherhood has also taken a vocal lead in the protests - a move that should not surprise anyone aware of the US-backed nature of the Arab Spring, consuming nations from Tunisia to Syria and everywhere in between.
Waiting in the wings for this eventual collapse and the expedited presidential elections April 6 is "fighting for," is US-backed Mohammed ElBaradei, another "Nobel Peace Prize" carrying imposter, along side President Barack Obama, and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, bent in perpetual servitude to the corporate-fascist agenda of Wall Street and London. ElBaradei has faced severe PR challenges as Egyptians and indeed people around the world learned of his deep ties to Washington despite his attempt at portraying himself as "at odds" with the West. At one point, ElBaradei, after leading the US-engineered "Arab Spring" through his native home of Egypt, had rocks hurdled at him months later, with angry mobs calling him "an American agent."
Predictably the West came to his rescue using the now fully exhausted ploy of planting "Wikileaks" documents "revealing" just how contemptible the West saw ElBaradei in an attempt to rehabilitate his image as "anti-West" and therefore "pro-Arab" and thus more likely to be able to foist the US agenda upon Egyptians. More recently, and perhaps the most ludicrous attempt yet to paint ElBaradei as anything but an agent of the West, was when Israel accused him of being an "Iranian agent" instead. Of course, ElBaradei literally sits on the board of trustees of the same US corporate-funded think-tank, the International Crisis Group, as several of Israel's most prominent political and financial figures including the Israeli President himself, Shimon Peres.
Well of course the bankers and eurocrats warn of chaos but this will happen whether the countries remain inside the EU or escape. But the chaos will be far worse for the banks that bribed corrupt politicians and voting blocks in the individual nations of Europe to accept the EU, if the major guilty banks fail.
How could there not be chaos when nations following the Goldman Sachs model at the urging of the banks borrowed money they could never pay back and then the banks leveraged this sovereign debt 26 to 1. Note bank average leverage is 9 to 1 and this can only works in the best of times. In other words, just a 5% fall in asset prices can destroy the entire equity position of a bank. Sovereign debt values will likely fall many multiples of 5% so you can see what is down the road.
The only question is should the countries face chaos now before the individual nations and citizens are impoverished by the EU or later when the nations are destitute. Over indebted EU nations like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland should repudiate their national debts, leave the EU and return to their own sovereign currencies with a haircut in value now so their economics can grow and export again. The alternative is to wait too long like Greece probably has after EU enforced austerity; confiscatory tax levels and loss of national sovereignty have destroyed the country.
I believe the individual EU nations and their economies would do far better to return to national sovereignty and currencies under a political leadership at least somewhat loyal to the citizens and nation. Continuing with the false premise that a distant all-powerful cabal of European Union, central bankers and monetary elites buying off domestic politicians that have destroyed the economy can somehow solve the problems they created in the first place is the wrong solution.
The banks will be bailed out and the EU will survive regardless of the cost as long as there are citizens to rob and wealth to confiscate to support the banks. The casino is rigged and taxpayers will lose. So get ready for what could be the biggest bank run and sovereign debt collapse in world history. It will begin in Greece, Italy and Spain but the panic will quickly run through most of Europe ending where the banking scam all began on Wall Street and inside the boardrooms of Goldman Sachs. Remember both the leaders of the European and American Unions and the banking elites consider themselves a cut above the rest of us. They will not protect us but rather loot our remaining wealth and liberties so they can survive the economic crisis they created.
Israel has closed down a dovish Israeli-Palestinian radio station in what its backers say is a politically-motivated decision to silence criticism of the Jewish state.
The Communications Ministry ordered the Kol Hashalom station, or All for Peace, to shut down earlier this month for broadcasting into Israel illegally. But Danny Danon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s hawkish Likud party, boasted that he had instigated an investigation into the station for alleged incitement against Israel.
The attack on the radio station, which has broadcast for seven years, raises fresh concerns about press freedoms at a time when many of Israel’s liberals view the country’s democracy as under threat from the right wing.
Israel claims that All for Peace, established by Palestinian and Israeli activists, is a pirate radio station operating without a licence, but the station has countered that it has a licence from the Palestinian Authority, and does not require permission from Israel. The station has offices in East Jerusalem, but broadcasts from Ramallah in the West Bank.
Managers of the station, unique for its willingness to talk to far-right Israelis as much as to militant Palestinians, have been in regular contact with the Communications Ministry over the past seven years, said the Jewish co-director Mossi Raz, who insists that he has never in that time been told to seek an Israeli licence.
For at least the past two decades, political leaders in the United States and Israel have warned that Iran was on the threshold of building a nuclear weapon. From what we’ve been hearing lately from the media, Iran is once again … on that threshold.
Touting thousands of pages of carefully vetted intelligence, menacing satellite imagery, and tales of a mysterious Soviet nuclear scientist, the media is telling us that Iran is about to get The Bomb.
It began when the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report that laid out the case against Iran. One newspaper headline called it a “red alert.” An ABC TV reporter said Iran is “carrying out activities whose sole purpose can only be the development of a nuclear weapon.”
Let’s play “Back to the Future” for a minute. Does anyone remember the last time we were told that a country with a four-letter name starting with I-R-A had amassed fearsome weapons based on solid “slam dunk” intelligence?
The big media failure on Iraq was that the major broadcast and print outlets weren’t skeptical of official claims. And that’s exactly what’s happening with Iran. Does that IAEA report really flash “red alert”? Hardly.
A week after world leaders urged Israel to tone down its heated rhetoric on Iran, European leaders are again urging caution as Iran begins to react to the international community's stern words and threats, led by Israel.
The International Atomic Energy Agency last week released a report on Iran's nuclear program that said intelligence indicated that the intentions of the program may not be entirely peaceful. The leak of the report was followed by a flurry of threats and warnings from Israel – and a concerted effort from world leaders to dial down the conversation.
Yesterday, European Union foreign ministers ruled out a military option for Iran. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that a strike on Iran would "drag the world into an 'uncontrollable spiral'," Agence France-Presse reports. The ministers opted to consider further sanctions instead, but a decision will not be reached until their next meeting, in December.
Berlin's representative, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, also refused to broach the possibility of a military operation, according to Reuters. "We are not taking part in the discussion on military intervention. We believe such discussions are counterproductive and we reject them,” he said.
One day after deadly clashes, Egyptian police forces have launched a violent assault against protesters, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds gathered in Cairo's Liberation Square, Press TV reports.
Security forces have left up to 700 protesters injured, a day after deadly clashes left at least three people dead and hundreds of others wounded in Cairo.
Security forces have also set protesters' tents on fire.
According to a statement by Egypt's Interior Ministry, some 55 protesters have been arrested since Saturday.
This is while the country's military council has also threatened protesters with a tougher response if they continue their demonstrations.
Protesters are demanding a speedy transition of power to a civilian government.
Earlier this month, Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Silmi showed a draft copy of a revised constitution to political groups in the North African country. The draft would give the Army exclusive authority over its internal affairs and budget and would also shield the forces from legal scrutiny.
The tempo of the countdown to World War III will be accelerated significantly by the speed with which the trans-Atlantic financial system heads to its imminent disintegration. Just a few weeks ago, the supporters of the endless bailouts threatened that a "haircut" for Greece's debt would mean an existential threat to the world financial system. Since then, there has been a 50% "debt haircut," the most brutal austerity measures have been implemented, and Greece has plunged into a state of permanent destabilization.
The tsunami of insolvency has long since spilled over into Italy, and in the absence of confidence on the part of international investors, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which is supposed to be the rescue umbrella, has proved to be totally incapable of coming up with even the "leverage" agreed upon at the G20 summit, from € 440 billion to € 1 trillion.
My dear fellow citizens: Wake up! The last remaining proposal, to make the ECB into a creditor of last resort, represents a threat that Europe will very soon break apart and split up into micro-entities—even without the global nuclear war which would follow a military strike against Iran.
Ever since these plans for a possible Israeli military strike against Iran were leaked out by Israeli intelligence sources, an enormous debate—and also a potential for resistance—has broken out in virtually every country. Military and security professionals especially understand full well how extremely dangerous this countdown to World War III is, and how quickly it could careen out of control.
ISRAELI DEMOCRACY is under siege. No one can ignore this anymore. It is the main topic in the Knesset, which is leading the attack, and the media, who are among the victims.
THE SUPREME COURT is the bastion of democracy. Israel has no constitution, the Knesset majority is totally unbridled, only the court can (if reluctantly) check the adoption of anti-democratic laws.
The extreme rightists in the Knesset are resolved to put an end to this. Their front man is the Minister of Justice, who was appointed by Avigdor Lieberman. He is pushing a series of scandalous ad hominem bills. One of them is designed to change the composition of the public committee that appoints the judges, with the undisguised intention of bringing about the appointment of a particular right-wing judge to the Supreme Court.
Another bill has the undisguised purpose of changing the existing court rules in order to put a certain “conservative” judge in the chair of Chief Justice. The declared purpose is to abolish the rule of an independent court which dares, though only in rare cases, to block “anti-constitutional” laws enacted by the Knesset majority. They want the court to “represent the will of the people”. (Remember Weimar?)
Until now, since the first day of the state, the justices have been, in practice, chosen by cooptation. This has functioned perfectly for 63 years. Israel’s Supreme Court is the envy of many countries. Now this system is in mortal danger.
The Times reported, in its lead story the day after the report came out, that I.A.E.A. investigators “have amassed a trove of new evidence that, they say, makes a ‘credible’ case” that Iran may be carrying out nuclear-weapons activities. The newspaper quoted a Western diplomat as declaring that “the level of detail is unbelievable…. The report describes virtually all the steps to make a nuclear warhead and the progress Iran has achieved in each of those steps. It reads likes a menu.” The Times set the tone for much of the coverage. (A second Times story that day on the I.A.E.A. report noted, more cautiously, that “it is true that the basic allegations in the report are not substantially new, and have been discussed by experts for years.”)
But how definitive, or transformative, were the findings? The I.A.E.A. said it had continued in recent years “to receive, collect and evaluate information relevant to possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program” and, as a result, it has been able “to refine its analysis.” The net effect has been to create “more concern.” But Robert Kelley, a retired I.A.E.A. director and nuclear engineer who previously spent more than thirty years with the Department of Energy’s nuclear-weapons program, told me that he could find very little new information in the I.A.E.A. report. He noted that hundreds of pages of material appears to come from a single source: a laptop computer, allegedly supplied to the I.A.E.A. by a Western intelligence agency, whose provenance could not be established. Those materials, and others, “were old news,” Kelley said, and known to many journalists. “I wonder why this same stuff is now considered ‘new information’ by the same reporters.”
A nuanced assessment of the I.A.E.A. report was published by the Arms Control Association (A.C.A.), a nonprofit whose mission is to encourage public support for effective arms control. The A.C.A. noted that the I.A.E.A. did “reinforce what the nonproliferation community has recognized for some times: that Iran engaged in various nuclear weapons development activities until 2003, then stopped many of them, but continued others.” (The American intelligence community reached the same conclusion in a still classified 2007 estimate.) The I.A.E.A.’s report “suggests,” the A.C.A. paper said, that Iran “is working to shorten the timeframe to build the bomb once and if it makes that decision. But it remains apparent that a nuclear-armed Iran is still not imminent nor is it inevitable.” Greg Thielmann, a former State Department and Senate Intelligence Committee analyst who was one of the authors of the A.C.A. assessment, told me, “There is troubling evidence suggesting that studies are still going on, but there is nothing that indicates that Iran is really building a bomb.” He added, “Those who want to drum up support for a bombing attack on Iran sort of aggressively misrepresented the report.”
The shift in tone at the I.A.E.A. seems linked to a change at the top. The I.A.E.A.’s report had extra weight because the Agency has had a reputation for years as a reliable arbiter on Iran. Mohammed ElBaradei, who retired as the I.A.E.A.’s Director General two years ago, was viewed internationally, although not always in Washington, as an honest broker—a view that lead to the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei’s replacement is Yukiya Amano of Japan. Late last year, a classified U.S. Embassy cable from Vienna, the site of the I.A.E.A. headquarters, described Amano as being “ready for prime time.” According to the cable, which was obtained by WikiLeaks, in a meeting in September, 2009, with Glyn Davies, the American permanent representative to the I.A.E.A., said, “Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the group of developing countries], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.” The cable added that Amano’s “willingness to speak candidly with U.S. interlocutors on his strategy … bodes well for our future relationship.”
War drums against Tehran are beating faster. The noise from Tel Aviv and Western capitals has become so deafening that it could easily reach a tipping point; if Iran sticks to its guns and Israel and its backers are proved to be all bark and no bite, they could lose their deterrence credibility.
Israeli President Shimon Peres said an attack on Iran grows increasingly likely and that was before a damning report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that maintains Iran has been working on nukes since 2003 and has constructed a nuclear detonation system with the help of a Ukrainian nuclear scientist. Unfortunately, the ‘nuclear scientist’ turns out instead to be a researcher in peaceful uses of nanodiamonds.
Iran has accused the IAEA of being an instrument of the US and warns that it will respond with “an iron fist” if attacked. With the memory of the invasion of Iraq and the air campaign against Libya, it’s tempting to dismiss such fiery rhetoric. Moreover, Israelis will, no doubt, bear in mind their country’s ‘successful’ strike on an Iraqi civilian nuclear reactor in 1981 without considering the consequences. Immediately after that air attack, Saddam Hussain summoned his nuclear chiefs to instruct them to build a bomb. If an Iran strike was a video game, Israel and its western allies would be the clear victors but decisions made in the real world come with repercussions.
There are no easy answers. Israel and the West have three options: to live with a nuclear Iran in the same way they have come to terms with Pakistan and North Korea, to use stick and carrot diplomacy to bring Iran into the international fold—or, go for broke with military might risking setting the region ablaze. Those of us who live in the neighbourhood can only pray they’ll choose wisely.
Islam bashing has become part of a well organised move in the West. This is nothing new, such acts are spread over the entire history of Islam. The notorious crusades were initiated in by Pope Urban 2nd in 1096 when the Church was losing its hold on Christians, this ploy was used by them to bring the Christians back under the yoke of the Church. As a reaction to these invasions, a warrior in the person of Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi, a Kurd emerged and fought out these crusades against Islam.
Now on 9/11, Bush assumed the role of Pope Urban 2nd and declared it a crusade in his State of the Union address against Islam after the 9/11 event. The magnitude of this false flag has been so intense that its ripples are being felt even now. Its splinter effects have spread across not only the US but Western Europe as well. Burning of Holy Quran by Pastor Terry Jones in Florida was the most glaring act. Other than this, there have been numerous attacks on Mosques and Muslims in the entire length and breadth of the US. As if this was not enough, caricatures of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S A W) were perpetrated in Europe. Dutch MP, Geert Wilders launched a very aggressive campaign against Islam when he addressed the British Parliament. First it was absolutely wrong on the part of the British to allow such a speech and then it was even worse when he was allowed to get away with it.
Operation Desert Storm under General Colin Powel was the first stage of “War against Islam” it was orchestrated first by instigating Saddam Hussain to invade Iran that was going through a process of revolution and then Kuwait to create a fear and terror in the minds of the Gulf Cooperation Council states on the Persian Gulf. When Iraq was fighting Iran, I was adviser to Kuwait Air Force & Air Defence for its automation. I was observing that daily night flights were taking place to provide arms and ammunition to Iraq. Although it was not in my assignment to advise them on this but sensing what was to come for Kuwait after Saddam fails to defeat Iran was not being accepted by the Kuwaiti authorities. They thought that Iraq would be able to defeat Iran hence Kuwait would be on the side of the victor and then it was the Arab nationalism that had been inculcated by Col Lawrence that became a strong factor to support Iraq. The US and her allies played a smart move, through Iran-Iraq war, US was avenging her humiliation at the hands of the Iranian students who had occupied the US Embassy and taken over four hundred hostages in Tehran.
Before all this, the US had built huge bases in Saudi Arabia much beyond the Saudi needs but at their expense. It was a great game of chess being played at the expense of the Arab Kings and Sheikhs to extract their wealth and take control of their oil and political body. Soon after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the UN Security Council was moved, media hype was created and the troops began to arrive in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States to ‘liberate’ Kuwait. Iraq’s military might was destroyed, No-Fly Zones were established, oil exports were taken over. Iraq was completely cut off and no trade was taking place, hospital ran out of medicines, stores had no stock even of essentials where baby food was not to be seen; this was such a cruel act on the part of the US and her allies that almost a million babies and people died for want of food and medicines. When Madeline Albright was confronted with this astronomical figure of deaths, she said that this was a price worth it.
Credit conditions in the eurozone continue to deteriorate while yields on French, Spanish, Belgian and Italian bonds move higher. Italy’s 10-year yield increased 19 basis points to 6.89 percent on Tuesday, just a stone’s throw from the “unsustainable” 7 percent. French debt is also under increasing pressure. The spread between France’s 10-year debt and German bund hit a new high on Tuesday, widening by 174 basis points. If yields continue to rise, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi will be forced to either expand his bond buying program (Securities Markets Programme) or watch while defaulting sovereigns domino through the south taking most of the EU banking system along with them.
Germany will not permit the ECB to act as lender of last resort. As the Bundesbank’s president Jens Weidmann explained in an interview last week, unsterilized bond purchases (monetization) would violate Article 123 of the EU treaty.
So, how bad will the EU credit crunch get? That’s a question the Financial Times blog tries to answer on Monday in a post titled “It’s a capital ratio of two halves”. Here’s a clip from the article:
“In another sign of how bad this is looking, Commerzbank, Germany’s leading lender to central and eastern Europe, is ceasing all loan origination outside of its home country and Poland…….But assuming any adjustments to the rules will come too little to late, we could be in for €1,500bn to €2,500bn of deleveraging according to a note published by Morgan Stanley on Sunday.” (“It’s a capital ratio of two halves”, FT. Alphaville)
Well, now, if the banks are going to unload a hefty $3 trillion in assets, (in an effort to meet the new 9% capital requirements) then they’re not going to be doing a lot of lending now are they? And, if there’s no credit expansion (new loans) then there’s no growth, right? In that case, people would be well advised to pick a cozy spot outside the unemployment office now before the lines form.
The drumbeat for another round of draconian sanctions against Iran is growing louder on Capitol Hill. While Illinois Senator Mark Kirk's proposed legislation to “collapse the Central Bank of Iran” was intended to be attached to the now-stalled international affairs funding bill, the pressure from Congress for another round of indiscriminate sanctions continues to build. Some U.S. officials have called sanctioning Iran’s Central Bank “the nuclear option” because it would deal a devastating blow to the teetering global economy, and inflict untold human suffering in Iran.
Still, such an initiative is expected to receive overwhelming bipartisan support, following a letter Senators Kirk and Charles Schumer wrote to the administration calling for the administration to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, which 92 senators have signed. The Kirk initiative this week appears to be similar to one offered by Rep. Howard Berman in the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, and would effectively bind the administration into imposing sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran. The committee approved Berman's amendment.
The Obama administration has signaled that it won't immediately seek sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran because, as the Los Angeles Times reported, “U.S. officials have decided that such sanctions could disrupt oil markets and further damage the U.S. and world economies”. Nobody mentioned these concerns during the Republican presidential candidate debate on November 12 in South Carolina, where candidates enthusiastically endorsed U.S. sanctioning of the Central Bank of Iran, along with calls for military action against Iran and funding violence through ‘insurgents’ in Iran.
What if Iranians Created a Banking Crisis in the U.S.? You don't have to be an economist to understand that the most vulnerable sectors of any society bear the brunt of any economic crisis and that shutting down any economy in the world would damage the global economy. The full extent of economic consequences from U.S. sanctions on the Central Bank is still unclear, but the fact that the explicit goal of these broad sanctions is to destroy the Iranian economy is deeply troubling in and of itself.
Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Monti (with wife at left), who rose to power in what critics called a “coup d’etat,” is a prominent member of the world elite in the truest sense of the term. In fact, he is a leader in at least two of the most influential cabals in existence today: the secretive Bilderberg Group and David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission.
Nicknamed “Super Mario,” Monti is also an “international advisor” to the infamous Goldman Sachs, one of the most powerful financial firms in the world. Critics refer to the giant bank as the “Vampire Squid” after a journalist famously used the term in a hit piece. But its tentacles truly do reach into the highest levels of governments worldwide.
Listed as a member of the “steering committee” on the official Bilderberg website, critics say Monti has “establishment” written all over him. The shadowy group he helps lead includes a roster of the world’s real power brokers — media magnates, royalty, military leaders, big bankers, heads of state and government, key CEOs, and more.
Italian activists had harsh words for Monti, too. “The proposed new coalition government headed by Mario Monti can be a fatal trap for Italy's future,” explained Campaign for World Bank Reform leader Antonio Tricarico. “If most of political forces from the right and the left would support it, the European Commission and the European Central Bank - whose agenda Monti represents - will rule Italy without any opposition for the years to come, beyond any minimum standard of democratic accountability.”
Analysts said installing pro-EU and single-currency rulers in Greece and Italy was aimed at quieting the growing calls for the euro-zone to be dismantled. But it remains unclear whether they will succeed as the economic crisis continues to spiral out of control across Europe.
The new Middle East Cold War comes complete with its own spy-versus-spy intrigues, disinformation campaign, shadowy proxy war and supercharged state rhetoric and very high stakes.
There has long been blood between the Saudis and Iran. Saudi Arabia is a Sunni/Wahabi Muslim Kingdom of ethnic Arabs. Iran is a Shi’ite Islamic Republic populated by ethnic Persians.
Shi’ites first broke with Sunnis over the line of succession after the death of the Prophet Mohammad in the year 632. Sunnis have regarded them as a heretical sect ever since. Arabs and Persians, along with many others, have vied for the land of Middle East for almost as long.
These days, geopolitics plays a major role. The two sides have assembled allied camps. Iran holds in its sway Syria and the militant Arab groups such as Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Shi’ite radical factions in Iraq. In the Saudi sphere are the Sunni-Muslim Gulf monarchies, Morocco and the other main Palestinian faction, Fatah. The Saudi Camp is pro-Western and leans toward tolerating the state of Israel. There are even speculations that Israeli-Saudi intelligence services cooperate to some extend in the Middle East.The Iranian grouping defiantly opposes the U.S. and Israel.
For decades, the two sides have carried out a complicated game of moves and countermoves. With few exceptions, both prefer to work through proxy and covertly funded militias, as they did during the long Lebanese civil war in the 1980s,when Iran helped to establish Hizbullah and the Saudis backed Sunni militias. They currently deploy proxies in Iraq and Syria against each other.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently published in Foreign Policy magazine, "America's Pacific Century," a Hitlerian declaration of imperial intent for American "leadership" in Asia for the next 100 years. The piece, which could just as easily been penned by Neo-Con policy makers begins with, "the future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action. "
Of course, America's presence throughout the Middle East and the control it exercises over the region's oil resources as well as over the region as a logistical hub is essential in tempering the rise of Asia and ultimately hemming in the rise of China and Central Asia. The "Arab Spring" which Secretary Clinton and the US State Department had been a part of preparing, equipping, training, and even arming for at least 2 years prior, is the coup de grâce meant to completely overturn the multi-polar nature of the Middle East and ultimately the world.
Upon reading Clinton's declaration of intent for American leadership into the next century, readers may recall the similarly named, ranting "Project for a New American Century" signed off on by some of America's most notorious Neo-Conservatives, which almost verbatim made the same case now made by Clinton. In fact, America's evolving confrontation with China, marked acutely by Obama's announcement of a permanent US military presence in Australia just this week, is torn directly from the pages of decades old blueprints drawn up by corporate-financier funded think-tanks that truly rule America and its destiny.
As reported in June, 2011's "Collapsing China," as far back as 1997 there was talk about developing an effective containment strategy coupled with the baited hook of luring China into its place amongst the "international order." Just as in these 1997 talking-points where author and notorious Neo-Con policy maker Robert Kagan described the necessity of using America's Asian "allies" as part of this containment strategy, Clinton goes through a list of regional relationships the US is trying to cultivate to maintain "American leadership" in Asia.
Over the last two centuries, prominent Americans have described the United States as an "empire of liberty," a "shining city on a hill," the "last best hope of Earth," the "leader of the free world," and the "indispensable nation." These enduring tropes explain why all presidential candidates feel compelled to offer ritualistic paeans to America's greatness and why President Barack Obama landed in hot water -- most recently, from Mitt Romney -- for saying that while he believed in "American exceptionalism," it was no different from "British exceptionalism," "Greek exceptionalism," or any other country's brand of patriotic chest-thumping.
Most statements of "American exceptionalism" presume that America's values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration. They also imply that the United States is both destined and entitled to play a distinct and positive role on the world stage.
The only thing wrong with this self-congratulatory portrait of America's global role is that it is mostly a myth. Although the United States possesses certain unique qualities -- from high levels of religiosity to a political culture that privileges individual freedom -- the conduct of U.S. foreign policy has been determined primarily by its relative power and by the inherently competitive nature of international politics. By focusing on their supposedly exceptional qualities, Americans blind themselves to the ways that they are a lot like everyone else.
This unchallenged faith in American exceptionalism makes it harder for Americans to understand why others are less enthusiastic about U.S. dominance, often alarmed by U.S. policies, and frequently irritated by what they see as U.S. hypocrisy, whether the subject is possession of nuclear weapons, conformity with international law, or America's tendency to condemn the conduct of others while ignoring its own failings. Ironically, U.S. foreign policy would probably be more effective if Americans were less convinced of their own unique virtues and less eager to proclaim them.
If I take it as a given (I do) that Israel’s leaders are not remotely interested in peace on terms that would satisfy even minimum Palestinian demands and needs for justice, and that as things are the major powers will continue to allow Zionism to go on calling the policy shots, the question arising is this: What can the Palestinians do themselves to advance their cause?
It’s not for the gentile me to tell the Palestinians what to do but if I was a Palestinian the following is what I would want to happen.
The first and immediate priority – the dissolution of the PA, effectively making Israel fully and completely responsible and accountable for its occupation. Having to take complete responsibility would be quite costly for Israel financially and in terms of the additional call on its security resources. And in theory it ought to be less difficult (at present it’s impossible) for the Palestinians, with the assistance of concerned and caring agencies and governments, to hold Israel accountable to international law for its occupation policies and actions.
Why should the PA be dissolved? Apart from the fact that it’s corrupt and useless (has become just another Arab regime, some might say), the short answer is in two parts.
One is that under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah cronies, the PA’s main role has been to keep the Palestinians, Hamas supporters on the West Bank in particular, under control for Israel. In that context the PA has been more or less a quisling authority collaborating with Israel, and by so doing it has undermined the liberation struggle.
The other is that under Abbas’s leadership the PA has subverted Palestinian democracy. He was elected as chairman in January 2005 for a term of four years which expired in January 2009. There should then have been new elections. In the absence of them Abbas and his PA are without legitimacy and thus any real mandate to represent the occupied and oppressed Palestinians.
Is a vote for the Republican Party in 2012 a vote for war?
Is a vote for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich a vote for yet another unfunded war of choice, this time with a nation, Iran, three times as large and populous as Iraq?
Mitt says that if elected he will move carriers into the Persian Gulf and "prepare for war." Newt is even more hawkish. America should continue "taking out" Iran's nuclear scientists – i.e., assassinating them – but military action will probably be needed.
Newt is talking up uber-hawk John Bolton for secretary of state.
Rick Santorum has already called for U.S.-Israeli strikes: "Either we're going to stop them ... or take the long term consequences of having a nuclear Iran trying to wipe out the state of Israel."
But if Iran represents, as Bibi Netanyahu is forever reminding us, an "existential threat," why does not Israel itself, with hundreds of nuclear weapons, deal with it?
Bibi's inaction speaks louder than Bibi's words.
He wants the Americans to do it.
For the retired head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, calls attacking Iran "the stupidest thing I have ever heard of." He means stupid for Israel.
The face of the Israeli terror machine may have reared its ugly head again in the world. This time it may have produced yet another massive act of sabotage (Hebrew original) at an IRG missile base west of Teheran. During transfer of explosives at the Modarres (other sources say the base is called Sajad) garrison, which houses Shihab 3 (Israel Defense says the site is also responsible for development of the new Shihab 4) and Zelzal surface-to-surface missiles, an explosion ripped apart the base and killed anywhere from 14 to 40 soldiers depending on the source (UPDATE: the official number released by the IRG now is 17), and wounded an equal number, some severely. Among the dead were a high level IRG officer, Major General Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam (more background here), the director of the IRGC Jihad Self-Sufficiency Organization, which directed base operations. The blast was felt as far away as Teheran, 25 miles distant. Those who experienced the explosion said it felt like an earthquake. Some say there were two explosions.
Ynet raises the possibility that it was a deliberate act of sabotage on not just a missile base, but an intelligence facility. Teheran Bureau says the IRG is telling the Iranian media that the incident was not an act of terror, but purely an industrial accident. An Iranian who worked at the base for several months and was interviewed by Iranian media discounted the likelihood of an act of sabotage since security at the base was extremely strict.
However, an Israeli source with extensive senior political and military experience provides an exclusive report that it was the work of the Mossad in collaboration with the MEK. Israeli media is humming with similar reports and Channel 10′s intelligence correspondent went so far as to say, a bit coyly perhaps:
It is widely known within intelligence circles that the Israelis use the MEK for varied acts of espionage and terror ranging from fraudulent Iranian memos alleging work on nuclear trigger devices to assassinations of nuclear scientists and bombings of sensitive military installations. A similar act of sabotage happened a little more than a year ago at another IRG missile base which killed nearly 20. In the murky world of Israel-Iran relations, where it’s often hard to tell the difference between information, misinformation and disinformation, either explanation may be true. But my source has never been wrong so far in the reports he’s offered.
On November 8, the Foreign Policy Initiative and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies jointly issued a discussion paper that outlines “policy options for the United States and like-minded nations to further assist the anti-regime Syrian opposition.” Entitled “Towards a Post-Assad Syria,” the paper advocates imposing “crippling sanctions” on the Assad government, providing assistance to Syrian opposition groups, and imposing no-fly/no-go zones in Syria.
Founded in 2009, the Foreign Policy Initiative is the successor organisation to the Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative advocacy group that relentlessly pushed for war with Iraq from its inception in 1997. FPI’s board of directors consists of PNAC co-founders, Robert Kagan and William Kristol; Dan Senor, a former intern at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; and Eric Edelman, a Paul Wolfowitz protégé at the Pentagon who, thanks to support from Richard Perle, succeeded the scandal-ridden Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith in 2005. In a 2004 article entitled “Serving Two Flags,” Stephen Green named Wolfowitz, Perle and Feith as “the principals” in a pro-Israel neocon network who had “demonstrated, in their previous government service, a willingness to sacrifice U.S. national security interests for those of another country.”
Established shortly after the 9/11 attacks to advocate for an aggressive “war on terror,” the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has also demonstrated a preeminent concern for Israel’s security interests. Among its more notable funders are Edgar M. Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress from 1979 to 2007; Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, co-founders of Taglit Birthright which offers free trips to Israel for young Jewish adults as an inducement to go on its pro-Israel indoctrination programme; media mogul Haim Saban, who pledged $13 million to the Brookings Institution in 2002 to found the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in order to influence U.S. politics in a pro-Israel direction; Jennifer Mizrahi, director of The Israel Project; and Dalck Feith, father of the aforementioned “security risk” Douglas Feith. “With the disclosure of its donor rolls,” Eli Clifton wrote in a July 19 report, “it becomes increasingly apparent that FDD’s advocacy of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, its hawkish stance against Iran, and its defense of right-wing Israeli policy is consistent with its donors’ interests in ‘pro-Israel’ advocacy.”
While Israel’s longstanding interest in destabilising Syria goes unmentioned, the FPI/FDD discussion paper stresses two of the groups’ well-worn themes: fighting terrorism and protecting human rights. “Long a sponsor of terrorism beyond its borders,” the paper asserts, “the Syrian government is now waging an internal war against its own people.”
Acknowledging that the U.N. Security Council is “unlikely to act anytime soon” due to what they decry as “gridlock” imposed by Russia and China, the FPI and FDD take it upon themselves to propose what options they think the United States has for responding to “the Assad regime’s provocations.” Citing a paper by Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, which suggests the “military options” of an air campaign, a maritime operation to enforce strong sanctions, a no-fly and no-go zone, and even an invasion to carry out regime change, they propose keeping those options “on the table” while exploring some additional “intermediate steps.”
It remains unclear exactly why or how the Gadhafi regime went from “a model” and an “important ally” to the next target for regime change in a period of just a few years. But after claims of “genocide” as the justification for NATO intervention were disputed by experts, several other theories have been floated.
Oil, of course, has been mentioned frequently — Libya is Africa‘s largest oil producer. But one possible reason in particular for Gadhafi’s fall from grace has gained significant traction among analysts and segments of the non-Western media: central banking and the global monetary system.
According to more than a few observers, Gadhafi’s plan to quit selling Libyan oil in U.S. dollars — demanding payment instead in gold-backed “dinars” (a single African currency made from gold) — was the real cause. The regime, sitting on massive amounts of gold, estimated at close to 150 tons, was also pushing other African and Middle Eastern governments to follow suit.
And it literally had the potential to bring down the dollar and the world monetary system by extension, according to analysts. French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly went so far as to call Libya a “threat” to the financial security of the world. The “Insiders” were apparently panicking over Gadhafi’s plan.
"Any move such as that would certainly not be welcomed by the power elite today, who are responsible for controlling the world's central banks,” noted financial analyst Anthony Wile, editor of the free market-oriented Daily Bell, in an interview with RT. “So yes, that would certainly be something that would cause his immediate dismissal and the need for other reasons to be brought forward [for] removing him from power."
Dennis Ross, President Barack Obama's top Middle East aide who has attracted criticism for his allegedly strong pro-Israel sympathies, will leave his post at the end of this month, the White House announced here Thursday.
He will rejoin the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an Israel-centred think tank that was spun off in 1985 from the powerful lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Ross served as WINEP's counselor and a fellow during the George W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2009.
"An institution that believes sound policy lies at the intersection of scholarship with statesmanship is especially proud that Dennis is returning to his intellectual home," said WINEP's executive director Dr. Robert Satloff.
Indeed, the fact that Ross has largely prevailed in setting the basic policy parametres on both the "peace process" and on Iran, at least for through next year's election, makes it unlikely that Obama will make any major policy changes in the interim.
"The administration does not need Dennis Ross anymore," said M.J. Rosenberg, a Mideast expert at Media Matters, who used to work for AIPAC and the more dovish Israel Policy Forum. "It's on automatic pilot, enhanced by direct demands from AIPAC and Netanyahu that will invariably get a positive response. Ross was a middle man and a middle man is no longer necessary."
Only in the last year or so have their been signs of small cracks in the thought collective. Growing numbers of ordinary citizens, to the extent that they think about these things at all, want the U.S. out of the Middle East. They are even starting to question the $3 billion a year that goes to Israel. And, it may be that Islamophobia has peaked as a popular topic of national concern. More and more, this bit of paranoia is being identified with fringe factions of the conservative right.
Unfortunately, these cracks are visible only outside the beltway. Inside the beltway, that is in Washington DC, nothing has really changed. The thought collective is, if anything, stronger than ever. This is because the formulation of policy is strongly influenced by special interests whose power over the politicians and the political parties is financially decisive. It will stay that way until millions of Americans decide change in our foreign policy is important enough to be a voting issue.
Because the thought collective within the government has not changed, foreign policies and actions have not changed. Violent intervention is still the mainstay of policy as can be seen in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan (with perhaps Iran in the wings). Greenwald notes at the end of his piece that while Americans "hear almost nothing" about the victims of U.S. aggression, "the people in that part of the world hear a lot about it and that explains much about the vast discrepancy between the two regions."
IV. The Verdict
And what might that continuing discrepancy mean for the future of the United States? Well, it means the U.S. will almost certainly lose the war in Afghanistan, just as it lost the war in Iraq. You see, in Afghanistan as in Iraq, there are just too many people who really hold a fearsome dislike for the U.S., its government and its soldiers, to make likely successful conquest and pacification. A more general victory in the war of terror is equally unlikely. Here the applicable logic is rather simple. There were a set of conditions that led up to the 9/11 attacks and the attacks themselves created a precedent. America’s contribution to those conditions (our policies and our behavior) have held constant. Whatever damage we have caused al-Qaida can, and probably will, be repaired and other equally dangerous groups are likely to spring up in the foreseeable future.
The idea that nations have some sort of collective "national interest," or even a "manifest destiny," is not realistic in any coherent sense. There is no "national interest," because only individuals have real interests: the "national interest" is a floating abstraction, a ghost. American foreign policy is made by people: specific individuals who act in what they regard as their own interests. These individuals – our rulers – may differ greatly in terms of ideology, and personality, and yet they all have one motive in common, and that is the continuation and extension of their own power.
In analyzing the ebb and flow of America’s relations with the world, libertarian realists take this guiding principle as their starting point – yet it is only the beginning of our analytical efforts. What must follow is an empirical examination of the relevant facts and relationships, and, most of all, a focus on individuals and their interests – the key decision-makers whose beliefs, ambitions, delusions, and idiosyncrasies can set us on a course for good or evil.
What good is all this theory, anyhow? What do we need it for? We need it to understand the world – and to predict the future. Of course, no one has a crystal ball, or any mystical power to unlock the secrets of the future. Yet, given some basic axioms – the main one being that politicians are solely concerned with keeping and expanding their own power – we can establish the parameters of the probable, and – in a necessarily limited sense – chart the course of things to come.
Keeping all this in mind, one can say with some confidence that the political stars are perfectly aligned for war in the Middle East – specifically against Iran. Although no one can know for certain when the first blow will be struck, the coinciding interests of our political elites in both parties, and the strenuous efforts of certain foreign lobbyists and their American fifth column, are rapidly propelling us into a conflict of global dimensions.
The idea that the world economy is being deliberately sabotaged invites the question: by whom? One could easily draw up a long list of individuals, as well as political and corporate entities, who would benefit greatly from such a catastrophe. In my own shorthand, I refer to the "War Party," but in establishing this broad category we are only at the beginning of our task of determining who are the warmongers among us.
Each and everyone of us is hurting. It no longer makes sense to classify ourselves as the working poor, the overtaxed middle-classes, the unemployed, the infirm who live in pain, the elderly who have lost their entire life savings and their pension security, or the young who see for themselves a future of tax servitude and indebtedness to an evil system of corporate greed and global fascism.
We can point to those most visibly culpable in the despair and misery that has engulfed our planet and threatens to return humanity to a New Dark Age of feudalism. We are right to demand that those guilty of perpetrating economic and financial terrorism that has led to the impoverishment, homelessness, hunger and deaths of millions of ordinary Americans, Europeans and others must be brought to justice and, in the most severe of cases where the evidence bespeaks crimes of the utmost wickedness against the dignity of the weak and vulnerable, be served with nothing less than the sentence of death.
The Kings, Princes, Presidents, Bankers, Oligarchs and Controllers of this world scoff at and betray not the slightest fear for those who call God by a million and one different names. So long as that name is not “Jesus Christ”.
They know. Which is why they murdered the true name of God in the hearts of men a long time ago. They began many thousands of years ago by murdering the Anabaptists and then cleverly co-opting the pure message of Christ into a martial religion that underpinned a plethora of Satanic empires. The European Union is the fledgling rebirth of the demonic Roman Empire and both Wall Street and the City of London represent the Whore of Babylon. The Khazar, Ashkenazi fake-Jew State of Israel, founded in strict prohibition of God’s commands and upon the blood of the descendants of Jesus (the Palestinians) is the False Prophet of our time, covertly and overtly guiding the thrust of world affairs.
Without understanding the message of the New Testament and embracing Jesus as the the only leader worthy of trust, all human attempts in obtaining a fair and just dispensation in this world are not only doomed to fail, but will lead to an even greater measure of repression, misery and loss of liberty.
Rabid Zionist Alan Dershowitz is devastated by the success of ‘The Wandering Who’. He just cannot accept that professors and academics endorse the book “as ‘brilliant,’ ‘fascinating,’ ‘absorbing,’ and ‘moving’,” In his latest article he again misses an opportunity to debate the book, its message and its meaning. He prefers instead to indulge in the only things for which he possesses any talent at all - lying and bullying.
But why, I wonder, does Dershowitz insist on reducing a potentially ethical, intellectual and ideological debate to just one more Zionist exercise in mud-slinging? I can think of only two possible answers; First, Dershowitz lacks the necessary intellect to engage in a debate and second, that Zionism and Israel cannot be defended - ethically, morally or intellectually.
But there is also an amusing aspect to Dershowitz’s Zio-centric tantrum. For some strange reason, he believes that it’s down to him, an ultra Zionist, to decide who his kosher enough to lead the Palestinian solidarity discourse. “There is growing concern that some of Israel’s most vocal detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism,” he pontificates without really being able to point at any anti Semitism in mine or anyone else’s work. But is it down to Dershowitz or any other Zionist to define the ‘red lines’ of the solidarity discourse?
Dershowitz tries so hard to ‘prove’ that I am an anti-Semite but fails to even define what anti Semitism is. In the past, anti Semites were people who didn’t like Jews but on Planet Dershowitz, anti-Semites are simply those Dershowitz hates (or fears). He mentions, for instance, the significant role of Austrian philosopher Otto Weininger in shaping my views yet seems unable to suggest exactly what it is in Weininger’s influence that makes me into an ‘anti- Semite’. He points at my contempt for the ‘the Jew in me’ but this leaves me wondering, why am I not permitted to hate myself? Why am I not permitted to loathe ‘the Jew in me’? I’ll try to expand on this. Why is it that when I hate ‘myself’ Dershowitz is so devastatingly and personally offended? Is it possible that my loathing of the ‘Jew in me’ exposes an inherent problem at the core of Jewish identity politics in general? And if this is indeed the case, why can’t we just discuss it openly? What is Dershowitz afraid of?