Today Turkish Weekly ran an investigative piece on the newly appointed chief of police in Osh-Kyrgyzstan. The new police chief Suyun Omurzakov, who used to be a deputy minister of interior, has been known as a highly influential drug lord, a leader of organized criminal groups, and he was the subject of a criminal investigation in the past:
In October 2009, the Kyrgyznews.com published an article pointing to a direct link between the then Osh city deputy chief of police S. Omurzakov and organized criminal groups engaged into drug trafficking, referring to this person as one of the most influential drug lords in the south of Kyrgyzstan.
Another report that investigates the June 2010 events developed by a coalition of Kyrgyz and Uzbek human right defenders “Oshskaya Initsiativa” (Osh Initiative) speaks of Omurzakov as a leader of an organized Kyrgyz criminal group, along with the mayor of Osh Melis Myrzakmatov, and crime bosses Almanbet Manapiyaev and Kadyr Dusanov (“Jengo”), etc., who were directly involved into plotting, leading, financing and participating in anti-Uzbek pogroms and distributing arms and ammunition among Kyrgyz militia. …
Since 2001 Kyrgyzstan has been hosting the Transit Center at Manas (formerly Manas Air Base) as the transit point for US military personnel coming and going from Afghanistan, and pays 200 million for continued use of the facilities. For years the base has been riddled with scandals and fiascos. Last December Boiling Frogs Post EyeOpener Investigative Report took a closer look at “The Manas Question: Drugs, Revolution & Terrorism on the Road to Afghanistan”:
I encourage you to take the time and read the entire investigative report on Kyrgyzstan here. Once you do that you’ll understand why it makes perfect sense to have a drug boss lead Kyrgyzstan’s police force. It takes far more than a few mules to transport tens of billions of dollars worth of poppies-heroin. And it takes more than a third-world shack to house-base the loads as a transit hub. What you need is a major airbase and a massive hub. A la USA.
Tom Ridge wants the U.S. to overturn or subvert the Iranian regime from within. See his op-ed here. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are once again inspecting Iran in a 3-day visit right now, but Ridge wants the U.S. to act "unilaterally and decisively." He wants the U.S. openly to support (and fund? and train? and make promises to?) anti-regime groups. He wants the U.S. to declare that it's out for "regime change" in Iran.
He means it when he uses the word "unilateral", for he speaks of the "impotence" of the U.N. resolutions and the West's sanctions.
Is subversion an act of war? There is no book of international law that answers this question. Some people say yes, some say no. It clearly depends on the nature of the subversive acts, which can range from protests to assassinations and sabotage. But no matter how it is classified, U.S. support of subversion and open declaration of a goal of regime change is or would be hostile. It is open interference and intervention into Iran's political processes by the U.S. government. How would the U.S. react if Iran supported groups inside America who wanted drastic regime change here?
And what does regime change mean? Iran has had numerous elections, not all squeaky clean, but then America's cities, states, and even national elections have never been free from being stolen or paid for either. Iran already has its form of democracy. It already has means of changing its leaders, directions, and policies. So what does regime change mean?
Regime change must mean more than a change of leadership to Tom Ridge. If regime change means changing the political process itself or Iran's form of government, then he is calling for revolution. And revolution is what he's calling for, as his reference to the Arab Spring suggests: "In this era of the Arab Spring it is time to support regime change in Iran, from within". And even if he means steps short of revolution, though it's hard to imagine what they might be, he's still calling for rank interference into another nation's political affairs. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would turn over in their graves if they heard this.
With the drums of war beating ever louder against Iran, the U.S. military has quickly moved to reestablish a war footing in the Persian Gulf. The preparations for a looming military confrontation thus continue apace.
According to the Washington Post (1/27), “The Pentagon is rushing to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East.” As the paper reports, the USS Ponce, a 40-year old amphibious transport dock previously set for decommission, will now be converted into a special ops hub, and then likely sent to the Persian Gulf.
The Pentagon, the Post reports, is seeking to retrofit the USS Ponce on an accelerated timeline. In fact, the military has gone ahead and waived “normal procurement rules because any delay presented a ‘national security risk.’”
At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reports (1/28) the Pentagon has notified Congress that it will divert an additional $82 million to refine the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP). (The MOP is a 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” bomb “specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programs.”)
The decision to seek an upgrade in the MOP reportedly comes after a series of tests revealed that the ordinance remains incapable of destroying certain Iranian nuclear facilities, such as the enrichment site at Fordow, located near the holy city of Qom. (Fordow is buried deep within the mountainside, below 260 feet of rock and soil).
The Journal also reports that, "The decision to ask now for more money to develop the weapon was directly related to efforts by the U.S. military's Central Command to prepare military options against Iran as quickly as possible." And thus much the same as with the retrofitting of the USS Ponce, the Pentagon has decided to sidestep the normal budgetary request process in seeking additional funds for the MOP. As Journal notes, “The Pentagon deems the MOP upgrades to be a matter of some urgency.”
If the sorry parade of European poodles - or what analyst Chris Floyd delightfully dubbed Europuppies - had any understanding of Persian culture, they would have known that blowback for their declaration of economic war in the form of an Iranian oil embargo would be nothing short of heavy metal.
Better yet; death metal. The Majlis (Iranian parliament) will discuss this Sunday, in an open section, whether to cancel right away all oil exports to any European country that approved the embargo - according to Emad Hosseini, the rapporteur of the Majlis Energy Committee. And that comes with the requisite apocalyptic warning, relayed via the Fars news agency, courtesy of member of Parliament Nasser Soudani: "Europe will burn in the fire of Iran's oil wells."
Soudani expresses the views of the whole Tehran establishment when he says that "the structure of their [Europe's] refineries is compatible with Iran's oil", and so Europeans have no alternative as replacement; the embargo "will cause an increase in oil prices, and the Europeans will be compelled to buy oil at higher prices"; that is, Europe "will be compelled to buy Iran's oil indirectly and through intermediaries".
According to the EU sanctions package, all existing contracts will be respected only until July 1 - and no new contracts are allowed. Now imagine if this pre-emptive Iranian legislation is voted within the next few days. Crisis-hit Club Med countries such as Spain and especially Italy and Greece will be dealt a deathblow, having no time to find a possible alternative to Iran's light, high-quality crude.
Asia wants a new international system - and it's working for it. Inevitable long-term consequences; the US dollar - and, crucially, the petrodollar - slowly drifting into irrelevance. "Too Big to Fail" may turn out to be not a categorical imperative, but an epitaph.
U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, Obama's man in Moscow, who just took up his post, has received a rude reception. And understandably so.
In 1992, McFaul was the representative in Russia of the National Democratic Institute, a U.S. government-funded agency whose mission is to promote democracy abroad.
The NDI has been tied to color-coded or Orange revolutions such as those that dethroned regimes in Serbia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Lebanon. The project miscarried in Belarus.
The NDI is one of several agencies, dating to the 1980s, that were set up to subvert communist regimes. With the end of the Cold War, however, these agencies were not decommissioned, but recommissioned to serve as something of an American Comintern.
Where the old Comintern of Lenin sought to instigate communist revolutions across the West and its empires, post-Cold War America decided to promote democratic revolutions to remake the world in the image of late 20th century America.
If America wishes to lead the world, let us do it by example, as we once did, not by hectoring every nation on earth to adopt the American way, which as of now, does not seem to be working all that well for Americans.
Producers of television crime programs and publishers of major newspapers have admitted that they intentionally skew coverage to downplay minority criminal activity, part of a racist, anti-white overreaction to complaints by liberal groups that crime programs portray blacks and Latinos as criminal and out of control.
In a recent column by Ben Shapiro, a political columnist syndicated by Creators Syndicate, John Langley, producer of the television show “Cops,” admitted that he consciously inserts an anti-white bias into his programming:
“I show more white people than statistically what the truth is in terms of street crime,” Langley said. “If you look at the prisons it’s 60-something percent people of color, and 30-something percent of white people. If you look at ‘Cops,’ it’s 60 percent white and 40 percent [blacks and Hispanics] . . . it’s just the reverse. And I do that intentionally.”
Editors at mainstream publications have also conceded that they downplay the race of criminals, because they do not want the public to know that most criminals are black or Hispanic. Tom Kent, a deputy managing editor for the Associated Press, recently stated that the number of blacks who commit crimes “probably would not be germane to the story” in most of the news wire’s press coverage. Gerould Kern, senior vice president and editor of The Chicago Tribune has said, in defense of the same policies, that “we guard against subjecting an entire group of people to suspicion because of the color of their skin,” and that his paper does so by altering the facts of the news when it doesn’t suit their political ends. Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander has said the same, telling readers that “The Post should always be sensitive to overplaying stories, especially if race is involved.”
A national call went out just a week ago for a National Day of Action to resist U.S. war against Iran. Will the Occupy movement be the leading voice saying "No Iran War!" ?
COURAGE TO THINK DIFFERENT
Some people might argue that the problem of preventing the newest U.S. war is not squarely within the area of concern of Occupy. I would argue that, in fact, there is no one better-positioned to take up this resistance than the biggest group of people in the U.S. who have gotten first-hand experience of U.S. government threats and repression.
It is not a coincidence that legislation that aimed at both Iran and at the Occupy movement was signed into law on New Year's Eve. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides sanctions on Iran, and it also has sweeping provisions for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens that amount to "Guantanamo for EVERYONE!" and are clearly aimed at the Occupy movement (among others).
The Occupy movement is not the first group within the U.S. to find itself in the federal government's cross-hairs -- but it's quite clearly the one that's there right now. It takes courage to stand up to that, and that's why every day more and more people are signing on to the call to support OWS and help it resist its suppression.
It also takes courage to talk sense when a large part of the U.S. population has been convinced that another country is full of "bad" people, and is "asking for" a confrontation with the United States. This situation needs mass courage of the kind that few but OWS today possess.
The Republican Party’s fear of the potentially enormous popular appeal of Dr. Paul’s truth-telling in regard to foreign policy is palpable and understandable. Listen to Mr. Bauer’s commercial and you will know what the Republican establishment wants:
– (a) war with Iran, although Iran is no threat to the United States unless we or Israel attack Iran first
–(b) all the U.S. blood and treasure needed to ensure Israel is free to do what it wants to Palestine, although both Israel and Palestine are irrelevant to the economic and national-security interests of the United States except in the negative sense that both entities bleed the U.S. Treasury and keep us mired in their endless religious war
–(c) a popular belief that the U.S. military approves of Washington’s relentless, war-causing, and bankrupting interventionism, even though almost all campaign contributions from U.S. military personnel go to Dr. Paul
–(d) complete popular faith in the fallacy that 9/11 has been fully explained, although the 9/11 Commission’s archive has yet to be released and so Americans do not know how easily Osama bin Laden could have been killed in 1998-1999
– (e) Americans to hold the racist, counter-intuitive, and, indeed, brain-dead-Santorum-ite belief that Muslims are attacking us because of our freedom, gender equality, and liberty, a position the depends not on empirical evidence — there is none — but on the need of U.S. politicians to convince voters that their interventionism does not cause wars, which is as silly a belief as one that holds actions do not prompt reactions
There’s always a Looming Danger, an Ominous Threat lurking somewhere – that’s the War Party’s bread-and-butter. Back in the day, it was the Germans, who were going to cross the Atlantic and meet their Japanese allies somewhere near the Mississippi. Then it was the Commies, who were not only in the process of swallowing Asia but supposedly had their Fifth Column right here in the US, ready willing and able to take the Capitol at a signal from the Kremlin. After that there was some hesitation in deciding just who or what would take the place of the Red Threat, but that was decided on September 11, 2001, when Osama bin Laden’s Global Caliphate emerged as the Bogeyman of the moment. It turned into quite a long moment, as we have seen, one that still lingers to this day, even after bin Laden’s death and the crushing of al-Qaeda: Americans, being sentimentalists, hang on to their villains long after their shelf life has expired.
That’s because these dark eminences are alluring, in their way: the narratives we construct tell us a story we can be proud of, a tale of derring-do in which the American people are made of Heroic Stuff, holding aloft the Torch of Freedom lest it be extinguished by rampaging hordes of Orcs, sacrificing their pelf, their liberty – and, often, their lives – in the name of Saving the World.
The Threat has great value to our rulers: they cling to this narrative because it justifies their power, and their insatiable desire for more. President Barack Obama started out his recent state of the union address by invoking the Threat and holding up the military’s response to it as a shining example:
“These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s armed forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.”
Yes, just imagine if civil society was organized along military lines, with all of us taking orders from our commander-in-chief – what a glorious time it would be!
Well, the Christians are clearly duped already by the Zionists. The Bible bashing has worked and all the pre-programmed holy land crap has worn a big enough groove that they'll swallow anything.
War with Iran is a given, sorry to say. They pulled off 9/11 so anything's possible at this point.
Man, all this interwoven religious bullshit is disturbing. They've programmed this lie into American churches like there's no tomorrow. Now there's an expression. Seriously, to use religion is genius, which should make anyone learn religion is toxic. Period. Spirituality, fine.
Religion is massively oppressive mind control. Beware.
Watch this propaganda piece. This is like "where's Waldo the giant Zionist elephant'?" Of course. Order out of chaos as usual. Get 'em worked up to a frenzy. Hello crusades.
Clever, but whatta crock.
The degree to which this protectionist pro-Zionist false paradigm has succeeded is monumental. If anything is proof that brainwashing works it's Zionism. One look at the horrors these devils have perpetrated on the innocent, defenseless Palestinians should be enough to make anyone wonder if the holocaust really happened to them, since they're doing horrifically worse to those poor people.
Maybe it didn't. And they're not holy people, they're a wicked trojan horse.
Gershom Gorenberg is an exception to the rule—more than one rule. He’s an Orthodox Jewish Israeli of American origin, a group that generally tilts sharply to the right in an Israeli context. But he’s decidedly on the political left, an advocate of not only freezing settlement construction but of initiating evacuations “without waiting for a signature on a peace agreement,” of negotiating a two-state solution based on the Green Line (the armistice lines of 1949, the de facto borders prior to the 1967 war), of the separation of synagogue and state, and of true civic equality between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. More than this, he has a realistic understanding of how the Zionist project must have been perceived by the Arab population of the Levant from the beginning: when he talks about the Palestinian Nakba—“catastrophe,” which is how the Palestinian Arabs refer to the events Israeli Jews call the War of Independence—he doesn’t put the word in scare quotes. But though Gorenberg is a man of the left, he also describes himself as a Zionist, rather than a non-, anti-, or post-Zionist. That is to say, he describes himself as a Jewish nationalist.
The State of Israel is also an exception to the rule—more than one rule. Like Greece and Algeria, India and Vietnam, Kenya and Lithuania, and numerous other states today, it is the fruit of a movement for national liberation, of a struggle, in the words of the Israeli national anthem, to be “a free people in our own land.” Unlike any other movement for national liberation, however, Zionism did not seek an independent state for an already existing nation living in a territory but rather to create a nation and a state out of a people scattered across the globe that had lived nearly two millennia in diaspora from its ancestral home. Like the United States and Canada, Brazil and Argentina, Australia and South Africa, Israel is also a settler state, created by a European population that came not merely to rule but to occupy and to substantially displace the indigenous people. Unlike any other settler state, however, the settlers of Israel understood themselves not to be venturing forth but to be coming home—and though individually any Israeli could make a home in any number of places, as could anyone from anywhere, in aggregate there is no other place on earth that they could call home.
This exceptional man has written a book, The Unmaking of Israel, about that exceptional state and its protracted and deepening crisis. And it is, appropriately enough, an exceptional contribution to the genre.
What is exceptional about the book is the frame within which Gorenberg chooses to tell a mostly familiar story—familiar, anyway, to anyone conversant with the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gorenberg is not the first person to write a book decrying the human consequences of Israel’s settlement enterprise in the West Bank, and indeed, though he does decry them forcefully it is not the purpose of his book either to document them or to persuade anyone who does not already agree that the occupation has had frightful ramifications for the Palestinians. Nor is he the first person to make the “demographic argument” for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—the argument that Israel cannot remain both a democratic state and a Jewish state if it does not retain a substantial and stable Jewish majority, which would not be the case if the West Bank were incorporated into Israel proper. Indeed, this latter point is now part of the Israeli conventional wisdom—every party to the left of Likud formally endorses it, Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nominally accepts it as well, and even the platform of Avigdor Liberman’s far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party depends on the same premise (which is why that platform proposes trading the heavily Arab areas within the Green Line for the Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank as part of a hypothetical agreement). But this is also not the primary thrust of Gorenberg’s book; he takes it for granted that everyone understands the basic arithmetic.
Meanwhile, the antiwar movement is in crisis: civil society organizations are misinformed, manipulated or co-opted. A large segment of “progressive” opinion is supportive of NATO’s R2P “humanitarian” mandate to the extent that these war plans are being carried out with the “rubber stamp” of civil society.
There is an urgent need to rebuild the antiwar movement on entirely new premises.
The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well-organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda – the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged.
Challenging and defeating the US/NATO global war agenda is profoundly predicated on the mass of people in Western countries asserting democratic governance and the genuine “rule of the people”. It will involve the mass of people breaking out of the two-party charade that hitherto passes for “democracy” – not only in the US but also in other Western states – to form new political organizations that truly represent the needs and interests of the majority of people. War-making, as with servile abeyance to corporate and financial elites, is endemic to the dominant political parties. It must be realized that voting for these same parties has become futile as a means to effect democratic change.
One practical way forward is for citizens to empower themselves legally. It should be understood that whatever its justification, war is a “Crime against the Peace” under Nuremberg. George Walker Bush and former British Prime Minister Anthony L. Blair have been condemned by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal for waging a criminal war of aggression against Iraq. They are war criminals and citizens' initiatives that are growing across the world for the arraignment of Bush and Blair are one practical step towards mobilizing a popular challenge to the war system.
This week, the warlords of the West took yet another step toward their long-desired war againt Iran. (Open war, that is; their covert war has been going on for decades -- via subversion, terrorism, and proxies like Saddam Hussein.) On Monday, the European Union obediently followed the dictates of its Washington masters by agreeing to impose an embargo on Iranian oil.
The embargo bans all new oil contracts with Iran, and cuts off all existing deals after July. The embargo is accompanied by a freeze on all European assets of the Iranian central bank. In imposing these draconian measures on a country which is not at war with any nation, which has not invaded or attacked another nation in centuries, and which is developing a nuclear energy program that is not only entirely legal under international law but is also subject to the most stringent international inspection regime ever seen, the EU is "targeting the economic lifeline of the regime," as one of its diplomats put it, with admirable candor.
The embargo will have serious, perhaps disastrous effects on many of Europe's sinking economies, which are heavy users of Iranian oil. This is particularly true in Greece, the poster boy for our modern "Shock Doctrine über alles" global economic system. For even as Greece writhes beneath the blows of European bankers determined to bleed the country dry to avoid the consequences of their own knowingly corrupt loan policies, the Iranians have been giving the Greeks substantial discounts on oil, which has helped ease -- at least in some measure -- the economic ruin being imposed on the "birthplace of democracy."
Now this slender lifeline is being cut, leaving Greece -- and other nations under assault by the plutocrats and their political lackeys -- to seek a replacement for discounted Iranian oil in what will be a seller's market, thanks to the shortages caused by the embargo. The result will be higher prices across the board, leading to more economic ruin for all those beyond the golden penumbra of the One Percent.
And of course, the effects will be even more catastrophic for millions of innocent people in Iran. Already the lives of these innocent people -- including all of the dissidents supposedly so cherished by the West -- are being diminished and degraded by the series of sanctions imposed by the United States and its pack of tail-wagging Europuppies. But who cares about that? After all, it is glaringly obvious that our Euro-American elites are more than happy to see their own rabble go down the shock-doctrine toilet; it is inconceivable that the ruin of a bunch of dirty Mooslim furriners would disturb them for even a nano-second.
Israel should send Mossad agents to assassinate President Barack Obama because of his anti-Israel policies, the owner of a US Jewish newspaper wrote in an article that drew widespread condemnation on Friday.
Andrew Adler, the publisher of The Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote a column that appeared in his newspaper on January 13 in which he argued killing the president might be justified because he posed a threat to the Jewish state.
“Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence,” Adler wrote.
“Think about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles?...How far would you go to save a nation comprised of seven million lives...Jews, Christians and Arabs alike? You have got to believe, like I do, that all options are on the table.”
The story, which appeared in print only, was uploaded to the Internet by Gawker, a gossip news website, on Friday and immediately picked up by media outlets in the US and around the world.
The official line from the United States and the European Union is that Tehran must be punished for continuing its efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. The punishment: sanctions on Iran's oil exports, which are meant to isolate Iran and depress the value of its currency to such a point that the country crumbles.
But that line doesn't make sense, and the sanctions will not achieve their goals. Iran is far from isolated and its friends – like India – will stand by the oil-producing nation until the US either backs down or acknowledges the real matter at hand. That matter is the American dollar and its role as the global reserve currency.
The short version of the story is that a 1970s deal cemented the US dollar as the only currency to buy and sell crude oil, and from that monopoly on the all-important oil trade the US dollar slowly but surely became the reserve currency for global trades in most commodities and goods. Massive demand for US dollars ensued, pushing the dollar's value up, up, and away. In addition, countries stored their excess US dollars savings in US Treasuries, giving the US government a vast pool of credit from which to draw.
We know where that situation led – to a US government suffocating in debt while its citizens face stubbornly high unemployment (due in part to the high value of the dollar); a failed real estate market; record personal-debt burdens; a bloated banking system; and a teetering economy. That is not the picture of a world superpower worthy of the privileges gained from having its currency back global trade. Other countries are starting to see that and are slowly but surely moving away from US dollars in their transactions, starting with oil.
If the US dollar loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences for America are dire. A major portion of the dollar's valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry – if that monopoly fades, so too will the value of the dollar. Such a major transition in global fiat currency relationships will bode well for some currencies and not so well for others, and the outcomes will be challenging to predict. But there is one outcome that we foresee with certainty: Gold will rise. Uncertainty around paper money always bodes well for gold, and these are uncertain days indeed.
The United States reportedly sent a letter to Iran via multiple intermediaries last week warning Tehran that any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz constituted a red line for Washington. The same week, a chemist associated with Iran's nuclear program was killed in Tehran. In Ankara, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with Turkish officials and has been floating hints of flexibility in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.
This week, a routine rotation of U.S. aircraft carriers is taking place in the Middle East, with the potential for three carrier strike groups to be on station in the U.S. Fifth Fleet's area of operations and a fourth carrier strike group based in Japan about a week's transit from the region. Next week, Gen. Michael Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will travel to Israel to meet with senior Israeli officials. And Iran is scheduling another set of war games in the Persian Gulf for February that will focus on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' irregular tactics for closing the Strait of Hormuz.
While tensions are escalating in the Persian Gulf, the financial crisis in Europe has continued, with downgrades in France's credit rating the latest blow. Meanwhile, China continued its struggle to maintain exports in the face of economic weakness among its major customers while inflation continued to increase the cost of Chinese exports.
Fundamental changes in how Europe and China work and their long-term consequences represent the major systemic shifts in the international system. In the more immediate future, however, the U.S.-Iranian dynamic has the most serious potential consequences for the world.
Europe and China are redefining the way the world works. But kingdoms run on oil, as someone once said, and a lot of oil comes through Hormuz. Iran may or may not be able to close the strait, and that reshapes Europe and China. The New Year thus begins where we expected: at the Strait of Hormuz.
Monday's decision by European Union foreign ministers to quickly turn the taps off crude oil imports from Iran will dramatically add to the pressure on Tehran to negotiate over its nuclear program.
The EU agreement will close off Iran's second-biggest market for crude oil, responsible for a fifth of oil exports. Without concessions for cash-strapped Greece or Italy, the decision forces the pace of decision-making in Tehran. Crude oil exports generate 80% of Iran's foreign earnings, without which Iran cannot pay for imports.
The US-sponsored sanctions movement means Tehran's options are constrained. Iran's next biggest oil customer is Japan, which buys 14% of exports, but the country's finance minister has already signaled that Japan wants to take steps to reduce that share. South Korea's deputy foreign minister has also indicated support for the international embargo policy, which puts another 10% of Tehran's crude exports on a declining trajectory.
India, which buys 11% of Iranian exports, might provide relief, but banking sanctions and a semi-convertible rupee mean the country's refineries already struggle to pay for the oil they do import.
That leaves China, Iran's biggest oil customer, in an exceptionally powerful position. With EU markets out of play, and no likely respite from other Asian countries, what China decides to do with its 22% share of crude oil exports will likely make or break Tehran's hopes for economic survival. But following the EU decision, Chinese leaders find themselves in an acutely uncomfortable position: they are now the arbiters of a sanctions policy they have publicly denounced.
I deliberately use words that will trigger computer key word searches by the military and US Intelligence Services. This is one of those posts.
I deal in reality. If you want to hear fantasies about Iran’s nuclear weapons program that does not exist, you will have to go to a news outlet that either takes money from the Federal Reserve or is owned by Zionists and arms manufacturers. There is no evidence that Iran has an active program to make nuclear weapons. The Iranians are at 20% enrichment which is enough to make medical isotopes. They need to get to over 90% to make a bomb.
Yet we have heard nothing but war talk against Iran ever since the invasion of Iraq. We spent a trillion dollars and lots of lives fighting in Iraq over WMDs we knew never existed even before we invaded. We spent over a trillion dollars fighting in Afghanistan because the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden without evidence that he was responsible for 911. The US refused to produce any evidence of Osama’s crimes because there was none. But there is overwhelming evidence that Israel did 911 which I will demonstrate in my next essay.
So if the Iraqi WMDs were a fantasy cooked up by the Israelis to trick Americans into killing millions of Muslims in Iraq and Israel did 911 so there was no reason to kill millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, why is the Jewish owned media talking about attacking Iran which means war with Syria and Hezbollah as well? And what was it with those drone attacks and car bombs the CIA unleashed against Pakistan? I thought Pakistan was one of America’s best friends in the world.
There is growing apprehension that through miscalculation, deliberate provocation or a staged false flag operation, a U.S. war with Iran is imminent.
The dangerous combination of top U.S. officials’ public threats, the Pentagon’s massive military deployment, continued drone flights and industrial sabotage against Iran provides an ominous warning. The corporate media have been more than willing to cheer industrial sabotage, computer viruses and targeted assassinations. War maneuvers with Israel scheduled for mid-January were suddenly postponed Jan. 15 until May or later.
The U.S. Congress overwhelmingly voted to include binding provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, and President Obama signed the legislation Dec. 31 ordering Iran’s economic strangulation. These NDAA provisions demand that every other country in the world joins this economic blockade of Iran or face U.S. sanctions themselves. This itself is an act of war.
Iran has directly charged the CIA for the Jan. 11 assassination of physicist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, which has outraged Iranians. Roshan is the fourth scientist killed in five targeted assassination in two years.
Whether or not a war will actually erupt, it is essential to look at the powerful forces that lay the groundwork for such a conflagration.
There’s no doubt about it: Andrew B. Adler, the editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times, is a fool. His article advocating the assassination of President Obama has by now been broadcast all over the internet, and brought condemnation from every quarter down on his head. His tearful apologies, his denials that he actually meant to call for Obama’s death, and the swiftness with which major Jewish organizations distanced themselves from his crazed call are, perhaps, punishment enough for the poor man: I can’t help feeling sorry for him.
The Atlanta Jewish Times is not exactly the Forward: with a circulation of around 3,000, it is an obscure publication that carries news of the local Jewish community and is seemingly typical of the dozens of similar niche newspapers throughout the country – except, of course, for the views of its editor, which are by no means typical of the Jewish community. That being said, this incident underscores a phenomenon that has been largely overlooked until recently, and that is the extremism of a certain segment of the pro-Israel community. That this element is present in the Jewish community was acknowledged by none other than my old friend Abe Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, in his statement condemning Adler’s piece:
“There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. It doesn’t even belong in fiction. These are irresponsible and extremist words. It is outrageous and beyond the pale. An apology cannot possibly repair the damage.
“Irresponsible rhetoric metastasizes into more dangerous rhetoric. The ideas expressed in Mr. Adler’s column reflect some of the extremist rhetoric that unfortunately exists – even in some segments of our community – that maliciously labels President Obama as an ‘enemy of the Jewish people.’”
Foxman is right: there are indeed extremists among us who could easily be incited to act on Adler’s recommendation – and not all or even most of them are of the Jewish faith. We have millions of Christians in this country who have theological reasons for fanatically supporting the state of Israel, even over and above the interests of their own country – not that they would ever admit the possibility of any “daylight” between the nations. They are, to put it in popular parlance, “Israel-Firsters,” and proudly so.
Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster's English-language outlet, has been forced off the air in the UK after Ofcom revoked its licence for breaching the Communications Act.
Ofcom found that Press TV's practice of running its editorial oversight from Tehran, Iran's capital, is in breach of broadcasting licence rules in the UK.
"Ofcom has decided to revoke the licence held by Press TV Limited with immediate effect," the media regulator said in a statement.
Ofcom wrote a letter to Press TV in November highlighting the issue and offered a choice of two remedies.
The first was to switch editorial control for Press TV's programming to the UK, the second to transfer the broadcasting licence to Iran.
"Broadcasting rules require that a licence is held by the person who is in general control of the TV service: that is, the person that chooses the programmes to be shown in the service and organises the programme schedule," Ofcom said.
The Press TV newsroom director, Hamid Emadi, said the channel had been taken off air in the UK for "for airing a 10-second news clip" of Bahari.
"He claims he has been interviewed under duress. Press TV has strongly rejected that," Emadi added.
"Press TV believes that Ofcom is the media tool of the British government – the same government that sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to participate in the killing of innocent civilians.
Is supporting war more important for evangelicals than their social values? Isn’t Ron Paul a social conservative? He opposes abortion, gay marriage and promiscuous sex, he has never been divorced and certainly supports family values, but he believes in limited government. Two of his brothers are ministers. Why then are evangelical leaders now opting for Santorum, and before him Gingrich? The one big area of disagreement with Ron Paul is war; foreign wars and the domestic one against drugs. For this they oppose him. Santorum supports unending war in Afghanistan, backing Israel without limit and a new war against Iran.
Earlier there was a major far leftist candidate who supported all the issues that evangelicals oppose, and was a vocal proponent for expanding Israeli settlements on the West Bank and promoting the war on Iraq. He was overjoyed when open homosexuality became allowed in the military, he supports abortion, gay marriage and the leftist agenda for big, intrusive government; power to labor unions as well as expanded, unconstitutional police powers within the U.S. Evangelicals adore him and went all out to support him 2006, when he lost his primary race and ran as an independent for the Senate. He is Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
All this shows how evangelical leaders put support for wars ahead of their social values. Their support includes every new law giving Washington ever greater police powers over American citizens, such as the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act and the recent National Defense Authorization Act which tear asunder much of the Bill of Rights. Most also supported torture of prisoners of war (with the notable exception of Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship). All this comes with their “social values.” They loved George Bush. They were major supporters of the two wars against Iraq and the occupation of Afghanistan. Fear and ignorance of the outside world joins together with a belief that God uniquely favors America. Mostly poorer Southerners they also have strong affinity for the American military and its industrial complex. In addition, author Chris Hedges has written about how they are joined by many Northern blue collar families hurting from new technology, globalization, and poor schools in seeing government as out to undermine their communities and social values. Their solace is to hope for Armageddon. I know many of their leaders from the Reagan era when they joined in supporting his anti-communism, indeed in making his electoral victories possible. While the older ones consider my views against empire and for peace in the Middle East anathema, I find many younger ones much more receptive. Pollster John Zogby also notes that there is a strong divide on issues between evangelicals over 40 and younger ones. Christian economist Gary North wrote some years ago that they numbered about 20 million. He told me also that younger evangelicals were not so enthused with end of the world dreams as their elders. If you think this view excessive see this video of Tom Delay hoping for the end times and others saying that the Anti-Christ is a leader who seeks peace in the Middle East.
The image of four U.S. marines urinating on the corpses of Afghan fighters is a fitting symbol of American intervention in Central Asia and the Middle East. That picture will live forever in the memories of people in the region, along with the pictures from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.
Most Americans aren’t much interested in making fine distinctions in foreign affairs. As Republican presidential contender Ron Paul points out, the Taliban (U.S. allies against the Soviets) never wished the American people harm. What they oppose is a foreign presence in their country, Russian or American, and they have no desire to attack anyone who stays home and minds his own business.
Other than Paul, the Republican candidates see the desecration of dead foreigners as an issue with which to score points on President Obama. The candidates and their supporters sympathize with the marines. After all, they say, the Taliban kill Americans. They are the enemy. They all should be killed.
This may be fodder for demagogues, but it’s plain nonsense. The Taliban are the home team. The American forces are the visitors — invaders and occupiers, to be precise. As Ron Paul likes to ask, how would Americans feel if there were an occupying army in the United States propping up a corrupt government? Would they turn militant? Would they mount an insurgency? I think we can predict they would.
Therefore, American belligerence toward Afghans who resent the presence of foreign occupiers is unjustified. That resentment is not anti-American, because behind it lies no wish to harm our society. When will the American people learn that?
In an interview with CNSNews.com about his new book—“Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America”—Mark R. Levin said he believes America has already largely become “a post-constitutional country.”
The book, released Monday, compares the Utopian and unworkable schemes laid out by political philosophers from Plato to Thomas Hobbes with the vision of natural law, God-given rights, and individual liberty that inspired the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
“Utopianism is not new,” Levin writes in “Ameritopia.” “It has been repackaged countless times—since Plato and before. It is as old as tyranny itself. In democracies, its practitioners legislate without end. In America, law is piled upon law in contravention and contradiction of the governing law—the Constitution.”
Levin’s verdict: Barack Obama and modern American liberals are firmly in the Utopian camp—pursuing a vision fundamentally at odds with limited government and human freedom.
“I believe to a great extent we now live in a post-constitutional country, where much of the Constitution is ignored or evaded,” Levin told CNSNews.com.
“What I want the readers to understand, what I want the public to understand is, this is not new and it’s going to destroy us,” said Levin. “It’s going to destroy us because it is an attack on the individual. It is an attack on the nature of human beings.”
The year 2012 may become known as a watershed for humanity – the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons. The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running stand-off between the United States and Iran.
On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington’s Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf – all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked.
As we have consistently analysed on Global Research, the conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington’s bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab World in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO’s conquest of and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria – a key regional ally of Iran. As Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out “the road to Tehran goes through to Damascus”. Regime change in Syria would serve to isolate Iran. Subjugating Iran and returning it to Western tutelage is the prize that Washington and its allies have been seeking for the past 33 years ever since their client the Shah, Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi, was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Iran is an energy-rich colossus, with oil and, more importantly, natural gas reserves that put it, with approximately 10% of global reserves, in the world’s top three oil economies alongside Washington’s client states of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In sharp contrast, the US has less than 2% of global oil reserves.
The conquest of Iran's oil riches is the driving force behind America's military agenda.
1. Copyright enforcement against websites, foreign & domestic
The bulk of SOPA is a set of public and private mechanisms intended to give US copyright holders tools to combat offshore infringers. The attorney general's office, when armed with a court order (the granting of which doesn't appear to have a standard beyond the act's definitions - the court "may" grant an order when requested (Id., at § 102(c)), and will be able to demand the elimination of access and funding to infringing sites on behalf of copyright holders. When acting alone, copyright holders can use these mechanisms to cut off funding.
2. "Notorious foreign infringers" and US investors ((HR 3261, 112th Cong. § 107 (2011))
The US IP Enforcement Coordinator, along with various agency heads, will identify "notorious foreign infringers" who are causing "significant harm to holders of IP rights in the US", soliciting suggestions from the public and rights holders (Id. at § 107(a)(1)).
While most of SOPA's IP treatment revolves around the third-party-based enforcement mechanisms outlined above, the act also does refine a number of existing IP laws. Most notable among the many changes, SOPA calls for the criminalisation of public performance copyright infringement (HR 3261 at § 201).
4. Protecting IP rights abroad
In what would potentially be a significant increase in the United States diplomatic corps and its activities, SOPA requires the secretaries of state and of commerce to ensure diplomatic missions or embassies have "adequate resources" to pursue "aggressive support of enforcement action against violations of intellectual property" (HR 3261 at § 205). It would further require the diplomatic corps to make best efforts to see that foreign countries honour existing intellectual property treaties (Id. at § 205(a)(2)).
The US is drawing a bead on the Celestial Empire, which is now implementing functions as a global workshop for foreign companies, including US companies. Instead of active participation in European affairs and re-division of the Middle East (it seems that the US gave this task to Saudi Arabia, which came up with an unexpected initiative to achieve it) Washington chose the creation of tools to hold back the world’s second largest economy. (Provided that the GDP factor is not taken into account.)
In his article for European Energy Review journal, Michael Klare, a professor at Hampshire College and the author of the book with the telling name of “Blood and Oil”, gives the following interpretation of Obama’s Canberra Manifesto: “While administration officials insist that this new policy is not aimed specifically at China, the implication is clear enough: from now on, the primary focus of American military strategy will not be counterterrorism, but the containment of that economically booming land - at whatever risk or cost”.
It seems that Washington decided to take steps in advance to ensure competitive advantages for itself for the time when a strategic military component inevitably emerges in its relations with China. Politicians and the military in the US are getting more and more obsessed with the idea of gaining a footing in the Asia-Pacific region in order to get control over “sea lanes” through which oil and liquefied gas are shipped to China.
Can it be that Washington is concerned about the threat of pirates - those mysterious Somali pirates who emerged from God knows where? Does Washington want to protect Chinese sea-borne oil supplies in order for the Chinese people to use energy recources for manufacturing of motherboards, sport shoes and toys for children?
Or maybe America hopes to ensure the security of trade operations in the name of the rapidly growing Chinese GDP by patrolling the sea lanes through which China receives raw materials and energy carriers? Not at all! “My guidance is clear,” Obama declared in Canberra. “As we plan and budget for the future, we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region.” In her turn, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton, in an interview with the Foreign Policy magazine, spoke almost in the style of confessional prose that now economically weakened America is not capable of being a dominating power in several regions of the world at the same time.
ALL OF CHRISTENDOM and the Western World is now in the hands of a trans-national American Jewry.
At the close of WWII, American Jewry succeeded in not only in subjugating Germany to itself but brought Great Britain and the entire European continent under its thrall.
Now, with the Nato US/Jewish proxy war machine takeover of Libya with the rest of Africa soon to fall under Judaic command which controls all the checkpoints of worldwide commerce - natural resources - emerging markets - gold price-fixing - and trade — it is safe to say that American Jewry is indeed a “global regime.”
Once Napoleon opened the doors to Jewish influence by granting civil rights to the Jews in the early 19th Century — with the rest of Europe following suit — the die was cast for Jewry to stamp its monolithic mark upon every aspect of the infrastructure of the Western World.
Expanded is Mayer Rothschild’s boast: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws,” to encompass the entire globe.
That “control” is centered in Washington and New York via the Jewish-owned Federal Reserve Bank and its attendant Jewish investment banks.
But its network connects to and from London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Shanghai via the Rothschild dynasty. American Jewry with its strangle hold on US political and financial life is indeed a Global regime. View Entire Story Here, Here & Here.
At TOO we often use the phrase “hostile elite” to describe our new, predominantly Jewish elite that has become ensconced in all the media high ground in America. Examples are legion, but it is hard to imagine a more blatant recent example of fear and loathing of White America than Lee Siegel’s “What’s race got to do with it?” (Well, maybe Rabbi Hammerman’s outburst against Tim Tebow comes close.) Published in the most mainstream of the mainstream media, the New York Times, Siegel is horrified by Romney’s Whiteness:
The simple, impolitely stated fact is that Mitt Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent memory. Of course, I’m not talking about a strict count of melanin density. I’m referring to the countless subtle and not-so-subtle ways he telegraphs to a certain type of voter that he is the cultural alternative to America’s first black president. It is a whiteness grounded in a retro vision of the country, one of white picket fences and stay-at-home moms and fathers unashamed of working hard for corporate America.
Mitt Romney the candidate of implicit Whiteness.
Romney reminds Siegel of the bad old 1950s when White people like Romney ran the country and supported Joe McCarthy, worked hard and had lots of babies. The new elite hates the old America with a passion. Here’s the photo accompanying Siegel’s piece:
Way too many White people. Good looking, healthy, rich White people. It’s enough to make a Jewish writer think pogroms and expulsions. Siegel longs for the day when the power of Whites is way less than it is now–when Whites don’t have the clout to matter much in presidential elections.
White America is retro. Obama is the personification of the new America. And the only trait that matters is that he is non-White.
On the other hand, retro America is racist to the core, and Romney’s Mormons are a “bastion of pre-civil-rights-America whiteness.”
His hands on his ample hips, Newt Gingrich looked like Mussolini up there on the stage at the GOP presidential debate as he bellowed “everybody knows” the Pakistanis were hiding Osama bin Laden in plain sight, “a mile from a Pakistani military academy.” Ron Paul, who knows more about monetary policy than the intricacies of the US-Pakistani relationship, stood there looking appalled as Gingrich let loose with his war cry: “Kill them!” The yahoos went wild with joy. The Newtster was reacting to Paul’s point about respecting Pakistani sovereignty – and the dangers of allowing such cross-border raids to become routine. After all, that could work both ways, as Paul tried – in vain – to point out.
The reality, though, is that the Pakistanis in all likelihood did know about the raid well in advance, and it is just as likely they had a hand in the entire operation from the start. As the Guardian reported at the time:
“The US and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week’s raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader, the Guardian has learned.
“The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George Bush after Bin Laden escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, according to serving and retired Pakistani and US officials.
“Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaeda No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.
“‘There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him,’ said a former senior US official with knowledge of counterterrorism operations. ‘The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn’t stop us.’”
The title of this piece will likely seem extremist and very counterintuitive. Perhaps a better title would be “The American Federal Government, Question it and Keep it’s Authority in Check or it Will Become More Tyrannical and You Might as Well be Living in Some Authoritarian Collectivist European Regime of the Past.” Hmm, that’s a little wordy. It’s almost as long as one of my longer sentences.
As you may have figured out, I derived the above title from the old saying “America, love it or leave it.” That saying has always struck a raw cord with me. It is perhaps one of the most un-American thing one could say, in my opinion. You might as well say “If you don’t agree with what the federal government of this country is doing you should just bite your tongue and go along to get along no matter how tyrannical the government acts.” This attitude is the same type of attitude that helped create the darkest aspects of the communist regime in the USSR, the fascist regime in pre-WWII Germany and the socialist regime of East Germany. I would bet that it’s an attitude prevalent in modern China.
It is very difficult for government authorities, A.K.A. federal law enforcement, to do their jobs without the help of the citizenry when their jobs become corrupt and they seek to squelch political dissension. Even with all of today’s modern equipment it is very difficult to spy on all the populace without the help of jackboot kissing individuals. It takes an army of nosy busybodies to report on their neighbors. It takes a lot of fear and propaganda to create such an army. This is not the way of freedom loving people.
Furthermore, individuals who are truly worried about their personal freedoms ought to worry about the personal freedoms of others. Allow others to make their own decisions as you would want to make yours. So long as you are not treading upon the rights of others you should be allowed to do as you please, and so should they. This is as American a concept as you can get. Yes, it is okay to offer advice and discuss methods which have worked for you, yes you should be able to offer your opinion even if not asked for it, but forcing someone to do something against his will simply because you feel it’s the right way to do things is wrong. You would not like to be treated in such a way, so why would you treat someone in such a way?
EARLY in Tehran's grey wintry morning last Wednesday, Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young scientist in Iran's controversial nuclear program, got dressed at his home in the northern suburbs. The events of this last hour of his life could have come out of a spy film.
Small groups of Israeli agents were watching key points in the Iranian capital. Their target was Roshan. They would be dead themselves if they were caught.
For Israel it was a classic assassination mission. "What is seen in espionage films as a simple operation is a result of hard work, many months of intelligence gathering and a well trained team," said a source who released details, impossible to verify, to The Sunday Times.
"There is zero tolerance for mistakes. By nature, every failure not only risks the neck of the agents but also risks turning into an international scandal."
Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has used assassination as a national weapon, striking targets abroad ranging from Palestinians who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, to enemies on the streets of Amman and a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room in 2010.
...Now Iran is the target. In the past two years assassins have attacked five scientists in the state nuclear program, killing four of them. Mossad, the Israeli external intelligence agency, is widely believed to be responsible.
Amid significant pressure from tens of thousands of internet users and major web behemoths like Google, Facebook, and Reddit, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is, in its current form, Dead on Arrival:
Misguided efforts to combat online privacy have been threatening to stifle innovation, suppress free speech, and even, in some cases, undermine national security. As of yesterday, though, there’s a lot less to worry about.
The first sign that the bills’ prospects were dwindling came Friday, when SOPA sponsors agreed to drop a key provision that would have required service providers to block access to international sites accused of piracy.
The legislation ran into an even more significant problem yesterday when the White House announced its opposition to the bills. Though the administration’s chief technology officials officials acknowledged the problem of online privacy, the White House statement presented a fairly detailed critique of the measures and concluded, “We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” It added that any proposed legislation “must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet.”
Though the administration did issue a formal veto threat, the White House’s opposition signaled the end of these bills, at least in their current form.
A few hours later, Congress shelved SOPA, putting off action on the bill indefinitely.
The longer and complete form of the first question in the headline is – When is a terrorist not a terrorist in the eyes of the Obama administration (not to mention all of its predecessors) and the governments of the Western world?
Answer: When he or she is an Israeli Mossad agent or asset.
In the case of the assassination of Iranian scientists, the Mossad’s assets are almost certainly members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) also known as The Peoples’ Mujahedin of Iran, which is committed to overthrowing the regime of the ruling mullahs. Many of its activists are based in Iraqi Kurdistan where Mossad has a substantial presence. It does the training there, selects the targets in Iran and provides the bombs and other weapons, and MKO members do the actual killing.
It’s reasonable to presume that Mossad is more comfortable operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan with Iranian MKO assets than it was when its own agents were posing as CIA officers to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization, to carry out assassinations and attacks on installations and facilities in Iran.
Some of the essence of that Israeli false flag operation has been revealed by Mark Perry in an article for Foreign Policy. His report is based on information he acquired about memos buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services which were written in the last years of President George “Dubya” Bush’s administration, plus conversations he had with two currently serving U.S. intelligence officials and four retired intelligence officers who worked for the CIA or monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.
Will Israel succeed in dragging us into war with Iran?
If not, it won’t be for lack of trying. Their influential lobby in the US has been agitating for a US strike since the last year of the Bush presidency, when they almost succeeded in pulling it off: fortunately for us, Bush demurred, perhaps because he didn’t want his legacy to be two unwinnable and disastrous wars instead of just one.
The Americans don’t dare come out in public and take Tel Aviv to task: the powerful Israel lobby would have the President’s scalp, and Congress – aptly characterized as “Israeli-occupied territory” by the politically incorrect Pat Buchanan – would probably pass a resolution condemning their own President if Obama dared step out of line. And then there is all that campaign money the Democrats hope to scarf up this worrisome election season: taking the Israelis out to the wood shed would enrage the big money-bags who make unconditional support for Israel the price of their support.
Why should the Israelis care that their actions put US personnel in jeopardy, inviting attacks in kind from Tehran? Iranian attacks on US military personnel stationed in Iraq could easily inflict thousands of casualties, and this is especially true now that the US footprint is considerably reduced – but that would be the Americans’ problem. The Israelis, for their part, had the perfect “false flag” operation going: neither the Iranians nor top Jundallah cadre knew where the support was really coming from.
Isn’t it time we gave our “special relationship” with Israel a second look? As Israeli agents covertly seek to incite the peoples of the Middle East – including the Iranians – against us, one has to wonder, like those intelligence analysts cited above: just whose side are these guys on, anyway?
You may recall that Secretary Hank Paulson warned in 2008 that the system was on the brink (and later wrote a book with the same title).
The situation was apparently so serious that Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), in a speech on the House floor, said that if the bailout legislation wasn’t passed, there would be martial law in America as a consequence of the resulting collapse of financial markets and the economy.
This was the warning in 2008 from the head of our Treasury Department!
Nearly four years on, we’re hearing the same warnings, and governments in Europe and the United States are actively preparing for such a possibility.
In testimony before Congress late last year, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that a “disorderly default” in Europe would be a recovery ending event that may include runs on the banks and a “very, very bad outcome” for the U.S. economy.
As we approach yet another debt ceiling in the U.S. and require an additional $1 trillion just to keep the system afloat, we urge our readers to consider the distinct possibility that we remain on the brink, and are closer than ever before to a total breakdown in the financial, economic and social stability of the world.
A meltdown in Europe will not be isolated to just that continent. The contagion will spread to the United States, and the default of Greece and other sovereigns will be anything but orderly.
The world’s press is choc-a-bloc with “if” questions about Iran and war. Will Israel attack? Is Obama, coerced by domestic politics in an election year, being dragged into war by the Israel lobby? Will he lunch the bombers? Is the strategy to force Iran into a corner, methodically demolishing its economy by embargoes and sanctions so that in the end a desperate Iran strikes back.
As with sanctions and covert military onslaughts on Iraq in the run up to 2003, the first point to underline is that the US is waging war on Iran. But well aware of the US public’s aversion to yet another war in the Middle East, the onslaught is an undeclared one.
To further inflame the leadership in Iran we had last week the murder of Iran nuclear scientist Ahmadi Roshan which came on the one-year anniversary of the murder of two other Iranian nuclear scientists by similar methods. As CounterPuncher Peter Lee writes, “It came at a time of heightened tensions (anyway, tensions higher than the usual heightened tensions), inviting the inference that somebody, probably somebody in the region, wants to goad the Iranian government into a response that could start the military action ball rolling.”
As for the embargoes of Iranian oil, Obama is most certainly doing the oil industry a big favor. There have been industry-wide fears of recession-fueled falling demand and collapse of oil prices. That has led to industry-wide enthusiasm (aided by heavy pressure from the majors) for strongly cutting total world oil production (and enjoying the bonuses flowing from the subsequent world price rise), with all the cuts to be taken out of the hide of the Iranians. The Financial Times made clear the need to shrink world production in the following key paragraph in a report last week: “Oil prices have risen above $110 a barrel since Iran threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil chokepoint, accounting for about a third of all seaborne traded oil. Oil fell to a low of $99 in October amid global economic growth worries.”
The participation of Russia and China on the side of Iran is already de facto in view of prevailing military cooperation agreements. the transfer of weapons systems and technology to Iran, as well as the presence of Russian military advisers, training personnel, in both Iran and Syria. Moreover, Iran has Observer status in the SCO
Russia and China are fully aware that a war on Iran is a stepping stone towards a broader war. Both countries are targeted by the US and NATO. Russia is threatened on its border with the European Union, with US-NATO AMD targetted at major Russian cities. With the exception of its Northern frontier, China is surrounded by US military bases, from the Korean peninsula to the South China Sea.
Both China and Russia are perceived by Washington as a "Global Threat". China has been the target of veiled threats by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The recent National Defense Review announced by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, envisages an expanded defense budget, with a view to containing Russia and China.
In recent development, Russia newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin has warned Washington and Brussels that "Should anything happen to Iran, should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security,”
Washington's objective is to establish global military dominance. While the "war on terrorism" and the containment of "rogue states" still constitute the official justification and driving force, China and Russia have been tagged in US military and National Security documents as potential enemies:
“No Aid to Israel?” wonders a recent Facebook ad sponsored by US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. “Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich say they would start foreign aid to Israel at zero. Reject their extreme plan now!” the ad implores, directing people to sign a petition to that effect on my.barackobama.com (“Stand against “zeroing out aid to Israel””). After signing the petition, the caption underneath a beaming photo of the president declares that “Any plan to cut foreign aid to zero across the board is dangerous and ignorant. It’s up to us to get the word out about it. Donate now to help us spread the facts about the Romney-Perry-Gingrich plan to wipe out foreign aid to allies like Israel.”
As Salon writer Justin Elliott correctly notes, “the Obama ads are incredibly dishonest. First of all, the Republican candidates were talking about setting foreign aid at zero each year as a starting point in discussions about how much to give, not setting it at zero as a matter of policy” (“Obama’s dishonest Israel ads, Salon, 12 December 2011).
However, the Obama campaign is far from unique in employing a breathtakingly simplistic strategy of artifice and vituperation (both against opposing candidates and against Palestinians) to bolster their pro-Israel street cred in a transparent ploy to attract campaign donations and votes. US support for Israel, once a carefully nurtured bipartisan consensus, is fast degenerating in the context of the 2012 presidential election into a mud-slinging partisan contest as to which party, in the words of Mitt Romney, who leveled the accusation against Obama, is more guilty of having “thrown Israel under the bus” (“Mitt Romney accuses Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus”,” CBS News, 19 May 2011).
Last month’s presidential forum organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) managed to ratchet up the rhetoric another notch. Invoking the ghost of Neville Chamberlain, Michele Bachmann accused Obama of having “confused engagement with appeasement.” Romney blamed Obama for “immeasurably set[ting] back the prospect of peace in the Middle East.” Rick Perry asserted the administration has unleashed a “torrent of hostility towards Israel.”
Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich took to the airwaves the next day to dub Palestinians an “invented people.” Unnoticed until recently, Rick Santorum topped all other comers when he stated in November that “all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians” (“Pro-settler Santorum claims Mexico and the West Bank,” Salon, 6 January 2012).
When it came to rolling out a new 10-year plan for the future of the U.S. military, the leaks to the media began early and the message was clear. One man is in charge of your future safety and security. His name is Barack Obama. And — not to worry — he has things in hand.
Unlike the typical president, so the reports went, he held six (count ‘em: six!) meetings with top Pentagon officials, the Joint Chiefs, the service heads, and his military commanders to plan out the next decade of American war making. And he was no civilian bystander at those meetings either. On a planet where no other power has more than two aircraft carriers in service, he personally nixed a Pentagon suggestion that the country’s aircraft carrier battle groups be reduced from 11 to 10, lest China think our power-projection capabilities were weakening in Asia.
His secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, spared no words when it came to the president’s role, praising his "vision and guidance and leadership" (as would Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin E. Dempsey). Panetta described Obama’s involvement thusly: "[T]his has been an unprecedented process, to have the president of the United States participate in discussions involving the development of a defense strategy, and to spend time with our service chiefs and spend time with our combatant commanders to get their views."
In other words, Obama taking ownership of the rollout of "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense," a 16-page document summarizing a review of America’s strategic interests, defense priorities, and military spending. Its public unveiling was to reflect the steady hand of a commander-in-chief destined to be in charge of American security for years to come.
The president even made a "rare visit" to the Pentagon. There, he was hailed as the first occupant of the Oval Office ever to make comments, no less present a new "more realistic" strategic guidance document, from its press office. All of this, in turn, was billed as introducing "major change" into the country’s military stance, leading to (shades of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) a "leaner, meaner" force, slimmed down and recalibrated for economic tough times and a global "moment of transition."
The Mossad has managed to infiltrate the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq in order to spy on Iran's nuclear program, French daily Le Figaro reported Tuesday.
According to an unnamed security source in Baghdad, Israel has hired Iranian Kurdish refugees in the autonomous region to gather information about Iran's nuclear program, and to target nuclear experts in the Islamic Republic.
Iran's judiciary said on Monday a death sentence had been passed for an Iranian-US citizen on charges of spying for the United States, the students news agency ISNA reported.
"A death sentence has been issued for Amir Mirza Hekmati for cooperating with the hostile government of America and spying for the CIA," ISNA quoted spokesman for the judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei as saying.
"The court found him (Hekmati) Corrupt on Earth and Mohareb (waging war on God)," semi-official FARS news agency said.
Hekmati, a 28-year-old of Iranian descent, was arrested in December and Iran's Intelligence Ministry accused him of receiving training at US bases in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq.
Iran's judiciary said Hekmati admitted to having links with the CIA but said he had no intention of harming Iran.
This week, a secret meeting is being held in Washington between the head of Mexico’s Public Safety Office (the equivalent of DHS in the U.S.), the U.S. Attorney General, the DEA, and the FBI, DeadlineLive.info has learned.
The head of the Mexican Public Safety Department, Genaro García Luna will brief U.S. Officials on progresses and challenges in the Mexican drug war, as well as the option for the legalization of marijuana.
Mexican Public Safety Secretary Genaro García Luna has written a new book called “Understanding Mexico’s new security model.” In the book, García Luna states that from a public safety perspective, it is important to include the issue of legalizing marijuana in the fight against the drug cartels.
García Luna believes that it’s worth exploring the legalization issue, especially since many states in the U.S. are currently debating the legalization of marijuana for medical use.
Many Mexican officials like García Luna believe that if the larger states in the U.S., like California, marijuana is legalized, then there will be a huge market for the drug cartels when targeting that geographical area, resulting in violent acts as they fight for the territory. Therefore, it would be better to either legalize it or de-criminalize it across the board.
I wouldn’t want to be Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, the 28-year-old former US Marine just recently sentenced to death by a court in Iran after being convicted of being an American spy.
Hekmati, who was born in Arizona to Iranian exile parents, and who grew up in Michigan, is being defended by President Obama, whose White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, declared, “Allegations that Mr. Hekmati either worked for, or was sent to Iran by the CIA are false.” The White House, not content with that denial, went on to trash the Iranian government and legal system, with Vietor adding, “The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions, and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons.”
This spirited high-level defense of Hekmati, who was arrested in late August shortly after he entered Iran, would carry a bit more weight though, if President Obama himself hadn’t lyingly made the same statement in person at a press conference last spring, in reference to Raymond Davis, the man Pakistani police arrested after he had slaughtered two young men (later identified as Pakistani intelligence personnel) on a crowded Lahore street in broad daylight. Despite weeks of insistence by the White House and the State Department that Davis was, variously, a consular or embassy employee in Pakistan, and threats to cut off US aid to the country if he were prosecuted, the US was eventually forced to admit that Obama had lied, and that he was in truth a contract worker for the CIA. (An investigative report by this author, funded by Counterpunch magazine and run shortly after the shooting incident, first outed Davis as a US intelligence operative.)
Davis, who was suspected by Pakistani prosecutors of actually being involved in a campaign of terror bombings in Pakistan, also faced a possible death penalty for murder and espionage, but was ultimately released and deported from Pakistan after pleading guilty to the shootings and paying (with funds provided behind the scenes by the US) blood money to the families of his victims, in a back-room deal worked out with the Pakistani government.
Vietor’s second assertion in the Hekmati case, that the Iranian regime routinely makes false accusations of spying against people, is laughable, coming as it does from a US government that tortures captives, that has been bringing false terrorism cases against people at a prodigious rate, and that is currently holding, in Guantanamo, at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and in US prisons, literally hundreds of people who have been falsely accused of being spies and terrorists.
It is no accident that Michael Gerson, a major schill of the Establishment Corporate Media’s (ECM) chorus for a Zionist-inspired war with Iran, has stepped forward in the Washington Post to broadside Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, and to concurrently publish a breathtaking synthesis of ignorance and duplicity regarding the American War Between the States in the 19th century. Gerson is joined in his transparent machinations for the Israeli Lobby against the Presidential campaign of the Texas Republican Congressman by fellow agents Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash of CNN, who pulled the plug on U. S. Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen during an on-air interview with the Corporal on the night of the January 3rd Iowa Caucus. It seems the young man’s comments on why the United States didn’t need to be a surrogate military force in the Middle East for the Jewish State were too much on target to be placed before the American people for honest examination and consideration. George Orwell lives. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), which has ruthlessly exposed the backgrounds of Blitzer and Bash, has the video of the latest version of the Hasbara Project online. Check out the following synopsis from WRMEA:
Blitzer is a former employee of AIPAC, Israel’s behemoth Washington, DC lobby (see former Sen. James Abourezk’s “Wolf Blitzer, AIPAC, and the Saudi Peace Initiative” in the July 2007 Washington Report, p. 16, also posted on our Web site). The CNN anchor also is the author of Territory of Lies: The Exclusive Story of Jonathan Jay Pollard: The American Who Spied on His Country for Israel and How He Was Betrayed (the title seeming to imply that it was Pollard, rather than his native country, who was betrayed).
Senior congressional correspondent Bash joined CNN as Dana Schwartz, her maiden name. Her father, Stu Schwartz, is a senior broadcast producer at ABC News and her mother, Frances Weinman Schwartz, is, according to Wikipedia, “an educator in Jewish studies and author of the book, Passage to Pesach, and co-author with Rabbi Eugene Borowitz of two books, Jewish Moral Virtues and A Touch of the Sacred.” In 1998 the CNN correspondent married her first husband, Jeremy Bash, chief of staff to Leon Panetta in his capacities as both defense secretary and former CIA chief. The son of the chief rabbi of the Arlington Fairfax (VA) Jewish Congregation, Bash was chief minority council to the House Intelligence Committee when the pro-Israel Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) was its top Democrat prior to the 2006 elections. The Bashes divorced in 2007. The following year Dana Bash married fellow CNN congressional correspondent John King, who converted to Judaism prior to their marriage.
But we are not to worry. There was no conspiracy to silence Corporal Thorsen on international television on January 3rd. And there is nothing to the allegation that Jews disproportionately control major American and world media outlets. . . .
Under a 1975 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the USA guaranteed all Israel's oil needs in the event of a crisis. This Memorandum of Understanding is quietly renewed every five years. It commits U.S. taxpayers to maintain a strategic U.S. reserve for Israel, equivalent to $3 billion in 2002 dollars. Special legislation was enacted to exempt Israel from restrictions on oil exports from the USA. Moreover, the U.S. government agreed to divert oil from the USA, even if this causes domestic shortages. The U.S. government also guaranteed delivery of oil in U.S. tankers if commercial shippers become unable or unwilling to carry oil from the USA to Israel.
Memorandum of Agreement between the Governments of the United States of America and Israel - Oil, March 26, 1979
The oil supply arrangement of September 1, 1975, between the Governments of the United States and Israel, annexed hereto, remains in effect. A memorandum of agreement shall be agreed upon and concluded to provide an oil supply arrangement for a total of 15 years, including the 5 years provided in the September 1, 1975 arrangement.
Israel will make its own independent arrangements for oil supply to meet its requirements through normal procedures. In the event Israel is unable to secure its needs in this way, the United States Government, upon notification of this fact by the Government of Israel, will act as follows for five years, at the end of which period either side can terminate this arrangement on one-year's notice.
How fitting that it was on a day which a two hour MSM-hosted GOP contender debate completely suppressed the immigration issue that the chief Commissar at MSNBC smirked to a couple of courtiers that the final push to eliminate Pat Buchanan from the air has begun.
The president of MSNBC criticized Pat Buchanan — the network's controversial pundit who has been missing from the air for months — during interviews on Saturday and said it is not certain that Buchanan will remain a paid contributor to the network…
MSNBC had not commented on Buchanan's absence until president Phil Griffin spoke to reporters from Deadline and the New York Times during the annual Television Critics' Association tour in California on Saturday.
Pat Buchanan May Be Done At MSNBC: Phil Griffin The Huffington Post Jack Mirkinson 1/7/12
Buchanan has been spitefully kept off the network since October to avoid giving any help to the sales of his new book: Pat Buchanan's MIA From MSNBC While Promoting Controversial Book The Huffington Post Michael Calderone 11/8/11 -
Patrick Buchanan’s Future at MSNBC Is Murky, Network’s Chief Says By Bill Carter The New York Times January 7, 2012 (VDARE.com emphasis)
How curious that being concerned about the European and Christian core of America is not “…really appropriate for national dialogue” at the same time as a minister in everyone’s favorite country can be quoted saying of African immigrants
Obama's January 5 Pentagon news conference reeked of duplicity like all his pronouncements. Surrounded by Joint Chiefs of Staff, hawkishness took center stage.
Stressing a leaner, more agile/flexible military, he said counterterrorism, intelligence and cyberwarfare will be emphasized without sacrificing America's superiority against global enemies.
So will subversion, destabilization, drone killings, other targeted assassinations, global state terrorism, and permanent war.
In other words, new and old tactics are featured. Strategies are unchanged. So are imperial aims. Permanent war remains policy. Merciless high-tech killing and destruction will be featured. Ravaging the world one country at a time is planned.
So is expanding the Bush Doctrine. Preemptive global wars define it. Addressing West Point cadets in June 2003, Dick Cheney said:
"If there is anyone in the world today who doubts the seriousness of the Bush Doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq."
Bush was more succinct, saying "You're either with us or against us." Neutrality's not an option. Neither are equity, justice, rule of law principles, democratic values and peace.
Supporters thought Obama was different. In fact, he exceeds the worst of Bush at home and abroad. He arrogated to America the right to confront independent regimes belligerently, replace them with client ones, and target homeland dissenters relentlessly.
Almost 30 years ago, in 1983, The Heritage Foundation stepped forward as a thoughtful, independent thinking participant in the then-raging debate over Ronald Reagan’s defense budget increases. In one of its major policy publications, Heritage published an insightful analysis with an unambiguous conclusion: “The increased spending secured by President Reagan should afford significant improvements in force size. It does not.” (See Agenda ’83: A Mandate for Leadership Report, Richard N. Holwill, ed., The Heritage Foundation, 1983; see chapter 4, p. 69 of “Defense” by George W.S. Kuhn.) The analysis was crammed with data and straightforward logic as it made the case for real reform in America’s overpriced, underperforming defense budget.
Since then, Heritage has come a long way in defense policy analysis, all of it downward. On December 26, 2012 the Director of Heritage’s Center for Foreign Policy Studies, Dr. James J. Carafano, published a commentary in the Washington Examiner, “What To Do about Obama’s Pound-Foolish Air Force.” Without saying so explicitly, he implied that the legendary Col. John R. Boyd, “a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot” in Dr. Carafano’s words, would favor what the good doctor wants: to reopen production of the $411 million F-22 and to buy more $154 million F-35s. (Col. Boyd was much more than “a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot.” His revolutionary air-to-air tactics manual changed the way every major air force in the world flies. His brilliant energy-maneuverability approach to fighter design saved the F-15 from becoming a lumbering F-111-like disaster—and created the extraordinarily successful F-16. Read more about him in the Naval Institute Proceedings article Genghis John or better, in Robert Coram’s excellent biography Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War.)
Each of us knew and worked closely with John Boyd. Invoking Boyd’s legacy to endorse Carafano’s ideas about the F-22 and the F-35—ideas that would have been anathema to Boyd—profoundly offends us. Demonstrating ignorance about both John Boyd’s thinking and about fighter aircraft fundamentals, the Carafano article’s pervasive disregard for facts provides an excellent example of the ethical bankruptcy that lies at the core of our defense problems and our defense budget debate today. With this editorial by their Director for Foreign Policy Studies, Heritage signals a descent from serious analysis of the nation’s defense needs to contemptible gimmicks for pushing the big-spending agenda of the Foundation’s defense industry funders—specifically, in this case, pushing the agenda of Lockheed-Martin, manufacturer of the F-22 and F-35 and major contributor to Heritage .