You are browsing the archive for Barak Obama.

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Breakthrough Imminent? Edition

7:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

It seems that we’re about to see a pivotal shift in International Relations, fully exposing our misbegotten Foreign Policy, all within the next couple of days…!

Starting, alphabetically, with Afghanistan…

Afghanistan rejects provision of US security pact

Afghanistan has rejected a key provision of a security pact with the United States that would allow the US forces to stay in the country beyond 2014.

A spokesman for the Afghan President Hamid Karzai insisted that the government would not allow the US military forces to enter people’s homes after the end of combat operations in 2014.

He emphasized on Karzai’s position that he would not accept any agreement allowing US forces to enter Afghan homes for “the purpose of aggression.”

Karzai and other high-ranking Afghan officials have repeatedly expressed their opposition to such US attacks on Afghan homes.

American and Afghan representatives are working on compiling a draft of the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement to present it to the Loya Jirga, a traditional Afghan assembly of elders consisting of some 3,000 Afghan tribal leaders from all over the country.

The assembly will consider the deal on Thursday. If the assembly agrees, the deal will be sent to the parliament for final ratification.

Here’s some analysis and commentary on the impending Loya Jirga in Kabul, from both: Jim White and DSWright…!

Shifting gears back to Iran and the P5+1 talks…

I had to laugh when I saw this Israeli op-ed…

Sorry, the French won’t save us from Iran

Israel media tempers excitement over the French president’s visit, and reports on political maneuvering within the Knesset

Despite the excitement around the visit of French President Francois Hollande to discuss, among other subjects, the Iranian nuclear program, and the gratitude in Israel for France’s tough stance on a potential deal with Tehran, some Israeli commentators argue that any optimism should be tempered.

“Hollande split into three” during his visit, writes Israel Hayom’s Boaz Bismuth. “First there was the Israeli Hollande, the one who spoke about Iran as if he were the Israeli prime minister. Yesterday was the Palestinian Hollande, who spoke as if he were Abbas. Today we will have the third Hollande, the salesman who is trying to increase the French economic presence in Israel…The change in American policy in the Middle East and the Iranian threat are causing the French to suddenly dream that for the first time in history… they will be able to be a friend of the Israelis and a friend of the Palestinians.”

I suppose it’s starting to dawn on Bibi that the jig is up…

Netanyahu takes Iran’s nuclear campaign to Kremlin

At odds with ally Washington over terms of an emerging international nuclear agreement with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will on Wednesday take his campaign against the deal to Moscow.

“We’d like them to have a better understanding of our concerns and the need to prevent Iran from having a breakout capacity,” an Israeli official told AFP ahead of the trip.

“A breakout capacity means that they have the capability to develop a nuclear weapon at a time and a place of their choosing in the future,” the official said.

So, while Bibi is reading headlines like this in Tel Aviv… Iranian Jews Protest in Favor of Nuclear Program! On the other side of the pond, Bloomberg had this to say… Iran Nuclear Deal Sought in Geneva Following Israeli Objections

And, sticking to this side of the pond, McClatchy, reports…

Obama tries to ward off new sanctions against Iran

“What we are suggesting, both to the Israelis, to members of Congress here, to the international community, but also to the Iranians, is ‘Let’s look, let’s test the proposition that over the next six months we can resolve this in a diplomatic fashion,’ ” the president said. “I think that is a test that is worth conducting.”

Obama said the proposal would require Iran to halt advances on its nuclear program, as well as roll back elements that get it closer what he called a “breakout capacity, where they can run for a weapon before the international community has a chance to react.” The regime would be subject to more vigorous inspections, in some cases daily, the president said.

Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers, encouraged by intense pro-Israel lobbying, are moving to stiffen sanctions against Iran, a move that Obama said would undermine the Geneva talks.

Obama even trotted out NSA Susan Rice to allay the Warhawks’ bloodthirst…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

UN’s IAEA Report to ‘Suggest’ Iran Nuclear Weapons Work

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From the BBC today…

The UN’s atomic watchdog is planning to reveal evidence that Iran has been working secretly to develop a nuclear weapons capability, diplomats say.

The evidence is said to include intelligence that Iran made computer models of a nuclear warhead.

Iranian officials say the International Atomic Energy Agency report, due next week, is a fabrication.

Israeli officials have said a military option to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons is drawing nearer.

Diplomats, speaking anonymously, have been briefing journalists on the IAEA’s next quarterly report on Iran.

They said the report would also include satellite images of what the IAEA believes is a large steel container used for high-explosives tests related to nuclear arms…

Of next week’s report, one Western diplomat told Reuters news agency: “There are bits of it which clearly can only be for clandestine nuclear purposes. It is a compelling case.“…

Israeli President Shimon Peres, when asked by Israeli television if “something was bringing us closer to a military option rather than a diplomatic one“, he replied: “I believe so.”

He continued: “I estimate that intelligence services of all these countries are looking at the ticking clock, warning leaders that there was not much time left“….

In otherwords, Aluminum tubes and Yellowcake grade fabrications ‘intel’ there, folks…!

Arms Control Wonk has already disproved some of the IAEA’s latest assertions, like a Syrian Spinning Factory in Hisaka, actually being a fabric company, and not harboring centrifuges for heavy water…! Some simple Journalistic gumshoe work blew that one out of the water…! Fancy that…!

Now, get a load of this Yahoo…

Israel May Attack Iran and Obama is Not Happy About It

Rumors that Israel is poised to attack Iran’s nuclear installations, exacerbated by the recent test of a Jericho long range missile capable of hitting that country, have gotten Obama administration officials worried.

They are not worried Iran will develop a nuclear weapon or if the administration is it is not saying. A military official recently stated the Obama administration is worried Israel will strike Iran without consulting it first.

There is a good reason for Israel to attack Iran without asking permission of President Barack Obama. He would try to stop it…

There is, however, an excellent reason why Israel should attack Iran. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon and places it on a missile or even smuggles it close to Israel on a ship, it will use that weapon to commit genocide against the Jewish people.

Obama has placed himself in an unfortunate position by acting hostile and even petty toward Israel while practicing appeasement with Iran. A more sensible American government, say that of President George W. Bush, could talk to Israel, dissuade it from doing something desperate, but also reassure the tiny Jewish state that should an attack be necessary, American forces would participate. Obama has thrown away that capability. Israel has no assurance that if it came down to it, American military forces would attack Iran on the behalf of Israel and the Islamist country’s other neighbors. So, as it has many times before, Israel finds itself alone…

Unfortunately this means that a match is going to be set to the Middle East, likely just in time for the 2012 elections. So much for smart diplomacy.

That folks, is the sort of mindset that has dominated the discourse on Iran for decades…! Cyrus Safdari posted some of the ‘Greatest Hits’ over the past 18 yrs…

Israel about to bomb Iran – after 18 years of speculation and sabre-rattling??

They say Americans have 20-second attention spans so it easy to mislead and spook them over and over again by keeping people in a constant confused state of fear and insecurity — and we’re certainly in one of those cycles now about a supposed Israeli attack on Iran. But some of us have longer memories and have a terrible habit of keeping old news clippings , and so we can see through this repetition of hype.

So, I was curious just how long we’ve been fed this ceaseless hype and speculation about the ever-imminent Israeli attack on Iran (which the US media automatically labels as being “pre-emptive,” when it most certainly is not.)

Well, turns out that I have at least 18 years worth of such reports about an imminent Israeli strike on Iran saved up, averaging about 1 such report for every 2-3 months. Below are some these reports arranged by date, going back to the mid-1990 – the same BS, over and over again. And just for more context, I’ve also included here the repeated claims about how Iran just so close to getting nukes (marked with a bolded, red *asterisks*) just to give you an idea of how long THAT claim has also been fed to us…

I’ve been railing against this very same IAEA, or otherwise, bullsh*t for years, here’s a pertinent one I’d wrote earlier this year… IAEA Claims ‘New Info’ On Iranian Nukes… Sound familiar…?

Meanwhile, right next door to Iran, we have a real nuke crisis…

Pakistan Carts Its Nukes Around In Delivery Vans…

God Help us all…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

‘Israel’s mentality is a barrier to Mideast peace’

6:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Haaretz had reported on Turkish PM Erdogan’s address to the Arab League today in Cairo…

Erdogan: Israel’s mentality is a barrier to Mideast peace

Turkish PM, speaking before Arab League meeting in Cairo, attacks Israeli government’s policies, says recognition of Palestinian state is ‘an obligation.’

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Tuesday that the mentality of the Israeli government serves as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East, and stressed the need for recognition of a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a tour on the Egyptian border that “eventually common sense and logic prevail, both on our side and on the other side.”

One could only hope so, Bibi…!

I’m sure Avi and Bibi were thrilled to hear this… Russia Ready to Support Palestinian Statehood at United Nations…

Now, here’s one for the all-time ‘As If’ record book…

US envoys head back to Mideast

US envoys Ross and Hale return to the Middle East this week to try to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and avert a Palestinian bid for UN membership.

Mind ya, that would be Two whole envoys, do you suppose that’ll make a diff…?

In other I/P news…

Here’s a great Ma’an interview… UNRWA chief on Palestinian statehood and beyond…

+972 mag has two very disturbing reads…

Israel pushes the Bedouins towards an Intifada

The government’s decision to adopt the Prawer report is the latest in a series of injustices towards Israel’s Bedouin citizens

As if the immolation of relations with Egypt and Turkey wasn’t enough, the Netanyahu government decided to open a new front, this time with the Israeli Bedouins…

And…

Jordanian king: “We have fought Israel more than once, we’re calm”

…Most of the headlines in Israeli and international media went with the “Jordan will never be Palestine” or “Israel in tough situation” headlines. I would have chosen something else, which for some reason is a part of the King’s speech that was not translated in most of the news sites I skimmed through, and gave me the chills:

“We have an army and we have fought Israel more than once. We are calm.”

Talk about “tough”

It’s not just Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey, the Lebanese Army is on High Alert, with the fact that the Sabra and Shatila Massacres anniversary approaches…!

I did like reading about an UN official retort to the flawed Palmer Report white-wash… U.N. experts say Israel’s blockade of Gaza illegal…

I would add that it just might behoove the Oily Bomber and Foggy Bottom, to get behind the Palestinian Statehood bid… Saudi Official: US Veto for Palestinian State Will Cost Saudi Alliance…

But, Nooo…

Clinton: Road to Palestinian State Doesn’t Run Through New York

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated on Tuesday her country’s position that the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral statehood bid is a mistake.

In a press conference in which she confirmed that envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross would be returning to the region, Clinton said that the path to a two-state solution creating a Palestinian state runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.

*gah*

by CTuttle

A Hot Nite In Cairo…

3:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Ahram Online…

Three dead and 1,049 injured in Israeli embassy protests in Cairo: Egyptian health ministry

During the protests at the Israeli embassy in last night’s protests on 10 September, leaving 1,049 injured and 3 dead

Numbers of those killed and injured during the protests at the Israeli embassy last night reached 1,049 injured and three dead, announced the health ministry.

Those injured were taken to different hospitals around Cairo.

Friday night, some protesters managed to access a floor in the apartment building where the Israeli embassy offices are housed. Reportedly, the Israeli embassy keeps some of their archives on that floor.

Other protesters managed to lower the Israeli flag.

The Giza police station next to the Israeli embassy was set on fire. Several police vehicles were also set on fire.

Fierce clashes (arose) between protesters and (the)police forces that were rushed to the scene resulted in the huge number of injuries and the three deaths.

As Haaretz reported today…

U.S. told Egypt it must rescue Israeli embassy workers or suffer ‘consequences,’ sources say

Officials involved in attempt to resolve mob attack on Israeli embassy in Cairo say U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta managed to speak with head of Egypt’s ruling military only after 2 hours of repeated calling.

And it wasn’t just Panetta that made some urgent phone calls…

Obama expresses ‘great concern’ to Netanyahu over Israeli Embassy attack

U.S. president calls on Egypt to ‘honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy’.

U.S. President Barak Obama spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday after hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo earlier in the day.

The U.S. president’s office issued a statement in which Obama expressed great concern over the attack and for the Israelis stationed there.

The statement said that Obama “reviewed the steps that the United States is taking at all levels to help resolve the situation without further violence, and calls on the Government of Egypt to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy.

Now that’s picking up the phone and making something happen…!

Funny thing tho, where’s the same sense of urgency on the other hot burning issues…?

Erdogan slams Obama for silence on Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid

Turkish premier reiterates Ankara’s intent to refer legality of Israel’s blockade on Gaza to The Hague, saying the world will see ‘who is standing alongside the victims’.

The ever intrepid, Noam Sheizaf, offered up some more excellent analysis…

Between Cairo and Ankara, Netanyahu’s leadership failure is exposed

These are the most challenging times the Middle East has seen in decades, yet one couldn’t imagine a more inept government for Israel than the one that sits in Jerusalem…

Haaretz has also been hammering Bibi particularly hard today… With: Crises with Turkey and Egypt represent a political tsunami for Israel, and, Netanyahu must go, it’s as simple as that…!

Hear, Hear…!

by CTuttle

Turkey: ‘Israel’s bullying in Eastern Med is over,’ And, Israel: ‘We don’t do Gandhi very well’

8:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As I had quipped on my last post: “I will say that a UN report that states something is legal, does not make it necessarily so. Let’s put it before the World Court at The Hague.”

Well, Lah-di-dah… Turkey vows to take legal action against Israelis involved in Gaza flotilla raid.

…”Turkey will take legal actions against the Israeli soldiers and all other officials responsible for the crimes committed and pursue the matter resolutely,” Turkey’s embassy in Washington said in a statement…

Turkey to refer Israel’s blockade of Gaza Strip to The Hague…

…Turkey also announced its rejection of the Palmer omission report’s finding according to which Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave was legal, with Davutoglu saying that Turkey could not “accept the blockade on Gaza.”

“We cannot say that the blockade aligns with international law,” he said, adding that the stance taken by the Palmer Commission Report was the author’s “personal opinion, one which does not correspond with Turkey’s position.”

…”The eastern Mediterranean will no longer be a place where Israeli naval forces can freely exercise their bullying practices against civilian vessels,” a Turkish official was quoted as saying.

As part of the plan, the Turkish navy will increase its patrols in the eastern Mediterranean and pursue “a more aggressive strategy.”

According to the report, Turkish naval vessels will accompany civilian ships carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Do you suppose that might give some pause to the IDF and Bibi…?

Some other recent, notable reports… European ministers urge Turkey-Israel dialogue. And even Ban Ki Moon had chimed in… UN chief urges Israel, Turkey to improve ties…

Well, today has been a most interesting day in Israel… Some 450,000 Israelis march at massive ‘March of the Million’ rallies across country… However, It remains to be seen whether the J14 protests will still continue on now or not, the key J14 leaders say they will, but, the Israeli media has been reporting that many plan on packing in their tents after this historic March…!

Now, I’d like to feature one of the more egregious Wikileaks cables on the woeful plight of the Palestinians. As +972′s Joseph Dana had noted about this specific Cable…

…This cable should come as a surprise, however, to those in the media (Thomas Friedman) who often rant that what the conflict needs is a Palestinian Gandhi. There are many Palestinian Gandhis but many are in jail because Israel doesn’t ‘do Gandhi very well.’

The Cable also happened to have been written recently, while the Oily Bomber and Hillary are at the helm of the Titannic Ship of State…

Idf Plans Harsher Methods With West Bank Demonstrations

¶1. (C) In meetings with U.S. officials on February 4,(2010) OC Central Command MG Avi Mizrachi expressed frustration with on-going demonstrations in the West Bank, which he believes are being orchestrated to increase tensions. Mizrachi, whose area of responsibility includes all of the West Bank and Central Israel, warned that the IDF will start to be more assertive in how it deals with these demonstrations, even demonstrations that appear peaceful.

¶2. (C) After visiting two of these “so-called peaceful demonstrations,” Mizrachi said he did not know what they were about; the villages were not near the barrier and they had no problems with movement or settlers. Mizrachi asserted that the Palestinian villagers also do not know the reason for the demonstrations and said that they were only demonstrating because they were told to do so.

¶3. (C) Mizrachi warned that he will start sending his trucks with “dirty water” to break up these protests, even if they are not violent, because they serve no purpose other than creating friction. (NOTE: dirty water is a reference to the IDF’s chemically treated water that duplicates the effects of skunk spray. End note.) Mizrachi said he heard rumors that Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad was planning to attend one of these protests, adding that if Fayyad gets sprayed with dirty water, it will make everyone look bad.

¶4. (C) On orders from Mizrachi, West Bank commander BG Nitzan Alon and West Bank civil administrator BG Poli Mordechi reportedly met with the Palestinian security force commanders recently to deliver a strong message that they must stop these demonstrations or the IDF will. Mizrachi asserted that he would prefer not to break up these demonstrations, but will if he must. Many of the demonstrations are organized by “suspicious people,” Mizrachi said, and he plans on arresting organizers of demonstrations that “serve no purpose” beyond exciting the population.

¶5. (C) COMMENT: Less violent demonstrations are likely to stymie the IDF. As MOD Pol-Mil chief Amos Gilad told USG interlocutors recently, “we don’t do Gandhi very well.” The IDF impatience with these demonstrations may also be connected to the recent arrests of foreign NGO workers with expired or solely tourist visas who have been attending, and often organizing, the protests. The GoI reportedly ceased issuing B1 work visas to the foreign staff of NGOs working in the occupied territories; for several months now it has restricted them and their families to B2 visitor visas with varying durations and sometmies limited to single-entry. On February 10, officials from the MOI immigration enforcement unit (the “Oz” unit) told PolOff that they made the arrests of NGO workers in the West Bank at the request of the IDF. However, the court ruled that the Oz unit cannot operate beyond the Green Line, and subsequently released the detainees, who were mostly European. The Oz unit officials told PolOff that they will not challenge that ruling and have no further operations planned in the West Bank. END COMMENT.

“…and have no further operations planned in the West Bank.” Absolute bullshit…!

Btw, It’s not just Bibi shitting bricks over the looming Palestinian Statehood bid at the UN… U.S. Appeals to Palestinians to Stall U.N. Vote on Statehood…

The Obama administration has initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month over a plan by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, but it may already be too late, according to senior American officials and foreign diplomats.

Bwahahaha…! As Lauren Rozen had recently tweeted…

Hard to believe this admin is telling allies on peace process to just trust them. Track record so weak, doubt they trust themselves

And…

US official purporting that Plan A–return to negotiating table–is right around corner seems delusional/disinfo to me…

I do suppose we shall see, won’t we…?

God Help the Palestinians…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

A Basic Palestinian Primer For Obama

8:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

1. Gaza, Mr Obama, is home to 1.5 million Palestinians under a Hamas government that beat the faction, Fatah, that supports the Israeli puppet you call the Palestinian Authority, in clean elections in ’06. Deal with Gaza, deal with Hamas who governs there, or forget it…

2. There is no two-state solution, as long as Israel holds the US in its political clutches. Look at the maps of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, look at the Israeli settlements, and the Wall, built longer and higher than the now-defunct Berlin Wall, and, beseiged Gaza. Just where and how do you think you will find any viable Palestinian state, acceptable to Israel, that has even a shred of legitimacy that even the Bantustans had had in apartheid-era South Africa?

3. The settlements are critical. If you do not have the courage to halt the Israeli settlement expansion, much less the creation of new settlements. How do you expect to find the courage to dictate the removal of those settlements, and stop the Occupation, without which there can be no viable Palestinian entity in the West Bank?

4. You can be pro-peace or pro-Israel, but not both, and, all of the rhetoric to the contrary, all of the money AIPAC spent on Capitol Hill, all of the media attention Israel commands, will not alter this reality. Why do you persist in kowtowing to AIPAC, J Street, and, the rest of the Hasbara crew?

5. Why do you feel obliged to let your foreign policy staff look like it was arranged by the Israeli government? There are many experts in foreign policy, and in the Middle East, with US citizenship and no loyalty to a foreign government. Why are they not in your administration? You have many Israeli partisans in your administration, where are your American partisans?

*gah*