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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: IAEA, Iran, and Israel

5:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Gareth Porter tweeted recently…

To be sure…

Kerry: U.S. must pursue Iran talks before considering going to war

The United States has an obligation to pursue nuclear negotiations with Iran before it considers going to war with Tehran to force it to give up its nuclear activities, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

“We took the initiative and led the effort to try to figure out if before we go to war there actually might be a peaceful solution,” Kerry told a group of reporters.

Iran reached a landmark preliminary agreement with six world powers, including the United States, in November to halt its most sensitive nuclear operations, winning some relief from economic sanctions in return.

U.S. President Barack Obama, like his predecessors, has said that all options are on the table with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, using diplomatic code for the possibility of military action. While U.S. officials have long held out that threat, Kerry’s comments appeared to indicate that the Obama administration would seriously consider a strike on Iran if the diplomatic talks fail.

Apparently Israel is still up to no good with the IAEA…

IAEA ‘opted against’ sensitive Iran report

The UN nuclear watchdog planned a major report on Iran that might have revealed more of its suspected atomic bomb research, but held off as Tehran’s relations with the outside world thawed, sources familiar with the matter said.

Such a report — to have been prepared last year — would almost certainly have angered Iran and complicated efforts to settle a decade-old dispute over its atomic aspirations, moves which accelerated after pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

According to the sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency has apparently dropped the idea of a new report, at least for the time being. There was no immediate comment from the IAEA. The sources said there was no way of knowing what information collected by the agency since it issued a landmark report on Iran in 2011 might have been incorporated in the new document, although one said it could have added to worries about Tehran’s activities. As relations rapidly improved, Iran struck an interim nuclear deal with six world powers in November which Israel denounced as a ‘historic mistake’ as it did not require Tehran to dismantle its uranium enrichment sites.

One source said probably only Israel, which is believed to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear-armed state, would criticise the IAEA for not issuing a new report in the present circumstances. Iran and the world powers hope to reach a final settlement by July, when the interim accord expires, although they acknowledge this will be an uphill task. A decision not to go ahead with the new document may raise questions about information that the United Nations agency has gathered in the last two years on what it calls the ‘possible military dimensions’ to Iran’s nuclear programme. Tehran says the programme is peaceful and denies Western allegations that it is seeking to develop the capability to make bombs.

The sources, refusing to be identified, suggested the more recent material concerned extra detail about alleged research and experiments that were covered in the November 2011 report.

Jim White promptly swatted that bunk down… Dahl, Reuters Grant Anonymity to “Sources” Peddling Iran Info Rejected by IAEA

Indeed… IAEA denies Israeli accusations of concealing report on Iran’s nuclear program

Moving along… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Egypt, Iran, Israel, and Turkey

9:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Upon the third anniversary of the Tahrir Square revolution…

What a President Sisi must clarify

…The troubling thing for Egyptians is not that they are about to elect a new soldier-president, but that they are about to elect a new soldier-president about whose policies, capabilities, democratic values, governance style and national plans they know virtually nothing.

Sisi should be aware of the fact that he is preparing to assume the presidency on the strength of the two greatest but most fickle passions that any political leader can count on to shape his or her incumbency – blind love and fierce fear – because the mass adoration he enjoys on the basis of these frenzies can disappear as quickly as it appeared. The combination of intense love for Sisi as the national savior and deep fear of the hapless Muslim Brotherhood due to its miserable and greedy yearlong performance in office means that Sisi’s strong mandate can last as long as any fleeting emotion lasts with a human being – perhaps months at best.

By summer, the three big problems that plague modern Egypt and the entire Arab region – chronic military governance, domestic secular-religious schisms and socioeconomic distress – will remain unresolved and likely could worsen. They will resurface and could damage and threaten Sisi, as they have all other Arab leaders since the 1970s, depending on how he uses the power at his disposal. {…}

This soldier-president will be unlike any other in Egypt, because of the manner in which he assumes office and the continuing desire by Egyptians for a credible democratic transition from the old ways of security-state governing. Sisi will need to reveal in the coming weeks and months if he has the character, wisdom, courage and honesty to address Egypt’s enormous political problems and socioeconomic stresses. And he has to wind down the two important stressors that he himself has been contributed to – military rule of governance and the violent antagonism toward Islamist politics in society.

Now, which Master shall Sisi serve, the Egyptians, or, the MOTU’s…?

Well, I suppose, this speaks volumes…Wall Street figure to advise Al Sisi

To be sure, the bloody Poodle even parachuted into Cairo, recently…Tony Blair Backs Egypt’s Military Government Despite Human Rights Crackdown

Interestingly… Senior Muslim scholar calls on Saudi to stop supporting coup in Egypt

Another worthy read… The hidden history of the Egyptian revolution

Moving along…

Talk about your ‘Cognitive Dissonance’…

Netanyahu: Israel not obliged to agree to U.S. peace plan framework

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night that Israel would not be obliged to agree to all the terms of the framework document that was being proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Haaretz reported.

Netanyahu’s statements were made in a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. He told the conference that Washington is putting pressure on Israel to withdraw from the Jordan Valley in order to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, a thing the Israelis refuse because it threatens the Israel’s security.

He added that there are two main issues that are considered as the key to reaching a peace agreement: the Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state and robust security arrangements.

Regarding Iran, Netanyahu said that Iran won’t be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, nor would Israel allow Iran to create another state alongside Israel, as it has done with Lebanon and Gaza.

God forbid that saner minds should prevail…! Israel finance minister: Peace talk failure costly

And, Palestinians: Yes to Jews, no to settlers in our state

Looking at the bigger picture… Israel Welcomes Sunni-Shia Conflict

So, what’s the definition of Insanity, again…? From the Grey Lady…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

What Really Happened To Richard Engel?

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Folks, I smell a Rat…! But, first, let’s quickly dispense with some of the nonsense swirling about Syria…

The Assad government is not “falling.”

…Yes, the demise of the Syrian government exists mainly in the “minds” of a couple of vendu think-tank analysts in Washington, the corporate media bandwagon, and the enfants terribles Wilsonians now riding high in the Obama Administration. The attempt is being made to simply BS Assad out of power. Obama is now functioning fully as the reincarnated Lincoln and sees himsef as “clothed in a great power.” Well, pilgrim, he has placed the US in the position of an alliance with an AQ affiliate (al-nusra). The Syrians that he recognised as government are demanding that he stop condemning their AQ ally and are coming to Washington to tell him and the Wilsonians that he must de-list al-nusra as a terrorist group.

Group Think and the desire to be loved by colleagues and the powerful account for a lot of the intellectual irresponsibility on display but it is also the fact that many of those “running their mouths” over Syria are simply ignorant, callow creatures created by ten years of war and the super-abundance of government money that allowed the hiring of the pitifully under experienced.

The only real question in my mind is whether or not Syria actually wasted a few SSMs last week. Let’s see some evidence, some wreckage, statements by Clapper about heat signatures at launch, something.

The civil war appears to be a stalemate. Having painted himself into a corner BHO will eventually have to opt for intervention of some kind. pl

Now, it would seem that even ex-FDLer, Spencer Ackerman has been sucked into the proverbial Media vortex…

Islamic Extremists Rescue NBC Reporter Held in Syria

…Securing Engel’s freedom is a particularly unexpected turn for Ahrar al-Sham, which the Associated Press describes as “Islamic fundamentalist brigade home to many foreign jihadis.” A recently revamped rebel command structure excluded the group, along with the al-Qaida-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra, seemingly to secure Western backing. Such groups are given to criticizing the U.S. — not for intervening in Syria, but for not intervening enough in Syria, and being prissy about the company it keeps.

Ahrar al-Sham might give Westerners pause. But Danger Room pal Matt Fanning, a Fort Worth-based IT consultant who closely tracks Syrian rebel groups, says the jihadist organization is one of the most effective and the most media-savvy of the rebel coalition. Their weapons of choice include roadside bombs and car bombs, tactics that “clearly came from Iraq,” Fanning says.

Ahrar al-Sham is also one of the most prolific Syrian jihadi groups on YouTube. Ahrar al-Sham takes video cameras along on raids — to capture giant explosions for upload — and doesn’t mind displaying maps of its operations against Assad’s forces. “Sham also releases probably three to five videos a day where Nusra is good for about one to three a week,” Fanning says.

But Ahrar al-Sham’s ideology is no less extreme. It’s issued religious edicts against the ruling Alawite minority and has been criticized for rounding up Shias as hostages. “I agree with al-Qaida on certain things and disagree on others,” one Ahrar al-Sham fighter, a veteran of al-Qaida in Iraq, told The New York Times in July. His nuanced view of suicide bombing: OK against government troops, not OK against civilians…

Basically, Spencer, fails to see the forest through the trees…!

Now, b at MOA, asked some very penetrating questions of Richard’s abduction…

Another Indication That Richard Engel’s Kidnapping Story Stinks

… There is now new evidence that this was indeed a fake event and that, whatever Richard Engel may believe, he and the people with him (which included one ever unnamed “British engineer” who is more likely some special operations guy) were not in the hands of Shabiha but in the hand of well known experienced video fakers.

Early this year we have looked at the roles of citizen journalists from Syria. One was Khaled Abu Salah who faked and uploaded many videos of Syrian government atrocities, one day playing nearly dead while playing very well and enraged just few days later. The other fake journalist was one “Danny” who presented his fake videos with Anderson Cooper on CNN. {…}

Now here is a video, uploaded yesterday, in which the fake citizen journalist Khaled Abu Salah interviews the just freed Richard Engel the evening before Engel returns from Syria to Turkey.

How come that this known serial producer of fake videos is involved in a murky kidnapping case that looks like a propaganda set up for “western” media consumption?

Further:

-Who smuggled Richard Engel into Syria? Was it Avaaz?
-Did “Danny” and Khaled Abu Salah knew that he was coming?
-Did they prepare the kidnapping and the liberation of Richard Engel?

Some of the answers may be found if Richard Engel explains how he came to meet Khaled Abu Salah for this interview. Engel should urgently answer that question.

The Grey Lady’s Robert Mackay pointed out much of the Agitprop being generated… As Last Member of NBC Team Escapes Syria, More Details on Hostage Drama Emerge… Yesterday, he did a great job in exposing the real disparities in reports from Syria… Accounts of a Siege in Syria Differ on Rebel YouTube Channels and British Television…! Fancy that, eh…?

Btw, I’ve highlighted much of these shenangians in play, before… The Syrian Morass…

*gah*

by CTuttle

A Fact Check on our Failed Foreign Policy

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Why is it that most of our Western MSM aren’t teeing off on that Grey Lady bombshell by David Sanger…? Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria, I mean seriously…?

Is it because we’re using the very same, Libyan template, or more specifically, what we really were doing in Benghazi…?

To start off, please read our official ‘Fact Sheet’ that Foggy Bottom touts…U.S. Government Assistance to Libya… Do take note of this…[Editor's Note: Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died from injuries he sustained in an attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012. Secretary Clinton's Remarks; Statement] And, why is it that when you search the DoS website to locate the Benghazi ‘diplomatic mission’, you won’t find it…?

Could it be that it never existed until ‘Ambassador’, err.. ‘Envoy’ Stevens first stepped ashore, of a freighter ship… U.S. envoy Chris Stevens arrives in Libya to help opposition fighters…

Chris Stevens, a former U.S. Embassy official in Tripoli and the highest-ranking U.S. representative to travel to Libya since the uprising began, will explore ways to open the funding spigots for an opposition movement that is desperately short of cash and supplies, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.

“We’re well aware that there’s an urgency,” spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. “The Transitional National Council does need funding if it’s to survive, and we’re looking for ways to assist them.”

But Stevens, who was expected to remain in Benghazi for several days, brought no fresh promises of political or military support from Washington, which has declined so far to either arm the rebels or grant symbolically important diplomatic recognition. Italy joined France and Qatar on Monday as the first states to formally recognize the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya, with Kuwait and several other countries considering similar moves.

From Wiki on Benghazi…

…On 15 February 2011,[13] an uprising against the government of Muammar Gaddafi occurred in the city.[14] On 21 February, the city was taken by Gaddafi opponents, who founded the National Transitional Council days later.[15] On the 19th of March it was the site of the turning point of the 2011 Libyan civil war, when the Libyan Army attempted to score a decisive victory against the NTC by attacking Benghazi, but was forced back by locals resistance and intervention from French Air Force authorized by UNSC Resolution 1973 to protect civilians, allowing the rebellion to continue…

Now, if I haven’t been clear enough… Deadly Attack in Libya Was Major Blow to C.I.A. Efforts Benghazi was the Salafist heart and soul of the NTC, and, it was NATO bombs(and Israeli) that toppled Gaddafi…!

Btw, as Libya’s National Congress just ‘elected’ it’s third Prime Minister, in nine months, another Nato stoolie…!

Anyways, so how’s that Democracy working…?

Ali Zidan elected Libya’s new prime minister

…Local observers see him as a liberal with a strong personality, says the BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli.

He served the former transitional government as its Europe envoy, and was seen as a key player in convincing the ex-French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to support the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi.

His election comes at a critical time, with security still not established across the country and western Libya seeing outbreaks of renewed violence, our correspondent adds…

Now, let’s truly follow the Money…

…In the years since the first post-9/11 invasion, “real” reasons have abounded regarding the various countries provided with “democracy” by the United States.

These reasons include vast oil reserves, oil pipelines,[1] opium fields, strategic positioning, no-bid contracts for the defense industry and military-industrial complex, and mineral deposits.

All of these suggestions are both completely valid and accurate.

Yet, as mentioned above, there is rarely only one reason for such an undertaking of military force.

However, there is one reason for military intervention that is rarely discussed, even in the alternative media, in this context – the goal of total domination by the private central banking system. {…}

Libya

Yet, if developing an Iraqi central bank before the bombs finished dropping seems a bit premature, consider the case of Libya and the NATO-backed Libyan terrorists who announced the creation of a new central bank of Libya before foreign forces ever became involved.

Libya, of course, is an example of a much more successful model of government-run central banking. Regardless of Ghaddaffi’s individual and personal crimes or his iron-fisted nature, it cannot be denied that the living standards of the Libyan people were far above that of any nation in Africa.

Even the regime’s penchant for cruelty seems to have shown signs of fading in recent years. After all, even as the assault on Libya began taking form, the UN Human Rights Council was set to praise Ghadaffi on the improvement made to the legal protections afforded its citizens such as “bettering its ‘constitutional’ framework” and “making human rights a ‘priority.’”

Left to its own devices the Libyan regime had managed to take a country mainly made up of desert and warring tribal factions and form a cohesive nation-state which afforded its people with comforts not seen inside the borders of “world leaders” like the United States and Britain. {…}

…Prior to the success of the “peaceful Libyan protesters” (some proved to be al-Qaeda extremists) with the help of the United States, France, and the rest of NATO, Libya created its own money, the Dinar, through its central bank. Unlike “free” nations such as the United States, which has farmed out its Constitutional responsibility to private banks, the Libyan issuance of currency was an entirely government-based affair.

In addition, according to Patrick Henningsen of Market Oracle on March 28, 2011, “Libya also holds more bullion as a proportion of gross domestic product than any country except Lebanon, according to the London-based World Gold Council using January data from the International Monetary Fund.”

In fact, Ghaddafi was working toward backing the Dinar with the country’s vast gold reserves, thus posing a big threat to the world of fractional reserve fiat bankers.

All of these advancements were thrown away and destroyed with the NATO-backed assault on Libya and the subsequent murder of Ghaddaffi. What did emerge, however, was the new Libyan central bank.

Announced relatively early on in the destabilization campaign, the Transitional National Council declared the “Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.” It is also noteworthy to mention that immediately after the official creation of the new bank, the newborn institution actually signed an oil deal with Qatar, an Anglo-American client state and brother-in-arms of brutality.

Geopolitics aside, the very description of the new Libyan Central bank, the Central Bank of Benghazi, leans toward the fact that the new bank is the opposite of the old one – meaning, the new bank is private. Furthermore, the new bank is not beholden to the Libyan government (where one exists or may exist in the future) but operates independently “as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya.”…

Wtf, Over…? *gah*

by CTuttle

Bibi’s ‘War Plan’ is ‘Leaked’…

6:37 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

The ever intrepid Richard Silverstein published this blockbuster today…

In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer. My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but:

“These are not normal times. I’m afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious.”

The reason they leaked it is to expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two-headed warrior. Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war. While whoever wrote this briefing paper had use of IDF and intelligence data, I don’t believe the IDF wrote it. It feels more likely it came from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov Amridor, a former general, settler true believer and Bibi confidant. It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster. {…}

This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.

Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned Millennium Challenge, once, twice, or even, thrice before…! So, let’s again revisit the most expensive military exercise…

…The exercise, which ran from July 24 to August 15(2002) and cost $250 million, involved both live exercises and computer simulations. MC02 was meant to be a test of future military “transformation”—a transition toward new technologies that enable network-centric warfare and provide more powerful weaponry and tactics. The simulated combatants were the United States, referred to as “Blue”, and an unknown adversary in the Middle East, “Red”. {…}

Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps Lt. General Paul K. Van Riper, used old methods to evade Blue’s sophisticated electronic surveillance network. Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World War II light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications.

Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue’s approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue’s fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces’ electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue’s navy was “sunk” by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue’s inability to detect them as well as expected.[1]

At this point, the exercise was suspended, Blue’s ships were “re-floated”, and the rules of engagement were changed…

Aftermath

Due to his criticism regarding the scripted nature of the new exercise, Van Riper resigned his position in the midst of the war game. Van Riper later expressed concern that the war game’s purpose had shifted to reinforce existing doctrine and notions of infallibility within the U.S. military rather than serve as a learning experience.

Van Riper also stated that the war game was rigged so that it appeared to validate the modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts it was supposed to be testing.[4]

Here’s the Beeb’s attempt to smear the messenger… Leaked Israel memo: propaganda or Iran war plan?

Richard Silverstein – the American blogger who says he has been given the text of a memo outlining Israel’s plans for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities – is clear about what he thinks it is.

He says it came from a senior Israeli politician – a former minister – and he describes it as a “sales pitch”, used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak to try to win round sceptical members of Israel’s divided inner security cabinet.

The text supplied to the BBC is just that – text. {…}

Paralyse the regime

The document itself is striking in both the scale and scope of the military operation that it proposes.

It also employs a range of technologies, many of which we have known that the Israelis are developing, but this document suggests that they are battle-ready and fully operational.

The leaked text suggests that an Israeli operation would begin with a massive cyber attack against Iran’s infrastructure, to “paralyse the regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders”.

Ballistic missiles would be fired at Iranian nuclear targets, albeit with conventional non-nuclear warheads. Cruise missiles would be fired from Israeli submarines in the Gulf.

‘Shock and Awe’ on some of that nano-level, genetically-altered, Ziocaine, Babee…!

And, to be sure ya’ll didn’t miss the memo… Israel PM: Possible War with Iran Could Last One Month…! Well, I do suppose Bibi was generous when he factored in an additional week from the 3 week pogram that the Neo/Ziocons had custom designed for Irak…!

In summation, I give ya today’s woeful performance from the bowels of Foggy Bottom

QUESTION: With the country being destroyed fast and furious in a way or rapidly, during your deliberations with other countries, would it be a good idea, let’s say, to have something akin to the Marshall Plan for the day after, because everybody talks about the day after? Is that something that you can – or you discussed or you have discussed with the rich oil countries in the Gulf?

MS. NULAND: Well, in fact, we are, as an international community, already beginning to look at some of these day-after issues, as the Secretary said when she was in Istanbul. And one of the issues is this question of economic support when a democratic government gets back up on its feet. In fact, we have a preliminary conference beginning tomorrow in Berlin on the potential economic needs of a democratic Syria. Fred Hof will represent us at that conference, and we anticipate that that will lay the groundwork for further work in September.

Syria is not Iraq. It doesn’t have that great, vast natural wealth. And depending on how long this goes on, we are already seeing a lot of the economic underpinnings of Syria’s prosperity at risk from this fighting. So there’s going to have to be a serious rebuilding job that will be Syrian-led obviously, but the international community has to be ready to support, so we’re beginning to think about those things. {…}

QUESTION: So I was intrigued by your statement of fact a few minutes ago where you said Syria is not Iraq; it doesn’t have the great natural wealth that Iraq does. I presume you’re talking about oil, yeah?

MS. NULAND: Yeah. I mean, it has some natural wealth, but it’s not swimming in an ability to –

QUESTION: Would you say that that’s one of the reasons why you’re not doing anything to intervene, because Syria doesn’t have the amount of oil that either Iraq or Libya had?

MS. NULAND: There are no connections between these two things. This is –

QUESTION: So anyone that would –

MS. NULAND: Our –

QUESTION: You yourself brought up the distinction. I just want to make sure that that’s not – that oil is not the reason that you’re not doing anything militarily to help the Syrian people .

MS. NULAND: My point with regard to Iraq was that Syria is a country that in the rebuilding phase is likely to want, need, and request significant international economic support because it doesn’t have the same kind of natural benefits that some of these other –

QUESTION: So all right. From your experience, Iraq didn’t need any help rebuilding?

MS. NULAND: No, of course they did. But they didn’t need – they mostly took loans, they mostly took technical support. They didn’t take straight-out assistance in the same way. So –

QUESTION: So you’re not intending to suggest that going in, militarily intervening in a country with oil is in the U.S. interest, but not intervening in a country that doesn’t have oil isn’t in U.S. interests? That’s not what you mean?

MS. NULAND: There is no connection between those two things. Our decisions about how to support the opposition are based on the litmus test that the Secretary has put out very clearly in Istanbul and which we’ve been saying all along. We want to ensure that what we do to support the opposition actually hastens the day rather than increasing the suffering.

God Help Us All…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

The Syrian Swale & ‘Iran Won’t Crack’

8:31 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Interestingly, China took much affront to Madame Shrillary’s slander in Paris, apparently, just before her ‘surprise’ visit to Kabul…

Clinton ‘slander’ of China will not work, Beijing says

Chinese spokesman rejects America’s claim that the nation and Moscow have hindered resolution of crisis…

China yesterday rebuffed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s accusation that Beijing and Moscow have hindered the resolution of the crisis in Syria, saying any attempt to “slander” China was doomed to fail…

Now, why is it that the UN head, Ban Ki Moon, is still pushing the ‘Annan Plan’, when Kofi, himself, is declaring it a ‘failure’…?

Looking inside Syria, the BBC…

‘Death or exchange’ fate of seized Syrian soldiers

…Amidst all the doubt and speculation that surrounds the violence in Syria, these “confessions” are part of opposition groups’ efforts at proving to the outside world that the government is behind the bloodshed.

But when the camera has stopped rolling, and the point is made, the captured are no longer of use. So what becomes of these men?

UK-based Syrian journalist Malik al-Abdeh told the BBC: “What do you think they do with them? They kill them. What else can they do?” {…}

Activists claim rebel groups only kill the detainee if he “has been heavily involved in killing civilians.”

But since the FSA holds the government responsible for massacres like those in Houla and Qubair, along with frequent brutal attacks around the country that may have left nearly 16,000 people dead, how many of the detained could have committed crimes that, in the eyes of the rebels, do not merit death?

Estimates of soldiers killed in the conflict range from 1,500 to nearly 5,000, but it is unclear whether these numbers include those facing rebel firing squads.

This local brand of rebel justice points to a new trend in insurgent operations, with an opposition instituting its own makeshift tribunals as it prepares for what could be a long, drawn-out war…

From Reuters…

Friend flees Assad as U.S. pressures Russia

…One of President Bashar al-Assad’s personal friends has defected and was headed for exile in France on Friday, as the Syrian crisis took on a Cold War tone when Washington threatened to make Russia and China “pay” for backing the government in Damascus. {…}

…As Clinton declared in Paris: “Let me say to the soldiers and officials still supporting the Assad regime – the Syrian people will remember the choices you make in the coming days.

“It is time to abandon the dictator, embrace your countrymen and women, and get on the right side of history.”

SECTARIAN STRAINS

As rare faces from Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority within a ruling clique dominated by Assad’s fellow Alawites, Tlas and his father Mustapha, who friends said left for Paris some months ago claiming medical problems, long furnished an answer to Syrians who complained of sectarian domination by Alawites. Their flight may show Assad is losing wider support among wealthier Sunnis.

It also suggests the Tlas clan, whatever moral scruples friends say were their prime motive for abandoning their friend and patron, has seen the writing on the wall for Assad’s rule…

…Abdel Baset Seda, the president of the opposition Syrian National Council, told a news conference in Paris that he was in contact with “several” high-ranking officials still inside the country and also hoped to speak with Tlas in the coming days.

This shows that the very heart of the regime is starting to crumble. This is reminiscent of what happened in Libya toward the end, when there were defections every day,” he said, recalling the fall of Muammar Gaddafi last August…

Woo-hoo, Just think how much of a ‘smashing’ success Libya is… Ballots burn as most of Benghazi votes…!

Col. W. Pat Lang served up some interesting commentary on Tlas’s defection, today…

Tlas defection sets the stage…

…The father, Mustafa Tlas, was Minister of Defense for a very long time. If memory serves, he lived next door to the US Embassy in Damascus and was a good neighbor. He was a connaissaeur of fine Kurdish antique carpets. I visited his carpets once. He also liked good Scotch (his, not mine).

Contrary to ignorant expectation many of the Baathi elite in Syria are Sunni Muslims. This fellow has been a favored creature of the regime. He differed with the rest of the inner circle around Bashar in that he thought that an unwillingness to compromise with the secular left would lead to an onslaught of Jihadi Islamists. Maliki over in Iraq says his situation is now better because AQ in Iraq have left to fight in Syria for a Sunni Islamist state there. In that endeavor the AQ types have the active encouragement of the BHO Administration.

No matter. If the Government of Syria is swept away, there will be a need for a Sunni leader… pl

Btw, as most of the Western lame stream media is trumpeting…

Another shell hit the nearby village of Al Hisheh, they said, killing an 8-year-old boy and wounding his father and four children. (Reuters, quoting residents, reported that three other Lebanese civilians were killed in the shelling.)

The security officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of police rules.

It should be noted that some good old gumshoe reporting soon proved it false…

…In Lebanon, a teenager died when a rocket hit her house in the border region of Wadi Khaled, a Lebanese security official told AFP, adding that five others were wounded by rockets and exchanges of gunfire.
“A few hours later, an eight-year-old Bedouin girl, who recently fled with her parents from Syria, was killed,” said a hospital source in Akkar province. “A military expert who visited the site said it was either a mine planted in the area or an explosive they were handling,” the security source said, after initially reporting that a shell had hit their tent.
A local official said clashes had broken out at dawn between the Syrian army and gunmen on the Lebanese side of the border

The whole point of this entire sordid affair is to destabilize all the Secular/Shi’ite regimes, and replace them with a Sunni, Salafist/Wahabbist, and/or, any combination thereof…! Any coalition that would impose a strict Conservative view of Shari’a law…! Akin to what is happening in most of the Red States, right now…! Just like with the Texas School Board and even in the neighboring state, with Jindal’s school ‘vouchers’ crusade…!

Anyways, moving along to Iran, the ever-intrepid, Pepe Escobar, says it’s well past time for the real adults to step up to the plate…

Iran Won’t Crack

…Let’s start sledgehammer style. Iran won’t crack. Iran won’t crack. Iran won’t crack.

No sledgehammer, though, is likely to perforate the limitless fog of delusion hovering over a US elite that a relentless propaganda campaign tries to sell as “the international community”.

See, for instance, this bland op-ed, where we discover that “the international community is now on watch for cracks in Iran’s defiant stance: Will increased sanctions compel Tehran to make real concessions and allow for a diplomatic solution to the standoff?”

Here’s your short answer: no. {…}

…The Obama administration has to make a real decision; it’s either the “roll over and die” school of diplomacy, or real negotiations. Treating Iran like a pariah will only lead to a blunder equaling the Bush administration’s – whose Shock and Awe ended up with a Baghdad closely aligned with Tehran (while the US didn’t even become “the new OPEC”, as savant warmonger Paul Wolfowitz would have it).

But this will pale compared to Iran, Russia and China trading energy in other currencies (as they are already doing); the beginning of the end of the petrodollar as the pillar of global energy politics, and thus of American hegemony. Time for the Iran cracking gang to go back to school.

Here’s a great primer that should be mandatory for all CIA, DoD, Foggy Bottom, and/or, other related personnel…!

Are there any ‘Big Boyz’(or Girlz!) left, capable of stepping up…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

What A Wicked Web We Weave…

12:20 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From the TRNN blurb: Col. Larry Wilkerson: This may have more to do with getting ready for war against Iran than fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda

Let’s connect some dots…

First, some Terrorism Arithmetic

…Uncle Sam will spend $3.796 trillion in 2012 compared with $1.863 trillion in 2001, $1.327 trillion of which was borrowed, reversing 2001’s budget surplus of $127 billion. The Department of Homeland Security gets $57 billion and employs 180,000, the intelligence agencies get an estimated $100 billion and employ 100,000, the FBI gets nearly $9 billion, and the Department of Defense gets $671 billion, which does not include the war in Afghanistan. In 2001, the Pentagon budget was $277 billion. When all the increases are added up and compared to the baseline of 2001, the war on terror currently costs the American taxpayer more than $500 billion per year. As there may be only 100 or so terrorists interested in attacking the United States directly, that works out to something like $5 billion per year per terrorist…

…I don’t suppose statistical analysis of an official government report really means anything as President Barack Obama is expanding his little wars and presidential aspirant Mitt Romney appears to be intent on turning the little conflicts into much bigger ones. When Osama bin Laden announced his intention of breaking the United States economically by enticing it to overreact to terror attacks, he surely knew a good thing when he saw it. More to the point, he might even have understood that politics as usual in the United States would mean that the two parties would try to outdo each other in being tough about the terrorist threat. That is precisely what has occurred. Breaking the pattern does not appear to be in the national DNA, even though continuing to do as we have been doing is a recipe for ruin. The ultimate irony in U.S. politics is that fearmongering always appears to be a good card to play for a politician even when the numbers and analysis say otherwise. It seems safe to say that neither an Obama nor a Romney will do anything to disrupt that pattern.

On Iran…

So lets see now: After months of talks, across two continents and three cities, and the whole thing came down to the fact that the US wants Iran to abandon her rights, with nothing given in exchange…

…The bottom line is that as long as the US is not willing to recognize such a basic principle — that Iran, like any other sovereign country, has a right to enrich uranium, just as Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands etc. — then really there just isn’t anything to talk about. And the US won’t acknowledge that because 1- Israel won’t tolerate it, and 2- the US needs to keep the nuclear issue alive as a justification and pretext for a policy of imposing regime change in Iran.

Of course there will be analysts who will attempt to cut a “middle of the road” path for themselves by blaming both sides equally, thus making themselves appear to be objective and neutral, but really, I don’t see how Iran can be criticized for not giving up a right to enrichment. No country on the face of the planet would do that…

To be sure…

…If it were left to the U.S. Senate, Israeli and American air power would already be winging its way to Tehran to destroy Iran’s nuclear plants. 44 senators, including a considerable number of Democrats, wrote to the president that he should abandon the nuclear talks which recently concluded their second failed meeting in Moscow. These ‘peacemakers’ suggest three demands that we impose upon the Iranians:

The senators wrote that the “absolute minimum” Iran must do immediately to justify further talks is to shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment facility near Qom, freeze all uranium enrichment above 5 percent, and ship all uranium enriched above 5 percent out of the country.

If they fail, we might as well put on our helmets and Kevlar and fire up the F-16s and cruise missiles. The senators know that Iran will not agree to any such conditions. Thus in effect they are calling for a virtual declaration of war against Iran (though they couched it in more subtle language than that):

…We urge you to reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists,” they wrote. ”As you have rightly noted, ‘the window for diplomacy is closing.’ Iran’s leaders must realize that you mean precisely that.”

…The question is: is Obama vacillating enough to, in one of his many weak political moments, give in to all this saber-rattling and offer Israel a green-light? Does he understand that there’s a quantitative difference between killing Muslims with U.S. drones and dropping bunker busters on Iran? Or will he truly become the national security president and go “all the way” to war?

It’s ironic that even George Bush said we weren’t at war with Islam. Barack Obama seems hellbent on turning that statement on its head. From his Cairo speech to the current shambles of our relations with the Arab world. It’s ugly how things have gone for him and us.

Here’s another blockbuster from Richard Silverstein, as well… Israel Lobby Creates Anti-Iran Astroturf Group…

Now, On Syria…

Will the Syria Opposition Unify? Does it Need to?

The New York Times is reporting that the C.I.A. is Steering Arms to members of the Syrian Opposition. The CIA has a major challenge in trying to unify the Syrian militias, teach them to fight, get them advanced weapons, and supply them with enough intelligence so that they will know how to avoid the Syrian army where it is strong and attack it where it is weak. But even if the Syrian militias, which Jeffrey White of WINEP estimates to be around 100 (I read a 200 estimate yesterday but have forgotten where), cannot unify or develop a command and control structure, they are still likely to bring down the regime eventually. The sponsors of the Syria regime will not supply it with an endless aid and arms. For 12% of the population to police a large country that is in widespread revolt is too costly, especially when much of the world is mobilized for regime-change. Perhaps the CIA’s biggest challenge will be to make sure the arms get to pro-American militias. It cannot afford a repeat of Afghanistan in the 1980s…

Here’s a great Guardian report…Saudi Arabia plans to fund Syria rebel army…

Just think, you too can join the Saudis… Adopt a Syrian rebel? Websites raise cash for opposition…

In summation, what a great question…

Why Is the U.S. Selling Billions in Weapons to Autocrats?

The export of American arms to countries around the world — even those actively repressing their own citizens — is booming

What the f*ck are we doing…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

Sifting Through The Syrian Sands And The Persian (Mis)Perceptions…

4:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

“As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”

― Rudyard Kipling

Let’s start off with some righteous Philip Giraldi…

The Washington Post Gets Tough With Iran

…I don’t know if The Washington Post employs fact checkers on its op-eds or editorials, but it would probably be a waste of time to ask. Featuring op-eds by folks who have long advocated harsh measures up to and including preemptive war against Iran and pretending that it is some kind of reliable analysis based on solid evidence when it is anything but and then following up with an editorial making the same points is a typical pattern for Fred Hiatt and his neocon editorial cronies. I would like to see Hiatt come up with a solid, fact-based case explaining why a war with Iran would produce a good result for the United States, because that is really the only argument justifying American involvement in such an enterprise. And let’s leave “Israel’s security concerns” out of it. When last I checked, it was not part of the United States, and it can take care of itself.

My BFF, and Emptywheel/FDL alum, Jim White, wrote today…

Parchin Game of Cat and Mouse Escalates…

For a brief period yesterday afternoon, initial news reports had me thinking that perhaps proof had finally emerged that Iran has indeed carried out work on a nuclear weapon and was taking actions in an attempt to hide the after-effects of that work. As new details emerged, however, it became more clear that an elaborate game of cat and mouse is being played out between Iran and those who accuse them of weapon development, but overall there still seems to be no conclusive proof that weapon development at the controversial Parchin site has been carried out.

That is a pattern that has played out several times now. “Diplomats” provide anonymous information to a reporter in Vienna on new accusations about nuclear weapon development work in Iran. The first version of the story put out by the reporter contains only a vague accusation but is delivered with a sensationalized headline suggesting that new and important evidence supports the conclusion that Iran is carrying out work at Parchin aimed at developing a neutron trigger device for a nuclear weapon . Subsequent expansion of the article reveals that the “evidence” is much weaker than initially portrayed and that technical details tend to contradict the accusations for the large part…

Now, in shifting back to Syria, b at MOA, really spelt it out with this sobering quip… “Defend civilians” means to kill more of them…

To be sure, Madame Hillary, had the audacity to equivocate today…

‘Slaughter of innocents’

Mrs Clinton, speaking on a visit to Denmark, said the case for military intervention was growing stronger every day.

“[The Russians] are telling me they don’t want to see a civil war. I have been telling them their policy is going to help to contribute to a civil war,” she told an audience in Copenhagen…

All the while… Syria rebels say they’re preparing for war…

In synopsis, Col. Lang, further eviserated our fetid, Western/DC Media Corpse…

Syria signals the West

The media and (?) generated hysteria over the Sunni rebellion against the Syrian government has taken a new turn with the withdrawal of foreign ambassadors from Damascus and the expulsion of Syrian ambassadors across the world. Syria’s response is to expel the Dutch charge d’affaires from their capital.

The Arab World is prone to signalling in international affairs. This expulsion is a signal that Syria is unimpressed by the “pressure” being exerted against her.

As Zbig said today on “Morning Joe” The Syrian uprising is largely a propaganda phantasm occurring spottily across the country. The Saudis, the Turks and the neocons want Assad overthrown for particular reasons of their own and to that end are manipulating the “imaging” involving Syria in the pursuit of regime change…

Remember always… Don’t believe the Hype…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Whitewashing NATO on Libya, Next Stop Syria/Iran

7:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein

While NATO gathers in Chicago for their ‘peaceful’ million-dollar soirée, I’m sure they’ll get to the bottom of this right away…

Nato urged to investigate civilian deaths in Libya

A leading human rights organisation has urged Nato to investigate fully the deaths of civilians in air strikes in Libya last year.

Human Rights Watch believes Nato air strikes killed at least 72 civilians and says the organisation needs to bear responsibility where appropriate.

“We’re calling for prompt, credible and thorough investigations,” HRW’s Fred Abrahams told BBC News.

Nato insists it took unprecedented care to minimise civilian casualties.

It argues that it cannot take responsibility because it has had no presence on the ground to confirm the deaths

I’m positive somebody has already ‘inadvertently’ deleted all the Drone and/or other aerial footage of the BDA results…!

Meanwhile, Dubai’s Khaleej Times really spelled out the horrendous situation in Syria, today…

Disaster in Syria

Deadly clashes have been reported from Syria. The new flare in fighting has come at a time when efforts to restore normalcy have literally flared.

The rebels and the security forces are in action and don’t seem to be aware of consequences, as the society is slipping deep into the abyss of lawlessness and chaos. Reports say that more than 30 soldiers were killed in an eyeball-to-eyeball interruption with the gunmen on streets, which sounds quite alarming taking into account the perfection with which the siege has been laid. Three troop carriers were also destroyed in the fighting, posting the casualties figures up to 12,000 in the 14-month long uprising.

In a kneejerk reaction, apparently, the European Union has slapped a new phase of sanctions on Syria, hoping that it would compel the iron-man, President Bashar Al Assad, to step down. The sanctions, the 15th of their kind, to make a point against the ongoing relentless repression are unlikely to even raise an eyebrow in the corridors of power in Damascus, as the regime sits pretty cool — unconcerned for what makes the Arab country go down the drain. Yet, the international community and especially the EU, which holds the purse as far as developmental and trade activities are concerned for many of the developing countries in Asia and Africa, is clueless as to what would make Damascus oblige to the demands of its own people and the world at large. This is certainly not working. The option of sanctions, as a case in history, has always resulted in emboldening the dictatorial regimes and exhausting the efforts of peace brokers. The people who have been the real victims have had to face the onslaught not only from socio-economic perspective but also in terms of horrendous nightmare in their lives

Now, to update my prior post…Why Is The Terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army Training The Syrian Opposition On Our Dime?

Kosovo voices strong support for Syria opposition

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj voiced strong support on Monday for Syria’s opposition, saying his government had already established diplomatic contacts with Syrians fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Hoxhaj was responding to comments by Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who warned the U.N. Security Council that Kosovo should not be allowed to become a training center for rebels.

Speaking after a regular council meeting on Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, Hoxhaj made clear that Pristina was offering political support to the Syrian opposition, which is locked in a 14-month-old battle with forces loyal to Assad.

“We were among the first governments in Europe who was supporting the opposition in Libya and in other Arab countries last year, because we were fighting for the same aspirations, for the same values,” he said.

We have the same approach to Syria and have some diplomatic contacts between my government and (the) Syrian opposition,” Hoxhaj said. “We are supporting very much their cause.

Asked if Kosovo had established training centers for Syrian rebels, Hoxhaj said: “Not at all.”

Not at all, indeedy…! Anyways, in dispelling any notions that the Syrian crisis could be ‘contained’…

Alawite-Sunni fighting erupts in Lebanon port city

Three people were killed when fighting erupted overnight in the Lebanese city of Tripoli between members of the Alawite minority loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and members of the Sunni majority, witnesses and security officials said on Sunday.

Rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles were used in the fighting in an Alawite enclave and surrounding Sunni neighbourhoods in the port city, 70 km (44 miles) north of Beirut.

“The clashes peaked at dawn. The sound of gunfire is still echoing in the city,” a Lebanese security official said.

The official Lebanese state news agency said a soldier hit by sniper fire was among those killed.

A statement from the army said reinforcements were being sent to the city and that troops were “pursuing armed men to return the situation to normality.”

A Reuters correspondent in the city said most of Tripoli’s main intersections were blocked by burnt tires and that the Lebanese army had deployed in an area separating the Alawite enclave from the rest of the city.

The fighting underlines how sectarian tensions in Syria can spill over into neighbouring Lebanon

Now, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett are right on the money, again…

…The real tragedy is that, if Rice becomes Romney’s running mate, the only voices that will criticize her tenure in government will come from neoconservative quarters. The Obama administration will treat her public record with kid gloves—notwithstanding candidate Obama’s 2008 pledge not just to end the war in Iraq but to end the “mindset” that produced such a colossally bad choice in the first place. Far from changing this mindset, Obama and his team have internalized it as their own.

If anyone harbors any doubts about Oily Bomber’s complete abdication to the Neo/Ziocon ‘mindset’…

Iran Exile Group Nears U.S. Rebirth

State Department Is Moving to Take MeK Off Banned List at Risk of Angering Iran

The Obama administration is moving to remove an Iranian opposition group from the State Department’s terrorism list, say officials briefed on the talks, in an action that could further poison Washington’s relations with Tehran at a time of renewed diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

The exile organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MeK, was originally named as a terrorist entity 15 years ago for its alleged role in assassinating U.S. citizens in the years before the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and for allying with Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein against Tehran.

*gah*

by CTuttle

The March to War: Iran/Syria Edition…

2:30 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. –George Orwell

The ever intrepid, Matt Taibbi, penned another most excellent, must-read today…

Another March to War?

As a journalist, there’s a buzz you can detect once the normal restraints in your business have been loosened, a smell of fresh chum in the waters, urging us down the road to war. Many years removed from the Iraq disaster, that smell is back, this time with Iran.

You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms… {snip}

…In other words, “If Iran were to decide to be capable of making nuclear weapons, it would be capable of making nuclear weapons.” Unless I’m missing something, that’s a statement that would be true of almost any industrialized country, wouldn’t it?

Virtually all of the Iran stories of late have contained some version of this sort of rhetorical sophistry. The news “hook” in most all of these stories is that intelligence reports reveal Iran is “willing” to attack us or go to war – but then there’s usually an asterisk next to the headline, and when you follow the asterisk, it reads something like, “In the event that we attack Iran first.”… {snip}

…But now the public openly embraces circular thinking like, “Any country that squawks when we threaten to bomb it is a threat that needs to be wiped out.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I have to believe that there was a time when ideas like that sounded weird to the American ear. Now they seem to make sense to almost everyone here at home, and that to me is just as a scary as Achmedinejad.

It really is Déjà vu, all over again… As Phyllis Bennis eloquently pointed out in Al Jazeera …

We’ve seen the threats against Iran before

Here we go again with the Iran hysteria. It is tempting to think this time will be just like previous periods of sabre rattling against Iran. But there are significant new dangers. The Arab Spring, Israel’s position, changes in the regional and global balance of forces, and national election campaigns, all point to this round of anti-Iranian hysteria posing potentially graver risks than five or six years ago.

We have seen all this before. The US ratchets up its rhetoric, Israel threatens a military attack, escalating sanctions bite harder on the Iranian people, Iran refuses to back down on uranium enrichment. But at the same time, top US military and intelligence officials actually admit Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, is not building a nuclear weapon, and has not decided whether to even begin a building process… {snip}

Israel at the centre

One of the main differences from the propaganda run-up to the Iraq war is the consistent centrality of Israel and its supporters, particularly AIPAC in the US, in this push for war against Iran. Israel certainly jumped aboard the attack-Iraq bandwagon when it was clear that war was indeed inevitable, but US strategic concerns regarding oil and the expansion of US military power were first and primary. Even back then,Israel recognised Iran as a far greater threat than Iraq. And now, Israelis using that alleged threat to pressure US policymakers and shape US policy – in dangerous ways. During this campaign cycle, Obama is under the greatest pressure he has ever faced, and likely ever will face, to defend the Israeli position unequivocally, and to pledge US military support for any Israeli action, however illegal, dangerous, and threatening to US interests.

Iran simply is not, as former CIA analyst and presidential adviser Bruce Reidel makes clear, “an existential threat” to Israel. Even a theoretical future nuclear-armed Iran, if it ever chose that trajectory, would not be a threat to the existence of Israel, but would be a threat to Israel’s longstanding nuclear monopoly in the Middle East. That is the real threat motivating Israel’s attack-Iran-now campaign. Further, as long as top US political officials, from the White House to Congress, are competing to see who can be more supportive of Israel in its stand-off with Iran, no one in Washington will even consider pressure on Israel to end its violations of international law and human rights regarding its occupation and apartheid policies towards Palestinians. Israel gets a pass…

Therein lies the real rub…!

From Haaretz…

U.S. official: Signs pointing to increasing likelihood of Israeli strike on Iran

U.S. wants Israel to wait a few months in order to give the international sanctions against Iran a chance before deciding on an attack.

From the Guardian…

US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely
• Growing view that strike, by Israel or US, will happen
• ‘Sweet spot’ for Israeli action identified as September-October
• White House remains determined to give sanctions time

And, from Arutz Sheva…

Dempsy: Israeli Strike On Iran Would Be Destabilizing

An Israeli attack on Iran would be “destabilizing,” the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Martin Dempsey, said Saturday.“It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” Dempsey said in an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to be broadcast Sunday. The US government is confident the Israelis “understand out concerns,” he said in an e-mailed transcript. Dempsey said the economic sanctions imposed on Iran and international pressure are beginning to have an effect, without expanding further.

An IAEA Team of Inspectors Will be Back in Tehran Today…

Then you have this load of BBC malarkey… Iran ‘Poised To Expand Nuke Program’

A Vienna-based diplomat has told the BBC that Iran may be poised to expand its nuclear program at an underground site near the city of Qom.

The unnamed diplomat told the BBC that Iran “appears to be ready to install thousands of new-generation centrifuges at the fortified underground plant.”

This, according to the BBC, could mean the quicker production of enriched uranium, which can be used for both the generation of power and in developing nuclear weapons.

The BBC did not give any more details about the unnamed diplomat’s knowledge of the Iran nuclear issue. The headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency are in Vienna…

This is sheer madness…! As Col. Lang wrote the other day… Let Israel and Iran Deal with Each Other…

As he summed it up… “Without Us”

God help us all…!

*gah*