You are browsing the archive for EU.

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Assad, Erdogan, and Gates

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As the Syrian delegation checked into Montreux earlier…

Syria FM says Assad’s status ‘red line’

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Tuesday that subjects related to the status of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are ‘red lines’ and can’t be ‘touched,’ the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Al-Moallem made the remarks upon his arriving to Geneva, Switzerland Tuesday evening, heading a Syrian official delegation to participate in the Geneva II peace conference, which will open on Wednesday in Montreux.

The minister’s remarks came apparently to make the Syrian government’s stance clear ahead of the conference, hinting that the government’s delegation to Geneva will not accept talks about Assad’s departure.

The Syrian government repeatedly said that it wasn’t going to Geneva to hand over the power, but to negotiate with the opposition to find a solution to the crisis.

It also said that the peace talks must focus on combating terrorism in Syria, while the opposition wants the conference to lead to the formation of a transitional government without any role for al-Assad.

Syria wants the Geneva II conference to be successful as a first step to launch a Syrian-Syrian dialogue on their territories, al-Moallem said in Geneva.

The goal of Geneva II is to achieve a political solution to the conflict through a comprehensive agreement between the government and the opposition for the full implementation of the Geneva communique, adopted after the Geneva I conference in 2012.

The communique, which has been endorsed by the UN Security Council, lays out key steps to end the violence.

Funny how the Syrian delegation ran into probs en route to Montreux…

…The crisis over Syria is set to deepen after recent claims of photographic evidence of torture under Assad’s regime. The photos have been reviewed by a team of international prosecutors who said there was evidence of systematic abuse and murder involving 11,000 detainees.

It is likely to increase demands for Assad to step down and face an international war crimes trial.

And the Syrian delegation’s plane was held up when a Greek firm in Athens refused to refuel it, citing an EU trade embargo.

Now, I smell a rat about that ‘Photographic Evidence’…! How convenient that a defector should just happen to release all those gruesome photos on the eve of Geneva II, and, did you also notice how fast(and many!) MSM outlets rushed to publish them…?

Let’s remember that last rush to judgement in Syria…

Human Rights Watch’s Syria Dilemma

Which brings me to Erdogan’s recent rich hypocrisy…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Al Qaeda, Egypt, False Flags, and Hasbara

7:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(Part 2) (I enjoyed seeing Paul cite an FDL article!)

The U.S. needs to withdraw militarily from the Middle East. I’ve made this argument over the course of several years. I think that the projection of American power comes at great environmental and human cost. I think we prop up regimes that are bad for the region, including the Saudis, the Bahrainis, now the Egyptian military, and others. I think this antagonistic relationship with Iran has been counterproductive on so many levels, from the perspective of the energy, but also from human rights and from suffering in the region, almost constant war.

-Toby C. Jones, associate professor of history at Rutgers University and author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia

I couldn’t agree more with Toby…!

Now, it’s always refreshing to see a MSM outlet shine some sort of light on our perfidy…

New analysis of rocket used in Syria chemical attack undercuts U.S. claims

A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

However, b @ MOA takes McClatchy to task…

Missile Experts: White House Made False Claims Over Syrian WMD Use

…The short version of this whole story is this: The scientific facts are clear and the White House version of the WMD story is definitely false. These facts are not new but where known when the White House claims were made. Obama (and Kerry) deliberately lied about the WMD attack in Syria to wage an open war against the Syrian government and people. Threatened with a possible conflict with the Russian fleet and a possible impeachment Obama caved in. But he has not yet given up on his aim of regime change and of destroying Syria and its people.

It is time for Congress to investigate who prepared, on who’s order, the false claims about chemical weapon use in Syria and to draw consequences.

Speaking of the White House… White House releases summary of six-month Iran nuclear plan

I must say, despite the obvious Neocon Bias, I concur…

Obama has ‘No Sense’ of Military Strategy

A top British defense adviser has called President Barack Obama “chronically incapable” of implementing a successful military strategy in Syria and Afghanistan, and has “no sense of what he wants to do in the world.”

Sir Hew Strachan, a member of the United Kingdom’s Chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel, told The Daily Beast Wednesday that Obama’s handling of the Syrian crisis was “crazy” and, as the publication put it, perhaps “the most egregious example of a fundamental collapse in military planning that began in the aftermath of 9/11.”

“If anything it’s gone backwards instead of forwards. Obama seems to be almost chronically incapable of doing this,” Strachan said. “[Former President George W.] Bush may have had totally fanciful political objectives in terms of trying to fight a global War on Terror, which was inherently astrategic, but at least he had a clear sense of what he wanted to do in the world.

Obama has no sense of what he wants to do in the world,” he added.

*ouch*

Here’s another great look-see at our misbegotten FP…

To be sure, Kerry is truly tone-deaf… Geneva-2 to establish Syria’s transitional governing body: Kerry

Moving along to Egypt’s recent referendum…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Jubhat al-Nusra, McInsane, Morsi, and Qatar

11:20 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From the RT blurbThe US claims it has found a way to make sure the arms it sends to the rebels in Syria won’t fall into the wrong hands. This comes after leaked reports from the CIA that it’s about to start funneling heavy weapons to rebel fighters.

From the Grey Lady… Taking Outsize Role in Syria, Qatar Funnels Arms to Rebels

…“They like to back winners,” one Middle Eastern official said.

In meetings with Mr. Obama, the leaders of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have expressed a host of grievances about the Qatari shipments and have complained that Qatar is pursuing a reckless strategy.

In Mr. Obama’s meeting with Sheik Hamad at the White House on April 23, American officials said, he had warned that the weapons were making their way to radical groups like Jabhet al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front, a Qaeda-affiliated group that the United States has designated as a terrorist organization.

“It was very important for the Qataris to understand that Nusra is not only an organization that destabilizes the situation in Syria,” said one senior Obama administration official. “It’s a national security interest of ours that they not have weapons.”

But Charles Lister, an analyst with the IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center in London who follows the Syria opposition groups, said that there was evidence in recent weeks that Qatar had increased its backing of hard-line Islamic militant groups active in northern Syria.

Mr. Lister said there was no hard evidence that Qatar was arming the Nusra Front, but he said that because of existing militant dynamics, the transfer of Qatari-provided arms to certain targeted groups would result in the same practical effect.

It’s inevitable that any weapons supplied by a regional state like Qatar,” he said via e-mail, “will be used at least in joint operations with Jabhet al-Nusra — if not shared with the group.

To be sure, folks, about those ‘Islamists’… Syrian rebels threaten to target Shi’ite villages in Aleppo and Sharia ‘spreading’ in Syria’s rebel held areas

Now, talk about your warmongering tomfoolery…

McCain: Arm Syria’s Rebels to End Iran’s Nuclear Program

Visiting Israel and addressing the nation’s Army Radio today, Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) insisted it was vital for the US to arm Syria’s rebels to “deter” Iran from continuing with its civilian nuclear program.

Calls to impose regime change on Syria for no other reason than to spite Iran seem to have some resonance in Israel, since a top figure in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs made similar comments last week.

McCain took the concept a step farther however by explicitly addressing concerns that US arms would end up in the hands of al-Qaeda’s allies in Syria, asking “would you rather have these weapons – perhaps some of them – in the hands of the wrong people, or would you rather have Bashar Assad prevail and then encourage Iran to further their ambitions on nuclear weapons.”

Apparently, McInsane and most of the DC Critters are indeed aware of the problem…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Eternal War, Libya, Iran, And, Syria

2:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(Phyllis Bennis is a superstar…!)

Thursday, the US State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism released it’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2012, from Chapter 2 Country Reports: The Middle East and North Africa Overview…

The Near East region continued to experience significant levels of terrorist activity in 2012, further complicated by ongoing regional instability across portions of North Africa and the Levant. Al-Qa’ida was not a part of the popular uprisings that led to democratic transitions across the Middle East and North Africa, but violent extremists looked for opportunities to exploit the political transitions underway.

In Libya, the security vacuum in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution provided more opportunities for terrorists to operate. This vacuum, combined with the weakness of Libya’s nascent security institutions, allowed violent extremists to act, as we saw too clearly on September 11 in Benghazi, when J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and three staff members, died during attacks on U.S. facilities.

Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) – even with diminished leadership and capabilities – continued to conduct attacks across Iraq, while Shia militants largely ceased attacks but continued to threaten U.S. targets in Iraq. AQI also took advantage of a significantly depleted security situation in Syria. Operating under its alias, al-Nusrah Front, the group sought to portray itself as part of the legitimate Syrian opposition and attempted to hijack Syria’s struggle for democracy. The United States designated al-Nusra as an alias of AQI in December 2012.

Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has also taken advantage of the instability in the region, particularly in Libya and Mali. Kidnapping for ransom operations continued to yield significant sums for AQIM, and it conducted attacks against members of state security services within the Trans-Sahara region.

In the spring of 2012, a Yemeni military offensive, with the help of armed residents, regained government control over territory in the south, which AQAP had seized and occupied in 2011. Although weakened, AQAP was not eliminated as a threat. AQAP increasingly turned to asymmetric tactics to target Yemeni government officials, pro-government tribal militias known as Popular Committees, and their leaders, soldiers, civilians, and U.S. embassy personnel.

In 2012, there was a clear resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and Tehran’s ally Hizballah, who remained a significant threat to the stability of Lebanon and the broader region. Attacks in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East were linked to the IRGC-QF or Hizballah. In fact, Hizballah’s terrorist activity has reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s with attacks plotted in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Despite these persistent threats, governments across the region improved their own counterterrorism capabilities, effectively disrupting the activities of a number of terrorists. The Iraqi government displayed increased capability and efficacy in pursuing multiple Sunni violent extremist groups. Though AQIM’s presence and activity in the Sahel and parts of the Maghreb remains worrisome, the group’s isolation in Algeria grew as Algeria increased its already substantial efforts to target it. And in 2012, Yemeni forces were successful in reducing the physical territory that AQAP had previously gained in Yemen as the result of political turmoil…

Notably absent from their MENA assessment for 2012, is Syria…! Fancy that…!

Now, let’s look more closely at our Libyan fiasco…

Libya: Overview: In 2012, Libya was marked by grave insecurity, most apparent in the September 11 terrorist attack that resulted in the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three staff members. The prevalence of loose weapons, the continued ability of extra-governmental militias to act with impunity, the country’s porous borders, and the lack of government capacity to apply the rule of law outside of Tripoli contributed to this insecurity.

Despite these challenges, on July 7, the Transitional National Council peacefully transferred power to a new, democratically elected parliament, the General National Congress. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and his cabinet have prioritized efforts to strengthen and centralize national security institutions, integrate and disarm armed militias, and confront criminal and terrorist groups that have taken advantage of the security vacuum. This government has recognized that continued instability threatens Libya’s democratic transition and economic future.

The United States remains committed to Libya’s democratic transition and focused on Libya’s insecurity and the need to support Libya’s government in its efforts to address it. The State Department and USAID have provided funding to implementers who support Libya’s emerging civil society, advised Libya’s new political leaders, and empowered minority communities as they seek to understand and participate in the democratic transition, particularly the drafting of a constitution that denounces violence and ensures the rights of all Libyans.

Let’s not forget that this is a State Report, reporting only on the Snafu from last year, and not a compilation of this year’s foreign f*ckery in the MENA…!

So, let’s update it a tad…

Libya becomes ‘the new Mali’ as Islamists shift in Sahara

…Regional rivalries are aggravating the problem for Paris and its Western allies, with a lack of cooperation between Saharan countries helping militants to melt away when they come under pressure and regroup in quieter parts of the vast desert.

Security officials say lawless southern Libya has become the latest haven for al Qaeda-linked fighters after French-led forces drove them from strongholds in northern Mali this year, killing hundreds.

“The south of Libya is what the north of Mali was like before,” said a senior adviser to Mali’s interim President Diouncounda Traore, asking not to be named…

…But the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 flooded the Sahara with pillaged weapons and ammunition. Tuareg separatists used them to seize power in northern Mali, only to be ousted by even better-armed Islamists who set up training camps and imposed harsh Islamic law until the French forces arrived.

The Islamists have also exploited Libya’s weakness. Veteran al Qaeda commander Moktar Belmokhtar bought weapons there after Gaddafi’s fall and his fighters passed through southern Libya to carry out a mass hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant in January, in which 37 foreigners died…

Now, Iran quickly rejected the report…

Tehran says U.S., not Iran, sponsors terrorism

Iran on Friday rejected a U.S. State Department report that accused Tehran of increasing its support for terrorism overseas to levels not seen for two decades, saying it is the United States that backs terrorists in the Middle East.
“Iran itself has been the victim of state-sponsored terrorism, which has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Iranian people,” said Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s U.N. mission. “Iran has been actively engaged in counterterrorism activities by all possible means and is a party to many counterterrorism international legal instruments,” he said…

…”It should be mentioned that the U.S. government has no merit to label other nations of sponsoring terrorism as it has a long … record (of) supporting terrorist groups in our region as well as Israeli state terrorism,” Miryousefi said.

He cited the recent removal from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations of the Mujahadin-e-Khalq, a dissident group that calls for the overthrow of Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim clerical leadership and fought alongside the forces of Iraq’s late Sunni Muslim dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

“The recent delisting of the MEK terrorist group … and also allowing it to publicly lobby in Washington is a clear indication that the U.S. government has double standards in dealing with terrorism and uses designation of others as terrorist only to serve its illegitimate political interests,” he said…

Speaking of the MEK, translated from Le Figaro

Two members of the Iranian opposition movement People’s Mujahedin were found dead a month ago in the Idlib region in western Syria, says an MEP in contact with the anti rebellion Bashar al-Assad. They fighting alongside insurgents seeking to overthrow the Syrian regime, backed by Iran. Considered by France as a terrorist organization, MKO have a base in Iraq, based in the Paris suburbs. Services to Arab and Western intelligence would use against Iranian interests, or allies of Tehran, as the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

In recent developments on Syria… In spite of McInsane’s screeches, Syrian rebels need heavy weapons, I was certainly pleased to read this…

U.S. withholds millions pledged to help Syrian opposition

The United States is withholding $63 million that it had pledged to the main Syrian opposition organization because the Obama administration is frustrated with the group’s disarray and is searching for more credible partners to support in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, knowledgeable officials said Friday.

The decision not to fund the Syrian Opposition Coalition contrasts sharply with the Obama administration’s continued public expressions of confidence in the group, which has been central to U.S. policy on Syria since last fall and which the administration recognizes as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

But U.S. officials said privately that they are fed up with the group’s inability to organize, appoint a government-in-exile or reach decisions on a wide range of issues. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity so as to more freely discuss sensitive diplomacy…

More on the Syrian Rebels…

Saudi edges Qatar to control Syrian rebel support

…The outcome, many Syrian opposition leaders hope, could strengthen them in both negotiations and on the battlefield – while hampering some of the anti-Western Islamist hardliners in their ranks whom they say Qatar has been helping with weaponry.

Anger at a failure by one such Qatari-backed Islamist unit in a battle in April that gave Syrian government forces control of a key highway helped galvanise the Saudis, sources said, while Qatari and Islamist efforts to control the opposition political body backfired by angering Riyadh and Western powers.

The northern rebel commander said Saudi leaders would no longer let Qatar take the lead but would themselves take over the dominant role in channelling support into Syria.

“The Saudis met leaders of the Free Syrian Army, including officers from the Military Council in Jordan and Turkey, and have agreed that they will be supporting the rebels,” he said after attending one of those meetings himself.

Prince Salman bin Sultan, a senior Saudi security official, was now running relations with the Syrian rebels, backed by his elder brother, intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Qatar also gave ground in the political field, accepting finally, late on Thursday, that the National Coalition should add a non-Islamist bloc backed by Saudi Arabia.

“In the end Qatar did not want a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and accepted the expansion,” said a source close to the liberals who were allowed to join a body which the United States and European Union want to become a transitional government.

The rebels, whose disunity has been a hindrance both in the field and in manoeuvring for a possible international peace conference in the coming weeks, still face a huge task to topple Assad, who has long labelled his enemies Islamist “terrorists” and has his own powerful allies abroad, notably Iran and Russia.

What a Clusterf*ck…! *gah*

by CTuttle

MENA Roundup: Bibi, Egypt, Iran, And, Syria

8:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

That 5 minute clip is dated from 2010, which I’d featured on this old post of mine… Bribing Israel will not help…! So that data is rather dated, with many more; checkpoints, ‘home’ demolitions, and, subsequent settlement expansions, to add to that map…! Now, just try to visualize Bibi’s proposed,‘expedited’ +3K E-1 settlement expansion plans…! Along with an additional… 4,200 apartments in Ramat Shlomo and Givat Hamatos…! Please, allow me to descend into prior, ‘flights of fantasy’, of which, I’d succumbed to back during those heady days of the ‘Direct Peace’ talks farce…! Obama’s Pathetic Pursuit Of Peace…! And, The Freeze Farce is over…! Funny, how that worked out, eh…?

Remember folks, as a History Major, I’ve always strived to cite the ‘first person’, directly…!

Well, folks, it seems that Bibi has truly ‘lost it’… Seriously…!

Netanyahu: The entire conflict between Israel and the Arabs is over their denial of Israel’s right to exist.

…“This forum and its coordinated work of which during Operation Pillar of Defense are an important component in our national resilience. I think that this operation proved the importance of public diplomacy,” Netanyahu said.

“What was the war about? The war was about our very existence. We left areas that we captured in the Six Day War, like the Gaza Strip, and they fire missiles at us.

“Therefore, our top public diplomacy mission is to explain that the root of this conflict is not territorial,” said Netanyahu. “It is over our very existence in any borders whatsoever.

“From 1967 until today, for 45 years, day in, day out, and hour by hour, they have been preaching the complete opposite. So certainly the lie has taken root, and there is no way to fight a lie except with the truth. We must tell the truth; it is the only thing that we can do and we must certainly do so.

“We must constantly repeat that the root of the conflict is the very existence of the State of Israel, the refusal to recognize the State of Israel in any borders whatsoever.

“The second thing is their methods, mainly their desire to intentionally attack civilians.

“There is a link between the first and second points. Whoever uses such methods is beyond the pale internationally, morally and legally. He does not want peace.

“The root of the conflict is not the settlements; it is the very existence of the State of Israel and the desire to wipe it off the face of the earth. We can anticipate many developments and changes in this evolving Middle East that we face, and some of them are very, very disturbing.”…

And, if there were any doubts, whatsoever, as to Bibi’s deluded depths of desperation… Israeli Source Claims US is Behind European Protests of E1 Settlement…

…“The European move is essentially an American move,” one official said, according to Ynet News. “The Brits asked the Americans how to act.” {…}

…“The Europeans got the green light to respond with extreme measures and the US in the meantime decided not to impose economic sanctions on the Palestinians in response to their UN bid,” the anonymous official claims. “The Americans decided to bolster Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and push for a resumption of peace talks.”

The White House has denied these accusations, however, with National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor telling POLITICO it “isn’t accurate.”

Sheesh, with friends like that…!

More Voices Urge Obama to Rein In Netanyahu…! And to be sure… Israel shoots itself in the foot with decision to approve more colonist homes…!

By the by, ain’t this totally kewl…? Israel had asked for Jordan’s approval to bomb Syria, say sources…

Anyways, moving along to Egypt… Morsi was forced to flee from the Presidential Palace… 3 dead in violence around Egypt’s presidential palace…

Three demonstrators died in clashes between opponents and supporters of Egyptian head of state Mohamed Morsi around the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt’s top rescue official said early Thursday.

Mohamed Soltan told journalists that the three were shot dead, while nearly 350 others were wounded.

It was the worst violence in Egypt since Morsi became the country’s first Islamist president in June.

He drew the wrath of the opposition and many in the magistrature by assuming exceptional powers under a November 22 decree.

Allies and foes of Morsi lobbed fire bombs and rocks at each other in the plush Heliopolis neighbourhood in a Cairo suburb as shots rang out early Thursday…

And, the Cairo branch of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ was reportedly hit today, too… so stay tuned…

Moving along to Syria and Iran…

The hidden secret behind the Patriot ‘ADA’ system is it’s ‘surface-to-surface’ capabilities…!

Now, besides Russia’s harsh words, to NATO’s ill-advised decision to send Patriot Batteries to Turkey, The Chinese were none-too-thrilled, either…

…NATO’s decision to deploy Patriot missile batteries in Turkey is “inconducive to peace, security and stability” in the region, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

“Highlighting military factors and strengthening military existence are inconducive to the resolution of contradictions and disputes, and inconducive to the peace, security and stability in the whole region,” spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular press conference, when asked to comment on the NATO decision…

So, on the ground…
Syria says 10 dead mortar attack on school…!
That would be Rebel mortar fire…!

Meanwhile, the Syrian WMD hysteria still runs amok…!

Btw, Bibi, must be shitting bricks… UN calls on Israel to open nuclear program for inspection, backs talks on nuke-free Mideast… And, Report: Europe might remove Hamas from terror list…!

*heh* Ain’t Kharma a B*tch…? *g*

by CTuttle

More Persian Fantasies After Baghdad Talks…

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Niles had equivocated in that great RT clip, the ball is squarely in the West’s ballcourt, and, the Oily Bomber, along with all of our AIPAC bought-off Congress Critters, are the sick individuals that are failing us miserably…

the Obama Administration seems no more prepared to deal with the big issues that will determine diplomatic success or failure—namely, accepting the principle and the reality of internationally safeguarded enrichment in Iran and recognizing that a negotiated solution will necessarily entail significant sanctions relief—than it was during its initial experience in multilateral negotiations with the Islamic Republic during 2009-2010. Until that changes, the chance for anything other than failure or, at best, an extremely narrow deal of little strategic significance—is negligible…

…the Iranians assess that the Obama Administration has an interest in keeping the negotiations going at least through the U.S. presidential election in November. As Flynt points out, they have been using the talks as a way of probing Western seriousness about a potential deal…

But the talks are not going to produce anything of strategic significance unless the United States substantially alters its approach

Just to be sure…

No gaps exist between the U.S. and Israel on Iran nuclear program, says official…

Senior official involved in Baghdad talks says U.S. is pressuring Iran because it perceives it as a real threat to world security, not because of Israeli pressure…

…The U.S. official, who is intimately acquainted with the P5 + 1 talks which took place in Baghdad last week, asked to remain anonymous owing to the sensitive nature of the issue.

According to the official, the U.S. government does not feel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to pressure it over negotiations with Iran.

We are the ones who are pressuring ourselves because we see a nuclear Iran as a real danger to global security, and not because of Israel, ” the U.S. official said.

Even if we do not have the patience, we need to give diplomacy a chance before military action…it is still not too late, and I think that Israel thinks that it is already too late,” the official added…

…On Friday, the head of the U.S. negotiation team, undersecretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman, arrived in Israel along with officials from the White House National Security Council working on the Iran nuclear issue – Gary Seymour and Puneet Talwar.

The American team had a three-hour meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, with National Security advisor Yaakov Amidror, and a number of other senior Israeli officials who deal with the Iran issue, in order to update them on the talks in Baghdad.

According to the U.S. official, the Israeli government was the first to be updated by them on what happened in Baghdad after the talks were over. “We updated the Israelis in detail before we updated our own government,” the official said.

This shows how much trust and security we have in our ties with Israel.

Former AIPAC employee, MJ Rosenberg, totally eviscerates that ‘anonymous’ US official’s foreign delusions…

Mainstream Media & Bloggers Are Too Scared To Mention AIPAC In Iran Coverage

Every piece of legislation dealing with Iran, including all the sanctions bills, were written in AIPAC’s offices and then handed over to favored senators and representatives for introduction. For the last decade, every AIPAC annual conference, attended by the President and half the Congress, has had as its centerpiece the need to confront Iran. Just this week, as negotiations began in Baghdad, the Vice President met with the ultra-right Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which is led by this guy. (Watch the youtube, you will fall off your chair laughing). And the next day the Senate Majority Leader met with the same group. The message to the Conference in both cases: trust us, we will not deviate from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy that sanctions not be lifted no matter what Iran offers. And we didn’t!

To put it simply, there would be no Iran hysteria was it not for the lobby. After all, was there hysteria over North Korean nuclear weapons? The North Korean regime is insane which the Iranian regime is not. And we have over 100,000 troops in South Korea, not to mention that Seoul, the South Korean capital, is virtually on the border with the crazy north.

But Iran is different. And that is because of the lobby. (If groups other than the lobby cared much about Iranian reprocessing, would not Biden and Harry Reid have met with them. Of course, they would have. But they know Iran is strictly an Israel lobby issue. And that means it is enmeshed in the question of who will or will not receive campaign contributions from PACs and individuals who take their marching orders from the lobby.

Imagine if there was no lobby. (Such a lovely thought)

…And that is among the many reasons that I wish the timid MSM and bloggers would start telling the truth to the American people. This whole issue is not about us. It’s about Netanyahu and AIPAC. And, largely due to them, we may never be able to resolve it.

George Washington is spinning in his grave, waiting for Rachel Maddow to address this issue. Fat chance.

Neither Maddow or the other “progressives” want to risk offending people who might slow their advance to the heights. That is why this is the ONLY issue that the wise don’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Career comes first. And last…

Now, I may not be paid for my I/P blogging, but, I have always soldiered on…!

God help us all…!

by CTuttle

Let Us Call Terror, Terror…

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle


Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

I’ve been screaming ‘bloody murder’ about this Syrian miasma for sometime, I would peg the starting point from early January, when the EU/GCC/US/Nato first started to pivot from Libya to Syria. As Col. Lang wrote today; Terrorism in Syria…

The Obama administration, pre-occupied with its re-election and the need to sooth its financial backers, continues to support the neocon policy position that all anti-establishment revolution is good in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The simple truth that there are not and will not be governments in the ME made up of “good guys” seems beyond the reach of “scholars” at AEI and WINEP as well as members of the Foreign Service.

What we have in Syria is revolutionary civil war waged by the forces of salafist Sunni Islam against the forces of the Alawis, the Druze and the Christians. In this civil war the Sunni salafists are backed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US, US media and I suppose Israel in some underhanded way. Iran backs the Assad government, and Iraq is edging its way closer toward the position of the Mullocracy in Teheran.

The war has not been going well for the Sunni insurgents. Assad and company are not willing to surrender to the UN or anyone else since they know that they will be put down like the proverbial dogs if they do.

Logically, the Sunni salafists have now resorted to the kind of large scale terror that has characterized the last ten years in the greater ME.

Let us call terror, terror…

Yes, let’s call it for what it really is! Now, let’s look at some of the ‘sources’ of that specific terror threat, Syria says attackers came from “well known” countries, and, Syria envoy says British, French, Belgian fighters killed…

Syria’s UN envoy said Thursday that British, French and Belgian nationals were among foreign fighters killed in the country’s mounting conflict and that there was Al-Qaeda involvement.

The ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, told the UN Security Council that 12 foreign fighters had been killed and 26 detained in recent clashes with Syrian forces.

“We have a list that contains 12 names of foreign terrorists killed in Syria, including one French citizen, one British citizen, one Belgian citizen,” Jaafari told the 15-member council.

He said a list of the 26 foreigners detained had been sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the Security Council.

The 26 have “confessed they are terrorists and entered Syria to carry out terror operations,” he added. Some were “associated” with Al-Qaeda.

The ambassador later told reporters that those detained were mainly Tunisians and Libyans but there was one Palestinian and one Jordanian.

All of the “confessions” have been shown on Syrian television, Jaafari said.

The ambassador said that recent bomb attacks in Syria “carried the stamp of Al-Qaeda methods.”

Jaafari renewed condemnation of Gulf Arab states and Turkey who he accused of backing the foreign fighters and Syrian rebels.

Meanwhile, in Aleppo today, while Syrian forces stopped one car bomb, another one detonated…

An explosion hit Syria’s northern city of Aleppo Friday, just hours after state TV said the army had foiled a would-be suicide attack in the city, raising fears the country is drifting toward an Iraq-style insurgency.

Elsewhere across the country Friday, peaceful protesters defied Syrian army gunfire and took to the streets in the tens of thousands to protest the rule of President Bashar Assad.

The anti-Assad Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said no one had been killed by the Aleppo blast close to the ruling party headquarters, which came a day after twin bombings in Damascus left scores dead.

“Initial details indicate that the Aleppo blast was targeting the local branch of the ruling Baath party and there is no information until now on the number of victims that fell in the explosion,” the British-based group said in an email… {snip}

…Thursday’s bombings have raised fears that extremist elements could be taking advantage of the deadlock in Syria to stoke the unrest.

An Islamist group calling itself Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility online for the Damascus attack, the SITE Monitoring Service said Thursday.

It said two bombs it had placed near a military headquarters on a central highway in the capital on May 5 had killed around 20 guards. For many, the Al-Qaeda-style tactics recall those once familiar in the country’s eastern neighbor, Iraq, raising fears that Syria’s conflict was drifting further away from the Arab Spring calls for political change and closer to a bloody insurgency.

“Syria is slowly but surely turning into another Iraq,” said Bilal Y. Saab, a Syria expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Even Hezbollah was saying today; Hezbollah chief says Syria may descend into Iraq-like abyss…

Now, lets look at a common thread that wends it’s insidious ways through the tapestry, that is the Middle East, and our GWOT, namely, the House of Saud…! From; 15 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11, to Iraq’s ‘awakening’, Libya, Bahrain, and, even Yemen, the Saudi-fueled Salafist/Wahabbi based Sunni Insurgency has led the way.

Emptywheel did an awesome job of connecting-the-dots in some of the House of Saud’s nefarious machinations, yesterday…

Cluster Bombs on the Head of a Saudi Pinpoint

Congratulations to the NYT, which offers the superlative version of a story everyone seems to be writing today. It describes a whole host of reasons why we should not trust the Saudis.

That collaboration appears to have intensified over the past two years, despite a long history of mistrust rooted in the role of Saudi hijackers in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The relationship was tested again last year when Saudi leaders responded furiously to American endorsement of the revolt that ousted a Saudi ally, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. American diplomats were surprised and angered in turn soon afterward when Saudi Arabia sent troops to help put down unrest in neighboring Bahrain.

[snip]

The counterterrorism cooperation has not been without bumps, officials from both countries acknowledge.

In 2007, the Federal Bureau of Investigation quietly sent a handful of agents to Saudi Arabia to work with officials there on a classified counterterrorism strategy, according to a senior American official who was briefed on the program. After several months, however, the two sides disagreed on a common strategy, and the F.B.I. agents went home.

Internal State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to several news organizations revealed American frustration with Saudi Arabia in curtailing financial supporters of many extremist activities.

“It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” said a classified cable sent by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in December 2009, concluding that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

But ultimately concludes that in spite of all this evidence, our partnership with the Saudis is working just great…

Yes, indeedy, we do in fact have the AP, and our entire agitprop, Western Lamestream Media peddling that very same Neo/Ziocon Snake Oil… Saudis emerge as key US ally against terror…

*gah*

by CTuttle

Flytilla Grounded by Typical Israeli F*ckery

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As a former Knesset Member wrote today…

…”Today is a black and shameful page in the history of the State of Israel. The massive aggressive play staged today at Ben Gurion Airport, the hundreds of police flooding the terminal, the systematic hunt for every traveler who dared to openly admit being headed to Bethlehem, as if this was the most horrible of crimes, the hysterical assault on a handful of Israeli peace activists who dared to express a dissident opinion, the worldwide campaign of pressures and threats to make airlines cancel the flights of hundreds of passengers. Had the government set out to exhibit to the world the image of an ugly Israel – oppressive, aggressive, nationalistic, tolerating no criticism – then today was a huge success. But if they had wanted to corroborate the assertion that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”, the government’s conduct conveyed the very opposite message. The government’s “victory” over the the international activists was the very epitome of a pyrrhic victory…

What truly surprised me was the sheer extent of the collusion between the individual European Govt’s(local and federal), the Airlines, and, Israel…

‘Flytilla’ detentions spark fury

…But Israel vowed to prevent their entry, warning airlines they would be forced to foot the bill for the activists’ immediate return home in a move which saw many carriers toeing the line.

With airlines cancelling at least 300 passengers’ tickets, scores of activists staged angry demonstrations at airports in several European capitals. Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Syria: Intervention or Mediation? And Bibi Blinked, to Host ‘Direct Talks’ With Abbas

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From the accompanying YouTube blurb…

After more than a year of turbulence, Syria is still facing both a violent internal opposition uprising and the threat of external intervention. NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council have backed the opposition, the Syrian Transitional Council, both politically and militarily. Calls for humanitarian intervention in the name of the “responsibility to protect” have been made by the same NGOs as those who acted over Libya last year. Russia and China have vetoed interventionist resolutions in the Security Council, backed by the US, France and the UK, and a chance for reconciliation has been offered with Kofi Annan’s mediation mission. But can it succeed? Will sovereignty remain respected, as provided for by the UN Charter? What are the real aims of NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council in Syria? Do they want peace and reconciliation or regime change and chaos?

I’ve made my opinion well known, repeatedly, on the farcical R2P ‘humanitarian’ crusade directed at Syria…! Just like I did in the run up to Libya’s smashing success…!

Here’s some of the latest on Syria… From Non-Western Media… Syria to halt military actions as of Thursday… From the ‘Rebels’… Syria rebels set ultimatum, as peace deal falters…

Here’s some recent Western Leaders responses… David Cameron: Syria used ceasefire to kill civilians… Sarkozy: Syria blatantly lying about ceasefire…

What a clusterf*ck in the making, it’s truly a No-Win scenario for the Syrians, needless death and destruction for what exactly…? Reminds me of the age-old adage, that to ‘save’ the village we must bomb it into oblivion…!

Now, moving along… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

‘Arab countries to arm Syria rebels’, and, ‘Israel Estimates ‘Only’ 300 Deaths in 3-Week War’

9:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Expanding on the above good Doctor’s reporting…

Arab countries to arm Syria rebels as fighting continues…

Arab countries have pledged to arm Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, while 40 people were killed in violence around Syria, activists said… {snip}

The opposition said some countries had agreed to arm the rebels.

‘The Free Syrian Army will be armed by some friendly countries but this will not be done in the open and will be very soon,’ Sheikh Anas Airout, a member of the Syrian National Council, told dpa.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Libya are the key financial backers of the plan to arm the rebels, an opposition source who requested anonymity told dpa.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States have pledged millions of dollars at a Friends of the Syrian People conference in Istanbul at the weekend to pay salaries for rebels fighting to topple al-Assad and provide communications equipment.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged against weapons being funneled to Syrian rebels, warning about the risk of regional proliferation…

Syria is another f*cking GCC/UN/EU/US/Nato R2P ‘humanitarian’ disaster in the making, just like Libya…!

Expanding on this rubbish: ‘The Free Syrian Army will be armed by some friendly countries but this will not be done in the open and will be very soon,’… …Stratfor Emails: Pentagon-Hired Mercenaries Intervening in Syria Since December, apparently Blackwater Xe Academi is on the job already…!

Also, from the previous article…

Al-Assad is maneuvering we all know that, he will never implement any peaceful plan to end the crisis in Syria, he only knows the language of killing,’ said Walid al-Buni, a member of the Syrian National Council.

In Washington, the US State Department said it would establish a so-called Syria Accountability Clearinghouse to help the Syrian people and international partners document human rights abuses in the country.

The information will be used to ‘help develop trial-ready dossiers against individuals responsible for violations of international or domestic criminal law,‘ the State Department said. It will also collect and analyze information to be used in later prosecutions, memorials and justice and reconciliation efforts.

It’s interesting that many Human Rights orgs operating in Libya now, claim that Nato is completely ignoring and/or squashing all their documented cases of overt HR violations caused by Nato’s Airstrikes and other covert activities in Libya…!

Now, from Iraq’s PM Maliki… Syrian regime will not fall, says Iraq PM…

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime will not fall and attempts to overthrow it by force will aggravate the crisis in the region, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Sunday.

“It has been one year and the regime did not fall, and it will not fall, and why should it fall?” Mr Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad.

“We reject any arming (of Syrian rebels) and the process to overthrow the regime, because this will leave a greater crisis in the region,” Maliki said…

Maliki knows perfectly well that the Iraqi Sunnis and the Kurds will completely ignore his pleas not to arm the Syrian ‘rebels’…!

Shifting gears a bit…

Some current responses from Iranian officials…

Iran says will not deviate from N-path…

Officer: Iran could hit US if it came under attack…

Now, getting to Israel…

I don’t know what’s more ridiculous, the farcical amount of casualties, or, the fantasy that it’ll only last three weeks…! Just like Cast Lead, maybe…? Anyhoots… Israel Estimates ‘Only’ 300 Deaths in 3-Week War…

Israel’s defense system estimates that if a war breaks out during 2012, 300 people will be killed in a three week period.

Now, despite the fact that Obummer has just approved the latest round of sanctions, this past Friday, and, they don’t officially go into effect until June 28th…! Bibi still has the chutzpah to say… Global sanctions on Iran not working…

…”The sanctions are painful, hard.. but will this bring about a halt or a retreat in the Iranian nuclear programme? Until now, it has not happened,” Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem.

He said the Iranian regime is struggling financially but has strengthened its political grip following the recent parliamentary elections.

The regime strengthened its grip in the recent elections, despite the sanctions,” he said of the parliamentary elections which took place in Iran in early March.

“It has strengthened its political grip, it is struggling financially and it still hasn’t turned back by even one millimetre from its nuclear programme.”

Will these difficulties cause the Iranian regime to stop its nuclear programme? Only time will tell. I can’t tell you if it will happen. I know there is hardship but there still hasn’t been a change.“…

So naturally, bombing Iran is the only recourse to loosening up that ‘political grip’ right, Bibi…? I’m positive they’ll greet those bombs with rose petals too…!

Some more of Bibi’s chutzpah… Netanyahu wants deal to prevent ‘binational state’…

…”I want to solve the conflict with the Palestinians because I don’t want a binational state,” Netanyahu told a rare news conference. “For as long as it depends on me, we will ensure the Jewish and democratic character of Israel.” {snip}

…Since then peace talks have never taken off in earnest, and the current stumbling block is a Palestinian demand that all construction of Jewish settlements on occupied land be halted. About a half million Israelis now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Israel counters that this was never a condition for talks before.

The Palestinians – and most of the international community – view the settlements as illegal or illegitimate. Many Israelis oppose them too – some driven by the sense that they are not in Israel’s interest because they make a partition more difficult.

Israel did remove 8,000 settlers from Gaza when it pulled out, but the scale of the challenge in the West Bank is far bigger – leading Israeli negotiators over the years to seek border adjustments that would incorporate many of the settlers into Israel.

But under most envisioned scenarios, tens of thousands would still have to be moved to enable a partition – or at least one that did not leave Israelis inside the Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has further alienated the Palestinians by making clear that in any future deal he would seek to retain significant chunks of the West Bank because of their strategic value, since Israel in its pre-1967 borders is at its narrowest point only 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide.

The existence of a Jewish state is not just a matter of separation” from the Palestinians, he said Tuesday. “It’s a matter of security, preserving our basic national interests – and this requires negotiations.

It is the Palestinians and not us who chose not to hold negotiations over three years,” he said. “I hope they change their minds in the coming months. We are ready and prepared to hold negotiations.

What Democracy…? Negotiate for what then Bibi…?

Btw, about that Palestinian ‘State’… ICC won’t investigate Gaza war because Palestine is ‘not a state’…

Talk about your Catch 22…!

*gah*