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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: AIPAC, BRICs, Syria, And The Third Intifada?

5:46 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Speaking of War Clubs, on the eve of AIPAC’s annual Confab in DC, ex-AIPAC’er, MJ Rosenberg goes off…

…At one time I wouldn’t have believed AIPAC would dare try something this nervy.That is it because traditionally AIPAC has been very cautious about not taking actions that suggested putting Israel’s interests over America’s. Demanding that Israel be exempt from cuts that virtually every American will feel seems so counterproductive as to almost be suicidal for the lobbying powerhouse.

Nonetheless, everything I hear indicates that Bloomfield is right although I doubt AIPAC will have the gall to insist on insulating AIPAC from the cuts that will occur in this year’s budget. More likely, it will wait until Congress is putting the 2014 cuts in place (there is more Congressional discretion in allotting the pain after 2013) before demanding not just that Israel go to the head of the line but that it not be forced to stand in the line at all.

No matter when Israel is exempted, and by how much, it is wrong and would represent nothing more than another power play by the lobby. After all, a cut of $175 million out of a $3 billion U.S. grant is nothing that Israel can’t handle. Besides, since when is any foreign aid gift automatic, so automatic that it is provided whether the donor can afford it or not. Even teenagers don’t demand a car when his parents are filing for bankruptcy. Additionally, if aid to Israel (the largest chunk of the foreign aid budget) is protected, mandated sequestration cuts will have to be proportionately increased on other recipients, primarily African countries which receive much needed development assistance (hunger, poverty, disease prevention) .

But that’s AIPAC or, to use the more encompassing term, the Israel lobby…

Now, ex-CIA Philip Giraldi, asks the burning question on Syria…

Who’s Turning Syria’s Civil War Into a Jihad?

The West, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia all have their own angles in the conflict—but Salafism and anarchy may be the big winners…

…Perhaps even more important, people in Washington should have also been asking why Saudi Arabia and Qatar wanted to overthrow al-Assad and what kind of government they had in mind to replace him. Saudi Arabia’s rival as regional hegemon, Iran, is viewed in Riyadh as ascendant due to the rise to power of a friendly Shia regime in Iraq as a result of the American invasion and regime change. This has permitted the development of a geographically contiguous Arab bloc closely tied to Tehran and its regional interests, running through Iraq, across Syria, and connecting with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. To break up that de facto coalition, the Saudis, who see Syria as the weak link in the chain, have sought to replace Assad’s Alawite-led government with a Sunni regime. But there is also a second agenda. Because the ruling minority Alawites are considered to be heretics similar to Shi’ites, a change in religious orientation would be necessary, with the Saudis serving as protectors of the Sunni majority. The Riyadh-backed Sunni regime would of course be expected to conform with the particularly Saudi view of proper religious deportment—the extremely conservative Wahhabism that prevails in the Kingdom, which is closer to the views of the more radical insurgents while hostile to the secularists. It would also make the country’s significant numbers of Christians, Alawites, Shi’ites, and Kurds potential victims of the arrangement.

All of which means that the Saudis and their allies Qatar believe in change in Syria, but on their own terms, and they actually oppose enabling a populist or democratic evolution. In fact, Riyadh has been actively engaged regionally in doing what it can to contain the unrest resulting from the Arab Spring so that the populism does not become untidy and spill over into Saudi Arabia itself. This has meant that from the beginning Saudi and Qatari objectives in Syria have differed from the goals of either Turkey or the Western powers, which should have been seen as a recipe for disaster…

Btw, Syria’s Assad ‘will take part’ in 2014 presidential poll…

Talking about real War Criminals, isn’t this rather rich…? Somalia Asks Kerry for Immunity for Alleged War Criminal in U.S…

Now, here’s an interesting take on the MENA miasma…

…US policy in the Middle East is undergoing a double change. Toward Syria, the posture is becoming noticeable harder. While senior analysts in the intelligence community continue to warn of potential chaos and bloodletting on a large scale in the event of a sudden collapse of the Assad regime, the deepening of the humanitarian crisis is moving the Administration toward more active support of the opposition. The supply of non-lethal aid that will allow the opposition to consolidate their positions in territory they hold is already underway. No decision is yet in place on whether this assistance will escalate to arms, but US officials tell us privately that this is the “logic of the situation.” Regarding Iran by contrast the Administration is adopting a softer approach. The package offered to Tehran at the 26th/27th P5+1 meeting in Almaty had less of the “take-it-or-leave” tone of previous offers. As an NSC official commented to us: “We are deliberately embarking on a process in which there is a prospect of genuine give and take.” This approach does not lack for critics either inside the national security community nor on Capitol Hill where Senators are pressing for a resolution that would bind the US to support Israel in the event of an attack on Iran by the latter. At the very least, President Obama is preparing for an “earful of criticism” when he visits Israel later this month. One argument he will employ is that by being tougher on Syria, he is also weakening Iran. However, with an important element of US naval forces delaying its deployment to the region for budgetary reasons, Obama is not looking for a pretext for war. With regard to China, the chronically unresolved dilemma in US policy between regarding China as a necessary partner on trade, finance and issues like North Korea or seeing it as a military competitor and threat to US allies is trending in the adversarial direction. Intelligence analysts see increased and more hostile patrolling by the Chinese navy in disputed waters of the South and East China Seas. The consensus is that tensions are on the rise for 2013, including over Tibet.

Ironically, it would seem that China is actively pursuing alternate Global trade and financial routes, apart from the Western MOTU’s, and denominated in Yuan…! China key to BRICS bank…!

Indeed, ‘May you live in interesting times’…

In summing up… The Third Intifada?

*gah*

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Egypt 3.0, Israeli ‘Green Lights’, and, The House of Saud

7:02 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

That incident is sparking the Egyptian Revolution 3.0 version…

Egypt Opposition Urges Morsi to Step Down

…Egypt’s key opposition bloc has supported calls for President Mohamed Morsi to resign amid continuing protests across the country a day after clashes in the capital Cairo left one person dead and dozens injured, media reported.

According to Saturday’s statement from the National Salvation Front quoted by Al Jazeera, “the Salvation Front completely sides with the people and its active forces’ calls to topple the authoritarian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood’s control.”

The opposition bloc called on Egyptians to hold peaceful protests and demanded a trial for Morsi for “killings and torture,” ruling out dialogue with the presidency until bloodshed stops and “those responsible for it are held accountable,” the Qatar-based broadcaster reported.

At least one person was killed and over 50 injured, including five police officers, as police clashed with protesters outside the capital’s presidential palace on Friday evening. Police reportedly fired tear gas and protesters threw stones.

TV footage showed police beating a naked man. Egypt’s authorities said Saturday they regretted the beating, saying it was “an isolated act.”

An interesting wrinkle on Israel’s recent illegal incursion(s)…

The Fallout from the Air Raid on Syria: Why Israel is Concerned

…So far only two airstrikes have been publicly reported, amid a flurry of conflicting initial reports. Syria officially complained of the destruction of the Scientific Studies and Research Center in Jamarya northwest of Damascus. And a variety of news organizations reported that Israeli jets hit a convoy carrying advanced anti-aircraft defense systems toward Lebanon’s Bakaa Valley, presumably for delivery to Hizballah, the militant Shi’ite group closely allied with the Assad regime. If they had been deployed, those SA-17 ground-to-air missiles would intimidated Israeli pilots who now operate over Lebanese airspace with impunity, forcing them to higher altitudes and other operational precautions.

A Western intelligence official indicated to TIME that at least one to two additional targets were hit the same night, without offering details. Officials also said that Israel had a “green light” from Washington to launch yet more such strikes…

…In other words, it may be easier to attack the problem from the other side — simply destroy the weapons you’re afraid they’ll get their hands on. Among the buildings leveled at the military complex at Jamarya, outside Damascus, were warehouses stocked with equipment necessary for the deployment of chemical and biological weapons, relatively complicated systems typically manned by specially trained forces…

…No specific armed force was identified as threatening the compound. Intelligence officials said the concern was unconventional weapons “dripping” into control of extremists in the relative chaos of the rebel side.

One Western intelligence official told TIME the U.S. military was poised to carry out similar airstrikes around Aleppo if rebels threaten to take sites associated with weapons of mass destruction in that region

Some more… Israel targeted multiple targets in recent attack on Syria, U.S. intelligence official tells Time… And…

Israel May Feel Need To Strike Syria Again

An Israeli air attack staged in Syria this week may be a sign of things to come.

Israeli military officials appear to have concluded that the risks of attacking Syria are worth taking when compared to the dangers of allowing sophisticated weapons to reach Hezbollah guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon…

Now, here’s an interesting read on Turkey’s take…

Along with this broadside…Turkey’s Syrian Dilemma…!

I did find some humor, albeit gallows humor, when I saw this Grey Lady report today…

Syrian Opposition Leader Confers With U.S. and Russia

The leader of the Syrian opposition council, Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, met here on Saturday with representatives of the United States and Russia — who fundamentally disagree on how to resolve Syria’s civil war — but the meetings were separate and there was no indication, officials said, that any progress had been made toward a workable plan to bring the violence to an end.

Moscow has been encouraged by Sheik Khatib’s suggestion, which he repeated here, that he would be willing to talk to Syrian government representatives under certain conditions. But European and American officials expect that offer to go nowhere now that the sheik’s colleagues in the opposition have attacked it.

The side meetings at the annual Munich Security Conference seemed to confirm the fissures over Syria, including a new disagreement between the United States and some of its European allies over whether to provide rebel fighters with more powerful weapons.

As if…!

Russia Denies Plan to Talk to Syria Opposition

Russia has categorically rejected Western media reports claiming that Moscow is planning to hold talks with Syrian opposition on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference about “a political transition for Syria.”

And, if you had any doubts about Russia’s allegiances…

Russia opposes humanitarian corridor in Syria, citing int’l air intervention fears

Military intervention in Syria is unacceptable even if it aims to create an air-protected humanitarian corridor, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov has said. Syria is one of most hotly debated topics at an annual Security Conference taking place in Germany.

­”Russia does not support the idea of a humanitarian corridor in Syria. Any use of military power is unacceptable, and not just because we still remember what it lead to in Libya,” Lavrov said while addressing the Munich Security Conference. “We need to see the world the way it is. We need to recognize that military operations bring more chaos into the international matters and can send off waves of instability that will be impossible to hide from in any of what we may think as an island of security.”

Lavrov confirmed that the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal is under full control of the country’s government, and poses no danger as long as it does not fall into the hands of the rebels. Such an event would be a “red line” nobody wishes to see crossed, he said.

Despite the worsening situation in the region, peace is still within reach, Lavrov explained: “The war in Syria could be over if all sides stuck honestly and loyally to the principles of the June 30 Geneva conference.”

Now, take a gander at this recent Stratfor report…

The Consequences of Intervening in Syria

The Saudi Gambit

…Supporting the jihad in Syria as a weapon against Iranian influence also gives the Saudis a chance to burnish their Islamic credentials internally in an effort to help stave off criticism that they are too secular and Westernized. It allows the Saudi regime the opportunity to show that it is helping Muslims under assault by the vicious Syrian regime.

Supporting jihadists in Syria also gives the Saudis an opportunity to ship their own radicals to Syria, where they can fight and possibly die. With a large number of unemployed, underemployed and radicalized young men, the jihad in Syria provides a pressure valve similar to the past struggles in Iraq, Chechnya, Bosnia and Afghanistan. The Saudis are not only trying to winnow down their own troubled youth; we have received reports from a credible source that the Saudis are also facilitating the travel of Yemeni men to training camps in Turkey, where they are trained and equipped before being sent to Syria to fight. The reports also indicate that the young men are traveling for free and receiving a stipend for their service. These young radicals from Saudi Arabia and Yemen will even further strengthen the jihadist groups in Syria by providing them with fresh troops.

The Saudis are gaining temporary domestic benefits from supporting jihad in Syria, but the conflict will not last forever, nor will it result in the deaths of all the young men who go there to fight. This means that someday the men who survive will come back home, and through the process we refer to as “tactical Darwinism” the inept fighters will have been weeded out, leaving a core of competent militants that the Saudis will have to deal with…

Please read that entire Stratfor report, it confirms everything I’ve been saying for years, about all of our MENA craptastic endeavors…!

*gah*

On a final note… Pepe still rulz, all the rest droolz…

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: It Is All About Israel, The Grand Waffle, Pepe Escobar, And, Mali

7:21 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Philip Giraldi wrote recently…

It Is All About Israel

…While applauding the efforts of many Americans to pull out the stops in support the Hagel nomination, I would nevertheless argue that the attempt to identify some kind of rainbow coalition in the opposition to Hagel is pretty much a canard. It really is all about Israel, at least in the minds of most of those who seriously are seeking to block the nomination. Consider for a second whether Hagel would be facing any serious opposition at all if it were not for the claim that he is anti-Israel and not predisposed to use force against Iran. And bear in mind that Iran is really a subset of the Israel issue since it is Benjamin Netanyahu who is driving the belligerency even though the Iranians do not actually threaten the United States in any serious way…

…And for those who still doubt that it is all about Israel, I would suggest a little history lesson. In 2004 Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, admitted that the Iraq war was fought to protect Israel, which he described as “the threat that dare not speak its name.” He meant that if there had not been the connivance of the Pentagon’s friends of Israel in creating a false weapons of mass destruction narrative coupled with the fulsome support of the Lobby a war on behalf of Israel would never have been endorsed by the American people. And it is also useful to review what happened to the last brave soul who dared to put American interests ahead of those of Israel. That was Chas Freeman who was proposed as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council during President Obama’s first term in 2009. Freeman had an exemplary record as a public servant and was known to be an independent thinker willing to reconsider and challenge orthodox policies. Freeman had served as Ambassador to China and Saudi Arabia and was regarded as something of an Arabist, which immediately made him suspect to the usual crowd in congress and the media. For that he was immediately attacked by Israel’s friends, in what was described as a “thunderous, coordinated assault.” The critics frequently pretended that they were actually opposing Freeman’s views on China and his close personal ties to the Saudis, just as Hagel is now being falsely pilloried because he lacks management experience and because his wartime service in Vietnam will color his judgments. But no one was really fooled regarding Chas Freeman – it was all about Israel. Freeman, realizing that the debate over his views would become a distraction, asked that his name be withdrawn…

Speaking of Chas Freeman, as Jim Lobe reported…


“Grand Waffle” in the Middle East

…The definitive failure of the decades-long American-sponsored “peace process” between Israelis, Palestinians, and other Arabs adds greatly to the uncertainty. Whether it yielded peace or not, the “peace process” made the United States the apparently indispensable partner for both Israel and the Arabs. It served dual political purposes. It enabled Arab governments to persuade their publics that maintaining good relations with the United States did not imply selling out Arab or Islamic interests in Palestine, and it supported the U.S. strategic objective of achieving acceptance for a Jewish state by the other states and peoples of the Middle East. Washington’s abandonment of this diplomacy was a boon to Israeli territorial expansion but a disaster for American influence in the region, including in Israel.

Over the years, America protected Israel from international rebuke and punishment. Its stated purpose was the preservation of prospects for a negotiated “two-state solution” that could bring security and peace to Israelis and Palestinians alike. A decade ago, every member of both the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation endorsed this objective and pledged normalization with Israel if Israeli-Palestinian negotiations succeeded. In response, Israel spun out its talks with the Palestinians while working hard to preclude their self-determination. It has now succeeded in doing so.

There has been no American-led peace process worthy of the name for nearly two decades. There is no prospect of such a process resuming. No one in the international community now accepts the pretense of a “peace process” as an excuse for American protection of Israel. Eleven years on, the Arab and Islamic peace offer has exceeded its shelf life. On the Israel-Palestine issue, American diplomacy has been running on fumes for some time. It is now totally out of gas and universally perceived to be going nowhere…

Of course, I had stuck a fork in the Peace Farce’s carcass a looong time ago…!

Now, I’ve been a long-time fan of Pepe’s and often cited his articles at the AsiaTimes, and/or, posted many of his interviews on Press TV, Real News, RT, etc…! So, I was pleasantly surprised to see another of my ‘Heroes’ citing Pepe…

Escobar on the Mali War

“The Tuareg-led NMLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), via one of its leaders, now says it’s “ready to help” the former colonial power, billing itself as more knowledgeable about the culture and the terrain than future intervening forces from the CEDEAO (the acronym in French for the Economic Community of Western African States). Salafi-jihadis in Mali have got a huge problem: they chose the wrong battlefield. If this was Syria, they would have been showered by now with weapons, logistical bases, a London-based “observatory”, hours of YouTube videos and all-out diplomatic support by the usual suspects of US, Britain, Turkey, the Gulf petromonarchies and – oui, monsieur – France itself.” Pepe Escobar

—————————

An excellent and informative article. I do not subscribe to the “knee jerk” Chomskyite economic determiist motivation that Escobar ascribes to the US and France, but, other than that, this is really “good stuff.” He also raises the question of why these particular Islamist revolutionaries are treated to a taste of the club while those in Syria are the heroes of Western elites. The answer is simple. Mali is far from Israel and the Israeli government foolishly wants Assad gone. pl

Now, I happen to disagree with the good Col’s dismissal of Pepe’s Chomskyite Economic Determinist motivation, simply because he’s been dead right…! You be the judge from this recent lengthy interview…

Btw, what’s up with all these Mystery flights of late…?

On a final note, The Wapoo is finally catching up on Libya…

Algerian hostage crisis throws spotlight on spillover of Libyan war

The hostage standoff at an Algerian gas field has thrown a fresh spotlight on the spillover unleashed by the 2011 war that toppled Moammar Gaddafi in Libya.

Experts say the vast quantities of weapons and fighters that streamed out of Gaddafi’s arsenals may have served as a catalyst for the region’s expanding crisis.

But the bold move on the gas complex near the Libyan border this week, coupled with the swift military successes of militants in Mali, have also raised questions about NATO’s handling of Libyan arsenals, as well as the country’s borders, during the eight-month revolution, in which the alliance assisted Libya’s rebel forces.

Some experts say that NATO forces and the U.S. government were so consumed by the threat of surface-to-air missiles in the wake of Gaddafi’s fall that they failed to halt the proliferation of the ordinary high-caliber weapons that may now be fueling Mali’s Islamist insurgency and could carry drastic implications for a region already reeling from lawlessness and a growing al-Qaeda threat. Some of those weapons have already reached Syria and the Gaza Strip…

What brilliant, f*cking Geniuses, eh…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Israel ‘Doesn’t Know What Its Best Interests Are’, ‘Institute for Scary Iran Stories’, And, Mali

6:35 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

 

“The modern liberal state … often uses deception to gain its ends — not so much deception of the foreign enemy, but of its own citizens,who have been taught to trust their leaders.” – Howard Zinn

In all my years of blogging, my sole regret is my inability to piece together more than two paragraphs, in any literary fashion, like most are able to…!

So, please allow me the luxury to blend together some of my old scribblings with some of the latest ‘News’ out of the MENA

Obama Privately Says Israel ‘Doesn’t Know What Its Best Interests Are’

“When informed about the Israeli decision, Obama, who has a famously contentious relationship with the prime minister, didn’t even bother getting angry,” Goldberg writes. “He told several people that this sort of behavior on Netanyahu’s part is what he has come to expect, and he suggested that he has become inured to what he sees as self-defeating policies of his Israeli counterpart.”

As I wrote way back when…‘Israel’s mentality is a barrier to Mideast peace’

Btw, don’t you find this mighty hypocritical of Bibi…? Obama Comments ‘Gross Interference’ in Elections…

Moving along, FDL Alum Jim White penned another awesome post today, and spelt it all out…

Albright Follows Warrick Into Full Neocon Mode, Presents Iran Sanction Manifesto

…It now is clear that the article from Warrick was meant to prepare the ground for the unveiling, one week later, of David Albright’s new working group developed precisely for the purpose of furthering the neocon position on Iran sanctions. By taking on additional policy members in this working group, Albright is now branching out from his usual area of commentary on technical issues (where Moon of Alabama has dubbed his Institute for Science and International Security the “Institute for Scary Iran Stories“) all the way into policy and now promotes the full neocon position that Iran is dangerously close to having a nuclear weapon and therefore sanctions must be ratcheted up further.

As Jim Lobe wrote today… New Push in U.S. for Tougher Sanctions, War Threats Against Iran…

As I had once opined…The Road to Tyranny And Real Men go to Tehran…

Even Jimmy Carter had sounded the alarm awhile back on our failed FP…Carter: ‘Oppose Unnecessary Wars, Preemptive Strikes, And, Embargoes’ And, Obama Imposes Another Round of Sanctions on Syria/Iran…

Moving along to Mali…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Roundup: Reading The Tea Leaves…

6:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Can the United States Think Strategically About Iran, China, and the Deepening Ties Between the Persian Gulf and Rising Asia?

… As we write,

While no single factor explains the relative decline of American standing and influence in world affairs, one of the most important is the failure of American political and policy elites to define clear, reality-based goals and to relate the diplomatic, economic, and military means at Washington’s disposal to realizing them soberly and efficaciously. Defining such ends and relating the full range of foreign policy tools to their achievement is the essence of what is known among students of international relations and national security practitioners as ‘grand strategy.’ Questions of grand strategy are becoming an increasingly important element in America’s emerging national security narrative—because of accumulating policy failures, relative economic decline, and the rise of new power centers in various regional and international arenas.

To explore what is wrong with contemporary American grand strategy and what it would take to put that strategy on a sounder course, our article evaluates “Washington’s posture toward two regions where the effectiveness of American policy will largely determine the United States’ standing as a great power in the 21st century: the Middle East (with a focus on the Persian Gulf) and rising Asia (with a focus on China).” As we explain,

Fundamental flaws in America’s stance vis-à-vis these critical areas have contributed much to the erosion of the United States’ strategic standing. Over time, deficiencies in policy toward each of them have become synergistic with deficiencies in policy toward the other. Recovering a capacity for sound grand strategy will require a thoroughgoing recasting of American policy toward both—and a more nuanced appreciation of the interrelationship between these vital parts of the world for U.S. interests.

We have come more and more to appreciate that recasting American policy in this way must necessarily be preceded by a kind of “cultural revolution” in the United States. Since the end of the Cold War, American foreign policy has been increasingly driven by a grand strategic model—we call it the “transformation model” in our article—in which “the United States seeks not to manage distributions of power but to transcend them by becoming a hegemon, in key regions of the world and globally.” Such a commitment to hegemony—an assertion of military, economic, and ideological dominance that aims to micromanage political outcomes in far-flung parts of the world and to remake, or at least to subordinate, vital regions in accordance with American preferences—is deeply problematic, strategically as well as morally

From the NY Fed in ’06…

Recycling Petrodollars

In recent years, oil-exporting countries have experienced windfall gains with the rise in the price of oil. A look at how oil exporters “recycle” their revenues reveals that roughly half of the petrodollar windfall has gone to purchase foreign goods, especially from Europe and China, while the remainder has been invested in foreign assets. Although it is difficult to determine where the funds are first invested, the evidence suggests that the bulk are ending up, directly or indirectly, in the United States

Some more PetroDollar background…!

Now, Isn’t it fascinating that our own Allies are beginning to ignore our ridiculous Iran Sanctions…?

As I wrote last January…Screwing the Petro-Pooch…!

Moving along to Syria…

There is no ‘noble war’ that will justify this bloodshed

“…The rebels, with the concurrence of their outside backers in Riyadh, Doha, Ankara and Washington, have steadfastly rejected jaw-jaw in favour of war-war. The leader of the newly created Syrian National Coalition, Moaz Al Khatib, rejected the latest call by UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian Foreign Sergei Lavrov to attend talks with the Syrian government. Mr Al Khatib insists that Bashar Al Assad step down as a precondition to talks, but surely Mr Al Assad’s future is one of the main points for discussion.The rebels, over whom Mr Al Khatib has no control, have not been able to defeat Mr Al Assad in almost two years of battle. Stalemate on the battlefield argues for negotiation to break the impasse through acceptance of a transition to something new….”

Some more thought-provoking treatises to mull over…Regimen of Permanent WarsThe US War Machine…!

And, finally, as I once wrote, What a Wicked Web We Weave…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

MENA Roundup: Barrel Bombs, Bunker Busters And Scud Busters

7:42 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

You know what’s lost amongst all this mass hysteria over Assad’s Scuds and WMDs, is the rank hypocrisy of our own misguided bombings…! Does anybody realize the sheer depths of depravity we’d sunk to, in Fallujah, as one sordid example of our ‘Shock and Awe’ in Irak…? Truly… Why Remember Iraq?

Now, to add insult to injury… After Deadly Siege in Gaza, US to Restock Israeli Munitions

… The DoD notified Congress on Monday of the $647 million deal with Israel to restock the Israel Air Force (IAF) with munitions used in the over one thousand bombings conducted during the “Operation Pillar of Defense” on Gaza last month. Congress is expected to approve the deal this week.

The DoD said the deal includes roughly 7,000 Joint Attack Munitions kits, and 10,000 bombs of various kinds, mostly bunker-buster bombs, including 1,725 BLU-109 bunker-buster bombs, and 3,450 GBU-39 bunker-buster bombs.

In addition to the large amount of civilian casualties, the assault on Gaza also destroyed roughly 8,000 buildings and roughly $1.2 billion in infrastructural damage, according to Palestinian officials.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials announced Wednesday that it will now withhold needed tax revenues from the Palestinian administration in the West Bank for at least four months in retaliation for the Palestinians’ bid for observer status at the UN this month. The December funds transfer was already withheld…

To be sure… Palestine calls for end to Israeli blockade of Gaza…

…The international community needs to take “action to remove the tremendous obstacles the occupying power is placing on the ground, ” with lives of more than 1.6 million Palestinians being affected, according to Mansour.

The Israeli government “regrettably continues to impose trade restrictions making the Palestinian economy dependent on the Israeli economy,” said the Palestinian ambassador.

At this time, according to him, Palestine is “unable to access the international marketplace, Palestinians are forced to trade with Israel, the occupying power, which makes the State of Palestine the number one importer of Israeli products.”

Consequently, “this high dependence deprives the Palestinian economy of more competitive sources of imports and markets for exports, and heightens its vulnerability to the Israeli business cycle,” said Mansour.

Mansour noted that the limited economic freedom has posed ” another immense impediment to achieving sustainable Palestinian economic growth” because Palestinian entrepreneurs have limited access to competitive international markets, especially for exporting agricultural goods.

According to the envoy, these circumstances have created a desperate need for “economic and humanitarian assistance by the international community” which is “crucial, but not enough.”

“If the international community truly aspires to witness the two-State solution materialize and observe a sustained economic growth trajectory and development for the Palestinian people, it must compel the occupying power to end all of its illegal measures and actions and finally terminate its military occupation,” said Mansour. “The international community must step up its responsibility and put pressure on Israel to abide by its legal obligations under international law, humanitarian law and human rights law.”

C’mon now, seriously…? 3,450 GBU-39 bunker-buster bombs…? Wtf, over…?

Incidently… Israel special forces conducting cross-border operations in Syria…!

Moving on… US Providing Training to Syrian Rebels in Jordan…!

Apparently, the Syrian ‘doom and gloom’ is settling in all over, even in Moscow…

Syrian opposition victory possible, but at an absolutely unacceptable price – Moscow

…”One must look the facts in the face … the regime and government in Syria is losing control of more and more territory,” state-run RIA quoted the envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, as saying. “Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out.” {…}

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov warned Thursday of emerging terrorist hotbeds that had been sprouting throughout Syria and the Sinai Peninsula.

“Al-Qaeda extremists constitute a large part of the armed opposition forces,” he said, adding Syrian militants could and actually had already been seizing arms stockpiles…

Seriously, Beware the Ides of March…!

…The propaganda preparation of the American people for another military adventure is now approaching a climax. US recognition of the rebel coalition sets the stage for legal intervention.

Shall we start a war “pool” as to the date? pl

*gah*

by CTuttle

A MENA Roundup: Bye-Bye, Barak, And Morsi?

7:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

McClatchy expands on the new Tahrir Square protests…

Egyptians fill Tahrir Square in largest protest of President Mohammed Morsi

Tens of thousands of protesters poured into Tahrir Square on Tuesday night to contest what they believe is Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s illegal declaration that his decisions are exempt from judicial oversight, marking the largest protests ever against the newly elected president.

It was not clear Tuesday night whether the chants of thousands calling for a second revolution would lead Morsi to rescind, modify or wait out opponents to his 5-day-old constitutional declaration. Instead, it appeared the crowds, notably absent of the Islamists who are Morsi’s base, simply reflected an increasingly polarized electorate. Indeed, many who were protesting Tuesday said they boycotted the election that led to Morsi’s presidency or voted for his rival.

If Morsi sticks to his declaration, the feud over who has the final say over the nation’s judicial matters will come to a head Sunday when the courts are expected to make three key rulings. The courts will determine whether Morsi acted legally when he changed the temporary constitution in July to end military rule – leading to the firing of Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council – and giving Morsi final say over military matters, the first time a civilian has had such power in Egypt’s modern history; whether the assembly charged with crafting a permanent constitution is legal, since it was elected by the now-defunct Parliament, which the courts earlier ruled was illegally constituted; and whether the Shura Council, the upper house of Parliament, should be dissolved.

If the courts rule against Morsi, it remains unclear whether Morsi’s decree or the judicial rulings would prevail – or who will decide that. In the meantime, several judges have suspended their work in protest…

Meanwhile… 150 Egyptians injured in nationwide clashes…

Moving along to Ehud Barack’s announced ‘Retirement,’ ex-AIPAC employee, MJ Rosenberg says good riddance…

He, more than anyone else, destroyed the peace process. He was elected in 1999 on a Labor Party peace platform, arguing that the incumbent prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had destroyed chances for peace. He promised to reach a deal with the Palestinians who welcomed his election along with an ecstatic Israeli peace camp.

But following the election he immediately set out to humiliate the Palestinians, ignoring Yasir Arafat’s pleas to start talking and instead pretended to focus on reaching a deal with Syria so he could end run the Palestinians. He kept them waiting for six months, a strategy designed to strengthen his hand against them…

In 2000, he decided to push for an all-or-nothing agreement. Arafat said no, that it was too soon, especially given the good will that Barak had frittered away. Clinton agreed with Arafat that first Barak needed to lived up to the agreements Israel had already signed. (Clinton has publicly regretted being duped by Barak)

But Barak insisted on a summit. Israelis, Palestinians and Americans commenced negotiations at Camp David in July where Barak refused even to talk to Arafat directly. He famously treated Arafat as some indigenous local chief while he was a head of state.

Barak put some ideas on the table, all in the spirit of take-it-or-leave-it. Barak and the Dennis Ross-led American “peace team” coordinated every step of negotiations which were essentially a gang-up. Arafat, who had said from the get-go that he could not reach a deal until Israel lived up to its previous agreements, refused to accept Barak’s offers which, in any case, never came close to meeting Arafat’s demand for a state in 22% of historic Palestine.

Following negotiations, Barak announced that he had “torn the mask” off the face of the Palestinians. Although negotiations continued, Barak was now in the business of demonizing them. By the time he made the Palestinians a decent offer, it was too late. Trust had been destroyed…

While Barak’s policies were no worse than Sharon or Netanyahu, he is the only one who was elected to achieve peace on the Labor ticket. In my view, he is then worse than either of them.

Now he leaves, bodies strewn everywhere…

Expanding further, Peter MacKay’s “atrocities across the Middle East”

Israel as a colonial settler state.

The current state of Israel, supported unequivocally by Canada and the U.S. is a similar colonial settler state, representing the ‘empire’ of the west – mostly the EU, the U.S., and Canada… {…}

With the false promise of the UN Partition Plan in 1947, objected to by the Palestinians as it gave away most of their land to the much smaller Jewish population, the Israeli forces set in motion their military actions of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Well before their declaration of independence, they began destroying and moving Palestinian residents from their villages in 1947. When the British mandate ended in 1948, the Israelis declared their independence and began a second wave of military actions, this time compounded by the ineffective intervention of much weaker Arab army units.

Since then the settler-colonialist mentality has been in full force. The Palestinians live under different rules of law, in both the West Bank and the pre 1967 Israeli boundaries. In the West Bank, the Palestinians live under military law, subject to change at moments notice and a soldier’s whim. After 1967, with the success of the pre-emptive war against Egyptian forces that expanded into assaults on Jordanian held West Bank and the Golan Heights of Syria, the military rule and settler colonialization of the West Bank and Gaza came into full force.

Land annexations and expropriations using antiquated laws and newly created military zone laws slowly crept over the West Bank and Gaza. The settler-colonialist elements were and are aided by many supportive grants from the government of Israel, which in turn is supported by many western countries, notably the U.S. and Canada, with both military and economic aid. Combinations of land take-overs, military rules, imprisonment, torture, and assassination of Palestinians are used to control the population… {…}

The “peace negotiations”, the “road maps to peace” have all been subterfuges under which the Israeli government has simply stalled for time while the settlements have continued building unabated. The “Palestine Papers” as revealed by al-Jazeera demonstrate that the Palestinians bent over back ward, much too far according to most, in order to secure a land settlement for two states.

Using the same tactics as the empires of the ‘new’ world, the Israelis are creating their own zone of control over the resources and people of the region. With their military strength (but not necessarily military prowess) they dominate the region acting both as puppets of U.S. interests and even more so as manipulators of U.S. interests…

Just to be sure, lets revisit one of my old posts; US State Dept: Israel’s “Principal Human Rights Problems Were Institutional, Legal, And Societal Discrimination.” To Wit:

2010 Human Rights Report: Israel and the occupied territories

…Principal human rights problems were institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against Arab citizens, Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (see annex), non-Orthodox Jews, and other religious groups; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; and societal discrimination and domestic violence against women, particularly in Bedouin society. While trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution decreased in recent years, trafficking for the purpose of labor remained a serious problem, as did abuse of foreign workers and societal discrimination and incitement against asylum seekers.

Now, moving along to Syria…

Syria ‘names 142 foreign jihadists who fought with rebels’

The Syrian government has named 142 foreign jihadists that it reportedly says were killed fighting alongside rebels in the country’s civil war…

Damascus-based newspaper Al-Watan on Tuesday published a list that it said the Syrian government had sent to the United Nations Security Council last month giving the names and the dates and locations where the “terrorists” were killed.

“Most are jihadists (radical Islamists) who belong to al-Qaeda’s network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria,” the paper said, adding that they entered Syria via Turkey and Lebanon.

Among the 142 it named 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 11 Afghans, 10 Tunisians, nine Egyptians, six Qataris and five Lebanese.

The government is thought to have asked for the list be registered as an official document on the UN’s agenda of “measures to combat international terrorism”.

Meanwhile, the UN has been busy…

UN condemns Syria, Iran for rampant rights abuses

A UN General Assembly committee has condemned Syria and Iran for widespread human rights abuses, but both Damascus and Tehran dismissed the separate votes as politically motivated.

The draft resolution on Syria, which was co-sponsored by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain, France and other Arab and Western states, received 132 votes in favour – 10 more than a similar resolution last year received – along with 12 against and 35 abstentions.

The resolution on Iran, which was drafted by Canada and co-sponsored by other Western countries, received 83 votes in favour, 31 against and 68 abstentions.

The increased number of yes votes for both resolutions shows waning support for Tehran and Damascus in New York, envoys said.

Both resolutions were passed by the 193-nation assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, and will be put to formal votes next month at plenary sessions of the General Assembly. They are both expected to pass with similar margins.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari dismissed the resolution against his country as an attempt by “Western states to interfere, and we condemn this.”

He also accused Qatar, which has supported the rebels seeking to toppled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the 20-month-old insurgency, of aiding and abetting Israel against the Palestinians.

Ja’afari repeated Syria’s oft-stated accusation that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and Turkey have been arming and financially supporting the rebels, an allegation all have denied.

Western diplomats in New York, however, say privately that the Saudis and Qataris are almost certainly aiding the rebels, and possibly other countries as well.

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee dismissed the resolution against Tehran as based on unconfirmed allegations and an attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of Iran.

Speaking of Iran, as Marcy had quipped on Jim White’s excellent post; ‘How considerate of the Iranians to label their secret nefarious nuke graph in English!’ Graph suggests Iran working on bomb… Funny how that was a similar gripe that Gareth Porter had raised about the Iranian Nuke Laptop…

Anyways, needless to say… Senate works on new package of Iran sanctions…

As the dynamic duo, Hillary and Flynt Leverett wrote recently…

Obama’s New National Security Team Should Be Asked Serious Questions About U.S. Foreign Policy (But Probably Won’t Be)

President Obama’s pending reshuffle of his national security team is an occasion to ask hard questions about American foreign policy. Most immediately, as Hillary told Al Jazeera’s Inside Story last week, click on video above or to link here, Obama’s nomination of his next Secretary of State—whether that is Susan Rice or someone else—provides an opening to ask pressing questions about the Obama administration’s increasing proclivity for proxy warfare against problematic Middle Eastern governments. Above all, “Did the United States arm, fund, train, and support—either directly or through our so-called ‘allies’—the very people who killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and the other Americans who did with him?” But Obama’s most outspoken GOP critics on the issue—e.g., Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham—can’t ask those questions, “because [they’re] complicit in this policy.” (To see Hillary’s segment, go 7:38 into the video above.)

Of course, it remains to be seen whether McCain, Graham, and their Republican colleagues stick to their guns regarding Rice’s acceptability as a nominee for Secretary of State. But the significance of Obama’s apparent interest in nominating her goes beyond the “who’s up/who’s down” of Washington politics or Obama’s proclivity to declare consequential policy positions without having thought through how to implement them. It raises more fundamental questions about the direction of American foreign policy and grand strategy in Obama’s second term. As Hillary explains,

“Whether you are a conservative or a neoliberal interventionist—I would put Susan Rice in that category—each of these camps supports armed, military intervention by the United States in the internal affairs of other countries. They do it for slightly different reasons, but the main strategic purpose is for the United States to pursue dominance…

As to what to expect from Obama on foreign policy in his second term, Hillary says that “the evidence, so far, is for more of the same.” Certainly there is no reason to anticipate much change in Washington’s approach to the Middle East…

Same-oh, same-oh, just ain’t cutting it, Folks…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Lebanon’s Plight

12:15 am in Uncategorized by CTuttle

MarkfromIreland had replied in my last post’s thread, in regards to the Beirut bombing…

The violent protests in Beirut aren’t surprising Charles, Christians and Sunni Muslims ruled the roost in Lebanon for a long time and are sore losers.
There was some fighting involving lightly armed gunmen from Tariq al-Jdideh who were dimwitted enough to attack Barbour including by all accounts using RPGs. They were driven off with some casualties. No casualties amongst the defenders. Some sporadic fighting continued until the army arrived and forced the attackers back to Tariq al-Jdideh. The army are conducting raids into Besharah al-Khouri, Qasqas, Tayyouneh “pour décourager les autres”.

I did some more digging around and from Intelnews.org…

The Significance of the Killing of Lebanon’s Security Chief

…It is true that Friday’s bombing silenced a strong critic of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, who had an instrumental position inside the Lebanese government’s security establishment. But Hassan was hardly the country’s most important security official, and anything but unique in his anti-Syrian views within the context of the staunchly anti-Syrian ISF. {…} Thus despite his consistent criticism of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, Hassan had few friends in Israeli intelligence circles. To this mix add the Iranian intelligence, which has been battling with the ISF for decades, as well as Hezbollah, whose leadership often views the ISF’s intelligence division as an outright enemy, and you can get a limited sense of the immense complexity of this case.

Another area of confusion concerns the riots that broke out in Beirut following Hassan’s funeral on Sunday. It is important to stress that the large crowds of Lebanese who were present at the funeral were not necessarily there to pay their respects to the dead man. Although Hassan was a senior official in the ISF, very few Lebanese knew his name prior to Friday. In fact, few —if any— ordinary Lebanese civilians had ever heard of Wissam al-Hassan prior to his high-profile assassination, just as few Americans today know the name of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Security Branch. The crowds that descended on downtown Beirut on Sunday went there as participants in an act of defiance against those who planted the bomb that killed Hassan. These were primarily Sunni Muslims, who are largely supportive of the Free Syrian Army. On the other side of the divide, Lebanese Shiites, including Hezbollah and some of its Christian allies, tend to be staunch supporters of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. The rioters who tried to storm the headquarters of the Lebanese government on Sunday afternoon believe that the Lebanese government should end its neutral stance on the Syrian Civil War and openly back the rebels. This is, of course, a highly predictable reaction to the bombing, so much so that it almost rules out the possibility that Damascus may have been behind Hassan’s assassination.

Ultimately, the view that last week’s bombing, and Hassan’s killing, may signify the internationalization of the Syrian Civil War is myopic. Politically and ideologically, Lebanon has been an integral part of Syria for decades, so much so that it would be strange if the Syrian crisis did not —sooner or later— engulf parts of Lebanon… …The situation in Syria is gradually beginning to resemble, not the Spanish Civil War, as some claim, but rather 1980s Angola —a gathering place for mercenaries, ideologues and Cold Warriors, all armed to the teeth and operating under the convenient protection of international apathy.

From The Arab News…

Lebanon at the edge of precipice

…News reports spoke of direct links between Al Hassan and other Hariri loyalists, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) which is waging an 18-month war against the regime of Bashar Assad. The Syrian president had warned recently that Syria’s crisis will have tremor-like consequences on the region. Only last week UN/Arab League special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, warned of a spillover effect of the Syrian crisis that could burn everything. {…}

Since the Hariri murder Lebanese factions have been polarized along pro and anti Syria fault lines. The 8 March coalition, headed by Hezbollah and allied with Christian leader Michel Aoun of the Free Patriotic Movement, Amal and other secular movements, has backed Mikati as prime minister and currently has an edge in Parliament. Hariri and his allies have called on Mikati to resign in the aftermath of the Al Hassan murder. He has submitted his resignation to President Michel Suleiman who has not accepted it until now.
Observers believe Mikati’s departure will create a dangerous political vacuum in Lebanon that could manifest itself in street violence. And there are signs that not all members of the 14 March coalition see the government’s resignation now as a good thing for Lebanon’s stability.

Lebanon has always been considered as an open stage for proxy wars involving almost every country in the region, from Israel to Syria to Iran to the Gulf States. In recent months and weeks the Syrian crisis has overshadowed Lebanese politics. Premier Mikati has been trying to implement a policy of non-interference in the Syrian issue. But recent reports have pointed to direct Hezbollah involvement in the ongoing Syrian civil war; fighting along the side of the regime. The US backed Hariri has been pivoting to the FSA and the Syrian opposition. One of his party’s top aides is said to be based in Turkey liaising with the general command of the FSA…

Kofi Annan had mentioned Lebanon in a recent talk…

‘Libya imploded. Syria would explode across the region,’ Kofi Annan says

Speaking to a small, well-heeled group in downtown Toronto Wednesday night, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan conceded his peace mission to Syria this year was doomed to failure.

“Mission impossible,” he said succinctly.

He’s not wrong. But the question left unanswered is this: Is the UN in its current form capable of accomplishing any goals — missions possible, if you will — that are worth accomplishing?

Mr. Annan’s answer would be a qualified yes. {…}

On Iran, Mr. Annan believes “military adventures” would be extremely dangerous, and warned if Israel strikes, Iran will likely retaliate against the West generally. He also conceded he saw no reasonable prospects of progress between Israel and the Palestinians soon.

He also sounded downright pessimistic on Syria: “Libya imploded. Syria would explode across the region.” He compared it to Lebanon, which needed 15 years to emerge from its civil war. “And Syria is much more complicated than Lebanon,” he warned.

…So what can be done?

“Work toward a political solution,” answered Mr. Annan: A ceasefire, an interim government and a new constitution that satisfies the various ethnic and religious factions. Most important, he said, is preserving the Syrian security forces, under new leadership. Syria must not see a repeat of the chaos in Iraq after its military was disbanded in 2003″

Speaking of Iraq… In Iran, Like Iraq, the Objective Has Always Been Regime Change

The very same can also be said about Syria…!

Wtf are we doing over there…?

*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 as Wile E. Coyote and Obama at the UN

6:34 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Richard Silverstein wrote today about Bibi’s buffoonery at the UN…

Bibi as Wile E. Coyote

You didn’t think you were gonna get away without seeing Bibi Netanyahu’s Wile E. Coyote moment during his UN speech today, did you? Look at the picture, Bibi’s even glaring a bit like the coyote after he’s been outsmarted by his cartoon nemesis. Someone (Bibi himself?) in the day and age of Powerpoint presentations, thought of the great idea of sending their boss up to the lectern of the world’s most respected international body with a sharpie and a cartoon version of a nuclear bomb. I suppose they thought the simplicity of the gesture might impress. Instead it’s backfired as any simpleton could’ve told them it would.

Further, Bibi made a critical error in drawing his “red line” at the 90% enrichment level. He meant to draw it BELOW that line since presumably Israel would want to attack Iran BEFORE it achieved weapons grade uranium fuel. If Israel attacked Iran AFTER it secured enough fuel to make a bomb it would defeat the purpose, no?

Even the Huffpoo mocked Bibi… Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu Draws Cartoon Bomb At UN General Assembly To Illustrate Iran Nuclear Threat

Now, If it Quacks like a Duck

Yesterday, Obama delivered his remarks to the UN…

You can read the text of his speech here or watch the full half hour speech here…!

Here’s the UN’s official Press Release about Oily Bomber’s appearance at the 67th General Assembly…

At UN debate, US President urges dealing honestly with tensions between Arabs and West

Warning that the world faces “a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes we hold in common,” United States President Barack Obama said today the deadly violence sparked by an anti-Islam video is an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded.

“The events of the last two weeks speak to the need for all of us to address honestly the tensions between the West and an Arab World moving to democracy,” he told scores of heads of State and Government attending the 67th General Assembly’s General Debate on its opening day, calling on world leaders to espouse the peaceful settlement of disputes.

However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism.

Cities in North Africa and the Middle East recently experienced violent protests in response to an anti-Islamic video produced in the state of California by a US citizen. In the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, the US ambassador to the country, Christopher Stevens, and three other diplomats were killed, and others injured or killed, when suspected Libyan religious extremists stormed the US Consulate there.

The film has drawn widespread condemnation around the world, including from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“On this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence,” President Obama said, calling the video “crude and disgusting,” but explaining how such hateful comment is allowed by the freedom of speech clause in the US constitution.

“There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan,” he added, referring to the attacks that killed Ambassador Stevens and caused deaths elsewhere.

“Burning an American flag will do nothing to educate a child. Smashing apart a restaurant will not fill an empty stomach. Attacking an Embassy won’t create a single job,” he noted.

President Obama said the US has supported the forces of change that have toppled dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and he called for an end to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where more than 18,000 people have been killed in an uprising against his rule over the past 18 months.

“However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism,” he declared, stressing that the recent violence or hateful speech by some individuals does not represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims any more than the views of the video producers behind the anti-Islam film represent those of Americans.

“It is time to marginalize those who, even when not resorting to violence, use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel as a central principle of politics,” the US President said. “For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes excuses, for those who resort to violence.”

President Obama pledged that the US will never retreat from the world and will bring to justice those who harm its citizens and friends, while standing with its allies and partnering with countries to deepen ties of trade and investment, science and technology, energy and development.

“It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past,” he declared.

“The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted ‘Muslims, Christians, we are one.’ The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons…

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims.”

Turning to specific crises, President Obama said the future for Israelis and Palestinians must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace and thrive on conflict, and those who reject Israel’s right to exist, but to those who pursue the hard but clear goal of a secure, Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine.

On Iran, he said the US wants to resolve nuclear issue through diplomacy and believes there is still time and space to do so.

“But that time is not unlimited,” he warned. “We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace. Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained.

“It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unravelling of the non-proliferation treaty. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Scores of the world’s heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.

The US President also met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today. In their meeting, the two men discussed the importance of combating hate speech and incitement to violence while protecting free speech, and agreed on the importance of the UN’s work to promote tolerance.

Other topics they discussed included the situation in Syria and its impact on the region, the needs of the Palestinian people and the growing challenges in West Africa’s Sahel region, in addition to the global challenges on food and nutrition, women’s and children’s health, and education, and the need for UN reform.

I thought Steve Hynd best summed it with his quip; “do as I say, not as I do, or I’ll bomb you”

…Much of it is an interesting exhortation to Muslims across the globe who are currently involved in protesting a certain movie trailer to put away violence as a tactic. The bulk of the rest is the usual copperplate about America loving democracy so much that it sends its citizens to impose freedom at gunpoint in other countries, and promising to always be there to bomb dictators (and any male of military age who happens to be nearby and can therefore be labelled a “militant” once he is too dead to protest that label). Obama reels of US aide for the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya but the word “Bahrain” does not pass his lips, nor does any indication that the regime being propped up in Yemen is just as oppressive as any Islamist current seeking to replace it. iraq and Afghanistan are places the US is leaving – not places the US invaded, nosir. You won’t find a reference to the chain of sub-Saharan nations where the US is currently offering “military assistance” (training, special forces, arms, drone strikes) to often corrupt regimes either.

And then there’s Iran. {…}

Obama and his speechwriters must know that his UN listeners are spotting all the things unsaid and writing their own subtexts in their heads. They know there’s a healthy helping of hypocrisy, of “do as I say, not as I do, or I’ll bomb you” going on. Yet this is the stageshow that must be gone through every time a US President speaks at the UN. While Obama’s talking about changes in the way people resolve their problems internationally, perhaps he’d do well to contemplate the beam in his own nation’s eye.

Meanwhile, a lot of noteworthy speeches have been given from the UN Podium in the past several days…

From Egyptian President Morsi’s declaration… ‘Israel refusal to join NPT, inexcusable’…

Continuing with some newly minted Mossad/CIA Tools MENA leaders… Libya’s new leader apologizes at U.N. for Gaddafi crimes…

And, Speaking of tools, Abu Mazen… ‘Pares His Statehood Aspirations at UN’…

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for real humanitarian assistance and saner minds to prevail…

From General Assembly podium, Lebanon calls for international help for Syrian refugees

… “The security consequences of the Syrian crisis threaten peace and stability in the Middle East and specifically in Lebanon,” Prime Minister Mikati said. “The international community must exert more efforts in order to assure political consensus among Syrian parties to end violence that is claiming hundreds of innocent lives each day.”

The ongoing violence in neighbouring Syria has fuelled sectarian tensions across Lebanon and raised concerns that the country could plunge back into the internecine violence it endured during its 15 year civil war, which ended in 1990.

In his statement to the Assembly, the Lebanese leader urged the United Nations to further the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and achieve an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. He also denounced Israel for violations of the accord that ended its month-long war with Hizbollah in 2006, calling on it to end its continued occupation of land in southern Lebanon.

“Our region is still striving to cope with the dramatic consequences that followed the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and its on-going occupation of Arab territories and its continued violations of International Law and United Nations resolutions,” Prime Minister Mikati said.

He added, “Peace along with freedom and justice are the pillars for attaining both security and stability and will pave the way towards the eradication of oppression, extremism, and terrorism in our world. Stability cannot occur without a Palestinian spring through the full implementation of the Palestinians right to self-determination on their land.”

In summing up some of the other excellent debates at the UN, wendydavis, wrote a great post… Julian Assange to UN: “End Obama’s Regime of Secrecy”…

Along with Kevin’s excellent reporting… Assange Addresses UN Members, Lambasts Obama’s UN Address for Rewriting History…

I also totally agree with The CallUp’s… After The Iraq Debacle, It Would Be Negligent For Americans Not To Watch Ahmadinejad’s U.N. Speech, particularly since it was Ahmadinejad’s last appearance at the UN…!

Meanwhile, I do pity all those New Yorkers… Get Your Gridlock On: It’s UN General Assembly Time…

Stay tuned…