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by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Rand Paul, the Peace Farce, and, Egypt

4:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Well, that was certainly quick…

Christie slams Paul as “dangerous”

Paul’s war with the neoconservative wing of the GOP explodes in the first volley of the 2016 campaign

…Speaking at a panel of GOP governors in Aspen, Colorado, Christie said the “strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought.

Asked if he was specifically alluding to Paul, Christie responded, “You can name any number of people and he’s one of them.” He continued: “These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans [of the 9/11 attacks] and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”

Team Paul heard fighting words, and Doug Stafford, one of Paul’s closest advisers, told the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin, “If Governor Christie believes the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans is ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary, or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent years.” Stafford even invoked the lyrics of Christie’s beloved Bruce Springsteen in firing back.

It’s one of the first volleys of the 2016 GOP primary from two candidates who are widely expected to lead the pack, but it also underscores an apparent effort by some Republicans and conservatives with more muscular foreign policy views to disqualify Paul from the race before he even enters…

It is that singular ‘strain of Libertarianism’ that I subscribe to within either party…! However, on the Libertarian domestic policies, outside of the National Security apparatchik, I flatly reject their basic tenets…!

Now, ironically, at that very same Aspen confab that Christie had lashed out at Rand Paul…

Ex-US general: We pay a price for backing Israel

Slamming settlements, James Mattis, former commander of CentCom, tells crowd in Aspen that moderate Arabs are forced to hide support for America…

“I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CentCom because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel, and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians,” he said Saturday at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado in response to a question about the peace process. {…}

He called the current situation in Israel “unsustainable” and blamed the settlements for harming prospects for peace. The chances for an accord between Israel and the Palestinians, said Mattis, “are starting to ebb because the settlements and where they’re at are going to make it impossible to maintain the two state solution.”

Mattis then described a hypothetical in which 500 Jewish settlers live among 10,000 Arabs, and the implications of where Israel draws the border. He called it a choice between giving up the idea of a Jewish state or becoming an apartheid state.

He then returned to the idea of the cost of lack of progress in peace talks, arguing that it “shortstops a lot of support for us because all politics are local… And I would just tell you that they can’t come out in support of us if we don’t see some progress where Secretary [of State John] Kerry is wisely focused like a laser beam right now.”

As the former CIA MENA bureau chief, Philip Giraldi wrote recently… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Rand Paul, al Qaeda, Iran, and Syria

9:17 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Well, it’s official folks…

Rand Paul: My colleagues just voted to arm the allies of al Qaeda

… Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, which voted overwhelmingly to arm elements of the Syrian opposition in a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). “This is an important moment,” Paul said, addressing his Senate colleagues. “You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It’s an irony you cannot overcome.”

The legislation, which would authorize the shipment of arms and military training to rebels “that have gone through a thorough vetting process,” passed in a bipartisan 15-3 vote. Paul offered an amendment that would strike the bill’s weapons provision, but it was rejected along with another Paul amendment ruling out the authorization of the use of military force in Syria. (Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy was the only senator to join Paul in support of the weapons amendment.)

The dispute centers on the issue of whether the United States could properly vet Syrian rebels so that weapons and body armor would not fall into the hands of extremist groups, such as the al Qaeda-aligned al-Nusra Front. The Pentagon’s top brass has vacillated about whether it’s logistically possible to keep track of weapons as they enter a conflict involving a complex mix of opposition groups, as the new bill would require…

As Antiwar’s John Glaser noted…

For more than a year, the CIA has been facilitating the delivery of arms from countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Syrian rebel groups, although the Obama administration has stopped short of a decision to directly arm the rebels. This bill is aimed at pushing the president in that direction.

“The evidence is mounting that Syria has become a magnet for Sunni extremists, including those operating under the banner of Al Qaeda,” The New York Times almost a year ago. And in the past year, that reality has metastasized, with Jabhat al-Nusra – categorized by the State Department as an official terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda – developing into the rebels’ main fighting force.

Rand Paul was evidently skeptical of claims that rebels receiving arms will be vetted to ensure extremists don’t receive them. And with good reason: the process is made up of untrustworthy, third-party sources and intelligence officials told the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as far back as a year ago that the truth is that the U.S. doesn’t know who is getting the money and weapons

Now, about those possible Peace Talks, in Geneva, once again…

Meanwhile, Syria submits five names for possible peace talks…

However, that was not the end of the Senate’s foreign f*ckery today…

US: We’ll back Israel if it defends itself against Iranian nuke threat

The US Senate decided unanimously to support Israel should it pursue military actions to defend itself against the Iranian nuclear threat. The decision’s sponsors are the Foreign Affair Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D) and senior Senator Lindsay Graham (R).

According to the resolution, the US will furnish Israel with diplomatic, military and economic support to defend its territory, citizens and existence. The resolution also determines that the US policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and take the necessary steps to pursue this policy.

Who’s defending against whom…?

*gah*

Here’s a bonus clip with RT’s Abby Martin interviewing Dr. Noam Chomsky that was published yesterday…

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Benghazi, The Britam ‘Hack’, The Fordo Hoax, And, Syria

5:41 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Don’t you just love Pepe’s response to the little Hillary/Obama love-fest on 60 Minutes…?

Now, since I hadn’t addressed Madame Shrillary’s recent Senate testimony on Benghazi, I’d like to point out that Sen. Rand Paul’s ‘wild accusations’ of a Libyan-Syrian weapons pipeline, is in fact, Not just a Rightwing Conspiracy TheoryThe Benghazi Affair: Uncovering the Mystery of the Benghazi CIA Annex…

Anyways, in news that you’d most likely missed…

Leaked Files of Britam Defense Implicate the Plot Against Russia and Syria

The news about the security breach of the military contractor Britam Defense was not reported by any Western media outlet. Instead it was shared through blogs, communities of hackers and social platforms

…One particular email was of special interest. In it Dave Goulding reminded his fellow co-founder Phil Dougherty about an offer made by Washington via a group of Qataris: to transport what seemed to be a Soviet era chemical weapon into Syria, using sub contracted Russian speaking Ukrainian mercenaries.

Phil

We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.
We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.
Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

Kind regards
David

The fans of conspiracies and hackers started discussing whether the documents were genuine or fake.

Eventually, the community of hackers came to conclusion that the whole case was either genuine or VERY elaborate hoax with thorough attention to little details…

The ‘Syrian Commando’ had asked…

What is the purpose of this leak?

Why the leak, with a single email? Why now? Why only one email? It’s clear. A single email is very easy to dismiss as fake. In fact, during the Stratfor hack, anonymouSabu’s henchmen planted an email by CEO George Friedman claiming he had resigned, when in fact he had done no such thing. When you control a server you are able to fabricate any kind of email you want to “leak”. Only a long conversation with realistic time stamps follow ups and reference emails to check for the writer’s style, can possibly be used to confirm the authenticity of an email.

And BritAm has been silent!

Which means that this leak can be quickly dismissed as nothing more than a fabrication. The hack will of course be acknowledged as in the case of Stratfor. Who will you believe, BritAm or the hacker?

That’s the problem. Soon, by undermining the validity of the leak in the minds of the media consumers, it will by extension, undermine the validity of the SEA leaks even though the latter is comprehensive and includes signed, scanned documents and a huge amount of cross references. That won’t matter, a single “fake” can spoil all the real leaks.

But not this time! By anticipating this strategy and demanding a complete archive from “JAsIrX” before discussing the leak any further, we can burn this possible Trojan horse before it enters our gates

Reddit had labeled it Bullshit and removed it…! b at MOA had quipped: “I looked at the Britam case and while the general hack may have been genuine that email smells of fake.”

So, as always, Caveat Emptor…!

Anyways, moving along to the Fordo Fiasco…

U.N watchdog confirms Iran’s denial of explosion at it’s Fordo nuclear plant

The U.N. atomic watchdog made clear on Tuesday it had seen no sign of any explosion at one of Iran’s most sensitive nuclear plants, backing up Tehran’s denial that such an incident hadn’t taken place last week.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in an unusual move, made a brief statement following media reports at the weekend of significant damage at the underground Fordo uranium enrichment site.

IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear sites, including the one at Fordo, and the U.N. agency suggested in its comment that they had been at the site -after- the reports were published in some Israeli and Western media.

“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordo. This is consistent with our observations,” IAEA spomkeswoman Gill Tudor said in an emailed comment in response to a question…

Funny how quickly, the IAEA, was able to inspect the Fordo Nuclear plant, eh…?

Even, Jay Carney, had to categorically deny it…

“We have no information to confirm the allegations in that report, and we do not believe the report is credible,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The reports cited the conservative American news website WND, which reported that an explosion at the Fordo facility on January 21 had caused major damage and trapped workers.”

Ironically, even the best of us get ensnared amongst the web of deceit… Was Fordo a Hoax? If So, Why?

Moving along to Syria, Why Doubts Are Growing About An Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack…

…If recent media reports have left an impression that Syrian President Bashar Assad might already have used chemical weapons against his own people, think again, says arms expert Jeffrey Lewis.

The scholar on weapons of mass destruction is assailing the credibility of Syrian opposition allegations that the chemical “Agent 15” was dispensed in the restive northern city of Homs on Dec. 23.

“No one has bothered to mention that Agent 15 doesn’t exist,” Lewis said in a Foreign Policy blog post last Friday.

Beyond a passing reference to the substance in a document discovered in pre-war Iraq, neither Baghdad nor Damascus appears to have ever produced or weaponized this type of chemical agent, he said. Yet the name “Agent 15” has developed a life of its own on the Web, which might help explain the genesis of claims relating to Syria, according to the WMD expert…

…“These appear to be U.S.- and U.K.-funded groups that produce anti-regime propaganda,” Lewis said in his Friday post. “Are we really surprised that they are alleging chemical weapons use?”

Same Oh, Same Oh…!

Aren’t ya just touched by the Oily Bomber’s personal plea to the Syrians…?

Obama tapes message to Syrians

President Barack Obama has approved another $155 million in humanitarian aid for Syria and took the unusual step of taping a message with Arabic subtitles explaining the U.S. position.

“Here, I want to speak directly to the people of Syria,” he says in the message. “This new aid will mean more warm clothing for children and medicine for the elderly; flour and wheat for your families and blankets, boots and stoves for those huddled in damaged buildings. It will mean health care for victims of sexual violence and field hospitals for the wounded. Even as we work to end the violence against you, this aid will help address some of the immediate needs you face each day.

“…We’re under no illusions. The days ahead will continue to be very difficult. But what’s clear is that the regime continues to weaken and lose control of territory. The opposition continues to grow stronger. More Syrians are standing up for their dignity. The Assad regime will come to an end. The Syrian people will have their chance to forge their own future. And they will continue to find a partner in the United States of America.”

Bless his Heart…!

*gah*