Monthly Archives: February 2012
An Israeli F-15 fighterjet (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)
Israeli officials say if they decide to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, they will do so without the prior consent or knowledge of the US, according to an AP report citing leaked US intelligence.
The message was conveyed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to a number of senior US officials visiting the country, the news agency said, citing a US intelligence source. The official spoke about the sensitive strategic negotiations on condition of anonymity. Both the US and Israel declined to make any official comment.
Tel Aviv insists its strategy is necessary in order to protect Washington from being blamed for failing to stop an Israeli attack, should it take place. But it may also signify Israeli frustration over America’s position on the conflict.
America has told its Middle Eastern ally that it will neither take military action against Iran nor back unilateral action on the part of Israel. Washington favors sanctions over brute force as a means to stop Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
The news of Israel’s unilateral intentions comes ahead of a key visit to the US by Netanyahu, planned for early March. The Israeli premier reportedly ordered his ministers not to publicly discuss the Iranian nuclear program in an apparent damage limitation move ahead of his trip. The report of the “gagging order” came a day after Defense Minister Barak gave a lengthy TV interview in which he spoke of the danger posed by Iran.
Western countries and Israel are convinced that Iran’s uranium enrichment program is aimed at developing nuclear weapons capability. Israel is determined not to allow this to happen. Iran insists that its nuclear pursuits are purely civilian.
Tensions rose again last week after a leaked UN nuclear watchdog report stated “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”
In the latest bid to halt the enrichment, the US and EU issued sanctions against Iran’s oil industry. However they failed to rally all major buyers of Iranian oil to their banner. Tehran remains adamant that the move will not divert it from its nuclear research.
This year’s Index of Dependence on Government presented startling findings about the sharp increase of Americans who rely on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance. (See last week’s chart.)
Another eye-popping number was the percentage of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, which now accounts for nearly half of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, most of that population receives generous federal benefits.
“One of the most worrying trends in the Index is the coinciding growth in the non-taxpaying public,” wrote Heritage authors Bill Beach and Patrick Tyrrell. “The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009.” That means 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009. By comparison, 34.8 million tax filers paid no taxes in 1984.The rapid growth of Americans who don’t pay income taxes is particularly alarming for the fate of the American form of government, Beach and Tyrrell warned. Coupled with higher spending on government programs, it is already proving to be a major fiscal challenge.
The White House and US State Department are considering arming Syria’s rebels, claiming ongoing reports of government crackdowns would legitimize their actions. But it remains unclear what form the assistance would take.
Both US bodies made statements yesterday saying that new tactics would have to be adopted in order to curtail Regime forces’ bombardment of the city of Homs.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the US did not want to “take actions that would lead to the further militarization of Syria,” while at the same time signaling that “additional measures” would have to be adopted if the international community fails to reach an agreement on a resolution.
The press secretary did not elaborate as to the nature of these so-called “additional measures.”
State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland echoed these sentiments, saying that if Assad did not “yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures.” She then said that no possibilities “had been taken off the table.”
The statements hint at a shift in US policy where before the Obama administration had categorically ruled out the possibility of military aid.
There is a strong contingent in the US congress pushing for the arming of the Syrian opposition, with Senator John McCain once again calling for military aid on Monday, although he emphasized that the US should not do so directly.
Meanwhile, the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said on Wednesday it was coming to the view that military intervention is the only solution to the nearly year-old crisis that has killed thousands in Syria.
“We are really close to seeing this military intervention as the only solution. There are two evils, military intervention or protracted civil war,” Basma Kodmani, a senior SNC official, told a press conference in Paris.
However, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US joint chief of staff warned against support until US intelligence had more information on the opposition forces at work in Syria.
“I think it’s premature to take a decision to arm the opposition movement in Syria, because I would challenge anyone to clearly identify for me the opposition movement in Syria at this point,” he said to news agency CNN.
RT’s Gayane Chichakyan investigated the possible consequences of the US push for regime change in an interview with former US presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. He cited the possibility that the addition of military aid could be the catalyst that pushes Syria into chaos.
“I’m against putting weapons in and aiding the anti-Assad resistance, because an all-out war there could be a disaster that leads to a failed state there,” Buchanan told Chichakyan.
Friends or foes of Syria?
The US and other UN members are due to meet in Tunisia on Friday in a Friends of Syria group forum. The group is pushing for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and representatives of the Syrian opposition will be in attendance at the meeting. The possibility of military intervention is unlikely to be discussed with humanitarian aid and possible sanctions on Damascus taking central stage at the forum.
Russia will not attend the meeting as it believes the Friends of Syria group to be biased in favor of the opposition. Aleksey Pushkov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Russia’s Lower House of Parliament explained Russia’s stance on the meeting to RT.
“The sole purpose of that conference is not to find a way out of the current situation, but to promote the idea that the conflict can only be resolved if Assad leaves,” said Pushkov.
He went on to say he had met with President Assad and representatives of two opposition organizations and that he did not get the impression that it was “the people vs. Assad in this conflict”.
“A faction of the people is opposing the regime, while another part supports Mr. Assad, while yet another faction does not want Syria to fall into chaos,” Pushkov said.
China’s presence at the Friends of Syria forum is also unconfirmed. The Asian nation vetoed a previous Security Council resolution on the Syrian conflict along with Russia on the basis it was unbalanced.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that Beijing was “currently researching the function, mechanism and other aspects of the meeting.”
Obama meets Netanyahu at the United Nations in New York on September 21, 2011 (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)
American-Israeli relations have not been so bright recently.
The visit of a top Obama administration official was supposed to ease tensions between the countries but instead it might have only widened the gap regarding attitudes toward the Iranian nuclear problem.
President Obama’s National Security Adviser Tom Donilon arrived in Israel this week and sat with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for two hours to warn Israel against unilateral attack on Iran. According to the Israeli news outlet Debka, however, this message didn’t sit well with the hawkish leader. To military sources that have spoken to Debka, Netanyahu is believed to be upset that the US is willing to work with Iran in terms of a possible nuclear program, giving them the go-ahead as long as they promise to avoid enrichment that will lead to them developing nukes. Iran has long insisted that any nuclear related efforts are in the work for energy procurement, although the US and Israel have been called this into question.
The Obama administration has so far avoided any military action against Iran, hoping instead that international sanctions and strong words will serve as enough of a warning to keep Tehran from working on warheads. Netanyahu, on the other hand, is not convinced. He is not willing to wait for an optimistic outcome and doesn’t rule out a strike on Iran.
Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon explicitly called the Obama administration “hesitant” in their unwillingness to attack, which was followed by a warning only a day later by the nation’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which he urged the US to “move from words to deeds.”
Lately, however, the US is relying less on threats in terms of taking down a weapons program and more on the hope that Iran will keep their word that the nuclear enrichment program there won’t be used for a warhead. According to the latest reports to the media made by American officials close to the matter, an US strike on Iran is currently out of the cards.
Following the recent, nearly unprecedented deployment of Iranian warships into the Mediterranean Sea, Israel appears closer than ever in coming down hard on Iran. US Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander Gen. Martin E. Dempsey warned to CNN this week that an attack at anytime soon simply wouldn’t be “prudent.”
“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Gen. Dempsey cautioned to CNN host Fareed Zakaria.
“I wouldn’t suggest…that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion,” added Dempsey.
The US is now hoping that as other countries sign on to detest a nuclear program, Iran will throw in the towel. To Bloomberg Business Week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak shared similar thoughts, noting, “I think there is consensus in most capitals of the world that Iran should not be allowed to turn into a nuclear military power.”
Last week, US Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess said Iran will not start the war in the Middle East, unless, of course, the US acts first. Burgess also added that, despite increased sanctions imposed by the US and a buildup of American military forces surrounding the country, Iran is unlikely to halt the nuclear program that has become the cause of international concern.
“Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz at least temporarily, and may launch missiles against United States forces and our allies in the region if it is attacked,” Burgess explained this week to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“Iran could also attempt to employ terrorist surrogates worldwide. However, the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict,” he added.
Israel, it would seem, is not as willing to wait for that outcome and could very well clash with Iran before the US makes up its mind.
Both the US and Israel will coordinate on a joint missile exercise, the largest of its kind, in Israel later this year.
Teacher Patricia McAllister was crucified for daring to simply say outloud that Zionists controlled Wall Street while helping in an Occupy Wall Street demo in Los Angeles. She was fired for simply telling the truth. LA talkshow host Bill Handel said on his show just a few days earlier, quote, “My Tribe Controls Wall Street why should I be upset about that?” Of course, he wasn’t fired because he is part of the tribe that runs the media.
So, what are the facts? This video lays out the facts of the Zionist control of Wall Street and International finance like nothing else!
Help give this video to the world!
Published: 17 February, 2012, 01:16
A soldier carries ammunition in southern Iran December 31, 2011 (Reuters / Fars News / Hamed Jafarnejad)
In a briefing over the escalating hostilities between the US and Iran, American intelligence officials say it is unlikely that Iran will initiate any military action against the United States.
If and when the US does launch a strike on Iran, however, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Speaking from Washington, DC this week, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess said an attack at the hands of Iran is unlikely, unless, of course, the US acts first. Burgess also added that, despite increased sanctions imposed by the US and a build up of American military forces surrounding the country, Iran is unlikely to halt the nuclear program that has become the cause of international concern.
“Iran today has the technical, scientific and industrial capability to eventually produce nuclear weapons. While international pressure against Iran has increased, including through sanctions, we assess that Tehran is not close to agreeing to abandoning its nuclear program,” Burgess said.
The United States and some of its allies insist that Iran is producing nuclear warheads; Iran says their research is working towards atomic energy, not nukes. As the US continues to come down on Iran for allegation of a weapons program, Burgess warns that Tehran shows no signs of terminating their efforts anytime soon.
If the US tries to terminate it themselves, however, there could be trouble.
“Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz at least temporarily, and may launch missiles against United States forces and our allies in the region if it is attacked,” Burgess explained this week to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“Iran could also attempt to employ terrorist surrogates worldwide. However, the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict,” the lieutenant general added.
With an Iran-initiated attack unlikely in the eyes of the American intelligence community, that gives the US an upper hand in deciding on a date to begin an assault of their own.
Recent weeks have seen escalating concerns over an Iran-Israel conflict and how the US could end up at war if they decide to come to the aid of their Israeli allies. Burgess told the committee, “To the best of our knowledge Israel has not decided to attack Iran.” But given the lovey-dovey relationship between the allies, an attack out of Israel would likely prompt the US to begin an attack immediately.
At that point, warns Burgess, a retaliation in the form of an international terrorist network masterminded by the Iranians and a possible nuclear assault could become an immediate reality.
Neither the US nor Israel have confirmed that they intend to attack Iran, but the two friendly countries have made plans for a massive missile drill scheduled for later this year. The move will send thousands of US troops to Israel, where they will be close to thousands of other Americans stationed in nearby nations.
In the few months since a US surveillance drone was hijacked by Iran during an attempted spy mission, Tehran has teased Washington and insisted that it has decoded the stealth technology of the aircraft. The US has responded by mobilizing fleets and ground troops to the tune of tens of thousands around the Arabian Gulf and the nations that surround Iran. Additionally, the US has equipped many countries that neighbor Iran with weaponry capable of crushing their foe.
Shoppers line up at the cashiers’ checkout at a Target store in Miami (Joe Raedle/ Getty Images / AFP)
Fancy a quick scuba lesson before going on a last-minute trip to Hawaii? Paying in cash for a snorkel? Just shaved mustache because it doesn’t go with a dive mask? Big Brother will spot a terrorist: “See something, say something” policy in action.
The 25 flyers issued by the FBI and the Department of Justice give no mere Orwell creeps. Every area seems to be bursting with bombers: airports, beauty shops, construction sites, banks and internet cafes. Your tattoos master meets a bunch of them every day. Terrorists have taken to your favorite shop with train models across the street – remember how you pressed your nose against the glass after school? Now press harder: see something, say something, do something for your country.
‘Constant vigilance!’ – from fiction to action
The FBI and Department of Justice have streamed the “terrorist profiles” to every federal, state and local law enforcement agency across the country previous week. No one wants armed dangerous freaks invading a shopping mall on a Sunday, but now think about this. Are you:
– constantly impatient with your hair color?
– nervous in public spaces?
– inclined to show off before your girlfriend, even when taking your first ever dive?
– prone to staring around?
– obsessed with taking pictures?
– eager to keep your passwords to yourself in an internet cafe?
If yes, then you have all the chances to fall on the wrong side with the community and be referred to the police.
No encryption, no anonymity (forget about Skype, patriots), no cash, no hanging around, no heritage disputes at construction sites. Know your shopping list, show genuine interest, don’t avoid talking to assistants, but don’t ask for exits and sales days – you are not looking for crowds.
So the War on Terror is getting inward-bound and tens of millions of law abiding Americans will get a flavor of it. Putting aside proper instructions to identify a potential terrorist (nervous, sweating, unsure of own name and story, wearing too much clothing) and terrorist activity (using abandoned houses to store unidentified goods, driving a car without number plates, leaving packages in public areas) – where is the bottom line to assess “extreme” behavior?
The handouts stress to Americans that people who “make suspicious comments regarding anti-US, radical theology, vague or cryptic warnings that suggest or appear to endorse the use of violence in support of a cause” are, well, terrorists. So, good-bye Occupy Wall Street, you won’t be flashing headlines any more soon. Not after several arrests on “assaulting police” charges.
Be careful to forget your Constitutional rights, too. Only those, who are looking for a thrashing from homeland security, know them by heart. And never, ever speak ill of Washington’s policies:
“Fury at the West for reasons ranging from personal problems to global policies of the US” is an attitude indicator of a “sleeper,” a person who “camouflages their involvement in terrorist activity.”
By the way, you will never believe who fits the description of a sleeper as an adjoining puzzle piece. War veterans! Consider those who have spent quite some time in “countries where militant Islam rules,” are “missing hand/fingers,”have “burns” and are inclined to show undesired interest in all security stuff – like “hey, which is the police frequency over here?” So, welcome home, Afghan troops.
Think wider – stay in limits
The leaflets conclude with two disclaimers fitting quite neatly with each other. First, “just because someone’s…way of life is different, it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.”
Then, “The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive.”
So if you see a guy, meddling in the shop with a lobster, a witch’s hat he is using as a bag and a newspaper he is holding upside down, and somehow you feel he is conspiring for a delayed bombing out, tip him off to the police.
But if your dad has given you a hooked nose and dark curls and then one morning you trade for a model plane with the “maximum range remote control” for your little bro… Just don’t get a nasty shock if your neighbor reports you. It is not the FBI’s fault that Mr. Thompson is such a raging xenophobe, who does not care what next door people look like.
FBI’s Potential indicators of terrorist activities related to Shopping Malls and Entertainment Facilities (Click to enlarge)
With the new 25 lists of security commandments, Americans now have a handout for every trip to the outer space. Still, the new instructions daze even some ex-law enforcers:
“I spent some years in law enforcement, and some of those devoted to counter-terrorism. I can assure you that most federal, state and local law enforcement personnel abide by their oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution’ and are steadfastly accountable to that oath. In other words, they understand that broadly labeling as ‘terrorists’ those who support constitutional limits on government is offensive to that oath,” reads the dedicated story in the Patriot Post.
Elena Medvedeva, Vitaliy Matveev, RT
So, what I want to share is that I have chronic anxiety, treated with Xanax and Paxil, I went to a Ph.D. for 10 years and we did some great “personal growth” work but little to mitigate my condition.
I am 60 now and the event that may have caused it, or agrivated it, happened with a major trauma on the Bay Bridge in the San Francisco bay area, a ten car pile-up…lights-out for me, I awoke in a hospital with the worst pain I ever felt, this was 1983. It could be like a PTSD thing too, right?
But, back to Biofeedback, a few years ago, I went on nocturnal oxygen for my lungs (No, I never smoked) and learned about what we do without thinking…breathing. Silly, right? Well, what I found was (measured at a pulmonologist) I was not exhaling enough to get out the bi-product of respiration, CO2, to enable more air (and O2) to enter my body via millions of tiny things in my lungs called alveoli. Long story short, I went on a trip to my Mother’s home, A 6 hr. drive, knowing I will have to cross a bridge alone, wondering if I will panic and then I remembered the Biofeedback or what I called , “gas exchange”, O2 in CO2 out. As I approached the bridge, I began taking in as much air as I could, but like puffs, maybe 20 in and then 20 out, until I could push no more out and repeated this until I past the end of the bridge. Then, I got off at the wrong exit of all things, they added one exit since I had been there last, a simple u-turn and I fixed that mistake, then off to Mom’s house.
I will tell you here and now, it worked like a miracle drug, but it was just (JUST?,a minimalist word) my body and mind working together, that which had always been there, and my lack of understanding this from 1983 to 2012, 30 YEARS, is crazy! The technique sounds a bit “Lamaze” breathing and if it is, I guess I’m re-born. I’m going to see if I can downsize my Meds over time now, keeping track of my Blood pressure and my other vitals.
Hea, If this can help anyone else and you want to talk, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, feel free to say Hi. I think we are awesome as humans, if we WANT to be and yes, we can be otherwise too.
I wish you Love and Great health,
NEW YORK: US President Barack Obama has imposed more economic sanctions on Iran, including freezing Iranian assets owned by its Central Bank in US, amid fears that the Obama Administration may be preparing for an attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
However, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazee dismissed such reports, saying, “I don’t think that is going to happen.”
Mr Khazee told National Public Radio in an interview: “Iran is so strong,” and “the consequences would be devastating for (Israel) and maybe for whoever helped them.”
“There are wise enough people around the world to tell them not to do such a crazy thing.”
The US and other nations have been tightening sanctions on Iran and have been warning that it needs to be more transparent about its nuclear ambitions. Iran says it is not pursuing development of nuclear weapons.
Another media report here said the world leaders were genuinely concerned that an Israeli military attack on the Islamic Republic could be imminent — “an action that many fear might trigger a wider war, terrorism and global economic havoc”.
High-level foreign dignitaries, including the UN secretary general and the head of the American military, have stopped in Israel in recent weeks, urging leaders to give the diplomatic process more time to work.
Israel seems unmoved, and US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has reportedly concluded that an Israeli attack on Iran is likely in the coming months.
Shortly after the Europeans enacted their embargo, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told reporters, “We will not abandon our just nuclear course, even if we cannot sell one drop of oil.”
A report said on Wednesday that in a move to bypass the sanctions, India had reportedly agreed to pay for Iranian oil with gold, with China expected to follow suit. Instead of isolating Iran, it appears that the sanctions are pushing the state closer to her top trading partners.
To make its embargo more effective against India’s and China’s dodge, will Washington next move to simply blockade all oil shipments out of Iran? And what are the likely consequences of these actions?
In an interview with China’s NTDTV.com, Chinese General Zhang Zhaozhong was quoted as saying that “China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war.” Not very surprising. In the Iran-Iraq war, Iran purchased Chinese weapons.
The Obama Administration has also accused Chinese firms of lending a hand to developing Iran’s purported nuclear weapons programme.
A senior Russian foreign ministry official lashed out at Israel for “inventing” allegations about Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme and warned that such fabrications could entail “catastrophic consequences”. On Wednesday, Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of Security and Disarmament Department at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denounced Tel Aviv’s hawkish rhetoric on Iran over its nuclear programme as “inventions” that “are increasing the tension and could encourage moves towards a military solution with catastrophic consequences”.
He also described the speculations over Iran’s nuclear programme as “noise” and reiterated that such allegations “have political and propaganda objectives, which are far from being inoffensive”.