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 email@example.com, 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”.
Posted: 02/ 9/2012 2:01 pm
These are strange times for those of us who follow the debate about a possible war with Iran. It is clear that the Israeli government and its neoconservative camp followers here in the United States are increasing pressure on President Obama to either attack Iran or let Israel do it (in which case, we would be forced to join in). But the idea of another Middle East war is so outlandish that it seems inconceivable it could actually occur.
Still the conventional wisdom holds that it can, and the main reason is that this is an election year and no one will say no to Binyamin Netanyahu in an election year.
War enthusiasm will rise to a fever pitch by March, when AIPAC holds its annual policy conference. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will, if past example holds, bring the crowd of 10,000 to its feet by depicting Iran as the new Nazi Germany and by coming very close to stating that only war can stop these new Nazis. Other speakers will say the same. The few who mention the idea of diplomacy will be met by stony silence.
From the convention center, 10,000 delegates will be dispatched to Capitol Hill with two or three “asks” for Members of Congress. One will, no doubt, be that “containment” of a nuclearized Iran be ruled off the table (leaving war as the only remaining option should Iran get the bomb). Another will likely be that the U.S. stop all dealings with the Palestinian Authority should Hamas and Fatah permanently reconcile. A third could apply either to Iran or Palestine and will, no doubt, demand fealty to whatever Netanyahu’s policy of the moment happens to be. I’ve sat in those meetings where the AIPAC “asks” are developed and it was always clear that the substance didn’t matter all that much.
The goal of the “asks” is ensuring that Congress follow the script. Invariably at least one of these AIPAC goals will be put into legislative language and quickly pass both chambers of Congress. In fact, usually the “ask” is already in legislative form, so that the AIPAC citizen lobbyists can simply demand that their legislators sign on as co-sponsors (if they haven’t already done so). Once the AIPAC bill has the requisite number of co-sponsors, the House and Senate leadership brings it to the floor where it passes with few dissenters.
All hell breaks loose if a member of Congress objects.
One Member of Congress has actually described what happened when she voted no on an AIPAC “ask.” Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) refused to support a bill (opposed by the State Department) that would have essentially banned all U.S. contacts with Palestinians. AIPAC was not pleased with her recalcitrance.
In a letter to AIPAC executive director, Howard Kohr, McCollum described what happened next. In short, she was threatened by an AIPAC official from her district, called a terrorist supporter and warned that her behavior “would not be tolerated.” In response, McCollum told AIPAC not to come near her office again until it apologized.
McCollum was not, of course, the only legislator threatened that way. She is, however, the only one in memory who went public.
As one who worked on Capitol Hill for 20 years, I know that many, if not most, legislators who vote with AIPAC complain about its strong-arm tactics — but only in private. In fact, some of the most zealous defenders of Netanyahu and faithful devotees of the lobby complain most of all. Among staff, AIPAC’s arrival in their offices during the conference is a source of dread. Hill staff, much like legislators themselves, like to think they are perhaps a little important. AIPAC eliminates that illusion. Although AIPAC calls its requests “asks,” they are, in fact, “tells” and “no” is not a permissible response. (Staffers who like AIPAC, and there are a few, tend to work with it hand-in-glove which is how AIPAC invariably knows what is going on even before the elected representatives do).
Despite all this, I do not think that either Netanyahu or his lobby is all that eager to go to war. After all, Israel’s intelligence community opposes it for a host of reasons starting with the fact that it would not eliminate Iran’s nuclear program. There is also the fear that Iran’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon, on Israel’s northern border, have tens of thousands of missiles that they can let fly if Iran is attacked. Above all is the understanding that no one knows if an attack would make Israel safer or threaten its very existence.
So here’s a theory. Netanyahu and his camp followers here do not really want a war now. They just want it understood that they can dictate whether there is one or not. And when. In other words, they want to show who is boss (it’s not like we don’t know).
As for Obama, he may just be playing along with Netanyahu and AIPAC because he understands their strategy. Perhaps he knows that it isn’t war they want but the illusion of control.
Only, it’s not an illusion. And it certainly won’t be if Netanyahu gets the president he wants in November, a Republican who will fight the war Netanyahu wants but isn’t eager to fight himself. Surely Mitt or Rick or Newt will do it for him.
Seyed Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Russia (RIA Novosti / Alexander Natruskin)
On Wednesday the Iranian ambassador to Moscow, Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi declared that Iran has the capabilities to carry out military strikes on US interests around the globe.
This comes after President Obama announced the United States would freeze all Iranian assets held in the US. The executive order which was signed on Monday was in reaction to what the US is calling deceptive practices by Iran.
“The issue of a military attack from America on the Islamic Republic of Iran has been on the agenda for several years,” said Sajjadi.
The building provocation by Washington has been cornering Tehran and Sajjadi has stated that a US-led attack on Iran would be like committing suicide. Sajjadi went on to say Iran would by no means attack first.
According to Sajjadi, “Even if it (US) attacks, we have a list of counter actions.”
Sajjadi’s words don’t seem to be empty words. Last Thursday, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Moshe Yaalon, disclosed that, according to his sources, the big blast at the Iranian missile base near Tehran in November of last year blew up a new missile system with a range of 10,000 kilometers, one capable of targeting the United States.
Iran has warned the US and its allies that a military strike would be “painful” and Iran would be forced to aim their aggression on Israel and US bases in the Gulf. In addition a closure of the Strait of Hormuz would quickly follow. The US and its allies have attempted to force Iran to shut down their nuclear programs for fear of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons and at the same time the US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has gone public admitting Iran does not have nuclear weapons. Iran has stated their nuclear program is not for military purposes and insists a nuclear bomb is not in the works.
Despite Panetta’s statements Washington has not disregarded the military option. Additionally, Panetta has announced that Israel may launch a military strike on Iran within the next 90 days. However, the Iranians remain defiant in the face of such threats.
“The Americans know what kind of country Iran is. They are well aware of our people’s unity,” said Sajjadi.
Published: 29 January, 2012, 05:40
Edited: 30 January, 2012, 01:47
Members of the Oakland Police Department shrouded in a cloud of tear gas put on gas masks during a confrontation with Occupy Oakland demonstrators near Oakland Museum of California in Oakland, California January 28, 2012 (Reuters / Stephen Lam), video uploaded on YouTube by brettnchls on 28 Jan 2012
Police in Oakland, California, have used tear-gas and flash-grenades as a 2,000-strong Occupy Oakland march turned violent, with some protesters claiming that rubber bullets were also fired into the crowd. At least 400 people were arrested.
Initially, authorities had said 200-300 people were detained. But later the figure was revised to over 400 arrests, reports Reuters citing the Oakland emergency operations center.
The demonstrators had attempted to take over vacant buildings to use as their headquarters, they also broke into City Hall and tried to occupy a YMCA. Police spokesman Jeff Thomason told media most of the arrests came around 8 pm local time. Police took many protesters into custody as they marched through the city’s downtown area, with some entering a YMCA building.
Officials say, at one point protesters began tearing down perimeter fences around the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, as some attacked police officers, throwing rocks, bottles and other objects. Police declared an unlawful assembly and used force, according to the Oakland Tribune newspaper.
While police were taking people into custody near the YMCA, about 100 officers surrounded City Hall, while others swept the inside of the building for protesters who had broken in. Inside the building, protesters burned flags, broke into an electrical box and damaged several art structures, according to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
“The City of Oakland welcomes peaceful forms of assembly and freedom of speech, but acts of violence, property destruction and overnight lodging will not be tolerated,” the press release by city officials stated. “The Oakland Police Department is also committed to facilitating peaceful forms of expression while protecting personal safety and property through ethical and constitutional policing.”
At the moment, the Occupy crowd in the city’s central square is being monitored by dozens of police officers.
Oakland has seen one of America’s largest and most vocal Occupy protests, with thousands of people attending since the demos started in October. Some 300 people have been arrested since then. The Occupy Wall Street movement started in September in New York and claims to represent the 99 per cent of Americans, who suffer from corporate greed and economic injustice.
RT’s Marina Portnaya has more
Occupy Oakland demonstrators confront a line of police officers during a demonstration in attempt to occupy a vacant building near Laney College in Oakland, California January 28, 2012 (Reuters / Stephen Lam)
Occupy Oakland demonstrators shield themselves during a confrontation with the police near the Oakland Museum of California in Oakland, California January 28, 2012 (Reuters / Stephen Lam)
An masked Occupy Oakland demonstrator walks in a cloud of smoke from smoke grenades during an attempt to occupy the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, California January 28, 2012 (Reuters / Stephen Lam)
Members of the Oakland Police Department arrest an Occupy Oakland demonstrator during a confrontation in Downtown Oakland, California January 28, 2012 (Reuters / Stephen Lam)