Sunday, May 31, 2009

Obama's Freedom to Shut Down the Internet

A bill in Congress allows the President of the United States to shut down the internet in a cybersecurity crisis. President Barack Obama could turn off the internet information commons. What might it look like when he turns it back on? Will it remove any offensive information? Will citizens have to pay for content? Will it be taxed?

Here's an odd sentence in the bill:


The President--

(11) shall notify the Congress within 48 hours after providing a cyber-related certification of legality to a United States person.

What is a "cyber-related certification of legality to a U.S. person"? It's not included in the definitions section.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Israel Wants to Inculcate a Culture of Emergency

Israel's Turning Point 3, a home front security exercise simulating missile attacks, distributed magnetized cards to every home. A segment read:

The protected space should be chosen according to the time you have to reach it, in accordance with the following map: Ma'alot-Nahariya-Golan Heights - immediate; Acre-Safed-Carmiel - 30 seconds; Haifa-Hadera - 60 seconds; Netanya-Tel Aviv-Rishon Letzion - 2 minutes; Jerusalem-Eilat - 3 minutes; settlements surrounding Gaza - 15-60 seconds.

That should petrify the elderly. How far can they move in 15 seconds to 3 minutes? Did Home Front security do any studies?

What should drivers do? Leave their vehicles in the middle of the road in search for safe shelter?

This brings back memories of the Red Scare during my elementary school years. we dove under wooden desks, capable of protecting us from a nuclear bomb blast and falling radiation. Can we send our old desks to Israel? It seems their population needs them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Freedom to Not Smile for Endemic Spying Purposes

Facial recognition software requires consistent images to work well. In that regard, the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles asks customers not to smile for their driver's license picture.

Where do these pictures end up? Do they reside in a massive database, contracted to a private company by Homeland Security? Are they used by international security types, intent on protecting hegemonic powers?

Don't forget America's use of domestic satellite imagery and the countless ways our government monitors citizen activity. It's a shame the same scrutiny isn't given to America's power elite. What system tracks insider ties and the awarding of trillions in government monies? None that I'm aware of. My guess is the U.S. President can smile all he wants over this disparity.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Settlement Freeze, the New Torture

Getting politicians to operationally define terms is harrowing business. Few speak clearly. Fewer are willing to be accountable for their words. The Bush administration contorted the word "torture." President Obama made an early run at "settlement freeze." What does it mean, given Israel's decade long history of ignoring this critical peace requirement?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says a settlement freeze includes "natural growth." That leaves a bulldozer sized opening. Will the front end loader kick up more dust for the 2002 Arab League Peace Plan? Israel clearly does not want peace with its neighbors.

Freedom to Spend Year in Jail for Calling to an End to Israel?

The shining democracy in the Middle East may provide room and board for a year for people calling for an end to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The room is a jail cell. The proposed bill comes atop a bill banning "events or activities that aim to mark the day of Israel's independence as a time of mourning or sorrow."

This bulletin is brought to you by the Ministry of Freedom...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Name that Country!

This weeks the quiz country considers two bills. The first bans protests from a segment of its population. Protests are tied to the date the country took over sovereign rights to land.

Is it?

a. China-Tibet
b. Israel-Palestine

The second bill would institute a loyalty oath. Citizens would swear an oath of allegiance to the state.

Is it:

a. China-Tibet
b. Israel-Palestine

Both answers are B-Israel, also known as the shining democracy in the Middle East and America's best friend. The report came from a Chinese newspaper. I'm sure Chinese leaders are as clueless regarding the parallels, as they are about quality.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Japan Eyes Preventive War

The only nation to have experienced a nuclear weapon considers a policy of preventive war. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party made the proposal. There seem to be lots of itchy trigger fingers in the world's major democracies, Japan and Israel to name two. The United States considers preventive detention, after launching a preventive war in Iraq.

Israel Ignored South America, Yet Gets Secret Information on Venezuela & Bolivia Supplying Uranium to Iran?

Israeli diplomats issued an odd combination of messages. The Jerusalem Post reported:

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post that in the last few years Israel had not paid sufficient attention to Latin America, and that his trip was the beginning of efforts to rectify that situation.

According to a Foreign Ministry document that was published on Ynet on Monday, Iran and Hizbullah are indeed making deep inroads into South America. According to the document, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela was not only helping Iran bypass UN Security Council economic sanctions, but also, along with Bolivia, was providing the Iranians with uranium.

Is this a redux of President George W. Bush's Iraqi yellow cake from Niger or something more factually substantial? It's hard to know when politicians want to pave the way for soldiers marching as to war.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

America Isn't Impartial Peace Broker

WaPo revealed a secret letter from U.S. President George W. Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The story stated:

The Israeli government is relying on "understandings" between former president George W. Bush and former prime minister Ariel Sharon that some of the larger settlements in the occupied West Bank would ultimately become part of Israel, codified in a letter that Bush gave to Sharon in 2004. In an interview with The Washington Post last year, Sharon aide Dov Weissglas said that in 2005, when Sharon was poised to remove settlers from Gaza, the Bush administration arrived at a secret agreement -- not disclosed to the Palestinians -- that Israel could add homes in settlements it expected to keep, as long as the construction was dictated by market demand, not subsidies.
Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser who negotiated the arrangement with Weissglas, confirmed the deal in an interview last week. "At the time of the Gaza withdrawal, there were lengthy discussions about how settlement activity might be constrained, and in fact it was constrained in the later part of the Sharon years and the Olmert years in accordance with the ideas that were discussed," he said. "There was something of an understanding realized on these questions, but it was never a written agreement."
Secret agreement, never disclosed between two leaders no longer in power? It partly explains U.S. haplessness in getting Israel to control settlement growth over a decade. But it's damning for America, a country wanting badly to sell itself as an impartial peace broker for the region. Israel clearly doesn't want peace, as the Arab League peace plan lingered since 2002.

Update 2-4-2017:  Eight years later non-interventionist President Donald Trump may appoint neocon Elliott Abrams as number 2 for the State Department.  Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is number 1.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

America's Pakistan Policy Not Mature

CNN's Next Hundred Days hosted a panel with David Gergen, Fareed Zakaria, Christiane Amanpour, and Michael Ware. They talked about the difficult challenges America faces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gergen suggested dumbing down expectations for success. They group suggested President Obama had a year to make progress or Congress would interfere. Christiane said the lack of patience with nation building was not mature policy.

U.S. tampering is seen in the proposed installation of Zalmay Khalilzad as an unelected Chief Operating Officer for the Afghan government. While Mr. Khalilzad is an Afghan, he spent decades in U.S. governmental and education/advisory roles.

America is back to the great man theory of leadership. The U.S. thought they found one in Ahmed Chalabi of Iraq. Narcissists are hard to control. Khalilzad is on for Afghanistan. Who is on the list for Pakistan and Iran?

Israel's Military Drills Portend Next War?

The nation of Israel prepares for more war. It finished four days of drills simulating war on all fronts. The military drilled war with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Defense Minister Ehud Barak was impressed with the drill results. The Jerusalem Post noted the next drill. This one involves citizens:

In early June, the Israeli home front will be practiced in the most far-reaching rehearsal for an emergency rocket attack ever carried out. All Israelis will be instructed to enter secure spaces and sirens will sound out throughout the country.
It hearkens back to America's Cold War drills. The difference is strong deterrence and mutually assured destruction made sense to leaders of that day.

The Bush/Obama Unitary Executive pushed preventive war and torture. It now offers preventive detention and no accountability for past crimes. The world suffers from heavy handed leadership on many fronts.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Subtle Joe Biden Offers More U.S. Divide and Conquer

Vice President Joe Biden visited Lebanon, weeks before the country's June 6 election. Joe is the most senior American official to visit in 26 years. He offered advice to the Lebanese people who suffered a pummeling from Israel in 2006.

"I do not come here to back any party," he said after talks with President Michel Suleiman, but added that future U.S. aid to Lebanon would depend on the nature of the next government.

"We will evaluate the shape of our assistance program based on the composition of the new government and the policies it advocates," Biden declared.

Joe delivered the usual American carrot and stick. Funny, voters don't like implied threats.

Biden later joined Defense Minister Elias al-Murr at Beirut airport for a display of U.S. military equipment, including tanks, given to Lebanon in the past few years.

Recall the U.S. equipment remained silent during Israel's razing of Lebanon, climaxed in an orgy of cluster bombs. Did Joe check up on the removal of millions of bomblets?

Democracy surprised Condoleeza Rice in Gaza. How will the Lebanese people vote in early June? It could be ugly, if they remember America's month long silence while their democratic neighbor to the south pummeled their country.

Freedom to Be Republican at Liberty U.

Students are free to join the College Republican Club at Lynchburg's Liberty University, but not the Democratic Party version. It was blacklisted for being against the "conservative Christian school's moral principles," as founded by Reverend Jerry Falwell. Liberty or liberty?

(Update: The University's current President Jerry Falwell Jr. corrected the erroneous story.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Calmity Mike" Warns on Iran

On the same day President Obama continued Nixon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding Israel's nuclear weapons, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mike Mullen called Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons a calamity. Reuters reported:

"I'm one who believes that Iran getting a nuclear weapon is calamitous for the region and for the world," Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"It then, in my view, generates neighbors who feel exposed, deficient and then develop or buy the capability themselves," he said, suggesting Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon likely would trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

"The downside, potentially, is absolutely disastrous."

Now why does Israel's having nuclear weapons not contribute to a regional arms race? That question won't get asked in the Senate, with its 76 pro-Israel supporters.

The use of "calamity" by a military man is interesting. Calamities must be avoided and military men use violence to get their way.

From Bush's Preventive War to Obama's Preventive Detention

America continues its descent into a Soviet style Gulag. Forget central planning, seen in Treasury's endless Wall Street corporafornication and Congressmen threatening to require a college football playoff system. We're talking about the right of government to hold people indefinitely without trial. That includes U.S. citizens. The President of the Center for Constitutional Rights weighed in:

Even more troubling for Michael Ratner, however, was the notion of preventive detention -- which he called "the real road to hell," and compared to something from the movie Minority Report. "[Obama] said some people are just too dangerous to let go and that we have to keep them," said Ratner. "Though we'd do it differently then Bush. We will set up rules. Well no matter how you repackage Guantanamo, with all kinds of rules on top of it -- that is what he is doing, he is re-wrapping a preventive detention scheme and giving it some more due process. In the end, it still comes down to holding people -- much like Minority Report or pre-crime stuff -- for being dangerous, and that is not something that I think is constitutional or this country should be engaged in."

Odd, that a minority like President Obama would issue such a report.

Obama Keeps Nuclear "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with Israel

Forget about Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's slip up. He revealed Israel was officially part of the nuclear weapon club. That happened on the Bush shift, when Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator. Did Senator Obama sing out "la, la, la", while covering his ears? Apparently so. Reuters reported:

The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama will not force Israel to state publicly whether it has nuclear weapons, an Israeli official said on Thursday.

He said Washington would stick to a decades-old U.S. policy of "don't ask, don't tell."

Add another chink in the armor of America's impartial mediator role. Obama isn't just Bush like, he's now Nixonian.

Historians say that the Nixon administration forged a tacit policy of not pressing Israel on the matter. The official American reticence angers Iran -- which denies seeking the bomb -- as well as the Arab world.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

U.S. to Fully Fund Israel's Missile Defense System

The Obama administration offered goodies to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Jerusalem Post reported:

The US has said it will provide the full funding for the development and production of the Arrow 3 anti-missile system
Is that in addition to the $2.77 billion in annual military support America provides to Israel? How did the Arrow 3 avoid the budget axe? Expensive military gear needs to be used.

Later this year, the IAF will hold an unprecedented, massive exercise with the US military to test three different ballistic missile defense systems, the Israeli-made Arrow and the American THAAD and Aegis, which will be brought to Israel for the exercise. The drill, which will span several days, is called "Juniper Cobra."

When will it happen? Maybe October, the deadline Dennis Ross set for Iran negotiations? Will it involve the CIA?

Yosemite Sam National Park

Pack up your six shooters and head to Yosemite National Park. Congress approved a new mascot for the pristine California wilderness. It's shoot 'em up Yosemite Sam! Guns are expressly welcomed. What's the fun of having a gun, if you can't use 'em on varmits? Varmit hunting, coming to a National Park near you. Be sure to thank Congress!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Panetta's "Political Spat" Ignores Truth & Justice

The Wall Street Journal reported on CIA Director Leon Panetta's reaction to remarks made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. While his concern for CIA field agents is admirable, Panetta's discounting of the law is concerning.

Both the red and blue teams avoid any credible investigation into America's recent history of torture. Truth and justice are the beacon. Panetta, Pelosi and their ilk draped a wet blanket over America's shining light.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Israel Building New Settlement

It didn't take Israeli P.M. Netanyahu long to break his promise to only expand existing settlements. Haaretz reported:

Israel has moved ahead with a plan to build a new settlement in the northern West Bank for the first time in 26 years, pursuing a project the United States has already condemned as an obstacle to peace efforts.

The move comes on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, despite Western calls for Israel to halt its settlement activity.

Israel clearly wants land more than peace. It has over a decade long record in this regard. The U.S. ignores it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama Notes Iran's Existential Threat to Israel

Before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House, President Obama noted the threat Israel faces from Iran. The Jerusalem Post reported:

"I understand very clearly that Israel considers Iran an existential threat, and given some of the statements that have been made by [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, you can understand why," Obama said in an interview with Newsweek.

With respect to concerns Israel might carry out an air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, the US president said that since Israel is "right there in the range" of Iranian missiles, "their calculation of costs and benefits are going to be more acute."

Obama remarked that he did not think it was his place to "determine for the Israelis what their security needs are."

That's funny for a country supplying $2.77 billion in annual military aid to Israel. A year ago candidate Obama proved he could AIPANDER at an AIPAC meeting.. He's looking similar as President.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Obama's Meeting with Netanyahu

"The meeting on Monday is a continuation of a very close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, very close friendship and cooperation on many issues," said one senior Obama official.

"This is [the president's] first opportunity to take the next step to deepen and expand this cooperation. And I'm quite sure it will be the first of many such conversations."

Fully Loaded Israeli F-16's Practice Dog Fighting with Russian MIG's

A foreign country loaned Israel MIG 29 fighter jets for practice purposes. Iran operates MIG fighter jets. Israel equipped its F-16's with maximum payload for the exercises.

In a related story from the Jerusalem Post, outgoing IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Israel would be "utterly insane" to attack Iran:

"That would turn the region into one great fireball, and the Iranians would immediately begin building the bomb - with the support of the entire Islamic world."

Israel has a habit of making war with direct support from the United State. We'll find out how much has changed. Their record on settlements remains clear.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dangling Libya

Trying to beat the spread of American branded multinationals is fatiguing. Libya gave up in 2004 by renouncing weapons of mass destruction. They now have The Carlyle Group courting Muammar al-Gadhafi's son for business opportunities. Businessmen need visas and the U.S. Ambassador to Libya is calling for an easing of visa restrictions.

Pay attention Syria and Iran. Would you rather be an Iraq or a Libya? Transformation can happen violently or peacefully. Who would've thought of Libya as a member of the UN Security Council? They're the only Arab representative.

U.S. Congress May Label Satellite Stations as Terrorists

The Jerusalem Post reported members of Congress will submit a bill "labeling carriers of incitive satellite stations" as terrorist organizations. The U.S. is targeting satellite firm who rent their space transmission capabilities. Images don't have to reach the U.S. to be offensive.

Should Americans take care in quoting our founding fathers? Thomas Jefferson frequently incited revolution. That involved inciting violence against the King's soldiers and fundraising for the Continental Army. No wonder he wanted free speech.

How do people in foreign lands experience American values? Do they question our commitment to free speech? Is Uncle Sam any different than other American branded global multinationals, paying people a pittance?

Restricting information is necessary in a march to war. Pay attention to Congress as it moves step by step toward the next round of violence.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Obama Sends Envoy to Netanyahu: Message, Don't Surprise Me with Iran Strike

Less than a week before President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in person, the U.S. President felt compelled to send an envoy. The message was don't surprise me with an attack on Iran. Haaretz reported:

Earlier, Netanyahu's envoy visited Washington and met with National Security Adviser James Jones and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and discussed the dialogue Obama has initiated with Tehran.

Clinton and Jones knew of Israel's attack on Gaza before the late December strike. Quartet Envoy Tony Blair spilled the beans. President Obama expects Netanyahu to show the same courtesy as Ehud Olmert. He might, then again Bibi might not.

Obama does have $2.77 billion in annual military aid as a lever. (Update: Obama sent Leon Panetta to deliver the warning)

War Premium Edges Aside Peace Dividend

Reuters reported:

US defense spending, pegged at $534 billion for 2010, excluding the cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be up 4 percent from this year and is not expected to decrease for the next few years.
That doesn't sound the least bit progressive. Add $50 billion slated for secret operations and America looks less transparent and accountable. America's black ops budget is ten times Iran's whole military budget. Any fight won't be the least bit fair.

Netanyahu Wants to Grow Settlements

The over decade long growth of Jewish settlements will continue according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is not a surprise. Bibi used the George W. Bush card, saying building in existing settlements fit within a prior framework. Welcome to peace via more war.

Monday, May 11, 2009

U.S. vs. Iran on Military Spending

America's military budget looks obscene relative to other countries. Iran's military budget looks rather paltry. It's one tenth of America's black operations budget of $50 billion, up 3% under President Obama.

America's annual military support to Israel will reach $2.77 billion if Obama gets his wish. That's over half of Iran's whole budget.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Obama's Neocon Says Iran Deadline is October

Haaretz reported the time frame for Iranian nuclear negotiations is October. Dennis Ross, President Obama's Special Envoy to the Persian Gulf, delivered the message. Ross is a necon. Their preference for violence is well established.

The challenge for Iran is negotiating during and after an election season. The new President may not be installed until early August. That leaves precious time for a new leader to install staff, much less start and finish negotiations with the U.S. in six weeks or less.

Should Iran chose a reformer, the time frame isn't credible.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Netanyahu said Israel Will Never Leave Golan Heights

Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel won't give up the Golan Heights, land claimed in war with Syria. Haaretz reported:

"Remaining on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of military conflict with Syria," Netanyahu said during a briefing he gave to the reporters.
Add the over decade long settlement expansion and Israel looks distinctly unpeaceful. Throw in two wars, Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in late 2008/early 2009, and Israel looks downright violent. Bibi plans on standing up to President Obama in his upcoming visit. Netanyahu will have plenty of allies in the White House. Rahm Emanuel presents himself as IDF tough, when he repaired military vehicles during the first Gulf War. David Axelrod and Larry Summers are also Jewish.

Avigdor Lieberman's Excellent Adventure

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman finished his European trip. He thinks it went great, citing "fantastic talks" and "intense interest." Funny, his didn't mention Israel's greatest threat, Pakistan. He focused on Iran.

Europeans acted differently. A foreign policy expert summed it up as "Lieberman sees Europeans as cowards." Lieberman said he reached an agreement with European leaders and would reveal it after Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with President Obama.

Freedom to Fly with Swine Flu

A woman was diagnosed with Mexican swine flu during her stay in the United States. She flew to Israel on May 3rd. Haaretz reported:

The Health Ministry has requested that all the passengers who were on this flight to report to an emergency room in their area to be tested for the virus if they should experience any flu symptoms.
How does a patient diagnosed with active disease get on a plane? Freedom from public health.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Israel Will Never Accept UN Gaza Probe

Israeli President Shimon Peres told UN Chief Ban Ki-moon his country would never accept the results of UN investigation into the Gaza War. Haaretz reported:

"We will never accept it," Peres said after meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York. "It's outrageous."

The outrage is no world body holds Israel accountable. If not the UN, who?

Peres: "No Space between Israel & US"

Israeli President Shimon Peres met with President Obama at the White House yesterday afternoon. The meeting occurred after the three day AIPAC meeting and Obama's downing of a Ray's Hell Burger. The Jerusalem Post reported:

US President Barack Obama called protecting Israel's security a "top priority" for the US when welcoming the first Israeli leader to visit his White House on Tuesday.

Obama met with President Shimon Peres, after which Peres told reporters that "there is no space between us and the United States."

But in a sign of the differences between the views of the two new governments, in an earlier meeting with Vice President Joseph Biden, Peres said ending natural growth in settlements was a non-starter.

"Israel cannot instruct settlers in existing settlements not to have children or get married," Peres said.

Israel won't do anything about settlements. But it may attack the "Nazi" country in the region. Settlement foot dragging history is clear.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Israel Should "Stop Building Settlements" Deja Vu

At the 2009 AIPAC meeting Vice President Joe Biden suggested Israel should stop building settlements, remove settlement outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement. This is a familiar refrain.

September 16, 1998 Boston Globe

If Israel wants peace, it will need to stop settlements, end land seizures, and offer the Palestinians a larger percent of the occupied territory...

February 6, 1999 Seattle Post Intelligencer

Israel stood alone at the UN General Assembly yesterday, defiantly defending its settlement policies...

April 30, 2000 Jerusalem Post

Peace Now called on Prime Minister Ehud Barak to clamp down on settlement construction and implement the building freeze he imposed in Judea...

May 23, 2001 Christian Science Monitor

"The pressure to stop [or] pause in settlement expansion must come from within the Israeli body politic."

April 29, 2002 Chicago Tribune

Israel is under international pressure, including from the United States, to stop settlement growth

June 4, 2003 The Times UK "Stop settlements now, Bush tells Israel"

Israel has got responsibilities,” Mr Bush said on the eve of today’s historic Middle East peace summit. “Israel must deal with the settlements.

May 26, 2005 USA Today

Bush said Israel should "stop settlement expansion" and help "improve the daily lives of Palestinians" by easing checkpoints.

Four years and two Israeli wars later, Vice President Joe Biden's charge echoes hollow. It's hard to believe Israel wants peace.

Update 5-20-11:   President Obama offered theater for the masses with his call for Israel to give back settlements.  He also bound U.S. security to the Middle East, a place where America has a long history of tampering with foreign governments.

Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, Rahm on Iran

The Jersualem Post reported on a private session Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel held with major AIPAC donors. The report stated:

The task of forming an international coalition to thwart Iran's nuclear program will be made easier if progress is made in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has said, according to sources in Washington.

Israeli TV stations had reported Monday night that Emanuel had actually linked the two matters, saying that the efforts to stop Iran hinged on peace talks with the Palestinians. The remarks were reportedly made in a closed-door meeting previous day with 300 major AIPAC donors on Sunday.

Iranian negotiations will go nowhere, in light of each country's official positions. To sell another war, the world needs to see leaders collaborating toward peace.

Recall Rahm is the politician who won't let a crisis go to waste. Forget the Arab League peace plan sat on a shelf gathering dust since 2002.

Will the next crisis be fueled by influential AIPAC funders? What about the over half of Congress that attended AIPAC's Monday night Gala? What will their role be? What about neocon Dennis Ross, the Special Adviser for the Persian Gulf? He continues his tour of the Middle East.

Monday, May 4, 2009

AIPAC's Monday Night Gala Has More than Half of Congress in Attendance

The red carpet at the annual AIPAC meeting saw hundreds of dignitaries amongst the crowd of 6.500. Their website reported:

More than half of Congress and scores of ambassadors and diplomats from countries around the world were in attendance.

Maybe AIPAC can get health care reform passed. They might have an in with Blue Dog Corporacrats.

For $10 billion, U.S. Has No Idea Where Pakistan Nukes Lie

What did the United States get for over $10 billion in aid to Pakistan? Apparently, not information on securing Pakistan nuclear weapon sites. The New York Times reported:

"the United States does not know where all of Pakistan’s nuclear sites are located."
Simply amazing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Peres & Livni on Way to AIPAC

Israeli President Shimon Peres and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are headed to the U.S. Both officials will speak at this weeks AIPAC meeting. Each will be hosted by American politicians. Peres will meet with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and UN Chief Ban Ki-moon.

Ms. Livni will meet with Hillary Clinton and General James L. Jones, Obama's National Security Adviser. Livni's replacement as Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman travels to Europe this week.

President Peres will also meet with the media, including Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, National Public Radio, Wolf Blitzer on CNN and Joe Scarborough's Morning Joe program on MSNBC. What will he talk about in all those meetings? The Jerusalem Post stated:

"The government is currently undergoing a policy review and we need to wait until it's complete," Peres told Army Radio. "I will update Obama on the developments, but the main thing that unfortunately cannot be ignored is Iran, which is trying to gain control of the region."

That's alot of Iran.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Did Dennis Ross Ask About UAE Prince Torture Video?

U.S. Special Envoy Dennis Ross met with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Recall the UAE Royal who mercilessly tortured an Afghan man for a missing truckload of grain? The abuser is the brother of Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Did Dennis Ross bring up the video? Doubtful. Press TV reported:

The UAE ruling family has blocked internet access to all sites showing the horrific footage of a royal prince torturing a migrant worker.

The statement said that the UAE government "understands that the matter depicted on the video was resolved between the two parties and that no criminal charges were brought by either party."

According to ABC News, which first released the disturbing videotape, the UAE government claimed that Sheikh Issa only occasionally indulged in such activities and what was recorded on the tape was 'not part of a pattern of behavior'.

Wrapped up in a nice neat bow, like Obama and Congress want America to do on Bush torture.

Update 1-11-10: The Prince was found not guilty by a UAE court. Apparently they also have a "just us" system based on money and connections.

Friday, May 1, 2009

AIPAC Speakers

Political leaders speaking at AIPAC include (roughly in order of appearance) :

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
James Woolsey, ex-CIA Chief (and noted neocon)
Robert Satloff, Washington Institute for Near East Policy Director (Dennis Ross' former group)
Maj. Gen. Ido Nechustan, commander of the Israeli Air Force
Rep. Shelley Berkeley (D-NV)
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA)
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)
Newt Gingrich
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Rep. Mike Pence (R-PA)
Shimon Peres, Israeli President
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Oddly, the espionage case involving two AIPAC lobbyists (and a taped conversation with Rep. Jane Harman) was dropped by the U.S. government. The American Jewish Lobby has much to celebrate.

U.S. Calls Iran State Sponsor of Terror

The U.S. State Department released its country reports on terrorism. At the top is Iran. The report stated:

Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism.

Ironically President Obama's special envoy for the Persian Gulf is touring the region. Dennis Ross is strongly pro-Israel and a neocon. He started in Saudi Arabia and moved around the Persian Gulf's Sunni states. Dennis has a military man with him. What are they planning against Shia Iran?

AIPAC's Great Timing!

The U.S. government dropped espionage charges against two AIPAC lobbyists. The annual AIPAC meeting begins next week in Washington, D.C. Israeli President Shimon Peres will visit the White House during his AIPAC trip. Only a year ago, Rahm Emanuel escorted Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama to the AIPAC meeting.