Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tomorrow's December

I'm sick of hearing
again and again
that there's gonna be
Peace on earth.--U2

The Decemberist video below needs updating, given America's DNA collection and iris scanning of United Nations representatives.

The holiday season is here.  Rejoice.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

State Department of Spying

Mail Online reported:

Hillary Clinton ordered American officials to spy on high ranking UN diplomats, including British representatives.

Top secret cables revealed that Mrs Clinton, the Secretary of State, even ordered diplomats to obtain DNA data – including iris scans and fingerprints - as well as credit card and frequent flier numbers.

All permanent members of the security council – including Russia, China, France and the UK – were targeted by the secret spying mission, as well as the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon.
The U.S. also wanted computer passwords.  Sec. Clinton's request followed similar orders from her predecessor, Condoleeza Rice.   Spying is prohibited under treaties at the United Nations.  The lawless Obama administration follows the constitution tearing Bush regime.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Stitched Lip" Snubs Native Americans for Second Year in a Row

This year President Obama split his lip playing basketball, requiring twelve stitches.  Who knew Pilgrims and Native Americans had an invigorating game of roundball?  Last year, Obama met with the wrong Indian during Thanksgiving week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Signs of Growing Conflict

Israeli news sources reported:

Iran doubles enriched uranium stockpile (Jersualem Post)

U.S. to sell $60 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia (Ynet)

Rabbi encourages IDF soldiers to use Palestinians as human shields (Haaretz)

Ahmadinejad and Chavez united to change world order (Haaretz)

Tom Friedman scolds Israel (Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu won't allow an Iranian state in West Bank (Jerusalem Post))

Saturday, October 16, 2010

FBI Uses GPS Tracking without a Warrant

A California computer salesman found a strange box magnetically attached to his vehicle during an oil change.  He freed it from his car and posted pictures of it online, hoping for help in identifying the device.  It was a GPS tracking unit.

Two days later, the FBI showed up at his door, demanding their personal property back.  The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the use of GPS tracking without a search warrant.   The dissenting judge wrote in Jeffersonian fashion:

"By holding that this kind of surveillance doesn't impair an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, the panel hands the government the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives."

Here's the false choice pushed daily.  You can have freedom or security, what's your pick? 

"The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:548

"As revolutionary instruments (when nothing but revolution will cure the evils of the State) [secret societies] are necessary and indispensable, and the right to use them is inalienable by the people." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1803. FE 8:256

U.S. All Bark on Israeli Settlements

America's deja vu on "stop building settlements" is longer than I thought.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's office called it a four decade phenomena.  Haartez reported:

Opposition to the settlements has been a U.S. policy for 40 years already

It can't be called opposition, not when America gave Israel billions in aid over the same period.  A better word would be "theater".  This forced round of peace negotiations looks more like theater of the absurd.

The clear trajectory in the Middle East is toward war.  The question is how many fronts will America and its 51st state have to fight?

Update 11-14-10  U.S. to reward Israeli intransigence.  Netanyahu met with U.S. officials in an effort to break the impasse and held a seven-hour meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He returned with a U.S. proposal to renew the moratorium in exchange for a White House pledge to ask Congress to sell Israel 20 stealth fighter jets for $3 billion, Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein told The Associated Press.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today's Depressing Read: Ha'aretz

The war edition of Ha'aretz landed on doorsteps.  The list of articles included:

No chance of peace with Palestinians in near future (link)

Lieberman: Palestinians may try to form autonomous Arab regions within Israel (link)

Poll: 76% of American Jews think Arabs want to destroy Israel (link)

Palestinian official: PA will never recognize Israel as Jewish state (link)

Netanyahu asking Palestinians to cede right of return (link)

U.S. after Netanyahu proposal: Our position on settlements hasn’t changed (link)
Not only is this the most reluctant peace negotiation, it stands to grow by magnitudes with the addition of Lebanon and Syria.  Is Rube Goldberg behind this? Or is the intent to keep parties at the negotiating table long enough for America and its 51st state attack Iran's nuclear facilities?  Time and bombs will tell.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Israeli Loyalty Oath Bill Passes

Ynet reported:

New non-Jewish citizens will be obligated to pledge allegiance to 'Jewish, democratic state' from now on, after bill passes 22-8.
10-10-10, mark the date.

Friday, October 8, 2010

White House's Pragmatic National Security Adviser

Pragmatic President Obama appointed another pragmatist, Tom Donilon, to replace retiring National Security Adviser General James L. Jones.  The Jerusalem Post reported on Jone's tenure: 

Obama cited the renewed push for peace in the Middle East as one of the major accomplishments of Jones’s 20-month tenure, along with resetting relations with Russia, dealing with Iran and Al-Qaida and winding down the war in Iraq.

So why change the horse in the middle of those active streams? Because Obama wants to be seen as driving policy.

Washington insiders said they didn’t expect a dramatic change in foreign policy with the transition, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in part because Obama played such a key role in crafting policy, in part because Donilon has already been involved with the issue at the NSC and in part because other Obama administration officials could overshadow him.

“I don’t think he’ll be a [primary] foreign policy-maker in the Middle East because of the greater experience and influence of Secretary of State Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden,” said Morris Amitay, a former executive director of AIPAC who was in touch with Donilon during his time in the Clinton administration.

Why would pragmatic Obama stick his nose into his weakest area, international relations and war?  He didn't appear to lead on health care and financial reform.  Obama couldn't deliver basic honesty on the BP disaster.
In December 2008 General Jones & Hillary Clinton approved Israel's pummeling of Gaza.  Obama sat on his lips and hands while Israel turned Gaza into a stinking charnel house.  Pragmatic President Obama does theater as well as his hand's on predecessor.  Obama's a bit less folksy, that's all.

General James L. Jones Resigns

President Obama's National Security Adviser is stepping down.  General James L. Jones approved Israel's pummeling of Gaza in December 2008.  He and Hillary Clinton gave the thumb's up, according to Tony Blair (Haaretz).

Jones held an official position as Special Envoy to the region.  Despite his unsworn Secretary of State giving the go ahead, President elect Obama stayed silent through the month long bombing, .

Will General Jones return to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he crafted plans for U.S. military might to secure the world's oil fields?  Will he pull a Peter Pace and sell his services to multiple high bidders?  Will he become a Mike McConnell, selling threats only his employer (Booz Allen Hamilton) can address?  Will he splatter the airwaves with blather, like Fran Townsend on CNN?

The best stories remain untold.  Rest assured Tony Blair and Tom Daschle didn't reveal the Democratixx in their recent books.  It's the story of influence peddling, power and greed.  General Jones reenters the accumulation race.  What's his next step?  Follow the greenback.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

P.J. Crowley's Triple Track for Peace

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley cited a multi-pronged Middle East peace negotiation.  It would have an Israel-Palestine (Fatah) track, an Israel-Syria track and an Israel-Lebanon track.  Israel's other borders with Egypt and Jordan are quiet.

The U.S. called on the Arab League to remain patient with their peace deal, on the table since 2002.  Israel needs time to milk the U.S.  Haaretz reported:

Israel's envoy to the United States Michael Oren provided the first official confirmation of the possibility of a forming deal, saying the "administration has come back to Israel with a number of suggestions - incentives if you would - that would enable the government to maybe pass a limited extension of 2 or 3 months."
Israel's peace intentions rise in conjunction with making war in the region. They want one war at a time.  Multiple enemies on numerous fronts won't do. What did the Obama administration use to incentivize Israel to "maybe pass" a few month freeze?  The White House isn't saying.

Update 10-8-10  The Jerusalem Post said the White House offered Israel a continued military presence in the Jordan Valley as an incentive.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Haaretz: Strange Day

It was a strange day on Israeli newspaper Haaretz.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's pleading with Palestinian leaders to remain at the bargaining table was no surprise. Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas said no negotiations without settlement curbs.

The odor grew with another Rahm Emanuel dead fish story.  Will this one end up in an EPA guarded landfill along the Gulf Coast?

What shocked me was the dismissal of CNN's Rick Sanchez for anti-Semitic remarks.  The last time I heard Rick he challenged Stephen Colbert to do his anchor job, in return for another ride on a Taser at Colbert's "Keep Fear Alive" event.

It brings to mind Ozzy Osborne, the subject of the final story on Haaretz.  Ozzie didn't play in Israel for years, not because he's an anti-Semite, but because he was too drunk.  Today's odd stories call into question humanity's sobriety.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stirring Pot on Iran

I used a poker metaphor for the line of politicians raising the stakes on Iran.  The list included Senator Lindsey Graham (American Enterprise Institute), Representative Howard Berman (Center for Strategic & International Studies) and Joe Lieberman (Council on Foreign Relations).  After each talk, the pot grew.

Newt Gingrich weighed in on the Iranian threat at the Counter-terrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL).  His talk prompted a different pot, the kind that is stirred.  Newt's the rabid possum in the stew. Will he crawl out before it comes to a boil?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Presidential Policy Directive on International Investment

The Obama administration unveiled their new global development strategy with great fanfare.  The Presidential Policy Directive includes:

Creation of a Global Development Council of leading figures from civil society and private and philanthropic sectors.

Hillary hinted at a greater role for philanthropists. She echoed the sentiment in a speech at the Peter G. Peterson Institute. 

Will the Global Development Council be like the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition?  If so, it will be stacked with private equity underwriters (PEU's).  Here are a few:

Colin Powell (Kleiner Perkins)
Madeline Albright (Albright Capital Management)
James A. Baker, III (advisor to Carlyle Group)
Frank Carlucci (Carlyle Group Chairman Emeritus)
Tom Daschle (Intermedia Advisors)
Bill Frist (Cressey)
William Perry (Global Technology Partners, Covant)
Tom Ridge (Doheny Global)

While they have billions to donate, the flip side of the PEU coin is greed, evidenced by expectations of 30% annual returns.  It's bad when the ShoreCap International crowd expects similar returns on microfinance money.

Who will be America's face in the development world?  I sense one for the public and another for personal enrichment.

Raising Lieberman

Senator Joe Lieberman echoed escalating concern regarding Iran, reinforcing Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Howard Berman's recent speeches on the topic.  Lieberman spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he said:

It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. It is time for our message to our friends and enemies in the region to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability -- by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must. A military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities entails risks and costs, but I am convinced that the risks and costs of allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability are much greater.

I also believe it would be a failure of U.S. leadership if this situation reaches the point where the Israelis decide to attempt a unilateral strike on Iran. If military action must come, the United States is in the strongest position to confront Iran and manage the regional consequences. This is not a responsibility we should outsource. We can and should coordinate with our many allies who share our interest in stopping a nuclear Iran, but we cannot delegate our global responsibilities to them.

The Reds kicked off bidding with Graham's talk at  the American Enterprise Institute.  The Blues countered with Howard Berman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Independents raised the bar with a Lieberman at CFR.     The future of American power in the Middle East centers on Israel and war.  It's a sadly familiar refrain.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Iran's Bushehr Plant Won't Start until 2011

Iran pushed back it's planned start up of the Bushehr nuclear plant yet again.  Haaretz reported fuel will begin to be loaded into the central core next week.  The plant will generate electricity for the public in early 2011.

The delay may be the result of the Stuxnet worm.

Diplomats and security sources say Western governments and Israel view sabotage as one way of slowing Iran's nuclear work. Little information is available on how much damage, if any, Iran's nuclear and wider infrastructure has suffered from Stuxnet and Tehran will probably never disclose full details.

Some analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage aimed at slowing its nuclear advances, pointing to a series of unexplained technical glitches that have cut the number of working centrifuge machines at the Natanz enrichment plant.

Will the saboteurs disclose full details?  Doubtful.

Despite the escalating rhetoric from both sides, the UN has monitors in the Bushehr plant.

Russia designed and built the plant and will supply the fuel. To ease nuclear proliferation concerns, it will take back spent fuel rods that could otherwise be used to make weapons-grade plutonium. Bushehr is also being monitored by inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog.

Washington has criticized Moscow for pushing ahead with Bushehr despite Iranian defiance over its nuclear program.
Israeli President Netanyahu said he'd never let Iran become nuclear.  U.S. President Barack Obama used similar language in the past. Do their reluctant peace efforts imply another war?

Until then, sanctions and war framing grow.

Update 7-17-11:  An ex-CIA official predicts Israel will attack Iran in September.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Signs Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Are for Show

Haaretz reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu countered a controversial United Nations address by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday, rejecting Lieberman's views on a possible land swap and asserting his belief that Israel and Palestinians could reach a peace deal within a year. 
The Israeli government looked as divided as the Palestinians (Fatah-Hamas).  The U.S. response brought to mind Donald Rumsfeld "unknown unknowns."

State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley, referring to the possibility the Israeli prime minister and defense minister are at odds concerning the ongoing direct peace talks with the PA, said: "Maybe there are divergent vision between the Prime Minister and the Foreign minister, I'll defer to the Israeli government to explain the difference. I will let the Israeli government comment on whether it reflects the views of the Israeli government."

When things get dicey and the parties look as if they might walk away, change the peace sponsor:
The Prime Minister's Office added that the premier (Netanyahu) also accepted (French President) Sarkozy's invitation to a peace summit to be held in Paris during the coming October, which would also be attended by Abbas. 

An aim could be to keep the parties at the table when conflict with Iran begins.  Israel wielded major carrots for neighbors during their last two wars.  Might it do so again?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stuxnet Worm & Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Jerusalem Post reported:

Iran's official news agency reported Sunday that a complex computer worm has affected the personal computers of staff at the country's first nuclear power plant weeks before the facility is to go online.  

Experts from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran met this week to discuss how to remove the malicious computer code, or worm, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Friday.

The computer worm, dubbed Stuxnet, can take over systems that control the inner workings of industrial plants.
Do the U.S. and Israel have to prove they didn't create the Stuxnet worm?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Obama Wants to Secretly Kill American Citizens

The Obama administration believes it is legal to assassinate American citizens, at least those on the military/CIA's targeted killing list.  The government's defenses to a legal challenge are:

1.  Relatives of targeted citizens have no legal standing to challenge the case in court
2.  Targeting decisions are solely the executive branch's discretion
3.  Litigating the matter would jeopardize state secrets
This is the due process of law guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment?  Obama loves summary execution, using predator drones to execute people in other sovereign countries. 

How might courts breakdown the rule of law via Obama’s Justice Department?  Who can the President assassinate under the Constitution?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peace Deal Contingent Upon Stopping Settlements

The AP reported:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday there will be no peace deal with Israel unless the Jewish state stops settlement construction in areas the Palestinians claim for their future state.
The shakiest peace talks ever initiated took an early turn for the worse.

Peace Talks: Real or Choreography

While the Palestinian Authority-Israeli peace talks hang by a thread, experts stressed the role of Syria and Lebanon in achieving Middle East peace.

The intensity of Israeli peace talks with neighbors is highly correlated with the odds of war.  The Jewish state does not want an all fronts conflict.  It needs quiet on its borders to deal with Iran.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Obama's UN Code

I was puzzled by President Obama's plea for Arab states to push for peace without any feedback from Israel on the long standing Arab League Peace Plan.  Haaretz provided an answer.

Member states of the United Nations nuclear watchdog narrowly rejected an Arab-sponsored resolution on Friday calling on Israel to join a global anti-atomic weapons treaty in a diplomatic victory for the United States.
Washington had urged countries to vote down the symbolically important although non-binding resolution, saying it could derail broader efforts to ban nuclear warheads in the Middle East and also send a negative signal to the relaunched Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Obama's speech missed the numerous times the United States failed to prevent nuclear proliferation, India, Israel and Pakistan.  Israel spoke strongly on the Arab resolution:

"Adopting this resolution will be a fatal blow to any hope for future cooperative efforts toward better regional security in the Middle East," Israel's IAEA envoy Ehud Azoulay said, shortly before the vote. 
Fatal blow?  The U.S and Israel sat on the Arab League Peace Plan for eight years.  Peace already looks like a corpse.   Obama may be a war president (of his initiation) come 2012.

Update:  Hillary Clinton scrambled to keep PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the negotiating table.  An Arab League representative warned of a Middle East arms race if Israel keeps nuclear weapons.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Obama's Odd UN Speech

President Obama gave an odd talk at the United Nations.  He continued the U.S. call on freezing settlement expansion, at least a decade in running.  Israel ignored these pleas with no apparent consequences..

Obama moved on to elements of the Arab League Peace Plan, put on the table in 2002 and recently cited by Hillary Clinton as a remarkable document.  He failed to mention Israel's lack of response to the plan.  Instead, the President encouraged Arab states to implement their part.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Betting on Iran

The Blue team saw the Red's Lindsey Graham on Iran and raised them a Howard Berman. Both spoke on CSPAN.

Representative Berman indicated Iranian sanctions had months to work. He painted a dire situation beginning at the 7:40 mark. He gave a one year time frame for Iran to have a functional nuclear weapon.

Berman is connected. He told an Israeli newspaper Israel would attack Gaza in December 2008. The unleashing of Graham and Berman on Iran is telling. Attack dogs on Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza are now trained on Iran.

Bank Branches in Iran to Stem WWIII

The International Harry Schultz Letter, a highly respected investment newsletter, had an odd reference in a recent edition. MarketWatch reported:

I’m happy to announce the end of World War 3. The Iran war, which triggered World War Three, planned by the Pentagon and Mossad, has ended, actually before they began. It’s a first in history!

“How do I know this? Follow the money, not the propaganda. Four US banks are to open branches in Iran!...Citibank and Goldman Sachs are among the first applicants! Since Goldman Sachs is the alternate, or behind the scenes US government, as we all know, that name/news assured me of the good news.”

Who does Goldman Sachs apply to? Is that Ahmadinejad, the man decrying capitalism at the United Nations? Why would he let in a Trojan Horse?

Is it the U.S. State Department or another global mechanism that will run Iran post pummeling? Hopefully, Mr. Schultz will clear this up in his next letter.

America has a record of waging war on behalf of U.S. branded multinationals. Iran knows this well. It was President Eisenhower's biggest regret.

(Thanks to Economic Policy Journal)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Compromised by Unidentified Aerial Objects

Reuters reported:

Witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired military personnel points to an ongoing and alarming intervention by unidentified aerial objects at nuclear weapons sites, as recently as 2003. In some cases, several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object silently hovered nearby. Six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will break their silence about these events at the National Press Club and urge the government to publicly confirm their reality.

The National Press Club will host a panel on the topic Monday, September 27. Will this event make CSPAN? It turns out UFO stories have been told at the NPC before.

Maybe UFO's can make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free zone.

Israeli Peace Talks Often Mean War

Israel prefers to fight one war at a time. They dangled fruit to keep other groups off the battlefield during their 2006 pummeling of Southern Lebanon and 2008-09 razing of Gaza. The setup for war with Iran finds Israel's hawkish leaders returning to the bargaining table

The Israeli negotiating team is busy with peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, but leaders want to add Syria. Syria is fresh off a missile deal with Russia.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham made the case for war with Iran yesterday. It had an Iraq 2002 ring. Graham said Israel might attack Iran's nuclear facilities, but the U.S. would be the better nation to ensure Iran had no ship afloat, no plane capable of flying, and no missiles left to use on their neighbors. In the vacuum new Iranian leadership can arise. Funny, that sounds much like the lack of planning America had for post war Iraq.

Meanwhile at the UN, Lebanon and Iran walked out on Shimon Peres speech of Israeli friendship and uniting through science. Turkey canceled a planned meeting with Peres. Canada walked out on Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who complained about the translation of his remarks. But he got to speak his mind on Charlie Rose.

Senator Graham Lays Out Case for Iran War

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke at the American Enterprise Institute. He cogently laid out the case for war with Iran. President Obama spoke at the United Nations, stating the military option remains on the table. These actions echo Iraq in 2002.

Hillary Clinton called for responsible leaders in Iran to step up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Olmert Details Palestinian Peace Deal

Haaretz reported:

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that the Bush administration had assured him that the United States would be willing to absorb some 100,000 Palestinian refugees immediately as American citizens, should Israel reach a permanent settlement with the Palestinian Authority.

Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair referred to a secret peace deal between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Since then Blair ran like a frightened child from people trying to serve him a war crime indictment and Olmert has been charged with corruption.

It just happens Tony Blair and Ehud Olmert are selling books. What didn't make Tony's book? His trading the Lockerbie bomber for BP's access to Libyan oil fields. Also omitted, his revelation that Israel would change strategy on Gaza, with the approval of Obama's Hillary Clinton and General James Jones. Bombs fell within a week.

Olmert, Blair and Bush made war their signature strategy. Little has changed with their replacements.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trade in Violence

Strange news from the Middle East:

U.S. plans to sell $60 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia to offset Iran.

Israeli defense firms stand to make tens of millions from the Saudi arms sale.

Israel settlement freeze to expire.

Abbas threatens to resign (again).

After twisting their arm to the negotiating table, I don't know how the U.S. can keep the parties there.

With regards to the issue of settlement construction, the PA official reiterated that the Palestinians would pull out of the talks if the current freeze, which expires later this month, is not extended. He said that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised Abbas to solve the issue, but did not elaborate.

That Clinton magic failed with Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak. The world has seen a decade of contention, conflict and settlement expansion. It doesn't look like leaders want peace.

Who will stand for peace when the bombs fall in earnest? It won't be war profiteers or their purchased politicians.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad Sign for War: More Israeli Peace Talks

Haaretz reported:

U.S. confirms intense efforts to restart Israel-Syria peace efforts

U.S. envoy Mitchell, arriving in Damascus Thurs., says Israeli-Palestinian talks could support simultaneous Israeli-Syrian negotiations.
Israel has a pattern of dangling peace benefits to neighbors as it makes war plans. The Jewish State does not want to fight a multi-front war. Prime Minister Netanyahu told Palestinian and Syrian leaders that a peace agreement could be reached within a year.

What else might happen within that year? Could it be war? Look for "bomb you back to the Stone Age" threats, as sides are chosen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mossad Chief Suggests Attacking Iran

The Jerusalem Post reported:

Western countries need to mobilize together into a coalition that will strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities, former head of the Mossad Danny Yatom said on Sunday.

Yatom said that Israel could not live with a nuclear Iran.
The impetus for Western countries to align and attack came from another JP story:

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano on Monday warned that he cannot confirm that all of Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful because Teheran is not fully cooperating with his inspectors.

Amano also chided Iran for barring some of those inspectors and for stonewalling his agency's attempt to probe allegations that Teheran is interested in developing atomic arms.
The Pentagon has put together $90 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia. America's friends in the region will need to rule the skies and seas after Iran is taught a lesson.

The narrative grows piece by piece.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Netanyahu to Offer a Partial Settlement Freeze

Haaretz reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to adopt a policy identical to that of his predecessor for construction in West Bank settlements - a partial freeze - as the September 30 end of the moratorium approaches.

Under Ehud Olmert, more than 90 percent of construction was carried out in the major settlement blocs - Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel.

After a decade of U.S. calls to "stop building settlements," Hillary Clinton called Israel's settlement restraint unprecedented. Oddly, negotiations could fall back to the secret Olmert-Abbas agreement indicated by Tony Blair. That could make PM Netanyahu uncomfortable, given his past positions.

The current lineup of officials aiding a settlement thaw includes Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell and Tony Blair. When Tony "Change in Gaza Strategy" Blair meets with leaders in the region, war is not far away.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Netanyahu Says He & Obama Could Bring Peace

Ynet reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House that an agreement could be achieved had it been up to the two of them.
Aren't they on the same side, sharing an unshakable bond? Senator Obama defended Israel publicly and privately, as it attacked its neighbors in 2006 & 2008. President Obama pushed "economic peace" on the Palestinians, before handcuffing the parties for peace talks..

I'm not sure I've ever seen peace talks start with so little hope.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Israel's 3 Billion Barrels of Oil

Ynet reported:

Noble Energy, senior partner in the Leviathan gas drill, estimated Sunday that the oil reserves located under the site's gas reserves may fill up to three billion barrels.
The Leviathan gas reserves, located some 120 kilometers west of Israel, are believed to contain over 453 BMC (billion cubic meters).

Lebanon challenges Israel's gas claims. Given their location, might Gazan's also stake a claim? Might this be another item to negotiate as Uncle Sam and the Quartet push economic peace?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Greatest Threat to National Security: National Debt

Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Detroit students and leaders the biggest threat to national security is the national debt. If America was a third world country, I would take his remarks as a setup for a future coup. Since we're not, it sounds like Rahm Emanuel/David Axelrod message vectoring on behalf of Obama's Deficit Commission.

Update 9-9-10 Hillary Clinton joined the chorus.

Friday, August 27, 2010

IDF Can Destroy Lebanese Army in 4 Hours

Ynet News reported:

A senior advisor to US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has threatened Lebanese army commander, that should his army initiate additional fire exchanges with Israel, the IDF would annihilate his military within four hours.
This threat is against the sovereign Lebanese army, not Hezbollah. A U.S. diplomat delivered the message, not unlike Richard Armitage's threat to Pakistan to "bomb it back to the Stone Age." Oddly, flooding recently did just that to the people of Pakistan.

Israel admitted it used white phosphorous and dropped a million cluster bombs during its 2006 incursion in Lebanon. The U.S. did not hold Israel accountable for these acts. Israel's Uncle Sammy is consistent.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Abbas Meets with Tony Blair

Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Ramallah. Blair led negotiations with Libya that eventually freed the Lockerbie bomber. Later, Tony spilled the beans regarding Israel's looming war with Hamas in Gaza. Ynet reported:

The two discussed the political situation ahead of the launch of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians next week in Washington.

What secrets did Blair share with Abbas? Where is Tony leading him?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ahmadinejad Goes Bush

Haaretz reported:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled what Iran is calling the country's first long-range drone, saying that Iran should seek the ability to make preemptive strikes against a perceived threat, although he said it would never strike first.

"If there is an ignorant person or an egotist or a tyrant who just wanted to make an aggression then our Defense Ministry should reach a point where it could cut off the hand of the aggressor before it decided to make an aggression," he said.

"We should reach a point when Iran would serve as a defense umbrella for all freedom loving nations in the face of world aggressors. We don't want to attack anywhere, Iran will never decide to attack anywhere, but our revolution cannot sit idle in the face of tyranny, we can't remain indifferent."

Words like this ensure escalation. President George W. Bush said "you're either with us, or against us." Bush was the first to use preemptive war on the world stage. Jerusalem Post reported:

Speaking to a group of officials Ahmadinejad said, "The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship."

Ironically, the next war may have both sides citing their peaceful, preemptive motivations.

Update: Later in the day Ahmadinejad offered his version of "Bring it On" to Israel and the U.S.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

U.S. Parses Bushehr Startup

Haaretz reported:

The United States does not see the fueling of Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr as a “proliferation risk," State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said Saturday.

“We recognize that the Bushehr reactor is designed to provide civilian nuclear power and do not view it as a proliferation risk,” Holladay said, adding that “It will be under IAEA safeguards and Russia is providing the fuel and talking back the spit nuclear fuel, which would be the principal source of proliferation concerns."
Is it now under IAEA safeguards?

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said they would not allow Iran to go nuclear. I guess it depends on what nuclear means. At least it's no longer nukular.

Update: Prof. Gary Milhollin said "Administration's assumption incorrect. Iranian's have enough uranium for three bombs and have started enriching at high level."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Peace Talks to Begin September 2

Haaretz reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington to begin direct peace talks on Sept. 2, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a press conference on Friday.

The meeting will serve to "re-launch direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues which we believe we can complete in one year," Clinton said.

Note the one year time frame. It's also the window in which President Obama says Iran won't have a nuclear weapon.

"There have been difficulties in the past; there will be difficulties ahead. Without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. But I ask the parties to persevere," Clinton said

The past shows Israel tying up neighbors in negotiations before making war in the region. Is this happening again? If so, count on parties being at the table before an Israeli strike occurs.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the special representative of the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers - the U.S., the UN, the European Union and Russia - also has been invited to attend the dinner, she said.

Is it too much to ask for Blair to slip up again? He revealed a change in strategy on Gaza in early December 2008. Bombs fell after Christmas. Tony said Hillary approved Israel's planned pummeling of Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

This crowd orchestrated war before. It's hard to trust them to pursue peace.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

White House Defends Obama's Faith

The White House is losing when it has to say things like this:

The White House says President Barack Obama is a Christian who prays daily.
This ran in the Middle East on the same day Christian Rev. Pat Robertson said:

Clash of civilizations is what we're looking at. It's not just religion, it's a clash of civilizations. One is like an 8th Century, desert view of the world, the other is the modern view of the world. Those civilizations are clashing. It's not just religious freedom.

That was his commentary after his Christian Broadcasting Network criticized building a "mega-mosque" in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Next up from the White House, Obama is a Christian but not that kind of Christian. Will anyone be listening by then?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iranian Fighter Crashes North of Bushehr

Haaretz reported an Iranian F4 fighter jet crashed six kilometers north of the Bushehr nuclear plant. Russia will load fuel rods on August 21. What took down the jet? Was it mechanical trouble, pilot error or something else? Stay tuned.

I wonder how far the U.S has gotten with space weapons, say a precise electromagnetic impulse or cloaking technology for fighter jets? What about directed energy? It can take down a plane.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Bolton, usually a huge war hawk, said Israel is unlikely to strike Iran's Bushehr plant. However, there could be multiple levels of head fakes, given Russia's desire to buy drones from Israel and America's secret tool box of black box programs.

Maybe, we'll know in fifty years what really happened.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Six Days to Fueled Bushehr Nuclear Plant

Russia said it would load nuclear fuel into Iran's first nuclear plant on August 21. Assuming this is true and not a head fake, that's six days away. A line of world leaders promised they would not allow Iran to go nuclear. How will they respond in the coming week?

Israel Strikes Deal with U.S. on F-35's

America will sell 20 F-35 joint strike fighters to Israel. Delivery is expected in 2015. Haaretz reported:

Israel to maintain its aerial superiority and its technological advantage in the region," Barak said. "The F-35 will give the IAF better capabilities, both near and far, to help strengthen Israel's national security."

The Lockheed Martin F-35 is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine, stealth-capable military strike fighter, which can evade radar and anti-aircraft missile systems.

Israel's technological advantage and air superiority are aided by illegal nuclear weapons and U.S. missile defense systems. President Obama seems intent on keeping Israel's power advantage in the region.

My concern is this. How much of the $2.75 billion purchase price will American taxpayer's pay?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quartet to Dust Off Arab League Peace Plan

A senior member of the Obama administration said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will announce the start of direct peace negotiations with Israel in only "a matter of days." Was that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel?

The Quartet will call for will call for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders within a year or two. If that sounds familiar, it should. The Arab League proposed such a peace in 2002.

Israel remains aloof, according to Haaretz:

Israeli officials are trying to show toughness regarding preconditions. "Israel is not willing to agree to any preconditions from the back door via a Quartet announcement that will serve as a basis for the negotiations."

Yet, the rush to the negotiating table implies something. Israel has a history of tying up its neighbors prior to making war in the region. Quartet envoy Tony Blair has a history of spilling the beans. My guess is they have him muzzled.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Israel Attack on Iran Likely

Jeffrey Goldberg believes that Israel will likely attack Iran before July 2011. He arrived at his conclusion from interviewing Israeli leaders. He rates the odds of an attack at over 50%.

Israel likes to tie up neighbors in negotiations, not wanting to fight a multi-front war. Fatah President Abbas isn't rushing to the negotiating table. Gaza is in shambles.

Lebanon is in the midst of a spat with the United States over military aid being used against Israel. Iran offers to fill in any gap left by U.S. withdrawal of support. U.S. officials took umbrage at this gesture.

Rep. Howard Berman put a hold on $100 million in U.S. military aid for Lebanon. Is the U.S. trying to lock up Lebanon before an Israeli attack on Iran? Howard Berman spilled the beans before Israel pummeled Gaza in December 2008.

On December 18, 2008 Berman's interview with the Jerusalem Post stated:

"There is obviously a big price to pay for deciding to take military action, but I think the US should support the Israeli decision on this.”

Tony Blair did likewise, implicating Obama's top foreign aids, General James L. Jones and Hillary Clinton as approving a change in strategy. Bombs fell December 27, 2008.

Stick wielding leaders draw in the sand. If Israel is to attack Iran's nuclear plant, they must do it soon. It's scheduled to open in September. Otherwise, they'll have to bomb a reactor with fuel rods.

As for Howard Berman, he told the Jerusalem Post, "he became a Zionist, before he became a Democrat." I take it he's operating from that perspective. As for Obama, he's remarkably consistent with his predecessor on Israel. Blair pointed to Iran in the midst of Gaza's razing. Is it their turn?

Update: Romania has said it will stand by Israel in the case of an Israeli attack on Iran.

Update 2: Abbas will decide whether to enter direct negotiations with Israel. Formal talks could begin within days.

Update 3: Russia to load nuclear fuel into Bushehr reactor on August 21.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

US Pressing PA?

Palestinian Authority leaders say America delivered an ultimatum, enter direct negotiations with Israel or face a loss of U.S. support. Israel has a history of tying up neighbors in negotiations before making war in the region. Might that pattern repeat regarding Iran?

Update: Obama's support in the Middle East dims.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hosni's Endowment to Grow?

Congress passed a $50 million endowment for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. That may grow significantly:

Egyptian diplomats are negotiating the terms of a possible endowment fund for US economic aid that, if passed by the US Congress this year, could give Egypt access to hundreds of millions of American aid dollars with little to no legislative oversight.

While the terms of such an endowment appear to be far from final, any such deal could afford Egypt far more control over the terms of its aid than any other US aid recipient.

The proposal for what many here are already calling “Mubarak’s trust fund.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted that foreign aid would change when she spoke from the Peter G. Peterson Institue. Giving Mubarak a private economic fund reeks. He'll still get $1.3 billion a year in U.S. military aid.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Libya's Arab Summit: Abbas Favors War

In March Palestinian Authority Chair Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the Arab League. He said:

"If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don't have the ability to do it.”
Egypt and Jordan have peace treaties with Israel, so not all Arab nations will fight. The Arab League has an Israeli peace plan on the table, where it lingered since 2002. While Abbas postures on war, peace withers further. That didn't prevent the U.S. and Tony Blair from pushing economic peace with Fatah or approving direct war with Hamas.

Colonel Muammar Gadhafi hosted the Arab League gathering. American branded mulit-nationals salivate over opportunities in Libya, North Africa and the Middle East. Gadhafi also heads the African Union. He aspires to make it an economic union, much like the European Union (EU) or the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Which way will Arab and African states cooperate, on war or their economies? Their partners in either case are global greed & power players. The release of the Lockerbie bomber provides a glimpse into that world.

Update: Egypt's Hosni Mubarek tried to push Abbas-Netanyahu together. AP reported "Mubarak received a message Sunday from President Barack Obama and a telephone call from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging a swift move to direct peace talks." That's a big change in four months, from favoring war to direct peace negotiations.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gadhafi Privy to Every Detail of Deals

The son of Colonel Muammar Ghadafi supervised two deals, the diversion of Libya's Gaza aid ship and the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Here's what Haaretz reported on the aid ship:

Gadhafi told the newspaper that the arrangement was reached between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Egyptian intelligence chief Omer Suleiman, and that he himself was privy to every detail of the deal.

The release of the Lockerbie bomber began stinking last year, long before four U.S. Senators crafted a letter. The TelegraphUK reported on the bomber's heroes welcome in Libya:

"It is to be said for the first time, you were present on the table in all commercial, oil and gas agreements that we supervised in that period," he (Saif Gadhafi) told Megrahi, as the pair sat together in the private jet's luxury lounge. "You were on the table in all British interests when it came to Libya, and I personally supervised this matter."
BP admitted they lobbied the British government for the bomber's release. Might Tony Blair weigh in? He can sell anything. While Gadhafi supervised, Tony Blair slipped on a change in strategy on Gaza.

Israel tries to quiet as many fronts as possible. Tony, will there be another strategic change in the region? Is it supported by Hillary Clinton, General James Jones and President Obama? When Avigdor Lieberman is being nice, something nefarious is up. I bet John McCain knows.

Update: Haaretz quoted John McCain on the subject. The article is titled"Poll: Most Americans back Israeli military action against Iran"

Update 8-28-11:  Libya's new Rebel rulers will not extradite the convicted Lockerbie bomber.  A deal's a deal  Saif needs to be dismantled, now that his father is no longer in power.  There is a mirror for the West in nearly a decade of Gahafi courting.

Update 9-3-12:  An Israeli actress pleaded for the life of Saif Gadhafi, sayng ""Saif worked closely with Mr. Blair before he was captured. The two are old friends."  Blair and his greedy peers washed their hands of Saif.  Winners of war garner the spoils.