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.