Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hillary's War Theater

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced talks between Iran and six world powers on Iran's nuclear program.  The talks will take place in Istanbul from April 13-14.  The Jerusalem Post highlighted last year's talks on this issue:

The previous such meeting took place in Istanbul in January 2011, when the two sides failed to agree on an agenda.
Hillary used the same language U.S. leaders us with Israel, unbreakable bond,

"The commitment of the United States to the people and the nations of the Gulf is rock-solid and unwavering. Our strong bilateral relationships are a rock of stability in the region," Clinton said in prepared remarks delivered in the inaugural meeting of a new US-Gulf security forum.
America supports heavy handed dictatorial regimes throughout the Persian Gulf, the kind that used brute military force to crush any semblance of an Arab Spring.

Clinton said the United States will work with Gulf Arab nations to strengthen their shared defenses against threats including Iran.
Add the President Obama judged world oil markets robust enough to inflict Iranian pain.  He essentially gave a three month warning to anyone buying Iranian oil.

As for the upcoming meeting with Iran, Hillary even worked in an ominous Friday the 13th. Will she also include a creepy soundtrack?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Wired" Indicates Big Brother is Here & Now

Wired Magazine found an ex-NSA insider who revealed the extent of government spying on citizens.  It's extensive, comprehensive, high tech, top secret and illegal.  The White House and Congress don't care. Wired's source was William Binney, a "senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network."  Here's Binney's take on the level of spying on citizens:

Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.
I hope the NSA employs thousands of Agent Maxwell Smarts.  They could collectively say, "Missed it by that much."

America's leadership bar continues to plummet to the lowest global common denominator, this time on privacy.  It's the bane of the average citizen vs.the Bain of those running the Government Corporate Monstrosity, Eisenhower's MIC on trillions in federal steroids.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Update:  Bain Capital has a division which helps the Chinese government spy on its citizens.  Think how much business President Romney could send their way...

Friday, March 16, 2012

EU's SWIFT Cutoff: Financial Embargo of Iran?

Europeans did what Americans proposed.  They cut off international processing of messages for a number of Iranian banks.  This service is provided by SWIFT, a Belgium banking cooperative.  FinExtra reported:

US politicians proposed a bill that would block Iranian banks from using the Swift network. At the time Swift said that it complies with "all applicable sanctions laws of the multiple jurisdictions in which we operate".

In 2007 the U.S. and Europe needed SWIFT to monitor terrorist financing activity.  Now that Iran is a "state sponsor of terrorism," the West will turn off their detection tool.

Lázaro Campos, CEO, Swift, says: "This EU decision forces Swift to take action. Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step for Swift. It is a direct result of international and multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran."
FinExtra provided information on the nature of European trade with Iran.

In 2010, 19 Iranian banks and 25 Iranian entities reportedly used Swift more than two million times, transacting $35 billion in trade with Europe alone.

There is no way a stressed EU will choke off $35 billion in trade on a long term basis.  The West wants greater access to Iranian oil and its economy.  To garner such, Iran, like Iraq and Libya, must be taught a lesson.  I expect it to be a swift kick in backside, courtesy of America's 51st state, Israel.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Terror Attack Branded Ally-on-Ally Killing

A drunk American soldier killed sixteen Afghans as they slept, nine of which were children between the age of six and nine.  Had this happened in America at the hands of a Middle Eastern man, the act would classified as terrorism.  The Associated Press now refers to the event as an ally-on-ally killing. How long did it take for someone to think up that meme?  Let me guess, it came from Leon Panetta.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Obama to Parent the World

U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, seemingly for being elected.  He ramped up summary executions via drone fired missiles and expanded the war in Afghanistan, where a drunk soldier did the work of drone by killing innocent women and children.  Drones are sanitary, drunk soldiers, not so much.

Haaretz reported Obama's options for further violence to impart America's will.  It includes letting Israel attack Iran first, then getting America in the fray via a Pearl Harbor type incident.  A foreign policy expert believes Obama backed down to Netanyahu and AIPAC, after a rocky start.  The expert predicted:

Obama has become “more aware of the need for a forward presence for the U.S. and less convinced that a lower U.S. presence would solve all the world’s problems.”

Obama is resolute about denying Iran nuclear weapons, adding “people often underestimate the degree to which Obama sees nuclear nonproliferation as a cornerstone of American security strategy and of the kind of legacy that he would like to leave. And my impression is that the Administration accepts the analysis that an Iranian nuclear bomb pretty well ends any likely prospects for successful non-proliferation activities.”
Obama chose global tampering, the question is degree.

If America became convinced that an attack on Iran is necessary and that only the U.S. is capable of carrying it out successfully, then Obama “would not hesitate to pull the trigger.” 

Give the man his Nobel War Prize.  He's already earned it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Obama Shifts G8 to Camp David

WaPo reported:

The White House abruptly announced Monday that it had scuttled plans to hold the upcoming G-8 economic summit in Chicago, and would instead host world leaders at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland.

It was an unusually late location change for a large and highly scripted international summit and came with little explanation from the White House.

What in the script called for more security, the protest free variety?  It must be the language of war.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

From Patriot Act to Podesta Group

House Judiciary Committee Chief of Staff Sean McLaughlin will step down to become a lobbyist.  The Podesta Group advertised his hiring as "GOP Firepower."  Sean's public service career included:

In February 2001, he became counsel for the Crime Subcommittee where he played a key role in developing the USA Patriot Act.

Chairman Lamar Smith  (R-TX) offered:

I want to compliment Sean on his diligence, on his commitment, on his conscientiousness, and on his loyalty...
That loyalty will be rewarded with a lobbying job at The Podesta Group, Tony Podesta's influence peddling operation.  It's Sean's time to cash in. 

Consider Rep. Smith's final remark:

Sean, I do not know if you want to say anything. 
Wave goodbye. Okay. Thank you.
Here's the plug Lamar Smith gave for the Sean and the Podesta Group:

“Sean’s talent, dedication and tireless work ethic have helped the committee advance complex and high-profile legislation,” said House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

“His leadership will be missed, but I am confident that Sean will take the same level of productivity, insight and success to his work at the Podesta Group.”
What freedoms might Sean work to dismantle under Tony Podesta's tutelage?  What role might he have in advancing the next war?  Stay tuned...

Seeking Israeli Investment: Bill Moves before AIPAC

The House Judiciary Committee marked up a bill granting Israeli investors access to the E-2 visa which allows foreign nationals making significant investments to live in the U.S.  Rep. Howard Berman spoke on his bill:

I appreciate marking up this bill and moving it quickly very much.

This bill will encourage Israeli business leaders to further invest in the United States. It will lead to the creation of jobs for American workers. The legislative scope is narrow, but when so many Americans are looking for jobs and families are struggling to make ends meet, every little bit helps. 

Our Nation will benefit from bringing their business to our shores.  The E-2 treaty investor visas will enable the business communities in both countries to increase their bilateral investment flow.

The E-2 investor visa program will strengthen the U.S.- Israeli relationship, boost the American middle class, help grow the economies of both countries.

Rep Gallegly added:

E-2 visas are temporary visas issued to foreign investors who come to the U.S. as executives or supervisors in order to develop and manage their investments.

This is "one of these opportunities where we can work in a bipartisan way to show our support for Israel, but also our support for the American economy."

Obama Not Bluffing on Iran

For more on President Obama's tough talk, read the AIPAC blurb and listen carefully to Obama's AIPAC speech, once it's delivered.