US-Russia reach landmark deal on destruction of Syria chemical weapons arsenal

Russia and the United States reached a deal on a framework that will see the destruction or removal of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid- 2014. Under the plan, the Assad government has one week to hand over an inventory of its chemical weapons arsenal. Continue reading

More than 1,000 inmates escape Benghazi prison in mass jailbreak as protesters storm offices of Islamist parties across Libya

More than 1,000 prisoners have escaped from a Libyan jail this afternoon, it has emerged.

Libyan security officials said the mass jailbreak occurred at Koyfiya prison, near the eastern city of Benghazi.

The jailbreak happened as protesters stormed the offices of Islamist-allied parties in Libya’s main cities. Continue reading

Gitmo Costs Continue to Soar: $454 Million for 2013

(Antiwar.com) Every month or two, a new estimate comes out from the Pentagon on the cost of running Guantanamo Bay. Every time, that estimate is dramatically higher than the one that came before. Continue reading

U.S. Faces Brand-New Cuban Missile Crisis

WND – by F. Michael Maloof

130720cubanorthkoreamissileThe recent seizure of a North Korean freighter carrying Cuban, nuclear-capable SA-2 missile components for refurbishment has resurrected the spectre of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when another communist nation developed nuclear dealings with America’s island neighbor. Continue reading

WHY ILLUMINATI CREATED … THE MASONIC STATE OF ISRAEL

Israel-Supreme-Court-3279If we wish to end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we need to know who created Israel and why. In 1917 British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour penned a letter to Zionist Second Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild in which he expressed support for a Jewish homeland on Palestinian-controlled lands in the Middle East. This Balfour Declaration justified the brutal seizure of Palestinian lands for the post-WWII establishment of Israel. Continue reading

World exclusive: Iran will send 4,000 troops to aid Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria

Washington’s decision to arm Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels has plunged America into the great Sunni-Shia conflict of the Islamic Middle East, entering a struggle that now dwarfs the Arab revolutions which overthrew dictatorships across the region.

Continue reading

Russia Hits Back at U.S. Over Syria

MOSCOW—The Kremlin criticized the U.S. decision to arm Syrian opposition fighters and said Washington’s evidence that the Syrian regime is using chemical weapons was unconvincing, but said Friday that Moscow is “not yet” discussing its plans to deliver of air-defense missiles to the regime. Continue reading

Syrian troops begin first phase of “Northern Storm”

сирия армия правительственный войска сирия война алеппо

Syrian troops began the first phase of operation “Northern Storm” to liberate the city of Aleppo, attacking militants in the settlements in the west and south of the province.

Their goal is to block militants in the town of Anadan, free the federal road linking the city of Aleppo to Aazaz on the Syrian-Turkish border, controlled by militants for over a year.

Fierce fighting continues for the second day in the vicinity of a military airfield near Aleppo.

“Decisive action by the Syrian army in Aleppo, after the taking of Qusair on the border with Lebanon, as well as the collapse of all hopes for a foreign invasion have utterly demoralized the militants,” said one of the commanders, noting that many members of the opposition are ready to lay down their arms.

Voice of Russia, TASS

 

 

Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_06_11/Syrian-troops-begin-first-phase-of-Northern-Storm-8480/

Pro Palestine Activist Interrupt former Israeli P.M. Ehud Olmert [MUST SEE VIDEO]

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

 

WASHINGTON, DC June 4, 2013 DC Pro-Palestine Activist Interrupt Ehud Olmert’s Speech calling him a war criminal, a murderer, & a terrorist who should be arrested.

On June 4, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Washington, D.C.’s Woodrow Wilson Center to offer a so-called “moderate” perspective on Middle East affairs and the Palestinian-Israeli impasse. A DC area coalition of Palestinian justice activists, led by George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), were there to challenge Olmert and interrupt the Wilson Center’s complicity with the ongoing normalization of Israeli occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid. Making clear that no Zionist presence is welcome in the DC metropolitan area, throughout the event activists interrupted Olmert, discrediting the supposed “peace plan” he has been parading around as a viable solution.

Far from the generous offer Olmert would have the Wilson Center audience take it for, Olmert’s two state plan is a Zionist strategy that frames Palestinians as “against peace” for rejecting it. As activists in the audience insisted, a plan which refuses rights of refugees, maintains occupation, and keeps in place the Wall and the apartheid system it reinforces, offers no peace at all.

At one point during the disruptions, Jane Harman, CEO of the Wilson Center and former member of Congress, presented for the audience what passes for the “common sense” perspective of a peaceful and just solution to the conflict. The hegemonic rationale grounding a two state solution permeates nearly every discussion of Palestine in the United States. This view is presented as the moderate, reasonable position for peace and justice. Meanwhile, Olmert justifies his aggressive advocacy for a two- state solution out of fear that the Palestinians will soon demand their fundamental human rights under a one state solution.

As members of SAIA, we represent a growing international movement to deconstruct and undermine this false rationale of a just solution in a Palestinian state alongside a Zionist, Israeli state. The two state solution is not only exclusionary, racist and anti-democratic, but moreover, structurally impossible. The territories designated for a future Palestinian state have been sliced, diced, and carved up over decades of Israeli military encroachment, followed by the on-going construction of illegal settlements. With little-to-no control over water, trade, transportation, or governance, the vision of a Palestinian state is merely a fabrication propagated by Israeli hawks to buy more time for further encroachment.

It is in this spirit that we claim that the only just solution to the Israeli occupation is a democratic, one state solution led by the three tenets of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

It is appalling that the Wilson Center would host a war criminal of Olmert’s caliber. It is less surprising that Olmert would jump at the invitation since opportunities to speak must be shrinking, as nations across Europe revoke Olmert’s diplomatic immunity, leaving him susceptible to arrest and prosecution for his violations of international law.

GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid

 Olmert Heckled Again—This Time From the Left

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking today at the Wilson Center in D.C., delivered an address that was the reverse mirror image of his address to the Jerusalem Post conference in New York in April. The content of the speech was the same: Olmert argued that Israel’s security situation is better than ever before; that neither its traditional enemies (Syria, Egypt) nor its current enemies (Iran) pose a debilitating threat to it; and that it is therefore in an excellent position to make peace with the Palestinians. The reception, too, was the same: just like in New York, Olmert was repeatedly interrupted by angry hecklers in D.C. today. The only difference was that this time, he was taking heat from the left instead of the right.

Olmert was in the middle of discussing the threat of a nuclear Iran, and his hope that America will take the lead in neutralizing that threat, when a young audience member wearing a black Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) shirt called out, “I’m appalled that the Wilson Center would host a war criminal such as yourself. Be sure that the international community will hold you accountable for your war crimes.” He walked to the back of the room, where another young man unfurled a Palestinian flag and joined him in marching out. There was a small smattering of applause from the audience.

Olmert laughed off the disturbance, noting that he’s experienced much worse in the Knesset, and then continued to make the same argument he’d made in New York: that President Obama doesn’t want his legacy to be a nuclear Iran, and that when he, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and Secretary of State Kerry all say they will not allow that to become a reality, we have to take that commitment seriously. He added that the American leaders are “the ones that ought to lead this campaign against Iran.” And, expressing admiration for the Secretary of State’s “emotional involvement” in the peace process, Olmert said he hoped Kerry would be able to stir Obama to greater involvement “on a daily basis.”

But at that point, another young man in a SAIA shirt stood up to share some thoughts of his own—including “To hell with you! Free my people, free Palestine!”—before storming off. Once again, Olmert laughed, noting that this light-skinned heckler (unlike the first one) “doesn’t look like a Palestinian.”

This did not endear him to the crowd. Soon a female heckler shouted and marched off. She was followed by another young woman, who screamed, “Shame on Woodrow Wilson for inviting a war criminal! This is disgusting!” before leaving. The audience member beside her, whose T-shirt read “Olmert is a murderer,” cited the death toll in the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead, and shouted, “You’re a murderer! You talk about peace? You could have prevented this!” while being escorted out.

Ultimately, Wilson Center Director, President and CEO Jane Harman was forced to call for a tightening of security, and to defend the Center’s decision to invite a broad cross-section of speakers. “I also defend free speech in this country,” she noted. “But it is unfortunate that people feel the need to disrupt a gathering where they could peacefully and civilly ask questions.”

Whereas Harman seemed perturbed by the disturbances, Olmert cynically delighted in being called a war criminal. Referring to the hecklers, he said, “These guys made a mistake. They don’t understand that for me, in Israel, there couldn’t be any better PR than their comments… For many Israelis, this may restore some of my reputation.”

But when Aaron David Miller moderated a question and answer period later on, Olmert turned from cynicism to earnestness, showcasing his moderate side. Asked about his September 2008 offer to Abbas, which recently became the subject of renewed press attention, Olmert clarified that the Palestinian president never said yes to the terms of his peace plan, but never said no, either. Olmert insisted that Abbas is a true partner for peace whose leadership can now help break the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, because the latter understands that any final deal between the two peoples will look a lot like the one Olmert presented. That deal, Olmert hastened to add, includes resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative, which has recently been revamped following talks between Kerry and the Arab League.

Asked about the issue of Jerusalem, Olmert suggested we should resist talk of “dividing” the holy city (he prefers the term “sharing”), as if granting Palestinians sovereignty over part of it would constitute a gross betrayal of age-old Jewish dreams. “The part of Jerusalem that the Palestinians are insisting on is not really part of what we thought of as Jerusalem for generations,” he stated. The upshot was that it’s not worth trying to maintain Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem neighborhoods that are mainly inhabited by Palestinians—and that are not of historical importance to Jews, anyway—if that effort would forever foreclose the possibility of peace.

Olmert’s stance on Jerusalem, like his broader attitude toward negotiating a peace deal with Abbas, hews closely to the stances of the Israeli and American Jewish left wing. Yet, as the disruptions at today’s event proved, Olmert is too right-wing for the left—and, as the disruptions at the Jerusalem Post conference proved, he is also too left-wing for the right. Today, Olmert convincingly argued that “this is possibly the last but also the best time that we have to make peace.” The great misfortune is that this man, who is moderate enough to recognize that and to be able to strike a deal, has neither the power nor the broad support—from either side of the political spectrum—to do so.

 

 

http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2013/06/pro-palestine-activist-interrupt-ehud-olmert-must-see-video/

‘Ireland leads opposition to blacklisting Hezbollah’

Lebanon's Hezbollah supporters chant slogans and hold flags

Government officials in Jerusalem accused Ireland on Wednesday of leading opposition inside the EU to placing Hezbollah, or at least its “military wing,” on the European Union’s terrorist black list.

According to the officials, Ireland – which holds the EU’s rotating presidency – was supported in this position by Sweden and Finland at a working group on Tuesday that debated the issue.

A consensus of the EU’s 27 states will be needed to blacklist Hezbollah’s “military wing,” a move noweven backed by Germany and France.

In the past these two countries have opposed this step, arguing that it could destabilize Lebanon, make European contact with Beirut more difficult and endanger the UNIFIL troops stationed there.

There are some 11,000 UNIFIL troops in Lebanon, including 1,097 from Italy, 878 from France, 701 from Spain, 359 from Ireland, 155 from Germany, 153 from Austria and 104 from Belgium.

Britain, which in the past held contacts with what it calls Hezbollah’s “political wing,” launched efforts last month to get the EU to blacklist the group’s “military wing.” These efforts have picked up steam in recent weeks because of Hezbollah’s increased involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Tuesday’s meeting in Brussels was the first formal meeting at the request of the British.

A spokesman at Ireland’s embassy in Tel Aviv, when asked if his country was indeed spearheading opposition to the move, said that a formal proposal to designate the “military wing” of Hezbollah had been made by one member state “and is currently being considered within the relevant working group known as CP931, which Ireland chairs as the current EU president.”

The spokesman said that an initial discussion was held on Tuesday, and that further discussions would be required to see whether the working group “can arrive at an agreed position on the proposal.”

That meeting, the spokesman said, was scheduled to take place within the next couple of weeks.

He did not reveal Ireland’s stand on the matter.

However, one Israeli government official who said Dublin was leading the opposition charged that this position was “unusual,” given that Germany, France and Spain – which all have large contingents in UNIFIL – now back the move.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Austria was also opposed, while Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that Italy was leading European opposition.

The claim of Italian opposition was dismissed by Israeli government officials as “unsubstantiated rumors.” A formal request to the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv for a response went unanswered.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria reversed ground and said on Wednesday it now only had an “indication” that Hezbollah might have been behind last summer’s terrorist attack in Burgas that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver, and that this alone did not justify any EU move to list it as a terrorist group.

The new Socialist-led government backed away from charges by its center-right predecessor that Hezbollah had carried out the attack.

“It is important that the [EU] decision be based not only on the bombing in Burgas, because I think the evidence we have is not explicit,” Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin, whose government took office last week, told national state radio BNR.

“There is an indication that it is possible [that Hezbollah was behind it], but we cannot take decisions with important consequences for the EU based on indirect data. If we have enough serious proof from other cases, then we will not waver to back such a decision,” Vigenin said.

Vigenin said the Bulgarian authorities were pursuing their inquiry into the attack and would keep EU governments informed.

The Burgas attack, and a similar type of attack that that was foiled in Cyprus and led to the arrest and conviction there of a Hezbollah man, spurred efforts to get the EU to blacklist Hezbollah.

The EU has refused US and Israeli appeals to place Hezbollah on its terrorist list for more than a decade.

In February, the previous Bulgarian cabinet urged European governments to take a harder stance toward Hezbollah, after blaming it for the Burgas attack.

The Socialists, then in opposition, accused the center-right government of rushing to implicate Hezbollah without proof and exposing the Balkan country to more terrorist attacks.

 

 

http://www.jpost.com/International/Ireland-leads-opposition-to-blacklisting-Hezbollah-315613

LATIN AMERICAN DELEGATION: WESTERN MEDIA WAGING LARGEST WAR IN HISTORY AGAINST SYRIA

CARACAS, (SANA) – The media delegation from Venezuela and Latin American countries which visited Damascus recently held a press conference organized by the Syrian Embassy in Caracas on Thursday to discuss the results of their visit to Syria.

The media delegation said that Syria is facing a war waged by an international coalition, and that this has nothing to do with the slogans of freedom of democracy as the western media is distorting the evens in Syria.

The journalists said that their visit’s goal was to tell the world about what is really happening in Syria away from the lies and libel which characterizes many media sources’ coverage of Syria.

They spoke about their field visits and their interviews with Syrian citizens, stressing that Syria is strong and that media talk about its downfall is mere dreams.

The delegation members stressed that what is happening in Syria is not a civil war as some countries and the UN are claiming; rather it’s a real war between Syria and an unprecedented international alliance.

They underlined the negative role played by the UN through its silence over the terrorism affecting Syria.

One of the journalists said that he covered many conflicts around the world, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Egypt, asserting that what happened in these countries is completely different from Syria.

The delegation members focused on the lies and hypocrisy of media outlets regarding the events in Syria, saying that what they witnessed in Syria proves that western media is waging the largest media war in its history.

They affirmed that there are extremist terrorist groups fighting in Syria without cause or a political agenda, noting that they were worried about going to Syria but upon arriving and seeing the truth they were reassured.

The journalists lauded the steadfastness of the Syrian people and their love for life, adding that the Syrians they met told them that they don’t want freedom and democracy from countries that know neither, asserting that Syria has not fallen and will not fall because of its resistant people, wise leadership and strong army.

They also lauded the Russian and Chinese role regarding the events in Syria.

H. Sabbagh

 

http://syria360.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/latin-american-delegation-western-media-waging-largest-war-in-history-against-syria/

Benghazi Gate Fallout: US preparing for a ground assault on Libya

 

Editor’s Note: Can you say ‘distraction’? I knew that you could.. With various scandals swirling around the Obama administration and militias rising up in Libya it would be a perfect misdirection move. They could essentially dangle a carrot in front of the press and they will surely take a hearty bite. –MV

“CNN” quoted security sources that said the US developed several plans, including military action against the attackers on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi in September last year.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, said U.S. forces made ​​plans aimed at the arrest of the attackers on the U.S. consulate, through a variety of actions, including the transfer of U.S. ground forces into Libya to perform the operation.

The sources said that work on the plans, which come amid growing pressure on the White House because of inconsistencies in the results of the investigations about the attack that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, began immediately after the attack, which took place on last September 11.

According to a U.S. official who asked not to be named, said the U.S. military discussed the plans at the highest level before the days after make updates to it, and the U.S. armed forces own a list of potential targets inside Benghazi or in its vicinity, as well as a list of people who Washington suspects of involvement in the attack, or want to arrest.

And adopt plans, which come after the Federal Bureau of Investigation “FBI” published a set of pictures of people who were positioned in the attack site, on the premise of the arrest of wanted or kill them, which is awaiting approval by U.S. President Barack Obama on them, also include strikes against what is believed to be training camps for groups of militant in Libya.

“CNN” also reported that groups of U.S. Special Forces already deployed in parts of North Africa with the aim of collecting information in preparation to carry out the attack under any circumstances in the case of the orders have been issued with the possibility of canceling the whole process if the leading U.S. and Libyan efforts to arrest those involved in the process

 

 

http://breakingnews.sy/en/article/17610.html

Israelis open fire, 9 hurt in West Bank

Israeli forces have shot and injured nine Palestinian men in the occupied West Bank, Press TV reports.

Palestinian paramedics said the men were hit in the legs near the city of Ramallah.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian demonstrators protesting against Tel Aviv™s plans to expand an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Scores of Palestinians marched toward the Efrat settlement near Bethlehem to express their outrage over Tel Aviv™s expansion project, which would see more land taken away from the Palestinians in the village of al-Masaara.

Israeli troops fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, witnesses said.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

The presence and continued expansion of these settlements has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

Israel agreed to freeze settlement construction under the Roadmap for Peace plan in 2002. But it has failed to comply with that commitment despite repeated and widespread international condemnation.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel™s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

MP/HGL

This article originally appeared on : Press TV

Amnesty Bill is a Massive Multi-Million Dollar Fraud

 

Native-born and naturalized Americans who are currently seeking work are already competing with illegal immigrants-a term that the Associated Press says it will no longer use-or standing in line behind them as they sign up for all manner of welfare benefits. The official estimate of the number of illegal aliens-oops, undocumented aliens-in the nation is estimated to be eleven million, but if the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill becomes law, it will act as a magnet to attract millions more.

As Roy Beck, the founder and president of NumbersUSA, points out, “If Congress passes the Senate Gang of Eight bill, it would be like re-creating ALL of the Top 20 cities in the United States, filling them entirely with foreign citizens and giving them lifetime work permits to compete with America’s struggling workers-in just ten years’ time.”

NumbersUSA analysts spent two weeks reading the 844-page bill, concluding that 33 million lifetime work permits would be given to foreign citizens in the first decade if the bill passes. A revised bill has 867 pages and, according to a Daily Caller article, “contains 999 references to waivers, exemptions, and political discretion”, more even thanObamacare.

That’s a lot of competition for jobs and it will hit those graduating from high school and college the hardest. Right now, the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is 11.7% and, among them, the African-American cohort’s rate it 20.1% and Hispanics’ rate is 12.6%. An additional 1.7 million young adults are not counted as “unemployed” because they are not in the labor force, meaning that they have given up looking for work due to lack of jobs. Do we really want to add millions of formerly illegal immigrants to the work force at this time?

The Center for Immigration Studies also analyzed the Gang of Eight amnesty bill and discovered that it is essentially a Get Out of Jail card:

The report, by Ronald Mortensen, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, shows that the token penalties, when they do exist, are not commensurate with the employment-related felonies committed by the majority of illegal aliens, nor are they commensurate with the benefits received by illegal aliens.

Just as unfortunate is the fact that millions of victims of these crimes are ignored while the amnestied illegals are rewarded and even benefit from the so-called penalties, as the monies actually go into a fund that provides services to the very people who paid the “penalties”.

“Illegal aliens will be rewarded for breaking laws for which American citizens are routinely punished,” said Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “For example, an American citizen would face a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for using a fraudulent Social Security card, but under this bill the illegal alien would face a $1,000 penalty covering all his many offenses, a penalty which in many cases will be waived. Then, they would be issued a new Social Securitynumber without any past bad credit or arrest records.”

View the full report at: http://cis.org/immigration-reform-amnesty-illegal-aliens-and-their-employers

Dr. Mortensen discovered the following amnesties for illegal aliens and their employers:

  • Amnesty for the estimated 75 percent of illegal aliens committing Social Securityfraud.
  • Amnesty from returning to home countries for 10 years before adjusting status.
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens committing Identity theft.
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens by officially authorizing them to continue committing identity theft by using fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers belonging to American citizens.
  • Amnesty for illegal aliens who have committed perjury on I-9 forms.
  • De-Facto amnesty from the token $1,000 penalty, since it effectively pre-pays services provided to illegal aliens.
  • Amnesty from existing exclusion, deportation, and removal orders.

While illegal aliens would be granted amnesty for crimes they have committed, government employees who discover Social Security fraud, identity theft, or perjury on I-9 forms while reviewing applications for provisional status would be prohibited from notifying victims, law enforcement, etc. with a threat of a $10,000 penalty. This is 10 times more than the $1,000 penalty paid by an illegal alien who has committed felony identity theft.

Amnesty for employers found to have employed illegal aliens or who are currently employing illegal aliens. Moreover, employers may continue to employ illegal aliens, accept fraudulent Social Security numbers, and renew falsified I-9 forms for those who apply for provisional status.

Amnesty for employers who did not withhold and/or submit payroll taxes for individuals illegally in the United States.

Amnesty for employers who violated labor laws by paying unfair wages, who failed to pay wages, etc.

Amnesty for employers who facilitated Social Security fraud and identity theft by providing or accepting false Social Security numbers.

While employers would be held harmless, government employees who find that employers violated the law while reviewing applications for temporary status would be prohibited from notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. If government employees do report tax or labor violations, they could face a fine of $10,000.

Thanks to the passage of Obamacare, the amnesty bill would increase the cost of the nationalized health care system. Betsy McCaughey, the lieutenant governor of New York from 1995 to 1998, in an April 29 letter in The Wall Street Journal, warned that “One looming cost is health care. Under the Obama health law, starting January 1, 2014 legal immigrants will be eligible for subsidized private health plans on the exchanges as soon as they arrive in the U.S.”

“The Senate Gang of Eight’s proposed bill will add $100 billion to the cost of Obamacare’s subsidies over the next decade by doubling the number of legal immigrants entering the country with green cards.” Ms. McCaughey noted that, in 2012, 484,072 immigrants entered that way. “The Gang of Eight plan will push it to about one million. About half of those green card holders will be eligible for the maximum assistance with premiums, subsidies and copays, totaling $9,000 per person, and more than 80% will qualify for at least some taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidy.”

Little known or reported is the fact that the Schumer-Rubio bill includes two “slush funds” amounting to $150 million that would be used to fund groups like La Raza and the American Immigration Lawyers Association with taxpayer money.

The prevailing wisdom is that the amnesty bill will create more Democrat than Republican voters and that is precisely its purpose. Its victims will be every native-born and naturalized citizen paying taxes and trying to cope with a healthcare system that will be on life-support soon enough.

The proposed bill is a massive multi-billion fraud.

 

 

http://www.aim.org/guest-column/amnesty-bill-is-a-massive-multi-million-dollar-fraud/

FBI surrounds house of Saudi student following sightings of him with pressure cooker pot, only to find he was cooking rice

A Saudi student living in Michigan was questioned in his home by FBI agents after neighbours saw him carrying a pressure cooker and called the police.
Talal al Rouki had been cooking a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish called kabsah and was carrying it to a friend’s house.
According to reports in a Saudi newspaper on Friday, the FBI are increasingly vigilant about ‘pressure cooker’ home-made bombs after the Boston bombers used one to make an explosive.
The Saudi journal, Oukaz reported on the story of the Saudi student who had FBI agents come to his home, following a tip-off from neighbours that he was seen moving about with a pressure cooker bomb.
While armed agents surrounded his apartment block, other agents, asked a ‘nervous’ Mr al Rouki if they could come in to question him.
‘They asked me about my major, when I arrived in the US and what I do in my spare time’ he told the Saudi newspaper.
Officers said that two days earlier that a woman had seen him walking out of his apartment carrying the pressure cooker pot, which was described as ‘bullet coloured’.
The young student showed them his pressure cooker and explained to them he used to make a rice dish.
An FBI agent said: ‘You need to be more careful moving around with such things, Sir’
Mr al Rouki has become a focus of attention now in the Saudi press.
According to reports in a Saudi newspaper, the FBI are increasingly vigilant about ‘pressure cooker’ home-made bombs and have a keen eye on Arabs who reside in the US.

Israel PM Netanyahu says Hawking needs to study facts about Israel

Stephen Hawking

BEIJING/LONDON – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed Prof. Stephen Hawking for joining the boycott against Israel and cancelling plans to attend President Shimon Peres’s conference next month, saying the celebrated physicist should “study the facts.”

Asked by The Jerusalem Post about Hawking’s boycott at a press briefing, Netanyahu said, “He should investigate the truth, he is a scientist. He should study the facts and draw the necessary conclusions: Israel is an island of reason, moderation and a desire for peace.”

Netanyahu said that Hawking knows that there are many false theories in science. “There are also false theories in politics, and this [the slandering of Israel] is one of them, maybe the foremost among them,” he said. “There is no state that yearns for peace more than Israel, nor any state that has done more for peace than Israel.”

One official in the prime minister’s entourage went even further, comparing Hawking to Shakespeare and Voltaire, both of whom held anti-Semitic sentiments.

“History shows that there are people who are no less great than Hawking who believed things about Jews that it was impossible to imagine they actually believed,” he said. “I am talking about Voltaire, or Shakespeare. How do you explain that someone with the encyclopedic knowledge of Voltaire believed what he did about the Jews. How can you explain it? But it is a fact.”

Apparently, the official continued, “intelligence and achievements are no guarantee for understanding the truth about the Jews or their state.

What was true regarding Jews for generations, is now true about the state of the Jews.”

Meanwhile questions have been asked as to why Hawkins felt it fit to visit Iran in 2007 and China in 2006.

Left-wing political blog Left Foot Forward, sister-site of the US blog Think Progress, questioned why Hawking visited China “where some of the most visible and egregious human rights violations committed by the Chinese state have occurred” and were highlighted by Human Rights Watch several years before his visit.

Commenting on Iran, the blog said: “As far as I am aware, there was no statement at the time from Hawking refusing to travel to the Islamic Republic out of “respect” for the country’s political dissidents, or until the government stopped executing homosexuals.”

In summary, Left Foot Forward said: “Is Israel uniquely bad, or has hypocrisy towards the Jewish state become so widely accepted among some progressives that even an eminent scholar like Hawking is susceptible to hypocritical and lazy double standards?”

Cambridge University said on Thursday that The Jerusalem Post was the catalyst behind the decision to retract its statement about Hawking’s ill health and confirm what was really behind his decision to withdraw from next month’s Presidents of Major American Jewish Communities Conference.

On Wednesday morning the university had released a statement saying the renowned physicist pulled out of the Jerusalem event because of ill health.

“Professor Hawking has decided to cancel his planned visit to Israel on the advice of doctors,” the spokesman said.

Later that day, the university retracted this after the Postshowed proof that Hawking had told organizers of the June 18-20 conference that pressure from Palestinian academics made him withdraw.

“I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics,” Hawking said in the letter. “They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this I must withdraw from the conference.”

When this was put to Tim Holt, acting director of communications at Cambridge, he was surprised and said he would look into it. Hours later, the university retracted its statement and confirmed that Hawking withdrew in order to respect the boycott.

“We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds, having been advised by doctors not to fly,” Holt said. On Thursday, Holt said that the information from the letter provided by the Post had made them amend their position.

“When we realized that the letter was being made public by you [the Post] we changed the statement to reflect this.

Prof. Hawking’s health is a factor and his doctors have indeed instructed that he should not travel,” he said.

 

 

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/hawkings-boycott-has-rocked-the-foundations-of-zion-more-than-any-other/

S

US Prepares War with Syria as Washington backed Al Qaeda Rebels Lose Ground

war

Calls for a war with Syria mounted yesterday, despite mass popular opposition to war in the United States, amid reports that US-backed Islamist opposition forces fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have suffered serious reverses.

Speaking on NBC News yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed for Washington to take military action against Syria.

He repeated unsubstantiated allegations that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, which have been refuted by UN investigator Carla del Ponte, claiming, “It is clear the regime has used chemical weapons and missiles.” Claiming that a “red line” had been crossed, he said: “We want the United States to assume more responsibilities and take further steps. And what sort of steps they will take, we are going to talk about this.”

Erdogan dismissed out of hand reports that chemical weapons used in Syria were in fact used by the US-backed opposition.

He stressed that his government would support US imposition of a “no-fly zone” in Syria, which would involve destroying Syrian air defenses and shooting down any Syrian aircraft that took to the skies.

Erdogan’s calls for military action were echoed across the American press. The Washington Post ’s editorial board called for “an air campaign as well as arms for the moderate opposition” aimed to “quickly tip the military balance against the Assad regime.” Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens proposed a long list of attacks against Assad, including sending in US ground forces: “disable the runways of Syrian air bases, including the international airport in Damascus…use naval assets to impose a no-fly zone over western Syria…supply the Free Syrian Army with heavy military equipment, including armored personnel carriers and light tanks; and be prepared to seize and remove Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, even if it means putting boots (temporarily) on the ground.”

The calls for war come amid reports of major setbacks in Syria for the US-backed opposition, reflecting its small size and lack of popular support, and growing military assistance from Russia, Iran, and Lebanon for the Assad regime.

After two months of heavy bombardment, government forces have retaken the strategic town of Khirbet Ghazaleh from the “rebels,” re-opening government transport routes to Deraa, the city where initial opposition protests began two years ago. Opposition leaders acknowledged it as a major setback. “Tomorrow, the big tragedy will happen, the regime’s supply route to Deraa will reopen, and the officers will go back and ammunition will be resupplied and the bombardment will resume,” said Abu Yacoub, commander of the Martyrs of Khirbet Ghazaleh brigade.

Yesterday, BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar wrote that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) amounts to little more than “men with guns,” united only by the fact that they “point their guns in the same direction.” He said the FSA is not a “cohesive force” and lacks a “command structure.”

Jerusalem Post article of May 3rd entitled “Is Assad Winning in Syria?” describes the defeat of opposition militias around Qusayr by Hezbollah forces, as well as the capture of Otaiba by Assad’s forces last week, indicating the growing strength of Assad vis-à-vis the US proxy forces. According to the article, “morale among supporters of the regime has improved markedly in recent weeks.” It concluded, “Assad shows no signs of cracking.”

Under these conditions, Assad’s allies are stepping up military deliveries to Damascus. The Russian government has announced plans to sell S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria, in a $900 million deal that would substantially bolster the Syrian regime’s capacity to defend itself against US and Israeli airstrikes.

Secretary of State John Kerry criticized the sale as “destabilizing,” and the Israeli government appealed to Russia to halt the transaction. Syria’s purchase comes in after Israeli air strikes that used long-range “stand-off” missiles to attack Damascus from beyond the Syrian border.

On Thursday, Iran vowed to respond to the Israeli raids with “blows under the belt in several locations.” Iran’s envoy to Syria, Ali Akbar Salehi, promised “full and unlimited support from Iran, politically, militarily, and economically, to the Syrian leadership and people, against the takfiris [Al Qaeda-type Sunni extremist forces], terrorists, Israel, the US, and all who dare attack this country.”

Also on Thursday, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah announced that Syria would supply his militia “special weapons it never had before,” calling the decision “game-changing.” The weapons are apparently being transferred as a response to Israel’s air strikes on Damascus. “This is the Syrian strategic reaction,” he explained.

These deliveries highlight the broad regional implications of the proxy war Washington has waged against the Assad regime, relying primarily on Islamist forces tied to Al Qaeda, and the risk of a US war in Syria escalating into a regional or even global conflict.

There is broad opposition in the working class to the US drive to war in Syria overseen by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. A recent poll pegged popular opposition to war at 62 percent of the US population.

The conflict has already taken a horrific toll on the Syrian people. Over the past several months, the number of Syrians displaced from their homes by the war has increased from 2 million to 4.25 million. A total of 6.8 million Syrians, including 3.1 million children, are classified as “in dire need of humanitarian assistance” by the UN’s Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Jordanian officials have stated that Syrian refugees now make up 10 percent of Jordan’s total population, with this figure set to explode to 40 percent by mid-2014 on current trends.

The ramping up of US military operations against Syria is accompanied by diplomatic efforts to bring about a post-Assad government on terms favorable to US imperialism. Secretary of State John Kerry has sought an agreement with Russia, which would pave the way for a power-sharing arrangement.

This plan also received significant endorsement in US strategic and media circles. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a prominent architect of US imperial policy, issued a strong criticism of proposed US military action against Syria, proposing instead to try to involve Russia and China in US plans to remove Assad through diplomacy.

He said,

“The various schemes that have been proposed for a kind of tiddlywinks intervention from around the edges of the conflict—no-fly zones, bombing Damascus and so forth—would simply make the situation worse. None of the proposals would result in an outcome strategically beneficial for the US On the contrary, they would produce a more complex, undefined slide into the worst-case scenario. The only solution is to seek Russia’s and China’s support for U.N.-sponsored elections in which, with luck, Assad might be ‘persuaded’ not to participate.”

Along these lines, David Ignatius of the Washington Post proposed “a military transition government” that would include “reconcilable elements of Assad’s army,” under the leadership of US-backed General Salim Idriss, a defector who now commands Syrian opposition forces.

Effectively, US officials are hoping that, in the context of negotiations jointly organized by the Russian government, they could persuade Syrian officers to organize a coup to oust Assad, and then make a deal with the US-backed opposition. Their plan involves a new ruling coalition composed of opposition and regime elements, described by Ignatius as a “military transition government that would include reconcilable elements of Assad’s army.” Assad would be removed, though lower-ranking members of his government might remain.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-prepares-war-with-syria-as-washington-backed-al-qaeda-rebels-lose-ground/5334587

Plan to seize 7 million square metres in Negev and displace 90,000 Palestinians

The "Prawer Plan" will displace about 90,000 people and eliminate 40 villages

 

The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation passed a draft law yesterday regulating Bedouin settlement in the Negev known as the “Prawer Plan”, which will allow the seizure of approximately 700,000 dunams of the Negev and the destruction of 40 unrecognized villages. The government will present the draft law to the Knesset for approval over three readings before it becomes law.

Hundreds of “1948 Palestinians”, most of whom are Negev Bedouins, protested in front of the office of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in objection to the “Prawer Plan”. The protestors held signs saying “Work towards stopping the Prawer Project” in Arabic, Hebrew, and English and chanted “Listen Prawer… the land of the Negev will not surrender to you.” The protest was in response to the Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation’s discussion held yesterday on the Prawer Plan and its plans to regulate the settlement of Negev Bedouins.

The Israeli government ratified a “plan for the regulation of Bedouin settlements in the Negev” during its earlier sessions. This decision was based on reports prepared by the Goldberg Committee and the Prawer report to relocate the Bedouins in the Negev, the Israeli government has allocated a budget for this process.

Atiya al-Aassam, head of the Regional Committee for unrecognised villages in the Negev, said in a speech before the protestors, “We want to tell Prawer, Tzipi Livni (Minister of Justice) and all decision-makers that we have endured 65 years of water scarcity and all forms of torture, and we will continue to endure and will not give up one inch of our land.” He stressed that “the Prawer Plan being passed as law aims to expel us from our land, displace about 90,000 citizens, seize 700,000 dunams of land to establish settlements on, eliminate 40 villages and concentrate the Bedouins in cities amounting to only 100,000 dunams.”

He then spoke in Hebrew and said, “I urge the Ministers not to pass their discriminatory law; do not drive us to violence.” About 200,000 Bedouins live in Israel, with over half in the Negev desert, but they do not benefit from any of the municipality’s services such as water and electricity because the Israeli authorities do not recognise them.

Karzai Says He Was Assured C.I.A. Would Continue Delivering Bags of Cash

KABUL, Afghanistan — The C.I.A.’s station chief here met with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, and the Afghan leader said he had been assured that the agency would continue dropping off stacks of cash at his office despite a storm of criticism that has erupted since the payments were disclosed.

Hamid Karzai - CaricatureHamid Karzai – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The C.I.A. money, Mr. Karzai told reporters, was “an easy source of petty cash,” and some of it was used to pay off members of the political elite, a group dominated by warlords.

The use of the C.I.A. cash for payoffs has prompted criticism from many Afghans and some American and European officials, who complain that the agency, in its quest to maintain access and influence at the presidential palace, financed what is essentially a presidential slush fund. The practice, the officials say, effectively undercut a pillar of the American war strategy: the building of a clean and credible Afghan government to wean popular support from the Taliban.

 

http://theinternetpost.net/2013/05/08/karzai-says-he-was-assured-c-i-a-would-continue-delivering-bags-of-cash/

Report: The CIA Has Paid The Afghan President’s Office Tens Of Million Of Dollars Over The Last 10 Years

Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (right) welcoming US Secretary of State John Kerry (left)

Every month or so since January 2003, the CIA has been dropping off hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in cash at the offices of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, current and former advisers to Karzai told Matthew Rosenberg of The New York Times.

And instead of translating into influence for the Agency, American officials told the Times, the tens of millions of dollars in “ghost money” has undermined U.S. strategy by fueling corruption and empowering warlords.

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States,” one American official told the Times.

The CIA still makes the payments, Rosenberg reports. And the money is still used to pay off warlords and politicians, many of whom have ties to the drug trade or even the Taliban.

A glaring example of the payments conflicting with U.S. interests is the case of President Karzai’s half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai.

Wali Karzai
Ahmed Karzai

Ahmed Karzai, a suspected trafficker of narcotics including opium, was paid by the CIA from 2001 until his assassination in 2011.

He became the Agency’s “landlord” when he began renting the former compound of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar to the CIA and American Special Operations troops.

The compound was the base of the Kandahar Strike Force, a militia run by Ahmed Karzai and used by the CIA to combat militants.

According to internal emails from the U.S. private security firm Stratfor, in 2007 the DEA was investigating Ahmed Karzai for being a “major narcotics trafficker.”

The emails say that the DEA has been told to back off their investigation by the White House and CIA, despite DEA concerns that the drug money was fueling terrorism.

From Stratfor vice president of intelligence Fred Burton:

DEA is seeing a direct nexus between terrorism and narcotics in Afghanistan with narcotics sales being used to fund jihadist operations.

Afghanistan poppy

Since the lifting of the Taliban opium ban after the 2001 invasion, opium production in Afghanistan increased from supplying 70 per cent of the world’s illicit opium to 92 per cent in 2008. Production rose by about 61 per cent from 2010 to 2011 and continued to rise in 2012 as U.S. troops patrolled the poppy fields.

In 2010 the U.S. arrested Mohammed Zia Salehi, Hamid Karzai’s administrative chief, in connection with an investigation linking Afghan cash smugglingTaliban finances, and the opium trade.

Rosenberg notes that President Karzai had Salehi released within hours, and the CIA subsequently helped persuade the Obama administration to back off its sprawling anti-corruption push.

Check out the Times report

Russia Assassinates 2 CIA-Linked Terrorists Tied To Boston Bombings

A Russian death squad killed two members of a CIA-backed Russian Jihad group operating in Dagestan in a raid earlier this morning that Russian intelligence has linked to Boston Bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The assassinations are just the latest in a trail of blood being used to cover up the tracks implicating CIA involvement in the Boston Bombings.

Russian officials (Photo: Ria Novosti)

Russian intelligence reports Shakrudin Askhabov, one of the two men assassinated by the hit squad, was an associate of the CIA-linked Abu Dujan terror cell.

The western corporate media is not reporting anything more than the talking points outlined in well-crafted government issued talking point memos.

But Russian intelligence and news agencies are telling an entirely different story reporting Askhabov was a key facilitator in recruiting and enlisting foreigners to take up against Russia.

The emerging narrative is Tamerlan was recruited into the organization by a William Plotnikov, a Jihadist known as the Canadian, which Tamerlan may have met through boxing circles.

Plotnikov in turn introduced Tamerlan to Shakrudin Askhabov, who is said to recruit Muslims into Jihad using Saudi Arabia’s relgious teaching and the through the CIA’s politcal propoaganda.

Abu Dujan, like Al Qaeda and numerous other Jihad groups, preach an extremist fundamentalist interpretation of Saudi Arabia’s Salafism which is propagated throughout the world through the nation’s vast oil wealth.

The Checnyan terrorist cell is uses by the CIA generated anti-Russian political propaganda and a direct result of overseas information operations funded by US foreign aid money to “promote democracy” in the region.

The CIA campaign by radicalize citizens in the region to take up the revolution through various means ranging from workshops encouraging citizens to develop, promote and assert their own independent national identity all the way to repeatedly leveraging Russian crimes committed against the locals decades ago while under communist rule such as the “mass deportation” and “genocide” committed during the World War II.

quote from Russian President Vladmir Putin is very telling about the United States position on the terror cell:

Vladimir Putin (Photo: AP)

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin said the bombings prove that Boston is a Chechen separatist terrorist group. Two bombers Boston, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsaranev, indeed citizens of Chechen descent.

So far, Russia asked the United States (U.S.) to enter into the Chechen separatist terrorist group list. But the U.S. rejected it because he considered militant Chechen rebel group as usual.

“I feel insulted when a terrorist group called the West Country as a rebel group in Chechnya,” Putin said

[…]

Tamerlan was obsevered by Russian intelligence in 2012 meeting up with several members of the CIA-backed terror cell to wage Jihad against the Russia.

This clearly explains why Tamerlan was allowed to fly overseas despite warnings from Russian intelligence and being listed in US terror database and to American’s no-fly list.

According to the Russian media, Boston Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev met with Askhabov during his visit to Russia from January to July of 2012.

The National Post quotes the well-respected Russian media news outlet Novaya Gazeta, which reported Tamerlan was also observed meeting with William Plotnikov, known as “The Canadian” and other Jihadists associated with the CIA-backed terror cell while in Russia.

It is unclear whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, and William Plotnikov, right, met through boxing circles or only communicated online, but their life paths suggest such a meeting was possible.

It is unclear whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left,  and William Plotnikov, right, met through boxing circles or only communicated online, but their life paths suggest such a meeting was possible.

The Post conjectures that Tamerlan was connected to Plotnikov placed in quarantine by the Jihadists waiting to be cleared to join the insurgency and after the Canadian and Tamerlan’s other contacts were killed he returned to America.

According to the Post, Tamerlan returned to America just two days after The Canadian was killed along with 6 other militants by Russian Security forces last July.

It is much more plausible that Tamerlan had already joined the CIA’s insurgency against the Russian’s and returned to America because his handlers had a much more sinister gunpowder treason plot they needed carried out.

It has also been revealed that Tamerlan’s Uncle was on the Feds payroll and linked to the CIA in his roles an oil company executive involved in a multibillion dollar money laundering scheme involving offshore shell companies and Russian crime bosses.

 

 

 

http://beforeitsnews.com/scandals/2013/04/russia-hit-squad-assassinates-2-cia-assets-linked-to-boston-bombers-2431194.html?utm_campaign=&utm_content=awesm-publisher_static&utm_medium=static&utm_source=http%3A%2F%2Fwhatreallyhappened.com%2F&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2Ft39B

Majority of Latin Americans believe Iran poses no threat to Mideast

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Source: Press TV

(Considering Iran has not waged an aggressive war with a neighboring country in over 200 years, when it was more accurately known as “Persia”, and the fact that the country is literally SURROUNDED by U.S. military bases leads me to the conclusion that the average Latin American’s position on this matter is very sound indeed!)

A total of 1700 adults in six countries, including Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru participated in the poll, which was conducted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti through face-to-face interviews from March 2 to March 5, 2013.

The news agency released the results of the poll on April 12, 2013. The respondents were asked whether Iran poses any threat to the stability of the Middle East. The results showed that a staggering 89 percent of the respondents considered Iran as no threat to the region. A mere eight percent believed otherwise, while three percent answered, “I don’t know.” The Islamic Republic has been seeking to expand relations with Latin American countries over the past years, describing the endeavor as one of its major foreign policy strategies. Iran’s growing popularity in Latin America has raised major concerns in the US, which regards the region as its strategic backyard and traditional sphere of influence. In December 2012, the US President Barack Obama enacted a law “aimed at countering Tehran’s alleged influence in Latin America.”

Dubbed as ‘Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012,’ the act calls for the US State Department to develop a plan within 180 days to “address Iran’s growing hostile presence and activity” in Latin America.

French embassy in Tripoli, Libya hit by car bomb

French embassy in Tripoli hit by car bomb

 

World Bulletin/News Desk

France’s embassy in Libya was hit by what appeared to be a car bomb on Tuesday, injuring two guards in the first such attack in the Libyan capital since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

“There was an attack on the embassy. We think it was a booby trapped car,” a French official told Reuters. “There was a lot of damage and there are two guards wounded.”

In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned what he called a heinous attack and said everything would be done to find the perpetrators. “I send my solidarity and deepest sympathy to the two injured French guards and my wishes for their recovery,” he said in a statement.

One resident living less than 100 metres from the embassy said his windows shook when the first blast occurred.

“I think there were two blasts, the first was very loud and then there was a smaller one,” another witness said. “There was some black smoke at first, and then it turned white.”

Diplomatic missions have been targeted in Libya, most notably an attack on the US mission in the eastern city of Benghazi last September that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

However Tuesday’s attack is the first such serious assault on an embassy or foreign mission in the capital, Tripoli.

Libya’s new rulers are still struggling to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons and a myriad of armed militias who often do as they please.

Oops: The U.S. Secret Service almost accidentally shot Iran’s president

  • Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a victory sign after attending the funeral ceremony for Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez at the military academy in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 8, 2013. Chavez died on March 5 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer. He was 58. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Associated Press/Fernando Llano – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a victory sign after attending the funeral ceremony for Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez at the military academy in Caracas, …more 

According to Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady, an unplanned shotgun blast in 2006 nearly caused a global calamity

The public has all but forgotten the U.S. Secret Service’s Colombian prostitute scandal, but the past 24 hours have probably dredged up bad memories for the agency’s PR department. One Secret Service agent traveling with President Obama in Israel is in hot water for reportedly junking the president’s heavily fortified limousine by filling it with diesel instead of gas (“This is why we bring multiple vehicles and a mechanic on all trips,” says agency spokesman Brian Leary.) Hours later, The Atlantic published a short but eye-catching excerpt from Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, an upcoming book by The Week‘s Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady. The hook? “How the Secret Service almost shot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

The incident happened in September 2006, when the Iranian president was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. First, a quick reality check (or perhaps spoiler) from Reuters‘Anthony De Rosa:

 

The Secret Service didn’t almost shoot Ahmadinejad, but an agent accidentally discharged a shotgun in his proximity soup.ps/Xr0bkp

SEE MORE: Even a majority of Republicans support legalizing undocumented workers

— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) March 21, 2013

That probably underplays the seriousness of the event, though. This incident showed up as a “particularly chilling item” in President George W. Bush’s daily national security briefing the next day, “and it scared the hell out of the dozen or so White House officials cleared to read it,” say Ambinder and Grady. The briefing reportedly said that the “apparent accident” happened outside the InterContintental Hotel, as Ahmadinejad was loading his motorcade. 

At the time, the Bush administration was weighing how to deal with the Iranian nuclear-weapons program. And here a Secret Service agent had just given Iran a potentially devastating public-relations coup…. The agent was adjusting the side-mounted shotgun on one of the motorcade’s armored follow-up Suburbans when it discharged. “Everyone just stopped. The Iranians looked at us and we looked at the Iranians….” [Deep State, via The Atlantic]

In other words, says Gawker‘s Taylor Berman, “this could have been bad.” Yes. But it wasn’t.SEE MORE: 9 negative effects divorce reportedly has on children

 

“…The agent began to apologize. Ahmadinejad just turned his head and got into his car.” And that was it. The Iranians told no one. Their silence led several White House aides to begin to see Ahmadinejad in a new light. Here was evidence that maybe Iran was acting strategically, and therefore cautiously. [Deep State, via The Atlantic]

A lot of unanswered questions remain — “apparent accident”? — and frightening what-ifs in that anecdote, but as the sitcoms used to say, we all learned something from it. And while we still haven’t figured out exactly how to deal with Iran’s nukes, it’s a lot easier to pursue a non-military strategy when you’re not at war over a misfired shotgun blast.

LEST WE FORGET–’Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA spies to recruit terrorists to fight against Iran’

 

 

Foreign Policy magazine cites CIA memos from 2007-2008 that the Mossad recruited members of Jundallah terror group to fight against Tehran; U.S. was reportedly furious with Israel and moved to limit joint intelligence programs.

 

 

 

ed note–The ‘FBI’ that was ‘meeting’ with the 2 pasties in Boston were more than likely Mossad. 

 

Haaretz

 

Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA officers in order to recruit members of a Pakistani terror group to carry out assassinations and attacks against the regime in Iran, Foreign Policy revealed on Friday, quoting U.S. intelligence memos.

 

Foreign Policy’s Mark Perry reported that the Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008, behind the back of the U.S. government, and infuriated then U.S. President George W. Bush.

 

Perry quotes a number of American intelligence officials and claims that the Mossad agents used American dollars and U.S. passports to pose as CIA spies to try to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization that has carried out a series of attacks in Iran and assassinations of government officials.

 

According to the report, Israel’s recruitment attempts took place mostly in London, right under the nose of U.S. intelligence officials.

 

“It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” Foreign Policy quoted an intelligence officer as saying. “Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.”

 

According to a currently serving U.S. intelligence officer, Perry reports, when Bush was briefed on the information he “went absolutely ballistic.”

 

“The report sparked White House concerns that Israel’s program was putting Americans at risk,” the intelligence officer told Perry. “There’s no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we’re not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians.”

 

The intelligence officer said that the Bush administration continued to deal with the affair until the end of his term. He noted that Israel’s operation jeopardized the U.S. administration’s fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was under immense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah.

 

According to the intelligence officer, a senior administration official vowed to “take the gloves off” with Israel, but ultimately the U.S. did nothing.

 

“In the end it was just easier to do nothing than to, you know, rock the boat,” the intelligence officer said.

 

Apparently, the Mossad operation caused a fiery debate among Bush’s national security team and it was only resolved when U.S. President Barack Obama drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran, Perry quotes several serving and retired officers as saying.

 

The U.S. State Department has vehemently denied any ties to Jundallah and many U.S. intelligence officials remained angry with Israel over the 2007-2008 operation.

 

“Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,” Foreign Policy quoted an intelligence officer as saying. “If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.”

 

The CIA, the White House, and the Mossad failed to respond to the Foreign Policy report by the time it went to press.

 

Boston Bombing: Di$info Jone$ Praises Mossad’s DEBKAfile – Signs onto “Double Agents” Disinfo

by Scott Creighton

Di$info Jone$ isn’t even worth talking about anymore. The real Truth movement and alternativenews crowd has disowned him long, long ago. Contrary to what he tries to tell the uneducated, he was never the “leader” of anything in our movement. He never contributed anything new, he never moved his followers act on anything but making Di$info some money.

But there has been one lingering question: who pulls the fat little loudmouth phony’s strings? Who’s paying him the big bucks to make us look like idiots and mislead thousands of young people when they first step away from the MSM camp? Who pays Di$info Jone$?

Looks like he answered that question last night. The Mossad pays. That’s who.

While trying to keep a straight face on his Sat. night radio show, Di$info said this while reviewing the Debkafile’s story which basically said the two brothers did it because they were radicalized by Islam:

“You can say what you want about Debkafile, how it’s run by a bunch of Mossad and Shin Bet people, I’ve found it overall to be pretty damn accurate” Di$info Jone$

Shin Bet is Israel Security Agency Sherut haBitachon haKlali. The Mossad is the Israeli version of the CIA. Their motto is “By Deception Make War” or something to that effect. Debkafile does even attempt to hide what it is. “DEBKAfile (Hebrew: תיק דבקה‎) is a Jerusalem-based, English- and Hebrew-language, Israeli, open-source, militaryintelligence website with commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, security, and military and political affairs in the Middle East.”

It’s pure Israeli military intelligence, filtered through the propagandists of the Mossad, and packaged up as “alternative” news… basically the same thing Di$info serves up.

Now think about this: Bloomberg has his intelligence division go to Israel a couple months ago to train with Israeli intelligence. Then the bombing happens in his friend’s town Boston. Bloomberg sends his intelligence team over there to help out after Bloomberg’s WMD-CST team “helped” onsite during the bombing and of course it has been reported (by me) that Israel also sent over their police commissioner to help with the “investigation” on Tuesday.

Now we got a story from Israeli military intelligence and the Mossad saying that the two boys were double agents who turned on American and blew up civilians in Boston? And Di$info Jone$ helps peddle it?

Ok. Is there any question anymore who he works for?

 

 

 

http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/boston-bombing-diinfo-jone-praises-mossads-debkafile-signs-onto-double-agents-disinfo/

Paul B. Farrell: America needs a new war? For the economy to survive? Job market to revive? Capitalism thrive? Maybe. Here’s why:

By Paul B. FarrellMarketWatch

 

America needs a new war? For the economy to survive? Job market to revive? Capitalism thrive? Maybe. Here’s why:

Forbes reported that GDP data “fell for the first time in three and a half years in the fourth quarter … declining by an annualized 0.1%” while “economists had expected GDP to increase 1%. A dramatic 15% drop in government spending dragged on economic activity. Defense outlays were cut the most, falling by 22.2%, the largest decrease in defense since the Vietnam War’s end in 1972.”

Wars stimulate the economy and we are a warrior nation: Didn’t WWII get us out of the Great Depression? And the Iraq/Afghan Wars, longest in history, sure stimulated the economy … the Pentagon war machine doubled from $260 billion in 2000 to roughly $550 billion last year … GDP increased 50% from $10 trillion to $15 trillion … and federal debt tripled to over $15 trillion from under $5 trillion back when our leaders believed “debt didn’t matter.”

But most of all, wars are great for capitalists: Forbes list of world billionaires skyrocketed from 322 in 2000 to 1,426 recently. Yes the adjusted household income of the rest of Americans flatlined the past generation.

But still, life’s great for capitalism and for 1,426 capitalists across America and worldwide, a tribute to the “disaster capitalism” doctrines of Nobel economist Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand’s free-market capitalism dogma.

American politicians conflicted, cut debt but not the war machine

However, with the Afghan and Iraq Wars winding down, capitalism needs an economic stimulus: a new war. It’s so American: Neocons believe a new war would boost GDP. They must be praying North Korea’s Lil’ Kim will do something impulsive. Give us an excuse.

Yet Washington politicians are conflicted. Some want to shrink government, cut debt and are cheering the “dramatic 15% drop in government spending.” On the other hand, the “largest decrease in defense since the Vietnam War’s end in 1972” is unnerving neocons, warhawks and politicians heavily dependent on defense contractors, lobbyists and voters at military bases in their districts.

So what’s next? If American capitalism needs a new war to survive … if we’re slowing down the Afghan and Iraq war theaters … if North Korea’s just saber-rattling … if China has too much to lose … if new wars are fought by drones from video screens in one of the Pentagon’s 70 drone bases … but if all the military-industrial complex capitalists who get rich off wars are still itching to attack … then who will trigger a new war for America’s “disaster capitalists?”

10 unpredictable flash points where new global wars can ignite

Although black swans are by definition unpredictable, there are 11 hot-spot pressure points already ramping up global tension and conflicts. And suddenly, the pressure can easily spark over the line, hit a flash point, and be ignited by any one of multiple unpredictable events that suddenly explode, and spread like a virus to all 10.

Then capitalist warhawks can take advantage of it, as they did by linking 9/11 with launching the Iraq War. So yes, in Worldwatch Institute’s report we see at least 11 challenging black swan hot spots that could surprise and ignite new wars:

Here’s Worldwatch’s blunt challenge: “Planet’s Tug-of-War Between Carrying Capacity and Rising Demand: Can We Keep This Up?” No: The planet’s “shrinking resources” cannot satisfy the exploding population’s “growing demand for food and energy.”

Why? It’s “impossible, we can’t keep this up.” Robert Engelman warns: “Rising trends will not last forever. They can’t.” The world will collapse under epidemics, famines, warfare.

When? A decade ago the Bush Pentagon predicted that “by 2020 there is little doubt something drastic is happening,” they told Fortune. “As the planet’s carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies would emerge … warfare is defining human life.” 2020 is dead ahead.

The coming capitalist wars reminds me of fighting depicted in the brutal “Hunger Games” movie. A perfect metaphor. With over one billion of seven billion people in the world living on two dollars a day … with accelerating food and commodity prices pushing more humans and emerging nations over the edge … with rising real food shortages, real hunger, real malnutrition, real starvation, real poverty … with the living standards of developed nations demanding an ever-increasing share of ever-scarcer resources … we see Worldwatch’s 11 vital signs as hot spots and black swans that can easily ignite rebellions, revolutions and full-scale wars in the near future:

 

1. Population explosion — planet can’t feed 3 billion more people

Back during the Great Depression the world had 3 billion people. Twelve years ago it had doubled to 6 billion. Now it’s 7 billion, with the United Nations predicting 10 billion by 2050. Worldwatch says “although fertility rates are falling worldwide, many countries with high birth rates will have to accommodate a rapidly expanding labor force in the next few decades. In Uganda, where women give birth to six children on average, this means needing to generate more than 1.5 million new jobs by the late 2030s.”

2. Factory farming — chemicals, water shortage, health risks, diseases

Big Agriculture “has contributed to a tripling in global meat production over the last four decades.” Texas cattlemen may be getting richer but this is “associated with heavy use of chemical inputs, the spread of disease, antibiotic overuse and resistance, massive water consumption, and declines in human health.”

3. Food production — skyrocketing demand, speculative pricing

Last year’s data tells us “grain production is recovering from a slump.” However, a longer-term recovery “is being seriously hindered by climatic changes and by rising demand for ethanol fuel, producing ripple effects throughout the economy through increased grain prices.”

4. Rain forest, timber lands — lost to urbanization and agriculture

As the demand for food and the price of agricultural lands continues rising, the world’s forests continue to disappear, wiping out species and habitats, displacing native cultures, disrupting climate patterns and contaminating the environment. For example, a few years ago Bloomberg Markets specifically exposed Cargill and Alcoa for “destruction of the world’s largest rain forest … robbing the earth of its best shield against global warming.”

5. Meat products — huge gas emissions impacting climate and ozone

Worldwatch reports that “livestock are responsible for 40% of the world’s methane emissions and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions,” emitting toxic “greenhouse gases 25 to 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide.”

6. Organic foods — unintended consequences and high costs

Organic foods bought at stores like Whole Foods Markets make you feel spiritual. But Worldwatch warns that the organic movement is now being challenged by “rising farmland prices, inconsistencies in organic standards and higher prices of organic foods.” Moreover, organic farming is actually impeding “a broad global shift to sustainable agriculture.”

7. Starvation and obesity — both rise to global health pandemic

Imagine, “statistics from 177 countries show that 38% of adults — those 15 years or older — are now overweight, with trends on the rise across different regions of the world and different income levels.” Yes, both hunger and obesity accelerating, threatening billions.

8. Oil and alternative energy — increasing demand vs. finite supply

Global oil consumption reached a new high of 87.4 million barrels per day in 2010. Oil remains the largest commercial source of energy.” Meanwhile “global production of biofuels reached an all-time high of 105 billion liters in 2010, up 17% from 2009, mostly as a result of high oil prices, global economic rebound and new biofuel-related laws and mandates.”

9. Natural gas — fracking and shale gas damage to the environment

Fossil-fuel demand is being “driven by surging natural-gas consumption in Asia and the United States.” As a result natural-gas consumption increased 7.4% in 2009-2010 hitting a record 113 trillion cubic feet. The dark side: New technologies and sources such as fracking and shale gas are now environmental threats along with spill risks to aquifers and from deep-water explorations.

10. Nuclear power — meltdowns, terrorists and spent-fuel storage

Yes, the “generation of nuclear power fell in 2011” due to the “increasing costs of production, a slowed demand for electricity, and fresh memories of disaster in Japan,” plus Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the increasing risks of storing spent fuel.

Check out the Worldwatch site. Get their newsletters, get into action. And read the “Hunger Games” trilogy, a powerful metaphor for the world’s real “Hunger Games,” a global war for survival being fought every day, driven by an ever-increasing population with a seemingly insatiable “demand for food and energy” on a planet with “shrinking resources.”

Until we wake up to the coming wars, we’re just happy capitalists trapped in the mind-set of Robert Mankoff’s brilliant New Yorker cartoon: “While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors,” says the head of a too-greedy-to-fail bank, “we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.” Go capitalism!

Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWFarrell.
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/paul-b-farrell-america-needs-a-new-war-for-the-economy-to-survive-job-market-to-revive-capitalism-thrive-maybe-heres-why/#opv1YxeBoizhGU5Y.99

US deploys troops to Jordan, prepares to invade Syria

In testimony before the US Senate Armed Forces Committee on Wednesday, top US defense officials announced that they are deploying 200 troops of the 1st Armored Division to Jordan. They will establish headquarters near the Syrian-Jordanian border and plan for a rapid build-up, involving 20,000 or more US troops, awaiting orders from the White House to invade Syria.

A US invasion force would reportedly include Special Forces troops and regular units preparing for operations inside Syria, as well as air defense units guarding against possible retaliatory Syrian air strikes on Jordan.

 

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Senate committee that these deployments are part of “robust military planning for a range of contingencies,” carried out by the United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies.

At the same time, Washington is carrying out an international diplomatic offensive setting the stage for war with the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The topic of US military operations against Syria will reportedly be on the agenda of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s discussions in Turkey this weekend, of General Martin Dempsey’s talks with Chinese officials next week, and of Hagel’s upcoming talks with military officials in Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

As US officials admitted, invading Syria would likely involve the United States in a regional war throughout the Middle East. Hagel said that a US intervention in Syria “could have the unintended consequence of bringing the United States into a broader regional conflict or proxy war.” He noted that this “could embroil the US in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment.”

He detailed the streams of cash Washington is pouring into the anti-Assad opposition, including $117 million for “communications and medical equipment” as well as undisclosed US State Department and US Agency for International Development funding. Hagel explained, “The goal is to strengthen those opposition groups that share the international community’s vision for Syria’s future and minimize the influence of extremists.”

Hagel was apparently referring to Washington’s fears that ultra-right Islamist terrorist groups active in the opposition and funded by the United States’ Middle Eastern allies could take over Syria, should the Assad regime collapse. The Al Nusra Front, the military spearhead of the US-backed opposition in Syria, recently swore loyalty to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. (See “Syrian opposition militia declares allegiance to Al Qaeda”)

Though the US has been fighting a proxy war with Syria since 2011, Hagel’s comments were the first public confirmation that the Obama administration is preparing a direct US invasion of Syria. Launching such a neo-colonial war would be a historic crime against the population of the Middle East on the scale of the Bush administration’s unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

That such a war is being planned 10 years after the unpopular US war in nearby Iraq—which cost over a million Iraqi lives, tens of thousands of US casualties, and trillions of dollars—is a devastating exposure of the decay of American democracy.

The Obama administration and the Democratic Party, having come to power in 2008 with cynical and false appeals to popular opposition to the Iraq war, is pursuing similar policies, with total contempt for popular opposition to war in the US and Middle Eastern population.

In pursuing regime change in Syria, US imperialism is seeking to impose its hegemony on the entire Middle East. Besides Syria, it is targeting and trying to isolate Syria’s main regional ally, oil-rich Iran, which has emerged as the strongest regional power in the Persian Gulf. It also hopes that by eliminating Assad, it will cut off the flow of arms and money to forces and groups in Lebanon and the Occupied Territories opposed to Israel.

The Obama administration’s official justifications for the war—that war is necessary to secure Syria’s chemical weapons, or to restrain terrorist forces operating inside the US-backed opposition but that are somehow opposed by Washington—are absurd lies. They are contradicted even by the testimony of US officials.

Speaking in a separate meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kerry made clear that Washington is working very closely with the countries that are funding Al Qaeda-linked forces in Syria. He said, “The United States policy right now is that we are not providing lethal aid, but we are coordinating very, very closely with those who are.”

As for Syria’s chemical weapons, General Dempsey told the Senate committee that he was not confident that a US invasion of Syria would secure them, as the Assad regime has been moving them to prevent them from falling into the hands of hostile, Al Qaeda-linked fighters. Dempsey explained, “They have been moving [the stockpiles], and the number of sites is quite numerous.”

Dempsey indicated that he was not sure that the US can “clearly identify the right people” to support inside the Islamist-dominated Syrian opposition. He added, “The introduction of military power right now certainly has the possibility of making the situation worse.”

The Senate Armed Forces Committee chairman, Democratic Senator Carl Levin, criticized Hagel and Dempsey’s testimony for not threatening Assad strongly enough. He told reporters that after the hearing, he had asked Hagel and Dempsey if they wanted to send a “tough message” to Assad, adding: “Their answer is yes. That’s not what came out in their testimony. We didn’t hear it.”

Levin recently co-wrote a letter with Republican Senator John McCain to Obama, calling on him to establish a “safe zone” for US-backed opposition fighters in Syria. The letter stated that “the time has come to intensify the military pressure on Assad.”

On Wednesday, the anniversary of Syria’s independence from French colonial rule, Assad gave a televised address denouncing the US-led war in Syria. While Assad’s reactionary regime is no friend of the working class—having imposed free-market policies in Syria and repeatedly made deals with US imperialism to crush opposition to Israel—Assad hit the nail on the head when describing the imperialist forces arrayed against him. They are waging a military campaign to re-impose colonial shackles on the Middle East.

He said, “The truth is, what is happening is a war. It is not security problems. It is a war in every sense of the word. There are big powers, especially Western powers, who historically never accepted the idea of other nations having their independence. They want those nations to submit to them.”

Asked about other Middle Eastern countries’ role in stoking the war on Syria, he said: “We mustn’t blame those countries, because they’re not independent. The decision is made by foreign countries.”

Assad tartly dismissed claims by the US and its European allies that they are waging “humanitarian” war in Syria, noting: “We saw their humanitarian intervention in Iraq, in Libya, and now we see it in Syria.”

 

 

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/19/syri-a19.html

Rabbis tell 60,000 in NY: Get rid of the Internet if you know what’s good for you

Sunday's Citi Field gathering. (YouTube screen capture)

 

In an extraordinary gathering of nearly 60,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews, leading rabbis of the yeshiva and Hassidic world all but banned the Internet.

A halachic decision rendered by Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, one of the senior rabbis in the Orthodox world, said the Internet could be used for work purposes in an office — but only if absolutely necessary, and with the use of a filter. There was no justification for Internet use at home under any circumstances.

The ruling came during a five-hour program Sunday at the Citi Field baseball stadium in Queens, NY, in which prominent rabbis from the so-called Lithuanian (non-Hassidic) yeshiva world along with Hassidic rabbinical leaders discussed the dangers of the Internet and how to cope with them. While some speakers seemed to advocate a more moderate approach that might have allowed the compromise of a “religious” or highly filtered Internet, most were dead set against it, stating categorically that all Jews who considered themselves Orthodox were obligated to stay as far away from the Internet as possible.

Much of the program was conducted in Yiddish. Several of the speakers stressed the “historic significance” of the day, with one, Rabbi Efraim Wachsman of Yeshiva Meor Yitzchok in Monsey, NY, telling the assembled that the event was a “historic crossroads. Your strength and resolve today will decide what Judaism will look like in a few years from now.”

Those who wished to ensure their future, and more importantly their children’s futures, as Orthodox Jews, would do well to heed the words of the “gedolim” — the rabbinical leaders addressing the gathering — the audience was warned.

Speakers drew on Biblical, Talmudic, rabbinical, and general philosophical sources to back their positions. The ethos of the Internet, which values ever faster access and ever greater instant gratification was contrasted unfavorably with the traditional Jewish values of patience and perseverance.

“The Internet, is about the moment, the fleeting,” said Wachsman, terming people hooked on Web surfing click vegetables.

“People say the gedolim don’t understand the Internet,” he continued. “That could be true. But they understand the trends, and they understand that the instant gratification is the opposite of the holiness needed to become a Torah scholar. The nation of Torah, the nation that gave the world so much wisdom, is now turning into a people of yentayachne.com,” using the Yiddish term for “nasty gossip.”

At least a third of the Internet — “and that is probably an old report” — was full of content that no Jew should be looking at, he said, although he did not use the term pornography.

Wachsmann singled out for special condemnation the damage caused by social media to the stature of rabbis and Jewish scholars. He was referring to the numerous blog posts in which leaders have been excoriated for their silence and inaction on such issues as child molestation in the Orthodox community.

Several of the speakers called on yeshivas to deny admission to applicants who had Internet at home, and Rabbi Wosner included this principle in his halachic decision. Speaking in Yiddish, Rabbi Don Segal, who has been spiritual adviser in numerous yeshivas, said that even those who thought they needed Internet at work should try to find ways to avoid using it, as it was perhaps the “evil inclination” convincing them that they truly needed it.

In a letter sent to event organizers, Bnei Brak’s Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, perhaps the senior authority in the ultra-Orthodox world today, wrote that the Internet was “a great destruction for the Jewish people, with many reaching the lowest levels. There is no home that has these devices that has not fallen prey to terrible sins…. It is the obligation of everyone to gather together and destroy this evil inclination.”

Anyone who felt he had need for Internet use without a filter was required to obtain permission from a rabbi, he wrote.

Rabbi Mattiyahu Salomon of the Lakewood Yeshiva, who was the driving force behind the event, emphasized in his remarks the importance of protecting Jewish children from the ravages of the Internet, which destroys their intrinsic holiness. He also asked members of the audience to pray for the protection against “the great danger in Israel that a law may be passed to draft yeshiva students into the army. We know the Torah is the protection of the Jewish people,” he said. “[Yeshiva students] are the army, and to take them from their studies” would bring tragedy to the Jewish people.

Some 42,000 men participated in the sold-out event at Citi Field in Queens, New York, along with nearly 20,000 in a nearby stadium, added at the last minute for the overflow demand. Women were able to view the proceedings via closed-circuit TV.

Numerous protests took place outside the stadiums, including one by a group proclaiming that “the Internet is not the problem,” and another protesting rabbinical silence on the child abuse scandals. At least one blogger who had proclaimed somewhat lukewarm support for the eventsaid he felt “fooled” by what had gone on. “Nothing positive about the Internet was discussed,” he wrote. “Websites with Torah and the ability to communicate with friends and family was ignored. In short, this event set the clock back to zero. I was wrong. Things are more bleak than I presumed.”

Officially, there was no Web coverage — for obvious reasons — yet numerous live feeds sprang up online enabling people around the world to see the event. The feeds were furnished by attendees who used smart devices to record and upload the proceedings, and many of these people were sending out tweets on Twitter describing the goings-on, to the extent that the hashtag “asifa” (the term used to describe the gathering) was high on Twitter’s trending topic list while the event was taking place.

As could be expected, many of the tweets were furnished by skeptics,with enough to populate a list of the funniest, like this one: “Were it not for social media I would not be able to keep track of the asifa.”

America`s Drone Wars: Unmanned Predators to be Used for Domestic Law Enforcement?

Idaho took the lead in protecting people from drone surveillance last week when Gov. Butch Otter became the first state leader to sign legislation.  Known as the “Preserving Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act,” the law restricts the use of drones by government or law enforcement, particularly when it involves gathering of evidence and surveillance on private property.

In Florida, the state senate has passed a similar bill, The Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act, which prevents police from using drones for routine surveillance. However, it would allow unmanned aircraft if there’s a threat of terrorist attack.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are considering legislation that would prevent police from identifying anyone or anything not related to a warrant.

According to the ACLU, at least 35 states have considered drone bills so far this year, and 30 states have legislation pending. Most bills require a “probable-cause” warrant for drone use by law enforcement, while a handful seek to ban weaponized drones.

 

Mosquito MAV

They come in all sizes, from the Predator drones used in Pakistan and other countries to tiny mosquito drones that can be used covertly in urban neighborhoods and indoors. In the next few years police will increasingly turn to them for surveillance. But groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also see their potential for tracking poachers, while farmers want aerial vehicles to measure crop growth.

The ACLU is urging state lawmakers to require that police obtain a warrant before using any drone to conduct a search. But the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute argues that governments should go further and ban any information obtained by drones from use in court. In January, Rutherford submitted model legislation to lawmakers in all 50 states.

In Maine, a Joint Judiciary Committee had a work session last week on LD 236, officially known as “An Act to Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use.” After a debate between the Attorney General and an ACLU spokesperson, committee members voted unanimously to postpone a decision for two weeks.

In a nearby hearing room, where a debate on gun control was underway, one gun-rights supporter displayed a bumper sticker with a drone on it – and the words “Protect our 2nd amendment rights to shoot down drones.”

Maine’s Attorney General has proposed a temporary moratorium until July 1, 2014. The official rationale is to allow time for law enforcement agencies to come up with “minimum standards,” including prior authorization by “some official” before drones could be used for surveillance. But the AG also argues that the drone bill should not impede the possibility of a drone test center in northern Maine.

At least 37 states are competing for six drone testing centers that are expected eventually to launch 30,000 drones into the skies. For Maine, one lure could be the promise that the state won’t require operators to get a warrant before launching a spy-bot.

Democrats, who control Maine’s legislature but not the governorship, hope to win back the top spot again.  Thus, they want backing from the police, aerospace industry interests, new drone manufacturing firms, and citizens living near the closed Loring AFB who believe a drone test center and missile defense base would bring back jobs.

A variety of activist groups are staging protests in an attempt to stop the use of domestic drones in US airspace.  Events are expected in at least 18 states at research facilities, drone command centers, manufacturing plants, universities that have drone programs and the White House, according to Nick Mottern, founder of Known Drones, a website that tracks unmanned aircraft activity in the US and abroad.

The protests are being organized by more than 15 anti-drone groups, including Codepink, Veterans for Peace, No Drones Network, and the American Friends Service Committee. The groups oppose both domestic drone use and targeted drone killings overseas.

On February 7, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an updated list of communities, states, law enforcement agencies, and universities that have requested and received licenses to deploy drones. The Electronic Freedom Foundation obtained the list via a Freedom of Information Act disclosure and learned that more than 81 public entities have so far applied to the FAA for permission to launch drones.

Lethal Ornithopter

Why the rapid push for domestic deployment ?

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, drone makers hope to speed their entry into a domestic market valued in the billions.  The US House actually has a 60-member “drone caucus” — officially known as the House Unmanned Systems Caucus. In the last four years, it members received nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions. Drone Caucus members from California, Texas, Virginia, and New York received the lion’s share, channeled from firms in the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

In a recent study, the Teal Group estimates that spending on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will increase over the next decade from current worldwide expenditures of $6.6 billion annually to $11.4 billion. That’s more than $89 billion in the next 10 years. “The UAV market will continue to be strong despite cuts in defense spending,” claims Philip Finnegan, Teal’s director of corporate analysis. “UAVs have proved their value in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said, “and will continue to be a high priority for militaries in the United States and worldwide.”

On  April 23, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights will hold a hearing Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing. If you can’t attend, you can submit a statement for the record. Chairman Durbin has invited advocates and stakeholders to offer their perspectives and experiences by submitting written testimony.

Submissions are limited to 10 pages, submitted in PDF or Word Document form to Stephanie Trifone at Stephanie_Trifone@Judiciary-dem.Senate.gov  no later than Monday, April 22, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Statements can be addressed to Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Cruz, and Members of the Subcommittee. For some reason they can’t accept previously published information as a statement.

The FAA is currently writing regulations for domestic drone use. According to Defending Dissent, the federal agency’s jurisdiction is limited. But it could provide safeguards such as compliance with Fair Information Practices for all licensees, creation of a public database of drone operators – with information about the surveillance equipment used and the operator’s data minimization procedure. Operation of drones could also be restricted to only licensees, ruling out wildcat rental operators. Otherwise, it’s going to be crazy up there.

A growing sense that we’re not getting the truth about Boston bombing

 

Thomas Lifson

See also: Dancing on the graves of ‘old media’

 

While the media are bearing the brunt of public skepticism over the handling of the Boston bombing, the behavior of government is also eroding public trust. Yesterday’s promised but cancelled news briefing is just one symptom. Andrew McCarthy of PJM notes that “Misinformation rather than enlightenment has been the order of the day in the investigation of Monday’s terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon,” and that part of it is the natural outgrowth of the desire of investigators to keep the details of their investigations secret, so as not to alert suspects. In these circumstances, the media, hungry forsomething to say in  their wall-to-wall coverage, press law enforcement sources, to whom they offer anonymity, for information. In the circumstances, misinformation is almost certain to get reported.

 

But there is something else at work: a taboo, widespread in the MSM and government, on suspecting jihadists. McCarthy writes:

 

We don’t know what the investigators know, but on our state of information, it would be irresponsible to discount the possibility that this is an instance of jihadist terror. Of course, other ideological motivations cannot be ruled out, either. My point is that it is ludicrous to enforce a politically correct filter in which the most plausible explanation must not be spoken on pain of being cast out as a racist “Islamophobe,” yet every other theory, no matter how half-baked, is given a respectful airing. (snip)

…no radical ideology that urges violence should be ruled out at this point when, apparently, no perpetrators have been identified. How strange, though, that what experience suggests are the least likely scenarios – conservatives or anti-government extremists striking savagely at their defenseless fellow citizens – are being embraced seriously (even wistfully) by some media pundits, while one must walkon eggshells to describe scenarios whose proving out would surprise no one.

 

The avoidance of jihad as an explanation is particularly ridiculous given the initial suspicions focused on Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, the 20 year old Saudi student, who is now rather mysteriously being deported, we are told. Jim Host of Gateway Pundit reports:

 

Tonight Steven Emerson told Sean Hannity that the non-suspect Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi is being deported back to the Saudi Kingdom.

 

 

 

Barack Obama met with the Saudi foreign minister today. It was not on public schedule.

 

In addition, Walid Shoebat focuses attention of the Alharbi Clan:

 

Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows several of Al-Harbi clan to have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda:

#15 Badr Saud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi

#73 Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi

#26 Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi

#29 Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi

#43 Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)

#60 Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi

Source: http://aalhameed1.net/vb/showthread.php?t=1565

Then you have Al-Harbi clan members in Gitmo:

Salim Salman Awadallah Al-Sai’di Al-Harbi

Majid Abdullah Hussein Al-Harbi

Muhammad Abdullah Saqr Al-Alawi Al-Harbi

Ghanem Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al-Harbi

Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awfi Al-Harbi

Source: http://www.muslm.net/vb/showthread.php?169019-أسماء-(90)-سعودياً-لا-زالوا-محتجزين-في-جوانتانامو

 

Americans are unaccustomed to thinking of clans as an important variable in human behavior, so Daniel Greenfield of Front Page Magazine provides some helpful background:

 

Americans often disregard basic structural differences between the east and the west. And that is a dangerous mistake.

The differences between the Muslim world and the Western world aren’t just religious. There are basic structural differences at the social level. They don’t think the way that we do, because they don’t live the way that we do. We think in terms of the country as defining us. They think in terms of the tribe as defining them. We sanction countries, but their countries are often a sham. It’s the clans that count. (snip)

It’s not just Saudi Arabia. A closer look at the antics of the Al-Awlaki clan in Yemen (though the Saudis have a long history of using Yemen as their backyard) would have told us to watch out for Anwar Al-Awlaki. But that’s not the way we think. It is the way they think.

 

So what is going on? Why is the j-word (Jihad) unthinkable in media reporting? Why was Alharbi quietly deported, and why the urgent meeting of the president and the Saudi FM not on the president’s pubic schedule?

 

It certainly appears that we are not getting the straight story.

Hat tip: Lucianne.com

Correction: The Saudi national is being deported, but has not yet been deported. The blog has been updated.

Israel ready to act on Syria weapons, warns Netanyahu

(BBC) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the BBC that Israel has a right to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands in Syria.

He said that if terrorists seized anti-aircraft and chemical weapons they could be “game changers” in the region.

There have been growing calls for the international community to arm rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

But there is increasing concern that Islamist militants could use such weapons to further their own causes.

Israel has said its policy is not to get involved in the Syrian conflict.

But in recent months it has retaliated following Syrian firing into Israeli-controlled areas in the Golan Heights.

Israel first occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 and later annexed the territory in a move that is not internationally recognised.

Mr Netanyahu, in an exclusive interview with the BBC’s Lyse Doucet, said Israel’s concern was “which rebels and which weapons?”

“The main arms of concern to us are the arms that are already in Syria – these are anti-aircraft weapons, these are chemical weapons and other very, very dangerous weapons that could be game changers,” he said.

“They will change the conditions, the balance of power in the Middle East. They could present a terrorist threat on a worldwide scale. It is definitely our interest to defend ourselves, but we also think it is in the interest of other countries.”

‘Not aggressive’

Mr Netanyahu was in London to attend the funeral of former prime minister Baroness Thatcher, and also held talks with current Prime Minister David Cameron.

Asked if Israel would adopt a more aggressive military stance in Syria, Mr Netanyahu said: “We are not aggressive. We don’t seek military confrontation, but we are prepared to defend ourselves if the need arises and I think people know that what I say is both measured and serious.”

Mr Netanyahu would not confirm what was widely believed to have been an Israeli air strike on a suspected Syrian government weapons convoy in January.

It was reported that the convoy had been heading for Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

Mr Netanyahu also reiterated his view that Iran and its nuclear programme posed a direct threat to world peace, which could only be stopped by a “direct military threat”, not sanctions or tough diplomacy.

“Other countries, once they see Iran getting nuclear weapons, will rush to get their own nuclear weapons and then the Middle East will become a tinderbox,” he said.

He added that the current North Korea crisis had shown world leaders what could happen when a rogue state acquired nuclear weapons.

“The entire world is paralysed [and] destabilised,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“Iran is many times stronger than North Korea, both in GDP and aggressive tendencies. I think there’s an interesting change of perception because people can understand what it would be like to have Iran with their imperial ambitions, with their messianic and apocalyptic ideology possess atomic bombs.”

Asked about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Mr Netanyahu said the creation of a two-state solution depended “on the Palestinians”.

“I’m ready to sit down. I think we shouldn’t talk about the talks. We should just get on with it and try to negotiate a real lasting and defensible peace between us.”

US Deploys Troops To Prepare For Syria Military Intervention

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed congress today he has ordered the deployment of troops to Jordan to prepare for possible military operations in Syria.

Hagel stated that 200 troops are to be deployed to Jordan to make preparations to conduct intelligence and to make contingency plans to conduct military operations to secure chemical and biological weapon stashes inside of Syria.

Hagel further stated that the troops can provide leadership and training support for additional troops that may deployed in the future.

The threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist is a tried and true tactic for drumming up public support for military operations in the Middle East.

Truth be told, the ongoing civil war in Syria is actually the result of a coalition of westeren governments training, arming and supplying intelligence to the same Muslim extremists they are fighting against in so-called War on Terror.

CNN reports:

In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, CNN has learned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering the deployment of up to 200 troops to Jordan, according to two Defense Department officials.

The troops, which will come from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, “creates an additional capability” beyond what has been there, one official said.

The group will give the United States the ability to “potentially form a joint task force for military operations, if ordered,” he said.

The new deployment will include communications and intelligence specialists who will assist the Jordanians and “be ready for military action” if President Barack Obama were to order it, the official said.

This comes as the Pentagon has recently reviewed military options for Syria although Obama has not ordered any to be put into action.

Al Aryabia reports:

The Pentagon is sending about 200 soldiers from a U.S. Army headquarters unit to Jordan to assist efforts to contain violence along the Syrian border and plan for any operations needed to ensure the safety of chemical weapons in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress Wednesday.

The decision to dispatch the 1st Armored Division troops of planners and specialists in intelligence, logistics and operations comes as several lawmakers pressed the Obama administration for even more aggressive steps to end the two-year civil war.

Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, faced persistent questions from senior members of the Armed Services Committee about efforts to force out Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Pentagon leaders made clear that the situation is extremely complicated and they must be certain of the endgame before any military step to try to end the bloodshed.

 

http://beforeitsnews.com/war-and-conflict/2013/04/us-deploys-troops-to-prepare-for-syria-military-intervention-2446218.html

Israeli police head to US to aid in Boston Marathon bombing investigation

The head of the Israel Police, Major General Yohanan Danino (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)

The investigation into Monday’s deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon has officially gone international: law enforcement officials from Israel have been sent to the United States to assist in the probe.

Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino says he has dispatched officials to Boston, Massachusetts, where they will meet with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other authorities, the Times of Israel Reports.

Citing an earlier report published by the newspaper Maariv, Times of Israel writes that Danino has dispatched police officers to participate in discussions that “will center on the Boston Marathon bombings and deepening professional cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of both countries.”

The paper reports that Israeli law enforcement planned the trip before the deadly pair of bombings on Monday that has so far claimed three lives, but the discussions will now shift focus in order to see how help from abroad can expand the investigation.

In an address made Tuesday, Israel President Shimon Peres said that tragedies such as this week’s incident in Boston, sadly, bring people together from across the world.

“When it comes to events like this, all of us are one family. We feel a part of the people who paid such a high price. God bless them,” Peres said. “Today the real problem is terror, and terror is not an extension of policy: Their policy is terror, their policy is to threaten. Terrorists divide people, they kill innocent people.”

Around 20 hours after two bombs detonated near the finish line of the annual race, United States President Barack Obama went on record to condemn the tragedy as a terrorist attack. 

“This was a heinous and cowardly act,” said Obama from the White House, “and given what we now know the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.”

But even as officials come to assist from as far away as Israel, authorities are still in the dark as far as finding any leads in the case. Pres. Obama has directed the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security to assist in the investigation, but no agencies have identified suspects or motives at this time.

Pres. Obama has also said that his administration has been directed to implement “appropriate security measures to protect the American people,” but details as to what that could mean remain scarce. Meanwhile, at least one leading lawmaker is asking for the US to respond to the terrorist attack by increasing the scope of the ever-expanding surveillance program already growing across the United States.

“I do think we need more cameras,” Rep. Peter King (R-New York) told MSNBC after Monday’s attacks.“We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that.  So yes, I do favor more cameras.  They’re a great law enforcement device.  And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.”

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also confirmed that he has dispatched law enforcement officers from the Big Apple to assist in the investigation by meeting with agents at a Boston fusion center, one of the DHS-funded data facilities that collects surveillance camera footage and other evidence in order to analyze events like Monday’s attack.

“We are certainly engaged in the information flow with the FBI through our Joint Terrorism Task Force. We have two New York City police officers, police sergeants, who are in the Boston Regional Intelligence Center,” Bloomberg said on Tuesday. “They’re up there, they’ve been up there since last evening.”

But in a study conducted last year by the Senate’s bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, lawmakers found that those fusion centers have been more or less unhelpful in assisting with terrorism probes.

The Department of Homeland Security’s work with state and local fusion centers, the subcommittee wrote, “has not produced useful intelligence to support federal counterterrorism efforts.” Instead, they added, so-called “intelligence” shared between facilities consisted of tidbits of shoddy quality that was often outdated and “sometimes endangering [to] citizen‘s civil liberties and Privacy Act protections.”

“More often than not,” the panel added, information collected and shared at DHS fusion centers was“unrelated to terrorism.”

http://rt.com/usa/police-israel-investigation-boston-009/

Major earthquake rocks Iran, hundreds feared dead

 

Hundreds of people are feared dead as a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale rocked Iran on Tuesday.

As per the US Geological Survey, the quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale had its epicentre on the Iran-Pakistan border at a depth of 15.2 kilometres. It was located 86 kilometres east-southeast of the Iranian city of Khash.

A government officials told a news agency that “it was the biggest earthquake in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead”.

There are no further details of the extent of the damage. The rescue teams are being sent to the quake stricken areas.

The quake was felt in Iran, Pakistan and a major part of West Asia.

At least 37 people were killed and 850 wounded when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit south-west Iran on April 10.

Obama Overrides Congress to Buy $690 Million Worth of Russian Choppers for Afghan Air Force


Apparently America has too many jobs so Obama will be spending taxpayer money to support Russia’s defense industry on behalf of Afghanistan. And he’s doing so over the bipartisan objections of Congress from both the right and left and a ban on buying them written into the NDAA.
The US Department of Defense said Thursday it plans to sidestep a Congressional ban to purchase 30 helicopters from Russian state-owned defense firm Rosoboronexport, despite objections from US lawmakerswho allege that the firm has equipped the Syrian government to commit brutal crimes against civilians.
The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, approved by Congress last year, includes an amendment that prohibits financial contracts between the United States and Rosoboronexport, except when the Secretary of Defense determines that such arrangements are in the interest of national security.
The contract totals $690 million, most of which would go to the Russian arms maker, he added.
Aside from throwing almost $700 million to a company owned by the Russian government at a time when Obama has taken a chainsaw to the United States military, subsidizing the Russian defense industry helps it develop more weapons that will be sold to America’s enemies.
That money will help fund R&D for the next generation of weapons that an American military dismantled by Obama will be facing on the battlefield.
Rosoboronexport was originally under US sanctions for doing business with Iran until the ban was lifted. Rosoboronexport is still selling advanced weapons to Iran.
And, oh yeah, this was a no bid contract.
The Pentagon didn’t solicit bids from any other company for the helicopters. That “seems just plain stupid,” says Texas Senator John Cornyn, one of nine Republican and eight Democratic senators pressing the U.S. Department of Defense to cancel the deal.

John Pike, director of national security think tank GlobalSecurity.org, says Russia sold Mi-17s to other countries during the Cold War, and that companies other than Rosoboronexport should have secondhand models that could be refurbished: “The notion that you can’t come up with a couple dozen of these puppies in the used helicopter market is hard to believe.”

Well why bother when Barack is willing to be so flexible for Vladimir.
A bipartisan Congressional group wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week in which they objected to the ongoing business relationship between the Russian arms company and the Pentagon. “What is the national security justification of continuing business with Rosoboronexport?” they asked in the letter. “Russia continues to transfer weapons through Rosoboronexport to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria,” they continued. “Since the Syrian uprising began, Russia has continued to serve as the Assad regime’s chief supplier of weapons, enabling the mass murder of Syrian citizens at the hands of their own government.”
When you’ve got John Cormyn and Rosa DeLauro on the same side, that’s as close to a consensus that you can imagine.

 

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Peres: Obama Will Attack Iran if Diplomacy Fails

Peres and Obama(israelnationalnews.com) President Shimon Peres said that he believes that U.S. President Barack Obama will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomatic efforts fail.

“I have no doubt that if diplomatic talks fail with Iran and Tehran doesn’t stop accelerating its nuclear development – U.S. President Barack Obama will conduct a military attack against Iran,” Peres told the Israel Hayomnewspaper this week, in an interviewahead of Israel’s 65th Independence Day next week.

“Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon isn’t only an Israeli interest, but a global and an American interest. As long as the U.S. is in the lead — why shouldn’t we use its assistance?” Peres said.

“It could be that the Iranians are trying to buy time, but they are also losing. The situation in Iran is greatly deteriorating, the economy is collapsing, and the people understand this very well,” said Peres. The full interview with Peres will be published in Israel Hayom on Monday.

 

The latest round of international discussions with Iran over its nuclear program ended in Kazakhstan this past week without any breakthroughs and the sides even failed to set a new date and time for a resumption of talks.

In fact, Iran insisted this week it will not suspend its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent nor will it ship out its existing stockpile, two keys demands of world powers in failed nuclear talks with Tehran.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Peres in a meeting that “President Barack Obama is not bluffing when he says he will stop Iran’s nuclear program.”

“We understand the nature of the threat of Iran. And as the President has said many times — he doesn’t bluff. He is serious. We will stand with Israel against this threat and with the rest of the world, who have underscored that all we are looking for is Iran to live up to its international obligations. No option is off the table. No option will be taken off the table,” Kerry said.

Iran this week marked its National Nuclear Technology Day by announcing theopening of two new uranium mines and a new plant capable of producing 60 tons of raw uranium (also known as “yellow cake”) per year.

Western nations have “tried their utmost to prevent Iran from going nuclear, but Iran has gone nuclear,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech on Tuesday.

“They caused restrictions and issued threats, thinking that the Iranian nation cannot achieve nuclear energy … The best way for you is to cooperate with Iran,” he said.

On Friday, Russia responded to Iran’s unveiling of the new uranium production facility, warning the move could hurt progress in negotiations with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.

An unnamed source in the Russian foreign ministry told Interfax that Iran’s announcement does not actually breach its obligations under various international nuclear agreements.