Thursday, January 31, 2008

Headlines for 01-30-08

More than one million Iraqis dead since 2003 invasion: study

Iran vows to win nuclear tussle with West A defiant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that Tehran was close to its target of producing nuclear energy and launched a new tirade against Israel as world powers seek to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Britain says U.N. sanctions have hit Iran's economy

Iran claims nuclear power triumph

Bush Signs Vets Bill, Won't Ban Permanent Bases

White House Criticizes Envoy Over Iran White House officials expressed anger on Tuesday about an appearance in which the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, sat beside the Iranian foreign minister at a panel of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday.

Israel's days are numbered - Iran "It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall,'' he said.

Security Council Loses Credibility Over Iran, Israel For more than 26 years, he pointed out, Israel has been in violation of UNSC resolution 487 which calls upon Israel to "place its nuclear facilities under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguard." The US does Israel's bidding at the UN (and just about in every other venue as well).

The Big Schmooze in the Hormuz

Why lovers of Israel should vote for McCain (according to Lieberman) ** He does not believe that talks with Iran will make the difference. Lieberman calls this approach "just naive". You can't expect that "words" will do the trick. The Iranians will react to "strength." And in McCain Lieberman found the "principled leader in time of war" that will not be swayed by public opinion. Whose war is this?

Arab ministers attend anti-terrorism conference Arab interior ministers arrived in Tunisia Wednesday to debate how to cut off funding for extremist networks and improve frontier controls at a two-day conference.

Egyptian president, visiting Iranian parliament speaker agree diplomatic relations soon to be restored Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and the head of Iran's parliament agreed in an hour long meeting Wednesday that their nations could soon restore diplomatic relations, the visiting Iranian official said. The ties were cut after Cairo signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979.

Israel probe finds war 'failure' Israel's 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon was a "large and serious" failure, according to an Israeli government-appointed inquiry.

Italy: US dialogue with Iran impossible, says Jewish leader The executive director of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris, said he found it difficult to accept that the US could negotiate with Iran until it halted its nuclear enrichment programme.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Headlines for 01-29-08

Iranian leader to visit to Iraq

U.S. moves to keep F-14 parts from Iran

UK diplomat rules out war with Iran ** ?I think the recent US intelligence report proved that Washington has no intention to escalate the conflict. It is very clear that all the parties involved in the conflict with Iran are fully supporting a peaceful solution,?

Buchanan: McCain win would mean war with Iran**

American diplomat is found dead An American diplomat in Pakistan has been found dead at his home in Islamabad after apparently committing suicide, Pakistani police say.

More Neo-Con Military Advice

Ha'aretz Rates the Candidates by Philip Giraldi The Israeli national interest is clearly not identical to that of the United States, except possibly to AIPAC, but it would be difficult to discern the difference based on the comments being made by American presidential candidates. Indeed, many of the candidates sometimes seem as if they are actually running for office in Israel.

US sharply toughens stance toward Syria

Israeli official: Bolton said Rice caved on truce terms to end 2006 Lebanon war

Obama rejects Palestinian right of return Democratic presidential candidate reaffirms support for Israel, but backs Iran dialogue: Senator Barack Obama presented his views on Israel and the Middle East Monday in a phone conversation with Israeli and Jewish journalists.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Headlines for 01-28-08

Iran warns of 'serious consequences' if UN passes sanctions

Iran and Egypt 'to restore ties'

None Dare Call It Treason The Israeli connection is what's interesting about this covert operation, because it involves U.S. citizens, high government officials who have been part of an ongoing investigation that dates back to at least 1999, the earliest year mentioned in the AIPAC indictment.

Giuliani bolsters Olmert ahead of Winograd Giuliani emphasized security and foreign policy issues when speaking to the Post, strongly defending Israel's actions against Gaza......He also reiterated his insistence that "Iran will not be allowed to become a nuclear-armed power" under a Giuliani administration and that the military option should be kept on the table.

Hizbollah criticises Lebanese army over killings Hizbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, and the de facto leader of the opposition against the western-backed government, has demanded an inquiry into the killing of the protesters, almost all opposition members and Shia.

Hezbollah demands inquiry into Beirut killings Lebanon's most powerful faction, demanded on Monday to know who was behind shooting that killed six opposition supporters in some of Beirut's worst street violence since the 1975-90 civil war.

American Liberty Teetering on Edge of Abyss

Barak secretly meets Pakistan president Defense Minister Ehud Barak secretly met last week with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, Israel's Channel 2 reported Sunday. The two met in Paris and discussed the Iranian nuclear threat and the situation in the Middle East.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Headlines for 01-27-08

Bill Moyers on Rhetoric and Reality It was one of the most smoothly orchestrated and successful propaganda campaigns in our history, and it was one big lie. The war it produced still has no end in sight, five years later.

Pakistan rebuffs U.S. plan for CIA buildup: report

Lebanon Shiite cleric calls for Bush trial over Iraq US President George W. Bush should go on trial for lying to the world about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, a leading Lebanese Shiite cleric said on Sunday.

Iran Vows to Retaliate Against US Bases in Gulf if US Attacks First** General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, commander of the Iran's Revolutionary Guards, told Al-Jazeera television that it is Iran's "natural right to respond" if attacked by land or air.

Tip-Off Thwarted Nuclear Spy Ring Probe Phillip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, said: ?It?s pretty clear Plame was targeting the Turks. If indeed that [State Department] official was working with the Turks to violate US law on nuclear exports, it would have been in his interest to alert them to the fact that this woman?s company was affiliated to the CIA. I don?t know if that?s treason legally but many people would consider it to be.?

Brattleboro to Vote on Arresting Bush, Cheney

Iran extends olive branch to Israel and U.S "Iran is not threatening Israel and does not want nuclear weapons." "Israel has nuclear weapons and it is threatening Teheran," he said

Amal, Hezbollah call for end to Beirut clashes Lebanese Shiite movements Amal and Hezbollah have called on their supporters to leave the streets, after at least seven people were reported killed in clashes with demonstrators in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Seven killed in Beirut violence

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Headlines for 01-26-08

Iran says break with U.S. won't last forever Iran's foreign minister said on Saturday he could envisage the Islamic Republic resuming diplomatic ties with the United States one day but that many hurdles remained to normal relations.

Iran says surprised at sanctions plan, urges patience Iran said on Saturday it was surprised by proposed new sanctions over its nuclear program and said major powers should have waited for the verdict of a United Nations watchdog in March.

Iran set to test next generation of centrifuges

Iran's FM questions UN resolution

Pakistan nukes safe from militants: army chief

US offers troops to fight in Pakistan The United States has offered to send American troops into Pakistan to fight Islamic militants.

Afghanistan: Iran accused as mines are found in Taliban cache

Found in Translation by Philip Giraldi if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani, and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments......Edmonds also claims that Grossman was instrumental in seeding Turkish and Israeli Ph.D. students into major American research labs by godfathering visas and enabling security clearances.......She further reports that beginning in 1999, the FBI was investigating senior Pentagon officials who were assisting agents of foreign governments, including Turkey and Israel. Edmonds has not publicly named names at the Pentagon, but a website linked to her appears to be a non-incriminating instrument for identifying suspects without doing so directly. Its ?rogues gallery? includes photos of Richard Perle and Douglas Feith........?If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,? Edmonds told the Times...... Edmonds?s claims that the section was infiltrated by translators who should never have received security clearances and who were deliberately failing to translate incriminating material are supported by the Justice Department inspector general investigation and by an FBI internal investigation, which concluded that she had been fired after making ?valid complaints.?........Edmonds?s revelations have attracted corroboration in the form of anonymous letters apparently written by FBI employees. There have been frequent reports of FBI field agents being frustrated by the premature closure of cases dealing with foreign spying, particularly when those cases involve Israel, and the State Department has frequently intervened to shut down investigations based on ?sensitive foreign diplomatic relations.?.......Curiously, the states-secrets gag order binding Edmonds, while put in place by DOJ in 2002, was not requested by the FBI but by the State Department and Pentagon?which employed individuals she identified as being involved in criminal activities.......It is generally believed that Waxman, a strong supporter of Israel, is nervous about exposing an Israeli lobby role in the corruption that Edmonds describes. Wow.

Why McCain would be worse than Bush by Patrick J. Buchanan Where Bush finally cleansed his administration of neocons, if not of their legacy, a McCain candidacy is the last, best hope of a neocon restoration and new military adventures in the Middle East. If Rudy Giuliani founders in Florida, neocons will be chanting, "Mac is back!"

Israel suspects Iranians already working on nuclear warhead Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, in an interview published Saturday, that Iran is "quite advanced" in its work on atomic weapons and may already be fashioning a nuclear warhead.

Like FBI, CIA Has Used Secret 'Letters' newly released documents shed light on the use of the letters by the CIA. The spy agency has employed them to obtain financial information about U.S. residents and does so under extraordinary secrecy, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained copies of CIA letters under the Freedom of Information Act.

In Clinton endorsement, New York Times inches towards historical revisionism in giving the New York lawmaker their nod, the Times' editorial board appeared to be subtly revising its stance in the lead up to the Iraq War, painting the picture that it outright opposed the March 2003 invasion.

The Long Fuse to the Iraq War He talks about a parallel establishment and "an elite caste," but doesn't do anything to explore the huge pots of money available to the neocons and to politicians who stick by Israel. There is no follow through because all these ideas are close to anti-Semitic "canards," the word the pro-Israel crowd likes to use when anyone tries to address Jewish influence in public life......... If Heilbrunn doesn't believe this, he ought to state why not. As it is the reader is left with the shadowy sense that the neocons have a pro-Israel agenda that they are not upfront about. But it isn't a conspiracy, Heilbrunn warns. The neocons have convinced themselves that the U.S. and Israel have congruent interests.

Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, there is a vast black market for nukes, and certain U.S. officials have been supplying sensitive nuclear technology information to Turkish and Israeli interests through its conduits.

Rice decries 'foreign interference' after Lebanon bombing

Christian Zionists Feel "Betrayed" by Bush's Road Map "Hagee's injection of the charged rhetoric of biblical prophesy into contemporary foreign policy," Posner writes, "has catapulted him to the forefront of an American Christian Zionist movement that has become the darling of conservative Israel hawks in Washington and neoconservatives yearning for regional war in the Middle East."

Letter: Resist Israel lobbyists The drums for war with Iran are getting louder, and overpowering calls for restraint and negotiation. The only country advocating, in fact demanding, that the United states attack Iran, "regime change" is the euphemism used, is Israel......I cannot stand idly by and watch special interests, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and their neoconservative partners, browbeat our leaders in Congress and the White House into actions that may well result again in Americans' lives being wasted in more unnecessary Mideast wars.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Headlines for 01-25-08

ANALYSIS-Iran confident of no attack, can survive sanctions Iran feels it has done enough to avert an imminent U.S. attack and is confident its cushion of petrodollars will help it weather the impact of a third round of mild sanctions, Iranian analysts and politicians say.

Iranian: Normal ties to U.S. impossible

Iran to face travel bans, more asset freezes: draft

Sixth nuclear fuel batch lands in Iran Iran received a sixth shipment of nuclear fuel Thursday from Russia, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, the official IRNA news agency reported.

US not interested in permanent Iraq bases: Gates

The Sanctions Trap by Scott Ritter ** Russia and China, and to a lesser extent France, Great Britain and Germany, may view the sanctions as a vehicle for a diplomatic resolution of the issues. The United States views the sanctions as a means to a different end, this one culminating in the elimination of the theocratic regime in Tehran.

U.S. diplomat says Iran resolution "punitive" "Mr. Bolton no longer works for the United States government. He doesn't speak for the United States government. His views are at variance with those of our leadership," Burns said. "And so, I would disassociate my own self with those rather extreme comments of John Bolton..., or I should say, very extreme comments."

Added sanctions seen as mostly hurting civilians "In this long-smoldering fight with America, the Iranian government, as always, will remain unaffected by sanctions; common people like me will suffer."

Senate Poised to Capitulate to Cheney?s Fear-Mongering After a January 24 debate in the Senate on amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Senate appears ready to capitulate once again to the Bush administration?s agenda of sacrificing liberty for questionable security.

The End of Privacy McConnell?s prediction of something ?horrendous? happening unless we grant government this authority has a tone similar to that of the fear-mongering call to arms against terrorism that President Bush sounded before taking us to war in Iraq. Now, Americans are about to be asked to surrender their Fourth Amendment rights because of a vague and unsupported prediction of the dangers and costs of cyber-terrorism.

Bush Plan for Iraq Would Be a First President Bush?s plan to forge a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could commit the US military to defending Iraq?s security would be the first time such a sweeping mutual defense compact has been enacted without congressional approval, according to legal specialists.

The start of the great unwinding

America ? A Bankrupt Empire Financial instability rooted in economic 'blowback' from our disastrous foreign policy

Rep. Ron Paul a surprising contender What appears to be driving Paul?s candidacy most is his fierce opposition to the Iraq war. He was one of only six Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote against it, and his calls for withdrawal make him stand out in both parties.

Neocons Shaken, But Not Deterred While battered, however, neoconservatives have not yet been forced from the field. And while their hopes that President George W. Bush would "take out" Iran's nuclear program before leaving office appear to have diminished substantially, their hawkish voice is still heard loud and clear both in the White House ? courtesy of Vice President Dick Cheney's office and Deputy National Security adviser Elliott Abrams ? and in this year's Republican presidential race, where neoconservative favorites include former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, and, until earlier this week, Fred Thompson......neoconservatives, both Jew and gentile, are bound by a "shared commitment to the largest, most important Jewish cause: the survival of Israel."

Judge rejects Patriot Act challenge Hassan Abu-Jihaad's attorneys had claimed elements of the USA Patriot Act used to obtain the evidence were unconstitutional, and cited a ruling by a federal judge in Oregon striking down key portions of the law. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Kravitz, however, said he disagreed with that ruling, and noted that other courts have found that the law does not infringe on constitutional rights

Security chief assassinated in Lebanon bomb A senior Lebanese police officer and 10 other people were killed this morning when a powerful car bomb exploded in an east Beirut suburb.

Ambassador vs. Ambassador: Is Obama good for Israel? A couple of weeks ago, the Israeli tabloid Maariv ran a leading headline claiming that Israeli officials do not want Obama to be elected. They don't think he will be good for Israel.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Headlines for 01-24-08

U.S. diplomat says Iran resolution "punitive"

EXCLUSIVE-IAEA makes 1st visit to Iran centrifuge site Iran has allowed top U.N. nuclear monitors to visit an advanced centrifuge development site for the first time in a gesture of transparency about its disputed atomic programme, diplomats familiar with the matter said.

Russia plays down Iran sanctions Mr Lavrov stressed the draft resolution did not mention strict sanctions, but would call on "countries to be vigilant in developing trade, economic, transport and other relations with Iran so that these relations are not used to transfer illegal, banned materials that can be used in nuclear affairs".

DAVOS-UPDATE 1-Rice offers Iran prospect of normal ties Just one day after getting agreement on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution against Tehran, Rice offered the incentive of a "more normal relationship" and expanded trade if Iran gave up sensitive nuclear work, according to the prepared text of her speech to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Iran vows to follow nuclear path despite sanctions

Wolfowitz to head US advisory panel The State Department has announced Mr Wolfowitz's appointment as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board.

U.S. commander orders plans on Pakistan Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, issued a planning order, an internal instruction to lower-level commanders, to propose ideas for a long-term approach to helping Pakistan combat what has become an expanding, homegrown insurgency that threatens the stability of the government.

Russia: No 'harsh' sanctions on Iran Russia said Wednesday a new draft U.N. resolution on Iran's disputed nuclear program does not call for any harsh sanctions, and the Iranian president said new measures would not deter the country in its pursuit of nuclear technology.

Iranian people fear new wave of sanctions

Cheney wants surveillance law expanded Vice President Dick Cheney prodded Congress on Wednesday to extend and broaden an expiring surveillance law, saying "fighting the war on terror is a long-term enterprise" that should not come with an expiration date.

U.S., Israel discuss Iran Senior Bush administration officials are in Israel to discuss countering Iran's nuclear program.

Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: Brainwashing the U.S. Military, U.S. police departments and stealing elections

Israel urges Davos business chiefs to boycott Iran

Former Ambassador to U.N. Advocates for Israel A staunch advocate of Israel, Bolton served as Assistant Secretary of State in the early 1990s.

Olmert: 2006 war with Hezbollah restored Israel's deterrence

US Officials Rejected Key Source on '94 Argentina Bombing The FBI agent, James Bernazzani, also says Argentine investigators had no real leads on an Iranian link to the bombing when his team was in Argentina. Three top officials in the US Embassy in Buenos Aires at the time ? including Ambassador James Cheek ? have confirmed the absence of evidence linking Iran to the bombing, which killed 85 people and wounded another 300.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Headlines for 01-23-08

Move to bring Iran nuclear issue back to UN 'illegal': Tehran

Iran snubbed US protest over ship incident: official Iran has not acknowledged Washington's protest over an incident between Iranian and US naval forces because it did not use the term "Persian Gulf", the state news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The Paleocon Dilemma?

The Return of Dick Cheney by Philip Giraldi ** One would have thought that both Israel and the United States, not to mention Mahmoud Abbas, would have finally realized that there is no military solution to Hamas in Gaza, but the newer, more robust attitude is a product of the resurgence of Vice President Dick Cheney and the neocon hawks that surround him. Cheney and his friends are again planning to attack Iran before Bush leaves office.......The resurgence of Cheney and the instability arising from Bush's attempts to reinvigorate the faltering anti-Iran Arab coalition has alarmed several senior members of the American intelligence community who are now backing away from their optimistic assessment that the NIE on Iran ensured the US would not attack Iran.

Middle East: Region would prefer jaw, jaw to war, war While the US has nudged Israel back to the negotiating table, producing a comprehensive settlement that creates a viable Palestinian state would require the kind of American pressure on Israel that few expect of Mr Bush, who has gone farther than his predecessors in supporting Israeli policies.

Foreign Thought Police Target US Candidates Like her neoconservative soul-mates in America, Glick is focused like a laser on the issue of "respectability": it's important that she and her ideological confreres get to determine who's "legitimate," and who ? to put it in Bill Kristol's terms ? is "a crank." This latter category includes anyone who, like Paul, wants to abandon as futile the Bushian project of "transforming" the Middle East into nascent "democracies" while taking out Israel's enemies one by one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Headlines for 01-22-08

Study: False statements preceded war A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Iran says any new sanctions won't affect nuclear work

Iran prepared to supply gas to EU's Nabucco pipeline: minister Iran is prepared to supply gas to the EU's flagpship Nabucco gas pipeline, which is aimed at reducing the bloc's reliance on Russia, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Tuesday.

Iran draft resolution seen as too mild The draft of a new U.N. Security Council resolution on Iran reportedly does not include tough measures favored by the United States.

UN powers agree on new Iran draft

Mission unaccomplished Mr. Bush's principal objective was to convince sheikdoms, emirates and kingdoms (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) that Iran's nuclear threat will have to be dealt with.

Paul blames Federal Reserve for economy's woes

Egypt and Iran presidents talk directly for first time Discussions focused on the Palestinian and Lebanese issues, the MENA news agency said in a one-sentence report.

Barak leaves to Paris for talks on the Iranian nuclear race Defense Minister Ehud Barak flew to Paris on Tuesday for talks with senior government officials with a focus on the Iranian nuclear threat.

Freedom?s Watch and ?Strong Supporters of Israel?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Headlines for 01-21-08

World powers to submit new Iran sanctions resolution: diplomat

Gates Again Undermines the Hawks

Iran, Pakistan to be at the heart of Rice's Europe trip

Reading The Pictures: A Judy Miller-ish Fixation On Little Boats

Cheney Impeachment Gains Traction in House Judiciary Committee Articles I and II of H.R. 799 accuse Cheney of purposely manipulating intelligence to deceive Congress and the American people about a fabricated threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, respectively. Article III charges Cheney with openly threatening aggression against Iran absent any real threat to the United States. All three articles say Cheney?s actions have damaged our national security interests.

Netanyahu: Israel should practice mass deterrence Opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) warned Monday that Israel might find itself "a country pointing missiles in three directions."

Stock markets plunge worldwide Stocks fell sharply worldwide Monday following declines on Wall Street last week amid investor pessimism over the U.S. government's stimulus plan to prevent a recession.

Oil falls below $89 as stock markets drop

Mideast Arabs, Iran's Ahmadinejad worried over worsening Gaza situation In a statement issued by his office, Lebanon's Saniora said the Israeli actions in Gaza were "racist and barbaric" and that the world is not allowed to "remain silent on the Israeli actions."

Bolton: US intelligence has become politicized

Bolton: Final IDF op in Lebanon had no impact on UN truce talks Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who "changed her mind fundamentally" after an Israeli aerial assault killed 28 civilians in Kana on July 30. "Rice exerted enormous
pressure on me to reach an agreement already," he said. "Until Kana, the U.S. wasn't interested in another typical Middle Eastern cease-fire. We thought we would exploit the fighting to fundamentally change the situation, especially in Lebanon and Syria. But under the influence of her shock over Kana, the secretary of state changed her mind and only wanted an immediate end to the fire. That was the policy Rice dictated."

Israel launches new satellite to spy on Iran Last November, a US intelligence report stated that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme, a finding that undermined hawks in the US who had been pushing for a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Israel, however, has publicly disagreed with the US intelligence finding.

Israel may have to take military action against Iran: Bolton ** "One can say with some assurance that in the next year the use of force by the United States is highly unlikely," Bolton told AFP on the sidelines of the Herzliya conference on the balance of Israel's national security.

When Bush Comes to Shove Israeli officials are adamant that neither Israel nor the U.S. has ruled out the use of force against Iran. In a media briefing on the second day of the Bush visit, a senior Israeli official claimed that while both countries preferred diplomatic and economic measures, they did not "remove any option from the table." .......Miller points out that if America does not act, and Israel decides to use force on its own, it will need American approval, because of the heavy U.S. military air traffic in and around Iraq.

Braverman: Globalization greatest danger not Iran "As far as I'm concerned, globalization is the greatest danger to Israel, not Iran. Everyone will solve the problem of Iran, the US, Russia, Europe

World Vision Lebanon warms displaced refugees World Vision is rushing badly needed blankets, heaters and other critical supplies to displaced Palestinian refugee families who are being hit hard by cold winter temperatures that have caused several deaths.

Palestinians stage protests over Gaza in Lebanon camps

Lebanese troops fire on Israeli jets

Abandon Mideast peace push By JOHN BOLTON here's the essential fix the President is in: He is far more likely to be successful in countering Iran's expanding influence and dealing with other major regional problems than in resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute - yet his pursuit of the former goal is impeded by his policies concerning the latter. The NY Daily News gives airtime to neocon John Bolton. Bolton wants Iran attacked yesterday.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Headlines for 01-20-08

Russia delivers more than half nuclear fuel to Iran: official

FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.

The Pakistan Conundrum by Scott Ritter

Saudi, Syria cut number of fighters into Iraq: US The US military says Syria and Saudi Arabia have reduced the flow of foreign insurgents crossing their borders to fight in Iraq.

Living in a Dream World If you need an example of just how sophomoric both Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard and AEI's Michael Rubin can be, don't miss Rubin's latest article in the Standard, entitled "Living in a Dream World: The Political Fantasies of Foreign Service Officers".

Israeli ministers slam 'sewage rat' Nasrallah

Internal Memo Takes on Obama?s Approach to Middle East A confidential memo questioning Senator Barack Obama?s potential approach to Middle East policy was circulated earlier this month among staffers at a major American Jewish organization. In one section, the memo said that Obama?s approach to Iran?s nuclear program ?raises questions,? while another portion suggested that Obama expected more from Israel than the Palestinians in resolving the conflict between the two.

Berman likely to head House Foreign Affairs Committee A member of the foreign affairs panel since he entered Congress in 1982, Berman is primarily known as a strong supporter of Israel. Early in his career, he wrote legislation funding joint U.S.-Israeli assistance projects in the developing world, and has worked over the years to increase aid to Israel.

Canada removes U.S., Israel from torture watchlist Canada's foreign ministry, responding to pressure from close allies, said on Saturday it would remove the United States and Israel from a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured.

Hezbollah Decries Bush's Mideast Trip Hezbollah's reclusive leader appeared in public for the first time in a year on Saturday, accusing President Bush of using a recent Mideast tour to incite Arabs against Iran and telling Arab governments to confront his "satanic visions."

Anti-Iran Coalition in the Gulf? Read This. Before Bush's Middle East visit, White House briefers were telling correspondents that the president would be pushing the Israelis for a Palestinian settlement in return for Arab backing of a tough stance with Iran. It was suggested that Israel might be more tractable if the "Iranian nuclear threat" were removed.

Did 'The Times' Leave Judy Miller Out in the Cold Because She Was Jewish? And Other Parochial Asides from an Angry Bill Kristol I?ve often written that the neoconservatives became far less transparent about their devotion to Israel once they attained power. It was one thing to write as Jewish intellectuals about Middle East policy in books and little magazines in the 1970s, as Norman Podhoretz did when he said American isolationism was "a direct threat to the security of Israel," and quite another to be actually affecting that foreign policy and talking openly as Jews about Israel.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Headlines for 01-19-08

GAO: Sanctions effect limited Iran's global ties limit U.S. efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic, according to a report by Congress' investigative arm.

Russia could use nuclear arms pre-emptively: general

Russia warns of 'preventative' nuclear strike

Iran's ex-president warns West not to politicise nuclear dispute

Bush fills Iran policy job President Bush moved quickly Friday to fill a key diplomatic post with responsibility for Iran policy, nominating the American ambassador to Russia for the job immediately after his predecessor's resignation

Turkish president in Syria for talks Gul will join Arab League chief Amr Mussa, who is in the Syrian capital to help broker a deal over Lebanon's presidential crisis, to launch celebrations marking Damascus being named the 2008 cultural capital of the Arab world.

Bush fails to persuade Arab allies Bush's visit coincided with fresh Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket strikes on southern Israel. Images of bloodied and crying Palestinian children being rushed to hospitals flickered across Arab news channels.

Hezbollah has Israel 'body parts'

Israeli troops detain another Lebanese shepherd

Bush's Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Headlines for 01-18-08

01-18-08 - Iran receives nuke fuel Iran received a third shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Friday for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, state radio reported.

01-18-08 - Iran slams US sanctions drive, China backs dialogue

01-18-08 - Livni fails to change Lavrov's stance on Iran Differences of opinion between Israel and Russia over how to deal with Iran surfaced Thursday when Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on Russia to support stronger sanctions against Iran, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that Russia's current actions were sufficient

01-18-08 - Iran president says Bush confrontational

01-18-08 - U.S. economy teeters on the brink

01-18-08 - The Hormuz Hoax **

01-18-08 - Reality in Mideast bears no relation to Bush's vision Twixt silken sheets in the very palace of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Bush awakes to confront a Middle East that bears no relation to the policies of his administration nor the warning that he has been relaying constantly to the kings and emirs and oligarchs of the Gulf: that Iran rather than Israel is their enemy.

01-18-08 - 5 Questions On Israel For The Next Debate

01-18-08 - Bush's Influence in Middle East Fades Bush rang the alarm bell about Iran's clear and present nuclear danger, but his diplomatic message had already been overshadowed by last month's National Intelligence Estimate. While his Israeli interlocutors echoed the president's Iranian concerns, Arab heads of state took comfort in the assessment of Washington's intelligence community that said Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program when the United States invaded Iraq.

01-18-08 - Livni continues Bush's course in Moscow This is no surprise since positions of Israel and the United States (that is, Bush personally) coincide on many issues, in particular on the prospects of Arab-Israeli settlement and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

01-18-08 - German coalition split over foreign minister's contact with Syria Steinmeier met Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem in Berlin Thursday to demand that Syria play a "constructive role" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and in the political crisis in Lebanon.

Headlines for 01-17-08

01-17-08 - US, Iran diplomats vie for Chinese support in nuclear impasse

01-17-08 - Study tracks stress disorder in US combat troops About 9 per cent of United States troops who have performed combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan report experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study led by Defence Department researchers.

01-17-08 - Europe 'poses threat' to US security: Chertoff

01-17-08 - Ahmadinejad scorns US and Israel The Iranian leader also dismissed US ally Israel, saying: "The Zionist regime... would not dare attack Iran.
"It knows that any attack on Iranian territories would prompt a fierce response," he added.

01-17-08 - US to devise emergency recession plan

01-17-08 - Israel test-fires ballistic missile after Iran warning

01-17-08 - Israel's foreign minister: Iran nuclear controversy should be solved via sanctions

01-17-08 - Iran defiant after Israeli missile test

01-17-08 - Israel "would not dare attack Iran": Ahmadinejad

01-17-08 - Canada places U.S., Israel on torture watch list Canada's foreign ministry has put the United States and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured and also classifies some U.S. interrogation techniques as torture, according to a document obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

01-17-08 - Israel FM urges firmer stance from Russia on Iran

01-17-08 - Phone Iran for peace, Americans urged A US group lobbying for Washington to engage Tehran in direct talks is to invite members of the public to chat with people in Iran at the weekend using three hotlines set up in a New York park.

01-17-08 - Pentagon's Islam "Expert" Hoisted by His Own Jihad Over the weekend, the Fox News Channel spun the centrifuges of Islamo-hysteria faster, featuring an interview with self-declared "terrorism expert" Steve Emerson, who alleged that radical Islamists had infiltrated the U.S. government and had gained enough clout to manipulate who gets hired and fired Emerson is quite wrong. To the contrary- the US government was infiltrated long ago by those other extremists - pro-Israeli ones. And they have proved far more costly to the American people in terms of blood and treasure than any of their Islamic counterparts. 0

01-17-08 - Lieberman, GOP seek out Jewish vote Lieberman told about 200 Republican Jewish activists that he's backing John McCain because his fellow senator and Iraq war hawk best understands the nature of the radical Islamic threat faced by ''our ally Israel'' -- while much of the Democratic Party has forsaken it......While Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic on social issues year after year, the Republican presidential candidates this year have gone to great lengths to out-Israel each other -- from using Israeli newspaper email lists to traveling to Israel to addressing myriad Jewish groups.

01-17-08 - Bringing Death and Destruction to Muslims The US is at war in Iraq, because the neoconservatives want to rid Israel of the Muslim governments ? Iraq, Iran and Syria ? that are not American surrogates and, therefore, are willing to fund Palestinian and Lebanese resistance to Israeli aggression. Israel, protected by the US, has disobeyed UN resolutions for four decades and has been methodically squeezing Palestinians out of Palestine.

01-17-08 - Mid-East suffers rare cold snap In Syria, temperatures have dropped to minus 16 degrees Celsius. There has been widespread damage to crops in Syria, Jordan and Israel.

01-17-08 - US to set up cluster bomb clearance team The United States will create a team of experts to defuse cluster bombs and other explosives that pose a threat to civilians after the end of a conflict, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

01-17-08 - NYC jeweler sentenced in bogus bomb plot Alkatri also faces deportation to his native Syria as a convicted felon. One of his lawyers, Michael L. Soshnick, argued that a return to that country could be fatal because Alkatri is Jewish.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Headlines for 01-16-08

Dollar fall piles pressure on Gulf Arab states-IIF An oil-driven boom in Gulf Arab states shows few signs of abating, but pressure is mounting on some of them to revalue their currencies and others perhaps to abandon dollar pegs due to dollar weakness, a top bank lobby group said on Wednesday.

Petraeus says Iran still training Iraq militants Asked whether Iran had stopped the flow of money and weapons into Iraq, Petraeus told reporters: "We honestly don't know, it is unclear. We do know that training (of Iraqi militants in Iran) has continued......US President George W. Bush said on Saturday after meeting Petraeus in Kuwait that Iran had to stop supporting the militia special groups that attack Iraqi and coalition forces. "Iranian agents are in our custody, and we are learning more about how Iran has supported extremist groups with training and lethal aid."

Iran says it will join Iraq security conference

France takes on strategic role in key Gulf oil route France's first permanent military base since the end of the colonial era gives it a strategic role in the Strait of Hormuz bordering Iran, the main supply route for world oil.

Iran speeding up development of missiles, head of U.S. agency says Facing tough opposition from Russia and increased skepticism from Poland, where the U.S. wants to place part of the missile defense system, U.S. officials are trying to convince the Europeans that program is crucial to guarding against an emerging threat from Iran.

How the Pentagon Planted a False Story Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the Jan. 6 U.S.-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran's military aggressiveness, a reconstruction of the events following the incident shows.

Iran's nuclear ambitions, Israel-Palestinian talks on agenda for Israeli FM's visit to Russia Livni also said that during her visit she would press for «more effective» sanctions against Tehran's nuclear program at the United Nations

US diplomat casts doubt on new Iran nuclear deadline

Oil falls on US slowdown worries

Palestinian couple find marital bliss in Nahr al-Bared rubble

Italy, UN to help area near Nahr al-Bared

Bush says Iran and Syria must end Lebanon interference President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that Syria and Iran must end interference in Lebanese politics, and called for nations in the region to support Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Headlines for 01-15-08

Bush warns Iran not to be provocative in Gulf** U.S. President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that he would hold Iran responsible if it hit American ships and warned the Islamic Republic not to behave provocatively in Gulf waters

UN 'to mull new Iran sanctions' China and Russia have questioned the need for more sanctions on Iran, which says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

US, Iran One Misstep From the Edge by Philip Giraldi ** President Bush still apparently dreams of confronting Iran, even if the imploding situation in Pakistan makes it unlikely that he will risk doing so. Israel makes no secret of the fact that it would like Washington to act, and Israel's wishes are seldom denied in Washington. And then there are the hotheads on the Iranian side. The U.S. national interest in the Middle East would be best served by marginalizing those who want war and beginning to negotiate seriously. As Winston Churchill put it, "To jaw jaw is better than to war war."

Mullen: Clash may signal Tehran shift

Egypt, Turkey warn against war on Iran** "There is no need for the use of force. Use of force will lead to very serious consequences in the region and the world,"

US drafting plan to allow government access to any email or Web search National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a "walk in the park," according to an interview published in the New Yorker's print edition today.

Oil rises on US-Iran tensions, weaker dollar

Subprime Nation by Patrick J. Buchanan Our political parties seem oblivious. Republicans, save Ron Paul, are all promising to expand the U.S. military and maintain all of our worldwide commitments to defend and subsidize scores of nations.

Merkel says pressure on Iran must be maintained despite US report Germany plans to continue exerting pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme, despite a report by US intelligence services that Tehran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.

US using 1994 Argentine bombing investigation to pressure Iran US diplomats, working with their counterparts from Israel and Argentina, convinced the international police agency Interpol to issue "red notices" against five former and current Iranian officials. The most-wanted orders, which were issued last November, will prevent the Iranians from leaving their home country, but neither the US nor Interpol can force Tehran to hand them over, report Solomon and Perez.

Bush wraps up Middle East visit on peace, Iran, oil

Saudi pledge follows Bush call for oil price action US President George W. Bush urged oil producers on Tuesday to take action over near record-high prices, prompting his Saudi hosts to vow to increase output when justified by the market.

Israel reports Iranian-made rocket hit A rocket fired at Israel by Palestinians earlier this month was made in Iran, an Israeli lawmaker and security officials said Tuesday. Thus does the BS begin anew..

U.S., Poland hopeful of missile shield deal U.S. and Polish officials said on Tuesday they believe they can strike a deal which would allow U.S. missiles to be installed in Poland as part of a defensive shield for Europe.

Walesa: World needs to combat Iranian threat "It seems we understand each other so very well and are doing so well together that we could establish the United States of Poland and Israel," Walesa quipped.

Rice expresses US outrage over Lebanon bombing Three people were killed in a remote-controlled bomb blast that targeted a United States embassy car in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, the latest in a string of attacks in the troubled country.

Effort to block Saudi arms deal is doomed With Congress having 30 days to reject the sale, its foes must run their opposition through a committee. Lantos, perhaps Israel's best friend among committee chairmen, was their best chance.

Efforts to block Saudi arms deal likely to be unsuccessful Top Israelis, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, gave the sale their blessing after representations by U.S. officials. Reported sweeteners included guarantees that the JDAMs would be programmed not to include Israel as a target.

Olmert: Hizbullah not interested in using its missiles Prime minister lauds achievements of Second Lebanon War, says Shiite group 'not inclined' to use its weapons against Israel. Olmert recommends against wide-scale incursion in Gaza that may cost Israel more than it's willing to pay

Four killed in Beirut explosion

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Headlines for 01-14-08

Prankster linked to US-Iran naval incident "Filipino Monkey" is famous in the Gulf for listening to ship-to-ship radio traffic and then jumping in with insults and epithets, said Navy Times.

Gulf of Tonkin Will BeTough to Repeat by Ray McGovern** It is my view that the only thing that has prevented Bush and Cheney from attacking Iran so far has been the strong opposition of the uniformed military, including the Joint Chiefs.

Iran says Bush's accusations "words without value"

Bush talks oil prices with Gulf Arab leaders His Middle East tour has come amid worries that oil prices that recently hovered near $US100 a barrel could push the US economy into recession.

Iranian boats threaten, so the candidates step up rhetoric As usual, the talk on Iran eventually turned to Israel.

Bush seeks Saudi support for fragile Middle East peace talks Bush's talks in Riyadh were also expected to deal with Iranian policy in the region, including Tehran's nuclear ambitions and its support for radical groups such as Hamas, Hizbullah in Lebanon, and Shia militias in Iraq. Iran was the main focus of the president's keynote speech of his trip in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

James Woolsey: Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind Woolsey has a remarkable record, even for a neocon; he has gone from searching for flying saucers at the CIA to claiming anybody who didn't believe in a Saddam/al-Qaeda connection was "illiterate." Now he's trying to provoke "World War IV" with half the Muslim world.

Newsweek: Bush 'disowned' NIE to Olmert President Bush reportedly "all but disowned" the recent National Intelligence Estimate in private talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Saudi public leery of Bush Among the reasons are the chaos in Iraq that followed the U.S.-led invasion and the widespread Arab feeling that the United States is biased in favor of Israel and not serious in seeking Mideast peace.

Bush's Arab world tour is significant for Israel** From an Israeli perspective, the three key elements were
isolating Iran, coaxing moderate Arab countries into moving toward normalization with Israel and getting oil-rich Arab states to honor their financial pledges to the Palestinians......Bush's post-NIE Mideast diplomacy can be read in two different ways: bolstering the moderate Arab coalition against Iran as part of an ongoing policy of containment through diplomatic and economic sanctions, or as laying the diplomatic groundwork for a possible military strike against Iranian nuclear installations before the president leaves office.

China says military buildup does not threaten U.S

Olmert renews threat on Iran Yediot Achronot reported that Israeli and U.S. officials will resume a strategic dialogue focused on Iran at the end of the month. Israel's representative will be Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz; his U.S. counterpart will be State Department official Nicholas Burns

Report: Bush praises Syria strike President Bush was quoted as saying Israel's airstrike in Syria last year was an "important preventive action."

It's Not About Iran Last year, King Abdullah II of Jordan delivered an address to a joint session of Congress. His focus was not on Iran or Iraq -- or even the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees his small country is painfully hosting. In urging American diplomacy, his message was clear: "The wellspring of regional division, the source of resentment and frustration far beyond, is the denial of justice and peace in Palestine." This address was hardly noticed in our press. In contrast, when the king highlights the Iranian threat to his American visitors, everyone listens.

Refugees still face dire conditions at Nahr al-Bared, despite relief efforts

Bush in new Saudi talks after first moves on arms deal The arms deal, which includes weaponry and high-tech munitions, has alarmed Israel and some US Congressmen, especially as Saudi Arabia refuses to recognise the Jewish state.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Headlines for 01-13-08

Confront Iran danger early - Bush Mr Bush said Iran threatened the security of all nations and should be confronted "before it's too late".

Iran nuclear answers 'in a month' Iran has agreed to clarify all outstanding questions over its past nuclear activities within a month, the UN nuclear watchdog has announced.

Iran says US 'lost face' over ship incident Iran on Sunday said the United States had "lost face" and should apologise over its portrayal of an incident between Iranian and US naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz.

Bush insists Iran biggest terror sponsor President Bush gently nudged authoritarian Arab allies Sunday to satisfy frustrated desires for democracy in the Mideast and saved his harshest criticism for Iran, branding it "the world's leading state-sponsor of terror."

Bush visits US 5th Fleet amid Iran tensions

George Bush to push $20bn Saudi arms deal Yet even that gesture will not be enough to convince moderate Arab states to shun Iran, in a sign of its growing status as a Muslim world superpower.

Bush warns against Syria, Iran's fuelling violence in Iraq U.S. President George W. Bush warned Saturday against Syria and Iran's fuelling violence in Iraq.

Iran brands Bush tour 'a failure'

Iran?s Revolutionary Guard in secret Iraq talks with US

Iran to answer questions over nuclear activity: IAEA The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says Iran has agreed to answer remaining questions about Tehran's past nuclear activity within the next month.

'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens Talebzadeh insists it aims to bridge differences between Christianity and Islam, despite the stark divergence from Christian doctrine about Christ's final hours on earth. "It is fascinating for Christians to know that Islam gives such devotion to and has so much knowledge about Jesus," Talebzadeh told AFP

Bush Disowns U.S. Intel, Tells Israelis Iran NIE ?Doesn?t Reflect My Own Views? In private meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this week, Newsweek reports that President Bush disowned the U.S. intelligence community?s judgments:

Confront Iran danger early - Bush Mr Bush said Iran threatened the security of all nations and should be confronted "before it's too late".

US, Israel on 'same page' on Iran While the Israeli-Palestinian track dominated the public aspect of Bush's visit here, the Iranian issue played a dominant role in the private conversations between Olmert and the US president.

Bush urges Iran regime to heed people's will "To the Palestinian people, the dignity and sovereignty that is your right is within your reach," said Bush, who after a first visit to the Holy Land as president last week, said he is "very hopeful" a final peace deal can be reached before he leaves office in January.

Odds are growing for economic recession The unemployment rate leaps to a two-year high, record numbers of people are forced from their homes and Wall Street nose-dives again. Such is the fallout from a housing meltdown that threatens to slingshot the country into a recession.

Israel to get "smarter" U.S.-made bombs than Saudis

Nasrallah: Israel to give crumbs to Palestinians

Anti-Israel Palestinian groups to hold Syria conference Participants are to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes they fled when the state of Israel was founded in 1948, and resistance against Israel, said Raja.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Headlines for 01-12-08

Saudi cannot be launchpad for Iran attack: report ** A leading Saudi newspaper on Saturday ruled out any attempt by the United States to use the oil-rich Gulf kingdom as a launchpad for a possible war on Iran over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme......"Iran's supposed danger does not minimise the real danger of Israel, which is among 10 countries in the world to have nuclear weapons,"

'Filipino Monkey' may be behind radio threats, ship drivers say The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the ?Filipino Monkey.?

Iran showdown has echoes of faked Tonkin attack ** "One might've thought that they would be able to pinpoint it exactly, but it turns out that's not so," said Aftergood, who runs FAS's Project on Government Secrecy. "It's also surprising that President Bush was permitted to get so far out in front on this issue, even though there were significant uncertainties on what transpired."

Bush to reach out to Iranians from across the Gulf ** in an embarrassing climbown that was gleefully seized on by Tehran, the Pentagon admitted that a sound recording it had released of a voice threatening to blow up the US vessels may not have emanated from the Iranian vessels......."They tried to bring it up at the same time as Bush was travelling to the region to paint Iran in a bad light. But their plans fell flat,"

Objects From Iranian Boats Posed No Threat, Navy Says ** The small, boxlike objects dropped in the water by Iranian boats as they approached U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday posed no threat to the American vessels, U.S. officials said yesterday, even as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff charged that the incident reflects Iran's new tactics of asymmetric warfare.

US army clears Abu Ghraib officer

Pentagon airs new concerns about al-Qaida

Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ?02 War Game

Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel ** The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video.

US won't bring Iran 'to its knees': Khameni Mr Khamenei also told the visiting head of the United Nations nuclear agency that Iran's nuclear file should be handled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), not the UN Security Council (UNSC), which has imposed two rounds of sanctions on Tehran.

UN nuclear chief presses Iran leaders on cooperation UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei met Iranian leaders on Saturday on a visit aimed at persuading Tehran to intensify cooperation with his agency over its contested nuclear programme.

Israel stressed to Bush that Iran is a nuclear 'threat': general

About that Straits Incident? All of the Revolutionary Guard depicted in the video are wearing life jackets!!! How does that square with the neo-con notion that they?re all Islamo-fascist fanatics ready to undertake ?martyrdom? operations against the Great Satan at a moment?s notice? Judging from Norman Podhoretz, Bernard Lewis, Frank Gaffney, and their Christian Right fellow-travelers et. al., the last people you?d expect to be wearing life jackets while buzzing U.S. warships on the high seas would be the IRGC, right? Perhaps that?s why they?ve been quiet over this latest provocation.

Another Iranian Act of Aggression

Ban slams attack on UN force in Lebanon, rocket on Israel

Syrians are rebuilding bombed site: report Syrians are rebuilding a desert site bombed by the Israeli military last September on suspicions it was supposed to house a nuclear reactor, The New York Times reported on its website late Friday.

Fathers and Sons neoconservatism?s priorities, which range from strong support for Israel to vehement opposition to affirmative action, are heavily influenced by the values, interests and collective historical memory of the Jewish people.

Huckabee warns Iranian sailors: 'The next thing you will see is the gates of Hell' According to the London Times, "The crowd cheered," even though Thompson had apparently confused Iranian sailors with Al Qaeda terrorists.

Bush Fails Again by Charley Reese As occupied territories, they fall under the Geneva Conventions. An occupying power is not allowed to take land or to build settlements in occupied territory. It is not allowed to destroy homes, to uproot olive groves, to deport people, and to wall the area off ? all of which the Israelis have done and are continuing to do........the main purpose of Bush's visit is to harangue the Arabs about the alleged dangers of Iran.

Mofaz: Lebanon resolution worthless Transportation Minister Mofaz says Security Council Resolution 1701 that ended Second Lebanon War 'not worth paper it's written on'; former defense minister slams political leadership's conduct during war, says army not at fault for outcome

Turkish president to visit Egypt for Mideast, Iraq talks: official Turkish President Abdullah Gul will visit Egypt next week for talks on the faltering Middle East peace process and strife-torn Iraq, his office said Saturday

Lebanon warns Germany of possible terrorist attacks

Bush takes soundings on Iran Al-Khaleej, a UAE daily, accused him of "striving to transform the Arab-Israeli conflict into an Arab-Iranian conflict, since nuclear Israel, which is armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction, which is aggressive, expansionist, racist and an international outlaw, does not threaten world peace".

Headlines for 01-11-08

US-Iran stand-off not mere propaganda ** What is clear is that there are grave doubts about who uttered the warning picked up by the US ships. A deep voice was heard to say: "I am coming at you. You will explode after a few minutes." The video released by the US implied that the warning was part of a series of transmissions to the ships from the Iranian craft. It turns out that the warning was added onto the video. It was a radio recording made separately.

US Navy fired warning at Iranian craft ** The U.S. Navy said Friday that one of its ships fired warning shots at a small Iranian boat in the Strait of Hormuz in December during one of two serious encounters that month.

US reveals new Iran 'incidents'

Bush takes soundings on Iran US officials acknowledge that Arab-Iranian relations have thawed and that the sense of crisis was defused by the recent US intelligence estimate stating that Tehran ceased developing nuclear weapons in 2003 - though last weekend's naval clash in the Straits of Hormuz was a reminder of the potential for trouble. and well geez, this newest 'incident' just happened to come just as Bush wanted to shore up support for action vs. Iran in that part of the world. What a coincidence.

Bush: US may be in Iraq for decade

Bush unlikely to pressure Saudis on oil President George W. Bush is unlikely to complain about oil prices near $100 per barrel when he meets with Saudi Arabia's king next week, even though prices have nearly doubled since the last time the two met in 2005.

Bush tours Gulf to push Mideast peace, curb Iran

Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that US officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a US warship, as it appears to do on the video.

CIA reveals: We said in 1974 that Israel had nuclear weapons The issue of an American double standard regarding the nuclear activities of Israel and Iran often comes up when senior American officials visit the Gulf, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did last month.

Iran, Again

Military option against Iran is 'still on the table' ** Asked whether Israel had shown the president any intelligence contradicting the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that Iran had stopped its clandestine military nuclear program in 2003, the official said: "This is one of the areas our countries and establishments, including the intelligence establishment, are working in very close cooperation. We don't wait for any special event before passing on information. I assume that the president knows whatever we do."

US trade gap balloons 9.3 percent

Even with sanctions, Syrians embrace KFC and Gap the political bitterness between the two countries has not dampened the appetite for US products here ? nor has it stopped American companies from finding a way past sanctions in order to do business in Syria.

Ron Paul draws stark contrasts with GOP peers Paul urged U.S. disengagement from the Israeli-Palestinian situation. "It would be much better to have a balance by being out of there. And I think it would be a greater incentive for Israel and the Palestinians and all the Arab nations to come together and talk because I think we get in the way too often. And besides, it's costing us a lot of money and it's costing us lives now.... We're out of money. We can't do it any longer."

Paul, Giuliani debate Israel "The reality is that Israel is a close and strong ally of the United States," Giuliani said. "America has only a few extremely reliable allies, special relationships. The defense of Israel is a -- critical importance to the United States of America, and it goes much deeper than just tactical things."

Likud slams PM's 'sycophancy' to Bush most of the meeting was devoted to the Iranian issue. Netanyahu pressed Bush to act against the Islamic Republic before he left office in January 2009.

Spy case still makes waves in Israel Ron Olive, the agent in charge of counterintelligence for the Naval Investigative Service at the time of Pollard's arrest, told the BBC that the incident was "one of the most devastating cases of espionage in US history" during which Pollard stole over "one million classified documents". "Even though Israel is an ally, it had friends that aren't necessarily friend of the US," said Mr Olive, who wrote a book about the case, Capturing Jonathan Pollard.

Weisenthal Center: Lebanese blocking our ad Several other Arab newspapers did not respond requests to run the ad, which was timed to coincide with President Bush's to Israel. It did appear in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Ha'aretz and Jerusalem Post.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Headlines for 01-10-08

U.S.: Voices on Recording May Not Have Been From Iranian Speedboats We're saying that we cannot make a direct connection to the boats there," said the spokesperson. "It could have come from the shore, from another ship passing by. However, it happened in the middle of all the very unusual activity, so as we assess the information and situation, we still put it in the total aggregate of what happened Sunday morning. I guess we're not saying that it absolutely came from the boats, but we're not saying it absolutely didn't."

Iran airs own video of US ship incident Iran's English-language Press-TV broadcast a video showing an Iranian commander in a speedboat contacting an American sailor via radio, asking him to identify the US vessels and state their purpose......For Iran, the release of the footage was seen as buttressing its claims that the incident was purely a routine matter of identification that ended without any disturbance.

Iran naval clash may give Bush new ammo The Persian Gulf confrontation between U.S. and Iranian forces ended without a shot being fired. But it handed the Bush administration new ammunition in its battle to convince allies that the Tehran government is a threat even without nuclear weapons. Which is why our ships were in that region - to provoke. See paragraph 5.

IAEA chief ElBaradei in Iran to seek nuclear answers

Bush meets Israeli minister banned from US over spy case Eitan, a member of Israel's security cabinet, was the old Mossad handler for Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew sentenced to life in prison for spying on Israel.

Differing opinions fail to dent Israel's love affair with Bush While saying that he believed that diplomatic means ? including tightening economic sanctions ? would bring a solution, Mr Bush reassured Mr Olmert last night that the US regarded Iran as a threat, and that it would continue to be a threat if the international community did not come together to prevent it from developing the know-how to build a nuclear weapon

'All options on table' to stop nuclear Iran: Israel "In assessing the threat from Iran we see in sync and think similarly. Both America and Israel understand the severity of the threat, the implication of the threat if it grows," Israel's US Ambassador Sallai Meridor said.

MIDDLE EAST DIARY: Sudan to take in stranded Palestinians "We die a thousand times a day," Wafaa Mazhar, 37, a mother of five, told Miret by phone. "We Palestinians are leading miserable lives. We're helpless, and no one feels our pain."

Lebanon arrests top member of Qaeda-inspired group A top member of an extremist Islamist group that waged a 15-week battle against the Lebanese army last year was arrested on Thursday in the northern city of Tripoli, a military official said.

Chief rabbi thanks Bush for 'war against Iraq' "I want to thank you for your support of Israel and in particular for waging a war against Iraq," Metzger told Bush, according to the chief rabbi's spokesman.

Beirut to complain to UN after Israel 'kidnaps' shepherd Lebanon is to complain to the UN Security Council, accusing Israel of kidnapping a shepherd from inside Lebanese territory, the prime minister's office said on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Headlines for 01-09-08

Bush warns Iran of consequences of any new naval crisis "The national security adviser was making it abundantly clear that all options are on the table to protect our assets," Bush said, with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at his side. You have to wonder about the timing of this incident with Bush being in the region to shore up support for Israel's coveted attack on Iran.

Iran, IAEA close new chapter in nuclear talks: report Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog have wrapped up the latest chapter in ongoing talks aimed at resolving ambiguities over the contested Iranian nuclear programme, the ISNA news agency reported Wednesday.

US blacklists Iranian commander, Syrian-based TV station "Iran and Syria are fueling violence and destruction in Iraq. Iran trains, funds, and provides weapons to violent Shia extremist groups, while Syria provides safe-haven to Sunni insurgents and financiers," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Is this guy joking? The majority of the foreign fighters in Iraq are from SAUDI ARABIA, as has been reported by major agencies a few times now.

Saudi defends Iran links ahead of Bush visit Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it was determined to maintain good relations with Iran despite U.S. President George W. Bush's efforts to rally Gulf Arab allies to contain the Islamic Republic.

'A Heartbeat Away' From War ** We are expected to believe that five minuscule speedboats "menaced" the USS Hopper, a destroyer armed with missiles; the cruiser USS Port Royal; and the USS Ingraham, a frigate. That's rather like five gnats "menacing" a trio of elephants. My sentiments exactly (per yesterday's news batch).

Israel steps up warnings to Bush on Iran Some here have said the NIE has put Israel on the defensive, making it feel isolated in its assessment of the threat. That could prompt Israel to act unilaterally against Iran, analysts say, a move that would certainly be resisted by Washington. Still, Mr. Bush has indicated that Iran is a key issue as he visits the region.

Bush slams Iran at start of Mideast, Gulf tour Three days after Iranian speedboats threatened a U.S. Navy convoy in the Strait of Hormuz, Bush joined Israeli leaders in issuing a stern warning to the Middle East nation. " Iran was a threat, Iran is a threat and Iran will be a threat if the international community does not come together and prevent that nation from the development of the know-how to build a nuclear weapon," .......The president's Iran stance buoyed Israeli leaders

Struggling in the U.S., some Iraqi refugees now want to go back To make the transition, many depend on locals like Gabi Jahshan, a Lansing grocer and a Palestinian refugee who's been in the US for over 30 years. Now, he steps in to help new arrivals find their lost luggage or look for jobs.

Palestinians blamed for bombing that injured Irish peacekeepers Initial investigations by officers from the UN indicated that the blast was caused by a remote controlled roadside bomb.

Israeli officer pleads guilty to espionage charges An Israeli army psychiatrist was convicted on Wednesday of trying to sell military secrets to Iran, Russia and Islamist group Hamas, a court official said.

Israel planned 1991 strike on NKorea-Syria ship: report Israel had planned to destroy the vessel and missiles, which with a range of 500 kilometers (300 miles) would put the Jewish state at risk.

Syrian FM says Damascus ready for negotiations "We are by no means seeking a military solution against Israel. We are ready for negotiations with Israel, to realize the peace," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in an interview with al-Arabiya television ahead of US President George W. Bush's visit to the region this week.

Bush expedites Saudi smart bomb deal Israel has expressed concern over inclusion in the deal of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMS), commonly referred to as "smart bombs." Nevertheless, it has not actively fought the sale.