Monday, March 31, 2008

Headlines for 03-30-08

03-30-08 - CIA chief says Iran has nuclear weapons drive CIA chief Michael Hayden expressed his personal belief Sunday that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but also stood by the agency's assessment that the program was suspended in 2003.

03-30-08 - Iran urges end to Iraq fighting, says helps US Iran called on Saturday for an end to fighting between Iraqi government forces and Shi'ite Muslim militants to remove any "pretext" for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq.

03-30-08 - Syria says ready in case of US military action Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Sunday that Damascus was prepared for all scenarios in its worsening relationship with Washington, including the use of US military force.

03-30-08 - No Lebanon breakthrough for Arabs An annual summit of the Arab League has ended in Syria's capital Damascus with a call for an end to the political crisis in Lebanon.

03-30-08 - The Mystery of American Foreign Policy Parry's review of the long-standing ties between the Israelis and the Iranians is quite educational, and it explains a lot about what is happening in Iraq today ? and, perhaps, what will happen tomorrow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Headlines for 03-29-08

Iraqi troops find cache of Iranian-made rockets, other weapons south of Baghdad

Saudi Shura council to discuss plan for sudden radioactive hazards The Saudi Shura council will secretly discuss national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts? warnings of possible attacks on Iran?s Bushehr nuclear reactors, media reports said Saturday.

Tenet's War Why would the CIA do such a thing? Perhaps so "Slam-dunk" Tenet could at some future time sit there smugly behind some future Secretary of State, secure in the knowledge that a future Iran Survey Group would quickly find "evidence" in Iran?s files of nuclear-weapon collaboration with Russia?

Whatever Happened to the IRA? What about Israel? How did wiping it off the map fit in with Hizballah's master plan to become a legitimate political, social and economic force in the Middle East? "There's one thing you must understand: Hizballah will never be more Palestinian than the Palestinians." Elaborating, he said that Hizballah, as well as Iran, will accept whatever settlement the Palestinians will accept, including the existence of Israel.

Syria's Assad denies meddling in Lebanon at boycotted summit

Syria, Saudi Arabia conciliatory on Lebanon

Headlines for 03-28-08

5 ex-secretaries of state: Close Guantanamo, open Iran dialogue

Brown to discuss Iraq, Iran in White House visit British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will visit Washington next month for talks with President George W. Bush on a range of security issues including Iraq and Iran, the White House said on Friday.

The March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran

Clinton says would consider limited talks with Hamas

Retired general: ?On the fly? response strategy must change The United States is going to be in the Middle East for a long time, retired Army Gen. John P. Abizaid said Thursday.

Israel seeking peace talks with Syria: minister An Israeli minister said on Friday that the Jewish state was trying to revive peace talks with Syria and that the price of a deal was the occupied Golan Heights.

Lebanon refugees see long wait to raise camp from ashes One man was able to recover only a family photo album. Another desperately sought the key to his home in what was once Palestine. And one woman sifted for hours through the rubble but, like most others, could not salvage anything. They are among thousands of families allowed to return to the old part of the devastated Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon to recover what belongings they can before the bulldozers move in.

Syria brushes off low summit turnout amid Arab rift fears Jordan on Friday became the latest US ally to announce it would send a low-level delegation to the Damascus summit, following the example of Saudi Arabia and Egypt which blame Syria for the political crisis crippling Lebanon.

UN says 'network' killed Hariri

Jitters over new Israel-Hezbollah war Adding to the jitters, U.S. warships recently deployed off Lebanon and Saudi Arabia advised its citizens to leave Lebanon.

Egypt upset at US over seaman shooting

NPR News: National Pentagon Radio?

Headlines for 03-27-08

U.S. fails to close gaps with Russia on shield

Pentagon criticised over contract for company run by 22-year-old The Pentagon has suspended dealings with its main supplier of munitions to the Afghan government after some cartridges delivered from China and various former eastern bloc countries were found to be more than 40 years old.

Oil hits $108 on pipeline blast

Israel: Hezbollah increases rocket range Israel says Hezbollah's Iranian and Syrian patrons have steadily provided the group with large amounts of rockets since then, many of them capable of hitting central Israel. However, it has not revealed the evidence for its claims Sounds like somebody is itching to start a war.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Headlines for 03-26-08

Iran threatens legal action over U.N. sanctions

US says Iran could do more to help end Iraq unrest

McCain: Israel would suffer in Iraq pullout A premature withdrawal from Iraq would endanger Israel, John McCain said.......Top Israeli officials have also said that a hasty U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would endanger Israel.
Note the source.

Cheney Contradicts Facts and Findings Concerning Iran?s Nuclear Goals The vice president?s statement was the second time in a week that a White House official has made an allegation regarding Iran?s nuclear program and its intentions that did not square with publicly known facts. Cheney is making the case for war.

Operation Cassandra Adm. Fallon's (forced?) resignation was the last warning we are likely to get of an attack on Iran. It does not mean an attack is certain, but the U.S. could not attack Iran so long as he was the Centcom commander. That obstacle is now gone.

U.S. Navy secretary visits Israel Dr. Donald C. Winter came to Israel this week as a guest of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He visited Israeli naval bases and Yad Vashem, and held high-level strategic discussions. This comes after a recent visit by U.S. Air Force chief. Odd.

Oil prices gain on weaker dollar Oil prices recovered on Tuesday after dipping below $100 a barrel, helped by a weaker dollar.

US admits to Suez canal killing US officials have said an Egyptian was killed when a ship contracted to the US navy fired warning shots at approaching boats in the Suez Canal on Monday.

Frontline: Too Timid, Too Little, Too Late At one point, however, the garrulous former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage did allude to one of the largest elephants in the living room-Israel?s far-right Likudniks-and their close alliance with the so-called neo-conservatives running our policy toward the Middle East. But Armitage did so only tangentially, referring to the welcome (if totally unrealistic) promise by Ahmed Chalabi that, upon being put in power in Baghdad, he would recognize Israel. Not surprisingly, the interviewer did not pick up on that comment; indeed, I?m surprised the remark avoided the cutting room floor.

U.S., Egypt disagree over Suez shooting, fueling suspicion "One small boat continued to approach the ship and received two sets of warning shots 20 to 30 yards in front of the bow," reads the statement. "All shots were accounted for as they entered the water."

Why Ron Paul Scares the GOP

Israel probes efforts to free spy in US jail State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, who leads the probe, has scheduled meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his predecessors, Ehud Barak -- now defence minister -- and Benjamin Netanyahu.

A Devastated Town Recovers, In A Way Mohanna's house was bombed by Israel during the 34-day conflict in 2006, as were houses of most residents of Siddiqine -- an impoverished village of 6,000, about 10km inland from the coastal town Tyre. Siddiqine resembled a flattened moonscape in the bitterly cold and damp winter that followed, with more than 700 homes out of a total 1050 hit, and half that number completely destroyed.

Egypt to snub Syria's Arab summit

Israel denies knowledge of imminent Pollard release Eitan, who headed the secret Bureau of Scientific Relations that recruited and handled Pollard in the 1980s, said Monday that Pollard will be released soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Headlines for 03-25-08

The Iraq War Ledger by Rep. Ron Paul From the beginning, the march to war was paved with false assumptions and lies. Senior administration officials claimed repeatedly that Iraq was somehow responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They manipulated the fear of the American people after 9/11 to further a war agenda that they had been planning years before that attack. The mainstream media was complicit in this war propaganda.

Out of hiding: The engineer whose 'evidence' led to war in Iraq Although German intelligence officials had warned the CIA that Curveball's claims were unreliable, and UN inspectors had failed to corroborate them, the Bush administration promoted the existence of such mobile labs for months after the invasion

Neocon Valor Is an Act of Feith by Philip Giraldi Feith concedes no error on his part, ever. In fact, everyone else in the administration was wrong except for Doug and his two Defense Department bosses, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Not only were the "others" wrong, they stabbed both President George W. Bush and the Pentagon in the back.

Cheney Tells Israel He Will Counter 'Iran threat' US Vice President Dick Cheney speaking with Israeli president Shimon Peres on Sunday promised that Washington would do everything in its powers to counter Iran's 'nuclear threat against Israel'.

Russia-Egypt nuclear deal signed Russia is already building nuclear reactors in China, India and Iran. An Iranian plant at Bushehr is reported to be close to completion.

Iran's lethal uranium plans: US Cheney, however, did not mention on what he based his accusation. That's likely because it was Israel that fed him that load of bull on one of the two recent visits therein.

PM-Cheney meeting shrouded in mystery US Vice President Dick Cheney's second meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Monday morning, like their first meeting Saturday night, was shrouded in mystery, leading to speculation among diplomatic officials that the focus was on how to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Senator hails US ban on UK firm that sold to Iran

A Book Americans Must Read Before Time Runs Out by Michael Scheuer "[The Gallup data shows that] contrary to what the 'They Hate Our Freedom' thesis might predict, Muslims do not recommend or insist upon changes to Western culture or social norms as the path to better [Western-Muslim] relations. ? Rather they call on the West to show greater respect for Islam, and they emphasize policy-related issues [U.S. interventionism; unqualified support for Israel; and protection for authoritarian Arab regimes]" (159).

Lebanon not to attend Arab summit A government minister said parliament's repeated failure to elect a president had made it impossible for Lebanon to attend the meeting.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Headlines for 03-24-08

Five Years and Counting: Ten Unpleasant Truths About the War in Iraq The invasion of Iraq may be the greatest self-inflicted blunder in the history of U.S. foreign policy. The case for war rested on false information, dubious assumptions and mendacious analysis. Neoconservatives inside and outside the Bush administration persuaded the president, vice president, and the American people that Saddam was an imminent threat, that war would be easy and pay for itself, and that ousting him would bring far-reaching benefits to the region. They were wrong on all counts, and their responsibility for this catastrophe should not be forgotten. The neocons need to be brought to justice. We owe it to every single soldier (and their families) who has been killed or maimed in Iraq.

US deathtoll in Iraq hits 4,000

Iran 'behind Green Zone attack' Gen David Petraeus told the BBC he thought Tehran had trained, equipped and funded insurgents who fired the barrage of mortars and rockets With Fallon out of the way, the sh#t's really heating up now.

Oil touches $100 on Saudi remarks Saudi Arabia has been under pressure from the US to help ease soaring oil prices.

Hagel Says Iraq Differences May Prevent McCain Endorsement

How German Intelligence Helped Justify the US Invasion of Iraq

US official says Cheney unlikely to have pressured Saudi over oil A senior US official suggested on Monday that Vice President Dick Cheney did not pressure Saudi Arabia to increase oil production during his visit to the kingdom last week.

Cheney talks Iran in Israel; U.S. strike seen as remote it was the Iranian dilemma that topped the agenda in two meetings Cheney held with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and one with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.......if the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate published last December suggested a chasm between Israeli and American assessments, Israeli officials say the views of both sides now are almost identical......Israel also figures that the chances of the Bush administration ordering a pre-emptive military strike against Iran are virtually zero. The only such scenario the Israelis envision is if the Democratic presidential candidates appear to be far ahead of their Republican rival and Bush senses a "now or never" strike option.......the Israelis are hoping that the hard-line Cheney will push the envelope -- a role he reportedly played vis-a-vis the U.S. invasion of Iraq. One official said Cheney is seen as "a significant player" who could influence "serious issues that cannot wait."
This from the Jewish Telegraph Agency (registration is free). Israel is still trying hard to get us to attack Iran for them (like we did Iraq).

Netanyahu: If we leave Jerusalem, Iran and Hamas will take control Iran is to blame for all ills in the world, according to Israel and the neocons.

'No option' ruled out over Iran nukes

Saddam's Files They show terror plots, but raise new questions about some U.S. claims.

Barak to Cheney: We must keep all options open vis a vie Iran Who's 'we'?

Cheney hits out at Iran, Syria as he wraps up Mideast peace push Iran and Syria "are doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process," Cheney told reporters in Jerusalem as he wrapped up a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories before heading to Turkey.

More Orwellian BS from the king of the neocons, who do everything THEY can to torpedo the 'peace process'.

Cheney says Syria and Iran are sabotaging talks Cheney, who for the second time in two days met the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, in Jerusalem, was on a visit intended to encourage the faltering peace talks, which, four months since they were launched, have achieved little. "It is clearly a difficult situation, in part, because I think it's true, there's evidence, that Hamas is supported by Iran and Syria and that they're doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process," Cheney told reporters after the meeting.

For road to peace, Palestinians get very different maps from U.S., Russia Mr. Cheney did not mention Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, an end to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and support for Palestinian reconciliation talks under way in Yemen.'Painful concessions' for Mideast peace: Cheney

Commitment to Israel 'enduring and unshakable' Cheney says

However, all of those were points that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointedly did make.

US vice president meets Turkish leaders amid protests

US, Bahrain sign deal on nuclear energy cooperation: US The United States and Bahrain signed a deal Monday on peaceful nuclear energy cooperation, holding it up as a model for the Middle East that contrasts with Iran's disputed atomic program.

Many Arabs fear McCain would continue Bush policy During a Middle East tour this month, McCain's statements on Israel also sounded alarm bells for Arabs who have long criticized Washington for not exercising enough pressure on the Jewish state to withdraw from occupied Arab land.

US vessel 'shoots at Suez boat'

Barak: We must take Hezbollah's latest threats seriously

Hezbollah said it will continue pursuing mediated talks with Israel on a possible prisoner swap.

Soldier suspected as Hezbollah spy An Israeli soldier is suspected of supplying classified information to Hezbollah in exchange for drugs.

Report: Iranian, Syrian missiles to pound Israel in next war Someone's gearing up for something.

Israel passes on U.S.-produced anti-rocket laser

Saudi king to boycott Arab summit The Saudis had already indicated that King Abdullah might not attend because of a rift with Syria over the current political crisis in Lebanon.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Headlines for 03-23-08

12 U.S. soldiers electrocuted in Iraq; House member investigating The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and costs, alleges that KBR allowed U.S. troops to continue using electrical systems "which KBR knew to be dangerous and knew had caused prior instances of electrocution."

Gas prices hit record $3.26, diesel at $4.06

Excess cash, peg to weak dollar fuel Gulf inflation Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been enjoying a windfall of oil revenues on the back of record crude prices. How nice.

Iranian forces continue to shell "Kurdish rebels" in northern Iraq Iranian artillery continued to shell villages in northern Iraq where Iranian Kurdish rebels are believed to be operating, while inhabitants fled from eight villages in order to escape the attacks, media reports said Saturday.

Zawahri urges anti-Israel attacks over Gaza - Web

Treasury cautions on Iran central bank The U.S. Treasury included Iran's central bank in a cautionary advisory to financial institutions. This serves as another reminder that the Israeli lobby wields disproportionate influence over this government.

Indyk was Hussein's target The Pentagon said the paper provides ?strong evidence? of the links between Saddam?s regime and global terrorism. The trouble is, Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda (as alleged by the neocons who used this propaganda to get us to go to war with Iraq). These little nuggets put forth in this recent report of late still do not prove the aforementioned, and thus do not justify the American attack on Iraq.

Peres: No Golan handover "Israel will never agree to return the Golan Heights, only to get, in return, Iranian-Syrian control over Lebanon," the Israeli president was quoted as telling visiting U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday.

Ha'aretz: Evil is not neutral Two of the most prominent personages today in the global arena, who visited Israel last week, spoke clearly and lucidly against the Iranian danger. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential frontrunner, agree that the Islamic Republic in Tehran is a genuine threat to the security of Israel, the Middle East and even beyond. ....The international community is obligated to work to stop Iran before it causes a major conflagration.

Hezbollah calls for Beirut rally Hezbollah is to hold a rally in Beirut to mark the end of the 40-day mourning period for its assassinated commander Imad Mughniyeh.

Hezbollah deputy chief: We have proof Israel killed Mughniyah

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Headlines for 03-22-08

A look at lives lost as U.S. deaths in Iraq near 4,000

Pentagon Urges Delay in U.S. Troop Reductions in Iraq

Iran slams Sarkozy over missile warning

U.S. Pushed Allies on Iraq, Diplomat Writes In the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration threatened trade reprisals against friendly countries who withheld their support, spied on its allies, and pressed for the recall of U.N. envoys that resisted U.S. pressure to endorse the war, according to an upcoming book by a top Chilean diplomat.

Bomb, bomb Iran? The danger of a McCain presidency is not only that he would prolong our presence in Iraq but that he would seek to fulfill neoconservative dreams of a war expanded from Iraq into Iran and Syria, leading to a regional conflagration. With his campaign already sowing the arguments for a wider conflict, we will not be able to say we weren't warned.

Cheney backs Israel over security Mr Cheney said the US would never put any pressure on Israel over issues he said would threaten its security.....Mr Olmert said that there were "many items on the common agenda" of the US and Israel including Iran and carrying on peace negotiations with Palestinians. And the settlements Israel is constantly building and expanding in Palestinian territory, do they have anything to do with Israeli 'security'? So, why hasn't the US -aside from Bush the first's attempt in the early 90s - pressured Israel on THAT matter? Furthermore, Iran does not threaten the American national interest.

Scott Ritter: Reflections

McCain's Gaffes Reflect Bush's Iran-al-Qaeda Myth

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Headlines for 03-21-08

Pentagon will not send Adm. Fallon to Congress on Iraq "I know there have been requests in fact from members of Congress to have Admiral Fallon testify with Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker and I can tell you Admiral Fallon will not be testifying,"

Treasury warns of deception by Iran

Dick Cheney tour sparks Iran war rumours

Suicides Seen Among Vets Treated By VA CBS News has obtained never-before seen patient data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, detailing the growing number of suicide attempts among vets recently treated by the VA.

Cheney seeks Saudi oil increase

Signs of Iran's Hand in Iraq In the face of these U.S. assertions, the Iraqi government publicly says it has no evidence of an Iranian training program for Iraqi militants. TIME now pimping for Cheney and the neocons.

'I Feel Badly About Just Quitting' I will keep campaigning for as long as people are supporting me and the money is there and that's what they want. I feel badly about just quitting. We have 30,000 voters on our list in Pennsylvania, and if I just quit tomorrow--and people can make a case for that: how long should I do this?--I would feel badly. I would feel as though I had let them down. So for me, it's indefinite.

Libertarians seek Barr candidacy "My gut sense is that Bob Barr can get some votes as a consistent libertarian who opposed the Patriot Act, budget deficits and gun control."

Saudi king meets U.S. vice president for talks on Mideast issues

US to help Egypt prevent smuggling on Gaza border US helping Egypt build border fence on Gaza frontier: American officials have agreed to a $23 million aid package from which most will go towards purchasing technology to prevent the fence from being perforated and for locating underground smuggling conduits, according to information received in the Israeli political circuit. From details that were made known to Ynet, the US intends to send teams from the US Army Corps of Engineers to the Egyptian side of the Gaza-Egypt border in the near future. Theses teams will assist Egyptian forces deployed along the frontier pinpoint the locations of smuggling tunnels west of the border in the Rafah area. The United States military, rather than defend OUR borders, will instead be defending those of ISRAEL.

Bush erroneously says Iran announced desire for nuclear weapons Asked if Iran could exploit Bush's inaccurate comment for political purposes, Johndroe replied: "I'm not concerned about that. If they want to spin it a certain way, they can do it any way they want. They have still called for Israel to be wiped off the map and are in violation of three U.N. Security Council resolutions." And strangely, Israel has in fact wiped Palestine off the map, and is in violation of dozens of UN resolutions (and has been for years). No action is on the table to deal with Israel.

McCain praises France's Sarkozy over Iran sanctions

Peres to Lavrov: We don't believe Syria President Peres tells Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov that Israel distrusts Syrian peace overtures; Earlier, Lavrov meets with Assad, says Moscow peace conference aims to restart Israel-Syria talks

Israel central bank to buy dollars over two years Bin Laden is laughing his balls off somewhere in a cave in Pakistan at the wholesale bankruptcy of the United States, in large part due to the wars the neocons, Israel's primo lobbyists, snookered us into fighting.

Any new war with Israel 'will be much more violent' Soon after the American destroyer USS Cole was deployed off Lebanon's shore in late February 28 to "preserve political stability," a group of young men gathered in the Southern agricultural town of Qana to voice their fears. "Everyone feels there is a war coming," said university student Salman Ismael, 22, "especially after the killing of [senior Hizbullah commander] Imad Mughniyeh and what is happening in Gaza. And now US ships come to the waters of Lebanon. Israel wants to improve her army in the Middle East after its defeat in 2006. She wants the Arabs to be scared of her."

Germany, Israel plan int'l summit on Iran A senior source said that Olmert had suggested holding an international conference on Iran. The two leaders decided to advance the initiative and will try to enlist other states to back it, including the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China, as well as other European states and Arab countries that are threatened by Iran's nuclear program. Israel hopes that states from the moderate Sunni bloc in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and others would take part in the conference.

Iran puts European security 'at stake:' Sarkozy

Government will appeal Rosen-Weissman The notification of an appeal came as the sides completed the arduous process of selecting what classified information may be introduced at the trial. and the appeal may be based on prosecution objections to the breadth of information ultimately approved for use.

Israel, Pentagon talk arms sales Buhris also asked about the latest model F-22 stealth jet, the Jerusalem Post reported, concerned that it might face a confrontation with Iran before the JSF is ready. Congress has banned selling the F-22 abroad.

SCHANSBERG: The strategic logic of suicide terrorism Since many suicide attacks have been done by Muslims, it's easy to assume that ST is a "Muslim fundamentalist" thing. But Pape finds that this characteristic is involved in only about half of the cases. The leading instigators of ST - nearly one-fourth of the cases - are the Tamil Tigers, a secular group in Sri Lanka. Even among Muslims who engage in ST, about one-third of them are secular.....acts of ST have always been connected to a perception that the stronger power is occupying the weaker party's territory. (This is the weaker party's perception - regardless of the stronger party?s motive.) ST then is primarily a nationalistic response to a foreign power's control over its land.

Germany: The Key to Iran Threat?

Krauthammer, Tucker Carlson, Rev Wright & Other Racial Paranoids It's no secret to any of my readers that I despise Charles Krauthammer. I never liked his writing. He is a neocon. He's vicious (he ridiculed Christopher Reeve for giving seriously disabled people "false hope). And his views of the Israeli-Palestinian question are repulsive. He hates the Palestinians and would fight to the last Israeli to defeat them. I disagree with Rosenberg. Wright was right on most of what he said.

Iranian nuclear plan must be stopped, Barak tells Lavrov

Friday, March 21, 2008

Headlines for 03-20-08

Architect of War(s) The containment and eventual emasculation of Iran has always been the Administration's principal post-Iraq objective in the Persian Gulf, and now that Cheney can claim a "successful" outcome to its first war in the region, it can begin laying groundwork for the next. The chief obstacle standing in the way of war against Iran has been the opposition of senior US military officers, who fear that another major military operation would further burden America's already overstretched combat forces.

Russia obtained US guarantees on missile shield: Lavrov The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, says the United States has given Moscow guarantees that its proposed anti-missile shield "will not be directed" against Russia

At least 200 arrested in US anti-war protests

Beware an attack on Iran

Israel, U.S. commanders test 'extreme' scenarios in joint drill At the completion of the exercise, both the Israeli and the U.S. sides announced that extreme scenarios were tested that challenged the participating armies to assist each other. The scenarios were set in the present and based on events of the past several years or events that are expected to occur in the near future.

Bush picks new homeland security adviser From the White House, Ken Wainstein will coordinate efforts "to ensure that we continue to make progress on combating terrorism, securing our borders and strengthening our emergency preparedness," Bush said in a statement

US economist calls financial crisis worst since 1930s

World trade decelerates almost to a standstill

Why Did the US Invade Iraq? According to a 1996 paper drafted by prominent hard-line neoconservatives ? including some, like Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, who would later serve in senior posts in Cheney's office and the Pentagon in the run-up to the invasion ? ousting Hussein and installing a pro-Western leader was the key to destabilizing Israel's Arab enemies and/or bending them to its will. This would permit the Jewish state not only to escape the Oslo peace process, but also to secure as much of the occupied Palestinian (and Syrian) territories as it wished. Indeed, getting rid of Hussein and occupying Iraq would not only tighten Israel's hold on Arab territories, in this view; it could also threaten the survival of the Arab and Islamic worlds' most formidable weapon against Israel ? OPEC ? by flooding the world market with Iraqi oil and forcing the commodity's price down to historic lows.

Cheney trip not aimed at preparing Iran strike US Vice President Dick Cheney?s nine-day trip to the Middle East and Turkey does not aim to set the stage for a US military strike on Iran, a senior aide said on Thursday......."The vice president talked about the concerns we have about the full range of their activities," said the official, underlining what the United States sees as "an increase in the Iranian relationship with Hamas." Riiiight. And even if we believe that there is such an "an increase in the Iranian relationship with Hamas", what the hell does that have to do with the AMERICAN national interest?

Annan warns against conflict with Iran

Bin Laden says free Gaza with "iron and fire" "My speech is about the Gaza siege and the way to retrieve it and the rest of Palestine from the hands of the Zionist enemy," the Saudi-born militant said. "Our enemies did not take it by negotiations and dialogue but with fire and iron. And this is the way to get it back."

Russian FM warns military action on Iran 'disastrous' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday warned that any military means to solve Iran's controversial nuclear programme would have a "disastrous" effect.

Court bans Libby from practicing law

Sen. Chuck Hagel Calls for Independent Leadership, Suggests New Party in Book U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel writes in a new book that the United States needs independent leadership and possibly another political party, while suggesting the war in Iraq might be remembered as one of the five biggest blunders in history.

The year of living dangerously Avi Steindel is glad to be back in Pittsburgh after spending a year as an Israeli army sharpshooter Is there something wrong with serving in THIS nation's military?

Russian FM meets Syria's Assad

'Bin Laden' in Palestinian call "It can be said with a high degree of confidence that it is in fact the voice of Osama Bin Laden," a CIA official told Reuters news agency.

McCain: A History of Being Wrong About Al Qaeda, Iraq and Iran

US launches legal review of Swiss-Iran gas deal Here's why. And again.

McCain in Holy Land; Evangelicals satisfied Although many American Jews do not view McCain's ties with Hagee favorably, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) decided to allow him to speak at its recent annual convention.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Headlines for 03-19-08

Bush defends Iraq war as worth it; Democrats disagree Unreal.

Grannies and pro-war activists clash in Times Square "You want a piece of granny?" Frederick Olbrey, 70, yelled at about half a dozen war supporters gathered across the way as the grandmothers sang "God Bless America."

Bush hails 'undeniable successes' of war With little eloquence and much rhetorical swagger, President George Bush used the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq to declare that the US was still headed for victory.

Iraq war shows limits of US power Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the US armed forces almost to breaking point. America after the invasion of Iraq is no longer the superpower it was before. The neoconservatives and those in the Bush administration responsible for deceiving the American people into backing an attack on a nation that had not attacked us, and had nothing to do with 9/11 need to be brought to justice. We owe it to the survivors and families of the soldiers who have been maimed or killed therein.

VP: Iran May Have Resumed Weapon Program Notice he is saying this as he's touring the Middle East (to gain/keep support from Arab allies for a forthcoming US attack on Iran).

Blix slams Iraq war 'tragedy' In the sub-headline to the comment piece, Mr Blix, who headed the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, wrote that responsibility for the war "must lie with those who ignored the facts five years ago".

Cheney meets with Oman's sultan Oman shares with Iran the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic marine passage for some 30 percent of the world's oil supply.

Poll: Most Americans Say War Not Worth It 64 Percent Say Results Of War Not Worth American Lives Lost

No US proposals given on missile defence: Russia The United States has failed to give Russia written proposals intended to ease concerns about Washington's missile defence plans, Russian news agencies say.

IRAQ: Palestinian refugees renew appeal for protection

John McCain: Israel's enemies threaten us all McCain,you're invited to stay in Israel, whom you'd be better apt to serve. Americans need leaders who aren't going to take us into (more) wars with nations that don't threaten the AMERICAN national interest. Thanks.

McCain mistaken on Iran and al-Qaida McCain declined to comment on whether he could back an eventual decision to strike Iran if Tehran doesn't cease its nuclear activities. In response to a question about possible U.S. strikes against Tehran, McCain only said: "At the end of the day, we cannot afford having a nuclear-armed Iran."

Do not even compare Israel to America A flashback to a post from one of my old blogs.

Is the Pentagon Policy Shop Funding Likudist Fronts? Another Prague attendee who was identified on the Participants List as PF?s ?director? was Steven Schneier. As I pointed out last June, Schneier was identified by a 1999 Jewish Week investigative article entitled ?Likud?s Tangled Charity Web? as a key U.S. fund-raiser for and top adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. His job was apparently to funnel campaign contributions from Likud?s supporters in the U.S....... you may ask, why is the Pentagon policy office awarding a no-bid contract to an organization whose institutional relationships and affiliations appear so opposed to official U.S. policy and which is so utterly lacking in transparency? And how is that such clearly pro-Likud individuals as Cross and Gedmin (not to mention the new Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, James Glassman who, like Gedmin, is an AEI alumnus) are put in charge of U.S. public-diplomacy efforts in Europe, let alone the Middle East? How does this happen?

U.S. Air Force chief visits Israel During his four-day trip, Moseley met with the top Israeli brass as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

In Israel visit, McCain shows his pro-Israel credentials Sounding a note of commonality and understanding with his Israeli hosts, McCain said that Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah were threats not only to Israel, but to America as well.

Russian FM holds Mideast talks in Syria

Swiss-Iranian gas deal roils Israel "Switzerland and the entire international community are aware of the danger posed by Iran," the statement said. "Israel expects Switzerland to join the international effort in this matter."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Headlines for 03-18-08

Cheney again links Iraq invasion to 9/11 attacks as bombing victims are buried This month, an exhaustive Pentagon-sponsored review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents captured during the 2003 U.S. invasion found no evidence that Saddam's regime had any operational links with the al Qaida terrorist network.

Afghanistan air raid 'kills civilians'

After Iraq, Cheney in Oman for Iran-focused talks

Iraq murder charge for US marine A US marine has been charged with murdering an unarmed detainee in Iraq, the US military said.

Cheney vows to finish job in Iraq Speaking to US troops at Balad air base north of Baghdad, Mr Cheney said the US had "no intention of abandoning our friends or allowing this country of 170,000 sq km to become a staging ground for further attacks against Americans". They didn't attack us in the first place, moron!

US Treasury warns economy faces decline Hey I know: let's attack Iran!

McCain says U.S. pullout from Iraq would boost Iran

Cheney to Troops: Mideast Needs Freedom Rallying troops after an overnight stay at an air base, Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday that as long as freedom is suppressed in the Mideast, the region will remain a place of "stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export." The supreme irony of that statement being that because of our support of Israel (which isn't going to change any time soon), Israel has been allowed to deny the Palestinians freedom for decades. Cheney's hypocrisy is not lost on the world. The world laughs their collective asses off at the neocon notion of 'freedom' in the Middle East.

No missile agreement for Russia, US despite a high-level meeting between the two countries, the American missile shield plan remains a point of tension.

Situation of Palestinians on Iraq-Syria border continues to deteriorate The situation of more than 2,700 Palestinians who have been stranded and are living in inhumane conditions in two border camps at the Iraq-Syrian border continues to deteriorate

Ex-diplomat: Syria talks could resume soon after U.S. elections "Damascus will only consider discussing such issues as a way to reducing its international isolation and that means getting American concessions," Liel said. "You need the Americans, and the Americans say we're not coming," he added. "Because the Syrians want the Americans in the room, this, in practice, prevents talks."

McCain rep to Jews: Christian right a 'serious problem' And Eagleburger believes that those people who might want to "cut and run" from Iraq now are endangering Israel. If you?re worried about Israel, he said, "just think" about the consequences of leaving Iraq, essentially making Iran stronger. As I predicted many times in the past, in this election Israel might find itself in the middle of the American internal debate over the Middle East. The McCain camp is definitely going to use Israel as a way of convincing people that leaving Iraq prematurely is going to have grave results. We went in to Iraq - and we will remain in Iraq - for the security of ISRAEL. Note the source.

Intelligence experts called to testify for ex-AIPAC duo

Jordan's king meets McCain, stresses "effective" US Mideast role Also attending the meeting with the king were Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

Israelis look ahead to post-Bush White House "I think Bush gave us a sense of security during very difficult times. On the Iraqi issue he turned out to be wrong, but under the circumstances I think he was the best man for the job and was good for Israel,"....."The issue is not what the candidates think about Israel. The issue is what the candidate thinks about a nuclear Iran, about Iraq, terrorism and radical Islamism," In other words, will America continue to do Israel's bidding in the Middle East (and beyond)?

McCain warns of increasing Iranian influence Closing a week-long congressional delegation to the region that included a time in Iraq, McCain expressed concern over a large cache of explosives found in Iraq and alluded that they may have been sent from Iran.

Switzerland rejects US, Jewish criticism of Iranian gas deal Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Tuesday brushed aside US and Jewish criticism of a multibillion-dollar gas deal she helped clinch with Iran, saying the Alpine republic does not need permission from the United States to advance its strategic interests....."Switzerland is an independent country that has its own strategic interests to defend," Calmy-Rey told reporters.
Ahh, the bitter irony in such a statement.

The Circus Comes to Town Even more importantly, Democrats here must use these weeks to press Clinton and Obama on Iran and its drive for nuclear weapons. There is simply no other issue on which so many lives will hang during the next four years as this one. We know that both favor diplomacy (as does Republican candidate Sen. John McCain and the State of Israel) to persuade the Iranians to drop their push for nukes. But if, as seems likely, Tehran gets the bomb during the next administration, we must know if these leaders are afraid to do whatever it takes, including pre-emptive strikes, to see to it that the mullahs and their genocidal frontman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad don't have the power to unleash mass murder on Israel or any other country. Note the source. These Israel-supporters want to ask of the candidates for the AMERICAN presidency? will you attack Iran for Israel?

McCain visits Israel 'worried' about Iran, Hamas

McCain cites Iran's nuclear threat while in Israel US Republican presidential hopeful John McCain Tuesday expressed concern about Iran's possible nuclear armament during his two-day visit to Israel.

Israeli warship enters Lebanese waters: army An Israeli warship briefly entered Lebanese waters on Monday but was intercepted by an Italian ship operating as part of the UN peacekeeping force, the army said on Tuesday. How long before the Israeli warships too open fire on UN peacekeepers?

Obama: Pastor's views on Israel 'distorted' Wright has blamed U.S. foreign policy and support for Israel for the anti-Americanism that culminated in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Wright was absolutely correct - his view backed by the findings of the 911 commission. But Americans aren't to know that - which is why the LA Times and Kentucky Herald Leader were the only ones to report on this story.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Headlines for 03-17-08

Iraq invasion was "successful endeavor": Cheney Wow.

US military growing weary in Iraq Korb said it will take at least a decade for the army to recover, assuming that the United States continues to draw down its "surge" force in Iraq, which currently number 162,000.

Oil prices in retreat from record Investors fear the financial crisis that forced the sale of US banking giant Bear Stearns bodes ill for the world economy and demand for oil.

Iran, Switzerland sign gas export deal Calmy-Rey said the deal was in full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions imposed against Iran for its failure to suspend uranium enrichment, a potential nuclear weapons-making process.

Cheney urges Arabs to counter Iran in Iraq

Perle, the New York Times, and Chutzpah In any event, one has to ask why the Times, which, after admitting that its pre-war coverage of Iraqi WMD was highly misleading and journalistically irresponsible, then added a pro-war propagandist like William Kristol to its stable of regular columnists, would not only offer a disproportionate amount of space to people whose judgment with respect to Iraq and Iraqis has proved so disastrously wrong, but also, in Perle?s specific case, offer it to someone with such a long-standing and proven record of contempt for the historical record. I guess it shows that chutzpah has its rewards.

McCain's mixed signals on foreign policy In 2002, when debate erupted over war with Iraq, McCain seemed to strengthen his identity as a neoconservative. He agreed with administration officials that Saddam Hussein was trying to restart his nuclear weapons program, and he urged the United States to give more money to controversial financier Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress and other Iraqi exiles. He predicted that regime change in Iraq could catalyze sweeping democratic change in the region. McCain has staked out a more hawkish position on Iran than the Bush administration, saying that "the only thing worse than military action against Iran is a nuclear-armed Iran."

Israel to hold massive emergency drill In the face of a possible escalation with Syria and Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, parts of the country will shut down next month in what security officials say will be the largest emergency exercise in Israel's history.

Web has unexpected effect on journalism Yeh, the media has found out that it actually has to print the truth - else they be called on their BS.

IRAQ: War Launched to Protect Israel - Bush Adviser Some of us have know that for years.

JINSA afraid US military might tell Israel what to do Who wears the pants here?

The U.S. Military's Assassination Problem In December 2006, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the case. While the court stopped short of an outright ban on Israel's assassinations program, it ruled that international law constrains the targeting of terror suspects. Currently, in order to justify a strike, Israel must have reliable information that the suspect is actively engaged in hostilities (such as planning a terrorist attack) and must rule out an arrest as being too risky. The court also requires that there be an independent investigation after each strike. The Israelis still continue to kill numerous civilians as a result of their missile strikes, despite this ruling.

Israel upgrades ties with Germany Political, cultural, economic and social relations will all be strengthened, said a joint statement. Good! Maybe Israel can get the Germans to attack Iran instead of getting us to do it. Or better yet, maybe they could finally learn how to GET ALONG WITH THEIR NEIGHBORS. It's only been 60 years! (Hint, stealing Palestinian land and bombing the babies isn't how you go about it).

Syrian FM: War with Israel possible Moallem went on to call Hizbullah a friend of Syria. "Hizbullah is not a proxy of Syria but a friend. Hizbullah is a part of Lebanon and the difficulties Lebanon faces."

Nations Working to Ban Cluster Bombs On the morning of an apparent cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants, 11-year-old Hadi Hattab played in the street for the first time since the monthlong war began in July 2006. Seconds later, an explosion of ball bearings shot into his skull from one of more than 4 million cluster bombs fired into southern Lebanon by the Israeli military. The boy died a few hours later.....Most of the bombs were fired by the Israeli military in the last three days of the conflict after a cease-fire had been declared.....Part of the problem is Israel?s refusal to cooperate with U.N. requests to supply information that would help mine removers find unexploded bombs.....
The Geneva Convention outlaws the use of weapons in civilian areas, and an initial report by the State Department in January found that Israel had broken a military sales agreement by using U.S.-made cluster bombs in civilian areas.

Support of Christian Zionists makes some Jews uneasy While Israel's birth in 1948 seemed to fulfill biblical prophecy, Christian Zionists believe an intact Israel must also include Judea and Samaria -- the predominantly Palestinian West Bank captured by Israel in 1967. As such, they have resisted returning any land to the Palestinians as part of peace deal. And a war with Iran, some say, could usher in Armageddon......"I don't have to agree with anybody 100 percent in order to welcome their support, as long as their support is not conditioned on my agreeing with them on everything or accepting them 100 percent," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. The comments made by Foxman = hypocrisy.

But did you know he's a Muslim? The night before speaking with Haaretz, Levine says he ate dinner with Israeli friends, one of whom asked him: "Would Obama be willing to use force to defend American interests?" .......Obama, Levine says, "fully understands that the greatest threat to Israel at this time is Iran, and that Iran's ability to obtain a nuclear weapon is completely unacceptable. He's made absolutely clear that his priorities with regard to Iran are to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, to stop Iran from continuing to support terror, and to stop Iran from threatening Israel's existence." I skipped a paragraph there in the excerpt, but go back to the article and see for yourself, and then ask yourself: how exactly did the question with respect to AMERICAN interests suddenly become equal to ISRAELI interests? Two different nations with different security threats. The AMERICAN national interest should COME FIRST to any American presidential candidate. And Iran does NOT threaten the AMERICAN national interest. Whose war is this?

Smearing Obama As for branding critics of Israel as anti-Semites, is Kessler really maintaining that this never happens? It's the smear-of-first-resort of the Israel-first lobby, as professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have recently discovered. Everyone knows that to traduce this terrain is to walk through a political minefield, which is why most American politicians scrupulously avoid it ? a testament, by the way, to the trenchancy of the Mearsheimer-Walt thesis that the Israel lobby wields an inordinate and ultimately unhealthy influence over the conduct of American foreign policy.

Of war and cancer The crucial Israeli-Palestinian conflict, still the greatest cause of anti-Americanism in the region and one that Bush's neoconservative brain trust thought it could resolve in Israel's favor by smashing Iraq and putting a gun to the head of Iran and Syria, is at one of its most intractable points......Second, both justice and our national security require that we act to make fundamental changes in our Middle East policies. This means balancing our support for Israel's security with an understanding of the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians, and a real commitment to ending the 40-year-old Israeli occupation of their lands

Israel test-fires missile to intercept Gaza rockets Iron Dome is part of a multi-layered defence system aimed at protecting Israel from short-range missiles and rockets fired by militants in Gaza or Lebanon, and longer-range missiles in the arsenals of regional foes Iran and Syria.

Greeted warmly in Israel, Merkel pressed on Iran ties Israelis asked that Germany, one of Iran's biggest trading partners, do more about stopping Iran's fundamentalist regime from acquiring nuclear weapons......Olmert planned to show Merkel the latest Israeli intelligence on Iran's nuclear program and urge the chancellor to clamp down further on trade with Iran, irrespective of U.N. sanctions decisions -- as the United States has done.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Headlines for 03-16-08

There WILL be a public inquiry into Iraq, says Brown And in the States? *crickets chirping*

Iran rejects nuclear talks with world powers Iran has reaffirmed its rejection of any talks with world powers over the nuclear crisis, saying it will only negotiate with the UN atomic watchdog

$3 trillion is just a part of the cost

The costs of the Iraq war: A fall in U.S. power, prestige and influence "Since 9/11, the United States has been exporting fear and anger rather than the more traditional values of hope and optimism. Suspicions of American power have run deep," Richard Armitage , deputy secretary of state under Bush, and Joseph Nye , a Pentagon official under President Clinton , wrote in a December report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies .

Iran says to attend Arab summit in Syria

Four FBI agents were wounded in Pakistan bombing

Partick Cockburn: A gross failure that ignored history and ended with a humiliating retreat Britain should immediately hold a full inquiry into the mistakes made before and during the war in Iraq out of pure self-interest.

Iraq key players, then and now

Hussein's chemical attack remembered by Kurds A reminder that this nation did nothing when Saddam used chemical weapons in 1988. Strange that, given that his alleged supply of WMDs was the main reason given to invade in 2003 - 15 years AFTER that attack.

Rice, Gates to talk missiles in Russia United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates are due in Moscow today for talks with their Russian counterparts. It sounds to me like members of the Bush administration - Cheney, Rice, etc - are still working that part of the world in the runup to action on Iran.

Seven out of 10 Iraqis want foreign forces to leave: poll Most Americans want the troops home. A win-win situation, wouldn't you say?

Iran high on Cheney's Mideast agenda No kidding? Whodda thunk it!

McCain pays surprise Iraq visit He is being accompanied on his trip by Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Lindsey Graham, close allies of Mr McCain and fellow supporters of a continued US troop presence in Iraq.

'Special relationship' dies under Gordon Brown "People ask: 'Well, what do we get for it?'" That issue has been particularly sensitive following criticism of Tony Blair for failing to win more favours from George W Bush in exchange for supporting the Iraq War.

'Speculation' causing oil price hike Oil markets are rising due to speculation and the US dollar's fall, not to a lack of petroleum production, OPEC President Chakib Khelil said, the official Algerian news agency APS reported. Riiight.

Top classifiers to testify for AIPAC staffers The two most recent U.S. classification czars will testify for the defense in a case against two former AIPAC staffers.

Report: Syria is seeking 'public' peace talks Syria has recently relayed a message to Israel conveying the country's interest in peace talks with Israel, but on the condition that talks be held openly and not under fire, Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported yesterday.

EU's Solana urges pressure on Syria over Lebanon

U.S.-Europe ties on hold apart from fire-fighting In a telling flash of European frustration with President George W. Bush, Solana said he hoped the next administration would be ready to work quickly with the EU on issues from Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace to dealing with Russia and fighting global warming.

Obama's denounced pastor quits campaign In a sermon delivered following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Wright said, ?We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Headlines for 03-15-08

High Wheat Prices Raise Grocery Costs

Neocons and their supporters have lost the argument

Iraq: Who won the war? Not the 90,000 Iraqi civilians or the 4,200 US and UK troops killed since 2003. The big winners are the money men who have made billions. Raymond Whitaker and Stephen Foley report

U.S. marched to Iraq with inaccurate intelligence Why is this headline news now? Seriously though, folks. This has been known now for a long time.

Thousands protest over Iraq, Afghanistan in London, Glasgow Thousands of protesters gathered in London and Glasgow Saturday ahead of the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

FBI Tried to Cover Patriot Act Abuses With Flawed, Retroactive Subpoenas, Audit Finds

Ron Paul on the Surveillance Bill I rise in opposition to this latest attempt to undermine our personal liberties and violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. This bill will allow the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens? communications. In effect, it means that any American may have his electronic communications monitored without a search warrant.

Hindsight is 20/20 - how israel duped US into fighting their wars

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Headlines for 03-14-08

US veterans urge soldiers to speak out against Iraq war At the "Winter Soldier" event in Washington, some 200 soldiers like Coppa and Mejia will give eye-witness testimonies about what they lived through during their deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and afterwards.

U.S. faces severe recession: NBER's Feldstein The United States is in a recession that could be "substantially more severe" than recent ones, National Bureau of Economic Research President Martin Feldstein said on Friday.

Gas, diesel rocket to new records

Weak dollar costs U.S. economy its world No. 1 spot We are in no position to continue to start wars in the Middle East. It's time to bring the boys home and start taking better care of the matters of THIS nation, because things aren't looking so hot.

Warriors welcome Fallon's resignation

Baghdad's Romeo and Juliet find love in Iraq war Neither the army nor the State Department keep the figures. Some 1,400 visas for Iraqi spouses have been issued since 2003, but that figure is largely made up of couples with double-nationality.

Why OPEC Won't Boost Oil Supplies Washington argues that a deep economic downturn in the United States - which consumes a quarter of the world's energy - could drive down global demand for oil, and wind up hurting oil-rich countries. But OPEC's 13 oil ministers - whose countries account for about 40% of the world's oil supply - have heard that argument from U.S. officials before, and have rejected it at three meetings in the past six months

State Dept: Criticism of Israel = Anti-Semitism? In the most recent edition of its annual "Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism" released Thursday, the State Department - and hence the U.S. government - moves ever more closely to a long-standing neo-conservative tenet: that criticism of Israel or Israeli policies often, if not always, equals anti-Semitism. The Israeli lobby has succeeded in getting our government to equate criticism of Israel with 'anti-Semitism'. It may only a matter of time now before it's illegal (in this country) to do so.

Fallon's Fall Is Bad News

House challenges Bush on surveillance Bush has spent weeks pressuring the House to grant retroactive legal immunity to the phone companies that took part in the program, initiated after the September 11 attacks.

John McCain told to dump spiritual guide in row over "war" on Islam In a chapter titled "Islam: The Deception of Allah," Mr Parsley speaks of Allah as a "demon spirit" and urges "war between Islam and Christian civilisation". There is no difference between violent Islamist extremists and moderate Muslims, he argues.

Islamic summit favours dialogue not clash with West

Israel vulnerable to cruise missiles -newspaper Israel's air defences could fend off long-range ballistic missiles of the kind deployed by Iran and Syria but the Jewish state remains vulnerable to cruise missiles, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday.

Israel secretly warned Syria about Hezbollah Israel recently conveyed a warning to Syria through a third party that it would hold Damascus accountable if Lebanese Hezbollah launched attacks on the Jewish state, Israeli and European sources said on Friday.

Cheney's Mideast trip about Israel-Palestinians, Iraq, Iran and oil The first stop on Cheney's schedule is the U.S.-allied Arab monarchy of Oman, which has supported the U.S.-led missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The sparsely populated oil-producing state, which allows the United States the use of its four air bases, is situated on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz from Iran.

The Wright Stuff I've been a member of a conservative Jewish congregation for 25 years. I love the rabbi but not his sermons on Israel and the Palestinians. He is a total Israel hawk. To put it mildly, I am not. I am all about the two-state solution (the so-called Clinton plan). Even worse, the congregation has become the favorite of Washington's neocons including the worst warmonger of all: Douglas Feith. The idea of communing with God together with a thug like Feith is sickening to me. Then there is Charles Krauthammer who, in 2001, disrupted Yom Kippur services by bellowing at the rabbi for expressing, in the most general terms, the desire for Middle East peace.

Israel makes another bid for F-22 jets Israel is also holding high-level talks with the Pentagon concerning a future Israeli acquisition in a time of war of the Lockheed Martin-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system. A delegation of officials from Israel's Homa Missile Defense Agency were in Hawaii recently to view a successful test of the system. The US Congress recently allocated $200 million subsidy for Israel's use if it decides to purchase the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.
The US Congress - Israeli-occupied territory.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Headlines for 03-13-08

Iran still a target? The fact that most Americans seem to believe the threat of such an attack has receded may actually make it more possible. Officials in Washington could easily take the lack of sustained public and political protest as a sign that citizens don't really care whether the U.S. launches this new war.

Iran destroys 'terrorist' cells on Iraqi border: report

Right now, feds might be looking into your finances As concerns about fraud and terrorist financing grow, an increasing number of suspicious deposits, withdrawals and money transfers are being reported by banks and others to the federal government. Banks and credit unions as well as currency dealers and stores that cash checks reported a record 17.6 million transactions to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 2006, according to a report from the network, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Pentagon Cancels Release of Controversial Iraq Report The Pentagon on Wednesday canceled plans for broad public release of a study that found no pre-Iraq war link between late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the al Qaida terrorist network.

Most Economists Say Recession Has Arrived as Outlook Darkens

Audit: FBI Privacy Abuses Rose in 2006 Top-level FBI counterterrorism executives issued improper blanket demands in 2006 for records of 3,860 telephone lines to justify the fact that agents already had obtained the data using an illegal procedure that is now prohibited, the Justice Department inspector general reported Thursday.

An alternative intelligence view If John McCain does not make it to the White House, Israel is likely to be faced with a cruel decision at the end of the decade: to attack a nuclearizing Iran or accept a nuclear-capable Iran. This coming from the ISRAELI news site, Ha'aretz. Whose war is it? And notice how the author blames the US for the failure to democratize the Middle East when it was Israel's minions in this nation that foisted this on us in the first place. If the Israelis have their way, we won't be leaving Iraq any time soon.

Blowback of Iran War Likely to Be 'Terrible' And last year, after further tightening economic sanctions against Iran, Democrats in Congress removed a provision in an Iraq war spending bill that would have forbidden an attack on Iran without congressional approval. The measure was removed after intense lobbying from groups such as the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, an influential lobbying group that is seen as supporting policies in line with Israel's right-wing Likud Party.

Smearing Obama The purpose of the smear is to paint him as an Arab-loving, Israel-hating, terrorist-coddling, radical black nationalist......He has occasionally angered pro-Israel hawks by urging direct negotiations with Iran and Syria, but Obama's foreign policy record is well within the Democratic Party mainstream. Love the bit about Aaron Klein, writer for World Net Daily, and sometimes, incredulously, TIME.

McCain's Spiritual Advisers So while Hagee is busy angling for the rapture by making sure that there's no peaceful settlement to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Parsley wants to mobilize the country in a Christian-style jihad against Muslims.

Syria invites Lebanon to Arab summit

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Headlines for 03-12-08

US not seeking war with Iran: White House Riiight.

Pentagon denies Iran policy shift Mmmm k.

'Fox' Fallon Fired What makes this particularly ominous is that, according to former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Patrick Lang, Fallon told him, upon taking over at Centcom, that war with Iran "isn't going to happen on my watch." Lang asked him how he thought he could stop it: "'I have options, you know,' Fallon responded, which Lang interpreted as implying Fallon would step down rather than follow orders he considers mistaken."

US: Syria backs foreign fighters in Iraq Despite increased counterterrorism efforts by Damascus, as much as 90 percent of the foreign fighters in Iraq cross the border from Syria, according to a Pentagon report that says Iran's support for Shiite militants also is hurting efforts to improve Iraq security. Making the case for war.

Injury in Iraq was just start of troubles

Fallon's Exit Provokes Concern on Bush's Iran Policy Fallon's resignation came after publication of an article in Esquire magazine, written by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, that portrayed the admiral as the bulwark opposing a U.S. offensive against Iran. "If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it'll come down to one man," Barnett wrote. "If we do not go to war with Iran, it'll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance."

Surging in All Directions by Philip Giraldi

The losers' game by Scott Ritter Iraq had been placed in the impossible position of having to prove a negative, a doomed process which led to war. I am fearful that the EU-3 is repeating this same process, demanding Iran refute something that doesn't exist except in the overactive imaginations of diplomats pre-programmed to accept at face value anything negative about Iran, regardless of its veracity.

Dissenting Views Made Fallon's Fall Inevitable Fallon's greatest concern appears to have been preventing war with Iran. He was one of a group of senior military officers, apparently including most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were alarmed in late 2006 and early 2007 by indications that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were contemplating a possible attack on Iran.

More Bellicose Than Bush? McCain's brand of unflagging hawkery is ideologically akin to that of the neocon armchair generals -- the Wolfowitzes, Perles, and Kristols -- who avoided military service in their youth but feel a tingly rush of blood flooding to their loins at the thought of sending other people's children to war. It's no accident that his most enthusiastic booster among the conservative-opinion elite is neocon team captain Bill Kristol, whose Weekly Standard was practically a part of the McCain campaign communication apparatus in McCain's first presidential run in 2000. Or that his chief foreign-affairs adviser is Randy Scheunemann of Kristol's Project for a New American Century, a kind of chicken-hawk boy's club devoted to "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity."

NSA Shifts to E-mail, Web, Data-Mining Dragnet Recent evidence suggests that the NSA has been focusing on widespread monitoring of e-mail messages and text messages, recording of Web browsing, and other forms of electronic data-mining, all done without court supervision. Taken together, those activities raise unique privacy and oversight concerns greater than those posed by large-scale monitoring of voice communications.

Dollar sinks to record low vs euro, currency basket Hey I know - let's attack Iran.

Israel urges more pressure on Iran's leaders "We must increase the pressure on the Iranian leadership now if we want to avoid difficult dilemmas in the future," Tzipi Livni said in a speech to Massachusetts state lawmakers after a visit to Washington this week. Whose war is it?

US slaps sanctions on Bahrain bank for Iran links The US Treasury Department said it was taking the action against Future Bank BSC for being controlled by Iran's Bank Melli, which previously had been sanction by the Treasury for facilitating Iran's proliferation activities.

Livni to Obama: There is a direct link between Iran and terror Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reiterated for United States presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday Israel's position on the negative influence of Iran on the region

Cheney says US needs missile defense In addition to potential threats from North Korea, Cheney emphasized what he said was a growing threat from both Iran and Syria.

It's laughable that Iran and Syria are a threat to THIS NATION. We all know which nation they purportedly threaten.

Chile: Palestinians look for a new future in South America A group of 117 Palestinian refugees trapped in the no-man's land between the Syrian and Iraqi borders are migrating to the Chilean capital, Santiago, to begin a new life.

Israeli official: Israel, U.S. united in fight against terrorism And not coincidentally, it was our support of Israel that spawned this whole thing. We've been dragged into Israel's war with the Arabs - cui bono? Who benefits? is ever the question that must be asked about Middle Eastern terror.

Syria blasts 'hypocritical' addition to US torture blacklist "The deaf ear turned by the US adminstration towards the recent Israeli human rights violations in the Gaza Strip and its killings of children, shows how little importance it attaches to human rights. It's the last country in the world that should be given the job of assessing human rights records."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Headlines for 03-11-08

US military chief quits amid claims of Iran rift The article's author, Thomas Barnett, had predicted that if Fallon was pushed out of his job "it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way".

Admiral William Fallon quits over Iran policy The article, entitled The Man Between War and Peace, described Admiral Fallon as as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear programme.

Iraq refugee crisis 'deepening,' US experts say

Russian FM calls for talks with Iran on nuclear issue Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged the international community to do "everything possible" to engage Iran in negotiations over its contested nuclear programme.

6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran Cheney is also going to Saudi Arabia, whose support would be sought before any military action given its ability to increase oil supplies if Iran's oil is cut off. Back in March 2002, Cheney made a high-profile Mideast trip to Saudi Arabia and other nations that officials said at the time was about diplomacy toward Iraq and not war, which began a year later.....Israeli airstrike on Syria....Israeli comments.....Was Peres speaking for himself, or has President Bush given the Israelis an assurance that they won't have to act alone?

Cheney requests meeting with top Turkish general

Poland 'accepts missile shield' after US promises military aid

Defense chief says Fallon's leaving is not precursor to war Defense Secretary Robert Gates says it would be "ridiculous" to suggest that Fallon's resignation signals that the United States is planning to go to war with Iran.

No-Man's Land: Palestinian Refugees in Syria The severity of the humanitarian status of the refugees in these camps led the UN to deploy their high-profile Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie in August 2007. After visiting Al-Waleed, Miss Jolie told the press that, "it is absolutely essential that the ongoing debate about Iraq's future includes plans for addressing the enormous humanitarian consequences these people face." Yet almost half a year on and little has changed, the situation remains as desperate as ever for these Palestinians stuck in one of the world's most barren no-mans-land.

What can you do about Iran? Use the phone, Meridor says It was a question that plagued Israel?s ambassador to the United States whenever he spoke to U.S. audiences about the need to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

A Terror Tour of Israel We had signed up for the Ultimate Counter-Terrorism Mission, a weeklong journey around the country during which we would learn about Israel's battle with terrorism. The trip was aimed at U.S. police officers and homeland-security professionals.