Friday, January 20, 2012
Dronology: America Got his eyes on You! (RT).A staple of Washington’s war missions, targeted assassinations and spying operations overseas, unmanned aerial vehicles, known as drones, are now being used by US police in the domestic arena, stirring up privacy concerns among Americans.According to John Whitehead, a constitutional attorney from the Rutherford Institute, US police departments have been authorized to use drones extensively in pursuit of their duties on home soil. “There have been, I think, almost 266 applications that have been approved for police departments to use drones as aerial surveillance devices,” he said.
Drones can be armed with a wide range of surveillance technology, including high-powered zoom lenses and infrared and ultraviolet imaging. As the US government flies prying eyes through the sky, lawmakers have neglected to create any privacy protections for American citizens.
“All of this is conscious and intentional,” said author and columnist Paul Craig Roberts. “They are putting in place a method of controlling a population that may be unemployed, hungry or very angry and I think the state and local police are not just militarized, but they are being federalized.”
According to trends forecaster Gerald Celente, the United States is gradually turning into one big Homeland Security enterprise.
In 2006, AeroVironment, a drone manufacturer, received $ 4.7 million from the US defense department to develop new unmanned aerial vehicles. The newest and smallest invention is Hummingbird, a palm-sized, cute looking spy plane weighing less than one pound.
“There can be a very lucrative market in the United States for drones in police departments who are already militarized – from tanks to assault vehicles to assault rifles, flap jackets, the helmets,” John Whitehead said. “The modern police look like the military so now they are going to be using military equipment.”A fresh lawsuit has been launched against the US Department of Transportation for allegedly withholding records pertaining to the domestic use of drones. Currently, the American public cannot find out why drones are being used or who is controlling them.Hmmmm......."He's looking at you Kid!Remember last year in March when i stated that the "HummingBird" was native to the American continent not Afghani?Read the full story here.
Illegal Fishing - North Korean Ambassador Caught and Released.(Spiegel).In recent years, there have been numerous reports of foreign diplomats in Berlin abusing their diplomatic immunity by committing crimes. Traffic violations appear to be the most common offense, but diplomats have also been accused of exploiting domestic employees and even theft. Most of the time, all they have to do i show their diplomatic passport to get off scot-free.This week, it would seem, a new transgression must be added to the list. Berlin newspapers are reporting that the North Korean ambassador to Germany did a bit of fishing on Sunday -- albeit without a license.
According to reports in dailies Berliner Morgenpost and BZ, Berlin police discovered a man fishing on the Havel River in the city's Spandau neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. When the officials asked to see the man's fishing license, he apparently responded by saying he was the North Korean ambassador. According to the reports, the angler did not have any proof of identity on him, nor did he have a fishing license. The police then asked their colleagues to bring them a current photograph of the ambassador and his personal details. When they arrived, the officers reportedly confirmed that the man was indeed the ambassador, Si Hong Ri, who took his current position in September 2011.
The officers then apparently told the ambassador to cease his illegal fishing activities. According to the police report quoted by the Berliner Morgenpost and the BZ, "the ambassador politely acknowledged (the request) with a smile and continued with the offense." The police were unable to do anything, given the man's diplomatic immunity.
When contacted by SPIEGEL ONLINE on Thursday, a Berlin police spokesman confirmed that a report had been filed on Sunday but declined to comment on the identity of the person involved. Fishing without a license is a crime in Germany punishable with up to two years in prison or a fine.Hmmmm.....We all know the story of "the big one who got away"?Read the full story here.
Déjà Jew.(JPost).By Aaron D.Rubinger.Is European anti-Semitism different today or is there a feeling that we've been here before?The term déjà vu brings to mind the English expression, been there, done that. The odd sensation of reliving something for the second time unnerves us precisely because it’s so convincingly familiar.
Over the course of 2 months, I visited Jewish communities in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium and the UK and interviewed dozens of Jewish leaders as well as “laymen” – both Jews and non-Jews. While attempting to determine the seriousness of contemporary European Anti-Semitism, I experienced what I would term “déjà Jew” - the peculiar sense that we, the members of Jewish people, are reliving an experience from the past; that we have somehow time-traveled and are now re-experiencing occurrences that are all too familiar.
From the mid-1930s to early 1940s, Jews who recognized that they were no longer safe in Europe anxiously sought refuge abroad. Sylvain Zenouda, the co-founder and current vice president of the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l"Antisèmitism—an organization which monitors and documents anti-Semitism in France—told me that educated young Jews in France with the financial means to do so have either fled the country or are making plans to flee. Again? In the precursory period to the Holocaust, no one knew how bad things might get; the eternal hope was that things couldn’t possibly get worse. While enabling some with the strength to endure, such wishful yearnings ultimately proved tragically fatal. Likewise, in Europe today, to borrow Al Jolson’s words, we just “ain’t seen nothing yet.” In another interview with the president of France-Israel Association, Gilles-William Goldnadel asserted that if there will be a new provocation by the Arabs against Israel, with Israel subsequently defending itself, not only will huge demonstrations in Paris and other European capitals be inevitable, they will also likely be accompanied by en masse “organized physical violence.”
Joël Rubinfeld, the well-liked former-president of the Comité de Coordination des Organisations Juives de Belgique, echoes the above sentiment and suspects that in Belgium too “there is definitely a potential of physical violence coming against Jews.” He recalls an anti-Israel demonstration in Antwerp in April 2002 that was organized by the European-Arab League in which the throngs were shouting “Death to the Jews.” Rubinfeld describes how, immediately after the rally, “demonstrators walked in the direction of the Jewish neighborhood and broke diamond shop windows.” 2 months later at another anti-Israel rally, the crowd burned the effigy of a religious Jew.Yet, just as there existed righteous gentiles during the Nazi era whose courage and moral decency led them to risk their lives in the battle against anti-Semitism, so too do there exist equally brave non-Jewish individuals today. One such person is Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris who, when asked on a televised debate to publicly acknowledge the reality of a "Palestinian Holocaust," responded by saying: "It is surely the strangest holocaust in human history when, during the so-called period of ‘genocide,’ the population of a people so dramatically increases." As a result of his steadfast defense of Israel, Millière is perpetually the recipient of death threats. As well as being denounced as "a filthy Jew," a bookstore in Paris that was carrying his latest book discovered that all its copies had been defaced with a swastika emblazoned on the front pages.It is critical to keep in mind that in the end, déjà-vu is a delusion of the mind and as such the events that we are living through today are not synonymous with what went on before, during, and after the Holocaust. Yet, that being said, some things have not changed: anti-Semitism in the world is as real now as it was in the 30s and 40s; the lust for Jewish blood by our enemies is as ravenous today as it has ever been; even “passive” Europeans are, once again, the silent collaborators. However, today we thankfully have a State of Israel in which Jews from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Sweden, the UK and elsewhere will always be welcomed. Perhaps then, it’s time to say goodbye to “déjà-Jew.”Hmmm......The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. ~ Martin Luther King, jr.Read the full story here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Fiji 5.1 !More info here.
- Tehran's Ambassador to Moscow Iran, Russia Using Rial, Rouble in Bilateral Trade.(FNA) .TEHRAN - Tehran's Ambassador to Moscow Seyed Reza Sajjadi announced on Friday that Iran and Russia have started using their domestic rial and rouble currencies in bilateral trade instead of the US dollar. "(Trade) is based on our national currencies," Sajjadi told a news conference. "We started this work long ago. Iranian businessmen are buying products in Russia and are using the rouble as (payment) currency ... The US dollar has no (economic) support base," he continued. Sajjadi had also earlier this month told FNA that the proposal for replacing the US dollar with ruble and rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting. "Since then, we have acted on this basis and a part of our interactions is done in Ruble now," Sajjadi stated, adding that many Iranian traders were using ruble for their trade deals already. "There is a similar interest in the Russian side," the envoy stated, adding that that Moscow is against unilateral sanctions on Iran outside the UN Security Council, specially the recent sanctions against Iran's Central Bank (CBI)."The move (imposing sanction on the CBI) is unacceptable. Russians have clearly announced that they will not accept these sanctions and Iran's nuclear issue is resolvable just through negotiations."Iran has replaced dollar in its oil trade with India, China and Japan. Late in November, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the needed permission to the Central Bank of Iran to open rupee accounts with two Indian banks, namely UCO and IDBI, as a long-lasting solution to the two countries' payment problems. Both accounts were opened in the respective banks' Mumbai branches.Hmmmm......Sanctions that 'Benifit'.Someone is living in 'fantasialand'. Read the full story here.
- Washington Post: ‘Center for American Progress, Group Tied to Obama, Accused of Anti-Semitic Language’.(BigGovernment).The Washington Post has just published an article reporting that the Center for American Progress, the left-wing think tank whose policies and personnel have close ties to the Obama White House, has been “accused of anti-Semitic language.”The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank closely aligned with the White House, is embroiled in a dispute with several major Jewish organizations over statements on Israel and charges that some center staffers have used anti-Semitic language to attack pro-Israel Americans.The controversy reflects growing divisions among important allies of President Obama over Middle East policy that could complicate the president’s reelection outreach to some Jewish voters, just as he is seeking to assure them of his commitment to Israel’s security amid fears of an Iran nuclear threat.Among the points of contention are several Twitter posts by one CAP writer referring to “Israel-firsters.” Some experts say the phrase has its roots in the anti-Semitic charge that American Jews are more loyal to a foreign country. In another case, a second staffer described a U.S. senator [Mark Kirk of Illinois] as showing more fealty to Israel and the prime U.S. pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, than to his own constituents, replacing a standard identifier of party affiliation and state with “R-AIPAC” on Twitter…Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said some of the statements from CAP staffers “are anti-Semitic and borderline anti-Semitic.”“We’re concerned about it because this is a serious think tank, and it does influence the administration,” Foxman added. CAP is run by “serious people who need to take control of their entities.”Jason Isaacson, an official with the American Jewish Committee, which often collaborates on policy issues with CAP, pointed to “very troubling things that have been written on a pretty regular basis by certain people associated with the organization.”“For any serious policy center there are certain lines of fairness and objectivity and good sense that should not be crossed, and yet, disturbingly, those lines have regularly been crossed,” Isaacson added.Reached for comment this morning, Josh Block, a Democrat who has criticized the language used by CAP and its ally, Media Matters for America, called for the organization to make immediate changes: If CAP wants to continue having people writing the organization’s day-to-day views on national security and Middle East policy who truck in language and theories more at home on White Power and anti-Jewish conspiracy websites than in the mainstream of the Democratic party, that is their choice, but the organization and their work will be judged accordingly, and CAP will continue eroding their credibility to zero.It’s not too late. I don’t think this is who CAP, its new leadership, or it’s allies want the organization to be, in the short or long term. This kind of demagoguery, anti-Israel invective, and in some cases actual hate speech, is absolutely wrong whether it comes from the extreme Right or Left, and like cancer, it has to be cut out before it metastasizes and destroys the whole body.One CAP staffer who used the offensive language to describe Israel and pro-Israel Americans is no longer at CAP; others who have used the same language are still at CAP and Media Matters.The radical group J Street, which enjoys the favor of the Obama administration and lobbies Congress to oppose Israeli policies, has defended some of the antisemitic language that is the source of the controversy.Read the full story here.
- Canada arrests naval intelligence officer on charge of passing secrets to “foreign power,” expels 4 Russian diplomats.(Cbc).By Laura Payton.Departures connected to allegations vs. naval officer Jeffrey Paul Delisle.Two Russian Embassy staff in Ottawa have left Canada in the wake of spying allegations against a Canadian naval officer in Halifax, CBC News has confirmed.Initial media reports said up to four Russian Embassy staff had been removed from a list of embassy and diplomatic staff recognized by Canada. CBC News has confirmed that two have had their credentials revoked since news broke of the naval officer's arrest, while two diplomats left the country a month or more before the arrest this week of Canadian Sub.-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle.Konstantin Kolpakov, a former aide to the ambassador, was scheduled to leave Canada on Dec. 25 because his posting was over, and had a send-off attended by diplomats around Ottawa mid-month.CBC News has also learned Lt.-Col. Dmitry V. Fedorchatenko, assistant defence attaché, was scheduled to leave in November.Kolpakov and Fedorchatenko were known to circulate around the diplomatic scene in the capital, attending functions with other foreign representatives, Canadian diplomats and journalists.The two others, Mikhail Nikiforov and Tatiana Steklova, were listed as administrative and technical staff until Jan. 19 but are no longer on a list of accredited diplomats on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs.A report in the Russian media Friday quoted the country's foreign ministry as saying it was surprised to see Canadian media reports about the expulsions. The report says the embassy staff left at the end of 2011 because their rotations were ending.Delisle, 40, was arrested in the Halifax area last weekend. He faces two charges under the Security of Information Act that deal with communicating information that could harm Canada's interests, according to court documents. Two of the charges are for breach of trust and communicating to a foreign entity information the government wants to safeguard, and cover July 7, 2007, to Jan. 13, 2012. A third charge is for trying to communicate to a foreign entity information the government wants to safeguard, and covers Jan. 10 to 13, 2012, after at least one of the Russian diplomats left Canada.Defence Minister Peter MacKay described the case Tuesday as a matter of national security because of the charges involved, but would not discuss specifics at that time, including whether the foreign entity in question was Russia."Given the early stages of the proceedings, there is really nothing more that can be said," he told a news conference in Ottawa.Read the full story here.
- EU Internet czar comes out against SOPA.(HurriyetDaily).The European Union's Internet czar has added her voice to resistance of the Stop Online Piracy Act, in an unusually open comment on U.S. legislation.Neelie Kroes, the EU's Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, tweeted Friday "Glad tide is turning on SOPA: don't need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net." The piece of legislation, currently in the House of Representatives, would allow the U.S. Justice Department to target legitimate sites where users share pirated content.Outrage over SOPA earlier this week triggered a one-day blackout by Wikipedia's English-language service and sparked to growing scrutiny of the bill.The EU is also struggling with its attempts to tackle online piracy but without restricting Internet freedom.Kroes favors a less invasive approach, tweeting "Speeding is illegal too: but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway."Read the full story here.
- Georgia Judge Malihi Denies Obama's Motion to Not Appear At Georgia Ballot Challenge Hearing.(BR).Defendant, President Barack Obama, a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for the office of the President of the United States, has filed a motion to quash the subpoena compelling his attendance at the hearing on January 26, 2012.In support of his motion, Defendant argues that "if enforced, [the subpoena] requires him to interrupt duties as President of the United States" to attend a hearing in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Defendant fails to provide any legal authority to support his motion to quash the subpoena to attend. Defendant's motion suggests that no President should be compelled to attend a Court hearing. This may be correct. But Defendant has failed to enlighten the Court with any legal authority. Specifically, Defendant has failed to cite to any legal authority evidencing why his attendance is "unreasonable or oppressive, or that the testimony... [is] irrelevant, immaterial, or cumulative and unnecessary to a party's preparation or presentation at the hearing, or that basic fairness dictates that the subpoena should not be enforced." Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 616-1-2-.19(5).Defendant further alludes to a defect in service of the subpoena. However, the Court's rules provide for service of a subpoena upon a party, by serving the party's counsel of record. Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 616-1-2-.19(4). Thus, the argument regarding service is without merit. Accordingly, Defendant's motion to quash is denied.SO ORDERED, this the 20th day of January, 2012.Hmmmm.....Can't be "Disneyland" everyday.Read the full story here.
- Hollywood Moguls Stopping Obama Donations Because Of SOPA Stance.(Deadline).Internet sites on their SOPA-Strike may be conducting a blackout but Hollywood studios are conducting a boycott. The blowup came after President Obama on Saturday dashed moguls’ hopes that he would remain on the sidelines in the dispute over the U.S. House Of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy Act and the U.S. Senate’s Protect IP Act. In a posting on the White House web site, three of the Obama administration’s top officials for Internet and intellectual property matters said that they share many of the concerns that the Internet community has about the Hollywood-supported bills.So far the most outspoken mogul against the Obama administration on this issue has been Rupert Murdoch who on Saturday told his new Twitter audience: “So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery.” But I’ve learned that other moguls privately are having “direct and personal conversations” with Obama and his administration and the Democratic Party. Several moguls have informed Obama’s newly anointed Hollywood re-election liason to the entertainment community Nicole Avant and her husband who is helping her, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, that they are pulling out of major fundraisers planned over the next few days and won’t participate in any more headed by Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (whom they see as in the pocket of the Internet giants like Google).Hmmmm.......Next thing that happens.....You won't believe it FBI takes down Megauploads....Coincidence.....?Yeah whatevah.Read the full story here.
- Popular file-sharing website Megaupload shut down.(AP).McLEAN, Va. (AP) — One of the world's most popular file-sharing sites was shuttered Thursday, and its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content.An indictment accused Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after websites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.Megaupload is based in Hong Kong, but some of the alleged pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va., which gave federal authorities jurisdiction, the indictment said.The Justice Department said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, 37, and three other employees were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials. Three other defendants are at large. The indictment may have prompted a response from the loose affiliation of hackers known as "Anonymous," which claimed credit for attacking the Justice Department's website. The site was inaccessible Thursday evening."The Department of Justice web server hosting justice.gov is currently experiencing a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service," the agency said in a statement. "The Department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity, which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption."Megaupload was unique not only because of its massive size and the volume of downloaded content, but also because it had high-profile support from celebrities, musicians and other content producers who are most often the victims of copyright infringement and piracy. Before the website was taken down, it contained endorsements from Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, among others.For instance, users received cash bonuses if they uploaded content popular enough to generate massive numbers of downloads, according to the indictment. Such content was almost always copyright protected.The site boasted 150 million registered users and about 50 million hits daily. The Justice Department said it was illegal for anyone to download pirated content, but their investigation focused on the leaders of the company, not end users who may have downloaded a few movies for personal viewing.Several sister sites were also shut down, including one dedicated to sharing pornography files.Steven T. Shelton, a copyright lawyer at the Cozen O'Connor firm in New York, said opponents of the legislation are worried the proposals lessen the burden for the government to target a wide variety of websites. Shelton said he expects to see the government engage in more enforcement in the future, as technology makes it easier to catch and target suspected pirates."I think we'll be seeing more of this," he said. "This is just the beginning."Read the full story here.Update - Anonymous Hits FBI, DOJ, Others After Feds Bust File Sharing Website here.
- Anonymous Goes on Megaupload Revenge Spree: DoJ, RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music All Offline.(Gizmodo).Anonymous has sure been quiet lately, but today's federal bust of Megaupload riled 'em up good: a retaliatory strike against DoJ.gov (and plenty of other foes) leaving them completely dead. DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com is reporting the department's site as universally nuked, and an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account is boasting success. This is almost certainly the result of a quickly-assembled DDoS attack—and easily the widest in scope and ferocity we've seen in some time. If you had any doubts Anonymous is still a hacker wrecking ball, doubt no more.The combination of the hacking nebula's SOPA animosity—they've been a vocal opponent of the bill since its inception—combined with today's sudden Megaupload news has made the group bubble over: hundreds upon hundreds of Anon operatives are in a plotting frenzy, chatting about which site will go down next. In Anon's eyes, the government and media interests are responsible for the undue destruction of Megaupload (and the arrest of four of its operators), so it'll be exactly those entities that're feeling the pain right now. Pretty much every company that makes movies, TV, or music, along with the entirety of the federal government, is in Anonymous' crosshairs.Anonymous says they've also knocked off the RIAA's site—looks down for us at the moment as well. Read the full story here.
- France suspends Afghan military operations after death of four soldiers.(AlArabiya).French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday he was suspending military operations in Afghanistan and mulling an early withdrawal of troops there, after confirming that four soldiers killed there were French.An Afghan intelligence security source said earlier that four soldiers were killed and 17 wounded by an Afghan soldier in the Taghab valley of eastern Kapisa province.“The French army is alongside its allies but we cannot accept that a single one of our soldiers be wounded or killed by our allies, it's unacceptable,” Sarkozy said, dispatching Defence Minister Gerard Longuet to Afghanistan. The shootings were the latest of several in which western soldiers have been killed by members of the Afghan security forces, undermining trust between Afghan and western troops in the run-up to the withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014.Dozens of foreign soldiers have been killed in recent years by what NATO dubs the insider threat, complicating coalition efforts to train Afghanistan's army and police force before foreign combat troops leave by the end of 2014.Two French Foreign Legion soldiers and one American were killed in separate episodes of so-called “green-on-blue” shootings last month, which refer to the colors of the Afghan army and the symbol of NATO, although the coalition no longer releases the number of its troops killed by Afghan soldiers.In November, an Afghan soldier shot and wounded three Australian and two Afghan soldiers in the south, less than two weeks after an Afghan soldier shot and killed three Australian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter.And in September last year, an Afghan guard employed by the U.S. embassy opened fire inside a CIA office in Kabul, killing an American contractor.Friday's deaths bring the total number of French soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 82 since France joined the international military operation in Afghanistan in 2001.Separately, six foreign soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, with NATO denying the craft was brought down by insurgents, the coalition's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.Read the full story here.
- Chief of Iran’s Quds Force claims Iraq, south Lebanon under his control.(AlArabiya).Commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani has said that the Islamic Republic controls “one way or another” over Iraq and south Lebanon and that Tehran is capable of influencing the advent of Islamist governments in order to fight “arrogant” powers, ISNA student agency reported on Thursday.“The enemies are trying to besiege the Islamic Republic of Iran, but this symposium is an opportunity for thousands of youth who play an influential role in the Islamic awareness to travel Iran and shed sensitivities of Iran-phobia by observing the an Islamic government founded on religious principles in Iran,” Gen. Soleimani, who reports directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said.Speaking about Iraq and Lebanon, Gen. Soleimani said: “These regions are one way or another subject to the control of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its ideas.” Gen. Soleimani was speaking during a student symposium titled “The Youth and Islamic Awareness.”The Quds Force, established during the Iran-Iraq war, is in charge of external security operations aimed at exporting the Islamic Revolution.In July 2012, UK’s The Guardian reported that the head of Iran’s Quds force had conveyed a message to U.S. CIA director David Petraeus telling him that he was in charge of Iran’s policy in the region.“General Petraeus, you should know that Qassem Suleimani controls the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member,” The Guardian reported.Hmmmmm.......Obama :" If We Work Hard, Afghanistan Could Be a Success...Like Iraq!"Read the full story here.
- Britain pulls the plug on Iran's Press TV.(JPost).LONDON - Iranian news channel Press TV will disappear from British television screens on Friday after Britain's media regulator revoked its license in a move that could fuel diplomatic tensions with the Islamic nation.Britain has been a focus of Iranian ire over steps to tighten sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.Britain shut Iran's embassy in London and expelled all its staff in November after its embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran was attacked by a crowd angry at British sanctions.Press TV is a 24-hour news channel owned by the Iranian state, available via satellite around the world and on the Internet.Its English-language service will be removed from Sky TV's satellite platform in Britain later on Friday as a result of the decision. It will still be available online.Press TV said on its website the move was "a clear example of censorship".Read the full story here.
- Salafi-Jihadi Cleric Abu Basir Al-Tartusi Presents His Position on Democracy:"Democracy and Islam are incompatible". The Principle of the Rule of the People Is Heresy – But Some Mechanisms of Democracy Can Be Adopted.(Memri).Prominent Salafi-jihadi sheikh Abu Basir Al-Tartusi recently published on his website a long article in which he set out his position on democracy and elections. In it, he rejected the philosophical underpinnings of democracy, namely the principle of the rule of the people, but argued that it is nevertheless permissible to adopt some of the tools and procedures of democracy, such as elections, consent by majority, and public oversight of the authorities – which, he argued, actually originate in Islam. Referring to the situation in post-revolutionary Egypt, he said that the Salafis should join the political arena so as not to leave it to "men of evil," and in order to promote their ultimate goal of implementing the laws of the shari'a in the country. It should be noted that a similar position was earlier endorsed by the moderate Salafis in Egypt, as justification for their decision to join the political arena following the revolution.Al-Tartusi's article was published as a follow-up to two fatwas he published recently, which likewise touched on issues of democracy (though they avoided a comprehensive ideological discussion of these issues). In one, published October 7, 2011, he proposed amendments to Libya's draft constitution, which was approved in August 2011 following the ouster of Qadhafi. The fatwa emphasized that Libya must be defined as an "Islamic state" (or even as a "civil Islamic state") that is based on the Islamic principle of shura (consultation), rather than as a "democracy," which, according to Al-Tartusi, is inferior to the Islamic concept of shura. The sheikh also emphasized that the Islamic shari'a must be the sole source for legislation, since relying on any other source of authority is an act of heresy. The second fatwa, dated November 25, 2011, called on the Egyptian citizens to support a Salafi candidate, Hazem Abu Isma'il, in Egypt's upcoming presidential elections, because his victory would help preserve the achievements of the Egyptian revolution, and would have many advantages for Egypt and for the Arabs and Muslims at large. These fatwas are noteworthy in that they come out against the accepted Salafi-jihadi approach which absolutely opposes the existence of man-made laws and constitutions, as well as any participation in elections and in political systems that are not based explicitly and exclusively on the shari'a. This approach is evident, for example, in a fatwa issued February 28, 2010 by Sheikh Nasser Al-Din Al-Baghdadi, a member of the shari'a committee of the Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad website. Asked whether it was permissible to vote in the Iraqi elections which were about to take place, the sheikh replied: "The elections are based on the system of democracy, and democracy is a religion that is not the religion of Allah... [Participating in them] is blatant heresy... It is [our] duty to eliminate [the system of] democracy, which contravenes our religion, and cleave to the real and pure monotheistic faith.Al-Shinqiti also attacked Al-Tartusi for not explaining his change of heart regarding the issue of elections, and for confining his arguments to saying that the election of Hazem Abu Isma'il would help preserve the achievements of the revolution – when the goal of implementing the shari'a is in fact far more important. He explained that Al-Tartusi and other clerics can err, since they are only human, and that it is the duty of other clerics to correct them. The mistake, he added, is accepting everything they say without demanding proof, because, in matters of jurisprudence, proof is what matters. Moreover, the main virtue of the Salafi stream is its members seek proof for their beliefs instead of following traditions blindly.Summing up, Al-Shinqiti said: "Sheikh Hazem [Abu Isma'il] will never be able to implement Allah's shari'a by means of these elections that perpetuate democracy, and I believe that many of the sheikhs who ruled [that people must] vote for him would agree with us that democracy and Islam are incompatible."Al-Tartusi explained that it was this reasoning that led him to call upon the Egyptians to support Hazem Abu Isma'il for president, "especially since the other candidates have many bad qualities that [could] lead Egypt and its people to disaster and destruction." It would not be wise of the mujahideen, who carried out the revolution and made so many sacrifices, to abandon the scene to "men of evil" and let them reap the fruits of the revolution and lead the country as they please, Al-Tartusi adds. However, he stresses that monotheism is inviolable and that realizing it is the supreme goal, and that all available and legitimate means must be used to in order to fully implement the laws of the shari'a in the Muslim lands. To this end, he says, these laws must be anchored in an ironclad constitutional clause stipulating that "the Islamic shari'a is the sole source for legislation." Such a clause guarantees that "everyone will act under the umbrella of the shari'a, and that shameful and forbidden phenomena that [currently taint] the parliament's actions will be eliminated. Once this happens, all the people will be able to take part in the elections.""Democracy has two [main] components. [The component] that defines it as an ideology, religion and philosophy stipulates that man is above Allah and that his will and power supersede the will and power of Allah... This is the main and most important component [of democracy], and it is blatant heresy. Whoever accepts it is outside the fold of Islam... The U.S. and the [other] Western countries want to export this aspect of democracy to the Muslim states, because if it takes root in the hearts of the Muslims, it will distance them from their faith and religion... and also because... it will weaken them, increase their humiliation, and increase their dependence on the U.S. and the West."These [democratic] tools and other worthy mechanisms actually originate in Islam. However, in the absence of an Islamic regime... and as a result of the war that the tyrants and the enemies [of Islam] have been waging against political Islam for over 100 years, since the fall of the Ottoman caliphate – Islamic jurisprudence regarding the political [implementation of the] shari'a and regarding the [correct] method of governing and managing of the country has atrophied and become ineffective – so much so that we have come to believe that Islam lacks effective tools to govern and manage the country and people's [lives]... That is a bitter mistake that we must not fall into..."The principles of elections, voting, and considering the majority opinion... are anchored in Islam. It Is Permissible to Limit the Leader's Term in Office – But Once the Caliphate Is Established, the Chief Caliph Will Rule for Life.Hmmmm....... Democracy and Islam are incompatible.Read the full story here.
- Turkish missiles over Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome (and others).(HurriyetDaily).By BurakBekdil. The Ottoman siege of Vienna may have failed in 1683. But the Turks will soon be back at the gates (well, this time, the skies) of Europe. Much to the pride of millions of Turks, the state scientific research institute, TÜBITAK, recently reported that its scientists this year would finish an all-Turkish missile with a range of 1,500 km, and, in 2014, another with a range of 2,500 km (no typo here). The head of TÜBITAK said the order for the missile program had come from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. I read daily Hürriyet quoting TÜBITAK’s president, Professor Yücel Altınbaşak, as saying that “this is a most realistic project.” And I watched an engineer from TÜBITAK’s missile project group, telling state television channel TRT that “the Turkish missiles were more advanced than the U.S. or German missiles.” I felt proud. Yet I was curious and checked the world map. Put the country which claims to maintain zero problems with its neighbors and others at the epicenter of a circle with a diameter of 2,500 km, and here are some of the cities which may in the future see Turkish missiles over their skies: Athens, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Geneva, Algiers, Jeddah, Cairo, Copenhagen, Kiev, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Damascus, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Tripoli, Warsaw, Vienna, Zurich and Amman. I failed to guess which one(s) of these cities could be a security threat to Turkey in the future. But apparently, the Turco-Persian sectarian rivalry is heating up as Tehran already has the 1,300-km Shahab-3 missiles in its inventory. In any case, the move is just another indication that Turkey does not see its future within the largely inter-operable NATO and European security structures. Contrary to common knowledge, ballistic missiles often lack precision, can be intercepted and can carry limited payload (an average 500-1,000 kg). In comparison, a conventional F-16 fighter can carry a payload that if four or five times bigger and is considered an agile war asset. There is a big “but” here. Rogue states often tend to opt for missiles, calculating that these war toys can also carry biological, chemical and nuclear warheads. And the big question here is why should Turkey, which boasts a modern air force with highly deterrent firepower, need ballistic or cruise missiles? With which countries within a diameter of 2,500 km does Turkey think it may, in the future, have to battle? Which targets within a range of 2,500 kilometers may it hope to hit which it cannot with a 1,000-km missile? What justifies the earmarking of – possibly – hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxpayer money for the Turkish missiles? Are biological, chemical or nuclear weapons in Turkey’s various contingency plans for future warfare? What’s the point of NATO membership, then? Does Turkey intend to leave the alliance? More importantly, what are the political deliberations behind this ambitious plan? With a delay of a few decades, Turkey is going along the path that countries like North Korea, Libya and Iraq tried in the 1990s – and Iran in the last decade. In fact, observers have invariably suspected a strong link between Iran’s ambitions for missiles and a future nuclear weapons program. For the moment, New York, Beijing, Seoul, Brasilia, Ottawa and Tokyo look safe and immune to future Turkish anger. But give Mr. Erdoğan another 10 years in power and Turkey might have another one with a range of 15,000 km by then. There are a couple of minor problems, though. Since Turkey is a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime, it may now find more difficult access to some of the “ingredients” necessary to make a missile. Second, I am not sure whether the punishing Turkish missile should be dubbed the Attila, or the Sultan Mehmed II. Third, and on a less significant basis, one triviality about the future Turkish ballistic missile could be that once shot and targeting, say, Tel Aviv, it may just be last seen over the skies of Edirne…Hmmmmm........Obama:" Turkish PM Erdoğan among trusted friends". Read the full story here.
- Gaza: Blueprint for Muslim Brotherhood Rule?(DocsTalk).By Jonathan Spyer.Mahmoud Abu Rahma, international director of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip, was attacked outside his home in Tel el-Hawa in southern Gaza on January 13 by thugs almost certainly sent by the Hamas authorities. As they stabbed him, the attackers taunted Abu Rahma, calling him an “atheist” and a “collaborator.” In the Gaza Strip, “collaboration” is a crime punishable by death according to the law code used by Hamas.This was the second time in the last month that Abu Rahma has been the victim of an assault. On January 3, he was attacked outside his apartment building. He has now been released from hospital — the stab wounds he received in his back, shoulder, and leg will take many months to heal.This incident cast light on a disturbing picture. Hamas-controlled Gaza is a brutal, cruelly governed place. The authorities are in the process of introducing a draconian Islamic legal code, which will further codify the repression. Gaza offers a sobering real-world lesson regarding the tendencies of the Muslim Brotherhood in government at a time when that movement is moving closer to power in a number of important Middle Eastern states.The assault on Abu Rahma took place a few days after he published a document attacking many of the practices of the Hamas rulers of Gaza. While supporting “resistance,” he criticized the locating by Hamas of training sites and rocket firing facilities close to areas of civilian population.Abu Rahma noted the deaths of a number of Gaza residents, including children, as a result of this. The use of civilians as human shields, of course, is one of the central accusations made by Israel and the West against Hamas.Since seizing power in the summer of 2007, Hamas has placed draconian restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Just this month, movement activists broke up attempts by Palestinian converts to Shia Islam from celebrating one of the holiest days in their calendar.The media — both Palestinian and foreign — is the subject of harassment and persecution at the hands of the authorities. Hamas has placed restrictions on the distribution of the most popular Palestinian newspapers, al Quds and al Ayyam. The Gaza authorities also insist that the papers refrain from sharp criticism of their regime.As the Arab world was roiled last year by strikes and demonstrations calling for the downfall of dictatorial regimes, Gaza remained silent. This was not by chance. An attempt by Fatah to hold demonstrations in the Strip calling for an end to the schism in Palestinian politics was met with extreme brutality. The demonstration on March 15, 2011, was attacked by members of Hamas’ security apparatus using fists, clubs and tear gas. Thirty people were injured. The PA’s official newspaper later reported that Ahmed Ja’abari, commander of Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, had ordered the release of a number of violent criminals from jail. These men then took part in the assault on the demonstration.These are just a few of the many incidents of harassment by the authorities in Gaza of civil society organizations, media, and political organizations.Alongside this erosion of the public space, Hamas has been pursuing a policy of gradual Islamization in Gaza. In 2008, the Gaza authorities voted to approve an Islamic penal code. The new code includes punishments such as flogging and chopping off hands for various offenses. The Gaza Public Prosecution office has been replaced by a body based on Shari’a law.An officially supported “public modesty” campaign has been under way since 2009. This has included the harassment of unaccompanied women, or women not dressed according to Islamic standards of modesty. The Hamas authorities also routinely fail to investigate “honor killings” of females by their relatives in Gaza, which are thought to have increased sharply since the Hamas coup.All this is of more than local significance. The Hamas regime in Gaza may well be a harbinger of future regional developments. Hamas rule in Gaza, after all, is the only real-world example to date of the Muslim Brotherhood in government. And the Muslim Brotherhood is emerging as the main beneficiary of the eclipse of military-nationalist regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and perhaps soon in Syria. The indicators are not encouraging. Hamas achieved its oppressive Gaza fiefdom through the judicious combination of victory in elections and subsequent violent repression.Nearly six years after its 2006 election victory, Hamas rules in Gaza by fear, the suppression of opposition, and the unilateral imposition of a draconian Islamic legal code. Rather than theorizing about whether power will moderate the Brotherhood, Western policymakers would do better to observe closely the only existing example of the organization in power which currently exists. The Hamas regime in Gaza is a portent of the likely Middle East future unless a rational policy to hold back the advance of the Muslim Brotherhood is achieved.Read the full story here.
- S.Sudan says to shut oil production within 2 weeks.(Reuters).JUBA - South Sudan said on Friday it was preparing to gradually shut down oil production within two weeks after Sudan said it had started seizing southern oil to compensate for what it said were unpaid transit fees.Sudan and South Sudan are locked in a row over sharing oil revenues after Juba took two-thirds of output when it became independent in July.The landlocked new African nation needs to use a northern pipeline and port to export the crude but has failed to reach an agreement with Khartoum over a transit fee, prompting Sudan to seize part of its oil as compensation."The ministry of petroleum and mining will sit down to start a technical process that will lead to a decision that will lead to a complete shutdown. That will be in a week or two weeks," government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters."We have taken this decision because South Sudan is not benefiting from oil. It is being taken by force by the Republic of Sudan, and the oil that is going through the pipeline is being looted," he said."Why would the Republic of South Sudan produce oil for the Republic of Sudan," he said.Khartoum has said Sudan is seizing some oil and diverting some of it to its two refineries but has not said whether it would try selling any seized oil.Read the full story here.
- Hamas calls for end to peace feelers after arrests.(AlArabia).The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas urged President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to suspend exploratory peace talks with Israel following Israel’s arrest of two Hamas legislators.Israeli soldiers arrested senior Hamas official Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, on suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups, and detained another lawmaker of the group from Bethlehem, Khaled Tafish.Hamas said Dweik was taken into custody at a checkpoint near the city of Ramallah. It accused Israel of trying to undermine moves by Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to end four years of bitter rivalry and unite the two main Palestinian factions.Hamas deputy speaker Ahmed Bahar said Israel’s detention of Dweik was intended to prevent reconciliation and elections later this year.“What happened requires Mahmoud Abbas to declare an immediate stop to the negotiations in Amman in respect of our people and in respect of the parliament and its head,” Bahar told reporters in Gaza.“It should be a firm message to the occupation (Israel) that their continued crimes will not be give cover by the Palestinian Authority and will not pass without a response,” Bahar said.There was no immediate comment from Abbas’s office.The senior negotiator of Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has been holding meetings with Israel’s top negotiator in the Jordanian capital to seek a resumption of direct peace talks that have been suspended for the past 15 months.Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Abbas during a brief civil war in 2007. The Palestinian legislative council has been effectively mothballed ever since.Hamas and Fatah agreed on a reconciliation deal last year, but it has yet to be implemented.Israel, the United States and the European Union consider Hamas a terrorist group opposed to peace and committed to violence.Read the full story here.
- The Pentagon Admits An Elite US Commando Team Has Been Deployed Near Iran.(BLN).By Robert Johnson.Business Insider. The SEAL Team that stormed Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound last May put special forces commandos on the map.Without SEAL Team 6′s exploits that day, there is little doubt reports of a new commando team in the Persian Gulf would have raised an eyebrow.As it is, military blogs are buzzing about Spencer Ackerman’s story at Danger Room where he reports that a new “elite commando team” is operating in the Gulf region.Ackerman spoke with military sources that say the team, called Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Coordinating Council (JSOTF-GCC), is on the ground to instruct local troops in special operations. This is the first time the U.S. has acknowledged the existence of the team.Ackerman admits there is no proven connection to the Iranian scientist who was assassinated several days ago, and says many special-ops guys dismiss the news, saying that the new task force is simply there to advise and any connection to Iran will be “indirect at most.”Which doesn’t make it any less interesting to add to the pile of rumors and tensions piling out of the Persian Gulf, but there are special forces teams assigned to hot-spots all over the world, and the public generally has no clue at all. There are 2,500 Navy SEALs, about half of which are based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base and Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, with 2,400 assigned to the Special Warfare Command (SWC).SWC has an additional 700 Special Warfare Boat Operators, and 700 reserve personnel deployed around the world. Considering there are already two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf now, there are likely many more special forces in the region than just this newly acknowledged task force.Read the full story here.
- Dutch Daily: “The Chosen People Have to be Perfect”.(HR).Last week the Dutch Christian daily ‘Trouw’ reached a new low when it published a vicious article about prenatal care in Israel entitled: “The chosen people have to be perfect”.The writer, Ilse van Heusden, gave birth to a healthy baby boy while temporarily living in Israel.She succeeded in portraying the prenatal care in Israel as a government instigated ‘military operation’ aimed at the production of babies as perfect as possible.Apart from distortions and lies the article contained many accusations and insinuations which are reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic rants.
Requests: After the publication of the article we [Missing Peace] contacted ‘Trouw’ with a request to allow the publication of an op-ed in which we could debunk the false claims and lies in Van Heusden’s article.‘Trouw’ did not even bother to respond, nor did the editors respond to a similar request by the Dutch branch of the Likud party.
Examples: Here is a prime example of the anti-Semitic content of the article:Van Heusden: To be pregnant in Israel is comparable to a military operation. Countless echos and blood tests should produce the perfect baby, nothing can be left to the luck of the draw. The state demands healthy babies and a lot of them too.This was later followed by an outrageous lie about child allowances in Israel. Van Heusden: What makes things even more emotionally charged is the Israeli demand to produce many children. The state promotes the birth of children by supplying, among other things, a considerable child allowance. To support these outrageous claims, she misused a quote made by former Minister of the Interior Shlomo Benizri in 2002. At the time Benizri declared: “the fear of losing Israel’s unique character obligates us to take action so as not to become a minority in our own country.”Of course Van Heusden knew very well that Benizri was not talking about more Jewish babies, but about the influx of illegal immigrants and foreign workers.She then suggested that the way Israel promotes having children is comparable to Arafat’s policy of using the womb of Palestinian women as a weapon.Indeed such articles can normally be found on the websites of white supremacists such as David Duke or on anti-Semitic sites such as Jew Watch.The fact that a Dutch Christian mainstream paper published it should sound alarms in The Netherlands.Read the full story here.
- Norway: Lawyer calls to stop 'Islam's incursion into Europe'.(IIE).Via Nordlys (Norwegian):Prominent lawyer Brynjar Østgård wants to stop Islam in Norway and thinks Islam threatens Norwegian culture and social order."It's difficult to find a Muslim-dominated country with the same social order we have. Think of values like democracy, freedom of speech and rule of law," Brynjar Østgård told Nordlys.The lawyer is a former judge in the Hålogaland court of appeals and is on the board of the Hålogaland theater.On Thursday he posted the following on his Facebook profile: "I've said it before and I'll say it again: Islam's incursion into Europe must be stopped - NOW! The talk and half-blind naivety must stop: we must think LONG TERM, or else the civilization that has taken 2000 years to build in Europe will be destroyed. WHEN did our government get the mandate from the people to throw away our culture, our home and our future? I know such a mandate was never given. (Just so it's clear: you can't really distinguish between Islam and Islamism - one follows the other)"The post was written as a comment to an opinion article "Islam is taking hold" by the controversial Hege Storhaug, head of Human Rights Service.Østgård doesn't think his points of view are extreme, and denies it has anything to do with racism."There's a difference between wanting a culture not to be threatened, put under pressure and disappear - and to disparage other people.Q: Aren't you really generalizing?A: I don't intend my words to be construed as casting suspicion on individuals, says the lawyer but adds: "But I think that Islam is a religion which interferes with thought processes and social order which we do not want."Østgård thinks Norwegian immigration policies should be much stricter. "I have no other prescription."Read the full story here.
- India - Sharia court orders expulsion of 3 Christian priests from Jammu and Kashmir.(ChristianToday).In yet another diktat imposed without sufficient facts, the Sharia court in Srinagar has issued a fatwa against three Christian priests ordering them to leave Jammu and Kashmir.On Thursday, the self-proclaimed Sharia court issued a decree seeking the expulsion of pastor of All Saints Church in Kashmir C M Khanna; Dutch Mill Hill missioner Jim Borst; and Gayoor Messah, pastor of the Noor-e-Hayat (Light of Life) evangelical church.Nasir-ul-Islam, a deputy of grand Mufti Bashir-ud-din, told reporters that the Sharia court had found the pastors guilty of alluring Muslim youth in Kashmir to Christianity."Pastors Khanna, Messah and Fr Borst were directed to leave the valley forthwith for their involvement in conversions in the valley," Nasir said.Thursday's decree reportedly has also asked the state government to monitor the activities of the local missionary schools where a majority of the students are Muslims.“These schools should include a period for Islamic education in their daily teaching programmes and a prayer written by poet Iqbal should be part of the school assembly prayers,” the decree said.The decree follows last November's arrest of Pastor Khanna of the All Saints Church in Srinagar. Pastor Khanna was in the dock after a CD surfaced in Srinagar, which purportedly showed his involvement in performing conversion of youth.The CNI pastor said the young men converted of their own will and without his persuasion. In the wake of Pastor Khanna's arrest, a fact finding team went to Srinagar and interviewed Church personnel, Ulema, schools, authorities and the police.While meeting with the Grand Mufti, the team conveyed that their final intention was to see that peace was maintained, that the Christian community was not threatened and that its security, as those of the schools and other institutions, was assured.Read the full story here.
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Israel’s two greatest enemies are The New York Times and Haaretz".(Jta).Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s two greatest enemies areThe New York Times and Haaretz, the editor of The Jerusalem Post said in a speech.Steve Linde, addressing a conference in Tel Aviv of the Women’s International Zionist Organization, said Wednesday that Netanyahu made the remark to him about the newspapers at a private meeting “a couple of weeks ago” at the prime minister’s office in Tel Aviv.“He said, ‘You know, Steve, we have two main enemies,’” Linde said, according to a recording of the WIZO speech provided to JTA. “And I thought he was going to talk about, you know, Iran, maybe Hamas. He said, ‘It’s The New York Times and Haaretz.’ He said, ‘They set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world. Journalists read them every morning and base their news stories . . . on what they read in The New York Times and Haaretz.’ ”Linde said he and other participants at the meeting asked Netanyahu whether he really thought that the media had that strong a role in shaping world opinion on Israel, and the prime minister replied, “Absolutely.”Read the full story here.
- Iran: Edging Ever Closer To a Bomb.(PP).By Elliott Abrams.Some recent claims that we should all relax about the Iranian nuclear program because Iran has not made a decision to build a weapon are themselves blown up in a short, devastating comment from ISIS, the Institute for Science and International Security.The statement describes “Iran’s strategy of ‘nuclear hedging,’ or developing the capability to rapidly build nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program….”And it explains why a lack of urgency is a great error.In the discussion regarding the nature of the Iranian nuclear program, some have sought to downplay Iran’s nuclear progress by emphasizing that Iran has not yet “made the decision to build a nuclear weapon.” While it is true and important that there are no indications that Iran has made a decision to actually construct a nuclear weapon, such a statement does not accurately portray the real concern about Iran’s nuclear program and progress. In fact, Iran has already made a series of important decisions that would give it the ability to quickly make nuclear weapons. In doing so, it has pursued a strategy of nuclear hedging: it has put together a gas centrifuge program to provide the necessary fuel for a weapon, worked on developing a nuclear weaponization capability, and developed a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, all under ostensibly civilian purposes or great secrecy. The international community should not take ease in the absence of this final decision since Iran has already overcome many obstacles on the path to finally acquiring nuclear weapons.The ISIS analysis is an important reminder that Iran continues, very steadily, to move closer and closer to the ability to build a usable nuclear weapon.Hmmmm.......The maximum of 3,000 centrifuges that Fodow can contain will never produce enough to supply the fuel needed for a nuclear reactor.However, their performance is perfect for making nuclear bombs.This should be already the crossed 'red line'.Read the full story here.