Tuesday, April 17, 2012
This song was recorded in 1960 but Columbia never put it out on a record. The first time it was seen by the record buying public was with the third Bear Box set put out in 2002 that is if you could afford the $160 dollar price tag.
War Game: Israeli Air Strike Deals Severe Blow to Iran Nukes.(INN). In a simulation war game featuring Israelis in senior positions, Israel loses 10 fighter jets in a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and manages to set back the Iranian nuclear program by seven years. An angry President Barack Obama takes no steps against Israel but also refuses to intervene on its side. In the war game, conducted by Makor Rishon newspaper, the strike takes place on October 16, 2012, just three weeks before the U.S. election. The simulation was carried out with the participation of former Government Secretary Yisrael Maimon as a member of the “Octet” of trusted ministers and Home Front Minister; Iran expert Dr. Eldad Pardo as the Iranian regime; Maj. Gen. (ret.) Eitan Ben Eliyahu as a senior member of the Octet; Begin-Sadat Center Chairman Prof. Efraim Inbar as the Prime Minister; Dr. Mordechai Kedar as “the Palestinians,” Hizbullah and the Arab countries; journalist Amit Segal as Israeli and world press; journalist Ofer Shelach as Preient Barack Obama and Makor Rishon journalist Amnon Lord as game administrator. According to the game’s premise, on October 14 and 15, four independent and reliable Mossad intelligence sources indicate that Iran has begun transferring its strategic nuclear equipment to underground sites in Qom. Military Intelligence, meanwhile, determines that Iran was ready to enrich weapons-grade uranium. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lulls the press into complacency by maintaining a seemingly regular schedule in Jerusalem. In the pre-dawn hours of October 16, the IDF launches Operation Yahalom (“Diamond”). The nuclear sites at Natanz and Arak are bombed, as are several other nuclear plants and research centers. Ten IAF jets are shot down. President Obama receives word of the strike when he is speaking to 350 rabbis in Florida.
He convenes a consultation and says that Israel’s “excuse” for bombing is “irrelevant” because while Iran’s nuclear facilities may become immune to an Israeli attack by moving underground, they will not become immune to a U.S. attack. The timing of the strike “basically amounts to an intervention in the elections,” Obama adds. “The attack will have immediate repercussions influencing the election considerations of voters here, such as the expected rise in the price of oil. Israel could have waited until after the elecions.”
In the simulation, the formal White House announcement calls on Israel to cease hostilities but does not place sanctions on it or threaten it. On the other hand, it offers no assistance. “Israel is responsible for its own fate,” it says. “It went against our wishes, and therefore we do not offer it a military umbrella of protection against military responses by Iran or its proxies.”
Iran sends 1,500 tanks toward the border with Iraq and instructs Hizbullah to fire missiles at Israel. It also launches a series of large scale terror actions and fires missiles from Lebanon and from its own territory at hi-tech targets in Herzliya, suceeding in destroying Intel’s headquarters. A suicide bomber kills a large number of cadets in the IDF’s hi-tech Talpiyot program. Low-level radiation is released in Tel Aviv by a “dirty bomb.” In the war game, Israeli media shows surprising solidarity and unity on the day of the attack, initially sparing the government from criticism. Republican candidate Mitt Romney calls upon Obama to give Israel his backing “immediately.” Obama, meanwhile, threatens an Israeli minister who speaks with him on the phone: “I may still be president on November 7. This will have a price, as far as you are concerned. I will not elaborate right now, but you should take this into consideration.”
Iran decides to try and drive a wedge between Israel and the U.S.. It therefore tells the U.S. it will supply it with as much oil as it needs, in the hope of helping Obama get reelected. In late October, its agents blow up a car bomb in Tel Aviv and fire a missile at an El Al jet from a ship in the Mediterranean, killing 300 people. Meanwhile, intelligence indicates that Iran’s nuclear program has been set back 7 years by the Israeli strikes. With U.S. elections days away, Obama decides that “enough is enough” and begins to threaten Iran with a U.S. attack if it does not cease its hostilities against Israel. Whether real life will be anything like the simulation by Makor Rishon remains to be seen.Hmmmmm........The latter part seems doubtful. more like Obama blames Israel for the current economic crisis in America, and promises actions against Israel once reelected.Read the full story here.
Global Cooling: be afraid........be very afraid.(Telegraph).In Perth, Australia I'm staying with one of the country's most brilliant polymaths David Archibald. This morning, he treated to me to a scary presentation he recently delivered to the Institute of World Policy in Washington DC, where he is a visiting fellow. The title is Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, representing the four threats which Archibald believes are the ones we should most fear. The four horsemen, i.e. great challenges the world will soon have to face, are: a decreasing extraction of oil, causing growing prices of energy and, by extension, food; Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, which threatens proliferation and, perhaps, even a nuclear war in the region; rapid population growth in the Middle East and North Africa coupled with higher food imports in those regions, which spells mass starvation; and a 210-year climate cooling cycle. I'm not sure I'm quite as pessimistic as Archibald is on peak oil and shale gas – the latter, he estimates, is only good for another twenty years (the real energy solution, he reckons, is thorium reactors). But the area where I really hope he is wrong is on global cooling. If his analysis of declining sunspot activity is correct, then global mean temperatures are going to decline by about 2 degrees C by 2040 – completely undoing all that lovely beneficial (but rather meagre 0.8 degrees C) global warming we have experienced in the last 150 years. It will mean longer, colder winters and cooler summers. But far worse than the discomfort will be the effect it has on grain production. The shift in latitudes at which corn and wheat can be grown will be the equivalent of losing a belt 300 kilometres wide all around the world, leading to the loss perhaps 400 million tonnes per annum of grain. The result will be rising food prices, grain shortages – and a 50 per cent likelihood of the kind of volcanic-influenced disaster that led to the horrors of the 1816 Year Without A Summer, precipitating crop failures, weird Turner sunsets, and 200,000 deaths in Europe alone. Still there will be at least one consolation. Phil Jones, Michael Mann, James Hansen and Al Gore will all, most likely, still be around to see their entire religious belief system collapsing around their ears.Read and see the full story here.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak:"Israel did not promise the U.S. that it would abstain from attacking Iran while negotiations are going on".
Defense Minister Ehud Barak:"Israel did not promise the U.S. that it would abstain from attacking Iran while negotiations are going on".(JTA).Jerusalem -- Israel did not promise the United States that it would abstain from attacking Iran while negotiations are going on, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. "We are not committing to anything," Barak told Israel's Army Radio during an interview from Bogota, Colombia. He added that Israel's dialogue on the subject with America is "direct and open." Barak said the current negotiations between Iran and six world powers on Iran's nuclear program taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, need to be "purposeful and results oriented. They need to clarify if Iran is genuinely willing to stop its military nuclear program or not. "For this we don't need months upon months. It requires a few direct meetings where all the demands are put on the table. There you can see if the other side is playing for time, drawing it out through the year, or if indeed the other side is genuinely striving to find a solution." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the decision to continue the talks in five weeks in Baghdad amounts to a "freebie" for Iran, allowing them to continue to enrich uranium " without any limitation, any inhibition." Barak, who is on a five-day visit to Colombia and the United States, told Israel Radio that Israel believes that the talks "will probably not have an impact or bring the Iranians to cease their nuclear program." "Of course we will be happy to be proven wrong," he added. Barak said "The world must find a way of preventing this; not for Israel, but for the stability and peace of the world." Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes; the West fears that Iran may be enriching uranium in order to produce a nuclear bomb. Netanyahu has called on the international community to halt Iran's nuclear production by force if necessary, and has warned that the window in which to prevent Iran's production of a nuclear bomb is rapidly closing. Obama responded to Netanyahu's "freebie" accusation Sunday, saying that "The notion that somehow we've given something away or a 'freebie' would indicate Iran has gotten something. In fact, they've got some of the toughest sanctions that they're going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don't take advantage of these talks." Barak will be meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Leon Panetta, on Thursday in Washington.Hmmmm.........Richard Dalton, former British Ambassador to Libya and to Iran:"It should be possible to work out a first step this year based on the much-discussed end of 20% enrichment in return for cooperation over fuel supply for the Tehran Research reactor. But talk of a final and closing window for talks is unrealistic: the US simply cannot go far enough for a deal during an election campaign". A full year will be needed.Read the full story here.
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky: "President Obama seems intent on following a similar path of Hitler and Stalin".
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky: "President Obama seems intent on following a similar path of Hitler and Stalin".(WE).In a homily delivered Saturday, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois challenged President Obama's HHS mandate, suggesting that the president was following the same path as Hitler and Stalin. "Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care," Jenky said. "In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path." Jenky added. Jenky reminded the men of the Catholic Church's history of surviving threats from Jihadi, Nazism and Communism and called them to stand up for their faith. Denouncing the "entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence" of the Illinois state government, Jenky also criticized Catholic politicians who "pretend to be Catholic." "May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil,""This is not a battle in which any believing Catholic can remain neutral" he said.Read the full story here.
Re Election worried by gas prices, Obama seeks new oil market crackdown.(Yahoo).U.S. President Barack Obama, whose political fortunes are threatened by rising gasoline prices, proposed new measures on Tuesday to reduce oil market manipulation that are unlikely to get support from a divided Congress. Obama called on lawmakers to raise civil and criminal penalties on individuals and companies involved in manipulative practices. He also pressed for more money to fund the agency charged with policing the markets to hire "more cops" for oversight and upgrade old technology. Republicans, who blame Obama's energy policies for high gasoline prices, called the effort a political gimmick. "We can't afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher, only to flip the oil for a quick profit," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden. "We should strengthen protections for American consumers, not gut them," he said. Republicans said the new measures would not help Americans struggling with high gasoline prices. "It probably polls pretty well, but I guarantee it won't do a thing to lower prices at the pump," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. "The president has all the tools available to him if he believes the oil market is being manipulated," said John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.
Gasoline prices have surged nearly 50 cents since late January, as tensions in the Middle East and supply disruptions bolstered oil costs. While prices at the pump have eased slightly in the past two weeks, gasoline remains around $3.92 a gallon nationwide. Obama has spent weeks trying to show he is on the case to bring down energy costs over the short- and long-term. Senior administration officials, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said increased volatility in oil markets justified the need for the crackdown. They could not point to specific increases in oil market speculation, however."Every time prices go up, there's some sort of ruckus," said Marc Spitzer, a former commissioner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who was appointed by President George W. Bush. Spitzer said the proposed measures may satisfy a populist urge to bash speculators, but if implemented they would likely cause a modest increase in volatility, instead of bringing down prices. Hmmmmm........"Republicans, who blame Obama's energy policies for high gasoline prices, called the effort a political gimmick."How many of you are aware Sunoco, Conoco Phillips and The HESS Corp are all closing US oil refineries? Not many, as the media refuses to give this HUGE story coverage. My guess is that if Americans understood the complete truth to how we are being sold out, and enslaved there just might be the much needed revolution to turn this country around. Last September, both Sunoco and Conoco Phillips announced plant closing, effecting thousands of workers. Sunoco announced they are completely getting out of the oil industry. Closing up shop. They are done with the US oil industry. Sunoco is closing it's 2 oil refineries in July 2012 in Philadelphia and Marcus Hook, Pa. Those 2 facilities alone process over 500,000 barrels a day. Also announced last year, ConocoPhillips announced 2 plant closing for sure in Trainer, PA and Bayway, NJ., the other 3 plants are undecided as of today.
Conoco also announced they were closing their Alaskan refining facility: Just a week ago, the US 3rd largest oil refinery owned and operated by The HESS Corp just announced it's permanent closure. Costing over 2,000 jobs, and effecting 950 contractors.
Refineries on the East Coast of the US supply 40% of the gasoline sales and 60% of the diesel and other fuel oils. Of that, HALF that comes from the Sunoco and Conoco Phillips plant closures. When Conoco Phillips announced that it was closing the Trainer refinery, Willie Chiang, then ConocoPhillips' Senior Vice President of Refining, Marketing, Transportation and Commercial, noted that their decision to sell, like Sunoco's, was based on unfavorable economics caused by a competitive and difficult market environment characterized by "...product imports, weakness in motor fuel demand, and costly regulatory requirements." They are ALL closing up shop due to government regulations, union demands and excessive operating costs brought on by the Government regulations. Then you have the unions, led by Barry's buddy Leo Gerard saying they will close ALL US oil refineries starting from the east coast to west coast today. Think gas and energy costs are high right now.......wait 6 months. You haven't seen anything yet. How can anyone expect any company to do business with an anti-American, hostile government out of control? You can't. That is why we are seeing a mass exodus, across the board in every industry in the US LEAVING.Hmmmm.......You will obey and buy electric cars.Read the full story here.
Did Ted Nugent Threaten to Assassinate President Obama?Secret Service Is On it..(TP).Ted Nugent’s threatening remarks about President Obama at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis have earned him a follow-up conversation with the Secret Service. On Sunday, the singer remarked that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” The Secret Service, which investigates all threats against the President, confirmed to New York Magazine’s Daily Intel blog that they have in fact flagged Nugent’s comment. “We are aware of it, and we’ll conduct an appropriate follow up,” the agent told the magazine. Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney — albeit reluctantly — via Twitter last month, and at least one Romney, middle son Tagg, was excited about the news. Watch the video of his remarks, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.Hmmmm.......Sounds to me like he fears that he might be arrested or get a 'heart attack' like Breitbart.
Total "Controller-In-Chief" - Obama Admin now Zoning the ocean.(HE).By Audrey Hudson.President Barack Obama has an ambitious plan for Washington bureaucrats to take command of the oceans—and with it control over much of the nation’s energy, fisheries, even recreation in a move described by lawmakers as the ultimate power grab to zone the seas. The massive undertaking also includes control over key inland waterways and rivers that reach hundreds of miles upstream, and began with little fanfare when Obama signed an executive order in 2010 to protect the aquatic environment. “This one to me could be the sleeping power grab that Americans will wake up to one day and wonder what the heck hit them,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R –Texas).
“This is pure administrative fiat,” said Sen. David Vitter (R –La.). “It’s very troubling.” “This is purely a unilateral administrative action with no real congressional input or oversight,” Vitter said. “I think it clearly threatens to have a big impact on a lot of industry, starting with energy, oil and gas, and fishing.” But in his zeal to curb sea sprawl, lawmakers say the president’s executive order also gives Washington officialdom unprecedented reach to control land use as well.
“The order says they shall develop a scheme for oversight of oceans and all the sources thereof,” Flores said. “So you could have a snowflake land on Pikes Peak and ultimately it’s going to wind up in the water, so as a result they could regulate on every square inch of U.S. soil.” The effects of Obama’s far-reaching policy would be felt by numerous industries including wind farms and other renewable energy undertakings, ports, shipping vessels, and other marine commerce, and upstream it would also affect mining, timber, even farming. It will impact consumers directly through rules addressing recreational uses such as fishing and boating, and restricting the multiple use development of the ocean’s resources would also increase the cost of fuel and food, lawmakers say. The idea to create a policy to oversee multiple uses of the ocean originated during the Bush administration, but after push back from within the ranks, including Vitter, the idea was dropped. Critics of this revised plan say it is more narrowly focused, and that the Obama administration is taking their marching orders from environmental groups who want to move away from a multiple-use ocean policy to a no-use policy.
“If you look at the catalyst for the entire initiative, it comes from the playbook of environmental groups that think the ocean ought to be controlled by the federal government,” Flores said. Added Vitter: “This (Obama) administration is more aggressive and left-leaning, and they are going whole hog. I think it’s clearly a threat, and in terms of negatively impacting jobs, it’s a very, very big threat.” The ocean policy has already impacted oil and gas development in the Mid and South Atlantic, where more environmental analysis is now required to determine whether new studies must also be conducted to determine its safety, according to Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. Jack Belcher, managing director of the Ocean Policy Coalition that represents numerous industries affected by Obama’s initiative including oil companies, says Salazar’s action is one example of how the administration is already blocking new production “on a policy that hasn’t even been developed yet.”
Still in its draft form, the plan released in January contains vague goals that call for more than 150 milestones to be accomplished by next year that will determine how the ecosystem is managed. “Right now, we can only speculate on the impacts,” Belcher said. “But all of a sudden, there’s a new authority creating a new plan that may not allow oil and gas leasing or development in (some) areas.” “This has largely been completely under the radar,” Vitter said. “And that is exactly the way the administration and their environmental allies want to do it—announce the administrative fiat is complete and that we have this new way of life that nobody knew was coming.” “The Obama administration continues to move forward with zoning the oceans through implementation of the president’s National Ocean Policy without requesting funding specifically for this broad initiative and without answering basic questions about how funds are currently being diverted from other missions to fund this initiative,” Hastings said in an April 2 letter to Rogers. “The last thing we need is the federal government running the damn ocean and a bunch of bureaucrats running around trying to determine whether you can fish in one spot or another,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research.Hmmmm.......“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.” ~ Bruce Coville.Read the full story here.
Nasrallah also revealed, in a pre-recorded interview broadcast on the Moscow-based, English-language Russia Today news channel, that Hezbollah had contacted the Syrian opposition to urge them to enter into talks with Assad. “But they rejected dialogue,” he said. “Right from the beginning we have had a regime that is willing to undergo reforms and prepared for dialogue,” he added. “On the other side you have an opposition which is not prepared for dialogue and it is not prepared to accept reforms. All it wants is to bring down the regime.” Nasrallah also said "civil war is the only alternative” to dialogue in Syria. "And this is exactly what America and Israel want.”
Canada Christian College will place posters in Toronto subway.(TS).Toronto - A prominent Christian group will attempt to counter controversial Islamic posters currently placed in TTC stations by putting up its own religiously-charged advertisements. Canada Christian College director Charles McVety confirmed Monday that the college has been granted permission by the TTC to place as many as 50 posters in yet-to-be-determined stations.
The posters, which McVety plans to have up as of May 1, quote a Biblical passage of Jesus saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The approval of the Christian posters comes after controversy generated by ads put up in some subway stations in January by a Toronto-based Islamic group. The ads — posted by Walk-in Islamic Infocentre — state: “There is no god but Allah.” The posters have drawn criticism from other religious groups which charge the posters promote intolerance. McVety had recently been in talks with both the Canadian Hindu Advocacy and the Jewish Defense League on how to collectively counter the message of the Islamic posters.McVedy called the approval of the Christian ads a “game changer” in his battle against the Islamic placards, and a victory for free speech. “My push was freedom of speech ... We (Christians) had not had freedom of speech,” McVedy said. “But we have tested that, and we’ve been approved.”
Meanwhile, the other two groups will continue to fight to have the Islamic posters removed from TTC property. Ron Banerjee, of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy, and Meir Weinstein, of the Canadian chapter of the JDL, confirmed they’ll work together to campaign against the posters, which Weinstein branded as “grossly offensive.”Last week, the Canadian Hindu Advocacy sent an e-mail to TTC chair Karen Stintz, requesting an “urgent meeting ... to discuss the issue.”Hmmmm......“Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be,” ~ Pope Benedict XVI .Read the full story here.
Firefighters battle flames at Suez oil refinery,“We have lost 5 million pounds, so far! God save us”.
Firefighters battle flames at Suez oil refinery,“We have lost 5 million pounds, so far! God save us”.(Ahram). The residents of port city of Suez in north eastern Egypt experienced more moments of fear after a new oil depot, the fifth in the past three days, exploded inside the Nasr Oil Company on dawn Tuesday.The resulting blaze set a fire truck on fire and caused the injury of 14 workers. The injured were transported to a number of hopsitals after the incident and are currently undergoing treatment. Following the daily dawn prayers, the mosques in the city were used to call on the residents to keep alert after the flames were reported to have spread approximately 20 metres towards the bay area. The explosions in the storage facilities have so far claimed the lives of two people, a worker and a firefighter, and left dozens injured. It was reported that Tuesday's explosion took place shortly after a crack in the depot became visible to the naked eye. Reacting to the disturbing incident that has engulfed the Suez canal city and kept its residents on edge for days, the Chief of Suez Security Adel Refaat had announced that the situation was under control, as at least 30 fire trucks have been called on to the scene to contain the fire. Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi sent fire fighting planes on Saturday to take part in the efforts to contain the blaze.Until today, it is not known what initially caused the fire. However, some workers at the refinery reported that they saw a car burning shortly before the first oil tank exploded.
The Nasr Petroleum Company’s president, Kamal Safaan, has called on the government to deploy the military to save the city of Suez.“We have lost 5 million pounds, so far! God save us”, Safaan told Bikyamasr.com The financial losses that have ensued as a result of the explosions have been reported to amount to LE10 million, but could be as high as LE30 million.Read the full story here, more here and here.
Commander Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner who hit Danish protester is a Second Lebanon War hero.(JP).The IDF investigation of the beating of a Danish agent provocateur Andreas Ayas of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) by Deputy Bik’ah Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, will be presented Tuesday the the IDF Chief of Staff, and it appears that the report will recommend to remove Lt. Col. Eisner from office, but keep him in the army. However, the legal proceedings against Eisner will continue, and may affect his future career. The investigation was headed by Central Command Chief, Gen. Nitzan Alon. On Tuesday, Denmark has demanded clarification from Israel about the incident and the investigation. The Foreign Office updated the Danish Ambassador in Israel about the steps taken since the exposure of the video online. President Shimon Peres attempted to minimize the damage when he said that “The IDF responded clearly, and we must await its conclusions. It’s an isolated incident that should be investigated, and we should avoid far-reaching conclusions.”
Beyond the moral aspects, the investigation also dealt with the operational conduct of the forces in the field during the event. In this respect, the report found failures, primarily in inadequate preliminary preparations for the event; the force that was sent into the area was too small and did not receive police support as required. On Monday, 83 reserves officers and soldiers sent the Defense Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff a letter supporting the Eisner, who had been suspended from his post. Hagit Rein, grieving mother of the late Major B’naya Rein who was killed in the Second Lebanon War and whose body was recovered by Eisner under fire, called the Army Radio to express her dismay at the way Eisner was being judged by the “media court.”
During that war, B’naya Rein assembled a special force to assist damaged tanks. He was killed on that mission for which he had volunteered, and his body remained in enemy territory. At the command level it was decided that rescuing the body was too dangerous, according to the reservists’ letter. Then it was decided they lacked the necessary resources for a rescue mission. After three days, Shalom Eisner, who was then commander of an armored battalion, heard about the abandoned body and said it was unacceptable that the body of an army officer would be lying on the ground while his parents were waiting for him at home. Eisner took a jeep, recall his fellow officers and soldiers, put on a flak jacket and went out to get B’naya. “Surrounded by burned-out tanks, missiles flying in every direction, he just went out into the field, loaded the body and brought it back.” Lt. Col. Eisner’s supporters expressed their complete faith in him “as a man, as a friend and as a moral commander.”Read the full story here.
If you want to see how Danish police treat protesters see video below compliments of IsraelMatzav.
Osama bin Laden's Widows and Children to be deported from Pakistan.(Telegraph). Bin Laden's three widows and their children were detained by the Pakistani authorities after the Saudi was killed in an operation in the garrison town of Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, last May. The news came as Washington and Islamabad try to patch up their relationship, which was badly damaged by the revelation that the world's most wanted man was living a stone's throw from Pakistan's elite military academy. Two weeks ago a court sentenced the widows and two of bin Laden's older daughters to 45 days' detention on charges of illegal entry and residency in Pakistan and ordered their deportation as soon as possible. They are due to complete the sentence, served in an Islamabad villa designated by authorities as a "sub-jail", on Tuesday, as it officially began when they were formally arrested on the charges on March 3. "They will go tonight or tomorrow early in the morning. After 12 tonight they can be deported any time," their lawyer Muhammad Aamir told AFP on Tuesday.Aamir said the family – who number 12, including bin Laden's three widows, eight children and one grandchild – would probably initially go to Saudi Arabia. He said bin Laden's youngest and reportedly favourite wife, Amal Abdulfattah, who is Yemeni, may be sent to Yemen afterwards with her five children. A Pakistani intelligence official confirmed to AFP that the family was expected to be deported "sometime around midnight" and said "most likely they would be flown to Saudi Arabia."Read the full story here.
Hamza Bin Laden .....A chip off the old block?
"Licenced To Demolish" - James Bond stuntman crashes in İstanbul bazaar shop.(HD).A 400-year-old wooden building on Aynacılar Street in the Grand Bazaar was damaged on the first day of Istanbul filming of the latest addition to the James Bond series, 'Skyfall,' yesterday, when motorcycles, which were driven in front of a jewelry shop, missed the corner and hit the structure, daily Hürriyet reported. The shop, called Boybeyi, provides the jewelry used in the popular Turkish TV series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century). The shop window and the marble of the building were broken during the accident and its columns also suffered damage. The owner of the jewelry shop, Mete Boybeyi, called the police following the incident. “This is one of the oldest buildings in the bazaar. A fire could have started because of sparks from the motorcycle, and this building could have burned down. We did not even know that there would be filming in this area. Some shop owners said their shop windows were also broken. Permission for the shooting was obtained from the Grand Bazaar Artisans Association but nobody asked us,” Boybeyi said. "This place is regulated by the Council of Monuments. We can't even change our window without their permission," he said. The bureaucracy involved in replacing the window would take quite some time, Boybeyi said, and that would mean the shop would remain shut and a loss of revenue.The production company will pay daily sums to shop owners on the street to cover their three-week loss. Owners will open their shops but will not be able to make any sales; only döner sellers will continue working in the shooting area.Read the full story here.
The Islamic Republic of Iran that is marking the National Army Day today, displayed its military power at the parade, IRINN reported. Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam are present at the ceremony, along with IRGC's generals and foreign attaches. Country's Air forces, Naval Forces and Ground forces participate in the massive military parade that's being hosted as part of the celebration. The parade, that was being broadcasted live on national television, shown off Iran's various radar systems (Melli Radar), rocket systems (Fajr-5, Tufan, Shahin, Mersad 2, Naziat 6, Naziat 10), enhanced and updated Zulfugar and T72S tanks, armoured personnel carriers, military trucks, helicopters, unmanned aircrafts, ballistic missiles, 175 MM cannons and more.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey: "Christians in Britain are being ‘vilified’".(CT).The former Archbishop of Canterbury has hit out at what he sees as the vilification of Christians in Britain. In a submission to the European Court of Human Rights, Lord Carey said that Christians are being “vilified” by the state and face being sacked for their faith. His appeal was made in connection to the cases of four British Christians who have experienced disciplinary action in the workplace for expressing their faith. Two of the cases relate to wearing the cross at work. In the submission seen by the Daily Telegraph, Lord Carey said there was a “drive to remove Judaeo-Christian values from the public square” and that some believers were being treated as “bigots”. “In a country where Christians can be sacked for manifesting their faith, are vilified by State bodies, are in fear of reprisal or even arrest for expressing their views on sexual ethics, something is very wrong,” he said. “It affects the moral and ethical compass of the United Kingdom. Christians are excluded from many sectors of employment simply because of their beliefs; beliefs which are not contrary to the public good.” He goes on to argue that the rulings in recent court cases involving Christians who tried to manifest their faith have left religious freedom without “any substantive effect” in Britain. “It is now Christians who are persecuted; often sought out and framed by homosexual activists,” he said. “Christians are driven underground. There appears to be a clear animus to the Christian faith and to Judaeo-Christian values. Clearly the courts of the United Kingdom require guidance.”Read the full story here.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Obama 2010 "They talk about me like a dog" - Obama 2012 "“Throw Bo A Bone On His Anniversary.” Of course, that “bone” would be a campaign contribution, starting at $10."
Obama 2010 "They talk about me like a dog" - Obama 2012 "“Throw Bo A Bone On His Anniversary.” Of course, that “bone” would be a campaign contribution, starting at $10."(WE).Now even Bo, the nation’s first pup, is being used to raise money for his the reelection campaign of his owner, President Obama. Cute for sure, but not everybody’s wagging their tail over what is the first use of a presidential pet to raise campaign cash. On the Obama-Biden campaign website, Bo is featured because it is the third anniversary of his adoption. “It’s a promise Barack made to his daughters--that if he won the election in November 2008, he would buy them their long-awaited puppy. On April 14, 2009, Barack followed through on his promise to Malia and Sasha--the Obamas welcomed Bo into their home,” says the campaign of the Portuguese water dog. “Now, he’s got three years under his collar as the first dog. This April, wish Bo Obama a happy anniversary as a member of the first family,” adds the campaign website in a posting headlined, “Throw Bo A Bone On His Anniversary.” Of course, that “bone” would be a campaign contribution, starting at $10. “The first dog is wagging his tail in anticipation of four more years,” says the campaign. Maybe so, but some think the use of the first pet to raise money is tacky. “That’s very crass,” says Claire McLean of the Presidential Pet Museum. “That’s like raffling the dog or auctioning the pet,” she adds. “It’s not presidential to do that.” McLean says that pets have been used for fun in campaigns because they are nonpartisan. “Bo is liked by Republicans and Democrats because he doesn’t have any real political affiliation,” she said. But using him in fundraising pitches, as the campaign is, destroys that. “He becomes like a donkey or elephant,” she says of the Democratic and Republican mascots.Hmmmm.....Anything is for sale it seems.....How about The U.S.A.?“I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money”.Read the full story here.
Egyptian Presidential Election Postponed?(Docstalk).By BarryRubin.It is being reported--though I haven't fully confirmed it--that the totally chaotic Egyptian presidential election will be postponed until after a constitution is written. That means the military will hold onto power for what? several months? most of this year? who knows. Having made one tough decision--to run a presdiential candidate--the Brotherhood must now decide whether it wants to play it safe, given its control of parliament, and have a weak president or to go for a strong president, believing that it will put its own man into office. And incidentally it isn't clear who precisely is running. The Salafist candidate, who loathes America, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail was disqualified after being challenged by a claim that his mother is an American citizen and so was Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater. The Brotherhood has a backup candidate, Muhammad al-Mursi, ready to go if necessary. The Mubarak regime's intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, has been also barred as have been all former officials though somehow there's a loophole allowing the former foreign minister to run! Oh well. The Mubarak regime barred the Brotherhood as a separate party and now the Brotherhood has gotten the Mubarak regime blocked. Such is democracy. Any way, this is another step in the growing chaos and instability that is going to continue to plague Egypt. Comment: This is a critical development and I notice that the USA Administration is quite mum about the process that is taking place in Egypt.How goes this in Egypt so goes the remainder of the ME. In Israel we are watching with diligence.Hmmmm.....Another 'crisis' that has to wait till after the 'reelection' of Obama?Read the full story here.
A Timeline of Terror: 2001 to 2012 - First rocket fired from Gaza at Israel exactly 11 years ago.(IDFBlog).Author: IDF Website.Exactly 11 years ago, terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched a rocket at civilian communities in southern Israel for the first time. Since then, over 12,500 rockets have been fired at over one million Israeli civilians, creating an unbearable reality.
For 11 years, the rocket fire has been disrupting normal life, damaging property and threatening innocent lives - so far killing over 40 civilians and injuring dozens more. Since the beginning of 2012, already 269 rockets hit Israeli territory. During escalations, when rocket fire increases, entire families are forced to stay in bomb shelters between recurring sirens. The Gaza Strip is a 41 km long and 6 to 12 km wide region located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Gaza Strip population stands at 1.6 million and is bordered by Israel and Egypt. Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 in a unilateral disengagement, though Gaza terrorists continue to launch rockets at Israeli communities. In response to every rocket launched, IAF aircraft target the responsible terrorists with direct, precise strikes. Many times the IAF is able to recognize terrorists as they prepare to launch rockets, and manage to thwart yet another attack.
Launching sites, terror infrastructure, and tunnels used for weapon smuggling are targeted as well, thwarting additional attacks. The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel. The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.
The recent escalation in southern Israel took place in March, during which over 300 rockets were fired at Israeli territory by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The IDF responded with pinpoint air strikes targeting those responsible and thwarting additional attacks, mostly executed from within residential areas and using civilians as human shields. During the escalation, IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai assured during a radio interview that, "we will not allow this unbearable reality to continue plaguing the lives of civilians in southern Israel. No country in the world would allow this and we will continue operating against every terror body active in the Gaza Strip... The IAF along with exact intelligence reports has been successful in directly targeting these terrorists as they prepare to launch rockets."
Brig. Gen. Mordechai continued to accuse the Hamas terror organization as responsible for the attacks. After one of the situating assessments held during the escalation, Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said, "Over the weekend more than 120 rockets were fired at Israeli territory. 90% of the rockets that were directed at highly populated regions were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. The IDF is demonstrating its exact, high-quality operational capabilities in response." Prior to the recent March escalation, another escalation took place in August, 2011.
Faced with this relentless barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, Israel developed a variety of defense measures ranging from measures to identify and precisely target rocket launch sites–sometimes even just seconds before a launch attempt–to sophisticated missile defense systems.
Despite the constant threat aimed at civilians, the IDF strives to keep the casualty count to a minimum. Whether it’s the instructors of the IDF Home Front Command who visit schools and teach children how to act when the warning sirens go off, or the Iron Dome system intercepting and destroying rockets headed for population centers, the IDF works hard to protect Israel and its citizens.Read and see the full story here and here.
Obama Administration Discontinues USASpending.gov Transparency Tool.(Heritage).Since 1993, the Census Bureau has made available detailed data about federal government expenditures in its Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR). The 2012 report will be the last one.
Through the CFFR website, the public had access to such data as federal expenditures made at the county level for programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare as well as for more obscure federal spending programs. How much did the federal government send to Autauga County in Alabama for a hazardous materials training program? That data was available, but now it is concealed.
The CFFR states:
The U.S. Census Bureau has terminated the Federal Financial Statistics program effective for the FY 2012 budget. The termination of the program results in the elimination of the Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR), including the publication, downloadable data, and the On-Line Query System, as well as the annual Federal Aid to States Report (FAS). In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, the Census Bureau did a comprehensive review of a number of programs and made the difficult decision to terminate and reduce a number of existing programs in order to secure funding for new programs or cyclical increases for other programs.Did someone tell the Census Bureau that it must end the CFFR in order to expand other, less transparent data collection? The Obama Administration’s 2012 budget appendix includes a request to expand the Census Bureau’s research and production capabilities in some areas and a request to reduce them in others. It does not name exactly what is to be terminated but only what is to be expanded.Under the table cuts are not transparent.
The old CFFR website refers people to USASpending.gov, with the caveat that not all of the data is available there. For the past two weeks, none of the data was available there.
I spoke with the chief of the Federal Programs Branch at the Census Bureau, who pointed me to the archives section of USASpending.gov there. When we click on any of the files that are supposed to contain federal contracts however, we continually got “page not found” messages. Researchers who want to continue to use data they have had access to since 1993 are out of luck. On Friday, April 13, the data mysteriously returned to the page and is now located there, but the availability of the data remains spotty—one day in the last two weeks.
With the Obama Administration outspending all prior Administrations while adding to the astronomical federal debt, the fact that taxpayers can no longer rely on access to where and how their money is being spent at the county and city level is disquieting. So far, Administration officials have been able to brush the lack of transparency under the rug. For the good of the country, that needs to change. Citizens should demand to know what is happening to their tax dollars once they are sucked up by the federal government’s vacuum cleaner.Hmmmm..........“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.” ~ Bruce Coville.Read the full story here.
Russian Inspectors Begin Surveillance Flight Over the U.S. territory from the Travis Air Force Base, located in California.
Russian Inspectors Begin Surveillance Flight Over the U.S. territory from the Travis Air Force Base, located in California.(RN).A group of Russian military observers begin on Sunday a nine-day inspection mission in the skies of the United States under the Open Skies Treaty. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia’s Tupolev Tu-154 LK-1 will take off on Sunday from the Travis Air Force Base, located in California, while the maximum range of the flight will total 4,250 kilometers (2,640 miles). “Russian and U.S. experts on board the plane will monitor the implementation of agreements on the use of technical equipment for the observation,” the ministry said in a statement earlier this week.The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002 and its regime covers the national territories (land, islands, and internal and territorial waters) of all the treaty signatory states. It is an important element of the European security structure. Meanwhile Tbilisi’s decision to pull out from the Open Skies Treaty vis-à-vis Moscow sets “a dangerous precedent”, which may even lead to “collapse” of the entire treaty, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on April 16.Georgia announced in early April that it was ceasing its obligations under the treaty only vis-à-vis Russia.Georgia cited Russia’s decision to impose restriction on observation flight path as the reason behind its decision to pull out from the treaty vis-à-vis Russia.
“The Treaty does not envisage possibility of an arbitrary, discriminatory restriction of right of any participating state. The Georgian side’s action, however leads to violation of the Russian Federation’s rights and creates a dangerous precedent, which, combined with uneasy situation existing recently in the Open Skies Consultative Commission [the implementing body of the treaty, consisting of representatives from each of the 34 states parties to the treaty], may lead to the collapse of the Open Skies Treaty,” the Russian MFA said in the statement.Hmmmm..............Anyone heard about these 'overflights' in the MSM?Read the full story here.
Russian Air Force to hold massive exercise near Japanese airspace, 40 strategic 'bear' bombers to carry out five-day drill
Russian Air Force to hold massive exercise near Japanese airspace, 40 strategic 'bear' bombers to carry out five-day drill.(OUTITW).Like the US Air Force’s B-52, Russia’s strategic bombers are Cold War relics, but they can still pack a punch with their air-launched cruise missiles. Russia has not hesitated to flex its muscles around the disputed South Kuril Islands, which Soviet troops wrested from Japan at the end of the Second World War. The Kremlin media reports that earlier today the Russian Air Force began a massive five-day drill near Japan: About 40 strategic bombers will participate in five-day drills in Russia’s Maritime Territory near the Japanese border, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Monday. The long-range aviation exercise, which started earlier in the day, includes aerial bombing and launches of airborne cruise missiles at the Litovka test range, he said. Other training missions will include aerial patrol and midair refueling. About 30 crews of Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers, some 10 crews of Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers and two Il-78 aerial tankers will participate. Moscow and Tokyo did not sign a peace treaty in 1945 and, thus, are still technically a state of war. Last year, President Dmitry Medvedev announced that Russia will beef up its military presence in the South Kurils.Hmmmm.......Give me some time Vladimir, till 'i'm more flexible'?Read the full story here.
'Iranian officials observed N Korea's rocket a.k.a. "ballistic missile" launch'.(ZI).Seoul: Iranian officials witnessed the failed rocket test in North Korea last week, a report on Monday said. A “diplomatic source” informed South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that 12 Iranian officials from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) were in North Korea to observe the launch. The SHIG is the organisation responsible for Iran's ballistic missile programs. “On March 31, 12 Iranians of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) arrived in North Korea,” Yonhap quoted its source as saying. “The Iranians undoubtedly were there to observe the missile launch and receive test data from North Korea.”
A North Korean satellite, which South Korea calls a "ballistic missile", failed to enter orbit after its launch on Friday morning. South Korea said on Friday that North Korea will have to "take responsibility" for the alleged failed long-range rocket launch, which breached a UN ban. The 90-tonne Unha-3 rocket was launched at 7.39 am from the Tongchang-ri launch site but broke into some 20 pieces and fell into sea one or two minutes after the lift-off, according to the South Korean Defence Ministry. Describing the launch as "a ballistic missile test" and a "serious threat", the South Korean Defence Ministry said the broken pieces landed in waters some 100 to 150 km off South Korea's western port city of Gunsan. Pyongyang has said the launch of a rocket-mounted satellite is to mark the birth centennial April 15 of the country's founding father Kim Il-sung. News of North Korea's guests from Iran is likely to cast the spotlight onto the suspected relationship between the two nations in terms of the exchange of ballistic missile technology. One such indication of their collaboration is the Shahab-3 ballistic missile developed by Iran's SHID which is widely believed to be a replica of North Korea's mid-range Nodong missile.Hmmmmm.......On March 31, 12 Iranians of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) arrived in North Korea, that's a long time ahead for 'simple observation'.Read the full story here.HT: IsraelMatzav.
Canada's foreign minister asks Iran to release Canadian on death row.(E24/7).Canada's foreign minister on Monday called on Iran to halt the imminent execution of Canadian-Iranian Hamid Ghassemi-Shall and to release the man accused of espionage.Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy issued a joint statement asking Iran to release and halt the execution of Hamid Ghassemi-Shall "Canada is gravely concerned by indications that the execution of Mr. Ghassemi-Shall may be carried out imminently," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement. "Canada urgently appeals to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to grant clemency to Mr. Ghassemi-Shall on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. "We urge Iran to reverse its current course and to adhere to its international human rights obligations." Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, 42, was detained in Iran and sentenced to death for espionage in 2009. According to a website dedicated to his case, freehamid.org, Ghassemi-Shall left Toronto in May 2008 to visit his mother in Tehran. While he was there, his brother, Alborz Ghassemi, was arrested, and Iranian authorities seized Hamid's passports, credit cards and other items. Alborz Ghassemi subsequently died in custody. Ghassemi-Shall was arrested when he made arrangements to retrieve his papers from Iranian officials. His wife, Antonella Mega, denies that her husband is a spy. Mega said Sunday that her morale is low after fighting for years to secure her husband's release. "I'm really praying to God that (Iranian officials) will do the right thing," Mega told CTV News. In a letter to the Canadian government dated February 22, 2011, Secretary General Alex Neve said the organization is "gravely concerned that he has been subject to torture and ill-treatment," and called on the Canadian government to intervene on his behalf.He immigrated to Canada following the Islamic revolution of 1979, living mostly in Toronto, but Iran does not recognize his dual citizenship.Read the full story here, more (Video) here.
Israel: Obama’s secret dealings with Iran conflict with US-Israeli understandings.(Debka).The fundamental rift on Iran between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu burst into the open Monday, April 16 when high-ranking Israeli officials close to Netanyahu directly accused the president of reneging on the US-Israeli understandings reached ahead of the Istanbul talks between the six powers and Iran on April 14. Behind the show biz of Istanbul, they charged, the US and Iran had reached secret agreements in clandestine bilateral contacts channeled through Paris and Vienna.
The row surfaced Sunday when Netanyahu said the US and world powers by agreeing to hold more talks in Baghdad next month had given Tehran a "freebie" of five more weeks to continue enriching uranium without restrictions. By singling out the US, the prime minister aimed his comment directly at the president.
Obama’s response was fast. At a news conference ending the Western Hemisphere summit in Cartagenia, Colombia, he commented sharply: "The notion that somehow we've given something away or a `freebie' would indicate Iran has gotten something. In fact, they've got some of the toughest sanctions that they're going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don't take advantage of these talks." (THEY GOT TIME).
That is the very point on which Israel accuses the US president of playing false: time.As disclosed by debkafile on April 9, American and Israeli officials preceded the Istanbul talks with an understanding for the US to put before Iran agreed demands/concessions: Iran would be allowed to keep 1,000 centrifuges for the low-level enrichment of uranium up to 3.5 percent purity, the first time Israel had accepted the principle of Iran enriching uranium at any grade at all. It was also agreed between Washington and Jerusalem that Iran would not be permitted to keep 20 percent enriched uranium, which is a short step before weapons-grade, in any quantity. These understandings, known as the “1,000 principle,” were meant to represent the final upshot of the formal negotiations with Iran, a consensus to which US diplomats would aspire in as short a time possible. In the event, the US delegation did not present any of the agreed demands – or any other - to the Iranians attending the first round of talks in Turkey. The belated sense of being misled prompted the prime minister’s exceptionally sharp reaction. Israeli official sources now suspect that in their secret contacts, the US has granted Iran far-reaching concessions on its nuclear program - more than Israel would find unacceptable. The formal talks in Istanbul and in Baghdad on May 23 are seen as nothing but a device to screen the real business the US and Iran have already contracted on the quiet.Hmmmm......As i said several times before "What else have Obama and Erdogan promised Iran?Richard Dalton:"It should be possible to work out a first step this year".Read the full story here.
Quake Expert: Something is Seriously Wrong, says 39 quakes within two days, planet could be cracking up
Quake Expert: Something is Seriously Wrong, says 39 quakes within two days, planet could be cracking up .(ZT).A leading earthquake scientist has warned that the planet could be cracking up after a series of massive quakes in just 48 hours. Expert Gheorghe Marmureanu – from Romania’s National Institute of Earth Physics – says 39 quakes had hit the globe within two days. The series started with two massive quakes in Indonesia measuring 8.6 and 8.2 on the Richter scale rapidly followed by three more only slightly smaller in Mexico within hours. “There is no doubt that something is seriously wrong. There have been too many strong earthquakes,” said Marmureanu. He added: “The quakes are a surprise that cannot be easily explained by current scientific knowledge. With the Indonesian quake for example, statistically, there should be one big earthquake in this part of Asia every 500 years. However, since 2004, there were already three quakes with a magnitude of over 8, which is not normal.Read the full story here.
Bolton gave a speech at the NRA the other day and had some excellent one liners that go a long way at summarizing the foreign policy of this administration. My favorite being this one:
"The problem with Obama is that he sees American strength as provocative, when in fact it’s the exact opposite. It’s American weakness that’s provocative and we have a president who specializes in it."
Bolton also gave advice on how to treat our allies:
"If you watch how the Obama administration has performed with respect to Iran and it’s nuclear weapons and it’s support for terrorism, versus how our president has treated Israel, it’s very clear: if you want to know how to treat a close ally, look at how Barack Obama has treated Israel and then do the exact opposite."
Read and see the full story here.
Richard Dalton, former British Ambassador to Libya and to Iran:"the US simply cannot go far enough for a deal during an election campaign. A full year will be needed".
Richard Dalton, former British Ambassador to Libya and to Iran:"the US simply cannot go far enough for a deal during an election campaign. A full year will be needed".(EAWV).Richard Dalton, former British Ambassador to Libya and to Iran and now a fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, writes for EA: Given the depth of mutual distrust, it is a significant achievement for Iran and the Six countries negotiating with them to have launched a serious dialogue on a peaceful negotiated solution.
The Six [US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia] have been at sixes and sevens too often. The difficult work starts now, crafting a negotiating strategy that will start building trust and will end with a permanently reduced risk of Iran ever building nuclear weapons. Iran will have to decide whether it will go beyond exploring the positions of the other side and to actually deliver on transparency, scrutiny, and limits on its freedom of action. Iran travelled furthest to make this happen: they dropped the preconditions that wrecked the last talks in January 2011. Why? Four main reasons.
The leadership decided around August 2011 that they should resolve the outstanding concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency's secretariat and its members that there had been many, and still could be some, military dimensions to its nuclear activities.
Second, they have made significant, bankable progress in their nuclear endeavours despite sanctions, including getter much closer to weapons capability.
Third, the sanctions have hurt their economy and prejudiced domestic quiet much more than they had anticipated. Last but not least, the pragmatic reflex in Iran has never been eclipsed --- to use diplomacy to work around obstacles that cannot be shifted by full-frontal defiance. Perhaps they decided too that they should no longer take such punishment for something they are not doing at present --- going for a bomb. Even intelligence services hostile to them say they are not doing that. Some members of the Six helped. In 2011 the Russians put forward a phased plan for big concessions by Iran in return for easing pressures on them, reflecting the fact that their businesses have paid the highest price for implementing sanctions. The UK will have worked hard to bridge the inevitable gap between them and the rest, especially the hard-necked French. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated publicly that Iran could expect to be able to enrich uranium once it was in good standing with the IAEA and had assured the world of the exclusively peaceful nature of its programmes. President Obama renewed some of his 2009 language implying respect for the Islamic Republic in a private message to Ayatollah Khamenei. He ended years of uncertainty when he stated during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington that it was the bomb, not the capability to make one, that was the US red line. He also made clear that he would not give Israel a green light to make war on Iran in current circumstances. In European Union representative Catherine Ashton’s statement the Six referred to Iran complying with all its international obligations. Fine. But the Six appear to have improved their tactics by down-playing their demand for compliance with the UN Security Council requirements that Iran suspends all enrichment and the construction of the Arak heavy-water reactor.
Their statement said that the Non-proliferation Treaty was “a” key basis. The Iranians would no doubt have preferred “the” key basis, but it is still a new point of emphasis for the Six that will make it easier to find common ground with Iran. Other good words in the statement of the Six are “step by step” –-- seductive as are ideas of getting everything right in one go, the matters to be negotiated are too complex, and the doubts of each about the true intentions of the other, are so profound, that proceeding by verified phases is essential. And not just for the negotiators: the US and Iran both have difficult domestic political situations. They have to convince their respective nay-sayers.
Even better is “reciprocity”. Although little appeared in the media in advance of the talks about what Iran might get if it changed its policy, it is obvious that the Six have known for some time that --- to quote another official speaking about potential concessions by the Six in the margin of the talks: “We will have to be credible too." Simply holding at Iran’s head a gun in one hand and the power to impoverish Iranians in the other was never going to save the NPT, avert war, reassure the neighbours, and keep oil flowing. So each side moved some way. Earlier each had escalated in the hope of bringing extra pressure to bear to shift any negotiations their way. The Iranians started 20% enrichment, and then moved it from exposed Natanz to safer Fordow, underlining the perils for the Six in delaying a move to a more flexible and hence constructive position. And ever-tighter financial sanctions and the partial oil embargo appear to have led Iran to moderate its defiance and allow itself the option of a change of policy.
It will be tough turning these preliminary moves into a deal. The first requirement for the Six is to recognize in practise that distrust is two-way. They must be seen to negotiate in good-faith on nuclear issues and not to hold regime change up their sleeves. Second, they must temper their preference for caution by giving Iran a picture at the outset, in secret, of what a successful outcome could look like. Elements should include satisfying the IAEA that Iran’s declarations of nuclear material are correct and complete, enrichment for peaceful purposes in Iran matching output of low –enriched uranium to Iran’s future civil reactor building programme, limitation of the percentage level of future enrichment, and enhanced surveillance of Iran’s activities --- building on Iran’s Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA which it observes well --- including the Additional Protocol. In return, Iran should get progressive lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions, and --- a word dear to Iran which appeared in the statements after the Istanbul talks –-- “cooperation”, meaning in nuclear developments.
Third, nuclear arrangements negotiated between the parties and with the IAEA are a necessary but not sufficient condition for complete success. Regional political and security-related concerns must be addressed in order to start reducing the gulf between the US, Israel and the GCC states, and Iran. If in due course Iran and the US can start their own bilateral track, so much the better. Next, dialogue must be given time. It should be possible to work out a first step this year based on the much-discussed end of 20% enrichment in return for cooperation over fuel supply for the Tehran Research reactor. But talk of a final and closing window for talks is unrealistic: the US simply cannot go far enough for a deal during an election campaign. A full year will be needed. And demanded of Israel, which in any case, is highly unlikely to abort the new sanctions-backed diplomacy by attacking Iran if --- a crucial if --- there is no change in the current overall intelligence picture of there being no imminent threat to it from Iran. Fifth, the dialogue must be sustained at a much higher intensity that hitherto. Between December 2004 and June 2005 Britain, France and Germany were in regular meetings with in Iran on cooperation, security and nuclear questions to clear the ground for what became the 2005 E3 proposal to Iran. That is the model --- not the once or twice a year sessions that followed that failure. Finally, a more forthcoming tone from France's Quai d’Orsay and Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office would help. Of course there is a long way to go (British Foreign Secretary William Hague) and of course Iran must make urgent gestures (French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe). The White House realised that it is worthwhile to give credit to your adversary when it is deserved --- they praised Iran’s positive attitude. The tensions in the Gulf should now subside for a period of months at least. Diplomacy has a serious chance of success. Strong leadership is needed on both sides to turn a beginning into promising first agreements, and later into a permanent resolution.Hmmmm........Ahmadinejad laying back in his divan .....playing over and over this song.Read the full story here.
In light of further nuclear risks at the spent nuclear fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor, economic growth should not be the priority.
In light of further nuclear risks at the spent nuclear fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor, economic growth should not be the priority.(PLNB).By Paul Langley. The following is taken from Source: Mainichi Daily News, Japan.Author: By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer.Date: April 2, 2012.[...] One of the biggest issues that we face is the possibility that the spent nuclear fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant will collapse.
This is something that experts from both within and outside Japan have pointed out since the massive quake struck. [...] not only independent experts, but also sources within the government say that it’s a grave concern. The storage pool in the No. 4 reactor building has a total of 1,535 fuel rods, or 460 tons of nuclear fuel, in it. The 7-story building itself has suffered great damage, with the storage pool barely intact on the building’s third and fourth floors. The roof has been blown away.
If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area. Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned about this risk.
A report released in February by the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident stated that the storage pool of the plant’s No. 4 reactor has clearly been shown to be “the weakest link” in the parallel, chain-reaction crises of the nuclear disaster. The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate.
Former Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Sumio Mabuchi, who was appointed to the post of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s advisor on the nuclear disaster immediately after its outbreak, proposed the injection of concrete from below the No. 4 reactor to the bottom of the storage pool, Chernobyl-style. [...] “Because sea water was being pumped into the reactor, the soundness of the structure (concrete corrosion and deterioration) was questionable. There also were doubts about the calculations made on earthquake resistance as well,” said one government source familiar with what took place at the time. “[...] fuel rod removal will take three years. Will the structure remain standing for that long?
Burying the reactor in a concrete grave is like building a dam, and therefore expensive. I think that it was because TEPCO’s general shareholders’ meeting was coming up (in June 2011) that the company tried to keep expenses low.” [...] Earthquakes in the neighborhood of level-5 on the seismic intensity scale continue to occur even now in the Tohoku and Kanto regions. We cannot accept the absurd condescension of those who fear the worse-case scenario, labeling them as “overreacting.” We have no time to humor the senseless thinking that instead, those who downplay the risks for the sake of economic growth are “realistic.” Observation: Japan is very seismically active with over 1500 earthquakes per year.Average Number of Earthquakes per Year, Magnitude 5 and Greater All Depths. Read the full story here.