Archive for January, 2010

US beefs up military presence off Iranian shores

US beefs up military presence off Iranian shores

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=117487&sectionid=351020104

US accelerating missile defenses in Gulf: report

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_accelerating_missile_defenses_in_01302010.html

AIPAC hack Hillary Clinton courts China’s support for sanctions against Iran

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7007166.ece

The Times

January 29, 2010

Hillary Clinton courts China’s support for sanctions against Iran

Catherine Philp, Diplomatic Correspondent

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Stansted Airport in southern England January 27, 2010. Clinton is in Britain to participate in Wednesday's and Thursday's talks on Yemen and Afghanistan.

The Obama Administration is drawing up a list of tough new sanctions against Iran in preparation for a possible UN Security Council vote within weeks.

The proposed sanctions, aimed at Iranian financial institutions and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, will be circulated among Security Council member countries as early as today after strong indications that Russian and Chinese opposition is fading. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, held talks with her counterparts from both countries in London this week, urging them to recognise that their efforts at negotiating a halt to Iran’s nuclear programme had failed.

Mrs Clinton said that the world had “little choice but to apply further pressure” after a year of fruitless negotiations over what Western and Arab governments believe to be a covert Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

“Iran has provided a continuous stream of threats to intensify its violation of international nuclear norms,” she told reporters at the conclusion of yesterday’s Afghanistan conference, where she met other foreign ministers. “Iran’s approach leaves us with little choice than to work with our partners to apply greater pressure in the hope that it will cause Iran to reconsider its rejection of diplomatic efforts.”

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that Moscow’s patience with Tehran was running out. “It is clear that one can’t wait forever, and our partners are already talking about the need to discuss further measures in the UN Security Council,” he said.

Hopes now appear to rest on convincing China to abstain from a vote on sanctions rather than using its veto in favour of Iran. China relies on Iran for vast oil imports and is the Islamic Republic’s most important trading partner.

The Chinese Foreign Minister told reporters that Beijing was still pinning its hopes on dialogue but did not explicitly rule out further sanctions as it did at the beginning of the month when it took over chairmanship of the Security Council. Mrs Clinton said that her meetings with the Chinese had been “very positive” and appeared to soften her criticism of China over internet censorship, suggesting that Washington was still courting its support.

Mrs Clinton was accompanied to London by senior State Department and Treasury officials involved in drawing up the sanctions list with officials from the five permanent members of the Security Council, as well as those from Germany and other countries who might join an Iran “sanctions coalition” if a council vote fails. Washington has also suggested that tightening current sanctions could exert pressure on Iran without the need for a new vote.

The so-called E3 plus 3 — the US, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany — met Iranian officials in Geneva in October in what was considered a breakthrough for President Obama’s policy of reaching out to Iran. But Tehran’s embattled regime has since rolled back its early co-operation, including an agreement on a Franco-Russian deal to swap stocks of enriched uranium — a decision that may have cost it Moscow’s backing.

While pressing on at the United Nations, Washington is preparing sanctions of its own. Last night the US Senate approved a Bill put forward by the Obama Administration that seeks to punish companies exporting petrol or oil-refining technology to Iran.

The Senate legislation will now have to be reconciled with a version passed by the Lower House before becoming law.

“Jewish lobby” preventing Obama from ending Afghan war – Mahathir

http://jta.org/news/article/2010/01/27/1010345/former-malaysian-pm-jews-cause-worlds-problems

Former Malaysian leader: Jews cause world’s problems

January 27, 2010

MELBOURNE, Australia (JTA) — Malaysia’s former prime minister accused America’s “Jewish lobby” of preventing President Obama from ending the war in Afghanistan.

Local Malaysian media reported that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled the Muslim nation between 1981 and 2003, told the Conference for the Support of Al-Quds on Jan. 21 that AIPAC was hindering two of Obama’s key election promises: ending the war in Afghanistan and closing the Guantanamo Bay prison.

“There are forces in the United States which prevent the president from doing some things,” the Malaysian Star quoted Mahathir as saying. “One of the forces is the Jewish lobby, AIPAC.”

Mahathir, long known for his anti-Semitic views, went on to say that Jews “had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom.

“Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world,” he said.

Mahathir also said there was “strong evidence” that the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States were staged as an excuse to wage war against Islam.

“If they can make ‘Avatar,’ they can make anything,” he was quoted as saying.

In response, Australian federal lawmaker Michael Danby, who is Jewish, said that “Dr Mahathir’s comments that Jews had to be periodically massacred are abhorrent and should be condemned. Hopefully within a few months, when there are democratic elections, we will see a modern Malaysian leader in Anwar Ibrahim, who will lead a non-racialist coalition to election victory.”

Iran Reports Naval Buildup In Gulf

Iran Reports Naval Buildup In Gulf

By David Bedein, Middle East Correspondent

http://thebulletin.us/articles/2010/01/23/news/world/doc4b5b5223692fb845684478.prt

Published:

Saturday, January 23, 2010
Jerusalem — The Middle East Newsline reports that Iran claims that Western forces have deployed scores of warships in the Gulf and Arabian Sea, saying that nearly 100 warships have been conducting operations, many of which Iran says are directed against Iran.

“The Westerners know well that the existence of these warships in the Persian Gulf serve as the best operational targets for Iran if they should want to undertake any military action against Iran,” Iranian Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi said.

Mr. Vahidi, in an address on Jan. 19, said more than 90 foreign warships were detected in the Gulf region. He said they included Western aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and submarines in what has created a “military environment.”

“What is the reason underlying the deployment of this many warships and what aim are they pursuing?” Mr. Vahidi asked. “Are they arrayed against Iran?”

 Over the last year, Iran has reported accelerated development of its navy. In 2009, Iran transferred responsibility for the Gulf region to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which has developed a swarm strategy to counter U.S. warships.

“The Americans have made conflicting comments [on a military option against Iran],” Mr. Vahidi said.

David Bedein can be reached at bedein@thebulletin.us

Stealing Success Tel Aviv Style

Stealing Success Tel Aviv Style

http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2010/01/27/stealing-success-tel-aviv-style/

Posted By Philip Giraldi On January 27, 2010 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 12 Comments

A curious op-ed “The Tel Aviv Cluster” by the reliably neoconnish David Brooks appeared in the New York Times on January 12th.  Brooks enthused over the prowess of Israel’s high tech businesses, attributing their success in large part to Jewish exceptionalism and genius, which must have provided the ultimate feel good moment for Brooks, who is himself Jewish.  That Israel has a booming technology sector is undeniably true, but Brooks failed to mention other contributing factors such as the $101 billion dollars in US economic and military aid over the course of more than four decades, which does not include the additional $30 billion recently approved by President Barack Obama.  American assistance has financed and fueled Israel’s business growth while the open access and even “preferential treatment” afforded to Israeli exporters through the Israel Free Trade Implementation Act of 1985 has provided Israelis with the enormous US market to sell their products and services.  By act of Congress, Israeli businesses can even bid on most American Federal and State government contracts just as if they were US companies.

Brooks was characteristically undisturbed by the fact that American taxpayer subsidized development of Israeli enterprises combined with the free access to the US economy and government contracts eliminates jobs and damages competing companies on this side of the Atlantic. And there is another aspect of Israel’s growing high tech sector that he understandably chose to ignore because it is extremely sleazy.  That is the significant advantage that Israel has gained by systematically stealing American technology with both military and civilian applications.  The US developed technology is then reverse engineered and used by the Israelis to support their own exports with considerably reduced research and development costs, giving them a huge advantage against American companies.  Sometimes, when the technology is military in nature and winds up in the hands of a US adversary, the consequences can be serious.  Israel has sold advanced weapons systems to China that are believed to incorporate technology developed by American companies, including the Python-3 air-to-air missile and the Delilah cruise missile.  There is evidence that Israel has also stolen Patriot missile avionics to incorporate into its own Arrow system and that it used US technology obtained in its Lavi fighter development program, which was funded by the US taxpayer to the tune of $1.5 billion, to help the Chinese develop their own J-10 fighter.

The reality of Israeli spying is indisputable.  Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report states, “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.” It adds that Israel recruits spies, uses electronic methods, and carries out computer intrusion to gain the information. The 2005 report concluded that the thefts eroded US military advantage, enabling foreign powers to obtain expensive technologies that had taken years to develop.

A 1996 Defense Investigative Service report noted that Israel has great success stealing technology by exploiting the numerous co-production projects that it has with the Pentagon. “Placing Israeli nationals in key industries …is a technique utilized with great success.” A General Accounting Office (GAO) examination of espionage directed against American defense and security industries described how Israeli citizens residing in the US had stolen sensitive technology to manufacture artillery gun tubes, obtained classified plans for a reconnaissance system, and passed sensitive aerospace designs to unauthorized users. An Israeli company was caught monitoring a Department of Defense telecommunications system to obtain classified information, while other Israeli entities targeted avionics, missile telemetry, aircraft communications, software systems, and advanced materials and coatings used in missile re-entry. The GAO concluded that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally.” In June 2006, a Pentagon administrative judge overruled an appeal by an Israeli who had been denied a security clearance, stating, “The Israeli government is actively engaged in military and industrial espionage in the United States. An Israeli citizen working in the US who has access to proprietary information is likely to be a target of such espionage.”  More recently, FBI counter intelligence officer John Cole has reported how many cases of Israeli espionage are dropped under orders from the Justice Department.  He provides a “conservative estimate” of 125 worthwhile investigations into Israeli espionage involving both American citizens and Israelis that were stopped due to political pressure from above.

Two recent stories that have been reported in the Israeli media but are strangely absent from the news on this side of the Atlantic demonstrate exactly what is going on and what is at stake. The first story confirms that Israeli efforts to obtain US technology are ongoing.  Stewart David Nozette, a US government scientist who was arrested on October 19, 2009 in an FBI sting operation after offering to spy for Israel has been waiting in jail to go to trial on espionage charges.  New documents in the case were presented in the Federal court in Washington last week.  The documents confirm that Nozette was a paid consultant for Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and it is believed that he passed to them classified material in return for an estimated $225,000 in consulting fees.  Examination of his computer by the FBI revealed that he was planning a “penetration of NASA” the US space agency and that he was also trying to crack into other scientists’ computers to obtain additional classified material.  Other documents demonstrate that he was cooperating with two Israeli scientists who were administrators with IAI, Yossi Weiss and Yossi Fishman.  Nozette made several trips to Israel without reporting them, which he was required to do because of his high security clearance.  The FBI reportedly also has incriminating letters and other documents that were obtained from the computer.

The second story relates to the pending sale of twenty-five F-35 fighter planes to Israel.  The F-35 is one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world.  The $130 million planes would be purchased with US military assistance money, which means they would effectively be a gift from the US taxpayer.  But Israel is balking at the sale reportedly because it wants to install some of its own local content in the aircraft.  The Pentagon has already made some concessions but is disinclined to grant approval for all the changes because to do so would require giving the Israelis full access to the plane’s advanced avionics and computer systems.  Israel also wants to independently maintain the aircraft, which would also require access to all systems.  It would be nice to think that the Pentagon wants to keep the maintenance in American hands to preserve jobs, but the Defense Department has never cared about US workers before when the issue is Israel, and the real reason for the standoff is that Lockheed-Martin and the Pentagon both know that Israel will steal whatever it can if it gains access.  It would then use the technology to market its own products at a price below that of US defense contractors. The result would be a triple whammy for Uncle Sam:  the expensive planes are given to Israel free, the technology is then stolen, and future sales vanish as our Israeli friends market their knock down versions of weapons systems reliant on the stolen technology.

So to David Brooks I would say that there is most definitely an economic surge taking place in high tech Israel, but it is less a miracle than the fruit of a long series of thefts and manipulations fueled by American tax money and the connivance of a Congress that is always willing to do favors for the country that it appears to love beyond all others.  I’m sure most Americans would wish the Israelis well and would applaud the prosperity that derives from their own industry and inventiveness but it is also time to put the brakes on business as usual and to take the Israeli hand out of our pocket.  I’m sure Brooks’ job is pretty secure and well paid, but many Americans are out of work and suffering, so let’s take some steps to protect our economy from the information thieves from Tel Aviv and keep our money and jobs over here.

Read more by Philip Giraldi


U.S. Jew indicted as possible Israel spy

http://america-hijacked.com/2010/01/22/u-s-jew-indicted-as-possible-israel-spy/

Obama declined, under questioning from an audience member, to condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians..

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100128/wl_nm/us_palestinians_israel_obama

Obama urges Mideast compromise toward talks

By Ross Colvin Ross Colvin Thu Jan 28, 5:29 pm ET

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Israel and the Palestinians to make compromises to help revive peace talks, signaling he has not given up Middle East diplomacy despite his administration’s shaky efforts so far.

Speaking at a townhall-style meeting in Florida, Obama said he was still working to bring the two sides to the negotiating table to resume a peace process that has been frozen for the past 13 months.

He also reasserted his administration’s ability to act as an even-handed broker, saying he was committed to Israel’s security but also was sympathetic to the Palestinians’ plight.

“We are working to try to strengthen the ability of both parties to sit down across the table and to begin serious negotiations,” Obama said.

His efforts to restart talks have made little progress since he took office a year ago with a commitment to make ending the 62-year-old conflict a high priority. Critics say he was naive about obstacles such as Israeli settlement building.

Obama blamed internal politics both in Israel and the Palestinian territories for constraining peace diplomacy.

He cited problems faced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who the president said “is making some effort to move a little bit further than his coalition wants to go.”

Netanyahu’s right-leaning government includes pro-settler parties strongly opposed to ceding occupied land to the Palestinians for a future state.

Obama said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants peace but has to contend with Hamas, an Islamist group that denies Israel’s right to exist. Abbas, a pro-U.S. moderate, is also weakened by Hamas’s control of the Gaza Strip.

“Both sides are going to have to make compromises,” Obama said, calling on Israelis to acknowledge Palestinians’ “legitimate grievances” and for the Palestinians to “unequivocally renounce violence” against the Jewish state.

Obama declined, under questioning from an audience member, to condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. “Israel is one of our strongest allies,” he said. “I will never waver from ensuring Israel’s security.”

But he insisted, “The plight of the Palestinians is something that we have to pay attention to. It is not good for our security and for Israel’s security if you have millions of individuals who feel hopeless.”

Many in the Muslim world accused Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, of bias in favor of Israel. Obama had pledged full engagement in Middle East peace efforts, something the Bush administration was widely seen as avoiding.

Despite that, Obama made no mention of the Middle East conflict in his State of the Union speech on Wednesday.

(Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Paul Simao)

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US support of what Israel continually does to brutally oppress the Palestinian people  got US attacked at the WTC on 9/11 and earlier in 1993 as well:

http://TINYURL.COM/911MOTIVATION

http://TINYURL.COM/MOTIVATION911

Obama admits overestimating US role in Mideast

http://america-hijacked.com/2010/01/22/obama-admits-overestimating-us-role-in-mideast/

New Bin Laden tape: US support for Israel terror motive yet again

http://america-hijacked.com/2010/01/24/new-bin-laden-tape-us-support-for-israel-terror-motive-yet-again/

Dr. Norman Finkelstein at the University of Waterloo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNQSV3BBtZ4

LA Jews for Peace

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yhASJ6cPVc

Israel’s voice on Britain’s Iraq Inquiry accuses critics of “anti-Semitism”

“The Inquiry committee members are Sir John Chilcot (Chairman), Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Martin Gilbert, Sir Roderic Lyne and Baroness Usha Prashar.”

 
 
 
 
 

 

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Israel’s voice on Britain’s Iraq Inquiry accuses critics of “anti-Semitism” 

Britain inquiry into the Iraq war has been dealt severe blow by a pro-Israel activist on the inquiry committee who has given an interview to a Jewish settlers’ radio accusing his critics of “anti-Semitism”.

http://www.redress.cc/stooges/redress20100129

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=115183

The response (to what Ambassador Oliver Miles and Richard Ingrams had accurately conveyed) seems to be consistent with what the former Israeli minister mentions about the anti-Semitism ‘trick’ in the following youtube:

 
“It’s a Trick, We Always Use It.” (calling people “anti-Semitic”)
 

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Chilcot inquiry on Iraq War: mentioning that 2 of 5 are Jewish shows “prejudice”

Britain’s affair with antisemitism

By questioning the allegiances of Jews serving on the Chilcot inquiry, Sir Oliver Miles continues a long tradition of prejudice

David Cesarani

guardian.co.uk, Friday 29 January 2010 13.00 GMT

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/29/chilcot-inquiry-oliver-miles

His loyalty questioned: Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), Conservative prime minister and novelist. (Engraving from a photograph, ca 1878.) Photograph: Hulton Archive/John Jabez Edwin Mayall/Getty

In November 2009, Sir Oliver Miles, a distinguished retired diplomat with years of service in the Middle East, wrote an article in the Independent lamenting that two Jews had been appointed to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. He triggered a spat that threatens the integrity of the inquiry and exposes the tenacity of prejudice in sections of British society.

Sir Miles didn’t much approve of the other members, either. But he singled out the choice of Sir Lawrence Freedman and Sir Martin Gilbert. The fact that they were Jews, and that Gilbert was also well known as a champion of Israel, would provide “handy ammunition” for attacks on the committee’s work, especially in the Arab media. Sir Miles was ticked off by the Times a few days later and there the matter might have rested. However, Sir Martin has now reignited the affair by suggesting that the attacks smack of antisemitism. Unaccountably he vented his ire in an interview on a rightwing Zionist online radio station serving Israeli settlers.

Sir Martin’s retort actually fuels the row and may even overshadow the interrogation of Tony Blair. At another level, the controversy throws into doubt the vaunted multiculturalism of modern Britain and lays bare a stubborn vein of intolerance that has blighted the treatment of immigrants and minorities for centuries.

In a confrontation on BBC Newsnight last night, Denis MacShane MP accused Sir Oliver of resurrecting prejudices about the Jews that were more typical of the 1930s. He protested that it was unacceptable to make religion a criteria for determining whether a person was fit for public office, no matter what the task. In fact, discrimination against the Jews persisted a lot longer than that. In his history of MI5, Christopher Andrews regretted that the security services refused to employ Jews long into the postwar era. But the spooks were only continuing a tradition that went back to the 19th century and a furore that eerily prefigures the one we are currently witnessing.

In 1876, an uprising of Bulgarian Christians against Ottoman rule provoked a murderous response from the Muslim Turkish authorities. William Gladstone, former prime minister and grand old man of the Liberal Party, was so enraged by the massacres of Christians that he published a pamphlet The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East. In it, he lambasted the then prime minister Benjamin Disraeli for abandoning the victims in preference for a pro-Turkish policy. Even though it had long been British policy to support the Ottoman Empire, Gladstone ascribed Disraeli’s stance to the fact that he was born a Jew and therefore sympathised with the Ottomans who had treated their Jews fairly – unlike the new Christian states in the Balkans.

Writing to a Jewish correspondent who questioned this response, Gladstone explained: “I have always had occasion to admire the conduct of the English Jews in the discharge of their civil duties; but I deeply deplore the manner in which, what I may call Judaic sympathies, beyond as well as within the circle of professed Judaism, are now acting on the question of the East; while I am aware that as regards the Jews themselves, there may be much to account for it.”

Gladstone’s peculiar reference to those “beyond” the community of observant Jews was a swipe at Disraeli who had been baptised into the Anglican communion aged 12. He believed that Disraeli was perversely motivated by some residual racial loyalty. Gladstone had more respect for Jews affiliated to their community, but they fared little better. Their dual loyalty was simply more obvious and explicable.

Within a short time, Gladstone’s tirade was being echoed by eminent intellectuals, including Professor AE Freeman, also a stalwart of the Liberal party, and Goldwin Smith, professor of history at Oxford. In addition to claiming that money-grubbing Jews exploited Christian guilt over past oppression (such as the Inquisition) and controlled the press, Smith declaimed that Jews could not be loyal citizens because “their only country is their race; which is one with their religion”.

While he would no doubt dismiss the comparison, 134 years later this is exactly what Sir Miles is banging on about. Either he thinks it is a problem that Jews are serving on the Iraq inquiry because they have a dual loyalty or he thinks that less enlightened folk than him in the Arab world might draw this conclusion. The first possibility is dismaying but the alternative is no cause for relief. His response to the existence of bigotry is not to pour scorn on prejudice and defend the integrity of public servants who happen to be Jewish, but to appease it.

This suspicion of Jews is ingrained in certain quarters of Britain’s ruling class but it is not only the Jews who should be concerned. Muslims, Hindus, Roman Catholics and members of every minority should pay attention to the implications. If the religious affiliation or origin of members of the Iraq inquiry is relevant because it may be used against the inquiry or taken to explain its shortcomings, what of other departments of state and government agencies?

Are Muslims to be barred from the Ministry of Defence or Home Office lest a terrorist outrage be perpetrated by a Muslim? After all, someone might say: this is what happens if you put Muslims in charge of our security. Are immigrants or the children of immigrants to be banned from working in the immigration services? It would indeed be embarrassing if there was a mishap in the controls and the minister responsible was, heaven forbid of “immigrant stock”. What would the BNP say? And surely we can’t trust Northern Ireland in the hands of a Roman Catholic, in case something goes wrong. Or a Protestant for that matter.

You can see where this argument is leading. Of course, Sir Miles and those who think like him may object that it is only this inquiry and these Jews that present the problem. But then you can see where that argument leads, too.

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Chilcot inquiry: 2 of 5 are Jewish – one a Zionist, & one drafted Blair’s Invasion policy

Oliver Miles: The key question – is Blair a war criminal?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/oliver-miles-the-key-question-ndash-is-blair-a-war-criminal-1825374.html

The terms of reference for the new Iraq inquiry allow for the big unknowns to be tackled. And we might just get to the truth

Sunday, 22 November 2009

{caption} Apocalypse then: The US’s ‘shock and awe’ campaign in Iraq wreaked devastation. George Bush said he was inspired by the Old Testament {end}

The Iraq inquiry will start hearing evidence in open session on Tuesday, and it will almost certainly lead to fireworks. Let us hope the media cover it properly; five months ago, there was a sharp debate on Iraq in the Commons which the media ignored.

“Anyone with information” has been invited to get in touch, which includes serving officials and military. Some officials resigned because they disagreed with the war, but most stayed on. But there is plenty of evidence, including leaked documents, to show there was strong opposition to the war, and for good reasons. As a retired diplomat myself, I hope my former colleagues will not be shy.

The situation in Iraq is still horrible. More than 400 people died in violent incidents last month; more than 1,400 were wounded. Millions of Iraqis are still displaced, inside Iraq or in Syria, Jordan or elsewhere, with little prospect of their returning home. Water and electricity are limping along, the vital oil industry will take years to rebuild. British troops sent to train the Iraqi security forces were in Kuwait through the summer marking time, while the Iraqi government quibbled about their legal status.

We’ve had umpteen Iraq inquiries already, but this one should be different. Its terms of reference are open. Previous inquiries concentrated on the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the misuse of intelligence to make the case for war, the “dodgy dossier” and so on. But there are plenty of other questions, starting with the big one: was this a war of aggression and therefore a war crime? There were two views about its legality, and the then attorney general seems to have held both of them.

What about the alleged links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa’ida? – it seems there were no such links. What happened to the civil planning for after the fighting? – according to Clare Short, who was a member of the Cabinet, there “were preparations that were then all junked, because of the hubris and deceit that went into preparing for war”. Were the arguments for and against war ever assessed by the FCO, and was formal advice submitted to the then secretary of state, the Cabinet and the prime minister? Here is Clare Short again: “All the Cabinet meetings were little chats: they were never a proper consideration of all the options.” Is it true that the Iraq experts invited to No 10 in November 2002 (two of whom also took part in the seminar organised by the inquiry on 5 November) decided not to tell Tony Blair whether they thought an invasion was wise or not because they thought he wouldn’t listen? We have heard a lot recently about the freedom of experts to give advice which is unpalatable to the Government, so why the self-censorship?

We need to know more about the exchanges between George Bush and Tony Blair. According to Colin Powell, the then US secretary of state, he and Jack Straw sometimes tried to get Blair to hold Bush back. “Jack and I would get him all pumped up about an issue. And he’d be ready to say, ‘Look here, George’. But as soon as he saw the president he would lose all his steam.” Can this be true?

When Bush tried to persuade President Chirac to go to war, Bush compared Saddam Hussein with Gog and Magog, obscure legendary figures named in the book of Ezekiel as enemies of the people of Israel. This sounds like a joke, but seems to be true. Chirac was baffled and his staff consulted a professor of theology who spilt the beans. Blair told his Iraq experts that Saddam was “uniquely evil”; the inquiry should ask him whether Bush mentioned Gog and Magog to him, or he to Bush.

The Prime Minister’s choice of the members of the committee has been criticised. None is a military man, Sir John Chilcot was a member of the Hutton inquiry and has been closely involved with the security services, Baroness Prashar has no relevant experience, Sir Roderic Lyne was a serving ambassador at the time of the war, and so on.

Rather less attention has been paid to the curious appointment of two historians (which seems a lot, out of a total of five), both strong supporters of Tony Blair and/or the Iraq war. In December 2004 Sir Martin Gilbert, while pointing out that the “war on terror” was not a third world war, wrote that Bush and Blair “may well, with the passage of time and the opening of the archives, join the ranks of Roosevelt and Churchill” – an eccentric opinion that would seem to rule him out as a member of the committee. Sir Lawrence Freedman is the reputed architect of the “Blair doctrine” of humanitarian intervention, which was invoked in Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

Both Gilbert and Freedman are Jewish, and Gilbert at least has a record of active support for Zionism. Such facts are not usually mentioned in the mainstream British and American media, but The Jewish Chronicle and the Israeli media have no such inhibitions, and the Arabic media both in London and in the region are usually not far behind.

All five members have outstanding reputations and records, but it is a pity that, if and when the inquiry is accused of a whitewash, such handy ammunition will be available. Membership should not only be balanced; it should be seen to be balanced.

Tony Blair’s responsibility for the Iraq war was a strike against him as a candidate for the role of president of the European Council. Perhaps the launch of the inquiry helped to kill the idea off. No European democratic institution has entertained the idea of electing someone under the shadow of a war crime charge since Kurt Waldheim became President of Austria in 1986.

Oliver Miles is a former British ambassador to Libya

Bush’s biblical justification for war:

http://secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=haught_29_5

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‘The Transparent Cabal’ mentioned in ‘The Independent’ (UK) newspaper

http://america-hijacked.com/2009/12/12/the-transparent-cabal-mentioned-in-the-independent-uk-newspaper/

The Chilcot Inquiry: Britain’s 9/11 Commission

http://tinyurl.com/IRAQWARINQUIRY

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Keep in mind that Rupert Murdoch helped get Tony Blair (via endorsing him in his ‘The Sun’ newspaper) in as Prime Minister as it was reported that he was like a member of his cabinet with all the continued communication that he had with him (keep in mind that Murdoch financed the American Enterprise Institute – AEI – where JINSA/PNAC/AEI Neocons like Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen and Bill Kristol were/are based). And Murdoch (via Newscorp) established the propaganda organ for them with the Fox (Neocon) News Channel (Murdoch’s London Times seems to be pushing propaganda intended to get US into the next war for Israel with Iran). And don’t forget about Lord Levy who financed Blair as well (click on the Rupert Murdoch and Lord Levy links at the following URL if interested further):

http://www.red-star-research.org.uk/subframe1.html

Britain’s Longest Serving MP Tam Dalyell Criticized for Calling Bush Administration a “Cabal” (be sure to access links at bottom of following URL):

http://www.democracynow.org/2003/5/13/britain_8217_s_longest_serving_mp

Britain: Labour extends antiwar witch-hunt to Tam Dalyell:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/may2003/lab-m22.shtml

PS: The UK has a huge problem with its fifth columnist pro-Israel lobby as well – take a look at the comments at the following URL:

Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby – Dispatches:

http://pulsemedia.org/2009/11/17/inside-britains-israel-lobby-full-episode/

Former CIA Bin Laden unit head Michael Scheuer conveyed that US was/is fighting wars for/because of Israel on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ which the following youtube was made from:

http://TINYURL.COM/DARETODISCUSS

Entire ‘Washington Journal’ segment with Michael Scheuer is linked near beginning of following URL:

http://TINYURL.COM/MICHAELSCHEUER

Former US ambassador to Iraq (Ryan Crocker) confronted on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ about war for Israel agenda in Iraq:

Loved Ones Sacrificed for WHAT?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGM1RFxlmsI&feature=PlayList&p=83088C36C431EF5F&index=0&playnext=1

Former Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker confronted about war for Israel agenda on C-SPAN

Former Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker confronted about war for Israel agenda on C-SPAN
 
 
 
 
The Return of the Neocons (write-up by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski included)
 
 

US “Israel First” Senators seek ‘crippling’ Iran sanctions

Senators seek ‘crippling’ Iran sanctions

By Eric Zimmermann – 01/27/10 02:49 PM ET

A bipartisan group of senators is asking President Barack Obama to impose “crippling sanctions” against Iran.

In a letter to the president, the group reminds Obama that the year-end deadline he had imposed for “serious improvement” in the standoff with Iran has passed.

“Now that this deadline has passed, we believe that it is imperative to put into action your pledge of increased, meaningful pressure against the Iranian regime — what Secretary [of State Hillary Rodham] Clinton called ‘crippling sanctions,’ ” the group wrote. “We believe that it is extremely important for the world to know that the United States means what it says, and that we in fact do what we say we are going to do.”

The letter is signed by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and David Vitter (R-La.).

Though the letter reaffirms the group’s support for diplomatic action, the senators express doubt that the U.N. Security Council would be an effective vehicle for sanctions. China, which has significant investments in Iran’s oil industry, now holds the rotating presidency of the council.

“For this reason, we hope that, as early as this month, your Administration will pursue parallel and complementary measures, outside the Security Council, to increase the pressure on the Iranian government,” the letter reads.

Read the whole missive after the jump.

January 27, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

Over the past year, you have consistently and repeatedly made clear your good faith desire to enter into meaningful negotiations with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran about their nuclear activities in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).We deeply regret that rather than seizing your historic offer, the Iranian government has instead chosen to spurn it.

At the same time, you have also repeatedly made clear that your patience with the Iranian regime is not unlimited. As you said last October, “We’re not interested in talking for the sake of talking. If Iran does not take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations, then the United States will not continue to negotiate indefinitely, and we are prepared to move towards increased pressure.” In May, you indicated that you wanted to see “serious movement” by the Iranians by the end of 2009—a deadline that has since been reiterated on multiple occasions by Secretary of State Clinton and other senior officials of your Administration, and endorsed by our international partners.

Now that this deadline has passed, we believe that it is imperative to put into action your pledge of increased, meaningful pressure against the Iranian regime—what Secretary Clinton called “crippling sanctions.” We believe that it is extremely important for the world to know that the United States means what it says, and that we in fact do what we say we are going to do. As you rightly stated in your Nobel Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, “If we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price.”

We understand that your Administration is likely to pursue a fifth sanctions resolution at the United Nations Security Council. We strongly support your Administration’s painstaking diplomacy in support of this goal and hope that it succeeds in securing measures that stand a reasonable chance of changing the behavior of Iran’s government for the better. However, based on previous experience, we are acutely aware of the limits of Security Council action, in particular given the likely resistance to meaningful sanctions by the People’s Republic of China. We note with dismay the recent statement of China’s ambassador to the United Nations that, “This is not the right time or right moment for sanctions, because the diplomatic efforts are still going on.”

As you know, China has rapidly become one of Iran’s largest trading partners and one of the largest investors in Iran’s energy sector, in apparent contravention of the Iran Sanctions Act.  Indeed, while several European countries have acted responsibly to restrict their commercial dealings with Teheran in response to its illicit nuclear activities, China has opportunistically moved to fill the gap. Shortly after the international community adopted a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency condemning Iran for failing to disclose the existence of its Qom enrichment facility, China announced that several of its state-controlled companies would make multi-billion dollar investments in Iran’s domestic refining capacity. We fear that Beijing’s pursuit of its narrow commercial self-interest in Iran is jeopardizing the chances of reaching a diplomatic solution in the nuclear stand-off and greatly increases the risk of developments that could profoundly destabilize the Persian Gulf and global energy markets. China’s behavior toward Iran also calls into question whether it is interested in being a responsible stakeholder in the international system and does significant damage to its relationship with the United States.

Given that China now holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, it seems highly unlikely that a new sanctions resolution can be adopted prior to February, when France assumes the Council presidency. We are troubled by the prospect of this delay, which could mean that it will be well into 2010 before the Security Council is able to put in place new sanctions, which we hope will be far stronger than those provided for in past resolutions.

For this reason, we hope that, as early as this month, your Administration will pursue parallel and complementary measures, outside the Security Council, to increase the pressure on the Iranian government. As you know, your Administration has ample authority under previous Security Council resolutions, as well as the Iran Sanctions Act, the Iran Freedom Support Act, the Iran-Syria-North Korea Non-Proliferation Act, and numerous other existing laws and executive orders—some of which have gone largely unenforced—to act now. We are also committed to quickly passing new comprehensive sanctions legislation in Congress that will provide you with additional authorities to pressure Iran, and urge you to make full use of them.

We are convinced that 2010 will be the pivotal year in determining whether Iran is allowed to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. Ultimately, it will be our choices that determine whether we are able to avert this tremendous threat to global peace and stability. We abhor the possibility that military action may be necessary to solve this problem. But we have no doubt that a nuclear-armed Iran will be catastrophic for our national security and the rule-based international order.  In fact, we believe that at stake is nothing less than the entire global nonproliferation regime; this point is all the more important as we head into the 2010 review of the NPT.  We must therefore exhaust every possible non-military means at our disposal to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

We stand ready to work alongside you to do everything that is necessary to stop Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability in the critical months ahead.  We urge you to pursue this critical goal in conjunction with a broader effort to increase American support for the human rights and peaceful aspirations of the Iranian people. Both are essential to our national interest.

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