Archive for August, 2012
Commentary: Guns of 2012?
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE UPI Editor at Large WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) — A former chief of Israeli military intelligence, who retired two years ago, takes sharp exception to three more recently retired Israeli intelligence chiefs who disagree on the imperative need to bomb Iran ‘s nuclear facilities.
Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military head of intelligence, in a column he wrote for The Washington Post, urged U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Israel as soon as possible to “tell its leadership — and more important, its people — that preventing a nuclear Iran is a U.S. interest and if we have to resort to military action, we will.”
Yadlin says his five-point plan for the benefit of the Obama administration is designed to convince allies and adversaries alike that “military action is real, imminent and doable.”
Three more recently retired heads of Israeli intelligence — Mossad, Shin Bet and the Israeli military — have spoken out to say that both Israel and the United States should learn to live with an Iranian nuclear weapon.
Three former U.S. CENTCOM commanders — Gen. John Abizaid, Gen. Anthony Zinni and Adm. William J. Fallon — were the first to reach the same conclusion.
All six are acutely aware of the alternative — Israeli bombing followed by mayhem throughout the Persian Gulf and the rest of the Middle East .
Egypt, under its new Muslim Brotherhood government, backed by a Parliament with Muslim Brotherhood members in almost 50 percent of the seats and Salafist extremists in 24 percent, would immediately denounce the peace treaty with Israel and sever diplomatic relations.
The Syrian civil war, with Iran and Russia on the side of the Assad regime and al-Qaida now in the mix of revolutionary forces in the uprising against Damascus , would quickly assume regional dimensions.
Israel has occupied Syria ‘s Golan Heights since the 1967 war and the West Bank since the 1973 war. The emergence of an independent Palestinian state between the Jordan River and Israel is already more geopolitical mirage than practical possibility.
And if the United States is involved in military operations against Iran , Egypt ‘s new Muslim government would probably close the Suez Canal as well. It was blocked during the 1967 war and didn’t reopen until 1975.
Estranged during the 30-year Mubarak era, Iran and Egypt recently agreed to resume full diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level.
All six also know that Iran still commands formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities — from the mining of the Strait of Hormuz through which pass daily 25 percent of the world’s seaborne oil supplies; to an 844-mile northern coastline in the gulf within easy missile reach of Qatar where a forward CENTCOM headquarters is based and where the longest airstrip in the Middle East allows U.S. bombers to refuel; to Bahrain, headquarters for the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet, where the majority of the population is Shiite Muslim closely affiliated with Iran’s Shiite regime.
Iran can also activate terrorist networks against Israel and against U.S. travelers in the Middle East and Europe .
These Iranian retaliatory openers would be sufficient to skyrocket oil prices into the stratosphere — and tip the balance in the United States , United Kingdom and European countries from recession to depression.
Youth unemployment levels in Greece , Spain and Italy are already at explosive levels. Almost 50 percent of those younger than 25 are jobless in Spain .
“We have to face openly the possibility of a euro breakup,” says Erkki Tuomioja , Finland ‘s veteran foreign minister and a member of the Social Democratic Party, one of six parties that make up the coalition government.
Israeli opinion is also sharply divided on the need to bomb Iran and the prospect of retaliatory consequences.
Yadlin, one of the pilots who took part in the 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, said Israel is fully capable of hitting the nerve center of Iran’s nuclear complex, but that Israel would need U.S. support “both the day after and the decade after a strike.”
Now head of the Institute for National Security Studies, Yadlin is a strong supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. All three agree that Israel must not leave its fate in the hands of the United States .
Cynics also say that U.S. support is all but assured during an election campaign, a propitious time for Israel to launch air strikes against Iran . GOP contender Mitt Romney already made his position crystal clear on a recent visit to Israel . He sides wholeheartedly with Israel , America ‘s closest ally, whatever Netanyahu and Barak decide to do.
For Obama, the decision is more complex. His own inclination is to side with the three former U.S. CENTCOM commanders, i.e., learn to live with an Iranian bomb. They reckon that should Iran aim anything at Israel , the Iranian regime and its key nerve centers would be pulverized by return.
Unless he is willing to side with Israel in deeds as well as words, Obama would be facing almost certain defeat.
The latest Newsweek cover picture shows Obama, jacket slung over his shoulder, looking back as he walks away, captioned, “HIT THE ROAD, BARACK — Why We Need a New President by Niall Ferguson.”
A British historian, Ferguson teaches at Harvard and he was named by Time “one of the 100 most influential people in the world” in 2004
“We are becoming,” writes Ferguson , “the 50/50 nation — half of us paying the taxes; the other half receiving the benefits.”
“The only ratio that matters,” says Ferguson “is debt to revenue. That number has leapt upward from 165 percent in 2008 to 262 percent this year, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. Among developed economies, only Ireland and Spain have seen a bigger deterioration.”
Working in Israel ‘s favor is the U.S. election campaign. Neither candidate can take a chance on criticizing, or seemingly spurning Israeli requests for U.S. involvement in what Israel ‘s two principal leaders say is an “existential crisis for the Jewish state.”
The ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ film (http://www.valentinosghost.com) which James Morris appears in (from http://tinyurl.com/911motivation youtube with over half a million views) will be one of two American documentaries screening at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival (world’s oldest and most prestigious film festival) in Italy:
Latest update is that ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ screened to a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival (http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/festival/screenings/sept3.html &
http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/festival/screenings/sept4.html). The Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) is screening ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ on November 2oth & 22nd as the following links convey:
Valentino’s Ghost (Valentino’s Ghost: The Politics Behind Images of Arabs & Muslims in the Media):
PS: Just saw ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ is listed at following URL (I guess the exchange that James Morris had with Lee Hamilton which already has over half a million views via http://tinyurl.com/911motivation will get a few more!):
Venice Film Festival Unveils Line-Up with Films from Malick, De Palma and Demme:
VENICE 2012 From Rudolph Valentino to Osama so Hollywood tells Arabs
The documentary filmmaker Michael Singh (Indian father and an American mother) has uncovered a hornet’s nest intended to stir at the Venice Film Festival, and not only.
Yes, because its Valentine’s Ghost, The Ghost of Valentino – The politics behind the images, which premiered today at the Lido, addresses the way in which Arabs and Muslims are not only portrayed by the U.S. media, but also – and especially – from Hollywood .
And it does so from two famous films, a milestone in the history of cinema: the iconic portrait of the Arab prince offered by Sheik Rudolph Valentino in the first of 1921 and then in the Son of the Sheik of 1926.
Portrait of male stereotypical Arab romantic and passionate, who lives in a land of mystery, adventure and sensuality. Already. It starts from the Arabic seducer and “good”, you switch to Arabic treacherous (Lawrence of Arabia, but also Rules of Engagement) to the Arab Intifada and evil monsters September 11: Saddam and Bin Laden .
“It is interesting to see how the image of Arabs and Islam in the American media reflect, as always, the American foreign policy in the Middle East,” says Singh, author and producer of several television series with historical background and some documentaries (The Phantom of Valentino is his directorial debut).
The film, 94 minutes the result of a six-year search, alternates clips and archival footage with interviews with luminaries of American culture, including the last public appearance by Gore Vidal. “The injury is deeper than I imagined, “said Singh.
Venezia 69. Valentino’s Ghost: la politica dietro le immagini
Michael Singh, director of Indian origin, has produced an interesting documentary on the evolution of the image of Arabic in the U.S. media called Valentino’s Ghost. Making extensive use of footage and analyzing a series of images, frames, sequences from films, clips of news and articles from newspapers, the director shows how the agenda of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has affected the representation of Arab Muslims the media. Starting from the 20s, a time when Arabic was represented by Hollywood as a hero. At the time of Rudolph Valentino, the star of Sheik in 1921, the Americans brought with it the image of Arabic exotic that element that fascinated the public. In the following decades the figure of the Muslim wetsuit to become, especially after the attack on the twin towers, the embodiment of evil not only in Hollywood movies, but also in Disney cartoons such as Aladdin, as well as in the media.
Step particularly interesting in Valentino’s Ghost is one in which, through a careful assembly, Singh explains how the Israeli lobby has been able to influence the design of the U.S. Muslim. From there, the discussion moves on the current role of Israel in Palestine, which sees Muslims relegated to live in scrase territorial portions. Singh, with the help of interactive maps, points out that since 1948, the year of establishment of the state of Israel, through 1967 and for 1973, it has expanded the Palestinian territory in violation of international obligations. Particular attention is devoted to the figure of the terrorist Muslim Singh proposes, by means of interviews in the documentary, the argument that not all Arabs should be considered terrorists by the mere fact of being a Muslim. Many terrorist acts implemented by Muslims, although not shared, according to Singh originate from acts of violence perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people. Singh also manages to put very well how tenuous the distinction between the figure of the terrorist and that of those who resist to protect the integrity of its territory and the unity of its people, and in this sense shows images of former Israeli terrorists then dievenuti ministers.
In ninety-five minutes of documentary Singh entrusted the support of his thesis to the likes of Gore Vidal, one of the greatest writers and observers of American society, recently deceased, Melani McAlister, associate professor at George Washington University, John J. Mearsheimer University of Chicago professor and author of the innovative essay Israel Lobby, Robert Fisk of The Independent correspondent in Beirut internationally renowned and Anthony Shadid considered the best journalist of his generation on the Middle East.
Israeli Official Predicts Syria’s Fragmentation and for Lebanon to Suffer Same Fate
Last week I sent out my article on the fragmentation of Syria; now it is even openly predicted by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, which he points out will benefit Israel—exactly the goal of the Yinon plan (http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0005345.html). See the message below from Maidhc Ó Cathail who runs The Passionate Attachment website: http://thepassionateattachment.com/
My article–“The Yinon Thesis Vindicated: Neocons, Israel, and the Fragmentation of Syria”– can be found there and also at the following websites, among others.
From: Maidhc Ó Cathail
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 11:36 PM
To: Stephen Sniegoski
Subject: Ayalon Predicts Syria’s Fragmentation and for Lebanon to Suffer Same Fate
The Yinon strategy appears to be going to plan…
Israeli deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon noted on Friday that the Arab world is passing through a phase that will restore it back to the way it was before World War I, reported Israel Radio.
He also predicted Syria’s fragmentation into provinces, adding that Lebanon will suffer the same fate in the future.
He ruled out the possibility of the emergence of an Arab alliance that would stand in opposition to Israel in the next 10 to 15 years.
After their internal instability, the Arab countries will realize the importance of cooperating with Israel, he added.
Israel lobby pushing Syrian regime change to weaken Iran:
The Urgent Need to Prevent a Middle East War
by Patrick Seale Released: 14 Aug 2012
The Middle East is facing an acute danger of war, with unpredictable and potentially devastating consequences for the states and populations of the region. A ‘shadow war’ is already being waged — by Israel and the United States against Iran; by a coalition of countries against Syria; and by the great powers against each other. A mere spark could set this tinder alight.
The threat of a hot war is coming from three main directions: first, from Israel’s relentless and increasingly hysterical war-mongering against Iran; second, from America’s geopolitical ambitions in the oil-rich Gulf and its complicity in Israel’s anti-Iranian campaign; and third, from the naked hostility of some Sunni Arab States towards Iran — and towards Shi‘is and Alawis in general.
These Arab states are apparently unaware that they are playing into the hands of Israeli and American hawks who dream of re-modelling the region in order to subject it to their will. This same neo-con ambition drove the United States to invade and destroy Iraq in the hope of permanently enfeebling it.
The current Israeli war fever rests on a blatant falsehood: that Iran poses an ‘existential threat’ to the Jewish people. What a joke! The only threat Iran poses is this: Were it to develop the means and skills to build an atomic weapon — without actually doing so — it would thereby acquire a limited deterrent capability. That is to say, Israel might hesitate to attack it. Israel’s freedom to attack its other neighbours would also be restricted — a freedom it has enjoyed for decades, as may be seen from its numerous wars and assaults on the Palestinians, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
Israel wants unfettered military supremacy. This is what the fuss is all about. It wants the freedom to hit Iran and any other country that dares raise its head, without the risk of being hit back. It does not want any Middle East state or movement to be able to protect itself — hence its bitter animus against resistance movements such as Hizballah and Hamas, which have survived Israeli attempts to destroy them, and refuse to be cowed.
Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak are evidently itching to bring down the regime in Tehran — and indeed the whole so-called ‘resistance axis’ of Iran, Syria and Hizballah, which in recent years has been the only credible barrier to Israeli and American ambitions. But the Arabs should reflect that the destruction of this barrier will mean abandoning the Palestinians to their tragic fate and exposing the Gulf States themselves to future Israeli and American pressures and possible assaults.
Israel would, of course, prefer the United States to bring down the Iranian regime by itself — much as it brought down Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Netanyahu may be tempted to strike first, but only if he is sure that President Barack Obama will join in the attack or be compelled to do so, because of his alleged need to win Jewish votes in November’s presidential elections. Obama desperately wants to avoid being dragged into another war. To head off an Israeli attack, he has, in the words of his spokesman, imposed on Iran “the most stringent sanctions ever imposed on any country.”
A solution to the crisis lies in the hands of the two major regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Although they are often seen as rivals, they could also be partners, since they share a strong interest in the peace and security of the Gulf. There are small but promising signs that they are reaching out to each other. It is striking that the recent preparatory meeting in Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, due later this month, reached much the same conclusions regarding the civil war in Syria as last week’s gathering in Riyadh of members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Participants at both meetings stressed the need for a ceasefire to stop the bloodshed, followed by political negotiations and the formation of a national unity government. A hopeful sign was the presence of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the OIC summit in Riyadh.
Disastrous as it is, the Syrian civil war is only a sub-plot in a far wider contest. Whether President Bashar al-Asad remains temporarily at the head of the regime in Damascus, or is persuaded to quit the scene, is far from being the main issue. Those pressing for war do not care about who rules in Damascus. They simply want Syria enfeebled, preferably dismembered, and its allies crippled.
Issues of profound importance for the Arabs are at stake in this ferocious test of wills. Will the existing pattern of Arab nation states survive the crisis or will it fracture? Can Sunnis and Shi‘is learn to live together in harmony under the banner of Islam or are they doomed to fight each other for another thousand years? Can the security of ethnic and religious minorities, which have contributed for centuries to the rich diversity of the region, be guaranteed? And what will be the outcome for Arab independence itself?
We are witnessing today the latest phase of the struggle for Arab independence. It began a century ago when the Arabs sought to throw off Ottoman rule. But when the Ottoman Empire collapsed in the First World War, the Arabs fell instead under the control of Britain and France who divided the Arab world between them. And when these colonial powers were finally forced out, the Arabs were confronted by the even deadlier threat of an aggressive and expansionist Israel.
American influence over the region has long been predominant, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago. Today, as the United States wrestles with economic problems and the legacy of catastrophic wars, it is also being challenged by new emergent powers. A further handicap for the United States is that it has allowed Israel to dictate its Middle East policy. The Arabs should reflect that a regional war, driven by Israel, risks robbing them of the little real independence they have so far managed to secure.
Can war be prevented? King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia is one of the wisest leaders on the international stage. He alone has the political weight, the resources, and the influence with both the United States and the Muslim rebels in Syria to check the region’s downward rush to disaster. He seems torn between his understandable distaste for some Iranian policies and his instinctive understanding of the need for better Saudi-Iranian relations. Several Gulf officials, in turn, are torn between their fear of a powerful Iran and their understanding that members of the Gulf Cooperation Council share many commercial and strategic interests with the Islamic Republic.
Instead of siding with the United States and Israel in the destruction of Iran and Syria, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies should join with Iran in building a new security system for the region free from external meddling. If they act together, they can spare the region the devastation of war. But they must act soon because time is running out.
Patrick Seale is a leading British writer on the Middle East. His latest book is The Struggle for Arab Independence: Riad el-Solh and the Makers of the Modern Middle East (Cambridge University Press).
Copyright © 2012 Patrick Seale – distributed by Agence Global
Netanyahu’s Secret War Plan: Leaked Document Outlines Israel’s “Shock and Awe” Plan to Attack Iran
Israeli ‘document’ on Iran attack leaked
Israeli Official Refuses to Deny Authenticity of Iran Attack Plan Document
Netanyahu ‘determined to attack Iran’ before US elections, claims Israel’s Channel 10
Israel to attack Iran before US election in November – media report
The Urgent Need to Prevent a Middle East War (by Patrick Seale)
Is Washington Deaf as Well as Criminal?
The Babylonian Captivity of Washington: Israel Can Start a War and the US Can do Nothing to Stop It (scroll down to Philip Giraldi’s mention of how US media isn’t reporting US military concern about Israel dragging US into war with Iran if Israel attacks Iran in following article as Mitt Romney and the Israel first neoconned GOP is mentioned near the end):
Time for talk with Iranians is over, Israel declares
Israel to attack Iran before US election in November – media report
AIPAC man Dan Senor appointed as Paul Ryan senior advisor
A Truly Credible Military Threat to Iran (AIPAC associated Israel first Jewish neocon warmonger Dan Senor mentioned):
Israel’s Connector to Romney
Would Romney Pursue a Neocon War Agenda?
By Way of Deception Israel trying to drag US into war on Iran (via Netanyahu and his Israel first minions in US like Dan Senor and others):
Israel lobby pushing Iran war for Israel:
Commentary: Romney’s war cry
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE UPI Editor at Large WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) — Stripped of gaffes and bad syntax, Mitt Romney has told the world that if he is elected president in November, the United States will stand behind Israel if it decides to bomb Iran ‘s nuclear installations. Following the Afghan and Iraq wars, the United States would then find itself at war again — for the third time in 10 years. From Israel ‘s standpoint, the most propitious time to bomb some of Iran ‘s nuclear facilities would be at the height of the U.S. presidential campaign. Neither side would take a chance on his or her defeat by criticizing Israel and incurring the wrath of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. This was a propitious time for U.S. President Barack Obama to sign into law the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. The Bipartisan Policy Center “applauded Congress for overwhelmingly passing legislation that reaffirms the long-standing commitment of the United States to the security of Israel by providing it with the necessary military aid to defend itself against terrorist attacks.” “Key measures in the bill,” said the center, “specifically the importance of providing Israel with refueling tankers and bunker busting munitions, were strong recommendations by BPC’s latest Iran report, ‘Meeting the Challenge: Stopping the Clock’.” In this report, BPC emphasized the importance of the United States to strengthen Israel ‘s military threat against Iran ‘s nuclear facilities to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear program. In the event of pre-emptive Israeli bombing, Iran would automatically see the United States as a co-belligerent. The Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, through which are transported daily 35 percent of the world’s seaborne oil supplies, Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon and Hamas-ruled Gaza would all become part of a larger theater of war. The Israeli-occupied West Bank , increasingly under the sway of Hamas, would be ripe for a third intifada or violent demonstrations. The 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty, with the Muslim Brotherhood and the military now sharing power in Cairo , would be in serious jeopardy. Since it took over the reins of government this summer, the Muslim Brotherhood has restored full diplomatic relations with Iran . To prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability, said Romney, the United States stands 100 percent behind Israel . It should be the Americans’ “highest national security priority” to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Wealthy American Jews, including Sheldon Adelson, the multibillionaire casino operator who has promised to donate $100 million to Romney’s campaign, flew to Israel to be on hand for the Republican candidate’s 2-day visit. How much was grandstanding for U.S. Jewish support for Romney’s White House ambitions and how much would become U.S. policy if he becomes the 45th president of the United States is perhaps still an open question. But the words he used left no wiggle room for equivocation. Two weeks before Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Romney, Obama’s national security adviser Tom Donilon briefed him on current U.S. deployments in the Persian Gulf region. The United States has two aircraft carrier strike forces cruising the Gulf of Aden . In recent months, the U.S. minesweeping fleet in Bahrain has gone from two to four to eight ships. Iran has hundreds of mine-carrying small boats that can dart in and out of the north and southbound shipping lanes of the Hormuz Strait . The strait at its narrowest is 21 miles wide. Traffic lanes are 6 miles across, including two 2-mile-wide traffic lanes for inbound and outbound shipping, separated by a 2-mile-wide safety median. The leading Israeli daily Haaretz reported Netanyahu and Donilon spent 3 hours over dinner discussing U.S. contingency plans for dealing with Iran ‘s nuclear facilities — including the effectiveness of deep-penetration 15-ton bombs. These bombs, Donilon is reported to have said, can create havoc with any of Iran ‘s known underground nuclear installations. Donilon, reported Haaretz, assured Netanyahu that Iran ‘s nuclear facilities were all within destructive reach of the 15-ton “daisy cutters.” The Vietnam-era BLU-82 was filled with 12,600 pounds of GSX explosive slurry and when detonated created a blast wave of more than 1,000 pounds per square inch, the Center for Global Research says. They have been improved in destructive burrowing power since they failed to stop Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists as they made their escape from Afghanistan through the Tora Bora Mountain pass in mid-December 2001. Next in Jerusalem for talks with Netanyahu was U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Panetta is understandably more cautious. Defense dollars are being cut back in anticipation of automatic “sequestration” at year’s end unless a bipartisan deal emerges before then. The 8-year Iraq war cost a cool trillion dollars — with little to show for it. By the time, the United States and its allies leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014, a second trillion dollars will have been spent on a 13-year war. In Iraq , violence shook 14 cities almost simultaneously this week, killing 110, wounding some 200 — days after al-Qaida announced that it was back in its terrorist business against a much weakened Iraqi government. In one attack, the terrorists killed 14 Iraqi soldiers. Emboldened by Syria ‘s civil war next door, al-Qaida clearly sees an opportunity to relegate Iraq to the status of a failed state. Leading the charge against the government of Nouri al-Malaki was the notorious anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Sadr, who spends more time in Tehran with his Iranian sponsors than in Baghdad . Panetta’s caution about getting involved with Israel against Iran is understandable.
Would Romney pursue a neocon war agenda?:
Romney embraces the Neocons:
Press TV talks to James Morris on ‘CNN GOP Debate’
Only Ron Paul is not owned by AIPAC / Interview with James Morris / editor of america-hijacked.com
Additional at following URL:
Press TV Talks to James Morris on Republican CNN debate about Ron Paul on Iran
General (Ret) James David (who is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby on the US political system and media) sent through the following as well:
Post office nears historic default on $5B payment
Published July 30, 2012
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, adding to widening uncertainty about the mail agency’s solvency as first-class letters plummet and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink.
With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees’ health benefits — $5.5 billion due Wednesday, and another $5.6 billion due in September — will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday. Postal officials said they also are studying whether they may need to delay other obligations. In the coming months, a $1.5 billion payment is due to the Labor Department for workers compensation, which for now it expects to make, as well as millions in interest payments to the Treasury.