Archive for category NATO

Why is my country preparing to commit another crime against humanity?

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hangers on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs.

Although the story was not confirmed at the time, the new evidence suggests that it was accurate.

Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders’ website by the US navy.

A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. “US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he added.

The preparations were being made by the US military, but it would be up to President Obama to make the final decision. He may decide that it would be better for the US to act instead of Israel, Plesch argued.

“The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely,” he added. “The US … is using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.”

According to Ian Davis, director of the new independent thinktank, Nato Watch, the shipment to Diego Garcia is a major concern. “We would urge the US to clarify its intentions for these weapons, and the Foreign Office to clarify its attitude to the use of Diego Garcia for an attack on Iran,” he said.

For Alan Mackinnon, chair of Scottish CND, the revelation was “extremely worrying”. He stated: “It is clear that the US government continues to beat the drums of war over Iran, most recently in the statements of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

“It is depressingly similar to the rhetoric we heard prior to the war in Iraq in 2003.”

The British Ministry of Defence has said in the past that the US government would need permission to use Diego Garcia for offensive action. It has already been used for strikes against Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars.

About 50 British military staff are stationed on the island, with more than 3,200 US personnel. Part of the Chagos Archipelago, it lies about 1,000 miles from the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka, well placed for missions to Iran.

The US Department of Defence did not respond to a request for a comment.

source: herald scotland

fitting the facts around the new policy in Afghanistan: reconciliation with Taliban?

1. Dutch govt falls apart over Afghanistan

THE HAGUE — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende met Queen Beatrix on Monday to chart the way forward after his government collapsed over the Netherlands’s role in Afghanistan. Balkenende held 90 minutes of talks with the head of state at her working palace in The Hague early Monday, government spokeswoman Fridy van Hapert said.  Thereafter, the queen was to meet the leaders of the two Dutch houses of parliament, political party chiefs and the deputy president of the council of state advisory body.

…NATO had asked the Netherlands to extend its four-year-old mission, mainly in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, by a year to August 2011….The queen must now decide whether or not to accept the resignations and call early elections….If the queen accepts the resignations, as widely excepted, parliamentary elections will have to be brought forward. They had been scheduled for March next year.

more @ afp

2. Dutch troops to exit Afghanistan as planned — very small contingent of soldiers. the Dutch play some other role in the drama.

Following the collapse of his cabinet, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende says he expects his country’s troops to leave Afghanistan as planned….Around 1,600 Dutch troops have been stationed in southern Afghanistan since 2006. According to their mandate they should have returned home in 2008, but their deployment was extended by two years since no other NATO member state offered replacements.

more @ press tv

3. last week: NATO (supposedly) flabbergasted, this will play into the hands of the Taliban. (wink wink?)

This is not the first time Nato is amazed and annoyed by the Dutch political approach to Afghanistan. At a time when practically all Nato members have committed to sending more troops, the Netherlands is trying to abandon its mission in Uruzgan. At a press conference in October, Rasmussen said the Netherlands would play into the hands of the Taliban if it left….But most worried about how to proceed if the Dutch cabinet does take a dive.

more here

4. earlier this month: Taliban will negotiate, but path fraught with risk. if only there were some way to get everyone to the table so we can be one big happy family again…..there must be so much drug money to make there that it outweighs the ongoing war profiteering.

LONDON (Reuters) - Unthinkable a year ago and still officially beyond the pale, the idea of a political role for Taliban leaders in Afghanistan is creeping onto the agenda as war-weary governments seek to bring an end to an unpopular war.

Some say this could open the door for negotiations if the Taliban think they can secure a better settlement through talks than by waiting for U.S.-led troops to leave and then fighting their way to power through a renewed civil war. “The Taliban know they can’t take over the country. They would be presiding over a country with persistent and perennial poverty and civil war. So they would like to negotiate,” said one diplomat involved in discussions about Afghanistan.

Many analysts say talks would need to involve Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar — condemned in the West for his refusal to hand over al Qaeda leaders after the September 11, 2001 attacks. ..And the price for a settlement could be high as far as the west is concerned — for example the rehabilitation of Mullah Omar as supreme leader of Afghanistan — even if not directly running the government.The Taliban for their part are expected to come under pressure from Pakistan to negotiate to try to end a war which has increasingly spilled over from Afghanistan. …Washington says many Taliban leaders including Mullah Omar are based in Pakistan. And while Pakistan has far less leverage over the Taliban than it had when it nurtured them in the 1990s, it could still make life hard for them if they refused to talk.Rather like the secret talks between then U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and the North Vietnamese which tried, and ultimately failed, to secure an honorable exit from Vietnam, any negotiations would be long and easily derailed. They would also be fraught with risk for both the United States and the Taliban. Any hint of compromise could unleash a public backlash in the United States, as well as alienate the Taliban’s own fighters and supporters…. U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke said Sunday there had been no direct, secret contacts with the Taliban, but said Washington recognized the importance of reconciliation.

more @ reuters

5. oh ho HO, pakistan capture top Taliban with info provided by Mullah Omar’s second in command

Netting another big catch, Pakistan’s security agencies have captured a top Afghan Taliban leader following information provided by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Omar’s second in command.

Mulvi Kabir, former Taliban governor in Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province, and a key figure in the Taliban regime was recently captured in Pakistan, Fox News reported. The arrest is one of the few big catches after Baradar, who is Taliban’s number two leader. Considered to be among the top 10 most wanted Taliban leaders, Kabir was apprehended in Nawshera district of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province by Pakistani police forces in recent days, the Fox news said.

A senior US military official called it a significant detention, it said, adding that the arrest of Kabir is based on the intelligence gathered from Baradar. Besides Kabir, two other top Taliban leaders have been arrested in recent days. Pakistani agencies arrested Mullah Salam of Afghanistan’s Kunduz province and Mullah Mohammad, who reportedly controlled the Baghlan province recently. The two are considered to be among the most important captures Pakistan has made in relation to the Taliban in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.

mid-day

6. US supporting Afghan warlord

Kalagush—The United States is helping an Afghan warlord and former enemy to take control of a district bordering Pakistan, military officers and independent experts say. The strategy to back Mullah Sadiq as effective ruler of Kamdesh district in eastern Nuristan province is part of a wider attempt to bring stability to the country so international forces can leave. Sadiq is a former commander of the militant Hizb-e-Islami group, responsible for years of attacks on coalition and Afghan troops, as well as civilians. US support for Sadiq — who has said he wants to ally with President Hamid Karzai’s government against the Taliban — is causing friction between US foreign policy staff in Afghanistan and the military.

Senior officers said Sadiq could swing Nuristani people behind Karzai and provide a prototype breakthrough in the battle against the Taliban insurgency. But US state department officials and independent experts fear Sadiq wants a temporary alliance with US troops to defeat local Taliban factions before taking over the mountainous border province as a personal fiefdom.

Commander Russell McCormack, military head of Nuristan’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), said the US must work with Sadiq. “He is influential, intelligent and he uses diplomacy and true Islam — rather than the barbaric form that the Taliban professes,” McCormack told AFP at Kalagush, the only US base in Nuristan. …The plan is part of a new counter-insurgency strategy to instil public confidence in Karzai’s government and bring an end to the war.

With the US withdrawal to begin in July 2011, Karzai last month launched a bid for “reconciliation” with mainstream insurgents. The tactic is also being tested further south in Helmand province where 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops are on the offensive in Marjah, a region controlled for years by Taliban and drug traffickers.

more @ pak observer

the love affair with the military must continue

SHAPE is the central command of NATO’s military forces.

From 1951 SHAPE was the headquarters of operational forces in the European theatre (Allied Command Europe, ACE), but since 2003 SHAPE has been the headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO) controlling all allied operations worldwide. … The commanding officer of Allied Command Operations has also retained the title “Supreme Allied Commander Europe” (SACEUR), and continues to be a U.S. four-star general officer or flag officer who also serves as Commander, U.S. European Command.

Today, our illustrious allied forces have made a mistake:

On the second day of a major military offensive against the Taliban, NATO officials confirmed Sunday that their rockets missed the intended targets and instead claimed the lives of 12 Afghan civilians. …Thousands of NATO and Afghan troops encountered pockets of resistance, fighting off sniper attacks, as they moved deeper into Marjah, a town of 80,000 people that is the linchpin of the militants’ logistical and opium-smuggling network in Helmand province.

…The civilian deaths were a blow to NATO and the Afghan government’s attempts to win the allegiance of Afghans and get them to turn away from the insurgents. NATO said two rockets from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System were aimed at insurgents firing on Afghan and NATO forces, but stuck 1,000 feet (300 meters) off their intended target. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life,” said Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan.

Oh sure they do.

^^^^^^^

Kay Griggs, who is an historian, explained in her 1998 interviews that the CIA is a red herring, because the big decisions really come down from SHAPE, ie: NATO.

This site provides an extensive rundown on the history and politics of SHAPE commanders. Since inception, US and UK Army Generals have dominated SHAPE. Of the sixteen SACEURs (Supreme Allied Commander Europe), all are Americans and twelve have been US Army Generals. The Deputy SACEUR list has a similar make-up, except that 16 of 26 are from the British Army, the other ten divided among the German Army and the RAF.

This means that a highly insular group of military people exercise tremendous power throughout the world and over the other NATO members.

Canada has been a member of NATO since 1949.

Presumably, Canadian military culture would be totally compatible with NATO and SHAPE, which are commanded by US and UK Generals. In other words, it’s probably safe to say that at the highest levels, military culture is fairly homogeneous. What’s acceptable for a high-ranking military officer in the US is probably also acceptable in the UK and in Canada and in Germany, etc. Because they all have to work together under one command.

^^^^^^^

So what is acceptable to a high-ranking US military officer?

Kay Griggs:

“Now these generals in the Marine Corps and Army, according to my husband, they are ordered. My husband, being Chief of Staff, told his men it was like this:  It’s the Marine Corps first — the Brotherhood, the Cherry Marines, the bonding that goes on. The Marine Corps comes before God, before Jesus Christ, before the country.  My husband is not a Christian, he’s an existentialist, and most of these guys are.  [Their god is] the Brotherhood.  It’s very German, it has Masonic leanings.  They’re all Masons. This Brotherhood — Opus Dei — they’re the Mob.  The Marine Corps are the hit men.  They’re mercenaries.  They’ll work for anybody.  They’ll switch hats.  My husband said it’s no big deal.  I’ll go work for the State Department.
“The Marine Corps is just a smoke-and-mirrors thing.  On [my husband's] level, he said we’ve never been an enemy to the Soviet Union.  They work with these Communists.  The man who started this whole intelligence operation — OSS [Office of Strategic Services] — he was recruiting known Communists who were involved in subverting Spain.  They’re not Americans.  They’re not Christians.  They’re German existentialists.  Now what are they doing running our nation?  They have more affinity for the State of Israel than they do our nation.  They don’t care about American citizens.  The judges now in the courts are all military officers following chain-of-command orders.  They’re not independent judges.”

The term “cherry Marines” refers to homosexual culture. Kay describes around 1:52:00 how young recruits are “turned” psychologically. They participate in many nude group activities.

Those who excel in this climate are called “rising stars.”
“That’s the word the State Department uses for those who are controlled.” - Kay Griggs
“From his file he was a shining, bright star.” - Major General Yvan Blondin, Russ Williams’ commanding officer

^^^^^^^

As a thought experiment, read these various remarks made by high-ranking Canadian military officers as if they have an insular, secretive culture in which depravity and murder are no big deal. In which one may not enter the highest ranks *unless* one has the proper mindset: depravity and murder are no big deal. In which there has been a terrible breach that threatens to expose this culture.

“We’re shocked by the connection made to a leader in our Air Force.”

…Maj. Gen. Blondin, who is Col. Williams’s commander, said he didn’t know the 8 Wing commander personally. He said members of the Canadian Forces who reach the position of Wing commander are ‘extraordinary people’ who ‘rise above’ others in the military.

“This is what Col. Williams has done and why he was picked to be a Wing commander,” Maj. Gen. Blondin said. “From my own observations that’s all I saw. I never saw anything else. I’ll certainly be looking at following this investigation closely.”

“From his file he was a shining, bright star. If you talk to people on the Wing they will probably tell you they admired the Wing commander,” Maj. Gen. Blondin said. “No one thought something like this is possible. We don’t know what to think about this.”

…“There are many facets to this,” Lt. Col. Murphy said. “We are just absorbing it now as we can. The allegations are a huge shock.” CFB Trenton Honourary Colonel Glen Rainbird, who serves as the community liaison for the base, said he will be contacting local officials to talk about the arrest.

“It’s very important for us ensure our community leaders understand this is about an individual and a civil matter,” Hon. Col. Rainbird said. “What 8 Wing brings to the community is what the Canadian Forces brings to the community - a lot of people who are members of our community are members of the Canadian Forces.”

Maj. Gen. Blondin said the arrests are not a reflection of the Air Force. “These charges are about the acts of one person,” Maj. Gen. Blondin said. “We will not shy away from our uniforms.”

^^^^^^^

Is this thought experiment fair?

Also in 1998, the same year Kay gave her interviews, a deposition was given in the matter of William M. Tyree, Jr., Plaintiff vs. Central Intelligence Agency, L. Scott Harshbarger, A. Paul Celluci, George Bush, Dois Gene Tatum, Defendants.

The deponent’s name is Desiree A. Ferdinand of New Mexico. Ms. Ferdinand testified about her father, who died on 1/7/90.

He originally was with the military and then he went into New York City Police Department and did crossover work with Central Intelligence Agency and while he was with the military until his death, he was with Military Intelligence, Counter Intelligence Corps.

…That is my father’s headstone, which reads Albert V. Carone, Colonel, U.S. Army.

Mr. Carone was a colonel, a high-ranking military officer. The same rank as Russ Williams.

After Mr. Carone died, the military denied ever knowing him. Bank accounts disappeared. Insurance policies disappeared. Files disappeared. Records disappeared. Because in addition to being a colonel, Mr. Carone also worked for the CIA, the Mafia, and the NYPD.

As a small child he came under Vito Genovese. After Genovese’s death,

It went to Joseph Colombo. My father knew the Gallo brothers, Joseph Gallo but I cannot remember his brother’s name. The Mazzaratti family, the Colombo family. At the time that my father was in Brooklyn, he dealt a great deal with the main head which was Gambino himself, and he was very close to Joe Colombo, the Bonanno family, Joe Bonanno, and he was very close to Paulie Castelano.

…This is my godfather, Pete Porazzo. He was in the New York City Police Department and was a Sargeant with the New York City Police Department. He was involved with a man by the name of Bob Leuci and my father, as far as drug running, coming in through CIA into organized crime to put it on the street.

  • Mr. Carone went to the NYC police department in 1946.
  • He spoke Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
  • He was stationed in the South Pacific during WW II.
  • He went to school for intelligence and espionage.

DF: I think at one time my father was with the 42nd but my father mainly worked for the 19th division and I think the 21st division because my father had taken over the job of what is known as Bag Man, from a man by the name of Jimmy Reardon, also known as Squire Reardon. Bag Man was the man who got the payoffs for the police department to look the other way.
RK: And your father took that job over from Reardon?
DF: Yes.
RK: Do you know why he took it over from Reardon?
DF: No, I really don’t. I just know that there was drugs with the families involved. The agency, the CIA, was bringing in drugs and dad was the liaison between organized crime families because my father was a made man with organized crime; he rode both sides of the fence. They used dad for it so dad used to take the payoffs from different people and there were certain people in the police department that were paid off to look the other way.
RK: How do you know that he played both sides of the fence?
DF: Because when I was growing up it was discussed in the house.

Et cetera. Just incredible. It goes on and on and on. Army, the mob, CIA, NYPD… one big happy family! He was also a “bag man” for the CIA, though they call it “paymaster” — you know, because it’s official business I guess.

Black operations were paid through my father. If people needed to be hired, they were hired through my father. If people needed to be eliminated, he was then one who was the final, I guess, down the line, to give the order.

He worked with people such as William Casey, Oliver North, Theodore Shackley, Manuel Noriega, and he had multiple passports…. until the last mission, which was to Tapechula, Mexico in 1984/85.

When he came home he was very depressed. He said he could not do this work any longer and he said he was not long for this world, that the suits would be coming for him. I searched all over for Jim Strauss. He finally found me. He came to visit. He brought up the same mission and stated that dad did not have the stomach after that mission any longer and that was the last mission they were on together.

Directly after that mission a man named Michael Harari menacingly approached Ms. Ferdinand in a parking lot, but she made a scene and he left. But that evening Mr. Carone became violently ill, mysteriously, and ended up with failing kidneys. He never recovered and became incapacitated. Mr. Carone’s attitude toward the military changed from that time. He wanted his daughter to know things.

He said that he knew that the suits had come to get him. He said that he was not long for this world and that it just wasn’t worth it. I had to promise him that I would not bury him in his military uniform. I asked him what he wanted done with it and he told me to burn it.

…Yeah, he didn’t have the stomach to do the work that they wanted him to do any longer and the reason for it was because of this village. They had taken out an entire village of men, women and children and they executed them and put them in a mass grave and put Lyme over them.

…When my father got sick, my father told me to remember certain names and one of them was Elliot Abrams.

General Richard Stilwell. My father worked with him in Asia. My father also did a lot of training of certain troops with General Richard Stilwell, gorilla [sic] training. …I’m positive he said South East Asia.

George Teesdale had something to do, if my memory serves me correct, with, I don’t know if he had something to do with pilots, planes, something to do with the agency as far as flights or planes.

There were two things in particular that bothered Mr. Carone: MIAs in Vietnam, and drug trafficking.

…He was tired of the drug trafficking. He had made the remark that it had gone on for very long, that they stuck it in the black community because nobody would really give a damn about the Harlem and East Harlem area and that they realized that a lot of money could be made and who would listen to those people anyway.

…All I can tell you is that he had mentioned Ollie North. As far as the drug trade, Mr. Shackley was mentioned. Mr. Richard Armitage was mentioned also. I have never spoken to or met Mr. Armitage. Colonel North would not speak to me. I have spoken to Mr. Shackley.

RK: Now in your father’s travel, we had mentioned Asia, Europe, the Bahamas. Did he ever go into South America?

DF: Yes. That is where he knew Colonel North from in dealings with Mr. Noriega and dealings with Mike, who I will presume is Mr. Harari for the simple reason that dad used to refer to Mike and used to refer to the Mossad at the same time and later on I found out that Mr. Harari, I will say had dealings with the Mossad.

…He was just really upset when I guess the drug trafficking was getting out of hand. They were using the drugs to buy guns, black operations were getting worse, “running amuck” was the expression.

Running amok 25 years ago. His own daughter admits he was dirty as the day long, and yet he felt that things were getting out of hand by the mid-80s. Extrapolate.

Mr. Carone also talked about certain operations, assassination teams. This was the reason for the deposition.

…Just that there was an operation Sand Man. It was an assassination team for certain people that needed to be eliminated through the agency. He used to talk about a fellow by the name of Sandy, who was a Green Beret at the time, that he had been with him and worked with him.

…It was the Green Beret out of Massachusetts. The Fort Devens area. A colonel my father knew, Colonel Cutolo. It had something to do with Colonel Cutolo.

This Green Beret is in Walpole State Prison, in Massachusetts, “who was framed for a murder because of what he knew as far as operations, Black operations.”

When my father got really sick, he felt that he had to clear this kid’s name.

Oh yeah, one other guy: George Bush.

RK: How do you know it was that George Bush?
DF: Because my father said at one time he was, number one the president of the United States is involved, and if all of this information came down it would bring down the Oval Office. Number two, he was involved with drug running because my father worked with him when he was with the CIA.

^^^^^^^

If only that were true. If only releasing scandalous information worked.
But the information has been released, and it didn’t bring down the Oval Office.
Plenty of information has been exposed. Whistleblowers have come forth. Things get leaked. People put things together, and what happens?

NOTHING!

Why is that? What can explain that? People will say, oh this stuff can’t be true.

But in fact, it must be true. People in power don’t get into power without tithing this wicked system, and once in, they cannot take on the corruption without exposing themselves. It can only be ignored. And so it is.

And when something goes wrong, like the Colonel Williams allegations, that poses a very serious breach of security. But as long as people continue to believe myths about the military, the narratives will continue to work. Perhaps that is what retired colonel Alain Pellerin meant when he said:

There is a love affair between the population and the armed forces
and I don’t think that will change.
It’s really just one individual who’s accused of a serious crime.

Which might mean: You keep believing the myth while we amputate Colonel Williams. Thank you (wink wink).

UPDATE: CIA involvement with drug trade resulted in death threats against US senator

excerpts, looks like a Wayne Madsen report:

DeConcini incurred the ire of the CIA because he discovered how deeply the agency was involved in the smuggling of drugs into the United States, particularly during the Iran-contra scandal.

The major drug routes from Central America, primarily Panama, to the United States saw CIA contract flights operated by such proprietary firms as Southern Air Transport and Evergreen Aviation fly fully-loaded planes with weapons and ammunition for the Nicaraguan contras from the United States, air drop them over contra bases in Central America, land in Panama and load up with narcotics supplied by Colombia’s Medellin cartel, fly through pre-approved air routes on the U.S.-Mexican border, and air drop the drugs on designated cattle ranches in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Evergreen flights, according to WMR’s FBI sources, were based out of the firm’s facility at Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona. Southern Air Transport flights were based out of Mena, Arkansas and other airfields in the Florida panhandle, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Once the drugs from the Medellin cartel were dropped on the cattle ranches, they would be loaded on trailer trucks and hauled to distribution points around the United States. Our FBI sources stated that the smuggling and distribution was aided and abetted by some of the wealthiest cattle ranchers and trucking industry executives in the United States, all of whom were large political contributors to the Republican Party and the Bush family.

…WMR’s FBI sources also confirmed that the senior CIA officer officially vested with the job of countering the international narcotics trade was actively involved in promoting the CIA’s own drug smuggling operations. The individual also served in the Treasury Department where he ensured that the surveillance of suspicious money flows by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) were scrubbed of any information that would point to the CIA’s involvement in drug money laundering.

…The jailed whistleblower also alleged that the CIA’s drug trade continues to flourish and that it involves Latin American Jews, Mossad agents and fabric and window covering warehouses in Florida, Georgia, and Texas that are used to store drugs from Latin America prior to distribution.

…WMR has learned from a Delta Force veteran that when units of the elite military force were sent into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, their first order from the CIA was to protect Afghan poppy fields. WMR’s FBI sources confirmed that Afghanistan has replaced Khun Sa’s poppy production operations in Burma’s “Golden Triangle” as the main source of opium and heroin for the CIA’s narcotics trade.

Something to keep in mind as we hear about project “together” in Marjah, Afghanistan.

SEE: Aangirfan: The military is the enemy?

aan found this:

not for nothing

1. heeeyy, good news….Russia’s top ten billionaires — TEH OLIGARCHS — doubled their wealth! turns out this crisis wasn’t so bad after all… PHEW! i dunno about you but i was really worried about those guys.

Russia’s top ten billionaires have almost doubled their aggregate wealth in 12 months to $139.3 billion, the Finans business magazine reported on Wednesday. The global economic crisis saw the combined fortunes of the top ten richest Russians fall from 221 billion to 75.9 billion in 2008, the magazine reported. Since then, however, massive state injections of funds into global financial markets and government support for companies owned by Russian oligarchs has seen the trend bucked.

The 2010 rating of Russian billionaires to be released by Finans next Monday includes 500 people with an estimated fortune of 3.3 billion rubles ($110 million) As many as 77 Russians have a wealth of over $1 billion each.

As before, tycoon and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich is among Russia’s three richest people. His fortune will enable him to keep the club afloat for another 100 years, Finans reported.

The identities of the top two richest Russians will be revealed by the magazine on Monday.

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti)

2. Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iran remain top 3 oil suppliers for China

Saudi Arabia, Angola and Iran remained the three largest oil sources for China in 2009, with the three supplying 47.7 percent of China’s total imports, according data released Wednesday by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

GAC figures showed that China’s oil imports from the three nations last year stood at 41.86 million tonnes, 32.17 million tonnes and 23.15 million tonnes, respectively. They represented a year-on-year increase of 15.1 percent, 7.6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.

…Saudi Arabia, the largest oil supplier to China, accounted for 20.5 percent of China’s total imports in 2009. Angola supplied 15.8 percent while Iran contributed 11.3 percent, according to GAC data.

Other main oil suppliers to China included Russia, Oman and Sudan.

more @ people’s daily online

3. Greeks protest as government slashes public spending

Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England was asked about Greece at a press conference on the BoE’s latest inflation report. His second statement could be translated as - their problem, not mine.  “I don’t think you can compare UK with Greece. We have different policies. We have very good track record and most importantly, the maturity of UK debt is much longer.” “This is an issue they’ll deal with within the euro area. It should be for my colleagues in the euro area to decide.”

…For a “I told you so” piece, here is Andrew Alexander of the Daily Mail, no friend of anything to do with the EU. His argument will be familiar to eurosceptics.

A particular flaw in having a ‘one-size-fits-all’ currency covering the rich and the poor, the cautious and the feckless, is that no member nation has its own currency which it can devalue or revalue in an attempt to extricate themselves from this crisis.

more @ guardian, many links

EU fear Greek ’spillover’ - “serious and persistent internal and external imbalance ‘threatens stability’ in the country. This in turn presents a ’serious risk of spillover into other parts of the euro area,’”

Berlin eyes ‘firewall’ to contain Greece debt crisis — “We are thinking about what we should do if the crisis spills from Greece into other euro countries,” said the official. “So it’s more about finding firewalls, containing the problem, than principally about helping the Greeks.”

nice. the EU: one big happy family.

4. Danny Ayalon faces hostile crowd in UK

(VIDEO) LONDON – Despite securing a promise by the UK’s Foreign Office that he would not be arrested upon arrival there, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon was not exempt from the rage of pro-Palestinian demonstrators waiting for him both outside and inside a lecture hall in London. One protestor at the Oxford University hall, where Ayalon spoke Tuesday, waved the Palestinian flag and interrupted Ayalon’s lecture for several long minutes, during which he did not stop yelling at the Israeli minister and called him a “racist” and “a war criminal.”

more @ ynet

http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3846746,00.html

5. Marines gear up for assault - “hailed by officers as the biggest offensive in the eight-year-old war.” great. what could possibly go wrong?

Thousands of Afghan, US and Nato forces are expected to launch Operation Mushtarak (Together) in a bid to clear the Taleban out of Marjah, home to some 80,000 people, and expand the control of the Western-backed Afghan government. A US Marines officer said late on Tuesday that the operation, to be led jointly by Marines and the Afghan army had not yet begun. ‘The Marines have not started the operation in Marjah,’ he said, adding: ‘The operation will be led by the Marines and their Afghan partners.’  Officials and witnesses say families have fled, loading goats, furniture and clothes on to vehicles and heading to safety in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province around 20 kilometres to the north.

more @ straits times

6. bases in Afghanistan indicate permanent presence

Today, according to official sources, approximately 700 bases of every size dot the Afghan countryside, and more, like the one in Shinwar, are under construction or soon will be as part of a base-building boom that began last year.

Existing in the shadows, rarely reported on and little talked about, this base-building program is nonetheless staggering in size and scope, and heavily dependent on supplies imported from abroad, which means that it is also extraordinarily expensive. It has added significantly to the already long secret list of Pentagon property overseas and raises questions about just how long, after the planned beginning of a drawdown of American forces in 2011, the US will still be garrisoning Afghanistan.

…The Pentagon’s most recent inventory of bases lists a total of 716 overseas sites. These include facilities owned and leased all across the Middle East as well as a significant presence in Europe and Asia, especially Japan and South Korea. Perhaps even more notable than the Pentagon’s impressive public foreign property portfolio are the many sites left off the official inventory. While bases in the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates are all listed, one conspicuously absent site is al-Udeid air base, a billion-dollar facility in nearby Qatar, where the US Air Force secretly oversees its ongoing unmanned drone wars.

The count also does not include any sites in Iraq where, as of August 2009, there were still nearly 300 American bases and outposts. Similarly, US bases in Afghanistan - a significant percentage of the 400 foreign sites scattered across the country - are noticeably absent from the Pentagon inventory.

more @ asia times

7. Russia: large-scale war less possible, but threats remain

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s military policies are aimed at avoiding an arms race and military conflicts, but they should also correspond to real threats which the country faces, Russia’s security chief Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with the Russian government daily.

On February 5, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that he has approved the country’s new military doctrine, which allows preventive nuclear strikes against potential aggressors.

The Rossiyskaya Gazeta published on Wednesday the full text of the doctrine.

“The unleashing of a large-scale war is becoming less possible… At the same time, regions, where conflicts are possible, remain,” Patrushev told the paper, adding “these conflicts could lead to a war with the use of both ordinary and nuclear weapons.”

Among the threats which could destabilize the situation in the world, the Russian security chief named the expansion of NATO, the Iranian nuclear program, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

more @ ria novosti

former bigshots can say the most outrageous things

Also, there’s no transcript of these remarks anywhere (yet), but allegedly a former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Klaus Naumann, claimed at Herzliya that in half an hour NATO forces will obliterate any country which have used nuclear weapons against another country.

That doesn’t leave any time for confirmation.

So how does that work in a false flag? Can NATO “obliterate” a country by accident? Accidentally on purpose???? You know I don’t think the usual REGRETS will cut it.

many people throwing their weight around

1. India, Bangladesh sign 5 pacts

NEW DELHI - LEADERS of India and Bangladesh met in New Delhi on Monday with talks focused on strengthening the previously difficult ties between the two south Asian neighbours, an Indian official said. Cross-border relations have improved in recent years and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s delegation signed five cooperation agreements with India in areas ranging from cultural exchanges, security, preventing crime and power supply.

more @ straits times

2. India confers Indira Ghandi Peace Prize to Bangladeshi PM

NEW DELHI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — India Tuesday conferred Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize in recognition of her contribution to peace and democracy, reported the Indo-Asian News Service. Indian President Pratibha Patil conferred the award at a function in the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace and praised Hasina for “shaping her country’s onward path of progress and development”, said the report.

more @ chinaview

3. Malaysian PM to visit Saudi Arabia

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will be making an official visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 13-16 to deepen bilateral ties, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said here on Tuesday. Najib will later attend the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Jan. 18. Malaysia will be working towards enhancing trade and investment relations with the two countries.

source: chinaview

4. Clinton to visit Japan, Pacific region

Since coming to power last year, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has pushed to see negotiations restart on the SOFA agreement, creating tension between the two countries. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has pledged to decide by May how to proceed on the base issue. Apart from talks with Okada, Clinton will deliver a policy speech focused on Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement in Hawaii, and will be consulting with the Pacific Command. She will be traveling to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia from Jan. 14 to Jan. 19, her first visit to the region since becoming the secretary of state. In Canberra, Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and their Australian counterparts Stephen Smith and John Falkner will participate in the 25th Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations to discuss key global and regional security challenges.

source: chinaview

5. ASEAN prepares own “Marshall Plan’

MANILA, Philippines—Asean is preparing its own Marshall Plan, the United States program in post World War II to rebuild and create an economically stronger Western Europe to repel the threat of internal communism, the Asean Secretariat said Tuesday….In a working lunch in Jakarta Monday, Asean Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan described the plan to Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Masayuki Naoshima. He urged the Japanese official and his delegation to look at the plan and the roles of Asean and Eria as a package….Surin, who coined the “Marshall Plan for Asia” tag for the plan, said his office was collaborating with Eria and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the development of the plan. The plan aims “to contribute to coordinating, expediting, upgrading, and expanding sub-regional initiatives and promoting private sector participation.”

more @ inquirer

6. incoming EU trade chief sees WTO deal by 2011

BRUSSELS—Would-be new European trade chief Karel De Gucht expressed confidence on Tuesday that a deal to free up international commerce is attainable by next year.… The Doha round began in 2001, with a focus on dismantling obstacles to trade for poor nations by striking an accord that will cut agriculture subsidies and tariffs on industrial goods. Deadlines to conclude the talks have been repeatedly missed. Discussions have been dogged by disagreements on issues including how much the US and the EU should reduce aid to their farmers and the extent to which developing countries such as India, China and South Africa should cut tariffs. “We have to do that deal,” De Gucht added, refusing to concede that the terms of the talks had to change to take account of the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

more @ inquirer

7. China views Ethiopia as major economic trading partner

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — China views Ethiopia as its major economic and trading partner in Africa, says Minister of Commerce Chen Deming on Monday….Chen put forward a four-point proposal on further development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation: First, further expanding its imports from Ethiopia through the use of tariff-free policies; Second, strengthening cooperation in investment and engineering contracts and continuing to encourage strong Chinese firms to invest in Ethiopia; Third, fully implementing the eight new measures to enhance cooperation with Africa; Fourth, further promoting cooperation in official development assistance to support Ethiopia’s infrastructure, and projects aimed to improve people’s well-being.

more @ chinaview

8. China, Morocco hold talks on enhancing bilateral ties

RABAT, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who is on a five-nation African tour, held talks Monday with his Moroccan counterpart Taieb Fassi Fihri on ways to upgrade relations between the two countries….Yang is on his first official foreign visit of the year that includes five African nations, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Algeria and Morocco, as well as Saudi Arabia. It has been China’s tradition for 20 years that its foreign minister visits Africa in the beginning of the year.

more @ chinaview

9. China VP meets Pakistan’s opposition party chief

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met Tuesday in Beijing with Nawaz Sharif, chief of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying party exchanges would help facilitate bilateral relations….Highlighting the friendship between China and Pakistan, Xi said China had treated bilateral ties from a long-term and strategic perspective and would make efforts with Pakistan to lift pragmatic cooperation. Sharif expressed his admiration for the achievements China had made, saying the political parties in Pakistan shared the view of improving friendly cooperation with China.

more @ chinaview

10. experts discuss NATO’s future at Prague meeting

An international conference has opened in Prague, aiming to help redefine NATO’s mission for the 21st century. The international panel is led by former U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright. About hundred other experts are also participating. The group is working to update the alliance’s mission statement, which was written in 1999. Albright is present at Tuesday’s gathering. The draft will be submitted for consideration to the leaders of NATO’s member nations at their spring summit in Lisbon, Portugal. NATO started the process to update its outdated mission statement last year to focus on handling new challenges such as piracy, terrorism and cyber attacks as well a resurgent Russia.

source: taiwan news

11. new EU foreign chief criticized for lack of specifics

Under its previous holder Javier Solana, the post of top EU diplomat focused on smoothing relations and boosting Europe’s influence in such places as the Middle East, Iran, and the Balkans. But the job has greater powers under the new Lisbon Treaty of reforms, even though the EU’s 27 nations remain well in charge over foreign and defense policy, with Ashton set to be their mouthpiece. Despite the pressure, Ashton appeared relaxed throughout, confidently responding to questions mainly focused on institutional concerns and how the former EU trade commissioner saw the future of EU foreign policy. She gave answers that demonstrated an understanding of the issues, but would not be drawn into diplomatic minefields like her stance on sanctions against Iran and was cautious on Middle East policy. More broadly she urged Europe to play a greater role on the world stage. “I am convinced there is a clear call, inside the EU and around the world, for greater European engagement—to promote peace, protect the vulnerable, fight poverty ,and address the many problems of our time,” she said. “We have to answer this call.”

more @ inquirer

12. Kazakh minister visits Vienna, Austria

Secretary of State - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev began his official visit to Vienna yesterday… According to the press release, the visit on part of OSCE Chairman Saudabayev, to Austria will take place on January 12 - 15. Saudabayev will meet with President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, and the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Michael Spindelegger, to discuss the further development of Kazakhstan-Austrian cooperation as part of international organizations. … According to the press release, Astana considers Vienna a key political and economic partner in the EU, and is interested in developing bilateral dialogue in all areas and levels. During the visit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold meetings with UN structures administration based in Vienna – including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Universal Prohibition of Nuclear Tests to discuss cooperation with these organizations, according to Kazakhstan Today.

source

13. Austrian president to visit China next week

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Austrian President Heinz Fischer will pay a state visit to China from next Tuesday to Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.  Fischer will make the visit as guest of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a regular briefing.   This will be Fischer’s first China trip since he took office in 2004.

source: chinaview

14. China very very very unhappy with US weapons sales to Taiwan — in diplomatic language this is a full-blown fit

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Defense Department announced on January 6 the approval of a plan of Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell Patriot III missiles to Taiwan. Although it was a step to implement the huge-scale arms sales package announced by the George W. Bush administration in October 2008, such a move only about one month after U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to China tarnished the China-U.S. ties….the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan fully justified any suspicion about the United States’ sincerity to take concrete actions to “respect each other’s core interests.”

Undoubtedly, the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously violated the principles established in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and the spirit of the Sino-U.S. Joint Statement, breached the U.S. promise to respect the core interests of China and disobeyed the mainstream wish shared by the people across the Straits.  This move clearly showed the dual character of the United States in dealing with the major issues related to China’s core interests, especially at the moment that the cross-Straits relations have embarked on a path of peaceful development.

Profound lessons should be drawn from history. All previous U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have caused great damage to the Sino-U.S. relations and blocked their stable and smooth development.  This time is no exception, since the arms sales to Taiwan are rootless and absolutely harmful, whether from the perspectives of legal, moral and justice principles, or from the perspectives of joint interests of the two countries and the long-term development of their relations.

more @ chinaview



decision tree from hell

Really good summary here from Damian Lataan, trying to answer the question on many people’s minds right now, which is WTF? Do we *really* have to let Israel start WW III over Iran’s non-existent nookular weapons? And why is that…exactly?

The answer lies in Zionism’s long term objectives of creating a Greater Israel. The main forces that stand between the Zionists and their objectives are Hezbollah in Lebanon who have defended their country against attack from the Israelis on several different occasions, and Hamas who have struggled to defend and regain the Palestinian lands that have been taken from them by the Israelis. Both of these Arab and Palestinian entities are supported by Iran via Syria. Without Iran’s support, both Hezbollah and Hamas would not be able to sustain their resistance to Israel’s aggression and ultimate aims.

However, Israel is not able to simply attack Iran; world opinion simply would not support such a blatant act of aggression. In the past, whenever Israel has decided to launch an attack against its enemies, Israel has always managed to find a casus belli that Western governments have been able to accept. The Israelis have always been able to manipulate events in such a way as to allow the world to believe that Israel is the victim rather than the aggressor. With the careful use of propaganda distorting the true nature of events coupled with outright lies and the occasional false flag or ‘psychological’ operation, Israel has been able to control the Western mainstream medias presentation of news via its influence on the owners of the mainstream media so that it favours Israel.

The only way that Israel can effectively and permanently cut Iran’s influence on Hezbollah and Hamas is for Israel to bring about regime change in Iran. In order to bring about regime change one of two things need to happen; either the country needs to be invaded and its government toppled, as happened in Iraq, or the government toppled by internal forces. Since it would be logistically impossible for Iran to be invaded as Iraq was, the only alternative is to have the government toppled by other means.

…The US and Israel have only one option left and that is to attack Iran’s military and government institutions with such force that the government capitulates and bows to the demands of the US via the UN – demands that would include ‘regime change’. In order to make such an attack the Israelis and the US will require a casus belli that would be supported by public opinion. Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program, it is hoped, will be that casus belli.

An alternative casus belli could be that evidence, manufactured or otherwise, shows that Iran is substantially supporting Hamas and/or Hezbollah to a level that is a threat to Israel….Since such a scenario could not be realised without a trigger casus belli such as a war with either Hamas and/or Hezbollah in which it can be shown that Iran is involved, Israel will first need to find some reason to launch an attack against one or the other or both.

It would appear that the first option — the nuclear weapons story — has been seriously compromised by the NIE findings coming up persistently and in really obvious places like Newsweek. You know, where people will actually see it. But that does seem to narrow things down to 1) war with Hamas/Hezbollah or possibly, 2) false flag 9/11-type event. And as Lataan points out, Israel and the US have some joint military exercises planned for next month in which they will simulate missile attacks on Israel from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. What could possibly go wrong?

And he also addresses Brzezinski’s recent interview, where he suggests US planes would shoot Israeli planes out of the sky before letting them strike Iran. But Brzezinski also said this about Russia, his least favorite country:

The Russians have their own interests in Iran, which are far more complex than the simplistic notion that the Russians want to help us with Iran. The Russians have a complicated agenda with Iran. They also know in the back of their heads that if worse came to worse—and I am not saying they are deliberately promoting the worst—but if worse came to worse, which is an American-Iranian military collision, who would pay the highest price for that? First, America, whose success in ending the Cold War the Russians still bitterly resent. And we would also pay a high price in Iraq, Afghanistan, and massively so with regards to the price of oil. Second, who would suffer the most? The Chinese, who the Russians view as a long-range threat and of whom they are very envious, because the Chinese get much more of their oil from the Middle East than we do, and the skyrocketing price would hurt them even more than us. Third, who would then be totally dependent on the Russians? The West Europeans. And fourth, who would cash in like crazy? The Kremlin.

So looks to me that he is tilling the ground to blame things on Russia, should “worse come to worse.” I also noticed that somebody dragged old Gorbachev out of storage to talk about democracy and throw a few spitballs at Putin.

Gorbachev said: “I believe that Prime Minister Putin’s raising of the subject of 2012 is premature. Moreover, in this conversation, everything came down to ‘we’ll sit down and reach an agreement’. But if an agreement is to be reached with anyone, it is with the electorate, with the people. But the people were absent from this conversation. I do not think this is right.”

But hey, it’s not too early to talk about 2012 in *this* country.

It is beginning to look a lot like 2012 — or in some respects, like 2008 again — as potential Republican presidential contenders gathered in Washington this past weekend for the annual Values Voters Summit. The gathering is hosted by the political action arm of the conservative Family Research Council.

On Saturday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee finished first among conservative voters in a straw poll ballot, winning 170 votes out of the 597 cast. Mitt Romney, Huckabee’s former rival for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, came in a distant second with 74 votes.

I mean, why would you even worry about Iran? We’re talking about Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney again, already. Aren’t you excited? Don’t worry about Iran. Don’t worry about Iran’s Advanced BioWar program. The future is all roses, kid.

The large number of Iranian/Syrian/Hezhollah/Hammas rockets and missiles, capable of delivering radiological, chemical, advanced biological, and fuel-air explosives on Israel and American forces in the Middle East is a check-mate or MAD designed to prevent the next stated goal of the neo-con agenda, the destruction of Iran and Syria, from taking place. It is designed to appeal to the logical mind of Israeli and American leaders ~ don’t try to destroy us because we can return the favor (perhaps using different technology but nevertheless horribly effective). The same type of MAD between NATO and the old Warsaw Pack that kept both from engaging in World War III for duration of the Cold War. So why is this MAD not working now?

Yeah, so, click through for his answer.

What is the statute of limitations on premeditated war?

It’s always hard to tell information from disinformation these days, but this must have sounded like some wild conspiracy theory back in the day. I’m sure more than a few people brushed it off as crazy talk. Four years later, only a complete fool would fail to notice how diligently the neocons have been pursuing these very plans despite various setbacks.

October 10, 2004: “This time, friends, I have some very important news for all of you. Unlike the usual silly gossip that goes on around the White House, intermingled with loud praying, this is really news. We are about to embark on another war! Yes, it has been decided and carefully planned. Who are we going to war with? Iran. Background here: (I am taking this from a paper which I have to return)

Thesis: Iran hates the United States and Israel. Iran has atomic weapons and missiles (the Shahab, courtesy of North Korean/Russian technicians) It can easily reach Tel Aviv. It can also reach US troop concentrations in Iraq. Israel is scared shitless. Their pressure groups have leaned on the White House, with a great deal of assistance from Cheney and the Neocons. The actual plan is this: The U.S. has no troops available for an Iranian adventure and the Israelis would rather not lose any warm bodies so…it has been firmly decided that both Israel and the U.S. will launch a surprise attack against 1., Iranian missile sites, 2. Iranian nuclear facilities and 3. the leadership of Iran located in and around Tehran.

How will this be done? By aircraft attack using U.S. developed “smart bombs” and the so-called “bunker-buster” bombs designed to destroy underground reinforced concrete facilities .We just sent these to Israel. Because of the political ramifications, the Israelis will conduct the main strikes, supported by U.S. aircraft as needed. The aim will be to wipe out any vestige of nuclear weaponry, its delivery system and all the Iranian leaders capable of starting any attacks on Israel (mostly Tel Aviv…too many fellow Muslims in Jerusalem.)

Since it would be a problem for Israeli Air Force units to fly round trip from Israel, the solution will be to launch these attacks from U.S. aircraft carriers located in the Persian Gulf area. As I write, the super carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) is now in the Persian Gulf along with the so-called Essex Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) [31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (SOC)] which consists of:: USS Essex (LHD 2) USS Juneau (LPD 10) USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) USS Mobile Bay (CG 53USS Hopper (DDG 70) USS Preble (DDG 88)

The initial attacks will be an early-morning surprise attack launched to coincide with religious services in Tehran’s Muslim mosques with the idea of catching not only the leading Mullahs inside but a large number of their congregations as well. One attack will concentrate on these religious centers and the other will hit both the underground nuclear facilities and identified (courtesy of U.S. satellite shots) missile launching sites.

The U.S. will supply observation and radio surveillance aircraft with radar-jamming capacities operating out of Turkey and Italy. The entire attack is scheduled to last no more than one hour with at least three waves of Israeli aircraft utilized. No warning will be given to the Iranians and no declaration of war. The possible deaths of foreign diplomats in the attacks has been discussed and accepted as part of the price. This attack has the full support of the President who wants it launched before the elections. He can then make a speech to the American people stating that the evil Iranian nuclear weaponry has been destroyed by the Israelis with the full cooperation of his government as part of his heroic war against terrorists. Believe me, that speech has already been written and I have seen a copy of it.

The brass here feels that this will have a tremendous impact on the American people, just before the elections. No U.S. ground troops will be used; Bush will stress that this is a joint U.S.-Israeli anti-terrorist project. Part of the speech deals with ongoing Shiite Iranian physical support of their Shiite brethren in Iraq and that by knocking out the Iranian nuclear weaponry, at the same time, they are protecting GIs from ongoing guerrilla warfare.

The brass is literally rubbing it’s hands and drooling over what they see as Bush’s Final Victory. I have seen a negative report copy from someone in the Pentagon [who is not going to get promoted] that says if the Iranians get wind of this little game, they might strike first and they might also realize that large numbers of vulnerable American troops are concentrated inside Iraqi cities, prime targets for a nuclear tactical attack. These people are literally insane and I really hope you don’t delete this. Something really has to be done to stop these maniacs before we all die of radiation sickness!”

Obviously, some things have changed and others have not. But at the current time, just before the 2008 election, certain elements of this old plan have been since confirmed or are currently being executed.

1. Cheney is now visiting Georgia, and he will also visit Azerbaijain, Ukraine and Italy.
2. Italy may be more important now that Turkey appears to have swung Russia’s way.
3. An armada of US and NATO vessels has assembled in the Persion Gulf and in the Black Sea.
4. Georgia was intended to be a launching pad for Israeli strikes on Iran.

On the other hand…

5. Tremendous hand-wringing is taking place in Europe over how to handle the rift between Russia and the US/UK/Israel/NATO.
6. Obviously, the Iranians have gotten wind of the plan and won’t be sitting there on their thumbs while all this goes down.
7. Lots and lots and lots of people are onto Israel now, an enormous change since 2004.
8. Putin is smarter than the neocons.

Meanwhile, the American people have been absolutely bombarded with distractions, of late the ridiculous Sarah Palin. (Aha, maybe that’s why Rove thinks she was a brilliant choice.)

The breathtaking cynicism, the utter disregard for innocent human life and the environment, the willingness to lie and manipulate the American people, the sheer premeditation — just evil. Pure evil. May God deliver us from these evil people. Every last one of them.

UPDATE: Justin Raimondo has the latest version of this twisted plan, in which the US has been reluctantly forced to do the job ‘the right way’ (limited) as a result of the Georgian fiasco rather than let the insane Israelis nuke Iranian cities.

The Bush Administration, neocons and Israel have been tactically planning the attack on Iran for four years, and strategic planning goes back much, much further than that. They, and they alone, are responsible for whatever hell they might unleash on the world, in addition to the hell they have already created. Please understand. It will not be Iran’s fault, or Russia’s, or Saddam, or Osama, or the Arabs, Democrats, or liberals, or brown people. No. These groups may be guilty of their own crimes, but Bush, Cheney, the entire bunch of neocons, and Israel are GUILTY OF PREMEDITATED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

They’re folding like origami

Turkish Daily News reports that Turkey cannot afford disruption in ties with Russia.

So sorry Mr. Nato. Pack your bags and check out by 11 please. We appreciate your cooperation. Thank you for visiting the Black Sea. Have a nice day!!

Dependent on Russian natural gas and oil to meet its growing energy needs, Turkey cannot risk bilateral ties with Moscow due to the recent economic tension that has hit Turkish exports, said the prime minister over the weekend.Our relations with the Russian Federation have actually gone beyond the special, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan told reporters at the Victory Day reception in Ankara.

…We are in contact with the countries whose vessels access the Black Sea. So far, we haven’t received a signal that the countries wanted an extension in their stay. To the contrary, they want to turn back as soon as possible after dispatching humanitarian assistance [to Georgia], said ErdoÄŸan.Under the convention, vessels from countries that do not have a coastal area on the Black Sea can stay in the sea for up to 21 days.

Heckuva job, Saakass.

The pressures must be very intense right now on the European countries. Saakashvili has tripwired lots of problems for the US, Israel, Europe, Turkey… I guess Cheney forgot to tell him about the Silly String trick before giving the go-ahead to piss off Russia. Oops.

Extraordinary meeting held at request of several EU member states:

The President of the French Republic as current President of the European Council, has, at the request of several EU Member States, decided to convoke an extraordinary meeting of the European Council which will be held on Monday 1 September in Brussels.

This meeting will be devoted to the crisis in Georgia, particularly to the course of action that the European Union intends to take in terms of aid to Georgia and its future relations with Russia.

But there’s a big problem:

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition is split over confronting Russia, its biggest energy supplier, for invading Georgia, threatening efforts to strike a united European response to a resurgent Kremlin.

…“Everybody in the EU is looking for Germany to lead on this, and if the Germans can’t get their act together, it’s very bad news for the rest of Europe,” said Shada Islam, an analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. “It’s a bit of a gamble to hold this meeting, which may merely serve to reveal all the cracks and fissures in the EU’s Russia policy.”

Germany is the 27-nation EU’s biggest member and has the closest links to Russia, so it has most to lose from reducing economic ties that flourished under Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, now co-head of a joint venture with Russian state-owned gas monopoly OAO Gazprom. Merkel’s own party, the Christian Democratic Union, is pushing her to confront Russia to improve its record on human rights and democracy. Her Social Democrat coalition partners, including Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, stress dialogue over sanctions or confrontational rhetoric because they don’t want to risk Germany’s place as Russia’s No. 1 European trading partner.

There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on because Russia has the upper hand and everyone knows it. Saakashvili has put Old Europe in a difficult position, and now they will make some decisions for their own interests.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Aug. 28 that some EU states at the summit “will propose sanctions” while “others will be against.” The EU has to decide such measures unanimously, making sanctions unlikely because a single member state can block imposing sanctions on Russia. “Europe can’t do very much,” said Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels. “We mainly import energy from Russia and if we cut trade ties it’s going to be a very cold winter.”

Soon we will hear shrill, ear-piercing screams coming from the neocons because Everything’s Ruined!