Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Important is Climate Change to your Representatives in D.C.

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Maya 2012 Monument Thought To Be More Political Than Apocalyptic - Science News - redOrbit

Maya 2012 Monument Thought To Be More Political Than Apocalyptic - Science News - redOrbit:

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Vietnam and Yom Kippur Wars were closely connected, newly released U.S. documents reveal - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Vietnam and Yom Kippur Wars were closely connected, newly released U.S. documents reveal - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper:
golda - Israel Sun - October 17 2010
The juxtaposition of the Kissinger documents and Meir transcripts reveals the extent to which Israel erred in understanding its place in the universe. 

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Book says Kissinger delayed telling Nixon about Yom Kippur War - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Book says Kissinger delayed telling Nixon about Yom Kippur War - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper:

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Ansar Dine fighters destroy Timbuktu shrines

Soul of a People: Writing America's Story - (Full Episode)

America: Drugged Up, Dumbed Down and Crazy Dangerous

Hat tip to my brother Coyoteprime where i first saw this.

The dogs of war are barking in the backyard and some deranged minds seem determined to swing open the gates – again. At the same time, the American people, the only ones who can stop the savagery, are saddled with long-term debt, deficits and depression.

 by Robert Bridge

As the new age Romans mission-creep toward the next doomed Middle East neighborhood, this time in Syria, when does the quaint phrase “experiencing déjà vu” become just a polite way of saying we are apathetic spectators at the Circus Maximus?
Does uttering mindless platitudes while the swords are swinging make us accomplices to death and destruction? Do our politicians – the nice guys who bailed out the bankers to the tune of trillions while we got cash for clunkers – really care about innocent civilians abroad who are getting caught in the crossfire?
By playing the knight in shining armor on behalf of every oppositional groundswell, we are actually encouraging these revolutionary uprisings from the start. As the Arab Spring shows, the opponents of the ruling authorities are seizing the reins of power through street violence, which seems to be the preferred method of political campaigning these days.
The opponents of vanquished Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, for example, did not have to prove their political prowess to win power. They only had to show up and demonstrate their staying power until NATO air support was called in. Eventually, the opposition revealed their true colors, however, when they dragged Gaddafi from a hole, Hussein-style, before summarily executing him. No trial, no judge, no jury, no worry. Welcome to the brave new political jungle where the side with the best crowd control always wins.
Essentially, the western powers are bankrolling unproven political wannabes not with hard cash, which is bad enough, but with overwhelming firepower. This opens the door to crimes of worse magnitude than would have been the case had nobody interfered in the first place. For example, if the Syrian political opposition understand, as they certainly must, the infinite power of global communication, then they will also understand the effectiveness of sending a message (tweeting, texting, whatever) that government forces committed an “atrocity” – even if they have not.
Consider the May 25 massacre in the village of Houla. Nobody yet has been able to prove beyond a shadow of doubt the identity of the perpetrators behind that barbaric event, which saw the murder of 108 people, mostly women and children. The opposition claims government forces hired mercenaries known as Shabiha to carry out the attack. However, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad maintains that armed groups were determined to sabotage UN peace talks (on May 15, one day before a UN Security Council meeting on Syria, militants carried out a massacre in the town of Homs, while the Houla attack coincided with a visit by UN negotiator Kofi Annan). Why would Assad, of all people, be opposed to ending the violence that threatens to bring down his government, and possibly far worse? READ MORE

New Mayan discovery references 2012 “end date”

A detail of carved steps shows 1,300-year-old Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called “end date” of the Maya calendar [Credit: David Stuart/Tulane University]
Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300-year-old-year Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called “end date” of the Maya calendar, December 21, 2012. The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic finds in decades, was announced today at the National Palace in Guatemala.
“This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy,” says Marcello A. Canuto, director of Tulane’s Middle American Research Institute and co-director of the excavations at La Corona. 

Since 2008, Canuto and Tomas Barrientos of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala have directed excavations at La Corona, a site previously ravaged by looters. 
“Last year, we realized that looters of a particular building had discarded some carved stones because they were too eroded to sell on the antiquities black market,” said Barrientos, “so we knew they found something important, but we also thought they might have missed something.” 

Path for Peace: Russia & West agree on transition government for Syria

A Russia House on the Indian Ocean By M K Bhadrakumar

..........................All in all, Moscow's strategy is to develop new sinews of cooperation with Pakistan that are sustainable, durable, and which dovetail with Russia's vibrant strategic partnerships with China, India and Iran.
Put differently, the Russian approach becomes a necessary regional-policy "adjustment" or even a pre-requisite to the impending admission of Pakistan and India into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as full members. Putin is an action-oriented statesman and the unhappy part is that six long years have passed since he first proposed at the SCO summit in Shanghai in June 2006 the setting up of an energy club within the regional grouping comprising the energy producing countries of Russia, Iran and the Central Asian countries and the three big energy consuming countries of China, India and Pakistan.
It was at the very same Shanghai summit of the SCO that Putin came out openly for the first time to say that Russia's energy leviathan Gazprom was willing to take part in the construction of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Putin said in his address, "Gazprom is ready to take part and provide technological and, if necessary, financial assistance, and we are willing to provide an unlimited amount of it, especially for a project that is certain to take off."
Putin's idea is that the oil and gas exporters within the SCO have been competing for promising markets (such as China or India), and to coordinate the moves SCO needs an energy club, which will act as a coordination center uniting both energy producers and the three key consumers.
One major Central Asian player who has stayed out of the SCO so far has been Turkmenistan, and it is a bit awkward to speak of an energy club in the region that doesn't include such a large-scale gas producer. Russia also has some gas disputes with Turkmenistan - with which, however China has a warm relationship built around energy cooperation.
A little-noticed development of great significance was that Chinese President Hu Jintao invited the Turkmen president to visit Beijing at the time of the SCO summit last month - and the latter accepted. Suffice to say, China is keen to harmonize its regional policies with Russia and would even lend a hand to Moscow's efforts to coordinate the impulses of energy security amongst and within the SCO member countries and observer countries.
A stunning thing is that the proposals brought by the Russian experts in the past week to Islamabad essentially pick up the threads of Putin's 2006 proposal. According to the details available so far, Moscow has made the following proposals to Islamabad:
  • Russia can offer financial and technical assistance for Pakistan's multi-billion dollar gas and power import projects that are in the pipeline.
  • Specifically, Russia is interested in participating in the two big gas pipeline projects on the anvil, namely, the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) and the IP [Iran-Pakistan].
  • Russia prefers that the cooperation is negotiated at the governmental level through direct negotiations rather than through bidding.
  • Russia is also keen on participation in the Central Asia and South Asia (CASA) project, which was originally floated in 2006, to bring to Pakistan via transmission lines across eastern Afghanistan 1,000-1,300 megawatts of surplus energy during the summer months from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. (The project has the backing of the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.)
  • Russia will be willing to cooperate in the exploration of oil, gas and minerals in Pakistan.
    Unsurprisingly, Islamabad has eagerly responded to the Russian proposals. The following understanding seems to have been reached at the talks, which concluded in Islamabad on Wednesday:
  • Pakistan welcomes the Russian proposals;
  • Specifically, Pakistan is agreeable to negotiate the contracts with the state-owned Russian energy companies on a government-to-government basis and will be willing to amend its public procurement rules accordingly;
  • Steps will be taken to conclude a memorandum of understanding to move ahead with the identified projects during Putin's visit;
  • As regards the IP, Pakistan has already floated the tenders for awarding contracts for the pipeline procurement and construction work for the US$1.5 billion project. Russia's Gazprom may also participate. Pakistan proposes to give weight to bids that have a financial package attached. (China and Iran have also shown interest in the project.)
  • Meanwhile, Pakistan will hand over to Russia by mid-July a draft agreement for financial and technical assistance from the latter for the IP project.
  • Russia has agreed to finance the rehabilitation of the Guddu and Muzaffargarh power plants. READ MORE
  • Asia Times Online :: Who will Iran sanctions really cripple?

    Asia Times Online :: Who will Iran sanctions really cripple?:

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    When We Say “Jump” You Answer, “How High”! Netanyahu’s Message to Obama Campaign by FRANKLIN LAMB

    Presidential candidate Barack Obama is being targeted by the US Israel lobby from A to Z, (Ackerman, Gary & Aipac to Zuckerman, Mort & the Zionist Organization of America) as no American President seeking re-election has been in the country’s 236 year history.
    Israel’s duel loyalty agents, as well as more fair minded American Jewish voters have historically intimidated and influenced US presidents seeking reelection, especially those in a tight race, with various financial and political threats and rewards.  That’s part of the American political game and obviously plenty of other lobbies do it also.
    One could perhaps feel for Obama and his campaign staff given what they are reportedly experiencing today,  especially since America’s most powerful lobby has become even stronger since the 1980’s. Their tactics are many and aimed at sapping Obama’s will to do what American national interests require.
    The power to make credible demands on Obama involve much more that Jewish votes since they make up a bit less than 2% of the American electorate. Yet, even the smallest group can make an electoral dent if they move in unison and that may happen regarding Obama among those Jewish voters and Christian Zionists who put Israel first. Obama’s fate, though, is more closely tied to the Jewish vote in states Florida and Pennsylvania where they made up 4% of the 2008 electorate in both of these states.
    Statistics being used by the Zionist lobby to pressure the increasingly jittery Obama campaign include recent polls. The Republican Jewish Coalition claims that 30% of Jewish voters who support Romney, represents the “highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years.” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks recently stated that if the Jewish vote poll numbers hold in November, they will spell “a disaster” for Obama.
    In the 2008 election, Jews supported Obama by a 57 percentage point margin. A recent Gallup poll has Jewish voters still in Obama’s camp, but only by barely 35 percentage points. That is the lowest percentage for a Democratic presidential candidate among the Jewish electorate since 1988. A recent Gallup polls reveals a 10-point drop in Jewish voter support (22% in New York) or five points worse than Obama’s shrinkage among all registered voters compared with 2008.
    The Israel lobby knows, and they know that Obama’s campaign staff knows, that any diminution in his support from Jewish voters will have a major impact in a very tight election. They both realize that Obama needs to retain his 2008 Jewish vote levels and campaign cash – or risk defeat. . In a close election, one point either way could make the difference as it did in Florida’s 2000 election.
    So what price is being demanded of the Obama campaign for Zionist lobby support between now and November 6th?
    They include, but are not limited to the following:
    –Obama must freeze Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” and block European Union pressures on Israel over the settlement and human rights issues;
    –Israel wants Obama to pressure the government of Turkey to cancel the 5/28/12 indictment of four senior Israeli military commanders, who have been charged in a Turkish court in connection with the killing of nine Turkish citizens in 2010 on broad the Mari Marmara, one of the ships of the Freedom Flotilla.  Warrants have been issued for the arrest of former Israeli military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, the former head of military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, head of the navy, Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, and head of the air force, Brigadier General Avishai Lev. Israel wants them withdrawn.  According to an aid of Senator John Kerrey, the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) of the US State Department has advised the US Senate Foreign Relations committee that the Israeli attack on the Mari Marmara constituted an international crime which involved lethal and excessive force and resulted in the killing of nine civilians and the wounding of at least 50 others.  The State Department further advised Congress that while Israel carried out an inquiry into the attack, that inquiry failed to meet the requirements of international law. Israel has not prosecuted anyone who killed those on board the Mari Marmara;
    –A green light to attack Iran in case the Zionist leadership decides to do it;
    –An unequivocal White House commitment that the 2012 Democratic Convention Party Platform will back the 5/17/12 passed resolution (H. Res. 568 adopted by vote of 401-11) affirming that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and opposing any reliance on a policy seeking to contain a nuclear-capable Iran;
    – That the White House force US Senator John Kerrey, Chairman of the Foreign Relation Committee to expedite a vote on a similar resolution in the Senate (S. J. Res. 41) which remains on hold in Kerrey’s committee.
    – That the White House publicly endorse the 5/23/12 Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act (S. 2101), which would dramatically escalate the level of sanctions against Iran and sharply tighten the enforcement of existing sanctions law.
    – A public pledge by Obama that the US will attack Iran and Hezbollah if either retaliates against Israel for its bombing of the Islamic republic.
    – More money for fourteen new Research & Development projects for the Israeli military;
    – Free convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard;
    – More visible White House support for various congressional resolutions supported by Israel, ranging from those targeting Iran, Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians;
    –Regime change in Syria;
    –Instruct Egypt that the price for continued US military and economic aid is to embrace the Camp ‘David accords and all its provisions requiring Egypt to “cooperate with Israel;”
    –Arrange for Israeli Embassy space in Cairo given that to date no one is willing to rent it any, and damp down Muslim Brotherhood calls for the recovery of Palestine;
    –Support for the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (H.R. 4133 and S. 2165), which recommends several ways to strengthen U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation in such fields as missile defense, homeland security, energy, intelligence and cyber-security. The House bill, which passed on May 8 by a vote of 411-2, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
    That the 2012 Democratic Platform and candidate Obama emphasize over the next five months the need for America to guarantee Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge over any and all combinations of adversaries on the battlefield.
    Obama election year groveling to Israel was perhaps symbolized by the June, 13 2012  White House spectacle of bestowal on Israel’s President Shimon Peres of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. The PMF recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”  Peres, father of Israel’s colonial settlements, has committed myriad international crimes against the Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees, including the April 18, 1996 Qana Massacre  that  killed 106 Lebanese and Palestinians and wounded approximately 120 including four Fijian UNIFIL soldiers who were among the 800  civilians who had taken refuge in the compound. Peres sanctioned countless other attacks on civilians killing more than 14,000 civil and wounding more than 25,000 as part of various Israel aggressions during his time as Prime Minister, meaning that he belongs on trial at the International Criminal Court at the Hague not at a White House dinner even in an election year. Despite knowing this, Obama caved to AIPAC and Congressional campaign pressure and sullied the PMF, his office and claimed American values.
    In an email from one Congressional staffer, she explained that the lobby wanted Peres to receive this honor which disgusted many on Capitol Hill and internationally,  hoping to deflect some of the increasing condemnations  the Apartheid regime has been receiving including the recent British government’s Foreign Office in its report, Children in Military Custody has accused Israel of illegal mistreatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding, solitary confinement and the use of leg irons, and found that “undisputed facts” pointed to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which Israel is a signatory.
    The report claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles. The children are held in conditions that amount to torture, such as solitary confinement and no access to their parents.
    In a damning conclusion, the report points out repeated breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
    In addition, Israel is a party to the Geneva Conventions, and bound by its obligations, yet Articles 76 and 65 of the 4th Geneva Convention were also found to have been breached, according to the report.
    Article 76 prohibits detainees from being transported to the country of the authority which has detained them. In this case, Palestinian children were found to have been transported from the West Bank into Israel.
    Article 65 states that any penal laws applied to prisoners in an occupied land must be translated into their own language. The lawyers said the Israeli authorities failed to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew into Arabic.
    To the extent Obama convinces the Israel lobby between now and Tuesday November 6th of his intentions may determine whether he is a one term President or returns for a second term with its uncertainties regarding traditional US Presidential support for Israel given that during his second term, as he has stated publicly thanks to a live media mike, he will have much more flexibility.

    US healthcare law leaves millions without coverage

    Afghanistan War: Amy By Paula Rogovin

    Afghanistan War: Amy By Paula Rogovin:

    Her name, the only one today
    in the New York Times
    Didn’t know her
    but, she’s someone’s daughter.
    Maybe Amy just wanted a job or
    the promised college education.

    Amy’s dead
    no noble cause
    just dead in a war
    based on lies and greed
    Probably you didn’t know her
    or the thousands of other sons
    and daughters –
    from Iraq and the USA -
    If your heart aches for their
    loved ones,
    Let your pain move you to speak out.

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    AFRICOM’s Imperial Agenda Marches On | Black Agenda Report

    AFRICOM’s Imperial Agenda Marches On | Black Agenda Report:

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    US Coast Guard Creates 'Protest-Free Zone' in Alaska Oil Drilling Zone | Common Dreams

    US Coast Guard Creates 'Protest-Free Zone' in Alaska Oil Drilling Zone | Common Dreams:
    US Coast Guard ice-breaker in the Beaufort Sea. The USCG has vowed to create a barrier between environmentalists and Shell Oil, who will begin drilling exploratory wells in sensitive Arctic waters this summer. (USCG)"We have been warned there will be severe penalties but I now serve notice on Shell that we are at the point where, if needs be, we will break the injunctions and pay the price of that."
    -Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace

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    John Pilger - Brand Obama is the acceptable face of junk politics

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Beautiful Stars: A Whole Night at Paranal | Milky Way Pictures Time-Laps...

    Still think we are the only ones? 

    Proposed Banking Regulations Would Drive Gold Prices Higher - Washington's Blog

    Proposed Banking Regulations Would Drive Gold Prices Higher - Washington's Blog:

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    American Anarchism Revisited

    American Anarchism Revisited:

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    Union Carbide Wins Dismissal of Suit Over Bhopal Plant - Bloomberg

    Union Carbide Wins Dismissal of Suit Over Bhopal Plant - Bloomberg:

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    This Horrifying Graphic Shows Every Nuke That's Ready To Fly In The World Read more:

    This incredible graphic posted at by Canada's National Post documents all the nuclear weapons that are ready to fly on short notice.
    The U.S. leads the charge with 1,379 launchers. Russia reaches a close second with 1,286.
    The author points out it's very difficult to discern what nuclear weapons exist because every country has a different method of cataloging them.
    But even what's here is pretty powerful.
    PLEASE NOTE — It's a huge image, so please click to get taken through to a bigger image and see the detail:
    DO NOT USE Nuclear Weapons

    DON'T MISS: The Terrifying Power Of Today's Nuclear Bombs >

    Read more:

    The Army Made A $5 Billion Mistake Choosing Its Uniforms - Business Insider

    The Army Made A $5 Billion Mistake Choosing Its Uniforms - Business Insider:
    Army Uniform
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    Top CIA Spy Accused of Being a Mafia Hitman | Danger Room |

    Top CIA Spy Accused of Being a Mafia Hitman | Danger Room |

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    Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: O brother, where art thou? Pepe Escobar

    Pepe Escobar
    The whole Arab world, and the whole world for that matter, was eager to know what the newly elected president of Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood (MB) cadre Mohammed Morsi, had to say about foreign policy in his victory speech.
    Talk about an anti-climax. He briefly mentioned Egypt would respect its "international agreements" - code for the 1979 Camp David accord with Israel. Tel Aviv and Washington might have been assured. As for the Arab street, certainly not.
    Laconic Morsi may have dodged the big question. But in this volatile environment de facto controlled by the Orwellian SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) - the Egyptian military dictatorship apparatus - it seems the MB wouldn't think twice
    about throwing the Palestinians under a slow-moving bus if that meant clinging to power.
    Still, this was not enough to appease the right-wingosphere in the US - with the usual rabid dogs pontificating about how President Barack Obama had "lost" Egypt and how the country would instantly be buried by an al-Qaeda sandstorm.
    It was up once again to Angry Arab blogger As'ad AbuKhalil to provide some much-needed perspective. As'ad stressed, "elections in the Arab world are now reduced to a contest between Saudi money and Qatari money". And the winner in Egypt was Qatar's House of Thani.
    It's always important to remember that the House of Saud and the MB are extremely competitive on what is the meaning of pure Islam. Qatar's official foreign policy is to support the MB wherever possible. From the point of view of Doha, this is immense; an Islamist is now president of the key Arab nation. Every committed Islamist from the Maghreb to Benghazi, and from Tehran to Kandahar, may also have reasons to rejoice.
    In parallel, the official candidate of the US, the European Union, Israel, the House of Saud and Egypt's Ancien Regime - former Air Force general Ahmad Shafik - had lost. So, in theory, Egypt's counter-revolution had lost. Not really. Not yet.
    Only the terminally naive believe the Orwellian SCAF de facto rules Egypt without consulting Washington and the House of Saud on its every move. Before Morsi was anointed as the winner, there had to be a backroom deal - as was reported by Ahram online. [1]
    What the SCAF-MB deal boils down to is that Morsi was forced to agree to work "within the parameters set out by SCAF". This means the military dictatorship apparatus will essentially prevail over Morsi and over the legislative. Only after this agreement was sealed Morsi was "legitimately announced as the elected president".
    Damn, we bet on the wrong horse
    The White House duly congratulated Morsi - as well as SCAF, apparently taking no sides. But Washington was very keen to stress that the Egyptian government should "continue to fulfill Egypt's role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability"; that's code for "don't even think about renegotiating Camp David". The White House also pledged to "stand with the Egyptian people". With friends like these, the "Egyptian people" - half of them practically starving - may be assured of a bright future.
    Obama solomonically called Morsi and Shafiq, the MB and SCAF. Only the terminally naive would believe the US government harbored fears that Shafiq - its preferred candidate - would in the end be declared president. By the way, Shafiq had to flee Egypt in infamy on Tuesday - after Egypt's prosecutor general opened an investigation into his dodgy deals during the eight years he spent as civil aviation minister under Mubarak.
    So arguably, from now on, Egypt may have two sets of foreign policy; the MB's and SCAF's. The balance of forces will depend on whether the MB can restore the dissolved parliament; or can draw as many votes in a second round of parliamentary elections as in the (annulled) first. There's also the fact nobody knows what kind of power an Egyptian president will wield; the new constitution has not even been written.
    From Washington's point of view, whatever happens must not rock the regal dhow; blind support for whatever Israel does; barely disguised support for whatever the House of Saud and the GCC do (including harsh suppression/repression of Arab Spring installments in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman); and if anyone defies us, we'll bomb you or drone you to death.
    From Washington's point of view, the MB under Morsi may be construed as easily containable. He won't dare confronting Israel. Morsi most likely will pull an Erdogan - as in Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Muscular protests against the brutal Gaza gulag as imposed by Tel Aviv; strong support for Hamas; but keeping diplomatic and trade relations in place. Eventually that might result in the Israeli leadership finally accepting that Palestinians are human beings. But no one should bet on it.
    It remains to be seen, in this "two sets of foreign policy" scenario, whose side will prevail in the long run, MB or SCAF. Iran is the absolute test case. Morsi, if he has any leeway, will not blindly follow Washington on its obsession of crippling Iran - as Iraq was crippled during the 1990s; the long prelude before regime change. A hint of things to come is that Morsi told the Fars News Agency he wanted Cairo-Tehran relations to be back to normal. Then there was an almost immediate Egyptian denial, which could only have been orchestrated by SCAF.
    Professor at the European University Institute in Florence Olivier Roy correctly warns about Egypt, "this was a revolution without revolutionaries. Yet the Muslim Brothers are the only organized political force… Their conservative agenda fits a conservative society, which may welcome democracy but did not turn liberal." For Roy, "there will be no institutionalization of democracy without the Muslim Brothers".
    Talk about a long rocky road. Morsi will have to answer not only to SCAF but also to the extremely conservative MB leadership; after all until yesterday he was no more than a nondescript cadre. He knows that confronting SCAF means confronting Washington. If he tries anything more daring, they will just need to act like they're killing him softly; but what if he's able to mobilize millions in the streets? All bets are off on what this Brother is really at.

    Obama’s October Surprise: Largest War Games in US-Israeli History by Richard Silverstein

    Israel is the greatest threat to America's national security. 

    Israel’s daily Maariv 
    reported yesterday that the long delayed war games between U.S. and Israeli forces will take place in October. It noted that some commentators are calling it a “dress rehearsal” for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran. IDF sources quoted in the article called the exercises “of immense importance.”
    These will be the largest such military maneuvers in the history of the joint U.S.-Israel relationship. They were originally scheduled for several months ago but were canceled abruptly, according to some, at the behest of Ehud Barak, who wanted to send a message to the U.S. that Israel might be planning an attack and prefer not to have such an event interfere with it.
    Three thousand U.S. Air Force personnel and a larger IDF contingent will focus on air warfare and missile defense. The primary goal is to prepare for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran and the expected counterattack against Israel.
    The date of the war games is no accident, coming only a few weeks before the presidential election. They will thus serve two purposes: shoring up Jewish support for Obama’s campaign and reassuring Israel that the U.S. will provide it every weapon money can buy to defend itself should it counterattack Iran. One expects that all this might be predicated on an Israeli commitment not to attack Iran quite yet — perhaps not until sometime after Nov. 4?
    As part of the proceedings, the U.S. will bring new military hardware and technology Israel hasn’t yet seen, such as an upgraded battery of the Patriot PAC-3 missile systemdesigned as a backup security system in case the higher-level security systems fail to shoot down Iran’s missiles and the Aegis anti-missile radar system. Israel will also demonstrate the new Arrow 2 missile, which will be able to detect missile launches even earlier than previously.
    Emphasis will be placed on combating the ballistic threat from Iran. This is meant as an explicit message to Iran, which has threatened a broad response to an Israeli attack, that such an attack on Israel will fail and isn’t worth trying. Of course, the assumption behind this is that Israel believes that it can both attack Iran and face no consequences from such an attack: one of the most glaring examples of having your cake and eating it too I’ve yet seen.
    Other factors that will play a role in this exercise will be the possibility that Syria and Hezbollah would join with Iran in attacking Israel. In preparation for the exercises, Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the 3rd Air Force, visited Israel recently and launched a joint command that would conduct the war games.
    Business Insider also reports that the Defense Department has awarded Raytheon a $338-million contract for 361 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Most of them will be configured for at-sea launches from guided-missile cruisers such as those patrolling with the Navy’s Fifth Fleet just outside Iranian waters. Though they won’t be delivered till 2014, they might be ordered in the expectation that current stock could be depleted in the sort of attack Israel and/or the U.S. might launch against Iran.
    What is particularly disturbing in all this is that the U.S. seems to be inching ever closer to supporting an Israeli attack on Iran. While Obama and his officials have appeared to be reigning in Netanyahu, holding him back from an attack, this type of military preparation serves as a wink and a nod to such supposed efforts at restraint.
    The end result is that if Israel does attack, it will be able to point to this military exercise as an example of U.S. encouragement of such an approach. Bibi will quite reasonably argue: Why did you show us all this missile defense hardware designed to protect us in the event we strike Iran, if you didn’t expect us to do so? And he will be right.
    Further, military preparations of this sort indicate an acceptance by the U.S. that diplomacy can’t possibly work. Instead of serving as a threat toward Iran, as Obama might argue, that this is what lies in store if it doesn’t negotiate in good faith, it may instead be seen as a cynical statement by us that we ourselves don’t believe negotiations can work. In other words, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to war.
    Some might argue that scheduling such exercises indicates a tacit acceptance by Israel that it won’t attack Iran until the elections. But that might not be so. There is no reason Netanyahu couldn’t simply attack, causing the automatic cancellation of the war games. Some Israeli military-security insiders have told Reuters that they believe Bibi will attack before the elections in the belief that Obama will feel compelled to support Israel due to the sensitivity of a potentially close election campaign. Such projection on Israel’s part tells much more about its self-involved egoism than it does about any actual U.S. response to an attack.
    Meanwhile, Kenneth Waltz, an international relations specialist at Columbia University argues in “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb” that precisely what’s needed in the Middle East is an Iranian bomb to establish a power balance in the region. He believes that, given the current status of nuclear proliferation in the world, it’s better for states not to have a regional monopoly as Israel does. A balanced standoff such as between Pakistan and Iran, the U.S. and Russia, or China and Japan (the latter has breakout capacity but hasn’t actually created a weapon) actually promotes stability rather than the opposite. It’s a provocative, contrarian approach but quite persuasive.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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