Archive | August 8th, 2012

Egypt’s Border Attack: It Couldn’t Get Any Better for Israel


“This terrorist operation benefits only Israel”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrive at the scene of the border attack(Kerem Shalom)

CAIRO – Every time I step into an elevator, I keep my fingers crossed till I reach my floor safely. I am not claustrophobic. I am just worried that a sudden power cut, which are frequent nowadays in Egypt, will leave me trapped inside a metal box for endless hours.

And in a way, I believe that this is what a lot of Egyptians subconsciously feel like these days; trapped in a big dark box.

Following the most polarizing presidential elections, and enduring through a lingering cycle of, recurrent sectarian strifearmed thuggery amidst an almost absence of proper policing … Egyptians broke up their Ramadan daily fast, last Sunday, to the horrible news of a terrorist attack on a border guard unit at the Israeli/Egyptian borders south of Rafah.

On August 5th evening at 7pm, a terrorist group of 35 people attacked an Egyptian border guard unit south of Rafah (the crossing point with Gaza), killing 16 soldiers and injuring 7; three of them in a critical condition.

“The Israelis are in a way quite happy that the Egyptians have learnt their lesson, that they have to listen to us, and have had to pay the price”  Akiva Eldar, the chief political correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz, told Al Jazeera when asked on his thoughts on the recent deadly attack on the Egyptian guard station.

Watch the video of the wounded and slain Egyptian soldiers as they were taken to Rafah Hospital. Warning, the video contains some graphic scenes.

The terrorist group then took over an army Armed Personnel Carrier and used it to storm the Egypt-Israel border where Israeli forces destroyed it.”

But that’s not all, Coinciding with the attack, elements from the Gaza Strip carried out a mortar shell attack on the Karam Abu-Salem border crossing – which is shared by Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

An anonymous Egyptian security official was quoted by Egypt’s state-run news agency, MENA, as saying that Jihadist elements that infiltrated Egypt from the Gaza Strip through tunnels are behind the attacks, along with other Islamists situated in the areas of Al-Halal Mountain and Al-Mahdia in eastern Sinai. However Hamas, for its part, denied its involvement in the attacks.

Now, there is a lot to this terrorist raid than just the simple “hit and run” followed by the routine combing of the Israeli/Egyptian border and hunting down the assailants.

Israel and Egypt’s Sinai peninsula

First of all, this terrorist attack comes, for those political analysts observing the Sinai security status, as no surprise at all.

Since the Jan 25 2011 revolution and due to the chaos and the security vacuum that ensued, the Sinai Peninsula-especially the northern part- has turned into the biggest black market for smuggled arms, pouring from Libya and Israel, and a haven for groups of jihadist militants, the kind of Islamist militants the USA and Israel just love to refer to as al-Qaeda.

This attack which targeted a 23-soldier-gurad unit and took only a few minutes to control the outpost, kill and wound all 23 guards, including highly trained officers, seize the weaponry and two armed vehicles and then, according to plan, storm into the Israeli side of the border that synchronized with heavy shelling from Gaza tells us a lot.


The precision of the attack and the fact that there was no one of the assailants captured, or gunned down or even injured by the Egyptian forces; indicate that this was a job pulled by professionals.

The attack also and straightforwardly tells us that the protection and security, Egyptian military says it provides along the Israeli borders, as well as over the whole of the Sinai Peninsula is nothing but a big joke.

An Egyptian soldier in an outpost at the borders with Israel

A man in a military uniform won’t just do the job anymore; you don’t send helpless young men, with the minimum training and gear and expect them to protect the Egyptian borders with a hot spot state like Israel.

This terrorist operation was not the first in Sinai, two weeks earlier two army soldiers were gunned down by a couple of veiled terrorists riding a motorcycle.

The pipeline that supply Israel and Jordan with Egypt’s natural gas has been bombed 15 times after the ousting of Mubarak. And in July 2011, a group of jihadists stormed the city of al-Arish (biggest city in northern Sinai) and bombarded the police station in the city with grenades and semi-automatic rifles.

Anyway, two days after the border attack, It seems that Israel Okayed the deployment of a few battalions from Egypt’s second army and air forces units into the deeper/and closer-to-Israel territories of the Sinai Peninsula, designated as area B & C, which according to the 1979 Camp David accords only allowed the stationing of some units of police forces and lately border guard units with light arms.

According to eye witnesses the Egyptian military is waging one of its biggest operations in Sinai since the October war with Israel 1973. Having combed most of the tribal areas in northern Sinai, the military has so far gunned down 20 Salafi Jihadists who engaged in violence acts against military checkpoints.

Throughout the long 30 years of his reign, deposed President Mubarak, through his close collaboration/collusion with Israel, saw to it that Sinai was utterly neglected and excluded from any developmental plans. And I’m afraid if the current Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government kept up this policy and continued to view Sinai as merely a buffer zone between Egypt and Israel, then it won’t be long before Egypt will lose the peninsula to Israel once again.

Regardless of how the brainwashed Jihadists view itThis terrorist operation only benefits Israel. And in fact, some Egyptian analysts have strong doubts as to the role of Israel in this terrorist operation and how it had been anticipated by the Israeli intelligence only two days before.

What are the chances for two armed vehicles haphazardly storming the Israeli borders of surviving the attack, let alone achieve anything. Were the assailants not aware that they would be spotted on the Israelis’ radar the moment they crossed the line and stepped into the Israeli side of the borders? … Or were they assured otherwise?

Also, the way the Israeli forces had destroyed /scorched the armed vehicles eliminating any hope for the Egyptian side to identify or find a clue to help track down the suspects, added to more doubts about the Israeli involvement.

This terrorist attack achieves specific and preplanned objectives for Israel. The deadly attack comes after months of Israeli propaganda/noise about the lag security in Sinai and the possible anti-Israel terrorist operations, al-Qaeda affiliated groups would launch from the peninsula in coordination with Islamists groups from Hamas. And in fact, that’s pretty much the scenario this Rafah attack has accurately followed.


In this atmosphere of Middle Eastern unrest, and in the wake of the Egyptian uprising and the ousting of Mubarak, the used to be Zionists’ closest friend in the region, Israel is working on a long-term plan that would enable Tel-Aviv to grab a piece of Sinai (out of security concerns), put a wedge between the newly elected MB government and Hamas and to provoke Egypt into closing down the tunnels and the Rafah crossing.

In other words, reinstate the siege on Gaza.

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Boko Harram Terrorists in Nigeria Demand President Convert to Islam

Goodluck Jonathan – Nigeria’s President

Muslim Terrorists Tell Nigeria’s Christian President: ‘Convert or Resign’

By Patrick Goodenough

( – Boko Haram is demanding that Nigeria’s Christian  president convert to Islam or resign, a stance that again calls into  question the Obama administration’s playing down of religion as the  primary motivation for the radical group.

In an online video clip released over the weekend, Boko Haram leader  Abubakar Shekau told President Goodluck Jonathan to “repent and forsake  Christianity.”

The News Agency of Nigeria said Shekau, speaking in Hausa, said the  president should convert or resign if he wanted Boko Haram to end its  violent campaign.

Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati dismissed the demand as attempted “blackmail.”

“When Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for President Jonathan in the  2011 general election, they knew they were voting for a Christian,” he  told reporters in the federal capital, Abuja.

“He has the mandate of Nigerians to serve his fatherland. Nobody should imagine that he will succumb to blackmail.”

Inviting an enemy to convert to Islam or face the consequences is a  longstanding tradition in Islam, modeled on the example set by the  religion’s seventh century prophet.

hadith (the writings and sayings of the prophet) by Sahih al-Bukhari quotes  Mohammed as saying, “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the  people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but  Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers  perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that,  then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws  and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.”

(In 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent President Bush a  letter interpreted by some scholars as incorporating an invitation to  embrace Islam. He urged Bush to make “a genuine return to the teachings  of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and  obedience to the Almighty and his prophets.” Reporting on the letter at  the time, Iran’s hardline Siasat-e Rooz daily said, “It has been the prophet’s way to invite the infidel leaders to the right way.”)

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly bombings  and other attacks, mostly targeting Christians in northern parts of  Africa’s most populous country. It has vowed to cleanse northern Nigeria  of Christians.

Declared goals of the group, whose name roughly translates “Western  education is forbidden,” include banning non-Islamic education and  extending shari’a (Islamic law) – currently implemented in 12  northern states – across the entire country, 40 percent of whose people  are Christians.

Despite its increasingly bloody campaign, the Obama administration so  far has resisted calls by U.S. lawmakers to designate Boko Haram as a  foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under American law.

In June it did list Shekau and two other Boko Haram individuals, as  “specially designated global terrorists” (SDGTs) under an executive  order designed to disrupt funding to terrorists.

But Republican lawmakers Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the  Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), chairman  of the committee’s counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee,said the step was “insufficient. They reiterated their earlier calls for FTO designation, pointing to a report released by the committee last November investigating the group as a potential threat to the U.S. homeland.

Asked at the time of the SDGT designation about the FTO issue, State  Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the administration was  “continuing to look at the question of a broader designation.”

“But as you know, Boko Haram is at the moment a loosely constructed  group attached to trying to address grievances in the north. There are  different views within the group, and we’re continuing to look at that.”

Despite Boko Haram’s open targeting of Christians and its declared  religious goals – after a recent armed raid on a Christian village the  group warned that Christians “will not know peace again” if they do not accept Islam  – Nuland is not alone in underlining the notion that Boko Haram is  driven primarily by “grievances.”

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last March,  assistant secretary of state for African affairs Johnnie Carson said  religion was “not the primary driver behind extremist violence in  Nigeria.” Boko Haram, he said, “attempts to exploit the legitimate  grievances of northern populations to garner recruits and public  sympathy.”

Although Carson acknowledged “reports of contact and growing  relationships between elements of Boko Haram and other extremists in  Africa, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” he said the group’s  main focus was to discredit the Nigerian government and on “local  Nigerian issues and actors.”

Christian president, Muslim president

On Capitol Hill last month, Carson again addressed the issue,  telling a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing that “it is  important that we understand what Boko Haram is and what it is not.”

“Boko Haram is composed of at least two organizations, a larger  organization focused primarily on discrediting the Nigerian government,  and a smaller more dangerous group that is increasingly sophisticated  and increasingly lethal,” he continued.

Most Boko Haram followers, Carson said, were set on discrediting the  government–both under the current Christian president and his Muslim  predecessor–for its “failure to provide services to people.”

In fact, Boko Haram’s deadly campaign has largely overlapped the presidency of the Christian president, Jonathan.

Although Boko Haram was established in 2002, its violent campaign  began around mid-2009, and escalated after its founder, Mohammed Yusuf,  died in police custody in July of that year.

Early in 2010, then vice-president Jonathan assumed the powers of the  presidency after President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua left the country for  medical treatment. When Yar’Adua died that May, Jonathan served as  interim president, and ran for election in early 2011.

His candidacy was controversial because he is a Christian southerner.  An unwritten agreement in place since Nigeria emerged from military  rule in 1999 held that the north and south would alternatively hold the  presidency.  Yar’Adua, a Muslim northerner, had succeeded a two-term  Christian from the south but since his death cut his term short Muslims  argued that the next president should also be a Muslim.

Although Jonathan won the election by a large margin, his Muslim rival won all 12 of Nigeria’s states whereshari’a had been introduced since 1999, underlining the religious divide and  prompting warnings of worse to come. Indeed, more than 800 people were  killed and dozens of churches torched during three days of rioting in the north after the election result was announced.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an  independent body that advises the administration and Congress,  acknowledges that issues of governance, poverty, and ethnicity are  factors in the Nigerian violence but characterizes Boko Haram’s actions as “religiously-related.”

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To War or Not to War


by: Stephen Lendman


Will Obama wage more wars or won’t he? He’s already fighting multiple direct and proxy ones. November elections approach. Electoral priorities dictate policy.

On the one hand, Americans are fed up with wars. More risks offending supporters who want current ones ended. Holding back gives Republicans a campaign issue. Acting tough against alleged enemies sometimes sells well. Smart money says not now.

Doing the right thing doesn’t matter. Imperial priorities take precedence. Odds favor full-scale Syrian intervention. Timing alone remains unknown. Consequences can wait for later. Will Iran be next?

On August 3, Haaretz headlined “Netanyahu: If Israel attacks Iran, I will take responsibility for the consequences,” saying:

He criticized Israeli security officials for suggesting they’re concerned about taking responsibility for agreeing.

Unnamed ones believe “Netanyahu remains steadfast in his determination not to rely on the United States, and can be expected to order the IDF to attack Iran in the coming months.”

Others think he’s bluffing. It’s “psychological warfare” to pressure Washington to attack. Asked about repercussions if he acts unilaterally, he said “I’ll go and say that I, I am responsible.”

Some with him said “he pounded the table and his chest with his fist.” His fuming didn’t stop. “I’ve had enough of this atmosphere,” he said.

Ranting shows poor leadership skills. It’s also reveals his megalomaniacal worldview. He menaces everyone regionally and beyond.

He rails against regional rivals. He always prefers having Washington do his dirty work. He admits Obama won’t act now. Greater pressure is needed to budge him. False flags always shove hard. Both countries have long histories using them.

If war looks imminent as some say, that strategy seems likely. Netanyahu’s office refused to comment on quotes and histrionics attributed to him.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) isn’t shy about controversial reports. Some have credibility. Others are too fanciful or implausible to believe. Still more come straight from Israel’s propaganda handbook.

DF’s August 5 report may combine some of all three. Headlined “Wartime tasks split: US to smash Iran’s missiles, Israel tackle Syria, Hizballah,” it said:

An unnamed “US military source” said “American armed forces are standing ready for war with Iran.” Prioritized is “destroy(ing) Iran’s Shebab-3 ballistic missile batteries.”

They can strike Israel, Gulf states, and US regional bases. Iran’s missile arsenal is large. Syria and Hezbollah have their own. War might unite them against a common foe. None seek conflict but will defend themselves effectively if attacked.

Tiny Israel would be battered. So would US regional assets. Level-headed commanders know the risks.

DF claims America’s Aegis missile defense, Israel’s Arrow rockets and Iron Dome offer adequate protection. Putting them to the test may prove them more porous than protective. Neither country wants that known if true.

On August 4, Defense Minister Brig. General Ahmad Vahidi said Iran successfully test-fired its fourth generation Fateh 100 missile. Its range is 300km. It’s able to strike and destroy land and sea targets with 100% accuracy.

Few countries match this capability, he added. He stressed it’s strictly defensive against aggression. Iran threatens no one. It’s prepared to defend itself effectively if attacked.

On August 4, Reuters said Israel’s cabinet hasn’t discussed Iran since last October. With war imminent, consideration would be prioritized. Against Syria and Hezbollah also as action against one might involve them all.

An unnamed Israeli official said it’s possible post-October Iran was discussed. No “concrete decisions or policy advances” were taken. Cabinet members are split on Iranian policy. So are retired IDF generals and Mossad officials.

“Israel’s top military and intelligence echelon were ‘entirely against’ launching a unilateral strike….” Doing so takes on formidable opposition, they believe. It might also be self-destructive.

Days earlier, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy warned about a possible attack in weeks. Don’t underestimate Israel’s resolve, he said. At the same time, Netanyahu said no decision was made. The usual all options are on the table repeats. It’s wearing thin.

On August 5, Haaretz headlined “In comments about Iran attack, Israeli ex-officials may be sounding the alarm,” saying:

“In the past 72 hours, three former top guns of Israeli intelligence have discussed, with unnerving candor, a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Do they know something that remains opaque to the public?”

Earlier whispers became audible. More public debate is heard. Two former top Israeli intelligence officials oppose attacking unilaterally.

Major General (res.) Aharon Ze’evi Farkash believes doing so is likely. He calls it a mistake. He disagrees with Defense Minister Ehud Barak claiming Tehran nears an “immunity threshold” after which it would be impervious to attack.

Ignored are annual US intelligence reports saying no evidence suggests Iran is developing nuclear weapons. All US, other Western, and Israeli officials (past and present) accept it as fact.

It doesn’t deter hawkish rhetoric or possible plans. Iran’s nuclear program is more pretext than threat. Israel wants a regional rival removed. Washington wants independent leaders replaced by pro-Western puppets.

Time alone will tell if Netanyahu’s bluster is real. No one wins if Iran is attacked. The same holds for Syria and Hezbollah.

Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin believes an attack is imminent. He also discounts alleged urgency. What do these former security chiefs know that others don’t?

Former intelligence officers get security briefings even though they’re not involved in planning or decision-making. They know how to analyze information and read between the lines.

Whatever Netanyahu prefers, high level Israelis urge caution. They also have doubts about challenging a formidable foe.

Overseas, “Netanyahu has had to ward off a series of messages and signals casting doubt about the desirability of an attack.” Washington wants nothing this aggressive pre-election.

Hopefully cooler Israeli heads outnumber and outweigh hawks. Haaretz commentator Gideon Levy is one. On August 5, he headlined “Another avoidable war,” saying:

“Like its predecessors, the next war is being portrayed as unavoidable. It’s hard to see how it could be more successful than the previous ones. It’s easy to see how it could be the most terrible.”

Officials on both sides speak publicly. Some expect war in weeks. Others strongly oppose it. Is Israel about to launch “another avoidable war?”

It had four or five earlier. None turned out well. Previous failures may pale in comparison to attacking Iran, Syria and/or Hezbollah.

Israel always declares wars waged successful after fighting them. Later analysis proves otherwise. Hezbollah in 2006 was a shadow of its current strength. It hit Israel hard enough to give it pause about attacking again. Syria and Iran have formidable militaries.

Israel’s bite may prove less effective than its bark. Posturing about an unavoidable war doesn’t wash. No one threatens Israel. Attacking nations able to strike back in kind shows recklessness combined with lawlessness.

Lying publicly about likely Israeli casualties is shameless and irresponsible. Several hundred are mentioned. Expect many thousands, considerable destruction, and Israeli nuclear facilities attacked.

Dimona is one of many. They’re prime targets in response to attacking comparable Iranian sites. Israel and surrounding areas will become irradiated. Risking it should be denounced.

Levy’s article opposes war but misses the point. He asks who decides who lives or dies? Strikes against Israeli nuclear sites affect all Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, and others. Targeting Iranian facilities harms millions more.

Radiation contamination touches everyone. Nuclear wars aren’t winnable. They’re lose-lose writ large.

Levy said thousands of Israelis may be killed and wounded. At issue are millions throughout the region and multiples more in Iran. They weren’t mentioned in his article.

Perhaps he forgot they’re as human as Israelis. He’s wise enough to know. Hopefully a follow-up article will correct his oversight. Maybe it’ll denounce all wars and encourage Israelis to oppose them.

All are “avoidable.” One war begets others. Risking nuclear fallout from attacking Iran is madness. Top priority is avoiding it.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Press TV: US Used Micro-Nukes in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars


US Used Micro Nukes in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars:  Gordon Duff

An interview with Gordon Duff, Senior Editor of Veterans Today

By Press TV and Gordon Duff

…the US has produced approximately 600 micro nukes, some of them smaller than a soccer ball, with the capability as low as a single ton of TNT dialable up to 40 tons of TNT. There is evidence that those weapons have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Studies have found uranium 235 to be in the bodies of the population there.”

The United States’ use of powerful genetic weapons such as depleted uranium on the battle field is in violation of every conceivable international law, says an analyst.

Depleted uranium has a half-life of 4.5 billion years and has thus earned the title “The silent killer that will never stop killing”.

Shells, bombs and cruise missiles tipped with depleted uranium and tungsten easily pierce through heavy armor and fortifications. Air, water and soil are also contaminated when such weapons are used.

Dr. Doug Rokke, the ex-director of the Pentagon’s Depleted Uranium Project, says there is no way to totally decontaminate an area hit with uranium. (Editor:  Comprehensive video from 2002, demonstrating our decade plus DU cover up.  Please forward and watch as much as possible.)


Serious long-term health problems caused by the use of depleted uranium in bombs can range from cancer to leukemia and genetic mutations.

The United Nations has prohibited the manufacture, testing, use, sale and stockpiling of depleted uranium weapons.

The US dropped thousands of depleted uranium bombs on the Iraq city of Fallujah in 2003, which killed thousands of people.

A great proportion of all births in Fallujah since the strike have suffered from abnormalities and the rate of mutation among newborns is higher than what was found in Japan after America attacked the Asian country during the Second World War.

Press TV has conducted an interview with senior editor of Veterans Today (VT) website, Gordon Duff, to further discuss the issue.

The video also offers the opinions of two other guests: political analyst and writer Linh Dinh, and peace activist Max Obuszewksi.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Gordon Duff, when we are speaking about the reasons why not a single country has gotten rid of its nuclear weapons, some people are saying this is about nuclear superiority, a kind of deterrence as our guest Linh Dinh there was saying as well, the issue of guaranteeing the security of a nation when it comes to how officials describe it. Basically what do you think are the reasons and could you say that there is any strategic value in keeping nuclear weapons?

Duff: Well there are a couple of different levels to look at this. We left two nations out, Pakistan and India, and they are of the highest risk of nuclear war than any two nations on earth.Most people don’t know that since 1982 Brazil has held between ten and twenty nuclear weapons that they have developed.

Japan has an interim nuclear capability in that they are sitting on tons of enriched uranium at a facility in a…prefecture…and bombs that are ready to assemble but not assembled.

They have decided though that they have the capability not to exercise that capability, which is in interim standing, that some have suggested would be a position that they could live with involving Iran.

The issue that is brought up by a previous speaker, however, is that we have thoroughly seen in the last year that nuclear power itself can be as harmful as nuclear weapons.

That although nuclear weapons supposedly have secured peace through mutual assured destruction, every nuclear facility in the world leaks radiation and the nuclear industry is so powerful it suppresses bad news.

Press TV: Gordon Duff, a lot of people have been saying the United States has been spending so much, hundreds of billions of dollars to maintain its nuclear arsenal, to repair them, to produce new nuclear weapons, we’re asking is it worth it?

We’re hearing some generals in the air force, elsewhere, even in the nuclear industry, saying that the cost of maintaining these stockpiles that are not even used, are not even on the alert status, is just too expensive now for the United States?

Duff: Well, there is an additional issue that people that don’t work in the defense industry aren’t unaware of, but the US has produced approximately 600 micro nukes, some of them smaller than a soccer ball, with the capability as low as a single ton of TNT dialable up to 40 tons of TNT.

There is evidence that those weapons have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Studies have found uranium 235 to be in the bodies of the population there.

Plus, of course, you have to count depleted uranium munitions as a form of nuclear weapons. We have used thousands of tons of these munitions which have long-term health effects on the entire planet, have raised the radiation levels of the entire Middle East and spreading much further than that.

This problem runs much further than guessed. Our nuclear technology has allowed tactical nuclear weapons to become not only so commonly used but they are now being used in place of conventional weapons because new tactical nukes leave no residual radiation that can be detected by conventional Geiger counters.

I have that information from individuals who worked in our research labs. We have used those weapons on countries in the last few years.

Press TV:  Gordon Duff in Ohio, would you say that we are not going to see any serious move towards nuclear disarmament in spite of the hopes that people express in Japan on this 67th anniversary of the Hiroshima, Nagasaki bombings?

Duff:  Well, I think one of the things — and this is an issue I would put to the Japanese people — if they would correct their own history books which are as edited and inaccurate as those of Israel or the United States. Japan exploded its first nuclear weapon August 5th, 1945.

The uranium that was used on Hiroshima was from Sweden. It was being shipped to Japan and it was intercepted by the US. It was planned by the Japanese to be used at a nuclear attack on San Francisco. Japan had a very advanced nuclear weapons program at World War II, far more advanced than Germany.

(Press TV Interview, August 7,2012 on US Military Hospitals in Afghanistan)


They have erased that from their own history. So they’re learning lessons but they’re learning lessons where they’re not taking responsibility for their own full complicity in what has gone on.

They were as involved in nuclear weapons as the United States was and they only missed by days of being the first one to use nuclear weapons.

Japan’s policy was to attack the US. Now they just erased that from their own history.

The issue was brought up earlier about depleted uranium and genocide is a critical issue because depleted uranium isn’t just from the Apache helicopter.

We have 50 different munitions using depleted uranium and it is a powerful genetic weapon. It is being sold needlessly as a profiteering move as waste products by the nuclear power industry and their powerful lobby within the United States.

These weapons have no place on the battle field and they’re a violation of every imaginable international law.

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Turkey attacks Kurds, threatens military action against Syria


By Chris Marsden

On the eve of an expected major offensive in Aleppo by the Syrian regime, Turkey has threatened to invade Syria, using the pretext of Kurdish groups seizing control of northern border areas.

Such a move could pitch Ankara directly into war against Syria, after it has long sought to dictate events through control of the opposition Syrian National Congress and Free Syrian Army.

This would be done with the full support of the United States.

Al Ahram cited reports in the Turkish media that the US embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Adana in southeast Turkey have “been planning military operations against the Baathist regime in Syria with the knowledge of the Turkish government.”

Large numbers of trucks have been seen coming out of the US airbase at Incirlik, laden with arms for distribution to the Syrian opposition.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has warned of an impending massacre in Aleppo, close to the Turkish border, and appealed for action. This is combined with ever escalating rhetoric over the “terrorist threat” posed by the Kurds.

In the past fortnight, up to 115 Kurdish fighters have been killed in a south eastern Turkey in military operations, including air strikes near the town of Semdinli. Sunday saw a counter-offensive in which Kurdish forces raided three military posts near the Iraq border that left at least six soldiers and 14 rebels dead. Turkish officials claim to be combating a 200-strong force of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Kurds make up 17 percent of Iraq’s 31 million people, including the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, nine percent of Syria’s 21 million population, and seven to ten percent of Iran’s 75 million people.

Turkey, which has a 25 percent Kurdish population (20 million Kurds) is bitterly opposed to the creation of an independent state. The Turkish army has targeted PKK forces, with which it has been in conflict since 1984 at a cost of 40,000 mainly Kurdish lives. However, the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) has made clear that its ultimate aim is to intervene directly into Syria.

Without naming anyone, Prime Minister Racip Tayyip Erdogan accused foreign countries of backing the Kurdish fighters, who had made “dastardly” attacks on least three military bases. “Turkey has the strength to put enemy nations and circles who hold the strings of the terrorist organisation in their place,” he threatened.

Deputy AKP Chairman Omer Celik stated more directly, “The preparations and multi-pronged attack by the PKK in Hakkari exceeds the PKK’s capabilities. The PKK, in carrying out the attacks in Semdinli and Hakkari, acted in parallel with the massacres carried out by [Syrian President Bashar al] Assad’s forces in Aleppo.”

The AKP has placed itself at the head of the movement to depose Assad, breaking its former alliance with Syria. It calculated that this would secure its leadership of an alliance of Sunni powers, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which the United States is utilising as a proxy through which to establish a client regime in Syria. This would cut Shia Iran off from its major regional ally and deprive Russia and China of a foothold in the Middle East.

It has worked to secure the support of Kurdish groups in Syria and to bring them into the SNC, which is now led by Abdelbaset Sayda—a Kurd living in exile in Sweden. But most Kurds view the SNC with deep suspicion, due to the dominant role played by the Muslim Brotherhood and the involvement of Riyadh and Qatar in funding, arming and training the insurgents. Routine professions of non-sectarianism count for little against the growing weight of Al Qaeda and Salafist forces in the anti-Assad camp.

The most widely supported Kurdish group, the PKK, and its local unofficial affiliate, the Democratic Unionist Party (PYD), initially allied themselves with Assad based upon opposition to the Sunni insurgency and anticipation of being rewarded with some form of autonomy.

In recent days, the transfer of Syrian units to build up a reported Aleppo force of 20,000 has left a vacuum that has been filled by the PYD and other groups that are now said to control four or five of the main towns and cities in northern Syria.

To this threat, Erdogan has stated, “It is our most natural right to intervene since those terrorist formations would disturb our national peace… In the North, (Assad) has already allocated five provinces to the terrorists.”

Turkey has been working to secure some form of accommodation with the leader of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish administration, President Massoud Barzani, to prevent movements in Syria, Iraq and Turkey from meeting up. It sent Davatoglu to the capital, Erbil, on August 1 for talks. A joint statement expressed “deep concern regarding instability and chaos in Syria” that posed “a threat to regional security and stability” and promised co-ordinated efforts to establish a democratic, non-sectarian Syria.

However, this follows an earlier admission by Barzani to al-Jazeera that Syrian Kurds have been trained militarily in Iraq.

Any prospect of a Kurdish autonomous region, whether under Assad or a post-Assad government, is anathema to Ankara. But it is also utilising the Kurdish question as a means of establishing a bridgehead in Syria.

The SNC and the Syrian Kurdish National Council (KNC) have agreed to establish a committee to address Turkey’s concerns about the threat of “terrorism” following a meeting with Davutoglu. Abdulhakim Bashar, the head of the KNC, denounced the PYD as an ally of Assad and stated that the best option for Syrian Kurds is to form a Kurdish confederation affiliated with Turkey.

Stressing the Kurdish threat above all provides Turkey with a casus belli for declaring war on Syria and opening up a second front to complement the invasion of the commercial capital, Aleppo, by FSA and jihadist fighters. Ankara has already moved 2,000 troops to the Syrian border, as well as missiles, helicopters and tanks.

Turkey’s repression of the Kurds is being carried out with the full backing of Washington, which sees Turkey as the best candidate for leading a proxy war in Syria. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to travel to Turkey for talks this week. The Obama administration is presiding over the arming and training of the opposition by its regional allies and has its CIA and military operatives on the ground.

This week the Daily Telegraph reported that the Syrian Support Group (SSG) has been granted a license to send funds to the opposition by the US Treasury, described by the group as a “game changer”.

Washington’s criminal actions in deliberately provoking a sectarian war in Syria are at the centre of a still greater crime. In order to secure unchallenged hegemony over vital oil supplies, the US is allying itself with Al Qaeda elements, the Muslim Brotherhood and Gulf despots to redraw the map of the Middle East in blood.

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Mark Dankof’s America: Interviews US Navy Lt. Commmander John Sharpe

Mark Dankof’s America August 8, 2012

by crescentandcross

Mark interviews US Navy Lt. Commmander John Sharpe.


Download Here



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Press Release: UK Company Helps Bahrain Government Spy on Activists

[Image by PBCrichton via Open Clip Art Library]
[Image by PBCrichton via Open Clip Art Library]

[The following press release was issued by Bahrain Watch on 25 July 2012.] 


Malicious E-Mail Attachments Sent to Activists Steal Passwords, Record Skype Calls

Bahrain’s government is spying on Bahraini activists with a malicious computer program apparently supplied by a UK firm.

Bahrain Watch founding member Bill Marczak, and Citizen Lab security researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire analyzed a string of suspicious e-mails sent to activists over the past two months.  The e-mails promised exclusive images or documents about the political situation in Bahrain.  Upon closer examination, the e-mails were found to contain attachments that installed a malicious program on a victim’s computer.  Some of these e-mails impersonated Al Jazeera English reporter Melissa Chan.

The malicious program was found to record keystrokes, take screenshots, record Skype calls, and steal passwords saved in web browsers, e-mail programs, and instant messaging programs.  The malicious program sent this data to an internet address in Bahrain.

The analysis suggests that the malicious program is “FinSpy,” a product of UK firm Gamma International.  FinSpy belongs to the FinFisher suite for “Governmental IT Intrusion and Remote Monitoring Solutions.”  Gamma International was criticized for apparently selling the same product to Mubarak’s regime in Egypt. Before technology giant Apple closed the security gap, FinSpy would infect computers by tricking users into thinking that it was an iTunes update.  London-based NGO Privacy International has threatened to take the UK government to court for failing to control the export of surveillance technology to repressive foreign regimes.

During the analysis of FinSpy, a stolen GMail password was later used in an attempt to access the GMail account, suggesting that the Bahraini government is actively monitoring and exploiting the information captured by FinSpy.

A detailed report of the technical analysis of the program can be read at:

A non-technical report of the analysis by Bloomberg News can be read at:

Bahrain Watch would like to extend its gratitude to all of the activists, researchers, and journalists, including those at Bloomberg News, who contributed to this story.

Have I Been Infected?

The malicious e-mails analyzed were sent from the following addresses:

The malicious e-mails analyzed had the following subject lines:

  • Existence of a new dialogue – Al-Wefaq & Government authority
  • Torture reports on Nabeel Rajab
  • King Hamad planning
  • Breaking News from Bahrain – 5 Suspects Arrested

The malicious attachments display images or documents when opened.  If you have received e-mails with these subject lines or from these addresses, DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENTS.  If you opened one of the attachments, your computer may be infected. STOP USING THE INFECTED COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY.

If you have received these e-mails, or any other suspicious e-mail about Bahrain with an attachment, please contact with details.

Tips for Safe Internet Usage

Do not open unsolicited attachments received via email, Skype or any other communications mechanism.  If you believe that you are being targeted, be especially cautious when downloading files over the Internet, even from links that are purportedly sent by friends.

Posted in UKComments Off on Press Release: UK Company Helps Bahrain Government Spy on Activists

Syria’s Information War: Regime, Rebels Hack to Spread Narratives


Fake Claims of Rebel Collapse, Assad’s Death Add to Confusion

The message was clear: Russian diplomats in Damascus yesterday reported that Syrian President Bashar Assad is dead.

Except he wasn’t. The tweets seemed legitimate and President Assad’s death gained such currency that he had to make a special appearance on state TV to confirm that he was actually alive.

This is just the latest in a long line of examples of the “information war” between Syria’s regime and rebels. Rebels had hacked the Twitter account to make false proclamations of Assad’s death. It wasn’t the last time this was going to happen, either, as Reuters lost one of their Twitter accounts to a pro-regime group that was announcing a virtual rebel collapse in Aleppo. Reuters also said to shut down their blog system after several fake blog posts were made related to the Syrian civil war.

The real news coming out of Syria has been extremely scarce, with a lot of outlets trying to make sense of claims by regime and rebels that are often in stark contrast to one another. Now, the media outlets themselves are a battleground to be claimed, and the fog of war has gotten even thicker.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria’s Information War: Regime, Rebels Hack to Spread Narratives

Syria: Iran vows it will not allow Assad to fall

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Iran pledged that its “axis” with Syria will “never” be allowed to break when Tehran sought to bolster President Bashar al-Assad by sending a senior envoy to Damascus.

Mr Assad made his first appearance on state television for over a fortnight, promising to continue the struggle against his enemies “without respite”.

Iran has been trying to guarantee the survival of Mr Assad, who serves as Tehran’s only reliable ally in the Middle East, by supplying Syria’s regime with funds, weaponry and expert personnel to aid the campaign against rebels.

Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, came to Damascus as a visible symbol of that support.

“Iran will never allow the resistance axis – of which Syria is an essential pillar – to break,” he said. The “axis of resistance” refers to the Middle East’s anti-Western powers: Iran, Syria and the armed groups, Hizbollah and Hamas, although in reality the latter has already broken away by ending its presence in Damascus.

Iran and Syria both claim that foreign countries have caused the uprising against Mr Assad with the aim of destroying the “axis”. During his visit, Mr Jalili echoed that message. “What is happening in Syria is not an internal issue but a conflict between the axis of resistance on one hand, and the regional and global enemies of this axis on the other,” he said.

The rebel Free Syrian Army now controls much of the country: its fighters are struggling for possession of Aleppo, the commercial capital. The FSA claimed to be delaying the regime’s advance on the city at the end of a day of intense fighting. Mr Assad’s forces had been unable or unwilling to enter the key district of Salaheddin, despite reinforcements of thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks, according to rebel spokesmen. The insurgents were also encircling government troops in the northern half of Aleppo. They believe the army’s inability to fully employ tanks in built-up areas has blunted its assault.

On Tuesday, however, Mr Assad reassured his Iranian guest of his determination to fight on. “The Syrian people and their government are determined to purge the country of terrorists and to fight the terrorists without respite,” he said.

The Iranian envoy also demanded the release of 48 of his country’s citizens, who were kidnapped by Syrian rebels while visiting a shrine near Damascus. Mr Jalili pledged to use “all means possible” to win their freedom. An official letter sent to the US administration by Iran’s foreign ministry said that Washington, as the “manifest” sponsor of “terrorist groups” in Syria, was responsible for the captives’ safety.

The rebels, for their part, claimed that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were among the hostages. They believe that Iran has sent soldiers from this unit to fight alongside Syrian forces. The pilgrimage was, the rebels say, merely a cover for infiltrating more Iranian combatants into the country. To support this allegation, the rebels produced military identity cards supposedly found on the hostages.

However, any Iranian who has performed compulsory military service will hold these documents: they do not prove current membership of the country’s armed forces.

Syria’s regime, dominated by members of the Alawite sect of Shia Islam, bases its alliance with Iran’s Shia rulers on religious fraternity. In addition, Syria provides Iran with its only base for influence in the Arab world, as well as offering a route for supplying weapons to Hizbollah, the radical Shia group based in south Lebanon.

If Mr Assad were to be overthrown, Iran would risk losing this influence and its vital link to Hizbollah. Experts believe this would amount to a strategic setback. “For Iran, Syria is a very important partner in a region where allies are not easy to come by,” said Gareth Stansfield, from the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House. “If Assad goes, he will replaced by a government that is likely to be totally antipathetic to Iran’s wider interests.”

Sixteen civilians – mostly Alawites and Christians – meanwhile were killed by anti-regime gunmen in an attack on a housing compound near Homs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The majority of Syria’s population is Sunni Muslim, while the ruling clan of President Bashar al-Assad belong to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam.

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Milwaukee’s Jews help Sikhs bear their grief after deadly shootingCommunity organizes moments of silence, interfaith prayer sessions and donation funds victims’ families


ed note–Pardon the cynicism here, but I have been unable to find any stories of Jewish groups doing anything similar for the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shootings.

Almost as soon as she heard the news about a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Elana Kahn-Oren’s phone started ringing.

As director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Kahn-Oren fielded call after call from concerned area Jews asking what they could do to help.

“We have to make sure to be respectful of the Sikh community and to make sure that we find appropriate avenues to express that support,” Kahn-Oren told JTA.

A day after Sunday’s shooting, the federation was offering counseling services, had opened a mailbox to receive donations for assisting with the financial needs of the victims and their families, and was in talks with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee to figure out a way to bring religious leaders together for an interfaith prayer service.

“Coming together after events like these reaffirms the values of the community,” Kahn-Oren said. “This goes against our moral fiber.”

The assailant killed six people, including the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, before being shot dead by police. On Monday, police identified the shooter as Wade M. Page, a US Army veteran with ties to white supremacist groups.

Jacob Herber of Congregation Beth Israel said the Milwaukee synagogue’s weekday minyan would be holding a moment of silence to commemorate and express solidarity with the victims, just as the minyan does when Jews are attacked around the world.

“Unfortunately, because we have experienced through much of our history bigotry, hatred and anti-Semitism, this event is very acute for us in its pain,” Herber said. “That’s why I think we feel not only the obligation but the real personal, profound emotion of wanting to reach out to the Sikh community.”

Linda Holifield, executive director of Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee, said the shooter’s targeting of a place of worship was particularly upsetting.

“When one place of worship is targeted, it suggests then that any place of worship could be a target,” she said.

Tom Heinen, executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, said the tragedy has really hit home because of the tight-knit nature of the community in Milwaukee.

“Milwaukee is in many respects a large village where many people of many faiths are interconnected personally, professionally and socially,” he said. “At a time like this, we need to come together as a community to reassert our common values and to comfort those who have suffered grievous losses.”

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