Archive | August 16th, 2012

Who is Bibi preempting – Obama or Iran?

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68809373

Trita Parsi

The Benjamin Netanyahu government in Israel appears to be directly involving itself in the US presidential campaign. But even in this context, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon explosive call for an international declaration that diplomacy with Iran has failed is bold.

In fact, it’s astonishing. Declaring diplomacy dead bring the entire American Dual Track policy (the idea that a mix of sanctions and talks will bring about a change in Iran’s nuclear calculus) to collapse. By extension, declaring diplomacy dead also implies that the sanctions track has failed (a case Israel makes separately), leaving military action as the only remaining option.

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on March 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Amos Ben Gersom GPO via Getty Images)

The rift between Obama and Israel over Iran diplomacy dates back to the moment Obama decided to embark on diplomacy. Only 24 hours after Obama’s historic presidential victory in November 2008, then-Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni made Israel’s opposition to talks abundantly clear:

“We live in a neighborhood in which sometimes dialogue…is liable to be interpreted as weakness,” Livni said in an interview with Israeli Radio. Asked specifically if she supported discussions between the U.S. and Iran, she left no room for interpretation, she declared: “The answer is no. 
Within diplomacy, the main sticking point has been the issue of enrichment. The question boils down to this: Can Iran retain some level of enrichment under strict inspections after negotiations, or is the Western red line a complete end to all enrichment activities. The Obama administration has maintained an ambiguous position on this issue. The Israelis, however, have preferred a zero-enrichment policy, similar to that of the Bush administration. Ayalon himself told me in in October 2010 that zero-enrichment is an unbending Israeli red line. “Enrichment in Iran is certainly unacceptable,” he told me in a phone interview.

Ayalon’s latest statement should be seen both in the context of the US presidential elections (in which the Netanyahu has a clear favorite) and in the context of the larger struggle over Obama’s Iran policy. For the latter, Obama has scored only a handful of major points, due in large part to his need to avoid looking like he’s scoring points against Netanyahu. The domestic political repercussions of an open rift with the Israeli government would be unpleasant. So Netanyahu’s “up the ante” strategy carries few negative consequences for the current Israeli government.

Where does all this leave us? Well, if the United States continues to water down its diplomacy and beef up its sanctions policy on Iran, Washington will walk deeper into a conflict dynamic with Iran, and prospects for a diplomatic solution would decrease and probability of war would increase. Netanyahu would see all this as beneficial.

But, if Obama pushes back and gets entangled in a public spat with the Israeli government, it would accentuate Obama’s tense ties to Netanyahu and provide Romney with further opportunities to portray himself as a better friend of Israel. Obama strategists believe this would hurt them in the elections, particularly in key states such as Florida. Netanyahu strategists appear to agree.

Romney has already gone the extra mile to position himself below Netanyahu in the murky pecking order of US-Israeli relations. In December, Romney declared that when it came to sensitive issues facing Israel, Romney would follow Netanyahu’s lead. “I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: ‘Would it help if I say this? What would you like me to do?” he said.

During his recent visit to Israel, even the Israeli press was surprised by Romney’s deference to Netanyahu. A Haaretz headline read: In Jerusalem speech, it was Romney’s voice but Netanyahu’s words. “The speech itself sounded as if it could have been written by Netanyahu’s bureau,” Haaretz’s Barak Ravid wrote.

Still, I remain skeptical of the idea that the risk of war has increased significantly. There is a cry-wolf element here and both the markets and the general audience about starting to become numb to the frenzy about the imminence of an Israeli attack, created not by the media, but by the Israeli cabinet itself.

If an attack does occur by November, it would be even clearer that what drove the Netanyahu government’s strategy and ultimate decision was not any technical advancement in the Iranian nuclear program, but the American political calendar.

Netanyahu would arguably be trying to preempt—not an Iranian nuclear attack—but the reelection of Barack Obama.

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HOLOCAUST IN GAZA

NOVANEWS

On 14 August 2012 19:00, Ruth Edmonds  wrote:

a very moving animation by Tilde de Wandel, more powerful than any news report I’ve seen – on what it was like during Cast Lead in Gaza three years ago.

R

PLEASE CLICK HERE

Samouni Street

By tildedewandel| 1 video

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ZIO-NAZI HOLDS MILITARY CEREMONY IN MOSQUE

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Nazi in Ibrahimi Mosque

Zio-Nazi occupation forces  on Wednesday held for the first time a military ceremony in the courtyard of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil city after declaring it a closed military zone.

Zio-Nazi Gestapo imposed a tight cordon on the perimeter of the Ibrahimi Mosque, and prevented the calls for prayers and the entry of Muslim worshipers.

Nazi’s celebrated the appointment of a new Nazi army leadership for Al-Khalil city and announced the installation of new officers inside the Mosque.

We condemned this Nazi behavior as an unprecedented act provoking the feeling of Muslims and a serious step to consolidate Zio-Nazi illegal control over the Mosque.

Nazi Gestapo also declared the intention to close the Ibrahimi Mosque before the Palestinian natives on Thursday at the pretext of allowing the Jews to celebrate one of their feasts.

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Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links

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TSA

mondoweiss.net

Security officers at Boston’s Logan International Airport have come under fire for the widespread racial profiling of Arabs, Muslims, Blacks and Hispanics in their zeal to ferret out terrorists.

The New York Times broke the story over the weekend after officers who requested anonymity came forward; some officers have complained internally to the Transportation Security Agency as well. A Massachusetts lawmaker has called for congressional hearings on the racial profiling allegations.

The Times reports that officers estimated that “80 percent” of passengers “searched during certain shifts” were people of color. What’s more, the Boston airport “is the testing ground for an expanded use of behavioral detection methods at airports around the country.”

But what’s not touched on in the Times report is the fact that Logan International’s security procedures are modeled on Israel’s policies at their own airport–policies that are blatantly racist.

Here’s more from the New York Times:

More than 30 federal officers in an airport program intended to spot telltale mannerisms of potential terrorists say the operation has become a magnet for racial profiling, targeting not only Middle Easterners but also blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

In interviews and internal complaints, officers from the Transportation Security Administration’s “behavior detection” program at Logan International Airport in Boston asserted that passengers who fit certain profiles — Hispanics traveling to Miami, for instance, or blacks wearing baseball caps backward — are much more likely to be stopped, searched and questioned for “suspicious” behavior.

The Israel connection is integral to understanding Boston’s racial profiling problems. In 2009, according to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), theJerusalem Post reported that “Boston’s Logan Airport has tapped the Israeli company New Age Security Solutions to help secure the facility using Behavior Pattern Recognition.”

Even before 2009, the head of New Age Security Solutions was “consulting” with Logan International, according to NPR. In an interview, Rafi Ron, the head of the Israeli company and the former head of security at Ben-Gurion Airport, insisted that Israel does not “racially profile.” But Ron said that Israel uses “profiling that takes into consideration where somebody comes from, and if somebody’s home address is Gaza, we should be paying more attention to details.” (Ron also said in a more recent interview on Boston’s NPR station that “targeting minorities” is not a good idea.)

It took until August 2011 for the Israeli-inspired model to be operationalized. That was the date when the “behavioral profiling” became an official model at Boston’s airport–and this was “a direct result” of “Israeli influence” on security procedures at the airport, according to the Associated Press.

Fast-forward to the New York Times story. The Times reports that one anonymous TSA officer complained that this “behavior detection program is no longer a behavior-based program, but [rather] a racial profiling program.”

To observers of how Israeli security works at Ben Gurion Airport, the allegations of racial profiling will come as no surprise. Palestinian and Arab travelers at Ben Gurion are guaranteed to be harassed by Israeli security.

According to the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, “all Arab citizens of Israel are automatically categorized as a ‘security threat’ for the purpose of airport security checks…Arab passengers receive a discriminatory and humiliating treatment in airports, including a special and thorough search that extremely exceeds the usual security checks, only because the passenger is Arab and with no other concrete basis for suspicion.”

Darryl Li, a Harvard University graduate student at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, was not surprised at the revelations published by the New York Times. Li himself has been questioned extensively at Logan International, and while it was not due to his race, it was due to his travels to the Middle East.

“Over the past two years I have been subjected to additional interrogation by [Customs and Border Protection] every time I have entered the US at Logan. This has generally been triggered by visa stamps I have in my passport from Yemen, a country which I last visited in 2006 as a fellow at the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (which is supported by the US Departments of State and Education),” Li wrote in an email. “The scope of questioning goes far beyond routine matters of ascertaining my citizenship, searching for contraband, or inquiring about the nature of my trip. Instead, it seems that CBP has taken on an entirely new mandate of open-ended domestic intelligence gathering.”

The influence of Israeli-style security tactics extends far beyond Logan, as Max Blumenthal documented in this report, though the US has its own racial profiling problems separate from Israel’s. For example, after the failed attempt in 2010 to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day by a Nigerian-born member of Yemen’s Al Qaeda branch, the Obama administration announced that travelers from 14 countries would be subject to additional security screening. The countries were largely Muslim-majority ones. The administration dropped the program three months after it was implemented.

“Some in this country continue to hold a strange fascination with Israel as a ‘model’ for how to do coercion right,” said Li. “I prefer to think of it as a model for what to avoid.”

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Lebanon aghast as return of sectarian kidnappings raises spectre of civil war

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Shia masked gunmen from the Meqdad clan gather in the southern suburbs in Beirut

A country born out of crisis and hewn ever since by uncertainty takes a lot to unsettle. But more than 20 years after its civil war ended, Lebanonis again being forced to confront one of its most pervasive fears: sectarian kidnappings.

More than 20 people were kidnapped on Wednesday including a Turk, a Saudi and several Syrians, by members of a prominent Shia family, the Mikdad clan, from the Bekaa valley, not far from the Syrian border.

The men were seized in retaliation to the kidnapping in the past few days of one of their own inside Syria, Hassan Salim al-Mikdad. His captors insist Mikdad is a member of the Lebanese militia and political bloc Hezbollah, a claim the group has strongly denied.

The Mikdad family also confirmed it had kidnapped a Turkish national soon after he arrived at Beirut airport. The man’s passport was later given to a local TV station, which broadcast an image. However, Turkish officials are yet to shed light on the claims.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait responded to the mass kidnapping by telling their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.

Wednesday’s developments, and the forced videotaped confessions that accompanied them, have stirred the ghosts of a past that most Lebanese are trying hard to forget. The turmoil in neighbouring Syria is showing that the civil war-era enmity, long since disavowed in Lebanon, remains more of a problem than many here want to acknowledge.

And so, too, do the issues that have plagued Lebanon since its own savage 15-year conflict ran out of steam: a political class that remains implacably divided, a government that cannot assert its sovereignty and an entrenched system of sectarian patronage that cannot allow a representative nation state to rise from the ruins of war.

“I don’t want it to become like 1985 again,” said Sajida Fahm, in central Beirut. “People want the Sunnis and the Shia to fight again. We can’t be led around like this. Where is the state?”

As the Syrian uprising has morphed into full-blown civil war, Lebanon has been fruitlessly looking for ways to safeguard itself from what many people believe will be an inevitable spillover. The giant police state to the east was seen by some Lebanese as a pillar of stability – despite the enormous influence that was inevitably yielded to Syrian officials.

With Syria now teetering, there is a growing fear among all layers of Lebanese society that nothing can be done to save the country from turmoil. And this time, say many Lebanese from all walks contacted in recent weeks, it feels different to the lead-up to the civil war, or any phase of it from its eruption in 1975 to its gradual end in 1990.

Even members of the Lebanese establishment, long accustomed to the byzantine ways of the region and the vagaries of life in a rough neighbourhood, say a potentially historic – and dangerous – shift is underway.

“This is the unravelling of the Sykes-Picot agreement,” said Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon’s Druze sect, in reference to the secret agreement between the British and French in 1919, which carved up the Levant into spheres of influence in the wake of the Ottoman empire’s demise. “We are seeing the end of what was created 90 years ago. The consequences will be very, very, grave unless they are managed properly.”

Syria was stitched together as a nation state between the end of the first world war and the start of the second. And Lebanon’s development as a country followed roughly the same timeframe.

However, neither state – and especially Lebanon – has ever been truly comfortable in its own borders, or skin. Both are patchworks of sects that have often been at odds with each other and which are very much affected by regional dynamics.

“These agreements are breaking down,” said Jumblatt. “The Alawites could move into the north of their country and establish a homeland near Latakia and that would change the situation in Lebanon hugely.”

Lebanon’s Shias, for decades a minority but now more of a demographic force, are aligned to Syria’s Alawites, who are regarded as an offshoot of Shia Islam. Hezbollah, the political bloc that represents most of Lebanon’s Shias, is heavily invested in the survival of Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, as is the regional Shia heavyweight, Iran.

A potential partition of either country would be a seismic change in the regional dynamic. “There needs to be urgent action,” Jumblatt said. “If it doesn’t happen, who knows what the consequences could be.”

From Beirut’s elite, but now largely empty, downtown shopping district to south Lebanon’s Shia villages,, it is difficult to find anyone who does not fear what the next six months hold for Lebanon, or to find agreement on who is to blame.

“Something is coming,” said Tamir Ali, in the southern city of Tyre. “It will have to break somehow. It could be the Israelis, it could be the Americans, who knows?”

A senior political adviser in Beirut said he feared that Lebanon’s much-vaunted resilience may not be able to withstand many months more of tension – let alone a rewriting of the region’s boundaries.

“The Shias and Sunnis don’t want to fight each other,” he said. “I’m convinced of that.

“But where is this leading us? And who can slow the momentum?”

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Zionist Jew admits Jews did 9/11

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I was reading Veterans Today earlier today and noticed this article by Dr. Kevin Barrett, which discusses a book review Zionist Jew Barry Chamish wrote for Salem-News.com.  Chamish reviewed Chris Bollyn’s excellent book, Solving 9/11: The Deception that Changed the World, and basically agreed with his general conclusions: that Israel, through her Mossad, and a network of Zionist Jews in the United States did 9/11 and blamed it on Muslims using their assets in the media, government, and think tank network (who are often consulted as “experts” by the mainstream, Jewish owned mass media).

Chamish, however, did have some reservations: it wasn’t all Jews, or all Zionists behind 9/11, only “Labor Zionists”.  He begins by explaining:

Bollyn is a writer for deeply anti-semiticjournals like Spotlight and The American Free Press. The opinions of his book, that Zionists were the force behind the 9-11 disaster, are becoming near gospel in the extreme Right community. You’d better not ignore them or risk facing a horrible future for Jews, because he is not completely wrong.

Yes, you heard me.

But he does the classic deadly spin, blaming all Zionists for the questionable behavior of one group, Labor Zionism.

In typical Jewish fashion, Barry Chamish wants us all to believe that it’s not all Jews or Zionists that are bad, it’s simply the Labor Zionists.  He has written about Labor Zionism quite a bit, but in my honest opinion, it’s all a bunch of spin and subterfuge (something the Jews are quite good at incidentally), more cover for the Jewish global crime network and their obvious criminality (yes, the Jews, not the Zionists.  Zionism is merely one of many ideological branches of Jewish thinking.  Bolshevik communism and plutocratic capitalism are two other destructive Jewish ideologies I could name).

Chamish goes on to excerpt some important passages of Bollyn’s must read book, and says:

Now, I am in Bollyn’s camp but for reasons beyond his bigoted research. I say this as objectively as possible. […]

I know 9-11 was an inside job. The most blatant clues are sheer giveaways. WTC leasee Larry Silverstein signed his takeover of the property in July 2001 with a double indemnity clause that gave him seven billion dollars if the buildings were felled by terrorism. Lucky Larry. And when UA 93 was felled in Pennsylvania instead of crashing into Building Seven, and with fire marshals threatening to discover the explosives within, at 5:20 PM, in the smoldering shadows of Buildings 1 and 2, Larry “pulled” the 47 storey Building Seven in a perfect controlled demolition. So how did he engineer that in an afternoon?

I could imagine tracing all the Protestants involved in the attack beginning with the President. But Bollyn is determined to blame only and all Zionists. He almost goes down an honest evidentiary path but back he comes accusing all Jews and Israelis for 9-11. “The strategy was first articulated by the extreme right-wing politician Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party in 1980.” Bollyn’s ignorance reigns supreme. In 1980, Netanyahu was selling furniture at the RIM company and not formulating plans for 9-11. Within two years, his political career would be thoroughly controlled by the American, Council On Foreign Relations (CFR).

First off, what “Protestants” is Chamish talking about?  I think anyone who has really investigated 9/11, like Bollyn clearly has, understands that President Bush and others in the limelight so to speak were simply figureheads, the front men for the real perps behind 9/11, all of whom are Zionists, and most of whom are in fact Jewish.  The only top 9/11 perp I can think of that isn’t Jewish is Dick Cheney, but he may as well be with all the Israeli and Jewish ass kissing he does.  The fact of the matter is that virtually all of the key operatives that planned, carried out, covered up, and benefited from 9/11 were Jews (again, not merely Zionists).

Secondly, to my knowledge, Bollyn does not “blame only and all Zionists” or accuse “all Jews and Israelis for 9/11” – he simply lays out the facts, names the names, and reaches the only conclusion that can possibly be drawn after an honest assessment of the situation: that Israel and an international network of Zionist Jews did 9/11 for the benefit of Israel and the Jewish plot for world domination.  9/11 was the “catastrophic and catalyzing event” needed to launch the fraudulent “Global War on Terror” (read:Jewish War of Terror) against the last remaining enemies of international Jewry: the Islamic nations of the Middle East.

Finally, Chamish’s contention that Netanyahu was some low-life furniture salesman in the 1980s and had nothing to do with planning 9/11 is absurd.  Benjamin Netanyahu and other Jewish Zionist supremacists literally invented the Orwellian concept of a “Global War on Terror” as a ruse to advance their agenda, staging a “new Pearl Harbor on 9/11 to kick start their Endless Waragainst a completely manufactured enemy: al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist networks (all of which are either directly funded and controlled by the real axis of evil, CIA-Mossad-MI6 and their affiliates, or are useful idiots being manipulated by the forces of the Jew World Order).

In his book, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed discusses in great detail the ideological foundations for the “Global War on Terrorism”, beginning in the summer of 1979 at the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, which was organized largely by Netanyahu, working on behalf of The Jonathan Institute. The Jonathan Institute eventually published International Terrorism: Challenge and Response in 1981, which was edited by Netanyahu and consisted of the written or transcribed speeches of all the participants of the conference.

In the Forward of this book, we learn (bold and italics mine):

The Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism was conveyed by The Jonathan Institute on July 2-5, 1979 to focus public attention on the grave threat that international terrorism poses to all democratic societies, to study the real nature of today’s terrorism, and to propose measures for combating and defeating the international terror movements. […]

It was the intolerable spectacle of legitimatization of terror groups and the frequent capitulation to their demands that made the Jerusalem Conference so necessary. The United Nations has proven itself to be hopelessly incapable of dealing with the problem. The Western governments themselves have too often tried to make their separate deals, fearing that a full-fledge battle against terrorists and their supporters could have negative economic or political consequences.

In the face of such paralysis, pusillanimity and impotence, the Jerusalem Conference was convened to begin the formulation of an anti-terror alliance in which all the democracies of the West must join.

The “Western democracies”, which have been completely subverted and have long been controlled by Jewish interests, needed an excuse or provocation, a “new Pearl Harbor” as they say, to join this “anti-terror alliance” with their Israeli masters in order to avoid all the “negative economic or political consequences” which would result in a “full-fledge battle against terrorists and their supporters.” And on 9/11, that’s exactly what they got.

Chamish concludes his review with the following:

Bollyn’s whole book, beginning with its incredibly uninformed forward, to the quotes from Jewish turncoats like Avraham Burg, Chomsky, Ostrovsky, and Shahak, to the phoney sympathy for the “oppressed” Arabs, to the constant references to his German identity, reads like it was written for the Nazis. He doesn’t get it: the “peacemakers” of Labor Zionism bring mass deaths to innocents, but to no one as much as we “other” Jews. We want them out of our lives just as much as you do.

How typically Jewish of Chamish: invoke the “Nazis” and conclude that the Big, Bad Labor Zionists are really persecuting him and his fellow “other” Jews.  Forget about the millions of innocents killed in the name of Zionism and the fraudulent “Global War on Terrorism”.  To Chamish and other Jewish supremacists, these people don’t matter.

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Russia warns West against ‘sabotage’ of Syria deal

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to a question at a press conference after a meeting with Cyprus foreign minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis in Moscow, Russia, July 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

dailystar.com.lb

Russia said Wednesday it would not let Western powers “sabotage” a political transition accord to end the escalating conflict in Syria that was reached in Geneva at the end of June.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western states of fomenting violence by openly supporting the armed opposition and said Russia expected a formal answer within a matter of days on whether they backed the accord.

“What was accomplished in Geneva should not be sabotaged,” Lavrov told reporters while on a a visit to Belarus.

“We will be trying to get an answer from our (Western) partners within literally the coming days about whether they support what they signed off on in Geneva.

“If so, why are they not taking measures to implement it?” Lavrov demanded.

World powers on June 30 had agreed on a Russian-backed transition plan in Switzerland that did not make an explicit call for President Bashar Assad to quit power.

The West swiftly made clear it saw no role for Assad in a unity government and the plan’s future now looks to be in further peril because of the announced resignation of top Syria crisis mediator Kofi Annan.

Russian officials said Wednesday they wanted to keep a suspended UN monitoring mission in Syria operating in some form after its mandate expires on August 19.

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Syria Zio-NATO Puppet’s claim blast in central Damascus

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The main Syrian Zio-NATO puppets has claimed responsibilty for an explosions in central Damascus near the hotel used by the UN observer mission in Syria.

Abu al-Noor, a spokesperson for the ”Ahfad Al Rasoul” Brigade that has claiming responsibility for the bombing, told Zionist Al Jazeera that the ”Free Syrian Army” (FSA) had been planning the strike for a month.

“The operation was targeting the central security command in response to murders perpetrated by the security forces nationwide,” he said in a phone interview from Damascus on Wednesday morning.

Syrian state television reported that the blast, in the Abu Remanih area near a military depot and the trade union headquarters, was caused by a bomb planted in a fuel vehicle on Wednesday morning.

Several ambulances rushed to the scene and a security cordon was set up, according to witnesses.

Syrian state television reported that the attack wounded at least three people, but the rebels said they suspect “many” officers had been killed or injured.

Zio-NATO puppets planted eight explosive canisters in the vicinity of the Syrian military’s Central Security Command, timed to explode during their daily meeting, said Abu al-Noor of the ”Ahfad Al Rasoul Brigade”.

Zio-NATO had intelligence suggesting some 150 high-ranking officers would be attending the meeting. He did not know how many casualties had occurred because the security forces had secured the area.

“We will continue to carry out similar operations in the capital until we reach him [Assad] in the presidential palace,” Zionist Abu al-Noor said.

Several hours after the blast, anti-government activists said that rebels clashed with Syrian forces near the government headquarters and the Iranian embassy in the Mezze area of Damascus.

‘Criminal act’

Faisal Mekdad, the Syrian deputy minister, toured the area of the blast shortly afterwareds and said none of the UN staff was hurt.

“This is a criminal act that shows what kind of attacks Syria is being subjected to,” he said at the scene. “Such explosions will not affect Syria.”

“I confirm that we are with the UN and we will do all we can to guarantee their protection so that they carry out their role.”

UNSMIS was not immediately available for comment.

The explosion occurred as Valerie Amos, the UN humanitarian chief, was in the city, but her team is believed to be staying at a different hotel.

Zionist Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, said ” the FSA’s apparent incursion into the heart of Damascus showed that it was gaining inconfidence”.

“If indeed this is the work of the Free Syrian Army, this is a breakthrough for them,” she said. “What’s interesting is that this is a very secure area.”

Plume of smoke

Opposition activists said massive explosions echoed across much of the city and a video released by one opposition group showed a large plume of smoke billowing into the sky.

A spokesperson for the opposition Local Co-ordination Committees in Damascus told Zionist Al Jazeera there was a big explosion followed by a series of smaller explosions.

Shareef Shihada, a member of Syria’s parliament, said only few people injured and some damage. He said the explosion had not hit a military target.

Damascus has been rocked by several bomb blasts in recent days, including an attack last month at the national security headquarters that killed three of President Bashar al-Assad’s security commanders.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Thursday to discuss the future of UNSMIS, whose mandate expires on August 19.

On the diplomatic front, the US-Zionist defence secretary, Leon Panetta, accused Iran on Tuesday of setting up pro-government militias in Syria.

Iran has made similar claims of intervention in the conflict by the US and its Zionist allies.

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Iran Supreme Leader: IsraHell will vanish from the ‘landscape of geography’

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Haaretz

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Israel will disappear from the “landscape of geography,” adding that its land will be returned to the Palestinians.

The comment was the last of a string of remarks made by both Israeli and Iranian officials amid continued debate over the possibility of a military resolution to the ongoing nuclear standoff between Iran and the West.

Referring to growing discussion over nuclear crisis earlier this week, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren stressed in an interview to MSNBC that the Israeli clock “is ticking faster.”

Oren said Israel appreciated U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s reiteration that the U.S. is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but mentioned the “structural differences between the United States and Israel which we can’t ignore.”

On Tuesday, Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi dismissed Israeli threats against his country as psychological warfare.

The semi-official Mehr news agency on Tuesday quoted Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as saying Israeli leaders are resorting to “psychological war” against Iran.

However, the war of words continued on Wednesday, with Mehr quoting Iran’s Supreme Leader, in an apparent reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to Mehr, Khamenei said that the “light of hope will shine on the Palestinian issue, and this Islamic land will certainly be returned to the Palestinian nation, and the superfluous and fake Zionist [regime] will disappear from the landscape of geography.”

The remark was reportedly made during a meeting with Iranian veterans of the Iran-Iraq war.

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Press TV: Vietnam forgotten, more than a ‘Lost Generation

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Vietnam forgotten, more than a ‘Lost Generation’

“America meant democracy to us.  Now, if we tell the truth, it means nothing at all.  Few tell the truth, fewer every day.”

By Press TV and Gordon Duff

 

————
There are two kinds of Vietnam vets now, dying and dead. A decade or so ago, there were two other kinds, those who really remembered the lessons and those who sold their souls for “thanks” and a platform for bitterness and ignorance. A war, a bad war, a wrong war was supposed to be a life lesson for us, teach us never to do it again.

Now we do little else. We look away, we have our hobbies.

I’m a biker, a motorcyclist. For those who ride, who can ride legally, no helmet, full out, the way we greet other bikers is with the left hand, two fingers extended downward.

Being a biker, being a vet meant you were “anti-war.”

All bikers still do it but few remember what it means, few remember that war long ago, or even the one after that and the one after that.

There have been so many.

We were going to change the world when we came back, build a free society, overturn Wall Street, Washington and the hypocrisy of the VFW and Legion types who hated our guts. We learned politics, we learned history and we prided ourselves in the world we thought we were part of, rock and roll, equality, social upheaval, building an America that people now dream of, an America well beyond Ron Paul’s wildest hopes.

America meant democracy to us. Now, if we tell the truth, it means nothing at all. Few tell the truth, fewer every day.

Sometimes all I think is left of us are the bikers, the hardcore meth snorting bikers. I used to hit the “old guy” concert circuit, buying tickets to anything I could find from the 60s and 70s, then into the 80s, and even they died off. Life was getting back times lost through nostalgia, musical groups long forgotten, now old people on stage playing music that meant so much to us then.

For many of us it still brings back the times, the hopes, the music may be all we have left of an America we lost long ago.

When at a concert, I would look into the crowd for the young faces, long hair beards, the strong voices, the beliefs, the feeling we could do anything and saw only old people, maybe a reflection of myself.

I still have crazy friends, people who have all the energy, all the belief and anger. None, however, have hope. All we have is each other, a small club. Over the past few days I have been planning a trip to Africa, some sport fishing, some work (secret counter-terrorism stuff) and a fair amount of “feet up” and “single malt whisky” time. We’ve got a plane, some bikes, a helicopter and some boats and hope to make enough working to come out even and still not be killed.

I will be going back to Africa, a continent torn apart, hoping to be part of a solution instead of part of a problem. If only more Americans realized how much we have allowed ourselves to infect the world with fear and hate. We talk about “extremists” but fail to realize that “they” is “us.”

The group, my friends, all combat vets, will be in from Eastern Europe, Russia, South Africa and America. What we are to me is a pack of Vietnam vets, or I will pretend we are, with the nasty exception that time and such has left us with rank we had never imagined, prestige to others that we, ourselves, laugh at.

Long ago we were poor soldiers. We are now colonels, ambassadors, presidents of corporations, empty words, empty titles, meaningless to each other. We take pride in how little they mean to each other.

It is a sign we are still human.

To all of us, I don’t even know how many at Veterans Today and elsewhere, in our defense companies, the “old guys,” a group I now belong to are still, at heart, kids, 8 years old, or 25 years old though to others we look like something else. I was called “sir” by someone in a store today.

Ouch.

We have a great crew in Pakistan, Raja is a hoot, his cousin the Brigadier is fun as is Hamid Gul, oh, Major General Gul or Admiral Sirohey and General Beg, all 4 stars but like kids. If we were younger, or had the freedom, I would run us all up to K2 but none of us would get far unless, of course, we brought Jeff Gates, who can run up mountains.

These are great friends in Pakistan, and so few Americans have the privilege of knowing them.

We have a gang here, Jim Dean, Mike Chester, John Stokes, Kevin Barrett, Mike Harris and a list of names I am not allowed to use. These are writers, radio hosts, but most are just friends who discuss ideas and politics and look for hope.

We all have homes and grandchildren and our guns. Americans own lots of guns, which we really don’t ever use, our motorcycles; I still have a fast car that sits in my garage. Jimmie, “Colonel Jimmie,” has a stunt plane.

Gene has an off road Tahoe he drives around Russia in, giant tires, and supercharger. Gene is “Colonel Gene.”

I look for my Vietnam friends. Ralph Eckard, from Veterans Today, a double amputee from Vietnam, died barely 60 years old, I think while on the phone with me. He was under a car doing repairs when his heart failed. He was Marine Force Recon and walked 10,000 miles at my side. Ed Harris hasn’t called in years nor have others. Long ago and a million miles away we were a family.

One of my friends, former neighbor until his home was foreclosed on, and this was a “big money” house, just hit 65, former Navy Corpsman, can do and fix anything, and is now totally broke.

One friend, MBA, former project manager on major missiles systems lives in a travel trailer. Other friends live on next to nothing.

I never imagined so many people, graduate degrees, years with major companies, would have so little.

So much time is spent on Skype (recorded by the NSA) or telephone. Now with friends around the world, I think sometimes about how it should have been.

So many of us are gone, Vietnam killed so many Marines, we don’t even bother that much, dead or dying, except me, maybe except me. Other friends are 3 cancers or four, not just a few of us but many, lives after Vietnam riddled with cancer from the defoliant Agent Orange.

What we all want is for time to move backwards, for the world we were going to leave for our children, now our grandchildren, to be real, not just the lie we live now with our pretend elections, our wars even stupider than Vietnam….

Then there are dark days. Get out the tape and pain pills and maybe we all have another useless war in us, one that might kill us this time, us instead of our friends.

Psychiatrists call that “survivors guilt.” To me is the rush. Then decades of “less dumb” kick in and the idea of shooting people who are trying to keep their countries free of people like me should remind me to either stay home or come as a tourist.

Like so many of us, I was bred on war movies, an ingrained delusion that war had a purpose.

God, we were stupid.

I miss the music; I find the “oldies” stations a poor imitation of our music, an insult to our time, all “bubblegum” and too little rock and roll.

The phases, kids growing up, our lives being interpreted through our favorite television shows, and so many of us at an age when security is to be expected, looking for money for the electric bill.

So many that were going to retire with pensions and social security and savings and kids through college with tiny loans have a different life.

Kid’s tuition wasn’t $1500 a year but $25000 a year or more. Then they had no jobs or waited long to get them. Many of us who knew better watched our kids go off to war and didn’t have the money to stop them. You know what I am saying.

One of our writers is dealing with one seriously injured child and another moderately injured one. It will be his life.

Some of us have lost kids. Nobody deserves even having that described. “Horror” is a hollow word.

For myself, I don’t want to live through another election. It wouldn’t take much convincing to get me to man the barricades.

Romney and Ryan, I feel sick when I think of them. They are a “choice?”

Then I find people who like them and I feel even sicker. The worst part is, I am doing well, positioned myself well, have the unique privilege of being able to spend if I wanted, travel if I wished and never have to worry about the electric bill.

It isn’t helping because I can’t watch so many others, the numbers, were anyone to tell the truth, are staggering.

Morons call it “liberal guilt.” What it is to me is failure. We failed to build a world for the American people, to keep jobs here, to teach our children honesty and ethics. Those banksters and politicians are now a younger generation, we saw them coming and didn’t put a pillow over their faces while there was still time as I say metaphorically.

Each one of us can have something, a quiet moment, a place to sit and read, and the lucky few with lights and clean water, a place to sleep that is safe.

For millions that place is prison. If Americans only knew who makes up the 15 million in prison, the 20 million homeless, the 50 million in poverty and the 150 million one paycheck away, we would be ashamed.

When we let trillions of dollars go away, we didn’t think it was going to do something?

Posted in USAComments Off on Press TV: Vietnam forgotten, more than a ‘Lost Generation

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