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Blunderov
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Demon Iran! The Opera.
« on: 2011-10-13 09:18:02 »
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[Blunderov] What to do when headlines around the world are inconveniently full of both the moral and fiscal bankruptcies that have erupted in the West and the Arab Spring? Get Iran back into the headlines. This is a case for...son of laptop!

Like the way a bomb maker leaves a signature in the individual way that he or she ties off the wiring, the tale of the plot to assassinate the Saudi diplomat has the same kind of unlikely ring to it that the Bin Laden raid had. Or so it seems to me: perhaps I am fanciful, but there seems to be a similarly artful over-elaboration to these stories. Or maybe it's just the smell of fish?


http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/12/us/analysis-iran-saudi-plot/index.html

Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plotBy Reza Sayah, CNN

October 13, 2011 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)

Washington (CNN) -- Did an elite branch of Iran's military handpick a divorced, 56-year-old Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas to hire a hitman from a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the ambassador to Saudi Arabia by blowing up a bomb in a crowded restaurant in Washington?

U.S. officials say they are certain the bizarre plot against Ambassador Adel Jubeir was real.

But some analysts say they are not. They find it unlikely that the Iranian government, or legitimate factions within, would be involved in such a tangled plot.

Iran slams plot allegations

They cite five reasons why:

1. The alleged plot doesn't fit Iran's style

In the 32-year history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Quds Force -- the branch implicated in the alleged plot -- has never been publicly linked to an assassination plot or an attack on U.S. soil. In cases where Quds Force members have been accused of plotting attacks, they had gone to great lengths to cover their tracks and hire proxy groups of the highest caliber, like the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Hiring an Iranian-American used-car salesman who, according to investigators, openly talked about his connections to the Iranian military and brazenly made a $100,000 wire transfer doesn't fit the Quds Force's modus operandi, analysts say.

"It would be completely uncharacteristic for Iran to be caught red-handed," former CIA operative Bob Baer told CNN.

"There are very few groups operationally better than Iran's Quds Force. They know what they are doing, The only proxies they use are ones they've vetted. They don't let their own citizens get involved."

2. Iran would lose more than it would gain

An assassination plot on U.S. soil would be costly for Iran, analysts say, inviting further sanctions and isolation by the international community, and perhaps military action as well.

"What we've seen unfold makes no sense in terms of Iran's national security strategy," says Hillary Mann Leverett, who was an adviser on Iran in former President George W. Bush's administration.

"There's no benefit; there's no payoff in them pursuing this kind of hit against Adel Jubeir. And it runs contrary to their entire national security strategy."

3. Iran has much easier targets to go after

Iran has potential U.S. and Saudi targets in its own backyard. In fact, Iran's Quds Force is frequently accused of waging proxy wars against U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan and against Saudi interests in places like Bahrain.

The notion that Iran's potential targets in its own backyard were not enough, and that its Quds Force was therefore compelled to carry out a plot on U.S. soil seems far-fetched, analysts say.

4. Iran is gaining in stature and isn't desperate for drastic measures

Analysts say Iran has emerged as an undeniable power broker in the Middle East due in large part to the U.S.-led elimination of two of its key enemies in the last decade -- Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and the Afghan Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Tehran's political and economic sway in the region is greater than ever and it has solidified its role as a critical actor involving nearly all the major issues in the region, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the futures of Iraq and Afghanistan, the price of oil and nuclear energy.

Analysts say a seemingly drastic measure like an assassination plot on U.S. soil might perhaps make sense for a country desperate for attention, but not for Iran.

"This would be such a significant departure for the Iranian government to be involved in a plot like this, it really warrants our toughest questions and scrutiny," says Leverett.

5. The alleged plot is full of holes

There seem to be too many unanswered questions at this point to conclude that this plot was conceived by the Iranian government or the leaders of the Quds Force.

Consider the following statements by U.S. officials: When asked if the "upper reaches" of the Iranian government knew about the alleged plot, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "We are not making that charge at this point."

A senior law enforcement official told CNN, "Holder was not alleging that the highest levels officials in Iran were involved."

Another senior U.S. official told CNN, "Given how compartmentalized the Iranians are, it is unclear how wide knowledge of and approval (of the alleged plot) was within the Iranian government."

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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #1 on: 2011-10-13 11:08:15 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2011-10-13 09:18:02   
[Blunderov] What to do when headlines around the world are inconveniently full of both the moral and fiscal bankruptcies that have erupted in the West and the Arab Spring? Get Iran back into the headlines. This is a case for...son of laptop!

Like the way a bomb maker leaves a signature in the individual way that he or she ties off the wiring, the tale of the plot to assassinate the Saudi diplomat has the same kind of unlikely ring to it that the Bin Laden raid had. Or so it seems to me: perhaps I am fanciful, but there seems to be a similarly artful over-elaboration to these stories. Or maybe it's just the smell of fish?


http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/12/us/analysis-iran-saudi-plot/index.html

Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plotBy Reza Sayah, CNN

October 13, 2011 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)

Washington (CNN) -- Did an elite branch of Iran's military handpick a divorced, 56-year-old Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas to hire a hitman from a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the ambassador to Saudi Arabia by blowing up a bomb in a crowded restaurant in Washington?

U.S. officials say they are certain the bizarre plot against Ambassador Adel Jubeir was real. <snip>


Blunderov I thought you'd enjoy the irony of the source :-)

Cheers

Fritz


They want us to go to WAR with Iran

Source: Daily Paul
Author: borisimo
Date: 2011.10.12



They want us to go to WAR with Iran - Do the Right Thing to Stop War with Iran

This alleged Iranian plot to kill a Saudi Ambassador the FBI reported today is really quite something, it reads like any of the 419 scams on my spam folder meets an episode of '24' or 'Breaking Bad' meets "yellow cake" on the run up to the Iraq war.

Is this real life or some Bay of Pigs pre-election year hallucination?

Folks, stop, and think. Setting aside the long track record of lies by the US and Israeli governments, just ask yourself these questions; Why would Iran want to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador? Iran and Saudi Arabia are friends... Ambassadors are not decision makers, they are glorified messengers, and in these days of instant global communications no longer enjoy the autonomous plenipotentiary power that they did in the days of sailing ships.

There is no reason to kill an ambassador because another one representing the same government policies would arrive the very next day. Why would Iran involve Mexican drug cartels? Drug cartels are great at smuggling and slicing up competition and informants with chain saws, but are not known for skills at diplomatic assassination.

Why would such a pointless killing inside the United States knowing the US is looking for any excuse, at all, to launch a war on Iran?

People the US and Israel are in a panic. Occupy America is growing, and the Corporate Media are unable to get a handle with which to ridicule and dismiss it. In desperation the plan is to launch a major war with Iran, which will mean war with Russia, then use the resulting world war to demand the American people forget all about Wall Street's mortgage backed securities fraud, all about the ruined economy, all about the other wars, all about the lies, salute the flag and throw your money and our children into the bayonets of Israel's enemies on command... Because that's what worked the last two times... And the only people who can stop this are you....


[Fritz] 'deja vu' all over again .....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFW33KNKPsI
« Last Edit: 2011-10-13 11:15:03 by Fritz » Report to moderator   Logged

Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains -anon-
Blunderov
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #2 on: 2011-10-13 15:14:37 »
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[Blunderov] Interesting source as you say Fritz! I mentioned there was talk of an alliance between Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. The ruling Republocrat Kleptocracy has reason to be nervous about the growing mood of domestic rebellion. It maybe that democracy is finally coming to the USA and there might well be some unpleasantness.


youtube
« Last Edit: 2011-10-14 07:11:19 by Blunderov » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #3 on: 2011-10-13 23:31:33 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2011-10-13 15:14:37   

[Blunderov] Interesting source as you say Fritz! I mentioned there was talk of an alliance between Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. The ruling Republocrat Kleptocracy has reason to be nervous about the growing mood of domestic rebellion. It maybe that democracy is finally coming to the USA and there might well be some unpleasantness.


youtube


Great vid thx; I had missed that one .... Cheers


HINT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwIZ4syCFLc

For reasons only CoV knows, it only works for me, if I just use the stuff after the equals sign between the YOUTUBES

(YOUTUBE)kwIZ4syCFLc(/YOUTUBE)

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Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains -anon-
Blunderov
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #4 on: 2011-10-14 07:18:12 »
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Quote from: Fritz on 2011-10-13 23:31:33   

For reasons only CoV knows, it only works for me, if I just use the stuff after the equals sign between the YOUTUBES

[Blunderov] Wow! Lookit! It works!

Seems those old skool hacker skeelz are still needed in this day and age? (Like on FB they don't seem to like anyone to make links in the comments to a thread, but you can make it work if you use quotation marks around the link. )
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #5 on: 2011-10-18 04:00:58 »
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[Blunderov] I suppose the lesson of the GW Bush years is that even an accusation against another country which is obviously specious and without foundation will be taken very seriously by the USA Congress if AIPAC and/or the military-industrial-media complex wishes it to. Any old rubbish will do, no matter how insulting to even the meanest intelligence. Phials of indeterminate white powder. Fake yellowcake. Stray laptops of dubious pedigree. Fictitious intelligence about fictitious WMD. Any old rubbish will do just so long as it serves to divert public discourse in the desired direction. It's all about usurping headlines and setting up the bait and switch with the supine MSM (bought and paid for) all too eager to help.

www.globalresearch

Who is Really Behind It? The Implausibility of an Iranian Plot

by Esam Al-Amin

Global Research, October 17, 2011


On October 11, Attorney General Eric Holder, flanked by the FBI Director and the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, accused the government of Iran, specifically the elite Quds battalion of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), of plotting to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S, Adel Al-Jubeir.

So what do we know about this alleged conspiracy? And what are the facts pertinent to this explosive charge?

1) The alleged conspirator, Mansour Arbabsiar, is a 56 year old naturalized American of Iranian descent. He has been living in several Texas communities since the late 1970s when he arrived to the U.S. as a student. By all accounts, Arbabsiar led a disorderly life marked by constant failure, whether as a student, husband, father, or businessman.

For over two decades the alleged “mastermind” left behind a trail of successive failed businesses, including a used car lot, a restaurant, a convenience store, and a finance company. One of his friends told the Washington Post that he is “a goofy guy who always had a smile on his face.”

Arbabsiar was neither an ideologue nor religious. His nickname among his close friends was “Jack” because of his affinity for Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Last year, he was arrested for felony possession of a narcotic. According to public documents, his former wife accused him of spousal abuse and filed a protective order against him in 1991.

2) The complaint (so far it is not even an indictment by a grand jury) charges that Arbabsiar allegedly conspired with a high official of the Quds battalion of the IRGC. According to the complaint he was recruited by this official - who is also supposedly his cousin - when he visited Iran earlier this year.

There is plenty of evidence that the Quds Force has been involved in many militant anti-Western operations in Iraq. It has also been publicly supporting the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance organizations in their struggle with Israel. These activities have earned it the label of “supporter of terrorism” by most Western nations, including the U.S.

But according to Robert Baer, a 21-year veteran CIA operative and analyst, the Quds Force is one of the most professional and disciplined (though deadly) organizations in the Middle East. As reported by CNN, the Quds Force “has never been publicly linked to an assassination plot or an attack on U.S. soil.”

Baer confirmed this fact when he said that “in its 30-year history of attacking the West, the Quds Force went out of its way never to be caught with a smoking gun in hand. It always used well-vetted proxies, invariably Muslim believers devoted to Khomeini's revolution.”

He then questioned whether the plot was genuine by asking, “Why didn't the Iranians use tried and tested Hizbullah networks and keep Iranian nationals, much less unknown Mexican narcos, out of it?”

3) We know from the complaint that the U.S government was actually directing the plot (target, location, method of attack, setting the price of the assassination, bank account information, etc.) Pete Williams, NBC’s DOJ correspondent, said that the plot was in fact “a sting operation” directed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the FBI. A recent report published by New York University Law School showed that in the past decade federal agencies have relied heavily on sting operations, not only in drug busts, but also most significantly in dozens of national security cases “that were planned, financed and executed by the FBI.”

4) According to the official story, we are to believe that, although the price set for the Saudi Ambassador’s assassination by a member of a Mexican drug cartel (who was actually a DEA informant) was $1.5 million, the Iranian handlers expected the assassin to carry it out by advancing him only $100,000 (less than 7 percent of the total amount.)

Moreover, as Baer argued in Time magazine, in three decades of external operations in many countries, the IRGC fingerprints or money transfers were never traced back to Iran, but that Iran has always “enjoyed plausible deniability.” Baer further told CNN that, “it would be completely uncharacteristic for Iran to be caught red-handed.”

Therefore, such sloppy behavior through traceable money transfers and phone intercepts is simply not credible. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to leave behind as many clues as possible to pin this alleged egregious act on Iran.

5) Another hole in this puzzle concerns the possible motive Iran could have by sponsoring such a provocative act. Strategically, Iran has never been stronger in the region. It has been the greatest beneficiary of the U.S. debacle in Iraq and its difficulty in Afghanistan. Furthermore, despite the successive international sanctions imposed on Iran, its nuclear and other military programs have been progressing at an increasingly steady pace, while asserting a growing and dominant role in the region.

Hillary Mann Leverett, an adviser on Iran in former President George W. Bush's administration, told CNN that this act made no sense, and contradicted Iran’s national security strategy. She stated, “There's no benefit; there's no payoff in them pursuing this kind of hit against Adel Al-Jubeir. And it runs contrary to their entire national security strategy.”

If Iran wanted to punish Saudi Arabia it had a plenty of targets in the region, including in Saudi Arabia itself, Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Persian Gulf region in general. If it wanted to target a diplomat, the worst choice would be on U.S. soil where such an act would be easily uncovered and would not go unpunished. It is not clear why Iran would even target a small functionary of the Saudi diplomatic core. Al-Jubeir is neither royalty nor a significant player in Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy.

Since at least 2003, the Iranian national security strategy has been to de-escalate regional tensions and avoid any confrontation with the U.S. or its regional allies, especially Saudi Arabia. It has been in the middle of unprecedented build-up of its military power, especially its navy, nuclear power, and long-range missile programs. Experts believe that it needs at least five more quiet years to finish this phase of its build-up.

6) Ironically, in 2004 the U.S. uncovered an alleged assassination plot by another U.S. national against King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia himself, not his ambassador. In that plot, the U.S. asserted that it confiscated more than $340,000 payoff from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddhafi for the killing of the Saudi monarch.

The Bush and Blair administrations, which were in bed with Gaddhafi at the time, negotiating the surrender of his nuclear programs, did not threaten or impose any sanctions on the former Libyan regime because of the plot. Although the U.S. sentenced the alleged U.S. conspirator to 23 years in prison, the Saudi king pardoned the alleged assassin who was arrested in Saudi Arabia.

However, this time the reaction by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia was not only swift and harsh, but threatening and escalating.

7) Since the inception of the Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia has been very nervous. It has sent its army to Bahrain to crack down on the popular protests, while bribing its citizens and inviting the monarchs of Jordan and Morocco to join the GCC alliance in order to halt any movements in these countries towards a constitutional monarchy.

Meanwhile, throughout this year the Saudi media has been relentless in its attacks against Iran, presenting it as a “Shi’a” nation and a “Persian” power set on taking over the Arab Sunni countries in the region. It is an old tactic used by authoritarian regimes to focus the public’s attention on an external enemy to deflect from the popular demands for democracy and civil rights and against repression and corruption as demonstrated by the Arab uprisings throughout the region. This alleged plot plays into the hands of those who want to escalate the confrontation with Iran inside Saudi Arabia.

But the clear winners of any escalation with Iran are those who want to attack Iran militarily in the region, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia. In one of the Wikileaks documents released recently, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia cabled back to the State Department that King Abdullah wanted a U.S-led military confrontation with Iran. He said that the Saudi monarch wanted to “cut the head of the snake” in the region.

Moreover, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who resigned a year ago, described the current Israeli government as “dangerous and irresponsible.” Last spring he told the Israeli Haaretz newspaper that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu would attack Iran and that doing so would be “the stupidest thing.” When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack, Dagan, said that: “It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end.”

According to The Forward, twelve of the eighteen living ex-chiefs of Israel's two security agencies (Mossad and Shin Bet), have been opposing an open war with Iran and are “either actively opposing Netanyahu's stances or have spoken out against them.”

So the trick for the right wing Israeli government has been how to drag the U.S. into this war and make it an American-Iranian confrontation rather than an Israeli-Iranian conflict.

To sum up, this alleged plot actually raises more questions than it answers. It’s supposedly led by a “goofy”, unsuccessful U.S-Iranian dual citizen, who is neither religious nor ideological; manipulated by an informant of a U.S. law enforcement agency fronting as an assassin for a Mexican drug cartel; recruited without vetting by one of the most elite and disciplined organizations in the world, while paying only 7 percent of the contract to assassinate the ambassador to a country (Saudi Arabia) with which Iran is trying to have a good relationship, in a country (the U.S) with which it is trying to avoid any confrontation, while leaving money transfers, telephone intercepts, and clues behind.

If this sounds illogical, then who is behind this amateurish plot?

It is unlikely that there are so-called rouge elements within the IRGC that want to drag the U.S. into a confrontation with Iran. That would amount to virtual suicide within the Iranian establishment. There is no history of such behavior even when the country was militarily much weaker and politically unstable.

Thus, to best answer the question is to identify those who would benefit the most from a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran. Clearly those who have the most to gain from such a clash are Israel and the Iranian opposition, particularly the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).

While the former seeks to cripple Iran’s nuclear program, the later has been in a deadly confrontation with the Islamicly-oriented government for decades, and wants to weaken the regime so it could be toppled. Both entities have tried over the years to sponsor terrorist operations and covert actions within Iran and outside to damage the regime or implicate it in external terrorist acts.

It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that the Israeli Mossad or the MKO were able to recruit an idiot or his cousin or both in a plot that involved assassinating the Saudi Ambassador, while leaving a trove of evidence behind to be found in order to implicate the Iranian government.

But assuming the U.S. was not privy to it, despite the plot being a sting operation, the more important question is then why the U.S. government took the bait and escalated the incident to a dangerous course with uncalculated consequences?

The U.S, Israel, and Saudi Arabia can certainly start a war with a more assertive Iran. But they certainly cannot end it. One only has to look at the recent U.S. adventures on either side of Iran’s borders to learn that lesson.

Esam Al-Amin can be reached at alamin1919@gmail.com

« Last Edit: 2011-10-18 08:13:41 by Blunderov » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #6 on: 2012-01-04 02:15:28 »
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[Blunderov] Israel is vulnerable to a first strike and this is a real thorn in the side of the USA. But the USA would be crazy to attack Iran and neither does it want Israel to do so. There is a very real possibility that war against Iran would be a bridge too far. So the USA is choosing rant and posture and even dabble in economic war against Iran instead of taking direct military action but this is a very dangerous game indeed. It might not take all that much to set off a revolution in the USA that would sweep the Republocrats into the gutter if domestic economic privations become any worse than they already are. And if oil went up to 200 Dollars a barrel who knows what might happen? Iran's response (as the attached story makes clear) has been to give the USA the big finger. That must feel really good after all the many years of British and American interference in Iran's sovereign affairs. The karma police never sleeps.


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=DAL20120103&articleId=28488

War Imminent in Strait of Hormuz? $200 a Barrel Oil?

by John C.K. Daly

Global Research, January 3, 2012

The pieces and policies for potential conflict in the Persian Gulf are seemingly drawing inexorably together.

Since 24, December the Iranian Navy has been holding its ten-day Velayat 90 naval exercises, covering an area in the Arabian Sea stretching from east of the Strait of Hormuz entrance to the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. The day the maneuvers opened Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told a press conference that the exercises were intended to show "Iran's military prowess and defense capabilities in international waters, convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries, and test the newest military equipment." The exercise is Iran's first naval training drill since May 2010, when the country held its Velayat 89 naval maneuvers in the same area. Velayat 90 is the largest naval exercise the country has ever held.

The participating Iranian forces have been divided into two groups, blue and orange, with the blue group representing Iranian forces and orange the enemy. Velayat 90 is involving the full panoply of Iranian naval force, with destroyers, missile boats, logistical support ships, hovercraft, aircraft, drones and advanced coastal missiles and torpedoes all being deployed. Tactics include mine-laying exercises and preparations for chemical attack. Iranian naval commandos, marines and divers are also participating.

The exercises have put Iranian warships in close proximity to vessels of the United States Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, which patrols some of the same waters, including the Strait of Hormuz, a 21 mile-wide waterway at its narrowest point. Roughly 40 percent of the world's oil tanker shipments transit the strait daily, carrying 15.5 million barrels of Saudi, Iraqi, Iranian, Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Qatari and United Arab Emirates crude oil, leading the United States Energy Information Administration to label the Strait of Hormuz "the world's most important oil chokepoint."

In light of Iran's recent capture of an advanced CIA RQ-170 Sentinel drone earlier this month, Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi noted that the Iranian Velayat 90 forces also conducted electronic warfare tests, using modern Iranian-made electronic jamming equipment to disrupt enemy radar and contact systems. Further tweaking Uncle Sam's nose, Moussavi added that Iranian Navy drones involved in Velayat 90 conducted successful patrolling and surveillance operations.

Thousands of miles to the west, adding oil to the fire, President Obama is preparing to sign legislation that, if fully enforced, could impose harsh penalties on all customers for Iranian oil, with the explicit aim of severely impeding Iran's ability to sell it.

How serious are the Iranians about the proposed sanctions and possible attack over its civilian nuclear program and what can they deploy if push comes to shove? According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies' The Military Balance 2011, Iran has 23 submarines, 100+ "coastal and combat" patrol craft, 5 mine warfare and anti-mine craft, 13 amphibious landing vessels and 26 "logistics and support" ships. Add to that the fact that Iran has emphasized that it has developed indigenous "asymmetrical warfare" naval doctrines, and it is anything but clear what form Iran's naval response to sanctions or attack could take. The only certainty is that it is unlikely to resemble anything taught at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The proposed Obama administration energy sanctions heighten the risk of confrontation and carry the possibility of immense economic disruption from soaring oil prices, given the unpredictability of the Iranian response. Addressing the possibility of tightened oil sanctions Iran's first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi on 27 December said, "If they impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz."

Iran has earlier warned that if either the U.S. or Israel attack, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the Strait of Hormuz. On 28 December Iranian Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari observed, "Closing the Strait of Hormuz for the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran is very easy. It is a capability that has been built from the outset into our naval forces' abilities."

But adding an apparent olive branch Sayyari added, "But today we are not in the Hormuz Strait. We are in the Sea of Oman and we do not need to close the Hormuz Strait. Today we are just dealing with the Sea of Oman. Therefore, we can control it from right here and this is one of our prime abilities for such vital straits and our abilities are far, far more than they think."

There are dim lights at the end of the seemingly darker and darker tunnel. The proposed sanctions legislation allows Obama to waive sanctions if they cause the price of oil to rise or threaten national security.

Furthermore, there is the wild card of Iran's oil customers, the most prominent of which is China, which would hardly be inclined to go along with increased sanctions.

But one thing should be clear in Washington - however odious the U.S. government might find Iran's mullahcracy, it is most unlikely to cave in to either economic or military intimidation that would threaten the nation's existence, and if backed up against the wall with no way out, would just as likely go for broke and use every weapon at its disposal to defend itself. Given their evident cyber abilities in hacking the RQ-170 Sentinel drone and their announcement of an indigenous naval doctrine, a "cakewalk" victory with "mission accomplished" declared within a few short weeks seems anything but assured, particularly as it would extend the military arc of crisis from Iraq through Iran to Afghanistan, a potential shambolic military quagmire beyond Washington's, NATO's and Tel Aviv's resources to quell.

It is worth remembering that chess was played in Sassanid Iran 1,400 years ago, where it was known as "chatrang." What is occurring now off the Persian Gulf is a diplomatic and military game of chess, with global implications.

Washington's concept of squeezing a country's government by interfering with its energy policies has a dolorous history seven decades old.

When Japan invaded Vichy French-ruled southern Indo-China in July 1941 the U.S. demanded Japan withdraw. In addition, on 1 August the U.S., Japan's biggest oil supplier at the time, imposed an oil embargo on the country.

Pearl Harbor occurred less than four months later.


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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #7 on: 2012-01-05 00:08:12 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2012-01-04 02:15:28   

[Blunderov] Israel is vulnerable to a first strike and this is a real thorn in the side of the USA. But the USA would be crazy to attack Iran and neither does it want Israel to do so. There is a very real possibility that war against Iran would be a bridge too far. So the USA is choosing rant and posture and even dabble in economic war against Iran instead of taking direct military action but this is a very dangerous game indeed. It might not take all that much to set off a revolution in the USA that would sweep the Republocrats into the gutter if domestic economic privations become any worse than they already are. And if oil went up to 200 Dollars a barrel who knows what might happen? Iran's response (as the attached story makes clear) has been to give the USA the big finger. That must feel really good after all the many years of British and American interference in Iran's sovereign affairs. The karma police never sleeps.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=DAL20120103&articleId=28488
War Imminent in Strait of Hormuz? $200 a Barrel Oil?
by John C.K. Daly
Global Research, January 3, 2012
The pieces and policies for potential conflict in the Persian Gulf are seemingly drawing inexorably together. <snip>

<snip>It is worth remembering that chess was played in Sassanid Iran 1,400 years ago, where it was known as "chatrang." What is occurring now off the Persian Gulf is a diplomatic and military game of chess, with global implications.
Washington's concept of squeezing a country's government by interfering with its energy policies has a dolorous history seven decades old.
When Japan invaded Vichy French-ruled southern Indo-China in July 1941 the U.S. demanded Japan withdraw. In addition, on 1 August the U.S., Japan's biggest oil supplier at the time, imposed an oil embargo on the country.
Pearl Harbor occurred less than four months later.

[Fritz]I've had this looking over my shoulder feeling for a bit now; plus that sinking feeling in my gut that the Money Boffins, Banksters and Politico Types could use a World War to bury the wrong doings and turds that are still going to come home to roost; not to mention the civil unrest and environmental concerns, all gone in the warm glow of a mushroom cloud  . . .
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #8 on: 2012-01-06 04:45:17 »
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[Blunderov]  It's unfortunate that Iran has become a backward theocracy but, given that both the UK and the USA have historically sabotaged all attempts at secular democracy in Iran, it is hardly surprising. A British psychiatrist once remarked (in the context of marital dynamics) that real trouble usually only occurred when the less dominant partner found him or herself forced to reassert their own identity. Perhaps it is much the same with nations? Some historical perspective follows which might help to explain why Iran has no reason to love the West or to believe anything it says at all.

www.opednews.com

Why Can't They Accept Our Benevolent Tutelage?

By Dan DeWalt

January 4, 2012 at 22:03:00

opednews.com

Before we all get caught up in the excitement of a new enemy to fear and loathe, could we possibly consider Iran's perspective on what its been like to deal with the benevolent West over the past century or so?

When the Ottoman Empire disintegrated following World War I, Iran looked forward to building a modern nation for themselves. But their geo-political location, as well as the unfortunate fortune of sitting on massive untapped oil reserves, meant that they would be subjugated to manipulation by Russia from one side, and by England from the other. The main point of contention was that the Brits thought that Iranian oil was only meant for British profit.

Starting in 1905, the Iranians staged a Constitutional Revolution and established a parliament with democratic representation. Parliament coexisted with the Iranian Monarch, but the people had significant power. In 1925, their was a coup at the top and Reza Shah Pahlavi started a new family line of leaders who abused the rights of parliament and used force to assert their control of power.

Nonetheless, by 1951, the parliament was invigorated by the leadership of Mohammad Mosaddegh, who was pushing for nationalization of the oil fields and for expanding the rights and liberties of the common people. The Shah tried to dismiss the prime minister, but popular demonstrations in the streets were so large and determined that the Shah backed down and re-instated Mosaddegh. At long last, it looked as though a champion of the Iranian people was going to get a chance to see his policies through, for better or worse, without being thwarted by a despotic Shah.

However the British and American government quickly engineered a coup d'etat, installed a prime minister who would aceed to Britain's oil needs and re-invigorated the nearly neutralized Shah who retaliated by terrorizing his people with a vengeance. For more than two decades, Iranians lived under a brutal regime that routinely tortured and murdered political opponents. By 1979, unrest and discontent with the Shah had reached such a pitch that the conditions were ripe for a peoples' revolution, and the Iranians had one. The conservative Shi'i opposition led the revolution and their new government held a deep grudge against the U.S. for the 1953 coup and its support of the Shah.

And the Iranian people, instead of getting a chance to pick up the pieces of their interrupted democracy, instead faced another regime of ideological despotism, this time by the ruling mullahs.

In spite their bad relations, the U.S. supported Iran in its ghastly and costly war with Sadaam Hussein's Iraq. But when it looked as though Iran might win, the U.S. showed its true colors and gave Sadaam the assistance he needed to push back the Iranians and sue for peace.

Fast forward to the 1990s and you hear George Bush the Lesser declaring Iran, along with North Korea and Iraq, to be a member of a newly minted club of really bad guys, the Axis of Evil. Doubtless, Iranians wondered what that designation would mean.

They soon found out when Iraq, which had no nuclear program, or indeed any weapons of mass destruction was invaded by the American military. Over a million people were devastated by death and injuries. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless and made refugees. Cities and infrastructure were destroyed. The political system was rearranged to try to serve American interests but it has failed to serve anyone's interests, including the Iraqi peoples'. And when the Iranians reached out to the Iraqis after the invasion, they were told by the American government to back off and mind their own business. Never mind that Iran and Iraq border each other and that Iraqi refugees were streaming into Iran, this was an American operation and Iran had no role to play.

North Korea however, has had a different level of Axis membership. Since they were able to successfully detonate a couple of nuclear explosions before the U.S. could decide to invade, they got a free pass for a number of Great Game moves. Even if they provoke their neighbors by launching missiles over their heads or shooting their border patrols, North Korea only gets punished by having to pretend to talk about negotiating until America sends them some more aid money. When it comes to rogue nations, North Korea is the pampered class much like the Wall street criminals who have profited so nicely from their criminality.

What sort of lesson would you draw from watching the respective fates of Iraq and North Korea? What path might a country take if it wanted to be free from interference from the United Sates? India and Pakistan have reached greater international status since they became nuclear powers. Who has more sovereign power and U.S. support; nuclear armed Israel, or the militia-backed Palestinians?

This leaves out entirely the argument that that any sovereign nation should have the right to develop its own energy resources. At the same time that America's energy policy is gung-ho for more nuclear power, the U.S. and its allies have decided that Iran does not have the sovereign right to develop its own nuclear power.

Americans seem to be stunned that Iran is not willing to do exactly what we tell them to do. We can't believe their pigheadedness and animosity towards us. We can't understand why they wouldn't trust our good intentions. But if we continue to see Iran through a self absorbed and historically inaccurate lens, we risk allowing our war addicted leaders to lie this nation into another ill conceived, immoral and devastating conflict. We owe it to ourselves as much as we do to the Iranians to stand up to the war mongering and fear mongering and say NO to any more military conflicts based on the interests of the ruling class.


Dan Dewalt is a musician/woodworker/teacher who authored the Newfane impeachment resolution passed at March 2006 town meetings.

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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #9 on: 2012-01-06 15:22:04 »
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[Blunderov] I'm not sure that the author of the following piece hasn't overestimated the amount of sympathy that an attack on Iran might generate in the Arab world. It should not be forgotten that whilst Iran is an Islamic country it is most definitely is not an Arabic country and is actually rather unloved in the Arabic world but perhaps the use of "tactical"* nukes would overcome this historical antipathy.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=HEN20120105&articleId=28511

Why Attacking Iran Will Not Work in 2012. Failure could Result in a US-Israel Military and Economic Tailspin

Global Research, January 5, 2012
21st Century Wire 

by Patrick Henningsen

All signs coming out of Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv are pointing towards a pre-emptive military strike against Iran in 2012. But a number of key indicators are also pointing towards an unsuccessful, unlikely operation, whose failure could result in a military and economic tailspin from which the United States and Israel are unlikely to recover.

Currently, the US is following a trajectory of past unsuccessful empires that were unable to sustain themselves resulting in an eventual collapse from within. The US is currently running up a budget deficit which is not only threatening to bankrupt its entire economy, but also threatening the hegemony of its sole instrument for advantage and influence on the world stage – the US dollar. Any threat to the supremacy of the dollar is also a threat to the empire.


It is difficult to calculate the outcome of a western attack against Iran -because there are so many variables.

No moral mandate

For centuries, even Rome required a moral mandate as it conquered the known world. As was the case with the Iraqi invasion and occupation in 2003, the West and its Axis powers led by Washington will require a multi-nation coalition backed by some form of moral mandate in order to move forward with their plans.

Previously, a US-UK campaign against Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction was waged through the UN, and was sufficient at the time in achieving a minimal sway in public opinion needed from both the American and British people, justifying their governments’ foreign policy goals enough to get the war off the ground. But the cost in 2012 of pushing forward under false pretences with both Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, means that the Axis coalition powers have already played their best hand under the current social democratic system.

It is clear now, after multiple failures by the UN’s IAEA to implicate Iran in developing nuclear weapons that a moral mandate is not there, so despite the best efforts of the hawks and FOX News, there cannot be the sway in public opinion needed to move forward militarily. The only remaining technique available to trigger a military conflagration is a false flag attack orchestrated by either the US, Israel or the UK, whereby Iran can be blamed for firing the ‘first shot’.

The war has already begun

As far as the Islamic Republic of Iran is concerned, the war has already begun. US-backed sanctions imposed against the Central Bank of Iran have been put into effect, even though no proof has actually been presented to the UN justifying such a pre-war move. But sanctions are still the first step in a physical war. The result of the Axis open abuse of the UN’s Security Council resolution process, a number of influential nations have already announced their disregard for these US-backed sanctions.

This week, South Korea has announced that despite the White House’s wishes, it will still be buying roughly 10 percent of its crude oil from Iran in 2012. China is also defying the US call for sanctions, stating it will ‘resume its existing trade relationship’ with Iran this year. In 2012, China plans to make Iran its no.2 oil importer, adding to an already existing relationship worth approximately $30 billion per year. The West are in no position to challenge China over Iran at present. This means that the Axis powers will struggle to keep anything near an air-tight international mandate. They may hurt Iran in the short-term, but in the long run, such sanctions will have no teeth.

The cost to America and Europe of dragging out this ‘war of words’

The most likely outcome in the first part of 2012, is the West dragging a war of words via press briefings and imperial rhetoric. An increasingly media savvy Iran will naturally follow suit, winning favour at home as the underdog in this imperial clash. The result is a war of the words in the media.

But even the cost of this ‘posturing war’ to the US and Europe may be too much to bear at this time.

Even the threat of an attack on Iran will automatically drive oil speculators to push up the price of oil futures, which will in turn raise the price of oil at the pump at a time when Western businesses and consumers can hardly afford it. And this series of events is already in motion. The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s busiest oil shipping lane, with 17 million barrels of oil per day passing through. Iranian announcements this week stating they will not only defend their territorial waters, but retaliate by closing the Strait’s shipping lanes if it’s attacked by the US or Israel – have already driven up the global price, with the price of Brent Crude jumping another $5 today to an eight-month high of $111.65 per barrel. CNN reported this week:

Oil prices surged 4% Tuesday, fuelled by continued anxiety over Iran’s growing threat to shut down the Strait of Hormuz after the Iranian military launched a missile test.

“It’s mostly about Iran right now,” said Peter Beutel, analyst with energy risk management firm Cameron Hanover. “That’s the most bullish factor.”

Oil prices jumped 4.2% to settle at $102.96 a barrel. That’s the highest closing price since May 10, when prices ended the day at $103.88 a barrel.

The picture gets progressively worse as the US-Iran face-off continues into 2012. Business Insider released a report today detailing a likely scenario whereby barrel costs skyrocket to $150:

Managers of the Guinness Global Energy fund have warned of an oil price spike to $150 per barrel if Iran were to carry out its threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz and blocking 15% of global oil exports.

“The exports transported through the Strait of Hormuz are equivalent to two Saudi Arabia’s or two Russia’s, so the potential impact on the price is massive. We do not think this will happen but we cannot rule it out completely.”

Cash windfall for the oil industry

OPEC oil producing Gulf nations led by monarchies Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, will certainly benefit financially from any initial UN sanctions as well as any protracted stand-off between the West and Iran fueled by hype, with speculation driving up the price of oil, allowing the producer nations to effectively printing money overnight.

GCC foreign companies and joint ventures include Aramco, Harken Oil (Bush family company), Texas Oil, Union Oil of California, and a host of others. Distributors and retail winners include the likes of Exxon, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP, Chevron, Getty, Phillips,  Texaco, Mobil, Occidental/Gulf and Amoco. Each of these transnational oil refiners, distributors and retailers can expect a cash windfall and a rise in their all-important share prices, but more importantly, the current crisis will be an opportunity for this cartel - to fix a new, higher price at the pump.

Even if the stand-off were to climb down between the West and Iran, and the price per barrel were to somehow drop back below $100, this cartel of oil companies will still work to maintain a new higher overall pricing standard at the pump. Past price relationships between barrel price and pump price will verify this cartel practice. The economic implications, particularly on American and European economies which relies so heavily on petroleum to distribute and deliver staples like food and other day-to-day goods – could be horrific, instigating a wave of inflation on an already inflation-battered US consumer. Likewise, such a crisis will have a negative effect on the value empire’s holy grail – the US dollar.

A spike in US prices will also trigger-off that old predictable debate during the coming 2012 US  Presidential election cycle – over lifting any moratoriums on domestic oil drilling within the United States (drill baby, drill). If any are lifted, again, it’s yet another win for the oil industry and its shareholders.

Risks involved in a regional conflict

For a perspective of the Libyan model of intervention, NATO is unlikely to involve itself in a large-scale military operation in Iran. It would prove too costly from both economic and political standpoints.

Neither the US or Israel has engaged in a bona fide naval conflict in decades. In the case of the US, owner of the world’s largest navy, its last true naval military affair was WWII. As Great Britain painfully discovered during its costly Falkland Island War adventure, even one rudimentary French-made Exocet Missile launched by Argentina below radar, was enough to not only cripple a major piece of its naval fleet, but also enough of a black eye to nearly derail majority public support for their ill-conceived war effort from the opposition and back-benchers home in London.

Similarly, the Iranian defense has the capability to sink not one, but many US Naval ships currently flexing their muscles on the periphery of Iranian territorial waters. Such an event would register with shock and horror in the US public mind, but worse, may be used by Washington hawks to justify a revenge nuclear strike against Iranian civilians. Both Washington and Tel Aviv have already raised the talking point of deploying “tactical nukes” against Iran. Such foreshadowing should not be ignored, as it is often a clear indicator of things to come.

Any nuclear conflagration by the US or Israel would most certainly result in a global backlash against the West – at its worst acting as a procession into the hot stages of World War III – or at its very least, re-balkanizing the geopolitical scene into a New Cold War, with the West on one side and Iran, China, Pakistan, and Russia on the other.

Watch author Patrick Henningsen in this segment from Al Jazeera’s program Empire: Targeting Iran, as analysts spec out potential wargames between the West and Iran:

GCC becomes a target

Another factor seldom mentioned by vocal proponents of regime change in Iran, like Hillary Clinton and neocon war hawks in Washington, is that any attack on Iran will most certainly mean that all US allies in the region will become a potential target. This means it is unlikely that those wealthy and developed GCC countries would remain untouched by a conflict happening only a mere hundreds of miles away. Neither would nearby major US military installations in Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan. All are likely targets in a hot Iranian conflict.

Petrol monarchies like the UAE (most notably Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Kuwait and Qatar currently rely heavily on a high standard of living and complete domestic security and stability in order to survive as societies. These fragile petrol monarchies rely on a very thin veneer of law and order – one which props up their marketing image of a luxurious “Middle East destination”. Any Iranian retaliation against these fragile US allies would result in a massive flight of persons, ex-pats and financial capital from the GCC to much safer havens – like Europe, the US, or Singapore.

If there is to be a war, it will be the US, UK, France, Israel and their allies who will do the fighting. But the GCC would still need to defend itself from reprisals. In December 2011, the United States announced a $3.48 billion arms deal with the UAE, which included state-of-the-art THAD missile defense systems, as part of a wider American effort to build up missile defenses among Gulf allies to counter Iran. In addition, the US and Saudi Arabia signed a $1.7 billion deal earlier in 2011 to boost the country’s Patriot missiles and Kuwait purchased 209 GEM-T missiles at a cost of $900 million. This regional missile defense strategy will need land-based interceptors to knock out incoming missiles, backed up by a detection network aboard a team of US Navy Aegis-class warships.

Although these are significant acquisitions on the part of the GCC, they are by no means blanket protection from an Iranian retaliation, and are most likely the result of America’s arms industry, in its honored tradition, bleeding the GCC of cash with yet more expensive hardware, a hard sell based on fear and war hype.

Taking all this into account, and noting the incredibly concentration of wealth in the GCC, it’s hard to see a scenario where the monied interests would tolerate such a risk to their progressive Arabian project that they have spend decades investing in and building from scratch.

Post-Bombing Blowback

Aside from the GCC risk, it is with near certainty that one could predict a full-scale regional backlash, and genuine uprising around the Muslim world should the US or Israel come good on their threats of a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Iranian civilian deaths could not be avoided, and hence, their would be a blood price to pay by the West in the eyes of many Muslims. Such a pan-Arab uprising would stretch US and Israel capabilities in the region past their ability to maintain control of the situation. The results for Israel could be dire in such a scenario, and it’s only expected that a tit-for-tat would spiral into a long regional conflict.

The West’s best chance to weather such a storm would be to overtake, or set up a military base in either Lebanon or Syria in order to neutralize traditional Iranian ally and Israeli opponent – Hezbollah – currently based in Lebanon. Without wiping out Hezbollah’s military capabilities, Israel cannot safely move forward with a unilateral/US attack on Iran. The time table for such a Syria or Lebanese take-down would put any possible attack on Iran well into late 2012, or even 2013 and beyond.

A Giant Dirty Bomb

If the US or Israel were to hit any of the said Iranian nuclear facilities or reactors, it has the potential to become a giant ‘dirty bomb’. In such a scenario, the civilian deaths could exceed 1,000,000 and a radioactive fall-out would certainly spill over into the surrounding US clients like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait and possibly as far as Israel/Palestine, Turkey, Georgia, Pakistan, India and parts of southern Europe.

Following such a radiological event, the West would certainly be blamed for any and all environmental damage and death which occurs, resulting in a massive loss of international face, followed by massive financial reparations which would ultimately cripple their already weak economies. Worse than this however, it would certainly throw the global economy into a long economic depression.

Most sane analysts would agree, this is a risk too high, and a price too high to pay. So the real question remains then, are analysts in Washington and Tel Aviv sane enough to make policy decisions?

An Israeli driven effort

Like previous AIPAC campaigns to hit Iraq, the current drive to isolate and demonize Iran has been cooked up in the Israeli lobby’s kitchen. Due to a revolving wheel of campaign contributions to each and every US Congress and Senate candidate, ‘putting Israel first’ has become a top priority for any politician with any ambition in Washington. If any official steps out of line and criticizes Israel, AIPAC functionaries like the ADL and SPLC are sprung into action and a PR campaign is usually waged against the offending public official.

The Israeli lobby will claim that a pre-emptive strike on Iran is needed because Iran has stated that it wishes to, “Wipe Israel off the map”. Most war hawks would be surprised when they learn that such words were never actually spoken by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Shouldn’t this revelation change the entire Israeli perspective? It should, but it doesn’t. Regardless of any evidence to the contrary, the lobby and its media partners will continue repeating their faux version of the event as if it were something that actually happened, or spelled a genuine threat to the physical state of Israel. Likewise, US politicians will in turn acknowledge the lobby’s version of events, themselves repeating the very same faux threat – as if this somehow justify plans for a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

What is most important here again, is that at no point during any of this political maneuvering, could either the US, or Israel produce any compelling evidence at all that Iran has, or is near possessing a nuclear weapon in their military arsenal. Even if they could fabricate such evidence to start a war, there are simply too many pieces out of place on the grand chessboard right now to indicate an imminent attack on Iran in the spring or summer of 2012.

So far, however, the clear winner is the oil industry and the OPEC nations, winning a shift in wealth from the global middle class into the hands of petrol monarchies and oil company shareholders.


Patrick Henningsen is a frequent contributor to Global Research.


*[Bl.] "Tactical" nukes are completely different from the very bad and completely verboten "illegal" nukes. "Illegal" nukes are the type of nuclear weapons that other people who are not Americans possess.
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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #10 on: 2012-01-07 18:56:44 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2012-01-06 15:22:04   

[Blunderov] I'm not sure that the author of the following piece hasn't overestimated the amount of sympathy that an attack on Iran might generate in the Arab world. It should not be forgotten that whilst Iran is an Islamic country it is most definitely is not an Arabic country and is actually rather unloved in the Arabic world but perhaps the use of "tactical"* nukes would overcome this historical antipathy.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=HEN20120105&articleId=28511

Why Attacking Iran Will Not Work in 2012. Failure could Result in a US-Israel Military and Economic Tailspin
Global Research, January 5, 2012
21st Century Wire 
by Patrick Henningsen
All signs coming out of Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv are pointing towards a pre-emptive military strike against Iran in 2012. But a number of key indicators are also pointing towards an unsuccessful, unlikely operation, whose failure could result in a military and economic tailspin from which the United States and Israel are unlikely to recover.<snip>
<snip>So far, however, the clear winner is the oil industry and the OPEC nations, winning a shift in wealth from the global middle class into the hands of petrol monarchies and oil company shareholders.

*[Bl.] "Tactical" nukes are completely different from the very bad and completely verboten "illegal" nukes. "Illegal" nukes are the type of nuclear weapons that other people who are not Americans possess.


The kids are recruiting to take sides in the rubble to come .... except in may be in our neighbourhood again .... why we aren't looking for the solutions to our resource needs in the the America's escapes me ... aside from some 'Corporations' with Washington's ear, with their hands on the rudder.

Cheers

Fritz


Iran’s Solution to Sanctions: America’s Backyard

Source: MUNDi
Author: Andrew Melton
Date: 2012.01.03



Ask someone about Iran right now, and you will most likely hear a response related to the Strait of Hormuz or its nuclear program. Many Americans see the Iranian threat as one confined to the Middle East. They hope to neutralize it with increasingly restrictive sanctions meant to further isolate Iran. However, instead of penning in Iran, these sanctions have forced the Persians to search for new trading partners. Tehran hopes that they have found these new partners in Latin America. Iran has increased its diplomatic and military presence in the region with some countries responding more favorably than others.

Venezuela is Iran’s biggest ally in the region. The two nations have often been the target of Western criticism, naturally bringing them together. The trading partnership between the two is strong and likely to continue. Iran’s focus is on countries maybe not as controversial as Venezuela, but that have had problems with the West. This month President Ahmadinejad will visit Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, and Nicaragua. The latter three have relatively uncertain economic futures with the United States.

The United States, however, should not worry too much about the economic implications of Iran’s interest in Latin America. Whether it is fair or not, Iran is somewhat of a toxic commodity on the international stage. Most countries are not going to pick a side in this fight, and if they were to, I would not expect it to be Iran’s. What are worrisome are the security implications of Iran’s military expansion. Members of the elite Quds Force, a special branch of the Iranian military, are being stationed at embassies in Latin America.

Many fear that this build up signifies Iran’s commitment to violent retaliation in response to sanctions. Such was the case in October when the United States government foiled an assassination plot in Washington DC with suspected connections to the Quds Force and Mexican nationals. The bold and reckless nature of the October plot that easily could have started a war is cause for alarm. If Tehran was willing to risk war months ago, what will they be willing to do in the future in response to more restrictive sanctions?

Perhaps it means Iran is in a state of desperation trying to find an answer for Western sanctions, or maybe Tehran is simply trying to find another way of annoying the United States. I think 2012 will show the former to be true. When you look at Tehran’s increased involvement in Latin America in the context of the extreme rhetoric revolving around the Strait of Hormuz, Iran looks more and more like a nation running out of options. Whether Latin America is the answer, 2012 can only tell.

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Re:Demon Iran! The Opera.
« Reply #11 on: 2012-01-08 15:57:25 »
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[Blunderov] The US Navy would go to the bottom within days, if not hours, of beginning hostilities in the Hormuz Strait as this report makes clear. Of course brilliant minds on the American side are looking for ways to get around the various problems involved in attacking Iran but the initiative has passed. The USA is globally reduced to responding to threats and no longer has the power to shape events to it's own satisfaction.

Capablanca once remarked that one of the things which seperated very strong players from weaker players was an objectivity which allowed them to realise very early when things had gone wrong and to take immediate measures to draw the game. Weaker players went on entertaining fond delusions to the point where matters soon became irretrievably lost. Perhaps the USA should just cut it's losses. Leave Israel to face a nuclear armed Iran. Nothing bad will happen except maybe the Israelis would have to stop being so bloody rude to everybody all the time.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20120106&articleId=28516

The Geo-Politics of the Strait of Hormuz: Could the U.S. Navy be defeated by Iran in the Persian Gulf?


by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

 
Global Research, January 8, 2012


After years of U.S. threats, Iran is taking steps which suggest that is both willing and capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz. On December 24, 2011 Iran started its Velayat-90 naval drills in and around the Strait of Hormuz and extending from the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman (Oman Sea) to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

Since the conduct of these drills, there has been a growing war of words between Washington and Tehran. Nothing the Obama Administration or the Pentagon have done or said so far, however, has deterred Tehran from continuing its naval drills.

The Geo-Political Nature of the Strait of Hormuz

Besides the fact that it is a vital transit point for global energy resources and a strategic chokepoint, two additional issues should be addressed in regards to the Strait of Hormuz and its relationship to Iran. The first concerns the geography of the Strait of Hormuz. The second pertains to the role of Iran in co-managing the strategic strait in accordance with international law and its sovereign national rights.

The maritime traffic that goes through the Strait of Hormuz has always been in contact with Iranian naval forces, which are predominantly composed of the Iranian Regular Force Navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy. In fact, Iranian naval forces monitor and police the Strait of Hormuz along with the Sultanate of Oman via the Omani enclave of Musandam. More importantly, to transit through the Strait of Hormuz all maritime traffic, including the U.S. Navy, must sail through Iranian territorial waters. Almost all entrances into the Persian Gulf are made through Iranian waters and most exits are through Omani waters.

Iran allows foreign ships to use its territorial waters in good faith and on the basis of Part III of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea’s maritime transit passage provisions that stipulate that vessels are free to sail through the Strait of Hormuz and similar bodies of water on the basis of speedy and continuous navigation between an open port and the high seas. Although Tehran in custom follows the navigation practices of the Law of the Sea, Tehran is not legally bound by them. Like Washington, Tehran signed this international treaty, but never ratified it.

American-Iranian Tensions in the Persian Gulf

In recent developments, the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) is re-evaluating the use of Iranian waters at the Strait of Hormuz by foreign vessels.

Legislation is being proposed to block any foreign warships from being able to use Iranian territorial waters to navigate through the Strait of Hormuz without Iranian permission; the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee is currently studying legislation which would establish an official Iranian posture. The latter would hinge upon Iranian strategic interests and national security. [1]

On December 30, 2011, the U.S.S. John C. Stennis carrier passed through the area where Iran was conducting its naval drills. The Commander of the Iranian Regular Forces, Major-General Ataollah Salehi, advised the U.S.S. John C. Stennis and other U.S. Navy vessels not to return to the Persian Gulf while Iran was doing its drills, saying that Iran is not in the habit of repeating a warning twice. [2] Shortly after the stern Iranian warning to Washington, the Pentagon’s press secretary responded by making a statement saying: “No one in this government seeks confrontation [with Iran] over the Strait of Hormuz. It’s important to lower the temperature.” [3]

In an actual scenario of military conflict with Iran,  it is very likely that U.S. aircraft carriers would actually operate from outside of the Persian Gulf and from the southern Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Unless the missile systems that Washington is developing in the petro-sheikhdoms of the southern Persian Gulf are operational, the deployment of large U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf would be unlikely. The reasons for this are tied to geographic realities and the defensive capabilities of Iran.

Geography is against the Pentagon: U.S. Naval Strength has limits in the Persian Gulf

U.S. naval strength, which includes the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, has primacy over all the other navies and maritime forces in the world. Its deep sea or oceanic capabilities are unparalleled and unmatched by any other naval power. Primacy does not mean invincibility. U.S. naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf are nonetheless vulnerable.

Despite its might and shear strength, geography literally works against U.S. naval power in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. The relative narrowness of the Persian Gulf makes it like a channel, at least in a strategic and military context. Figuratively speaking, the aircraft carriers and warships of the U.S. are confined to narrow waters or are closed in within the coastal waters of the Persian Gulf. [See map above]

This is where the Iranian military’s advanced missile capabilities come into play. The Iranian missile and torpedo arsenal would make short work of U.S. naval assets in the waters of the Persian Gulf where U.S. vessels are constricted. This is why the U.S. has been busily erecting a missile shield system in the Persian Gulf amongst the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the last few years.

Even the small Iranian patrol boats in the Persian Gulf, which appear pitiable and insignificant against a U.S. aircraft carrier or destroyer, threaten U.S. warships. Looks can be deceiving; these Iranian patrol boats can easily launch a barrage of missiles that could significantly damage and effectively sink large U.S. warships. Iranian small patrol boats are also hardly detectable and hard to target.

Iranian forces could also attack U.S. naval capabilities merely by launching missile attacks from the Iranian mainland on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf. Even in 2008 the Washington Institute for Near East Policy acknowledged the threat from Iran’s mobile coastal missile batteries, anti-ship missiles, and missile-armed small ships. [4] Other Iranian naval assets like aerial drones, hovercraft, mines, diver teams, and mini-submarines could also be used in asymmetrical naval warfare against the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Even the Pentagon’s own war simulations have shown that a war in the Persian Gulf with Iran would spell disaster for the United States and its military. One key example is the Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02) war game in the Persian Gulf, which was conducted from July 24, 2002 to August 15, 2002 and took almost two years to prepare. This mammoth drill was amongst the largest and most expensive war games ever held by the Pentagon.  Millennium Challenge 2002 was held shortly after the Pentagon had decided that it would continue the momentum of the war in Afghanistan by targeting Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, and finishing off with the big prize of Iran in a broad military campaign to ensure U.S. primacy in the new millennium.

After Millennium Challenge 2002 was finished, the war game was “officially” presented as a simulation of a war against Iraq under the rule of President Saddam Hussein, but in actuality these war games pertained to Iran.[5] The U.S. had already made assessments for the upcoming Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Moreover, Iraq had no naval capabilities that would merit such large-scale use of the U.S. Navy.

Millennium Challenge 2002 was conducted to simulate a war with Iran, which was codenamed “Red” and referred to an unknown Middle Eastern rogue enemy state in the Persian Gulf. Other than Iran, no other country could meet the perimeters and characteristics of “Red” and its military forces, from the patrol boats to the motorcycle units. The war simulation took place because Washington was planning on attacking Iran soon after invading Iraq in 2003.

The scenario in the 2002 war game started with the U.S., codenamed “Blue,” giving Iran a one-day ultimatum to surrender in the year 2007. The war game’s date of 2007 would chronologically correspond to U.S. plans to attack Iran after the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006, which was to extend, according to military plans, into a broader war against Syria. The war against Lebanon, however, did not go as planned and the U.S. and Israel realized that if Hezbollah could challenge them in Lebanon then an expanded war with Syria and Iran would be a disaster.

In Millennium Challenge 2002’s war scenario, Iran would react to U.S. aggression by launching a massive barrage of missiles that would overwhelm the U.S. and destroy sixteen U.S. naval vessels – an aircraft carrier, ten cruisers, and five amphibious ships. It is estimated that if this had happened in real war theater context, more than 20,000 U.S. servicemen would have been killed in the first day following the attack. [6]

Next, Iran would send its small patrol boats – the ones that look insignificant in comparison to the U.S.S. John C. Stennis and other large U.S. warships – to overwhelm the remainder of the Pentagon’s naval forces in the Persian Gulf, which would result in the damaging and sinking of most of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and the defeat of the United States. After the U.S. defeat, the war games were started over again, but “Red” (Iran) had to operate under the assumption of handicaps and shortcomings, so that U.S. forces would be allowed to emerge victorious from the drill. [7] This outcome of the war games obviated the fact that the U.S. would have been overwhelmed in the context of a real conventional war with Iran in the Persian Gulf.

Hence, the formidable naval power of Washington is handicapped both by geography as well as Iranian military capabilities when it comes to fighting in the Persian Gulf or even in much of the Gulf of Oman. Without open waters, like in the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. will have to fight under significantly reduced response times and, more importantly, will not be able to fight from a stand-off (militarily safe) distance. Thus, entire tool boxes of U.S. naval defensive systems, which were designed for combat in open waters using stand-off ranges, are rendered unpractical in the Persian Gulf.

Making the Strait of Hormuz Redundant to Weaken Iran?

The entire world knows the importance of the Strait of Hormuz and Washington and its allies are very well aware that the Iranians can militarily close it for a significant period of time. This is why the U.S. has been working with the GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the U.A.E. – to re-route their oil through pipelines bypassing the Strait of Hormuz and channelling GCC oil directly to the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, or Mediterranean Sea. Washington has also been pushing Iraq to seek alternative routes in talks with Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Both Israel and Turkey have also been very interested in this strategic project. Ankara has had discussions with Qatar about setting up an oil terminal that would reach Turkey via Iraq. The Turkish government has attempted to get Iraq to link its southern oil fields, like Iraq’s northern oil fields, to the transit routes running through Turkey. This is all tied to Turkey’s visions of being an energy corridor and important lynchpin of transit.

The aims of re-routing oil away from the Persian Gulf would remove an important element of strategic leverage Iran has against Washington and its allies. It would effectively reduce the importance of the Strait of Hormuz. It could very well be a prerequisite to war preparations and a war led by the United States against Tehran and its allies.

It is within this framework that the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline or the Hashan-Fujairah Oil Pipeline is being fostered by the United Arab Emirates to bypass the maritime route in the Persian Gulf going through the Strait of Hormuz. The project design was put together in 2006, the contract was issued in 2007, and construction was started in 2008. [8] This pipeline goes straight from Abdu Dhabi to the port of Fujairah on the shore of the Gulf of Oman in the Arabian Sea.

In other words, it will give oil exports from the U.A.E. direct access to the Indian Ocean. It has openly been presented as a means to ensure energy security by bypassing Hormuz and attempting to avoid the Iranian military. Along with the construction of this pipeline, the erection of a strategic oil reservoir at Fujairah was also envisaged to also maintain the flow of oil to the international market should the Persian Gulf be closed off. [9]



Aside from the Petroline (East-West Saudi Pipeline), Saudi Arabia has also been looking at alternative transit routes and examining the ports of it southern neighbours in the Arabian Peninsula, Oman and Yemen. The Yemenite port of Mukalla on the shores of the Gulf of Aden has been of particular interest to Riyadh. In 2007, Israeli sources reported with some fanfare that a pipeline project was in the works that would connect the Saudi oil fields with Fujairah in the U.A.E., Muscat in Oman, and finally to Mukalla in Yemen. The reopening of the Iraq-Saudi Arabia Pipeline (IPSA), which was ironically built by Saddam Hussein to avoid the Strait of Hormuz and Iran, has also been a subject of discussion for the Saudis with the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

If Syria and Lebanon were converted into Washington’s clients, then the defunct Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline) could also be reactivated, along with other alternative routes going from the Arabian Peninsula to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea via the Levant. Chronologically, this would also fit into Washington’s efforts to overrun Lebanon and Syria in an attempt to isolate Iran before any possible showdown with Tehran.

The Iranian Velayat-90 naval drills, which extended in close proximity to the entrance of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aden off the territorial waters of Yemen, also took place in the Gulf of Oman facing the coast of Oman and the eastern shores of the United Arab Emirates. Amongst other things, Velayat-90 should be understood as a signal that Tehran is ready to operate outside of the Persian Gulf and can even strike or block the pipelines trying to bypass the Strait of Hormuz.

Geography again is on Iran’s side in this case too. Bypassing the Strait of Hormuz still does not change the fact that most of the oil fields belonging to GCC countries are located in the Persian Gulf or near its shores, which means they are all situated within close proximity to Iran and therefore within Iranian striking distance. Like in the case of the Hashan-Fujairah Pipeline, the Iranians could easily disable the flow of oil from the point of origin. Tehran could launch missile and aerial attacks or deploy its ground, sea, air, and amphibious forces into these areas as well. It does not necessarily need to block the Strait of Hormuz; after all preventing the flow of energy is the main purpose of the Iranian threats.

The American-Iranian Cold War

Washington has been on the offensive against Iran using all means at its disposal. The tensions over the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf are just one front in a dangerous multi-front regional cold war between Tehran and Washington in the broader Middle East. Since 2001, the Pentagon has also been restructuring its military to wage unconventional wars with enemies like Iran. [10] Nonetheless, geography has always worked against the Pentagon and the U.S. has not found a solution for its naval dilemma in the Persian Gulf. Instead of a conventional war, Washington has had to resort to waging a covert, economic, and diplomatic war against Iran.




Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Sociologist and award-winning author. He is a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal. He specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. He has been a contributor and guest discussing the broader Middle East on numerous programs and international networks such as Al Jazeera, Press TV and Russia Today. Nazemroaya was also a witness to the "Arab Spring" in action in North Africa. While on the ground in Libya during the NATO bombing campaign, he reported out of Tripoli for several media outlets. He sent key field dispatches from Libya for Global Research and was Special Correspondent for Pacifica's syndicated investigative program Flashpoints, broadcast out of Berkeley, California. His writings have been published in more than ten languages. He also writes for the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF) in Moscow, Russia.


Notes

[1] Fars News Agency, “Foreign Warships Will Need Iran’s Permission to Pass through Strait of Hormuz,” January 4, 2011.
[2] Fars News Agency, “Iran Warns US against Sending Back Aircraft Carrier to Persian Gulf,” January 4, 2011.
[3] Parisa Hafezi, “Iran threatens U.S Navy as sanctions hit economy,” Reuters, January 4, 2012.
[4] Fariborz Haghshenass, “Iran’s Asymmetric Naval Warfare,” Policy Focus, no.87 (Washington, D.C.: Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, September 2010).
[5] Julian Borger, “Wake-up call,” The Guardian, September 6, 2002.
[6] Neil R. McCown, Developing Intuitive Decision-Making In Modern Military Leadership (Newport, R.I.: Naval War College, October 27, 2010), p.9.
[7] Sean D. Naylor, “War games rigged? General says Millennium Challenge ‘02 ‘was almost entirely scripted,’” Army Times, April 6, 2002.
[8] Himendra Mohan Kumar, “Fujairah poised to be become oil export hub,” Gulf News, June 12, 2011.
[9] Ibid.
[10] John Arquilla, “The New Rules of War,” Foreign Policy, 178 (March-April, 2010): pp.60-67.

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[Fritz] ..... and where do Memes come from you ask .....


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OMG !!! .... okey .... so what is the real story here ?

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3rd UPDATE: US Moves To Expel Venezuelan Diplomat Linked To Cyber Plot


Source: Wall Street Journal
Author: DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Date: 2012.01.08



CARACAS (Dow Jones)--U.S. authorities have moved to expel Venezuela's consul general in Miami amid an investigation into a news report that linked the diplomat to an alleged plot reportedly hatched along with Iran and Cuba to launch a cyber attack against the U.S. government

In a statement released Sunday, a state department official said the Venezuelan diplomat, Livia Acosta Noguera, had been declared a persona non grata and would have to leave the U.S. by Jan. 10. The official declined to offer details behind the decision but added that the Venezuelan embassy had been informed of the move Friday.

Venezuelan officials were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

In December, the state department confirmed an investigation had been opened into allegations raised by a documentary called "The Iranian Threat" aired by the U.S.-based TV network Univision. The Spanish-language channel reported that in 2008 Acosta was among a group of Venezuelan, Iranian and Cuban diplomats, then based in Mexico, who explored plans to attack the computer systems of the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear power plants.

Iran's former ambassador to Mexico, Mohammad Hassan Ghadir appeared in the documentary and denied the accusations.

The announcement of the expulsion of Acosta comes on the same day Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a close ally of Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, is scheduled to visit Caracas during his first stop of a four country tour of Latin America. The Iranian leader will visit Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador, nations with left-leaning governments opposed to U.S. influence in the region.

Obama administration officials and U.S. diplomats say Iran is not a serious rival to U.S. in the hemisphere, but that the White House is closely monitoring for signs that Tehran may seek use Latin America to stage terror attacks.

In October, U.S. authorities accused Iranian officials of seeking to enlist a Mexican hit man to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., charges Tehran called baseless and lies.

Venezuela's Chavez, Washington's loudest critic in the region, has strengthened ties with Iran in recent years.

In Venezuela, Iran estimates it has entered 70 joint venture deals valued at up to $17 billion, including a factory to assemble cars and tractors under the brand name "Veniran."

Last year, Venezuela's state oil monopoly, commonly known as PDVSA, was one of seven energy firms sanctioned by the U.S. State Department for providing gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran in violation of the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act. The act was put in place to pressure Iran to drop its nuclear program.

The sanctions did not affect the nearly 1.2 million barrels of oil Venezuela sends to the U.S. daily. Venezuela is one of the top five suppliers of oil to the U.S.

Venezuelan officials blasted the U.S. government's sanctions on PDVSA, calling the move an "imperialist" act and a "violation of the country's sovereignty," but stopped short of denying allegations that the South American country sent petroleum products to Iran in violation of the international accord.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have ratchet up in recent weeks amid tightening sanctions against Tehran by the West.

In the past two weeks, Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, an international waterway through which one-fifth of the world's oil trade exits the Persian Gulf, and to ban a U.S. aircraft carrier from the strait. U.S. officials have responded with implicit threats of force.

-By Ezequiel Minaya, Dow Jones Newswires; 58-414-120-5738; ezequiel.minaya@dowjones.com

--Keith Johnson and Martin Arostegui contributed to this article.

http://theolog.ca/
U.S. Spanish-language television network, Univision, has released an investigative documentary in which it is claimed that Venezuelan and Iranian diplomats negotiated with Mexican hackers to break into White House, Pentagon, and FBI databases, as well as U.S. nuclear facilities. Critical to these allegations are a series of recordings made by one of the hackers, who went undercover and attempted to document the conspiracy.

According to the report, Juan Carlos Munoz Ledo, a computer instructor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, was recruited in 2006 to participate in cyber attacks on US government websites. In later years he met with former Iranian ambassador to Mexico, Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, and former cultural attaché of the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico, Livia Acosta, to give updates on the project’s advance. In a recording from one of these meetings, Acosta, who is now the Venezuelan consul in Miami, can be heard saying she could get information from the hackers sent directly to Hugo Chavez.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner says his government is probing the report but hasn’t confirmed its claims.  However, he suggested Tuesday the implications were “very disturbing.”

Solomon Chang, a researcher on cyber security for strategic planning and forecasting consultancy Wikistrat, suggests the report raises “alarming” uncertainties as it remains unclear exactly what the hackers were trying to achieve. “Were they trying to advance their technological capabilities at the expense of the U.S. military? Are they simply trying to explore U.S. cybernetic structural weaknesses? Sabotage the infrastructures? These questions remain unanswered,” he said.

In response, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) has written Secretary of State Hilary Clinton asking for an investigation into Acosta as a result of her alleged “willingness to undermine U.S. interests.”

Earlier this year, Chairmen of the Senate Foriegn Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)  called for hearings on Iranian activities in Latin America. This week’s report comes just months after U.S. prosecutors accused factions in the Iranian government of a plot to recruit a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by bombing a Washington-area restaurant.

In response to the Univision report, Venezuelan opposition leader Pablo Medina has called ties between his country and Iran troubling, and the latest allegations “very serious.” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, meanwhile, has called the report “lies.”
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This 'Threepenny(rial) Opera' seems to have quite diverse incarnations.

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TT Muslims on FBI ‘Watch List’

Source: T&T
Author: Online Editor
Date: 2012.01.08



Backlash from assassination plot against the PM

MUSLIMS are seeing a backlash from the assassination plot against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as some of them have now been put on a United States FBI “Watch List”.

A number of them who travelled recently to the USA were subjected to rigid security checks on arrival in New York and Miami.

Scores of Muslims including a top Islamic leader were detained during the state of emergency following an alleged threat to kill the Prime Minister.
However, they were later released as the police did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute them.

Their names have now been placed on a US “Watch List” as alleged terrorists.

Well-known political activist and vocal Muslim leader Inshan Ishmael, his wife and three children were “rubbed down” by security officers at Miami International Airport when they arrived, intransit to the Bahamas during the Christmas holidays.

Ishmael, who owns the Islamic Broadcasting Network (IBN), was taken by surprise when he observed his boarding pass with a security code “SSS” after he checked in at Piarco International Airport.

“SSS” is to alert security officials that the passenger may be a security risk and has to be checked out thoroughly.

Ishmael told TnT Mirror that he and his family were asked to board the Caribbean Airlines flight at Piarco International Airport first and were put in a separate area to sit.

He said when they arrived in Miami and cleared Immigration they were approached by security officers who pulled them aside to carry out a search.

Ishmael said in the presence of other passengers, a female security officer began to carry out a body search of his two daughters (4 and 6 years old) and his 11-year-old son. He and his wife were also searched.

Ishmael said he has been a regular traveller to the USA and it was the first time that he was viewed as a security risk.

He said that it was the third time in two months that he was subjected to searches in the US.

Reports are that Ishmael is not the only Muslim to experience that problem on arrival in the USA. A number of them carrying Muslim names have also been placed on a FBI “Watch List,”

People who are put on the “Watch List” by intelligence and law enforcement agencies can be blocked from flying, stopped at borders or subjected to other scrutiny.
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