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Amid renewed speculation after President Bush’s Knesset speech last week that he may yet order an attack on Iran before he leaves office, particularly if Sen. Obama should win the November elections, it appears that the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is preparing the case for why an attack — either by the U.S. or Israel — on Tehran’s nuclear facilities might not be as calamitous as most analysts, including top Pentagon brass, believe. WINEP, of course, was founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and has acted as an integral part of the so-called Israel Lobby since its launch.
In the light of a Dec 3 US National Intelligence Estimate, which conceded with 'high confidence' that Iran is not conducting nuclear weapons programs, Tel Aviv accuses Tehran of pursuing nuclear arms to 'wipe Israel off the map'.
Iran, however, maintains its nuclear drive is solely aimed at producing electricity for a growing population. The Islamic Republic also stresses that it has never initiated a war against any country.
The Olmert regime is widely believed to have been demanding President George W. Bush, who just recently offered one of the strongest demonstrations of support for Israel ever made by an American president, to counter 'the Iranian threat' by striking the country's nuclear sites.
AS ISRAEL pursues peace talks with Syria, speculation is growing that the Jewish state will seriously consider unilateral military action against Iran within the next year.
"Within a year, the Israeli government will have to decide between two options: either not do anything and reconcile itself to the fact that Iran is now nuclear, or take unilateral military action," Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security adviser, told Scotland on Sunday.
"There is no guarantee that Hezbollah will react automatically. Hezbollah are very aware of Israel's strength, and of the harsh reaction that may result if they attack."
Syria will not accept preconditions over its resumed peace talks with Israel and will not compromise its relations with other states, the government daily Tishrin said on Saturday, referring to Iran.
"Damascus rejects all preconditions concerning its relations with other countries and peoples," it said after an Israeli call for Damascus to distance itself from Tehran, which has called for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Last June, Syria's ruling coalition, the National Progressive Front, accused Israel of trying to "impose conditions which have nothing to do with the principles of peace."
Israel also wants Syria to stop supporting Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups. Damascus has repeatedly denied having links to such organisations.
Tishrin said on Saturday that adding non-negotiable conditions to the indirect talks would hamstring efforts to achieve peace.
"Syria is not concerned with Israeli (policy) but with peace and achieving it by the shortest route," the editorial said.
Damascus says it has received Israeli commitments for a full withdrawal from the occupied-Golan Heights, the main sticking point in previous talks.
China and Russia on Friday called on all parties to refrain from military and extreme actions against Iran.
"All parties should consider global and regional security, make diplomatic efforts, refrain from military and extreme means, cautiously resort to sanctions and take into account the interests of the country involved," the statement said.
The city, born on the banks of the Euphrates River 5,000 years ago and full of priceless archaeological treasures, was transformed into a U.S. military camp after the 2003 invasion with a heliport built among the ruins.
The base was later passed to Polish army control and despite the soldiers' departure in 2005, the damage left behind is evident. At a meeting in Berlin next month, Iraqi and other specialists will endeavor to assess the true level of damage.
"caused substantial damage to the Ishtar Gate, one of the most famous monuments from antiquity [...] US military vehicles crushed 2,600-year-old brick pavements, archaeological fragments were scattered across the site, more than 12 trenches were driven into ancient deposits and military earth-moving projects contaminated the site for future generations of scientists [...] Add to all that the damage caused to nine of the moulded brick figures of dragons in the Ishtar Gate by soldiers trying to remove the bricks from the wall."
Mr Carter also criticised President George Bush, saying it was a "serious mistake and terrible departure" from the actions of previous US presidents not to engage with countries with which they differed. "The president of the administration in Washington is the first one to have ever done this and I think we close off ourselves from any sort of rational accommodation of the views of other parties in order to reach out on major goals," said Carter
The U.N. nuclear watchdog suggests Iran may be withholding information the agency needs to establish whether Tehran tried to make nuclear arms.
The report Monday also noted that Tehran remains defiant of U.N. Security Council demands to stop uranium enrichment.
Olmert's comments came amid negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and indirect Israeli peace talks with Syria.
Palestinian officials said the negotiations over reaching a final status deal involved an Israeli offer of 91.5 percent of West Bank. He made the remarks speaking at a Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee meeting.
In response, MK Limor Livnat (Likud) charged that what was actually delusional was that a prime minister at the end of his political career can receive envelops of cash and hold talks on the return of the Golan Heights.
Later on in the committee session, Olmert denied holding talks with Hamas despite Vice Premier Haim Ramon's claim of the opposite last week.
Olmert also stated that the notion of Israel becoming a state "of all its citizens" was gaining credit within elites in the United States. He was speaking of what would be, in effect, a one-state solution whereby Palestinians receive Israeli citizenship.
Morris Talansky's testimony offered an unflattering portrait of Olmert just as the already unpopular Israeli leader seeks to rally reluctant public support for peace talks with Syria and the Palestinians.
Legal affairs analyst Moshe Negbi said Talansky's testimony suggests Olmert could face charges of bribery and breach of trust. "I don't think that there were ever such grave suspicions against a prime minister in Israel," Negbi said.
He said much of the money was raised in New York "parlor meetings," where Olmert would address American donors who then would leave contributions on their chairs.
Talansky, 75, said he didn't know how his money was spent. "I only know that he loved expensive cigars. I know he loved pens, watches. I found it strange," he said. In one case, he said, he walked to a bank to withdraw $15,000 in cash for a loan as Olmert waited in a luxury hotel.
When Olmert asked him for $72,500 to help pay for his Likud primary campaign in 2003, Talansky said he decided that would be a "wrap-up" of all the money he would give to "political Israel."
One of the options that Barak is considering is the formation of an emergency government with Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.
However, the Labor chairman issued a statement soon after which denied that such consultations took place at his home, and that only after holding a meeting with Labor ministers and MKs early Wednesday morning would he actually make any decisions.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Barak advisor told The Jerusalem Post that the Labor chairman was seriously considering using the theme of "cleaner governance" as a main issue in his campaign.
Rockets and weapons bearing signs of Iranian paint, lettering and serial numbers are making their way into the Gaza Strip and Lebanon — helping Tehran cement its powerful role within militant movements on Israel's northern and southern flanks, senior Israeli security officials say.
Trucks and airplanes also carry Iranian-made rockets across the Syrian-Lebanese border, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military restrictions.
Israel has not explained why it hasn't publicly released serial numbers and other rocket markings to prove Iranian interference. Some analysts suggest Israel is making unsubstantiated claims to keep up world pressure on Iran to trim its nuclear ambitions.
Former President Jimmy Carter aroused concerns when he referred at a news conference on Sunday to Israel's possession of "150 or more" nuclear weapons.
"It appears that he's giving out secret information about Israel and how many nuclear weapons they may have," said host Gretchen Carlson. "According to most people, this information has never been made public before."
Despite Doocy's assertions, Carter is not the first high US official to 'out' Israel. When Secretary of Defense Robert Gates cited Israel as a nuclear power during his 2006 confirmation hearings, the Associated Press wrote, "Experts played down the importance of Gates' 'outing' of the Israeli nuclear weapons program.
Muhammad Cohen's article claims that Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, were informed of the attack plan and planned to voice their opposition to it in a New York Times editorial in an attempt to offset the air strike. The editorial is yet to materialize.
China's response to any attack, with the Communist nation being Iran's biggest customer for oil, would also be key. Any inkling of a hostile reaction would place the world under the greatest threat since the height of the cold war.
During a 2007 Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting, Brzezinski alluded to the potential for the Bush administration to manufacture a false flag Gulf of Tonkin type incident in describing a "plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran," which would revolve around "some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
“The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with declared nuclear material and activities,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by Press TV.
The IAEA holds the view that clarification of the alleged studies "on the green salt project, high explosives testing and missile re-entry vehicle project" is critical "to an assessment of the nature of Iran's past and present nuclear program."
"Iran has agreed to address the alleged studies," it said.
IAEA's latest report came a week after ElBaradei said that there is no 'concrete evidence' that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb.
"We haven't seen indications or any concrete evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon and I've been saying that consistently for the last five years," ElBaradei said speaking at a May 20 session of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East.
But Pakistan's new leaders appear determined to set a different course than the previous government led by allies of U.S.-backed President Pervez Musharraf, which relied heavily on military force to battle extremist fighters.
Militancy in the border areas is a threat to both countries, and Pakistan should "make sure it asserts control and strikes back against terrorism" on its side, Chertoff told journalists after a citizenship ceremony at the U.S. base at Bagram in Afghanistan.
"Otherwise they're going to see more of the kinds of tragedies that we saw with (former Pakistani Prime Minister) Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated, or some of the bombings we've seen over the last few months in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan," he said.
Elsewhere, hundreds of Afghans demonstrated Monday in two provinces against a U.S. sniper in Iraq who used a Quran for target practice. Demonstrators tore apart an effigy of Bush and chanted anti-U.S. slogans.
A Lithuanian soldier and two Afghan civilians were shot and killed last week when about 1,000 Afghans gathered in western Afghanistan to protest the Quran incident. Monday's demonstrations in Balkh and Logar provinces involved several hundred people but were not violent.
The U.S. military has said it disciplined the sniper and removed him from Iraq after he was found to have used the Quran for target practice on May 9. Bush apologized to Iraq's prime minister for the incident.
GAZA - UN human rights observers led by Desmond Tutu on Wednesday met survivors of a 2006 Israeli bombing that killed 19 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, leading the South African cleric to say the group was "devastated" by what they learned.
"This is not something you want to wish on your worst enemy," added the retired Anglican archbishop of Cape Town.
After conducting an internal investigation, Israel concluded that the shelling of the civilians' homes was "a rare and grave technical error of the artillery radar system."
... then a 25-year-old video-game aficionado who oversaw the movement's security forces.
Al-Sadr, now 34, has since emerged as an ardent nationalist who commands the support of hundreds of thousands of devotees and the scorn of those who see him as a thuggish militia leader. He has lately sought to reposition himself as a more mainstream figure amid increasing pressure from Iraq's Shiite-led government.
But a reminder of his unpredictability came Tuesday when al-Sadr urged his followers to stage weekly protests to denounce a long-term security pact being negotiated between the United States and the Iraqi government to set the conditions for an extended American presence in Iraq after the withdrawal of the major portion of U.S. forces.
"I think now that the big bad ideas about Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr — that he is filled with violence and is a shallow man — have changed so much, even in the West," said Salah al-Obaidi, one of his top advisers, using the honorific signifying Al-Sadr's descent from the Prophet Muhammad. "We want people to know who Sayyid Muqtada really is."
"The two countries pledge their mutual support regarding territorial independence and integrity in terms of international and regional authorities," the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
Iran does not recognise Israel and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has drawn international condemnation by saying the Jewish state should be wiped from the map.
However, as Russia began to recover from the collapse of the 1990s, as NATO expanded eastward, and the US under President George W Bush began to wreak more and more havoc, seemingly oblivious to Russian concerns, trust in the Cold War enemy evaporated and the Soviet heritage began to look better and better. The threshold was in 2004 when Putin called the collapse of the Soviet Union "a national tragedy on an enormous scale" and reached a zenith in 2007 when he criticised the US at the 8 May Victory Day celebration for "disrespect for human life, claims to global exclusiveness and dictate, just as in the times of the Third Reich."
The crisis of drug addiction in Russia, now compounded by the post-2001 explosion of opium and hashish flooding the federation courtesy of US/NATO-occupied Afghanistan, was in no small measure inspiration for this lashing out. The last thing Russia expected when it opened its arms to America was to see the Taleban’s zero-tolerance policy towards opium give way to a huge explosion of opium production and smuggling, presided over by US/NATO forces.
The facts speak for themselves, however. The Taleban wiped out heroin production entirely by 2001. Three years later, there were once again bumper opium crops, accounting for over half Afghanistan’s GNP, and ninety percent of the world’s heroin. And not only turning a blind eye, but actively engaging in drug smuggling, according to many observers, including Russian Ambassador Zamir Kabulov.
Commenting on widespread reports that US military transport planes are used for shipping narcotics out of Afghanistan, Kabulov told the Russian Vesti news channel, "If such actions do take place they cannot be undertaken without contact with Afghans, and if one Afghan man knows this, at least a half of Afghanistan will know about this sooner or later. That is why I think this is possible, but cannot prove it."
Russian journalist Arkadi Dubnov quotes Afghan sources as saying that "85 per cent of all drugs produced in southern and southeastern provinces are shipped abroad by US aviation."
Is all this part of some conspiracy by the US? From the Russians’ point of view, it certainly looks that way. US refusal to address the Russians’ complaints seriously just might be because Afghanistan’s opium requires secure routes to markets in Europe. A few conversations with US troops and/or mercenaries there strongly suggest they are not there for altruistic reasons.
No wonder Putin has reacted more and more as Russia wakes up the the reality of what the US is up to.
In addition to the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan -- all of them major producers or users of the weapons -- did not sign the agreement or participate in the talks.
In staying away from Dublin, U.S officials argued that the talks were not the right forum in which to address the issue and that cluster bombs remain an important part of the country's weaponry. "While the United States shares the humanitarian concerns of those in Dublin," said Navy Cmdr. Bob Mehal, a Pentagon spokesman, "cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility, and their elimination from U.S. stockpiles would put the lives of our soldiers and those of our coalition partners at risk."
Israel carried out the largest recent use of cluster bombs, dropping large numbers on southern Lebanon in its 2006 war with Hezbollah militiamen. Many of the bombs did not explode immediately and have left a lasting humanitarian hazard.
Advocates of the ban said they hope the agreement, which was supported by rich nations and poor from Scandinavia to Africa, will have the same effect as the 1997 ban on land mines, reducing use even among non-signatory countries.
The following has got to be the stupidest item that appeared in the American press this year… a country that has proven time and time again that there is no limit to ignorance…. or hatred.
Dunkin' Donuts Pulls Ad w/ Rachael Ray - Find Out Why?
Michelle Malkin has too much time on her hands because of what she made Dunkin Donuts do - pull a TV ad featuring All-American girl/talk show host/TV food queen Rachael Ray simply because she was wearing a scarf that looked too ‘Arab.’ Apparently her neckwear resembled a garment called a keffiyeh...
Just a few decades ago Malkin herself would have been suspect - racially profiled as a person of Asian descent during World War II - after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. (I too would have been suspect; as the half-Japanese daughter of a full-blooded Japanese woman, I - along with my mother - would certainly have been sent to an internment camp.)
So Malkin should understand the slippery slope we step on when we start to go after people on such ridiculous grounds. I know I do.
Another week and another release of the latest sack of BS from MOSSAD recording studios, of the CIA created aL-Qaeda threatening to use WMD's against the West.
Timing is everything and the timing of this latest piece of agitprop from MOSSAD Recording studios is right on the money, as the Bush/Cheney Junta is besieged on several fronts by Bad News, AKA the Truth
These truths are self-evident and truth is one thing that the Bush/Cheney Junta is allergic to, so much so that they are probably planning another fake aL-Qaeda attack on an American city, to get the serf's minds off the truths pouring forth.
Since these war mongers are itching to use tactical nukes against Iran, to please their Jewish masters, look for this next "9/11" to be even bigger and more depraved, to get the blood lust of Americans up to the boiling point.