April 11, 2012
“It looks like war with Iran is inevitable. How sad.” –KTRN
The USS Enterprise has been sent to the Persian Gulf, the US Navy said Monday as tensions rise over Iran’s nuclear program. It will be the fourth time in the last decade the US has had two aircraft carriers on simultaneous missions in the area.
The deployment of the second aircraft is “routine and not specific to any threat,” stated Commander Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. The Enterprise and its strike group entered the fleet’s area of responsibility on April 3.
Routine deployment or not, it was mostly during wars when the Persian Gulf saw two US aircraft carriers operating in the region at the same time in the last ten years: in the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and in supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in February 2007.
April 9, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
Ynetnews reported in their article, “US operated deep in Iran, trained assassins,” that, “the New Yorker reported over the weekend that the US trained members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq. According to previous reports, Israel has been cooperating with the group, which allegedly carried out hits on Iranian nuclear scientists.” Ynetnews also reported that US officials doubt Iran is or will be developing nuclear weapons, as has been claimed to justify years of sanctions, covert subversion, terrorism, and unprovoked attacks by the West against Iran.
It appears that not only Israel, but the US in tandem with Mossad have been training, arming, financing, harboring, and directing the US State Department-listed foreign terror organization (#29) Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) since as early as 2005 where MEK terrorists were brought to Las Vegas, Nevada to train. The April 2012 New Yorker article, “Our Men in Iran?” by Seymour Hersh, elaborates in detail how the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) trained a listed terrorist organization on US soil before sending them back to Iran with weapons and money to carry out “anti-regime terrorist activities.” MEK is suspected to be behind a rash of assassinations targeting Iranian scientists, as well as handling patsies in a string of international bombings US and Israeli officials attempted to pin on Iran.
April 3, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
In a joint press conference with the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the next round of talks between Iran and six major world powers will resume on April 13-14.
These talks, to be held between Iran and the so-called “P5+1,” meaning China, Russia, Britain, France and the United States plus Germany, will be in Turkey.
It will be interesting to see how the Israeli government reacts to this announcement, given that their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken quite a hard line on the issue, even going as far as to call renewed nuclear talks with Iran a “trap.”
Furthermore, he claimed that the only viable solution would be to completely remove any and all nuclear materials from Iran, which is hardly justified seeing as they are not even pursuing military applications for their nuclear technology.
Recently the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh stated in an interview with Fox News that Iran has “has not been pursuing a nuclear weapon” and that Iran “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,” according to Press TV.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi first announced that these talks would occur on March 28, although at that time he only announced that they would happen on April 13. At the time, he would not confirm where the talks were to be held.
“Istanbul has expressed its readiness to host these talks… but making the decision on this matter is the responsibility of Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Mr. Saeed Jalili,” Salehi stated.
March 28, 2012
“Hey, America. We won first place! Nice job killing your own people. Land of the free!” –KTRN
It’s rare for America to rank number one among Western nations in many categories, but they managed to come out on top as the only Western country to execute its own citizens according to Amnesty International’s Global Execution Scale.
“The United States was again the only country in the Americas and the only member of the G8 group of leading economies to execute prisoners – 43 in 2011. Europe and former Soviet Union countries were capital punishment-free, apart from Belarus where two people were executed,” according to the report.
America finished fifth in the world behind China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. “If you look at the company we’re in globally, it’s not the company we want to be in,” Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press.
Notably, America’s total executions have gone down. According to the report, “In the USA, the number of executions and new death sentences dropped dramatically from a decade ago. Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty. A moratorium was announced in the state of Oregon. And victims of violent crimes spoke out against the death penalty.”
Amnesty International makes clear that they oppose the death penalty in all cases:
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
March 28, 2012
“Does anyone else find it troublesome that America always needs an enemy? Why don’t we try to make friends instead?” –KTRN
US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has branded Russia as America’s number one geopolitical enemy. He slammed President Obama’s comments to Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev over flexibility concerning US missile defense as alarming and worrying.
“This is without question our number one geopolitical foe; they fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed,” he said
The presidential hopeful cited this case, along with the new START treaty and the decision to reduce missile defense sites in Poland and Alaska, as “unfortunate developments.”
While saying that the greatest current threat to the world is a “nuclear Iran,” he lambasted Russia for consistently “standing up for the world’s worst actors,” referencing the Russian veto of the Security Council resolutions on Syria.
“The idea that our president is planning to do something with them [Russia] that he’s not willing to tell the American people is something I find very alarming,” Romney stressed.
Russia’s outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev responded to the Republican frontrunner, saying Romney’s remarks had a “Hollywood” flavor and pressed the American hopeful to check his watch: “It’s 2012 now, not the mid-1970s.”
Romney appeared on CNN to comment on President Obama’s off-the-record moment with Medvedev during the international nuclear summit in South Korea. Obama was caught on camera saying that he would have more “flexibility” on thorny issues such as missile defense following the November elections.
Medvedev said he would pass the message on to President elect Vladimir Putin.
March 27, 2012
By Stephen Lendman
“People want peace – governments want war.” –KTRN
Israelis aren’t all like Netanyahu and Knesset extremists like him. Most want peace, not war. On March 24, Haaretz headlined, “Hundreds of Israelis march in Tel Aviv to protest war with Iran,” saying:
A Ronny Edry/Michal Tamir “Israelis against a war with Iran” Facebook campaign linked anti-war Israeli and Iranian citizens. It inspired protesters after it went viral, saying:
“The newspaper headlines tell the tale: The prime minister is trying to legitimize an Israeli attack on Iran, which is expected soon.”
Another post read:
“Most of the Israeli public is opposed to an adventure of this sort that may have catastrophic consequences. Many experts warn of the results an attack on Iran and a declaration of war of this sort may bring. Iran is expected to respond, meaning there would be many Israeli casualties.”
Quotes from supportive prominent Israelis were added, including former Mossad head Meir Dagan opposing an attack.
An Israeli doctoral candidate posted her photo and cat with a Farsi sign, saying:
“We love you, people of Iran.”
Another Facebook photo of a man with his daughter holding a poster, read:
“Iranians, we will never bomb your country, we (heart) you.”
Still another was a mock Netanyahu post, saying:
“Iranians I love you. I truly love you. It’s my people I hate.”
March 26, 2012
By David Jackson
“Obama is getting us ready with a war with Iran – now he is blaming them for high gas prices. Shouldn’t we be blaming companies like BP? Do they really need to be making all the money on in the world?” –KTRN
For all the domestic political talk about high gas prices, President Obama says one major factor can be traced overseas: Iran.
“Right now the key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East,” Obama said in an interview with AAA. “And that’s adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices, and that affects obviously gas prices.”
Obama also cited Iran during his recent two-day western tour to discuss gas prices, and his “all-of-the-above” strategy that includes investment in new sources of energy.
“The main reason the gas prices are high right now is because people are worried about what’s happening with Iran,” Obama said in Oklahoma. “It doesn’t have to do with domestic oil production. It has to do with the oil markets looking and saying, you know what, if something happens there could be trouble and so we’re going to price oil higher just in case.”
One major worry: the prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, slowing the oil supply and spiking up prices even further.
March 26, 2012
By Louis James
Economic crises signal that the current system isn’t working as expected and needs improvement. When it comes to monetary systems, questioning their fundamentals can lead to doubts about whether the preferred medium of exchange will continue to be preferred for long. The large-scale whirlwind of economic trouble around the globe has pushed some to rethink the role of gold in the economy – and to actually move toward bringing it back.
A month ago, a rumor that India is going to pay in gold for oil imported from sanction-struck Iran sent shockwaves through the markets. It was no small deal, both in principle and volume: India is one of Iran’s largest oil buyers, responsible for about 22 percent of total exports and worth about US$12 billion per year. China is next with 13 percent, and Japan is third with about ten. All of them are having a hard time dealing with Iranian oil imports, as the country is under sanctions caused by Western fears regarding its nuclear program.
Then an Israeli news site claimed exclusive knowledge of a possible workaround between India and Iran: settling the purchases in gold. Indian government officials refused to comment, which added to the speculation.
On the surface, the arrangement looked like a great way to settle the purchases via a stable medium: Iranian currency, the rial, is not widely used outside its border, and gold’s inherent anonymity would have provided a perfect way to avoid unnecessary attention from the global community. Ironically, it was precisely the fact that the settlement was planned in gold that attracted so much attention.
March 22, 2012
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the Pentagon stopped playing games.” –KTRN
An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites may quickly spiral out of control and result in a large regional war, a Pentagon war game predicts. American casualties would be counted in hundreds at least.
The two-week game held by Central Command called Internal Look played on a scenario in which Israel carried out an air strike on Iranian facilities.
In retaliation Iran strikes both the Jewish state and the American forces in the region. Game results were classified, but according to leaked details Iran managed to sink at least one American warship in the Persian Gulf, killing 200 crew, reports The New York Times. Separate strikes by Israel and the US managed to delay Iran’s nuclear program by just three years.
The simulated conflict escalated into a wider regional war, demonstrating that a possible attack on Iran would likely have uncontrollable consequences. The result has allegedly raised concern among US military and civilian officials who are skeptical of Israel’s ability to deal a serious blow to Iran’s nuclear facilities.
March 20, 2012
By Edwin Black
“Obama is getting ready for more war and he can’t wait.” –KTRN
Last Friday, March 16, President Barack Obama may have quietly placed the United States on a war preparedness footing, perhaps in anticipation of an outbreak of war between Israel, the West, and Iran. A newly-propounded Executive Order, titled “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” renews and updates the president’s power to take control of all civil energy supplies, including oil and natural gas, control and restrict all civil transportation, which is almost 97 percent dependent upon oil; and even provides the option to re-enable a draft in order to achieve both the military and non-military demands of the country, according to a simple reading of the text. The Executive Order was published on the White House website.
The timing of the Order — with little fanfare — could not be explained. Opinions among the very first bloggers on the purpose of the unexpected Executive Order run the gamut from the confused to the absurd. None focus on the obvious sudden need for such a pronouncement: oil and its potential for imminent interruption.
If Iran was struck by Israel or the West, or if Iran thought it might be struck, the Tehran regime has promised it would block the Strait of Hormuz, which would obstruct some 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil, some twenty percent of the global supply, and about 20 percent of America’s daily needs. Moreover, Tehran has promised military retaliation against any nation it feels has harmed it. The United States is at the top of the list.
Blocking the Strait of Hormuz would create an international and economic calamity of unprecedented severity. Here are the crude realities. America uses approximately 19 to 20 million barrels of oil per day, almost half of which is imported. If we lose just 1 million barrels per day, or suffer the type of damage sustained from Hurricane Katrina, our government will open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which offers a mere six- to eight-week supply of unrefined crude oil. If we lose 1.5 million barrels per day, or approximately 7.5 percent, we will ask our allies in the 28-member International Energy Agency to open their SPRs and otherwise assist. If we lose 2 million barrels per day, or 10 percent, for a protracted period, government crisis monitors say the chaos will be so catastrophic, they cannot even model it. One government oil crisis source recently told me: “We cannot put a price tag on it. If it happens, just cash in your 401(k).”