In a six-month agreement, Iran will cap uranium enrichment
at the 5% level, reduce its stockpile of already enriched uranium, and allow for more robust international inspections. In return, it will receive no new nuclear sanctions and "sanction relief" in the amount of $7 billion. [more inside]
The Spies Inside Damascus
: The Mossad's secret war on the Syrian WMD machine.
On Aug. 20, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama declared that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began shifting around or using his chemical weapons, Obama would consider that "a red line." The implication was that such a move would lead to American intervention in Syria. Some officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry believed that Obama drew the line because he believed it would never be crossed. If that was his assumption, he made it based, in part, on assessments received from the Israeli intelligence services, which have waged a multidecade clandestine campaign to strip Assad of his deadliest weapons -- and which also have emerged as the United States' primary partners in collecting information on Middle Eastern regimes.
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica
, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment
. There are location challenges
, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons
. [more inside]
Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought. [more inside]
U.S. and Israel have been confirmed as the authors behind the Stuxnet virus
. The program — codenamed "Olympic Games" — was started under Bush and accelerated under Obama. The virus was never meant to expand beyond the Iranian nuclear facility it targeted. (non-NYTimes link)
In this nation, capitalism helped but a small group and corporations. A more equitable distribution was demanded by the majority . Their demands are being met.
In Israel, there had been a growing disconnect between the few who had so much and the many who were unable to pay rents, live decently, buy food. This led to occupying central spots and setting up tent cities to protest, similar to what is taking place in the United States. The government got the message. Improvements are planned to correct social disparities. Note that like our nation, they too spend a huge amount for defense. Yet there is a recognition that domestic needs are central or there is nothing worthwhile to defend except those at the very top.
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace
An op-ed piece by former president Jimmy Carter that is going to get a lot of play in the media. Unfortunately, Mr. Carter seems to suggest a rather easy solution: give back the Palestinian lands and have the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist. Put the pressure on Israel by withhold financial aid till they do as we bid.
Problem: Palestinians being subsidized by Iraq, Iran, EU and Syria. What about pressure on them? And: Palelstinian issues still in need of resolving: capital and Right of Return....with this left out, we are still not going to get peace. Does Carter simplify or is he on target? reg reqd.
As the violence in the Middle East escalates, and Arab anger grows over American support of Israel (especially among the masses), is another oil embargo possible
Oil may be the Arab world's daily bread, but it's also its only weapon — if, say, Arafat is killed or Israel goes too far in its incursions into Palestinian territories, popular sentiment in the already-shaky local regimes could force Arab governments to put up a show of defiance to calm their constituencies.
DEA leaked report on Israeli spy ring
Leaked report with blacked out names and no title etc? Note that the spies, if such they are, were gathering info dealing with drug enforcement and not with American military. Is this good? No Bad? yes. But seemingly not bad enough to anything other than shipping them out. Israeli mb big on Ecstasy and DEA well aware of this (If I am, why wouldn't they?). pdf file
The Art of Espionage.
The ongoing tale of the massive spy ring that the U.S. media won't talk about. "The basis of the spy allegations is a 60-page document -- a compilation of field reports by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
Image and reality: The role of the US in the Middle East
The leading spokesperson for the Palestinian cause chastises Israel and the U.S. No attempt here to see that there may be some shortcomings due to excessses or intransigence on the Arab side. Another binary view of reality or a useful assessment?
U.S. sending Patriot missles to Israel
Iraq moves troops close to Syrian border and announces it is a military exercise. The U.S. moves Patriot missle outfit to Israel with some troops and announces it is a military exercise. My trainer told me that sometimes you can overdo the exercising.