8bitagent wrote:- The new Egyptian government has welcomed Hamas and Iran into friendship(thus angering Israel)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42814130/ns ... ork_times/
'Opening a new page': Egypt warms to Iran, Hamas
'These developments could have strategic implications on Israel's security,' official says
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153den wrote:...how can one pinpoint a reliable and accurate source that would have nothing but the truth?
With the U.S. pulling their ambassador out of Syria, don't 'go long' on Assad futures.
wordspeak2 wrote:MinM wrote:.
With the U.S. pulling their ambassador out of Syria, don't 'go long' on Assad futures.
Do you think we're looking at another full-fledged NATO operation?
Second, Libya has vast oil reserves, and the US is already salivating over the oil revenues that Libya will have to use to pay the bill for its "liberation"; Syria doesn't. Invading Syria would be a very expensive operation for which the US would bear all the costs.
Syria warns: "Whole region" could burn
BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad warned against Western intervention in his country's 7-month-old uprising, saying such action would trigger an "earthquake" that "would burn the whole region."
Assad comments, published in an interview with Britain's Sunday Telegraph, were made against a backdrop of growing calls from anti-regime protesters for a no-fly zone over Syria and increasingly frequent clashes between government troops and army defectors, the latest of which left at least 30 troops dead Saturday.
"Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake," Assad said. "Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?"
Assad's remarks appeared to reflect his regime's increasing concern about foreign intervention in the country's crisis after the recent death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was toppled by a popular uprising backed by NATO airstrikes.
Syrian opposition leaders have not called for an armed uprising like the one in Libya and have for the most part opposed foreign intervention, and the U.S. and its allies have shown little appetite for intervening in another Arab nation in turmoil. But with the 7-month-old revolt against Assad stalemated, some Syrian protesters have begun calling for a no-fly zone over the country because of fears the regime might use its air force now that army defectors are becoming more active in fighting the security forces.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a clash Saturday night in the restive central city of Homs between soldiers and gunmen believed to be army defectors left at least 20 soldiers dead and 53 wounded. It also said gunmen ambushed a bus carrying security officers late Saturday in the northwestern province of Idlib, killing at least 10 security agents. One attacker was also killed.
The Associated Press could not verify the activists' accounts. Syria has banned most foreign media and restricted local coverage, making it impossible to get independent confirmation of the events on the ground. Syria's state-run news agency SANA, said seven members of the military and police, who were killed in Homs and the suburbs of Damascus were buried Sunday.
The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said Sunday that 343 people, including 20 children, have been killed in Syria since Oct. 16, when the Cairo-based Arab League gave Damascus a 15-day deadline to enact a cease-fire. A meeting was scheduled for later Sunday in Qatar between an Arab committee set up by the 22-member Arab League and a Syrian delegation expected to be headed by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.
The unrest in Syria could send unsettling ripples through the region, as Damascus' web of alliances extends to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement, the militant Palestinian Hamas and Iran's Shiite theocracy.
Unlike Gadhafi, Assad enjoys a number of powerful allies that give him the means to push back against the outside pressure. A conflict in Syria risks touching off a wider Middle East conflict with arch foes Israel and Iran in the mix. Syria wouldn't have to look far for prime targets to strike, sharing a border with U.S.-backed Israel and NATO-member Turkey.
In case of an international intervention, Assad and his main Mideast backer, Iran, could launch retaliatory attacks on Israel or -- more likely -- unleash Hezbollah fighters or Palestinian militant allies for the job. To the north, Turkey has opened its doors to anti-Assad activists and breakaway military rebels, which also could bring Syrian reprisals.
Assad alluded to those concerns at home and abroad, saying "any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region."
A Yemeni female protestor shows her hand with Arabic that reads "we will prevail" and the colors of pre-Gadhafi Libya, Syria, Yemen, Tunisia ,and Egypt during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011.
(Credit: AP Photo)
The uprising against the Syrian regime began during a wave of anti-government protests in the Arab world that toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The U.N. says that Assad's crackdown has left more than 3,000 people dead since the uprising began in mid-March.
Facing an unprecedented threat to his rule, Assad is desperate to show that only he can guarantee security in a troubled region where failed states abound.
In a show of support to Assad's regime, thousands of Syrians carrying the nation's flag and Assad posters rallied Sunday in a major square in the southern city of Sweida, some 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Damascus, near the Jordanian border. There have been two similar massive pro-Assad demonstrations in recent days in the capital Damascus and the coastal city of Latakia.
Assad said that Western countries "are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely." He was apparently referring to a wave of sanctions that were imposed by the European Union and the U.S.
"But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different," Assad said.
The Syrian president described the uprising as a "struggle between Islamism and pan-Arabism." He was referring to his ruling Baath party's secular ideology and the Muslim Brotherhood that was crushed by his regime in 1982.
"We've been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them," Assad said.
Assad also spoke to Russia's state Channel One television, and in an interview broadcast Sunday hailed Moscow's veto of a European-backed U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria that aimed to impose sanctions on Damascus.
"We are relying on Russia as a country with which we have strong historic ties," Assad said.
The measure vetoed by Russia and China earlier this month would have been the first legally binding resolution against Syria since Assad's forces began attacking civilian protesters.
A feasible, I don’t know if it’s feasible or not, but I think the kind of thought that would be occurring to the Pentagon planners is to sponsor a liberation movement, so-called, in the area near the Gulf then move in to defend it.
Again, I would be amazed if there aren't efforts to sponsor secessionist movements elsewhere...The strategy appears to be: try to break the country up internally, try to impel the leadership to be as harsh and brutal as possible.
So it could be that one strain of the policy is to stir up secessionist movements, particularly in the oil rich regions, the Arab regions near the Gulf...
[url=news.antiwar.com/2011/10/30/massive-rally-in-lahore-imran-khan-leads-calls-for-pakistan-to-end-us-alliance/]Massive Rally in Lahore: Imran Khan Leads Calls for Pakistan to End US Alliance[/url]
by Jason Ditz, October 30, 2011
A popular but largely powerless politician for years, former cricket star and Tehreek-e Insaf leader Imran Khan has parlayed his long-standing opposition to US drone strikes into a massive rally today on the streets of Lahore, where some 100,000 demonstrators marched to condemn the current US alliance and the Zardari government.
“Our leaders owned this war on terror for the sake of dollars,” Khan declared, “let me curse you. You sold out the blood of innocent people.” The ruling Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP) condemned Khan, saying it made “no sense” to call for public protests and civil disobedience when the country’s “democratic institutions are functioning independently.”
Khan’s call appears to have found some new currency with the Pakistani public, however, and that is something new for his party, whose platform centers around tackling corruption and reducing the power the nation’s security forces have over ordinary citizens.
Khan concedes that in many ways the rally is an effort to build up his party, saying that given the backroom deals and powerful dynasties inherent in the Pakistani political system the Tehreek-e Insaf was “never going to win the traditional way.”
But with US missiles falling on Pakistani soil on almost a daily basis, the Tehreek-e Insaf has a built-in issue that resonates across much of the nation, and while both the ruling Zardari government and the major opposition faction of Nawaz Sharif have given lip-service to calling for an end to US drone strikes, neither seems to be willing to force the issue with the Obama Administration, unsurprising since Pakistan’s current economic system depends largely on foreign aid.
The question then becomes not if the PPP has lost the voters, but how long they can hold on to power without them. The Zardari government has repeatedly resisted calls for early elections in the past, and seems to be hoping to hold out until 2013. Even the Sharif brothers’ PML-N has called for an early vote, but it is unclear if they will back it up with votes if Khan’s popularity might cut into their traditional conservative power base.
U.S. Plans Post-Iraq Troop Increase in Persian Gulf ... U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq ... The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran ... After unsuccessfully pressing both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government to permit as many as 20,000 American troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2011, the Pentagon is now drawing up an alternative ... With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: Well, then there's the GCC. What's that? Nevah heard of it!
Free-Market Analysis: In a series of articles, we've discussed what seems to us to be a Pentagon/NATO plan to divide the Middle East up into warring factions. This plan is being staged in two parts. First, numerous secular states such as Libya, the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia and now Syria are being destabilized to create an Islamic "crescent" that will serve as a putative enemy of the West.
The second, or concomitant phase is to strengthen and expand the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and then to create tension or even military action between these two factions. Additional tensions are being brought to bear via Israel, Iran and, of course, the Palestinians. You can read some of our articles here:
Anglosphere Plan to Create Islamic Crescent Yielding Results?
Obama's Violent Wars Against Third-World Secularism
As we can see from the above New York Times article excerpted, stage two of this apparent plan is now being put into effect. The Islamic crescent is well on its way to being realized with Muammar Gaddafi's death and the triumph of the Libyan/al Qaeda Jihadists. In Tunisia, an Islamic party has begun to carve out a role as the country's leading political force. The Islamic Brotherhood (with its CIA connections) is ascendant in Egypt and growing in popularity elsewhere.
Now what is needed is to strengthen the GCC? Of course, there must be a reason to do so, and the ejection of the US from Iraq has just provided the Pentagon with an appropriate justification. "Security needs" will funnel arms and funds to the GCC, which is currently – coincidentally – being expanded to include Jordon and Morocco. The US's and NATO's influence is about to become vastly larger in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Here's some more from the article:
The administration and the military are trying to foster a new "security architecture" for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense. The size of the standby American combat force to be based in Kuwait remains the subject of negotiations, with an answer expected in coming days. Officers at the Central Command headquarters here declined to discuss specifics of the proposals, but it was clear that successful deployment plans from past decades could be incorporated into plans for a post-Iraq footprint in the region.
For example, in the time between the Persian Gulf war in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States Army kept at least a combat battalion — and sometimes a full combat brigade — in Kuwait year-round, along with an enormous arsenal ready to be unpacked should even more troops have been called to the region. "Back to the future" is how Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Central Command's chief of staff, described planning for a new posture in the Gulf.
He said the command was focusing on smaller but highly capable deployments and training partnerships with regional militaries. "We are kind of thinking of going back to the way it was before we had a big 'boots on the ground' presence," General Horst said. "I think it is healthy. I think it is efficient. I think it is practical." Mr. Obama and his senior national security advisers have sought to reassure allies and answer critics, including many Republicans, that the United States will not abandon its commitments in the Persian Gulf even as it winds down the war in Iraq and looks ahead to doing the same in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
All this is so much blather, of course, or seems to be anyway. Two things are going on in our view. First, the Anglosphere power elite needs military tension and maybe even a large regional war to distract increasingly furious Western middle classes from increasingly depressed economies.
Second, in an era of reduced military resources, the best way to retain control of regions and countries is via the old strategy of divide and conquer. This seems to us what's going on in the Middle East currently and it's too bad the mainstream media – let alone the 'Net alternative media – won't cover it.
There are corollary benefits to control, of course: Increased oil and other natural resources. We're also resigned to reading a great deal more about the necessity for increased offensive posture in the area by NATO, et al., in order to counteract the "threat" posed by China and, of course, the ongoing danger from "terrorism."
But really, the paradigm that proves out over and over is the one having to do with a new world order. The Anglosphere elite behind these strategic moves in the Middle East is not very much interested in raw materials or in containing China. It is interested in consolidating world power and a "divide and conquer" strategy is congruent within this context.
Conclusion: Let others explain that the world's problems are caused by greedy capitalist corporations eager to exploit developing countries. For us, that's just a façade, a meme floated by the elites to obscure the reality of an ongoing conquest and consolidation.
Elihu wrote:http://thedailybell.com/3165/As-Predicted-Pentagon-Turns-to-GCC-to-Retain-Hold-on-GulfAll this is so much blather, of course, or seems to be anyway. Two things are going on in our view. First, the Anglosphere power elite needs military tension and maybe even a large regional war to distract increasingly furious Western middle classes from increasingly depressed economies.
Dominant Social Theme: We've been trying hard and look at all we've done. Don't blame us when it all goes to hell and we have to create a global currency.
Free-Market Analysis: The latest Eurocrat deal to salvage the euro (and perhaps the Union itself) is already falling apart and, as a result, the entire process is ever more publicly suspect. Is the idea to make the West so desperate that global governance becomes an attractive solution?
US stops payments to UNESCO over Palestinian vote
The United States said Monday it is stopping
financial contributions to UNESCO
© AFP Miguel Medina
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said Monday it is stopping financial contributions to UNESCO after the Palestinians were admitted to the organization as a full member.
The United States also acknowledged that it could lose international influence as it would lose its right to vote in the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization if it makes no payments over the next two years.
"We were to have made a 60 million dollar payment to UNESCO in November and we will not be making that payment," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
Nuland said the Palestinian admission "triggers longstanding (US) legislative restrictions which will compel the United States to refrain from making contributions to UNESCO."
The United States, Israel's top ally, in the 1990s banned the financing of any UN organization that accepts Palestine as a full member. The United States provides about 22 percent of the UNESCO annual budget.
The November payment amounts to a tranche of what US officials say is a total annual US contribution of $80 million (57 million euros) to the UN organization.
Nuland echoed earlier remarks by the White House which said UNESCO's admission of the Palestinians as a full member was "premature" and undermined international peace efforts and hopes of direct talks on a Palestinian state.
The vote, backed by 107 countries in UNESCO, was a symbolic victory for the Palestinian drive towards full statehood recognition.
But the United States, which has vowed to block a separate Palestinian call for statehood recognition at the UN Security Council, believes the campaign detracts from tough bargaining needed with Israel on the terms of a Palestinian state.
Nuland said the United States is aware its own interests could be undermined by its decision to withhold funding to UNESCO.
"Under UNESCO's constitution, a member state will have no vote in the general conference if it gets more than two years in arrears in its contribution. So our actual arrearage status will begin in January," she said.
"We now need to have consultations with Congress," she said.
"Not paying our dues into these organizations could severely restrict and reduce our ability to influence them, our ability to act within them, and we think this affects US interests," Nuland said.
Members of the US delegation take part in the
36th session of the General Conference at
© AFP Miguel Medina
"So we need to have conversations with Congress about what options might be available to protect our interests," she said, declining to elaborate.
She conceded that one option would be to gain some sort of flexibility where Washington can still fund UNESCO.
Nuland said the United States is also concerned it could lose influence with other UN organizations if the Palestinians are admitted to them as a full member and Washington is automatically forced to withhold funds.
"We are very concerned about it, which is why we didn't want it to happen in the first place and why we're concerned about this move being replicated in other UN agencies," she said.
State Department and other US officials met business leaders on Monday to warn them that Palestinian membership in the World Intellectual Property Organization could hurt US leadership in the group, the State Department said.
They noted that the organization helps US firms protect their intellectual property rights worldwide, it said.
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