Archive for December 2011
From IRmep: Jeffrey Blankfort, host of the KZYX radio program “Takes on the World,” interviews Grant F. Smith about the forthcoming book Divert! NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro and the Diversion of US Weapons Grade Uranium into the Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program.
Smith traces the history of how covert Haganah conventional arms smuggling operations by Israel and US supporters led to the establishment of a front company for nuclear materials theft. NUMEC was a US corporation established in Apollo, PA to supply material to Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program. Newly declassified files reveal how the FBI kept tabs on Shapiro, NUMEC’s president, David Lowenthal, a key venture capitalist, and top Israeli spies and nuclear weapons scientists Shapiro invited to visit. NUMEC is now subject to a $170 million environmental cleanup. The Department of Energy still lists 269 KG of NUMEC’s bomb-grade material as “unaccounted for” the highest loss in US history.
By Sibel Edmonds
Boiling Frogs Post
December 29, 2011
This morning I woke up to the following news headlines. Let me correct myself: This morning I found the US media and their quasi extension reporting on stale, at least 6-month old US operations on Syria. Now, that’s much better. I think it is safe to assume that the media has been given a ‘green light’ by the White House and Pentagon to report on long-ongoing war preparations, aka ‘intervention’ plans, on Syria while making it sound as fresh-new-recent. Let’s read together:
Obama Administration Secretly Preparing Options for Aiding the Syrian Opposition
As the violence in Syria spirals out of control, top officials in President Barack Obama‘s administration are quietly preparing options for how to assist the Syrian opposition, including gaming out the unlikely option of setting up a no-fly zone in Syria and preparing for another major diplomatic initiative.
Antiwar.com reports that “Members of the Obama Administration are confirming tonight that the National Security Council has been instructed to begin seeking options for US intervention in Syria, including what they call the ‘unlikely’ option of setting up a no-fly zone.”
My comment (which must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly):
If Antiwar had tried a little harder “to squeeze the truth from the information they can get” they would find that the “critics on Capitol Hill” who “accuse the Obama administration of being slow to react to the quickening deterioration of the security situation in Syria” are the likes of Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who appears to be concerned that Washington is “still pussyfooting.”
Well, we all should know whose interests the FDD serves. Hint: it’s the same country whose think tanks, NGOs, and friends in government and media have been pushing the US to intervene to “protect” the Syrian people from the start of this crisis – a crucial and undeniable fact which has scarcely been reported on this supposedly “non-interventionist” site.
If anyone has any information that would help explain this curious silence, I would be very interested to hear from you.
What is Stephen Zunes, the well-paid chair of the academic advisory committee of Peter Ackerman’s International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, doing on the radio show of Antiwar.com, whose self-proclaimed “initial project was to fight against intervention in the Balkans”?
As William I. Robinson, the author of the seminal critique of the democracy-manipulating establishment, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony, has written:
That Ackerman is a part of the U.S. foreign policy elite and integral to the new modalities of intervention under the rubric of “democracy promotion,” etc., is beyond question. There is nothing controversial about that and anyone who believes otherwise is clearly seriously misinformed or just ignorant.
Update: In response to a moderator’s insulting “defense” of Antiwar’s abysmal reporting on Syria, I posted this comment (which “must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly”):
Would you care to explain to us incredulous readers of Antiwar.com in what respect your uncritical “reporting” of claims coming from Western-based and -backed opposition sources has differed from the pro-war propaganda in the mainstream media?
The only difference I can detect is that the MSM at least refrains from making snide remarks when they report the Syrian government’s version of events.
And dismissing those who challenge your abysmal reporting as “shills” is a bit rich coming from a website whose radio show just provided a platform to a well-paid advisor to anti-government activists to spout his disingenous encomium to the supposedly “spontaneous” Arab Spring!
By Anthony Wile
The Daily Bell
December 24, 2011
The UK Daily Telegraph recently posted an article entitled, “How can we remain silent while Christians are being persecuted?” Anybody reading the Daily Bell this past year will not be surprised by this headline, nor the article itself. Turns out that the writer is reporting on “a new evil [that] is sweeping the Middle East” – and that evil is violence against Christians.
“How can we remain silent while Christians are being persecuted?” the article asks. “The Americans have gone now, and Iraq’s Christian communities – some of the world’s oldest – are undergoing an exodus on a biblical scale.”
The article does not only mention Iraq and makes it clear that the anti-Christian sentiment is broad-based: “The attacks, which peak at Christmas, have already spread to Egypt, where Coptic Christians have seen their churches firebombed by Islamic fundamentalists …
“In Tunisia, priests are being murdered. Maronite Christians in Lebanon have, for the first time, become targets of bombing campaigns. Christians in Syria, who have suffered as much as anyone from the Assad regime, now pray for its survival. If it falls, and the Islamists triumph, persecution may begin in earnest.”
Early in January 2011, we predicted this. In an article entitled, “Western Elites Still Secretly Building Islam,” we wrote about the West’s strategic undermining of non-religious or Christian regimes in the Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Egypt.
December 14, 2011
A Swedish academic has come under fire in Norway after writing an article suggesting that Israel played a part in the July 22nd massacre carried out by Anders Behring Breivik that claimed 77 lives.
Swedish-born Ola Tunander is a research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), a research institute where he has spent most of his career since receiving his PhD from Linköping University in 1989.
But a recent article authored by Tunander in which he seeks to discover what might have driven Brevik to set off a car bomb outside government offices in Norway and gun down 69 people at a summer camp for young Labour Party supporters, has prompted the head of PRIO to distance himself from the piece.
PRIO director Kristian Berg Harpviken told Norwegian magazine Minerva that Tunander’s article left him with a feeling of “considerable unease”.
Harpviken was also dismayed with what he viewed as a serious lapse in judgment on behalf of Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift, a multidisciplinary peer review journal, for agreeing to publish the contentious text in its latest issue.
In his article, Tunander reaches the conclusion that terrorist acts of such magnitude are seldom possible without the involvement of state forces, “and we can’t rule out that being the case this time too.”
In the midst of a web of alternative theories, Tunander lays out a “simple chronology” detailing the fractious diplomatic relationship between Norway and Israel in the months before the massacre, with Oslo indicating it would be willing to recognize a Palestinian state.
On two occasions, Tunander notes the significance of the date of the attacks.
Columbia U book on Iraq war suggests Wolfie, Feith, Wurmser and Perle had ‘Israeli interests, not just U.S. interests at heart’
By Philip Weiss
December 21, 2011
An important new book on the Iraq war published by Columbia University Press, written by a former longtime CIA official, contains a dual loyalty charge against the neoconservatives, saying that some of them had Israeli interests and not just American interests “at heart” in pushing the war. The charge concludes a section that names Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Paul Wolfowitz as former Bush officials who cared about Israel.
Author Paul Pillar has a stellar Establishment reputation. He held several senior positions at the CIA and National Intelligence Council, serving during the Iraq war. Now a professor at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, he has published a sharp critique of the war effort, titled Intelligence and US Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform.
I got the book yesterday and find that it repeatedly attacks the neoconservatives for hatching the plans for this disastrous war, which was then executed by “assertive nationalists,” Rumsfeld and Cheney. Pillar calls them a “cabal.”
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the think tank created by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to “do AIPAC’s work but appear independent,” recently hosted Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisia’s an-Nahda movement, the main benificiary of the Arab Spring “revolution” in Tunisia. Perhaps fortuitously for Mr. Ghannouchi, WINEP’s tape recording of the event “ran out and was not replaced” before he was asked by “the Institute’s senior research staff and several select, invited guests” questions about the issue that most concerned those present:
During this part of the seminar, Mr. Ghannouchi stated that an-Nahda opposes the inclusion of a prohibition on normalization with Israel in the Tunisian constitution, which he said was not the proper vehicle for addressing the issue.