In Federal Court in New Bern, NC today, three would-be Islamist terrorists were found guilty of a slew of terrorism-related charges in a planned attack on unsuspecting wives and children of Marine Corps personnel residing on the sprawling Marine base in Quantico, Virginia.
Ziyad Yaghi, 23; Hysen Sherifi, 27; and Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 24 all stood before Her Honor U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan as they had their convictions and sentences publically read to them.
George Orwell was interested in pulp fiction as a window on the soul of society, and the football pages of our newspapers are interesting for the same reason. They will no doubt prove invaluable to social historians of the future.
For myself, I cannot recapture the interest in the game that I had as a child, though it is so much better-played now (as well as paid) than it was then. Perhaps it is the excessive, indeed grotesque, importance with which so many people invest it, and their endless talk about it, that has put me off; and I cannot help but wonder whether the game exerts a corrupting, or at least a highly distorting, effect upon the ambitions of many young males. It is to the uneducated of this country what the City and the media are to the educated.
I scan the football pages, then, for what they tell us about our society and country, and most of what they tell us is not very encouraging. The clubs are neither British-owned nor are their players British; on the whole they do not train up British players, and such British players as they have are often undisciplined; the clubs are seldom among the best in Europe, despite their players being the best-paid; and they are not even profitable. British professional football therefore seems like a metaphor for the British economy as a whole: fragile, ill-founded and a playground for spivs.
A player for Liverpool called Suarez, a Uruguayan, had apparently used the word negro (black in Spanish) several times during a match to insult a player for Manchester United called Evra. Suarez had fouled Evra by kicking him; five minutes later, Evra called Suarez Concha de tu hermana. Suarez did not hear this; but Evra then went on to ask Suarez why he had kicked him. Suarez claimed that he said "It was a normal foul", while Evra claimed that he said, "Because you are black". According to Evra, the edifying exchange continued as follows:
EVRA: Say it to me again, I'm going to punch you.
SUAREZ: I don't speak to blacks.
EVRA: OK, now I think I'm going to punch you.
SUAREZ: Go on, black, black, black.
The independent tribunal believed Evra's accusatory account of the affair rather than the self-exculpatory account of Suarez. I have no reason to suppose that it was wrong to do so.
But The Guardian's report is clearly biased, in order to stimulate the moral outrage of its readers. For example, it says with regard to Evra having called Suarez Concha de tu hermano, that it was:
... literally an obscene term referring to Suarez's sister but one which is commonly used in Spanish as an exclamation.
Not only is the Spanish not here fully translated, so that its full obscenity should not create a bad impression of Evra's conduct, but it confounds exclamation with name-calling. To call out "Shit!" when you have stubbed your toe is distinctly different from going up to someone against whom you have a grudge and saying "Shit!" to him, even if he does not hear it.
This is important, because it is likely that Evra's subsequent question, "Why did you kick me?" was not uttered in the tone of a disinterested enquiry after truth. More likely it was uttered in an aggrieved, aggressive or menacing manner, and this in part accounted for Suarez's manner of reply. After all, the independent tribunal found, as a mitigating circumstance, that Suarez had never been accused of using such language before, though (I am told by someone who follows these things more closely than I) he has not always behaved on the field in a gentlemanly fashion. In other words, he was provoked; and indeed the tribunal found that Evra had started the exchange as another mitigating circumstance, though this was perhaps a little unfair to Evra, since the original foul was committed on and not by him.
The newspaper's claim that "the report reveals in forensic detail" and that it "has brought a new meaning to the word transparency" is belied by its summary of the key findings. Here are the first two:
The question is simply whether the words or behaviour are abusive or insulting. It is not necessary that the alleged offender intends his words or behaviour to be abusive or insulting.
Mr Suarez's use [of the word negro] was not intended as an attempt at conciliation or to establish rapport; neither was it meant in a conciliatory or friendly way. It was not explained by any feeling that a linguistic or cultural relationship had been established between them.
These two findings are contradictory. If the question is "simply" one of whether certain words were used, it does not matter what the motive, thoughts or sentiments behind them were; if the latter do matter, then the question is not "simply" one of whether certain words were used. This is less than forensic exactitude. Whether it is the independent tribunal at fault, or the newspaper, I cannot say.
Quite a lot may ride on a word: for example, one of the reasons the report into the Lawrence case found that the police were institutionally racist was that they did not completely accept that the murder was "purely" racist in motivation. The police argued that the suspects were criminals who were thought to have committed non-racist violent crimes, and therefore their full motives could not be known, at least not without further investigation. In this, surely, they were right; but the damage done by the investigation's accusation has been severe.
In fact, it is perfectly obvious that the motive behind insulting words is important in assessing the seriousness of a case. It is one thing to insult someone through lack of knowledge of social conventions and quite another to do so with the full intention to offend.
Unfortunately, there is a trend to make the perception of insult (or bullying) the test of whether insult (or bullying) has actually taken place. You are insulted or bullied if you think you have been insulted or bullied, and the only proof required that you have been insulted or bullied is your belief that you have been. No evidence that your belief is reasonable or justified is required; and so bureaucrats, acting in a pseudo-judicial way, have an ever-expanding locus standi to interfere in everyday life.
While in this case the deliberately insulting nature of the words used seems little in doubt, I find it alarming that people are now prepared to go running to the authorities, like children to teacher, over what was, after all, a minor incident that, moreover, was soon over. The very fact that we can run to authorities to ask them to take action over such trivia renders us psychologically fragile and more, not less, liable to insult.
The forensic inexactitude or incompetence of the tribunal, at least as reported in The Guardian, is again shown by a circumstance that is taken to mitigate Suarez's offence: his vow never to use the word negro on an English football pitch again. This, surely, implies that he has not recognised the wrongdoing in itself; for if he had done so, he would have vowed not to use the word anywhere.
There is nothing sacred, after all, about English football pitches; and I am reminded of the notices that appeared in the hospital in which I worked to the effect that henceforth anybody who assaulted a member of the staff in the hospital would be prosecuted. I was pleased, of course; but the corollary, psychologically-speaking if not in strict logic, was that assault in the hospital on people other than the staff, or on the staff other than in the hospital, or indeed in any other circumstances, would not be prosecuted.
There is one final point about the punishment of Suarez, a fine of £40,000 fine and a suspension for eight matches.
Once the commission established that the FA [Football Association] charge against Suarez was proved, the automatic two-match suspension for using insulting words was increased to four because of the racial element.
And it was doubled again because the insult was directed at a particular person and not as a general one.
Now it seems to me a questionable proposition that a racial insult is automatically twice as offensive as, or worthy of twice the punishment of, any other. But there is another question: is Evra now to receive an automatic two-match suspension because he used insulting words to Suarez? That Suarez didn't hear them does not matter: Evra used them, and the circumstances in which he used them suggested that he intended them to insult.
It seems preposterous to me that footballers of all people should be expected to speak like choirboys; but unless Evra is sentenced, it is clear that we live under a regime of racial justice. It does not matter that this racial justice is intended to protect, not harm, minorities; the point is that it is not race- or colour-blind. Moreover, unpleasant gestalt switches have been known to happen. The over-zealous rooters-out of racism and the BNP have more in common than they probably would like to admit, among it a highly racialised view of the world.
Pakistani Shi'ite Muslims beat their chests during the Shi'ite Muslim religious procession in Quetta, January 15, 2012.
Pakistani officials say a bomb ripped through a Shi'ite Muslim religious procession Sunday in Punjab province, killing at least 16 people.
Authorities say some 20 others were wounded in the blast, which occurred in Rahim Yar Khan district. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Reuters news agency quotes police as saying the remote controlled bomb was planted near a utility pole and detonated as the procession approached.
The bombing came after hundreds of Pakistani Shi'ites assembled in the town of Khanpur for a procession marking the 40th day of mourning for the 7th century death of the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussain.
Shi'ites make up about 20 percent of Pakistan's mostly Sunni Muslim population of 160 million people. Shi'ite processions are often targeted by Sunni Muslim militants who view Shi'ites as heretics.
By Monavar Khalaj in Tehran and Javier Blas in London
Iran has warned Saudi Arabia and other members of the Opec cartel not to boost their oil production to make up for any shortfall created by western sanctions against Tehran.
The warning comes after senior policymakers from the UK to Japan flocked to Riyadh to ask Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, for guarantees it would boost its oil production to offset the impact of the US and the European Union sanctions against Iran.
Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s Opec representative, said Tehran would consider any output increase as “unfriendly”, further inflaming the tensions in the oil-rich Middle East that have pushed the cost of Brent, the global oil benchmark, above $110 a barrel.
“Should Iran’s southern neighbours collaborate with the adventurous countries [the US and European Union] to replace their oil [production] for that of Iran… such countries will be held as main culprits,” Mr Khatibi, told the reformist Persian daily Shargh on Sunday.
“Such moves are not considered friendly [by Iran],” he said, adding the “consequences” of Saudi Arabia and other Opec members raising production could not be predicted.
The warning comes a day after Ali Naimi, the powerful Saudi oil minister, said that the kingdom would meet any demand from its customers for more oil. Without mentioning Iran directly, Mr Naimi said: “Whatever customers want we will give it to them.”
Saudi Arabia has a long-standing policy of meeting customers’ crude oil demands, but the remarks come after senior officials from oil importing nations visited the kingdom for further reassurance. Over the last 10 days, David Cameron, UK prime minister, Wen Jiabao, Chinese premier, Koichiro Gemba, Japan foreign affairs minister, and Eric Cantor, a prominent US lawmaker, have all visited Saudi Arabia for oil talks.
The kingdom is already pumping around 10m barrels a day, the highest level in roughly 30 years, but Mr Naimi said it could boost production to 12.5m b/d. Iran is the world’s third largest oil exporter, after Saudi Arabia and Russia, exporting about 2.4m b/d.
A large chunk of Iran’s oil exports is at risk due to the anticipated impact of western sanctions. Washington has introduced sanctions to penalise foreign financial institutions dealing with Iran’s central bank, which clear most oil exports, forcing importing nations such as Japan, South Korea and India to say they will reduce their reliance on Iranian oil, and Brussels will discuss an embargo on Iranian crude to Europe on January 23.
For some Israelis, the sanctions announced by President Barack Obama do not go far enough. Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s vice-prime minister said on Sunday that the sanctions fell short of a much tougher package demanded by the US Senate.
Iran has repeatedly threatened since December that it would block the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil waterway, through which one-third of the world’s seaborne oil trade passes, if western powers target its oil exports. The Iranians, however, have toned down this warning in recent days, Ahmad Vahidi, defence minister, saying that Iran did not say it “will close the strait”. The US has positioned two aircraft carriers in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, with a third en route, and has warned it would keep the waterway open.
Sunnis Attack Shi'a Security Forces, InAttempt To Free Other Sunnis
Gunmen Storm Iraq Compound, Kill 7 Police
January 15, 2011
BAGHDAD—Iraqi security forces on Sunday battled gunmen who detonated a car bomb before blasting their way into a government compound and killing seven policemen in a one-time Sunni insurgent hotbed, police and local government officials said.
Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in front of a government compound in Ramadi on Sunday.
The three-hour standoff between Shiite-dominated security forces and suspected Sunni insurgents in the Anbar province capital of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, marked the first serious gunbattle for Iraqi forces against insurgents without American backup since the U.S. military completed its withdrawal last month.
Violence has surged since American troops left, and Iraq was plunged into a political crisis after Shiite-dominated government charged Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with running death squads, issuing an arrest warrant against him just as the last U.S. soldiers crossed into neighboring Kuwait.
On Sunday, a court in Baghdad ruled that al-Hashemi must stand trial on terror charges in Baghdad, rejecting his request to be tried in the ethnically mixed city in Kirkuk. He has fled to the autonomous Kurdish region, out of reach of authorities in Baghdad.
Al-Hashemi's Iraqiya party is boycotting parliament and Cabinet sessions since last month to protest what it sees as efforts by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to consolidate power, particularly over state security forces.
The sectarian crisis in the government and the spike in attacks, like a bombing Saturday that killed more than 50 pilgrims during a Shiite procession and Sunday's assault on the government buildings, has raised concerns Iraq could return to sectarian bloodshed that killed tens of thousands of civilians after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and brought the country to the brink of civil war just a few years ago.
On Sunday morning, five gunmen wearing military uniforms and explosive-rigged vests stormed a compound in Ramadi, two police officials said. The compound houses Ramadi police headquarters and several federal security agencies, including an anti-terrorism police task force and a detention facility where terrorism suspects are interrogated.
Before reaching the compound in central Ramadi, the gunmen set off an explosives-filled car in the eastern part of the city, in an apparent effort to draw security personnel from the heavily guarded government area, according to an Anbar government official. Comrades of the attackers were being been held there on suspicion of involvement in terror attacks,
One policeman was killed and three others were injured in the blast, police and health officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.
Sadoun Obaid al-Jumaily, deputy president of the Anbar Provincial Council had a slightly different account of Sunday's assault. He told the AP that the five gunmen drove to the entrance of the compound. Four got out of the car and clashed with the police, al-Jumaily said.
Security forces killed two attackers, and two managed to get into the building where the suspected insurgents were being held.
"They came to free their colleagues ... that were recently detained," al-Jumaily said, adding that two gunmen got to the roof of the building. They were killed after an hour-long fight with security forces, al-Jumaily said.
The fifth attacker was killed in the blast of the explosives-packed car aimed at killing police and army troops, who were rushing to the compound the fight the gunmen, al-Jumaily said.
Six policemen were killed in the gunfight and 13 others were wounded, al-Jumaily said. Officials at Ramadi's main hospital confirmed the death toll.
Most of the latest attacks appear to be aimed at Iraq's majority Shiites, suggesting Sunni insurgents are seeking to undermine the Shiite-dominated government.
More than 145 people have been killed in attacks since the start of the year.
On Saturday, a bomb tore through a procession of Shiite pilgrims heading toward the largely Sunni town of Zubair in southern Iraq, killing at least 53 people and wounding at least 130 other in the latest sign of a power struggle between rival Muslim sects.
Norman Berdichevsky has written an important book on the perversion and rather useless innuendo around the political terms 'Left and Right'. In 'The Left is not always Right', Berdichevsky lays out the reasons why the definitions of the political 'left' or 'right' have little real meaning. For instance was spend-happy statist G.W. Bush, who doubled the US national debt over 8 years a 'right wing' politician or a statist intent on expanding government – by itself a definition of 'leftism' ? Bush was clearly not 'right wing', nor a 'conservative', yet the media applied both appellations to the 2 term President with left-wing devotees conflating Bush with Hitler. It might surprise the robots of the 'left' that Hitler enacted national socialism and statism and was the exact opposite of a classical conservative. The left is indeed mostly wrong, especially in its definitions, depictions, conflations and demonizations.
Berdichevsky is an American Jew whose family fled the constrained and unfree lands of Eastern Europe – fertile lands and easy fodder for the theology of national socialism. He is a writer with over 200 publications in various countries and languages and is an editor at the polemical site the New English Review. His book should be read in conjunction with Goldberg's work 'Liberal Fascism' which outlines why Marxist-Left wing theology is in fact Fascist. [Goldberg's book is reviewed here.] As Berdichevsky writes, the Left-Right dichotomy so embraced by many Marxists and Socialists is the theology of simpletons and ignoramuses:
"The exhaustive documentation in ‘Liberal Fascism’ of the presidential careers and administrations of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as well as the detailed analysis of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin and those who were their original supporters and detractors left many of Goldberg’s critics with egg on their faces. Many were simply totally ignorant of the facts and had to be reminded how their many misconceptions all stem from the same simplistic acceptance of the straight line or semicircular Right-Left Measuring Tool, based largely on economic and trade policy introduced in the last days of the French monarchy before the 1789 Revolution and its immediate aftermath of republican rule and the purely abstract and wholly arbitrary parliamentary seating arrangements that were introduced at the time.”
"Influenced by the exaggerated tilt towards the Liberal side of the political spectrum, too many Americans invariably accept the emotionally loaded doctrines of political commentary that Left= good and Right = bad in much the same vein as Orwell’s Dictatorship of the Pig in Animal Farm that four legs = good and two legs = bad.”
Orwell indeed. The media and their supportive sheep bleating out the stupidity that being a Left-wing zealot is good and the Right is bad. Obey, submit, shut up. Sounds a lot like Islam.
The mindless support of the American and European Political Left for radical and “revolutionary leaders” in non-Western developing countries has preferred to ignore or “explain” the enormous contradictions between those regimes and leaders they have supported as “progressive” and the accepted jargon of political science discourse that “LEFT” means enlightened, beneficial to the working class, liberal, secular and internationalist.
In American political discourse, “Fascist!” is the ultimate epithet bandied about and frequently hung around the neck of those who value constitutional safeguards, parliamentary traditions, have deep seated religious convictions or believe in a strong military stance to defend the United States or RESOLUTELY opposed Communism.
Pace Berdichevsky, a pagan-fascist construct based on the cult of Muhammad cannot be named for it is. Better to call it a 'religion' and hope that it simply goes away before it kills too many Unbelievers:
“Of course, the only reluctance to use the term "Fascist" by a large segment of Left-Liberal opinion in America today is where it is most strikingly accurate – Islamo-Fascism, a term that describes the enemies we, Western civilization, Israel, Spain, Denmark and democracies from India to Australia and even moderate Arab/Muslim states such as Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon currently face. China and Russia face this same threat as well but prefer to ignore it and pretend that it is only directed against Israel or the Western and capitalist societies.”
Historically of course the cadre of Marxists and Socialists were virulent supporters of Hitler's National Socialism and Russian-Chinese-Cuban Marxist-Socialism. At least they are consistent. They also venerate that insipid clown Gandhi, who wanted to return India to the neo-lithic period:
“Prof. Bluefarb reminds us that a similar proposal was made by another of the Left’s great idols, the spiritual father of pacifism, Mohandas Gandhi during World War II, in which the Mahatma—“Great Soul”—urged the Jews of Germany…..”To go gladly to their deaths, and thus gain the moral sympathy of the world.” Similar proposals today, coming from those who claim that we in the West are responsible for Muslim grievances, are no less absurd. They think and act under the assumption that 1,400 years of aggressive Muslim expansion cannot be called provocation but only reactions to it by those under attack.”
Gandhi in fact demanded that Britain and the civilized world simply surrender to Hitler and accept fate. What a hero. He would say the same today about Islam. It was Gandhi's insistence on destroying the British Raj which resuscitated the Moslem Jihad against the infidel Hindus and Buddhists in India:
“If we are to learn anything at all from history, it is that the Islamist concept of jihad was unequivocally understood as “violent holy war” against the infidels and not subject to interpretation. It remains a political weapon that has been used quite similarly by the last Ottoman Caliph, the Taliban, the Iranian mullahs, Al-Qaeda and rival extremist Sunni and Shi'ite clerics in Iraq today. It is still attractive to much extremist opinion in large parts of the Arab world, Chechniya, the Sudan, Pakistan and even in Indonesia. Its attraction throughout the 20th century for those autocratic and dictatorial European leaders who sought to become “Protectors of Islam” and “borrow” it, was to exploit its violent and evil appeal for their own purposes.”
Islam like National Socialism venerates the theology of the cult. The great leader. The Umma or community which might be a nation, a class, or simply the group of 'believers'. The use of violence to achieve political objectives. And of course the merger of church and state, in opposition to enlightened civilized Western society.
“The false and often irrelevant dichotomy of LEFT vs. RIGHT obscures the basic similarities uniting the two wings of political thought at their extremes that glorify and deify abstractions such as THE leader, party, race, church or class that embody THE NATION. Both ideologies at their extremes grant ALL POWER to a demagogic leader who, once in power, promises either to save the people from poverty, restore their heroic traditions and glorious past, redeem the nation and restore its historic borders, or wipe away the humiliation and the privileges of the "ruling class." Every demagogue whether labeled as a Rightwing or Leftwing dictator throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa has made the same appeal and it is always predictably anti-American, anti-Capitalist, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.”
This is a well-researched book and should be read by anyone who has an interest in current politics and who wishes to know more about the divide – false and mendacious as it is – which lies between the 'left and right'. The real struggle is of course between the communal which denies free-will, and the individual who possesses free-will.
In One Breton Town, "Mademoiselle" Is Now Verboten
La mention « Mademoiselle » supprimée sur les formulaires - Cesson-Sévigné
06 janvier 2012
Cesson-Sévigné se distingue au féminin ! Dans le cadre de la signature de la Charte européenne pour l'égalité des femmes et des hommes dans la vie locale, intervenue le 16mars 2011, le groupe de travail sur l'égalité femmes/hommes et le maire PS, Michel Bihan, ont décidé d'abandonner l'appellation « Mademoiselle » sur tous les documents administratifs de la ville depuis le 1 er janvier 2012, c'est-à-dire à l'état civil, dans les courriers internes et externes, les arrêtés, etc.
Pourquoi cette initiative? « Il s'agit d'éliminer toutes mentions susceptibles d'être discriminatoires ou indiscrètes, explique la Ville. L'existence de deux termes différents pour désigner les femmes mariées et celles qui ne le sont pas, constitue une discrimination à l'égard des femmes puisqu'une telle différenciation n'existe pas pour les hommes. »
Qu'en pensent les principales intéressées ? D'après les premiers avis recueillis dès hier soir sur notre site internet www.ouest-france.fr/rennes, les femmes seraient plutôt favorables à cette décision.
A l'image de Vanille: « Les intéressées aimeraient beaucoup qu'il en soit de même dans leur commune !» Ou de Faure: « Ça fait longtemps que ce devrait être fait et il est incompréhensible que ce ne soit pas une décision qui concerne TOUTES les administrations françaises. » Mais pour d'autres internautes, des hommes en l'occurrence (!), il y a « des problèmes plus urgents à traiter ».
Certes... Ou peut-être plus actuels. Depuis les années 1970, de nombreux pays ont déjà retiré leur « Mademoiselle » désuet de leurs formulaires comme le Danemark, le Canada, les États-Unis, l'Allemagne, l'Angleterre ou encore l'Italie... La France n'est donc pas en avance.
In the midst of rising tensions in the Persian Gulf, Tehran issued a warning, today to Arab oil producers along the Southern Littoral shore, that they could face retaliation, should they ramp up oil production to offset EU sanctions against purchase of oil from the Islamic Republic. That was doubtless meant to assert Iran’s hegemony in the region. This followed retaliatory threats against the UK, US and Israel for the latest targeted assassination of a Tehran University nuclear scientist, the fourth since this covert campaign erupted in 2010.
Iran may be engaged in blustering in its chess game moves with the US and others. However, behind the media blackout in Tehran, the US and EU sanctions campaign is apparently having its internal effects. A European source told of a call this weekend from an Iranian business acquaintance of long standing, whose pharmaceutical manufacturing business with groups in India has been hobbled by rejection of letters of credit and the rapidly dwindling Rupee currency reserves. Couple that with reports of hyper-inflation in Iran’s economy and the pernicious effects on ordinary Iranians endeavoring to purchase basic foodstuffs. Those developments would be grounds for a revolt against the Islamic regime in Tehran, but for the absence of an effective civil society opposition leadership. Clearly, the Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration before, has lost every opportunity to foster such opposition groups. This could be the unfortunate legacy of the CIA-orchestrated overthrow in 1953 of Premier Mohammed Mossadeg’s nationalist regime in Iran that brought the late Shah back to power.
Instead, the Obama Administration has sought engagement with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, even resorting in desperation to using a “secret channel”. That “secret channel” was revealed as none other than the Turkish Foreign Minister of the Islamist Erdogan AKP government in Ankara. The meeting in Ankara this past week between Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was allegedly to facilitate forwarding a letter from the US. The letter contained a warning about the dire consequences of possible Iranian closure of the Straits of Hormus, a major maritime choke point in the world oil trade. Davutoglu met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi last Thursday to discuss reopening of another round of nuclear program negotiations with the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5 + 1 Group).
Then there was announced cancellation by the IDF of the joint US Israeli “interoperability” missile defense maneuvers. Was this a prelude to possible launch of an Israeli attack on major Iranian nuclear facilities? Unlikely. The Jerusalem Postreported that this was simply a deferral of the maneuvers to be held later in 2012. The IDF announcement came prior to the first meeting in Israel of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. William Dempsey this coming Thursday. In advance of the meeting with JCS Chief General Dempsey, IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, will meet in Brussels with NATO defense officials. The IAF had conducted joint NATO air exercises in 2010 with Italian Air Force units in Sardinia.
Dempsey has said that the US was fully capable of undertaking a successful military option, if provoked. He referenced the redeployment of 15,000 US troops to Kuwait and arrival of a second Carrier task force in the Arabian Sea. Dempsey in a CNN interview evidenced concern that “Iran will miscalculate our resolve.”
Little known is that US troops are already stationed in Israel’s Negev conducting over the horizon monitoring Iranian missile tests via the Pine Top radar system.
Israeli cooperation with the Pentagon has been restrained since the onset of the Obama Administration. One indication is an unconfirmed report from the World Net Daily G-2Bulletin about IDF evasion of US intelligence satellite monitoring of munitions movements:
The U.S. intelligence source said that some Israeli war preparations are being observed by the U.S. European Command.
“They’re (Israelis) perfectly aware of our birds and are either playing the (imagery) analysts or doing stuff out of sight,” the intelligence source said, adding that the Israelis are moving “a lot of munitions” of an unspecified nature, based on what overhead monitoring by U.S. imagery analysts are able to acquire.
Then there are the accusations in a Foreign Policy article that Israel’s Mossad conducted a “false flag operation” in Pakistan. It is alleged that they were posing as CIA covert ops personnel endeavoring to enlist Baluch Jundullah Sunni terrorists to undertake special ops against IRGC targets inside the adjacent Southeastern Iranian province. That allegation brought an immediate denial from Israeli officials. Note this excerpt from The Envoy:
Israeli intelligence officers posed as American spies to recruit members of a Sunni Baluch militant group which has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian security forces and civilians, journalist Mark Perry reported Friday at Foreign Policy magazine.
The allegation of the Mossad "false flag" operation is based on descriptions of memos in U.S. intelligence archives dating to the second term George W. Bush administration, Perry wrote. The memos allegedly detail the CIA's own efforts to understand media reports in 2007-2008 alleging--apparently wrongly--that the CIA was working with Jundullah to foment instability in Iran.
"The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah -- a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization," Perry wrote.
"The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel's recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel's ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials," Perry's investigation continued.
[. . .]
An unnamed Israeli government official, however, described the "false flag" report as "absolute nonsense" in an article by Israeli daily Haaretz Saturday.
"The senior Israeli government official said that if there were any truth [to] the claims in Perry's report, [then] Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad at the time of the alleged operation, would have been declared a persona non grata in the U.S. and that Dagan's foot would not have walked again in Washington," Haaretz's Amir Oren wrote.
"If such a meeting"--between Jundullah members and Mossad--"took place, it would be more probable that the people involved--assuming they were Mossad--introduced themselves as NATO officials," Melman told Yahoo News by email Saturday. He added that, in his opinion, "Mossad would not risk its special relationship" with the United States "by stealing their identities and posing as CIA."
You may recall the complaints that arose about the alleged Mossad operation in February 2010 using forged EU passports that resulted in an assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai, see here.
Could the surfacing of these ‘false flag’ accusations against Mossad, coming amidst the most recent covert war action against Iran’s nuclear program be part of a disinformation campaign? Is the objective to discredit Israel’s security concerns about when to launch a possible military attack?
Given these circumstances has this raised the probability of an Israeli strike on Iran's major nuclear facilities? Is the rumored 'debate' between US and Israeli intelligence a reflection of the latter’s increasingly dire assessment that the Islamic Republic's nuclear project may have crossed "red lines"? Is Iran approaching a possible underground test with a low yield domestically produced device? Or is this an Israeli ploy seeking to put pressure on the US and the EU sanctions that have lots of evident loopholes?
Against this background, the visit to Israel by US Gen. Dempsey should be interesting. Israel is more likely to play out the string of its covert campaign against Iran's nuclear program. This could include both targeted assassinations and launch of the latest version of the Stuxnet Duqu malware. Malware which is designed to confound and disrupt uranium enrichment and possibly the IRGC command and control net. Israel will continue the rapid implementation of its short and long range defensive and strategic missile programs. Programs designed to protect its citizens from attack by Iran and its proxies, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
As to the bullying Mullahs in Tehran, they will continue to play out the game of chicken in the Persian Gulf dangerously harassing the US Navy carrier battle groups. Stay tuned for further developments.