Sunday, January 16, 2011

In the news:

1. First in the news today, there are several reports which support the idea of a U.S.-Israeli "joint operation" in terms of developing the Stuxnet Worm which we has sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges.

Report: Israel tested Iran-bound Stuxnet worm in Dimona nuclear plant

Israel has tested a computer worm believed to have sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges and slowed its ability to develop an atomic weapon, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

In what the Times described as a joint Israeli-U.S. effort to undermine Iran's nuclear ambitions, it said the tests of the destructive Stuxnet worm had occurred over the past two years at the heavily guarded Dimona complex in the Negev desert.

This news isn't the least bit surprising, in fact the U.S. and Israeli involvement was suspected from day one.

The Times said the worm was the most sophisticated cyber-weapon ever deployed and appeared to have been the biggest factor in setting back Iran's nuclear march. Its sources said it caused the centrifuges to spin wildly out of control and that a fifth of them had been wiped out.

It added it was not clear the attacks were over and that some experts believed the Stuxnet code contained the seeds for more versions and assaults.

Also see:

Report: The U.S. and Israel worked together to release Stuxnet

Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay

2. Updates from Lebanon:

Lebanese Druze leader to decide Hariri's political fate

This article finally gives us a sense of when we may see the final report - the report which is expected to reveal Hezbollah's involvement in the murders:

A draft indictment by the international tribunal in The Hague that has been investigating the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will go to a judge for review on Monday. Several senior figures in Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah movement are expected to be charged.

The prosecutor for the special tribunal, Daniel Bellemare, will deliver the draft charge sheet to Judge Daniel Francine, who is expected to consider the document for six to 10 weeks before deciding on possible legal proceedings.

Six to ten weeks? That is a LOT of time for Hezbollah to pursue their agenda.

The delivery of the draft indictment is expected to be highly damaging to Hezbollah in the eyes of the Lebanese public, but it is not clear what steps the organization will take. Precisely how the international tribunal will proceed is also not clear. It is not certain, for example, whether the full text of the draft indictments will be released.

And we may get confirmation of this potential bombshell:

In a surprise report on Sunday, the Lebanese daily Al Nahar cited an item from November on the conservative American Newsmax website, which said Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would ultimately be accused by the international court of ordering Rafik Hariri's murder.

It said evidence would be introduced showing that the murder was carried out by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in cooperation with Hezbollah.

Newsmax said Syrian President Bashar Assad and his brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, who was head of Syrian intelligence, were also involved.


3. New "Peace Talks"?

Quartet sets date to revive peace talks

But the EU is behind this effort:

As Washington brainstorms with outside experts on how to jump-start the stymied diplomatic process in the Middle East, the European Union announced that the Quartet will hold a meeting February 5 on the sidelines of a meeting in Munich to discuss the situation.

The Quartet – comprised of the US, EU, UN and Russia – last met to discuss the diplomatic situation in September, just prior to the break-off of direct talks after the expiration of the 10-month settlement freeze.

The February meeting, announced by a German government spokesman Friday, will take place in the background of a major annual security conference, and will be attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The meeting also comes as the White House reportedly has set up a task force led by former national Security advisors Sandy Berger, who served under Bill Clinton, and Stephen Hadley, who was George Bush’s national security advisor, to offer suggestions to the current National Security Council.

We'll see where this renewed effort leads. Anytime the EU is involved it is worth watching. If they were reading their Bibles, then they could just sit back and wait for the antichrist to show up, as he will be the only one who will broker this deal. But of course, we doubt that the prophetic scriptures are high on their list of reading material. Its too bad - it would save them from a lot of these failed efforts.

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