Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday dismissed a new surge of optimism in the international community that Iran might be prepared to halt its nuclear program.
"I have seen no evidence whatsoever that Iran is serous about stopping its nuclear weapons program," Netanyahu said at the tail end of his meeting in Prague with the president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus.
At least PM Netanyahu knows the game that is being played. The rest of the so-called "world leaders" probably know the game as well, but the political convenience of ignoring Iran's nuclear ambitions is too tempting than to deal with this threat head on. Israel has no choice but to deal with the reality, since their very survival as a nation is in balance.
"It looks as though they (Iran) see these talks as another opportunity to deceive and delay, just like North Korean did for years," Netanyahu said. "They may try to go from meeting to meeting with empty promises. They may agree to something in principle but not implement it. They may even agree to implement something that does not materially derail their nuclear weapons program," he said."Iran is good at playing this chess game. They know that sometimes you have to sacrifice a pawn to save the King," Netanyahu said.
The situation in Europe is rapidly going from bad to worse. It is almost like watching air being let out of a balloon. The key to any financial system is confidence, and right now confidence in banks in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal is declining at an alarming rate.The Greek banking system is already on the verge of total collapse, and at this rate it is only a matter of time before we see some major Spanish and Italian banks start to fail. In fact it has already been announced that the fourth largest bank in Spain, Bankia, will be getting bailed out by the Spanish government. It is only a matter of time before we hear more announcements like this. Right now, events are moving so quickly in Europe that it is hard to keep up with them all. But this is what usually happens in the financial world. When things go well, it tends to happen over an extended period of time. When things fall apart, it tends to happen very rapidly.
Newspapers all over the globe are speaking breathlessly of a potential Greek exit from the euro, but it is very unlikely to happen before the next Greek election on June 17th.
The rest of Europe is going to continue to financially support Greece until a new government takes power.
If the new government is willing to accept the previous bailout agreements, then financial support for Greece will continue.
If the new government is not willing to accept the previous bailout agreements, then financial support for Greece will stop.
If that happens, the bank runs in Europe will likely become a lot worse.
But for now, Greece almost certainly has at least one more month in the euro.
Beyond that, there is no telling what is going to happen.
Greece is the first domino. If Greece falls, you can count on others to eventually start tumbling as well.
The second half of 2012 is going to be fascinating to watch.
Spain's economic woes deepened on Thursday (17 May) as 16 of its banks and four regions were downgraded by Moody's ratings agency, while statistics confirmed the country is still in recession.EU leaders from Germany, France, Britain and Italy on Thursday held a video-conference ahead of the G8 meeting agreeing on the general concept that austerity and growth-spurring measures can go hand-in-hand. EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso also took part in the video chat.
Following controversy over his assertion that seeking “international permission” from the UN to launch wars trumps the authority of Congress, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta re-affirmed this premise during recent testimony in which he again stated that Congress would play second fiddle to the international community.Asked by Congressman Walter Jones, who has launched a resolution re-affirming the limits to Presidential power by making the launching of war without Congressional approval an impeachable offense, whether President Obama would seek authorization from Congress before attacking Iran or Syria, Panetta stopped short of answering in the affirmative.
“We will clearly work with Congress if it comes to the issue of the use of force,” said Panetta, backing away from comments made in March when he told a Senate Armed Services Committee, “Our goal would be to seek international permission. And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress.”
“So you get the support of Congress after you began military operations?” asked Forbes.
“In that particular situation, yes,” said Panetta, re-affirming that Congressional authorization would not be needed.
Asked by Forbes if the Obama administration’s position was that a consensus of opinion from the international community would be required before military action was taken, but that no such permission would be required from Congress, Panetta responded in the affirmative.“In that situation if the international action is taken pursuant to a Security Council resolution or under our treaty obligations with regard to NATO that obviously we would participate with the international community,” said Panetta, adding that Congress would only have an influence later when it came to questions about funding the effort.Panetta’s testimony once again highlights the Obama administration’s unconstitutional position in believing it has the power to launch foreign military interventions without Congressional approval.
Targeted in the stunning ruling from U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of New York was Paragraph 1021 of the NDAA, which Obama signed into law last Dec. 31. The vague provision appears to allow for the suspension of civil rights for, and indefinite detention of, those individuals targeted by the president as being in support of terror.Virginia already has passed a law that states it will not cooperate with such detentions, and several local jurisdictions have done the same. Arizona, Rhode Island, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington also have reviewed such plans.The case was before Forrest on a request for a temporary restraining order. The case was brought on behalf of Christopher Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alex O’Brien, Kai Warg All, Brigitta Jonsottir and the group U.S. Day of Rage. Many of the plaintiffs are authors or reporters who stated that the threat of indefinite detention by the U.S. military already had altered their activities.The judge noted that the law doesn’t have a requirement that there be any knowledge that an act is prohibited before a detention, he said. The judge also said the law is vague, and she appeared to be disturbed that the administration lawyers refused to answer her questions.“The government was given a number of opportunities at the hearing and in its briefs to state unambiguously that the type of expressive and associational activities engaged in by plaintiffs – or others – are not within [paragraph] 1021. It did not. This court therefore must credit the chilling impact on 1st Amendment rights as reasonable – and real,” Forrest said.
An enormous sunspot unleashed a powerful solar flare late Wednesday (May 16), triggering a radiation storm intense enough to interfere with some satellites orbiting Earth, space weather experts said.The flare erupted from monstersunspot complex AR 1476, which stretches about 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) from end to end, at 9:47 p.m. EDT Wednesday (0147 GMT Thursday). The flare spawned a class S2 solar radiation storm around our planet, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), a branch of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration.