Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Headlines: Netanyahu vs Obama

PM: World Has No "Moral Right" To Give Israel A "Red Light"

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that the world has "no moral right" to put a "red light" in front of Israel if it refuses to set a "red line" for Iran.

Speaking ahead of a government to government meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Metodiev Borisov in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines in front of Iran, don't have a moral right to put a red light in front of Israel. They must understand that there is a red line so they stop."

"So far we can say with certainty that diplomacy and sanctions have not worked," Netanyahu continued. "The sanctions have hurt the Iranian economy, but have not stopped the Iranian nuclear program. That is a fact."

The comments come in response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments that the United States will not set a deadline for Iran, and that negotiations remain "by far" the best option for stopping its nuclear program.

The bottom-line?

"The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs," he said. "If Iran knows that there are no red lines, if Iran knows that there are no deadlines, what will it do? Exactly what it is doing. It is continuing without interference toward nuclear capability and nuclear bombs."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a direct challenge to the world, and implicitly to none less thanPresident Barack Obama, not to demand from Israel to ignore the existential threat to its existence at the hands of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

“The world tells Israel to wait because there is time, and I ask, 'Wait for what?'"

The Prime Minister’s remarks were a retort to comments from the White House and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday and Monday that the United States will not place any redlines for Iran.

The disagreement has sharpened and brought out into the open a sharp difference of opinion smack in the middle of the U.S. presidential campaign, in which President Obama is being forced to defend his foreign policy record as well as his attempts to turn around the “jobless growth” economy.

The wrangling over Iran between the offices of the US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday, has been reduced essentially to a battle for the agenda of their meeting in New York on Sept. 28: Netanyahu will be pressing for a US commitment to military action if Iran crosses still-to-be-agreed red lines, while the White House rejects red lines – or any other commitment for action – as neither necessary nor useful.

The sparring appeared to have reached a point of no return, leaving Obama and Netanyahu nothing more to discuss. However, just the opposite is true.

For both leaders their upcoming tête-à-tête is vital. It is the US president’s last chance to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program before he faces the American voter on Nov. 6, while the prime minister will not forego any opportunity to harness the US to this attack. He needs to prove - not just to the anti-war camp ranged against him at home, but also to assure the military - which has been falsely reported as against an attack - that he bent over backward to procure US backing.

The heated dispute between US and Israeli officials over “red lines” was therefore no more than sparring over each of the leaders’ starting-points for their New York dialogue and therefore their agenda and final understandings. Behind the clash of swords, US and Israeli diplomats are working hard to negotiate an agreed starting point. They are putting just as much effort into preventing the row deteriorating into a total rupture before Sept. 28.

Israeli officials were taken aback on Monday when the Obama Administration, which had previously vowed to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, insisted that it would set no deadlines for Iranian compliance with international demands.

Clinton's spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, later added, "...it is not useful...to be setting deadlines one way or the other, red lines."

"Without a firm and clear red line, Iran won't stop its race for a nuclear weapon," an unnamed Israeli government official told The Times of Israel. "Words like these don't only not deter Iran, they calm it."

The official's remarks echoed Netanyahu's warning earlier this week that the lack of international determination was only encouraging Iran to continue its quest for nuclear arms.

"I think what is important to realize is that Iran will not stop unless it sees clear determination by the democratic countries of the world and a clear red line," Netanyahu said in an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) after Canada became the first Western power to sever ties with Iran over its threatening nuclear ambitions.

A recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) backed up Netanyahu's assessment, noting that in recent years Iran's nuclear research and achievements had accelerated, and that there was evidence Iran intends to build nuclear warheads.

Iran is set to unveil a “domestically produced” cruise missile capable of being launched “from land, sea, and air” and reaching major Israeli cities, including Jerusalem, Iranian media reported.

Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Mehdi Farahi announced the existence of the long range Iranian missile, dubbed “Meshkat,” over the weekend, the Mehr News Agencyreported.

According to the report, the missile, with a range of 2,000 kilometers, or 1,250 miles, could easily reach Israeli cities, including Jerusalem.

The weapon will serve as “the upper hand of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. … [The] Meshkat cruise missile, which Allah willing will be unveiled soon, has arange of more than 2,000 kilometers,” the report quoted Farahi as telling Iran’s Press TV.

The report said the GPS-equipped cruise missile, with a precision fault of less than 32 feet, is equipped with components to counter anti-cruise missile defenses.

The Iranians unveiled several cruise missiles in the last two years, some called game changers in the Gulf as having the capability to sink an aircraft carrier.

Egyptian intelligence documents published on Tuesday by Egyptian Al-Masry al-Youm daily reveal that Gazan and Egyptian terrorist elements are planning to attack the US and Israeli embassies in Cairo.

According to a Channel 10 News report, the documents list by name Gazan and Egyptian global jihad members who were planning a terror strike against the embassies.

The US Embassy building in downtown Cairo is heavily fortified and is one of the largest American embassies in the world.

The source also said that Egyptian military intelligence is on the trail of more than 20 Islamic militants operating in Sinai, who plan to bomb police and security sites in the peninsula.

Also see:

The almighty Dollar is looking less mighty these days. By almost every measure, the purchasing power of the US Dollar is in precipitous decline. The following infographic, whose contents should be well-known to our readers, visualizes the sad state of affairs that the average American seems to have ignored for far too long. And since the whole world is now engaged in the 4th year of all out currency debasement one can safely channel Lester Burnham and say it's "all downhill from here."

Surveillance is coming at us from all angles. Chips, drones, TSA checkpoints, smart meters, back-doored electronic products, video cameras, spying home appliances; our phone calls and emails and keystrokes and product purchases are recorded.

The government and its allied corporations will know whatever they want to know about us.

What then?

What happens when all nations are blanketed from stem to stern with surveillance?

Surveillance inevitably leads to: placing every individual under systems of control. It isn’t just “we’re watching you” or “we’re stamping out dissent.” It’s “we’re directing your participation in life.”

As a security analyst in the private sector once told me, “When you can see what every employee is doing, when you have it all at your fingertips, you naturally move on to thinking about how you can control those patterns and flows of movement and activity. It’s irresistible. You look at your employees as pieces on a board. The only question is, what game do you want to play with them?”

Every such apparatus is ruled, from the top, by Central Planners. When it’s an entire nation, upper-echelon technocrats revel in the idea of blueprinting, mapping, charting, and regulating the flows of all goods and services and people, “for the common good.”

Water, food, medicine, land use, transportation—they all become items of a networked system that chooses who gets what and when, and who can travel where, and under what conditions.

A strong rotten egg smell had Southern Californians plugging their noses and crying foul Monday as air quality investigators scrambled to determine if the sulfurous scent was coming from the Salton Sea.

Investigators from the South Coast Air Quality Management District spread investigators all over the region in an attempt to track the stench after being flooded with 200 complaints since midnight from across much of the district's 10,000 square miles, said Barry Wallerstein, executive for the agency.

Wallerstein said "several factors" indicate the odor could be coming from the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile saltwater lake about 150 miles southeast of Los Angeles, but there is no definitive evidence yet of this or any other cause.

"The odor was extremely intense," said Janis Dawson of the Salton Sea Authority. "We actually thought that somebody had an accident, a broken sewage main, that's how strong it was."

No comments: