In what will likely be his last visit to a UN General Assembly, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again vented outrageous statements against Israel on Wednesday.
During a breakfast meeting with reporters and editors earlier this week, Ahmadinejad rejected the Jewish people’s ties to the Land of Israel.
“They have no roots there in history,” he said, going on to claim that Jews had been around the region for only 60 or 70 years, in contrast to the Iranians, whose civilization has existed for thousands of years.
Ahmadinejad said that Israel would be “eliminated.” He attacked Western freedom of speech; he alluded to his past practice of denying the Holocaust; and he bragged that Western opposition to Iran’s nuclear program would not intimidate Iran
Some might see Ahmadinejad’s defiant mood as proof that a combination of sanctions and diplomacy have failed to halt the Islamic Republic’s stubborn march toward nuclear weapon capability. Indeed, Iran’s success in adding thousands of centrifuges to its underground facility in Qom – and the seemingly unstoppable growth of its uranium stockpile – adds credence to the claim that the West is not doing enough.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew a torrent of ridicule Thursday when he unveiled before the General Assembly of the United Nations a cartoon bomb and drew a red line on it with a marker he pulled from his pocket. Instead, Netanyahu was speaking over Obama’s head, directly to the president’s employer and boss: the American voter.
Netanyahu has argued that the timing for his public calls for an American “red line” on Iran is unconnected to the US “electoral calendar,” but rather is driven by the Iranian “nuclear calendar.” Iran, he argued before the General Assembly, will be able to build a nuclear weapon by next year.
“The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb,” Netanyahu concluded.
Netanyahu’s speech was aired, at least in part, on US cable networks. While pundits mocked, millions of Americans heard a simple, clear argument that Iran was quickly reaching a point when its nuclear program would be beyond the reach of Western intervention.
Netanyahu is hoping to convince the American voter that Iran is as immediate a threat as he believes it to be. And through the voter, maybe even Obama himself.
More from the UN:
At The UN, Abbas's Rhetoric Offers A Taste Of The Legal Campaign To Come
In the initial responses to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday, most pundits zeroed in on language dealing with the possibility of rekindling negotiations with Israel.
But Abbas did not take the UN podium — to general applause that interrupted his speech several times — in order to return to negotiations. Rather, he used his speech before the United Nations to offer a condemnation of Israel and Israeli policies that sounded more like a legal brief before the International Criminal Court than a diplomatic address or negotiating position.
And that’s no accident.
Abbas described Israel’s “illegal” policies in language taken directly from the texts and discourse of international law. The “occupying power” — a legal term repeated multiple times in the speech — has employed severe “illegal measures” against the Palestinian population, including hindering economic development and pursuing a policy of “racist settlement.”
In addition to “inciting religious conflict,” Israel “refuses to end the occupation and refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom and rejects the independence of the State of Palestine.”
In stark contrast, the Palestinians were presented in Abbas’s speech as patient and, above all, law-abiding
“What we have also done [in the April decision] is to leave the door open, and to say that if Palestine is able to pass over that hurdle [of statehood] — of course, under the [UN] General Assembly — then we will revisit what the ICC can do,” Bensouda said Friday in an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
Indeed, she suggested that the ICC would not need to wait for another Palestinian request to begin investigating Israel. The original 2009 Palestinian Authority request to join the Rome Statute is enough to give the ICC jurisdiction to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at its discretion.
With the Palestinians on bringing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before the International Criminal Court, a sympathetic General Assembly that rose to its feet for a standing ovation as Abbas left the podium Thursday, and an ICC with more than a passing interest in expanding its scope of investigation to new regions and issues, Abbas’s speech should be taken as a sign of things to come.
Morsi, In UN Debut, Demands Palestinian Rights
Doesn't he have enough trouble in Egypt right now, rather than worrying about "Palestine"? No - because ultimately, it always comes back to Israel:
Morsi, an Islamist and key figure in the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, said in the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the first issue for the world body should be certifying the rights of the Palestinian people.
Marching towards the Tribulation:
Exclusive: As The UN Opens Its General Assembly Session, It Is Already Thinking Up New Global Taxes
The United Nations is at it again: finding new and “innovative” ways to create global taxes that would transfer hundreds of billions, and even trillions, of dollars from the rich nations of the world — especially the U.S. — to poorer ones, in line with U.N.-directed economic, social and environmental development.
These latest global tax proposals have received various forms of endorsement at U.N. meetings over the spring and summer, and will be entered into the record during the 67th U.N. General Assembly session, which began this week. The agenda for the entire session, lasting through December, is scheduled to be finalized on Friday.
The U.N. clearly hopes it can find a way to move ahead. “ Politically, tapping revenue from global resources and raising taxes internationally to address global problems are much more difficult than taxing for purely domestic purposes,” admits an ECOSOC document produced last April. But, it summarizes, “the time has come to confront the challenge.”
The global taxation idea was echoed this week by Jeffrey Sachs, head of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and also a U.N. Assistant Secretary General. Sachs was recently named by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to head a new intellectual lobbying group of experts called the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It “will work closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions and other international organizations,” according to the Earth Institute website.
On Monday, the controversial economist, a vociferous supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, called on President Obama to implement a carbon tax that in turn could be used to finance bonds, paying for investments to combat “climate change” -- one of the major focuses of the new solutions network
CLICK HERE FOR A TAX LIST
Greece, Spain Up For More Austerity Despite Violence
Outbursts of violence in both Greece and Spain are not preventing the respective governments from pushing ahead with the further austerity measures asked for by international lenders.
After weeks of haggling, the three-party coalition in Greece on Thursday (27 September) announced a "basic agreement" on €11.5 billion worth of spending cuts needed for the next tranche of bailout money to be disbursed.
Popular anger against the cuts turned violent on Wednesday as over 50,000 gathered in Syntagma square with riot police firing tear gas on protesters. A general strike also paralysed transportation into and throughout the country, as well as hospitals and schools.
Similar violence erupted in Spain ahead of a fresh set of spending cuts the government was set to approve later on Thursday.
"The violent images from Spain and Greece prove that this violent austerity inevitably leads to social tension," Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras said Thursday during a press conference in the European Parliament in Brussels.
U.S. Fiscal Cliff 'Single Biggest Threat' To Global Economy
The rating agency said tax hikes and spending cuts totalling US$600-billion scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2013 could shave more than 5% off the United States’ GDP on an annualized basis.
“The scale and speed of this fiscal tightening would be likely to push the U.S. economy into an unnecessary and avoidable recession,” Fitch said.
“While it is not our base case, the dramatic fiscal tightening implied by the fiscal cliff could tip the U.S. and possibly the global economy into recession. At the very least it would be likely to halve the rate of global growth in 2013,” Fitch said.
Feldstein: The Federal Reserve Has Embarked On A Very Dangerous Strategy
Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein goes after the Federal Reserve and its new asset-buying strategy in an op-ed for the Financial Times.
"The Federal Reserve has now embarked on a very dangerous strategy, buying $40bn of mortgage-backed securities each month for an indefinite number of years," he writes
Like many critics of the Fed, Feldstein argues that this is the path to inflation and bubbles.
Justice Department's Warrantless Spying Increased 600 Percent In Decade
AT&T, the nation’s second-largest mobile carrier, told Congress that it had received 63,100 subpoenas — no judicial oversight required — for customer information in 2007. That more than doubled to 131,400 last year. By contrast, AT&T reported 36,900 court orders for subscriber data in 2007. That number grew to 49,700 court orders last year, a weak growth rate compared to the doubling of subpoenas in the same period.
Not surprisingly, the number of people affected by such orders has jumped as well – consider the below chart on the number of people who the DoJ got information about using trap-and-traces and pen registers.
All of this only concerns disclosed monitoring. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in ongoing litigation, claims the National Security Agency, with the help of the nation’s telecoms, is hijacking all electronic communications.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, filed the latest pen register and trap-and-trace reports for 2010 and 2011 with Congress, which the law requires. But the Justice Department refused to release the numbers publicly and did so only after the ACLU sued.
Bizarre TSA 'Freeze' Security Drill Caught On Camera
The TSA’s bizarre new policy where it orders travelers who have already passed security to “freeze” on command has been caught on camera, with the clip illustrating once more how the federal agency has implemented a series of ludicrous policies that seemingly have no other purpose than to act as an obedience test for the traveling public.
One TSA screener is heard to say, “stay right where you are,” at a man who is walking through the airport, as the other static travelers look on in bewilderment.
“Note that the TSA “guard” is offering no explanation, only giving harsh threats and orders to stay still. Note that there was NO event or threat taking place of any kind,” he adds.
As we have previously highlighted, the “freeze” policy, which has been experienced by numerous travelers across the country, is known as Code Bravo Sierra or simply Code Bravo by the TSA.
New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey described how he was caught up in the policy on two separate occasions last year while traveling through airports in Atlanta and Los Angeles.
“Passengers are not required to ‘freeze’ in place like statues,” TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee admitted.
As WeWontFly.com’s James Babb describes, this is nothing more than “obedience training.” The American people and travelers in general are being ‘broken in’ to accept their subservience in what represents the human equivalent of horse training.
“There is literally no other purpose to this “drill” than to reinforce the notion in travelers’ heads that this is a “security state”, and that you may be told to stop dead in your tracks by a TSA “voice of authority” at any time. Legally, TSA has NO RIGHT TO STOP YOU… but it’s hard to imagine that defending your rights by walking away would end well in a (phony) tense situation if there happens to be an armed police officer nearby,” concludes the You Tube user who uploaded the video.
This absurd policy has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with security. Would a terrorist really be so dumb as to make himself stand out from the crowd by refusing to freeze and making himself look conspicuous?
It makes no sense whatsoever, until you realize that this is just another “layer” of pointless TSA security theater. It’s about reinforcing the notion that people are mandated to obey every order made by someone in uniform no matter how asinine.
A Third Of Public Fears Police Use Of Drones In U.S. For Surveillance
More than a third of Americans worry their privacy will suffer if drones like those used to spy on U.S. enemies overseas become the latest police tool for tracking suspected criminals at home, according to an Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll.
Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with safety regulations that will clear the way for routine domestic use of unmanned aircraft within the next three years. The government is under pressure from a wide range of interests to open U.S. skies to drones. Oil companies want them to monitor pipelines. Environmentalists want them to count sea lions on remote islands. Farmers want them to fly over crops with sensors that can detect which fields are wet and which need watering. They’re already being used to help fight forest fires. And the list goes on.
But privacy advocates caution that drones equipped with powerful cameras, including the latest infrared cameras that can “see” through walls, listening devices and other information-gathering technology raise the specter of a surveillance society in which the activities of ordinary citizens are monitored and recorded by the authorities.
Scientists Scramble To Understand A New Virus Similar To The One That Caused SARS