Saturday, May 14, 2005
The Iran Crisis in Global Context
by Dilip Hiro and Tom Engelhardt
"The Bush administration has not only refused to adhere to its obligations under the treaty … but has now embarked on what is anathema under the treaty – the production of a new generation of nuclear weapons. These are the new, more compact, nukes the administration says it needs for the so-called war on terrorism. It beggars belief that the administration appears to believe it can succeed in restraining Iran while it proceeds to violate its obligations."
According to American intelligence, Iran is probably still seven years away from producing a nuclear weapon (assuming that's what it's intent on doing, which is not at all clear) – and yet Iran may prove the fulcrum on which the NPT is cracked open. In the meantime, the Bush administration is in search of that new generation of mini-nukes (while protecting nuclear allies, in particular transforming post-9/11 Pakistan from a "nuclear outlaw to 'major non-NATO ally'"), while Israel, with an estimated nuclear arsenal of 200-300 weapons, ranging from ones small enough to imagine using in war-fighting situations to those large enough to level any city in the Middle East, evidently continues to quietly upgrade. In fact, it seems that once any country has such weaponry, the urge to build and upgrade is almost irresistible, even when militarily completely pointless. [Anti War]
Galloway hounded by AIPAC cell within U.S. Congress; Bolton tied to same cell
Coleman, who also sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, used his Oil for Food charges against Galloway, former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, and an unnamed former French foreign minister to bolster the nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the UN.The Bolton affair has revealed even more proof that a shadow intelligence network has operated within the U.S. government. [Online Journal]
Sleepwalking to disaster in Iran
By Scott Ritter
In February 2004, Bolton threw down the gauntlet by stating that Iran had a "secret nuclear weapons programme" that was unknown to the IAEA. "There is no doubt that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons production programme," Bolton said, without providing any source to back up his assertions. [aljazeera]
What, no satellite pictures of mobile enrichment trailers?
Iran: A Bridge too Far?
by Mark Gaffney
Many years ago, Soviet planners gave up trying to match the US Navy ship for ship, gun for gun, and dollar for dollar. The Soviets simply could not compete with the high levels of US spending required to build up and maintain a huge naval armada. They shrewdly adopted an alternative approach based on strategic defense. They searched for weaknesses, and sought relatively inexpensive ways to exploit those weaknesses. The Soviets succeeded: by developing several supersonic anti-ship missiles, one of which, the SS-N-22 Sunburn, has been called “the most lethal missile in the world today.”
A single one of these missiles can sink a large warship, yet costs considerably less than a fighter jet.
According to one report, when the Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani visited Moscow in October 2001 he requested a test firing of the Sunburn, which the Russians were only too happy to arrange. So impressed was Ali Shamkhani that he placed an order for an undisclosed number of the missiles.
The US Navy has never faced anything in combat as formidable as the Sunburn missile. But this will surely change if the US and Israel decide to wage a so-called preventive war against Iran to destroy its nuclear infrastructure.
With enough anti-ship missiles, the Iranians can halt tanker traffic through Hormuz for weeks, even months. With the flow of oil from the Gulf curtailed, the price of a barrel of crude will skyrocket on the world market. Within days the global economy will begin to grind to a halt. [ICH]
Young turn their backs on life in US military
“It is not a bright picture,” General Rochelle said. The military is already said to be overstretched by its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Major-General Michael Rochelle, of the Army Recruiting Command, said that the military was facing the toughest recruitment climate of the all volunteer era. [Times Online]
Americans offer shorter tour of duty to combat recruitment crisis
The US Army, which has been failing to sign sufficient recruits, is to offer a reduced tour of duty lasting just 15 months rather than the usual four years.
The army has missed recruiting targets the past three months, falling short by 42 per cent in April. [The Independent]
Anyone else feel a draft?
With a 200-kiloton nuclear payload, or: a 750-pound conventional warhead at Mach 2.1 and a flight pattern that hugs the deck and includes “violent end maneuvers” to elude enemy defenses, specifically designed to defeat the US Aegis radar defense system, scores a perfect bull’s eye hitting the crosshairs of a large “X” mounted on a ship’s bridge, sales to India, China, Viet Nam, and Cuba, enlistment isn’t exactly a rosy proposition! Not to mention the being innoculated with untestested/unproven vaccines, irradiation from depleted uranium munitions, and fighting illegal unconstitutional offensive wars based on lies, who with two working brain cells that coud be rubbed together would want to join an illegitimate military with a Commander in Chief who isn't the President of the United States of America, rather a New World Order puppet giving aid and comfort to an enemy within, is guilty of treason, rebellion, insurrection, and waging war against its people under the War Powers Act of 1917, as amended, March 9, 1933.
Russia strikes deal to repay $15 billion in debt
MOSCOW - Russia struck a landmark deal on Friday to repay up to $15 billion it owes to the West, sealing its rapid transformation from economic basket case to emerging markets powerhouse. [MSN]
I wonder if we are really running out of oil, or simply being fleeced by the excessive greed of the oil cartel while being communized?
"Russia has this windfall of oil money and given that the economy is overheating it is much better to use it for foreign debt payment than to spend it domestically," said Alexei Moisseev, economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow.
America is Losing: More Phony Jobs Hype
Outsourcing's proponents claim that it benefits corporations and their shareholders. This is true only in the short run. The substitution of foreign labor for American labor allows executives to reduce costs and increase profits, thus producing large bonuses for themselves and capital gains for shareholders. The long run effect, however, is to destroy the US consumer market and to reduce US corporations to a brand name with a sales force selling foreign made products to Americans employed in third world jobs.
China and India are winning. America is losing. It is as simple as that. [Prison Planet]
Is your retirement money safe?
The largest pension-plan default in U.S. corporate history raises a question of paramount importance to anyone with a retirement plan: Could this happen to me?
The other, more common variety is a defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k), in which employees or employers (or both) make contributions but which offers no guaranteed payout. [Post Gazette]
If I had a 401K plan, which I don’t, I would dump it in a heartbeat and invest in silver.
TAXES, GASOLINE, and THE COMING ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN
$4 a Gallon – Itz coming, and you can say I didn’t tell you so.
Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker, a pillar of the Establishment with access to economic information beyond our reach, wrote recently: "Circumstances seem to me as dangerous and intractable as any I can remember. What really concerns me is that there seems to be so little willingness or capacity to do anything about it" (quoted in The Economist, April 16, p.12). Volcker chooses words carefully: "dangerous and intractable," "willingness or capacity." He's saying: The situation is probably beyond our powers to remedy.
But this time around the economic cycle is different. The leading governments and central banks of the world are combining their efforts to establish a fully integrated global economic order (GEO) that will require a relative balance among the major economies, including the U.S. Hence the coming international taxing authority, which for the time being is being administered by the oil companies and other multinational interests.
In truth, the much-bemoaned spike in fuel prices is more a function of manipulation and speculative activity than a true supply/demand imbalance. The imbalance in the market equation is a testament to the excessive greed of the oil cartel than to a squeeze in the supply pipelines. [Financial Sense]