Saturday, 21 January 2012

IRAN - Daily Crap from Iranian Delusional Leadership - 'US psywar against Iran will backfire'

A senior Iranian lawmaker says despite the US stepping up its psychological warfare against the Islamic Republic ahead of Iran's parliamentary elections, these plots will backfire.

“Provoking [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein to attack Iran [in 1980], encouraging Persian Gulf littoral states to unite against Iran, encouraging terrorist groups [to act against Iran], trying to spy [on the country], and assassinating nuclear scientists, all show that Washington is trying to deliver physical and psychological blows to Iran,” lawmaker Mohammad Karamirad said on Friday.

Karamirad, who is also a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Majlis (parliament), added that such measures have always proven ineffective and the Islamic Republic has made great advancements in various fields such as nuclear science, nanotechnology, and aerospace.

On January 13, Iran announced that it had collected “credible evidence and reliable intelligence,” that the killing of its nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan two days earlier had been carried out with the “guidance, support, and planning” of the US intelligence service CIA.

The assassination came just one month after Iran brought down a US spy drone that violated its airspace in the east of the country. On December 6, two US officials confirmed that the drone had indeed been part of a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reconnaissance mission.

Karimirad concluded by saying that US animosity towards is because its interests were lost in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the country.

SKy News - Reports: Former Gaddafi Spokesman Captured

The former spokesman for the Gaddafi regime Moussa Ibrahim has been captured in Libya, according to reports.

Sky's foreign affairs correspondent Lisa Holland said the information had come from military sources in the capital Tripoli.

"They are telling me their fighters on the ground in Assabia ... are telling them that Moussa Ibrahim, the former mouthpiece of the regime, has been arrested.

"We must treat this with caution at the moment as, as the military sources in Tripoli are saying, seeing is believing because there have been rumours in the past of the capture of all sorts of people.

"If it turns out to be true it would be almost the final piece in the Libya jigsaw."

Fighters from the National Transitional Council have claimed on three previous occasions that Ibrahim had been captured, but each time it proved to be untrue.

He is one of the last members of Colonel Gaddafi's inner circle whose whereabouts were unclear after the killing of the Libyan leader and the capture of his son Saif al Islam.

In recent weeks, rumours inside Libya had suggested Ibrahim had fled over the border into neighbouring Niger, where another of Gaddafi's sons, Saadi, has sought refuge.

Assabia, where Ibrahim was reportedly captured, is said by rival groups to still be under the control of pro-Gaddafi militias. There have been a number of clashes in the town, which is about 50 miles from Tripoli.

Ibrahim held the news conferences for journalists allowed into Libya as the government battled a popular uprising against Gaddafi's rule.

Holland said: "He would spout the government line and he would accompany us on trips into the field.

"He's extremely loyal, he's a relative of Colonel Gaddafi. He's educated in Britain, he studied in north London and he speaks fluent English.

"He was loyal to the absolute end, he used to liken Colonel Gaddafi to an almost presidential-like figure, which to the outside world seemed absolutely ridiculous."

January 21st - On This Date - USN Submarine Service

1918 - 
 PCU R-20 (SS-97) launched at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA; sponsored by Mrs. Arnold Foster.

1942 - 
 PCU GREENLING (SS-213) commissioned USS GREENLING (SS-213) at New London, CT; Lt. Comdr. H. C. Bruton commanding.

1954 - 
 PCU NAUTILUS (SSN-571) launched at the Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, CT; sponsored by Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower. After nearly 18 months of construction, NAUTILUS was launched with First Lady Mamie Eisenhower breaking the traditional bottle of champagne across NAUTILUS' bow as she slid down the ways into the Thames River.

1961 -  
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN-598) arrived in New London, CT after her first patrol. She and the BLUE crew set a record for submerged endurance of 66 days, 10 hours.

1974 - 
 the U.S. Navy said it was investigating possible sabotage on USS SPADEFISH (SSN-668), which was undergoing a one-year overhaul in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, VA. Electrical wires on the submarine had been cut several times since the fall of 1973, prompting the Navy to investigate.

1984 - 
PCU AUGUSTA (SSN-710) launched at the Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, CT; sponsored by Mrs. Diana D. Cohen.

1989 - USS CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI (SSN-705) collided with unknown object while submerged in the Atlantic Ocean.

Friday, 20 January 2012

January 21st - On This Date - Royal Australian Navy

CDRE James E. Erskine, RN, was appointed Flag Officer Commanding Australia Station. His flagship was HMS NELSON.

HMAS MELBOURNE, (light cruiser), rescued the crew of 22 of the four-masted schooner HELEN B STIRLING north of Newcastle, NSW.

Engineer VADM Sir William Clarkson, KBE, CMG, died at his home in Sydney. Clarkson had commenced service in the South Australian Navy in 1884, seen service in the Boxer Rebellion as the Engineer of South Australian gunboat HMCS PROTECTOR, and been Third Naval Member of the Australian Naval Board from 1911 to 1922. VADM Clarkson is considered the “father of engineering in the RAN”, and the Clarkson School of Engineering at HMAS CERBERUS is named after him.

 The Grimsby class escort sloop, HMAS YARRA, was commissioned. Mrs Parkhill, (Wife of the Minister for Defence), performed the commissioning ceremony. YARRA was laid down in Cockatoo Island Dockyard on 28 March 1935. YARRA was sunk in action in the Sunda Strait, on 4 March 1942.

 The Grimsby class escort sloop, HMAS SWAN, (CMDR R. R. Dowling, RAN), was commissioned. SWAN was laid down in Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, 1 May 1935, and launched on 28 March 1936. Mrs J. A. Lyons, (Wife of the Australian Prime Minister), performed the launching ceremony.

HMA Ships STUART, VAMPIRE, and VOYAGER, (destroyers), took part in the assault on Tobruk, breaking through the outer defences at dawn.

    The Australian Forces Club opened in Alexandria, Egypt. A sailor from HMAS STUART later wrote: “Within a few minutes of reaching the city we were sampling a glass of Australian beer. It was our first Australian liquor for 15 months, and it was thoroughly appreciated.”

Event #1
Off Darwin, NT, HMA Ships DELORAINE, KATOOMBA, and LITHGOW, (corvettes), with the USS EDSALL, (destroyer), took part in depth-charge attacks which destroyed the Japanese submarine I124, the first warship of the Japanese navy to fall victim to the RAN in WWII.

Event #2
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS ROCKHAMPTON, was commissioned.

Cook R. W. Andrews was swept overboard when a freak wave caused HMAS NEPAL, (destroyer), to almost broach to south of Cape Town. The man was sighted when an albatross was observed pecking at his scalp. He was picked up and treated for a fractured leg and beak wounds.

HMAS NAPIER, (destroyer), supported RN units involved in Operation Matador, which was the assault on Rameree Island, Burma.

The landing ship, tank, HMAS LABUAN, (LCDR G. M. Dixon, RAN), sailed from Melbourne for Heard and Kerguelen islands in the Antarctic.

The RAN School of Underwater Medicine was established at HMAS PENGUIN, Sydney.

 HMAS DUBBO, (Fremantle class patrol boat), was launched at Cairns, QLD.

The patrol boat, HMAS GLADSTONE, (LCDR M. Moore, RAN), apprehended the illegal fishing vessel SUMUT SAKHON in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

GLADSTONE was forced to fire rifle shots across the bow of the vessel, but it still refused to stop and eventually a boarding party was put onboard to take control of the vessel.

January 21st - On This Date - RN Submarine Service

1940 Thorn Submarine HMS Thorn laid down
1943 Untiring Submarine HMS Untiring launched
1921 HMS K5 HMS K5 sailed from Torbay as part of a fleet bound for Spain, which included the Cruiser Inconstant and Submarines K8, K9, K15 and K22. It was decided to conduct a mock battle in the Bay of Biscay and the vessels split up to take their positions. A signal was received from K5 that she was diving, but she failed to reappear at the end of the exercise. An hour before dusk a battery cover from a K boat was recovered and the next morning a sailor’s ditty box was found - the last trace of K5. It is believed an accident caused K5 to exceed her maximum diving depth.
1943 HMS Saracen HMS Saracen sinks the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser V 3/Maria Angelette with gunfire about 30 nautical miles south of Isola di Capri, Italy.
1943 Unrivalled While on patrol of Tunisia HMS Unrivalled intercepts a small Italian naval auxiliary towing a schooner. She sinks the naval auxiliary with gunfire.
1945 HMS Sidon Damaged in a submerged collision with HMS Turpin. Her stem cutter was turned to starboard by a length of 4 feet.
2006 HMS Spartan Decommissioning ceremony was held to mark the successful completion of Spartan's service.

Ofcom revokes Press TV's UK license

In a questionable move and without offering a valid response to the Press TV CEO's letters, the British Office of Communications (Ofcom) has revoked Press TV's broadcasting license and finally removed the channel from the Sky platform.

Ofcom has revoked Press TV's license for what it calls breaching of the broadcasting code.

Earlier, Ofcom also hit Press TV with a fine of 100 thousand pounds. The British media regulator stepped up pressure on Press TV after the news channel covered British police crackdowns on anti-austerity protesters in London and other British cities.

Ofcom is said to have close ties to Britain's royal family. And the cables released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks show that Press TV's programs on the royal wedding, which many in the country described as extravagant, angered the royal family.

Many observers have also noted that the British government's hostile campaign against Press TV has its roots in the channel's extensive and transparent coverage of the role that the British government played in the killing of tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Press TV has extensively given coverage to Britain's support for autocratic Persian Gulf monarchies and even given legitimacy to the dictatorial regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

In January, Press TV's CEO Mohammad Sarafraz sent a letter to Ofcom questioning the independence of the British regulatory body given that the British Secretary of State has the power to appoint or remove from office Ofcom's chairman and its members, and even to dissolve the entire organization.

Sarafraz also pointed out that Ofcom is funded by loans and Grant-in-Aid from the British Government.

He further pointed to Ofcom's “glaring contradiction” in its dealings with Press TV. “Ofcom wants to revoke the broadcast license because it has determined that Press TV Ltd. does not have control over the broadcast. Yet at the same time, Ofcom sentences Press TV Ltd. to pay a financial penalty for the broadcast of something Ofcom says it has no control over! How can you possibly explain your paradoxical performance?”

Sarafraz stressed that Ofcom's bid to revoke Press TV's license will not prevent the channel from broadcasting the truth about the British Royal regime.

“It is futile to attempt to conceal the truth from the people of Britain, and those that want to hear our alternative voice will find a way despite your efforts,” he said.

Tunisians fear Sharia-law state may be looming

Tunisia is marking the first anniversary of the revolution that triggered the Arab Spring and changed the face of the entire region. And while the country can boast a peaceful transition of power, radical religious ideas are on the rise.

­It may have looked like a successful revolution – getting rid of an authoritarian regime, while retaining its Westernized façade. But in the parliamentary elections that followed, Tunisians voted Ennahda, an Islamist Party, to power. It now firmly holds the majority of seats in the new parliament.

“We don’t have the political culture here in Tunisia, it’s new for us, it’s the first experience,” social activist Haifa Ben Abdallah told RT. “Making the choice between political programs – it was hard, especially with the political programs of the Islamists, who pushed people to choose between Muslims and non-Muslims . Either you believe in God, and if you’re not Islamist – you don’t believe in God.”

But Western tourists have nothing to fear. The Party’s leaders say beer and bikinis – regular staples of Tunisia’s holiday hot spots – are here to stay.

Yet, recent events at the Manouba University, one of the largest in the country, show that Tunisian ways are, indeed, changing.

Major protests erupted at the university when several female students came in wearing a niqab – a traditional Islamic headdress covering most of the face, leaving only the eyes visible. The university authorities believed this to be unacceptable and prohibited such headdress from being worn on campus. The students went on a strike saying their freedom was being oppressed.

“It was a minority of students and they were on strike for three weeks. Two of those weeks the university was closed on the Provost and Education Council’s decision,” Dr. Leila Blibi, a professor of history at the Manouba University, explained. “The majority of students were against the strike, but they were threatened by those in the minority. We held out on principle. We are against girls wearing a headdress in lecture halls and during the exams. It’s a question of security and of trust between professors and students. It’s unacceptable.”

Professor Blibi acknowledged the students' right to wear whatever they please – after all, she says, this is the essence of freedom. But in the case with niqab, she felt it differ from the simple issue of dress-code, since usually a headdress serves to protect the woman from possible unwanted advances.

“A female student in a headdress personally debases me, as if I were some kind of an angry animal, which can harm her,” Dr. Blibi continued. “This is where we’re faced with the issue of mutual understanding, without which the educational process is impossible.”

And activists for women rights in the country believe the underlying political tendencies are thinly veiled by the strikes at the Manouba University.

“Whether a woman wears a niqab or whatever else – these things are unimportant,” a political activist and lawyer, Bochra Belhag Hmida, explained. “Universities, schools provide education. I’m not afraid of women’s desire to wear a headdress, I’m afraid that this issue may be used to provoke other problems.”

The parliamentary opposition, meanwhile, fears this may mean bad news for the newborn Tunisian democracy.

“We're worried that we may slump down to a new hegemony, a new authoritarian rule by one of the representative parties,” said Dr. Samir of the Manouba University. “Ennahda received 40 per cent of the seats in the assembly. The post of prime minister is also theirs. Every Tunisian is afraid that confrontations and riots may occur.”

Ennahda leaders have given a number of assurances that they are not going to turn the country into a strict Sharia-law state. Yet, many seem to agree that the worrying early signs are already there.