Thursday, 26 April 2012
This Religious Freak is a Terrorist
Member of the presiding board of Iran’s Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami
As long as the Islamic Republic is standing by Syria, the government of this country will not collapse.
Western imperialism is dispatching weaponry to the Syrian opposition, which is disgraceful, and of course the Islamic Republic will not allow their agendas to bear fruit."
Member of the presiding board of Iran’s Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami
A senior Iranian cleric has underscored Tehran’s support for Damascus, saying Syria will not fall as long as the Islamic Republic is allied with it.
“As long as the Islamic Republic is standing by Syria, the government of this country will not collapse,” member of the presiding board of Iran’s Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said on Thursday.
The senior Iranian cleric added, however, that Iran’s support for the Syrian regime does not denote the Islamic Republic’s approval of every measure taken by Damascus.
“Iran seriously demands reforms in Syria, such that the recent elections and other reformist measures in Syria have all been [taken] under the Islamic Republic’s encouragement,” he added.
Ayatollah Khatami said the reason why Iran supports Syria is that the West is taking revenge on the country for the Islamic Awakenings, the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and Lebanon’s resistance movement of Hezbollah.
“Western imperialism is dispatching weaponry to the Syrian opposition, which is disgraceful, and of course the Islamic Republic will not allow their agendas to bear fruit,” he added.
Syria has been the scene of unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.
The West and the Syrian opposition blame Damascus for the year-long turmoil, but the government says the “terrorists” are responsible for the unrest, which it says is being orchestrated from abroad.
Reports surfaced on Wednesday out of Washington that a separate investigation is being launched in order to examine allegations that the US Secret Service is involved in yet another prostitution scandal.
Maybe they just really enjoy paying for sex.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US government contractor who worked with the Secret Service last year tells reporters that that there was a separate incident involving the president’s personal security force and foreign sex workers even before the recent scandal out of Colombia. According to a report from Seattle TV station KIRO, the source claims that around a dozen Secret Service agents may have engaged in inappropriate behavior in March 2011 while on assignment in El Salvador.
The source says several Secret Service agents as well as US military specialists on assignment in the capital city of San Salvador drank heavily at a strip club, then paid admission to the bar’s VIP section where further sexual services could be purchased in the days before the presidents’ visit.
Additionally, the source alleges to the news network that Secret Service agents "did this all the time" and told their peers "not to worry about it.”
Speaking to KIRO, the owner of the gentlemen’s club in question confirmed the accounts. The proprietor says his establishment has developed a reputation for both "security" and "privacy,” and thus has been a regular watering hole for "those who want to be discreet." Regarding the 2011 incident, the owner says to KIRO that he recalls both Secret Service officers and military escorts coming to his bar at least three nights in a row.
The news came one day after US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional panel that she believes the Secret Service sex scandal stemming from a visit earlier this month to Colombia was an isolated incident.
"It really was, I think, a huge disappointment to the men and women of the Secret Service to begin with, who uphold very high standards and who feel their own reputations are now besmirched by the actions of a few," Napolitano said on Tuesday from Washington. The secretary also added that evidence of a pattern of similar behavior would “be a surprise” to her.
Responding to the Washington Post over the breaking news, an additional officer with the Secret Service speaking anonymously says that there is currently an investigation into the matter and that superiors “have taken action regarding the agents."
Addressing the latest scandal, Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said in a statement released Thursday to the media that “Any information that is brought to our attention that can be assessed as credible will be followed up on in an appropriate manner.”
The first incident out of Colombia linked several Secret Service agents to prostitutes at Hotel El Caribe in Cartagena, where they had been on assignment in the days before President Obama was to attend the Summit of the Americas conference. As of Thursday, eight officers within the agency have either left by their own accord or have had their positions terminated. An additional 12 members of the US military have been linked to that scandal as well.
President Obama has publically condemned the behavior of the agents linked to the sex scandal in El Salvador, where prostitution is legal in many parts of that country.
Despite conflicting statements from top Israeli officials on Iran’s nuclear program, the threat of war remains high. US Colonel Douglas McGregor told RT that after an Israeli strike, Tehran won’t need to build nuclear bombs - it will be given them.
President Obama has put forward an ultimatum for Iran: either make progress with negotiators or face consequences, meaning war. Some say a strike [on Iran] may happen within the next few months. In your opinion, how realistic is that? Should we expect a war in summer?
Douglas McGregor: A topical question right now in Washington DC. I think the answer right at the moment is no. President Obama is not remotely interested in waging war against Iran, so let’s be clear about that. No one at the top of the United States military establishment is interested in waging war against Iran, and the intelligence community has made it abundantly clear that Iran is nowhere near the development of a nuclear warhead or the capacity to deliver one. So when you add those things up, it’s very, very obvious, at least in the places that count, the White House and the Department of Defense, there is no interest in waging a war on Iran.
RT: There’s a great push from Israeli influence groups for President Obama to back a potential strike. And as you said, the administration says the Iranians haven’t even decided to build a bomb. So, all this war talk is based on what?
DM: It’s based really on I think the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and its subordinate elements, or affiliated elements, that represent enormous quantities of money that for many years have cultivated enormous influence and power in Congress.
RT: So the war talk is just to appease lobbyists?
DM: Well I think you’ve got a lot of people on [Capitol Hill] who fall into two categories: One category that is interested in money and wants to be reelected. And they don’t want to run the risk of the various lobbies that are pushing military action against Iran contributing money to their opponents.
RT: The administration is basically saying that all it needs is evidence that Iran has acquired nuclear weapons capability. But that’s very vague – it means being capable of doing something but not necessarily doing it. How do you see it?
DM: Well, it’s deliberately vague, it’s deliberately ambiguous, so that various people can define it as they like. What is a capability to do something in terms of weapons, nuclear weapons development? How much enriched uranium are we talking about? Is it just enriching uranium, does it involve packaging the enriched uranium? Does it involve a test of some type? No one has been very specific and I think that’s purposeful because if you’re sitting in the White House right now, you’re sitting at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA, or in the Pentagon, you can always say, "well we said capability, but we don’t see it yet.
RT: So is the purpose of that to keep the Israelis in check?
DM: President Obama’s preeminent concern is to get reelected. And that’s a very dangerous proposition right now for him, depending upon what the Israelis do. If they launch a strike on their own without consulting us, independent of us entirely, and they do it in late October shortly before the election, Obama can then say "well, we’re obligated, we have to help our Israeli friends," and then he looks good. If they do it earlier, then the consequences could be very profound for him, because it would certainly sink our economy. We would be in severe difficulty here in the United States. We have a very neo-Wilsonian interventionist elite here inside Washington that operates independently of the American people, that thinks of itself as being morally superior and justified in taking action anywhere against anyone that it deems appropriate. That’s the problem. And the Iranians are justifiably concerned about that. But they have not reached the point where they can weaponize anything, they don’t have that capability, and we do have the ability to detect that, know it, and respond to it. They know those things. What we need to do is move beyond this ridiculous, confrontational setting that both of us are trapped in – and that is very hard to do in an election year, when everyone is pandering to various elements of the electorate for money and votes.
RT: Colonel, let’s say world powers, P5 +1 negotiate something, but the results don’t satisfy Israel and the US and they do go to war this summer as some predict. What kind of immediate backlash should they expect?
DM: Iran’s trump card is subversion, the ability to subvert.
RT: So retaliation would be in the form of terrorism?
GM: It would be in the form of what I would call asymmetrical attacks – high payoff, low investment. In other words, use what you can beyond your borders in populations friendly to you to attack the other person’s interests. Now, we shouldn’t underestimate how much damage that could involve. Remember, we know for instance that Hezbollah as well as Iranian elements are here in the United States, so we know that we would sustain losses here at home, there would be damage here in the United States. How many bombs would you have to explode in public malls to do enough damage to awaken everyone to what’s going on? My point is, those are the kinds of things that I would expect. A direct military confrontation would be a losing proposition for them. They might be able to inflict damage on our Air Forces and Naval Forces, but not on the scale that would make any difference to the outcome. They would sustain enormous losses.
RT: What about long term effects? Some say even if the Iranians haven’t decided to build a bomb, they are sure to do so if attacked.
DM: I would say there’s something more important. We talk about what they will do if they are attacked, but look at the rest of the world. What will the rest of the world do if Israel attacks Iran? Remember, this is an unprovoked assault. The Israelis can claim otherwise, and insist otherwise, and paint this picture of enormous danger represented to Israel, but the truth is, no one buys that. My view has always been that if you do this, if Israel does this, then Iran will definitely have nuclear weapons. They won’t have to build them, they’ll get them. People will provide them. They will have more help than they know what to do with. And Iran will grow more hostile, and more bitter, and more angry and more dangerous than it has ever been.
The new ceasefire set for May 5 could prove a turning point in the Syrian conflict. If the truce fails, an international peacekeeping intervention might become a reality.
Growing frustration over ongoing violence in spite of a recent ceasefire agreement is pushing world powers to search for new means to influence the confrontation.
A new ceasefire date, May 5, has been set to give mediation a chance. The peace process has been “severely compromised” recently, said Alain Juppe, French Foreign Minister on Wednesday.
As the UN Security Council has authorized the deployment of 300 international observers to monitor the situation, Juppe believes the new ceasefire will become a “moment of truth” to define whether mediation can resolve the conflict.
France noted on Wednesday that the UN Security Council has the right to start a military operation against an aggressive power.
Juppe said that Paris and other world powers have discussed invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which says order can be enforced militarily.
The Charter says the UN Security council has the right to use force in a conflict “in order to prevent an aggravation of the situation”.
A military operation can in this case be mounted using troops of the organization’s member states.
Right now, it seems there is still time for more travel, financial and arms sanctions against the regime of President Bashar Assad. But if neither sanctions not peace efforts can end the violence in Syria – western powers could change their rhetoric in the UN Security Council.
Based in Istanbul, the Syria National Council has asked the UN Security Council to call an emergency meeting to adopt a resolution protecting civilians in Syria. The SNC claims Syrian authorities have toughened repressions against opposition with more “raids, arrests and executions of citizens”.
Syrian authorities put the blame on the opposition for continuing the violence in regions which it controls.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said on Thursday that “Syrian opposition has adopted total terror tactics on a regional scale”.
Armed insurgents reportedly backed from abroad continue to kill Syrian servicemen and state officials on a daily basis, local sources say. Troops and security forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad carry out clean-up operations in residential quarters of Syrian cities and hunt down militants.
Peace efforts first
A proposal for an international military operation in Syria is unlikely to get consensus in the UN Security Council if put to a vote because of the position of Russia and China. The two permanent members of the Council have previously vetoed two separate resolutions on Syria, saying they did not take into consideration the position of the legitimate Syrian government.
Thus any mention of a possible military operation against Damascus would most probably be adamantly opposed by Moscow and Beijing.
The duty of International community is to defend the sovereignty and peace in Syria, believes Christoph Horstel government and business consultant from Germany.
“We cannot allow a group of countries even if it’s NATO to plunge peaceful nations into war even if we are criticizing Assad’s government,” he said.
He also said the US has a crucial role in the way the situation is unfolding in Syria.
“Without the United States of America any interference in Syria would not have been possible. It is very clear that neither Qatar nor Saudi Arabia, nor France, nor Britain, nor Turkey would dare do anything in Syria without a green light from Washington.”
Turkey wants NATO to press Damascus
Ankara has once again accused Damascus of violating its borders and shooting at a refugee camp on Turkish territory. Allegedly, three refugees were killed and over 20 wounded.
Turkey has threatens the al-Assad regime that it will address NATO if the Syrian army does not stop violating the border while pursuing militants. Syria insists the insurgents are using refugee camps in Turkey as a safe haven.
Ankara claims as many as 30,000 Syrians have crossed the border to hide in Turkey since the beginning of the conflict.
The over-one-year-old confrontation in Syria is reported to have claimed the lives of more than 9,000 people.
April 27, 1982 – The Falklands Conflict: HMG Ponders Additional Military Measures
White House, Secret Situation Room immediate cable
This message is from the U.S. Ambassador in London:
"Summary: With South Georgia retaken, HMG [Her Majesty's Government] is now looking toward additional military steps to build pressure for a settlement on British terms. For the moment Mrs. Thatcher has a relatively free hand. Given her own uncompromising mood, we expect her to force the military race. Choosing additional steps in the near term to minimize risk and maximize public impact. End summary.
"We believe that HMG considers an all out assault on the Falklands a last resort. To keep military pressure on the Argentines HMG could follow up the South Georgia success with a series of military actions including one or more of the following:
1. Unconventional warfare.
2. Targets of opportunity: With the maritime and perhaps, air exclusion area now established, the British have the capability to attack Argentine naval vessels in the exclusion zone… We suspect that the British hope that the Argentines offer such targets of opportunity over the next few days…"
APRIL 27, 1982 – SECRETARY HAIG RELEASES HIS FINAL PROPOSAL TO OFFICIALS IN LONDON AND BUENOS AIRES: AN IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES, ARGENTINE REPRESENTATION IN ISLAND ADMINISTRATION, AND FUTURE NEGOTIATIONS ABOUT SOVEREIGNTY.
CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 01 ACTION ARA-16 INFO OCT-OO H-01 PM-09? SPRS-02 BUENOS 02450 01 OF 02
UNCLASSIFIED 222305Z ClAE-OO L-03 SP-02
RELEASED IN FULL
ADS-OO INR-10 EUR'-12 SS-10 OIC-02 10-15 NSCE-OO NSAE-OO SSO-OO HA-06 INRE-OO SAL-01 PA-01 ANAE-OO ICAE-OO /090 W ------------------214371 222326Z /60 o R 222103Z APR 82 FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3353 INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON AMEMBASSY BRASILIA AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO AMEMBASSY ROME USMISSION USNATO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK USCINCSO qUARRY HTS PN USCINCLANT NORFOLK VA DIA WASHDC JSI-4A/JSI-4B/DB-3E/DB-3B/DC-4A
. E.O. 12065: RDS.'-3 4/22/12 :(FRIEDMAN, TB) OR-P TAGS: PBOR, AR, UK, FA SUBJ: A CONSIDERED ARGENTINE VIEW OF THE SITUATION 1. ARGENTINE CIVILIAN AND MILITARY LEADERSHIP HAVE NOW HAD TIME TO DIGEST THE MEANING OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC CRISIS AND ASSESS ITS PROBABLE IMPACT. AN EMBOFF HAD A CONVERSATION APRIL 21 WITH A WELL-INFORMED POLITICIAN WHO HAS SERVED IN AND GENERALLY SUPPORTS THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT. WE BELIEVE HIS COMMENTS REFLECT THE THINKING OF THE KEY CONSERVATIVE CIVILIAN ELEMENTS WHO HAVE COOPERATED WITH THE MILITARY SINCE 1976. CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 02 BUENOS 02450 01 OF 02 222305Z
IN THAT CONVERSATION OUR SOURCE WAS EXTREMELY OF THE GALTIERI GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO INVADE THE FALKLANDS AND DARKLY PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE. FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HIS REMARKS:
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: ALAN H FLANIGAN DATE/CASE ill: 26 MAR 2007 200601451
A) THE GALTIERI GOVERNMENT WOULD FALL IF IT DID NOT OBTAIN A FIXED COMMITMENT FROM THE BRITISH FOR RECOGNITION OF ARGENTINE SOVEREIGNTY IN THE MALVINAS. THE DATE FOR EFFECTIVE SOVEREIGNTY IN THE MALVINAS. THE DATE FOR EFFECTIVE SOVEREIGNTY COULD BE IN SIX MONTHS, A YEAR OR EVEN PERHAPS LONGER, BUT A DEADLINE WOULD HAVE TO BE ESTABLISHED. B) GALTIERI MIGHT SURVIVE IN OFFICE IF HE GETS THAT COMMITMENT, BUT SUCH SURVIVAL IS FAR FROM CERTAIN. IF GALTIERI DOES CLEARLY "WIN, II HIS NEXT MOVE MIGHT BE TO SEEK POPULAR ELECTION AS PRESIDENT AS EARLY AS THIS YEAR. (COMMENT: GALTIERI'S PROSPECTS IN?ANYTHING APPROACHING AN HONEST ELECTION WOULD SEEM EXCEEDINGLY SLIM TO US.) C) GALTIERI WILL SURELY FAIL IF THERE IS NO FIXED DATE FOR ARGENTINE SOVEREIGNTY. FROM GALTIERI'S PERSPECTIVE IT WOULD BE BETTER TO FIGHT A LOSING WAR--AND OUR SOURCE WAS SURE ARGENTINA WOULD LOSE--THAN SURRENDER ON THE SOVEREIGNTY ISSUE. D) THERE ARE NO POLITICIANS IN THE COUNTRY WHO THINK THAT THE INVASION OF THE ISLANDS WAS ANYTHING OTHER THAN A COLOSSAL ERROR. THERE IS A WIDESPREAD BELIEF THAT THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADVISORS ARE INCOMPETENT. E) IF THERE IS A MAJOR INCIDENT IN WHICH LARGE NUMBERS OF ARGENTINES ARE KILLED (IIA SHIP IS SUNK AND 400 DIE") THE PUBLIC WILL BE UNCONTROLLABLE. AMONG THEIR TARGETS WILL BE THE US EMBASSY, HE SAID.
CONFIDENTIAL / .
NNN CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 01 ACTION ARA-16 INFO OCT-OO H-01 BUENOS ADS-OO 10-15 02450 02 OF 02 EUR-12 NSAB-OO 222315Z SS-10 SSO-OO OIC-02 HA-06 CIAB-OO L-03
PA-01 INRE-OO SAL-01 ANAE-OO ICAE-OO /090 W ------------------214542 222324Z /60 o R 222103Z APR 82 FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3354 INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON AMEMBASSY BRASILIA AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO AMEMBASSY ROME USMISSION USNATO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK USCINCSO QUARRY HTS PN USCINCLANT NORFOLK VA DIA WASHDC JSI-4A/JSI-4B/DB-3E/DB-3B/DC-4A CON F IDE N T I A L SECTION 2 OF 2 BUENOS AIRES 2450 USCINCSO FOR INTAFF, CINCLANT FOR POLAD F) IF GALTIERI IS OUSTED AS A RESULT OF THE CRISIS, HE WILL BE REPLACED BY AN ARMY GENERAL. ONE SCENARIO WOULD PRODUCE A RIGHT-WING NATIONALISTIC DICTATORSHIP. ANOTHER, WHICH THE SOURCE PREFERRED, WOULD BE THE SELECTION. OF:, A GENERAL TO .PRES IDK OVER :;A TRANSITION . . TO DEMOCRACY ..HE SAID THERE,. IS NO ,ACT.I:vE~-DUTY GENERAL WHO COULD PERFORM THIS TASK. AMONG THE RETIRED , FOR DIFFERENT REASONS, EX-PRESIDENTS VIDELA AND VIOLA' . ARE BOTH OUT OF THE RUNNING. THE TWO WHO HAVE THE BEST CHANCE ARE GENERALS HORACIO LIENDO AND VILLAREAL BOTH OF WHOM HAVE GOOD POLITICAL CONNECTIONS. THEY SHARE CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 02 BUENOS 02450 02 OF 02
." , U N C L A S S I F I E D
TIES TO PERONIST POLITICIANS AND FRONDIZI'S MID. VILLAREAL ALSO HAS GOOD TIES TO CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS AND THE RADICALS (RADICALS HAVE TOLD US THIS TOO) . LIENDO HAS LINES OUT TO THE PERONIST UNIONS AND VILLAREAL COULD MATCH HIM VERY QUICKLY. OUR SOURCE CONCLUDED, AND ONE OF LIENDO'S ADVISERS HAS AGREED, THOHEUAT ON BALANCE VILLAREAL IS THE FAVORITE IN SUCH A SWEEPSTAKE. G) IN THE LAST FEWNDAYS OR SO THE GOVERNMENT HAS PULLED BACK FROM SUGGESTING PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY THAT ARGENTINA IS REACHING OUT TO THE SOVIET UNION. IT HAS ALSO DAMPENED DOWN THE ANTI-AMERICAN CAMPAIGN THAT WAS
GETTING UNDERWAY. THE SOURCE MADE THE POINT SEVERAL TIMES, THAT HE WAS NEVER VERY HAPPY WITH GALTIERI!S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE UNITED STATES WHICH MADE ARGENTINA SEEM A 'US SATELLITE. ARGENTINA SHOULD BE PRO-WESTERN BUT INDEPENDENT AND GALTIERI EXCEEDED WISE AND REASONABLE LIMITS. H) OUR SOURCE SAID HE IS NOW 41 YEARS OLD AND HE NOW KNOWS T~T DURING HIS LIFETIME HE WILL NEVER SEE A lfSERIOUS" ARGENTINA. HE MEANT BY THIS A STABLE, DEMOCRATIC AND PROSPEROUS COUNTRY. HE SAID HIS CHILDREN MAY BUT HE WON 'T. I) THE TROOPS NOW IN THE MALVINAS ARE YOUNG AND ILLTRAINED. SHLAUDEMAN
The "Zaporizhye" submarine of the Ukrainian Navy before repairs
Ukraine’s only submarine, the Zaporozhye, has left the port of Sevastopol on the Black Sea for sea trials for the first time after many years of repairs.
The Soviet-era Foxtrot class (Project 641) diesel-electric submarine stood grounded at a dock in Sevastopol for years without repair and became a symbol of the demise of Ukraine’s navy.
Russian engineers repaired and serviced the submarine and a crew of Ukrainian submariners was trained at Russian naval bases.
“The sea trials of the Zaporozhye submarine is an important event for the Ukrainian navy,” Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin said. “Successful sea trials will ensure the revival of Ukraine’s submarine fleet.”
The trials, scheduled until April 27, will test the submarine’s power plant and other key equipment while sailing on surface.
Though the submarine was built 40 years ago, the vessel has been upgraded with new equipment and will certainly raise the combat capability of the Ukrainian navy.
Submarines of this type are most efficient in the Black Sea as they feature low radar and noise signatures.
Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania also have one submarine each in the Black Sea.