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STL Prosecutor Submits Indictment in Hariri Probe

Al-Manar – 17/01/2011

One hour after denying a press report over the matter, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon confirmed the rumors: the indictment in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s case was submitted…

The indictment, believed to be part of the American-Israeli plot against Lebanon and the Resistance, is expected to remain confidential for a while.

INDICTMENT SUBMITTED, TO REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL

According to a statement issued by the tribunal’s press office, STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare submitted the confidential indictment Monday against suspects in the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

“The prosecutor of the tribunal has submitted an indictment and supporting materials to the pre-trial judge,” the tribunal said in a statement in The Hague, where it is based for security reasons.

Bellemare presented the documents, widely believed to unfairly implicate Hezbollah, to the tribunal’s registry at 4:35pm (15:35 GMT), it said.

They “will now be reviewed by the pre-trial judge, Daniel Fransen”, who has to confirm the charges before any arrest warrant or summons to appear can be issued.

The pre-trial judge should need six to 10 weeks to confirm the charges, tribunal registrar Herman von Hebel told journalists in The Hague in December. He could also decide to reject the indictment in whole or in part, or ask the prosecutor for additional information. A trial could follow “four to six months” after the confirmation of the charges, according to Von Hebel.

The STL’s amended rules allows for a trial to be held “in absentia”, meaning without the accused being present, if arrests are impossible.

INDICTMENT RELEASE PART OF POLITICAL EXPLOITATION

The submission’s timing is believed as well to have political meanings, especially after the collapse of the Lebanese government headed by Saad Hariri following the “death” of the Syrian-Saudi initiative aimed at dealing with the repercussions of the indictment.

One day earlier, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that the release of the indictment was part of the political exploitation of the STL and its indictment. His eminence emphasized that the Americans and Israelis worked hard to accelerate the indictment’s release after obstructing the Saudi-Syrian initiative.

“It is obvious that the Americans and the Israelis were against the Arab effort and they bargained on its failure because they had in mind that the crisis was complicated and eventually, they will not need to interfere. However, when they realized that the process was yielding positive results, they interfered in a decisive way. This is why the efforts stopped so suddenly.”

HEZBOLLAH WILL NOT LET ANYONE DAMAGE ITS REPUTATION

During his Sunday speech, Hezbollah Secretary General also anticipated the indictment’s expected release, vowing that the Resistance group would “defend” itself against likely charges by the tribunal. His eminence warned that Hezbollah will not let anyone damage its reputation and dignity and will not allow anyone to conspire against the Resistance or accuse it of spilling the blood of martyr Rafiq Hariri.

“I reassure those who are still after this project that they are miscalculating,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out. “We tell those who believe they can use the indictment to target the resistance that they are extensively miscalculating.”

“I will have another speech in light of what Bellemare will issue in the next couple of days,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Sea level may drop in 2010

By John Kehr | Watts Up With That | January 17, 2011

Based on the most current data it appears that 2010 is going to show the largest drop in global sea level ever recorded in the modern era.  Since many followers of global warming believe that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, a significant drop in the global sea level highlights serious flaws in the IPCC projections.  The oceans are truly the best indicator of climate.  The oceans drive the world’s weather patterns.  A drop in the ocean levels in a year that is being cited as proof that the global warming has arrived shows that there is still much to learned.  If the ocean levels dropped in 2010, then there is something very wrong with the IPCC projections.

The best source of sea level data is The University of Colorado.  Only government bureaucracy could put the sea level data in one of the places farthest from the ocean, but that is where it is.  I use both data sets that includes the seasonal signal.  So with and without the inverted barometer applied.  This is the source of the data that is used to show that the oceans are rising.  Of course the rate of rise is greatly exaggerated and if the rate from 1993-2010 is used there will be a 1m rise in the year 2361.

Of course the rate is not constant.  The rate of rise over the past 5 years has been half the overall rate.  At the rate of the past 5 years it will be the year 2774 before the oceans rise a single meter.  Of course a decrease in the rate is technically an negative acceleration in the rate of rise, so technically the rate of rise is accelerating, but in a negative direction.  That statement is misleading though as most people consider acceleration to be a positive effect.

The Inconvenient Skeptc
Sea Level Change

Even more interesting is the fact that from 1992-2005 there was an increase each year.  2006 was the first year to show a drop in the global sea level.  2010 will be the 2nd year to show a decrease in sea level.  That is correct, 2 of the past 5 years are going to show a decrease in sea level.  2010 could likely show a significant drop in global sea level.  By significant I mean it is possible that it will likely drop between 2-3 mm from 2009.  Since the data has not been updated since August it is difficult to guess more precisely, but the data ends at the time of year that the seasonal drop begins to show up.  If the drop does show up as expected it is possible that 2010 will show the largest drop in sea level ever recorded.

The Inconvenient Skeptic
2010 could show a significant drop in sea level from 2009.

Of course what will happen won’t be known until the data for the past 5 months is made available.  I have been patiently waiting for the data to be updated for several months now, but I got tired of waiting and decided to put the information I have out there.

One fact is certain.  A drop in sea level for 2 of the past 5 years is a strong indicator that a changing sea level is not a great concern.  In order for the IPCC prediction of a 1m increase in sea level by 2100 to be correct, the rate must be almost 11 mm/yr every year for the next 89 years.  Since the rate is dropping, it makes the prediction increasingly unlikely.  Not even once in the past 20 years has that rate ever been achieved.  The average rate of 2.7 mm/yr is only 25% of the rate needed for the IPCC prediction to be correct.

This is yet another serious blow the accuracy of the official IPCC predictions for the coming century.  The fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the last 5 years that have the lowest rate of rise than the years with lower CO2 levels is a strong indicator that the claims of CO2 are grossly exaggerated.

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

Avi Shlaim on the Neoconservative Middle East War Agenda

“The influence of the Likud and of its friends in Washington could be detected across the entire spectrum of American policy towards the Middle East,” writes Shlaim.

By Stephen Sniegoski | My Catbird Seat | January 17, 2011

A friend, Phil Collier, an avid student of and sometime writer on Middle East affairs (and  a National Master in chess), recently  informed  me that Avi Shlaim, in his recent book, Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations, had one chapter, “Palestine and Iraq,” that presents a thesis almost identical to what I have written in The Transparent Cabal. This naturally encouraged me to obtain the book, and Collier’s description turns out to be correct.

THE CABAL: William Kristol, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith

Now this similarity is quite significant since what I have written on the neocons regarding their strong influence on U. S. Middle East policy and their connection to Israel is taboo in the American mainstream, with even numerous antiwar individuals (especially those with higher status) and publications shying away from my work. But unlike me, Shlaim, a professor of international relations at Oxford, is a recognized scholar, with such notable books on Israel and its neighbors as The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2001).  And he is also Jewish and an Israeli citizen, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces (possessing dual British and Israeli citizenship), which shelters him from charges of anti-Semitism.   Undoubtedly because of his credentials, his works cannot be ignored, and this book was honored as a Kirkus Best Book for 2009.

Now, in his ten-page  chapter on this subject, Shlaim could only present a much-abbreviated version of the major themes that I elaborate on at length in my 447 page book.   The following are some poignant examples from Shlaim’s work, with my commentary drawing comparisons to The Transparent Cabal.

“The basic premise behind George W. Bush’s policy towards the Middle East reflected this strong pro-Israeli bias,” Shlaim opines. “The premise was that the key issue in Middle East politics was not Palestine, but Iraq.” (p. 297)    This is the essence of my thesis, but it is something many establishment people, including those who have been antiwar, ardently deny when they claim that the elimination of Saddam not only harmed  Israeli interests by empowering Iran, but that this result  was clearly foreseen by  Israelis and supporters of Israel prior to the attack on Iraq and that the government of Israel thus allegedly opposed the war.  The Transparent Cabal, of course, shows that the entire neocon war agenda in the Middle East was directed to advancing Israel’s security by weakening its enemies and that Israeli leaders did, in fact, promote the war on Iraq.   Of course, in the United States, any claim that American Jews promote Israeli interests, no matter how well adduced, invariably elicits accusations of anti-Semitism.

“American proponents of the war on Iraq promised that action against Iraq would form part of a broader engagement with the problems of the Middle East,” Shlaim notes.  “The road to Jerusalem, they argued, went through Baghdad.  Cutting off Saddam Hussein’s support for Palestinian terrorism was, according to them, an essential first step in the quest for a settlement.” (p. 297)  Later he observes:  “One of the main arguments for regime change in Baghdad was to put an end to Iraqi support for Palestinian militants and for what was seen as Palestinian intransigence in the peace process with Israel.” (p. 300)

As I point out in The Transparent Cabal, the neocons maintained that it was the removal of not only Saddam, but most “non-democratic” regimes in the Middle East, which was necessary to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue.  However, the “peace” the neocons had in mind was one dictated by Israel. Elimination of the Middle Eastern “non-democratic” regimes would facilitate this development because it was just these regimes  that provided moral and material support to the Palestinian resistance, portrayed by the neocons as “Palestinian intransigence.”  Without outside support, the isolated and dispirited Palestinians would ultimately be forced to accede to whatever type of peaceful solution Israel offered, which would create nothing like a viable, Palestinian state, but which would serve to remove Israel’s Palestinian problem and thus help to secure the Jewish nature of the state of Israel.

“The influence of the Likud and of its friends in Washington could be detected across the entire spectrum of American policy towards the Middle East,” writes Shlaim.  “Particularly striking was the ideological convergence between some of the leading neoconservatives in the Bush Administration – such as Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith—and the hardliners in Ariel Sharon’s inner circle.” (p. 298)

I go to great lengths in The Transparent Cabal to highlight the link between the neocons and the hardline Likudniks. In fact, I show that the neocons’ very plan to reconfigure the Middle East paralleled the Likudnik goal of destabilizing and fragmenting Israel’s enemies, which was best articulated by Oded Yinon in the early 1980s.

In illustrating the neocons’ identification with Israeli interests, Shlaim underscores the significance of the neocons’ “A Clean Break” paper, writing: “In 1996, a group of six Jewish Americans, led by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, wrote a paper for incoming Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu.  Entitled ‘A Clean Break’, the paper proposed, in essence, an abrupt reversal of the foreign policies of the Clinton Administration towards the Middle East.” (p. 298)  After mentioning the major goals  of the plan, including the removal of Saddam’s regime, Shlaim declares: “Thus, five years before the attack on the twin towers, the idea of regime change in Baghdad was already on the agenda of some of Israel’s most fervent Republican supporters in Washington.” (p. 299)  Regarding the connection of that policy to actual American interests,  Shlaim opines that “While the authors’ devotion to Israel’s interests was crystal-clear, their implicit identification of those interests with American interests was much more open to question.” (p. 299) Shlaim accepts the obvious  fact that the neocons were influential in shaping Bush policy: “The Bush Administration’s entire policy towards the Middle East was similarly supportive of Israel’s short-term strategic interests.” (p. 299)

It should be noted here that Shlaim, in accord with what I write in  The Transparent Cabal,  makes three taboo points that often lead to charges of anti-Semitism when he observes that the neocons are Jewish, that they are devoted to Israel, and that they were influential enough to shape U. S. Middle East  policy in the interests of Israel.

Shlaim correctly points out  that the neocons’ Middle East war  agenda transcended Iraq: “While Iraq was the main target, the neocons also advocated that America exert relentless pressure on Syria and on Iran.” (p. 300)  In The Transparent Cabal, I show that the neocons only regarded Iraq as the momentary “main target”—it was to be the first step in their plan to reconfigure the Middle East.

Shlaim refers to  Israeli support for the broader neocon Middle East war agenda, which would also primarily benefit that country, not the United States:   “Washington’s policy of confrontation and regime change was fervently supported in Tel Aviv.  Here too the benefit to Israel is much more evident than the benefit to America.   And here too, the US agenda towards the region appears to incorporate a right-wing Likud agenda.” (p. 300)

While fundamentally similar, Shlaim’s analysis does differ with The Transparent Cabal in a few respects.   For example, he depicts the noted Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis as a crucial influence on the neocons, maintaining that he provided “the intellectual underpinning for this policy [the neocon plan of democratizing the Middle East by war].” (P. 299)  While aware that Lewis expressed this Middle East democratization argument, I am not aware that the neocons actually derived this view from him.  To obtain expert opinion on this issue, I contacted Paul Gottfried, probably the foremost historian of neoconservatism, and he also was not aware of any evidence for Shlaim’s claim. Since Lewis is a well-known scholar, some neocons undoubtedly believed that publicizing their connection to him would enhance the credibility of their democratization argument, but whether they actually derived this view from him needs to be proven.

A more significant difference between Shlaim’s argument and that of The Transparent Cabal revolves around an assessment of the results of the neocon policy. While Shlaim holds that the  neocons were attuned to the views of the hardline Likudniks and sought to advance what they considered to be Israel’s security interests,  he seems to drift away from this position in looking at the policy’s results.  Instead, he seems to take the neocon rhetoric on democracy at face value and judges the results by both this standard and how the results affected Israel’s security, as he (a left-wing Zionist, not a hardline Likudnik) sees  it.  “The war on Iraq has not gone according to plan,” Shlaim asserts. “Saddam Hussein and his henchman have been removed from power but the goals of democracy, security and stability have proved persistently elusive. Today the shadow of civil war hangs over Iraq.” (p. 305)

In contrast to Shlaim’s view of Israel’s security, the neocons explicitly sought regional instability to allegedly achieve democracy, as I show in The Transparent Cabal.  And the hardline Likudnik position was to destabilize and fragment Israel’s enemies to enhance Israeli security.  The neocons similarly advocated such an approach in their “Clean Break” agenda, which did not emphasize  democratization.  In short, from the perspective of the neocons and the hardline Likudniks, the instability and the “shadow of civil war” resulting from the US invasion of Iraq were neither surprising nor unwelcome.  Thus the neocons’ plans failed only to the extent that the US has not, or at least not yet, moved on to attack and destabilize Iran and other enemies of Israel.

It is certainly pleasing to see themes that I present emerging  in the mainstream, but I am miffed that my much longer account remains largely ignored.  It would be great if  books such as Shlaim’s would serve to open the door to wider publicity for The Transparent Cabal, which would not simply be of personal benefit but would also provide mainstream readers with the most complete account currently existing of the neoconservative involvement in the war on Iraq and overall U. S. Middle East policy,  and thus serve as a guide to analyzing current U.S.  policy.  However, since Shlaim’s theme is buried among 29 other short chapters, its impact will likely be negligible.  And the overall blackout of these crucial themes will likely continue.

Stephen J. Sniegoski, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in American history,with a focus on American foreign policy, at the University of Maryland. His focus on the neoconservative involvement in American foreign policy antedates September 11,and his first major work on the subject, “The War on Iraq: Conceived in Israel” was published February 10, 2003, more than a month before the American attack. He is the author of “The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel”. Read more articles by Stephen J. Sniegoski. http://home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | Leave a comment

Arrest Warrant Issued Against Israeli National Believed To Be Involved In Dubai Assassination

By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies - January 17, 2011

Nearly a year after a number of Israeli Mossad Agents assassinated a senior Hamas member, at a hotel in Dubai, the German Authorities issued an arrest warrant against an Israeli national believed to have used a forged German passport to enter Dubai.

The German Weekly Der Spiegel reported that the man, identified as Uri Brodsky, is part of the group of assassins that carried forged passports of several European countries and Australia.

The German authorities believe that Brodsky helped a man identified as Michael Bodenheimer, to obtain a forged German Passport. Bodenheimer entered Dubai using this passport.

Der Spiegel did not specify what new charges were brought against Brodsky but the man is believed to be working for the Israeli Mossad, and also believed to have participated in carrying out the [assassination] at the room of Mahmoud Al Madbouh at a Dubai hotel on January 19. 2010.

Brodsky was taken into custody at Warsaw International Airport; the Authorities arrested him due to a German arrest warrant that was issued by Germany in June. 2010. The District Court in Warsaw ordered the extradition of Brodsky to Germany. But after spending no more than 24 hours imprisoned in Germany, he was released last August after paying a 100.000 Euros bail.

The German Authorities removed the charges regarding passport forgery and instead ordered him to pay a 60.000 Euros fine.

Following the assassination, the authorities in Dubai held extensive investigations and also collaborated with other international agencies and came up with a list of at least 27 agents working for the Mossad to assassinate Al Madbouh.

The authorities in Dubai even presented evidence showing that Mossad agents involved in the assassination used forged foreign passports.

January 17, 2011 Posted by | War Crimes | Leave a comment

Iran to file complaint against Israel

Press TV – January 17, 2011

Iran’s Foreign Ministry caretaker Ali Akbar Salehi says the country will lodge a complaint with international bodies against Israel in connection with the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

In July 2010, Iranian nuclear physics scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed when a remote-controlled bomb detonated near his house in the north of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

“Iran’s complaint against the Zionist regime (Israel) will be submitted to international bodies soon,” IRNA quoted Salehi as saying on Monday as he pointed to the role of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, in the assassination of Ali-Mohammadi, a lecturer at the University of Tehran.

Salehi added that Iran’s Foreign Ministry has collected all documents on Israel’s role in the killing of the Iranian scientist.

On January 11, Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said the Islamic Republic has succeeded in overcoming the so-called strong Mossad supported by the US and Western states by managing to penetrate into the depth of the Mossad information system and dismantling its different networks.

His comments came a day after Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said it had dismantled an Israeli spy network and arrested the main perpetrators in connection with the assassination of Ali-Mohammadi.

One of the detained terrorists, Majid Jamali-Fash, confessed that he had received training in a military base outside Tel Aviv.

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | 1 Comment

   

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