Bidzina Ivanishvili and Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps in Europe, Lt Gen John M. Paxton, outside Ivanishvili’s compound in Tbilisi.
Photo: Ivanishvili’s press office
Tbilisi – Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose Georgian Dream coalition won the parliamentary elections, said Georgia, which has two battalions stationed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, would “definitely continue” cooperation with the U.S. over Afghanistan.
He made the remarks on October 5 after meeting with commander of the U.S. Marine Corps in Europe, Lt Gen John M. Paxton, who is visiting Georgia.
“Georgia has been a very valuable and trusted ally for many years; we work very closely together in Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand province and we have enjoyed a great relationship trying to develop NCO leadership, officer skills and work on enhanced security cooperation,” Lt Gen Paxton said after the meeting.
“We are here to congratulate Mr. Ivanishvili and to wish him a smooth transition of power. We are here to just reaffirm that the United States stands by Georgia,” he said and added he was looking forward not only to working relationship in Afghanistan but also to continued good relations in years ahead.
“This was my first meeting with the U.S. military, who have provided a huge assistance to establishing of the Georgian army and to its reforms in line with the NATO standards,” Ivanishvili said. “I knew it, but I was very glad to hear that Georgian [troops] have special importance in the NATO forces [in Afghanistan] and that together with the U.S. [troops] are [performing combat duties] in difficult areas”
“Of course we should do everything possible in order to [continue] our partnership with the United States in Afghanistan and in such hotspots,” Ivanishvili said and added that Georgia was playing “a role of a real junior friend” to the United States and “we will definitely continue cooperation in the future too.”
The Commander of U.S. Marine Corps in Europe met on October 5 with Chief of Joint Staff of the Georgian armed force Lt Gen Devi Chankotadze.
“The sides focused on an enhanced military cooperation between the countries. Chief of JS underlined that Georgia will continue cooperation with the United States in the same format and stressed the role the U.S. plays in modernization of the Georgian army and in developing interoperability with NATO,” the Georgian Ministry of Defense said. “Lt Gen Devi Chankotadze affirmed that Georgia stands ready to continue cooperation with NATO and the United States in the post-ISAF period too.”
Also on October 5, the Commander of U.S. Marine Corps in Europe visited National Training Centre, Krtsanisi, outside Tbilisi where he attended training of the Georgian servicemen, who are gearing up for the Afghan deployment.
- New Georgian Leader A Man With a Past – On K Street (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- U.S. and Georgia armed forces commanders discuss the prospects of deepening cooperation (en.trend.az)
Even those pundits who seem to want to distance U.S. foreign policy from Tel Aviv’s demands and begin treating Israel like any other country sometimes feel compelled to make excuses and apologies before getting down to the nitty-gritty. The self-lacerating prologues generally describe how much the writer really has a lot of Jewish friends and how he or she thinks Israelis are great people and that Israel is a wonderful country before launching into what is usually a fairly mild critique.
Well, I don’t feel that way. I don’t like Israel very much. Whether or not I have Jewish friends does not define how I see Israel and is irrelevant to the argument. And as for the Israelis, when I was a CIA officer overseas, I certainly encountered many of them. Some were fine people and some were not so fine, just like the general run of people everywhere else in the world. But even the existence of good upstanding Israelis doesn’t alter the fact that the governments that they have elected are essentially part of a long-running criminal enterprise judging by the serial convictions of former presidents and prime ministers. Most recently, former President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape, while almost every recent head of government, including the current one, has been investigated for corruption. Further, the Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away.
Interfering in American electoral politics
The most recent outrage is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s direct interference in U.S. domestic politics through his appearance in a television ad appearing in Florida that serves as an endorsement of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The Netanyahu ad and his involvement in the election has been widely reported in the media and has even been condemned by several leading Jewish congressmen, but it has elicited no response from either Obama or Romney. Both should be condemning in the strongest terms the completely unprecedented intervention by a foreign head of government in an American election. That they are saying nothing is a testament to the power that Israel and its friends in Congress and the media have over the U.S. political establishment. Romney might even privately approve of the ads, as he has basically promised to cede to Netanyahu the right to set the limits for U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Pushing us into war
And why is Benjamin Netanyahu in such a lather? It is because President Barack Obama will not concede to him a “red line” that would automatically trigger a U.S. attack on Iran. Consider for a moment the hubris of Netanyahu in demanding that Washington meet his conditions for going to war with Iran, a nation that for all its frequently described faults has not attacked anyone, has not threatened to attack anyone, and has not made the political decision to acquire a nuclear weapon in spite of what one reads in the U.S. press. At the U.N., Netanyahu’s chart showing a cartoon bomb with a sputtering fuse reminiscent of something that might have been employed by an anarchist in the 1870s failed to pass any credibility test even for the inevitable cheerleaders in the U.S. media. If the U.S. is to go to war based on a Netanyahu cartoon then it deserves everything it gets when the venture turns sour, most likely Iraq Redux, only 10 times worse.
Even more outrageous, and a lot less reported in the media, were the comments made by Patrick Clawson, director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an organization founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). WINEP is widely viewed as a major component of the Israel Lobby in Washington and is closely tied to the Israeli government, with which it communicates on a regular basis. Clawson heads WINEP’s Iran Security Initiative. At a briefing on Sept. 24 he said, “I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough, and it’s very hard for me to see how the United States … uh … president can get us to war with Iran.… The traditional way America gets to war is what would be best for U.S. interests.”
Note that Clawson states his conviction that initiating a crisis to get the U.S. involved in a war with Iran and thereby fooling the American people into thinking that it is the right thing to do is actually a “U.S. interest.” He cites Pearl Harbor, Fort Sumter, the Lusitania, and the Gulf of Tonkin as models for how to get engaged. Which inevitably leads to Clawson’s solution: “if the Iranians aren’t going to compromise it would be best if someone else started the war … Iranian submarines periodically go down. Some day one of them may not come up…. We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier at that.” Clawson is clearly approving of Israel’s staging an incident that would lead to war, possibly even a false-flag operation carried out by Israel that would implicate the United States directly, or he is urging the White House to do the job itself.
Clawson not surprisingly has never served in the U.S. military and has a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research, which would at first glance seem to disqualify him from figuring out how to set up a covert operation to sink a submarine and thereby start a war. He might be seen as moderately ridiculous, but like many of his neoconservative colleagues he is well wired into the system. He writes regularly for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal; appears on television as an “expert”; and is a colleague at WINEP of the ubiquitous Dennis Ross, sometimes called “Israel’s lawyer,” who was until recently President Obama’s point man on the Middle East. Clawson is a useful idiot who would be registered as an agent of the Israeli government if the Justice Department were doing its job, but instead he is feted as a man who tells it like it is in terms of American interests. The distortion of the foreign-policy decision-making in this country is something that can be attributed to Clawson and his host of fellow travelers, all of whom promote Israel’s perceived interests at the expense of the United States. And they do it with their eyes wide open.
Hate speech posing as free speech
I will deliberately avoid belaboring another Israel Firster Pamela Geller and her New York subway posters calling Palestinians savages and Israelis civilized, as I am sure the point has been made about how any lie that can serve the cause of Israel will be aggressively defended as “free speech.” A poster excoriating Jews or blacks in similar terms as “savages” would not have seen the light of day in New York City, another indication of the power of the Lobby and its friends to control the debate about the Middle East and game the system.
And then there are the reasons to dislike Israel and what it represents that go way back. In 1952′s Lavon Affair, the Israelis were prepared to blow up a U.S. Information Center in Alexandria and blame it on the Egyptians. In 1967, the Israelis attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen, and then used their power over President Lyndon Johnson to block an investigation into what had occurred. In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel with investigators determining that he had been the most damaging spy in the history of the United States. In the 1960s, Israelis stole uranium from a lab in Pennsylvania to construct a secret nuclear arsenal. And the spying and theft of U.S. technology continues. Israel is the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing U.S. secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are Americans, receive a slap on the wrist.
Killing American citizens
And Israel gets away with killing American citizens — literally — in the cases of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan of the Mavi Marmara. And let’s not forget Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians which has made the United States complicit in a crime against humanity. Tel Aviv has also played a key role in Washington’s going to war against Iraq, in promulgating a U.S.-led global war on terror against the Muslim world, and in crying wolf over Iran, all of which have served no U.S. interest. Through it all, Congress and the media are oblivious to what is taking place. Israel is a net recipient of over $123 billion in U.S. aid and continues to get $3 billion a year even though its per capita income is higher than that of Spain or Italy. No one questions anything having to do with Israel while Congress rubber-stamps resolution after resolution virtually promising to go to war on Israel’s behalf.
I have to admit that I don’t like what my own government is doing these days, but I like Israel even less and it is past time to do something about it. No more money, no more political support, no more tolerance of spying, and no more having to listen to demands for red lines to go to war. No more favorable press when the demented Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a cartoon at the U.N. The United States government exists to serve the American people, no more, no less, and it is time that our elected representatives begin to remember that fact.
Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support.
MANILA: The Philippines government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group in the south, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed to the framework for a peace deal that should be inked by mid-October, President Benigno Aquino said.
It comes as the two sides have been in long negotiations, the most recent of which taking place in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, in an effort to end the 40-year conflict that has seen over 120,000 people killed.
Under the new agreement, which is expected to be formally signed on October 15 in Manila, the southern region will be an autonomous zone for the Muslim majority.
Philippines is predominantly Catholic.
The MILF is “very happy” with the deal, a spokesman was quoted as saying.
“This framework agreement paves the way for a final and enduring peace in Mindanao,” President Aquino said in a speech to announce the deal, referring to the main southern region.
But he added: “The work does not end here. There are still details that both sides must hammer out.”
The Zionist air force on Saturday intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that penetrated the claimed airspace of the Zionist entity from the Mediterranean Sea and headed south, its military said in a statement.
A military spokesman of the occupation regime said two fighter jets were scrambled from a southern air base at around 10 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) after a ground control station identified the drone, which was shot down over the Yatir Forest, an area in the northern Negev.
“At this time we do not know where it originated from and what its objective was,” Zionist Captain Roni Kaplan told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Zionist troops surveyed the area where the drone was downed in an effort to locate debris that could shed light on its origin and objective, while the Air Force launched its own investigation into the incident, Kaplan said.
Local media outlets speculated, however, that the drone was either sent to collect intelligence or crash into a Zionist town or military installation.
A retired Lebanese major general Hisham Jaber said in an interview with Press TV on Saturday that the drone was probably operated by Americans.
“(The drone must have come) from an American aircraft carrier or from (air force and military bases in) Saudi Arabia, also American bases. That’s the only possibility so far until we know after investigation.”
Considering the good relationship between the Zionist regime and Jordan, the Lebanese military analyst went on to say that he did not think the drone could have been operated from Jordan, adding that it is “impossible” that it came from Lebanon.
In a statement, Zionist Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the military and the Air force in the entity of occupation for what he called “their quick and effective response.”
“We view with severity the attempt to harm Israeli airspace, and we will weigh our response,” Barak said.
It’s worthy to recall here that the Zionists’ own drones have also crashed in and around Palestine during recent years.
Cited article and video report
- Israel shoots down unidentified drone (news.xinhuanet.com)
A lucky few had front row seats at Great Berlin’s Oyer and Terminer cybertrial.
The hall was packed and it was standing room only for most attendees.
Hushed whispers, excited twitters, and face-to-face exchanges in the back seats created an ominous droning sound.
“What did she do exactly?”
“You don’t know?! She posted a video.”
“No, I mean one of those.”
“No friggingfreespeech way! She didn’t clear it with anyone?”
“No, she claimed it was not supposed to be widely disseminated; she probably knew it might create a furore, but it somehow got sent out of the Freegaza account.”
“But someone said it was just one of those stupid videos that bark up the wrong tree, chewing the old cud about the Jews’ role in the holocaust.”
“No, it is a lot worse. It is one of those provocative videos, like David Duke’s. You know the BDS saying: “You post, you’re toast.”
“That’s an incredibly dumb video though. Like there isn’t enough current stuff to talk about regarding the role of the Jews in the banking collapse, for one thing.”
“That would not be an approved video either. One of these days I swear I’ll see you up there in Greta’s box. Don’t you get it? It can’t be about the Jews, it is only about Israelis, and not all of them, only the bad ones, like Netanyahu.”
“Did she say that she liked the video and approved of its content?”
“That’s another silly question. What’s wrong with you today? It does not matter that she did not say that. It is bad enough that she watched it and/or sent it on. If we all did stupid things like that where would we be? We’d all be watching and reading anything and discussing it!”
We cannot afford to… wait, how did he put it?
“Can’t remember his name exactly Steve Damsel or Hamsel from Jerusalem, formerly from the US. In his blog called Desert Peace he called her “a witch” and said “we can’t afford to alienate anybody.”
“Smart guy. He is right: what kind of protest movement would we be if we upset people?”
“I read Emily Hauser in the Daily Beast. She explained that Greta harms the Palestinian cause and Emily knows her onions. Her Palestinian onions, as it were, because she said she was talking “as a Jew, a Zionist, and an Israeli.” She even added “as a pro-Palestinians activist I’m pretty pissed off.”
“Shhhhhh@! He is coming!”
“Ali Abounimah. Don’t you recognize him by his limp?”
“What happened to him?”
“Atzmon caught his you know what in a revolving door.”
“What ‘you know what’?”
“I don’t know if the word is on the approved list. In Yiddish it’s beitsam. I guess I can say it in Spanish: cojones.
And since you still look clueless I’ll tell you the revolving door was the business with Ali saying culture does not matter.
Well, Atzmon turned the revolving door back on him with Goldhagen or something and Ali has been limping ever since.”
“Oh, no, he’s coming closer to Greta and sniffing her. He can sniff Atzmon on anybody from a mile away. He looks ready to pounce on her.”
“How can he pounce while limping and wrapped in that djellaba?”
“It’s a judge’s robe but he had it cut like a djellaba: makes him look more Palestinian.
“I hear Naomi Klein resigned from the FG advisory board. A way of saying she can’t be associated with an organization that watches videos. Those videos.“
“Who will speak for the accused? Will someone say anything about her contribution, or that doesn’t count? She founded FG, didn’t she?”
“Maybe, but only in the introduction prior to reading her charges. Makes them, you know, balanced.”
“But the Palestinians? I mean the Palestinians in Palestine, especially Gaza?”
“What about them? What do they have to do with this? Leave them out of this discussion. This is far more important. It’s all about racism, that is, its worst form ever, anti-Semitism.
Which is why Ali monitors discussions of a group of 1,000 members or more. You can’t have people flapping their jaws on their own.”
“You’re right. Greta was on probation anyhow. She went off the reservation by saying Atzmon had been ‘demonized.’ I swear that’s the word she used. I think Ali will tear her flesh off the bone, just watch.”
“How do you know?”
“Haven’t you read Harry’s Place? They’re challenging Ali to prove he is not an anti-Semite, and giving him a list of the next candidates for Oyer and Terminer.
Here, read this copy:
“I’m not sure he really believes what he’s saying.
The thing is, Ali Abunimah’s website isn’t much better at all. Abunimah encourages antisemites of similar stock to Greta Berlin, to write for the Electronic Intifada.
Electronic Intifada still lists Sonja Karkar as an author.
Electronic Intifada recently published Stephen Salaita.
Stephen Salaita is a fan of the antisemite Gilad Atzmon.
Ali Abunimah himself has condemned Atzmon for years for antisemitism. Whilst dismissing Atzmon, Abunimah claimed “We must protect the integrity of our movement”. But he still lets one of Atzmon’s admirers write on his blog.
Abunimah also publishes the antisemite Ben White.”
“Some say this is guilt by association and they say it like there’s anything wrong with it as an accusation. Harry’s Place called Ali a “weird and creepy guy.” Next stop: anti-semitesville. So Ali has to, you know, put out.”
“But why isn’t it starting?”
“They’re waiting for Avi Mayer, you know who he is, the head honcho of the Jewish Agency for Israel.”
“But what is he doing here? He is not FG. In fact he says the Free Gaza Movement endorses violence against Israel.”
“No, in this he is with us. In a manner of speaking. It’s complicated.
At any rate, this is the kind of video that should not be circulated at all, so when the FG deleted it from their tweet account, Avi Mayer used a screenshot he had taken of it and posted it.”
“Obvious: so everyone can see what they better not watch and pass around.“
“I am beginning to pity her, if he cross examines her.”
“I know, he is merciless.”
“No, worse: I am told he has a killer halitosis.”
“Quiet now, they’re ready to begin.”