Lincolnshire protest march against migrant workers 'must stay peaceful'

Lincolnshire protest march against migrant workers ‘must stay peaceful’

Lincolnshire Echo – October 5, 2011

A PLANNED protest march against migrant workers is expected to go ahead.

Police and Boston Borough Council are among the organisations now working to make sure the march, scheduled to happen on November 19, passes peacefully.

Co-ordinator of the march Dean Everitt, 42, of Wyberton, said the number of migrant workers in Boston had motivated them to organise the gathering.

“There are school-leavers who can’t get a job because migrants are taking them and working longer hours for less pay,” He said.

“The problem is simple – they need to shut the floodgates.

“People are welcome to turn up and support us, as long as it is peaceful.”

The march has been promoted on Facebook and the group has more than 2,400 members.

Chief Inspector Lee Pache, of Lincolnshire police, said: “We are aware of the Facebook page and have been notified by a member of the public of their wish to hold a protest march in Boston.

“Police are working with Boston Borough Council and other partners to ensure any planned protest or assembly within Boston is lawful and peaceful.

“Everyone in the community has a democratic right to have their voice heard, but any demonstration or comment on social media must not incite racial hatred or criminal activity, as this is an offence and any such offences will be dealt with by police accordingly.”

Councillor Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, defended the rights of citizens of the European Union to travel to the area for work.

He said: “Freedom of movement means that EU citizens have a legal right to be here. They come to work.

“Boston Borough Council works hard to deal with the issues their presence has generated.

“A minority of those who come present difficulties and we work with other agencies, including the Government-sponsored reconnection scheme, which helps people return home.

“We continue to work hard with the migrant workers, their families, community groups and other partner agencies to aid successful integration and to deal with the pressure that such large numbers have presented.

“I have had a meeting with our MP, Mark Simmonds, to discuss immigration and the impact on Boston and, as a council, we continue to press the Government for more resources.”

He urged organisers to do all in their power to ensure any protest march taking place in Boston remained peaceful and lawful.

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Meet the PC oligarchy that now rules Britain

Brendan O’Neil – Spiked Online October 6, 2011

You couldn’t have asked for a better snapshot of the unbridgeable chasm that now separates politicians from the public than the Tory Party conference. This weird, media-oriented, stage-managed display of pragmatism and bluster confirmed that politics has become completely disassociated from ordinary people’s lives and concerns. The conference showed that the political class and the only other section of society that has any interest in what it thinks and says – the media – are now so insulated from the madding crowd that they not only think in a different way and have different outlooks on life, but seem to speak in a different language entirely. The rarefication of British politics is complete.

The most striking thing about the Conservative Party conference was the extent to which its agenda was determined by what is not happening in the real world rather than what is. Surreally, this was a supposedly political gathering at which the big issues of the day – from the economy to the future of Europe – were either skirted around or given the deeply unconvincing Cameron-as-plucky-bulldog treatment, while issues that have no traction whatsoever amongst the public – from sexist language to gay marriage – were put centre stage by both Tory spokespeople and political reporters. (See Rob Lyons on Cameron’s economics here.) The conference revealed that political issues are very rarely generated from below these days, but rather are the creations of tiny cliques of think-tankers and professional advisers who are paid to come up with eye-grabbing ‘talking points’.

The power of small numbers of professionals to set the political agenda has reached an extraordinary level. So as the conference kicked off, and as the world economy continued to shake and the Euro continued to go down the pan, the key issue was Tory leader David Cameron’s use of sexist language. Cameron made a grovelling apology for having said ‘calm down, dear’ to a female Labour MP in parliament earlier this year and for having referred to his fellow Tory Nadine Dorries as ‘extremely frustrated’. In effect, he was bowing to pressure from minuscule numbers of influential women – primarily highly paid newspaper columnists and expert pollsters – who have been warning him to speak in a way they consider to be ‘appropriate’. That such a dinner-party spat can take centre stage at a party conference in an era of recession is a searing indictment of the hermetically sealed nature of modern British politics. This unedifying clash between professionals over how the fairer sex should be addressed brings to mind the old court system, in which mannerisms of speech and the depth of one’s curtseying were also treated as the be-all and end-all, elbowing aside burning political issues. The return of speech ritualism is further evidence of the isolation of the political class.

Two other issues that got the media class excited – as those who are paid by the Tories to fabricate Big Political Issues no doubt knew they would – were gay marriage and the possibility of introducing a fat tax to wean people off their alleged addiction to junk food. Again, neither of these issues is a grassroots one; neither exercises the hearts and minds of everyday people. Rather they’re artificially created problems, the products of either elite agitation or think-tankers’ brainstorming, which are then latched on to by politicians in the hope that talking about them will help to garner some positive coverage from the media class at least. Cameron’s comments about a fat tax – which would target those great scourges of our age: ‘milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food’ – were particularly striking, because they gave an insight into what this oligarchical political class thinks of those who live outside its bubble. We are not political subjects to be engaged with, apparently, but rather bovine objects to be physically tampered with, punished for our gluttony, pressured to ditch those gastro-pleasures which the political and media elites, as they discuss the horrors of sexist language over wine and vol-au-vents, have decreed to be ‘fattening’.

The Conservative conference brought to a head a trend that has been evident at all the mainstream party conferences over the past five to 10 years: a sense that these people are only talking to and amongst themselves; a powerful feeling that the political scene consists of tiny clubs of people perfectly insulated from the masses. Indeed, it’s wrong even to refer to the various things discussed at the Tory conference as ‘political issues’, since most of them were not really political at all, but rather were shallow moralistic obsessions foisted on to the agenda by inside agitators, and most of them were not issues either, in the sense that if you stopped the average man or woman in the street and asked them what they thought about the scourge of sexist language they would wonder if you were mad. These are entirely fake issues, designed to give the cut-off political and media classes something to tussle over.

The otherworldly nature of party conferences is a consequence of some huge political shifts in recent years. It is the hollowing-out of the mainstream parties, their speedy and profound jettisoning of members and grassroots supporters and their subsequent disconnection from the public, which creates today’s strange and alien political culture. The absence of pressure-from-below on the political parties leads to a situation where small groups of influential people can set the party political agendas, from academics obsessed with inequality to the illiberal theoreticians of the nudge industry to newspaper hacks who felt personally offended when Cameron used the word ‘dear’. It is the slow-motion withdrawal of everyday people from a political scene that no longer has anything to say to them that nurtures today’s courtly atmosphere, the rise of speech codes and apologetics and issues that matter little to the masses.

Even Tory-bashers play the same game as the party they claim to loathe. One criticism that has been made again and again of Cameron and Co. is that they are ‘re-toxifying the Tory brand’. Apparently Cameron has failed to ‘decontaminate’ his brand – what Theresa May once referred to as a general view that the Tories are ‘the nasty party’ – as evidenced in the fact that at this week’s conference some of his people dared to criticise the Human Rights Act and talk about immigration. Not only do these kinds of criticisms contain a powerfully censorious component, where all discussion of human rights or immigrants is instantly judged to be ‘toxic’ and ‘contaminated’ – they are also firmly rooted in the same narrow brand-obsession and image-obsession that passes for Tory politics these days and for politics in general.

So where a Tory party desperately trying to discover some purpose rebrands itself as ‘nice’ rather than ‘nasty’, its critics simply shout back ‘Your brand is being recontaminated!’, like executives at an advertising firm. The myopic concern with party branding is also a product of the disassociation of politics from the public: parties that have no real connection with a significant section of the masses also have no real raison d’être, and thus must try to magic one up courtesy of an army of brand-minded experts. Politics has been colonised by experts, hacks and snobs who are utterly cut off from normal people.

The Tories’ conference, like Labour’s and the Lib Dems’ before it, was a weirdly stultified affair. There was no real debate, no attempt at policy formation, not even any real policy proposals. It all rather confirmed that parties with no base of support, with no roots in society, quickly become ideas-free zones, since there is no pressure on them to embody certain ideals and to argue the toss for those ideals on a public platform. It’s not even accurate to refer to the public as mere spectators to politics these days, since most of us didn’t spectate – we had far better things to do than watch these self-serving PR exercises disguised as party conferences. Rather, today there is simply the oligarchy and its friends on one side of the metaphorical canyon, having noisy but substanceless discussions about matters of etiquette and branding, and the masses on the other side, who are looked upon as a bovine blob whose temperature must occasionally be taken through opinion polls or stage-managed focus groups. By ignoring the party conferences, we committed a small but important act of rebellion against the oligarchy. More and better acts of rebellion will be required.

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Obama urged to accept Iranian nuclear offer

Julian Borger – Guardian.co.uk October 10, 2011

There is a growing chorus of approval among US experts for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s offer of a new uranium deal. So far the enthusiasm has failed to catch on inside the Obama administration or among the rest of the six-nation group that handles nuclear negotiations with Iran. But that could change as the months go by and the Iranian government builds up its stockpile of low enriched and medium (20%) enriched uranium.

Ahmadinejad made this latest offer in the press, first with an interview with the Washington Post in mid-September, and then with the New York Times a week or so later. The essence of the deal, the Iranian president told the Times’ Nicholas Kristof, was: “If they give us the 20% enriched uranium this very week, we will cease the domestic enrichment of uranium of up to 20 percent this very week.”

The offer is a variant on a series of proposals and counter-proposals on the supply of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), for the production of medical isotopes. The first version involved Iran shipping out of its low enriched uranium (LEU) in return for the 20% enriched uranium required for the TRR. Ahmadinejad seemed to back the deal but it crashed on the reefs of internal Iranian politics. It resurfaced in May 2010 in a proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil which was rejected by the West when it became clear that Iran intended to continue making 20% uranium at home. This was crucial as mastery of 20% uranium production is said to be 90% of the way to making weapons-grade (90% enriched) uranium in terms of technical difficulty.

In this latest reincarnation of the proposal, Ahmadinejad is saying Iran will stop 20% production. For that reason, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, argued that it would be wise to pursue the deal, on a temporary trial basis:

To test out Ahmadinejad’s offer, the United States could suggest that it would arrange the sale of two-year’s worth of TRR fuel in exchange for a two-year halt to any production of uranium enriched over five percent. TRR targets for medical isotope production could also be offered for sale to increase interest in the deal.

The idea has been seconded by Ali Faez and Charles Ferguson of the Federation of American Scientists, who suggest supplying Iran with 50 kg of fuel for the TRR unconditionally. They argue it would be seen as a humanitarian people-to-people gesture, helping 850,000 Iranian cancer patients receive treatment, with the strategic benefit of removing “Iran’s rationale for refining uranium to more than 3.5 percent”.

Faez and Ferguson wave away the risk that Ahmadinejad might not have the regime’s full backing for this gambit, as proved to be the case two years ago. They say Ahmadinejad has “repeated the offer often enough, and with confirmation from the foreign minister, that it must have the backing of the Iranian political elite, including Khamenei.”

That argument is debatable. Some Ahmadinejad watchers counter that he says lots of things without the Supreme Leader’s backing. The bigger problem is that it easier for academics to take these kind of gambles than leaders. Obama is in election mode and all foreign policy decisions are being subjected to a sniff test by his political advisors. Giving Ahmadinejad the benefit of the doubt once more will not sit well in a presidential debate against his eventual Republican challenger.

The rest of the 5+1 group (the P5 and Germany) have had little to say about the offer, holding fire until there is internal cohesion among the six, but if Iran continues to increase 20% U production at the present rate, and Israel shows signs of contemplating military action once more, desperation may take the upper hand and the Obama administration will be under increasingly heavy international pressure to take the risk.

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Busking at the Corner of Shit and Go Blind

Reflections in a Petri Dish – October 10, 2011

Dog Poet Transmitting…….

May your noses always be cold and wet.

We have been carried in the floodwaters and whipped in the tailwinds of problem, reaction and solution. We’ve been beggared and broken at the corner of Shit and Go Blind. We’ve been massive, lumbering and asleep; incapable of distance or direction, finding no capable purpose for millions of marching feet, while the predatory few have trapped us for our skins and hunted us for meat. The imprisoned multitudes in shackles of debt have been herded like sheep, driven by fear of want into the gloomy woods and we are not out of them yet, not by a long shot.

Over the centuries the same debt collectors and slave masters have applied the same deliberate schemes, the same burning lashes from the whips of deceit; impoverished, enslaved, murdered and raped for pleasure and profit by the same reptile race. Generation after generation has been put to sleep by the sonorous droning of poisonous snakes. Like hypnotized pigeons we stand frozen and wait for the mercy of death, the only salvation in this dreadful place. Because we could not come together, we could not unite to see the power and strength of our possibilities against the predatory few.

They provided the slogans for their perpetual wars. They hijacked the religions and gave us monsters as gods who were engines of death. We bowed down before them and promised to serve and to die for the ones who destroyed us. We bought into the lie at usurious interest; we paid with our lifetimes, this compounding debt, to the devils among us who owned the printing press and the podiums and pulpits, the newspapers and the radios, the movies and the books, that sang their praises and pissed on the rest. They made a whore of history and fucked her till she bled and no one did anything. They are doing it still. They made wine from our blood and we drank the swill. This is the way of the darkness and those who hide in her skirts. This is the way of the perfunctory constant of intricate documents and legal restraints. This is the way of banker and bureaucrat, the political swine, who mouthpiece the shit that we hear in our sleep.

They are a legion of Cromwells and Wormtongues. They advise the king in his dotage and depravity. They slither in and out of the extorted opulence of incestuous clans, that rose up to power through corruption and force and they are your betters, of course, of course. They are everywhere in kingdom and court, in parliament and congress, wherever the opportunities for influence and gain can be had for the clever, who will say what they must to advance the agenda; in god we trust. Everyone else pays cash or service or dies in the street. This is the way of the darkness and the servants of darkness. Now they will seek understanding and mercy. They will tell you it was just how it was. You would do the same under the same conditions. No one is to blame.

I woke up this morning wondering at my life, far away from my friends and the familiar places and routines that used to be. I can hardly remember being there sometimes but I know that’s not possible in these times. The conditions are far worse than when I went away and that means I would have been even more of an annoyance than I had been and that had been enough to make them come after me several times before. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and live to fight another day.

Recently I have heard some number of people tell me that Occupy Wall Street was some kind of ingenious invention by the usual vampires and villains. This morning I saw this and this morning, I saw one of the American icons of vanity and prevarications, Geraldo Rivera get drummed out of Dodge to the tune of Fox News Lies. You don’t get much sleazier and 24 carat phony than Geraldo. Something tells me this is not your grandmother’s co-opted revolution, for the continuing gain of the fattened goblins of finance and fabrication. Are they working full time to discredit and take control of the thing? You bet they are. I’m finding it hard to believe that’s been accomplished so far. When people will tell MoveOn.org to fuck off, you have to believe, or at least you want to believe that something genuine is happening.

One thing is certain, this isn’t going to continue as it is for too much longer. TPTW are not going to let it slide and gather more and more force, which it will, because the whole world of everyone other than them has had enough of their evil games. The Palestinian declaration of independence, or whatever it’s called, is getting nearer by the day. Sabers are rattling all over The Middle East and the principality of the dark lord in residence, is getting antsier by the minute, due to a change in the consistency of everyone else serving them without question and dying on command if need be. You can hardly find a decent plate of pâté of Palestinian Child anymore. Most of it is imported and composed of some Eastern European blend. It doesn’t taste like the real thing. The real thing screams of loss and suffering and what could be more satisfying to the people who actually caused the suffering and loss than the real thing?

Where is it gong to go from here? What shape is it going to take out of the many possibilities that may or may not be? If you think you’ve got a good idea of what’s coming, I’m thinking you should put in a call to the oddsmakers in Vegas and place your bet. This is the kind of thing that brings down governments and there is definitely a candidate or several high on the list. While all of this has been taking place, Obama has been whining and dining with the Wall Street suits. Mr. Stepin Fetchit has been stepping and fetching and felching as well. He’s going to be a legend along with Bennie the Boilsucker. He’s the fluffer in chief. He’s a demon in mufti giving the devil a little relief from Incubus Frottage Central, on call 24 hour a day with outcalls a specialty.

Here’s the sad truth as it appears to me this day, peaceful revolution is impossible. Here’s the sad reality behind this impossibility. They will not change. They will corrupt and kill, torture and dismember, until they are driven into full retreat. You cannot reason with them. You cannot expect they will honor any agreement ever. They are intransigent and resistant toward any understanding that orders them to reform or transform. They are rotten to the core and they want more. What this means I will leave to your imagination.

We can only hope that their time has come. We can only hope that the force of the changing times is an authentic reality and that their methods and machinations are being drained of their power to perform. If cosmic destiny has arrived at their door then they will be shown the door in a permanent fashion. Whatever happens to them will be sufficient to the need. They have brought it upon themselves and the worst that can happen is the least they deserve, in spades.

I’ve always believed in compassion and/or quarantine, hoping some way or another will appear to allow for the practice of the one or the performance of the other but that would be truly surprising, given their mentality and intentions upon the rest of us.

I wonder what they are thinking. I’ve heard some parts of what they have to say. I’ve seen them mocking and slandering, composing lies and posturing like peacocks in the ruin of their excess. They wear their vanity like a second skin. They are imperial and absolute in their inhumanity and greed. They do not believe or imagine that justice may come for them. Justice is just one more chambermaid to be bent over the table or forced to her knees. They are the timeless inheritors of droit du seigneur, the remorseless ass bandits of the divine right of kings.

My personal hope is that they go down with all the force and ignominy that can come upon them now. They have sealed the window through which mercy can leak. They have blackened and barred the aperture. They have done it to themselves and are fully deserving of what may follow in the wake of their indifference to the needs of their fellows and their utter and callous disregard for the effects of their actions. All of the finer sentiments of the human heart; they don’t see it that way. They don’t have it in them. They are an emptiness and a terrible vacancy where nothing good can reside. They are worse than we imagine them to be and it is my fervent hope that they find nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

End Transmission…….

James Jancik hasn’t been doing well healthwise and could not do his show the last couple of weeks. It’s possible he will put this week’s show up for download shortly so check the Radio Show Blog occasionally to see

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Atlantic Bridge, Liam Fox, Adam Werritty & Israel

Jonathon Blakely – Zimoz News Oct 9, 2011

Atlantic Bridge was set up as the name suggests to bridge across the Atlantic; as an Atlanticist think tank. To foster and maintain that “special relationship” between the US and UK.   Founded by Liam Fox in 1997 Atlantic Bridge was ostensibly a charity but failed to meet the basic guidelines for a charity and was booted off in September 2011 by the Charity commission. It was supposed to have an educational role but failed to do so and spent all its donated money on travel, accommodation and social events for its supporters. BICOM (The British Israel Communications and Research Centre)was one of its primary sources of donations.

BICOM lists its activities as:

  • Providing daily, expert news summary and analysis of events in Israel and the region through our online publications.
  • Taking British journalists, opinion formers and policy makers to Israel and the Palestinian territories to learn about the issues first-hand.
  • Bringing analysts, journalists and politicians from the region to Britain, to share their insights with their British counterparts.
  • Promoting a balanced discourse about Israel in the British media by creating opportunities for a wide range of voices to be heard.
  • Organising events and seminars in the UK aimed at deepening the discussion about Israel in Britain.
  • Engaging in dialogue with British opinion formers, policy makers and the media on issues of importance to Israel and the Britain-Israel relationship.
  • Providing resources to individuals and organisations in Britain who share BICOM’s agenda to promote a better understanding of Israel.

Bicom has been keen to foster close relationships with all media people as can be seen here by this interesting leaked email. As well as the media interests Bicom has close links and donates large amounts to all three political parties in the UK; but this is not directly. Bicom donates to CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) & the LFI (The Labour Friends of Israel) as well and many other Political organisations. It is through these mediator organisations that money is channeled to the politicians themselves.

Gifts are not Payments

The LFI and CFI are -”Unincorporated associations” therfore they are not required to open the books to the public or the UK Tax Man.

An unincorporated association:

  • not subject to Tax
  • is not a legal entity
  • is an organisation of persons or bodies (more than one) with an identifiable membership (possibly changing),
  • has a membership who are bound together for a common purpose by an identifiable constitution or rules (which may be written or oral),
  • is an organisation where the form of association is not one which is recognised in law as being something else (for example, an incorporated body or a partnership),
  • must have an existence distinct from those persons who would be regarded as its members,
  • the tie between the persons need not be a legally enforceable contract.

Because an unincorporated association is not a legal entity, it can not be sued, taxed or subject to a criminal enquiry.Well that bit does have an exception, if one of the members breaks rule regarding donations and their ‘distribution’ and is grassed on to the police, then a criminal enquiry may begin. Nice…I am sure all this is perfect legal. I am just not sure whether it is ethically right?

Atlantic Bridge had links to various neo-con organizations in Washington most notably:

  1. Center for Security Policy
  2. The Heritage Foundation
  3. the Lehman Brothers

Atlantic Bridge was effectively an Anglo/American/Jewish think tank, or at least that was the cover story. What becomes clear is that Bicom , Liam Fox and Adam Werritty were are closely linked and often at the same conferences. One wonders whether Adam Werritty was employed by BICOM itself. There is no direct evidence that I can find, however Adam Werritty (Dr. Adam Werritty, Advisor, Office of Shadow Defense Secretary; UK Executive Director, The Atlantic Bridge listed as an international participant) and Poju Zabludowicz (BICOM) as a sponsor at the same conference regarding Israel’s security.

Israel’s premier global policy gathering, the Herzliya Conference exclusively draws together international and Israeli participants from the highest levels of government, business and academia to address the most pressing national, regional and global issues.

Tamares Hotels, Resorts and Spas is part of the Tamares group which was founded nearly 60 years ago, and currently owned solely by Poju Zabludowicz. Tamares is a private investment group with significant interest in real estate, technology, manufacturing, leisure and media in many parts of the world. For additional information: www.tamareshotels.co.il

Poju Zabludowicz is the billionaire chairman of BICOM; ranked 18th wealthiest man in the UK, with friends such as Madonna & collector of artist Tracy Emin. Zabludowicz is an avid art collector and has many contemporary pieces in his collection. It was also interesting to discover that Zabludowicz held secret talks with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas & Israeli President Shimon Peres in his Kitchen so the Jewish Chronical later reported. Well, it is nice that they popped round for a chat and a cup of tea.

So in a nutshell, Atlantic Bridge and many other people in power, including all the UK political parties are and have been receiving money as gifts through third party unincorporated associations. But the money was and is not payments or bribes, because that would be illegal. What they purport to be is gifts… Perfectly plausible.

So back to Atlantic Bridge, well the story keeps on changing and this one really seems to have legs. Safe to say whether or not Liam Fox and Adam Werritty were ‘close’ or not is just irrelevant. What is relevant is that Adam Werritty had access to the inner corridors of power at the highest levels, We know that Atlantic Bridge had donations from BICOM, Bicom was representing Israel’s interests therefore Adam Werritty was – “Engaging in dialogue with British opinion formers, policy makers and the media on issues of importance to Israel and the Britain-Israel relationship.” at the highest levels of power.

Further information….

Here is an interesting reponse to an FOI (Freedom of Information Request) made to OFCOM the televsion regulator.
Peace to All Jews, Palestinians and people of this World.

Image Map has all the links…

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Iran Nuclear Site Draws Defiant Aura From Namesake

Ali Akbar Dareini – Associated Press October 10, 2011

Not far from one of Iran’s most secretive nuclear sites, villagers proudly declare a willingness to sacrifice their lives to defend their country’s nuclear program from attack by the West.

If history is any judge, the pledges by residents of Fordo are more than bluster. The village is already enshrined in Iranian lore for suffering the greatest per capita losses during the 1980s war with Iraq.

“I lost four family members to defend Iran against Saddam. I’m ready to sacrifice my blood and the blood of my other children to defend nuclear facilities against foreign threats now,” said 73-year-old Kazem Koohi in his walnut orchard on the outskirts of Fordo, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of the holy city of Qom.

Statements such as these are often lost in the international showdowns with Iran. Despite huge internal political strife — and disagreements about how to handle Western pressure — many Iranians view the nuclear program as a point of agreement and a source of national honor.

The village and the bunker-like facility to make enriched uranium are separated by more than 50 miles (80 kilometers). Iran’s message in using the village as a namesake for the nuclear site is unmistakably one of defiance. It also speaks to the determination to protect and expand its nuclear self-sufficiency despite threats of even greater international sanctions.

The underground uranium enrichment site could begin the process of making reactor fuel by early next year.

The Fordo enrichment site, whose existence was first disclosed in 2009, could represent a look into the future of Iran’s nuclear program. Its labs are burrowed deep in a mountainside as protection against attack and satellite surveillance.

During a rare visit to the village of Fordo by an international news organization, many people made a seamless link between the 1980-88 battles against Saddam Hussein and the current nuclear standoff with the West.

Government permission was required for the visit, and a Culture Ministry official accompanied an AP reporter and forbid any photographs to be taken.

“That Iran’s crucial enrichment site carries the name of our village is a matter of great pride for us,” boasted Esmaeil Karbalaei, a resident of Fordo — which had 104 battlefield “martyrs” in the Iraq war from a population of about 2,500.

The U.S. and its allies fear Iran’s ability to make its own nuclear fuel will eventually lead to atomic weapons, because the technology offers a possible pathway to weapons-grade nuclear material.

Iran says it only seeks reactors for energy and research, but refuses to halt its uranium enrichment activities. It says it needs to keep the enrichment program to produce fuel for future nuclear reactors and medical radioisotopes needed for cancer patients.

Iran’s Vice President Fereidoun Abbasi told a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna last month that Fordo facility would likely start operating within six months.

Buried under 300 feet (90 meters) of rock, the facility is a hardened tunnel and is protected by air defense missile batteries and the elite Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force. The site is located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Qom, the religious nerve center of Iran’s ruling system.

Alarm bells rang in the West in June after Abbasi said Iran would triple its output of higher grade enriched uranium — 20 percent — and move the entire program to the secretly built facility.

Low-enriched uranium — at around 3.5 percent and even 20 percent — can be used to fuel reactors for electricity and medical research. But if uranium is further enriched to around 90 percent purity, it can be used to develop a nuclear warhead.

But why would Iran need a bombproof enrichment facility under a mountain?

To the West, Iran shouldn’t need to build a secret enrichment site if its nuclear program is peaceful. And they conclude that Fordo is material evidence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Iran argues Israeli or U.S. officials refused to discount military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran’s strategists also see the underground facility as a way to ensure continuity of Iran’s uranium enrichment program under any circumstances.

AP

FILE -A file satellite image taken Sunday… View Full Caption

FILE -A file satellite image taken Sunday Sept. 27, 2009, provided by DigitalGlobe, shows a suspected nuclear enrichment facility under construction inside a mountain located north of Qom, Iran. The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, which has closely followed Iranian nuclear developments, says it believes this satellite photo of a site on a military base near Qom, Iran, is most likely the location of the newly revealed centrifuge facility. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe, File) Close

Iran’s main uranium enrichment site — in Natanz in central Iran — was assumed to be the first target of any possible military strike.

Analyst Mahdi Mohammadi says Fordo’s strategic purpose is to deter an attack on Natanz.

“If the enemy knows that Iran has a facility to continue enrichment in case Natanz comes under attack, then the value of attacking Natanz is diminished to zero,” he said.

Israel got the message almost immediately. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak noted in 2009 that Fordo is “immune” to bombings.

The most powerful “bunker buster” bombs can penetrate up to 66 feet (20 meters) of earth or six feet (two meters) of reinforced concrete.

“There is no bomb on earth that can penetrate 90 meters of hard rock. So, bunker busters or guided bombs are of no use to U.S. or Israel if they are to attack. Fordo is a non-penetrable facility to air or missile strike,” said a senior Iranian military official on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

In Fordo village, Koohi said Iran has every right to master enrichment technology because it can’t trust that the West will give nuclear fuel to Iran for its future nuclear power plants.

“If I’m capable of growing walnuts in my orchard, why should I beg for them from others?” he asked. “The Fordo uranium enrichment site is the symbol of Iran’s resistance.”

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Caribbean Sea Pirates in Crisis

By Israel Shamir –  A lecture on Economics delivered at Rhodes Forum on October 9, 2011

The crisis peaking in Britain is of a Caribbean-sea-pirate type: long time no trophies, while lifestyle has to be maintained. Neoliberal policies have undermined the toughest folk on earth, hard-working, prudent, obedient, stiff-upper-lipped red-faced Brits, the people who managed India, burned down the White House and withstood Hitler. Their backbone – Yorkshire miners and Sheffield steel workers – was broken by their Golders Green grocer-at-large, a.k.a. the Iron Lady. She folded down the industries, and turned the Isles into a Tortuga-like pirate paradise, a place for financiers to relax, unwind and plan their raids.

England has become the most godless society in the world. Buses with the logo “There is no God” cruise London. In the Globe theatre, Mysteries are staged, purported to be revivals of Tony Harrison’s 1977 production based on medieval British plays but, in direct opposition to the previous production and to the old original, it is overtly anti-Christian. Instead of the Jewish high priest and his coterie, the evil guys are … Christian priests in full dress. The Holy Virgin is presented as a young coloured tart in a short dress. Not a single voice of protest has sounded in England. But you can be sure that if director Deborah Bruce had put rabbis back into the place of the priests, we’d have never heard the end of it.

England is home to al Fayed and Abramovich and to millions of immigrants imported to service them. The English provided financial services, ran security companies, charged a lot for education. The country went upmarket, and lost its productive base, just as the tulip-adoring Dutch did in 17th century. Now, if they do not rob, they have nothing to live off of. They need to fleece foreigners just to make ends meet.

Now they are being hit by a Crisis of Confidence. Not only do ordinary people feel they have been cheated once too many, but the powerful and rich outsiders share the feeling, which is particularly strong in Russia and other post-Soviet states, in the oil-producing states, in countries with national industries. This feeling has been translated into action:

  • Hugo Chavez has demanded his physical gold back;
  • Vladimir Putin has declared his candidacy for the post of President;
  • Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, the main proponent of Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund, has been fired.
  • Russia has decided to dramatically increase military spending; this is fallout from the Libya War.

The fate of Qaddafi hovers like worrying Hamlet’s father’s spirit over many presidential and managerial desks. The Libyan leader amassed quite a fortune, some for himself and his family, some for his nation, placed it in various banks, funds and shelters, and it turns out that instead of greenbacks he could have amassed so many beautiful reddish maple leaves with greater satisfaction and safety. With a wave of their hands, the US and its allies froze the assets and later stole them. Some assets were given to arbitrarily chosen Libyans, a.k.a. “Benghazi rebels”, some were used to pay for the dog food that was airlifted to Tripoli to feed people made destitute by the NATO strikes.

This was the biggest robbery of a sovereign state ever, and the biggest robbery of private fortunes as well. And it taught many nasty and greedy people a lesson in Gospel truth: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where thieves break in and steal. These people thought that they could find a safe refuge from despotic rulers, rebellious masses and ordinary robbers by placing their wealth in the safekeeping of the Swiss gnomes or some other civilised environment. Now they’ve learned that electronic money in Cayman Islands is no safer than the folded 20-dollar bills under your mattress. What a shock!

Why does this cause a crisis? The corrupt officials and wealthy tycoons of the outer world, that is, outside of the US and Western Europe, are the powerful secret weapon of capitalism. When capitalism was on the verge of collapse, this doomsday weapon was used, the tables were turned upon socialism, and the USSR collapsed. Its wealth was stolen by these men and women, and delivered to the Western banks, to power another twenty years of luxury for bankers.

Since then, the officials and tycoons have functioned like bees, busily collecting the sweet sweat of the ordinary citizens’ brow. They siphon their takings into overseas banks – beehives, thinking it is safe. The West has encouraged them to think this way. They have spread rumours that Putin and Lukashenko have put away billions into Western banks for a rainy day. Their media have told stories of oligarchs who were able to escape to their riches when they fell from grace. Many silly and corrupt officials and greedy businessmen believed it and kept collecting honey.

This honey collection is the best-guarded secret of capitalist superiority. It is based of human weakness. Drug mafias do the same: they produce and sell drugs and extract money to keep in the banks. This works instead of savings, and even better. When economists bewail low rate of savings in the US, they forget to count savings executed via drug cartels. This was one of the reasons of the US ten years stay in Afghanistan: the drugs fuel banking system.

Privatisation is another great tool: the privatised properties feed so many derivatives produced by the bankers. The privatisers need the banks, and to the banks they take their profits. In the post-soviet space, the officials charge their commission in the form of bribes, and these moneys also go to the banks.

Thus, the corrupt officials, businessmen and drug barons perform an important function for the world financial system: the Western bankers did not have to go to remote Russian town or Indian village to squeeze a few roubles or rupees from a worker. The bees bring honey to the beehive.

With the robbery of Libya, even the silliest and most corrupt official in Russia or Kazakhstan has discovered what bees painfully learn, too. When beehives are full of honey, the beekeeper smokes the bees away and collects the product. The bees may have planned to use it for their retirement or for home improvement, but they sadly discover that humans have other plans for their honey. The first wave of Crisis 2008 was the beginning of a smoking-out operation; the Libya campaign is the second stage showing what can be done to crisis-resistant bees.

Given the total information superiority of the Masters of Discourse, such robbery can be justified at any time. Russian wealthy men suspected they couldn’t just salt away a billon and run to Bahamas. I have heard about the men who tried: when they came to collect, they were told that their visa had expired, that they would have to produce proof it was honestly earned, or that it was gone for some good reason.

Two countries catered to the runaways: Britain and Israel. The Jewish billionaires who run to Israel were duly fleeced by the Jewish state. Nevzlin had to contribute half of his wealth to some doubtful Israeli enterprises; Gaydamak was ruined almost to the point of bankruptcy. Gusinsky was run from jail to jail and was ripped off by established Israeli families. Britain provides refuge for the runaway oligarchs and shields them from criminal investigation. It fleeces them well: the fabulous billions of Boris Berezovsky were shrunk down to a few million. But the rest still hoped that they would be allowed to keep some of their illegal gains in the comfort of the West if they abide by Washington’s orders. Now this hope, too, is fading away.

The bees do not deliver honey anymore. There are more ways of getting honey. The Western banks and states promoted their loans and they allowed the recipient politicians to steal the loans, as Perkins has explained. But now this method is less popular, as the odds of successfully stashing stolen goods have gone down considerably. Much hated in the West Vladimir Putin, the past and future president of Russia, paid off all Russia’s debts at first occasion, while another hated “dictator”, Lukashenko, also refused IMF loans.

Then, there are the sovereign wealth funds. The oil-producing countries usually keep a big part of their earnings in the US and the UK. These funds are held hostage to the good behaviour of the producer. Iran lost its funds after embracing an Islamic regime. Some Russians consider it a form of tribute their country pays to their vanquisher in the Cold War. They even connect Breivik’s attack to Norway’s plan to repatriate its SWF, a plan that is anathema to the US. There is no practical reason for Russia to keep its money invested in US funds for very low interest while Russian industries pay high interest on such borrowed money. And as we know, these funds may be frozen or seized any moment. They can also disappear as a result of imprudent investment as once happened to Swedish and Norwegian pension funds.

For 11 years, Alexei Kudrin was finance minister of the Russian Federation. He was the most vocal and influential proponent of the US-held funds among Russian officials, and he was duly applauded as a prudent and excellent financier. A few days ago he expressed his dissatisfaction with President Medvedev’s plan to increase military spending dramatically. He was sacked right away. This was quite a shock for the man who considered himself a cut above; it was a shock for his supporters.

The Wikileaks cables reveal that Kudrin was considered by the US Embassy the “most transparent and realistic senior GOR interlocutor on economic issues. He has also been the most forward-leaning in seeking economic cooperation with the U.S. and other western countries”. Among Russian officials, some find him “irritating” and accuse him of treason, say the cables. Kudrin supported a soft line in foreign policy and opposed the line represented by Putin’s Munich speech. At the peak of the 2008 crisis, he gave money to the banks and completely stopped government spending for six months. Incidentally, Kudrin was never charged with huge fraud and theft of so-called Kuwait and Algeria Debts Affairs, though his deputy has spent a few months in jail. This neo-liberal, monetarist, pro-western figure at the key position was lost to the West within a few weeks of the fall of Tripoli. And that bodes ill for the western beneficiaries of the Russian SWF, whether it is repatriated or allowed to wither.

This is the reason for the crisis. Even the bad guys have lost confidence in the system. The collapse of the USSR postponed the crisis that was long overdue. So much wealth was taken out of the dismembered chunk of the USSR! The successor-countries were robbed, and their robbed goods used to subsidise a better life of the West. The bankers and financiers got used to living well while controlling the streams of cash and assets. But they forgot an important rule of beekeepers: leave some honey in the hive, otherwise the bees will not bring more product. They ripped off too much, from too many people, and now the people have lost whatever confidence they had in the system.

Edited by Ken Freeland

Copts Clash With Troops in Cairo

News Brief – October 10, 2011

Coptic Christian protesters fought running battles with Egyptian security forces in Cairo on Sunday night, leaving as many as 24 dead and 200 injured.

According to Associated Press, several hundred Christians were protesting the demolition of a church. The protesters main demand was that the authorites rebuild it.

As the violence escalated the Egyptian military deployed troops and armoured vehilces to contain it.

The demonstrations began peacefully with a march on a state television station but degenerated into violence when marchers were pelted with stones by men in plainclothes.

Coptic Christians account for approximately 10% of Egypt’s population of 80 million.

In an effort to curb the escalating violence Egyptian Prime Minister Sharaf met last night with church leaders and military commanders.

“What is happening now is not clashes between Muslims and Christians but attempts to spark chaos and strife among the homeland sons,” Prime Minister Sharaf wrote on his Facebook page. “I call upon Egyptians to not respond to the calls for strife.”

His call came as Egytian authorities imposed a nightime curfew in parts of Cairo.

At least three soldiers were among the estimated 24 killed in the clashes. In addition a further 30 soldiers are thought to have been injured.

Over 800 were killed in violence earlier this year that led to the ousting of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control in the wake of Mubarak’s removal from office has since refused to hold elections, as it had earlier promised.

This in turn has led to demonstrators taking to the streets again recently with demands to reclaim the revolution.

Tax Exempt Foundations – G. Edward Griffin interviews Norman Dodd

The Long Arm of Israel

Gilad Atzmon – gilad.co.uk October 9, 2011

We have learned in the last few days that some Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist elements are planning to interfere with Zero Books’ The Wandering Who book launch this Monday. 

Your support for the book and also for the freedom of speech is most welcome.

Book Launch: A Panel Discussion on ‘Jewish Identity Politics’

Monday, 10th October, 2011, 7:00 pm

Resource for London

356 Holloway Road

London N7 6PA

The truth of the matter is that Israel’s long arm is not necessarily just the Mossad as you may have thought. The title fits nicely to some of our so-called Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist stooges.

Predictably, half a dozen Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists, who have been terrorizing the Palestinian solidarity movement and activists for decades are also very unhappy with my new book The Wandering Who. This is understandable for my new book doesn’t just expose Zionist cultural and ideological morbidity, it also exposes the level of duplicity that is entangled with Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist discourse. The book depicts a clear ideological continuum between the ADL and the so-called Jewish progressive cells. In fact, The Wandering Who openly criticises any form of Jewish secular political discourse Zionist and anti Zionist for being racially oriented. Jewish political activism and identity politics are basically nothing but different forms of a racially exclusive political exercise.     

It didn’t take me by complete surprise to find out that J-Big  (Jews Only Israeli Boycott Campaign) are operating relentlessly against the book. I always asked myself, how long is it going to take before J-Big contaminates my song with one of their Ava Nagilas  or any other Jewish folklore anthem. It is almost amusing to follow the distorted Jewish progressive interpretation of the BDS. Instead of mounting pressure on Israel or its Hasbara agents, J-BIG is now trying to suppress intellectual exchange within our movement.

In recent years I have gathered information about Jewish ‘anti Zionist’ leaders operating constantly against other Palestinian solidarity activists. I have seen Sara Kershnar and Mich Levy of the ‘Jewish Anti Zionist Network (IJAN) operating against myself and others in the USA and in Germany. I have exposed Naomi Wimborne Idrissi operating in a clandestine manner within our movement.  I have exposed the infamous  Roland Rance and his Wikipedia Jews network vandalising activists’ Wikipedia entries.

I recently published a short video that allowed leading Palestinian solidarity activists to tell our Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist’ stooges what we think of them and their ‘activism’.

http://youtu.be/TNngjZ1COJA

While our ‘anti Zionist Zionists’ prefer to operate in a conspiratorial manner behind the scene. Tony Greenstein, bless him, voluntarily provides us with a glimpse into Jewish anti Zionist deceit. Greenstein’s site is probably the ultimate spectacle of a Jewish ‘progressive’ tantrum.

Greenstein is certainly desperate to stop The Wandering Who. Following the most vile Talmudic tactics he smears every person who supports the book. But to his dismay he found out recently that both himself and his ADL stooges are actually cornered and isolated, standing against some of the most respected humanists in this world.

Source  

 Here are some of the recent endorsements for The Wandering Who:

Endorsements:

“Gilad Atzmon decided to open Pandora’s Box, and ignite a debate that has been frustratingly dormant for too long. His experiences are most authentic, views are hard-hitting, and, at times, provocative. It must be read and discussed.”  Ramzy Baroud,  Palestine Chronicle

“A transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews) who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.” Professor Richard Falk

‘Essential to an understanding of Jewish identity politics and the role they play on the world stage.’ Professor John J. Mearsheimer 

“Atzmon’s insight into the organism created by the Zionist movement is explosive.” Professor William A. Cook

“A pioneering work that deserves to be read and Gilad Atzmon is brave to write this book!” Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo

“Gilad’s escape from spiritual claustrophobia towards a free and open humanitarianism is fearless” Robert Wyatt

“In his inimitable deadpan style, Atzmon identifies the abscess in the Jewish wisdom tooth – exilic tribalism – and pulls it out. Ouch!” Eric Walberg, Al Aharam Weekly

“It is more than an academic exercise. It is a revelation!” Lauren Booth, Press TV

“A brilliant analysis that makes what appear to be contradictions in Jewish identity based political behavior not only comprehensible but predictable.” Jeff Blankfort

 “Atzmon has the courage – so profoundly lacking among Western intellectuals” Professor James Petras

“Having known Gilad for 25 years, I read the book in English, I heard it in Hebrew and reflected on it in Arabic. Gilad Atzmon is astonishingly courageous” Dr. Makram Khoury-Machool

“A fascinating achievement” Dr Oren Ben Dor

“Gilad Atzmon is someone who encompasses what it means to be an intellectual.” Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice

“Gilad Atzmon is the Moses of our time, calling all of us out of the Egypt of our boneheaded nationalisms and racialisms and exceptionalisms and chosen-people-isms toward some form of humanistic universalism.”  Dr. Kevin Barrett

 “Perhaps only a musician could have written this sensitive, perceptive lament over how so many Jews, believing themselves to be doing ‘what is good for the Jews,’ have managed to carve the heart out of the Palestinian nation and make this tragedy look like the natural order of things.” Kathleen  Christison

You can now order the book on Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

Condo Dwelling in Perpetual Hamster City

Smoking Mirrors – October 9, 2011

Dog Poet Transmitting…….

May your noses always be cold and wet.

Most of us are familiar with the term, ‘Satanist’. We might think we had some idea of what the term meant. However, if we were asked to define it we would more likely come up with a list of behaviors instead of the core principle. What Satanism is is the recognition and celebration of the individual will and the free exercise of any and all passions as a right that is taken, regardless of any resistance or sense of violation on the part of anyone they are being expressed upon. I purposely didn’t go to any of the web sites where I might run into any official definitions, anticipating if anyone does; it will still come out to be, more or less, something compatible with what I just said. One might add that practicing and committed Satanists are those who do evil for the sheer enjoyment of it. That’s simpler and more compact but not comprehensive because in some cases, the evil performed is more of an expedient necessity than it is a motive.

Back in the 60’s there was an Army major who worked for MKUltra. I can’t remember his name now (visible in his dotage?) and he was a known Satanist. Anton Szanador LaVey founded The First Church of Satan in San Francisco around the same time. What was being expressed in the hearts and minds of that small collective known as ‘hippies’ was only one philosophical construct that came out of the period. I have certain memories of San Francisco, although I didn’t spend a lot of time there. The California side of the equation always struck me as airhead central; forgive me if I have offended any long term residents who resonate with the landscape. I don’t mean to give the impression that there is any contempt or judgment taking place here. It’s just how it struck me.

I remember a protest march in S.F. where I saw a couple of cops beating a pregnant woman with nightsticks. I remember walking past Buona Vista park and getting a sense of danger in the darkness. I remember being very, very high on acid, sitting in a stairwell in an apartment on Folsom St. with a friend who was having trouble, because this was some very strong shit, although it wasn’t on a par with the orange and blue STP that was around for a brief time and was manufactured somewhere in the bay area. I took it once and tripped at the intensity of authentic Owsley White Light for 3 days and peaked for at least ten hours. Anyway, I was sitting in the stairwell when a door opened on the landing above and shortly after, 3 young ladies and a boy came down all witched up on their way to wherever and I could hear the sound of rattlesnakes all around them as they passed. I also ran into Charlie Manson in S.F. You could call that a hostile encounter.

I think that was a sufficient digression. Whatever may have been taking place during that period, which got identified as peace and love, was not the only emergent thing. Human nature is capable of all sorts of things. Eventually whatever you wind up with has everything to do with whether you are all about self interest or more at home serving and enjoying the greater good; should that oft referenced and seldom seen condition ever actually appear. I remember the genuine presence of something fine and noble in the full time residents of that temporary culture. I remember that ten times that number would swell the ranks every weekend and that speaks volumes about all sorts of things. I remember how real and vital it all was to me. After these many years, it stands out as one of the brief moments in which I was able to interact with what I held in a higher regard than all the rest of the repetitious, bullshit redundancies that are the usual order of the day. I remember returning around 18 months later to a war zone, where everything formerly familiar had departed. It was all about heroin and speed, with the occasional souls squatting in doorways in hope of Ginsberg’s ‘angry fix’ (I met him also a couple of times and didn’t like him very much, probably because he really, really didn’t like me). I found out years later that it was the work of the CIA, which railroaded all that was bright and beautiful, back into the stock pens of Perpetual Hamster City. For quite some time I was unaware of the details attending the hijacking and rape of that free bird period of the human heart and all of the difficulties that the human heart presents for the forces who feed off of the violation of it.

There is a lot of dark and sinister activity in the dark and sinister world, which we occupy. That dark and sinister state has been gang-fucked into our situations for pretty much all of the centuries since they got around to recording and revising all of the histories that supposedly came before the moment in which we find ourselves today. I suppose that is a justifiable precedence for believing in cabals and overlords who exercise a firm hand of control over all of our affairs and… I’m not saying they don’t, at least as far as it goes for those of you who submit to them.

It’s understandable that some of you think the occupy Wall Street movement is just another controlled expression by the usual suspects, whose intent is to destroy our hope and kill our initiative. Because most people don’t look deeply into things, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that Masonry is the be all, end all and chief villain behind all of our torments and difficulties without grasping that it’s more about the tenor and darkness of the times that it gets expressed in than it is about any enduring resident evil. Since I know I’m going to hear about it and get cursed out as an apologist or even an employee of this organization, let me say with a deserved exhaustion that I’ve got nothing to do with those people and don’t belong to anything or get paid by anyone and really don’t care about the possibility of that happening down the road. I made my choice of service and allegiance some time ago and that’s not ever, ever going to change, ever.

Unlike a whole lot of other people who, for some reason, are so confident and convinced of their own possession of the truth and all that attends it, I don’t know and I have no trouble admitting it. I can only speak to what I’ve noticed along the way and that is that it’s never entirely this or that and possibly neither one. I also note that if all power seen and unseen were actually in the hands of whichever world controlling apparatus there may or may not be, I wouldn’t be here, not that they didn’t visit some portion of that on me over time. If these so called elites actually did run everything up and down the ladder of influence and control we would be a lot more screwed than we are.

I don’t really concern myself with what people believe or how they arrived at that. The large majority of the population generally comes to believe what supports the opinions they have already formed and are not usually open to principles and perspectives that challenge their disingenuous explanations for the usual indulgences of self interest; not forgetting what I already said about that. Most of the people who make up the world audience and most of the people that milk it, are all recognizable neighbors in the enduring collective deceit that finds its voice and fealty in survival instincts, their sexual organs and their stomachs. You’ll just make yourself depressed and unfulfilled by expecting anything more.

I’ve heard it said that even if it happens at the hands of a total degenerate, sanctimonious hypocrite, you can still have a real and lasting spiritual experience depending on the level of your faith and conviction. Most things aren’t what they seem and your destinies and dependencies are not necessarily as hard wired as you think they are, given that you have any idea of what is or isn’t so in the first place.

I could be wrong about some of the conclusions I have come to over the course of whatever course brought me to this composite moment. Given that, it’s my considered belief that all power emerges from one place and is only on loan for periods of time to effect events and conditions for the purpose of demonstration. The idea of secret cabals of twisted individuals that run everything is about as real as the degree of your faith in that supposition. This is not to say that a consortium of bankers, political whores and all the rest of them are not continuously busy stealing everything that isn’t nailed down and coming back with crowbars for the rest. This is about perception and position relative to your degree of confinement and servitude. Most people get what they deserve for being lazy, paranoid and cheap. Most people convinced themselves of something and wind up the victim of it down the road. Most people have no problem adjusting the facts to suit their preferences, or justifying their actions through some form of self deception about what they were really up to.

Of course there is some amount of controlled opposition going on with the Wall Street movement. Of course there are elements within the Masonic orders and every other group that’s engaged in the manipulation of human affairs. Of course this is the terra firma of the prince of the air and all things are skewed toward the corruption and destruction of all of the better possibilities of our nature but that’s not the whole story. You’re not as defenseless and screwed as you might imagine based on surface appearances. Your biggest problem is not these self serving psychopaths in high places. Your biggest problem is yourself and the weaknesses and appetites you rationalize and engage in, while professing to be otherwise. No external force or personage has any more power over you than what you provide by making yourself available to it through the usual conceits and weaknesses of your unformed and unexamined being.

These times are like no other times. The usual terms and traditions are no longer preeminent as they once appeared to be. The very nature of their oppressive behaviors and intentions is proof positive that they are losing their grip on the hearts and minds of their subjects and victims. The critical concern is that any of you might see the possibility of the moment and seize upon it, rather than allowing it to become just one more missed opportunity in the cycling reoccurrence of lifetimes so employed. What you may or may not do is not my affair, that is your concern, or otherwise, it just wasn’t that important and you may repent at your leisure.

End Transmission…….

There will be a radio show this evening. See here.

Source 

Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

Noah Schachtman – Wired.com October 7, 2011

A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.

The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”

Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.

Drones have become America’s tool of choice in both its conventional and shadow wars, allowing U.S. forces to attack targets and spy on its foes without risking American lives. Since President Obama assumed office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times; all told, these drones have killed more than 2,000 suspected militants and civilians, according to the Washington Post. More than 150 additional Predator and Reaper drones, under U.S. Air Force control, watch over the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. American military drones struck 92 times in Libya between mid-April and late August. And late last month, an American drone killed top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki — part of an escalating unmanned air assault in the Horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula.

But despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have security flaws. Many Reapers and Predators don’t encrypt the video they transmit to American troops on the ground. In the summer of 2009, U.S. forces discovered “days and days and hours and hours” of the drone footage on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents. A $26 piece of software allowed the militants to capture the video.

The lion’s share of U.S. drone missions are flown by Air Force pilots stationed at Creech, a tiny outpost in the barren Nevada desert, 20 miles north of a state prison and adjacent to a one-story casino. In a nondescript building, down a largely unmarked hallway, is a series of rooms, each with a rack of servers and a “ground control station,” or GCS. There, a drone pilot and a sensor operator sit in their flight suits in front of a series of screens. In the pilot’s hand is the joystick, guiding the drone as it soars above Afghanistan, Iraq, or some other battlefield.

Some of the GCSs are classified secret, and used for conventional warzone surveillance duty. The GCSs handling more exotic operations are top secret. None of the remote cockpits are supposed to be connected to the public internet. Which means they are supposed to be largely immune to viruses and other network security threats.

But time and time again, the so-called “air gaps” between classified and public networks have been bridged, largely through the use of discs and removable drives. In late 2008, for example, the drives helped introduce the agent.btz worm to hundreds of thousands of Defense Department computers. The Pentagon is still disinfecting machines, three years later.

Use of the drives is now severely restricted throughout the military. But the base at Creech was one of the exceptions, until the virus hit. Predator and Reaper crews use removable hard drives to load map updates and transport mission videos from one computer to another. The virus is believed to have spread through these removable drives. Drone units at other Air Force bases worldwide have now been ordered to stop their use.

In the meantime, technicians at Creech are trying to get the virus off the GCS machines. It has not been easy. At first, they followed removal instructions posted on the website of the Kaspersky security firm. “But the virus kept coming back,” a source familiar with the infection says. Eventually, the technicians had to use a software tool called BCWipe to completely erase the GCS’ internal hard drives. “That meant rebuilding them from scratch” — a time-consuming effort.

The Air Force declined to comment directly on the virus. “We generally do not discuss specific vulnerabilities, threats, or responses to our computer networks, since that helps people looking to exploit or attack our systems to refine their approach,” says Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for Air Combat Command, which oversees the drones and all other Air Force tactical aircraft. “We invest a lot in protecting and monitoring our systems to counter threats and ensure security, which includes a comprehensive response to viruses, worms, and other malware we discover.”

However, insiders say that senior officers at Creech are being briefed daily on the virus.

“It’s getting a lot of attention,” the source says. “But no one’s panicking. Yet.”

Source

‘Window for strike on Iran nuke facilities growing slimmer’

Yaakov Katz – Jerusalem Post October 9, 2011

The chance for a military strike to succeed in stopping Iran’s race toward a nuclear weapon is becoming “slimmer” as Tehran continues to produce and disperse its enriched uranium and technology, according to Prof. Avner Cohen, a premier Israeli-American scholar on nuclear proliferation.

“I think we are moving to the point that the chance of success for doing something effective militarily is getting slimmer,” Cohen warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

“The fact that the Iranian nuclear program is further dispersed, that the time for Iran to reach a breakout capability gets shorter and that material can be moved quickly from site to site, would require a very dynamic intelligence capability to know where everything is,” he said.

A professor and senior fellow at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, Cohen has written two groundbreaking books on Israel’s nuclear program – Israel and the Bomb and The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb.

Furthermore, according to Cohen, even if Israel had all of the intelligence it would still be impossible “to know that you know everything important since you do not know what you do not know.”

Israel and other Western countries have expressed concern in the past that Iran might have additional undeclared nuclear facilities.

Cohen stressed that he did not currently advocate military action.

At the same time, he said that Iran’s “salami approach” – dispersing its enriched uranium to a number of facilities, its general policy of making only small and invisible-like advances in its program, as well as its proven ability to enrich uranium to 20 percent levels – showed that “Iran is not only positioning itself on the bomb threshold, but it appears to gear itself to slowly crossing the threshold and becoming a nuclear weapon state.”

Iran recently announced that it is moving an advanced new centrifuge into the Fordo facility near Qom.

“Some Americans with access to intelligence believe that the window for the military option is closing and growing slimmer,” he said.

Cohen said that Iran was working under a policy of nuclear ambiguity, similar to Israel’s policy, under which Israel neither confirms nor denies its nuclear status. Like Israel, he said that Iran could eventually redefine what it means to be a nuclear state.

Last week, the Post reported on concerns within Israel that Iran was adopting such a policy.

“Given the increasing quantities that Iran is enriching to 20%, they are increasingly shortening the time they need to reach the so-called breakout stage, which means that the warning time is getting shorter and shorter to the point that it becomes meaningless,” he said. “Their opacity policy aims to blur and obscure the very issue of possession and non-possession of nuclear weapons.”

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to Israel last week, Cohen said, was likely part of an American effort to ensure that Israel is not planning any unilateral military steps that would not be coordinated first with Washington.

“The US wants itself, and also Israel, to be engaged in a thorough effort to contain Iran – like the way the Soviet Union was contained during the Cold War – meaning that for all practical purposes and short of extreme circumstances, both the US and Israel would have to put aside the military option and instead work to contain Iran,” Cohen said.

“My gut sense is that something happened in recent weeks which was interpreted as if Israel had made clear that the military option is alive and kicking, and Panetta wanted to make sure that Israeli independent action will not happen,” he said.

Source

40 Signs That America Is Rotting From The Inside Out

End of the American Dream – October 7, 2011

It would be easy to know how to defend America if enemy forces were invading our shores.  But how do you defend a nation that is rotting from the inside out?  How do you eradicate the internal decay that is eating away at the heart and soul of this nation a little bit more every single day?  Just like we saw happen with the Roman Empire, the internal rot that is eating its way to the surface threatens to bring us down as a nation.  Greed, corruption, gluttony, lust and pride have become national pastimes.  We are addicted to debt, food, entertainment and pleasure.  We have been taught to hate those that look different from us or that believe different things than we do.  Society is literally coming apart at the seams and the federal government is increasingly implementing “Big Brother” security measures in an attempt to maintain control and keep us “safe”.  We have far more people in prison than any other nation on the planet and yet things just keep getting worse and worse.  So how can we fix America?  How do we rescue a nation that is rotting from the inside?

It is absolutely crucial that we acknowledge just how bad things have gotten.  Simply getting the right political party into power will not save America.  Neither will implementing a new political system or a new economic system.  America’s problems are deeper than that.  The very core of America is deeply sick, and once we admit that, then perhaps we will start focusing on some real solutions.

The following are 40 signs that America is rotting from the inside out….

#1 A secret panel of government officials can now put American citizens on a “kill list”.  A recent Reuters article explained that no law established this secret panel and that there are no laws which govern it….

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

#2 It is on record that the federal government facilitated the sale of thousands upon thousands of very powerful guns to Mexican drug cartels.  The Mexican government was never told about this operation.  U.S. border agents have been shot with these guns, and these guns have been involved in dozens of murders already in Mexico.  Mexican drug cartels will continue to kill people with these guns for many years to come.  The Obama administration is working incredibly hard to cover up this scandal and the mainstream media is mostly ignoring the story.

#3 The other day, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson shared with radio show host Laura Ingraham that Obama administration officials have yelled at her and cussed at her for aggressively investigating Operation Fast and Furious.  This must have created a lot of waves, because now CBS News has now put her on lockdown and has made her unavailable for interviews.

#4 A host of other recent examples show that if you are associated with the mainstream media in any way and you make a “politically incorrect” comment, you will be given the boot so fast that it will make your head swim.  For example, Hank Williams Jr. was recently booted off Monday Night Football simply because he compared Barack Obama to Hitler.

#5 At the current protests in New York City, police are beating people with clubs and shooting pepper spray in their faces.  As the economic crisis gets even worse and protests spread and become more intense in future years, will all of America soon look like this?

#6 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.

#7 The other day, a group of thieves stole a 50 foot long bridge in Pennsylvania.  Yes, you read that correctly.  They stole the entire bridge.

#8 Criminals seem willing to steal just about anything that is not bolted down these days.  For example, a group of thieves has stolen more than 1,000 pigs from farms in Minnesota and Iowa in recent months.

#9 Class warfare is certainly rising to a new level in this nation.  Recently, Roseanne Barr said that it would be a good idea for some bankers to “go to the reeducation camps“.

#10 Michael Moore is warning that the economic riots that we are starting to see around the country could potentially become violent in the future….

“The smart rich know they can only build the gate so high. And, and, sooner or later history proves that people when they’ve had enough aren’t going to take it anymore. And much better to deal with it nonviolently now, through the political system, than what could possibly happen in the future, which nobody wants to see”

#11 Have we become a socialist nation?  At this point, nearly half of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.

#12 From the time George Washington became president until January 1993, the United States government accumulated a national debt of $4.16 trillion.  Since Barack Obama entered the White House, more than $4.2 trillion has been added to the national debt.

#13 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently warned Congress not to cut “too much” from the federal budget right now.

#14 According to one recent report, the EPA wants to hire 230,000 more bureaucrats that will help enforce all of the new greenhouse gas regulations that the EPA plans to implement.

#15 There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States every single year.

#16 Horrifying brawls involving groups of young people are breaking out all over the nation.  For example, check out this disturbing footage of a brawl that recently broke out during a football game in California.

#17 All over the nation, little children are being publicly arrested by police in their own classrooms and are being marched out of their schools in handcuffs.

#18 In some areas of the country, law enforcement officials are now using “extraction devices” to download data from the cellphones of motorists that they pull over.

#19 In the United States today, it is estimated that one out of every four girls is sexually abused before they become adults.

#20 Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson recently declared that it if your spouse develops Alzheimer’s disease, it is okay to divorce them.

#21 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.

#22 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.

#23 Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently stated that “extremism in Christianity” is a significant danger to the United States.

#24 More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe.  89 percent is made in the U.S.A. and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world.

#25 Vanderbilt University has ruled that five on-campus Christian groups have violated Vanderbilt’s non-discrimination policy because they will not allow people that do not believe in Christianity to become leaders in the groups.

#26 Globally, the United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

#27 According to NationMaster.com, the United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the world.

#28 The federal government recently sued a company down in Texas for firing a 600 pound worker.

#29 Are American students getting dumber?  This year, the average score on the verbal portion of the SAT was the lowest ever recorded.

#30 The United States has more people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country on the planet.

#31 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.

#32 One out of every four teen girls in the United States now has an STD.

#33 Law enforcement officials estimate that about 600,000 Americans and about 65,000 Canadians are trading dirty child pictures online.

#34 There are more reported rapes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#35 Totalitarian police states used to be ridiculed in this country, but now that has all changed.  In fact, the If You See Something, Say Something campaign looks like it could have been pulled right out of an East German security handbook.

#36 According to a shocking FBI document obtained by Oath Keepers, the FBI definition of “suspicious activity” now includes making “extreme religious statements” and believing in “radical theology“.

#37 It is estimated that 500,000 babies that will be born this year will be sexually abused before they turn 18.

#38 In airports all over the country, the federal government is forcing large numbers of women and children to endure very offensive “enhanced pat-downs” during which their private parts are touched before they are allowed to get on to their flights.

#39 It was bad enough when the TSA was just abusing our families at the airports.  Now, TSA “VIPR teams” are conducting approximately 8,000 “unannounced security screenings a year at subway stations, bus terminals, ports and highway rest stops.

#40 Since 1973, approximately 50 million babies have been slaughtered in the United States before they were even born.

Some of the examples above may seem unrelated at first glance, but they really are not.  The truth is that all of those examples illustrate the deep decay that has taken hold in this nation.

Sadly, hundreds more examples could easily be listed.  This country is deeply sick, and “tweaking” a couple of things or electing the right politician is not going to cure us.

America is dying and time is running out.

Source

Wondering about Wandering Who

By Israel Shamir

Gilad Atzmon is larger than life; no delicate and sensitive artistic soul, he is rather a living volcano, a titan with a Rabelaisian sense of humor and enough energy to power a city. Nights, you will find him entertaining his fans in every corner of the globe with his masterful saxophone playing: tonight in Mexico City, tomorrow night in Sheffield. His days are spent producing a vast quantity of writing and blogging, sending out at least two letters a day to his many readers. His previous book, My One and Only Love, is a very funny novel with more than a touch of the macabre and grotesque. It features a roving Israeli orchestra smuggling Nazis in double bass cases. It also contains kosher pigs, sexy spies, smelly underwear, casual killings, and a row of Israeli national leaders, all with their trousers down.

The best writings of Gilad Atzmon firmly belong to the realm of Israeli literature. His preference for writing in English attennuates his essentially Israeli character, just as Beckett remained a British writer while writing in French. His merciless goading of tender Jewish sentiments recalls the much-loved Israeli playwright, Hanoch Levin; this explains why Atzmon is enjoyed more by his country-mates than by Diaspora Jews. His newest book, the Wandering Who? is a collection of essays that revolve around Jewish-identity politics. This subject (“what does it mean to be a Jew”) holds much fascination to people of Jewish origin. Many contemporary Jewish writers indulge in this sort of reflection, usually slipping into woe and whine mixed with self-adoration, and coated over with treacle and romanticism.

Being no delicate flower (see above), Atzmon delivers robust and forceful opinions with both hands. He regains some of the lost honesty once expressed by free thinkers and Zionists of the fin-de-siècle. Early Zionists from Nordau to Herzl provided some very frank and critical assessments of Jewish society. Yet even more critical was Otto Weininger (1880 – 1903), the tragic Viennese writer who dared to connect sex and Jews in his great bestseller Sex and Character; he followed up his success by committing suicide at the age of 23. Weininger has long been forgotten in Europe, and yet he holds a fascination for Israelis. A play by prominent Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol, Weininger’s Night (subtitled “The Soul of a Jew”) was a great hit in 1983; it was responsible for opening up Israeli theatre to the world. It was the first Israeli play ever staged in Moscow’s MXAT theatre (in 1990), directed by talented Gedalia Besser.

Atzmon has a loving and thoughtful essay about him. He provides some valuable insights. He turns Weininger’s “I dislike what I am” into “I dislike what I do”.  Atzmon sees Weininger’s suicide as an impetuous reaction against his womanly/Jewish side. Atzmon sympathizes with Weininger’s feeling that “Jewishness” is somewhat similar to “queerness”, and this provides a key to the book’s understanding. Jewish-identity musings, like gender-identity discussions, tend to fluctuate between the vulgar and the brazen; both can seem boring and repetitious unless the reader is directly involved, and perhaps even then.

The first essay of the collection has the freshness and sincerity of true testimony. The story of a young man trying to break free from his fiercely nationalist non-religious Jewish family background is akin to any man’s escape from stifling gender politics. Imagine a virile young man conceived in vitro and brought up by a sorority of lesbian activists, who has finally come of age and broken out into a rich and satisfying world of natural love. Clearly one might expect and forgive such a young man his unflattering depictions of “dykes” and “butches”, but such transgressions could never be forgiven by the sanctimonious gay activists and PC wardens who decide for us what is permissible and what is not.

This in fact has happened with Atzmon’s book: it has generated a significant amount of heated controversy. This kind of publicity is never bad for book sales. As for the author, he is no shrinking violet and quite up to the task; in fact, he is a pugnacious fellow, able to defend himself and always ready for a good brawl. Many of Atzmon’s critics seem to think that when we talk about Jews we must speak as we do about the dead: say something nice, or don’t say anything at all. And yet who should critique the activities and attitudes of the dead but the living? Banning all outsiders from the debate is a recipe for insipidity.

And yet, Atzmon is no outsider. An (ex-) Israeli, he has some first-hand knowledge, and he introduces us to a long obscured side of Jewishness, just as Jean Genet once reminded us about the backside of queerness. In Genet’s oevre we see the gender-confused men who are not saintly martyrs on their way to Auschwitz, but brutal criminals who kill and betray their friends in the hellish darkness of a jail. Though art is perhaps a better mode for such delivery.

One of his problems is that the Jewish subject is over-explored, and one treads on the footsteps of predecessors, even if one does not give them credit. The most interesting essay in the book contains Atzmon’s reflections on an essay by Milton Friedman. Friedman was curious as to why so many Jews had abandoned their historically Left-leaning socialist ways. To avoid the conclusion that Jews used to love Justice and Mercy, and now they have traded it for Power, Friedman instead posits that Jews are most naturally creatures of the Right. Friedman declares that while pure capitalism is the environment in which Jews thrive best, for one hundred years Jews were kept out of right-wing politics because the Right stood with the Church; the Left, anti-clerical and atheist, accepted them as they were. It was only after the Right was separated from the Church that Jews began to stream back into right-wing movements, and they ended up wholeheartedly embracing capitalism of the most brutal kind. This is a valuable observation, something that has yet to be learned by leftist philosemites like Seumas Milne, and by the Christian Right. The mass participation of Jews in a movement has a price, and this price is the rejection of the Christian Church.

Atzmon rejects Friedman’s conclusions: he would rather walk us through all the hypocrisies of the Jewish Left, as though a change in leadership would solve the problem. This attitude is very common among educated Israelis who have lived through the great betrayal of humanism by the left-wing parties, climaxing with labour leader Ehud Barak carrying water for Sharon and Netanyahu. Since the destruction of the Israeli Left can be directly attributed to these “traitors to the cause”, Atzmon might be forgiven for thinking that but for a crisis in leadership the Left would be still ruling the roost.

Atzmon gets carried away by his own rhetoric when he proclaims that the Jewish Left wants to seize assets of the rich just because Jews do not respect Goyim property rights. This is plainly not true: radical leftists everywhere call for the expropriation of all banks, Jewish or otherwise, and Jewish leftists are no different in this aspect. Jews are the wealthiest minority in the world; they have the most to lose in a leftist revolution. It’s apparent to everyone except Atzmon that the Jewish move to the Right is as natural as bacon.

With zeal of a born-again Christian, Atzmon offers not the smallest fig leaf of hope for good-hearted Jews. If a Jew supports the Left, he is doing it because he wants to rob wealthy Goys with Talmudic impunity. If a Jew supports the Right, it is because he wants to steal land. If a Jew supports Palestine, he is doing it in order to take over the Palestinian movement. This is a bridge too far. This sort of self-criticism should be reserved for confession. Not all Jews are that self-serving. Yes, there are hopeless wretches like Tony Greenstein and Roland Rance, leftist British Jews whose main participation in the Palestinian struggle is constrained to battling phantom antisemitism and Holocaust rhetoric, but not all Atzmon’s adversaries are paper tigers. However, as Atzmon wrote in his essay on Weininger, one condemns one’s own faults, so perhaps this is a form of his contrition.

Atzmon is tough on Jewish tribalism, no endearing feature to be sure, but something not all rare in the Middle East. Jews are not any more tribalist than are Armenians, and no more nationalist than Georgians. This clannishness may be less common in British/American culture, but the tribal setup of immigrant croups is well known even there. Jewish success in the US and the UK cannot be explained by expounding upon Jewish insularity; a better explanation is traditional Jewish fidelity to power.

We could do with less psychologism and Portnoy’s complaints. Discussion of English or American identity and mentality does not lead to better understanding of British and American imperial policies. Likewise, policies of the World Jewry are very relevant for us, while Jewish mental attitudes are not. Who cares what Jews feel towards their neighbours? We care what the Jews do. Instead of dealing with bees, we need to know of swarms, and this is what Atzmon fails to deliver, because this brave man gets cold feet.

Atzmon is least convincing and most dull when he pedantically constructs his castle of exceptions and explanations intended to ward off the inevitable accusations of ‘hate’ and ‘racism’. He declares his preference for “accidental Jews”, i.e. people who are Jews by accident of birth. This alibi is designed to fortify his position against attack. It is as if Nietzsche added to his famous dictum (“You are going to women? Do not forget the whip!”) a caveat “but beware some women are able to use the whip, too”. An allegoric poetic quality of writing has been ruined, and now nobody is happy. We admire Atzmon’s fierce and fearless qualities, and it’s kind of a let-down when he chooses to be prudent now and then.  

One can point out several errors of fact in his book. For instance, he claims that Jews did not write any histories until the 19th century. This is not true: Abraham Zacuto produced his History of the Jews (“Sefer Yohassin”) in the last decades of the 15th century, and this book is available on Amazon. Still he builds some castles on this factual error, and they collapse like straw houses.

However, Atzmon’s greatest fault is narcissism, or perhaps it is a myopic solipsism. Atzmon remains locked in the very Jewish dichotomy of Jews vs. Gentiles. He does not seem to appreciate the marvellous variety of the Gentiles; he cannot recognize that the Nations of the Earth are quite different from each other. The British are not the same as the Palestinians, nor are they as French as France. And yet for Atzmon, they are all one happy crowd without specific features. In vain shall we seek to learn what are the qualities of the Palestinians that have attracted him (except perhaps the ability to make good hummus). The one all-redeeming quality that they all share is that they are not Jewish. For this reason he suggests that Jews fully adapt to the modern, generic, global cosmopolitan monoculture of multiculturalism. This is absolutely unnecessary. While we applaud acculturation, Jews should adopt the culture of the land they inhabit, become one with the folk they live with. There is no shortcut to universality. I would like to read about Atzmon hanging out with average Brits, Scouses, and Brummies, or about his adventures with Palestinian shepherds, but they are not to be found: in a diverse world, he sees only Jews.

Another problem is the absence of God. Indeed, all discourse on Jews sine God is quite useless. I am aware that in the modern British climate, if Atzmon were to publish his thoughts on God and Jews, he would not find a publisher. You may use every obscenity, but you should not mention Christ. And yet Jews are first of all a religious community; a valid analysis of Jewish identity must take religion into account. Atzmon purposely adds a disclaimer declaring he will not criticise Judaism, but this simply ducks the issue.

He does give himself permission to use the Bible against them, but his literal readings are too primitive for the sophisticated readers of the 21st century. One can’t quote bloody stories of the Conquest of Canaan from the Book of Joshua like one quotes the admissions of a criminal. So many wonderful minds have discussed these tales, from St Jerome to Edward Said, and all of them had more valuable thoughts than Atzmon has to share. Indeed, when God says: you will inherit houses you did not build and vineyards you did not plant, Atzmon says: “that’s why the Jews seized Palestine!” This is trite. We live in houses we did not build, most especially in the houses of our bodies, built by God. We enjoy many wonderful things we did not produce. For instance, we enjoy Atzmon’s saxophone, though we didn’t built it. God’s grace gave us these things. This Biblical verse reminds us all that we receive a lot of undeserved things, and that we should all work harder to justify God’s trust in us.

The bottom line is that identity musings are dry and boring stuff; Atzmon is actually a much better writer than one would conclude from reading this book. He wanted to get it off his chest. Fine! Now let us see more of his witty novels.

P.S. Naturally I side with Atzmon in his polemics against his numerous detractors, but their arguments are so senile that it would be a waste of reader’s time to dwell time and time again on the endless and fruitless assertions of ‘hate’ and ‘self-hate’. What we do is soul-searching, not hate. Non-Jews have become so over-sensitised to allegations of race hatred that they swarm with the rest even when it’s an honest discussion between Jews.

Edited by Paul Bennett

Battered By Economic Crisis, Greeks Turn to Barter Networks

Rachel Donadio – New York Times October 1, 2011

The first time he bought eggs, milk and jam at an outdoor market using not euros but an informal barter currency, Theodoros Mavridis, an unemployed electrician, was thrilled.

“I felt liberated, I felt free for the first time,” Mr. Mavridis said in a recent interview at a cafe in this port city in central Greece. “I instinctively reached into my pocket, but there was no need to.”

Angeliki Ioanniti, a seamstress, runs a small shop in Volos and participates in a network that uses barter and vouchers.

Mr. Mavridis is a co-founder of a growing network here in Volos that uses a so-called Local Alternative Unit, or TEM in Greek, to exchange goods and services — language classes, baby-sitting, computer support, home-cooked meals — and to receive discounts at some local businesses.

Part alternative currency, part barter system, part open-air market, the Volos network has grown exponentially in the past year, from 50 to 400 members. It is one of several such groups cropping up around the country, as Greeks squeezed by large wage cuts, tax increases and growing fears about whether they will continue to use the euro have looked for creative ways to cope with a radically changing economic landscape.

“Ever since the crisis there’s been a boom in such networks all over Greece,” said George Stathakis, a professor of political economy and vice chancellor of the University of Crete. In spite of the large public sector in Greece, which employs one in five workers, the country’s social services often are not up to the task of helping people in need, he added. “There are so many huge gaps that have to be filled by new kinds of networks,” he said.

Even the government is taking notice. Last week, Parliament passed a law sponsored by the Labor Ministry to encourage the creation of “alternative forms of entrepreneurship and local development,” including networks based on an exchange of goods and services. The law for the first time fills in a regulatory gray area, giving such groups nonprofit status.

Here in Volos, the group’s founders are adamant that they work in parallel to the regular economy, inspired more by a need for solidarity in rough times than a political push for Greece to leave the euro zone and return to the drachma.

“We’re not revolutionaries or tax evaders,” said Maria Houpis, a retired teacher at a technical high school and one of the group’s six co-founders. “We accept things as they are.”

Still, she added, if Greece does take a turn for the worse and eventually does stop using the euro, networks like hers are prepared to step into the breach. “In an imaginary scenario — and I stress imaginary — we would be ready for it.”

The group’s concept is simple. People sign up online and get access to a database that is kind of like a members-only Craigslist. One unit of TEM is equal in value to one euro, and it can be used to exchange good and services. Members start their accounts with zero, and they accrue credit by offering goods and services. They can borrow up to 300 TEMs, but they are expected to repay the loan within a fixed period of time.

Members also receive books of vouchers of the alternative currency itself, which look like gift certificates and are printed with a special seal that makes it difficult to counterfeit. Those vouchers can be used like checks. Several businesspeople in Volos, including a veterinarian, an optician and a seamstress, accept the alternative currency in exchange for a discount on the price in euros.

A recent glimpse of the database revealed people offering guitar and English lessons, bookkeeping services, computer technical support, discounts at hairdressers and the use of their yards for parties. There is a system of ratings so that people can describe their experiences, in order to keep transparent quality control.

(The network uses open-source software and is hosted on a Dutch server, cyclos.org, which offers low hosting fees.)

The group also holds a monthly open-air market that is like a cross between a garage sale and a farmers’ market, where Mr. Mavridis used his TEM credit to buy the milk, eggs and jam. Those goods came from local farmers who are also involved in the project.

“We’re still at the beginning,” said Mr. Mavridis, who lost his job as an electrician at a factory last year. In the coming months, the group hopes to have a borrowed office space where people without computers can join the network more easily, he said.

For Ms. Houpis, the network has a psychological dimension. “The most exciting thing you feel when you start is this sense of contribution,” she said. “You have much more than your bank account says. You have your mind and your hands.”

As she bustled around her sewing table in her small shop in downtown Volos, Angeliki Ioanniti, 63, said she gave discounts for sewing to members of the network, and she has also exchanged clothing alterations for help with her computer. “Being a small city helps, because there’s trust,” she said.

In exchange for euros and alternative currency, she also sells olive oil, olives and homemade bergamot-scented soap prepared by her daughter, who lives in the countryside outside Volos.

In her family’s optical shop, Klita Dimitriadis, 64, offers discounts to customers using alternative currency, but she said the network had not really gained momentum yet or brought in much business. “It’s helpful, but now it doesn’t work very much because everybody is discounting,” she said.

In an e-mail, the mayor of Volos, Panos Skotiniotis, said the city was following the alternative currency network with interest and was generally supportive of local development initiatives. He added that the city was looking at other ways of navigating the economic situation, including by setting aside public land for a municipal urban farm where citizens could grow produce for their own use or to sell.

After years of rampant consumerism and easy credit, such nascent initiatives speak to the new mood in Greece, where imposed austerity has caused people to come together — not only to protest en masse, but also to help one another.

Similar initiatives have been cropping up elsewhere in Greece. In Patras, in the Peloponnese, a network called Ovolos, named after an ancient Greek means of currency, was founded in 2009 and includes a local exchange currency, a barter system and a so-called time bank, in which members swap services like medical care and language classes. The group has about 100 transactions a week, and volunteers monitor for illegal services, said Nikos Bogonikolos, the president and a founding member.

Greece has long had other exchange networks, particularly among farmers. Since 1995, a group called Peliti has collected, preserved and distributed seeds from local varietals to growers free, and since 2002 it has operated as an exchange network throughout the country.

Beyond exchanges, there are newer signs of cooperation from the ground up. When bus and subway workers in Athens went on strike two weeks ago, Athenians flooded Twitter looking for carpools, using an account founded in 2009 to raise awareness of transportation issues in Athens. The outpouring made headlines, as a sign of something unthinkable before the crisis hit.

With unemployment rising above 16 percent and the economy still shrinking, many Greeks are preparing for the worst. “Things will turn very bad in the next year,” said Mr. Stathakis, the political economics professor.

Christos Papaioannou, 37, who runs the Web site for the network in Volos, said, “We’re in an uncharted area,” and hopes the group expands. “There’s going to be a lot of change. Maybe it’s the beginning of the future.”

Dimitris Bounias contributed reporting from Volos and Athens.

Source

The Big Empty Wasteland of Indefinable Angst

Visible Origami – October 8, 2011

Dog Poet Transmitting…….

May your noses always be cold and wet.

The force and presence of the moment lately has been remarkably intense. Maybe there are people somewhere who can measure and gauge it or interpret it in a way that makes it understandable but that isn’t me. I’m in a cone of mystery, where nothing is as it seems and every approaching minute is around some corner wearing a fake nose, promising everything that can be imagined and delivering nothing. I can’t imagine a greater intensity that could make everything tremble and shake like this without making anything happen at the same time.

I awoke from sleep this morning to find dementia and delusion had backed off for a space. Coming into last nights crash and burn, I hadn’t slept for 3 nights and that can become seriously wack, so that the peripheral landscape shimmers and shines and vibrates with non existent holographic extensions that tell you that you are entering mushroom city, without actually having taken any. I’ve got varieties of psychedelics all over the place but I haven’t indulged in quite some time. Cue B.B. King and The Thrill is Gone. I remember going to see him one night in a small Washington D.C. club. It might have been The Crazy Horse. I was with John Hall and two statuesque, Amazonian blondes of the traffic stopping variety. After B.B. finished his set he came right down and sat at our table for the obvious reasons. At one point, my friend Douglas Hume, who had come in recently, turned to me and said that B.B. had his hand on my girlfriend’s leg. I had already noted this. I swiveled around to Douglas and said, “Yeah, but it’s B.B. King”. It was actually pretty funny at the time.

It’s interesting what goes on during certain periods in your life. When you’re a teenager, or in your twenties and even thirties, there are all these people around and some of them are really beautiful women. At the time you have no idea that any of it would ever change. You’re living in Surplus City. It’s probably not like this for everyone but it was for me. Then you arrive at some point like it was already marked on the clock and everything changes. All those people aren’t around anymore. Somehow your long hair has disappeared and when you go into a bar it’s populated with all of these unhappy characters and, if you’re in California or Hawaii, there are all of these hard eyed blonde surfer girls with serious sun damage and you can’t possibly talk to them because you’ve got the wrong DNA and you’re not unhappy about that because if it weren’t for that fact, that you were different somehow, you might have had the serious misfortune of actually living with one of them.

Time continues up or down the hard road of The Seven Ages of Man and now you notice that there’s almost no one around and you realize you are spending huge chunks of time completely alone but it doesn’t really bother you. For some reason you actually prefer that. You thought some point was going to arrive where you might get an explanation for all of the things you had been through and maybe even discover a portal or aperture that led into that world you always thought you would somehow disappear into but it hasn’t happened yet. You wonder if you took some kind of a wrong turn back down the highway. You can’t remember it having taken place. You don’t know if it’s just been strange or really weird. It definitely wasn’t anything like the things you noticed everyone else going thru. You’ve arrived at a place where pretty much everyone else doesn’t know where the door handle is and that is because things, objects and the material world had taken on critical importance without being worth anything at all.

Occasionally you realize that at some point you are going to die or disappear and you think there’s a strong possibility for the latter but you don’t know exactly why you feel this way, you just do. You have no sensation of aging in anyway like what you see around you. You don’t feel any particular age and your flexibility hasn’t been affected at all. You live in a small town that came into being around the eighth century and most of the residents are on rails and seriously depressed because of bad history and the absence of spontaneous merriment. You’re traveling through a dead zone of heavy atmosphere in a nation deeply in need of Prozac. You’ve given up telling them that everything they know about history is a lie and you’re already stranger than anything they’ve encountered at any point in their life before until now.

You know it’s going to be a lot worse in many other places so it’s not nearly as bad as it could be. These people are true libertarians and also sensible and frugal, so they can weather the storm a lot better than most places in the west. You just wish they weren’t so insular, dull and suspicious but that’s just how it is.

Sometimes you travel to different locations where you sit in restaurants, clubs or somewhere social and you study the world around you as if it were feeding time at the zoo. You never do get any kind of a handle on why you are so different from everyone else. You’re hyper aware of any number of people staring at you but that’s been going on for a long time. You have zero interest in just about anything that everyone else finds so important. In many ways, the world is some kind of Big Empty for you where there is no longer anything to pursue or desire. You know there’s got to be something more but you have no idea which cabinet it’s located in. You’re not unhappy or troubled. You don’t feel disappointed or left behind. You’re pretty sure you have no idea where you are going and you deal with that by not going anywhere. Something was supposed to happen at some point but it hasn’t happened yet.

Sometimes you think there should be a reason for you to be apprehensive, uncertain, confused, something… but you’re not, even though there sometimes seems like there are good reasons that you should but you’ve got those invisible friends and they’ve been telling you the same thing for so long that by now you believe them without question, although you have yet to see any sign of promised event.

It’s a funny crowded world for everyone else. It certainly isn’t your world. It’s a world of pot bellies and clown cosmetics that melt like a bad wedding cake in some Houston community center. You tell yourself there are few things as unappealing as when one of these women begin to cry, except maybe the reason for the tears. Every now and then you realize the air is heavy with deodorants, colognes, after shave, perfume and god knows what else. You haven’t worn anything like that since you were a callow youth. People are eating suspicious sausages that could have just about anything in them. Their iceboxes are stuffed with processed foods that have unpronounceable ingredients which can run up to sixty five letters. You can’t imagine how they can eat that stuff but you do know what the long term effects are. You have never really understood ordinary porn, tit jobs, facelifts or any of that shit. You can’t figure out how something like that would actually turn anyone on. It’s totally geared toward dehumanization and a calculated insult to all of the finer and nobler possibilities of the human spirit, even though you haven’t seen any of that for a really long time

Sometimes you sit and wonder about people who become lawyers, politicians, just about any of the things people put such an investment in. You can’t figure out how any of it became so important to anyone. You can’t figure out how these people manage to take themselves so seriously. You’re amazed at their capacity to drink themselves senseless for such an extended period of time. It blows your mind that they could have been married multiple times and stitched up with alimony, festering resentments and disaffected progeny, with money games going on like it was some kind of a heroin habit. You can see then dressed out in a box at some point surrounded by people who didn’t like them but are now forced to search with great difficulty for something nice to say.

You’ve never met them but you know that there are people out there that sell munitions, who torture animals and people and others who are making unpleasant decisions about people and digging the power rush that comes with fucking up people’s lives just because they can. You really cannot understand how such a large body of people bought into so many impossible lies or barbaric religions that engage in so many terrible activities against their fellows. Something’s not right in Wonderland and it hasn’t been for a long time. You can’t understand how they are going to find their way out of all of this and you suspect that they won’t. How can they voluntarily condemn themselves to such guaranteed suffering over such massive tracts of time? It’s a mystery is what it is.

End Transmission…….

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German General Says NATO Mission Has ‘Failed’

Der Spiegel – October 7, 2011

It was 10 years ago that the United States, together with its NATO allies, marched into Afghanistan to put an end to Taliban rule and begin the hunt for al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden. A decade later, the terrorist leader is dead. But, says Harald Kujat, former general inspector of the German military, the mission has been a failure.

“The mission fulfilled the political aim of showing solidarity with the United States,” Kujat told the German daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. “But if you measure progress against the goal of stabilizing a country and a region, then the mission has failed.”

Kujat said that it was ignored for too long that “the opponent was fighting a military battle and we needed to do the same.” In reference to claims from German political leaders, among others, he said “the argument that it was a stabilization mission was maintained for too long.” The result, he said, is that soldiers were not given what they needed in order to effectively fight the enemy.

Kujat is hardly the first to criticize the Afghanistan war. But his words carry weight in Germany. He was a leading planner of the German mission to Afghanistan and served as general inspector of the German military — the Bundeswehr’s highest-ranking soldier — from 2000 to 2002. Part of his job included advising both the German government and the Defense Ministry on military matters.

Timeline for Withdrawal

The former Bundeswehr leader also took aim at Germany’s plan to complete withdrawal of all of its 5,000 combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014, a timeline that was reiterated on Friday by Germany’s special representative for Afghanistan, Michael Steiner.

“If we withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014,” said Kujat, “then the Taliban will take over power again within just a few months.”

Steiner declined to name a date for the beginning of Germany’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has said it aims at beginning the pullout by the end of 2011, conditions permitting. Steiner said that a plan would be presented by the end of the year.

The withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan was a major topic at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark said that, even after 2014, the alliance would focus heavily on training the Afghan military.

Kujat isn’t the only heavyweight critic of the Afghanistan mission to have spoken out in recent days. Speaking in Washington at an event organized by the think tank Council on Foreign Relations, Stanley McChrystal, who led the Afghanistan troop increase ordered by President Barack Obama in 2009, said that the US had a “frighteningly simplistic” view of Afghanistan when the war began. He also said that the US and NATO were only “50 percent of the way” toward achieving the goals they had set for themselves.

Pressuring Pakistan

“We didn’t know enough and we still don’t know enough,” McChrystal said. “Most of us, me included, had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years.”

Obama on Thursday, increased pressure on neighboring Pakistan, saying that the Islamabad regime’s connections with “unsavory characters” had put the country’s relationship with the US at risk. Washington has long been urging Pakistan to cease supporting Islamist militant attacks inside Afghanistan, an effort which has been redoubled in the wake of the US killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan this spring.

Pakistan fired back on Friday. Salim Saifullah, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Pakistan’s Senate, told Reuters that “this is not helping either the US, Afghanistan or Pakistan. There will be pressure on the (Pakistani) government to get out of this war (on Islamist militancy).”

cgh — with wire reports

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Photo gallery: a decade of war in Afghanistan.

Hot spots and blind spots

The Economist – October 8, 2011

CREST the hill into the village of Iitate, and the reading on a radiation dosimeter surges eightfold—even with the car windows shut. “Don’t worry, I’ve been coming here for months and I’m still alive,” chuckles Chohei Sato, chief of the village council, as he rolls down the window and inhales cheerfully. He pulls off the road, gets out of the car and buries the dosimeter in the grass. The reading doubles again.

Iitate is located 45km (28 miles) from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant hit by a tsunami on March 11th this year. In the mountains above the town, the forests are turning the colour of autumn. But their beauty is deceptive. Every time a gust of wind blows, Mr Sato says it shakes invisible particles of radioactive caesium off the trees and showers them over the village. Radiation levels in the hills are so high that villagers dare not go near them. Mr Sato cannot bury his father’s bones, which he keeps in an urn in his abandoned farmhouse, because of the dangers of going up the hill to the graveyard.

Iitate had the misfortune to be caught by a wind that carried radioactive particles (including plutonium) much farther than anybody initially expected after the nuclear disaster. Almost all the 6,000 residents have been evacuated, albeit belatedly, because it took the government months to decide that some villages outside a 30km radius of the plant warranted special attention. Now it offers an extreme example of how difficult it will be to recover from the disaster.

That is mainly because of the enormous spread of radiation. Recently the government said it needed to clear about 2,419 square kilometres of contaminated soil—an area larger than greater Tokyo—that received an annual radiation dose of at least five millisieverts, or over 0.5 microsieverts an hour. That covered an area far beyond the official 30km restriction zone (see map). Besides pressure- hosing urban areas, this would involve removing about 5cm of topsoil from local farms as well as all the dead leaves in caesium-laden forests.

However, Iitate’s experience suggests the government may be underestimating the task. Villagers have removed 5cm of topsoil from one patch of land, but because radioactive particles continue to blow from the surrounding trees, the level of radiation remains high—about one microsievert an hour—even if lower than in nearby areas. Without cutting down the forests, Mr Sato reckons there will be a permanent risk of contamination. So far, nobody has any idea where any contaminated soil will be dumped.

The second problem is children’s health. On September 30th the government lifted an evacuation advisory warning to communities within a 20-30km radius of the plant. The aim was partly to show that the authorities were steadily bringing the crippled reactors under control.

But these areas are still riddled with radiation hot spots, including schools and public parks, which will need to be cleaned before public confidence is restored. Parents say they are particularly concerned about bringing their children back because the health effects of radiation on the young are so unclear. What is more, caesium particles tend to lurk in the grass, which means radiation is more of a risk at toddler height than for adults. In Iitate, Mihori Takahashi, a mother of two, “believes only half of what the doctors say” and says she never wants to bring her children back. That, in itself, may be a curse. “The revival of this town depends on the children returning,” says Mr Sato.

And even if people return, Mr Sato worries how they will make a living. These are farming villages, but it will take years to remove the stigma attached to food grown in Fukushima, he reckons. He is furious with Tokyo Electric Power, operator of the plant, for failing to acknowledge the long-term impacts of the disaster. He says it is a way of scrimping on compensation payouts.

One way to help overcome these problems would be to persuade people to accept relaxed safety standards. A government panel is due to propose lifting the advisory dose limit above one millisievert per year. This week in Tokyo, Wade Allison, a physics professor at Oxford University, argued that Japan’s dose limit could safely be raised to 100 millisieverts, based on current health statistics. Outside Mr Sato’s house, however, a reading of the equivalent of 150 millisieverts a year left your correspondent strangely reluctant to inhale.

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U.S. Should Accept Iran’s Latest Uranium Enrichment Offer, Experts Say

Martin Matishak – Global Security Newswire October 7, 2011

The United States should accept Iran’s offer to halt its production of higher-enriched uranium if provided equivalent material by Western powers as the first step in breaking the diplomatic standoff between the two countries, a new report by a pair of nonproliferation experts argues (see GSN, Oct. 5).

“The reality is [Iran’s] enrichment program will continue,” Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, said on Thursday at a rollout discussion of a study that details a vision for how Washington and Tehran, and the rest of international community, can achieve an Iranian nuclear program that is acceptable to all sides.

“Let’s see if we can keep it relatively limited. Let’s see it we can get additional means of monitoring and safeguard the program,” said Ferguson, who co-authored the report with Ali Vaez, FAS fellow for science and technology and director of the federation’s Iran Project.

Iran last year began producing 20 percent-enriched uranium, moving the Middle East nation one step closer to being able to manufacture nuclear-weapon material, which must be refined to roughly 90 percent. Tehran has long maintained its atomic aspirations are strictly peaceful and that the 20-percent enriched uranium is intended to fuel an aging medical research reactor.

An IAEA safeguards report on Iran released last month indicated the nation has failed to substantively address fears it is pursuing a nuclear-weapon capability, according to Washington and its allies.

Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced his country would suspend production of 20 percent-enriched uranium in exchange for material refined to the same level from the West. He reaffirmed the pledge this week.

“If they give us the 20 percent(-enriched) fuel, we will immediately halt 20 percent (enrichment),” Ahmadinejad told Iranian state television on Tuesday.

The Iranian offer has been greeted coolly by the Obama administration.

“Ahmadinejad makes a lot of empty promises,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said last week.

The latest proposal is different from previous failed fuel swap plans because it “is not an olive branch. This is an act of necessity,” Vaez said at the round-table discussion. “They’re running out of fuel.”

“This is a great opportunity for the United States and the West to be humanitarians and really reach out to the Iranian people,” added Ferguson, noting than an estimated 850,000 citizens rely on medical isotopes produced by the Tehran-based reactor for their cancer treatments.

He said the United States and its allies should provide Iran with 50 kilograms of low-enriched fuel, less than half of the smallest amount – 130 kilograms – that with additional refining could be used to make an atomic bomb. Right now Iran has about 70 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium, according to Ferguson.

The 46-page report lays out a series of policy recommendations the United States and Iran, as well as other stakeholders such as Russia, the U.N. Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency, each could take to boost confidence that the scope of Iran’s nuclear effort is purely peaceful.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Vaez broke the list of steps into different themes, beginning with confidence-building measures.

He acknowledged that “lack of trust, years of concealment of the Iranian program and prolonged diplomatic deadlock have contributed to this situation of deep mistrust between Iran and the West.”

One way to rebuild that trust would be for Iran to “come clean” with the international community about its past enrichment activities; however, Tehran should receive guarantees it will not be penalized for them, according to Vaez.

He highlighted the case of Libya, whose weapons of mass destruction efforts were disclosed in 2003 and referred to the Security Council for information purposes only.

Meanwhile, Washington could prove its diplomacy toward the Persian Gulf State is not aimed at regime change, he said. For example, in addition to providing the 20-percent enriched uranium, the administration could provide Iran with aircraft parts and offer repairs to its aging passenger aircraft, which have caused 15 deaths over the past decade.

In addition, the five recognized nuclear powers – China, France, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom – plus Germany should involve Turkey and Brazil in any discussions about Iran’s uranium program, essentially making the group for this purpose the P-5+3.

The two countries last year put forward a fuel swap deal that calls for Tehran to temporarily store 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium in Turkey in exchange for fuel from other nations (see GSN, May 17, 2010).

That plan came after the failure of a similar plan proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency failed (see GSN, Nov. 2, 2010).

“At this stage the diplomatic construct requires Iran to put trust, in a disproportionate way, in Western powers,” he said. If Ankara and Braslia joined the dialogue it could boost the chances of successful diplomacy, he added. The last full talks between the six powers and Iran occurred in January, and made no progress toward resolving the nuclear impasse.

The international community should also offer specific incentives that could entice Iran to be more transparent about its nuclear effort, Vaez said. Offers should be geared toward power generation, since Iran claims it needs nuclear facilities for electricity, and allow for investment in the nation’s gas and oil sectors.

Iran, in the meantime, should adhere to a “code of conduct” that further demonstrate its nuclear program is peaceful, according to Vaez. That could involve ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a move that should be matched by mutual ratifications by the United States and Israel, the expert said.

The Middle East state could also ratify all international treaties related to nuclear safety and security, Vaez said. He noted that with the opening of its power facility in Bushehr Iran is the only country on the planet operating an atomic reactor without signing or ratifying the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The U.N. Security Council could take a pre-emptive step and pass a resolution to determine the consequences Iran would face if it pursued a nuclear breakout, a scenario that involves turning low-enriched uranium into weapon-grade material, he said. Such a resolution would “serve as a deterrent for any other perspective nuclear proliferator,” Vaez told reporters without citing specific countries.

Perhaps most importantly, all sides involved must be willing to make compromises, including having recognized nuclear states accept Iran’s right to enrich uranium, he said.

In return, the powers could propose a set of restrictive measures that Iran would agreed to follow, such as only allowing the nation to produce material enriched to 5 percent, high enough for commercial nuclear reactors, and limiting the volume to meet the country’s fuel needs.

In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency could provide centrifuge parts to Iran in return for tagging the devices so that observers know how many the Gulf state possesses.

For its part, Iran could implement the Additional Protocol to its IAEA safeguards deal, which grants agency inspectors more extensive access to a nation’s nuclear program information and facilities.

The plan “would take away the rational for Iran to do 20-percent enrichment,” Ferguson told reporters. He said he recognized that the parts of the blueprint look “politically risky” but “when are there times you have all the stars lined up?”

“These measures set out a foundation for diplomatic efforts focusing on establishing enhanced safeguards on Iran,” according to Vaez. He added that he thinks there is still “plenty of time” to strike a diplomatic accord.

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