Con Coughlin: Russia Prepares for a Fight with America

Confirmation that the US and its allies are studying their military options for helping the anti-Assad rebels in Syria is a worrying development on a number of levels, not least of which is the prospect of the West becoming embroiled in a direct confrontation with the Russians. As I have argued before, I think the West, and that includes Britain, needs to proceed with great caution before it gets too closely involved in the Syrian crisis. As with the Libya situation last year, we still have no clear idea who the rebels are in Syria, or what their ultimate objective might be. Homs, the center of the anti-Assad rebellion, is a known center for Islamic extremists, and if all Western intervention achieves is the replacement of the Assad regime with an Iranian-style Islamist dictatorship, then we will have scored a monumental own goal. Of deeper concern, though, is the possibility that the US could find itself involved in a direct military confrontation with Russia over the future of Syria's destiny. We have been here before, of course, during the 1980's when, at the height of the Cold War, Moscow and Washington fought a proxy war over the fate of neighboring Lebanon. Even though US President Ronald Reagan deployed thousands of US Marines to Beirut, the Americans were eventually sent packing. During that conflict, Russia backed the Syrians, who in turn used the Iranian-backed Hizbollah militia to carry out a series of devastating terrorist attacks against the Americans, ultimately forcing them to to withdraw their forces from Lebanon.   

The Excavator: Navy Seals Don't Want to be Sacrificial Lambs

Acclaimed actor, humanitarian, and American patriot Ed Asner provided further proof on the Alex Jones show on Monday, February 13, that the bad guys in Washington and Tel Aviv are planning to stage a new false flag attack and blame it on Iran to get World War III up and going. Kurt Nimmo writes: Appearing on the Alex Jones Show on Monday, Emmy Award winning actor Ed Asner said Navy Seals have told him military action against Iran is forthcoming, and will be preceded by a false flag attack. Asner told Alex and his nationally syndicated radio show audience that the Seals are attempting to alert the American people about the prospect of a "false flag" operation and"more foreign escapades" before the establishment media "starts brainwashing us." Asner gave few details about his sources, but his information confirms suspicions held by many in the global alternative media that Israel and Washington are engineering a new false flag to use as an excuse to totally isolate Iran from the international community and start a massive bombing campaign against its military, civilian, and nuclear installations. The plan is to bury Persia in the fires of hell and advance US-Israeli hegemony over the whole region. Tony Cartalucci reminded the world of the West's game plan against Iran in his article, "String of Global Bombings Blamed on Iran." Here is an excerpt: The problem ultimately is that the United States and Israel have put on paper a conspiracy to provoke a war with Iran by crushing it economically, attacking it covertly, surrounding it militarily, undermining it politically, and even going as far as funding, training, and arming terrorists to murder the Iranian people!

Sarah B. Boxer: CNN Cancels March 1 Debate!

CNN canceled its March 1 Republican presidential debate on Thursday after three of four candidates declined to participate, citing busy campaign schedules leading to Super Tuesday on March 6. "Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party, and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential debate," CNN said in a statement. "Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate." Former US Senator Rick Santorum also said he would not participate, leaving only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich committed to attending. Still scheduled is a Feb.22 debate sponsored by CNN and the Arizona Republican Party in Mesa, Arizona. It will be moderated by CNN's John King. Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, said, "With eight other states voting on March 6, we will be campaigning in other parts of the country, and unable to schedule the CNN Georgia debate. We have participated in 20 debates, including eight from CNN."Santorum "has no plans of doing it right now," spokesman Hogan Gidley said of the March 1 debate. Gingrich, whose home state is Georgia, had plans to take part. "The Romney model is to go to Wall Street and raise huge amounts of money to run negative ads," he said. "And you can understand why having to defend that strategy is probably not something he's very happy with."  

Grace Wyler: Ron Paul Is Secretly Taking Over The GOP

Evidence is mounting that Mitt Romney's 194-vote victory over Ron Paul was prematurely announced, if not totally wrong. Washington County canceled their caucus on Saturday on account of three inches of snow, hardly a blizzardby Maine standards, and other towns that scheduled their caucuses for this week have been left out of the vote count. Now, it looks as though caucuses that did take place before Feb 11 have also been left out of the final tally. As the full extent of the chaos unfolds, sources close to the Paul campaign tell Business Insider that it is looking increasingly like Romney's team might have a hand in denying Paul votes, noting that Romney's team might have a hand in denying Paul votes, noting that Romney has some admirably ruthless operatives on his side, and a powerful incentive to avoid a fifth caucus loss this month. According to the Paul campaign, the Maine Republican Party is severely under-reporting Paul's results, and Romney isn't getting the same treatment. For example, nearly all the towns in Waldo County, a Ron Paul stronghold, held their caucuses on Feb 4, but the state GOP reported no results for those towns. In Waterville, a college town in Central Maine, results were reported but not included in the party vote count. Paul beat Romney 21-5 there, according to the Kennebec County GOP. "It's too common," senior adviser Doug Wead told Business Insider. "If it was chaos, we would expect strong Romney counties to be unreported, and that's not what's happening."


Brad Blog: Ron Paul Robbed by GOP in Maine

The Maine GOP committed massive Election Fraud in State Caucuses, outraging Paul supporters: The state GOP has stolen the state for Mitt Romney in Maine's 2012 Caucuses. Might Romney be the actual winner, once all votes are actually cast and counted? Perhaps, but the fact is, the Maine Republican Party has purposely blocked that from happening. Beside the voters of Maine, Congressman Ron Paul, according to the official results, reported by the state GOP lost to Romney by just 194 votes. Adding to the outrage, the election fraud was perpetrated by the Chairman of the state's Republican Party, Charly Webster. Readers of the BRAD BLOG may well remember Webster as the man who spent months attempting to wholesale disenfranchise thousands of legal student voters in the state of Maine, on the entirely fraudulent basis that they were committing "voter fraud" because they were out-of-state students who, living in Maine and going to school there most of the year, should be, nonetheless, barred from voting there. Federal law clearly states otherwise, allowing such students to vote in Maine, and even Republican Charles E Summers, Jr. who investigated Webster's "evidence" for his case, found it entirely baseless. While Webster was pretending that massive voter fraud was occurring in Maine, he has now, himself committed a massive case of election fraud by announcing the winner of lat week's Maine Caucuses as Mitt Romney despite the full knowledge that voters in at least three different counties have been entirely disenfranchised, with their votes not included in his "final" results.  

Douglas Birch: US Very Closely Watching Syrian Chemical Weapons

The US and its allies are closely monitoring Syria's stockpiles of chemical arms and portable anti-aircraft missiles, a State Department official says, amid concerns that the country's unconventional weapons could fall into the hands of terrorist or militant groups while the 11-month-old uprising continues. "Syria is a country of significant proliferation concern, so we monitor its chemical weapons activities very closely," the State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence-related matters. "We believe Syria's chemical weapons stockpile remains under Syrian government control, ad we will continue to work closely with like-minded countries to impede proliferation of Syria's chemical weapons program." The official added that the US is in discussion with its allies on ways to ensure that Syria's stockpile of portable anti-aircraft missiles, called Man-Portable Air Defense Systems , or MANPADS, aren't stolen or diverted. "We are consulting with allies and partners as we plan for a variety of contingencies," the official said. Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, have been critical of US efforts to secure Libya's chemical and unconventional arsenals, saying the Obama administration should have responded more quickly during that crisis, and now faces the task of trying to account for thousands of missing portable anti-aircraft missiles. "We got off to a slow start with Libya," Rep Edward Royce, R-Calif, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade, said in a recent interview.  

Joseph Fitsanakis: Israeli-Iranian Dirty War.

The ongoing intelligence war between Israel and Iran appears to be reaching unprecedented levels following the exposure earlier this week of a simultaneous bombing campaign against Israeli targets in Europe and Asia. The wife of Israel's Defense Attache in New Delhi, India, was among four people injured on Monday, after a magnetic bomb attached to her car exploded just 500 yards from the gates of the Israeli embassy. Three thousand miles away, in Tbilisi, Georgia, a sharp-eyed employee of the Israeli embassy there discovered a bomb attached to a diplomatic car. The device was eventually diffused by Georgian counter-terrorist authorities. A few hours later, the government of Thailand announced that two Iranian nationals had been detained following an explosion at a rented house in the capital Bangkok, which critically injured one of the arrestees. A second man was reportedly arrested in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport while he was trying to board a flight to Malaysia. At least two other men, also Iranian nationals, remain at large, though Thai officials suspect they have already fled to Iran. Thai authorities have confirmed the bombers' targets were Israeli diplomats. Speaking anonymously to Bloomberg news agency, US intelligence officials said that operations directed at Israeli targets were also "disrupted" in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, as well as in Bulgaria. Observers have also noted that the attack that injured the wife of the Israeli diplomat was carried out in one of Israel's strongest allies in Asia, thus delivering a two-fold message to both Tel Aviv and New Delhi. India's Home Affairs Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, told journalists yesterday that the attack in the Indian capital was conducted by a "well trained" motorcyclist, who attached "a magnetic device" to the car before speeding away.      


The Economist: Reforms in Myanmar. Happy Days Again?

There was a brief lull following the excitement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Myanmar at the beginning of December, perhaps because everyone paused to take stock. This week the story of Myanmar's gradual reform seemed to be back on track, with two more dramatic and hopeful developments: A significant release of political prisoners on January 13th, and a ceasefire agreement between the Burmese government and one of the main ethnic armed groups, the Karen National Union (KNU), the day before. The prisoner release, along with the one before, constitutes the most solid evidence that the regime is serious about changing its ways. The freeing of all the country's 2000 political prisoners has been one of the most consistent and forceful demands posed by Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the opposition, and Western governments over the years. Ms Clinton reiterated the same on her visit. Indeed, people had hoped for another round of prisoner releases around the time of her trip, though nothing happened then. Now, just when a trace of skepticism was creeping in about the whole reform process, the government has released 651 prisoners in one go under its amnesty program. At the time of this writing it's not clear exactly how many of the freed men and women can be classified as "political", but it's already evident that this batch includes many of the most prominent jailed dissidents, some of which have spent decades in and out of the so-called 88 Generation movement, made up of those who took part in the student uprisings of 1988 and later.

David Atkins: Hullabaloo, What are South Carolina's Values

Consider South Carolina, which has opposed or defied almost every beneficent social and political change in American history. To appease South Carolinian slaveholders, Thomas Jefferson removed language condemning slavery from the Declaration of Independence. Four years later, back-country loyalists in South Carolina helped the British Army recapture the state in 1780 from the patriots. By 1828, Palmetto State native and vice president John C. Calhoun was agitating for state "nullification" of federal powers, generating secessionist calls a full generation before the outbreak of the Civil War. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede. Four months later Confederate forces in Charleston fired the opening shots of the Civil War on the Union garrison at Fort Sumter, and South Carolina even threatened to secede from the Confederacy, because the other southern states would not agree to reopening the slave trade. Soon after the state's chapter of the Ku Klux Klan formed "red shirt" Democratic rifle clubs using physical intimidation and ballot manipulation to alter results of the 1876 election. In the 1890s, Governor Ben "Pitchfork" Tillman, who earned his nickname by threatening to stab Grover Cleveland in the ribs with said implement, served two terms as governor before embarking on a twenty-three-year Senate career during which he defended segregation as vigilantly as his fellow Edgefield County native, Strom Thurmond, later did for most of his career. Well into the twentieth century, South Carolina's black citizens observed the Fourth of July mostly alone , because the vast majority of whites refused to, preferring instead to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day, May 10. 

Ox-Omar: I will Finish Israel off Electronicallyi

In new comments published on Sunday, a presumed Saudi hacker calling himself Ox-Omar threatened to 'finish Israel electronically' after attacking key Israeli websites and publishing details of thousands of its credit cards. Ox-Omar said he would scale down his attacks on Israeli credit cards to reveal details of an average 200 a day after publicising nearly 400,000 of them over the past two weeks. Last week, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) denied claims by Israeli hackers that their websites had been attacked. Cyber-criminals claiming to be Israelis said they brought down the sites of both the Tadawul and ADXin a retaliatory strike, days after an alleged Saudi hacker attacked the Tel Aviv bourse. In his latest comments carried by the Abu Dhabi-based daily and other regional newspapers, the mystery hacker also threatened he would disclose secret information which he said Israel had obtained through espionage. "I am one of the strongest haters of Israel. I will finish Israel off electronically. I can publish any information about Israel, but I am just waiting for the right time and place," the hacker said, according to the Arab language press. The papers quoted him as saying Israel's war against the Palestinians in besieged Gaza Strip in 2008 and 2009 prompted him to launch his electronic assault on the Jewish nation. "The end of Israel is very close. I will use all my powers and those of my supporters to achieve that," he said. "We had hacked some websites in the past, but from now on, I, Ox-Omar decided to hack only Israeli sites to harm it and make it suffer."Newspapers quoted him as saying he is not worried about being identified or arrested by any party. "No one in the electronic world can find me, hence no one can arrest me," he said, rebuffing Israeli claims that he could be an Iranian agent.


Michael Collins: Just Short of Treason in Georgia and Kansas

It's official. The crazies have arrived for the 2012 presidential race, florid in their deviant and repulsive rhetoric. Andrew B. Adler, editor of The Atlanta Jewish Times, called on Israel's President Benjamin Netanyahu to "Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence." This reference to President Barack Obama appeared in the print edition of the paper on January 13, and was first published online by Gawker on the 20th. Right wing Republican Mike O'Neal, speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives, forwarded an email referring to the president that quoted Psalm 109.8: "Let his days be few and brief, and let others step forward to replace him." The Lawrence Journal World noted that the very next verse, 101.9 indicates how the president should be replaced: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow." The First Amendment is ignored when reactionary mayors want to stop the free speech and assemblies of Occupy Wall Street. However, free speech is expanded beyond the limits of the law when religious extremists in Atlanta and Kansas step well outside of the boundaries of US Code. The US Code states: "whoever knowlingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both."  

David Swanson: War and Being and Nothingness

The best book I've read in a very long time is a new one: "The End of War" by John Horgan. Its conclusions will be vigorously resisted by many, and yet, in a certain light, considered perfectly obvious to some others. The central conclusion, that ending the institution of war is entirely up to us to choose, was, arguably, reached by among many others John Paul Sartre sitting in a cafe utilizing exactly no research. Horgan is a writer for "Scientific American," and approaches the question of whether war can be ended as a scientist. It's all about research. He concludes that war can be ended, has in various times and places been ended, and is in the process of being ended on the earth right now. The war abolitionists of the 1920s Outlawry movement would have loved this book, would have seen it as a proper extension of the ongoing campaign to rid the world of war. But it is a different book from theirs. It does not preach the immorality of war. That idea, although proved truer than ever by the two world wars, failed to prevent the two world wars. When an idea's time has come and also gone, it becomes necessary to prove to people that the idea wasn't rendered impossible or naive by "human nature" or grand forces of history or any other specter. Horgan, in exactly the approach required, preaches the scientific observation of the success, albeit incomplete as yet, of preaching the immorality of war. The evidence, Horhan argues, shows that war is a cultural contagion, a meme that serves its own ends, not ours, except for certain profiteers. Wars happen because of their cultural acceptance, and are avoided by their cultural rejection. Wars are not created by genes or avoided by eugenics or oxytocin, driven by an ever-present minority of sociopaths, or avoided by controlling them.  

John Pilger: The World War on Democracy

Lisette Talate died the other day. I remember a wiry, fiercely intelligent woman who masked her grief with a determination that was a presence. She was the embodiment of people's resistance to the war on democracy. I first glimpsed her in a 1950's Colonial Office film about the Chagos islanders, a tiny creole nation living midway between Africa and Asia in the Indian Ocean. The camera panned across thriving villages, a church, a school, a hospital, set in a phenomenon of natural beauty and peace. Lisette remembers the producer saying to her and her teenage friends, "Keep smiling girls!" Sitting in her kitchen in Mauritius many years later, she said, "I didn't have to be told to smile. I was a happy child, because my roots were deep in the islands, my paradise. My great-grandmother was born there; I made six children there. That's why they couldn't legally throw us out of our own homes; they had to terrify us into leaving or force us out. At first, they tried to starve us. The food ships stopped arriving, then they spread rumors we would be bombed, then they turned on our dogs." In the early 1960s, the Labor government of Harold Wilson secretly agreed to a demand from Washington that the Chagos archipelago, a British colony, be "swept" and "sanitized" of its 2,500 inhabitants so that a military base could be built on the principal island, Diego Garcia. "They knew were were inseparable from our pets," said Lisette, "When the American soldiers arrived to build the base, they backed their big trucks against the brick shed where we prepared the coconuts; hundreds of our dogs had been rounded up and imprisoned there. Then they gassed them through tubes from the trucks' exhausts. You could hear them crying."   


Eric Walberg: Putin and Russia's "White Revolution"

All the plotting to avoid Ukraine's Orange Revolution merely show that Russia is not Ukraine: Russia's electoral scene has been transformed in the past two months, without a doubt "inspired" by the political winds from the Middle East and the earlier color revolutions in Russia's "near abroad". Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's casual return to the presidential scene was greeted as an effrontery by an electorate who want to move on from Russia's political strongman tradition, and to inject the electoral process with ballot-box accountability. Putin's legendary role in rescuing Russia from the economic abyss in the 1990's, staring down the oligarchs, reasserting state control over Russian resource wealth, and repositioning Russia as an independent player in Eurasia, not to mention in America's backyard. These signal accomplishments assure him a place in history books. He and Dmitri Medvedev are considered the most popular leaders in the past century, according to a recent opinion poll. He will very likely pass the 50 per cent mark in presidential elections March 4, despite all the protests during the past two months calling for "Russia without Putin". So why is he back in the ring? It appears he was caught by surprise when the anti-Putin campaign exploded in November, fueled by his decision to run again, and the exposure of not a little fraud in the parliamentary elections in December. For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the opposition was able to unite and stage impressive rallies, one after another. 

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War?

In order to facilitate the action of "liberative" forces, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals, to be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention. Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and MI6 will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals. Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus. Further, a necessary degree of fear would provide a pretext for intervention. The CIA and MI6 should use all capabilities in psychological and action fields to augment tensions. In this online interactive I-book, we bring to the attention of our readers a selection of feature articles on the Syrian crisis. Our objective is to dispel the tide of media lies and government propaganda, which presents the events in Syria as a "peace protest movement". The "protests" did not emanate from the internal political cleavages as described by the mainstream media. From the very outset, they were the result of a covert US-NATO intelligence operation geared towards triggering social chaos, with a view to eventually discrediting the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad, and destabilizing Syria as a Nation State. Since the middle of March 2011, Islamist armed groups, covertly supported by Western and Israeli intelligence have conducted terrorist attacks directed against government buildings, including acts of arson. Amply documented, trained gunmen and snipers, including mercenaries have targeted the police, armed forces as well as innocent civilians.

Tom Dispatch: Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, "victory" came early, with the US invasion of 2001. Only then did the trouble begin. Ever since the US occupation managed to revive the Taliban, one of the least popular of popular movements in memory, the official talk, year after year, has been of modest "progress," of limited "success," of enemy advances "blunted" of "corners" provisionally turned, and always such talk has been accompanied by grim on-the-ground reports of gross corruption, fixed elections, massive desertions from the Afghan army and police, "ghost" soldiers, and the like. Year after year, ever more American and NATO money has been poured into the training of a security force so humongous that, given the impoverished Afghan government, it will hardly be owned and paid for by Washington until hell freezes over or until it disintegrates: $11 billion in 2011 and a similar figure for 2012, and year after year stories appear like the recent one from Reuters, that began: "Only 1 percent of Afghan police and soldiers are capable of operating independently, a top US commander said Wednesday, raising further doubts about whether Afghan forces will be able to take on a still-potent insurgency as the West withdraws." And year after year, the response to such dismal news is to pour in more money and advisers. In the meantime, Afghans in army or police uniforms have been blowing away those advisers in startling numbers and with a regularity for which there is no precedent in modern times. (You might have to reach back to the Sepoy Mutiny in British India of the nineteenth century to find a similar sense of loathing resulting in similar bloody acts.)


John Glaser: US, Iraqi Officials: Al-Qaeda Behind Syria Bombing

Elements of al-Qaeda's affiliates in Iraq have been moving into Syria to distribute weapons to the opposition, and to carry out attacks against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, according to US and Iraqi officials. These terrorists, often described as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind the suicide bombings on Friday in the city of Aleppo that killed at least 28 people, anonymous US officials told McClatchy Newspapers. Iraq's Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said in an interview with the press on Saturday that AQI has sneaked across the border to aid the Syrian opposition forces with arms. "We have intelligence information that a number of Iraqi jihadists went to Syria," he said, adding that "weapons smuggling is still ongoing" from Iraq into Syria. "The weapons are being smuggled from Mosul through the Rabia crossing to Syria, as many of the same families live on both sides of the border," Assadi said. There is not yet substantial independent confirmation or evidence of these claims made by US and Iraqi officials, but if it's true, it may pose a number of problems. First, the claims appear to verify Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's allegations that al-Qaeda terrorists have been involved with the uprising against his regime, and go against claims by the Syrian opposition which held that Assad's regime had staged the bombings to discredit those who have protested this past year. This would harm claims by some influential figures in Washington that the US ought to support the armed groups, like the "Free Syrian Army" fighting the Assad regime. 

Gareth Porter: Army Officer's Leaked Report Rips Afghan Success Story

An analysis by Lt. Col Daniel Davis, which the US Army has not approved for public release but has leaked to Rolling Stone magazine, provides the most authoritative refutation thus far of the official military narrative of success in the Afghanistan War since the troop surge began in early 2010. In the 84-page unclassified report, Davis, who returned last fall after his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, attacks the credibility of claims by senior military leaders that the US-NATO war strategy has succeeded in weakening the Taliban insurgent forces and is building Afghan security forces capable of taking primary responsibility for security in the future. The report, which Davis had submitted to the Army in January for clearance to make it public, was posted on the website of Rolling Stone magazine by journalist Michael Hastings Friday. In a blog for the magazine, Hastings reported that "officials familiar with the situation" had said the Pentagon was "refusing" to release the report, but that it had been making the rounds within the US government, including the White House. Hastings wrote that he had obtained it from a US government official. Contacted by IPS Friday, Davis would not comment on the publication of the report or its contents. Witing that he is "no Wikileaks guy Part II," Davis reveals no classified information in the report, but he has given a classified version of the report, which cites and quotes from dozens of classified documents, to several members of the House and Senate, including both Democrats and Republicans.    

John Glaser: Iran to Unveil Big New Nuclear Field

Iran will soon unveil "big new" nuclear achievements, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Saturday at a rally in Tehran, while reiterating his regime's readiness to negotiate with the West. "Within the next few days the world will witness the inauguration of several big new achievements in the nuclear field," Ahmadinejad said. Iran manufactures its own nuclear fuel rods, which provide fuel for reactors, since international sanctions prohibit them from buying them in foreign markets. In January, Iran said it had produced its first such fuel rod. Aside from progress on fuel rods, Iran's upcoming announcements could be about its underground enrichment facility at Fordo. Iran agreed in August that Forodow fell under IAEA safeguards, and that highly enriched uranium needed to build a bomb would not be made there. The underground enrichment site at Fordow has been inspected at least ten times since October 2009, according to Micah Zenco at the Council on Foreign Relations. In fact, all of Iran's 15 declared nuclear sites are routinely inspected by the IAEA. "Iran is ready for talks within the framework of equality and justice," Ahmadinejad repeated on Saturday, but warned that Tehran "will never enter talks if enemies behave arrogantly." The US has made no moves to negotiate with the Iranian government on nuclear issues, instead resorting to harsh economic sanctions, cyber-terrorism, covert war, and constant public threats of military action.  


Finian Cunningham: War Plan Iran: Dispelling the Lies!

Telling the Truth about Western Aggression in the Persian Gulf: The year 2012 may become known as a watershed for humanity, the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons. The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running stand-off between the United States and Iran. On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington's Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf, all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Ira in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked. The conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington's bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab world in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO's conquest of , and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria, a key regional ally of Iran. As Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out "the road to Tehran goes through Damascus". Regime change in Syria would serve to isolate Iran. Subjugating Iran and returning it to Western tutelage is the prize that Washington and its allies have been seeking for the past 33 years, ever since their client the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.  

Stephen Lendman: America's Sham Economic Recovery!

Official government data are manipulated. Credibility is entirely lacking. Reported good news is hype. Grim underlying reality is suppressed. The monthly Labor Department jobs report is typical. Progressive Radio News Hour regular economist Jack Rasmus calls the latest January one "largely statistical legerdemain." A reported 243,000 non-farm jobs reported lacked credibility. Manipulation manufactured them. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admits: "The confidence level for the monthly change in total employment is on the order of plus or minus 430,000 jobs." With that level of accuracy, why bother reporting them at all. Monthly numbers are meaningless. January's reflect the problem. Rasmus said those allegedly created aren't actual jobs. "They represent seasonal adjustments made to the raw data" January numbers, in fact, reflect "an anomalous upward revision of the raw jobs data, due to assumptions about seasonality and alleged new business formations." Comparing actual versus seasonally adjusted figures show marked differences. Data reported for December 2011 and January 2012 revealed "an incredible 7 to 10 fold increase in the difference between" seasonably and non-seasonally adjusted figures. For January, raw data showed large job losses, not gains. Included were "about 300,000 construction jobs, another 600,000" retail ones, and "400,000 in business professional services, since most businesses trim their labor force at the start of the year to keep costs down." In addition, hundreds more were lost for a 2.7 million total overall. Reporting 243,000 new jobs denies reality.   

Sean Lengell: Obama Wants to Outlaw Guns in 2nd Term!!

The top official with the National Rifle Association said Friday that President Obama will move to "destroy" gun rights and"erase" the Second Amendment if he is re-elected in November. While delivering one of the liveliest and best-received speeches at the Conservative Political Action Action Conference in Washington, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the president's low-key approach to gun rights during his first term was "a" "conspiracy to ensure re-election by lulling gun owners to sleep." "All that first term, lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term," he said. "We see the president's strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms' freedom, erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and excise it from the US Constitution." Mr. LaPierre said the president's two Supreme Court appointees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, are "two of the most rabid anti-gun justices in history." He also accused Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of being a foe of gun rights. With the possibility of two or more Supreme Court justice positions opening during the next four years, the NRA official warned that gun ownership would be in jeopardy if Obama stays in office.