May 9, 2006

News for May 9, 2006

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Former military intelligence official says Peres’ threat to Iran not accidental (May 9, 2006) A former top military intelligence official said Tuesday that Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres’ threat that that Iran could also be destroyed was not accidental. “The statement by Shimon Peres highlights the basis of Israeli deterrence and hints to Tehran that it too has a soft underbelly,” Col. (Ret.) Shimon Boyarsky, a former head of the Iran department in military intelligence, told Israel’s Army Radio. “A statement that was repeated three times was not said accidentally.” On Monday, Peres warned Iran that it could be threatened with destruction if it continues to vow to destroy Israel. “Be careful with your threats,” Peres told Channel 1 TV. “Those who threaten to destroy are in danger of being destroyed.” “A statement that was repeated three times was not said accidentally.” more...
| Iran | Israel |


Iran nuclear policy could backfire: Peres (May 8, 2006) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, should bear in mind that his own country could also be destroyed, Israeli elder statesman Shimon Peres said on Monday. Peres, vice prime minister in Ehud Olmert’s new government, said Iran was mocking the international community’s attempts to resolve the crisis over its nuclear ambitions and that the credibility of the U.N. Security Council was on the line. In what Olmert has described as a threat that must be taken seriously, Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be destroyed. “They want to wipe out Israel ... Now when it comes to destruction, Iran too can be destroyed (but) I don’t suggest to say an eye for an eye,” Peres told Reuters in an interview. “Israel would defend itself under any condition but we don’t look upon it as an Iranian-Israeli conflict exclusively ... (Iran) is basically a danger to the world, not just to us.” Iranian officials have argued Ahmadinejad’s comments on Israel did not constitute a threat and said its armed forces would retaliate for any attack. more...
| Iran | Israel |


Aid group: Peacekeepers, aid workers trade food for sex in Liberia (May 8, 2006) - Aid workers and U.N. peacekeepers are trading food for sex with young girls in Liberian camps housing those left homeless by years of war, an aid group said Monday. Save the Children, which surveyed nearly 160 children and about 170 adults who were either living in camps or had recently returned home, said they were repeatedly told of girls having sex with older men in exchange for money, food and other goods. The accused included peacekeeping troops, aid workers and other powerful men in the community. The report did not give the nationality of the aid workers or peacekeepers involved. About 17,000 U.N. peacekeepers are based in Liberia. Despite some initiatives to reduce sexual exploitation and abuse, the report said there had been “little change” in the lives of vulnerable children since 2002. Liberia is just starting to recover from years of civil war and many of its citizens still live in camps set up after they were forced out of their villages. The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Liberia, Jordan Ryan, said the survey was outdated because it was conducted nine months ago and much has improved since then. The camps that are the primary subject of the report are now closed, he said. more...


U.S. Pressing Russia, China on Iran Vote (May 7, 2006) - After an informal meeting at Britain’s U.N. Mission, council members said they made progress in a paragraph-by-paragraph discussion of the draft resolution. Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry acknowledged, however, that the most contentious issues were not discussed in detail. “We are still working to achieve unanimity ... but we’re prepared to go to a vote without it,” U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said. “We’re not prepared to extend these negotiations endlessly ... I think it’s realistic to consider this for a vote next week.” The resolution, co-sponsored by Britain and France and backed by the U.S., would make mandatory the previous Security Council demands that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, plutonium reprocessing, and construction of a heavy-water nuclear reactor. The draft states that the “proliferation risk” posed by Iran constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and the resolution would be adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be enforced by sanctions — or if necessary — military action. Russia and China, which both have veto power, and some nonpermanent members contend that there is no evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons — as the U.S. and its allies believe — and they object to the call for possible “further measures” to ensure Tehran’s compliance. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed “the search for a diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear problem” with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday. “It is too early to say which changes should be made to the draft resolution to satisfy Russia,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said in Moscow on Saturday, according to the RIA Novosti, ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies. more...


Cheney speech spurs new Cold War: Russian press (May 6, 2006) - A speech by Vice President Dick Cheney strongly critical of the Kremlin marks the start of a new Cold War that could drive Moscow away from its new-found Western allies, the Russian press said on Friday. In shocked reaction to the harshest U.S. criticism of Moscow for years, commentators said Washington had created an anti-Russian cordon of Western-aligned states stretching from the Baltic almost to the Caspian Sea. The Kremlin, in a reaction within hours of Cheney’s delivery in Vilnius, said the speech, which was full of accusations that Moscow was limiting human rights and using its energy riches to blackmail the world, was “completely incomprehensible.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declined to comment directly on Friday when asked about Cheney, but said the meeting of former communist satellites that the vice president had addressed appeared to be “united against someone.” The Russian press agreed, comparing Cheney’s words to a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill in Fulton, Missouri, when he said Europe was divided by an “Iron Curtain.” “Enemy at the Gates. Dick Cheney made a Fulton speech in Vilnius,” said business daily Kommersant’s front page headline. “Vice President Dick Cheney made a keynote speech on relations between the West and Russia in which he practically established the start of the second Cold War ... The Cold War has restarted, only now the front lines have shifted,” it said. Washington and Moscow have largely ignored differences since the hijacked airliner attacks on U.S. buildings in September 11, 2001 and concentrated on joint interests in the fight against international militant groups. But ties between the former rivals have cooled recently. more...
White House backs Cheney on Russia


“Peaceful” Islam - Telling Photos (May 9, 2006) - Telling photos of a recent rally in London by radical Muslims. Religion of peace? Certainly not THIS group!
| Islam |


Asia is Getting Ready to Dump the Dollar Peg: Andy Mukherje (May 9, 2006) - Li Yong, China’s vice minister for finance, said he had heard a “rumor” that the U.S. dollar was headed for a 25 percent drop. If the gossip was true, the consequences would be “shocking,” he said. Li’s comment, which he made at a discussion on global financial imbalances last week at the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in the Indian city of Hyderabad, was aimed directly at fellow panelist Tim Adams, the U.S. Treasury undersecretary of international affairs. The unspoken message was: “Don’t try to talk the dollar down.” And Adams knew better than to ask, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” The answer to that question has already begun taking shape: Asia may be getting ready to fix its currencies to a local anchor, dumping the region’s unofficial dollar peg. Even as they continue to pile up U.S. debt in their foreign- exchange reserves to keep their currencies stable against the dollar, Asian nations, China among them, are preparing for a scenario where the dollar does indeed collapse under the weight of a record U.S. current account deficit. more...


The Inevitable Collapse of the Greenback (May 9, 2006) - Or is it Bush? Maybe, it is the Federal Reserve, the privately owned group of 12 central banks that prints our money and sets the policy? A UK Telegraph article on Tuesday “Dollar Drops as great Sell-Off Looms” explains the current dilemma. The dollar is falling against the euro and the Asian currencies while gold and energy prices continue to skyrocket. “Greenback liquidation comes amid growing concerns that global central banks and Middle East oil funds are quietly paring back their holdings of US bonds. “David Bloom, a currency expert at HSBC, said the dollar was vulnerable to a steep sell-off as investors begin to refocus on America’s yawning current account deficit, now 7% of GDP”. (UK Telegraph) Just to add some perspective to this topic; Argentina’s economy collapsed when its trade deficit reached 4% of GDP. The US deficit is at an unprecedented level. Normally, we could say that these are the predictable effects of market forces, but that’s not the case here. After all, we know that Bush insisted that the lavish tax cuts be made permanent even though it was understood that such action would undercut the dollar. So, what is going on here; why does Bush want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg? There are two ways to weaken the currency; either print more money which dilutes the supply, or create new debt which lowers the value. Bush has done both simultaneously and with such gusto that it’s a wonder the dollar hasn’t crashed already. He’s expanded government spending by 35% and produced humongous $450 billion per year tax cuts. Add this to the projected costs of a $2 trillion war and the dollar was bound to get hammered. more...


Iran Wants to Change World Order (May 9, 2006) - “Wiping Israel off the map is just one step in Iran’s attempt to create a new world order,” said Brig.-Gen Yosef Kuperwasser, head of the IDF Military Intelligence’s research division. “Iran is interested not only in turning into a superpower, but also in changing the world order,” Kuperwasser said at a conference on power projection at the Fisher Institute of Strategic Studies in Herzliya. “Iran is at the forefront of global terrorism, and aids Hizbullah in Lebanon, al Qaida, and Palestinian terror organizations, and is behind attacks on US armed forces in Iraq,” the general asserted. Obtaining nuclear power, Kuperwasser said, would not only establish Iran as a superpower on a global level, but would also assist the country in establishing its domestic regime. more...
| Iran | Islam |


‘Powerful’ Volcano Eruption in Russia’s Far East (May 9, 2006) - A volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula in far eastern Russia erupted Tuesday in a powerful explosion that spewed smoke and ash up to 15 kilometers (nine miles) into the air and sent red-hot lava flowing down the volcano’s slopes, news agencies reported. The eruption posed no immediate danger to populated areas on the remote peninsula but aircraft were advised to skirt far around the vicinity while authorities said tourists and hunters should not approach any closer than 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the volcano, ITAR-TASS said. A massive cloud from the eruption was blowing east over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of around eight kilometers (five miles) and had already spread over a distance of up to 700 kilometers (435 miles), the agency said, quoting experts at the Russian Academy of Sciences. more...
| Earth Changes |


Dumbed Down Americans: Chattel for Global Tyranny (May 8, 2006) - Education in America has done a fine job. “Despite nearly constant news coverage since the war there began in 2003, 63 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 failed to correctly locate the country on a map of the Middle East. Seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel,” reports National Geographic. “Young Americans just don’t seem to have much interest in the world outside of the U.S.,” mused David Rutherford, a specialist in geography education at the National Geographic Society in Washington. Young Americans are so ill-educated, half of them can’t find New York on a map, let alone Iran and Iraq. “Many young Americans also lack basic map-reading skills…. Told they could escape an approaching hurricane by evacuating to the northwest, only two-thirds could indicate which way northwest is on a map.” But it is not simply geography. “Three in ten respondents put the U.S. population between one and two billion (it’s just under 300 million, according the U.S. Census Bureau). Seventy-four percent said English is the most commonly spoken native language in the world (it’s Mandarin Chinese).” Considering the widespread ignorance of the American public—and older Americans are not much better when it comes to finding countries on a map, or for that matter naming their state representative—it makes perfect sense a gaggle of neocons, espousing what amounts to fascist authoritarianism, were able to capture the government, invade two countries in six years, and now threaten to attack a third. more...