Nov 29, 2010


Israeli DM Gave US Until End of 2010 to ‘Resolve’ Iran Nuclear Program 2010 a "Pivotal" Year as Israel Poised to Strike by Jason Ditz, November 28, 2010
According to one State Department document, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave an ultimatum to US Congressmen to “resolve” Iran’s nuclear program by the end of 2010 or that a “military solution” would be sought.

At the same time, Barak conceded that an Israeli attack on Iran would result in “unacceptable collateral damage,” though this did not appear to dissuade him from the belief that such an attack must be launched within the “window of opportunity” that he believed would close at the end of 2010 or shortly thereafter.

US officials were said to have been concerned about the reliability of Israeli assessments, noting that Israel had predicted that Iran would have nuclear weapons by 1998 “at the latest” and has repeatedly updated to a new deadline every few years.

A separate cable also cited Israeli Defense Ministry official Pinchas Buchris insisting that the US wasn’t committed enough to attacking Iran and that Israel was willing to do so “no matter how undesirable the consequences.“


US Warned Turkey Not to Publicly Question Allegations on Iran State Dept Demanded Officials 'Rein In' PM's Criticism by Jason Ditz, November 28, 2010

In late 2009 the Obama Administration, it was revealed today, privately warned the Turkish government not to criticize unsubstantiated allegations against Iran’s civilian nuclear program, in particular warning that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments made Turkey “vulnerable to international community criticism.

Turkish PM ErdoganThe documents, revealed today as part of the WikiLeaks Cablegate release, centered around Prime Minister Erdogan’s criticism of Obama’s allegations as “gossip,” and advised top Erdogan aides and Turkish President Gul to “rein in” the prime minister.

Another document expressed concern at Turkey’s interest in a working relationship with Iran, saying Turkey was missing an opportunity to weaken the Iranian government by not condemning the 2009 election and saying Turkey was motivated by a desire to avoid a region-wide war.

Though US officials have repeatedly accused Iran of making nuclear weapons they have never provided evidence of this assertion, and the IAEA has continually verified the non-diversion of Iran’s nuclear material.

Interestingly, the US mocked Turkey’s claims of “influence” with Iran by saying Turkey was unable to even convince Iran to sign the third party enrichment deal sought by the P5+1. Just months after the cable Turkey did succeed in getting Iran to sign the deal, sparking public US condemnation of Turkey and a refusal by the US to complete the proposed deal.


Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats to Steal UN Officials’ Credit Card Numbers 'National Humint Collection Directive' Also Called for Them to Steal Passwords, DNA by Jason Ditz, November 28, 2010

One of the first eye-opening revelations from the massive WikiLeaks diplomatic logs release is the length to which the US State Department is being treated as just another of America’s many spying apparatus.

Among the leaks was something called the “National Humint Collection Directive,” a secret document signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year. The document orders officials at the State Department to conduct mass surveillance and in some cases outright theft against high ranking UN officials.

Incredibly, beyond the simple collection of secret information about officials including UN chief Ban Ki-moon, the directive also calls for State Department officials to try to steal credit card data from a number of top officials, as well as passwords and personal encryption keys. They also sought to collect DNA samples from UN members.

The directive was sent to 33 US embassies across the world, and specified not just Ban, but his top advisers, the heads of all UN agencies, commanders of UN military missions and representatives of all the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The State Department was chiefly responsible for this attempt, but they were also to enlist the CIA, FBI, and the US Secret Service in the collection of data if necessary. The 1946 UN Convention prohibits most if not all of the attempts at theft and surveillance detailed in the operation.

The Stench of US Economic Decay Grows Stronger By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS


On Thanksgiving eve the English-language China Daily and People’s Daily Online reported that Russia and China have concluded an agreement to abandon the use of the US dollar in their bilateral trade and to use their own currencies in its place. The Russians and Chinese said that they had taken this step in order to insulate their economies from the risks that have undermined their confidence in the US dollar as world reserve currency.

This is big news, especially for the news-dead Thanksgiving holiday period, but I did not see it reported on Bloomberg, CNN, New York Times or anywhere in the US print or TV media. The ostrich’s head remains in the sand.

Previously, China concluded the same agreement with Brazil.

As China has a large and growing supply of dollars from trade surpluses with which to conduct trade, China is signaling that she prefers Russian rubles and Brazilian reais to more US dollars.

The American financial press finds solace in the episodes when sovereign debt scares in the EU send the dollar up against the euro and UK pound. But these currency movements are just measures of financial players shorting troubled EU-denominated debt. They are not a measure of dollar strength.

The dollar’s role as world reserve currency is one of the main instruments of American financial hegemony. We haven’t been told how much damage Wall Street fraud has inflicted on EU financial institutions, but the EU countries no longer need the US dollar for trade between themselves as they share a common currency. Once the OPEC countries cease to hold the dollars that they are paid for oil, dollar hegemony will have faded away.

Another instrument of American financial hegemony is the IMF. Whenever a country cannot make good on its debts and pay back the American banks, in steps the IMF with an austerity package that squeezes the country’s population with higher taxes and cuts in education, medical and income support programs until the bankers get their money back.

This is now happening to Ireland and is likely to spread to Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even to France. After the American-caused financial crisis, the IMF’s role as a tool of US imperialism is less and less acceptable. The point could come when governments can no longer sell out their people for the sake of the American banks.

There are other signs that some countries are tiring of America’s irresponsible use of power. Turkey’s civilian governments have long been under the thumb of the American-influenced Turkish military. However, recently the civilian government moved against two top generals and an admiral suspected of involvement in planning a coup. The civilian government further asserted itself when the prime minister announced on Thanksgiving day that Turkey is prepared to react to any Israeli offensive against Lebanon. Here is an American NATO ally freeing itself from American suzerainty exercised through the Turkish military. Who knows, Germany could be next.

Meanwhile in America the Obama administration has managed to come up with a Deficit Commission whose members want to pay for the multi-trillion dollar wars that are enriching the military/security complex and the multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the financial system by reducing annual cost-of-living increases for Social Security, raising the retirement age to 69, ending the mortgage interest deduction, ending the tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance, imposing a 6.5 per cent federal sales tax, while cutting the top tax rate for the rich.

Even the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates are aimed at helping the banksters. The low interest rates deprive retirees and those living on their savings of interest income. The low interest rates have also deprived corporate pensions of funding. To fill the gap corporations are issuing billions of dollars in corporate bonds in order to fund their pensions. Corporate debt is increasing, but not plant and equipment that would produce earnings to service the debt. As the economy worsens, servicing the additional debt will be a problem.

In addition, America’s elderly are finding that fewer and fewer doctors will accept them as patients as a 23 per cent cut looms in the already low Medicare payments to doctors.

The American government only has resources for wars of aggression, police state intrusions, and bailouts of rich banksters. The American citizen has become a mere subject to be bled for the ruling oligarchies.

The police state attitude of the TSA toward airline travelers is a clear indication that Americans are no longer citizens with rights but subjects without rights. Perhaps the day will come when oppressed Americans will take to the streets like the French, the Greeks, the Irish, and the British.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at:

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