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About Geomagnetic reversal and Poleshift

About Geomagnetic reversal and Poleshift

The Watchers

A growing number of scientists are starting to worry that it is the magnetic pole shift that seems to be underway that is the real culprit behind climate change. Not man made air pollution, not the sun, not the underground volcanic activity heating up the oceans, but the slow beginning of a pole shift that has been thought to destroy entire civilizations in the past and be one major factor in mass extinctions. NASA recently discovered and released information about a major breach in the earth’s magnetic field.

This breach in the earth/s magnetic field alone, in that it is allowing solar winds to enter the earths atmosphere, is sufficient to really mess up the weather. Not only is this accelerating magnetic pole shift messing up the weather it is having major effects on geopolitics. These magnetic shifts are not only capable of causing massive global super storms, but can cause certain societies, cultures and whole countries to collapse, even go to war with one another.

All yet remains to be seen, but the magnetic reversal of the earth’s poles seems to be rapidly increasing and IS affecting world weather patterns. The real question is how bad will things get before it all settles backdown to a “new normal?” At one time in history it was thought the North Pole was in the area that is now known as Hudson Bay. If the Hudson Bay area was the last locatoin of the North Pole, where will it go next? And how bad will global super storms and climate change get before it is over? And can we stop blaming each other for causing this and work together to survive it and keep civilization in tact? (Suite101)

The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center maintains a data set of annual magnetic north pole coordinates going back to the year 1590, derived from early measurements from ships logs to modern day techniques. Noting that there has been lots of reporting of pole shift lately, to the point where the phenomenon is actually causing real-world issues such as temporary airport closures, a deeper investigation was in order. After transferring 420 years of north pole position data from the NOAA Geo Data Center, configuring it to fit in an Excel spreadsheet, adding a complicated formula to determine exact distance between 2 sets of latitude-longitude coordinates, applying the formula to each data point in the series, and then finally plotting it all in a visual graph, it is alarming to discover the amount of pole shift just over the past 10 to 20 years. (GlobalRumbling)
Graph of annual magnetic north pole shift during the past 420 years

Since 1860, the magnetic pole shift has more than doubled every 50 years. That is pretty significant. During the past 150 years, the pole shift has been in the same direction. During the past 10 years, the magnetic north pole has shifted nearly half of the total distance of the past 50 years! In other words, the pole shift has apparently sped up substantially. It is not known if the shift will speed up or slow down in the years ahead. Some say that a pole reversal is overdue, and this phenomenon may be indicators of the beginnings of that process. (ModernSurvivalist)

The Pole shift hypothesis is not to be confused with geomagnetic reversal, the periodic reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field (effectively switching the north and south magnetic poles). Geomagnetic reversal has more acceptance in the scientific community than pole shift hypotheses. The Pole shift hypothesis is almost always discussed in the context of Earth, but other bodies in the Solar System may have experienced axial reorientation during their existences. The theory says that the outer crust of the Earth has moved several times in the past and would move in the future.

A geomagnetic reversal is a change in the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south become interchanged. The Earth’s magnetic north pole is drifting from northern Canada towards Siberia with a presently accelerating rate. It is also unknown if this drift will continue to accelerate. Present society with its reliance of electricity and electromagnetic effects (e.g. radio, satellite communications) may be vulnerable to technological diruptions in the event of a full field reversal.

The Earth’s geomagnetic field is currently undergoing a reversal. It is not known when it will be completed, but it is already well underway, will continue into 2012 and beyond. The field is weakening with consequences of irradiation from the sun and deep space. But the reversal also means deep seated changes inside the earth with consequences of earthquakes in places not familiar with them and new volcanoes. During the reversal, we can experience increased earthquake activity, even an earthquake storm. Three new volcanoes are being born in the various undersea locations of the Pacific Ocean at this time. The reversal is a product of the changes that go on inside the Earth. The core is spinning slightly faster than the crust that has been slowed by the effect of the moon by tidal dragging. The differential rotation is what generates the magnetic field. As the core rotates, the magnetic field lines behave like what happens on the surface of the sun as the sun has differential rotation from equator to pole. The differential rotation in both cases stretches the magnetic field lines so that they get wound round and round the sun or Earth. At a certain moment in each case, the magnetic field lines snap and the field reverses and rebuilds. The differential flow of the sun occurs much faster than in the earth, so the magnetic cycle occurs in the sun cycles around 22 years on average. The Earth takes longer and is aperiodic due to the slower winding and the interaction of the moon, sun and planets. Typical field reversals can take hundreds of thousands or millions of years.

The current state of the geomagnetosphere is very chaotic with no definitive north-south orientation of poles. Instead there is a patchwork of poles all over the place. It is analogous to the surface of the sun during a sunspot maximum period where there are many fields coupled by sunspot pairs. The remains of the main field still exist, but is weakening, with the south magnetic pole closer to the equator than the north magnetic pole. Satellite imaging shows that the overall field has broken into many local regions with plenty of neutral zones between them where solar and cosmic radiation can get to the earth’s surface unimpeded except by the atmosphere. As of March 2010, NASA space weather tells us two things. The first is that the Earth’s magnetic field is almost at zero strength overall, broken into hundreds of small coupled fields. The sun for the moment is relatively quiet according to what is observed by aural activity on earth. These magnetic zonesare shifting continually and presage change. It appears that the field will be globally neutral on or about 2012.

Right now, the earth is open to penetration by ionizing radiation from all sources, but the local solar weather and cosmos is relatively quiet. It will not remain so and it is hard to know in advance when a radiation event will come from the cosmos at large. With the sun, we may have a day or two concerning a proton event, but not for gamma rays as it will hit us the moment we see signs like a coronal mass ejection. Where the chaotic fields are at their weakest, is exactly where auras will show and warn us of oncoming radiation. Ionizing radiation means an increase in radiation driven evolutionary change and radiation related illness.

A sign of the times is increase in earthquake activity, including in regions that are considered geologically stable and not subject to earthquakes. (Newsolio)

The Earth’s magnetosphere is what generates the Earth’s magnetic poles. It also protects us from harmful solar wind emanating from the Sun and radiation from outside our solar system. It sheathes the Earth and extends outside the atmosphere. This is why missions to the moon and other planets are plagued by radiation but orbiting missions less so.

Scientists know that reversals have occurred many times in the past. The direction of magnetic grains laid down successively in the Earth’s crust, particularly the sea floor are a primary piece of evidence. When the rock is new and molten the grains are free to align themselves with the prevailing magnetic field. As the rock cools, the grains are frozen in time. As the sea floor expands outward (in the Atlantic), it is regularly striped with rock oriented in different directions. This indicates that the magnetic poles have reversed many times throughout the Earth’s history.

The South Atlantic Anomaly (or SAA) is the region where Earth’s inner van Allen radiation belt makes its closest approach to the planet’s surface. Thus, for a given altitude, the radiation intensity is greater within this region than elsewhere. The van Allen radiation belts are symmetric with the Earth’s magnetic axis, which is tilted with respect to the Earth’s rotational axis by an angle of ~11 degrees. Additionally, the magnetic axis is offset from the rotational axis by ~450 kilometers (280 miles). Because of the tilt and offset, the inner van Allen belt is closest to the Earth’s surface over the south Atlantic ocean, and furthest from the Earth’s surface over the north Pacific ocean.

Some believe that the anomaly is a side effect of geomagnetic reversal. This may result from a misunderstanding of the extant literature, which mentions a slow weakening of the geomagnetic field as one of several causes for the changes in the borders of the SAA since its discovery. What is true is that as the geomagnetic field continues to weaken, the inner van Allen belt will get closer to the Earth, with a commensurate enlargement of the SAA at given altitudes. The highest intensity portion of the SAA drifts to the west at a speed of about 0.3 degrees per year, and is noticeable in the references listed below. The drift rate of the SAA is very close to the rotation differential between the Earth’s core and its surface, estimated to be between 0.3 and 0.5 degrees per year. (MaritimeConnector)

The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) is known to be growing in extent and spreading westwards from South Africa, as the Earth’s internal magnetic field rapidly weakens in this region. This may be early evidence of a forthcoming reversal in the direction of the Earth’s internal magnetic field. We do not know in detail precisely what occurs during such reversals, including the changes observed in the magnetic field and the time a reversal takes to complete. However these factors are important in knowing where the radiation risk may be increased and how the atmosphere might respond. Earth’s magnetic field has had many highs, lows and reversals in its past. The last reversal was around 800,000 years ago. So the Earth is known to be able to re-generate its field and has done so during human pre-history. Understanding the development of the SAA may therefore be significant in understanding the reversal process and its impact on life and the natural environment. (BrittishGeologicalSurvey)

Polar Shift and Earthquakes

The increase in the number of strong earthquakes today may be related to the phenomenon of polar shift, and are both byproducts of Earth’s turbulent and boiling liquid Iron outer core, roiling around a solid Iron inner core as hot as the Sun and spinning faster than the rotation of the planet itself.

The Earth’s mantle and crust are floating on top of a stormy sea of electrically conducting molten Iron which produces the planet’s magnetic field by something called the Dynamo effect. The north magnetic pole was first located in 1831 and has been regularly tracked up until the most recent measurement taken some time ago in 2001. During that time the pole has moved an amazing 1,100 km. In fact, since 1970 the pole has been moving much faster, from 10 km to 40 km annually, an incredible four fold increase.

Polar shift is caused by substantial changes in movement of the molten Iron outer core.

Dr. Tony Phillips of Science News – NASA has stated the following details… About 400 polar shift reversals have occurred during the past 330 million years while the average interval between reversals during recent geological times has been about 200 thousand years. The Earth’s last field reversal occurred 780 thousand years ago and we are apparently way overdue. Most evidence gathered from analyzing certain types of rock indicates that a polar shift reversal process may take 1,000 or up to 8,000 years to complete. However there have also been reports of the process completing itself much, much faster than that, the most famous account being from measurements taken of lava rock at Steens Mountain, Oregon which indicate that the magnetic field had been shifting up to 6 degrees per day during one particular polar shift nearly 16 million years ago. Everything we are seeing here lately regarding magnetic polar shift and earthquakes today may all be related and may be reflections of changes that are occurring deep beneath our feet. (Modern Survivalist)

As massive earthquakes rip the earth’s crust, destroy cities and kill many thousands, scientists that have warned of the relationship between the ongoing magnetic polar shift, the planet’s molten cores and tectonic plates are scrambling to recheck their calculations.

Japan’s 9.1 superquake that destroyed much of northeastern land is a symptom of the growing devastation reverberating around the globe as the geomagnetic field continues to relentlessly warp, fluctuate and mutate. Both the superquake and super-tsunami were generated by a gigantic tear in the earth’s crust: the North American plate snapped upward. The mammoth fissure—150 miles long and 50 miles wide—gapes like a deadly wound in the seabed, plunging downwards into the depths of the crumbling, unstable mantle.

Most people are unaware that magnetic field fluctuations can precipitate earthquakes and initiate strange mass animal behavior—bizarre behavior like that reported since the final months of 2010. Yet it’s been demonstrated that changes in the geomagnetosphere affect the Earth’s plate tectonics. The reason why tectonics are affected has to do with how the Earth is built geologically. The planet’s primarily a core of superheated, dense viscous liquid with a relatively thin crust floating on the surface. That segmented crust—like a cracked pie crust—is what comprises the tectonic plates. They are in constant movement chiefly due to massive currents deep within the planet’s mantle and molten core.

The edges where two plates meet are called faults. Faults relieve the titanic internal pressure of the planet. The faults buckle and create mountains, rifts, and volcanic conduits. Some faults are structured different than others and exhibit different qualities.

The mighty currents of molten rock, under intense pressure, boil beneath the crust creating earthquakes, volcanoes and continental drift. It is also the geodynamo that creates the earth’s magnetic field and the interaction with the solar magnetosphere can initiate plate drift, tensions and the massive buckling and shearing between the plates called faults. The movement along the fault lines is called an earthquake.

Geomagnetic flux, often a precursor to mighty quakes, is sometimes accompanied by strange harmonics: people see colors dancing in the sky or hear what sounds like discordant music. The growing abberations of the magnetic field—and the increasing level activity of the sun—is symptomatic of the change in the earth’s core. A dangerous change. An uncontrollable change. A change that is leading to the possibility of greater and greater disasters. Volcanic activity will also increase. The evidence is there.

Japan’s superquake was followed by dozens of severe aftershocks and then an entirely new quake on a separate fault in central Japan measuring 6.6 magnitude. Hours later a volcano in Indonesia along the famous Pacific Rim ‘ring of fire” exploded into an intense eruption. The twisting field creates a perfect harmony of catastrophe, death and destruction.

As the flux in the Earth’s dynamic magnetic field becomes more erratic and the intensity of the field fluctuates to a greater degree, the formation of energetic torsion fields withing the electrical matrix can increase. A torsion field, as defined by A. Akimov, can manifest within an electrical field in a state of flux. They are distinct energy fields that can interact and affect both energy and matter. Some experimenters have found evidence that their emanations sometimes appear to exceed the speed of light. Torsion fields can change the light frequency of laser beams, affect electrical components, modify gravity waves, and impact biological processes.

Beyond that, torsion fields can go rogue, create escalating feedback by looping upon themselves and generate massive, uncontrollable forces upon the spinning molten core through permutations and episodes of erratic spin and pressure. It can be measured and deduced by the magnetic flux using supercomputers. But the data produced is always after the fact and is useless as a tool for prediction. It serves only as a means to determine exactly what it was that killed or displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

As the field effects intensify and the geomagnetic field becomes ever more erratic, more superstorms can erupt into global titans of fury; more superquakes can occur shifting coastlines, submerging islands, and destroying whole regions; and more volcanoes can reignite bringing superheated death and destruction to the surface from the very bowels of the earth. (Earth-Issues)

“What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth’s magnetic field. This suggests that similar sudden changes take place in the movement of the liquid metal deep inside the Earth which is the reason for the Earth’s magnetic field” said Nils Olsen, Senior Scientist with DTU Space.

The Earth’s core consists of an inner solid core which is surrounded by an outer liquid core approx. 3,000 km below our feet. Both the liquid core and the solid core consist primarily of iron and nickel, and it is the movements in the outer liquid part of the Earth’s core which create the Earth’s magnetic field. Changes in these movements are seen as changes in the magnetic field, and scientists can therefore use satellite measurements of the magnetic field to find out what is going on in the liquid core deep inside the Earth.
Crust field: magnetic minerals produce sharp fluctuations in the magnetic field, making iron deposits in Russia (top right) and diamond-bearing rocks in the west Sahara (middle) clearly visible

The magnetic field surrounds the planet in a cocoon of force that forms a barrier against the solar wind – the constant but fluctuating stream of charged particles emitted from the Sun. If the field weren’t there, the solar wind would strip away almost all of the atmosphere, the oceans would boil away into space and the planet would be left unable to support life. Mars, whose magnetic field faded away unknown aeons ago, suffered this fate. The magnetic fields of the core and the crust are fixed to the Earth, so they are in a rotating frame. The magnetic fields coming from the ionosphere are driven by the Sun, so they sit still with respect to the terrestrial fields.
The Earth’s magnetic field is mainly produced by a self-sustaining dynamo in the fluid outer-core. Credits: GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)

But the field is complex, and although we’ve known about it since 1600 -an English doctor, William Gilbert, was the first to describe it – we don’t understand how it works. The field is made up from several components. There’s the contribution of the molten core, but how the movement of the liquid iron generates the field is a complete mystery. Another contribution comes from naturally magnetic minerals in the Earth’s crust, such as ores of iron and nickel, and certain magnetic volcanic rocks. The ionosphere – the layer of ionised gases in the atmosphere from about 60km to 500km above the planet’s surface – also generates a magnetic field that contributes to the whole. Lastly, and rather surprisingly, the oceans, made from conductive salt water, generate a magnetic field as their currents move the water across the surface of the planet.

It’s becoming increasingly important that we understand more about the magnetic field; primarily, it’s responsible for our ongoing existence, but also because more and more of the technology we rely on depends upon it. The field protects communications, global positioning and Earth observation satellites from the solar wind. It may also be responsible for aspects of the climate. (TheEngineer)

There’s evidence it happened in the past and this theory could explain a lot of things that remained mysterious. There’s a couple of theories about how it could happen next:

Important mass building at the poles
Continents drift
An asteroid hitting Earth
A large object/Planet not from the Solar system approaching Earth
Something like a super sized volcano formed far from the equator

It’s a process that we can see happening. The only drastic way it could happen is with an asteroid striking Earth or a large object/planet getting near Earth. For the asteroid, NASA is monitoring near Earth objects and I’m sure they do a good job with that. For the planet approaching it’s clear people are making reference to Elenin/Planet X/Nibiru. There’s no clear link between 2012 and that physical pole shift. It’s most likely linked with Planet X approaching Earth and then causing a pole shift due to the change in gravity which holds our Solar system the way it is. There’s also a possibility for an asteroid to hit Earth. There’s a slight possibility for a pole shift and a magnetic reversal everyday but life goes on

SOURCE

Report: Iran planned to bomb Israeli ship in Suez Canal


Report: Iran planned to bomb Israeli ship in Suez Canal

By Avi Issacharoff

Iran had planned to bomb an Israeli ship while it crossed the Suez Canal, the prosecution in Egypt’s state security court said, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Saturday.

According to the report, two Egyptians were recently arrested and investigated for allegedly planning an attack on an Israeli ship in the Suez Canal.

The investigation of the two found that they had received their instructions from Iranian agents, and that the two asked a third person, by the name of Mohamed Zakri, to carry out the act in exchange for 50 million Egyptian pounds.

The two denied the accusations against them.

In the past, Hezbollah terror cells that planned terror attacks, including in the Suez Canal, were found in Egypt. Moreover, Israeli officials have recently warned that Iran is setting up terror infrastructure on Egyptian soil to ready the ground for an operation.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Follow Haaretz.com on Facebook and share your views

Haaretz reported last week that a high-ranking official in Jerusalem said that Iranian military experts have been active in Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

Several terror groups are now at large in Sinai, the source explained: local Bedouin, who are adopting the ideology of the Global Jihad; groups supported by Iran, who are trying to recruit and train militants not only in Sinai but throughout Egypt; and Palestinian organizations. Joining them are Global Jihad militants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, said the official, adding that Israel and Egypt have a common interest in combating these terrorist elements.

He explained that “many Palestinian organizations use the Sinai peninsula as a convenient area for activity,” and added that Libya has meanwhile been transformed into a huge arms depot, from which weapons are transferred to Egypt and then the Gaza Strip.

SOURCE

Concrete message: Iran ‘supershield’ to thwart US ‘superbomb’

>Concrete message: Iran ‘supershield’ to thwart US ‘superbomb’

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Pentagon’s joy at getting tons of money for a bigger, badder bomb was, apparently, premature. Iran claims to have invented “super concrete” – of a type that will stop the Massive Ordnance Penetrator from penetrating…well, anything.

­Iran is known for being one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. As a result, their scientists have gotten really good at creating ultra-high performance concrete, or UHPC, which is one of the toughest and most rigid building materials in the world. And like any dual-use technology, it can have military applications as well – something the Iranians are keen to utilize.What they’ve done is the exact opposite of that age-old adage: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But it will allegedly allow Iran to effectively stop any potential bombing of strategic facilities that are in the Pentagon’s scope. No breaking, no fixing. Just good old stonewalling of the literal variety.

­The move will most likely cause a lot of anxiety in Washington. But the irony is that not only did Iran make an unexpected knight’s move, but it did so by mirroring the steps taken by the US Department of Defense.

With tensions around Iran’s nuclear program mounting, US defense secretary Leon Panetta said the existing modification of the bunker-buster MOP bomb wasn’t up to scratch; that it wouldn’t, in fact, even make a scratch on facilities like the Fordo research center, hidden under 300 feet of Iranian bedrock. So they took the massively limited ordnance penetrator and added $86 million worth of modifications – all to increase the bunker buster’s range.

It’s not known exactly how much money Iran spent on improving their UHPC, but it’s unlikely to be on the same scale as the US. The Pentagon has so far spent over $400 million on a bunker-buster bomb that looks unlikely to ever bust anything other than a hole in the budget.

And one thing is certain: this is a concrete stumbling block for the American military.

SOURCE

Getting Hosed at the Pump

Getting Hosed at the Pump

By Greg Crosby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Gas prices are going up. A lot. Already the cost of a gallon of gas has increased by 51.4 cents over the past year. By this summer don’t be surprised to see $5.00 a gallon prices at the pumps. That will mean anywhere from $85.00 to $100.00 or more to fill up your tank. But before you start cursing out the big evil oil companies again, let me tell you that it’s a lot more complicated than that. Several factors are at work here.

Even though we’ve had a warmer than normal winter across the country resulting in less demand for heating fuel (which usually means larger supplies of oil in reserve, and should translate to lower prices for us) our gas and oil prices have skyrocketed. As Fox’s Lou Dobbs has pointed out, this is because oil companies HAVE NOT stockpiled the oil that we didn’t use; they have sold it overseas to developing nations like China and India and jacked up prices to us here at home. But this is only half of the story.

President Obama is complicit in this rip off. He is simply fulfilling one of his campaign promises to turn the U.S. into a more “green energy” friendly country. Investors Business Daily has pointed out that during his presidential campaign, Obama admitted he didn’t have a problem with sky-high gasoline prices, he just “would have preferred a gradual adjustment.”

The idea is to make traditional energy sources such as gasoline and oil so expensive that it will force the public into using alternative fuels. His energy secretary, Steven Chu, told the Walt Street Journal before joining the administration that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

In a follow-up article, ABC News interviewed a scientist who had worked with Chu, Lee Schipper, who estimated that European gas prices were at about $7 to $9 per gallon back in 2008. And last year, Chu claimed “the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up.”

Obama has said that he wants to “reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” but what he really wants is to reduce the country’s dependence on ALL oil, both foreign and domestic and put us all into electric cars. You might not think that is such a bad idea, and you might be right except for one little thing? the electric cars use more energy and are worse for the environment than the internal combustion engine.

A new British study suggests that electric vehicles might not be as green as environmentalists think. Because of pollution from the factories that make batteries, an electric car has a bigger carbon footprint than a gas-burning vehicle until it’s traveled 80,000 miles, according to the research, which was financed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says, “Electric cars aren’t so good for the planet after all. Not only do electric vehicles produce just as much carbon in their overall cycle as internal-combustion engines, the need to replace the batteries actually makes them less green than current technology.” If we want a cleaner way to get around, “the answer is natural gas, not electric vehicles.”

Not only that, but findings from researchers at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, show that electric cars that have been studied in China have an overall impact on pollution that could be more harmful to health than gasoline vehicles.

Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Shuguang Ji, analyzed the emissions and environmental health impacts of five vehicle technologies in 34 major Chinese cities, focusing on dangerous fine particles. What Cherry and his team found defies conventional logic: electric cars cause much more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than gasoline cars.

“An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.”

But none of this matters. Ideology trumps facts in the Obama administration every time. Whenever Obama has had the chance to encourage oil production, he’s done the opposite. Consider the following:

He needlessly halted Gulf drilling permits after the BP oil spill, and continues to slow-walk them. Permit approvals are less than half their pre-Obama average, and approval times have nearly doubled.

Obama scuttled the 700,000-barrels-a-day Keystone XL pipeline, despite approval by the State Department after an exhaustive three-year review. In addition to oil, this project would have also resulted in over 25,000 new American jobs.

And he endlessly demonizes oil companies while pushing to sharply raise their taxes.

Interesting isn’t it how a socialistic-leaning president and a capitalistic oil industry can come together to make strange bedfellows. Both are getting what they want, while us poor saps just get hosed again at the pumps.

SOURCE

Iranian Aircraft Carriers in the Gulf of Mexico

Iranian Aircraft Carriers in the Gulf of Mexico

It Can’t Happen Here

Exclusive: New Iranian Commando Team Operating Near U.S.

(Tehran, FNA) The Fars News Agency has confirmed with the Republican Guard’s North American Operations Command that a new elite Iranian commando team is operating in the U.S.-Mexican border region. The primary day-to-day mission of the team, known as the Joint Special Operations Gulf of Mexico Task Force, or JSOG-MTF, is to mentor Mexican military units in the border areas in their war with the deadly drug cartels. The task force provides “highly trained personnel that excel in uncertain environments,” Maj. Amir Arastoo, a spokesman for Republican Guard special operations forces in North America, tells Fars, and “seeks to confront irregular threats…”

The unit began its existence in mid-2009 — around the time that Washington rejected the Iranian leadership’s wish for a new diplomatic dialogue. But whatever the task force does about the United States — or might do in the future — is a sensitive subject with the Republican Guard. “It would be inappropriate to discuss operational plans regarding any particular nation,” Arastoo says about the U.S.

Okay, so I made that up. Sue me. But first admit that, a line or two in, you knew it was fiction. After all, despite the talk about American decline, we are still on a one-way imperial planet. Yes, there is a new U.S. special operations team known as Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Cooperation Council, or JSOTF-GCC, at work near Iran and, according to Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog, we really don’t quite know what it’s tasked with doing (other than helping train the forces of such allies as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia).

And yes, the quotes are perfectly real, just out of the mouth of a U.S. “spokesman for special-operations forces in the Mideast,” not a representative of Iran’s Republican Guard. And yes, most Americans, if they were to read about the existence of the new special ops team, wouldn’t think it strange that U.S. forces were edging up to (if not across) the Iranian border, not when our “safety” was at stake.

Reverse the story, though, and it immediately becomes a malign, if unimaginable, fairy tale. Of course, no Iranian elite forces will ever operate along the U.S. border. Not in this world. Washington wouldn’t live with it and it remains the military giant of giants on this planet. By comparison, Iran is, in military terms, a minor power.

Any Iranian forces on the Mexican border would represent a crossing of one of those “red lines” that U.S. officials are always talking about and so an international abomination to be dealt with severely. More than that, their presence would undoubtedly be treated as an act of war. It would make screaming headlines here. The Republican candidates for the presidency would go wild. You know the rest. Think about the reaction when Attorney General Eric Holder announced that an Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas had contacted a Mexican drug cartel as part of a bizarre plot supposedly hatched by senior members of the elite Iranian Quds Force to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in a Washington restaurant and possibly bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies as well.

Though doubts were soon raised about the likelihood of such an Iranian plot, the outrage in the U.S. was palpable. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that it “crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for.” The Wall Street Journal labeled it “arguably an act of war,” as did Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Speaker of the House John Boehner termed it “a very serious breach of international behavior,” while House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers swore that it crossed “a very dangerous threshold” and called for “unprecedented” action by the Obama administration.

On the other hand, no one here would claim that a U.S. special operations team edging up to the Iranian border was anything out of the ordinary or that it potentially crossed any lines, red or otherwise, or was a step beyond what the international community accepts. In fact, the news, such as it was, caused no headlines in the press, no comments on editorial pages, nothing. After all, everyone knows that Iranians would be the equivalent of fish out of water in Mexico, but that Americans are at home away from home in the Persian Gulf (as in most other places on Earth).

The Iranian “War” Against America

Nonetheless, just for the heck of it, let’s suspend the laws of political and military gravity and pile up a few more fairy-tale-ish details.

Imagine that, in late 2007, Iran’s ruling mullahs and their military advisors had decided to upgrade already significant covert activities against Washington, including cross-border operations, and so launched an intensification of its secret campaign to “destabilize” the country’s leadership — call it a covert war if you will — funded by hundreds of millions of dollars of oil money; that they (or their allies) supported armed oppositional groups hostile to Washington; that they flew advanced robot drones on surveillance missions in the country’s airspace; that they imposed ever escalating sanctions, which over the years caused increased suffering among the American people, in order to force Washington to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and give up the nuclear program (military and peaceful) that it had been pursuing since 1943; that they and an ally developed and launched a computer worm meant to destroy American centrifuges and introduced sabotaged parts into its nuclear supply chain; that they encouraged American nuclear scientists to defect; that one of their allies launched an assassination program against American nuclear scientists and engineers, killing five of them on the streets of American cities; that they launched a global campaign to force the world not to buy key American products, including Hollywood movies, iPhones, iPods, and iPads, and weaponry of any sort by essentially embargoing American banking transactions.

Imagine as well that an embattled American president declared the Gulf of Mexico to be off-limits to Iranian aircraft carriers and threatened any entering its waters with dire consequences. In response, the Iranians promptly sent their aircraft carrier, the Mossadegh, and its battle group of accompanying ships directly into Gulf waters not far from Florida and then stationed a second carrier, the Khomeini, and its task force in the nearby Caribbean as support. (Okay, the Iranians don’t have aircraft carriers, but just for a moment, suspend disbelief.)

And keep in mind that, in this outlandish scenario, all of the above would only be what we knew about or suspected. You would have to assume that there were also still-unknown aspects to their in-the-shadows campaign of regime change against Washington.

Now, pinned to Iran, that list looks absurd. Were such things to have happened (even in a far more limited fashion), they would have been seen across the American political spectrum as an abomination (and rightly so), a morass of illegal, illegitimate, and immoral acts and programs that would have to be opposed at all costs. As you also know perfectly well, it is a description of just what we do know or suspect that the U.S. has done, alone or in concert with its ally Israel, or what, in the case of the assassination operations against nuclear scientists (and possibly an explosion that destroyed much of an Iranian missile base, killing a major general and 16 others), Israel has evidently done on its own, but possibly with the covert agreement of Washington.

And yet you can search the mainstream news far and wide without seeing words like “illegal,” “illegitimate,” or “immoral” or even “a very serious breach of international behavior” applied to them, though you can certainly find sunny reports on our potential power to loose destruction in the region, the sorts of articles that, if they were in the state-controlled Iranian press, we would consider propaganda.

While the other three presidential candidates were baying for Iranian blood at a recent Republican debate, it was left to Ron Paul, the ultimate outsider, to point out the obvious: that the latest round of oil sanctions being imposed by Washington and just agreed to by the European Union, meant to prohibit the sale of Iranian oil on the international market, was essentially an “act of war,” and that it preceded recent Iranian threats (an unlikely prospect, by the way) to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the planet’s oil flows.

And keep in mind, the covert war against Iran is ostensibly aimed at a nuclear weapon that does not exist, that the country’s leaders claim they are not building, that the best work of the American intelligence community in 2007 and 2010 indicated was not yet on the horizon. (At the moment, at worst, the Iranians are believed to be working toward “possible breakout capacity” — that is, the ability to relatively “quickly” build a nuclear weapon, if the decision were made.) As for nuclear weapons, we have 5,113 warheads that we don’t doubt are necessary for our safety and the safety of the planet. These are weapons that we implicitly trust ourselves to have, even though the United States remains the only country ever to use nuclear weapons, obliterating two Japanese cities at the cost of perhaps 200,000 civilian deaths. Similarly, we have no doubt that the world is safe with Israel possessing up to 200 nuclear weapons, a near civilization-destroying (undeclared) arsenal. But it is our conviction that an Iranian bomb, even one, would end life as we know it.

Added to that fear is the oft-cited fact that Iran is run by a mullahtariat that oppresses any opposition. That, however, only puts it in league with U.S. allies in the region like Bahrain, whose monarchy has shot down, beaten up, and jailed its opposition, and the Saudis, who have fiercely repressed their own dissidents. Nor, in terms of harm to its people, is Iran faintly in a league with past U.S. allies like General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, who launched a U.S.-backed military coup against a democratically elected government on September 11, 1973, killing more than died in the 9/11 attacks of 2001, or the Indonesian autocrat Suharto on whom the deaths of at least half a million of his people are usually pinned.

Washington At Home in the World

Here, then, is a little necessary context for the latest round of Iran-mania in the U.S.: Washington has declared the world its oyster and garrisons the planet in a historically unique way — without direct colonies but with approximately 1,000 bases worldwide (not including those in war zones or ones the Pentagon prefers not to acknowledge). That we do so, unique as it may be in the records of empire, strikes us as anything but odd and so is little discussed here. One of the reasons is simple enough. What’s called our “safety” and “security” has been made a planetary issue. It is, in fact, the planetary standard for action, though one only we (or our closest allies) can invoke. Others are held to far more limiting rules of behavior.

As a result, a U.S. president can now send drones and special operations forces just about anywhere to kill just about anyone he designates as a threat to our security. Since we are everywhere, and everywhere at home, and everywhere have “interests,” we may indeed be threatened anywhere. Wherever we’ve settled in — and in the Persian Gulf, as an example, we’re deeply entrenched — new “red lines” have been created that others are prohibited from crossing. No one, after all, can infringe on our safety.

In support of our interests — which, speaking truthfully, are also the interests of oil — we could covertly overthrow an Iranian government in 1953 (starting the whole train of events that led to this crisis moment in the Persian Gulf), and we can again work to overthrow an Iranian government in 2012. The only issue seriously discussed in this country is: How exactly can we do it, or can we do it at all (without causing ourselves irreparably greater harm)? Effectiveness, not legality or morality, is the only measurement. Few in our world (and who else matters?) question our right to do so, though obviously the right of any other state to do something similar to us or one of our allies, or to retaliate or even to threaten to retaliate, should we do so, is considered shocking and beyond all norms, beyond every red line when it comes to how nations (except us) should behave.

This mindset, and the acts that have gone with it, have blown what is, at worst, a modest-sized global problem up into an existential threat, a life-and-death matter. Iran as a global monster now nearly fills what screen-space there is for foreign enemies in the present American moment. Yet, despite its enormous energy reserves, it is a shaky regional power, ruled by a faction-ridden set of fundamentalists (but not madmen), the most hardline of whom seem at the moment ascendant (in no small part due to American and Israeli policies). The country has a relatively modest military budget, and no recent history of invading other states. It has been under intense pressure of every sort for years now and the strains are showing. The kind of pressure the U.S. and its allies have been exerting creates the basis for madness — or for terrible miscalculation followed by inevitable tragedy.

In an election year in the U.S., little of this is apparent. The Republicans, Ron Paul aside, have made Iran the entrée du jour on the American (and Israeli) security menu, a situation that couldn’t be more absurdly out of proportion or more dangerous. In fact, when it comes to “American security,” our fundamentalists are off on another rampage with the Obama administration following behind.

Just as a small exercise to restore some sense of proportion, stop for a moment the next time you hear of American or Israeli plans for the further destabilization of Iran and think: what would we do if the Iranians were planning something similar for us?

It’s one small way to begin, individually, to imagine a planet on which everyone might experience some sense of security. And here’s the oddest thing, given the blowback that could come from a blowup in the Persian Gulf, it might even make us all safer.

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s as well as The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com. His latest book, The United States of Fear (Haymarket Books), has just been published. To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Engelhardt discusses reversal scenarios on a one-way planet, click here, or download it to your iPod here.

[Note: The initial “Iranian” news article in this piece was taken, with a few small changes, from “New U.S. Commando Team Operating Near Iran,” a post by the intrepid Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room blog, an important place to keep up on all things military. Let me offer a bow as well to Antiwar.com, Juan Cole’s Informed Comment, and Paul Woodward’s the War in Context. I don’t know what I’d do without them when it comes to keeping up.]

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Iran Threatens To Sink US Carrier With Torpedo

Iran Threatens U.S., Persian Gulf Cities with Missile Attacks

By John T. Bennett

Iran might pound Persian Gulf cities with ballistic missiles and use swift boats to attack American war ships in an attempt to dissuade a U.S. attack on its nuclear arms sites, a new report states.

Tehran likely would employ a mixed game plan against the U.S. military consisting of “advanced technology” and “guerilla tactics,” according to a research organization with close ties to the Pentagon.

Before that, Iran would first lean hard on weaker Middle Eastern nations to convince those states to deny Washington access to bases on their soil, it states.

Some of the report’s grimmer scenarios predict Iranian ballistic missile launches on Gulf cities in an attempt to convince other nations to resist providing support to an American military operation.

The report also forecasts efforts by Tehran to use Shiite Muslim “proxy groups” to attack U.S. allies in the region. Similar groups plagued the U.S.-led war effort in Iraq for years, and some officials and experts said some acted with Tehran’s backing. [Cantor Presses for More Pressure on Iran.]

Anthony Cordesman, a Pentagon adviser, acknowledged Iranian officials might give some kind of support to extremist groups in a place like Yemen.

But he cast doubt on the likelihood that Iran would fire missiles at Gulf cities, or if its missiles would even work. [How Iran Could Affect Your Wallet in 2012.]

“Iran is much more likely to look at this and realize when you see this type of exchange, you ignore the fact that there are no rules as to how the U.S. and others would respond,” said Cordesman, a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

An Iranian missile barrage on Gulf population centers, he said, could lead the United States and its allies to “take out their oil refineries.”

“Then, their economy grinds to a halt,” Cordesman said. “If Iran can’t export [oil], it can’t earn. And that creates critical problems for the regime.”

“Every time they escalate, they open themselves to attack on their own refineries, their own missile systems, and their navy and air force,” Cordesman said.

Iran also could use new weapons, like advanced ballistic missiles, to attack U.S. bases and other forces positioned around the Persian Gulf, wrote Mark Gunzinger, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, in the report.

“Iran’s hybrid strategy would continue at sea, where its naval forces would engage in swarming ‘hit-and-run’ attacks using sophisticated guided munitions in the confined and crowded littorals of the Strait of Hormuz and possibly out into the Gulf of Oman,” according to the report. “Iran could coordinate these attacks with salvos of anti-ship cruise missiles and swarms of unmanned aircraft launched either from the Iranian shore or from the islands guarding the entrance to the Persian Gulf.”

For those reasons, Pentagon officials would be wise to move U.S. forces and naval ships beyond the suspected range of Iran’s arsenal, the report states. The U.S. also should steel its bases in the region to limit the damage Iranian missile strikes could do to those sites, while also inking deals for a series of “distant” sites from which military operations could be launched, the report states.

But Cordesman said there is little evidence to show Iranian missiles could reach American war ships. “Nobody has said Iran has successfully tested their long-range missiles, especially with these kind of warheads,” he said.

Iran’s growing arsenal of weapons also would require Defense Department brass to take a second look at the kinds of weapons it is buying, Gunzinger states. He calls for stealthy bombers that can evade Iranian radars and missile systems, drone aircraft that can operate off aircraft carriers, an amphibious troop vehicle “optimized for ground combat operations,” among other new weapons.

The CSBA analyst acknowledges such changes will be difficult as the Pentagon begins implementing $350 billion in budget cuts that will span a decade. (The department claims that will equal a real-world cut from planned spending of over $480 billion.)

“Achieving this within an increasingly constrained budget will require defense planners to make difficult decisions,” Gunzinger writes, “the United States cannot meet the challenges that Iran could pose to its vital interests in the Gulf by simply spending more and adding new capabilities and capacity.”

With most of Washington – and the GOP presidential candidates – debating whether the United States should use military force to halt Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, the report paints one of the first sketches of how a U.S.-Iranian conflict might play out.

The Pentagon will need to change how it fights and what it buys – even amid declining annual budgets – to deal effectively with Iranian systems fielded in recent years, says CSBA. These weapons and supporting platforms are tailored to significantly hinder the U.S. military’s ability to move freely within an enemy’s territory – including the air, at and under the sea, and increasingly in cyberspace.

The report from comes just weeks after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called a nuclear-armed Iran a “red line” for Washington and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey revealed Pentagon officials are examining Iran strike options.

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Top 10 buyers of Iran’s oil………..yea, America’s not one of them

Top 10 buyers of Iran’s oil

Top 10 buyers of Iran’s oil –

Iran produces about 3.5 million barrels a day of crude with another 500,000 bpd of condensate, exporting about 2.6 million bpd of which 50,000 bpd is refined products, the International Energy Agency estimates.

OPEC’s second largest producer Iran sells large volumes of oil to China, India, South Korea, Japan and Italy. But Turkey, South Africa and Sri Lanka rely most heavily on Iranian oil as a percentage of imports.

U.S. sanctions already forbid imports of Iranian oil. France is pressing the European Union to consider a ban on Iranian oil to discourage Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Iran produces about 3.5 million barrels a day of crude with another 500,000 bpd of condensate, exporting about 2.6 million bpd of which 50,000 bpd is refined products, the International

Energy Agency estimates.

The top ten buyers of Iranian crude are as follows. Data is for the second quarter 2011 from the IEA with the exception of China, India and Sri Lanka which are not IEA members. Data for

those countries is for first half 2011 from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Country Imports k/bpd Percent Imports

1. China 543,000 10

2. India 341,000 11

3. Japan 251,000 5.9

4. Italy 249,000 13.3

5. South Korea 239,000 7.4

6. Turkey 217,000 30.6

7. Spain 149,000 9.6

8. Greece 111,000 34.7

9. South Africa 98,000 25

10.France 78,000 4.4

In addition Sri Lanka imported 39,000 bpd in the first half of the year. It is completely reliant on Iranian oil.

Iran holds around 137 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, or nearly 10 percent of the world total, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011. Despite sitting on the world’s second largest reserves of gas, Iran’s growing appetite for its own gas, combined with tightening international sanctions that have throttled its fledgling liquefied natural gas (LNG) programme, have made it a net gas importer for most of the last decade. Natural gas accounts for 54 percent of Iran’s total domestic energy consumption, while most of the remainder of energy consumption is attributable to oil, according to the EIA.

(Complied by Daniel Fineren and Emma Farge; editing by William

Hardy)

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‘US builds hospitals in Georgia, readies for war with Iran’

US builds hospitals in Georgia, readies for war with Iran’

The United States is sponsoring the construction of facilities in Georgia on the threshold of a military conflict in Iran, a member of Georgian opposition movement Public Assembly, Elizbar Javelidze has stated.

According to the academician, that explains why President Mikhail Saakashvili is roaming the republic opening new hospitals in its regions.

“These are 20-bed hospitals…It’s an American project. A big war between the US and Iran is beginning in the Persian Gulf. $5 billion was allocated for the construction of these 20-bed military hospitals,” Javelidze said in an interview with Georgian paper Kviris Kronika (News of the Week), as cited by Newsgeorgia website.

The opposition member stated that the construction is mainly paid from the American pocket.

In addition, airports are being briskly built in Georgia and there are talks of constructing a port for underwater vessels in Kulevi on the eastern Black Sea coast in Georgia.

Javelidze believes that it is all linked to the deployment of US military bases on the Georgian soil. Lazika – one of Saakashvili’s mega-projects, a new city that will be built from a scratch – will be “an American military town”. According to the politician, “a secret airdrome” has already been erected in the town of Marneuli, southern Georgia.

The opposition member wondered who would protect Georgia in case if Iran fires its missiles against US military facilities on the territory of the Caucasian state.

All in all, about 30 new hospitals and medical centers were opened in the former Soviet republic in December last year. The plan is to build over a hundred more.

As for Lazika, the Georgian president announced his ambitious idea to build a second-largest city in Georgia, its western economic and trade center, at the end of 2011. According to the plan – which was slammed by his opponents and many analysts – Saakashvili’s dream-town will become home to at least half a million people within a decade.

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Electronic Warfare: Israel’s Secret Iran Attack Plan:

Israel’s Secret Iran Attack Plan: Electronic Warfare

by Eli Lake

For much of the last decade, as Iran methodically built its nuclear program, Israel has been assembling a multibillion-dollar array of high-tech weapons that would allow it to jam, blind, and deafen Tehran’s defenses in the case of a pre-emptive aerial strike.

A U.S. intelligence assessment this summer, described to The Daily Beast by current and former U.S. intelligence officials, concluded that any Israeli attack on hardened nuclear sites in Iran would go far beyond airstrikes from F-15 and F-16 fighter planes and likely include electronic warfare against Iran’s electric grid, Internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for firemen and police officers.

For example, Israel has developed a weapon capable of mimicking a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to “sleep,” effectively stopping transmissions, officials confirmed. The Israelis also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran’s emergency frequencies for first responders.

In a 2007 attack on a suspected nuclear site at al-Kibar, the Syrian military got a taste of this warfare when Israeli planes “spoofed” the country’s air-defense radars, at first making it appear that no jets were in the sky and then in an instant making the radar believe the sky was filled with hundreds of planes.

Israel also likely would exploit a vulnerability that U.S. officials detected two years ago in Iran’s big-city electric grids, which are not “air-gapped”—meaning they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to a Stuxnet-style cyberattack—officials say.

A highly secretive research lab attached to the U.S. joint staff and combatant commands, known as the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), discovered the weakness in Iran’s electrical grid in 2009, according to one retired senior military intelligence officer. This source also said the Israelis have the capability to bring a denial-of-service attack to nodes of Iran’s command and control system that rely on the Internet.

Tony Decarbo, the executive officer for JWAC, declined comment for this story. The likely delivery method for the electronic elements of this attack would be an unmanned aerial vehicle the size of a jumbo jet. An earlier version of the bird was called the Heron, the latest version is known as the Eitan. According to the Israeli press, the Eitan can fly for 20 straight hours and carry a payload of one ton. Another version of the drone, however, can fly up to 45 straight hours, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

Unmanned drones have been an integral part of U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, gathering intelligence and firing missiles at suspected insurgents. But Israel’s fleet has been specially fitted for electronic warfare, according to officials.

“They would have to take out radar and anti-aircraft. They could also attack with missiles and their drone fleet.”

The Eitans and Herons would also likely be working with a special Israeli air force unit known as the Sky Crows, which focuses only on electronic warfare. A 2010 piece in The Jerusalem Post quoted the commander of the electronic warfare unit as saying, “Our objective is to activate our systems and to disrupt and neutralize the enemy’s systems.”

Fred Fleitz, who left his post this year as a Republican senior staffer who focused on Iran at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in his meetings with Israeli defense and intelligence officials, they would always say all options were on the table.

“I think Israel has the capabilities with their air force and mid-air refueling to take on these sites,
” said Fleitz, who is now managing editor of Lignet.com. “They would have to take out radar and anti-aircraft. They could also attack with missiles and their drone fleet.”

Whatever Israel ultimately decides to do about Iran’s program, one mission for now is clear. A senior Israeli official told The Daily Beast this month that one important objective of Israel’s political strategy on Iran was to persuade Iranian decision makers that a military strike against their nuclear infrastructure was a very real possibility. “The only known way to stop a nuclear program is to have smashing sanctions with a credible military threat. Libya is the best example of this,” this official said.

At the same time, if past practice is any guide, the Israelis would not likely strike at the same moment that their officials are discussing the prospect in the press. In other words, if Israel is openly discussing a military strike, it is unlikely to be imminent.

But if Israel goes radio silent—like it did in when it attacked a suspected nuclear site in Iraq in 1981—that may be an early warning sign that a strike is nearing.

When Sam Lewis was U.S. ambassador to Israel during the transition from the Carter to Reagan administrations, he warned the new administration there was a chance then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin might bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq.

“I had given a full alert to the new administration about the dangers,” Lewis recalled in an interview. “We’d been having discussions with the Israelis about how they wanted to stop the project, there was a lot of news and then it all dried up.”

Lewis and his staff had moved on. Then without warning on June 7, 1981, in something called Operation Opera, Israeli jets flew in the dead of night via Jordanian air space and incinerated the nuclear facility that was under construction southeast of Baghdad. “I did feel after the fact that we should have assumed this bombing was going to take place,” Lewis said. “After it was over, I was not surprised, I was annoyed by having been misled by the quiet as it were.”

There may be a lesson for the Obama administration as it tries to calibrate what Israel will do on Iran. Since taking office, the president has made major efforts to avoid any surprises in the relationship with Israel, particularly on the issue of Iran. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for example, tasked their first national security advisers to establish an unprecedented system for regular consultation between the two countries, featuring regular video-teleconferences.

They formed a standing committee on Iran as well, to check the progress of sanctions, share intelligence, and keep both sides informed. Despite all of this, Netanyahu has refused to give any assurance to Obama or his top cabinet advisers that he would inform or ask permission before launching an attack on Iran that would likely spur the Iranians to launch a terrorist attack on the United States or Israel in response, according to U.S. and Israeli officials familiar with these meetings. The Telegraph first reported the tension over the weekend.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “expressed the desire for consultation on any contemplated future Israeli military action, and [Ehud] Barak understood the U.S. position,” said one official familiar with the discussions.

The Israelis may be coy this time around because of the experience of then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In 2007, the Israelis presented what they considered to be rock-solid evidence that Syria was building a covert nuclear facility at al-Kibar. They asked President Bush to bomb the facility, according to the new memoir from Condoleezza Rice.

“The president decided against a strike and suggested a diplomatic course to the Israeli prime minister,” she wrote. “Ehud Olmert thanked us for our input but rejected our advice, and the Israelis then expertly did the job themselves.”

One American close to the current prime minister said, “When Netanyahu came into office, the understanding was they will not make the same mistake that Olmert made and ask for something the president might say no to. Better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”

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Israel: Everything ” On the Table” in War Against Iran

Israel may target Iran civilian infrastructure as part of military strike, report says

By Haaretz

Israel intends to electronic warfare on Iranian civilian infrastructures in the event of a strike against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities, The Daily Beast reported on Thursday, amid ongoing fallout from a damning report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report stating that Iran was working to gain nuclear weapons’ capabilities, a claim that has been made by both Israel and the United States for several years.

The report prompted Israel to urge the international community to act at once to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions using harsher sanctions, with some estimating that the report gave Israel the backing it needed to undertake a military strike of Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

On Thursday, however, The Daily Beast quoted U.S. security officials as claiming that a possible Israeli strike would go as far as targeting Iran’s civilian infrastructure, including the country’s internet and cellphone networks, as well as its electrical grid.

The Daily Beast, quoting what it said “current and former U.S. intelligence officials,” claimed that Israel has developed weapons that could imitate a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to go inactive, “effectively stopping transmissions.”

In 2007, a suspected Syrian nuclear site was destroyed in what many estimate was an attack by Israel Air Force warplanes. A report in Aviation Week & Space Technology not long after the alleged attack claimed that Israeli forces had knocked out Syria’s entire radar system as a prelude to the attack.

According to the report, the Syrian radar site was hit with a combination of electronic attack and precision bombs to allow the IAF to enter and exit Syrian airspace unobserved.

Subsequently all of Syria’s air-defense radar system went off the air for a period of time that encompassed the raid, U.S. intelligence analysts told Aviation Week.

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Secret US Plot to wage war on Syria revealed!

US plot to wage Syria war revealed

Informed sources in Syria say they have discovered a pre-fabricated US scenario for the country’s future, seeking to wage war against the nation from various fronts, Press TV reports.

The sources said the US strategy includes attacks on Syrian diplomatic missions abroad. According to the American scenario, the Syrian opposition abroad would engage in taking over the country’s diplomatic missions and use them as bases for directing and carrying out terrorist activities within the country.

The US plan is set to refer Syria to UN’s human rights commission and the General Assembly on November 23 as well as the the International Criminal Court in an effort to formally declare the Damascus government as a “war criminal,” sources say.

The American scenario also provides a role for Turkey in a NATO defense ministers’ meeting, in which Ankara would be commissioned to move its forces across the Syrian border in an effort to establish a buffer zone inside Syria and facilitate the supply of weaponry and arms to the so-called ‘contra forces‘ inside the country and trigger insurgency activities and potentially a civil war across the nation.

Wahhabi insurgents based in the Syrian city of Tripoli would then launch attacks on the border villages of the country.

Moreover, the Syrian sources said, the US scheme provides that the Israeli regime, along with Jordan, would also declare their readiness to engage in military operations against Damascus.

The latest discovery comes as the Arab League (AL) announced the suspension of Syria during an emergency session in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Saturday and called for the imposition of sanctions against Syria.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has described the AL decision as “illegitimate and dangerous.”

The Arab League has also proposed to dispatch an observer mission of 30-50 members to Syria in a supposed effort to end unrest in the country.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations held both in favor of and against President Bashar al-Assad.

Millions of Syrians took to the streets in several cities across the country on Sunday to condemn the Arab League decision and its siding with US-led anti-Syria measures. Demonstrators also expressed their support for the government of President Assad.

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Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities

Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities

By Adrian Blomfield,

Ehud Barak raised the prospect of military action with Iran once again as he hinted that splits in the international community over imposing sanctions regarded as crippling enough by Israel could leave the Jewish state with no option but to take matters into its own hands.

The warning came as a report by UN weapons inspectors into Iran’s nuclear activities was made public, concluding that the Islamist regime is closer to building an atom bomb than ever before.

Mr Barak conceded that the price of air strikes against Iran would be high, with Iran retaliating by firing long-range missiles at Israeli cities and encouraging its allies Hizbollah and Hamas to unleash their vast rocket arsenals at the country.

But he insisted that claims of huge destruction in Israel were overblown and that the country could survive the retaliation.

“There is no way to prevent some damage,” he said. “It will not be pleasant. There is no scenario for 50,000 dead, or 5,000 killed – and if everyone stays in their homes, maybe not even 500 dead.”

Mr Barak said the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report represents “the final opportunity” for the United Nations Security Council to punish Iran with sanctions of sufficient severity to force Iran into abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

Demanding that the international community finally take action to target Tehran’s vital energy sector, he called for a naval blockade to prevent Iran exploiting oil.

Although such a measure would undoubtedly do serious harm to Iran’s energy-dependent economy, even the United States is said to be concerned about the impact it would have on oil prices at a time of heightened vulnerability for the world economy.

Mr Barak predicted that opposition by Russia and China would make it impossible to achieve consensus in the Security Council for such sanctions, leaving military action increasingly as the only option.

“I don’t think it will be possible to form such a coalition,”
he told Israeli radio.

“As long as no such sanctions have been imposed and proven effective, we continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves not to take any action off the table.”

Mr Barak’s comments crown a week of increasingly bellicose language in Israel that is widely seen as more an attempt to force the United Nations Security Council into using the toughest possible sanctions against Iran rather than presaging imminent military action.

Even so, his rhetoric will cause alarm, with Russia and even some European states warning against the folly of unilateral Israeli action.

Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, said on Tuesday that though concerns remained high about Iran’s nuclear programme, “we have to do everything we can to avoid the irreparable damage that military action would cause”.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said a military strike on Iran could be a “catastrophe” for the Middle East.

“We should exhale, calm down and continue a constructive discussion of all issues on the Middle East agenda, including the Iranian nuclear program,” said Mr Medvedev, a day after an Asian security summit in St Petersburg that included Iran.

US officials said they hoped the IAEA report would increase leverage for tougher sanctions, rather than short term pressure for air strikes.

The “war camp” in the Israeli cabinet is believed to be in a minority that is championed primarily by Mr Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.

But many Israeli politicians will agree with the defence minister’s assertion that the IAEA report represents “the last opportunity for coordinated, lethal sanctions that will force Iran to stop”.

Israel believes that Iran is intent on moving the bulk of its nuclear production underground within months, after which it will be harder than ever to launch effective military action.

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Iran Threatens ‘Street War’ in U.S. If Attacked

Iran Threatens ‘Street War’ in Tel Aviv

By Gavriel Queenann

The head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said on Tuesday that Iran would start a ‘street war‘ in Tel Aviv if its nuclear program was attacked.

“Israel is not big enough to launch a military strike on Iran, but if it takes such a foolish decision, the Iranian military will fight with the Zionist soldiers in Tel Aviv streets… and will force them out of the Palestinian soil,” Seyed Hossein Naqavi said.

Naqavi also warned, should Tehran’s nuclear program be attacked, the battlefield won’t be in Iran, but “the entirety of Europe and the US.”

“Iranian forces will fight with the enemies with maximum might and power all throughout the European and US soil, if Iran comes under attack,” he reiterated.

Naqavi also responded to reports Britain might strike Iran’s nuclear sites, saying “a look at the history reveals that the British regime has been using threat, intimidation, terror and colonialism all throughout the last 500 years.”

“Now a country with such a long record of crimes and colonialist actions should know very well that the Islamic Republic enjoys a high military capability today,” he added.

Naqavi’s remarks have become a part of Tehran’s mantra of threatening counter-strikes as international criticism of its nuclear aspirations continues to mount.

A recent indictment by the United States of two members of Iran’s foreign covert action Quds force for allegedly plotting the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington has served to fuel efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic.

Also, the International Atomic Energy Agency has released a report asserting that Iran is not only on the verge of being able to build an atomic bomb, but cited western and Israeli intelligence reports Tehran had actively sought nuclear weapons technology.

Tehran’s bellicose rhetoric has reached a new zenith, however, amid reports both Britian and Israel were considering independent strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“Iran does not stand alone in the struggle against Israel,”
Naqavi insisted, “Israel will be destroyed by the allies of the Islamic Republic if she so much as tries to attack us.”

However, despite Iran’s threats of a ‘street war’ in Tel Aviv, Tehran’s ability to strike Israel directly is limited. While the Islamic Republic does possess a small number of long-range missiles capable of striking Israel, its air force and army would have to move through other countries in which large US and western forces are operating.

Additionally, tensions between Shiite Persian Iran and the predominantly Sunni Arab world – especially Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies – have limited Tehran’s strategic latitude. Analysts say Iran would have to strike Israel by proxy, relying on Syria, Hizbullah, and various terror groups like Hamas who are at war with Israel.

Observers note, however, that Iran may not be able to rely on its regional allies to take significant action on its behalf.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is occupied with seven months of unrest and a growing armed resistance to his regime; while Hizbullah has found itself under increasing fire from Lebanon’s main street for maintaining its arms and militia’s in the name of ‘resistance’ – which has drawn Beirut into costly wars with Israel.

Even terror groups in Israel that Iran has sought to turn into proxies by funding their operations may prove unreliable. Hamas, a primary Iranian beneficiary, has consistently sought to avoid a serious Israeli incursion into its Gaza stronghold – which analysts say would be the likely result of meaningful action taken on Tehran’s behalf.

SOURCE

Oil at $300 or $500 per Barrel If Israel Attacks Iran

Oil at $300 or $500 per Barrel If Israel Attacks Iran

But it would be nothing compared to the cost if Israel attacks. In 2006, as Israel and the U.S. began to rattle sabers over Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deployed bottom-tethered mines in the Strait of Hormuz, according to a defector.

“The plan is to stop trade,”
the source told Newsmax. One third of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

The deployment was mentioned in a plan produced by the Strategic Studies Center of the Iranian Navy in 2005. It also called for a single operational headquarters integrated with Revolutionary Guards missile units, strike aircraft, surface and underwater naval vessels, Chinese-supplied C-801 and C-802 anti-shipping missiles, mines, and coastal artillery, according to the intelligence office of the Ministry of Defense in Iran.

Revolutionary Guards missile units have identified “more than 100 targets, including Saudi oil production and oil export centers,” the defector said. “They have more than 45 to 50 Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 missiles ready for shooting” against those targets and against Israel, he added.

The CIA, however, dismissed the source, Hamid Reza Zakeri, as a fabricator. In addition to the array of weapons above, Zakeri said Iran will use biological and nuclear weapons if attacked.

In 2009, Iran tested a new generation of missiles, including the Fateh-110, a short-range ground-to-ground missile, and Tondar-69, a short-range naval missile.

Israel takes the possibility of Iranian retaliatory strikes seriously. Last week it staged a drill simulating a missile attack in the center of the country. Thursday’s simulation involved various Israeli emergency services, with ambulance workers and soldiers, some wearing masks and equipment to protect against chemical weapons, practicing treating the wounded, according to Reuters.

A group of 13 generals and admirals produced a report warning that a “sustained disruption” of oil “would be devastating – crippling our very freedom of movement.” The report, entitled “Ensuring America’s Freedom of Movement: A National Security Imperative to Reduce U.S. Oil Dependence,” was sponsored by a San Francisco-based Energy Foundation.

“Under a worst-case scenario 30-day closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the analysis finds that the U.S. would lose nearly $75 billion in GDP,
” reports National Defense Magazine.

Last week, the Rapidan Group predicted oil prices over $175 per barrel if Iran is attacked. According to a survey conducted by the group of oil industry specialists, oil prices would rise on average by 23% in the first hours of the attack.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, writing for the UPI, suggests the price of oil would go much higher. “One bomb on Iran and oil prices could shoot up to $300 or even $500 a barrel,” he writes. “The Strait of Hormuz, between Oman and Iran, is the world’s most important oil chokepoint with a daily oil flow of 16 million barrels, roughly 33 percent of all seaborne traded oil, or 17 percent of oil traded worldwide.”

“While many experts in the market believe that a war on Iran would send oil prices soaring high between, at least, $200 and $300 for each barrel, the most optimistic analysis of the impact on oil markets of an Israeli attack on Iran and the subsequent closure of the Strait of Hormuz said oil prices could spike by as much as $175/bbl,”
reports the Fars News Agency, Iran’s official news outlet.

SOURCE

“War With Iran” Bill Passes House Committee

AIPAC’s “War With Iran” Bill Passes House Committee

Wasting no time after its success in getting the administration to oppose Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and still celebrating the UNESCO funding cut-off, AIPAC has returned to its #1 priority: pushing for war with Iran.

The Israelis have, of course, played their own part in the big show. In the last few weeks, it has been sending out signals that it is getting ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities (and embroil the United States in its most calamitous Middle East war yet).

But most observers do not believe an Israeli attack is imminent. (If it was, would Israel telegraph it in advance?) The point of the Israeli threats is to get the United States and the world community to increase pressure on Iran with the justification that unless it does, Israel will attack.

Naturally, the United States Congress, which gets its marching orders on Middle East policy from the lobby which, in turn, gets its marching orders from Binyamin Netanyahu, is rushing to do what it is told. (If only Congress addressed joblessness at home with the same alacrity and enthusiasm.)

Accordingly the House Foreign Affairs Committee hurriedly convened this week to consider a new “crippling sanctions” bill that seems less designed to deter an Iran nuclear weapon than to lay the groundwork for war.

The clearest evidence that war is the intention of the bill’s supporters comes in Section 601 which should be quoted in full. (It is so incredible that paraphrasing would invite the charge of distorting through selective quotation.)

It reads:

(c) RESTRICTION ON CONTACT. — No person employed with the United States Government may contact in an official or unofficial capacity any person that — (1) is an agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the Government of Iran; and (2) presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organizations. (d) WAIVER. — The President may waive the requirements of subsection (c) if the President determines and so reports to the appropriate congressional committees 15 days prior to the exercise of waiver authority that failure to exercise such waiver authority would pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.

What does this mean?

It means that neither the president, the Secretary of State nor any U.S. diplomat or emissary may engage in negotiations or diplomacy with Iran of any kind unless the president convinces the “appropriate Congressional committees” (most significantly, the House Foreign Affairs Committee which is an AIPAC fiefdom) that not engaging with Iranian contacts would present an “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.”

To call this unprecedented is an understatement. At no time in our history has the White House or State Department been restricted from dealing with representatives of a foreign state, even in war time.

If President Roosevelt wanted to meet with Hitler, he could have and, of course, he did repeatedly meet with Stalin. During the Cold War, U.S. diplomats maintained continuous contacts with the Soviets, a regime that murdered tens of millions and, later, with the Chinese regime which murdered even more. And they did so without needing permission from Congress. (President Nixon was only able to normalize relations with China by means of secret negotiations which, had they been exposed, would have been torpedoed by the Republican right.)

But all the rules of normal statecraft are dropped when it comes to Iran which may, or may not, be working on developing a nuclear capacity. Of course if it is, it is obviously even more critical that the American government officials speak to Iranian counterparts.

But preventing diplomacy is precisely what Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Howard Berman (D-CA), leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee which reported out this bill, seek. They and others who back the measure want another war and the best way to get it is to ban diplomacy (which exists, of course, to prevent war).

Think back, for example, to the Cuban missile crisis. The United States and the monstrous, nuclear armed Soviet regime were on the brink of war over Cuba, a war that might have destroyed the planet.

Neither President Kennedy nor Premier Khrushchev knew how to end the crisis, especially because both were being pushed by their respective militaries not to back down.

Then, at the darkest moment of the crisis, when war seemed inevitable, an ABC correspondent named John Scali secretly met with a Soviet official in New York who described a way to end the crisis that would satisfy his bosses. That meeting was followed by another secret meeting between the president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and a Soviet official in Washington. Those meetings led to a plan that ended the crisis and, perhaps, saved the world.

Needless to say, Kennedy did not ask for the permission of the House Foreign Affairs Committee either to conduct secret negotiations or to implement the terms of the deal. In fact, it was decades before the details of the deal were revealed.

It is this latitude to conduct diplomacy that the lobby and its cutouts on Capitol Hill want to take away from the White House. And it’s latitude that is especially essential if it is determined that Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear arsenal.

Writing in the Washington Post last week, Fareed Zakaria explained that the best way to approach Iran is not to ban diplomacy but to intensify it, nukes or no nukes.

Obama should return to his original approach and test the Iranians to see if there is any room for dialogue and agreement. Engaging with Iran, putting its nuclear program under some kind of supervision and finding areas of common interest (such as Afghanistan) would all be important goals…

Strategic engagement with an adversary can go hand in hand with a policy that encourages change in that country. That’s how Washington dealt with the Soviet Union and China in the 1970s and 1980s. Iran is a country of 80 million people, educated and dynamic. It sits astride a crucial part of the world. It cannot be sanctioned and pressed down forever. It is the last great civilization to sit outside the global order. We need a strategy that combines pressure with a path to bring Iran in from the cold.

In other words, it is time for more diplomacy not less — even if that means offending a powerful lobby that is hell-bent for war.

SOURCE