Friday, September 28, 2007



DEBKAfile reports: Accusations from Paris that Iran is building new clandestine military nuclear plant south of Natanz

September 28, 2007, 10:34 AM (GMT+02:00)

National Council of Resistance of Iran’s chairman, Mehdi Abrishamchi

National Council of Resistance of Iran’s chairman, Mehdi Abrishamchi

The latest round of the international campaign against Iran’s covert nuclear activities is coming out of Paris, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report. A statement by President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday, Sept. 27 that he does not believe Iran’s program is peaceful was followed by a press conference at which the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s chairman, Mehdi Abrishamchi, reported Iran was constructing a new site for a secret military project 5 km south of the Natanz nuclear complex.

Sarkozy’s spokesman David Martinon said: “Ahmadinejad claims his country’s nuclear activities are peaceful. Ultimately, we do not believe him. Everyone knows that the program has military goals. We have a string of clues leading us to that conclusion. The question is not settled.”

DEBKAfile notes that, five years ago, the Americans used the same roundabout technique for making their first disclosures of Iran’s nuclear violations.

They fed the revelation that uranium enrichment was taking place at Natanz to the same resistance group, NCRI (Mujahideen Qalq), which then called a press conference in Washington and laid it before the public.

Surprisingly, this time, Tehran made its own contribution to the disclosures. The local newspaper Kayhan stated on Sept. 25: “The intelligence that the West currently has on Iran’s nuclear program is limited to sites accessible to IAEA inspectors – and more than that they do not know.”

Two days later, the NCRI went before the press in Paris with the little information he had, which nonetheless substantiated Tehran’s admission.

Iran is apparently bracing for a fresh spate of international allegations and disclosures from intelligence sources about its most secret nuclear activities for military purposes.

Abrishamchi’s seeming first installment did not specify what was going on at the new site or the nature of its contribution to Iran’s weapons program.

He located it near the small village of Abbas-Abad 5 km south of Natanz in the Siah mountain. The site, he said, consisted of a sprawling underground area with two tunnels which run under two mountains connected to Natanz. The tunnel entrance is six meters wide. Building began in 2006 and is scheduled to end in March 2008. Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Tabatabi monitors progress of the work every week; it is overseen by his deputy Brig. Gen. Daneshjo.

To preserve the project’s secrecy, the NCRI chairman reported, its various sections were assigned to different agencies and units of the defense ministry and Revolutionary Guards, none of which has the whole picture.

DEBKAfile’s sources believe that just enough data were rationed out to Abrishamchi to let the Iranians know that US and French intelligence has a lot more. How much more is released will depend on Tehran’s reaction. If the clerical rulers continue to maintain like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that their program is purely for peaceful purposes and the issue is closed, more solid information on Iranian illicit undertakings is likely to be laid bare.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Abu Mazen: Olmert Agreed to Make Jerusalem Arab Capital

by Hillel Fendel

( The chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice last week - and told her that Prime Minister Olmert agrees, finally, to turn eastern Jerusalem into the capital of a future state of Palestine. So reports the PA newspaper Al Hayat Al Jadeeda, quoting an unnamed "senior Palestinian source."

Abbas reportedly told Rice that Olmert had agreed to the demand in an Olmert-Abbas meeting a couple of days before. Another Olmert-Abbas meeting is planned for next week, the paper reports.

Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman reports on another PA media article. The Palestinian Press claims that Iran has given the order to Hamas and Islamic Jihad to reduce Kassam rocket attacks against Israel during the month of Ramadan, in order to reduce the suffering of Arab citizens in Gaza during this period. Hamas chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal reportedly told Iran that though Hamas agrees to hold fire, Islamic Jihad does not.

Meanwhile, plans continue for U.S. President George Bush's international Middle East summit, scheduled for this November in Washington. Secretary Rice announced Sunday night that Syria and Lebanon will also be invited to take part, though they will have to commit themselves to help find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is not happy with the summit. "Without advance preparations and without an objective," he said, "I don't see what can come of it, and I don't see any reason to convene the summit."

High-level meetings of this nature are often accompanied by Arab violence and terrorism, and some fear that such violence this time will only intensify if the summit does not produce results favorable to the Arab side.

Nahum Chapter 1

א מַשָּׂא, נִינְוֵה--סֵפֶר חֲזוֹן נַחוּם, הָאֶלְקֹשִׁי. 1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
ב אֵל קַנּוֹא וְנֹקֵם יְהוָה, נֹקֵם יְהוָה וּבַעַל חֵמָה; נֹקֵם יְהוָה לְצָרָיו, וְנוֹטֵר הוּא לְאֹיְבָיו. 2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God, the LORD avengeth and is full of wrath; the LORD taketh vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies.
ג יְהוָה, אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וגדול- (וּגְדָל-) כֹּחַ, וְנַקֵּה, לֹא יְנַקֶּה; יְהוָה, בְּסוּפָה וּבִשְׂעָרָה דַּרְכּוֹ, וְעָנָן, אֲבַק רַגְלָיו. 3 The LORD is long-suffering, and great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty; the LORD, in the whirlwind and in the storm is His way, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
ד גּוֹעֵר בַּיָּם וַיַּבְּשֵׁהוּ, וְכָל-הַנְּהָרוֹת הֶחֱרִיב; אֻמְלַל בָּשָׁן וְכַרְמֶל, וּפֶרַח לְבָנוֹן אֻמְלָל. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers; Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.
ה הָרִים רָעֲשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, וְהַגְּבָעוֹת הִתְמֹגָגוּ; וַתִּשָּׂא הָאָרֶץ מִפָּנָיו, וְתֵבֵל וְכָל-יוֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ. 5 The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt; and the earth is upheaved at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
ו לִפְנֵי זַעְמוֹ מִי יַעֲמוֹד, וּמִי יָקוּם בַּחֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ; חֲמָתוֹ נִתְּכָה כָאֵשׁ, וְהַצֻּרִים נִתְּצוּ מִמֶּנּוּ. 6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder before Him.
ז טוֹב יְהוָה, לְמָעוֹז בְּיוֹם צָרָה; וְיֹדֵעַ, חֹסֵי בוֹ. 7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that take refuge in Him.
ח וּבְשֶׁטֶף עֹבֵר, כָּלָה יַעֲשֶׂה מְקוֹמָהּ; וְאֹיְבָיו, יְרַדֶּף-חֹשֶׁךְ. 8 But with an overrunning flood He will make a full end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue His enemies.
ט מַה-תְּחַשְּׁבוּן, אֶל-יְהוָה--כָּלָה, הוּא עֹשֶׂה; לֹא-תָקוּם פַּעֲמַיִם, צָרָה. 9 What do ye devise against the LORD? He will make a full end; trouble shall not rise up the second time.
י כִּי עַד-סִירִים סְבֻכִים, וּכְסָבְאָם סְבוּאִים; אֻכְּלוּ--כְּקַשׁ יָבֵשׁ, מָלֵא. 10 For though they be like tangled thorns, and be drunken according to their drink, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.
יא מִמֵּךְ יָצָא, חֹשֵׁב עַל-יְהוָה רָעָה--יֹעֵץ, בְּלִיָּעַל. {ס} 11 Out of thee came he forth, that deviseth evil against the LORD, that counselleth wickedness. {S}
יב כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, אִם-שְׁלֵמִים וְכֵן רַבִּים, וְכֵן נָגוֹזּוּ, וְעָבָר; וְעִנִּתִךְ--לֹא אֲעַנֵּךְ, עוֹד. 12 Thus saith the LORD: Though they be in full strength, and likewise many, even so shall they be cut down, and he shall pass away; and though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.
יג וְעַתָּה, אֶשְׁבֹּר מֹטֵהוּ מֵעָלָיִךְ; וּמוֹסְרֹתַיִךְ, אֲנַתֵּק. 13 And now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.
יד וְצִוָּה עָלֶיךָ יְהוָה, לֹא-יִזָּרַע מִשִּׁמְךָ עוֹד; מִבֵּית אֱלֹהֶיךָ אַכְרִית פֶּסֶל וּמַסֵּכָה, אָשִׂים קִבְרֶךָ--כִּי קַלּוֹתָ. {פ} 14 And the LORD hath given commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown; out of the house of thy god will I cut off the graven image and the molten image; I will make thy grave; for thou art become worthless.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007




Click on the above graphic or your state name below:
[Alabama], [Alaska], [American Samoa], [Arizona], [Arkansas], [California], [Colorado], [Connecticut], [Delaware], [District of Columbia], [Florida], [Georgia], [Guam], [Hawaii], [Idaho], [Illinois], [Indiana], [Iowa], [Kansas], [Kentucky], [Louisiana], [Maine], [Maryland], [Massachusetts], [Michigan], [Minnesota], [Mississippi], [Missouri], [Montana], [Nebraska], [Nevada], [New Hampshire], [New Jersey], [New Mexico], [New York], [North Carolina], [North Dakota], [Ohio], [Oklahoma], [Oregon], [Pennsylvania], [Puerto Rico], [Rhode Island], [South Carolina], [South Dakota], [Tennessee], [Texas], [Utah], [Vermont], [Virginia], [Virgin Islands], [Washington], [West Virginia], [Wisconsin], [Wyoming]

Monday, September 24, 2007


Hal Lindsey Hal Lindsey
WND Exclusive Commentary
Prophesied destruction of Damascus imminent?

Posted: September 21, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

A stunning report published by Jane's Defense Weekly confirms rumors of a July explosion at a Syrian military base at al-Safir, near Aleppo, in which reportedly "dozens" of Iranian engineers were killed along with their Syrian counterparts.

Syria had originally dismissed reports of the explosion by saying the blast was generated by the desert heat causing the accidental detonation of a stockpile of explosives.

Jane's reported that the explosion was actually triggered while the engineers were fitting a chemical warhead onto a Scud-C missile. The explosion and fire released containers of the deadly nerve agents VX and sarin gas, as well as a mustard gas blistering agent.

Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter told reporters this week, "Iran has entered into strategic cooperation with Syria on conventional and nonconventional weapons development," adding, "The Iranians are very big in Syria."

(Column continues below)

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is preparing Syria to cover his flank, should war break out between Israel and Iran over Tehran's nuclear arsenal. Ahmadinejad is evidently gambling on Syria taking out Israel while Iran squares off against the United States. Were Iran and Israel to face each other head-to-head, one or the other would inevitably cease to exist. Israel would have no choice but to annihilate Iran before Iran annihilated Israel.

Israel's "Samson Option" is named after the biblical judge who sacrificed himself in order to take his enemies with him. In the event of its impending destruction, Israel's retaliatory plan involves taking the Middle East along with it.

As the Iraq experience has proved, war with the United States is survivable. The terms of Israel's "Samson Option" mean war with Israel involving first-use weapons of mass destruction is not.

To Ahmadinejad's way of thinking, if somebody has to be martyred to the Mahdi's cause, why not Syria? Twenty-five hundred odd years ago, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Damascus. This prophecy is made more fascinating by the fact it remains unfulfilled in history.

Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city on earth. Although conquered many times, its status as an economic and cultural center of antiquity preserved it intact to this day.

But Isaiah predicted Damascus would one day face utter destruction: "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and it will become a fallen ruin," he writes in Isaiah 17:1.

The prophet also predicts Damascus' destruction will come at a time when "the glory of Jacob" had begun to fade (verse 4), at a time when Israel is in great peril of being "shaken like an olive tree," leaving only a few "on the topmost bough."

Isaiah prophesies that, when Damascus' destruction comes, there will be "an uproar of many peoples" and "the rumbling of nations" but that they will flee at God's rebuke.

It seems clear from recent events that Syria is preparing chemical and biological weapons, and possibly some form of nuclear weapon for use in some future war against Israel. Syria and Iran have been outfitting Hezbollah with the latest in offensive weaponry since the war of June 2006.

Israel is unlikely to sit back and wait for a first-use chemical or gas attack from Damascus. Neither is it likely to wait until Ahmadinejad can use Syria to flank them in the event of conflict with Iran. So the number of Israeli raids against Syrian targets is likely to escalate until either Israel has destroyed the threat or Syria responds militarily. If Syria attacks with weapons of mass destruction, it can expect a massive, in-kind Israeli response.

Bible prophecy doesn't make allowances for a full-scale unconventional war of annihilation of Israel by Iran, however. Ezekiel predicts Iran's participation of the Gog-Magog invasion as part of a Russian-led alliance, not a regional alliance with Syria. Both Iran and Israel are listed as participants in that future conflict.

But Syria isn't.

Syria isn't numbered among any of the various protagonists prophesied to participate in the conflicts of the last days.

Isaiah describes the destruction of Damascus in much the same terms that would be used today to describe the effects of all-out, no-holds-barred Israeli retaliatory strike against a Syrian gas attack.

"At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning, they are no more" (Isaiah 17:13-14).

Assad had better reconsider his options – while he still has some.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


September 23, 2007

Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid

Also from Sarah Baxter: Snatched: Israeli commandos ‘nuclear’ raid | Israelis 'blew apart Syrian nuclear cache' | Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike | Alan Greenspan: "Blair was clearly an aide to Brown"

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.

The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Israeli special forces had been gathering intelligence for several months in Syria, according to Israeli sources. They located the nuclear material at a compound near Dayr az-Zwar in the north.

Evidence that North Korean personnel were at the site is said to have been shared with President George W Bush over the summer. A senior American source said the administration sought proof of nuclear-related activities before giving the attack its blessing.

Diplomats in North Korea and China believe a number of North Koreans were killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials.

Syrian officials flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, last week, reinforcing the view that the two nations were coordinating their response.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Run away the ray-gun is coming : We test US army's new secret weapon

By MICHAEL HANLON - More by this author » Last updated at 23:21pm on 18th September 2007

Comments Comments (23)


Modern face of warfare: The Silent Guardian

"Where do I put my finger? There ... OK? Nothing's happening ... is it on?"

"Yes, it's on. Move your finger a bit closer."

"Er ... ow! OW!" Not good. I try again. "OWWW!" I pull my hand away sharpish. My finger is throbbing, but seems undamaged.

I was told people can take it for a second, maximum. No way, not for a wimp like me.

I try it again. It is a bit like touching a red-hot wire, but there is no heat, only the sensation of heat. There is no burn mark or blister.

Its makers claim this infernal machine is the modern face of warfare. It has a nice, friendly sounding name, Silent Guardian.

I am told not to call it a ray-gun, though that is precisely what it is (the term "pain gun" is maybe better, but I suppose they would like that even less).

And, to be fair, the machine is not designed to vaporise, shred, atomise, dismember or otherwise cause permanent harm.

Scroll down for more ...

Michael Hanlon

Oww! Michael Hanlon tries the Raytheon ray-gun

But it is a horrible device nonetheless, and you are forced to wonder what the world has come to when human ingenuity is pressed into service to make a thing like this.

Silent Guardian is making waves in defence circles. Built by the U.S. firm Raytheon, it is part of its "Directed Energy Solutions" programme.

What it amounts to is a way of making people run away, very fast, without killing or even permanently harming them.

That is what the company says, anyway. The reality may turn out to be more horrific.

I tested a table-top demonstration model, but here's how it works in the field.

A square transmitter as big as a plasma TV screen is mounted on the back of a Jeep.

When turned on, it emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation - similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker - that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings.

It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile.

Because the beam penetrates skin only to a depth of 1/64th of an inch, it cannot, says Raytheon, cause visible, permanent injury.

But anyone in the beam's path will feel, over their entire body, the agonising sensation I've just felt on my fingertip. The prospect doesn't bear thinking about.

"I have been in front of the full-sized system and, believe me, you just run. You don't have time to think about it - you just run," says George Svitak, a Raytheon executive.

Silent Guardian is supposed to be the 21st century equivalent of tear gas or water cannon - a way of getting crowds to disperse quickly and with minimum harm. Its potential is obvious.

"In Iraq, there was a situation when combatants had taken media as human shields. The battalion commander told me there was no way of separating combatants from non-combatants without lethal force," Mr Svitak tells me.

He says this weapon would have made it possible because everyone, friend or foe, would have run from it.

In tests, even the most hardened Marines flee after a few seconds of exposure. It just isn't possible to tough it out.

This machine has the ability to inflict limitless, unbearable pain.

What makes it OK, says Raytheon, is that the pain stops as soon as you are out of the beam or the machine is turned off.

But my right finger was tingling hours later - was that psychosomatic?

So what is the problem? All right, it hurts, but then so do tear gas and water cannon and they have been used by the world's police and military for decades.

Am I being squeamish?

One thing is certain: not just the Silent Guardian, but weapons such as the Taser, the electric stun-gun, are being rolled out by Britain's police forces as the new way of controlling people by using pain.

And, as the Raytheon chaps all insist, you always have the option to get out of the way (just as you have the option to comply with the police officer's demands and not get Tasered).

But there is a problem: mission creep. This is the Americanism which describes what happens when, over time, powers or techniques are used to ends not stated or even imagined when they were devised.

With the Taser, the rules in place in Britain say it must be used only as an alternative to the gun. But what happens in ten or 20 years if a new government chooses to amend these rules?

It is so easy to see the Taser being used routinely to control dissent and pacify - as, indeed, already happens in the U.S.

And the Silent Guardian? Raytheon's Mac Jeffery says it is being looked at only by the "North American military and its allies" and is not being sold to countries with questionable human rights records.

An MoD spokesman said Britain is not planning to buy this weapon.

In fact, it is easy to see the raygun being used not as an alternative to lethal force (when I can see that it is quite justified), but as an extra weapon in the battle against dissent.

Because it is, in essence, a simple machine, it is easy to see similar devices being pressed into service in places with extremely dubious reputations.

There are more questions: in tests, volunteers have been asked to remove spectacles and contact lenses before being microwaved. Does this imply these rays are not as harmless as Raytheon insists?

What happens when someone with a weak heart is zapped?

And, perhaps most worryingly, what if deployment of Silent Guardian causes mass panic, leaving some people unable to flee in the melee? Will they just be stuck there roasting?

Raytheon insists the system is set up to limit exposure, but presumably these safeguards can be over-ridden.

Silent Guardian and the Taser are just the first in a new wave of "non-lethal" weaponry being developed, mostly in the U.S.

These include not only microwave ray-guns, but the terrifying Pulsed Energy Projectile weapon. This uses a powerful laser which, when it hits someone up to 11/2 miles away, produces a "plasma" - a bubble of superhot gas - on the skin.

A report in New Scientist claimed the focus of research was to heighten the pain caused by this semi-classified weapon.

And a document released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act talks of "optimal pulse parameters to evoke peak nociceptor activation" - i.e. cause the maximum agony possible, leaving no permanent damage.

Perhaps the most alarming prospect is that such machines would make efficient torture instruments.

They are quick, clean, cheap, easy to use and, most importantly, leave no marks. What would happen if they fell into the hands of unscrupulous nations where torture is not unknown?

The agony the Raytheon gun inflicts is probably equal to anything in a torture chamber - these waves are tuned to a frequency exactly designed to stimulate the pain nerves.

I couldn't hold my finger next to the device for more than a fraction of a second. I could make the pain stop, but what if my finger had been strapped to the machine?

Dr John Wood, a biologist at UCL and an expert in the way the brain perceives pain, is horrified by the new pain weapons.

"They are so obviously useful as torture instruments," he says.

"It is ethically dubious to say they are useful for crowd control when they will obviously be used by unscrupulous people for torture."

We use the word "medieval" as shorthand for brutality. The truth is that new technology makes racks look benign.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


« French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed sharing access to France’s nuclear arsenal. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany Invited to Nuclear Club

September 19, 2007 | From

Germany has been offered nuclear power, and the world hardly notices.

During World War ii, Allied scientists ran a feverish race against German physicists to be the first to develop a nuclear bomb. The Allies succeeded, disaster was averted, and Germany was defeated. Today, nuclear-armed France is opening its nuclear defense door to neighboring Germany.

In a meeting in Germany on September 10, French President Nicolas Sarkozy shocked German officials by offering them access to France’s nuclear defense system. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declined the offer, with Steinmeier stating that Germany has no intention of becoming a nuclear power.

Still, with this offer, the door is wide open for Germany to begin acquiring nuclear weapons, a possibility that makes many history-conscious pundits ill at ease. The present German administration may not seem interested, but the nuclear option is now clear and present. A future administration may be much more interested in accepting the keys to the bomb—just in case.

As the world focuses on the Middle East, North Korea, and the 2008 American presidential race, the boiling cauldron in the heart of Europe is about to spill over onto the world for the third time in a century. To learn more about Germany’s history of war, and its future, read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007



French FM Kouchner: The Iranian nuclear crisis forces the world to prepare for the worst - which is war

September 17, 2007, 11:42 PM (GMT+02:00)

In a series of press, radio and TV interviews, Sunday, Sept. 16, Bernard Kouchner also said he had advised large French companies not to respond to tenders issued by Tehran. DEBKAfile adds: France thus joined the economic sanctions imposed by the US, Britain, Japan and Germany on Iran for refusing to give up uranium enrichment, but implicit in Kouchner’s advice was a word of caution to French companies to stay clear of business complications with a nation on the brink of war.

The French foreign minister, who is clearly focusing on the Middle East, spoke shortly after visits to Iraq, Lebanon and Israel and the Israeli air force operation over Syria ten days ago. Paris sees ominous signals in the expanding Iranian intervention in combat against US forces in Iraq by stepped up weapons deliveries to the insurgents and their training, and the rising military tensions between Israel and Syria – all under the cloud of the nuclear issue.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


September 16, 2007

Alan Greenspan claims Iraq war was really for oil

AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.

In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.

Greenspan, 81, is understood to believe that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the security of oil supplies in the Middle East.

Britain and America have always insisted the war had nothing to do with oil. Bush said the aim was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam’s support for terrorism.

Friday, September 14, 2007


US President George W. Bush will one day be tried in court just like deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for his involvement in the Iraq tragedy, said Iran's supreme leader Friday.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 2nd left, and Iran's army commander Ataollah Salehi, right, in Tehran.
Photo: AP

Speaking to thousands of worshippers during the first Friday prayer of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Bush will be called to account for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

"A day will come that the current US president and officials will be tried in an international supreme court for the catastrophes they caused in Iraq," he said.

"Americans will have to answer for why they don't end occupation of Iraq and why waves of terrorism and insurgency have overwhelmed the country," he added. "It will not be like this forever and some day they will be stopped as happened to Hitler, Saddam and certain other European leaders."

Khamenei mocked the US, describing the recent congressional testimony of the top US officials in Iraq as a sign of weakness and the failure of American policy in the war torn country.

"More than four years have past since the occupation of Iraq and today everyone knows that American has failed and is frantically looking for a way out," he said.

In their testimony Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker raised allegations of Iranian meddling in Iraq by financial and military supporting militias and insurgent groups, warning that the US was already embroiled in a proxy war with the Islamic republic.

Despite UN sanctions and efforts to isolate Iran internationally, the country is flourishing, maintained Khamenei.

"Today we are in a better political position compared to four to five years ago," he said. "We have moved forward economically and the spiritual preparedness and happiness of our nation has improved."

"A nation like ours, without an atomic bomb and not as wealthy as these other powerful governments, has foiled a whole series of their conspiracies and forced them to give up and withdraw," he added.

The US accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and has called for further international sanctions against the country.

Iran and the US have not had diplomatic relations since Washington cut its ties with Tehran after Iranian students stormed the US embassy there in 1979.


Thu Sept 13 2007 12:30:11 ET

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admits he "didn't really get it" that the subprime lending trend was significant enough to hurt the economy until very late 2005, but still defends his lowering of interest rates from 2001 until 2004 that critics say caused the crisis in the first place. Greenspan, who led the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank through 18 years and four presidents, speaks to Lesley Stahl in his first major interview, to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Sept. 16 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Greenspan says he knew about the questionable subprime lending tactics that gave loans to homebuyers and investors with low adjustable interest rates that could rise precipitously, but not the severe economic consequences they posed. "While I was aware a lot of these practices were going on, I had no notion of how significant they had become until very late," he tells Stahl. "I really didn't get it until very late in 2005 and 2006."

Even though one of the Federal Reserve governors raised a red flag on those lending practices, Greenspan says there was little he could do. "Well, it was nothing to look into particularly because we knew there was a number of such practices going on, but it's very difficult for banking regulators to deal with that," says Greenspan.

Several of Greenspan's former Federal Reserve governors have since said that Greenspan's policy of lowering interest rates for three consecutive years early in the decade was wrong because it opened the door for the subprime lenders. They think he kept rates too low for too long. "They are mistaken," Greenspan tells Stahl. "It was our job to unfreeze the American banking system if we wanted the economy to function. This required that we keep rates modestly low," he says.

Some believe today's market slide -- U.S. stocks have lost significant ground over the past few months -- could have been slowed had the current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke lowered interest rates like Greenspan did early in the decade. Would he act as dramatically and quickly now as he did then if he were the current chairman as some believe? "I'm not sure that's true," says Greenspan. "We were dealing in an environment back there where inflation was easing. We could have acted without the fear of stoking inflationary pressures. You can't do that anymore... I'm not certain I would have done anything different [if he was the chairman today]," he tells Stahl. "I think [Bernanke] is doing an excellent job."

British mortgage lender hit by panic withdrawals

by Ben Perry 2 hours, 20 minutes ago

LONDON (AFP) - Anxious customers of bank Northern Rock rushed to withdraw their savings on Friday, forming queues in front of branches after the lender was bailed out by the Bank of England.

The central bank came to the rescue of Britain's fifth-biggest home loan provider, which said it was facing severe difficulties raising cash to cover its liabilities amid the ongoing global credit squeeze.

From London to Edinburgh, panicking customers were pictured on British television channels crowding outside Northern Rock branches to withdraw their savings.

Shares in the group, which issued a profits warning on Friday, plunged 31.77 percent to 436 pence nearing the close, dragging the European banking sector lower as investors fretted over potential difficulties elsewhere.

International ratings agency Standard and Poor's cut its rating on the company and warned of further downgrades if credit conditions worsened.

But analysts forecast that the troubled bank was very unlikely to go bust despite the appearance of a "bank run."

A bank run is when customers withdraw their savings en masse because of fear a lender will become insolvent, which can cause it to go bankrupt.

"Northern Rock's problems are a consequence of its particular reliance on the money markets to fund its mortgage activities," said Global Insight economist Howard Archer.

"Furthermore, all of the indications are that it is in no danger of going bust and that it has a good quality loan book."

S & P said that the bailout by the Bank of England "considerably strengthens Northern Rock's funding and liquidity."

Northern Rock is the first major British financial institution to be severely hit by the credit crunch sparked by the US home loan crisis.

A global credit crunch erupted last month, sparked by a crisis in the US subprime, or high-risk, mortgage sector.

Banks became nervous about lending to each other because of fears about bad investments linked to US home loans, leading to a shortage of cash for lending purposes.

Central banks around the world have pumped billion of dollars of emergency funds into the banking sector to enable banks to continue normal lending practices.

The Bank of England said it had made available an unspecified amount of cash to Northern Rock in the form of a liquidity facility.

This "will be available to help Northern Rock to fund its operations during the current period of turbulence in financial markets while Northern Rock works to secure an orderly resolution to its current liquidity problems," the bank said.

A Northern Rock spokesman sought to reassure customers, saying that "savings customers' deposits are safe" adding that "there will be no impact on our borrowers."

However, many customers were simply ignoring similar assurances from government ministers and Bank of England (BoE) officials.

"I have withdrawn all my money," said one worried customer who wished to remain anonymous outside a branch in Harrow, north west London.

"I know everyone has been urged not to panic but I just felt safer moving the money somewhere else rather than worrying about Northern Rock's financial position over the next few days," she added.

Another customer added: "I'm not sure about this, even though they say it is going to be all right.

"If they are short of funds, what happens to our funds?"

As well as hitting lenders globally, the world credit squeeze played a major part in the dollar slumping to a record low against the euro this week, and caused stock markets to plunge earlier this month.

Northern Rock warned Friday that its 2007 profits could be 147 million pounds (214 million euros, 297 million dollars) lower than expected, sending its share price plunging by nearly a third in London trading.

"It will be a slog after a day like this to repair the bank and we are up for the slog," Northern Rock chief executive Adam Applegarth told Sky News.

Britain's finance minister Alistair Darling, who authorised the BoE to help the bank, said its problems might have been avoided had US banks not been so willing to offer cash to borrowers with poor credit histories.

Darling said it had been "some time" since the Bank of England had been placed in such a situation, while some commentators suggested it last occurred about 30 years ago.

"My objective all the time is not just to have a strong and stable economy but to ensure we've got stability in the banking system," Darling told BBC radio.

"That is why I authorised the Bank of England to provide that support for Northern Rock, it was the right thing to do."

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Which Dog is the Dog? The Houses of Lavan: Part 2

have been thinking all day about Simple Jew's comment to my previous entry about Monsieur Sarkozy. I believe that I have come up with an answer. Actually this has been a thinking process going through my head during the last three weeks since my article about the Houses of Lavan, dealing with the sub-prime mortgage catastrophe in the the USA.

Why has this happened? Have not American Jews been keeping mitzvot with great fervor in America. Surely the Baal Teshuvah movement in America should have protected American Jews and their investments in their homes. The cost of parochial or day school education has skyrocketed. The rising value on their homes and some creative financing on mortgages have been a vital source for paying for a G-d fearing education for one's children along with paying for the secular education of everyone else's child through state property taxes.

Except in Wisconsin no one gets a break on taxes simply because one has children in private schools. Moving to Milwaukee might solve a problem or two if every Jew who wanted to give their children a Torah education could move there.

As reported on Mystical Paths Jews who have mortgaged their homes to the hilt for holy purposes are being hurt by this. Is there something in their service to G-d which may need improvement which could have lead to this? Even if their service is holy and wholly wonderful is there potentially something that G-d wants that they have heretofore have not been able to deliver?

The Talmud in two places in Sotah and in Sanhedrin explicitly says that the face of this last generation before Mashiach comes and into which Mashiach comes will have the "face of a dog". This can mean many things, and not all of them are bad. While Chazal (the Sages of the Ages) heaps much scorn on people who behave like dogs, it must be remembered that one of the heroes of Jewish History who resisted tremendous temptation to be like ten of his comrades had the name "Dog".

He of course was Kalev (Caleb means dog) ben Yefunah. In Hebrew that would be כלב בן יפונה. Two things need to be remembered about Kalevben Yefunah with regards to his resistance against the pervasive plot of ten of his comrades in the book of Numbers. For one, he did not need a name change to go in and spy out the land. No yuds or any other letter were added to his name to help him resist the pervasive onslaught of his comrades' arguments to continue to learn Torah in the miraculous environment of the desert perpetually living on Mon (daily manna) and under Clouds of Glory.

As G-d's Dog he knew that G-d's will was for Klal Yisrael to live in the Land of Israel with all of the incumbent dangers and tribulations that come with fighting wars for and living with G-d in a more natural environment where the supernatural expresses itself within nature and where one only reaps what he sows.

Secondly and on a deeper level we see from Numbers 13:22 that only Kalev went into Hevron to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. He risked his life at the hands of the three giants, Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, who lived there. What was so important that he would place himself in such a dangerous situation knowingly. Rashi tells us that he wanted to protect himself from the spies evil counsel.

Of course this is true, but on a deeper level he was praying on behalf of Klal Yisrael that at the end of days we who love the Land of Israel, his distant spiritual descendants, will not fall into the trap of falling into the evil counsel of Mankind and the ErevRav that Chevron is expendable in order to bring World Peace. We will feel the pain of our Chaver (the root of the word Chevron), our fellow Jew, when the nations of the world seek to expel him from there. We will not take comfort with studying Torah in the "Desert" without Mashiach by ignoring the plight of our fellow Jew in Chevron as Esau slyly instructs his Erev Rav representatives to expel Jews from their homes.

This is a work in progress. Bli neder I will continue this essay as time allows. I am sorry for all the delay, but I have been very sick. Until yesterday I was not even able to answer my email. Baruch HaShem I am doing better now.
posted by Dov Bar-Leib at 9/05/2007 01:30:00 PM 20 comments

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Did Israel target Syrian nuke sites or Iranian weapons sent to Hezbollah?
By Israel Insider staff September 12, 2007

Bookmark to del.icio.usDigg!Digg This Story
According to a Bush Administration official quoted by the New York Times, Israel has recently photographed possible nuclear sites in Syrian territory, the New York Times reported. "The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left," the source said. The reconnaissance may have prompted the mysterious foray into Syrian territory late last week, in which munitions were dropped, reported causing a "great hole" in the desert.

According to the Times, American officials confirmed Tuesday that Israeli jets did indeed launch an air strike inside Syria, which Israel and American officials had refused to comment on until now. Israel also reportedly struck at least one target in northeastern Syria, the officials said, but they could not provide more details.

U.S. government and military sources said they were "happy to have Israel convey to both Syria and Iran the message that they can get in and out and strike when necessary," Haaretz reported.

The Nazareth-based Israeli Arab newspaper The Assennara, in its Wednesday edition, cited anonymous Israeli sources as saying that Israeli jets "bombed a Syrian-Iranian missile base in northern Syria that was financed by Iran... It appears that the base was completely destroyed."

CNN, for its part, said that the air strike had targeted a weapons shipment from Syria to Hezbollah, or from Iran to Hezbollah, passing through Syria, the news agency quoted American officials as saying.

"The Israeli government is very happy with the success of the operation," CNN reported, citing sources both in the United States and the region.

North Korea condemned the air strike, saying it could undermine quiet and stability in the region.

"This is a very dangerous provocation little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of Syria and seriously harassing the regional peace and security," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea strongly denounces the above-said intrusion and extends full support and solidarity to the Syrian people in their just cause to defend the national security and the regional peace," he continued.

Israeli officials are still keeping mum regarding the incident, as is the Arab world, much to Syria's chagrin.


Report: Israel spots nuclear installations in Syria

Washington official says Israeli surveillance shows possible Syrian nuclear installation stocked by North Korea, Israeli Arab newspaper claims target of alleged raid last week was Syrian missile base financed by Iran


Latest Update: 09.12.07, 14:21 / Israel News

Israel believes that North Korea has been supplying Syria and Iran with nuclear materials, a Washington defense official told the New York Times. “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” he said.


Syria warns flyovers will have tragic consequences / Roee Nahmias

Damascus warns that international community's silence on Israel's violation of Syrian airspace will have tragic consequences
Full Story

The official added that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.

Meanwhile on Wednesday the Nazareth-based Israeli Arab newspaper The Assennara cited anonymous Israeli sources as saying that Israeli jets "bombed a Syrian-Iranian missile base in northern Syria that was financed by Iran... It appears that the base was completely destroyed."

According to the Times, American officials confirmed Tuesday that Israeli jets launched an airstrike inside Syria. Sources said that Israel struck at least one target in northeastern Syria, but could not provide more details.

The most likely target was, according to some administration officials, weapon caches sent by Iran to Hizbullah through Syria.

North Korea commented on the incident Tuesday, calling it a "dangerous provocation", Chinese News Agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

"This is a very dangerous provocation little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of Syria and seriously harassing the regional peace and security," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea strongly denounces the above-said intrusion and extends full support and solidarity to the Syrian people in their just cause to defend the national security and the regional peace."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


WND Exclusive
Warning says Iranian SCUD could do $771 billion damage
U.S. Rep.: 'Rogue regimes, terrorists know about EMP, are working to acquire weapon'

Posted: September 10, 2007
10:40 p.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2007

SCUD missile

A new report says a SCUD-type missile launched from a small ship 200 miles from the coast of the United States could unleash a nuclear-generated electromagnetic pulse over Washington, D.C., that would leave behind $771 billion in damage.

"More than five countries have the capability to inflict an EMP attack. Rogue regimes and terrorists know all about EMP and are working to acquire this weapon. We know the odds of our house burning down in any given year are very low, but that doesn't mean we will cancel our fire insurance," said U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md. "If America doesn't develop insurance against EMP, we will increase the odds of inviting this type of unimaginable attack in the future."

The report was produced by Sage Policy Group of Baltimore and commissioned by Instant Access Networks, which is leading a pilot project with Frostburg State University and Public Technology Institute to analyze dangers from EMP.

Experts have predicted the EMP attack essentially would destroy any electronics within range of its impact, leaving technology comparable to that available in the 1800s.

EMP attacks are generated when a nuclear weapon is detonated anywhere from 10 miles above the Earth's surface to hundreds of miles. The explosion, of even a small nuclear warhead, would produce a set of electromagnetic pulses that interact with the Earth's atmosphere and the Earth's magnetic field.

The study said the detonation would deliver a burst of energy to any metallic surface in direct line of the explosion, particularly those exceeding one meter in length.

"These metal objects act like antennae and conduct a surge of energy along their span," the study said.

(Story continues below)

"[Targets] include not only the obvious – computers and telephones – but also the electronic devices that are embedded in virtually every aspect of a productive economy," the study said, listing cars, power transmission lines, pipelines that deliver fuel, ATMs, heating and air conditioning systems and elevators.

Such a weapon would move so fast ordinary surge protectors would be useless, and the attack would leave communications, broadcast, computer, weapons, public safety and emergency response systems as well as automobiles, utilities, water lines and other essential services virtually useless.

IAN's chief executive officer, Chuck Manto, said EMP "appears to be one of the least expensive ways to disable mission critical infrastructure on a broad scale."

WND reported on such concerns more than two years ago, and subsequent warnings also came via Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, an online subscription intelligence report that revealed security and counter-terrorism experts were warning about the dangers of an EMP attack from a SCUD fired from an offshore platform by a rogue nation or terrorist network.

The G2 report also warned that such an attack could cripple the United States and ultimately destroy much of the population.

WND reported later when Congress was warned rogue nations, such as Iran and North Korea, have the capability of launching an undetected, catastrophic EMP attack on the U.S. – and are actively developing plans.

Bartlett said the new study looked at the potential devastation if such a device would be detonated over the Baltimore-Washington-Richmond corridor.

The result was damages of a minimum of $34 billion to a high of $771 billion – not including any cost of any infrastructure repairs.

"EMP is a low risk, but assymetrical form of devastating attack that would dwarf the scale of the damage from the 9/11 terrorist attack," Bartlett said.

The study, "Initial Assessment of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Impact upon Baltimore-Washington-Richmond Region," was released in conjunction with the "1st National Preparedness Fair" held by the Senate Sergeant at Arms Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness in partnership with the U.S. Capitol Police and others.

"EMP is a threat that our country cannot afford to ignore. This IAN study should be emulated nation-wide by the private sector and universities in order to find cost-effective strategies for protecting the U.S. economy from the potential for devastating destruction by an EMP attack," Bartlett said. "The U.S. Congress' blue ribbon, 'Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from EMP Attack,' recommends exactly this kind of initiative by the private sector to help the U.S. government protect our economy and society from EMP."

"The Defense Department with the strong support of Deputy Secretary Gordon England is pursuing how the federal government can reduce the EMP threat," he said.

In a forward to the report, Bartlett noted, "The EMP Commission found that terrorists could perform an EMP attack. A sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missile is not required to make an EMP attack. The EMP Commission found that a short- or medium-range missile, like a SCUD or Iran's Shahab-3, launched off a freighter, could make an EMP attack on the United States. Iran has practiced such a launch-mode, firing a SCUD missile off a vessel in the Caspian Sea.

"A high-yield nuclear weapon is not necessary to perform an EMP attack that would destroy U.S. critical infrastructures. One of the EMP Commission's key findings reported to the U.S. Congress is that: 'Certain types of relatively low-yield nuclear weapons can be employed to generate potentially catastrophic EMP effects over wide geographic areas, and designs for variants of such weapons may have been illicitly trafficked for a quarter-century,'" Bartlett continued.

He supported the plan that established the Congressional EMP Commission in 2001, and while its report was released in 2004 with similar warnings, it largely was ignored.

Lowell Wood, of the Congressional EMP Commission, has said an EMP attack is a "giant continental time machine" that would destroy electronics and leave communications operating on the level of the technology from two centuries ago.

"Unfortunately, the public and all too many policymakers still do not understand that rogue states and terrorists are obsessed with obtaining nuclear weapons and EMP capability," Bartlett said. "They are well aware that if they can credibly threaten or actually execute an EMP attack against the United States that they could destroy the critical infrastructures – electrical power, telecommunications, transportation, food and water – that sustain our civilization."

Bartlett said experts have warned that such an attack "might result in the defeat of our military forces … the degradation of infrastructure could have irreversible effects on the country's ability to support its population."

And the attack even could affect more than just the United States.

"For example, a nuclear weapon detonated at an altitude of 400 kilometers over the central United States would cover, with its primary electromagnetic pulse, the entire continent of the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico," Wood has noted.

"Various government reports … have confirmed the growing likelihood of EMP events of various kinds," the new study of the Washington region said. "These reports and related congressional testimony support the contention that relatively available and inexpensive SCUD type missiles are capable of carrying the required payload that could be launched from a small ship 200 or more miles off the East Coast of the United States and detonated between 30 and 80 miles high.

"Any EMP-inflicted damage delivered from this altitude would extend out hundreds of miles beyond the region considered in this study, significantly complicating the recovery process and the restoration of economic activity…"

The study noted that the impulse would gather in its metal targets, and reach, according to some estimates, up to three million volts.

The Washington region economy makes up about four percent of the nation's output, and the study suggested that if an attack happened, only 7 percent of the region's damages would be repaired within the first month.

"The high case loss of $771 billion is almost one and one-half times the annual regional gross domestic product and is equal to 7 percent of the annual national gross domestic product," the study said.

"In the event of a continental-wide EMP, escaping the economic damage of the Baltimore-Washington-Richmond region by moving to Philadelphia, Atlanta or Chicago simply may not be possible. In that event, there could be an entire collapse of the economy as we know it for a period of years," the study said.

The solution, the study said is to begin providing shielding for very new piece of equipment or system that might be susceptible, because protecting even a critical 10 percent of infrastructure "will make it possible to maintain water distribution for drinking and fire protection and the general though minimal communications necessary t o protect life and property."

Blog Archive