Leid Stories – 08.18.15

August 18, 2015

Israeli American Peace Activist Miko Peled Says Zionism, Like Apartheid, Must Be Dismantled Israeli American peace activist Miko Peled, a former captain in the Israeli Defense Force whose grandfather, Avraham Katznelson, was one of the founders of the Zionist state, and whose father, Mattityahu Peled, was an army general who became a leading voice for a negotiated peace with the Palestine Liberation Organization, explains why Zionism must be dismantled.

Robert Parry – Consortium NewsAugust 16, 2015

August 17, 2015

America’s neocons insist that their only mistake was falling for some false intelligence about Iraq’s WMD and that they shouldn’t be stripped of their powerful positions of influence for just one little boo-boo. That’s the point of view taken by Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as he whines about the unfairness of applying “a single-interest litmus test,” i.e., the Iraq War debacle, to judge him and his fellow war boosters. After noting that many other important people were on the same pro-war bandwagon with him, Hiatt criticizes President Barack Obama for citing the Iraq War as an argument not to listen to many of the same neocons who now are trying to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement. Hiatt thinks it’s the height of unfairness for Obama or anyone else to suggest that people who want to kill the Iran deal — and thus keep alive the option to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran — “are lusting for another war.” Read

Peter Koenig – From Bush to Obama: The Iran Gambit II. “Washington Strives towards Regional and World Subjugation”

August 14, 2015

Gambit I was the start of false accusations by the then Bush Administration in 2007 that Iran was preparing a nuclear weapon, when in fact Iran had no such ambitions at all, but a plan to open an Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) in Teheran, an international hydrocarbon exchange, where all countries, hydrocarbon producers or not, could trade this (still) principal energy source in euros, as an alternative to the US dollar. This would have devastated the dollar as a hegemonic fiat currency – still used on false trust as the main world reserve currency (see When Saddam Hussein had a similar plan in 2000, to sell Iraq’s hydrocarbons in euros as soon as the illegal US imposed UN oil embargo ended, Iraq was bombed to ashes. After the Shock and Awe attack in March 2003, Iraq was turned into a gigantic, chaotic mess of CIA and US military guided civil strife, mass suicide bombings and a battlefield without frontiers that to this day claimed more than one and a half million lives – and mounting. Read

H.A. Feiveson – The Iran Deal Explained

August 14, 2015

One month ago in Vienna, the United States and five other countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK) along with a representative of the European Union, collectively known as the E3/EU+3, signed a nuclear agreement with Iran. The deal was immediately hailed as historic by both its supporters and its detractors. Yet very few of its supporters—or its detractors—know what the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in Vienna actually says. In this note, I seek to do my part to help change that. (I do not discuss the removal of sanctions or the questions of what Iran might or might not do with the increased resources that removal of sanctions will provide.) The Plan of Action very effectively shuts off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon for fifteen years and provides other safeguards against Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons indefinitely. Even in a worst-case scenario—where Iran kicks out all international inspectors and races for a bomb—for at least ten to fifteen years, the breakout time for one nuclear weapon would be roughly one year. Most significantly, the Plan of Action decisively shuts down the plutonium pathway for fifteen years, and in all likelihood much longer.

Glenn Greenwald and Anthony Freda – Obama: “The Peacemaker”

August 14, 2015

The list includes one country where he twice escalated a war that was being waged when he was inaugurated (Afghanistan), another where he withdrew troops to great fanfare only to then order a new bombing campaign (Iraq), two countries where he converted very rare bombings into a constant stream of American violence featuring cluster bombs and “signature strikes” (Pakistan and Yemen), one country where he continued the policy of bombing at will (Somalia), and one country where he started a brand new war even in the face of Congressional rejection of his authorization to do so, leaving it in tragic shambles (Libya). That doesn’t count the aggression by allies that he sanctioned and supported (in Gaza), nor the proxy wars he enabled (the current Saudi devastation of Yemen), nor the whole new front of cyberattacks he has launched, nor the multiple despots he has propped up, nor the clandestine bombings that he still has not confirmed (Philippines). Read

Michael T. Klare – Double-Dip Oil Rout

August 13, 2015

The plunge of global oil prices began in June 2014, when benchmark Brent crude was selling at $114 per barrel. It hit bottom at $46 this January, a near-collapse widely viewed as a major but temporary calamity for the energy industry.  Such low prices were expected to force many high-cost operators, especially American shale oil producers, out of the market, while stoking fresh demand and so pushing those numbers back up again.  When Brent rose to $66 per barrel this May, many oil industry executives breathed a sigh of relief.  The worst was over.  The price had “reached a bottom” and it “doesn’t look like it is going back,” a senior Saudi official observed at the time. Skip ahead three months and that springtime of optimism has evaporated.  Major producers continue to pump out record levels of crude and world demand remains essentially flat. The result: a global oil glut that is again driving prices toward the energy subbasement.  In the first week of August, Brent fell to $49, and West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for U.S. crude, sank to $45. On top of last winter’s rout, this second round of price declines has played havoc with the profits of the major oil companies, put

Tara Lohan – Fossil fuels have become an economic liability—for both consumers and energy companies.

August 11, 2015

Deborah Lawrence had been watching a once-empty parking lot near Midland-Odessa, Texas, fill up with idled drilling rigs usually at work plumbing for oil in the nearby Permian Basin. In January she noticed 10 rigs, then 17 a few weeks later. As winter turned to spring, the number climbed to 35. That trend has continued across the country. By the end of July, the nationwide rig count had slipped 54 percent since the same time a year ago, indicating distress in the oil and gas industry. The most obvious culprit is the precipitous drop in crude prices. But the trouble goes deeper, as Lawrence knows—and she isn’t just a casual observer. Lawrence is a former Wall Street financial consultant who now runs the Energy Policy Forum, helping to identify and analyze trends in the industry. Right now, our fossil-fueled energy path has us on a roller-coaster ride and we are plunging, white knuckled. Production in the United States from the exploitation of shale oil (or tight oil), which accounts for 45 percent of the country’s oil production, will take a hit if prices continue to remain well below the $100 mark. Tens of thousands of jobs have already been cut,

Anthony Bellchambers – Powerful US Lobbyists Acting for a Foreign Power, the State of Israel

August 11, 2015

If I had been a survivor from the Nazi Holocaust in Europe in 1945, I would have supported the proposition of Israel becoming a nuclear power so that the world would know that the mass ethnic murder of millions could never happen again. The vast majority of today’s five million American Jews, however, are not Holocaust survivors and have no connection with such families. Many do not even know precisely where London is, never mind Berlin. However, a substantial minority have succumbed to political pressure to indiscriminately support the Israel lobby in the U.S. that acts as an agent for a foreign, nuclear power. AIPAC is a high-powered, multi-financed, political pressure group working exclusively in the interests of 6 million Israelis and not for the welfare or benefit of the 300 million citizens of the United States of America. It raises massive sums of money in order to ensure that the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are both populated by members who support its political and economic agenda in priority over that of the United States of America although it would have you believe that the two are identical – which any high-school, American child could tell you

Glenn Greenwald – To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts That He’s Bombed Seven Countries

August 7, 2015

President Obama yesterday spoke in defense of the Iran Deal at American University, launching an unusually blunt and aggressive attack on deal opponents. Obama’s blistering criticisms aimed at the Israeli government and its neocon supporters were accurate and unflinching, including the obvious fact that what they really crave is regime change and war. About opposition to the deal from the Israeli government, he said: “it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.” Read
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