Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All Leads Lead to TelAviv

The media is awash in stories relating to Iran. Everything from the old standard 'nukuler' glow in  the east stuff,  to the recent repetitions of Achmedinjad being 'on the ropes' as he comes before the UN General Assembly for a 5th and final, we are told, time. Meanwhile back in Iran, the 'news' runs the gamut from an incipient uprising of the people, to republican guard commanders threatening a 'preemptive strike' on gallant little Israel and more mullah-mouthing about the destruction of the land of 'malik 'n hunny'. The IAEA is privy to all sorts of new 'evidence' that the Iranian nuclear program is clearly running away with itself and 'discussion' among western leaders is limited now to how much time is left before the mullahs can recreate Mohammed's 'ascension' for all the poor jews.

And where does  90 percent of this 'news' originate?  It comes from Tel Aviv and is  featured in the 'Jerusalem Post', 'Haaretz', 'YNet' or Sheldon Adelson's little fascist rag 'Maariv'. It's picked up in minutes by 'news' services and blatted abroad by the Jewish-owned  media in most of the rest of the world.

Iran can never catch a break from the first world for, whatever she says, or does, the 'stepford wives' are there, with their howling accusations, backed-up by an infinite number of 'concerned' jews; blogging and commenting 'the line'.  What's remarkable is that in all the column kilometers and the Gallilees of ink, there is yet to be found a cogent and credible account of the actual 'problem' that is Iran - thousands of 'points' have been made, but nowhere is there a complete, unbiased story. All is rhetoric and ravings.

Little Joe Goebbels coined the phrase about repeating the lie until it becomes truth. The Israelis have refined that, as they do with all such 'good' things, so that now, the lie has only to be told once - after that, the hallelujah chorus starts to sing the refrain as if it is truth. And no one dare question it or, obviously, they have no love for Israel and would be oven-stuffing, again, given the chance.

One of the reasons that Iran isn't yet a blasted example of humanitarian aggression is that there is too much of this 'good stuff'. For once the smart guys who once controlled the Israeli propaganda machine have been usurped by those who think that creative writing, and lots of it, is the way to go.  Gone are the days of 'the Sphinx' - commenting little and only after the fact -  and replacing it Chicken Little and Claghorn G. Leghorn - neither too smart, or too quiet. Not if you want somebody to start a war for you.

Now that the 'Obamanation' is back in office, things are looking grim for Amerika to start the cotillion,  so a little divertissement is in order before Little Benny gets the atomic vapours again. And what do we have to befuddle the masses.

 Stepping right up to the plate we have the Sultan of Surge - Dave Petraeus copping a guilty plea - Eagle Scout style - and resigning his Directorship at the CIA after being accused of some 'flagrante delicto' with a Lara Croft look-alike. The tea hats have started  describing the incident as a deliberate provocation on the part of the President to shut up a possibly unfriendly witness to administrative shenanigans that led to the 'gassing' of the US ambassador to Libya. And there we would have happily left it had not the plot - in true 'Holly-Bolly' style begun to 'thicken' and turned into real 'ennertainment'.

Seems like his nibs who for most of his 38 year military career was a professed shaolin warrior-monk of the intra-marital variety, until he ran across the strappingly-buffed Mrs. Doctor Lorelei Schmaltz  or Longbottom or something , some six years ago. He mentored and directed her into some studies and thing-ama-jigs and eventually she took up the  Gin'ral as the subject of her PhD dissertation on 'leadership'. That led to her co-writing the official Petraeus bio - appropriately, or not, titled "In ... All the Way". The 'research' required said 'sireen' to tail the General through his postings to Iraq and into Afghanistan. And then into the office at Langley where we're are led to believe 'love' bloomed and the dragon stirred from its torpor.  After a quickie in the office - we're told - the relationship was ended: by her with a raft of plaintive emails from him sent to woo her, or by him after which her longing was only matched by the 'watch' she kept on 'her man'. And here's where it all went to hell.

A breakdown of discipline can be a total asshole and that's what happened. Catching wind the Dave was being 'socialized' by some volunteer  military groupie. The, by now Lt. Col,  let it be known that she needed her man avoided.  However she did that,  put the wind up female two, who, probably visualizing crazy NASA astronauts in Depends, promptly contacted a 'friend' in the FBI to get help with the 'threats and harassment'.  Somebody approved an FBI investigation (or perhaps they were already investigating something else) and Lorelei became the object of more than the General's desires. Some public speaking she had been doing led her audiences to believe she 'knew things' outside her pay grade. A photo showed up taken inside Petraeus' Langley office when he met Angelina Jolie, that wasn't released by the CIA PR department. Everybody knew, as well, that Lorelei was the General's 'ghost writer', or something. Tongues began to wag. As did that FBI agent  who turned himself into a 'whistle blower'. To ensure the word got out he contacted his local Republican representative. Word was that email messages indicated some 'stinky-finger' stuff at the least and, possibly, a full screw.  She was questioned, he was questioned and we know where that went. - he's available for lectures. She's still in hiding.

A 'peckerdillio' that cost a genius his position on the ramparts. Perhaps.

 Some people think it was a honeypot trap engineered by the Mossad to 'eliminate' an increasingly 'unfriendly' Petraeus.  See his CIA was one of the stumbling blocks to Operation Tora Tora Torah and he raised some points about how having Israel as an ally wasn't such a strategically smart or beneficial deal for America. Aside from her obvious assets the Lorelei in question is affiliated with a number of 'Israeli-Americans' through her think-tanks and study groups. She may not have a military career left, but she won't be out of work. If she was mad at Petraeus at all, or even if she only wanted to 'protect him' from bad influences, she could have 'turned' to helping other friends.

To distract from  any 'taint' here, another brouhaha distraction  has developed involving the ISAF commander in Afghanistan, Marine General John Allen and a couple of  thousand emails - some "flirtatious"- with the same dusky Florida social lioness threatened by Lorelei..

The result though?  Petraeus has made way for someone a little more 'serious'  to head the CIA. But America remains secure - after all they're all 'the elite' - just accidentally carried away by a zest for life. All's good, we're safe, no terror here!

But remember,  'eyes on Iran'!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's Mitt Having? Gimme the Same!

The US  quadrennial presidential circus is in full swing. And the head bozo seems to be 'open-mouth insert leg' Mitt Romney. It seems that barely a speaking opportunity passes when Romney says something inane, or insulting, and being the 'guy' he is -  qualifies what he said while backing-it-up.

To-day he claimed that the 47 percent of Americans whom he thinks will be voting for Obama, are all "victims" (in their own minds) and dependent on 'entitlements' from the state.  They are, by the way, the Americans who 'don't pay taxes'. That would, I imagine, leave Obama  running an administration that represents the 'have-nots'. You wouldn't a thunk that looking at the 'record'. Which brings up Mitt's real complaint - that Obama has run an administration that dealt with the 'problems' of everybody but the have-nots - but not as well as a true believer. He has cut entitlements like a  trooper. He has maintained Bushco's entitlements for the wealthy, like Romney - who apparently does pay some taxes  but at a rate that would make 'Joe Sixpack" envious and the welfare cases could only dream about. The only thing that Obama has done for that 'have not' constituency that 'unfairly' elected him, is unfairly lumbered them with a 'private enterprise solution  to health insurance'. Them as hasn't, still don't get.

All Obama has to do on domestic issues is encourage Mitt to keep on yapping, and say as little as possible in return. Barring a panty raid at Brigham Young U, he could win.

Walking softly and carrying a cudgel should work for Obama in international relations as well. Romney seems fairly committed to a world view that's made in Israel. When it comes to the middle east he acts like the temple Elders docked his tallywhacker when the 'Mormonized' him. He'd look good sitting on Netanyahu's lap -  woodenhead and the Mitt off the old block. To-day he declared that the palestinians aren't "interested in peace" and that Obama had 'thrown Israel under the bus' when he declared he was for the UN's pre-1967 borders for a Palestinian state. That bus belongs to Egged and it's bringing settlers to those pre-1967 areas that  Netanyahu & Co. have no intention of 'giving back' in return for peace. If  Israel gets hit by that bus, it's because they've decided to lie down in the road and wait for it.

Mitt Romney appears to be one of the most stupid candidates to come down the pike since VP Dan Quayle, only this time they'd like another idiot, like Bushco,  in the Oval Office. At least he had a personality. It's too bad that stupidity in a politician isn't considered to be a handicap. Maybe they'd like some of ours, in Canada we're blessed with an abundance of them.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

La Belle Province - L'Aout de Discontent

As was foretold Jean Charest 'wunderkind'  of 'Qaybek' politics and channeller of the later, greater Maurice Duplessis (without the milk of human kindness), has 'come a cropper' on his 'law and order' smack-down of, what should have been a page 10 student protest.  His Liberal party placed second in this week's provincial elections and he was unseated in his own riding.

A long, long, overly long, political career has come to an end. He can now receive a 'due reward' from his business pals. That he got smoked by a 'mere bagatelle' is both the result of bad timing and bad management. Those students were 'out to get him' after he had them beaten, and, apparently, they got the majority of Quebecois on-side with them.

 Both his causal 'tuition increases' and his anti-demonstration laws are being struck-down by the new party in power. I'll bet even some 'winning' Liberals vote for that. So much for political 'will' from the stupid. Whoever advised him to follow those approaches should be 'enshrined'.  I would hope the PQ goes after the idiots at Surete Quebec who blindly 'followed orders' - of such were concentration camp guards made.  A Bas the riot squad - and no pension for any of them.

The papers, to-day, are fulsome with tributes to Charest - leaving with 'his head held high' after accomplishing so much for Canada, and Quebec. That might well be the case to-day, but the final chapter of his book isn't written yet. It's hard to see how the leopard could change his spots, or how Charest - an apparent political opportunist who could morph from a Conservative to a Liberal to get ahead could have been as perfect as some media sources claim. That he would have approved the actions of the police riot squad after that first 'confrontation' and pegged the student leaders as beyond rational discussion, is an indicator that he could get things very badly wrong.

We'll have to wait and see about M. Charest.

They're Scaling the Whats??!!!

The news footage, augmented by  ubiquitous cell phone images, were all too familiar, the east had risen again. This with the boring regularity of Arab Springs and previous protests.

Somebody had had the temerity to make a low-budget nothing film, apparently with no other purpose than to post excerpts on U-Tube and wait to see what happened. If it had been conceived with the notion of 'causing trouble' it certainly got some bang for its buck.

 The film, called 'The Innocence of Muslims',  is a portrayal of the life of Mohammed in less-than-flattering terms. He's portrayed in the piece as a sex-addicted, pederastic simpleton with a very large blood thirst. The people who acted in it, and who put it together, are busily distancing and disassociating themselves from it. The first to do so were the cast, who claimed that the film, originally titled 'Desert Warrior', contained modified voice tracks that bore little resemblance to the script they had used. The 'producer', who gave it out that he was an Israeli using $5 million in Jewish investment funds to make the film, was identified as one 'Sam Bacile'. Since then sources have directed to a "Coptic Christian' from Egypt, called "Nakoula Basseley Nakoula", as the man who represented himself as Sam Bacile (Bassil) to a number of people.  The director of the film, one Alan Roberts, has a number of previous soft-porn credits to his name. He's in hiding. The 'producer' has been brought in for questioning in regard to possibly violating a previous parole.

                                                                Nakoula with a 'Star'

Whoever made the film, arranged for an unsuccessful screening at a theatre in LA in July and perhaps then posted 'trailers' on UTube. Some of these were translated into Egyptian Arabic and at least one was shown on Egyptian TV. Then the trouble started.

At least one US Embassy was aware of the film and issued a statement decrying the derogation of anyone's religious beliefs. The next day - the anniversary  of 9/11 as mob 'scaled the embassy wall', destroyed the US flag and hoisted a black "Al Qaeda banner" in its place. Security forces removed the protestors,  but a low level demonstration has been maintained near the US embassy. It wasn't long before US sources were intimating the film, given the 9/11 timing was an expected  'Al Qaeda plot' and  planned  'provocation'.

Meanwhile in Libya, the US ambassador to that country, on a visit to the eastern city of Benghazi, was caught up when an angry mob 'stormed' the US consulate, followed by 'armed gunmen' who set the building alight and destroyed a number of vehicles. The ambassador was 'separated' from his security guard when the building was evacuated. His body and that of a staffer were later found in the consular building. The remaining staff and security personnel removed to a nearby safe house from which they were rescued, some two hours later, by a relief column of Libyan military and US Marines. In the course of this rescue, the 'safe house' was attacked by a 'heavily armed force', in the consequence of which 2 more Americans and a number of Libyans were killed. The survivors made it to the airport at Benghazi from where they were transported to safety.

American embassies were 'attacked' in Tunisia and Yemen. German and British embassies in Khartoum were attacked in lieu of the absent American one. The Swiss embassy in Iran, representing American interests, had protestors present, as did US installations in Britain, Israel. Jordan and Indonesia. Needless to say the immediate focus of America is on Benghazi, where Marines and naval forces have been assigned to help track down the 'militants' involved.

The attacks and protests have turned into a campaign issue after Republican candidate Mitt Romney took up the Fox News position that the State Department and the President 'sympathized with the killers' by not repudiating the press release made by the Egyptian Embassy before the trouble started. The Secretary of State was quick to point out that the Libyan government wasn't involved and that the killing was the work of a very small radical group.  A spontaneous pro-American demonstration seemed to back that up. But the statement led to a hearty round of 'we're so nice, poor us' malarkey in the US media.

An attack on the ISAF base Bastion/Leathernck in Helmand province, Afghanistan, that killed two Marines and destroyed a number of aircraft, was reportedly claimed by the Taliban as a 'revenge' for the film. It could have equally been an attempt to kill Prince Harry, as was threatened by the Taliban last week. Or it could just have been another 'breakthrough' for the Taliban who succeeded in penetrating the massive base defenses for the first time ever - destroying 200 million dollars worth of  mostly-irreplaceable aircraft..

An inside job 'attack' by a base employee in a flaming truck, last year, occurred the same day SecDef Panetta arrived at the base. One British soldier was hurt in that incident. The base is the main support for  British and American forces deployed in Helmand. The rest of Afghanistan has remained quiet, as has Iraq and Syria, where the moslems are too busy killing each other to protest about movies. Lebanon was fairly quiet - somebody torched the KFC store in Tripoli before trhe Holy Father arrived with his message of peace. After he left Hezbolleh started warming to the occasion.

The standard US reactions - tempest in a teapot - no excuse for violence- regrettable occurrence of free- speech, etc  ignore the possibility that, rather than being the cause, the film was the trigger for reactions to an on-going US foreign policy that interferes regularly, forcefully and militarily in all too many parts of the Muslim world - often with little attention to, or regard for, Muslim sensitivities.

The 'change' Obama promised in Egypt his first year out, has been suborned by the tea-baggers name-calling about a first 'war-losing president'. Essentially the aggressive Bush Doctrine - increased with further surges and military deployments to new 'arenas' , Presidential assassination powers and even more reticence about 'engaging' with 'evil' powers -  has been maintained by the Obama administration.

America should consider itself lucky  that it has gotten away so relatively unscathed.

PS It was announced that the Egyptian government has issued warrants for some of its citizens, resident in America who were involved with the film. I'd bet the number of countries allowed to arrest 'criminals' anytime, anywhere, is severely restricted to those allowed to kill them on sight.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Canada slams the door shut on Iran.

Actually it was more like Canada put a 'fatwa' on Iran. We pulled our embassy staff out early yesterday morning. That was probably a good thing considering Johnny Baird had rinsed his dentures in preparation for announcing the Iranians were welcome to leave Ottawa. No timeline involved since their leaving probably was more of a surprise than ours - at least for the 'good guys'.

But why now? The Iranians, according to Harperment, are now recognized as THE singular threat to the universe - but then they were just as threatening last year, or the year before, or at any time since Ambassador Ken won the 'plum post' on the Potomac by freeing some of the slaves, er , hostages, back in the yellow ribbon days. The National post published a clarification - repeated in the Saturday Star - which outlines what 'they've' been doing to bug 'us' since 1979 5 key Points in Dispute  When you look down the list, the Iranians have done a lot less to us than we've done to them over those 25-odd years. So I'm wondering why this,  and why now.

Harper's off on a jaunt to an APEC meeting in Russia so, although it will have been no surprise, he's bound to get an earful from Putin. Much like the one Putin got in Peking when the world found out the Russian Army was  were 'sticking-up' for the invaded Ossetians and kicking the tar out of gallant little Georgia. I'm pretty sure the Steverino can handle himself when facing down 'Putin's glooms'. Some sources say the Iranians are going to "retaliate" for this, but aside from boycotting 'maple surple' - like a funny 'politicartoon' noted the other day -  or stopping our supply of  'real' pistachios, I don't think they can do much. They aren't even affecting the record high oil prices - as their ex-customers are now buying Saudi.. Oil production in Iran has fallen, and the prices are up, so they have to be hurting too  much to hurt us. Unless as Bigmouth Baird intoned, they've developed an Iranian 5th column already. Maybe the MinDef's newly pregnant 'laydee' is a sleeper cell in 'freedom-fighter' disguise!!!

We're told the resident Iranians in Canada are taking the news like a Turkish-Armenian festival - some are joyful, and others aren't.  The good thing is that, like all the rest of us Canadians who leave our hatreds and animosities outside the door when we come in, they're not fighting their regime change here. Like the rest of us Canucks, some think Harpergovermint is snog-worthy, and others think they're chimps in suits.

Some nasty gits are writing this one off as getting the diplomats to safety before Benny Netanyahoo commits America to another little war. Something near Teheran would have to get bombed to 'take out' those Iranian 'nukuler' sites and well, as we all know airborne 'accidents' have a nasty habit of happening to any Canadians in the vicinity.  Best safe, than repatriating coffins, eh?

So if the balloon goes up will be called upon to stand up for freedom again? I would imagine that we wouldn't be found wanting. We have HMCS Provideur over there in the Gulf supporting a couple of our city-class whatevers as targets for the initial rowboat attacks. We might even have a platoon of the secret JP5 waiting to go 'downtown' on the Revolutionary Guard . But it's virtual cert we won't be putting much up into the air, as the CF18 fleet is pretty-well attritted and Harpergovermint is still waffling on the CF-35. Even if this crisis stimulates them into action, we're well down the customer list for the revolutionary freedom bird. And construction of those 'deliveries' haven't even been started.

So the overall effect? A great big 'ho-hum'. Unless you're one of the three Canadians Harpergovermint hasn't been able to get out of Iranian slammers. We weren't 'talking' to them before, ya know? And we certainly won't be 'talking' to them now, either.  CSIS be getting our 'intel' from the Bulgarians, or somebody who still has an embassy in Teheran, or from the Israelis who 'know all' anyway.

A Codicil: Everybody's looking tres sharp on this one, ladies.
 "Prescient" the Star called Harperino. Getting the diplomats out of Iran's looking like a masterstroke given the attack on the Benghazi consulate and the other embassy demos and burnings.
But what about getting our diplomats out of Libya?

"Well what about it?", asks the Premeer.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Mind that Muzzle Maliq!

The spate of 'green on blue' or, as they've recently been renamed, ' insider' killings of US (particularly) and other ISAF personnel, are causing no small perturbations in the wind-down of the latest Afghan War. In fact they've upset the total 'training' applecart on which the future war is propounded. For, not being able to 'trust' the trainees' to not shoot them, makes westerners leery about training them, or arming them at all. In fact, until a 'solution' - in the form of 're-vetting' every member of the Afghan armed forces and police is under way the training is stuck on 'marching' and 'saluting' the nice soldier effendi..

And what does 're-vetting' entail? Well when the standard western soldier-citizen presents himself at the recruitment office, he's asked to sign a declaration that he has no criminal record he's not divulging and later that he's not affiliated with any groups 'disloyal' to the nation - viz the military. Sometimes he has to produce references to his good/character/patriotism/ martial ardor etc  - ofttimes from a friend or relative who has served in the military,a friendly school teacher, administrator, boss or boy scout leader. In ultimo he swears a public oath of allegiance and commits him/herself in writing to the 'military code of justis' which governs his/her life in uniform.

Most Afghans can't read, or write - the material presenting themselves for paid work as soldiers, or police, aren't the sort who would go to high school, even if they could. The vetting is often done by a village chief - if it's done at all - or by a relative with some local clout. Local soldiers or police are usually from somewhere else and have no affiliation, unless the subject has been a 'tea wallah' or after hours 'entertainer' - neither occupation scoring high on NATO's 'warrior ethos' chart.

Apparently, it has been decided that 'improper vetting of Afghan 'good guys' has resulted in some of them either  'going rogue'  or 'being rogues in pals clothing' and blasting their 'from away' buddies - generally when they're off guard, not looking, returning to base or just generally without pants. And this is 'dastardly' because, first, it tends to be quite mortal up-close and, second, it's not 'manly' like standing out in the street to be gunned down by an Apache crew, or a Marine sniper. And, thirdly, most of the time the 'shooter', somehow, manages to escape to join the Taliban, so it's un-traditionally un-suicidal  - which was bad enough - virgin-wise. So now the 'vettor' is gong to be 'held personally responsible' for the 'vettee'.  Whether the Americans are prepared to take this to Germanic extreme, eg holding a number of hostages to be shot if a soldier is harmed, or whether an incident will result in a 'fine', or removal of  poppy-growing licenses, Ding-Dong ration, etc, remains to be seem. If the Germanic experience is anything to compare, however, it may have been locally successful at times, but it resulted in a lot of, perhaps unnecessary, follow-on German deaths and a good number of war crimes trials for the survivors.

In taking this tack, the US, in particular, is ignoring a sociological study done for the Army last year which came to the conclusion that neither the Afghan forces, or the US forces liked or respected each other. Each thought of the other in consistently negative and derogatory terms. Trust, or lack thereof, was a fundamental issue a year ago before the shootings 'ballooned'. The other ISAF participants, suffering similar attacks are simply expediting the 'removal' of their targets by shortening-up their future commitments in Afghanistan.

This is the essential 'nub' of the problem. The US is planning to 'Afghanize' the war - which will continue to be fought under the direction of a number of US troops left behind for that purpose. The US will provide the money, targets, the training and equipment and the Afghans are to go out and kill their cousins. Something they've been very reluctant, in most cases,  in helping the Americans to do so far. Some ISAF allies have foolishly agreed to continue to 'rent out' forces for that purpose, but those who have been paying their own way are seeing the mission as 'impossible' as it is. Even warfighters like the ANZACs who revere the fallen and honour the warrior are making tracks for the antipodes. The lesser lights of NATO:  the French, Spanish, Dutch and Canadians are gone and the Germans, Italians and Brits are on their way. Which leaves only the 'greatest force for good on erth' to 'bear the white man's burden' and  continue 'civilize he brown man' with a JDam strike and an M14 on full auto.

Or, to cut the losses and declare another phony 'victory', (stabbed in the back by lily-livered pols who refused to 'undo the laces on the sparring gloves' and broaden the terms of engagement beyond the star wars category it has already reached). Given the performance so far, what should NEVER happen us that the US start fighting the Taliban, like Taliban - for green-on-blue would then take on the aspect of  the 'schoolyard disagreement' with  a 'few malcontent's it's being cracked up to be.