Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Why Obama-Kerry Mideast Talks Tanked

Peter B. Collins Presents Prof. Stephen Zunes

Based on Israeli reports, Palestinian negotiators agreed to most of the concessions demanded by Israel, notably that illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory near the Israeli border—encompassing close to 80 percent of the settlers—would be incorporated into Israel. Professor Stephen Zunes faults Secretary of State John Kerry for failing to obtain any compromise from Israel, which built 1,400 new illegal units as the talks occurred. We discuss Secretary Blowhard's praise for the rubber stamp election of the new brutal military dictator in Egypt and his denunciation of the rubber stamp election of the old brutal dictator in Syria, as well as Hillary Clinton's record at State, the negotiations with Iran, and more.

*Stephen Zunes is Professor of Politics and Director of Mideast Studies at the University of San Francisco. Read his recent analysis for Foreign Policy in Focus here.

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The Second Iran Hostage Crisis

“The Upside-Down Logic of Washington Policy-Makers”
From talk of “red lines” and cartoon bombs to having “all options on the table”, an undeniably delusional logic emanates from leadership in Washington and Tel Aviv regarding the alleged threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously took to the stage of the UN General Assembly with his doodled explosive, he claimed that Iran would soon have the capability to enrich uranium to 90 percent, allowing them to construct a nuclear weapon by early-mid 2013. In his second administration, Obama, who recently said a nuclear-Iran would represent a danger to Israel and the world, appears to be seeing eye-to-eye with Netanyahu, despite previous reports of the two not being on the same page. For whatever its worth, these two world leaders have taken the conscious decision to entirely ignore evidence brought forward by the US intelligence community, as well as appeals from nuclear scientists, policy-advisers, and IAEA personnel who claim that the “threat” posed by Iran is exaggerated and politicized.

It is common knowledge that Washington’s own National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which reflects the intelligence assessments of America’s 16 spy agencies, confirmed that whatever nuclear weapons program Iran once had was dismantled in 2003. Mr. Netanyahu has not corrected his statements insinuating that Iran was nearing the red line of 90 percent enrichment, even when recent UN reports that show Tehran has in fact decreased its stockpiles of 20 percent fissile material, far below the enrichment level required to weaponize uranium. Hans Blix, former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has challenged previous IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear activities, accusing the agency of relying on unverified intelligence from the US and Israel. Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, former Washington insiders and analysts in the Clinton and Bush administrations, recently authored a book titled “Going to Tehran”, arguing that Iran is a coherent actor and that evidence for the bomb is simply not there. [Read more...]

Jamiol Presents

NSH

Podcast Show #99: The “Surge” in Iraq & the “Real” David Petraeus

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Pepe Escobar

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Globetrotting reporter Pepe Escobar returns for a debrief on his recent adventure in the US, talks about the real Petraeus, Benghazi and Gaza and offers us his colorful, informed comments and observations. We start with his recent road trip in the American West at election time, stylin' in a rented Mustang convertible: from LA to San Francisco, then Reno, Salt Lake, meeting explorers from China in the Utah desert, New Mexico, Arizona and back to Las Vegas for Election Day. Then we talk about the real David Petraeus, and the "surge" in Iraq. Pepe was there, and tells the real story. From there, Escobar takes us to Benghazi, and asks about the real role of the CIA in Libya. And he has strong comments about the Israeli attack on Gaza.

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Here is our guest Pepe Escobar unplugged!

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Pepe EscobarPepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He is an investigative journalist with three decades of experience in covering politics and conflicts around the globe. He’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering stories and cases from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination. Mr. Escobar has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of three must-read books: Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War, Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge, and Obama Does Globalistan.

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Puppet State America

“The “American superpower” groveling at Netanyahu’s feet!”

puppetstateThe United States government and its subject peoples think of the US as “the world’s only superpower.” But how is a country a superpower when its entire government and a majority of the subjects, especially those members of evangelical churches, grovel at the feet of the Israeli Prime Minister? How is a country a superpower when it lacks the power to determine its own foreign policy in the Middle East? Such a country is not a superpower. It is a puppet state.

In the past few days we have witnessed, yet again, the “American superpower” groveling at Netanyahu’s feet. When Netanyahu decided to again murder the Palestinian women and children of Gaza, to further destroy what remains of the social infrastructure of the Gaza Ghetto, and to declare Israeli war crimes and Israeli crimes against humanity to be merely the exercise of “self-defense,” the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the White House, and the US media all promptly declared their support for Netanyahu’s crimes. [Read more...]

Podcast Show #98: Election, Iran, UN, Syria & More

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Joe Lauria

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Investigative journalist and foreign affairs correspondent Joe Lauria joins us to discuss the re-election of Obama and its potential foreign policy consequences, the implications of coming elections in Israel, the brewing tensions involving Iran and the regional power-players’ stands, the United Nations, Syria and more.

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Lauria Joe Lauria is an author, foreign affairs correspondent and investigative reporter. He has covered the United Nations for 19 years for numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Montreal Gazette and the Johannesburg Star. Joe is a member of the Sunday Times of London’s investigative unit. He is co-author of A Political Odyssey, a look at America’s defense industry and the false threats it thrives on.

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The EyeOpener- Iran is Already Under Attack

BFP VideoIsraeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines at the UN General Assembly last week for his theatrics in attempting to demonstrate the imminent danger of the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program by drawing a literal “red line” on a childish depiction of a bomb more fitting for a Wile E. Coyote cartoon than a serious political forum. Oddly missing from Netanyahu's speech was any acknowledgement that there has yet to be any positive evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, any mention of the fact that the only nuclear power in the middle east is in fact Israel, any indication that Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty while Israel is not, nor any admission that Netanyahu himself was a key member of a nuclear smuggling ring that smuggled nuclear weapons technology from the US to Israel in the 1970s according to recently released FBI documents.

Although this propaganda war of lowest common denominator props and stage tricks is depressing, what is even more frustrating is the fact that, contrary to what we are being told, Iran is in fact already under attack by Israel, the US, and other western powers, and has been for some time. Through a series of measures, Iran has been facing an onslaught of cyberwarfare, special operations, targeted assassinations, and crippling economic sanctions for years now.

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*The Transcript for this video is available at Corbett Report: Click Here

 

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The New Mediterranean Oil & Gas Bonanza: Part II

Rising Energy Tensions in the Aegean—Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria

By William Engdahl

LevBasinThe discovery in late 2010 of the huge natural gas bonanza off Israel’s Mediterranean shores triggered other neighboring countries to look more closely at their own waters. The results revealed that the entire eastern Mediterranean is swimming in huge untapped oil and gas reserves. That discovery is having enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It well may have potential military consequences too.

Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and potentially, Syria.

Greek ‘energy Sirtaki’

Not surprisingly, amid its disastrous financial crisis the Greek government began serious exploration for oil and gas. Since then the country has been in a curious kind of a dance with the IMF and EU governments, a kind of “energy Sirtaki” over who will control and ultimately benefit from the huge resource discoveries there. 

energeanIn December 2010, as it seemed the Greek crisis might still be resolved without the by-now huge bailouts or privatizations, Greece’s Energy Ministry formed a special group of experts to research the prospects for oil and gas in Greek waters. Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas began increased investment into drilling in the offshore waters after a successful smaller oil discovery in 2009. Major geological surveys were made. Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea.[1] [Read more...]

The New Mediterranean Oil & Gas Bonanza

Part I: Israel’s Levant Basin—a new geopolitical curse?

By William Engdahl

basinRecent discoveries of not just significant, but huge oil and gas reserves in the little-explored Mediterranean Sea between Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Syria and Lebanon suggest that the region could become literally a “new Persian Gulf” in terms of oil and gas riches. As with the old Persian Gulf, discovery of hydrocarbon riches could as well spell a geopolitical curse of staggering dimension.

Long-standing Middle East conflicts could soon be paled by new battles over rights to oil and gas resources beneath the eastern Mediterranean in the Levant Basin and Aegean Sea. Here we explore the implications of a gigantic discovery of gas and oil in offshore Israel. In a second article we will explore the implications of gas and oil discoveries in the Aegean between Cyprus, Syria, Turkey, Greece and Lebanon.  [Read more...]