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Rep. West: ‘Second Holocaust’ Looms For Israel If America Doesn't Provide Military...

Rep. West: ‘Second Holocaust’ looms for Israel if America doesn't provide military support against Iran

By Josiah Ryan - 02/27/12 12:11 PM ET

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) warned that Israel could become the site of a "second Holocaust" if the United States does not provide military cover against Iran, a local Jacksonville, Fla., radio station, WOKV-AM/FM, reported on Monday.

“You’re looking at a second Holocaust … [if Israel doesn't] know they can trust and depend upon the stars and stripes … to provide them support,” said West, who was speaking at the First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach.

“There will be no spiritual homeland for Christians to return back to" if that Holocaust does occur, said West in the same speech, as reported by the West Palm Beach Palm Beach Post. "There will be no homeland for the Jewish people in the United States of America for their birthright. This is a dangerous situation and we have to take the Iranians for their word.”

In the same speech, West also warned that Israel's other hostile neighbor, Syria, could quickly turn from its current civil war to war against Israel.



Obama Faces Tense Meeting With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu On Iran Policy

By Jeremy Herb and Amie Parnes

When President Obama sits down face-to-face with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week to discuss Iran, he will be staring down the greatest challenge on Israel he’s faced during his presidency.

It is the first time Obama has met Netanyahu since last spring, when the Israeli leader appeared to lecture the president on his country’s history in front of cameras at the White House.

Whatever tensions exist could be exacerbated by the looming crisis that provides a backdrop for the election-year meeting.

Israel believes time is running out for a military strike against Iran that would prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons, something Israel sees as an existential threat.



Lifetime Cost To Run F-35 Fighter: About $1 Trillion

By Reuters
Monday, February 27, 2012 4:35 EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon estimates that it will still cost about $1 trillion to operate a fleet of 2,443 F-35 fighter jets over the next 50 years, but is continuing to analyze how to drive that staggering sum down, a top U.S. Marine Corps official told Reuters.

Lieutenant General Terry Robling, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, said top defense officials agreed last week to continue low-rate production of the new radar-evading warplane built by Lockheed Martin Corp, while keeping a close eye on the cost of maintaining and operating the new jets.

“Everybody was on board with … the program,” Robling told Reuters aboard a military aircraft on Saturday after a ceremony involving three F-35B jets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. “We understand the costs are high. We understand that we need to do something, we need to make decisions down the road.”

Robling said the cost estimate would likely decline in coming years as more jets were built and flown, reducing the reliance on comparison data from other aircraft programs.



Islamist Parties Dominate Egypt’s Upper House

CAIRO, February 26 (RIA Novosti)

Egypt’s Islamist parties have won the majority of seats the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, the country’s election authorities said.

According to final results announced on Saturday by Supreme Election Commission’s head Abdel Moez Ibrahim, the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, has secured 106 seats while the ultraconservative Al-Nour party came in second with 46 seats.

Liberal Wafd party received only 19 mandates.

In line with Egyptian laws, two thirds of the 270-member Shura Council are elected in nationwide polls, while another 90 lawmakers are being appointed by the head of state.



Putin Blasts US, Outlines Firm Stand on Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin charged Monday that the United States pursues its interests to the detriment of world security and served notice Russia would continue to oppose this if he returns to the Kremlin.

At the same time, however, Putin stated that close and trusting relations between Moscow and Washington were of signal importance for the world in turbulent times and made clear Russia wanted such ties if based on mutual respect.

In an lengthy article published in the daily Moskovskiye Novosti a week ahead of presidential elections he is widely expected to win, Putin outlined a broad vision of how he sees Russia’s place in the world and how he would aim to fortify it.

Putin took direct aim at US plans to place elements of a missile defense system in Europe near Russia’s borders and expressed exasperation at what he described as Washington’s stubborn refusal to take Moscow’s worries into account on it.



Change On Federal Benefits Payments Could Leave Child Support Debtors With No Income

Thousands of poor and disabled men stand to lose their only income next year because of a change in government policy that will allow states to seize every dollar of federal benefits from people who owe back child support.

Previously, states could capture only 65 percent of benefits from people who opted to be paid by paper check. Advocates estimate that 275,000 men could be left destitute as a result of the change.


By allowing seizure of the remaining 35 percent of benefits, the rules could cause thousands of poor men to lose their only income.

"It's kind of Orwellian, what's being set up here for a segment of the population," says Johnson Tyler, an attorney who represents poor and disabled people collecting federal benefits. "It's going to be a nightmare in about a year unless something changes."



What About Israel's Atomic Weapons?

By Leonard Fein
Published February 26, 2012, issue of March 02, 2012.

Israel’s best kept secret is not of the “maybe yes, maybe no” variety. In fact it is a “yes” so definitive that it has 162 million Google entries. Honest. That’s what Google’s response is when you type in “Israel’s nuclear policy” — books, articles, essays, arguments, all blithely recognizing that Israel has nuclear arms.

Yet technically, Israel has chosen a policy of “opacity” (amimut in Hebrew), neither affirming nor denying its nuclear capability. This policy dates back to a 1969 secret agreement between Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon, according to which, in order not to disrupt the United States drive to gain nonproliferation commitments from other countries, Israel committed to remain silent about its nuclear program, to avoid tests, and not to threaten other countries with attack. And so it has been ever since, as Israel has gone on to develop an estimated 400 warheads, including surface-to-surface missiles, submarine- launched ballistic missiles and bombs — and, according to some sources, thermonuclear devices and battlefield weapons such as neutron bombs and nuclear artillery shells.

Scholars and to a lesser degree policy-makers have argued the utility of the policy, and there appears to be a growing (yet still modest) disposition to abandon or at least substantially modify it. (See especially Avner Cohen’s The Worst Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain With the Bomb, Columbia University Press, 2012.) Yet old habits die hard, and there is no question that Israel’s security establishment sees the policy of opacity as axiomatic.

Now: Imagine (or, if you insist, fantasize) that Israel offers to join the 189 countries that have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (all the nuclear powers but Pakistan, India, North Korea and Israel), which means that it is fully prepared to grant the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unrestricted access to its nuclear facility at Dimona. Bottom line: It is ready to abandon its doctrine of opacity — on one condition.

That condition: That Iran do the same.



NYPD Secret Surveillance Of Students 'Disgusting'

At Columbia University, the fear among students that the New York Police Department might secretly be infiltrating their lives has spread beyond the Muslim student population to others who find the reported tactics "disgusting," as one teenager put it.

The NYPD surveillance of Muslims on a dozen college campuses in the Northeast is a surprising and disappointing violation, Columbia students said Saturday in reaction to Associated Press reports that revealed the intelligence-gathering.

"If this is happening to innocent Muslim students, who's next?" asked freshman Dina Morris, 18, of Amherst, Mass. "I'm the child of an immigrant, and I was just blown away by the news; it's disgusting."

Documents obtained by the AP show that the NYPD used undercover officers and informants to infiltrate Muslim student groups. An officer even went whitewater rafting with students and reported on how many times they prayed and what they discussed. Police also trawled college websites and blogs, compiling daily reports on the activities of Muslim students and academics.



China Mocks International Conference To Aid Syrian Opposition

REPORTING FROM BEIJING -- The rift with China over Syria was thrown into sharp relief Saturday as Beijing mocked an international conference aimed at protecting the Syrian people against a brutal crackdown and accused the United States and Europe of "hiding a dagger behind a smile."

"In other words, while they appear to be acting out of humanitarian concern, they are actually harboring hegemonistic ambitions," said the editorial carried by the official Xinhua news agency.

The surprisingly harsh rhetoric dashed hopes that Beijing might be softening in its opposition to international action against the Syrian regime. China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the crackdown.

China and Russia were also conspicuously absent at an international conference called Friends of Syria, which is aiming to end the increasingly lethal crackdown by the Bashar Assad regime. On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lashed out at China and Russia, calling their vetoes "despicable."



Exclusive: State Department Quietly Warning Region On Syrian WMDs

Posted By Josh Rogin Friday, February 24, 2012 - 3:03 PM

The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria's neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad's extensive weapons of mass destruction if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria's neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria's WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria -- while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad's downfall.

Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons. Syria has also refused IAEA requests to make available facilities that were part of its nuclear weapons program and may still be in operation.

The State Department declined to provide access to any officials to discuss the private diplomatic communication on the record, such as the author of the demarche Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Tom Countryman. In a meeting with reporters earlier this year, Countryman expressed confidence that the United States knows where Syria's WMD stockpiles are, but warned that they could become a very serious security issue for Syria and the region going forward.


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