HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Purveyor » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

Journal Archives

Iran Unlikely to Strike First, U.S. Official Says

By Tony Capaccio - Thu Feb 16 16:26:39 GMT 2012

The Iranian military is unlikely to intentionally provoke a conflict with the West, the top U.S. military intelligence official said today.

Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Iran probably has the ability to “temporarily close the Strait of Hormuz with its naval forces,” as some Iranian officials have threatened to do if attacked or in response to sanctions on its oil exports by the U.S. and European Union.

“Iran has also threatened to launch missiles against the United States and our allies in the region in response to an attack,” Burgess said in testimony at a hearing today of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It could also employ its terrorist surrogates worldwide. However, it is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict or launch a preemptive attack.”

Iran has the capability to strike regional and European targets with its ballistic missiles and is seeking to improve their accuracy, Burgess said in the latest U.S. public assessment of Iran’s military prowess. Iran’s regional military capability continues to improve, with new ships and submarines and expanded bases in the Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea, he said.



Could Lieberman Bill Block War-Averting Diplomacy With Iran?

Wednesday 15 February 2012
by: Robert Naiman, Truthout | News Analysis

There's no question that some people in Washington would very much like for the US to have a policy toward Iran, the endgame of which is war or externally induced regime change. And they have a long-term strategy to bring this about, which is to block efforts at meaningful diplomacy, so that the only thing left on the table is war or externally induced regime change.

Now, according to reports from DC, come Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham with a new bill. What does their bill seek to do? According to reports from people who have seen the draft bill, in its current form, it seeks to block the president from having a policy to "contain" Iran if it develops nuclear weapons capability.

Jasmin Ramsey wrote Wednesday at LobeLog:

The key lines in the resolved [clauses] have been highlighted by a Washington policy expert:

"6) Strongly rejects any policy that fails to prevent the Iranian government from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and that instead would settle for future efforts to "contain" a nuclear weapons capable Iran;



Gaza Strip Fuel Shortage Forces Power Shutdown

February 15, 2012

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip—Palestinian energy officials say fuel shortages have forced them to shutter the Gaza Strip's lone power plant, causing blackouts in the impoverished territory.

Gaza's energy authority has until recently relied on fuel smuggled from Egypt to circumvent an Israeli blockade. But shortages in Egypt have halted the smuggling.

Gaza's power plant director Walid Sayel said Wednesday he placed some blame for the crisis on infighting with the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank.

Officials have called on the West Bank government to renew money transfers to the territory. This could buy fuel from the Egyptian government, sidestepping reliance on the black market.



Israeli Car Attack: NSG Not Allowed To Gather Data From Spot

Published: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012, 17:13 IST
Place: Gurgaon | Agency: PTI

In a surprise departure from norms, investigators of the NSG post-blast study team were not allowed to gather vital data of the terror-struck and burnt Israeli embassy SUV citing "diplomatic reasons".

NSG's National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) is the central nodal agency for monitoring, recording and analysing all bombing incidents in the country and it acts as the vital repository of all domain knowledge in this regard.

"Let me clarify, we were not involved in the analysis of this particular incident (sticking of magnetic bomb in an Israeli embassy vehicle). Having said that, I can only make a educated guess like you that it is an explosive device," NSG DG RK Medhekar told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here when asked about the analysis of his blast study team in the February 13 terror incident.

The National Security Guard chief, however, did not elaborate on the reasons but senior officials of the elite force said they were asked not to visit the spot near the Prime Minister's residence due to some "diplomatic reasons".



Dershowitz Bloviates, Says Media Matters Could Become Rev. Wright Of 2012 For Obama

Liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz says Media Matters could become the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of 2012 for the Obama campaign if the White House and the Democratic Party don’t clearly distance themselves from the organization.

“Well I think if swing voters in the pro-Israel community had any idea how extreme Media Matters was on issues of Israel and supporters of Israel, they would regard Media Matters as another, you know, Rev. Wright,” Dershowitz told The Daily Caller.

“And for many, many in the pro-Israel community, it would be a game changer.”

Dershowitz went so far as to suggest that Media Matters’s rhetoric on Israel, particularly from Media Matters Action Network senior fellow M.J. Rosenberg, is similar to what one would find on a neo-Nazi website.



I was hesitate on posting this article from the 'Daily Caller' but I do think it is important to know what 'they' are saying...

School Lunch: Preschooler Told Homemade Turkey Sandwich Not Nutritious Enough, Given Nuggets Instead

A preschool student at West Hoke Elementary School in North Carolina ended up eating three chicken nuggets for lunch two weeks ago -- because a state inspector declared that the 4-year-old's lunch wasn't nutritious enough.

The turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice, according to the Carolina Journal, didn't meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. So to meet those requirements, the child was given chicken nuggets. The agent was inspecting the entire class' lunch boxes that day.

The state's Department of Health and Human Services requires that all lunches served to pre-kindergarten students -- whether from school or home -- meet USDA meal guidelines of one serving each of meat, milk and grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. The regulations also state that if meals or snacks brought from home do not meet nutritional requirements outlined in the "Meal Patterns for Children in Child Care," the school "must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements."

It's unclear to state officials why, exactly, the girl's meal was deemed insufficient. The girl's mother thought that the potato chips and lack of vegetables may have been a problem, but Jani Kozlowski, fiscal and statutory policy manager for the Division of Child Development told the Carolina Journal that the meal should have met guidelines.



U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Increased to Highest Since ’07

By Shobhana Chandra - Feb 15, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed more than anticipated in February to the highest level since May 2007, pointing to an improving outlook for construction.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence rose for a fifth straight month, to 29 in February from 25 in January, figures from the Washington-based group showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise to 26. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.

D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI) is among builders reporting a pickup in demand as borrowing costs hover near a record low and hiring accelerates. Efforts by the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve to shore up the real estate market and help distressed homeowners may limit the supply of foreclosed houses, lifting prospects for the industry.

“The housing market is moving toward more sustainable growth,” Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Gainesville, Florida, said in a statement. At the same time, the housing sector remains fragile, he said.



Production at U.S. Factories Climbs on Demand for Automobiles, Machinery

Factories in the U.S. boosted production in January, capping the biggest back-to-back increases in more than two years, showing manufacturing will remain at the forefront of the expansion.

Output (IPMGCHNG) rose 0.7 percent after a revised 1.5 percent gain in December, the best two-month performance since July and August 2009, when the world’s largest economy was emerging from the recession, according to figures issued by the Federal Reserve today in Washington. Other reports showed homebuilders turned less pessimistic in February and manufacturing in the New York region grew.

Business investment in new equipment and the need to rebuild inventories as sales improve will probably keep factory assembly lines rolling at the start of 2012. Additionally, a more stable residential real-estate market would remove an impediment to the recovery after declines in home construction subtracted from economic growth in each of the past six years.

“Factories remain a major supporting element of the economy as we enter 2012,” said Richard DeKaser, deputy chief economist at Parthenon Group LLC in Boston. “The latest reading from the homebuilders adds to the steady stream of upbeat news on the housing sector.”



Dmitri Trenin: How the Iran Nuclear Standoff Looks From Russia

By Dmitri Trenin Wed Feb 15 00:00:52 GMT 2012

When Russians look at Iran, they see a country that has been their neighbor and rival forever. As the Russian empire advanced, it wrestled the North and South Caucasus from the Shah. Peter the Great annexed, briefly, Iran’s entire Caspian Sea coastline and put his forces just north of Tehran.

In the early 20th century, Russia and the U.K. divided Iran into zones of influence. The Russians got the north and proceeded to occupy Iran twice, during each of the world wars. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met with Josef Stalin in Tehran in 1943, they were protected by the Red Army.

Yet there was never much love lost between the two countries. To Iranians, Russia was too powerful and too threatening. Russians, meanwhile, remembered their own embassy trauma at Iranian hands in 1829. Every schoolchild knows the fate of Alexander Griboyedov, the czar’s ambassador to Persia, who was murdered, with his entire embassy staff, by an angry Tehran mob. Griboyedov was a great Russian author, many of whose lines Russian children -- and grown-ups -- know by heart.

This brief background is vital to understanding where Russians are coming from as they approach Iran’s nuclear program, and why they have adopted such a stop-go approach to supporting international efforts to rein it in. Although Russia has backed limited sanctions at the United Nations, it has clashed with the U.S. and Europe over the much tougher sanctions they are now imposing unilaterally. It strongly opposes any use of military force.



Experts Say Iran Has 'Neutralized' Stuxnet Virus

By Mark Hosenball

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Iranian engineers have succeeded in neutralizing and purging the computer virus known as Stuxnet from their country's nuclear machinery, European and U.S. officials and private experts have told Reuters.

The malicious code, whose precise origin and authorship remain unconfirmed, made its way as early as 2009 into equipment controlling centrifuges Iran is using to enrich uranium, dealing a significant but perhaps temporary setback to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons work.

Many experts believe that Israel, possibly with assistance from the United States, was responsible for creating and deploying Stuxnet. But no authoritative account of who invented Stuxnet or how it got into Iran's centrifuge control equipment has surfaced.

U.S. and European officials, who insisted on anonymity when discussing a highly sensitive subject, said their governments' experts agreed that the Iranians had succeeded in disabling Stuxnet and getting it out of their machinery.


Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »