Friday, April 27, 2018

Lieberman: 'Every Iranian Military Outpost In Syria...We Will Destroy'




Israeli Defense Minister: "The Iranian Regime Is In Its Final Days"



Israel's Defense Minister says Iran is on the brink of economic and military collapse, and that Israel will attack Tehran "and destroy every Iranian military outpost in Syria threatening Israel," according to Arab-language publication Elaph and reported by Israeli media Thursday. 
They know that the Iranian regime is in its final days and will soon collapse,” said Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, adding "If they attack Tel Aviv, we will attack Tehran."
Liberman suggested Iran is vulnerable on two fronts, economic and military - and that an American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would significantly damage the regime's economy during a period in which the Islamic Republic is devoting resources to a military build-up in Syria against the West. 
Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria and arm them with advanced weapons,” Lieberman said. “Every military outpost in Syria in which Iran seems to be trying to dig in militarily, we will destroy.”
Lieberman says that Israel must prevent an Iranian military build-up on their border. “We won’t allow it, whatever the cost,” he said.
Iran has repeatedly hit back against similar rhetoric, threatening to attack Israel directly. 
“If you provide an excuse for Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be razed to the ground,” Ali Shirazi, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in mid-April according to the Washington Times
Meanwhile, Axios reports that Israel has approached Russia several times over the last few weeks with demands that the Kremlin adhere to a cease fire arrangement signed with the U.S. last November, which includes preventing pro-Iranian militias from entering a buffer zone on the Syrian-Israeli border. 


The protests show Israel's growing nervousness over the Iranian buildup in Syria. Recent flashpoints between Israel and Russia in Syria are also making it harder for the countries to maintain close coordination.
Israeli officials told me the message has been passed to the Russians by the Israeli ambassador to Moscow, by Israeli defense officials and at a senior political level. -Axios

Axios puts the cease fire deal in context: 
  • Last November, Russia the U.S. and Jordan signed a cease fire deal in southern Syria which established de-escalation zones on the Syrian-Israeli border and on the Syrian-Jordanian border. As part of the deal, a buffer zone was to be established which Pro-Iranian forces would be excluded from.
  • According to the deal, the Russians were the responsible for enforcing the zone. But Israeli officials told me that's not happening at all. They claim pro-Iranian Shiite militias and Hezbollah elements are inside the buffer zone in violation of the deal.  
Will Russia rein-in Iranian rabble-rousers in Syria? Will the United States pull out of the Iran oil deal? Find out on the next episode of "not our problem."

U.S. Defense Secretary: 'Expect War Between Iran And Israel Soon', Israel: Iran Has More Than 80,000 Fighters In Syria



Mattis: Expect War Between Iran and Israel soon - starting in Syria



A military confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria is becoming increasing likely, US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned on Thursday as his Israeli counterpart was visiting Washington to discuss the threat.
Secretary Mattis delivered his warning of yet another military conflict in the Middle East at a hearing in Congress. Asked if Israel and Iran were edging toward military confrontation, he said: “I can see how it might start, but I am not sure when or where.”
"I think that it's very likely in Syria because Iran continues to do its proxy work there through Hezbollah.”
He accused Iran of not only expanding and strengthening its presence in Syria but also “bringing advanced weapons for Hezbollah through Syria”.
Israel, he said “will not wait to see those missiles in the air and we hope Iran would pull back”.
The Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who met US national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary Mattis on Thursday, also warned of a confrontation with Iran.
"Any site in which we see an Iranian attempt to achieve a military foothold in Syria will be struck. We won't let that happen, regardless of the price," he told the Arabic news website Elaph.
Israel said it carried out air strikes against Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria in February after one its F16 fighter jets was downed near the Syrian border.








Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday presented an aerial photograph of an alleged Iranian base outside Damascus that he said Tehran was using to bring in and train tens of thousands of fighters for the militias it backs in Syria.
“There are over 80,000 extremists from all over the Middle East who are members of Shia militias in Syria under Iranian control,” Danny Danon told the UN Security Council.
The satellite image showed what appeared to be a military installation in the mountains northwest of Syria’s capital.

The base serves as “Iran’s central induction and recruitment center in Syria,” Danon said. The ambassador did not provide evidence to support the claim.

“It is at this base, just over five miles from Damascus, where these dangerous extremists are trained and then assigned their missions of terror throughout Syria and the region,” he said.
Israel had never before claimed this site was an Iranian base.
In his speech to the Security Council, Danon also discussed the May 12 deadline by which US President Donald Trump must decide if the United States will remain part of the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Trump has demanded that significant changes be made to the agreement if the US is to continue to abide by it. Iran has opposed all changes, and indicated it will not be bound by the accord if the US is not.

“President Trump is focused on these important changes because he knows it will make the world safer. All the signatories of this agreement must now make a choice: Do you support these necessary changes? Or, will you choose to enable the Iranian regime that supports terror and is attempting to take over the Middle East?” Danon said.


The ambassador indicated that Israel was prepared to take military action if necessary in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Israel has a very clear policy and it has been so since the administration of prime minister Menahem Begin. We will not allow regimes that seek our destruction to acquire nuclear weapons. Period,” he said.
Under this policy, Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.

Danon also commented on the recent protests and clashes along the Gaza border, in which 40 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Strip’s Hamas-run health ministry.

In recent months, Israeli officials have identified a number of air bases throughout Syria that they said are being used by Iranian forces. This appears to be a coordinated effort to deter Iran from carrying out a retaliatory strike against Israel, after an alleged Iranian drone facility in central Syria was bombed earlier this month, reportedly by Israel.

Last week, for instance, Israeli media outlets were provided by the IDF with a map showing five Iranian-controlled bases in Syria, which would apparently constitute potential targets for an Israeli response should Iran carry out any kind of attack.




The Secret Circle That Controls Governments




The Secret Circle That Controls Governments



Who is in charge of destroying economies?
One group has been virtually forgotten. Its influence is enormous. It has existed since 1973.
It’s called the Trilateral Commission (TC).
Keep in mind that the original stated goal of the TC was to create “a new international economic order.”
In the run-up to his inauguration after the 2008 presidential election, Obama was tutored by the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
In 1969, four years before birthing the TC with David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote: “[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.”

Goodbye, separate nations.
Any doubt on the question of TC goals is answered by David Rockefeller himself, the founder of the TC, in his Memoirs (2003): “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
Patrick Wood, author of Trilaterals Over Washington, points out there are only 87 members of the Trilateral Commission who live in America. Obama appointed eleven of them to posts in his administration.
For example:
* Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary;
* James Jones, National Security Advisor;
* Paul Volker, Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee;
* Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence.

Here is a stunning piece of forgotten history, a 1978 conversation between a US reporter and two members of the Trilateral Commission. (Source: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management; ed. by Holly Sklar, 1980, South End Press, Pages 192-3).
The conversation was public knowledge at the time.
Anyone who was anyone in Washington politics, in media, in think-tanks, had access to it. Understood its meaning.
But no one shouted from the rooftops. No one used the conversation to force a scandal. No one protested loudly.
The conversation revealed that the entire basis of the US Constitution had been torpedoed, that the people who were running US national policy (which includes trade treaties) were agents of an elite shadow group. No question about it.

And yet: official silence. Media silence. The Dept. of Justice made no moves, Congress undertook no serious inquiries, and the President, Jimmy Carter, issued no statements. Carter was himself an agent of the Trilateral Commission in the White House. He had been plucked from obscurity by David Rockefeller, and through elite TC press connections, vaulted into the spotlight as a pre-eminent choice for the Presidency.
The following 1978 conversation featured reporter, Jeremiah Novak, and two Trilateral Commission members, Karl Kaiser and Richard Cooper. The interview took up the issue of who exactly, during President Carter’s administration, was formulating US economic and political policy.
The careless and off-hand attitude of Trilateralists Kaiser and Cooper is astonishing. It’s as if they’re saying, “What we’re revealing is already out in the open, it’s too late to do anything about it, why are you so worked up, we’ve already won…”

NOVAK (the reporter): Is it true that a private [Trilateral committee] led by Henry Owen of the US and made up of [Trilateral] representatives of the US, UK, West Germany, Japan, France and the EEC is coordinating the economic and political policies of the Trilateral countries [which would include the US]?
COOPER: Yes, they have met three times.
NOVAK: Yet, in your recent paper you state that this committee should remain informal because to formalize ‘this function might well prove offensive to some of the Trilateral and other countries which do not take part.’ Who are you afraid of?
KAISER: Many countries in Europe would resent the dominant role that West Germany plays at these [Trilateral] meetings.
COOPER: Many people still live in a world of separate nations, and they would resent such coordination [of policy].

NOVAK: But this [Trilateral] committee is essential to your whole policy. How can you keep it a secret or fail to try to get popular support [for its decisions on how Trilateral member nations will conduct their economic and political policies]?
COOPER: Well, I guess it’s the press’ job to publicize it.
NOVAK: Yes, but why doesn’t President Carter come out with it and tell the American people that [US] economic and political power is being coordinated by a [Trilateral] committee made up of Henry Owen and six others? After all, if [US] policy is being made on a multinational level, the people should know.
COOPER: President Carter and Secretary of State Vance have constantly alluded to this in their speeches. [a lie]
KAISER: It just hasn’t become an issue.
This interview slipped under the mainstream media radar, which is to say, it was buried.
US (and other nations’) economic and political policy run by a committee of the Trilateral Commission—the Commission created in 1973 by David Rockefeller and his sidekick, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
When Carter won the presidential election (1976), his aide, Hamilton Jordan, said that if after the inauguration, Cy Vance and Brzezinski came on board as secretary of state and national security adviser, “We’ve lost. And I’ll quit.” Lost—because both men were powerful members of the Trilateral Commission and their appointment to key positions would signal a surrender of White House control to the Commission.
Vance and Brzezinski were appointed secretary of state and national security adviser, as Jordan feared. But he didn’t quit. He became Carter’s chief of staff.
Now consider the vast propaganda efforts of the past 40 years, on so many levels, to install the idea that all nations and peoples of the world are a single Collective.
From a very high level of political and economic power, this propaganda op has had the objective of grooming the population for a planet that is one coagulated mass, run and managed by one force. A central engine of that force is the Trilateral Commission.
How does a shadowy group like the TC accomplish its goal? One basic strategy is: destabilize nations; ruin their economies; send millions and millions of manufacturing jobs off to places where virtual slave labor does the work; adding insult to injury, export the cheap products of those slave-factories back to the nations who lost the jobs and further undercut domestic manufacturers, forcing them to close their doors and fire still more employees.
And then solve that economic chaos by bringing order.
What kind of order?
Eventually, one planet, with national borders erased, under one management system, with a planned global economy, “to restore stability,” “for the good of all, for lasting harmony.”
The top Trilateral players, in 2008, had their man in the White House, another formerly obscure individual like Jimmy Carter: Barack Obama. They had new trade treaties on the planning table.
After Obama was inaugurated for his first term, he shocked and astonished his own advisors, who expected him, as the first order of business, to address the unemployment issue in America. He shocked them by ignoring the number-one concern of Americans, and instead decided to opt for his disastrous national health insurance policy—Obamacare.
Obama never had any intention of trying to dig America out of the crash of 2008. That wasn’t why he was put in the Oval Office. He could, and would, pretend to bring back the economy, with fudged numbers and distorted standards. But really and truly, create good-paying jobs for many, many Americans? Not on the TC agenda. Not in the cards.
It was counter-productive to the TC plan: further undermine the economy…
So that, one day, a student would ask his teacher, “What happened to the United States?” And the teacher would say, “It was a criminal enterprise based on individual freedom. Fortunately, our leaders rescued the people and taught them the superior nature of HARMONY AND COOPERATION.”
—The rough, uneven, and challenged nationalism surfacing in a number of countries is evidence that many people are waking up from the Trilateral-induced trance…



Socialism is extremely in vogue. Opinion pieces which tell us to stop obsessing over socialism’s past failures, and start to get excited about its future potential, have almost become a genre in its own right.
For example, Bhaskhar Sunkara, the founder of Jacobin magazine, recently wrote a New York Times article, in which he claimed that the next attempt to build a socialist society will be completely different:
This time, people get to vote. Well, debate and deliberate and then vote—and have faith that people can organize together to chart new destinations for humanity. Stripped down to its essence, and returned to its roots, socialism is an ideology of radical democracy. […] [I]t seeks to empower civil society to allow participation in the decisions that affect our lives.
Nathan Robinson, the editor of Current Affairs, wrote in that magazine that socialism has not “failed." It has just never been done properly:
It’s incredibly easy to be both in favor of socialism and against the crimes committed by 20th-century communist regimes."
When anyone points me to the Soviet Union or Castro’s Cuba and says “Well, there’s your socialism,” my answer […] [is] that these regimes bear absolutely no relationship to the principle for which I am fighting. […] The history of the Soviet Union doesn’t really tell us much about “communism” […]
I can draw distinctions between the positive and negative aspects of a political program. I like the bit about allowing workers to reap greater benefits from their labor. I don’t like the bit about putting dissidents in front of firing squads.”
Closer to home, Owen Jones wrote that Cuba’s current version of socialism was not “real” socialism—but that it could yet become the real thing:
“Socialism without democracy […] isn’t socialism. […] Socialism means socializing wealth and power. […]
Cuba could democratize and grant political freedoms currently denied as well as defending […] the gains of the revolution. […] The only future for socialism […] is through democracy. That […] means organizing a movement rooted in people’s communities and workplaces. It means arguing for a system that extends democracy to the workplace and the economy.
And Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig wrote an article with the self-explanatory title It’s time to give socialism a try:
Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture.
Despite differences in style and emphasis, articles in this genre share a number of common flaws.
First, as much as the authors insist that previous examples of socialism were not “really” socialist, none of them can tell us what exactly they would do differently. Rather than providing at least a rough outline of how “their” version of socialism would work in practice, the authors escape into abstraction, and talk about lofty aspirations rather than tangible institutional characteristics.
“Charting new destinations for humanity” and “democratizing the economy” are nice buzzphrases, but what does this mean, in practice? How would “the people” manage “their” economy jointly? Would we all gather in Hyde Park, and debate how many toothbrushes and how many screwdrivers we should produce? How would we decide who gets what? How would we decide who does what? What if it turns out that we don’t actually agree on very much?
These are not some trivial technical details that we can just leave until after the revolution. These are the most basic, fundamental questions that a proponent of any economic system has to be able to answer. Almost three decades have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall—enough time, one should think, for “modern” socialists to come up with some ideas for a different kind of socialism. Yet here we are. After all those years, they have still not moved beyond the buzzword stage.
Secondly, the authors do not seem to realize that there is nothing remotely new about the lofty aspirations they talk about, and the buzzphrases they use. Giving “the people” democratic control over economic life has always been the aspiration, and the promise, of socialism. It is not that this has never occurred to the people who were involved in earlier socialist projects. On the contrary: that was always the idea. There was never a time when socialists started out with the express intention of creating stratified societies led by a technocratic elite. Socialism always turned out that way, but not because it was intended to be that wa
Socialists usually react with genuine irritation when a political opponent mentions an earlier, failed socialist project. They cannot see this as anything other than a straw man, and a cheap shot. As a result, they refuse to address the question why those attempts have turned out the way they did. According to contemporary socialists, previous socialist leaders simply did not really try, and that is all there is to know.
They are wrong. The Austro-British economist Friedrich Hayek already showed in 1944 why socialism must always lead to an extreme concentration of power in the hands of the state, and why the idea that this concentrated power could be democratically controlled was an illusion. Were Hayek to come back from the dead today, he would probably struggle a bit with the iPhone, Deliveroo and social media—but he would instantly grasp the situation in Venezuela.

Thirdly, contemporary socialists completely fail to address the deficiencies of socialism in the economic sphere. They talk a lot about how their version of socialism would be democratic, participatory, non-authoritarian, and nice and cuddly. Suppose they could prove Hayek wrong and magically make that work. What then?
Ultimately, the contemporary argument for socialism boils down to: “next time will be different because we say so.”
After more than two dozen failed attempts, that is just not good enough.

EMP Blast: Major Threat From N Korea



EMP blast major threat from North Korea, according to US Navy admiral



James Stavridis, a retired US Navy admiral and former NATO commander, outlined the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack from North Korea in a column for Bloomberg on Thursday
Analysts have told Congress that an EMP attack could kill up to 90% of the US population if successful. 
Stavridis writes that he believes that while President Donald Trump's intended summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is well intentioned and "right." However, he notes that the chances of North Korea fully denuclearizing is low, and that the nuclear weapons in North Korea's possession are still extremely dangerous. 
"What makes it so worrisome is not only the handful of nuclear weapons in the hands of a dictator who may be able to lob a few to Honolulu or even to Seattle," Stavridis writes. "We also need to consider North Korea's ability to deploy one or two nuclear weapons at altitude over the continental US in order to create a devastating burst of energy called an electromagnetic pulse."
Stavridis writes that an EMP attack could involve three phases after the detonation of a nuclear weapon over the United States. He labels these waves as E1, E2, and E3. 
The E1 phase, is "a brief pulse that is particularly devastating to what are known as supervisory control and data acquisition systems," like water treatment facilities, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and manufacturing plants. 
E2 is a smaller burst immediately after E1, and could be as short as a microsecond. Despite its short time it could still wreak havoc because its targets would have already had their protection weakened by the E1 wave. 
The E3 pulse "could last several minutes and attack long-line systems such as the electric power grid by destroying substations across the nation." The E1 and E3 waves present the biggest threats, according to Stavridis, and could "deprive large parts of the country of electricity for weeks, months, or even a year or two."
"Airliners would crash killing many of the 500,000 people flying over North America at any given moment," Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA analyst and one of the report's authors, told Forbes
Pry added that the country's food supplies would be decimated by radiation and up to 90% of the population would die within a year. 
Stavridis notes that the affects of an EMP have not been fully studied because a test would darken large segments of the country. He also noted that there does not seem to be an agreement amongst analysts over how likely an EMP attack is, or how damaging it would be. 
Still, Stavridis recommends that the US harden its defenses against such an attack, first finding ways to protect its ballistic missiles so that they can be used even after an EMP, in order to deter any such attack.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Full-Scale Training Exercise Simulating Long-Term Mass Power Outage Slated For May 15-17 In Wisconsin



Dark Sky exercise slated for May 15-17 at sites across Wisconsin



A full-scale training exercise simulating a long-term mass power outage in Wisconsin kicks off May 15 at sites around the state.
Known as Dark Sky, the exercise runs May 15-17 in Brown, Calumet, Dane, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties and will test the abilities of private utilities, law enforcement, first responders and the National Guard to respond to the scenario as well as its second and third order effects.  
The public should not be concerned if they notice an increased emergency responder presence, military personnel, vehicles and equipment, or non-military unmanned aerial vehicles operating in their communities during the exercise. The exercise includes an Alliant Energy facility in Fond du Lac County, which will serve as one of the National Guard training sites.
The goal of the exercise is to increase understanding of the coordination, policies, and procedures required to conduct a joint inter-agency response to cyber and physical threats to critical infrastructure in Wisconsin.
“Dark Sky provides an incredible opportunity for our first responders, the National Guard, emergency management officials, and our private utilities industry partners to exercise our processes now so we are better prepared for threats to our power grid,” Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general said. “Our emergency management community must be prepared to deal with the myriad scenarios and challenges posed by a long-term mass power outage, and by training together, we continue building meaningful relationships that leave us better positioned to respond to a real-world situation.”
More than 1,000 participants from the state Emergency Operations Center, the Business Emergency Operations Center, the Wisconsin National Guard, county emergency operations centers, municipal command posts, the American Red Cross, and federal agencies will participate in the exercise.
The Dark Sky scenario includes a variety of incidents that require local, county, and state-level response operations designed to exercise each participating unit and agency. The Wisconsin National Guard will exercise its joint staff and the National Guard Reaction Force in support of private utilities partners, nongovernmental organizations, and local, county, state, and federal agencies for infrastructure security. As part of the exercise, Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers will conduct door-to-door health and welfare checks in Omro, Wisconsin.
The exercise will also test the abilities of public and private sector partners to work directly with local citizens impacted by critical infrastructure failures and to coordinate critical fuel distribution, cyber response, intelligence sharing, and mass care shelters as well as procedures for opening and operating the state’s Business Emergency Operations Center.
The exercise represents the final phase in a series of related exercises that culminate in Dark Sky. In November 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs and private utilities partners conducted GridEx in Columbia and Dane Counties. GridEx also simulated a cyber and physical threat to the power grid resulting in a Wisconsin National Guard response. In February, the annual Statewide Interoperable Mobile Communications — or SIMCOM — exercise simulated a notional winter ice emergency that affected 600,000 people and disconnected power to about 50,000 people.
The relationships developed between the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs and private utilities in Wisconsin during the previous exercises have further honed public-private response capabilities and laid the groundwork for continued success in the Dark Sky exercise.