“The American consulate in Jeddah celebrated America’s 237th Independence Day this week.
The event was attended by Ambassador James Smith and his wife Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith, Anne Casper, the American consul general and the guest of honor, Ambassador Ahmed Tayeb, director general of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Makkah region. A number of other diplomats, dignitaries and friends of America were also present. A colorful ceremony was presented by the marine security guard detachment. Casper said that the American consulate decided to celebrate the national day early because of the many people who travel out of the country in July, and because of the heat. The US celebrates its national day on July 4………………”
I must say, this is the most bizarre rendition of the Fourth of July ever, on the Ides of March. I am almost certain it is a first. Can you imagine the French celebrating Bastille Day in February to accommodate some potentates? Jamais!………. But what a waste: as if the Al Saud princes give a ripe fig (or a sheep’s fatty chiffil) about some far away people who had a revolution and overthrew a despotic king who was not even Wahhabi.
didn’t see the Will Smith film, Independence Day? …………
“The Supreme Leader will give permission for bilateral talks with the United States if he deems it necessary, the director of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council said on Wednesday. The relationship with the United States is different than the relationship with other countries because the United States has always been hostile toward the Islamic Republic of Iran after the Islamic Revolution, which can be established through coordination by the Supreme Leader in the proper circumstances and if it meets national interests,” said Hassan Rohani, the Supreme Leader’s representative at Supreme National Security Council, whose secretary is Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. It is not the Supreme Leader’s view that Iran and the United States should not have negotiations and relations until the Day of Judgment………………….”
What he is saying is that we will not necessarily have to wait for the return of our Mahdi, or the Rapture if you prefer, before Iran and the United States can sit down and negotiate bilaterally. It looks like there is some softening in the Iranian position, most likely a reaction to some softening in the Western position. Possibly a result of the Western realization that although the blockade is hurting the Iranians, they can survive it.
Possibly a result of the realization that all the political talk of “all options are on the table” rings hollow: all options are NOT really on the table, only FEASIBLE options are. Only last month Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed the idea of direct bilateral negotiations with the USA (which probably means indirect negotiations with Israel as well on this nuclear case). But then the Iranians are diverse, there are various opinions expressed on each issue through their media. And this is an election year: not every opinion expressed represents a consensus. Maybe they ought to get a negotiator like William Shatner to mediate.
“On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif delivered a message conveying the challenges facing the region in terms of development and humanitarian issues. The realization of security in the region necessitates an integrated and all-encompassing vision to enable this area to deal with the rising problems and to boost religious, educational and social institutions and security organs. King Abdullah called for the enhancement of joint Arab security cooperation and coordination, adding that Saudi Arabia has supported all Arab, regional and international efforts in combating crimes, notably terrorism. It has also contributed to maintaining international peace and security, he said. Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers Mohammed Ali Kuman said the late Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif played a key role in boosting the council and enhancing Arab security cooperation……………….”
This is one issue that all Arab regimes, be they absolute monarchies, dictatorships, or elected schmucks agree one. The security issue (code word for repression) is the one issue that they meet on smoothly and agree on. The meetings of the ministers of interior, the men in charge of police, mercenaries, prisons, torture, interrogation, executions, and the like always reach agreement. I suspect if the Arab states ever unite, the best start would be to unite their ministries of interior. United Arab repression as a first step toward everything else. Come to think of it: once there is united repression, there will be no need for anything else. Even the lousy Arab League can be renamed the League of Arab Police States (which it almost is), or some other Conan-Doyle kind of name. Then they might want to move the headquarters from Cairo to Riyadh, where the atmosphere is more amenable, more conducive to repression. In that case Riyadh will become the capital of the United Arab Ministry of Interior without missing a beat: it already is the capital of Arab repression. Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of titles for other Arab capitals:
The Arab Ministry of Proxy War and Destruction can me moved to Damascus.
- The Arab Ministry of Tear Gas can be moved to Mamana (Bahrain).
- The Arab Ministry of Sectarian Confusion can be moved to Baghdad.
- The Arab Ministry of Political Confusion can be moved to Cairo.
- The Arab Ministry of Being on the Verge of Something can be in Beirut.
- The Arab Ministry of WHoGivesAFuck can be moved to Khartoum (Sudan).
- The Arab Ministry of Ignored Starvation can be moved to Mogadishu (Somalia).
- The Arab Ministry of Compensating Phallic Tall Towers can be moved to Abu Dhabi.
- There is more for the rest of them………….
“President Barack Obama says it would currently “take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon.” In a Thursday interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV ahead of his upcoming visit to the country, Obama says he doesn’t want to “cut it too close” and therefore all options remain on the table in countering the Iranian nuclear program. The issue has been one of the most fraught between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel has repeatedly threatened to act militarily should Iran appear to be on the verge of obtaining a bomb, while the U.S. has pushed for more time to allow diplomacy and economic sanctions to run their course. In the interview, aired Thursday, Obama says he still favors diplomacy over force…………”
Of course he favors diplomacy over force, because there will be no use of force. There can’t be a unilateral Western use of force, mainly because it will become a long war of attrition and it can achieve nothing beyond more destruction in the Middle East. Now that the 2012 elections are over, the price of the Israeli bride can be reduced, she is not as desirable as she was last years. But she may become desirable again in future cycles, in 2014 and in 2016.
- All this “all options are on the table” talk is pure political nonsense. Mr. Obama speaks like he is on the campaign trail, which he is of course since he is heading to Israel. The United States will not go to war just to keep Iran from having the “capacity” to develop a nuclear bomb. Mainly because nobody knows how to destroy the capacity or ability to develop a bomb. Mainly because a military attack will fail and just make the mullahs go nuclear: decide to militarize. The Iranians have been saying loudly, including issuing a fatwa, that a nuclear bomb is haram, meaning not kosher (in Likud-ese language).
- Anyone who knows anything about nuclear physics probably knows that the Iranians cannot keep it a secret (even I know it, and I have forgotten most of my physics beyond how to enrich Uranium to more U-235 isotope content).
- So, Mr. Netanyahu keeps talking about the nuclear danger of Iran, although he doesn’t claim that Iran will have the bomb by 1995 anymore, nor by 2001 anymore, nor by 2007 anymore, nor by 2014 anymore, nor by…………..
- No more nuclear “slam dunk” is possible. People are smarter than that now, although most of the Western media seems to be as dumb as in 2003.
- The Saudi princes still claim not so secretly that they suspect Iran plans to develop the bomb soon. How do they know that? They read Israeli media, well mainly the Jerusalem Post, or maybe their Mufti told them so.
Yemeni Pilot Lands Jet to Buy Qat (Gat). Report tells of a Yemeni air force pilot who needed some Qat (Gat) to chew urgently. he needed to get high. So, he landed his military helicopter in a village, seeking to get some of the chewable drug (apparently every Yemeni village, block, and street, has its own dealers). This scared the hell out of the villagers in South Yemen, used to drones, planes, trains, and everything else bombing them whenever more than 5 people gather together. Based on the suspicion that they might be Yemenis or just a wedding party that might include some wayward American youth.
Anyway, the pilot found what he needed near a gas station, purchased it, and flew away. Back to his mission of making the Middle East safe and secure for the American and the Saudi ways of life (Yemenis can multitask like that, have been doing it for some time).
I recall the Qat was once easy to import into Britain. I heard that some Arab shops on Edgeware Road in London used to sell them. The Brits thought it was just some kind of an herb like mint (it was for a while, until they banned it because it was taking business away from the nearby pubs).
“Leaving aside his anti-Semitism and his dictator allies, why would the left celebrate a man who repressed his people and wrecked the economy? It’s an insult to Venezuelans, says Bernard Henri-Lévy…. The death of Hugo Chávez, followed by his elaborate funeral, has unleashed awave of political idiocy, and thus of disinformation, of a magnitude not seen in some time. I will not dwell—because this much is well known—on Chávez the “friend of the people” whose closest allies were bloody-handed dictators: Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, and, formerly, Gaddafi……………”
Also sprach French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy (BHL). ‘Friends of Gaddafi’, says the liberators of Libya and putative liberator of Syria and possibly even Iran and Lebanon.
Only two years ago the friends of Gaddafi were the friends of BHL. Remember Sarkozy and others? As for Chavez being friend of dictators; so is M. Hollande, so was BHL friend Sarkozy. Are the Al Saud and Al Khaifa and Al Nahayan and all the other tribal despots , all friends of France and the various Western governments, democratically-elected leaders? Are the Al Saud, and French leaders, cleaner financially than Castro or Ahmadinejad? Are the Al Saud elected by the people? And this business of confusing anti-Israeli with being anti-Semitic is straight out of the Netanyahu book.
“The selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina to be the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church is being seen as a move that will continue to cement Catholic-Jewish relations. Bergoglio, 76, who took the name Francis I and is the first Jesuit ever to be chosen pope, has “demonstrated his profound solidarity with the Jewish community of Argentina in both times of sorrow and joy,” said Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee. He was referring to the high marks Bergoglio received in his response to the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed more than 100. The bombing, believed to be the work of Hezbollah terrorists with the backing of Iran, was one of the worst anti-Jewish attacks ever in Latin America. In 2005, Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz of the Center for
Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield,
Conn., praised Bergoglio’s leadership, saying: “He was very concerned with what happened.”..…………..”
The Jewish Weekly sees this new Pope as being ‘sensitive’ to Jewish
concerns. You’d think the National Socialist thugs still rule from the Baltic to the
Alps and Il Duce rules in Rome. (And WTF does a Pope have to do with Hezbollah or Hamas or Mossad or the Strait of Hormuz?)
Speaking of that: what about Muslim concerns?
Don’t we have some: Sunni concerns, Shi’a concerns, Wahhabi concerns. How about
despotic concerns? Interesting that so much gushing praise and goodwill is issued by world media
about the new pope: you’d think he was elected instead of being appointed by a few
of his pears. Sort of like the Saudi king or the Iranian Ayatollah or the
Yemeni president are selected. But that is okay: even the Saudi Mufti is not elected or
appointed by his peers, but appointed by the princes.
Obviously a Pope selected
by his peers can only do so much reform, until he collides with the special (or perhaps peculiar) interests
of the peers who appointed him. IF he does: he usually doesn’t as we discovered
in the recent couple of years regarding the continuing, er, problems of
Penn the American Catholic Church and the reported alleged continued cover-up.
“An official in the ultra-conservative kingdom said that sword-bearing executioners “are not readily available everywhere and on some occasions, executions were marred by confusion as the executioner was late in showing up at the designated public place”. The unnamed bureaucrat told the daily Al Youm that in the age of easy digital communication, executioners’ lateness was “causing confusion and sparking speculation and rumours through modern technology”, a remark that perhaps hinted at public opposition. A special inter-ministerial committee was examining the possible change to a method that has been used for centuries and which Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia claim is based on the Koran.………….”
As for beheading being part of the Islamic Shari’a, and the claim of it being in the Quran, I
am not sure about that. I doubt it: there probably is nothing in the
Holy Quran about chopping heads (I haven’t seen anything about it, maybe I missed something). I suspect they started doing that
because it was the easiest method. We did not have gallows or bullets in
the Middle East those days (to the best of my knowledge). The early
Arabs did not take kindly to the cruel barbaric European methods of burning
people alive or crucifying them or chopping them down with axes. The Gauls (ancestors of the French and Belgians) sometimes put people in wicker baskets and roasted them alive. In
those days, quickly chopping heads was a humane method.
Other countries have brain drains. The Saudis have their own kind of drain: a shortage of executioners who chop heads by the sword every Friday in various cities. Once I tweeted, flippantly, that they should recruit women to do the job. Best to end the death penalty worldwide, starting with Texas.
“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched the project with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari at a ceremony on the border, hailing a blow to US-led sanctions targeting his country’s oil and gas sector. The two leaders unveiled a plaque before shaking hands and offering prayers for the successful conclusion of the project, which involves the laying of a 485 mile section of the pipeline on the Pakistani side, expected to cost some $1.5 billion. “The completion of the pipeline is in the interests of peace, security and progress of the two countries … It will also consolidate the economic, political and security ties of the two nations,” they said in a joint statement……………….”
This agreement on the gas pipeline was one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest foreign policy failures. She and her State Department worked hard to derail it. It did not threaten the security of the United States; it did not even threaten the more important security of Israel. Yet she tried all kinds of extremely expensive alternatives that would bypass Iranian gas fields. Every alternative was very uneconomical: Iran probably sits on the world’s second largest reserves of natural gas (possibly the largest). No doubt the Iranians also paid a price for the pleasure of thumbing their noses at the West.
Controversial? Only in the United States media since it is not against any United Nations sanctions.
“The stringent dietary restrictions will be dictated by the timing of Mr Obama’s arrival at Jerusalem’s landmark King David Hotel on March 20 – after it has changed to a full religious menu in preparation for the start of the annual Jewish Passover festival five days later. Bosses at the 233-room King David say they are unable to make an exception for the presidential party. Pasta dishes will be very much off the menu, while dishes rich in vegetables will predominate – even on room service, which will operate 24-hours-a-day for the duration of the president’s visit…………….”