“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Monday, September 16, 2013

The death knell to an attempt by Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to get the U.S. into the war in Syria

Preface: Ray McGovern previously undid Donald Rumseld in some direct questions using Rumsfeld’s own words. McGovern cannot be dismissed as anyone’s fool:

How War on Syria Lost Its Way
Ray McGovern, September 14, 2013

The just announced U.S.-Russia agreement in Geneva on a “joint determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons (CW) program in the soonest and safest manner” sounds the death knell to an attempt by Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to get the U.S. into the war in Syria.
Equally important, it greatly increases the prospect of further U.S.-Russia cooperation to tamp down escalating violence in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. That the two sides were able to hammer out in three days a detailed agreement on such highly delicate, complicated issues is little short of a miracle. I cannot remember seeing the likes of it in 50 years in Washington.
Just two short weeks ago, the prospect of a U.S. military strike against Syria looked like a done deal with Official Washington abuzz with excitement about cruise missiles being launched from American warships in the Mediterranean, flying low toward their targets and lighting up the night sky of Damascus like the “shock and awe” pyrotechnics did to Baghdad in 2003.
On Aug. 30, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to seal the deal with an impassioned address that declared some 35 times that “we know” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had crossed President Barack Obama’s “red line” against using chemical weapons with an Aug. 21 attack and needed to be punished.
Along with Kerry’s speech, the White House released a four-page “Government Assessment” declaring with “high confidence” that Assad’s regime was guilty of the attack on a Damascus suburb that killed precisely “1,429” people and “at least 426 children.” Though the white paper included not a single verifiable fact establishing Assad’s guilt – nor did it explain where its casualty figures came from – the assessment was accepted as true by most of the mainstream U.S. news media.
At that moment, Israel and its many backers had every reason to believe they had won the day and that at least the first stage of the retribution would be delivered before President Barack Obama flew off on Sept. 3 to Europe and to the G-20 summit. But then came a series of disappointments for them, beginning with Obama’s abrupt Aug. 31 decision to seek congressional authorization.
Still, the prevailing attitude was that the Israel Lobby would simply get to work whipping members of Congress into line with a variety of arguments (and a mix of threats and inducements) to ensure that a use-of-force resolution was passed and sent to the President’s desk.
The confidence was so high that there was no need to disguise what was afoot. Usually the mainstream media avoids mentioning the extraordinary influence of the Israel Lobby on Congress, but this time the New York Times displayed unusual candor describing who was egging on the march to war.

An 800-Pound Gorilla
In an article posted online Sept. 2, the Times reported, “Administration officials said the influential pro-Israel lobby group Aipac was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Mr. Assad. … One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called Aipac ‘the 800-pound gorilla in the room,’ and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, ‘If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line’ against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, ‘we’re in trouble.’”
This warning about “loss of credibility” is a familiar one, artfully promoted in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal in an article by Leon Aron titled “America, Syria and the World.” Aron quotes a long list of Israel loyalists like Brookings Saban Center’s Kenneth M. Pollack, who warn that foreigners may come to view us as wimps if strong action is not taken against Syria.
A contrary point of view was expressed by former U.S. Ambassador Chas Freeman, who commented: “There is another possibility, however. And that is that they have come to see us as bullies, prone to resort to force rather than diplomacy when problems arise. The latter possibility puts a whole different face on Obama’s hesitation to go to war with Syria.”
In any case, to the surprise of many Washington insiders, the dreams of U.S. bombs raining down on another Mideast country began to slip away as many members of Congress listened to their constituents speaking out against war, and some even disbelieving the administration’s assessment because no hard, checkable evidence was being revealed to the American people.
Morose at CNN
As the march toward war began meandering off in unexpected directions, I was lucky enough to observe, up-close and personal, the angry reaction of some of Israel’s top American supporters on Monday evening. That was after Russia drew Obama a new map for how to reach the desired destination of removing chemical weapons from Assad’s arsenal without going to war.
After doing an interview on CNN International, I opened the studio door and almost knocked over a small fellow named Paul Wolfowitz, President George W. Bush’s former under-secretary of defense who in 2002-2003 had helped craft the fraudulent case for invading Iraq. And there standing next to him was former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the neocon from Connecticut who was a leading advocate for the Iraq War and pretty much every other potential war in the Middle East.
Finding myself in the same room with two gentlemen responsible for so much misery in the world, I fell back on my recent training in non-violence, as we watched Piers Morgan try earnestly to spin the day’s astounding events. On the tube earlier, Anderson Cooper sought counsel from Ari Fleischer, former spokesman for George W. Bush, and David Gergen, long-time White House PR guru.
Fleischer and Gergen were alternately downright furious over the Russian initiative to give peace a chance and disconsolate at seeing the prospect for U.S. military involvement in Syria disappear when we were oh so close. After some caustic and condescending outbursts, an almost surreally disconsolate mood set in. It looked like these fellas were not going to get their war.
Later remarks by Lieberman and Wolfowitz reflected a distinctly funereal atmosphere. I felt I had come to a wake with somberly dressed folks (no pastel ties this time) grieving for a recently, dearly-departed war.
Among Lieberman’s vapid comments was the hope-against-hope assertion that President Obama, of course, could still commit troops to war without congressional authorization. I thought to myself, wow, here’s a fellow who was a senator for 24 years and almost our vice president, and he does not remember that the Founders gave Congress the sole power to declare war in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
So I dug into my back pocket, pulled out my little copy of the Constitution, and carefully tore out Article 1. Then I lurked in the ornate elevator waiting area for Joe and Paul to come out. After the usual pleasantries (all politicians feel compelled to “remember” you once you say your name as though they should), I said, “Joe, I couldn’t believe what you said about the President not being required to get the approval of Congress before attacking a country like Syria. So, here; I tore out Article 1 of the Constitution for you; I have another copy, so you can keep it. Go home, read it, and see if what you just said is correct.”
It was a bad evening for war and for those pundits who like to joke about “giving war a chance.” For those of us who think war is not such a good idea – and truly should only be considered as an absolutely last resort – it was an uncommon day for rejoicing at the failure of the warmongers to again send young men and women to kill folks who pose no threat to us.
Salt in the Wounds
As sad as the war proponents were – including the cable news channels cheated out of some great video of flashing bombs illuminating the shattered buildings of ancient Damascus – they would face another humiliation in reading Thursday’s New York Times, which published an op-ed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He made sensible points about the value of international law prohibiting one country from attacking another except in self-defense or with approval of the United Nations Security Council.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and an Israeli favorite, spoke for many Washington insiders by saying, “I was at dinner, and I almost wanted to vomit.” [For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Rewarding ‘Group Think’ on Syria.”]
Menendez had just cobbled together and forced through his committee a resolution, 10-to-7, to authorize the President to strike Syria with enough force to degrade Assad’s military. Now, at Obama’s request, the resolution was being put on the shelf.
Events were now moving swiftly away from a U.S. missile strike. Obama dispatched Kerry to Geneva to work out an agreement with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. But the hope for war still was not fully extinguished.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was still rooting for a chance to revive the military option and – like Lieberman – suggesting that the President didn’t really need congressional approval and shouldn’t be deterred by popular opposition either.
At a breakfast session with reporters on Sept. 11, Levin said, “I just don’t think you can be guided, when it comes to this kind of an issue, by public opinion polls. … It would not be a surprise at all to me, even if there were no congressional authority, that he [Obama] would use his Article 2 authority” as commander in chief. (Not incidentally, Levin has been the recipient of more money from AIPAC-related organizations than any other member of Congress.)
At this point, Israel and its lobby had every reason to be disappointed in another longtime close friend, John Kerry. He had succeeded in driving the war, which was to be fought over Obama’s “red line,” into what football fans might call the “red zone” but Kerry was unable to push the plan for missile strikes over the goal line.
Instead, Kerry clearly is under new orders from President Obama to figure out a way in cooperation with Minister Lavrov to defuse the crisis. Putin, Obama, Lavrov and Kerry have just won some laurels from the people around the world hoping to advance the cause of peace. But they won’t have the luxury of resting on them, while so many others in and around Syria have powerful incentives to reverse the progress made.
One still has to wonder what might revive prospects for U.S. missile strikes. Some in the Middle East are worried about the possibility that radical jihadists among the Syrian rebels might try to derail peace talks by launching a chemical weapons attack against Israeli targets with the hope that the provocation will be blamed on the Assad regime and set off a rush to retaliate.
Whether likely or not, it is a threat that the cooler heads in the Obama administration should anticipate and be ready to head off.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as a CIA analyst for 27 years and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Who are you going to believe, Bibi Netanyahu or Ray McGovern?


  1. If you have the time, watch the entire interview on the second video. You will hear a smart guy, a good analyst, obviously experienced and honest. I can hardly wait for the attack on him to begin. :)

  2. Wow, it is impossible that such an in depth and honest interview would be on MSM. Here is the background on the independent network:

    WHDT is an independent full service television station broadcasting in the West Palm Beach, Miami and Boston television markets. Founded May 25, 2000, the station is licensed to Stuart, Florida and is authorized to broadcast on RF channel 42 (virtual channel 9) from a 1,500-foot (460 m) tower in Wellington, Florida, and on RF channel 44 (virtual channel 9) from a 1,000-foot (300 m) tower in North Miami. The station’s programming is available to 6 million viewers from South Beach to Sebastian, and to 2 million viewers in Boston via co-owned station WHDN-LD, which broadcasts on RF channel 38 (virtual channel 6) from the Government Center district in downtown Boston.

    WHDT is carried on cable TV channels 44 (SD) and 1044 (HD) by AT&T, on cable channels 17 (SD) and 438 (HD) in West Palm Beach by Comcast.

  3. “They remember Iraq, when the evidence was not mistaken but fraudulent cooked up to justify ‘a war on Iraq,’ ” McGovern said.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of President Assad, has said any attack on Syria “is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.”

    Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has said the US will keep the threat of military force on the table.

  4. If only 20% of the American public had an idea as to what really goes on in Washington, that 20% would swell to a majority. The opposition War Party knows that. They lost an important battle with Obama reverting to his instincts and having the courage to take the heat and move in the right direction.

    I am still astonished at it. It reminds my of my skiing days and some rather remarkable recoveries that had my skiing parter think I knew what I was doing.

    It is no time to think we won this. We haven’t.

    Two things will happen. It will be non-stop to create another false flag operation around Syria by someone using chemical weapons.

    The panic has also set in on the impending potential meeting of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani with Obama.

    Obama is on the verge of ripping back the curtain. Let’s see if he has the right stuff to do it.

  5. Somewhere in the first half of the Video McGovern speculates who benefits from the continued turmoil in the Middle East.

    Readers to this blog will recall the many times that a frequent poster, with close connections to AIPAC, has often commented with glee, about the continued killing between Sunni and Shia. McGovern expressed the opinion that this is a commonly held sentiment in Israel and believes it is their policy and interest to maintain the level of killing as long as the US is continuously involved, so that it does not flow into Israel.

    He states, correctly IMO, that The Israeli Lobby’s number one priority is to equate Israeli interests with US interests. A rapprochement at any level with Iran will free the US from that political “Full Nelson”.

    1. I posted with glee that those that are committed to my personal murder, my family's murder and my people's murder are too busy murdering each other.

      Sorry but that does make me happy.

      I only hope that someday, you have enemies that are like the enemies I have. I hope that you will have the fear when you hear an explosion, on a regular basis, that you wonder did it hit my grandkid's school? did it hit the grocery store or did it hit my friends or families apartment..

      I only hope you some day weep when inside that dead thing you call a soul you realize the soul-less person you are....

      But thanks for posting ANOTHER Israel bashing, Jew bashing thread. Right on time.

  6. “We have scorched the snake, not killed it.” The War Party is not dead.

    House Republicans who oppose a U.S. war on Syria speak for the people and should seize this moment to dump Obama conscripts Boehner and Cantor and replace them with leaders who will stand resolutely against Obama’s war, against Obamacare and against amnesty.

    The House should then pass a resolution instructing the president:

    • Absent an attack on this country, you have no authority to take us to war against Syria, Iran, or any other nation.

    • We are taking back from you the war powers the Fathers gave us.

    • We are going to restore our constitutional republic.

    - Buchanan

  7. Saudi hatred for Iran was heightened during the Nixon Administration when it was official US policy to enshrine Iran as the hegemon in the Middle East at the expense of Saudi Arabia.

    More on Turkey in the next few days.

  8. It will take more political courage than I believe Obama has to normalize relationships with Iran.

    1. Normalize relations with Iran?

      That is your dream?

      I hope you visit there and get the "treatment" by the mullahs...

      Then maybe you will wise up and understand what you are advocating.

    2. Your knowledge of recent history needs an adjustment:

      The US has four strong allies in Europe, UK, France, Germany and Poland.

      Which one of the four did we not have a war with?

      The United States was in a Cold war with Russia and China.

      The United States was at war with Italy.

      The United States was at war with Viet Nam.

      The US has not been at war with Iran. It has been encouraged to do so by Israel. The US overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran which eventually led to the Mullahs taking rule. The US encouraged a war between Iraq and Iran that possibly killed 700,000 Iranians. The US shot down a civilian airline with over 200 men woman and children aboard. In exchange the US suffered the indignity of losing its embassy in Tehran. The US has been in a state of economic aggression against Iran causing it ruinous damage and suffering.

      All that said, it will be no more difficult to achieve normal relationships than it was with the previous cited examples of hostility with other nations.

      There is no country in all of the Americas that does not want the US to normalize relations with Iran. There is none in Europe. I doubt there is any in Africa. Most countries in Southern Asia including al SE Asia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan would welcome it. Russia and China would welcome it.

      Now who is left that will do anything to oppose it?

      Beuhler? Beuhler? Anyone?

    3. There is no normalizing relations with the theocratic mullahs, other than submission to allah through the "prophet" mohamet (peanut butter upon him).

      By your logic, you would have the US normalize relations with stalin, hitler and all the tyrants that ever ruled anywhere in history, imo.

      As long as islam has an adherent, they have an enemy in me.

    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    5. Political Science, that is.

      Peace and Love Be Upon Him.

    6. I was citing the significant events between the two countries, not in any particular order.

      The equating of Iran with Stalin or Hitler is absurd. If you recall, Stalin was our ally. We would not have won WWII if the Russians had not decimated the NAZI armies. The Russians lost 20 million people. The US has a long history of working with tyrants. What was Diem? What are the Saudi rulers? The rulers of China? Pick one of twenty in Latin America? Try Pinochet for a starter.

      The Shah was a dictator who used the SAVAK without mercy. Saddam was our guy before he wasn’t.

      Do the math. There are over one billion Muslims. We cannot protect a military facility in Washington DC from one determined shooter. Keep fucking with a billion people and see how that works out for you.

    7. The equating of Iran with Stalin or Hitler is absurd.

      I equate the fanatical mullahs with them. Not all of Persia.

      Keep fucking with a billion people and see how that works out for you.

      You totally dismiss the aim of those people. To subjugate the entire world to their fanatical religion.
      And even if someone converts to that crap, you will be in danger of practicing it in the wrong way and losing your head.

    8. Signing off for now.
      Gotta make that dollar...

    9. Do the math. There are over one billion Muslims. We cannot protect a military facility in Washington DC from one determined shooter. Keep fucking with a billion people and see how that works out for you.

      So we should grovel and beg for the billion moslems for protection?

      We should pay tribute?

      We should erase a jewish Israel because it "offends" them?

      We should allow them to murder all the Christians and gays in their lands as well?

      We should allow them to migrate to the west, set up zones of Islamic law without any push back for fear we will "offend" them?

      There are a billion catholics in the world.

      There are a billion hindus in the world.

      Should we not eat meat on Friday? Should we make it illegal to talk trash about the Pope?

      No the problem is NOT out treatment of moslems. Rather it's MOSLEMS treatment of everyone else.

      Study Islam.

      It is a warrior/conquering faith. Look at the flag of Saudi Arabia, look at the symbols of the Islamic world.

      Its the SWORD.

      And from the SWORD it spread thru out the middle east.

      Arabs come from Arabia. They conquered much of the middle east using the sword to murder Jews, Christians and pagans along the way. Christians and Jews were allowed to convert or die in many places. In some places they were given the chance to legally become dhimmi, 2nd class citizens, pay the tax, KNOW their place and behave or die.

      Now we should worry that they might be offended by our actions?

      Get real deuce they are OFFENDED that we EXIST.


      For the 100th time. Learn American history, Learn about the Betsy and the Philadelphia, how they were hijacked. the Barbary MOSLEMS, the WAR...

      It was the Moslems that Attacked us 1st BEFORE we were anything but colonies.

  9. Officials will hope that the apparent diplomatic mix-up does not complicate attempts to reach out to the new president, seen as a moderate in Iranian terms.

    Following his election earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron made the unusual move of writing to Mr Rouhani expressing the hope that there could be a step-by-step improvement in relations between the two countries.

    Britain has not had a diplomatic presence in Iran since November 2011 when its embassy in Tehran was stormed by a mob, triggering one of the worst crises between the two countries since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

  10. On this day in 2008, the federal government provided an $85 billion emergency loan to AIG to rescue the world’s largest insurance company.

  11. President Rouhani of Iran and President Obama could hold face-to-face talks at the United Nations next week. This possibility emerged after it was revealed that the two presidents have been exchanging letters with one another.


    These are five things the presidents should discuss if they do meet.

    1. Nuclear Proliferation

    The first one is obvious with ongoing tension over Iran's nuclear program. Iran claims that its program is entirely peaceful and for civilian use.


    2. Syria

    The Syrian crisis has raged for two and half years and has left 110, 000 dead and 6.2 million displaced. What started off as a peaceful revolution has turned into a bloody civil war, which is creating regional instability and spreading extremism.


    3. Afghanistan

    With an expected U.S. exit from Afghanistan in 2014, the success and stability of Afghanistan is a major concern for U.S. officials. The U.S. would like Afghanistan to achieve some stability, and not be a sanctuary for extremist groups.

    US - Iran Relations

  12. Western governments were accused by Russia on Monday of “rewriting” the Geneva agreement on Syrian chemical disarmament after they called for a speedy UN resolution which would permit military action if the Assad regime broke its word.

    At a meeting in Paris, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the British and French foreign ministers, William Hague and Laurent Fabius, said they would push for a “strongly worded” resolution in the UN Security Council in the next few days. Mr Kerry said that the resolution must be “enforceable”. Mr Hague said that the world must “be prepared to hold (Syria) to account”.

    However, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused Britain and France of trying to toughen up the ambiguous wording of the agreement on Syrian disarmament which he reached with Mr Kerry in Geneva at the weekend. According to the Russian interpretation of the deal, there could be no immediate punitive action under Chapter Seven of the UN charter if Damascus failed to comply. A second resolution would be needed.

    The comments made by the Western leaders yesterday suggest that they will demand a Security Council resolution this week which carries an immediate threat of military action if Syria drags its feet.

    The negotiations came as a Turkish jet shot down a Syrian military helicopter yesterday after it entered Turkish airspace and ignored warnings to leave, an official said.

  13. The Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea will be boosted by another military vessel till the end of September, according to the country’s Black Sea Fleet command.

    The large landing ship, Yamal, is set to depart from the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine by the end of the month to join the 10 vessels Russia already has in Mediterranean waters.

    “The Yamal’s crew has completed preparations for relocation to the Mediterranean Sea,” Captain Vyacheslav Trukhachev, the Black Sea Fleet information chief told ITAR-TASS news agency. “As part of the preparatory period, the ship has performed several drive outs, which included target practice on sea and land.”

    The Yamal will represent the country at the annual ‘Russian Weeks’ forum in Greece, which this year will be hosted by the Ionian Islands.

    The large landing ship – commanded by Captain Sergey Gritsay – is also expected to be called to the Greek port of Pylos and to visit Montenegro, Trukhachev added.

    The Yamal vessel, which has been in service since 1988, is designed for landing operations and the transportation of military personnel and cargo. It’s able to carry up to 250 troops and 10 tanks.

    Russia began military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, establishing a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea since December last year.

    On May 1, all of the country’s battleships operating in the area were assigned to a single task force under special offshore maritime zone operation command.

  14. A prominent member of Russia’s parliament has exploited the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard by using the tragedy as an opportunity to ridicule the United States and calling the attack that killed 12 people “a clear confirmation of American exceptionalism.”


    The motive for the mass shooting – the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 — was a mystery, investigators said. But a profile of the lone gunman, a 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was coming into focus.

    He was described as a Buddhist who had also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings.

  15. Former Rep. Ron Paul said the opposition to President Obama’s calls for a military strike against Syria could signal a shift away from the military adventurism that has dominated U.S. foreign policy.

    Mr. Paul, a libertarian icon and three-time presidential candidate, said in his weekly column that Russia’s plan to secure and dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile provides some hope that a U.S. attack will not come to fruition.
    “The American people have spoken out against war,” Mr Paul said. “Many more are now asking what I have been asking for quite some time: why is it always our business when there is civil strife somewhere overseas? Why do we always have to be the ones to solve the world’s problems? It is a sea change and I am very encouraged. We have had a great victory for the cause of peace and liberty and let’s hope we can further build on it.”
    Mr. Paul has been a vocal critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has warned that military interventionism has done more harm then good.
    Mr. Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, led the push back against Mr. Obama’s call for a military strike.
    The elder Paul said in his column that the Obama administration’s push for military action started to unravel last month after the British House of Commons rejected a proposal that would have paved the way for British military action against the Assad regime, which is accused of using chemical weapons against its won people.
    Mr. Paul said that public opinion in the U.S. also turned and the Obama administration decided to take its foot off the gas when it realized that Congress could shoot down his proposal.
    “It would have been far better to have had the president’s request for war authorization debated and voted down in the House and Senate, but even without a no vote it is clear that a major shift has taken place,” Mr. Paul said.
    “A Russian proposal to secure and dismantle the Syrian government’s chemical weapons was inspired, it seems, by John Kerry’s accidental suggestion that such a move could avert a U.S. strike. Though the details have yet to be fully worked out, it seems the Russia plan, agreed to by the Syrian government, gives us hope that a U.S. attack will be avoided.”

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/sep/16/ron-paul-opposition-syria-strike-marks-sea-change/#ixzz2f8dEKtwQ
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  16. Iran: In Letter to Obama, Rouhani Offers His Views
    TEHRAN, Iran September 17, 2013 (AP)

    Iran's foreign ministry says the letter exchange between Washington and Tehran included White House's congratulations on the election of Iran's new moderate-leaning president.

    Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham also told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani expressed his views on "various subjects" in response to President Barrack Obama's letter.

    She gave no further details.

    Iran first announced the exchange last week. It was confirmed by Obama in a U.S. interview broadcast Sunday.

    The letters are viewed as possible overtures at greater contacts between to two foes or even initial moves toward direct talks in the future.

    Rouhani plans to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month, raising speculation about possible contacts with U.S. officials.

    However, Afkham said no meetings are on the agenda.

  17. hey T,

    How well did you know him?

    1. Please cite the T post you are referring to.

    2. No post, just guessing, as the Navy shooter was a Navy guy in IT who was once posted in Seattle.

    3. Farmer Bob in the Crosshairs:

      Data suggest Spokane potential site of next mass shooting/

      Data suggests Spokane will be the home of America’s next mass shooter, according to a writer for the monthly Atlantic magazine.

      Bump, who said he does a fair deal of data analysis work as a political writer with the magazine, was prompted to run the analysis by Monday morning’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. The FBI said 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a defense-industry employee, opened fire on workers from a balcony in one of the complex’s buildings. He killed 12 people before police gunned Alexis down.

      While Washington state, and Spokane specifically, are likely candidates because of population numbers, Bump said the most certain prongs of the prediction are that the shooter will be a white man. According to Mother Jones’ numbers, about two-thirds of mass shooting incidents occurring since the early 1980s have been perpetrated by white suspects, and only one of the shootings was carried out by a woman.

      “If I had $1 million to bet on the next shooting, I would bet $900,000 on the man, and another $100,000 on the fact that it’s a white man,” Bump said.

  18. Surprise, surprise:

    UPI 9/17/2013 11:22:06 AM
    JERUSALEM, Sept. 17 (UPI) --
    Israel's prime minister said Iran's nuclear program will dominate talks at his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington at the end of the month.

    "I intend to focus on the issue of stopping Iran's nuclear program," Israel Radio quoted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying at Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

    Netanyahu said at the Sept. 30 meeting he will discuss ways to halt Iran's nuclear program, a move that will require an end to uranium enrichment, transporting enriched material out of Iran, closing the underground facilities and stopping the plutonium manufacturing process, the report said.

    Netanyahu's statements came amid a report by the German weekly Der Spiegel published Monday that said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is prepared to decommission the Fordow nuclear plant and allow inspectors to monitor the removal of centrifuges in exchange for an end to economic sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

    Rouhani reportedly plans to announce details of the offer at the U.N. General Assembly, the report said.

    1. We play checkers as they play chess.

      They offer "fordow" while secretly and not secretly build 8 new centrifuge plants.

      can anyone say handjob?

    2. The Iranians can have as many centrifuges as they desire.
      The signed no treaty that would deny them that.

      They are well within the "Rules"

      As are the Japanese and the South Koreans.


    3. The only states to totally ignore the "Rules" concerning nuclear weapons are Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

      Birds of a feather.

    4. Rules dont apply to you, you have said as much. SO who are to determine the rules of the NPT?

      Let alone those that have not JOINED IT....

      It's above your pay grade corporal..

  19. "Obama is on the verge of ripping back the curtain. Let’s see if he has the right stuff to do it."

    Calling Timothy Leary!

    Meanwhile hold your breath on the right stuff stuff.

  20. Eisenhower Screwed The Pooch, the rest is history:

    "The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War, or Second Arab-Israeli War[13][14] (Arabic: أزمة السويس /‎ العدوان الثلاثي‎ Azmat al-Suways / al-ʻUdwān al-Thulāthī , "Suez Crisis"/ "the Tripartite Aggression"; French: Crise du canal de Suez; Hebrew: מבצע קדש‎ Mivtza' Kadesh "Operation Kadesh," or מלחמת סיני Milẖemet Sinai, "Sinai War"), was a diplomatic and military confrontation in late 1956 between Egypt on one side, and Britain, France and Israel on the other, with the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Nations playing major roles in forcing Britain, France and Israel to withdraw.[15]
    The attack followed the President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, which was in response to Egypt's new ties with the Soviet Union and recognizing the People's Republic of China during the height of tensions between China and Taiwan.[16] The aims of the attack were primarily to regain Western control of the canal and to remove Nasser from power,[17] and the crisis highlighted the danger that Arab nationalism posed to Western access to Middle East oil.[18]
    Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel, and then began to bomb Cairo. Despite the denials of the Israeli, British, and French governments, allegations began to emerge that the invasion of Egypt had been planned beforehand by the three powers.[19] Anglo-French forces withdrew before the end of the year, but Israeli forces remained until March 1957, prolonging the crisis. In April, the canal was fully reopened to shipping, but other repercussions followed.
    The three allies, especially Israel, were mainly successful in attaining their immediate military objectives, but pressure from the United States and the USSR at the United Nations and elsewhere forced them to withdraw. As a result of the outside pressure Britain and France failed in their political and strategic aims of controlling the canal and removing Nasser from power. Israel fulfilled some of its objectives, such as attaining freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran. As a result of the conflict, the UNEF would police the Egyptian–Israeli border to prevent both sides from recommencing hostilities."

    1. Nothing like Team USA and the USSR.

      Except for The Won on his knees for Pootie Poot.

    2. Bush looked into his eyes.

      Barry fondles his balls.

    3. .

      Where exactly did Ike screw the pooch?


    4. .

      I should have added "...and how?"


  21. "Equally important, it greatly increases the prospect of further U.S.-Russia cooperation to tamp down escalating violence in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

    That the two sides were able to hammer out in three days a detailed agreement on such highly delicate, complicated issues is little short of a miracle. I cannot remember seeing the likes of it in 50 years in Washington."

    Bush looked into his eyes.

    Barry fondles his balls,

    Ray McGovern Sees Rainbows and Lollipops.

  22. Well, we could fall back on theBush/Cheney/Bremmer Iraq model. That was a winner.

    We could revisit the evacuation scene from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon, another good show.

    You guys come up with a strategy. I’ll post it.

  23. It is laughable that Israel would have jumped the shark on Egypt and kept it. The French were already on their way out of SE Asia and the British Empire was collapsing everywhere.

    Eisenhower saved all their dumb asses.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. In 1956 the Egyptians owned Gaza. They NEVER spoke of creating a "palestinian" nation. Rather they spoke of genocide of the Jews and the erasing of Israel.

      Egypt used the "strip" as a safe haven for it's proxy war against the Jews.

      Notice I said the "Jews". The war USED to be called the ARAB/Israeli war. But the war was always about the Jewish national LIBERATION movement in their historic homeland.

      The 1948 creation of the Jewish state, and the abortion they called palestine, since the arabs, not the Jews, rejected a state called Palestine to be created, was intolerable for the ARABS to allow.

      Jews had no rights... They were dhimmis. Period.

      How dare they not bow to the superior race.

      How dare they reject the Jizya.

      Learn the beauty of being a dhimmi in your own lands by the arab occupiers....

    3. Did I dare call the arabs "occupiers"? yes I did...

      Its a funny thing about "land" ownership under the Ummah. It's forever...

      The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei expressed confidence on Wednesday that the Palestinians will eventually retake control of their motherland.
      “…the light of hope will shine on the Palestinian issue, and this Islamic land will certainly be returned to the Palestinian nation, and the superfluous and fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,” the Supreme Leader said.
      The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei made the remarks during a meeting with a number of Iranian war veterans who were prisoners of war during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

  24. "an independent full service staion"

    Well Good God

    so is







    and God forbid



    and my Niece


    1. Sorry I forgot Rufus in my quickie list this was an error of emission.

  25. George Orwell put it this way:

    The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield …....

    To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

  26. Who are you going to believe, Bibi Netanyahu or Ray McGovern?

    Well certainly not Ray McGovern.

    After all the "cia analyst" got pakistan's going nuclear wrong, the fall of the soviet block wrong, wmd in iraq wrong, north korea's nuclear breakout wrong, iran's secret fordor existence wrong, syria's nuke plant that israel took out wrong...

    we could go further.

    the cia has a horrible record...

    Now Bibi?

    has quite the opposite. But nothing bibi has done would impress you so why waste a keystroke telling you...

    1. Bibi has been full of shit since 1995, when he told US the Iranians were 3 to 5 years from having a nuclear weapon.

      Back in 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu published a scary book called Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat the International Terrorist Network that says that radical Islam is trying to conquer the west and extend Muslim rule. I carried a copy out with me to Jordan. From page 121:

      “The best estimates at this time place Iran between three and fve years away from possessing the prerequisites required for the independent production of nuclear weapons. After this time, the Iranian Islamic republic will have the ability to construct atomic weapons without the importation of materials or technology from abroad.”

      He was wrong then, he has been wrong ever since.
      Bibi Netanyahu, an Israeli that cried wolf!

    2. Bibi Netanyahu, another Israeli that cried wolf!

      mea culpa

    3. “The best estimates at this time place Iran between three and fve years away from possessing the prerequisites required for the independent production of nuclear weapons. After this time, the Iranian Islamic republic will have the ability to construct atomic weapons without the importation of materials or technology from abroad.”

      Sounds like he's 100% correct.

      Notice HOW you LIE?

      He states specifically : “from possessing the prerequisites required for the independent production of nuclear weapons. After this time, the Iranian Islamic republic will have the ability to construct atomic weapons without the importation of materials or technology from abroad.”

      You stated: "when he told US the Iranians were 3 to 5 years from having a nuclear weapon"

      This is why you lack any credibility. You even have the BALLS to post the statement that you CHANGE to argue your pathetic point.

      You are one gusty stupid Israel hating piece of shit Rat. Imagine you actually post a quote and they COMPLETELY tell us something it doesn't say.


      I guess it's true what they say about you on the other blogs..

    4. If what he said in 1995 is 100% right, then the Iranians must already have all they need to build a nuclear bomb.

      And they have not.

      Just as they say the will not.
      All the more reliable, if they have been able to, since 1998.

      If they could not build a nuclear weapon in 1998, Bibi cried wolf.
      If the could have built a nuclear bomb in 1998, the reality that the Iranians do not have one in 2013, as I said, reflects better upon the Iranians than those that claim the Iranians desire to build a nuclear weapon.

      Either Bibi lied, or he has misjudged the Iranians and their intent.

      It is well past 1998 and the Iranians are still 3 to 5 years from being able to build a nuclear weapon.

    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. Truth hurts?

      Israel has been protecting your sorry ass for years.

    7. Yep for years you scream "israel did this to the Iranians" "Israel did that to the Iranians"

      Ya never wonder why the Iranians havent made the leap?????

      thanks BIBI....

    8. Deuce does it piss you off to be called an appeaser?

      Or to be called a coward?

      America USED to stand for liberty and freedom through out the world.

      Now it doesnt...

      thanks Obama.

    9. At least the "israel firsters" have a spine and love and care about America.

      The very insults you hurl at "neo-cons" and AIPAC for loving Israel misses the point that we LOVE America and we love what America stood for as a beacon for freedom and liberty against the tyrants of the world.

      AIPAC serves American interests as well as Israeli interests.

      They are not mutually exclusive.

      The way you throw the term "israeli firsters": reminds me of how the msnbc/progressives throw around the "tea baggers"

      very rules for radicals of you.

  27. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the case Tuesday for what would be one of the most radical changes to the country's postwar military: expanding its now strictly limited self-defense role.

    In a stance Mr. Abe calls "active pacifism," the hawkish Japanese leader has been pushing for a broader constitutional interpretation of the military's restricted mandate, a move that would allow it also to help an ally under attack. On Tuesday, he appeared before a special advisory panel on defense-related laws that is expected to recommend such changes this fall.

    1. The Japanese are re-militarizing ...

      They are nuclear capable.
      More so than the Iranians.

      The Japanese are only a screwdriver turn away from a nuclear weapon.

    2. It's been 60 years since the Japanese were insane.

      The Iranians still are.

      Keep sucking Iranian Mullah ass Rat.. that's your natural position.

  28. Child pornographer Geoffrey Portway, who asked a Kansas man to kidnap a child for him so he could torture, kill, cook, and eat the child in a sound-proof dungeon he built in his basement, today was sentenced to nearly 27 years in federal prison.

    Portway, a 40-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom, was also ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to five children he victimized as part of his participation in the dissemination of child pornography that included 5,700 documented times he shared images with others, according to court records.

  29. On this day in 2001, the U.S. stock market reopened for the first time following the 9/11 attacks, ending the longest shutdown on Wall Street since the Great Depression. The Dow fell 684 points, which at the time was the worst one-day point drop in history.