Weight & Paperweight: Osama-Benghazi

By: Toddy Littman

Consider how well we know the group that went in to kill Osama Bin Laden, Seal Team 6. The photo of Obama watching on video as the killing of Bin Laden takes place, everyone in a seat, all the players we’d expect there, the appearance of a long pursued effort coming to fruition. Yet we never see a body, we are told Bin Laden’s religious beliefs were upheld in burying him at sea. Of course many details left out, someone from Hollywood makes a movie about the whole thing, even releasing it before the November 2012 elections.

Celebrations galore, even republicans (some of which are slightly Conservative), concede that Obama has done a great service for America, for the world, in killing the ultimate person behind 911.

Ignored, is that if these had been the facts for George Bush catching Bin Laden, or any Republican President (haven’t had a truly Conservative one for a very long time) the following would have occurred:

1) Daily KOS, Huffington Post, and others, would have been citing someone explaining how this is abnormal, followed by explanations of the vehicles that left the ship, explaining which ones could have held enough security personnel, and then, finally, saying outright that it appears Osama Bin Laden’s death was faked so that the CIA could waterboard him with no one worrying about his civil rights.

2) The same publications would be railing against George Bush for failing to have an international force to get Bin Laden, then explaining how we had no right to be in Pakistan. Some of these would publish lists of the names of the soldiers on Seal Team 6, hoping banks and others would deny services to them for having fooled the American People into thinking Bin Laden is dead and proving that our military is just a bunch of thugs, hired guns for the wealthy elite who made sure Bin Laden was blamed anyway because 911 was an inside job. In fact, this last “fact” would have come up in the efforts under “1” above, to explain how the whole thing is a lie, but here it would be the idea “we killed an innocent person, claiming it to be the body of Bin Laden.”

3) Questions would be brought, couched in perfect “gotcha” fashion, in absolute suspicion of the Republican administration and everyone in government who doesn’t overtly (by party) represent the Progressive view every time any of them appeared on a political talk show in the organized broadcast media for the next 3-6 months, even a year. Chris Matthews would explain how wrong it was to kill Bin Laden due to the useful information we could have gotten out of him, only to then take that back with a “well at least he escaped Cheney’s torture…(orchestrated intentional pause achieving dramatic effect as a break in cadence, coinciding with a few chews of his gum and appearing to lean down slightly as though scratching a leg tingle)…waterboarding.” And everyone who was for the death of Bin Laden would be fighting with those who were arguing every jot and tittle of what was reported with suspicion of every word. Some would argue “the death of one more doesn’t bring back the 3000 who died 9-11-2011.”

Yet, instead, because a Socialist President with Communist Dictatorial Leanings killed Bin Laden we have a celebrated execution, though wrongfully celebrated. The death of Bin Laden was not celebrated because he was an enemy to the American People, to Freedom and what America stands for, to our way of life and all that we hold dear, to our government even, but because Bin Laden’s death at the hand of Obama would, by this sensationalism, become the event impossible to be used in a negative way due to this overwhelming barrage of coverage of it in relation to Barack Obama, showing his intense involvement via the photos of his watching the last minutes, some records indicating Obama went against his staff’s recommendations – how quaint….And how dramatically convenient.

I get away with saying all this for the simple fact of 9-11-2012 (of how little is known of what happened on the ground, how the records are kept from us unless discussed in negotiating the ratification of the President’s cabinet members, not because Republicans are mixing things up but because a President who cannot find the same glamorous storyline available in any way regarding what he didn’t do, how Benghazi was a half-hour meeting because he had a Presidential Campaign) cannot be swept under the rug entirely because the very media that sold us on the death of Bin Laden can’t even spin the death of 4 Americans on foreign soil as “a great feat of Barack Obama,” especially when the stories from the beginning are replete with fabrications absolutely inconsistent with what facts we do know about what happened.

Bin Laden is a story of political weight, Benghazi, a story of political paperweight, when viewed in their affect on the outcome of Obama’s re-election. Don’t believe it? Get a pad and paper and write down the 10 things you absolutely know about the death of Osama Bin Laden on the left, and then the 10 things you absolutely know are true about Benghazi on the right (excluding Petraeus affair) and the clarity of how our knowledge of both incidents was determined by political weighing and nothing else will be more than obvious, unless of course you don’t care if your government is denying you your right to know all of what your tax dollars are paying for.

I mean, that is the “pro” argument for when something like waterboarding or an Abu Ghraib is brought to light, but seems to be the argument conveniently ignored by the very same people who would say we should know everything. “Pro” when a Republican, particularly a Conservative one, is in office, but ignored when Bill Clinton was doing rendition, or had implemented Echelon, and now ignored again under Barack Obama, irrespective of accumulating 75+% deficit totals in 4 years of George Bush’s 8, and an easy $1.5 to $2.5 trillion per year in excess of what Bill Clinton (with the help of Newt Gingrich) accomplished in his last year.

Imagine if the media were honest enough to compare Democrat presidents in a row, though we must remember Bill Clinton had 19 opportunities to kill Bin Laden before 9-11-2001 and never took the shot, maybe he, as demonstrated by Clinton’s taking leadership seriously and working with Gingrich, wasn’t as concerned about the political weights as Obama ALWAYS is.

Osama-Benghazi answers this question, particularly combined with a President who never scolds Harry Reid for filibustering the entire 435 members of the House by not taking up even one bill they pass since 2010… But of course, that’s the Republicans, the Tea Party, FoxNews, and talk radio’s fault right?

Thank you for reading,

Toddy Littman


Be Careful: Russia is Back to Stay in the Middle East

By: Felix Imonti for Oilprice.com

Russia is back. President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power. He is making his stand in Syria.

The Soviet Union acquired the Tardus Naval Port in Syria in 1971 without any real purpose for it. With their ships welcomed in Algeria, Cuba or Vietnam, Tardus was too insignificant to be developed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lacked the funds to spend on the base and no reason to invest in it.

The Russian return to the Middle East brought them first to where the Soviet Union had its closest ties. Libya had been a major buyer of arms and many of the military officers had studied in the Soviet Union. Russia was no longer a global power, but it could be used by the Libyans as a counter force to block domination by the United States and Europeans.

When Gaddafi fell, Tardus became Russia’s only presence in the region. That and the discovery of vast gas deposits just offshore have transformed the once insignificant port into a strategic necessity.

Earlier at the United Nations, Russia had failed to realize that Security Council Resolution 1973 that was to implement a new policy of “responsibility to protect” cloaked a hidden agenda. It was to be turned from a no-fly zone into a free-fire zone for NATO. That strategic blunder of not vetoing the resolution led to the destruction of Gaddafi’s regime and cost Russia construction contracts and its investments in Libyan gas and oil to the tune of 10 billion dollars.

That was one more in a series of humiliating defeats; and something that Putin will not allow to happen again while he is president. Since his time as an officer in the KGB, he has seen the Soviet Empire lose half of its population, a quarter of its land mass, and most of its global influence. He has described the collapse of the Soviet Union as a “geopolitical catastrophe.”

In spite of all of the pressure from Washington and elsewhere to have him persuade Bashar Al-Assad to relinquish power, Putin is staying loyal to the isolated regime. He is calculating that Russia can afford to lose among the Arabs what little prestige that it has remaining and gain a major political and economic advantage in Southern Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean.

What Russia lost through the anti-Al-Assad alliance was the possibility to control the natural gas market across Europe and the means to shape events on the continent. In July 2011, Iran, Iraq, and Syria agreed to build a gas pipeline from the South Pars gas field in Iran to Lebanon and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The pipeline that would have been managed by Gazprom would have carried 110 million cubic meters of gas. About a quarter of the gas would be consumed by the transit countries, leaving seventy or so million cubic meters to be sold to Europe.

Violence in Iraq and the Syrian civil war has ended any hope that the pipeline will be built, but not all hope is lost. One possibility is for Al-Assad to withdraw to the traditional Aliwite coastal enclave to begin the partitioning of Syria into three or more separate zones, Aliwite, Kurdish, and Sunni. Al-Assad’s grandfather in 1936 had asked the French administrators of the Syrian mandate to create a separate Aliwite territory in order to avoid just this type of ethnic violence.

What the French would not do circumstance may force the grandson to accept as his only choice to survive. His one hundred thousand heavily armed troops would be able to defend the enclave.

The four or five million Aliwites, Christians, and Druze would have agricultural land, water, a deep water port and an international airport. Very importantly, they would have the still undeveloped natural gas offshore fields that extend from Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus. The Aliwite Republic could be energy self-sufficient and even an exporter. Of course, Russia’s Gazprom in which Putin has a vital interest would get a privileged position in the development of the resource.

In a last effort to bring the nearly two year long civil war to an end, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov urged Syrian president Bashar al-Assad at the end of December to start talks with the Syrian opposition in line with the agreements for a cease fire that was reached in Geneva on 30 June. The Russians have also extended the invitation to the Syrian opposition National Coalition head, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib. The National Coalition refuses to negotiate with Al-Assad and Al-Assad will not relinquish power voluntarily.

The hardened positions of both sides leaves little hope for a negotiated settlement; and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has made it clear that only by an agreement among the Syrians will Russia accept the removal of Al-Assad. Neither do they see a settlement through a battlefield victory which leaves only a partitioning that will allow the civil war to just wind down as all sides are exhausted.

The Russians are troubled by what they see as a growing trend among the Western Powers to remove disapproved administrations in other sovereign countries and a program to isolate Russia. They saw the U.S involvement in the Ukraine and Georgia. There was the separation of Kosovo from Serbia over Russian objections. There was the extending of NATO to the Baltic States after pledging not to expand the organization to Russia’s frontier.

Again, Russia is seeing Washington’s hand in Syria in the conflict with Iran. The United States is directing military operations in Syria with Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia at a control center in Adana about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to the American air base in Incirlik. The Program by President Obama to have the CIA acquire heavy weapons at a facility in Benghazi to be sent to Turkey and onward to Syria is the newest challenge that Putin cannot allow to go unanswered. It was the involvement of Ambassador Chris Stevens in the arms trade that may have contributed to his murder; and the Russians are not hesitating to remind the United States and Europeans that their dealings with the various Moslem extremists is a very dangerous game.

The Russians are backing their determination to block another regime change by positioning and manning an advanced air defense system in what is becoming the Middle East casino. Putin is betting that NATO will not risk in Syria the cost that an air operation similar to what was employed over Libya will impose. Just in case Russia’s determination is disregarded and Putin’s bluff is called, Surface to surface Iskander missiles have been positioned along the Jordanian and Turkish frontiers. They are aimed at a base in Jordan operated by the United States to train rebels and at Patriot Missile sites and other military facilities in Turkey.

Putin is certain that he is holding the winning hand in this very high stakes poker game. An offshore naval task force, the presence of Russian air defense forces, an electronic intelligence center in latakia, and the port facilities at Tardus will guarantee the independence of the enclave. As the supplier of sixty percent of Turkey’s natural gas, Moscow does have leverage that Ankara will not be able to ignore; and Ankara well knows that gas is one of Putin’s diplomatic weapons.

When the Turks and U.S see that there is little chance of removing Al-Assad, they will have no option other than to negotiate a settlement with him; and that would involve Russia as the protector and the mediator. That would establish Russia’s revived standing as a Mediterranean power; and Putin could declare confidently that “Russia is back.” After that, the Russians will be free to focus upon their real interests in the region.

And what is Russia’s real interest? Of course, it is oil and gas and the power that control of them can bring.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/Be-Careful-Russia-is-Back-to-Stay-in-the-Middle-East.html

By: Felix Imonti for Oilprice.com


A Chance to Grow a Pair

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Many folks believe the age of responsible journalism died years ago, at least in the major news media outlets… and perhaps they are correct. Instead of reporting news, the public is fed a steady diet of propaganda created for the sole purpose of maintaining and promoting the leftist agenda.

How else could a narcissistic spoiled little pimple of a man like Obama get elected to the presidency; not just once, but twice in spite of the fact he’s nearly destroyed everything he’s touched? (Once this has been posted, I’ll be waiting for a threatening email from the White House for having aimed a spotlight on the tyrant occupying that office.)

Journalist Bob Woodward, you may recall his name for having blown open the Watergate Scandal which eventually led to Richard Nixon’s downfall; Bob Woodward had the audacity to write something critical of Mein Fuehrer Obama’s involvement in Sequestration.

Somebody in the White House took umbrage to a little peon like Woodward throwing stones at or near the Emperor of the Universe and allegedly (Don’t you just love that word allegedly?) fired off a threatening email to put him in his place.

You don’t suppose this has happened to other journalists? This surely must be an anomaly.

“But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years – or 10 years’ – experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this,’” Woodward said. “You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate.” Woodward was quoted in the UK Telegraph.

Here’s an opportunity for the journalists of America to grow a pair, pardon the crude reference to anatomical gender related organs, grow a pair and start doing the job of reporting news instead of producing nothing more than state run propaganda pieces.

What would happen to the Obama administration if they had to field real questions, answer to the media (a media which at one time served the public)? What would happen to the Senate, Congress and the Supreme Court if the news media actually did their job of reporting news instead of creating book reports that were first censured by the White House to insure proper construction and content?

It’s time to start naming names, for the record; who exactly made the threat? Show the public the email and then press forward until everyone connected with suppression of a free press has been brought out of the shadows. Then start conducting press conferences as if the press actually wanted facts rather than throwing softball questions to the president which have been prepared in advance to make him look ‘presidential.’

Instead of ‘feel good’ pieces, we might actually find out what’s been going on; that’s what would happen. To all you pretend journalists out there who’ve been castrated by the powers that be, it’s time to grow a pair!

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”