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Scoring the Global War on Terror: From Liberation to Assassination in Three Quick Rounds

An Introduction by Tom Engelhardt:

If all goes as planned, it will be the happiest of wartimes in the U.S.A. Only the best of news, the killing of the baddest of the evildoers, will ever filter back to our world.

After all, American war is heading for the "shadows" in a big way. As news articles have recently made clear, the tip of the Obama administration's global spear will increasingly be shaped from the ever-growing ranks of U.S. special operations forces. They are so secretive that they don't like their operatives to be named, so covert that they instruct their members, as Spencer Ackerman of Wired's Danger Room blog notes, "not to write down important information, lest it be vulnerable to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act." By now, they are also a force that, in any meaningful sense, is unaccountable for its actions.

Although the special ops crew (66,000 people in all) exist on our tax dollars, we're really not supposed to know anything about what they're doing -- unless, of course, they choose the publicity venue themselves, whether in Pakistan knocking off Osama bin Laden or parachuting onto Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard to promote Act of Valor. In case you somehow missed the ads, that's the new film about "real terrorist threats based on true stories starring actual Navy SEALs." (No names in the credits please!)

Of course, those elite SEAL teams are johnnies-come-lately when compared to their no less secretive "teammates" in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia -- our ever increasing armada of drones. Those robotic warriors of the air (or at least their fantasy doppelgangers) were, of course, pre-celebrated -- after a fashion -- in the Terminator movies. In Washington's global battle zones, what's called our "traditional combat role" -- think big invasions, occupations, counterinsurgency -- is going, going, gone with the wind, even evidently in Afghanistan by 2013. War American-style is instead being inherited by secretive teams of men and machines, both hunter-killers who specialize in assassination operations, and both of whom, as presented to Americans, just couldn't be sexier.

Newspaper

In Russia, Putin Allies Sharpen Anti-American Attacks Ahead of Elections

Image
© Yekaterina Shtukina/Getty Images
Putin, left, and Medvedev at a congress of the ruling United Russia party in Moscow.
A nasty spate of anti-Americanism set off by Vladimir V. Putin has grown into waves of attacks aimed at the new American ambassador and Russian opposition leaders, raising questions about the future of U.S.-Russian relations.

The attacks started just before the December parliamentary elections and have intensified as the March 4 presidential vote approaches. Although widely viewed as aimed primarily at a domestic audience, they have grown shriller and more aggressive, provoking debate about whether Russia is deliberately giving a cold shoulder to President Obama's effort to promote more productive relations.

A main target of the attacks is Michael McFaul, the new ambassador, a longtime democracy advocate and Russia expert who as a top aide to Obama has been an architect of what the White House calls a "reset'' with Moscow.

The anti-American campaign bears trademark Soviet and KGB thinking, reflecting the mindset of many of the high-level officials appointed by Putin as well as their efforts to protect their power and privileges from the gathering opposition.

Attention

FBI Latest Government Agency to Target Social Media

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a Request for Information last month calling on IT companies to demonstrate their ability to design software for monitoring, mapping and analyzing social media.


Comment: They've been doing this sort of thing for years as COINTELPRO, only now they are going high-tech.


MIB

Azerbaijan Safe Haven for Mossad Terrorists: Report

Image
© unknown
Ahmadi Roshan was killed when a magnetic bomb was attached to his car on January 11, 2012.
The Azerbaijani government has reportedly aided a terrorist element, involved in the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists, who belongs to the Israeli spy agency of Mossad.

According to the report, the Jewish man who worked as a Mossad agent in Baku using the assumed name Javidan had a major role in the assassination of Iranian nuclear experts Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and Massoud Ali-Mohammadi.

Ahmadi Roshan was killed in January after a motorcyclist attached a magnetic bomb to his car in Tehran. He served as the deputy director of marketing at the Natanz nuclear facility.

According to the report, Azeri secret service helped Mossad agents in terrorist attacks against Iranians by providing technical and logistical support.

Boat

Iran's 18th Fleet Enters Mediterranean

The commander of the Iranian Navy says the country's 18th Fleet has sailed through Egypt's Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea.
Image
© Press TV
Iranian naval ships

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian Navy commanders and personnel on Saturday.

"The Navy's 18th fleet will... carry the message of peace and friendship to regional countries and display the might of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he stated.

Sayyari said that this is the second time that an Iranian naval fleet has passed through the Suez Canal since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

He noted that the mission shows that the sanctions the enemies imposed on the country have not hindered Iran's scientific progress and military capabilities.

Bizarro Earth

Military Attack on Iran Not Prudent: US General Dempsey

Martin Dempsey
© unknown
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has warned against a military invasion of Iran over its nuclear program, describing such a move as imprudent.

"It's not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran," Dempsey told CNN in an interview that is reportedly scheduled to be broadcast Sunday morning.

"I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us," he further stated.

According to the US-based news network, Dempsey believes that a military strike against Iran would be destabilizing and that it would not serve the interests of anybody, especially the Israelis.

"A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn't achieve their (the Israelis') long-term objectives," Dempsey added.

USA

Ron Paul: U.S. "Slipping into a Fascist System"

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© The Associated Press/Ed Zurga
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks to supporters at a rally held at Union Station Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo.
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul warned the U.S. is "slipping into a fascist system" dominated by government and businesses as he held a fiery rally Saturday night upstaging established Republican Party banquets a short distance away.

The Texas congressman drew a couple thousand standing and chanting people to Kansas City's Union Station as the party's establishment dined on steak across the street at the Missouri GOP's annual conference. Kansas Republicans were holding a similar convention in a suburb across the state line.

Paul staged his rally near the nation's World War I museum, asserting that the U.S. got off track about 100 years ago during the era of President Woodrow Wilson, who led the nation through World War I and unsuccessfully advocated for the nation's involvement in a forerunner of the United Nations.

Network

Turkey Will Not Allow NATO to Share Intelligence with Israel

Image
© Agence France-Presse
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) shake hands before their meeting in Ankara.
Turkey will never allow any third country, particularly Israel, to use intelligence obtained by a NATO radar system, its foreign minister said on Friday.

"We will never allow any third country to use any NATO facility. Our position will be even more clear if it is particularly Israel," Davutoglu told a joint news conference with visiting NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Ankara.

His remarks came after some media outlets reported that the United States and Israel have carried out a joint missile test by using intelligence gathered by a NATO radar system based in eastern Turkey.

Last year Ankara decided to host in a military facility base near Malatya in the southeast an early warning radar as part of NATO's defense architecture.

"It is a NATO system and we appreciate that Turkey has agreed to host one of the facilities," said Rasmussen.

"Data are shared within our alliance among the allies. It is a defence system to protect the populations of NATO allies," he added without mentioning Israel, which is not a NATO member.

Attention

Exclusive: Algeria Seizes Missiles Smuggled from Libya

Algerian security forces have found a large cache of weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, which they believe were smuggled in from neighboring Libya, a security source briefed on the discovery told Reuters on Saturday.

The find follows warnings from governments in the region that instability in Libya after the end of Muammar Gaddafi's rule is allowing weapons taken from Gaddafi's arsenal to fall into the hands of al Qaeda's north African branch and other insurgent groups across the Sahara desert.

The weapons cache was discovered in the desert about 60 km (40 miles) south of In Amenas, an energy-producing Algerian region near the border with Libya, said the source, who spoke to Reuters on condition on anonymity.

The source said the cache was located following a tip-off from a smuggler who had been arrested. He said it contained a "large quantity" of arms including the shoulder-launched missiles - a weapon which, in some variations, could be used to bring down an aircraft.

"This weapons seizure shows that the chaos in Libya is dangerous for the whole region," the source said.

There was no official confirmation of the discovery from the Algerian government and there was no way of independently verifying the source's account.

Western security experts tracking arms which have disappeared from Gaddafi's looted arms depots say the shoulder-fired missiles - also known as man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS - are one of their biggest concerns because they could be used with relative ease by insurgent groups.

X

Not a coincidence: Mossad chief visited New Delhi days before attack

Mossad chief Tamir Pardo visited New Delhi just days before an attack on Israeli officials in the Indian capital this week, the Times of India reported yesterday. But the Mossad chief's talks with local intelligence heads did not deal with a possible terror attack in India, and Pardo is cited as saying Israelis were safer in India than in Turkey, countries in East Asia or South America.

On Monday, the wife of an Israeli diplomat was moderately wounded when a car bomb exploded in New Delhi. The attack was one of three this week that targeted Israeli officials abroad, with failed attempts to strike at diplomats reported the same day in Tbilisi and on the following day in Bangkok.

None of the attacks was preceded by a specific intelligence alert.

Pardo reportedly arrived at the head of a high-level Mossad team for meetings with the heads of local Indian intelligence. They discussed the possibility of an Iranian counterattack against Israeli targets, but the possibility of an attack taking place in New Delhi did not even come up. The attack "appears to have come as a surprise to Mossad," the newspaper said.


Comment: Oh, really? And we think, Mossad probably planned a little encouragement and demonstation for its Indian "friends" in case they wouldn't be cooperative enough regarding Iran issue.


The newspaper reported that Israel's deputy envoy to India, Yahel Vilan, and the embassy's security officer, Shahar Gal Nero, sent a letter on February 1 to the New Delhi police warning of the possibility of attacks targeting Israeli citizens ahead of the anniversary of Hezbollah's Imad Mughniyeh's death, and following attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists.