Puppet MastersS


Flashback Best of the Web: Washington warmongers turned down extraordinary 2003 Iranian offer to end its support for Hamas and Hezbollah

© Unknown
Iran offered the US a package of concessions in 2003, but it was rejected, a senior former US official has told the BBC's Newsnight programme.

Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.

Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.

But Vice-President Dick Cheney's office rejected the plan, the official said.

The offers came in a letter, seen by Newsnight, which was unsigned but which the US state department apparently believed to have been approved by the highest authorities.

In return for its concessions, Tehran asked Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and repatriate its members.

Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had allowed the rebel group to base itself in Iraq, putting it under US power after the invasion.


Russia boosts Mediterranean fleet for potential evacuation - Kremlin

© RIA Novosti. Vitaliy AnkovRussia Boosts Mediterranean Fleet for Potential Evacuation
Russia has strengthened its naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea for a possible evacuation of Russian nationals from Syria, the Kremlin chief of staff said Thursday.

Asked why Russia is boosting its task force in the region, Sergei Ivanov said: "Above all, given the presence there of amphibious landing ships, they are intended for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens."

Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said earlier on Thursday that the country's increased presence in the Mediterranean is "a legitimate, natural and predictable reaction to the situation developing" in the region.

"Our actions are in strict compliance with international law and the UN Charter," he stressed, adding that the Mediterranean Sea is "quite close to Russia's borders."


Putin warns of risks that financial crisis will recur

© Photo host agency/ Alexei KudenkoPutin Warns of Risks That Financial Crisis Will Recur
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the global economy had not yet returned to sustained and balanced growth, and that systemic risks for a recurrence of the crisis remained.

Addressing the first working session of this year's G20 summit, he said that although the US economy was growing, it was not growing fast enough, and there were no guarantees that Japan's economic growth had become a stable trend.

The situation in the euro zone is "disturbing, due to the ongoing recession," Putin said, adding that a 0.6 percent economic decline is expected this year.


Best of the Web: Kerry tells Congress that oil sheikhs will pay U.S. to execute regime change in Syria

Saudi sheikhs and Israeli leaders agree: 'We'll basically hire the US military to fight the war against Syria for us'
In a rare moment of diplomatic candor, US Secretary of State John Kerry told a congressional hearing Wednesday that oil sheiks have offered to pay the United States to unseat Bashar al-Assad as Syrian strong man. The surprising admission came in response to congressional pressure on the administration to explain how yet another military operation would be paid for during a period of prolonged budgetary sequestration.

Apparently trying to assuage concerns about billions and billions of taxpayer dollars financing a "punishment strike" that most legislators know in their guts is the opening salvo in another Libyan style war of degrading the Syrian military (while untold numbers of civilians are also killed in the process), Kerry, according to The Washington Post, revealed more than he probably meant to:
Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday's hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily.

"With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes," Kerry said. "They have. That offer is on the table."

Asked by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) about how much those countries would contribute, Kerry said they have offered to pay for all of a full invasion.

"In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we've done it previously in other places, they'll carry that cost," Kerry said. "That's how dedicated they are at this. That's not in the cards, and nobody's talking about it, but they're talking in serious ways about getting this done."
The conundrum for Kerry is that you can't say "nobody's talking about it" when you've just said that an offer is on the table in case the Syrian conflict becomes a full-fledged Libyan style regime replacement operation.

So, what do our American readers think of Kerry's proposition: the Saudis and Qataris will pay for this dirty little war if you supply the cannon fodder.

Fair deal?


Flashback John McCain was not tortured in Vietnam prison, guard claims

It turns out that far from being tortured, McCain's life was saved by the people he was dropping bombs on daily.
Nguyen Tien Tran said: "We never tortured McCain. On the contrary, we saved his life, curing him with extremely valuable medicines that at times were not available to our own wounded."

Mr McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, who was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam war, regularly refers to his experiences after being captured when his plane was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967.

He was taken to Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton", where he was kept for more than five years and subjected to such brutal beatings that he attempted suicide, he later recalled. Today he is unable to lift his arms above his head and, it recently emerged, finds activities requiring intensive use of his hands - such as typing - extremely painful.

Comment: Apparently this doesn't hinder his ability to draft legislation that enslaves the American people, start new wars or play online poker.

Yet in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Mr Nguyen insisted that conditions in the prison were "tough, though not inhuman". He said that Mr McCain had arrived with the worst injuries he had seen among downed pilots, and that it had been his job to keep the American alive.


Flashback The Real McCain: Does Senator John McCain even know what a 'fact' is?

The lies continue to fly fast and furious. See for yourself the two (at least) faces of John McCain as he stumbles, bumbles and lies his way through press conferences and interviews. All in all, another typical day in U.S. politics.

If this was from a spoof of the U.S. election it would be hilarious. Unfortunately, this is frighteningly real. This is the U.S. election. The "real" one, in a manner of speaking. However, the U.S. hasn't had a real election in some time. So in a way, this is a spoof of the U.S. election.

Heart - Black

Flashback How 'war hero' John McCain betrayed the Vietnamese peasant who saved his life

In all the tales of wartime courage peppering John McCain's presidential campaign trail, perhaps the most outstanding example of selfless heroism involves not the candidate but a humble Vietnamese peasant.

McCain with On
Reunited: Senator McCain and his Vietnamese rescuer Mai Van On in Hanoi in 1996

On October 26, 1967, Mai Van On ran from the safety of a bomb shelter at the height of an air raid and swam out into the lake where Lieutenant Commander McCain was drowning, tangled in his parachute cord after ejecting when his Skyhawk bomber was hit by a missile.

In an extraordinary act of compassion at a time when Vietnamese citizens were being killed by US aerial bombardments, he pulled a barely conscious McCain to the lake surface and, with the help of a neighbour, dragged him towards the shore.

And when a furious mob at the water's edge began to beat and stab the captured pilot, Mr On drove them back.


Code Pink protesters hold faux-bloody hands behind Kerry at house Syria hearing

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs over possible military action against Syria. As he testified, members of the antiwar group Code Pink held up their hands, which had been painted red to signify bloody hands. They also wore signs reading "US Out of Syria."

Kerry's history as an antiwar protester during the Vietnam War propelled him to political office originally. After supposedly throwing away his war medals - an account he went back and forth regarding during his 2004 presidential run - and slandering American troops as war criminals in Vietnam during the infamous Winter Soldier hearings, Kerry has now become the hawkish proponent of military action against the Assad regime.


Kerry: Arab countries offered to pay for invasion

Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday's hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily.

"With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes," Kerry said. "They have. That offer is on the table."

Snakes in Suits

Liberals reject Obama's case for Syria strikes; believe Obama and Kerry are lying

© Pete Souza/White House Photo
President Obama's liberal activist base is adamantly opposed to military strikes in Syria, according to a new survey the Progressive Change Campaign Committee released Wednesday.

PCCC says more than 57,000 of its activists weighed in, and 73 percent of them opposed the U.S. taking action in Syria. Just 18 percent supported strikes, and just 14 percent said the U.S. should go ahead unilaterally if it can't find any allies.

Indeed, a majority of the activists don't believe Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry are being honest when they lay out their justifications for taking military action.