Puppet MastersS


Chess

Russia warns Obama against violation of international law over Syria

Russia rebuffed President Barack Obama's threat of unilateral action against Syria Tuesday, as officials said 2,500 refugees fled across the border into Turkey in just 24 hours - one of the highest daily refugee flows of recent weeks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking after meeting China's top diplomat, said Moscow and Beijing were committed to "the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law ... and not to allow their violation".

Obama on Monday threatened "enormous consequences" if his Syrian counterpart used chemical or biological arms or even moved them in a menacing way.

The president used some of his strongest language yet to warn Assad not to use chemical or biological weapons - after Syria acknowledged for the first time that it had such weapons and could use them if foreign countries attacked it.

Comment: Could Western media be more complicit in fanning the flames and justifying U.S. intervention?

The reference to Iraq and Saddam by Russia's Lavrov is weak in stating facts. It could be the media who isn't expressing his words or it could be Lavrov isn't sharing the obvious. Saddam got his WMD's from the United States to fight against Iran well before the first Gulf war.

"..Still had the receipts.."




Arrow Down

Risk of US double-dip recession rises, warns Standard & Poor's

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The odds the United States will slip back into recession next year have risen, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said, citing risks from the European debt crisis and budget tightening at year-end. The US ratings firm raised the chance of the US falling into recession to 25 percent, up from a 20 percent chance estimated in February, as the world's largest economy struggles to recover from a severe 2008-2009 slump.

It also pointed to the looming possibility of the government being forced by existing law to severely cut spending and increase taxes on January 1, the so-called fiscal cliff that would crunch the economy. "Economic activity has downshifted sharply from earlier this year," S&P said in a report on North American credit conditions amid global uncertainty, dated August 20. "At the same time, possible contagion from the European debt crisis, the potential so-called 'fiscal cliff', and the risk of a hard landing for China's economy have added greater uncertainty to US economic prospects," it said.

Stormtrooper

Economic collapse fears lead Governments to remove civilian protections from military; Germany is latest

riot police
© subrealism.blogspot.com Riot Police
On Aug. 17, Germany became the latest country to remove longstanding protections for civilian populations from military intervention in domestic conflicts. In a new court ruling, which repealed laws created out of the Nazi era in Germany, the government can now use the military against citizens in extreme cases, joining the U.S. and other nation states who have removed the dividing line between civilian and military policing.
The German military will in future be able to use its weapons on German streets in an extreme situation, the Federal Constitutional Court says.
The ruling says the armed forces can be deployed only if Germany faces an assault of "catastrophic proportions", but not to control demonstrations. - BBC

Comment: Remember this?

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Alarm Clock

Iran Ups Military Production by 21%

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© Fars News AgencyIranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced on Tuesday that the number of military products manufactured by the Iranian Defense Ministry has witnessed a 21% growth this year.

Addressing a ceremony on the occasion of the National Day of the Defense Industry today, Vahidi said that defense products in Iran are unique in terms of quantity and variety, irrespective of all the pressures and restrictions imposed against Iran in the global market.

"We in Iran's defense industry have 1,436 different products with an almost limited market and that means we have been able to commercialize through indigenization," the minister underlined.

He announced that the defense ministry produced 192 products in the last Iranian year (ended on March 19), and added, "We at the defense ministry had a 21% growth in production, 178% increase in technology and inventions, 286% growth in academic projects and a 138% boost in the number of the industrial projects which have been accomplished."

MIB

German spies active off Syria coast: report

German spies are stationed off the Syrian coast and are passing on information designed to help rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Agents from Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) are operating on ships off the coast with technology allowing them to observe troop movements 600 kilometres (400 miles) inside the country, said the Bild am Sonntag weekly.

Comment: See:


Airplane

Top US General Dempsey Leaves Damaged Plane, Escapes Afghanistan

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© Fars News AgencyChairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey left Afghanistan shortly after two rockets damaged his plane in Bagram airbase.

Two rockets hit Dempsey's plane when it was parked at Bagram Airbase, north of Kabul, late on Monday night and slightly wounded two ground staff. They also damaged a nearby helicopter.

Dempsey, who had been in the country for talks with NATO and Afghan commanders on a string of recent shootings, left the country on another aircraft.

Before leaving Afghanistan, Dempsey met his Afghan counterpart General Sher Mohammad Karimi, who raised the issue of insider attacks by local forces that have killed 10 American occupiers in the past two weeks.

Following the meeting with General Karimi, Dempsey told reporters "this time, without prompting, when I met General Karimi, he started with a conversation about insider attacks - and, importantly, insider attacks not just against us, but insider attacks against the Afghans, too".

The US top army general escaped the rocket attack unharmed as he was not aboard the plane when it was hit by the [alleged] insurgents.

"He was nowhere near the aircraft. We think it was a lucky shot," NATO senior spokesman Colonel Thomas Collins said.

Top Secret

CIA spies 'smuggle 14 Stinger missiles into Syria so rebels can take out regime warplanes'

The ground-to-air weapons have been delivered across the Turkish border and were partly paid for by Saudi Arabia

stinger missile
© APWhat a Stinger missile looks like
CIA spies have smuggled up to 14 Stinger missiles into Syria so rebels can defend themselves from air strikes.

The ground-to-air weapons have been delivered across the Turkish border to the Free Syrian Army and were partly paid for by Saudi Arabia, a security source claimed.

Comment: See:

History Repeats: Citing phantom WMDs, Barack Obama threatens full-scale US military engagement in Syria
It's official: British and US intelligence is directing al-Qaeda operations in Syria
State-Sponsored Terrorism - Western Journalists Embedded With 'al-Qaeda' in Syria


Chess

Australian Minister downplays preparations for Julian Assange's extradition to U.S.

Ecuadorian Embassy
© Getty ImagesA protester holds a placard depicting Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Australia confirmed that its diplomatic post in Washington had been preparing for Julian Assange's possible extradition to the US but played it down as "contingency planning".

Trade Minister Craig Emerson said that the Australian embassy in Washington had been "getting prepared for the possibility of an extradition'' but stressed that there was nothing unusual in diplomats bracing for all eventualities.

"The embassy is doing its job, just to be in a position to advise the government if it believed that an extradition effort was imminent. There is no evidence of such an extradition effort,'' Emerson told ABC television.

Heart - Black

Former Governor Mike Huckabee Speaks of His Positive Outlook on Rape

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© J. Scott Applewhite / Associated PressFormer Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, seen in a file photo, spoke Monday in defense of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), saying that "horrible" rapes can result in the births of admirable human beings.
The man trying to provide Rep. Todd Akin the softest possible landing after the congressman's foolish comments about pregnancy and rape was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a strong supporter of Akin during his run to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.

In the furor over Akin's remarks and increasing pressure for him to drop out of his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, Huckabee used his syndicated radio program Monday to give the embattled candidate a safe venue to express remorse and his determination to remain in the race. Huckabee also took the opportunity to cast the best possible light on Akin's awkward position. The former Arkansas governor and onetime GOP presidential contender suggested a couple of cases in which he suggested that rapes, though "horrible tragedies," had produced admirable human beings.

"Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape," Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: "I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things."

Sheriff

US in pursuit of Assange, Australian diplomatic cables confirm

Julian Assange
© ReutersWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Australian diplomats have no doubt the United States is still gunning for Julian Assange, according to Foreign Affairs Department documents obtained by The Saturday Age.

The Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo: Reuters

The declassified diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information laws, show Australia's diplomatic service takes seriously the likelihood that Assange will eventually be extradited to the US on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.

This view is at odds with Foreign Minister Bob Carr's repeated dismissal of such a prospect.