Ahmadinejad says expects U.S.
to attack MidEast soon
By Robin Pomeroy Robin Pomeroy – Tue Jul 27, 6:36 am ET
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran expects the United States to launch a military strike on "at least two countries" in the Middle East in the next three months, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told state-run Press TV.
In an interview recorded on Monday, Ahmadinejad did not specify whether he thought Iran itself would be attacked nor did he say what intelligence led him to expect such a move.
The United States and Israel have refused to rule out military action against Iran's nuclear program which they fear could lead to it making a bomb, something Iran denies.
"They have decided to attack at least two countries in the region in the next three months," Ahmadinejad said in excerpts broadcast on the rolling news channel on Tuesday.
Israel, which refuses to confirm or deny the existence of its own nuclear arsenal, has a history of pre-emptive strikes against suspected nuclear targets. In 1981 it destroyed
VIPS Sends Memo To Obama Warning
Israel May Bomb Iran "As Early As This Month"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2010 16:58 -0500
The Steering Group of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) which consists of Phil Giraldi, former CIA (20 years), Larry Johnson, former CIA; DoS, (24 years), W. Patrick Lang, Col., USA, Special Forces (ret.); Director of HUMINT Collection, Defense Intelligence Agency (30 years), Ray McGovern, US Army Intelligence Officer, CIA (30 years), Coleen Rowley, FBI (24 years), and Ann Wright, Col., US Army Reserve (ret.), (29 years); Foreign Service Officer, Department of State (16 years), have penned a memo to the president in an attempt to alert him "to the likelihood that Israel will attack Iran as early as this month. This would likely lead to a wider war." Read on for the full memo by the activist group.
Obama Warned Israel May Bomb Iran
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: War With Iran
We take no satisfaction at having gotten it right on Iraq. Others with claim to more immediate expertise on Iraq were issuing similar warnings. But we were kept well away from the wagons circled by Bush and Cheney.
Sadly, your own Vice President, who was then chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, was among the most assiduous in blocking opportunities for dissenting voices to be heard. This is part of what brought on the worst foreign policy disaster in our nation’s history.
We now believe that we may also be right on (and right on the cusp of) another impending catastrophe of even wider scope — Iran — on which another President, you, are not getting good advice from your closed circle of advisers.
They are probably telling you that, since you have privately counseled Prime Minister Netanyahu against attacking Iran, he will not do it. This could simply be the familiar syndrome of telling the President what they believe he wants to hear.
Quiz them; tell them others believe them to be dead wrong on Netanyahu. The only positive here is that you — only you —can prevent an Israeli attack on Iran.
Doug Casey: War Is Coming
(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)
L: Doug, last time we conversed, you said: "Let's talk about what Clausewitz called ‘the extension of politics' next time – I think the odds are increasing that we may see war rear its ugly head again soon."
There's been a lot in the news lately about Israel blockading the Gaza strip and about the potential for the Middle East to boil over. Is that what you had in mind?
Doug: I just got back from a trip to the Middle East – Iraq, actually. There's a feature article on what I found there in this month's Casey Report. Doing country studies has long been a specialty of mine, and I've got to say that most of what most people think they know about the place just ain't so. But yes, I do think there is a very significant chance that we are headed for something that might vaguely resemble WWIII.
L: That's going to be a pretty shocking statement to a lot of people – too much cognitive dissonance for most to let themselves think about it. Many readers might say that folks in the Middle East have been squabbling for years without the world going up in flames. Did you have a guru moment while there? Why now?
L: Grim. I don't often wish you were wrong, but I do on this one. But it is what it is. Investment implications – beyond the obvious bet on soaring energy prices?
Doug: I have to say I have a problem with recommending many investments right now. As a speculator, I really only like to do things when they look very, very cheap, or very, very expensive. At which point I'll go long or short, respectively. I don't like even-odds bets or a level playing field. I only go for deals that seem, to me, to offer large returns for low risk. It should be as Warren Buffett said: a ball game with no called strikes, so you just wait and wait for the right ball to come over the plate. And, unfortunately, almost everything in the world looks expensive to me today.
I've said this before, but it bears repeating: it's odd, prices being relative, for everything to be expensive. It's a metaphysical impossibility – but there just aren't any real bargains out there. We are in an investment Twilight Zone, where governments the world over are creating trillions of new currency units, and there's still little or no evidence of higher prices. It's a very dangerous time; we're in the eye of the hurricane.
That preamble said, even with oil at a not-particularly-cheap $80/barrel, it is one of the cheaper commodities around and would look like a screaming bargain should the U.S. go to war with Iran. But even without that, for other reasons ranging from the geological to the political, there are many factors that could push oil prices up, and not many that would push them down radically, from here.
I wouldn't bet on natural gas, because that's a local market, and not so much uranium, though that will make a comeback too, because it's the safest, cleanest, and cheapest type of mass power we have, and that will win out in the end. So, it's oil, and, self-serving as I know it sounds, I have to say that the best investment strategist in the business is Marin Katusa, editor of Casey's Energy Report. And let me say it again, gold is still in a definite bull trend.
L: Roger that. Well, thanks for another stimulating, if gloomy, conversation.
Doug: We could talk about lighter stuff, and sometimes we do, but this trend has become clearer in my mind of late, and I think people should consider it. Unlike the title of that idiotic book written a while ago, this isn't The End of History. Regrettably, we're very much a part of it.
Chinese missile could shift Pacific
By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer Eric Talmadge, Associated Press Writer – Thu Aug 5, 5:43 pm ET
ABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON – Nothing projects U.S. global air and sea power more vividly than supercarriers. Bristling with fighter jets that can reach deep into even landlocked trouble zones, America's virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high seas.
China may soon put an end to that.
U.S. naval planners are scrambling to deal with what analysts say is a game-changing weapon being developed by China — an unprecedented carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D that could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers (900 miles).
Analysts say final testing of the missile could come as soon as the end of this year, though questions remain about how fast China will be able to perfect its accuracy to the level needed to threaten a moving carrier at sea.
The weapon, a version of which was displayed last year in a Chinese military parade, could revolutionize China's role in the Pacific balance of power, seriously weakening Washington's ability to intervene in any potential conflict over Taiwan or North Korea. It could also deny U.S. ships safe access to international waters near China's 11,200-mile (18,000-kilometer) -long coastline.
While a nuclear bomb could theoretically sink a carrier, assuming its user was willing to raise the stakes to atomic levels, the conventionally-armed Dong Feng 21D's uniqueness is in its ability to hit a powerfully defended moving target with pin-point precision.
The Chinese Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to the AP's request for a comment.
Funded by annual double-digit increases in the defense budget for almost every year of the past two decades, the Chinese navy has become Asia's largest and has expanded beyond its traditional mission of retaking Taiwan to push its sphere of influence deeper into the Pacific and protect vital maritime trade routes.
"The Navy has long had to fear carrier-killing capabilities," said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the nonpartisan, Washington-based Center for a New American Security. "The emerging Chinese antiship missile capability, and in particular the DF 21D, represents the first post-Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval power projection and deliberately designed for that purpose."
Setting the stage for a possible conflict, Beijing has grown increasingly vocal in its demands for the U.S. to stay away from the wide swaths of ocean — covering much of the Yellow, East and South China seas — where it claims exclusivity.
It strongly opposed plans to hold U.S.-South Korean war games in the Yellow Sea off the northeastern Chinese coast, saying the participation of the USS George Washington supercarrier, with its 1,092-foot (333-meter) flight deck and 6,250 personnel, would be a provocation because it put Beijing within striking range of U.S. F-18 warplanes.
Former Navy commander James Kraska, a professor of international law and sea power at the U.S. Naval War College, recently wrote a controversial article in the magazine Orbis outlining a hypothetical scenario set just five years from now in which a Deng Feng 21D missile with a penetrator warhead sinks the USS George Washington.
That would usher in a "new epoch of international order in which Beijing emerges to displace the United States."
While China's Defense Ministry never comments on new weapons before they become operational, the DF 21D — which would travel at 10 times the speed of sound and carry conventional payloads — has been much discussed by military buffs online.
A pseudonymous article posted on Xinhuanet, website of China's official news agency, imagines the U.S. dispatching the George Washington to aid Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
The Chinese would respond with three salvos of DF 21D, the first of which would pierce the hull, start fires and shut down flight operations, the article says. The second would knock out its engines and be accompanied by air attacks. The third wave, the article says, would "send the George Washington to the bottom of the ocean."
Comments on the article were mostly positive.
U.S. Warship Docks in Vietnam Amid
Growing Row With China on Disputed Sea
By Daniel Ten Kate - Aug 11, 2010 12:04 AM GMT+0800 Tue Aug 10 16:04:26 GMT 2010
A U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules aircraft leads a formation of jets over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington during the combined alliance maritime and air readiness exercise "Invincible Spirit" in the seas east of the Korean peninsula. Photographer: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki/U.S. Navy via Getty Images
A U.S. warship docked in Vietnam today as part of weeklong naval exercises that highlight a more assertive American role in the region that has irked China.
The USS John S. McCain is visiting Danang to mark the 15- year anniversary of normalized relations between the U.S. and Vietnam, according to the Navy. Vietnamese officials made an offshore visit to the USS George Washington nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the South China Sea two days ago.
The exercises follow a diplomatic tiff between the U.S. and China after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented on a regional territorial dispute in the sea, which China considers its own. Clinton said last month that resolving disputes was a “leading diplomatic priority,” and she offered to help countries negotiate a code of conduct in the waters.
“From Vietnam’s perspective, it’s wonderful to have the Seventh Fleet present, it increases stability,” said Ralf Emmers, a professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “What is at stake is really to try to ratify a code of conduct with China.”
China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called Clinton’s remark “virtually an attack on China.” Today a Chinese general said in an editorial that U.S. plans to bring the USS George Washington to the Yellow Sea, situated between China’s coast and the Korean peninsula, may provoke economic retaliation.
Exxon, BP Pressured
China has pressured Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc to halt exploration in waters that Vietnam considers part of its territory, according to U.S. government agencies. Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said Aug. 5 that China had conducted seismic surveys of areas near the Paracel islands and encompassing its continental shelf.
The ministry “has made numerous representations with the Chinese side at different levels to expound its official views on these matters,” she said. “However, China is continuing those activities.”
On Aug. 6 China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and the sea around them.”
The USS John S. McCain is the second U.S. ship to visit a Vietnamese port this year, and two others received repairs at a shipyard in the country, according to the Seventh Fleet’s website. U.S. ships made two port visits to Vietnam in each of the past two years and a different aircraft carrier hosted Vietnamese guests offshore last year, it said.
“We share a common interest in maritime security in this region,” John S. McCain Commander Jeffrey Kim told reporters today in Danang after the ship docked. “I see our ties strengthened as we continue to develop our friendship in this region.”
The ship is named after the father and grandfather of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former Republican presidential nominee.
McCain’s father and grandfather were both career Navy officers. The senator, a former Navy pilot, was shot down over Hanoi and imprisoned for six years in Vietnam.
The Southeast Asian nation “has become one of America’s most important and most promising emerging partners in the Asia- Pacific region,” the senator said in a statement from Washington. “Today’s port call is certainly rich with historical significance, especially for my family and me.”
China has bolstered its naval capabilities over the past decade, enhancing its ability to enforce territorial claims. Last year, Chinese fishing boats harassed two U.S. naval vessels in the South China Sea, where American forces have patrolled since World War II.
The South China Sea covers 3.5 million square kilometers (1.4 million square miles) stretching from Singapore to the Straits of Taiwan. Its waters carry about half the world’s merchant fleet by tonnage each year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Estimates of oil and gas reserves in the waters vary, with some Chinese studies suggesting they contain more oil than Iran and more natural gas than Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. agency. Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan also claim some or all of the disputed islands.