WASHINGTON — As Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies to Washington – due to arrive on Sunday (March 2), to prepare for talks with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday – it’s clear that there are several points of friction between Israel and the United States.
The two countries are allies, but their leaders often differ on the details of key issues: Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians, America’s nuclear talks with Iran, how to approach political turmoil in Egypt, what might be done to limit Syria’s horrible civil war, and a broader issue of whether the Middle East sees President Obama as a powerful, influential leader. Continue reading
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — As Russian-backed armed forces effectively seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula on Saturday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia requested —and received — authorization from the Russian Senate to use military force in Ukraine.
The actions signaled publicly for the first time the Kremlin’s readiness to intervene militarily in Ukraine, and it served as a blunt response to President Obama, who just hours earlier pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Within hours after receiving Mr. Putin’s request, Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, voted to approve it, after a debate that warned of the apocalyptic consequences of failing to stop a fascist threat from spreading to Russia’s borders. The lawmakers directed considerable fury at President Obama and others in the West they accused of fomenting the upheaval in Ukraine. Continue reading
Iran’s foreign minister accused the US of mischaracterizing the terms of an interim nuclear deal that went into effect on Monday.
“We did not agree to dismantle anything,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN in an interview on Wednesday, charging that the Obama administration had created a false impression in the language it used to describe the six-month agreement. Continue reading
Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.
In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government. Continue reading
WASHINGTON – Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, as well as other top retired officers, say President Obama’s agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.
“There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him” over such issues as “homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester,” Brady told WND.
“They are purging everyone, and if you want to keep your job, just keep your mouth shut,” one source told WND. Continue reading
U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve officials worried about the growing possibility of a catastrophic default are crafting contingency plans to mitigate the economic fallout if Congress fails to extend America’s borrowing authority, a source familiar with the plans said.
With just eight days before the Treasury Department says the U.S. will hit its $16.7 trillion (10.46 trillion pounds) borrowing limit, lawmakers and the White House remain far from a deal to extend it. Officials are examining what options might be available to calm financial markets if a U.S. debt payment is missed.
The specifics of their planning remain unclear, but the source said an area of special focus is a key bank funding market known as the tri-party repurchase agreement, or repo, market, where banks often use Treasury bills, notes and bonds as collateral for short-term loans from other banks and big money market funds. Continue reading
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has issued a categorical warning that the United States will default on its $16.7 trillion debt and throw the world into turmoil unless Congress agrees to raise the legal debt ceiling by October 17.
Mr Lew said the treasury had already exhausted its normal funds in May and has been “creating room” by resorting to one-off tricks, but these, too, have run dry. The government will have just $30bn by October 17, half what is needed to cover immediate needs over subsequent days. Continue reading
Western military sources predict an upsurge of tension this week along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus may be planning to embarrass Binyamin Netanyahu when he sits down with President Barack Obama at the White house Monday, Sept. 30, and addresses the UN General Assembly the next day, Oct. 1.
They see an opportunity to push Israel further out in the cold after the Obama administration’s brush-off in his rush to pursue relations with Tehran. Israel is seen as hitting a weak streak as a result of Washington’s cold shoulder and its own lack of military impetus as Netanyahu arrives in America to present Israel’s case to the US President and the international community. Continue reading
Money lenders trust America so implicitly that they generally dismiss the risk it won’t pay its debts. But in the US capital, fears are growing that political dysfunction might trigger the unthinkable.
A few years ago one would have said, ‘Don’t be silly. Of course they will raise the debt ceiling.’ But one can’t say that any more.
Government veterans from both political parties are aghast that lawmakers openly speak of managing a default that could be triggered next month if they don’t authorise more borrowing. Continue reading
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that a wrong move in Syria almost ensures a war between Israel and Iran, challenging President Obama to articulate his case for military intervention in the region and telling his congressional colleagues to come up with a plan.
“I think the American people have to understand if this war goes another year, here’s what’s likely to happen: there will be tens of thousands of al Qaeda in Syria, there will be a toppling of the King of Jordan, the last moderate voice in the region and a close ally to us and Israel — he’ll be gone in another year because of the refugee problem,” Mr. Graham said on CNN’s “New Day.” “The chemical weapons will be loose and in the hands of Hezbollah and may come our way, so … Iran is watching every move we make in Syria.” Continue reading
In the face of statements by senior US officials that the Obama administration had crossed the Rubicon on military intervention in Syria, President Barack Obama declared early Thursday, Aug. 29, that he had not yet made a decision on whether to order a military strike against Syria. Although Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that US armed forces were “ready to go,” Obama said he was still examining options with his security team. Continue reading
Republican Guards commander says Washington should beware of ‘trespassing over the red line in Syria’
The semi-official Fars news agency, which has close ties to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, quoted Gen. Masoud Jazayeri as warning that “trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House.”Gen. Jazayeri did not provide details but said Washington is well aware of such red lines. He said the war in Syria is a product of a US plot and “regional reactionary” countries, a common reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Continue reading