Monday, May 27, 2013

13-05-28 Dispatch from Tel Aviv - hot middle-eastern summer...with "regulars" and "specials"...

Tel Aviv, May 27 - today two air-bombing/missile attack drills were held in the Tel Aviv area and other parts of Israel.  There were two distinct types of alarms, one for "regulars" and one for "specials".  You were expected to stop whatever you were doing, figure out the nearest shelter, matching the alarm type, get there and stay there for 10 minutes.
I was in the center of the city.  People just ignored it.  The idea is so off the wall, that Bibi is unable to get the People to take him seriously and get scared on this one.
However, with two usurpers at the helm in Washington DC and in Jerusalem, there is no way to tell what this summer will bring us, and the rest of the world.
Today's alarm drills should be seen as an escalation in drumming the dogs of war.  Previously there were only "earthquake preparedness" drills.
In addition, one senior official in the know, volunteered to the media this week that now it is not an "if", but a "when" the missiles will start showering the State of Israel.
And about 2 weeks ago there was a major military drill for war in the Syrian/Lebanese front.  According to Israeli media (much like the FBI whistleblower on Patreaus) the drill was a behind the back surprise by the Chief of Staff on the new Minster of Defense. (I happen to have had the acquaintance of the latter, and I doubt the story very much).  Military drills of this scope at this time are another clear escalation, since the "drills" may always turn into something else.
With all these coordinated efforts to bring the area into a crisis, there is still a catch:  On June 7, or so, there is gay pride week in Tel Aviv (I am not sure according to which tradition they count the start and end of the week in such events...), which draws into Tel Aviv many young European tourists and brings in a lot of needed income to the city. (The young gay tourists in Tel Aviv and the pilgrims in Jerusalem are not exactly our favorites.  We preferred the old school wealthy tourists from Europe and the US, but that species appear to be extinct).
I am sure that Bibi and the Ayatollahs would reach consensus not to disturb this important local celebration, and therefore I rest assured that there will be NO WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST UNTIL ABOUT JUNE 9TH, 2013!

13-05-27 Radical thinking about Benghazi - and resulting legal questions...

Benghazi attack
Le't's try some radical thinking, or a reality check, now that the NYT editorial is seconding my suggestions that the answers to the fiasco in Benghazi lie not with Mr Prez, who is not even in control. but with CIA and FBI (who was strangely involved here too) Directors.

Let's assume for argument's sake that the compound in Benghazi was NOT an "Embassy", NOT a "Consulate", NOT a "Diplomatic Mission", but a CIA outpost. Furthermore, let's assume for argument's sake that such CIA outpost was engaged part-time as a hub for logistic support of the rebels in Syria, and full time as a small "black hole" prison.

1. Was/was not such CIA outpost a legitimate target in warfare?
2. In such covert war operations by the US in various other nations, what is the legal foundation in commonsense, for calling such an attack an "act of terror", rather than "act of war", albeit the US has not declared such war, yet is conducting it.

1. Obviously, the fact that the attackers managed to time the operation and trap the US Ambassador in the Benghazi CIA outpost was the epitome of their success, since it required excellent field intelligence, and the freedom to plan and operate at their choice of time.
2. The US has previously practiced the retroactive claims of diplomatic status for covert operations personnel, when caught in serious violations of local law.
3. Why did they let them go? Under such assumptions, whoever runs the show, decided for military-political reasons, to accept a defeat in that battle, rather than escalate it and cause further exposure of the CIA outpost and its operations, which would be a foreign policy and propaganda fiasco. That calculation did not work out exactly... except that they let them go...
4. Why do all of them lie? Concerns about further exposure of the true nature of the CIA outpost in Benghazi is the true reason that they all lie non stop about it. There is not a scintilla of truth in any of the stories.