Iran’s shuts down nuclear talks with US

By SCOTT PETERSON | CSM | FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Iran‘s supreme leader today rejected the possibility of direct talks with the United States, nixing a proposal by Washington to ease the stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program.

Six world powers – including the US – are due to resume nuclear talks with Iran on Feb. 26 in Kazakhstan, after an eight-month hiatus. Few expect a breakthrough, not least because Iran is preparing for elections in June.

But the words of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – who has the final say on all strategic decisions in Iran, as official holder there of the title “God’s deputy on earth” – appear to have scuppered chances of an immediate direct dialogue with the US.

“You [Americans] are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot. The Iranian nation will not be frightened by the threats,”Ayatollah Khamenei told Air Force commanders in a speech today.

“Some naive people like the idea of negotiating with America [but] negotiations will not solve the problems,” Khamenei said in the remarks, which were posted on his website. “If some people want American rule to be established again in Iran, the nation will rise up to face them.”

US Vice President Joe Biden said on Feb. 2, that Washington was ready for one-on-one talks “when the Iranian leadership, supreme leader, is serious.” And in recent days, both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s foreign minister issued cautious, but explicit and positive, signals about possible direct contact with the US.

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Syria working on retaliation against Israel and its allies

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 4, 2013

Syria and its allies warned on Sunday that Israel’s attack against a military complex on the outskirts of Damascus will not go unanswered and that it is working on a way to respond through the use of force.

Beset by an internal revolt that has lasted almost two years and has claimed 60,000 lives, the Syrian President Bashar Assad accused Israel of wanting to destabilize his country and assured the public that, even with an internal conflict, his country is able to “respond to any aggression against Syrian citizens.”

Iran, an ally of Damascus, also said that there is the possibility of retaliation for that attack.

Meantime, Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called the act of “state terrorism”.

“Israel’s aggression against the Jamariya Research Center shows the true position of Israel, working with foreign enemy forces and Syrian factions on the ground to try to destabilize and weaken Syria,” said Assad, after holding a meeting with Iran’s Secretary of National Security, Saeed Jalili, who was visiting Damascus on Sunday.

Several Iranian officials and military personnel also promised that Israel’s attack will not go unanswered. Corps Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said at a public event that “resistance and retaliation are the only possible way” to deal with Israel after the attack on Syrian territory, as reported by Iran’s official media. In his meeting with Assad, Jalili said that cooperation between Iran and Syria is crucial to curb “plots and foreign missions aimed at destabilizing security in the region.”

Though Israel does not admit publicly the nature of the attacks occurred on Wednesday, the defense minister of that country, Ehud Barak, claimed responsibility for the attack while participating in the Munich Security Conference. Barak said that although he can not “add anything to what people read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria,” the bombing “is further proof that when Israel promises something, it delivers.”

The bombing took place on Wednesday morning, when the Israeli Air Force attacked a nearby military research area near Damascus. U.S. intelligence sources believe that the target was a convoy loaded with missiles from Lebanon and en route to the Syrian capital, where it would be received by the Shiite militia Hezbollah, along with Iran, which is the main ally of Assad in the area .

Two days before the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told a delegation of U.S. lawmakers that their choices regarding Syria are “between bad and worse.” Israel has spent months warning of the possibility that the stockpiles of missiles and chemical weapons falling into the hands of Syrian Al Qaeda or Hezbollah.

The U.S. and Israel have claimed for months that Assad has deposits of sarin, mustard gas and cyanide and that he is prepared to use them against his own people, which the U.S. said would be the red line on the sand that would lead to a military intervention.

The Munich conference highlighted the gap that still separates Moscow and Washington over the Syrian conflict. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Assad a “tyrant” and attempted to predict his fall. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said that the demand that Assad go is the reason why the negotiations are going nowhere. However, Moscow has also shown signs of opening up to the Syrian opposition, after Lavrov himself met in Munich for the first time with Syrian opposition leader, Moaz Al Khatib.

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in the Bavarian capital that Western intervention in Syria would “extend the flames of conflict throughout the region.” Only on Saturday, about 150 people were killed during clashes between government forces and rebels who are openly supported by Western allies of Israel.

Given the volatility of the situation in Syria, Israel has mobilized a battery of missile shield known as the Iron Dome to the city of Haifa, in northern Israel, which is 140 kilometers from Damascus. Haifa, with 268,000 inhabitants, was just one of the cities where more missiles fell during the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.

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National Rifle Association promises to raise hell against Obama’s anti-Second Amendment proposal

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 17, 2013

The powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) began on Wednesday its own crusade against the initiative announced and signed by the President of the United States to toughen laws on firearms. In a letter delivered to attendees of the largest arms fair in the world, which will run until Friday in Las Vegas, the NRA announced “the fight of the century” against Obama and his plan to limit and control the purchase and possession of firearms.

“I warned you that this day was coming and it has,” wrote NRA Vice president Wayne LaPierre to more than four million members. “It is not about protecting your children. It has nothing to do with curbing crime. It’s about banning your firearms. PERIOD! “LaPierre wrote in the letter.

While Obama appealed to common sense and trust of citizens in their desire to change the prospect of more massacres occurring, the NRA exercised its most extreme muscle and put the blame on the current administration, which he accused of having lied about its intention to maintain an “open debate”.

That was a dirty lie,” LaPierre wrote. “They did not listen to the concerns of gun owners. They didn’t considered any real solution on how to keep our children safe, “continued the vice president in the letter.
“By contrast, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and his friends opposed to guns in Congress want to blame, denigrate, harass and strip you of your rights under the Second Amendment [which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms]” , ended LaPierre.

On Tuesday night, in anticipation of the presidential message that launched a series of executive orders to ban assault weapons, limit the magazines to 10 bullets and establish a system of background checks for those who purchase firearms, the NRA began its counteroffensive against the White House with a video in which he called the president an “elitist hypocrite” for opposing the presence of armed guards in schools while his two daughters are protected by the Secret Service. The reaction of the White House was quick, calling the video “cowardly” and “disgusting”.

After the massacre in Newtown school a month ago, the U.S. public is more positive about the need to tighten gun control. According to the survey released Monday by the Pew Center, 85% of respondents agree that it should be harder to sell firearms. A similar result was obtained from a joint survey conducted by the  Washington Post and ABC, in which nine of 10 respondents agreed to strengthen control of gun purchases.

The NRA says that since the White House announced measures to prevent the repetition of massacres like that of Sandy Hook, the size of its membership has increased by 250,000 people. The NRA has currently more than four million members. His influence on Capitol Hill, where Congressmen may or may not approve the measures announced by Obama, is significant because of the economic contributions given by the NRA to the election campaigns of many of them.

According to a study cited by the Washington Post, of the 435 members of the new House of Representatives, 205 (47%) received financial support from the NRA in the last legislature. Of the 100 senators who currently sit in the upper house, 42 accepted contributions from that organization in the same period. In total, 88% of Republicans and 11% of Democrats who are part of the 113th Congress have received donations from the NRA.

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Obama kidnaps society to justify gun-grabbing Executive Orders

The U.S. President handed the public 23 measures he will impose on all Americans to “keep them safe”.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 16, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama, announced 23 measures to be adopted by decree to tighten control of access to firearms, including the marketing of assault rifles.

Among those “executive orders”, which according to Obama do not need to go through Congress, are  requiring criminal background checks for all sales and increase mental health coverage.

These measures were announced by U.S. President in response to the slaughter perpetrated in December in Newtown, where a young man killed 20 children and six adults in a school, and his mother, before killing himself.

In addition, Obama will restrict access to high capacity magazines and eliminate piercing bullets, and urge states to share their databases on criminal records with the Federal Government.

The plan, Obama says, will boost security in schools and colleges, will provide funds to hire a thousand educational and psychological counselors and help update emergency programs.

The measures are part of the plan created by a team led by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who met with members of civil society, security officials and members of the education sector.

Obama’s decrees include increased budgetary resources to facilitate access to mental health of students and young people through training of 5,000 medical professionals.

The measures announced are divided into four categories: preventing weapons from reaching the wrong hands, ban the sale of assault weapons, increase school safety and improve mental health services.

The priority is supposedly to protect children

Barack Obama said protecting children from violence should be the primary “responsibility” of society, when he announced the 23 measures to tighten gun control.

“Although reducing gun violence is a difficult challenge, protecting our children from such violence should not be an issue that divides us,” Obama said at the White House, where he appeared next to Vice President, Joe Biden.

During the event Obama frequently referred to several children who supposedly wrote letters to him during the last month to show their concern about gun violence following the tragedy of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 adults were shot by Adam Lanza.

Obama read excerpts from a letter written by one of these children who asked him to “work hard” to stop the violence and casualties caused by firearms.

“I will do everything in my power to do so. But the only way we can change is if the American people and  require it,” said the president.

He also stressed that to achieve change “real and lasting” Congress “must act” and pass laws that complement today’s proposals which he will approve by Executive Order.

“Together with our freedom to live our lives comes the obligation to allow others to do the same,” said Obama, who reiterated his support for the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which enshrines the right to bear arms responsibly. ”

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New York State starts up attack on Second Amendment by approving new gun control legislation

The State’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, championed a movement to further deteriorate gun ownership ahead of Obama’s speech today

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 16, 2013

New York voted Tuesday afternoon in his House of Representatives (104 in favor, 43 against) for new legislation that imposes the toughest gun control measures in the United States. The laws, which directly violate the Second Amendment, prohibit the sale of ammunition cartridges containing more than seven bullets, expand background checks for gun buyers and outlaw the sale of assault weapons. The State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation immediately after the State Congress approved the new law while everyone else was asleep.

New York’s Senate had passed the law Monday night with a vote of 43 in favor and 18 against, which made it a standard bipartisan initiative, that originated in the wake of Connecticut’s shooting. Last month, a deranged, doped teenager, supposedly acting alone, shot 26 people at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, which prompted a vicious campaign by gun grabbing groups. Yesterday marked one month since the shooting in Newtown where Adam Lanza shot six adults and 20 children.

After presenting his proposal during the speech of the State of the Nation, Governor Cuomo said that gun violence is “a scourge to society.” “There comes a time when we must say ‘no more loss of innocent lives'” he announced. Several schools around the United States have agreed to arm members of their staff in order children and teachers, who up until now worked in what are called gun-free zones.

“The Senate has made a bold statement to agree on a bipartisan bill and work together to face the challenges that await our nation after seeing too many senseless acts of violence carried out with weapons,” Cuomo said after the Senate vote. But it is exactly gun-free zones, and states like New York, where unarmed citizens are victims of the most violent crimes committed by criminals who do not abide by gun control laws.

The Senate Republican leader, Dean Skelos, said “the initiative is well-balanced, protects the Second Amendment [which guarantees the right to civilian gun ownership ” because no confiscation of weapons was included in the bill, which was a point they had mentioned on occasion.” Mr. Skelos forgets that in truth, according to the U.S. Constitution, government cannot pass laws that infringe the Second Amendment, which established a citizen’s right to acquire firearms without legal restriction. Despite already having a strong gun control laws, New York is the first of the lower 48 states to approve even more restrictions on gun ownership, limiting citizen’s purchases to mere hand guns.

Gun control has been at the center of the American political scene since the killing of Connecticut. The assault rifle with which Adam Lanza perpetrated his assault is a version of a military rifle that can hold up to 30 bullets, which has now been prohibited in New York. According to school sources, no one could have entered the school with an assault rifle without it being detected, which has many people thinking that Lanza did not act alone and that someone either handed him the gun once he got inside the school. The shooter also carried hand guns during his attack on the Sandy Hook School which along he allegedly took from his mothers gun cabinet. Those firearms had all been legally acquired.

It is not a surprise that according to two recent polls, most Americans – 52% – support tougher measures to counter violence causing firearms, including a ban on assault weapons and the presence of armed guards on each school. That 52% said that what happened in Connecticut made them take that position. By their own admission, most Americans have become domesticated jelly fish who are unable to admit responsibility for their acts and who prefer servitude instead of liberty.

A Pew Center poll concluded that 85% of citizens are in favor of private transactions in arms and those occurring in gun fairs do a thorough background check of the buyers. The same poll finds that 80% of the population is in favor of laws that prevent people with mental illness to purchase a gun.

While new anti-Second Amendment bills are approved and prepared all over the United States, law enforcement has not publicly determined if Adam Lanza acted alone, or if he was helped during his shooting spree. What is clear is that due to one mentally ill person’s actions, the rest of law abiding citizens, who do not use their firearms to go out and kill anyone, will have to surrender another portion of their Second Amendment right.

As we reported yesterday, President Barack Obama, will shield himself with children during his anti-Second Amendment speech, where he and his Vice President, Joe Biden will present a list of proposals that will allegedly address the ‘gun problem’. The President will appear with a list of 19 measures that could be implemented by executive order, that is, without congressional approval.

The new measures would enact stricter penalties against people who lie about their background in selling weapons, eliminate limits on federal research on the use of weapons, order stricter penalties against people who conduct arms trafficking and give schools flexibility to use their resources to improve safety. Ironically, the very same Obama administration allowed the circulation of heavy caliber rifles — including the same ones it intends to ban — to drug cartels in Mexico. Those firearms ended up killing innocent Mexicans and even American border patrol agents. The question is how will the new legislation — if passed — will address the U.S. government involvement in arms trafficking?

The White House confirmed today that the president will make every effort to pass a law banning assault weapons, high-capacity chargers and end technicalities that allow bypass background checks on prospective gun owners.

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