August 26, 2012
Open Thread 2012-22
News & views ...
Posted by b on August 26, 2012 at 03:04 AM | Permalink
'Although the exact facility in Stuxnet’s sights wasn’t spelled out, Langner had no doubts. “This is about taking out Bushehr,” he announced to Rosen and Tim one day, referring to a nuclear power plant in Iran that had been scheduled to begin operation in August 2010 but had been delayed. Langner’s colleagues stared at him dumbfounded. They weren’t eager to follow him down a path of state-sponsored cyberwarfare that seemed likely to lead to Israel and the United States, and possibly even Germany, as the suspected aggressors behind Stuxnet.
Langner called a German client of his, who works for a top maker of uranium-enrichment equipment.
“I have one question for you,” Langner said to him. “Is it possible to destroy a centrifuge just by manipulating the controller code?”
“I can’t tell you that, Ralph, it’s classified information,” the man replied.
Posted by: brian | Aug 26, 2012 6:31:41 AM | 1
I thought some here might find this of value for future reference. The title is self explanatory:
How to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet
The preface also links to two other sites with insightful information on this subject.
Posted by: juannie | Aug 26, 2012 7:43:29 AM | 2
The people killed in the massacre yesterday were inside and around a Shia shrine (Magham Seyede Sakina). It was obviously carried out by western and Saudi Backed Takfiris.
Posted by: Amar | Aug 26, 2012 8:55:44 AM | 3
one country is in need of an arab spring: saudi arabia:
Sharmine Narwani @snarwani
Photo: An Egyptian businesswoman lashed 300 times after falling out with a Saudi Princess http://shar.es/74Gjs #Egypt #Saudi #Torture
Posted by: brian | Aug 26, 2012 10:56:58 AM | 4
On the Non Aligned Movement summit, which starts today and runs through to Friday 31st there are some pieces of news.
-As Press TV reports, Egyptian President Morsi will be visiting the Bushehr Nuclear reactor along with several other heads of state. The symbolism of that will be huge.
- In other NAM news, and more shifting alliances Naharnet confirms that Hamas Premier Ismail Haniya has not been invited to the summit and instead President Abbas will be attending. Of course this is a sign that Hamas is now being snubbed by Iran ever since they refused to take funds from Iran in favour of increased funding from Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the Arab Spring.
Great 3-part report on "The State of Sinai" by Al Akhbar.
- Part One Surviving on its Own looks at the history of the Sinai, almost a third the size of Egypt, wedged between the Suez Canal and Israel. How it became a virtual no mans land between Egypt and Israel.
- Part Two Backyard for Business Bandits covers the corrupt Mubarak oligarchs who used this lawless vacuum to create a feudal state which enriched them but left the half a million residents of Sinai amoung the poorest in Egypt.
- Part Three Refuge for Hardliners and Outlaws investgates how the non-existance of a functioning state in Sinai has led it to be magnet for Jihadist groups bringing Sharia Law to villages or just hiding out in peace. How corrupt Egyptian military commanders flooded the region with gun smuggling to back up their organised crime interests and how even Israeli crime bosses used the routes for human trafficking of women from Russia and Ukraine into Israel.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 26, 2012 12:05:56 PM | 6
In the "what's fair for the goose" department:
SAUDI Aramco’s computer systems were hacked into recently and it is alleged that nearly 30,000 of its 50,000 computers were affected as a result. Saudi Aramco released a statement saying that some of its workstations were affected by the virus and that vital operations had not been affected.
Experts said Aramco’s computer systems were infected by the Shamoon malware virus, a Trojan horse that steals files from computers and then renders them useless by overwriting key system files and the Master Boot Record (MBR). The virus sends all stolen files to a remote control center. It is worth noting that Aramco was not the only company that has been attacked by such a virus. Aramco has highly efficient anti-hacking and firewall software; however, hackers never stop developing new methods and ways to attack computer systems. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20120827134105
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26, 2012 7:07:56 PM | 8
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the U.S. State Department says the Honduran government is taking adequate measures to address congressional concerns about human rights.
Posted by: Maracatu | Aug 27, 2012 11:21:04 AM | 9
Naharnet confirms that Hamas Premier Ismail Haniya has not been invited to the summit and instead President Abbas will be attending.
colm, do you believe everything you read? what do you mean by confirm? i was reading the news saturday and the display of hissy fit put on by abbas and the pa over iran's invitation to haniya was over the top. seriously, so what if a rep from both the pa and hamas go? do you think hamas fabricated the invite? this is all diplomatic shinanigans. from your link:
Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya will not attend an upcoming Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, Taher al-Nounou, a spokesman for the Hamas government, said on Sunday.
"The prime minister received a generous invitation from the Iranian president to participate in the NAM summit," he wrote in a statement, adding that Haniya initially "said he might be going but he decided today to apologize."
It was a swift U-turn for the Islamist movement which had on Saturday announced that Haniya would attend the summit following an "invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
Iran's foreign ministry confirmed that Haniya had been invited to the gathering as a "special guest."
But the announcement sparked a furious response from the rival Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, with foreign minister Riyad al-Malki saying President Mahmoud Abbas would boycott the summit if Haniya attended.
On Sunday morning, Iran also executed a swift U-turn, saying Haniya had never been invited in the first place.
Posted by: annie | Aug 28, 2012 9:26:16 AM | 10
The Norwegian Mari Skaare has been appointed Special Representative for Women Peace and Security in NATO, probably after the NATO summit where Amnesty gave its support with the "NATO - Keep the progress going" thing.
Posted by: Alexander | Aug 28, 2012 12:46:20 PM | 11
Arabs in the Middle East, polls show, are fearful of the Israel nuclear threat and not fearful of Iran, which doen't have nukes. They want a nuclear-free Middle East, and pending that they want Israel under the NPT. (Israel was one of the charter memebers of the IAEA, incidentally.)
Concerning the IAEA General Conference:
Supplementary Item for Inclusion(pdf) in the Provisional Agenda, Jun 19, 2012 (excerpts)
On 13 June 2012, the Director General received a request, submitted by the Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on behalf of the Arab States that are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, for the inclusion of an item entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities” in the agenda of the 56th (2012) regular session of the General Conference.
It is suggested, for consideration by the General Committee, that this item follow item 19 of the provisional agenda and be discussed in the Plenary.
Text of letter received on 13 June 2012 from the Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan On behalf of the Arab States that are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Tunisia, the Republic of Algeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Republic of Iraq, the State of Qatar, the State of Kuwait, the Lebanese Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Yemen, the Sultanate of Oman, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and Palestine (observer), I have the honour to forward to you the request, based on the decisions of the Council of the Arab League at the level of the Summit and Arab Foreign Ministers, for the inclusion of an item on “Israeli nuclear capabilities” in the agenda of the fifty-sixth session (2012) of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
An item on “Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat” has been on the agenda of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1987 and the Conference has adopted resolutions calling upon Israel to place its nuclear installations under Agency safeguards.
The policies of Israeli Governments have obstructed the peace process in the Middle East and thwarted all initiatives to free the region of the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, and in particular of nuclear weapons.
Adoption of the resolution entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities” (GC(53)/RES/17) by the fiftythird session of the IAEA General Conference has highlighted the international community’s concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities, and it called upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive Agency safeguards. Also, the resolution urged the Director General to work with the concerned States towards achieving that end and to submit a report to the Board of Governors and the General Conference at its fifty-fourth session on the implementation of this resolution.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28, 2012 7:33:17 PM | 13
Of course the UN, as is its custom under US control, won't do a damn thing about Israel and its policies which obstruct the peace process in the Middle East according to the IAEA Arab States. Perhaps sanctions for actual bad behavior, instead of for alleged "illicit ambitions?"
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28, 2012 10:24:53 PM | 14
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the U.S. State Department says the Honduran government is taking adequate measures to address congressional concerns about human rights.
Posted by: Maracatu | Aug 27, 2012 11:21:04 AM | 9
Hondura's coup serves and was created by the US empire
Posted by: brian | Aug 29, 2012 1:01:48 PM | 16
Two RNC Attendees Removed After Throwing Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman
David Taintor August 29, 2012, 11:34 AM 31216\l
Nearly 24 hours after an ugly incident in which two attendees at the Republican National Convention in Tampa were ejected after throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, “This is how we feed animals,” remarkably few details about the particulars of the incident have emerged.
CNN, convention organizers, the RNC, and the managers of the venue itself have all either declined to provide more information about what exactly happened or have referred questions to one of the other entities involved.
It remains unknown whether the two attendees were delegates to the convention, which state delegation they were members of, whether they were forcibly removed from the arena, whether their convention credentials have been revoked, or whether they will be back in attendance today.
Here’s what is known.
There were multiple witnesses to the exchange, according to
CNN’s own, sparse report on the incident, but no witness accounts were included in the story and no witnesses have thus far come forward.
The CNN report also says that police and RNC security immediately removed the two attendees. But the City of Tampa’s Joint Information Center, which has been in contact with the Secret Service, told TPM on Wednesday there is no record the Tampa Police Department was involved “in any way shape or form.”
Convention officials are staying tight-lipped about the incident. In a statement, convention spokesman Kyle Downey said the attendees “exhibited deplorable behavior.”
“Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” he added.
But convention officials have offered no additional details about the incident or what steps they are taking to address it, including whether the alleged culprits have had their convention credentials revoked.
CNN, too, won’t say much. In a statement, the network acknowledged the incident, but gave few details: “CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”
The security office for the Tima Bay Times Forum, the site of the convention, referred calls to arena managers, who could not be reached for comment.
Posted by: brian | Aug 30, 2012 3:29:53 AM | 17
Was Mursi's speech a bit unexpected? He [nor others] didn't turn up at the Nuclear Reactor either...
From ABC News [Australian Public Broadcaster]
Syrian delegates storm out of Tehran summit
The Syrian delegation has stormed out of a summit in Iran during a speech from the new Egyptian president that was highly critical of the Syrian regime. Mohammed Morsi is the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since relations between the countries soured after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
He used the summit to launch a stinging attack on the Syrian government, a key ally of Iran.
He said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was leading an oppressive regime and that countries had an ethical duty to support the Syrian opposition in their revolution.
"Our solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy is an ethical duty as it is a political and strategic necessity," he said.
The Syrian delegation is reported to have stormed out during his speech, though that has been denied by Iran's official media.
Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem later accused Mr Morsi of using his speech to incite further bloodshed. He said the speech amounted to "interference in Syria's internal affairs and... incites continued bloodshed in Syria".
Tehran is hoping the high-profile event will prove that Western efforts to isolate it and punish it economically for its disputed nuclear program have failed.
Iran, which has given staunch backing to the Assad regime, will not be pleased with Mr Morsi's comments.
Posted by: kodlu | Aug 30, 2012 8:11:59 AM | 18
will american heads roll?
'In June-July, the Akula-class submarine, an attack warship capable of carrying long-range ballistic missiles, travelled in the Gulf of Mexico patrolling the US coast. The US satellites and hydro-acoustic sensors failed to spot it. The US Navy spotted only the submarine’s tail when it was leaving the waters of the Gulf.'
apparently its ok for US subs to prowl the china sea of Persian gulf; but russians in gulf of mexico make americans go ballistic
Posted by: brian | Sep 2, 2012 2:33:25 AM | 21
Venezuela refinery explosion -- payback for the Chevron refinery explosion on August 6 in Richmond, California? Or maybe it's simply a coincidence.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 2, 2012 11:36:46 AM | 25
Anybody else think it a bit odd that the active duty soldiers from Fort Stewart, Georgia arrested last week in a bust of a militia allegedly with goals of overthrowing the U.S. government and killing the President are being tried only for the murder of one of their mates and his girlfriend, not on terrorism or Patriot Act charges? And where are the daily headlines about this terrorist plot, the further investigation to see how widespread the militia and its alleged conspiracy extend, and the incessant bloviating from all of the Washington blowhards about TERRORISM! SCARY! THEY'RE OUT TO GET US! etc etc. ?
Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 3, 2012 11:29:41 AM | 26
Yes, that was sarcasm. Forgot the snark tag.
Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 3, 2012 11:30:59 AM | 27
maxcrat, that really flew under the radar didn't it? it they had been muslim we would all be flogged with 'terrorist' headlines.
Posted by: annie | Sep 3, 2012 1:08:38 PM | 28
the sitemeter has been down for awhile.i wonder what's up with that. i like checking to see who's on and what they are looking it. hmmm mystery
Posted by: annie | Sep 3, 2012 8:37:18 PM | 29
*I don't agree with your take on India as being a US handmaiden*
its not for nothing that india is often called the *israel of south asia*
cia/raw/mossad collusion in afpak is common knowledge now, well at least to those who have been paying attention.
its also open secret that israel has been tutoring india in *anti terrosim* tactics in kashmir etc
india fukus *joint ventures* in south asia have been going on surreptitiously for yrs, without a peep from the *international community*
here'r but two examples of fukusi[ndia] skulldugeries in nepal
just the tip of the iceberg, mind u.
here's a tip
how to see whether a government is *on side* with fukus.
if u r *in*, u get a free hand in dealing with ur *terrarists*, fact is, fukus often lend a helping hand.
in the war on the south asia indigenuous indians, bharat got state of art technical support, drones, satellites image, plus *advisors* from the exterminators of north american indians.
otoh, when hans got chopped up, bashed in, burned to charcoal in xinjiang, tibet. the *international community* jumped on china like tons of bricks, for.....u guess it, *brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors* ,
sounds familiar ?
Posted by: denk | Sep 5, 2012 1:29:23 AM | 31
Anonymous Operations @Anon_Central
Pirate Bay Founder's Arrest Followed By $59m Swedish Aid Package For Cambodia | http://dlvr.it/26CVy1
isnt that corruption? AID(really swedis taxpayers money here) is used to buy govts...will they also try to corrupt Ecuador govt?
Posted by: brian | Sep 6, 2012 8:53:36 AM | 33
white face always speak in forked tongue....just ask the native americans [not amerikans]
Posted by: denk | Sep 7, 2012 10:21:44 PM | 34
did u know:
"The British MP also stated that Manning is Welsh by nationality but is currently being tortured in a US prison, saying, 'Bradley Manning should be getting a Nobel Prize instead of being tortured and what is the British government doing about this torture of the Welshman, Bradley Manning? What they’re doing, is intriguing and plotting with the Swedish government and the US government to send Julian Assange to join him on the torture tables and in solitary confinement for the next 50 years. And we call ourselves the land of the free.'
Posted by: brian | Sep 8, 2012 8:40:59 PM | 36
I want to elaborate over two aspects of Unknown Unknowns' merciless depiction of the dilemma facing western intellectuals, Identity and servitude (accepting the "us against them" meme) or Principle (and nihilism)
1) I first of all would like to defend Enlightenment, which gets the blame for everything, nowadays; instead, I believe XVIIIth century France has been the real high point in European civilization, if this word has a meaning; they invented this term, btw, meaning "politeness" and "humanity", often used in opposition to the barbarian ways of the authorities and public institutions of the time; rather, it was the XIXth century that started using the term as a club with which to smash the opponents' - preliminarily classified as primitives, or "inferior civilizations" - heads); the Enlightenment witnessed an unprecedented and unsurpassed widespread interest for philophy, science, social problems and the conditions of mankind;
maybe the Enlightenment tried to "severe God's head from the godhead and replace it with a human one", but always thinking that human reason reflected divine or cosmic principles, so in practice it was mainly only a call for autonomy from the clerical hierarchies and Biblical citations; and the Enlightenment divinity was a benign one; and even when they called it Science, they meant human knowledge and understanding, not power
The real problems arose a century later, in the second half of XIXth century, when the industrial revolution gave rise to extremely powerful and ambitious states, and when Darwinism spread, with its principle of evolution through the "survival of the fittest", readily adapted to wars between "civilizations" (the term being used this way for the first time), wars between states, and competition between individuals; and Positivism came to dominate the debate over social problems; that's when everything changed; that's when Europeans really "severed God's head from the godhead"; but they didn't substitute it with a human one, but with the myth of Science, improperly given the task to guarantee the standing of "post-Christian Christianity": assure it of his destiny: the power to command over nature and all its creatures, and assure such destiny through a "certain knowledge"; of course, Science soon showed its limits and "irrational" reactions and alternatives arose since the beginning of the XXth century;
2) regarding the western intellectual's dilemma (historically, the terms "intellectual" and "leftist" largely coincide): there has always been an unaknowledged tension between "humanism" and "identitarism", between the universalistic principles of modern (western) conscience and the grand narrative according to which it was "us" Europeans / westerners, heirs of Greek civilization, not anybody else, who operated this break-through of "rationality" against "superstition" and the power of tradition; this tension between universalistic principles and a particularistic (racist is a more precise term) sense of belonging to a "superior civilization" can remain hidden until one believes at the big narrative of Western civilization - a big fable, in fact, but higly articulated and not easy to debunk as a whole
once one realizes that Western civilization is a fable, the outcome isn't particularly traumatic: you simply become more humble, tolerant and radically anti-imperialistic and anti-racist; if instead you keep believing something like "western civilization" exists, then you convince yourself that yes, "we" are the problem, but also that "we" are the solution (especially to the problems we created in the first place), so you tend to accept imperialism as inevitable and as the "lesser evil"
3) as UU pointed out, "blogistan" isn't an appropriate place for this kind of discussions; but really the state of western societies, the perduring strength of certain mythologies, the fabricated "historical narratives" instilled in our heads since school, etc mean that a new political conscience can only arise as a result of a clarification on who "we" really are or want to be, where we are headed, when and why the demonic desire of world domination appeared and captured us, etc; also, it's necessary to go beyond the denounciation of all the intellectuals that betray our sacrosanct anti-imperialistic principles, and reach a comprehension of the hidden strengths of the "Empire's religion", so I found UU's post extremely stimulating
Posted by: claudio | Sep 8, 2012 9:28:04 PM | 37
US anti DPRK propaganda goes into overdrive with a remake of an old propaganda film Red Dawn:
this is a good site dealing with racism esp antiasian in Hollwood
my reflections posted to the blog:
Hi Nice blog on an important topic..
I just want to comment on Red Dawn...a remake of a cold war propaganda film that inverts history by having the US invaded by soviets cuba ad nicaragua...three countries then under attack BY the US, and the film was branding these three as enemies in the minds of the film viewing public ..The new film has a new enemy: DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea..not 'North Korea')...the DPRK is now under attack BY the US in many ways....militarily, economically and here thru entertainment. So any asian american actors who choose roles in this movie are only confirming the racist view of Hollywood filmmakers and execs..they are useful to provide villains to brainwash the american public....Will the actors be rewarded with roles in non-propagada films? fraid not.
Posted by: brian | Sep 8, 2012 10:37:12 PM | 38
'But that is what Red Dawn depicts–a weird historical reversal–and it is just so damn awkward. The white heroes of Washington State are upset that their land–their home–is being taken over by invaders. And the contrast to the actual history of Asians in Washington State is also quite stark.
In Red Dawn, Washington patriots must defend their home by driving out Asian invaders– an unrealistic scenario that has never occurred in history. The historic scenario was essentially the exact opposite: The citizens of Washington, driven by racism, invaded and burned down entire Asian American communities and drove Asian Americans from their homes and out of the State, forcing them onto trains to Oregon.
Anti-Chinese riots as illustrated in Harper’s Weekly, Seattle, 1886
In the late 1800s, discrimination against Asians in Washington State was particularly pronounced; there were more than 150 documented mob attacks against Chinese communities and settlers throughout North America. (This ethnic cleansing tactic, practiced in places including Los Angeles and Seattle, was dubbed “The Tacoma Method” after the Tacoma Riot of 1885 that inspired anti-Chinatown lynching movements across the Pacific Coast.)
So it’s more than a little ironic to have a film set in Washington State depicting Asian people oppressing white Washington State residents (and their people of color friends/acquaintances.)'
Posted by: brian | Sep 8, 2012 11:19:22 PM | 39
'The first time I heard this story I thought it in my experience plausible, but it was too risky to republish in case it fell through as a hoax. I try and be careful about the stories I associate with and of course from time to time, as a human, I make mistakes. Well this is legit. Netenyahu illegaly smuggled nuclear triggers called Krytrons through a trading company from the US to Israel. The same nuclear triggers that Mossad accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons with a couple of years ago.
The corporate media have imposed a wall of silence over this story including a wonderful NPR program where they cut off the journalist who exposed Bibi.
Posted by: brian | Sep 10, 2012 8:31:31 AM | 40