President Obama at a Sept. 11 ceremony in 2015. The Obama administration argues that the bill would put Americans at legal risk overseas. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members…
By Sandy Fitzgerald Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, D.C., this fall is expected to include an address to a joint session of Congress, which one of the archbishops organizing the pontiff’s United States tour said would be a “highlight”…
….WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned on Thursday that a major cyber attack is a looming threat and could have the same sort of impact as last year’s Superstorm Sandy, which knocked out electricity in a large swathe of the Northeast.
Napolitano said a “cyber 9/11” could happen “imminently” and that critical infrastructure – including water, electricity and gas – was very vulnerable to such a strike.
“We shouldn’t wait until there is a 9/11 in the cyber world. There are things we can and should be doing right now that, if not prevent, would mitigate the extent of damage,” said Napolitano, speaking at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington and referring to the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Pentagon planners have plenty to deal with these days – Iran in search of nuclear-weapons technology, suicide bombings in Afghanistan, and the final pullout of US troops in Iraq potentially leaving behind a security vacuum in the Middle East. But in war games in Washington this week, US Army officials and their advisers debated three nightmare scenarios in particular. Here are the doomsday visions that Pentagon planners have been poring over:
Members of the Azad Welfare Society burn a replica US flag Sunday during a rally to condemn NATO air strikes on Pakistani troops.
1. Collapse of Pakistan
Following the assassination of the Pakistani president in a scenario that begins in 2013, Pakistan begins to descend into chaos. It is a time of great uncertainty, in which Pakistan’s “Islamist Army faction and its militant Muslim allies” decide to act.
Their plan, according to the war game: “to exploit that country’s growing civil disorder to seize power and create a radical Islamist state.” Compounding this chaos is the confusion over who will gain control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal, estimated to number 80 to 120. These weapons are believed to be located at a half-dozen or so sites around the country.
By Carlo Munoz Washington: The outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pulled no punches during his last week on the job, saying today that the across-the-board defense cuts under the so-called “doomsday” scenario will break the military.
For the first time, Adm. Mike Mullen said this afternoon that if the Super Committee set up by the White House is forced to cut any more from national security coffers, the military simply would not survive.
“If you took a trillion dollars out of defense right now, that would break us,” Mullen said during a speech to defense industry leaders in Washington today. So far, the Obama administration has committed to cuts of $450 billion over the next 10 years, including $315 billion mandated by the Budget Control Act that Congress passed in July to avert a national default. Add the $500 billion that would be automatically cut should the Super Committee fail to come up with a plan to cut $1.2 trillion and you get close to $1 trillion.
By Pamela Geller Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Saturday that he is going to seek the Republican nomination for President, and in his speech declaring his candidacy, he sounded great: “we reject this President’s unbridled fixation on taking more money out of the wallets and pocketbooks of American families and employers and giving it to a central government,” Perry said. “‘Spreading the wealth’ punishes success while setting America on course to greater dependency on government. Washington’s insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritance on failed ‘stimulus’ plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed.”
Perry promises to fix all that: “We’ll create jobs. We’ll get America working again. We’ll create jobs and we’ll build wealth, we’ll truly educate and innovate in science, and in technology, engineering and math. We’ll create the jobs and the progress needed to get America working again.”
By Henry J. Reske
More ways to share… Mixx Stumbled LinkedIn Vine Buzzflash Reddit Delicious Newstrust Technocrati Seven months in Washington apparently has had a moderating effect on Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. The fire-breathing, tea party sensation who urged followers to take up arms against a “tyrannical government” is altering his battle plan, columnist Dana Milbank writes in an Op-Ed in The Washington Post.
“You could do the front assault, like at Gallipoli or the Charge of the Light Brigade, but when you end up losing a whole lot of people [all you can do is] pat yourself on the back and say how valiantly we charged that hill, like Pickett’s Charge,” West said recently.
West added that the smarter approach would be for Republicans to outmaneuver Democrats, like they did in the debt-limit battle: “We checked and checkmated them.”
“From a bayonet charge to a Washington chess match: Talk about going native,” Milbank wrote. “The African American conservative with the flattop can still talk like a militant, calling Democrats ‘socialists’ and ‘the enemy.’ But on his first big test, West joined the socialist enemy in the soft middle.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the US Congress on Tuesday was seen by most Israelis as a resounding success, and as a rejection of President Barack Obama’s policy speeches over the previous few days.
Speaking before a joint gathering of the House of Representatives and Senate, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel will not return to its 1967 borders, as Obama had insisted it must do for the sake of peace. The Israeli leader also adamantly restated Israel’s position that Jerusalem must not be divided.
Netanyahu’s strong statements won no fewer than 29 rounds of applause (26 of them standing ovations) from the lawmakers, despite the fact that he was seen to be defying the Americans’ own president.
Writing for Foreign Policy Magazine, analyst Michael Cohen noted that “the idea that Congress would openly side with a foreign leader against the president of the United States seems too far-fetched to believe. Remarkably, however, something not dissimilar happened in Washington Tuesday.”
by Moshe Phillips
Did you hear the one about the Saudi Arabian Prince and the guy from Sesame Street?
If you are not familiar with The National Council on U.S. Arab Relations (NCUSAR) you really shouldn’t feel bad. After all, it is difficult to keep track of all of the various Saudi funded propaganda/political efforts in the U.S. Here’s what you do need to know about NCUSAR: like the similarly named Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) this group also has deep pockets and has successfully forged high level relations with some of the most respected institutions and personalities of the limousine liberal left. Their website can be found at http://www.ncusar.org/.
The virulently anti-Israel Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) featured a story on NCUSAR’s annual conference in its December 2010 issue.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud was a keynote luncheon speaker at the “19th Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference.” He has long been a high-ranking figure in the Saudi government and is perhaps best known for his time as the Saudi ambassador to Washington from 2005 to 2007.