Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 14/06/13

Massenbach-Letter

Udo von Massenbach

Guten Morgen.

Seit Mai 2012:
Auch an die
Mitglieder des Verteidigungsausschusses
des Deutschen Bundestages.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FDP+Frauen. Gibt’s die?

Massenbach Defense Industry Daily:
June 11, 2013: Neverending Surveillance of Americans

Jun 11, 2013 04:11 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

  • Glen Greenwald’s 1-2 punch scoop publicizing blanket capture of Verizon phone records external link, and the NSA’s Prism program external link to collect data from customers of American technology firms, has a 3rd shot: his source, Edward Snowden, stepped forward voluntarily external link. After a successful mass-casualty terrorist attack in Boston despite all of these measures, the Attorney-General authorizing wide-ranging surveillance of reporters external link, and revelations that the IRS has used its own massive powers to systematically persecute the Obama administration’s political opponents, the “NSA files external link” story has the public’s attention.

Something you may not have heard so much about. In 2008, NSA intercept operators told ABC News that they routinely and deliberately eavesdropped on phone sex between troops serving overseas and their loved ones in America. Congress did nothing.

So far, reactions on Capitol Hill haven’t crystalized. Today will be a big day for in-secret hearings, but Politico is predicting no major changes to legislation. Rep. Mike Rogers’ [R-MI] Intelligence Reauthorization bill may become a bigger flashpoint in the next few weeks. With that said, when you’ve lost the co-author of the Patriot Act , it’s a warning sign. People with some gray hairs and memory might recall something known as the Church Committee .

Booz Allen Hamilton was predictably unhappy with Snowden’s leak, though they were perfectly happy with what he was working on. Google? Their CEO claims they didn’t know about Prism. The DNI defends it . Sen. Feinstein [D-CA] actually went so far as to describe Snowden’s revelations as “treason” , and was joined in this opinion by Sen. Bill Nelson [R-FL]. To say Snowden broke laws is one thing, but using the word “treason” says that execution is an appropriate response to revealing blanket government surveillance of all Americans. Hmm. These are not wholly new revelations. The Atlantic reminds us just how far-reaching the DNI’s domestic efforts are. WIRED covered the NSA’s Bluffdale, UT center and its “Stellar Wind” program of total electronic surveillance in March 2012, and whistleblower William Binney was a co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center with decades of experience. They add important background to these stories. Government Executive has an article titled “The Surveillance State: How We Got Here .” The impact of the NSA Files will be felt beyond the USA. Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand have all cooperated closely with the agency, and some have parallel agencies of their own (Britain’s GCHQ, Canadian CSE). As NSA’s brand becomes “internal surveillance of domestic populations,” leaders abroad will need to deal with hard questions about the extent of NSA’s reach, the prospect of similar programs in their own countries, and domestic reactions to continued cooperation. It’s already beginning . We’d be remiss if we didn’t finish with Glen Greenwald’s interview of Edward Snowden, as Snowden explains what he worked on, what he saw, and what caused him to abandon his girlfriend, high-paying job, and home. Here’s the video below: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/rapid-fire-june-11-2013-no-sign-of-accountability-014061/?utm_medium=textlink&utm_term=clickvideo ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Policy = res publica Freudenberg-Pilster PRISM-Enthüllung: NSA-Spitzelei Alltag für User Nutzer „niemals sicher“ – Whistleblower sorgt für globalen Skandal Weißes Haus: Obama sucht nach Argumenten (Foto: flickr/Chris Christner)Berlin/Bonn/Washington (pte026/11.06.2013/13:03) – Insider und Whistleblower stellen für Regierungsstellen mit ihren sensiblen, strenggeheimen und teils illegal erlangten Informationen eine immer größere Gefahr dar. Während sie einerseits darum bemüht sind, sich vor Hackerangriffen von außen zur Wehr zu setzen, befindet der eigentliche „Feind“ oftmals in den eigenen Reihen, wie die aktuellen Entwicklungen rund um die Enthüllung des breit angelegten Überwachungsprogramms PRISM der National Security Agency (NSA) http://nsa.gov zeigt. „Wir müssen uns dessen bewusst sein, dass alles, was technologisch machbar ist, auch gemacht wird. Mithilfe von Mausklicks kann jede Aktion, jede Bewegung und jedes Gespräch mitverfolgt werden“, unterstreicht Thomas R. Köhler, Geschäftsführer der Gesellschaft für Kommunikationsberatung CE21 http://ce21.de , im Gespräch mit pressetext. Facebook & Co beteiligt Ans Licht der Öffentlichkeit hat die Existenz der weltweiten Bespitzelung der ehemalige CIA- und NSA-Mitarbeiter Edward Snowden gebracht. Laut Medienberichten sollen an dem Programm eine Reihe großer Internetkonzerne beteiligt sein, unter ihnen Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo und weitere. Diese bestreiten eine Kollaboration jedoch. Der Reputations- und Vertrauensverlust, der damit einhergeht, ist enorm und „gefährdet die ganze Internetbranche“, so Köhler. Wesentliche Grundvoraussetzung für das große Aufdeckungspotenzial von Insidern ist das schnelle Kopieren und Übertragen von Daten. Mithilfe großer mobiler Speichermedien und leistungsstarker Internetverbindungen ist das Entwenden und Weiterverbreiten von sensiblen Informationen um vieles einfach geworden als noch zu Zeiten, in denen die digitale Penetration des menschlichen Zusammenlebens erst in ihrem Frühstadium war. Gegenwehr nutzlos Die technischen Voraussetzungen sind gegeben, um allerdings brisante Informationen wirklich publizieren zu können, braucht es den Zugang zu dem dementsprechenden Datenkonvolut sowie den Mut, damit an die Öffentlichkeit zu gehen. „Snowden riskiert mit diesem mutigen Schritt sein Leben und hat seine Freiheit aufgegeben“, sagt Köhler. Die aktuellen Enthüllungen haben das Potenzial, zu dem Skandal des Jahrzehnts zu werden – und das gerade einmal wenige Jahre nach den hohen Wellen, die die Enthüllungsplattform Wikileaks http://wikileaks.org verursacht hat. Wie sich Internet-User gegen diesen globalen „Lauschangriff“ schützen können, ist nicht klar. Experten gehen vielmehr davon aus, dass man kaum mehr eine Chance hat, den Geheimdiensten zu entgehen, wenn sie sich erst einmal auf die eigenen Fersen geheftet haben. Abhilfe kann man sich verschaffen, indem man schlicht auf die zahlreichen angebotenen Internetdienste verzichtet. Für viele kommt dies aber nicht infrage, da sie bereits einen festen Platz in der alltäglichen Kommunikation und Mediennutzung eingenommen haben. Auch Verschlüsselungen sind nur unzureichend. Snowden gegenüber dem Guardian: „Sie wissen gar nicht, was alles möglich ist. Das Ausmaß ihrer Fähigkeiten ist erschreckend. Wir können Wanzen in Computer einbauen. Sobald du online bist, kann ich deinen Rechner identifizieren. Sie werden niemals sicher sein, egal welche Sicherheitsmaßnahmen Sie ergreifen.“ http://www.pressetext.com/news/20130611026********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* Politics: from Vision to Action Barandat U.S. Naval Update Map: June 6, 2013 The Naval Update Map shows the approximate current locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups, based on available open-source information. No classified or operationally sensitive information is included in this weekly update. CSGs and ARGs are the keys to U.S. dominance of the world’s oceans. A CSG is centered on an aircraft carrier, which projects U.S. naval and air power and supports a Carrier Air Wing, or CVW. The CSG includes significant offensive strike capability. An ARG is centered on three amphibious warfare ships, with a Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked. An MEU is built around a heavily reinforced and mobile battalion of Marines.Carrier Strike Groups The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG with CVW 7 embarked is conducting missions supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR. The USS Nimitz CSG with CVW 11 embarked is conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR. The USS Carl Vinson is underway in the Pacific Ocean for routine training. The USS Harry S. Truman CSG with CVW 3 embarked is conducting a sustainment exercise in the Atlantic Ocean in preparation for an upcoming deployment.Amphibious Ready Groups/Marine Expeditionary Units The USS Kearsarge ARG with the 26th MEU embarked is underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR supporting maritime security operations and conducting theater security cooperation efforts. The USS Wasp is underway in the Atlantic Ocean for routine training. http://app.response.stratfor.com/e/es?s=1483&e=699559&elq=050787a54bc549918b4ebdc6be26e4e1 ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** STRATFOR /Friedman: Geopolitical Journey: Azerbaijan and America

There is a point where three great powers — Russia, Turkey and Persia — meet: the Caucasus. At the moment they converge in a country called Azerbaijan. That fact makes Azerbaijan a battleground for these three great powers, which have competed with each other along various borders for centuries. Until 1991 Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, as was the rest of the South Caucasus. But as the Russian border moved north, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan were once more unveiled by history. Of the three, Azerbaijan won the geopolitical prize of bordering the three great regional powers.

It also emerged as a major energy producer. At the end of the 19th century, half of the oil in the world was produced in Azerbaijan, whose oil fields around the capital, Baku, were developed by the Nobel brothers, famed for dynamite and prizes. This is where they made their fortune. I had the pleasure of dining at their mansion a few years ago, a guest of government officials. Whatever others might have thought in that elegant house, I thought of Hitler urgently trying to reach Baku and its oil, and the fact that his disaster at Stalingrad was actually part of his attempt to seize Azerbaijan’s oil fields. Azerbaijan was once the prize of empire. It is now independent in a very dangerous place.

The United States: An Adolescent Global Power

I have visited Azerbaijan several times since 2008, when I published a book called The Next 100 Years, which identified Azerbaijan as geopolitically critical in the emerging global system. This brought with it an invitation to visit Azerbaijan and see the place on which my theory focused. Since I continue to regard Azerbaijan as critical both in the struggle emerging in the Caucasus and to the United States, I continue to visit and continue to enjoy dinners that never end and rounds of toasts that test my liver. But I never forget one thing: Hitler risked everything to get to Baku and its oil. He failed to reach it, and the history of our time turns on that fact.

My latest trip had to do with a conference on U.S.-Azerbaijani relations. There are a small number of people in the United States who care about Azerbaijan and most of them were there, along with some congressmen, state representatives and a large numbers of Azeris. Compared with my first encounter with Azerbaijan, the number of people interested in the country has risen dramatically.

Conferences on subjects like this are global. You can be in Washington, Singapore or Baku and it all looks the same. When you are in my business, you meet the same people several times a year. Sometimes they have something new to say; sometimes I have something new to say. It is too infrequent. What is interesting is the people you don’t normally meet: the local academics, government officials, businessmen and others. Over time you create a group of friends in the countries you visit. These are the ones from whom you learn the most. And in Azerbaijan, you listen to their desire to be friends with the United States and bewilderment at American indifference.

This is a recurring theme in my travels. Everyone is unhappy with the United States either for doing something or not doing something. In either case, they feel let down by the United States, and I am somehow personally at fault. In general I give as good as I get. But in the case of Azerbaijan, I’m on the defensive. They feel let down by the United States, and they are. This isn’t a question of sentiment. Nations don’t have friends and whatever my friendships in Azerbaijan — friendships that are real and important to me — the United States must pursue its interests. My problem in answering is that I believe that working with Azerbaijan is in the American interest and that holding back is taking unnecessary risks. I don’t like criticizing my country in another country, so I try to shift the discussion to something else. It rarely works.

My own interest in Azerbaijan requires greater explanation. In The Next 100 Years I forecast a number of events, beginning with the serious weakening of the European Union and the increase in relative power of Russia. Russia had its own problems, but between Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and the fact that Russia had cash available to buy assets in Europe, the decline of Europe meant a more powerful Russia. The countries that would feel that power would be those bordering the former Soviet Union — a line from Poland to Turkey and then from Turkey to Azerbaijan, the eastern anchor of Europe on the Caspian Sea.

I wrote that the United States, withdrawing from its wars in the Islamic world, would be increasingly cautious and uncertain. The United States would continue to be the dominant power in the world, economically the most viable and with the most powerful military, but an adolescent power without foresight or balance in its actions. I argued that the United States had not been the dominant global power until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. Until then the United States had shared domination and competed with the Soviet Union in a Cold War that had been frequently hot and where it wasn’t clear that the United States would win. Between Korea, Vietnam and some other, less well-known engagements, nearly 100,000 Americans died in the „Cold“ War — almost as many as died in World War I — a fact that most people don’t appreciate. And when we look back on Korea and Vietnam, it is hard to imagine this period as the American age.

The United States won the Cold War because the Soviets knocked themselves out. But a win is a win and the United States stood alone, really amazed to be where it was, talking about New World Orders, but truly clueless as to what it would do later. First it imagined that war had been abolished and that it was all about making money. Then it imagined that it would spend the next century with only Islamic terrorists on its mind. Now it seems to have decided that it will avoid involvement in the world — although how a country with nearly 25 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and control of the oceans avoids involvement is beyond me.

Specialists in U.S. foreign policy divide into two camps. One camp is the realists, who argue that the United States should pursue its national self-interest. That seems reasonable until you ask them to define what the national interest is. Another camp consists of idealists, who want to use American power to do good, whether building democracy or stopping human rights abuses. It’s a good idea until you ask them how they intend to do it. Usually the answer is to intervene but only kill bad people. I assume they will wear signs.

The point is that the United States is the world’s global power but is lurching from conflict to conflict and from concept to concept. It takes awhile to understand how to use power. The British had to lose America before they started to get the idea. The United States is fortunate. It is rich and isolated, and even if terrorists kill some of us, we will not be occupied like France or Poland. We have time to grow up. This makes the rest of the world very uncomfortable. Sometimes the United States does inexplicable things. Sometimes it fails to do necessary things. When the United States makes a mistake it is mostly other countries that suffer or are placed at risk. So some of the world wishes the United States would disappear. It won’t. Other parts of the world wish the United States take responsibility for their security. It won’t.

The Criticality of Azerbaijan

This brings us back to Azerbaijan. It is a country that borders both Russia and Iran. In Russia it borders Dagestan; in Iran it borders the Iranian Azeri region. The bulk of Azeris live in Iran, where they are the largest ethnic minority group in the country (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an Azeri). Azerbaijan is a predominantly secular country. It feels threatened by Iranian Shiite terrorism and by Sunni Islamic terrorism in the north. Azerbaijan fought a war in the 1990s in which it lost an area called Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, which was backed by the Russians. Russian troops are now based in Armenia. A government that appears to have close ties to Russia has replaced the formerly pro-American government of Georgia. Azerbaijan finds itself in a tough place, and the country’s position between Russia and Iran makes it critical. A secular Muslim state in this region hostile to both Iran and Russia is not all that common.

Azerbaijan has another strategic virtue from the American point of view: energy. The Russian strategy has been to maintain and deepen European dependence on Russian energy, on the theory that this would both increase Russian influence and decrease the risk to Russian national security. The second phase of this strategy has been to limit alternatives for the Europeans, including Turkey. The complex tension over oil and natural gas pipelines boils down to the fact that the Russians do not want significant energy sources that are outside of Russian control to be available to Europe.

It is in the American interest to try to limit Russian influence around its periphery in order to stabilize the pro-Western states there at a time when Europe is weak and disorganized. It is also in the United States‘ interest to limit Iranian power projection and to retain a platform for influencing the Azeri population in Iran. But there are limits to American power and interest. It cannot go to war as the first option. The United States can afford to support only countries that take primary responsibility for their national security on themselves. The United States cannot be the primary source of that security.

This is what makes U.S. relations with Azerbaijan interesting. Azerbaijan is strategically located between two powers antagonistic to the United States: Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan has served as a major transshipment point for supplies to Afghanistan. Azerbaijan wants to be able to buy weapons from the United States. The United States has deflected that request in most cases. The Azerbaijanis have turned to the Israelis instead, with whom they have close ties.

Azerbaijan has all the characteristics of a full American ally. It is strategically located and provides options for both influencing events in Iran and limiting Russian power in Europe by providing an energy alternative, including the possibility of a pipeline under the Caspian Sea to Central Asia. Given its location it needs access to weapons, for which it is prepared to pay. Yet the United States limits its access to weapons.

There are two reasons for this. One is the ethnic politics of the United States. The strong Armenian-American community is hostile to Azerbaijan because of the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Azerbaijani lobby in the United States has failed to gain the influence of its Armenian counterpart. Therefore, there is pressure on Congress to block weapons shipments, and even appointing ambassadors is difficult. The second reason is more significant. Human rights advocates, including those in the State Department, have said that the Azerbaijani government is repressive and corrupt. Therefore, they have opposed arms sales to Azerbaijan.

I am not in a position to have seen repression or corruption. This is a country that was a former Soviet republic and that went through a chaotic privatization program that resulted in inequities like those in other former Soviet countries. It is also a country where family and clan are critical, so there is what Westerners would call cronyism. A Chinese businessman once told me that he thought Americans were vile and immoral because they would hire strangers over family merely because the stranger was better qualified. He argued that valuing merit over blood was the height of immorality. I would not have liked to build my company on his basis, but his comments reminded me that our conviction as to how a society should function is neither universally shared nor admired. I am therefore more cautious in judging the moral conduct of others. This is not because I don’t think merit is superior to blood but because I am aware that there are reasonable people who think my view is vile.

At any rate, a country doesn’t go from being a Soviet republic to having an economy without corruption in a little more than 20 years. Nor does it become a full-fledged liberal democracy in that time frame, particularly when it is surrounded by hostile powers on three sides — Iran, Russia and Armenia. Looking at the record of other former Soviet republics, Azerbaijan is not out of the box. It is hard to imagine what country in the former Soviet Union the United States could be aligned with if Azerbaijan were off limits.

Another issue troubles me — what I call the „Arab Spring syndrome.“ There is an assumption by human rights advocates that the crowd opposing a repressive regime will create a less repressive government. I recall how in 1979, when demonstrations were going on against the Shah of Iran, the obvious fact that he ran a repressive regime was combined with a fantasy about what the demonstrators were like — they were all seen as Western liberal democrats. They weren’t, and it is difficult to argue from a human rights point of view that the success of the demonstrators enhanced human rights in Iran.

The same can be said of Azerbaijan. Whatever criticism might be made of the regime, it is difficult to imagine that the alternative would be either more liberal or transparent. An Iranian-sponsored alternative would look like Iran. A Russian-sponsored alternative would look like Russia. The idea that the United States should not pursue its strategic interests in a situation where the current regime is morally superior to a Russian- or Iranian-backed alternative is perverse. It is part of the immaturity of a global power trying to find its bearings.

Azerbaijan matters to the United States not because of its moral character. It matters because it is a wedge between Russia and Iran. Any regime that would follow the current one would likely be much worse in a moral sense and might be hostile to the United States. The loss of Azerbaijani oil to either Russia or Iran would increase the pressure on Turkey and eliminate energy alternatives along the periphery of Russia. The United States must adopt a strategy of early and low-risk support for strategic partners rather than sudden, spasmodic military responses to unanticipated crises. An independent Azerbaijan is a bone in Russia’s and Iran’s throat and an energy source for Turkey. And Azerbaijan pays cash for weapons that will be used by Azerbaijani troops and not by Americans.

It is hard to get attention for seemingly arcane issues in the United States today. It is not until the arcane becomes the urgent that the United States responds. I explain this in Baku, and they have no choice but to put up with it. But the management of massive power requires prudent management of seemingly arcane threats. As much as I enjoy Azerbaijani cooking and company, it is the ability of the United States to create a stable framework for its foreign policy — neither simplistically realistic nor moralistic — that is being tested in Azerbaijan.

Both Hitler and Stalin understood that control of Baku meant control of the Eurasian landmass. The realities of energy have shifted but not to the extent that Baku doesn’t remain critical. When I go to Baku and I read my histories, this becomes obvious. Most Americans don’t go to Baku and too many don’t read histories. It doesn’t take much to guarantee the security of a critical asset, but it is hard to get the United States to do much right now.

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/geopolitical-journey-azerbaijan-and-america?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130611&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_content=readmore&elq=e4c6542140744324b0e24247e0c1a708

P.S.

Ausstellung „Bilder für die Ewigkeit – Petroglyphen im Hochland Armeniens“

Die prähistorische Felskunst ist ein wesentlicher Teil des kulturellen Erbes Armeniens. Zu sehen ist sie jetzt in einer Ausstellung im Auswärtigen Amt.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ Middle East EIA: Amount of Technically Recoverable Global Shale Resources Grows The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has increased its estimate of technically recoverable global shale gas resources by 10 percent from its 2011 estimate of 6,622 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 7,299 Tcf. EIA’s new update of global shale resources includes data on U.S. shale oil and gas resources as well as data for 137 shale formations in 41 other countries. EIA’s previous assessment released in 2011 only included resources in 32 countries and 69 formations. The new assessment also includes data on shale oil resources, which the 2011 assessment did not. EIA estimates technically recoverable world shale oil resources at 345 billion barrels, EIA reported Monday. Recent U.S. developments have highlighted the role of shale formations and other tight plays as sources of crude oil, lease condensates and a variety of liquids processed from wet gas, EIA noted. EIA updated its 2011 assessment in part because geologic research and well drilling results not available for the2011 report would allow for a more informed evaluation of the shale formations covered in the 2011 report as well as shale formations not assessed in 2011. „Although the shale resource estimates presented in this report will likely change over time as additional information becomes available, it is evident that shale resources that were until recently not included in technically recoverable resources constitute a substantial share of overall global technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources,“ EIA said in a statement. While the new report covers more shale formations than the previous report, it does not include many prospective shale formations, including resources underlying large oil fields in the Middle East and Caspian region. „The priority of such work compared to other possible projects, including efforts to determine the likely costs of production of oil and natural gas from shale resources around the world, will need to be determined in the light of available budgets,“ EIA noted. Estimates of shale oil and gas resources in the United States and 137 formations in 41 countries comprise 10 percent of the world’s crude oil and 32 percent of the world’s technically recoverable gas resources, EIA noted. Russia, the United States, China, Argentina and Libya are the top five countries in terms of technically recoverable shale oil resources. China, Argentina, Algeria, the United States and Canada rank among the top five in technically recoverable shale gas resources. At present, only the United States and Canada are producing commercial quantities of shale oil and gas. „As shale oil and shale gas production has grown in the United States to become 30 percent of oil and 40 percent of natural gas production, interest in the oil and natural gas resource potential of shale formations outside the United States has grown,“ said EIA Administration Adam Sieminski in a statement. The new report indicates „a significant potential for international shale oil and shale gas, though the extent to which technically recoverable shale resources will prove to be economically recoverable is not yet clear,“ Siemenski noted. Advanced Resources International prepared both assessments. While shale oil production could revolutionize global energy markets, reducing oil prices and bolstering the global economy, its impact will vary on a country-by-country basis, according to a recent report by PwC. http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/126996/EIA_Amount_of_Technically_Recoverable_Global_Shale_Resources_Grows/?all=HG2**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Massenbach’sRecommendation Al-Monitor: US Needs Iran, Turkey For Diplomatic Surge in Syria Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (L) sits with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu during the opening of a ministerial meeting in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jiddah, by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on May 13, 2013. (photo by AFP/Getty Images) By: Al-Monitor Week in Review Posted on June 9.The latest report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic describes “new levels of brutality” in the Syrian war and calls for a “diplomatic surge” as “the only path to a political settlement.“ The report recommends, “Negotiations must be inclusive, and must represent all facets of Syria’s cultural mosaic.” Despite the urgency of the report, diplomacy in Syria is stalling, not surging. On June 5, Lakhdar Brahimi, joint special representative of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, said that the proposed Geneva Conference on Syria, to be held under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General with the United States and Russia playing critical roles, will not be held in June, as originally hoped, because Syrian opposition parties have not yet agreed to participate. The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, the main opposition group, is conditioning its participation in the Geneva conference on the Free Syrian Army receiving more arms, and a halt to Iranian and Hezbollah support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. The opposition was further set back by the fall of Qusair last week to Syrian government forces. Ali Hashem provided an exclusive eyewitness account after the victory of Syrian government troops in Qusair, describing a city “in rubble.” “Nothing here indicates that life will go back to normal soon,” Hashem writes for Al-Monitor. “There is no sign of civilians except a few dozen who returned to check on their homes and some civil workers who were sent to the city to inspect its needs 24 hours after its fall.” The National Coalition’s position comes as Assad himself has agreed to his government’s participation in the Geneva conference, as analyzed by Geoffrey Aronson. The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria, representing what is known as the internal opposition, has also signaled its willingness to attend, as Haytham Mouzahem reports for Al-Monitor. As this column has argued time and again, more arms to the rebels means more killing, more refugees, more tragedy, and more terrorist influence in Syria. The scale of arms and ‘training’ required to defeat Assad’s forces is beyond what is being discussed, and has every chance of leading to a type of mission creep and unforeseen consequences that any casual reading of the US experiences in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan might offer. The “Assad must go” and “do something” impulses and mantras, however understandable and well intentioned, should not distract from the overriding US interest in ending the conflict, rather than taking sides and prolonging it. Despite Arizona Sen. John McCain’s call again last week for arms to the rebels and US enforcement of a no-fly zone in Syria, as well as legislation such as the Syria Transition Support Act, which was reported favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 21, Congressman Peter King, Republican of New York and chairman of the House Homeland Security Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told Al-Monitor that he opposes US arms to Syrian rebel forces because of the growing influence of Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda affiliates among them. “I really don’t sense much support,” King said. “I can’t think of anyone that has come up to me and has had the same fervor as John McCain has, and has said we have to do something.” King’s view is similar to that of Rep. Christopher Van Hollen, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, who warned of “unintended consequences” for providing arms to Syria’s rebels in an interview with Al-Monitor last month. It is worth recalling that in 1821, then-US Secretary of State (and future president) John Quincy Adams told the House of Representatives that America “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Instead of seeking another monster to destroy by arming the rebels against Assad and his backers, the US should intensify its efforts to end the monster that is the war in Syria through a diplomatic surge that could include the following: First, the US should give up its hesitance about Iran’s role at the Geneva conference on Syria and join Russia and the UN to extend an invitation immediately. Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee, told Al-Monitor that Tehran welcomed the Geneva conference. There is no other country, including Russia, which has Iran’s influence with Assad. Iran has made an offer to talk with the US and its allies about Syria. It is time to take up the offer. Second, the protests against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, covered by Turkey Pulse, further complicate Turkey’s role in Syria, which is widely unpopular. In this crisis there may be an opportunity. Erdogan has compromised Turkey’s natural role as a bridge between east and west by becoming a partisan in the region’s sectarian war, with both its rhetoric and support for the opposition. The role of bridge was well-served when Ankara brokered the Tehran Declaration in 2010, provided a trusted back channel between Israel and Syria and promoted regional integration as part of its “good neighbor” policy. Erdogan’s populist, sectarian tack since then has magnified his troubles at home. A shift back by Turkey might also soothe its ties with Russia, whose approach to Syria also reveals an element of support for Christian orthodoxy, as the Christian communities are under siege in Syria as well. Third, the US should increase the pressure on Qatar and Saudi Arabia to exert their own influence on Syrian opposition forces for a cease fire. Doha and Riyadh are partisans in this war and backers of not only the National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army, but also, whether directly or indirectly, of the Islamist groups who are waging jihad against Assad’s regime in Syria — groups who are linked to those same terrorists who are on a killing spree in Iraq, and who are avowed and proven enemies of the United States. Here is an idea: at Geneva, or even before, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov should escort Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu into a quiet room, close the door, and agree on ending a war that has gone on too long. This would send a signal to Damascus, Doha, Riyadh and all concerned parties that there may indeed be a diplomatic surge worthy of the Syrian tragedy. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/us-iran-syria-diplomatic-surge.html#ixzz2VoemYnmR?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7475************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** FDP und Fragenfrage? Keine, weil keine da sind. FDP-Bundestagsfraktion „Trendwende ohne Quote“ Rechtsanwältin Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Berlin 11.6.2013 mail@freudenberg-pilster.de Am 3. Juni 2013 hatte die Bundestagsfraktion zu einer Diskussionsveranstaltung zum Thema „Trendwende ohne Quote“ eingeladen. Auf unseren Plätzen fanden wir ein Positionspapier der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion zum Thema „Gleichstellung in Bundesministerien und Bundesbehörden voranbringen“ sowie ein eben solches zum Thema „Für mehr Frauen in Führungspositionen, Vorständen und Aufsichtsräten“. Herr Brüderle bestätigte in seiner Begrüßungsrede, dass die FDP das Defizit, das da sei, beseitigen wolle. Er sei ein Lobbyist für mehr Frauen in Führungspositionen. Es beschleicht mich stets ein ungutes Gefühl, wenn Männer über Frauen sprechen und sich selbstverständlich für die Chancengleichheit von Frauen einsetzen wollen. So als seien Frauen eine Art von Verfügungsmasse, die nach Bedarf und wenn es „zweckmäßig“ ist, wie es Ulrich Hocker, Präsident der Deutschen Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz e.V. in Düsseldorf und Mitglied der Regierungskommission Corporate Governance Kodex anschließend in seinem Eingangsreferat sagte, auch in Führungspositionen eingesetzt werden sollten. Das erinnerte mich an meine Großmütter, die im zweiten Weltkrieg und danach in Fabriken, bei der Reichsbahn und anderen Dienstleistungsunternehmen eingesetzt wurden, weil es zweckmäßig war. Denn die Männer waren im Krieg oder später in Gefangenschaft, und ohne die Frauen wäre es nicht gegangen. Kaum waren die Männer aber wieder da, wurden die Frauen flugs wieder an den heimischen Herd zurückgeschickt, um Mann und Kinder zu versorgen. Die Zweckmäßigkeit der Arbeit der Frauen war entfallen. Viele Frauen aus dieser Generation haben mir erzählt, dass es für sie die schönste Zeit ihres Lebens war, als sie arbeiten durften und eigenes Geld verdienten. Sie waren damals sehr traurig, dass sie von den Männern aus dem Arbeitsleben wieder verdrängt wurden. Aber es gab keine Alternative. Es war verpönt, dass Frauen arbeiteten, schließlich war es Aufgabe der Männer, für die finanzielle Sicherheit ihrer Familien zu sorgen. Es war 1964, als meine Tante trotz ihres 5-jährigen Sohnes arbeiten gehen wollte. Die Familie hätte sich fast darüber entzweit, dass das Kind in einen Kindergarten gehen sollte. Der Ehemann war empört, weil nun alle über ihn erzählen könnten, er verdiene nicht genügend Geld, um seine Familie zu ernähren. Glücklicherweise sind diese Zeiten vorbei. Aber: sind sie es wirklich? Ein erschreckendes Beispiel, das uns daran zweifeln lassen könnte, war die Einführung des Betreuungsgeldes im vergangenen Jahr. Dennoch: heute sind die Frauen hervorragend ausgebildet sind und können so manchen Mann in „die Tasche stecken“. Sie lassen sich auch nicht mehr an Heim und Herd verbannen, wenn sie es nicht wollen. Die Zweckmäßigkeit ihres Einsatzes in der Arbeitswelt haben sie längst bewiesen. Und sie leisten hervorragende Arbeit. Warum werden sie also nicht an die Spitze gelassen? Natürlich haben die Frauen selbst schuld, wie Herr Hocker weiter ausführte. Denn Frauen hätten nicht denselben Willen zur Macht wie Männer. Die sei im Übrigen durch Studien belegt. Ich bin dagegen der Meinung, dass …..Forts. s.Anlage https://udovonmassenbach.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/frauenveranstaltung-bt-fraktion/ *****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
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see our letter on:

Wir wünschen Ihnen ein angenehmes Wochenende. Ihr Team.

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Udo von Massenbach – Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster – Jörg Barandat

UdovonMassenbach Mail
JoergBarandat

FDP Bundestagsfraktion Trendwende ohne Quote.pdf

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