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Friday, August 3, 2012

2 World Views - Chuck MIssler

Global surveillance industry gets a new toy

When the government told the people of London that the eyes of the world would be on it during the Olympic Games, it failed to mention one particularly powerful watcher; a new software programme used for tracking potential troublemakers.

In the September edition of Wired Magazine, Shane Harris reports on the new American software company Palantir Technologies, new over here in the UK just in time for the Olympics.

Palantir has already won over intelligence agencies on both side of the Atlantic Ocean with its ability to assemble mountains of information and data for use in a cornucopia of causes.

‘The contradiction that we wanted to remove was between civil liberties and fighting terrorism,’ a Palantir co-founder said of his creation.

And what a creation it is. The software processes large quantities of information from an almost endless range of data, including surveillance images, drone footage, electronic communications and health records.

The CIA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security are but a few of the software’s biggest fans. In the USA at least, Palantir is being touted as a powerful tool in tackling scourges from terrestrial terrorism, drug trafficking and cyber hacking.

While not certain, Wired’s Harris also suggests that UK’s MI6, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and domestic security organisations are also users.

Beyond the shady sunglasses professions, Palantir is used by corporations such as banking giant JPMorgan Chase and has helped gather victims’ names in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. It has even assisted detailed investigative journalism projects, such as last month’s series on human tissue trafficking by the International Consoritum of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Prodigal financial adviser Alex Karp and PayPal founder Peter Thiel were behind the idea. The duo worked with a coterie of Stanford tech-heads and together dreamed of Silicon Valley’s best brains uniting in a start-up for large organisations.

Launched in 2004, Palantir received early financial backing from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s technology investment branch. Contemporary estimates put Palantir’s worth at £2.5 bn.

Palantir UK is currently seeking to hire four new staff for its Covent Garden office in London. According to the online advertisements, each role requires the successful candidate to ‘loath the bureaucracy’ and ‘have a deeply held belief that a revolution in intelligence affairs is not only possible, it is imminent.’

An obsession for JRR Tolkein may be an additional criterion; a ‘palantir’ is a crystal ball-like stone appearing in Tolkein’s lore and the company’s London office is named after an elvish town.

Despite Palantir’s praiseworthy track record so far, Wired’s Shane Harris reminds us that the software’s power is likely to lie in the hands of its user.

In 2010, an adviser to Bank of America approached Palantir to help bring down WikiLeaks. While Palantir never approved the collaboration, emails from the adviser detail his desire to target Julian Assange’s company, use the software to help launch cyberattacks on WikiLeaks and close the net around WikiLeaks’ sources by obtaining data on who submits leaks and from where.

When hacking group Anoymous revealed the emails, Palantir stopped discussions dead in their tracks and took legal advice. Senior Palantir officers, such as Karp, claim to have had no knowledge of the discussions.

The Bureau of investigative Journalism

Iran prepares for 60 percent uranium enrichment

The months of negotiations with the six world powers were happily used by Iran for great strides toward bringing its nuclear weapon program to fruition. Tehran’s back-channel dialogue with Washington leading up to the negotiations served the same purpose. Since diplomacy ran aground, war has become inevitable and preparations for cutting short Iran’s rapid progress have accelerated.
Former Israeli Mossad director Ephraim Halevi commented to the New York Times Thursday, Aug. 2, that if he was an Iranian he would be very worried in the next 12 weeks.
Developments in Iran and the region at large are generating the current eve-of-war climate in the Middle East:

1. While Saeed Jalili communed at leisure with Catherine Ashton in world capitals, uranium enrichment levels in Iran crept past 20 percent in expanded quantities. The six powers are understandably reluctant to admit that in the time bought by negotiations, Iran was able to refine uranium up to 30-percent grade or even a higher and go into advanced preparations for 65 percent grade enrichment. Now the Iranians are well on the way to an 80-90 percent weapons grade.
The talk in Tehran about the need for nuclear-powered ships and submarines offered a fictitious pretext for crossing that threshold. Iran is not about to build those vessels or engines for lack of technology, materials and infrastructure. But nuclear-powered ships’ engines require the same highly-enriched uranium (90 percent) as bombs.

2. Iran has launched a crash mega-fortification program for sheathing in steel and concrete nuclear facilities whose transfer to underground “immune zones” for escaping bombardment would be too costly, cumbersome and time consuming.
If the US and Israel leaves Iran alone to complete this project, they will have forfeited the opportunity of pre-empting Iran’s nuclear program – only inflicting partial and temporary damage at best.

3. President Barack Obama is under very heavy pressure from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil states to waste no more time and destroy that program without further shilly-shallying.

4. Riyadh, Doha and Abu Dhabi tried to achieve that objective indirectly by massively backing the Syrian revolt against Tehran’s best friend Bashar Assad in the hope that his fall would stop the Iranians in their tracks. They never came close: Assad is still fighting tenaciously and his army is in intact after 17 months.

5. Instead of capitulating to the odds against the Syrian ruler, Tehran increased its military stake in Assad’s battles.
DEBKAfile’s military sources say that without Iran’s lavish and timely air and ground supply corridors, the Syrian army would have long since run out of arms for defending the Assad regime against revolt.
The Gulf governments are therefore forced to accept that their plans to weaken Iran by toppling Assad have backfired in more ways than one.
6. Turkey and Iraq, each for its own reasons, are letting Iranian arms pass through their territories to Damascus, a move which is counter-productive to Gulf interests on the Middle East keyboard. Ankara, in particular, hosts rebel command centers and training camps with one hand, while, with the other, lets arms shipments through to Assad’s army for destroying those same rebels the moment the cross into Syria.
7. UN, American and European sanctions have failed to drive Tehran into giving up its nuclear program, as even the White House admitted Wednesday, Aug. 1, or slowed down its development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

8. US and Israeli intelligence experts agree that Iran will be able to produce dirty bomb within three months, ready to hand out to the terrorist networks run by the Revolutionary Guards external clandestine arm, the Al Quds Brigades. They are designed for use in time of war against Israelis abroad and Americans in the Persian Gulf and Middle East. Israel fears the radioactive bombs will find their way to Tehran’s surrogates, the Lebanese Hizballah or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

9. Those experts also agree that the Tehran-sponsored terrorist campaign against Israel has already begun. Launched by Hizballah or the Al Quds Brigades, it is expected to gain impetus. The July 18 attack in the Bulgarian town of Burgas, in which five Israelis and a Bulgarian were killed, is seen as the precursor of more attacks whose dimensions will expand in a way that forces Israel to retaliate.


Volcano activity

Several volcanoes shivering (and possibly erupting!) with volcanic earthquakes and tremor today.

In Mexico, eruptive activity remains reduced at Popocatepetl, but volcanic tremor is visible on the latest Popo seismogram.

In Guatemala, volcanic tremor is again evident on seismograms from Pacaya volcano (station PCG), while much stronger tremor at nearby Fuego volcano suggests enhanced eruptive activity there. (station FG3)

In Colombia, enhanced tremor occurred overnight at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (station OLLE). Tremor at the volcano has since subsided to low levels.

Also in Colombia, volcanic earthquakes have become more numerous (or at least more visible) at Sotara volcano in the past 24 hours. (station SOSO)

Satellite data suggests a large (or at least a larger than normal eruption) at Karymsky volcano (Kamchatka Peninsula) this morning. Karymsky has produced almost daily outbursts since at least the 1970′s.

Activity observed by satellites
VAAC Darwin reports further volcanic ash clouds near the Batu Tara volcano, Indonesia
VAAC Washington is publishing a warning for eventual near summit ash clouds of Santa Maria volcano, Guatemala
VAAC Tokyo reports continued explosions at Sakurajima volcano, Japan

Australia gets ready for war against Asia

Employees of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute asked the authorities to increase defense spending. They fear the rapid growth of Asian countries, and even though Australia is now friendly with them, it is time to think about defense. What is happening in the world, if one of the most non-conflict countries in the Southern Hemisphere is preparing for war?

Not that long ago, Australian strategists announced the results of the studies of Asian region. Why would they care about Asia it would seem? The experts were afraid of the conclusions they made, and now suggest that the authorities reconsider the policy of financing the armed forces.

The intensive development of the Asian countries will inevitably lead to the emergence of geopolitical problems in whose solution the Australian army will have to participate, analysts say. Rod Lyons, a senior researcher, is confident that the state should allocate to the army at least two percent of GDP - and this is assuming that the relations with Asian countries remain peaceful and neighborly. If the situation is heated, the amount of funding should be increased to 2.5 percent of GDP.

This is quite interesting. Australia, perhaps one of the most peaceful and non-conflict countries in the Southern Hemisphere, is seriously recommended to raise the defense and the strategic power of the state with reference to the political situation in the Asian region. As early as in 2013, the "White Book" will be signed - a response to the recommendation of the analysts that will subsequently be provided to the Australian defense department for review.

Where did this interest in Asia and the fear of it come from? After all, Washington sets the rules in the region. The United States began playing in the Asian field long time ago, each year increasing their presence - placed their bases, unleashed wars, exported minerals for nothing, including energy, and bought the mining industry facilities,.

But now, says Dr. Rod Lyon, the political environment in the region is changing, and the U.S. influence is significantly weakening. Japan and China that have been quite active in the economic sphere for now are ready to replace the U.S. Many experts argue that the Chinese army has long retrained from the defensive to the national liberation army. It can very well go and free less-developed Asian countries from the "yoke of capitalism."

Australia seems to not care about it. On the contrary, it is interested in the economic growth of Asia because it will form the basis for the development of a stable political situation in the region. But analysts do not recommend it to take other people's achievements lightly. Australians have to think about their own safety in the first place and maintain a certain level of defense. Meanwhile, the state budget is moving in the opposite direction - towards reduction on defense spending (it now accounts for 1.56 percent of GDP).

Australia finds itself between two fires: the last several decades it has been actively strengthening ties with the U.S., and recently started close and mutually beneficial cooperation with China, including through law enforcement agencies. But one cannot have their cake and eat it. In May of this year, Australia announced its intention to strengthen and develop relations with China, but at the same time it obviously is not going to part with the U.S. military located on its territory. Such a disposition, to put it mildly, is not welcomed by the Chinese who have already entered the world arena in the latent competition with the United States. Could Canberra get out of this situation by persuading the "sworn" friends to forget enmity for the sake of profit?

It will not be easy, because the two powers - the United States and China - are considering the economy to be a fuel tank of the political machine and at any time may do something unpredictable. So far Beijing, in contrast to Washington, does not fight on anyone's territory, and therefore is offering a "peaceful" deal to its Australian partners. But there is no guarantee that things will change very soon. Asia in general is a cat in a bag: a heterogeneous, problematic, politically and economically unstable, with a huge black market. The recent events in Kyrgyzstan are a vivid example of a surprise the Central Asian states are able to present to their allies.

Australia is the exact opposite. Unlike other states constantly shaken by wars - European and Asian countries - it has remained a sort of "oasis" and for the first time was under attack only in 1942-43. When Australia begins to think about improving its defense, it means things are not going well in the world. Analysts, of course, may be overly cautious and think of just emerging trends that require confirmation as a real threat. But when the threat does arise, it will be too late to allocate money for the army.


Interview Billionaire Investor Jim Rogers..Things are going to fall apart

Russia to revive army bases in three oceans

The Russian government intends to restore the military-technical support of their ships at the former military base in Cam Ranh (Vietnam), Lourdes (Cuba) and the Seychelles. So far, this is not about plans for a military presence, but rather the restoration of the crew resources. However, a solid contractual basis should be developed for these plans.

The intentions were announced on July 27 by the Russian Navy Commander Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov. "At the international level, the creation of logistics points in Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam is being worked out," Chirkov was quoted by the media. The issue was specifically discussed at the meeting with the leaders of all countries. President of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang has recently held talks with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow and President Putin in Sochi. Cuban leader Raul Castro met with Putin in Moscow earlier this month. A little earlier the President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Michel made an unequivocal statement.

"We will give Russia the benefits in Cam Ranh, including the development of military cooperation," the President of Vietnam told the media. Cuba that has an American military base in Guantanamo Bay and is protesting against the deployment of new U.S. bases in Colombia, of course, wants to acquire an ally in Russia to be able to contain the United States. Seychelles in the Indian Ocean has always been in the zone of Soviet influence. In 1981, the Soviet Navy helped the government to prevent the military coup and before the collapse of the USSR the Soviets had a constant presence in the area. In June of 2012, at the opening of an Orthodox church in the capital city of Victoria, James Michel spoke of Russia's role in combating piracy and supported the Russian idea to build a pier in the port of Victoria, designed for the reception of the Navy warships of Russian Federation.

Following the statement by Vice-Admiral, Russian Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry made it clear that they were talking about rest and replenishment of the crews after the campaign in the area and not military bases. It is clear, however, that Russian warships could do both without special arrangements, given the good attitudes of the leaders of these countries toward Russia. It can be assumed that the Russian Admiral unwittingly gave away far-reaching plans of the Russian leadership. That would be great, because from the time of Peter the Great, Russia had a strong fleet and army. In addition, it is worth mentioning Putin's statement at the G20 meeting in June. After the meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Putin made a sudden harsh statement to the press.

"In 2001 I, as the President of the Russian Federation and the supreme commander, deemed it advantageous to withdraw the radio-electronic center Lourdes from Cuba. In exchange for this, George Bush, the then U.S. president, has assured me that this decision would become the final confirmation that the Cold War was over and both of our states, getting rid of the relics of the Cold War, will start building a new relationship based on cooperation and transparency. In particular, Bush has convinced me that the U.S. missile defense system will never be deployed in Eastern Europe.

The Russian Federation has fulfilled all terms of the agreement. And even more. I shut down not only the Cuban Lourdes but also Kamran in Vietnam. I shut them down because I gave my word of honor. I, like a man, has kept my word. What have the Americans done? The Americans are not responsible for their own words. It is no secret that in recent years, the U.S. created a buffer zone around Russia, involving in this process not only the countries of Central Europe, but also the Baltic states, Ukraine and the Caucasus. The only response to this could be an asymmetric expansion of the Russian military presence abroad, particularly in Cuba. In Cuba, there are convenient bays for our reconnaissance and warships, a network of the so-called "jump airfields." With the full consent of the Cuban leadership, on May 11 of this year, our country has not only resumed work in the electronic center of Lourdes, but also placed the latest mobile strategic nuclear missiles "Oak" on the island. They did not want to do it the amicable way, now let them deal with this," Putin said.

It is obvious that Russia will not stop simply at "resting" their sailors in the area. Now back to the statement of Chirkov. Americans have not officially resented it. For example, the Pentagon spokesman George Little said that Russia had the right to enter into military agreements and relationships with other countries, as does the United States, according to France Press Agency. The reason is simple: American analysts believe that Russia now cannot afford to create its own military bases.

The Americans talk about Russia's lack of influence, money and the actual fleet. Western media quoted an "independent expert on the defense" in Moscow Paul Fengelgauer. He said that Russia does not have the necessary naval resources to provide constant presence outside its territorial waters, as it has only 30 major warships that serve five fleets. Therefore, the possibility of placing an additional station does not mean the expansion of sea power in Russia. This is largely an objective assessment. But since the crisis in the West in 2008, Russia began to recover part of its navy. The loss was not that great - about a quarter of the Soviet reserve. Another thing is that we should talk about the modernization of the fleet. There is much to maintain. On Thursday, Chirkov said that this year Russia's naval forces can be replenished with another 10-15 warships, including destroyers and nuclear submarines.

As for the influence, judging by the words of the Russian President, Russia is also actively growing in this regard, although work in this direction has only begun. As we can see, Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans are involved. This is due not only to geopolitical reasons, but the growing economic presence of Russia in the regions. For example, "Gazprom" is actively working on offshore Vietnam. In the Caribbean, it also participates in the construction of Meso-American pipeline and field development in Venezuela. An ammunition plant is under construction in Cuba.

However, one should start with a solid contractual basis. Take, for example, agreements on mutual defense that the U.S. has with the Philippines, Japan, Colombia, and Mexico. In the presence of such agreements military bases cannot be challenged as a military expansion. Russia has room to grow - of the 16 operating in the Soviet era military bases today there is only one left - Tartus in Syria, or two, if we consider the base in Sevastopol.


Company insolvencies still rising in England

The number of firms going into insolvency in England and Wales continued to rise in the second quarter of the year.

The Insolvency Service said the number of firms going into receivership, administration or a company voluntary arrangement rose by 1.5% from the first quarter, to 1,310.

That means company insolvencies were 6% up on a year ago.

However, the number of individuals being declared insolvent fell again.

The number of such corporate insolvencies in the second quarter of 2012 was inflated by 156 companies in the Southern Cross group of care homes being declared insolvent in June.

Of these, 104 appear in the figures for the second quarter.

Without them, there would have been 1,206 corporate failures, a drop of 7% from the first quarter and a 2% fall from a year ago.

Brian Johnson, insolvency partner at accountants HW Fisher said: "Rarely have the numbers flattered to deceive more."

"The numbers simply aren't showing the pressure which has built up in the system, as thousands of companies bump along the bottom, kept alive only by low interest rates, and frequently by their owners pumping personal savings into them.

"Of course, such unproductive and loss-making companies are dragging down the economy as a whole, and can only defy business gravity for so long," he said.Individual insolvencies

The number of individuals going bust has been on a steady downward trend since the start of 2010.

Within this group, bankruptcy orders have shrunk dramatically as people hopelessly in debt have switched to using the new debt relief orders (DROs) instead, a procedure first introduced in 2009.

The number of DROs has now risen to the point where, at 7,956 in the second quarter, they almost matched the number of bankruptcy orders, which stood at 8,088.

The number of individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) has also been on a gentle downward trend during most of the past year, to stand at 11,346.

Mark Sands at accountancy firm RSM Tenon said many individuals in financial difficulty had been bailed out by the Bank of England's policy of keeping interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for more than three years.

"It is no coincidence that a year after base rates were reduced, personal insolvencies started a downward trend resulting in eight of the last nine quarters registering a fall," he said.

"The low base rate has actually protected homeowners and a robust private sector has minimised unemployment levels, as many experts believed it would be more than the current 2.58 million by now.

"As soon as we start to see an increase in the base rate I am sure personal insolvencies are likely to follow, but that is some way off," he added.

Joanna Elson of the Money Advice Trust, said the extent of debt problems amongst households was not reflected in these insolvency figures.

"Survey data suggests around 10 million individuals in the UK (around 20% of the adult population) find themselves in a constant struggle to manage their debts," she said.

"Beyond that, an estimated 2.5 million individuals in the UK are in arrears on at least one consumer credit product, household bill or payment."


Syria moves missiles to Lebanese border

The Syrian army has moved new surface-to-air missile batteries to the Lebanese border, Arab media reported Friday. The report comes after Israel had warned it will strike Syria's chemical facilities if President Bashar Assad transfers his chemical stockpile to Hezbollah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he does not preclude the possibility of military intervention in Syria and Defense MinisterEhud Barak stressed that Israel will consider action.

On Thursday, a Lebanese defense official told the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar newspaper that the Syrians have shared some of the details of their deployment with the Lebanese. According to the source, the Syrians have devised a comprehensive military plan along the Lebanese border.

The London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat also addressed the deployment. A Lebanese military source told the paper there is no concrete information on the deployment of surface-to-air batteries on the border. He explained that the reinforcements were routine steps taken by the Syrian army in order to prevent the infiltration of gunmen from Lebanon into Syria.

Syrian army test-fires missiles (Photo: EPA)

He stressed there was no hostility between the two nations that would warrant the mobilization of anti-aircraft missiles. Asked whether the Syrian army is taking precautions for fear of a strike, he said that the deployment is done "according to a coordinated air defense plan. Assuming that the Syrians fear a NATO strike against them, Lebanon would not allow such a strike against Syria from its territory or airspace."

Lebanese military expert Nizar Abdul Kader said, "The Syrian military reinforcements were meant to warn outside elements of mounting military intervention against the regime. The deployment of anti-aircraft missiles is a precaution against airstrikes that can harm the Syrian regime."

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition members reported that two senior army officials have defected. One is Ahmed Tlas, head of military procurement at the interior ministry and the second is Mohammad al-Haj Ali, a military academy senior official.

Anti-Assad protest in Lebanon (Photo: AP)

Also Friday, Mortars rained down on a crowded marketplace in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing 21 people as regime forces and rebels clashed on the southern outskirts of Damascus, activists said.

The Britain-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights, which reported the deaths, said the shells hit Yarmouk camp Thursday as shoppers were buying food for the evening meal. The activists with the group would not speculate on who was firing.

Russia sends ships to Tartus

It was also reported that Moscow is sending three large landing ships with marines aboard to a Russian naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus.

Russian news agencies quoted a source in the general staff as saying each ship would have up to 120 marines on board and that the vessels, already in the Mediterranean, would arrive in Tartus by the end of this week.

The source did not specify the goal of the mission, but Russia had earlier said it was preparing to send marines to Syria in case it needed to protect personnel and remove equipment from the naval maintenance facility.

The Russian Defense Ministry declined comment. The source said the ships would head back to the Russian port of Novorossiysk after spending several days in Tartus.

Ynet News

Too Big To Fail On Suicide Watch

European crisis may go global - IMF

The European debt crisis may have a very negative knock-on effect on the global economy.

In a pertinent report released on Friday a team of IMF experts warns that even though non-European states have not yet felt the pinch, any further economic upheavals in Europe could send the European GDP 5 percent down which, in view of sluggish growth, could undermine production.

The authors see the creation of a banking union, gradual spending cuts and a string of financial stimulants as the effective means of dealing with the hard-hitting crisis.


US Export Orders Are Collapsing

Presented with little comment, courtesy of Diapason Commodities' Sean Corrigan, NAPM Export Orders have plunged over 3 sigma in the last 3 months and have only dropped more (in history) immediately after the Lehman debacle. Decoupling anyone?

Zero Hedge

World Central Banks on RED ALERT

Jon Hilsenrath, the world's best central bank reporter, says that the conclusion from this week is that the world's big central banks (the Fed and the ECB, natch) are on 'red alert' over the state of the US economy.

From WSJ:

Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi, with words but not yet actions, demonstrated this week that they are on red alert about the global economy.

Expectations are now high that Mr. Bernanke's Federal Reserve and Mr. Draghi's European Central Bank will act soon to address those worries. But both face immense tactical and political challenges and neither has a handbook to follow.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/world-central-banks-on-red-alert-2012-8#ixzz22UUQ8H9j

Ahmadinejad: World forces must annihilate Israel

In a speech published on his website Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the ultimate goal of world forces must be the annihilation of Israel.

Speaking to ambassadors from Islamic countries ahead of 'Qods Day' ('Jerusalem Day'), an annual Iranian anti-Zionist event established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini and which falls this year on August 17, Ahmadinejad said that a "horrible Zionist current" had been managing world affairs for "about 400 years."

Repeating traditional anti-Semitic slurs, the Iranian president accused "Zionists" of controlling the world's media and financial systems.

It was Zionists, he said, who were “behind the scene of the world’s main powers, media, monetary and banking centers.”

"They are the decision makers, to the extent that the presidential election hopefuls [of the USA] must go and kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their election victory,” he added.

Ahmadinejad added that "liberating Palestine" would solve all the world's problems, although he did not elaborate on exactly how that might work.

“Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems," he said.

He added: "Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.”

The Iranian president said that Israel reinforced "the dominance of arrogant powers in the region and across the globe" and that Arab countries in particular - he cited Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Turkey - were affected by Israel's "plots."

Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust a myth, has previously called for Israel's annihilation, in a 2005 speech in which he used a Persian phrase that translates literally as "wiped off the page of time."

Jerusalem Post