Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
25. Contrary to the decisions of the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities, having continued with the operation of PFEP, and with the construction and operation of FEP. Iran is also continuing with its construction of the IR-40 reactor and operation of the Heavy Water Production Plant.
"... Despite their attempts to arm and train Iraqi Shia militias and advance Iran's nuclear programme, the Guards have not opposed negotiations with the US. Indeed, it would be inconceivable for talks on the nuclear issue or Iraq to have proceeded without the Guards' approbation. The administration's attempt to coerce and put pressure on this organisation is likely to trigger its antagonism towards further dealings with the US."
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"Marcel Khalifé and the Mayadine Ensemble"
November 1 and 2, 2007
Tickets: $20, $35, $50.
Ticket Purchase Phone: (202) 467-4600 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Toll-free (800) 444-1324, TTY (202) 416-8524
The premise of the paper is that the US possesses the ability to attack 10,000 Iranian targets from a great distance on a nearly simultaneous basis. The authors believe this because the US Strategic Command (old SAC) has as its goal to achieve such a capability and a clutch of think tanks are holding meetings about it.
Just after the first Gulf War a senior civilian colleague approached me to express outrage that the "smart" weapons in use had Pk (probability of kill) rates lower in fact than those promised by the manufacturers. She was surprised when I told her that highly complex equipment (gadgets) never performed as advertised and that they usually broke down just when needed.
The point is that these two academic authors actually believe the "air power" baloney. They think that a renewed attempt to apply the principle of "shock and awe" will result in complete devastation of Iran, Iranian inability to respond and a very short war.
Douhet, Trenchard and Mitchell would be pleased with their gullibility.
In fact such a strike would be merely the opening battle in yet another long war fought against a major piece of the Islamic World.
The current IO campaign against Iran makes it seem more and more plausible that such an onslaught will be attempted"
"Anti-Israel violence from Hamas and Hezbollah wax and wane according to those groups' own imperatives, it has nothing to do with Iraq"
- "Iran advances to No. 1, completing its nuclear-arms program undeterred and unhindered."
- The Sunni Arab states "are drawn into the Khomeinist orbit."
- "[E]mboldened jihadi forces shift to Afghanistan and turn it again into a bastion of Terror International"
- "Syria reclaims Lebanon"
- "Hezbollah and Hamas . . . resume their war against Israel"
- "Russia . . . rebuilds its anti-Western alliances"
Interview: Nouri Al Maliki: Talk of a coup "is a sick mentality, a hangover, from the Baathist era... the era of coups has departed"
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
"Contiguous" Jewish neighborhoods East of Jerusalem will in no way be forfeited from Israel under any agreement. Basta!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
"There's an awful lot wrong with this Moshe Ya'alon op-ed in today's LA Times and I don't have the time to go through the whole thing right now, but just note the first sentence: "After a few years of benign neglect, Israel is back on the itineraries of well-meaning foreign emissaries."
Israel was hardly being neglected by the United States during the years before Condoleezza Rice semi-rediscovered the Arab-Israeli peace process -- it was, then as now, our country's largest recipient of taxpayer dollars. Less quantifiably, but also significantly, Israel continued to receive a very large quantity of American diplomatic support. One can sympathize to some extent with Israeli officials feeling like their country attracts a disproportionate quantity of busybodies pushing peace plans, but while it would be one thing for Ya'alon to genuinely argue that Israel should be left to its own devices, it's another thing entirely to say that the United States should just be totally indifferent to how our most generously subsidized client state relates to its neighbors and to the millions of stateless Arabs over which it rules."
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
What should Candidates say about Israel: Recalling Dean's "even-handed" Mid-East policy, staffers urge Candidates to refrain from "Verboten code"
A March14 "cannibalization" of quorum will either lead to a Gen. Aoun "Emergency Cabinet" or to a "Big Surprise"
GOP's Senator Warner: "Start Pullout by Christmas" while Gen. Pace likely to "Collide" with Petraeus on troops reduction
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Back From Beirut, Rosen: "U.S. Invasion of Iraq Has Led to Ethnic Cleansing, a Worsening Refugee Crisis and the Destabilization of the Middle East"
We Keep "screwing up" in Places like Vietnam & Iraq because we DO NOT accept the relevance of History
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
The attached report is a rough working draft of an analysis of the trends in the Israeli-Syrian balance,
Administration Official: "IRGC IED's are a casus belli for this Administration. There will be an attack on Iran"
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Instead, as government officials acknowledge, the rebuilding effort in badly damaged areas of southern Lebanon, south Beirut and the Bekaa Valley has mostly highlighted the government's weakness..."
Friday, August 17, 2007
Diplomat at US Embassy in Beirut on phone message:""The only good Lebanese is a dead Lebanese. The only good Arab is a dead Arab"
Thursday, August 16, 2007
STATE Insider: "That the proposal for IRG sanctions appearing in both the NYTimes and WaPo tipped us that somebody doesn't like what we are doing"
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
"A move toward putting the Revolutionary Guard on the foreign terrorist list would serve at least two purposes for Ms. Rice: to pacify, for a while, administration hawks who are pushing for possible military action, and to further press America’s allies to ratchet up sanctions against Iran in the Security Council. "
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Michel Sleiman's confirmation that Fath el Islam is an Al Qaeda affiliate draws Hariri Inc's attacks
Monday, August 13, 2007
Profile Saad Hariri:Close Adviser to Hariri:"Funding Al-Qaeda-inspired jihadists was a NECESSARY Evil"
"...Saad must succeed amid rumors that his stepmother, Nazek—who holds court in a gilded Paris mansion that once belonged to Gustave Eiffel and heads the family’s powerful charity foundation—is not happy with his handling of the crisis. “She herself has political ambitions,” says a Western official. Saad must succeed as his older brother, Bahaa, a 41-year-old financier, expresses his own political ambitions in the Lebanese press.
Saad has been willing to play that sectarian card in a way his allies consider risky. He has been accused of funding Al Qaeda-inspired Sunni jihadists in Lebanon. A close adviser told me that doing so was a necessary evil..."
Musharraf, the Pakistani military, and the public need to know this:"We may have no other choice but to destabilize Pakistan"
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
"...Should Bush simply pursue a strike against Iran without seeking congressional authorization, it would cause "an uproar over here. It would be a serious breach of (the limits on) executive power," said a military affairs aide to a Democratic senator.... Nevertheless, Bush and Vice President Cheney take a broad view of executive power, and it's unclear what consequences Bush would face if he were to take action without authorization...."
Friday, August 10, 2007
"This (media influence) has played a role in opening up the Arab world and revealing the falseness of some ideologies such as Arab nationalism, the Left and political Islam," he added, listing populist political movements that the Saudi royals have long regarded as threats to their rule.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
A “viable and contiguous” Palestinian state, pledged by the Bush administration, remains a pipe dream
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Sameer Lalwani writes in the WashingtonNote, here.
" ... And contrary to the popular belief of oil windfalls recklessly squandered, there is good evidence to suggest Saudi's constructive investments in the rest of the region affords it considerably political leverage. Dr. Steffen Hertog has analyzed the most current regional economic that reveals a marked increase in cross-border investment by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in the Middle East. As a result, he concludes the GCC, with Saudi as the most pivotal heavyweight, are poised to play a key stabilizing role in the region (particularly Syria and Lebanon) that would certainly be in America's interest:
With its emerging role as the dominant economic hub of the region, the GCC arguably is a potential anchor of stability in the Arab world. Relatively weak in military terms, it has a vested interest in political calm, as it can then flex its economic muscle. At a time in which American hegemony has become of questionable value even to its "moderate" allies, the GCC might be willing to play a more assertive role based on its economic resources.
Needless to say, no amount of Gulf capital can buy stability amid a mess of epic proportions, as in Iraq (although Gulf money has been helping significantly to shore up the economy of the war-wrecked country). Still, the "soft power" of Gulf capital is not an academic point. As more and more GCC money is channeled into Syria, for example, Gulf political influence there is bound to increase. Its regime in rather dire economic straits, Syria will be increasingly reluctant to alienate Gulf governments--which are not capable of micromanaging the investment decisions of their business classes but can certainly use their moral suasion to indicate which investment destination is not palatable. Similarly, Gulf FDI imparts considerable soft power in Lebanon, where it will play an important role in reconstruction..."
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Matt Yglesias says " ...the wall involves various kinds of land-grabs along the border, and also more than a few penumbras and emanations aimed at securing the more far-flung settlements. This, combined with the gray "Jews only" roads that criss-cross the West Bank, constitutes a major inconvenience for tens of thousands of Palestinians and seems to lay the groundwork for a situation where the Palestinians on the other side of the wall enjoy some kind of autonomy or even formal independence while remaining essentially under Israeli control. .."
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Caution from unexpected quarters: AEI's Pletka, "divestments of companies involved in Iran is counterproductive:
Saturday, August 4, 2007
As Gemayel "promises to study Murr's inclusion" on his list in the next Parliamentary elections, Elias supports his Father's "decision"
Friday, August 3, 2007
What will happen in an American withdrawal of forces from
* A withdrawal conducted under non-hostile conditions would very much resemble the manner in which
* A withdrawal under combat conditions would be very different and in the light of present political circumstances in
- A “residual” military presence in
In a withdrawal conducted under administrative conditions, it will be possible to position a “force” of trainers, suppliers, SOF jihadi hunters and force protection people wherever they are needed. The force protection element of this force might be a reinforced heavy brigade. Altogether the benign atmosphere presence might be 20,000.
In a “contested” withdrawal, the existence of these forces will be problematic from the beginning. A “residual” force with less than a reinforced heavy division and appropriate air support as the basis of its security would be a very risky venture over the long run. This force would number something in the area of 35,000 to 40,000 people. The logistical problems involved in supplying this force or any sized force overland would be enormous.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
This good story from McClatchy's, here, most notably Al Faisal's remarks about the unhealthy atmosphere at the UN. The Lebanese can tell you a few things about this "unhealthy atmosphere." Just ask!
" ... Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal expressed astonishment at recent Bush administration charges that Saudi Arabia is providing funding, equipment and manpower to Iraq's Sunni-led insurgency, and he rejected an appeal by Rice and Gates to give public backing to the Shiite-led government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki..."
"I think what is needed is action on the other side. The trafficking of terrorists, I can assure you, is more of a concern for us from Iraq, and this is one of the worries our government has," al Faisal said, flanked by Rice and Gates..."
"I was astounded by what he (Khalilzad) said, especially since we have never heard from him these criticisms when he was here," the foreign minister retorted. "He may have been influenced by the atmosphere at the U.N."
Ms. Rice is expected to emphasize that strategy today and tomorrow in meetings with Israeli leaders and with Mr. Abbas.
But Mr. Halevy believes this strategy amounts to political fantasy, especially given the weakness of Fatah and signs it is fracturing inside the West Bank..."
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
(Vice President Richard Cheney, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and TWN guest blogger Clayton Swisher)
The Committee is holding a hearing entitled "The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew." The hearing will examine what senior Defense Department officials knew about U.S. Army Corporal Patrick Tillman's death by fratricide.
The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld Former Secretary of Defense
Gen. Richard B. Myers (Retired) Former Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. John P. Abizaid (Retired) Former Commander, U.S. Central Command
Gen. Bryan Douglas Brown (Retired) Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger, Jr. (Retired)* (supboena issued/not confirmed)Former Commander, U.S. Army Special Operations Command