Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
"Bhutto's is the highest profile scalp the jihadists can claim since their assassination of Egypt's Anwar Sadat in 1981"
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Israel's UN representative: Bhutto sent me emails saying she was afraid ...and showed "a warm dedication to Israel"
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
underscores the antipathy felt in the intelligence community towards senior members of the Administration since the run-up to the Gulf War. "It is the price we are paying for all that distrust." And Capitol Hill veterans notice the same attitude among Congressional Democrats. "They really believed, as did the authors of the NIE, that the Administration wanted again to go to war. Only this time they were determined not to be used." So determined were they to avoid being used says one State Department insider, that the authors of the NIE were, in his words,"...willing to risk another bumper sticker; this one saying `CIA Gets It Wrong Again,'" a reference to the intelligence community's failure to find out since 2003 that Iran had, at least, partly changed course. Equally upsetting to some in the Intelligence Community, say former officials, is the awareness that by going public with this NIE, they risk exposing their methods of collecting information to the Iranians and therefore letting them figure out exactly what the US does not know.
prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability to the US-led effort. In the view of US officials, not to mention the Israelis themselves, they are now alone with a military option "on the table." But like the Administration, Israel's pursuit of the diplomatic option was the best, if not the only alternative. Israeli military planners admit that even if their government were to order a military strike, there is no guarantee it would be effective. The Israelis say privately they do not know which of the many sites where nuclear work is conducted in Iran could constitute a bottleneck, the crippling of which would seriously retard its overall development. More important, Israel is aware of the impact unilateral military action would have on its international standing, especially with the US. Says one well-placed Israeli, "We know that Iran would retaliate, not just against us but against the US as well. And quite frankly, you
are more vulnerable than us."
"... As for pressuring Gulf Arab states and sheikdoms, like Dubai, Administration officials maintain that given the current financial climate, US leverage is not what it used to be. That is not to say that the Gulf states are not concerned about Iran's increased standing. But as one well-placed US official put it
this week, "They were already an easy sell." But this official admits that most Arabs were more than a bit confused by the NIE. "In their world the mukhabarat [intelligence services] are not exactly independent agencies." The only silver lining this official saw was, "Perhaps the Iranians are asking `What the heck is the US up to?.'" And he concludes, "We could well be on our way to a policy designed to confuse and contain."
"...Some observers say this characterization could be used to describe current Administration policy on other Middle East problems. In Lebanon, the US clearly went from major actor in the drama of selecting a new President to (in the words of one US official) "subcontracting the role to France." Now with an impending visit by Secretary Rice, there is the expectation that the US will once again attempt to buttress the dispirited pro- western politicians there. On the more important Arab-Israeli issue, the Administration appears to be trying to buy time, with what one State Department official calls "monthly activities" designed to contain the violent confrontations occurring daily between the Israeli military and Hamas controlled Gazans [What one well-placed Israeli calls "A train wreck waiting to happen."] After the November Annapolis meeting, there came the December "Donors' Conference " in Paris [Where, much to the Administration's chagrin the Gulf States once again disappointed with their relatively meager promises of assistance to Abu Mazen's fledgling Palestinian Authority]. In January President Bush will visit the region. "And then we will be only two events, I mean months, away from the next Arab summit," cracks one State Department official. That summit is slated for Damascus. And some Arabs (and not a few Israelis) see it as a an opportunity to further woo Syria away from its long time Iranian embrace."
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Bolton: Bush's "Rice-Dominated-foreign-policy" is in free fall and puts the nation's security at risk
Via MESH, here "...organizations can be expected to continue their efforts to introduce technological improvements which are liable to increase rocket ranges, the amount of explosives the warheads can carry and their degree of accuracy (following the Hezbollah model in Lebanon)..."
'FUTURE' bloc MP, Majdalani: "The US committed its worst crime by dealing with Syria at Lebanon's expense"
Saturday, December 15, 2007
"Administration officials are openly making nice with Syria, holding round after round of talks with Iran over the fate of Iraq, and making preliminary plans for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit Libya." In The NYTImes, here
Fmr. CIA Bin-Laden Hunter: "For the first time in history we are capturing POWs who can't be released; many go back to the battlefields after release"
In response to [Steve Clemons'] note that "The Guantanamo Detainee" be named TIME's person of the year because of the legal and political convulsions and hemorrhaging that will be caused for years ahead by institutionalized extralegalism there, Michael Scheuer sent [him] a thoughtful note of his own on the subject that needs to be read., was head of the CIA's now terminated "bin Laden unit" and authored Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, Through our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, and the forthcoming Marching Towards Hell: America and Islam After Iraq. Continue reading the NOTE, here.
Furieux des derniers projets israéliens de colonisation, les riches Arabes traînent les pieds pour annoncer le montant de leur aide a La Palestine
Friday, December 14, 2007
Taymoor Jumblatt's interview: Walid's concoction to "mend fences" between Damascus & Taymoor, in due time?
Sons & daughters of South Lebanon, the tobacco pickers, the peasants ...the simple folks, bid farewell to one of theirs. In Rmeish, the family of Gen. El Hajj thanked all those who shared their grief except the representative of little Fuad. The reason? Little Fuad sent none! Must be real busy packing and wondering WHERE to reside after the Serail: It is, we hear, contingent upon the least amount of urine sprinkled at him...
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Washington's Misguided New Middle East Policy: "Containing Iran today would mean promoting Sunni extremism"
After "serious & long" consultations, Siniora mourns the death of Lebanon's would-be-Commander of the Armed Forces
Putin asks Hariri to "rethink" his rhetoric with Syria as "investigation" points clearly to Al Qaeda
Kissinger & Associates: out of the "neocon-closet" long enough to challenge the "right" of the National Intelligence Council to make judgments
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
M14 to AsSiyassah: "Francois El Hajj should be tried for dereliction and for siding with the 'Opposition'"
DID I FORGET TO SAY THAT EL HAJJ, UNTIL HIS DEATH, "STILL" BELIEVED THAT ISRAEL WAS THE ENEMY?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Iran Resumed Weapon Program, says Mohammad Mohaddessin, Supreme Foreign-Affairs Chief for the Paris-based NCRI (phew)
...having judged that the LAF was across the board, sufficiently well equipped!!!
HTS employee's "National Loyalty" investigated for joking "'Okay, if we invade Iran, that's where I draw the line, hop the border, and switch sides"
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sadrists protest "folding of Awakening" forces in Regular units, while same is not afforded to Mahdi's forces
"Sahwa" members patrol in Al Adhamiya district of Baghdad
Barak's adviser: ""Remember the Iranians are always 5 to 7 years from the bomb.. Time passes, but they're always 5 to 7 years from the bomb"
Sunday, December 9, 2007
WSJ: "Responsibility for this fiasco lies with Mr. Bush. Too often he has tolerated officials who oppose his agenda, and failed to discipline them"
Mike Huckabee and wife, Janet, "registered" for home gifts as they prepared to leave Governor's mansion
"...Robert Kagan, an influential neoconservative writer, argued that “with its policy tools broken, the Bush administration can sit around isolated for the next year. Or it can seize the initiative, and do the next administration a favour, by opening direct talks”.
Friday, December 7, 2007
In the WSJ, here "... In addition to the report on Iran, Washington's sudden opening to Syria and President Bashar Assad has also stunned many diplomats and foreign-policy analysts. For most of the past six years, the White House viewed Damascus as among its most intractable foes in the Middle East, charging it with supporting militant groups fighting in Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinian territories... Pentagon and State Department officials say their optimism toward Syria has been driven by a lessening of the number of foreign fighters being allowed to cross into Iraq from Syria. They also say they hope Mr. Assad can be constructive in helping Lebanon elect a new president after a yearlong political crisis in Beirut..."
As politicians tone down rhetoric, Lebanon's "Jeanne D'Arc", Nayla Moawad, moves full throttle & lambasts Aoun
"Intelligence career seniors lined up to go to jail if necessary" if the NIE's gist were not given to the public, and GOP senators call for hearings
Democrats tout a provision that would "bar spy agencies from using controversial interrogation techniques"
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Nabih Berri's sources: "AGREEMENT on a National Unity Government, headed by a "neutral" and an electoral law based on "Qada"
Beirut, Manarah 1880