Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Nelson Report: "The real issue is not whether the video is fake, but rather that the well has been 'poisoned' before on false intel. allegations..."
Senior U.S. officials in Baghdad weighing back-channel messages from Iran condemning the recent bloodshed
Monday, April 28, 2008
Iraqi and U.S. officials told McClatchy that Suleimani also has:
- Slipped into Baghdad's Green Zone, the heavily fortified seat of the U.S. occupation and the Iraqi government, in April 2006 to try to orchestrate the selection of a new Iraqi prime minister. Iraqi officials said that audacious visit was Suleimani's only foray into the Green Zone; American officials said he may have been there more than once.
- Built powerful networks that gather intelligence on American and Iraqi military operations. Suleimani's network includes every senior staffer in Iran's embassy in Baghdad, beginning with the ambassador, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.
Trained and directed Shiite Muslim militias and given them cash and arms, including mortars and rockets fired at the U.S. Embassy and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, the sophisticated roadside bombs that have caused hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi casualties.
"... If you’re Bashar Assad, why would you give up your alliance to the ascendant power in the Middle East...?"
The Syrians have been sold to the Americans as altogether "black"...How could Israel... stain itself by making peace with these devils?...
This is very good news. One can hear the string section warming up for the concert. This must enrage many in the US and Israel. Imagine the effrontery of the locals! Taking things into their own hands like this! Who do they think they are to do this?
The Syrians have been sold to the American people as altogether "black" in the usual Manichean construct. How could Israel, land of milk and honey stain itself by making peace with these human devils? Unthinkable!
Out there in Middle America (something like Middle Earth but with less cachet and more rust), there are going to be a lot of puzzled people if an Israeli-Syrian peace were to actually occur.
What about the purple thumbs?
Psst. That was Iraq.
It was? Oh well, one of those places. Pat Lang
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Israel would announce that it is "well aware of the price it would have to pay at the end of talks" ...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Al Ahram: "Hamas collaborating with Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on obtaining or developing drones..."
Iran NIE Revisited: something to keep in mind when considering both the Fallon dismissal and the Petraeus appointment at CENTCOM ...
Friday, April 25, 2008
... and yet, Adm. Mullen said today that the Pentagon is planning for "potential military courses of action" against Iran...
MEPGS: "...The emphasis on making progress in Iraq is at the expense of flagging US efforts in Lebanon..."
Erdoğan will make the necessary statement that he believes appropriate, before or during Damascus trip ...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
....of interest to the laymen, Roumieh prison is where the 4 Generals, Assayed, Azar, Hamdan & Hajj are kept ... and where many of the Fath El Islam elements are imprisoned ... I remain suspicious.
Update: AM of April 25: peacful resolution of the mutiny near, says the ISF
US Official: "...but it's a video presentation, like a Powerpoint presentation. IT IS NOT a video of the facility."
An agent inside with a video camera is a littler more "24".. than typical clandestine op.. not sure how or why the Syrians let a video cam. inside?!
- Who took the video, when and why? How did the Israelis get a copy?
- Where are the fuel fabrication and reprocessing facilities? I would be surprised if Syria would be willing to depend on foreign fuel and, even more, on foreign reprocessing services.
- Why weren’t Administration officials willing to call it a reactor, even off-the-record? "
... the Siddiq saga, in line with epic "con jobs" ... (Lebanese Minister of Justice, Charles Rizk, sensing an American eclipse, in a crazed race against time, lobbies to hurry efforts to nominate Canadian Judge Daniel Belmar as "special prosecutor" to thwart any possibility of release of the incarcerated Generals ... )
Buthaina Shaaban reveals Israeli offer to ‘return’ the Golan... Israeli leaders do not deny the reports..
Back to the Jordanian option: "The Jordanians won’t admit this publicly, yet a Palestinian state in the West Bank is the worst solution for them.."
US Sells Secret Anti-IED Tech to Iraq amid fears that this is tantamount to a technology transfer to Iran...
Israel asks US to refrain from 'detailing strike', while... "Anonymous" nuke expert described video of Syrian-Korean shenanigans as "very damning"...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Asked about Feith's status, Robert Gallucci, dean of Georgetown's foreign service school, told us that when Feith was hired -- something that caused an uproar among the faculty -- it was understood he "was on a two-year appointment." Any decision not to renew should not be seen as "a judgment on his performance," Gallucci said, noting that Feith's students' "course evaluations were really good." Word is that keeping Feith on beyond the two-year term again would have infuriated a number of faculty members. .." in the WaPo
U.S. intelligence officials: "no solid evidence to date that Syria was actually building a nuclear facility"...
.... while Joint Chiefs Chmn. Mullen says "Iran's activities ..., resulted in the deaths of Coalition forces..."
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Barbra Streisand pulls out of Israel 60th anniversary jubilee..."disturbed by Israel's complicity in the worsening problems with Gaza"?
"Mossad.. was involved in tragic histories of using Jewish citizens to spy on their governments..led to the deaths of many Jews around the world.."
Is the United States still the “indispensable nation”? How much more time does it have on top of the global political order?
"Several media outlets have incorrectly reported on recent remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs C. David Welch
Answering a question from a reporter in the United Arab Emirates about his trip to Lebanon, Assistant Secretary Welch said Lebanese had expressed to him concern that tourism could suffer again this summer because of the tension in the country.
The Assistant Secretary said:
"They're worried that they'll have another difficult summer of tourism being low because of the tension in the country, and more broadly, I think they are concerned, ever since Hizballah launched the war in 2006, that maybe Lebanon will miss out from this oil boom, that it will be left behind in the region as there is economic progress elsewhere. So I found them troubled about the future."
Monday, April 21, 2008
"They..should never travel outside the US, except to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code..."
In the Guardian, here (Where are you Prof. Michael Ratner?)
Larry Wilkerson, a former army officer and chief of staff to Colin Powell, US secretary of state at the time, told the Guardian: "I do know that Rumsfeld had neutralised the chairman [Myers] in many significant ways.
"The secretary did this by cutting [Myers] out of important communications, meetings, deliberations and plans.
"At the end of the day, however, Dick Myers was not a very powerful chairman in the first place, one reason Rumsfeld recommended him for the job".
He added: "Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzalez and - at the apex - Addington, should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court."
"...Incidentally, Miller was never able to name three non-Jewish friends who would have hidden him if the Nazis took over America..."
Sunday, April 20, 2008
MARGARET WARNER: Mark Perry, should Jimmy Carter have met with Khaled Mashal and, if so, to what end?
MARK PERRY, Conflicts Forum: Absolutely he should have met with him, and here’s why. There are three very good reasons.
First, Hamas won an election in January 2006 in the Palestinian Authority, and it wasn’t even close, and it was the most transparent, open and fair elections in Arab world history.
Second, they retain prestige among the Palestinian people. All polls show that they retain their strength.
And, third, most recently, their leaders have been showing real moderation. They want an opening to the United States. This is their opportunity, and Jimmy Carter is capitalizing on that. We should be talking to Hamas.
MARGARET WARNER: So what’s the harm?
ROBERT SATLOFF, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy: This is a grave mistake. Jimmy Carter may be a fairly marginal political actor in the United States, but abroad he’s viewed as an ex-president and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner. He lends the credibility of his office to meeting with a terrorist organization.... (more here)