Thursday, July 31, 2008
Brzezinski: "that discussion with [Barghouti] is humiliating for any decent American who values human rights...."
"Is there a difference of emphasis? It certainly looks as though there is," said a senior American Defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing the sensitive talks...."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The axis of pragmatism: Syria's emergence as a confident regional power has been paralleled by a shift in the foreign policy of its former enemies
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Jumblat takes a jab at Hariri ... accuses FUTURE movement of stoking the fires of secatarian strife in Tripoli
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
"Iran for us is a threat by its very own size," says Sami Al Faraj, a consultant on national security and strategic planning to the Gulf Co-operation Council and the president of the Kuwait Centre for Strategic Studies..."
J Street: "American Jews [ 76%] believed that Israel should negotiate with its enemies, and [ 81%] would support any peace deal with the Arabs...
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
'Caghloss' Edde is marshalling whatever is left of stormtroopers he had. Fares Soueid is having his blood pressure taken every fifteen minutes. Samir Frangieh, is hiding behind the robes of the Patriarch. Nayla Moawad has been sending her boy genius son to scurry favor from Soleiman Frangieh for safekeeping her a place for the next elections (to no avail apparently), Misbah Ahdab is trying to marshall the forces of his minions (literally minions) to fight Hezbollah in....Tripoli!?!
Every day is a barrel of laughs at the expense of this pathetic bunch of losers. These were the allies of Schenker and co!"
"..The most underestimated cause (per the question prompt) is very likely the occupation of Islamic lands by foreign powers..."
The opportunity to hammer out a grand compromise with Iran is there, but Bush seems determined to prevent talks that could advance vital US interests
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
"While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba."
In Haaretz, here
"...A few copies of the report's executive summary (or, according to some sources, a draft of it) have been given to senior Bush Administration officials, and it is reportedly arousing considerable discomfort. In recent weeks, the administration has been debating whether to allow Jones to publish his full report, or whether to tell him to shelve it and make do with the summary, given the approaching end of President George Bush's term...."
For the 6 powers — the US, Russia, China, France, Britain & Germany — the Iranian response's substance was just as disappointing as its style
Mideast's Balance of Power Shifts Away From U.S.: Regional Players Bypass Washington In Brokering Deals
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
"...Moscow took a deliberate decision to press ahead with Iran in energy cooperation in complete disregard of US displeasure..."
"The US, Israel & Europeans are recognizing that their policy of trying to defeat their enemies by isolating & vilifying them has failed"
US official: "Iran-policy overtaken by the dramatic rise in oil prices ..Iran’s GDP has doubled, & they are isolated from the effects of sanctions.."
"A colleague writes, "Everyone seems to have missed the obvious: The State Department's third man is going to [talk with] Iran to send oil prices down. I'm sure Paulson told Bush this was the only way to stop a panic." Almost certainly part of it. (And is it working?)
Indeed, a US official involved with Iran policy wrote me a couple weeks back that high oil prices had severely crimped their policy: "It’s clear that the two-track policy put in place a number of years ago (incentives vs. sanctions) has been overtaken somewhat by the unforeseeable and dramatic rise in oil prices. Iran’s GDP has doubled, and they are more isolated from the effects of economic sanctions. At the same time the Iranians have made significant progress on enrichment. There are many, many more economic sanctions in the quiver, but we have carefully resisted imposing economic sanctions, unilaterally or multilaterally, that would significantly affect the Iranian people. Our goal remains an Iran without nuclear weapons, and our strategy remains the two-track approach. In light of the rise in oil prices and Iran’s enrichment achievements, the interim objectives that the two-track strategy should be aiming to achieve is something everyone is looking at, and there is no question that there is a way forward. ..."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Haass:U.S. influence will decline from what it has been.. the end of one historical era (unipolarity) and the outset of another (nonpolarity).."
"Word of advice to Kuntar... ask your comrades in the PLO ...what happened to the killers of our athletes in Munich and their masterminds..."
Bush's decision to negotiate with Iran is a symbolic gesture but not necessarily a shift in US policy
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
In the Forward, here, via War&Piece. ......."....Democratic Reps. Robert Wexler of Florida and Barney Frank of Massachusetts pulled their support — Wexler on July 9, and Frank a week earlier — from a congressional resolution that called for increasing inspections on all sea and air traffic in and out of Iran, among other measures. The bill has been targeted by a coalition of progressive groups that give an argument that the measure is pushing for a de facto blockade on Iran that may lead to war...arguing that the bill would send an unnecessarily bellicose message to Tehran"
Monday, July 14, 2008
"..Soon, Washington may modify its aid to the Lebanese Army, because of Hezbollah’s recent political and military gains.."
"...Washington watched with frustration how its policy of sanctions against Syria was taking a nosedive..."
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"...At the urging of the Bush, Israel has pulled back from threatening to bomb Iran & has joined the US-led coercive diplomacy.."
Israel & Murdoch's color interpretation: "Bush gives Israel "an Amber light" for a strike on Iranian facilities?"
After Cordesman's "Red Light", ....In the LondonTimes, here "...“Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you’re ready,” the official said. But the Israelis have also been told that they can expect no help from American forces and will not be able to use US military bases in Iraq for logistical support. Nor is it certain that Bush’s amber light would ever turn to green without irrefutable evidence of lethal Iranian hostility...."
Washington seems cognizant of Iran's reasonable desire to protect its legitimate national interests in the Middle East, and is willing to talk..."
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Patti Smith 'Dazzles' her Lebanese audience with "Qana" ..about the children who died in an Israeli air strike..TWICE!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
From MESH "This map, by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, provides an update on the status of Israel’s West Bank barrier, showing segments completed, under construction, and planned, as of July 2008. The barrier’s total length is now projected to be 723 kilometers, more than twice the length of the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line) between the West Bank and Israel. The total area located between the barrier and the Green Line is 9.8 percent of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem and the pre-1967 No Man’s Land enclave).
The map projects the numbers and identifies locations of four groups of Palestinians whose access to the rest of the West Bank may be affected by the barrier. Two of these groups will be on the opposite side of the barrier from the West Bank:
- Approximately 35,000 Palestinians with West Bank identity cards will be located between the barrier and the Green Line.
- The majority of the 250,000 Palestinians with East Jerusalem identity cards will reside between the barrier and the Green Line.
The other two groups will have fewer or less direct means of access to the West Bank than in the past:
- Approximately 26,000 Palestinians in two enclaves will be surrounded entirely by the barrier, and their access to the rest of the West Bank will be by tunnel or road connection.
- Approximately 125,000 Palestinians will be surrounded by the barrier on three sides.
Olmert to Frattini: "... Assad is underestimating Bush ... I can get the current administration on board as a partner and sponsor for the talks.."
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
"the Henry" pimping for the Israel Right and the AEI/Weekly Spectator crowd in their efforts to drag the US into war with Iran...
White House: "Berlusconi ..a Dilettante.. despised by many ...a controversial leader in a country known for governmental corruption & vice.."
According to Cordesman, Mullen was expressing the official opinion of the U.S. administration, including that of President George W. Bush and the National Security Council..."
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Pat Lang, here "....they also pronounced that "the Iranians have suffered a major defeat in Iraq." They have? How?.....Amusingly, this "gang that can't shoot straight" had just finished predicting victory for the despised "Democrat" party in November before they took up the Middle East question..."