Friday, November 17, 2006

BULLETIN No.167

The Golan Heights and Syrian-Israeli Relations: What Does Asad Want? Unlike his father, who shifted in the 1990s from calls for “strategic parity” with Israel to “strategic peace,” Syrian president Bashar al-Asad has left the doors open to both peace and war with his Israeli neighbors.
The Economist America in the Middle East Reaching out to Iran and Syria
SyriaComment Is Syria Asking Too Much?
US Dialogue with Syria Ruled Out For Now
Forward The Two Faces of Bashar Al-Assad Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Political Crisis Escalates in Lebanon: Syria's Role USIPeace Briefing
Yedioth Ahronoth Lebanese poker/ Eyal Zisser
Boston Globe Editorial Lebanon's fragility Lebanon's curse is to be treated by its neighbors as a staging area for proxy wars and a target for political meddling. So there should be no room for naivete about the regional and international implications of the current governmental crisis
Daily Star Hizbullah rules out return to talks, says protests are likely
Hizbullah's push for power Jonathan Spyer: The twin elements in Hizbullah's strategy to remove all obstacles to the ultimate objective of power are destabilization in the capital and rearmament in the south.
Editorial Leadership vacuum threatens both Iraq and Lebanon
As Pressure for Talks Grows, Iran and Syria Gain Leverage
Hariri criticises proposed dialogue with Iran and Syria
BBC Iran, Syria and IraqViews from each country on the idea of talks with the US
Iran, Syria Continue To Show Destabilizing Behavior, Rice Says
Arms dealer jailed for 18 months over planned Syrian deal

Washington Institute A Palestinian Grand Bargain: Abbas’s Government, Hamas’s Program
The Economist America, Israel and the Palestinians Hamas carries on with the dance
IHT Make a deal with Hamas MARK A. HELLER / IHTIt is time for Israel to change its course and talk to the Hamas-controlled government, which has been unable to govern from the day of its formation.
WSJ Abba Olmert Israel has to consider a pre-emptive strike against Iran. By MICHAEL B. OREN
Benn Olmert's drums of war
Wanted: A moderate pro-Israel lobby
Marcus The summit of the bunglers The Bush-Olmert meeting brings together two maligned leaders caught up in wars that have no solution despite the might of their armies, and both are saddled with deadweights in their defense department.
Israel rejects European draft for Middle East peace initiative
Yedioth Ahronoth Israel snubs EU peace plan
Olmert's dream world/ Barnea
Daily Star Hamas and the Quartet: The locals are unwelcome to the club By Alastair Crooke
Iranian papers: Great war to wipe out Israel coming...
Analysis: EU hopeful on Fatah-Hamas govt
BBC Money troublesWhat international aid is and is not getting to the Palestinians?
FPIF Falling In Line on Israel
Benn 'Sliding Doors' in Washington Olmert's approach while in Washington was to cling to his conservative positions and presented a long list of "nos."
Eldar Better to milk Lebanon than drink Golan wine
Jerusalem Post Apocalypse now? Not for Bush By URI DAN The situation in the Middle East is too serious and dramatic to be abandoned to false rumors.
Foreign Policy Seven Questions: Ismail Haniya on the Future of Palestine

Guardian US plans last big push in Iraq Strategy document calls for extra 20,000 troops, aid for Iraqi army and regional summit.
Washington PostSectarian Strife in Iraq Imperils Entire Region Many in Middle East say civil war is underway, and the real worry is that the conflict will destroy flimsy Iraqi state, draw in surrounding countries
Washington Post Charles Krauthammer: It's the Iraqis' Fault Unless the Iraqis can put together a government of unitary purpose and resolute action, the simple objective of this war -- to leave behind a self-sustaining democratic government -- is not attainable.
Violence in Iraq Called Increasingly Complex
Sectarian clashes, continuing strikes by gangs, insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists complicate the crisis.
Debate Grows Over Beefing Up U.S. Force in Iraq: Military Leaders Oppose McCain's Push for Thousands of Additional Troops
Abizaid Says Withdrawal Would Mean More Unrest
Financial Times General warns against Iraq exit timeline General John Abizaid, the top US commander in the Middle East, warned that a phased withdrawal of US troops within six months, which some Democrats want, would increase sectarian violence in Iraq.
McClatchy James Baker may face his toughest challenge in Iraq By WARREN P. STROBEL When James Baker became secretary of state in 1989, one of the first things he did was cut a deal to end wrangling over U.S. policy in Central America. Seventeen years later, Baker faces a similar challenge as he co-chairs a committee that's increasingly seen as the last, best hope for finding a respectable exit from Iraq.
Los Angeles Times Unleash the Shiites? By Laura Rozen The U.S. may be forced to choose sides in Iraq's civil strife.
Nurture Iraqi democracy, from the ground up By Michael Rubin U.S. funding to Iraq should be redirected away from the central government to Iraq's municipalities
IHT The coming U.S. withdrawal from Iraq MARTIN VAN CREVELD
COMMENT: Why more troops will not solve the crisis in IraqI share the concerns of Robert Kagan and William Kristol, who warned in the FT this week of the deteriorating situation in Iraq, writes US Brigadier General Zeb Bradford (ret). But, he adds, the solution they propose flies in the face of reality.
Reality Check By Chirol “…if the US setup camp in Kurdistan, it would definitely become a de facto independent country and would become so disconnected from Iraq that de jure wouldn’t be far off. What would keep them from declaring what everyone already knows? Especially with the US guarantee in place?”
Weekly Standard Reality Check II Examining the consequences of "redeployment." by Frederick W. Kagan “U.S. forces would remain poised on bases in Iraqi Kurdistan, Kuwait, or elsewhere in the region to support the Iraqis with “rapid reaction forces.”

Christian Science Monitor A role for Iran in an Iraq exit strategy By Daniel Schorr
Iran: U.S. shouldn't exit Iraq too soon
EDITORIAL: Sunni infiltrators of Iraq and the Iran factor Daily Times - Lahore,Pakistan

The neocons' last stand Sidney Blumenthal: They scurried off Bush's sinking ship, but are still trying to stop a reversal of his Middle East policy
Time Bush's Iraq-Iran-Israel Dilemma

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