Monday, December 25, 2006


Time Syria in Bush's Crosshairs Exclusive: A classified document suggests the Administration is considering a plan to fund political opposition to the Damascus government. Some critics say it would be an unwarranted covert action
How Syria dodged a neo-con bullet Asia Times Under intense lobbying from neo-conservatives, the Bush administration allowed Israel the time to extend its summer war with Hezbollah to Syria, believing this would end the insurgency in Iraq. Damascus is making the most of the reprieve. - Jim Lobe
A Two-Way Street With Syria By: David Hale and Lyric Hughes Hale USA TodayAn opportunity is rising out of the ashes in Iraq. The United States clearly could use Damascus' help. What's often overlooked is that Syria's stagnant economy needs a lift, too.
Al Awsat Negotiate with Assad : Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
Al Hayat Syrian Complexities Hazem Saghieh
Asia Times Syria Flirts With the West A Syrian realignment away from Iran toward Washington's vision for the Middle East - as appears to be happening - would disrupt the land-bridge of Iranian influence from Tehran across Iraq and Syria to Lebanon. Damascus, though, might not have as much to offer as it believes. - Iason Athanasiadis
Haaretz osner and Benn Sidestepping Syria
Schiff Putting Assad to the test It may be that the chances of productive talks with Syria are not great, but Bashar Assad should be put to the test. Why shouldn't Olmert invite him to Jerusalem, or offer to travel to Damascus? A test of that kind would not harm Israel.
The Alliance Between Iran, Syria and Hizbollah and its implications for the Political Development in Lebanon and the Middle East DIIS
For and Against Dialogue with Syria
Haaretz Editorial Respond to Assad, convince Bush The unreasonable responses to the Syrian president's efforts to draw closer to Israel give rise to concern that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government will go down in history as a belligerent and uncooperative one.
Expose Syrian bluff/ Ben Yishai
Video: US embassy attack in Syria
The Times Amos Oz, Bashir Assad, the President of Syria, has repeatedly offered peace talks with Israel
New Republic The Assad two-step: Crush the Sunnis, then pander to them by Clinton Bailey
WILLIAM HARRIS: The situation in the Middle East right now turns not on Baghdad or Jerusalem, but on Beirut. “Getting Syrious
Assad waiting for Ehud/Oppenheimer
Yedioth Ahronoth 'Syria's intentions genuine' European Parliament member David Hammerstein, who met senior officials in Damascus, tells Ynet Syria is serious in its peace intentions, but it all depends on Israel's willingness to discuss Golan Heights
Syria Will Not 'Perform Free Services for a Country That Supports Israel'
Time: US working to influence Syrian election
US Confirms It's Trying to Undermine Assad
Daily Star Assad will abandon Iran if Israel talks peace with him By Yossi Beilin
'Syria's isolation is over'
Syrian deputy PM: West realizes it needs to work with Damascus if it wants progress in Mideast
Assad Denies Secret Offer to Israel to Curb Hamas, Hezbollah
Report: Assad asks Israel for peace talks
Assad waiting for Ehud
Debka Assad Is in Moscow with Half-Billion Iranian Dollars to Upgrade ...
Dagan: Syria willing to attack Israel
Senators McCain, Lieberman to Olmert: Don't be tempted by Syrian talks offers
Iranian Envoy: Return of Golan to Syria is Also Our Goal
Jerusalem Post Mossad Chief: Syria More Willing Now Than Ever to Attack Israel
A Reagan Strategy The right way to negotiate with Syria and Iran. By ABRAHAM D. SOFAER
Democrats challenge Bush doctrine on Mideast tour Sens. John Kerry and Christopher Dodd are due to meet Syria's president on Tuesday.

International Crisis Group Lebanon at a Tripwire
Think Tank: US-Syria Talks Key to Ending Lebanon Crisis
Washington Institute Crisis in Lebanon: Hizballah, Siniora, and Arab League Mediation
The Crisis in Lebanon: The Future of Middle Eastern Democracy Chibli Mallat
Lebanon: the logic of war
Can Lebanese Christians Survive Islamic Divisions?
A Key Player in Lebanon Alters His Part Los Angeles Times In these days of fear and distrust in Lebanon, there may be no man who inspires more venom than Gen. Michel Aoun.
Iran May Hold Talks With Saudis on Diffusing Lebanon Crisis
Could the US be Planning Covert Action in Lebanon and beyond?
Islamist Movements in the Arab World and the 2006 Lebanon War CEIP

News Analysis: In Abbas, Western Hopes Hang on Thin Reed
Abbas Repeats Call for Vote as Truce Erodes
'Nobody should have a veto on progress'
Only an end to sanctions can halt Palestine's crisis Azzam Tamimi: The White House, Tony Blair and the Israeli government urged the world community to support Abbas in his latest bid to rid them of a Hamas-led government. These three carry the burden of Palestinian blood shed as a result of the crisis.
Hamas Fears Crackdown in Abbas’s Call for Election
Hamas Dismisses Israeli Concessions to Abbas
Report: U.S. weighing plan for Palestinian state by end of 2007
End the policy of isolation With Palestinians on the brink of civil war, it has become impossible to separate this crisis from the overall situation in a region polarized by the United States into "moderate" Arab regimes versus the "axis of evil," which includes Iran and Syria.
PA sources: Olmert and Abbas to meet in coming days
U.S. not waiting for Palestinian unity
Al hayat Two 'Little' Palestinian States?
Haniyeh: 20-Year Truce in Exchange for State
Yedioth Ahronoth End of Hamas democracy
An interview with Rashid Khalidi on why Palestinians have failed to create a nation the grave situation in the Middle East.

International Crisis Group After Baker-Hamilton: What to Do in Iraq - Full report as a PDF file
A Realistic Approach To Iraq By David Ignatius, America's security interests are not served by remaining indefinitely as an occupying power in Iraq.
Report to Congress: Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq (PDF; 1.15 MB) Source: U.S. Department of Defense
WP Forget the Domino Theories By Robert Satloff, The road to Baghdad does not pass through Tehran, Damascus, Jerusalem or Gaza -- it is a cul-de-sac that begins and ends in Iraq
Washington Times Saudis report Shi'ite 'state' inside of Iraq Iran has effectively created a Shi'ite "state within a state" in neighboring Iraq, defying both Iraqi Sunnis and neighboring Sunni nations, according to a Saudi security report.
Washington Times Editorial The consequences of failure in Iraq As the security situation deteriorates in Iraq, there is growing support, particularly among political and media elites, for the following argument: that defeat is inevitable.
Slate The Real Sunni Triangle: There are only three options in Iraq.
Newsweek Oil: Fuel for Iraq's Insurgents No question, we have entered an era of inflated energy prices that is already producing a boom in new innovations, and a slowdown in consumption. How radical will these changes be? The answer depends largely on how much oil the earth really holds. But make no mistake: there's plenty of it. This is a new oil age, not the end of oil as we know it.
Shiites resist isolating Sadr
Saudis dispute strategy on Iran
Asia Times Saudi Arabia and Iran in Iraq fix Iran is a real power in Iraq, while Saudi Arabia remains a "wanna-be power". Instead of conducting a trench war with Iranian intelligence in Iraq, Riyadh therefore has to rely on conventional diplomacy - and this is better done behind closed doors. Even as an advantaged actor, Tehran would prefer this, and it might even benefit the US. - Ehsan Ahrari
Iraq exit via Iran: Act II
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
The coming Sunni-Shi'ite showdown As the US mulls its options in Iraq, the message from the region, and particularly from Saudi Arabia, is clear: Sunni governments are rallying to stymie Tehran's influence across the Middle East in what is shaping up to be a showdown against widening Shi'ite power. The opening salvo may already be taking place in Palestine. - Jason Motlagh

Jerusalem Post The Region: National Islamism: The new front by Barry Rubin

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