Sunday, April 29, 2007

BULLETIN No. 189

Aluf Benn: There is no way for Israel to control Golan for free There is a new idea dominating public discourse: Israel will recognize Syrian sovereignty over the Golan Heights and hold the territory under a long-term lease agreement
UPI Interview: Khaddam warns on Damascus
Army 'put down' Syrian election protests
Syrian opposition got it wrongGulf News - By Amir Taheri
Jerusalem Post Analysis: Weak Assad could be a loose cannon By ANSHEL PFEFFER It would seem that Syria is in no condition to wage war with Israel.
Jerusalem Post Massive IDF drill prepares for Syrian attack on the Golan Hundreds of tanks, thousands of troops participate in war simulation; since last summer, intelligence says war with Syria closer than ever.
Al Hayat Siniora and the Syrian Gauge Hassan Haydar
Syria's Ba'ath Party Maintains Grip in Vote
SyriaComment New Roundup (25 April 2007)
Editorial No Results in Damascus Having finished hosting U.S. politicians, Syria's dictator has returned to jailing dissidents and sponsoring terrorism.
SyriaComment News Round Up (26 April 2007)
Al Hayat The Syrian Withdrawal and the 'Old Book' Walid Choucair - President Bashar al-Assad said to a Western envoy on February 13, 2005: 'You will see our tanks and machinery withdraw from Lebanon. but be reassured that we will remain there'.

BBC A new great gameThree regional powers battle for influence in Lebanon
Killings Illustrate Crisis in Lebanon Sunni Man, Boy Had Been Abducted; Politicians Call for Calm
Al Hayat The International Probe into the Assassinations in Lebanon Randa Takieddin
Lebanese forces tighten security in Beirut Lebanon’s security services set up checkpoints across Beirut amid fears of a new escalation in political and sectarian tensions after the bodies of two Sunni Muslims were found.
Two Openings March 14 Might Consider By: Michael Young The Daily Star It's never easy to discern movement in the midst of glacial stalemate, but the ice has definitely budged in the past 10 days in Lebanon. The Hariri tribunal is almost certain to be established, whether through Lebanese institutions or through the United Nations Security Council; and the heat is building up on the opposition to agree to a presidential election amid a widening consensus that Emile Lahoud, whatever else happens, will not remain in office beyond the end of his term.
A review of Hezbollah: A Short History (and more).

Olmert survives inquest into war in LebanonThe report said that Israeli PM exercised 'misguided and rash judgment' but stopped short of calling for his resignation
Hamas rocket barrage threatens shaky five-month truce with Israel Israel rules out large military response, as Hamas moderates work to preserve ceasefire.
Israel Harel: Gaza front worse than pre-war south Lebanon
Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs: Hamas's trigger By KHALED ABU TOAMEH The missile-and-threat campaign launched by Hamas this week was part of a stab at self-preservation.
Israeli, US intellectuals chart new rules of war
Abbas and Mashaal meet in EgyptFirst meeting since creation of coalition gov't; discuss cease-fire with Israel.
Amira Hass: Failure of Palestinians' Qassam publicity stunts
Olmert / Fight for survival
Justice Ministry: Criminal probe into PM 'inevitable'
Jerusalem Post Stopping HamasIt makes no sense to continue giving Hamas breathing room, now that its attacks have officially resumed.
The Region: Dead-end paths by BARRY RUBIN
PA Media Call for Suicide Attacks, Kidnappings of Israelis
Hamas: Misrule in Gaza By: Jonathan Schanzer New York Post Hamas, the terrorist group that Palestinians last year elected to govern their territories, is failing to govern at all.
Qassam fired despite truce
An Israeli Arab's troubles mirror woes of dual identity Politician Azmi Bishara, an increasingly vocal critic of Israel, has quit the Knesset amid reports he is under criminal investigation.

New York Times War Bill Passes House, Requiring an Iraq Pullout The narrow approval of the measure sets the stage for the first veto fight between President Bush and majority Democrats.
Editorial Ranting at Reality on Iraq The sooner President Bush and his allies drop the pretense that military victory is still possible in Iraq, the closer the nation will be to rescuing what can still be rescued from the debacle.
New York Times The White House Scales Back Talk of Iraq Progress The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, officials said.
Washington Post House Passes Iraq Pullout Timetable
One Choice in Iraq By Joe Lieberman Al-Qaeda's goal in Iraq isn't a seat at the table. It wants to blow up the table
New York Times War Bill Passes House, Requiring an Iraq Pullout The narrow approval of the measure sets the stage for the first veto fight between President Bush and majority Democrats.
Al Awsat Desperately Seeking Defeat in Iraq : Amir Taheri,,
Editorial Ranting at Reality on Iraq The sooner President Bush and his allies drop the pretense that military victory is still possible in Iraq, the closer the nation will be to rescuing what can still be rescued from the debacle.
Al hayat Westminster Notes (The Struggle For Baghdad) Sir Cyril Townsend - In a poll that covered all 18 provinces a few weeks ago 51% of Iraqis said that attacks on coalition forces were acceptable. 35% thought the coalition forces should leave now. Sadly the Government of Nouri al-Maliki shows no signs of being able to govern the country or to make the necessary concessions to the outnumbered Sunnis.
IHT Building a wall in Baghdad instead of policy in Iraq The wall around a Baghdad neighborhood is a symbol of the incoherence of the Bush administration's current policy toward ending ethnic violence in Iraq.
Basra splits between warring Shi'itesThe Shi'ite group led by Muqtada al-Sadr, who recently ordered his supporters to quit their posts in the cabinet, has lately turned against the governor of Basra because he belongs to a rival faction. But other Shi'ites have misgivings about Muqtada and his followers who are perceived as being too close to Iran
Iraq: Who's Winning, Harry? By: Amir Taheri New York PostBecause all wars have winners and losers, Reid, having identified America as the loser, is required to name the winner. This Reid cannot do. The reason is that, whichever way one looks at the situation, America and its Iraqi allies remain the only objective victors in this war.
Iraqi Divisions Stall Political Aims Officials see little or no progress in achieving three key benchmarks set by the Bush administration.
Gates Not Enthusiastic About Maliki
Christian Science Monitor
Missing player: a 'czar' to manage American efforts in the Iraq war The White House has envisioned a coordinator role for the multibillion-dollar, multiagency effort, but is having trouble finding a willing candidate
Shi'ite power struggle escalates Clashes between Shi'ite groups in the predominately Shi'ite city of Diwaniya illustrate an increase in the level of rivalry between Shi'ite militias in the main urban centers in southern Iraq. Primarily, Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army is fighting for the hearts and minds of the country's Shi'ites. Diwaniya is the powder keg.

Stratfor Geopolitical Diary: Iran's Current Conciliatory Mood Swing
Getting Iran to the TableCouncil on Foreign Relations,
FT Iran and EU hold ‘constructive’ nuclear talks Attempt to break months-long deadlock - Iran and the European Union held “constructive” talks over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme, but each side gave a cautious assessment of the progress made
Olmert: Iran nuclear issue can be resolved without weapons
CFR Bolurfrushan: Bank Pressures Hit Iranian Business Harder than Sanctions
Iran and EU hold ‘constructive’ nuclear talks Attempt to break months-long deadlock - Iran and the European Union held “constructive” talks over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme, but each side gave a cautious assessment of the progress made.
PINR "Afghanistan's Role in Iranian Foreign Policy" Full text of report
Iran: What Next? By: Azar Nafisi The New Republic If you take the long view of Iranian history and focus on the country's people rather than its rulers, a very different picture emerges: that of an Iranian order in crisis.
Daily Star Containing Iran the financial way By Michael Jacobson
Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari Heads To Iran

Egypt, Saudi Arabia Edge Away From Bush as Mideast Chill GrowsBloomberg
Prospect Why the Middle East Doesn’t Matter -The middle of nowhere edward luttwak Western analysts are forever bleating about the strategic importance of the middle east. But despite its oil, this backward region is less relevant than ever, and it would be better for everyone if the rest of the world learned to ignore it.
The Economist The United States in the Middle East Weakness—or a new realism? Why the Americans are having to adjust their policies in the region
Daily Star Constructive currents flow below Middle Eastern civil society By Rami G. Khouri
Germany: The Implications of the Greater Middle East - Michael SturmerGermany has become increasingly involved in power politics throughout the greater Middle East. It is engaged in the Quartet and its "road map" through the EU, and has been in the forefront of negotiations aimed at preventing a nuclear Iran. While the Schroeder government explicitly ruled out military action to prevent the latter, Ms. Merkel has said it is an unacceptable outcome and all options remain on the table. (Henry Jackson Society)

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