Tuesday, October 07, 2008

BULLETIN No. 226

House Cleaning in Damascus? By: Olivier Guitta The Middle East Times If there is one country that has been all over the news lately, it is Syria. In fact between President Bashar Assad's charm offensive to the West (real or not), Syrian troops amassing near the Lebanese border, a terror attack in Damascus, it seems that today things are shaking up in Syria. But the difficulty of reading into this imbroglio is growing by the day: more players, more incidents, more drama.
'US considers lifting Syrian sanctions'
Senior US officials encouraged by improved relations with France, renewed Syria-Lebanon diplomatic ties
U.S. Assesses Isolation Policy Of Syria
Time Why Syria Will Keep Provoking Israel - Robert Baer
Why Syria Doesn’t Want War with Israel
Syrian Officer Involved in Hariri Death Killed in Damascus Car Bomb (Jerusalem Post)
U.S. warns Syria against sending ground troops into Lebanon
Al Hayat Syria's Need for Arabs Abdullah Iskandar - There are two widespread theories that explain the recent explosions and assassinations in Syria. Of foreign source undenied by Israel, the first theory links these operations to the Syrian endeavors to develop a military nuclear program. As for the second Syrian-based theory, it links these operations to takfiri groups.
Syria, Lebanon abuzz over report about militant's arrest An intriguing item about the mysterious leader of a ferocious militant group floated around the Lebanese and Syrian media over the weekend
US Sanctions: Financial Firewall for Iran, Syria?
Iran Urges Officials to Keep Out of Syria
Mass Killings and Human Rights Violations in Syria

SSI The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare, by Dr. Stephen Biddle and Mr. Jeffrey Friedman
New Lebanon War? By Amir Taheri IS Syria preparing to seize the opportunity provided by the global financial crisis and the US presidential campaign to invade Lebanon
WINEP The Future of U.S. Military Aid to Lebanon - David Schenker

Israel 'may bomb Iran' if Russia sells missile system The Israeli prime minister will press Russian President Dmitry Medvedev not to sell anti-aircraft defences to Iran amid growing speculation the Jewish state will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities
Analysis: How to stop Iran Once Iran realizes it has a lot to lose, talks could succeed.
Amir Oren: Nuclear deterrence attributed to Israel doesn't affect its enemies' plans
Editorial: Livni mustn't decide to strike Iran out of a desire for prestige
Olmert unlikely to persuade Russia not to arm Iran, Syria If Iran receives Russian anti-aircraft missiles, aerial strike on its nuclear sites would be more difficult
Disproportionate Force: Israel's Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War - Col. (res.) Gabriel Siboni
ANALYSIS / IDF plans to use disproportionate force in next war Top IDF generals say future war with Hezbollah will involve 'immense destruction,' heavy firepower
The Livni Challenge
Can Tzipi follow in Golda's footsteps?
The New Face of Israel? Israel expert Daniel Levy assesses the odds that Tzipi Livni could become Israel's next prime minister, and considers what it might mean for the Middle East if she does.
Newsweek Israel: The Problem with Peace Talks
For Livni, forming an Israeli coalition just got a lot harder
The outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel may have to withdraw from the West Bank if it wants peace with Palestinians, making Tzipi Livni's job of building a new government coalition with hard-liners much more difficult.

Al Hayat Iraq: Disintegration on the Way to Unity? Elias Harfoush - Iraq's Presidential Council's approval of the electoral law for provincial councils represents a major step that could pull Iraq out of the crisis that has brought its institutions into a state of paralysis and nearly sabotaged the relative improvement in security. This in spite of bombings shifting from one place to the next, the last of which were the two massacres that targeted worshippers on the morning of Eid Al-Fitr
Rivals Present Sharp Divide on Iraq Goals By MICHAEL R. GORDON At the heart of the dispute between the 2008 candidates is Barack Obama’s timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops.
Meeting America’s Security Challenges Beyond Iraq: A Conference ReportSource: RAND Corporation
Independent Secrets of Iraq's death chamber
Robert Fisk reports that prisoners are being summarily executed in the government's high-security detention centre in Baghdad.
Daily Star Iraq's next big test looms this month By Rayyan al-Shawaf
Iraqis Unite to Restore Minority Representation Law

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Are No Rogue Outfit - Michael Rubin
Iran: Willing to Consider a Nuclear Bargain? Given the security concerns surrounding existing pipeline routes connecting the Caspian Basin and Turkey, Iran is trying to fashion itself as a viable energy export alternative. The desire for an energy opening to the West is sufficiently strong that at least some political factions in Tehran seem willing to explore a deal with the United States and European Union concerning Iran�s nuclear program

More Freedom, Less Terror? Liberalization and Political Violence in the Arab WorldSource: RAND Corporation

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