Friday, April 28, 2006


Outside View: The rising power of Shiites By Barry Rubin
Analysis: Drawing the borders of Israel
Converging on Abbas Ehud Olmert appears to be near forming his government -- Mahmoud Abbas may be near dissolving his, writes Graham Usher in Jerusalem
A greater Palestine? Perhaps "Palestine" should be declared to include Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan, writes Sharif Elmusa
In Focus: Alienating support The political discourse espoused by Khaled Meshaal, argues Galal Nassar, is politic in no meaningful way
A message to Ehud Olmert The state of Israel must give up on its colonial dreams and negotiate peace now, writes Amin Howeidi
Jerusalem Post Analysis: Olmert must avoid 10 plagues
New government in Israel ready to clear dozens of settlements
The Economist Israel's new government Farewell to the generals
Haaretz And thank you to Hamas By Aluf Benn - Finally, there is a disciplined, hierarchical body on the Palestinian side that can observe a cease-fire - even if it is a fragile and imperfect one - and gradually enforce "one law and one weapon," rather than Fatah's institutionalized anarchy
Olmert strikes first deal in bid to form coalition Israel's interim prime minister closer to parliamentary majority needed for his plan to draw Israel's final borders by 2010.
BBC Israel drops militant trial plan
Israel will not try Palestinian militant Ahmed Saadat over the 2001 assassination of an Israeli minister. Profile: Ahmed Saadat
Mossad behind Dahab attacks?
Gulf News
Hamas on a tightrope
It is the tradition in the US that any new government is given a grace period of 100 days before a judgment is voiced about its direction and effectiveness. But this has not been the case with the Hamas-led Palestinian National Authority.
Can Israel learn a new language?
For the first time in its history, Israel is to have a defence minister with no military background. This is a welcome development in an otherwise sombre Middle East scene.
Abbas to approach Israeli leaders with peace plan
Abbas to approach Israeli leaders with peace plan
Independent - Robert Fisk The United States of Israel?
Mithat Bereket Mahmud Abbas ziyaretinin perde arkası

Deepening split between Lebanon and Syria is a senseless waste As the Lebanese embark on their second year since Syria's withdrawal, excitement about Lebanon's sovereignty has dwindled. The one-year anniversary of the withdrawal passed with little fanfare, and optimism has been replaced with concern that relations between the two states have deteriorated beyond repair. This is not to say that there have never been problems between the two states in the past.
No one can afford to let Brammertz go By Michael Young Here's an idea for the participants in the national dialogue set to resume this Friday: let them issue a statement, based on their declared support for a presumably fair investigation of Rafik Hariri's assassination, ordering Emile Lahoud to stop requesting the release of the four imprisoned generals.
CFR Assad Bruised but Resilient
CFR Landis: Syria Eagerly Seeking to Improve Relations with Iraqi Leaders
CFR Syria: Has Assad Dodged a Bullet?
Analysis: Syria faces new U.N. resolution
Bush blocks assets related to Hariri killing Reuters - Determined to have been involved in Hariri's assassination and that additional steps were being taken "concerning certain actions of the government of Syria.".
Syria Comment Spreading Democracy? Why the U.S. must tell the truth, By EHSANI2
Syria: The new tide New Anatolian – I was in Syria for the second time to give a conference about "Dialogue of Civilizations" arranged by local authorities, and I had a chance to meet all kinds
Ha’aretz - MI: Syria poised to spend petrodollars on arms IDF intelligence believes Damascus will aim to refit its air force; Iran, Saudi Arabia also eye arms deals
Editorial Watering Lebanon's cedar revolution
Daily Star Syria still acting like Lebanon's caretaker By Philip Abi akl. One year after the withdrawal of Syrian troops, Lebanese politicians are asking themselves just what exactly Syria wants from Lebanon.
Gulf News Lebanon plans to ask for Hariri probe extension
Lebanon plans to ask the United Nations to extend an ongoing inquiry into the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said.
Gulf News Hezbollah leader acknowledges giving financial aid to Palestinians
The leader of Hezbollah acknowledged giving militant Palestinian factions financial and political support but denied arming them, in an interview published yesterday.

The Times Read my lips – no attacks on Iran Gerard Baker Three months ago world leaders were heading for agreement on action. Not any more
Al-Ahram Iran is Bush's bogeyman The continuing crisis with Iran is a welcome distraction and blessing in disguise for the beleaguered Bush administration, writes Firas Al-Atraqchi
Ha’aretz – Iran procures missiles capable of hitting Europe IDF Intelligence chief: Tehran bought
th Korea with 2,500-km. range.
Christian Science Monitor A defiant Iran banks on divisions at UN UN's split means sanctions will likely be imposed by the US and its allies.
Moving Beyond the Stalemate: Addressing the Nuclear Challenge by Supranational Means Netherlands Institute of International Relations
UPI Analysis: How to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions
Boston Globe Bush's misbegotten Iran plan
(By Sarah Chayes and Amir Soltani Sheikholeslami)
Is openness key to the Iran problem?
The New Republic The Iran question hawks won't answer by Peter Beinart
Rice: U.S. Committed to Diplomacy With Iran
US should call for direct talks with Iran Communication could help alleviate tension from historical grievances. By John K. Cooley
Bush Administration Expresses Concern on Iranian Intention to Share Nuclear Technology
Why we fear Iran By Abdul Rahman Al Rashed Asharq Al Awsat, The columnist says, "Most of the Arabs outside of the Gulf region believe that Iran's possession of a nuclear weapon is a positive development that achieves a balance of power with Israel. The Gulf Arabs, however, believe that the power of Iranian nuclear deterrence represents the biggest danger of a military threat." He says that, given Israel's capacity to strike Iran and the possible devastation that a nuclear launch by Iran would reign on Palestinians, "This means that the only possible target... would be the Arab Gulf." He concludes by saying that this "fear is justified, particularly after Iran's new escalation through the development of its forces, weapons, and purchases, as well as the enrichment of uranium."Link to full text in primary source.
BBC Complex Iran Iranian views on the growing nuclear crisis are far from monolithic
CFR Azerbaijani President Stresses Military Cooperation with US in Afghanistan, Iraq—but not Iran
Ha’aretz – Iran procures missiles capable of hitting Europe IDF Intelligence chief: Tehran bought ground-to-ground missiles from North Korea with 2,500-km. range.
Financial Times COMMENT: The risk of a transatlantic rift over Iran By Guillaume Parmentier ‘Selective strikes’ against nuclear installations would only ensure development of nuclear weapons

CSIS Iraq's Evolving Insurgency and the Risk of Civil War -Anthony H. Cordesman, with the assistance of Eric M. Brewer and Sara Bjerg Moller
New York Times Editorial The Iraqi Oil Pipeline Fiasco American taxpayers got a particularly raw deal on the project to repair a crucial oil pipeline in Iraq.
NRO Jonah Goldberg: Iraqis should vote on whether we should stay
Iraqis faking their IDs to hide religious affiliations
Washington Post Projected Iraq War Costs Soar Total Spending Is Likely to More Than Double, Analysis Finds
Iraq: Maliki's first days
BBC Sistani calls for disarmament

The Kurds: A People in Search of Their Homeland Los Angles Times - By Alissa J. Rubin
The Islamist challenge To be an alternative, Arab Islamists must ensure that their rise to power is founded on the guarantee that democratic principles will be respected, writes Ammar Ali Hassan
Washington Post Misreading the Enemy What We Don't Grasp About Militant Islam By David Ignatius - It's a truism that all conflicts end eventually. But how do you resolve a confrontation with an adversary that appears unable or unwilling to negotiate a settlement? That's a common problem that runs through the West's battles with militant Islam.
PBS News Media Flourishes in the Middle East
The first chapter from Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class

The New Republic Determining Factor by John B. Judis Why does America fight? Oil. It's not fashionable to say this, but the Iraq war was about oil. Not entirely, but certainly more than it was about weapons of mass destruction or a link to Al Qaeda. The 1991 war with Iraq was also about oil, and if the United States goes to war in the future with Iran or with China, it will likely be about oil.
Preventative War and its Alternatives: The Lessons of History Strategic Studies Institute

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Economist Intelligence Unit Syria political/economic forecast 2006-07
Daily Star Brammertz holds first meeting with Assad By Leila Hatoum UN chief investigator into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, Serge Brammertz, headed to Syria Tuesday where he held "two separate meetings with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa," according to a UN spokesperson. After a great deal of "did he or didn't he go?"
FT Assad meets UN 'Hariri probe' chief The head of the United Nations commission investigating the assassination last year of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri yesterday met Bashar Assad
Gulf News Bashar interviewed by Brammertz in Hariri murder case
UN investigator Serge Brammertz interviewed President Bashar Al Assad yesterday over Syria's alleged role in the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, UN officials said.
Jerusalem Post Head of Hariri probe to interview Assad
The Times Syrian leader quizzed over Hariri murder
UN Hariri panel questions Assad
A year after pullout I
A year after pullout II
Syria and Turkey to Develop Cooperation
Daily Star Lebanon's competitive political process needs a referee
Dar Al-Hayat On Fouad Siniora and his Policy
Hazem Saghieh - PM Siniora acts as if the State comes first and last. At this point, we can perhaps understand why some 'physicians', well-versed in the art of hating and destroying the State, insist on 'testing the blood' of Siniora. How could Siniora be so much in tune with his environment and milieu - thanks to Hariri's blood - as was the case with Sami al-Solh?!

Poll: Most Palestinians want talks with Israel
Daily Star Israel has nothing to lose by somehow talking to Hamas By Galia Golan
UPI BMD Watch: Israel raises Iran alert level
Dar Al-Hayat Abbas's Stick
Zuheir Kseibati - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ abstention from using his constitutional right to overthrow the Hamas-led government, does not mean he will not resort to this surgical maneuver if the government does not agree to engage in a dialogue with Israel. Abu Mazen may still remember that he was among those who defended Hamas’s right to have a chance to strike a balance between resistance and power.
Gulf News Abbas 'will never let civil war occur'
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday said that clashes between gunmen loyal to Hamas and his Fatah group were of concern, but added that he would "never let a civil war occur."
Abbas: Meshal is a 'civil war monger'
Sources: U.S. won't view pullout line as final border
Olmert: Elections a referendum on my plan
Palestinian ministry shoot-out
UPI Common Ground: An Israeli-Arab optimist By JOSEPH FLESH"As an Arab-Israeli, I have seen that in order for there to be equality we have to be in the system," declares Jawdat Ibrahim, sitting in his restaurant
Arab League vows to give Hamas funds

FT Iran’s president dismisses fears of Mideast crisis Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s president, defiantly dismissed talk of crisis in the Middle East as the deadline approaches for Tehran to meet a UN Security Council demand that it suspend its nuclear programme.
Time To Talk With Iran By Robert E. Hunter
Gulf News Tehran's trump card
Iran's key ally in the current nuclear crisis is not Russia or China. It's oil. Tehran can easily drive up prices and is already beginning to do so to rattle the West.
New York Times The Nuclear Option By WILLIAM SWEET The United States should rely more on nuclear power.
CFR Reading Ahmadinejad in Tehran
What We Know About Iran by David Isenberg

Washington Post In Iraq's Choice, A Chance For Unity David Ignatius So what should the world make of Iraq's new prime minister, Jawad al-Maliki? What chance will his new government have of containing the sectarian violence in Iraq and averting a full-blown civil war?
FT Iraq’s pragmatic new leader is ready to deliver Iraqi PM-designate Jawad al-Maliki said he hoped to form a government in two weeks – a move that would bring to a rapid close the political crisis that has paralysed government decision-making for almost five months.
Asia Times Iraq's next premier: Spot the difference He looks like, thinks like and acts like his hapless predecessor. He brings to the job all of Jaafari's weaknesses and none of his strengths.
Dar Al-Hayat Between the Status Quo in Iraq and Saddam's Rule: The Worst Democracy is Better than the Best Dictatorship!
Akram al-Bonni - It is not true that the worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship, but turmoil and division are the outcome of what prevailed during Saddam’s era. Aspects of the moral deterioration are nothing but a reflection of the former regime’s practices and its narrow, destructive culture.

Dar Al-Hayat Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood on the Verge of a New Phase - Interview with Salem Falahat, The General Regulator of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. (Part II of II)
Hazem al Amin - The Brotherhood created many channels until it became possible to talk about a completely “Brotherhood-based” area of life in Jordan, beginning with schools and moving to charitable and sporting associations. The Brotherhood’s pragmatism in Jordan is linked to the group’s involvement in various facets of life. But moving this “daily life” pragmatism to the realm of politics will clash with the harshness of Jordan’s political institutions, which won’t tolerate this pragmatism.
Islamic Terror / Egypt's failure
Analysis: Sinai likely to be hit again
Christian Science Monitor A resurgence of Egypt's militant Islamists The third Sinai blast in 18 months shows the strength of domestic terror groups.
Daily Star Better mainstream Islamists than Al-QaedaBy Rami G. Khouri

Christian Science Monitor Kurds angle for independence Oil revenue could increase Iraqi Kurds' economic distance from Baghdad.
NYT U.S. Will Help Turks Stop Kurdish Inroads From Iraq
Der Spiegel KURDISH INTIFADA? Clashes in Southeastern Turkey on the Rise Spiegel Online

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Jerusalem Post The Region: Sunni-Shi'ite split deepens By Barry Rubin
A globalized Levantine revisits a land of uncertainty By George E. Irani - After a year of absence I recently returned to Lebanon, the land of my origins and roots. The first time I left the country was in 1968, to complete my undergraduate studies in Milan. I returned to Beirut in 1975 and worked as a stringer for the Italian radio and television station, RAI. For two years I lived out of the RAI offices and witnessed the beginning of the civil war.

Gulf News Hamas warned government can be dissolved
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a sharp reminder to Hamas on Monday he had the power to dissolve the new government.
Will Hamas moderate? (Joel Himelfarb)
Daily Star Abbas sends sharp reminder of power to dissolve government Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a sharp reminder to Hamas on Monday that he had the power to dissolve the new government, but said he did not want to do so and would give the group more time to embrace peacemaking. Reacting to Abbas' remarks, Hamas threatened to scrap a truce with Israel if the moderate leader removes its month-old government.
Dar Al-Hayat Aftershocks of Meshaal's Statements Abdel Wahab Badrakhan - Hamas' ignorance of the political mechanisms has undoubtedly made its task even harder, setting hurdles hampering the effort to establish rules regulating the 'coexistence' imposed by the electoral situation. the international community was drawn to support Israel's plan to wreck the Hamas government, disregarding the disastrous consequences on the PA and on the solution-finding mechanisms.
Ha’aretz – Iranian president says Israel cannot continue to exist
Washington Times 'Doomsday' falsehoods Israel's growing Jewish population

Reuters UN investigator heads to Syria over Hariri killing - The top UN investigator probing last year's killing of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri travelled to Syria on Tuesday to meet
Study: domestic abuse widespread in Syria
The first study of its kind in the country shows 25 percent of women may be victims of violence.

Djerejian We Have (Too Many) Opinions: When Will Iran Have the Bomb?
Cato U.S Must Offer Iran Diplomatic Deal, by Ted Galen Carpenter and Justin Logan
Heritage Foundation Forging a U.S.-British Coalition to End Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program by Nile Gardiner
Defiant Iran in threat to quit nuclear treaty
Iran President Says No Need for Talks With US on Iraq
Iran Deepening Ties With Azerbaijan
Sunday Herald Iran split by James Cusick
Hardliners: Iran Pres. delivering true Islamic gov.
İvo Daalder Is War with Iran Inevitable?
Justified Final Solution for Iran
The Spectator - Alan Dershowitz - “We Can’t Attack Iran”.

CFR – Steven Simon: Iraqi Political Shuffle Shows US Still ‘Influential’ in Iraq
Iraq: New Hope, Same Violence
Financial Times Editorial Iraq's new premier
Reports From the Future of Iraq Project
CSIS Iraqi Economic Reconstruction and Development -Onur Ozlu
UPI Outside View: Lessons from Iraq By WILLIAM S. LIND
Iraq Three Years after “Liberation” By Stephen Zunes
IRAQ'S (RELUCTANT) NEW LEADER New York Post - Amir Taheri
Christian Science Monitor Editorial Declawing Iraq's militias
Time Meet Iraq's New Boss – Same as the Old Boss
New Republic The problem with Iraq's new prime ministerby Spencer Ackerman
National Review The Editors: Jawad al-Maliki is welcome
Iraqi PM-Designate: US Could Start Pullout in 18 Months
Enmity and pragmatism converge in Iraq By Sanam Vakil In the course of seven years, Iran signed two Algiers agreements with profound implications for its long-term domestic and foreign policies. The first one, agreed in 1975, settled a border dispute between Iran and Iraq. The second endorsed a "mutually acceptable resolution" to the 444-day hostage crisis between Iran and the United States.


Foreign Affairs The End of Israel's Dream — or Nightmare? by Tom Segev
Israel preparing to retake Gaza Strip
Israel to target 'terrorists' in Hamas-led government
The Economist Hamas and the world Isolated, in its violent corner
Washington Times Will Hamas moderate? (Joel Himelfarb)
UPI Analysis: Jordan also pressures Hamas
Hamas in Charge A terrorist government, elected or not, deserves no support from America.
Abbas vetoes Hamas police Wanted militant named to lead new force but the Palestinian president blocks the attempt.
BBC Hamas defies 'security force' ban The Hamas government defies a veto on its plan to form a shadow Palestinian security force led by a top militant
Abbas and Hamas Clash Over Militant in Security Post
Jerusalem Post 'Mashaal's remarks do not reflect Hamas's position'
Hamas' Short Reign Troubled by Debt, Disarray In control of the Palestinian Authority for less than a month, the Islamist group is already struggling more than critics had predicted.
UPI Common Ground: Avoiding failure with Hamas By ROBERT MALLEY
Gulf News Hamas and Sudan reject Bin Laden calls
Hamas and Sudanese leaders have rejected criticisms purportedly made by Osama Bin Laden on an audio tape released by Al Jazeera on Sunday.
Abbas Hamas’ın Ankara ziyareti yanlış değil; ben de destek veriyorum
Der Spiegel JEWISH CARICATURE CONTEST Kosher Anti- Semites Following the outrage over the Muhammad caricatures published in Western newspapers, Israeli artists staged a contest. They were looking for the best anti-Semitic cartoons.
Olmert accuses Syria and Iran of involvement in Tel Aviv bombing
Israelis get civilian PM and defence minister · Labour leader Peretz in charge of armed forces · Coalition will focus on West Bank pullback
Labour chief set to become Israel's defence minister

Newsweek A Dangerous Dance Lebanon's PM rips Israel and criticizes Syria. ... Lebanon is struggling to emerge as a democratic country—free from Syria's grip.
Syria Comment Syrian Relations with Iraq - Better than Ever
Siniora: Lebanese-Syrian relations face 'major challenges' By Majdoline Hatoum - Lebanese Premier Fouad Siniora said Friday that Lebanese-Syrian bilateral relations are currently facing "major challenges," and added that the issues of reaching an agreement over demarcating borders and establishing diplomatic relations with Syria "should not be underestimated." Addressing the UN Security Council on Friday, Siniora said:
Forbes Lebanon Challenges Syria on Relations Lebanon's prime minister challenged Syria on Friday to show it accepts true independence in its smaller neighbor by establishing diplomatic relations and
Lebanese PM: Al-Assad threatened Hariri CNN International - Fouad Siniora stops short of saying Syria was involved in the assassination of Rafik Hariri.
Lebanon tribunal UN and Lebanon gear up to try Rafik Hariri's assassins
Newsweek Q&A: Lebanon's Prime Minister on Israel, Syria
UN's Annan Calls on Syria, Iran To End Hizballah Support Washington File By Judy Aita - United Nations – Secretary-General Kofi Annan again has called on Syria and Iran to stop interfering in Lebanon
Daily Star Hizbullah needs a new strategy to get its message across Although political parties around the world struggle to get their messages across, few parties are as misunderstood as Lebanon's Hizbullah. Always in the international spotlight, Hizbullah has been grossly mislabeled by the world media and Western states as a terrorist organization. But even in Lebanon, where its legitimacy as a resistance movement is rarely disputed, the party is often boxed into one of two categories:

Ha’aretz – Report: Iran may tempt Mideast to go nuclear Top secret report addresses strategic issues, recommends Israel maintain policy of nuclear ambiguity
UPI Commentary: Talking to Tehran At least three unofficial Iranian emissaries have been in Washington this spring with the same recommendation: Send a high-ranking current or former U.S. official to Qom for secret talks with Ayatollah Ali Khameini. By Arnaud de Borchgrave
Financial Times US and UK develop democracy strategy for Iran A newly created Iran Syria Operations Group inside the State Department is co-ordinating the work and reporting to Elizabeth...
Asia Times Deadly serious war games If Washington is seriously considering attacking Iran, why is it doing so much to trumpet its intent, even providing details of the kinds of weapons it plans to use and staging war games with Iran as the target? It would be easy to dismiss the public posturing of the Bush administration as bluster and saber-rattling - but it would be folly to do so. - Ehsan Ahrari
Mother Jones Iran: The Day After by Phyllis Bennis
Iran is Behind the Soaring Price of Gas - Christopher Dickey, Newsweek
Here we go again, in Iran By Zbigniew Brzezinski The Bush administration must turn down the rhetoric and start a dialogue
The Times The madness of bombing Iran Robert Skidelsky As our leaders soften us up for a new war, the arguments we can’t afford to ignore
Time A Financial Hit on Iran? The U.S. is preparing a new tactic to pressure Iran over its nuclear program: targeting the banks and companies it does business with
Gulf News Iran and the real threat to stability
If Tehran were to go nuclear, it will diminish Israel's ability to bully its neighbours and continue its aggression with impunity

Washington Post New Nominee Chosen For Iraq PM Al-Maliki Opposed Hussein And the U.S.-Led Invasion
Iraq After Jaafari - Tony Karon, Time
CFR The New Face of Iraq's Government
BBC Shia stalwart A profile of the man nominated to lead Iraq, Jawad al-Maliki
IHT The missing middle class SAMI ZUBAIDA Rebuilding the middle class is crucial for democracy in Iraq.
MEPC A Shia Crescent: What Fallout for the US? pdf5
Reidar Visser “Centralism in Iraq: Anachronism from the British Mandate or a Viable Alternative for the Future?”
Middle East Policy Journal Exiting Iraq: Competing Strategies Thomas R. Mattair full text here.
Newsweek The U.S. Military Preps for Long Stay in Iraq Don't dream about full exits. The military is in Iraq for the long haul.
Independent Patrick Cockburn: Washington should accept Iraq as a Shia state
Editorial Iraq's Step Forward At last there is agreement on a new prime minister. But the politicians still lag behind the killers.
New start for Iraq? The huge challenges a new government in Iraq faces Iraq, seeking unity
Politicians say that the prime minister's real test will be disarming sectarian militias and ending the violence in Iraq
Prospect Breaking up Iraq Gareth Stansfield
New York Times Shiites Settle on Pick for Iraqi Premier
The decision to nominate Jawad al-Maliki, a hard-line Shiite leader, could resolve Iraq's political deadlock.
Iraq: don't pull out, break up David Goodhart Iraq's fragmentation cannot be avoided, but it can be managed.

Great powers in the Middle East
Russia is not a piece of furniture
China pledges help to stabilise the Middle East China, the world's second-largest oil consumer after the US, needs to build strong ties with its main supplier, Saudi Arabia
Japan: Wooing the Middle East
Dar Al-Hayat Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood on the Verge of a New Phase - An interview with Zaki Saad, Secretary General of Jordan’s Islamic Action Front. (Part I of II)
Hazem al Amin - While Jordan is considered a chief ally of the White House in its war on terror, this ally senses the danger of America’s tilt toward allowing Islamist movements to take power. A visitor to Jordan can note the change in roles. The pro-Hamas wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is called “the Fourth Current,” after members of the doves, centrists and hard-line groups took positions in the leadership.
Distance Grows Between Middle East, US Washington Post - The economic rift that opened between the Middle East and the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has widened into a chasm.
Washington Times Editorial Turkey and the Kurds
Islam in the Big House How radical Muslims took over the American prison system. by Stephen Schwartz

Friday, April 21, 2006


Weekly Standard Illiberal Democracy on the Rise? Recent events highlight the need for liberal institutions in the Middle East; here's how to promote Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Nir Boms
CSIS - AFTER LIBERALS BACK DOWN Western-influenced liberal elites no longer are democracy's most vocal advocates in the Middle East, writes Jon Alterman, READ MORE
Replace Turkey as a Strategic Partner? by Jonathan Eric Lewis Middle East Quarterly* Spring 2006

Barry Rubin The Region: Now, the good news
Hamas Names a Militant to Security Post The move is likely to increase friction between the Hamas-led government and the Palestinian Authority's president
Hamas Picks Guerrilla To Lead a New Force Move Seen as Challenge to Abbas Over Control of Security Services
BBC Hamas reveals new security force
Haaretz Israel won't let up on militant to head PA police The Hamas-led Palestinian government announces a new security force drawn from Palestinian militant groups.
Christian Science Monitor Jordan uneasy after Hamas arms find The Palestinian militant group has denied it is scouting targets within the American-allied kingdom.
Editorial Five minutes to midnight for Hamas
Yedioth Ahronoth Egypt trying to broker Olmert-Abbas meeting
Al-Ahram Tough messages The first suicide bombing carried out by Jihad against Israel under the Hamas government outlines new realities on the ground, leaders of Palestinian resistance movements tell Amira Howeidy Hamas risk Israeli action Hamas has defied the international community and risked provoking a violent response from Israel by appointing a notorious militant as Palestinian security chief.
Gulf News Jordan says Hamas arms came from Syria
Prime Minister Marouf Bakheet told a meeting of parliamentarians that weapons seized from a secret Hamas arms cache in Jordan had been smuggled from Syria, deputies said yesterday.
Jerusalem Post Hamas FM a-Zahar meets Syria's Assad Syria on Thursday announced a series of measures to support the beleaguered Hamas government, saying it would raise funds for the Palestinians and establish
FT Palestinians warn of severe credit crunch Palestinian businesses and private sector officials are warning of severe instability and a credit crunch by local banks in the wake of attempts to pressure Hamas by cutting off budgetary support and directing aid to humanitarian purposes.
Gulf News Arab Perspective: A violent reaction to Israel's cruel actions
Monday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv by militant group Islamic Jihad dominates this week's Arab press. The majority of Arabic newspapers have highlighted the injustice attached to the Israeli occupation, with many condemning the attack.
Ha’aretz – Ze’ev Schiff A different war outline Israel's strategic situation is no longer viewed only on two planes - a large war versus prevailing quiet - but there are also intermediate situations that can be called "limited war" or "asymmetric war."
Hamas's failure to recognise Israel will not be an issue if Palestine itself is recognized
Pushing Palestinians to the edge Suicide bombing returns to the Israeli-Palestinian scene as the Palestinians continue to be deprived by Israel of the basic necessities of life, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
Pointless blockade Economic privation has been used before as an instrument of persuasion over Palestinians, but with the rise of Hamas this may be over, reports Erica Silverman

Gulf News Risks and opportunities of Syria's regional policy
Whatever steps it has taken so far, for example efforts to secure its borders with Iraq, have been barely acknowledged in Washington.
Al-Ahram Rafsanjani in Damascus The tide has turned in the favour of Iran and Syria in the ongoing confrontation with Washington, writes Sami Moubayed
Gulf News Syria extends support to Hamas-led government
Foreign minister Muallem says Damascus will raise funds for Palestinians and set up direct phone links with them
Forbes White House Backs Lebanon in Syria Talks The Bush administration urged Syria on Thursday to negotiate with Lebanon on the future of a strip of disputed territory occupied by Israel.
Ya Libnan Brammertz to Meet Assad, Sharaa in Syria Friday Lebanese officials in Hariri's assassination. Syria denies any involvement in the murder.
UPI Hamas foreign minister received in Syria Syria will upgrade diplomatic representation with the Palestinian Authority and agreed to establish direct communication
Yedioth Ahronoth Lebanon to U.S.: Push Israel to withdraw
Daily Star Lebanon's national dialogue needn't be limited to crisis management
A neutral Lebanon will be a peaceful one By Wissam S. Yafi
The UN versus Hezbollah Nearly six years after IDF completed its withdrawal from southern Lebanon, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has taken the next required step, calling on the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah.
UPI Analysis: U.N. says Iran aids Hezbollah By WILLIAM M. REILLY - The United Nations has, for the first time, named Iran a supporter of Hezbollah, an Islamic Shiite resistance group based in Lebanon
Siniora insists Syria still has agents in Lebanon Daily Star - Lebanese Premier Fouad Siniora accused Syria of keeping its intelligence agents in Lebanon, saying they are exploiting the country's free and open
NPF Calls to Attract Investments into Syria
Gulf investors provide capital for new Islamic bank in Syria
Syria Decides to Upgrade Palestinian Representation
Syria rejects UN Lebanon border call
Expect more UN pressure on Syria
Chirac warns Syria to end 'unacceptable interference' in Lebanese affairs

Al-Ahram Beyond calculation US plans for a military strike against Iran have already been drawn up and the Bush administration is mad enough to put them into action, writes Hassan Nafaa
Gulf News Iran's nuclear quest demands deft diplomacy
Iran is extremely sensitive about its sovereignty and, therefore, suspicious of outside influence in its neighbourhood.
WSJ Bush and Iran A threat that can't be outsourced any longer
Kevin Drum Talking to Iran
Al Awsat Iran: Tactical Success Could Lead to Strategic Disaster : Amir Taheri
US & Iran Nuclear Sanctions VOA 20 Apr 2006 -- The US said momentum is shifting toward the imposition of sanctions against Iran
Washington Realist Neo-Conservative Realist on Iran?
Washington Times Editorial Can Iran be deterred?
Weekly Standard Iran's War on the West Have the mullahs really stopped aiding anti-American terrorism?by Thomas Joscelyn
Iran still years away from having nukes: US intelligence chief...
In Iran, Jobless Youths Turn to Drugs While the world focuses on its nuclear ambitions, nation's young people see theirs denied.

Al-Jafari Withdraws Nomination: Reversal by Al-Jafari Raises Hope of Ending Government Stalemate
BBC Iraqi PM says party will decide
Troubled Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari says it is up to his political bloc to decide if he should stay on.
Jaafari defies opponents
Iraq faces the abyss
In depth: Life in Iraq
BBC Is it civil war? Lawrence Freedman examines historical parallels with Iraq
Newsweek Why Americans May Never Leave Iraq ‘Compassionate Colonialism' As Iraq fractures along multiple religious and ethnic lines, only one force seems to be holding it together: American involvement. So what might this future look like?
FT Iraq Shias move to end deadlock over PMIbrahim al-Jaafari has opened the way to the formation of a new Iraqi government by agreeing to let his Shia allies reconsider his candidacy for prime minister.
Dar Al-Hayat Next Iraqi Government and Shiite Militias
Hamed el-Hmoud - The absence of protection from the central authority provides silence as the only means of survival. The next Iraqi government's mission is clearly difficult. If it limits its security responsibility to no more than the removal of insurgents and extremists in Western Iraq - without ridding Iraq of Shiite militias and their sway - it will lose its legitimacy as a central authority and will push Iraq further into the abyss.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Governing Palestine: Internal Struggle, External Coercion International Institute for Strategic Studies
Who is responsible? Despite the inherent international expectation of an Israeli response to the Tel Aviv attack, the ball is still in the Palestinian court. The Palestinians can still prevent another round of violence.
Azure - The IDF and the Israeli Spirit The former Chief-of-Staff addresses the greatest threat facing the Jewish state. MOSHE YAALON
Israel to forgo military response to bombing Meanwhile, Arab media blame Israel for Tel Aviv attack, but debate attack's value for Palestinians.
Israel blames Hamas for bombing
Abbas slams attack; Hamas says legitimate
For Hamas, an inconvenient attack
Haaretz What to do regarding Hamas? Hamas' presence at the head of the Palestinian government is not a temporary phenomenon.
Analysis: Sharp blow, sharp response
FT Olmert against military response to bombingIsrael decided to refrain from military action but revoked the Jerusalem residency rights of three Hamas lawmakers and tightened already strict controls on Palestinians’ movement in the West Bank following Monday’s suicide bombing.
Jerusalem Post Straw calls for normalized relations with HamasStraw says he will demand that Hamas meet the requirements of the int'l community, but not insist on a formal recognition of Israel.
Yedioth Ahronoth UK wants 'normal relations' with Hamas Britain is interested in maintaining 'normal relations' with Hamas, and is seeking ways that would allow it to renew its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stated Thursday ...
Ha’aretz – Egypt, Saudi pressing Hamas to recognize Israel
Gulf News Pessimism prevails over peace with Israel
Palestinian Fouad Jafer does not think that this week's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv has shattered peace prospects with Israel.
Hamas denies 'provocative' claim it smuggled arms into Jordan
Semih İDİZ AKP Hamas'ı kollamaya devam ediyor
M. Ali BİRAND Ankara, Hamas'ı taşıyamayacak
Soli Özel Hamas'ın kapanı

Syrian Army penetrating border: report Daily Star The Syrian Army has been penetrating through the Lebanese borders in the Ersal area, north of Bekaa, and smuggling military containers into Lebanon, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.An-Nahar reported that the "Syrian Army composed of 15 soldiers and three military containers crossed between one and three kilometers into the Lebanese land."
Foes of Syrian Leaders No Friends of the US
Annan Presses Syria and Iran Over Hezbollah
UPI Syria plans to double gas production Syria has said the country's gas production will be doubled over the next three years.
UN to see Syria's Assad over Hariri murder in days
Investment Atmosphere in Syria Promising
Targeting Syria Comes Result of its Rejection of US Demands, Hezbollah Official Says
Syria Calls not to Damage Ties Between Islam and Europe
An Israel Accountability Act - William Cook

Guardian The tragedy that followed Hillary Clinton's bombing of Iran in 2009 Timothy Garton Ash
Foreign Policy Center 'Understanding Iran' People, Politics and Power (pdf) --- press release
Asia Times If it comes to a shooting war ... A worst-case scenario: America launches a "preventive war" against a rising China. But Beijing has a well-prepared "assassin's mace", including highly sophisticated asymmetric weapons that leave 15 mighty US and British carrier battle groups in tatters. Iran joins the fight and the US's Gulf fleet meets a similar fate. Perhaps the US should consider global leadership rather than global domination. - Victor N Corpus
William Arkin The Nuclear Option and Iran
Forward Knowing Why Not to Bomb Iran Is Half the Battle by Martin van Creveld
American Prospect War With Iran? Hell No by Matthew Yglesias
New York Times THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Iraq II or a Nuclear Iran?
Oxford Research Group Iran - Sliding to War? (pdf). Paul Rogers
Iran: Seeking a new regional power balance Monday Morning – Beirut
Asia Times Iran: Cooler heads urge Bush to talk Cooler heads, including prominent members of Bush's own party, are urging that he do just that. - Jim Lobe
Dar Al-Hayat Arabs and the Nuclear Test Ghassan Charbel - What does Iran want from the attack it has been waging since the election of Ahmadinejad and the joint retirement of Khatimi and Khatimism? One can only admit the Iranian's excellent timing.
Chirac: 'Militarily nuclearized Iran is unacceptable' Daily Star French President Jacques Chirac arrived Wednesday in Egypt for a two-day visit during which he was expected to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran's nuclear ambitions with his counterpart. Chirac went straight into talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Iran's controversial nuclear drive and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Iranian Nuclear Emancipation
Mohammad Sadek al-Husseini - Iran is taking part in a marathon race that is extremely sensitive and difficult, and the outcome of which could only be victory or defeat (not necessarily meaning confrontation or surrender), because the road of wisdom, contemplation, careful consideration, and choosing the ‘lesser of two evils’ are always in the minds of the Iranian decision makers.

Washington Institute Iraq: A Report from the Front Gen. John Vines, recent former commander of the Multinational Corps–Iraq
CSIS - American Strategic, Tactical, and Other Mistakes in Iraq: A Litany of Errors -Anthony Cordesman
The Prospect Divide and heal Gareth Stansfield Despite the imminent formation of a government of national unity, Iraq is splintering into its three historic provinces. The break-up can be managed, but it cannot be avoided. The western powers and Iraqi nationalists must now accept that radical federalism is the only alternative to civil war
Daily Telegraph Civil war 'could spread' Saudi Arabia has issued a stark warning that Iraq is in the grip of civil war which threatens to "suck in" neighbouring countries.
BBC Iraq parliament tackles impasse
Iraq's parliament is due to hold a much-delayed session to break the deadlock over appointing the top jobs.

Christian Science Monitor A Middle East 'axis' forms against West Iran is forging ties with those in Mideast that share its hostility toward US, Israel.
Washington Times Erdogan tied to Islamic forces (Andrew Borowiec)
Turkey's Kurds push for autonomy
Turkish Foreign Policy Increasingly Islamist By Gareth Jones
The premier's Islamist and pragmatist selves Burak Bekdil
Jordan's rising Islamists demand more of a say in governance By Curtis R. Ryan
ABD çekilirse Türkiye girer ABD Irak Büyükelçisi, ABD'nin güçlerini çekmesi durumunda Tür-kiye'nin Türkmenleri korumak için Irak'a girebileceğini öne sürdü Son
Dar Al –Hayat
Why Aren't Arabs Interfering?
Abdel Wahab Badrakhan - If the Arab peace initiative has any international value, then it should be activated; otherwise, the best solution would be to develop or withdraw it all together. Arabs had previously refused to interfere, allowing others to present their contributions instead. Any Israeli "solution" however, will be unjust and shortsighted, with repercussions on the Arab region.
The Arabs: Western Civilization, the Arab Human Being and the Existential Challenge
Hisham Dajjani - Does the Arab human being comprehend, after the defeats he sustained, the level of the existential challenge he faces? Can he afford to raise challenging existential questions?
The Saudi Invasion
Jamil Ziabi - The Saudis are widely invading Asia. The Saudis are rushing towards the East to benefit from the “globalization” trend and extend the network of these relations in the East, as they did in the West.
Chad, Darfur, and the Struggle for Power
Mohamed Ashab - Facts solely confirm that nearly half of the African continent is undergoing civil wars, racial conflicts, and the repercussions of border demarcation. The Americans, whose attention strayed sometimes from the crises of the African continent towards the Middle East and the Gulf, have grown to realize that Africa will always be the backyard of their interests in trade, oil, and war on terrorism.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Suicide Bombing in Israel Kills 9; Hamas Approves
BBC US warns Hamas over Israel blast
Christian Science Monitor Attack tests Israeli response to Hamas The militant group called the deadly bombing in Tel Aviv an act of self-defense.
Suicide bomber worsens tension between Israelis and Hamas Nine Israelis were killed in a suicide bombing outside a fast food stall in Tel Aviv during the Jewish Passover holiday
Bombing increases tensions Relations between Israel and the Hamas-led Palestinian government have plummeted to a dangerous low after a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv
Hamas's weasel words bode ill for peace Why did Hamas - which has observed a long ceasefire with Israel - rush to defend the Tel Aviv bombing as an act Palestinians had "every right" to carry out?
Top Generals in Israel Warn Gaza Invasion Is Possible Israeli generals threatened Friday to re-invade the Gaza Strip if Palestinian rocket attacks continued.
Hurt by Hamas, Americans Sue Banks in U.S. American victims of bombings in Israel are going after banks they say helped to finance Palestinian terrorism.
Ha’aretz –When the cannons roar Israel must embark on every opportunity to have its demands of Hamas heard, whether through direct contact or via foreign negotiation channels.
Olmert's plus: He's not a general Olmert can improve the process of setting national security policy if he manages to change the status of the National Security Council and transform it into a central tool in decision-making.
A new dialogue with the Diaspora It is vitally important that the dialogue with world Jewry not focus on the "big bangs" of Israeli politics, but rather on the deeper content of contemporary Jewish identity.
Erdogan government's Hamas migraine Cengiz Candar
Semih İDİZ Hamas'ın işi giderek zorlaşıyor
Fiscal gloom greets new Hamas finance minister
Russia, in break with West, pledges aid to Hamas
Gaza turf war looms Three months on, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah is on the brink of turning Gaza into a factionalised battleground, with street-by-street turf wars, reminiscent of Beirut in the Eighties
The state of Israel will soon be history, says Iran's President
Daily Telegraph 'Israel will be annihilated' President Ahmadinejad of Iran has appeared to threaten Israel with a nuclear attack after he described it as a "rotten, dried tree" that would be annihilated by "one storm".
Ahmadinejad speech & Israel
UPI Politics & Policies: What to do with Iran? By CLAUDE SALHANI A raid on Iran's nuclear installations would not be carried out by the United States, but by Israel, according to UPI's anonymous source.
Stratfor Israel: Shifting Tactics by Palestinian Militants

THE SATURDAY PROFILE; Critic of Syria Loses a Hand and a Foot, but Not Heart
Report: Syria launches fundraising campaign for PA
Syria still Attracts Investments in spite of Pressures
Syria launches fundraising campaign for PA
Iran's Ahmadinejad: Damascus and Tehran seek to put an end to the Israeli occupation
Karami denies new party is led from Damascus
Bush says justice must be done in Hariri case

Three Reasons Not to Bomb Iran--Yet Edward Luttwak, Commentary – “First, geopolitics renders Iran a natural ally of the United States over the long haul. Second, the Iranian regime wants a U.S. attack for the rally-round-the-flag effect. The third ... despite three decades of effort, the Iranians haven't made much progress at developing strategic industries, much less a workable nuclear device”
Iranian Nuclear Weapons? Iran's Missiles and Possible Delivery Systems-Anthony H. Cordesman and Khalid R. Al-Rodhan
Guardian US refuses to discuss Iran's nuclear plans in Iraq talks New photos of plant add to fears over Tehran's goal · Halt aid to militias over border, US to warn
William Arkin Rumsfeld and Iran
New York Times Iran's Sitting Duck By MICHAEL LEVI

Friday, April 14, 2006


Gulf News Syria doesn't want to be left out
Last week, the Arab media reported that the office of the Syrian Vice-President Farouq Al Shara'a is working on an initiative to contain the sectarian conflict in Iraq and "help stabilise the war-stricken country".
US: Syria making efforts on Iraq border
Syria, Iran move closer
UPI Syria and ally Iran more confident Syria and Iran appear to have gained greater confidence and political stamina after Tehran succeeded in enriching uranium
Khaleej Times Syria blames US “double-standard” for world turbulence “The double-standard (policy) practiced against Iran and Syria is regretfully the reason for the confusion in the international arena,” Moallem told
Los Angeles Times Down a dangerous road Syria once the contentious nub of Sykes-Picot and the closest in recent historical experience to Iraq — will be most severely at risk

Ha’aretz - Enough handouts By Aluf Benn - America's friendship is Israel's most important political asset. But as Uncle Sam's strength seems to be weakening, FM Livni needs to secure broader support for Israel.
Al-Ahram Image and reality Revolutionary and statesman: the two roles have often been played by the same leaders. Will this be the case with Hamas, asks Abdel-Moneim Said
Dar Al-Hayat The Palestinian Issue and the Retreat of European Policy
Randa Takieddine - What are the implications of freezing direct aid to the PA? The EU decision is a reproof of the Palestinian democratic life. It is an indication that US-Israeli politics control a Union, where France and other EU members used to assume a more balanced role with regard to Arab issues. Has the EU ever dared punishing Israeli practices in Palestinian territories?
Christian Science Monitor Rival armed factions seizing pieces of Gaza Fatah and Hamas militias train in abandoned Israeli settlements as anxiety grows over instability.
Al-Ahram 'Democracy' at work International aid freezes threaten to strangle the democratically elected Hamas-led government, Khaled Amayreh and Erica Silverman report from the West Bank and Gaza
Daily Star A vicious circle of poverty, conflict and dependence By Mohammed El-Samhouri The sudden ascent of Hamas to power after the January 25 parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas has brought to risk two vital sources of Palestinian finance: an aid package by Western donors of about $1 billion a year in humanitarian, developmental and budgetary support.
The irony of great power politics One hopes that newfound opposition by academics Mearsheimer and Walt to unilateralism in the US and Israel will be a silver lining of "The Israel Lobby."
UNSC fails to pass draft condemning Israel's Gaza ops
Al-Ahram A non-partner Olmert's assertions of power in Israel spell bleak days for the Palestinians, Khaled Amayreh writes
Hamas plans ahead Amid rising tensions between the newly formed Palestinian Hamas government and Israel, Erica Silverman in Ramallah interviews Hamas member and Parliament Speaker Abdul-Aziz Duwaik

CSIS Iranian Nuclear Weapons? The Uncertain Nature of Iran's Nuclear Programs -Anthony H. Cordesman and Khalid R. Al-Rodhan
William Arkin Despite Denials, US Plans for Iran War
Strategic Studies Institute Irregular Enemies by Dr. Colin S. Gray
Weekly Standard To Bomb, or Not to Bomb That is the Iran question. by Reuel Marc Gerecht
Jerusalem Post Analysis: Playing poker in Teheran By GERALD M. STEINBERG Ahmadinejad's boast that his country has joined the nuclear club appears to be an admission of weakness.
Target: Iran Yes, there is a feasible military option against the mullahs' nuclear program. by Thomas McInerney
Washington Institute The Point of No Return: Iran's Path to Democracy Mohsen Sazegara
The Times Iran is racing down nuclear route before UN can put up roadblock
An article on Iran's Oil Bourse: A threat to the US economy?
Iran Sounds Like a Bad Rerun - Trudy Rubin, Newsday
Experts see any strike against Iran as problem Chicago Tribune
Jim Lobe Neocons Turn Up Heat for Iran Attack
Iran trip doomed America has called for the United Nations to force Iran to comply with its demand that it give up its uranium enrichment programme, bringing Teheran one step closer to sanctions or even military action.

Leader –Iraq - Ungoverned and ungovernable Tomorrow it will be exactly four months since Iraqis went to the polls
Leader –Iraq - Ungoverned and ungovernable Tomorrow it will be exactly four months since Iraqis went to the polls in their historic parliamentary election, but they are still waiting for a new government to be formed.
Outside View:Tipping point in Iraq By ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN
Gulf News Iraq's integrity should be the prime concern
President Hosni Mubarak is not given to semantic extravagance and as the recent postponement of Egypt's municipal elections would indicate, he is reluctant to risk political polarisation at this time of uncertainty.
Al-Ahram From bad to worse Iraq is falling apart. What can be done to avoid partition, asks Ibrahim Nafie
Shi'ites Ask: Why Convene Iraq Parliament?
Washington Times Zarqawi, al Qaeda are heading out, U.S. general says Al Qaeda in Iraq and its presumed leader, Abu Musab Zarqawi, have conceded strategic defeat and are on their way out of the country, a top U.S. military official contended yesterday.

The Economist Islam in Europe: Sending a message to the faithful back home

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Report: Hamas willing to recognize Israel
Asia Times End of story: Israel triumphant As in a well-plotted novel, President George W Bush's increasingly public plans to attack Iran have a certain inevitability about them. At its core, the hostility toward Tehran is aimed at containing the Shi'ite problem and securing Israel's dominance of a "New Middle East". - M K Bhadrakumar
Ha’aretz – Al-Qaida No. 2: Eliminating Israel is the duty of every believer
Stratfor PNA: Hamas Tests the Waters With its Stance on Israel
Yedioth Ahronoth ‘Convergence to cost billions’ PM Olmert tells Wall Street Journal he will seek broad international support for plan to evacuate 70,000 settlers from West Bank; PM will ask U.S. financial backing for plan, to be completed within 18 months at USD 10 billion cost
Debka DEBKAfile: Iran’s ex-president Hashemi Rafsanjani in Damascus to redouble pressure on Washington More...
Stratfor PNA: Hamas Tests the Waters With its Stance on Israel
Israel Says US Should Take Lead in Dealing With Iran's Nuclear Program
Troop attacks not terrorIsrael's foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, has declared that Palestinians who kill Israeli soldiers are not terrorists.
West warned on Arab interests Ismail Haniyeh warned yesterday that decisions by the U.S. and European Union to suspend aid to his Hamas-led government are jeopardizing Western strategic interests in the Arab and Muslim world.
The Economist Jerusalem The last conquest of Jerusalem
Jerusalem's holy places The heart of holy war

Iran, Syria: Rafsanjani, Al Assad Meet
Syria & China to Boost Cooperation between their Armies
Siniora: Looking forward to visiting Syria soon
Belarus Depicts Syria as Strategic Partner
Aoun: 'Why not' invite Lahoud into dialogue?
Daily Star Shiites need clarity, but no loyalty oath By Michael Young What did Walid Jumblatt mean when he told Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, at one of the more recent national dialogue sessions, that Syrian President Bashar Assad was behaving like Hassan Sabbah, the leader of the medieval Ismaili sect of the Assassins?

New York Times Analysts Say a Nuclear Iran Is Years Away Experts said that Tehran lacks the skills, materials and equipment to make good on its immediate nuclear goals.
Bloomberg US says Iran could make nuke in days
William Arkin Iran: Send in the Marines?
NPR 'New Yorker''s Hersh on Iran (audio)
Washington Post Editorial Iran's Nuclear Progress The regime answers Western diplomacy by firing up the atomic factory.
After Diplomacy Fails Think Imaginatively About Iran By Mark Helprin, With an intermediate-range strategic nuclear capacity, Iran could reign over the Persian Gulf, further separate Europe from American Middle East policy and perhaps unify the Islamic world.
Analysis Iran's Defiance Narrows Options for Response By Peter Baker
Iran Underlines Intention To Grow Nuclear Program Project Announced to Install 54,000 Centrifuges
Analysis Iran's Defiance Narrows Options for Response By Peter Baker
William Arkin Iran: Send in the Marines?
US Faces Coalition of Unwilling on Iran - Gerard Baker, RealClearPolitics
Poll: 48% back Iran military action
NRO A Mullah’s-Eye View of the World By Michael Ledeen
Brent Scowcroft: Don't get belligerent
UPI Analysis: Iran one step closer to nukes
Analysis: U.N., Security Council and Iran
Commentary: Stormy global forecast By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
Democracy Arsenal Iran is Not Cuba and Bush is not Kennedy
Iran Navy Overview
From Invasion To Occupation New York Sun By MICHAEL RUBIN
Iran, 'The Club' and the Saudi ShiftThreatsWatch.Org
UPI Commentary: Rumsfeld's management style
Commentary: Stormy geopolitical forecast Hurricane force geopolitical winds are in the forecast for the rest of the year, and beyond.
New Statesman To nuke or not to nuke: bush decides
Der Spiegel Wave of Strikes Shakes Tehran Iranian government has an internal crisis on its hands. The country's high level of poverty has triggered a series of intense social struggles.
The war on Iran Iranians know that if the US bombs the country's Russian-maintained nuclear sites, it could be construed as an attack on Moscow. They also know that Shi'ites in Iraq would turn extreme heat on the occupation forces. And Iran has the power to halt all oil shipments via the Strait of Hormuz. - Pepe Escobar
RFE/RL Iran Forcing Its Way Into The Nuclear Club Is Tehran bluffing, or has it actually taken a step which opens the way to a nuclear bomb?
Editorial Iran's nuclear milestone
Richard Armitage urges talks with Iran
Iran nuclear move draws ire of UN United Nations Security Council members loudly criticised Iran’s declaration that it had achieved significant progress in uranium enrichment in defiance of international demands for a nuclear freeze
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Schoolyard threats on both sides no answer over Iran
Nuclear drive 'will go on'Iran has defied international outcry and a threat of sanctions by announcing that it will push ahead with plans for a huge underground uranium enrichment plant with tens of thousands of high-speed centrifuges.
The Times Iran is racing down nuclear route before UN can put up roadblock What purpose does Iran's uranium enrichment serve and what can international diplomacy do to stop it
US Faces Coalition of Unwilling on Iran - Gerard Baker, RealClearPolitics
Editorial Iran's nuclear milestone

Christian Science Monitor Shiite exodus from mixed towns in Iraq
Thousands of Iraqis have fled their homes due to rising sectarian violence
UPI Walker's World: Sunni vs. Shia The arcane argument about whether or not a state of civil war exists in Iraq between Sunni and Shia is suddenly being overtaken by the more worrying prospect that the clash between the two sects may be spreading more
KurdishMedia The Kurdish resistance to Southern Kurdistan annexing with Iraq - By Dr Rebwar Fatah
DAVID BROOKS The Past Meets the Future How the Exodus story relates to Iraq.
New Republic Ousting Jaafari won't solve Iraq's problems by Spencer Ackerman
BBC A fractured Iraq? Civil war fears rise as Iraq's sectarian violence continues

Washington Institute Preventing Turkey’s Popular Slide away from the West With Turkey’s governing party discussing Middle Eastern politics in terms of Islamic codes, Turkish public opinion increasingly identifies with the region through Islam rather than national identity By Soner Cagaptay
Political Islam's Opportunity in Jordan With Elections Due This Year and Next, Wing of Muslim Brotherhood Aspires to Power
Daily Star When it comes to political Islam, Moscow seems confused By Konstantin Eggert
Daily Star If the Arab League can't show courage now, it never will
OpenDemocracy Lies, damn lies and terrorism "Terrorism experts" have been much in demand since 9/11, but it's time they include state terror in their analyses, argues Fred Halliday