Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Gulf News Will the Lebanon circus end?
It may if the March 14 movement and Hezbollah accept the power sharing plan proposed by Amr Mousa. The Lebanese don't know what the future holds, given the open-ended political crisis that has gripped the nation.
Dar Al Hayat This is Lebanon
Zuheir Kseibati - For those who do not know the politicians, or do not listen: let them try for once to listen to the Lebanese citizens, when they say they prefer separation rather than a forcible union that generates only the culture of hatred! Let them try!
Managing The Crisis in Lebanon
Walid Choucair - If Tehran is engaged in ‘managing time’ to fend off the US pressures, as Stated by Dr. Ali Larijani, then Hezbollah’s relentless mobilization under Iranian-backed slogans will not serve this mission. Hence, the party is in a dire need to manage the internal crisis differently, especially since it is playing a critical role in this internal crisis.
Jerusalem Post Pro-Hizbullah supporters take to streetsScattered violence reported in ongoing effort to topple Saniora.
S. Lebanon: Villagers altercate with UN peacekeepers By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Yedioth Ahranot Protesters block Beirut roads Thousands of opposition supporters begin general strike called by Hizbullah leader Nasrallah to topple Lebanese government; major highways blocked with burning tires, army troops move in to remove obstacles
New York Times Veteran of Lebanon Campaigns Is Set to Lead Israeli Army By GREG MYRE
A former infantry officer who commanded Israeli troops against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon for many years was appointed as the military’s new chief of staff.
Israel names Lebanon veteran as new army chief
A former Israeli general with years of experience fighting Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas has been chosen as the chief of armed forces, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said in a statement on Monday.
Vision of Rebuilding Lebanon Wanes
The Saturday Profile: An Enigmatic Wild Card in Lebanon’s High-Stakes Politics
WP Hezbollah Widens Anti-Government Campaign: Protest Opens Promised Phase of Daily Demonstrations in Lebanese Capital
BBC Protesters barricade Beirut roads
Thousands of Lebanese opposition supporters block major roads in Beirut in support of a strike call.
Pressure builds for reform
In pictures: Beirut protests
The Lebanese crisis explained

The Economist Israel and Syria Why can't they just make peace?
Yedioth Ahronoth 'Assad called your bluff' Ibrahim Suleiman, negotiator in secret Israeli-Syrian talks, in exclusive interview with Ynet, reveals details of diplomatic contacts, peace proposal; says Syria serious about talks, blames US for torpedoing previous peace efforts
NRO MICHAEL LEDEEN: Was that tough-on-Iran-and-Syria talk just for show? “The Little-Bit-Pregnant Policy
Der Spiegel Secret Middle East Talks: How Israel Passed Up a Chance for Peace with Syria
Yedioth Ahranot Talk to Syria, Isolate Iran
For Western countries, prime benefit of engaging Syria is isolating Iran
Washington Institute The Case Against Talks By Ehud Yaari
Syrian president Bashar al-Asad is apparently proposing peace talks with Israel. His aides are knocking at Ehud Olmert's door, from a distance. They exhort him to believe that their intentions are...
Iran Finances Pro-Assad Militias in Syria
Syrian Oil Production Dropped a Third Since 1996 (SANA-Syria)
Syria Comment Reactions to Revelations of Israeli-Syrian Unofficial Peace Negotiations
Israeli and Syrian Citizens Wrote Plan for Returning Golan Heights

Herzliya Conference Series on the Balance of Israel’s National Security January 21-24, 2007. Program Live VOD Speakers
Should Israel bomb Iran?William Rees-Mogg discusses both sides of the debate and invites your views

IHT Withdrawal is not an option HENRY A. KISSINGER Bush's bold decision to order a "surge" of American troops for Iraq has brought the debate over the war to a defining stage. There will not be opportunity for another reassessment.
Washington Post A Plausible Plan B By Charles KrauthammerThe Pentagon should be working on a sustainable Plan B whose major element would be not so much a drawdown of troops as a drawdown of risk to our troops. If we had zero American casualties a day, there would be as little need to withdraw from Iraq as there is to withdraw from the Balkans.

PINR "Intelligence Brief: Tensions Increase Between Iran and Saudi Arabia" Full text of report
Wall Street Journal How Rice Uses History Lessons Condoleezza Rice often cites the history of the Cold War to explain and justify the Bush administration's Middle East policy, leaving some scholars baffled.
Sunni allies give ‘qualified support’ for Bush’s Iraq strategy

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Ha’aretz Secret understandings reached between representatives from Israel and Syria Draft includes Israeli withdrawal to 1967 line; Syria would end support for Hamas, Hezbollah, distance itself from Iran. By Akiva Eldar From Turkey, via Europe, to Syria The full text of the document Timeline of talks
Yedioth Ahronoth Understandings reached' Document of understandings for peace deal formulated in series of unofficial meetings between representatives from Israel, Syria and Europe, Haaretz reports. According to document, Israel will withdraw to lines of June 4, 1967
Jerusalem Post 'There was no breakthrough with Syria'PMO, Steinitz, Shalom deny report of agreements in talks between 2004-06
Christian Science Monitor Syria-Israel backdoor talks emerge Hizbullah's growing threat may drive Israel to fashion a peace deal with Syria.
Boston Globe Editorial A vision of Syrian-Israeli peace
Independent Leading article: Israel and Syria: a deal that will have to be done
Editorial Syria now Olmert's response to publication of the document that was agreed on in the secret talks creates the impression that Israel is frightened by the peace signals coming from Damascus and prefers to frighten the public with Syrian threats of war.
Reactions to Revelations of Israeli-Syrian Unofficial Peace Negotiations
Daniel Levy on "Draft Israeli-Syrian Peace Deal Revelation"
Tentative deal would have returned Golan Heights to Syria
Christian Science Monitor Peace framework for Israel, Syria?
Both nations deny Haaretz report that two years of secret discussions led to an 'understanding.
'Syria peace unrealistic'
Hizbullah leader Nasrallah estimates there's not much chance for peace between Israel, Syria
Jerusalem Post Skip the astrology, probe Syrian seriousness
Wall Street Journal Bush Has Managed to Divide & Conquer Mideast - Edward Luttwak The Sunni-U.S. alignment in Lebanon, which interestingly coexists with the U.S.-Shiite alliance in Iraq, may yet achieve results of strategic importance if Syria is successfully detached from its alliance with Iran.
What Iran and Syria want
Syria diplomat: No preconditions to negotiations with Israel
Debka Syrian Armed Forces Revamped
Nasrallah: Israeli-Syrian Pact Unrealistic
Good soldier of Syria
Nasrallah will topple Lebanon's government just to prevent a probe into the Hariri murder.
FT Talabani seeks better ties in Syria visit
Talabani Meets With Assad in Landmark Visit to Syria

US, Saudi Arabia back Moussa's Lebanon plan

Washington Post A New Chance for Peace? By Jimmy Carter, Israel will never find peace until it is willing to permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights.
Daily TelegraphDan Halutz - fall guy for Olmert's failure
It would be good to see an experienced soldier-politician, such as Ehud Barak, take over the Israeli defence ministry, and let us hope that he is the right man for the job as Lt Gen Halutz's successor.
Olmert, Peretz said likely to clash over Halutz heir
Schiff The next IDF chief / Mission: Iran
Jerusalem Post Analysis: Why Halutz had to go By MAJ.-GEN. (RES.) GIORA ROMHalutz did not fully comprehend the cultural differences between the air force and the ground forces.

The Times Give us guns – and troops can go, says Iraqi leader
The New Bush Strategy in Iraq: Is Victory Still Possible? Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies
Washington Times The Bosnia model By Michael Djordjevich Will it work in Iraq?
Text of Bipartisan Resolution Opposing Iraq War Escalation (pdf)
Senate FRC Securing America’s Interests in Iraq:The Remaining Options.Regional Diplomatic Strategy
IHT A bad plan for the Middle East JAMES DOBBINS
In refusing to combine coercion with communication in its dealings with Iraq's neighbors, the Bush administration is making peace in Iraq less likely, and increasing the chances for war throughout the region.

America, Supplicant to Iran? By: Hossein Askari National InterestSecretary Rice’s stated reason for declining a dialogue with Iran was the fear that the United States might appear to assume “the role of supplicant.” I think Secretary Rice has missed the point: the United States has more problems than appearing to be a supplicant.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


President's Address to the Nation (text – video) Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review (PDF) ---Fact Sheet: The New Way Forward in Iraq ---- Background Briefing by Senior Administration Officials
Democracy Arsenal 10 Fallacies of Bush's New Strategy
NYT Editorial The Real Disaster Wednesday night was President Bush’s chance to stop offering more fog and be honest with the nation about Iraq, and he did not take it.
Military Analysis: Bid to Secure Baghdad Relies on Troops and Iraqi Leaders By MICHAEL R. GORDON
Bush’s Strategy for Iraq Risks Confrontations President Bush is taking a calculated gamble that the American people will give him more time to turn around the war in Iraq.
To Counter Iran’s Role in Iraq, Bush Moves Beyond Diplomacy
WP Analysis: As He Touts a 'Way Forward,' Bush Admits Errors of the Past
Editorial Mr. Bush's Strategy The president raises the number of troops -- and the level of risk -- in Iraq.
Hadley's Role: Bush's New Plan for Iraq Echoes Key Parts of Earlier Memo
The Mess at State By Robert D. Novak, The judgment by thoughtful Republicans is that Condoleezza Rice has failed to manage world diplomacy.
McClatchy Bush outlines new tactics for Iraq, but faces big obstacles
Fred Kaplan What happens if the Iraqis fail again?
The President's Face Showed Fear - Howard Fineman, Newsweek
Wall Street Journal Two Alliances Bush has managed to divide and conquer the Middle East. By BY EDWARD N. LUTTWAK It was the hugely ambitious project of the Bush administration to transform the entire Middle East by remaking Iraq into an irresistible model of prosperous democracy. Having failed in that worthy purpose, another, more prosaic result has inadvertently been achieved: divide and rule, the classic formula for imperial power on the cheap.
Forward Sharon Warned BushThe Strategic Interest Yossi Alpher
Sometime prior to March 2003, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told President Bush privately in no uncertain terms what he thought about the Iraq plan. Sharon’s words — revealed here for the first time — constituted a friendly but pointed warning to Bush. Read more
Independent Robert Fisk: Bush's new strategy
Patrick Cockburn: Man who now holds Iraq's future in his hands
UPI Intelligence Watch: Target on Iran? Is U.S. President George W. Bush contemplating a U.S. air strike on Iran or permitting Israel to attempt one?
IraqSlogger US Papers Thurs: New Strategy in Iraq
Iraqi Papers Thursday: Sistani Chimes In
Amer Araim What Is the Recipe for Ending the War in Iraq? San Francisco Chronicle
Tony Karon Bush’s New Iraq Plan: Bomb Tehran
Independent Robert Fisk: A dictator created then destroyed by America
Iraq: A Nation Soaked in Blood Tears Itself Apart by Patrick Cockburn
Iraq: What to Expect After Saddam Hussein's ExecutionStratfor
RFE/RL Iraq: What Impact Will Hussein's Death Have?
New York Times Plan Sets Series of Goals for Iraq Leaders
Bush Plan for Iraq Requests More Troops and More Jobs
Washington Post Critics Say 'Surge' Is More of The Same Past Troop Buildups Have Not Quelled Iraq - Criticism grows in and outside White House that proposed troop buildup, economic aid and political benchmarks will not do much to stabilize Iraq.
The Smart Surge: Diplomacy By Wesley K. Clark
War Against Time Once Again, a U.S. Plan for Iraq Envisions Months Where Years Are Required By Jackson Diehl,
War's Toll on Iraqis Tripled in Late 2006 In first six months, 5,640 Iraqi civilians and police were killed; 17,310 were killed in latter half, according to data provided by a health official.
Independent on Sunday Future of Iraq: The spoils of war Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days
Blood and oil: How West will profit from Iraq's precious commodity
One last push and that’s you finished in Iraq, Mr President SİMON JENKİNS The idea that such a hellhole can be policed back to normality with extra troops is absurdNew York Times Getting the Middle East Back on Our Side By BRENT SCOWCROFT
The 'Surge Strategy': Political Arguments and Military Realities Stratfor By George Friedman
AEI Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq Executive Summary+ Full Report (PDF; 3.6 MB)
Alon Liel: Saddam's hanging will ultimately embarrass the U.S.
End of Another Year in Iraq Riverbend
McClatchy Analysts doubt Bush will benefit from Saddam's pending execution
UPI Analysis: Saddam's execution badly timed
NYT Justice, but No Reckoning By NAJMALDIN KARIM It is a great shame that Saddam Hussein will not be held accountable for all of his crimes, and a far greater tragedy that he was allowed, sometimes with American complicity, to commit them in the first place.
Poll: 90% of Iraqis Say Worse Off Than Before Invasion
Pentagon Maps Plans for Iraq Surge
Few New Ideas in Army's Surge Options for Iraq
Military Poll: More Troops Unhappy With Bush’s Course in Iraq
Juan Cole Saddam: The death of a dictator
NYT Obituary The Defiant Despot Oppressed Iraq for More Than 30 Years
Analysts Doubt Bush Will Benefit From Saddam's Execution

William Arkin War With Syria and Iran = Peace With Iraq?
U.S. to step up offensive against Iranians, Syrians in Iraq
Peace without Golan Like Turks, Israel must show determination in dealings with Syria Ynetnews
Israel's dilemma over Syria Seattle Post Intelligencer
Working Syria, Iran Into Talks on Iraq By: Paul Richter Los Angeles TimesAlthough President Bush has rejected proposals for direct talks with Syria and Iran over the future of Iraq, officials in his administration are working to find a way to include those countries in negotiations in a way that might be acceptable to Bush.
Israeli, Syrian officials gather in Spain to mark historic 1991 meet
Russia backs Syria in probe request (Nicholas Kralev)
Sanctions Imposed on Iran, Syria Arms Suppliers By: Bill Gertz The Washington Times
Syria seen as moving away from Iran World Peace Herald

PINR "Lebanon: A Strained Political Stalemate" Full text of report
Hezbollah Widens Anti-Government Campaign Protest Opens Promised Phase of Daily Demonstrations in Lebanese Capital
Daily Star Lebanese need to understand that democracy is not a free ride
Michael J Totten Hezbollah's Christian Allies MI chief: Al-Qaida militants in Lebanon planning attacks
Israel Harel: Gaza pullout, Lebanon war were strategic failures

Ha’aretz Meshal: Hamas recongizes existence of State of Israel as established fact
Bar’el Hamas and Israel / Road map to recognition
Jerusalem Post Israel and Hamas downplay Mashaal's comments Israeli diplomat: "Saying Israel is an established fact is just a recognition of reality, it doesn't say they accept this fact."
Sunday Times Israel plans nuclear strike Air force squadrons are training to blow up Iran's uranium-enrichment facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources
Leader A giant and scary leap Israel is planning an audacious attack on Iran's nuclear sites at Natanz, Isfahan, and Arak. How seriously should we take this threat of action?
Yedioth Ahronoth Is nuke attack realistic?
Analysis: Israel's numerous war wounds By ANSHEL PFEFFER
Beyond the long list of those killed and injured, what was the most serious damage the war caused us?
Dahlan to Haaretz: We proved to Hamas that Gaza is not theirs