Thursday, October 25, 2007


Washington Post Syrian Site Resembles Reactor Independent experts say images may be suspected nuclear facility that was bombed by Israel in Sept
Christian Science Monitor In raid's wake, Syria turns defensive
If war breaks out The next war with Syria, if there is one, will be different from every other war we have known.
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Damascus states willingness for early talks with Washington on Golan and “other issues,” denies Israeli attack targeted a Syrian nuclear reactor
American Conservative Phantoms Over Syriaby Philip Giraldi
Report: Syria was preparing itself for air force strike
WTR: A Syrian nuclear plan has a kind of logic
US claims photos show Syrian nuclear reactor
Syria in September 2007, Iran in December 2008? - Ralph Peters, NY Pos
Pyongyang cements ties with Syria The speaker of North Korea’s parliament has concluded high-level talks in Damascus just weeks after allegations of nuclear co-operation between the two countries emerged
Stuck in Iraq's labyrinth James Denselow While the west refuses to engage with the worsening humanitarian crisis of Iraq's refugees in Syria, their options are narrowing by the day.

A Nation Of Mideast Hostages By David Ignatius,
BEIRUT -- Here's a Lebanese group snapshot, taken in the land where politics is an extreme sport:
Lebanon president choice stalledParliament says it wants to give more time to pro- and anti-Syrian factions to agree on a consensus candidate.
Lebanon delays presidential election Lebanon has delayed its presidential election by nearly three weeks to allow more time for rival pro- and anti-Syrian groups to agree on a compromise candidate.
UN: Hezbollah has increased military strength since 2006 war
U.N. Report Suggests Syrian Role in Arming of Hezbollah, Other Groups

PINR "Intelligence Brief: Israel's Current Strategy in the Gaza Strip" Full text of report
Violence in Gaza if talks collapseFailure at Annapolis undermines Palestinian moderates, say analysts

New York Times THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Remember Iraq I continue to believe that everyone has us where they want us in Iraq: we’re holding up the floor for Iraqi politicians to do their endless tribal dance
From Mother Jones, a special issue on The Moral Dilemma of Leaving Iraq: Interviews with more than 50 experts, from General Petraeus' advisers to antiwar activists.
Fixing Iraq, without us: The key to the crisis in Iraq may lie Northern Ireland and South Africa.
Stagecraft, not statecraft Dennis Ross diagnoses Bush's failure in Iraq.

Washington Post U.S. to Set New Iran Sanctions In unprecedented move, administration to declare a foreign military branch a sponsor of terrorism
Who’s the boss in Iran? The tea-leaves of an Iranian resignation
ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT BRIEFING My way President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tightens his grip on Iran
Asia Times Ahmadinejad, Iran's Putin? Russian President Vladimir Putin caused some "tremors" during his recent visit to Iran. At the same time, he provided the Islamic Republic with an example of a political power structure that has clearly benefited Russia and aspects of which could be replicated in Iran. Changes in Iran's nuclear negotiating team could be a step in the direction of more power flowing to the executive branch headed by the president. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Iran divided by nuclear policy struggle
Regime falls into public infighting after 183 MPs voice their support for the former national security chief as nuclear negotiator
IHT Actually, Iran is not so tough By MARTIN VAN CREVELD / TMS Iran is weak, but this doesn't mean the U.S. or Israel should now go ahead and attack.
Asia Times Sanctions on Iran a prelude to conflict?At the heart of the strategy of the United States and its allies to pressure Iran over its nuclear program is the application of a third, stronger round of sanctions. Yet sanctions significantly increase the likelihood of militarized conflict rather than preventing it. - Prerna Mankad
IAEA: Iran Needs 3-8 Years to Produce Bomb

Brookings Upgrading Authoritarianism in the Arab World
October 2007, Steven Heydemann, Saban Center Analysis Paper
Steven Heydemann says the “after twenty years, Arab regimes have become profi­cient at containing and disarming democracy pro­motion—if not exploiting it for their own purposes.” Read More
Washington Institute Pushback or Progress? Arab Regimes Respond to Democracy's Challenge
Daily Star America's policy in the Middle East ignores basic facts
CAP Ten Questions for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the Middle East

Monday, October 22, 2007


The Economist Syria A mystery unsolved
ABCNews EXCLUSIVE: The Case for Israel's Strike on Syria
RawStory Exclusive: Cheney hand seen in leaked Syria stories
Ha’aretz - Report: Israeli mole took pictures of Syrian facility ABC: U.S. urged Israel against strike; Washington Post: Syria dismantling site, possibly to hide evidence
Wall Street Journal What Happened in Syria? Congress deserves our best intelligence on alleged nuclear proliferation. By PETER HOEKSTRA and ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN
Way to Syrian conversion
Report: Israeli mole took pictures of Syrian facility ABC: U.S. urged Israel against strike; Washington Post: Syria dismantling site, possibly to hide evidence
Jerusalem Post Report: Israel had mole inside Syrian facility prior to strikeUS official tells ABC: CIA helped Israel pinpoint coordinates for strike, White House discouraged attack because 'there was no proof.'
The nuclear watchdog is checking US spy satellite images of Syrian site hit by Israeli warplanes on Sept. 6 for signs of secret nuclear activity
Yedioth 'Syrian site photos examined' Diplomatic sources say UN experts scrutinizing satellite photos of site attacked by Israel in September; no conclusive results yet. Earlier, Washington Post reported Syria eliminating evidence at site of attack
Why is Syria taking so many strategic and political risks?
Was Israel behind the July explosion at the Syrian military base outside Aleppo?
ArmsControlWonk Syrian "Copy" of Yongbyon? [1]
Turkish-Syrian ties get a fillip Gulf News
Syrians Disassembling Ruins at Site Bombed by Israel, Officials Say
Exclusive: Cheney hand seen in leaked Syria stories
NYT Iraq President Assails Syria’s Support for Turkish Cross-Border Threat
Syria Denies Assad Backing for Turkish Action in Iraq

Washington Institute The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Lebanon
Report: Lebanon Druze head to ask Barak to help topple Assad
Hizbullah: US could turn Lebanon into 2nd Iraq
Pentagon: U.S. to build 'strategic partnership' with Lebanese army According to blueprint of alleged treaty, U.S. would provide Lebanon with equipment, build bases in county
Hezbollah slams U.S. call for 'partnership' with Lebanon army
Don’t Sell Out Lebanon’s Hopes By Amir TaheriRobert Fisk: Secret armies pose sinister new threat to Lebanon
Babacan stresses dialogue as key to solving Lebanese crisis
Daily Star There's a better - and cheaper - way that Washington can help Lebanon

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Report: Syria confirms target of IAF attack was nuclear facility Army Radio: Syrian UN delegate told disarmament panel that September 6 raid targeted nuclear plant
DEBKAfile: US sources dwarf peril of Syrian nuclear target bombed by Israel last month. They aim to clear way for resumed Washington-Syrian dialogue
Syria: We never said nuclear facility was target of IAF strike
Rights group hits at Syrian repression Human Rights Watch accuses the country’s security forces of routinely harassing activists and calls on authorities to stop repressing human rights organisations

Lebanon's Government By Murder - David Schenker, Los Angeles Times
ANALYSIS: Hezbollah chief sets his sights on 'the big deal' One may conclude that Nasrallah has received a solid Israeli commitment that prisoners will be released
Oren Nasrallah's victory If, like in the case of revolutions, wars should be judged only after time has past, then the prisoner exchange deal in the works between Israel and Hezbollah suggests that Nasrallah won the Second Lebanon War.
Iran Deeply Involved in 2006 Lebanon-Israel War (MEMRI)
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah says major exchange deal with Israel is in the works
Israeli-Hizbullah swap sparks speculation about further exchanges
DEBKAfile reports: Tehran is choreographing all swap deals with Israel after Nasrallah’s authority wanes in Hizballah

Political Dynamics Shifted During 2006 Israel-Hezbollah Conflict
Yedioth Ahronoth 'Israel cannot be destroyed' Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy believes Iran was the big loser in Second Lebanon war
How Israel Thinks Forward
Former Mossad chief downplays Iranian threat
Palestinians pessimistic on peace talks As a series of high-profile international visitors, including Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair, traipse through the Holy Land, Palestinians are looking on with a mixture of indifference and despair

Before We Bomb Iran by Jonathan Alter
Asia Times Caspian summit a triumph for Tehran This week's summit of the Caspian littoral states in Tehran has opened up new breathing space for Iranian diplomacy from the Caspian to the Arab world and brought Iran to the verge of a new strategic relationship with Russia. Simultaneously, the US's coercive diplomacy in the region has been frustrated. Washington will be particularly incensed by Moscow's siding with Tehran on its nuclear program. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Christian Science Monitor Russia, Iran harden against West
NYT Putin Is Said to Offer Idea on Standoff Over Iran
Washington Post Divisions in Europe May Thwart U.S. Objectives on Iran
By Robin Wright

IHT The U.S. has run out of tricks By RAMI G. KHOURI
Most people in the Mideast no longer fear America's power

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Syria's Role in the Region: Media, Peacemaker or AggressorTCF A 30-page US paper examining Syria's role in the Middle East
PINR "Israel's Strike on Syria Reduces Chances for Peace Deal" October 11 2007 Full text of report
News Analysis: Pre-emptive Caution: The Case of Syria
New York Times An Israeli Strike on Syria Kindles Debate in the U.S. At issue is whether intelligence presented by Israel showing nuclear ties between Syria and North Korea was conclusive enough to justify military action
Slate Understanding the Israeli Attack on Syria We now know a little about what happened, but it'll be a long time before we know what it means. Shmuel Rosner
New York Times Analysts Find Israel Struck a Nuclear Project Inside Syria A site attacked last month by Israel was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, according to Israeli and American intelligence
Israel's strike against Syria...and Iran. Josh Muravchik, LAT
Israel Silent on Reports of Bombing Within Syria
Israeli air strike was aimed at Syrian reactor · Nuclear plant in early stages of construction · Concern in US over pre-emptive assault
Middle East Times Commentary: Changing course with Syria
Israel strike 'targeted Syrian reactor'
Israel's mysterious air strike in the Syrian desert last month was aimed as destroying a partially-constructed nuclear reactor, according to reports in the US.
DEBKAfile Exclusive: The US plans new military presence in Lebanon including big air installation close by Syrian border
Scowcroft, Brzezinski, Hamilton, Kassebaum Baker, Hills & Others Call for Syria and Hamas to Be Engaged in Israel-Palestine Effort
WTR: Cheney, Rice, debating the attack on Syria
Analysis: Iran, Syria in gas dealUnited Press International
Ha’aretz - Report: Several North Korean scientists hurt in IAF strike in Syria
Turkey wants Syria to play role for peace

Hizbollah and the Lebanese Crisis, International Crisis Group
Daily Star If Hizbullah and Israel can make a deal, why can't Lebanon's Christians?
NYT Book Faults Israeli Air War in Lebanon - Steven Erlanger Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hizbullah War by William M. Arkin, to be published this month, concludes that by bombing too many targets of questionable importance for its aims, and not explaining why it bombed what it did, Israel lost the war for public opinion

Monday, October 08, 2007


Why Syria's Air Defenses Failed to Detect Israelis - David A. Fulghum (Aviation Week)
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Three groups of experts - Russian, Iranian and Syrian – still at sea over why Syria’s two early warning stations failed to protect its skies or identify Israeli air force raiders on Sept. 6.
Sunday Times RIce opposed Israel's Syria strike
Report: US Hesitance Delayed IAF Syria Strike
Syria's Strategic Weapons ProgramsThe September 6 Israeli airstrike against Syrian weapons facilities raises broader questions about the status of Syria's strategic weapons programs, which would likely play a crucial role in any future confrontation with Israel.
ABC News says U.S. asked Israel to postpone strike on Syria
Syria paper urges return of Golan 'by any means'
'Syria Won't Hesitate to Start a War With Israel to Regain Golan'
Syria Is Said to Be Strengthening Ties to Opponents of Iraq’s Government
Analysts Warn Syria Risks Wrath of al-Qaeda With Ties to Iraq's Ex-Ba'athists
Ha’aretz Turkey FM, in J'lem: Israel must explain IAF strike Turkey's Ali Babacan tells Peres in Jerusalem visit he wants explanation of September air strike on Syria
Turkey assures Syria on Israeli strike
JTA Turkey's foreign minister visited Israel to diffuse regional tension over last month's air strike against Syria.
JTW News - Syria recognizes Turkish Cyprus State passports as traveling documents

As Lebanon Goes . . . : The Case for Fixing Beirut First Jackson Diehl, Lebanon has long been described as a theater where the larger tensions and conflicts of the Middle East are played out in miniature, and in the past three years its drama has seemed particularly representative.
The Nasrallah roadmap
Nicholas Noe Instead of trying to wipe out Hizbullah militarily, we should be exploring more peaceful solutions for Lebanon.
Hizbullah Regains Strength in Lebanon
Lebanon: Fatah Al-Islam Reportedly Tried to Ally With Future Movement - Paper
Nasrallah blames Israel for killings in Lebanon
Christian Split in Lebanon Raises Specter of Civil War
Syria Plans Disruption In Lebanon, Hariri Says
Nasrallah: Invade Palestine Hizbullah leader says 'occupation of Palestine' is one of the Arab nation's greatest tragedies, laments lack of Arab support for Palestinian intifada, blames Israel for assassinations of Lebanese anti-Syrian politicians

Political, Military, and Economic Dynamics in Iraq: A Graphic Overview Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies Full Document (PDF; 3.2 MB)

Washington Post 'A Way Out' for Iran By David Ignatius The United States must avoid a situation in which its only options are to accept a nuclear Iran or go to war.
Bush’s gift of victory to Iran’s hardmen With its every move in Iraq, the US strengthens Iran's hardmen

Friday, October 05, 2007


Daily Star Syria might sell a lot to make peace with Israel By Volker Perthes
Syria's leadership / Who's in charge?
Middle east Times Commentary: Why no one really wants a Syria regime changeClaude Salhani
US 'must break Iran and Syria regimes' America should seize every opportunity - including war - to force regime change in Syria and Iran, a former senior White House advisor has urged.
New York Times MEMO FROM DAMASCUS; Syria, Seeking Investors, Turns Cautiously to Iran
BBCThe Assad version Syrian leader adds a few pieces to the Mid-East jigsaw puzzle
Corner Syria at the Annapolis Conference By: Michael Young The Daily StarBashar Assad, never a man to accept conditions, is nevertheless imposing some of his own on the United States. In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, the Syrian president said he would only attend a conference on Middle East peace scheduled for November in Annapolis, Maryland, if the issue of the Golan Heights were discussed.
Arab - Speak Arabic The Baath slogan "Syria as the focus of Arabism" has been painted by Assad with Muslim colors. Will this bolster his weakened legitimacy? Time will tell.
Yedioth 'Israel blinded Syria's radar' After IAF strike on Syria confirmed, question remains – how did non-stealth jets evade detection? US aerospace pros tell Aviation Week that Israel used new US-developed technology that can invade and manipulate enemy sensors
‘Israel operation failed’
Syrian parliament member: IAF raid on Syria failed, Israel must change policy, talk peace
Jews come first Vast majority of Israelis wants democratic Israel with Jewish priorities, Uri Ariel says
Syria Agrees With Iran on Gas Import Through Turkey
Syria Preparing for Guerrilla War on Israeli Soil
Michael Young Talks Sense about Syria
CRS "Syria: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues," updated September 19, 2007.
Syria Sets Conditions for Role in Peace Talks
BBC Assad sets conference conditions Syria's leader says he will not attend a US-sponsored peace conference unless his concerns are addressed.
Syria still weighs retaliation for Israeli raid Officials in Damascus say that another strike would be met with a Hizbullah-style counterattack.
Report: Iran worried over Syrian air defense failure in IAF strike Aviation Week reports IAF used electronic device to jam radars during strike on Syrian target last month
Ha’aretz Yossi Melman: "Records on North Korean ship docked in Syria were altered."
Israeli airstrike hit military site, Syria confirms Syria's president claims the target hit by an Israeli airstrike last month was a military building under construction.
IDF lifts censorship restrictions on air strike in Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Israel lifts military censorship on Sept. 6 Israeli air force attack Tuesday, 24 hours after Assad’s partial admission
Israel says it bombed Syria, but why remains a mystery
Report: Israeli Jets Foiled Russian Radar in Syria - Uzi Mahnaimi
BBC Israel admits air strike on Syria Israel confirms for the first time that it carried out a strike on a Syrian military site almost a month ago.
Report: Russia sent technicians to Syria
Syrian FM accuses 'US sources' of fabricating news about target of mysterious Israeli attack
Officials in Syrian site deny IAF attack Arab research center says it's astonished by the "lies and fabrications," invites press to visit.
Officials in Syrian site deny IAF attack Arab research center says it's astonished by the "lies and fabrications," invites press to visit.
Syria denies report of military activity at Dir al-Zur farm Syria says site allegedly hit by IAF used for agricultural research only, denies September raid took place
Al Awsat The Syrian Tragedy and the Lebanese Comedy : Hussein Shobokshi
“How to Bring Liberty to Syria,” by Ford Prefect
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Iranian delegation visits Ankara with a warning and bid for information on Israeli air force’s Sept. 6 attack in Syria
Syria calls refugee burden overwhelming (By John Zarocostas)
'Iraq Will Not Be Base to Attack Iran or Syria'

Daily Star In Lebanon, 2007 looks like 1974: Do you know where your sons are?
A Father’s Shadow Clouds His Son’s Rise in Lebanon
Hizbullah's spiritual leader slams vote to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terror organization
Lebanon A Middle Eastern microcosm

Washington Post Federalism, Not Partition Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Leslie H. Gelb The reality of the choice we face in Iraq: a managed transition to federalism or actual partition through civil war.
Al Awsat Who Wants to Carve-Up Iraq and Why : Amir Taheri
Financial Times Iran ready to work with US and stabilise Iraq Iran is ready to help the US stabilise Iraq if Washington were to present a timetable for withdrawing its troops from the country, Tehran’s top security official has told the Financial Times
Hersh on CNN: Bush will hit Iran, saying they are protecting US troops in Iraq
New York Times U.S. Tries to Allay Anger Over Iraq Partition Plan

Sanctions Won't Stop Tehran By: Selig S. Harrison The Washington Post Suppose that the Bush administration abandons its campaign for economic sanctions, tones down talk of war and opens direct negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. Suppose also that it drops its insistence on the suspension of uranium enrichment as a precondition for dialogue.
New Yorker Shifting Targets The Administration’s plan for Iran. by Seymour M. Hersh
Los Angeles Times Deal with Iran aims to stem arms flow to militia Gen. Petraeus says Tehran's pledge to Iraq may have led to dip in attacks associated with Shiite militants.