Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Washington Post For Obama, a Syria Solution First A Middle East Deal Obama Could Build On
“A New U.S. Policy For Syria,” by Seth Kaplan
Enemy of Our Enemy PDFBy Neil Clark Syria is a natural ally in the war on terror.
Bush to Olmert: Why are you giving Syria the Golan for nothing?
Syria at the crossroads Chris Phillips: While resisting Bush long provided an excuse not to get on with reform, it's now time for Bashar al-Assad to deliver
How Not to Negotiate with Syria - Itamar Rabinovich, Jerusalem Post
How not to negotiate with Syria
The Times Damascene Conversion Syria must stop playing the spoiler and co-operate in peace-making
Financial Times Double blow for Syria’s energy security Declining crude prices and an energy supply shortage are forcing Damascus to rethink its international isolation and to accelerate the restructuring of its economy
Editorial Comment: Dallying with Syria The need is to get Iran interested in regional stability, not a dalliance with Damascus premised on an illusion
Ha’aretzAri Shavit: While the Palestinian track fails, let's focus on Syria
Courting Syria - Rime Allaf, Middle East Times
American carrots for Syrian sticks?
Start With Syria By: Aaron David Miller The Washington PostPresident-elect Barack Obama will be bombarded with recommendations about how to approach Arab-Israeli peacemaking. One piece of advice he should not take is to make Israeli-Palestinian peace his top priority
Syria and Britain all ears nowBritish Foreign Secretary David Miliband has made it clear from Damascus that Syria is a problem-solver, rather than a problem-seeker in the Arab world. This signals a new start in relations between the two countries and bodes well for tackling problems in Lebanon and Iraq. Some intelligence-sharing is also a help. - Sami Moubayed
Stratfor Lebanon, Syria: Cutting Strands in a Militant Web
Russia Will Not Sell Iskander Missiles to Syria in Near Future
No Russian missile sale to Syria for now
Moscow won't export missile system to foreign clients before full deployment in Russian arm
Assad is getting away with murder
Syria barely hides terrorist role, yet the West allows itself to be duped.
Yedioth Ahronoth 'IWhat Assad really wants/ BechorsraSyrian leader wants Golan so he can shift to new model of conflict with Israeleli strike more likely'
This show's diplomacy is for real - and it's worth a hundred Milibands Simon Jenkins: The V&A exhibition takes Syrians seriously in their own capital, unlike the hectoring speeches of the foreign secretary
Selling Syria to a Skeptical American Audience U.S. News & World Report
IAEA Broadens Probe of Syria The IAEA is seeking information from Israel and North Korea in its probe of Syria's suspected nuclear program.
Syria and the Nuclear Cops IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei believes Syria deserves a new reactor.
So it Really was a Reactor in Syria INSS
U.S., Nuclear Chief Clash Over Syria
Philip Hensher: Showing Syria our fragile side is our strength
Syria and Libya: frozen in the past, fearing the present By Raja Kamal

Daily Telegraph Hizbollah arsenal 'triples' Israel has accused Lebanon's militant Shia group of tripling its arsenal to 42,000 rockets, many with a range long enough to reach beyond Tel Aviv.
Israeli analysts prepare next war against Lebanon
Israel's Lebanon War Showcased Cluster Bomb Horrors
Daily Star Is the UN leading the Lebanese on? By Michael Young

IHT Olmert to Obama: Think again By ROGER COHEN
Jerusalem Post Analysis: J'lem mostly pleased with Obama choices By HERB KEINON The Clinton White House is generally considered by gov't officials as one that was solidly pro-Israel.
Israel asks Bush to explain its 'special relationship' with U.S. to ObamaIsraeli officials concerned Obama may push arms control that could weaken Israel's strategic deterrence
Olmert Expects Peace Deal Progress Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel and the Palestinians could reach an agreement on the "core issues" of their century-old conflict very soon.
Foreseeing a Clinton State Dept., Israelis and Arabs retool their expectations Israel is applauding her all-but-certain nomination as a check on Obama, while the news has damped Arabs' hopes of a swing away from Bush policies
US Tells Israel No Wars Until Obama in Office
Yedioth Ahronoth 'Two-state vision still alive' Prime Minister Olmert, President Bush meet in White House, say two-state vision still the right solution for Palestinian-Israeli conflict; US strongly believes Israel will benefit from establishment of Palestinian state, Bush says

New York Times THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Obama’s Iraq Inheritance For the first time, there is a chance that a reasonably stable democratizing government, though no doubt corrupt in places, can take root in the Iraqi political space.
Editorial Road Map in Iraq When Mr. Obama takes office, a sovereign Iraqi government and a U.S. withdrawal timetable will be in place.

Washington Post Bush's Iran Policy Has Failed By David Ignatius, Absent some last-minute fireworks, President Bush will leave office with a kind of double failure on Iran: Administration hard-liners haven't checked Tehran's drive to acquire nuclear-weapons technology, and moderates haven't engaged Iran in negotiation and dialogue
Will Israel attack Iran? , Paul Rogers
Dennis Ross: How to Stop Iran From Getting Nukes

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Damascus - Washington: Awaiting a New Language!
Seven Questions for Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha By: Interview: Imad Moustapha Foreign Policy Was Sunday’s raid by U.S. forces on Syrian territory ”terrorist aggression,” electoral politics, or righteous punishment?
The Complicated Relationship Between Syria and al Qaeda By: David Schenker The Weekly Standard This past Sunday, U.S. helicopters targeted an al Qaeda operative on Syrian territory who shuttled terrorists into Iraq. Syria condemned the strike as a violation of its sovereignty and a "serious aggression."
No policy shift forecast in Damascus (UPI) -- The stance from Damascus toward al-Qaida in the wake of a U.S. raid may soften, but it should not reflect a sweeping policy change, an analysis says.
Asia Times American dream expelled from Syria By Sami MoubayedWhat is Assad's Next Move? By: Olivier Guitta The Middle East Times Not a week goes by now without Syria showing up on the radar. In fact, after I analyzed the recent slew of incidents and their possible interpretations in my article last week titled "It is Clutch Time for Syria," this week brought new puzzling developments
American dream expelled from SyriaThe closure of the American school in Damascus, in response to the recent United States raid into Syria, is a blow for Washington's hopes of winning over young hearts and minds in the Arab world. It is also a sad epitaph for the institution, which had promoted the "American dream" to young Syrians since the Dwight D Eisenhower administration. - Sami Moubayed
China Tests Its Mettle in Syria By: Chris Zambelis Asia TimesChina's attempts to forge close and multifaceted ties with key Middle East states such as Syria, a country with modest oil reserves relative to its neighbors and a struggling economy, reflect the increasing complexity of Beijing's foreign policy.
Duplicity in Damascus While many in the West view Syrian support for Hamas and Hizballah as "cards" that will someday be traded in negotiations, revelations of Damascus's ties to al-Qaeda suggest that support for terror is intrinsic to the regime, likely dooming any potential U.S. diplomatic engagement to failure.
US's Syrian raid sets Iraq on fire The United States raid into Syria has upset every key actor in Iraq. The government, beyond being embarrassed at not being consulted, has come under even more pressure from Shi'ite parties not to sign a security agreement with the United States. The Sunni Awakening Councils are reconsidering their cooperation in fighting insurgents, while powerful tribes which virtually control the border are overnight turning anti-American. As for Syria, it has the power to cause havoc in Iraq. - Sami Moubayed
Syria asks foreign staff of U.S. institutions to leave country Syria FM says his country will resort to more painful measures if U.S. fails to explain Oct. 26 helicopter raid
MESH U.S. strikes Al Qaeda in Syria
Sunday Times Syria 'cooperated' in bloody US raid Eyewitnesses tell of horror of US cross-border raid but sources believe the intelligence services in Damascus secretly backed it
What Led to U.S. Raid on Syria and What Next
Syria talks meant to pressure Iran
Western diplomatic sources: Israel concerned delaying talks until elections may affect momentum.
Q&A: Syrian Official Speaks on U.S. Raid
Spotlight on Syria Malik al-Abdeh: Syria's human rights record has become a major liability – especially now it finds itself having to worry about world opinio
Syria rejects Israel’s calls to pursue Saudi peace plan Yoav SternLIKUD SUBMITS BILL TO BLOCK OLMERT NEGOTIATIONS WITH SYRIA
Syria Comment Syrian Officials Deny Syrian Complicity in Raid

Hizballah shops for anti-tank missiles in Moscow
Hizbullah and the ‘spies’ It seems that Hizbullah exposed ‘Israeli spies’ for deterrence purposes
Lebanon reportedly unmasks “Mossad” network spying also on Syria
In Lebanon, pragmatism tempers jihadist aims In a move to avoid a second deadly battle in a Palestinian refugee camp, some groups have taken a rare step away from Islamist militancy.

NEWSWEEK The Prospect Of An Odd Couple,” By Kevin Peraino
U.S. Elections / The next American president won't fulfill Israel's fantasies
Likud to US: We won't honor Syria deal Steinitz says party doesn't believe it must bind itself to an agreement reached by a caretaker gov't
Obama will find Bush has done the peacemaking for him If Kadima-Labor coalition remains intact, Obama won't have to work too hard to nudge Israel
Is Obama good for Israel?
Obama will be good for Israel if he’s able to restore America’s power, Ron Ben-Yishai says
'Obama is pro-Israel' US president-elect starts selecting top gov't officials, but son of Israeli immigrant yet to accept chief of staff offer; aide to Rahm Emanuel tells Ynet, 'He would not consider role if he wasn't convinced Obama is pro-Israel'
Obama and Netanyahu's Complex Relationship
A President Obama could be a catalyst for peace By Ghassan Rubeiz
Tzipi Livni's choice, now Israel's choice
Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the designated heir to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, failed to form a governing coalition for the right reasons.
ANALYSIS / Is Obama a danger to Israel after all? The overwhelming majority of Jews will apparently maintain their historical loyalty to the Democrats
Some Israelis feel an urgency to attack Iran Officials say other nations quietly want Israel to act unilaterally against Tehran's nuclear ambitions. But an effective strike would be difficult and could stir up a wider conflict.
CRS U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians (PDF)

Iran Also Ripe for Change By: Hossein Askari Asia TimesIran, no less than the United States, is caught in the bitter economic winds that helped to drive the discredited old order out of the White House. The advent of an intelligent president in Washington could be the key factor in removing Iran as a major foreign policy issue for the US.
Asia Times The impending strike on Iran An American president is most powerful when in lame-duck status and ceding power to an opposing party. This presents a once-in-a-lifetime "opportunity" for President George W Bush. Military, social and especially economic factors point to a very simple conclusion: America will either attack Iran in the next two-and-a-half months, or it never will. - David Fink

WINEP From President to President: U.S. Middle East Policy at a Moment of Transition
Obama's Middle East Studies Mentors by Campus Watch
US influence in the Middle East on the decline
Obama-Biden on the Middle East

Friday, October 31, 2008


Eli Lake Why Did the U.S. Attack Syria?
America's Military Attack in Syria: Possible Reasons and Likely Costs by Daniel Levy
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:Exclusive: Petraeus Wants to Go to Syria; Bush Administration Says No
Cross-Border Attack on Syria Raises Iranian Eyebrows - Council on Foreign Relations
Why Syria? Why now? Speculation is intense over the United States' cross-border strike into Syria. Was it a hawkish attempt to provoke war? A political stunt ahead of the US elections? If so, both tacks seem to have failed. A more likely answer is a "messy" US chain of command in Iraq, and gung-ho special operations forces
IHT In Syria, a short-sighted attack The next president will have to restore a diplomacy that balances the interests of Syria and its neighboring nations.
MESH U.S. strikes Al Qaeda in Syria.
America and Syria: a political raid, Paul Rogers
Syria and Bush's Last Gasp Abroad - Michael Jansen, Jordan Times
Syria A puzzling raid
TIME Reaction to the US Raid into Syria: Only Muted Outrage
Will Syria Dump Its Friends? - David Blair, The Telegraph
Getting Syrious - National Review
Official: Olmert intends to resume indirect talks with Syria Danish FM: Assad willing to conduct direct negotiations if Israel accepts Syrian preconditions
Report: Syria cuts diplomatic ties with Iraq over U.S. raid Syria has also decided to reduce its troops on the border with Iraq, Syrian TV reports
Syrian Leader Makes Strategic Decision to Turn the Other Cheek
Syrian haven for killers, then and now US response to Syria's shelter policy - of Nazis or Qaida - is ambivalent.
Jerusalem Post Analysis: US raid shows Assad's over-estimation
A Syrian haven for killers, then and now RAFAEL MEDOFF
The strike that shattered US-Syria ties A commando raid by United States forces on a Syrian border compound near Iraq has ruptured already rocky relations between Washington and Damascus. The US now claims the strike was a pre-emptive success which led to the death of a top al-Qaeda agent, while Syria is outwardly appalled at the "cowboy" tactics and so-called "massacre". - Sami Moubayed
US embassy in Syria warns of closure The already strained relations between Washington and Damascus worsen after a US military attack that killed a man who was allegedly sending foreign fighters into Iraq
Army: Syria to Deploy More Troops at Lebanese Border
World Briefing Middle East: Syria: Prominent Dissidents Sentenced
Damascus comes down on dissidentsTwelve Syrian dissidents were on Wednesday sentenced to two-and-a-half years each for activities related to the promotion of democracy. The convictions come as Syria's international image has improved in recent months, but at a time when Damascus' relations with the United States are at an all-time low. - Stephen Starr

Lebanon's Enemy Within - Michael Totten, Commentary
The IDF's New Response Policy vis-avis Hizbollah: How Viable is It? INSS An Israeli commentary on the IDF\'s newly-announced policy towards Hizbolla

Israel's Current Strategic Environment - Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Elections in Israel Tzipi or Bibi?
Power of weakness [ LOUIS RENÉ BERES In all world politics - but especially in the Middle East - appearances can deceive. Although power is powerful and weakness is weak, power can weaken itself. Sometimes, weakness can even become a source of power. Nowhere is this paradox more apparent than in Israel's endlessly self-deceiving relationship with the Palestinians.
Israel's multilateral option Chris Phillips
Poll: Right-wing gains give Netanyahu best chance to form next gov't
Poll: Absentee voters in Israel back McCain over Obama by 3-1
Ironies of Israeli-Palestinian relations

International Crisis Group Oil for Soil: Toward a Grand Bargain on Iraq and the Kurds
Washington Institute Kirkuk: The Land the Surge Forgot
Stratfor Iraq, US: The Latest on the Status of Forces Agreement
Senior Iraqi Leader Says Pact With U.S. Is Unlikely to Pass Politicians' Fears of Voter Backlash Cited
Iraqis Insist on Changes to Long-Delayed Security Pact With U.S.
Iraq Says U.S. Deal Would Ban Strikes on Neighbors
Bush confident US-Iraq pact will pass
Iraq seeks ban on US attacks
US Hands Over Last of Southern Provinces to Iraqis (Update1)
Iraq Oil Report must read: Q&A with Iraq oil revenue auditor Joe ...
UN proposal on Iraq minorities representation approved in Parliament

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Sleepless in Tehran Negotiating in the Middle East without leverage is like playing baseball without a bat
ComingAnarchy Iran Policy Options Part III [Part I Part II]
Iran: Empire by Proxy - Kevin Sullivan

Middle East Challenges for Next President
Conference on Arab-US Relations & Presidential Transition

Thursday, October 23, 2008


SETA - Turkish-Syrian Relations: The Erdoğan Legacy Sami MOUBAYED
Yedioth Ahronoth 'Assad is the next Sadat' At Foreign Ministry conference on policy in 2009, signs of change in 'the very fundamentals' of how diplomatic brass sees Syrian president. Citing stagnated talks with PA, officials say Damascus deal may precede Ramallah one
Russia Shields Syria - Ariel Cohen
The Real World: The Russian Navy Back in the Med By: Ariel Cohen The Middle East TimesThe Russian Federation is redeploying a part of the Black Sea Fleet to its Cold War hunting grounds in the Mediterranean. Returning to bases and anchorages in Syria and Libya is a top priority for the Russian admirals.
Saudis Uneasy Over Rehabilitation of Syria's Assad
Syrian envoy: Onus for peace on Israel Ambassador to US calls Hizbullah "a very close ally" of Syria; claims Israel "demonizes" his country
Turkey: Syria-Israel talks should resume
Rafsanjani says Israel lacks ‘goodwill’ in talks with Syria
Talabani: Iraq needs better Syrian ties
Syrian Opposition Leader Flees Lebanon
Syrian, Romanian Presidents Steps to Consolidate Ties

NYT Lebanon’s Bloody Sunday By RANDY GADDO Had we stood our ground 25 years ago instead of pulling out after the bombing in Beirut, it is possible that 9/11 would not have happened.
From Beirut to 9/11 By ROBERT C. McFARLANE After the Lebanon bombing, the most telling conclusion was the one reached by Middle Eastern terrorists, that the U.S. had neither the will nor the means to respond to a terrorist attack.
Hezbollah: On the War path or seeking political domination of Lebanon? Defense Update
Has Nasrallah Been Poisoned?
Report: Hezbollah chief poisoned; Iranian doctors saved his life
Security services draw up list of possible targets of Hezbollah attacks List prepared in light of Hezbollah vow to avenge Mughniyeh assassination; some officials receive protection
Iranian official: Tehran proud of its support for Hezbollah, Hamas Larijani rejects claims Iran backs terrorism, also says Obama seems more 'rational' than McCain
Al Awsat Lebanon and the Saudi Position : Muhammad Diyab
Saudis resurrect a rival for HezbollahSaudi Arabia, amid its efforts to undermine Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, is reportedly funding a rival Shi'ite wing of the group led by Sheikh Subhi Tufayli, a Hezbollah founder who has been little seen since the 1990s. But Saudi money may just be lining Tufayli's pockets and his resurrection is little threat to the power and popularity of Nasrallah. - Sami Moubayed
Lebanese City's Strife Reflects 2 Conflicts Tripoli Rocked by Internal Rifts and Mideast Proxy War

Israel mulling non-aggression treaty with Lebanon
Hamas in control
Cleaner, safer streets, cease-fire boost Haniyeh; outlook for peace bleak
Iran proposal: Preemptive strike against Israeli targets Khamenei adviser: Israeli rhetoric on Iran strike strengthens position of pro-preemptive attack officials.
Iran's threats are not based on any proven capability Iran's declarations appear to be an attempt to create a balance of fear and deterrence with Israel
Israel expects U.S.-Iran talks if Obama elected
Israel must adapt to reality of U.S.-Iran dialogue Post-U.S. election, Israel will be expected to toe the line
Barak: Israel giving serious thought to Saudi peace plan
Israel considers reviving Saudi peace plan to resolve conflict
2002 plan offered the Jewish nation an end to its conflict with the Arab world, says Israel's defence minister
Saudi official presents new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan
Egypt presents Fatah, Hamas with Palestinian unity proposalCairo paper calls on Abbas to continue peace talks with Israel, but says any deal needs Hamas approval
Examining Israel's efforts toward building a new government Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni has received a two-week deadline extension for forming a ruling coalition. Here are answers to some key questions on how the process might play out
Israel's Livni Needs More Time to Form Government
Livni's Outlook: Political and Policy Options in Israel

US-Iraq SOFA latest draft, in English
A Critical Stage in Iraq By David Ignatius, 'Everybody is afraid of everybody. They're afraid of the past, present and future.'
Iraq's cabinet rejects current draft of U.S. troop accord Shiite Muslim government ministers raised objections Tuesday to a "final draft" of an agreement to authorize U.S. troops to remain in Iraq, and after a four-and-a-half-hour cabinet meeting Iraq's government spokesman said the agreement won't be finalized in its current form. What happens next is unclear.
Details of Iraq's Status of Forces Agreement
Daily Star Will Iraq finally end the colonial era?By Rami G. Khouri
Helena Cobban US Iraq policy beyond November 4
Iraq sends draft of U.S. security pact to Cabinet Shiite officials say they still want revisions to the language of the document, which requires U.S. forces to leave Iraq by the end of 2011 unless they are asked to stay on
US-Iraqi security pact still unsettled Amid growing opposition, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on Sunday for more time to negotiate a plan that could begin US troop withdrawals in June 2009.
New Doubts Cloud Iraqi Security Pact With U.S.
CRS The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq
Al hayat What Matters is for the Agreement to be Iraqi
Documents Say Iran Aids Militias From Iraq
Iraq faction seeks 2011 US exit The Iraq parliament’s biggest political grouping is calling for the US mission to be brought to a definite close by the end of 2011 as a condition for approving a deal
USIP Iraqi Recommendations to the Incoming Administration
Panel I: Institution-building in Iraq1:40:07 - 18.2MB Panel II: Political Progress 1:42:04 - 18.6MB

Iran’s leadership would pay a high price for a handshake with America. As the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution looms, it’s time to rethink U.S. strategy toward Iran.
Stopping A Nuclear Tehran By Daniel R. Coats and Charles S. Robb, It likely will be the first and most pressing national security issue facing the next president
Asia Times Elusive consensus on Iran Neo-conservative groups in the United States are using the presidential transition period to strengthen perceptions of an Iranian nuclear threat and stymie any plans for the next administration to change policy on Tehran. At the same time, the revived international efforts on Iran have exposed a widening split over how to deal with its nuclear program. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi
US intelligence: Iran will be able to build first nuclear bomb by February 2009
Washington Post Washington Post Stopping A Nuclear Tehran By Daniel R. Coats and Charles S. Robb, It likely will be the first and most pressing national security issue facing the next president
EurasiaNet Iran: Ahmadinejad Making Political Gambit to Enhance his Authority in Tehran BY KAMAL NAZER YASIN Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is risking his political future by striving to decouple his neo-conservative faction from long-standing domestic allies -- traditionalist clergy and small-scale merchants. If successful, Ahmadinejad would gain a greater degree of freedom of action in both the domestic and international arenas.
Al hayat Will Obama Save us from War with Iran?
Der Spiegel Berlin Plans to Deter Trade with Iran

Towards a Middle East Stalemate? by Eric Trager
Oct 22 SD# 2091 - Arab Columnists: The Economic Crisis – A Conspiracy by U.S. Government, American Jews

Monday, October 13, 2008


Syria downplays troop buildup on Lebanese border Damascus says it's merely beefing up border security. But the US issued Syria a strong warning, and Israeli troops are on alert.
What's Afoot in Syria? - Claude Salhani, Washington Times Syria has long claimed it is tied to Lebanon in more ways than one. Over the last two weeks this statement has proven to be far more on the money than Syria would have ever imagined.
Border warning Extra US military aid to Lebanon sends a message to Syria

The coming train-wreck in Lebanon CAROLINE GLICK

Analysis: The failing markets' impact on diplomacy By HERB KEINON How will the global financial hurricane impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Warning signs of Israeli strike on Iran Bush’s legacy would be best served by taking dramatic diplomatic action to prevent a war
Middle East talks head to Oxford
Israel offered a comprehensive peace treaty with 22 Arab countries in return for withdrawal from the territories it occupied after the 1967 war
A political partnership based on mutual lack of trust Citing need for stability, Livni urged Likud to join gov't. But stability means lack of diplomatic progress
Warning Signs of an Israeli Strike on Iran - David Owen, Times of London
Al Hayat Israel Between War and Peace Patrick Seale - The violently contradictory signals coming out of Israel these days point to the troublesome -- and so far unresolved -- debate among the country's leaders about how Israel should live in the Middle East. Israel professes to want peace, yet it works tirelessly to prepare for war.

U.S., Iraq Are Close to Security Pact The U.S. and Iraq are close to agreeing on a final draft of a security agreement that includes a compromise on legal jurisdiction over American soldiers, people familiar with the talks said
State Department Report on Iraq: "Consolidating the Gains, Completing the Transition"
The man with toughest job in Middle East Nouri al-Maliki talks to The Times about how he will shape his country and move towards a truly independent state
Iraqi government fuels 'war for oil' theories by putting reserves up for biggest ever sale
Kissinger: US Must Deal with Iran - Robert Satloff, Washington Institute

Disarming the Middle East - Shlomo Ben-Ami, RealClearWorld
The US election and the Middle East By Ghassan Rubeiz
Water: a source of Middle East peace? Václav Havel et al: Nations in the region are using more water than arrives on a renewable basis. Cooperating to secure it is the only way forward
The Region: Why the Middle East is sick BARRY RUBIN

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 26, 2008


Der Spiegel Wooing the Pariah: How Syria's Assad Is Steering His Country out of IsolationDamascus Fears Deviation on Peace Road By: Sami Moubayed Asia Times As Israeli premier-in-waiting Tzipi Livni battles to form a government, Syria is preparing for the possibility she will call off the indirect talks with Damascus
Syria Comment News Roundup (22 Sept 2008)
Syria Pushes the Envelope in the North By: Michael Young The Daily Star Of all the ridiculous reasons explaining the deployment of thousands of Syrian troops along the northern Lebanese border, surely the most ridiculous is that this was done to thwart smuggling
UN urges clarity amid Syrian troop movement The UN calls for more clarity from Damascus on the reasons behind the stationing of thousands of troops on the Lebanese border, a move that has raised anxieties in Beirut
How Feasible is Peace with Syria? - United Press International
Syria's Love Affair With Livni
Syria hints it can make peace with Livni
Syrian troops raise Beirut anxiety
The massing of 10,000 Syrian troops on the Lebanese border this week has raised fears among Damascus’s opponents in Beirut that Syria is seeking to consolidate its influence over its smaller neighbour.
10,000 Syrian troops mass on Lebanon border
Fear grows that surprise deployment could be prelude to first incursion since invading forces pulled out three years ago
Concern in Lebanon After Syria Bolsters Border Force
Embers under the ashes Al-Ahram Weekly A Syrian military court has sentenced 50 Kurds to prison. With other Kurdish leaders awaiting trial, tensions are running high. Since the Barzani revolt in Iraq and the emergence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Kurdish Syrians have been clamouring for recognition
Turkish president says Syria serious about peace talks
Bush attacks Iran and Syria in final UN speech
President uses final speech to the United Nations to lambast the enemies of his administration and to reassure the rest of the world that America has a grip on its financial crisis.
EU: Say No to Syria - Rep. Eleana Ros-Lehtinen
Diplomats: Assad Aide Killing Hurts UN Probe in Syria
Ten Russian warships have docked at Syrian port
Russia Passing Intelligence on Israel to Syria and Hizbullah
Al Awsat Is Reconciliation with Hezbollah Possible? : Tariq Alhomayed
Background: Hizbullah - enemy of Israel

Jonathan Steele / Guardian:
Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran — US president told Israeli prime minister he would not back attack on Iran, senior European diplomatic sources tell Guardian — Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites …
Mossad chief fights Iran nuclear program his own way Under Meir Dagan, the Mossad has used creativity and daring to strike Israel's enemies
Editorial: Only way to stop Palestinian terrorism is to improve life in the territories
Explainer: Relations between Iran and Israel
Labor sources: Barak to demand lead role in Syria talks from Livni Barak feels the defense establishment is central to negotiations with Syria as well as the Palestinians
Benn Better occupation than a partial peace For a breakthrough in talks with the Palestinians, we have to understand the basic differences between the sides - and try to bridge the gap between Mars and Venus
Will Livni Be Another Horror Show? By: Rami G. Khouri The Daily StarIn Israel today, the curtain opens on the new political performance of Tzipi Livni, who last week was elected leader of the Kadima Party. It is not clear if Livni will dazzle or disappoint; if she will generate historic change or just another hour of horror
Forget Palestine? Surely You Jest By: Claude Salhani The Middle East TimesThe paradox in the comatose peace negotiations is that although the details calling for a two-state solution are generally accepted by all sides, a solution is not truly desired by either the Palestinians or the Israelis for various reasons

The Era of Sanctions Has Ended By: Yossi Melman HaaretzShould Israel accept that its era of nuclear monopoly in the Middle East has ended, and assume a new role as passive witness to a regional arms race
Report: U.S. said no to Israeli strike on Iran The Guardian quotes European officials who say Bush 'would not support it' and did not expect to revise that view
'US refused to support Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites' Guardian, quoting senior European officials, reports Bush refused to give Olmert green light for attack during May visit to Israel.
EU assessment: IDF can't stop Iran alone Diplomats predict a regional conflagration of unknown proportions as a result of any strike
Stratfor Geopolitical Diary: Changing Agendas on Iran Russia derailed a meeting the United States had hoped to use to discuss new sanctions against Iran. Washington, meanwhile, is growing weary of Tehran's negotiating games
CFR If Iran Stonewalls
Carnegie's George Perkovich encourages a firm stance toward Iran's nuclear program.
EurasiaNet Iran: Can Putin Link the Georgian and Iranian Crises?MARK N. KATZ Linkage is the time honored practice of getting another party’s cooperation on an issue of importance to oneself by promising to help or threatening to hinder that other party on another issue of importance to it. Moscow is clearly trying to get American and European acquiescence (if not approval) for the gains it has made in Georgia by threatening to increase Russian cooperation with Iran if this is not forthcoming
Appease Iran? by Daniel Pipes
EU: Iran Closer to Nuclear Arms Capacity
Asia Times Iran plays up its peacemaker role In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad called for free elections in Israel-occupied territories, blasted the West's "bullying" policies and reiterated Tehran's right to nuclear technology. At the same time, blending theology with diplomacy, Ahmadinejad positioned Iran as a conflict mediator. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Russia stalls talks on Iran nuclear plans The leading powers were forced to cancel a meeting on the Iranian nuclear threat after Russia said the talks were not urgent, in a further sign of Moscow’s frostier relations with the west after the Georgia crisis
Russia backs off from cooperating with U.S. on Iran Russia has announced that it will not participate in a meeting with the United States this week to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the most significant indication yet of how Russia's war with Georgia has spoiled relations regarding other security issues

Editorial Another Iraq Benchmark
Legislators approve a crucial deal on provincial elections
Iraq election law marks progress, opens political season Provincial polls are now expected early next year and could bring about a political realignment across Iraq
Iraq OKs Elections – Except in Oil-Rich Kirkuk
Iraq Passes Provincial Elections Law
Iraqi lawmakers pass provincial election measure But they set aside the contentious issue of a vote in Kirkuk, which Kurds seek for their semiautonomous region, and postpone voting in four northern provinces
Iraqi Elections: Definitely, Maybe - Abu Aardvark blog
Iraq OKs Provincial Elections Law
Iraq's parliament overwhelmingly approved a provincial elections law Wednesday, overcoming months of deadlock and giving a boost to U.S.-backed national reconciliation efforts.
Internally displaced Iraqis shun elections
Despite infighting, Iraq OKs vote lawIraq deal over province elections
Iraq's parliament passes a law paving the way for provincial elections, ending long debates over the city of Kirkuk.
Iraqi Parliament Approves Provincial Elections Law

Washington Institute America's Grand Strategy in the Middle East: Views from the Campaign Max Boot, an advisor to John McCain, and Richard Danzig, an advisor to Barack Obama, discussed their candidates' views on Middle East policy
Report: Blair is failing Middle East peace effort Aid groups' damning verdict claims peace process push headed by Tony Blair is suffering from a 'vacuum of leadership'
Quartet’s Middle East efforts questioned The international community has largely failed in its attempt to improve the chances of peace in the region, according to a coalition of aid groups
Rand Political Reform in the Arab World is a Mixed Bag in Confronting Terrorism

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Power Barometer: Syria's Unpredictable Policies
Difficult Decisions Loom for Syria's Assad
Jerusalem Post Future of talks with Syria in doubt
Diplomatic official: Recommendation of indictment may have led to cancellation of Olmert's Russia trip
Daily Star Lebanon and Syria have vested interests in each other's success
Syrian Economy Opens – Will Its Politics Follow?
Lebanon's Sunni and Shi'ite Rivals Heading Towards Reconciliation

Stratfor Israeli Strategy After the Russo-Georgian War Stratfor
Security sources: Israel preparing for Hezbollah attack Hezbollah sources threaten that revenge for Imad Mughniyeh's death will come as a terror attack in Israel
Moshe Arens: Likud must say it won't give up Golan
U.S. coordinator to visit Israel in last-ditch bid for security draft Gen. James Jones was appointed by Rice to draft a plan to create a stable security environment in Mideast
'We may kidnap Iran leader'
Ahmadinejad may find himself before Int'l Court, ex-Mossad operative Rafi Eitan tells Der Spiegel
Jewish participation in US politics greater than in any European country, Yoram Ettinger says
The United States, Israel, and the Iranian Threat: A View from Congress - Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Should U.S. Forces Withdraw From Iraq?
U.S. to Pull 8,000 Troops From Iraq Early in ’09
The Times Bush keeps troops in Iraq until bitter end President will wait until last month in office, January next year, to bring home troops totalling about 8,000
Iraqi Leaders Opposed Biden's Partition PlanBy Dan Senor His alternative to the surge would have stoked sectarianism
Groups move to tap a different pipeline Conoco’s Australian joint venture, Eni’s bid for First Calgary and Shell’s Iraq development deal underline the growing interest among the major energy companies to sign potentially lucrative international gas contracts
Iraq, Iran, China: The Emerging Axis By: Paul Rogers Open DemocracyA United States pressed by Iraqi government confidence and Afghan guerrilla defiance is now confronted with a larger and longer-term strategic challenge in greater west Asia
Iraq Gets Its First Christian Militia - With a Little Help From the Peshmerga

Russia, the U.S. and Iran By RAY TAKEYH AND NIKOLAS GVOSDEV / The Boston Globe Russia is not interested in playing a role in the Iran crisis on terms America can accept.
Iran's Asymmetric Naval WarfareIn this new Policy Focus, an Iranian military expert outlines what form potential Iranian military action might take in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz given the capabilities and role of Iran's unconventional naval forces.
Yedioth Ahronoth 'Iran plant nearly complete' Representatives of Russian company building first Iranian nuclear plant in Bushehr say its activation close at hand, exact launch date to be determined after talks between Russian, Iranian nuclear officials this month
For Iran, Energy Woes Justify Nuclear Push
Al-Qaeda calls Iran a ‘crusader’ ally
In a video to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the terrorist group’s deputy leader, has accused Tehran of collaborating in a western war against Islam
Russia Prepares to Launch Iran's Nuclear Plant

The United States and Libya: Where Do We Go From Here?Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Full Paper
The Middle East should worry about Russian behavior By Ekaterine Meiering-Mikadze

Monday, September 01, 2008


Russia Announces Increased Naval Presence in Syria
ANALYSIS / Assad working post-Georgia world to his advantage As America's standing erodes, Syrian President sells country to highest bidder after long int'l isolation
Assad slapped in the face/ Bechor Syrian leader thought Cold War is back, but Russia made it clear Assad was wrong
Syria eyes an edge amid Russia-U.S. rift Damascus is seeking an arms deal with Moscow, a move that would bolster its position in the Middle East
Diplomat: Russia to up naval presence in Syrian ports Diplomats in Damascus say, however, Russia not keen to sell arms that may change Mideast power balance
Syria, Iran warm to Russia as US tensions grow: The Associated PressBy Sam Ghattas
A Syrian-Israeli Breakthrough? David Ignatius, Washington Post
Bush’s Policy of No Dialogue with Syria is Costing US Lives
US refuses to follow France's lead and talk with Syria
EDITORIAL: An Israel-Syria 'deal'?: Washington Times
Sarkozy confirms Syria visit date BBC, August 27, 2008
Erdoğan to visit Damascus on Thursday
Syria arrests two Kurdish leaders

New Lebanese army chief promoted New Lebanese army chief, Jean Kahwaji, is promoted to general in a ceremony attended by President Michel Suleiman
Massive Lebanon rally reflects missing cleric's continuing influence Followers in the Amal movement demand answers from Libya, where Imam Moussa Sadr disappeared in 1978. He is also considered a spiritual forebear by Hezbollah.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman tells US officials: “World should open up to Syria”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Bar’el The problem is Putin, not the missiles Israel and Syria are now at the center of the great strategic game between Russia and the United States
Asia Times Syria reaps a Russian reward After the Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was the first world leader to visit the Kremlin. Moscow sees a good ally in Assad, a man who realizes that the Russians are back and intends to use this to advance Syria's interests. Foremost is the peace process with Israel, which, given the events in the Caucasus, the United States might now feel compelled to support. - Sami Moubayed
Al Awsat The Latest Syrian MiscalculationRussian embrace of Syria tightens, but for what purpose?
Assad: Next Round of Syria-Israel Talks Will Be 'Decisive'
Dangerous talks with Syria
A cynical PM has turned Israel's vital interests into playthings
SyriaComment Lebanese Sovereignty: Where Does Syria Stand?
Syria Shift on Lebanon Suggests Hard-Liner Softens
Daily Star The danger of viewing Syria through the prism of Lebanon
UN: Lebanon-Syria border still wide open to smugglers Hezbollah believed to have significantly upgraded its arsenal with arms from Iran transferred via Syria
Israel follows French FM's Syria trip
Syrian FM says Israel talks haven't progressed enough for parties to hold direct negotiations.
Syria-Israel Talks Focused on Border
Forward All of Lebanon Is Not Hezbollah Firas Maksad
In a very significant and potentially dangerous move, Israel’s security Cabinet recently decided to reverse its long-standing policy of distinguishing between Hezbollah and the democratically elected Lebanese government
U.N. troops offer lessons in peace in Lebanon Yoga, French poetry, pizza making -- the international forces stationed there give war-weary residents a respite from their cares

Friday, July 25, 2008


Samir al-Taki’s talk at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC
Realism must rule in engaging Syria THE DEBATE over whether or not to engage Syria is once again center stage this week as a Syrian delegation visits Washington for talks with American officials and academics. Syria's enthusiasm for engaging the next American administration offers the incoming president an opportunity to influence Syrian behavior. (By Michael Bergman, Boston Globe)
Summer of Love? By: Stephen Schwartz The Weekly StandardThe month of July has now seen French President Nicolas Sarkozy playing host to Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad alongside Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, as well as the Bush administration sending Under Secretary of State William Burns to Geneva in order to engage in direct talks with Iran. Meanwhile, in Madrid, a long-awaited summit of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and other Indian and Chinese religious functionaries was held on July 16 to July 18.
Al Awsat Syria’s Opaque Maneuvers : Huda al Husseini
'An Israeli Watershed: Strike on Syria' by Eyal Zisser, Middle East Quarterly
Syrian Visitors' Meeting Scrapped By: David R. Sands The Washington TimesIn an abrupt about-face, the State Department on Wednesday scrubbed plans to meet with a visiting delegation from Syria, a meeting that could have signaled an easing of tense U.S. relations with Damascus
Syrian Adviser Says "Building Peace" Best Way to Israeli Security
Syria Red lines that cannot be crossed
US official to meet Syrian negotiator Washington downplays suggestions of further shift in US attitudes toward Middle Eastern adversaries.
Obama: Israeli Strike Against Syria Last Year “Appropriate”
Syrian envoy to US loses top negotiator Adviser to Syrian PM to take Daoudi's place; State Department: Unclear whether Welch will meet envoy
Al Hayat Good Luck to Sarkozy with Syria! Randa Takieddine - Sarkozy has driven Syria out of the international isolation it has been mired in since the UN SC Resolution 1559 and the assassination of PM Hariri.
Syrian President Reportedly Relieves 18 Officers From Leadership Posts

The Truth About "March 14" By: Michael J. Totten CommentaryLebanon's ragtag anti-Syrian coalition, the "March 14" Movement, harbors a great deal of extreme moral ugliness.
Lebanon's 'Soldiers of Virtue'By Fouad Ajami The Cedar Revolution was no match for Hezbollah.
Comment on U.S. support for the Lebanese army by Timur Goksel, MESH
Daily Star Lebanon can reap the rewards of Moallem's diplomatic prowess
Hezbollah's Formidable Weapons Arsenal Under Fresh Scrutiny By: Nicholas Blanford The Christian Science Monitor Lebanon's new government is slated to review the militant Shiite party's weapons as part of a national defense strategy once it takes office. The prisoner swap with Israel has given Hezbollah new leverage
Lebanon Deal Eases Tensions By: Dominic Moran ISN Security WatchThe Lebanese political settlement has eased tensions both domestically and in the wider Middle East, promoting movement on a number of diplomatic fronts while contributing to prospects for a potential regional realignment
Hezbollah Brigades propaganda specialist captured in Baghdad
Lebanon to invest in Iraqi Kurdistan

Friday, July 18, 2008


Al Awsat The Disengagement of Syria and Iran : Huda al Husseini
Triumph and tragedy in the Middle East Jonathan Steele: There was mourning in Israel and Lebanon today but most pundits see the exchange of prisoners and bodies as a victory for Hizbullah
Daily Star Hizbullah will keep on winning until Israel plays by a new set of rules
Can Resolution 1701 last much longer? By Michael Young
Prisoners’ Homecoming a Triumph for Hezbollah In a large celebration of the release of five prisoners from Israel, Hezbollah sought to rally Lebanon behind its yellow flag.
ANALYSIS / It took 2 years, but Nasrallah kept promise to free Kuntar
Nasrallah 'most admired' Arab leader 99% of Lebanese Shi'ites: Israel is weaker than it looks, only matter of time before it's defeated
Yedioth Ahronoth The war is now over/ Ben Reuven Despite Hizbullah’s ‘victory celebrations,’ it too paid a heavy price for war
Letter to Lebanese people
Newsweek What Israeli Prisoner Swap Could Mean for Hamas
Hezbollah celebrates prisoner swap, while Israel mourns
Israeli critics question lopsided prisoner swap...
WINEP Hizballah's Military Wing Under Pressure Despite Political Gains
Israel concerned by U.S. plans to meet with Iranian envoy Jerusalem source: Demand to end uranium enrichment as precondition to talks should stand
Here are the results of that war In two and a half years of Olmert's government, Israel has failed in four different campaigns

New York Times News Analysis: Policy Shift Seen in U.S. Decision on Iran Talks
A test of US flexibility toward Iran Laura Rozen: The Bush administration's decision to negotiate with Iran is a symbolic gesture but not necessarily a shift in US policy
Washington Post Iran and U.S. Signaling Chance of Deal
Guardian Talks are back on
Editorial: America's decision to send a senior official to meet with Iran marks a major, and long overdue, policy change,
US hints at Iranian diplomatic thaw Foreign minister Mottaki welcomes Washington's 'positive' stance prior to Geneva talks
Keep watch on the hawks Abbas Edalat: US policy on Iran seems to be softening, but the world must stay vigilant to avert the threat of war
The American dream invades Iran Masoud Golsorkhi: The US is popular with the Iranian people, and creating diplomatic ties will destabilise the regime more than any military attack
Taming the hawk Simon Tisdall: Washington's decision to talk to Iran is a significant shift in US foreign policy
Financial Times A gesture that Iran should not spurn The package of international economic support, security guarantees and help with its civilian nuclear programme now on offer is one that Tehran should embrace
The Times Bush U-turn opens way to talks with Iran
A senior American diplomat will meet Iran's nuclear negotiator this weekend, to the dismay of Washington's hardliners

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Is There Really a Window of Opportunity for Negotiations with Syria? - Shlomo Brom. (Strategic Assessment-INSS-Tel Aviv University)
Assad: “Bush Cannot Make Peace;” Economist on Syria’s Economic Outlook
'Israel’s Airstrike on Syria's Reactor: Implications for the Nonproliferation Regime' by Leonard S. Spector and Avner Cohen, Arms Control Today
Middle East Times Syria’s Chance:In an editorial on the current indirect negotiations between Israel and Syria, the paper says the time has come for Damascus to make a bold move toward the Israelis.
The Kurds, Israel and the Future of Syria FrontPage
Al Awsat Religious and Political Shiism in Syria
Syria prepared to break links with Iran
SWJ The Syria Card
Signs Point to Impending Syrian Breakaway From Iran Middle East Times
French sources: Syria may 'rethink' ties with Iran
Amir Taheri A Syrian at the parade - GulfNews
Regime change in Syria JOSEPH PUDER
Advice for Assad By ALON BEN-MEIRThe Mediterranean conference offers the Syrian president a chance to achieve an historic breakthrough.
With whom will Syria make peace? More than at any other time in the past, it seems the ball is in Israel's court - but this court is covered in thick political mud
Peace would hurt Syria-Iran relations'
Breakthrough for Syria and Lebanon in Paris The European Union and its Mediterranean neighbours launched a new platform for their relationship on Sunday at a summit boosted by a promise from Lebanon and Syria to open embassies in each other’s capital

Shebaa Farms: key to stability? Claimed by Lebanon and occupied by Israel, it will get new attention as the two countries' last remaining major dispute if a Hezbollah-Israeli prisoner swap is successful.
Daily Star Hizbullah's strength should be the Lebanese state's, too
MESH Mapping of vulnerabilities in Lebanon