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