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