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This Friday's Iranian elections, the view from Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi; Posted 6:00AM GMT, Wednesday, June 10, 2009COMMENTS:   COMMENTS:   

A tight race for Iran's contentious presidential elections

Global Power Barometer (GPB): What is your impression of the 2009 Iranian presidential race so far?



Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi: This Friday, June 12, will be a special moment in the history of Islamic Republic whose legitimacy as well as its international standing will benefit by allowing a highly competitive race featuring multiple candidates vying for a share of Iran's 46 million eligible voters.

The whole country has been riveted by the electrifying euphoria of a democratic implosion that is somewhat reminiscent of the early days of Islamic revolution. Irrespective of the final outcome -- and there is a distinct possibility of a run-off due to the strong challenges to the incumbent president Ahmadinejad by the three "establishment" candidates. This election is noteworthy for its qualitative expansion of political society reflected in the surge of democratization that, in all likelihood, will not recede after the elections. The current regime's consolidation and growing self-confidence are major factors for this unprecedented "deliberative democracy"(1) in Iran. The debate is dominated by polarizing discourses and intense acrimony, thanks in part to the 6 nationally-televised debates among the four candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister, Mehdi Karoubi, a liberal clergy, Mohsen Rezaee, a former commander of revolutionary guards, and president Ahmadinejad, who continues to enjoy the confidence of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

The TV debates, forbidden in the past 9 elections, as well as TV commercials, mass rallies and the like, have played a decisive role in galvanizing public attention. They have even sharpened the political cleavages, with both intended and unintended results that will likely transcend the presidential race and deepen the democratic rampart of Iran's part theocratic, part republican system. In a sense, we are witnessing the coming of age of Islamic Republic, its increased recourse to the modern trappings of democracy reflecting an evolutionary process that is very promising despite the various flaws of the electoral system, including inadequate time for campaigning and arbitrary exclusions; the revision of outdated elections laws is long overdue.

GPB: What do you think turnout will be?

Afrasiabi: Of course, voter turnout is key and based on what we have already witnessed in the streets of Iran and at political gatherings, it is fairly certain there will be a higher turnout than the last election's 60 percent of the electorate. My guess is it will be around 80 percent, partly because of the unique mobilization of various social strata, women, students, and ethnic minorities.

GPB: What are the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate including president Ahmadinejad?



Afrasiabi: Ahmadinejad's main weakness is that he faces three opponents who can split the votes and thus deny him a first round victory - that requires a minimum 50 percent of the votes. His other weakness is caused by the strength of his reformist opponents, Mousavi and Karoubi, who together represent a bold re-emergence of the reform movement, which was dealt a severe blow in the previous presidential and parliamentary races. Having recuperated with zeal and energy, the "return" of Islamist liberal democratic politics in Iran may be the most salient feature of this election. Mousavi and Karoubi both have a strong appeal to the disgruntled voters who question the president's economic, social, and some of his foreign policies. Also, mention must be made of the changing international environment spearheaded by Obama's presidency, that has led some Iranians to the conclusion that Ahmadinejad was a necessary antidote to the "axis of evil" Bush but who may no longer be appropriate today. This is why the reformist candidates are painting the incumbent president as "adventurist" and "extremist." Though an effective argument on the international scene, I doubt, however, that this resonates much with Ahmadinejad's populist mass constituency, which happens to be more socially conservative and militant with respect to foreign policy issues and, I hasten to add, has also benefited from his economic populism.

With respect to Mousavi, his main weakness is a long absence from government affairs. He is inward looking and has an overly rationalist approach not backed by a detailed program. Yet, his Khatami-style championing of d'tente with the West, prioritizing national interests by de-ideologizing Iran's foreign policy, and his emphasis on personal liberties and rule of law may translate into substantial votes.  However, chances are he will fall short of dislodging a "national-security minded" president who is an answer to the post 9/11 securitization of Iran's external environment as a result of US' interventionism.

GPB: Who do you think will win?



Afrasiabi: In the absence of reliable polls in Iran and all the signs of a very tight race, it is difficult to predict. My guess is that there will be no clear winner the first round and the top two candidates in the run-off will be Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. If Ahmadinejad's bid for re-election fails, this would be partly due to the lack of a coherent campaign strategy and multiple tactical errors on his part. For example, he has made raucous attacks on some ruling elite personalities, accusing them of corruption and nepotism. These attacks mostly have backfired with some of Ahmadinejad's own supporters such as the "principalist" women, the Islamic Society of Engineers, and the Coalition of Forces of Imam's Line.

With timely adjustments, Ahmadinejad may be able to survive his self-inflicted wounds, particularly given the numerous advantages of incumbency and his ability to fend off some criticisms over the economy and foreign affairs. After all, despite 15 percent unemployment and 24 percent inflation, Iran has a growing economy today and is certainly not in recession. Add to this the fact that Ahmadinejad has taken credit for making major strides in Iran's nuclear program, which is a source of national pride.

GPB: What would be the effect of a truly competitive election on a second term for Ahmadinejad?

Arasiabi: His second term will be deeply impacted by the tumultuous race. We are likely to see a more moderate Ahmadinejad but regardless of who wins, it will be tough to negotiate the nuclear standoff because of the open elections bestowing legitimacy on the current regime.

(1) For more on this see, Afrasiabi, "Problems of deliberative democracy in Iran": http://www.payvand.com/news/01/may/1037.html

Afrasiabi has taught political science at Tehran University, Boston University, and Bentley College. Afrasiabi has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Binghamton University, Center For Strategic Research, Tehran and Institute For Strategic Studies in Paris. Afrasiabi has written several books in relation to Iranian foreign policy and Iran ? United States relations, including After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (1994), Nir/North: A Cinematic Story about the Iran-Contra Affair (1996), Iran's Nuclear Program: Debating Facts Versus Fiction (2006)and Reading in Iran's Foreign Policy After September 11 (2008).

 

Current Tallies/ Rankings

 
 

Denver Research Group president and director of research, Charles M. (Chuck) McLean dies

 

The author of the Global Power Barometer section of the Washington Post was Chuck McLean. We are sad to report that Chuck passed away in October of 2010, about the time that these posts began to dwindle. (obituary: http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20101008/OBITUARIES/101009824) You are welcome to continue posting, but we do not plan, nor would we be aptly able, to replace Chuck. Thus, this feature will not have any new postings other than from your comments. Carry on.

   

12/3/2013 11:54:53 AM

Nick Nicholson

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message for Khairi + Rick

 

Am disappointed that your correspondence has ended. would be interested in your views on the arab spring, syria etc can you point me in the right direction.

   

1/19/2012 2:15:13 AM

the goose, england

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My word, this still working,,,

 

   

2/9/2011 9:54:06 AM

kj/paris

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Iran Going Nuclear.

 

I suppose Rick; according to some nuclear experts that once the rods are places in the Iranian nuclear facility; likely date 21st August, neither Israel nor anyone else will likely attack Iran for fear of nuclear radiation in the Gulf region. Personally, I don't think Israel cares very much about such a prospect, but to the contrary, it puts plenty of pressure on the Gulf Arab states to help do something about Iran's nuclear ambitions. I think what is still stopping Israel is the possible international turmoil after a missile war starts in the region. I don't think Israel is or will be ready for such a war prospect, despite all the talk of missile defense and Iron Dome.

   

8/15/2010 2:53:11 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

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Netanyahu’s warning …

 

An interesting article is in today’s WP by George Will Khairi and Goose … ___ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/13/AR2010081304474.html?sub=AR ___ Here are a few excerpts: ___ Today's Middle East reflects two developments. One is the rise of Iran and militant Islam since the 1979 revolution, which led to al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. The other development is the multiplying threat of missile warfare. ___ Now Israel faces a third threat, the campaign to delegitimize it in order to extinguish its capacity for self-defense. ___ From 1948 through 1973 enemies tried to "eliminate Israel by conventional warfare." Having failed, they tried to demoralize and paralyze Israel with suicide bombers and other terrorism. "We put up a fence," Netanyahu says. "Now they have rockets that go over the fence." Israel's military, which has stressed offense as a solution to the nation's lack of strategic depth, now stresses missile defense. ___ If Iran were to "wipe the Zionist entity off the map," as it vows to do, it would, Netanyahu believes, achieve a regional "dominance not seen since Alexander." Netanyahu does not say that Israel will, if necessary, act alone to prevent this. Or does he? ___ "For the first time in 2,000 years, a sovereign Jewish people could defend itself against attack." And he says: "The tragic history of the powerlessness of our people explains why the Jewish people need a sovereign power of self-defense." If Israel strikes Iran, the world will not be able to say it was not warned. ___ Of course the “campaign to delegitimize” Israel cannot fail to succeed, because it is obviously an illegitimate state, created out from Arab land at the whim of “His Majesty” as a result of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and the hubris of the conquering US allied forces in 1947.

   

8/14/2010 5:47:51 AM

Rick

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Braying for Iran.

 

In the vein of pointless braying Rick, I think the US deterrence against Iran has finally crumbled; not that the Obama administration policy towards Iran was anything to write home about even from the start.

   

7/10/2010 8:59:33 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Saber rattling …

 

Senator Charles Robb and General Charles Wald write in today’s WP:___ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/08/AR2010070805070.html___ “We cannot afford to wait indefinitely to determine the effectiveness of diplomacy and sanctions. Sanctions can be effective only if coupled with open preparation for the military option as a last resort. Indeed, publicly playing down potential military options has weakened our leverage with Tehran, making a peaceful resolution less likely. ___ Instead, the administration needs to expand its approach and make clear to the Iranian regime and the American people: If diplomatic and economic pressures do not compel Iran to terminate its nuclear program, the U.S. military has the capability and is prepared to launch an effective, targeted strike on Tehran's nuclear and supporting military facilities. ___ Our triple-track strategy does not guarantee complete success. However, the likely alternatives are more alarming, with a perilous conflict involving a nuclear Iran becoming more probable each day. The stakes are too high to rely on sanctions and diplomacy without credibly preparing for a potential military strike as well. We cannot fall prey to the inertia of resignation. Bold U.S. leadership is required.” ___ Charles S. Robb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia, and Charles Wald, a retired general and air commander in the initial stages of Operation Enduring Freedom, are co-authors of the Bipartisan Policy Center report "Meeting the Challenge: When Time Runs Out." ___ Greetings Khairi and Goose ... Keep on braying lol ...

   

7/9/2010 5:58:35 AM

Rick

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Goosed

 

Au bout de soufle mon petit chou...chim..chimeny chim chim cherue

   

7/1/2010 1:28:58 PM

jonny helleday, londres

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From Madaba, How Nice.

 

Please Horse, bray for our souls; mine and Rick's.

   

7/1/2010 12:57:05 PM

khairi janbek,paris/france

0

 
 

Tying the knot....mission impossible

 

Laurel(Rick) and Hardy(Khairi)......1200hours dress code tared and feathered....bells on sunday...

   

7/1/2010 4:19:38 AM

the Braying horse, Madaba, Jordan

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Ricardo and Lucy

 

Keep it real

   

7/1/2010 4:10:26 AM

from the Peking Duck

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re-religion and the goose.

 

I don't know what Rick thinks, but I am getting the feeling we are in the shooting gallery of a fun fare.

   

7/1/2010 1:53:07 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Spiritual Goose Bumps.......

 

Dear rick and Huwwa The Palestinian issue. I am alarmed to learn that all bridges of communication seem to have been withdrawn between local parties ie. communities on the ground. Would it not be possible for orthodox rabbi's, Imams representing all the traditions and Bishops from the churches of the Holy city of Jerusalem meet collectively under the banner of the United Nations (refer to:The Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed by all parties after the tradegy of the second world war recognising the emmense sufferig of the jews and gypsys and muslims of europe)and cordinate an aspiration for pax domino (kindly refer to the goals as set out by Peace One Day Campaign (led by Jeremy Gilley and Tim Bennet, Pullu etc) a recognised UN day of Peace on the 21st September 2010 when the distribution of essential Medicine supplies , food and movement of people can occur without the involvement of partisan politicians and bureaucrats but by transparent NGO's . One should aim never to forget the Absolute the Almighty all seeing and all hearing manefest in the macro and microscopic elemnts of society. In particular the emphasis I believe should be placed on the microcosm in society the FAMILY,the mother(UMM) and chid(BINT)(Mary and Issah:Issac and Ishmael))the father STRIVING to feed his family. Governance is the prerequisite of men of divine intellect (Frithjof Schuon, perenialist sophia perenis) and with liberation of man from the basal nature. appetite ego quo vardis. Directed intelligence from the outwrd to the centre, the heart(qulb)

   

6/30/2010 9:17:38 AM

The Fat Duck returns the Goose, Bray, England

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Coordination.

 

I don't think so Rick. The Iranians are already coordinating with the Egyptians about their ship, and in any case, Egypt has already declared that, it will not stop the Iranian ship going through the Suez Canal. As for the Lebanese, I think it is just a matter of distance and convenience to go through Cyprus.

   

6/23/2010 2:38:45 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Iran to send aid ship to Gaza …

 

…carrying 1100 pounds of relief aid… ___ The Lebanese originated ship should make a port of call in Egypt Khairi, to transfer the heat from Cyprus to Mubarak.

   

6/22/2010 6:18:00 AM

Rick

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meetings and ships with fly on the wall.

 

I think Rick, there are serious issues to explore between the US and Saudia, especially in the light of the dwindling role of the country in the affairs of the region. I would say, Saudi Arabia has tried to be proactive in the affairs of the region, but unfortunately without much success, but now it cannot afford to be also unsuccessful in its reactive role towards the affairs of the region. I think there will be plenty of discussions over Iran, also a little in terms of lip service to the habitual topic of working together to solve the Palestinian problem; as no talks can be complete without having to mention Palestine. I think the saudi monarch, will try to figure out how Saudia will move in the next step once he can ascertain with some reasonable clarity, what the USA intends to do about Iran. maybe there will be a word or two about Afghanistan and what Saudia can do in this respect to help against Taliban. As for the Israeli side of the meetings, I think Mr. Netanyahu realises badly that a rift with the current Washington administration; no matter how insignificant in some people's eyes, cannot be afforded by Israel, and President Obama realises that, with mid-term elections looming, he cannot afford a head on collision with the Jewish Lobbies in the USA. I think both leaders will work on reaching a compromise and in a sense a gentleman's agreement. I suppose the Lebanese aid ships, are now in the hands of the Cypriot authorities whom would be in a very difficult position whether to allow them to proceed or not. I don't imagine Lefcosia would want to set a precedent regarding its territorial waters.

   

6/22/2010 3:20:15 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

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The next aid ship to Gaza …

 

… is now sitting in Tripoli and has been cleared by Lebanese authorities to stop on Cyprus prior to proceeding to Gaza. It cannot go straight from Tripoli to Gaza, because Lebanon is technically in a state of war with Israel.

   

6/21/2010 7:13:22 AM

Rick

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The fly on the wall …

 

Oh to be the fly on the wall Khairi, when President Obama meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on June 29, and again with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on July 6…lol

   

6/21/2010 6:47:35 AM

Rick

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Blockade.

 

As your good self knows well Rick, this blockade was concieved and started in order to bring down the Hamas government. However, since neither war nor blockade could bring down Hamas in Gaza, what would be the point of this blockade any longer. Now I understand the world is a sadistic place, and the region is not particlurly immune to sadism, and I wonder if sometimes doesn't enjoy it, but so embaressingly bluntly?.

   

6/18/2010 10:48:57 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Even the Arabs now oppose the blockade of Gaza …

 

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- The Arab world's top diplomat declared support Sunday for the people of blockaded Gaza in his first visit to the Palestinian territory since Hamas violently seized control of it three years ago. ___ The visit was latest sign that Israel's deadly raid on a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza has eased the diplomatic isolation of the Islamic militant group. ___ Israel, meanwhile, appeared to grow more isolated in the fallout over the May 31 raid as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly canceled plans Sunday to visit Paris… ___ This is a real all time low point for Israel, when even the spineless Arab leaders take the side of the Palestinians in a dispute with Israel.

   

6/17/2010 5:05:16 AM

Rick

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re-Helen.

 

Actually I heard the story some time ago Rick. I guess Helen reached a stage in her life, when she really has nothing to lose anymore when she expresses freely her opinions. I really don't believe anyone any knock an icon like her irrespective of whom agrees or disagrees with what she had said. As for not being invited to White House briefings anylonger, I really don't know why she would be still interested after so many years of doing the same thing. If I was her, I would really welcome the recpite.

   

6/16/2010 2:41:53 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Helen Thomas, a national hero …

 

Did you hear about this one Khairi? ___ "Frankly, I was shocked," said Rabbi David Nesenoff, who was at the White House for a Jewish heritage celebration on May 27 and simply asked the Hearst Newspapers columnist, "Any comments on Israel?" Her response -- that Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany, Poland and America -- triggered a wave of denunciations that a narrowly worded apology did little to quell. ___ "This was vile, a paradigm of hate talk," said Nesenoff, who was accompanied by his 17-year-old son and a friend. "She felt comfortable saying this in front of two boys with yarmulkes on." ___ Actually, I would call it an honest statement of fact. ___ A shocking thing in today’s America! ___ That is why she has been disinvited from future briefings of the White House press corps ___ Lol

   

6/16/2010 5:10:37 AM

Rick

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re-Mr. Barak

 

Thank you Rick, your good self flatters me even jokingly, giving me credit for something I wasn't even aware of. All credit goes to those whom deserve it. Mind you, It would be amusing to see Mr. Barak behind bars.

   

6/14/2010 1:37:35 PM

kairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Ehud Barak, the war criminal …

 

Good job Khairi! I see that you succeeded, in getting Barak to cancel his trip to Paris. ___ Ehud Barak was to dedicate a new Israeli booth at the Eurosatory arms fair in Paris, which opens this week. But his office announced Sunday that he would stay home while Israel forms a committee to investigate its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. ___ Pro-Palestinian activists had threatened to try to have charges brought against him for his role in the raid, which killed nine Turkish activists at sea. ___ Activists have previously tried to arrest Barak and other Israeli officials in Europe under the principle of universal jurisdiction. ___ That principle allows the prosecution of suspected war criminals in countries that have no direct connection with the events.

   

6/14/2010 9:09:43 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Russia and Iran sanctions.

 

Indeed Rick, I heard the same confusing media information from all sorts of places. Moreover, it seems that there is talk of discussions between Russia and Iran, to build another nuclear reactor!!!. I guess the Russialogists know where the buck stops in the Hierarchy of Russian politics, because personally I can't say I am sure. Still, if the buck stops still at Mr. Putin's desk, then he has told president Sarkozy today, that Russia intends to suspend the missile deal with Iran. Now, does the word "suspend" smack of a compromise statement amidst all this confusion?, well, might just be that. I guess we are still none the wiser.

   

6/11/2010 4:47:14 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Will they or won’t they lol …

 

MOSCOW -- A Kremlin official says Russia will not be able to deliver S-300 air-defense missiles to Iran because of the new U.N. sanctions. ___ The Kremlin official spoke the day after the Foreign Ministry spokesman said the sanctions did not forbid delivery of the missile systems. ___ Israel and the U.S. have urged Russia not to supply the S-300, which would substantially increase Iran's defense capability. Russia agreed to sell the missiles in 2007, but has not delivered them. ___ Among other things, the U.N. Security Council resolution passed Wednesday bans Iran from buying certain types of heavy weapons. ___ The Kremlin official, speaking Friday on condition of anonymity, said "the S-300 falls under these sanctions." ___ It looks like the “Russian officials” have a little disagreement amongst themselves Khairi. Not that it matters lol … the U.S. and Israel are the big losers in this and the Gaza Blockade fiascos.

   

6/11/2010 6:27:30 AM

Rick

0

 
 

report ffrom the Hind

 

We is drinking sass..purr...ella...hic...hic

   

5/22/2010 4:11:52 AM

the Goose, some around the south china seas

0

 
 

politics and demography.

 

One is always uncomfortable Ric, with the issue of demography, simply because; at least in the case of the Middle East, the most important issue which is likley to hit the scene is the water issue rather than oil. It is likely to be more dangerous for the whole region than even the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I mean, close enough, the case of Egypt, Sudan and the other Nile reparian countries is a mild version of possible things to come. I don't know about eunnucs, but they don't seem to get the recognition they deserve in history. Or they deserve it?.

   

5/20/2010 8:39:54 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Leave It To The Beaver…

 

…used to be my favorite TV show 50 or so years ago…LOL... ___ Welcome aboard Beaver. Join our friendly club of ad-hoc commentators-at-large on world events of interest to none but we few LOL. ___ “The famous eunuch Chinese Admiral explorer Cheng Ho sailed the Indian Ocean with his Treasure Fleet in the 15th century, long before Columbus sailed the ...” ___ Uh oh… you didn’t mean to impersonate The Eunuch did you… LOL

   

5/20/2010 7:39:53 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Re: Peace Talks

 

I think the alternative Khairi, as I frequently repeat, is the inexorable advance of demographics, which will gradually over a period of the next three or four decades turn the present so called “State of Israel”, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza into a single, undivided, Palestinian state. This will be aided and abetted by the not-so-slow draining of the world wide oil barrel, which will make the Arab and Persian states, and their behind-the-scenes allies Russia and China, incredibly rich and powerful at the expense of the rapidly weakening and waning West and Israel. Israel has celebrated its 60th birthday; it will never see its 100th, let alone 120th.

   

5/20/2010 7:22:59 AM

Rick

0

 
 

nEWS FROM THE HOOD

 

The Goose has laid a Golden Egg and is sailing on the Golden Hinde.....ChEng Ho

   

5/19/2010 9:58:17 PM

the Beaver,Texas us of A

0

 
 

Peace Talks.

 

It is very hard to judge the situation Rick. I mean war is not on the agenda for either the Palestinians or the Arabs at large. Let us assume for a second that, war is the alternative, will such a war create a Palestinian state especially, if weapons of mass destruction are used by all against all?. It may well turn out to be true, that whether Mr. abbas talks or doesn't will make no difference regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, but what else can be done?, joining Hamas in further enciclement and deprivation for the Palestinian people?.

   

5/17/2010 1:28:17 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Palestinians mark displacement in 1948 Mideast war

 

Loyalists of rival groups Hamas and Fatah held Palestinian flags and a giant key symbolic of their hoped-for return as part of annual commemorations of what they call the "catastrophe," or "nakba" in Arabic. The names of the villages and towns emptied during the war were written across the key, alongside the slogan "We will return." ___ The plight of the refugees - who fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948 Israeli-Arab war - is one of the most emotionally charged issues for Palestinians and Israel to resolve. ___ Some 4.7 million Palestinians refugees and their descendants are scattered across the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, according to U.N. figures. About one-third still live in U.N.-supported refugee camps. ___ In Lebanon, the militant Hezbollah group, which fought a guerrilla war against Israeli forces until they withdrew from south Lebanon in 2000, said in a statement that "resistance and sacrifice" are the only way to retake Arab-claimed lands. ___ "At the 62nd anniversary of nakba, we call upon all Arabs to keep the Palestinian cause alive in the eyes and hearts of all generations," said Hezbollah, which also battled Israel in a 34-day war in 2006 that left some 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead. ___ [This is another reason Khairi that the peace talks are a charade with nowhere to go but failure. George Friedman said in this weeks issue of STRATFOR.com that even Obama just wants to keep the peace talks “alive” to show that there is a “process” in place, and that he is “doing something” that he thinks/hopes will take the heat of Muslim anger off U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan. He knows that there is zero hope of peace in face of the Jerusalem and West Bank occupations by Israel and the Refugee issue. This “process” is just a farce and should not be condoned by Palestinians much less applauded by their supporters.]

   

5/17/2010 8:17:37 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Accountable.

 

President Obama seems to indicate,Rick, that if either side; Palestinian or Israeli is responsible for the failure of negotiations, then that side will be held accountable by his administration. Words?, or deeds?.

   

5/13/2010 8:22:23 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israelis: No halt to east Jerusalem construction

 

JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hawkish coalition partners vowed Thursday to keep building Jewish homes and demolishing unauthorized Palestinian homes in contested east Jerusalem - despite indications the Israeli leader has put the brakes on both. ___ On Thursday, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai of the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party reasserted his claim that Israel would never freeze construction in east Jerusalem - the sector of the holy city that Palestinians claim for a future capital. ___ "We will build in every part of Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people's homeland for eternity, and I made this clear to our American friends and colleagues as well," Yishai, whose ministry is authorized to approve Jerusalem construction, told Shas' Yom Leyom weekly. ___ "If there was a postponement, it's no longer in effect," he told parliament. ___ The demolitions have become a hot-button issue because the Palestinians claim that Israel gives them no choice but to build in east Jerusalem without authorization because it gives them very few permits. ___ About 193,000 Jews have moved to east Jerusalem in the past 43 years, where they live alongside 263,000 Palestinians. ___ Netanyahu maintains Israel has the right to build in all of Jerusalem and says he won't share the city with the Palestinians. But the Palestinians, the U.S. and the rest of the international community do not recognize the annexation and presume sovereignty will be shared between Israel and the Palestinians under any final agreement. ___ According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, Israel razed 449 unauthorized Palestinian homes between 2004 and 2009. ___ [I agree with your good self Khairi. Now is the time for President Obama to assert himself, if that is his intention. Will the Real President Obama please stand up?]

   

5/13/2010 5:36:31 AM

Rick

0

 
 

So much for proximity talks.

 

I would say Rick, that the proximity talks have only one objective, and that is, to save whatever can be saved from the west bank for the Palestinians. As I often wrote before, Mr. Abbas has been in the position of damned if you do; damned if you don't, for a very long time, and the talks now, are a last ditch attempt (I think) for Mr. Obama to redeem himself in Arab eyes. That is of course if he finds such a redemption desirable.

   

5/12/2010 5:10:14 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israel pledges a united Jerusalem despite pressure

 

JERUSALEM -- Israel is celebrating the 43rd anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification and its leaders are pledging to keep the city undivided. ___ The festivities come as disputes over Israeli building in east Jerusalem take center stage in international peacemaking efforts. ___ The Palestinians claim predominantly Arab east Jerusalem as their future capital. The U.S. and the Palestinians have demanded that Israel stop building in that part of the city. ___ Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Wednesday said the city's boundaries are "nonnegotiable." Speaking at a Jerusalem Day event, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the Jewish people's "unbreakable bond" with the holy city. He vowed to continue construction throughout the city. ___ [So much for the so-called Proximity Talks Khairi.]

   

5/12/2010 6:21:36 AM

Rick

0

 
 

proximity.

 

In order for both, the Palestinians and the Israelis to be held accountable; as President Obama said, some sort of talks must start between the two sides Rick. I guess proximity talks are a good start, but the real proof of the pudding regarding Mr. Netanyahu's intentions about the two-states solution, is dumping his current coalition partners. As for the Syrian-Russian relations, I would say trade and armamrnts are on the mind of both sides, therefore I wouldn't read to much between the lines if I were your good self. Any message from Israel to president Bashar, is likely to be a warning.

   

5/11/2010 4:16:59 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Russian, Syrian presidents hold talks in Damascus

 

DAMASCUS, Syria -- Russia's president is holding a new round of talks with his Syrian counterpart amid new Israeli war threats against both Syria and Iran. ___ Dmitry Medvedev is on a two-day visit to Syria, the first visit by a Russian president in the history of relations between the two countries. ___ The trip is part of a flurry of diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions between Syria and Israel. Tensions have risen since Israel accused Syria of transferring Scud missiles to Hezbollah, a claim Damascus denies. ___ Israeli President Shimon Peres' office has said Medvedev agreed to deliver a message to President Bashar Assad. ___ Medvedev and Assad are also expected to discuss Iran's nuclear program, military cooperation and developing economic relations during Tuesday's talks. ___ [Rumor has it Khairi, that the “message” delivered by Medvedev to Assad is far from the one that Peres believes to have been delivered. The real message is to be patient. The U.S. led proximity talks have no chance of success. Israel will continue with its illegal occupation of Jerusalem and the West Bank, and will continue to fall ever deeper into its status as world pariah. Israel will not receive U.S. backing for an attack on either Syria or Iran, and any such attacks would just be a further disaster for the future of the illegitimate so-called “Jewish State”. Continued consolidation of the SCO block, led by Russia and China, and soon to include Iran, Iraq and other Arab states, are about to put an end to US/Israeli axis intimidation and domination of the Middle East.]

   

5/11/2010 8:03:24 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Israeli construction plans trouble new peace talks

 

JERUSALEM -- Israel said Monday it has no intention of halting construction of Jewish housing in hotly contested east Jerusalem, a first sign of trouble for newly launched U.S.-mediated peace talks. ___ Palestinians accused Israel of undermining trust and urged President Barack Obama to intervene. ___ The comments on construction from Israeli Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser came a day after the White House praised Israel for agreeing to hold off construction of a major east Jerusalem housing project. It also spotlighted the delicate balancing act of an Israeli government seeking to please both the Obama administration and hard-line coalition partners… ___ “Building is expected to begin soon in Har Homa ... and Neve Yaakov, where (construction) bids have been issued," Hauser told Army Radio, referring to two east Jerusalem neighborhoods. "Building in Jerusalem is continuing according to its regular pace." ___ "The Americans said some words to us, and they said some words to the Israelis, and now it's up to the U.S. administration to answer such things," Abbas told reporters… ___ [O.K. President Obama… let’s see what kind of stuff you are made of… steel or sand … LOL.] ___ Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Israeli plans for east Jerusalem undermined trust-building as the U.S. tries to get the indirect negotiations, or proximity talks, moving. ___ "The whole concept of proximity talks is to give Senator George Mitchell and U.S. President Barack Obama the chance they deserve," Erekat said. "If they begin doing this (building), I think they will take down the proximity talks." ___ Palestinian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing private communications with the Americans, said U.S. officials had assured them that Israel would refrain from authorizing new housing in both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, though projects already under way could be finished. ___ On the ground currently, construction is proceeding on hundreds of previously approved housing units for Jews in east Jerusalem. ___ Israeli Cabinet Minister Dan Meridor on Monday reiterated his government's position that Jerusalem must remain the Jewish state's undivided capital. He said Israel could not accept a "discriminatory" policy that barred Jews from living in certain parts of the city. ___ Israel annexed east Jerusalem after capturing it from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war, but no other country has recognized that.

   

5/11/2010 7:38:16 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun.

 

Don't worry Rick, the Goose may not want to join us, but she never sups alone. In my old age unfortunately, these days I have to delete one piece of information from my memory in order to acquire a new one, therefore unfortunately this is the story of the colours. Old age I suppose; something the Goose should know. I think all in the hands of President Obama now, as Britain will need a few months to get its barings, and even then, it is most likely to continue playing second-fiddle to the USA.

   

5/10/2010 4:21:08 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israel’s biggest fear...

 

“...The biggest fear of some in Israel appears to be the appointment of Clegg as the next British foreign secretary... [Another strong point in favor of Clegg...] ___ The prospects are nothing if not exciting and full of uncertainties. Yet all those in the Middle East, Israelis, Arabs, and Iranians, can rest easy. The next government will not be focusing on their part of the world ahead of other priorities, and when it does, it will not be in a position to make major changes in the region.” ___ [So it remains up to Obama to make the required changes in the Middle East policy stance of the West...]

   

5/10/2010 8:42:27 AM

Rick

0

 
 

What the British elections might mean for Middle East policy

 

Posted by Rosemary Hollis, Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 10:22 AM in Khairi’s Foreign Policy magazine ___ “The Middle East has not received much attention in the British electoral campaign. Yet whoever forms the next government will have to establish a stance on the putative Middle East peace process, on Iran, on relations with the Arab Gulf states, including security cooperation and arms sales, and on developments in Iraq, even if British troops are no longer on the ground there. ___ Judging by the statements of the three main party leaders in their televised debate on foreign policy, all are supportive of British troops in Afghanistan, but none want to see them remain there indefinitely. Labour Party leader Gordon Brown has nonetheless argued that the British deployment is integral to a broader strategy to counter the forces of extremism that could still inspire or instigate attacks on British soil. ___ However, neither Brown nor his Conservative and Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) opponents, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, respectively, have given much airtime to the role that resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict could play in countering extremism in Europe. Their positions, which are not dissimilar, give more emphasis to the needs of both the Israelis and the Palestinians for their own sakes, and all support a 'two-state' solution, though Clegg has gone further in criticizing the blockade of Gaza. ___ In the Middle East, both Palestinians and Israelis are interested to know whether British public opinion will weigh in future government calculations. Indeed, both have noticed the emergence of more vocal support for the Palestinians on British university campuses and in public demonstrations of late. The Israelis are particularly attentive to calls for a boycott of Israeli imports, or at least a bar on products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. ___ This points to the wider context within which the next British government will have to deal with a range of foreign-policy issues, including those in the Middle East. ___ It is the United States that has adopted the lead on reviving peace talks, and it would make no sense for the future British government to adopt a significantly different line than Washington. Also, as of the Dec. 8 EU statement on the Arab-Israeli conflict, echoed in the most recent pronouncement of the "quartet" (that groups the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia), all EU members have agreed to a joint position on the conflict. ___ It would be a surprise if the next British government chose to row back on this agreed position. However, unless the Labour Party is able to lead the next government, there could be changes in British relations with both the European Union and the United States under either a Conservative or a combined Conservative and Lib Dem leadership. ___ While the Tories are mostly Euro-skeptics, the Lib Dems are positively enthusiastic about British involvement in the European Union. Also, the Conservatives have no special rapport with Barack Obama's administration in Washington, and the Lib Dems have talked about the need to end London's "subservient" deference to U.S. leadership. ___ In recent days Israeli newspapers have run stories warning about the potentially negative prospects for Israel of a British government that accords a prominent position to the Lib Dems. They regard Nick Clegg and his party as positively pro-Palestinian. Yet the Israelis are also interested in how a new British government will handle a diminution in the so-called special relationship with the United States. ___ [Clegg sounds pretty good so far to me Goose.]

   

5/10/2010 8:21:57 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Cameron and Clegg

 

Thanks for the post Goose. I must confess that you sent me racing to Google to learn who in the devil Cameron and Clegg are. The following excerpt from an April 30 article in The Independent represents the extent of my knowledge thus far. Further research will be required to learn their stances on the Middle East issues. I will get back to you on that shortly. ___ “David Cameron emerged as the winner from the party leaders' final television debate last night despite a final "trust me" plea by Gordon Brown on the economy. ___ Three instant polls gave victory in the debate to the Tory leader but suggested that the Liberal Democrats are still big players in the election race by putting Nick Clegg in second place. A fourth poll scored last night's debate as a draw between Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg. The Liberal Democrats declared they were now in a "two-horse race" with the Tories. ___ A ComRes survey for ITV News found that the Tory leader was seen as the winner by 35 per cent, with Mr Clegg on 33 per cent and Mr Brown on 26 per cent.” ___ As for the infamous case of the disappearing colors, of which Khairi conveniently claims a lapse of memory, I’m sure that between us we can twist Khairi’s arm to force a replacement when we meet prior to or during our night(s) out on the town. Lol.

   

5/10/2010 7:29:43 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Cheerio..

 

Rick, how can we help the process? Will Cameron or Clegg help or hinder the process...... Brown seems to be a dead man walking. Will you kindly HELP me get my tie back from Khairi or else the Goose sups alone.

   

5/8/2010 12:47:15 PM

the Goose.London, England

0

 
 

re-IAEA.

 

I suppose I should start saving too Rick. But since both of us are in need to save our pennies, I guess the Goose as a good friend, and rolling with Sterling, can pick up the tab !!!. Regarding the Israeli nuclear issue, I am not sure Rick, that the Arabs and the five powers of the Security Council are agreed. I may be wrong but, I remember the five powers want to raise the issue after peace in the Middle East, while the Arabs want the issue raised seriously now.

   

5/6/2010 5:03:29 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

IAEA chief focuses on Israel

 

VIENNA -- The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog is asking for international input on an Arab-led push to have Israel join the Nonproliferation Treaty, in a move that adds to pressure on the Jewish state to disclose its unacknowledged nuclear arsenal. ___ [It’s about time don’t you think Khairi?] ___ On Wednesday, The Associated Press disclosed that International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano had sent a letter soliciting proposals from the agency's 151 member states on how to persuade Israel to sign the treaty. And the world's five recognized nuclear-weapons powers - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China - reaffirmed the goal of a nuclear-free Middle East. ___ The latest pressure is putting the Jewish state in an uncomfortable position. It wants the international community to take stern action to prevent Iran from getting atomic weapons but at the same time brushes off calls to come clean about its own nuclear capabilities. ___ [LOL] ___ Russian arms negotiator Anatoly I. Antonov, speaking on behalf of the five NPT nuclear powers, said these nations were "committed to full implementation" of a Middle East nuclear free zone. ___ Amano's April 7 letter comes seven months after IAEA member states at their annual Vienna conference narrowly passed a resolution directly criticizing Israel and its atomic program, with 49 of the 110 nations present in support, 45 against and 16 abstaining. ___ The resolution "expresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities," and links it to "concern about the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the security and stability of the Middle East." ___ The U.S. and its allies consider Iran the region's greatest proliferation threat, fearing that Tehran is trying to achieve the capacity to make nuclear weapons despite its assertion that it is only building a civilian program to generate power. ___ But Islamic nations insist that Israel's nuclear capacity is the true danger in the Middle East. With divisions deep, Amano's letter foreshadowed intense feuding at that September conference. ___ [I agree with the Islamic nations. The US/Israeli axis is the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East and the world.]

   

5/6/2010 10:29:44 AM

Rick

0

 
 

LOL …

 

Yep Khairi… now all I must do is save my pennies for the boat trip for two… Looking forward to a night out on the town with you and The Goose…

   

5/6/2010 7:38:19 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Proximity Talks.

 

I suppose Rick, unless their is another mishap, proximity talks are on the way, which I guess settles the question of the wager. Meal on you in Paris, and drinks on me. Mind you, over here, the drinks are more expensive than the meal. My guest.

   

5/5/2010 10:33:07 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Rightly so Rick.

 

Very true Rick, I don't know what to do without your good self as well as the goose [that is when she remembers that I am still a friend], to keep me on the straight and narrow. Even as an eternal optimist, unfortunately one can succumb to the blues and disillussion. I think the news item your good self has posted, can only show all the skeptics, that US pressure on Israel can and does work, also, that if the Washington administration wills it, historical achievments can be done. As for the Prada shoes, well, I have nothing personally against them, nor against whomever wears them, but with the talk of law-suits flying against him, I hope the wearer of the red Prada shoes will not be arrested when he steps on British soil. Right Goose?.

   

4/27/2010 9:22:21 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

My apologies Goose…

 

… for unintentionally ignoring your kind post. This web site is acting strangely from my end. I can’t see any new posts after Khairi’s “show stopper” post of April 19, unless I make a new post myself lol. Kindly give me a ring at rick22407@aol.com in the event that I so rudely ignore you in the future lol. We “friends of Khairi” must flock together, like birds of a feather, and try to keep good Khairi on the right path lol.

   

4/27/2010 3:17:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Things are looking up…

 

WASHINGTON -- The Israelis and Palestinians have taken a small, halting step toward peace talks, a modest payoff for President Barack Obama's dogged, behind-the-scenes diplomacy. ___ Word emerged Monday that the Israeli government had effectively frozen new Jewish construction in Jerusalem's disputed eastern sector. ___ In short order, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signaled he again would be ready to start indirect talks with Israel. ___ The sudden change in direction was a victory for Obama's beleaguered Mideast envoy George Mitchell, who had spent a more than a year in private talks and repeated trips to Jerusalem and Ramallah. ___ Good news Khairi…

   

4/27/2010 2:46:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

London.... cough....cough.... calling.....

 

Hello Rick I report that the sky above is blue and down below there are mutterings about rouge Prada shoes stepping on our shores for the autumn season....

   

4/26/2010 12:51:04 AM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

show-stopper.

 

In a way Rick, I hope Jerusalem does become a show-stopper, because if it doesn't, nothing really will stop the Israeli government from destroying the peace prospects. I think only President Obama can make a difference for the region this time. PS// I sent another e-mail just now. In any case, here is my own email : janbekster@gmail.com

   

4/19/2010 1:34:35 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israeli PM says Jerusalem settlements justified

 

WASHINGTON -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) says he will not accept Palestinian demands that Israel stop building settlements in East Jerusalem. ___ Appearing in an interview broadcast Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Netanyahu called that "an unacceptable demand" and said this long-standing Israeli government position is not his alone, but that it dates to governments led by Golda Meir, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. ___ Netanyahu sought to minimize differences with President Barack Obama over the Mideast peace process. But he acknowledged that "we have some outstanding issues. We're trying to resolve them through diplomatic channels in the best way that we can." ___ Looks like Jerusalem may be a show stopper Khairi. Let’s see how tough Obama can be on this. // P.S. No sign of your email yet on the North American continent Khairi. The EM waves must be lost in the aether...LOL

   

4/19/2010 12:28:29 PM

Rick

0

 
 

It is just it.

 

One would say Rick, that this is just it. The Iranian demands are not compatable with the US strategy in the region, neither with western strategy generally, nor with the strategies of the majority of the Arab countries. PS//. sent your good self a test e.mail.

   

4/18/2010 5:15:38 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Shaky…

 

This site is starting to behave a little shakily on my end Khairi. If we lose comms give me a shout on rick22407@aol.com

   

4/18/2010 8:51:58 AM

Rick

0

 
 

In exchange for helping the United States…

 

More from STRATFOR.com ___ In exchange for helping the United States the Islamic republic first wants international recognition as a legitimate entity. Second, the global community needs to recognize the Iranian sphere of influence in the Islamic world. Third, and most importantly, while it is prepared to normalize ties with the United States, Iran wants to retain its independent foreign policy. ___ Put another way, Iran wants to be treated by the Obama administration along the lines of how U.S. President Richard Nixon’s administration dealt with China during the early 1970s. The demand for respect is a critical one. Iran is not interested in rapprochement with the United States along the lines of what Libya did in 2003 when it gave up its nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for normalized relations with the United States and its Western allies. ___ Iran is not close to crossing the nuclear threshold yet, but it wants to retain that as a future option as per any deal. Iran has been emboldened by the fact that the United States is neither in a position to exercise the military option to prevent the Persian state from going nuclear, nor is it able to put together an effective sanctions regime that could affect a change in Tehran’s behavior. It is therefore using the regional dynamic as leverage to try and extract the maximum possible concessions on the nuclear issue. ___ On a further note, an arrangement based on the concept of “accept us for who we are” is critical to the interests of the Iranian regime for two reasons. First, it gets rid of the external threat of regime change. Second, it allows the Iranian regime to demonstrate on the domestic front that its aggressive foreign policy has paid off, which completely undermines its Green movement opponents. ___ It is too early to predict whether Iran can achieve its goals or not. It has moved to the final round of its efforts to use American weakness to its advantage, and at this stage it does hold a strong deck of cards.

   

4/18/2010 8:45:16 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Iran Lays Out Its Terms...

 

STRATFOR.com rights: IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD said Tuesday he would be sending U.S. President Barack Obama a letter, the contents of which would be made public in the coming days. In a live interview on state television, Ahmadinejad said that Iran was the “only chance” for Obama to salvage his administration’s position in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iranian president remarked, “The best way for him [Obama] is to accept and respect Iran and enter into cooperation. Many new opportunities will be created for him.” ___ This is not the first time Ahmadinejad has offered his American counterpart cooperation in an attempt to extract concessions. But he has never been so direct about telegraphing his view that the United States is in a difficult position in the Middle East and South Asia, nor has he offered Iran’s help so that the United States can extricate itself from the region. What is important is that the Iranian leader is pretty accurate in both his description and prescription. ___ Washington is indeed working toward a military drawdown in Iraq, and needs to make progress in Afghanistan within a very short time frame. Iran borders both these countries, where the Islamic republic has significant influence. Cognizant of Obama’s domestic political imperatives, Ahmadinejad said, “He [Obama] has but one chance to stay as head of the state and succeed. Obama cannot do anything in Palestine. He has no chance. What can he do in Iraq? Nothing. And Afghanistan is too complicated. The best way for him is to accept and respect Iran and enter into cooperation. Many new opportunities will be created for him.” ___ The Iranian president is correct in that a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely unlikely. In terms of Iraq, the Iranians recently signaled that they are prepared to accept a sizeable Sunni presence in the next Iraqi coalition government. This will facilitate the U.S. need for a balance of power in Iraq, thereby allowing Washington to exit the country. Similarly, the Americans cannot achieve the conditions for withdrawal in Afghanistan without reaching an understanding with the Iranians. ___ “In exchange for helping the United States, the Islamic republic first wants international recognition as a legitimate entity.” ___ Therefore, the maverick Iranian leader was not engaging in his usual rhetoric when he said, “Mr. Obama has only one chance and that is Iran. This is not emotional talk but scientific. He has but one place to say that ‘I made a change and I turned over the world equation’ and that is Iran.” ___ So, what exactly does Ahmadinejad want in return for helping the leader of his country’s biggest foe? ___ The answer lies in the following comment by Ahmadinejad: “Acknowledging Iran would benefit both sides and as far as Iran is concerned, we are not after any confrontation.” The Iranians are trying to bring closure to their efforts of the last eight years in which they have been trying to exploit the U.S. wars being fought in their neighborhood to achieve their geopolitical objectives. Ahmadinejad is laying out his terms.

   

4/18/2010 7:40:52 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Gates and Iran

 

It seems but I am not sure, according to the NY Times today, a memo from Sec. Gates reveals that the Obama administration, has no effective policy to deal with Iran's nuclear programme. If this is true, then one is tilting more towards the side of the argument which I have written about before, that President Obama intends to continue on the diplomatic path, until such a time that Iran develops nuclear weapons capability and it becomes impossible to do anything military about it. How will israel react if this is all true?.

   

4/18/2010 2:36:31 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Rick, Khairi, and Ayalon.

 

If people like your good self Rick, myself, in addition to millions of others, are pushing for a US imposed solution to the Palestinian problem, and this is making Mr. Ayalon angry, then all the better I would say.

   

4/18/2010 2:32:02 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Analysis: Israel fears US wants to impose peace

 

Steven Gutkin, AP's bureau chief for Israel and the Palestinian territories, says that Israel's hardline government is deeply worried that the U.S. will try to impose a Mideast peace deal, that the Palestinians might declare statehood unilaterally and that Washington could be moving to end tensions with Syria. ___ Netanyahu fears Israel could be forced into unwanted concessions and its enemies' hands will be strengthened. ___ Obama, is speaking about the promises of peace and has taken a new unusual step, publicly characterizing Israeli-Arab strife as harmful to U.S. interests - which many interpreted as a prelude to taking action to push through a peace. ___ A forum of Israel's top seven ministers met three times this week to try to find ways to warm the chilly relationship with the Obama administration, but failed to agree on any specific measures, such as stopping Jewish construction in east Jerusalem, officials said on condition of anonymity because the meetings were closed. ___ Israeli officials have been phoning U.S. congress members for help in repairing the ties that were damaged last month when Israel announced a massive new Jewish housing project in east Jerusalem during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. ___ Israel still has not given its response to a series of demands Obama reportedly made in a tense meeting with Netanyahu in Washington on March 23. This has led to speculation that Netanyahu might be seeking to buy time in the hope that Obama would be less inclined to pressure Israel in the run-up to November's U.S. congressional elections, in which Jewish American support is key. ___ U.S. frustration over the lack of progress on Mideast peace has led to a debate in the Obama administration over whether to propose an American peace plan that would clearly outline U.S. expectations. Israeli officials fear that would mean heavy pressure on them to make territorial compromises they have so far resisted. ___ "All those who support a forced solution are in fact making the solution much less probable," said Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. ___ [He’s talking about you and me, Khairi.] ___ As the U.S. prepared to reinstall an ambassador in the Syrian capital of Damascus, Israeli intelligence officials said this week they believe Syria was transferring deadly Scud missiles to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, a claim Syria denied. ___ The current U.S.-Israeli friction might be an unavoidable outcome of having a liberal administration in Washington and a right-wing government in Israel. But with Israel's international image in tatters following its bruising offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza last year - and with the U.S. badly in need of Muslim support to accomplish its goals in Afghanistan and Iraq - patience for Israel's 43-year-old occupation of the Palestinians is wearing thin. ___ Driven by similar frustrations, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has floated the idea of unilaterally declaring statehood as early as next year - a proposal that led Israel's foreign minister to threaten to annul past peace agreements and even annex parts of the West Bank. ___ U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell is due back in the region in the coming days to try to revive a plan to have the sides begin U.S.-mediated, indirect talks. Pressuring Netanyahu ahead of talks has so far proven ineffective. Doing so instead once talks have started - and a real peace plan is on the table - could bring the Israeli leader to a moment of truth, having to choose between his hawkish partners and a more moderate coalition, between compromise and keeping all the land.

   

4/17/2010 3:37:16 PM

Rick

0

 
 

re-Israel must do more.

 

Well Rick, for the wager it is still too early to tell. One still believes that the Palestinians and Israelis should be talking, but just as important, for the Obama administration to set the parameters of those talks, and intervene actively as and when required.

   

4/16/2010 1:39:29 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israel must do more for peace…Clinton...

 

Israel must do more to pursue peace with the Palestinians and to strengthen their institutions or risk empowering militant groups such as Hamas, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday. ___ Obama has taken a much tougher line toward Israel than his recent predecessors, and on Tuesday he described solving the conflict as "a vital national security interest," suggesting he may be willing to push hard for a solution. ___ While Clinton said in a speech to a pro-peace group that the Palestinians should also promote peace by ending incitement, curbing corruption and refraining from inflammatory rhetoric, she appeared to put more responsibility on Israel. ___ "For Israel, accepting concrete steps toward peace -- both through the peace process and in the bottoms-up institution building I have described -- are the best weapons against Hamas and other extremists," Clinton said. ___ "Those who benefit from our failure of leadership traffic in hate and violence and give strength to Iran's anti-Semitic president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and extremists like Hamas and Hezbollah," she added. ___ Speaking to the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, Clinton argued that if Israel does not strengthen Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization -- which she called "a credible partner for peace" -- it will empower Hamas. ___ "Israel can and should do more to support the Palestinian Authority's efforts to build credible institutions and deliver results," Clinton said. ___ "If (Palestinian) President (Mahmoud) Abbas cannot deliver on these aspirations, there is no doubt his support will fade and Palestinians will turn to alternatives -- including Hamas. And that way leads only to more conflict," she added. ___ Clinton on Thursday repeated her view that the U.S. commitment to Israel is "rock solid." However, she also ticked off a long list of action points for Israel. ___ "We encourage Israel to continue building momentum toward a comprehensive peace by demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity, and addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza," she said. "And to refrain from unilateral statements and actions that could undermine trust or risk prejudicing the outcome of talks." ___ The United States on March 3 said Israel and the Palestinian Authority had agreed to indirect peace talks but the U.S.-Israeli settlement dispute appears to have scotched any chance of these beginning in earnest any time soon. ___ [Sadly Khairi, I have not yet lost the wager…LOL]

   

4/16/2010 8:29:16 AM

Rick

0

 
 

oh...

 

so that's what i got in my eyes. Thanks Rick, I thought I needed an eye check-up. I don't know about the goose though, but she may need a speck of dust in the eye.

   

4/15/2010 1:05:53 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Khairi and The Goose...don't go outdoors...

 

You will get volcano ash in your hair and eyes...LOL ___ Sorry...I always did have a poor sense of humour...

   

4/15/2010 11:10:39 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Endorsement of the US Peace Plan.

 

I think everyone is for common sense, and if the US peace plan for the Middle East, is going to carry those elements suggested in the article, and maybe heed the advice made by yours sincerely in my previous message (not that anyone outside our little circle of friends, gives a hoot), I would say the plan is worth endorsing by everyone. The question will remain that, if Israel or/and the Palestinians reject it, will the US go to the Security Council and impose its plan rather than merely suggest it?. Moreover, in order to impose it, will it resort to sanctions or possible diplomatic breach with tel Aviv?. Short of that, I think the Obama administration will react like a jiltted lover, and leave the area to its own devices. Devices which are usually death and vilonce, as well as reaching the edge of the abyss. Unfotunately this time, and call me a pessmist if you like, it may not be able to turn back from the edge of the abyss.

   

4/10/2010 3:33:27 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

7___ Zbigniew Brzezinski and Stephen Solarz…

 

The below comments are from an article in today’s WP by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter and is a trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Stephen Solarz, a former U.S. congressman from New York who is a member of the board of the International Crisis Group. ___ I endorse this proposal 100% for what it is worth Khairi, but would add that an absolutely iron clad arrangement must be included to guarantee that Equal Water Rights to the Jordan River are enforced for the two states of Israel and Palestine. The Golan Heights issue with Syria must also be included in this accord.

   

4/10/2010 7:16:01 AM

Rick

0

 
 

6___ The proposal could be rejected out of hand...

 

Of course, the proposal could be rejected out of hand. If the Israelis or the Palestinians refuse to accept this basic formula as the point of departure for negotiations, the Obama administration must be prepared to pursue its initiative by different means -- it cannot be caught flat-footed, as it was when Netanyahu rejected Obama's demands for a settlement freeze and the Arabs evaded his proposals for confidence-building initiatives. ___ Accordingly, the administration must convey to the parties that if the offer is rejected by either or both, the United States will seek the U.N. Security Council's endorsement of this framework for peace, thus generating worldwide pressure on the recalcitrant party. ___ Fortunately, public opinion polls in Israel have indicated that while most Israelis would like to keep a united Jerusalem, they would rather have peace without all of Jerusalem than a united Jerusalem without peace. Similarly, although the Palestinians are divided and the extremists of Hamas control the Gaza Strip, the majority of Palestinians favor a two-state solution, and their leadership in Ramallah is publicly committed to such an outcome. ___ It is time, though almost too late, for all parties -- Israelis, Palestinians, Americans -- to make a historic decision to turn the two-state solution into a two-state reality. But for that to happen, Obama must pursue a far-sighted strategy with historic audacity.

   

4/10/2010 7:00:54 AM

Rick

0

 
 

5___ For the Israelis and the Palestinians...

 

For the Israelis, who are skeptical about the willingness of the Palestinians and Arabs to make peace with them, such a bold initiative by Obama would provide a dramatic demonstration of the prospects for real peace, making it easier for Israel's political leadership to make the necessary compromises. ___ For the Palestinians, it would provide political cover to accept a resolution precluding the return of any appreciable number of refugees to Israel. Palestinian leaders surely know that no peace agreement will be possible without forgoing what many of their people have come to regard as a sacred principle: the right of return. The leadership can only make such a shift in the context of an overall pact that creates a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital -- and that is supported by other Arab countries. ___ For the Arabs, it would legitimize their own diplomatic initiative, embodied in the peace plan put forward by the Arab League eight years ago. Moreover, their support for Obama in the effort would be a vital contribution to the resolution of the conflict. ___ Finally, for Obama himself, such a move would be a diplomatic and political triumph. Bringing Arab leaders and the Quartet with him to Jerusalem and Ramallah to endorse his plan would be seen as a powerful example of leadership in coping with the protracted conflict. Since it is inconceivable that the Israeli government would refuse Obama's offer to bring Arab leaders and the Quartet to its capital, most of the American friends of Israel could be expected to welcome the move as well.

   

4/10/2010 6:54:45 AM

Rick

0

 
 

4___ The basic outlines of a durable and comprehensive peace...

 

The basic outlines of a durable and comprehensive peace plan that Obama could propose are known to all: ___ First, a solution to the refugee problem involving compensation and resettlement in the Palestinian state but not in Israel. This is a bitter pill for the Palestinians, but Israel cannot be expected to commit political suicide for the sake of peace. ___ Second, genuine sharing of Jerusalem as the capital of each state, and some international arrangement for the Old City. This is a bitter pill for the Israelis, for it means accepting that the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will become the capital of Palestine. ___ Third, a territorial settlement based on the 1967 borders, with mutual and equal adjustments to allow the incorporation of the largest West Bank settlements into Israel. ___ And fourth, a demilitarized Palestinian state with U.S. or NATO troops along the Jordan River to provide Israel greater security. ___ Most of these parameters have been endorsed in the Arab peace plan of 2002 and by the Quartet. And the essential elements have also been embraced by Barak and another former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

   

4/10/2010 6:47:01 AM

Rick

0

 
 

3___ A routine unveiling of a U.S. peace proposal...

 

However, a routine unveiling of a U.S. peace proposal, as is reportedly under consideration, will not suffice. Only a bold and dramatic gesture in a historically significant setting can generate the political and psychological momentum needed for a major breakthrough. Anwar Sadat's courageous journey to Jerusalem three decades ago accomplished just that, paving the way for the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt. ___ Similarly, President Obama should travel to the Knesset in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah to call upon both sides to negotiate a final status agreement based on a specific framework for peace. He should do so in the company of Arab leaders and members of the Quartet, the diplomatic grouping of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations that is involved in the peace process. A subsequent speech by Obama in Jerusalem's Old City, addressed to all the people in the region and evocative of his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in June 2009, could be the culminating event in this journey for peace. ___ Such an effort would play to Obama's strengths: He personalizes politics and seeks to exploit rhetoric and dramatic settings to shatter impasses, project a compelling vision of the future and infuse confidence in his audience.

   

4/10/2010 6:38:49 AM

Rick

0

 
 

2___ This is unfortunate...

 

This is unfortunate, because a comprehensive peace agreement is in the interest of all parties. It is in the U.S. national interest because the occupation of the West Bank and the enforced isolation of the Gaza Strip increases Muslim resentment toward the United States, making it harder for the Obama administration to pursue its diplomatic and military objectives in the region. Peace is in the interest of Israel; its own defense minister, Ehud Barak, recently said that the absence of a two-state solution is the greatest threat to Israel's future, greater even than an Iranian bomb. And an agreement is in the interest of the Palestinians, who deserve to live in peace and with the dignity of statehood.

   

4/10/2010 6:23:54 AM

Rick

0

 
 

More than three decades ago...

 

More than three decades ago, Israeli statesman Moshe Dayan, speaking about an Egyptian town that controlled Israel's only outlet to the Red Sea, declared that he would rather have Sharm el-Sheikh without peace than peace without Sharm el-Sheikh. Had his views prevailed, Israel and Egypt would still be in a state of war. Today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with his pronouncements about the eternal and undivided capital of Israel, is conveying an updated version of Dayan's credo -- that he would rather have all of Jerusalem without peace than peace without all of Jerusalem.

   

4/10/2010 5:56:38 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Sounds Like.

 

It sounds like Rick, pen for hire. No problem, I guess if it works don't knock it.

   

4/8/2010 7:51:10 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Unemployable...?

 

I don't believe it Khairi...not a famous exjournalist and trusted advisor to King Abdullah's Royal Self. You must take time to recount your past life experiences in Jordan and immigration to Paris some time. After all, no one is listening but Shiva, The Goose and myself. How did you get your good self into this predicament, out of favor with the Jordan civil service? LOL. ___ Your analysis of the situation in the Middle East as demonstated below illustrates that you have much to offer to many prospective employers in the news media and/or government agencies.

   

4/8/2010 6:51:14 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Opinion on the Success of the US Peace Plan.

 

Thank you Rick, I wasn't aware of the article your good self has posted. M.Sarkozy has been saying over here, that there will be an American-Eu peace plan for the Middle East next fall. I personally hope it will be an American plan supported by the EU. If your good self is interested; and it seems like it is only your good self whom is interested, I shall add my own peeny's words of wisdom on the only way the peace plan can work; though one is unemployable. 1) The question of "bridging proposals" must be dumpped immediately; as the article aptly puts it, if only becayse as the old saying goes " a bridge is trampled on in times of peace, and blown up in times of conflict". 2) President Obama has to show to Israel as well as the Arab world, that the US national security interests in the Middle East are not synanimous with israel's national interests as the case has been for the last almost 50 years. If the recent pronouncements of the Washington administration politicians are honest, then it seems that there is aome sort of shift towards this end. One is not saying that the US will not be concerned with Israel's security rather, that the US national interest is not one and the same as that of Israel. 3) Jerusalem, or rather the holy sites, can never be under the admistration of religious representation to the exclusion of others. Israel as the signatory of the Wadi Araba peace with Jordan, acknowledges that in the agreement. It must be reminded once and for all, that it has to comply with what it had signed. 4) Though I have been away from the region for a long time and unaware of the intricate details, still I believe that the majority of the Arab countries; signatories of peace with Israel as well as otherwise, are intersted in playing a role to bring peace to the region. Therefore, the Obama administration needs to be specific in scope, time-tables, as well as objectives when it comes to the Arab countries playing a role in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. The Washington administration must understand first and then show, that it accepts its Arab allies as partners whose advise is valued and appreciated, and not clients whom should comply with the American demanands regardles of how fickle the thoughts behind such demands may well be. In any case, HM King Abdullah IInd is visiting the US next week. 5) President Obama does not the Arab world behind him when it comes to his future action plans against Iran. But he must assure the Arab world of his committment to what his administration is taking the leed in doing, and more importantly what actually does he envisage in terms of results from what he is trying to do. At the same, the Washington administration must give in order to take. Where the Arabs expect it to give, would be on the Palestinian-Israeli peace track and in favor of the Palestinians. Why not, aren't the Palestinians after all the aggrieved party with legitimate demands?. And he will take on the Iranian issue, because after all agian, arent't the Arab parties potentially and actually threatend by Iran?. 6) Of course, in some Arab countries, there are functioning parliaments, while in others there aren't, nevertheless, if the washington administration is as clever as it thinks it is, it must have realised by now, and must show this realisation, that the Arab world has an important public opinion component which cannot be ignored by the United Sates, nor by the various Arab regimes, and it is a fact that ruling in the Arab world, is no longer a matter of push-button from the top downwards. Islam, nationalism, the Palestinian problem are all individually explosive issues on their own, let alone when combined together in the most sensitive region in the world, holding a most sensitive commodity; oil.

   

4/8/2010 3:37:38 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Ignatius 4…

 

Obama's embrace of a peace plan would reverse the administration's initial strategy, which was to try to coax concessions from the Israelis and Palestinians, with the United States offering "bridging proposals" later. This step-by-step process was favored by George Mitchell, the president's special representative for the Middle East, who believed a similar approach had laid the groundwork for his breakthrough in Northern Ireland peace talks. ___ The fact that Obama is weighing the peace plan marks his growing confidence in Jones, who has been considering this approach for the past year. But the real strategist in chief is Obama himself. If he decides to launch a peace plan, it would mark a return to the ambitious themes the president sounded in his June 2009 speech in Cairo. ___ A political battle royal is likely to begin soon, with Israeli officials and their supporters in the United States protesting what they fear would be an American attempt to impose a settlement and arguing to focus instead on Iran. The White House rejoinder is expressed this way by one of the senior officials: "It's not either Iran or the Middle East peace process. You have to do both." ___ [Pretty exciting stuff…]

   

4/7/2010 9:58:49 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Ignatius 3…

 

White House interest in proposing a peace plan has been growing in recent months, but it accelerated after the blow-up that followed the March 9 Israeli announcement, during Vice President Biden's visit, that Israel would build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem. U.S. officials began searching for bolder ways to address Israeli and Palestinian concerns, rather than continuing the same stale debates. ___ Obama's attention was focused by a March 24 meeting at the White House with six former national security advisers. The group has been meeting privately every few months at the request of Gen. Jim Jones, who currently holds the job. In the session two weeks ago, the group had been talking about global issues for perhaps an hour when Obama walked in and asked what was on people's minds. ___ Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser for presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, spoke up first, according to a senior administration official. He urged Obama to launch a peace initiative based on past areas of agreement; he was followed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser for Jimmy Carter, who described some of the strategic parameters of such a plan. ___ Support for a new approach was also said to have been expressed by Sandy Berger and Colin Powell, who served as national security advisers for presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, respectively. The consensus view was apparently shared by the other two attendees, Frank Carlucci and Robert C. McFarlane from the Reagan years…

   

4/7/2010 9:55:36 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Ignatius 2…

 

Did you read the Ignatius column Khairi? In case you can’t find it… ___ The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," as well as the Israelis and Palestinians. ___ "Incrementalism hasn't worked," continued the second official, explaining that the United States cannot allow the Palestinian problem to keep festering -- providing fodder for Iran and other extremists. "As a global power with global responsibilities, we have to do something." He said the plan would "take on the absolute requirements of Israeli security and the requirements of Palestinian sovereignty in a way that makes sense." ___ The White House is considering detailed interagency talks to frame the strategy and form a political consensus for it. The second official likened the process to the review that produced Obama's strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said the administration could formally launch the Middle East initiative by this fall…

   

4/7/2010 9:51:36 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Lots of interesting stuff in the news this morning Khairi…

 

1. Iran urged Russia on Tuesday not to bow to Western pressure over the sale of a Russian missile defense system to the Islamic Republic which could protect its nuclear facilities from air strikes… ___ 2. Israel's hard-line foreign minister warned Palestinians against plans to unilaterally declare independence next year, saying in an interview Tuesday that such a move could prompt Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and annul past peace agreements. ___ "I think we have to make clear to Obama that we are not only not freezing construction in Jerusalem, but after the 10-month freeze we will go back to building" in the West Bank, Lieberman said. ___ He also criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his increasingly confrontational stance toward Israel, saying he was damaging decades of "excellent" ties and is "slowly turning into Gadhafi or Hugo Chavez," a reference to the leaders of Libya and Venezuela… ___ 3. The United States appears to have hit a dead end in its attempts to revive Middle East peace talks, a senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday, urging Israel to halt settlement building on occupied land to give U.S. diplomacy a chance of success. [I may win this bet yet Khairi.] 4. Iran's hard-line president on Wednesday ridiculed President Barack Obama's new nuclear strategy, which turns the U.S. focus away from the Cold War threats and instead aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists… ___ 5. A Saudi official says a cleric who announced that he will visit Jerusalem for a TV episode on claims to the city will be punished if he travels there… ___ 6. Despite recent turbulence in U.S. relations with Israel, President Obama is "seriously considering" proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict, according to two top administration officials. [From David Ignatius column] ___ "Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal," said one of the senior officials, citing the agreement that was nearly reached at Camp David in 2000 and in subsequent negotiations. He said that an American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such issues as borders, the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The second senior official said that "90 percent of the map would look the same" as what has been agreed in previous bargaining… ___ 7. Israel's prime minister says his government has not yet worked out its differences with the U.S. over Israeli construction in disputed east Jerusalem…

   

4/7/2010 5:37:20 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Obama Solution.

 

Hopefully Rick, the demnad for imposing an American solution for the Palestinian problem, will gain momentum in the near future. The important thing, is for the Amercian public to support such a US move.

   

4/4/2010 3:10:36 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Asia Times report quoting Ha’aretz

 

Obama imposing a Palestinian state ___ "US President Barack Obama's demands during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Tuesday point to an intention to impose a permanent settlement on Israel and the Palestinians in less than two years," the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, wrote on Monday. We may draw a similar conclusion from analyses such as the one by Tony Karon in Asia Times Online. ___ The US is pushing extraordinarily hard a literal interpretation of "the 1967 border". This is a strong indicator that Obama might secretly hope to impose a solution. Obama's head-on collision with the Israeli government, coupled with his open support of a new, moderate and more efficient Palestinian leadership (that of the technocrat Prime Minister Salam Fayyad), has increased the likelihood of another scenario. [You have had good things to say about Mr. Fayyad as well Khairi.] ___ "You could say that Obama is the greatest disaster for Israel - a strategic disaster," an anonymous Netanyahu confidant told leading Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot. ___ It is true that what we hear from the American administration sounds much closer to what Fayyad is saying than to what Netanyahu is saying; even the timeframe of two years was borrowed straight out of a plan announced by the Palestinian prime minister last summer. [You are not the only one pulling for Obama to impose solution Khairi.]

   

4/4/2010 1:24:17 PM

Rick

0

 
 

BBC Report

 

United States-Israel rifts have widened to the point where the BBC recently reported that the US would "seriously consider abstaining" if the United Nations Security Council were to vote on a resolution on Jerusalem (presumably against Israel). ___ This BBC report makes more sense Khairi. ___ But I agree with your good self that the DEBKA report makes no sense at all. What does China care about a US abstention over a UN condemnation of Israel? Nothing.

   

4/4/2010 1:04:28 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Reciprocal Abstentions.

 

According to Debka File, there is talk of a trade-of between the US and China, whereby, the US would abstain the vote of condemning the Irseali settlements policy, and China would abstain in the vote of sanctions against Iran. Personally I find it very difficult to believe that, China would think of jeoperdising its economic and business interests for the Palestinians or anyone elese for that matter, especially that its foreign policy is guided by business interests and not ideology.

   

4/4/2010 2:00:02 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Difficult Strategic Formula.

 

Indeed Rick, the formula is very difficult for the Arab world. An already hostile Israel, and a potentially hostile Iran, make the Arab diplomacy a very delicate business.

   

4/3/2010 12:28:16 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Washington-Report.org reort on UAE/Iran dispute

 

Here is one link to an article on the UAE/Iran dispute. ___ http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0393/9303021.htm ___ Iran's Dispute With the UAE Over Three Gulf Islands ___ By Saeed M. Badeeb ___ The dispute over the islands in the Lower Arabian/Persian Gulf—Abu Musa, Tunb, and Lesser Tunb—is an old issue. In fact, the rivalry between Persia (now Iran) and the Ottoman Empire and the local rulers of the Arab Gulf sheikhdoms goes back to the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1935, Persia was renamed Iran by Reza Shah, who ruled the country from 1921 to 1941, when he was forced by the British to abdicate his throne in favor of his son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941-1979), because of his alleged sympathies with Nazi Germany during World War II. ___ I see from the article that it was the British withdrawal by 1971 from the Arabian/Persian regions, and the “Nixon Doctrine” of 1969 to establish close ties with Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and Iran, that enabled the Shah of Iran to buildup his armed forces and to serve as “policeman” of the Gulf. ___ The Shah also surfaced a number of territorial claims at this time, including Bahrain, that caused great concern in the region. ___ Now I get the picture Khairi. No wonder the Arabian Gulf states are suspicious of Iran, especially with Russia and China becoming strategic partners with Iran. ___ Also this is more in line with your good self’s post immediately below. I am sorry that I misread your earlier post with regard to the relatively minor issue of the islands.

   

4/2/2010 4:26:26 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Not so Rick.

 

I did not say anything of the sort Rick, nor insinuated it. Bluntly, the Arab world is suspicious of Iran's intentions and its geopolitical considerations from Iraq and all the way to Gaza. The majority of the Arab countries do not consider Iran as an enemy, rather, they see the developments of Iran's national interests as opposed to their own security considerations, and Iran has done nothing yet, to try to alleviate those Arab Arab concerns. It is not easy for the Arab world to be squeezed between, a hostile Israel with nuclear weapons, and potentially belligerent Iran with the prospects of acquiring nuclear weapons.

   

4/2/2010 4:12:59 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

UAE/Iran dispute over islands of the Persian Gulf…

 

Thank you Khairi, for informing me of the source of the Arab distrust of Iran; and it must be some extremely egregious offense committed by Iran against the Arabs to force the Arab world into the US/Israeli camp, considering the heinous crimes committed by these two countries against Muslims in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Knowing that the dispute is over islands in the Persian Gulf will help me to know where to search for additional information on the subject. ___ Actually I had heard of this dispute over Persian Gulf islands previously, but could not believe this was of sufficient weight to push the Arabs fleeing into the arms of US/Israel. I will look for more information on the history of this dispute.

   

4/2/2010 3:39:10 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Alliances.

 

As your good self is aware Rick, the system of alliances; that of the majority of the Arab world, and that of Iran, run contrary to each other's interests. In addition, Iran is still being considerd an occupying power to Arab lands, and threatening to do more in the future; case being the three islands belonging to the UAE and occupied by Iran. Therefore, Iran with a potential for acquiring nuclear weapons, is inevitably a source of worry to the Arab world. As for Russia selling missiles to Iran, this possibility will indeed alter any plans, if they exist, to attack Iran.

   

4/2/2010 10:17:24 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Russia, China, India, Iran, Syria, Venezuela alliance…

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has delivered 15 batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to China, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, under a contract analysts said could be worth as much as $2.25 billion. China is a major buyer of Russian weapons, and the two countries are trying to forge a strategic partnership. ___ Russian arms exports rose to a post-Soviet record of $8.5 billion last year, with Algeria, India and China accounting for two thirds of deliveries. Syria, Venezuela, Malaysia and Vietnam accounted for another 20 percent of deliveries. ___ Moscow has said it plans to fulfill a contract to supply the S-300, nicknamed "the favorite" in Russia, to Iran, unnerving Israel and the United States. The possible sale to Tehran of the S-300, which could protect Iran's nuclear facilities against air strikes, has become a sensitive issue in Russia's relations with Israel.

   

4/2/2010 7:08:50 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Iranian foreign policy hurts Arabs…

 

How so Khairi? I see Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, as the only players in the region who are opposing the US/Israeli colonization of Palestine. That is a big plus on the Iranian side of the ledger in my opinion and a big minus on the Arab side. ___ I can also see that the growing strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon would be considered a bad thing for the US and Israelis, but a good thing for all Muslims in the region. I don’t see this is a threat to the Sunni Arabs except in the sense that it is strengthening and spreading Shi’ism in the region. ___ I will have to do some homework on Iranian intervention in Afghanistan. To this point I have thought that they were understandably supporting the side in this conflict that would make life difficult for the invading Americans, keeping us bogged down in this quagmire, and less capable of attacking Iran. This is clearly in the interest of Iran, but not so clearly opposed to the interests of the Arabs; except to the extent that the Arabs want to kowtow to the demands of the US/Israeli axis. ___ I still don’t see anything to support the assertion that Iran is trying to dominate the region.

   

4/2/2010 5:41:38 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Not Shi'ism.

 

Iran is not on a proslatising mission Rick. The problem here with the Arab world is geo-politics, and the Arabs; or rather the majority of them do distrust the Iranian regime and its future intentions to dominate the area. Moreover, as I said before, Hamas is not a Shi'ite organisation yet it is supported by Iran. Every step Iran is taking in its foreign relations currently, does actually hurt the interests of many Arab countries; all the way from Afghanistan, to Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

   

4/1/2010 5:11:24 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Shi'ism…is it…or is it not the issue…?

 

The question Khairi is not, do we want Shi'ism to be the issue, but rather is it the issue, and to what degree? Is it The Primary Issue, or just a minor issue. My understanding is that it is a very important issue, but I gather that you and Shiva do not. Am I correct? ___ My feeling is that the Arab fear of Tehran is unjustified. Tehran has done nothing to warrant such fear. But maybe I am wrong. Perhaps Tehran has an agenda to convert the world, beginning with the countries of the Near East, to Shi'ism. Is this what the Arabs think?

   

4/1/2010 6:18:38 AM

Rick

0

 
 

National Interests.

 

If we bring the issue of Shi'ism into the argument Rick, then I would say the Arab world; or at least the majority of the Arab countries would have less reason to have a dialogue with Iran, than they already have now. It will mean that they would have to look over their shoulders all the time, lest their own Shi'a become Iran's fifth column. That's why I avoided the talk of religious denominations. As for President Obama reading our stuff, WOW, I would settle personally for lesser mortals to read our stuff, let alone the President of the USA. Mind you, it is enough flattery that your good self reads what I write. If someone else reads our stuff, I guess they would have shown some sign of life, or is it the case that, there is life after brain-dead?.

   

3/31/2010 5:09:40 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Iranian vs. Arabian interests…

 

As I read your post Khairi, Tehran may be pursuing its own national interests, but unless those interests take into consideration the Arab national interests; it is highly unlikely that there can be any basis for dialogue. It is Iran’s relations with Hamas and Hezbollah and its influence on Iraq that frightens the Arabs, or “gives them discomfort” if frightens is not the right word. And do you still maintain that this has nothing to do with the fact that both Iran and Iraq are majority Shiite nations? This Iranian influence is due primary to geopolitical factors more than religious ones? I have always agreed with your good self’s frequent pronouncements that Obama must lay down the law regarding the two-state solution and enforce it. I hope he is reading our mail every day and heeds our good advice. Do you think?

   

3/31/2010 1:09:49 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Threats and Counter-threats.

 

Evidently Rick, Iran and Turkey are the most two important countries in the Near east. While Turkey; a NATO country that looks in both directions; east and west, is most welcome to continue its positive role in the Middle East, Iran, with its relations with hamas and Hizbullah, as well as its influence in Iraq, reamains a source of discomfort to many Aran countries. It may well be true that Tehran is pursuing its own national interests, but unless those interests take into consideration the Arab national interests, it is highly unlikely that there can be any basis for dialogue. As for Israel, in addition to the statistics ptovided by your good self, it seems also, that Preident Obama is considered far more popular with the American Jews that Mr, Netanyahu. Therefore I feel it is possible now; as I have often demanded if your good self remembers, for the USA to impose its own peace plan on both the Palestinians and the Israelis, then punish the side which doesn't comply.

   

3/30/2010 1:53:10 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Even the Israelis know what the rest of the world thinks of them Khairi.

 

JERUSALEM -- A Passover eve poll says Israelis are increasingly concerned about their country's international standing amid its most serious crisis with the U.S. in decades. ___ A poll published in the Maariv daily showed that only 14 percent of Israelis defined Israel's standing as good, 36.8 percent called it reasonable and more than 48 percent called it bad. ___ The survey questioned 500 people and had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. ___ The U.S. is demanding that Israel halt its construction in east Jerusalem to facilitate peace talks, which Israeli refuses. ___ Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their eventual state. ___ The poll was published Monday as Israelis were preparing for the spring festival of Passover, marking the Hebrews' exodus from Egypt.

   

3/30/2010 9:19:45 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Turkey makes case against sanctions on Iran

 

"We are of the view that sanctions is not a healthy path and... that the best route is diplomacy," he said at a joint news conference with Merkel. ___ "Turkey shares a 380 km (240 mile) border with Iran and it is an important partner, especially in energy. When appraising our relations we shouldn't ignore this," Erdogan said. ___ "We are against nuclear weapons in our region. But is there another country in our region that has nuclear weapons? Yes, there is. And have they been subjected to sanctions? No," Erdogan said. ___ I wonder which country he is referring to Khairi? It couldn’t be Israel…do you think? At least I’m glad that someone has the courage to stand up to US/Israel.

   

3/29/2010 4:06:27 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Arabs still distrust Iran

 

Why are the Arab’s so afraid of Iran Khairi? I believe this is why the Arab League refused to listen to Syria and Libya, and take a tougher line against Israel. They want to remain allied with the US/Israeli axis, thinking we will protect them from Iran. Again,why ar they so afraid of Iran? ___ And even your good self said that Iran needs to “show that it neither intends to undermine the regimes in its neighborhood, nor seek hegemony over its Arab neighbors”. How can it possibly “show” that? It is impossible to prove a negative. How long has it been since Iran tried to seek hegemony over its Arab neighbors?

   

3/29/2010 3:50:10 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Arab league Summit.

 

I don't think the picture emerging is particulalrly gloomy Rick. I think the Arab leaders have done reasobaly well this time around, after all whose interests would it serve to withdraw the Arab peace Agreement, at a time when the whole international community as well as the USA are actually opposing the Israeli settlements policies in the west bank and Jerusalem?. Granted the alternatives proposed at the end of the Conference; at least as far as I know, if Israel doesn't cease it actions in Jerusalem and the west bank may not be that viable under the circumstances, and I really don't know what would be viable in this case, mainly the Arab world will go for a Security Counci Resolution to condemn Israel. In this case, the US will have to put its actions where its mouth has been till now, in otherwords, will the USA veto such a condemnation; rendering all what the Washington administration has been saying till now about the settlements as just a joke wit a bad taste, or will it at least abstain in the vent of vote?. Indeed very tricky for the Arabs primarily. A second option may well be to go the International Court fo Justice. But here again, save for a probable moral raising judgment, the Court's decision are merely advisory, without the power to impliment; remember the case separation wall built by Israel?. Well International Court of otherwise, it still stands and even expanding. Regarding, one doesn't think personally that it is an enemy of the Arab world, however, Iran must understand that, since no single or a collection of Arab country/ies threaten its interests, so it should reciprocate by taking every measure to ensure, and show that, it neither intends to undermine the regimes in its neighbourhood, nor seek hegemony over its Arab neighbours.

   

3/28/2010 5:13:58 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

More from the Arab League Summit

 

A day after proposing Arab states directly engage Iran over its growing influence and disputed nuclear program, Moussa said some nations had reservations about an open dialogue with Tehran. ___ "Iran is not an enemy. Iran is a brotherly country. Let us sit and put every thing on the table and reach an agreement for the sake of peace and stability," he said. ___ Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attended the summit, immediately endorsed Moussa's proposal, along with Syria and Iraq. But delegates said both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two key U.S allies, rejected the idea. ___ The summit registered a higher than usual number of no-shows from Arab leaders. Eight heads of state stayed away, including Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. ___ Recent Arab summits have been marred by disagreements among Arab leaders, divided between pro-Western rulers and more radical regimes. The divisions tend to water down joint Arab positions.

   

3/28/2010 4:21:05 PM

Rick

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More from the Arab League Summit

 

A day after proposing Arab states directly engage Iran over its growing influence and disputed nuclear program, Moussa said some nations had reservations about an open dialogue with Tehran. ___ "Iran is not an enemy. Iran is a brotherly country. Let us sit and put every thing on the table and reach an agreement for the sake of peace and stability," he said. ___ Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attended the summit, immediately endorsed Moussa's proposal, along with Syria and Iraq. But delegates said both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two key U.S allies, rejected the idea. ___ The summit registered a higher than usual number of no-shows from Arab leaders. Eight heads of state stayed away, including Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. ___ Recent Arab summits have been marred by disagreements among Arab leaders, divided between pro-Western rulers and more radical regimes. The divisions tend to water down joint Arab positions.

   

3/28/2010 3:05:12 PM

Rick

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More from the Arab League Summit

 

But the calls from Damascus and Tripoli - which were later echoed by the Islamic militant group Hamas - to quit peace efforts reflected the depth of frustration and anger over the stalled peace process and continued Israeli construction in areas claimed by the Palestinians, particularly east Jerusalem. ___ Syrian President Bashar Assad urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from a U.S.-supported peace strategy and take up arms against Israel, according to two delegates who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. ___ They said Assad also urged Arab countries to halt any contacts with Israel, though only Egypt and Jordan have peace deals with the Jewish state. ___ "The price of resistance is not higher than the price of peace," one delegate quoted Assad as telling Abbas. ___ Summit host Moammar Gadhafi of Libya warned that his nation will withdraw support for the peace initiative launched at a 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut.

   

3/28/2010 2:50:35 PM

Rick

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Arab leaders renew support for peace efforts

 

SIRTE, Libya -- Arab leaders on Sunday renewed their support for Mideast peace efforts, rejecting pressure from Syria and Libya on the Palestinians to abandon talks with Israel and resume armed resistance. ___ "The Arab peace initiative is a serious move. If we withdraw it, what will be the Arab stance after that," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa told reporters after the summit's closing session. ___Too bad Khairi…so much for the big bad Arab League Summit…back to groveling as usual and begging for a break from the US/Israeli axis of occupiers…fat chance ___ Oh well, it really is to early to mount a serious resistance. We need a few more decades for the oil shortage to continue to work its havoc on the west and the SCO to continue growing in strength as Russia, China, et al bring Iran, Pakistan, India, Iraq, South American, African oil producing states and others into the fold.

   

3/28/2010 2:34:22 PM

Rick

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Libya Meeting.

 

I think all the Arab leaders know very well Rick; with or without Mr. Musa saying it, that the current Israeli government is pushing; with the way it is acting illegally in Jerusalem and the occupied territories, for more tension in the region. Mr. Netanyahu and his government seem to want to play the game of "who blinks first", or in American terms "Chicken". But this time he is playing with an Arab world frustrated with the issue of peace, and Arab people whom stopped believing in the possibility of peace some time ago. Any thinking by the current Israeli government in terms of attempting to solve the Palestinian problem at the expense of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, or the Palestinian people, in order to bury the Palestinian question, I can assure your good self, as well as Mr. Netanyahu that, he would be swallowing more than he can chew, and will be meeting more than his match. As for Iran, I don't think anyone would be against a dialogue with it in the Arab world, but then again which Arab country is threatening Iran?, and how many Arab countries are threatened by Iran?. I would say the onus is on Iran to prove; not just in words, but also in deeds that it is interested in a dialogue of equals with its neighbours, and not just cheap words to justify domination attempts.

   

3/27/2010 6:23:26 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

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When Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa speaks, the whole world listens...or should anyway...LOL

 

Arab states should prepare for the possibility that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process may be a total failure and prepare alternatives, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said on Saturday. ___Speaking to Arab leaders at a summit of the Arab League in the Libyan town of Sirte, Moussa said the peace process had reached a turning point and that it was time for Arab states to stand up to Israel. ___ He also said the Arab League should open a dialogue with Tehran to address concerns, especially among Iran's neighbors across the Gulf, about its nuclear program. ___ "It's time to face Israel. We have to have alternative plans because the situation has reached a turning point" ___ "The peace process has entered a new stage, perhaps the last stage. We have accepted the efforts of mediators” ___ "We have accepted an open-ended peace process but that resulted in a loss of time and we did not achieve anything and allowed Israel to practice its policy for 20 years." ___ "We have to open a dialogue with Iran. I know there is a worry among Arabs regarding Iran but this situation confirms the necessity of a dialogue with Iran" ___ See Khairi, as I'm sure your good self knows, this is what happens when we sponsor the Israeli colonization of Muslim land. We just drive the Muslims together, and strengthen them. This is not in our best interest.

   

3/27/2010 8:43:24 AM

Rick

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Jordan is Jordan, and Palestine is Palestine.

 

HM King Abdullah IInd. has re-affirmed the fact that, Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine. Moreover, His Majesty is following the Hashemite heritage in protecting the Muslim and Christian holy places in the Holy city. As far as Khairi Janbek {Moi} the Jordanians option has never benn an option to solve the problems of Osrael, at the expense of Jordan and the Palestinians. Indeed, one did advocate confederation and even federation between the two banks of the Jordan River, but certainly not a Jordanian take-over. Rather, for Jordanians and Palestinians to agree on the future formula which binds them together, once there is actually a political entity called Palestine which Jordan can negotiate with, rather than an occupied territory in which Israel decides the fate of the Palestinians. Certainly, the Obama administration has to show its committment to the peace process in terms of actions and not just words. Otherwise the whole rhetoric of Washington is exceedingly appearing as a Morphine injection to placate the Arab world prior to the Arab League meeting in Libya. If the US is serious, what is it that stops Sec. Clinton to make James Baker repeat performace?, Congress?, and where it Mr. Baker do his performance, wasn't it at Congress?. if Mr. Netanyahu is serious about peace, isn't it high time that he drops this coalition of his?.

   

3/25/2010 10:41:47 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

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Israel playing with fire with settlements

 

AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan's king warned Israel in a rare public rebuke that it is "playing with fire" with its settlement policy, and said in comments published Thursday the Jewish state must decide whether it wants peace or war. “We have warned repeatedly that Israel is playing with fire," Abdullah said in an interview published with local newspapers. He said Israel "must decide if it wants conflict or peace," adding that if it is indeed peace, then Israel must take "tangible actions" toward ending settlements and returning to negotiations with Palestinians. "People are fed up with an open-ended process that does not lead to results," he said. ___ During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip this week to Washington for talks with senior U.S. officials, Israel announced plans to further expand Jewish housing in the disputed part of Jerusalem. Abdullah firmly rejected the plans, saying Jordan "condemns all Israeli measures to change the identity of Jerusalem and empty it of its Arab Christian and Muslim residents." ___ Abdullah spoke ahead of this weekend's Arab summit conference in Libya, where Arab leaders are expected to decide whether to keep an Arab peace initiative - giving Israel full Arab recognition in return for occupied Arab lands - on the table. ___ He also reiterated his rejection of the so-called 'Jordan option,' [alias the Khairi Option] an idea espoused by some Israeli hard-liners to turn Jordan into a Palestinian state. "No one can enforce such a solution and whoever speaks of such illusions is talking about an impossible scenario," he said. ___ What do you think Khairi? Will the Arab Peace Initiative come off the table? Will the Arab League accept Iran’s invitation to join forces against the US/Israeli axis? I think so.

   

3/25/2010 9:40:09 AM

Rick

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Hopes and facts on the Ground.

 

One wishes that your good self is right Rick, and wishes that Rami is also right, but unfortunately, with the way Congress has reacted to the Bibi speech, and the way the Obama administration is appearing more and more like a lame duck, unfortunately I don't see any difference on the ground, in the traditional and unequivocal US support to Israel.

   

3/24/2010 5:59:16 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israeli policies causing Washington real pain…

 

"Israeli policies have transcended personal affront or embarrassment to American officials and are causing the United States real pain beyond the Arab-Israeli arena. This is something new, and therefore the U.S. is reacting with unusually strong, public and repeated criticisms of Israel's settlement policies and its general peace-negotiating posture," Rami Khouri, editor at large of Beirut's Daily Star, wrote this week. "At the same time Washington repeats it ironclad commitment to Israel's basic security in its 1967 borders, suggesting that the U.S. is finally clarifying that its support for Israel does not include unconditional support for Israel's colonization policies." ___ I may not be the only one taking “the sayings of Mr. Amr Musa, and the actions of his organization the Arab League, seriously” from now on Khairi. Is this the response to Iran’s proposal to Egypt’s President Mubarak not so long ago, and his subsequent travels for secret meetings with the Saudi and other GCC leaders immediately thereafter? Hmmm…the plot thickens.

   

3/24/2010 5:06:04 AM

Rick

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Nothing new on the Middle East.

 

Nothing new yet on the Middle East Rick; though is writing these words without hearing any reports of Obama-Netanyahu meeting, which I heard it is over now. Neither Sec. Clinton nor Mr. Netanyahu have said anything new, and I still applaud your good self Rick, because you are the only one whom seems to take the sayings of Mr. Amr Musa, and the actions of his organisation; the Arab League, seriously.

   

3/23/2010 5:58:19 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Arab League chief pushes for closer ties with Iran

 

CAIRO -- The Arab League chief wants the 22-nation bloc to engage Iran directly over concerns about its growing influence and its nuclear activities, in a step that could undermine U.S. and Israeli efforts to isolate the country, diplomats said Tuesday. ___ Arab diplomats said Secretary-General Amr Moussa will present his proposal in a policy document to a two-day Arab League leaders summit in Sirte, Libya, that starts Saturday. The leaders are expected to discuss a range of regional issues, including stalled Middle East peace efforts and Iran. The West's strategy in the standoff with Iran also troubles Arab leaders, who fear that its failure would lead to a military confrontation that could spill across their own borders. ___ Another factor behind the Arab push for their own Iran strategy is linked to their frustration over the failure of Washington to stand up to Israel over its insistence on building on land the Palestinians want for a future state. Arab nations look increasingly less likely to align with the U.S. strategy on Iran if they feel they are getting nothing in return on Mideast peace efforts. ___ Skepticism is eroding Arab hopes that Obama will be able to help forge a deal between Israel and the Palestinians to end a conflict that has fueled anti-U.S. sentiment in the region. ___ In another sign of Arab disenchantment, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Tuesday that his country will press the summit to focus on what is widely believed to be a secret nuclear weapons program in Israel and pressure it to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. ___ "The priority of Arab countries should be to force Israel to join the NPT and place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA” ___ Modest lil ol me hates to say it Khairi, but this is just as I predicted. This is one step closer to developing the new world order, with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) (Russia, China, et al…soon to include Iran, India and Pakistan), the Arab League and the South American oil exporting countries joining together to dictate future events to the oil-dependent west…as the long predicted peak worldwide oil production event rapidly approaches.

   

3/23/2010 8:48:47 AM

Rick

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Hillary gets cold reception…

 

The audience was rather less enthusiastic as Clinton defended her criticism of Israel. "New construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines that mutual trust" between Israelis and Palestinians, she said. "And it exposes daylight between Israel and the United States that others in the region hope to exploit. It undermines America's unique ability to play a role, an essential role, in the peace process." ___ The crowd was still and quiet. The secretary of state worked her way rapidly through her text. Clinton, the former senator from New York and one of the strongest supporters Israel has in the U.S. government, deserved better. The cool treatment of an old friend is something AIPAC can ill afford at a time when there are so many actual foes to deal with. ___ Those attending the conference got a reminder of that when they walked into the gathering. Across the street were demonstrators carrying vile messages on signs: "God Hates Jews." "You Will Eat Your Babies." Others carried an Israeli flag defaced with a swastika. The liberal Code Pink group marched around the building hollering about "apartheid" and carrying a banner saying "Stop Israel War Crimes." ___ Hillary pressed all the right buttons, calling Iran's nuclear ambitions "unacceptable" four times. But when she asserted that "the Obama administration has worked to promote Israel's security and long-term success," there was only silence in the room. Finally, she addressed the controversy. Both Israel and the Palestinians, she said, "must confront the reality that the status quo of the last decade has not produced long-term security or served their interests, nor has it served the interests of the United States." There was no applause. ___ It remained quiet as she called for a settlement "based on the '67 lines with agreed swaps" of territory. "It is our devotion to this outcome, two states for two peoples secure and at peace, that led us to condemn the announcement of plans for new construction in East Jerusalem," she said. "This is about getting to the table . . . and staying there until the job is finally done." ___ In the audience, the majority just sat and stared at their old friend.

   

3/23/2010 7:28:00 AM

Rick

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AIPAC takes sides: with Bibi…not Hillary…

 

"AIPAC Calls on the Israeli Government to Immediately Defuse Tensions with United States; Urges Israel to Freeze All Settlements." …said a prepared statement handed out by a man outside the AIPAC convention on Monday. ___ This was news: Even the pro-Israel lobbying group was not going to tolerate the humiliation of Joe Biden by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government, when it announced the construction of more housing in a disputed area of Jerusalem during the vice president's trip to the Jewish state. ___National Public Radio broadcast the statement to millions on "Morning Edition." ABC News ran with it, too. ___ Alas, AIPAC spokesman Josh Block pronounced the statement a forgery. Lol. ___ Indeed, the real AIPAC officials rallied to the Netanyahu government's defense. The only rebuke they delivered Monday was of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, their guest speaker. AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr, departing from his prepared text, took a swipe at Clinton for calling Israel's insult of Biden "insulting." ___ "When disagreements inevitably arise, they should be resolved privately, as is befitting close allies," Kohr lectured. As Clinton waited backstage, he also informed her that the two nations "are allies, friends -- they should treat each other as such." Further, he said, alludeing to the housing construction: "Jerusalem is not a settlement." The lights went up, and the 7,500 in the hall jumped to their feet, applauding. ___ Sensing an opportunity, the loyal opposition joined with AIPAC in taking Netanyahu's side against the Obama administration. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), the Republican speaker at AIPAC's dinner Monday night, seconded Kohr's view that allies should "disagree quietly." Added Graham: "Howard said it best: Jerusalem is not a settlement! . . . No government in the United States should ever look at Jerusalem as a settlement!" ___ The place went wild. ___ The crowd got even more raucous when Netanyahu himself took a shot at the Obama administration. "Jerusalem is not a settlement -- it's our capital!" he said. The unrepentant prime minister nodded, waved and thanked the crowd for the extended applause. "Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement," he said.

   

3/23/2010 7:17:31 AM

Rick

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Sec. Clinton's Address to AIPAC.

 

One shares the sentiments of your good self Rick, as well as those of Prof. Walt, however still, I wonder to what extent Sec Clinton is going to go, over the the Palestinian issue, even if at the expense of US-Israel relations. It is still possible that there is the first time, but this first time would be the stuff of historical moments and not just a fizzled out event. Your good self and Prof Walt know better I suppose; so are there still politicians whom think of historical moments in the US?.

   

3/21/2010 6:10:16 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Hillary’s address to AIPAC…

 

In her scheduled address to the conference, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton should reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Israel's existence but make it crystal clear that Washington will no longer tolerate Israel's self-defeating policy on settlements. She should explain unambiguously that Israel faces a choice: It can end the occupation, embrace a genuine two-state solution, preserve its democratic and Jewish character and remain a cherished U.S. ally. Or it can continue the occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza -- a course that will eventually force it to abandon either its Jewish character or its democratic principles, and jeopardize its standing with its most important partner. This was written in today’s WP by Stephen M. Walt, the Belfer professor of international affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a co-author of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." ___ Think that’s what she will say Khairi…I hope so but doubt it.

   

3/21/2010 4:54:16 PM

Rick

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Trojan Horse speech.

 

I think Rick, it will be a Trojan Horse speech. According to the little which one can work on, I think Mr. Netanyahu will declare a freeze on all settlement activities except in Jerusalem. And I fear that may will be acceptable to the Obama administration.

   

3/20/2010 6:25:44 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu…

 

Yep Khairi, not only will Secretary Clinton meet with Mr. Netanyahu, but so will President Obama on the sidelines of the AIPAC meeting in Washington on Monday. Mr. Netanyahu is working hard on his speech which will reportedly be forceful. It will be interesting to see what he has to say.

   

3/20/2010 6:06:34 AM

Rick

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Middle East Balance.

 

As I said before Shiveh, I think the saudis are for more prudent to make such statements, and I really do not understand this news item which I wrote about in my previous message. Therefore, I don't really think much has changed as far as whom "calls the shots" in the Middle East. I know Rick, your good self has futuristic scenarios about whom will "call the shots", but the for time being nothing much has changed as it seems. As your good self and Shiveh know by now, Mr. Mitchell will be back in the area, after suspending his trip in protest of the Israeli actions, and there is talk also that, Sec. Clinton will meet Mr. Netanyahu within a week.

   

3/19/2010 3:38:39 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Nuance…

 

Clinton told reporters in Washington that the United States has an "absolute commitment to Israel's security" -- a shift in nuance compared with her characterization Friday of the United States as a "strong supporter" of Israel's security. She also hailed the "close, unshakable bond" between the two countries, in contrast to her comment Friday that "our relationship is durable and strong." ___ Such distinctions may seem minor, but they carry weight in the Middle East, where every line and comma is scrutinized. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu immediately issued a statement saying that Israel "appreciates and respects the warm words" from Clinton on "the deep bond between the U.S. and Israel, and on the U.S. commitment to Israel's security."

   

3/18/2010 5:21:33 PM

Rick

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Who is controlling events Shiva asks…

 

That’s easy…Iran, Russia, China, Hezbollah, Hamas… not US/Israel.

   

3/18/2010 5:08:59 PM

Rick

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Commentary…

 

Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), the minority whip and the House's only Jewish Republican, called White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to express his outrage. "This attempt to curry favor with the Arabs by bullying Israel is not a wise move," Cantor said. ___ The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee said Sunday that "the Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel." ___ The American Jewish Committee said that the "sustained harsh criticism of Israel by senior Administration officials is unprecedented and could leave the impression of a cooling of our nation's relationship with Israel." ___ But J Street, a relatively new organization that has been courted by the White House, insisted that the Jewish community broadly supports a "bold new approach" such as Obama outlining the parameters of a peace deal -- a step the Israeli government opposes. ___ (Finally one that makes sense.)

   

3/18/2010 5:01:22 PM

Rick

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Netanyahu caves in…??? Not likely…

 

The DEBKA report that I found most interesting (and unbelievable) Shiva and Khairi was “DEBKA file's exclusive sources report that already Friday, March 12, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave in to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's peremptory demand for a moratorium on construction in East Jerusalem for the duration of talks with the Palestinians in the indirect and direct stages. He issued the relevant instructions Sunday.” DEBKA file also says “Washington will keep twisting the Netanyahu government's arm until it toes the line on Iran.” (Not much chance that either.)

   

3/18/2010 4:46:37 PM

Rick

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CENTCOM

 

It only makes sense Shiva for Gen. Petraeus to want Palestine under his command. But the DEBKA claim that this would be “tantamount to providing the Palestinians with a US military shield against Israel” does not necessarily follow. ____U.S. military leaders have expressed concern that the lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is hampering their efforts in the rest of the Middle East. In January, staff officers from the U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in much of the region, gave a briefing on that theme to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ___ "Clearly, the tensions, the issues and so forth have an enormous effect," Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. "My thrust has generally been . . . to encourage that process that can indeed get that recognition that you talked about, and indeed get a sense of progress moving forward in the overall peace process, because of the effect that it has on, particularly, what I think you would term the moderate governments in our area."

   

3/18/2010 4:26:54 PM

Rick

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The balance is lost!

 

My friends Khairi and Rick! -------- The possibility of Saudi Arabia going against America’s wishes in order to help Israel attack a Muslim country shows how off balance the Middle East has become. Where do you think the new balance rests? How is it going to be achieved? A war may be? A game changing scandal perhaps? An assassination? Who is controlling the events?

   

3/18/2010 4:04:39 PM

Shiveh

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Rather Curious from Debka

 

I read the report Shiveh, and must say that, if it has even one iota of credibility, than this US step will be remembered by the whole of humanity for a very long time. I guess it would be the annals of history stuff. Mind you at the same time, CNN Arabic has quoted Der Spiegel the German Magazine, saying that the Saudis will allow the Israelis the use of their airspace in order to attack Iran, unlike the Americans whom apparently have denied the Israelis the use of Iraqi airspace for the same purpose. Somehow here also, I feel the Saudis are far more prudent than this.

   

3/18/2010 12:12:22 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Playoff time!

 

From Debka files lead story - last paragraphs: ---- "The general denied he had as yet formally asked for the Palestinian territories to be transferred to his command, but added: "In fact, staff members at various times have discussed asking for the Palestinian territories to be added to CENTCOM's turf." debkafile's military sources explain that, if approved, this step would be tantamount to providing the Palestinians with an American military umbrella against Israel. More than one friend of Israel demurred against the Petraeus suggestion. Former presidential candidate, Republican Senator John McCain, caught on fast to the way the wind is blowing in Obama's Washington: During his testimony, he put in: "Isn't the issue not the issue of settlements as much as it is the existence of the state of Israel…? So maybe you could put it all into the larger context of what needs to be done to reduce tensions on the US's closest ally and friend in many respects." The general did not rise to the senator's challenge, except for a polite: "Absolutely true." Some of the more respectable US and British media are playing up the theme that Israel has shot itself in the foot and therefore deserves what's coming, namely escalating punishment from the Obama administration."---- Obama is a master in doubling up. Let's see if bibi can shrug this one off.

   

3/18/2010 8:39:56 AM

Shiveh

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China bankrolling the US economy…

 

That’s right Khairi, but what is their motive? At first they wanted to bankroll our purchase of Chinese goods, which was a boon to the Chinese manufacturing and export industries. Then they got the government hooked on using borrowed currency to finance our huge defense budget, unfunded domestic social services, such as the healthcare bucreaucracy. ___ Now they realize that the current imbalance of capital flow is unsustainable, and are beginning to withdraw their support. They will do this slowly and carefully to minimize the impact to the value of their holdings of US debt, but in the end they intend to replace the US peso with some other form of currency as the world standard. ___ The US is like the drug addict who cannot control his habit. This is true of our dependence on imported oil as well as foreign debt. The SCO (Russia, China and Iran) has us right where it wants us, serving as our supplier much like the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. ___ As for containing Iran…forget about it. We do not have Iran surrounded. On the contrary, Iran, with her allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Russia, and China has Israel and the Persian Gulf surrounded, and will have no difficulty dictating the future course of events to the west and the Middle East. ___ As for Capitol Hill reigning in the Israeli settlements…that will never happen, despite our fondest wishes.

   

3/16/2010 5:51:50 AM

Rick

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Iran in the driving Seat.

 

From what one can gather Rick, I can say that the US seems to be heading for a policy of containment towards Iran; that is if modern history is any guide, and one as a trained historian has always believed that history is a bad paradigm for the present and the future. Still, if your good self remembers, no Washington administration had accepted before that, China can have nuclear weapons. Not only China got them, but is actually bankrolling the US economy now. How many times did former President Bush; with supposedly his Neo-Con allies say, that it was unacceptable for N.Korea to have nuclear weapons?, it got tham and put its own people on a starvation diet. Therefore, and one can only speculate, but I think Iran is heading on the same path. It will get its nuclear weapons, and the hope in the current Washington administration will remain that, Iran will change its world outlook because after all it is not a suicidal country.

   

3/16/2010 4:25:11 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What Obama Does..

 

as the next step regarding the current crisis with israel, is very important, but what?. One does share your good self's opinion Rick on this matter, as well as the opinion of our friend Shiveh also, but to tell you the truth at the same; though as I said intellectually I do agree with both of you, yet emotionally I still feel that Capitol Hill may well take a stand this time over the settlements issue. Having said that, I wonder here again, what kind of a stand?, especially in the light of the recent statements by the Washington administration to the effect that, israel remains a strong strategic all y of the US, and that there are no differences over core issues between the two countries. There are certainly strong words from washington, but Mr. Netanyahu is very much used to criticism unfortunately.

   

3/16/2010 4:13:02 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Iran in the driver’s seat…

 

Iran has us right where they want us…pulling out of Iraq and bogged down for a long, hard and fruitless slog in Afghanistan. ___ Maliki is on the way to a big win in Iraq and already forming his coalition of power. He will be strongly influence by Iran, as are Syria and Lebanon. ___ Iran’s application for membership in the SCO will be granted by Russia, China and the other member states. ___ Russia already has Europe at her mercy for energy supplies. The Iran/SCO axis will soon have the same leverage over the USA. ___ China is buying up energy companies in South America and oil fields in Iran. Our continued servitude to Israel will drive leaders of our allied Arab Gulf states into the SCO axis as well if they want to hold on to their thrones and their heads.

   

3/15/2010 4:29:40 PM

Rick

0

 
 

US wants Israel to cancel Jerusalem building plan

 

That’s the title of one article in today’s WP. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you Khairi. What do you think? Will Netanyahu oblige? Not likely. What will Obama do about it? Not a thing. ___ Shiveh makes a good point. Obamas’s pet project right now is getting the healthcare bill approved, an unlikely event anyway, even without Bibi leaning on the senators in his hip pocket. Bibi wouldn’t threaten to do that would he Shiveh? Surely not. I’m shocked…shocked…that you would even suggest it!!! ___ I wonder how many senators Bibi owns…in addition to Lieberman and McCain I mean. ___Bets? I bet no change is announced in Bibi’s plan to build the new housing in East Jerusalem, the Proximity Talks will go on as planned, and nothing substantive will come of them.

   

3/15/2010 3:48:53 PM

Rick

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Their game, their rules. Put down your bets.

 

US- Israel relation is putting an increasingly heavier burden on the American side, and at the time that we can afford it the least it is natural to be hyper-sensitive. It looks like Obama is getting impatient with Israelis half-hearted promises to negotiate with Palestinians and to keep their warplanes off the Iranian airspace and is demanding an ironclad promise from bibi to follow the American lead. They are hinting that otherwise bibi is history. It doesn’t look like bibi is impressed. By the way, how many senators can bibi deliver for the healthcare bill? Or better yet; how many can he dissuade? Think of it as spectator sport of this week and enjoy watching. It is someone else’s game anyway!

   

3/15/2010 2:06:45 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

U.S- Israel Differences

 

What I am reading Rick, is that the current crisis between the U.S and Israel, is the worst for the last 35 years. I know that the relationship had suffered differences before, but now, whether the issue is mediatic hyperbole in the States and Israel, or not, I really don't know, but from events on the ground, it looks like the coming few weeks or probably days, will show whether the whole issue is really a storm in a teas cup, or there is more to it than that. One doesn't want to indulge in wishful thinking; as your good self knows well, it is not a trait of mine, but American mid-term elections, and in less than couple of weeks Arab League Leaders meeting in Libya, would make it; I assume, difficult for the Washington administration to find a compromise on its relationship with Israel. On the one hand, it will find it difficult to rock the boat internally, since all politics is local in the US, and will find it difficult to remain on the current course with Israel as far as the Arab world is concerned; especially the moderate Arabs, whom will see how the US will react after declaring in its own words, that it has been offended by Israel

   

3/15/2010 4:17:59 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Clinton and Netanyahu…

 

From what I see Khairi, it is a tempest in a teapot. Hilary was obliged to do some ranting and raving but it is all for show. Soon all will be forgiven and the talks will resume. Not that they have anywhere to go. The Israelis will never give up on their claim to an undivided Jerusalem as their capitol, nor will the Palestinians give up on their claim to East Jerusalem. Neither will the Israelis ever return to their pre1967 borders or give up on expanding their West Bank settlements.

   

3/14/2010 3:18:30 PM

Rick

0

 
 

US-Israel Disagreement.

 

Sec. Clinton is upset with Mr. Netanyahu, over the declaration of the Israeli government to build extra housing in Jerusalem. Mr. netanyahu is upset with his Minister of Interior for making the declaration while Mr. Biden was in Israel. Mr. Biden; as far as one could see and read, did not really seem so offended, and accroding to Mr. Netanyahu, the issue was resolved there and then with Mr. Biden. On the other side, Mr. Abbas is cheering Sec. Clinton as well as the Quartet for their condemnation of the Israeli housing activities in Jerusalem. The ultimate issue Rick; since your good self is in the USA, do you get an inclinations, on how the Washington administration is likely to react next towards Israel {Please realistically}?. Or do you see the administration, far too concerned to get Mr. Abbas to talk; proximity or otherwise, to bother with this lover's tif?.

   

3/14/2010 3:52:58 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

London calling.......

 

paris/france is delusional.......don't worry my 'heavies' will personally collect said tie.....duck..... machine gun fire!

   

3/11/2010 6:19:00 AM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

Palestine-Israel, back to square one.

 

I suppose Rick, your good self has still a glimmer of hope. Mr. Abbas told the Arab League Chief Mr. Amr Musa, that the Palestinians will not go to proximity talks, after Israel has announced building 1600 housing units north of Jerusalem. The Israeli rational is that, Jerusalem is not a settlement rather, the capital of Israel. Back the yoyo.

   

3/10/2010 5:36:57 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Mi Casa es su casa.

 

HUWA. Well Goose, had I got the tie; especially that it is from you, I would have certainly worn it despite the fact that; if you remember Dear Goose, I've been wearing bow-ties for the last 25 years. Everything in you brings good luck, and my bad luck is the result of not recieving the tie. By the way, my old offer still stands.

   

3/10/2010 11:48:46 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

correction Rick,Mi Casa es Tu Casa

 

   

3/9/2010 6:27:06 PM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

Rick tu casa mu casa....

 

Dear Rick, Call me a hapless romantic but I wanted to retrieve 'my colours' a beautiful silk Hermes tie in gold and red geometric patterns 1997 season, that I bought for my fiance, a modest gentleman who refused to accept the gift at the time. In my haste Khairi was the the third person(!)I sent it to so that it would be worn, but quite evidently it brings bad luck to the owners of said tie!I am however prepared to swap the tie for one I bought my late father. I must add if this generous final offer is refused Rick,I would consider McDonald's too good for him, how about clubbing together for a voucher at Walmart?

   

3/9/2010 6:13:27 PM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

MacDonald's....?

 

And here I was setting my sight at Maxim's. Mind you Rick, I suppose the whole Middle East is worth a Big Mac without the fries. The Goose can buy the fries.

   

3/9/2010 2:26:30 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee...

 

Give him hell Goose. What are colours, anyway, the British Flag? Were you an ambassador to Jordan on Khairi's watch? ___ You see how he treats me!! Claiming to give me a sure bet to get even, when we all know that he is suckering me in again. Formal talks are more likely to occur than not; now that the Arabs have pushed Abbas to enter into proximity talks. ___ Come on in!!! Jump into pool and get your feet wet. Take a stance. Risk a bet. Be a man. After all, we are only talking about dinner at MacDonald's here.

   

3/9/2010 11:25:39 AM

Rick

0

 
 

wow, is this the price of my honesty?; Goose.

 

   

3/9/2010 9:28:27 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Calling Rick.....

 

Khairi,That was a pretty low blow for even your standards!No honour amongst thieves.....is this the world of skull duggery that you invited me to?*! Hey Rick... wake up here I need your help.

   

3/9/2010 6:03:59 AM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

Sorry Goose.

 

I was joking really. I have been really out of the loop for so long that, I barely remember my past life. Unfortunately, I honestly have no clue what is happening in my old job. I am completely detached, and even doubt that anyone in the old job remembers, or rather knows me.

   

3/9/2010 3:33:44 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

oops fly like a butterfly!

 

   

3/9/2010 2:08:46 AM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

Knock out blow

 

Hurray, knock out, what a chump .........I walk like a butterfly and sting like a bee! Should I send my address to you via Abbas and Madge? Do they still reside in Earls Court?

   

3/8/2010 6:28:39 PM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

Peace and Pieces.

 

Ok, Rick, so that you can have another chance at getting even, I would say that, by the end of the 4 months of proximity talks, or even before, there will be direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. As for a final settlement, I really cannot say, because that might take a little longer. In any case it depends on the definition of a final settlement. The gap is still to big to envisage such a thing. On the question of China and Russia to join in the sanctions against Iran. I think I would be a fool to bet on that. Here I totally agree with your good self.

   

3/8/2010 1:46:38 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Dear Goose..

 

With such an offer, consider your clours safe and in one piece at your in your closet.

   

3/8/2010 1:36:08 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Negotiations

 

Dear Khairi and Rick (hello), Thank you for your kind invitation to join 'the circle'. I'm afraid as Khairi will tell you I'm not really a political animal but have enjoyed very much this crash course in International Relations........I'm more a student of the spirit. How about I open up negotiations for the return of 'my colours'......my opening gambit will be two tickets for Khairi and his wife to see Wagner's Ring cycle (a suitable forfeit!)

   

3/8/2010 9:42:14 AM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

Last chance for peace…

 

U.S.-mediated indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians will be a last chance to keep the Middle East peace process alive, the Palestinian chief negotiator said on Monday. "The relationship has deteriorated to this stage where the U.S. is trying to save this peace process with the last attempt -- by the way, mark my words -- this will be the last attempt in order to see if it can be a tool to make decisions between Palestinians and Israelis," Saeb Erekat told Israel Army Radio. ___ Ah so, here is another excellent opportunity for a friendly wager Khairi. We must not let it pass. At the end of four months let us say, will the results be in? Will a tentative agreement be struck to: (1) continue with the proximity talks awhile more, (2) up the ante to formal direct talks at the Prime Minister/President level, or (3) abandon all hope and break off talks completely once again. ___ I pick option 3, what say your good self and The Goose.

   

3/8/2010 6:53:54 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Congratulations Khairi…

 

…on your magnificent victory. I am glad to agree that our first night out on the town is at my expense. This is one wager that I a happy to lose. Now that negotiations are at long last under way, let’s hope that I will also be treating you to a second (or third) night out within two years (by January 2012) when the new Palestinian State is finally established. ___ Let’s see, we do have a third wager on the table I believe. Will President Obama convince Russia and China to join in imposing “crippling” sanctions on Iran by June of this year? Aha! I doubt it. Maybe I will get even before I have an opportunity to pay. We will see. Maybe we can bring our friend The Goose in our friendly wagers.

   

3/8/2010 3:33:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Proximity Talks

 

Well Rick, Mr. Abbas has accepted the proximity talks to start (indirect negotiation) between the Palestinians and the Israelis, without even partial freeze of settlements activities as proposed before by the Israelis, and which he had rejected as a pre-condition for talks. I guess this settles the question of the wager.

   

3/8/2010 2:52:35 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Please join us.

 

It would be great if you could join us in our conversations "Goose". Rick and myself have been at it for some time now, and it is a privilige to have Rick as an interlocuter. I doubt had I been in gainfull employment my contributions would have changed either in length or in frequency. Anyway, life goes on I suppose {a cliche I hate}, and I think humbly you should conctinue trying to retrieve the colours. I am sorry, I wish I could do something old chum.

   

3/8/2010 2:18:19 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

the vertical path

 

Dear Khairi Good to see that you're still onboard and am sorry to hear that you have now joined me as a fully fledged member of a not so exclusive club....could this explain the reason for the length of your conversation with Rick(!)Thanks for informing me of the changes. By the way, I still have not given up on retrieving 'my colours' chum.....cheerio pip pip

   

3/7/2010 8:14:07 PM

the Goose London, England

0

 
 

Sanctions and Iran.

 

Apart from the feeling good factor, for those whom impose sanctions, in the case of Iran, it is highly unlikely that such sanctions will deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear goals. Therefore, uless theoretically the 5+1 countries are willing to waith for decades to see the effects of those sanctions while Iran continues to develop its nuclear programme, the whole exercise is doomed to failure. I don't know what is on the mind of the Iranian leadership, but if the western countries expect the sanctions to be a casus belli for Iran to react violently against western interests, then I would say this a very long shot in the dark, because the regime in Tehran sits very comfortably in the region, and I doubt will venture into an adventure which is likely to make loose much of its current gains. Indeed everyone is entitled to ask, what next if the sanctions fail?. However unfortunately the real question is, since the sanctions are already a failure, and more sanctions will lead to more failure, is the US and its allies going to g to war?.

   

3/7/2010 5:28:27 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The purpose of sanctions…

 

The cynical (and usually correct) critique of economic sanctions was summed up this way by a retired U.S. diplomat named Douglas Paal: "Sanctions always accomplish their principal objective, which is to make those who impose them feel good." ___ What's certain is that the Iranian nuclear issue is heading into a more intense phase of confrontation -- starting with the push for tougher U.N. sanctions. The Gulf countries have been asking what the administration plans to do if the sanctions don't work: That's the big foreign policy question of 2010, and Washington is beginning now to think about the answer. ___ The above comments from David Ignatius in today’s WP.

   

3/7/2010 3:11:50 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Dear "the" Goose.

 

Indeed, I stand corrected, for we have abandoned God, and it is so much easier to blame the Almighty because, it is there where we find the epitomy of forgiveness. Humans usually I find harder to forgive. Unfortunately, I have been living in France since the summer of 2007, in unemployment, with no contact at all with my previous job, and I have no knowledge at all of the changes of staff. Therefore I apologise for not knowing what is going on, and apologise also for not being able to help.

   

3/7/2010 3:07:44 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Response to the abandonment by God.

 

Dear Khairi Interesting exchanges much to ponder on (!) however I would like to make one comment, you state 'the Almighty has abandoned the area' correction WE have abandoned the Almighty. As a foot note will you kindly return 'my colours' I sent you a replacement via Lyn two years ago and you've held onto both illegally I hasten to add!

   

3/6/2010 6:04:24 PM

the Goose, London, England

0

 
 

More Ideas for Palestine.

 

More ideas are floating around in order to; I assume, circumvent the real issues once more, regarding the future of the Palestinian state. Now there is talk for tel-Aviv to be the Israeli capital, Ramallah the Palestinian capital and Jerusalem a sacred city. Where and how, is this Palestinian state is going to come about?, and more importantly, what are the borders of Israel?. I guess no one seems to know or wanting to venture to know, because the devil as always, is in the details. Somehow Rick, I get the feeling that everyone is waiting for a miracle to happen; or an Act Majeure to solve the Palestinian problem. Indeed, the area is actually very much suitable for miracles since it is the craddle of such things, but in the 21st century?. I think the Almighty has abandoned the area.

   

3/6/2010 2:53:23 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

In any case...

 

What is there to loose Rick?. If some sort of an agreement emerges within the next 4 months, well, all's well and dandy. If not, I suppose the traversty of justice well just continue business as usual.

   

3/4/2010 2:29:16 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Why 4 months…

 

I think the 4-month deadline is to hold the US/Israeli axis’s feet to the fire and insist on immediate action or else call a stop to the charade. We don’t want to give the US/Israeli axis cover to continue the violation of Geneva convention laws governing land gained by force of war, as Israel continues on its merry way of gobbling up West Bank land. It is a plea for the world powers to do something to put an immediate stop to this outrage.

   

3/4/2010 6:55:21 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-talks

 

The issue Rick, is that this the US request, and I really don't know what the purpose of 4 months when compared to an experience of over 16 years of negotiations?. The cover seems to be only in terms of the meeting of the Arab Leaders Conference this month, so that at least no one proposes; a likely possibility, to withdraw the Arab peace plan from the table, and put the whole circumstance of thegtalk of peace into more problems and dead-ends.

   

3/4/2010 3:56:07 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Arab nations pave way for indirect Mideast talks…

 

As you note below Khairi, the meeting of Arab League Foreign Ministers in Cairo has paved the way and provided cover for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enter four months of indirect, American-brokered peace talks with Israel. ___ Also as you note below, nothing will come of this. ___ Yossi Alpher, an Israeli analyst, said success is unlikely because the gaps between the two sides are too wide. "It is extremely unlikely that Israeli-Palestinian final status talks can succeed under the present circumstances. Is it better to have talks that fail once again, or not to have them, and work in alternative directions? Because I think their failure is a given."

   

3/3/2010 1:26:18 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Mr. Abbas.

 

I think Rick, Mr. Abbas is waiting to see what the Arab foreign ministers decide in Cairo, on whether they advise him to go for the indirect negotiations or not. He seems to want to put this responsibility on the shoulders of the Arabs, so that he can say ultimately, I was forced to do to the negotiations because the Arab brethren forced. I think whether he goes or not is superfluous under the circumstances, because Israel is carrying out what it wants when it wants; on the so called Palestinian territories with impunity.

   

3/2/2010 1:18:18 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Not good enough…

 

Apparently President Obama’s response to Palestinian questions was not good enough Khairi, for even indirect talks to begin. What were the questions I wonder? Do you know? Probably something like this: Will the agenda be topped by: (1) the date for construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem to halt, and (2) the date for Israel to complete its withdrawal into pre-1967 borders. __ The Ramallah-based Palestinian cabinet convened in the city of Hebron on Monday in protest against the Israeli plan to include West Bank religious sites in a Jewish heritage plan. (This is what you reported on earlier below Khairi). The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad listed the project among Israeli "provocations" including plans for 600 new homes on occupied land in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital.

   

3/1/2010 11:21:37 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Iranian Saga Continues

 

Israel is a state so small that it could not likely survive a nuclear strike. It feels that Iran’s civilian nuclear power program is simply a mask for a more nefarious weapons project and wants it stopped by severe sanctions if possible, and military force if necessary. As Israel lacks the muscle to achieve this itself, it is attempting to pressure the Americans to handle the issue. Israel is reasonably confident it can so pressure Washington, simply because while Israel lacks the punch to certifiably end the Iranian program, it most certainly has the ability to start a war. Since Iran’s best means of retaliating would be to interrupt oil shipments in the Persian Gulf, the United States would have no choice but to get involved, regardless of its independent desires. ___ [This is the interesting introduction to an article that appears at Stratfor.com Khairi. Israel seems to have us (or think they have us) over a barrel so to speak. I think the best option for the U.S. is to mount an immediate preemptive strike to completely destroy the Israeli Air Force and long range missiles. What do you think? Want to make a bet that President Obama will heed my good advice? Lol, no bet.]

   

3/1/2010 7:35:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Council of War.

 

Indeed Rick, the joke is with a very bad taste, because while Syria held a council of war with Iran, Hizbullah and all the Palestinian opposition groups, the washington administration has really very little to offer anyone anything anymore. Unfortunately, the foreign policy of the Obama administration has neither been convincing in terms of worthiness to his friends and allies in the region, nor has managed to win his enemies. Though for all intents and purposes, the US foreign policy seems to have lost its rudder, yet, the only saving grace in my humble opinion would be, the fact that the US still needs Syria for its Middle Eastern perspective, and Syria needs still the USA for future investments and the return of Golan Heights.

   

2/28/2010 12:40:00 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What a joke!!!

 

That is what Iran and Syria think of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. I must agree with them Khairi. ___ The presidents of Iran and Syria on Thursday ridiculed U.S. policy in the region and pledged to create a Middle East "without Zionists," combining a slap at recent U.S. overtures and a threat to Israel with an endorsement of one of the region's defining alliances. ___ The United States wants "to dominate the region, but they feel Iran and Syria are preventing that," Ahmadinejad said. "We tell them that instead of interfering in the region's affairs, to pack their things and leave." Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier, spoke of Israel's eventual "demise and annihilation" and said the countries of the region could create a future "without Zionists and without colonialists." ___ Assad criticized what he regarded as the United States' "new situation of colonialism" in the region, with troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and pressure on Syria to split from Iran, a friendship Assad emphasized was secure even given Syria's faltering economy. ___ The joint appearance and tone of the remarks come as an answer of sorts to the U.S. decision to send an ambassador, Robert Ford, to Damascus after pulling its representative in protest over the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Hariri's killing was among a wave of assassinations in Lebanon attributed to Syria and its allies.

   

2/26/2010 1:47:22 PM

Rick

0

 
 

re- days

 

Difficutl to tell Rick. I mean the US declared on tuesday that, it will not seek crippling sanctions against Iran, while Mr. Gates agrees during the meeting with Mr. barak, that crippling sanctions are important against Iran. Either US officials are catering their discourses according to their various audiences, or no one knows nowadays where the buck stops, or the 5+1 countries keep changing their mind about how this Uranium enrichment should proceed, or even, maybe all is in aid of future military action against Iran, in terms of current subterfuge.

   

2/25/2010 3:59:21 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

30 to 60 days…

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that U.S. diplomacy has moved China closer to the American view that Iran's continuing refusal to come clean on its nuclear program demands tough new U.N. sanctions. ___ "We hope that the next 30 to 60 days will see a sanctions resolution emerge in New York," she said, referring to U.N. headquarters, where she said U.S. diplomats are working out sanctions language. ___ Iran has formally set out its terms for giving up most of its cache of enriched uranium in a confidential document - and the conditions fall short of what has been demanded by the United States and other world powers. ___ Washington has dismissed the document - seen by The Associated Press on Tuesday - as a "red herring" and warned it would consult with its allies on new penalties on Iran to punish it for its nuclear defiance. ___ The document says Tehran is ready to hand over the bulk of its stockpile, as called for under a deal brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency and endorsed by the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany. ___ But Iran adds that it must simultaneously receive fuel rods for its research reactor in return, and that such an exchange must take place on Iranian territory. ___ The Iranian offer was sure to be rejected by the six powers, which have waited for nearly six months for such an official answer. ___ [I wonder why it will be rejected Khairi. Do you know?]

   

2/25/2010 3:47:47 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-China and Russia.

 

I would say Rick, there needs to be far more pressure from the west and the USA, on both China and Russia, for this oproposed sanctions regime to work against Iran. In essence, what is it that the US can give Russia?, indeed at a time when Russia is looking after its own interests more than what Iran does or doesn,t do. I suppose, the question of Russian missiles to Tehran can be taken as a good gesture from Russia, which the Washington administration needs to build on. As for China, maybe the Washington administration should just accedpt that, China is not going to chip in the sanctions effort, and reconcile itself that, the sanctions can be biting, but not necessarily crippling as desired. In this context, one would assume that, the situation is likely to develop into one like an accident waiting to happen, especially if Iran thinks it is being provokes.

   

2/19/2010 3:27:55 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Geopolitical Fortunes of Russia and China

 

The fact that both Netanyahu and Papandreou were in Moscow this week Khairi — and that they were both asking for a favor — is an indication of the growing consolidation of Russia’s power and marks the Kremlin’s return to the center of Eurasian geopolitics. Iran, an oil producer, imports between 25 and 30 percent of its gasoline due to a lack of refining capacity. Russia is central to an effort to squeeze Iran with gasoline import sanctions because Moscow is a permanent — and thus veto-bearing — member of the U.N. Security Council, and because it could easily ship gasoline to Iran via its former Soviet Union neighbors (Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in particular) if sanctions are imposed by the West outside of the United Nations.___ While Russia sits in the catbird seat, China is in a less enviable spot. China has shown little inclination to buy into the American scheme to wean itself off Iranian oil and substitute Saudi oil in its place. In recent months China has not only continued importing from Iran, but also accelerated its exports of gasoline to Iran and hastened deals allowing one of China’s roving national oil companies to produce natural gas in Iran’s giant South Pars field. Beijing has consistently opposed talk of Iranian sanctions, emphasizing diplomatic efforts instead, and variously delaying and downgrading its participation in P-5+1 negotiations since late December. China is decidedly against Iranian sanctions in the interests of the country’s energy security and economic stability. Iran is China’s third largest oil supplier, providing 11 percent of China’s total — this is reason enough for China to resist sanctions. ___ Yet there is little China can do to stop the sanctions drive. Unlike Russia, Chinese participation is not a prerequisite to a successful sanctions regime. It is logistically more difficult for China to circumvent sanctions, as the land routes are too long and the sea routes are at least implicitly subject to American naval coercion. This means Washington does not have to negotiate with Beijing, as it does with Moscow, to address its chief concerns and try to win it over. The Chinese are external to the international diplomatic process, and while they can veto a resolution authorizing U.N. sanctions, that would only encourage the United States to lead its allies in taking action outside the United Nations, diluting the influence of one of Beijing’s primary international platforms. ___ Worst of all for China, an outright rejection of sanctions, or an attempt to undermine them, would result in greater external pressure from an American administration that has already shown its willingness to target China’s economy through trade protections and other tools. Of course, the United States has not yet clinched the deal on sanctions. Much remains to be done, and (crucially) Russia has not committed either way, giving Beijing room to maneuver. Still, in essence, Beijing has no way to stop sanctions against Iran, and to oppose them it must decide if it is ready to withstand the American reaction. ___ The above remarks are from Stratfor.com Khairi. I don’t think the US would dare interdict Chinese shipping of oil and refined gasoline exports/imports with Iran do you. We have an interesting bet going here. Will “crippling” sanctions be imposed by the West, or won’t they. No way I say.

   

2/18/2010 5:54:54 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Obama’s G2 Asia strategy…

 

India is worried Khairi, that a quick U.S. pullout from Afghanistan would bring greater U.S. reliance on China and Pakistan at India's expense. Obama's choices about China, India, Japan and Pakistan loom at least as large as the urgent challenges of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. ___ The notion of a G-2 directorate in which the United States and China collude to determine global economic and political direction is increasingly colliding with reality. Tensions over Taiwan, trade and Tibet make the G-2 unworkable, as recent events have again shown. But the specter lingers for Asians as well as Europeans that Obama will be tempted to try -- even though a failed G-2 would be the worst possible outcome for everyone. ___ "The G-2 carries the implication that the United States would leave Asia to China to run," says B.J. Panda, a rising young political star in India. "We have to balance the Chinese, irrespective of what the U.S. and others do" adds another Indian strategist. ___ Pakistan has become a second-tier problem for India, even as it increasingly preoccupies Washington. What one Indian analyst described as "Obama's nuclear alarmism" also gives Pakistan increased leverage over Washington. ___ India has secured military transit and stationing rights at an airbase in Tajikistan. And Singh's government lavishly welcomed Japan's new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, on a recent three-day visit that included publicity about plans for joint military maneuvers in the Indian Ocean. ___ These are clear signs of Indian hedging: seeking allies for worst-case scenarios while accommodating China on economic matters.

   

2/16/2010 12:34:08 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Oh not that far.

 

One would say Rick, beginning to mid-March. Moreover, with one quick look at the crystal ball, I would venture to say, by May, Iran is likely to do something rash which will lead to military response.

   

2/15/2010 2:07:48 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

You’re on, Dear Khairi…

 

It’s a bet…and the time frame is? This one should not take two years to resolve, lol. And the requirement is that “crippling” sanctions will be slapped on Iran, defined as an embargo on refined gasoline imports to Iran, and approved by the UN Security Council with no Chinese or Russian veto. __ The deadline is what…? December 31, 2010?

   

2/15/2010 12:19:26 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Actually.

 

From what is going on Rick, your good self will be surprised at, what the US is trying to do now in the Middle East, as cwell as with China and Russia. I think encircling Iran very soon will take place, with Russian and Chinese nod, in addition, Arab support is on the way. Another wager dear Sir?. Though one is no gambling man.

   

2/15/2010 9:41:52 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Sanctions and S-300 Missiles…

 

"Iran leaves the international community little choice but to impose greater costs for its provocative steps," U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told a U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar on Sunday. ___ Clinton is due to visit Saudi Arabia for talks with King Abdullah Monday, continuing her tour to seek Arab countries' backing for action against Iran and support for talks between Israel and the Palestinians. ___ U.S. officials have hinted that one way Saudi Arabia could help diplomatically would be to offer China, a major consumer of Iranian crude, guarantees it would meet its oil requirements, a step that might ease Beijing's resistance to new sanctions. ___ Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel which says its existence would be threatened by a nuclear armed Iran, said he would urge Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, when they meet in Moscow Monday, to back "crippling sanctions. ___ But in a move that will concern Israel, a leading member of Russia's Security Council said sanctions were no reason to stop it shipping an order of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. "This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because the talk is about deliveries of an exclusively defensive weapon," Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council, said ahead of Netanyahu's visit. ___ Lol, there is no way, Khairi, that the US/Israeli axis will bring the Arab leaders, Russia and China inline to enforce “crippling” or even moderate sanctions against Iran; especially while the Israelis continue their annexation of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and beat the drums of war with Palestinians, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

   

2/14/2010 3:52:02 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Sheikh Jarrah...

 

JERUSALEM -- The small Palestinian community in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem began as an experiment by the United Nations after Israel was created in 1948 -- an effort to keep 28 families out of refugee camps by providing them with homes of their own. ___ But the promised property titles were never delivered, and more than a half-century later, with the original dwellings expanded into multi-family, multi-generational compounds, the residents face eviction as a long legal battle nears its end in the Israeli courts. ___ [So much for the moral and legal authority of the United Nations. Its immoral and illegal establishment of the apartheid “State of Israel” in 1947/48 on Palestinian land carries exactly the same weight...zero.]

   

2/14/2010 6:49:56 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Israel gives with one hand, what it takes with the other.

 

It is certainly a good thing, that some dunoms have been given back Rick, but unfortunately, there are Israeli plans to create something called "Biblical gardens" in areas which are outside Jerusalem {old city}, which will effectively tear apart the Palestinians areas.

   

2/12/2010 12:15:52 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Pop quiz time Khairi and Shiveh…

 

Do you know what 2300 dunam is? ___ "This is an achievement and a victory for the popular resistance, but this is not enough -- 2,300 dunam (575 acres) were confiscated from Bilin's land, 750 dunam (188 acres) were regained," said demonstrator Iyad Bornat about the rerouting of the Israeli fence. ___ A ruling by the World Court in 2004 said the barrier was illegal.

   

2/12/2010 11:35:06 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Patience…patience my friend…lol

 

There is no instant gratification in the Middle East or anywhere else Khairi. A few more decades will not be the end of history.

   

2/11/2010 4:54:23 PM

Rick

0

 
 

In the long run Rick; we are all dead. Curtosy of JM Keynes.

 

   

2/11/2010 12:54:44 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

After 2 1/2 years…

 

… Opponents of Israel's contentious separation barrier in the West Bank scored a long-awaited victory Thursday when the government began rerouting the enclosure to eat up less of a Palestinian village that has become a symbol of anti-wall protests and the site of frequent clashes. ___ The move comes 2 1/2 years after Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the barrier must be moved…___ Weekly protests near Bilin have become a symbol of the Palestinians' struggle against the barrier's encroachment on West Bank land, which they claim for their future state. Six protesters have been killed and dozens injured in clashes with Israeli forces over it. ___ Bulldozers were on site Thursday and tracks for the new route were being laid down. Anti-barrier activist Khatib Abu Rahmeh said the Israeli military informed village officials that the new route would return 346 acres (140 hectares) of farmland to the village and adjacent communities. Some 575 acres (232 hectares) - more than half of Bilin's land - were confiscated to build a barrier loop around the expanding Jewish settlement of Modiin Ilit, cutting off villagers from their fields. ___ In late 2007, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to modify the route through Bilin, dismissing its argument that the current route was necessary to protect residents of the Jewish settlement. The judges ordered the government to come up with a new route in a "reasonable period of time." [2.5 years is reasonable?]

   

2/11/2010 7:36:01 AM

Rick

0

 
 

“…put an end to it once and for all."

 

"We have reliable information ... that the Zionist regime is after finding a way to compensate for its ridiculous defeats from the people of Gaza and Lebanon's Hezbollah," Ahmadinejad told Syria's Bashar al-Assad, referring to conflicts in 2006 and 2009. ___ "If the Zionist regime should repeat its mistakes and initiate a military operation, then it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all." Ahmadinejad said Iran would remain on the side of regional nations including Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel, which it refers to as the Zionist regime. Israel sees Iran's nuclear program as an existential threat and has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row. ___ [Nah…just so much blunderbuss eh Khairi and Shiveh? The end for the Zionist regime is surely coming but still a few decades away.]

   

2/11/2010 7:07:16 AM

Rick

0

 
 

War?

 

I think that your good self is right as usual Khairi. The Arab leaders are too smart to attack directly the overwhelming might of the US/Israeli war machine. They will continue the approach of the last few decades of attacking this axis indirectly with asymmetric guerrilla warfare techniques that have proven so effective over the past few decades. As Mao wrote "the guerrilla must swim in the people as the fish swims in the sea." This will continue for a few more decades until the US/Israeli axis falls of its own weight after literally running out of gas.

   

2/11/2010 6:18:53 AM

Rick

0

 
 

War?.

 

I suppose everything is possible Rick, after all, we are talking about the Middle East. However, the more I see politicians from all sides, shouting and threatening I get the feeling they are all preparing for talks rather than preparing for war. As for Mr. Abbas, I think he is in a bad predicament with harly any friend to support his position; either in the wider international community or even in the Arab world. he will have to go back to the negotiations table.

   

2/10/2010 12:55:09 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Abbas mulls peace talks…

 

President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday from Japan that he expects U.S. clarification on "proximity talks" on an indirect basis, under closer U.S. mediation within a week. Israel has agreed to the formula but Abbas has said he will announce a decision after hearing answers to some questions he has put to Washington. ___ speaking at a seminar in Tokyo, Abbas said that his government was keeping the door open to the U.S. proposal, but stressed that he was still waiting to hear from Washington. Abbas said that he expected U.S. Middle East special envoy George Mitchell to get back to him with further clarification about the talks a week from now. After that, his government could consult with other Arab leaders and make a decision. ___ His comments came a day after Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, visiting Tokyo with Abbas, said the proximity talks should focus on border issues and their timeframe should be limited to a maximum of three to four months. Abbas has rejected a limited, 10-month construction freeze ordered by Israel in November as insufficient, particularly for excluding Jerusalem. ___ What do you think Khairi and Shiveh? I think that Abbas is not contemplating caving in to U.S. pressure and resuming negotiations as suggested by Khairi. Rather he is turning the pressure back on Obama and Mitchell by insisting that any resumed talks, at any level, will be focused on getting Israel to climb back into its pre-1967 box and stopping its wholesale annexation of East Jerusalem. Of course Israel will not do this, so it will be interesting to watch the Obama/Mitchell response.

   

2/10/2010 5:45:52 AM

Rick

0

 
 

WAR…

 

BEIRUT -- Lebanon's prime minister voiced concern Wednesday about "escalating" Israeli war threats, and said his government will support the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah if a new war breaks out with the Jewish state. ___"We hear a lot of Israeli threats day in and day out," Hariri said. "Every day we have Israeli warplanes entering Lebanese airspace. This is something that is escalating, and this is something that is really dangerous." "I think they're (Israelis) betting that there might be some division in Lebanon, if there is a war against us," Hariri said. "There won't be a division in Lebanon. We will stand against Israel. We will stand with our own people." ___ Israel's foreign minister brushed aside the Lebanese leader's warning. "As prime minister, he's simply a hostage of Hezbollah, which has veto power in his Cabinet," Avigdor Lieberman told Israel's Army Radio. ___ Lebanon's president warned Israel Tuesday that a war against Lebanon will be "no picnic." Last week, Syria's foreign minister accused Israel of "spreading an atmosphere of war" in the region after Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that the stalled peace process with Syria could result in an all-out regional war. Walid al-Moallem warned Israelis that "a war at this time will be transferred to your cities." Lieberman said the Syrians "crossed a red line" and warned Syria its army would be defeated and its regime would collapse in a future conflict. ___ Yep Khairi and Shiveh, they are beating the drums of war.

   

2/10/2010 4:41:24 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Addendum...

 

Actually Rick, Israel has earmarked 15 billion$ for its project of Israelification of jerusalem by the year 2020.

   

2/9/2010 12:25:20 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Prediction.

 

For someone like yours sincerely Shiveh; whom had actively promoted peace, I can't but express my sense of disappointment at the current situation in the Middle East. Indeed war is still likely at any time, but one trusts the balance of destruction which exists in the area, and the realisation that if this balance is altered, destruction will not only affect Jordan but the whole region. At the same time, Jordan will not replace Israel as a security force for the convenvience of Tel Aviv. If Mr. Netanyahu has ears then he should hear what HM the King has said, moreover, if the current administration has ears also, they should listen to the words of HM King Abdullah IInd. One thing I must add Shiveh, and not either out of patriotism or chauvinism or any other reason/s, Jordan has been through plenty of turmoil since its birth; much worse than the current situation and still managed to come on top, therefore, there is no reason at all, why it shouldn't come on top again. Also, Jordan never actually desired war ever, but when it was forced on it, it wasn't afraid of war. Well Rick, irrespective of outcomes, all are invited for a lovely meal here in paris.

   

2/9/2010 12:23:22 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Isn’t this rich Khairi…

 

The Israelis are arresting tax evaders in an East Jerusalem refugee camp. So the Israelis, who illegally occupy East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, in violation of the Fourth Geneva convention governing war crimes, are arresting the Palestinian refugees who were illegally forced from their homes in the first place, for refusing to pay taxes to the occupying government. Rich!!! ___ Excellent analogy Shiveh! Israelis view the West Bank as the heart of Israel, and an undivided Jerusalem as their God given eternal capital. The Good King Abdullah IInd’s governance is very much at risk. The two (or 3) state solution is dead before arrival. Want to join in on our friendly wager, and join me and my wife for a night out on the town in Paris at our good friend Khairi’s expense, in just two short years from now? Maybe we can bring Robert in our bet too?

   

2/9/2010 7:34:23 AM

Rick

0

 
 

A tea leaf prediction!!

 

Dear Khairi, A new ME war might be in the cards, this summer perhaps it'll trump all negotiation (non)efforts. Massive preparation for war in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria, Iran and the Persian Gulf (US), plus Ahmadinejads belligerence is all the trigger happy Israelis need to initiate a reshuffling of cards in the region. At the moment there is nothing open to negotiation and I think all except Mitchell and Obama understand this. Players are waiting for a fresh deck of cards and a new hand to start a new game! // If Obama succeeds in making a deal with the Chinese (stops the weapon sale to Taiwan for China agreeing to Iran sanctions; as he did with Russians by dropping plan for missile batteries in its “near Abroad”) then Obama may be able to force the Israelis to wait, otherwise a war is something even Americans may find useful before midterm elections. // I enjoyed watching the king’s interview with Fareed Zakaria. It looks like he is quite willing and able to lead Jordanians to a better life. But can Jordan and the monarchy survive another war in the Middle East? He is trying to keep the Palestinians out (the ones still in the West Bank) But I bet you that any Israeli looking at Israel’s map sees the West Bank as a “natural” part of Israel. It looks like a heart that shouldn’t be carved out!! The remaining choice would be to drive Palestinians to the other side of the river. At the moment it is not in the cards and the monarchy is safe . . . but after reshuffling the cards . . . Palestinians could be either part of Israel or part of Jordan. Two (3) state solution is dying fast. What do you think?

   

2/8/2010 5:13:27 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

International Pressure.

 

I don't know for how long, Rick, Mr. Abbas will be able to withstand US and international pressure to return to the table of neogtiations?. I mean he is saying now to the Israelis freeze the building of settlements for just 3 months. Probably if they wait, it might become freeze for a week !!. In any case, his recent overtures to Hamas, I think go to placate Palestinian public opinion before he returns to the table of neogtiations.

   

2/7/2010 8:56:31 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Outstanding!!!

 

We’ve been wondering where our favorite neocon went. Welcome back Robert. Kick your shoes off and stick around for awhile.

   

2/4/2010 1:57:39 PM

Rick

0

 
 

War & War.

 

I think the current impass and stagnation in the peace process Rick, make one think that unfortunately, this stagnation and impass will only be resolved through a major war that will shake up the region. After all, it is certainly in the interest of Israel to start such a war in order the deflect attention away from its stance regarding the peace process, while at the same time, it is certainly in the interest of Iran to start a war also, to deflect attention away from its nuclear progarmme. What remains really, is to guess where the next arena of this conflict will take place; Lebanon or Gaza?. As for Syrian threats and Israeli counter threats, the fact that there has been so much shouting from the roof tops so to speak at each other, means that, nothing really is likely to happen on the Golan front. When it comes to Iraq, I don't think the Obama administration has failed to notice that, it is now the Sunnis and the secular political forces whom need the USA, for the conduct of fair elections in Iraq. The situation is so delicate, that any false reading of the situation in Iraq, is likely to be interpreted as the US leaving the arena in favor of Iran.

   

2/4/2010 12:41:06 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Welcome Back Robert, on the Rick and Khairi Show.

 

   

2/4/2010 12:25:17 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Rick and Khairi - you're still here??

 

Wow. Longest running international politics blog dialogue, gotta give you that.

   

2/4/2010 10:43:54 AM

Robert B

0

 
 

WAR…

 

President al-Assad thinks like you Khairi. ___ DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria accused Israel on Wednesday of pushing the Middle East toward a new war. ___ "All the facts point that Israel is driving the region toward war, not peace," the official Syrian news agency quoted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as saying during a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos. ___ "Israel is not serious about wanting peace," he added. ___ During a subsequent news conference with Moratinos, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said Israel "was planting the seeds of the war atmosphere" by threatening attacks on Iran, Lebanon and the Gaza strip. ___ "I tell them (Israel), stop acting like thugs," Moualem told reporters in the Syrian capital Damascus. ___ "Do not test the resolve of Syria, you Israelis, you know that war this time will reach your cities. Go back to your senses and seek the road of peace," Moualem said.

   

2/4/2010 7:20:05 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Obama's Iraq policy must be focused on more than withdrawal…

 

So says Henry Kissinger in today’s WP. ___ Before the war, the equilibrium between Iraq and Iran was a principal geopolitical reality within the region. At that time, the government in Baghdad was a Sunni-run dictatorship. The Shiite-dominated, partly democratic structure that has emerged from the war has not yet found the appropriate balance among its Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish components. Nor is its long-term relationship to Iran settled. If radicals prevail in the Shiite part, and the Shiite part comes to dominate the Sunni and Kurdish regions, and if it then lines up with Tehran, we will witness -- and will have partially contributed to -- a fundamental shift in the balance of the region. ___ The outcome in Iraq will have profound consequences, above all, in Saudi Arabia, the key country in the Persian Gulf, as well as in the other Gulf states and in Lebanon, where Hezbollah, financed by Iran, is already a Shiite state within the state. The United States therefore has an important stake in a moderate evolution of Iraq's domestic and foreign policies. ___ I think that is a very good synopsis of the situation in the Middle East today Khairi. Our reckless and foolhardy intervention has destroyed a delicate balance of power between Iraq and Iran, Sunni and Shiite. Now we will see a Shiite Iraq join forces with Iran, Russia and China to dominate the region. The collaboration of the so-called moderate Arab states with the apartheid US/Israeli axis will grease the skids and hasten the fall of their corrupt leaders. ___ The difference of opinion that I have with the esteemed Dr. Kissinger is that he equates the above scenario with a takeover in Iraq by Shiite radicals. I think that this will be the natural outcome of governance by a responsible Shiite majority population with the best interest of Iraq and the region in mind.

   

2/3/2010 8:17:01 AM

Rick

0

 
 

“An apartheid state par excellence…”

 

This is a quote from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak speaking alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on stage Tuesday before a gathering of Israeli intellectuals and policymakers at a packed conference in the heart of Israel, in a town named after the founder of modern Zionism at the Herzliya Conference. ___ "This is a case of two completely, diametrically opposed historical narratives," Fayyad said in a 30-minute address that delved into the logic behind key Palestinian demands such as an end to Israel's occupation and settlement of the West Bank and the creation of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. "Israelis have a long history. Pain. Ambitions. Like you, we have our own history of pain and suffering, and we have our own ambition -- to live alongside you in peace and security." ___ Barak said that Israel risks becoming "an apartheid state par excellence" if it does not negotiate the terms of Palestinian statehood soon, and Fayyad said the work being done in the West Bank on governance needs to be matched by political progress. "We have taken the responsibility of getting ready for statehood," Fayyad said. "We need to see that the occupation is indeed on its way to being rolled back." ___ An interesting concept Khairi, this “two-state solution” with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace and harmony…but of course we all know that it is an illusion, a mirage. The single-state is the only viable solution…don’t you agree…lol?

   

2/3/2010 7:34:19 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Jordan, Obama, and the Italian Prime Minister.

 

I don't understand why, Human Rights Watch doesn't listen to what Jordan had to say several months ago, when this is issue came to the forefront then. First of all Rick, the Jordanian Ministry of Interior had affirmed the concerned individuals/families were not Jordanian citizens in the first place, and Jordan was undertaking procedures in line with the leagl and administrative severence of ties with the west bank. I would imagine Rick, it is absurd to claim that a couple of thousands will make a difference to the demographic balance of Jordan; if as claimed half of the 6.2 million Jordanians are of Palestinian origin. As for President Obama, I still believe Rick, that either the US President is paving the way; as your good self stated, to prepare American public opinion to the possibility that, it is going to be impossibel to attack Iran, or, alternatively he is gradually preparing the Americans for a showdown with tehran very soon. I feel it is still in the balance. As for the Italian Prime Minister, well, with all due respect to his personna and status, he does frequently exhibit some idiosyncratic tendencies.

   

2/2/2010 12:32:05 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A “historic visit”…

 

That’s what Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said of Italy’s Prime Minister Berlusconi’s visit to Israel this week. Berlusconi says he wants to bring Israel into the EU, though Israel has expressed no desire to join. ___ The European Commission had no comment about Israel's possible inclusion into union. The EU has had a tricky relationship with prospective members around the Mediterranean in the past. It turned down Morocco as a candidate in 1987, saying it was not European, and has stalled negotiations with Turkey for 23 years. Some EU nations, such as France, firmly oppose Turkey's membership on the grounds that it is also "not European." ___ "I can think of very few nations who have made such a contribution to Western culture as our two nations. In Rome and Jerusalem, the foundations for Western culture were laid," said Netanyahu. ___ True enough Khairi, but Mr. Berlusconi may be in deep doodoo if he proceeds with his plan to champion tight sanctions against Iran, against the wishes of his country’s business interests which are Iran’s largest trading partner within the EU.

   

2/2/2010 10:26:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Defense buildup in the Gulf…

 

While the US is driving China into the opposition camp (actually it was already there I suppose), and Russia promises to keep supplying Iran with modern weapons, the US is building up the ABM capabilities of GCC states Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Oman; and stationing ABM-capable AEGIS-equipped warships in the Persian Gulf. ___ At the end of October the US carried out its largest ever military exercises with Israel known as Juniper Cobra. The Obama administration launched a major public relations campaign this weekend to call attention to these “defensive” moves, while neglecting to mention the offensive options they afford. ___ The Israelis have said they regard February as the decisive month for sanctions, which they have indicated is based on an agreement with the United States. While previous deadlines of various sorts regarding Iran have come and gone, there is really no room after February. If no progress is made on sanctions and no action follows, then the decision has been made by default that a nuclear-armed Iran is acceptable. ___ My fearless prediction Khairi, for what it is worth, is precisely that. February is now here and soon will be gone, with the conclusion being that a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be avoided, and therefore is by default entirely acceptable.

   

2/1/2010 5:58:44 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Another headache for the good King Abdullah IInd…

 

A US based human rights group is criticizing Jordan for revoking the citizenship of about 2700 Jordanians of Palestinian origin. With about half of the kingdom’s 6 million people being of Palestinian origin, the King is worried about the possibility of a Palestinian majority taking control. ___ Of course this suits Israel just fine Khairi, since it would love to see Jordan become the Palestinian State leaving everything west of the Jordan River to the Israelis.

   

2/1/2010 5:23:54 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Incomprehensible

 

It is rather incomprehensible Rick, that the US is acting in such a manner by irritating to say the least, Chinese sensibility, while at the same time would cry foul play when China does not react favorably, towards US plans for sanctions aginst Iran. I would say the French are seeing plenty of complications regarding Chinese cooperation for the proposed further sanctions.

   

2/1/2010 1:18:27 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Weapons sale to Taiwan…

 

Calling in U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman on Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the United States would be responsible for "serious repercussions" if it did not reverse the decision to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion worth of helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, minesweepers and communications gear. ___ What happens next will be crucial Khairi. China quietly sanctioned several U.S. companies for participating in such weapons sales in the past. However, it would mark a major change if China makes the list public and includes, for example, Boeing, which sells billions of dollars worth of airplanes to China each year. ___ The vice foreign minister warned that the sales would also affect China's cooperation with the United States on regional issues. Does that mean China will continue to block Western efforts to tighten sanctions on Iran? Bonnie S. Glaser, a China security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the answer will probably come soon. France takes over the presidency of the U.N. Security Council on Monday and is expected to push for a rapid move in that direction.

   

1/31/2010 5:43:12 PM

Rick

0

 
 

re-Russia.

 

I think Rick, inter-Arab relations and the interaction of the Arab world with the western world, are for more complex than your good self portrays; though one is sure that your good self is aware of this. Moreover, the relationship betwen ruled and rulers, in the Arab world, is not governed by such a linear process as your good self seems to think.

   

1/28/2010 1:21:31 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Russia will continue to provide state of the art weapons to Iran…

 

Anatoly Isaikin, the head of the state arms trader Rosoboronexport, said no international agreements bar Russia from selling weapons to Tehran. The statement marked another step in a delicate diplomatic game Moscow has been playing in a hope of maintaining good ties with Tehran without angering the West. ___ Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell the powerful S-300 air defense missiles to Tehran. Israel and the United States strongly objected to Iran obtaining the long-range missiles, which would significantly boost the country's air defense capability. ___ "There are no formal bans which would bar the delivery of any types of weapons to Iran," Isaikin said at a news conference, adding that Russia's arms trade with Iran isn't covered under current U.N. sanctions. ___ Russia has also provided Iran with some weapons and spare parts for Soviet-built military hardware, although none of them were as powerful as the S-300. ___ Russia has walked a fine line on Iran for years. It is one of the six powers leading efforts to ensure Iran does not develop an atomic bomb. But it also has tried to maintain friendly ties with Iran, a regional power close to Russia's vulnerable southern flank. Moscow has particularly appreciated Tehran's refusal to support Islamic insurgents in Chechnya and other Russian provinces in the volatile North Caucasus region. ___ This is the shape of the future Khairi, according to my crystal ball. Russia, China and Iran are inextricably bound together at the hip by their mutual interests with respect to energy supplies and national security issues. The US/Israel are also inextricably bound at the hip for a host of religious/political interests and prejudices of the US Congress and populace. This will soon drive the countries of the Middle Eastern so-called Arab moderates to accept to accept Iran’s invitation to Mubarak and climb aboard Russia-China-Iran-SCO train, if the corrupt leaders of these countries value their seats of power and their heads.

   

1/28/2010 8:20:58 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-War.

 

Thank you Rick, but I think it is just a different way of looking at things. Your good self maybe is endowed with the good fortune, of coming from a culture that permits somewhat long-term planning, while yours sincerely, comes from a culture; to quote late Harold Wilson, where one week is a long time in politics.

   

1/26/2010 11:30:13 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

WAR…

 

I respect your opinion on this subject more than my own Khairi…but will give you mine anyway since it is just between us girls. I think that the Mid East leaders are not looking for a way out, that betrays the Palestinian cause under cover of modest, cosmetic concessions by US/Israel. I think they have come to realize that US power and influence in the region is a thing of the past; and that Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia, China are the power brokers of the future. They are eager and willing to join forces with this new axis of power and will soon accept the offer extended by Iran to Mubarak in Egypt. ___ Since the power shift will be so gradual over the next few decades, and will be accompanied by the gradual depletion of worldwide energy (oil and natural gas) reserves, there will be no event with the required sudden impact to ignite a major war. It will just appear to be the inevitable slow and natural decline of the US/Israeli axis of power, much as occurred with the Roman Empire not so very long ago.

   

1/25/2010 1:27:16 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Mr. Mitchell.

 

far from it Rick. Your good self is no fool, and the leaders in the region are no angels. I just feel very sorry for Sen.Mitchell having had such an illustrious career, to end up now carrying over the strategy of an administration which by its own admission, seems to have overestimated its capabilities in the region. I must share another thought with your good self; since both of us are the only participants-readers on this blog, that I get increasingly the feeling, the betting of the regional leaders is that the alternative to the current status quo, is more of the same but with added recriminations between the Arab and Israeli side, until there is a time that, either the Israelis will yield with cosmetic concessions which can be presented as a major victory for the Palestinians in the world media, or the Palestinians will make more concessions which can be presneted as necessary sacrifices for peace. I tell you what, I hope in a way they are right in their bets, but if they are wrong, I think the Middle East will seriously stand at the threshold of major war.

   

1/24/2010 11:42:02 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Mitchell meeting with Abbas and King Abdullah IInd in Jordan this afternoon Khairi…

 

…after being publicly humiliated by Netanyahu at a tree planting ceremony in the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion just south of Jerusalem. “Our message is clear: We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be a part of the racist so-called State of Israel for eternity.” Apparently he doesn’t realize just how short a time eternity is for the “State of Israel” Khairi… about two to four decades at best. ___ And yes Khairi, you are quite right about the hazards of making predictions about the Middle East… but as they often say, “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”, lol.

   

1/24/2010 10:10:56 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Two Decades.

 

An admirable characteristic of your good self Rick, is that you feel comfortable in making predictions aboutt the Middle East, when even the leaders in the region do not dare do so. looking forward to seeing you over here.

   

1/24/2010 8:54:33 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The one-state solution…

 

I did not say, or mean to imply, my great friend and future host Khairi, that the one-state solution would be achieved in two short years. It will be more like in two to four decades. That is suitably distant as to have no chance of interfering with my night out on the town at my friend Khairi’s expense. Lol

   

1/24/2010 4:21:46 AM

Rick

0

 
 

One state what?

 

Judy and your good self Rick, are most welcome at our invitation over here in Paris. But one state solution?, I would sincerely advise your good self to take out of the formula, because otherwise, we shall not have the opportunity to host you here. Simply it is just not going to happen.

   

1/22/2010 2:27:52 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

It just means Khairi that…

 

…those good folks amongst us from whom hope still springs eternal for an eventual peaceful outcome embodying the two (or three) state solution…are doomed to eternal frustration. Any solution in which the current racist, apartheid, so called Jewish “State of Israel” continues to hog the majority of the Palestinian land and resources, and maintains military power and control over the displaced Palestinian population is neither desirable nor remotely achievable. The only possible and most surely eventual outcome is the single state solution under the majority Palestinian rule. ___ We need to set a timeline after which Judy and I will come to visit your good self and yours, for a wild night out on the town of Gay Paree at your good self’s expense lol. We are looking forward to it. What shall it be…2 years from today? Say January 22, 2012?

   

1/22/2010 8:01:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Absolutely Correct.

 

Your good self is absolutely correct Rick. There is nothing new in this, and Israel had always claimed the border of the west bank with Jordan, to be its own responsibility. For this reason one always found it ludicrous that the borders of the Palesitnian state can actually be fixed before anything else. In any case Jordan must have a say also, on which side will be guarding its border with the west bank. After all the west bank is an occupied territory.

   

1/21/2010 2:42:44 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Absolutely Correct

 

Your good self is absolutely correct Rick. There is nothing new in this, as Israel has always claimed the border of the west bank with Jordan to be under its responsibility. From this prespective alone, it is ludicrous to think that the borders of the Palestinian state can be fixed before an anything else. Also Jordan must have a say on who is guarding the other side of the border. I mean technically the west bank is an Israeli occupied territory.

   

1/21/2010 2:35:20 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

New Israeli demand complicates US peace mission

 

JERUSALEM -- Washington's Middle East envoy faced a new obstacle Thursday as he launched his latest attempt to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: Israel wants to keep troops on the West Bank's border with Jordan even if a deal is reached. ___ Palestinians rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand, made just before U.S. envoy George Mitchell arrived in Israel on Wednesday. Netanyahu said Israel must maintain a presence "on the eastern side of a prospective Palestinian state" to keep militants from using the territory to launch rockets at Israel's heartland. The eastern side of such a state would be the part of the Jordan Valley that lies in the West Bank. Saeb Erekat, a confidant of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the demand "absolutely unacceptable." ___ "The borders of the state of Palestine will be Jordan," Erekat told Israel Radio. "The Jordan Valley is ours, is Palestine. Why do they insist on being on our territory?" ___ Israel says negotiations should begin immediately with no conditions, but the Palestinians accuse Israel of heaping plenty of conditions of its own, including the demilitarization of a future Palestinian state, the retention of east Jerusalem and now, a military presence along Jordan's border. To stake out these positions "and then tell us, come negotiate: Negotiate on what, Mr. Netanyahu? You left nothing to negotiate," Erekat fumed. ___ Mitchell is to meet with Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials on Thursday, and with Palestinian officials in the West Bank on Friday. ___ So what’s new about this Khairi. As we have discussed below, Israel will always insist on maintaining a military presence and strict control of all border crossings into Palestine as a security measure.

   

1/21/2010 7:55:42 AM

Rick

0

 
 

International Community &Bishops.

 

One is not expecting Rick, for either the international community or Their Eminence the Bishops to be more Arab than the Arabs, or more Palestinian than the Palestinians, but if they can do more than all the Arab sides for the palestinian people, then I would say gratefully; they are most welcome to the whole problem and its solution. Since when did Mr. Mish'aal listen to anyone, or complied with anyone's demands, so that he can issue his demands on Egypt not to exercise its own sovereignity over its own territories?.

   

1/15/2010 3:19:27 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Catholic bishops criticize Israel…

 

JERUSALEM -- A high-level delegation of Roman Catholic bishops criticized Israeli polices in Arab sectors of Jerusalem on Thursday. The group of eight bishops from North America and Europe said violence, insecurity, the route of Israel's West Bank separation barrier, home demolitions and other policies threaten peace prospects and endanger the dwindling Christian presence in the Holy Land. The issue of Jerusalem - home to holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims - remains the most flammable in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ___ "For us, this is not merely about politics; it is an issue of basic human rights," the statement said. During their visit, the bishops visited Christian institutions in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, talked with Palestinians about their lives and listened to presentations from Israeli and Palestinian experts. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the bishops spoke of watching Palestinian children cross Israeli checkpoints to return from school and the humiliation Palestinians say they feel at such places. Israel says the crossings are necessary to prevent attacks. ___ The whole world condemns the atrocities being perpetrated against the Palestinian people. The so called moderate Arab states should not be maintaining normal relations with the US/Israeli axis.

   

1/15/2010 1:46:13 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Gaza border wall…

 

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on Egypt on Friday to stop building an underground wall along its border with Gaza, which the Islamist group says would put further strain on the isolated enclave. Hamas calls the project a "wall of death" that could seal an Israeli-led blockade by smothering smuggler tunnels from the Egyptian Sinai peninsula. "We call on the Egyptian leadership to stop building the steel wall along its border with the Gaza Strip," Meshaal said at a conference bringing resistance groups together in Beirut. "A wall (is erected) between enemies and not between brothers," he said. ___ Amen to that… President Mubarak, and the good King Abdullah IInd, are playing with fire in siding with the US/Israeli axis of war criminals, and against their own people. ___ The blockade has drawn international condemnation over hardships caused to Palestinians in the poor coastal enclave and its impact on efforts to rebuild homes and infrastructure following Israel's three-week Gaza offensive a year ago.

   

1/15/2010 1:10:18 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Inevitable, not impossible…

 

I would say that the single-state solution is inevitable Khairi, and inexorable demographic trends will insure that it will not be a Jewish majority state. It is only a matter of time, and non too much of that.

   

1/15/2010 12:51:19 PM

Rick

0

 
 

reinalianable rights..

 

One would say Rick, let us deal with the realm of the possible first, then perhaps after that, we can attempt dealing with the impossible.

   

1/15/2010 11:55:58 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Inalienable rights…

 

Ah, there is the rub Khairi. The Israelis may “have the right to live in their state and within safe borders…” but, they do not have the right to put that state on Palestinian land, displacing previous land and home owners. If the US and EU want the Israelis to have their own state, they should allocate land in Texas or France for it.

   

1/15/2010 7:29:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-words of wisdom.

 

I think Rickthe whole issue should be put in its proper perspective. The Palestinians have the inalianable right to have their state on their own land, in as much as the Israelis have the right to live in their state and within secure borders. The whole Islamic nation will defend Muslim their right to their holy shrines, in as much as Jews and Christinas have the same rights to their holy shrines. As far as one can see, the first word of wisdom that president Obama should be reminded with, is that all those dimensions should not be mutually exclusive. Moreover, all attempted solutions have been tried regarding stemming the tide of Islamist extremism; except the most obvious, and that is solving the Palestinian problem.

   

1/14/2010 5:08:10 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Cairo Speech…

 

David Ignatius tries to give President Obama some words of wisdom in his column today in the WP. Go back to the principles espoused in the Cairo speech. ___ “U.S. efforts to counter al-Qaeda in Yemen are hindered by the strong anti-American sentiment there. It's the same problem as in Pakistan. You can't turn this anger around just by drinking tea or showering development money. The United States must address issues that people care passionately about, such as the Palestinian problem. ___ The administration is struggling to revive the stillborn Palestinian peace process. George Mitchell, the president's special envoy to the Middle East, is said to be drafting terms of reference for negotiations and letters of assurance for the parties that will offer more clarity about U.S. positions on key issues. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested the outlines last week when she called for "an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps" of territory. ___ Even as he fights al-Qaeda and its allies, Obama needs to be Obama. He needs to continue voicing the Cairo message of outreach to the Muslim world -- not as an alternative to battling extremism but as a necessary component of that fight. We are confronting an enemy that wants to draw us deeper into battle, so that America is more isolated and unpopular. We avoid that spider's trap by solving problems that matter.” ___ Unfortunately, Khairi, this is Mission Impossible. We want to steal the Palestinian homeland for the Jews, make the Palestinians second class citizens on the remnant of land that we wish to allot for them, and expect them to take it. No way.

   

1/14/2010 4:24:46 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-Israel.

 

Though I can't say that the US is suffering isolation, but one would certainly agree with your good self Rick, that Israeli foreign policy is managing to make enemies gradually as it goes along from all sides of the globe.

   

1/13/2010 3:01:35 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Israel apologizes to Turkey…

 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel apologized to Turkey on Wednesday for what it called a breach of diplomatic manners. After Ankara demanded an apology for his televised dressing down of Turkey's ambassador Monday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a statement conceding that his behavior toward the envoy had been inappropriate: "It is not my way to disrespect ambassadors' honor and in the future I will clarify my position in a diplomatically acceptable manner." While Ayalon stopped short of using the word, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as an "apology" and said he was glad that it had been made. ___ An interesting incident Khairi that, while a mere tempest in a teapot, highlights the accelerating isolation of the US/Israeli axis and the worldwide condemnation of the criminal behavior of this axis of terrorist states.

   

1/13/2010 6:41:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Turkey.

 

Turkey is a very important country in the Middle East Rick; as your good self knows. One being an advocate of an expanded role for Turkey in the Middle East, I have to say that I am glad to see Turkey being pro-active in the Middle East, although somehow, I believe this role is a mere gambit on the path of strengthening its relations in the region, so that eventually, the EU may pay better attention to Turkey's capabilities. Nevertheless, as far as one is concerned, Turkey is most welcome to assume a leadership role in the area.

   

1/12/2010 4:26:53 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Reversal of the Orange Revolution…

 

The Orange Revolution will be reversed by the January 17 elections in Ukraine Khairi. So says my crystal ball. This is in keeping with the rising star of the Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, SCO block, and the corresponding decline of the west.

   

1/12/2010 8:51:58 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan…

 

…lashes out at Israel at a joint news conference with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri. His demands are that Israel: (1) stop threatening peace in the region, (2) stop using disproportionate force against Palestinians, (3) stop violating Lebanon’s airspace and territorial waters, and that (4) the UN Security Council put the same pressure on Israel to abandon its nuclear weapons as it does on Iran. ___ "We can never remain silent in the face of Israel's attitude. ... It has disproportionate power and it is using that at will while refusing to abide by U.N. resolutions. We can never accept this picture," Erdogan said. "These steps threaten global peace." ____ Erdogan accused Israel of using white phosphorus shells in its offensive in Gaza last year. "No one can claim that phosphorus shells are not weapons of mass destruction," he said. ___ Meanwhile on Monday, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, summoned the Turkish ambassador for clarification over a new Turkish TV show where actors pretending to be Israeli intelligence agents kidnap children and shoot old men. A diplomatic spat occurred a few months ago between Israel and Turkey after a different Turkish show depicted Israeli troops killing Palestinian children. ___ I like this guy Erdogan, Khairi. It looks like Turkey and Lebanon are jumping aboard the Iran/Iraq/Syria/Russia/China/SCO train, having had enough of US/Israeli axis hegemony. I expect we will soon hear that the so-called moderates, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and all GCC states will soon be clambering aboard as well in response to Iran’s recent overture to Mubarak et al.

   

1/12/2010 6:43:52 AM

Rick

0

 
 

And the Irony is that....

 

Since 1948 the saga goes on in the Middle East. And indeed Rick it is a storm in a tea cup, but so long as it reamins in the tea cup.

   

1/11/2010 9:09:27 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Mitchell interview…

 

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10796 ___ For 700 hundred days of negotiations in Northern Ireland one side said it would never agree the this…and for 700 days the other side said it would never agree to that…then on the 701st day both sides agreed to what they each had said they would never agree to…

   

1/10/2010 5:47:06 PM

Rick

0

 
 

'BOMBSHELL'

 

U.S. suggestion of sanctions causes stir in Israel ___ JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A U.S. peace envoy's suggestion that Washington could penalize Israel financially to force it to make concessions to the Palestinians drew Israeli ire on Sunday. ___ "Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel," George Mitchell said on U.S. television on Wednesday after being asked about the kind of pressure that could be brought to bear on Israel. ___ Over the past two decades, Israel has received U.S. guarantees covering billions of dollars in loans, underwriting that has enabled it to raise money overseas more cheaply. ___ Israeli media seized on Mitchell's remarks as reminders of a low point in U.S.-Israeli relations -- President George Bush's withholding of $10 billion in guarantees in 1991 after Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir refused to freeze settlement expansion. ___ "Mitchell's threat," said the main headline of Israel's mass circulation Maariv newspaper, which described the envoy's comments as a "bombshell." ___ Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, visiting U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain rejected Mitchell's remarks. "Any attempt to pressure Israel, to force Israel, to the negotiating table by denying Israel support will not pass the Congress of the United States," said Lieberman, an independent. ___ Republican Senator McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Obama, added: "We disagree, obviously, with that comment and I am sure that you will see the administration in the future say that is certainly not the administration's policy." ___ Obama and Netanyahu have clashed over the president's demand -- since softened -- that Israel halt all settlement activity on land captured in the 1967 war, in line with a 2003 U.S.-backed peace 'road map' that also called on the Palestinians to rein in militants. ___ Nabil Abu Rdaineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, rejected the accusation that the Palestinians were to blame for a lack of progress toward a statehood deal. "Israel continues settlement building in violation of the road map," Abu Rdaineh said. ___ Under pressure from Obama, Netanyahu imposed a limited, 10-month moratorium on November 25 on housing starts in West Bank settlements, saying he hoped this would help restart negotiations suspended for the past year. ___ But he excluded East Jerusalem and nearby annexed areas of the West Bank, and Abbas has not budged from his demand for a complete settlement freeze before talks can resume. Asked about Mitchell's remarks, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz called U.S. loan guarantees a "token of friendship" but said Israel had no plans to use those available for 2010 and 2011. ___ In 2002, the United States provided a package of $9 billion in loan guarantees. The package included a formula that deducts a dollar of guarantees for every dollar Israel spent on settlement building. ___ As of December 15, Israel still had $3.148 billion of the guarantees available after issuing $4.1 billion in bonds backed by the United States and a $1.1 billion deduction for settlement building and concerns over the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank. ___ It is quite the tempest in the tea pot don’t you think Khairi?

   

1/10/2010 4:27:40 PM

Rick

0

 
 

From the way...

 

Abu Mazen is still saying that, he still wants a total freeze on settelements activities, and the way Sec. Clinton is telling her Arab visitors for the need of unconditional return to the table of negotiations, and her discourse about the Jewish state, I can only say that it will be a pleasure to host your good self and lady wife for dinner over here.

   

1/9/2010 10:40:42 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Thank you Khari,

 

My wife and I will be pleased to join you for dinner in gay Pari. My wife will be most happy to hear this news. We will try to take it easy on your pocket book. lol

   

1/9/2010 6:38:25 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Wager.

 

I suppose we are back to our wager Rick. Mr. Abbas doesn't seem to think that the US letters of guarantees are enough, because he believes that the US had offered guarantees before. Still, Sec. Clinton is talking about the return to negotiations without pre-conditions, and with rising pressure now even from the Arab world, I think President Abbas; your good self is correct, will be sitting at the table again. If I win the wager, well, dinner on you once you come to Paris, because unfortunately, I am not likely to come to your neighbourhood in the near future.

   

1/9/2010 3:53:57 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Obama’s Yemeni odyssey targets China…

 

Another fascinating column from Ambassador Bhadrakumar at AsiaTimes.com. Read about the US/Israel/India axis as it targets China by occupying Yemen.

   

1/8/2010 4:59:26 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Good news Khairi…

 

And it seems they will go after the more contentious issue of borders first, which has been traditionally put off till the end game, and considered as being too difficult to resolve until final status discussions. ___ I wonder if Abbas will cave in on his insistence for a complete halt to settlement construction. I think he will. ___ But in my usual role as Pessimist in Chief I must say that it will all be for naught. What is being considered is nowhere near equal status for the Palestinian and Israeli States. Israel will still impose strict control of border traffic as a security measure, continue the unequal distribution of water, and their will be no Palestinian armed forces. ___ The only viable solution remains the single state solution.

   

1/8/2010 4:22:19 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Well, well, well,

 

It seems according to Ynetnews, Mr. Mirchell has threatened Israel with sanctions, id it does not advance the peace process, and Sec. Clinton is promising a speedy return to the peace negotiations between the Palesitnians and the Israelis without pre-conditions. I guess something is moving at last.

   

1/8/2010 2:26:25 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Terrorists or freedom fighters and martyrs…

 

The discussion that your good self and I have had recently has surfaced in today’s newspapers Khairi. Reuters reports that Israel accused Western-backed Palestinian leaders on Thursday of committing "incitement" by endorsing the honoring of militants involved in deadly attacks. An official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said complaints had been lodged with the White House and State Department against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayad for the alleged incidents. ___ Publication of the complaint came within days of an expected visit by President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell for a fresh round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at resuming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations stalled since 2008. Israeli reports charged Abbas had endorsed honors to a militant behind a 1978 bus hijacking in which more than 30 people were killed, and Fayad hailed three other militants killed by Israeli forces after being accused of murdering a Jewish settler. An Israeli official, referring to these reports, told Reuters that "over last few days the Israeli government has raised very serious concerns with the United States about activities of incitement in the Palestinian Authority." ___ Ron Dermer, a senior policy adviser to Netanyahu, added in a statement that "these terrorists are murderers not martyrs. We expect the Palestinian Authority to prepare the Palestinian people to live in peace with Israel, not to glorify killers." ___ Israel has accused Palestinians of flouting obligations under a peace "road map" to crack down on violence by militants, but this time seemed also to be countering Abbas's latest insistence on a total freeze in Jewish settlements in the West Bank before peace talks may resume. ___ Israel has frozen most settlements for 10 months, although it is still building new homes in parts of East Jerusalem captured from Jordan in the 1967 war. ___ Spokesmen for Abbas, who was traveling in the Arab world, could not immediately be reached, while officials in Fayad's office declined to comment on the Israeli charge. ___ Abbas signaled on Monday he was considering a proposal to relaunch talks at a U.S.-backed summit with Israeli and Egyptian leaders, which Netanyahu proposed on a visit to Cairo last week. ___ Mitchell told U.S. television on Wednesday he planned to return to the region in the next few days and thought "the negotiation should last no more than two years, once begun."

   

1/8/2010 3:49:31 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Russia, China, Iran Symphony…

 

“The inauguration of the Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline on Wednesday connecting Iran's northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan's vast gas field may go unnoticed amid the Western media cacophony that it is "apocalypse now" for the Islamic regime in Tehran. ___ The event sends strong messages for regional security. Within the space of three weeks, Turkmenistan has committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia and Iran. It has no urgent need of the pipelines that the United States and the European Union have been advancing. Are we hearing the faint notes of a Russia-China-Iran symphony?” ___ From an article in today’s AsiaTimes.com by Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.___ It’s time for the Arab League to tune up their instruments and join the symphony Khairi.

   

1/7/2010 12:42:34 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The Same Terms..

 

Always apply Rick. Unfotunately, the forces of civilization will have to be always lucky to stop the terrorists, while the terrorists themselves, need only to be lucky once. Indeed there is an a-symmetray here. At a time when the impliments of counter-terrorism are becoming expensive, the impliments of terror themselves are becoming cheaper. Also, it is not only; if at first you don't succeed try again, but also, try many times again, because failure means the end of the Middle East.

   

1/7/2010 10:48:15 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

If at first you don’t succeed…

 

…then try and try again. The Obama administration is gearing up for a fresh attempt to relaunch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after the effort hit a dead end last year. ___ In a flurry of meetings in Washington and in European capitals this week and next, senior administration officials will explore new approaches to bringing the two sides together. ___ Clinton and Mitchell are scheduled to meet at the State Department on Friday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. ___ "Judeh will stress the importance of relaunching negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis under a clear and time-bound plan that addresses final status issues between the two parties, achieves a just and lasting peace and establishes an independent Palestinian state," the Jordanian Embassy in Washington said Wednesday. ___ Following those talks, Mitchell will travel Sunday to Paris and Brussels for meetings with his counterparts from the so-called Quartet of Mideast peacemakers - the U.S., the European Union, the United Nations and Russia - and European diplomats before a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories later in the month, U.S. officials said. ___ When he travels to the region, Mitchell is expected to be carrying letters of "guarantees" outlining the U.S. position. ___ The letters are likely to contain gestures to both sides. For the Palestinians, that would include criticism of settlements and the belief that the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli War be the basis of a future peace deal. For the Israelis, they would acknowledge that post-1967 demographic changes on the ground must be taken into account, meaning that Israel would be able to keep some settlements.

   

1/7/2010 3:36:50 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Asymmetric warfare…

 

It may not be nice and pretty Khairi, but it is all we leave them to fight back with. And it continues to be proven to be very effective in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. As long as we allow our governments to support the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and blockade of Gaza, we deserve and can expect continuing asymmetric counter attacks.

   

1/6/2010 6:00:02 PM

Rick

0

 
 

re-targets.

 

Well my friend Rick, there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, and you expect them to put up with a small minority of murderous obscurantists, whom have taken it upon themselves to decide who is their target and who is not, to kill and mame at their own leisure and their own time?.

   

1/6/2010 4:48:41 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The blowback effect…2020…

 

Michael T. Claire writing in the AsiaTimes.com sees things much like I do. The world of 2009 may look much like that of 1999, with the USA being the dominant power and the US dollar the dominant currency. But the world of 2020 will be much different. ___ “What, then, will be the dominant characteristics of the second decade of the 21st century? Prediction of this sort is, of course, inherently risky, but extrapolating from current trends, four key aspects of second-decade life can be discerned: the rise of China; the (relative) decline of the US; the expanding role of the global South; and finally, possibly most dramatically, the increasing impact of a roiling environment and growing resource scarcity. ___ A more assertive China that showed what the Washington Post called "swagger" was already evident in the final months of 2009 at the summit meetings between presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao in Beijing and Copenhagen. In neither case did the Chinese side seek a "harmonious" outcome: in Beijing, it restricted Obama's access to the media and refused to give any ground on Tibet or tougher sanctions on key energy-trading partner Iran. At a crucial moment in Copenhagen, it actually sent low-ranking officials to negotiate with Obama - an unmistakable slight - and forced a compromise that absolved China of binding restraints on carbon emissions.___ China sees a world wide-open to imports of Chinese goods and to investments that allow Chinese firms to devour global resources, while placing ever less reliance on the US dollar as the medium of international exchange.” ___ The USA will still be a very rich nation in 2020, with projected GDP of $17.5 trillion (in 2005 dollars). But its relative position will have changed from having GDP exceeding all nations in Asia and South America combined, including China, Brazil, India and Japan. By 2020 this combined Asia and South America GDP will be 40% greater than that of the USA and growing much faster. The USA will no longer dominate the world economy. ___ All of this might represent nothing more than the normal changing of the imperial guard on planet Earth, if that planet itself weren't undergoing far more profound changes than any individual power or set of powers, no matter how strong. The ever more intrusive realities of global warming, resource scarcity, and food insufficiency will, by the end of this century's second decade, be undeniable and, if not by 2020, then in the decades to come, have the capacity to put normal military and economic power, no matter how impressive, in the shade.” ___ Michael T Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Owl Books).

   

1/6/2010 1:46:47 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Alleged foreign support for Iranian opposition...

 

The Ashura protests failed to develop into the challenge against the regime that was hoped for by many in the opposition and within some think tanks and institutes supporting the protestors. The regime has since clamped down effectively on the opposition and without extraordinary use of force. Demonstrations may continue, but they do not appear capable of reaching sufficient critical mass to overwhelm Iran’s security apparatus, which appears in control of the situation and so far loyal to the regime. ___ By publishing an extensive list of foreign organizations allegedly tied to the Iranian opposition, the regime is laying the legal groundwork to conduct mass arrests. The move essentially denies the opposition what little organized leadership it has and removes potential leaders. At the same time, the regime is being careful to avoid arresting prominent opposition politicians like Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami, preferring instead to publicly emasculate them and demoralize the opposition. ___ From the Iranian regime’s point of view, the concept of the meddling foreign hand is yet another useful tool for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies to strengthen their hold on the regime.

   

1/6/2010 11:17:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Legitimate target…

 

When he served in the Afghan mountains as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, Nasser al-Bahri said, he was known as "The Killer." Today, he is a business consultant in Yemen who favors Western-style pinstriped shirts, crisp slacks and black loafers. But his ideas are still radical: Ask him whether jihadists should kill Americans on U.S. soil and he replies without hesitation, "America is a legitimate target." ___ As the United States steps up its engagement here, it faces the delicate task of fighting terrorism without alienating Yemen's highly tribal and religiously conservative society. Like Pakistan and Afghanistan, Yemen has abundant weapons and men experienced in guerrilla warfare who resent U.S. policies and have tribal, social and inspirational ties to al-Qaeda. Many fear that such men could become perfect recruits, especially if anti-American sentiments grow or Yemen plunges deeper into chaos. ___ Bahri was born in 1972 in Saudi Arabia to Yemeni parents. He grew up in the kingdom and earned a business degree in college. But like so many young Saudis, Bahri was deeply influenced by Sunni fundamentalist preachers and the Palestinian struggles against Israel. ____ I would say that allies of the US/Israeli axis in its terrorizing of the Palestinian people will be equally legitimate targets in the view of those like Mr. Bahri and most people with an open mind.

   

1/6/2010 10:23:38 AM

Rick

0

 
 

No Justification.

 

One is sure that, people are enraged to see on daily basis their kin and kith being dispossessed and killed by state terrorism, in as much as they are enraged, when a group of terrorists takes it upon itself to kill them and make them live under total insecurity.

   

1/5/2010 2:57:43 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Definition of terrorism…

 

I think the ambiguity arises Khairi in one’s definition of terrorism. Just like one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. Is the real terrorist the suicide bomber in the Israeli bus, or the US airplane… or the US/Israeli war machines that drop white phosphorus bombs by the tons from the safety of warplanes thousands of feet over the Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani or Yemeni population centers. ___ The majority of the Jordanian people are also enraged over the blockade and bombing of the people of Gaza.

   

1/5/2010 1:23:03 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Not Embaressment.

 

I doubt Rick that the issue is that of embaressment. When there is a clandestine operation anywhere in the world undertaken by one or more security agency and goes wrong, well, it is just a failure of the operation, and not necessarily an embaressment to one country or countries. Moreover, if the news items about this operation are correct, then Jordan hypothetically would be fighting terrorism, and the overwhelming majority of its people are against terrorism, in addition to the fact that all islamic countries are against terrorism. So, why should under such hypothetical circumstances, Jordan's standing be suffering?.

   

1/5/2010 10:48:18 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Roll Call…

 

Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, all GCC states…will be shaken to their roots in the coming decades as energy supplies dwindle, as the US/Israeli axis weakens, and as energy exporting nations wield enormous wealth and power. Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq will exert ever more power and influence as the fleetingly temporary “State of Israel” is absorbed into the Palestinian state and the pro-western governments of the region are overthrown. This is the great and palpable fear of the authoritarian current Arab governments of the region and this is why they will accept the Iranian proposal to join Iran and the SCO in establishing the new world order.

   

1/5/2010 8:04:13 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Backlash…

 

SANAA, YEMEN -- As the United States ramps up its counterterrorism role here, senior Yemeni officials are publicly playing down the partnership, fearing that the government could pay a heavy political price for aligning with the United States and appearing too weak to control al-Qaeda on its own. ___ The head of Yemen's national security agency, Ali Muhammad al-Anisi, declared over the weekend that the threat posed by al-Qaeda had been exaggerated and that Yemen is not a haven for militants. Since Anisi's statement, al-Qaeda threats have forced the U.S., British, German, French and Japanese embassies to close. ___ While playing down the U.S. role seems designed to prevent a domestic backlash, it also raises questions about the government's long-term commitment and will to fight al-Qaeda in the wake of the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day. Yemen's fragile government is in a delicate balancing act between its allegiance to the United States and tribal, political and religious forces that resent U.S. interference in Yemen and sympathize with al-Qaeda's ideology. ___ "The government has to care for its own survival, and its survival depends on powerful tribal and social groups," said Abdullah al-Faqih, a political science professor at Sanaa University. "And some of these groups have strong connections to al-Qaeda. It's impossible for the government to wage a war in the north and an insurrection in the south and to fight against al-Qaeda at the same time. You need Superman to do this."

   

1/5/2010 7:38:05 AM

Rick

0

 
 

More on the CIA attack…

 

Bin Zeid, the Jordanian slain in the CIA attack in Afghanistan, had married about a year ago, and was described by a former Jordanian intelligence officer who knew him as a modest but highly effective officer who never traded on his royal status as a cousin to the king. His family ties nonetheless made him ideally suited for the most sensitive missions, the former officer said. "He loved his work; it was his life." He was honored with a military funeral when his body arrived in the capital. The ceremony was attended by Jordan's King Abdullah II and his wife, Rania. ___ The suicide bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was also a trusted Jordanian informant, a physician-turned-mole, who had been recruited to infiltrate al-Qaeda's senior circles and had gained the trust of his CIA and Jordanian handlers with a stream of useful intelligence. ___ The role of Jordanian intelligence at the CIA's base was tacitly acknowledged over the weekend. Jordan is a key ally in the U.S. fight against al-Qaeda, and its intelligence operatives have been integrated into missions in the Middle East and beyond. Yet, despite its critical role, officials from both countries have insisted that its participation remain virtually invisible, in part to avoid damaging Jordan's standing among other Muslim nations in the region, former intelligence officials said. ___ This is not good publicity for Jordan and King Abdullah II Khairi in the eyes of Muslims.

   

1/5/2010 7:00:27 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Natural.

 

I would say it is only natural Rick, for friends and allies to coordinate their activities; especially in this age of global terrorism. However, what I know is that, Jordan offers medical and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

   

1/4/2010 3:37:51 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Jordan’s GID collaborates with the CIA…

 

One of the eight reported CIA agents recently killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan turns out to have been an agent of Jordan’s spy agency known as the GID (General Intelligence Department) Khairi. Current and former U.S. intelligence officials say the special relationship with Jordan dates back at least three decades and has recently progressed to the point that the CIA liaison officer in Amman enjoys full, unescorted access to the GID's fortress-like headquarters. Critics of the country's pro-U.S. policy say the closeness stems in part from Jordan's receipt of about $500 million worth of economic and military aid from the United States each year and from Jordan's status as one of only two Arab states to have signed a peace agreement with Israel. But Jordanian officials say the cooperation with the CIA is motivated by a mutual understanding of the danger posed by al-Qaeda and the religious extremism and violence it espouses. "If al-Qaeda targets America, it also targets our stability and the peace of this region," a Jordanian intelligence said in a recent interview. "Based on this stance, we have had many successes countering terrorism."

   

1/4/2010 10:24:16 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Death and destruction…

 

Are brought by the US/Israeli bombs raining down on the population centers in Lebanon and Palestine Khairi; not Hamas and Hezbollah. Are those who resist invasion and occupation the problem, or those who illegally invade and bomb and kill and occupy the land and homes of others?

   

1/3/2010 6:32:37 PM

Rick

0

 
 

With all.

 

the misery, death and destruction brought by Hamas and Hizbullah on the Gazans and Lebanese people respectively, it would be a pleasure for both the Gazans and Lebanese people to live in a black hole, or better still, send Hamas and Hizbullah into a black hole, rather than suffer their "benevolence".

   

1/3/2010 5:20:26 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Black holes…

 

The Hamas and Hezbollah freedom fighters are not pushing the Palestinians and Lebanese people into black holes Khairi, but rather are showing the way to freedom that all citizens of the world deserve and demand. With the help of Iran, Syria, Russia and China they will chase the colonizers from their land and restore it to the rightful owners. The appeasers and collaborators in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other GCC states had best jump aboard this train as it is leaving the station, or they will be an endangered species indeed. Al-Jazeera et al will stir up the street and overthrow these traitors as they deserve.

   

1/3/2010 1:07:58 PM

Rick

0

 
 

No Puzzles, Just Politics.

 

That's how it is Rick.In Yemen, one neither thinks that there will be US intervention, nor a proxy war carried out in the name of the USA, because both, the Saudi and Yemeni priorities are different to those of the USA. For the Yemenis, it is imporatnt to stump out the seperatist socialist movement in the South, and to defeat the Houthis militarily, which is pretty the same as what the saudis want. The Yemeni government only sent troops to al-Qaeda areas in order to please the US, although at the same time, there are many quarters close to the yemni regime, whom still view al-Qaeda as an asset to use against the Houthis and the Socialists of the South of the country. The only thing for the US to do, is for a change, take the priorities of its allies into consideration, and continue to support Yemen economically as well as militarily, so that the regime can feel confident enough, to make the US priorities his priorities as well. On Iran, I think we have talked about it recently, therefore, I can only repeat briefly what I always believed, and that is either Presidnet Obama will continue to take the diplomatic path until such a time that, it becomes impossible to attack Iran, or, he will tell the American people at one point, that all options have been tried with Iran, and there is no alternative to the military option. I still believe that it could go easily either way. What your good self has posted Rick regarding rami's article is very interesting, and I only wish to add that, unfortunately in the Arab world, all those revolutionaries whom came to save the nation and liberate palestine, came on the turrets of tanks, or raised the banner of Islam. On both scores, they managed to throw the Arab world further, into more black holes.

   

1/3/2010 12:32:29 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The only collectively turbulent and non-democratic region in the world…

 

Rami G. Khouri writing in Lebanon’s Daily Star tries to explain why the Arab world persists in being the only collectively turbulent and non-democratic region in the world: ___ (1) first, the brittle states that define the modern Arab order, with their fundamental autocracy, occasional illegitimacies, prevalent corruption and mismanagement, and widespread mediocrity in meeting citizens’ needs; ___ (2) second, the persistent direct or indirect interference in the region of foreign powers, militarily, economically and politically; and, ___ (3) third, the impact of the Arab-Israeli conflict on publics and state policies alike. ___ The end of 2009 sees the US actively involved in four wars – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. If this is not a wake-up call for Americans, I do not know what is. But it is a greater wake-up call for the people of the Arab world themselves, who remain fractured and in disarray due to their own domestic national incoherence and the persistent need among many to actively resist American-Israeli policies and those of some allied conservative Arab governments. ___ This year ends with Yemen and Detroit beckoning to us to try harder and act more intelligently in understanding the root causes of our wars, conflicts and profound irrationalities and excesses, reflected in our common savageries: Arabs oppressing and killing each other and trying to kill civilians in distant lands; Israelis colonizing and killing Arabs; and the American armed forces attacking and killing simultaneously in four distant lands. Unraveling the madness starts with connecting the dots, because these are not isolated, unrelated dynamics.

   

1/3/2010 8:32:58 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Puzzle 2...

 

Second, can we curb Iran’s nuclear program? The clock was supposed to run out New Year’s Eve on President Barack Obama’s timetable for engagement. But the administration is adding a little extra time by keeping the door open for talks before a vote on new United Nations sanctions, probably in March or April. ___ Diplomacy shows little promise of stopping Tehran, but neither does anything else. So the administration has encouraged Turkish mediation efforts to find a compromise on the October 1 plan for enrichment of Iranian fuel outside the country, which Tehran appeared to accept and then rejected. The White House has also okayed Senator John Kerry’s idea of visiting Tehran, but Kerry has wisely dropped that for now, when the Iranian regime is killing protesters. Is regime change in the air in Tehran? Last weekend’s demonstrations revived that hope, but it’s premature. The regime is expanding its network of repression while the opposition – lacking a strong leader – remains unable to mount sustained, organized protests. ___ [Sorry Shiveh…but don’t worry, you’re insight is as good or better than any on this issue.]

   

1/3/2010 8:03:10 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Puzzles…

 

Here are some of the puzzles I’ll [David Ignatius writing in Lebanon’s Daily Star] be trying to understand better in the year ahead: ___ [Puzzle 1] First, are we beginning a new counterterror war in Yemen? The answer seems to be yes, but the Obama administration is wisely following the model of Afghanistan 2001 by using proxy forces (in this case, the Yemeni government) to attack Al-Qaeda. That’s a lot better idea than sending in US combat troops. ___ The partnership with Yemen is delicate, which is why US officials have said so little about it. But there’s a growing American program to aid Yemeni counterterrorism forces, and it appears that US precision-guided weapons were used in a December 17 attack on three Al-Qaeda hideouts, killing 34 operatives. This is precisely what America should have done against Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, before 9/11, and it’s the right policy now. ___ Yemen is the scene of a second proxy war, this one by Saudi and Yemeni forces against the Houthi rebels along the northern border, who have Iranian support. Again, the sensible US course is to help others do the fighting.

   

1/3/2010 7:45:29 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Variety.

 

As we know my good friend Rick, variety is the spice of life. In any case, I would say the SCO is far removed from Arab problems, and the gap between the Iranian regime and the Arab states is far to wide to bridge for the time being.

   

1/3/2010 3:29:09 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Al-Jazeera instigating civil war in Egypt…

 

Egypt's minister of legal affairs and parliamentary councils, Mofid Shehab, criticized Al-Jazeera Saturday for instigating "a civil war" with its reports on a steel barrier being built on the border with Gaza. ___ He said television networks were working against the Egyptian government "in order to engender a civil war and inflame the Egyptian and Arab streets, and cause a clash of official authorities". ___ "A number of Arab satellite stations, and this one especially, poisoned the public against the state" ___ Good…keep up the good work Al-Jazeera. If the corrupt Arab leadership sells out to the US/Israeli axis, then throw the bums out.

   

1/2/2010 4:03:30 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Saudi Arabia criticizes Israel settlement building…

 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The Saudi foreign minister on Saturday criticized Israel's settlement construction and said the international community is not tough enough in pressuring it to make concessions. ___ Prince Saud al-Faisal said Washington and other players in Mideast peace efforts should take a "firm and serious" stand to put an end to Israeli construction on land Palestinians want for a future state. ___ "The reason why a solution cannot be reached is the preferential treatment that Israel gets," he said. "When other countries violate international law, they get punished, except for Israel. If war crimes are committed, other countries get punished, except Israel. ___ "Israel has become in the international community like a spoiled child," he said. "It does what it wants without being questioned or punished." ___ Saud spoke after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country has long been Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world, though relations were strained over last winter's war in Gaza. Davutoglu said Israel should end the "catastrophe and calamity" in the Gaza Strip and should freeze settlement building. ___ Saud said Israel will be the first country to be threatened from the instability that will result if there is no Mideast peace. ___ [So stop your whining and join forces with Iran and the SCO to do something about it.]

   

1/2/2010 3:45:57 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Ultimatum…

 

Iran warns West it will make its own nuclear fuel ___ TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran set a one-month deadline Saturday for the West to accept its counterproposal to a U.N.-drafted nuclear plan and warned that otherwise it will produce reactor fuel at a higher level of enrichment on its own. ___ The warning was a show of defiance and a hardening of Iran's stance over its nuclear program…"We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television. ___ Take it or leave it folks, this train is moving out. ___ As for the best hope for the Palestinian people Khairi, we see it differently but that is OK. Good friends are not required to agree on every issue. I happen to think that the best hope is the new collaboration in the works at Iran’s initiative between Iran and the Arab states. This new alliance will dictate terms to the morally and physically bankrupt US/Israeli axis on everything from the price of a barrel of oil to the boundaries of the new Palestinian state.

   

1/2/2010 3:11:22 PM

Rick

0

 
 

No Comparison

 

Of course Rick, there is no comparison between the numbers killed in both crimes, but the spirit of it is just the same as your good self understands. Also I am sure that your good self knows, both crimes perpetrated, were done by obscurantist extremist groups far detached from the Palestinian problem. As for HM King Abdullah IInd. he is the best hope for the palestinian people, therefore, his life is very important for the future fate of millions in the Middle East. California?. Why be scared if it comes with the weather.

   

1/2/2010 2:27:45 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Californiazation of America…

 

David Ignatius says that what worries him most about the coming year is the "Californiazation" of America -- the growing tendency of our political system to make promises in social spending programs that it isn't prepared to pay for with tax increases. ___ What do you think of that Shiveh? ___ Sounds like Europe eh Khairi, although Europe may pay for its programs with higher taxes…like $4 per gallon gasoline. Is that right Khairi? That’s what America needs…$4 per gallon gas…seriously, it would force us to conserve, make alternative energy sources more viable, and help pay some bills created by the last 28 years of Voodoo Reaganomics. ___ Thanks for the history/geography lesson Shiveh…it helps us to understand the complex Iran/Afghan relationship. No Iran will not rename the street anymore than they will join NATO. Mubarak will drop that demand very quickly and jump aboard the SCO/Russia/China/Central Asia/soon-to-be-Arab League train.

   

1/2/2010 2:04:53 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Would they join NATO?

 

Rick, a street by any other name means mullahs must reject Hamas in favor of Egypt, lose Hezbollah, kowtow to Saudis and give away much of their rights in the Persian Gulf. They might as well join NATO if they go that route! // Iran is a merchant that is giving away its merchandise. For as long as mullahs are not asking for a payment they’ll have many friends in Afghanistan and elsewhere including the Arab world. But no one knows what will happen if they ask for payment. Northern Afghans (Tajiks, Uzbeks) share a long history with Iranians. They consider themselves part of greater Khorasan province which was part of Persia and also 19th century Iran and includes Herat (Afghanistan), Mashhad (Iran), Bukhara (Uzbekistan), Doshanbeh (Tajikistan). There are historic and cultural bonds that make it easer for deals to shape. But there is also a history of conflicts and skirmishes that limit the trust and keeps the parties at arms length. Afghans will try to keep Iran happy and the economic assistance flowing for as long as it is to their benefit. They might not serve Iranian politics if the price to pay is too high.

   

1/2/2010 1:22:12 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Historic and emotional events…

 

These are things that understandably make the blood boil Khairi; i.e. the assassination of President Sadat and the 9/11 attack. I don’t know if it is correct to compare the assassination of one man to the killing of 6000 citizens of New York city. But I get your point. It is ironic, that these two events are so closely related, though most will not see why. ___ Sadat was killed for betraying the entire Muslim world, Arab and Persian alike by accepting the displacement of, and continued atrocities perpetrated against, the Palestinian people to form the “State of Israel”, then signing a peace treaty with this self same illegal state. King Abdullah II of Jordan is guilty of the same crime but so far has escaped the consequences. The impetus for 9/11 was similar in that it was in retaliation (in part) for the US role in the establishment and continued support for this self same illegal state, and associated atrocities against the Palestinian people, and the continued hegemony over the Middle East of this US/Israeli axis.

   

1/2/2010 10:50:35 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Meddling.

 

Given the posturing and apparent intentions of the Iranian regime, I don't think in any case Rick, that it will stop meddling in inter-Arab affairs' irrespective of what President Mubarak said or, for the reasons of saying it. But that will not contribute to the easing of tension and to the reduction of suspicion on the part of many countries in the Arab world. Your good self may think that changing the name of the street in Tehran where the Egyptian Embassy was located is a trivial matter, but for Egypt, it is similar to calling a street in one country or another, where the American Embassy is located, by one of the perpetrators of the 9/11 disaster.

   

1/2/2010 10:16:45 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: Meddling Iranians…

 

That was what Mubarak said as well Khairi. His two conditions are: (1) rename a street in Tehran (a rather trifling demand in my opinion), and (2) stop meddling. What he means is that he wants to be free to continue taking his $3 billion per annum US/Israeli bribe to continue his betrayal of his Palestinian brothers. In that case, I would say to Iran, keep on meddling; i.e. supporting Hamas and Hezbollah freedom fighters.

   

1/2/2010 9:56:13 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Not at All.

 

This is not at all what I meant Shiveh, rather, that the Arab states of the near east, see Iran spreading its influence all the way to the Mediterranean through meddling in inter-Arab affairs. They see Iran meddling in Iraq, in Palestinian affairs, in Yemen, and assuming an unpredicatble position regarding its nuclear programme. In this context, no small or big gestures from Iran would put the mind of those Arab states at ease, nor alleviate their fears so long as they see Iran meddling in inter-Arab affairs. In other words, they want to see a change in Iran's attitude towards the Arab world.

   

1/2/2010 9:15:03 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: a difficult scenario…

 

I don’t get it Khairi…what is so different about Persian Iran and the Arab states, other than their particular brands of Sunni vs. Shia Islam. Iran is more democratic I believe, even though the Mullahs have the final word in Iran; and there is certainly no more freedom of religion and civil rights available in the Arab states than Iran. You say that a total change in attitude would be required by the Iranian regime. How so? In what respects? Would they have to kowtow to the demands of the US/Israeli axis in the manner of our so called moderate Arab allies? I hope not.

   

1/2/2010 8:19:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Right wing World Tribune…

 

Thanks Shiveh for noting the right wing character of the Triune. I am not one who normally references right wingers, but I suppose as they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. ___ However, I think the article will find more admirers in Israel than Iran, since its theme is chiding Obama for allowing another year for negotiations and ineffective possible sanctions, thus granting Iran the time that it needs to complete its nuclear weapons development and deployment. ___ I found the claims about Iran’s “comprehensive covert infrastructure and web of clandestine relationships that would enable the marked escalation of violence in Afghanistan at Tehran's behest” to be most interesting if true. Can either you or Khairi confirm or deny this claim. If true, it would indeed provide great leverage with which to influence US policy with respect to Iran. ___ Also the news that “Obama is encouraging Turkey to expand its strategic relations with Iran and Syria…that the U.S. has no objection to relying on Iran as a primary source of natural gas for the Nabucco pipeline. With Turkmenistan committing to supplying the EU via Russia and the PRC, and with Azerbaijani supplies in doubt because of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Iran is indeed the sole viable source in the near term and thus will make or break Nabucco.” ___ It is all about energy, oil, natural gas and uranium. If the Arab League, could just get its act together and join forces with Iran and the SCO, they would have absolutely nothing to fear from the vaunted US/Israeli axis. I think this is the aim of the recent Iranian overture to Mubarak and the GCC; and I hope and believe that it will be successful.

   

1/2/2010 7:58:59 AM

Rick

0

 
 

A Difficult Scenario.

 

I agree Shiveh, that no gesture great or small; as Rick would like to see, is likely to bridge the gap between the Arabs and the Iranian regime. What would be required is a total change in attitude by the Iranian regime, which will mean a total change of what it stands for. However, listening to Mr. Moussavi's latest statements; those of freedom of association, expression, and the participation of political parties in the polity of Iran, one is getting the impression that, he is putting himself in the mold of liberal democratic politics, a brand of politics which had been largely defeated at the time of the Shah, and then largely if not almost destroyed by the Islamic revolution in Iran. Therefore, I would say; and here I can only guess, that the liberal democratic movement in Iran is still very weak and still unprepared for any real bid to acquire power. What is difficult for the Iranian people in my humble opinion, is the fact that the current struggle is mainly between the Mullahs whom wish to acquire the regime back to their themselves, and the current Supreme Guide lead military-security regime.

   

1/2/2010 3:28:35 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A street by any other name ...

 

Dear Rick thanks for the World Tribune article. In my opinion it is one sided enough to win gratitude from the mullah’s regime. Other articles from this site are also tilted right and are meant to hurt Obama. It presupposes that a friendly gesture from Iran can bring the Arab world to jubilation and resolve their fundamental grievances. Not so. I believe Khairi would agree also. Mullahs can not even bring themselves to change the name of a Tehran street to reduce tension with the Egyptian; that’s how deep the divisions are. // Obama is being as smart as Bush did dumb! Bush did a lot of shouting with Iran but no harm; I think Obama is talking calmly to Iran but planning a fatal blow. We’ll see in a year or so. // Dear Khairi, for the first time an opposition movement in Iran is using its brain instead of muscle. What is known as the Green Movement in Iran has both dept and reach without depending on centralized leadership. They know a violent conflict favors the regime, further they fear that another revolution can bring a new bunch of self-serving rulers to power. Been there, done that; they are not to repeat the same mistake again. Instead they are using their strengths which are their logic and rationality in a practical way. Majority of Iranian people have mentally and emotionally moved away from Theocratic ideals. All that Green Movement has to do is to force mullahs to act contrary to their religious pretences to shave off the remaining supporters. Khamenei and his supporters have been busy attacking and destroying last couple of weeks; but look closer and you’ll see they are attacking ayatollahs and destroying mosques. Mullahs are attacking their own support structure and destroying their own bases while the much smarter youth of the country is using the Internet to communicate and synchronize new ideas for the future. Regime has no choice other than to continue its path of violence and murder but even they know that by killing people they lose legitimacy and support. In a year or so, what is left of them will be forced to fold.

   

1/1/2010 6:05:30 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Sorry for the Gap..

 

Just back from London actually. The question remains Rick, if Syria the ally of Iran is willing to help bringing stability to Iraq with Iranian consent, and if Iran is willing to help bring stability to Afghanistan, Yemen, not interfere in Arab affairs and negotiate all outstanding issues between itself and the Arab countries, then what kind of a hegemon it will be?. Of course under such circumstances, not only the Arab leaders would be mad not to allign themselves to Iran, but actually also, the whole western world. For the time being, I think this a little too far fetched for me. I know Shiveh, what I am going to say is not very popular, but I belive the opposition in Iran is still no more than a minor irritant for the Tehran regime, and it just brings it bad publicity. However, having said that, if they can overthrow the systen; which is highly unlikely, then all the better and good luck to them. Well, Rick, I never thought that regional cooperation in Asia and Eur-Asia, are bad things in any measure, nor the fact that countries are taking a tough stand vis a vis the USA. I think this is a very healthy indication for the future of things to come; most importantly, that the US has given up hopefully on its gun-ho attitude towards foreign relations.

   

1/1/2010 4:13:54 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Obama's appeasement policy…

 

… opens the way for Iran’s strategic ascent in Mideast. Khairi and Shiveh, you really must read this WorldTribune.com article: ___ http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2009/me_iran0992_12_28.asp ___ It is written by Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, Global Information System, and follows up on the Larijani secret proposal to Mubarak and other Arab leaders (among other things) that Shiveh alerted us to.

   

12/31/2009 5:34:35 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Iranian unrest…

 

Yes Shveh, I have been following with interest the developments in Iran and the arrest of opposition leaders. Let’s hope that the predictions of your good self come to pass and the Mullah’s are replaced with a western style democracy and representative government. Also, what is good for Iran would be double good for the so-called moderate Arab states that we call allies. Can you imagine this kind of unrest flaring up in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. I am afraid that the Mullahs are about to crush it as effectively as would Mubarak or King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. ___ I think you overestimate the economic and intellectual leadership of the USA in the world. That time has long past. We are now bankrupt and powerless compared to China, Japan and the rising countries of the East and Near East, including energy rich Russia, Iran and Iraq. _ The below article that I cited in AsiaTimes.com maps how China and Russia will work together to market the energy rich resources of Central Asia to lock out Europe and the USA keeping us (and particularly Europe) more than ever dependent on them for energy. I hope you and Khairi both read it beginning to end. It is very well written by Ambassador Bhadrakumar of India and is a real eye opener.

   

12/29/2009 6:37:55 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Summer's heat!

 

Dear Rick, Debka suggests A Security Council resolution for Palestinian statehood is in the works and Israel will be unable to stop its passage (Mobarak initiative.) Also, Iranians are in the process of taking their country back from mullahs. Are we finally moving to the fast track? 2010 has all the makings of a bloody and decisive year. Leaders of both Israel and Iran might choose to take refuge in a manufactured conflict just to survive the year! // By the way, bunch of dictators with illusions of grandeur are not the ones to stop America. They can be annoying but only to a point. There are a few countries that can compete economically and intellectually with US. Let’s hope they’ll rise with US and shape next few decades together. None of the alternatives are something to wish for!

   

12/29/2009 5:27:30 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

China resets terms of engagement in Central Asia

 

A good article in AsiaTimes.com by MK Bhadrakumar… ___ China has won the right to build a 7000 km pipeline to link the regions gas fields to cities on China’s eastern seaboard. ___ How did China win this competition? By providing Chinese farmers to farm one million hectares of Kazakh land to cultivate crops such as soya and rape seed. ___ Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan recently told global oil and metal majors that new laws would allow only those foreign investors that cooperate with his industrialization program to tap his nation's mineral resources. ___ "We will work only with those who propose projects helping diversification of the economy," he said at a December 4 investment conference in Astana, the Kazakh capital, which was attended by ArcelorMittal, Chevron, Total, ENRC and other investors. To any unwilling to collaborate, he said: "We will look for new partners, offer them favorable conditions and resources to fulfill projects." ___ Nazarbayev's message was direct: Western investors could keep their money if interested only in exploiting Kazakhstan's mineral wealth. The president was speaking as a momentous event in the history and politics of Central Asia was resetting the terms of engagement for foreigners in the region: the development of an ambitious 7,000 kilometer pipeline to link the region's gas fields to cities on China's eastern seaboard. ___ The Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline has already opened on December 14, 2009.

   

12/29/2009 5:17:58 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Life and premature death of Pax Obamicana

 

An interesting article at AsiaTimes.com by Spengler: ___ http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/KL24Ag01.html ___The writer predicts that: “Those who wanted an end to US hegemony will get what they wished for. But they won't like it.” ___ He says the one thing that we absolutely cannot have is a failed Pakistani state, yet Obama’s strategy of denying the Taliban and al-Qaeda sanctuary in Afghanistan, and forcing the Pakistanis to help support the fight, will guarantee just that…a failed state in Pakistan taken over by Islamists. ___ Who is this guy Spengler? He makes some pretty wild claims. The credits at the end of the article say that Spengler is “channeled by” David P. Goldman, senior editor at First Things (www.firstthings.com). ___ From Wikipedis: David P. Goldman is an economist and author. He came from an essentially secular left-wing Jewish family and was an atheist as a young man. He was a member of the Zionist-Socialist youth organization Hashomer Hatzair. In 1976 he joined the LaRouche movement. ___ That explains it; he’s a real crack pot.

   

12/29/2009 4:28:49 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Add Japan to the growing list of nations in opposition to US/Israeli axis hegemony…

 

Secretary Clinton called Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki on the carpet during the recent snow storm to complain about Japanese opposition to moving the US Marine Base from one part of Okinawa to another, an extremely rare occurrence. ___ U.S. and Asian officials are alarmed over the turn in relations with Japan since Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama led an opposition party to victory in August elections, ending an almost uninterrupted five decades of rule by the Liberal Democratic Party. ___ Hatoyama campaigned on promises he would be more assertive than previous Japanese leaders in dealings with the United States. He and his coalition partners want the base removed. ___ Couple this with recent events such as Hatoyama's call for an East Asian Community with China and South Korea, excluding the United States; the unusually warm welcome given to Xi Junping, China's vice president, on his trip to Japan this month, which included an audience with the emperor; and the friendly reception given to Saeed Jalili, the Iranian national security council secretary, during his visit to Japan last week and we can see that the handwriting is on the wall Khairi.

   

12/29/2009 9:01:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Causes of the break in diplomatic relations between Iran and Egypt…

 

Iran cut all official ties with Egypt when Sadat signed the Camp David peace treaty with Israel in 1979, before the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president granted asylum to the overthrown Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the wake of Iran's Islamic revolution. ___ The rift between the two countries further widened when Iran named a street in Tehran after Egyptian Islamist Khaled El Islambouli, the man accused of assassinating Sadat in 1981. In late 2008, Tehran criticized the Egyptian regime for taking part in the Gaza blockade against Israel. Egypt countered that Iran was seeking more power in the region by supporting Palestinian movement Hamas and Hezbollah of Lebanon. ___ It is rumored that Mubarak’s stated conditions to Iran’s envoy Larijani during his recent visit requesting renewed ties with Iran included: (1) the removal of a large mural of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's assassin from a street in Tehran as well as (2) an end to Iran's interference in internal Arab affairs. These were the two main conditions to be met before restoring any formal relations.

   

12/28/2009 5:37:42 PM

Rick

0

 
 

DEBKA Files…

 

Thanks for the DEBKA Files reference Shiveh. I find many other interesting articles there, in addition to the one that provoked your comment on the Iranian secret proposal to Egypt’s Mubarak and other Arab leaders. I wonder how that initiative is progressing…haven’t heard more about it in he past few days. ___ Here is another link to a similar article that was posted on December 21... ___ http://www.raceforiran.com/will-america%E2%80%99s-arab-allies-strike-their-own-deal-with-iran ___ This link talks about the new “Cold War” between those states willing to work in a strategic partnership with the United States, with an implied acceptance of American hegemony over the region. This camp includes Israel, those Arab states that have made peace with Israel (Egypt and Jordan), and other so-called moderate Arab states (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council). ___ On the other side of this divide are those Middle Eastern states and non-state actors that are unwilling to legitimize American (and, some in this camp would say, Israeli) hegemony over the region. The Islamic Republic of Iran has emerged in recent years as the de facto leader of this camp, which also includes Syria and prominent non-state actors such as HAMAS and Hizballah. ___ Notwithstanding its close security ties to the United States, Qatar has also aligned itself with the “resistance” camp on some issues in recent years. And, notwithstanding Turkey’s longstanding membership in NATO and ongoing European “vocation”, the rise of the Justice Development Party and declining military involvement in Turkish politics have prompted an intensification of Ankara’s diplomatic engagement in the Middle East, in ways that give additional strategic options to various actors in the “resistance” camp. ___ Re: the Mitchell visit Khairi...I'm sure he will announce that we are “very disappointed” in the continued settlement expansion and this will of course have zero effect on the Israelis and continue to dispel all hope for the Palestinians.

   

12/28/2009 5:15:08 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Countries and countries.

 

I think the countries mentioned by your good self Rick, are trying to tell the US that they have their own interests to pursue and that they are no push-overs, rather than present themselves as a challenge to the US. On the settlements issue, the tragi-comedy of it, is that, the us has rejected the Israeli plans and is sending Mr. Mitchell to the area to re-start the talks again. It seems he is carrying a letter of gurantees to the Israelis and one to the Palestinians. I wonder what the letters will he be guranteeing to the Israelis; no Palestinian state?. And to the Palestinians; a Palestinian state?.

   

12/28/2009 4:56:40 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Ho hum...just another nail in the coffin of the peace process

 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced plans on Monday to build nearly 700 new homes for Jews in areas of the occupied West Bank it considers part of Jerusalem, a city it has excluded from a limited moratorium on settlement construction.

   

12/28/2009 12:00:29 PM

Rick

0

 
 

That the world has accepted…

 

...the current status quo of US/Israeli axis hegemony does not make it acceptable in the near or far future. The times they are a changing Khairi, and it is for the better. Iran is right to challenge this domination by US/Israel, and the Arab league will join them if they know what is in their best interest. Russia, China, and other SCO member states and Brazil will also happily join them in beginning to establish the new world order. Hopefully it will be more just than the present US/Israeli hegemony, as exhibited by the illegal treatment of Palestinians, occupation of Palestine and illegal “preventive” wars in Iran and Afghanistan.

   

12/28/2009 7:14:37 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Problem remains..

 

Rick, that the world powers may well be hypocritical, and Dr, Afrasiabi is making a good point, and the anticipated sanctions will certainly prove to be a failure, yet, the world has accepted the US nuclear weapons as a fact of life; whether it likes or not. It has accepted Israel's nuclear weapons implicitly as a fait accompli, while all the world powers have rejected Iran having nuclear weapons. Again, the sensible thing to do for Iran under such unfavourable circumstances, is really to start cooperating immediately in order to prove that it does not intend to develop nuclear weapons.

   

12/27/2009 3:14:12 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Calling a spade a spade…

 

Seriously though Khairi, that starts at home don’t you think? Don’t you think that Dr. Afrasiabi makes a good point? I do. When the US and Israel pound their own nuclear warheads into plowshares, perhaps they will have grounds for attacking Iran, or anyone else who wants to defend themselves. I think Iran is on to something here. ___ At any rate it is clear to me that the UN sanctions will go nowhere when they convene in mid-January to “attack” this issue. It will just be a bunch of hypocrites sitting around a table trying to find a way to punish Iran for a sin that we are all guilty of to a greater degree than Iran could even begin to approach.

   

12/27/2009 6:25:18 AM

Rick

0

 
 

In the Spirit of the Season.

 

I suppose your good self's Iran do-gooder bit, Rick, must be taken in the spirit of the season; brotherly love and all that, otherwise, I would say that your good self's sense of humour is marvellous. When the effects of the season wear of, I suppose we'll all come back to calling a spade, a spade.

   

12/26/2009 6:21:12 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What is in Iran’s interest….?

 

Dr. Afrasiabi has an interesting article posted at AsiaTimes.com on why Iran may be giving the impression that it is pursuing nuclear weapons. It may be fulfilling its self-perceived role as a global leader by acting to force other world leaders to seriously consider nuclear disarmament. ___ And why does Iran seem to be more interested in global strategic issues than regional ones? An interviewed diplomat had this response: “It's due to the dynamism of Iran's historical revolution and the fact that Tehran has a long history of empire-building. However, the Iranian diplomat was quick to elaborate that Iran's intention was not join the "world empires" but rather to "transform the world toward a more just order". In other words, it is an inherent logic of the post-revolutionary state to resist the unjust global hierarchy and join other nations seeking to restructure it along "equitable lines". Those lines cover economic, political, military and geostrategic considerations, including nuclear arms races and disarmament.” ___ There you have it Khairi and Shiveh. Iran is just an incorrigible do-gooder, trying to cancel the evils perpetrated on the world by the vicious US/Israeli axis of evil.

   

12/26/2009 3:32:01 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Changing Mind; anecdote.

 

Your good self's posting Rick, reminded me of an anecdote told by a famous Lebanese historian while I was having the privilige of serving with him years ago. During one of his lectures at the AUB; in Beirut, one of his students challenged him regarding what he was saying, which contradicted what he had written in one of his books before. So the Professor turned around and said : if you find the man whom had written that book, please send him my regards. Again Seasonal greetings to your good self and Shiveh, and to everyone else reading our postings in their phantom capacity.

   

12/24/2009 6:11:29 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A most interesting DEBKA article Shiveh…

 

“Mubarak's Gulf tour started shortly after he had a rare high-profile meeting in Cairo with Ali Larijani, Iranian parliament’s speaker, prompting speculation that Tehran is seeking a new approach to improve its strained relations with Arab states by offering a new wide-ranging proposal and that Mubarak will be discussing it with Arab allies.” [As reported by GulfNews.com] ___ “Mubarak was galvanized by the message Larijani brought from Tehran containing the offer of "a new Iranian approach to resolving outstanding issues." Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already offered to open an embassy in Cairo for the first time since ties were broken off after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.” [From DEBKA article] ___ “Iran's offer of a new beginning includes a form of Iranian-Arab nuclear cooperation. Its immediate objective is to close ranks with the Arab nations in order to outmaneuver the US-Israeli campaign against its nuclear drive, thereby derailing the US president Barack Obama's plans for drawing Europe, Russian and China into approving another round of harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic.”___ “The bloc of Arab nations, which Mubarak and Saudi king Abdullah lead, has given up on effective action by America or Israel, including force, for throwing Iran off its current nuclear course. Within the region today, coexistence with Iran looks like a safer bet. If this burgeoning realignment of Middle East partnerships goes forward, the region's strategic balance will be pulled out of shape, Washington's influence heavily downgraded and Israel isolated.” ___ [Interesting indeed Shiveh, thanks for the link…it’s about time the Sunnis and Shi’ites pull together to break the US/Israeli hegemony!!]

   

12/23/2009 5:36:45 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Thank you Khairi and Shiveh and may you both enjoy the holiday season and have a happy new year

 

Thank you for the link Shiveh, it was great fun reading over our old posts of yester year and I see that our opinions have not changed in the least: ___ Shiveh: A nuclear Iran is good for peace in the Middle East because of its deterrence effect…Israel and/or America will not dare attack her if she has nuclear weapons. (March 8, 2008...5:43 PM) ___ Khairi: A successful US attack on Iran is not possible anyway quoting 80% of US military officers polled. (March 5, 2009...3:13 PM) ___ Khairi saying that Iran has enormous power and influence in the region…Shiveh saying that this power has little depth as it can go only as far as the US will tolerate. The US could easily destroy Iran and fracture it into autonomous regions. ___ Khairi countering that on the contrary, Iranian influence is not skin deep, primarily because of Islam, and quoting King Abdullah IInd of Jordan as saying Iran is spreading a Shi’ite Crescent from Tehran to the Mediterranean, Prince Saud al Faisal saying US intervention in Iraq is strengthening Shi’ite political influence in the region, and Mubarak complaining that Shi’ites in Arab countries are loyal to Iran rather than their own countries. ___ Reminds me of our exchange of a few days ago Shiveh, me lamenting the inability of Sunnis and Shia to reconcile their differences and you saying that this was not the major source of instability in the region.

   

12/23/2009 3:16:51 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Larijani Meeting.

 

Before travelling to the Gulf, President Mubarak met with Iraqi prime minister al Maliki, then Russian foreign minister Lavrov, and then Mr. Larijani. I guess Cairo was the hub of intense diplomatic activity in the last few days, however, irrespective of what Debka says, the fact that President Mubarak has gone on the visit to the Gulf himself; as opposed to sending his foreign minister or even Chief of Intelligence, indicates that there is more to this trip on Egyptian bi-lateral relations with the Gulf states, than anything else.

   

12/23/2009 10:21:58 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

If Iran..

 

acquires nuclear weapons, then the potential for a nuclear war will increase with almost near certainity Rick. Therefore, it is no consolation if Iran and Israel attack each other with nuclear weapons when they take the whole Middle East with them under sinders. Seasonal Greetings to you Shiveh, and Seasonal Greetings to you Rick.

   

12/23/2009 10:02:17 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Khairi, what do you make of this.

 

Mubarak on urgent trip to Gulf about Iran's reconciliation move DEBKAfile Special Report http://www.debka.com/index1.php

   

12/23/2009 9:40:35 AM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Lesser of two evils

 

Dear Rick, khairi and I discussed the nuclear issue in more detail in this same forum on March 2008. You may find it at the following address if interested: http://www.secure-x-001.net/SecureGeo/Issue/SecureObservationComments.asp?IssueFunction=108&IssuDate=3/4/2008&Site=109&Portal=1 With Best wishes for a peaceful, safe and joyous year for you both, Happy Holidays

   

12/23/2009 9:16:05 AM

Shiveh

0

 
 

American companies missing in action…

 

…during Iraq’s auction of oil rights last weekend. US firm ExxonMobil and Anglo-Dutch Shell did win the right five weeks ago to develop the West Qurna Phase I field. But the British company BP and China's CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation) have signed terms for the development of the huge Rumaila oil field, at 17.8 billion barrels (Bbbl) over twice the size of West Qurna 1, which holds at least 7 Bbbl of recoverable oil, and Italy's Eni has signed to develop the 4.1-Bbbl Zubair oil field along with Korea Gas and Occidental Petroleum. ___ In the latest round of bidding, in which 10 more fields were offered, of over 40 companies constellated in various consortia, only seven firms present at the auction were American and only one actually entered a bid. ___ For West Qurna Stage 2, out of four consortia submitting bids, the winners were Russia's Lukoil and Norway's Statoil, which will split shares respectively of 63.75% and 11.25% after an Iraqi state partner comes on board as intended with a 25% share. While West Qurna 1 went to ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, West Qurna 2 is the larger resource, with estimated reserves of over 12 Bbbl. ___ I think this is the trend of the future Khairi and Shiveh. The rich oil fields in Iraq and Iran will be developed with the primary assistance and influence of SCO members China and Russia, with the hated west being gradually more and more excluded. It is only a matter of time until Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States jump on board this bandwagon. Then it will be impossible for the US/Israeli axis to maintain its domination of the region.

   

12/23/2009 6:52:20 AM

Rick

0

 
 

But the choice is between a conventional attack on Iran…

 

…and a nuclear Iran with the potential to use it against Israel. Therefore in your own words…then “certainly, I would advocate an attack against Iran”. Pardon my persistence on this issue Khairi, but this is I think a very important issue of our time.

   

12/23/2009 6:10:21 AM

Rick

0

 
 

I thought..

 

my position is clear Rick. I don't advocate war against Iran. If the choice is between a conventional war to stop Iran having the "A" bomb, and a potential nuclear war in the future, or using atomic weapons by Iran as a peg to seek domination over the region, then certainly, I would advocate an attack against Iran. Otherwise, any such attack under any other pretext would be in my humble opionion; a crime against humanity. And I join your good self's condemnation Shiveh of any group of people whom insist on a ghetto mentality.

   

12/23/2009 4:05:43 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Guilty of generalization

 

Thank you khairi for pointing out that most French citizens of North African origin are culturally in sync with French society. Although my criticism was aimed at the immigrants who have willingly detached themselves from the French culture, I failed to make the distinction.

   

12/22/2009 9:20:53 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Khairi, take a stand my friend…

 

First you say, “…I am the last one to call for war”… and then: we cannot allow the current Iranian leadership to obtain a nuclear weapon (paraphrased)…and then: preferably it will be the US that attacks Iran (paraphrased)…___ You are calling for the US to attack Iran to keep them from acquiring the nuclear weapon. This is opposite the view of Shiveh and myself who say it is mad to attack Iran… ___ it is better to let them have the nuclear weapon than to attack them. ___ I am not saying of course that we are right and you are wrong; just that we have differing opinions on this issue.

   

12/22/2009 7:21:03 PM

Rick

0

 
 

I missed the point.

 

I think I missed the point Rick, rather than dodged the questions intentionally. On religious manifestations, I am wihtout a shadow of hesitation against such displays, but so long as, a French Jew doesn't wear a Kippa, a Christian French doesn't display the sign of the cross, and muslim woman doesn't cover her head. As for Iran, I think by now I made it very clear that I am the last one to call for war and violence, let alone a likely war with devastating effect such as against Iran, Nevertheless, as Shiveh implied, a nuclear weapon in the hands of the current lot in the leadership of Iran is really no joke, therefore, it is far too dangerous to allow to happen, and preferably it will be the US that attacks Iran, in order to stave of a bigger evil by using a lesser evil.

   

12/22/2009 2:28:52 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Dodging the question…

 

Yep Shiveh, Khairi is trying to follow your good self’s example and dodge the difficult question. But we won’t let him get away with it. Whereas you reluctantly admit, if it comes down to it, you prefer to allow the Mullah’s to develop nuclear weapons, rather than to allow an attack on Iran by either the US or Israel. ___ Khairi, you refuse to say that you do or do not want anyone to attack Iran, though I think that you secretly do; but say if anyone does it, better the US than Israel. I think that the title of your post (a warmonger?) is a hint that you really want Obama to attack Iran. ___ With regards to the treatment of Muslims in France Shiveh, that is a difficult issue. You say (I believe) that the Muslims cannot expect to be allowed to parade their religion publicly for all to see, lest it offend those of different beliefs; but should practice it quietly, out of site, behind closed doors. I suppose that if they were to have the call to worship blaring from loudspeakers disturbing the peace of others, that could be an issue. Otherwise, simply building a mosque with minarets on private property, or wearing the burqa, should not be an issue in my view. I‘m not sure where you stand on the issue Khairi, except to blame the government, a popular pass time in our country as well. And I think that you are right, Sarkozy’s instance on having the National Identity debate, against the better advice of some advisors, may be reminding people of their differences and contributing to the problem. That was certainly the opinion of the cleric whose mosque was vandalized.___ But let me add that I’m sure that we all oppose the act of vandalism and intimidation of desecrating a particular mosque in France, as Shiveh has stated, and which prompted my post in the first place. This is against the law and must not be tolerated. Shiveh however went further to say that Muslims must be an unobtrusive component blending in with French society, and the definition of unobtrusive is where we get into disagreements.

   

12/22/2009 12:08:02 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Something like, Birds of Feather Stick Together, I guess.

 

One is really no demographer nor a social scientist, so I can't really pretend to be either, however, what one can say is just based purely on mere observation from both sides of the divide; the Maghreb countries as well as France. At the same time, one is not blaming the state; the French state in this case, rather putting the onus on it, because it is the only entity with enough resources and capability to deal with this issue, and indeed, with many other issues. Coming from the Middle East, something which I always found fascinating, is the difference in the colonial experience in both the countries of the Near East {Mashreq} and those of North Africa [Maghreb]. Perhaps the only similarity in effect I could see, was actually in India and Pakistan but even here, the influence was only limited to the elites in both societies. When British colonialism followed usually policies of uncombined and uneven development in their colonies, for economic exploitation, the French approach towards their North African colonies; specifically Algeria, was that of incorporation into metropolitan France, but elsewehere also, did not escape the French civilizational mission in the colonies. Of course Lebanon and Syria were mandates and carried a different status under France. The effect of the French culture is very evident on the first generation of North African immigrants in France; ie those with first hand colonial experience, and they have been always Muslims and no one actually for many years saw their religion or their country of origin as ill-adapted to France. Indeed there are now third generation French Muslims, whom have no home but France, no culture but the culture of where they live, and no language but French. In other words they are French like any other French, even religion has no place in their private lives. Does that make it easier for him/her to live, more than the new waves of immigrants whom have a totally different experience and religion may play a bigger role in their lives?. No, it doesn't at all. Actually a few years ago the main troubles were started by the descendents of the "Harakis" whom fought for the French during the Algerian war of liberation, and it was all about rights and racism rather than Islam and religion. Ultimately, for the overwhelming majority of North African immigrants in France, they have only one home, and that is France, and they have no other home to go to. They are not illegal immigrants or without papers, NO, they are French citizens, with the same rights and obligations as the rest. Essentially, this is what the French state has to deal with,whether the carrot or the stick or both, their problems are actually the problems of their country; France, and simply they are not going to disappear like a bad dream.

   

12/22/2009 11:50:17 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Pigeon with pigeon, falcon with falcon; the same fly together. – from a Persian poem

 

Eloquently positioned but vaguely described Khairi; Rick might even say you are avoiding a direct answer. Regarding the problem in France, you are putting the blame on the French government and society expecting them to do even more. And find a scapegoat in their secular ideology and distaste for communitarianism. I tend to believe that the French secularism and even Europe’s multiculturalism has developed within the borders of the European society and is unable to process cultures so opposite to their own. Tribalism is an inborn defense and stays within all of us no matter how much we try to ideologically free ourselves of it. It is easier to live in France for people that look French and it gets harder as you move away from it. Governments try to even the field through anti-discrimination laws and regulations as much as possible but the problem is inherent and hurts the immigrants to the extend that they are different. The question I proposed was not regarding “how” it was more of a “why” question. Going back to the origin, the way you did with Iran’s nuclear question, would help here also. Why 5,000,000 people from outside a culture should be allowed to tear up the fabric of that culture and destroy the unity of purpose within that society. I see no problem in keeping the gates open for the ones that believe in or can accept or at least live with the French way of life but do not see any compelling reason for or any benefit to changing the French way of life to accommodate people who do no intend to change accordingly; people who should not have come if they did not want to join.

   

12/22/2009 9:54:56 AM

Shiveh

0

 
 

A Warmonger?.

 

Indeed Shiveh it is fireplace and chopping wood time unfortunately at my age. The snow has melted for now in and around Paris, so I hope it will stay like this not to hamper our plans to go to London next week. There are many socio-economic problems in France, and I think the rigidity of the French Republican ethos has plenty to do with these problems. France has entered a straightjacket of its own making, because it does not believe in the notion of "communitarianism" while on the other hand the "Laic" [closest translation would be secular]system is not a neutral value that can help in integrating all the citizens of France. So we ended up over here with the rejection of communitarianism and the failure of integration. I am afraid this national identity debate, is a mere gloss over the problems in order to appear to be doing something while in effect, we end up in an endless cycle of talk which will only aggrevate some, and frustrate others. I don't know why President Sarkozy is not talking about a new national social vision for France of the future. I mean he is talking about new things on almost every occasion !!. As for Iran Rick, I think we should go back to square one of this argument. Iran denies that it intends to develop nuclear weapons, and there is no evidence currently that the regime in Iran is not telling the truth. However, since there is strong international resistance to any attempts of Iran developing such weapons; and as the Iranian regime says it doesn't intend to, Tehran can do much more than it is doing now, to alleviate the fears and suspicions of the international community, by showing straightforward cooperation and transparency over its nuclear programme. The subject of Israel in this context, crops up invariably, and indeed it should at least on moral grounds, but when the overwhelming majority in the international community, seem to have accepted implicitly, the Israeli nuclear programme as fait accompli, but rejects any such potential for Iran, and threaten to go to war over it, the option for Iran is clear; either the regime cooperates or risks attacks. And if there are going to be attacks, I certainly prefer the US to do it rather than Israel. When it comes to Mr. Hariri, he started his career as a leader of one Lebanese block of political groups, and reflected the hopes, aspirations and political stance of this block. But when he became a prime minister, the office gave him the leadership of the whole of Lebanon and not only the leadership of a section of Lebanese society. Therefore, it is no longer what the preferences of the block that he had lead before which matter, rather the interests of the whole of Lebanon and all its politcial components.

   

12/22/2009 4:17:18 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Did al-Hariri capitulate…

 

An article in Israel’s YnetNews.com says: “Saad al-Hariri’s meeting with Bashar Assad constitutes one of the greatest achievements for the Syrian president’s policy, as well as surrender – even if polite and surrounded by pomp and circumstances – by the head of Lebanon’s anti-Syrian camp.” ___ “On the strategic front Assad does not rest either: Only last week he signed yet another defense memorandum with Iran whose details are unknown as of yet.” ___ “There was no Lebanese leader who did not visit Assad or at least send his condolences for his brother’s death. Even Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is reportedly expected to leave his hideout and personally offer his condolences to the Syrian president. So overall, despite the mourning, it appears Assad has good reasons to smile.” ___ What do you make of this Khairi? Syria and Iran in the drivers seat and capitulation of al-Hariri?

   

12/21/2009 4:58:32 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Attacking Iran is pure madness…

 

Amen to that brother. On that we are in 100% agreement. I don’t think that our good friend Khairi sees it that way…do you Khairi?

   

12/21/2009 4:16:49 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Nuclear mullahs

 

I like to see Iranians mastering all aspects of nuclear technology. But I do not want to see this bunch controlling Iran’s resources at the present become even more belligerent by adding nuclear to their armament. Best case scenario would be regime change before nuclear mastery. But, if the only way to stop the present regime from adding the bomb is to attack Iran, then I would prefer to let them have the bomb. Nuclear Mullahs are a big headache, but attacking Iran is pure madness.

   

12/21/2009 4:08:19 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Dodging the question…

 

You don’t want to express an opinion, Shiveh, on whether Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, or is entitled to build a nuclear weapon, given that the US/Israeli axis and others feel the need to have them for “self defense”? ___ Let me guess, this is another area that you and Khairi have a different view of the situation. Is an attack on Iran by the US/Israeli axis eminent or justifiable?

   

12/21/2009 3:32:21 PM

Rick

0

 
 

no comparison

 

Dear Rick, Latino Immigrants are the closest you could come to compare the situation with France and North African immigrants. But in reality it is not even close. The cultural differences between Latino immigrants and US general population are minimal. In fact those cultures could be considered closely paralleled compared to borga wearing masculine culture of the latter group which in many cases is opposite the French culture. Please also note that French law protects the right to worship of all French residents and prosecutes harassment incidents. Bigotry has no place in my opinion.

   

12/21/2009 3:29:09 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

There you go again Shiveh…

 

…thought provoking. It is good for me to make me think…but oh so difficult…lol. ___ I guess it could be analogous to our fear of Mexican emigrants, taking our jobs, using our Medicaid benefits and schools, that we have earned by years of tax paying that they get overnight…and they don’t even have the common decency to learn our language. They expect our businesses, banks, etc to offer services in their language. ___ You say we are different in that we are a nation built by immigrants, but we certainly seem to resent our neighboring invaders from south of the border. Although feelings are mixed. Big businesses, like Walmart, like the invading work force which works cheap, with no benefits. Just like our businesses also like to export our manufacturing capability to China for the cheap labor. ___ So where does all this leave us? I think that we Norteamericanos and Europeans must accept a dramatic reduction in our standard of living to be competitive in the world marketplace. And there is no place for acts of vandalism, or desecration of immigrant places of worship, or attacks on citizens because of their style of clothing in either of our societies.

   

12/21/2009 2:52:07 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Events in Iran

 

Regarding Iran’s future, Rick, let me just rely on the old saying that “people deserve the system that governs them” and add that the youth of Iran can not and will not be governed by any system less than what they deserve and demand. This in my opinion is a democratic and forward looking system. The events in Iran are moving into the fast track. 2010 should be a decisive year. Let’s see.

   

12/21/2009 1:59:02 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Let's call a spade, spade!

 

Dear Rick, an open society behaves differently from a closed society in such situations and I believe I did hint on the difference. But there is a basic reason for pushing such a different culture away in countries like France that has nothing to do with compassion or civility. A society, a country, a nation is functional and stays together for as long as there is a common bond that keeps them together as a unit. In the old world this bond is made of common language and/or ethnicity and/or culture and includes a shared history and desired future. In the US, a hegemonic system has developed that embraces different nationalities and cultures in a unique mix of commonality and shared purpose. The problem with Moslem immigrants who moved mostly from northern Africa to France and total about 5 million is that they insist on a subculture that is so different and in contrast to the French culture that damages the fabric of the French society and their unity of purpose. The Moslems immigrated to France not because they felt closer to the French way of life, but because of the opportunities it offered them. This is a wrong approach to immigration. With opportunity comes responsibility. A society that extends a helping hand to pull up another does not expects to be pulled down by that other. This is exactly what the French immigrants are doing by forcing an incompatible culture into the fabric of the French unity. They are weakening the bond that makes French a unique nation. This is not the deal the French signed into and they have every right to re-evaluate and to even reject it. //It would be very deferent if it was the French who had decided to convert to Islamic way of life. But that is not the case. This feels quite understandably like an invasion to them and they are reacting to it as such.

   

12/21/2009 1:48:44 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

End of year remarks from the Chairman

 

Military force would have little chance of success in stopping Iran’s supposed nuclear weapon development program. But we will be prepared to use it anyway in 2010 if needed. So says the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ___ "Most critically, Iran's internal unrest, unpredictable leadership and sponsorship of terrorism make it a regional and global concern," heightened by what Mullen called "its determined pursuit of nuclear weapons." ___ What are your thoughts on this Shiveh? My own opinion is that Iran has the right to develop its nuclear power capability, including weaponry, as long as the rest of the world is. The US/Israeli axis in particular have abrogated any right to object by their own behavior. ___ As for labeling Iran as an exporter of terrorism, that is also in the eye of the beholder. Most of the world I suspect sees Hamas and Hezbollah as freedom fighters backing the underdog in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict; and US/Israel as the axis of evil and exporter of terrorism in the form of white phosphorus bombs used against innocent population centers in the hopes of killing an occasional “terrorist”.

   

12/21/2009 12:59:38 PM

Rick

0

 
 

2010...a pivotal year in Afghanistan and Iraq

 

Much attention will be focused on the surge in Afghanistan, but next year could be even more pivotal in Iraq. These are the thoughts of Fareed Zakaria as expressed in his column in today’s WP. Can you access this article on the web Khairi and Shiveh? ___ Your comments on the rights and privileges of Muslims in France are thought provoking Shiveh. I had not considered this in that light. I only saw the injustice being done to Muslims for observing their religious beliefs. ___ Sorry Shiveh, but after rethinking the situation, I come to the same opinion as before. Just because other closed minded or brainwashed societies choose to behave in a particular manner does not excuse that behavior in supposedly free thinking and open societies in my view.

   

12/21/2009 12:22:51 PM

Rick

0

 
 

To be un-French in France is not a right, nor should it be a privilege.

 

Hope you are both enjoying cozy evenings near fireplace watching snow from behind windows in DC and Paris. We had regular winter weather in California, 75 f and sunny! One always wants things one does not have. This takes me to the other subject of your posts. The future of immigrants in France and the reaction to a culture that is clearly not French. Imagine a subculture in Mecca that likes to party, enjoys wine and kissing in the streets. Imagine women of this subculture walking in the streets around Kabbe with mini skirts and walking topless on the beaches of the Persian Gulf. Now imagine how the Saudi Arabs feel when they hear that newcomers of this subculture are and should be considered as Saudi citizens and their behavior part of the totality of Saudi cultural identity. If this happens in Saudi Arabia, there will be a massacre; in France they want a national debate. Maybe that is why immigrants with a culture so different from the local norms go to France and not Saudi Arabia.

   

12/21/2009 9:41:35 AM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Snow.

 

Indeed we have snow Rick over here, but we are not snowed under;yet. For some time now, we have been having ideas of one "flying circus" after another. So, God knows what else will crop up next after this national debate fizzles out. Actually I haven't thought before, whether I am loved or otherwise, but thanks for drawing my attention, I suppose, I have to give it a bit of serious thought.

   

12/19/2009 4:14:34 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

French debate national identity…

 

When Muslim worshipers showed up at the Bilal Mosque early Sunday morning, they found two pig's ears and a poster of the French flag stapled to the door; a pig's snout dangled from the doorknob. "White power" and "Sieg heil" were spray-painted on one side, they recalled, and "France for the French" on the other. ___ For Abdelmalek Bouregba, head of the Castres Islamic Association, which administers the mosque, the vandalism was a troubling sign of the times. Signals are flashing everywhere that France is increasingly uneasy with its more than 5 million Muslims, he said, and the atmosphere has soured particularly since President Nicolas Sarkozy's government last month began what it calls "a great debate on national identity." ___ for Abdelmalek Bouregba, head of the Castres Islamic Association, which administers the mosque, the vandalism was a troubling sign of the times. Signals are flashing everywhere that France is increasingly uneasy with its more than 5 million Muslims, he said, and the atmosphere has soured particularly since President Nicolas Sarkozy's government last month began what it calls "a great debate on national identity." ___ And a small-town mayor from the Sarkozy coalition, André Valentin, warned during a government-sponsored national identity debate last week that "we are going to be gobbled up" unless something is done to halt the influx of immigrants, who he said "are paid to do nothing." ___ Are you feeling unloved Khairi?

   

12/19/2009 9:41:58 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Snow…

 

Do you get much snow in Paris Khairi? We are getting clobbered in the Washington D.C. area. Have close to 12 inches already and expect get16 to 24 inches before it quits. I expect that our friend Shiveh does not have this problem in Sunny California.

   

12/19/2009 9:33:05 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-CIA& National Priority.

 

The source of this rumour seems to be an article published in the London based; al Quds al Arabi newspaper. Mind you I never thought I would be in the same mind as the CIA!!!. On the National Priority Scheme, what Mr. Netanyahu has being doing till now, is pursuing a peace policy to end all peace prospects.

   

12/19/2009 3:38:28 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The National Priority Areas Program

 

Did you know Khairi that the Israeli government has established a National Priority Areas program in which the citizens of certain West Bank settlements are given millions of dollars of state funding. The move is a gesture to settlers who are furious at the government for agreeing to the 10 month moratorium on new settlement construction after months of pressure from the US. These communities will receive 41 million dollars which will benefit 110,000 settlers.

   

12/18/2009 6:18:18 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Holy Land Confederation…

 

It has a good ring to it Khairi, and it sounds very much like your proposal for a Jordan/West Bank merge. It may be workable. I did a Google search on it and came up with this link: http://www.harhoma.com/confederation/questionsAndAnswers.aspx ___ It has a rather lengthy article on the subject which I have not completely read and don’t know, but doubt that it is associated with the CIA. Perhaps the CIA has a similar plan in the works and borrowed harhoma.com’s name for their plan. ___ Going to the harhoma.com web page we see that it is owned by a real estate outfit named Makor. Makor Issues and Rights Ltd. owns 568,000 square meters of land on Har Homa neighborhood in Jerusalem and has an option to buy additional 364,000 square meters there, a total of 932,000 sq. meters. Makor planned to build on this land 6,500 apartments, 3 hotels and shopping center in eight stages. The total sales volume was estimated to $1.5 Billion. In 1991 the land in Har Homa owned by Makor was confiscated by the Israeli government for the same purpose, to build residential neighborhood. The company is entitled to receive just compensation. Since then, Makor has successfully entered into the field of High - Tech Developments and became High-Tech Investment Company. ___The issue of Har Homa is known to the public and the media as an issue of dispute between Palestinians and Israelis, where each side claims its right to control the area.

   

12/18/2009 5:03:53 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Floating the Idea.

 

There are rumours Rick, to the effect that the CIA is floating the idea, of a future conferderation between Jordan, Israel and Palestine; under the title of "Holy Land confederation". I wonder if there are new ideas emerging, away from the two-state solution. Something which we have been both sceptical about.

   

12/18/2009 3:35:52 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Of course

 

Shiveh is a tough act to follow, and your good self Rick always provides us with informed opinion about the Middle East, as for religions, well, keeping with my philosophy of having a fire exit, I suppose I am no sceptic when it comes to foxholes. Please Shiveh, your contributions are most welcome, and as Rick says, it has become lonely for us on this forum since everyone seems to have deserted us for better things in life. As far as one is concerned, one tries as a rule to be detached from one's own writings, but then again, as a person born in war and turmoil, and has seen nothing but that for most of his life, I guess in the manner of self-psycho analysis, it becomes natural to hold on to the little left of peace for as long as possible.

   

12/17/2009 6:12:28 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Dear Shiveh,

 

Thank you and a thousand pardons for my butchering of your name last post. Of course Khairi and I will much appreciate your contributions to our discussions. As you can tell we have been feeling desperately lonely and abandoned by all for some months now. Welcome back. And I agree with your comment that all religions are man made.

   

12/17/2009 5:09:32 PM

Rick

0

 
 

FYI

 

Dear Rick, I appreciate your response. Since you showed interest, and because it is only fair, let me explain that I am an Iranian born/ raised male, presently residing in California as a citizen of the United States for over 3 decades. I’m of Persian (Arian) race -not Semite as you suspected- and Moslem ancestry; but am certain!! That all religions are man-made, so I should be considered as a non-believer. // Let me extend my best to you and Khairi and wish you many years of dialog through mediums such as this one. If you would not consider it an intrusion, I may join you in this forum for a little chat from time to time.

   

12/17/2009 4:50:43 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Thank you Shiva,

 

I was curious what your opinion would be and am happy to receive it. I respect your opinion and that of my good friend Khairi which is practically the same as yours. Knowing Khairi’s background as a former citizen of Jordan, a respected professional journalist, and a civil servant serving the royal family as press liason I believe (or something similar, that is not quite right), I have a particularly high regard for his opinions. Not knowing your background, you are clearly very familiar with the region, perhaps you are a Jewish person now living in LA I seem recall from one of your previous posts of long ago. In any case thank you for your response. ___ Having never been to the region myself, and only knowing what I see on TV and read in the paper, I am clearly the least informed among us on this subject. However, I agree with your good self that the Palestinians have been grievously wronged by the Israelis with the strong backing of my country. The UN partition of Palestine in 1947 was a foreseeable disaster then and remains so today. The Israelis seem to be intent on continued settlement expansion, sole ownership of Jerusalem, and control of the Jordan River Valley and West Bank aquifer water supply system with no intention of ever sharing this fairly with the Palestinians. ___ I wish the Israelis and Palestinians the best in finding the will to accept one another and live peacefully side by side as you and Khairi so ardently wish but I must say that I do not believe it is not in the cards. I think that the mistake of 1947 must be corrected and the land returned to its previous Arab rule.

   

12/17/2009 4:14:10 PM

Rick

0

 
 

an honorable and dignified solution to a miserable problem

 

Dear Rick, a few days ago, I responded to your post with a line in passing which if you permit me I would like to repeat here. I said “Just imagine what cousins can do if they combine Jewish know how with Arab muscle and wealth.” Let me also add that I understand and greatly appreciate values such as honor and dignity. To always do what is right and resist the wrong are among the highest virtues a human can hope to live by. I also do believe that Palestinians were wronged. So why is it that I can’t agree with you in this matter? Give me a chance to explain. In addition to honor and dignity there are other virtues that I also consider and value; among them are rational thinking, duty to your children and belief in common good. These also apply to the Palestinian/Israeli situation. This generation of Palestinians (Arabs) and Israelis (Jews) are poisoned with hatred. It is irrational to expect them to forget all the harm they have caused each other and become good neighbors; but it is not out of the rim of rationality to expect them to think about what they are leaving their children and the whole of humanity. I can find no dignity in offering my child a life full of death and destruction while children like him all around the world can enjoy a life full of knowledge and prosperity. How honorable it really is to condemn another generation of Palestinian and Israelis to a life of hatred and missed opportunities? This must stop and both Arabs and Jews of this generation must find a way to stop it. A good place to start is to throw away unachievable dreams. Jews will never rule the “Greater Israel”; Arabs won’t let them. Arabs need to accept the Jews as neighbors; they are not going anywhere. They have claims to parts of this land going back over 5000 years. So, start negotiating with this understanding that neither is going anywhere. Do it for next generations of Arab and Jews. Do it for humanity and do it because this is the only rational, sane, as well as dignified and honorable thing to do. If this generation can just learn to live together, the next will learn to cooperate and prosper together. The alternative is to fight and die in misery while the rest of humanity walks the path to our next stage of development. The best that other Arab and Moslem countries can do for Palestinians is to help them see the reality of the situation and work toward a workable solution. And that is what I believe our freind Khairi is saying.

   

12/17/2009 2:13:56 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Switching alliances…

 

I think your good self assumes that we are talking about a sudden, drastic, suicidal change in course Khairi, which is not the case at all. We are talking about a slow change that occurs over the coming decades as world oil and natural gas supplies diminish and as the balance of power as a result gradually flows from the west to the east...from NATO to the SCO. It will be a very natural thing, not a form of suicide for Arab leaders to join Iran, which is already partitioning for admittance to the SCO.

   

12/17/2009 1:15:44 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Call how you like.

 

Of course Rick, your good self can describe the situation as you like, but ultimately, when the choice for a whole nation is between suicide and making the best of a bad situation, any Arab leader has the right to committ suicide, but not the right to "suicide" his own people in the process. Ruling over a people; any people, is a responsibility, and their welfare comes before their suicide.

   

12/17/2009 12:39:21 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

In that case Khairi…

 

The Arabs must like the treatment they receive at the hands of the US/Israeli axis. They may as well keep the sign on their back that says “Kick me, I like it…ahhh, kick me again, that feels so good…ahhh, do it again…and again…” Is this the Sunni form of self flagellation that is performed by the Shiites, whipping themselves on the back?

   

12/17/2009 10:45:50 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Assumptions

 

I think Rick, your good self assumes that the Arab world, can switch on and of alliances as it pleases when it pleases, which is really not the case. Secondly, your good self assumes that, there is a new alliance system in the making to challenge the US unipolar power, which is not apparent still, and thirdly, you assume that, the Arabs would want to join such a hypothetical system of alliance, because it would serve better their interests; which may well be not true.

   

12/17/2009 9:42:30 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

In the here and now…

 

…the Palestinians and the Arabs are at the mercy of the US/Israeli alliance and have no choice but to accept the status quo because of the incompetence and graft of Arab leaders over the past six decades. Israeli settlement expansion and persecution of Palestinians will continue unabated in the near future. The best that can be done in the here and now is an announcement of a shift in direction and alliances for the future. This is likely to have a profound effect in itself. A steep and immediate increase in the price of a barrel of oil is appropriate under the current circumstances.

   

12/17/2009 7:19:04 AM

Rick

0

 
 

In the Long Run..

 

Everything is possible Rick. The porblem is with the here and now and not so distant future. There are urgent questions which need to be resolved, before more deaths and destruction occure.

   

12/17/2009 6:39:10 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A long process…

 

The process will not occur over night but will be gradual and long lasting. Make clear immediately from the outset that the US/Israeli imperialistic actions in the region are the motivation; e.g. occupation of Palestine, invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, threatened attack on Iran, etc, etc, etc. Switch alliances from the west to the SCO. End dependence on US armaments and switch to Russian and Chinese. The impact will be huge and how could the US/Israeli axis respond? Threaten to invade and occupy the entire Arab/Persian world until it yields to US/Israeli demands? Hardly.

   

12/17/2009 5:10:51 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Certainly.

 

With the presence of so many US bases and troops in the region Rick, and the total dependence of the region on American armaments, what your good self is calling for, is a war against the US and the west, in whcih the balance of power indicates, that the Arabs will loose in no uncertain terms. We will not only have Palestine to worry about then, but many other emerging Palestines. I am afraid your ptoposal is really too farfetched.

   

12/17/2009 4:19:30 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

How to hold the international community to its word?

 

Cut off the electricity…no energy imports…no hot water shower in the morning…no gas in the SUV tank…that will get their attention.

   

12/16/2009 6:26:00 PM

Rick

0

 
 

There is no dignity...

 

in the cycle of endless violence and destitution Rick. if the Arab peace-seekers are to be praised, it is for their efforts to restore dignity and honour to the palesitnian people. The whole world has guaranteed the establishment of a Palesitnian state, so what can the Arab peace-seekers do more than, hold the international community to its word?.

   

12/16/2009 4:27:22 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Peace with honor and dignity…

 

You praise those countries which are trying to find a solution for the Palestinians to “live in Palestine rather than die in it” Khairi, a laudable goal provided that the Palestinians can live with honor and dignity. The present situation, in which the Israelis can take as much Palestinian land as they want, any time they want, ration water to the Palestinians at a rate that does not meet minimum health requirements, limit commerce to the point of killing economic activity, and so on…, does not provide a life worth living. It is better to die resisting this type of illegal occupation. I know that’s easy for me to say…but apparently it is also the reality for the people on the ground in Palestine. And the Palestinians would not have to die in the effort to provide for a life with basic human dignity for their children if the corrupt Arab collaborators would just join with the Iranians in putting airtight sanctions on the flow of energy to the west. How much of the Israeli’s energy usage is imported…80%...90%? How long could the US maintain its hegemony over the region when the Persian Gulf oil shipments are shut down?

   

12/16/2009 1:26:19 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Not So.

 

What the Arab people need Rick, is peace and stability, and not, more war and turmoil.

   

12/16/2009 12:07:32 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Hegemonic interests…

 

…yepper, when the Arab countries of the region allow the US/Israeli axis to pursue its hegemonic interests in the region, it is the fault of those Arab leaders who permit this to happen at the expense of their poor people. Of course these same Arab leaders are living high on the hog for the moment on the billions of US foreign aid that is pumped into their coffers like clock work each year. But look out for the future. As alluded to by Shiveh, the common people are as likely to rise up and overthrow these corrupt leaders in Arab countries as they are in Iran.

   

12/16/2009 10:57:27 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-desperation.

 

Your good self is absolutely correct Shiveh, I must clarify that, when I talk about Iran I am talking about the regime and its attitude and not the Iranian people. Also, I must say again that, Iran will pursue its own national interest even at the detriment of the national interests of others, if it feels that its aspirations will go unchallenged and undettered. Indeed, there was a point in which Iran did feel desperate, and that was during the US invasion of Iraq while the talk was still of regime change in the area. Tehran did try to reach a compromise with the Bush adminsitration then, which shows bluntly, that once Iran percieves that the threats against it are tangible and real, it will listen.

   

12/16/2009 4:53:36 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

re-Iranian Influence.

 

When hegemony is the aim Rick, influence is the instrument. Funny that Iran's Islamic duty includes facilitating the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan; two Islamic countries. There are over 57 Islamic countries with 1.3 billion Muslims, and Iran coincidentally, finds it convenient to put its Islamic duty in places which serve its own national interest. One is not saying that Iran has no right to pursue its hegemonistic national interest, rather, it is the fault of others when they allow that to happen at their own expense. Unfortunately your good self paraises Iran; which wants to fight Israel until the last Palestinian, and condemn those countries which aim at, finding a solution for the Palestinians to live in Palestine rather than die in it.

   

12/16/2009 4:47:57 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Desperation or Hegemony?

 

Dear Khairi, there is very little about Iran’s “foreign policy” that I agree with. It is waste of money and effort to interfere with matters that should not concern Iran. But I believe everything that mullahs are doing is of defensive nature. They clearly saw the writing on the wall when US attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and they took counter measures based on the belief that they can not win a war with America but can make it too expensive for US to try. They are buying friends where ever they can find them because like any other tyrant their basic desire is to hold on to power by all means possible. It is helpful to make this distinction that they do not represent all of Iranians. Great majority in Iran would stop the flow of money and forgo the influence it buys if they could. And I believe they will when they eventually can. // I do not see your choice of words as far off, only that where you may see an offending bully, I see only a scared animal.

   

12/15/2009 5:26:59 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Iranian influence in the region…

 

I would say influence is a better word to use than hegemony Khairi. After all, the reason for this influence is that they are supporting the Hamas and Hezbollah freedom fighters in Palestine and Lebanon, the opposition to the US/Israeli axis of occupiers, as all good Muslims in the region should be doing; in sharp contrast to the appeasers and collaborators who occupy the seats of power in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

   

12/15/2009 5:19:58 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Choice of Words.

 

I don't know what other choice of words I can use Shiveh, considering Iran's influence in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, and in Gaza, not to mention of course, its trouble making potential in the Gulf states, in addition to Yemen, which is likely very soon, to accuse Iran officially of interference in its conflict with the {Huthis}.

   

12/15/2009 4:25:24 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Unmistakable hegemonic position…

 

…what leads you to say this Khairi?

   

12/15/2009 1:19:17 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Unfortunately..

 

dear Shiveh, the way the Iranian revolution matured, was through moving on from the export of the revolution, to an unmistakable hegemonic position in the ragion, and possibly beyond. Indeed, both Japan and Germany did pick up after serious destruction, but they did so after the US poured in its financial support, because of fear of North Korean threats at the time in the first instance, and Soviet Communism in the second. One would say that, the next step depends on how the US does actually define its own realism in the face of the Iranian regime's definition of national interest.

   

12/15/2009 11:56:23 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Revolution's natural process

 

Dear Khairi, there is a natural process imbedded in revolutions which happen in old rusty countries. The misery forces people to wake up. Blood that is so frequently shed opens the eyes to what matters and people learn to rely on themselves and push each other and country over hurdles. Revolutions force their victims to mature fast and people who were denied their rights – as revolutions so often do – learn the price and value of freedom. Iran is following this path. With the memory of Persian greatness kept vivid in the eyes of Iranian youth, and with the self confidence and knowledge they have acquired, they want and are able to reach new heights. This process can’t be stopped. // You give US two choices, destroy or yield. This assumes that the present stage of development of Iranians is the final stage and they’ll always want to harmfully influence their neighbors and beyond. I beg to differ. I see Iran maturing enough to become an economic hob rather than a militaristic power in the region. You are correct about the future of the Velayat in Iran; it dies with Khamenei - although they may try Shahroudi for a while but it’s time has already passed. The “militaristic period” if comes will be short lived. The youth are the future of Iran. They do not care for religion as much as their parents did, and even mullahs can’t keep their children away from attractions of modernity. US may very well decide to bomb Iran but the true power of a country is in her people not brick and cement. Germany and Japan lost the World War, but you wouldn’t know it, looking at them now. // Let’s hope that Middle East matures alongside Iran and there won’t be a desire to pull her down, rather to pull up with her.

   

12/15/2009 10:50:45 AM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Iran matters.

 

I suppose so long as we don’t talk in terms of the alleged Churchillian dictum of “ feed the Arabs, starve the Persians”, anything we all say is passable. The problem with Iran is not really in whether this regime stays or is overthrown by outside machinations or internal revolution, rather, with the manner Iran has defined its national strategic interest, and the manner it will continue to do so. For the first time, the world; especially the superpowers, witness a new phenomenon in which a Near Eastern country, actually defines its national strategic interest beyond the circumference of its neighbourhood. The closest any country from the region came to doing that, was Hashemite Iraq, when late prime minister Nuri al Saeed defined Iraq’s national interest extending to the borders of the Soviet Union. Even Nasser’s United Arab Republic did not come close to the ambitious definition of Iran regarding its national interest. Therefore, in this respect one believes that, Iran is truly a new phenomenon on the international scene, moreover, it is acting with the pretensions of not only a regional power, but also a super-power. It is not only a Gulf power, but actually is also a Mediterranean power now, with an arch that envelopes all the oil rich Arab states within its Shiite Crescent, threatening at the same time the national security of Jordan, Egypt and Israel, and with potential capability to expand its influence to the “Stans” of the ex-Soviet Union, as well as Afghanistan. A regime with such an extension and influence, is not likely to give up such gains merely because others wish that to happen. Also, it is a folly to think that the current regime in Iran will be willing to negotiate its nuclear programme, which is essentially, the leitmotif of the status of a super-power. In addition, any regime which potentially replaces the current one, will not give up on the gains made by the current regime, nor will negotiate its nuclear programme. Therefore, the only two options for the US are, either accept Iran as a partner, and build its foreign policy on the basis of such realism, or, go to war against Iran and hit it hard, to make it impossible for Iran to pick the pieces of power after that, and even, make it more impossible for any replacement of the current regime to be able to contemplate any such current pretensions. At the same time, what is the status of the institution of Velyati-Faqih in all this?. I don’t think anyone can seriously think that, a change of regime, or the current regime would change its nature, so long as the leadership of Veli-Faqih remains as the main arbiter in Iranian politics. However, the Mullah vs. Mullah conflict which is still going on in Iran, indicates that the position is no longer held as, sacrosanct any longer. As a matter of fact, and one is making a wild bet on this, I dare say that Ayattullah Khamina’I is most likely to be the last office holder in this institutions, because Iran will gradually slip into a military and security controlled regime, with a religious veneer only. Even any potential replacement, I don’t think will be different to the character which the current regime will evolve into. Khairi janbek.paris/france

   

12/15/2009 9:15:54 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

They could but won't add; just devide!

 

Rick, old animosities are prevalent in the region and not only among Persians and Arabs. Just imagine what cousins can do if they combine Jewish know how with Arab muscle and wealth. In a nutshell let me say that main problem in the Middle East is lack of maturity. It is just too easy to move masses to any which way that their rulers want. Add that to the great divide between what is good for the masses and what keeps their rulers in power and you’ll see that the real mayhem is local. They are really doing it to themselves. Sorry to have to say that harm inflicted by western dominance is a natural side effect of immature local behavior.

   

12/15/2009 9:04:49 AM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Thanks Shiveh…

 

In a way it is good to know that the present lack of Arab/Persian trust is due to the ancient (and ongoing) struggle for domination rather than trivial religious differences. Nevertheless they must overcome this ancient hatred if they are to combine their resources and overcome domination by the US/Israeli axis. You mention that you have no idea what the next 10 to 20 years will bring. One thing is certain I think. The coming decades will bring world wide diminishing oil and natural gas resources, which will give the Middle East region enormous wealth and power if the leaders of the region can just get their act together and join forces with the SCO.

   

12/15/2009 4:21:40 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Old animosity

 

Dear Rick, The essence of Arab/Persian mistrust is not in the variations of their religion, it is formed by two millennia of bloody conflicts for domination. Persians, Arabs and later Turks have been fighting each other for centuries before Europeans extended their influence and changed the balance of power. The old animosity and mistrust that Khairi notes still exists and it was most evident in Iran/Iraq war. But I do not think the West can afford to let the balance of power in the Middle East change so much that any single country be able to dominate the region. Only enough will be allowed to necessitate purchase of outdated weaponry by oil rich countries of the region. // Dear Khairi, you are correct as always. The best alternative for Arab rulers is a regime that does not challenge their rule. Naturally, Arab ruler’s main concern is to stay in power. Islamic fundamentalism, may it be Shia version influenced by Iran or Sunni of the kind that Ekhvan are advertising, constitutes one end of the pendulum of danger that can topple them, the other end touches on the eventual awakening of Arab people to their rights and possibilities. All Arab rulers must keep the balance between enough Islam to hold their people back and enough modernity to keep them away from fundamentalism. Iranian regime is only one aspect of this threat. Sunni fundamentalism, the danger within, may prove to be the bigger threat.

   

12/14/2009 6:20:20 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

The Problem remains..

 

in the manner iran intends to define its national interest, as well as with the concept of velayati-Faqih. What would be preferable for the Gulf Arab regimes and probably even beyond, is a regime in Tehran which is pro-American; for their own safety and security. During the time of the Shah, they all accepted the Shah's hegemony over the region; albeit grudgingly, and saw it even as more favourable to the regime in Iraq; which they considered as the main threat to their stability. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will view the regime in Iran with less anxiety than they already do. Moreover, the Arab world is suffering a problem from its own Sunni extremism; and although the Sunni-Shi'i differences is a new phenomenon after a break of many centuries, the Arab leaders take the unpredictability of decisions coming from the office of Ayattullah Khamina'i very seriously. It is not easy for the Arab leaders to contend with a powerfull Iran under the current regime, without knowing how this regime will react at any one point in the near future.

   

12/14/2009 4:31:42 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Welcome back Shiveh…

 

Khairi and I were feeling very lonely. Although obviously not as knowledgeable about the region as your good self and my good friend Khairi; I agree with you that the Arab/Persian poor relations are not so much due to a few small Persian Gulf islands, though they are important, but rather the ancient and unfortunate competition between the Shiite and Suni branches of Islam. It is a disaster for all Muslims everywhere that this silly (in my view) difference of opinion over religion gives the west and the US/Israeli axis of bully boys so much power to dominate the region.

   

12/14/2009 3:58:54 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Re, Iran's future

 

Dear Khairi, I think it was you who reopened this blog after a brief closing. Unfortunately Postglobal main board isn’t as fortunate. // Your read of Iran’s future looks probable based on recent events. But I’m hopeful that change is inevitably coming. I can not even guess how the world will look in 10-20 years but am reasonably confident that Iranians are increasingly resistant to any form of dictatorship. Revolutions throughout history have brought hardship, misery, resolve, self confidence, ingenuity, progress and eventually maturity to the people. Iran is on the same path. // It is hard to believe that any country can expand territory in the Middle East (other than may be Israel in a perfect storm.) The concerns of Arab countries over Iranian hegemony are unwarranted. Nothing has really changed in this regard since Sadam’s experience in Kuwait. The world is still too important to be left to the locals! UAE, Bahrain and others should feel safe, at least till China consumes Taiwan!!

   

12/14/2009 3:31:17 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

Iran

 

Dear Shiveh, I am glad you still have the time to join us over here, I mean this becoming embaressingly Rick-Khairi show. I wish DRG/Washington Post would actually be more proactive about what they intend to do with this blog. It is such a pitty to leave it to me, but of course not such a pitty to leave to Rick. As for the subject matter, I am sure your good self is aware, that for the UAE the occupation of the islands poses a problem, and Bahrain is very nervous about, even, the slightest remarks emanating from Tehran towards it. In effect all the Gulf Arab states are very much worried about how Iran defines its national interest, and to what extent it will materialise its hegemony over the region. That icludes Kuwait as well as Saudi Arabia also. In the mean time, Iran has done nothing to alleviate the suspicions and the fears of its neighbours. I think the future of Iran will be dictated as time goes on, by a quasi-military dictatorship with religious veneer, more than a theocracy.

   

12/14/2009 2:41:00 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

From here and there!

 

Dear Khairi, It is good to see that you and Rick are still using this site. It would have been a good Idea if Postglobal had kept the main forum also open. // I’m sure you are aware of deep scars governing Arab/Persian psyche. The Islands you mention have little to do with it. Bahrain used to be part of Iran before the British occupied it. After they left, it became independent through a referendum that Iran honored. The other islands also always belonged to Iran. In any case they are too close to Iran to be logically clamed by a 4 decades old country on the other side of the Persian Gulf. Mistrust between Arabs and Persians are at least as old as Islam. Ownership of handful of Islands did not start and could not end it. // Conflict among the clergy in Iran is deeper than it shows. The events planed for the coming Ashoura may change the balance. We could see mullah against mullah, pasdar fighting pasdar and army also may show life again. Ahmadinejad gang is not very stable and I believe the West is also putting more hope in this scenario than sanctions or direct attack.

   

12/14/2009 1:49:57 PM

Shiveh

0

 
 

At least Iraq knows…

 

…what is in its best interest. Amnesty International on Friday warned that Iraq's plans to move an Iranian opposition group to a former desert detention camp in the country's remote south would put them at risk of arbitrary arrest and torture. Iraq's Shiite-led government has taken an increasingly hard line toward the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, not wanting to risk its warming relations with its powerful Shiite neighbor Iran.

   

12/14/2009 1:46:37 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Because Rick

 

it is not so simple for the Arab world, which finds itself between Israel; an occupying power, and Iran; another opccupying power of islands belonging to the UAE, and constantly threatening the sovereignity of Bahrain. The paradigm of Iranian interference in Iraq, has not gone unnoticed by the Arab world generally, and the Gulf Arabs particularly. Therefore, no Arab country can claim to know what are Iran's future intentions; especially again the Gulf Arabs. Hence, the constant unease in the Arab world, that the US might actually strike a deal with Iran eventually, at their own expense.

   

12/14/2009 12:12:13 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Talk of Iranian sanctions…

 

…is just that Khairi… just talk…; i.e. the release of hot air. An upcoming meeting by five world powers on trying to curb Iran's nuclear program has been canceled on China's request, senior officials from three of the countries involved said Monday. Russia in recent days has moved away from suggesting it would support tougher sanctions. And recent statements from Chinese officials indicate that Beijing has not changed its traditional opposition to new sanctions. ___ It beats me Khairi why the Arab countries keep siding with the west in the feud with Iran. It would be much more in their interest to join with Iran, Russia and China to confront the US/Israeli axis of belligerent bully boys.

   

12/14/2009 11:22:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Feltman's Statement in Bahrain...

 

does not rule out the possibility of the 5+1 reaching an gareement with Iran, but at the same, time he tried to alleviate the Gulf Arab fears, that such an agreement might be at their own expense. There is a great worry in the Gulf; and even beyond, that the US may eventually accept Iran's hegemony of the region, therefore, perhaps it is not such a bad idea, for the 5+1, to accept representatives of those countries to join in the meetings with Iran.

   

12/14/2009 5:21:41 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

re-Jordan...

 

What can I say Rick?, the man is with his creator now, where no eulogy or condemnation can do him good or harm. Everyone knows, the Kingdom has one master.

   

12/13/2009 8:48:38 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Jordan’s ace of spies

 

Did you know Gen. Saad Kheir Khairi? He was the brilliant but emotionally wounded spymaster who headed Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) from 2000 to 2005. He died in a hotel room in Vienna on Wednesday of a heart attack, the official Jordanian news agency reported. He was just 56 years old. ___ David Ignatius writes about him in today’s WP: “I got to know Kheir five years ago when I was researching a novel about the Middle East called "Body of Lies," which was later made into a movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Kheir was the model for my fictional Jordanian intelligence chief, "Hani Salaam." Like all GID chiefs, Kheir was addressed by the Ottoman honorific of "pasha," so I gave the sobriquet of "Hani Pasha" to my fictional version.” ___ “Like many Arab intelligence services, the GID has a reputation for using brutal interrogation methods, and I'm sure that it didn't get the nickname "the fingernail factory" for nothing.” ____ Sounds like our CIA. ___ “Kheir ran afoul of his boss, King Abdullah, when he began pushing into politics and business. It was the classic overreach of intelligence chiefs in the Middle East, and he was sacked in 2005. His dismissal took a cruel toll: Kheir could be seen carousing late at night at his favorite restaurant in Amman, no longer a master of the universe or even, fully, master of himself. But in his prime, he was a genius, and it's hard to think of a foreigner who helped save more American lives than Saad Pasha.”

   

12/13/2009 7:30:17 AM

Rick

0

 
 

You're either with us or agin' us

 

There ain't no middle ground.

   

12/13/2009 6:12:46 AM

W

0

 
 

Af-Iraq.

 

Well, I assume Rick, President Obama feels now, that the Iraqis have become good guys; so they no longer need further lessons in goodness, while the Afghans, naughty bunch of people still need lessons of US goodness, albeit mixed with lead.

   

12/12/2009 5:52:16 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The end justifies the means…

 

Yep Khairi, we think there are two kinds of people in the world: (1) good people and (2) bad people. “Good” means: anyone who is on our side. “Bad” means: anyone who is against our side. There is zero consideration of morality whatsoever in those evaluations, as they denote one’s faction exclusively. “We” (the side with which the person is assumed to identify) are never “bad.” ___ Actually we have to give Obama credit for telegraphing throughout his campaign that he would get our troops out of Iraq and send them to fight the real war which was supposedly according to him in Afghanistan.

   

12/12/2009 3:52:57 PM

Rick

0

 
 

At least with president Bush...

 

it was a straightforward Manichian world view of international affairs. Now, after much oratory subterfuge, what all boils down to, is again a Manichian world view. Remember the game Rick?, will the real President Obama stand up please?.

   

12/12/2009 9:16:59 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Nice contradiction in terms.

 

Idealistic-realism, what would be the synthesis Rick, of this contradiction in terms?. I remember all hell broke loose when former President Bush mentioned the term crusade, but it passes totally unnoticed, when President Obama refers to St. Augistine's jus ad bellum.

   

12/11/2009 9:25:40 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Idealistic Realism

 

Yep, he went before a committee of peace to make a case for "just wars." One wonders, by the way, if so much of this speech would have been dominated by the case for war had he not JUST ordered the deployment of 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. In short, he attempted to promote his foreign policy ideology -- "idealistic realism." ___ Is he maturing Khairi, or just accepting the limitations of the office?

   

12/11/2009 5:57:56 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Maturing on the Job.

 

I suppose, Rick, between the Cairo Speech and the Oslo Speech, President Obama has moved from utopianism to realism. Is he maturing on the job?.

   

12/11/2009 4:18:07 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

I doubt it Rick.

 

Islam is actually a French religion now, but I am not sure if President Sarkozy wants to convert or not !!.

   

12/9/2009 1:16:01 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Muslims are coming…the Muslims are coming…

 

Oh no, now what can we do…? “Faced with swelling unease over the place of Muslim immigrants in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy called Tuesday for tolerance among native French people but warned that arriving Muslims must embrace Europe's historical values and avoid "ostentation or provocation" in the practice of their religion…” writes Edward Cody in today’s WP. Be careful Khairi…we don’t want any ostentatious worshiping by Muslims going on around here… Who knows… we may have to ban women’s burqas and minarets on mosques in France as was done in Switzerland.

   

12/9/2009 9:27:36 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-No Winston

 

I think if the US government manages to narrow down its interests to the micro-level, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it might have a better perception for planning how to move on.

   

12/7/2009 6:26:37 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What I am trying to say..

 

Rick, is that, I don't think the Obama administration has made up its mind yet. I think it could easily go either way on Iran.

   

12/7/2009 6:22:53 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

No Winston Churchill…

 

Fareed Zakaria’s column in today’s WP says that President Obama is no Winston Churchill in that he wants to narrow our projection of power abroad and focus on our interests here at home. ___ “For his policy to succeed, Obama will need to maintain his focus come July 2011. Afghanistan will not be transformed by that date. It will not look like France, with a strong and effective central government. The gains that will have been made will be fragile. The situation will still be somewhat unstable. But that should still be the moment to begin the transition to Afghan rule. We can find ways to secure American interests in that region more manageably. By the end of 2011, the United States will have spent 10 years, thousands of lives and $2 trillion trying to create stable, democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, two of the most difficult, divided countries in the world. It will be time to move on.” ___ Amen to that brother.

   

12/7/2009 6:17:18 AM

Rick

0

 
 

My old theory still stands too Khairi…

 

…Your good self’s theory says that President Obama may attack Iran, or then again he may not. It is pretty hard to argue against such a theory. My theory is more assertive and says that President Obama will not attack Iran, because he is no fool. He will anger Israel in the process as the Harvard Simulation shows but who cares.

   

12/7/2009 5:50:31 AM

Rick

0

 
 

My Old Theory Still Stands.

 

I don't think that much has changed Rick, and I believe my old theory still stands, to the effect that President Obama will continue negotiations with Iran, until such a time that he may be able to say that; it is no longer feasable to attack Iran militarily, or, prepare the US public opinion after having seemingly exhausted or options with Iran, to lauch an attack.

   

12/7/2009 4:39:05 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Team Iran is the winner…

 

…and Team America is the loser says David Ignatius in his WP column today. He is talking about a simulation game played at Harvard last week: Iran will be closer to having the bomb, and America will fail to obtain tough U.N. sanctions; diplomatic relations with Russia, China and Europe will be strained; and Israel will be threatening unilateral military action. The Iranian team wound up with Russia and China as its diplomatic protectors. And the Israeli team ended in a sharp break with Washington. ___ [It sounds about right to me Khairi.]___ By the December 2010 hypothetical endpoint, Iran had doubled its supply of low-enriched uranium and was pushing ahead with weaponization.

   

12/6/2009 5:54:01 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The Pew Survey, on American attitudes to foreign policy.

 

Irrespective Rick, of American Zionist organisations' influence, the recent Pew survey says; 63% of Amercicans would support the use of force against Iran to prevent nuclear weapons. That seems very convenient if President Obama wants to change horses in mid-stream, and 68% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats say that they sympathise with Israel more than the palestinians, while a 41% plurality say that they sympathise with both sides equally. Again very convenient for President Obama to maintain his current course.

   

12/5/2009 11:43:18 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: Prof. Walt on Israeli Lobby

 

Thanks for the tip Khairi. I just read Prof. Walt’s article that you reference at ForeignPolicy.com and find it very interesting. I agree 100% with Prof. Walt. As he says, “…they [the Zionist lobby] seek to discourage independent-minded people from expressing their views openly, lest doing so derail their own career prospects later on. And it works. Even if the lobby doesn't manage to block every single appointment, they can make any administration think twice about a potentially "controversial" choice and use the threat to stifle open discourse among virtually all members of the mainstream foreign policy community (and certainly anyone who aspires to public service in Washington). The result, of course, is the U.S. Middle East policy (and U.S. foreign policy more generally) is reserved for those who are either steadfastly devoted to the "special relationship" or who have been intimidated into silence. The result? U.S. policy remains in the hands of the same set of "experts" whose policies for the past seventeen years (or more) have been a steady recipe for failure. If a few more Americans read Ha'aretz, they might start to figure this out.” ___ Well said. This is also why President Obama was forced to do an abrupt about face on his demand that settlement construction be halted.

   

12/5/2009 9:06:15 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Prof. Walt quoting Ha'aretz.

 

Would your good self say Rick, that the US; officially as well as popularly has avdicated the formulation of its outlook vis a vis Israel, in favour of a pretender group called the American Zionists?. Prof. Walt quotes Ha'aretz article by Natasha Muzkavaya; 5.12.2009 " Every appointee to the Amercian government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community. In the case of Obama's government in particular, every criticism against Israel made by a potential government employee has become a catalyst for debate about whether appointing another leftist offers proof that Obama does not truly support Israel".

   

12/5/2009 4:38:36 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Obama Decision in a Nutshell.

 

Since we are aware Rick, that there is a civil war going on in Afghanistan, between a dispicably corrupt regime, and a dispicably extremist organisation, and since we are aware also that, President Obama has said that, the surge in Afghanistan is supposed to stop al Qaeda from returning to the country; indicating that al Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan, then Presidnet Obama has alligened himself to a dispicably corrupt regime, in order to fight an equally dispicable extremist movement, in order to prop up the former and bend rather than break the latter, in the hope of creating a power-sharing arrangement between two dispicable parties. The common denominator here; is the word dispicable.

   

12/2/2009 9:19:20 AM

khari janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Obama has made the right decision...

 

Says David Ignatius writing in today‘s WP: The only viable "exit strategy" from Afghanistan is one that starts with a bang by adding 30,000 more U.S. troops to secure the major population centers, so that control can be transferred to the Afghan army and police. This transfer process, starting in July 2011, is the heart of his strategy. ___ Military commanders appear comfortable with Obama's decision, although they wish it hadn't taken so long. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is said to be especially pleased that Obama decided to rush the additional troops to Afghanistan in just six months, sooner than Gen. Stanley McChrystal had requested. The speedy deployment "gets McChrystal the most U.S. force in the fight as fast as possible and enough to help him gain the initiative," said one senior military officer… ___ When I asked Obama if the Taliban wouldn't simply wait us out, he was dismissive: "This is an argument that I don't give a lot of credence to, because if you follow the logic of this argument, then you would never leave. Right? Essentially you'd be signing on to have Afghanistan as a protectorate of the United States indefinitely." ___ Obama thinks that setting deadlines will force the Afghans to get their act together at last. That strikes me as the most dubious premise of his strategy. He is telling his adversary that he will start leaving on a certain date, and telling his ally to be ready to take over then, or else. That's the weak link in an otherwise admirable decision -- the idea that we strengthen our hand by announcing in advance that we plan to fold it. ___ [Oh well, once again the President foolishly fails to heed my good advice. What can one say Khairi.]

   

12/2/2009 2:42:16 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-Dubai Crisis.

 

As your good self knows Rick, one is not an economist, let alone don the cap of a financial expert, but from past experience, usuallly investors rush to invest in the Dollar because it is considered as a safe currency. Therefore, I shall hazard a guess that, the US Dollar will be the most to benefit from the Dubai crisis.

   

11/30/2009 9:33:25 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Dubai crisis…

 

Today’s WP has an article with an interesting take on the Dubai crisis Khairi. It says that the effect may be to enable China to diversify its investments into Gold and oil. Wu Nianlu, a professor at the central bank's graduate school, expressed concern about the safety of China's non-bond holdings. "Strictly speaking, almost half of our country's foreign exchange reserve is not stable in value and is of high risk [US dollars…]," Wu was quoted as saying.

   

11/30/2009 6:27:47 AM

Rick

0

 
 

If this True.

 

if the news is correct Rick, then repeating myself again, the plans of President Obama to stall in his negotiations with Iran until such a time that it becomes far too dificult to attack Iran; especially when we consider that the Iranian Moscow Ambassador said that, delivery will be within two months, may well turn out to have more credence than the alternative argument I suggested, that the US President wants to exhaust all options to convince the American people that a war against Iran is the only solution. Of course airial bombardment is not the only option, but if particular targets are supposed to be attacked in Iran, then the accuracy of the long-range missiles; which their accuracy is usually measured by kilometers, may not do the job as required. Then of course what about Israel?. What is it likely to do in the next two months, especially if it believes as I do, that president Obama might be stalling until it becomes too late to attack Iran?.

   

11/28/2009 9:25:44 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

S-300 Missiles to Iran…

 

Thanks for the scoop Khairi. That news has yet to hit the WP. The story is based on a statement by Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mahmoud Reza Rajjadi on Friday saying that Russian officials tell him they still plan to honor their contract. This shows how little influence the US/Israeli axis can actually bring to bear on Moscow. The Ambassador also said that the IAEA resolution against Iran announced on Friday will only serve to restrict future IAEA access to Iran’s nuclear program. Although Russia and China signed the resolution they will clearly not cooperate with the west on enforcing strict sanctions against Iran. With Iran partitioning for admittance to the SCO, they are natural allies on security issues as well as trade.

   

11/28/2009 8:26:51 AM

Rick

0

 
 

As 300 missiles.

 

Might be interesting for your good self Rick, for I just heard on al Arabiya channel, that Russia has agreed to deliver the anti-aircraft As 300 missiles to Iran. It could be good news because it might make an attack against Iran less likely, or, bad news, because it may actually push for such an attack before the missiles are operational.

   

11/27/2009 3:12:01 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Dubai Crisis; Connect the Dots.

 

One had visited Dubai in the past; like millions of other visitors, therefore one claims neither special nor particular knowledge about the running of its own affairs; at least no more than any other layman. However the general talk which did not inlcude the opinions of experts or large economic concerns, has allowed me to suggest the system of the old game of connecting the dots, to figure out what has happened in this crisis. The talk of laymen like me, rotated around: this is all a bubble and will burst very soon.....there is an international consensus for "dirty money" to circulate in Dubai in order to be laundered in order to finance projects and operations, which would be impossible to justify otherwise....Iran uses Dubai for carrying out international business and financial transactions freely, through the economic and financial institutions of Dubai.....the place is a "non moralistic Disneyland" to alleviate the frustrations of the citizens of the conservative Gulf states.....Islamic banking has been immune to the world financial crisis. Now connect all those dots together, and you'll end up with all jsutifications that are likley to be imposed by Abu Dhabi; the bailer of Dubai, to the benefit of the ragional partners and international allies. I am not saying that the crisis in Dubai was engineered because I really have no idea, but I think the consequences of the bail out by Abu Dhabi will certainly be easier to justify now than ever before. What is left; unfotunately in one's humble opinion, is a major war in the Middle East, to impose political changes and solutions in the region, which otherwise would have been impossible to impose under the current circumstances. But, didn't President Obama get the Noble Prize as a pre-emtive act so that he doesn't declare new wars?.

   

11/27/2009 6:38:18 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A Time for Everything.

 

As your good self is aware Rick, there is a time for everyhting. One's own mind says, it is time to talk, while one's own instincts say, that everyone is awaiting some momentous and disasterous event or more, which will bring more upheavels to the Middle East.

   

11/23/2009 12:20:06 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

It is a victim reality Khairi…

 

…not a victim mentality…and they will not accept a consolation prize… but only the entire birth right which is theirs. They are right to reject the crumbs from the US/Israeli table that is being pushed on them and to demand what is theirs. It is the appeasers and collaborators such as Fatah, Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf States who are in the wrong, and will either do an abrupt about face or accept the consequences. So what if the Palestinians have to wait out a few more decades. They have been at war over this issue for more than a century since the Balfour Declaration of 1907… to paraphrase… His Majesty would view with favor the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine…. Gee, that was big of him…too bad it wasn’t his to give away. ___ As for Messrs Netanyahu, Abbas and Fayyad… they can do what they wish… they do not speak for the Palestinian people. That is the just and hard earned right of Hamas at the present. No one else has the creds to do anything but appease and collaborate with the occupation.

   

11/23/2009 10:46:01 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Tragi-Comical Offer of Mr. Netanyahu.

 

The more I think about it the tragi-comical offer of Bibi to the Palestinians becomes more absurd. I don't think this is surprising, because the whole arena of the Palesitnian question has become more than ever before, a display of the theatre of the absurd. I really don't know how many housing units can be built in the settlements in 2 years period; the time for the establishment of a Palesitnian state "a la" Salam Fayyad, but Bibi's offer to the Palesitnians seems to be; at least the way I see it " do you prefer talking to me before I start expanding the settlements; like the situation is now, or, talk to me in 2 years, after I have started expanding the settlements or even finishedxpanding them, as the situation will be according to Mr. Fayyad's plan?.

   

11/23/2009 5:18:49 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Indeed.

 

Indeed Rick, I don't blame the victim at all, but at the same time, no one gets a consolation prize for sticking to the victim mentality.

   

11/22/2009 4:39:04 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

In the mean time…

 

There will be a lot of Palestinian suffering. But don’t blame the victim…blame the US/Israeli axis of occupiers who are the perpetrators.

   

11/22/2009 3:46:32 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Not in our lifetime...

 

Probably so Khairi...it is a couple of decades away. You could see it perhaps, but I will check it out in my next incarnation.

   

11/22/2009 11:53:06 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-the way we see it.

 

In the vein of what "should", your good self's proposal Rick may happen one day, but not in our life time I would say. As I said before, the relationship between the Arab regimes and the USA, became more sophisticated over the years, as those regimes dependent on the military support of USA get their weapons. Those dependent on the US for economic support; directly and indirectly get that support. Those Arab regimes dependent on the US for political support get that support, and those regimes dependent on the US for all those factors get the support they need. Although, all Arab states; and I add my voice to them, believe that the Palesitnian problem is the cause and the consequence of all instability and religious extremism, yet, I don't believe any of those Arab states is willing to sacrifice their relationship with the USA, over the future solution of the Palesitnian problem. If they are faced with either/or scenario, they will pick the USA, despite the fact that the US supports Israel to the hilt.

   

11/22/2009 9:01:01 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The way we see it…

 

We both would like to see the USA and NATO force a fair and equitable solution on the region, with the Palestinians and Israelis living together peacefully side-by-side as equals. We both realize that this ain’t gonna happen. ___ Failing this, your good self would like to see a Jordanian-Palestinian federation administered by the good King Abdullah 2nd, and an Egyptian-Gazan federation administered the good President Mubarak, living side-by-side-by-side with the Israelis under fair and equitable conditions for all. We both know that this ain’t gonna happen either for the same reasons that option 1 ain’t gonna happen. ___ Therefore, I am pulling for the Arab League to find its spine and play the oil barrel card to bring the west to its knees where it deserves to be, for the way that we have royally failed to live up to our responsibilities in the Middle East in particular and the world in general over the past 60 years.

   

11/21/2009 4:47:05 PM

Rick

0

 
 

re-Peace.

 

The Palestinians asked for their own independent decision, and the PLO got its right to represent them since 1974. They make their own bed-they can sleep in it.

   

11/21/2009 1:11:08 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Peace without honor…

 

I believe the Palestinians have rejected peace without honor. We will see how soon, if ever, the remainder of the Arab League can find enough spine to lend them support, or will they continue the cowardly kowtowing to the Zionists and their western allies.

   

11/21/2009 1:01:59 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Might as Well; War Games.

 

I suppose, sooner or later, the question of accepting Iran as a nuclear power, or attack it, will come up for President Obama not in the distant future. I only wish that the Palesitnians decide on whether they want war or peace. If they want peace, well, the current leadership is totally inadequate for this purpose, while if they want war, I suppose that would require a stronger belief in the hereafter, than the here and now; taking into consideration of course, that the world seems to be interested in their cause, from the angle of the here and now.

   

11/21/2009 12:39:30 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

War games…

 

The Iranian defense minister has read your comments below Khairi and agrees that it could still go either way; i.e. President Obama and/or the Israelis could decide to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites or they may not. The defense minister isn’t taking any chances. Beginning tomorrow he will launch five days of military maneuvers to protect his nuclear facilities against attack…. ___ As for your concern that I am too harsh on the good citizens and leaders of the Gulf States and other Arab states, for kowtowing to the west and failing to back the Palestinians against the overwhelming military might of the illegal Zionist occupation and their western allies… ___ I think that your good self is too hard on the Palestinians for standing up to the west and fighting for what is their birth right. You seem to blame them for being unable to resolve their own problems, which of course is impossible considering the powers that are immorally and illegally arrayed against them.

   

11/21/2009 11:57:53 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Not So Clear yet.

 

It is not that I don't wish my advocated plan to materialise, rather, I think it is still far early to see how it will proceed clearly. I still think your good self Rick is very harsh on the Gulf; leaders as well as well people. They have dome more than most Arabs for the Palestinians as well as the Palestinian cause. Their wealth is really not a disgrace to be ashemed of.

   

11/21/2009 10:48:34 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Khairi’s plan…

 

Yepper…it’s sounding more and more like your plan all the time Khairi with Egypt tilting to Hamas and Jordan more likely to side with Fatah…___ As for Gulf State citizens being satisfied with their leadership…maybe so. I suppose they may be placated by the perks that the huge wealth brought by selling their oil to the west brings. It is a shame that they cannot see that they could still have this wealth and much more without kowtowing to the west and betraying their Palestinian brethren in the process.

   

11/21/2009 9:54:40 AM

Rick

0

 
 

What to Say?.

 

I suppose it is a mixture of self-ineterest as well as the instinct of survival for most third world leaders. One believes your good self Rick, is a little harsh on the Gulf leaders, because the majority of their people, believe they represent their best interests. I am not really aware of differences between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to tell you the truth, but as I said before, Mr. Abbas had one important assett, and that is he talks to Israel, but now unfortunately for him, by not talking, he has become a liability even to his own friends and allies. If Egypt approaches Hamas, I feel it would be the logical step to take, because a) it means it intends to make a gesture of displeasure towards Israel rather than towards Saudi Arabia, and b) ultimately, it might have to reach a deal with Hamas and Gaza rather than Mr. Abbas and the west bank.

   

11/21/2009 9:34:55 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Speaking of President Mubarak…

 

Jim Hoagland writes in today’s WP that the Goldstone fracas forced Abbas to back down from his agreement with the U.S. to postpone the UN debate on the report, when both Jordan and Egypt joined Hamas in unleashing ferocious attacks on Abbas in their media. Abbas feels hurt and let down by everyone lately, particularly Egypt which has tilted toward cooperating with Hamas at the expense of Fatah. ___ He also notes that Egypt’s turn toward Hamas has also infuriated Saudi Arabia which is locked in an increasingly open and hostile war of words with Iran, the most important patron of Hamas. ___ Perhaps President Mubarak is attempting to smooth some ruffled feathers in Saudi Arabia Khairi.

   

11/21/2009 8:34:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

An interesting story…

 

It sounds like your good self is saying Khairi that the Gulf State leaders have a dual incentive for groveling to the west: (1) it is immensely self enriching to do so, and (2) to do otherwise would be extremely hazardous to ones health. ___ I think it is way past time for the poorer citizens of these states to give their leaders an incentive to look after the interests of their citizens; e.g. by overthrowing these regimes and establishing a government more responsive to their needs. Perhaps even a theocracy on the model of Iran would be a great step up compared to the status quo.

   

11/21/2009 7:40:40 AM

Rick

0

 
 

President Mubarak's Speech.

 

In a speech which had ended an hour ago, President Mubarak of Egypt, warned Iran not to interfere in Arab affairs, at a time when the Emir of Kuwait is visiting Tehran.

   

11/21/2009 5:19:41 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Oil Barrel; a Story.

 

Almost three decades ago; I hope your good self is in mood for a little story Rick, a rumour went around in the Arab world about a supposed conversation taking place between, an Amercian statesman and an Arab statesman. The conversation was about the issue of oil and the embargo of Gulf oil against the USA. The US statesman supposedly asked what the Arabs would do without the lucrative returns from the oil exports which improve their living conditions?. The Arab statesman supposedly said, that he came from the desert and his people came from the desert also, therefore they both would be happy to return to the desert, but where would the USA return to?. Actually, soon after this conversation supposedly took place, the Arab statesman was killed.

   

11/20/2009 10:02:11 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Enforced Solution.

 

Actually one would favour such an approach towards the Palestinian problem. The only side which I thought could impose it; if your good self remembers Rick, is the USA. However, I don't see President Obama being able or willing, to come close enough to admonishing Israel, let alone force it into a corner, or even punish it for being obtrusive. I think the relationship between the US and the Arab world has become far more symbiotically connected than the question of the oil barrel.

   

11/20/2009 9:24:44 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Law of Diminishing Returns…

 

From Wikipedia…In economics, diminishing returns (also called diminishing marginal returns) refers to how the marginal production of a factor of production, in contrast to the increase that would otherwise be normally expected, actually starts to progressively decrease the more of the factor are added. According to this relationship, in a production system with fixed and variable inputs (say factory size and labor), beyond some point, each additional unit of the variable input (IE man*hours) yields smaller and smaller increases in outputs, also reducing the mean productivity of each worker. Conversely, producing one more unit of output, costs more and more (due to the major amount of variable inputs being used,to little effect)… ___ Yepper, that’s an apt description of the peace negotiations over the past umpteen decades. The final solution must be imposed by force, but the energy producing nations are still a few decades away from having the west where they want them…; i.e. over the proverbial [oil] barrel so to speak.

   

11/20/2009 6:41:43 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Palestine; the Law of Diminishing Returns.

 

One often felt that since Oslo, the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state have been subject to the law of diminishing returns. Now, any economist would be puzzled to see, an enterprise subject to the law of diminishing returns being supported and pursued, while no politician is actually puzzled, to see a political enterprize subject to the law of diminishing returns, being supported and pursued.

   

11/20/2009 6:05:46 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Fayyad Plan.

 

Not really Rick, the plan is not in line with my thoughts, simply because I believe it is a sophisticated way to say, let's manage the status quo and stop the Palestinian-Israeli relations from deteriorating even further. I have no problem with stopping the Palestinian-Israeli relations from deteriorating further, except that, there is no status quo. It is like saying stepping into the same river twice. Essentially, with the continued Israelification of Jerusalem and building settlements, and increasing the embargo on Gaza, the situatuon doesn't remain the same; consequently there is no status quo actually to manage. Mr. Ignatius; with all due respect to his learning, ignores with Mr. Indik few facts to the effect that, first; Mr. Fayyad doesn't command more than around 2% of the support of the Palesitnians. Second; the worst violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians occured under the best conditions of economic cooperation bwteen the two; indicating thus, that political issues are paramount on the minds of the Palestnians. In addition, who can guarantee that the Fayyad plan will actually be able to stop future violence errupting?. Thirdly; what will be there left for Mr. Fayyad to negotiate with Israel in terms of a Palestinian state, when it will look no different to the one existing now?.ie. No Jerusalem, no control over the Jordan valley, settlements annexed to Israel, and Gaza God only knows. As for Jordan, I don't know if it will accept then a fait accompli, more than it accepts a solution on the lines of my thinking, when it has a better chance negotiating a future Jordanian-Palestinian relationship.

   

11/19/2009 5:40:56 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A War Not Worth Pursuing.

 

I personally would add my voice, Rick, to all whom believe that the war in Afghanistan is not worth pursuing. Fighting counter-insurgency requires special operations methods with full cooperation of all the regional stahe-holders in Afghanistan. Without such an approach, no matter how many US troops President Obama sends, the objective; assumingly defined, is doomed to failure. Have you noticed Rick on the TV screens Rick, despite all the misery and poverty in Afghanistan, yet, there is no shortage of sophisticated and expensive weaponary available for the Afghans?. Food for thought really. Prehaps an exit strategy is the best suitable solution in mother nature, than the belief in the possibility of the existence of a state of semi-pregnancy.

   

11/19/2009 5:00:43 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

“The only game in town…”

 

David Ignatius has a column in today’s WP pushing the plan of Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the PA, for a two-year institution building transition to statehood. He cites the remarkable progress that has been made so for in Ramallah and a few other towns, and quotes Martin Indyk who says “"Fayyad is the only game in town, but his plan isn't sustainable without a political process". Indyk heads the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution and recently organized a three-day conference in Jerusalem to discuss U.S.-Israeli issues. ___ The United States should endorse this goal, explicitly, and call for an immediate start to negotiations about the details says David. Israelis may balk at some aspects of Fayyad's state-building plan, but that's what negotiations are for. It's a better alternative than the recent proposal from Abbas's allies for the United Nations to declare Palestinian statehood, which Netanyahu rightly rejects as a unilateral move. And it's certainly a better alternative than just letting the problem fester, which only benefits Hamas, the extremist group that controls Gaza. ___ This is close to your idea Khairi of focusing on improving West Bank conditions without taking the next step of closer ties to Jordan just yet, but that could be the natural follow on move.

   

11/19/2009 3:33:54 AM

Rick

0

 
 

A semi-pregnant President Obama…?

 

Lol, you’re funny Khairi…and I very astute student of history and politics. I agree with you that the job is undefined. Obama campaigned on getting us out of Iraq and doubling down on Afghanistan which he said was the real war on terror, and he fully expected to win I believe. How naïve…he now recognizes that victory will not be coming no matter how many troops he puts in and is looking for a way out. We both agree that he will not provide the troops sought by his field general, and I am not sure that he will provide an increase at all. But I fear that he will do as you suggest, against both our recommendations, and provide just enough troops to satisfy some politicians, but not enough to get the undefined job done. My recommendation would be to simply get out as quickly as possible.

   

11/18/2009 6:01:48 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The Obama Decision

 

I know I've said this before Rick, the US had 500,000 troops in Vietnam, the Soviets 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, so how much is enough to send to Afghanistan from the US still, to do a job which I feel is by and large still undefined. What is it the the US presidnet has decide on?. Sending troops or defining the job?. In mother nature; though one is not a scientist, there is no state of being semi-pregnant. So either; I would say, he goes in with all he has, or, just plan the exit strategy. However, judging from the way the US president is pursuing the US foreign policy, he seems to believe in a semi-pregnant status in mother nature, so I guess he will send troops; not enough for the military demands, and just enough fro the American politcians. If I were Mr. Obama, I would drop Karzai, expand and strengthen the Loya Jirga to elect a new president among them to negotiate with Taliban for a power-sharing formula of sorts, and cajole the regional stake-holders in Afghanistan to be more pro-active in pushing their proxies inside the country, to cooperate for a the future of Afghanistan.

   

11/18/2009 2:23:16 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

President Obama on Afghanistan…

 

You must have heard the reports Khairi that President Obama is seeking an end game in Afghanistan and does not want to pass this issue on to his successor to deal with. He also says he will announce his decision on troop deployments within a few weeks. Time for a little crystal ball gazing… I say he will not agree to the troop increase requested by his field commander. What say ye?

   

11/18/2009 10:54:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Not a Question of Courage.

 

I don't think that, any of the Arab countries intend to have a head-on collision with the USA Rick. It is not a matter of courage or Otherwise, rather, a matter of "real politik". The Arabs may search for options that suit them, and those option may well not be antagonistic in nature to the US foreign policy interests. I really do not think that there was ever, a relationship of alliance historically, between the Soviet Union and any Arab country. Certainly some Arab countries had closer relations with the Soviet Unuion than others, but none had actually acquired the status of an ally, so that we can search for precedents now on such basis, let alone with contemporary Rusia, who wants partners rather than allies in the regions.

   

11/18/2009 6:26:26 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Thanks for the article Khairi…

 

You are right…it is in line with my thinking. I think it is easy to see that the EU will not be one to gain from our loss of face in the region. It will be Russia, China, and the SCO. This Palestinian disaster may be all that is required to drive the Arab League into that camp as well, which has been their historical bent anyway as an ally of Russia.

   

11/18/2009 4:25:05 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Arab courage needed…

 

I agree wholeheartedly with your good self on that Khairi. May they have the courage to enforce an air tight oil and natural gas embargo on the NATO/Israeli axis of evil in support of the next Intifada with the help of the SCO.

   

11/18/2009 4:14:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Something of Interst.

 

I think this may well be to your good self's liking Rick. It is the report published by the Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis/ Dubai; entitled " Bad Times to be a U.S Ally in Rapidly Changing Middle East". It said among many things " Whether it is in Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Yemen, and even parts of North Africa, Iran and its proxies seem to have the momentum with very little Washington can do to stop them". It went on to say" Some U.S allies today are seeking other options to secure their interests and survival". Also " But it remains to be seen whether other super powers like India, China, or Russia, or Europe, would be able to gain from America's losses in the region". The report is based on revelations from various officials in the region. However, in fairness to myself, I have always lamented the fact that, the US treats its detractors better than its allies.

   

11/18/2009 3:44:13 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

A Dead End.

 

I think the Palestinians have reached a dead-end, and I don't feel that anything will emerge from going to the UN, that is, if the matter gets there. Everyone will blame Abbas eventually for not talking, because it is the easiest thing to do without loosing political capital by anyone; not that he is blameless. Abu Mazen is washed out, the one-state solution is rejected by Israel in as much the two-states solution, and nothing will ever happen without US pressure on Israel; which will not be forthcoming. I think the Arab world should gather its courage, and decide on exploring options on the lines of my suggested solution. That is if it doesn't sound too much like blowing my own trumpet.

   

11/18/2009 3:35:14 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Palestinian Plan rejected by EU…

 

What next… proceed as planned… take it to the UN anyway and force the feckless bastards to reject it officially…Why blame mister Abbas for not talking Khairi? That is the proper response. It the US/Israelis axis that is shooting itself in the foot by rejecting the two-state solution. That is their only hope to maintain their distinct and racist identity. This is just one more giant step toward the inevitable single-state outcome.

   

11/18/2009 3:20:32 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Nothing New.

 

I really don't see anything new Rick. The US as always, and will continue to give itself the right to admonish, while the Israelis will continue to give themselves the right to do what they want. As for those in between; with no rights or very little rights to complain, will turn around eventually; mark my words, and blame Mr. abbas for not talking.

   

11/17/2009 4:32:52 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

“Dismayed”

 

The Israeli decision to add 900 new homes to the Israeli settlement Gilo drew an usually sharply worded rebuke from the White House, which said it was "dismayed" and accused Israel of undermining Obama's efforts to resume peace talks with Palestinians stalled since December. "At a time when we are working to relaunch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. In his statement, Gibbs also said the U.S. objected to continued evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. ___ So what’s new Khairi? This is how things are, not how they should be and not how they will be in the near future. It just adds more justification for the Palestinian Plan and strong UN sanctions on the axis of evil.

   

11/17/2009 3:21:51 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The Kurds and Sunnis may torpedo the Iraqi elections…

 

Kurds are unhappy because they only got three of the of the 48 new seats in parliament added to keep up with population growth. Sunnis are unhappy because not enough seats are allocated to Iraqis living outside the country, most of whom are Sunni. If the elections do not come off as planned, the US may delay withdrawal of troops. Oh joy….

   

11/17/2009 3:03:30 PM

Rick

0

 
 

A definition.

 

A definition of faith which I like is that, to continue believing even when your mind tells you not to.

   

11/17/2009 9:03:21 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What is vs. what should be…

 

… Lol, good deal Khairi. Henceforth you are in charge of what is, and I am in charge of what should be. With faith in our fellow good men, such as your good self, the two shall meet before too very long. Keep the faith my good friend.

   

11/17/2009 7:42:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-Sure we will & President Obama.

 

Of course Rick, regarding the Palestinians, how can I argue with the stuff of beyond dreams, to be even able to call them dreams. In my habitual manner of calling things as they are rather than how they ought to be, I have still the same theory about Presidnet Obama's continued efforts to negotiate with Iran. I think the President knows that a few weeks down the road the negotiations will be declared as a failure, and he will go along with 5+1 sanctions; with Russia probably on board; if I understood President Medvedev correctly during his talks with President Obama. I have no doubt that those sanctions will continue to be leaky. But President Obama will continue supporting such leaky sanctions, until such a time of his own choosing, when he can declare to the American public that it would be too late to do anything about Iran because it has already developed nuclear weapons, or, until such a time when the President thinks that, the US public opinion is suffeciently prepared for declaring, that sanctions gainst Iran have finally failed and there is no other option than the military one. I feel it still could go either way.

   

11/17/2009 4:43:36 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Dr. Afrasiabi has an interesting article in today’s Asia Times on-line Khairi…

 

He agues for the recognition of Iran’s status as a “virtual nuclear-weapon capable” state that nonetheless retains that capability in a state of dormancy. The ticking clock of more sanctions and even military action are the worst way to deal with Iran’s “nuclear threat” simply because a threatened Iran is more likely to go nuclear.

   

11/17/2009 3:44:48 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Lol sure we will Khairi…

 

The whole world supports the Palestinian plan and will ridicule another Security Council veto from the US/Israeli axis of racists. Severe sanctions will be imposed in the form and an airtight oil and natural gas embargo and will be clamped on this axis of evil until it complies 100% with the world’s demands…which are that Israel will stop all settlement construction immediately and begin a rapid withdrawal into pre-1967 Green Line borders.

   

11/17/2009 2:20:06 AM

Rick

0

 
 

More Middle Eastern Chinese Whispers.

 

Since President Obama's Cairo speech, the world spun into the mode of settlements are against peace, then we got told by Sec. Clinton they are not really against peace, then more or less opposing the settlements is against peace, then Mr. Abbas will not talk with the continued building of settlements, then Mr. Abbas will retire from politics, then the Palestinian will declare UDI through the UN, and guess what now Rick?. No, the Palestinians deny that they want to declare a UDI, rather they want the UN to support a Palestinian state. I guess they have realised that they had already declared a Palestinian state years ago. To be honest with you Rick, my only dear reader, even if the Arabs back the Palestinian plan; up till now there is no one single official position yet, though might come soon. And the EU supports the Palestinian plan; the EU has indicated its preference for bi-lateral Israeli-Palestinian talks,and I guess will learn about that soon, and even if the US supports the Palestinian move; which they have rejected it outrightly, and even the sympathy of both China and Russia turns into a Palesitnian support, ultimately, will they all enforce a UN decision on Israel peacably, through sanctions, or by military action. Of course not, what am I talking about?.

   

11/16/2009 6:09:38 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Palestinians seek EU support…

 

The Palestinians asked the European Union today to back their plan Khairi. The proposal already has Arab League backing and EU foreign ministers will discuss the proposal at their regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow. The Palestinians have given no timeline for presenting a formal proposal to the Security Council, but have been lobbying U.N. member states for support when it is submitted. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Abbas' decision to reach out to the Security Council was a sign of desperation. "It's clear that this was a reaction by the Palestinian Authority after running out of options after two decades of negotiations."

   

11/16/2009 3:59:53 PM

Rick

0

 
 

I usually stick to what is; as your good self knows Rick, and leave what should to your good self.

 

   

11/16/2009 9:45:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Responsibility for the Palestinian people…

 

Of course we (the entire world) bear responsibility for the horrific crimes that we have perpetrated on the Palestinian people. There is no way they could be responsible for their own well being given the economic and security holes we have dug for them. ___ As for the pro-US and pro-Israeli Arab countries, there should be none. Any Arab leaders who maintain such a stance give today’s circumstance and those of the past 60 years should be hung at high noon in the middle of the town square.

   

11/16/2009 6:44:53 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Pressure on the Arabs.

 

If the PNA goes to the UN with Arab approval; as Mr. Eriekat seems to insinuate, then they would be automatically taking on board the responsibility for the Palestinian people, when in effect, they had all decided that, the Palestinians should should shoulder onto themselves, their own responsibilities. It means, the Arabs would be shouldering onto themselves, the consequences of Palestinian actions; especially when/if the US vetoes the Palestinian proposal at the UN, which will certainly put the pro-US Arab countries in a tight spot, moreover, the Arab world will have to deal also with the consequences of Israeli reprecussions as a result of this UN plan; which means also, putting the Arab world in a very difficult position; especially those Arab countries with relations with Israel. Essentially, I don't see the Arab world ready for such prospects for itself.

   

11/16/2009 6:32:39 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

It’s not time to throw in the towel Khairi…

 

…On the contrary, it is time to shift into overdrive. ___ Bibi can do this and Bibi can do that; e.g. annex the West Bank, abrogate previous treaties, drop relations with the PNA… So what? What good are they anyway? Bibi has no intention of ever vacating the West Bank and what good is his recognition of the PNA. The PNA are mere lackeys of the US/Israeli axis of occupiers anyway. Hamas is the true leader of the Palestinian people. ___ I don’t follow your comment that taking the matter to the UN will put more pressure on the Arabs than the Israelis. Perhaps your good self will be expand on this statement.

   

11/16/2009 5:22:40 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Next Step Possibilities.

 

I don't think personally Rick, that the matter somehow will go to the Security Council. Though the peace process is in deep crisis, the move to he UN is very likely to plunge the Arab world into deeper crisis with Israel, something the Arab world neither needs nor wants. For 35 years the Palestinian leadership fought for their own independent political decision, so either they admit failure and return to what the majority of Arabs can help them to decide, or accept their own responsibility and try to solve their own problems on their own. On the opposite side, well, if I am wrong and the matter goes to the UN, Bibi has threatened to abrogate all previous treaties with the Palestinians. This opens the possibility for Israel to drop its recognition of the PNA, which can mean, cutting all relations with it; especially economic relations, or, in the extreme case, annex the trritories once again. As for President Obama, no one in the Middle East; even on a popular level expected him to succeed in pressurising Israel; though everyone really hoped that he will succeed. Therefore, if even on a popular level, Middle Esterns did not rate his rate of success highly over this matter, shouldn't he have assessed his own chances better?, before he embarked on resoving the Palesitnian question?.

   

11/16/2009 3:33:28 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

You know Khairi, this reminds me of ….

 

…the Harry S. Truman presidency and the UN partition of Palestine. President Truman was dead set against the partition, new it would be a disaster, and wanted to bring half the European Jewish refugees to the US, and find a home in Europe for the remainder. His state department was also opposed to the partition near unanimously. ___ But alas, an election year was rapidly approaching, 60% of Americans were opposed to Jewish immigration, and the Republican candidate Dewey was tearing him up in the polls. ___ This is similar to the predicament that President Obama finds himself in today. He knows that the right thing to do is to stand up to Bibi and his supporters in congress and the American populace, and demand an immediate halt to all construction in the settlements. But it would be political suicide, and he is a politician above all else, even personal honor. ___ This makes us on the side of the wrong (the real terrorists) and Hamas on the side of the right (the true freedom fighters). There can be no doubt about who will eventually come out on top of this conflict, and the losers are in for a very hard fall in deed.

   

11/15/2009 3:37:18 PM

Rick

0

 
 

What losses Khairi…?

 

The right to be subjugated to the continuing benevolence of the Israeli occupier who continues to ration unfairly even the water they drink, and blockades their highways making commerce impossible thus destroying their economy? The peace talks are at an impasse and they have no where else to go. ___ Times are changing. The US is no longer the economic powerhouse that it was in 1988. We are bankrupt financially and morally, thanks to 28 years of borrow-and-spend Voodoo Reaganomics to finance tax cuts for the wealthy and Bush’s disastrous tenure with his invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. ___ Continuing to kowtow to the demands of the Zionists just continues to make us weaker and will quickly drive the oil-rich Arab Gulf States and other key Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Egypt into the arms of Russia, China and the SCO energy producing nations. ___ The world order is rapidly changing…let’s keep the pressure on the US/Israeli axis of belligerent occupiers and all who tolerate us.

   

11/15/2009 2:24:24 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The Loss to the Palestinians.

 

The way I see Rick, is that the embarassment of the US, as a result of veto in the UN, pales into insignificance when compared to the likely losses of the Palestinians as a result of a UDI. I think the Palestinian leadership has to think more responsibly for once, than pushing the Palestinian people towards being squeezed between no where and the wall of separation.

   

11/15/2009 2:01:41 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The need is great and obvious…

 

… Let’s keep this issue front and center. Let’s keep forcing the US to cast these embarrassing vetos in favor of the illegal and racist occupation and let’s see who and how many are willing to follow suit. 1988 was a long time ago. Let’s freshen everyone’s memory on the issue. Times have changed. The entire world regards the occupation as immoral and illegal with exception of the axis of racists.

   

11/15/2009 1:28:58 PM

Rick

0

 
 

No Need.

 

There is no need for that Rick. Already around 100 countries accepted the Palestinian UDI in 1988, yet, it remains an empty gesture.

   

11/15/2009 1:04:47 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

It is not an empty gesture Khairi…

 

… Let’s have the UN debate and vote on the issue. Let the US be forced to cast yet another embarrassing veto to enable the illegal racist occupation and let’s see who and how many are willing to join in such an infamous veto.

   

11/15/2009 12:54:45 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Really Rick?.

 

When there are around 350,000 settlers in the west bank, 150,000 Israeli residents in Jerusalem, and military control over the area is by and large in the hands of the Israeli army, and few vetoes looming in the Security Council; not to mention the main one, that of the USA, we can still say that things have changed since 1988, when the UDI was never implimented in the first place, no more than conditions are different now to impliment it?. My friend, the Palestinians do not really need more inconsequential gestures at the hands of their leadership, whom learned nothing but to come continuously with empty gestures at best, and harmful ones often.

   

11/15/2009 11:44:18 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

I must respectfully disagree with my great friend Khairi…

 

… a foolhardy undertaking I know… Declaring a UDI does not authorize Israel to annex Jerusalem any more than the present status quo ante. Israel has already Ipso Facto annexed Jerusalem and much of the West Bank and will continue to annex any further part it wants any time it wants. Furthermore, just because Mr. Arafat declared a state in 1988 has no bearing on the current situation. ___ Times change, and world opinion changes…virtually the entire world excluding the US/Israeli axis regards the occupation of Palestinian land to be an illegal act of this dastardly axis of racists.

   

11/15/2009 11:03:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Bravo for a Palestinian UDI Rick?.

 

Well, first of all Mr. Arafat declared a Palestinian state in 1988 PLO conference in Algeria. So I don't know what other Palestinian state Mr. Ereikat et al, intend to declare. Secondly, is it really to the benefit of the Palestinian people to declare a UDI?. I suppose the Palestinian people will be the best judges fo the consequences of such a declation, especially when it actually fulfills all what Israel aspires to. This UDI, will enable Israel to annex Jerusalem, expand and keep the settlements, strengthen its hold on the Jordan valley, and sit happily while Hamas rejects joining this Unilateral Declaration of independence, let alone for this state to be able to fight for the right of return, because simply, return where, if such a state a la Salam Fayyad, Ereikat et al is declared?, to a 5600 square Kilometers already inhabited by 1.45 million Palestinians, awaiting the return of over 3 million other Palestinian refugess?. Sure, I would say also Bravo Rick. Just go ahead PNA and declare your UDI, so that everyone can go about their own business, and see what the Palesitnian people will end up with at the end of the day.

   

11/15/2009 10:01:28 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

An interesting development this morning Khairi…

 

Palestinian negotiators have given up on peace talks with the US/Israeli axis and are taking their case directly to the United Nations. Bravo! The outraged Israelis are already howling fowl. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says that Russia and other European nations are on board with the plan.

   

11/15/2009 7:27:15 AM

Rick

0

 
 

President Obama Making Sense + Lebanon.

 

I think it is only natural, for President Obama to seek partners in the Asia-Pacific region, and who better than powerfull China?. Indeed if such partnership takes of in earnest, especially when we consider that China has always followed a pragmatic and non-deological foreign policy, will certainly bring it closer to the US over Afgahnistan; considering its own fears of Uighur radicalisation problems. As for Lebanon, honestly Rick, which Lebanese government, this one or any other, would be able to take on Hizbullah which is far stronger than the Lebanese state militarily, without plunging the country into a destructive and pointless civil war?. It is often said in the region, that the developments in regional tensions, alliances, and counter-alliances can be best understood always by observing developments in Lebanon, because it has proved to be the micro-cosm of the politics of the region. In this context, the way relations develop between Syria and Iran, can be best understood by observing the future relations between General Aoun and Hizbullah.

   

11/14/2009 8:54:46 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

America’s first Pacific President…

 

This is what President Obama called himself today in Japan Khairi. He says that the future of the U.S. depends more than ever on Asia, and that China’s growth will not come at the expense of its neighbors. He offered no new major initiatives, but rather focused on his own personal history and links to the region since childhood. ___Obama did single out China as a primary engine for sustaining the world's economic recovery, saying the United States welcomes Beijing's greater role on the world stage and intends to "pursue pragmatic cooperation with China on issues of mutual concern." ___ "So the United States does not seek to contain China, nor does a deeper relationship with China mean a weakening of our bilateral alliances," Obama said. "On the contrary, the rise of a strong, prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations."

   

11/14/2009 7:03:39 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Lebanon’s new cabinet is leery Khairi…

 

…of taking on Hezbollah’s arms buildup in southern Lebanon. Why? Because they are afraid to. This arms buildup is very popular among the people. The new government was formed Monday and is headed by U.S.-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri and includes two Hezbollah ministers. Hezbollah's arsenal is a very divisive issue among the Lebanese, and any action by Hariri could immediately cause a crisis in his new government - or even a renewed outbreak of the sectarian violence that tore through Beirut in spring 2008. ___ Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said recently that the group has replenished its weapons stock since its 2006 conflict with Israel and now has more than 30,000 rockets. ___ The White House issued a statement Tuesday that praised the Cabinet's formation after more than four months of deadlock, but called on the government to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions that call for dismantling all militias in Lebanon. Fat chance!

   

11/14/2009 6:11:18 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The International Conference.

 

It good turn out that, talk for holding such an international conference, may well be just poppycock Rick. I mean your good self could be right, that neither Abu Mazen nor Bibi intend to make any cocnessions, which makes me question the value of holding such a "phantom" conference. Unless of course again, it is a way to make them both or either one, make concessions so that the talks can proceed, without losing face. As for the trial of the terrorists, I think they should be charged with planning mass murder and tired accordingly in New York.

   

11/13/2009 10:51:34 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Khalid Sheik Mohammed…

 

…the self proclaimed master-mind of the 9/11 attacks and four codefendants will be tried in federal court in New York instead of a military commission, a federal official said early today. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole when it was docked off the coast of Yemen in 2000, will be tried at a military commission. ___ Virginia and New York representatives have been arguing for a year (since President Obama announced that he would close Guantanamo) over which should hold this trial. ___ Some Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as some former military prosecutors, have said that if high-profile detainees such as Mohammed are sent to federal court, the military commission will be degraded and viewed as a second-class system of justice for other terror suspects. ___ What say you Khairi…I say that the New York federal court should try Khalid Sheik Mohammad and the Virginia federal court should try Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

   

11/13/2009 6:34:54 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Khairi Machiavelli…

 

Schemes within schemes and subplots within plots… And who knows, that may be the case, but… I think Bibi will not freeze settlements and Abu Mazen will not enter peace talks until settlements are frozen. The most important thing to discuss in any Israeli/Palestinian peace talks is the rate at which Israel will dismantle all existing settlements outside the Green Line and return to inside its pre-1967 Green Line borders. This is absolutely impossible as long as settlements continue to expand. ___ The most important thing to discuss in any proposed International Peace Talks is the sanctions to impose on the Israelis until they are 100% back inside the Green Line. An airtight oil and natural gas embargo being the most effective.

   

11/13/2009 6:00:04 AM

Rick

0

 
 

International Conference.

 

There is some hear-say over here Rick, to the effect that, President Sarkozy has discussed over the phone with Mr. Abbas ideas about proceeding with the peace talks, based on an international peace conference. Of course this is only a rumour let alone, the existence of details about such a conference. However, if this is true, is Mr. Netanyahu going to freeze all settlements activities, throughout the preparation period for the conference, and its duration?. If so, then why doesn't he just do that now and get Abu Mazen back to the negotiations table without all this international confernce issue?. If no, then why would Abu Mazen talk peace at an international conference, if he doesn't talk now demanding a halt on settlements activities?. Unless of course, the hypothetical international conference, is a ploy for either, getting Mr. Abbas to talk without pre-conditions, or, a ploy to help Bibi freeze all settlements activities under the pretext of international pressure.

   

11/13/2009 4:19:10 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

According to the PNA..

 

I heard this evening Rick, that Hamas has refused to meet the elections commission in Gaza. I don't know why they went in the first place!. Hamas made its refusal of the elections very clear right from the start.

   

11/12/2009 4:47:57 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Elections postponed indefinitely…

 

…which is as you predicted Khairi. Recent polls show Hamas and Fatah in a close race in both parliamentary and presidential elections…another reason for the PNA to postpone elections.

   

11/12/2009 4:38:33 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Whatever Bibi came for.

 

I think Rick, the fact that there were no joint press conferences in both cases, not even singular ones, indicates that something serious is being cooked, and none of the leaders want to put the cat among the pidgeons so to speak, by talking to the press; yet. As for Iran, it has declared actually, that the troubles in Yemen are an internal matter, and the Iranian foreign minister Mr. Mouttaki will go to Saudia soon, to alleviate the Saudi concerns. In any case, Saudi Arabia has every right to defend itself against aggression. Of course M. Kouchner will travel to Israel soon, and in the mean time, apart from showing his power of resoning by stating the obvious, that Israel doesn't want peace, what is he going to do about it next?. The fun doesn't seem to stop here, as the Iranians want their missiles from Russia, and the Israelis have put in an order for a squadron of F-35 fighter jets from the US. This arms race is no; the Tour de France.

   

11/11/2009 2:28:28 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Meanwhile, Iran wants Russia to deliver on its defense contract …

 

…an air-defense contract the two countries signed and ignore Israeli pressures for delaying the deal. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says Moscow is under an obligation to carry out the contract to provide S-300 missiles to Tehran. His remarks were carried by the semiofficial ILNA news agency on Wednesday. Russia signed a contract in 2007 to sell the S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran but hasn't made any deliveries or given an explanation for the delay. The S-300 are capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads. The U.S. and Israel oppose the deal because it would significantly boost Iran's air defense capabilities at a time of tensions over Tehran's nuclear program.

   

11/11/2009 7:26:01 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Bibi goes to Paris…

 

Iran is the reason Bibi wanted to go to France (and Washington) Khairi. But he is being confronted with the settlement freeze issue instead. ___ Paris is less flexible than Washington, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on French radio Tuesday that a settlement freeze was "absolutely indispensable" to peace talks. He said the "political dispute" over the settlements between Sarkozy and Netanyahu would be central to their talks Wednesday and warned that Israelis seemed to have lost their aspirations for peace. ___ France is feeling out Mideast leaders this week to see if there is any way of resuscitating peace efforts. Syrian President Bashar Assad comes Thursday and Sarkozy called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to urge him to stay in power. ___Abbas has meanwhile reiterated just today his demand for a halt to Israeli settlement building before he would resume talks with Israel, accusing it of trying to scupper Palestinian statehood. "We cannot go to negotiations without a framework. And we say the framework is U.N. resolutions, meaning a return to the 1967 borders," Abbas said. "What's new in this demand? Also, we want a full stop to settlements, including natural growth and in Jerusalem," the 74-year-old leader said in an address to his Fatah party members in Ramallah on this fifth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat. Abbas said U.N. resolutions called for there to be a "clear framework" for talks to end more than 60 years of conflict. ___ He and the other Arab and Muslim are on the right track Khairi…absolutely no peace talks until the “complete freeze” is in place. This highlights on billboards and bright lights who is the real obstructionist.

   

11/11/2009 7:06:36 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Saudi blockade near Yemen

 

Saudi Arabia imposed yesterday a naval blockade on the Red Sea coast of northern Yemen to combat Shiite rebels along its border. The rebels are known as Hawthis and have been fighting the Yemen government for five years. The Saudis have been bombing them inside the Yemen border and insist they retreat dozens of kilometers inside the Yemen border, since the fighting has been spilling over into Saudi Arabia. The Saudis accuse Iran of supplying the rebels and Iran has warned the Saudis to keep out of the conflict. ___ It sounds like a rather minor drama Khairi but is adding to the already high blood pressure of Saudis and Iranians and Yemenis.

   

11/11/2009 3:23:17 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Elections.

 

I really don't think Rick, that the Palestinian elections will either take place in January, not in June. Under the current circumstances, holding will serve no purpose at all. Hamas will continue to be viewed as a dismissed government, while Mr. Abbas will continue in his capacity as way passed hus sell by date, while the international community will continue to pretend and play along, this absurd situation. Moreover, I hear the solution of "one state" or, "bi-national state" is gaining currency these days. As for Iran, well, there are still many parties in the world, whom are not threatened by Iran's military prowess nor by its ideology, and don't mind having business relations with it.

   

11/10/2009 1:26:47 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Dueling visits…

 

…to Brazil by the presidents of Iran and Israel show the South American powerhouse’s growing role in Mideast diplomacy. Israeli President Perez opens his visit there today, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due there on November 23, and Mahmoud Abbas may visit later this month. ___ It is clear to me at least Khairi that the Iranian and Palestinian leaders have the clear edge in this competition over the US/Israeli axis. The handwriting is clearly on the wall. The not so distant future will see the predatory US/Israeli axis of occupiers held hostage to our dependence on oil supplied by the axis of SCO and other energy exporting nations.

   

11/10/2009 12:22:31 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Election Day….January 24, 2010

 

Today is supposed be the kickoff day for a five-day voter registration of 260,000 young Palestinians who were not of age for the last election in 2006 Khairi, but… none of the 1000 registration centers were open. Que Pasa? Is the announced election a political fiction? ___ The Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC) will tell the president in a week whether or not they will be able to proceed with the January elections. Hamas has said it will not permit the vote to take place in Gaza…thereby excluding one-third of the population. ___ Some say the vote will not happen in January, but will be held in June with both parties engaged. Why would both parties be more likely to be engaged in June Khairi, than in January?

   

11/10/2009 11:46:22 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Mr. Mofaz is Bored.

 

I think Mr. Mofaz is really bored Rick. Instead of sitting and devising such plans, I would recommend he becomes a blogger. That would alleviate his boredom, and put him on equal footing perhaps, with your thoughts of Israel planning to occupy Iran and the Gulf states. I must say, this time your good self has excelled.

   

11/9/2009 5:27:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Busy Programme.

 

I guess, the meeting between President Obama and Bibi, may well go a long way, for improving the jiltted love affair, between the US and Israel. At the same time, is President Obama going to mention the Arab request, for going into final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in order to avoid the pre-condition of settlements?. Mind you I found this Arab request strange, and I would find it even more peculiar if President Obama mentions it, because the final status discussions, do not only involve the future of the settlements, but also Jerusalem and the refugees. I mean, if Bibi doesn't wish to discuss the settlements now, he is not likley to discuss them later, let alone, discuss issues which he has rejected already, such as the refugees and Jerusalem. Unless of course, this proposal of going straight into final status negotiaitions, is envisaged as a way for Mr. Abbas to save face and return to the talks without pre-conditions. But then again, the Arab side is demanding written guarantes for a deadline for the talks and that the content of the talks should be inclusive of all those issues. Rather incomprehensible. Indeed Rick, a busy schedule in Paris, between Bibi and President Bashar al Assad visits.

   

11/9/2009 3:48:34 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Talks with Hamas

 

Shaul Mofaz, a former Israeli defense chief and present number 2 in the Kadima party has suggested opening talks with the true leader of the Palestinian people, Hamas. He says that if Hamas will recogne the right of the racist state of Israel to exist, and will accept 60% of the West Bank plus Gaza as the Palestinian state…let the talks begin. ___ P.S. I think that Bibi and Barack are planning an invasion and occupation of Iran for their next act. After that who knows…maybe the rest of the Persian Gulf states.

   

11/9/2009 2:56:10 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Bibi goes to Washington

 

Bibi is meeting with President Obama today Khairi. They are trying to decide what to do for an encore after driving President Abbas into retirement. Bibi will be coming to visit you next Khairi in Paris.

   

11/9/2009 2:36:05 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Signs.

 

I looked for those signs of pressure Rick, and signs also for Bibi's sweating, but none are evident unfortunately.

   

11/7/2009 1:30:45 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

No pressure…

 

My theory Khairi is that Obama underestimated the pushback he would get from Congressmen and Senators…especially Republicans. He had Netanyahu sweating it for awhile, until US politicians turned it into a political football; then Obama backed down in a hurry.

   

11/7/2009 11:48:47 AM

Rick

0

 
 

My Theory of No Pressure.

 

My own theory is that, no pressure by the Obama administration was ever applied on Israel, nor was ever envisaged in the first place. However, in order to make some sense of the seemingly rediculous US policy towards the Middle East peace issue, one concludes that, the cardinal principle of the Obama administration, must have been to get the Arabs to pressurise Abu Mazen to talk, without having to put any pressure on Israel.

   

11/7/2009 9:13:05 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

re-One Federal.

 

Why not Rick?, it will be actually an excellent example. In any case, a blue print does exist in terms of late King Hussein's plan of United Arab Kingdom 1972. As for the question of borders and seperations, I suppose it will be subject for tri-lateral negotiations between the parties, with the aim being a "Benelux" arrangement eventually.

   

11/7/2009 9:08:48 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

One federal government and one king…

 

…with two local state governments…___ It sounds like a microcosm of the US Khairi, where we have one federal government and one president… with 50 local state governments. The analogy would have President Obama allow Israeli control of a barrier between all traffic and commerce between the eastern 25 states and the western 25.

   

11/7/2009 3:51:02 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine.

 

What I wish Rick, is a Palestinian relationship with Jordan and not, a relationship within Jordan. Two governments, two parliaments, one Federal Parliamnet, and one Fderal government, with one leader King Abdullah IInd.

   

11/6/2009 5:57:17 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Jordan annexes the West Bank…

 

Would you really wish that on the good King Abdullah 2nd Khairi. Poor guy…what a headache! Then Israel would really be his problem as they regard the West Bank as their own. Israel will never voluntarily open up the border marked by the Jordan River valley. They regard it as a security issue and will insist on maintaining control. The good King would be in the embarrassing position of having to ask Israeli permission to have commerce between the two segments of his kingdom.

   

11/6/2009 3:24:24 PM

Rick

0

 
 

How Jolly Descent..

 

of Abu Mazen, Rick, to warn about threats to the holy sites in Jerusalem, and to the expulsions of Arabs from the city. Why, has he ever been capable of protecting those sites, or the life of a single Palestinian individual before?. Undoubtedly, anyone lunatic enough to start a religious war, I think we can never predict how such a war will ever end. As for the Palestinians, I think you should worry Rick, if Gaza will be part of their state; if it ever emerges, more than your good self's grandiose geography. Personally i stick with my solution to the conflict.

   

11/6/2009 6:58:52 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

With no clear successors…what next…

 

…return to the violent methods advocated by groups such as the Islamist group Hamas, or give up on the idea of a Palestinian state and demand civil rights inside a bi-national Israel. After nearly two decades of scant progress toward statehood under the 1993 Oslo peace accords, "maybe the president has come to a moment of truth" that the two-state solution is not viable, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat ventured in an interview on al-Jazeera television. ___ Duh…do you think…the two-state solution is a non-starter. It’s time to begin the campaign for a single secular state and continue the pressure… demographically, militarily, and politically non-stop until it is achieved. It won’t take as long as you may think. The state will occupy the region between the Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and the Mediterranean.

   

11/6/2009 5:38:14 AM

Rick

0

 
 

"This decision is not for negotiation or maneuver." [As you have noted below Khairi]

 

In a 15-minute address on Palestinian television, Abbas remained equivocal as to whether he actually intends to leave office in a matter of weeks. Such a move would throw an already chaotic Palestinian political system into full disarray. But advisers and analysts said it was possible he was merely venting frustration over a dialogue with the United States and Israel that has undercut him politically without any marked progress toward the creation of a Palestinian state. ___ "I do not wish to run for the upcoming presidential elections," the 74-year-old leader said. "This decision is not for negotiation or maneuver." ___ The speech, which included a list of detailed steps Abbas says are needed to move peace talks forward, seemed designed to leave options open while exerting pressure on Israel and the Obama administration. The address should "be understood as an urgent scream against the continuing pressure and bending of our arms" by the United States and Israel, Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo said immediately after the president spoke. ___ "We are at a crossroads," Abbas said at the start of his speech. "Month after month and year after year, we have seen nothing but complacency and procrastination." He added that he was particularly "surprised" in recent days when Clinton praised Israel for an offer on settlement construction that fell well short of Palestinian expectations. ___ Abbas warned that Arab anger over Israeli home demolitions in Jerusalem and recent clashes near the al-Aqsa mosque threatened a "religious war." ___ [War may not be as remote a possibility as you think Khairi…for any number of reasons.]

   

11/6/2009 5:22:26 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Abu Mazen is serious. So he says.

 

Mr. Abbas said that, his decision of not running in the next Palestinian elections is a serious one, and that he is not manouvering. I think Sec. Clinton gave the "coup de grace" by saying that, she would be happy working for him in another capacity. I wonder when it will dawn on the Obama administration, with its near monopoly on the Middle East peace process, that the two-state solution is really moribund, and that very urgently, new ideas ought to be explored to end this endless conflict.

   

11/6/2009 5:03:51 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Goose and Gander.

 

I don't have to wonder much Rick, about how those in between, the goose and the gander, feel. The fire wood for the stew?

   

11/6/2009 4:58:05 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Nuclear Weapons

 

That's one truism Khairi. Another is what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

   

11/6/2009 3:05:08 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Administration.

 

I wouldn't predict a third world war just yet Rick with all this weapons talk. If Mr. Obama is to be faulted, it is not for his demands that Israel should freeze its settlements activities in the occupied territories, rather, it is because he is unable to put teeth to a mechanism which can back up his demands. As for Mr. Abbas, I think he has taken the best decision of his whole career, by not running in the next elections. I mean it is better than awaiting the prospects of another coup; this time from his own ranks to remove him. Mind you, I have a funny feeling, that he is waiting his friends to ask him nicely; Please Abu Mazen stay on, and of course himself being an obliging man, he will accept, but only this time, just for the sake of his friends.

   

11/5/2009 3:03:35 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Nuclear Weapons.

 

Not really Rick. I mean two wrongs do not equal a third right, in my books at least.

   

11/5/2009 2:50:35 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Carrier Killer

 

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers Vulnerable to SS-N-27B Sizzler Anti-Ship Missile by David Crane, April 8, 2008. ___ As the title says, Russia’s new supersonic cruise missile threat and supercavitating torpedo have equalized the previously overwhelming US military Carrier Task Force juggernaut. This new technology is being actively marketed to countries like China, India and Iran. ___ This will enable China to take out the US Carrier task Groups in the region and take Taiwan at will. It will also enable Iran (with or without Russia’s and China’s help) to shut-down the Persian Gulf at will, giving them (and the SCO) near total dominion over the world’s oil and natural gas supply. ___ That would be the time for an oil and natural gas embargo on Israel, the USA and Europe. The US has guaranteed to supply Israel with oil in such a circumstance, but where would we and Europe get it from?

   

11/5/2009 9:16:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Abbas will not seek reelection…

 

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

   

11/5/2009 7:55:14 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Administration missteps hamper Mideast efforts

 

Glenn Kessler writes in today’s WP that President Obama’s initiative has faltered due to his own missteps…___ (1) The key error was to insist on an immediate settlement freeze, (2) he pressured Abbas into accepting a delayed report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza, (3) an excess of zeal caused him to get out ahead of what could be achieved, all this talk of negotiations doesn’t cut the mustard in the middle east [former negotiator Daniel Levy quote], (4) he lauded Israeli refusal to halt settlement construction as “unprecedented” progress, (5) as a result Netanyahu has been strengthened, and Abbas has been weakened, Palestinians and Israelis are not sure what the US stands for [nor am I]. ___"I am not someone who is in any way affected by difficulty, who is living in a world apart from the real world in which we inhabit, where it takes just an enormous amount of effort to get to where we are headed," Clinton said in Cairo. "The two-state solution is one of the most difficult." ___ “But alas, mere persistence does not cut the mustard in the region” [a Rick Jones quote]. It takes some sand in the gut to stare down Netanyahu and the supporters of Israel in the US, and to insist on sanctions with teeth against Israel until they climb back into their pre-1967 box.

   

11/5/2009 7:46:06 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Re nuclear weapons...

 

It's OK for US/Israel and other world powers to have them though, right Khairi...

   

11/5/2009 6:55:59 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Wonder !!.

 

And I wonder Rick, what Ayattullah Khamina'i is hiding behind his cloak; or perhaps sheep skin in this case, a nuclear weapon perhaps?.

   

11/4/2009 4:25:13 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The dagger behind the back…

 

"Whenever they smile at the officials of the Islamic revolution, when we carefully look at the situation we notice that they are hiding a dagger behind their back," he said. "They have not changed their intentions." ___ Says Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei…___Deceive only children…___…"tactical smiles and cheerful expressions of Americans would deceive only children and not the officials of the great Iranian nation." ___ The wolf and the lamb… ___"Negotiations in which the U.S. predetermines the result are like the relationship between a wolf and a lamb," Khamenei said. "We do not want this."

   

11/4/2009 1:17:20 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Charisma taking a knock...

 

Forgot to mention also, Rick, that European patience on Iran, seems to run much shorter than that of President Obama.

   

11/4/2009 8:56:41 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Charisma is taking a knock in Europe.

 

It seems Rick, that President Obama's charisma is taking a knock in Europe. For start, the EU sees the constant attempts of the President to get closer to China, as being at the expense of US-EU relations. The EU is extremely reluctant to send more troops to Afghanistan, and it wants money to be poured into programmes related to climate change, while Mr. Obama prefares only a framework agreement on the issue, and also, the Europeans have shown resentment towards the domination of the US to the question of peace in the Middle East.

   

11/4/2009 3:14:51 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Mr. Obama and other things.

 

It seems Rick, there is an industry going on about President Obama's promises and achievements. I feel however, that it is still far too early for such assessments, especially that all his prescribed policies need a long time to achieve. Even the quick-fix policies, may turn out to be negative just as quickly. Therefore, I don't think it would be fare to assess his performance in such a short period. One though, personally for what's it worth, appreciates the fact that President Obama has made the Palestinian problem central on the US foreign policy priorities, but here again, the manner in which he intends to go about dealing with it, well, perhaps for one whom comes from the Middle East, one may well be excused to feel sceptical. As for Sec. Clinton, I mean if humble me in France, felt shock and disappointment at her latest statments, I can imagine the sense of frustration and disappointment in the Arab streets. Mind you the fact, that she is willing to go the extra-mile to clarify her position, by going to Cairo, I think makes her deserve some credit. What more can one say about Iran?. As time goes on, I think the issue becomes very simple and completely uncomplicated. If Iran does not intend to produce nuclear weapons, then it is most welcome to the nuclear club. All what it needs to do,is comply with the demands of the international community. Because leaving the issue hanging in the air, I think is very dangerous and likely at one point not in the distant future to cause a tragic war. The Palestinians should have their state, under their own elected representatives, and on the territory described as, pre-1967 west bank of Jordan. This is what they want, and this is what they might get.

   

11/3/2009 4:09:43 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Deteriorating Egyptian/Israeli relations…

 

Hillary is extending her trip by one day to rush to Cairo for a meeting tomorrow with Hosni Mubarak, a sure sign of concern that Egyptian and Arab support for Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts is waning…_____ (1) Last week, Bahrain's lower house of parliament approved legislation penalizing all contact with Israel. _____ (2) Around the same time in Jordan - the only other Arab country to have signed a treaty with Israel - a coalition of opposition parties and trade unions demanded a "cancellation" of the 1994 peace agreement, saying it has only benefited Israel. _____ (3) Egyptian officials are reluctant to speak publicly about the tensions with Israel. But behind closed doors, they express frustration at Israel's continued settlement. That frustration was expressed two weeks ago when Egypt rescinded an invitation for Israeli doctors to attend a breast cancer awareness conference in Cairo. _____ (4) Last week, Egypt pressed other Arab countries to block a key meeting for the Mediterranean Union, which includes Arab states, the European Union and Israel, because controversial Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman planned to attend the Paris forum. _____ (5) Another setback came when Hala Mustafa, a liberal-minded member of Egypt's ruling party and editor of the quarterly journal Democracy, was censured for meeting with Israel's ambassador to Egypt. _____ (6) Senior Israeli officials also are visiting Egypt less frequently these days. _____ (7) And experts saw another sign of the heightened tensions in Mubarak's speech to his ruling party this week. He made little mention of the stalled peace process, a topic that usually tops his foreign policy statements. Instead, he talked about water supplies. In recent weeks, Egyptian state-owned papers have accused Israel of inciting African countries, who control the Nile River's water, to work against Egypt. These countries have been demanding a new Nile water sharing that will reduce Egypt's quota. _____ (8) Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny's failure to win the top job at UNESCO recently further soured relations. He blamed "a group of the world's Jews" for the loss and also criticized Israel.

   

11/3/2009 12:52:06 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Naïve and Perverted…

 

That’s how Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei describes negotiating with the U.S. and says Iranian politicians should not be “deceived” into starting such talks. He sounds like a wise man. We are obviously mere pawns of the Israelis.

   

11/3/2009 12:13:56 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Bragging on President Obama’s accomplishments…

 

Here is what WP liberal columnist Eugene Robinson has to say about President Obama’s first year in office: (1) avoided a Great Depression type meltdown, (2) 3.5% 3rd quarter growth in economy, (3) closed Guantanamo (almost, still working it…), (4) renounced torture, (5) on schedule to withdraw combat troops from Iraq, (6) nominated justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court, (7) went to Egypt and spoke directly to the Muslim world about cooperation rather than conflict, (8) embraced multilateralism as the template for U.S foreign policy in the new century, (9) accepted the scientific concensus on climate change, (10) invested in Green jobs and education reform as key engines of economic development, and (11) the principle that everyone is entitled to health care, a Democratic party goal for six decades, is about to become law. _____ What do you think Khairi…I would only wish that he could bring himself to enforce a settlement freeze on the Israelis. Maybe in his second year, no…? Also he (and everyone else) doesn’t have a clue what to do in Afghanistan and Iran…

   

11/3/2009 12:00:25 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Bearing gifts…

 

And where will Hilary get the funds for this largess? Why the same place she gets the billion to give to Israel and its Arab supporters in the region of course…she will borrow it from the Chinese…but not for long. The world is rapidly coming to its senses. The Chinese will cut us off gradually, so as to protect their temporary holdings in US dollars; and that will be the end of the US/Israeli axis power. The future looks bright for the new Hamas-led State of Palestine; i.e. all land between the Jordan to the east, the Mediterranean to the west, Lebanon to the north and Egypt to the south.

   

11/3/2009 11:28:53 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Washington's Proportionality.

 

After her conciliatory remarks in Marakesh, Sec. Clinton has offered the Arab and Islmaic worlds, US assistance for joint, educational, technological, and social programmes, while at the same time the US Congress intends in a bi-partisan manner to burry the remains of the Goldstone Report today. Even if by a miracle, the Report gets to the Security Council as demanded by the Arabs, its fate is a foregone conclusion. So the pressure on Mr. Abbas will continue to mount rather than decrease, because he is in the difficult position of "damnned if you talk" and "damnned if you don't", and I don't know for how long he can withstand the pressure to move either way, knowing too well that a price will be paid in both cases. Therefore, one really fears that, as time goes on, a palace coup, or rather in this case, a governorate coup may well be hatched, to oust Abu Mazen and replace him with a Dahlan-Fayyad rule. Mr. Fayyad commands the support of almost 2% of the Palestinians, while Mr. Dahlan as a former security officer , commands far less support than Mr. Fayyad; outside security circles, consequently, each time I think it can't get much worse for the palestinians, an idea nags me that, yes it can.

   

11/3/2009 6:19:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Tough love…

 

How right you are once again Khairi…we will see if President Obama…renowned as Mr. Charisma…can persuade the American Public and politicians that tough love in the form of an enforced settlement freeze is in the Israeli interest…

   

11/2/2009 12:45:35 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Only Peace.

 

Unfortunately Rick, only peace can bring safety and security to Israel, as well as to its Arab neighbours. The way things stand now, neither the Arabs; inlcuding the Palesitnians, nor the Israelis have much to say each other. Therefore, unless the US can convince itself first, that practicing "tough love" with Israel is actually in the interest of the Israeli people, nothing much will happen on the peace front, and I hope nothing will happen on the violence front. As for Mrs. Clinton, well, she seems to cater her words according to the appropriate audience.

   

11/2/2009 11:42:47 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Clinton two-step…

 

In the face of Arab criticism, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday moderated her praise for Israel's offer to restrain - but not stop - building settlements in Palestinian areas. While Israel was moving in the right direction, she said, its offer "falls far short" of U.S. expectations… ___ reading from a written statement designed to counter skepticism about the Obama administration's views on settlements…___ "Successive American administrations of both parties have opposed Israel's settlement policy," she said. "That is absolutely a fact, and the Obama administration's position on settlements is clear, unequivocal and it has not changed. As the president has said on many occasions, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." … ___ Clinton was expected to meet separately with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, who has rejected U.S. appeals for improved Arab relations with Israel as a way to help restart Middle East peace talks, saying the Jewish state is not interested in a deal. ___ Jordan and Egypt also issued statements Sunday critical of the latest U.S. approach to the settlements issue. Clinton spoke by telephone with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. ___ [The Saudis have it right…Israel is not interested in stopping settlement expansion. As you and I have often said Khairi, a solution must be imposed from without…by President Obama…but unfortunately, that is beyond his power given the political situation and support for Israel from the general public in the USA.]

   

11/2/2009 11:01:43 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Meek

 

It is possible Rick that meek may yet inherit the earth. But we have to discover who the meek are.

   

11/2/2009 10:48:25 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The population bomb and the energy wars…

 

Quite right Khairi; there is no immediate option for the Palestinians other than the status quo. The racist state of Israel is doomed in the long term, but in the short term the Israelis and Americans will have the more comfortable position by far, as usurpers of their occupied subjects’ land and water and wealth. Only time on the order of decades can turn this situation on its head with the inexorable Islamic population bomb and the coming energy wars. In the long term the SCO and the Arabs will inherit the earth and the currently rich and powerful aggressors will inherit our just rewards. On the positive side the Palestinians are an ancient and patient people who have been patiently waiting already for many decades and will be able to endure a few more.

   

11/2/2009 9:35:58 AM

Rick

0

 
 

What next for the Palestinians?.

 

The man known for talking; Mr. Abbas, doesn't want to talk under the circumstances. The man whom wants to Israelify Jerusalem and build more settlements; Mr. Netanyahu, wants to carry on with his project. Hamas neither recognises the PNA nor Israel and continues to uphold this position. The man whose programme for the Palestinians seems more or less, within the vision of Mr.Netanyahu; Mr. Salam Fayyad, wants to carry out his project. The Arab world has nothing to offer either the Palesitnians, or Bibi Netanyahu, while the Washington administration, having been to purgatory and back, seems to re-align itself with the Israeli position once again. Jordan doesn't want the west bank, and Egytp doesn't want Gaza. Therefore, if all sides manage to keep this status quo going withou any major mishap which causes war, well, I suppose, the international community can turn its back on the Palestinian problem, and the Arab world look after its own interests, while in the mean time Abu Mazen becomes a political irrelevancy, and the PNA under the implicit direction of Mr. Salam Fayyad continues to build a Palestinian enclave on the west bank; calling it Palestine, and continue negotiating with the current and successive Israeli governments ad infinitum. As for Hamas, it can create its Islamic emirate in Gaza under embargo, until such a time that it either collapses, or continues to rule in miserable conditions. As for the Palestinian people, well, they elect their own leaders after all.

   

11/2/2009 3:10:16 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

To the President of the USA, Mr. Obama. Why not, since one is on a roll.

 

Mr. President Sir. Only a few weeks ago, Yout Excellency came out repeating consistently, that the continued building of Israeli settlements on the west bank, is an obstacle to peace. Now, after the shuttle visit of Sec. of State Mrs. Clinton to the region, how come the oppostion to building Israeli settlements on the west bank, has become the obstacle to peace?.

   

11/1/2009 4:29:22 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

TO Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton.

 

It is true Madam Secretary, that the Settlements were not a pre-condition at the Oslo Agreements. But as your good husband former president Clinton could have told you a) after Oslo there was a freeze on settlements building on the west bank which had lasted for four years, and ended abruptly by guess who?, right, Mr. Netanyahu becoming prime minister for the same time. Therefore there was no need to make an issue over something which was already being implimented. b) the freeze on building settlements was supposed to facilitate the final status negotiations, which were supposed to have started in 1996, with a Palestinian state in sight by 1999, yet, that was abruptly ended by who?, right again, Mr. Netanyahu; mark I, prime minister of Israel. c) Oslo states that neither side should undertake unilateral actions, which may jeoperdise the Oslo Agreements. There is nothing that Mr. Netanyahu; mark I and mark II, hasn't done which does not contravene the Oslo Agreements. One is no great fan of Oslo Agreement, and despite all its faults, yet one believes it could have delivered something for the Palestinians, however, what is surprising is your good self's use Madam Secretary of the Oslo Agreements, to make a point which cannot be actually sustained emperically.

   

11/1/2009 12:43:49 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Driver's Seat.

 

Alas Rick, no one in the Arab side is any longer in the driver's seat. We are back to the US-Israel axis. President Obama or no President Obama, welcome back to the new-old USA and the Middle East.

   

11/1/2009 12:26:56 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Let me consult my crystal ball yet one more time Khairi…

 

Hmmm… no, it is as I suspected and there is no change. Mr. Abbas will not/can not enter into negotiations as long as construction continues in West Bank settlements in general and in Jerusalem in particular. It would be political suicide, as if he is not a dead man walking already. Hamas is in the drivers seat and rightly so.

   

11/1/2009 11:17:04 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Erratum : Mr. Abbas was not calling on "Permenat Freeze".

 

   

11/1/2009 4:18:49 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Where are the Concessions?, let alone the Unprecendent ones, prey tell Sec. Clinton?.

 

In an interview on al Arabia yesterday, Mr. Abbas said that, he was not calling for the removal of the Israeli settlements from the west bank, and he was calling even for a permenant freeze on the Israeli settlements activities, rather used the term " temporary" freeze on settlements activities. While Mr. Netanyahu gets the clean health bill from Sec. Clinton, whom has asked Mr. Abbas, to accept the continued construction of 3000 housing units on Israeli settlements in the west bank, and the continued construction of government building in Jerusalem as well, Israeli housing construction in Jerusalem. Who is making the concessions Sec. Clinton?, and where are they really, prey tell?.

   

11/1/2009 4:16:56 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What doesth thou thinketh Rick?

 

Will the ongoing US diplomatic shuttle to the Middle East, be able to convince Mr. Abbas to return to the negotiations without, any pre-conditions; inlcuding the settlements issue?.

   

10/31/2009 6:15:14 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

From confrontation to cooperation?.

 

President AhmadiNejad seems to think that, the west and Iran have moved from confrontation to cooperation. I just wonder why it took him so long to come to such a conclusion, considering that the western conditions have not changed since they were declared originally. Is it the prospects of the stick?. Probably, but have we really reached this stage of cooperation, or is it just a figment of the Iranian president's imagination?. Or is it a matter of pre-empting a possible western rejection of the deal, by showing the world that Iran is actually cooperating and the west is the obtrusive side?. We'll see soon enough.

   

10/30/2009 3:10:51 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Only problem...

 

Rick, is that unfortunately there are those ; many, whom can no longer afford the luxury of a few decades, while there are others, whom hope that the luxury, will continue at least for a few decades.

   

10/28/2009 4:24:31 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

How right you are Khairi…

 

Absolutely nothing has changed despite Obama’s drama, rhetoric and empty threats. We can’t even stop ourselves from giving the tyrants $3 billion aid per year to enable their military machine to slaughter penned up Palestinians like shooting fish in a barrel, and paying off other “good leaders” in the region to continue to tolerate the shameful status quo. ___ A few more decades of dwindling oil supplies, rising US debt, and rapidly decreasing willingness of countries like China and Japan to hold US dollars and debt instruments will provide the final solution to this little problem.

   

10/28/2009 3:43:27 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Settlements. The old American song.

 

" The expansion of settlements is inconsistent with international law and an obstacle to peace. But there is a limit to what we can do to impose our will on a sovereign nation". NO, I am not refering to President Obama {though might as well}, rather to former President Carter in May 1979. The same old music from the same old US broken record. What's this contrived crisis between the US and Israel all about?. What has changed in the US' position?.

   

10/28/2009 6:36:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

In any case..

 

Rick, I thought it was too good to be true. The Palestinians have made an announcement, denying that Abu Mazen will resign.

   

10/27/2009 2:16:58 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Stateless Sate.

 

Acutally, I don't understand personally Rick, why Mr. Abbas is still clinging to the absurd trappings of powerlessness. I mean, I can think of the cough of about a dozen names form the PLO, more than eager to do the same bad job he has done. Again if the Palestinian people agree on any shape regarding their state on their own land, I shall not be complaining.

   

10/27/2009 10:27:37 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Duh…

 

JERUSALEM -- Amnesty International is accusing Israel of pumping disproportionate amounts of drinking water from an aquifer it controls in the West Bank, depriving local Palestinians of their fair share. ___ The London-based human rights group also said in a report released Tuesday, that Israel has blocked infrastructure projects that would improve existing water supplies to Palestinians - both in the West Bank and those living in the Gaza Strip. ___ "This scarcity has affected every walk of life for Palestinians," Amnesty's researcher on Israel, Donatella Rovera, told The Associated Press in an interview Monday, ahead of the report's release. "A greater amount of water has to be granted to them." ___ [And this is supposed to be news to anyone?]

   

10/27/2009 2:38:56 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Abbas tells Obama he will not run for reelection unless…

 

Israel agrees to settlement freeze…and what are the odds of that happening…It’s just as well Khairi, Hamas would defeat him in the West Bank otherwise.

   

10/27/2009 2:30:23 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The new Palestinian state?

 

I don’t think so Khairi…the West Bank will only be considered the Palestinian state by the axis of occupiers and those who collaborate with them. The real Palestine state is at least a decade away.

   

10/25/2009 9:19:50 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Palestinian Elections.

 

Mr. Abbas has declared the 24th.of January, as the date of the Palestinian presidential and legislative elections in the west bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. Hamas, in the words of Mr. Mussa abu Marzouq; Mr. Misha'al's deputy, declared the rejection of Gaza's participation in the elections, before achieving Palestinian reconciliation, and it is most likely that, Mr. Netanyahu would not allow for Jerusalem to become a constituency in the Palestinian elections. So without Gaza, and minus Jerusalem, all I can say is, welcome to the contoures of the new Palestinian state.

   

10/23/2009 2:38:36 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Old Triangle Again.

 

With the revelations of talks between Israel and Iran, over its nuclear programme, the near agreement also, between the 5+1 with Tehran, and with Turkey playing a more assertive role in theaffairs of the Middle East, I wonder if we are not seeing the outlines, of the old triangle which had governed the affairs of the region before, being formulated now. Is it too early to tell?, perhaps. But the recipe is certainly there.

   

10/22/2009 3:25:28 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Trrops Increase.

 

I think there is a necessity Rick for troops increase in Afghanistan, but on such a large scale that, neither the US has nor can afford. Therefore, if I was President Obama, I would be concentrating my efforts on how to get the new/re-confirmed Afghan president reach a deal with Taliban, rather than listening to what one colonel says or another general predicts; not to mention the discourse of Sec.Gates. This is the surest way of winding down the conflict.

   

10/21/2009 6:52:01 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

American public deeply divided on Afghan troop increase…

 

A new poll conducted by ABC and the WP shows that 47% favor the 40,000 troop increase and 49% oppose. Count me in the camp of the opposition Khairi. It will be interesting to see what President Obama decides.

   

10/21/2009 2:03:26 AM

Rick

0

 
 

If a war..

 

on the scale your good self is mentioning Rick, breaks out, then it will defeat the purpose of launching it. Indeed it will be a purposeless war of such scales of destruction, that all sides will be losers in it.

   

10/20/2009 11:16:45 AM

khairi janbnek.paris/france

0

 
 

Quite right Khairi,

 

The two-state solution is a non-starter…and the current status quo is also untenable in the mid to long term. It would mean war if the Palestinians and/or Arabs and Persians were united enough and strong enough but alas they are not. Only father time will bring the solution. ___ In the short term the US/Israel axis will have its way and continue the colonization of Palestine. In the mid to long term (a few short decades) they are doomed.

   

10/20/2009 9:44:34 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Unti such a time..

 

that there is "ONE" leadership for the Palestinian people, that renounces terrorism and violence, and accepts the right of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders, and, until such a time that there is an Israeli government willing to do what it takes for the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state, then the two-state solution shall remain a distant goal. Unless there are new ideas to be explored by the international community, and all the parties directly involved in this affair, I am afraid it is highly unlikely, that the alternative for the search of a two-state solution, is going to be the current status quo, especially, with Hamas' strength, and the continued settlements policies and Israelification of Jerusalem, by the current Israeli government.

   

10/20/2009 4:12:07 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Intentions were clear.

 

The dye was cast Rick, when intentions were made clear by the international community, as well as by the majority in the region, not deal with Hamas if it came to power. Undoubtedly, it is the right of the Palestinian people to elect whom they wish to govern them, but it the right also, of countries in the region as well as in the international community to decide their own response. Political maturity for the Palestnian people comes usually at a very heavy price.

   

10/19/2009 8:28:39 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

HM King Abdullah IInd.

 

For an Arab leader, such as King Abdullah IInd. whom had fouhgt tooth and nail to keep the peace between the Arabs and Israelis going, it is not strange at all, for the current attitude of the Washington administration to turn out to be a disappointment.

   

10/19/2009 8:24:28 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The good King Abdullah II is fed up with President Obama Khairi…

 

…and rightly so…___"I've heard people in Washington talking about Iran, again Iran, always Iran," Abdullah was quoted as saying. "But I insist on, and keep insisting on the Palestinian question: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most serious threat to the stability of the region and the Mediterranean." ___ "The window of opportunity will soon close," he was quoted as saying. "By the end of 2010, if Israel doesn't believe in the two-state solution, the possibility of a future Palestinian state will disappear because of geographic reasons: already the land is fragmented into cantons." ___ "I'll be sincere; I had expected more, sooner," he said of the U.S. efforts and the seven missions already conducted by the U.S. envoy George Mitchell. ___ "I believed in a decisive turn at the beginning of the summer, ahead of a true peace negotiation at the United Nations," he said. "But the question of Israeli settlements - which are illegal according to the international community - remains central."

   

10/19/2009 7:28:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Re: Starvation and the abyss…

 

I am respectfully aware that your good self and I will never agree on this issue Khairi. But I don’t think that it is Hamas who is to blame for starving the people of Gaza and stealing the land, erecting barriers, restricting travel and otherwise destroying the economies of both the people of the West Bank and Gaza. Rather it is the US/Israelis who do this and the entire western and civilized world who tolerate it for this brief interval in history, which afterall amounts to the mere blink of an eye in the storied history of these people. This aggression will not stand.

   

10/19/2009 5:21:41 AM

Rick

0

 
 

No Doubt.

 

I have no doubt Rick, that Hamas would love to do that and more, but not in the interest of ths Palestinian people, rather in the interest of their private and narrow political agendas, which up till now, neither served the interests of the Palestinian people nor saved them from further privation. Mind you, if the Palestinians want those whom starve them and lead them to the abyss, to rule them, then I suppose they can elect them to power.

   

10/18/2009 3:48:23 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Antagonizing Egypt and Israel…

 

I suspect that Hamas will not mind spitting in the eye of the leaders of Egypt and Israel, or the USA and Jordan too for that matter, and all who collaborate with the occupiers and oppressors of the Palestinian people. This only increases their stature as the true leaders of Palestinians. As for West Bank elections… there is no guarantee what the PNA will even win here if the elections are honest.

   

10/18/2009 12:05:39 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Crystal Ball.

 

Your good self knows Rick that I share your scepticism regaring the two-state solution, but my solution is not in either of the directions. In any case, since the international community is talking about a two-state solution, I consulted my own crystal ball, which I admit having brought with me from the Middle East, is not as developed as yours, because it only asks questions and doesn't provide projections. Therefore, if Hamas doesn't return to its senses and signs the unity document, what next for the organisation?. Is there anything to gain from adding Egypt to the list of those whom it has already antagonised?, and how will that help Hamas break the encirclement of Gaza?, by unleashing itself on Egytp this time?, or Egypt and Israel?. On the other hand, what will Mr. Abbas gain from declaring elections next January?. Obviously such elections will be only in the west bank, so, he will accept a state and a government 'ala' Salam Fayyad without Jerusalem and without the removal of the settlements?. If he is thinking about economic peace first; which is an option, is Bibi going to sit tight and not expand the settlements or the Israelification of Jerusalem?. Probably one day I shall be able to have a look at your crystal ball Rick, because it really tells you what you like.

   

10/18/2009 9:32:58 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Where Khairi…?

 

The original British Mandate minus what is now Jordan. Everything west of the Jordan River. The US/Israelis will not like my prediction. But it is not theirs or mine to choose. It is merely justice, fate, the soon to come energy wars, and the new world order according to my crystal ball.

   

10/18/2009 6:37:40 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Ok Rick, but where?

 

   

10/18/2009 3:09:47 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

No Hamas response today Khairi…

 

Hamas has delayed sending a delegation to Cairo to give its response to an Egyptian-proposed Palestinian reconciliation deal, a senior official in the Islamist group told AFP on Sunday. The Hamas delegation was to travel to Cairo on Sunday, but Ayman Taha said the trip has been delayed indefinitely. ___ "Hamas has postponed sending its delegation to Egypt because General Omar Suleiman is not in Cairo," he said, referring to the Egyptian intelligence chief who has been brokering efforts to reconcile Hamas with its secular Fatah rivals. "Communication between Egypt and Hamas continues," Taha said, without specifying when the delegation would travel to Cairo. Hamas has not said what its response will be to the Egyptian unity proposal, which Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah has already signed. __ On Friday Cairo announced that its mediators had delayed to an unspecified date their deadline for Hamas to sign the unity deal at the Islamists' request. The agreement would be implemented by a joint committee appointed by presidential decree and made up of members of Fatah, Hamas and other factions. ___ [Re two-states…three-states…I think that the final status agreement can only be for one-state Khairi, a single, secular, non-racist state.]

   

10/18/2009 3:05:38 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Hamas responding.

 

Hamas says it will respond to the Palestinian reconciliation document tomorrow/Sunday. If Hamas is still looking for excuses not to sign, and Abu Mazen declares the date of the palesitnian elections on the 25th.; which logically should be within three months of such an announcement, then I can say that it has been an interesting exercise to think of the two-state solution, and may well be a more interesting prospect to think of the three-state solution for Mr. Obama, who's magic wand seems to have lost plenty of its power of charm.

   

10/17/2009 9:27:41 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

I suppose...

 

they didn't want to re-affirm the obvious Rick.

   

10/16/2009 1:47:43 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

25 to 6 is the vote in the U.N. Human Rights Council…

 

…endorsing the U.N. report that accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza… A resolution was passed censuring Israel with no mention of Hamas. The U.S. voted against, Russia and China voted for, France and Britain did not vote. What a couple of wimps, eh Khairi.

   

10/16/2009 12:41:50 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Indeed Rick..

 

let's have Hamas sacrifice evryone and everything, in the name of resisting Israel, so that eventually it comes out worthy of the title "representing the dead and the destitute".

   

10/16/2009 10:50:06 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re Khairi’s question: Are Hamas and the PNA worthy of the confidence of the Palestinian people?

 

My answer is an emphatic no…only Hamas is worthy. Only Hamas continues to oppose the occupation and oppression imposed on them by the US/Israeli axis. The occupation will fail. Unfortunately, it will take a few more decades of misery for the Palestinian people, but it will absolutely fail. World opinion will not support it, nor will the economics the coming energy wars.

   

10/16/2009 4:11:15 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Looking at the panaroma of Palestinian Misery...

 

Rick, Hamas rejected the one year extension to the presidency of Abu Mazen, whom in turn had dismissed the Hamas government, while Mr. Fayyad's government is still a caretaker one, with the support of just 2% of the Palestinian people. Mr. Fayyad rejects a Mickey Mouse state, but had he presented the current Palestinian situation; as a script to Disneyland, it would have been rejected for being too fantasmic. It is rumoured that Hamas has found a solution for signing the Palestinian unity document, by separating the notions of reconciliation with Fateh, from the unity of the Palestinian people. Therefore unless Hamas signs eventually the unity document, it will be just as guilty as Abu Mazen whom has threatened to carry out the elections in January, in affecting a final separation between the west bank and Gaza. Will that be in favour of the Palestinian people?, more importantly, would it be logical to assume any longer then, that Hamas and the PNA are worthy of the Palestinian people's trust and confidence?.

   

10/15/2009 1:41:15 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Hamas wants changes to Egypt's reconciliation plan

 

Hamas will not sign unless it is amended to say Palestinians have the right to keep fighting Israel. The joint statement by Hamas and seven other radical, Damascus-based Palestinian factions came in response to a pressing deadline by Egypt to respond to their proposal within days. "The wording submitted by Cairo to the factions makes no reference to the struggle (with Israel) and the aggression against our people," it said. Western-backed Fatah said Wednesday it has accepted the Egyptian proposal to hold presidential and legislative elections next year as part of a broad package meant to end the bitter rivalry with Hamas. Egypt did not immediately comment on Hamas' demand to amend the proposed reconciliation plan. Sami Khater, a Hamas official in Syria, said the deal could be signed later if the necessary amendments were made. ___ Hamas officials in Gaza indicated the Damascus statement was not a final rejection of the Egyptian plan. Lawmaker Salah Bardawil said Hamas has two more days to make a final decision and give a response to the Egyptians, while Ismail Ridwan, another Gaza leader, said Hamas was still studying the proposal. ___ Abbas said Thursday that if there is no reconciliation deal, he will unilaterally schedule parliamentary and presidential elections in January - a date he said is required by law. His comments, during a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, are likely intended to pressure Hamas to accept the Egyptian proposal. Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel was a major point of friction in a short-lived Palestinian unity government that disintegrated during the Gaza infighting. Hamas' top leaders live in exile in Syria because they fear assassinations by Israel in the coastal area. ___ [The above excerpts are from an article in today’s WP by Albert Aji. What do you think Khairi. I say that Hamas is right. What should an occupied and oppressed people be expected to do but fight the occupation with every resource that they can muster.]

   

10/15/2009 11:04:22 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Impasse…a “Mickey Mouse” state

 

"The peace process, by all indications, appears to be at an impasse," Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Wednesday during a two-hour news conference in which he acknowledged that Abbas had been put in a position of "major weakness" because of decisions made in consultation with the United States. That erosion in domestic support has left the Palestinian Authority's leadership struggling to regroup. Instead of exclusively placing their hopes for statehood on talks under U.S. auspices, Palestinian leaders say they will also focus on taking a tougher line with Israel before the United Nations and other international bodies. At Palestinian insistence, the U.N. Human Rights Council is scheduled to debate the war crimes report Thursday -- a discussion that two weeks ago the Palestinian Authority had agreed, at U.S. insistence, to put off for six months. ___ Absent a set of terms and a time frame for the creation of a viable state -- rather than the "Mickey Mouse" state that he accused Netanyahu of envisioning for the Palestinians -- Fayyad said the discussions will not resume. "The approach of getting the two sides to sit and talk without preconditions, without terms of reference, is a killer to our side politically, and this was made clear" to Mitchell, said Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian academic and spokesman for the government. ___ [It appears that Obama has managed to lose the confidence of the West Bank leadership. Hamas more wisely never placed any confidence in him.]

   

10/15/2009 9:58:19 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Not in that direction.

 

I don't think Turkey is heading in that direction Rick, rather, I feel it is trying to safe-hedge its bets when it comes to the troublesome EU membership application. Up till now Turkey is finding itself making little headway with the EU, but at the same time, it is finding itself acquiring a very prominant role in the Middle Eastern affairs.

   

10/14/2009 10:48:47 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: Turkey as a regional superpower

 

You are clearly correct about that Khairi. I expect you will disagree with me, but as I have often said in the past… Iran’s natural allies are Russia, China and other SCO members… this also apples to Turkey. Look for them all to be aligned against the US/Israel axis as the energy wars commence in earnest. Other Muslim/Arab energy producing countries of the Middle East/Near East, South America and Africa will also undoubtedly align with the SCO axis.

   

10/14/2009 9:41:33 AM

Rick

0

 
 

More Confusion.

 

Mr. Mitchell was quoted last February, Rick, to having said to the leaders of various US Jewish groups, that the Washington administration favours a Palestinian unity government between Hamas and Fateh, because the current schisim between them does not serve the cause of peace. So, we have three possibilities now : 1) The current report about Mr. Mitchell is not accurate. 2) Mr. Mitchell does not know what the Washington administration wants. 3) The Washington administration does not know what its' envoy is talking about. Luck of the draw I suppose. As for the issue of hope, I wonder how it will look, when the anticipated US veto to condemn Israel for war crimes, comes at the meetings of the UNHRC this weekened!!. Turkey?, who can say anything?. It is a regional superpower.

   

10/14/2009 9:05:39 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

US faults Turks for canceling NATO air exercises

 

The United States has chided Turkey for canceling a NATO military exercise because Israel also was participating. Neither the Turks nor NATO has confirmed that Israel's participation in the exercises over Turkey was Ankara's reason for pulling out. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday, however, that "as to the question of whether there was a government that was invited to participate and then removed at the last minute, we think it's inappropriate for any nation to be removed from an exercise like this at the last minute." He was asked whether that was what happened and whether Israel was the spurned country. He confirmed both. Muslim Turkey's traditionally close ties with the Jewish state have cooled since the Israel-Hamas Gaza war in January. ___ [What’s all the fuss about? At least Turkey seems to have a sense of what is right and wrong.]

   

10/14/2009 7:11:40 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Palestinians say hopes in Obama 'evaporated'

 

The Palestinian president's political party says all hopes in the Obama administration have "evaporated," accusing the White House of caving in to pressure from the pro-Israel lobby and backing off a demand to freeze Jewish settlement. ___ [Sadly it is true. We all hoped that Obama would lay down the law to the Israelis given his earlier bombastic rhetoric…but it just cannot be a political reality…it ain’t science Khairi…just politics. Obama should give back his Nobel peace prize…he lacks the political courage to deserve it.] ___ Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party also accused the U.S. of failing to set a clear agenda for a new round of Mideast peace talks, according to an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. ___ "All hopes placed in the new U.S. administration and President Obama have evaporated," the document said. Obama "couldn't withstand the pressure of the Zionist lobby, which led to a retreat from his previous positions on halting settlement construction and defining an agenda for the negotiations and peace." ___ The memo comes at a time of turmoil within Fatah after Abbas quickly reversed a decision to suspend efforts to bring Israel before a U.N. war crimes tribunal in connection with the Gaza war. The document, dated Oct. 12, was issued by Fatah's Office of Mobilization and Organization. The office is headed by the party's No. 2, Mohammed Ghneim. It was not immediately clear whether the document reflects Abbas' views or whether it was 00leaked to pressure Obama to bear down harder on Israel. Abbas' aides had no comment and Ghneim could not immediately be reached for comment. The U.S. Embassy in Israel did not immediately return calls seeking comment. ___ Netanyahu says some settlement construction must continue to accommodate growth of existing settler populations. He also says all of Jerusalem will remain in Israeli hands, although Israel's annexation of the eastern part of the city and its sensitive holy sites has never been internationally recognized. ___ The above excerpts are from an article by Amy Teibel in today’s WP.

   

10/14/2009 7:03:56 AM

Rick

0

 
 

At least we have one signatory Khairi…

 

…to the Palestinian unity agreement. “Fatah says signs Egypt's Palestinian unity proposal…” writes Ali Sawafta in today’s WP. ___ Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party on Tuesday signed Egypt's plan for separate signings of a reconciliation deal with Hamas after the Islamist group balked at attending a unity ceremony. Hamas said it still had not decided whether to agree to the proposal put forward by Egyptian mediators, and another potential obstacle to a deal emerged when Hamas accused Egypt of torturing to death the brother of a spokesman for the group. ___ A Fatah source said the faction had signed the Egyptian paper -- although he did not say who had actually put pen to paper – [it’s a top secret…he would otherwise soon be shot by the CIA] and added that a delegation headed by senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed would deliver it in Cairo on Wednesday. ___ Mohammed Dahlan, a senior Fatah leader, said he and other party officials would urge Abbas to hold Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for January 25 unilaterally if Hamas failed to agree to the pact. ___ In a report sourced to an unidentified official in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, Israel's Haaretz daily said U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell told Egypt that Washington did not support the proposed unity deal. Mitchell, according to the newspaper, said certain aspects of the agreement would undermine U.S. efforts to relaunch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The U.S. embassy in Israel had no comment.

   

10/14/2009 6:46:48 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Might makes right...

 

...is only good as a philosophy Khairi, as long as one's good self has all the might. That may hold true today for Israel and the good old US of A...but one only needs look a few years down the road to see that status quo ante being stood on its head. ____ I see the bottom of the oil barrel coming and those who have previously been known as the "mighty haves" will soon be known as the "meek have nots". ___ Actually those days are already here as our present power is based on borrowed wealth from the Chinese...and the Chinese are seriously considering shutting off the spigot. ___ Not a very scientific analysis I'm afraid, but the subject does not lend itself to scientific analysis, as your good self knows better than any of us.

   

10/13/2009 12:49:38 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Rick's Scientific Assistance required.

 

Since your good self is my only reader Rick, I need your scientific take on the peace process. I mean, for the Israelis the idea is "Might is Right", therefore they feel they can impose the arrangement they like, so long as they have a superior military balance of power. For the Palesitnians, the concept is "Right is Might", and so long as there are parties whom defend this notion, they feel they can achieve their aims, regardless of the power imbalance. In, steps President Obama. In order to be appear even-handed, he will have to I suppose, take the resultant; as in physics, of those two positions. So, will the resultant be "Mright is Rmight"?, or "Rmight is Mright"?, or "is Mright Rmight"?, or "Mright Rmight is", or "Rmight Mright is"?. So, will his efforts be as clear cut and comprehensible, as much as the appropriate "resultant"?.

   

10/13/2009 8:45:02 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

We are not war criminals says Bibi…

 

Boloney! What else could you call it? ___ He will soon get a chance to prove this in his day in court. ___ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday vowed never to allow Israeli leaders or soldiers to stand trial on war crimes charges over their actions during last winter's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, furiously denouncing a U.N. report in a keynote address to parliament… [From an article by Josef Federman in today’s WP] ___ Netanyahu's fiery rhetoric - and his decision to open the high-profile speech with remarks on the report - reflected the deep distress felt among Israeli leaders after a U.N. commission accused Israel of intentionally harming civilians when it launched a massive attack in Gaza to stop years of rocket fire. ___ "This distorted report, written by this distorted committee, undermines Israel's right to defend itself. This report encourages terrorism and threatens peace," Netanyahu said in his address at the opening of parliament's winter session. "Israel will not take risks for peace if it can't defend itself." ___ [Israel would not have to defend itself if it were not illegally occupying Palestinian land]. ___ Netanyahu angrily noted the report's portrayal of Israeli leaders as war criminals. "The truth is exactly the opposite. Israel's leaders and its army are those who defended the citizens of Israel from war criminals," he said, before vowing to defend the country's wartime leaders. ___ [Baloney! The truth is exactly as charged.] ___ While Netanyahu has repeatedly lashed out at the U.N. report, Monday's comments appeared to be a direct response to a new Palestinian push for a vote on the report in the U.N.'s Human Rights Council. If the vote takes place, the matter could be referred to higher U.N. bodies that could theoretically push for war-crimes prosecution. ___ [Amen to that.] ___ Earlier this month, Abbas' government had agreed to delay the vote for six months. That decision, which came under heavy U.S. pressure, sparked sharp criticism and protests across Palestinian society, particularly from the rival Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said Monday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke with Abbas on Sunday about the matter and said he would support Abbas' proposal to reopen discussion of the Goldstone report at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. ___ [Abbas couldn’t stand the heat so did an about face.] ___ In contrast to predecessors who have used parliamentary addresses to speak of bold visions of peace, Netanyahu spoke in far bleaker terms. He focused on past Jewish suffering and criticized the futility of previous peace efforts, blaming Arab adversaries for their failure. ___ [So much for the futile anyway peace talks.] ___ "The right to a Jewish state and the right to self-defense are two of the existential rights of our people," he said. "These basic rights of the Jewish people have been under greatly increasing attack. ... Our prime mission is to stave off this attack." ___ [They have no right to form a racist Jewish state on Muslim land.] ___ President Barack Obama has been trying to persuade the Israelis and Palestinians to restart peace talks, which broke down late last year. Even after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, he faces a daunting challenge in just getting the sides to talk, let alone in solving one of the world's longest lasting and most intractable conflicts. ___ [Mission Impossible] ___ "For 62 years, the Palestinians have been saying 'No' to the [racist] Jewish state. I am once again calling upon our Palestinian neighbors; say 'Yes' to the [racist] Jewish state." he said. "Without recognition of Israel as the [racist] state of the Jews we shall not be able to attain peace." ___ [Forgetaboutit]

   

10/13/2009 5:16:45 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Spokesperson of the State Depratment...

 

actually does have a point. Being awarded medals and prizes, is much better than having shoes thrown at you. Mind you, the latter option may well be a just a matter of time.

   

10/11/2009 2:21:58 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Options for Peace.

 

Indded Rick, Mr. Sneh seems to ignore my favourite options. Nevertheless, he seems to come very close, to what I have proposed before also; if your good self remembers, that President Obama should impose his two-state peace plan on both sides, and punish the obtrusive side. The variation on the theme by Mr. Sneh, is his preference for the obtrusive side, to loose US support. His second suggestion of Mr. Fayyad's peace plan doesn't seem any diffrent; neither in form nor in content, to what actually Bibi has proposed in terms of economic peace, until the Palestinians are "fit presumably" to negotiate a peace settlement. However, in proposing this option, Bibi, Mr. Fayyad, and Mr. Sneh are all showing signs of having indeed a very short memory. The uphealvels of the various intifida(s) in the Palesitnian territories, occured in the best of times of Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation.

   

10/10/2009 9:39:18 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Third Mideast Option

 

Ephraim Sneh writes about a third option in today’s WP, and no Khairi, it is not your favorite option. Mr. Sneh notes now that the proposed peace talks have failed, only two options are left for the American president. _____ One is to put his own plan for a two-state solution on the table; this undoubtedly would resemble the plan that his predecessor Bill Clinton proposed in his last days in office. Obama could invite Abbas and Netanyahu to Washington and tell them to take it or leave it. If one party rejects the president's plan, he will lose the support of the United States. If both parties reject it, they will get the phone number of the White House (as Secretary of State James Baker provided), and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be erased from this president's agenda. There are other troubles in the world for Obama to worry about. I doubt that the current administration can absorb all the risks of this option. _____ The other option is to promote the plan of the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad. His detailed plan is designed to build a de facto Palestinian state in two years. The plan is based on improvement of governance, improvement of government services, economic development and effective law enforcement by a strong, unified security force. This is a pragmatic plan, without too much rhetoric. Since the prime minister of Israel accepted the principle of two states, Fayyad's plan does not contradict any interest of Israel. The United States can vigorously support Fayyad's plan and insist upon its implementation in two years. Israel would be asked to facilitate the plan and to rein in militant settlers. It would be rewarded by the bolstering of its indigenous capabilities to fend off and thwart the Iranian threat. _____ After two years of implementing Fayyad's plan, the Israeli-Palestinian talks could be started in a different atmosphere. Success of the plan in the West Bank would eventually shorten the rule of Hamas in Gaza, especially if Egypt acted to totally cut the flow of arms and money to the terrorist movement. International as well as American support of this plan would improve life in the West Bank while keeping alive, and bringing much closer, the political horizon of an independent state. In this third option there are no fireworks or fanfare of peacemaking, but it could bring about real progress toward a two-state solution, to which President Obama is committed. This is probably the only option that can work. [Mr. Sneh, being an Israeli, clearly prefers the Fayyad approach, but I don’t see it being successful. I think both your good self and I prefer to see President Obama lay down the law…a fair and equitable plan for both sides…and enforce it, but alas…that also will not happen.]

   

10/10/2009 9:15:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Funny Really.

 

I don't know whay I ever thought, that the Nobel Prize was awarded for achievements, and not just for intentions.

   

10/9/2009 2:17:06 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What can one say Rick,

 

except that, the mesage your good self has posted, shows a clear distinction between the voice of sanity; that of HM King Abdullah IInd. and that of someone detached from reality; Mr. Avigdor Lieberaman. I wonder if Mr. Lieberman finds it easy to have the prospects of more blood on his hands, as satisfactory to his sense of reality?.

   

10/8/2009 9:12:46 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

No peace deal possible…learn to live with it…

 

Israel's foreign minister said on Thursday he would tell a visiting U.S. Middle East envoy that there was no chance of reaching a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians for many years. Right-wing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, in Jerusalem on Thursday to discuss, among other issues, the stalled peace process with the Palestinians. ___ "I will tell him clearly, there are many conflicts in the world that haven't reached a comprehensive solution and people learned to live with it," Lieberman told Israel Radio. ___ King Abdullah of Jordan, whose country has made peace with Israel and plays an important role in advancing the peace process with the Palestinians was quoted on Thursday as saying "we are sliding back into the darkness." "Is Israel going to be fortress Israel or is it going to be part of the neighborhood?" the King asked in an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz. ___ The paper said the king had specifically asked it to relay a message to the Israeli people that it should "disavow the illusion that the status quo can be perpetuated." He warned that Jerusalem, which the Netanyahu government says is the non-negotiable, non-divisible capital of Israel, "is a tinderbox that will have a major flashpoint throughout the Islamic world." ___ "Whoever says that it's possible to reach in the coming years a comprehensive agreement that means the end of conflict, that both sides sign on the end of conflict, simply doesn't understand the reality," Liberman said. "He's spreading illusions and in the end brings disappointment and drags us into comprehensive confrontation."

   

10/8/2009 6:48:32 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Upside down.

 

Actually Rick, the Oslo Agreement itself, turned concepts upside down for the Palestinian people when it was first signed. The creation of Hamas and its subsequent win in the elections, turned also events upside down. In effect, in a decade and a half, the Palestinian peoples' life has been turned upside down by those two events. What your good self is suggesting, is precisely the reason why, Israel prefares the PNA with all its faults over Hamas. Israel knows that the PNA will settle for a Palestinian state of sorts in Gaza and the west bank, but knows that, Hamas will only accept such a state, in order to use it as a springboard to liberate "Palestine 1948".

   

10/7/2009 1:23:50 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The Leaks.

 

To tell you the truth Rick, I have come to the conclusion that, no one really knows if Iran is actually building an "A" weapon right now as we speak, or actually will not have the capability in a million years. All what Iran needs to do, is to come out clean on this subject very soon, bceause it looks increasingly certain that, neither the Obama administration nor the Europeans seek confrontation with it. Therefore, I cannot understand why Iran doesn't follow a new paradigm shift in its outlook. A shift which is most likely to achieve for it in negotiations and confidence building, all what it desires in terms of international prestige and respect, more than it will ever achieve in confrontation.

   

10/7/2009 1:17:34 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Two Leaks and the Deepening Iran Crisis

 

First, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear oversight group, has produced an unreleased report [leaked to the NY Times] saying that Iran was much more advanced in its nuclear program than the IAEA had thought previously. Iran now has all the data needed to design a nuclear weapon. U.S. intelligence is re-examining the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2007, which had stated that Iran was not actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. ___ The second leak [to Britain’s The Sunday Times] reported that the purpose of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s highly publicized secret visit to Moscow on Sept. 7 was to provide the Russians with a list of Russian scientists and engineers working on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. ___ The Russians therefore are not merely a factor in whether there will be effective sanctions but also in whether and when the Iranians will obtain a nuclear weapon. ___ We [George Friedman, Stratfor.com] would guess that the leak to The New York Times came from U.S. government sources, because that seems to be a prime vector of leaks from the Obama administration and because the article contained information on the NIE review. The Sunday Times leak could have come from multiple sources, but we have noted a tendency of the Israelis to leak through the British daily on national security issues. (The article contained substantial details on the visit and appeared written from the Israeli point of view.) Neither leak can be taken at face value, of course. But it is clear that these were deliberate leaks — people rarely risk felony charges leaking such highly classified material — and even if they were not coordinated, they delivered the same message, true or not.

   

10/7/2009 11:39:56 AM

Rick

0

 
 

A staged or phased solution…

 

That is why they are always working on it," Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said. After Oslo, "there was seven years of peace culture, and at the end everything turned upside down. And what is going on in the West Bank now is temporary." ___ It has been long-standing Hamas policy to consider a long-term ceasefire with Israel in return for establishment of a Palestinian state on the Gaza and West Bank land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. ___ But that "is only a way to kick the occupation out," Taha said. "It is a staged or phased solution, which is the 1967 borders, and a strategic objective to bring back all the territory occupied in 1948," when the state of Israel was created. ___ "If the international community agrees to a full state on the borders of '67, then we will decide what to say at that point," he said. "It is still early." ___ [For what it is worth…that is my opinion on the matter as well Khairi. Israel must return to the pre-1967 border without compromise. And as Israel well knows…that would be just Phase 1 to the eventual solution, which is the single state solution. That is just one possible approach. The single state solution is more likely to be achieved directly by force, with no negotiated interim return to pre-1967 borders, since Israel will never agree to this.]

   

10/7/2009 10:55:20 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The Egyptian Astrologers have given..

 

three different dates for signing the unity Palestinian document. The first was on the 22nd of this month, then the arrival of the Palesitnian factions to be on the 24th. and sign the document on the 26th., and finally the signature to take place end of this month. I share also in the general mood of pessimism, but only because, I don't really feel that any of the Palestinian factions; including Fateh, have reached the level of political maturity, to put their differences aside in favour of pursuing higher national Palestinian interests. Still I hope the unity agreement will be signed still.

   

10/7/2009 8:07:48 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: Egyptian astrology …

 

Apparently Hamas didn’t get the word from the Egyptian astrologers Khairi. ___ Howard Schneider reports in today’s WP: “A separate Egyptian effort aims to reconcile Hamas and the pro-U.S., West Bank-based government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, create a joint security force and pave the way for elections next year that could bring Palestinian society under a single political leadership. But Palestinian, Israeli and international diplomats and analysts give the process only a slim chance of success and see little sign that Hamas is ready to trade its clear control of the Gaza Strip for a seat at the negotiating table.” ___ [The problem I believe is President Obama and U.S. peace envoy George J. Mitchell’s refusal to join the Egyptians in negotiating with the real power in Palestine; i.e. Hamas.] ___ “Mitchell's work in Northern Ireland in the 1990s included intense negotiations to bring the most militant parties into the process, but his eight months of talks about Israeli-Palestinian peace have avoided any obvious effort to do the same with Hamas and have been conducted, in effect, with only one half of the Palestinian political leadership.” ___ “A top Israeli security official said there has been a frustrated acknowledgment in Israeli intelligence and military circles that, as it stands, there is no obvious alternative to continued Hamas rule in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority is not strong enough to return to power there, Israel does not want to reoccupy an area it vacated in 2005, and there is concern that any collapse of Hamas rule might increase the influence of even more militant groups.”

   

10/7/2009 5:17:28 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Abbas and responsibility.

 

Mr. Abbas requests the withdrawal of the Goldstone Repot, then blames it on the Arabs. He supports the Libyan calls for discussing the Report in the UN, to transfer the blame on the international community. Where is this man's responsibility?. I still say do away with him, and the corrupt set ups in the west and Gaza.

   

10/7/2009 3:43:39 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Egyptian Astronomy.

 

I really don't know Rick, if the Egyptian authorities' knowledge of Astronomy is different to that of your good self's, but they have declared today, that the Palestinian groups including Hamas, will sign the unity and reconciliation document in Egypt by the ned of this month.

   

10/5/2009 1:30:33 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: If …

 

That’s a pretty big “if” Khairi…but yes…I agree that if Hamas agrees to cede control of both the West Bank and Gaza to the PNA…it could be expected that Hamas would also cede authority to the PNA to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel…It would also be expected in this case for the Earth and Sun to trade places…with the Sun orbiting the Earth for the remainder of recorded history of the human race.

   

10/5/2009 10:10:38 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-On the Carpet.

 

One agrees totally with Mr. James L Jones. The military commanders should go through the military chain of command, when they make their proposals. After all, this the essence of military discipline and the military in all its hierarchy is subject to the will of the political masters in democratic societies. General McArthur should be the paradign at West Point.

   

10/5/2009 5:28:59 AM

khairi janbek.paris.france

0

 
 

re-News..

 

Actually both propositions are very interesting. One is awaiting the invitation of Mr. Jay Leno to come my way, and I am almost pretty sure that your good self is the only reader of my postings; for which I remain grateful. However, since I have almost ascertained that your good self is my only reader; for which I am sincerely flattered, and I do not think I qualify to be interviewed by an illustrious show as that of Mr. Leno, I can advise that your good self reads what I wrote with a more discerning eye regarding this particular subject. I wrote " IF [a proviso here] the rumours [ie.facts are not available to myself] about the Palestinian reconciliation document [drafted by Egypt and accepted by the Palestinian groups as well as Hamas]are correct [ie. I don't know if it is or not] Gaza in addition to the west bank, will be under the authority of the PNA. This is an implicit acceptance by Hamas for the PNA to talk to Israel despite its's crtiticisms" [doesn't your good self thinks, that if the rumours are correct, it will tantamount to that?]. Now I know that Hamas and other Palestinian groups have called the deferrement of the Goldstone Report an act of high treason, and a mojor crime, but will Mr. Abbas backpaddle, and will Hamas still go to Cairo and sign the Palestinian unity and reconciliation document on the 22nd. of October?. I mean a week is a long time in politics, let alone 17 days in the Middle East.

   

10/5/2009 4:44:22 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

McChrystal called on the carpet…

 

National security adviser James L. Jones suggested Sunday that the public campaign being conducted by the U.S. commander in Afghanistan on behalf of his war strategy is complicating the internal White House review underway, saying that "it is better for military advice to come up through the chain of command." ___ Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who commands the 100,000 U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, warned bluntly last week in a London speech that a strategy for defeating the Taliban that is narrower than the one he is advocating would be ineffective and "short-sighted." The comments effectively rejected a policy option that senior White House officials, including Vice President Biden, are considering nearly eight years after the U.S. invasion.

   

10/5/2009 4:43:48 AM

Rick

0

 
 

News bulletin…

 

This just in…Khairi reports that Hamas has accepted PNA control over both the West Bank and Gaza. Furthermore, Hamas is resigned to allow Abu Mazen to negotiate a peace deal with Israel on their behalf. ___ What’s this Khairi? Are you working on your stand-up comedy routine in case you get invited on the Jay Leno show. It’s pretty good. Or are you just testing to see if anyone but me is still reading your posts. :>)

   

10/5/2009 2:50:15 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Mr. Abbas; politely putting it, you are economical with the truth.

 

The observer representative of the PNA at the Goldstone Report discussions, said that, it didn't look like the condemnation of Israel for war crimes will be forthcoming, due to major differences among the members of the UNHRC, as well as the negative view held by the USA regarding the Report. Therefore, since the PNA is only an observer member, it decided to request from the Islamic and Arab group at the United Nations Human Rights Council, to request the deferrement of voting on the Report, until the next meeting in March 2010. While Mr. Ikmallidin Ihasanoglu; the President of the Organisation of Islamic World, said that the deferrement of discussions, happened as the result of US-Palestinian agreement not to proceed with it in this meeting. In addition, there were various media reports saying, that the defrrement was as a result of Sec. Clinton's pressures on Mr. Abbas. So what does the illustrious Abu Mazen say?. Simply, that since the PNA is only an observer at the UNHRC, it couldn't request anything. It was the Islamic and Arab Group at the Council which requested the deferrement of the discussions in agreement with the world powers. I think still, that the Palestinian people deserve much better quality of a leader, than what is around currently in the west bank and Gaza. I wish to add addressing Mr. Abu Mazen, everyone knows Mr. Chairman, that this deferrement was an opportunity to sacrifice the Goldstone Report, on the alter of President Obama's request, for the "Moderate" Arab regimes and the PNA, to take positive steps towards Israel, in order to help Mr. Netanyahu; whom habitually surrounds himself with extremists in order to look like the only moderate one, take positive steps on the path of peace talks. Now that Mr. Abbas, you have complied with President Obama's request, do you think President Obama will comply with yours?.

   

10/5/2009 2:42:44 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

World of Possibilities.

 

Now that we can possibly talk about Iran-West reconciliation Rick, it seems possible also to talk about the return to Palestinian-Israeli paeace talks, after Abu Mazen accepted under Sec. Clinton's pressures, to defer the discussions about the Goldstone Report until March 2010. After all, this was actually the condition of Mr. Netanyahu, to consider returning to the peace process. In any case, if the rumours leaked about the Palestinian reconciliation document are correct, Gaza in addition to the west bank, will be under the authority of the PNA. This is an implicit acceptance by Hamas for the PNA to talk to Israel, despite its criticisms.

   

10/3/2009 4:09:36 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

October, Pessimism and the Palestinians.

 

I totally agree with Dr. Afrasiabi. Things are not totally settled as I wrote before, but if the goodwill continues, we might have yet a reason to celebrate. I have a feeling Rick, that another dent may be coming your good self's pessimism way. The Goldstone Human Right's Council Report discussions have been postponed until, the next meeting of the Council in March 2010. And guess according to whose request, this postponement has been agreed upon?. Absolutely correct. According to the request of the Palestinian observer, and put through the Arab-Islamic group in the Council. Ha'aretz is saying that, Sec. Clinton put pressure on Mr. Abbas to do so, because she doesn't want to see more complications in the path of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, especially after Mr. Netanyahu threatened that there will be no peace talks, so long as the War Crimes Report is being considered. This drew some sharp criticism from Mr. Khalid Misha'al and Hamas. But could it be that Mr. Abbas relishes the continuation of the peace talks and return to them, more than having Israel condemned at the UN Human Rights Council?. A condemnation which is likely to create many lawsuits against the Israeli leaders in various European courts?. Yes, very likley in my humble opinion, but then again, does Mr. Abbas still consider the Gazans as his people?.

   

10/2/2009 12:31:00 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

October surprise in US-Iran relations

 

Since we are commenting under Dr. Afrasiabi’s original post Khairi, we may as well get his input. Writing today in the Asia Times… ___ Defying the onslaught of pessimistic predictions [that’s me], the Geneva meeting on Thursday of Iran and the "Iran Six" nations did not end in failure, given the recent revelations of a second Iranian uranium-enrichment plant. Rather, there was a mini-breakthrough in that both Iran on the one side and the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany on the other agreed to hold a follow-up meeting later this month. What is more, US and Iranian representatives met one-on-one on the sidelines of the meeting, following an 11th-hour request by the US on Wednesday… ___ The issue of Iran's nuclear program - which many still believe is aimed at developing nuclear weapons - is far from settled, though. It will require willpower on both sides of the negotiation table to move forward, by focusing on areas of shared interests and "objective guarantees" to ensure Iran's peaceful nuclear program, to echo Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief. ___ Already, in light of the IAEA's regular inspections of Iran's facilities and its cameras and other surveillance measures at the enrichment facility at Natanz, a good deal of those objective guarantees are firmly in place. What is needed is to extend those to Iran's new facility, and, perhaps to convince Iran to re-adopt the intrusive Additional Protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. ___ The latter is possible if the United Nations Security Council agrees to drop its demand for Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment program, a demand that is rejected by Iran as "unlawful" and which has absolutely no chance of being embraced by any politician in Tehran, short of political suicide. ___ At this point, with the glass of US-Iran diplomacy now half full after an initial encounter that has opened the possibilities for future dialogue, there is sufficient ground for cautious optimism of a de-escalation of Iran's nuclear crisis.

   

10/2/2009 12:03:06 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The Enrichment Settlement.

 

I suppose Rick, so long as it doesn't turn out, that Iran has more secret installations to enrich Uranium, a small scale enrichment process on Iranian territory, with regular inspections, constitutes no harm or threat to anyone. Moreover, the Iranian negotiators will be able to tell the folks back home, that Iran hasn't compromised on its right of Uranium enrichment. If the negotiations go on with such goodwill from all parties, then I would say, all's well that ends well.

   

10/2/2009 9:06:57 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Merry Christmas in October!

 

Yep Khairi…there has certainly been enough speculation in the media about a possible attack on Iran by either Israel or the USA to get Iran’s attention. Iran probably views it as an unlikely possibility (my guess) but why take the risk. Just play along, give Russia most of the presently accumulated 3300 pounds of low-enriched Uranium to convert to highly-enriched Uranium for you, and get everyone off your case while you continue to develop your expanded production capacity and generate more enriched Uranium. What a deal. Everyone wins; Iran and President Obama both get of the hot seat, Iran gets what she wants and the Israeli threat is diffused. Notice that the Iranians are quick to point out that they will continue to enrich Uranium.

   

10/2/2009 8:13:22 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Sober Realisation.

 

I would say Rick, that both sides have reached the sober realisation; though your good self is correct to point out that it is too early for celebrations, that sooner than later if there is no agreement, few months down the road there will be war. President Obama will find it increasingly difficult to justify his inaction against Iran internally, to his allies, and to Israel. The Iranians also, feel that there are immense pressures affecting President Obama to force him take eventually action against them. Thereforfe, though the mood now is of compromise and for reaching an understanding, the outcome is by no means certain.

   

10/2/2009 5:39:35 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Iran, Major Powers Reach Agreement On Series of Points…

 

Obama Sees a 'Constructive Beginning'… [Yay! I guess we eternal pessimists got it wrong…and you eternal optimists got it right Khiri...good job.] ___ The United States and Iran tentatively stepped back from looming confrontation on Thursday, as the Islamic republic reached an agreement with major powers that would greatly reduce Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium and reset the diplomatic clock for a solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions…[writes Glenn Kessler in today’s WP]. The outcome, which President Obama in Washington called a "constructive beginning," came after 7 1/2 hours of talks in an 18th-century villa on the outskirts of Geneva that included the highest-level bilateral meeting between the two countries since relations were severed three decades ago after the Iranian revolution. But the difficulties that lie ahead were illustrated when the chief Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili, held a triumphant news conference at which he denounced "media terrorism," insisted that Iran has always fully met its international commitments, and refused even to acknowledge a question from an Israeli reporter. ___ [Well…maybe we shouldn’t jump for joy yet. We will have to see how enforceable this new “agreement” really is.] ___ The sudden show of cooperation by Tehran reduces for now the threat of additional sanctions, which has been made repeatedly by the United States and others over the past week after the revelation of a secret Iranian nuclear facility. The United States will need to keep the pressure on Iran to avoid being dragged into a process without end. ___ Under the tentative deal, Iran would give up most of its enriched uranium to Russia in order for it to be converted into desperately needed material for a medical research reactor in Tehran. Iran also agreed to let international inspectors visit the newly disclosed uranium-enrichment facility in Qom within two weeks, and then to attend another meeting with negotiators from the major powers by the end of the month. The series of agreements struck at the meeting was in itself unusual because, in the past, the Iranian negotiators have said they would get back with an answer -- and then fail to do so. ___ The outcome of the talks was immediately criticized by former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton, who as a Bush administration official balked at George W. Bush's efforts to entice Iran into negotiations. "They've now got the United States ensnared in negotiations," he said. "This is like the movie 'Groundhog Day.' " But another Bush-era official, former undersecretary of state R. Nicholas Burns, said that even if talks fail, Obama will have demonstrated that he tried hard to make diplomacy work -- and will win greater support for sanctions. ___ Despite the drama of sudden movement on an issue that has been in stalemate for seven years, all sides agreed that they are months, even years away from a resolution. The ultimate U.S. goal is suspension of Iran's uranium-enrichment activities -- and Tehran insists that it will never take that step. ___ "This is only a start, and we shall need to see progress through some of the practical steps we have discussed today," said European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who headed the delegation of six nations meeting with Iran. He said he hoped for "rapid and intense" negotiations to follow. ___ Diplomats said the term "sanctions" was never uttered during the lengthy day. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki…made it clear that Iran would not yield to pressure to suspend its enrichment of uranium. The agreement concerning the medical reactor was unexpected, and U.S. officials cast it both as a way to respond to a pressing Iranian need and to extend the time available to hold negotiations. Under the tentative agreement, U.S. officials said, Iran would export most of its 3,300 pounds of low-enriched uranium to Russia, which would then convert it to the material needed for the reactor. France would also assist in fabricating the material into metallic rods for use in the medical reactor. ___ Officials said the removal of the low-enriched uranium from Iranian soil should lessen concerns -- particularly in Israel -- that time was running out for a negotiated solution. Russia has long offered to enrich uranium for Iran [as you noted again just yesterday Khairi], an idea never fully embraced by either Iran or the Bush administration, but U.S. officials insisted that the deal was not intended as a template for a future solution.

   

10/2/2009 4:23:46 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Possible.

 

But maybe it is a good idea also, to take into consideration, the fact that the Iraqi Kurds constitute almost a quarter of the whole population in Iraq, but only 7% of the whole population in Iran.

   

10/1/2009 11:13:54 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

i think yhe best way to destroy islamic rejem that europ and amrica must hit on the nuclear program then support kurdish people in that counrty and ask them to start a revolution like kurdish iraq 1990 when amrican and illance had attaced iraq and got off in kowet

 

   

10/1/2009 9:15:05 AM

srusht swid

0

 
 

re-The Tough Guy Frenchman.

 

If your good self recalls Rick, President sarkozy said at the Genral Assembly, that for the UN to keep its credibility, it has to punish those counties which do not comply with the Security Council resolutions, like Iran and North Korea. He didn't seem to envisage even, that the resolutions of the same Security Council are applicable also to Israel.

   

10/1/2009 8:17:56 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

The tough guy Frenchman…

 

Edward Cody writes in today’s WP: “Under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has adopted an increasingly hard-edged approach to Iran, often out ahead of the Obama administration with uncompromising language criticizing Iranian leaders and warning that their nuclear program threatens world peace. ___ The French attitude reflects Sarkozy's assessment that acquiescing to unsupervised nuclear development by Tehran would be perilous, risking an Israeli attack on Iranian installations and increasing instability in the Middle East. In addition, French analysts said, Sarkozy feels that Europe got nowhere with Iran in several years of what was called "constructive dialogue" and that it is time to move on to stronger measures in tandem with Washington…” ___ [So…if we are so worried that Israel will launch a preemptive strike on Iran, we should just annihilate their Air Force and offensive weapons. After all, it is the Israelis who are the usurpers and occupiers of Muslim land and thus are the big threat to world peace…not the Iranians.]

   

10/1/2009 4:36:33 AM

Rick

0

 
 

3rd country enrichment…

 

Here is what Glenn Kessler writes in today’s WP Khairi: “Ahmadinejad last week floated the idea of the United States supplying enriched uranium for medical research as a confidence-building proposal; U.S. officials said Wednesday that the proposal is being examined by the IAEA but that there is no chance the United States will provide such material to Iran”.

   

10/1/2009 4:33:15 AM

Rick

0

 
 

3rd country enrichment

 

If your good self remembers Rick, that was the Russian proposal made a while ago, and which was favoured by the rest at the time. I agree if the Iranians are serious; and the talk is still now, that President AhmadiNejad is mulling over the idea, the west will play ball, because if they don't, they will justify the Iranian leadership's misconception, that the sanctions are all about weakening Iran and not the nuclear programme. Why accept the proposal now, when the Iranian president could have done so when it was first suggested?. Is it the threat of energy and financial sanctions?, or is it the threat of war?, or both?. In any case, the whole thing might be just a rumour, but if it isn't and the west plays ball, I think President Obama should pat himself on the back for such a major achievement.

   

9/30/2009 5:08:05 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Re: 3rd country enrichment….

 

I don’t doubt that other countries would play along Khairi if it is a sincere proposal. But it is hard to believe that Ahmadinejad is serious. Iran would have to agree to a very invasive regimen to insure that they are not using 3rd country enrichment as a smoke screen to continue a higher degree of enrichment at home. They will never agree to that.

   

9/30/2009 3:47:56 PM

Rick

0

 
 

I suppose Rick...

 

Indeed Rick, I hope it is me whom they are talking about, for it is better to be talked about than not being talked about. If things go according to schedule, by next Christmas, the initially suggested time table by President Sarkozy to impose the sanctions against Iran; though most likely outside the Security Council, will be made operative. Mind you, President Ahmadijad has insinuated this evening, that he may well consider the option of, third country Uranium enrichment, which was suggested some time ago by the Russians, as a mean to diffuse the crisis. Will the rest play ball.?.

   

9/30/2009 1:01:14 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Expectations are low Khairi…

 

President Obama will not make a snap judgment on what is said. "We're not going to make a snap judgment on Thursday. We're going to see how that meeting goes, evaluate the willingness of Iran to engage on these issues." U.S. President Barack Obama has said he intends to take a few months to assess Iran's position and consult with U.S. negotiating partners before deciding what next steps to take. ___ [Lol…some people just will not take NO for an answer.] ___ In Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the talks will be a "test" of [the west’s] respect for Iran's rights. "This meeting is a test to measure the extent of sincerity and commitment of some countries to law and justice," Ahmadinejad said after a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, according to official IRNA news agency. ___ While the negotiations are formally between chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili and the EU's Javier Solana, Solana will follow the lead of the five powers. The U.S., Britain, France, Russia and Germany are sending senior officials; Washington will be represented by William Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, while Russia is dispatching Sergey Ryabkov, a deputy foreign minister. ___ Only China, which appears most opposed to new U.N. sanctions on Tehran, is sending a relatively low-level representative to the talks, which were to be held at an undisclosed location outside Geneva. ___ [China will send the janitor who sweeps the floor of the Foreign Secretary’s office.] ___ Years of abortive attempts to coax Iran into at least talking about freezing enrichment have the U.S and its Western Security Council partners looking past Thursday's talks - and the possibility that they, too, will fail. If so, say officials from two of the delegations represented at the Geneva talks, the U.S. and its Western allies will renew their push for a fourth set of U.N. Security Council sanctions. ___ Washington, London, Paris and Berlin are keen to maintain at least outward unity with Moscow and Beijing on dealing with Iran. But the officials - who discuss confidential Iran strategy only on condition of anonymity - say the four Western countries are ready to do without Russia and China if they again block new U.N. sanctions out of economic or political considerations. They said discussions have already begun on tightening existing U.N. and European Union sanctions and enacting new ones. "Our approach will be that if we cannot get something in the Security Council, we will not wait but will be certainly actively looking for other measures," a senior official from one of the five powers said. ___ [Forget about it…the west will go it alone and it will be meaningless…futile…]. [The above excerpts are from an article by George Jahn in today’s WP.]

   

9/30/2009 10:37:37 AM

Rick

0

 
 

“While we in the West are going through economic hari-kiri…[Are they talking about you here Hairy Khairi?]

 

…the Chinese are out there taking all the oil and natural gas deals…” and the Russians and Indians and Venezuelans will not be far behind. ___ The article by Mr. Pomfret below highlights the many good reasons why China (and Russia) will not support sanctions against Iran. This is no surprise to you Khairi, of course, since you have readily agreed that sanctions are doomed to failure. It is interesting to see itemized some of the multi-billion dollar investments China has underway in Iran; an estimated $120 billion over the past five years. ___ In June, China National Petroleum Corp. signed a $5 billion contract with National Iranian Oil Co. to develop the massive South Pars gas field, after the Iranians accused French oil producer Total SA -- which had signed an initial agreement to develop the fields -- of delaying the project. ___ [So much for the French…] ___ "While we in the West are going through economic hari-kiri, the Chinese are out there taking all of the oil and gas deals," said Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Houston and author of the forthcoming "Energy: China's Choke Point." ___ And we have Iran at our mercy right…since they cannot refine their own oil, so must export it to us, to refine and ship back to them… Wrong! ___ Sinopec Engineering has signed contracts worth more than $5 billion to either expand or build four refineries there. Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, said Iran has dropped its reliance on gasoline imports from 40 percent to 25 percent. That explains, in part, why Western powers appear less interested than they once were in targeting such imports with sanctions. "There is a lot of hype about gasoline sanctions, but they are not going to be very effective," Luft said. "We've missed the boat on this one." ___ Zhu Feng, deputy director of the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University, said… "If Iran refuses IAEA engagement and shows no sincerity of reaching a deal with the West, I don't think that Beijing will keep opposing sanctions." A U.S. official said he hopes Zhu is right. ___ [I don’t think so. The Chinese and Russians couldn’t care less…they are enjoying, and profiting immensely from the situation. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.]

   

9/30/2009 9:35:52 AM

Rick

0

 
 

re-China.

 

I think no matter how many articles are written, about China's position vis a vis the Iranian nulcear crisis, nothing at all will cjange, simply because China is still oblivious of the whole concept of sanctions. If also as one happens to think, that President Obama will find it hell to ahve the Russians on board regarding the thought of, financial and energy sanctions against Iran, will it logical by the US president to continue hoping, that a country like China which deals with others on purely business basis, will join the sanctions?

   

9/30/2009 9:06:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

I totally agree.

 

I totally agree with you my good friend Rick, that it is nice to have a small wager on predicting future events; at least it is better than writing about the aftermath of those events. I wish others would join in and enlighten us with their thoughts, but unfortunately I feel that your good self and me, have been deserted by all including DRG. If by any chance that there is someone from DRG, whom hasn't packed up their computer yet, I would suggest to them calling this folder "Rick and Khairi Corner". Anyway your good self is absolutely right. I see that war agianst Iran is inevitable, and when the moment comes I hope it will be the US who will take out the Iranian nuclear sites rather than Israel, though I feel still that, the latter is more likely to do it than the former.

   

9/30/2009 8:56:14 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Oil, Ideology Keep China From Joining Push Against Iran (Part 1)

 

In its effort to muster support for sterner action against Iran, the Obama administration will have to overcome China's reluctance to punish a country that is one of its top oil suppliers and a major beneficiary of its energy-related investments. The administration's frustration with Beijing is growing. U.S. officials have noted that China has appeared even more reluctant than Russia to take action against Iran after disclosures about its nuclear program. U.S. officials said they are particularly concerned that China has blocked their efforts to target freight-forwarding companies based in Hong Kong that reship goods, including prohibited weaponry, to Iran. ___ The Chinese "have not displayed a sense of urgency" on Iran, said a senior administration official. Instead, the official said, China has attempted to "have it both ways," preserving its relationship with Iran while also working with the United States and other countries involved in the effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Why is China protecting Iran? Two reasons, analysts say: oil and ideology. ___ Iran is China's second-biggest supplier of oil, and imports are rising. In a country where more people are expected to buy cars this year than in the United States, China's appetite for oil is unquenchable. Furthermore, China's rapid economic growth is the ruling Communist Party's single most important claim to legitimacy. Tougher economic sanctions against Iran would probably cause the price of oil to spike in China, threatening its economic juggernaut. ___ China's investments in Iran also lessen the likelihood that Beijing will support enhanced sanctions. China's state-run oil behemoths have committed so much money to Iran -- an estimated $120 billion over the past five years -- that analysts estimate that its engineering firms will not be able to handle all the work. Over the past five years, Chinese firms have moved in on projects that Western and Japanese firms have left dangling. In 2004, Sinopec, also known as China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., signed a $70 billion deal to develop the Yadavaran oil field and buy 10 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas from Iran every year for 25 years. In June, China National Petroleum Corp. signed a $5 billion contract with National Iranian Oil Co. to develop the massive South Pars gas field, after the Iranians accused French oil producer Total SA -- which had signed an initial agreement to develop the fields -- of delaying the project. ___ "While we in the West are going through economic hari-kiri, the Chinese are out there taking all of the oil and gas deals," said Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Houston and author of the forthcoming "Energy: China's Choke Point." "The Chinese don't look at Iran as the country of the mullahs that everybody is afraid of; they look at it as a country with lots of oil and gas. Every time I go to China, they ask me, 'Why are you in the West letting us have it so easy?' "

   

9/30/2009 8:36:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Oil, Ideology Keep China From Joining Push Against Iran (Part 2)

 

China's investments are also helping shield Iran against the prospect of what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton contended last week would be "crippling" sanctions. Specifically, Sinopec Engineering has signed contracts worth more than $5 billion to either expand or build four refineries there. Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, said Iran has dropped its reliance on gasoline imports from 40 percent to 25 percent. That explains, in part, why Western powers appear less interested than they once were in targeting such imports with sanctions. "There is a lot of hype about gasoline sanctions, but they are not going to be very effective," Luft said. "We've missed the boat on this one." ___ At the Group of 20 meeting last week, China's statement on Iran was significantly weaker than that of Russia. China called on Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but it subsequently said sanctions were not the way to go. In addition, China has declined to cooperate with a U.S. Treasury Department program to crack down on freight-forwarding companies based in Hong Kong, according to government officials and analysts. ___ "The Chinese government has also been stepping in to protect Iranians targeted by U.S. enforcement efforts," Michael Jacobson, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote in a paper in August. In the most prominent case so far, China blocked the extradition to the United States from Hong Kong of an Iranian procurement agent who had been indicted in New York on charges of attempting to acquire F-14 fighter plane parts. He was subsequently released from custody. ___ China also opposes sanctions for ideological reasons. The concept of "noninterference in internal affairs" has animated China's foreign policy since the 1950s. Michael Green, a former senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, said China opposes a military solution to the crisis and is concerned that the United States might seek the authority from the U.N. Security Council to attack Iran. "They are anticipating that the more they put the brakes on sanctions now, the more they are delaying really troubling decisions to authorize force down the line," he said. ___ Zhu Feng, deputy director of the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University, said a key issue in determining how China approached the crisis would probably be Tehran's attitude -- specifically how it responds to demands that the IAEA be allowed to inspect Iran's recently disclosed second uranium-enrichment plant. "If Iran refuses IAEA engagement and shows no sincerity of reaching deal with the West," Zhu said in an e-mail, "I don't think that Beijing will keep opposing sanctions." A U.S. official said he hopes Zhu is right. ___ [The above comments are from an article by John Pomfret in today’s WP.]

   

9/30/2009 8:34:21 AM

Rick

0

 
 

U.N. Chief Says Iran Must Prove Its Sincerity on Nuclear Issue

 

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that Iran's construction of the Qom uranium-enrichment facility violates U.N. resolutions requiring it to halt all nuclear enrichment activities, adding that Tehran must prove to the world that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons. Ban's remarks placed the U.N. leadership squarely behind the Obama administration's campaign to ratchet up international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions on the eve of talks it is to hold Thursday with the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. ___ Also Tuesday, Iran's nuclear chief said in an unusually frank disclosure that the country's new enrichment site was built for maximum protection from aerial attack: carved into a mountain and near a military compound of the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Associated Press reported. Ali Akbar Salehi's statement came with a hard-line message ahead of Thursday's talks: Iran will not give up its ability to produce nuclear fuel. ___ The IAEA has not declared whether Tehran's latest project constitutes a violation of its nuclear-safeguards agreement with Iran. But the U.N. Security Council has passed numerous legally binding resolutions since December 2006 demanding that Iran suspend "all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development." ___ [The above excerpt is from an article by Colum Lynch in today’s WP. I guess the US/Israel alliance will have to attack Iran’s hardened facilities dug into mountain sides with tactical nuclear warheads. How’s that for setting a new standard for hypocrisy?]

   

9/30/2009 6:15:57 AM

Rick

0

 
 

To Khairi Machiavelli,

 

I know you are no war monger Khairi. I would never accuse you that. But I can’t help but glean from your posts that an attack on Iran by Israel is likely, if not the best option; and an attack by the USA while less likely, may not be such a bad idea given the alternatives. Nothing wrong with that. ___ And while I may be an engineer by trade, I know that all is not black and white; and I also am no pacifist. I have learned from W in Iraq, however, that it is best not to go to war on false premises, especially one which would be as disastrous as an attack on Iran. ___ And even though the course of future events is far from certain, it is interesting is it not, to hazard your best guess in a wager with your good friend regarding the outcome. You are a shrewd individual with a great professional background in the history and politics of the affairs of the Near East. I on the other hand am strictly an amateur armchair pundit who nevertheless enjoys speculation on the great intrigue. ___ I think you are right by the way in your assessment of President Obama. He is doing the best he can within the limits of his office. He is President after all, and not King (or Supreme Leader) of the USA. His job is akin to that of herding the cats in the congress and senate.

   

9/29/2009 5:26:33 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Khairi Janbek the Warmonger?

 

Not really Rick. Though I cannot claim to be a pacifist, I am against war as the easy option; especially a war against Iran which is likely to subject us all to Sod's Law, by keeping the file open for many years to come. As the article which your good self has posted about Pakistan indicates, even allies can be economical with the truth when it comes to intelligence, and in any case, intelligence reports may well be also subject to hit or miss at times because, contrary to the belief of many leaders, they are not God sent Gospels. So really, I don't thing that anyone can say with certainty that, Iran is developing nuclear weapons, let alone build conclusions on the assumption that, it will do so in the future. Since I don't have your good self's certitudes Rick, President Obama may well turn out to be indicisive, a good public performer and speaker, but that's just all about it, and the limits of his intellectual depth ends here. Or, as one believes, he is a very clever politician whom happens to be beyond the grasp of many others in the US and abroad, and intent on playing a game with everyone reagarding Iran's nuclear programme. I'm saying a game, because I am sure that President Obama realises before hand, that the talks with Iran will not produce tangible positive results, because I ran will continue with its Uranium enrichment programme. He knows even now this minute I believe, that 2-3 months down the road he will have to lead Britain, France and Germany into sanctions against Iran without Russia and China as well as many others. He knows already again, that those leaky sanctions will not bring a change of attitude in Iran, therefore at one point, the failure of those sanctions will make it easier for him to justify war for the American people at the time of his choosing, or, he will continue negotiating with Iran intermittently, with the leaky sanctions imposed still in place, until such a time when Iran has produced a its first nuclear weapon; making it easier for him to justify accepting Iran into the nuclear club because it is no longer feasable then to attack it. Alternatively, he could continue negotiating with the Iranians with leaky sanctions still imposed, until such a time that Iran would have shown enough credibility, by not producing nuclear weapons; despite the fact that it is capapble of doing so, and in this case, it will be justifiable to accept it in the nuclear club. However that might be towards the end of his first term in office. But what about Israel?. President Obama will have to give Israel concessions somewhere else I guess, justifying the lack of action against Iran, but is there any guarantee that Israel will comply with President obama's requests not to attack Iran?. I mean, it is fine to say that, well, the US can punish Israel with this or that, if it attacks Iran, but then it would be late because a major would have already started. I suppose Rick your good self's scientific background works on black and white answers as well as clear results, while mine, it has always been surrounded with scepticism, doubt and grey areas.

   

9/29/2009 10:08:16 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

“Israel itself is a mistake”

 

I agree with Mr. Cohen that so far President Obama is doing his job very poorly. He needs to take command of the situation to impose a just and equitable solution on the most explosive crisis in the world today; i.e. the Middle East crisis which happens to be the Israeli/Palestinian conflict…not Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power and weapons. ___ Ironically, in August 2006, Mr. Cohen wrote a column declaring that "Israel itself is a mistake" in which he stated: "The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now." For this statement Cohen was criticized in an essay released by the American Jewish Committee entitled 'Progressive' Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism. He later clarified his statements in his next week's column, saying, "Readers of my recent column on the Middle East can accuse me of many things, but not a lack of realism. I know Israel's imperfections, but I also exalt and admire its achievements. Lacking religious conviction, I fear for its future and note the ominous spread of European-style anti-Semitism throughout the Muslim world -- and its boomerang return to Europe as a mindless form of anti-Zionism. Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located, gentrifying a pretty bad neighborhood. But the world is full of dislocated peoples, and we ourselves live in a country where the Indians were pushed out of the way so that -- oh, what irony! -- the owners of slaves could spread liberty and democracy from sea to shining sea. As for Europe, who today cries for the Greeks of Anatolia or the Germans of Bohemia?"

   

9/29/2009 5:58:39 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Time to Act Like a President

 

Richard Cohen writes in today’s WP: Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief. ___ [Mr. Cohen, goes on to criticize President Obama for being indecisive…for setting deadlines with no consequence for not meeting them…particularly with respect to Iran.] ___ No one should believe Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran seems intent on developing a nuclear weapons program and the missiles capable of delivering them. This -- not the public revelations of a known installation -- is the real crisis, possibly one that can only end in war. It is entirely possible that Israel, faced with that chilling cliche -- an existential threat -- will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. What would happen next is anyone's guess -- retaliation by Hamas and Hezbollah, an unprecedented spike in oil prices and then, after a few years or less, a resumption of Iran's nuclear program. Only the United States has the capability to obliterate Tehran's underground facilities. Washington may have to act. ___ For a crisis such as this, the immense prestige of the American presidency ought to be held in reserve. Let the secretary of state issue grave warnings. When Obama said in Pittsburgh that Iran is "going to have to come clean and they are going to have to make a choice," it had the sound of an ultimatum. But what if the Iranians don't? What then? A president has to be careful with such language. He better mean what he says. ___ The trouble with Obama is that he gets into the moment and means what he says for that moment only. He meant what he said when he called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" -- and now is not necessarily so sure. He meant what he said about the public option in his health-care plan -- and then again maybe not. He would not prosecute CIA agents for getting rough with detainees -- and then again maybe he would. ___ Most tellingly, he gave Congress an August deadline for passage of health-care legislation -- "Now, if there are no deadlines, nothing gets done in this town . . . " -- and then let it pass. It seemed not to occur to Obama that a deadline comes with a consequence -- meet it or else. ___ Obama lost credibility with his deadline-that-never-was, and now he threatens to lose some more with his posturing toward Iran. He has gotten into a demeaning dialogue with Ahmadinejad, an accomplished liar. (The next day, the Iranian used a news conference to counter Obama and, days later, Iran tested some intermediate-range missiles.) Obama is our version of a Supreme Leader, not given to making idle threats, setting idle deadlines, reversing course on momentous issues, creating a TV crisis where none existed or, unbelievably, pitching Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. Obama's the president. Time he understood that.

   

9/29/2009 5:43:09 AM

Rick

0

 
 

The View from Pakistan's Spies

 

David Ignatius has penetrated Pakistan’s ISI agency. He writes from Islamabad in today’s WP: The headquarters of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence directorate is a black-ribbed stucco building in the Aabpara neighborhood of the capital. Its operatives, described by wary Pakistanis as "the boys from Aabpara," play a powerful and mysterious role in the life of the country. Their "tentacles," as one ISI officer terms the agency's spy networks, stretch deep into neighboring Afghanistan. ___ The ISI agreed to open its protective curtain slightly for me last week. This unusual outreach included a long and animated conversation with Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the agency's director general, as well as a detailed briefing from its counterterrorism experts. At an operational level, the ISI is a close partner of the CIA….But on the political level, there is mistrust on both sides. The United States worries that the ISI isn't sharing all it knows about Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis, meanwhile, view the United States as an unreliable ally that starts fights it doesn't know how to finish. ___ [Sounds what you propose in Iran Khari…starting a fight we cannot finish.] ___ A test of this fragile partnership is the debate over the new Afghanistan strategy proposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The ISI leadership thinks the United States can't afford to lose in Afghanistan, and it worries about a security vacuum there that would endanger Pakistan. But at the same time, the ISI fears that a big military surge, like the up to 40,000 additional troops McChrystal wants, could be counterproductive. ISI officials believe Washington should be realistic about its war objectives. If victory is defined as obliteration of the Taliban, the United States will never win. But the United States can achieve the more limited aim of rough political stability, if it is patient. ___ In the ISI's view, America makes a mistake in thinking it must solve every problem on its own. In Afghanistan, it should work with President Hamid Karzai, who, for all his imperfections, has one essential quality that American strategists lack -- he's an Afghan. ISI officials suggest that Karzai should capitalize on the post-election ferment by calling for a cease-fire so that he can form a broadly based government that includes some Taliban representatives. ISI officials say they want to help America with political reconciliation in Afghanistan. But they argue that to achieve this goal, the U.S. must change its posture -- moving from "ruler mode" to "support mode" -- so that Afghan voices can be heard. ___ The American suspicion that the ISI is withholding information about the Taliban, or is otherwise "hedging its bets," makes ISI leaders visibly angry. Pakistanis have the most to lose from a Taliban victory in Kabul, they argue, because it would inevitably strengthen the Taliban in Pakistan, too. A Pakistani version of Mohammad Omar is anathema to them, the ISI leaders say. One ISI analyst loudly calls my name at the end of a briefing and then recites a summary of Pakistani casualties since Sept. 11, 2001, from terrorism. The list totals 5,362 dead and 10,483 wounded. "Trust us," says another ISI official, referring to this casualty toll. "Do not interfere in a way that infringes on our sovereignty and makes us look bad in the eyes of the public." ___ Talking with ISI leaders, I am reminded of something you see around the world these days. People want to help America more than we sometimes think. But they want to be treated with respect -- as full partners, not as useful CIA assets. Trust is always a conditional word when you are talking about intelligence activities, which are built around deception. But in this case, where America and Pakistan share common interests, the opportunities are real.

   

9/29/2009 5:11:03 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Concensus at last...

 

We agree then Khairi...we will allow Iran into our nuclear club because we have no choice in the matter...We will not attack Iran because that would be to commit economic suicide... ___ Somehow I think that is not what you mean to say... :>)

   

9/29/2009 2:40:54 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Oh yes we will Rick.

 

   

9/28/2009 4:47:10 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Will we or won’t we…

 

So the wager come down to will we (the 5 + 1 + Israel) implicitly accept Iran into the nuclear club. Or won’t we? I say yes we will because we have no choice. A military strike on Iran is out of the question. What does Khairi say…no ifs, ands or buts about it…will we or won’t we?

   

9/28/2009 3:02:33 PM

Rick

0

 
 

More on the Wager.

 

If your good self reads carefully what I said Rick, then it is clear that I don't believe also that sanctions will work against Iran. Hence my belief, that either the 5+1+Israel impose the pot-holed sanctions and carry on with them, while Iran continues with its nuclear programme; in a sense, an implicit acceptance that nothing can be done about it, or, will have to go to war. However, if contrary to all expectations, and by divine intervention the whole world stands by the USA, and by some God ordained miracle, all boycott Iran, making the sanctions bit; ie. destabalising the regime, then it is not likely at all, that the regime in Iran will not take military actions in order not to be overthrown. There is no telling what it would do, starting with attacking US bases in the region; including saudi Arabia (an option). I think if the 5+1+ israel do not accept Iran in the nuclear club; be that explicitly or implictly, the only outcome is war

   

9/28/2009 11:45:22 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

What consensus…?

 

I don’t think that Iran will attack its neighbors just because sanctions imposed by the west are biting them. In the first place I don’t accept the premise that these sanctions would have bite. But even if they did that doesn’t make sense to me…why attack Saudi Arabia if they are attacked (or sanctioned) by the USA? ___They would be more likely to attack shipping in the Persian Gulf and shut down the gulf…but even that is far fetched I think… if they are not attacked. ___ If Israel launches a missile attack on Iran…again they would not attack their neighbors…but they would blame the west and mainly the USA…and would for certain shut down oil flow from the gulf. Israel also would open itself to attack from whoever may feel the urge…for such a foolish gesture of attacking Iran because they may obtain nukes…when Israel has them already. What hypocrisy!

   

9/28/2009 10:32:39 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Consensus.

 

I think we are both agreed Rick, that extra sanctions regime will not work against Iran, and I imagine we agree also, that even by some chance if those sanctions hurt Iran, it will not sit tight and take it. Therefore, what are the options for the 5+1+Israel?. Go for a prematurely failed regime of sanctions, thus, implictly accepting a nuclear Iran, or go to war?. Here I think we differ. Moreover, in my capacity as an armchair general in the comfort of his home, I don't think the next battle; if Israel decides to take military action, will involve aerial attacks, but rather, long reange missile attacks. However, if Israel violates so many countries' airspace to attack Iran, then all those countries might as well turn a blind eye, and then condemn Israel at the UN, and distance themselves from the whole action. Risky?, indeed it is, but might be worth considering eventually.

   

9/28/2009 8:21:48 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Rick's Crystal ball.

 

If Preident Obama is too level headed, to accept the military option against Iran, then he might as well start using his "genius", to convince the American public as well as his allies and Israel, of the need to accept living with a nuclear Iran which holds nuclear weapons.

   

9/28/2009 5:43:00 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Gaza Vindication.

 

If the writer thinks, that a war on Iran will turn out to be having the same results, as the war on Gaza, then sadly he doesn't seem to know much about either Iran or Gaza. However, the only similarity might be, if the sanctions really bite Iran, then it might act as desperately as Hamas, and lash out against one of its neighbours or more.

   

9/28/2009 5:39:50 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Looking into my crystal ball…

 

I see that an imminent preventive attack on Iran is not in the cards. President Obama is too smart and level headed. Nothing is to be gained from it in the long term and the short term risks are out of sight. Iran would easily and immediately shut down the Straight of Hormuz, the price of oil would skyrocket, economies of the west would be in the tank and oil producing nations would rule the world. ___ President Talibani cannot stop Israeli planes from crossing his airspace but the US and Turkey most certainly can and will. President Obama has probably already made this abundantly clear to Mr. Netanyahu. ___ The war to be dreaded will not be coming in the spring or summer of next year but WW III, which is scheduled to be fought in three to four decades as the oil barrel begins to run dry. Iran, China, Russia and the “Stans” will be joined by the oil producing countries of South America and Africa as part of the SCO and aligned against the west. They will dictate their demands to the west and the racist “State of Israel” will cease to exist. The only question is how much the west will futilely attempt to resist this fate militarily or will we simply acquiesce to the inevitable.

   

9/28/2009 4:48:20 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Israel's Gaza Vindication

 

There was an interesting article by Jackson Diehl in WP last Monday, Khairi titled Israel’s Gaza Vindication. The theme was that since the Gaza invasion turned out so well for Israel, and was so effective, Israel is likely to flaunt world opinion again and attack Iran. ___ When it was launched last December, Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip looked to most people in Washington to be risky, counterproductive and doomed to futility. Not only pundits like me but senior officials of the Bush administration predicted that the Israeli army would not succeed either in toppling Gaza's Hamas government or in eliminating its capacity to launch missiles at Israeli cities. Instead it would subject the Jewish state to another tidal wave of international opprobrium and risk its relations with West Bank Palestinians and Egypt. ___ Mostly, we were right. But today, Operation Cast Lead, as the three-week operation is known in Israel, is generally regarded by the country's military and political elite as a success. The reasons for that are worth examining now that a new and even more hawkish Israeli government is weighing whether to flout Washington's prevailing opposition to a military attack on Iran. ___ Israel's satisfaction starts with a simple set of facts. Between April 2001 and the end of 2008, 4,246 rockets and 4,180 mortar shells were fired into Israel from Gaza, killing 14 Israelis, wounding more than 400 and making life in southern Israel intolerable. During what was supposed to be a cease-fire during the last half of 2008, 362 rockets and shells landed. Meanwhile, between late 2000 and the end of 2008, Israeli forces killed some 3,000 Gazans. ___ Since April there have been just over two dozen rocket and mortar strikes -- or less than on many single days before the war. No one has been seriously injured, and life in the Israeli town of Sderot and the area around it has returned almost to normal. Israeli attacks in Gaza have almost ceased, too: Since the end of the mini-war, 29 Palestinians, two of whom were civilians, have been killed by Israeli action. ___ The point is that Israel has bought itself a stretch of relative peace with Hamas, just as its costly 2006 invasion of Lebanon has produced three years of quiet on that front. From the Israeli perspective, a respite from conflict is the most that can be expected from either group -- or from their mutual sponsor, Iran. ___ "They will never change their ideology of destroying Israel," a senior government official told me last week. "But you can deter them if they are convinced you are not afraid of fighting a war." ___ The Gaza invasion was the second military operation Israel embarked on in less than 18 months despite disapproval from Washington. The other was its bombing of a nuclear reactor under construction in Syria in September 2007. Then, too, officials in Washington feared a dire diplomatic backlash or even a war between Israel and Syria. Nothing happened. ___ As they quietly debate the pros and cons of launching a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, Israel's political and military leaders no doubt will be thinking about that history. That doesn't mean they will discount American objections -- Iran would be a far harder and more complex target, with direct repercussions for U.S. troops and critical interests in the region. But, as with Gaza, even a partial and short-term reversal of the Iranian nuclear program may look to Israelis like a reasonable benefit -- and the potential blowback overblown.

   

9/28/2009 4:32:27 AM

Rick

0

 
 

Mr. Friedman & President Sarkozy.

 

Of course Rick, Mr. Friedman like any other journalist; is subject to the law of hit or miss, and in this case, one is inclined to believe that, he is somewhere in between. What is interesting also, is that President Sarkozy said, that for the UN to keep its credibility, it must punish those whom defy its resolutions; like Iran and North Korea. He hastened to say "like Iran and N. Korea", lest everyone assumes he was talking about Israel.

   

9/28/2009 2:39:54 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

re-Iran Rattled.

 

President Sarkozy has already said Rick, that Iran should be having 3 months after the October meeting, to comply with the demands of the 5+1 regarding its nuclear activities. I mean this sanctions business is just a matter of showing that something is being done about Iran, and in no time, the same countries will say that sanctions do not work. Even if we think for a second, that divine intervention is possible, and that all the countries in the world including Russia and China, will make those sanctions watertight, is it logical to assume than, that Iran will sit it out and take it with a stiff upper lip?. I think not. Iran will unleash itself on it's neighbours and probably even beyond to release the effects of the sanctions. In either case, at the end of the road, there will be war.

   

9/28/2009 1:35:35 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Good…the wager is on…

 

I say there will be no Israeli/US attack, and you say it is not a question of will they…but when will they…probably in the coming spring if I read you correctly. ___ It’s a good thing that the gambling police don’t hang out on this site.

   

9/27/2009 5:53:15 PM

Rick

0

 
 

The world picks sides ahead of Iran talks

 

Dr. Kaveh L Afrasiabi writes in the Asia Times: At this week's annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, as expected, the twin issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation received special attention. As United States President Barack Obama chaired a Security Council meeting devoted to these two issues, various speakers at the General Assembly raised issues of concern, such as North Korea and Iran. In return, a number of developing nations, including Iran, criticized the perceived "double standards" of the nuclear-weapons states in allegedly skirting their own obligations toward disarmament while trying to prevent other nations from developing nuclear technology. In his speech to the assembly, Obama implicitly criticized Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territories and called for the restoration of the pre-1967 status quo. Obama did not mention Israel's nuclear arms among what he described as proliferation "challenges". ___ The UN summit was an arena for Tehran and its opponents to defend their positions on Iran's nuclear standoff before the international community. Momentum for new sanctions in the event of a failure in the Istanbul talks is rapidly building. Still, there is some counter-momentum that favors Iran coming from the 118-member Non-Aligned Movement of developing nations. These competing opinions promise to introduce new cleavages in world politics should the nuclear stalemate continue or escalate. ___ Meanwhile, pro-Israel lobbyists and pundits in the US media are wasting little time rationalizing Israel's sabre-rattling against Iran. Thomas Freidman, a New York Times columnist, said the US's reluctance to back Israel's military threat was wrong and did not serve Washington's strategy towards Iran. ___ Iran's counter-strategy is to threaten serious reprisals against any unprovoked attacks. Iranian officials repeatedly point to alleged breaches of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations toward disarmament on the part of France, Britain, the US and other "nuclear club" nations that bemoan the threat of non-proliferation. After all, the absence of meaningful disarmament and the failure of non-proliferation are two sides of the same coin. ___ [I’m very disappointed in Thomas Friedman. I nearly always agree with his positions, but not this one.]

   

9/27/2009 5:42:47 PM

Rick

0

 
 

Rather, when will they?.

 

There is really a problem of misconceptions, which the international media is still ignoring Rick. Reading some of the pro-Iranian press, and listening to the Iranian media, in the eyes of the leadership i Tehran, neither the west nor the USA, are convinced that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons, and the aim of their pressures, is to stop Iran from becoming a developed country, and even if they allow that, they want Iran to be dependent on them for its development. They think the west wants Iran and it speople, to be subservient to the to them. One gets the impression also, that they don't believe that, Israel is serious when it says that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons, because the aim of Israel is to prohibit the emergence of an islamic state which challenges its strength. In the mean time, they don't see the west preparing for war, and they see the US stopping Israel taking unilateral action. However, on the other side of the divide, if really the west and Israel are convinced of the certainity that Iran will develop nuclear weapons, then Iran is really making an enormous error in judgement. I mean how long will it take the US, its allies and Israel, to realise that no form of sanctions can work against Iran, especially when there are many in the international community willing to be sanctions-busters for the right price, taking into consideration that the west would be thinking in terms also, of working against the clock. If the western camp is really unwilling to live with an Iran with nuclear weapons, then most probably all will end in tears as early as next spring, or next summer at the latest. As for Mr. Talbani, I think he is pretending that he runs a country and can take independent decisions.

   

9/27/2009 5:23:36 PM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Iran rattled by Washingtons resolve

 

Dr. Kaveh L Afrasiabi writes in the Asia Times that: United States President Barack Obama's momentous decision to scrap plans to install a controversial missile defense shield in Eastern Europe has been praised by Russia and a number of European countries. But in Iran, the announcement has triggered worrying questions about why, and why now? Washington denies that any secret deal has been made with Moscow. Still, some analysts point to the possibility the US shelved planned anti-missile interceptors in Poland and a huge radar in the Czech Republic in exchange for the Kremlin abandoning its reluctance to exert pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. ___ The White House gave two official reasons for scrapping plans for the missile shield. First, it claims to not foresee an immediate or near-term threat from any Iranian inter-continental ballistic missiles. Second, the US is now convinced that Iran is "hastening" its short- and medium-range missiles that can be better intercepted by American ships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea. ___ Iranians may be forgiven if they take the US's official explanation with a grain of salt. The announcement came ahead of a crucial meeting in Istanbul scheduled for October 1 between Iran and the "Iran Six" nations - the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. The suggestion that the decision and the negotiations have no connection does not seem convincing to Iranian analysts. Tehran - and the rest of the world - will now watch Moscow's behavior toward Iran very carefully. Any perceptible change in the established Russian attitude regarding the Iranian nuclear standoff will be closely evaluated. ___ By instantly removing that barrier, the Obama administration has generated an entirely new momentum for a coherent united front against Iran. Tehran has hardly missed this point. ___ With all eyes set on the October summit, the question is whether or not the talks will prove more than a photo opportunity and achieve any meaningful progress. If the nuclear talks fail and the "Iran Six" opt for tougher sanctions on Iran, Tehran would face the difficult task of coming up with the right formula to offset the net losses stemming from the fallout of the US's decision. To some observers, Obama has effectively stolen the thunder from Iran's bullish new nuclear diplomacy. ___ And what will China do if it perceives an undue chumminess in Moscow-Washington relations at a time when Beijing is incensed by signs of the US's meddling in its affairs? It is possible that stronger Iran-China ties may develop in response to these new developments. ___ [Aha…another wager opportunity Khairi. Will they or won’t they? Will the "Iran Six" nations - the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany - impose tougher sanctions on Iran at the October 1 summit in Turkey. I say no…China will not allow it, even if Russia does an about face and climbs on board.]

   

9/27/2009 5:17:07 PM

Rick

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Will they or won’t they…?

 

Here is another wager we can make Khairi, while we wait to see if the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations will get off the ground. ___ Will Israel/USA attack Iran or won’t they? I say no…what do you say?

   

9/27/2009 4:36:16 PM

Rick

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Iraq's president: Iran sanctions won't work

 

Iraq's president said new sanctions against Iran won't work and warned Saturday that Iraq will never allow Israel or any other country to use its airspace to carry out an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities. ___ President Jalal Talabani said the six major powers dealing with the Iran nuclear issue - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - should conduct "a real negotiation" with Iran and guarantee Tehran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. ___ [I wonder how President Talibani will manage to prevent Israel from using his airspace Khairi. I suppose he is just blowing smoke.]

   

9/27/2009 4:28:18 PM

Rick

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Secretary Gates.

 

Interviewed by ABC Network [to be aired today], Sec. Gates said that, in his opinion Iran's intention is to develop nuclear weapons, but he is not sure if they have already taken the decision to do so. But isn't this just like saying, since Iran has the technological means and the know-how, it is a matter of a political decision to produce nuclear weapons?. I mean even with inspectors running around in Iranian nuclear sites, according to Sec. Gates' logic, the Iranians would be able to stop the inspections when they chose to, or decieve the inspectors, when they decide to produce nuclear weapons. So what do we end up with?,the possibility of war based on opinion and divining future intentions, or, an implict marketing campaign for the principle of pre-emptive strike?.

   

9/27/2009 3:36:06 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

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Top of the Flops.

 

The current affairs of the Near East, remind me of the old music charts programme; Top of the Pops. With the political situation, the chart is "Top of the Flops". In this chart, the Palestinian question has slipped from first place in the US agenda, to joint third place with Iraq, behind Iran and Afghanistan. Mind you, knowing the Near East, it is in such times that something happens, in order to climb back to the first position in Top of the Flops.

   

9/26/2009 10:10:24 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

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The Settlements Trap.

 

If your good self recalls Rick, I have warned in my own little and insignificant way a while ago, about the dangers of reducing the Palestinian problem to the mere issue of settlements. Of course I never denied, nor indeed deny now the importance of the settlements to the peace process, but what would be the point in concentrating on the issue, when Bibi in his speech to the General Assembly yesterday, repeated what he had said all along before, NO to negotiating Jerusalem; it is not a settlement, NO to the Palestinian right of return; the Jewishness of Israel, NO to an armed Palestinian state; not another Gaza, NO to the withdrawal from the Jordan Valley; the eastern border of the Palestinian state is already fixed, in other words, he has established already in his mind a Palestinian state, therefore in his logic, it is the fault of Mr. Abbas not to negotiate the details of this state; meaning which way the separation wall will move on the western boarder of this Bibi envisioned palestinian state, and it is also Abu Mazen's fault, not wanting to discuss the improvement of the economic conditions of the Palestinians, whom in his opinion are not fit for peace because their economic circumstances are bad. I suppose after all this, building or not building settlements, is purely an academic matter now. The only thing which one expects President Obama to do, is to continue trying to push the peace talks to start; in the absence of any real pressures on Israel, just to show that something is really being done by his administration's committment, and hope that in the mean time the situation remains business as usual in the Middle East, as those proposed talks become a side show while the other Bibi demand, that of dealing with Iran is being considered.

   

9/25/2009 2:43:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Abbas: no return to peace talks at this time

 

The Palestinians cannot return to peace talks at this time because of "fundamental disagreements" with Israel on what should be on the agenda, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published Thursday. Abbas rebuffed an appeal by President Barack Obama that both sides get back to the table promptly. The Palestinian leader said he wants to avoid a crisis with the Obama administration at any cost and emphasized that dialogue was the only way to close the gaps and resume negotiations. But he said that for now "there is no common ground" with Israel's hardline leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. ___ Netanyahu has said that on two key issues - a partition of Jerusalem and a repatriation of Palestinian refugees - he's not open to any compromise. The Israeli prime minister retreated from assurances given by his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, who held talks with Abbas last year. ___ Abbas, who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, said that even at the risk of alienating Obama, he cannot return to talks on a final peace deal without a clear agenda. "In all honesty, we want to protect our relations with President Obama under any conditions," he told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper. "We don't want to come out with a crisis with the Americans, or create a crisis. But in the meantime, we can't go on unless there is a clear path. The road must be defined so we can know where we are going." ___ Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to meet separately with Obama's Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, to try to break the deadlock. Obama has said he wants a progress report by mid-October. Obama's demand has put Abbas in a difficult position. He has been adamant about not resuming talks unless Israel freezes settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas the Palestinians claim for their state. A freeze is mandated by a U.S.-backed peace plan, and the Obama administration was initially strident in calling for a halt to construction. However, Netanyahu has refused to budge and the U.S. appears to have relented. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Obama said that the U.S. "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," but stopped short of calling for a freeze. ___ If Abbas returns to talks now, without a freeze in place, he is likely to lose more credibility at home where he has been locked in a power struggle with his Islamic militant Hamas rivals. Hamas, which threw Abbas' forces out of the Gaza Strip two years ago, has derided negotiations as a waste of time and portrayed Abbas as a Western lackey. In Damascus, Hamas accused the U.S. of displaying a pro-Israel bias and said Netanyahu has emerged as the "triumphant and major beneficiary" of the trilateral meeting. Abbas said in the interview that only a complete freeze will do. "We can't accept the status quo because a partial halt means a continuation of settlements," he said. "Even if it is halted by 95 percent, it is still a continuation of settlement activities." ___ [The above remarks are from an article by Karin Laub in today’s WP. As you note below Khairi, there is no solution from within. The solution must be applied from without by President Obama and other Western states, by “tightening the screws on Bibi“. But unfortunately, President Obama is just a typical politician, not an especially brave one. Despite his earlier bombastic rhetoric, he has no appetite for taking on Bibi.]

   

9/24/2009 4:00:57 PM

Rick

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The Complex becoming More Complicated.

 

Writing this note, less than two hours only prior to Bibi's speech to the General Assembly, I think for the moment Rick, the situation has become far more complicated than the originally complex issue of settlements. Abu Mazen wants talks with a reference; that reference being a Palestinian state, borders, Jerusalem, and the right of return for the Palestinian refugees. For Bibi, he wants talks without any reference, economic discussions about improving the lot of the Palestinians until he feels they are fit to negotiate peace, and the acceptance of the Jewishness of Israel; a euphemism for dropping the right of return. Well, unless Bibi changes this tune in his speech, I don't think it is anymore a question of finding a starting point for the negotiations, rather, there is no point at all for negotiating the prospects of a two-state solution; a non-starter in your good self's opinion, and not my prefered solution. I think we are both agreed that there is no solution to the Palestinian problem from within the region, for just as the problem originally started from the outside, it has to be resolved also from the outside. Whether through discreet or overt tangible pressures, President Obama has to lead the international community in tightening the screws on Bibi, if he is serious about this two-states solution. After all, in his speech he has supported all Abu Mazen's refernce points.

   

9/24/2009 8:29:08 AM

khairi janbek.paris/france

0

 
 

Starting Point for Mideast Talks Remains an Issue, Analysts Say

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President Obama's personal push to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will face a tough early hurdle in simply getting the two sides to agree on a starting point for negotiations, according to Israeli and Palestinian analysts. ___ Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and key members of his administration have expressed doubt about the outlook for final-status talks, arguing that core issues such as the fate of Jerusalem and the drawing of borders cannot be resolved until Palestinians' institutions have been strengthened and their society has clearly turned against the use of anti-Israel violence. ___ Palestinians, meanwhile, have said they expect talks to resume where they left off with the previous Israeli government. Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, had opened discussion even on sensitive issues such as the return of Palestinian refugees. ___ Although Netanyahu has said he is willing to return to the table "without preconditions," his government has made clear that he will not offer concessions easily and that the Palestinians will have to make "tough choices" to ensure progress. ___ "We are willing to discuss all the core issues. Obviously, we have our positions," said Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev. "The prime minister has said repeatedly that, ultimately, the Palestinian leadership has to make a choice." ___ The Israeli positions include demands that Jerusalem remain undivided -- Palestinians want part of the city designated as the capital of their future state -- and that Palestinian refugees not be allowed to return to Israel. ___ "If that is the beginning, then one can expect the talks to be a big failure," said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian politician and analyst. Like many Palestinians, Barghouti said he was disappointed that Obama was unable to persuade Israel to freeze construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. A settlement freeze is part of the "road map" peace agreement Israel signed in 2003. It is unclear whether Obama intends to follow the document or pursue another path, Barghouti said, noting that the deal has largely been dropped from the discussions. ___ Since taking office, Obama and members of his administration have mentioned the road map, related negotiations started under the Bush administration in Annapolis in 2007 and the 2002 Arab peace initiative as relevant to the current discussions. But Obama officials have not announced an explicit plan of their own. ___ In urging Tuesday that the two sides immediately resume final-status negotiations aimed at the creation of a Palestinian state, however, Obama is reviving the strategy used by Bush in the waning years of his administration. Obama said immediate talks are needed to take advantage of the momentum he is trying to build toward a regional peace deal. ___ But the breakdown of the Bush-sponsored Annapolis process is often cited by members of Netanyahu's Likud faction who are doubtful that final-status talks can succeed. ___ Those discussions "yielded Israeli concessions but few, if any, reciprocal Palestinian ones," Netanyahu's national security adviser, Uzi Arad, wrote in a December essay that called for "an end to 'endism,' to the approach that believes we are within reach of resolving everything in one fell swoop." Other members of Netanyahu's administration have since talked about "managing" the conflict for the long term or have said they thought a Palestinian state would not be practical for at least a decade. ___ "If Obama thinks he can finish it fast -- it is much more complicated," said Danny Danon, a member of parliament from Likud. ___ Jibril Rajoub, a member of the ruling Palestinian Fatah party in the West Bank and a former Palestinian security chief, said a failure to achieve political progress would be dangerous for the region. ___ "Netanyahu has to realize and to weigh his steps. If he wants to push us into a corner and talk about defeating us, then I think he is dragging all of us into a cycle of violence and bloodshed," Rajoub said. "I hope that [he] will realize, and that the people in Israel will realize, that the only way to achieve peace and security is to put an end to the occupation." ___ Obama has expressed a sense of urgency about resolving the conflict, and he used a portion of his U.N. General Assembly speech on Wednesday to discuss his hope for broad Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist as well as for "the end of the occupation that began in 1967 and a realization of the potential of the Palestinian people." ___ Yaron Ezrahi, a political scientist at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said that in the context of a broader peace initiative led by Obama, Netanyahu might prove more flexible than his rhetoric indicates. ___ "Whether he is building himself up as a tough negotiator in order to deliver the best possible deal to Israel or whether he is building himself up as a tough negotiator in order to blow up the negotiations, I think he will decide on the way," Ezrahi said. ___ [The above remarks are copied verbatim from an article by Howard Schneider in today’s WP. Please pardon the lengthy cut and paste Khairi, but I found it very interesting and to the heart of our friendly wager on whether serious negations can resume relative to the two-state solution. Mr. Netanyahu says above that they cannot “until Palestinians' institutions have been strengthened and their society has clearly turned against the use of anti-Israel violence”. I believe that is the Israeli position and is cast in concrete. This condition will not be met for many years to come.]