Thursday, November 29, 2007

Headlines for 11-28-07

Six powers to meet in Paris on Iran nuclear issue

Russia: Iran merits U.N. nod on nukes Russia criticized the United Nations for its failure to recognize Iran's cooperation on its controversial nuclear program.

Saudi foils oil attack, detains 200 militants

Ahmadinejad offers to be an observer at US presidential election

Iran leader dubs summit a failure "Soon, even the most politically doltish individuals will understand that this conference was a failure," said a scornful Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the Iranian president.

Road to Empire Is the U.S. going to occupy Iraq indefinitely, or will we withdraw our troops within the next year or so, as the majority of Americans would have it?....This agreement formalizes Iraq's status as a de facto U.S. protectorate, a province of the empire ? an American beachhead in a radically destabilized Middle East that could easily be used as a launching pad for future (and even more ambitious) wars of "liberation."

Iran's Ahmadinejad: Israel will not last Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday predicted that Israel would not survive, as he lashed out at the US-hosted conference seeking to relaunch the Middle East peace process.

The 'Triumphant' Neocons Casting aside the image of the war as a bloody quagmire, the neocons are again selling Iraq as a vital beachhead in the Middle East from which the United States can project power throughout the region and achieve victory over Islamic militants hostile to Israel.

Is Rudy Running for Editor of the Weekly Standard, or President of the United States? Giuliani assembled a world class cadre of extremists to staff his foreign policy team, including David ?End to Evil? Frum, Norman ?I Hope and Pray that President Bush Will Bomb Iran? Podhoretz, Michael ?The Case for Assassinating Foreign Leaders? Rubin, and a host of others.

FBI: Widely reported terrorist threat to Fort Huachuca unfounded

Impending Destruction of the US Economy The US dollar has lost 60% of its value during the current administration.

Doctored Paul At 11 a.m. today, one of's top stories was an article about a Nevada brothel owner endorsing Ron Paul. But the story wasn't written by Fox News; it was a tweaked version of an Associated Press story that hit the wires early Monday. And, to make matters even more muddled, that story was taken from a Reno Gazette-Journal piece. Something was lost in translation.

Remarks on the Middle East and Freedom Agenda by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley

Fashion items or dangerous terrorist images? T-shirt trial divides a nation Seven face long jail terms for plan to donate to groups in Palestine and Colombia

Peres: Israel maintains secret contacts with Syria all the time Israel conducts secret contacts with Syria all the time, but serious negotiations cannot begin until Syria stops supporting terror and removes itself from involvement in Lebanon, said President Shimon Peres on Tuesday while touring the Negev.

Olmert speaks to presidential hopefuls Ehud Olmert spoke with the major candidates for the U.S. presidency

Woman jailed for Hezbollah ties An Israeli Arab woman was jailed for contacts with Hezbollah.

Civil Libertarians Warn of 'PATRIOT Act Lite'

Iranian threat a danger to entire Mideast: analyst Israel, with its stockpile of hundreds of nuclear weapons, and being a non-signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and its proven track record of violating international and humanitarian law, is the biggest threat to the Middle East. No, Israel doesn't threaten to 'wipe nations off the map', it just does it. Where is the Palestine that existed on maps one hundred years ago? What did they do to Lebanon in the summer of 2006?...

UN keeps Hariri probe secret over security fears

Pro-Palestinian groups threaten Israeli water company's activity in Scotland According to the Scottish daily, various local groups are calling to boycott the company, which is based in the Golan Heights, a disputed region Israel captured from Syria in the Six-Day War in 1967. 'Disputed' only by Israel. All the world knows that the Golan Heights is Israeli-OCCUPIED territory, not Israeli-owned.

?U.S. must immediately withdraw from Iraq? The resolution noted with ?deep concern? the U.S. ?bullying and threat? to Lebanon?s sovereignty. It condemned the ?forcible encroachment? of Palestine by the ?ruling clique of Israel,? aided by the U.S.

Jordan asked Nixon for help against Syria Documents also detailed U.S. efforts to persuade Saudi Arabia to move away from Fatah, the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization, because American officials believed the PLO supported the terrorist group Black September, CNN reported.

Why the Left is Singin' Gospels... last night in a packed church in New York, Norman Finkelstein called on the Jewish community in the U.S. to separate itself from Israel, and I think that is slowly happening Norm Finkelstein = brave soul.

Syria a nation of contradictions Although allied with Iran, its people admire the West. Damascus has its own agenda for peace talks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Headlines for 11-27-07

Iran to reject nuclear halt in talks with EU's Solana Iran Tuesday ruled out discussing a suspension of uranium enrichment in this week's talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana aimed at breaking the deadlock over its controversial atomic programme.

Petraeus Sought to Prevent Release of Iranians

Pathetic Ron Paul Brothel Media Smear Fails Another crass and pathetic smear attempt against Ron Paul failed yesterday as some news organisations, including the AP, attempted to link the Congressman to a pimp without making it clear that the entire charade was an idiotic stunt set up by MSNBC?s Tucker Carlson.

US forces kill Iraqi civilians as 'shepherd' bombs police Nine Iraqis, including three women and a child, were reported killed by US fire while a suicide bomber disguised as a shepherd killed seven people in an attack on police, officials said.

Iran's Secret Weapon: The Pope According to several well-placed Rome sources, Iranian officials are quietly laying the groundwork necessary to turn to Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican diplomats for mediation if the showdown with the United States should escalate toward a military intervention.

Russia ready for missile shield talks with U.S.

Iranians say sanctions hurt them, not government Ali Ganjineh, an Iranian petroleum engineer working abroad, has saved enough money to buy a $300,000 house in his homeland. But U.N. and other sanctions prevent him from sending the funds to Tehran, so his planned home purchase has fallen victim to the Islamic state's nuclear stand-off with the West

Iran to host militants for 'alternative' Mideast meet

Russia slams US missile defence cooperation proposals 'The formal proposals we have received and are continuing to study are a major rollback from what we agreed in Moscow in early October' at talks between the two countries' defence and foreign affairs chiefs, Sergei Lavrov said.

Saudis Pour Oil Money into Terror The news that Saudi Arabia is the nation providing the greatest number of foreign fighters in Iraq underscores the lies and duplicity at the foundation of President George W. Bush?s policies in the Middle East.

Unwanted in Syria, hundreds of Iraqi refugees return home

Feature: Palestinian pocket in Iraq chaos The camp has apparently posed no security problems so far for Iraqi border police or for the U.S. Marines mentoring them. Lt. Col. Stefan Bien, from the 2nd Marines, said there have been reports of insurgents recruiting in the camp, which is unguarded, with open access, "but I haven't found evidence of it. I haven't been able to hammer that down."

Kucinich hit for eyeing Paul as VP "Despite his views on the Iraq war, Rep. Paul no more belongs on a Democratic ticket than Dennis Kucinich on a Republican one," said NJDC Executive Director Ira Forman. "Any Jewish Democrats or independents that are tempted toward Rep. Paul because of his stance on the war should be reminded that this Republican representative has a terrible record on Middle East politics, is anti-choice and opposes stem cell research."

The major breakthrough: Bush agrees to arbiter role The substance of the conference bubbled underneath the rhetoric, Daniel Ayalon, the former Israeli ambassador, told JTA. It's importance, he said, was the united front it presented against Iran and other radical rejectionists of peace with Israel. "There's no doubt about the success of Annapolis," said Ayalon, now the co-chairman of Nefesh b'Nefesh, a group that advocates and facilitates immigration to Israel. "It is the achievement of the United States to bring this array of Arab League foreign ministers together with Israel. There is a strong American interest and Israeli interest and regional government interest in changing the dynamics and isolating Iran."

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi One would have thought that the systematic dismantling of the Constitution of the United States would have been enough to satisfy even the most Jacobin neoconservative, but there is more on the horizon, and it is coming from people who call themselves Democrats. .....Through their proven access both to the media and to Congress, the agenda will undoubtedly be shaped by the usual players including David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson, and Frank Gaffney who see a terrorist hiding under every rock, particularly if the rock is concealing a Muslim. They and their associates will undoubtedly find plenty of terrorists and radical groups to investigate. Many of the suspects will inevitably be "anti-American" professors at various universities and also groups of Palestinians organized against the Israeli occupation, but it will be easily to use the commission formula to sweep them all in for examination. If we were supposedly attacked on 911 for 'our freedoms', then how much sense does it make to take those freedoms away? Wouldn't that mean that the terrorists have won? Another Orwellian twist courtesy of the neoconservatives. Up is down, left is right, black is white.

Democrats' foreign policy? Call them soft neo-cons despite their noisy anti-war base, most leading Democrats quietly are backing away from their talk about bringing American troops in Iraq home on rigid timetables. Victor Davis Hanson is a neocon who evidently believes that neocon policies in Iraq are now working, a laughable notion. By the way, neocon is defined best here, by one noted paleocon.

Syria's quest to regain Golan takes new shape "These projects are a message to Israel. The refugees will no longer be scattered in slums and camps all around Syria. Soon they will live here and stare right at their Israeli occupiers,"

Violent Politics Play Out in Packed Refugee Camps As a persistent political deadlock looms over Lebanon and presidential elections run beyond time limits imposed by the constitution, tensions are rising in Lebanon's many Palestinian camps, home to more than 400,000 refugees.

Syria says Arab ties with Israel only after pullout "To phrase it clearly and decisively that this (normalization) comes after the total Israeli withdrawal from the 1967 Arab land," he said in a speech obtained by Reuters.

Cleric: Lebanese wives may fight back A Muslim woman is allowed to fight back in self-defense if she is hit by her husband, Lebanon's top Shiite cleric declared Tuesday in a ruling rare for the region's male-dominated Islamic society.

Iran builds new longer-range missile Iran announced on Tuesday that it has built a new missile with a range sufficient to put Israel and US bases in the Middle East within easy reach, amid rising tensions over Tehran's contested nuclear drive.

Australia ranked third most desirable Behind Iceland, Norway and Australia come Canada and Ireland. But the United States has slipped to 12th place, from eighth last year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Headlines for 11-26-07

IAEA checks Russian nuclear fuel bound for Iran

No let up in attacks by Iranian backed groups: commander "I can speak for my sector," he said. "And in my sector the assessment is we have not seen any slowing down or any indicators that these special groups are going to curtail their activities or quit receiving this support that's coming from outside the country."

American Majority Sees Iraq War as a Mistake

Richardson: Iraq war not worth one more life

Evidence on Iran doesn't seem to matter

Cheney given shock treatment for heart

US, Iraq deal sees long-term US presence

Schumer says DOD duns wounded vets for bonus repayments Senator Charles Schumer blasted the defense department Sunday -- for mailing bills to wounded soldiers -- asking them to repay part of their enlistment bonuses... all because they couldn't finish their tours of duty.

Fox hypes shaky story on border tunnel jihadists

Pat Buchanan?s Day of Reckoning: Good-bye to America? Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology, and greed have torn America apart. A neoconservative cabal with an alien agenda captured the Bush administration and committed American blood, energy, and money to aggression against Muslim countries in the Middle East, while permitting America?s domestic borders to be overrun by immigrants and exporting the jobs that had made the US an opportunity society. War and offshoring have taken a savage economic toll while open borders and diversity have created social and political division.

Hired Guns "I feel that many of the contractors here have no respect for the locals and are doing a great deal of harm to our reputation," an Army lieutenant stationed in Afghanistan e-mailed.

Iran sanctions are getting results, Clinton tells Iowans Campaigning in northwestern Iowa on Saturday, Hillary Rodham Clinton told voters that a Senate resolution on Iran she supported has helped bring that country to the negotiating table while stemming the violence in Iraq.

The Myth of the Oil Weapon Our oil supply is secure, not because our government threatens to use force against those who would make it insecure but because the world?s oil suppliers want to make money

PM to discuss Iran with Bush during U.S. visit ** Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U.S. President George W. Bush will on Wednesday discuss ways of stepping up efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear program before Bush's term in office ends in the coming year. The meeting will be held the day after the Annapolis peace conference......"This will be the most important meeting" of the prime minister's visit to the United States, said a senior Olmert aide.....The prime minister is concerned by what in Israel appears to be a drop in the U.S.'s determination to take action against Iran................Israeli officials said in closed meetings that it would be best if the United States attacked Iran - and not Israel alone.
Note that last sentence and the source. Whose war is this? This meeting will be held the day after the Annapolis conference because the conference itself is a dog and pony show to get the rest of the Arab nations to support US action against Iran (at Israel's behest).

US, Mid East talks 'doomed to failure': Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's top authority, said a US-organised Middle East conference was "doomed to failure" and said it was being held to help Israel not the Palestinians.

Can Syrians, Saudis make summit work? The Bush administration is about to present for congressional approval a $20 billion arms deal with the Saudis. Details have yet to be released, but its core is believed to be aimed at equipping the Saudis with the smart bomb capabilities that could take out long distance targets with precision. The potential target would be Iran; in fact, the interest the Saudis have taken in the renewed peace process has mostly to do with the Sunni Muslim nation's fears of Iranian Shi'ite hegemony. Already, the Saudis are chafing at Iran's influence in neighboring post-war Iraq, where Shi'ite Muslims are the majority......As for the Saudi piece, Israeli leaders have swallowed hard and instructed pro-Israel groups here not to oppose the arms deal with the Saudis. Note the source - the Jewish Telegraph Agency. Now, isn't that interesting that they openly admit that Israeli leaders instruct pro-Israel groups here in the states on these issues. That would, I believe, make these pro-Israeli groups the agents of a foreign power and they thus should register as such. Registration is free.

Iran rebukes Saudi Arabia over Mideast conference "The US government, which is an accomplice to Zionist crimes, cannot play the role of saviour by hosting the Annapolis conference,"

Peace effort aims to repair damaged U.S. image** "Call it a cynical bargain. The Arabs will help the United States on Iraq and Iran if the West helps towards a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because that is what is inflaming Arab opinion,"

Romney criticizes conference's timing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized the timing of the Annapolis peace conference in an interview with The Jerusalem Post Saturday and said the Palestinians have not taken the steps necessary for peace.....He stressed, though, "It's important to me that we not in any way place pressure on Israel to take action which would further weaken its negotiating hand."

Syrian issues secondary at parley "Syrian participation is not the focus of these discussions," Hadley said. "The focus of these discussions are the Israelis and the Palestinians launching a negotiating process."

Bush, the Born-Again Peacemaker Even the Saudis and Syrians are coming to Tuesday's summit. So it is odd to see an alliance of neo-cons and left-wingers unite in opposition to Bush's efforts. Writers for the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Weekly Standard have bemoaned negotiations with "old men like Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Abbas]." Their counterparts on the left say Bush is making a cynical and rash gamble on a peace he doesn't have the stomach to push through.

Giuliani's Culture of Corruption Kerik failed to report a $250,000 "loan" from a mysterious Israeli billionaire, which had been laundered through a Brooklyn businessman.

Frantic bid to bridge Middle East divide Stephen Hadley, his national security adviser, signalled that the president was unlikely to put forward new ideas. "It is now time for the parties to get into this process by way of negotiation," Hadley told reporters. "And I don't think the president will conclude that the time is right to start offering ideas on outcomes on specific issues."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Headlines for 11-25-07

Iran says IAEA closes more files over atomic work A November 15 IAEA report said Iran had provided "consistent" answers clarifying past centrifuge development work, although the answers were still being checked for completeness.

Iraqi Shiite leader defends Iran Iraq's most influential Shiite politician said Sunday that the U.S had not backed up claims that Iran is fueling violence here, underscoring a wide gap on the issue between Washington and the Shiite-led Baghdad government.

Iran says nuclear fuel produced for Iran's research reactor Iran said on Saturday it has manufactured nuclear fuel pellets for its 40-megawatt heavy water research reactor in central Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran eyes border deal with Kuwait before year's end: Mottaki

Italian PM favours more talks with Iran Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi called on Sunday for continuing talks with Iran over its contested nuclear program, in a speech in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Boost for Middle East summit as Syria joins in Confirmation that President Bashar al-Assad is sending his deputy foreign minister means that the Maryland meeting will be the best-attended Middle Eastern summit since the Madrid conference in 1991 - although the stakes are higher and expectations far lower.

Ron Paul's growing poll numbers vex mainstream press

U.S. Opposition Rises to Mideast Arms Sale The pair said they have "serious concerns" that the precision guidance kits could "fall into the wrong hands" and be used against U.S. troops in the Middle East or against Israel.....the arms sale to Saudi Arabia is generating the greatest concern in Congress.

Archbishop thrown into row over US Middle East policy

Israel Lulled by the good life by far the biggest concern in political circles is now Iran, or "the state from which all evil stems", as one minister put it. Security officials and politicians say Tehran will have acquired the technology to produce a nuclear weapon by the end of 2009 at the latest. They work from the assumption that either the US or Israel will launch a military attack before then in order to stop the nuclear programme.

Three American comics find Islamic audiences laugh, too the three comedians ? Egyptian-American Ahmed Ahmed, Palestinian-American Aron Kader, and Iranian-American Maz Jobrani ? have been playing packed houses in the US and are now on their first Middle Eastern tour.

Explosion wounds five at Nahr al-Bared Five Palestinians were injured in an explosion set off by teenagers scavenging for scrap metal in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp on Sunday, a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokeswoman said

Golan Heights settlers shrug off U.S. peace summit despite Syrian participation Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, though its sovereignty is not internationally recognized. Because the Golan Heights is Israeli-OCCUPIED territory, and those civilian settlements built therein are a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (war crimes). It is so nice for the Associated Press to omit this fact, thus keeping Americans in the dark as to the true nature of Israel's (unlawful) behavior.

Can Rice save her legacy with 'Hail Mary' pass on Mideast?

Australia's Howard swept from power Some analysts have speculated that Labor?s support for Israel may waver at the United Nations. However, Rudd has declared that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be tried at the International Court of Justice for his genocidal declaration to ?wipe Israel off the map.?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Headlines for 11-24-07

Iran: No smoking gun but strong evidence "There's no consensus that Iran's leadership has decided to build a nuclear arsenal," said David Albright, a former U.N. nuclear inspector now at Washington's Institute for Science and International Security. "There's more of a consensus that they've built a set of capabilities" that could be used for a weapon.....Now scheduled for completion next month, the NIE ? which won't be released publicly ? will lay out the evidence and U.S. intelligence's judgment of what it shows.

Iran will not block oil passage: navy chief

Iran rejects UN nuclear snap inspections Iran on Saturday rejected the UN atomic watchdog's demand for more inspections of its nuclear sites after the body urged the country to open up its doors, the ISNA news agency reported.

Tough Iran sanctions to hit Germany hard: report

Iran hints it could halt nuclear enrichment for a quid pro quo "We don't trust the United States ," he told McClatchy Newspapers after the IAEA Board of Governors finished its latest round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. "We could suspend nuclear enrichment. We did it before for two and half years. But it wasn't enough then, and wouldn't be enough now. We will not suspend enrichment again because there is no end to what the United States will demand."

U.S. blames Iran-backed group for Baghdad bombing Iranian-backed militants were behind a bombing that killed 13 Iraqis at a Baghdad pet market, the U.S. military said on Saturday, raising concerns that Shi'ite militias might be switching tactics.

Hamas, Hezbollah lambast Mideast peace conference "The Annapolis conference has two objectives: to help shore up (Israeli Prime Minister) Ehud Olmert after his defeat in the south of Lebanon and secondly to cover up for American plans of a war against Iran,"

Episcopal bishop reaches out far for peace ?We're all monotheists, and that means we share a tremendous amount theologically in common, which I find fascinating,? Chane said. ?The Virgin Mary is venerated more times in Iran than in the gospels, and they celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday.?

Report: US will not force Israel's hand in Annapolis According to senior White House staffers quoted in the report, US President George W. Bush feels "the war on terror makes for a special bond between the US and Israel......On Monday, Olmert and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni are scheduled to meet with Bush, Rice and US Vice President Dick Cheney in an attempt to finalize the details before heading out to Annapolis. That's like saying bears sh#t in the woods; it goes without saying. It also means that any agreement therein will not be fair or just for the Palestinians, as has happened several times in the past. But they will naturally get blamed for it. This whole affair is a dog and pony show to get the Arab nations on board for US military action vs. Iran.

Former US Commander Criticizes Bush on Iraq The former U.S. commander of multi-national troops in Iraq says President Bush's strategy there is failing because it relies too much on military force and not enough on political reconciliation.

Aharon Barak: Israel tops US at protecting human rights A sick joke.

Suicide bombers are not psychologically unstable: Research The analysis also revealed that for such bombers the conflict was mainly about politics, not religion. Despite its frequent religious trappings, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not religiously inspired, and suicide bombing is fundamentally the expression of a territorial dispute.

Backers, opponents of Annapolis see Iran looming in background For now, the Saudis appear to prefer informal alliances as a means of heading off Iran, but pro-Israel groups in the United States are saying Israel needs formal relations with the Saudis if the process is to work has just reclassified "The Israel Lobby" by Harvard and Chicago U profs as a "conspiracy theory" book They played similar nasty games with Carter's book about Palestine not so long ago.

Your pictures Reader Greg Funnell's striking images from around Syria

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Headlines for 11-23-07

Focus on EU-Iran talks as IAEA calls for enrichment freeze

Iran 'hasn't done enough' on nuclear problem The United States and three European nations say Iran has not done enough to win trust in its nuclear program and the United Nations should now consider tougher sanctions

A plan to attack Iran swiftly and from above **

UN uncertainty over nuclear Iran Last week, he said Iran had been more open about its past, but still enriched uranium in defiance of the UN.

Paul Expects to Raise More Than $12 Million in Fourth Quarter Paul called his Republican presidential rivals, including frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, ''neo-conservatives'' whom he couldn't support in the general election should his own bid fail.

Hands Off Iran ** an attack on Iran--which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election--will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions

Bush wins crucial Saudi support for first Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in seven years Syria's position remains unclear. It has been holding out for a reference to the Golan Heights, still occupied by Israel 40 years after the 1967 war

Syria says US agrees to put Golan on Mideast agenda The United States has agreed to put the question of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel from Syria, on the agenda of next week's Middle East peace meeting, Syria's foreign minister said on Friday.

Text: Mearsheimer and Walt interview There is no question that the book has been savaged in the mainstream media in the United States, which is to be expected. But one should also recognize that we have travelled widely in the United States to talk about the book, and everywhere we go, we find that the audiences are clearly on our side, although there are always a few people at each event who harshly criticise us.....The bottom line is that I think a huge number of Americans agree with what we have to say. Yes they do, and thank you for having the courage to say it.

Putin meets top Saudi official as Russia eyes arms sale Saud did not give details, but a diplomatic source in Riyadh had earlier said that Putin's visit there in February was expected to lead to a "verbal understanding" on the sale of about 150 Russian T-90 battle tanks to the kingdom......A joint Russian-Saudi statement, published by the Russian foreign ministry, said that "the sides spoke in favour of creating an independent and viable Palestinian state and called on the international community to give additional aid to the Palestinian people."

Door open for Golan Heights talks

What Antiwar Activists Have to Be Thankful For

Headlines for 11-22-07

Oil in retreat from record high On Wednesday, oil prices came close to breaching the $100-a-barrel mark, boosted by a weak dollar, tight supplies and rising winter demand.

Saudi crown prince to discuss Iran's nuclear program in visit to Russia

ElBaradei set to defend Iran progress at IAEA meet

President Rudy's War Council

Most Iraqi recruits 'are Saudi or Libyan' Most of the foreign fighters involved in the Iraq insurgency come from Saudi Arabia and Libya, two of America's allies in the "war on terror", US forces have discovered from material obtained during a raid.

Iran 'hasn't done enough' on nuclear problem The United States and three European nations say Iran has not done enough to win trust in its nuclear program and the United Nations should now consider tougher sanctions.

IAEA 'in dark' over Iran's nuclear intentions

US gives Russia new missile proposals The United States has formally made new proposals to Russia aimed at easing tension over its missile defence plans in Europe, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Iran a driving force for Mideast meeting According to U.S. and other Western intelligence, Iran has helped establish what amounts to a client state in the Gaza Strip, the smaller of two Palestinian territories that would make up an eventual independent nation. Pure BS.

Look Who's Downplaying Iran's Nuclear Threat

'WIPED OFF THE MAP' rumor is totally false, so why lie?' Whether or not Ahmadinejad said or meant that Israel should be 'wiped off the map', there is a cold hard fact that cannot be contested: look at the maps of the region from 100 years ago, what happened to Palestine? Israel wiped Palestine off the map.

Five reasons to bomb Iran now ** Note the source.

U.S. advised Israel on Syria radars The United States reportedly assisted Israel's September air strike in Syria with information on enemy air defenses.

Egypt, Jordan, Palestinians try to sell skeptical Arabs on Annapolis conference

Likudnik Hawks Work to Undermine Annapolis Despite near-universal skepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at next week's Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, a familiar clutch of neoconservative hawks close to the Likud Party leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, isn't taking any chances.

Donor representatives visit UNRWA installations in Syria Delegates from 19 of UNRWA's major donor countries arrived in Damascus yesterday to begin a two-day tour of Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. UNRWA Syria Director, Panos Moumtzis, welcomed them, noting that their presence demonstrates a strong and on-going commitment to the welfare of the Palestine refugees.

US storm over book on Israel lobby Mr Judt himself is not afraid to speak out, but he has to tread more carefully when he criticises Israeli policies in the US than he does in Israel itself. "I have written articles in Haaretz that no American newspapers would touch," he says.

Israeli: Syrian site hit not a reactor A Syrian site bombed by Israel in September was probably a plant for assembling a nuclear bomb, an Israeli nuclear expert said Thursday, challenging other analysts' conclusions that it housed a North Korean-style nuclear reactor.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Headlines for 11-21-07

Oil reaches new record above $99 Oil prices came close to breaching the $100 a barrel mark on Wednesday as the dollar remained weak, tempting traders towards commodities.

US general says Iran helping stop Iraq bloodshed

US agrees to new talks with Iran

Tehran paper attacks Ahmadinejad It was referring to a recent speech by Mr Ahmadinejad when he described people opposed to his nuclear programme as traitors and accused some senior former nuclear negotiators of spying for foreigners.

Iran leader vows no concessions on nukes

IAEA board to debate Iran report The governing board of the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, is meeting to discuss its latest report on Iran.

West's 'rusty' weapons won't defeat Iran: president Iran's president has told his Western foes their "rusty and disabled weapons" could never defeat the Islamic Republic in a deepening dispute over Iran's atomic ambitions.

Iran Says U.S. Lacks Support for More Sanctions at UN

Gates again invokes possible Iran strike ** "This is not about changing the regime in Iran," Gates told a group of community leaders at a Whiteman Air Force Base lunch. "It's about getting the regime in Iran to change its behavior, and its policies."

Iran argues nuclear case in letter to "world

Iran doesn't expect new sanctions Iran said Tuesday it does not expect new U.N. sanctions anytime soon because it is cooperating with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on it disputed nuclear program, and Russia and China are supporting this process.

US commander gives part credit to Syria for military gains in Iraq

Iran agrees to Iraq talks with US

Hamas shrugs off US peace talks Hamas political supremo Khaled Meshaal, exiled in Damascus, said the Annapolis conference was called by Bush to mask agressive plans in the region......"And today he wants to make peace in Palestine in preparation to a hit against Iran," Meshaal said. "This is an American game. The Palestinians and the Arab peoples are aware of it and know that it is not serious."

US troops 'shoot Iraqi civilians' The incident threatens to suspend ties with US officials.

Putin attacks foreign interference

Ex-Congressman Plans Book On Why U.S. Invaded Iraq Hostettler was among six House Republicans to vote against the Iraq war and cautioned as early as an October 2003 speech on the House floor that the problems associated with rushing to war would be many.

Putin says Russia will not tolerate NATO military build up President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia would not ignore NATO's military build up near its borders and would provide an adequate response to any "muscle-flexing."

Likelihood of Iran Attack Gains Credence **

GOP Jewish group polls on Iran strike ** The questions, recalled by a focus group participant, were: "How would you feel if Hillary [Clinton] bombed Iran? How would you feel if George Bush bombed Iran? And how would you feel if Israel bombed Iran?"

Look Who's Downplaying Iran's Nuclear Threat ** Podhoretz and company could have difficulties presenting a case for going to war against Iran in order to protect Israel?both Israel's foreign minister and a former head of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, have suggested that if Iran does acquire nuclear weapons, Israel would deal with it by deterring Iran. Not attacking it.

A Conservative View of Iran by Philip Giraldi ** Contrary to the repeated assertions by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an endless series of threats emanating from Washington is not diplomacy. The United States is refusing to negotiate with Iran, and the only obstacle to a war from the U.S. side is the resistance coming from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and some military and naval officers, most notably the Central Command's Admiral William Fallon, who are heavily outnumbered by those in the administration and outside it who are pro-war.....Powerful lobbying groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) continue to resist talks and urge a military resolution.

Israel seeks US help to fight Iranian pistachios A US official says Israel has asked for US help in cracking down on illegal pistachio nut imports from Iran, after Washington warned the trade was hurting efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.

U.S. invites 40 to peace talks The United States invited more than 40 countries, including Syria, to participate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Cheney's ex-adviser: Annapolis not 'priority' "Priorities for the United States right now should be three or four major crises that are reaching the near acute stage," David Wurmser, formerly the U.S. vice president's senior adviser on Middle East issues, said Tuesday at an Israel Project luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Israeli envoy tells anti-U.N. crowd that world body is not all bad Though speakers drew from an extensive repertoire of singular negative treatment of Israel by various U.N. bodies, much attention was directed to the area of human rights, where Israel has typically been a subject of overwhelming scrutiny.....U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) called the treatment of Israel by the United Nations an "abomination" and pledged to use financial pressure to compel changes within the organization A whinefest because the world refuses to turn a blind eye (as the US does) to Israel's atrocious human rights record.

Howard era may be ending, but Australia likely to stay ally Howard supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, has defended the legitimacy of Israel?s security barrier in the West Bank and Israel?s war against Hezbollah in Lebanon last year, and delivered a scathing eulogy when Yasser Arafat died in 2004. Howard has been showered with awards from Jewish community organizations here and in the United States.

Terror trial defendant gets 11 years In a passionate, arm-waving statement before sentencing, Ashqar painted a grim picture of the suffering of Palestinians under the Israeli occupation and said some of his own relatives had been killed or jailed.
He said he would rather go to prison than betray his people as they strive to free themselves from Israeli domination.

U.S. accuses Syria of meddling in Lebanon

Iraq sets free trips home for refugees With violence down in Iraq, the country's embassy in Damascus is starting to organize free trips home for Iraqis who fled the conflict and now want to return, an Iraqi diplomat said Wednesday.

Is It Just Business-as-Usual in D.C. When a Lobbyist Brings Classified Info to a Foreign Embassy?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Headlines for 11-20-07

Paul finds fans in Nevada No Republican in the field has drawn larger crowds in the state, which is poised to play a key role in choosing the nominee. Nevada will hold the third GOP caucus in the nation on Jan. 19.

Former aide blames Bush for leak deceit Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative

Iran agrees new talks with US on Iraq Iran said on Tuesday it has agreed to a new round of talks with the United States on improving security in Iraq, despite mounting tensions between the two arch foes over Iran's nuclear drive.

More US special forces to aid fight against insurgents The US is seeking to beef up Pakistan's counter-insurgency efforts in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan by expanding an American special forces team in the country to train the Frontier Corps and recruiting local militias to take on the insurgents.

Focus Grouping War with Iran **

Democracy vs. security by Patrick J. Buchanan

Bush, Putin, discuss upcoming Middle East meeting US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday discussed the upcoming US-hosted Middle East peace conference and US missile defense plans, the White House said.

Iraq to offer Syria funds for refugees

Hailstorm sets off bomblets in Lebanon The season's first hailstorm Tuesday was a blessing in disguise for cluster bomb-infested parts of southern Lebanon, triggering blasts from previously unexploded bomblets. No injuries were reported.

Syria wants Golan on agenda at Middle East talks

Headlines for 11-19-07

Why Attack Iran? ** More and more people seem to take it as given that a nuclear-armed Iran would use its nuclear weapons to attack the United States. Yet there is no plausible argument, and very little evidence, for that conclusion.

Iran nuclear work 'not worth war' Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has called on Iran to suspend its controversial nuclear work to avert what she says is a mounting threat of war with the US.

Iran eyes nuclear options abroad

Iran considers Saudi plan to end nuclear impasse

US military strike on Pakistan advocated Frederick Kagan of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute and Michael O?Hanlon of the more liberal Brookings Institution argue in an article published in the New York Times on Sunday that the US simply cannot stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss

Israel's Syrian Airstrike Was Aimed at Iran Until late October, the accepted explanation about the Sep. 6 Israeli airstrike in Syria, constructed in a series of press leaks from U.S. officials, was that it was prompted by dramatic satellite intelligence that Syria was building a nuclear facility with help from North Korea. But new satellite evidence has discredited that narrative, suggesting a more plausible explanation for the strike: that it was a calculated effort by Israel and the United States to convince Iran that its nuclear facilities could be attacked as well.

Wars to Watch Out For

Iran leader dismisses US currency

The Middle East has had a secretive nuclear power in its midst for years When will the US and the UK tell the truth about Israeli weapons? Iran isn't starting an atomic arms race, it's joining one

Ban urges 'just' solution for Palestinian refugees

Palestinian refugees vote in Jordan

Reservist reps. want oversight on arms deal Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Christopher Carney (D-Pa.), the only two active reservists in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to President Bush signed by 188 of their colleagues insisting that the president?s proposed $20 billion arms deal comes with strict congressional oversight and consultation with Israel.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Headlines for 11-18-07

Iran does not want to use oil as a weapon: Ahmadinejad

As U.S. presses for more sanctions, nations remain divided on Iran** As Iran expands its capacity to enrich uranium for what the Bush administration charges will become a nuclear weapons program, the international community is pursuing two diplomatic tracks that may be at cross purposes and lead to military action rather than a peaceful solution.

Report: U.S. Is Secretly Helping Pakistan Guard Nuclear Arms

Iran nuclear drive 'a grave threat': French FM

Seizure of Iranians Failed to Validate Bush Line The George W. Bush administration's campaign to seize and detain Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials in Iraq, presented by Bush himself last January as a move to break up an alleged Iranian arms smuggling operation in Iraq, appears to have run its course without having been able to link a single Iranian to any such operation.

Powell: Iran is a long way from having nuclear weapon "I think Iran is a long way from having anything that could be anything like a nuclear weapon," Powell told a gathering of bankers, businessmen and diplomats.

US and Israel 'face up to' Iran bomb "Military strikes might only set the programme back a couple of years, but the current thinking is that it is just not worth the risks." A political rethink has also begun in Israel, where security policy is linked to its status - never publicly admitted - as the region's only nuclear state.

Hezbollah rebuilds south Beirut

UAE calls for more aid to Palestinian refugees The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has called on the international community to double its efforts to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Headlines for 11-17-07

Wounded warriors face home-front battle with VA

Iran says ready to act if attacked ** "We never want any war in this region, but from another front, we have made all preparations, and if there is any suspicion on this matter, then we are ready," said Ahmadinejad, speaking through an interpreter.

Musharraf says army will keep control of nukes

Drop in Iran-related attacks in Iraq a puzzle: officials The developments in Iraq come as the Bush administration is trying to ratchet up international pressure on Iran on the nuclear front.

Ahmadinejad writes to French president Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy following recent French criticism of Tehran's nuclear drive, a senior official said on Saturday.

Iranian President dismisses war talk in Bahrain visit Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday dismissed the prospect of war over his country's nuclear drive during a brief visit to key US ally Bahrain, whose ties with Tehran have often been strained.

Iran sticking to pledge to halt arms flow: Iraq

Iraq: Iran giving less help to militants The Iraqi government spokesman said Saturday that Iran has shown increasing restraint in its support for militants, echoing recent assertions by U.S. officials and urging both sides to take advantage of the situation to hold a new round of talks on stabilizing his country.

Russia, IAEA to start preparing for nuke fuel shipment

Three U.S. Agencies Reviewing Decision to Export High-Tech Support to Syria

Cut Israel Off by Charley Reese Israel's goal is and always has been to take all of Palestine and to get rid of the Palestinians.

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul defies convention Insisting on a strict interpretation of the US Constitution, he cites the Second Amendment's right to bear arms in opposing any ban on gun ownership, while rejecting the idea of the United States as the world's policeman.

Kouchner to Haaretz: Not ruling out strike on Iran In an interview with Haaretz, Kouchner, who along with President Nicolas Sarkozy is leading the European hard-liners against Iran, described the crisis over Iran's nuclear program "as extremely serious," adding that France "will never compromise on Israel's security."

MTV launches new Arabic service

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Headlines for 11-16-07

China deals blow to Western efforts to punish Iran China has dealt a blow to Western efforts to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran over its nuclear program by dropping out of a meeting to discuss tougher sanctions against Tehran.

U.S. Licensing High-Tech Exports to Syria Under U.N. Development Program After years of harsh talk and escalating rounds of sanctions against Syria for supporting terror and seeking weapons of mass destruction, the United States is quietly supporting a United Nations program to supply the Syrian regime with sophisticated surveillance equipment and computers to monitor its borders.

Saudi builds security force of 35,000 to guard oil

OPEC blunder reveals Saudi-Iran disagreement on dollar A blunder by OPEC on Friday exposed a disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran about the falling dollar when a private meeting of ministers was broadcast to journalists by mistake.

Iran calls for US nuclear apology

The Crash of 2008? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Israel slams IAEA for 'failing to expose' Iran ambitions Israel slammed the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Friday for failing to expose what it insisted was Iran's drive to acquire an atomic bomb in a key report on its archfoe's nuclear programme. LOL.

Bush adviser slams US policy on Iran United States policy towards Iran?s nuclear development throughout President George Bush?s presidency has had ?zero success?, according to leading neo-conservative strategist Richard Perle.

Israel dismisses UN report on Iran Israel has called a recent report on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency "unacceptable."

Palestinian militants clash in Lebanon camp

Bolton calls Annapolis a mistake "I just don't see this as the moment to make progress on Israeli-Palestinian matters," said John Bolton

Lebanon facing brink of abyss: UN chief United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has warned that Lebanon risks nearing "the brink of the abyss" unless its political crisis is solved.

The Lobby

Friday, November 16, 2007

Headlines for 11-15-07

US general: Iran sticking by pledge

British MPs make rare visit to Iran A group of British MPs is visiting Iran for talks with top officials, a rare trip by an official British delegation to the Islamic republic, diplomats said Thursday.

US urges more sanctions on Iran

Iran threat assessment won't be released, intelligence chief says The National Intelligence Estimate is intended to lay out the entire intelligence community's best estimate on the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. The Bush administration maintains Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons, but the Iranians say the program is to meet the country's energy needs.

US: China to be responsible for diplomacy failure if it opposes new Iran sanctions China would be responsible if diplomatic solutions fail in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions, the US ambassador to the United Nations warned Thursday, saying Washington expects and will seek Beijing's cooperation for new sanctions.

Iran says IAEA report shows nuclear drive peaceful

China calls for Tehran to work with IAEA

Wary of war, Gulf eyes Ahmadinejad visit for clues Gulf Arab states hope Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will use a visit to Bahrain on Saturday to show his country is not seeking to escalate a standoff over its nuclear program, analysts say.

IAEA: Iran generally truthful on nukes A report from the U.N nuclear watchdog agency on Thursday found Iran to be generally truthful about key aspects of its nuclear history, but it warned that its knowledge of Tehran's present atomic work was shrinking.

Intel chief blasts 'cherry picked' intel

Entangling Alliances by Rep. Ron Paul Entangling alliances with no one means no foreign aid to Pakistan, or Egypt, or Israel, or anyone else for that matter. If an American citizen determines a foreign country or cause is worthy of their money, let them send it, and encourage their neighbors to send money too, but our government has no authority to use hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to mire us in these nightmarishly complicated, no-win entangling alliances.
Truer words never spoken.

Sanctions Against Iran Will Cure Nothing

ADL taking concerns to Ron Paul The Anti-Defamation League plans to ask Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul to distance himself from extremist groups.

Ron Paul collecting fans, big money

In the Hands of the Military ** The battle is between the Cheney camp, which would like to carry out strikes on Iran before Bush leaves office, and Gates and his senior generals.

Israel Begins Preparations for Possible Iranian Attack

Pressure for Iran sanctions continues Israel is getting increasingly restless about the failure of sanctions to effect a change of direction by Iran and is likely to press Washington for action at some stage.

Ex-presidents to hail Israel at 60 Israel's 60th Independence Day, which will be celebrated on May 8, 2008, will be marked by a year of events across the United States beginning early next year, according to Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Presidents Conference. Why the US? Why not in ISRAEL?

Tough homecoming for Lebanon's refugees "We had one television smashed and one stolen, three radios stolen, and $8,000 in cash stolen," says Mahmoud. "The soldiers wrote us a note saying that the money was for them not us."

Report: Nasrallah in al-Qaida's sights An al-Qaida branch in Lebanon reportedly tried to assassinate the leader of Hezbollah.

Judge in AIPAC case to probe jurors on anti-Jewish bias The problem is: exactly how is 'anti-Jewish bias' defined? If it were up to the Israel-defenders, it would include criticism of Israel.

With Iran set to get nukes, Israel plans for "day after" "First, we must make clear that this is a threat not just to Israel but to the wider world,? said Ami Ayalon, a minister in Olmert's security Cabinet. If Israel felt that threatened by Iran, they would have nuked them (yes, Israel has nukes NOW) already. Read paragraphs 11-18 especially. Whose war is it?

Germany toughening on Iran, but critics say not enough Germany?s position as Iran?s biggest trade partner in Europe and Merkel?s insistence on pursuing a diplomatic solution prior to pushing for tougher sanctions have some Israeli officials, American Jews and U.S. neoconservatives homing in on Germany for not doing enough to thwart Iran?s nuclear aims.

LAPD's Muslim mapping plan killed there is no scientific data on the size of the nation's Muslim population, let alone its location, with estimates of totals ranging from about 1.4 million adults in a Pew Research Center study this year to the 7 million or more claimed by some community organizations. Census data on ancestry would also fail to yield accurate Muslim estimates, because large numbers of people with Iranian backgrounds are Jewish and many people with Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian roots are Christian.

First death among Palestinian refugees on border The UNHCR said about 11 children at al-Waleed camp are suffering from leukaemia, spinal injury, skin diseases and intestinal problems. None is able to obtain care inside the country.

AIPAC judge to probe anti-Jewish bias The federal judge in the case against two former AIPAC staffers wants to probe prospective jurors for anti-Semitic views.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Israel Wants the US to take on Iran: JTA

With Iran set to get nukes, Israel plans for "day after"

By Roy Eitan Published: 11/15/2007

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli government contractors for years have been discreetly digging a bunker network under Jerusalem to allow the nation’s leaders to survive a future nuclear strike.

It's a worst-case scenario, but with Israeli intelligence experts saying Iran could acquire a nuclear arsenal as soon as 2009, the unthinkable has edged closer to reality for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's administration.

Olmert aides reportedly are quietly compiling a memorandum on how to deal with an atomic Iran, according to a Reuters report Thursday that cited political and defense sources. A senior official in the Prime Minister's Office denied the report, according to Israel Radio.

The news comes as the International Atomic Energy Commission, a U.N. nuclear watchdog, has issued findings censuring Iran for its lack of cooperation. Iran maintains its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes, but Israel and most Western governments believe otherwise.

Now even the IAEA, which Olmert and others have blasted for downplaying the Iranian threat, says it cannot be certain the Iranians do not have a secret nuclear arms program.

The Olmert government's secret "day after" study focuses on the need to preserve Israel’s military edge in the face of an Iranian bomb and shoring up Israel's public morale and economy in the face of the Iranian menace, according to the Reuters report.

An Israeli official with knowledge of strategic planning told JTA that for now, the government's priority regarding Iran's nuclear program remains preventive rather than reactive.

"First, we must make clear that this is a threat not just to Israel but to the wider world,” said Ami Ayalon, a minister in Olmert's security Cabinet. “Second, we must exhaustively consider all preventive options. And third, we must anticipate the possibility of those options not working."

When he was prime minister, Menachem Begin famously pledged never to allow an enemy of the Jewish state to develop the means to destroy it. Olmert has reiterated that promise, but a grim realism may be taking hold behind Israel’s tough rhetoric on Iran.

The idea of Israel idly watching Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier who wants Israel "wiped off the map,"as he builds his nuclear weapons may seem incongruous with the Zionist spirit.

Under Begin, Israel bombed Iraq's main nuclear reactor in 1981, driving underground Saddam Hussein's premier program for building weapons of mass destruction.

With Israel’s mysterious Sept. 6 airstrike on Syria this year, many believe that Olmert also deprived another regional foe of a reactor.

But Iran is no Saddam-era Iraq, nor does Tehran invite comparisons to the febrile Syria of Bashar Assad. Iran’s nuclear facilities are numerous, well defended and approximately 700 miles from the Mediterranean.

Simply, they may be too tough to destroy even for Israel's venerable air force.

That leaves only the possibility of U.S. President Bush ordering preemptive action against Iran before he leaves office in January 2009.

“We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel,” Bush said last month. “If you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

Tactically, it would be possible for the U.S. military to carry out a strike against Iran despite its existing commitments in the region -- U.S. ground forces, not strategic Air Force bombers, are the ones overextended in Iraq.

Nevertheless, given Bush’s major setbacks in Iraq, and with little support at home or abroad for another conflict in the oil-producing Persian Gulf region, the American leader would have to think twice about a preemptive attack on Iran.

Both Bush and Olmert have endorsed international efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program through diplomatic pressure. There have been two rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions, and the major powers are due to meet next week to discuss a third round.

But Iran so far has shrugged off the measures, insisting it will press ahead with a project its officials define as peaceful but which Tehran is happy to hint could one day threaten the "Zionist entity.”

"We are not after military technology," Iran's ISNA news agency quoted former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani as saying.

Larijani said Western nations should "make friends with a country that has made progress and has necessary capabilities rather than fight with it because those capabilities could be used against enemies.”

Some experts say Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program may be aimed not so much at destroying Israel but at significantly broadening Iran’s influence and power in the region. The anxiety alone over Iran’s suspected program already has earned Tehran expanded influence and, in some cases, admiration.

Israel’s secret plan considers both the possibilities of living under the threat of a nuclear strike and repelling an actual attack.

For a country as tiny as Israel, there is no question that even a single nuclear strike could not be absorbed. Last year's Lebanon war, during which Israel suffered approximately 4,000 Hezbollah rocket strikes, showed the home front's limitations even under conventional attack.

So Israel must look to its defensive and offensive capabilities for fending off an Iranian missile salvo.

Israel already has the Arrow II, a missile-killer system designed to shoot down incoming Iranian Shihabs or Syrian Scuds. But military analysts say the Arrow may not be up to the task of knocking down a deluge of missiles.

Faced with such arguments, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced last month that in partnership with the Pentagon, a more advanced version of the system, Arrow III, was being developed.

The initiative, Barak said, "can prevent war because a country that has this system cannot be threatened by missiles.”

Then there is the "second strike" defense — a Cold War doctrine under which a country deters a nuclear strike by preserving the capability to destroy its enemy even after sustaining a catastrophic atomic attack.

Israel's second-strike platform is widely believed to be its fleet of German-supplied Dolphin submarines. If the Dolphins carry nuclear missiles, as is assumed, in theory they could fire them at Iran no matter what happens on land. Iran knows this.

Israel has three Dolphins in operation, with another two on order from Germany.

Signaling the importance of its strategic sea assets, Israel in August appointed a former navy chief, retired Adm. Shaul Horev, to head its Atomic Energy Commission.


Headlines for 11-14-07

US network uncovers 'suicide epidemic' among US veterans The US military is experiencing a "suicide epidemic" with veterans killing themselves at the rate of 120 a week, according to an investigation by US television network CBS.

Iran not in clear if U.N. report only partly good: U.S.

Britain could sleepwalk into conflict with Iran, warns Clegg

Options on Iran nukes are 'limited,' Bolton says The two remaining options for the U.S. to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are to force a regime change or use military force to take out suspected weapons locations, the White House's former representative to the United Nations said yesterday. Listen Johnboy, why not strap yourself to one of the warheads as a true test of your bravado, what with all of this bellicose blathering you've been doing re Iran. In short: sh#t, or get off the pot.

Turkey sends special forces to Iraqi border

Iran has right to peaceful nuclear energy use: China

Ron Paul: A Republican Takes the Lead Against the War

Why Are They So Afraid of Ron Paul? The wave of support and publicity for Paul has the neocons enraged, and they are busy trying to discredit him with a campaign of unsurpassed villainy. What they have done is actually kind of funny, if you take your humor black: they've simply transferred their usual blather on the foreign policy front to the domestic battlefield.

Oil prices stage modest recovery Oil prices have risen again after falling by $3 a barrel on Tuesday.

Dichter: Syria is Israel's only neighbor that thwarts smuggling Syria is the only country among Israel's neighbors that keeps a quiet border and meets its obligations to prevent smuggling from its side, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya Tuesday.

Palestinian National and Former Colombian Detective Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Support the FARC and Alien Smuggling Jalal Sadat Moheisen (Sadat), 49, a Palestinian national and resident
of Bogota, Colombia, pleaded guilty in Miami before U.S. District Judge
Joan A. Lenard to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to
the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which is a State
Department designated foreign terrorist organization.

'An embarrassment to the rule of law' As it turned out, the only thing these men were guilty of was expressing unpopular views against Israel, and for that our government put them through an unconscionable ordeal.

Livni pressures Solana to consent to new Iran sanctions "I would have thought that your answer would be 'yes' to sanctions on Iran," Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni told EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Wednesday afternoon after the latter attempted to dodge a reporter's question regarding Iran during a joint press conference in Jerusalem.

US, Israel refuse to cooperate with inquest into Syria strike

Oh, the Fun Walt and Mearsheimer Will Have Shockingly, while major Jewish organizations have weighed in heavily in favor of increased sanctions, they have been lukewarm and sometimes hostile to comprehensive and intensive negotiations, silent on military assault. Oh, what fun John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt will have in their next book.

Bush signs defense funding bill President Bush signed a defense funding bill that includes $450 million in cooperative projects with Israel

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Headlines for 11-13-07

Iraq, Afghan War Costs Are $1.6 Trillion The $1.6 trillion figure, for the period from 2002 to 2008, translates into a cost of $20,900 for a family of four, the report said

Rice accuses Iran of spreading extremism

Iran gives IAEA nuclear designs Diplomats say Iran has given the UN nuclear agency a document containing design information which could be used for parts of a nuclear weapon.

Iran and China vow to boost ties

Reid calls on Bush to withdraw troops

China says sanctions will not help Iran dispute

Four Turkish soldiers killed in PKK clash-officials

Chertoff: US in Iraq keeps al-Qaida out

FT Also Sees Pentagon Opposition to Iran Attack ** I would add that the last week?s events in Pakistan ? not to mention the continuing rise in oil prices and rapid decline in the U.S. dollar ? have also probably set back the hawks? hopes of confrontation with Iran

US troops mental health concerns underestimated: study

Is World War III on hold? by Patrick J. Buchanan ** Is a Bush pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz, or on the Al Quds force of the Revolutionary Guard, a more remote possibility today than it was several weeks ago? So it would seem.

Iran calls for US military pullout from Iraq

Rice: Israeli-Palestinian talks needed to repel Iran's influence "They're not going to create the Palestinian state at Annapolis," she said. When asked if Saudi participation has been secured, she said no invitations had been sent out yet. "I don't want to speculate about the participants," Rice said.

Rice: Abbas a true peace partner Rice was cheered multiple times when discussing the need to defend Israel, fight anti-Semitism and confront Hamas and Iran. But the crowd was silent as she described the P.A. president, Mahmoud Abbas, as a true partner for peace and said now there was "responsible leadership" with which Israel could deal.

Turkish attack abandoned villages inside the border of Iraqi Kurdistan Turkey has repeatedly threatened to send its 160,000-strong army stationed in south eastern Turkey into northern Iraq in retaliation for the actions of the Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) operating from camps in the mountainous border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.

Rice on AIPAC trial: I cooperate with the law Condoleezza Rice was mostly mum on plans to subpoena her testimony in the trial of two former AIPAC staffers

Israel braces for nuclear-armed Iran The preparations include proposals for revamping Israel's civil defense system and for countering any new emigration trends or drops in tourism caused by fear of an Iranian nuclear attack.

Israeli military chief at NATO summit

Paul's call to end foreign aid draws small Jewish following Even as Paul makes headway in some circles, organized Jewish support for his Republican presidential bid is nearly nonexistent, thanks to the candidate's longstanding stance against providing foreign aid, including U.S. assistance to Israel.

With Pakistan in turmoil, Israel keeps eye on nukes Some Israeli analysts see in the Pakistani unrest this month a danger to Israel even graver than Iran. The reason is simple: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons No kidding? Israel ought to pick its battles ('primary threats') more carefully.

Paul's broad appeal understandable He tells the truth to the American people when he states that our actions cause the terrorists to hate us, especially our support of Israel's occupation of Palestinian land and our own occupation of Iraq.

Iran demands Argentines show up in court Iran has strongly denied that the Iranians were involved and has accused Interpol of bowing to U.S. and Israeli pressure to issue the warrants.

Ban nominates Canadian to head UN probe into Hariri murder

Teens in D.C. for lobbying lessons The students are participating in the first three-day American Israel Public Affairs Committee High School Summit, which included lessons in subjects ranging from the Arab-Israeli conflict to public speaking to in-depth lobbying classes with AIPAC representatives....."The stakes are incredibly high," Gillette said. "If the United States does not stand with Israel, then no one stands with Israel." And why would that be, Mr. Gillette, hmm?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Headlines for 11-12-07

Veterans deserve better Bush and Congress agree that veterans' care needs a spending boost, but both are holding it hostage to more divisive issues.

Merkel, Sarkozy say sanctions and trade curbs on Iran possible Merkel said she and Sarkozy had also considered other ways to tighten the screws on Iran if no agreement on sanctions could be struck within the UN Security Council.

Britain threatens sanctions on Iran

US sniper acquitted of murdering Iraqis A US military sniper has been acquitted of murder charges linked to the killing of three Iraqis earlier this year but jailed him for other offences, the US military said on Saturday.

Experts: Danger of Nuclear-Armed Iran Hyped the White House and its partisans may be inflating the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, say experts on the Persian Gulf and nuclear deterrence. While there are dangers, they acknowledge, Iran appears to want a nuclear weapon for the same reason other countries do: to protect itself.

Israelis urge EU to get tougher on Iran Senior Israeli officials are touring Europe this week to raise the alarm about Iran's accelerating nuclear programme and urge EU governments to take tougher sanctions without waiting for the United Nations.

Iran president attacks 'traitors' Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denounced as "traitors" those in Iran who have criticised its nuclear programme, state media have reported.

Suitcase nukes said unlikely to exist government experts and intelligence officials say such a threat gets vastly more attention than it deserves. These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune.

Who?s the Enemy? And, nearly a year after President Bush proclaimed Iran to be Public Enemy No. 1 in Iraq, blaming Tehran for supporting both Al Qaeda and Shia militias, things are even getting better on that front. Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declared that Iran had quietly promised to halt the smuggling of weapons and advanced roadside bombs into Iraq. "I don't know whether to believe them. I'll wait and see," he said, in what was a rather dramatic downgrading of the White House?s warnings about Iran.

18 Veterans Arrested in Antiwar Protest

Middle East Expert Rami G. Khouri To Answer Viewer Questions Rami George Khouri, executive editor of the Beirut, Lebanon-based The Daily Star newspaper, will speak at the Madison Civics Club on Nov. 17, giving a presentation titled "A Fair and Balanced View from the Arab World."

Peres, Gul at odds over Iran nuke threat Peres told Gul that Israel could not accept a nuclear Iran. In response, Gul said that while Turkey was against the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, it did believe that countries had the right to develop alternative sources of energy.....In what officials said was an odd break in the rules of international diplomacy, Peres spoke frankly at a press conference following the meeting and told reporters that he disagreed with Gul. He said he told the Turkish leader that Israel was not willing to accept Ankara's line of thinking and that Iran, which has vast resources of oil and natural gas, was not in need of an alternative source of energy.

Federations to press Iran issue The measure calls on the UJC and Jewish federations to act in concert with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Jewish community relations councils around the United States to initiate, coordinate and fund expanded efforts to educate and mobilize the Jewish community and global community about the threats posed by a nuclear Iran.