Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Stories February 27, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  G20 meet focuses on dialogue - The UAE, Jordan, and Morocco also had representatives attending the conference.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Divisive issues cast pall over Cabinet session - Cabinet was suspended for about a month, but is now meeting again.  The main issues causing problems are civil service appointments and some extra spending (about $6 billion).

Haaretz (Israel):  Israeli intelligence reports warn of increased Palestinian violence - With the way things are going right now in the Middle East and the peace process, there could be more violence from Palestinians.  And if the Israelis react too harshly in Gaza, Egypt might get involved.

Turkish Daily News:  Main opposition CHP strives for new track - The Republican People's Party (CHP) held a convention and the opposition leader won.  There's a lot of infighting going on; it's a mess.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

US & Iran

There's so much crap going on right now that it's difficult to keep track of it all. 

A few nights ago there was a Republican presidential debate, and most of the candidates warned America about the danger of Iran and its dictator, Ahmadinejad.  Where do you even begin with people like that?  Juan Cole has a good breakdown on that subject as well as Santorum's earlier remarks.

And the latest is weird reports about Iran and Al-Qa'eda that may or may not be real.

Meanwhile, parliamentary elections are this coming week.  And Ahmadinejad is not some kind of beloved dictator, as some Americans think.  It will be interesting to see which parties gain control.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Top Stories February 20, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  International prize for renal research instituted - This happened at the Fifth Saudi International Conference on Nephrology and Transplantation.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Cabinet crisis solution expected this week, say ministers - The cabinet has been stalled since February 1st, but that may finally be changing.

Haaretz (Israel):  U.S. concerned that Barak is pushing for Israeli attack on Iran - A lot of American officials have been meeting with Israeli officials to prevent an attack at this time.

Turkish Daily News:  PM Erdogan: Nobody should pray for crisis - The government investigations of other parts of the government is really causing problems in Turkey.  [See last week's top stories.]

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

War with Iran?

I'm getting very concerned with the direction of talk in America.  There's more and more about the threat that Iran poses to the US, and Israel, and to everyone else.  Be afraid.  Be more afraid!  Iran is a threat!  We must do something!

There were some attacks on Israelis recently, and Israel is vowing retaliation for the one in Bangkok.  While I deplore terror attacks (of ANY kind) I was happy to see that ABC News did report that these attacks were in response to the assassination of Iranian scientists in Iran.

The US has sent more ships into the Arabian Gulf, including an aircraft carrier.  They were watched by Iranian forces.

Iran is putting nuclear fuel rods that it manufactured into their reactor in Tehran today.

Oliver Stone's son has accepted Islam while working on a documentary in Iran.

Let's hope that calmer heads prevail and the US does not attack Iran, preemptively or otherwise.  But the rhetoric is really heating up.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Top Stories February 13, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Saudi Arabia: How long will we watch Syrian massacres? - That's a quote from the Saudi foreign minister.  The Arab League is ready to do something.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Arabs seek U.N. intervention in Syria - Another article about Syria and a possible Arab-UN mission.

Haaretz (Israel):  Israeli officials: West Bank outpost relocation plan isn't feasible - Apparently if the outpost is relocated, it needs various planning approvals which may take a long time.

Turkish Daily News:  Probe exposed PKK spy ring: Deputy PM - An investigation in the government appears to have outed some spies who infiltrated the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization.  Some of them may have committed crimes, in the process of infiltration.  This is turning into a big mess.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I haven't posted much about Syria because the US news has actually been reporting a lot about the situation there.  Here are a few links though:

Slate has a neat article detailing the Assad family tree.

The Arab League wants a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping mission.  They will also begin talking with the opposition in Syria. 

And now Al-Qa'eda has come out in support of the Syrian opposition, in a statement by Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Top Stories February 6, 2012

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Abbas to head new unity Palestinian government - Fatah and Hamas met in Qatar and actually agreed to let Abbas be the unity leader.

Lebanon Daily Star:  U.S. closes embassy in Syria - The United States is now out of Syria, following the UN vote that was vetoed by Russia and China.

Haaretz (Israel):  Netanyahu: PA President must choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas - Netanyahu refers to Hamas as a "terrorist organization."  When did Fatah stop being one?  Apparently they are now a legitimate entity.  Why not Hamas?

Turkish Daily News:  Turkey summons Swiss envoy over investigation into minister - Turkey's EU minister denied there being an Armenian genocide, so the Swiss are investigating that incident.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What's going on with Iran?

I was watching ABC News a few nights ago and at first I thought I had misheard the report.  Martha Raddatz was talking about Hizbollah operating in Latin America (video link).  I started searching around and here's what I've found so far:

The Christian Science Monitor has a good article about how the threat of Hizbollah in Latin America is probably over-hyped.  Some men funneling money to Hizbollah does not mean Hizbollah has terror cells operating there.

US intelligence seems to be split over whether or not Iran may be willing to attack on US soil.  Some cite the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US last year.  I'm a bit concerned by this quote from the Director of National Intelligence:
The plot "shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime."
First of all, there's a big difference between plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador in America and plotting to kill Americans in America.  Secondly, by directly saying Ali Khamenei's name, the DNI is laying the way for an attack against Iran.  Too many people are starting to understand that Ahmadinejad is NOT in charge of Iran.  The DNI used the political method of saying "probably" instead of outright accusing Khamenei.  But most Americans won't hear that word anyway.  All they'll hear is that Iran is using terrors cells to attack America.  And if Al-Qa'eda is hurting, then I guess we need somebody to be scared of.  I'm getting deja vu (again)!

Israel is putting all its offices worldwide on alert and warning Jewish organizations to be careful.

More on the possible Iran threat from DangerRoom.

Finally, here's an amusing look at the US-Iran situation, through the looking glass.

So why are we so terrified of Iran getting nukes?  Pakistan has nukes.  Even North Korea has nukes!  The main reason I think we don't want Iran to get nuclear weapons is because of Israel.  At some point the United States is going to have to take a step back and reassess what's going on.  If the US truly wants peace in the Middle East, then it needs to realize that supporting the Israelis above everyone else is not going to achieve that end. 

To clarify my position:  Israel has been around too long for it to go away.  The Middle East is going to have to accept the existence of Israel.  But Israel is going to have to accept the existence of displaced Palestinians.  And the US will too.