Archive for May, 2008

15
May
08

Deterring the Ayatollahs

Deterring the Ayatollahs
Complications in Applying Cold War Strategy to Iran
Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt, Editors
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


A missile truck drives past banners-one (left) showing the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and another (right) that reads “Peaceful nuclear technology is an essential need of our country”-during a ceremony marking Army Day in Tehran, April 18, 2007. Copyright AP Wide World Photos/Hasan Sarbakhshian.

Table of Contents
A. Introduction
B. The Risks
B.1. Deterring Iran: The Values at Stake and the Acceptable Risks by Keith Payne
B.2. Deterring a Nuclear Iran: Problems with Iranian Risk Taking and Behavior by Michael Eisenstadt
B.3. Attribution and Deterring a Nuclear-Armed Iran by Lewis Dunn
B.4. Command-and-Control Challenges of an Iranian Nuclear Force by Gregory Giles

C. What to Deter and How to Do It
C.1. Deterring a Nuclear Iran: What Role for Europe? by Bruno Tertrais
C.2. Assumptions Underlying the Debate on Deterring Emerging Nuclear States by Jeffrey Lewis
C.3. Deterrence and Regime Change by Patrick Clawson

D. The Impact of Iranian Politics
D.1. Oil or the Atom? The Economic Underpinnings of Iranian Power by Karim Sadjadpour
D.2. Apocalyptic Visions and Iran’s Security Policy by Mehdi Khalaji

E. Conclusion
Continue reading ‘Deterring the Ayatollahs’

14
May
08

US Terrorism Report: Selective Data, Wrong Lessons

US Terrorism Report: Selective Data, Wrong Lessons
By Ramzy Baroud

The data provided in the US State Department’s annual terrorism report for 2007 points to some interesting if puzzling conclusions. The much publicised document, made available 30 April via the State Department’s website, makes no secret of the fact that Al-Qaeda is back, strong as ever. It also suggests that violence worldwide is nowhere near subsiding, despite President Bush’s repeated assurances regarding the success of his “war on terror”.

Will the report inspire serious reflection on the US’s detrimental foreign policy and its role in the current situation?
Continue reading ‘US Terrorism Report: Selective Data, Wrong Lessons’

11
May
08

Rules West Beirut In Iran’s Proxy War With US

Hizbollah Rules West Beirut In Iran’s Proxy War With US
By Robert Fisk
The Independent, 10/05/08

Another American humiliation. The Shia gunmen who drove past my apartment in west Beirut yesterday afternoon were hooting their horns, making V-signs, leaning out of the windows of SUVs with their rifles in the air, proving to the Muslims of the capital that the elected government of Lebanon has lost.

And it has. The national army still patrols the streets, but solely to prevent sectarian killings or massacres. Far from dismantling the pro-Iranian Hizbollah’s secret telecommunications system – and disarming the Hizbollah itself – the cabinet of Fouad Siniora sits in the old Turkish serail in Beirut, denouncing violence with the same authority as the Iraqi government in Baghdad’s green zone.
Continue reading ‘Rules West Beirut In Iran’s Proxy War With US’

11
May
08

The New Middle East

The New Middle East
by Amr Hamzawy, Karim Sadjadpour, Marina Ottaway, Nathan J. Brown, and Paul Salem
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Contents
A. A Changed Region

B. The Realities of the New Middle East
B.1. The Iran-Iraq Cluster
B.2. The Syria-Lebanon Cluster
B.3. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
B.4. The Problem of Nuclear Proliferation
B.5. The Failure of the Freedom Agenda
B.6. Sectarian Conflict

C. Dealing With the New Middle East
C.1. Dealing With Iran and the Nuclear Issue
C.2. Finding a Way Forward for Iraq and a Way Out for the United States
C.3. Israel and Palestine
C.4. Balance of Power
C.5. The Issue of Democracy
Continue reading ‘The New Middle East’

10
May
08

Daily Press Briefing

(Juru bicara Deplu AS Sean McCormack berdialog tentang Lebanon dengan wartawan. Anda akan lihat ada kebingungan terkait bukti dukungan Iran-Suriah terhadap Hizbullah.)

Daily Press Briefing
US Department of State, 09/05/08

MR. MCCORMACK: On Lebanon, she (Condoleezza Rice) spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister al Faisal. She is now – I think right about now, speaking with French Foreign Minister Kouchner and also Secretary – UN Secretary General Ban. With Secretary General Ban, she also spoke with him about Burma as well. And on Lebanon, it was really to talk about the current situation, what the international system can do to support this Lebanese Government that is acting on behalf of the Lebanese people in the face of illegal acts by the armed gangs aimed at destabilizing the political situation in Lebanon.

I have a statement from the Secretary, and this is on Lebanon. We’ll put out a paper version of this after the briefing, but again, this is from her:

The United States is deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Lebanon. We condemn the use of force by illegitimate armed groups and call upon all parties to respect the rule of law. Backed by Syria and Iran, Hezbollah and its allies are killing and injuring fellow citizens, undermining the legitimate authority of the Lebanese Government and the institutions of the Lebanese state. Seeking to protect their state within a state, Hezbollah has exploited its allies and demonstrated its contempt for its fellow Lebanese. No one has the right to deprive Lebanese citizens of their political and economic freedom, their right to move freely within their country, or their sense of safety and security.

Our support for the legitimate Lebanese Government, its democratic institutions and its security services is unwavering. This support is a reflection of our unshakable commitment to the Lebanese people and their hope for democratic change, economic prosperity and confessional harmony. We will stand by the Lebanese Government and peaceful citizens of Lebanon through this crisis and provide the support they need to weather this storm. With —

QUESTION: What harmony?
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10
May
08

A Wild Day in Beirut

(Satu catatan dan pandangan dari ibu kota Lebanon)

A Wild Day in Beirut
Street Notes from the Hamra District
By Franklin Lamb

Beirut. “Where did they come from?”, the desk clerk at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Rauche by the sea near Hamra wondered out loud. “I have been on duty all night and saw nothing. Suddenly they are everywhere!”

Of course this observer wondered the same thing. The time was around 8:30 am, having ducked into the Hotel to escape a flash shower before the sunny morning returned.
Continue reading ‘A Wild Day in Beirut’

10
May
08

Blindsided, Hezbollah Mulls Its Response

(Satu catatan dan pandangan dari ibu kota Lebanon)

One More War Crime
Blindsided, Hezbollah Mulls Its Response
By Franklin Lamb

Hezbollah sources concede that they were taken by surprise and some were shocked, by the intense incendiary bombardment of the last few days by pro government operatives. As Hezbollah studies ‘the situation’ and how to respond this beautiful spring Beirut morning, there is a real danger things may rapidly spiral out of control.

Yesterday started off, peacefully enough, with a strike called by the General Federation of Labor Unions (GFLU) in Lebanon represented by the General Labor Union. The strike was supported by Hezbollah, to protest the Governments failure to adopt what the union considers a living wage of $ 600. Currently the minimum wage in Lebanon is approximately $ 200 per month. The strike continues for the second day but tensions are escalating and Beirut’s airport remains closed by anti-government demonstrators. Beirut’s main roads are intermittently blocked, the streets virtually empty and the town largely locked down as sporadic violence and stone throwing continue.
Continue reading ‘Blindsided, Hezbollah Mulls Its Response’




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