Archive for September, 2013

Al-Qaeda’s Plan to Swallow Israel, Lebanon & Syria

September 30, 2013 1 comment

Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria, is quickly entrenching itself in the north and east of Syria, where the Assad regime’s rule has collapsed. Jihad will spread outwards to 268the region, then threaten global security — possibly with biological and chemical weapons.

Al Qaeda is quickly constructing its main regional Middle East base in Syria, from where it plans to export terrorism and Islamic radicalism to neighboring states, then to the West, a new report released by an Israeli security research institute warned.

The jihadis later aspire, according to the report, to turn “Greater Syria” — an old geographic term encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories — into an Islamic caliphate. Read more…


The Mystery of Washington’s Fading Global Power

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

What if the sole superpower on the planet makes its will known — repeatedly — and finds that no one is listening?  Barely a decade ago, that would have seemed like a 9644278875_28e624b664_cconundrum from some fantasy Earth in an alternate dimension.  Now, it is increasingly a plain description of political life on our globe, especially in the Greater Middle East.

In the future, the indecent haste with which Barack Obama sought cover under the umbrella unfurled by his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Syrian chemical weapons crisis will be viewed as a watershed moment when it comes to America’s waning power in that region.  In the aptly named “arc of instability,” the lands from the Chinese border to northern Africa that President George W. Bush and his neocon acolytes dreamed of thoroughly pacifying, turmoil is on the rise. Ever fewer countries, allies, or enemies, are paying attention, much less kowtowing, to the once-formidable power of the world’s last superpower.  The list of defiant figures — from Egyptian generals to Saudi princes, Iraqi Shiite leaders to Israeli politicians — is lengthening. Read more…

Imagining a Remapped Middle East

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

THE map of the modern Middle East, a political and economic pivot in the international order, is in tatters. Syria’s ruinous war is the turning point. But the centrifugal forces of rival9-29-2013 6-42-07 PM beliefs, tribes and ethnicities — empowered by unintended consequences of the Arab Spring — are also pulling apart a region defined by European colonial powers a century ago and defended by Arab autocrats ever since.

A different map would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too.

Syria’s prime location and muscle make it the strategic center of the Middle East. But it is a complex country, rich in religious and ethnic variety, and therefore fragile. After independence, Syria reeled from more than a half-dozen coups between 1949 and 1970, when the Assad dynasty seized full control. Now, after 30 months of bloodletting, Read more…

The real Rouhani

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

The search, now 30 years old, for Iranian “moderates” goes on. Amid the enthusiasm of the latest sighting, it’s worth remembering that the highlight of the Iran-contra arms-for-President Hassan Rouhanihostages debacle was the secret trip to Tehran taken by Robert McFarlane, President Reagan’s former national security adviser. He brought a key-shaped cake symbolizing the new relations he was opening with the “moderates.”

We know how that ended.

Three decades later, the mirage reappears in the form of Hassan Rouhani. Strange résumé for a moderate: 35 years of unswervingly loyal service to the Islamic Republic as a close aide to Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei. Moreover, Rouhani was one of only six presidential candidates, another 678 having been disqualified by the regime as ideologically unsound. That puts him in the 99th centile for fealty. Read more…

Iran’s Messenger has Changed. Its Message has Not.

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Robert Menendez, a Democrat representing New Jersey in the Senate, chairs the Foreign Relations Committee. Lindsey Graham, a Republican representing South Carolina in the Senate, is a609D43A3-4256-4F2D-80FB-803AA647AE01_w640_r1_s senior member of the Armed Services Committee.

The new face of Iran we anticipated seeing at the United Nations last week sounded and looked quite similar to the old face of Iran we have come to know.

We expected a charm offensive. We readied ourselves for a possible diplomatic breakthrough. But we were left underwhelmed.

For weeks now, we have followed the rhetoric originating from Iran. We had been cautiously hopeful. Read more…

A Small President on the World Stage

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

At the U.N., leaders hope for a return of American greatness. mt2vzo-b781175760z.120130913120507000g241ftei8.2

The world misses the old America, the one before the crash—the crashes—of the past dozen years.

That is the takeaway from conversations the past week in New York, where world leaders gathered for the annual U.N. General Assembly session. Our friends, and we have many, speak almost poignantly of the dynamism, excellence, exuberance and leadership of the nation they had, for so many years, judged themselves against, been inspired by, attempted to emulate, resented.

As for those who are not America’s friends, some seem still confused, even concussed, by the new power shift. What is their exact place in it? Will it last? Will America come roaring back? Can she? Does she have the political will, the human capital, the old capability? Read more…

Lindsey Graham’s Plan for a U.S. War to Smash IRI regime

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

You Go Senator. [DID]66354307503195028050-read

Sen. Lindsey Graham is one of the strongest advocates of an American military strike against the Assad regime in Syria. He was unhappy when President Obama decided to seek congressional authorization for an attack, and then unhappy when his fellow lawmakers voiced disapproval of the president’s plan. Graham believes the diplomatic path chosen by the administration will lead to a debacle.

Given all that, Graham now says he will work with a bipartisan group of senators to craft a resolution authorizing the president to use military force — not against the Syrian regime but against Iran. In an appearance on Fox News’ Huckabee program over the weekend, Graham argued that such a resolution is essential, because American inaction in Syria will encourage Iran to go forward with its nuclear weapon program, eventually leading toward a Mideast conflagration if the U.S. doesn’t intervene. Read more…

Obama Abandoned Iranians by Eventually Taking Terrorist IRI regime’s Side

September 28, 2013 Leave a comment

President Obama said he spoke with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran by phone, the first direct contact between leaders of Iran and the United States since 1979.

Obama answered Iranian’s plea, when in 2009 they shouted “Obama Obama ya ba oona ya ba ma” (meaning either with them or with us), Obama took terrorist IRI’s side. 
Hussein Obama has joined the terrorist network of the criminal regime of IRI.  Congrats are in order for you Mullah Hussein.

Americans Overwhelmingly See Iranian Regime as Enemy – Gallup Poll

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced that he will pursue diplomatic options with Iran onrohani its nuclear program. Despite the possibility of a thaw in relations, close to half of Americans, 45%, consider Iran an enemy and 38% “unfriendly,” slightly more than thought so in 2000.

Trend: Americans' Views of Iran as Ally or Enemy

Read more…

Obama to World: Bad News. The American Empire Is Dead.

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

U.S. President Barack Obama presented world leaders at the United Nations with an image of America as a reluctant superpower, ready to confront Iran’s nukes and kill its 68th Session Of The United Nations General Assembly Beginsenemies with targeted drone strikes, but unprepared to embark on open-ended military missions in Syria and other troubled countries. That, he hinted, should give the world cause for anxiety.

“The United States has a hard-earned humility when it comes to our ability to determine events inside other countries,” he said in his address before the 193-member General Assembly. “The notion of American empire may be useful propaganda, but it isn’t borne out by America’s current policy or public opinion.”

Obama said that “the recent debate within the United States over Syria clearly showed the danger for the world is not an America that is eager to immerse itself in the affairs of other countries or take on every problem in the region as its own. Read more…

Beware the Smiling Cleric

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

There are a few reasons to be optimistic about Iranian president Hassan Rouhani coming to New York. Fresh off a major electoral victory this summer, there is no time like the rouhani_smile_ir_92313present for a reformist to meet and greet the Great Satan. Likewise, a face-to-face meeting with a card-carrying member of the Axis of Evil could be a Nixonian moment for President Barack Obama. Groundbreaking political discourse and a thawing of relations might be the first step toward a changed relationship that could remake a Middle and Near East torn asunder by a decade of war, conflict and intense political rhetoric. President Obama would be wise to explore any diplomatic options for Washington. But he should do so carefully and pragmatically, and consider the underlying drivers pushing Tehran to seek détente. Beneath the surface are dynamics that more aptly define the political reality: deep economic and political fissures eroding Iran’s carefully orchestrated system of government. Read more…

How Obama Was Checkmated by Iran

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

“Down is up and up is down. I feel like we have passed through the looking glass and are looking back at a backwards world,” a military historian of the modern Middle East wrote obama-chessin a recent note to me about the hectic diplomacy over Syria and Iran. “Where did all the realists go? It’s as though the Cold War never took place.”

The logic of familiar things has been overturned. Iran President Hassan Rohani comes to New York for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly preceded by a brilliant publicity campaign. There was an interview with NBC, with a female correspondent at that. There was an op-ed article under his name in the Washington Post. His foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, sent Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews worldwide via Twitter. Read more…