December 1, 2007

Message #7

U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv reports Israeli government is planning a large-scale military operation in the West Bank in response to bus bombings. Expects tanks and armored personnel carriers to move into the area imminently.

November 30, 2007

Message #4

The Associated Press is reporting that four Israeli buses have been attacked on the West Bank by suicide bombers; at least fifty casualties.

November 25, 2007

Some shady doins a transpirin': Sharif's Return to Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif: Saudi Arabia's Plan B for Pakistan? - American Footprints

Western scribes are perhaps overly enamored of the “Musharraf has his back against the wall and is being forced to make democratic concessions� narrative, which grows organically out of misrepresentation of Benazir Bhutto and the United States as the leader and sponsor, respectively, of an anti-Musharraf democratic vanguard.

And everything in the English language press in Pakistan and the Middle East indicates that the Anglo-American take on Pakistan’s politics is just plain wrong.

November 3, 2007

Musharraf imposes emergency rule

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Musharraf imposes emergency rule

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule and suspended the country's constitution.

Troops have been deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while independent channels have gone off air.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who condemned the moves, has reportedly been sacked and is being confined to the Supreme Court with 10 other judges.

It comes as the court was due to rule on the legality of Gen Musharraf's re-election victory in October.

October 31, 2007

U.S. spy planes watching Iraqi-Turkish border

Sources: U.S. spy planes watching Iraqi-Turkish border -

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed Wednesday that U.S. military and intelligence communities are sharing information with Turkey to help them fight members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who have made cross-border attacks.

October 29, 2007

IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

France and the US have dismissed a finding by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohammed ElBaradei that there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin challenged Iran to allow UN inspectors unlimited access to sites. A White House spokeswoman said Iran was "enriching and reprocessing uranium, and the reason that one does that is to lead towards a nuclear weapon".

Mr ElBaradei said on Sunday that Tehran was years away from developing a bomb. Iran denies it is seeking to build nuclear weapons and says it wants only civilian nuclear energy.

Its refusal to stop enriching uranium - a process which can lead to a nuclear bomb - has led the UN Security Council to impose two sets of sanctions, which the US has followed up with unilateral penalties of its own.

October 26, 2007

U.S. and Turkey Thwart Armenian Genocide Bill

U.S. and Turkey Thwart Armenian Genocide Bill - New York Times

Congress gave into the pressure and tabled this ill-timed bill.

October 24, 2007

Turkey Shells Kurd Rebels in Iraq

Turkey Shells Kurd Rebels in Iraq - New York Times

They have begun attacking as they warned they would, although "Turkey seems willing to refrain from a major cross-border action until at least early next month, when it is scheduled to host foreign ministers for a meeting about Iraq. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has proposed a meeting among the United States, Iraq and Turkey during the Nov. 2-3 conference in Istanbul."

Photographs Said to Show Israeli Target Inside Syria

Photographs Said to Show Israeli Target Inside Syria -

" . . . satellite imagery of the area shows buildings under construction roughly similar in design to a North Korean reactor capable of producing nuclear material for one bomb a year, the experts say. "

October 18, 2007

Turkey Resolves to Give Go-Ahead for Raids in Iraq

Turkey Resolves to Give Go-Ahead for Raids in Iraq - New York Times

ISTANBUL, Oct. 17 — Turkey’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to authorize sending troops into northern Iraq to confront Kurdish rebels in hide-outs there, sending an angry message to the Baghdad government and its Washington sponsor. But Turkey, a member of NATO, made it clear that it would not immediately carry out the resolution.

October 16, 2007

U.S.- India Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal With India May Be Near Collapse -

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given in to pressure from minority influences within the Indian government and put the U.S.- India Nuclear Deal on ice.

October 15, 2007

Possible consequences of India-Pakistani Nuclear War

October 14, 2007

U.S. Military Technology Being Exported Illegally ot Iran

U.S. Military Technology Being Exported Illegally Is a Growing Concern -

Pentagon investigators thought they had discovered a major shipment of contraband when they intercepted parts for F-14 Tomcat warplanes headed to Iran, via FedEx, from Southern California. Under U.S. sanctions since its 1979 revolution, Tehran had been trying for years to illegally obtain spare parts for the fighters, which are used only in Iran.

U.S. Urges Turkish Restraint On Kurds

U.S. Urges Turkish Restraint On Kurds -

The REAL Iranian Leader Speaks out against US Peace Conference.


Iranian Leader Urges Boycott of U.S. Meeting

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Muslim countries to boycott a U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace conference, saying the international meeting would hurt the Palestinians.

Continue reading "The REAL Iranian Leader Speaks out against US Peace Conference." »

October 11, 2007

Marine corps to be main force in Afghanistan

Marine Corps Moves to Take Lead Role in Afghanistan -

The proposal, discussed at senior levels of the Pentagon last week, would have the Marine Corps replace the Army as the lead U.S. force in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops number more than 25,000 and make up the largest contingent of the NATO-led force there. No major Marine Corps combat units are deployed to Afghanistan, although recently Marine special operations units have served there

October 9, 2007

Turkish forces plan to make incursions into Northern Iraq?

YouTube - WH Press Briefing, October 9 2007

Dana Perino: "I think it's a hypothetical right now, we are focused on cooperating with the Turks and the Iraqis to make sure the PKK can be stopped."

Via Talking Points Memo

Saudi king details succession law

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Saudi king details succession law

The US is always concerned about what happens when a Saudi king dies. Who controls the oil and what not. But it looks like the Saudis are trying to set it all on paper to lessen power struggles that occurred in the past. Not a moment too soon, as the king is 83 and the crown prince is 82.

October 8, 2007

Israel Signals Shift on Jerusalem Split

Israel Signals Shift on Jerusalem Split -

JERUSALEM -- Two senior Israeli politicians, including the prime minister's closest ally, talked openly Monday about dividing Jerusalem, signaling a possible shift in Israeli opinion about one of the Mideast's most contentious issues. The dispute over Jerusalem has derailed negotiations in the past, and the latest comments come at a time when Israeli and Palestinian teams are trying to agree on principles guiding future peace talks.

More Trouble in Pakistan

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Pakistani border death toll rises

Unrest continues to boil in Pakistan along the Afghan border. Front line soldier seem to have little desire to take on militants.

October 4, 2007

Iraqis to Pay China $100 Million for Weapons for Police

Iraqis to Pay China $100 Million for Weapons for Police -

Iraq has ordered $100 million worth of light military equipment from China for its police force, contending that the United States was unable to provide the materiel and is too slow to deliver arms shipments, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said yesterday.

October 3, 2007

Poland;s ambassador attacked

FACTBOX - Security developments in Iraq | Top News | Reuters

BAGHDAD - Poland's ambassador to Iraq was wounded in a bomb attack on his diplomatic convoy in Baghdad, which killed a bodyguard and a passerby, officials said.

October 1, 2007

Webb/Clinton resolution on Iran

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator for New York: Senator Clinton Announces Co-Sponsorship of Webb Legislation Prohibiting the Use of Funds for Military Operations In Iran

Will congressional opposition keep the Bush administration from launching strikes against Iran?

September 30, 2007

Sy Hersh on Cheney's plan to begin war with Iran

Annals of National Security: Shifting Targets: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

McCain said it best: bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran.

September 26, 2007

Cholera now widespread in Iraq

WHO | Cholera in Iraq - update 2

Merkel Says Further Sanctions May Be Needed Against Iran Germany

I find it more than a bit odd that Germany and France among other European countries elected center-right heads of state in a time when there is was growing opposition to President Bush's agenda in Europe in regards to foreign policy as well as U.S. domestic policies.

Abu Aardvark

Abu Aardvark

Continuing the theme of woodland creatures offering Middle East expertise, Abu Aardvark is an excellent place to find informed, in-depth analysis of Arab world issues. Abu Aardvark used to be anonymous but was revealed to be George Washington University political science professor Marc Lynch. Though he also spends a lot of time on Iraq, he does address non-Iraqi issues in NESA more than Badger, especially Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine. More good NESA stuff.

Missing Links

badger.jpgmissing links

The anonymous "Badger" provides the invaluable service of translating Arabic language news items that don't make it into the English language mainstream press. He focuses especially on Iraq(all the more valuable for me) but frequently examines notable events throughout the Arab world. Those in NESA should follow it.

In trial, new asymmetrical combat tactic surfaces

Snipers Baited and Killed Iraqis, Soldiers Testify - New York Times

After visiting the sniper unit in Iraq, members of the Asymmetrical Warfare Group gave soldiers ammunition boxes containing so-called “drop items� like bullets, plastic explosives and bomb detonation cords to use to pinpoint Iraqis involved in insurgent activity, according to Capt. Matthew P. Didier, a sniper platoon leader who gave sworn testimony in the accused soldiers’ court hearings.

Captain Didier, in a sworn statement about the program that was obtained by The New York Times, described baiting as “putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy.�

After placing the bait, snipers observed the area around it, Captain Didier said in his statement. “If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item,� he said, “we would engage the individual, as I saw this as a sign that they would use the item against U.S. forces.� (Engage is a military euphemism for firing on or killing an enemy.)

Scientists on missile defense: meh.

Missiles no defense

Politically, the Polish and Czech deployments are a provocation in projecting the establishment of U.S. bases even closer to the Russian homeland. But both sides in this depressing confrontation seem to ignore the technical-scientific realities.

September 25, 2007

Iraq Slogger


Former CNN Chief Eason Jordan's blog exclusively about the occupation of Iraq. A one-stop resource for everything from Basra to Mosul.

Blackwater case to go to court

Blackwater case to be referred to courts --

In reference to the Blackwater case we discussed in class.

September 24, 2007

Interview with Ahmedinejad

60 Minutes interview with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

President of Iraq Iran denounced as Hitler

Iran's Ahmadinejad, public enemy No. 1? |

juancole.jpgJuan Cole is to Iraq what Julia Child is to chicken a la king. And I trust him to know what it looks like when some other president of a rogue nation is being Saddamized (turned into another Saddam-style arch nemesis).

Israel strike chemical - not nuclear

Syrians were attempting to chemicalize missiles, not nuclearize.

Pakistan slows effort against al-Qaida

Pakistan slows pursuit of al-Qaida |

Cause of concern? Definetely could change course on some of our policies in the region.