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IRAN CRISIS

"We are capable, if necessary, of continuing to pursue our aims
militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere and, if necessary,
conduct a military attack on Iran." - Senator Joseph Lieberman, 22 Jan

MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 25 January: This day was destined to come sooner or
later. With the Israelis having a considerable arsenal of
nuclear weapons and the ability to delivery them
tactically to the battlefield as well as strategically
by submarine and airplane a gross imbalance has
been there in the region for some time already.
Furthermore there should be no doubt that Israel's
apartheid and bloodletting policies toward the Palestinians
have been a major force enflaming Arab and
Muslim sentiments throughout the region; while
militant neo-imperialist U.S. policies on top of the
American-Israeli alliance and the rise of Christian Fundamentalism have fueled the raging
passions
and led to today's imbroglio.


The real meaning of the Iran Crisis however goes to a more basic historical reality -- that we are
coming to an
end of what has been for some time a near total Pax America. What the Russians and
the Chinese do at this point
at the United Nations to prevent major sanctions against Iran will just be
the public
face of what they much more importantly are doing geostrategically to redress and re-balance
the sole superpower status of the U.S.
By committing so many grievances, by squandering so much
prestige and credibility, by
draining so much if its finances and resources, the American Empire has
hastenened this time of
realignment as well as this particular Iran Crisis.

As for the Israelis, they have known for some time that they are in geostrategic trouble...not at the
moment but
in the future. If the Israelis do not now seriously reverse course (and it may well already
be too late) and allow a real -- rather than a
rump, stillborn, and totally controlled -- Palestinian State
they will be unable to deescalate their
isolation and they will escalate their target status as forces in the
Arab and Muslim worlds grow in power
and assertiveness. That too is what the Iran Crisis of today,
and where it could be leading tomorrow, is really all about.


Read this quick selection of short articles all from the past few days. And just try to put yourself in the
place of the Iranians and their various Muslim and Arab allies as they prepare politically, economically,
and militarily for what is being threatened so blatantly.


Iran hits back at veiled Israeli threats of attack

Defence minister says Islamic republic and its allies can put Israel in 'eternal coma like Sharon'.

TEHRAN - 25 January: Iran's defence minister hit back Wednesday at veiled Israeli threats of an attack, saying Iran and its allies could put the Jewish state "in an eternal coma" like that of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Israel does not have the courage to attack Iran, and if it commits such a big mistake, the defenders of Islamic Iran will put Israel in an eternal coma like Sharon," Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was quoted as saying by state television.

Najjar branded the United States and Israel as the "Great and Little Satan, who are using psychological wars to intimidate Iran." The United States has been branded the "Great Satan" since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The two countries are among a number that suspect Tehran of using its civilian atomic energy programme to hide efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Washington is pressing for Iran to be hauled before the UN Security Council.

Iran, a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, says its nuclear programme is legal under the NPT and merely designed to meet its energy needs.

Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said Saturday that Israel, widely believed to possess nuclear arms, would not tolerate a "a nuclear option" for Iran, but reaffirmed his commitment to diplomacy over the escalating crisis.

"We are giving priority at this stage to diplomatic action ... but in any case we cannot tolerate a nuclear option for Iran and we must prepare ourselves," the Iranian-born Mofaz said.

But Najjar said the "vigilance of the Iranian people, regional and global nations will defuse their sinister plans against humanity."

Israel and Iran are arch-enemies, with Tehran refusing to acknowledge the Jewish state's right to exist. Tension between them has grown recently over a string of outbursts by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad, including a call for Israel to be "wiped off the map."



Joe Lieberman: U.S. Prepared for Iran Strike


Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006 10:51 p.m. EST - Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday that the U.S. is prepared to deal with the Iranian nuclear crisis militarily - even if the war in Iraq continues to require a substantial American troop commitment.

"We have the most powerful military in the history of the world," Lieberman told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"We are capable, if necessary, of continuing to pursue our aims militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere and, if necessary, conduct a military attack on Iran."

Lieberman said the he hoped an attack on Iran, if it should come, would be carried out "with the assistance of our coalition allies in Europe."

But he noted that any assault on Iranian nuclear facilities "would be primarily an air attack. It's not going to involve massive use of ground forces."

Asked about reports that the U.S. would let Israel take the lead in any attack against Iran, the Connecticut Democrat told CBS:

"The United States is a strong enough country that we never want to be in a position to have to essentially contract out protection of our national security, vis-a-vis Iran, to another country like Israel."

He noted also the Israelis "don't have the same aircraft capacity that we do, capable of doing it."

Lieberman said that while the military option remains a last resort for the U.S., "I want the people who lead Iran to understand that it is on the table. We deem their pursuit of nuclear weapons to be dead serious."


Newt Gingrich: Iranís President is the New Hitler


Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 9:58 a.m. EST: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as big a threat to global security as Adolf Hitler was in the 1930's - and he's urging President Bush to do everything possible to overthrow his regime.

"This is 1935 and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as close to Adolf Hitler as weíve seen," Gingrich tells Human Events. "We now know who they are," he added. "The question is who we are -- are we Baldwin or Churchill?" - referring to the two British leaders at the time who disagreed over Hitler's intentions.

Like the top Nazi, Ahmadinejad has openly urged the extermination of the Jews, saying in October that Israel should be "wiped off the map." In recent weeks the Iranian madman has also repeated questioned historical reports on the Holocaust, claiming they were likely exaggerated.

Last Friday, President Bush predicted that Iran's nuclear program would be used to make weapons to destroy Israel.

<> Gingrich said the U.S.'s top priority should be overthrowing the government of Iran - using peaceful means if possible but through military force if necessary.

"I will just say flatly, our objective should be the systematic replacement of this regime," the former top House Republican told Human Events.

Gingrich said that the U.S. should immediately begin aiding dissident groups in Iran, starting with trade unions and student organizations, saying, "We should in every way we can get them resources."

Rather than operating surreptitiously, the U.S. should be open about it's intentions, the architect of the Republican revolution said.

"We should indicate without any question that we are going to take the steps necessary to replace the regime and we should then act accordingly," he told Human Events. "And we should say to the Europeans that there is no diplomatic solution that is imaginable that is going to solve this problem."

Gingrich invoked the example of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to justify a preemptive strike against Iran, recalling: "In September 1941, when we sank a German submarine while we were technically at peace, [FDR] did a nationwide radio address and said, 'If you are standing next to a rattle snake, you do not have an obligation to wait until it bites you before you decide itís dangerous.'"


West's Push to Refer Iran to U.N. Hits Snags


NYTimes, 24 Jan = WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 - The American and European drive to rebuke Iran over its nuclear activities ran into new difficulties on Monday, raising doubts about whether the International Atomic Energy Agency would quickly refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council for possible punitive action, European diplomats said.

The diplomats said that Russian resistance to pressing the case against Iran, as the West wants, when the atomic energy agency board meets on Feb. 2, made it increasingly unlikely that the board would adopt the kind of resolution being sought by the United States and the Europeans.

President Bush said in a speech on Monday at Kansas State University that the West could be "blackmailed" if Iran were to get a nuclear weapon. But he also sought to address the Iranian people, telling them that the dispute was with their leaders, not them.

Another blow to Western efforts to press Iran came Monday from Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the atomic energy agency, the United Nations' nuclear monitoring body. Dr. ElBaradei rebuffed an American and European request to issue a sweeping "progress report" on Iran's case in the next few weeks, presumably condemning its nuclear activities.

In letters written to American and other ambassadors to the atomic agency, Dr. ElBaradei said that "a detailed report will only be available" in March, but that the agency would provide "an update brief in February on where it stands in its investigation of outstanding issues."

A European diplomat, who along with other diplomats spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agency's board of governors had not taken an official position yet on Dr. ElBaradei's letter, said that without a tough assessment on Iran from the director general, it would be very difficult to get the board to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council, as the United States and Europe are seeking.

Taken together, Dr. ElBaradei's move and the Russian resistance to an early referral posed the threat of a major setback for the West in its efforts to isolate Iran diplomatically at an early date.

Mr. Bush's comment on Monday appeared to reflect a growing consensus in the West that if sanctions are eventually considered for Iran, they will not be likely to include an oil embargo or other steps that might cause resentment among Iranians or hardship in Europe and the United States.

He repeated the call for the atomic energy agency's board to refer Iran's case to the United Nations Security Council, but he said, "I also want the Iranian people to hear loud and clear, and that is, we have no beef with you."

Indeed, American officials say that if there are sanctions, they will not bar Iranians from traveling abroad for sports or cultural events.

An effort to persuade the agency's board to refer Iran's case to the Security Council has been American policy for more than a year, but the Bush administration has deferred to Britain, France and Germany, which continued until recently to negotiate with Iran over a suspension and an eventual permanent dismantling of its nuclear enrichment activities.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington, however, that it remained administration policy to seek a referral vote at the board's meeting on Feb. 2.

"The Iranians have done plenty for a referral at this point in time," Ms. Rice said, citing Iran's decision earlier this month to end its moratorium on enrichment and reprocessing of uranium. "It seems to me that the case for referral is very strong and that's what we intend to seek at the I.A.E.A. board of governors meeting."

Iran defends its nuclear activities as legal, asserting that because they are part of a civilian energy program or normal research activities they are permitted under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. American and European diplomats, citing Iran's failure to disclose many of its activities, say they are part of a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

It would take a majority of the atomic energy agency's 35 board members to refer Iran formally to the Security Council. Secretary Rice reiterated Monday that the United States believes it has the votes. Some European and American officials say there could be 20 votes in favor of such a referral.

But some European diplomats argue that a referral without Russian and Chinese support would send a mixed message. As an alternative to a referral, Russia wants the agency merely to report Iran's activities at its meetings on Feb. 2 and 3, and let the Security Council consider them.

The difference between a report and a referral was described by diplomats as significant. "A referral implies action," said a European official. "It implies a request for action by the Security Council. It also implies handing the matter over to the Council for action. A report does not imply those things."

Then if other negotiations fail to secure Iranian cooperation on freezing its enrichment processes, Russia would be expected to bring Iran before a regular atomic energy board session in early March. The United States and its European partners do not want to wait that long, however.

But European diplomats said that the Russian formula was emerging as a likely alternative to the American-backed plan for early action.

"The decision of ElBaradei to not advance a report right away makes the Russian timetable more likely than the European timetable," said a European diplomat.

Dr. ElBaradei, in resisting requests for a formal report before the Feb. 2 meeting, said in his letter that "outstanding issues" related to Iran's earlier actions on its nuclear program were still "being pursued with the Iranian authorities." One of his deputies was going to Iran this week to discuss some of them, he said.

"Due process, therefore, must take its course before the Secretariat is able to submit a detailed report," he said, referring to his office at the atomic agency.

European and American diplomats said it was possible that Dr. ElBaradei could deliver an interim report to the board sufficiently condemnatory of Iran's activities to lead to a referral. But their bigger worry was that Iran would cooperate with international inspectors just enough to delay any action for months.


Iranian President Sees End of World Order
Kenneth R. Timmerman, NewsMax.com
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006

In a country of religious zealots, the extremism of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has even his own countrymen sounding alarms

Dissidents within Iran say their country's president is such a crazed fanatic that he will try to usher in the end of the world as we know it.

On Dec. 16, gunmen opened fire on the motorcade of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he toured the southeastern province of Sistan, along Iran's border with Pakistan.

According to news reports, Ahmadinejad's personal bodyguard and driver were killed in the ambush, although the president was unhurt. The government-controlled media in Tehran attributed the attack to "bandits," a term used to denote a wide range of armed groups, from drug dealers to opposition guerrillas.

But in this case, the attack may have been part of a plot to remove the Iranian president by a faction within the ruling clergy. At least, so believes a Western source who has just returned from talks with top officials in Tehran.

The faction seeking to remove Ahmadinejad does not object to the substance of the Iranian president's repeated vows to "wipe Israel from the map" and destroy America. Nor do they believe Iran should abandon its secret nuclear weapons program, top Iranian government officials said, according to the source.

Rather, they object to the fact that he has made such comments openly and without ambiguity. They believe that his frankness dangerously exposes them to attack from the United States, Israel or both.

"This guy is not a politician," the source quoted one top Iranian official as saying. "He is certifiably insane. And he is obsessed with the Imam Zaman," the legendary 12th imam, or Imam Mahdi, whom many Shiite Muslims believe will return in the "end times" after a period of horrific battles, famine and pestilence.

Americans may find it curious that government officials in Tehran, who have actively supported the Islamic republic for years, object to Ahmadinejad's religious zealotry. After all, this comes in a regime whose constitution declares that the supreme leader is God's representative on earth whose edicts can not be challenged by elected representatives.

But for more than two decades, Iranian leaders such as former President Hashemi Rafsanjani have walked a fine line between openly defying the United States and conducting covert aggression through terrorists and sophisticated intelligence operations. Under Ahmadinejad, these officials believe, that fine line has been crossed.

Ahmadinejad's messianic beliefs and his obsession with the 12th imam have become an open subject of debate in Tehran. Meeting with his cabinet shortly after taking office last August, the new president reportedly had Cabinet members sign a loyalty oath to the 12th imam, which they dropped into a well near where the Shiite messiah is believed to be hiding.

In September, when Ahmadinejad took the podium to address the United Nations in New York City, he felt surrounded by light. It wasn't the stage lighting, he said. It was a light from heaven.

He related his otherworldly experience in a videotaped meeting with a prominent ayatollah in Tehran. A transcript of his comments and sections of the videotape wound up on a hard-line, pro-regime Web site, baztab.com

Ahmadinejad's "vision" at the United Nations could be dismissed as pure political posturing if it weren't for a string of similar statements and actions that clearly suggest he believes he is destined to bring about the return of the Shiite messiah.

The mystical 12th imam, who is venerated by many in Iran, disappeared as a child in the year 941. Shiite Muslims believe he will return and rule for seven years in perfect justice.

In a Nov. 16 speech in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said that the main mission of his government was to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Reappearance)."

Reports in government media outlets in Tehran have quoted Ahmadinejad as having told regime officials that the 12th imam will reappear in two years. That was too much for Iranian legislator Akbar Alami, who publicly questioned Ahmadinejad's judgment, saying that even Islam's holiest figures have never made such claims.

At the same time he has made such statements, the new president has repeatedly vowed to pursue Iran's nuclear programs, in open defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency and European Union negotiators.

While many Shiite Muslims worship the 12th imam, a previously secret society of powerful clerics, now openly advising the new president, are transforming these messianic beliefs into government policies.

Led by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who frequently appears with Ahmadinejad, the Hojatieh society is considered by many Shiite Muslims as their own bona fide lunatic fringe. During the early years of the Islamic Revolution, even Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini found their beliefs too extreme for public commerce and sent them scurrying underground.

Since taking the reins of government in August, Ahmadinejad has placed Hojatieh devotees in his Cabinet and through the bureaucracy, where they are leading a crackdown on students, women, Western music and religious minorities.

On Nov. 22, a Christian pastor was murdered after the president told a gathering of some 30 provincial governors, "I will stop Christianity in this country." Other Christians have been arrested and Bibles confiscated in recent weeks.

The president's opponents within the regime believe that the widespread replacement of competent bureaucrats with Hojatieh supporters having little government experience could prove fatal to him. "The new guys don't know what they are doing, and the fired people are angry," said the source who just returned from Tehran. "So there is a window of opportunity."

But hints of "regime change from within," carried by emissaries to Washington, may not be enough to deter the United States and Israel from using military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"The business community in Iran is afraid of two things," the source who just returned from Tehran told NewsMax. "They are afraid of international sanctions, and they are afraid of a military strike by the U.S. or Israel. And they believe Ahmadinejad is bringing both."

American Enterprise Institute scholar and former CIA operations officer Reuel Marc Gerecht agrees that the new president could be a blessing in disguise for those who would support regime change in Iran.

"The only way Iran is going to get better is for it to get a lot worse -- and Ahmadinejad may just possibly be the man to galvanize a broad-based opposition to the regime," he wrote recently.






January 2006


Magazine






Talking To The Enemy Indeed
(January 31, 2006)
In Iraq the U.S. is secretly talking with the 'insurgent' enemy... There will have to be actual significant policy changes by the American Empire or else -- especially when it comes to reversing Israeli apartheid and realigning American policies and interests in truly new ways, not just more rhetorical trickery and obfuscation.

Abbas, Shaath, Safieh, Fateh Officials Should Resign or Be Sacked
(January 30, 2006)
The danger of fractricidal conflict and civil war in Palestine -- an under-the-table goal pursued by the Israelis for some time no matter how much they deny it -- is now greater than ever. The major figures representing the exposed and corrupt remnants of Fateh are attempting to manipulate their way one way or another to retain money, guns, and power. Rather than resigning as he should Fateh's top man, Mahmoud Abbas, is using his considerable backing from the U.S., Israel, Europe, and the Arab 'client regimes' to attempt to keep himself and his cronies in power one way or another. It is an unprecedented dangerous political poker game of bluff, counter-bluff, and chicken being played out not just in occupied Palestine but on the regional and world stages as well and with quite unpredictable results at this point. Meanwhile the Iranians are racing ahead to prepare themselves for attack, the comatose 'peace process' is all but finally declared dead, international energy supply concerns and escalating prices could trigger more conflict and economic hard-times, and the Neocon/Evangelical regime in Washington (under unprecedented assault as the second article below suggests) is desperately seeking new ways for possible salvation and resurrection before the November 2006 mid-term election even as the still hesitant impeachment movement might yet gain traction.

LAWLESS WORLD Erupting Thursday in London
(January 30, 2006)
"...likely to cause a fierce new controversy on both sides of the Atlantic" the new edition of this damning book LAWLESS WORLD will not be published until Thursday in London, just hours after President Bush's State of the Union 2006 address to Congress at 9pm tomorrow. Major pressures are now building in both Washington and London to actually attempt to remove from power those who brought about the Iraq war through such chicanery and duplicity. But if the pressures really get too strong expect the tension with Iran to escalate further and maybe explode into military exchanges and/or another major 'terrorist attack' either from the pertrators most expect or from the underground manipulators connected to those in power whom many now suspect with considerable damning circumstantial evidence

Assassination Backlash - Hamas Landslide
(January 26, 2006)
When the Israelis released the founder of Hamas from prison some years ago they did so because they had attempted to assassinate in Amman the man who today heads Hamas from Damascus and they needed to provide King Hussein an excuse to give them back their caught and endangered Mossad henchmen. Then, a few years later, they assassinated Sheik Ahmed Yassin, a blind paraplegic who founded Hamas in the late 1980s, as he emerged from a Gaza Mosque one morning -- this on top of an ongoing anti-Hamas assassination campaign designed to dismember and weaken 'The Islamic Resistance Movement'. The actual result however is what happened yesterday in a sea of Hamas green.

Hamas Wins Big
(January 26, 2006)
There's a long history to why Hamas has been so victorious in occupied Palestine. And whatever the Israeli p.r. spin about what has happened they and the U.S. are really the midwives.

Iran Crisis
(January 25, 2006)
This day was destined to come sooner or later. With the Israelis having a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons and the ability to delivery them tactically to the battlefield as well as strategically by submarine and airplane a gross imbalance has been there in the region for some time already. Furthermore there should be no doubt that Israel's apartheid and bloodletting policies toward the Palestinians have been a major force enflaming Arab and Muslim sentiments throughout the region; while militant neo-imperialist U.S. policies on top of the American-Israeli alliance and the rise of Christian Fundamentalism have fueled the raging passions and led to today's imbroglio.

Hamastan Indeed
(January 24, 2006)
Hamas is not taking power tomorrow in occupied Palestine; it is instead asserting power in what can be seen as a kind of historic political blowback for so many awful years of miserable corruption, gross ineptitude and dastardly co-optation by those whom the U.S., Israel, and the Arab 'client regimes' pushed so hard to date to lord over the millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Call it as well a kind of democratic payback for the Israeli/U.S. assassinations of the senior generation of Palestinian leaders including in recent years the founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and the long-time Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat.

Questions About 9/11 That Don't Go Away
(January 23, 2006)
So much of what is happening now in our world can be traced back to the year 2001 when Bush/Cheney and the Neocons came to power in Washington, Ariel Sharon came to power in Israel, and what we all now simply call 9/11 happened. But just what did really happen? Nagging questions not only are not going away, they are surfacing from credible people and need to be very seriously and independently investigated.

U.S. Caught In The Act In Occupied Palestine
(January 22, 2006)
American credibility has rarely been lower; American duplicity has rarely been higher; and the exposure of American lies and hypocrisy has rarely been more evident than in the lead story in today's Washington Post.

Torturing Palestinians
(January 21, 2006)
From MER in January 1997: Torture of Palestinians is not only routine and systematic, in it actually sanctioned by the Israeli legal system that has been twisted to serve Israeli policies. Going back to the Shinbet scandal of the early 1980's, even more sadistic forms of torture have given way to the kinds of 'legalized' torture methods outlined in this important article from one of the few independent and courageous media sources in Israel, The Alternative Information Center (AIC). Among the reasons the Israelis get away with such systematic torture of Palestinians is that hardly anyone is willing to protest. The so-called "Palestinian Authority" practices similar and even worse torture techniques, as do nearly all of the Arab governments in the region -- so they are hardly in a position to protest. And the "liberal" American Jewish community has been morally bankrupt about such issues for so long now that to speak up at this point would be to condemn themselves for permitting, and even encouraging in many cases, such Nazi-like behavior by the Israelis for decades.

"WAR on TERRORISM" - Noam Chomsky Lecture on 18 Jan
(January 20, 2006)
This important lengthy lecture was delivered a few days ago in Dublin. Plus information about how to get a unique and now rare video documentary about the start of the "New World Order" -- available now exclusively from MER. At the start of Gulf War I in 1991 -- the beginnings of the Bush-era "New World Order", Noam Chomsky came to Washington and spoke to a huge overflow audience at George Washington University. This video documentary captures the entirety of his speech as well as the extensive question and answer period that followed. This documentary is essential to a serious understanding of U.S. foreign policy worldwide today. Chomsky uniquely provides the background and understanding needed to appreciate what the War in Iraq is really all about as well as the many misrepresentations and lies Washington propogates so often about the Israeli-Palestinian "Peace Process". From the back of the video by Mark Bruzonsky: "There's no one like Chomsky if you want to truly understand the realities of both U.S. policies and the overall situation in the Middle East...

Any Questions or Comments - CHAT at 12pm today
(January 20, 2006)
If you hvae any Questions or Comments about this program or MER use CHAT at 12pm today (Washington, DC time)

Palestinian 'Election' Approaches...Still Maybe
(January 19, 2006)
In the end it may be that the failing remnants of the disgraced 'Palestinian Authority' -- after so many years of miserable corruption and co-optation -- are now too weak and fractured to even manage to 'postpone' the long-promised Legislative election... Now the past is coming back to haunt the PA -- and their godfathers as well.

PARADISE NOW or is it PARADISE LOST?
(January 18, 2006)
Though they run a far more effective propaganda network the Jewish and Zionist establishments don't always get their way and have in fact lost quite a bit of credibility and following. This article from earlier this week in The Christian Science Monitor. And we certainly hope that those in Iraq who are legitimately and so courageously standing up against the US/UK/Israeli invasion/occupation will decide to release the CSM correspondent they are holding hostage, showing that they are sophisticated enough to distinguish between hostile and friendly Christians and thereby giving hope amidst so much despair and bloodletting.

ISLAM, SEX and the INTERNET
(January 17, 2006)
The cultural and emotional differences between Islam and Christianity and Judaism are considerable -- never more so than in the areas relating to women and sexuality. This interesting but not really adequate article is from today's Guardian in the UK: SEMINAL QUESTIONS - As scholars question the place of nudity in marriage, Islamic clerics are hotly debating exactly what sexual practices are acceptable, writes Brian Whitaker

The Faster March To International War
(January 16, 2006)
Joining the rising chorus is a growing group of sometimes neo-con, sometimes evangelical, sometimes hustling and/or sponsored academics. They are now contributing to the growing 'New World Order' hysteria that now dominates American political life through the pages of associated magazines and newspapers. While Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson for instance is right indeed to be warning about the great dangers now immediately ahead, his analogies and heroes are so misguided and off the mark one has to wonder just who is really orchestrating and behind this kind of thing. This Ferguson article appeared over the weekend in The Telegraph published in the U.K.

Historic Anti-U.S./Israel Crucible of Hatred and Revenge
(January 15, 2006)
One day Pakistan will no longer be lead by a military General empowered by the U.S and manipulated by the CIA. Remember now that today's feared Zawahiri left his Cairo medical practice to oppose the U.S. when he felt Egypt was deceived and co-opted by the U.S. Bin Laden himself, after working with the Americans to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan and working intimately with the American-sponsored Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, turned against the U.S. when American troops on top of the CIA directly occupied his country. And of course Iraq is today a country erupting as a result of U.S. occupation and destruction while Iran is a country today still rebelling after so many years of tortuous rule by the Shah and so much CIA-plotting to control that country.

INFORMATION For Persons Using This Program MiddleEast.Org
(January 12, 2006)
Useful INFORMATION For Persons Using This Program always available at MiddleEast.Org/MER

What Sharon Has Wrought; and What He Has Left
(January 12, 2006)
Understanding what has happened between Israel and Palestinians over the years requires not only expert analysis but considerable memory, ideological as well as political understanding, and an ability to put the historical pieces all together. Meron Benviniste's article today in Ha'aretz is of considerable help in summarizing the situation past, present, and maybe future.

Ariel Sharon - by Robert Fisk
(January 6, 2006)
There are few journalists who have the knowledge and perspective of Robert Fisk. This from his recent book, footnoted at the end and highly recommended.

Chaos and Geostrategic Changes of Historic Consequences Looming
(January 6, 2006)
The Year 2006 is now more ominous than ever.

Sharon's Huge Legacy
(January 5, 2006)
Sharon's legacy is overwhelming, and not for the positive

MER Mark Bruzonsky on Channel 5 Evening News Tonight in Washington, DC area
(January 4, 2006)
MER Mark Bruzonsky on Channel 5 Evening News Tonight in Washington, DC area

Sharon - 'significant stroke' reported tonight in Israel
(January 4, 2006)
Sharon - 'significant stroke' reported tonight in Israel




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