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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2012 21:23 
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Carl wrote:
shyamd wrote:
Israel has deployed assets in Azerbaijan and another country. Everything is set for ops in Iran. Like I said - RED ALERT in the region.

Hidden war in the South Caucasus
Quote:
As Iran and Azerbaijan trade barbs over allegations of assassination plots, many worry that these and other incidents mean the countries in the South Caucasus region - American-backed Georgia and Armenia too - have become an espionage no-man's-land in the conflict between the Iranian and Israeli intelligence services.

Seems like Iran-Mahabad War of 1946 is going to be replayed again! :)


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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2012 08:06 
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http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/22/ ... ippur-war/

Interesting read but ....


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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2012 14:44 
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VikramS wrote:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/22/what-really-happened-in-the-yom-kippur-war/

Interesting read but ....


This is a critical piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Kissinger was and is David Rocke's man. It shows who was behind the 1973 war. It also allows you to determine that the main purpose of the war was to allow the quadrupling of oil prices, which crushed the nascent economic receovery in the developing (post colonial) world, but mainly benefitted the US and KSA.

Even today, the wars against Libya (and planned against Iran) has the same interest lobby -


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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2012 17:21 
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Spot on Abi.It was also the collusion between Kissinger and the Shah,who had to pay for his very expensive US made toys,F-14s ,etc.,that made them conspire to raise the oil prices and screw the developing world.The same trick is being played out to day,where the oil dictatorships in league with the US like the Saudis and sheikdoms,benefit enormously along with western poil companies.while the independent oil-rich nations have to be destabilised as their wealth will enable them to resist attempts to overthrow them by the US and its cronies! AS we've also seen in the case with Libya,who now effectively "owns" the Libyan oil? The ordinary Libyans? Take a hike!


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012 03:18 
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So was it to fuel the soviet economy too (enemy of the US) as well? And what was the effect on the US economy of the high oil price and why is Obama asking the Saudi's to pump more to lower the price?

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UAE to set up centres in India to train unskilled workers
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Press Trust of India / Dubai Feb 22, 2012, 15:41 IST
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The UAE will set up training centres in India with an aim to control the flow of unskilled workers into the country's construction industry and bypass private recruitment agencies.

According to a Gulf News report, foreign workers must shell out Rs 80,396 (6,000 dirhams) each to learn skills in their home countries before moving to the UAE.

"The UAE will start by opening an office in India in early 2013 to train and rehabilitate workforce," the National Productivity Improvement Programme manager at the Federal Demographic Council (FDC) Saeed Abdullah said.

He said that the ratio of unskilled labour in the construction sector amounts up to 85%. The workers will have to bear the cost of the training but will no longer have to pay thousands of dirhams to recruitment agencies or private travel agents to get jobs, he added.

While India is the first country where centres will be established, both Pakistan and Bangladesh will also have these centres. Abdullah said the "first batch of (trained) workers will be 5,000 in the first year, 20,000 in 2014 and 50,000 in 2015".

"The UAE government seeks to decrease the number of unskilled workers in the construction sector, considered a sector which employs the highest number of unskilled workers," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Industry representatives said that the new rule to train workers would likely result in companies being forced to raise wages to cover the cost.


"This will affect hiring conditions and wage levels," Chairman of Al Mansouri Construction Amer Al Mansouri said. He also warned that the new rule could make construction more expensive and called for the authorities to discuss the move with the UAE Contractors Association, developers and construction companies before reaching a final decision.


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012 08:21 
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The League of Arab Societies: It’s high time for a new Arab League -- one that reflects and supports the rising (and struggling) wave of liberals across the Middle East and North Africa.


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012 15:15 
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70 nations 'friends of syria' are meeting in tunisia today to discuss the matter. arab nations are known to have started supplying arms to syrian rebels.

Homs is the new Benghazi.

we can expect Assad dead or in exile @ russia in say 6 months.

p.s. it seems only the purest of the pure wahabis are kosher and will be allowed to exist - all others arab nationalists, baathists, qadhafis, shia iraqis, shia persians need not apply.

at the end of these dominoes, KSA(Scar) will rightfully claim its right as the king of the hill with its dark vizier the pakis smiling behind the throne ? the hyenas led by bahrain will stage a grand march past in Scar's honour :oops:


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012 17:51 
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Bhadrakumar: India with ‘FOS’, pleases Saudi, US, Israel - http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2 ... us-israel/

An older piece: Saudi Arabia's Invisible Hand in the Arab Spring - http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ ... rab-spring


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012 22:08 
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X-post...

Datapoint for a future post connecting Attaturk Secular Turkey, Secular West and Secular India

A_Gupta wrote:
From twitter and PTI correspondent in Pakistan
Rezaul Hasan Laskar ‏


Turkish Aerospace Industries to refurbish 45 Pakistani F-16s in service since 1982-83. Avionics & structure will be modified.

Turkish Aerospace Industries to complete upgrades of 45 Pakistani F-16 Block 15 jets by September 2014.


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012 23:38 
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shyamd wrote:
So was it to fuel the soviet economy too (enemy of the US) as well? And what was the effect on the US economy of the high oil price and why is Obama asking the Saudi's to pump more to lower the price?
[/quote]

The strengthening of the Soviets was an unintended consequence, but a manageable one.

The impact on the US economy of the 1973 decision was the hollowing of their manufacturing base. But the banking community did not care because they started playing paper games - LBO, etc. All they did after that was they managed one financial bubble by creating an even bigger one. Eventually this bomb burst in 2008, and there is no more 'collateral' to blow bubbles, that is why there is no going back to the former days.

Entire western civilization is a ponzi scheme, they need new entrants to support older members :mrgreen:

Quote:
why is Obama asking the Saudi's to pump more to lower the price?

But does he really mean it? Entire US foreign policy under Obama has been to push global oil demand towards KSA - that is why Libya happened, and that is what is happening in Iran's case. KSA is the true instigator of the war against Libya and Iran, not Israel.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 00:11 
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Opposite bro. They increase oil supply to push prices down during election year.

Libya - while yes KSA does benefit, they were by no means instigators. They played a very limited role at best.

After 1973, US threatened the House of Saud - Saud's cleverly seized Aramco slowly. By 80 I think it was 100% owned and US co's were booted out of production.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 04:18 
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Mujtahidd: A Tweeting Thorn in the Side of Al Saud
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A controversial campaign by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia to discredit Twitter has failed to silence @mujtahidd, a rising tweeting star exposing the corruption of the royal family. In an exclusive interview with Al-Akhbar, @mujtahidd spoke about his motives and vision for change in the Saudi kingdom.


Quote:
Last month, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh issued a statement calling on Muslims to avoid Twitter. He argued that Twitter is used to “spread lies,” “issue fatwas without basis and not supported by evidence,” and “smear” important religious and political figures. Many were not convinced by this argument and began to speculate about the real reason behind the Saudi mufti issuing such an injunction against Twitter in particular, as opposed to the other websites and forums popular among Saudis.


Quote:
Since last November, @mujtahidd has been tweeting about the most prominent members of the ruling family. In the process he has revealed a great deal about their various acts of corruption and financial scandals, in addition to details about their extravagant lifestyles supported by state coffers.

The list of individuals linked to the royal family targeted by @mujtahidd thus far includes the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz and a number of his sons, including Royal Diwan chief of staff Khaled Tuwaijri, Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz (who @mujtahidd revealed has recently undergone bypass surgery), and Nayef’s son Prince Saud, who is currently serving as his father’s chief of staff.

Others targeted include Minister of Defense Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, Deputy Minister of Defense Khaled bin Sultan, Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz, Chairman of Al Hilal Saudi Football Club Abdulrahman bin Musa’ad, Prince Nayef bin Mamdouh, and head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice Abdul Latif al-Sheikh.


Quote:
These tweets helped @mujtahidd attract more than 200,000 followers on Twitter in just over two months. This phenomenon has caused a stir within the ruling family, which is attempting to expose the identity of this mysterious person in hope of putting an end to the revelations. This issue has become a top priority as @mujtahidd’s followers now look forward to reading the latest juicy details of what is taking place behind the gates of the princes’ palaces.

@mujtahidd promised many more surprises in the coming days as he takes his activities beyond just tweeting. In an email conversation with Al-Akhbar, @mujtahidd promised many more surprises in the coming days as he takes his activities beyond just tweeting. He insists on concealing his true identity as a “security precaution,” and he says “anyone can put forth their own theory.” The details of the information revealed have led many to conclude that @mujtahidd is either one of the members of the ruling family or someone who was until recently close to the decision-making circles.


Hope this unravels or at least brings more scrutiny into the saud family.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 04:25 
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krisna wrote:
Hope this unravels or at least brings more scrutiny into the saud family.

most likely a call to twitter CEO


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 05:59 
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Barzani promised the Syrian kurds intel suport to fight Bashar. Opposite to Maliki & Iran. There is serious talk of an autonomous Kurdish province in Syria - exactly to GCC plans.

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All the Hamas boys are out of Syria and have left fro Gaza via Cairo. Meshaal is in Jordan and arrived there with Qatari Crown prince.
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French Turkish security cooperation continues as France conducts ops against PKK funding networks and arrests suspects.

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9000 Libyan police recruits are in Jordan for training in KASOTC

550 Lbyans have been trained by the Jordanians intel services in last 6 months.
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Collapse of economic activity in Syria expercted.

Hezbollah have plced their booby trapped droes and anti air batteries on standbyy to attack Israel as diversion. The hezbollah politician are scared of israeli reaction. Nasrallah is 100% behind Assad. Assad has provided support for the operations.


PRC even though vetoe the UN resolution, they dont think Assad can survive. Damascus was the first major MIDDLE East Hub for the Chiese intel. Guanbu The Syrian office of PRC state security Guanbu sent many messges to Bijig warning that Assad's fall is inevitble.

Apparently Guanbu has been on the ball on events in Libya and Egypt i.e. got it right. So Top Brass at PRC Commie party HQ is listening.

Guanbu has a thinktank called the Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations- they have been taasked with preparing for post assad world. The think tank told leadership to be neutrl on Syria as whoever comes in next l guarantee all the contracts with PRC. PRC role mainly civilian but russian contracts maybe cancelled as mainly military in nature.
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David MILIband has joined an advisory board of Indus Basin holdings -run by a Paki financier called Aamir Sarfraz.
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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 19:03 
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Russia wants a role to coordinate onthe middle east with the GCC but GCC told them their poisition in the UNSC is an obstacle to this. They are building a consensus for international intervention but the US elections are a major obstacle to this apparently.

At the minimum arming the opposition will be done in the friends of syria grouping.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 20:49 
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I can confirm Bahrain and KSA will join into one Union most likely by the end of the year.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 23:05 
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Putin: ‘The West wants regime change in Iran’

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Under the guise of trying to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction they [the US] are attempting something else entirely and setting different goals – regime change," news agencies quote Putin as saying.

The Russian PM pointed out that US foreign policy, including that in the Middle East, was expensive, inefficient and largely unpredictable. Putin also added that, among other things, it may eventually disserve Israel.

"They changed regimes in North Africa. What will they do next? In the end, Israel may find itself between the devil and the deep blue sea," he said.

Talking about the US presidential elections and America’s relationship with Russia in the event of the right wing coming to power Putin said: “if some neoconservatives start trying to tighten the screws on us, they can do it till the thread bursts.”

“I think our position on Syria in the UN Security Council shows that we are not going to nod along to anyone. We hope it will always be like that,” he said in response to a statement by one of the officials attending the meeting that it was about time Russia stopped doing whatever America tells it to do.



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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012 23:23 
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Struggling farmers furious after Iraq stops buying US rice, opts for cheaper grain from India
Quote:
DAYTON, Texas — The talk of the day among Ray Stoesser and other rice farmers is Iraq’s decision not to buy U.S. rice, a stinging move that adds to a stressful year punctuated by everything from drought to unusual heat.
Quote:
“That’s just not right,” the 63-year-old Stoesser fumed. “If we’ve got some rice to sell, they ought to pay a premium for it just because this is the country that freed them.”
Quote:
“You would think with all that we’ve done over there, there would be a way to get them to do business with us,” said Ronald Gertson, who grows rice in Lissie, Texas.

Iraq has been buying instead from Asia and South America, and it recently lowered its quality standards so it would be able to buy rice from India, something that was impossible under the Iraqi Grain Board’s old rules, said Andy Aaronson, chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rice Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee. It also recently bought rice from Uruguay, which grows a variety similar to the American one but sold for less.

“Iraq seems to be buying on price, and the lowest offered price is coming now from India,” Aaronson said.
Quote:
“We invested so much in that country, and we feel like it’s something of a slap in the face,” said Wagner, who’s considering planting more soybeans or a new crop on his 4,000-acre Mississippi Delta farm.


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 05:42 
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shyamd wrote:
I can confirm Bahrain and KSA will join into one Union most likely by the end of the year.

Wow! shyamd ji I will hold you to this! :) It will be a massive blow to the Iranian regime's domestic H&D.


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 05:55 
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shyamd wrote:
I can confirm Bahrain and KSA will join into one Union most likely by the end of the year.


This is huge. But it only makes sense if it defuses the Shia population bomb in Bahrain. And for that to happen after such a union takes place KSA forcibly relocates the Bahraini Shia population to other parts of KSA to remove that local Shia majority which Iran uses to its advantage. I wonder if that will happen? The other issue is the relatively easy entry/exit for non GCC nationals into Bahrain and its liquor laws. Will those change?. If not, will the union really prove a bigger deterent to Iran than the current Saudi umbrella over Bahrain?

If however, there is a full political union with certain special rights given to Bahrain, then Kind Hamad will become just another provincial Saudi Governor!!


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 06:10 
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Carl wrote:
Wow! shyamd ji I will hold you to this! :) It will be a massive blow to the Iranian regime's domestic H&D.

Yup. Expect it some time at the end of the year.


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 06:14 
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ldev wrote:
This is huge. But it only makes sense if it defuses the Shia population bomb in Bahrain. And for that to happen after such a union takes place KSA forcibly relocates the Bahraini Shia population to other parts of KSA to remove that local Shia majority which Iran uses to its advantage. I wonder if that will happen? The other issue is the relatively easy entry/exit for non GCC nationals into Bahrain and its liquor laws. Will those change?. If not, will the union really prove a bigger deterent to Iran than the current Saudi umbrella over Bahrain?

If however, there is a full political union with certain special rights given to Bahrain, then Kind Hamad will become just another provincial Saudi Governor!!

Non GCC nationals can already go into other GCC countries relatvely easily. Just need to apply for visa and you can get it cheaply and quickly.

Will be interesting to see what happens to the liquor laws etc, doubt it will change though. But each of them have to give up on some power.

But the focus of this is economic more than anything else apparently. Defence is already integrated across the GCC. You see, problem with Oman and Bahrain is the economy - so by forming a union, Bahrain gets access to money to fund budgets and can "deter any predators (includes US) in the region".


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 06:29 
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Interview: Ambassador of Egypt to India

Video: Daniel Yergin on his book “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World”


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 06:44 
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What Happens After Israel Attacks Iran


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 13:51 
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So these are some of the real reasons Iraq was attacked.

Iraq's basmati import torments US

Quote:
We liberated their country for one thing," said Texas Congressman Ted Poe. "We would think they would consider the US in trade since we spent billions of dollars not only to liberate their country, but to rebuild their infrastructure ."


Quote:
Twelve Congressmen have fired off a letter to Iraq's trade minister Khair Alla Babaker earlier this week pressing him to get Iraqis back on the American long-grain variety.

The letter said that there was a 77% drop in rice sales to Iraq between 2010 and 2011, even though "not long ago, Iraq represented the largest market for US rice" .


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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 23:58 
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Aditya_V wrote:
Quote:
We liberated their country for one thing," said Texas Congressman Ted Poe. "We would think they would consider the US in trade since we spent billions of dollars not only to liberate their country, but to rebuild their infrastructure ."


Oh they liberated iraq so that the 2nd largest oil reserves are shared with their allies and for their own long time energy security , something they couldnt do under Saddam and UN saction.

What they left since that liberation is 4 thousand US soldiers dead and more than 1 lakhs Iraqi civilians dead and a nation that tormented by terrorism since then and as fluid as it was before liberation.

If US farmers cant compete in price/quality with India then its their problem its a free market after all or tell their administration to subsidies their rice export


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012 06:59 
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Israel sign $1.6 billion arms deal with Azerbaijan bringing sophisticated technology at Iran's doorstep

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Israeli defence officials on Sunday confirmed $1.6 billion in deals to sell drones as well as anti-aircraft and missile defence systems to Azerbaijan, bringing sophisticated Israeli technology to the doorstep of archenemy Iran.

The sales by state-run Israel Aerospace Industries come at a delicate time. Israel has been labouring hard to form diplomatic alliances in a region that seems to be growing increasingly hostile to the Jewish state.

Its most pressing concern is Iran's nuclear program, and Israeli leaders have hinted broadly that they would be prepared to attack Iranian nuclear facilities if they see no other way to keep Tehran from building bombs.

Iran denies Israeli and Western claims it seeks to develop atomic weapons, and says its disputed nuclear program is designed to produce energy and medical isotopes.

In Jerusalem, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Iran's nuclear program will take centre stage in his upcoming talks with US and Canadian leaders. Netanyahu is to meet with Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Friday and with President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday.

Speaking to the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu said a UN nuclear agency report last week buttressed Israel's warnings that Iran is trying to produce a nuclear bomb. The agency said Iran has rapidly ramped up production of higher-grade enriched uranium over the last few months.

Netanyahu said the report provided "another piece of incontrovertible evidence" that Iran is advancing rapidly with its nuclear program.

It was not clear whether the arms deal with Azerbaijan was connected to any potential Israeli plans to strike Iran. The Israeli defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not at liberty to discuss defense deals.

Danny Yatom, a former head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, said the timing of the deal was likely coincidental. "Such a deal ... takes a long period of time to become ripe," he told The Associated Press.

He said Israel would continue to sell arms to its friends. "If it will help us in challenging Iran, it is for the better," he said.

Israel's ties with Azerbaijan, a Muslim country that became independent with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, have grown as its once-strong strategic relationship with another Iranian neighbor, Turkey, has deteriorated, most sharply over Israel's killing of nine Turks aboard a ship that sought to breach Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010.

For Israeli intelligence, there is also a possible added benefit from Azerbaijan: Its significant cross-border contacts and trade with Iran's large ethnic Azeri community.

For that same reason, as Iran's nuclear showdown with the West deepens, the Islamic Republic sees the Azeri frontier as a weak point, even though both countries are mostly Shiite Muslim.

Earlier this month, Iran's foreign ministry accused Azerbaijan of allowing the Israeli spy agency Mossad to operate on its territory and providing a corridor for "terrorists" to kill members of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Azerbaijan dismissed the Iranian claims as "slanderous lies." Israeli leaders have hinted at covert campaigns against Iran without directly admitting involvement.

Israel, meanwhile, recently claimed authorities foiled Iranian-sponsored attacks against Israeli targets in Azerbaijan. Such claims have precedents: In 2008, Azeri officials said they thwarted a plot to explode car bombs near the Israeli Embassy; two Lebanese men were later convicted in the bombing attempt. A year earlier, Azerbaijan convicted 15 people in connection with an alleged Iranian-linked spy network accused of passing intelligence on Western and Israeli activities.

Iran has denied Azerbaijan's latest charges of plotting to kill Israelis, but a diplomatic rupture is unlikely. Azerbaijan is an important pathway for Iranian goods in the Caucasus region and both nations have signed accords among Caspian nations on energy, environmental and shipping policies.


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012 22:45 
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China calls US critique on Syria "super arrogant"

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China has hit out at comments by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on its stance on Syria.

A foreign ministry spokesman called the comments unacceptable, and the official Communist Party newspaper described the criticism as "super arrogant".

Mrs Clinton on Friday called China and Russia's veto of a UN resolution on Syria "despicable".

The Chinese criticism came a day after Syria held a national referendum on a new constitution, amid violent unrest.

The referendum calls for a multi-party parliamentary election within three months. The opposition has dismissed Sunday's vote as a farce, as at least 30 more deaths were reported around the country.
'Patronising'

Ms Clinton made her remarks at the Friends of Syria conference in Tunisia, a meeting of diplomats boycotted by China and Russia that sought an end to the crisis.

The US Secretary of State said it was "quite distressing" to see two Security Council members using their vetoes "while people are being murdered".

"It is just despicable and I ask whose side are they on? They are clearly not on the side of the Syrian people."
China's veto has left Beijing open to criticism that it sides with dictators and repressive regimes and is encouraging
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, when asked for Beijing's response, said China "cannot accept that at all", AFP news agency reported.

Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily was more outspoken.

"The United States' motive in parading as a 'protector' of the Arab peoples is not difficult to imagine," it said in a commentary. "The problem is, what moral basis does it have for this patronising and egotistical super-arrogance and self-confidence?"

"Even now, violence continues unabated in Iraq and ordinary people enjoy no security. This alone is enough for us to draw a huge question mark over the sincerity and efficacy of US policy," it added.

While China is traditionally resistant to interference in other countries' affairs, it has come under intense pressure on Syria.

Beijing believes that Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad should be allowed to carry out reforms to try and end the bloodshed, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 01:43 
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Mecca high priest to meet Mirwaiz Farooq
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All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman and Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq is slated to meet the visiting Sheikh Saud Ash Shuraim, high priest of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, this Saturday.

Dr Shuraim will be arriving in the Capital on Thursday for a five-day visit that includes addressing the two day Ahle Hadees Convention at Ram Lila ground on March 2-3.

One of the six Imam of the grand mosque, Dr Shuraim is expected to lead two prayers at the national convention and is expected to offer prayers at Jama Masjid and meet Imam Ahmed Bukhari on Friday. After paying a visit to Jamait-e-Ulema Hind’s office in Okhla, he will be escorted by Maulana Arshad Madani to Dar-ul-Uloom at Deoband on March 4 and is flying back to Saudi Arabia the next day.
Official sources said Awami Action Committee Chairman Farooq will be arriving in Delhi on March 3 after distributing the invites from Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to APHC at the executive meeting slated for Feb 29, 2012. According to sources, Khar sent a clutch of invitations to Hurriyat leaders through Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik this week. Already invitations to visit Pakistan have been given to Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shabbir Shah besides Farooq, who left for Srinagar with remaining invitation letters for fellow APHC leaders.

It is learnt that Geelani and Shah may not be going to Pakistan as the former has been addressed as purely Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader and not Chairman of APHC-G and Shah is not interested in travelling on an Indian passport.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 04:18 
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India to step up engagement with the Arab League

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Having cast its lot with the Arab League on the Syria question, India will step up its multilateral engagement with the Arab world in the coming months with a series of events that will include a visit to Cairo by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to confabulate with the Arab League and to re-engage Egypt, which is stepping out of the rigid policy confines of the Mubarak era.

During his three-day visit, starting on March 2, Mr. Krishna will hold talks with the Foreign Ministers of the Arab League. But before that, Secretary (East) Sanjay Singh will lead an official delegation that will meet the first Joint Committee meeting of the Arab Troika (Qatar, Libya and Iraq), as well as representatives of the Arab League Secretary-General. During Mr. Krishna's visit, India and Egypt will also hold their first Joint Commission meeting after the exit of the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

India will be stepping up its engagements at a time when the unfolding situation in Syria might tally with the current strategy of casting its lot with the Arab League by calling for early elections in the violence-wracked country. India changed tack, apparently after persistent violence in Syria made it difficult for New Delhi to continue its strong all-weather ties with the Assad family, which lasted three-decades. India had backed the Arab League proposals in the vetoed U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria and later a U.N. General Assembly resolution on the same issue. Its vote of explanation statements on both occasions had put the League's proposals in the forefront in justifying its stand.

The face-to-face meetings with Arab Foreign Ministers and other senior officials of the Arab League will also help South Block assess which way the wind is blowing on a host of issues critical to India such as Western sanctions on Iran, the direction and level of unrest in some Arab countries and its prospects of getting involved in reconstruction in Libya.

Iran has become the touchstone defining the foreign policies of several Arab countries, especially of Saudi Arabia which is engaged in fighting a cold war with Tehran in various regional theatres including Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon, where the pro-Iran Hezbollah is also a top Syrian ally. Along with China, the solid support of Russia, India's key ally, to extend the life of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has added new complexity to India's attempt to redefine its West Asia policy, which has been recently marked with a pronounced deeper engagement with the pro-West Gulf petro-monarchies. Diplomatic sources said India attached considerable importance to the Arab-India Investment Partnership Conference in the United Arab Emirates in May as a follow up to the two previous conferences, the last of which was held two years back.

Trade between the Arab countries and India in the last few years has exceeded $120 billion and over 60 lakh Indians live and work in the Arab world.

In order to maintain its pro-Palestinian credentials after two high-level interactions with Israel in Tel Aviv and New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs officials will also ascertain the possibility of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. On the Afghan question, too, the Arab countries are trying to facilitate talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

But the bottom-line during the visit would be an exploration of new venues of interest and cooperation.



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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 04:35 
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I think India has decided that Syria is not an interest. So essentially its returning Syria to Arab Sunni hands/rule.


My reading of history is that greater India stretches to the Syrian desert on the west and upto Plain of jars on the East.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 09:01 
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Bait-and-switch in Syria?

Egypt's cobra and mongoose


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 20:08 
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Though maybe slightly OT for this thread.
The on now/ off again strike on Syria/Iran, it is surprising that syria has a better inventory (atleast air force) compared to iran. F-14 maybe the "latest" maal in iran if we discount those alleged J-10, Su-30 sales. How was syria allowed to be supplied with weaponry while sales to iran was blocked. Since Syria borders Israel, even nominal improvements are enough to strike/deter israel (atleast theoretically).

Anyways strike on syria maybe by fellow believers(??), (however strongly the fellow believers may want it to happen) the strike on iran would be by non-believers.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 21:12 
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ramana wrote:
My reading of history is that greater India stretches to the Syrian desert on the west and upto Plain of jars on the East.


Sir, in some ways, its further East than that - my Korean pals take this stuff pretty seriously, and claiming decent from her is a bit of a sign of prestige!

http://www.kimhaekims.net/queen_huh_eng7.htm

OT here, sorry.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012 22:55 
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ramana wrote:
I think India has decided that Syria is not an interest. So essentially its returning Syria to Arab Sunni hands/rule.

My reading of history is that greater India stretches to the Syrian desert on the west and upto Plain of jars on the East.


At least India is not supporting Syria overtly like Russia and China are doing.I think we wait for things to crystallize before jumping in to support any party,which is always the wisest thing to do.This is basically a problem to be solved by its own creators, the Syrian Opposition and their western supporters.It will go down in history as another massacre, which Iran will continue to deny being a part of.
Shamelessly they staged a referendum,voted 90% in favour to appease the west, and continue to kill more civillians. Maybe france is waiting for all its press reporters to escape safely first of all, and then do something concrete, meanwhile Homs is burning.


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012 01:27 
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The fate of Syria was sealed when Turkey proposed the Pipeline to India from Baku to Turkey to Israel in 2008. if the CAR energy resources can flow via Med and Red Sea , Iranian looses huge leverage and so do Russia and other players. This way Maasa get to control the energy supply , israeli gets their Hafta etc and gain security from this side . India needs to get in there and throw some mud all over like big elephant. Iran might end up making itself irelevant in long run.


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012 02:32 
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Syrian problem of today was created by the French who empowered the Alawites, essentially a despised race of "lowly serfs" belonging to a nominally shia, but more close to "apostate" group of minority people, who seized power once they infiltrated the Bath party and Armed forces ranks. Assad IMHO is continuing to dig a large big grave for Alawites. I think he is a dead man walking (or may be he will escape to Russia with his family and entourage at the last moment), although it will be quite a job to defeat his formidable army, but it will be done, although it takes years and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands or millions in a Lebanese style civil war. Essentially the mess the Anglo French created in Ottoman provinces with Sykes Picot is slowly healing and going back to the previous status quo. But in this innings the weapon of choice is "Democracy" and majority rule. A bit of history from our familiar partisan Daniel Pipes (who some may consider a guru) as well as other sources:

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher ... d7c,0.html
http://www.danielpipes.org/191/the-alaw ... r-in-syria
http://www.danielpipes.org/177/syria-after-asad

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2011/03 ... after-asad
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Conclusion

The manner of the 'Alawi ascent reveals much about Syria's political culture, pointing to complex connections between the army, the political parties, and the ethnic community. The Ba'th Party, the army, and the 'Alawis rose in tandem; but which of these three had the most importance? Were the new rulers Ba'thists who just happened to be 'Alawi soldiers, or were they soldiers who happened to be 'Alawi Ba'thists? Actually, a third formulation is most accurate: these were 'Alawis who happened to be Ba'thists and soldiers.

True, the party and the military were critical, but in the end it was the transfer of authority from Sunnis to 'Alawis that counted most. Without deprecating the critical roles of Party and army, the 'Alawi affiliation ultimately defined the rulers of Syria. Party and career mattered, but, as is so often the case in Syria, ethnic and religious affiliation ultimately define identity. To see the Asad regime primarily in terms of its Ba'thist or military nature is to ignore the key to Syrian politics. Confessional affiliation remains vitally important; as through the centuries, a person's sect matters more than any other attribute.

The Sunni response to the new rulers, which has taken a predominantly communal form, bears out this view. The widespread opposition of Sunnis - who make up about 69 percent of the Syrian population - to an 'Alawi ruler has inspired the Muslim Brethren organization to challenge the government in violent, even terroristic ways. Although unsuccessful until now, the Brethren have on several occasions come near to toppling the regime.

It appears inevitable that the 'Alawis - still a small and despised minority, for all their present power - will eventually lose their control over Syria. When this happens, it is likely that conflicts along communal lines will bring them down, with the critical battle taking place between the 'Alawi rulers and the Sunni majority. In this sense, the 'Alawis' fall - be it through assassinations of top figures, a palace coup, or a regional revolt - is likely to resemble their rise.

...........................................
June 15, 2000 update: Pace the last paragraph above: The fall of the 'Alawis is indeed inevitable, but the succession of his Bashshar al-Asad on the death of hs father Hafiz al-Asad on June 10, 'Alawi rule in Syria continues.

March 1, 2010 update: "Today, the Alawis of Syria are the only ruling religious minority in the Muslim world." With that striking statement, Yvette Talhamy, formerly of Haifa University, opens her important article, "The Fatwas and the Nusayri/Alawis of Syria" in Middle Eastern Studies.. She reviews fatwas hostile to the 'Alawis from before the twentieth century and three friendly ones from the twentieth century, arguing that "these fatwas shaped the history of the Nusayris." It's one of the few pieces of research to build on the subject of the article above.


http://www.angelfire.com/az/rescon/SDSYRIA.html
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1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The rich Sunni elite of Damascus and Aleppo composed the ruling class since Umayyad times. Under the Ottomans, who for centuries competed against Shi'a Iran, this position was strengthened (3). The Ottomans saw the Shi'a offshoots - 'Alawis, Isma'ilis and Druze - as heretics to be persecuted for apostasy from Islam (4).

The 'Alawis were impoverished peasants in Latakia province, mainly serfs on lands owned by wealthy city-based Sunni landowners.

The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after WWI and the establishment of the French Mandate over Syria gave exploited minorities a chance to improve their situation. The French encouraged minority enlistment into "auxiliary troops" used for suppressing nationalist unrest in the cities. They also encouraged 'Alawi and Druze separatism by granting them regional autonomy (5).

The first years of independence saw a drive for national integration. Proportional representation of minorities in parliament was abolished (6). This led to Sunni dominance until the union with Egypt in the UAR in 1958.

---------------------------

4. ANALYSIS OF SECTARIAN IMPACT ON BA'ATH REGIME AND ITS CHANGES IN POLICIES

The 'Alawis now dominate all Syrian power centres. This was achieved by using their kinship network to infiltrate the army and the Ba'ath party, then utilising both institutions as levers to dominate the state. They allied themselves with other disadvantaged groups (Druze, Isma'ilis, impoverished rural and urban Sunnis) to achieve their goals (41). It is difficult to decide whether this was a premeditated long term plan of 'Alawi community leaders as some observers think (42) or if they simply snatched at opportunities that changing times offered them. There certainly was a conjunction of sectarian and economic class interests which enabled the 'Alawis to take over party and state institutions. 'Alawi cohesion has been strengthened as they unite to secure their position, but Syrian politics are still polarised on a sectarian basis (43).

In contrast to the turbulent first years of independence the Ba'ath party has given Syria a stable and highly centralised government. Its social policies have benefited most citizens at the expense of the former small Sunni ruling elite. The greatest beneficiaries of this development have been the 'Alawis and the rural regions.

In foreign policy, friendship with the Soviet bloc manifested 'Alawi preference for radical secular socialism which guarantees sectarian equality, and Ba'athist anti-imperialist ideology. The alliance with Iran can partly be explained by 'Alawi feelings of affinity as persecuted Shi'as with the only dominantly Shi'a state in the Middle East. This also clarifies their policies in Lebanon: their willingness to save the Maronites from Sunni groups and their support of the Shi'as.


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012 02:45 
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So the Alawis built a coalition of like minded people to capture and retain power?

Now the KSA is demaning its pound of Shia flesh?


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012 03:31 
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ramana wrote:
So the Alawis built a coalition of like minded people to capture and retain power?

Now the KSA is demaning its pound of Shia flesh?


Yes ramana ji, that is correct about Alawis IMHO. KSA/GCC is leading the charge because they have the oil money (which they also use to promote their ideology of Wahabism, unfortunately), but if I am not mistaken, the fact is that it is a desire for all Sunni's of the world. When Ottoman empire was broken up, due to planning or just sheer luck, no big Sunni state like Iran ended up with oil. The biggest chunk of the Arab provinces was Egypt which has no oil and a little gas. So this allowed Shia Iran, using their oil and their old civilizational strength, to make mischief in the Arab world. That window of opportunity is fast getting closed, as the Sunni gets more consolidated under GCC and Arab League, where Sunni's are by far the majority. It will take some time, but Shia's must accept their subservient position in relation to Sunni's, if they want anything good from the Sunni Muslim world, who are around 90% of global Muslim population.


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012 03:43 
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If one sees Syria as a Shia-Sunni fight instead of the Arab/Turk vs Iran fight then it makes sense how India reacted. Basically there is no bone in that fight as India has both sects living in India.
Also AKA's KSA visit is another milestone for India.

However PRC/Russia don't want Syria handed over to Arabs who are under US control.

Taking look at big picture ME needs balance and Arabs lost the strength with depostion of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Now we see a rearranging of the forces in a struggel for balance.

If this is correct then Iran is a 'must not fail' for India. And that would explain India's relcutance to go with the US moves there.

Wonder how will post Alawite modern Syria fit in with the feudal elites of Arab ME?


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