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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 05:28 
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krithivas wrote:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/S-M-Krishna-condoles-Egyptian-Pope-Shenouda-IIIs-death/articleshow/12333129.cms

Quote:
Describing Pope Shenouda III as a great Egyptian patriot, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today expressed condolences on the demise of the charismatic patriarch who led the Coptic church for four decades.


Shenouda? Coptic??


Does GOI say all this to a religious figure of other country.
What did the above religious figure do to India to warrant an official statement from MEA. :?:


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 06:22 
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And how compatible is it with the 'socialist, secular' in the Constitution?


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 06:48 
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ramana wrote:
And how compatible is it with the 'socialist, secular' in the Constitution?


It is compatible. There is onlee one faith system in the world which is retrogressive, reactionary, feudal, anti-socialism and anti-secular by default. In India the tag of that faith disqualifies any past nationalist figure. Their contributions have to be dismissed derisively as *****-nationalist. All else have socialistic components and are essentially secular in nature. Scholars have found those socialistic and secular aspects in every other faith system.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 07:16 
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Russian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive in Syria
Quote:
A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions.


Quote:
Now the Russian Black Sea fleet's Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency.
The Iman replaced another Russian ship "which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evaluation of Russian citizens," the Black Sea Fleet told Interfax.

Quote:
Moscow has long enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Assad regime, to which it sells billions of dollars of weapons. In return Russia has maintained a Navy base at Tartus, which gives it access to the Mediterranean.
Quote:
RIA Novosti, a news outlet with strong ties to the Kremlin, trumpeted the news in a banner headline that appeared only on its Arabic language website. The Russian embassy to the US and to the UN had no comment, saying they have "no particular information on" the arrival of a Russian anti-terrorism squad to Syria.

Last week Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had no plans to send troops to Syria.

"As for the question whether I consider it necessary to confront the United States in Syria and ensure our military presence there… in order to take part in military actions -- no. I believe this would be against Russia's national interests," Lavrov told lawmakers, according to RIA Novosti.


Quote:
U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the U.S. government had not heard of the reports of Russian troops in Syria and declined to comment.


Russia playing coy- hot and cold or is it a plant to test the reactions.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 14:14 
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How do you restore thr fortunes of a bankrupt economy....like the US for example after the great fall of their financial institutions? The answer is simple.Enrich the pockets of their oil compnies who dominate world supplies by two methods.Acquire control of the most lucrative energy rich nations through regime change,especially those in the Arab world,and/or,instigate as much internal chaos in these countries .Either way the price of oil (and possession of cheap) oil will skyrocket enriching the pockets of the US oil MNCs.This money is them plowed back into the US's financial system,which is why we arenows eeing a rising US economy just on cue before the US elections so that Om-Baba will get reelected.It is ironic that at this time,master-manipulator Henry Kissinger,architect of the great oil crisis in the '70s first used this strategy to enrich US companies and impoverish a greater part of the world.

The legions of "Christian Soldiers" reay to convert the heathen and the Muslims,are ever ready as the second wave of "Crusader" invasions.LIke vultures they descend upon nations who have suffered massive natural disasters,whose people in ther shell-shocked condition clutch at any straw for relief and when it comes in the form of "white angels" bearing "manna from heaven",the deal is easily sealed to sell one's soul. They are not the humble missionaries whom we experienced during the era of the Raj who worked ith lepers and the underprivilged.These "Crusaders' come with every high-tech gadget in their pocket to snare the victims.Not too long ago we saw in India famous US televangelist fly down with his massive entourage in their private jet,and used an airfield to preach to the faithful! This worthy crusader,I once saw on telly describing "drumming" as we know it in our lands and essential to our music as evil!


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 17:00 
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Libya has been on the brink of civil war for the last month or so now with Eastern province of Cyriniaica threatening to break away from Libya and actually came out in the open to say that they are going to announce independence/autonomy.

Qatar is egging on the seccessionists. NTC threatened military action and have got OIC backed by KSA and Egypt on their side. East relies on Egypt for trade and other things. But all the oil exports are in the eastern side as well as major ports. So this could be a big problem.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2012 22:10 
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Lets look at some facts.

- There was a report that it will cost $300B to take Syria
- Will be much more to take on Iran
- Its not like West is flush with cash or hubris to do either
- Yet war mongering talk emanates at regular intervals
- Drives up oil prices
- US economy is on slow road to recovery
- Higher oil price will slow even that
- PRC and India get hit right now as they dont have market price for oil
Cant rule out the fact that among other things its a cheap way to slow down competition to US.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 03:10 
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Ramanna,quite right about the Sunni/Persian-Shiite divide.But can the US really handle the Sunni anti-Israeli entities using despots and sheikhdoms like the Saudis,Kuwaitis,Qataris and the GCC? The "Jasmine revolution" seems to have gotten out of hand and is failing to deliver the expected results,yet the virus of revolt is spreading throughout the region.The "thimble" of revolt in Syria is being blown up balloon like by western media entities and is now seen to be collapsing rather rapidly after "Homs",claimed as the Syrian "Benghazi",was found to be as accurate as Tony B.Liar's claim of Iraq's WMDs!

From the undercurrents one is observing, there appears to be considerable covert activity by Russia to see that both Syria and Iran do not succumb to US machinations .Putin's re-election as Pres. now gives him the authority to push Russian interests and challenge western attempts at containing its sphere of influence.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 03:42 
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Neither Russia nor China wants the Iranians and Syria to fall. The question is not only about preventing US expansion - but Iran has managed to play the role of a hostile against Sunni/Arab peninsula inspired/sourced Islamic aggression on territories Russia and China consider their backyards.

Reality is that Iran has tried to do so sincerely with Russia and China, but with India it has always played a double game. It has occasionally played up the pro-Kashmir-Valley-Islamism card, and is suspected to have helped the Talebs from time to time. It has done so from its own strategic imperilist plans to expand its influence into the Gulf and secure its flanks in Afghanistan.

India should have been straight with both Arabs and Iranians : we will be with that one against the other - which supports us in eliminating Pakistan. This is the format Russians and Chinese use with Iranians - give and take - not just in oil, but geo-political give and take.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 05:11 
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War mongering fulfills the following: gets world to react via sanctions, gets iran to spend more on defence and less on development, forces Iran to come to the table. War is not desirable but is the last card to play. Economic collapse, blockade, skirmish here and there will be tried now.

Iran has influence over Indian Shia population (which we allowed to happen) but there are no jihad calls on Indian army. In fact the last Shia Muslim Indian army soldier who was martyred had a large turnout for his funeral procession. The mosque was covered in posters of Ahmadinejad, khamanei and nasrallah incidentally.

Cooperation with Taliban is a post US invasion scenario and is solely to remove the US. Before that they were almost at war with both sides massing troops on the border.

The main problem with Iran is the supreme leader, we don't share the same views as him. His hold on power is only going to get stronger for the next 10 years. Our relations would be a lot better without him.

The GCC are telling us to open a dialogue for them with Iran to convey messages from the arab world in exchange GCC will use the stick on pakistan. They don't trust Pakistan. India has an interest in Iran and the gulf, holds leverage over Iran.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 07:37 
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‘A Grave Threat to Zionism’: An Exchange

Israel: The Knesset vs. Democracy

Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War

The advent of “informal” Islamists


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 09:56 
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ShyamD, Who is we?


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 10:52 
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No sanctions against countries that cut Iranian oil supplies - US

Quote:
The United States has no intention of imposing unilateral sanctions against countries that have substantially cut down on the supplies of Iranian oil.

These include Japan and 10 European countries, Reuters reports citing the US State Department.

Meanwhile, the other 12 countries that buy Iranian oil in large quantities may face US sanctions.

These countries comprise India, China and South Korea.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 11:00 
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India


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 11:06 
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OK.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2012 16:33 
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Destroy all churches in Gulf, says Saudi Grand Mufti

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The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has said it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” following Kuwait’s moves to ban their construction.

Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, stressed that since the tiny Gulf state was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, it was necessary to destroy all of the churches in the country, Arabic media have reported.


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 16:19 
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Bangladesh PM staffers humiliate Saudi ambassador

In stitching a complex oil-for-food deal, India sets about placating Iran
Quote:
Also woos Saudi Arabia with new petroleum diplomacy, while trying to soothe a vexed US, in an interesting coordination effort between external and other ministries
Jyoti Malhotra / New Delhi Mar 21, 2012, 00:32 IST

India is finally plunging into the oil politics of the Gulf and West Asia. It sent a team of senior officials from the commerce ministry to Iran around a fortnight earlier, to clinch an oil-for-food deal. And, is beginning to woo the Sunni oil kingdoms in the region, led by none other than Saudi Arabia.

Arvind Mehta, joint secretary in the ministry of commerce and as many as 70 members of the government-backed Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) met their counterparts in Teheran in an attempt to clinch a $1billion deal to sell rice, wheat, tea and pharmaceuticals to Iran, so as to partially offset India’s huge purchases of Iranian crude, of $12 bn annually.

At 12 per cent, Iran is only second to Saudi Arabia, India’s largest source of its energy needs. It is why the wooing of Saudi Arabia is also in substantial flow in Delhi these days. And, major plans are afoot in Delhi to also receive the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, whose country is already a large source of oil and gas, as well as the fellow-sheikhs of Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Energy reality
This dexterous diplomacy, in which the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has allowed the commerce ministry to take the lead in tackling extremely sensitive issues relating to India’s energy needs, comes as quite a surprise. Clearly, ceding space to the commerce ministry also means the MEA is creating for itself essential room for deniability. But it also means that irrespective of the struggle for the top foreign affairs profile between commerce minister Anand Sharma and external affairs minister S M Krishna, several parts of the government are at last working in tandem on cracking India’s energy conundrum.

Last month’s visit by defence minister A K Antony to Saudi Arabia followed a January decision by India to lift the 6.5 per cent anti-dumping duty on the export of polypropylene from there. Polypropylene is used in the manufacture of plastics and had become a thorn in the flesh of the growing India-Saudi relationship. None other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been requested to remove the duty when he went visiting the Saudis about a year before.

The decision to send a team to Iran last week has been cloaked in considerable secrecy and came about after several rounds of both heart and hand-wringing, in which all parts of the establishment argued about what was to be done.

Government sources say there were two realities to be dealt with. First, energy-hungry India needed to continue to purchase Iranian crude, even as all efforts were made to reduce exposure to Iran and look for alternative sources of fuel, for example from Saudi Arabia.

Second, it would take at least a few years for India (and, especially, the Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd) to completely wean itself off Iran’s sweet and light crude.


India certainly did not want to be seen to be the only country breaking the US-led sanctions against Iran, especially as the Americans had become an important political and economic partner for Delhi.

The only via media, the government decided, was to increase Indian exports to Iran which would be exempt from US sanctions, besides allocating about 45 per cent of the oil trade to a rupee- Iranian rial mechanism.

During the Teheran visit, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for western Asia affairs, Ahmad Sobhani, was quoted by state television as confirming this decision, after he had met the Indian team. “At the moment, we have around $12 billion worth of trade with India. Some part of this will be directly in rupees and this will be beneficial for both countries,” Sobhani said. By replacing the dollar with the rupee, many middle channels in the India-Iran trade will be removed, he added.

The visiting Indian team agreed that over the next few years, bilateral trade with Iran could touch $25 billion yearly.

The FIEO team, consisting of private businessmen with hardly any or no dealings with the US, were said to be interested in the commodity deals with Iran, because government backing meant considerably reduced risk. It was also reported that the Iranian Bank Parsian would be allowed to open an office in Mumbai and India’s UCO Bank would be the lead Indian one doing business with Iran.


US vexation
Government sources admitted India’s Iranian connection was hardly going to go down well with the Americans, but said the country had little alternative. “India is hardly the sanction-buster it is being made out to be in the US,” said the sources.

Certainly, the Americans are not impressed. Nicholas Burns, former US under secretary of state for political affairs, who was involved in the negotiations for the Indo-US nuclear deal, put it succinctly: “India’s decision to walk out of step with the international community on Iran isn’t just a slap in the face for the US — it raises questions about its ability to lead,” he said in an article in the Diplomat, a leading US current affairs magazine.

“It represents a real setback in the attempt by the last three American presidents to establish a close and strategic partnership with successive Indian governments...There’s a larger point here about India’s role in the world. For all the talk about India rising to become a global power, its government doesn’t always act like one.”

Still, various parts of the Indian establishment are being told to keep a low profile even as they continue to carry out their Iranian dealings. Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar was at the receiving end of considerable US ire last month because of his comments that India had no option but to continue to deal with Iran, and visiting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai is believed to have got an earful from US Congress members.

On its part, Delhi is continuing to engage with the US, hoping it would understand that the quality of its interaction with Iran was need-based, as well as limited. The India-US military exercises in the Thar desert began in early March as scheduled, and will go on for two weeks. India will point to the fact that it had twice voted against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency during negotiations with the US on the Indo-US nuclear deal. And, that it takes very seriously the attack against the Israeli diplomat at the hands of alleged Iranian extremists.

Saudi lever
As for the wooing of the Saudi kingdom and other Arab states in West Asia, none other than Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani, who has large stakes in the petrochemical products business, including polypropylene, is said to have been persuaded to see the light of day when countervailing duties were lifted against Saudi Arabia in January 2012.

In fact, the Saudi assistant petroleum minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, capped his January visit to Delhi by reportedly meeting Ambani secretly on his way home, via Mumbai. In return, the Saudi prince is believed to have assured India that the kingdom could well enhance its oil sales to India from the coming financial year itself.


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 19:40 
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shyamd wrote:

This following on the heels of the murder of a Saudi diplomat in Dhaka. What's going on? Isn't Saudi BD's top donor?


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PostPosted: 23 Mar 2012 21:28 
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timed leaks to prevent and delay war. De-escalation. I read the Gulf Intel report on the subject prepared in mid feb - they are saying that Khomeini doesnt want the bomb it is only ahmadinejad. Now that Ahmadinejad's candidates lost the election they think that khamanei will relent and not go for the bomb. Nothing but hogwash put out by the West. Mossad is in agreement because it doesnt want war now either.

This is nothing but PSY War to screw with public opinion and show de-escalation to Irans negotiators.. 100% BS. Ahmadinejad is being made the fall guy in Iran and will go out taking the blame for everythng.

One word - LOL!

Notice how they shift the message according to the political situation - when they want the heat on - they say Iran is near! then to de escalate - oh many years away!

As source says - do you honestly take those guys in Langley seriously? Have they ever been right? Now this coming from someone who advises several GCC govts on national security and conducts diplomatic missions on behalf of the GCC

Special Report - Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent

Quote:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in this April 8, 2008 file photo. REUTERS-Presidential official website-Handout

A float depicting Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a stick of dynamite in his mouth is pictured during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in Duesseldorf in this February 20, 2012 file photo. REUTERS-Ina Fassbender

By Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON | Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:02pm GMT

(Reuters) - The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities.

"They're keeping the soup warm but they are not cooking it," a U.S. administration official said.

Reuters has learned that in late 2006 or early 2007, U.S. intelligence intercepted telephone and email communications in which Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran's nuclear program, and other scientists complained that the weaponization program had been stopped.

That led to a bombshell conclusion in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: American spy agencies had "high confidence" that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

Current and former U.S. officials say they are confident that Iran has no secret uranium-enrichment site outside the purview of U.N. nuclear inspections.

They also have confidence that any Iranian move toward building a functional nuclear weapon would be detected long before a bomb was made.

These intelligence findings are what underpin President Barack Obama's argument that there is still time to see whether economic sanctions will compel Iran's leaders to halt any program.

The Obama administration, relying on a top-priority intelligence collection program and after countless hours of debate, has concluded that Iranian leaders have not decided whether to actively construct a nuclear weapon, current and former officials said.

There is little argument, however, that Iran's leaders have taken steps that would give them the option of becoming a nuclear-armed power.

Iran has enriched uranium, although not yet of sufficient quantity or purity to fuel a bomb, and has built secret enrichment sites, which were acknowledged only when unmasked.

Iran has, in years past, worked on designing a nuclear warhead, the complicated package of electronics and explosives that would transform highly enriched uranium into a fission bomb.

And it is developing missiles that could in theory launch such a weapon at a target in enemy territory.

There are also blind spots in U.S. and allied agencies' knowledge. A crucial unknown is the intentions of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Another question is exactly how much progress Iran made in designing a warhead before mothballing its program. The allies disagree on how fast Iran is progressing toward bomb-building ability: the U.S. thinks progress is relatively slow; the Europeans and Israelis believe it's faster.

U.S. officials assert that intelligence reporting on Iran's nuclear program is better than it was on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, which proved to be non-existent but which President George W. Bush and his aides used to make the case for the 2003 invasion.

That case and others, such as the U.S. failure to predict India's 1998 underground nuclear test, illustrate the perils of divining secrets about others' weapons programs.

"The quality of intelligence varies from case to case," a U.S. administration official said. Intelligence on North Korea and Iraq was more limited, but there was "extraordinarily good intelligence" on Iran, the official said.

Israel, which regards a nuclear Iran as an existential threat, has a different calculation. It studies the same intelligence and timetable, but sees a closing window of opportunity to take unilateral military action and set back Iran's ambitions. Israel worries that Iran will soon have moved enough of its nuclear program underground -- or spread it far enough around the country -- as to make it virtually impervious to a unilateral Israeli attack, creating what Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently referred to as a "zone of immunity."

While Israel would not be able to launch an effective offensive in this analysis, the U.S., with its deeper-penetrating bombs and in-air refuelling capability, believes it could still get results from a military strike.

Israel has not publicly defined how or when Iran would enter this phase of a nuclear weapons program. Barak said last month that relying on an ability to detect an order by Khamenei to build a bomb "oversimplifies the issue dramatically."

CONFIDENCE IN INTELLIGENCE

U.S. confidence that Iran stopped its nuclear weaponization program in 2003 traces back to a stream of intelligence obtained in 2006 or early 2007, which dramatically shifted the view of spy agencies.

Sources familiar with the intelligence confirmed the intercept of Fakhrizadeh's communications. The United States had both telephone and email intercepts in which Iranian scientists complained about how the leadership ordered them to shut down the program in 2003, a senior European official said.

U.S. officials said they are very confident that the intercepts were authentic - and not disinformation planted by Iran.


"Iran has been a high-priority intelligence target for years. Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes we really are good," said Thomas Fingar, who was chairman of the National Intelligence Council when it compiled the 2007 intelligence estimate.

While declining to provide specific details, Fingar, now at Stanford University, said: "We got information that we had never been able to obtain before. We knew the provenance of the information, and we knew that we had been able to obtain it from multiple sources. Years of hard work had finally paid off."

The judgment that Iran had stopped work on the weapons program stunned the Bush White House and U.S. allies. Critics accused U.S. spy agencies of over-compensating for their flawed 2002 analysis that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had active nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs.

The 2007 report gummed up efforts by the Bush administration to persuade the U.N. Security Council and others to add pressure on Iran with more sanctions. It was greeted with disbelief by Israel and some European allies.

"It really pulled the rug out of our sanctions effort until we got it back on track in 2008," recalled Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to Bush.

Overlooked by many was that the report said Iran had been pursuing a nuclear weapon and was keeping its options open for developing one, he said. "The problem was that it was misinterpreted as an all-clear when it wasn't that at all," Hadley said.

A November 2011 report by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency said suspected nuclear weaponization efforts led by Fakhrizadeh were "stopped rather abruptly pursuant to a 'halt order' instruction issued in late 2003 by senior Iranian officials."

The reasons for this are not clear. Western experts say it was probably related to a fear of being next on the hit list after the United States toppled Saddam next door.

Iran emphasizes its nuclear program is for civilian purposes. Ayatollah Khamenei this week said Iran does not have nuclear weapons and will not build them.

DISMEMBERED AND BURIED

Some key U.S. allies were never entirely comfortable with the 2007 U.S. intelligence estimate. The Europeans conceded that a centrally directed weaponization program probably stopped, but believed pieces of the program were being pursued separately.

Many European experts believed the Iranians had dismembered their bomb program and scattered and buried its parts, some of them in military or scientific installations, some in obscure academic institutions.

Under pressure from both European allies and Israel's supporters, U.S. intelligence agencies late in the Bush administration and early in Obama's tenure began to take a second look at the 2007 estimate. Some consideration was given to bringing it more into line with European views. Intelligence received after publication of the 2007 estimate suggested that in 2006, Iran believed the United States was going to have to abandon its troubled venture in Iraq. Wisps of information were gathered that Iranian officials were talking about restarting elements of the bomb program, a U.S. intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. But analysts were divided about the significance of the new information. The revised estimate was delayed for months. Eventually, at the very end of 2010, an updated version was circulated within the government. Unlike the 2007 estimate, the White House made public no extracts of this document. A consensus emerged among U.S. experts that the new intelligence information wasn't as alarming as originally thought, according to officials familiar with the result. The 2010 update largely stuck to the same assessments as the 2007 report, these officials said. U.S. intelligence chiefs issued a vague public acknowledgement of the ambiguities of their latest assessment.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress in February 2011 that "Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so."

TIME FRAME

The United States and Israel are on the same page in judging how long it would take Iran to have a nuclear weapon that could strike a target: about a year to produce a bomb and then another one to two years to put it on a missile.

Both countries believe Iran has not made a decision to build a bomb, so even if Tehran decided to move forward, it would be unlikely to have a working nuclear device this year, let alone a missile to deliver it.

"I think they are years away from having a nuclear weapon," a U.S. administration official said.

Three main pieces are needed for a nuclear arsenal: highly enriched uranium to fuel a bomb, a nuclear warhead to detonate it, and a missile or other platform to deliver it. For Iran's program, the West has the most information about the first.

Iran has a declared nuclear program for medical research and producing energy, is a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allows U.N. nuclear inspectors into its facilities.

The inspections are conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and its reports provide some of the best snapshots of where Iran's program stands.

Iran conducts uranium enrichment at the Natanz plant in central Iran and at a site at Fordow buried deep in a mountainous region near the holy city of Qom. Both sites were built secretly and made public by others.

Natanz was unveiled in 2002 by an Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq. Obama and other world leaders announced the existence of the Fordow site in 2009.

Natanz houses about 8,800 centrifuge machines spinning to increase the concentration of U-235, the type of uranium that yields fissile material. Fordow is built to contain about 3,000 centrifuge machines, but the most recent IAEA report says about 700 are operational.

Most of Iran's stockpile is 3.5 percent low enriched uranium. When Tehran declared in February 2010 that it would begin enriching uranium up to 20 percent purity, that sharply increased the anxiety of Israel and others.

Nuclear experts say that enriching uranium from the naturally occurring 0.7 percent concentration of U-235 to the low-level 3.5 percent accomplishes about 70 percent of the enrichment work toward weapons-grade uranium. At 20 percent concentration, about nine-tenths of the work has been completed. For Iran, getting to 90 percent would require changing some of the plumbing in the centrifuges, experts said.

"From 20 to 90 is exponentially easier," a U.S. intelligence official said.

An IAEA report last month said that Iran has produced nearly 110 kilograms (240 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20 percent. That is less than the roughly 250 kilograms (550 pounds) that nuclear experts say would be required, when purified further, for one nuclear weapon.

Iran's enrichment program was set back by the Stuxnet computer virus, which many security experts suspect was created by Israeli intelligence, possibly with U.S. assistance. It wormed its way into Iranian centrifuge machinery as early as 2009. The Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Stuxnet damaged about 1,000 centrifuges at Natanz and stalled its enrichment capability from growing for about a year.

But it isn't clear how lasting an impact Stuxnet has had. Reuters reported last month that U.S. and European officials and private experts believe Iranian engineers have neutralized and purged the virus.

EYES IN THE SKY

U.S. officials and experts are confident that Iran would be detected if it jumped to a higher level of enrichment.

The IAEA monitors Iran's enrichment facilities closely, watching with cameras and taking measurements during inspections. Seals would have to be broken if containers that collect the enriched material were moved or tampered with.

U.S. and European intelligence agencies are also keeping tabs through satellites, sensors and other methods. They watched for years as a hole was dug into a mountainside near Qom and determined - it is unclear precisely how - late in the Bush administration that Fordow was likely a secret uranium enrichment site.

Obama was briefed on Qom when he was president-elect and was the one to publicly announce it to the world in September 2009.

"They had a deep understanding of the facility, which allowed them to blow the whistle on Tehran with confidence," a U.S. official said.

Rumours periodically pop up of other secret enrichment sites, but so far they have not been substantiated. "Most of the people who make the argument that they might have a covert facility or a series of covert facilities are doing that to justify bombing them sooner rather than later," said Colin Kahl, a former defence official focused on the Middle East.

"We are very confident that there is no secret site now," a U.S. administration official said. But given Iran's history of secretly building facilities, the official predicted Tehran would eventually construct another covert plant.

THE UNKNOWN

One of the biggest question marks is how far Iran advanced in designing a nuclear device - a task considered to be less complicated than producing highly enriched uranium.

The more primitive the device, the more enriched uranium is required. Making it small enough to fit on the tip of a missile would be another challenge.

The IAEA has information that Iran built a large containment chamber to conduct high-explosives tests at the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran. Conventional weapons are tested at that base, and the U.S. government appears convinced that any nuclear-related tests occurred prior to the 2003 halt.

But Iran denied the IAEA access to the Parchin site in February, raising more suspicion, and the nuclear agency seems less confident that weapons work has halted altogether.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said recently, "We have information that some activity is ongoing there."

In its November 2011 report, the IAEA said it had "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme."

It cited Iran's efforts to procure nuclear-related and dual-use equipment, acquisition of nuclear-weapons development information and work on developing a nuclear weapon design in the program that was stopped in late 2003.

"There are also indications that some activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may still be ongoing," the IAEA said.

While Iran does not yet have a nuclear warhead that can fit on a missile, it does have the missiles.

Iran has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, and many of those projectiles could be repurposed to deliver a nuclear device, intelligence director Clapper said in congressional testimony.

Western experts also point to Iran's test firing of a rocket that can launch satellites into space as an example of a growing capability that could potentially be used for nuclear weapons.

"The nuclear threat is growing. They are getting relatively close to the place where they can make the decision to assemble all three parts of their program -- enrichment, missile, weaponization," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said in an interview. Khamenei "hasn't said 'put it together' yet," said Rogers, a Republican. "Have they decided to sprint to making the device that blows up? Probably not. But are they walking to a device that blows up? Yes."

The debate over air strikes, supercharged by Israel's anxiety and U.S. election-year politics, has raised the spectre of the Iraq war. The White House justified that conflict on the grounds of weapons of mass destruction, as well as significant ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. Both proved to be mirages.

"There are lots of disturbing similarities. One has to note the differences, too," said Paul Pillar, a former top CIA analyst.

"The huge difference being we don't have an administration in office that is the one hankering for the war. This administration is not hankering for a war," said Pillar.


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012 00:26 
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Bihar MLA Izhar Ahmed gets reception in Dubai by AMU alumni
Quote:
Submitted by admin4 on 24 March 2012 - 11:27pm

By TCN News,

Dubai: AMU Alumni Forum UAE hosted a reception in the honor of Dr. Izhar Ahmad, MLA of Bihar ruling party JD (U) and Chairman of the Bihar Estimate Committee in Dubai. Dr. Izhar was on a private visit to Dubai on the special invitation from Mr. Omer Hejazeen, president, Bihar Foundation, an NGO operating in the UAE.

The reception was organized on 10th March 2012 at Ibrahimi Restaurant in Dubai.



Dr. Izhar entered into politics at a very young age and has won Bihar Legislative Assembly Election twice from the same constituency. He is also a practicing Urdu journalist. He won Gaura Boram seat in Darbhanga in 2005 on the ticket of Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan but joined JD(U) of Nitish Kumar just before the 2010 assembly poll and he retained his seat.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Izhar highlighted the work of Mr. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar for the minorities. He counted permanent fencing of 4000 graveyards, fencing under progress of 4500 graveyards, allotment of 300 acre land for AMU Distance Campus in Kishanganj, 10 Crores rupees and 52 acre land for Maulana Mazharul Haque University in Patna, Granting fund and status to 3000 Madarsa and compulsory recruitment of Urdu teacher in each school in Bihar as some of the great achievement of Mr. Nitish’s governance in Bihar for the minorities.



Mr. Kutbur Rehman, President, AMU Alumni Forum UAE deliberated upon the conditions of the Muslim minority prevailing in different states across India. As per the surveys done, Muslims now belong to the backward category educationally and economically. The Minority has been underrepresented in the legislative process and they have no bargaining power in the power structure at the center and state level which increases their plight. The political parties have traditionally used Muslims for the vote bank politics and did nothing after winning elections after elections with their vote. Muslims need to be given their right at every level in the democratic set-up in India. He requested the youths to come forward and unite themselves to work towards uplifting of the community. He also requested the political parties to give the Muslims their due share in representation and implement policies for their upliftment without any biases. He also said that the AMU Alumni Forum UAE will work towards the political empowerment of Muslims in India and prepare an action plan for this.

Mr. Salman Ahmad Siddiqui, Vice President, Dubai Indian Islamic Centre (DIIC) stressed on the need of healthy and active participation in the democratic process and work cohesively with the UAE government to do the upliftment works in accordance with the law.



Mr. Hassan Aziz Amir handed over a letter written to Prime Minister to Dr. Izhar and requested the letter to be delivered to Mr. Nitish Kumar.


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012 16:16 
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Update on Syria: Russia has been steadily increasing the number of SVR operatives since Jan. Syria gave the green light for Rus to open 2 old telecoms, radar and SIGINT stations that were once used by FSU. Russia is helping the Syrians communicate. I think Russia has deployed troops to prevent coup. I have counted 2 attempts at a coup in Damascus. First one was close. AJ was saying that the problem Asad has is that the majority of the military is deployed in the other areas of unrest and damascus is slightly weak so FSA has been taking advantage of that .

Now the focus has shifted to Beijing and Russia to dump Asad - especially Russia as they retain the capability to intervene to prevent a coup. There will be no external intervention (beyond SF operations to achieve certain objectives such as Chemical weapon cache's).

GCC told Lavrov that he is not welcome in any Gulf country until they dump Asad. Source was just in Beijing to convey a message. I presume he was there to basically say something similar and offer more commercial contracts post Assad plus FTA.

Meanwhile Libyan Embassy has made adverts in Turkish press asking for bulk booking of hotels in Izmir, Istanbul and Gaziantep on March 19th. Qatar has been paying for medical treatmnt of Libyans in Turkey - so once they get better they are expected to support the FSA on the front line or in the training camps. Same in Jordan as well. So this war is no where near over yet.

Turkey is ready to deploy in Syria but it is the US that has said no per this article:

US tells Turkey to back off Syria
Quote:
Tony Badran, March 22, 2012 share
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[US tells Turkey to back off Syria]
According to inside sources, during her meeting with Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Ankara not to move forward against the Syrian regime. (AFP photo)

In a previously unreported turn of events, it has now come to light that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu last month, emphatically dismissed a number of forward leaning options on Syria that the Turkish top diplomat proposed to the Obama administration.

What this means is that Washington, which at one point subcontracted its Syria policy to Ankara, has now called the Turks off the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

According to well-informed Turkish and US sources, during his meeting with Secretary Clinton, Davutoğlu put forward a set of measures, including, among others, creating a buffer zone and/or a humanitarian corridor, as well as organizing and equipping the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The secretary of state responded in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration had no interest in pursuing any of these options. In fact, according to one account, Clinton told her Turkish counterpart no less than three times, “We are not there.”

This conversation fits well with the administration’s message to other regional allies, namely Saudi Arabia, against arming the FSA and pushing Washington’s preferred policy of going through the Russians, in an attempt to reach a “political solution” to the Syrian crisis.

There were hints of Davutoğlu’s agenda on the eve of his meeting with Clinton, along with some speculation about Turkish-US consultation regarding the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria. The idea was that Turkey was prepared to move in this direction following the failure to reach an agreement with Moscow, especially as this resulted in the Assad regime escalating its violence. The brutalization of Homs in February may have also finally pushed the Turks into action.

Apparently, the Turks, much like the Saudis, were looking to the first Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis as a possible forum to bypass the Russians and begin a more muscular effort, with US backing. The Saudis found out at the meeting that no such action was forthcoming, and withdrew in frustration, while publicly voicing their preference for arming the Syrian rebels.

The Turks got their answer from Secretary Clinton well before the Tunis gathering, and, according to the Turkish sources, were dismayed at the Obama administration’s extraordinary passivity and refusal to lead.

The message conveyed to the Turks was the same one made clear to the Saudis. According to one US source, when Davutoğlu ended up asking Clinton where the administration was on the issue, her response simply repeated the mantra about the Arab League initiative and going to the Security Council again for another go at the Russians. In other words, it was more of the same.

Not surprisingly, following the meeting, the Turkish foreign ministry pulled back, stating that direct intervention “is not on our agenda at the moment.” The Turks may have finally decided that more aggressive measures are needed. However, and despite the fact that Clinton may not have objected to Turkey moving on its own, Ankara remains reluctant to lead such an endeavor on its own, especially without explicit US approval and backing. In effect, therefore, the administration was actively blocking any such move on Turkey’s part, just as it held a red light to possible Saudi and Qatari plans to arm the FSA.

However, last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once again floated the idea of a buffer zone, adding that the next Friends of Syria meeting, scheduled to take place in Istanbul on April 1, would come up “with very different results,” without elaborating further.

This goes back to the statement by an unnamed US official that the Obama administration would take a passive stand toward regional states arming the FSA “at the next Friends of Syria meeting.” This reading was reflected in Turkish press commentary as well, placing emphasis on the upcoming gathering in Istanbul as a possible turning point. Similarly, there has been speculation that the Saudis, too, are waiting for the April 1 meeting before beginning their efforts to arm the FSA in earnest. The purpose of such declarations could be to pressure the US to take more aggressive action.

If this reading is correct, then it would explain the Obama administration’s eagerness to support the Kofi Annan mission, as well as its praise for the non-binding UN Security Council statement issued yesterday. Secretary Clinton hailed the statement even when it contained no mention of Assad’s departure from power, no time constraints on Annan’s mission, and no specific or credible threat of action in case of Syrian non-compliance, to say nothing of how its call for dialogue between the regime and the opposition flies in the face of the US policy of regime change.

One could ask, then, what in the statement merited such enthusiasm. But what the statement did do is buy the administration more time to continue pressing its regional allies against any military options. Whether the Saudis and the Turks will decide to proceed regardless with their plans following the next Friends of Syria meeting, remains to be seen. But the administration’s latest move certainly has limited their maneuverability.

The Obama administration’s reasoning is simple. It calculates, rather correctly, that such regional efforts will likely end up drawing the US in down the road, one way or another. President Obama wishes to nip in the bud any possibility of this happening in an election year. And so, such regional moves were opposed in order for the president not to be forced to take action he’s adamantly intent on avoiding, regardless of the consequences.

As a result, the administration has found itself in the surreal position of siding closer with Assad’s Russian ally and at cross-purposes with its own regional allies – and, most significantly, in contradiction with own stated policy of regime change in Syria.

Tony Badran is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He tweets @AcrossTheBay.

To read more:


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012 21:52 
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Young Saudis in India to narrow cultural divide
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Former president of India and world-renowned nuclear scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on his initiative to achieve world peace through promoting dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures.

“King Abdullah is a great man and the entire world has great respect and appreciation for him,” he said.

Abdul Kalam was delivering an advanced scientific lecture on stem cells on Thursday at the grand conference hall of the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, capital of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Several prominent figures, including Ajit Rangnekar, dean of ISB, Yousuf bin Trad Al-Saadoon, undersecretary for economic and cultural affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several leading scientists and experts in stem cell research attended the function, held as part of the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum.

In his opening speech at the session, Ajit Rangnekar welcomed the Saudi youths attending the forum and expressed his delight at their academic and scientific standards. “Saudi Arabia is a peace loving country, and the Saudi youths act as messengers of peace for King Abdullah’s interfaith initiative,” he said.

Al-Saadoon, who led the Saudi youth delegation, thanked Abdul Kalam and conveyed to him King Abdullah’s greetings and appreciation. He said the Saudi delegation’s visit comes within the framework of establishing cultural, educational and humanitarian bridges with nations of the world in line with the principles of the Islamic faith.

The visit aims to enable Saudi youths to convey a message of peace and love to all peace-loving people in the world. The delegation is comprised of 26 young Saudi men and women students from all regions of the Kingdom.

On his part, Atul Negi, professor of the University of Hyderabad and supervisor of the Indian youth delegation attending the forum, described King Abdullah’s dialogue initiative as a call for global peace.

“The initiative involves a number of issues that are of concern for both Saudi and Indian youths. It is considered as one of the best means for mutual understanding and exchange of knowledge and culture in addition to offering appropriate solutions,” Negi said in his speech.

Hamid Ali Rao, India’s ambassador to the Kingdom, said the idea of the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum is aimed at promoting better understanding, fostering enduring friendships and exchanging experiences and information between youths in the two countries.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency, he said: “This visit is sponsored by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Indian Foreign Ministry within the framework of King Abdullah’s initiative for dialogue between the followers of cultures, civilizations and religions,” he said.

While welcoming the delegation to India, the ambassador said the Saudi youths would interact with their counterparts in India.

“The objective of the visit is to further promote growing Saudi-Indian relations and benefit from the Indian experience in the field of communications and information technology. It is hoped that the activities of the forum will provide an opportunity for young Saudis to interact with their Indian counterparts and outline common ideas and perceptions,” he said.

The theme of the visit is communications and information technology and taking advantage of it in the economic and social welfare areas. The forum is the fourth in a series, three of which were conducted earlier in China, Brazil and Germany. The delegation is visiting three premier Indian cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are major IT hubs, in addition to the capital city of New Delhi where its members will tour IT and communication facilities, academic and technological institutions, research centers and places of cultural and historical importance.

As part of the forum, Al-Saadoon said there would be dialogue and debate sessions focusing on the latest trends and developments in the field of technology and how to utilize technology to confront current challenges.

At the conclusion of the forum, the youths will send a message to King Abdullah, Indian President Pratibha Patil and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlining their hopes, aspirations and recommendations to promote youth contributions, he added.

The Saudi team arrived in Bangalore, the second stop in their three-city tour, yesterday evening.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012 23:52 
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BRICS to work at narrowing opinion gap on Syria issue
Quote:
Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 25, 2012
Email to Author

After Sri Lanka, Syria is the next challenge that faces India at BRICS. The group – consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is gearing up for its annual summit in New Delhi on March 29, and opinions are divided with regard to the situation in the West Asian
country.

Efforts are on to list out the “minimum common positions on the issue” in the joint communique to be adopted at the summit. However, as the communique is only “declaratory” in nature, unlike the more action-oriented United Nations resolutions, the task would not be as onerous, officials say.

BRICS was previously divided over the Sri Lankan issue, with Russia and China maintaining that the island nation was capable of dealing with its internal affairs.

“The BRICS member countries also share many common concerns on Syria. After all, we are working on a joint statement and not a UN resolution,” said Li Kexin, deputy director general, Department of Internat-ional Organisations at the Chinese foreign ministry.

As it happened with the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, two countries belonging to BRICS — China and Russia — had earlier vetoed the West-backed UN resolution on Syria.

The resolution, which India supported, had not explicitly called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. It was reflective of the position of the Arab League, which had earlier recommended that Assad make way for the vice-president as head of the national unity government to resolve the unrest in the country.

China and Russia are firmly against a change of regime in Syria. Though India is against a regime change through external interferences, it says “internal mechanisms” of change cannot be looked at based on the “merits” of the case.

China agrees with India on most points, but is not appreciative of the country “explicitly following” what it calls the Arab League position, officials said. South Africa and Brazil have positions more aligned with that of the West on Syria, where anti-government activists accuse the present regime of killing thousands of protesters over the past year. While the US has listed Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism, the European Union and the Arab League have imposed sanctions on the Assad regime. Both Russia and China feel that the West is keen on bringing about a regime change in Syria.


So IBSA are working together on Syria as supposed to BRICS acting as one. India asks for evolution as supposed to revolution which is the correct answer, we can protect our interests there and so can everyone else.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 22:11 
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Source says - Israeli strike on Iran can take place any time now - it is just a case of waiting for the political nod. This is based on the strategic planners. This is the first opportunity to hit Iran based on the regional situation. These are not without great risks. God knows if they will exercise it or not.

Syria: This is the last chance for Assad to avoid a long drawn out civil war. Russia can easily switch off the military tap and its over for Assad. This battle will be won in Moscow.

Annan or any Russian veto will not be able to prevent Assad's downfall. Since 1990 Russian & PRC veto hasnt prevented the wars of Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and elsewhere.

Turkey is worried aboutthe Kurdish question, Kurds if they try and set up an independent state of some sort then Turkish kurds can demand something similar, so their military is ready to roll but this political issue is another problem.

He said next step is to get the GCC citizens to lobby the GCC decision making circles for arming the FSA and funding the humanitarian corridor through Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Which basically imo means GCC has sort of given up on Syria bar Qatar.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 22:32 
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An independent Kurdistan is a good thing for the realignment of West Asia.
It will defang a number of artificial states(Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria) created from the debris of the Ottomon Sultanate.

Some are on the job.


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 22:35 
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shyamd - I have no idea who you are and where you are located - but your information sources are amazing and I really appreciate you taking the effort to post stuff here. This is not a comment about what you just posted above, but more a overall 'thank you' for all you did over the last year and more, re the 'arab spring' or whatever that nonsense was called.

I ended up relying more on you than on some of the (very) expensive professional sources my employer pays for.

Much appreciated.


Last edited by subodh on 27 Mar 2012 22:36, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 22:36 
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shyamd wrote:
Source says - Israeli strike on Iran can take place any time now - it is just a case of waiting for the political nod. This is based on the strategic planners. This is the first opportunity to hit Iran based on the regional situation. These are not without great risks. God knows if they will exercise it or not.


I have been hearing that for 5 years now , Israel strike on Iran inevitable will happen tomorrow or day after


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 23:04 
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subodh wrote:
shyamd - I have no idea who you are and where you are located - but your information sources are amazing and I really appreciate you taking the effort to post stuff here. This is not a comment about what you just posted above, but more a overall 'thank you' for all you did over the last year and more, re the 'arab spring' or whatever that nonsense was called.

I ended up relying more on you than on some of the (very) expensive professional sources my employer pays for.

Much appreciated.


+1. Looks like ShyamD is running his own intelligence agency in middle east. 8)


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2012 23:07 
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Quote:
subodh wrote:
shyamd - I have no idea who you are and where you are located - but your information sources are amazing and I really appreciate you taking the effort to post stuff here. This is not a comment about what you just posted above, but more a overall 'thank you' for all you did over the last year and more, re the 'arab spring' or whatever that nonsense was called.

I ended up relying more on you than on some of the (very) expensive professional sources my employer pays for.

Much appreciated.


++1 to that. Unofficially Shyamd has become our source on the ME


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 00:06 
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So when is the subh din of Yahudi strike? Since decision is already taken! Which should imply both sides already know. So should be no big problem to make it pseudo-public?


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 01:22 
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Subodh ji and all, Thanks for your kind words. :) If you or your firm needs any help or guidance I'm happy to help. You can contact me at shyamdbrf at yahoo dot com.

Funny thing is right now I am only able to devote about 30% of my time to the analysis due to work etc. I can provide a picture with far greater clarity and accuracy if I can devote more time.

IBN editor finally got back to me saying the Defence and strategic section at IBN Live is stuck as finance dept won't approve it. Which is a shame.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 02:29 
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Might be a good thing as you can develop better prespective.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 03:00 
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Unfortunately it's too time consuming and it distracts me from other things in life. I am thinking about setting up something big and take BRF views to the next level with more impact. I'll drop you a line when time permits.
Thanks


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 03:21 
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ramana wrote:
An independent Kurdistan is a good thing for the realignment of West Asia.
It will defang a number of artificial states(Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria) created from the debris of the Ottomon Sultanate.

Some are on the job.
Agreed from an Indian perspective, it will be good to reduce the power of these states. Same for the artificial Durand line also!


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 06:38 
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I knew you will catch on.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 07:40 
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ramana ji,
Kurdistan is not happening. There are tactical calculations in having different sources spread different narratives and raise the buzz. Cross-validation over model networks can isolate the underlying structure of disinformation mobilization. For noises apparently coming out of ME there are very obvious patterns. But we should encourage flows are good because they yield the intentions of known culprits rather than any value in the information itself.

The danger of course is that some of our omniscient admin in corridors of power may take all that seriously and work on that disinfo. That they indeed are often taken in by such shenanigans is amply borne out by various issues and foibles in our foreign policy - where ME and in general Ummah sourced deception has boxed GOI in on many occasions.

But this is something we cannot get easily rid of - and it works to ME advantage and not to India's advantage.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 12:00 
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^^^
main blinders are the islamophilism. once that "cooling glass" is removed, it should go a long way in reducing the susceptibility to "ummah sourced" deception.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 12:43 
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Patrick Cockburn: The attempt to topple President Assad has failed


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2012 00:26 
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X-posting

This is a strange one, being used as psy-ops by UK media. A good example of how the Anglosphere is willing to stoke Islamist sentiments against its enemies.
Bashar al-Assad joked about religion of most of population, emails show
Quote:
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad swapped jokes and photographs that callously mock the religious beliefs held by a majority of his population, leaked emails purportedly show.

The ream of messages and derogatory cartoons allegedly sent among his 'inner circle' of female aides and family members poke fun at conservative Muslims.

Most of the messages ridicule the burka, the full body cloak worn by some Muslim women.

One e-mail from a female adviser depicts an image of a crying child in a shopping mall who has lost his mother. Trying to reunite them the shop assistant asks the boy for a description of his mother. The little boy replies 'I don't know sir I have never seen her!!' and the joke jumps to an image of a woman fully shrouded in black pushing a shopping cart.

On January 22 the President's father-in-law Fawaz Akhras allegedly forwarded a 'British wedding photograph' showing 24 newly wed Muslim couples, the women all wearing white burkas, their faces covered. "I just hope, for their sake, that each husband goes home with the right table cloth" the joke reads. Another email entitled 'Why God sends rain to Mexico and not to the Middle East' lists photographs of scantily clad weather women, and ends with an image of a covered Muslim woman standing by a weather map holding an umbrella.

The jokes, which might be viewed as humorous by a liberal Western audience, will be deeply insulting to many in Syria's largely conservative society.

The messages apparently convey little respect by the President and his aides for the population they lead. One message appears denigrate Arab men as being unclean or untrained; the email opens with a picture of a kitten peeing in a squat toilet, and leads on to an image of a man donning a red Kuffiyeh, the traditional Arab headers, urinating against a wall.


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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2012 11:28 
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Source says they aren't going to give up on Syria because it's in their security zone. They are in open conflict with Iran and they are going to win. He said weapons are flowing faster now along with humanitarian supplies.


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