Excerpts: Anti-Israel bandwagon for perceived political benefit.U.S.Central
Command on Hizbullah & Hamas, Britain,Germany,UAE,Kuwait:no to refuel Iran
jets. Syria's Assad and Iran's Ahmadinejad to visit Lebanon. Afghan
President Karzai effort to bring Taliban with al-Qaeda ties to the
negotiating table. Great rule of Saudi king.Telecom Syria's most proftible
business.Syria supports exporting.Yemen Shiite rebels still fight government
June 28, 2010
+++SOURCE:Washington Post 28 June '10:"Flirting with zealotry in
Malaysia"'By Jackson Diehl
SUBJECT:Anti-Israel bandwagon for percieved political benefit
EXCERPTS:Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia's political opposition, has
become known over the past decade as one of the foremost advocates of
liberal democracy in Muslim countries. His many friends in Washington
include prominent members of the neoconservative movement -- such as Paul
Wolfowitz, the former World Bank president and U.S. ambassador to
Indonesia -- as well as such Democratic grandees as Al Gore.
Lately, Anwar has been getting attention for something else: strident
rhetoric about Israel and alleged "Zionist influence" in Malaysia. He
recently joined a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur
where an Israeli flag was burned. He's made dark insinuations about the
"Jewish-controlled" Washington public relations firm Apco Worldwide, which
is working for Malaysia's quasi-authoritarian government.
Therein lies a story of the Obama era -- about a beleaguered democrat
fighting for political and personal survival with little help from
Washington; about the growing global climate of hostility toward Israel; and
about the increasing willingness of U.S. friends in places such as Turkey
and Malaysia to exploit it. . . .
But Anwar's story can also be read as a warning. His transition from
pro-American democrat to anti-Israeli zealot is sobering -- and it is on the
verge of becoming a trend.
+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 2 July '10:"U.S. Intelligence Team to
SUBJECT:U.S. Central Command on Hizbullah & Hamas
FULL TEXT A team of senior intelligence officers at the U.S. Central
Command, known as CENTCOM, is trying to integrate Hizbullah and Hamas, the
Foreign Policy magazine reported.
It said a "Red Team" report issued on May 7, 2010, senior CENTCOM
intelligence officers question the current U.S. policy of isolating and
marginalizing Hizbullah and Hamas.
Instead, CENTCOM recommends a "mix of strategies" that would integrate the
two groups into their respective political mainstreams.
Foreign Policy said among other findings, the five-page report entitled
"Managing Hizbullah and Hamas," calls for the integration of Hizbullah into
the Lebanese army and Hamas into the Palestinian security forces led by
It said Red Team's conclusion, expressed in the final sentence of the
executive summary, is perhaps its most controversial finding: "The U.S. role
of assistance to an integrated Lebanese defense force that includes
Hizbullah; and the continued training of Palestinian security forces in a
Palestinian entity that includes Hamas in its government, would be more
effective than providing assistance to entities -- the government of Lebanon
and Fatah -- that represent only a part of the Lebanese and Palestinian
Red Team points out that while Hizbullah and Hamas "embrace staunch
anti-Israel rejectionist policies," they are "pragmatic and opportunistic."
The report, the Foreign Policy said on its website, opens with a quote from
former U.S. peace negotiator Aaron David Miller's book "The Much Too
Promised Land" which notes that both Hizbullah and Hamas "have emerged as
serious political players respected on the streets, in Arab capitals, and
throughout the region. Destroying them was never really an option. Ignoring
them may not be either."
+++SOURCE:Naharnet (Lebanon) 5 july '10:"Britain, Germany, UAE Airports
to Refuel Iran Jets"AFP
SUBJECT: Britain,Germany,UAE,Kuwait: no to refuel Iran jets
FULL TEXT:Airports in Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates have
refused to offer fuel to Iranian passenger jets flying through their
airspace, Iranian media reported on Monday(5 July).
The action was the result of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United
States on Iran over its controversial nuclear program, the Iranian news
agencies IRNA and ISNA reported.
IRNA, the official state news agency, said Kuwait has also declined to offer
fuel to Iranian passenger planes.(AFP)
+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon) 5 July:Assad in Beirut before July 15,
Visits Lebanon on Eve of Ramadan"
SUBJECT: Syria's Assad and Iran's Ahmadinejad to visit Lebanon.
FULL TEXT:Syrian President Bashar Assad's visit to Beirut will take place
before July 15, informed sources told An Nahar newspaper.
Media reports have said that Assad plans to visit Lebanon after President
Michel Suleiman extended the invitation to him during his last visit to
The same sources said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit
Beirut before the start of the holy month of Ramadan on August 11.
+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 5 July '10:"Al-Qaeda ties obstacle to peace in
Afghanistan",By Kathy Gannon
SUBJECT: Afghhan President Karzai effort to bring Taliban with al-Qaeda
ties to negotiating table.
QUOTE:"With 120,000 soldiers deployed to the tribal region the Pakistan
militaryis fighting a series of deadly wars along the border with
Afghanistan"; "[Taliban] with tight links to al-Qaeda 'my be just a shade
to deep for the Americaas to accept' "
FULL TEXT:Afghan President Hamid Karzai is using old friends and new allies
to try to bring some of the fiercest Taliban to the negotiating table,
although their links to Al-Qaeda might scuttle any deal.
Pakistan is trying to broker a deal between the Afghan government and the
Haqqani group, one of the most violent Taliban factions led by veteran rebel
leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, according to Afghan parliamentarians and
Haqqani was a legendary commander in the war against the Soviets who had
close ties to the Reagan administration.
Now, he and his son Sirajuddin command hundreds – perhaps thousands – of
fighters blamed for some of the most audacious attacks in Kabul and eastern
Afghanistan. Their network is based in the North Waziristan tribal area
along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
“The president is trying to use old friendships with Jalaluddin Haqqani and
his sons to make them participate in the reconciliation process,” said
Khaled Pashtun, an Afghan lawmaker from the Taliban heartland of southern
“Pakistan is also pressurizing the government to bring this person (Haqqani)
in the government.”
Yet Haqqani’s ties to Al-Qaeda run deep. His friendship with Osama bin Laden
dates back to the war against the Soviets in the 1980s. Haqqani allowed Bin
Laden to set up a base on his territory in Khost province of eastern
Afghanistan. The United States fired cruise missiles at the base in 1998 in
a bid to kill Bin Laden.
Haqqani also ensured safe passage for foreign fighters, including senior
Al-Qaeda figures, when they fled into Pakistan after the collapse of Taliban
rule in the 2001 US invasion, according to Taliban officials in Kabul at the
Since President Barack Obama announced the start of a US withdrawal in July
2011, Karzai has sought to improve relations with Pakistan and reach out to
Last month he told a national peace conference in Kabul he would talk with
any militant leader.
As a sign of good faith, he pledged to seek the release of detainees and
lobby the United Nations to remove some of the insurgent leaders from a
blacklist that froze their bank accounts and prevents them from traveling
He also signed a reintegration decree this week offering amnesty and
economic incentives to Taliban fighters who want to leave the battlefield,
if they accept the Afghan constitution and break ties with Al-Qaeda and
other terrorist groups.
Obama has said the July 2011 date does not herald a rapid American
withdrawal from Afghanistan and Washington is committed to a long-term
relationship with the Afghans.
Nonetheless, Obama’s deadline has prompted Pakistan to review its own
strategy in neighboring Afghanistan. The Pakistani military and the country’s
spy service – the Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI – believes the Haqqani
group is an important force to protect Pakistani interests in Afghanistan.
Retired Pakistani Gen. Talat Masood said Pakistan’s military believes that
bringing insurgents – including the Haqqani group – into the Afghan
government is the only way of stabilizing the country once America and its
But the Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, describes
Haqqani as “irreconcilable,” saying negotiations with his network would
strengthen Al-Qaeda, undermine regional stability and threaten US security.
In a study released this week, the Institute cited a statement released in
April by Sirajuddin Haqqani, describing cooperation with Al-Qaeda as “at its
highest level.” “Any negotiated settlement with the Haqqanis threatens to
undermine the raison d’etre for US involvement in Afghanistan over the past
decade,” the study said. The Haqqani group trains, lives and works with a
list of deadly international terrorist groups, including Pakistan’s
Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Jihad Union, whose ranks include Kurdish, Uzbek,
Azerbaijani, Turkish and German fighters, it said.
The Haqqani group’s headquarters is believed to be in the mountains of
Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area. The US has repeatedly urged
Pakistan to launch ground operations there. Pakistan has so far refused,
saying its forces are spread too thin.
With 120,000 soldiers deployed to the tribal region, the Pakistan military
is fighting a series of deadly wars along the length of the border area with
Brian Cloughley, South Asia defense analyst for Jane’s Sentinel, Country
Risk, said it’s clear that Pakistan has leverage with Haqqani and other
But he added Haqqani’s tight links to Al-Qaida “may be just a shade too deep
for the Americans to accept.” – AP
+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 5 July '10:"Lebanese magazine applauds pioneering
of the King"
QUOTE: "meeting with Obama will give an impetus to the Arab vision on
various issues", " ' Saudi political weight will have a remarkable impact
on the political decisions'
FULL TEXT: BEIRUT – A Lebanese magazine has lauded the great role being
played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King
Abdullah... as regards supporting the Arab and Muslim causes.
“Al Usbu’ Al Arabi” magazine ...highlighted the participation of King
Abdullah in G20 summit and the outcome of his talks with US President Barack
Obama at the White House. The magazine pointed out that a number of analysts
said the tour of King Abdullah and his participation in the summit of G20 as
well as his meeting with Obama will give an impetus to the Arab vision on
The majority of the Arab countries share Saudi Arabia’s vision as regards
some hot issues in the region or in the rest of the world, said the
“Observers believe that the tour of King Abdullah will yield positive
results and the participation of the Kingdom in G20 will make the Arab
vision available at the international forums, and the Saudi political weight
will have a remarkable impact on the political decisions,” said the
magazine. It added that the group has realized the Kingdom’s economic weight
and attaches a great importance to it notably as regards tackling
international financial crisis. – SPA
+++SOURCE: Syria Report 5 July '10:"New Law Reorganises Syria’s Telecoms
SUBJECT:Telecom Syria's most proftible business.
EXCERPT:A new law regulating the telecoms sector, the most profitable
industry in Syria, has been approved.
+++ EXCERPTS:SOURCE: Syria Report 5 July '10
" Government to Spend SYP 80 Billion($1.7 billion) on Exports in Next 5
The Government is providing the newly-established Export Development and
Promotion Agency with SYP 8 billion($1.7 million) to finance exports in the
remaining months of 2010.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 5 July '10:"Shiites fire on troops, straining
SUBJECT: Yemen Shiite rebels still fight government
FULL TEXT:SANAA (Reuters) - Yemeni Shiite rebels opened fire on Sunday(4
July) on government
troops sent to quell fighting between the rebels and pro-government tribes,
a government official said, threatening a truce in the country's civil war.
Tensions between the rebels and tribes in the country's north have been
rising in the Harf Sufyan area for months, and exploded after rebels
attacked a tribal leader's home on Friday, killing three of his followers in
The Sanaa government, with agreement of the rebels, sent troops to the area
on Sunday(4July) to restore calm. Rebels said gunfire erupted when the
of several hundred soldiers turned out to be much larger than the several
dozen they had expected.
"Troops were sent to Al Amshia to secure the Sanaa-Saada road, but the
Houthis prevented their arrival and opened fire in their direction," a
provincial official told Reuters, referring to the rebels by the tribal name
of their leader.
The rebels said they played no role in the shooting, and that civilian
gunmen alarmed by the troop influx had opened fire. No injuries were
reported, and the troops were prevented from entering the area.
Yemen, which neighbours top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, agreed a truce with
the rebels in February to halt a northern war that has raged on and off
since 2004, displaced 350,000 people and briefly drew in Riyadh last year
when rebels seized Saudi border areas.
The ceasefire has largely held. But sporadic violence threatens to
destabilise further the Arabian peninsula state that is also trying to
subdue southern separatism and fight a resurgent arm of Al Qaeda.
Sanaa also accused the rebels of delaying implementing terms of the truce
with the rebels, who complain of religious and economic discrimination by
"Despite the halting of military operations... and the Houthis committing to
the truce, they have been avoiding the full implementation," an official,
who is part of a committee overseeing the truce, told the state news agency
SABA added that the truce committee remained committed to achieving peace in
the north, where last month Yemen accused rebels of killing a government
5 July 2010
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA