The perplexing Qatari case

It seems that Bush wanted to attack militarily (or bomb) “Al-Jazeerah’s” headquarter in Doha but that Blair “advised” him not do so.
How is this related to the overall position Qatar has been enjoying as a bridge between the US and the “terrorists”? It’s still far from clear, but we are increasingly witnessing how information and the media is a solid political force to reckon with.

Lahoud and Shalom. Who knew?

Whatever you say about this guy, there is something truely touching about many things he say or do.. Whether it comes from enlightenment or complete ignorance is another matter. But I feel that we will never really know.

The Jordanian question

One can understand the logic (but not the justification for it of course so that nobody tax me of being an apologist of violence) behind someone blowing himself up in Jordan after reading this:

(…)King Abdullah II, himself a former commander of Jordan’s special operations force, has forged ever closer military and intelligence ties with the United States.

U.S.-Jordanian intelligence cooperation grew in the 1990’s as the Iraqi population and Iraqi commerce grew in the country. Iraqi refugees, businessmen and defectors who set up shop in Amman were exploited and recruited, and Amman became a hub for anti-Saddam operations. After 9/11, according to reporting in the Los Angeles Times, the United States increased funding and technical support for Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate, which today is considered the most effective allied counter-terrorism operation in the Middle East. The U.S. has also established permanent signals intelligence (SIGINT) monitoring stations in Jordan.

There have also been reliable reports that Jordanian secret services and intelligence personnel have done much “dirty work” for their American counterparts, including interrogations and targeted killings. Jordan has been a hub for extraordinary “renditions,” or kidnappings, of high value terrorist suspects, and Jordan has tortured and interrogated detainees for the United States.

Most of this work, though obviously known to the bad guys, goes on in the shadows. But this is not the case when it comes to the military cooperation. Jordan flies American F-16s and its units carry out public exchanges with the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Arizona. The U.S. and Jordan have an active — and mostly public — combined exercise program, and since 1993, annual exercises have taken place and U.S. ships pay regular visits to Aqaba. (…)

And it goes on. According to an article in the Washington Post that I cannot find (for some reason) that appeared yesterday, quoted in the Lebanese Daily Assafir, the US is currently transfering military arsenal worth 4.1 billion dollars from Oman, Qatar and Bahrain that are probably moving to Jordan along the Syrian border.

All hell is taking time to (according to prior personal estimations…) but will eventually break loose. Slowly but surely. The main piece of the puzzle missing is whether we’re dealing first with Iran or with Syria.

et Na!

I cannot but smile when I read this:

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syria has proposed a U.N. investigator interview Syrians over the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister at U.N. offices on the Golan Heights, a Syrian official said on Wednesday.
The official, who asked not to be named, said Damascus would send a foreign ministry legal adviser to meet the head of the U.N. investigation team, Detlev Mehlis, “soon”. Mehlis is investigating the killing of Rafik al-Hariri.
Syria has no control over the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Coming right after Sharon bluntly declared that Israel will never retrieve from the Golan Heights and even more so, that settlers will increase in this region, it seems that the Syrian have not lost there sense of diplomatic subtleness amidst the turbulences and the botched jobs (assuming that there were any).

Military Intervention against Syria is now possible

Thanks to ‘experts’ like Dennis Ross from the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy delusional ideas such as quoted below can become actual US foreign policy:

Ironically, the threat to the regime today might come more from those within Syria who feel that to forestall international sanctions, the regime must be removed. The fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is unlikely to deter a military-led coup, particularly because the military (which is essentially secular) might see itself as the protector of Syria against the Brotherhood. As such, the alternative to President Asad’s Alawi faction might not be the Muslim Brotherhood but a military-led Sunni-Alawi dominated regime. It wouldn’t be democratic, but it would seek to reduce Syria’s isolation.

Isn’t it what the US has been hoping for to the point of pushing Syria into more isolation. The killing of Hariri (a Sunni leader let’s remember) is coincidentally a very favorable event for such a coalition to form against the ‘isolaters’ who ‘drove us out of Lebanon’, etc.
I advise everyone to take a Strategy 101 class if this is still not obvious.
Deal was broken or a promise was not kept. If some Syrians along with Lebanese allies have killed Hariri they must have received assurance before acting from someone playing double standards within different groups in Syria.