Archive: Dec 2007

Israel has a problem with Egypt. It isn’t playing its assigned role.      Both Israel and the Bush administration have assigned Egypt the role of “moderating force” in the Middle East in their peace process drama. In that role, Egypt is trusted to work with Israel and the U.S. in advancing peace between Israel and its neighbors.       As a “moderating force,” both the administration and the Olmert government argue th…
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In a Paris courtroom last month, after seven long years, the myth of Muhammed al-Dura finally unraveled. That myth, propagated in a report by France 2 television network on September 30, 2000, falsely accused Israeli soldiers of killing a Palestinian child named Muhammad al-Dura while he was crouched behind a barrel with his father at Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip.  An IDF probe into the incident, ordered by then-OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yom Tov Samia, ruled out the possibility t…
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This week the IDF distributed ribbons to its soldiers and officers for their service in the war with Hizbullah in 2006. The ribbons were a source of embarrassment. Soldiers and officers, who like the general public view the war as Israel's greatest military defeat, are loath to pin them on their uniforms.  While the soldiers and general public view the war as a failure, one sector of Israeli society sees the war as a great triumph. For Israel's legal establishment, the war was a gre…
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Sunday the British military in Iraq transferred security authority over Basra to the Iraqi Army. Although the transfer took place in an orderly fashion, the British leave behind one of the worst security nightmares in that troubled land.  As one senior Iraqi military officer told ABC News, "The British legacy in Basra is criminal gangs, a corrupt and infiltrated police force, and borders open to all." During a visit to Basra on December 9, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown haile…
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LIFE IN southern Israel is unbearable. Since last January, on average, 6.3 mortars and rockets have been fired from Gaza on southern Israel every day. As Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i warned the heads of the communities around Gaza last week, due to the improvements in the Palestinian arsenal since Israel vacated Gaza two years ago, the Palestinians now field missiles and rockets with extended ranges that place 130,000 Israelis under threat of missile attack.  Wednesday, IDF Chi…
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice introduced a new venue for her superficial and destructive stewardship of US foreign policy during her lightning visit to the Horn of Africa last Wednesday.  The Horn of Africa is a dangerous and strategically vital place. Small wars, which rage continuously, can easily escalate into big wars. Local conflicts have regional and global aspects. All of the conflicts in this tinderbox, which controls shipping lanes from the Indian Ocean into the Red Sea, c…
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The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear intentions is the political version of a tactical nuclear strike on efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear bombs.  The NIE begins with the sensationalist opening line: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Teheran halted its nuclear weapons program." But the rest of the report contradicts the lead sentence. For instance, the second line says, "We also assess with moderate-to-high confidence…
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Just ahead of Sunday's Duma elections, Russian President Vladimir Putin took yet another step towards ending the post-Cold War thaw in Russia's relations with the West by signing a law suspending Russia's participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. Starting next week, Russia will halt NATO countries' inspections and verifications of its military sites and will no longer be obligated to limit the number of its conventional weapons deployed west of the Urals…
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