Archive for the ‘Hezbollah’ Category

Obama, Israel Split On Iran?

March 15, 2009

In the capitals of two staunch allies last week, top intelligence officials spoke about the nuclear threat from Tehran. Differences were clear.

By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
The New York Times

Iran has crossed the technological threshold,” the chief of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, told the cabinet in Jerusalem last Sunday, in words that were immediately leaked to the press. Now, he added, “its reaching military nuclear capabilities is a matter of adapting its strategy to the target of manufacturing a nuclear bomb.”

Days later in Washington, Adm. Dennis Blair, the new director of national intelligence, appeared before a Congressional committee and agreed that “there is potential for an Iran-Israeli confrontation or crisis” over reports of Iranian nuclear progress. But he said the Israelis “take more of a worst-case approach to these things.”

Both men were reacting to, and interpreting, the United Nations’ confirmation last month that Iran after a quarter-century of effort had collected enough atomic material, in dilute form, to produce a bomb.

Israel and the United States have worried for years about what they would do at such a moment. Now that it has arrived, the passing of the milestone has forced into the open longstanding differences between the two allies about how urgently to treat the threat. As Admiral Blair implied, the nuclear-threat clock ticks a lot faster in Jerusalem than in Washington.

Where this new dynamic leads is unclear. But the Israelis have seized on the Iranian milestone to redouble pressure on the United States for a tougher stance against Iran, and to remind the new president that their patience has a limit. In fact, Israeli officials have quietly been delivering the message that the diplomacy Mr. Obama wants to start with Iran should begin promptly — and be over quickly. “By late spring or early summer,” one senior Israeli intelligence official said the other day, echoing a message delivered in Israel to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, they argue, the Iranians will drag talks on endlessly while speeding ahead on bomb work.

The Obama team, by contrast, is taking its time to craft a new diplomatic approach to Tehran, putting the veteran Middle East diplomat Dennis Ross at the head of a team to set up what Mr. Obama last year called a strategy of “bigger carrots and bigger sticks.” Real discussions may not begin until after Iran’s elections in June.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/1
5/weekinreview/15SANGER.html

Related:
 Never Wrong? U.S. Intelligence Says Iran Does Not Nave Any Highly Enriched Uranium

Allies’ Clocks Tick Differently on Iran

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at Natanz.

 

Obama Maybe Doesn’t Know: Nice guys get finished first

March 15, 2009

“Can’t we all get along … let’s try to work it out.” That was Rodney King’s plaintive plea in May 1992 after his highly controversial confrontation with the Los Angeles Police Department led to arson and anarchy. Now, 17 years later, the Obama administration has apparently made “just get along” their response to every national security test. So far, it has been the wrong answer.

By Oliver North
The Washington Times

Since Mr. Obama’s announced his deadline for pulling U.S. combat troops out of Iraq, there has been a spike in violence in the Land Between the Rivers. His decision to “open a direct dialogue” with the theocrats ruling in Tehran has thus far yielded an Iranian satellite launch – using North Korean ICBM technology, a check-ride on Iran’s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant, and, just in case we didn’t get the message, rejected visa applications for the U.S. Women’s Badminton Team.

“Nice guy” diplomacy hasn’t worked very well elsewhere either. Pakistan replied to the administration’s “let’s get along” overture by allowing Dr. A.Q. Khan – the world’s most notorious nuclear-weapons proliferator – to travel and “resume scientific research.” Hamas responded to the promise of $1 billion in U.S. “reconstruction funds” by showering Israeli civilians with Iranian-made, Syrian-delivered, Egyptian-facilitated rockets.

Syrian strongman Bashar Assad’s answer to the recent White House proffer of “dialogue with Damascus” came last week when he told visiting Japanese journalists such talks would “have to involve” the Iranian-controlled terror group Hezbollah. For those who may have forgotten, the only terror organization that has killed more Americans than Hezbollah is al Qaeda – on Sept. 11 2001.

The “O-Team” offer to “restart” or “reboot” the U.S.-Russia relationship was so moving that Moscow bribed Kyrgyzstan’s government into booting U.S. troops from the Manas airbase, crucial to supporting allied operations in Afghanistan. The Kremlin followed up by forging ahead with plans to sell advanced S-300 (SA-10) surface-to-air missiles to Tehran, presumably to help protect Iranian nuclear facilities.

With this track record as preamble, it is not surprising that the People’s Republic of China decided to conduct a little “O-Test” of their own. On Feb. 22, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton concluded two days of “very promising” meetings in Beijing by emphasizing that “the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship.” Five days later, the United States and China resumed direct military-to-military “consultations” – talks suspended in 2008 when the Bush administration sold Patriot air-defense missiles to Taiwan. It went downhill from there.

On March 4, Chinese ships and aircraft began harassing the USNS Impeccable and the USNS Victorious while they were operating in international waters. The two unarmed, civilian-manned vessels (with U.S. Navy personnel aboard to operate specialized equipment) are designated as Ocean Surveillance Ships. Both are equipped with the newest generation of submarine tracking sonar, known as SURTASS LFA – Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System – Low Frequency Active.

The Victorious, operating in the Yellow Sea, between the Korean Peninsula and mainland China was approached at night by a Chinese patrol vessel using a high-intensity spotlight or visual-spectrum laser to momentarily blind lookouts on the ship’s bridge. The Impeccable, operating in the South China Sea, 75 miles off the coast of the major Chinese Naval and submarine base of Hainan Island, was repeatedly “buzzed” by Chinese Y-12 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and then surrounded by no fewer than five Chinese vessels.

According to the official complaint filed with Beijing by U.S. commander in chief Pacific (CINCPAC), the confrontation required the Impeccable to “maneuver to avoid” a collision with a Chinese Navy frigate, that the Chinese ships “approached to within 25 feet of the U.S. vessel” and that “high-pressure water hoses were employed” to prevent being boarded.

A Defense Department spokesman said Chinese sailors made “an attempt to snag the Impeccable’s towed acoustic array sonar” and described the incident as evidence of “increasingly aggressive conduct by Chinese vessels.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.co
m/news/2009/mar/15/nice-gu
ys-get-finished-first/

Related:
Obama Has Failed To Spell Out His Vision

Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base

 Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

 Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

http://urdunews.wordpress.com/200
9/03/14/zardari-remains-firm-prot
ests-continue/

 Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

China:
 Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

Related:
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/13/china.wen/index.html

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

Never Wrong? U.S. Intelligence Says Iran Does Not Nave Any Highly Enriched Uranium

March 11, 2009

Didn’t our national security team miss the current global economic, what’s the president call it?  Catastrophe?  Just in the last few weeks, the global economy was added to the president’s daily national security brief: too late.

Now our U.S. intelligence assessment is that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium. 

“We assess now that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium,” said Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

But what if he’s wrong?  Hasn’t our intelligence community been wrong before?

Did they predict September 11 and the death of 3,000 Americans?

Didn’t the United States invade Iraq based upon a sure national security warning which was wrong?  Didn’t our national security team miss the impending fall of the Soviet Union?

The mistakes made by our national security team have had far reaching impact and have been much more significant in recent times than its successes.

The Times (London) reported today that a former Gitmo prison inmate was again killing U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan.  “The revelation of Rasoul’s return to the battlefield underscores the challenges faced by the Obama administration in carrying out its vow to close Guantanamo, and raises fresh questions about the quality of American intelligence….”

On Iran and its ability to make a nuclear weapon, what if they are wrong?  What will that do to Israel, to world relations and to our national security?

Did our national security team know North Korea had a nuclear bomb?  India?  Pakistan?  Did they know that A.Q. Khan was selling nuclear secrets all over the place?

Did our national security team know that those relesed from Gitmo would end up fighting the United States again?

Pardon me but I take no solace from yesterday’s national security assessment on Iran’s nuclear potential.

I’ll bet Israel doesn’t either….

On March 8, 2009, Israel’s Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, who told the cabinet on Sunday that Iran had “crossed the technological threshold” and that its attainment of  nuclear military capability was now a matter of “incorporating the goal of producing an atomic bomb to its strategy.”

File:Amos Yadlin.jpg
Amos Yadlin

Israeli’s view the possible development of a nuclear weapon in Iran as a life and deth proposition for Israel.  They are not comforted by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad when he says the Holocaust didn’t happen, the Zionist State (Ahmadinejad refuses to say the word “Israel”) is illigitimate and Israel should be removed from the world’s map.  And Israeli’s have been lied to in negotiations so often — and then attacked — that they put little stock in negotiations.

But the new U.S. president is sure he can negotiate for them with Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, even the Taliban.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Israel’s took little comfort in President Obama and in the estimates of his national security team.

And you’ll have to pardon Israel if some there believe that U.S. intelligence may sometimes be politicized.  Obama’s seclection of known anti-Israel advocate Charles Freemanto be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council was proof enough for Israel.

This is life and death stuff in Israel.  It isn’t clear yet that this is life and death to the Obama Administration which is waging war against Rush Limbaugh and eliminating the word terrorism from the government lexicon….

Related:
 Obama’s Next Challenge: Iran, Israel, Russia? It’s Here Now

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Obama’s Anti-Israel, Pro-China Intel Pick Freeman Withdraws

http://libertyjustincase.com/200
9/03/11/prisoner-8/

Right Wing Hard Liner May Become Isreal’s Foreign Minister; Stalling Peace Efforts

March 6, 2009

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is considering the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister, news sources say.

Lieberman ran for Prime Minister against Netanyahu and several others and is considered an essential part of the new coalition government in Isreal.

Lieberman’s party, Beiteinu, will be the second largest faction in the new coalition government behind Likud, which is headed by Netanyahu.

Lieberman keeps a hard line attitude that is strictly pro-Israel.

His appointment may be a setback for peace talks with Hamas, Hezbollah and others in the region, most Middle East analysts believe.

But Lieberman would be expected to improve ties with Russia; which may directly assist American President Barack Obama’s efforts to gain Russian cooperation in ending Iran’s nuclear program.

Netanyahu has come to believe that Iran poses the biggest threat to israel, with its nuclear program and its funding and supply train to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Lieberman’s ties to Russia could help Israel and the U.S. and open a door toward new relations.

According to Lieberman, “The peace process is based on three false basic assumptions; that Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main cause of instability in the Middle East, that the conflict is territorial and not ideological, and that the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders will end the conflict.”

Lieberman was born in Moldova, then a part of the Soviet Union.  His rough and tumble political style and attitudes reflects his previous work as a bouncer in a bar.

He would be a highly unusual pick for Israel’s top diplomat, but would reflect the sharp turn to the right in Israeli politics where Iran and its nuclear potential are feared.  Many Israeli’s also now have the belief that they are under seige on all sides by their neighbors.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/meast/03/06/israel.fm/index.html

Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli
te?cid=1236269358120&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Avigdor Lieberman is loathed by ultra-orthodox parties because of his support for a Palestinian state.

Israel: Inconclusive Election May Make Middle East Peace Illusive

February 11, 2009

“I voted to improve security,” one man told CBS News.

The election is over in Israel and now a government has to be formed.

But the election showed how muchmany Israelis now worry about Iran, Hezbollad and Hamas around them.  This will make for a very difficult tals for thise seeking a lasting Middle east Paece.

********

By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM – Inconclusive election results sent Israel into political limbo Wednesday with both Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and hard-line leader Benjamin Netanyahu claiming victory and leaving the kingmaker role to a rising political hawk with an anti-Arab platform.

Livni’s Kadima Party won 28 seats, just one more than Netanyahu’s Likud, in Tuesday’s election for the 120-member parliament, according to nearly complete results. With neither party winning a clear majority, neither can govern alone. Gains by right-wing parties give Netanyahu a better chance of forming a coalition with his natural allies.

The results set the stage for what could be weeks of coalition negotiations. Israeli media reported the first meetings were scheduled for Wednesday.

Such paralysis could dampen prospects for Egyptian-led attempts to broker a truce between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers after Israel’s devastating offensive in Gaza last month. Hamas might be reluctant to sign a deal at the risk of having it overturned by the incoming coalition.

Whatever government is forged, it is unlikely to move quickly toward peace talks with the Palestinians and instead could find itself on a collision course with President Barack Obama, who has said he’s making a Mideast peace deal a priority.

It’s up to Israeli President Shimon Peres to decide whether Livni or Netanyahu should have the first shot at forming a government. Peres will meet with party leaders to hear their recommendations, and then has a week to make up his mind.

However, the final word may be up to ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman, a former Netanyahu protege and perhaps Israel’s most divisive politician, whose rightist Yisrael Beiteinu gained four seats in the election to hold 15.

Lieberman kept his options open, saying he spoke both to Livni and Netanyahu after the polls closed. “We want a right-wing government,” Lieberman told party activists, but added that “we do not rule out anyone.”

Several hours after polls closed, Livni and Netanyahu staged rival victory rallies.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090211/ap_on_
re_mi_ea/ml_israel_politics_2

Israel May Elect Netanyahu; Disappointing Outsiders

February 8, 2009

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, last night launched a concerted final effort to become her nation’s first woman leader since Golda Meir, despite the rightwards shift in public opinion that has threatened to propel Benjamin Netanyahu back into the premiership.

The leader of the centrist Kadima party, who began the closing stages of her campaign with a rally for Druze Arab voters in Galilee last night, issued a direct personal challenge to Mr Netanyahu to agree to the television debate which he has consistently refused.

As polls showing the lead of Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party has narrowed to only two seats ahead of Kadima, Ms Livni’s campaign team believes she can overtake her rival by the time Israel goes to the polls on Tuesday.

Mr Netanyahu has emphasised the threats from Hamas and a nuclear Iran in his campaign.

By Donald Macintyre
The Independent (UK)

Israel's Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu smiles during ... 
Israel’s Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu smiles during a meeting with supporters in the northern city of Tiberias February 8, 2009. Surveys predict a narrow win in Tuesday’s vote for hawkish ex-premier Netanyahu, his comeback fuelled by the inconclusive wars in southern Lebanon and Gaza, formerly areas under Israel’s control and now bastions of hostile Islamists.REUTERS/Baz Ratner (ISRAEL)

Ms Livni, who strongly supported the recent invasion of Gaza, but has pledged to continue talks on a two-state solution with the moderate West Bank Palestinian leadership, said there was a public demand from potential leaders “to specify with which policies they plan to cope with the threats, and lead [Israel] to a better future of peace and quiet”. Meanwhile the outgoing Kadima premier, Ehud Olmert, was making what the Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, said were “supreme efforts” to leave a positive legacy by securing the release of Gilad Shalit, the army corporal seized by Gaza militants in 2006, before polling day.

Turkish TV reported on Friday that Turkish officials were holding talks in Damascus with exiled leaders of Hamas, which has been seeking a large-scale release of Palestinian prisoners in return.

At the same time Mr Barak, Labour’s prime ministerial candidate, told Channel 1 TV that Cpl Shalit was known to be “well, alive, breathing and OK”.

He added: “You know that I am a fierce critic of the Prime Minister, but in these matters, in these days, he is making a great effort, as am I … in order to expedite the process.” Whether the formidable obstacles to securing the release can be overcome remains to be seen, however.

A Hamas official, Osama al-Muzaini, said talks on the issue had so far made little progress because Israel “remained unwilling to pay the price”.

While Mr Barak warned the release of Cpl Shalit would require “painful decisions” – presumably on a prisoner exchange – the electoral effect, if it happened, would probably be to help Labour and Kadima at the expense of Likud and the increasingly popular Yisrael Beiteinu, led by the hard-right Avigdor Lieberman.

According to the polls, the main features of a relatively lacklustre election so far have been the Likud comeback under Mr Netanyahu from its three-decade low of just 12 Knesset seats in the 2006 election, and the seemingly relentless rise of Mr Lieberman, who could yet prove the kingmaker in forming a coalition after Tuesday.

Polls published on Friday – the last allowed before election day – showed Likud with 25 to 27 seats, just ahead of Kadima, with 23 to 25. Mr Lieberman’s party with 18 or 19, which, if fulfilled in actual voting, would push the once-dominant Labour Party into fourth place.

Most analysts think the rightward shift has resulted from a combination of two factors. One is Hamas’s continued control of Gaza. The other is the stillbirth of the centrist programme under Mr Olmert of withdrawing from settlements and negotiating a peace deal with the moderate Palestinian leadership. This was envisaged at the international Annapolis summit sponsored by President George Bush at the end of 2007.

Read the rest:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/isr
aeli-elections-be-afraid-be-very-afraid-160405
2.html

New Israeli Government Clear: Netanyahu Won’t Debate

February 6, 2009

As John McCain fell further behind in the polls last year, he wanted to debate Barack Obama more and more.

That is the way the Israeli Prime Minister’s race is shaping up as the poll leader Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to debate Tzipi Livni.

Polls in Israel’s newspapers gave Netanyahu’s Likud Party a slight lead over the Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima centrist Party in the Tuesday ballot.

Netanyahu is a hard line right wing defender of Israel who might have just taken Gaza over during the last military action — and talked about destroying Hamas.

Netanyahu probably won’t debate issues with Hamas, Iran or Hezbollah either.

Tzipi Livni sent a letter to Netanyahu asking — begging, really —  for debates.

“I turn to you personally, on the eve of the elections, to again ask you to join me in a public debate in which we, the candidates for prime minister, can present our positions and our proposals for the coming years,” she wrote.

Most observers say Netanyahu will win the election — and that could complicate Middle East peace efforts.

Related:
From the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=123330
4705531&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Netanyahu Ahead in Polls (From AP):
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9
666SC00&show_article=1

AFP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090206/w
l_mideast_afp/mideastvote_20090206134801

Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, center, reacts during ... 
Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, center, reacts during an election campaign event in the settlement of Beit Arieh in the West Bank, Friday, Feb. 6, 2009. Israeli polls Friday showed a narrowing race between front-runner Netanyahu and his rival, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, giving Livni a chance at an upset victory just days before Tuesday’s national election.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Iran Ready to Work With Obama?

January 30, 2009

The mercurial President Ahmadinejad of Iran makes dealing with the Persian nation difficult.  He has said he wants to “wipe the Zionist State [Israel] off the map” and he funds anti-Israeli terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.  After Barack Obama went on Al-Arabiya  TV with his Muslim outreach, Iran didn’t respond positively as expected. 

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded on Wednesday that US President Barack Obama apologise for the “crimes” committed by the United States against Iran over the past 60 years.
.
But now during the economic conference in Davos maybe Iran is sending the real answer to Obama…

DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) — Tehran stood ready to work with U.S. President Barack Obama to establish better relations with Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a CNN-hosted panel at the World Economic Forum.

Read the rest:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/01/29/us.iran/index.html

Related:

 Iran’s Ahmadinejad: Barack Obama should apologise for 60 years of ‘crimes’

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki talks Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki talks Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Like Hezbollah Before It, Hamas Hands Out Money for Loyalty After Israeli Destruction

January 24, 2009

“We are in control and we are the winner,” Hamas legislator Mushir al-Masri declared this week in Gaza, after attending the funeral of four Hamas gunmen.
.
More than 4,000 houses were destroyed and about 20,000 damaged in Gaza by the fighting with Israel, according to independent estimates.

Yet Hamas claims “victory” and passes out money to assure its story is believed.

After Israel pounded Hezbollah and southern Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah passed out money and assistance in the effort to rebuild structures and loyalty.

Now Hamas is following that model: an Iranian written and funded script.

But Hamas is having a tougher time than Hezbollah.

Hamas and Fatah are in disagreement on everything in Gaza.

Hamas is accusing rival Palestinian faction Fatah of spying for Israel and not strongly enough supporting Hamas in the fight against the “Zionists.”

Fatah says Hamas relied too much on Iran for strategy and arms, irresponsibly goaded Isreal into a war with their rocket attacks on Israel, and botched the defense of the Gazan people.

But now money from Iran to Hamas may rebuild Gaza and loyalty to Hamas.

Peace and Freedom

*********

By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Bearded Hamas activists on Friday delivered an envelope with five crisp $100 bills to a veiled woman whose house was damaged during Israel’s invasion of Gaza, the first of promised relief payments by the militant group.

In another part of the territory, a bulldozer cleared rubble and filled in a bomb crater where a week before a top Hamas leader had been killed in an Israeli air strike.

Since a truce took hold this week, ending Israel‘s three-week onslaught, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have declared victory and gone out of their way to show they are in control.

They have pledged $52 million of the group’s funds to help repair lives, the money divvied up by category. The veiled woman received emergency relief money for her two-story home in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

Hamas, which is believed to be funded by donations from the Muslim world and Iran, said the emergency relief would include $1,300 for a death in the family, $650 for an injury, $5,200 for a destroyed house and $2,600 for a damaged house.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/ap_on_re_m
i_ea/ml_hamas_back_in_control;_ylt=AkQlrzyasxzO
qJTKVv0MCvtvaA8F

Related:
 Palestinians Can’t Agree Following Hamas Defeat at Israeli Hands

Most Palestinians are furious at Israel over damage like that in Rafah, in Gaza’s south, but there are signs that Gazans feel such pain that they will rein in Hamas.  Photo: Eyad Baba/Associated Press

Obama Picks New World “Winners” and “Losers”

January 24, 2009

The American people gave Barack Obama a mandate to solve the problem.

And the problem is clearly jobs and the economy, a new Pew Research Poll says.

After the economy and jobs, American interest in other more mundane things like global warming, the war against terror and international relations and foreign policy barely makes the poll needle move.

But every nation outside the U.S. is looking to every word and action from President Obama to help them decipher the new direction of the U.S. and much of the world.

[Review & Outlook]
AP

Each New Year in the U.S., dozens of newspapers list what is “out” from the old year and “in” for the New Year.

As the Asian or Lunar New Year is upon us, every nation in the world might feel the need to assess what is “in” or “out” since the President Obama tenure commenced.

China is worried and fear it may be “out.”  China loved George W. Bush as “China friendly” but has already signaled that “Houston, we have a problem.”

Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy F. Geithner’s remarks about China in his Senate confirmation hearings already sent a shock wave through China.

Mark Lander of the New York Times wrote, “A  simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China ‘manipulates’ its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.”

And China does not see Hillary Clinton as a friend.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, left, as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, center, looks on during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Carter and Kissinger were in China to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations which began on Jan 1st, 1979.  China hope relations with the U.S. will get even better, but the nation hated to see George W. Bush leave.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel, POOL)

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow is ready to help U.S. efforts in Afghanistan by allowing the Americans to ship cargo intended for coalition forces across Russian territory.

But Medvedev and Putin in Russia are loathe to accept U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic and fear other U.S. meddlesome activity in Georgia and elsewhere.

Asked about the prospects of the world with a President of the United States Barack Obama, Russin Preident Vladimir Putin said, “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations.”

Pakistan is worried that the flow of American money may dry up, as former President Musharraf of Pakistan seemed to indicate when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

But Pakistan is pleased there will be a new U.S. envoy to the region: Richard Holbrooke.

Iran and several “brothers against Zionism” in Hamas, Hezbollah, and among Palestinians and others seem emboldened by President Obama’s promise of a new way forward in the Middle East, stronger diplomatic efforts to resolve all difficulties, and the appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy.

But naturally, this makes for some concern in Tel Aviv, Cairo and other capitals.

Many in Africa and in the human rights arena are delighted to see Barack Obama as President of the United States but also express some longing for President Bush’s work to fight AIDS and the abuse and neglect of refugees.

Will President Obama do more in Somalia or Darfur?

Mush remains unknown…..

President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

In Mexico: indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks because of the “drug war.”

But when President-elect Obama, just before his inauguration, met Mexican President Calderon, the discussion was not about drugs or immigration.  The media was told Obama praised Calderon for his work on global warming and energy.

But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact negatively on the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.

The leadership of every nation on earth is asking, “What does President Obama mean to us?”

Related:
Poll: Economy, Jobs Top Americans’ Priorities (Global Warming Last); Obama Solutions?

Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

Pakistan welcomes appointment of U.S. envoy

 Most World Leaders Encouraged By Obama Time; Putin Ready for Disappointment

Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”

Islamist insurgents display their weaponry in Mogadishu during a parade in mid-January.

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/01/24/un.somalia/index.html