Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Foundation for Defense of Democracies Weekly Newsletter

The Weekly Review

July 17, 2012

17th July 2012
To Topple Assad, Unleash the CIA
Reuel Marc Gerecht - The Wall Street Journal
Does President Barack Obama want Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to fall? He's said he does, but fear of an interventionist slippery slope, re-election concerns, and anxiety about America's prominence in the Middle East have severely limited U.S. efforts to topple the Damascus regime. Shaming Russia into forsaking its Syrian ally appears to be the coup de grĂ¢ce that Mr. Obama and his indignant secretary of state are still counting on.

Talk to Iran
Clifford D. May - Scripps Howard News Service
President Obama has long wanted to engage Iran. In his inaugural address, he said he was willing to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Over and over, Iran’s rulers have demonstrated that they are not willing. He should reach out again — but this time to the Iranian people, not those who oppress them. Iran’s economy is crumbling. The energy-rich nation today produces only half as much oil as it did before the 1979 revolution. (Audio verison available here.)

How Iran Steams Past International Sanctions
Claudia Rosett The Wall Street Journal
Too often, one man's sanctions become another man's windfall. So it is with Iran sanctions and the minuscule Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, to which Iran's main oil tanker company, NITC, has just reflagged roughly half its fleet. Iran fields one of the largest tanker fleets in the Middle East, with NITC, formerly called the National Iranian Tanker Company, owning at least 40 oil tankers, collectively worth billions.

Wrong Way Down the Danube
James Kirchick - Foreign Affairs
In January 2011, the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that the 82-year-old philosopher Agnes Heller and four other academics would be investigated for the misuse of nearly $2.5 million in public grant money. The same day, the country's leading conservative newspaper, Magyar Nemzet -- a supporter of Orban -- published a bracing attack on the professors. Other right-wing publications and television channels followed suit...

Pentagon: Iran Continues to Support Taliban, Oppose US
Thomas Joscelyn - The Weekly Standard
In a report to Congress authored in April, and posted online earlier this week by Bloomberg News, the Defense Department has once again accused Iran of supporting the Taliban. The unclassified assessment, which is titled “Annual Report on Military Power of Iran,” makes it clear that the U.S. remains the primary focus of Iran’s military and clandestine designs.

Additional Recent Media


The Complexity Trap
16th July 2012 - Sebastian Gorka - Parameters
We live in a world of unprecedented complexity, or so we are told. President Obama’s words above echo an increasingly common narrative in the American foreign policy and national security establishments.
Secretary Clinton and ‘Real Democracy’ in the Middle East
16th July 2012 - Andrew C. McCarthy - Ordered Liberty
“The era of Big Government is over!” I could not get President Bill Clinton’s famous declaration out of my mind this morning as I read the speech Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave in Egypt yesterday.
How Assad’s Fall Will Lay Ruin to the Alawis’ Once-in-a-Millennium Promised Land
9th July 2012 - Jonathan Kay - National Post
A small, marginalized people, kicked around the Middle East for centuries by Muslim empires, finally carves out an independent home for itself on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
Taliban Suicide Assault Team Strikes Police Station in Bannu
16th July 2012 - Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan claimed credit for today's suicide assault on a police station in the northwestern district of Bannu. A five-man team of "Fedayeen," or "Martyrdom seekers," attacked the police station this morning...
Jordanian Jihadist Killed in Fighting in Eastern Afghanistan
13th July 2012 - Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal
A Jordanian jihadist was killed while battling Coalition and Afghan forces in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni, a known stronghold of al Qaeda. A brief statement on the death of Abu Abdul Rahman al Aseer al Urduni was released...
Another Massacre in Syria, Hundreds Reportedly Dead
13th July 2012 - Lee Smith - The Weekly Standard
The Syrian regime has reportedly perpetrated another episode of sectarian cleansing. Yesterday, the army and paramilitary gangs loyal to president Bashar al-Assad killed more than 200 people in the Sunni village of Tremseh, in Hama province.
Are Iranian Sanctions Working?
12th July 2012 - Emanuele Ottolenghi - The Weekly Standard
Despite all evidence that sanctions are hurting Iran's economy, four rounds of nuclear talks failed to prove that Iran's regime is now more malleable to a compromise.
Bin Laden Loyalist Transferred from Guantanamo to Sudan
12th July 2012 - Thomas Joscelyn - The Long War Journal
The Defense Department announced on Wednesday that Ibrahim al Qosi, a Guantanamo detainee who long served deceased al Qaeda master Osama bin Laden, was transferred to his home country of Sudan.
UN Places Iran on Arms-Control Panel
12th July 2012 - Emanuele Ottolenghi - The Jewish Chronicle
As things go in the arms trade, there are not many countries in the world that misbehave more than Iran. The country is under a UN-imposed arms embargo — it cannot buy and it should not sell weapons.
About that NATO Supply Line Deal ...
11th July 2012 - Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal
While the Obama administration is busy congratulating itself on the reopening of NATO's supply lines to Afghanistan after a seven-month shutoff by the Pakistani government.
Why the US Could Bomb Iran
11th July 2012 - Lee Smith - Tablet
In late May, at a major security conference in Tel Aviv, former Obama Pentagon official Michelle Flournoy assured her mostly Israeli audience that a military strike against Iran was very much on the table.
Suicide Bomber Kills 20 Police Cadets in Yemeni Capital
11th July 2012 - Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal
A suicide bomber killed at least 20 people in an attack at a police academy in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. The attack is the latest suicide bombing to target Yemeni security forces.
Special Operations Forces Capture 2 IMU Leaders in Afghan North
10th July 2012 - Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal
Coailition and Afghan forces captured two leaders of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who were involved in suicide operations during a raid several days ago in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz.
Senior al Qaeda Ideologue Freed in Mauritania
10th July 2012 - Thomas Joscelyn - The Long War Journal
Family members of top al Qaeda ideologue Abu Hafs al Mauritani have confirmed that he was freed this past weekend. Abu Hafs was transferred from Iran, where he had lived since late 2001, to Mauritania earlier this year.

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