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Sunday, September 30, 2012

[haw-info] Iran War Weekly - September 30, 2012

Historians Against the War is posting Frank Brodhead's "Iran War Weekly,' as a helpful resource for our members and friends. Frank earned a PhD in history at Princeton University and has co-authored several books on US foreign policy. He is a scholar and political activist who has worked with peace and social justice movements for many years. In 2010-2011 he produced the "Afghanistan War Weekly," which was widely used by antiwar groups across the country.

Iran War Weekly
September 30, 2012
Hello All – Will there be no October Surprise this election-year?  Interpretations of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's bizarre speech to the United Nations General Assembly uniformly agree that it amounted to surrender to President Obama's prohibition on a military attack on Iran before the election.  While the speech will be remembered primarily for the Wiley-Coyote bomb cartoon and his cartoonish explanation of Iran's nuclear program, Netanyahu also moved the now-or-never attack clock back until next spring.  Meanwhile, his Foreign Minister "leaked" a report that economic sanctions against Iran were working after all, and should be given a chance.  Whether Netanyahu surrendered because of his collapsing support in Israel, or whether there were additional threats and/or offers as well, remains to be seen. In addition to the speeches by the major players, I've linked several interesting commentaries and analyses.
Among the other good/useful reading linked below, I especially recommend Christian Stork's "Complete Idiot's Guide to Iran and the Bomb"; Bill Fletcher, Jr.'s introduction to Raha's "Open Letter to the Antiwar Movement"; the in-depth report (a first, to my knowledge) about the likely civilian casualties that would result from a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites (tens of thousands); a report on Pentagon thinking about the likely military scenario if Israel decided to go it alone; and an informative essay by Patrick Tyler on Israel's military elite and their resistance to diplomacy.
Regarding Syria, amidst continued reports of a military stand-off and the inability of Syria's armed opposition to unite, I've linked some good analyses of Qatar's proposed "Arab intervention force" – and what's in it for Qatar.
Finally, for those who would like user-friendly daily updates re: Iran and Syria, I recommend the websites of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMI) [UK] - http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/, and Syria Comment - http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/.
Once again, I appreciate the help that many of you have given in distributing the Iran War Weekly and/or linking it on websites.  Previous "issues" of the IWW can be read at http://warisacrime.org/blog/46383.  If you would like to receive the IWW mailings, please send me an email at fbrodhead@aol.com.
Best wishes,
Frank Brodhead
Concerned Families of Westchester (NY)
The US and Iran on a dead end path to war?
By Trita Parsi, Open Democracy [September 24, 2012]
---- There are three ways war between US and Iran can begin: through a deliberate decision by either Washington, Tehran, or Tel Aviv; through a naval incident in the Persian Gulf that escalates out of control; or through the gradual elimination of all other policy options - the dead end path to war. Of these three, it is the last one that is most worrisome and likely. Unless strong political leadership is quickly shown on all sides, with decisive diplomatic effort to escape the zone of political paralysis created by the dual track policies, we will descend further into this dead end. Electing a president that prefers to avoid war is not enough. The dual track policy is a one-way street towards confrontation. War - regardless of how much we prefer to avoid it or know it is strategically disastrous - may soon stare at us as the sole remaining outcome. http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/trita-parsi/us-and-iran-on-dead-end-path-to-war
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Iran and the Bomb
By Christian Stork, WhoWhatWhy [September 27, 2012]
---- As our Nobel laureate President ascended to the podium on September 25 at the United Nations for his last international speech before the election, we again were the recipients of fine oratory and rhetorical flourish about America's problems in the world. Focusing on the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa—what's often misleadingly termed, "the Muslim world"—Obama singled out Iran's treaty-entitled uranium enrichment activities, saying "make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained."  Given how easily the American public and media were manipulated into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, this moment should give us some pause.  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/27-5
The Black Swan of the Gulf
By Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Open Democracy [September 24, 2012]
---- It has become clear twenty months into the Arab uprisings that the Arab Gulf states have decided to clamp down and maintain their political status quo. I believe that the Gulf states will continue to maintain their position until they are subjected to a black swan event; something so unpredictable that it would finally jolt them into swallowing the bitter reform pill. This has become a classic chicken or egg dilemma. Introduce political reforms and watch economic development stagnate à la Kuwait or procrastinate until frustration leads to street protests à la Bahrain? The Gulf states have survived the first round of the Arab uprisings' unrest but it is unlikely that we have seen the end of them. But what are the possible black swan events that could take place in the Gulf? Here are several from an exhaustive list: [9 interesting speculations] http://www.opendemocracy.net/sultan-sooud-al-qassemi/black-swan-of-gulf
Also interesting - Bill Fletcher, Jr., "Raha's "Open Letter to the Antiwar Movement," The Black Commentator [Portside, September 27, 2012] http://blackcommentator.com/487/487_anti_war_iran_raha_fletcher_share.html
Iranian Diplomat Says Iran Offered Deal to Halt 20% Enrichment
By Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service [September 24, 2012]
---- Iran has again offered to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, which the United States has identified as its highest priority in the nuclear talks, in return for easing sanctions against Iran, according to Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Ali Asghar Soltanieh, who has conducted Iran's negotiations with the IAEA in Tehran and Vienna, revealed in an interview with IPS that Iran had made the offer at the meeting between EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Iran's leading nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul Sept. 19. Soltanieh also revealed in the interview that IAEA officials had agreed last month to an Iranian demand that it be provided documents on the alleged Iranian activities related to nuclear weapons which Iran is being asked to explain, but that the concession had then been withdrawn. http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2012/09/24/iranian-diplomat-says-iran-offered-deal-to-halt-20-enrichment/
[FB – A story from Iran's PressTV denied that Porter's interview with Soltanieh ever took place.  As Porter is a very reliable source, imo, one wonders what's going on with/in Iran.  The PressTV story is at "Iran's IAEA envoy denies IPS interview on enrichment," [September 26, 2012] http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/12952.  To my knowledge, Porter has not replied to the PressTV statement.]
How to Help Iran Build a Bomb
By William J. Broad, New York Times [September 28, 2012]
---- Advocates of airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facilities have long held that the attacks would delay an atom bomb for years and perhaps even buy Israel enough time to topple the Iranian government. In public statements, the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, has said that an attack would leave Iran's nuclear program reeling, if not destroyed. The blow, he declared recently, would set back the Iranian effort "for a long time." Quite the opposite, say a surprising number of scholars and military and arms-control experts. In reports, talks, articles and interviews, they argue that a strike could actually lead to Iran's speeding up its efforts, ensuring the realization of a bomb and hastening its arrival.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunday-review/how-to-help-iran-build-a-bomb.html?ref=world
"The Ayatollah's Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of Military Strikes Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities"
---- Based on the best information available as well as discussions with Iranian and Western nuclear experts, we have estimated the total number of people—scientists, workers, soldiers and support staff—at Iran's four nuclear facilities to be between 7,000 and 11,000. It is highly likely that the casualty rate at the physical sites will be close to 100 percent. Assuming an average two-shift operation, between 3,500 and 5,500 people would be present at the time of the strikes, most of whom would be killed or injured as a result of the physical and thermal impact of the blasts. If one were to include casualties at other targets, one could extrapolate to other facilities, in which case the total number of people killed and injured could exceed 10,000. http://nucleargamble.org/
[FB – This report cites the IAEA estimate that Iran has 371 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride, and that a military strike that sent this stuff into the air could severely affect hundreds of thousands of Iranians, depending on wind direction, etc. To read the full report (80 pages), go to http://nucleargamble.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Ayatollahs-Nuclear-Gamble-Full.pdf.]
The Entebbe Option: How the U.S. military thinks Israel might strike Iran
By Mark Perry, Foreign Policy [September 27, 2012]
---- According to several high-level U.S. military and civilian intelligence sources, U.S. Central Command and Pentagon war planners have concluded that there are at least three possible Israeli attack options, including a daring and extremely risky special operations raid on Iran's nuclear facility at Fordow -- an "Iranian Entebbe" they call it, after Israel's 1976 commando rescue of Israeli hostages held in Uganda. In that scenario, Israeli commandos would storm the complex, which houses many of Iran's centrifuges; remove as much enriched uranium as they found or could carry; and plant explosives to destroy the facility on their way out. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/27/the_entebbe_option?page=0,0
Also useful – John Glaser, "How to Go to War With Iran: Provoke an Attack," Antiwar.com [September 26, 2012] http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/09/26/how-to-go-to-war-with-iran-provoke-an-attack/; and NBC News, "US: Iran missile test is 'pure fabrication,'" [September 25, 2012 http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/25/14099243-us-iran-missile-test-is-pure-fabrication
Remarks by the President to the UN General Assembly
Full text of Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the UN General Assembly
From Times of Israel [September 27, 2012]
Iran's response to Netanyahu's UN speech
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad UN General Assembly Speech
Commentaries on the Speeches
Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979
By Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor [November 8, 2011]
---- Breathless predictions that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability, or – worse – acquire an actual nuclear bomb, are not new. For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared "unacceptable" and a possible reason for military action, with "all options on the table" to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel. And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today's rhetoric about Iran. http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/content/view/print/422252
Netanyahu Backs Off on Iran
By Ray McGovern, Antiwar.com [September 28, 2012]
---- The main takeaway from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's U.N. speech was the inference that he has been forced to relent on the possibility of military action against Iran, with his threats deferred past the U.S. election on Nov. 6 and off into next spring and beyond. His ominous intonation that "everyone should have a sense of urgency" about Iran "amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon" went over like a dead trial balloon – fatally punctured when he pushed the acute-worry-date into sometime in 2013: http://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2012/09/28/netanyahu-backs-off-on-iran/
Also useful/interesting – Marsha B. Cohen, "Netanyahu's "Iranian Bomb": Rules of the Road (Runner?)," LobeLog [September 28, 2012]  http://www.lobelog.com/the-strategic-logic-of-netanyahus-iranian-bomb-rules-of-the-road-runner/; Nima Shirazi, "Benjamin Netanyahu: Master of Show-and-Tell,"  Wide Asleep in America [September 27, 2012] http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/09/benjamin-netanyahu-master-of-show-and.html; and from Aljazeera,"(Video) Netanyahu's 'red line,'" [September 29, 2012] http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2012/09/201292991010816234.html
Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu on the Iranian Nuclear Issue at the UN General Assembly
From Race for Iran [September 28, 2012]
White House: Obama, Netanyahu 'in full agreement' on Iran's nuclear program
By Reuters, et al., [September 28, 2012]
---- President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday expressed solidarity on the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the White House said, amid signs of easing tensions over their differences on how to confront Tehran. Obama, who opted not to meet Netanyahu on his U.S. visit, spoke by phone to the Israeli leader, who used his UN speech on Thursday to keep up pressure on Washington to set a "red line" for Tehran. But in a softening of his approach, Netanyahu also signaled that no Israeli attack on Iran was imminent before the November 6 U.S. presidential election. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/white-house-obama-netanyahu-in-full-agreement-on-iran-s-nuclear-program-1.467373
Also useful – John Glaser, "At UN, Obama Falsely Claims America Sides with Democratic Change in Mideast," Antiwar.com [September 25, 2012] http://news.antiwar.com/2012/09/25/at-un-obama-falsely-claims-america-sides-with-democratic-change-in-mid-east/
Obama Administration Sets Table for More Sanctions Against Iran
By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [September 24, 2012]
---- The Obama Administration is already announcing new sanctions against Iran roughly twice a month, and while it seems unclear how much more they can even theoretically do its clear they've set the table to continue. Today, the Treasury Department announced that they now consider the National Iranian Oil Company, one of the largest oil exporters on the planet, to be a "affiliate" of the Iranian military, allowing yet more sanctions against banks that have anything to do with Iranian oil.  …Officials say that the potential new sanctions won't apply to nations which have been granted "exceptions," which includes South Korea, Japan and the European Union. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/09/24/obama-admin-sets-table-for-more-sanctions-against-iran
Providing a legal basis to attack Iran
By Jeffrey H. Smith and John B. Bellinger III, Washington Post [September 27, 2012]
[FB – This is obviously a conservative view, passing lightly over the UN Charter and international law.]
---- Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have said they would consider a military strike against Iran. According to media reports, the necessary planning has been completed, and military options are "fully available." But there has been almost no discussion of whether an attack by the United States would be legal under domestic and international law. This should be a priority. Law is important, especially in issues of war and peace. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/providing-a-legal-basis-to-attack-iran/2012/09/27/e30e87a4-043b-11e2-91e7-2962c74e7738_story.html
More on the MEK
MEK Delisting Slap in the face for Average Iranians
By Leila Kashefi, LobeLog [September 24th, 2012]
---- Iranians inside and outside the country rarely agree about anything. They find common ground in their love of pomegranates, pride for Iranian athletes competing internationally, respect for Mohammad Mossadeq, the 1950s prime minister who nationalized Iranian oil before being ousted in a US-backed coup, and deep contempt if not hatred for the MEK…. As for the people of Iran, many are beginning to wonder why the US despises them so much.  Already suffering under the regime's boot, they are also subjected to US-led economic sanctions that are destroying the middle class while strengthening the hands of the system's loyalists. Now comes the news that the despised MEK is free to operate outside the country and steal their voice. For the Iranian people it seems like President Obama's inauguration promise of an outstretched hand has turned out to be a rude slap in the face. http://www.lobelog.com/mek-delisting-slap-in-the-face-for-average-iranians/
Also useful – Coleen Rowley, "'Our (New) Terrorists' the MEK: Have We Seen This Movie Before?" Antiwar.com [September 28, 2012] http://original.antiwar.com/colleen-rowley/2012/09/27/our-new-terrorists-the-mek-have-we-seen-this-movie-before/; and Associated Press, "Iran says Obama administration's removal of group from US terror list shows 'double standards'" [September 29, 2012] http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/iran-says-obama-administrations-removal-of-group-from-us-terror-list-shows-double-standards/2012/09/29/25c50a92-0a30-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_print.html
Iran Reveals More About What It Calls Foreign Sabotage
By Rick Gladstone, New York Times [September 26, 2012]
---- Iran said Tuesday that it had amassed new evidence of attempts by saboteurs to attack Iranian nuclear, defense, industrial and telecommunications installations, including the use of computer virus-infected American, French and German equipment. An Intelligence Ministry announcement represented a new level of detail from Iran about the scope of sabotage attacks, and it appeared to reflect growing Iranian concern about security threats carried out clandestinely. Some equipment in question was even put on display, Fars said, calling it the first such exhibition "to show American, French and German equipment used for sabotage acts against Iran's vital and important facilities."  The accounts of sabotage came three days after the top Iranian lawmaker for national security and foreign policy, Aladdin Boroujerdi, said Iranian security experts had discovered explosives planted inside equipment bought from Siemens, the German technology company. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/world/middleeast/iran-reveals-more-about-what-it-calls-foreign-sabotage-acts.html?ref=world
Why Iran resists pressure to open Parchin to IAEA inspectors
By Cyrus Safdari, Iran Affairs [September 27, 2012]
---- Parchin is a military site that has been in the news lately because the IAEA is insisting on sending inspectors there, and Iran has been resisting the pressure. While this has naturally led many US media outlets to suggest that Iran is hiding something there, Hassan Beheshtipour explains Iran's position over at IranReview.org. http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2012/09/why-iran-resists-pressure-to-open-parchin-to-iaea-inspectors.html
Inside Iran
How to Save the Regime in Tehran
By Nazila Fathi, Foreign Policy [September 25, 2012]
---- Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi has a lot on her mind these days…. Iran contends that its nuclear program is peaceful, intended solely for power generation to bolster up a beleaguered economy. In any case, analysts have warned that a military strike is unlikely to halt the program and may only delay it for a few years. Iran has sheltered its nuclear facilities deep underground to protect from any possible military strikes, and has vowed that it would retaliate harshly if it comes under attack. But Ebadi points to another problem. War with Israel, she says, may rescue the Iranian regime at a time when it is extremely unpopular at home and is clinging to power with an iron fist. "It is the only thing that can save the regime," she said. "A war will stir nationalistic feelings and rally the people behind the government to defend the country. It will be catastrophic for the [Iranian] people, the country, and the region, but it will save Iran's rulers." http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/25/how_to_save_the_regime_in_Tehran?page=full
Also useful – From Reuters, "Ex-Iran president's son returns from exile, faces charges," [September 24, 2012] http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/24/us-iran-rafsanjani-idUSBRE88N07420120924
Defusing Israel's 'Detonator' Strategy
By Patrick Tyler, Los Angeles Times [September 25, 2012]
[FB – Patrick Tyler is the author of the new book, Fortress Israel: The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country – And Why They Can't Make Peace.]
---- Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed general who led Israel to military victories in the 1956 Suez war and the Six-Day War of 1967, believed in what he called a "detonator" strategy for the Jewish state. "When someone wishes to force on us things which are detrimental to our existence, there will be an explosion which will shake up wide areas, and realizing this, such elements in the international system will do their utmost to prevent damage to us." In trying to assess whether Israel will launch a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear complex, possibly triggering a broad Middle Eastern war and a new shock to the global economy, Western leaders need to take into account Israel's capacity for playing the role of "detonator" in the Middle East, a strategy that can be seen in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand for "red lines" that, if crossed, would serve as a trigger for war. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-tyler-israel-iran-20120925,0,2052350.story
Israel's Foreign Ministry: Sanctions against Iran are having dramatic impact
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz [Israel] [September 27, 2012]
---- An internal Foreign Ministry document maintains that the additional sanctions imposed on Iran in recent months have caused far more damage to the Iranian economy than previous believed and have sparked additional domestic criticism of the regime. Against this backdrop, Israel has stepped up its efforts to have the European Union impose another round of sanctions, a senior ministry official said. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-s-foreign-ministry-sanctions-against-iran-are-having-dramatic-impact.premium-1.466860
Also useful – From the Associated Press, "Iconic Israeli newspaper Maariv faces collapse; critics allege it's part of anti-media blitz" [September 25, 2012] http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/iconic-israeli-newspaper-maariv-faces-collapse-critics-allege-its-part-of-anti-media-blitz/2012/09/25/4345d464-0749-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_print.html
Syria and the Dogs of War
By Conn Hallinan, Foreign in Policy in Focus [September 29, 2012]
Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1
---- "Blood and destruction," "dreadful objects," and "pity choked" was the Bard's searing characterization of what war visits upon the living. It is a description that increasingly parallels the ongoing war in Syria, which is likely to worsen unless the protagonists step back and search for a diplomatic solution to the 17-month old civil war. From an initial clash over a monopoly of power by Syria's Baathist Party, the war has spread to Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, ignited regional sectarianism, drawn in nations around the globe, and damaged the reputation of regional and international organizations. Once loosed, the dogs of war range where they will. http://original.antiwar.com/hallinan/2012/09/28/syria-and-the-dogs-of-war/
Syrian War's Spillover Threatens a Fragile Iraq
By Tim Arango, New York Times [September 24, 2012]
---- The civil war in Syria is testing Iraq's fragile society and fledgling democracy, worsening sectarian tensions, pushing Iraq closer to Iran and highlighting security shortcomings just nine months after American forces ended their long and costly occupation here. The Syrian war's spillover has called attention to uncomfortable realities for American officials: despite nearly nine years of military engagement, an effort that continues today with a $19 billion weapons sales program, Iraq's security is uncertain and its alliance with the theocratic government in Tehran is growing. Iraq's Shiite-dominated leadership is so worried about a victory by Sunni radicals in Syria that it has moved closer to Iran, which shares a similar interest in supporting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/25/world/middleeast/iraq-faces-new-perils-from-syrias-civil-war.html?hp
(Video) Lakhdar Brahimi: 'Change has to take place'
From Aljazeera [September 23, 2012] – 25 minutes
----The UN special envoy to Syria explains why he believes the crisis there poses a real threat to the region. http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/09/201292383554431764.html
Turkish pilots killed by Assad, not in crash: leaked documents
From Al Arabiya News [September 29, 2012]
[FB Al Arabiya is Saudi Arabia's answer to Al Jazeera.  A threshold question is whether or not this report is genuine or fabricated.  In either case, it is bound to increase tensions between Turkey and Syria; and if it turns out to be genuine (or "not falsifiable") it could easily escalate the conflict.)
---- As political tensions mount between neighboring Syria and Turkey, newly-leaked Syrian intelligence documents obtained by Al Arabiya disclose shocking claims shedding light on the dreadful fate of two Turkish Air Force pilots. Contrary to what was publically claimed, the documents reveal that the pilots survived the crash, but were later executed by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad! This disclosure is the first in a series of revelations based on a number of newly-leaked and highly classified Syrian security documents which will be aired in a special program produced by Al Arabiya over the next two weeks.  http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/29/240805.html
Qatar Calls for Arab Intervention in Syria
Qatari Emir Pushes for Arab Invasion of Syria
By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [September 25, 2012]
---- Speaking today at the UN General Assembly, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani proposed an Arab coalition invasion force to enter Syria and "stop the bloodshed," citing the 1970′s Lebanese force as a guideline. He insisted the nations have a "military duty" to intervene. This was an extremely poor example because the Arab Deterrent Force (ADF), deployed to Lebanon at the onset of their bloody civil war, ended up staying for a solid seven years, morphing into a Syrian military occupation of northern Lebanon, which continued for decades. The Qatari government, as with the rest of the governments in the GCC, back the rebels against the Assad government, and many are keen to insinuate themselves militarily to install the Sunni rebels in the country. Russia and China, both allies of Assad, would oppose any foreign invasions. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/09/25/qatari-emir-pushes-for-arab-invasion-of-syria/
Qatar: Rich and Dangerous
By Felix Imonti, OilPrice.com [September 17, 2012]
---- Why would Qatar want to become involved in Syria where they have little invested?  A map reveals that the kingdom is a geographic prisoner in a small enclave on the Persian Gulf coast. It relies upon the export of LNG, because it is restricted by Saudi Arabia from building pipelines to distant markets.  In 2009, the proposal of a pipeline to Europe through Saudi Arabia and Turkey to the Nabucco pipeline was considered, but Saudi Arabia that is angered by its smaller and much louder brother has blocked any overland expansion. The fighting is likely to continue for many more months, but Qatar is in for the long term.  At the end, there will be contracts for the massive reconstruction and there will be the development of the gas fields.  In any case, Al-Assad must go.  There is nothing personal; it is strictly business to preserve the future tranquility and well-being of Qatar. http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Qatar-Rich-and-Dangerous.html
Also useful – (Video) "Is it time for Arab intervention in Syria?" Aljazeera [September 30, 2012] http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/09/20129308816498990.html; and Jason Ditz, "Egypt's Mursi Opposes Invasion of Syria," Antiwar.com [September 26, 2012] http://news.antiwar.com/2012/09/26/egypts-mursi-opposes-invasion-of-syria/


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