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Monday, March 25, 2013

[haw-info] Iran War Weekly - March 25, 2013

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
March 25, 2013
Hello All – Last week's "technical talks" between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) deflated the hopes generated by the meeting of "higher level" negotiators in Kazakhstan in February, suggesting that little can be expected by the next round of talks scheduled, again in Kazakhstan, on April 5 and 6.
The technical talks revealed that the parties remained miles apart on the fundamental principles of an agreement.  In fact, as the Leveretts suggest in their article linked below, things are about where they were a year ago.  The US-led team demands that Iran take major steps toward ending its nuclear-enrichment activities before it will consider a significant lifting of economic sanctions, a position that Iran continues to reject.  With Iran's presidential elections coming in June, little can now be expected from the next round of negotiations in April.
Gridlock in the nuclear negotiations makes this week's developments in Syria especially ominous.  Major reports in The New York Times and The Wall St. Journal have revealed the greatly increased tempo of arms shipments to Syria's opposition, and the growing role of the CIA in managing this.  Presumably this represents a decision by the Obama administration to double-down on its commitment to the "non-Islamist" armed opposition.  The collapse of the external, political wing of this opposition this week, described in a number of articles linked below, thus leaves the United States with only a military strategy for Syria.
And the reach of the war in Syria continues to widen.  This week Secretary of State Kerry made a visit to Iraq to demand that Iraq cease allowing Iranian overflights to Syria.  US military personnel stepped up their role in Jordan, purportedly to prepare for seizing Syria's chemical weapons.  Israel "returned fire" (of unknown origin) into Syria.  Lebanon's coalition government collapsed, reported a casualty of internal political divisions related to the war in Syria.  The possibility of a truly regional war – and one that would involve the United States and Iran – seems very high.
Frank Brodhead
Playing Chicken with the Islamic Republic
By Linda Heiden, Open Democracy [March 13, 2013]
---- Threats of attack and sanctions have proven to be a double-edged sword, inflicting real damage on both the Iranian regime and its democratic opposition, with real costs for the fragile European economy and America's strategic power. Despite the Iranian regime's defiant bravado, the Islamic Republic is under extraordinary pressure. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei faces unprecedented discord within his own circles, multiple challenges to Iran's strategic regional influence, the threat of attack and the noose of draconian sanctions. But the story has another side: threats and sanctions have had benefits as well as costs for the regime and are exacerbating strategic problems for the West. The change of tone emanating from both Washington and Tehran indicates both sides see advantages to meaningful negotiations. http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/linda-heiden/playing-chicken-with-islamic-republic
Obama's Choice: Real Diplomacy (or War) with Iran
By Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt Leverett. Aljazeera [March 23, 2013]
---- Contrary to conventional wishful thinking in American policy circles, developments in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 and the Iran-related messages coming out of President Obama's trip to Israel strongly suggest that the risk of a US-initiated military confrontation with Tehran during Obama's second term are rising, not falling. This is because Obama's administration has made an ill-considered wager that it can "diplomatically" coerce Iran's abandonment of indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capabilities. This is dangerous, for it will become clear over the next year or so - the timeframe Obama himself has set before he would consider Iran able to build nuclear weapons - that the bet has failed. If the administration does not change course and accept Iran's strategic independence and rising regional influence - including accepting the principle and reality of internationally-safeguarded uranium enrichment in Iran, it will eventually be left with no fallback from which to resist pressure from Israel and its friends in Washington for military strikes, at least against Iranian nuclear facilities. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/2013323122320841464.html
Strategic Engagement: Iran, Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council
By Seyed Hossein Mousavian March 23, 2013
---- Although the mistrust is deeply rooted on both sides, Iran, Iraq and the GCC share a number of interests and concerns, including avoiding a fourth war in the region, fighting drug trafficking and organised crime, combating terrorism and extremism, preventing a clash of civilisations which can lead to a significantly greater degree of animosity among the West and the Muslim nations; safe maritime passage of oil shipments through the narrow Strait of Hormuz and security for a quarter of the world's international energy exports, promoting the role of the Muslim world in the international arena; and last but not least, managing crises in Muslim countries. The question is whether the current tensions can be defused and efforts made to focus on areas of mutual interest and build a new relationship between Iran and the GCC. My diplomatic experience suggests it is a possibility and necessity. http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/strategic-engagement-iran-iraq-and-the-gcc-1.1161822
Nuclear talks: Iran unmoved by world powers' latest proposal
By Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor [March 19, 2013]
---- Behind closed doors in Istanbul yesterday, six world powers gave Iran more details on their latest proposal to limit Iran's most sensitive nuclear work – an offer Iran says still has "no balance" because it asks Iran to give up more than it gets in return. In marathon 13.5-hour talks, the world powers clarified demands made last month that Iran limit uranium enrichment to 20 percent – a level not too far technically from bomb-grade – and put its Fordow underground facility out of service, in exchange for modest relief from sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. Iran said that the incentives were not strong enough, and that the outcome of a year-long negotiation was still too ambiguous to take initial steps that could overcome mutual mistrust. That result tempers optimism voiced by Iran in late February that changes in the six world powers' offer were a potential "turning point." http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0319/Nuclear-talks-Iran-unmoved-by-world-powers-latest-proposal?nav=87-frontpage-entryNineItem
The Not-So-Imminent Iranian Nuke: A Year Away for a Decade
By Nima Shirazi, Wide Asleep in America [March 18, 2013]
---- According to official estimates, the Islamic Republic of Iran is now roughly a year away from acquiring a nuclear bomb.  Well, that is, if it were actually building a nuclear bomb.  Which it's not.  "Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don't want to cut it too close," President Barack Obama told an Israeli television station on March 14, 2013.  Obama's statement came just two days after his own Director of National Intelligence told a Senate committee that the Iranian government had not made a decision to weaponize its legal, safeguarded civilian nuclear energy program. …Repeating his administration's main talking point, Obama told his Israeli interviewer, "What I have also said is that there is a window, not an infinite period of time, but a window of time where we can resolve this diplomatically and it is in all of our interests." But this window has already been open for decades and Iran has supposedly been only a year away from a bomb for the past ten years. http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2013/03/the-not-so-imminent-iranian-nuke-year-away.html
Iran Open to Direct US Talks
By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [March 21, 2013]
---- Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that his nation is not opposed to holding direct talks with the United States about its nuclear program, the first time he suggested such talks were a possibility. The last time he commented on talks, he downplayed the reports of "progress" in nuclear talks, insisting that he doubted Western nations were really open to making substantial concessions. In today's comments he remained skeptical, saying he doubts that bilateral talks with the US would yield any results so long as the administration keeps adding sanctions. Khamenei says that there have been US messages delivered to Iran in the past about such talks, but that the messages suggested they only wanted to demand Iran give in to all US demands, adding "this is not dialogue." He also said he is concerned the US wants to just leave the issue unresolved so they can keep adding sanctions. http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/21/iran-open-to-direct-us-talks/
US Persian Gulf Policy in Obama's Second Term
By Gary Sick [March 24, 2013]
---- There are powerful voices in the United States pushing Obama in the direction of direct U.S. military action in the Middle East. Specifically, there are calls for more active intervention in Syria and in favor of explicit threats of military action against Iran. In Syria, the rationale begins with the horrors of the humanitarian disaster, as the Alawite government of Bashar al-Assad fights, literally, for its life. A second reason put forward by proponents of a more muscular policy is to neutralize Iran's role in the Levant and counteract its direct assistance to Damascus. A third reason, which goes to the very heart of America's policy dilemma in the 21st century, is that the United States, according to these voices, is still the indispensable nation and should not be satisfied to "lead from behind." With regard to Iran, the reasoning is somewhat different. Despite the most stifling precautionary economic sanctions ever imposed against a member state of the United Nations, Iran continues to pursue its nuclear development program. The sanctions, it is argued by some, must be reinforced with clear promises of military action if Iran fails to comply with the demands of the United Nations Security Council. In both cases, a more aggressive U.S. posture carries real risks that minor skirmishes or even accidents could escalate quickly into a full blown war. http://garysick.tumblr.com/post/45787800398/us-persian-gulf-policy-in-obamas-second-term
Why the Revolutionary Guards Do Not Run Iran's Economy
By Kevan Harris, The Diplomat [March 21, 2013]
---- There has long been a consensus among Western pundits that the IRGC controls Iran's economy. The truth is much messier. Particularly in the wake of the contested 2009 presidential elections in the Islamic Republic, a popular consensus has taken shape among Western government officials, policymakers, and scholars on the immense role the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) plays in the Iranian economy. Today, this position significantly informs sanctions policy, as individuals, businesses, and organizations suspected of having ties to current or former IRGC members are quickly blacklisted by Washington and Brussels from international finance and trade networks. My research details how, since 2006, Iran's government has sold off huge blocks of public companies' shares through the stock market, transfers to cooperative holding companies, or simply handing over ownership to semi-public bodies to which the government is indebted. The creation of cooperatives, firms, and investment conglomerates affiliated with the IRGC and parastatal bodies do not signify a creeping militarization or "revolutionary" ideological subordination of Iran's economy so much as they characterize the commodification of bureaucratic privilege and status held by individuals in these organizations. http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/21/why-the-revolutionary-guards-do-not-run-irans-economy/
The Tragic Endings of Iranian Cinema
By Hamid Dabashi, Aljazeera [March 23, 2013]
---- The ruling regime in Iran has succeeded in ripping the leading Iranian filmmakers from the fabric of their society and cast them into vague and ambiguous environments about which they know very little. Given their creative ingenuity - as now perhaps best evident in the works of Jafar Panahi or Mohsen Makhmalbaf - they can manage to create almost anywhere, from their living room to the occupied Palestine, but the result begins to abstract the filmmakers from that certain intuition of transcendence that approximates an artist to the sacred precincts of her and his culture. … This is not to say Iranian cinema has no future - but that future is being mapped out and navigated on unchartered territories far from major European or even non-European film festivals. Under the radar is now a young generation of filmmakers whose courageous and imaginative works are yet to receive any recognition in their own homeland or celebration in any major film festival. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/2013320175739100357.html
Turkey: Israel Normalization Would Require Ending Gaza Blockade
By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [March 24, 2013]
---- Friday's belated Israeli apology for killing nine aid workers aboard the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara was being spun as the ticket to normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey, and Israeli officials have suggested they considered this a goal, with an eye on Syria. Yet the indications are that it isn't so simple, with comments from both sides suggesting that the status of the Gaza Strip is going to continue to strain the relationship of the two nations going forward. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the full normalization of relations with Israel would require not only compensation for victims of the Mavi Marmara attack, but a commitment to continue easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip, something Israel promised already after the November war. That seems unlikely, as Israeli officials not only insisted that there was no commitment to any further relaxation of the Gaza blockade, adding that there was a possibility of a further crackdown on the strip. That already seems to be happening, with Israel severely restricting fishing over the past few days. As for compensation, Israeli officials say they will support a deal if Turkey promises not to prosecute any Israeli soldiers for the killings. http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/24/turkey-israel-normalization-would-require-ending-gaza-blockade/
Weapons Experts Raise Doubts About Israel's Antimissile System
By William J. Broad, New York Times [March 20, 2013]
---- For Iron Dome, the performance issue is important, in part, because defense bears strongly on offense. Israel's decision on whether to bomb Iran's nuclear sites — as it has repeatedly threatened to do — could hinge on its estimate of the retaliatory costs, including damage inflicted by rockets fired from southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/world/middleeast/israels-iron-dome-system-is-at-center-of-debate.html?ref=world
Islamic Front and Nusra Move on Damascus. Will the US build a Counter-force?
From Syria Comment [March 24, 2013]
---- The Islam Front and Jabhat al-Nusra are gaining strength. Already al-Nusra has a strong foothold in the Damascus region in the Palestinian neighborhood of Yarmouk, around the Jabal Druze, and in the Daraya-Adhamiya region of Damascus. The US and British are trying to build up forces around Damascus as well, in order to take the capital. They are working hand in glove with Saudis and particularly the Jordanians. Hence the many stories about US training missions in Jordan and cooperation with Jordanian intelligence. Some believe that the US, British and French may be developing a strategy to spearhead a move on Damascus before the Islamic Front and al-Nusra can capture it for themselves. But it is not clear how committed the US and the West are to manning up the opposition in the South of Syria to gain the jump on the growing Islamic tide washing down from the North. http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=18297
The Case for Restraint: Syria and the International Criminal Court
By Betcy Jose,Aljazeera [March 21, 2013]
---- The violence and bloodshed from all sides continues, and the international community remains stalemated as to its response to the ongoing crisis. It has explored a number of options, from diplomacy to more coercive action like economic sanctions and military force. Recently, there have been calls for judicial intervention by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Is this a viable option? This piece examines the effectiveness of an ICC investigation as a means of halting the Syrian conflict. It first discusses non-judicial options currently on the table. By illustrating how difficult these options are, a case can be made for why pursuing the judicial option right now may not be effective in helping Syrian civilians or sustaining international law. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/2013320164619306786.html
Additional perspectives – Line Zouhour, "Whither the Peaceful Movement in Syria?" Jadaliyya [March 18, 2013] http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/10616/whither-the-peaceful-movement-in-syria#.UUiS_T6uH0w.facebook; Stephen M. Walt, "The Dearth of Strategy on Syria," Foreign Policy [http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/03/21/the_dearth_of_strategy_on_syria; and Bassam Haddad, "Perpetual Recalculation: Getting Syria Wrong Two Years On," Jadaliyya [March 18, 2013] http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/10674/perpetual-recalculation_getting-syria-wrong-two-ye
US Steps Up Military Assistance to Opposition
Obama Boosts Syria Support as Congress Pushes Military Intervention
By Samer Araabi, Inter Press Service [
---- As the Syrian uprising enters its third year, the United States and its allies are preparing to materially increase their support of the armed opposition in Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged an additional 60 million dollars in direct aid to the rebels, marking the first time Washington will directly supply rebel forces, but the administration appears as wary as ever to get more directly involved.
The provision of battlefield materiel has been met with some support from hawks who have pushed for greater military intervention, though many policymakers have urged the president to go even further. Exhortations for intervention have increased since rumours began of a chemical weapons attack in Aleppo. Though U.S. officials have largely dismissed the reports, many members of Congress expressed concern about the use of weapons of mass destruction in Syria. http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/03/obama-boosts-syria-support-as-congress-pushes-for-military-intervention/
Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid
By C. J. Chivers and Eric Schmitt, New York Times [March 24, 2013]
---- With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria's opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against PresidentBashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders. The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. The shipments also highlight the competition for Syria's future between Sunni Muslim states and Iran, the Shiite theocracy that remains Mr. Assad's main ally. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraq on Sunday to do more to halt Iranian arms shipments through its airspace; he did so even as the most recent military cargo flight from Qatar for the rebels landed at Esenboga early Sunday night. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?hp
More on the CIA – Adam Entous et al., "CIA Expands Role in Syria Fight," Wall St. Journal [March 22, 2013] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324373204578376591874909434.html
Syrian Opposition in Chaos
Syrian Opposition in Disarray as its Leader Resigns
By Liz Sly, Washington Post [March 24, 2013]
---- Syria's opposition coalition was on the verge of collapse Sunday after its president resigned and rebel fighters rejected its choice to head an interim government, leaving a U.S.-backed effort to forge a united front against President Bashar al-Assad in tatters. The resignation of Moaz al-Khatib, a moderate Sunni preacher who heads the Syrian Opposition Coalition, climaxed a bitter internal fight over a range of issues, from the appointment of an interim government to a proposal by Khatib to launch negotiations with the Syrian regime. His departure plunged the opposition into disarray at a time when the United States and its Western allies are stepping up their support for moderates opposed to Assad's regime. Khatib's coalition was expected to play a key role in identifying the recipients and channeling the assistance. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/syrian-opposition-in-disarray-as-its-leader-resigns/2013/03/24/16523304-94ba-11e2-95ca-dd43e7ffee9c_story.html
More on the state of the opposition – Jason Ditz, "Syrian Rebel Coalition Crumbling: President Resigns," Antiwar.com [March 24, 2013] http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/24/syrian-rebel-coalition-crumbling-president-resigns/; Joshua Landis, "Who is Ghassn Hitto? Why Was He backed to be Prime Minister of an Interim Gov by Mustafa Sabbagh?" Syria Comment [March 19, 2013] http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=18160; Franklin Lamb, "Could the White House Have Dreamt for More?" Counterpunch [March 22, 2013] http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/22/a-draft-dodging-zionist-friendly-rghtwing-texan-islamist-to-lead-syria/; and Anne Barnard and Hala Droubi, "Syrian Opposition Leader Quits Post," New York Times [March 24, 2013] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/israeli-military-responds-after-patrols-come-under-fire-from-syria.html?hp
The Chemical Weapon That Wasn't
Syria 'Chemical' Attack Was Rebels' Doing, Evidence Suggests
By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [March 24, 2013]
---- Last week's report of a chemical weapon attack in Syria's Aleppo Province sparked an array of calls to action, with most nations and politicians insisting it vindicated whatever position they had before, despite many points of uncertainty about it. The incident is coming into sharper focus now, however. The attack, intelligence sources appear to agree, was launched by rebel fighters and not government forces. Since the victims were overwhelmingly the Syrian military, this was not a huge shock, but is important to reiterate. The other interesting aspect is that it was not a "proper" chemical weapon, at least from preliminary investigations. The evidence suggests that the strike used a lachrymatory agent, not a nerve agent, and that the deaths were caused by suffocating on chlorine-based gas that was injected into a warhead. In some ways, this is a distinction without a difference, as the use of suffocating gas, regardless of how it kills people, is a serious war crime under international law. The important factor, however, is that it is not the sort of weapon Syria has in its arsenal, rather it is a lower-tech solution.
More on US policy re: chemical weapons – Mark Landler and Rick Gladstone, "Chemicals Would Be 'Game Changer' in Syria, Obama Says," New York Times [March 20, 2013] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/world/middleeast/syria-developments.html?ref=world; and Greg Miller, et al., "Backing up Obama's Warnings to Syria Creates Tough Challenges on Two Fronts,"  Washington Post [March 24, 2013] http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/backing-up-obamas-warnings-to-syria-creates-tough-challenges-on-two-fronts/2013/03/24/95cd5570-9314-11e2-a31e-14700e2724e4_story.html
Syria's Conflict Engulfs the Neighborhood
In 'Spirited' Talks, Kerry Tells Iraq to Help Stop Arms Shipments to Syria
By Michael R. Gordon and Tim Arango, New York Times [March 24, 2013]
---- Secretary of State John Kerry told Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, on Sunday that Iraq must take steps to stop Iran from shipping arms to Syria through Iraqi airspace. But an hour and 40 minutes of discussions here, which Mr. Kerry said were sometimes "spirited," failed to yield a breakthrough on the issue. As Mr. Kerry prepared to leave Iraq afterward, he warned that the Iranian flights were sustaining the government of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and were undermining Iraq's standing with American lawmakers. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/baghdad-kerry-iraq-arms-shipments-to-syria.html?ref=world
Also on US-Iraq-Iran – Jason Ditz, "Maliki Rejects Kerry Demand to Bar Iran Overflights," Antiwar.com [March 24, 2013] http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/24/maliki-rejects-kerry-demand-to-bar-iran-overflights/.
Mikati's Resignation Throws Lebanon into Deeper Crisis
Associated Press [March 24, 2013]
---- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman formally accepted yesterday the resignation of the prime minister, who stepped down blaming government infighting during a time of rising sectarian tensions. Mr Mikati's unexpected resignation throws the country into uncertainty at a crucial time and threatens to leave a void in the state's highest ranks amid sporadic violence inflamed by the civil war in Syria. Underpinning the political crisis are Lebanon's hugely sectarian politics and the fact that the country's two largest political blocs support opposite sides in Syria's civil war. Lebanon and Syria share a complex network of political and sectarian ties, and many fear that violence in Syria will spread to Lebanon. Some Lebanese media have speculated that his decision to step down was based on "insinuations" from the US and its allies to clear the way for an anti-Hizbollah majority, or at least a neutral government. http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/mikatis-resignation-throws-lebanon-into-deeper-crisis

[haw-info] The New Faces of War

Jim O'Brien
The New Faces of War
Indypendent Reader
March 25, 2013

Leaders of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the mid-1960s, as
the Vietnam War ratcheted up, sometimes talked of trying to stop, not
necessarily the current war, but "the seventh war from now."

Are we at seven yet? Since Vietnam we can identify the Gulf War of 1991,
the late-1990s bombings in the Balkans, the Iraq War that started with
the 2003 invasion, and the longest war in US history – namely, the war
in Afghanistan. Overthrow of the Libyan government in 2011 constituted
war on the cheap, and present-day drone attacks in Sudan represent
warfare if not an actual war. It becomes harder and harder to know what
to count.

With the vast buildup and ever-expanding reach of the American military
and "security apparatus" since 2001, the changes have been dizzying.
When Historians Against the War, a small national group formed ten years
ago in response to the Iraq invasion, decided to hold a national
conference in Baltimore April 5-7, we chose the title "The New Faces of
War." With it, we hope to provide a forum for historians and activists
to analyze what is new and not new in American war-making.

The conference's opening session, a keynote event Friday evening, April
5, at St. John's Church (co-sponsored by a half-dozen local activist
groups), holds out two distinct slants on the question of how much is
new. Retired colonel and non-retired antiwar activist Ann Wright will
speak on "Putting New War Paint on the Old Faces of War." Her fellow
keynoter, University of Wisconsin history professor Alfred McCoy, will
address "Space Warfare, Cyberspace, and the Future of U.S. Global Power."

Looming in the background of this conference is the drumbeat for an
aggressive war against Iran. Pronouncements from Congress, the
mainstream media, and, perhaps reluctantly, the White House warn that
Iran must be stopped at all costs from developing nuclear weapons.
"Responsible" discourse on the topic takes as its starting point the
idea that "all options" (except, by implication, serious negotiations)
are "on the table."

And public support for a threat-wielding U.S. policy is high. A March 19
Pew Research Group survey found that 64% of Americans call it more
important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons than to avoid
armed conflict, and only 25% say the opposite.

The Pew findings echo public support for armed action against Iraq on
the eve of the invasion ten years ago. In other words, the bloody,
expensive, and unsuccessful wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan
seemingly hold no lessons for a huge swath of the American public.

In this superheated atmosphere, a small conference on "The New Faces of
War" may seem – and, by itself, certainly is – futile. But by bringing
together both national and local opponents of warlike policies, a
conference like this one can provide a kind of "time out" from the
mainstream assumption that the U.S. has both the right and ability to
impose its will overseas.

The conference's offerings are diverse. Besides the keynote session,
Saturday plenaries feature talks by Rashid Khalidi of Columbia
University ("The U.S. as a Dishonest Broker over Palestine") and
journalist Nick Turse ("Where Have All the War Crimes Gone? Reflections
on Historical Amnesia"). The conference website lists a total of twenty
breakout sessions Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning,
ranging from "Law and the New Faces of War" and "Teaching the War on
Terror" to "Understanding and Responding to the Asia-Pacific Pivot."

Running through all the sessions will be the implicit question of "What
Can We Do?" The discussions will not yield a single answer, but perhaps
that is a lesson in itself. Modern warfare is such a many-headed monster
that it must be confronted from multiple angles. In its non-sectarian
variety, the conference will provide a look at what those possible
angles are. As Prof. Mark McCulloch of the Community College of
Baltimore County (CCBC) puts it, "The conference will give us a great
opportunity to hear what people are doing across the country, learn from
each other, and explore possible broader collaboration."

For all those who would like to see a more peaceful world, with their
country's policies turned from warfare to human needs, a conference like
this can offer a chance to refresh and reflect.

Jim O'Brien is co-chair of Historians Against the War, an organization
formed by historians calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq
and the restoration of civil liberties in the U.S. itself.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

[haw-info] Iran War Weekly - March 18, 2013

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
March 18, 2013
Hello All – As readers may/will recall, we are between negotiating sessions about Iran's nuclear program.  After an eight-month hiatus, restarting negotiations between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) and Iran was significant.  Even more significant, and also surprising, was that the negotiations in Kazakhstan in February generated cautious optimism among diplomats, and a second round of negotiations is now scheduled  for early April, again in Kazakhstan. 
The scheduling of a second meeting in April is significant not just because it holds out the hope of "progress," long absent in these talks, but also because it indicates that Iran considers its nuclear positions to be based on interests that will not be derailed by their presidential election in June.  This is in contrast to what happened during the US presidential election last fall, when nuclear talks with Iran were suspended for the lengthy campaign season.
This week representatives of Iran and the P5+1 are meeting in Istanbul for "technical talks."  The contents of these talks (as well as their location) are secret; but the general understanding is that policy wonks will work out some details and timetables for the implementation of the P5+1 negotiating proposals that were presented to Iran in February in Kazakhstan.  As several of the "Overview" articles linked below indicate, these proposals are still far from what Iran might be expected to accept; but as Farideh Farhi suggests, probably the best outcome possible within diplomatic reality would be if the US and Iran agreed to trade small amounts of sanctions relief for small curbs on Iran's enrichment program.  Even these baby steps, however, may be too much to hope for.
In Washington, meanwhile, President Obama prepares to visit Israel; and on the eve of his trip he made a speech in which he claimed that Iran is at least a year away from producing a nuclear weapon.  This is vintage Obama, splitting the difference between the Israeli position that Iran is much closer to a bomb, and the Iranian position that Iran does not want a bomb.  It is also inaccurate, in sense that the US intelligence czar testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that there is still no evidence that Iran is seeking a bomb. Moreover, expert opinion generally holds that it would take Iran years, not months, to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons if it decided to do so.
While the President's PR team is low-balling expectations for significant policy developments during his trip to Israel, it appears the Prime Minister Netanyahu will press him for greater military support, and perhaps military action, in Syria.  In the Syria section below I've linked several articles outlining the growing militarization of the US strategy toward Syria, where the conflict just passed its second anniversary. With today's Syrian airstrikes in Lebanon, we now have armed conflicts on all of Syria's international borders.  The disaster seems unstoppable.
Once again I would like to thank those who you who have forwarded this newsletter or linked it on your sites.  Previous "issues" of the Iran War Weekly are posted 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
Too Soon for a Breakthrough but Progress Possible for Iran Nuclear Talks
An Interview with Farideh Farhi, Lobe Log [March 2013]
Q): Considering the cautious optimism that was expressed by the Iranians after the Almaty talks (February 26-27), is there a better chance for a breakthrough during the March/April meetings?
---- Farideh Farhi: It is too soon to think of breakthrough at this point. But the decision on the part of Iran's negotiating team to portray the slight move on the part of the United States [to offer slight sanctions relief] as a turning point, has given the leadership in Tehran room to sell an initial confidence-building measure in the next couple of months as a "win-win situation," something the Iranians have always claimed to be interested in. Having room to maneuver domestically, however, does not necessarily mean that it will happen. In the next couple of months we just have to wait and see the extent to which opponents of any kind of deal in both Tehran and Washington will be able to prevent the optimism that's been expressed from turning into a process of give and take. http://www.lobelog.com/farideh-farhi-too-soon-for-a-breakthrough-but-progress-possible-for-iran-nuclear-talks/
Why Iran May Be Ready to Deal
By Vali Nasr, New York Times [March 17, 2013]
---- For the first time since 2009, there may be signs of a break in the deadlock over Iran's nuclear program. Iran entered the latest talks with a slightly softened position. That is good news, but the United States will have to change its negotiating strategy to take advantage of it. Economic sanctions are biting hard in Iran. Meanwhile, its strategic position is crumbling because of the turmoil in its ally Syria and the rise of militant Sunni Islamism throughout the Arab Middle East. Together, these forces seem to have forced Iran to reconsider its own bargaining position. So rather than strengthen sanctions another notch, America should give Iran a little tit for tat: begin negotiating directly, and put on the table the prospect of lifting sanctions, one by one, as bargaining chips. The United States should shift from trying to further intimidate Iran to trying to clinch an agreement. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/opinion/why-iran-may-be-ready-to-deal.html?hp
(Video) Room For Diplomacy?
From HuffPost Live [March 2013] – 30 minutes
---- Iran's ambassador to the UN says they are open to direct talks with the U.S., so what is our next move? How would a restructuring of our relationship to Iran play out? With Flynt Leverett and 3 others.
Can Iran, world powers build on recent progress in nuclear talks?
By Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor [March 17, 2013]
---- Experts of Iran and six world powers will meet behind closed doors in Istanbul, Turkey, tomorrow for "technical-level" nuclear talks aimed at turning recent diplomatic progress into concrete measures. 
Diplomats on both sides say the low-profile technical meeting can be ideal for thrashing out details and a timeline for the first steps to limit Iran's most sensitive nuclear work, ahead of a fifth round of top-level nuclear talks in early April. Beyond the glare of the spotlight that accompanies each full round of nuclear talks, the technical meeting can yield real results. After the last such Istanbul technical meeting in July, for example – despite three failed previous rounds of political talks in Istanbul, Baghdad, and Moscow last spring – Iran for the first time formally said its 20 percent enrichment was up for negotiation. 
This time, the P5+1 will be looking for signs that Iran is willing to begin to physically curb that level of enrichment, in exchange for a specified timetable to ease some of the sanctions that have choked Iran's economy. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0317/Can-Iran-world-powers-build-on-recent-progress-in-nuclear-talks?nav=87-frontpage-entryNineItem
Also on Istanbul – Laura Rozen, "US, Iran nuclear teams to Istanbul for technical talks," Al Monitor [March 15, 2013] http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2013/03/4760/iran-p51-nuclear-experts-head-to-istanbul-technical-talks/; and from Agence France Presse, "Experts meet in Istanbul over Iran's nuclear programme," [March 18, 2013] http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gD4lELza0YxwZ_QQ-xmXMgM5HnNw?docId=CNG.0b38e62e96bb21dec758a567d8327bca.421
Twisting the Intel to Fit the Politics: The New Generation of Hypocrisy on Iran
By Ted Snider, Counterpunch [March 15, 2013]
---- Though the recent nuclear talks with Iran ended with an apparent whiff of progress, and though the two sides have agreed to meet for further technical negotiations this month and then for political level talks next month, the U.S. continues to approach Iran with a hostility that can barely contain its hypocrisy.
The current generation of hypocrisy has three faces: Iran as a terror threat, Iran as a nuclear threat, and Iran's need to be monitored. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/15/the-new-generation-of-hypocrisy-on-iran/
Congress Guns for Iran, While the Administration Focuses on Engagement
---- In a Washington these days characterized by hyper partisanship, the last four years of near unanimous votes on sanctioning Iran has been striking. They have also been a thorn in the Administration's side. As State Department diplomats try yet again for a breakthrough at talks in Istanbul at the end of the month, two more bills further tightening the restrictions against Iran are in the works on the Hill. At best, Congress plays bad cop to the Administration's good cop. Negotiators can say their hands are tied, that unless Iran changes its tune there's little President Obama can to do to stop Congress. At worst, the bills complicate delicate negotiations and goad an already angry regime. While sanctions legislation has been a successful stick, pushing Iran's economy to the brink, the Administration has reached a point where its focus is on reaching a diplomatic solution and avoiding a war. http://swampland.time.com/2013/03/12/congress-guns-for-iran-while-the-administration-focuses-on-engagement/
Obama's Speech on Iran
Iran Nuclear Weapon to Take Year or More, Obama Says
By Michael D. Shear and David E. Sanger, New York Times [March 14, 2013]
---- President Obama told an Israeli television station on Thursday that his administration believed it would take Iran "over a year or so" to develop a nuclear weapon, and he vowed that the United States would do whatever was necessary to prevent that from happening. Less than a week before his first visit as president to Israel, Mr. Obama pledged to continue diplomatic efforts, but he promised that the United States would keep all options on the table to ensure that Iran did not become a nuclear threat to its neighbors. Mr. Obama's estimated timeline contrasts with Mr. Netanyahu's stated belief that Israel and its Western allies are likely to have to intervene by the spring or summer, when, he says, Iran's scientists will have enriched enough uranium to become a nuclear threat. Iran denies that its nuclear program has any military aim. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-weapon-to-take-year-or-more-obama-says.html?hp&_r=0
Also on the speech - Kaveh L Afrasiabi, "Obama's dangerous Iran nuclear gambit," Asia Times  [March 18, 2013] http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-180313.html
US Intelligence on Iran's Nuclear Program
U.S. Intel Chief Says Iran Isn't Building Nukes: Is Anybody Listening?
By Nima Shirazi, Wide Asleep in America [March 15, 2013]
----In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reaffirmed what the U.S. intelligence community has been saying for years: Iran has no nuclear weapons program, is not building a nuclear weapon and has not even made a decision to do so. The annual "Worldwide Threat Assessment," which compiles the collective conclusions of all American intelligence agencies, has long held that Iran maintains defensive capabilities and has a military doctrine of deterrence and retaliation, but is not an aggressive state actor and has no intention of beginning a conflict, let alone triggering a nuclear apocalypse. http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2013/03/us-intel-chief-says-iran-isnt-building-nukes.html
Also on the Senate hearing – John Glaser, "Intel Chief: Iran Cannot Secretly Divert Nuclear Material for a Bomb," Antiwar.com [March 12, 2013] http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/12/intel-chief-iran-cannot-secretly-divert-nuclear-material-for-a-bomb/
Obama Visits Israel
Obama in the Middle East
By Michael Brenner, Counterpunch [March 18, 2013]
---- American actions in the greater Middle East over the past decade pose a unique challenge to the analyst. Understanding the thinking that goes into a particular policy decision or the calculations that lie behind a diplomatic strategy is always hard in Washington where the process normally is prolix and the cast of characters exceeds that of a Russian novel. Still, we presume that a certain logic is at work – whether or not the outside observer agrees with its aims or premises. That reasonable surmise is of doubtful validity when it comes to the Obama administration. Under the President's predecessor, concealment and duplicity were routine. But the Bush people did know want they wanted and thought they had figured out how to get it. Today, ends are obscure, means ad hoc and the ends-means connections indecipherable. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/18/obama-in-the-middle-east/
Israel to ask Obama to use air strikes in case of Syrian missile transfer
By Julian Borger, The Guardian [UK] [March 17, 2013]
---- Israel will use President Obama's visit on Wednesday to try to persuade the US to carry out air strikes on Syria if there is evidence that Syrian missiles are to be handed over to Hezbollah in Lebanon, or at least to give full support to Israeli military action to prevent the transfer. On this week's trip to Israel and the West Bank, Obama will also come under Israeli pressure to lower the US threshold for military action against Iran, while the US president will try for an Israeli commitment to a peace process with the Palestinians. Neither side is likely to be successful, leaving Syria as the most promising arena for agreement. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/17/obama-visit-israel-syrian-missiles-transfer
Also on Obama's trip – Robert Hunter, "Obama Muddles Through the Middle East," Deutsche Welle [March 14, 2013] http://www.dw.de/obama-muddles-through-the-middle-east/a-16671939; and Rashid Khalidi, "Is Any Hope Left for Mideast Peace?" New York Times [March 13, 2013] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/opinion/obama-in-jerusalem.html?hp&_r=0.
Iran intensifies debate on US talks
By Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor [March 14, 2013]
---- Iranian leaders have intensified debate on the pros and cons of direct talks with the United States in recent days, suggesting Tehran may be mulling whether to take President Obama up on the offer and under what conditions. The flurry of debate comes as arms control officials from Iran, Washington and five world powers are due to meet in Istanbul next week, to discuss a revised international nuclear proposal that Iranian negotiators greeted favorably in Kazakhstan last month. http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2013/03/4731/iran-leaders-intensify-debate-on-direct-us-talks/
Investigator from U.N. Gives Iran Harsh Review
By Nick Cumming-Bruce, New York Times [March 12, 2013]
---- With presidential elections approaching in June, Iran has cracked down on journalists, rights activists and lawyers apparently in a bid to stifle dissent, a United Nations investigator said on Tuesday. He also said that the judicial authorities in Iran had tortured some Iranians for contacting him. Iran rejected the assertions by the investigator, Ahmed Shaheed, calling them unfounded propaganda done under pressure of the West to malign the country. Iranian officials have issued similar rejoinders to the reports of Mr. Shaheed, a former foreign minister of the Maldives, since he was appointed to the role after the repression of antigovernment protests over the disputed Iranian presidential elections of 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/world/middleeast/un-rights-investigator-gives-harsh-appraisal-of-iran.html?ref=world
Also on Iran - From Associated Press, "Iran to try 18 over killing of nuclear scientists," [March 17, 2013] http://www.salon.com/2013/03/17/iran_to_try_18_over_killing_of_nuclear_scientists_2/singleton/
US Drones Over Persian Gulf Now Have Escorts
By Jim White, Empty Wheel [March 15, 2013]
---- The latest incident in the cat and mouse drone games the US and Iran are carrying out has an Iranian jet coming close to a US Predator drone over the Persian Gulf. US reports on the incident all rely on information released by Defense Department spokesman George Little and every report that I have read in the media includes, but does not comment on, the fact that this drone was accompanied by two US escort planes. As recently as the incident back in November when Iranian jets fired on a drone it is clear that drones were not escorted, so the presence of escorts is a new development. http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/03/15/us-drones-over-persian-gulf-now-have-escorts/
'Iran Sanctions are Immoral and Illegal – and Cowardly'
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Tehran Times [March 14, 2013]
---- No matter how you look at the sanctions, they are immoral and illegal – and cowardly. It would be naive to believe that their goal of these sanctions is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I believe that there should be no mistake about the reality that sanctions are warfare without the military involvement.  They have a multitude of goals. One is to convince the war weary and war wary public that there is diplomacy in place to avoid a 'military option'. Collective punishment is illegal under international law. http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/13166
Also on sanctions – Timothy Gardner, "U.S. extends waivers on Iran sanctions to 11 countries," Reuters [March 13, 2013] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/13/us-usa-iran-sanctions-idUSBRE92C0YQ20130313; and from Reuters, "Iran seeks U.S. wheat despite nuclear tension," [March 13, 2013] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/13/us-grain-iran-idUSBRE92C0DW20130313
The Saudi Oil War on Iran
By Aby Reza Sanati, National Interest [March 13, 2013]
---- When Prince Turki al-Faisal suggested last year that the House of Saud would join in the U.S.-led sanctions against Iranian oil, by seeking to displace Tehran's oil exports from the global economy, he was not referring to a novel idea. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has led two prior oil wars against Iran…. An appreciation of the limits and potential consequences of the third Saudi oil war are critical—the former having to do with Saudi Arabia's current vulnerabilities, while the latter concern Iran's possible reactions.
Though the Saudis, as OPEC's swing producer, can impact immediate supply fluctuations, their ability to fundamentally reshape market dynamics is now being hampered by new pressures. http://nationalinterest.org/print/commentary/the-saudi-oil-war-iran-8214
Pak-Iran Pipeline Carries Energy and Defiance
By Richard Javad Heydarian, Inter Press Service [March 14, 2013]
---- After almost two decades of non-stop negotiations, and two years of intense U.S. opposition, the much-delayed and controversial 7.5 billion dollar Iran-Pakistan pipeline is well on its track to full operation in the next 15 months. In a telling sign of Pakistan's growing energy woes, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari chose to ignore vigorous external opposition and visit Iran (Feb. 27) in order to finalise a fateful energy deal which could potentially elevate Iran-Pakistan relations into a strategic partnership. … The deal is a subtext of a broader trend where Iran – leveraging its sizeable hydrocarbon reserves – has been gradually warming up to energy-hungry U.S. allies such as Turkey, which has been Iran's major natural gas customer and a vigorous critic of Western 'secondary sanctions' on Tehran's energy partners.
Pakistan and Iran (together with Turkey) have been founding members of the regional body, the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), and have for decades been exploring multiple ways of enhancing bilateral relations and regional economic integration. http://original.antiwar.com/javad-heydarian/2013/03/14/pak-iran-pipeline-carries-energy-and-defiance/
The Free Syrian Army Doesn't Exist
By Aron Lund, Syria Comment March 16th, 2013
---- Is the FSA losing influence in Syria? How many people are in the FSA? Is the FSA receiving enough guns from the West, or too many? Will the FSA participate in elections after the fall of Bahar el-Assad? What is the ideology of the FSA? What's the FSA's view of Israel? Is Jabhat el-Nosra now bigger than the FSA? What does the FSA think about the Kurds? Who is the leader of the FSA? How much control does the central command of the FSA really have over their fighters? All these and similar questions keep popping up in news articles and op-ed chinstrokers in the Western media, and in much of the Arabic media too. They all deal with important issues, but they disregard an important fact: the FSA doesn't really exist. http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=18104
(Video) On Uprising's Anniversary, a Syrian Opposition Voice Says Country is Victim of a Global Proxy War
From Democracy Now! [March 15, 2013]
---- Today marks the second anniversary of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people and created at least one million refugees. We're joined by Rim Turkmani, an astrophysicist and member of the Syrian Civil Democratic Alliance who's in New York meeting with Security Council members discussing possible political solutions to the situation in Syria. Turkmani warns that Syrian voices for nonviolence are being ignored as foreign actors on both sides fuel an armed conflict. "There's systematic efforts to marginalize people like us inside Syria and focus only on the armed rebels. And they are the ones now who are stealing all the headlines," Turkmani says. "Why? Because, yes, there are certain actors, regional and international, who see this as proxy wars, and it's an opportunity to fight their international opponents. It's a struggle over Syria, over power, and the Syrians are falling victims to that." http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/15/on_uprisings_anniversary_a_syrian_opposition
(Video) Where is the Syrian conflict heading?
From Aljazeera [Inside Syria] [March 17, 2013]
---- An uprising that was inspired by the Arab Spring is now a violent conflict, with no end in sight. Inside Syria discusses with guests: Yaser Tabbara, Joshua Landis and Danny Makki. http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2013/03/20133177557742685.html
Intensifying US Intervention
Ambassador: US providing $114 million in aid to Syrian rebels
By Julian Pecquet, The Hill [March 13, 2013]
---- The Obama administration is providing the Syrian opposition with $114 million in aid, more than previously revealed, to help topple Bashar Assad, U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford told Congress on Wednesday. Ford briefed House appropriators in a closed-door hearing following Secretary of State John Kerry's announcement last month that America would provide $60 million in direct food and medicine assistance to the Syrian Opposition Coalition. The aid, Ford said, is in addition to $54 million in communications gear and other aid already offered to "disparate Syrian opposition groups across the country to build a network of ethnically and religiously diverse civilian activists." http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/287953-ambassador-us-providing-114-million-in-aid-to-syrian-rebels
CIA Boosts Support for Iraqi Militias
By John Glaser March 12, 2013
---- The White House has directed the CIA to increase its cooperation and backing of Iraqi state militias to fight al-Qaeda affiliates there and cut off the flow of fighters pouring into Syria. According to US intelligence, the Islamic militant group al-Qaeda in Iraq has for years been sending fighters over the border into Syria's civil war in an attempt to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad. In Syria, the offshoot goes by the name of Jabhat al-Nusra, a group the State Department designated a terrorist organization last year. To stem the flow of these fighters into Syria, the Obama administration has been employing the CIA to work with Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service, or CTS, a state militia bred and trained by the US prior to the withdrawal and which now answers directly to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The White House directed the CIA to support CTS in a series of secret orders from 2011 to late 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal. http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/12/via-boosts-support-for-iraqi-militias/
Also on the CIA – Ken Dilanian and Brian Bennett, "CIA begins sizing up Islamic extremists in Syria for drone strikes," Los Angeles Times March 15, 2013 http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-syria-20130316,0,3989647.story
U.S. House Democrat Wants Lethal Aid for Syria Rebels
By Patricia Zengerle, Reuters [March 18, 2013]
---- The senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is pushing President Barack Obama's administration to train and arm some Syrian rebels, in addition to providing humanitarian assistance. Representative Eliot Engel will introduce a bill on Monday that would authorize Washington to provide assistance "including limited lethal equipment" to carefully vetted members of the Syrian opposition, aides and activists aware of Engel's plans said on Sunday. http://news.yahoo.com/u-house-democrat-wants-lethal-aid-syria-rebels-231126785.html