There is always the tension between "justice" and intelligence. On the one hand you want to bring terrorists to account. On the other hand you want to "follow the ants" so that more of the terrorist network becomes exposed. Perhaps it is best that the FBI isn't in charge of fighting the foreign war on terror (sorry John).
The US doesn't use drones to zap terrorists in friendly countries (where we would grab them). The US uses drones to zap terrorist where there would be substantial risk to ground forces trying to capture a high valued target.
All that being said, I can't help thinking that given B.O.'s politics, just deserts "murder" is a better option than standard S.E.R.E. training "torture". Go figure.
Posted by: Mike Ramsey ||
I agree about the balance between information and action; but the serious question has to be asked, at what point are we just playing whack-a-mole with what are effectively bands of renegades, of little or no intelligence value?
At this point, you reach a different level of operations. For example, discern what Pakistani madrassas are cranking out future fighters, and use a little counter-terrorism on them, wiping them out, and making it look like a competing sect did it.
By now, we should have created an "anti-al-Qaeda" organization, with fabricated radical Islamic doctrines, focused entirely on exterminating other radical Muslims. Utterly disinterested in infidels, they work completely within the Ummah to wipe out Islamists.
...discern what Pakistani madrassas are cranking out future fighters, and use a little counter-terrorism on them, wiping them out...
Those would be the ones teaching Qutbism, aka the Muslim brotherhood.
Posted by: Mike Ramsey ||
Qutbism, aka the Muslim Brotherhood, is only the most prominent of many Muslim organizations advancing Islamic conquest of the world. The root of the problem isn't the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda or Taliban or Salafism Deobandism or Twelver Shiism or Hizb Allah or Hizb ut Tehrir, it is Islam, the death and sex cult.
The Taliban aren't strong, or they'd be inflicting more casualties on ISAF. The daily GI body count is 1, as compared to 2 dozen during the Vietnam War. The press's daily diarrhea of defeatist rhetoric is obscuring the fact that the Taliban are inflicting minimal casualties on US forces. The real problem isn't that the Taliban is strong - it's that we're weak, with ROE's that defy belief.
Here's what happened to Najibullah after the Soviets withdrew:
Without the Soviets
Pakistan, under Zia ul-Haq, continued to support the mujahideen even if it was a contravention of the Geneva Accords. At the beginning most observers expected the Najibullah government to collapse immediately, and to be replaced with an Islamic fundamentalist government. The Central Intelligence Agency stated in a report, that the new government would be ambivalent, or even worse, hostile towards the United States. Almost immediately after the Soviet withdrawal, the Battle of Jalalabad broke out between Afghan government forces and the mujahideen. The offensive against the city began when the mujahideen bribed several government military officers, from there, they tried to take the airport, but were repulsed with heavy casualties. The willingness for the common Afghan government soldier increased when the mujahideen began to execute people early on during the battle. During the battle Najibullah called for Soviet assistance. Gorbachev called an emergency session of the Politburo to discuss his proposal, but Najibullah's request was rejected. Other attacks against the city failed, and by April the government forces were on the offensive. During the battle over four hundred Scud missiles were shot, which were fired by a Soviet crew which had stayed behind. When the battle ended in July, the mujahideen had lost an estimated 3,000 troops. One mujahideen commander lamented "the battle of Jalalabad lost us credit won in ten years of fighting." A officer of the Inter-Service Intelligence, Pakistan's intelligence agency, said "The Jihad has never recovered from Jalalabad.".
From 1989 to 1990 the Najibullah was partially successful in building up the Afghan defence forces. The Ministry of State Security had established a local milita force which stood at an estimated 100,000 men. The 17th Division in Herat, which had begun the 1979 Herat uprising against PDPA-rule, stood at 3,400 regular troops and 14,000 tribal men. In 1988, the total number of security forces available to the government stood at 300,000. Sadly for Najibullah, this trend would not continue, and by the summer of 1990, the Afghan government forces were on the defensive again. By the beginning of 1991, the government controlled only 10 percent of Afghanistan, the eleven year Siege of Khost had ended in a mujahideen victory and the moral of the Afghan military finally collapsed. In the Soviet Union, Kryuchkov and Shevardnadze, had both supported continuing aid to the Najibullah government, but Kryuchkov had been arrested following the failed 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt and Shevardnadze had resigned from his posts in the Soviet government in December 1990 -- there was no longer any pro-Najibullah people in the Soviet leadership. It didn't help either that the Soviet Union was in the middle of an economic and political crisis, which would lead directly to the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991. At the same time Boris Yeltsin became Russia's new hope, and he had no wish to continue to aid Najibullah's government, a government which he considered a relic of the past. In the autumn of 1991, Najibullah wrote to Shevardnadze "I didn't want to be president, you talked me into it, insisted on it, and promised support. Now you are throwing me and the Republic of Afghanistan to its fate."
 Fall from power
In January 1992, the Russian government ended its aid to the Najibullah government. The effects were felt immediate, the Afghan Air Force, the most effective part of the Afghan military, was grounded due to the lack of fuel. The mujahideen, in contrast to Najibullah, continued to be supported by Pakistan. Major cities were lost to the rebels, and terrorist attacks became common in Kabul. On the fifth anniversary of his policy of National Reconciliation, Najibullah blamed the Soviet Union for the disaster that had stricken Afghanistan. The day the Soviet Union withdrew was hailed by Najibullah as the Day of National Salvation. But it was to late, and his government's collapse was imminent.
In March Najibullah offered his governments immediate resignation, and followed the United Nations (UN), to be replaced by an interim government. In mid-April Najibullah accepted a UN plan to hand power to a seven-man council, few days later on 14 April, Najibullah was forced to resign on the orders of the Watan Party because of the lose Bagram airbase and the town of Charikar. Abdul Rahim Hatef became acting head of state following Najibullah's resignation. Najibullah not long before Kabul's fall, appealed to the UN for amnesty, which he was granted. But Najibullah was hindered by Abdul Rashid Dostum to escape, instead, Najibullah sought haven in the local UN headquarters in Kabul. The Afghan civil war did not end with Najibullah's ouster, and continued until 1996 when the Taliban took power.
When the Taliban were about to enter Kabul Ahmad Shah Massoud offered Najibullah, a political enemy but someone he had known since childhood as they had lived in the same neighborhood, twice to flee Kabul. Najibullah refused, believing the Taliban, Ghilzai Pashtuns like Najibullah, would spare his life and not harm him. General Tokhi, who was with Dr. Najibullah until the day before his torture and murder, wrote that when three people came to both Dr. Najibullah and General Tokhi and asked them to come with them to flee Kabul, they rejected the offer. This proved to be a fatal mistake. Najibullah was at the UN compound when the Taliban soldiers came for him on September 27, 1996. He was castrated before the Taliban dragged him to death behind a truck in the streets. His blood-soaked body was hanged from a traffic light. His brother Shahpur Ahmadzai was also with him throughout this whole ordeal at the UN compound, and was shot to death.
 International reaction
There was widespread international condemnation, particularly from the Muslim world.
India, which supported Najibullah as a proxy against Pakistan, strongly condemned the public execution of Najibullah and began to support Ahmed Shah Massoud's Northern Alliance in an attempt to contain the rise of the Taliban.
If we get out and don't continue our subsidies to Karzai, his government will be in a pickle, because Pakistan will continue to subsidize the Taliban. It's not a sure thing, but India, Iran, Russia, the Central Asian states and China might subsidize Karzai to keep him standing, because an Afghanistan under Taliban control would once again be a nearby font of terrorists heading into their territory.
[Dawn] Afghanistan's Caped PresidentHamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... stressed equitable and deeper collaboration between Pakistain and Afghanistan to sustain brotherly and close ties.
Karzai in a letter to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ... , mentioned the Third Afghan-Iran-Pakistain Trilateral Summit in Islamabad that offered yet another opportunity to pursue bilateral dialogue between the two countries.
The president said he has often mentioned both privately and publicly that Afghanistan and Pakistain were twins and it was essential that they sustain a brotherly and equitable collaboration.
Karzai said he had a strong sense of a shared determination to ensure peace, security and prosperity for both the countries, assuming his government's full cooperation in realising the mutual commitments made in Islamabad.
Dozens of Tunisian Salafists on Friday afternoon, a protest outside the headquarters of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, which raised the pictures of late leader of "Al Qaeda" Osama bin Laden who was killed by a U.S. force in May.
Gathered about 100 people, supporters of the Salafist movement in front of the Tunisian embassy, to protest the burning of the Koran in a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, and to demand the release of a number of Tunisians detained in Guantanamo.
The participants in the demonstration raise black flags and chanted slogans against America.
The disclosure of U.S. soldiers burning the copies of the Koran at the base of Bagram, north of Afghanistan on Tuesday, launched a wave of bloody demonstrations in several Afghan cities, along with registration of more than a military attack bomber.
[Tripoli Post] In a further sign of its strong support for forces fighting Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... , Libya is to donate $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Syrian opposition, SNC, and allow them to open an office in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... , a government front man said on Wednesday.
The head of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdu-Jalil is reported to have made the initial offer to host an SNC office there last month.
Way back in October, Libya's interim government was one of the first foreign states to recognise the SNC as the legitimate authority in Syria. It said at the time, that the gesture showed solidarity following Libya's own struggle to oust Muammar Qadaffy ...whose instability was an inspiration to dictators everywhere, but whose end couldn't possibly happen to them... and end 42 years of autocratic rule.
Asked whether Libya, which has its own hefty reconstruction needs after last year's war, could afford such aid, an NTC front man Mohammed al-Harizy is reported telling Rooters: "There is no problem."
However he said it was too early to determine how the aid, including medicine and food, would be delivered: "We will see how this aid can be delivered. We don't know yet."
At an earlier news conference, Harizy said the NTC had decided on "financial support for humanitarian needs to the equivalent of $100 million."
Asked whether Libya, which has its own hefty reconstruction needs after last year's war, could afford such aid, an NTC front man Mohammed al-Harizy is reported telling Rooters: "There is no problem."
....the stuff just keeps turning up here, and we simply don't know what to do with it.
We will see how this aid can be delivered. We don't know yet.
Ummm yeah...we're not sure yet but we was thinkin' of using The Doha Delivery Company. Yeah...dat's da ticket. Hey...when it comes to dat humanitarian stuff...dem Qatari's got da best shit. They sure hooked us up. Noumsayin?
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Egyptian newspapers accused the ruling military on Friday of caving in to US pressure to allow foreign NGO workers, including a number of Americans, to escape trial on charges of illegal funding.
Substantial ransoms were paid to the Egyptian treasury, as kaffirs are traditionally required to do. Why then such a fuss?
One of them also accused the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of trashing the concept of an independent judiciary, insinuating that it had strong-armed the courts into lifting a travel ban on the suspects.
Amid the growing furore, American and other foreign democracy activists flew out of Cairo on Thursday night, airport officials said, a day after the judiciary lifted the travel ban.
They travelled to Cyprus, from which they were expected to head home, possibly on Friday.
Their departure is expected to ease tensions with Washington, which had urged the SCAF to resolve the case.
American officials and politicians had suggested the row could imperil $1.3 billion in US aid to its key Middle Eastern ally.
Independent daily Al-Tahrir summed up the general mood with its front-page headline: "Scandal. Under orders from the military, the judiciary freed the Americans and let them travel."
"In only 24 hours, the military council proved to the world that any talk of judicial independence in Egypt is no more than an illusion," the paper said.
It accused the SCAF of backing off under "pressure, negotiations and visits from American officials to Cairo."
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Liberatress of Libya and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Jeremiah S. Black ... had said there were "very intensive discussions with the Egyptian government" and "I think we are moving toward a resolution."
"But I don't want to discuss it in great detail because it's important that they know that we are continuing to push them but that we don't necessarily put it out into the public arena yet," she added.
The activists working for four American and a German NGO are accused, along with a number of Egyptians, of receiving illicit foreign funds and operating without licenses.
State news agency MENA said chief judge Mohammed Shukry wrote to the head of the appeals court, saying they could not continue the trial.
Highly political charges, looking at the group there is a chance they were meddling and got too obvious about it.
Interesting to see whether this gives the anti-us groups more ammo for political gain. With the mark of one year of dismal public diplomatic failure* from Tripoli to Kabul, I would not be surprised.
*Obviously I cannot speak for the private stuff which happens, and it is that public and private diplomatic moments are not always the same, yet for some reason the public opinion usually trumps the private especially when gov buildings get stormed.
[Magharebia] It is a desperate time for the once-dreaded al-Qaeda.
Funds are depleted, long-time figurehead the late Osama bin Laden ... who was laid out deader than a mackerel... is dead and counter-terror operations in Afghanistan and Pakistain keep operatives on the run or in hiding. The embattled terror group is now counting on al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other organizations for restored credibility and rescue.
When Ayman al-Zawahiri ... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area. That is not a horn growing from the middle of his forehead, but a prayer bump, attesting to how devout he is... needed to overcome a shortfall of funds after the death of Bin Laden, he looked to the Sahara.
"After Osama bin Laden was killed, it became likely that the future of al-Qaeda would involve Maghreb countries," university professor Ely al-Sheikh Ould Bah said.
Arms and drug trafficking, along with abductions for ransoms, have produced a revenue stream for al-Qaeda's North African branch. But all is not as it appears, security experts caution.
The high-profile kidnappings of westerners in the Sahel-Saharan region in recent months do not necessarily indicate "an increase in the organization's capacity to strike", a UN Security Council report noted in February. The abductions "might just imply a need to raise money and get international attention, or be the result of internal power struggles".
Security analyst Hamadi Ould Dah agrees that al-Qaeda "had no other option but to resort to its Arab Maghreb branch".
"However, facts are stubborn; statistics are more pliable... this group seems to be unable to provide any support for the main al-Qaeda organization because of the internal problems facing it, and also because of crippling security crackdowns by Sahel countries," he tells Magharebia.
Given significant attrition among its ranks, as well as its poor media skills, the Maghreb branch appears unlikely to live up to Zawahiri's expectations.
The Madrid-based Institute of Studies on Conflicts and Humanitarian Action (IECAH) recently confirmed that al-Qaeda's Maghreb offshoot faces problems of its own.
"Internal fractures within AQIM lead us to question the real cohesion of the organization," Madrid-based Institute of Studies on Conflicts and Humanitarian Action (IECAH) observed in a February report.
"Its activities in the Sahel region ... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas... seem to better reflect the action of different cells with varied driving forces rather than a co-ordinated action with a clear identity and rationale," the IECAH said.
And as al-Qaeda gets more connected with criminal activities "and disconnects with the ideological discourse as justification of its actions, its tactics are subject to increasing criticism and rejection by religious leaders in the Maghreb and Sahel", the report added.
Al-Qaeda has long prepared its branch in the Islamic Maghreb to assume the mantle when it collapses. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, the terror group posted a video in which al-Zawahiri announced that Algeria's "Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat ... now known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb... " (GSPC) had become part of al-Qaeda.
GSPC emir Abdelmalik Droukdel ... aka Abdel Wadoud, was a regional leader of the GSPC for several years before becoming the group's supremo in 2004 following the death of then-leader Nabil Sahraoui. Under Abdel Wadoud's leadership the GSPC has sought to develop itself from a largely domestic entity into a larger player on the international terror stage. In September 2006 it was announced that the GSPC had joined forces with al-Qaeda and in January 2007 the group officially changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb.... was eager to mount a serious media campaign. The only problem: no one knew how to do it.
Abu Yasser Sayyaf, GSPC's webmaster, had to issue an online plea for help uploading content and using different programmes, "which shows how far behind GSPC was technologically", terrorism analyst and academic Manuel Torres Soriano explained in a January analysis, "The Road to Media Jihad: The Propaganda Actions of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb".
Sayyaf's excuse for the second-rate video and audio was the group's isolated location in the mountains of Algeria.
Things changed in 2007. The GSPC's adoption of the name "al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" (AQIM) coincided with a media outreach initiative modelled after the parent group to which AQIM had become allied. More media production was compulsory for GSPC if it were to merge with al-Qaeda as an official branch.
The newest members of the global terror organization quickly recognised the merit of visual and audio messages, Torres Soriano says. More media production was compulsory for GSPC if it were to merge with Al-Qaeda as an official branch.
For example, in 2007 -- the year of the name change -- AQIM released six videos, almost double the number of all videos it produced during the previous eight years.
Al-Qaeda had been trying for years to solidify its support in the North Africa desert, but the GSPC was still a long way from performing like an affiliate of a global terror group.
"Although the GSPC started its activities at the information era par excellence, its method was more that of a traditional gang than that of a group 'apprenticed' by Osama bin Laden," Torres Soriano points out. After AQIM's merger with al-Qaeda, however, "it turned into a group with its own media strategy".
"Ayman al-Zawahiri urged AQIM to develop its own propaganda machine," journalist Mohamed Ould Sid al-Moktar tells Magharebia. Now that AQIM has met the challenge, Bin Laden's successor and his top aides believe it to be a group upon which al-Qaeda can depend, al-Moktar adds.
They forget that the Maghreb branch is under siege from Sahel security services.
"Al-Qaeda's dependence on AQIM is similar to a weak entity leaning on another weak entity; something that will take both of them down," al-Moktar says.
Abdel-Rahim Al-Manar Slimi of Mohammed V University in Rabat noted that "al-Qaeda's branches are prospering in areas where the state is absent or is failing; a situation which didn't exist in North Africa until the fall of Qadaffy's regime, and Libya's entry into a transitional status".
Meanwhile, ...back at the dirigible, Jack stuck the cigar in his mouth, stepped onto the gantry, and asked Got a light, Mac?
Von Schtinken stopped short, lowering the dagger and trying to control his features. If you light that thing, Herr Armschtröng, he pointed out, his voice tense, we all die!... AQIM is trying to expand relations with terrorist movements in Africa, especially Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. Currently wearing a false nose and moustache and answering to Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awati Wal Jihad, or Big Louie... . Al-Qaeda's Maghreb branch may also try to exploit the recent festivities between Touareg rebels and Malian army.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz recently suggested in an interview with Le Monde that al-Qaeda was involved in the northern Mali conflict. A spokesperson for the Touareg rebels countered that the National Movement for the Liberation of Azaouad (MNLA) "neither has interests nor shares any policies with that terrorist organization".
Instead of turning to AQIM, Ayman Al-Zawahiri could have chosen to depend on al-Qaeda branches, in the Arabian Peninsula or Iraq, Boko Haram or Shabaab al-Mujahideen.
But these branches are not based in the Sahara.
Analysts believe that "al-Qaeda Central" sees the desert as a place where its leaders can escape, and where rampant criminal activity keeps the money flowing.
Mohamed Ould Zain of the Sahara Media network points out, however, that both al-Qaeda and its offshoot AQIM face difficult times in the wake of the Arab Spring.
"There is growing recognition that peaceful struggle and democracy are the most effective way to make progress, not violence and killing," Ould Zain says.
[Yemen Post] A high-ranking opposition leader said that if the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salah continues his political activities as the head of the General People Congress, which he founded in 1982, he would be held to accountable for all massacres and crimes committed during his rein including the massacres against peaceful protesters.
In an interview on Wednesday with Radio Sawa, Mohammed Qahtan, a leading figure in the main party in the opposition bloc Joint Meeting Parties, said that if Saleh seeks to resume work in politics that would be a clear breach of the GCC-brokered deal signed in the Saudi capital of Riyadh by Saleh and the JMP. Subsequently he would stand trial for the crimes and massacres committed during his reign as Yemen's President.
He stressed that the Yemeni people would not accept or tolerate seeing Saleh returns to politics after he plainly proved his ultimate failure in it.
"The GCC-crafted power transfer deal, which was pushed through by the entire international community and their mounting pressures on us, has guaranteed a safe and honourable exit for him[Saleh] with the aim of averting more bloodshed or potential armed conflict. However, some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go... If Saleh stood defiant and stubborn he would end up in jail," said Qahtan.
While his cronies at the General People Congress insist that Saleh would lead his party and stay in Yemen, national and international media outlets has reported in the couple of days ago that Saleh would seek exile and that he would leave the country soon for unspecified destination.
Saleh came back to Sana'a on Saturday to attend the official power handover ceremony of his successor Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, who has won the presidential polls with 99.8 percent.
After more than 9 months of being defiant in the face of unbeatable massive protests calling for his ouster, Saleh, 70, signed a deal under which he transfered his power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Saleh quit his post as the President, his relatives, however, still in control of most military institutions in the country. Ahmed, Saleh's elder son, for example, is the commander of the elite Elite Republican Guards, the best trained and equipped military troops in the country.
[Yemen Post] Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi issued on Thursday a republican decree in which he assigned two military commanders and a governor.
In his first decree as President, Hadi appointed Waheed Ahmed Rashid as the governor of the port city of Aden, Salam Qatan as the commander of the southern military area, and brigadier Saleh Hameed as the security chief of Aden.
His decision came only three days after he was officially inaugurated as the new president for the Republic of Yemen.
Hadi, who was sworn in on Saturday, has a lot of challenges to tackle in this "delicate and complex stage". One of the most pressing of which is restructuring the Yemeni army and make be led by unified national leadership.
Even though restructuring the army was a part of the GCC-initiated power transfer deal, many political analysts think achieving that is the most difficult test for Hadi as President.
Former Yemeni President ALi Abdullah Saleh has assigned a corrupt network, which drained the resources of the country for decades, and put the country at their hands.
Saleh's relatives still control key military institutions, including the elite Elite Republican Guards, National Security, Central Security Forces, Air Force. Also his close circle leads the most powerful facilities in the country.
The revolutionaries said they would give Hadi some time to deliver promises of reforms and heed their rightful demands of a modern, civil state, or else they would bring him down just as they had done to his predecessor.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] North Korea Friday renewed threats to launch a "sacred war" against South Korea, indicating cross-border ties will remain icy despite Pyongyang's surprise nuclear deal with Seoul's close ally Washington.
The North's agreement to freeze some nuclear and missile activities in return for massive US food aid has raised cautious hopes of eased tensions under its new young leader Kim Jong-Un.
In statements released late Wednesday announcing the deal, both Pyongyang and Washington pledged to work for better relations.
But Friday's comments from the North's supreme military command struck a different tone with the South.
The command accused South Korean troops of displaying slogans or placards slandering the North's top leaders at their barracks, shooting ranges and other military facilities.
The soldiers "openly slandered and defamed the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK (North Korea) after creating a touch-and-go situation", it said in a statement on the official news agency.
The command "solemnly declares once again that it will indiscriminately stage its own-style sacred war to wipe out the group of traitors".
"Those who hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK even a bit will find no breathing spell in this land and sky," it said.
The command vowed to "mercilessly" wipe out anyone who "slightly insults and defames" the dignity of the North's supreme leadership.
Under the agreement with the US, the communist state promised to suspend a uranium enrichment programme and declare a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.
It would also re-admit UN nuclear inspectors. China welcomed the deal and pledged to push ahead with efforts to revive the wider nuclear dialogue.
The US said it would provide the impoverished country with 240,000 tonnes of food for children and pregnant women.
Which may explain why CHINA is repor NOT OPTIMISTIC about the DPRK's nukes-for-food deal wid the US.
* OTOH WORLD MIL FORUM > CHINA LOSES NORTH KOREA! NEW US-DPRK ANTI-NUCLEAR DEAL IS INTENDED TO REDUCE NORTH KOREA'S DEPENDENCY ON CHINA. THE US' "C" ENCIRCLEMENT STRATEGY AGZ CHINA IN FIRST ISLAND CHAIN STEADILY DEVOLS INTO "O" OR TOTAL ENCIRCLEMENT STRATEGY AGZ CHINA ACROSS MAINLAND AND EAST ASIA.
* CHINA DAILY > CHINA OPPOSES JAPAN NAMING OF DAOYUS ISLANDS.
* TOPIX > CHINA'S MILITARY BUILDUP IN PACIFIC INDEPENDENT OF US MOVES.
FYI as per recent maritime incidents invol China versus Nippon Survey Ships [East China Sea], disputed Philippine offshore or coastal areas, + now Vietnamese fishing boats [Paracels = Xishas], CHINA MILBLOGGERS/NETTERS are saying that CHINA IS PUTTING OUT "WARNING FIRES" INDIRECTLY TO THE US VEE ITS REGIONAL ALLIES???
If the West submits to occupied Afghanistan's hostile ideology why shouldn't undefeated nuclear North Korea expect equal submission from South Korea?
When Gen Allen apologized to the treacherous noble Afghan people he did so on the world stage. A weak apologetic posture might make sense in Afghanistan (calming down the natives) but it fatally undermines Western deterrence globally.
Western defeat to Afghanistan will have global consequences far worse than defeat in Viet Nam.
"...threats to launch a "sacred war" against South Korea....
Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Posted by: Mike Ramsey ||
Dang, what ever happened to "running dog imperialist lackeys" and "sea of fire" Even with juche they seem to be using less stirring words, maybe they need a snickers? No worries, Obumbles and Hillary (smartest woman ever) are on the verge of giving them one.
Danish prosecutors on Friday charged four people with terrorism for allegedly planning a shooting attack on a newspaper that had printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The four men -- Swedes living in Denmark -- wanted "to seriously frighten the population" and destabilize Denmark by planning a shooting spree inside the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, Svend Ulrik Larsen, Denmark's top prosecutor, said.
The paper published 12 cartoons of the prophet in 2005, sparking riots in Muslim countries and calls for revenge against the Danish publishers and cartoonists.
Larsen said the group traveled to Copenhagen with arms and ammunition, aiming to kill "a larger number of people."
Swedish and Danish intelligence officials said they have followed the men for months and tailed the their hired car from Stockholm before arresting them at a flat near the Danish capital.
The Danish Security and Intelligence Service described some of the suspects as "militant Islamists with relations to international terror networks."
"This is a very serious case. We believe they wanted to attack the (Copenhagen) newsroom of the Jyllands-Posten daily, possibly because of the Muhammad cartoons," Gyrithe Ulrich, the prosecutor who handles the case, told The Associated Press.
A court in Paris has sentenced three ex-members of a radical Palestinian group in absentia to 30 years in prison for an attack on a Greek cruise ship over two decades ago. Nine people were killed in the attack.
Three men were found guilty in absentia at a French anti-terrorism trial on Thursday for their role in an attack on a Greek cruise ship more than two decades ago. The men, who are suspected ex-members of the Palestinian group Abu Nidal, were each sentenced to 30 years in prison.
On July 11 1998, at least one gunman on the City of Poros cruise ship opened fire on passengers as the ship was returning to Athens after a one-day cruise, before throwing a grenade and a fire bomb. Nine people, including three French citizens, were killed and dozens more were injured.
"The message from this trial is that French justice never gives up on those who commit terrorist acts," the victims' lawyer Francis Szpiner said.
Lebanese-born Adnan Sojod was convicted of murder and attempted murder after being identified by some thirty witnesses as the main shooter. Meanwhile Abdul Hamid Amoud and Palestinian-born Jordanian national Samir Mohammed Ahmed Khaidir were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to attempt murder.
New arrest warrants were issued for the men whose whereabouts remain unknown.
Until Thursday's ruling, no one had been convicted in connection with the attack.
Abu Nidal's faction is believed to have killed or wounded nearly 1,000 people in 20 countries in a string of attacks between 1970 and 1988. For years it was on the US State Department list of terrorist organizations.
NEW YORK - A federal judge sentenced a New York man on Friday to 27 years in prison for his attempts to join an al-Qaida-linked group and fight US soldiers, federal prosecutors said.
US District Judge John Gleeson sentenced Betim Kaziu, 23, who was convicted by a jury after a trial in Brooklyn federal court last July. Prosecutors had sought life in prison for him.
Kaziu, an American citizen, had sought to link up with militants in retaliation for perceived abuses against the global Muslim community, prosecutors said.
He was arrested in August 2009 in Kosovo, where prosecutors said he was seeking to join up with al Shabbab, a militant Somali insurgent group linked to al-Qaida and designated a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department.
Wikileaks has begun publishing millions of emails from global espionage and intelligence contractor Stratfor, dating between 2004 and 2011.
Believing everything you read in Stratfor is like believing everything you read in Debka...
"You have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control... This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase," CEO George Friedman told Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011 in an email on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala Hugo Chavez.
In another email, about the 19 Pakistani brigadiers promoted to major generals, Stratfor member and journalist Kamran Bokhari says: "We have a source among these 19 and he is a rising star within the hierarchy, and is seen as having a really good shot at the top job."
In a conversation with Kamran Bokhari, Fred Burton said "mid to senior level ISI and [Pakistani military officers] with one retired [Pakistan Army] general" had "knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safe house." He said their names and ranks were unknown. "But, I get a very clear sense we know names and ranks. I also do not know if we have passed this info to the [government of Pakistan]. If I was in command, I would not pass the info to the GOP because we can't trust them. I would piece meal the names off and bury in a list of other non-related names for internal ISI traces in a non-alerting fashion, to see what the [Pakistanis] tell us. I may also trade one or two names for the captured tail rudder."
Bokhari wrote in response: "You know this reminds me of a discussion I had on NPR's Diane Rehm Show back in July '07. I was on with Peter Brookes (former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs in the second Bush administration) and the State Dept's current CT Coordinator, Daniel Benjamin. These two guys kept saying how ObL was in the tribal belt while I argued that he was much deeper in K-P province. God knows how many years were wasted chasing [him] in the tribal belt."
Pakistan Army strongly denied the statements. According to a news agency, its spokesman Major Gen Athar Abbas said in a statement that he rejected the "so-called leaks" and that "they are nothing but a baseless fabrication".
"These kinds of charges are not new," he said in the statement. "These leaks are actually old wine in new bottle."
The emails also contain information about the US government's attacks on Julian Assange and Wikileaks, and Stratfor's own attempt to subvert Wikileaks. There are more than 4000 emails mentioning Wikileaks alone.
The leaked information shows how private intelligence agencies works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients.
For example, Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the "Yes Men" for the US chemical giant Dow Chemical. The activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. The disaster led to thousands of deaths, and affected more than half a million people, with lasting environmental damage.
Stratfor did realise that its routine use of secret cash bribes to get information from insiders is risky. In August 2011, Stratfor CEO George Friedman confidentially told his employees: "We are retaining a law firm to create a policy for Stratfor on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I don't plan to do the perp walk and I don't want anyone here doing it either."
Believing everything you read in Stratfor is like believing everything you read in Debka...
I believe that. ;-) But, and it's a big but, can the Pakistanis, who believe as firmly in conspiracies as they do in Mohammed, and whose religion requires magical rather than logical thinking, afford to assume that anything revealed is in any way untrue? A leak among the new brigadier generals, Stratfor passing on to clients the idea that senior men in the army (and the ISI contains very senior army men, indeed) have been lying about knowing about Osama bin Laden... And if Hamid Gul was indeed connected with Stratfor, as either a source or a client, as is claimed elsewhere, that could make things even more interesting for the generals of the Army of the.Pure, whether from the troops, the Pakistani people, or the Americans.
The people of Pakistan loathe their corrupt politicians, as far as I can tell, and legitimately resent that nothing on the civilian side works even after paying the necessary bribes. But up 'til now at least the army could be trusted to take care of whatever it deemed within its area of responsibility -- except actually winning wars, but still. The Stratfor cache, however riddked with forgeries it may be, reveals for all to see that there are those within the leadership of the Army of the Pure who cannot be trusted by their peers.
Paranoia, conspiracy mongering, back stabbing, ass covering...it's going to get considerably more interesting within and without the Pakistani halls of power. I suspect the fallout will spread widely, contaminate many, and may well seriously degrade the ruling oligarchy, one way or another -- which could not happen to a more deserving bunch of miscreants, in my opinion. .
"Believing everything you read in Stratfor is like believing everything you read in Debka."
I'll second that. Both pretty much make up plausible scenarios out of thin air but even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again. Stratfor was a bit less likely, though, to make stuff up and post it is "fact". They would label speculation as such more often than Debka does. Every time a carrier group is relieved in the Persian Gulf region, Debka has us ready to attack Iran. Maybe some day they will be corrrect, but not by any feat of intelligence, but simply through repeating the same thing often enough.
It is sort of like "predicting" a stock market crash every day. Eventually you will be correct. But nobody is going to pay much attention to it.
[Dawn] Pakistain's ruling party made gains in the country's upper house of parliament in legislative elections on Friday, a boost for beleaguered President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari ... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ... in his long-running conflict with the country's top court and it's military.
By late evening, Zardari's Pakistain People's Party (PPP) appeared to be on course to get control of the Senate, giving him valuable political firepower for several years to come. The results were expected, given the PPP's lower house majority and strong presence in provincial legislatures, which elect the senators.
Just surviving to Senate elections was an achievement for the government, which has faced relentless political attacks since it took office in 2008. Like others before it, it has largely failed to make any progress in fixing the daunting challenges facing Pakistain, and has been mired in alleged corruption and mismanagement.
Some rivals had hoped that Zardari would be forced into calling early general elections, be ousted by the Supreme Court or even subject to a coup before the Senate vote could be held.
About half of the 104 senators are being replaced because their terms have come to an end.
The votes were still being counted, but the PPP and its allies won 32 out of 49 seats; five seats were yet to be announced.
[An Nahar] Al-Qaeda is moving from Iraq to Syria, where the government is carrying out a bloody crackdown on an uprising, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ... Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party.... said in an interview published on Friday.
"Al-Qaeda has started migrating from Iraq to Syria, and maybe it will migrate from Syria to another country, to Libya or to Egypt or to any region where the regime is unstable and out of control," Maliki said in an interview with Saudi daily Okaz.
"Yesterday, Syria was considering itself outside the circle of the terrorism problem, and today, it is in the heart of the terrorism problem," Maliki said.
Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Leveler of Latakia... has been carrying out a bloody crackdown on an uprising against his rule since March 2011, in which more than 7,500 people have died, according to the U.N.
Iraq's deputy interior minister told Agence La Belle France Presse last month that jihadists were moving from Iraq to Syria and arms were being smuggled across the border to opponents of Assad's regime, but Maliki's remarks are the first time an Iraqi official has said specifically that al-Qaeda is moving from Iraq to Syria.
An al-Qaeda front organization, the Islamic State of Iraq, has waged a bloody campaign of attacks that has spanned years, especially targeting members of Iraq's Shiite majority and security forces.
Excerpts of the interview were released by Maliki's office on Tuesday, including one in which he said that "Iraq backs change in Syria."
"Change is necessary. The situation will not be stable without change."
Maliki did not elaborate on what kind of change he wished to see, but said Syrians "must receive more freedom, and form a national unity government as a first step, and free elections should be held under Arab and U.N. supervision."
At Monday's meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama the Israeli prime minister will deliver a stark warning.
Their relationship, almost from the outset, has been frostier than not, a mutual antipathy palpable in many of their previous encounters.
Two years ago, Barack Obama reportedly left Benjamin Netanyahu to kick his heels in a White House anteroom, a snub delivered to show the president's irritation over Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank. In May, the Israeli prime minister struck back, publicly scolding his purse-lipped host for the borders he proposed of a future Palestinian state.
When the two men meet in Washington on Monday, Mr Obama will find his guest once more at his most combative. But this time, perhaps as never before, it is the Israeli who has the upper hand.
Exuding confidence, Mr Netanyahu effectively brings with him an ultimatum, demanding that unless the president makes a firm pledge to use US military force to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, Israel may well take matters into its own hands within months.
The threat is not an idle one. According to sources close to the Israeli security establishment, military planners have concluded that never before has the timing for a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities been so auspicious.
Wehell, iff the Bammer doesn't, the US may be at war wid Iran sometime this Summer thru the Fall Quarter???
Israel doesn't trust Iran to keep Mil-oriented Nuctechs [Nukes-WMDS] away from the hands of Islamist Militant-Terror Groups - Shia or Sunni, Govt. or Proxy NGO, "OWG/GLOBAL CALIPHATE" IS ON THE MINDS OF THE ISLAMISTS, SHARIA-ISTS, + ALIGNED ETHNO-ISLAMIC RADICALS, + THAT MEANS CONQUERING TERRITORIES + GOING NUCLEAR.
While the Commies work to finally impose Leftism-Socialism on the US-West, vee SECULAR "POLITICAL-LEGAL-ELECTORAL JIHAD" so to speak, Radical Islam on its part is waging Regional, Global Jihad "where the US-West + Commies aren't", + dev the Nuclear Capabilities, etc. to one day unilaterally challenge [iff not destroy] the Commies.
Please do not feel compelled to meet with Pharaoh. PLEASE!
I'm sure that Sarah Palin, John Bolton, Dick Cheney and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore would love to sup and speak with you. In fact, many of us here in what remains of the USA, support and love you, Sir. Long live the Almighty State of Israel!
Ismail Haniyeh ...became Prime Minister after the legislative elections of 2006 which Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, won. President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Haniyeh from office on 14 June 2007 at the height of the Fatah-Hamas festivities, but Haniyeh did not acknowledge the decree and continues as the PM of Gazoo while Abbas maintains a separate PM in the West Bank... says new Cairo regime responsible for lengthy blackouts in Gazoo by charging high prices, insisting that fuel passes through Israel
Being a Jihadi is a wonderful occupation. "Stumpy" can now hop off to Somali and become a one legged pirate. Beautiful recycling in action, absolutely no waste. Win/win for Allen.
"People want freedom, Bashar leave... Freedom is beautiful, Bashar go to the moon, we need freedom," the man sings feebly, in a teenager's untrained voice, trying to keep rhythm with his arms, one covered in bandages, the other connected to a drip. He is a munshid al-thawra, a singer of the revolution, he says, and this is his favorite song, the one he would usually bellow to the swelling crowds during the protests back home. Home, till now, had been a village near Hama in Syria. Today, it is a hospital bed in Antakya, across the border in Turkey.
He is a handsome kid, just turned 18, his eyes dulled by the medicine but unmistakably alert, a crop of dark hair framing his smooth, evenly chiseled face, one of the few parts of his body not riddled with shrapnel. Of his left leg, the only flesh exposed to the elements is a row of misshapen, iodine-stained toes, which sprout, like black-orange mushrooms, from beneath thick folds of bandage and gauze. All that remains of the right leg is a stump. For all he knows, the rest of it, sheared off by shrapnel from a mortar shell, lies among the debris of his family home.
[An Nahar] U.S. President Barack Obama I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go... warned a premature attack on Iran would allow it to play the "victim" in the nuclear crisis, noting that Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... 's "days are numbered," in remarks published Friday days before he meets Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
In some of his toughest comments yet on Tehran's nuclear drive, Obama also warned Israel and Iran should take seriously possible U.S. action against Iranian nuclear facilities if sanctions fail to stop the country's atomic ambitions.
"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff," Obama told the Atlantic Monthly magazine.
"I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."
Netanyahu arrived in Canada early Friday ahead of discussions Monday with Obama at the White House, and the Israeli leader this week said Iran's nuclear program will be "at the center of our talks."
Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only but Western nations suspect the Islamic republic is leading a covert program to develop a nuclear weapons capability and is not far from achieving its goal.
Netanyahu's government has maintained that all options remain on the table with regard to action on Iran, whose firebrand ...firebrands are noted more for audio volume and the quantity of spittle generated than for any actual logic in their arguments... leader Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad has questioned Israel's right to exist.
But Obama issued a blunt warning against any premature strike.
"At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally (Syria) is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?" Obama said.
Even if Israel were not a specific target of Iran's wrath, Obama said "it would still be a profound national-security interest of the United States to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."
Obama said the U.S. strategy to thwart Iran's ambitions of developing a nuclear weapon included various components, including isolating Tehran politically, sanctions and diplomacy.
"And it includes a military component. And I think people understand that," Obama said, adding he thought Americans did not believe that "I hesitate to make decisions as commander in chief when necessary."
"U.S. President Barack Obama warned a premature attack on Iran would allow it to play the "victim" in the nuclear crisis,..."
Translation: Wait until after the November elections.
Posted by: Mike Ramsey ||
...do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?
Soooooo, lemee get this straight. The One says blowin' the bejeesuz outta the Persians' nuclear facilities would be a "distraction"? Boy Howdy...that Grand Strategy the Smart Power crowd keeps talking about must be a real doozy.
[An Nahar] President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... noted on Friday that Leb is witnessing a period of stability despite the unrest in the region, hoping that any action regarding oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean would not take place against the country's interests.
He said: "Any violation of our petroleum rights will lead to war."
He made his statements at the end of his trip to the Czech Republic where he met with Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.
Suleiman continued: "We never assaulted Israel, but it always attacks us, the last of which was its violations against our exclusive economic zone."
Addressing regional developments, the president noted: "Democracy is not being applied fairly when it comes to the Paleostinian cause."
He therefore warned of the emergence of a new wave of Arab extremism to confront Israeli extremism, hoping that the Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... would "resume its normal role" to tackle such issues "after it had steered away from its main goals."
"The Paleostinian cause is a constant source of regional and global tension," added Suleiman.
A dispute emerged between Leb and Israel regarding the demarcation of maritime borders in light of the discovery of offshore oil and gas along each country's coasts.
[An Nahar] The Syrian regime may have won the battle of Baba Amr against lightly armed rebels, but spreading protests indicate this victory on the ground is unlikely to clear the country's political impasse, analysts said on Friday.
The small district in the central city of Homs had become a symbol of the almost year-long uprising against the regime of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Supressor of the Damascenes...
But after being besieged and bombarded for nearly four weeks, rebels staged what they called a tactical withdrawal from the battered district in the face of an all-out offensive by Assad's forces.
"The regime has only proven the obvious: a balance of power that leans heavily in its favor militarily," said Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group, arguing that "regime victories are only very temporary."
He said the problem is not confined to a military win at Baba Amr or elsewhere, but is related to the inability of the regime to solve the crisis that has pitted it against "hundreds of thousands, if not millions" of Syrians, Harling said.
Armed with very little, rebels and deserters defended Baba Amr during 26 days of bombardment, but as the feared Fourth Armored Division led by Assad's younger brother Maher moved in, they announced a withdrawal to spare the lives of civilians.
Well over 7,500 people have been killed in violence since protests against Assad broke out in mid-March last year, according to U.N. figures.
"It does give the regime momentum," said Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center, speaking of its taking control over Baba Amr.
But "the rebellion has not been crushed" and "the opposition and the rebellion have lost too much to stop," he said.
"The regime can boast of a victory, but it is clear that it has not won the war," according to Gay Paree-based Middle East expert Anges Levallois.
Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... could not afford to allow the rebels to maintain a stronghold in Homs because of the strategic importance of the third largest city in Syria, she said, adding, however, that this "would not stop the opposition from fighting."
A security official in Damascus said that gaining control over Baba Amr was important "because it was the final destination of arms entering Syria, before being distributed."
Although the Assad regime may have scored, the game is far from over, analysts agree.
"Politically speaking the regime has not advanced. It is mobilizing its social base while crushing the rest of society, and this so far has not produced any durable results," said Harling.
Assad's show of force in Baba Amr would seem to indicate his preference to resorting to the military option to fight the opposition, ignoring Arab and international calls to end his regime's deadly crackdown on dissent.
"The more the regime thinks it can win, the less likely it will engage in diplomacy," Hamid said.
"Assad still believes in a military solution ... As long he thinks he can win and ... wipe out the opposition," he said.
[Dawn] Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election likely to reinforce Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's power over rival hardliners led by President Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad.
Iranian leaders were looking for a high turnout to ease an acute crisis of legitimacy caused by Ahmadinejad's re-election in 2009 when widespread accusations of fraud plunged the Islamic Theocratic Republic into the worst unrest of its 33-year history.
Iran also faces economic turmoil compounded by Western sanctions over a nuclear programme that has prompted threats of military action by Israel, whose leader meets US President Barack Obama In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed... in the White House on Monday.
The vote in Iran is only a limited test of political opinion since leading reformist groups stayed out of what became a contest between the Khamenei and Ahmadinejad camps.
"Whenever there has been more enmity towards Iran, the importance of the elections has been greater," Khamenei, 72, said after casting his vote before television cameras.
"The arrogant powers are bullying us to maintain their prestige. A high turnout will be better for our nation ... and for preserving security."
The vote will have scant impact on Iran's foreign or nuclear policies, in which Khamenei already has the final say, but could strengthen the Supreme Leader's hand before the presidential vote next year. Ahmadinejad, 56, cannot run for a third term.
Iranians may be preoccupied with sharply rising prices and jobs, but it is Iran's supposed nuclear ambitions that worry the outside world. Western sanctions over the nuclear programme have hit imports, driving prices up and squeezing ordinary Iranians.
[Dawn] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday the international community should not fall into the "trap" of renewed nuclear talks with Iran and said the international community should make its demands clear.
In comments after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Netanyahu said Iran could try to evade pressure by entering talks and pursue and exploit the talks, as it has done in the past.
Netanyahu also will meet with President Barack Obama The Cambridge police acted stupidly... on Monday, and Iran will be a major concern.
"Right now, Iran is feeling the pressure from the economic sanctions, and it could try to evade that pressure by entering talks," Netanyahu said.
"I think the international community should not fall into this trap. I think the demands on Iran should be clear: Dismantle the underground nuclear facility in Qom, stop enrichment inside Iran and get all the enriched material out of Iran. And when I say all the material, I mean all the material."