Posted by Joshua on Friday, October 5th, 2007
Iran and Syria have signed an agreement for Tehran to export a billion dollars worth of gas every year to its chief regional ally.
Sana: President Bashar al-Assad on Monday issued the legislative decree number 57 for the year 2007 granting a one-time bonus of 50% of the fixed sum of salaries for civil and military employees in ministries, departments, public establishments, general sector companies, municipalities, all the departments of the public and shared sectors, and recruits in the army and armed forces.
The decree stipulates for the grant being offered to all workers, including temporary and part-time workers, and that retired employees and other recipients of pensions will also receive the bonus.
Minister of Finance Mohammad al Hussein announced that the grant will be distributed on Sunday the 7th of October, and that accountants and related authorities have been informed to take all necessary preparations.
"Five Million and Counting — Iraqi Refugees Weigh on Our National Conscience," by Sameer Lalwani on the Washington Note, is excellent.
The 'Israel Lobby’ Goes International, By Marc Perelman
After hitting Europe earlier this month, “The Israel Lobby” is preparing for a frontal assault on the Muslim world. The controversial book by American academics Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, who accuse the pro-Israel lobby of hijacking American policy, hit bookstores in Europe in September and soon will be published across the Arab world and in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world. Read more…
Daniel Levy, director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative, and Senior Fellow of the Century and New America Foundations has an interesting review of the Walt/Mearsheimer book, which is here on his blog. The review is also pasted below in its entirety. In addition, there is a little extra introductory comment on the blog. Levy also has an article calling for a ceasefire between Gaza and Israel and placing that in the context of the November Annapolis Conference here. A shorter version appeared here in the Guardian online.
In their Brookings editorial, "Lessons for Lebanon from Nahr el-Bared," Bilal Y. Saab and Bruce Riedel argue that the Lebanese state will first have to regain its monopoly over the use of force before it asks for any serious military assistance from Washington. The authors also offer some lessons that could be learned by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) from their recent battle with the terrorist group Fatah al –Islam in the Nahr el-Bared camp in the North.
Bush to Syria: Don't Meddle in Lebanon, AP, By JENNIFER LOVEN
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush warned Syria on Thursday against interfering in Lebanon's presidential election and said he is sending a top military commander to Beirut to find more ways to help Lebanon fight extremists.
"The United States strongly supports the success of democracy in Lebanon," Bush said after meeting with Saad Hariri, leader of the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon's parliament. "The United States is more than just an admirer. We want to help as best as we possibly can."
Saad Hariri still acts like a guest in his own office. The executive chair behind the imposing hardwood desk remains occupied by a dead man. On it sits a huge portrait of his father, Rafik Hariri, 60, the former prime minister assassinated on Feb. 14, 2005.