Syria NOT Pursuing Nuclear Power, Biden Flounders, Ford to Confirmation

Syria has no decision to develop peaceful nuclear energy
2010-03-13

DAMASCUS, Mar 13, 2010 (Xinhua via COMTEX) — The head of the Syrian Atomic Council Ibrahim Othman on Saturday told Xinhua that Syria has by far no decision to develop nuclear energy for peaceful use.

Othman made the remarks on the sidelines of Syria’s National Conference of Energy, which started on Saturday at Ummayad conference palace in Damascus. The conference aimed to develop a comprehensive plan on the development of energy sector in Syria. “Developing nuclear power in Syria is quite different from developing other energy types due to considerable technical and financial obstacles,” Othman said. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad said last week at an international conference on civilian nuclear power held in Paris that his country believed it was important to consider alternative sources of energy, including nuclear power.

However, Othman confirmed on Saturday that the atomic council has no decision to set up any nuclear power plant, because there are lots of barriers in finance, construction and operation, and most of all, the huge cost.

Nicolas writes in the last comment section:

On the nuclear debate, Syria is NOT pursuing nuclear power. There was a recent dedicated conference in Tunisia attended by Arab nuclear power authorities. All outlined their plans for developing nuclear power generation. Only Syria clearly stated that it is NOT pursing this option; very rightly and realistically so.

Syria is focusing on developing the conventional fuel-based and renewable (wind) IPPs; which is the right move, and a move that still has a lot of way to run. The nuclear option is still far from tested in the region, and the most advanced project (the Abu Dhabi project) is still in its infancy, despite the large amount of work already carried out and the press releases, it still is not a sealed deal (let along the other announcements made by the other less wealthy countries in the region). Such projects require years of groundwork preparation on the legal, political and technical angles, let alone the financing to come in support.

I had noted in an earlier post, that there was talk in the market about Syria potentially joining the project in Jordan (2nd “more serious” approach in the region) and obtaining a share of the power outcome via a cross-country cable against Syria investing equity and providing the much needed water requirements for a nuclear project that Jordan does not have (not sure Syria does either but still…). This looks theoretically more realistic, despite the massive political uphill drive to get this through. Ideally, it would look good as part of peace incentive package with the world power’s backing.

The only other option would be for Iran to pass on the nuclear technology to Syria; if it were to happen, then that would be just folly as it would just drive the Syria into a position of confrontation with the entire world (maybe unjustified but this would be the case).

Luckily, there seems to be a good level of common sense within the circles running the power generation projects in Syria and they seem intent on focusing on realistic targets rather than fancy unrealistic schemes.

I do not see where in Mekdad’s statement he says that Syria wants to develop nuclear power.

Daniel Levy has a fine article on Biden’s visit to Israel on the new ME Channel at Foreign Policy – the picture of Biden is worth a thousand words (Above)

The Leveretts explain the significance of the Biden visit with typical precision and honesty on their site, RFI

….President Obama missed a critical opportunity in his June 2009 Cairo speech to take U.S. policy on Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory back to what is was under the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations, when U.S. policy actually achieved meaningful progress towards a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict—namely, a clear-cut stance the such settlements were illegal, in that the settlement of Israeli civilians in occupied territory violates the Fourth Geneva Convention….

President Obama’s approach to the Middle East [enables] Israel to act without cost or consequence, no matter how damaging its actions might be to regional peace prospects and America’s own strategic interests….

Turkey needs more from Ataturk’s heirs
By David Gardner, March 11 2010

Turkey’s ruling party has once again entered into conflict with the Turkish army. This is more than the latest episode in a power struggle commenced as soon as the Justice and Development party (AKP) of Recep Tayyip Erdogan first came to power in 2002.

It is more, too, than a battle of wills between neo-Islamists and secularists; more even than a new and dangerous chapter in a recurring constitutional crisis. It is, above all, a clash between two rival establishments jostling for supremacy: the traditional metropolitan elites who see themselves as the guardians of the secular, republican heritage of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey; and the new AKP establishment that combines the conservative and religiously observant traditions of Anatolia with a huge constituency in Turkey’s modern but Muslim middle class.

One of the principal reasons for this now chronic crisis is that the first group, the Kemalists, are unelectable: after being trounced in two general elections by the AKP they appear to have no strategy except to return to power by goading the army and the judiciary into seizing back what their howlingly irrelevant parties keep losing at the ballot box.

It is a commonplace, often deployed with self-serving slyness in Europe, that Turkey is engaged in a struggle to determine its real identity. Yet, the real drama of Turkey today is more banal: it lacks an effective opposition to the AKP. It will keep bobbing from crisis to crisis until it has one.

The Council on Foreign Relation’s Steven Cook explains what the Neocons got right. The CFR is perhaps the leading think tank in the US. It is interesting to see how negative Cook’s view of Syria is. He argues that Syria is one of the main subjects on which that the Neocons were right.  He buys the line that Syria’s support for Ahmedinejad is the “real” Syria as opposed to Assad’s insistence that Syria wants peace with Israel, which he (and the neocons) view as a smokescreen to hide Syria’s true nature. Cook sums up that nature as:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime’s is all about: violence, repression, and duplicity.

This does not augur well for Syria.

Israel and Syria ‘to renew talks’
Thomas Seibert in the National
UAE / March 10. 2010

ISTANBUL // More than a year after the breakdown of indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria organised by Turkey, Ankara says it is close to bringing the two sides together again.

Turkey’s move came as the United States was trying to get new peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians on track during a visit by Joe Biden, the vice president. Observers in Turkey said US pressure on Israel was vital for the relaunch of talks with Syria as well.

“There is renewed interest” in a continuation of indirect talks between Israel and Syria, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, said during a visit to Saudi Arabia this week, according to news reports. He added that Syria was ready for new talks under Turkish mediation and that there had been positive signals from Israel as well.

Mr Erdogan said his government would study the Israeli response. “If there is a positive result of this evaluation, I want us to restart this process.” Israel denied that it had resolved to engage in fresh indirect talks with Damascus under Turkish mediation. “No decision has been taken,” The Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, as saying in a statement. But if Mr Erdogan’s comments reflected “Turkey’s desire to strengthen its relations with Israel and to contribute to peacemaking in the region – then Israel would clearly welcome that aspiration”, Mr Netanyahu’s office said.

Exiled from Iraq, with no hope of return
Deborah Amos is a skillful writer and a perceptive analyst.
(By Thomas W. Lippman, The Washington Post)

If I were developing a reading list for newcomers to the Middle East, it would not begin with Deborah Amos’s poignant and disturbing “Eclipse of the Sunnis.” Her book is not for beginners; it requires some knowledge of the region’s history, personalities and neuroses….

Amos, a journalistic veteran of the Middle East, is not much interested here in the palace coups, rigged elections, official corruption and failed negotiations that make up standard histories. Her thesis is that the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, whatever its justification, has had a catastrophic effect on the people of the region, unleashing sectarian hostilities that had been bottled up for centuries, not just in Iraq but in Lebanon and other Arab states as well.

She did most of her interviewing in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, where she found tens of thousands of Iraqis driven from their country by the violence that followed the ouster of Saddam Hussein. These unfortunate people, she reports, are the very citizens who would have been essential to the creation of a modern, democratic Iraq: doctors, scholars, artists and government workers, Christians and Sunni Muslims, deemed unworthy by the Shiites now running the country. It is a measure of their desperation that they found Syria, of all places, to be a refuge of cultural freedom….

Amos concludes that it is no longer possible, if it ever was, to construct a tolerant, multicultural Iraq. Returning there in 2009, she found that “Iraq was effectively a different country, transformed by the sectarian civil war. The Shiites had won, the Sunnis had lost. There was no getting around that. In the current political environment there was little hope of restoring Baghdad’s historic character, a city where Iraq’s rich sectarian mix once lived side by side.” Even the non-Shiites who remain, she found, live separate lives, hunkered down behind protective walls, cut off from their former compatriots.

“Eclipse of the Sunnis” is persuasive and very well written, filled with deft turns of phrase such as her description of a Lebanese imam who sympathizes with jihadists because he is pious and “the modern world was bearing down on his soul.”

800 Iraqi Christians displaced in days
2010-03-10

MOSUL, Iraq,  March 10 (UPI) — The safety of the Christian minority community in northern Iraq is of utmost concern as the rate of displacement soars, U.N. agencies said. U.N. figures show the number of displaced Christians in Iraq rose by more than 800 people in a three-day period beginning March 1. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it was concerned for the minority religious community. “Protection remains an ongoing concern for the Christian community as well as other vulnerable groups remaining in Mosul,” an OCHA report said. U.N. and local authorities said they were working to provide food and other humanitarian aid to the Christians who fled their homes in Mosul, the capital city of Ninawa province. The United Nations said the Kurdistan Regional Government told local universities to open enrollment to displaced Christians after it was revealed they were afraid to attend classes in their hometowns. The Kurdish and Arab authorities are at odds over security issues in the north. A spate of attacks rocked the Christian community of Iraq in 2008, displacing nearly half of the population.

As Its Arms Makers Falter, Russia Buys Abroad
The New York Times

in today’s Russia, the $40 billion military equipment industry is withering alongside civilian manufacturing.

Once-legendary Russian weapons are suffering embarrassing quality-control problems. Algeria, for example, recently returned a shipment of MIG jets because of defects.

An aircraft carrier refurbishment for India is four years late and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.

In perhaps the most poignant sign of trouble, Russia’s own military is now voting with its rubles: Moscow is in talks with France to buy four French amphibious assault ships. If a deal is struck, it would be Russia’s most significant acquisition of foreign weapons since World War II.

The purchase of Mistral-class ships would be “the most salient example of the deficiencies in the Russian defense industry,” said Dmitri Trenin, a military analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a policy research organization.

Next week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will convene a hearing to confirm Robert Ford as ambassador to Syria. And the hearing, though likely to confirm Ford, will be an occasion for administration critics to question the Syrian re-engagement policy.

On Ambassador Ford’s Confirmation Process in Congress by Ziad Haydar and Joe Maceron

الكونغرس يناقش الثلاثاء تعيين فورد سفيراً
فيلتمان وشابيرو يزوران دمشق قبل نهاية آذار

واشنطن ـ جو معكرون
دمشق ـ زياد حيدر
في مؤشر يعكس استمرار وتيرة اميركية في تطبيع العلاقات الدبلوماسية مع دمشق، قرر مجلس الشيوخ عقد جلسة التصديق على تعيين السفير روبرت فورد في منصبه في سوريا أوائل الأسبوع المقبل، بالتزامن مع التحضير لزيارة ثالثة يقوم بها كل من مساعد وزيرة الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى جيفري فيلتمان ومدير الشرق الاوسط في مجلس الامن القومي دان شابيرو، الى سوريا في شهر آذار الحالي.
وقال مدير الاتصالات في لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في مجلس الشيوخ فريديريك جونز لـ «السفير»، ان قرار تحديد موعد جلسة التصديق يأتي ضمن «مسار طبيعي وليس معجلا»، وهي «خطوة في اتجاه إرسال السفير الى دمشق»، مؤكدا ان رئيس اللجنة السيناتور جون كيري يتبنى موقفا واضحا «منذ وقت طويل» في هذا الشأن، وهو «يعتقد بضرورة وجود تمثيل دبلوماسي في سوريا، ويحث الادارة الاميركية على الانخراط مع دمشق».
وذكر جونز ان كيري لم يؤد دورا في تعيين فورد، مشيرا الى ان هذا القرار اتخذه كل من البيت الابيض ووزارة الخارجية، مؤكدا ان الكونغرس له استقلاليته ولجنة الشؤون الخارجية هي التي بادرت في تحديد موعد جلسة التصديق من دون التشاور مع وزارة الخارجية.
وردا على سؤال حول احتمال وجود عرقلة لهذا التصديق، قال جونز انه ستوجه خلال الجلسة أسئلة الى فورد حول سوريا والمنطقة، لكن لا تمكن معرفة الفترة الزمنية لمسار التصويت على تعيين فورد الذي عليه عبور لجنة العلاقات الخارجية وصولا الى الجلسة العامة لمجلس الشيوخ، لا سيما ان قرار تجميد التصويت على هذا التعيين من قبل اي سيناتور هو «سري» بموجب قانون مجلس الشيوخ الداخلي، وبالتالي لا يمكن احدا ان يتنبأ بهذا الامر مسبقا.
ويظهر روبرت فورد امام الكونغرس يوم الثلاثاء المقبل في جلسة يترأسها كيري، الذي يؤدي دورا رئيسيا في محاولة تحسين علاقة الادارة الاميركية مع سوريا. وعلمت «السفير» ان وكيل وزيرة الخارجية للشؤون السياسية وليام بيرنز اجرى اتصالا هاتفيا بكيري قبل التوجه الى دمشق في 17 شباط الماضي وبعد زيارته العاصمة السورية من اجل التشاور معه.
كما عقد كيري هذا الأسبوع اجتماعا مطولا مع السفير السوري لدى واشنطن عماد مصطفى، في وقت تشير مصادر في العاصمة الاميركية الى بدء التحضير على نار هادئة لزيارة فيلتمان وشابيرو الثالثة الى دمشق، التي يسعى فيها الجانب الاميركي الى بلورة وجهة الانخراط مع سوريا ومتابعة التشاور حول القضايا الإقليمية، لا سيما بعد مرور فترة زمنية تتضح فيها صورة الانتخابات العراقية، ويرسل السفير الاميركي الى سوريا، ويعاد افتتاح المدرسة الاميركية في دمشق.
وعلمت «السفير» من مصادر متعددة في دمشق، أن زيارة فيلتمان ستتم قبل نهاية آذار الحالي، وذلك في إطار «استمرار الحوار المتواصل بين دمشق وواشنطن حول قضايا العلاقات الثنائية وقضايا إقليمية». وأكدت المصادر أن فيلتمان اتفق والجانب السوري على القيام بهذه الرحلة لمتابعة «الحوار القائم»، علما بأنه من المتوقع أن يوجه فيلتمان دعوة لنائب وزير الخارجية السورية فيصل المقداد لزيارة واشنطن للمرة الثانية في إطار الجهود ذاتها.
وستكون جلسة التصديق في الكونغرس فرصة لأعضاء لجنة العلاقات الخارجية للتعبير عن جهة نظرهم حيال العلاقة مع سوريا، على ان ترفع اللجنة تقريرا يعكس رأيها الايجابي او غير الايجابي في الترشيح، والخيار الآخر هو عدم التصويت او عدم اتخاذ اي إجراء على الإطلاق. بعدها، تعقد جلسة عامة لمجلس الشيوخ من اجل الاختيار بين التصديق او الرفض او عدم اتخاذ قرار، وهنا قد تطول النقاشات من دون اي سقف زمني، لا سيما اذا كان هناك اتجاه جمهوري لعرقلة إرسال السفير الى دمشق. ويحتاج التصديق على تعيين فورد الى غالبية بسيطة، اي الى 51 صوتا من اصل 100.
وقد وجه 8 اعضاء جمهوريين في مجلس الشيوخ رسالة الى وزيرة الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون أوائل الشهر الحالي، جاء فيها ان «الانخراط مع أنظمة معادية في السعي لمصالح اميركية ليس بالضرورة سياسة سيئة، انه جزء من استراتيجية واقعية مع أهداف قابلة للقياس. لكن الانخراط لغرض الانخراط، ليس منتجا». واعتبرت الرسالة ان خطوة إرسال السفير الى دمشق بمثابة «تنازل جزئي»، وطلبت ردا من كلينتون قبل إحالة التصويت على تعيين فورد الى الجلسة العامة. ومن بين الموقعين على الرسالة عضو واحد في لجنة العلاقات الخارجية هو السيناتور جون باراسو. ويمكن للرئيس الاميركي باراك اوباما تمرير التعيين بأصوات الحزب الديموقراطي وحده اذا أراد البيت الابيض، لكن العرقلة تبقى ممكنة.
وفي السياق، قال مدير مركز دراسات الشرق الاوسط في جامعة اوكلاهوما جوشوا لانديس لـ «السفير»، ان دور كيري أساسي في العلاقات السورية الاميركية لانه حمل رسائل من الادارة الاميركية خلال زياراته دمشق، ويؤدي دورا في طمأنة السوريين وفي التأكيد ان العلاقات السورية الاميركية على جدول اعمال البيت الابيض. ويعتبر ان كيري يحاول ايضا إبعاد اوباما عن «السياسة التقليدية في وزارة الخارجية التي لا تتوق للانخراط مع سوريا». ويرى ان سوريا «كانت اكثر الدول العربية استفادة من سياسة اوباما التي انسحبت عسكريا من العراق، وقلصت سياستها في لبنان، وأخذت مسافة من اسرائيل».

Foggy Bottom’s Man In Baghdad
By Michael Rubin in the Wall Street Journal
Saturday, Mar 13, 2010

(Editor’s Note: Mr. Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was a governance adviser in the Coalition Provisional Authority.)

…..Mr. Allawi failed to break double-digits in the December 2005 election. He was bitter. “Our adversaries in Iraq are heavily supported financially by other quarters. We are not,” he later told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as insurgency raged. He failed to mention the millions of dollars funneled to him by Saddam’s former allies in Jordan and other Arab states……

….While Iraqis brave bombs and bullets to hold leaders to account and participate in democracy, a dangerous cocktail of anti-Shiite bias and dictator chic permeates Washington’s foreign-policy elite. This may make Mr. Allawi attractive in Foggy Bottom and Langley, but not to most Iraqis. Strongmen — including Saddam — drove Iraq into ruin and espoused ethnic and sectarian supremacy.

Iran’s influence is pernicious, but Iraqi Shiites are not Iranian pawns. …

History matters. In January, I met with one grand ayatollah and representatives of two others in Najaf. Each castigated Iran but said they could neither forgive nor forget 1991, when the elder Bush abandoned Iraq’s Shiite uprising to Saddam’s helicopter gunships. No Iraqi candidate is perfect, but it’s puzzling that the U.S. has thrown so much weight behind one with ties to the country’s Baathist past.

Enemies of the Internet: KSA, Egypt, Iran, Syria
2010-03-13,Next Web (US)

Middle Easterns, Rejoice! If the Axis of Evil wasn’t enough, 4 of our countries have made it to the top 12 “Enemies of the Internet”. The list, drawn up every year by Reporters Without Borders, presents the worst violators of freedom of …

Comments (37)


1. norman said:

If the US can not force it’s well on Israel in regards to the Settlements , how can any Arab think that it can force Israel to abide by international law , we should stop dreaming and work on forcing Israel out of Arab land ,
And yea , that is my take on Biden’s visit,

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March 14th, 2010, 3:53 am

 

2. offended said:

I think the Israeli government is correct. If Biden is a Zionist, as he claims, then he must be cool with the settlements. I don’t see where the problem is.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

March 14th, 2010, 8:45 am

 

3. Elie Elhadj said:

Pleased that Syria is not pursuing nuclear power plants. However, concern must be expressed over Syria’s neighbors who have suddenly become obsessed with nuclear energy. How can any population center in this crowded region be immune to a possible nuclear disaster that might, just might, blow up in a neighboring state?

Dear OFF THE WALL,

Many thanks for your elaborate and informative comment. You have, indeed, enriched the discussion on a critical issue.

Your summary of my position is accurate. Your argument that progress in the nuclear field could raise the caliber of scientific education and knowledge is valid. Nonetheless, I still believe, that as long as “Arab countries do not have the technological and scientific critical mass to deal with the ‘inevitable’ nuclear accident” they should refrain from nuclear energy for their own long-term safety.

In bringing up poor flood protection from rainfall in Aleppo and very rich Jeddah I intended to exemplify the lack of resources in two major Arab cities, even in such a low-tech area. The list of embarrassing failures can go on and on. Jad mentioned a few examples in Homs, Tartous, and Damascus. Thanks, Jad.

Meanwhile, going forward, attention should be focused on wind and solar electricity generation. The following should persuade us that, solar and wind power have become credible sources of energy.

Solar
Adapting from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power

In 2008, multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built, like the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany. These plants are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 100 MW Fort Peck Solar Farm, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm. Utilizing a different technology, the largest solar power plant is the 354 MW SEGS.

To put 354 MW in perspective, it is equivalent to the capacity of a medium size nuclear reactor. 600 MW is equivalent to the capacity of a large nuclear reactor.

Egypt’s High Dam has twelve generators capable of producing a modest 175 MW each.

The Euphrates dam’s hydroelectric power station has eight turbines capable of producing a very modest 103 MW each. I have no idea how many turbines are operating today and at what utilization rate.

Wind generated electricity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power generation, such as 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Syria’s estimated shortage of 1,000 MW at present, which will grow to 1,800 MW by 2012, is not huge. Such shortage can be met by a combination of solar and wind solutions to supplement oil and gas, though economic feasibility ought to determine the winner.

Elie

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

March 14th, 2010, 10:59 am

 

4. Elie Elhadj said:

Pleased that Syria is not pursuing nuclear power plants. However, concern must be expressed over Syria’s neighbors who have suddenly become obsessed with nuclear energy. How can any population center in this crowded region be immune to a possible nuclear disaster that might, just might, erupt in a neighboring state?

Dear OFF THE WALL,

Many thanks for your elaborate and informative comment. You have, indeed, enriched the discussion on a critical issue.

Your summary of my position is accurate. Your argument that progress in the nuclear energy field could lead to an enhanced general interest in science is correct. Nonetheless, I still believe, that as long as “Arab countries do not have the technological and scientific critical mass to deal with the ‘inevitable’ nuclear accident” they should refrain from nuclear energy, for their own long-term safety. In bringing up poor flood protection from rainfall in Aleppo or a very rich Jeddah I intended to exemplify the lack of resources in two major Arab cities, even in such a low-tech area. The list of embarrassing failures can go on and on. Jad mentioned a few examples in Homs, Tartous, and Damascus. Thanks, Jad.

Meanwhile, going forward, attention should be focused on wind and solar electricity generation. The following should persuade us that, solar and wind power have become credible sources of energy.

Solar
Adapting from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power

In 2008, multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built, like the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany. These plants are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 100 MW Fort Peck Solar Farm, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm. Utilizing a different technology, the largest solar power plant is the 354 MW SEGS.

To put 354 MW-capacity in perspective, it is equivalent to the capacity of a medium size nuclear reactor. 600 MW is equivalent to the capacity of a large nuclear reactor.

Egypt’s High Dam has twelve generators capable of producing a modest 175 MW each.

The Euphrates dam’s hydroelectric power station has eight turbines capable of producing a very modest 103 MW each.

Wind generated electricity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power generation, such as 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Syria’s estimated shortage of 1,000 MW at present, which will grow to 1,800 MW by 2012, is not huge. Such shortage can be met by a combination of solar and wind solutions to supplement oil and gas, though economic feasibility ought to determine the winner.

Elie

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

March 14th, 2010, 11:13 am

 

5. Elie Elhadj said:

Pleased that Syria is not pursuing nuclear power plants. However, concern must be expressed over Syria’s neighbors who have suddenly become obsessed with nuclear energy. How can any population center in this crowded region be immune to a possible nuclear disaster that might, just might, erupt in a neighboring state?

OFF THE WALL,

Many thanks for your elaborate and informative comment. You have, indeed, enriched the discussion on a critical issue.

Your summary of my position is accurate. Your argument that progress in the nuclear energy field could lead to an enhanced general interest in science is correct. Nonetheless, I still believe, that as long as “Arab countries do not have the technological and scientific critical mass to deal with the ‘inevitable’ nuclear accident” they should refrain from nuclear energy, for their own long-term safety. In bringing up poor flood protection from rainfall in Aleppo or a very rich Jeddah I intended to exemplify the lack of resources in two major Arab cities, even in such a low-tech area. The list of embarrassing failures can go on and on. Jad mentioned a few examples in Homs, Tartous, and Damascus. Thanks, Jad.

Meanwhile, going forward, attention should be focused on wind and solar electricity generation. The following should persuade us that, solar and wind power have become credible sources of energy.

Solar
Adapting from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power

In 2008, multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built, like the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany. These plants are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 100 MW Fort Peck Solar Farm, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm. Utilizing a different technology, the largest solar power plant is the 354 MW SEGS.

To put 354 MW-capacity in perspective, it is equivalent to the capacity of a medium size nuclear reactor. 600 MW is equivalent to the capacity of a large nuclear reactor.

Egypt’s High Dam has twelve generators capable of producing a modest 175 MW each.

The Euphrates dam’s hydroelectric power station has eight turbines capable of producing a very modest 103 MW each.

Wind
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power generation, such as 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Syria’s estimated shortage of 1,000 MW at present, which will grow to 1,800 MW by 2012, is not huge. Such shortage can be met by a combination of solar and wind solutions to supplement oil and gas, though economic feasibility ought to determine the winner.

Elie

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March 14th, 2010, 12:59 pm

 

6. Ghat Albird said:

To Joshua et al.

Not to be overlooked a link to the views of those who occupy the Golan and their fundamentalist supporters in the West.

http://bibireport_blogspot.com/

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March 14th, 2010, 3:23 pm

 

7. Husam said:

OFFENDED:

It is always paramount to add proof of Biden declaration of his Zionist fabric:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAZmO80dLfE

Imagine a V.P. United States of America declaring “you don’t have to a Muslim to be a Wahabi”.

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March 14th, 2010, 3:25 pm

 

8. Husam said:

What outcome are we expecting? It doesn’t matter who visits Syria/Israel nowadays when, what was said, timely-untimely announcements because Zionist (Zionist Jews, Zionist Christians or just Zionist butt-kissers or just-needed-a-job Zionists) control Washington:

VERY Short “un-updated” list:

Joseph Biden (Vice President)

Rahm Israel Emanuel (Jew/White House Chief of Staff)

Benjamin Shalom Bernanke (Federal Reserve (the FED) Chairman)

Sheila Bair (FDIC Chairman)

Karen Mills (Administrator, Small Business Administration (SBA))

Christina Romer (Council of Economic Advisers)

Paul Volcker (Economy advisor/twice FED Chairman)

Mary Schapiro (SEC Chairman)

Hillary Clinton (Pro-Israel Secretary of State) – Said her family spoke Yiddish when she was a child, during her first campaign for NY Senate. In her first Sunday show interview as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said it is US POLICY to treat an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel as an attack on the United States.

Tim Geithner (Treasury Secretary)

Douglas Shulman (Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner)

Leon Panetta (Pro-Israel CIA Director)

Lawrence (“Samuelson”) Summers (NEC Director)

David Axelrod (Senior Obama Advisor)

Jason Furman (Director of Economic Policy)

Alan Blinder (Obama Economic Adviser)

Robert Rubin (Obama Economic Adviser)

Dan Shapiro (NSC Middle East desk)

Dennis Ross (Envoy to Iran)

Puneet Talwar (NSC Middle East Desk)

George Mitchell (Pro-Israel Middle East Envoy)

Jared Bernstein (Biden Economic Policy Adviser)

Richard Holbrooke (Afghan-Pakistan Envoy)

Ronald Klain (VP Biden Chief of Staff)

Peter Orszag (Head of Budget)

Eric Landers (Science & Technology Advisory Council Co-Chair)

Elena Kagen (Solicitor General)

Gary Gensler (Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chmn)

Steven Rattner (Treasury Adviser-Auto Sector)

James B. Steinberg (deputy Secretary of State)

Jacob Lew (deputy Secretary of State)

Jared Bernstein (Chief Economics Policy Adviser to VP Biden)

Jon Leibowitz (FTC Chairman)

Julius Genachowski (FCC Chairman)

Margaret Ann Hamburg (Commissioner – Food and Drug Agency)

Joshua M. Sharfstein (Deputy FDA Administrator)

I am not anti-jewish, many people in my life are jewish. But, I do have a problem with the Zionist agenda.

“Is there any criminal act that Israel can do without being protected from criticism from the U.S? If there is, I haven’t heard or seen it. And I haven’t seen it from the Obama Administration, Bush Administration or from the Clinton Administration or from any administration before them. But when you consider the influence of Israel’s lobby and its political action committees and the more than $41 million they’ve given to Congress and the White House, is it any wonder Israel is shielded from any shame? For more than 54 years the Israelis have committed acts that no other nations would dare get away with. But even here in America, where it is not yet illegal to publicly ask the wrong questions, any public figure that does so is subjected to smears, intimidation, and the attempted destruction of his career and reputation by Jewish organizations, and by the very cooperative news media”

– U.S. Brigadier General James J. David (Ret.), “A Passionate Attachment to Israel”, Dec. 2002

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March 14th, 2010, 3:27 pm

 

9. majedkhaldoun said:

Next week health reform will have critical test for Obama,hopefully he will be stronger,then he can deal with peace effort in the Middle East.
Israel insulted him,may be Goldstein report will be discussed in the UN.

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March 14th, 2010, 4:01 pm

 

10. Elie Elhadj said:

Pleasing that Syria is not pursuing nuclear power plants. However, concern must be expressed over Syria’s neighbors who have suddenly become obsessed with nuclear energy. How can any population center in this crowded region be immune to a possible nuclear disaster that might, just might, erupt in a neighboring state?

Dear OFF THE WALL,

Many thanks for your elaborate and informative comment. You have, indeed, enriched the discussion on a critical issue.

Your summary of my position is accurate. Your argument that progress in the nuclear energy field could lead to an enhanced general interest in science is correct. Nonetheless, I still believe, that as long as “Arab countries do not have the technological and scientific critical mass to deal with the ‘inevitable’ nuclear accident” they should refrain from nuclear energy, for their own long-term safety. In bringing up poor flood protection from rainfall in Aleppo or a very rich Jeddah I intended to exemplify the lack of resources in two major Arab cities, even in such a low-tech area. The list of embarrassing failures can go on and on. Jad mentioned a few examples in Homs, Tartous, and Damascus. Thanks, Jad.

Meanwhile, going forward, attention should be focused on wind and solar electricity generation. The following should persuade us that, solar and wind power have become credible sources of energy.

Solar
Adapting from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power

In 2008, multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built, like the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany. These plants are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 100 MW Fort Peck Solar Farm, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm. Utilizing a different technology, the largest solar power plant is the 354 MW SEGS.

To put 354 MW-capacity in perspective, it is equivalent to the capacity of a medium size nuclear reactor. 600 MW is equivalent to the capacity of a large nuclear reactor.

Egypt’s High Dam has twelve generators capable of producing a modest 175 MW each.

The Euphrates dam’s hydroelectric power station has eight turbines capable of producing a very modest 103 MW each.

Wind
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power generation, such as 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Syria’s estimated shortage of 1,000 MW at present, which will grow to 1,800 MW by 2012, is not huge. Such shortage can be met by a combination of solar and wind solutions, though economic feasibility ought to determine the winner.

Elie

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March 14th, 2010, 4:25 pm

 

11. Elie Elhadj said:

Pleased that Syria is not pursuing nuclear power plants. However, concern must be expressed over Syria’s neighbors who have suddenly become obsessed with nuclear energy. How can any population center in this crowded region be immune to a possible nuclear disaster that might, just might, erupt in a neighboring state?

Dear OFF THE WALL,

Many thanks for your elaborate and informative comment. You have, indeed, enriched the discussion on a critical issue.

Your summary of my position is accurate. Your argument that progress in the nuclear energy field could lead to an enhanced general interest in science is correct. Nonetheless, I still believe, that as long as “Arab countries do not have the technological and scientific critical mass to deal with the ‘inevitable’ nuclear accident” they should refrain from nuclear energy, for their own long-term safety. In bringing up poor flood protection from rainfall in Aleppo or a very rich Jeddah I intended to exemplify the lack of resources in two major Arab cities, even in such a low-tech area. The list of embarrassing failures can go on and on. Jad mentioned a few examples in Homs, Tartous, and Damascus. Thanks, Jad.

Meanwhile, going forward, attention should be focused on wind and solar electricity generation. The following should persuade us that, solar and wind power have become credible sources of energy.

Solar
Adapting from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power

In 2008, multi-megawatt photovoltaic plants have been built, like the 46 MW Moura photovoltaic power station in Portugal and the 40 MW Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany. These plants are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations. Much larger ones are proposed, such as the 100 MW Fort Peck Solar Farm, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm, and the 600 MW Rancho Cielo Solar Farm. Utilizing a different technology, the largest solar power plant is the 354 MW SEGS.

To put 354 MW-capacity in perspective, it is equivalent to the capacity of a medium size nuclear reactor. 600 MW is equivalent to the capacity of a large nuclear reactor.

Egypt’s High Dam has twelve generators capable of producing a modest 175 MW each.

The Euphrates dam’s hydroelectric power station has eight turbines capable of producing a very modest 103 MW each.

Wind
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power generation, such as 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Syria’s estimated shortage of 1,000 MW at present, which will grow to 1,800 MW by 2012, is not huge. Such shortage can be met by solar and wind solutions, though economic feasibility ought to determine the winner.

Elie

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March 14th, 2010, 4:56 pm

 

12. Alex said:

Dear Elie,

I released all instances of your recent comment from the spam filter to help the filter (hopefully) be less suspicious of you in the future.

In general if anyone here tries to post a comment which contains multiple links, please be advised that the filter will most likely route it to the spam section. In that case please do not try to post it again but write to Joshua or to me an email to let us know that you have a comment that did not show up. If you try many times to post again the spam filter software will boost its assessment of your probability of being a spammer.

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March 14th, 2010, 5:19 pm

 

13. Elie Elhadj said:

Alex,

Thanks.
Got it.
Sorry for making a pest of myself.
How embarrassing!

Elie

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March 14th, 2010, 6:06 pm

 

14. Alex said:

Dear Elie (again)

Nothing embarrassing at all. My comments often end up in the spam filter as well, given my tendency to rely on external links.

I like your approach to decision making in this case. It reminds me of best selling author Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s attention to “Black Swan Events” … highly improbable, but potentially disastrous outliers.

Among Taleb’s recommendations: “Counter-balance complexity with simplicity.” and “Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning.”

Incidentally, when it comes to regional policies and economic reforms policies, the Syrian leadership generally follows the same approach. Advantage is optimal stability, long term relevance in the region as well as being, to some extent, in control of one’s destiny. Disadvantage: lost opportunities and slow progress.

Similarly when we look at the two options (to pursue nuclear energy, or not) we can understand one of the reasons why Syria for now decided not to risk going for nuclear energy (risk aversion that applies even to outliers). OTW’s argument that progress in the nuclear energy field could lead to an enhanced general interest in science is indeed correct, and Syria’s reluctance at this time to pursue this option will lead to lost opportunities … enhanced general interest in scientific research in this case.

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March 14th, 2010, 6:06 pm

 

15. Shai said:

Husam,

I haven’t read things you’ve written here before, so I’m assuming that you mean what you say, when you say “I am not anti-jewish, many people in my life are jewish.”

But by listing all the Jews you can think of, who “control Washington”, aren’t you in effect hinting at anti-semitism? Surely you haven’t proven (even to yourself) that all or even most of these Jewish Americans are “Zionists”.

In light of recent days, would you say Hillary Clinton (whose “family spoke Yiddish” as you claimed) is a Zionist?

By the way, I hope you realize that it is impossible to make Peace with your friends. If you want Peace with Israel, it will have to be with the same Zionists you so despise. Just as if we want Peace with the Arabs, it will be with the same anti-Zionists we so despise.

Our efforts should not be on continuing to use the rhetoric we all grew up on, and which served very little positive purposes. We should find ways to begin bridging our gaps. This is the only way, whether we like it or not, whether it is just or not.

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March 14th, 2010, 6:34 pm

 

16. Shami said:

Again the arabphobia of elie seems a pathological complex , the Arabs when opportunities are given to them are among the most succesful in the world.There is no doubt about it when we will reach an advanced and effective political regime , the Arab world will become one of the leading power in the world. As for Iran otw they are not better than us despite our bad regimes . They are unable to extract And explore their huge fields of oil and gas and for this reason they are importers of refined oil and gas from Turkmenistan and Turkey.According to the humans developpement index they are behind the gulf countries and the Iranian regime is even more corrupt than the Syrian one , they are in the same group of failed states . As for ecological disasters the situation is worse in Iran than in banyas , Homs , Aleppo and Damascus . I M doing here a comparison between the bad and worse.as for the nuclear expertise they bought it from Russia and Pakistan ( abdelkader khan) btw it s not very difficult for a country to form scientists what we need is a strong civil society and the valorizatiom of social science and philosophical studies , democracy and the culture of criticism. It s the only way of salvation.

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March 14th, 2010, 10:47 pm

 

17. Shami said:

As for nuclear energy I m not against but for the time being the priorities should be of social and political natures , as I said third world countries CAN get the technology if they pay for it but what is necessary are social and political reforms then all will be possible.

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March 15th, 2010, 3:45 am

 

18. Husam said:

Shai,

Thank you for you response and ‘enlightenment’. Need I explain the difference between faith “Judaism” and political movements “Zionism”? The same difference holds true for faith “Islam” and “Al-Qaeda” or “Wahabism”. People have issues with Wahabism, including many Muslims, this in itself does that make them anti-semites?

About Hillary et al, or any person for that matter, jewish or non-jewish, who supports Israel “unconditionally and blindly” including its criminal actions is a Zionist. For starters, let us not forget when Hillary celebrated the Israeli war crimes back in 2006 in front of UN Headquarters in New York staged by Zionist organisations. And, her famous speaches at famouns Zionist venues around the country are all too well known.

Is it any wonder why hubby ex-president Bill Clinton would grovel before a jewish audience at a $350 a plate dinner, and butter something as ridiculously pathetic as the following statement:

“The Israelis know that if the Iraqi or the Iranian army came across the Jordan River, I would personally grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and die.” (Source** Bubba: I’d fight and Die for Israel. New York Post. .By Andy Geler. August 2, 2002)

The list I provided were not of Jews per se, but of Zionist. And yes, I can prove that they would all lap dance for $10 a song. But for lack of time, please spare me the effort.

Shai, yes I am a newcomer to this blog. However, you are dealing with many academics, researchers, and M.E. specialist here on this blog, who all too well know the Zionist fists over Washington.

You stated “….Just as if we want Peace with the Arabs, it will be with the same anti-Zionists we so despise.” I am perplexed by your effort to bridge anti-zionism with with Peace with Jews/Israel. One can be anti-zionist and not anti-jewish nor anti-israeli, isn’t that so? And what about Jews Against Zionist, are they anti-semites too?

Unfortunately, in my personal view peace will not come when Israel is dominated by Zionist ideology. Real, just and lasting peace will come when the majority of Jews and Arabs share the same fabric, morality, and the need to live together again like we did before the time of Herzl.

I know lots of them, do you?

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March 16th, 2010, 3:55 am

 

19. Shai said:

Husam,

We do not choose what the others are. I imagine you would also have “your side” look a little different as well (regarding freedom and violations against the most basic human rights, amongst its own.) What we can hope for, is precisely what Ford Prefect mentioned earlier, which is a transformation of Jews and Arabs into something new. But this is a process, it will take time, during which we must begin laying the foundations for real Peace (via such things as “Peace Agreements”.)

Some amongst my people claim we should only make Peace with free and democratic people and nations in our region. Do you know of any?

We can’t afford to wait. Not for Zionism, not for Baathism, not for Wahabism, not for any other “ism”. It would take me too long to explain to you why some of us, many of us, are liberal-minded, believe in equality, in peace, in rights, and yet see themselves as Zionists. We can’t wait for our vision of the other to first be eradicated. It won’t happen in our lifetime.

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March 16th, 2010, 5:40 am

 

20. Husam said:

Shai,

You are right and I agree, we do not choose the “other”. But Shai, are you advocating sitting down with Hamas, who were in many ways the first democratically elected government in M.E, in our time?

And if so, I don’t think you would acheive anything when you sit down with your enemy unless the power is more or less even handed. Otherwise, you end up, as we have seen a zillion times over, in an unjust temporary solution, which may seem like the best deal at the time, but will re-ignite a decade or a generation later.

I happen to think that all mankind will be accountable for his actions in life, we are given a brain to think and frankly many decision makers in Israel (and yes in Arab regimes and its kingdoms as well) will pay for their deeds. Everyone it seems are motivated by extreme ideologies and by the almighty dollar which they collect whilst seated in their lofty chairs.

For the Arabs, the longer they wait, the better the deal gets because, as I am sure you know, never negotiate when you are at your weakest and divided. The dynamics in the Middle East will change for more favorable conditions. This has to some degree done so already… time will tell.

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March 17th, 2010, 12:36 am

 

21. Akbar Palace said:

Husam said:

I am not anti-jewish, many people in my life are jewish. But, I do have a problem with the Zionist agenda.

Husam,

So sorry you have a problem with the “Zionist agenda”. The Arabs have 22 states, so I can understand why a Jewish state is so upsetting.

I would suggest finding a good social worker or counselor to help you deal with this nagging problem. Perhaps Anwar al-Awlaki can schedule you in for a few sessions. I hear he is very compassionate and understanding.

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March 17th, 2010, 11:18 am

 

22. Ghat Albird said:

MONEY TALKING.

“The administration’s decision to escalate its rhetoric following Vice President Biden’s visit to Israel is not merely irresponsible, it is an affront to the values and foundation of our long-term relationship with a close friend and ally,” read a statement by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-OHIO. Similar statements have been issued by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-KANSAS, Rep.Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FLORIDA.

OHIO.
Military Aid to Israel, Total FY2009-2018: $1,214,675,539.20

This money could have been spent instead to:

Provide 14,749 households per year w/affordable housing grants OR
Provide 20,164 job seekers per year w/green jobs training OR
Provide 35,915 children per year w/early reading education OR
Provide 983,702 people per year w/primary health care.

Tell your Members of Congress to spend your tax dollars wisely.

KANSAS.
Military Aid to Israel, Total FY2009-2018: $242,626,470.74

This money could have been spent instead to:

Provide 2,946 households per year w/affordable housing grants OR
Provide 4,028 job seekers per year w/green jobs training OR
Provide 7,174 children per year w/early reading education OR
Provide 196,491 people per year w/primary health care.

Tell your Members of Congress to spend your tax dollars wisely.

FLORIDA
Military Aid to Israel, Total FY2009-2018: $1,469,678,061.61

This money could have been spent instead to:

Provide 17,845 households per year w/affordable housing grants OR
Provide 24,397 job seekers per year w/green jobs training OR
Provide 43,455 children per year w/early reading education OR
Provide 1,190,215 people per year w/primary health care.

Tell your Members of Congress to spend your tax dollars wisely.

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March 17th, 2010, 3:12 pm

 

23. Akbar Palace said:

Ghat’s Financial Advice, Ltd.

Ghat,

Are you also advising the PA and Hamas government on how to spend their money too? I’m think the Palestinians could use affordable housing, green jobs, training in reading education, and primary health care even more than the Americans.

http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/529/562.html

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March 17th, 2010, 3:58 pm

 

24. Shai said:

Husam,

I am absolutely for sitting with Hamas, if they’ll sit with me. Indeed Hamas was the first democratically elected government in the Middle East, and Israel and the U.S. missed an opportunity in recognizing this achievement.

I’m not sure I agree, though, when you said: “I don’t think you would acheive anything when you sit down with your enemy unless the power is more or less even handed.” I don’t think it is an axiom. How else can you explain the Northern Ireland talks, and eventual Peace? Clearly, no one has ever debated the strengths of the relative parties. The same can apply to Israel and the Palestinians.

But I agree with you – we must look each other at eye level. That’s a must. For the purpose of making Peace, we must truly see each other as equals. Not in the military sense, but in the most basic human sense. Because on that level, it is the truth.

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March 17th, 2010, 4:07 pm

 

25. almasri said:

GHAT ALBIRD,
Your analysis of MONEY TALKING is superb. Nothing is more appropriate for present time main Street America.
I know the reason you limited your presentation of the misappropriation of the US tax dollars to the three States you mentioned was because the three members of congress supporting the benefiting alien country come from those States. I know it is a daunting task to try to compile similar data pertaininmg to all the States. But it would be very beneficial to do so. You are already providing huge amount of useful information and data to this forum and I’m sure it is taking quite a bit of your time.
It would be a good project to undertake and try to find funding to publish the data in major American news media. Think about it.

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March 17th, 2010, 9:08 pm

 

26. Ghat Albird said:

TO ALMASRI.

Will from time to time comment on other states.

Whats more importan is for this information to be made available to the governor’s of every state as well the major universities in each state.

Appreciate your comments.

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March 17th, 2010, 10:51 pm

 

27. Husam said:

Would someone please, please fill me in on Akbar Palace? Obviously a hardcore Zionist. I mean why would anyone spend hours composing pro-zionist comments on this particular board and attack every single commentator? It is highly unlikely s/he will find any sympathy on this (Syrian specific) blog!

S/he never ever seems to agree with anyone, S/he’s always trying to distort the truth and unwilling to look at the other side.

Is it plausible that S/he is a paid Israeli blogger as it has been suggested?

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March 18th, 2010, 11:11 pm

 

28. Husam said:

Akbar Palace:

You said: ” I would suggest finding a good social worker or counselor to help you deal with this nagging problem.” I do have a problem with the Zionist agenda; but isn’t that the view of 90% of people here? And, why are you here anyway?

And you said: “So sorry you have a problem with the “Zionist agenda”. The Arabs have 22 states, so I can understand why a Jewish state is so upsetting.” I don’t have a problem with a Jewish state, I do have a problem with a Zionist state and occupation however. FYI, you can be human and jewish, and not a zionist. I do have Jewish friends, from Orthodox to Reform who are anti-zionist. You are not one of them. I wonder if dropping your white bottom in the middle of 22 African countries or between 22 tribes in the Brazilian Jungle, would you not expect some trouble?

Why don’t you go get a life, it seems you have something to say to everyone here. The best is to ignore you or better hit the red eject button if one existed.

What a name – AKBAR PALACE, such a coward. Use your own name or something more politically correct like Bib, Herzl, or Rothschild.

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March 18th, 2010, 11:37 pm

 

29. Husam said:

Shai:

I like you, despite our differences. Peace requires sincere willingness on both sides. However, the old proverb: big fish eat small fish:)

The nature of a peace deal, if it were between the majority of the Arab & Jewish street, would be signed within 24hrs. The reality however is different because the people doing the negotiations and power plays are politicians of the lowest level. We are dealing with thugs, criminals, and extremist on both sides. Lets not forget how most politicians on city, state, or international level get elected – lie, cheat, steal and put their conscious in the freezer to get where they are today.

Cheers,

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March 19th, 2010, 12:02 am

 

30. ghat Albird said:

HUSAM said:

Would someone please, please fill me in on Akbar Palace? Obviously a hardcore Zionist.

There is a general concensus on how “zionists” use forums, makes comments, etc,.

– First, they ignore the facts, hoping the information will not be given widespread attention/distribution.

– If the information starts reaching too many people, they ridicule the information and the person or persons giving the information.

– If that doesn’t work, their next step is character assassination / character attack.

– If that doesn’t work, their next step(s) is/are: change the topic, sidetrack the issue(s), deceptive zionist propaganda…etc…

Its reported that Jewish/zionists in America had a consultant prepare an extensive narrative on what to say and how to make statements in their participation in forums or discussion groups, church groups etc,. In some ways it parallels the above 4 positions.

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March 19th, 2010, 12:56 am

 

31. Shai said:

Dear Husam,

Indeed our past and future are for too long hijacked by people (“leaders”) whose interests are very different from what they should be. But this is also part of our conflict. In Israel, in particular, that’s the greatest absurd. That “preachers of peace” (The Left) do everything they can to avoid it (approve Settlements, go on military adventures, etc.), while the “preachers of non-peace” end up removing Jewish settlers from their homes. But neither of these act with Israel’s best-interest first. There are jobs to give family and friends first, there are high mortgage bills to pay for $10 M apartments, there are millionaire 18 year-old daughters to feed and clothe…

So our people are, as always, left to follow like blind sheep. And they do, so very well.

Ghat Albird,

How do I get in touch with one of these “consultants” in America? I should could use a little help here… 😉

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March 19th, 2010, 7:16 am

 

32. Husam said:

SHAI:

I hear you loud and clear. The same goes on all over the M.E… but why is it so? Is this simply “greed every man’s worst enenmy?” In the past century, the dollar, infidelity, corruption, torture have replaced moderation, partnership, acceptance, co-existance.

Churches are being sold left and right in my city to developers. Could lack of faith or the correct interpertation thereof be the cause?

GHAT ALBIRD:

Haaretz had an article that the government was calling on “ARMY OF BLOGGERS” to just what you describe. How far can they go… disgusting.

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March 19th, 2010, 11:01 am

 

33. Akbar Palace said:

Its reported that Jewish/zionists in America had a consultant prepare an extensive narrative on what to say and how to make statements in their participation in forums or discussion groups, church groups etc,. In some ways it parallels the above 4 positions.

Haaretz had an article that the government was calling on “ARMY OF BLOGGERS” to just what you describe. How far can they go… disgusting.

Ghat, Husam,

Why do you assume any of the millions of pro-Israelis need “consultants”? The few of us that post here (or allowed to post here) do it for the same reasons and motivations that you post here.

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March 19th, 2010, 12:30 pm

 

34. Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh, here’s an article you may want to post on your home page…

The Biden Incident by Charles Krauthammer

Why did President Obama choose to turn a gaffe into a crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations?

And a gaffe it was: the announcement by a bureaucrat in Israel’s Interior Ministry of a housing expansion in a Jewish neighborhood in north Jerusalem. The timing could not have been worse: Vice President Biden was visiting, Jerusalem is a touchy subject, and you don’t bring up touchy subjects that might embarrass an honored guest.

But it was no more than a gaffe. It was certainly not a policy change, let alone a betrayal. The neighborhood is in Jerusalem, and the 2009 Netanyahu-Obama agreement was for a 10-month freeze on West Bank settlements excluding Jerusalem.

Nor was the offense intentional. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not know about this move — step four in a seven-step approval process for construction that, at best, will not even start for two to three years.

Nonetheless the prime minister is responsible. He apologized to Biden for the embarrassment. When Biden left Israel on March 11, the apology appeared accepted and the issue resolved.

The next day, however, the administration went nuclear. After discussing with the president specific language she would use, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu to deliver a hostile and highly aggressive 45-minute message that the Biden incident had created an unprecedented crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.

Clinton’s spokesman then publicly announced that Israel was required to show in word and in deed its seriousness about peace.

Israel? Israelis have been looking for peace — literally dying for peace — since 1947, when they accepted the U.N. partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. (The Arabs refused and declared war. They lost.)

Israel made peace offers in 1967, 1978 and in the 1993 Oslo peace accords that Yasser Arafat tore up seven years later to launch a terror war that killed a thousand Israelis. Why, Clinton’s own husband testifies to the remarkably courageous and visionary peace offer made in his presence by Ehud Barak (now Netanyahu’s defense minister) at the 2000 Camp David talks. Arafat rejected it. In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered equally generous terms to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Refused again.

In these long and bloody 63 years, the Palestinians have not once accepted an Israeli offer of permanent peace, or ever countered with anything short of terms that would destroy Israel. They insist instead on a “peace process” — now in its 17th post-Oslo year and still offering no credible Palestinian pledge of ultimate coexistence with a Jewish state — the point of which is to extract preemptive Israeli concessions, such as a ban on Jewish construction in parts of Jerusalem conquered by Jordan in 1948, before negotiations for a real peace have even begun.

Under Obama, Netanyahu agreed to commit his center-right coalition to acceptance of a Palestinian state; took down dozens of anti-terror roadblocks and checkpoints to ease life for the Palestinians; assisted West Bank economic development to the point where its gross domestic product is growing at an astounding 7 percent a year; and agreed to the West Bank construction moratorium, a concession that Secretary Clinton herself called “unprecedented.”

What reciprocal gesture, let alone concession, has Abbas made during the Obama presidency? Not one.

Indeed, long before the Biden incident, Abbas refused even to resume direct negotiations with Israel. That’s why the Obama administration has to resort to “proximity talks” — a procedure that sets us back 35 years to before Anwar Sadat’s groundbreaking visit to Jerusalem.

And Clinton demands that Israel show its seriousness about peace?

Now that’s an insult.

So why this astonishing one-sidedness? Because Obama likes appeasing enemies while beating up on allies — therefore Israel shouldn’t take it personally (according to Robert Kagan)? Because Obama wants to bring down the current Israeli coalition government (according to Jeffrey Goldberg)?

Or is it because Obama fancies himself the historic redeemer whose irresistible charisma will heal the breach between Christianity and Islam or, if you will, between the post-imperial West and the Muslim world — and has little patience for this pesky Jewish state that brazenly insists on its right to exist, and even more brazenly on permitting Jews to live in its ancient, historical and now present capital?

Who knows? Perhaps we should ask those Obama acolytes who assured the 63 percent of Americans who support Israel — at least 97 percent of those supporters, mind you, are non-Jews — about candidate Obama’s abiding commitment to Israel.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/18/AR2010031802747.html

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March 19th, 2010, 12:58 pm

 

35. Ghat Albird said:

The Biden Incident by Charles Krauthammer.

Another examplary psycho-bable commentary.

CK has been referred to by several respected commentators as a שמוק

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March 19th, 2010, 3:34 pm

 

36. Ford Prefect said:

Another commentary by a defunct neoconservative not surprisingly posted by Akbar Palace. It is clear that war hawks are experiencing a severe famine of ideas and therefore to resort to such sick phrases like “anti-terror roadblocks” and “ease the life for the “Palestinians.”

So the “announcement by a bureaucrat in Israel’s Interior Ministry of a housing expansion” is a gaffe? Charlie, are you that funny or have you lost your mind during your latest colonoscopy?

C’mon, please spare us your stupid “gaffe” explanation. It was not a gaffe and you know it. Even Fox News is starting to have some sense returning to it and reported it as it was: a deliberate announcement to attack a US president whom they think is anti-Israel. The world is not as stupid as your dear past president was, my dear Charlie.

Actually Krauthammer’s opinions would have been so laughable had they not been outright sick and evil.

In all of his sick and deranged opinions, spewing lies and half-truths about anything that could lead to peace, Krauthammer conveniently forgets to mention that the United States regards all territory taken by Israel in the 1967 war as “occupied,” including East Jerusalem. Furthermore, the U.S. does not recognize these areas as part of Israel, and has, like the rest of the world, always opposed settlements and believes that the final status of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights must be resolved through negotiations.

The neoconservative ideologues still live in a land where they think military force and remaining tough solves problems. Good luck with that, but let’s not forget the $3 trillion sick war in Iraq that these evil minds gave us.

The next time you read Krauthammer’s opinion, remember that he does not have to fight in any war – he just loves to see others do it for him. What a sick “gaffe” mind he is.

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March 19th, 2010, 3:49 pm

 

37. Husam said:

Akbar Palace:

If you pro-israeli, you would not be here with your loud mouth spreading false information. You are a Zionist-to-the-max. There is a difference with being pro-israel and being a Hard Core Zionist like yourself.

I did NOT “think”, Haaretz reported the your government is recruiting an “army of bloggers”. This is a fact, not a thought of mine… I found the link for you doing a google search:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056648.html

BTW, kindly do not address me, or reply to my comments. I have no interest in wasting my time and responding to your B.S.

You are known for spreading lies on this forum and distorting the facts like you are attempting to do just now. In other words, you are a low and desperate soul.

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March 20th, 2010, 1:41 am

 

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