Posted by Joshua on Monday, October 29th, 2007
Project for Middle East Democracy has a very interesting website with some wonderful content. Their weekly roundup of news is very helpful and can be subscribed to here. Here are some bits from it.
See the bottom lines for Junblatt in Washington: (Always entertaining.)
The Committee on Foreign Affairs (House 10/23): held a markup for several bills, including H.R.2332, the Syria Accountability & Liberation Act, and H.Res.435, expressing concern for Iran's threatening behavior in Latin America. For POMED's notes, click here.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs (House 10/24): held a hearing entitled "U.S. Policy in the Middle East." The Honorable Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State testified. Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) made opening remarks. For POMED's notes, click here.
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (House 10/25): held a hearing entitled "The State Department and the Iraq War." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified. Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) made opening remarks. For POMED's notes, click here.
New Sanctions on Iran: Last week, the US announced new sanctions against Iran that designate the Quds force of the Revolutionary Guard and four state-owned Iranian banks as supporters of terrorism. Pundits are discussing the meaning of the new sanctions. Some argue that the sanctions will only be effective "as part of a comprehensive strategy to create diplomatic leverage," and that "The United States should be ratcheting up the pressure on Iran, but at the same time it should be maximizing the opportunities for agreement." Others warn that "If this diplomatic offensive fails, President Bush or his successor is likely to face a choice between accepting Iran's acquisition of the means to build nuclear weapons and ordering military strikes to destroy its facilities." The Iranian foreign ministry has condemned the sanctions as "doomed to failure." Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech that Iran would face "serious consequences" if the regime continued on its present course. Meanwhile, the $75 million in U.S. government aid for civil society in Iran continued to gain the support of some and the opposition of others.
Discussing the Difficulties in Lebanon: The Washington Institute on Near East Policy discussed remarks by Walid Jumblatt, the outgoing Lebanese leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, in which (in the context of discussing Syrian interference with Lebanese politics) he said "I don't want to be a diplomat today – if you could send car bombs to Damascus, then why not?" Jumblatt also warned that "coup attempts could be carried out by Syria's allies in Lebanon and of Hizbullah's aspiration to change the infrastructure of the country using its weapons."
Also see Rosner's Blog: Jumblatt to Bush: Send car bombs to Damascus