Thursday, February 08, 2007

Proxy battles

Patrick Cockburn, of the Independent, notes that Iraqi government security agents kidnapped the Iranian diplomat. Iran accuses the Ministry of Defense. That is near the end of his story, but deserves a lot of attention. The proxy struggle continues?

A Sadrist Iraqi health official was detained by American and Iraqi forces. The official, Hakim al-Zamili, was in the insurgent siege of the Ministry of Health in November, 2006. The New York Times story.

The Los Angeles Times reports "broad, open criticism" of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran. Interesting then that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, issued the latest threat toward the U.S. -- he promised retaliation for any attacks on Iran. AP.

The Lebanese Army and the Israeli Defense Force exchanged fire overnight, CNN. This account states that the situation escalated rapidly from an apparent border incursion by a bulldozer to indirect fire to direct fire.

UPDATE: Abu Kais refers to reports that explosive devices were planted along the road. He also cites a Hezbollah linked paper stating that the organization has raised its alert level.

The New York Times speculates on the recent series of helicopter attacks. This account tilts toward the suggestion that it is a shift in insurgent skills and tactics, and not improved weaponry. Neither explanation is a positive development.

The BBC reports that NATO will seek to increase troop levels in Afghanistan by another 2,000. In the past nine months, this story reports, troop levels from NATO have increased about 350 percent. The Guardian reports that the U.S. wants a spring offensive from NATO against the Taliban.

5 Comments:

Blogger Matteo Tomasini said...

The Los Angeles Times reports "broad, open criticism" of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran. Interesting then that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, issued the latest threat toward the U.S. -- he promised retaliation for any attacks on Iran. AP.

I'm not sure if this threat implies support for Ahmadinejad. Afterall as the article goes on to state: "Analysts here say it is significant that Khamenei, who has been a strong supporter of the nuclear program, has not silenced Ahmadinejad's critics. Indeed, Jamhouri Eslami, a newspaper once owned by Khamenei that often reflects his views, has voiced its own criticism of the president."

Thing is it is not entirely clear whether Khamenei backs Ahmadinejad all the way. And there is certainly widespread dissent in Iran.

Couple of articles you may have already seen:
President's future in doubt as MPs rebel and economic crisis grows
and
"Students Protest Against Ahmadinejad"

cheers,
Matteo

3:29 PM  
Blogger Matteo Tomasini said...

The Los Angeles Times reports "broad, open criticism" of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran. Interesting then that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, issued the latest threat toward the U.S. -- he promised retaliation for any attacks on Iran. AP.

I'm not sure if this threat implies support for Ahmadinejad. Afterall as the article goes on to state: "Analysts here say it is significant that Khamenei, who has been a strong supporter of the nuclear program, has not silenced Ahmadinejad's critics. Indeed, Jamhouri Eslami, a newspaper once owned by Khamenei that often reflects his views, has voiced its own criticism of the president."

Thing is it is not entirely clear whether Khamenei backs Ahmadinejad all the way. And there is certainly widespread dissent in Iran.

Couple of articles you may have already seen:
President's future in doubt as MPs rebel and economic crisis grows
and
"Students Protest Against Ahmadinejad"

cheers,
Matteo

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Ahmadinejad's real views are summarized on this website: ahmadinejadquotes.blogspot.com

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamhouri Eslami at times has also advocated Iran leaving NPT.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

U.S. wants a spring offensive from NATO against the Taliban.

Does NATO have enough troops on the ground for this, not to mention the equipment they'd need. Personally, I doubt it.

8:25 PM  

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