Maybe the hour of Europe is at hand

…this time? The signs do appear to being pointing to a possible employment of European forces in Lebanon, not least with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and others expressing a preference for “EU countries” or NATO – which is mostly the same thing, especially militarily – to supply troops to any peacekeeping/peace enforcement mission there.

The reason why particularly EU forces might be wanted is that the experience with UNIFIL, the existing UN force there, is not great. As what could be termed a “classic” UN force – blue helmets, white AFVs, no Chapter VII authority, and often drawn from neutral and third world armies – it never had a chance of keeping the PLO or Hezbollah out, and neither did it have a chance of standing up to the Israelis. For their part, the Israelis would obviously like any international force sent to the Litani to be effective. And if it is not effective, it won’t protect the Lebanese from the Israelis either!

Unfortunately, effective international forces for this job are in short supply. The US is out of the question, even if it could spare the troops. British armed forces are frantically overstretched. It seems unlikely to say the least that India would get involved, Pakistan would not be welcome, neither would Turkey for different reasons. Vladimir Putin has said that Russia would support a peace force, but its deployable forces are small, and a dose of the Grozny approach to peacekeeping would do everyone a power of bad. That doesn’t really leave anyone else.

Update below the fold.

If the British army is wildly overcommitted, who will come to the party? The answer is NATO’s Response Force 7, which could sail either under the NATO banner or that of the EU. NRF-7 includes naval and air assets likely to include one carrier and its task group, 40 or so assorted aircraft, and an army brigade. The current force lead is the Franco-German Eurocorps, which by happy accident has just finished a major exercise with the rest of NRF-7 on the Cape Verde islands.

Details can be found here (pdf). There’s one serious problem, though. Take a look at the Land Component order of battle. As well as a multinational HQ with a Spanish general overseeing the French brigade commander, we have the French 110th Infantry Regiment, the French 3éme Hussards tank regiment, the 3rd Belgian Parachute Battalion, the 1st Battalion, 6th Saboya Infantry from Spain, a mixed logistics battalion, a Latvian bomb disposal company…and the German 292nd Jägerbataillon (Light Infantry Battalion), 295th Panzerartillerie (self-propelled artillery battalion), 550th Panzerpionierekompanie (Armoured Engineer Company) and a German military police company.

Is it possible to send German soldiers anywhere near Israel? We may be about to find out. Update: Whether or not it’s possible to send German soldiers there, it looks like it possible to send German secret agents there. According to the Lebanon Daily Star, the Lebanese foreign minister has just been speaking to Peter Witteg, the zuständige leiter at the German foreign ministry, about Germany acting as honest broker to set up a prisoner exchange. Apparently Hezbollah, acting through Nabih Berri as an intermediary, has permitted the Lebanese government to act as an intermediary with Germany acting as an intermediary with Israel in order to gain the mutual release of prisoners. That’s a lot of intermediaries, but it is true that the German secret service has been responsible for setting up past Hezbollah/Israeli exchanges.

78 thoughts on “Maybe the hour of Europe is at hand

  1. Although, recent reports that Israel planned this with the US months ago suggests a desire to get everyone into a larger war

    Do you care to elaborate on this point?

    Jewish conspiracy theories? How passe. Yes, please elaborate, or be consigned to your usual position as resident FFOE idiot.

  2. Hey.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/742228.html

    “Saturday saw another development in the status of Fuad Siniora’s government versus the strength of Hezbollah. After the government received “a franchise” to enter into negotiations on a prisoner-exchange deal, Energy Minister Mohammed Fneish, a Hezbollah representative, announced that once the IDF withdrew from the Shaba Farms area, Hezbollah’s role as a “liberating” army would be over, and it would stick to a purely a defensive role.

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    This is a very significant statement, because it begins to define the conditions for Hezbollah’s disarmament.

    The government of Lebanon, Hezbollah, the United States, France and the United Nations have all realized now that the key to achieving a long-term and sustainable cease-fire by means of the deployment of the Lebanese Army in the south lies in a resolution to the Shaba Farms dispute.”

  3. Yes. Hizbullah’s agenda with regard to Israel has always been very practical. Nasrallah, unlike the al-Qaeda folks, is a shrewd and sober political operator, if a little on the bloodthirsty side. Both sides are playing a chess game of sort. Only with high explosives.

    Israel has also signalled its readiness to surrender the 25sq km of the Shebaa Farms, on the border between Syria and Lebanon but occupied by Israel since its pullout from Lebanon six years ago. That would strengthen the Lebanese government and undermine Hizbullah’s claim to be resisting Israeli “occupation”.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1828123,00.html

  4. This is a very significant statement, because it begins to define the conditions for Hezbollah’s disarmament.

    These are conditions for a temporary truce. It doesn’t solve the problem.

  5. Israeli bombs kill five Indian soldiers

    Five Indian soldiers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in south Lebanon were killed in Israeli shelling on Tuesday evening, Aljazeera correspondent reported.

    An AFP report meanwhile said, quoting Lebanese police, that Israeli warplanes hit a UN observation post during a raid in south Lebanon on Tuesday.

  6. All of this discussion is now dated. Condi has a whole new vision for the Middle East. America, that genius of foreign policy, following its brilliant successes in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq (to name a few) is going to remake the whole of the region (into its ugly image).

    I’d start building that bomb shelter right now if I were you. In Britain, you are much closer to the action than we are in Australia!

  7. A buffer force is an irrelevancy. Only the Syrian government can disarm Hizballah. Syria knows where they live as the nasty phrase goes. The targets bombed are part of the supply line from Syria.

    This is not about kidnapped soldiers any more. It’s about the choice facing Syria – part of the problem or part of the solution?

    Cairo, Amman and Riyadh don’t want the Iranians gaining even more influence. The real question is, what’s in it for the Syrian regime? Is there even a little carrot or just the possibility of avoiding a stick that’s getting bigger and bigger?

    Syria may have difficulty understanding the Cheney-Hadley philosophy: “Speak in mumbles – and hit people occasionally, or they might start believing that thing is only a walking aid.”

  8. I’d start building that bomb shelter right now if I were you.

    Man, I should start a company selling pre-fab bombshelters for left-wing moonbats.

    There seems to be a huge demand for that. Would also, of course, encourage support for more wars, if it could be made into a thriving business 😉

  9. Scott Martens – “I have a solution: Israel acknowledges that Hamas is the legally elected government of the Palestinian Authority, which it officially recognizes as the negotiating agent for Palestinians under the “Road Map”. It releases Hamas officers in detention…”

    Such an action would simply hand over Palestine to Iran.

    What part of the following don’t you understand?

    “A relationship has also developed between Hizballah and Al-Qa’ida, according to a former Al-Qa’ida member who was captured and convicted of bombing U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Ali Muhammad said that “Hizballah provided explosives training for Al-Qa’ida,” and that he personally arranged a meeting between Hizballah’s chief and Osama bin Laden in Sudan. In 2002, leaders of Hizballah, Al-Qa’ida, and Hamas met formally in Lebanon to discuss future joint terrorist attacks against America, Britain, and Israel.”

    “In 1992, Iran, Hizballah, and Hamas signed an official agreement of cooperation. As recently as 2002 [2006 now], it has been known that Iran was directly involved in numerous attempts to launch rockets into Israel through members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were trained by Hizballah in Iranian camps.”

    “Hamas actually maintains its own “embassy” in Tehran.”

    “In the manifesto published by HT on January 28, 2006, the Party [Islamic Liberation Party] called upon Hamas to maintain the current “state of war” against Israel as long as there is no Caliph who can liberate Palestine. The Party emphasized that the comprehensive liberation of Palestine will be attained only after the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate and under the flag of Islam: “the day will come when the knights of Islam will follow the paths of the greats (military leaders) that conquered Palestine, liberated it and protected it. They will put an end to the Jewish entity and will return all of Palestine to the bosom of Islam. Those who negotiated with the Jews and recognized their state, even on a sliver of Palestine, will be wrapped in disgrace in this lifetime and will suffer torments in the afterlife.”

    Sources:

    The Institute for Counter-Terrorism
    http://www.ict.org.il/

    The Jewish Virtual Library
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami al-Filastini)
    http://www.ict.org.il/inter_ter/orgdet.cfm?orgid=28

    The Islamic Liberation Party and its Relations with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority
    June 2, 2006
    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=569

  10. Scott Martens,

    Why would you want to hand Palestine over to Iran?

    That’s what happens if Israel embraces Hamas.

  11. Scott,

    Have you read any of this:

    Hizballah, Hamas, Al-Qa’ida, Palestinian Islamic Jihad , and the Islamic Liberation Party:

    “A relationship has also developed between Hizballah and Al-Qa’ida, according to a former Al-Qa’ida member who was captured and convicted of bombing U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Ali Muhammad said that “Hizballah provided explosives training for Al-Qa’ida,” and that he personally arranged a meeting between Hizballah’s chief and Osama bin Laden in Sudan. In 2002, leaders of Hizballah, Al-Qa’ida, and Hamas met formally in Lebanon to discuss future joint terrorist attacks against America, Britain, and Israel.”

    “In 1992, Iran, Hizballah, and Hamas signed an official agreement of cooperation. As recently as 2002 [2006 now], it has been known that Iran was directly involved in numerous attempts to launch rockets into Israel through members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were trained by Hizballah in Iranian camps.”

    “Hamas actually maintains its own “embassy” in Tehran.”

    “In the manifesto published by HT on January 28, 2006, the Party [Islamic Liberation Party] called upon Hamas to maintain the current “state of war” against Israel as long as there is no Caliph who can liberate Palestine. The Party emphasized that the comprehensive liberation of Palestine will be attained only after the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate and under the flag of Islam: “the day will come when the knights of Islam will follow the paths of the greats (military leaders) that conquered Palestine, liberated it and protected it. They will put an end to the Jewish entity and will return all of Palestine to the bosom of Islam. Those who negotiated with the Jews and recognized their state, even on a sliver of Palestine, will be wrapped in disgrace in this lifetime and will suffer torments in the afterlife.”

    Sources:

    The Institute for Counter-Terrorism
    http://www.ict.org.il/

    The Jewish Virtual Library
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami al-Filastini)
    http://www.ict.org.il/inter_ter/orgdet.cfm?orgid=28

    The Islamic Liberation Party and its Relations with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority
    June 2, 2006
    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=569

  12. Movie Guy, do you seriously imagine that every anti-Israeli force in the Middle East is stage managed by Iran? Israel agreed to negotiate with its enemies. No other path to peace is likely. Negotiating with one’s enemies means negotiating with people who hate you. Israel, instead, has decided to pick and choose who it wants to negotiate with. This would be akin to the US refusing to negotiate with the Soviet Union on arms reduction during the Cold War on the grounds that it doesn’t like Communism.

    Once you’ve made enemies, you don’t get to pick and choose among them.

  13. Why would you want to hand Palestine over to Iran?

    That’s what happens if Israel embraces Hamas.

    How, and why? I think you’re confusing Hamas and Hezbollah. And in any case, what does “hand Palestine over to Iran” mean? Iranian troops on the streets – how would they get there? An Islamic state? Well, Iran is less of a religious tyranny than Saudi Arabia and more of a functioning society than Palestine at the moment. There seems to be a general assumption in the US that Iran is really the same thing as the Soviet Union in about 1948, rather than just another Middle Eastern state with its own set of internal divisions, national interests, strengths, flaws, cultural/historical priors etc. There is literally nothing better that could happen than an understanding between Israel and Hamas.

  14. Scott,

    I attempted to put up a couple of posts that included some links, but they were “captured”. The program has them on a hold for review.

    To overcome this problem, I posted quite a few links under 10 or 11 different posts at your web site, Pedantry.

    Two posts didn’t fly, but the rest are up.

    This is information that I believe would be worth reviewing.

    Good luck.

  15. Scott and Alex,

    Israel is not going to negotiate directly with terrorist organizations, at least not formally.

    There will be no full trust or understanding with Hamas nor the Islamic Liberation Party (ILP), which is a prime supporter of Hamas within Palestine. See the Hamas Covenant and ILP manifesto (links at Scott’s web site, Pedantry)

    Let me share a little background history to clear up the relationships between Iran, Hizballah, and Hamas, plus a hint at an alliance with Al-Qa’ida (or Al Qaeda). Worth noting.

    Source quotes:

    “A relationship has also developed between Hizballah and Al-Qa’ida, according to a former Al-Qa’ida member who was captured and convicted of bombing U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Ali Muhammad said that “Hizballah provided explosives training for Al-Qa’ida,” and that he personally arranged a meeting between Hizballah’s chief and Osama bin Laden in Sudan. In 2002, leaders of Hizballah, Al-Qa’ida, and Hamas met formally in Lebanon to discuss future joint terrorist attacks against America, Britain, and Israel.”

    “In 1992, Iran, Hizballah, and Hamas signed an official agreement of cooperation. As recently as 2002 [2006 now], it has been known that Iran was directly involved in numerous attempts to launch rockets into Israel through members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were trained by Hizballah in Iranian camps.”

    “Hamas actually maintains its own “embassy” in Tehran.”

    “In the manifesto published by HT on January 28, 2006, the Party [Islamic Liberation Party] called upon Hamas to maintain the current “state of war” against Israel as long as there is no Caliph who can liberate Palestine. The Party emphasized that the comprehensive liberation of Palestine will be attained only after the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate and under the flag of Islam: “the day will come when the knights of Islam will follow the paths of the greats (military leaders) that conquered Palestine, liberated it and protected it. They will put an end to the Jewish entity and will return all of Palestine to the bosom of Islam. Those who negotiated with the Jews and recognized their state, even on a sliver of Palestine, will be wrapped in disgrace in this lifetime and will suffer torments in the afterlife.”

    Sources:

    NIPR – Power and Interst News Report

    The Institute for Counter-Terrorism

    The Jewish Virtual Library

    So, yes, Iran is most assuredly tied directly to Hamas, Hamas is tied to Hizballah, and Hizballah is tied to Iran and Syria. The principal funding comes from Iran. Large monies.

    Iran called for Israel’s complete destruction as late as 8 July during a conference held in Iran. The other players were in attendance.

  16. Also note the problems that Jordan is having with Hamas.

    The problems are not isolated to Israel.

    And Hizballah is also not limited to Lebanon. Hardly.

  17. I’m sorry, but out of three references, two I’ve never heard of and one I have prior experience of as a source of mad-right nonsense. There seems to be a strange worldview in some quarters in the US and Israel that there is a Dr Evil who controls all Teh Terrorists, and if we could just whack him all would be love again.

    The absurdity of this is easily seen by the fact that, if there really were coordinating conferences in Lebanon between Al-Qai’da, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Cats’ Protection League, and we knew about them, they’d be dead and the war would be over.

  18. There is certainly nothing wrong with the NIPR – Power and Interst News Report analysis.

    I see no bias in their work. Note the biography info from around the planet.

    You’re being rather naive to think that Iran doesn’t have considerable influence with a number of terrorist groups. Last year, the SecSTATE calle Iran the central banker for terrorist activities in the Middle East.

    If you think that the U.S. would have taken out the H, H, and I leadership because of such meetings, then you should be able to explain why AQ is doing so well.

    I believe you should take a broader view as to what has been happening. I’ve followed this stuff for fifteen years, having lived through some of it in Europe and Central America.

    If you want to narrow it, the answer is simple. Iran =>Hamas and Iran =>Hizballah.

    Fact.

  19. There will be no full trust or understanding with Hamas

    Funny, that, considering that Israel encouraged the growth of Hamas as a counter to the PLO in the first place.

  20. Would you be interested in a fairly long post regarding the recent NATO excercise that was carried out in the Cape Verde Islands? I was there on business at the same time. I was also mugged and was not allowed out of the country. Equally, with no passport or driving licence, I found it very hard to get Western Union to release funds authorised by my UK bank released. It took about 3 hours with a Portuguese Tour rep who was a star. Then I found when I got home that W.U. had billed me twice. More phone bills to my bank. W.U. swore blind I claimed both amounts USING MY PASSPORT AS I.D. – I wouldn’t have needed the funds if I hadn’t had my passport, driving licence, a significant amount of cash etc stolen from me.

    I ramble. I can post on the NATO excercise if you like and explain the problems it caused to civilians.

    thanks

    Jo

  21. MG – “Why would you want to hand Palestine over to Iran? That’s what happens if Israel embraces Hamas.”

    Alex – “How, and why? I think you’re confusing Hamas and Hezbollah. And in any case, what does “hand Palestine over to Iran” mean? Iranian troops on the streets – how would they get there? An Islamic state? Well, Iran is less of a religious tyranny than Saudi Arabia and more of a functioning society than Palestine at the moment.”

    Alex, I have read many of your posts. You seem like a decent fellow. But your knowledge of Iran is not up to speed. Hamas is very much connected directly with Iran.

    In a friendly spirit, perhaps this will help:

    Iran

    Foreign Affairs Committee, National Council of Resistance of Iran FAC, NCRI – IRAN NEWS

    Iran Focus – Iran NEWS

    Iran Focus: Iran – Terrorism – New Reports

    FAC, NCRI: Iran – Human Rights Abuses News Reports

    Iran Focus: Iran – Human Rights Abuses News Reports

    FAC, NCRI: Iran Mullahs’ Terrorist training camps – 14 June 2005

    20 Iran Focus: Terrorist Training Camps Identified in Iran – listed by name and location – 27 Feb 06

    U.S. information (just two documents):

    U.S. State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Iran – 8 Mar 06

    U.S. Department of State: United States Policy Toward Iran – 8 Mar 06

    Other sources:

    BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre

    PINR, the Power and Interest News Report; and here

  22. I think you are veering perilously close to spam. This seems to be a list of lobby groups either aligned with the Iranian monarchy in exile (NCRI, Iran Focus), with the Israeli government, or the Bush administration. Treating similar sources with credence does not have a good record of success recently. Iraqi National Congress anyone?

  23. Movie Guy, two of Israel’s prime ministers were avowed, confessed terrorists, and another one almost certainly ordered terrorist attacks, while another has admitted to aiding and abetting terrorists. If there is one nation in the world that ought not to be able to say “we will not negotiate with terrorists”, it’s Israel. Israel can have no peace until it is prepared to negotiate with its enemies in good faith. The whole point of negotiations is to deal with your enemy. Iran has nothing to do with either of those principles.

    Also, I’ve deleted your posts on Pedantry as link spam. Please make your own arguments, use sources as necessary, and be prepared to defend your sources as something other than propaganda. Multiple links do not make your case for you.

  24. Scott Martens – “Movie Guy, do you seriously imagine that every anti-Israeli force in the Middle East is stage managed by Iran?”

    Alex – “I think you’re confusing Hamas and Hezbollah. And in any case, what does “hand Palestine over to Iran” mean? Iranian troops on the streets – how would they get there? An Islamic state?”

    No confusion. Just plenty of cross reference research.

    It’s apparent that there is a background knowledge problem in your “reasoning”, which detracts from potentially credible or very credible presentations concerning the events of the ongoing Israel-Hamas-Hizballah-Iran-Syria conflict. If you don’t understand the basics of the relationships involved, as made available from the Internet and print publications, it’s unlikely that you can appreciate any major role for Iran’s involvement in the current situation. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Neither of you have acknowledged any relationship between Hamas and Iran whatsoever, yet Hamas maintains an office in Tehran and Hamas representatives have been photographed with the new Iranian president and other government officials in Tehran and other locales in Iran. Similarly, there appears to a possible move under foot whereby one of Hizballah’s principal leaders may shift his base from Lebanon to Iran (this was noted before the current conflict began by more than one global news media firm and a few government sources). Further, there is government intelligence evidence being confirmed by some news media sources that Iran’s officials met with Hamas leaders and “encouraged” its leadership to initiate the first killings and kidnappings that lead to the current escalation.

    While one can blindly dismiss the timing of the attacks on Israel by Hamas and Hizballah as mere coincidence as related to EU-3 and G-8 pressures on Iran to comply with nuclear nonproliferation requests negotiated throughout the same time period and as related to the Iranian president’s remarks on 7 July and 8 July, the direct relationships do exist. The major news media and better scholars researching the ongoing warfare situation have pulled together enough information to allow such relationships knowledge to bubble back to the surface.

    As to Alex’s further questions, note the Iranian supreme cleric and presidential communications on this matter. Both such groups of communications related to exporting Iran’s revolution are, again, readily available. Similarly, there is no mystery as to the growing concerns expressed by many Arab nations in the Middle East over Iran’s desire to become the regional power.

    So, I ask my original question again – Why would you want to hand Palestine over to Iran? Particularly, considering Iran publicly stated goals for all of the Palestine territories.

  25. Movie Guy, two of Israel’s prime ministers were avowed, confessed terrorists, and another one almost certainly ordered terrorist attacks, while another has admitted to aiding and abetting terrorists. If there is one nation in the world that ought not to be able to say “we will not negotiate with terrorists”, it’s Israel. Israel can have no peace until it is prepared to negotiate with its enemies in good faith. The whole point of negotiations is to deal with your enemy. Iran has nothing to do with either of those principles.

    Scott,

    I understand what you are saying. I have said it previously, but I was generally wrong. Israel will gain little from talking with terrorist groups that only have the aim of destroying Israel’s existence and the avowed death of all its citizens. You can’t negotiate effectively with terrorist organizations that have such firm aims and repeated demonstrated performance. To suggest that this opinion is unrealistic brings LaLaLand pie-in-the-sky thinking to mind. Prove your case if you can, but otherwise you are riding a dead horse into an imaginary reality. Once you figure that out, what’s are your recommended options?

    To suggest that the aims of Israel and its citizens are the same as Hamas, Hizballah, and other terrorist organizations (infiltrated and/or elected within governmental bodies or not) is not the case.

    The post-warfare issue is UN resolution 1559, followed immediately by other initiatives to resolve the remaining serious issues in Gaza. The two-state plan is still a viable course for Palestine and Israel. Whether changes will occur within that framework remain to be seen.

  26. Scott – “Also, I’ve deleted your posts on Pedantry as link spam. Please make your own arguments, use sources as necessary, and be prepared to defend your sources as something other than propaganda. Multiple links do not make your case for you.”

    You need not be so disingenuous. The links were posted in response to your apparent naive view that there is no relationship between Iran and Hamas. You never acknowledged receiving or reviewing the links (your choice as a courtesy to a fellow poster) until you made your accusatory “link span” post on July 27, 2006 03:11 PM, an elapsed time period in excess of 24 hours.

    You have had plenty of time to fire off an email to me (the more mature and decent approach), expressing your apparent ‘don’t want to know about professional research or analysis’ displeasure with having anyone share background information that included the official two-state plan for Palestine plus various assessments of Middle East situations by PINR, the Power and Interest News Report, the Institute for Counter-Terrorism, U.S. State Department assessment of Iran, and other sources beyond sound bite news media presentations.

    I don’t care that you deleted the information sources. No merit badges were offered. But you can’t act as though you weren’t provided an opportunity to consider a few other sources, including government documentation and quotes. It was yours to read or scan like an adult, or chuck away like a know-it-all wearing rose colored glasses. You chose the latter path. No big deal. 🙂

    As for defending any arguments that I may present, citing any professional level documented research and analysis is not propaganda. It’s a step up from news reports, many of which are cranked out in haste to meet deadlines. Some news reports are fine, if not excellent, but the general absence of analysis simply reinforces the sound bite environment that many wallow in.

    You need not worry about my ability to support any of my comments or presentations with supporting evidence or commentary. I am well known in blogland for having good support sources if deemed appropriate.

    What you should worry about in my judgment, Scott, is continuing to misrepresent the ongoing military engagement as only between Israel and Hizballah. That is simply misleading. Clearly, the military engagement is between Israel, Iran and Syria, as well as Hamas and Hizballah. Fortunately, the nations and organizations that met in Rome this week know very well who the principal trigger and behind-the-scene players are, as do many in the news media.

  27. Alex – “This seems to be a list of lobby groups either aligned with the Iranian monarchy in exile (NCRI, Iran Focus), with the Israeli government, or the Bush administration.”

    Alex,

    I didn’t say that such sources didn’t have a point of view. Most sources do, including news media outlets. But the larger point deals with consolidation of news stories as opposed to those articles created solely by Iran Focus or NCRI. Both organizations routinely identify their news sources for stories that they create. The external news reports are easily verified, and IF and NCRI provide chronological listings of such news stories. I have had no difficulty in verifying any external news articles found at either source.

    If one dismisses such sources as pure, useless propaganda, one is also dismissing included news reports from the following sources:

    Agence France Presse (AFP)
    AKI (adnkronosinternational, Italian news agency)
    Al-Jazeera
    Amnesty International
    Azzaman daily
    Bloomberg
    CNSNews.com
    DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur GmbH)
    International Herald Tribune
    Iran Azerbaijan daily Gondleague
    Iran semi-official daily Jomhouri Islami
    Iran state-run daily Khorassan
    Iran state-run news agency Mehr
    Iran state-run daily Sharq
    Press Association
    Reuters
    RIA Novosti, Russia
    United Press International (UPI)
    The Associated Press (AP)
    The New York Sun
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Globe and Mail
    The Guardian
    The New York Times
    The San Francisco Chronicle
    The Scotsman
    The Sun
    The Sunday Mirror
    The Sunday Telegraph
    The Time, Europe Edition
    The Times (UK)
    The Washington Post
    The Washington Times
    United Press International (UPI)
    World & Nation

    Do you dismiss all of these news media sources as pure, useless propaganda?

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