In The News Today

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Do not for a moment think the Pakistan/India problem will just morph away. It will not.

Do not believe that mistakes will not occur in the Israeli strategy backed by the US lead by President Elect Obama.

It is possible that before retaliating you need to decide if you are prepared to really go all the way and what such a decision means. Tit for tat is a waste of time.

Turkey plays the role of victim in this unwinding scenario.

As the following article points out:

“He retired from the C.I.A. in 2006 after 29 years, and no longer has access to the nation’s most sensitive information. But his career as an analyst is far from over. As an influential terrorism adviser on President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, he dispenses counsel to the administration-in-waiting on some of the thorniest problems it will face: as varied as the hunt for Al Qaeda’s senior leaders like Mr. Zawahri, the likelihood of another attack on American soil, and how to stave off nuclear Armageddon between India and Pakistan.”

Behind Analyst’s Cool Demeanor, Deep Anxiety Over American Policy

By MARK MAZZETTI

Published: December 26, 2008

WASHINGTON – BRUCE RIEDEL was a 28-year-old Middle East analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency on Oct. 6, 1981, the day a band of gunmen assassinated President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt during a military parade in Cairo.

Within hours of the attack, Mr. Riedel was summoned to the agency’s seventh floor to brief William J. Casey, the irascible C.I.A. director. Over the next several months, he began compiling a dossier about the attack — what he calls the “birth of the global jihad” — and about the emergence of a cerebral Egyptian physician named Ayman al-Zawahri.

He retired from the C.I.A. in 2006 after 29 years, and no longer has access to the nation’s most sensitive information. But his career as an analyst is far from over. As an influential terrorism adviser on President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, he dispenses counsel to the administration-in-waiting on some of the thorniest problems it will face: as varied as the hunt for Al Qaeda’s senior leaders like Mr. Zawahri, the likelihood of another attack on American soil, and how to stave off nuclear Armageddon between India and Pakistan.

Mr. Riedel is one of a chorus of terrorism experts who see the terrorist network’s base in the mountains of Pakistan as America’s greatest threat, and perhaps the biggest problem facing Mr. Obama’s new team.

He speaks angrily about what he calls a savvy campaign by Pakistan’s government under President Pervez Musharraf to fleece Washington for billions of dollars even as it allowed Al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan’s tribal lands.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

I am sure that the present Administration has no teeth in this situation.

Bush, Saudi King talk amid Israel-Gaza bloodshed

CRAWFORD, Texas (AFP) — Saudi King Abdullah told US President George W. Bush by telephone on Saturday that major countries must take action to halt Israel’s attacks on Gaza, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe had said earlier that the king had called Bush, who was preparing to usher in 2009 on his Texas ranch, to discuss "the Middle East" and had declined to offer further details.

But SPA reported that King Abdullah had discussed "the Israeli aggression against Gaza" and the "implications of continuing Israel’s policies of blockade, occupation and torture against the Palestinian people all over the Occupied Territories."

The king also called for "the major countries to shoulder their responsibilities to stop this Israeli attack and save the lives of the innocent and remaining infrastructure in the Palestinian territories."

Abdullah made the call after a meeting in Riyadh with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

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