May 31, 2012

S. Mervin, Le Hezbollah, état des lieux (Actes...

S. Mervin, Le Hezbollah, état des lieux (Actes Sud-Ifpo, 2008) (Photo credit: l’Ifpo)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“Examining and monitoring events lead us to understand that the upcoming month is very pivotal”

It is amazing how things are rapidly developing.

I quote unquote Bloomberg today : “Asian stocks tumbled, heading for the biggest monthly drop in more than three years, while U.S. bond yields fell to a record low and the yen strengthened as divisions widened over solving Europe’s debt crisis. Oil in New York entered a bear market”.

So the financing of the US debt is at its lowest record low from one side and from another, Oil is in a bear market, two great indicators for the major world economy.

However this will expose the geopolitics in an unprecedented way as it will increase the risks of non state actors to drown the US policies before the presidential elections.

Here is another, and I quote unquote: “US Ambassador Susan Rice warned the UN Security Council that if it does not act swiftly to pressure Syria to end its crackdown, members may have no choice but to consider acting outside the UN and the Annan plan. Otherwise, she said, the conflict would spread and create a major crisis for other countries and region-wide.”

On another hand the spokesperson for Mr. Putin affirmed that Russia will not change its stand on Syria, while the FSA gave the Assad clan 48 hours ultimatum before the reprisal of military activities on large scale.

And further more we know that some buildings are being erased in the nuclear site of Parchin and that the Iranian president declared he doesn’t expect any breakthrough in Moscow, while the Israeli defense minister declared he is on an ever watch of Iranian activities.

WOW , how many threats to stability , all leading the advisers of president Obama to lose their sleep, especially if we add the EURO zone challenges, where Greece is ahead of elections, Italy could not meet its objective to sell obligations and Spain struggling hard to find an exit.

So how can we put order and define a policy?

It goes without saying that in front of the massacres enacted, inaction is not anymore an appropriate measure, from here I tend to consider that in the next Friends of Syria meeting in Paris in early July (Mr. Obama will attend hopefully), Russia should be invited ( Mr Hollande can ask Mr Putin this Friday to attend), with China, and whenever these two nations will refuse to join the ranks of the international community, well then military action outside the UN will become compulsory.

By July 20th, Aerial sorties from Incirlik, Jordan, Cyprus and the Mediterranean naval assets will erase command and control main nerves and destroy aerial defenses while securing CBW inventories in Syria.

 Assad will be knocked down, no ifs or buts. The national aspirations of the Syrian population will be served.

On another front it is understood that in Moscow there will be no effective agreements or frameworks to create conditions for a grand bargain with Iran, therefore we need to figure out what can be the effects of an attack ordered by Iran to its proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon against Israel.

Such a preemptive attack will result in : increasing oil prices, generating instability that will reverse the trend of US bonds, disabling European plans to create two Euros and face the financial crisis, disrupting Israeli air power preparations to attack Iran, diverting attention from the Syrian theater and giving breath to the killing machine of the Assad Clan, enforcing the grip of the model of tyranny governing Lebanon and the Shiite crescent in general, and imposing a national rhetoric in Lebanon that will play in the hands of Hezbollah on the long run. Iran will benefit immensely as much as Russia and China from such a scenario. In fact Iran will gain at least six or eigth months time without negotiating and enriching at will.

 Bingo !!!!!!

The advisers of President Obama are still trying to adjust, take hold, understand, negotiate, facilitate, and much more, while we are in the midst of a major international crisis already taking place.

What else should we do to help these guys realize that time is running and they need to be truly in charge or else the US soft and hard power will lose spheres of influence?

“ Wise men and women, policy makers, analysts, researchers, thinkers, associations of science will contribute to trace a powerful route to the good actions and to the wellbeing of the world citizenry”

Thank you,


Where are we standing ?

May 29, 2012

Russian Federation: stamps

Russian Federation: stamps (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“Any effort to figure out where exactly one stands will definitely bring mutual benefits to everyone else”

In the complexity of world affairs, some urgent matters emerge as priorities to deal with.

These priorities are the European economic and financial Crisis, the Iranian nuclear topic, the evolving political environment in the ME, the US recovery and presidential elections, the Chinese reforms and the Russian stance in energy.

As regards the European crisis, I am favorable to consider a mixture of relaxed austerity coupled to major public resources dedicated to consumption. In my last posting I proposed a solution based on two Euros that can reveal to be very practical and effective to avoid an entry into unexplored fields yielding losses to everyone.

As for the Iranian topic, I think that at this stage the West can take the lead and offer a unilateral release of sanctions on civil aircrafts spare parts and suggest as per already published advice, I quote unquote “Iran can truly make an example of  itself by phasing out uranium-based nuclear technology and shift to a liquid fuel based on molten-fluoride salts used in Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) nuclear technology powered by thorium, an obscure, mildly radioactive metal produced as a waste product from the mining of rare earth minerals. Thorium is plentiful, easily accessible and energy dense, a metric ton produces as much energy as 200 tons of uranium, or 3,500,000 ton of coal.  Thorium-based reactors consume their own hazardous waste and would serve Iran’s internal needs far more effectively than its current technology. As a nuclear fuel, thorium is both cleaner and safer than uranium and produces benign alpha radiation, unable to even penetrate skin “

Obviously in exchange Iran can offer as a gesture of confidence building an immediate halt to all enrichment activities and the closure of FFEP.  It can also sign the appendix of the protocols with the IAEA and this will lead to an easing of tension and relaxing of the negotiations in Moscow leading to a framework to insert Iran as a modern power exerting a model of peaceful governance.

All parties involved will need intellectual bravery and a true desire to conduct the talks in function of the global peace.

Whenever in the round of talks planned in Moscow, there will be no clear breakthrough, I am keen to consider that further sanctions will take place and a growing divergence will be witnessed between Iran and the rest of the world. All options will be then on the table comprising an Iranian and/or Hezbollah preemptive action.

Coming to the political environment in the ME, I think there are 3 screens to look at and these are : the Egyptian, the Syrian and the Lebanese.    

As for Egypt it is very likely that an agreement will take place between MB and the reformists that will secure a form of power sharing where the future president will delegate a lot of executive power to the PM and to a presidential council. Reforms will be in the making and a march for prosperity will initiate, following a Turkish model for growth.

As for Syria, it is clear that the draining of the Assad clan and its Russian and Iranian allies will proceed until a strategic shift will become visible. This shift can come only from the Russians; hence the patience exerted by US policy makers on Syria. Russian planners are aware that the Syrian theater is well connected to the Lebanese and unless they act wisely, they might find themselves handling two exploding theaters.

Therefore the bet on Russian logic and rational based on their national interests is very effective. I envisage the Russians sticking to the stalemate for now simply because they didn’t develop a clear way out yet. In truth Russians cannot develop this if they think only in terms of Syrian theater, either in applying a Yemeni model or else.

Russia needs to realize that the opportunities of sharing peacefully the Mediterranean offshore in Lebanon are much more interesting than maintaining a naval base in Tartous, or safeguarding the interest of a falling house of Assad.

From above the Russian solution will be to offer exile to Assad clan and replace it by the national aspirations of the Syrian population. Any delay will be only affecting negatively the Russian prestige and long term interests.

The advent of a Russian peace making in the Mediterranean will enforce the role of this nation to cater energy for the world, and help it develop openness and guidance in its own society and cure its demographic illness.

We do know that the Obama administration is trying its best to meet the election date in November without any major international crisis, and I wish them well.

Yet all analysts agree that once the objective of the administration is clear any international player can shoot to drown it.

While economic data will persist flowing in, and the FED standing by ready for any QE3, I expect the jobless rate to stay above 8 % even if sentiment is great and consumer spending will grow.   

It is expected that the Chinese leading party will be mediating between proceeding with growth and elaborating discreet reforms that will tolerate prosperity without generating instability.

The crisis demonstrates that China is fully connected to the world economy and that a major power cannot exert a leading role unless it shares a lot of vision and sacrifices in leadership.     

The King of Israel will keep its readiness and preparedness and drill again and again sorties and alarms, until the second squadron of F22 will be in place and a third carrier will be on the way.

From above we can understand that moving sands are all around.   

“Peace is a blind standing at a light, where vehicles are coming from all intersections. Still, visible things can be seen by the heart”

Thank you,      

Two Euros or not Two Euros

May 14, 2012


Euro (Photo credit: Fernando D. Ramirez)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“Stalemate not necessarily implicates a halt of minds. Rather it can be a great opportunity for innovation”

It is of great concern for observers as pressing issues, the global economic problems, the Iranian talks with IAEA and the P5+1 and the demise of the Syrian dictatorship.

We do learn from some writers that unless the Syrian opposition will enlarge its political composition and try to reach out to larger sectors of the civil society, many hurdles remain on the way to impose defeat on the Assad Clan.

These claims are probably true. As much as those assessing the interference of organized bombings, to be a difficult number in the equation opposing the killing machine of the regime against the people asking to exert its universal rights. 

Since few days the Syrian tragedy is expanding to the northern capital of the Lebanese north and this is not a healthy indicator.

We know that covert action following the example of Afghanistan, Kosovo or Albania will lead eventually to the defeat of the Assad dictator, and by itself this is a guarantee to oppose the Russian, Iranian, Chinese interests and salvaging concerns of the Syrian missiles and CBW threats.

The expansion of the conflict to Lebanon at a strategic level is similar to letting the missiles of the Syrian regime out of their hangars, but less menacing, hence the power struggle between great powers is getting very tense at the doors of the Iranian negotiations.

At this stage the Syrian agony will be long unfortunately, unless a major change will occur.

The change can be a Russian strategic modification after the government formation or an Israeli unilateral action after the failure of the Iranian negotiations.

In both cases we will need to wait most likely until the first week of July.   

As for the Iranian talks, it is out of common sense to seek an arrangement of sort that will tutor all parties, by defining a cadre of checks and balances that ultimately will be a grand bargain that will peacefully position Iran in the modern world.

The end game is for Iran to find its way to insert itself as a modern power exerting a model of peaceful governance and securing rights to all components of the civil society, and project an economic model generating jobs and consumer spending in the Middle Eastern region.

This needs a supreme vision, intellectual clarity and to assuage a different direction in steering the Iranian national interests.

Appendix to protocols, unfettered access, halt of enrichment, transfer of enriched uranium, closure of FFEP or else are all important , yet non pivotal for peace, as much as the true intentions of the supreme leader and his close entourage.

We need to give time that is very short for negotiations to produce a result, and to be objective I will be watching closely for the smallest positive indicator to step in and help the cause of tolerance and acceptance between different and competing geopolitical views.  Time is very short and we can’t extend it, unles the Iranian attitude and porposals prove very sincere and leading to a deal.

Coming to the economic problems stretching in the area from China to Portugal, it is hard to forecast developments. Yet if we assume that the US will benefit from low gas prices and that job creation will continue even if on a slow pace, I can expect the US track to be separated from the others.

It is obvious that what matters most are the Euro area and the PIIGS debt.

Austerity didn’t lead to a solution and public bonds will have severe consequences.

In Greece it is expected that new elections might well bring in a majority leading to detach from the Euro and meanwhile it is very wise from the Franco German entente to introduce a solution before things will get worse.

The solution can be to have two Euros, one strong and one weak.

The strong Euro can be the existing one in vigor and the weak Euro can be pegged with the strong one and having half of its valor.

The weak Euro can be adopted by referendum by end of July in PIIGS countries.

 “Where time is a commodity for thoughts to prosper and flourish, effective policies need not to tardy”

Thank you,

The Grand Bargain

May 2, 2012


Nuclear symbol

Nuclear symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“Imagination is vital to explore in depth the potential alternatives or the possible scenarios”

In proximity with the planned meetings between Iran and the IAEA and with the P5+1, one can wonder what is an honest and objective contribute for these opportunities to become effective, and leading to a positive outcome.

So here I am with a full framework of thoughts, as an alternative to a scenario of regional war .

My impression is that both meetings IAEA and P5+1 are linked, and that in order to understand the possible evolution we need to assess the areas of outstanding and gradual solutions between Iran and other major powers.

The areas are intended to be as follows: the nuclear civil research and applications, the freeze of the military nuclear research and development, the Iranian human and universal rights record, the Iranian opposition and minorities rights and guarantees, the Iranian power projection and future, the sanctions and possible transformation into cooperation, the relations between Iran and the US and Israel, the future of the peace in the Middle East and the two states final maps, the Iranian role in Syria and Lebanon.

As for the nuclear topic, I am convinced that unless Iran will agree in the upcoming meeting with the IAEA to a gradual unfettered access and control to all sites within two months, starting with immediate visit to at least two sites chosen by IAEA experts and checked before the May 23 meeting, there will be no breakthrough.

By contrast freezing completely, irreversibly and immediately all military nuclear research and enrichment to 20 % will be met instantly by a freeze in imposing any additional sanctions in June.

As for existing stockpiles of enriched 20 % Uranium, part of these can be kept where they are under IAEA check, and their future usage can be negotiated in a separate track, leading in any case to secure all parties involved. An enounced principle of maintaining a pride quantity of 20 % Uranium and centrifuges on Iranian soil that will not shake the basis of negotiations can be elaborated.

Confidence building measures and trust will be needed to define and a complete set of measures to stop any verbal or propaganda attack also, will be observed.

Civil research and applications will be supported and a gradual revoke and release of existing sanctions will start within the end of the year and lead to an absence of sanctions after 2013 presidential Iranian election, only if the verifiable civil isotope framework is met.

Here we come to the Iranian human and universal rights record and the Iranian opposition and minorities rights and guarantees.

It is expected that Iran will make an independent announcement on how it will address these issues.

Observers and bloggers alike do recommend to ease restrictions on communications and media, and open up to all forms of liberties. Furthermore it needs to guarantee all minorities with a home grown process of reforms and effective laws, and ensure the persecuted opposition with a reliable process of exercise of executive powers.

The presidential campaign in 2013 is a great opportunity to rebalance the internal political Iranian panorama.

Iran can’t think to become a regional power if it will not become a true example of Islamic democracy.

As for the Iranian power projection and its geopolitical future coupled to the absence of sanctions and transformation of relations with major powers into cooperation, it is understood that the Iranian regime should at first realize where it came short in its economic model.

Iran can envisage an excellent role of gas exporter and link to Europe through a strategic and innovative relation with Turkey as per Franco German entente.

The Iranian-Turkish bloc will represent a great opportunity in the rising powers of the world in this century.

 This duo is already part of the N-11 and it can open up with an unprecedented effervescence and become a model of growth and stability for the global markets.

Much need to be done, especially in confronting the existing problems in the Middle East.

Unavoidably Turkey can lead the way for Iran to pacify with the US and NATO.

On a second step both they can perfect the relation with Israel and entice it to achieve just and agreed final maps of the two states solution: Palestine/Israel.

“Imagining the border” is a great document already produced by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that can definitely represent a base to start from.

Yes ! Right ! . So what else ?

oh true ! we still have the Syrian theater and the Lebanese cedar nation.

As regards Syria, there is only one option and this is for Assad clan to go in exile in Russia and be brought to justice in absentia.

An international conference to be held in Berlin or in Tehran will examine the best solutions to guarantee peace for the Syrian civil society and the best model for its political future, where all minorities and factions will be secured and a peaceful rotation in power will be managed for the best interest of the Syrian population.

Here we come to Lebanon, and it is needed that by the summer end a neutral cabinet will be approved by the parliament to supervise two things, the state budget of 2013 and the general elections of the parliament.

Fair play will be exerted.

The electoral law that the neurtral cabinet will put in place can be a mix of majority / proportional as per some specific requirements.

Those who believe that they can guide Lebanon into one direction that will not tutor collective national interests are destined to failure.

We know that an extraordinary display of human and fire power is already in the area and that drills are a daily routine, therefore I vividly ask all parties to go for the Grand Bargain.

Whenever radicalism will have the upper hand and the war camp will win, then I am afraid that my next post will need to talk about the Grand War.

I hope not.

Let us all join in a common dream for peace and here I quote a writer: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”

Thank you