|Red Flashes From Syria|
|SIX months after the Syrian
uprising began it seems clear
that peaceful protests aimed at
overthrowing the regime and
ousting President Bashar al-
Assad have failed. With no prospect of
meaningful national dialogue in sight,
the conflict now appears to be shifting
into a new, infinitely more hazardous
phase: the weaponisation of the revolution.
Syria is moving inexorably from
Arab spring to an ever darker, dangerous
winter of discontent.
The inability of unarmed civilian
demonstrators to bring down Assad, or
at least bring him to the negotiating
table, has several causes. One is the
lack of a unified, well-led opposition
with clear objectives...
|THE LOST DECADE &
FUTURE OF AMERICA|
|IF you want a big swig of
despair, listen to the people
who know something about
the global economy. Roger
Altman, a former deputy
Treasury secretary, is arguing that
America and Europe are on the
verge of a disastrous double-dip
recession. Various economists say
it will be at least another three
years before we see serious job
growth. Others say European
banks are teetering - if not now,
then early next year.
Walter Russell Mead, who teaches
foreign policy at Bard College,
recently laid out some worst-case
scenarios on his blog: "It is about
whether the international financial
system will survive the next six
months in the form we now... |
Iran rejects idea of military ‘hotline’ with US
TEHRAN IRAN on Wednesday rejected the idea of setting up an emergency “hotline” with Washington to avoid unwanted military confrontations in the Gulf, Fars news agency reported.
“We do not need such a (communication) line in the region,” Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying.
“They are seeking to set up a hotline in order to solve any potential tensions, whereas we believe if they leave the region, there will be no tension,” General Vahidi added.
The remarks come a week after US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen lamented the lack of a “direct communication link” with Iran amid concerns it could lead to dangerous miscalculations.
“We haven’t had a connection with Iran since 1979. Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union,” Mullen told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on September 21.
“We’re not talking to Iran so we don’t understand each other. If something happens, it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right, that there will be miscalculations which would be extremely dangerous in that part of the world.” Mullen, the highestranking US officer, expressed his concerns a day after the Wall Street Journal reported the Pentagon was considering establishing a military hotline with Tehran.
The report said Washington was especially worried about a fleet of speedboats that often challenge US and allied warships in the Persian Gulf.
The high-performance Iranian vessels are usually controlled by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards and can be equipped with missiles.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vahidi said Iran had equipped its naval forces with a short range “cruise missile” called Qader, able to hit targets in costal areas and warships within “200 kilometres (125 miles)”.