Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hamas Wins University Election

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Over the past few months there have been many surveys of Palestinian attitudes. Some of the results have been surprising, some have supported conventional wisdom.

Conventional wisdom says to follow student body elections at universities in the West Bank and Gaza. If nothing else, you get a sense of the educated elite’s point of view and you may get a picture of the direction of future Palestinian leadership. This, however, is a problematic barometer as the election results have swung back and forth from year to year.

That said, Bir Zeit University just trounced Fatah and elected Hamas. Bir Zeit is by far the best name in Palestinian higher education. It is located in Ramallah and offers a full array of subjects. For students staying closing to home, it is the most respected of all Palestinian institutions of higher learning.

So the swing to Hamas - and away from the mainstream Fatah party that rules and controls the West Bank and the PA, is significant. It indicates that Abbas and his party have lost the faith of Palestinian youth.

How significant is it? I do not know, but that election is as telling as any other survey or any other student election.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Saudis Testing Waters

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Testing the waters. That's when leaders send out a message and see how it is received.

Saudi Arabia is testing the waters about diplomatic relations with Israel.

Retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki, who was a significant power and influence in Saudi strategic decision making, made an announcement that if Israel accepts Saudi Arabia's peace plan, Saudi Arabia will begin building an embassy in Tel Aviv.

Eshki, who was quoted in an extensive interview in Al Jazera, is a very high level source. He is trying to figure out if it is worthwhile to have diplomatic ties with Israel and what the blow back is going to be if Saudi Arabia normalizes relations with Israel.

The answer is pretty clear. And it seems that the Saudis are interested in floating the idea.

So far there has been no negative feedback. But it only became public a few minutes ago.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ISIS Cyber Attack

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Over 2/3 of tech professionals surveyed said that they believe there will a cataclysmic cyber attack against the United States within the next two years.

Over 90% of those surveyed think that private companies and government agencies should invest more money and effort protecting themselves.

In addition, the tech professionals believe that companies and corporations are more likely to be attacked and are more vulnerable to a cyber attack than government.

This is not good news.

ISIS and other terror groups are getting better at hiding themselves and their activity. It should be clear that terror groups are recruiting computer experts who can hack and attack and their attacks can be not only irritating, but far reaching and dangerous.

An attack against the electric center or water distribution source of large or even small cities would create mass hysteria.

Attacks are just a question of time. The United States must prepare itself. They need to be able to both defend themselves and respond and repair the damage immediately.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Mideast Oil Losses 1/2 Trillion $

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its assessment of Mideast oil production profits and losses.

The IMF is an international agency whose objective is to stimulate international economic growth. The IMF loans money and directs money. Its' assessments on profits and losses is essential in plotting and anticipating investments.

Originally the IMF said that gulf oil exports should anticipate a $360 billion drop in profits. They have revised that number to $390 billion.

In addition, the IMF is predicting a half trillion dollar reduction of profits for next year.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

US ISIS Terrorists

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Terror is in our midst --- here in the US. Not a group of crazies, but real dedicated ISIS players who swear their support to abu Bakr Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.
Yesterday two men in Boston had additional charges added to the original charges against them for attempting to decapitate police officers. The added charges were terror charges.

They were plotting to decapitate police in the name of ISIS. The two, David Wright and Nicholas Rovinski, are now in prison.

While in prison Rovinski is recruiting for ISIS. He is continuing to try and convince his fellow inmates to decapitate non-believing inmates and then, when they get out of prison, to decapitate other non-believers. Rovinski is so committed to ISIS that he scribbled a pledge to support ISIS and Baghdadi on his charge sheet.

Funny thing is that both Rovinski and Wright pleaded not guilty to the charges -- despite the written pledge.

Obviously, ISIS does not consider their actions terror. They think that it is justifiable to decapitate police and non-believers.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

US to Buy Iron Dome

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

The Iron Dome was just used to shoot down a drone in the United States.

It was a test.

The purpose of the test was to evaluate the Iron Dome and see if it could be used against a variety of weapons, including US drones. This is the first time the Iron Dome was shot in the US. Most importantly, the US wants to purchase the Iron Dome but only when they know that it can work against various weapons.

In the past year the Iron Dome has been upgraded to strike a multitude of targets. That will make the weapon marketable. As of now the Iron Dome has not been sold to anyone.

Since 2011 the Iron Dome has shot down 1500 targets - that was a success rate of 90%. There are not many defense systems in the world that have that level of success.

The fact that the US is showing interest in the Iron Dome is huge.

The fact that Israel's Iron Dome is unique and one of a kind and will probably be purchased by the US is an enormous success.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Saudis Are Not Warming to Israel

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Much has been written in Israel and across the Arab world about a new relationship emerging between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings - but the perception is simply not correct.

Yes, lines of communication about security and terror and Islamic extremism are open and working. And two summers ago both Saudi Arabia and Egypt were kept up-to-date on Israel's actions against Hamas and they even egged Israel on to destroy Hamas.

And yes, Egypt just handed back to Saudi Arabia two Islands in the Straits of Tiran, the islands of Tiran and Sanafir. And the transfer of these Islands required Israeli approval -- so Saudi Arabia and Israel and Egypt engaged in important albeit indirect discussions.

BUT --- and there is a big but, the new Saudi King acts with a plan. And clearly, he has no plan to open relations with Israel - otherwise he would be doing that, even behind closed doors.
Saudi / Israeli interaction is only about achieving pragmatic small goals. It is that and nothing more.

We should continue to watch and see if more interaction and more expansive sharing takes place. That will be the sign of a real change in Saudi / Israel relations. 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

AntiSemitism in Romania

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Anti-Semitism can be found not only among the uneducated.

In Romania, a candidate for mayor named Marian Munteanu from the National Liberal Party, Romania's second largest political party, declared that Jews in Romania exaggerated the number murdered in the Holocaust in order to get more money.

The would-be mayor said Jews lied in order to "obtain illicit moneys from Romanian people through disinformation and manipulation of public opinion, with the complicity of treacherous elements who infiltrated the Romanian institutional structures."

Munteanu defended himself saying that he was not an anti-Semite. He also said that there was hardly any anti-Semitism in Romania because --- "there is hardly anti-Semitism, rather xenophobia. We are all philo-Semites because we are Christians."

Of course, he is wrong.

Just last year National Romanian TV broadcast a Christmas special that glorified the burning of Jews. The station was fined.

Anti-Semitism is, to this day, deeply entrenched in Romania. 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Yesterday Was a Bad Day

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday, after the terror attack that rocked Jerusalem, an announcement glorifying the attack came out of Gaza.

Not a surprise.

The terror attack came right after Israel announced that they had discovered a terror tunnel from Gaza that opened into Israel. The tunnel was 100 feet deep.

Hamas and Gaza also issued a press statement, also typical. It was a report that five Palestinians had been convicted and sentenced to death for collaborating with Israel. Four of the collaborators were to be hanged and the fifth was to be shot by firing squad.

The five were convicted of informing Israel about the tunnels and telling them where they were located and where Hamas members lived.

There is no doubt that there are hundreds if not thousands of Gazans who relay information to Israel. That information, together with satellite and drone and other intel like computer intel, allows Israel to strike at Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.

Hamas needs to intimidate their residents and strike fear into them. It is another form of terror - this time directed at their own.

What Hamas does not realize is that the people helping Israel are not just doing it for the money.
These assets in Gaza do it because they hate Hamas and think that Hamas is destroying their society.
All the fear and all the terror of Hamas will not change that perception. 

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Iran Says They'll Protect MidEast from Terror

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Yesterday Iran's President Rouhani gave a speech addressed to the Muslim world, especially to her Arab neighbors, saying that Iran will defend everyone from terror threats and from Zionists threats.
Rouhani said: "If tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"The power of our armed forces is not aimed at any of our neighbors ... Its purpose is to defend Islamic Iran and act as an active deterrent."

There are several important things happening in this speech.

Most importantly, Rouhani spoke at an army parade. It was the annual army parade in Iran during which the newest and most modern Iranian weaponry is displayed - it is intended as a source of great pride.

This parade showcased many of the new Russian arms that Iran has received since the arms embargo was lifted last year. Especially present was the newly acquired Russian S-300 missile system. (Actually, it is not certain how much of the missile system Iran received or if Iran actually received the entire system.)

Next in importance is that Iran wants everyone to understand that they are the protectors of the region. This is a theme that Iran has been pushing for some time. They want to usurp the roles of Egypt and Saudi Arabia as caretakers of the region. People on the Arab street are starting to believe them.

Iran also wants to emphasize that the people they support are not terrorists. In other words, in their eyes Hezbollah is not a terror organization.

And finally, Iran is taking a strong stand against those countries that are warming up their relations with Israel. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to exchange the Island Tiran. That exchange involves Israel. Iran is challenging anyone who would deal with the Israel, or as they call it, the Zionist Entity. 

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Iran Will Not Limit Oil Output

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
OPEC is meeting today in Qatar. Iran has refused to attend the meeting. The reason is simple.

This OPEC meeting was called in an effort to bolster oil prices by limiting oil production to January levels. The hope is that by limiting production the price of oil will climb and stabilize near $50.

Iran has no intention of signing or agreeing to a reduction of oil.

The Iranians are finally pumping and making money. This money is essential to their renewal after the sanctions against them were lifted last year. They will not voluntarily cut their production and reduce their income - even for long term benefits. For Iran - the short term is essential.

Iranian Oil Minister Zangeneh explain the decision simply and directly: "We reached the conclusion that the Doha meeting is for those who want to sign the oil freeze plans, and if we wanted to have a representative at the meeting, it was to show our support of this project. But since Iran is not going to sign this, there is no need for the presence of Iran's representative at the meeting."

The Sunnis want to limit Iran's growth and renewal. It is not clear if there will be any disciplining of Iran by OPEC. A cartel is only effective if it can expect every member to comply. 

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Friday, April 15, 2016

France Terror Tips Line

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
French President Francois Hollande said yesterday that France has created a national hotline for tips and information about Islamic extremism and terror.

The hotline has already received 9,000 tips.

Not all the tips are real, actionable intel - but the sheer number tells an important story. It tells us that the French are worried and that they are no longer playing the role of uninterested bystander and instead, telling national authorities if something appears out of place or unusual.

France has been stunned by terror. They sit in the epicenter of Islamic attacks.

At first it was unclear how the French people would respond. In the past, after the dust settled, and after the protests, people just picked up their same old habits and ways.

Now it seems that French citizenry is still shaken and their lives have been changed. Now the French, or at least the 9,000 people who contacted the hotline, are stepping forward to say that they want to help stop the scourge that has been attacking their country.

The nation and its leaders must motivate the masses and turn this into a national teaching moment. Local leaders and normal folk need to understand that terrorist recruiters are as dangerous as the terrorists who blow themselves up.

Recruiters and the organizers must be stopped. That is the only way to truly halt the murderous campaign of ISIS - in France and around the globe. 

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Abbas' Brother in Israeli Hospital

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
PA President Mahmoud Abbas' younger brother, Abu Louai, is in being treated in an Israeli hospital.

Abu Louai is 76 years old and suffers from cancer. He lives in Qatar. The PA press has not and probably will not publish this information - neither will the rest of the Arabic press.

The decision by the brother of the Palestinian president to enter an
Israeli hospital is not surprising. He is just one of many

Palestinian elite and their family members, including family members of Hamas leaders, who have entered Israeli hospitals to get help and to have their lives saved by Israeli medical teams.

It seems like the height of hypocrisy.

Israeli health care is arguably one of the best in the world. And when it comes to the life and death of loved ones the leadership of the arch enemies of Israel, or of those who are trying to pressure Israel at the UN, in the international court and around the world, will "use" Israel.

Unfortunately these leaders hide the truth from the masses. The reality is that, if there were peace, Israeli knowledge, technology and health care could easily be shared with Palestinians. 

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Why Palestinian Terror is Down

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
There has been a significant drop in Palestinian terror attacks over the past few weeks.

It is too early to say that the six month long wave of terror is over, but what I can say is that a slew of new techniques and activities undertaken by various groups have been at work and they are, now, coming together and seem to be effective.

First and most important, Israeli military leadership has conducted a series of sit-downs with Arab village leadership. Not threats, real sit downs. The price of the terror is clear to the leadership - but never the less, the IDF decided to give incentives to stop it. They started building soccer fields and parking lots and opening up new entrances to the villages.

In response, local Arab leaders spoke out against violence. They gathered their communities together and said that the violence is hurting them - not helping them.

It also became clear that much of the violence was incited via internet. The IDF cyber squad gave over info to IDF force commanders and they arrested those people who were posting the incitement.
If there was not enough evidence to arrest the person, the IDF paid the hosts a visit.

The IDF has been very vigilant and continues to prevent attacks before they happen. Sometimes attacks are aborted and sometimes terrorists are stopped on their way to perpetrate their attacks.

There have also been changes in procedure to make certain that people cannot walk through certain roadblocks.

The Palestinian Security Services is also arresting terrorists. They have confiscated many weapons and PA police have made it clear that they are clamping down on acts of violence and terror. They are even going into schools and instruct children not to plan or perpetrate attacks. They are searching backpacks and school bags.

These and many other tactics are making a big difference. 

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Gaza Tunnels Collapse

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Another tunnel collapsed in Gaza. Three people were killed.

The news was reported on Channel 2 News in Israel, despite a media blackout by Hamas. Hamas does not want information to be given out about neither the deaths nor the collapsed tunnel.

A few hours before the tunnel collapse, the Egyptians blew up a tunnel that they found on their side of the border.

All of this tunnel activity took place in the area of Rafah. Rafah is a city that sits half in Egypt and half in Gaza.

This is the 11th tunnel to collapse since February.

From the point of view of Hamas the tunnels are a huge operation that
lends them pride and power.

Hamas employs over 1,000 people in various digging operations across Gaza. Tunnels used to be primarily for smuggling and the smugglers invested a lot of money and care in the construction of their tunnels. But the days of private enterprise are long gone.

Today Hamas digs and controls all the tunnels and it is a great source of revenue - they both charge for passage through the tunnels and tax everything that passes through the tunnels.

Tunnels are a major component of the Hamas economy. Collapsed tunnels cannot fill their coffers.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

PA Arrests Terrorists

By Micah Halpern

Palestinian Security Security (ISA) arrested 3 terrorists from Hebron on Saturday.

The combination of this announcement and these arrests are intended to signal a renewed sense of cooperation between the PA and Israel.

The PA was under tremendous pressure to step up and try to stop the wave of terror against Israelis that has been so commonplace and was even supported by PA leadership.

This arrest came with a further announcement explaining that recently PA security services have prevented 200 attacks and arrested 100 people and confiscated numerous weapons.

It is not clear that this is a new era of cooperation. But it certainly is an important symbol. Hamas responded by condemning the arrests and called the PA, its security forces and even its leadership "collaborators".

Israel responded to the ISA announcement saying that, as of late, there has been a huge drop in terror attacks. The prime minister is being cautiously optimistic about this ... but regardless - this is a very good sign, even if it is only temporary. 

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Straits of Tiran Now in Saudi Control

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement resolving a maritime border dispute that has lasted since 1906. This agreement will have huge implications for the safety of Israel and its shipping

Here's a quick history and geography lesson:
In 1906 the Ottomans and the British demarcated two islands Tiran and Sanafir, which we refer to now simply as the Straits of Tiran, to be under the control of Egypt.

In 1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. The Straits of Tiran are at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba which leads up to Eilat, one of Israel's largest sea ports. The Straits are between Egypt on the west and Saudi Arabia on the east.

When Egypt shut the Straits they were committing an act of war. That act of war precipitated the strike which, after escalating, is now called The Six Day War or The '67 War.
Saudi Arabia gave over control of the Straits of Tiran to Egypt in 1950. It became part of a larger plan to cripple Israel and, in 1967, the Arab League supported the closure.

After the Six Day War, Israel took charge of the islands, aka the Straits, to ensure free movement for Israeli shipping. After the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt were singed, Israel returned the Straits to Egypt.

Now that the islands of the Straits of Tiran fall into the hands of Saudi Arabia the obvious question arises: Will the status quo continue?

At this point I am almost certain that the status quo will continue as is. 

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Palestinians Made a Memorial Garden for Terrorists

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Israel destroyed a memorial garden yesterday in Jerusalem. The garden was a memorial to 47 terrorists killed in the act of terrorism.

The garden was the undertaking of local Palestinians. A tree had been planted for each terrorist and a large placard-sized picture of each terrorist was placed in the garden.

The garden was located in the community of Raz al Amud, also known as Maalei Hazeitim, which abuts the Cemetery of the Mount of Olives. The garden was on Jerusalem public property.

The Jerusalem police and the Israeli army uprooted the trees and destroyed the pictures.

There is no doubt that Israel was 100% correct in tearing down a memorial that glorified acts of terror and the men and women who perpetrate terror. There is no way that Jerusalem could sanction attitude and mind think.

The biggest issue is that the Palestinians do honor terrorists. They build memorials for terrorists, name stadiums after terrorists and set them up as role models and heroes.

That is nor the Israeli way. 

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

BDS Isn't Scarying These Musicians

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
BDS has been pressuring musicians not to come to Israel. Even more
horrific is the pressure BDS is applying to force those musicians who have already scheduled concerts in Israel to cancel their trips.

And yet, despite the pressure, this summer's music schedule is very impressive. Here is just a short list.

Julio Iglesias will perform in Israel on May 7th.
Deep Purple will perform on May 22nd.
Michael Jackson's Thriller will be performed May 19 - 24.
Elton John will perform on May 26th.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is performing on June 8th.
Alice Cooper will perform on June 16th.
Duran Duran is coming in June and Bruce Springsteen is coming to Israel in July.
Beyonce is performing on August 3rd.
Dire Straits will be in Israel in September.
On March 1st Pat Boone performed in Israel.

This is simply a partial list of names on the list ... They are the performers I know best. Groups like Die Antwoord, Symphony X and

Realestate are also coming to Israel to perform. I assume that these groups are very popular because of the price of their tickets and the venue of their concerts.

The beat goes on - despite BDS! 

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

US & Israel Cooperate on Cyber Security

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
The United States and Israel are cooperating on cyber security, especially as it refers to energy.

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is in Israel. He said that the US and Israel must coordinate and cooperate on energy issues even more than they have in the past because “a very large fraction of cyber attacks involves the energy sector and that's a recent experience.”

He went on to say that the United States must learn from Israel about cyber security especially in protecting government operations and agencies.

The visit was not without both some humor and some tension. Moniz was the point man for the nuclear deal. He was the main US expert and the most important voice in the ear of US President Obama. Moniz was the voice that asserted that the deal was good.

His counterpart in Israel, Yuval Steinitz, reminded Moniz of the issues that they were deep in conflict over last year. Moniz quipped back laughing that Iranians chanting "Death to Israel" are matched by their calls for "Death to America".

The United States and Israel signed two agreements about energy. The first agreement is about cooperation on issues related to natural gas, electricity, energy and cyber security. The second agreement is to provide scholarships for Israeli post-docs to study and work at institutions in the United States that do energy-related work.

Seems like a win-win for both nations. 

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Cyber Terror Linked W Paris and Brussels

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
A cyber tech firm that specializes in cyber security and hails from Israel discovered a link between cyber terror attacks and murderous terror attacks.

Cytegic based their studies on the terror attacks that rocked Brussels and Paris.

Not surprisingly, they discovered that after the terror attacks there was a significant increase in cyber attacks. According to Cytegic most of those cyber strikes were DOS attacks. A DOS attack is an attack in which the cyber terrorist attacks by sending a deluge of emails that forces the site to crash. Other forms of attacks that they discovered included posting pictures and phishing and social engineering hacks. In the end, they are pretty low level hacks.

Low level hacks or not - many people, including the anarchist group called Anonymous, are trying to fight the ISIS hacks.

Cytegic also discovered that there was a slight dip in terror attacks before the murderous attacks in Paris and Brussels.

The most important point in the Cytegic findings is that there is a short lag time between the physical attack and the computer attacks.

In that break, targets - including countries, agencies, corporations and individuals have a window which can be used to bolster their defenses. 

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Iran Has Water Shortage

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Iran will face a serious water crisis this summer. The numbers are frightening. And it appears as if it is too late to turn the situation around.

The numbers I have seen estimate that as many as 37 million people will suffer from dehydration in Iran this summer. That is just under 50% of the country.

The crisis is totally man made. And while it is too late for the summer of 2016, future crises can be solved by Iranian leadership.

Iran's average water consumption is almost twice as large as the world average. Iranians totally misuse their water - rain water, ground water and river water.

Agriculture uses 93% of Iran's water. That is crazy and it should be cut in half. Iranians need to filter and recycle water. As a society they also need to stop wasting water. When farmers drop their water usage, their crop size will plummet.

From experience in Israel they should learn to plug industrial leaks. That is where most water is wasted - water linkages and open pipes. Not in homes, but all over the country.

If Iran's leaders can teach their people to be more water responsible and if they can plug the leaks and reuse water after it is treated -- next year may be a much easier summer.

Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done in the next eight weeks to solve Iran's water problem. 

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pendulum Swings in Syria

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

For those who thought that the pendulum had swung and that Russia and Iran were helping Assad secure Syria by conquering strategic sites like Aleppo -- wrong.

Over the weekend, starting on Friday, al Qaeda's affiliate al Nusra has been taking back Aleppo. Al Nusra began their assault with three simultaneous car bombs and then they ambushed Syrian forces while they were on the move.

According to sources, dozens of Syrian forces were killed while only sixteen al Qaeda/al Nusra forces were killed in the fighting.

Syrian forces and their allies are now responding and trying to take back the areas that they lost on Friday and Saturday.

Al Nusra, with the help of other rebels, targeted some of the most strategic zones around Aleppo.

The most important element to understand is that the fight continues - section by section, city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood. Control of strategic locations often swings back and forth. Control is wrestled from one group and then from another.

This conflict is far from over. 

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Iran Knows There's No Punishment

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

On March 8th and 9th Iran test launched Shahab -3 and Qadr -1

The United States, France, Great Briton and Germany all said that the test launches were a violation of the nuke deal and that sanctions should be re-imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council.

They said that the missiles are "inherently capable of delivering nuclear warheads." That status means that the test launches violate both the agreement and Security Council Resolution #2231. Iran claims that these missiles do not and cannot carry nuclear warheads.
Iran has a plan.

The Security Council is meeting today, Friday, April 1st, to discuss the matter.

Iran knows that despite the debate in the Security Council sanctions will not be imposed and no significant punishment will emerge. Here is the comment made by Iran's defense minister, General Hossein Dehghan: "I am certain that the Security Council and the United Nations will not respond as our actions are neither a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the July nuclear deal) nor are they against Resolution 2231."

Why is he so sure?
Because Russia is against imposing new sanctions on Iran.

The Russians have been saying for months that they will not tolerate new sanctions against Iran. Russia will veto any move to sanction. They are permanent members of the Security Council and all permanent members have a veto.

Iran has, once again, found the back door they need to accomplish exactly what they want.

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