Morning Report: March 14, 2005

Debka: Washington's grand design. Israeli-based analysis site Debka offers its report on US plans for the Middle East. Debka sees parallels between the Bush Administration's uncompromising stance on Syria and its firm demands on Israel: 'Administration leaders seem to be treating Israel’s pull-back from the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the same spirit as their insistence on complete Syrian military withdrawal from Lebanon. It is possible to conjure up a grand design charted by the Bush administration to simultaneously squeeze Israel and Syria into sharply constricted molds sized by its perception of the two nations’ true dimensions.' The report details a quiet, multilateral agreement among the US, UK, Egypt, and Jordan to jointly administer the West Bank (US/Jordan) and Gaza Stip (UK/Egypt). It also explores the ramifications of Bush's "Road Map" plan, which demands the removal of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, and which much of the Israeli Right - including Debka's editors - have adamently opposed. Read the full article at the link. (Debka)

Debka: Washington vs. Iran regime. Also at Debka, a report on US actions against the IRI regime in Iran. The report (also posted at Regime Change Iran) indicates that joint US/Israeli missile-defense exercises - a biennial operation codenamed Juniper Cobra - will, this year, reflect a perception of 'possibility of an Iranian Shehab-3 missile reaching Israel in the near future armed with a nuclear warhead.' Debka notes that the US actions are not only defensive, concluding: 'The United States, according to our military sources, is pressing ahead with its development of infrastructure for an Iranian underground opposition. A Revolutionary Guard unit in Hur al-Azim, near the Iraqi border, recently captured a band smuggling thousands of handguns into Iran. In recent months, thousands of rifles and masses of ammunition have got through to Iranian tribes near the Iraqi frontier. These tribes have a long history of rebellion against central government in Tehran and are practiced in guerrilla tactics.' (Debka via RCI)

Talks between United Iraqi Coalition and Kurdish Alliance collapse. Iraq the Model reports that negotiations between the Kurdish Alliance and the United Iraqi Coalition have collapsed, with UIC leader Ahmed Chalabi finding KA's demands "unrealistic". (ITM)