FP: The Libyans reveal the core attraction of Sharia for men: polygamy. Ah, Arab democracy and progress.
Hal Brands & David Palkki: Nuclear Alarmism Justified?
On March 27, 1979, Saddam Hussein, the de facto ruler and soon-to-be president of Baathist Iraq, laid out his vision for a long, grinding war against Israel in a private meeting of high-level Iraqi officials. Iraq, he explained, would seek to obtain a nuclear weapon from “our Soviet friends,” use the resulting deterrent power to counteract Israeli threats of nuclear retaliation, and thereby enable a “patient war”—a war of attrition—that would reclaim Arab lands lost in the Six-Day War of 1967. As Saddam put it, nuclear weapons would allow Iraq to “guarantee the long war that is destructive to our enemy, and take at our leisure each meter of land and drown the enemy with rivers of blood.” Saddam envisioned that this war would cost Iraq some 50,000 casualties, to say nothing of Israeli losses.
(h/t Elder of Ziyon)
FP: Most of the concern with the Iranian program is with the risk of actual use of the weapons against Israel. But as Saddam correctly understood, the real danger is the capacity to wage an attrition war under the nuclear umbrella.
Elder of Ziyon: Intransigent Abbas keeps on adding preconditions to talksFrom The Telegraph:
The Quartet – which comprises the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia – will hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Wednesday, the first contact of any kind that the two sides have had in 10 months.…
But hopes for a breakthrough, never high to begin with, suffered a further setback as it emerged that Mr Abbas intended to hold Israel to a pledge made three years ago to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to his moderate Fatah party.
Desperate to wring concessions of his own, Mr Abbas has reminded Israel of a promise made by its former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, to follow up any prisoner swap with Hamas by a similar deal with Fatah. Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli Arab MP with close links to Palestinian officials, said that Mr Abbas would now have no choice but to make fulfilment of the Olmert agreement a condition for renewing talks.
Over the summer, Abbas had three other preconditions that may still be in force: that the EU supports for reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, that the EU supports the UN stunt, and a statement from the EU that the statehood stunt is not a contradiction to negotiations.
The upshot is that Abbas and his cronies are continuing their strategy of saying "no" to Israel, in hopes that by doing so they will get everything they demand without compromising. And as long as Western governments and the media do not call them on this duplicity, they have no incentive to change this strategy.
FP: Based on the historical record to date it is difficult to dismiss the possibility that both Netanyahu and the Quartet will cave and concede. And Abbas knows how to make them:
Palestinian Arab media are buzzing about a dark hint that Mahmoud Abbas gave in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper that he will reveal something "important and dangerous" that is happening soon.
There is some speculation that when the UN Security Council bid for statehood is defeated, and because of the inability of Fatah to successfully negotiate any elections with Hamas, together with Abbas' repeated promises not to run in any new elections for president of the PA, that Abbas may dissolve the PA altogether.
In fact, Saeb Erekat hinted at this yesterday, telling Palestine Radio "Either there is power to the movement of Palestinians from occupation to independence, or Netanyahu has to assume [Israel's] responsibilities seriously from the river to the sea."
Isn't that how people who crave independence act - by dissolving all the existing autonomy they have?
Arabs play appeasers like a violin. Wanna bet? (see next)
Officials mum over report Berlin may renege on sub deal
Decision to sell advanced submarine is being reconsidered in light of Israel failure to move forward on talks with Palestinian Authority.
FP: See what I mean?
J'lem sends aid as Turkey calls for pressure on Israel
First plane of earthquake relief departs for Ankara; Turkish FM Davutoglu maintains harsh rhetoric, says Turkey must "press hard" on Israel.
FP: In typical Islamist manner Turkey quite correctly sees Israel's practically begging to provide earthquake help as weakness, offering an opportunity to both exploit and attack.