Sunday, 24 November 2013


Letter To The Editor !!!!      The Nation & USA Today

The 10th September 2013 speech of Obama had a American flavor of "No Boots on the Ground" &"Limited Strikes" - if US goes for a military solution in Syria!

The 23rd November 2013 - historic deal of Iran - US deal - has rejoiced Iranians but at the same time - US ally Israel is on a "cold front" with them!

Obama's diplomacy is to use the word "limited" when he wants to save his Oval Office from any public embarrassment or a cross fire of Senate hearings!

Shortly - after the deal was signed around 3.00 am - 23rd November , President Obama made a speech and spoke from the State Dining Room in the White House. He hailed it as the most “significant and tangible” progress of a diplomatic campaign that began when he took office.

“Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure,” he said, “a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.”

However - the accord was a disappointment for Israel, which had urged the United States to pursue a stronger agreement that would lead to a complete end to Iran’s enrichment program. But Iran made it clear that continuing enrichment was a prerequisite for any agreement.

Obama addressed those concerns in his speech, insisting that the easing of sanctions could be reversed if Iran failed to reach a final agreement or reneged on the terms of this one.

This limited sanctions relief can be accomplished by executive order, allowing the Obama administration to make the deal without having to appeal to Congress.

Obama wants to play safe with his Senators and Israel - who is not much in favor of this deal - yet keep its ball rolling on the "Irani Sites". Whether is it paused at 5% uranium enrichment or at 20 % upscale - America has kept it self safe with a Limited enrichment sanctions plan.

Thus, Obama seems to have launched his own White House "Obama Limited Company" when it comes to dealing his friends and foes!

Kanwal Abidi
24th November 2013

Details of IRAN - US Deal: "Right to Enrich"

Finally after a decade ...... Iran & US comes to a Deal

To Halt Nuclear Program *Not above 5% enrichment

Denis Balibouse/Reuters
Secretary of State John Kerry with Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, upon conclusion of the deal.

GENEVA — The United States and five other world powers announced a landmark accord Sunday morning that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement.
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The negotiators in Geneva on Sunday. President Obama’s administration now must appear accommodating enough to Iran to keep talks moving, and tough enough not to seem na├»ve to allies.

It was the first time in nearly a decade, American officials said, that an international agreement had been reached to halt much of Iran’s nuclear program and roll some elements of it back.
The aim of the accord, which is to last six months, is to give international negotiators time to pursue a more comprehensive pact that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could be used only for peaceful purposes.
Shortly after the agreement was signed at 3 a.m. in the Palace of Nations in Geneva, President Obama, speaking from the State Dining Room in the White House, hailed it as the most “significant and tangible” progress of a diplomatic campaign that began when he took office.
“Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure,” he said, “a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.”
In Geneva, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said he hoped the agreement would lead to a “restoration” of trust between Iran and the United States. Smiling and avuncular, he reiterated Iran’s longstanding assertion that its nuclear program was peaceful, adding that the Iranian people deserved respect from the West.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew to Geneva early Saturday for the second time in two weeks in an effort to complete the deal, said it would “require Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”
Iran, which has long resisted international monitoring efforts and built clandestine nuclear facilities, agreed to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent, a level that would be sufficient for energy production but that would require further enrichment for bomb-making. To make good on that pledge, Iran will dismantle links between networks of centrifuges.
Its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent, a short hop from weapons-grade fuel, would be diluted or converted into oxide so that it could not be readily used for military purposes. Iran agreed that it would not install any new centrifuges, start up any that are not already operating or build new enrichment facilities.
The agreement, however, does not require Iran to stop enriching uranium to a low level of 3.5 percent, or to dismantle any of its existing centrifuges.
The accord was a disappointment for Israel, which had urged the United States to pursue a stronger agreement that would lead to a complete end to Iran’s enrichment program. But Iran made it clear that continuing enrichment was a prerequisite for any agreement.
The United States did not accept Iran’s claim that it had a “right to enrich” under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. But American officials signaled last week that they were open to a compromise in which the two sides would essentially agree to disagree on how the proliferation treaty should be interpreted, while Tehran continued to enrich.
In return for the initial agreement, the United States agreed to provide $6 billion to $7 billion in sanctions relief. Of this, roughly $4.2 billion would be oil revenue that has been frozen in foreign banks.
This limited sanctions relief can be accomplished by executive order, allowing the Obama administration to make the deal without having to appeal to Congress, where there is strong criticism of any agreement that does not fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear program.
The fact that the accord would only pause the Iranian program was seized on by critics who said it would reward Iran for institutionalizing the status quo.
Mr. Obama addressed those concerns in his speech, insisting that the easing of sanctions could be reversed if Iran failed to reach a final agreement or reneged on the terms of this one.
“Nothing will be agreed to unless everything is agreed to,” he said.
He also noted the qualms of Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies of the United States, saying they “had good reason to be skeptical of Iran’s intentions.” But he said he had a “profound responsibility” to test the possibilities of a diplomatic solution.
In Geneva, Mr. Kerry said of the agreement: “It will make our partners in the region safer. It will make our ally Israel safer.”

The deal would also add at least several weeks, and perhaps more than a month, to the time Iran would need to produce weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear device, according to estimates by nuclear experts. American officials argued that it would preclude Iran from shortening the time it would need to produce enough bomb-grade uranium for a nuclear device even further, and would provide additional warning if Iran sought to “break out” of its commitment to pursue only a peaceful nuclear program.
Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A 2006 photo of the heavy water plant in Arak, south of Tehran. The reactor being built at Arak is an issue in talks.
A second and even more contentious debate centered on whether an initial deal would, as the Obama administration said, serve as a “first step” toward a comprehensive solution of the nuclear issue, one that would leave Iran with a peaceful nuclear program that could not easily be used for military purposes.
Two former American national security advisers, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, recently sent a letter to key American lawmakers endorsing the administration’s approach. “The apparent commitment of the new government of Iran to reverse course on its nuclear activities needs to be tested to insure it cannot rapidly build a nuclear weapon,” they wrote.
But some experts, including a former official who has worked on the Iranian issue for the White House, said it was unlikely that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would ever close the door on the option to develop nuclear weapons. Instead, they said, any initial six-month agreement is more likely to be followed by a series of partial agreements that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities but do not definitively solve the nuclear issues.
“At the end of six months, we may see another half step and six more months of negotiations — ad infinitum,” said Gary Samore, a senior aide on nonproliferation issues on the National Security Council in Mr. Obama’s first term. Mr. Samore is now president of United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonprofit group that advocates tough sanctions against Iran unless it does more to curtail its nuclear program.
The agreement also reflected compromises on other issues.
On the contentious issue of the heavy water reactor Iran is building near Arak, which could produce plutonium and therefore another path to a bomb, Iran agreed not to produce fuel for the plant, install additional reactor components there or put the plant into operation.
Iran is not required to dismantle the facility, however, or convert the plant into a light water reactor that would be less useful for military purposes.
Regarding enrichment, Iran’s stockpile of such low-enriched uranium would be allowed to temporarily increase to about eight tons from about seven tons currently. But Tehran would be required to shrink this stockpile by the end of the six-month agreement back to seven tons. This would be done by installing equipment to covert some of that stockpile to oxide.
To guard against cheating, international monitors would be allowed to visit the Natanz enrichment facility and the underground nuclear enrichment plant at Fordo on a daily basis to check the film from cameras installed there.
But Iran did not agree to all of the intrusive inspection regime that the International Atomic Energy Agency had said was needed to ensure that the Iranian program is peaceful.

Editor's Note: 
-----------------By: KANWAL ABIDI

  • A significant occasion was marked in Tehran when the deal was announced around 3 am Sunday - 23rd Nov' early morning! 
  • The Irani Journalist fraternity celebrated the Iran - US deal as a "milestone" in the history of Iran !!!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Weapons with IRAQI Youth !!!!

Carrying weapons is new norm for Iraqi youths

Many young Iraqis have started carrying knives and other bladed weapons whenever they leave their homes, to the extent that it has become an almost indispensable part of their personalities and sense of self. That is how Barea Saeed, 18, from Baghdad described it to Al-Monitor. He claims to feel weak and threatened whenever he finds himself without a knife in hand.
At a time when trade in all kinds of weapons has proven to be a profitable endeavor in Iraq, many people have become frustrated with the phenomenon of young men acquiring knives, according to Babel police officer Ahmad Fadel. Speaking to Al-Monitor, Fadel noted, “There are more [violent] instances now involving bladed weapons than firearms. They account for nearly 70% of all [violent] incidents.”
In commercial areas near Al-Shorjah and Bab al-Sharqi in Baghdad, Muhammad Karim sells long, sharp knives and brass knuckles, alongside screwdrivers, razors, and even electric batons.
While most young Iraqis claim that they have no intention of using the weapons in their possession except as a matter of last resort, the day-to-day reality of street stabbings and proliferating knife wounds tells a different story.
In most Iraqi cities, a similar list of dangerous merchandise is being sold in the markets, with young men comprising the majority of customers.
On a street corner close to the secondhand market in the city of Babel, south of Baghdad, Abu-Mahdi lays out his wares that consist of a variety of lethal weapons. Speaking to Al-Monitor, he noted, “My customers are overwhelmingly young men.” He admitted, “Criminals and those with criminal records could possibly benefit from this merchandise.”
Sociological researcher Usama Muhammad emphasized the importance of this reality in an interview with Al-Monitor. According to him, “Many young men either carry lethal weapons between the folds of their clothing or symbolic testaments of [their capacity for] violence and cruelty such as medals glorifying war, images indicating brutality and so on. All this indicates how widespread violent behavior has become.”
Muhammad added, “Arms manufacturers and vendors encourage this by manufacturing fine and visually attractive types [of weapons], using the latest techniques. This often entices young men to buy them.”
Muhammad did not dismiss the possibility that “there is a relationship between drug use and carrying lethal weapons.”
If most lethal weapons are of inexpensive Chinese manufacture, the markets also carry more “original” merchandise. That is what Marwan, who has been selling such weapons for nearly four years, told Al-Monitor. The price of brass knuckles, a German-manufactured weapon, is about $30. A similar Chinese knockoff, by contrast, sells for about $10.
Layth al-Jabouri, 16, is proud of his purchase of an elegantly designed weapon popularly referred to as Um al-Yay. In an interview with Al-Monitor he described his feelings, “I feel powerful when I’m carrying it, but I won’t use it unless I’m forced to do so — in a situation of self-defense.”
While waving his silver-plated steel, Jabouri said, “It doesn’t kill. It wounds. It’s a reliable means to keep [oneself] safe, without killing anyone.”
Despite Jabouri’s remarks, a number of knives contain millimeter-sized cavities that insert air pockets into the victim’s bloodstream at the moment of a stabbing, leading to the victim’s immediate death.
Suhayl Najm, a food vendor who works in Basta — in Baghdad’s Shorja neighborhood — told Al-Monitor, “Most vendors and stall owners carry bladed weapons.”
One year ago, Najm found himself in a quarrel with someone and was forced to strike him with brass knuckles. According to Najm, it was the first time he had used a sharp object in this manner. The incident left severe wounds on the victim’s face, and Najm spent several weeks in prison as a consequence.
In less reputable areas, where drug addicts and ex-convicts are prevalent, adolescents have developed innovative methods of attack and defense. Among these are placing shaving razors in one’s mouth, and use their tongues and jaws to slash the opponent’s face, inflicting deep wounds.
In Babel, Al-Monitor witnessed a young man in a cafe taking a small knife known as an “axe” from his pocket. At the push of a button, an iron razor smoothly appeared from its wooden container in a sleek manner.
There are differing perspectives surrounding the phenomenon — some view it as a healthy expression of courage and masculinity, while others blame adolescent, irresponsible behavior. Sociological researcher and lawyer Ibtisam Farhan from Babel told Al-Monitor, “It is one of the manifestations of violence that has caused anguish to Iraq and the Arab region as a whole in recent years.”
“One can clearly note that common means for expressing oneself in terms of political positions — or even in sports — often default to violent behavior among many,” she added.
According to Farhan, “What’s on the news — wars, charred corpses, body parts strewn about — in addition to videos of beheadings and slaughter widely circulated on YouTube and other social networking sites, is hastening the formation of a culture of violence, especially among the youths.”

RE- EDITED BY Kanwal Abidi (Source Wasseem Bassem - Iraqi Journalist n Iraq TV)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

"No Apology from US" - Kerry says

Pact May Extend U.S. Troops’ Stay in Afghanistan

Massoud Hossaini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
In Kabul,  an Afghan police officer stood guard near the site where thousands of elders and leadership figures are  convening this week to consider the language in a bilateral security agreement with the United States.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday that the United States and Afghanistan had finalized the wording of a bilateral security agreement that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024 and set the stage for billions of dollars of international assistance to keep flowing to the government in Kabul.
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Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at a news conference at the State Department on Wednesday.

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The deal, which will now be presented for approval by an Afghan grand council of elders starting on Thursday, came after days of brinkmanship by Afghan officials and two direct calls from Mr. Kerry to President Hamid Karzai, including one on Wednesday before the announcement.
Just the day before, a senior aide to Mr. Karzai had said the Afghan leader would not approve an agreement unless President Obama sent a letter acknowledging American military mistakes during the 12-year war. But on Wednesday, Mr. Kerry emphatically insisted that a deal was reached with no American apology forthcoming.
“President Karzai didn’t ask for an apology. There was no discussion of an apology,” Mr. Kerry said. “I mean, it’s just not even on the table.”
After a war that stands as the longest in American history, the security agreement defines a training and counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan lasting at least 10 more years and involving 8,000 to 12,000 troops, mostly American.
Despite the sometimes harsh criticism from Afghan officials during the negotiations, the agreement includes concessions that the Obama administration could not win from Iraq during a similar process in 2011, leading to the final withdrawal of American troops there.
Now, the United States has at least an initial agreement from Afghan officials that American soldiers will not face Afghan prosecution in the course of their duties. And United States Special Operations forces will retain leeway to conduct antiterrorism raids on private Afghan homes — a central American demand that Afghan officials had resisted and described as the last sticking point in negotiations.
In the end, the Obama administration and the Karzai government had more reason to agree than disagree, according to officials on both sides. American officials do not want to see Afghanistan again become a haven for terrorists after it spent billions of dollars and thousands of lives in the war. And the Afghan leadership knows that more than $4 billion in annual international security assistance would simply not flow absent an American military presence to account for it.
Still, domestic political risks remain for both presidents today, as well. Some in Afghanistan already criticize Mr. Karzai as the political agent of a long-term foreign military presence. And Mr. Obama must explain to a nation weary of war why he is pressing for a continued military deployment, albeit a smaller one than advocated by American military commanders.
Further, there is an immediate risk to the deal itself: The bilateral security agreement must now be approved by the Afghan council, known as a loya jirga. About 3,000 elders and leaders, all vetted by the Karzai government, will meet in Kabul for the next three days to weigh the agreement’s language, and it is sure to face at least some criticism.
“We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga, but they have to pass it,” Mr. Kerry said.
Draft language of the security agreement that was posted on the Afghan Foreign Ministry website on Wednesday night differed substantially from earlier working documents made available to journalists, seeming to ease off several Afghan demands that officials had publicly described as untouchable. Still, it was unclear whether the posted draft reflected the wording that will be handed out to loya jirga delegates on Thursday morning.
On the issue of American searches of Afghan homes, the draft proposal avoids the blunt prohibition previously offered by the Afghans, which had stated: “No detention or arrest shall be carried out by the United States forces. The United States forces shall not search any homes or other real estate properties.”
Thom Shanker reported from Washington, and Rod Nordland from Kabul, Afghanistan.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: November 20, 2013
The headline on an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan would keep troops in Afghanistan through 2024. The pact would allow for a troop presence through 2024, but would not necessarily keep troops in the country until that date.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

US & 2014 Military Withdrawal Impact

Afghans Demand That U.S. Admit Military Errors

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Months of fraught negotiations and public posturing over how a long-term American military force could remain in Afghanistan have suddenly come down to a demand for a single personal gesture: a display of contrition by President Obama for military mistakes that have hurt Afghans.
Rahmat Gul/Associated Press
Afghan students protesting aspects of the security agreement under consideration for Afghanistan and the United States.


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An image of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in Kabul, where a council of elders is to meet on a security pact.

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"After a dozen years, we need to admit our mistakes. Karzai would be one of them. "
reubenr, Cornwall
Afghan officials said Tuesday that in return for such a letter from Mr. Obama, President Hamid Karzai would end his vehement opposition to American counterterrorism raids on private Afghan homes — one of the most contentious issues between allies over a costly dozen-year war — clearing the way for an agreement to keep a smaller American troop force in the country past the 2014 withdrawal deadline.
As described by Mr. Karzai’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, the letter would be tantamount to an apology, though he did not use that word. But not even that would be enough to ensure the final passage of a security agreement the United States had pressed to have in hand before next year. The Afghans have made final approval subject to an Afghan grand council of elders, a loya jirga, that is to begin meeting on Thursday, and aspects of the security deal remain deeply unpopular with the public.
The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, would not confirm details on Tuesday, but he nodded to the potential deal-breaking potential of the meeting. “There are ongoing negotiations,” he said. “I would simply say this agreement is not reached until it goes through the loya jirga.”
The 11th-hour discussions were the latest lurch in a start-and-stop negotiation process that has exposed raw feelings between allies, and has also highlighted Mr. Karzai’s taste for public brinkmanship.
Just two days ago, Afghan officials said that the raid issue had created a stubborn impasse.
Afghan and American officials said that the potential for breakthrough was opened by a phone call from Secretary of State John Kerry to Mr. Karzai on Tuesday.
According to Mr. Faizi, Mr. Kerry offered to write a letter assuring the importance of an agreement and acknowledging American mistakes, and Mr. Karzai issued a counteroffer: He would compromise if the letter was from Mr. Obama instead. Mr. Faizi said Mr. Kerry agreed to those terms.
But Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser, flatly denied in an interview with CNN on Tuesday night that there would be any presidential apology. “No such letter has been drafted or delivered,” Ms. Rice said. “There is not a need for the United States to apologize to Afghanistan. Quite the contrary. We have sacrificed and supported them in their democratic progress and in tackling the insurgency and Al Qaeda.”
A senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss continuing negotiations, was more noncommittal, saying that a letter acknowledging past issues like civilian casualties was a possibility being weighed. “We will consider his request for reassurances, including the option of a letter from the administration stating our position,” the official said.
Under the Afghan description, in return for the letter, Mr. Karzai would then accept wording that allowed American Special Operations raids to search and detain militants within Afghan homes, but only under “extraordinary circumstances” to save the lives of American soldiers. That would seem to greatly hamper the American intent behind those operations, which commanders have said are critical to taking the fight directly to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
Among members of the Afghan public, though, foreign raids on private homes are seen as deeply offensive, and the prospect of continued American commando operations after 2014 is unlikely to receive a warm reception from the roughly 3,000 delegates to the loya jirga.
But Mr. Faizi said that a letter from Mr. Obama would help win critics over. And Afghan political observers have noted that Mr. Karzai, who despite his harsh negotiation tactics has repeatedly mentioned the importance of a lasting security deal with the United States, had the power of approval over the delegate list, making it more likely he could sway the council.
Mr. Faizi made it clear that the Afghans had a very detailed understanding of what they expected a letter from Mr. Obama to say, and without that there would be no deal.
The letter would clarify what was meant by “extraordinary circumstances” justifying home raids, and go beyond that as well. “The idea was to indeed mention that there were mistakes made in the conduct of military operations in the past, in the conduct of military operations by United States forces in the last decade, and that Afghans have suffered, and that we understand the pain and therefore we give assurances and make sure those mistakes are not repeated,” Mr. Faizi said.
Afghan officials said they expected to see the text of the letter by Wednesday before Mr. Karzai signs off on the security agreement.
With one day remaining to finalize the wording of the security agreement before the loya jirga meets, Mr. Faizi said that was the remaining issue in talks, carried out in their last phase by Mr. Karzai with the American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, and the American military commander, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr.
“The rest, everything is solved,” Mr. Faizi said.
He also said that the Afghan side had agreed to acquiesce on another sticking point: the American requirement that the United States retain legal jurisdiction over its soldiers in Afghanistan. In essence, that would make United States military personnel immune to Afghan prosecution for their actions in the country, though they would remain subject to American prosecution.
A similar requirement led to the collapse of talks with Iraq to establish a long-term security deal, and an immediate final withdrawal of American troops from that country in 2011.
In recent weeks, American officials have mentioned that the result in Iraq could be duplicated, and that the 2014 military withdrawal from Afghanistan could be made complete and final if their terms on home raids and legal jurisdiction were not met.
Eric Schmitt and Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington.