Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – GAZA – BAGHDAD WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Iran-Iraq Sign Defense Memorandum of Understanding – Israel Air Force (IAF) Forms Iran Command – The Secret Diary of Lal Krishna Advani – Insight into India
Night Watch: MEHRABAD AIRPORT – The high level Iraq delegation, led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, completed their three day visit to Iran by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on expanded defense cooperation. IRNA reports the signing ceremony was held Monday in the pavilion at Mehrabad International Airport by Iraq Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Abdel Qadir Mohammed Jassim Obeidi and Iran Defense Minister Major-General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar. Also present at the signing were Iran First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi and Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. This in effect virtually establishes a joint command between the two militaries similar to the security and military cooperation agreements Tehran has with Damascus and it removes any further influence Washington had left with the Baghdad government. The long term security agreement the Pentagon and Washington had envisioned with Iraq is now a moot point. As unreal as their vision fighting had ended in Iraq in May 2003. Earlier Maliki met Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It was Khamenei, when observing the frantic effort U. S. forces were involved in as fighting resumed after May that year, who described the U. S. in Iraq as, “A wolf caught in a trap.” And the heaviest action is about to take place. [IRNA]
Jerusalem – Israel has continued to make preparations to confront the growing threat from Tehran by forming an Iran Command within the Israel Air Force (IAF). Debka is reporting just last month recently retired chief of the IAF; Brigadier General Eliezer Shkedy stated Israel should take action against Iran even if it means acting alone. Though I will be personally surprised if the IAF will have to time with the major threats on Israel’s border with Hamas-Hezbollah-Lebanon-Syria, the IAF may be able to conduct a few missions even though Iran’s most important installations are underground and nuclear bomb proof. A few raids could really boost public morale and some important bases above ground could still be hit, missile and air bases. [DEBKA]
Sources have informed Debka the Iranian general to lead his country’s response after being attacked is Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the al-Quds Brigades of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Quds is the blasphemous name the Islamic world has given Jerusalem which indicates General Soleimani has been given command of the most fanatical unit in Iran’s army the brigade size (5,000) Rapid Deployment Force composed of religious students, mullahs trained in conventional warfare. I suspect they have been designated to link up with Palestinian and Hezbollah units while at the same time Soleimani will be directing the attacks of the Mahdi Army in Iraq which could be designed to prepare the way for his cruise missile attacks on UK/US bases in Iraq. There could also be air units at his disposal and he reports directly to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Delhi – M. J. Akbar of the Covert division of AKI has rendered an excellent information service by releasing some excerpts from the secret diary of one of India’s Prime Ministers Lal Krishna Advani. Here is a small example of some of his most revealing and hilarious entries which gives the reader a wonderful insight into the real workings and mentality of not only India’s government, but this is very similar to any government at any time, the public myth they promote to advance themselves, their career, in what is supposedly public service, and the private reality of the leadership level behind the scenes. The paranthesis are mine. [AKI]
“How could my fellow-traveler Buddhadeb Bhuttachary call me the worst Prime Minister India has ever had? That stung. I rather liked Buddha. I know his type, a sheep in wolf’s clothing. I’ve done my bit of lip-serivce to socialism. What option did we have if you wanted some trajectory up the old Congress bureaucracy greasy pole? Indira Gandhi (she was assassinated, Nehru’s daughter, Jawarharlal Nehru was India’s first Prime Minister 1947-64/Congress Party) would spread nonalignment at breakfast and turn pink with the salad over lunch: poor dear, no one told her that nationalization and nationalism are not quite the same thing. Rajiv (her son also assassinated) was different. His instinct told him that his socialist claptrap might be good for the ballot box but would not do for the economy dear boy. But Bofors (an enormous scandal concerning a weapons purchase with Sweden) blew him away before he could merge his brain to his instinct.”
There is also an amusing reference to taking part in intellectual discussions in the World Bank canteen (lunchroom). The World Bank, a pretentious institution, was set up by the U. S. supposedly to help economic development in impoverished countries but in reality usually only the elite in those countries benefited from its investments. He also blames the smug expression on the faces of Congress party candidates when they appear on television to campaign as the reason the party keeps losing elections.