Iranian technicians at the Fordo enrichment plant (Photo: Reuters)
Computer Viruses Won’t Stop Iran
Cyber attacks such as Stuxnet or the newly uncovered Flame virus will only delay the inevitable diplomatic breakthrough or military action on Iran’s nuclear program, writes Jonathan Tobin in Commentary Magazine.
[N]o one should be fooled into thinking a virus will ultimately stop Iran’s nuclear program if the regime is determined to persist in its goal. Any technological attack will spawn a defense and a counter-attack. Though Flame may give Israel and/or the West a temporary advantage in the cyber war being conducted with Iran, it cannot by itself or even in combination with other covert activities such as assassinations, solve the problem.
Will Iran Retaliate for the Latest Cyberassault?
The Iranian regime is learning from its enemies and could be planning an assault of its own, writes Babak Dehghanpisheh in Time.
The Iranian government has long anticipated this digital conflict and has tried to assess both external and internal threats. As part of its readiness for this kind of conflict, Tehran has reportedly spent $1 billion to boost its cyber-defense and offense capabilities in recent months. That has included the purchase of sophisticated monitoring software from ZTE, a Chinese telecom company, as well as filling the ranks of the Iranian Cyber Army with tens of thousands of recruits, according to some officials. The Cyber Army is believed to be linked to the Revolutionary Guard.
When Israel had a champion at the UN
Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Peter Collier pays tribute Reagan’s UN envoy Jeane Kirkpatrick, a great friend of Israel who battled the institutionalized anti-Israel sentiment.
Kirkpatrick defended Israel by her unyielding critique of what it faced at the UN. Charging that diplomacy regarding the “Arab- Israeli conflict” at the world body “has nothing to do with peace, but is quite simply a continuation of war against Israel by other means,” she said that the UN, as a result, had become a place where “moral outrage was distributed like violence in a protection racket”; a place where Israel is regularly and routinely attacked for manufactured crimes amidst deafening silence “when 3 million Cambodians died in Pol Pot’s murderous utopia… when a quarter million Ugandans died at the hands of Idi Amin… and when thousand [sic] of Soviet citizens are denied equal rights, equal protection of the law; denied the right to think, write, publish, work freely or emigrate.”
Arabs search for stable political systems
Rami G. Khouri of the Daily Star compares the responses of four governments of the Arab world to their peoples’ demands for reform.
Four countries in particular – Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon – capture the different ways that Arab societies have responded to demands for change. None of them has been perfect. The two extremes of political evolution are Syria and Jordan. In Syria, the state and some of the smaller armed opposition groups use extreme violence against civilians, while the majority of opposition supporters demonstrate peacefully for a change of regime. No progress is possible on a dialogue-based reform program because there is no trust between the government and opposition, and international intervention via the United Nations or other means is unable to forge a successful political reform process.
Time for U.S. leadership on Syria
The editorial board of the Washington Post calls on President Obama to end his procrastination on the spiraling violence in Syria.
The reality is that the killing in Syria will continue, and the threat to vital U.S. interests across the Middle East will grow, until Mr. Obama stops counting on the likes of Kofi Annan and Vladimir Putin to spare him from the responsibility that should be shouldered by a U.S. president. The longer he waits, the greater the cost — in children’s lives, among other things.
Where the Arab Spring Began
Michael J. Totten of the World Affairs Journal visits Tunisia, where people have opinions on everything from Israel to Stalin.
Tunisia is moderate and even liberal compared with other Arabic-speaking countries, but the place still suffers from a heady case of Israel Derangement Syndrome. More than half the people I interviewed complained about Israel at least once even when I didn’t ask about it. Not a single one of these people - not a one - based their complaint in reality. They were jousting with a fantasy Israel that only exists in their minds.