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Iran's Budget Relies on Oil
By Micah Halpern

Monday February 1, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Iran appears to be playing it conservative regarding the price of oil for the next year.

Oil has been hovering around $70 per barrel for the past four months.

Iran submitted a budget based on oil prices being $60 for next year.

Last year Iran's projected budget was $37.50.

80% of Iranian foreign trade comes from oil exports. Everything depends on the price of oil staying above the estimate or the economy will collapse. Education, agriculture and industry will all dry up and fall apart.

This is a projected budget. It does not consider sanctions. It does not consider markets that might dry up.

Time will tell.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Ahmadinejad Says They control the Mideast
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 31, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Every once in a while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes out with an amazingly astute observation. On Saturday the Iranian president addressed a conference marking the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The official news agency FARS reported his speech. He made it very clear that whoever controls the Middle East controls the world. Ahmadineajd said that while there are numerous countries that have technology, they have no say in the Middle East.

So he asked: "Now the question is who has the last say in the Middle East? Well, of course, the answer is clear to everyone." Obviously, Ahmadinejad was asserting that Iran has the final say. This point of view is enormously illustrative of Iranian motivation and foreign policy and helps us understand why Iran acts the way it does.

Iran believes that Iran is in control of the Middle East and all other countries should recognize them as leader. This is the cause of much inner conflict in the Middle East. It is a significant reason for the resentment Iran feels towards the United States and towards Western involvement in the region.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Israel May Have Killed Hamas Leader in Dubai
By Micah Halpern

Saturday January 30, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

The announcement of the assassination of Hamas strongman Mohamed Mabouh was no shock. Mabouh was killed in his hotel room in Dubai on January 19th, a full 10 days before the announcement was made public.

Hamas officials maintain that they kept the news under wraps in order to help them capture the assassins. The fact is that the killers were long gone by the time the death was reported to the police.
Mabouh entered Dubai under an alias. The Dubai officials say had they know he was there, they would have provided him with security.

Dubai has traditionally been a haven and protected place for wanted characters. The official word is that Mabouh was killed the day after his arrival. The cause of death is harder to work out. One source says he was tortured and electrocuted, that they found electrical burns on his head. Another source says that he was poisoned. A third source says that he was suffocated by a pillow.

Everyone is blaming Israel. The Arabic press across the world and the Western press in Europe that reads the Arabic press have all pointed the finger at Israel. They may be right. Mabouh was responsible for the smuggling of weapons into Gaza from Iran. He was responsible for capturing, torturing and murdering two Israeli soldier in the late 1980's. He was a major player in Hamas military planning wing.

Dubai thinks they have a lead. If it was done properly by Israel ... I would doubt they have a lead. But all signs do point to Jerusalem.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Senate Helps Crackdown on Iran
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 30, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

The US Senate has passed an important bill concerning Iran's gasoline imports. The Senate bill echoes a House bill.

The new Senate law gives President Obama the ability to increase sanctions against Iran. Following the House bill the Senate bill also stipulates that any agency or country that aids Iran by providing them with gasoline will also be subject to serious sanctions and will lose any privileges from the United States.

Iran has the third largest reserves of oil in the world. They are also the fifth largest producer of oil. But the Iranians do not refine oil very well and over 40% of their gasoline is imported.
Stopping the import of gas to Iran or squeezing the suppliers could result in serious and impressive pressure being brought on Iran.

The question remains as to whether squeezing Iran on oil will have any impact on Iranian foreign policy in general and most specifically, on Iranian nuclear policy.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 28, 2010


There is no debate as to whether or not Iran is racing toward nuclear productivity. About that there is no question. There is, however, serious debate in the halls of world leadership over the question of Iran's motivation in their race to attain nuclear technology.

The debate is divided into three sides. There are those who say that Iran should be taken at their word and there is no reason to believe that their ultimate goal is a nuclear bomb. Those who say that Iran should be carefully watched because we have no way of knowing if they are telling the truth or saying only what is diplomatically expedient. And those who say that Iran's ultimate goal is a nuclear bomb.

The first group, those who say that Iran is not ultimately interested in the bomb, theorize that what Iran really wants is to be a leader in the new age of energy. For that, of course, they need nuclear technology. This group, led by the Chinese and the Russians, suggest that Iran has never shown any real desire for nuclear weapons and that there is a significant difference between attaining nuclear energy and transforming that technology into nuclear weapons.

The second group, those who say that Iran should be watched because of the obvious potential to transform nuclear technology believe that while the Iranians cannot be trusted, it is not yet too late in the game. This group, led by the United States, has determined that there is still significant time to monitor Iran's nuclear development and gauge whether the technology is being turned into the bomb. They believe that it is too late to stop Iran's nuclear technological development so their real energies should be devoted to monitoring Iran's nuclear program to make certain that what Iran creates is a safe program, not one that is transformed into a weapon's program.

The third group, those who say that there is no doubt that the objective of the Iranians is to create a nuclear bomb, is led by the Germans and the Israelis. They believe that Iran has one and only one objective in developing nuclear technology and that any movement Iran makes in a nuclear direction is a move toward attaining the nuclear bomb.

This week, theorists were given important new information regarding Iran's nuclear plans. Der Spiegel, Germany's premier news magazine and website, published a damning expose. They uncovered an intelligence dossier revealing exactly who was doing what in the world of Iranian nuclear development. Rather than publishing the file in its entirety, Der Spiegel delivered it to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the governments of Germany the United States and Israel. What they did publish was a significant outline of the material.

According to the material released by Der Spiegel a new office has been created in Iran specifically to develop nuclear weapons. The office is headed by Kamran Daneshjoo, the new Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology, is known as the Department for Expanded High Technology. Also included in this project is an important player in Iran's push toward nuclear technology, a nuclear physicist named Moshen Fakhrizadeh, a senior scientist and officer in the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard. These two characters are said to head up the "secret heart" of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Der Spiegel made specific note of the fact that the officials they spoke to confirmed that indeed this is proof positive that Iran has real nuclear weapons aspirations and not simply energy goals. The final piece of evidence revealed in the expose is that Iran already has the ability to produce a crude nuclear devise. According to the report this rudimentary devise is the size of a truck. The next objective of the Iranians is to shrink the size of the devise so they are able to mount it on a delivery system.

Regardless of the evidence, China and Russia will probably not be convinced of Iran's motives until it is too late.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Egypt is Pressuring Abbas
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday January 27, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

There has been a huge scuttlebutt going on in the Middle East.
The conflict is over the leadership style of Mahmoud Abbas. Egypt, Israel and the United States are pressuring the Palestinian leader to get back to the negotiating table.

Abbas is pushing back. He has asked the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan to intervene.

An Arabic language paper published in London, with very reliable contacts in Egypt and a proven track record, has reported that Egypt made it clear that unless Abbas gets back to the negotiation table Egypt will totally alienate him. That would be tantamount to breaking down Palestinians leadership.

This is a play for power - Egypt versus Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and Jordan may still be able to apply pressure on Egypt.
A bigger game is in the works involving Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United States and the Palestinians.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Ahmadinejad is President
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 26, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Mehdi Kharoubi, one of the challengers in Iran's June 12 election has been making news.

Kharoubi, who came in 4th in the elections, has been vehemently critical of the elections. He insists that the results were rigged and that the election was a total farce.

This week Kharoubi was quoted by the official Iranian news service FARS saying that he accepts Ahmadinejad as president despite the fact that the election was fixed. He accepts Ahmadinejad because the Supreme Leader appointed him. AFP followed up and interviewed Kharoubi's son who confirmed the original reports.

"I am still of the same belief that the election was unhealthy and massively rigged. But since the (supreme) leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) endorsed (Ahmadinejad's victory), I believe that he is the head of the government, meaning he is the president."

This is very important insight into Iranian society - even the most revolutionary personalities conform to the wishes of the Supreme Leader.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Terrorist Returns to Jamaica
By Micah Halpern

Monday January 25, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Sheik Abdullah el Faisal recently arrived in his native Jamaica.
He arrived on a private jet.
The Sheik is a radical Muslim preacher.

He was found guilty and served time in England for plotting to murder Jews, Americans, Hindus and Christians.

He was also convicted of using words to stir up racial hatred.

Sheik Abdullah el Faisal used to be called Trevor William Forest.

He was the mentor to both Richard Reid, the shoe bomber and to Zacharias Mousaoui, the extra 9-11 hijacker.

On January 22, Abdullah was deported from Kenya. The private jet he traveled on was courtesy of the Kenyan government.

Abdullah el Faisal will not be staying in Jamaica very long. There is no significant Muslim population to preach to in Jamaica.

So now we must ask: where is the next soft target for Sheik Abdullah el Faisal and his preachings.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Al Qaeada Women Try To Enter US
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 24, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

According to reports, women attached to al Qaeda have been trying to enter the US.

The word is that the women have Western passports.

The word is that at least two of the women are affiliated with the same al Qaeda group that the underwear bomber was connected to.

The word is that the women are thought to be suicide terrorists.

This idea of using women with Western passports as suicide bombers is typical of al Qaeda. It is that type of terror attack that al Qaeda perpetrated in Europe.

Despite the serious weaknesses in United States security measures, everyone entering the country is scrutinized and it is still much harder to enter the US than it is to enter European countries.

We need to stay alert.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Obama Made a Grave Error
By Micah Halpern

Saturday January 23, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

President Obama has an interview in this weeks Time magazine.

He admits that he overestimated his ability to bring the Palestinians and the Israelis to a mutual agreement.

Overestimated is an understatement.
Before Obama was in power there was dialogue and discussion.
Now, literally since the very first days of Obama's presidency, there has been no dialogue, no discussion and no independent meetings.

In other words, the good intentions of the President coupled with his poor briefings and complete misunderstanding of the situation has caused the sides to move farther apart then they were before his meddling.

Exactly one year ago the new president insisted on a total settlement freeze as a precondition to talks between Israelis and Palestinians. 365 days later there has been no progress.

Middle East analysts are now singing a round of "I told you so."
Maybe next time he'll listen to us.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Russia & US in Conflict On Iran
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 22, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Reality and vision are conflicting over Iran.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that the United States will not stop, that the United States will not permit Iran to get nuclear weapons.

Just a few minutes earlier the Russian Cabinet was briefed by the head of Rosatom, the private nuclear company building the Iranian nuclear power plant in Busher, and they were told that Busher would open later this year, probably in March. He said there would be no more delays, that they had already been paid their one billion dollars in full.

There is no way the Russians would delay this, they have had the contract since 1995.
Russia can't possibly favor sanctions or any other diplomatic arm twisting if they are actually building the nuclear plant.
Russia might say that they want to stop the Iranians, but they are actively helping them.

There is a serious disconnect between United States and Russian words and actions.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Iran Outsmarting the West
By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 21, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

A strange announcement was issued yesterday by Gill Tudor the spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
According to the announcement, the West and Iran still have a proposal to discuss.

The IAEA said: "The proposal made by the IAEA in October 2009, which was supported by France, Russia and the United States, continues to be on the table."

The Iranians will take this to be serious weakness on the part of the West.
The October proposal was countered by Iran, rejecting the Western advance.
Not pulling the proposal or counter-countering the proposal was a serious mistake by the West.

Iran seems to understand exactly what the West is doing - well before the West does.
Iran anticipates the moves of the West simply because they are very good at this game.
Iran is playing for serious stakes and we, the West, seem to be playing for fun.
Winners are normally the pros, not the amateurs.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Israel: An Intel Briefing
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday January 20, 2010


When the chief of Israel's military intelligence agency speaks, we should pay careful attention.

Amos Yadlin briefed the Knesset's Committee on Defense. The general chose to brief his select audience on three areas - Turkey, Iran and the Palestinians.

According to Yadlin, the breakdown of the strategic relationship that Israel and Turkey had tried so hard to forge had nothing to do with Israel or even with anti-Israel sentiment - and a whole lot to do with Syria.

Turkey established a relationship with Israel because they had strategic interests. What the Turks really wanted was a closer trade relationship with Western European nations and with the United States. Israel was their way in. Israel was always Turkey's way to agitate and aggravate Syria for being such a bad neighbor.

The attempt to make inroads into Western business communities was a colossal failure. But Syria did come around and now Turkey no longer needs Israel. As a matter of fact, Israel is now a liability in Turkey's relationship with Syria. What's left for Turkey now is to find a way in to Iran and for that, Turkey certainly does not either need, or want, Israel hanging around.

Flip-flopping comes naturally to the Turks who live lives somewhere in between East and West. They geographically live on the border, part in Asia and part in Europe. For Turkey, it is all about expediency and strategic goals. They are easily swayed from one side to the other and right now Iran is the country offering Turkey the best incentives to deal.

On the subject of Iran, Yadlin recalled his earlier analysis. The head of Israel's intelligence community repeated that he does not see Iran either slowing down its pace or modifying its goal. Iran wants to become nuclear, wants to nuclear technology and Iran wants the bomb. And Iran is showing no signs of caving under pressure from the international community.

Perhaps more importantly, Yadlin does not believe that the international community nor pressure from more serious sanctions will change Iran.

As for the Palestinians, the head of Israeli intel had some encouraging news. According to Yadlin, Abbas and his Fatah party are beginning to crack down on Hamas in the West Bank - and not as a favor to Israel. Fatah is cracking down on Hamas for their own benefit. They do not want the West Bank to go the way of Gaza and to that end they are willing to go to great lengths.

Yadlin explained that the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians is crucial for Abbas. The Palestinian leader is intent on convincing the international community to pressure Israel to stop all building in Jerusalem and to ease restrictions throughout the West bank.

On this issue in particular I could not agree with Yadlin more. The Irony of it all is that the Western world will side with Abbas and will, economically and diplomatically, attack Israel. And the reason the West will feel comfortable attacking their long-standing friend is because Israel has been so successful in their own war against terror. For an entire year there has not been one successful suicide attack. Had Israel been less successful in their pre-attack capture of terrorists, the world would be less likely to swallow the lies that Abbas is circulating.

Would Israel prefer to be victim to terrorist attacks in order to gain short term international political benefits? The answer is obvious.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

When it Rains it Pours in the Middle East
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 19, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Last week the Ministry of Religion in Hamas-controlled Gaza called for a prayer to ask Allah, in the name of Mohammed, to send down rain.
The Rabbis in Israel have been calling for rain since the first week of December.

This week, everyone's prayers were answered.

The rain came in floods.
It is filling the aquifers, the lakes, the rivers and it is watering the crops.
But nothing is ever simple in the Middle East.

In the Middle East there is a rainy season and there is an arid season. When there is not enough rain the ground turns very hard and when the rain finally does arrive the ground is not soft enough to absorb it. If the ground is not properly prepped during the dry season, disaster will strike during the rainy season. The result is run off and flash flooding, powerful currents of water strong enough to carry away homes and tractor trailers and the people inside them.

Now people are dying and drowning and many are homeless.
Damage to land and infrastructure is significant.

The higher authority heard the prayers.
Local and municipal authorities did not.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

No Sanctions on Iran
By Micah Halpern

Monday January 18, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

On Saturday, in New York, the 5 permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, also known as the Power of 6, met to discuss Iran.

The group made a decision to work on two tracks:
# 1: to move ahead on the political/diplomatic front
# 2: to intensify sanctions

On Sunday, the Iranians held a press conference to declare that the 5 plus Germany meeting was a failure. They proved their point by claiming that the decisions taken by the group were unreasonable.

The Power of 6 released their own statement saying that they spent most of the meeting trying to intensify the move toward sanctions.

It's all about spin
The Iranians are spinning and the Power of 6 is spinning.
But in the end, spin makes no difference at all.

The only way to bring sanctions against Iran is to have China call for those sanctions.
And China is not budging.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Hamas & Hezbollah Meet
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 17, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

In Lebanon on Saturday Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah met with Hamas head Khaled Mashal.

The meeting was reported on Al Manar, Hezbollah TV. The report described the meeting as focusing on the need for Hezbollah and Hamas to unite and work together.
According to the report and a formal statement released after the meeting, Hezbollah and Hamas jointly criticized the Arab world for showing weakness against the threats and arrogance of Israel and America.

The meeting signals a union between two groups that dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the reduction of US influence in the world.

Hezbollah and Hamas are partners in arms.
The most highly developed weapons in their arsenal are rockets and terror attacks.

The West must be as united as Hamas ans Hezbollah are - it is the only way we will defeat them.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Attack in Jordan
By Micah Halpern

Saturday January 16, 2010

I'm Predicting:

Al Qaeda has attacked Jordan, their target was an Israeli convoy en route from Amman to the border crossing.
No one was hurt - but only because there was a delay in the explosion.
The attack took place on a windy, downhill, mountain pass. The area is isolated and perfect for just such an attack.

Al Qaeda is growing in strength in Jordan.
At a press conference in Jordan officials called this attack a warning signal.
That is an understatement.
Al Qaeda was announcing that they are there, they are in Jordan, they are active in Jordan and they have no fear.

Jordan has always acted very aggressively against al Qaeda. The Jordanian consider al Qaeda to be a serious threat to their monarchy and to their way of life. One of al Qaeda's professed goals is ousting the Monarchy of Jordan.

So a failed attack directed at Israel inside the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a serious matter. Jordan will respond ruthlessly. The conflict with al Qaeda is a battle for their very survival. If al Qaeda is able to move freely, organize, train, fundraise and perpetrate attacks in Jordan it is just a matter of time before they use their infrastructure to attack and oust the monarchy.

Expect a serious crackdown.
Expect an aggressive series of arrests.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

China is Pulling Out
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 15, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

China is pulling back on their commitment to join an international movement to keep check on Iran's nuclear development.

Remember, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have been meeting to deal with Iran attempting to diplomatically craft a fair and safe solution to Iran's nuclear aspirations.

China just announced that they will be attending the next meeting of the group, BUT, they will be sending only an extremely low level diplomat.

China is deliberately sabotaging United States and Western attempts to force Iran to give up their nukes - or at least to create some resolution.

The US and the other Western nations will pressure China to send a more senior person, but in truth, they are powerless on this issue.

There is no way that China can be convinced to join with the rest of the world's leaders.
No way.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Al Qaeda Among the Palestinians
By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 14, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

It is the classic disconnect.

The Palestinians insist that there is no al Qaeda presence among them.
For the past two years Israel has heard just the opposite.

Ansar al Sunna, an al Qaeda group in Gaza, just recently claimed responsibility for a Qassam rocket shot from Gaza toward Israel.
Because of the nature of these poorly designed rockets, it landed short of Israel and landed instead in Palestinian controlled Gaza.

The lesson here is clear.
Al Qaeda is operating in the Palestinian area.
They are well organized, they are well armed and most importantly, they are well funded.
They are gaining supporters and adherents by leaching from the Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

By Micah Halpern

Wednesday January 13, 2009


The recent assassination of a high level Iranian nuclear researcher should raise flags for everyone keeping watch on Iran.

To recap: Professor Massoud Mohammadi was blown to smithereens outside his Teheran home by an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle. Two cars and two motorcycles were destroyed and a whole slew of homes had their glass windows blown out. Massoud Mohammadi was a significant player in the development of the Iranian nuclear program.

Naturally, all fingers are pointing at Israel.

In the past Israel has utilized the same explosive devices against terrorist leaders all over the world. So to suspect Israel makes perfect sense.

But ... This was overkill in the most literal sense of the word.

This explosion was so powerful and out of control it was designed to kill, maim and damage in a wide circumference around the bomb. This was not the work of a Western intelligence force, it was not even the work of a Western assassin. Israel has perfected the art of destroying their target and their target only - a car and the people in the car, nothing else at all. Israel goes the extra mile to make sure the damage is restricted and does not injure people or property around the explosion site.

This explosion was the work of others, it was not the work of Israel and neither was it the work of the United States.

So whose work was it, whose signature is on this assassination?

There is a long list of people, parties and organizations that would benefit from the death of Mohammadi, a long list of people who could have planned or hired a team to blow up Massoud Mohammadi.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Israel, the United States or another Western agency hired locals to organize and perpetrate this attack - but it is not likely, Israel and the US have different types of assets in Iran and France and Germany have better contacts in Iran.

This kind of operation requires hands-off supervision. Whoever ordered the assassination of Mohammadi gave a carte blanche to the killer, granting permission to kill in as wide an arc as possible. That type of blessing does not come easily in the intelligence agency halls of Washington, DC, Jerusalem, Berlin, London or Paris. This type of operation does not smell like Moscow or Beijing. It smells much more like the operations ordered by Middle East agencies, like agencies that want to stop Iranian nuclear research cold in its tracks.

Attacks against very specific Iranian scientists can grind all of Iran's nuclear development to a halt. Even a single attack against one scientist can slow down the process. Frightening others in the scientific community, upsetting them and making them nervous, makes them less productive and slows down the pace of their work.

So who did it? If I were to venture a guess I would say that the countries with the most to gain from Mohammadi's death are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and other, smaller, countries in the region. That these countries are angry about Iran's nuclear development is well known. A nuclear Iran makes them sit on edge, petrified that a nuclear Iran will cause the downfall of their personal regimes and destabilize the entire region.

Regional leaders have much more to lose if Iran becomes a nuclear power than anyone else in the world. Iran would have absolute reign over the region. The Persians, a non-Arab nation, Shiites a minority in the sea of Sunni Islam, would take charge. This explosion was probably a local operation, perhaps even an anti-government operation.

Massoud Mohammadi is dead. Iran's nuclear community will feel the loss. The rest of the world just bought a little bit of time.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Jones to the Mid East
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 12, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

The White House just announced that National Security Director James Jones will be making a trip to the Middle East.

Jones, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Presidential Special Envoy George Mitchell will be making this trip together.

The pressure is on.

General Jones is no stranger to the region. He was military attache at the US embassy in Tel Aviv and served as military point man for the peace process for several years. Jones' military insight was regularly referred to and even sought after for years. Now he is the man with the office right next to the president. After Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod James Jones is the most influential person in the White House.

Jones has been enormously critical of Israel in the past.

He has also been characterized as having a very realistic approach to life.

Obama is sending a messenger to the region by sending Jones o this trip.
This is not a fact finding tour or a diplomatic trip.
Obama is laying down the line.
This is a roll Jones feels very comfortable filling.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Hezbollah Sells Drugs
By Micah Halpern

Monday January 11, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

The German journal Der Spiegel reported that Hezbollah is funding terror by selling drugs in Europe.

It's a case of: "I told you so."
For years Israel has been telling European and United States leaders and counter terror analysts that terrorists were selling drugs in order to fund terror activities and maintain their organizations throughout the world.

Germany arrested two people in Frankfurt with money that was coated with cocaine.
The drug dealers were sending money back to Lebanon and from there it was sent directly to Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah.

We are talking about millions of dollars a year.
The money is going directly into Hezbollah operations from Lebanon to South America.

Similar schemes are in being run in the United States.
Terror organizations are making tens of millions of dollars each year smuggling cigarettes from states with lower taxes in the south to higher tax areas in the north.

Terrorists will always find a way.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Iran Wants Money
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 10, 2010

I'm Predicting:

Ahmadinejad just announced the creation of a committee that will put a cash number on the damages inflicted on Iran during WWII.

That's not a mistake.
Ahmadinejad wants war reparations from the United States and Russia.

There is an element of truth to this claim.
In August of 1941 the English and the USSR invaded Iran and took control of the oil fields. The objective was to make certain that the oil went to the Allies and that trade routes through the region were reserved for the Soviets as they squeezed out the Germans.

Iran is claiming that the invasion cost the Iranians a significant chunk - that inflation skyrocketed and the cost of essentials went through the roof.
He said: "You inflicted lots of damages to the Iranian nation, put your weight on the shoulders (of the Iranian people) and became victors in the World War II. You didn't even share the war profits with Iran."

Iranians see the world differently than everyone else.
They will persist with their demand.
I would guess that this is only Iran.s opening salvo.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

US Might Sanction Israel
By Micah Halpern

Saturday January 9, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

I watched George Mitchell on Charlie Rose the other night.

I thought I heard Mitchell talk about sanctions against Israel in order to move them out of their deadlock with the Palestinians, I assumed I was dreaming.

I looked up the transcript - I wasn't dreaming.

Here is the exact quote:
"The reality is that, yes, of course the United States has both carrots and sticks, you have to be very careful about how and when you use them and apply [inaudible]--...Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel."

Later on in the transcript Mitchell talks about how George W. Bush held back loans until Israeli policy came into line with US expectations.

Mitchell is not simply a former judge and a former senator.
Mitchell is the current Special Envoy of the President of the United States to the Middle East.

Withholding loan guarantees is tantamount to instituting sanctions.

I do not see the United States instituting a policy of sanctions against Israel at a time when Israel's intel on terror and Israel's military are the only real weight the United States has as leverage against Iran.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Chief Said Don't Attack Iran
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 8, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

The obvious is often stated as if it has some deep profound impact.

Case in point: Yesterday Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that an attack on Iran may lead to unintended consequences that may destabilize the region.

His comments were clear and left little room for interpretation: ... "I think that the outcome is potentially a very, very destabilizing outcome ... on the other hand, when asked about striking Iran, specifically, that also has a very, very destabilizing outcome."

The US has made a very important strategic move.
The most public soldier in the United States was chosen to announce just how dangerous it would be for Israel to attack Iran.

There is no doubt that Israeli is developing plans to strike Iran.
There is no doubt that the United States wants to discourage Israel from attacking.
There is also no doubt that the United States also wants to signal Iran that Israel is readying for attack.

The United States is telling Iran to come back to the negotiating table.
The clock is ticking.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 7, 2010


Terror is not our enemy. Terror is the strategy and acts of terror are the tool that our enemy uses against us.

Nine years after 9-11 and Western political and military leadership, specifically United States leadership, still treat terror as an enemy like all other enemies. Their problem is conceptual. They have not yet begun to understand the terrorist mindset. Until that synapse is bridged our protectors will never figure out how best to act and counteract, respond and counter respond, to terrorists.

Terror is not the goal of our enemies. The total capitulation of the Western world and all Western culture, the complete submission of the Western world to Islam is the goal of our enemies. Had they truly studied Islam our leaders would know that.

The meaning of the term Islam is total submission. Literally and figuratively, the agenda of our enemy has never been hidden from us, we are just too preoccupied with our own agenda, too narrow and too focused on Western thought and action to see the obvious.

We are defending ourselves against terrorists without really knowing what they want, who they are, why they make their decisions and how they intend to carry out their goal. The relative safety we have experienced until now has much more to do with lady luck and the ineptitude of terrorist operatives than it does with Western politics or Islamic regimes. The safeguards that were in place even before the acts of 9-11 that made it difficult for non-Western foreigners to negotiate easily and freely in potential target areas were an accidental stroke of genius.

Our counter-terror system relies on a good defense and that is its major flaw. We need a good offense, too.

A good offense means hitting people in their home countries.

A good offense means collateral damage.

A good offense means being immune to the names and curses and threats hurled at us by the countries that host and house terrorists.

At this stage in history the United States cannot have it both ways - the United States cannot both be loved and effectively protect American citizens from the terrorist threat. The changes in airport security policies that require added checks for people coming from and holding passports from fourteen additional countries is a good start. It is a late start, but it is a good start.

If you have to wait for the terrorist to infiltrate your airport before your can stop them, you are too late.

If TSA officials at local airports and their x-ray machines are the only barrier that separates American citizens from acts of terror, terrorists will succeed.

If there is only one security significant security fence, it will be breached.

The TSA is not there to stop terrorists from boarding planes. Their emphasis is on paperwork and luggage, not passengers. Bringing contraband, i.e. explosive materials and devices, into an airport is a simple matter of understanding the limits of the machinery. It is not rocket science. Almost everyone knows what an x-ray machine can and cannot see, more importantly, what it cannot distinguish. That is why travelers are asked to separate their toiletries into plastic bags, so that all liquids and vials that appear either full or empty can be checked.

And to think that airports are the greatest venue for terrorists to attack is, once again, to think like a Westerner, not like the enemy.

In the near future our enemy will not take us down. The goal of our enemy is too lofty to be successful. Our job is to prevent our enemy from causing too much damage. Our job is to prevent our enemy from taking too many of our lives.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Iran Plans Maneuvers
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday January 6, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Naval division, Admiral Morteza Saffari, is quoted on a Iranian news website saying that Iran will be conducting maneuvers in the Straits of Harmuz. This is no small feat.

The Straits of Harmuz is a narrow pass of water through which about one third of the world's oil passes.
Iran claims to control the Straits.
International law considers the area international waters.

Iran excels at running little blue rubber boats that swarm around military ships and capture them. This offensive technique has proven to be an effective weapon against Western ships and Western military in the Straits.

The Iranians are prepared for a crackdown and increased sanctions.
The Iranians are signaling that they are in control and that they will not be intimidated.
The Iranians are doing the intimidating.
The Iranians are flexing their muscles.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Cuba is Angry
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 5, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Cuba is furious.

Cuba is calling the new US policy to pat down and search both the hand luggage and the shipped luggage of all people flying to the US from 14 countries - including Cuba, anti-terrorism paranoia.

Four of the countries on the list of 14 are sponsors of terror.
The other 10 countries are places from which many terrorists have originated - including countries friendly to the United States, like Saudi Arabia.

The Cubans may call it paranoia, but the new US policy is anything but paranoid.

This is one of the best policies to date to combat terror and to secure our planes.
This marks the first time that the US has moved towards behavior profiling, the first time that the US is looking at background and not just checking every seventh person regardless of the threat.

Better late than never.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

The US is Pressuring the PA
By Micah Halpern

Monday January 4, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

Al Jazeera reported on Sunday that the US administration is exerting serious pressure on Palestinian leadership, especially on Mahmoud Abbas.
The US is pressuring the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

For several months I have sensed that the US administration was applying pressure to the Palestinians and that they were slowly, incrementally, increasing the pressure.

The United States views this pressure as part of a larger, regional move.
The United States is rewarding Egypt with an entire slew of new weapons.
In return, with the expectation of reaping even more benefits, the Egyptians have been doing the bidding of the United States in the region.

Abbas is in Egypt, he arrived on Saturday and is staying for several days of meetings.
The Egyptians are pushing Abbas to go back to the table, Abbas is resisting.

It's a Middle East version of the game push me - pull me, orchestrated by the United States.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Taliban Kill CIA Agents
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 3, 2010

I've Been Thinking:

On Friday the Associated Press reported that the Taliban of Pakistan took responsibility for the suicide bomber attack that killed seven CIA operatives.

The Taliban claim that the 8th CIA death was the suicide bomber.
They say he was someone whom they had turned into a double agent/assassin.

The Taliban are probably telling the truth.
Running locals as CIA agents is a double edged sword.

On one side they are your eyes and ears on the outside.

On the other side they have the ability to get close to you and your highest level operatives in the field.

What is essential here is that the Pakistani Taliban also have links to al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda is the nerve center of many Islamic terror networks.

We must never forget that.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Jews in Gaza for Shabbat
By Micah Halpern

Saturday January 2, 2010

I've been Thinking:

If it were a short story, you would call it fiction.
Four ultra-Orthodox Jews from New York and Canada are spending Shabbat in Gaza - as guests of Hamas.

The four, long bearded men, all dressed in traditional black garb, crossed into Gaza via the Egyptian controlled border. From there they were escorted by their hosts to Gaza City where they have been provided with a proper ultra-Orthodox Shabbat setting, including meals and prayers. In Gaza they will be meeting the leaders of Hamas and will be entertained as honored guests.

The men are members of Neturei Karta, a group that rejects Israel's statehood. Rabbi Dovid Weiss is one of the members of this chosen group. Upon arrival in Gaza Rabbi Weiss said: "It's crucial that the people of Gaza understand the terrible tragedy here is not in the name of Judaism."

This is the same group of people that went to Teheran and participated in the
anti - Holocaust conference sponsored by Ahmadinejad.
No one really knows how many people are members of Neturei Karta ... more than 100 but less than 10,000.
Neturei Karta is not a group of crazies, but it is a very dangerous group.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

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