1. beware the winds of December
A recent article by the veteran and well-connected Israeli columnist, Alex Fishman, in the Hebrew language newspaper, Yediot Ahronoth, perhaps offers some insights into how Israelis may be speculating about such issues when he warns about "the approaching December winds”. These winds, Fishman tells us, will bring more and new revelations - not about Iran's nuclear ambitions - but about Syria's nuclear projects: the departure of Mohamed ElBaradei from the chair at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he states, will open the door to new IAEA demands to inspect two suspected nuclear sites in Syria.
Fishman notes that, following the surfacing last month in Germany of stories that Israeli special forces had been on the ground covertly in Syria, no one should be surprised if more evidence and photographs of the nuclear reactor, destroyed by Israeli air attack in September 2007, come to dominate the headlines in the Western press this December.
The "star" turn in this prospective public relations campaign is to be evidence proving a direct Iranian nuclear connection and finance for Syria's alleged nuclear project.
Fishman suggests that it suits "Israel's internal as well as foreign PR efforts" for the time being to play along with talk of peace between Israel and Syria; but that both the December campaign against Syria's alleged Iranian nuclear cooperation in the Western press, and the playing along with the Syrian peace track "are directly linked to negotiations" that the US is conducting with Iran. Fishman concludes that these could end in confrontation with Iran - "and also lead to a military strike", in which case, "whomsoever is in the Iranian camp will also get a pounding" - a reference to Syria.
read more @ asia times
2. Foreign Policy's first annual list of top 100 global thinkers --
NUMERO UNO: BEN BERNANKE
WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
for staving off a new Great Depression.
Chairman, federal reserve | Washington
The Zen-like chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve might not have topped the list solely for turning his superb academic career into a blueprint for action, for single-handedly reinventing the role of a central bank, or for preventing the collapse of the U.S. economy. But to have done all of these within the span of a few months is certainly one of the greatest intellectual feats of recent years. ... His key insight? The need for massive, damn-the-torpedoes intervention in financial markets. Winning over critics who have since praised his "radical" moves (including Nouriel Roubini, No. 4 on this list), he now faces an uphill battle in his bid for permanently expanded Fed powers. The radicalism is far from over.http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/11/30/the_fp_top_100_global_thinkers
3. oh by the way, UN seeks US$7B for relief to give to the NGOs and other organizations who are very busy pretending to fix the problems that the think tanks dream up and the corrupt intelligence community make happen on the ground.
GENEVA - THE United Nations called on richer governments on Monday to provide a total of US$7.1 billion (S$9.83 billion) in 2010 to fund urgent humanitarian assistance for 48 million people in 25 countries.
It was the largest sum sought for such aid, in what is known as the annual Humanitarian Appeal, since the world body started making consolidated calls for funding to tackle crises in different parts of the world in 1991.
'Our aim is to help people survive the coming year, and start working their way out of vulnerability towards the dignity, safety and self-sufficiency to which every human being has a right,' said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.
Mr Ban's remarks, in a foreword to the text of the appeal issued in Geneva, was coupled with a call from his top humanitarian relief coordinator John Holmes for major governments not to cut aid because of the economic crisis.
Funds collected in the Consolidated Appeal Process are shared among some 380 aid organisations, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other international bodies working in the relief field.All have worked together to compile the appeal and detail the needs of the countries and regions it targets, which include Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, the occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. -- REUTERS
source: straits times