1. The Japanese press reported that an “important announcement” was coming from North Korea on Monday. Well, it’s Tuesday, and we haven’t heard anything. There had been reports earlier that North Korea was going to stop letting any foreigners into the country, but I’m not sure that that measures up to an “important announcement.”
North Korean diplomats have been ordered to be on alert, and most reports indicated that the report likely had to deal with Kim Jong-Il’s status–most likely indicating he was dead or severely ill.
On the other hand, the announcement could be related to its WMD programs. North Korea has threatened to end all contact with South Korea, saying the government seeking “reckless confrontation.”
Or, maybe this was just a false report.
2. A Kuwaiti newspaper has reported that President Bush has told Syria that he’d pressure Israel to return the Golan Heights to them if they agreed to cut off ties to Iran. Most likely, the arrangement would go beyond that demand and force Syria to expel all terrorists. If Syria continues to sponsor terrorism, albeit without Iranian support and coordination, not much would change from Israel’s perspective and they’d be highly unlikely to give up the disputed land without such action.
3. The Iraqis have capturedfour armed Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel in Diyala Province, one of the few remaining areas where insurgents are able to operate. It’s been an open secret for a long time that the U.S. has communicated with the Iranians, usually through third parties, in an attempt to reach some sort of middle ground in Iraq. The fact that the Iranians have never, during any point of this process, even when U.S. and Iranian representatives met directly in Iraq in May 2007, demonstrates that it is highly unlikely Iran can be convinced to end its operations in Iraq.
And why would they? We have given them absolutely no reason to stop. Their aggression has been met with calls for negotiations and deal-making, and has contributed to the anti-war feeling that is pressuring the U.S. to begin an immediate and complete withdrawal. Unfortunately, the truth is that Iran has only gained from these operations and will never stop them unless faced with negative repercussions.