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Prophet and loss statement 2011

01/06/2011

It is once again time to examine how well I was able to predict Middle East events in the previous year (see Crystal Ball 2010), The text below is annotated version of the original. Predictions that did not pan out are marked in red, Comments are in italics.

Some specific predictions for 2010:

Palestinians:
No unity government - neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority are really interested in such a government.

Mahmoud Abbas will remain President of the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Authority will continue to gather support for their unilateral state declaration, which appears to be a promising avenue for bypassing the negotiation process and forcing their position on Israel with the backing of the EU and others.

Israel & the Palestinians

Israeli government will succumb to pressure and agree to ransom Gilad Shalit by releasing about a thousand prisoners, including, most likely, Marwan Barghouti.

Additional kidnap attempts will be made from Gaza and possibly from Lebanon.

No progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations even if Israel agrees to a building halt in East Jerusalem and negotiations are restarted .Unfortunately true

There will be a showdown between the United States and Israel at the end of the ten month period that Israel has allotted to the settlement freeze, because the United States will insist that the freeze be extended. Not exactly, but close enough

The settlement freeze will ultimately be extended, at least partially, with no quid pro quo. The Netanyahu government has shown itself very poor at bargaining.
Did not happen yet!

Iraq
Security situation will continue to deteriorate as Americans leave. This does not appear to have happened.

United States evacuation of Iraq will be completed in 2010 regardless of rising violence.

US will not send more troops to Iraq before the next US presidential election

Afghanistan/Pakistan

US surge will not be effective, since the Taleban are not concentrated in cities but rather diffused throughout the country.

Pakistani efforts will meet with only limited and temporary success, as Taleban escape into the countryside or into Afghanistan.

Iran
New sanctions against Iran will not be effective, in part because China would veto effective sanctions.

The US will make symbolic gestures to isolate Iran, but these will not be effective.

USA will not strike a deal with Iran isolating Israel, despite the prediction of an Israeli think-tank, because there is no deal to be made that would safeguard US interests against Iran's self-proclaimed ambitions for regional hegemony and exclusion of the US from the Middle East.

US will not attack Iran militarily.

Israel will not attack Iran militarily.

There will be more domestic unrest in Iran, met with harsh reprisals.The ongoing repression is publicized only sporadically see here and here.

There is a high probability that Iran is building or has built additional concealed nuclear facilities. We can assume this is true based on past experience.

One or more [concealed nuclear facilities] may be discovered or made public by foreign intelligence services in 2010. No new sites revealed in 2010

The Iranian regime will remain stable.

Lebanon

Look for increasing influence of Hezbollah and Syria under the pretext of fighting Israel. This may include the return of Syrian Army intelligence personnel to Lebanon, further arming of Hezbollah.

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000787.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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