Site Has Moved Now to www.majidsn.com

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 10, 2011 by majidmylead

After Compliments & Dear All;

Please note that this Site Has Moved Now to www.majidsn.com

Also my Columns Site  to www.majidall.com 

And My Books Site to www.majidbooks.com and www.mymajidbooks.wordpress.com

Best Wishes and Regards,

Majid Al Suleimany

Muscat – Sultanate of Oman – November 10th 2011

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My Other Sites and Blogs.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 by majidmylead

Main Links  – Majid Al Suleimany – May 23rd 2010.

 

(1) My Books Majid’s Books       (2) Main – Majid Al Suleimany Majid Main 
(3) Main Link Two Between Us Only    (4) Business & Professional Business 
(5) Between Us Only!  Blog Blog   (6) Links To All Other Sites of Mine Main Link 
(7) My Book in The Top 50 Books Top 50 Books    (8) Oman Observer Link Observer 

 My E-Mails

majidalsuleimany@gmail.com

majid@mas-trac.com

majidsnalsuleimany@hotmail.com

 

NYT: U.S. said to order covert military action

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 by majidmylead

NYT: U.S. said to order covert military action

The secret directive was signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37326328/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/

The secret directive  authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa.

 

updated 9:21 p.m. ET May 24, 2010

WASHINGTON – The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents.

The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate.

While the Bush administration had approved some clandestine military activities far from designated war zones, the new order is intended to make such efforts more systematic and long term, officials said. Its goals are to build networks that could “penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy” Al Qaeda and other militant groups, as well as to “prepare the environment” for future attacks by American or local military forces, the document said. The order, however, does not appear to authorize offensive strikes in any specific countries.

In broadening its secret activities, the United States military has also sought in recent years to break its dependence on the Central Intelligence Agency and other spy agencies for information in countries without a significant American troop presence.

Intelligence gaps


General Petraeus’s order is meant for use of small teams of American troops to fill intelligence gaps about terror organizations and other threats in the Middle East and beyond, especially emerging groups plotting attacks against the United States.

But some Pentagon officials worry that the expanded role carries risks. The authorized activities could strain relationships with friendly governments like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or incite the anger of hostile nations like Iran and Syria. Many in the military are also concerned that as American troops assume roles far from traditional combat, they would be at risk of being treated as spies if captured and denied the Geneva Convention protections afforded military detainees.

The precise operations that the directive authorizes are unclear, and what the military has done to follow through on the order is uncertain. The document, a copy of which was viewed by The New York Times, provides few details about continuing missions or intelligence-gathering operations.

Several government officials who described the impetus for the order would speak only on condition of anonymity because the document is classified. Spokesmen for the White House and the Pentagon declined to comment for this article. The Times, responding to concerns about troop safety raised by an official at United States Central Command, the military headquarters run by General Petraeus, withheld some details about how troops could be deployed in certain countries.

The seven-page directive appears to authorize specific operations in Iran, most likely to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear program or identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive. The Obama administration insists that for the moment, it is committed to penalizing Iran for its nuclear activities only with diplomatic and economic sanctions. Nevertheless, the Pentagon has to draw up detailed war plans to be prepared in advance, in the event that President Obama ever authorizes a strike.

“The Defense Department can’t be caught flat-footed,” said one Pentagon official with knowledge of General Petraeus’s order.

Military activity in Yemen

The directive, the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, signed Sept. 30, may also have helped lay a foundation for the surge of American military activity in Yemen that began three months later.

Special Operations troops began working with Yemen’s military to try to dismantle Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of Osama bin Laden’s terror network based in Yemen. The Pentagon has also carried out missile strikes from Navy ships into suspected militant hideouts and plans to spend more than $155 million equipping Yemeni troops with armored vehicles, helicopters and small arms.

Officials said that many top commanders, General Petraeus among them, have advocated an expansive interpretation of the military’s role around the world, arguing that troops need to operate beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to better fight militant groups.

The order, which an official said was drafted in close coordination with Adm. Eric T. Olson, the officer in charge of the United States Special Operations Command, calls for clandestine activities that “cannot or will not be accomplished” by conventional military operations or “interagency activities,” a reference to American spy agencies.

While the C.I.A. and the Pentagon have often been at odds over expansion of clandestine military activity, most recently over intelligence gathering by Pentagon contractors in Pakistan and Afghanistan, there does not appear to have been a significant dispute over the September order.

A spokesman for the C.I.A. declined to confirm the existence of General Petraeus’s order, but said that the spy agency and the Pentagon had a “close relationship” and generally coordinate operations in the field.

“There’s more than enough work to go around,” said the spokesman, Paul Gimigliano. “The real key is coordination. That typically works well, and if problems arise, they get settled.”

No presidential approval needed

During the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld endorsed clandestine military operations, arguing that Special Operations troops could be as effective as traditional spies, if not more so.

Unlike covert actions undertaken by the C.I.A., such clandestine activity does not require the president’s approval or regular reports to Congress, although Pentagon officials have said that any significant ventures are cleared through the National Security Council. Special Operations troops have already been sent into a small number of countries to carry out limited surveillance and reconnaissance missions, including operations to gather intelligence about airstrips, bridges and beaches that might be needed for an offensive.

Some of Mr. Rumsfeld’s initiatives were controversial, and met with resistance by some at the State Department and C.I.A. who saw the troops as a backdoor attempt by the Pentagon to assert influence outside of war zones. In 2004, one of the first groups sent overseas was pulled out of Paraguay after killing a pistol-waving robber who had attacked them as they stepped out of a taxi.

A Pentagon order that year gave the military authority for offensive strikes in more than a dozen countries, and Special Operations troops carried them out in Syria, Pakistan and Somalia.

In contrast, General Petraeus’s September order is focused on intelligence gathering — by American troops, foreign businesspeople, academics or others — to identify militants and provide “persistent situational awareness,” while forging ties to local indigenous groups.

Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

This story, “U.S. Said to Order Further Clandestine Military Action,” first appeared in The New York Times.

Israel’s Peres denies offering South Africa Nukes

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 by majidmylead

Israel’s Peres denies offering South Africa Nukes

By KAROUN DEMIRJIAN

Associated Press Writer

 updated 9:44 a.m. ET May 24, 2010

JERUSALEM – Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday categorically denied a report that he offered nuclear warheads to South Africa in 1975, when he was defense minister.

The report published Sunday in the British newspaper The Guardian is based on an American academic’s research and claims to cite secret minutes of a meeting Peres held with senior South African officials.

Peres said Israel never negotiated the transfer of nuclear weapons to South Africa.

“There exists no basis in reality for the claims published this morning by The Guardian that in 1975 Israel negotiated with South Africa the exchange of nuclear weapons,” the president said in an English-language statement. “Unfortunately, The Guardian elected to write its piece based on the selective interpretation of South African documents and not on concrete facts.”

The article is based on a series of documents the South African government declassified in response to a request from American academic Sasha Polakow-Suransky, who is writing a book called “The Unspoken Alliance” about the close relationship between the Israel and South Africa.

Appearing alongside the article, the partially censored documents show a formal request from the South Africans for nuclear-capable warheads, and minutes of meetings in which then-Defense Minister Peres listed weapons available for sale.

But they do not appear to confirm any transfer of weapons, or any explicit offer from the Israelis to sell nuclear materials or nuclear-capable weapons to the South Africans.

The documents accompanying the story do show Peres’ signature on minutes from a meeting where the then-defense minister discussed payloads available in “three sizes,” one of several phrases that Peres said The Guardian misconstrued.

The British paper did not call the Israeli government for a response to the article, Peres said, adding that his office “intends to send a harsh letter to the editor of The Guardian and demands the publication of the true facts.”

The Guardian claims the documents offer the first documentary evidence of Israel’s nuclear program.

In 1986, another British newspaper, the Sunday Times, published pictures and descriptions from a former technician at Israel’s main nuclear reactor, leading experts to estimate that Israel had the world’s sixth-largest nuclear arsenal.

According to its policy, Israel has never acknowledged or denied possessing nuclear weapons, though it is widely assumed to have them.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Euro crisis is tip of the iceberg – by Jim Jubak (MSN Money)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 by majidmylead

 Euro crisis is tip of the iceberg – by Jim Jubak (MSN Money)

 What we see is scary enough, but the hidden part is something virtually every nation will have to navigate around over the next couple of decades.

Someday the euro debt crisis that started in Greece and spread to engulf Europe will be over.

Politicians in the nations that use the euro will figure out the right mix of carrot and stick to get Greece, Portugal, Spain and other member states to adhere to European Monetary Union limits on debt. They’ll figure out how to balance national pride with the clear need for more-integrated fiscal systems among the members. They’ll gradually earn back the trust of financial markets, and someday we’ll all be back talking about the euro as a rival to the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency.

Hard to believe right now, when the euro’s troubles are driving plunges in the world’s stock markets and rampant fears that the world is about to fall back into economic and financial crisis.

Hard to believe but true.

Here’s something, however, that may be even harder to believe: The euro debt crisis, for all its power to shake financial markets and the global economy, is just Chapter 1 in a story that will run for the next two decades. This crisis is only our introduction to the kinds of wrenching changes that virtually every nation’s economy will face over the next 20 years.

Does euro debt threaten world economy?

 The euro debt crisis is a crisis coming to a nation near you. And let’s hope the next chapter suggests that there’s an ending to this story that doesn’t involve street riots and a long-term decline in living standards for entire populations.

Let’s hope. But the lesson from the euro debt crisis is that it’s not going to be easy. It may not even be possible.

You probably don’t think of the euro debt crisis as part of some larger global story that is going to pull in you and your family as starring characters. But it is. This isn’t just a story about some feckless Greeks who went on wild shopping sprees with money lent to them by hardworking Germans who didn’t check the books carefully. (But it is that story, too.)

Soon-to-be-ancient Greece

Some basic economics make the Greek crisis universal.

From the first quarter of 2001 to the third quarter of 2009, unit labor costs in Greece — that’s how much a worker earned for producing one unit of something — rose 33%. That’s a 33% increase in the cost of producing one gimcrack in Greece after you’ve deducted all the benefits of any increase in the productivity of Greek workers. In other words, if a Greek worker went from making one gizmo an hour to making two an hour and got paid twice as much for that hour, the unit-labor-cost increase would be 0%.

Greek productivity did climb, at an average annual rate of about 2% from 2000 to 2010. Greece showed the same productivity growth as Germany, but wages climbed faster. According to Greece’s national collective labor agreement, wages rose 6.2% in 2006, 5.4% in 2007, 6.2% in 2008 and 5.7% in 2009.

The result was that Greece priced itself out of global export markets. If your unit labor costs climb 33% while those of Italy go up just 30% and those of Spain 28% — and while Germany’s costs increase just 6% and U.S. costs plummet 27% (as they did from 2001 to 2009) — you can be sure that selling your exports will get harder.

And as Greece was becoming less competitive, it was growing older. In 1971, 11.1% of Greeks were 65 or older, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. By 2001, that was up to 17%. By the end of 2009, 18.7%. The OECD takes its estimates out all the way to 2050. By 2031, 25% of Greeks will be 65 or older. By 2050, the figure is likely to close in on a third, at 32.5%.

The combination of falling competitiveness and an aging population would be lethal enough — fewer workers making less-competitive products to support an increasing number of retired workers — but the Greek government has made it worse. To win voters’ support, governments of all parties not only promised those hefty wage increases, but they also promised generous pensions at earlier ages.

Before the crisis, for example, Greek civil servants employed before 1992 could retire after 35 years on the job if they were 58 or older. And the pension benefit is 80% of pre-retirement salary. The legal retirement age for all workers was just 61 before the crisis. In reaction to the crisis, the current government has proposed raising the retirement age to 63. (No wonder German taxpayers are steamed at the idea of having to fund a Greek rescue plan. The German retirement age is 67. For more on how German politics are making the crisis worse, see this May 19 blog post.)

To understand the full extent of Greece’s debt problem you have to look beyond the current deficit problem. That’s bad enough, with the net debt level forecast to rise to 120% of gross domestic product this year.

But you have to add in the value of all those promises made to the retired and soon-to-be retired. Economist Jagadeesh Gokhale, in a report for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, calculates that adding the value of the liabilities in those promises brings the level of government liabilities to 875% of GDP.

Greece can’t pay that bill by cutting public-sector wages, eliminating extra holiday pay or the like. Yes, the government will have to impose drastic spending cuts and tax increases, but it will also have to massively renege on those retirement promises.

I mean massively renege. The proposed change to a retirement age of 63 from 61 is just a modest down payment.

Downsizing promises

Greece isn’t alone in Europe in facing this long-term problem, just as it isn’t the only country in Europe with an unsustainably large current deficit. All of Europe is aging: 21% of the French population will be 65 or older by 2022, and in that year 24% of Germans will fall into that demographic, the OECD calculates.

The United States isn’t aging as fast. Only 17% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by 2022, according to projections. China’s older population is calculated at just 13% by then, but it’s likely to catch up quickly: By 2036, 20% of Chinese are expected to be 65 or older. (Looking for youth? Try India, where only 7.1% of the population will be over 65 in 2022, or Brazil, with 9.3% in 2022, according to the OECD.)

Greek politicians weren’t alone in promising future benefits to voters. The average burden of debt, plus liability for pension and other social-service promises, averages 434% of GDP across the European Union. France, with its relatively generous social benefits, comes in at 549%. The United Kingdom stands at 442% and Germany at 418%. Spain, which has a bigger current deficit but relatively modest promises to its citizens, shows up in Gokhale’s calculations at 244%.

And the United States? By these calculations, the debt-plus-promises burden comes to 890% of GDP. Move over Greece. Who’s your daddy?

Now governments could take the next decade or two to plan ways to meet or shirk this burden. Countries could set a schedule of raising the retirement age so that everyone would know what was coming and could plan for it. More-generous incentives for private savings for retirement and retirement health care could help make reductions in government-funded pensions less punishing. Subsidies could give some retirees incentives to choose less-expensive retirement housing.

Governments could do that.

But the evidence of the Greek crisis is that they won’t. Politicians in Greece didn’t take action until the country’s back was to the wall and they had the cover of a crisis to excuse their cuts to wages and future promises. It’s sad to think that a country’s leaders would prefer riots in the streets to proposing painful measures before the situation reaches a crisis, but that’s the conclusion I draw after watching how the Greek crisis has played out.

The transition that I’m describing from a world of glorious promises to an admission that we can’t pay for the promises to a long period of reneging on those promises would be painful enough if carefully planned and managed. But without that planning, I think we’re going to see most — but not all, I hope — countries lurch from crisis to crisis as governments downsize their promises to fit an aging world. (For more on how Europe’s politicians see a falling euro as the way out, see this May 18 post)

I don’t know how this story comes out. But I know that the Greek chapter has only introduced us to the characters and plot twists that we’ll see over and over in the next 20 years.

 Jim Jubak has been writing Jubak’s Journal and tracking the performance of his market-beating Jubak’s Picks portfolio since 1997 on MSN Money. He is the author of a 2008 book, “The Jubak Picks,” and writer of the Jubak Picks blog. He’s also the senior markets editor at MoneyShow.com.

Jews: Stop Arizona-Nazis comparison

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 by majidmylead

Nazis Comparison

Say crackdown on illegal immigrants not like Holocaust

 

 Danny Moloshok / Reuters  Rabbi Marvin Hier says comparisons of Arizona’s immigration law to the Holocaust are way off-base.
 

By ROBERT JABLON

 updated 5:40 p.m. ET May 14, 2010

LOS ANGELES – Arizona’s tough new law against illegal immigration has prompted furious protests and boycotts but Jewish groups say opponents who compare it with the rise of Nazi Germany are going too far.

“It diminishes the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, an internationally known Holocaust studies center based in Los Angeles.

“Survivors and others are very upset about this,” he said Friday. “When you exaggerate, it’s very harmful to them when they know that their mothers and fathers were taken to the gas chambers without any recourse to the law. They lost children.”

The Arizona law that takes effect in July makes illegal immigration a state as well as a federal crime. It requires police to ask a person about his or her immigration status if there’s “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country illegally.

Critics say it opens the door to racial profiling against Hispanics, although the law bars prosecutions based solely on race.

Last month, Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese, said the law encourages people to turn on each other in Nazi- and Soviet-style repression.

Mahony’s spokesman, Tod Tamberg, said Friday that the cardinal “never compared Arizona or Arizonans to Nazi Germany.”

“What he said was that the fear that this kind of law creates in a community, where people are not sure whether they’re going to be made to stop and produce papers, was certainly a characteristic” of the Soviet and Nazi regimes.

“We should all be careful about comparisons to the Holocaust,” Tamberg said. “The Holocaust was and remains a unique and horrible experience to which there is no comparison.”

‘Absolutely dangerous’
References to fascism also came up on Wednesday as the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona businesses.

Councilman Paul Koretz likened the law — and other Arizona laws such as one that curbs high school ethnic studies programs — to the beginnings of Nazi Germany when Jews were singled out for persecution.

“We can’t let this advance any further,” said Koretz, who said he lost relatives in the Holocaust. “It is absolutely dangerous.”

The Wiesenthal Center opposes the immigration law.

“We think it stigmatizes immigrants, for example, Latinos,” Hier said. “A white American would never have to face such a challenge so it’s openly discriminatory in its nature.”

However, Hier said it is unjust to compare a law passed by democratically elected officials to those made in a totalitarian state that gave its victims no recourse to the law.

“Here, to call fellow Americans Nazis is beyond the pale. Not every tremor is the Haiti earthquake,” Hier said.

The German laws led to death camps “and America is not coming down that road,” he said.

Fever pitch
A call seeking comment from Koretz was not immediately returned Friday. Koretz was in a council meeting to hear budget recommendations for closing a huge budget gap.

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, wrote earlier this month that comparisons between Arizona’s laws and Nazism “delegitimize and trivialize the deaths of 6 million Jews and millions of others and soldiers who fought to defeat Nazism. They also play into the hands of those who support the Arizona law.”

He noted that some opponents of President Barack Obama’s policies have compared him to Adolph Hitler.

“It seems to happen with greater regularity in American political debate today than ever before: When anger reaches a fever pitch on a particular issue, out come the inevitable comparisons to the Holocaust,” Foxman said in an article in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It has become a rule of thumb, an all-too-convenient catchphrase of the times.”

More from msnbc.com

 ************ I remember reading something like this before the collapse of The Aparthied South Africa ….with internal warnings and cautions. It followed when one white SA Soldier was killed when he stopped some Black SA – in the past they used to just stop and wait for the inspections…

The Real Reasons Why They Do Not Support Your Books!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 by majidmylead

The Real Reasons Why They Do Not Support Your Books!

I received this Email from a very good friend (Indian)…

Dear Majid – Thank you for your websites at http://www.alsuleimany.com and http://www.majidbooks.com – also at http://www.majidalsuleimany.wordpress.com and http://www.majidalsuleimany.blogspot.com
It provided me a lot of interesting reading after getting tired of reading the usual blogs of people attacking each other subjectively and personally to make their case or points across – or to defend themselves.

I have come to the sad realization that the main reason why they do not support your books because you SPEAK THE TRUTH … and the facts as they are really are on the ground.

Like in your book themes, it is true there is a lot that needs to improve on The Arab Management Side (and fast too!) and the FEW misbehaving crude Expatriates amongst us here have to change and transform FAST TOO – before they cause irreparable harm and damage to a very beautiful tolerant peaceful and compassionate country like Oman – the few left in the world – and the beacon to others – and an example to follow and emulate!

The few bad apples should not spoil the whole basket of us especially Residents and Expatriates here in Oman – and we see Oman as our Second Home – even if we strive to go to Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc.

I have read your books and articles – to me always you will be that Big Man and With A Big Heart! );

We will pray for you for the Booker Award!!

Your Friend Always,

RP – May 13th 2010.