*Richard Perle, member of the Pentagon Advisory Board and unnoficial adviser to the Bush administration, has admitted that the regime of Saddam Hussein posed no direct threat to the US, according to al-Hayat. I was not able to verify the report at Lexis Nexis. Al-Hayat says that Perle, who is speaking in Europe these days, also admitted that weapons of mass destruction was not the issue that mainly drove the US war on Iraq. He said he thought US troops would be in the country for an unlimited period of time. Some in the Bush administration are arguing that the Iraq war will make North Korea and Iran more cautious. But I can’t personally see that it has had any such impact on other countries on the neocon hit list.
*Lebanese Shiite Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah deplored the pressure he said was being applied to the Palestinians at the international level. He also expressed his astonishment that the US should be pressing Iran so hard over what were in actuality peaceful nuclear reactors, while, he said, ignoring the massive Israeli nuclear weapons program. – asharq al-awsat