|Southwest Asia News Digest
U.S. Arms Shipments to Lebanon Could Be 'Point of No Return'
May 26 (EIRNS)The fighting between the Lebanese Army and a Sunni terrorist group, Fatah al-Islam, in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, could become a "point of no return," which brings Lebanon into ungovernability. Lebanese have been attempting to avoid civil war ever since the Syrian Army withdrew two years ago.
Discussions with Washington-based intelligence sources point to a number of critical events unfolding:
* The arrival of three U.S. transport planes full of weapons and ammunition in Lebanon on May 26, could actually worsen the bloodshed. While the official story is that these weapons are to be delivered to the Lebanese Army, one Lebanon specialist cautioned, "Why does the Lebanese Army need three planeloads of weapons to fight a group that has 400-500 fighters?" This specialist noted the weapons could be part of covert shipments to various guerrilla and militia groups, like the Fatah al-Islam itself.
The real aim of Dick Cheney et al. is to make Lebanon a "failed state," and as such, a potential springboard for other "preemptive" strikes. Another piece of this picture is the plan by NATO to establish a permanent military base in Lebanon at Tripoli, as reported by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar, and other sources.
* The siege of the Palestinian refugee camp by the Lebanese Army was approved by the Palestine Liberation Organization through its representative Abbas Zaki. This decision to attack reflects the deterioration of the situation, and may be impossible to reverse, said the above-mentioned Lebanon specialist.
U.S. Intel Community Warned, Iraq Invasion Would Unleash Chaos
May 26 (EIRNS)The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a 229-page report on "Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq" on May 25. It shows that the intelligence community correctly predicted chaos and civil war, if Iraq were invaded. For example, the warning was conveyed that the Iraqi Army must be kept together. But infamously, the Cheney policy, implemented by Paul Bremer as administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003, dissolved the Iraqi Army, throwing the nation into chaos.
The committee staff compiled its data from intelligence community analyses and direct debriefings of intelligence officers and officials of the military, State Department and Iraq-based personnel.
The report concluded that the Administration had been told the following:
* Political Islam might "take root in postwar Iraq, particularly if economic recovery were slow and foreign troops remained in the country for a long time."
* "Militant Islamists in Iraq might benefit from increases in funding and popular support and could choose to conduct terrorist attacks against US forces in Iraq."
* "Use of violence by competing factions ... Sunni against Shia ... Kurd against Arab; any against the United Statesprobably would encourage terrorist groups to take advantage of a volatile security environment to launch attacks within Iraq."
* A "U.S-led defeat and occupation of Arab Iraq probably would boost proponents of political Islam."
* "Guaranteeing Iran a role in the negotiations on the fate of post-Saddam Iraq might persuade some Iranian officials to pursue an overt and constructive means to influence reconstruction in Iraq."
* "Responsibility for internal security" would mean "retaining the capability to enforce nationwide peace." The Iraqi Regular Army "has been relatively unpoliticized below the command level and, once purged of the security and intelligence officers embedded within it, could be used for security and law enforcement until police or a local gendarme force is established."
Committee chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.) said, "Today's report shows that the intelligence community gave the administration plenty of warning about the difficulties we would face if the decision was made to go to war...." Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel made a similar statement.
Netanyahu Takes Credit for House Iran Sanctions Bill
May 24 (EIRNS)According to European sources, Israeli Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu is boasting that he is responsible for the May 23 passage in the U.S. Congress's House Financial Services Committee of the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007" (H.R. 2347). Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will introduce the bill in the Senate, according to the House Committee.
Remember Vice President Dick Cheney's secret meetings with Jabotinskyite fascist Netanyahu, at a gathering of the American Enterprise Institute in June 2006, which led to the catastrophic Israeli war against Lebanon?
Lyndon LaRouche, who has told the Democrats to "Wake Up!" and impeach Cheney, said that H.R. 2437 should be called the "Cheney/Netanyahu" bill, and that it will do further serious damage to the United States, by cutting down U.S. economic relations with other nations.
Netanyahu confirmed his hand in the U.S. Congress in an interview in the London Financial Times:
"I believe they [Iran] can be stopped with economic means ... you can use the economic weakness of the regime to put economic pressure upon it by a combination of actions to limit its credit lines and divestment, divesting by companies, primarily European companies, that do business there. And that could be very potent.
"But this is number one, and I would say this is not just an Israeli issue; it is a global issue ... and if I were prime minister I would have to deal with that."
Bernard Lewis, Cheney's and Netanyahu's guru on Islam, personally told him, says Netanyahu, that Iran has a "violent and cataclysmic" creed, and that nuclear retaliation is "not a deterrent [for Iran] but a catalyst" that will hasten the arrival of "their particular messiah."
A summary of the House bill appears in this week's U.S.A. Digest.
Cheney's 'Splendid Little War?' or Why Are Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon Blowing Up At the Same Time?
May 24 (LPAC)The Israeli government of Ehud Olmert opened a new offensive today against the Palestinian Hamas in the West Bank Occupied Territories, with the arrest of 30 top leaders of Hamas. Associated Press reports that among the Hamas officials "rounded up" are top elected officials, and leaders of humanitarian groups, including "former Cabinet minister Abdel Rahman Zeidan, legislators Hamed Bitawi and Daoud Abu Ser, the mayors of the towns of Nablus, Qalqiliya and Beita, and the head of the main Islamic charity in Nablus, Fayad al-Arba."
Previously, Israel had concentrated its attack on Gaza, where it was reported to the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC) by well-informed Egyptian sources, that Hamas was besting the U.S.-armed Fatah fighters, in near-civil-war battles. Israel began attacking Hamas, though, when it was clear that Hamas was not being crushed by Fatah. Since May 18, when Israelis began air strikes and tank incursions into Gaza, the Israelis have killed more than 40 Palestinians, said AP. But this has failed to stop Hamas from firing rockets from Gaza into Israel.
Washington-based intelligence sources draw a link between the destabilization of Lebanon, where the Lebanese Army is in a standoff with the Sunni guerrilla group, Fatah al-Islam, and the blow-up in Gaza, where non-violence reigned since the February 2007 "Mecca Agreement" brokered by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah.
In both cases, the violence was the outgrowth of the insane plan of Dick Cheney/Prince Bandar bin-Sultan to arm factions against Hezbollah and Hamasthe "Islamist enemy" defined by the British-White House-Likud alliance. After both Hezbollah (the Lebanese Shia organization) and Hamas (the Palestinian Islamic party) won stunning victories in the "Democracy strategy" pushed by the Bush-Cheney Administration, the Cheney/Bandar plan went into effect to try to use "mercenaries" in the form of rival groups.
Cheney/Bandar Funded Terrorist Group Now at War in Lebanon
May 24In an interview with CNN on May 22, New Yorker magazine investigative journalist Seymour Hersh repeated charges he published in that magazine in March, that the Bush Administration has been working with Saudi Arabia to arm Sunni fundamentalist cells, to fight Hezbollah. The recent explosion of violence in northern Lebanon between the Lebanese Army and the previously little-known group Fatah al-Islam, is but the latest example of this rotten collusion, Hersh charged.
Excerpts of Hersh's interview on CNN follow:
HALA GORANI: Well, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported back in March that in order to defeat Hezbollah, the Lebanese government supported a Sunni militant group, the same ones they're fighting today.... What is the source of the financing according to your reporting on these groups, such as Fatah al-Islam...? Where are they getting the money and where are they getting the arms?
SEYMOUR HERSH: The key player is the Saudis. What I was writing about was sort of a private agreement that was made between the White House; we're talking about RichardDickCheney and Elliott Abrams, one of the key aides in the White House, with Bandar. And the idea was to get support, covert support from the Saudis, to support various hard-line jihadists, Sunni groups, particularly in Lebanon, who would be seen in case of an actual confrontation with Hezbollahthe Shia group in southern Lebanonwould be seen as an asset, as simple as that.
GORANI: The Bush Administration, of course, officials would disagree with that... [They are] saying this is an offshoot of a Syrian group, Fatah al-Islam is; where else would it get its arms from if not Syria?
HERSH: You have to answer this question. If that's true, Syria, which is closeand criticized greatly by the Bush administration for being very closeto Hezbollah, would also be supporting groups, Salafist groupsthe logic breaks down. What it is, simply, is a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger, broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia, the Shia world, and it bit us in the rear, as it's happened before.