In this issue:

Is It Just Drumbeats, or Actual War with Iran?

General Petraeus? Call Him General Patsy, Says LaRouche

Iraq Is Ready To Move Against MeK: Cheney's Terrorists?

British Parliamentary Report Rejects Boycott of Hamas

From Volume 6, Issue 34 of EIR Online, Published August 21, 2007
Southwest Asia News Digest

Is It Just Drumbeats, or Actual War with Iran?

Aug. 20 (EIRNS)—Leading circles in Washington are expressing fears that the escalating press drumbeat around former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's campaign to replace incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a very strong signal of a possible war with Iran in the immediate future. The evidence available, is that the call for an attack against targets in Iran could come within days, but there is no proof yet that an actual commitment to launch such attacks has actually been issued.

During the past week, an international media promotional campaign on behalf of Allawi suggests to leading circles inside the U.S.A. that someone inside the Bush-Cheney Administration is intent on military strikes against Iran, perhaps in the immediate days ahead. What is worrying about that drumbeat at this time, is the fact that former Allawi has issued a steady stream of statements, calling upon Sunni officials to leave the Maliki government, which he has characterized as "sectarian" and Iranian-backed. This promotion of Allawi coincides with growing pressure from Saudi Arabia and from the Cheney-connected BAE faction in the present Bush Administration; those Cheney-linked circles are already pushing hard for launching strikes on Iranian targets, on the pretext that the Tehran is behind the Shi'ite insurgency, which is killing American servicemen inside Iraq. The estimate is, that if such an attack is actually intended now, the first such strike might come before the August Congressional recess is over.

Since the beginning of August, a series of news reports, corroborated by well-informed Washington policy-makers, indicates that Cheney has been pressing the President to authorize strikes on sites associated with the Revolutionary Guard.

Lyndon LaRouche commented Aug. 19 that, while he is not saying that such attacks are imminent, he is saying that the "intent" to launch such attacks is clearly there, and the promotion of Allawi's calls to replace the Maliki government is part of this effort. LaRouche added that the hyping of Allawi should end now, as one way to pull back from the Cheney-led war drive.

General Petraeus? Call Him General Patsy, Says LaRouche

Aug. 16 (EIRNS)—The White House today confirmed published reports that the "Petraeus Report," on the progress of the "surge" in Iraq, will actually be written in the White House. White House spokesman Gordon Johnroe said that the Sept. 15 report will be written by the White House and National Security Council staff, with input from Petraeus, Amb. Ryan Crocker, Middle East Commander Adm. William Fallon, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

On hearing that the White House is the actual author of a report on Iraq being drafted by Gen. David Petraeus, Lyndon LaRouche said: "Then just call him General Patsy. He's there to carry the blame."

According to the Los Angeles Times Aug. 15, the White House is either leaking a report which Petraeus has already prepared, or it is writing the report itself, to forestall the possibility of the general recommending a partial, or major troop withdrawal from Iraq.

The White House-floated report claims that General Petraeus, who ostensibly "has been keeping a close hold on the recommendations he intends to deliver next month," is not going to recommend any troop withdrawal, but a mere shuffling of forces from one area to another.

Iraq Is Ready To Move Against MeK: Cheney's Terrorists?

Aug. 15 (EIRNS)—The Turkey-based Press TV reported today that the public prosecutor of the Iraqi High Tribunal, Jaffar al-Mousawi, has charged that investigations have revealed that Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK) members have played a leading role in the 1991 killing of Iraqi civilians, and will be prosecuted. The investigations found that MeK leaders worked in alliance with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the killings. The prosecutor said that 150 members and leaders of the anti-Iran MeK will be prosecuted.

While there is little doubt that the MeK is a terrorist outfit, the question has always been, who owned them. On July 31, Iraq's National Security Counselor, Fazel al-Shavili, said in an interview with Al-Alam TV channel, that Saudi Arabian princes provide financial support to the tune of $30 million a month to MeK, the anti-Iran terrorist group in Iraq.

Although the Iraqi official did not name the Saudi princes, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's close relations with Prince Bandar bin Sultan raises the question of whether the Saudis were funding MeK as a part of their Cheney-instigated anti-Iran policies within Iraq.

British Parliamentary Report Rejects Boycott of Hamas

Aug. 13 (EIRNS)—The Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons has issued a report sharply critical of the policy, under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, of boycotting Hamas, which was adopted after the formation of the Palestinian national unity government in March 2007. The report endorses the view that the February 2007 Mecca agreement in which Hamas accepted the 1993-98 Oslo Accords and the 2002 Arab League peace plan, constituted implicit recognition of Israel by Hamas.

A key finding of the report is this: "We conclude that the decision not to speak to Hamas in 2007 following the Mecca agreement has been counterproductive. We further conclude that a national unity government could and should have been established much earlier than the spring of 2007."

The U.S. policy carried out by the National Security Council's Elliott Abrams, of arming the Fatah security forces against Hamas, also comes in for sharp attack in the Commons' report. As early as 2003, concerns had been expressed that the American plan was "to back one side in an emerging civil war." And the report quotes Abrams—although not by name—declaring that "I like this violence ... it means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas."

The committee report also rejects the notion that Hamas carried out a "coup d'état," pointing out that many factors fueled the violence prior to June, including the economic deprivation in the Palestinian territories, and the refusal of the EU and the U.S. to engage with Hamas.

It concludes that the Bush Administration's "Roadmap for Peace" has become largely irrelevant, in large part because of the unwillingness of the Quartet to equally challenge Israel as well as the Palestinians to meet their obligations, and it urges the Brown government to engage with moderate elements in Hamas, to press Israel to ensure full humanitarian access to Gaza, and to spell out Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law.

The report also urges constructive engagement with Iran, and a resumption of contacts with Syria.

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