|Southwest Asia News Digest
Fighting in Gaza Careens Out of Control
March 2 (EIRNS)Israeli military operations against Gaza have killed more than 100 Palestinians through air strikes and ground fighting over the last 48 hours, prompting Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend talks with Israel until the offensive is stopped.
Commenting on the situation, Lyndon LaRouche, who warned that the only immediate path to peace following the Annapolis meeting of November 2007, was to immediately pursue the Syria-Israel peace track, said today that what is happening in Gaza is a British destabilization to trigger a crisis right now, which none of the U.S. presidential candidates, the Bush Administration, or any other world leaders are equipped to handle. "London is detonating a whole series of chaos operationsin Southwest Asia, in the Balkans, in South and Central Asia, in South Americaall aimed at spreading chaos and paving the way for a global fascist system, run out of London. This is one global picture," LaRouche continued, "and must be seen in the context of the London drive to destroy the United States, once and for all, through their Bloomberg corporativist scheme, and to turn Europe once again into a fascist dictatorship, building towards war, through the Lisbon Treaty scheme to create a Brussels-based fascist corporativist mega-state."
Abbas referred to the attack on Gaza as "more than a holocaust," after Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai warned that Palestinians in Gaza face a shoah (the Hebrew term for the Nazi genocide against the Jews). Abbas contacted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to demand an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to end "the massacres" in Gaza, reported the Washington Times March 2. The UN has already shut down 37 schools that it runs in Gaza, affecting 40,000 pupils.
The Israelis have also suffered casualties of an extent not seen in the last yeartwo Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were killed in Gaza, and an Israeli civilian was killed by Palestinian rocket fire against the town of Sderot on Feb. 27. Violence has also spread to the West Bank, where the IDF killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who was allegedly involved in a protest against the Gaza assault.
An informed Washington intelligence source described the situation as "careening out of control." For weeks, a major assault and ground invasion into Gaza has been under debate in the Israeli press and Knesset. The Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported March 2 that the Palestinians have fired 21 rockets from Gaza into Israel over the last days.
The Israeli assault is a serious blow to President Abbas, who has been following the Anglo-U.S. war-party line to isolate Hamas. As EIR and Lyndon LaRouche warned, this would lead to disaster, and now the mass killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by the Israelis is making sure that the "peace process" promised at the Annapolis meeting is completely shattered. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to begin a trip to the Middle East on March 3.
U.S. Naval Deployment Heightens Chance of a New War
March 1 (EIRNS)The Bush Administration has dispatched the USS Cole and the USS Nassau to the Eastern Mediterranean, in a show of gunboat diplomacy that threatens to trigger a new Mideast war. Senior U.S. intelligence sources confirmed to EIR today that they are alarmed that the United States has deployed these Naval forces to the region, in partnership with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi foreign minister was at the White House on Feb. 15, meeting with President Bush, Vice President Cheney and members of the national security team, in what the Washington Post characterized today as a planning session for coordinated action against Syria, which Washington and Riyadh blame for the stalemate in Lebanon.
However, several Washington sources confirmed that the U.S. Naval deployment may have immediate implications, in the context of the confrontations in the Gaza Strip. One senior U.S. intelligence source warned that the deployment of the U.S. Navy could draw the United States into the conflict, if Israel gets in trouble in the Gaza operation, and if Hezbollah takes action against Israel in support of the Palestinians. This could trigger a broader regional war, particularly if Dick Cheney and company seize the opportunity to blame Iran for the escalating violence coming from Hamas and Hezbollah, or if the "war party" faction in Tehran takes some kind of provocative action.
It is now universally recognized among all governments in the region that the Annapolis conference did not move the Israel-Palestine peace negotiations forward, and that Bush's promise to finalize a two-state solution before leaving office at the end of the year was all hogwash.
One source added that the idea of the Bush Administration aligning with Saudi Arabia against Syrian involvement in Lebanon is a further act of foolishness. The biggest asymmetric warfare threat comes from British-promoted Wahabi fundamentalistsheavily financed by Saudi Arabia! If a further confrontation breaks out and draws in Iran, this will fuel Shi'ite asymmetric warfare that is currently not a threat.
Iranian President's Visit to Iraq Makes History
March 2 (EIRN)Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Iraq today in the first head-of-state contact between the two countries since the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. More than 30,000 Iraqi military and security forces were deployed for his security, said the New York Times, but, unlike trips by dignitaries from the United States, his trip was announced well in advance. He met today with Iraqi President Talabani, Prime Minister al-Maliki, and other officials. The visit coincides with the supposedly unrelated trip to Baghdad by U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen.
Particularly notable, and emphasized by the Iranians, was the fact that Ahmadinejad drove in a motorcade from the Baghdad Airport to the cityin contrast to the practice of most other dignitaries, who consider a drive too risky, and take helicopters.
King Abdullah Delivers a Message in Washington
March 1 (EIRNS)King Abdullah of Jordan visited Washington the last week of February, where he met with President George W. Bush. In a short speech at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs on Feb. 29, the King warned that unless an Israeli-Palestinian agreement is reached during the Bush Administration's final months, the chances for Middle East peace could be "set back, perhaps for decades."
"We are in the best possible position to resolve 60 years of conflict between Israel and Palestine," the King said. "It will be two or three years before a new American President will be willing to look at the Middle East." He added, according to the Jerusalem Post, that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more important to the future of the Middle East than any other issue, including the war in Iraq.