In this issue:

British Hand Behind New Middle East War Drive

Arab Foreign Ministers Divided over Lebanon

Saudis and Brits Thrown Back in Iraq, Too

MI6, Mossad Team Up for Disinformation on Iran Nukes

From Volume 7, Issue 20 of EIR Online, Published May 13, 2008
Southwest Asia News Digest

British Hand Behind New Middle East War Drive

May 9 (EIRNS)—The hand of Great Britain is behind the ongoing bloody crisis in Lebanon. Make no mistake: This is not an internal Lebanese conflict, but is the front end of a British operation to throw Southwest Asia into a conflagration that would involve Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iran, and beyond.

A senior intelligence source told EIR that the crisis has to be seen in the "wider strategic situation," including the ongoing danger of a strike against Iran. He pointed to forces in Saudi Arabia and deep in that country's "Wahhabi clerical establishment" as key to the operation, who are acting to widen the sectarian divide between Saudi-backed majority Sunni Muslims throughout the region and Shi'as in Lebanon, Iraq, and, of course, Shi'a Iran.

This points to a source well under the control of British intelligence through such operatives of Saudi Prince Bandar, who, for decades, has been receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the British, through defense contractor BAE, for the purpose of running dirty operations throughout the region. This source said that up until only a few days ago, the political discourse in the deeply divided country between the Lebanese government coalition, led by Anglo-Saudi agent Saad Hariri, and the opposition, led by Hezbollah, Amal, and Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, had been moving towards a dialogue. Then Hariri, who holds dual Saudi and Lebanese citizenship, returned from a two-month stay in Saudi Arabia, where he runs his multi-billion-dollar Saudi-backed business empire. During this period, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was in the Saudi capital while on a tour, pushing his war schemes against Iran.

Within days of his return to Lebanon, the government coalition launched a campaign of provocations against Hezbollah, painting it as a sectarian militia backed by Iran and Syria. So, from one day to the next, government coalition leaders like Druze leader Walid Jumblatt went from a dialogue, to vitriolic attacks on Hezbollah. The government then issued an order to Hezbollah to close down its telecommunications network, and dismissed an opposition-linked manager of the country's international airport, triggering protest actions, including by the country's major trade union federation, which linked the protest to demands for relief from spiralling food prices and inflation.

The same intelligence source reported that Hariri-backed gunmen deployed into the streets of Beirut, provoking gun battles against the Amal and Hezbollah. The international media played its role, and depicted the violence as an Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah takeover of Beirut. In reality, the Hezbollah moved in self-defense, rounded up Hariri's gunmen, and turned them over to the Army.

The Lebanese crisis began at the same time as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert fell under criminal investigation for taking bribes, sparking calls for his resignation. As a rule, it has been weak Israeli governments that have gone to war.

Despite Turkish-mediated peace efforts between Syria and Israel, war could break out any time. A commentary appearing today, the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel, in the mass-circulation Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, forecast in the near term a war with Hezbollah which would involve a massive attack on Syria and all of Lebanon. The commentary stated that, in such a war, "in Syria and Lebanon ... the extent of the devastation and casualties would be unprecedented in the history of Mideastern wars." These are not empty words, since for weeks there have been press reports saying that this would be the Israeli military policy in the next war with Hezbollah.

Arab Foreign Ministers Divided over Lebanon

May 11 (EIRNS)—The British and Dick Cheney's Saudi co-conspirators suffered another setback in Lebanon today, when an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers was unable to agree on a resolution blaming the violence there on Hezbollah.

Egypt, with the support of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E., had put forward a resolution that underlines the Arab League's "rejection of the use of armed violence to achieve political goals outside the framework of constitutional legitimacy and the need for withdrawal of all weapons from the streets." An unnamed diplomat told AFP, "Many countries are against this text because of the implicit condemnation of Hezbollah."

The Arab League meeting came in the aftermath of events in Beirut yesterday, in which Hezbollah successfully thwarted an effort by the London-Washington-created March 14 coalition and Sunni militias to trigger a civil war. Hezbollah, instead, showed that it could dominate the streets of Beirut. But rather than seizing control, Hezbollah cleared out the militias from West Beirut, and turned these areas of the city over to the Lebanese Army. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora capitulated, for the moment, and rescinded his anti-Hezbollah orders from earlier in the week.

The British have not given up on their gameplan, however. Foreign Secretary David Milliband placed a phone call to Siniora on May 10, to assure him of Britain's backing.

Saudis and Brits Thrown Back in Iraq, Too

May 11 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche, in commenting on the situations in Iraq and Lebanon, noted that events in both countries have to be seen together, and in light of the declining U.S. military resources in Iraq. The U.S. now has fewer military forces in Baghdad, because of the ongoing withdrawal of the "surge" brigades, and is also conducting operations in both Basra in the South, and around Mosul in the North. Therefore, LaRouche said, Iran is now in a position where it can more easily bring about agreements there.

This situation is exemplified by the recent developments in Sadr City in Baghdad, between the government and supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, in which Iran brokered another truce, not unlike the one a couple of months ago in Basra.

According to the New York Times, a group of Iraqi parliamentarians traveled to Tehran earlier this month, supposedly to confront the Iranian government with U.S.-supplied evidence of alleged Iranian interference in Iraq. But instead, "the trip evolved into a sophisticated political maneuver that could help the Iraqis out of a situation that was taking a rising toll on the country's political stability." According to an MP from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party, the Iranians "said the better way to deal with the Sadrists is by negotiation: Don't fight them and don't use force."

MI6, Mossad Team Up for Disinformation on Iran Nukes

May 5 (EIRNS)—The Anglo-Israeli propaganda machine is working overtime to force a change in the U.S. government's December 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which found that Iran had ceased work on nuclear weapons in 2003. As EIR reported at the time, Vice President Dick Cheney had blocked the release of that report for over a year, and career professionals in the intelligence services, especially the CIA, waged an intense fight to get out the assessment that there is no "Iran bomb."

Now the war faction of Israel—that grouping closely aligned with Cheney and the neo-cons—is on a drive to attack Iran, and is claiming a major "breakthrough" with intelligence "of the quality" that led Israel to bomb a site—later alleged to be a nuclear-bomb-making facility—in Syria in September 2007. As LaRouche said, that information was a pack of lies, and the Iran information promises to be even worse.

The head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, is headed for Israel this month, for a "strategic dialogue," announced the Sunday Times of London. He will be briefed on the "breakthrough" by Mossad head Meir Dagan. EIR, in its documentation on the case for impeachment of Cheney, has detailed how London and the Israeli Jabotinskyite fascist grouping played a major role in 2002-03 in producing the disinformation for the Iraq war.

Now, Iran is in their sights. "It is understood that Israel has made a breakthrough in intelligence-gathering in Iran," gloats the Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. "Israeli officials believe the U.S. will revise its analysis of Iran's program. 'We expect the Americans to amend their report soon,' a high-ranking military officer said last week.'"

Overthrowing the NIE—which seriously countered Cheney's near-term plan to attack Iran—has been a top priority for the oligarchy's war party in the U.K., U.S., and Israel.

The MI6/Mossad meeting on Iran comes at a time when former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war party is attempting to use a new investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's fundraising activities around the 1999 and 2002 elections, to bring down the Olmert coalition government.

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