|Southwest Asia News Digest
Sneh Reiterates Threat of Israeli Attack on Iran
April 12 (EIRNS)Israel's former Deputy Defense Minister, Efraim Sneh, appeared on a conference call today, organized by the right-wing Israel Project, and reiterated that Israel could be forced, by American inaction, to bomb Iran. Sneh asserted that, for Israel, the "point of no return" is reached when Iran has mastered all the technology required to have a nuclear bomb, and while "for us, the Iranian retaliation will be painful, and a high price for us, nothing is worse for us than to live under a nuclear Iran."
Sneh demanded "crippling sanctions" that would forever prevent Iran from doing business in the United States, Britain, France, and the rest of Europe. He warned the U.S. not to wait for Russia and China to acquiesce to sanctions. Instead, the sanctions by the U.S.which already exist in a Congressional bill, he notedand its European allies, would be to tell countries that do business with Iran that they would "never be able to do business in the U.S. Britain, France, or anywhere in Europe." Asked about Turkey, he threatened that Israel will be watching how Turkey behaves toward Iran at the UN, because Turkey, which is a democracy, "cannot side with the greatest enemy of democracy."
He went one step further, declaring that "the purpose of the sanctions is not just to stop the Iranian nuclear program, but to get rid of this horrible regime, which is cruel and brutal at home, and aggressive abroad." Sneh claimed that Iran is already in a pre-revolutionary period, and that the regime could be toppled with the right kinds of economic pressures.
He ended the call with a blunt warning: "Don't push Israel into a corner so we have no other option."
Israeli Assassination Policy Explodes into the Open
April 10 (EIRNS)An espionage case involving the leaking of classified documents to an Israeli journalist has exploded into a confrontation between the Israeli daily Ha'aretz and the domestic security service Shin Bet. Ha'aretz is accusing the security service of reneging on a deal to protect the journalist, Uri Blau, and his sources, in the course of its investigation into the leakage of documents between 2005 and 2007 that, among other things, revealed the nature of Israel's targetted assassination policy.
On Nov. 27, 2008, Blau published a lengthy article in Ha'aretz exposing how the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ignore High Court rulings in carrying out targetted assassinations of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The court had ordered that if a Palestinian suspect could be arrested, then that's what the IDF and the Shin Bet security service must do. Blau showed, using interviews and documents, that the Shin Bet was targetting individual Palestinians for assassination, even when they could have arrested them, and was accepting collateral deaths of innocent civilians in the process.
Blau and the young woman alleged to have supplied him with the documents, former IDF officer Anat Kamm, are now, themselves, being targetted by the Shin Bet. Kamm is under house arrest in Israel. Blau was on an overseas trip when the Shin Bet took the case public, and his newspaper has arranged for him to stay in London. In what the Jerusalem Post described as "an extraordinary press conference," Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin warned of a "direct threat" to national security and said the agency should have "taken the gloves off" long ago in pursuing the culprits.
Ha'aretz fired back in an editorial, that the real crime is "the one committed by the security apparatus in ignoring a High Court order and approving the targetted assassination of wanted men who could otherwise have been detained, in strikes that claimed the lives of innocent civilians." The real culprits are "those same commanders who chose to so blatantly flout the High Court ruling." The editorial goes on to detail the agreement that Ha'aretz reached with Shin Bet's legal advisor, and how that agreement was then ignored by the agency.
Nor did Ha'aretz's defense of Blau end there. Senior political commentator Akiva Eldar, in an accompanying column, took on the even larger issue: what the occupation of Palestinian territories has done to the state of Israel. "As early as the first intifada, we understood there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation," Eldar wrote. "One nation cannot rule over another for 43 years without behaving cruelly toward the helpless, without executing people without trial, without embittering the lives of women and children, the sick and the elderly." To manage an occupation, said Eldar, a nation must raise obedient soldiers and officers, willing to hide the crimes of that occupation. "Right now, hundreds of clerks and officers are sitting in the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the army lacking the courage to contact a journalist and divulge that the ministers or commanders are endangering their children's future." Some, Eldar concluded, such as Ehud Barak, Shaul Mofaz, and Moshe Ya'alon, are hiding behind the lie that Yasser Arafat planned the intifada, which gave rise to the disastrous notion that Israel has no negotiating partner. "The real story, of course, is contained in documents stamped with the words, 'Top Secret.'"
British-backed Terrorists Hit Pakistan, India, Iraq
April 6 (EIRNS)Terrorist violence has claimed more than 100 lives in at least three countries today. Following a brazen commando attack on the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, which killed at least six people, the United Nations announced closure of its offices for two days in that city.
In Baghdad, Saudi- and British-backed terrorists, under the cover of protecting the interests of the minority Sunni sect, launched a series of blasts, destroying several buildings in the Iraqi capital, and killing at least 41 people, while leaving more than 200 wounded. Today's bloodshed brings the number of people killed in Baghdad in the last five days alone to well over 100.
In the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, at least 70 policemen, mostly from the paramilitary unit Central Reserve Police Force, were killed as a party of the Chhattisgarh police was ambushed on its way back after completing its operations near Markam Nala. Indian Maoists, no longer an ideological outfit, but joined by many rural poor neglected economically by New Delhi, have become part of the international terrorist organization drawing its support from drug- and gun-running mafia associated with all international terrorists.