|Southwest Asia News Digest
Saudis Are Top Financiers of Al-QaedaHillary Clinton
Dec. 5 (EIRNS)The London Guardian today revealed that late-2009 State Department cables from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Saudi Arabia, and Saudi fundswhich are linked to the same "al-Yamama" slush-fund channels that EIR has previously identifiedas the main instrument of international "al-Qaeda" terrorism. Secondarily, Secretary Clinton pointed to the London-run emirates of Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE, but she placed central focus on Saudi Arabia.
The Guardian reported as follows:
" 'Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba.... More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,' says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 'Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,' she said.
"Three other Arab countries are listed [in the memo] as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates....
"One cable details how the Pakistani militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005. Meanwhile officials with the LeT's charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, travelled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations for new schools at vastly inflated coststhen siphoned off the excess money to fund militant operations....
"Saudi officials are often painted as reluctant partners. Clinton complained of the 'ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist funds emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority'. Washington is critical of the Saudi refusal to ban three charities classified as terrorist entities in the US. 'Intelligence suggests that these groups continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas,' she said."
Said Lyndon LaRouche, "The facts of this critical strategic matter, of British-Saudi terrorist operations against the United States and other nations, correspond to her concern, and we know her statements to be true and important. Hillary is on the case."
Ha'aretz: Wildfire Shows Why Israel 'Can't Afford War with Iran'
Dec. 3 (EIRNS)The wildfire in the north of Israel continues to burn out of control. As of Dec. 3, 41 people were reported dead, with 17,000 evacuated from the area, including a prison.
Ha'aretz writer Aluf Benn penned a scathing attack on the failed government response, drawing the conclusion that the government had better not pursue its plans to wage war on Iran. Benn wrote that the fire, the largest in Israeli history, will be remembered as the "Yom Kippur War of the Fire and Rescue Service," which was not prepared for "a disaster of such magnitude." He quotes outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin's warning that a war with Iran would be far different than previous wars, and that Tel Aviv would be on the front lines. With such a proof that the nation is not prepared for disasters, "it is best for Israel not to embark on war against Iran, which will involve thousands of missiles being fired on the home front."
Benn recalls "how pathetic the civil defense system was" during the second Lebanon war, and notes that the government this week had to call on Cyprus, Greece, and France for aid and supplies to deal with the fire. "In wartime, it is doubtful whether Israel will be able to rely on the generosity and largesse of its neighbors." With Obama giving madman Netanyahu a green light for war, it is unlikely this wise advice from Ha'aretz will be heard in Tel Aviv (see "LaRouche to Obama: Don't Turn Lunatic Netanyahu Loose" by Jeff and Michele Steinberg in EIR's Dec. 3 edition. (http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2010/3747lar_netanyahu_loose.html).
On Israel's lack of readiness, Benn wrote: "A year ago the firemen went on strike and warned that the system is far from being able to provide for defending the population. According to the firemen's association, the international standards require one fireman for every 1,000 citizens, and in Israel the ratio is nearly one in 10,000. Over and over, the firemen warned that they can't shoulder the responsibility they are given."
U.S. Drug Official: Brits Aid Drug Traffickers in Helmand Province
Dec. 3 (EIRNS)A "confidential" memo from the Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), John Walters, on April 6, 2007, reporting on his visit to Afghanistan in March 17-20, blasted the British role in facilitating drug traffickers in Helmand Province.
The memo, published in the Guardian on Dec. 2, after release by Wikileaks, says in part:
"(C/NOFORN) [confidentialnot to be seen by foreigners] ONDCP Director Walters met with COM ISAF [Commander International Security Assistance Force] General McNeill [an American] in Kabul, and separately with RC South Commander Major General Van Loon (Dutch) in Kandahar. McNeill told Walters there had been a lot of action on counter-narcotics, but little progress. He was particularly dismayed by the British effort. They had made a mess of things in Helmand, their tactics were wrong, and the deal that London cut on Musa Qala had failed. That agreement opened the door to narco-traffickers in that area, and now it was impossible to tell the difference between the traffickers and the insurgents. The British could do a lot more, he said, and should, because they have the biggest stake."
The Musa Qala deal of 2006 was an agreement with the Taliban for British troops to pull out of the key drug-trafficking center of Musa Qala in Helmand Province, where the Brits had lost a number of troops in insurgent attacks, in exchange for a pledge from the Taliban not to attack ISAF troops in the region. As Walters reports here, this provided the drug operators free reign in the region, and eventually allowed the insurgents to retake the area, before U.S. troops took over command.
This report confirms what has been reported extensively in EIR for years regarding the Brits' "Second Opium War" being run out of Helmand Province, and EIR's general intelligence on the British control of the global drug trade, going back to the original publication of Dope, Inc. (See The Book That Still Drives British Royals Mad Is Back" by Jeffrey Steinberg in EIR (http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2010/3747dope_inc_brit_war.html).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently in Bahrain, told a press conference: "I personally want to convey to the government and the people of the UK both my deep respect and admiration for the extraordinary efforts and our regret if anything that was said by anyone suggested the contrary." With that formality out of the way, Clinton then essentially defended the truth of the leak: "I think everyone knows that if we cannot speak openly and candidly with each other, we can't understand each other, and we can't make policy that will benefit each other."
Karzai Attacks British Role in Afghanistan
Dec. 3 (EIRNS)Within the confidential State Department memos from Afghanistan released by Wikileaks, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is quoted repeatedly attacking the role of the British, especially in Helmand Province (where the Brits set up the largest heroin operation in world history). In a Feb. 21, 2009 meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Flournoy, Karzai is quoted saying that when he returned to Afghanistan, the Afghan people "believed in the moral correctness of what we were doing, and even Helmand was safe for girls to go to school. Now, 4,000 British soldiers are in Helmand, and the people are not safe. 'We must stand on a higher moral platform than the bad guys,' the President said."
In a Dec. 21, 2008 document reporting on a dinner with Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, Karzai is reported to have taken "the opportunity to question the effectiveness of the British in Helmand," implying that the Brits would not fight the insurgents. "'Freeing Helmand from the Taliban is importantHelmand is not with us.'"
Former U.K. Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth called the reports "gossip," and Col. Stuart Tootal, former commander of paratroopers in Helmand, told Time: "This is not helpful ... for the families and those people who have lost loved ones and the poor infantry slogging their guts out to help the Afghan people" (or more accurately, to protect Dope Inc.). Opposition spokesmen said this could tip the balance of opinion against the UK presence in Afghanistan.