|Southwest Asia News Digest
Mideast Violence Recalls Outbreak of Thirty Years War
"It looks like the outbreak of the Thirty Years War," commented a senior retired U.S. military intelligence expert concerning the unfolding events in Lebanon and Gaza since July 10. Briefed on Lyndon LaRouche's assessment (see EIR Indepth) of the links between the Bombay bombings and the unfolding Israeli actions in Lebanon and the Palestinian territory, the source confirmed that the crisis has just begun.
He said that the Bush Administration, especially the Cheney-Rumsfeld faction, had been pressing the Israelis to take dramatic action against terrorism at the first pretext. This was to pull the U.S. chestnuts out of the fire in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It is easy to see Lebanon collapse into total chaos," he said. Expect the attacks to expand next to Syria. Then, he warned, look for a big upsurge in insurgent operations against the U.S. troops in Iraq. "This is unlike the start of World War I for one basic reason. Then, you had the Central European powers. Here there is no clear-cut enemy to fight a war against. It is just chaos." The source said he expected to see Islamic volunteers flooding into Lebanon. Israel, he warned, could self-destruct, as the result of this blunder. Whenever Israel does a call-up of the reserves, the source said, it devastates the Israeli economy. This is likely to be a long conflict, which will likely spill over into the Americas and Europe. "This is like the Thirty Years' War."
Commenting on this assessment, LaRouche said, "This is exactly right. 'Repeal of the Treaty of Westphalia' is the name of this game."
Lebanese Government Dossier on Mossad Assassins Blocked by U.S.
The Lebanese government has a dossier on Israeli hit squads operating inside Lebanon, which it wants to present to the UN Security Council, but the U.S. and France put enormous pressure on the Lebanese to keep this out of the UN. Since about June 15, Lebanese media have been reporting on this dossier, but the story was blacked out internationally until the German-language Junge Welt published a lengthy article on July 15, days after the Israelis began an air campaign to destroy Lebanon.
Citing the Lebanese news outlet Al Manar, the July 15 report says that Beirut would like to have a resolution, or at least a statement from the UNSC, which dneounces Israeli assassinations of figures in Lebanon, as in violation of international law.
According to the dispatch by Junge Welt, the Lebanese say in their dossier that Mossad chief Meier Dagan personally recruited teams to conduct car bombings and assassinations in Lebanon. The cases cited by the dossier include the liquidation of Ali Hassan Diebs on Aug. 16, 1999, the killing of Jihad Ahmad Jibril (son of Ahmad Jibril, head of the PFLP), on May 20, 2002, the killing of Hisbollah politician Ali Saleh on Aug. 2, 2003, and the execution of Jihad leader Mahmoud Majzoub on May 26, 2006. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora had characterized these as "acts of aggression," and had promised that, as soon as the summary were complete, Lebanon would lodge a complaint at the UNSC.
On July 11, the Lebanese foreign ministry confirmed that among those who were pressuring Beirut not to present a complaint, was U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, who threatened it would damage U.S. relations and affect military aid to Lebanon. In the foreign ministry this was "regretted as the double standard policy of Western powers...."
Lebanon President Emil Lahoud wants to also present the results of the investigation to UN investigator Serge Brammertz, who is on the case of the murder of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
Back in June, two individuals had been identified by Lebanese police and security officials as operating for the Israeli Mossad in carrying out the car bombing assassinations. One, a Druze, has been arrested and, under interrogation, confessed to involvement in the May 2006 murder and others. He remains in custody, whereas a second man, a Palestinian named Al Khatib, has "disappeared." Rumors have it that he has fled to Israel, or been killed. It is mooted that this Israeli hit operation could also have been responsible for the spate of killings of journalists and political figures over the past year, like Hrawi, Twaeni, and others, following the death of Hariri.
Marine Commanders Negligent in Haditha Killings
Marine commanders were negligent in failing to follow up more aggressively on the killings of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, last November, the New York Times reported July 8. That is reportedly the conclusion of Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, after receiving an investigative report on the response of the chain of command to the incident. According to anonymous sources, Chiarelli faulted the senior staff of the 2nd Marine Division and has recommended disciplinary action against some officers. "He concludes that some officers were derelict in their duties," one official told the Times. If action is taken against the Marine commanders in Iraq at the time of the incident, among whom are Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, division commander, and Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Johnson, who was the senior Marine officer in Iraq at the time, they would be the highest-ranking officers punished in Iraq. This would contrast with the Abu Ghraib scandal for which, so far, only low-ranking enlisted soldiers have been punished.
Meeting of Iraq and Neighbors Echoes LaRouche Doctrine
The Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and Bahrain, the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Arab League Secretary-General met in Iran over the weekend of July 8-9.
It was the ninth such meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries, providing a framework within which the U.S. could easily deal for peace in the region, if the U.S. government were so disposed.
Welcoming "the establishment of permanent government and a national assembly in Iraq, the ministers stressed their full support for the constitutionally-based elected government and National Assembly of Iraq and for the realization of the priorities of the new government toward a prosperous, free, independent, democratic, and unified Federal Iraq, living in peace and tranquility with its neighbors, based on good neighborly relations, non-interference in each others' internal affairs and respect for international and bilateral treaties and agreements."
They called for "the participation of all segments of the Iraqi population in ... [the] new political structure of the country," and praised "the national reconciliation plan of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki..."
They condemned "the continued escalation of violence and terrorist attacks against citizens and political and religious leaders of Iraq, members of diplomatic corps, foreign nationals engaged in economic, reconstruction and humanitarian activities in Iraq, mosques and sacred religious places," and called for "a meeting of the religious leaders of Iraq, aimed at reaching consensus on strengthening Iraqi national unity," in line with "the initiatives [of] King Abdullah of Jordan, OIC secretary-general, and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
They pledged their "effective cooperation with the Iraqi government to enhance security and stability in Iraq and the region" and strong cooperation of the region's governments to "combat terrorism and to consider ways and means of enhancing security, and expressing concern over the continued presence and activities of certain recognized terrorist groups operating in Iraq and the resulting implications and threats for the security and stability of Iraq and its neighbors."
They called for "a fair and transparent trial of Saddam and other criminal leaders of former Iraqi regime for war crimes, particularly use of weapons of mass destruction, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggressions against the Iraqi people, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the State of Kuwait...."
The ministers thanked "the Islamic Republic of Iran for hosting of this meeting.... They decided to hold a ministerial meeting in New York during the 61st session of the UN General Assembly."
Tehran Conference on Iraq 'Productive and Constructive'
Leading participants at the Tehran conference on Iraq said that it was productive and constructive, according to the Tehran Times July 10. All voiced their concern about the security situation. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu described the meeting as successful. "The Tehran meeting is taking place at a sensitive juncture, and we hope the decisions made in the meeting will help resolve Iraq's problems," he told the Mehr News Agency. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's special representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, also attended the meeting. Ihsanoglu said the OIC offered proposals to solve ethnic and religious differences and to promote the reconciliation plan in Iraq.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that the meeting was constructive and fruitful. He expressed his hope that the foreign forces could leave Iraq by year's end. He said that the next meeting between foreign ministers from Iraq and its neighbors would be held in Baghdad, but without any details on the date. A meeting of the Interior Ministers of the same countries will be held in Riyadh. The next meeting, in the context of the UNGSA in September is supposed to discuss implementation of the measures discussed in Tehran.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al-Gheit said that the Middle East's security is closely tied to the security of Iraq. Egypt places special importance on Iraq's security and stability and the country's reconciliation plan, he told MNA.
One Arab source reached by EIR said the reports on the meeting had been positive, but that it had been largely overshadowed by the increasing violence in Gaza.