AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
Now available. $20-00 including postage in Australia. Click on image above for details..... TELLING THE HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AS IT REALLY WAS.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

MORE OUTRIGHT LIES AND HYPOCRISY FROM AUSTRALIA’S FOREIGN MINISTER, ALEXANDER DOWNER.

Alexander Downer has been Australia’s Foreign Minister since 1996 following a controversial career in Liberal Party politics which included him becoming, albeit for a short time only, the leader of the Liberal Party.

Downer is one of the most prolific of the Howard governments’ liars and the most hypocritical. His most recent example of combined lying and hypocrisy is when, in a speech to the National Newspaper Publishers’ Conference in Australia, he told his audience that:

“There were… widely-reported claims that Israel had bombed deliberately a Red Cross ambulance. In subsequent weeks, the world has discovered those allegations do not stand up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny. After closer study of the images of the damage to the ambulance, it is beyond serious dispute that this episode has all the makings of a hoax. Yet some of the world's most prestigious media outlets, including some of those represented here today, ran that story as fact - unchallenged, unquestioned.”

That was the lie. It was followed moments later in the same speech with this amazing piece of hypocrisy:

“…we who have responsibilities in government also have the right to call it as we see it - and to point out that, even in the most free of societies, the first duty of a responsible media is to get the facts straight, and to get the story right, even when that story might not necessarily conform to your own opinions or prejudices.”[1]

The reality is that Downers assertion that the incident does not stand up to even the ‘most rudimentary scrutiny’ itself doesn’t stand up to the most rudimentary scrutiny. Downer’s lie was so transparent that even Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, The Australian, was unable to support Downer’s claims.[2] The newspaper had sent one of its own journalists to check up on the story only to find that it was no hoax and that, indeed, the ambulance in question had been targeted by the Israeli air force despite being clearly marked with a large red cross on its roof.

Downer’s clanger was so obvious that The Australian really had no option but to reveal the truth of it. Despite that, however, the newspaper tried to let Downer down as gently as they possibly could by saying that “Mr Downer may himself have fallen for the propaganda trick he is keen to warn against.”

It’s at this point that the newspaper itself becomes complicit in the lies and the hypocrisy. Downer hadn’t ‘fallen for the propaganda trick’ as The Australian newspaper suggested; far from it. Downer was actually trying to perpetuate the propaganda and had got caught out. The proof of this is in the source that Downer had used to make the assertion that the ambulance story was a lie. He had sourced the story from a pro right-wing Zionist site called zombietime.com which serves to propagandise news in Israel’s favour labelling ‘anti-Israel’ news stories as ‘lies’ by lying about them.[3] The point is; one would have needed to cast a fairly large trawl net across the www to have found a story that claimed the rocketing of the ambulance was not true. For a government minister to then cherry-pick that story, that one particular story out of the hundreds in the mainstream press that were to the contrary, and then use it to both perpetuate the lie and then claim some kind of moral highground by talking up ‘media honesty’ is the grossest of hypocrisies.

It is also the grossest of hypocrisies for The Australian newspaper and its editor to try and protect Downer by telling Australian’s that Downers clanger was an example of how even a senior politician could ‘fall for the propaganda trick’.

More lies and hypocrisy from one of Australia’s most prolific liars. And more lies from a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch that is very adept at spinning and perpetuating those lies and hypocrisy.


ENDNOTES
[1] Alexander Downer, ‘Foreign Policy Values and the Media’, Speech to the National Newspaper Publishers’ Conference, 28 August 2006. Available online: http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/speeches/2006/060828_nnp_conf.html Accessed 31 August 2006.
[2] Editorial, ‘Red Cross rocket snares Downer’, The Australian, 31 August 2006. Available online: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20308892-7583,00.html Accessed 31 August 2006.
[3] ‘The Red Cross Ambulance Incident: How the Media Legitimized an Anti-Israel Hoax and Changed the Course of a War’, zombietime.com, 23 August 2006. Available online: http://www.zombietime.com./fraud/ambulance/ Accessed 31 August 2006.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

WITH THE FAILURE OF PLAN ‘A’, WHAT NOW FOR THE CHANGING FACE OF THE MIDDLE EAST?

The Israelis and their allies in the US are looking for an outcome that will involve ‘regime change’ in both Syria and Iran. However, the right-wing Israeli Zionists within the Likud and other right-wing Israeli parties and their neoconservative allies in the US, some of whom are within the Bush administration, are seeking ‘regime change’ specifically using direct military confrontation at least or, preferably, the direct use of military power; that is, a military strike against Syria and Iran.[1]

World opinion at the moment is in no mood, despite the neoconservatives and the right-wing Israeli Zionists best efforts to change that opinion, to accept any kind of preemptive strike against Syria or Iran. It is clear that the recent war between Hizbollah and Israel was a deliberate attempt on behalf of the Israelis and the US to provoke Syria and then Iran into a broader conflict that the Israelis and the US hoped would be some kind of defining war that would determine the future of the Middle East. Just as clear is the fact that the attempt failed. But its failure has demonstrated that the Israelis are reluctant to actually make the first strike against Syria without some good reason such as the Syrians launching a direct attack against the Israelis or very clearly and overtly helping Hizbollah. It was with an even greater degree of reluctance that slightly cooler heads in Washington DC declined from launching any kind of attack against Iran despite the neoconservative hawks all but pleading for Israel to strike Syria[2] and the US to strike Iran.[3]

Since the so-called ceasefire the rhetoric against Syria and Iran from the Israelis and the US has continued with renewed vigour particularly in light of the news that Iran will not be ceasing its ‘nuclear enrichment’ program.[4] Israel, despite the ceasefire, launched a raid into Lebanon on the pretext that it was trying to stop arms being supplied to Hizbollah from Syria. The raid in reality was more likely for some other purpose – some observers suggesting that it may have been an abortive attempt to kidnap a senior Hizbollah leader, Sheik Mohammed Yazbek,[5] to exchange for the two Israeli soldiers that were captured by Hizbollah on 12 July 2006. Israel is also demanding that the UN monitor the Lebanon-Syria border, ostensibly to halt the flow of arms from Syria to Hizbollah, a move that Syria rejects.[6]

From Israel’s point of view it is essential that it not be seen to cast the first stone in any of its wars. Israel must always manipulate situations so that its casus belli for war always appears to be only defensive. It is by this means that it justifies its occupation and colonisation of lands that are otherwise not theirs. It is how they justify their occupation of the Shebaa Farm, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and, of late, the retaking of the Gaza[7] and what they had hoped would have been southern Lebanon up to the Litani River. In finding some trivial provocation to attack Hizbollah in south Lebanon Israel were hoping to kill two birds with one stone. First, they could, with the help of a compliant western media and the support of the US and a generally kowtowing UN, have made a case for having fought a ‘defensive’ war with a resultant ‘legal’ occupation of the lands invaded just as they had done with the Shebaa Farm, and the Golan Heights, etc. Second, it was Israel’s hope that in attacking Hizbollah and Lebanon as viciously as it did that it may have provoked Syria to once again come to the aid of Hizbollah. Israel could then have retaliated – again, defensively – and then waited for Iran to have enjoined Syria in its defence against Israel which, in turn, would have induced the US to enter the conflict. As I have noted in previous articles, it is clear that such a scenario was pre-planned between the Israelis and the US.[8] What is now equally as clear is the fact that both the Israelis and the US grossly underestimated the tenacity and resilience of Hizbollah and the Lebanese people and also the restraint that Syria showed in not becoming directly involved despite the rhetoric and the provocation. It was this that thwarted not only all of Israeli and US covert ambitions of expanding the war to include Syria and Iran and to invade and occupy south Lebanon, but also of causing Israel to be unable to realise its overt and stated war aims of having its captured soldiers returned and destroying Hizbollah.

What remains to be seen now is whether or not these failures are simply a minor setback in their overall strategy and long term aims or a disastrous setback that is likely to upset both Israeli and US Middle East foreign policy for the future. Since the rhetoric of Syrian and Iranian support of Hizbollah and the rhetoric against Irans so-called nuclear weapon ambitions is continuing unabated it would seem that Israel’s failures, while seriously hampering the overall strategy of eliminating Syria and Iran as a threat to US and Israeli long term interests, is being regarded only as a minor setback that has caused them to rethink their tactics.
One of the issues that will need to be considered as the US and Israel rethink their tactics is the way in which the Middle East pecking order has changed since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein. A recent report from Chatham House, home of the UKs respected Royal Institute for International Studies, has shown that, since the US has failed to subjugate Iraq in the aftermath of its invasion and with the resurgence of the Taliban in an almost ungovernable Afghanistan, Iran is now seen as the dominate power to be reckoned with in the Middle East.[9]

This is a worse case scenario as far as the US and Israel is concerned. Had the US been able to complete what they set out to do in Iraq, and had done it quickly, they would have succeeded in isolating Syria from Iran strategically. Furthermore, had the US been successful in Afghanistan and been able to assert its authority there across the entire land, it would have succeeded in isolating Iran and surrounding Iran with US hegemony. Iran would at least then have become compliant having been surrounded by nation states that were heavily reliant clients of the US or even have been subject to ‘regime change’ via internal dissent or uprising supported by the US. All this would have left Syria unsupported by Iran and therefore at the mercy of Israel and/or internal regime change resulting in a state unwilling to resist Israeli regional ambitions.
The US is now painfully aware that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is any time soon going to come to heel to produce the kind of strategic environment that would induce the Iranians to become compliant. It is for this reason that the US and Israel is going to have to find some other way of removing Iran and Syria as a threat to their interests.

As was the case with Iraq, the international community in the form of the UN is unlikely to push the matter of Irans ‘nuclear ambitions’ to the point where the UN would allow US military intervention. Despite all the rhetoric, the IAEA has found absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Iran is aiming to produce or has produced any uranium enriched beyond that which can be used for anything other than fuel for electricity generation. Nor has the IAEA found any evidence to suggest that Iran has or is intending to have a facility which will enable Iran to produce weapon grade material specifically.[10] Unlike the run up to invading Iraq, the UN is also unlikely to support economic sanctions against Iran though the US will have no alternative to at least be seen to be going down that road. The upshot in the end however, seems to be that the US will have no alternative but, at some time or another, to confront Iran. The US with its own rhetoric seems to have painted itself into a corner.

Meanwhile, there are other options. The most obvious one is that the US and Israelis revert to Plan ‘A’ inasmuch that they try again under some pretext or another to crush ‘once and for all’ the ‘ever threatening’ Hizbollah organisation and hope that such an attempt will this time draw Syria into the fray. But, as I have continually pointed out, Israel cannot be seen to cast that first stone. If it does, then any claims to subsequent lands occupied as a result of such a war would be null and void under international law which so far the Israelis have gone to great pains to manipulate and even outright lie over in order to achieve an outcome favourable to their interests.

The other scenario that could well be the last desperate act of a government on the ropes is to hope that the rest of the world accepts as fait accompli a joint preemptive attack by Israel on Syria and by the US on Iran of such devastating proportions that both nations would surrender to Israeli and US terms without the need to invade.

This, of course, can only mean the use of nuclear weapons.

That’s Plan ‘C’.

ENDNOTES
[1] Jim Lobe, ‘Hard-Line Neocons Assail Israel for Timidity’, antiwar.com, 12 August 2006. Available online: http://www.antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=9530 Accessed 21 August 2006.
[2] Max Boot, ‘Let Israel Take Off the Gloves’, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2006. Available online: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-boot19jul19,0,3628616.column Accessed 22 August 2006.
[3] William Kristol, ‘It’s Our War; Bush should go to Jerusalem – and the US should confront Iran’, The Weekly Standard, 24 July 2006. Available online: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/433fwbvs.asp Accessed 22 August 2006.
[4] ‘Bolton tells UN: Time to address Iran, Syria over Hezbollah’, Rawstory.com, 22 August 2006. Available online: http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/UN_Ambassador_speaks_on_Iran_nuclear_0822.html Accessed 23 August 2006.
[5] Patrick Martin, ‘An outlaw state: Israel breaks ceasefire, threatens to assassinate Hezbollah leader’, Axisoflogic.com, 22 August 2006. Available online: http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_22811.shtml Accessed 23 August 2006.
[6] Aluf Benn and Mazal Mualem, ‘Assad rejects Israel’s demand for UN troops on Syria-Lebanon border’, Ha’aretz, 23 August 2006. Available online: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/753639.html Accessed 24 August 2006.
[7] Michael I. Krauss and J. Peter Pham, ‘Why Israel Is Free to Set Its Own Borders’, Commentary, July/August 2006, Iss. 122, No. 1.
[8] Damian Lataan, ‘The US and Israel have failed to provoke war with Syria and Iran’, lataan.blogspot.com, 16 august 2006. Available online: http://lataan.blogspot.com/2006/08/us-and-israel-have-failed-to-provoke.html
[9] Robert Lowe and Claire Spencer, eds., ‘Iran, its neighbours and the regional crisis’, Chatham House, August 2006. Available online: http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/pdf/research/mep/Iran0806.pdf Accessed 24 August 2006.
[10] Atul Aneja, ‘IAEA says no evidence of Iranian n-weapons plan’, The Hindu, 3 March 2006. Available online: http://www.hindu.com/2006/03/01/stories/2006030104411600.htm Accessed 23 August 2006.

Friday, August 18, 2006

THE US AND ISRAEL’S PLAN ‘A’ FAILED TO PROVOKE WAR WITH SYRIA AND IRAN, SO WHAT’S PLAN ‘B’?

Despite Israel in the recent conflict pushing it right up to the edge militarily against Lebanon in order to provoke Syria into taking a more direct part in supporting its client Hizbollah which, in turn, would give Israel an excuse to attack Syria, the Syrians stood their ground and resisted the temptation to be drawn into the fighting. And, because Syria resisted getting into a fight with Israel, this meant that Iran would not be drawn in to support its ally Syria, which, yet again in turn, meant that the US would not have a legitimate excuse to come in to the fray to support their client, Israel, the end result being that Plan ‘A’, to start an all-defining war against Syria and Iran, just didn’t work. One now has to ask; so what’s Plan ‘B’?

The most important aspect of Plan ‘A’ – an aspect which led ultimately to its failure – was that it relied on Syria casting the first stone which would lead to the all-defining Middle East war that both Israel and the US are looking for. There was absolutely no way that Israel could be seen to actually cast the first stone directly against Syria. Such a scenario would have been far too obvious and there would have been a World-wide public opinion back-lash against it.

The Israelis and the US clearly believed that a massive pummelling of south Lebanon, Hezbollah heartland, involving the destruction of roads, villages, community resources, etc., would be enough to lure the Syrians in. When the Syrians didn’t bite the Israelis soon ramped it up. They started to deliberately target civilians including vehicles flying white sheets which civilians were using to flee the areas being bombed. The Israelis thought that maybe this would infuriate the Syrians enough to react. It infuriated them all right – and, indeed, the rest of the world – but still the Syrians resisted getting involved. At the same time as the Israelis were ramping up the destruction of Lebanon, and by now not just south Lebanon, so the US administration kept up with the rhetoric about the whole crisis being the fault of Syria and Iran.

Soon the entire world could see that this whole mess was just becoming a turkey shoot of the Lebanese people but the US, with the help of its ally the UK, allowed the carnage to continue by simply refusing to demand that the Israelis stop the onslaught. By the end of the fourth week it was becoming clear to the US and the UK that the Syrians were not going play ball. Still they dithered however, in the hope that if the Israelis invade and push hard enough up to the Litani River and the Syrian border they might just still get the Syrians to react and then have their war. But, no; it wasn’t to be. The UN eventually came up with a peace plan and the Israelis lost the war, not only by virtue of not even having realised any of their stated war aims of getting back their soldiers, something that still hasn’t happened at the time of writing, but also they did not get anywhere near destroying Hizbollah. And that was just their stated war aims – never mind the un-stated ones of trying to provoke war with Syria and Iran and drawing in the US for an all out battle to redefine the Middle East.

So what is Plan ‘B’?

The details of Plan ‘B’ are probably still being worked out but will more than likely consist of pushing for direct conflict with Iran rather than trying to get a war off the ground via proxy wars, i.e., as has already been tried with Israel fighting Hizbollah. It could however, be instigated by something in between like Israel attacking Iran direct because of Iran’s perceived nuclear threat which many Israeli right-wingers and pro-Israeli neoconservatives see as being quite intolerable. The American people would most certainly not support the US directly launching a surprise offensive against Iran. It would need first to go down the lengthy road of pushing for sanctions via the UN. President Bush simply hasn’t got time to do that especially if he was thinking of getting this thing out of the way by the November Mid Terms. Another alternative is some kind of ‘false flag’ terrorist operation whereby the US could point the finger at Iran and then make a retaliatory strike against Iran though, after the fiasco of 9/11 and the at first creeping but now snowballing doubts that are now sweeping America about that particular event, any future ‘attack’ on the US would have to be pretty convincing to get the American people on side again.

Of all of the possible scenarios it seems that the only alternative now is for the Israelis to attack Iran direct. As soon as it does, of course, the US will be there to help out.

There could also be a Plan ‘C’, but the world doesn’t really want to go there.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

THE US AND ISRAEL HAVE FAILED TO PROVOKE WAR WITH SYRIA AND IRAN.

Apart from using the excuse of wanting to secure the release of the two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah on the 12 July 2006 to launch an all-out attack on south Lebanon, the Israeli government within just a few days announced that the aim of the attack was also to destroy Hezbollah ‘for good’.[1] A little over a month later as a brokered ceasefire tenuously takes hold, it is clear the Israelis have failed in their stated war aims and as a result Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, has claimed an ‘historic victory’.[2]
On the surface Israel’s war aims seemed straight forward; they wanted their soldiers back and they wanted to destroy Hezbollah. They have certainly failed to destroy Hezbollah and, at the time of writing, the Israelis have as yet not had their soldiers returned to them, so, as the ceasefire takes hold, neither of Israel’s stated war aims have been successful.
But then, were Israeli war aims as simple as that? Could Israel really have been so na├»ve as to think that it could destroy forever the Hezbollah organisation by simply destroying physical structures and killing hundreds of Lebanese civilians? How could Israel have so utterly underestimated the tenacious strength and the support that Hezbollah has demonstrated that it has when for decades Hezbollah had shown itself to be more than capable of resisting Israel’s military might?
Clearly Israeli war aims were more than a simple hot pursuit of guerrillas that had captured two low-ranking Israeli soldiers. Yet the capture of the two soldiers, as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert quickly announced, was indeed the given Israeli casus belli for war after saying that the capture of the soldiers constituted ‘an act of war’.[3]
However, the speed at which the conflict escalated exposed the shallowness of Israel’s stated casus belli. The extent and rapidity of the escalation demonstrated that Israel had prepared for their attack on Lebanon well before the two Israeli soldiers had been captured.
A revealing article in the Jerusalem Post on 12 July 2006 – the very same day that the two Israeli soldiers were captured – told readers that: “Only weeks ago, an entire reserve division was drafted in order to train for an operation such as the one the IDF is planning in response to Wednesday morning's Hizbullah attacks on IDF forces along the northern border.”[4]
Initial news bulletins that were published on 12 July 2006 reported that the two Israeli soldiers had been captured inside Lebanon at the village of Aitaa al Chaab.[5] Even Forbes.com, a neoconservative-sponsored media outlet owned by staunch Israeli supporter, Stephen Forbes, initially reported: “The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon…”[6]
The story about them being captured inside Lebanon however, was quickly denied and virtually all later articles reported that Hezbollah fighters had crossed into Israel to seize the two soldiers. The earlier reports that they had been caught inside Lebanon were barely mentioned again. By the following day when Israel were already letting loose with their attacks against southern Lebanon, the mainstream media had already ‘adjusted’ history in the mind of the news hungry public to suit Israel’s rationale and stated casus belli for war.
In order to increase the pressure on Hezbollah the Israeli government issued a statement to the effect that it held the Lebanese government responsible for what was happening because it, the Lebanese government, had allowed “Hezbollah to operate in its sovereign territory”.[7] By Friday 14 July 2006 the Israelis were ramping up the war aims publicly with Isaac Herzog of the Israeli security cabinet saying: “We’ve decided to put an end to this saga and to change the rules of the game whereby a terrorist organisation that is part of the Lebanese government can push the region to the abyss”, while Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan of the Israeli general staff said bluntly: “We want to put Hezbollah out of business.”[8]
Meanwhile, the neoconservative commentators in the US and elsewhere had already begun to work themselves up into frenzy blaming Syria and Iran for the conflict. Michael Ledeen wasted no time in launching into a predictable rant telling readers: “No one should have any lingering doubts about what’s going on in the Middle East. It’s war, and it now runs from Gaza into Israel, through Lebanon and thence to Iraq via Syria. There are different instruments, ranging from Hamas in Gaza to Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon and on to the multifaceted “insurgency” in Iraq. But there is a common prime mover, and that is the Iranian mullahcracy, the revolutionary Islamic fascist state that declared war on us 27 years ago and has yet to be held accountable.”[9]
It did not take too long for the Bush administration to also point the finger of blame toward the Syrians and the Iranians. At a press gaggle on board Air Force One on 12 July 2006, Tony Snow, the Presidents press secretary, said when asked to respond to the situation in Lebanon and the Israeli soldiers: “A couple of things. Number one, the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers -- we saw this in Gaza, but also in Lebanon -- is simply unacceptable. And that the governments of Iran and Syria implicated in this; Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. We are hoping that the Lebanese government is going to be able to get control of the situation. But certainly Israel has the right to defend itself and it has assured us that it is trying to proceed us in a way as to avoid civilian casualties…” And then when asked if the US is troubled by Israelis going into Lebanon, he answered: “We believe that Israel has the right to protect itself.”[10]
A Presidential statement issued the same day said: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms this unprovoked act of terrorism, which was timed to exacerbate already high tensions in the region and sow further violence. We also hold Syria and Iran, which have provided long-standing support for Hezbollah, responsible for today's violence.”[11]
By Saturday 15 July 2006, the Israelis were expanding their assault and bombing Beirut airport. At a press conference the following day Condoleeza Rice made a significant statement. In response to being asked; “Why not call for a cease-fire…?” Rice answered, “We want a sustainable cessation of violence.” Then, to an interjected question saying, “you want the violence to end?” Rice replied: “I can tell you that -- of course, we want violence to end. But I can tell you right now if violence ends on the basis of somehow Hezbollah or Hamas continuing to hold in their hands the capabilities anytime they wish to start launching rockets again into Israel, if violence ends on the basis of no change in the underlying political support for Resolution 1559 or for the work that President Abbas is doing, if violence ends on the basis of Syria and Iran being able to turn on the key again anytime, we will have achieved very, very little, indeed, and we will be right back here, perhaps in a worse circumstance because the terrorists will assume that nobody is willing to take on what has been a very clear assault now on the progress that is being made by moderate forces in the Middle East.”[12] Secretary Rice will no doubt be hoping that these words are not well remembered as Hezbollah remain armed and remain in place.
Now let’s examine the bigger picture. It is Syria and Iran that seem to be the key to any real analysis of the cause for this particular crisis. From day one of the war on Lebanon both Syria and Iran have featured heavily in the rhetoric of Israel and its backers, the US and Britain. Indeed, as one examines the actual and circumstantial evidence retrospectively, the picture that emerges is not one of Israel wanting so much to primarily destroy Hezbollah but that the real reason for Israel’s attack on Hezbollah was to deliberately provoke Syria into the fray which, in turn, would have brought Iran in as well, which in turn again would have involved the US as it rushed to protect Israel, in what would become the determining final battle that would dictate the long term future of the Middle East.
Every day as the war on Lebanon progressed and escalated there seemed to be an ever increasing reluctance from the US to demand a ceasefire and a stop to the carnage and destruction Israel was inflicting on Lebanon. Every day as Hezbollah increased its retaliatory attacks against Israel so the US and its allies sought to increase their rhetoric against Syria and Iran accusing them of supplying arms and weapons to Hezbollah but neglecting to mention their own seemingly inexhaustible supply of arms and weapons to Israel that was being used against the Lebanese people.
The problem for the US and Israel however, was that neither Syria nor Iran were biting. Nothing came of claims that Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops were on the ground in Lebanon fighting Israel[13] and Israeli claims that Iranian troops had been found among Hezbollah dead on south Lebanon’s battlefields.[14]
As it became apparent that neither Syria nor Iran were going to be drawn directly into the conflict and the carnage continued in Lebanon, so the US and the UK tried to play for more time by agreeing to be part of UN talks that would end the conflict. But while they agreed to talk they still did not demand an immediate ceasefire. Israel entered and pushed into Lebanon with tanks and ground troops but still the Syrians and Iranians refused to be drawn. There eventually came a point for the US where there was simply no more time left to play with and they could dither no longer over creating a peace plan that would ultimately see Israel the loser. Syria and Iran were steadfast in holding back from entering the war. Neither Israel nor, especially, the US could be seen to make a first strike against Syria or Iran.
The moment had passed. The opportunity to breathe fresh life into an old plan had again moved out of reach. The Israeli and US nerve had failed and the neoconservatives that had initially planned the ‘Clean Break’ will now, as William River Pitts observes, be seeking new opportunities and excuses to attack Syria and Iran.[15]
It may well be some time before all of the facts are known well enough for the events of the past few months to be documented as a lasting history but one can rest assured that that no matter what the propagandists of Israel and their neoconservative backers around the world say, nobody risks World War Three just because a few low ranking soldiers go missing. No. The real reasons for this war can only be surmised at the moment but there is much evidence already to suggest that it was well planned in advance, that it had the backing of President Bush and indeed, was likely planned, as Wayne Madsen has recently suggested, in collusion with the most senior members within the Bush administration and also with the most influential and senior Israeli Zionist politicians and their neoconservative cohorts in the US.[16]




ENDNOTES
[1] ‘Israel aims to destroy Hezbollah’, ABC Online, 16 July 2006. Available online: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200607/s1687756.htm Accessed 15 August 2006.
[2] ‘Hezbollah claims ‘historic victory’’, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2006. Available online: http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/hezbollah-claims-historic-victory/2006/08/15/1155407772106.html# Accessed 15 August 2006.
[3] ‘Hezbollah seizes Israel soldiers’, BBC News, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5171616.stm Accessed 15 August 2006.
[4] Yaakov Katz, ‘Reservists called up for Lebanon strike’, Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150885978380&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Accessed 13 July 2006.
[5] Weedah Hamzah, ‘Hezbollah back in the spotlight after capturing soldiers’, via Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/article_1180404.php/Hezbollah_back_in_the_spotlight_after_capturing_soldiers Accessed 23 July 2006.
[6] Joseph Panossian, ‘Hezbollah Captures 2 Israeli Soldiers’, Forbes.com, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://www.forbes.com/technology/feeds/ap/2006/07/12/ap2873051.html Accessed 15 August 2006.
[7] Yaakov Katz, Herb Keinon and Sheera Claire Frankel, ‘Peretz vows to Hizbullah hard’, Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150885977735&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Accessed 15 August 2006.
[8] Steven Erlanger, ‘Israel Vows to Crush Militia; Group’s Leader Is Defiant’, New York Times, 14 July 2006. Available online: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/14/world/middleeast/14cnd-mideast.html?ex=1310529600&en=e919252e8ebee9cb&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Accessed 15 August 2006.
[9] Michael Ledeen, ‘The Same War’, National Review Online, 13 July 2006. Available online: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDE4MDA3NDUyYjA0ZGY1MzQ4NjM5NjM1MWY4NDVkZGM Accessed 15 July 2006.
[10] Press gaggle by Tony Snow aboard Air Force One en route Heiligendamm, Germany, White House Press Briefings, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/20060712-1.html Accessed 15 August 2006.
[11] ‘Statement on Condemnation of Hizballah Kidnapping of Two Israeli Soldiers’, White House Presidential Statement, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/20060712.html accessed 16 August 2006.
[12] ‘Press Briefing by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’, White House Press Briefing, 16 July 2006. Available online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/20060716-2.html Accessed 16 August 2006.
[13] Ira Stoll, ‘Hundreds of Iranian troops Fighting in Lebanon’, The New York Sun, 19 July 2006. Available online: http://www.nysun.com/article/36326 Accessed 16 August 2006.
[14] ‘Iranian Forces Among the Dead in Lebanon’, Arutz Sheva, 10 August 2006. Available online: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=109678 Accessed 16 August 2006.
[15] William River Pitt, ‘Everything Old is New’, Truthout.org, 15 August 2006. Available online: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/081506A.shtml Accessed 16 August 2006.
[16] Wayne Madsen, ‘The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was planned between top Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration’, via GlobalResearch.ca, 24 July 2006. Available online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=MAD20060724&articleId=2801 Accessed 16 August 2006.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I WAS FLYING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC, QUIETLY MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, WHEN SUDDENLY NOTHING HAPPENED!*

Just when the entire world was becoming increasingly frustrated with the Israeli’s methodical and deliberate destruction of Lebanon and the killing of its people and the UNs inability to stop the onslaught, suddenly several aircraft flying over the Atlantic don’t blow up! There was a totally unprecedented lack of loss of life and this complete lack of loss of life, so we are told, was on an unimaginable scale.

It certainly seems as if Mossad have been working overtime to get this transparent piece of distraction off the ground. Seeing what evidence the UK and US police and security services come up with is going to be interesting. One wonders if there are likely to be any ‘protected’ witnesses among those arrested. My bet is there will probably be three or four of them whom the police will rely on to provide the ‘evidence’ to convict the patsies that were drawn into the ‘plot’.

The British and American security services and governments have played their role perfectly maximising the fear factor to the limit with overwhelming displays of overt security presence at major airports on both sides of the Atlantic. The mainstream media have also played their part to the hilt giving maximum air-time to the total non-event and stirring the fear pot for all its worth with graphic worst-case scenarios being described to the world by ‘terrorist experts’ and ‘security experts’ from only the very best universities.

As a result of the security clampdown there has been massive disruption to transatlantic air services which, in turn, and with the amplification effect of the media, has served the purpose of directing anger at the wannabe non-existent terrorists specifically and, far more importantly, the world of Islam generally thus reinforcing the idea of the seriousness of the ‘war on terror’ and all that that represents, especially when the connection is made directly by the simple expedient of the ‘terrorist experts’ and ‘security experts’ saying words to the effect that the ‘terrorists’ were acting in solidarity with the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

One does not need a massive IQ to see where all this is coming from!


*I acknowledge a certain Monty Python sketch as part inspiration for the approach used in this piece.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

THE REAL REASONS FOR ISRAEL’S WARS AGAINST THE LEBANESE AND THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLES

In 1919 Chaim Wiezmann, later to become head of the World Zionist Organisation, declared that the Litani River in Lebanon was ‘essential to the future of the Jewish national home.’[1] Today the Zionofascist dream of controlling the resources of the Litani River is on the verge of becoming a reality if the Israelis have their way as they invade and occupy southern Lebanon. The importance of Israel having control over the resources of the Litani River when considering Israel’s dream of a Greater Israeli cannot be over-emphasised.[2]

Israel as a nation has a critical water supply and it has been estimated the Latani could supply up to 800 million cubic metres to Israel.[3] Having control of the area south of the river down to Israel’s borders would also consolidate its control over the Golan Heights which currently is the source of some one third of Israel’s water supplies[4] which Israel stole from Syria after the 1967 war and failed to return to Syria – despite UN resolution 242 demanding that the lands be returned to Syria.[5] Control of the southern eastern areas of Lebanon would also give the Israelis control over the Kinneret Basin which is part of the watershed for the waters from the Golan Heights.[6]

Despite the numerous claims from the Zionofascist Israeli government that this war is a response to the capture of Israeli soldiers, (now known to have been a lie since we know that the war was planned weeks BEFORE the soldiers were arrested)[7] and despite their claims that their war is against Hizbollah and not the Lebanese people, (which we also now know to be a lie especially since the Israeli air attacks against obviously civilian infrastructure and even against civilian neighbourhoods in the Christian northern sections of Beirut, areas that prior to the war were home to people that were sympathetic to the Israelis) it is becoming clear that this war is about clandestine occupation of lands that are a part of the Zionofascist dream of a Greater Israel.[8]

Also as part of that Zionofascist dream of a Greater Israel are the Israeli Zionofascist operations that are continuing in the Gaza. The mainstream media seems to have all but forgotten the Israeli destruction and occupation of the Gaza Strip – an occupation aimed at destroying the desire and will of the Palestinians to want to continue living there thus forcing them to leave for either the West Bank or Jordan. But when the two wars in the Gaza and Lebanon are seen together the bigger picture emerges. And as it does, so too are the lies exposed. The Israeli Zionofascist bigger picture, far from wanting to simply have three of their Zionofascist troopers returned, can now be seen for what it really is – an all-or-nothing attempt to grab as big a chunk of their Greater Israel dream as they possibly can and to be able to do this with the planning and cooperation of the US and UK governments and the full help of the American neoconservative and Israeli Lobby and their associates around the world.

The Israelis have attempted a master lie to the world by insisting that the current war has flared spontaneously as a result of certain random events that have somehow culminated in a, from the Israeli point of view, defensive war. As we look back retrospectively to those days – and remember they were only just a few weeks ago – we can now clearly see that this war has nothing whatsoever to do with missing soldiers, and, far from being as a result of random and spontaneous events culminating in a process of escalation, it is abundantly clear that everything that has happened since that day the Israelis lobbed a shell onto the beach on the Gaza killing a Palestinian family and then attempted to blame Hamas for it, has been carefully planned, right down to the last detail, well in advance.

The size and complexity of the current Israeli operations in the Gaza, West Bank and Lebanon, and the policies that the US and the UK have adopted in ‘handling’ the crisis also make it abundantly clear that they have been involved heavily in the planning and logistics of the Israeli all-or-nothing grab for land and their attempt, yet again, to realise their dream of a Greater Israel. The logistics of mounting such an extensive and relentless offensive against the Lebanese alone demonstrates the complicity of the US by virtue of their supply of weapons and fuel to the Israeli’s in order to fulfil their well-planned offensive, all of which shows that this offensive is all about Israeli/US hegemony in the region, the re-establishment and enlargement of a Greater Israel – and has absolutely nothing to do with the capture of three lowly ranked foot-soldiers.


ENDNOTES
[1] Weisgal, M. W., ed. ‘The letters and papers of Chaim Weizmann,’ vol. 9. (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1977.) p. 267.
[2] Angela Joy Moss, ‘Litani River and Israel-Lebanon’, November 1997. Available online: http://www.american.edu/ted/ice/litani.htm Accessed 5 August 2006.
[3] Hussein A. Amery, ‘The Litani River of Lebanon’, Geographical Review, July 1993, Vol. 83, Issue 3, p.9. Also available online: http://web.macam.ac.il/~arnon/Int-ME/water/THE%20LITANI%20RIVER.htm Accessed 5 August 2006.
[4] Israel’s Lifeline the Northern Water Sources’, Peace with the Golan. Available online: http://www.golan.org.il/water.html Accessed 5 August 2006.
[5] United Nations Resolution 242, 22 November 1967. Available online: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/240/94/IMG/NR024094.pdf?OpenElement Accessed 5 August 2006.
[6] ‘Why is the Kinneret Basin So Vital to the National Water Economy?’ Peace with the Golan.
Available online: http://www.golan.org.il/water.html#1 Accessed 5 August 2006.
[7] Yaakov Katz, ‘Reservists called up for Lebanon strike’, Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2006. Available online: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150885978380&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Accessed 13 July 2006.
[8] Kaveh L Afrasiabi, ‘It's about annexation, stupid!’, Asia Times online, 5 August 2006. Available online: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH05Ak01.html Accessed 5 August 2006.