Monday, April 23, 2007

US training Sunni extremists to attack Hizbullah; operations to be attributed to Al-Qaeda

Thursday, April 19, 2007

(with an added note)

Issam Naaman is a Lebanese lawyer and writer, former Minister of Telecommunications under one of the governments led by Salim al-Hoss, and a member of a small political group that considers itself a third alternative beween the Hariri-led establishment, and the Hizbullah-led opposition. He wrote on April 18 in Al-Quds al-Arabi about information gleaned from the recent Pelosi delegation, and other US delegations at about the same time, mostly by a friend of his who is a think-tank type and didn't want his name used.

His main points were that Bush seems to be stymied in his desire to attack Iran, both by the political opposition of the Democrats, and the popular revulsion in the US against further military adventures that would be seen as at the expense of things like health insurance and the US standard of living. (By contrast, Bush policy on Palestine will be unchanged, because in the case of Palestine there is no pressure for change from Congress, in fact the Democrats outdo the Republicans in their support for Israel). As a "substitute" for not being able to strike Iran, the Bush administration plans an escalation in Lebanon. And here he mentions two specific points: (1) Tom Lantos said they are convinced Hizbullah is weak and this is the time to step up efforts to disarm it. (2) An airport in northern Lebanon will be used as a base for pressuring Syria, and also as a place for training of groups opposed to Hizbullah and opposed to anti-Abbas elements in Palestine. Then there was this:
It was learned from influential members of the US delegations that the Washington special[-forces] apparatus has begun assembling, arming and training members of Islamic extremist groups to undertake assaults on Hizbullah, in the framework of the conflict that it [the Bush administration] plans between the Sunni and the Shiite population, in districts where the two groups are contiguous. And it will be arranged to camouflage the agents in this by attributing the attacks to AlQaeda.
The writer's conclusion is that these exchanges with the American visitors confirmed that the Bush administration will not allow there to be any compromise in the dispute between the Hizbullah-led opposition and the Hariri administration over power-sharing, new elections and so on. Rather, the US administration will be working hard to promote confrontation, as part of its region-wide policy of fostering Sunni-Shiite conflict. In this context, the writer doesn't seem to regard the covert sponsorship of fake-AlQaeda US agents to be anything but one more ingredient in the overall plan.

This planned use by the Bush administration of Sunni extremists to stir the pot in Lebanon was discussed at length by New Yorker article called "The Redirection" last month, eliciting only an eerie silence from the policy elite. Judging from this Naaman piece, it would appear the scheme is pretty much a bipartisan open secret, which raises the question why no criticism from the Democrats. Or maybe answers the question.

ADDED NOTE: See also this post, which fills out the picture a little more.


Anonymous said...

America the paper tiger!

Anonymous said...

i thought the american gouverment were the good guys? yer ryt!