Thursday, April 19, 2007

"US training Sunni extremists to attack Hizbullah; operations to be attributed to AlQaeda" (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.


Blogger dancewater said...

I printed up your piece, and I read the earlier piece in the New Yorker - and tomorrow I am talking to people in my freshman Democrat Representative's office - and given a chance, will talk to him about this.

Not only is this evil, it is stupid.

8:13 PM  
Blogger badger said...

You're right. Judging from recent experience, this is probably one of those things Washington will start talking about once it blows up in their faces...

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Yohan said...

As'ad AbuKhalil had mentioned a few things about this sort of thing, but since it was just his observation(not supported by links) and given his penchant for exaggeration, I wasn't sure whether the US gov was really that stupid/evil. I now see he was right and that it is.

I don't think that Bush and friends started out with a master plan of pitting Sunnis against Shias, they got themselves into so many jams where this sort of thing looks like the only way out. Arming proxies(outsourcing) is the one thing that the CIA is good at, so if all you have is a hammer then everything starts to look like a nail.

1:35 PM  
Blogger annie said...

we stared out in vietnam funding w/these kind of false flag operations.

yohan, how generous of you giving the neocons the benefit of the doubt.

they got themselves into so many jams where this sort of thing looks like the only way out

to somebody, not me

10:55 AM  
Anonymous apollo said...

To the Sunni world outside of Iraq, any attack on Hizbollah will appear orchestrated by the west. Any attacker will appear to Arab world at large as a pawn of the west, whose motivation is to weaken the only organization capable of resisting Israeli power. Do not underestimate the tremeandous impact Hizb has had on the Arab masses.

Also, I don't think Sanyurah can afford to be seen as risking civil war.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

Further evidence, if any was needed: Wolfowitz's spooky S.O. Shaha Riza, who worked for NED before she went to the World Bank, is now nominally employed by the 'Foundation for the Future' which is headquartered in Beirut. Funded by the US govt and Bahrain, it's quite likely a cover for covert ops, as well as a convenient way to park neocons in cushy do-nothing jobs.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Lady Jane said...

We Shi'i know it is true.

Allah help us and I think, Allah will.

Al Qaeda has been operating in Lebanon for quite some time. Last week they arrested another "circle" of those monsters.

How many more there are...well who knows?

Hezb however does perform its own intelligence and due to their absolute faith in Allah, it seems Allah helps them mighty well.

Ah well. What to say. This is all very much expected by us.

Thanks for posting the information...not that it made me feel better but at least it validates what we Shi'i know to be true.

The only thing I might add however is that part of the US "strategy" is to print all sorts of evidence to show that the Shi'i are weak when in fact, the Sunnis as a whole are beginning to see our point of view and follow our scholarly traditions.

The US media hopes that these scare tactics will succeed. I kind of think that they will only do slight damage overall..even car bombings.

WE are pretty steadfast you know. Fourteen hundred lunar years of oppressions...what's a few more?


2:09 AM  

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