Tying Hezbollah’s Hands through External and Internal Pressure
In Lebanon, there is a deadlock in regards to the formation of a Lebanese government. Michel Sleiman, who holds the presidency in Lebanon, and the new Lebanese prime minister have been delaying the formation of the cabinet in a political row with Michel Aoun, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement. It may be possible that the formation of a new Lebanese cabinet is being delayed deliberately to keep Lebanon neutralized on the foreign policy front.
The U.N. Security Council and several U.N. bodies are all being used by the U.S. and the E.U. to put pressure on Lebanon. U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon himself is a U.S. puppet who has done everything to legitimize U.S. and NATO aggression to the point where Moscow openly accused him of treachery for secret dealings with NATO in 2008. It is in this context that the U.N. is being used as a forum for insidious attempts to internationalize the domestic issue of the weapons of the Lebanese Resistance and to disarm it. Despite the fact that U.N. Resolution 1559 is no longer relevant, the Special Representative for the Implementation of Resolution 1559, Terje Roed-Larsen, still remains active and issues reports against Hezbollah.
The envoys of the U.N. to Lebanon resemble colonial figures making uninvited edicts in Beirut and working as agents of Washington, Brussels, and Tel Aviv. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which has an entire division in the U.S. State Department dedicated to it, is also a loaded political weapon that Washington is itching to use against Lebanon and Syria. A international tribunal was formed for the slaying of the late Rafik Al-Hariri.
Hariri at the time of his murder had no official state position, but an international tribunal has been created for his case alone. On the other hand the international community has taken no interest in forming any type of tribunals to investigate the murder and assassinations of the thousands of other people killed in Lebanon. What does this say about the STL and the justice being sought?
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL]) has also been complicit in Israeli violations against Lebanon. Even the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been infiltrated with officials that are supportive of Israeli crimes against Palestinians and Lebanon. This was demonstrated by Christopher Gunness, the spokesperson of UNRAW, in a May 15, 2011 interview with the Israeli military. In the same timeframe as when Tel Aviv fired on unarmed civilian protesters during Nakba Day 2011, Gunness declared UNRWA works in the interest of Israel and is against the mere position of rockets by Palestinians, which UNRWA considers a terrorist act. Even the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip was whitewashed by the UNRWA spokesperson.
The absence of a new cabinet in Lebanon has also allowed Saad Hariri and the March 14 Alliance to continue having an ominous hand in managing Lebanon’s affairs. It also buys time for the STL, which can move forward without being challenged by a Lebanese government in Beirut that would be hostile towards it. A new government in Beirut is certain to remove any Lebanese recognition of the STL and effectively work to de-legitimize it.
Moreover, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) of Lebanon is also being used against Hezbollah and the political opponents of Saad Hariri. The ISF may even have a hand in working against Damascus and helping promote violence in Syria. The ISF take its orders from the Hariri family instead of the Lebanese government and is controlled by them.
Because of the free hand given to Hariri and his cronies from the lack of a functioning cabinet in Beirut, Ziad Baroud, the acting interior minister of Lebanon, has refused to sign any more papers from his ministry. Baroud has taken this position, because he believes that the ISF is acting covertly and without his approval or supervision. In this regard, the ISF has refused to follow the orders of Ziad Baroud to allow Charbel Al-Nahhas, the acting telecommunications minister of Lebanon, to enter ISF headquarters for a routine check. The ISF was clearly trying to hide its operations and was acting to prevent Al-Nahhas and his team from going to certain floors at ISF headquarters.
It is also no secret that Lebanon is a nest of spies and intelligent agents from the U.S., the E.U., Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia that are working to tackle Hezbollah and its coalition. In 2006, during the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon the embassies of E.U. members were also collecting data against Hezbollah. The Al-Sauds have helped facilitate the links between Israel and the network of spies in Lebanon. This is demonstrated by the clear link between Sheikh Mohammed Ali Hussein, the Shiite cleric caught working for Israel, and the Al-Sauds.
In tune with all this, Hezbollah is constantly attacked as an Iranian agent. Recently, Hezbollah has been blamed alongside Iran for stirring protests in the Persian Gulf, specifically in Bahrain and the Shiite-dominated areas of Saudi Arabia. In this regard Lebanese citizens, regardless of their faith in many cases, have also been singled out by the Khaliji regimes and expelled from the Persian Gulf. This is part of a sectarian card to create regional divisions and hate. This has also been used internally in Lebanon by Saad Hariri to target Hezbollah and its allies. Hariri ironicially accused Iran of interfering in Bahrain when the Saudi military invaded the island-state to keep the Al-Khalifas in power.
The petro-sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf are now systematically preventing Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, and Pakistani citizens from entering their borders. Kuwait has justified this by saying that there could be trouble within Kuwait due to political instability in these countries. The Kuwaiti justifications are suspect. Kuwait and its fellow sheikhdoms are doing this because they expect trouble to ignite from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Afghani and Pakistani borders with China and India.
Damascus has been under pressure to capitulate to the edicts of Washington and the European Union. This has been part of a longstanding project. Regime change or voluntary subordination by the Syrian regime are the goals. This includes subordinating Syrian foreign policy and de-linking Syrian from its strategic alliance with Iran and its membership within the Resistance Bloc.
Syria is run by an authoritarian oligarchy that has used brute force in dealing with its citizens and there is no question about it. The riots in Syria are, however, multi-factored and simply not just about a quest for liberty. In this regard there is an attempt to use the riots in Syria as a tool by the U.S. and the E.U. to pressure and intimidate the leadership of Syria. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, and the March 14 Alliance have all had roles in the Syrian riots.
The Al-Sauds have also helped drown out any authentic calls for democratic reform and marginalized the democratic elements in the Syrian opposition during the protests and riots. In this regard the Al-Sauds have supported both sectarian and violent elements that are intolerant of religious and ideological diversity. These elements are mostly Salafist extremists, like Fatah Al-Islam and the new extremist political movements being organized in Egypt. They have also been rallying against the Alawites, the Druze, and Syrian Christians.
The violence in Syria has been supported from the outside with a view of taking advantage of the internal tensions and the anger in Syria. Aside from the violent reaction of the Syrian Army, media lies have been used and bogus footage has been aired. Weapons, funds, and various forms of support have all been funnelled to elements of the Syrian opposition by the U.S., the E.U., the March 14 Alliance, Jordan, and the Khalijis. Funding has been provided to ominous and unpopular foreign-based opposition figures, while weapons caches were smuggled from Jordan and Lebanon into Syria.
The events in Syria are also tied to Iran, the longstanding strategic ally of Damascus. It is not by chance that Senator Lieberman was demanding publicly that the Obama Administration and NATO attack Syria and Iran like Libya. It is also not coincidental that Iran was included in the sanctions against Syria. The hands of the Syrian military and government have now been tied internally as a new and broader offensive is being prepared that will target both Syria and Iran.
Syria and the Levantine Gas Fields in the Eastern Mediterranean
Syria is the central piece of two important energy corridors. The first links Turkey and the Caspian to Israel and the Red Sea and the second links Iraq to the Mediterranean. The surrender of Syria would mean that Washington and its allies would control these energy routes. It would also mean that the large natural gas fields off the Lebanese and Syrian coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean would be out of reach for China and instead go to the E.U., Israel, and Washington.
The Eastern Mediterranean gas fields have been the subject of negotiations between the E.U., Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Aside from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline, the existence of the Levantine natural gas fields is also the reason why the Kremlin has created a military foothold in Syria for the Russian Federation. This has been done by upgrading Soviet-era naval facilities in Syria. Moreover, it has been Iran that has agreed to explore and help develop these natural gas fields off the Levantine coast for Beirut and Damascus.
There is a strong correlation between war in Southwest Asia and increased talk at the official level about Palestinian statehood. Hopes of Palestinian statehood have always been used twice to discharge pressure in the Arab World built from rising tensions from war preparations against Iraq. The first time was by George H. Bush Sr. and the second time by George W. Bush Jr., who was praised for being the first U.S. president to seriously talk about a Palestinian state.
Even as he flip-flops on his position, Obama now is talking about a Palestinian state too. Moreover, rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah has taken place as the count-down towards international recognition of Palestinian statehood begins. The Israelis have also released frozen funds to the Palestinians, which they refused to do before due to Hamas.
The rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas has also served to tie the hands of Hamas. Hamas will have to be careful not to effectively become a junior partner in governing the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. Hamas must now modify its behaviour to continue its partnership in a unity government with Fatah, which will undemocratically be imposed as the senior partner the Palestinian Authority. In a manner of speaking, Hamas is being domesticated indirectly by Israel and Washington.
Instability in Pakistan
With the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces has come an entire package of events. There has been a calculated effort to present Osama bin Laden as a popular and venerated figure for Muslims. This is with a view of supporting the so-called “Clash of Civilizations.”
At the same time the U.S. government is starting a media campaign against Pakistan. Islamabad has been portrayed as harbouring Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network. In reality any Pakistani involvement with terrorists has been ordered and directed by Washington. There is a much more complicated story to all this, but what is happening in reality is that Pakistan as a nation is being targeted for dismantlement.
Chinese interests in Pakistan, such as an energy route from Iran to China or the Chinese port in Gwadar. The other objective is to destabilize the area of Eurasia between Iran, Central Asia, India, and Western China. At the same time Washington also wants to neutralize the Pakistani nuclear program.
The U.S. has also announced that it intends to violate the national boundaries of any country and international law by sending its forces into any nation. Hillary Clinton has justified this by saying that U.S. forces will be assassinating terrorists. This is merely an opening door for creating pretexts for intervention in other countries, such as Iran or Syria.
A New Pressure Point in Tehran for Washington, Israel, and the E.U. to Capitalize?
The political system of Iran is complex and there are multiple poles of power that challenge and balance one another. In 2009, the world already saw internal fighting amongst the ruling establishment. The divisions played themselves out during the protests that resulted after the presidential elections when allegations of fraud were put forward.
The presidential administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started its term in 2005 being at odds with vast segments of the political establishment in Iran. Its relationship has always been tense with the other poles of power in Tehran. In 2011 it has been finding itself increasingly at odds with the Iranian Parliament, the Iranian Judiciary, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Within the framework of these political tensions, another Iranian internal political struggle is in the making. This time the centre of attention is Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. The views of Mashaei, who is known as a political conservative, have been at odds with other conservatives, specifically the clerical elements. In 2009, Mashaei gave a speech where he said that Iran was friends with all the people of the world, including the Israeli people, and that Tehran was just opposed to the regime in Tel Aviv. This was rebuked by Ayatollah Khamenei.
In July 2009, President Ahmadinejad tried to appoint Mashaei to the office of the primary (first) vice-president of Iran, but was opposed by the Iranian Parliament. Ahmadinejad would be forced to appoint Mohammed-Reza Rahimi to the office of primary vice-president. Instead Mashaei would be appointed the presidential chief-of-staff by President Ahmadinejad.
In April 2011, a scandal would erupt when it became public that Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi had ordered for Mashaei to be the subject of electronic surveillance. Ahmadinejad in outrage would fire the Intelligence Minister, but his decision was vetoed by Ayatollah Khamenei. Heydar Moslehi would remain.
It appears now that there is a concerted effort to weaken the Ahmadinejad Administration and to prevent it from helping Mashaei and others run for office. General Ali Jaffari, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, has come out to publicly state that there are corrupt elements in the presidential office which have deviated from the principles of the Iranian Revolution. Ali Saeedi, the liaison of Ayatollah Khamenei within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, has also added his voice, saying that Ahmadinejad and his political camp will lose all support unless they remain committed to Ayatollah Khamenei.
Some form of political show down is looming in Tehran. There appears to be a widening political rift amongst Iranian conservative ideologues. The Iranian President and his political allies intent to field their own candidates in the March 2012 parliamentary elections, which will challenge the current assortment of so-called conservatives in the Iranian Parliament.
In addition to all this, the death of Haleh Sahabi, the daughter of the former Iranian parliamentarian Ezatollah Sahabi, at the funeral of her father has ignited opposition anger that is threatening to fuel and spark new protests in Iran. Iranian security forces were present at the funeral to prevent it from being turned into a political event against the ruling establishment. In their presence, Haleh Sahabi was confronted by an unknown man who grabbed the picture of her father that she was holding during the funeral. When she tried to grab the man, he elbowed her so violently in the face that she died from a heart attack.
This could all play into the hands of the enemies of Iran. There is a secret war against Iran being fought by Washington and its allies, which has included the kidnapping of Iranians, assassinations of Iranian scientists and security officials, and terrorist attacks on Iranian border regions. The developing internal divisions in Tehran could be capitalized on by its enemies. Israel is already showing a deep interest in these new political tensions in Tehran.
It should be noted that Tel Aviv and Washington had prepared to launch a campaign to de-legitimize the Iranian presidential elections in 2009 and to use it to exploit any internal political divisions in Iran. This is documented by the Israeli media. Additionally, this is the reason that the U.S. Congress gave millions of dollars, at the request of U.S. Secretary Rice and President George W. Bush Jr., to establish a special interests office in the U.A.E. for dealing with regime change in Tehran.
Secret Israel Drills in Occupied Iraq: Iran in the Cross-Hairs Again?
Challenging Tehran, just like Russia, has always been a strategic objective of Washington and NATO. Tel Aviv has ended its period of brief silence about Tehran and has started to talk about attacking Iran again. What has added an extra dimension to this are the reports that the U.S. has allowed Israel to secretly use U.S. air bases in Al-Anbar, Iraq. Moqtada Al-Sadr has warned Tehran about the Israeli-U.S. operations in Iraq, which could amount to plans for some form of confrontation with Iran, Syria, and the entire Resistance Bloc from Gaza, Beirut, and Bint Jbeil to Damascus, Basra, Mosul, and Tehran.
All the ingredients for a conformation led by the U.S. against Iran exist. Iranophobia is being spread by the U.S., the E.U., Israel, and the Khaliji monarchies. Hamas has been entangled into the mechanisms of a unity government by the unelected Mahmoud Abbas, which would mean that Hamas would have to be acquiescent to Israeli and U.S. demands on the Palestinian Authority. Syria has its hands full with domestic instability. Lebanon lacks a functioning government and Hezbollah is increasingly being encircled.
At the same time the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is the organization formed by the Khaliji petro-sheikhdoms that have been heavily armed by Washington and the E.U., are blaming Iran for their domestic problems. The strategic alliance that has been formed by Tel Aviv and the Al-Sauds, which was formed to originally combat Gamal Abdel Nasser, has also prepared for broader conflict across the map with Iran and its allies. Missile shields are in now in place and being prepared in Israel and the Arab sheikhdoms. Massive shipments of heavy weaponry have also been sent to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the GCC by Washington and the major E.U. powers.
A military structure, which is tied into NATO, has also been put into place to attack Iran, Syria, and their allies. Under various agreements NATO has established a foothold in the Persian Gulf and military links with the GCC. France also has a base in the United Arab Emirates. The GCC is also preparing to expand. Both the kingdoms of Morocco and Jordan have made requests to join, while Yemen is also being considered for membership. Along with GCC membership comes a joint defence structure.
Ankara: The Inside Man?
There is one other important player that must be talked about. This player is Turkey. Washington and the E.U. have pushed Turkey to be more active in the Arab World. This has blossomed through Ankara’s neo-Ottomanism policy. This is why Turkey has been posturing itself as a champion of Palestine and launched an Arabic-language channel like Iran and Russia.
Ankara, however, has been playing an ominous role. Turkey is a partner in the NATO war on Libya. The position of the Turkish government has become clear with its betrayal of Tripoli. Ankara has also been working with Qatar to corner the Syrian regime. The Turkish government has been pressuring Damascus to change its policies to please Washington and appears to possibly even have a role in the protests inside Syria with the Al-Sauds, the Hariri minority camp in Lebanon, and Qatar. Turkey is even hosting opposition meetings and providing them support.
Turkey is viewed in Washington and Brussels as the key to bringing the Iranians and the Arabs into line. The Turkish government has been parading itself as a member of the Resistance Bloc with the endorsement of Iran and Syria. U.S strategists project that it will be Turkey which domesticates Iran and Syria for Washington. Turkey also serves as a means of integrating the Arab and Iranian economies with the economy of the European Union. In this regard Ankara has been pushing for a free-trade zone in Southwest Asia and getting the Iranians and Syrians to open up their economies to it.
- The architect of Turkey’s foreign policy shift, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi.
Turkey as the New Model and “Calvinist Islam”
Turkey in its present form is now being presented as the democratic model for the rebelling Arab masses to follow. It is true that Ankara has progressed since the days it use to ban Kurdish from being spoken in public, but Turkey is not a functional democracy and is very much a kleptocracy with fascist tendencies. The military still plays a huge role in the affairs of the state and government. The term “deep state,” which denotes a state run secretly from the top-down by unaccountable bodies and individuals, in fact originates from Turkey. Civil rights are still not respected in Turkey and candidates for public office have to be approved by the state apparatus and the groups controlling them, which try to filter out anyone that would go against the status quo in Turkey.
Turkey is not being presented as a model for the Arabs due to its democratic qualifications. It is being presented as the political model for the Arabs, because of a project of political and socio-economic “bida” (innovation) directed towards manipulating Islam. Although very popular, the Turkish Justice and Development Party or JDP (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi or AKP) was allowed to come into power in 2002, without opposition from the Turkish military and the Turkish courts. Before this there was little tolerance for political Islam in Turkey. The JDP/AKP was founded in 2001 and the timing of their founding and their electoral win in 2002 was also tied to the objective of redrawing Southwest Asia and North Africa.
This project to manipulate and redefine Islam and Muslims seeks to subordinate Islam to capitalist interests through a new wave of political Islamists, such as the JDP/AKP. A new strand of Islam is being fashioned through what has come to be called “Calvinist Islam” or a “Muslim version of the Protestant work ethic.” It is this model that is being nurtured in Turkey and now being presented to Egypt and the Arabs by Washington and Brussels.
This “Calvinist Islam” also has no problem with the “reba” or interest system, which is prohibited under Islam. It is this system that is used to enslave individuals and societies with the chains of debt to global capitalism. It is in this context that the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is calling for so-called “democratic reforms” amongst the Arabs.
The ruling families of Sauda Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms are also partners in the objective to enslave the Arabs through debt. In this regard Qatar and the Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf are in the process of creating a Middle East Development Bank that is intended to give loans to Arab countries to help them transition towards democracy. The democracy promotion mission of the Middle East Development Bank is ironic because the countries forming it are all staunch dictatorships.
It is also this subordination of Islam to capitalism that is causing internal friction in Iran. The hope in Washington is that this “Calvinist Islam” will take root under the banner of new democratic states with supposedly Islamic governments. These governments will effectively enslave their countries by placing them further into debt and selling national assets. They will help subvert the region extending from North Africa to Southwest and Central Asia as the area is being balkanized and restructured in the image of Israel under ethnocratic systems. Tel Aviv will also wield wide influence amongst these new states. Hand-in-hand with this project, different forms of ethno-linguistic nationalism and religious intolerance are also being promoted to divide the region.
Washington Arranging the Geo-Strategic Chessboard
Targeting Iran and Syria is part of the larger strategy of controlling Eurasia. Chinese interests have been attacked everywhere on the global map. Sudan has been balkanized and both North Sudan and South Sudan are headed towards conflict. Libya has been attacked and is in the process of being balkanized. Syria is being pressured to surrender and fall into line. The U.S. and Britain are now integrating their national security councils, which parallels Anglo-American bodies from the Second World War.
Targeting Pakistan is also connected to neutralizing Iran and attacking Chinese interests and any future unity in Eurasia. At the same time in Eastern Europe, the U.S. is building its fortifications in Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania to neutralize Russia and the former Soviet republics. Belarus and Ukraine are being put under increasing pressure too. All these steps are part of a military strategy to encircle Eurasia and to either control its energy supplies or the flow of energy towards China. Even Cuba and Venezuela are under increasing threat. The military noose is globally being tightened by Washington.
It appears that new Islamist parties are being formed and groomed by the Al-Sauds to take power in Arab capitals. Such governments will work to subordinate their respective states. The Pentagon, NATO, and Israel may even select some of these new governments to justify new wars.
It has to be mentioned that Norman Podhoretz, a original member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), in 2008 suggest an apocalyptic future scenario in which Israel launches a nuclear war against Iran, Syria, and Egypt amongst its other neighbouring countries. This would include Lebanon and Jordan. Podhoretz described an expansionist Israel and even suggested that the Israelis would militarily occupy the oil fields of the Persian Gulf.
What came across as odd in 2008 was the suggestion by Podhoretz, which was influenced by the strategic analysis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), that Tel Aviv would launch a nuclear attack on its staunch Egyptian allies ruling Cairo under President Mubarak. Despite the fact that the old regime still remains, Mubarak is no longer in power in Cairo. The Egyptian military still gives orders, but Islamists may come to power. This is while Muslims have continuously been demonized by the U.S. government and most of its NATO allies.
Unknown Future: What Next?
The U.S., the E.U., and Israel are trying to use the upheavals in the Turko-Arabo-Iranic World to further their own objectives. The situations in Libya and Syria are testimony to this. Along with the Al-Sauds they are attempting to spread “fitna” or division amongst the peoples of Southwest Asia and North Africa. The Israeli-Khaliji strategic alliance, formed by Tel Aviv and the ruling Arab families in the Persian Gulf, is crucial in this regard.
Yemen under the threats of increased state-sponsored violence serves as testimonies to this.