Israel: first beneficiary from the fall of the current Syrian regime / Saud al-Faysal’s meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu / Facts confirming the implication of the Future Movement / Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and the American position / Al-Assad pledges to annul the emergency law / The Americans need Al-Assad to secure the exit of their remaining troops from Iraq.
Editorial: The plan to target Syria and its backdrop
The plan to target Syria is linked to a new American strategy to adapt to and exploit the Arab changes. It seems clear that the American empire has adopted a plan to weaken, deplete and drown Syria in chaos if possible, under headlines related to the support of the demands of reform, for reasons linked to the American-Israeli interests in the region.
The Americans endured a great loss and an even greater disappointment due to the popular response to the calls for action in Egypt. Indeed, this action imposed the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Vice President Omar Suleiman, whom the Americans were hoping to appoint as the president’s successor to guarantee the continuation of the Egyptian regime’s commitments toward the United States and Israel.
The American inclination took the character of the support of the action for reform in Syria, through the transfer of the protests and the provision of a regional Saudi-Lebanese-Jordanian network to support the groups which are linked to the American project and include opposition Syrian sides and figures living abroad and are loyal to the American and Western influence.
The conflict over Syria was always the pivotal point of the colonial invasions in the region, and the Americans - who have been leading an ongoing invasion in partnership with Israel for over forty years - know this strategic reality. This time, they are bluntly engaged in the conflict against President Bashar al-Assad through tools and powers connected to them. The conflict is mainly between Al-Assad’s project to establish a Middle East that is made by the people who are drawing up its free choices, and a Middle East that is under Israeli hegemony. It can thus be summarized by the conflict between Al-Assad and Obama over Egypt and its future choices toward the Palestinian cause and the Zionist enemy.
The Arab file
In Syria, millions gathered on the squares and the main roads of the different cities to express their support toward President Al-Assad, his reform project and national unity in the face of the strife plan which is targeting the country. In the meantime, the Syrian community abroad and especially in a number of Arab countries staged demonstrations, while Arab unions, parties, organizations and forces assured that through their wisdom, the Syrian people will be able to thwart all the plans aiming at tampering with the country’s national unity, security and stability.
American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believed it was unlikely to see the United States interfering in Syria the way it was currently interfering in Libya, saying that each Arab uprising had its own specificity.
President Bashar al-Assad received several calls from a number of kings, princes and heads of states wishing to check up on the situation in Syria.
On Wednesday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke before the People’s Assembly regarding the circumstances Syria was going through, thus assuring the country “is going through a test that is repeated from time to time due to the conspiracies,” and indicating that strife - which erupted in Syria - started weeks ago with an instigation campaign via satellite channels.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on his oppositionists who are demanding his departure to leave, because they constitute a minority.
For the second week in a row, the Yemeni capital Sana’a witnessed two massive demonstrations with the participation of hundreds of thousands of citizens following the Friday prayer, the first demanding that President Saleh steps down and the second insisting on his stay in power.
Al-Gaddafi’s brigades continued to clash with the fighters of the armed opposition in several areas controlled by the revolutionaries, at a time when the NATO forces were raiding Gaddafi-affiliated military positions.
American President Barack Obama assured that the democratic transition in Libya will be “a difficult task”, warning that any attempt to topple Muammar al-Gaddafi by force could lead to the repetition of the Iraqi mistakes. For its part, the international alliance against the Libyan regime announced a unified position over the necessity for Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi to step down.
In that same context, senior Libyan officials continued to defect and abandon Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Indeed, a few hours after Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa resigned from his post, Abdul Salam al-Triki - Tripoli’s new ambassador to the United Nations - rejected any official position.
The ruling Supreme Council for the Armed Forces in Egypt, assured that former President Hosni Mubarak and his family were on house arrest inside the country, denying the reports saying that Mubarak left for Tabuk in Saudi Arabia for treatment. The council also denied the reports regarding the postponement of the presidential elections, assuring: “The armed forces are trying to end their task as soon as possible, in order to surrender the state to the civil authority which will be elected by the people.” It announced that the legislative elections will be held in September, and that the state of emergency will be lifted prior to that date.
Tens of thousands of Egyptians participated in demonstrations calling on the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces - which is managing the country’s affairs - to quickly achieve the goals of the popular revolution which led to the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.
The Israeli occupation forces continued to raid the Gaza Strip and carry out assassination operations against a number of Palestinian resistance factions. They also proceeded with their attacks on the Palestinians in the occupied territories. On the other hand, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that the settlement expansion and the building of Israeli military bases in the occupied Palestinian territories multiplied by four during 2010 in comparison with similar activities in 2009.
The occupation authorities decided to build 1608 settlement units in areas affiliated with Jerusalem, at a time when an Israeli report mentioned that the occupation army carried out a series of training maneuvers to prepare for a war on multiple fronts against Hezbollah, Syria and Hamas.
At the level of the domestic situation, Netanyahu is facing an investigation into his trips abroad along with his wife.
For its part, Yediot Aharonot revealed new details in the case of Palestinian architect Darar Abu Sissi, as it turned out that the Israeli Mossad was the side that kidnapped him from Ukraine.
The Israeli file
The events in Syria occupied the main headlines of all the Israeli papers issued this week, as they considered that Israel was among the biggest beneficiaries from the fall of the Syrian regime.
Haaretz warned that the current situation in Syria might reopen several files, the first of which being the Golan and the future transformations affecting the relations between Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Among the topics which earned great interest in the Israeli papers was also the meeting between Saud al-Faysal and Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow in parallel to the events currently witnessed in the Arab region, as both men feared that on the long run, Iran would be able to gain control over the protests in the Arab world.
On the other hand, Israel warned the United Nations against recognizing the independent Palestinian state with the 1967 border in September, while Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas cautioned Netanyahu he will resign in September if the peace talks are not pushed forward.
Israel: first beneficiary from the fall of the current Syrian regime
This week, the Israeli papers focused on the recent developments in Syria by stressing two key points: the necessity of reading into the possible repercussions of the developments in the future, and the fears from seeing these developments leading to tensions on the Northern front.
Haaretz said that the events witnessed in Syria during the last few days did not rise up to the level of the events that are ongoing in Libya, and that consequently, the West will not intervene.
The paper warned that the current events and the future developments might bring back numerous issues to the table, the first of which being the fate of the agreement over the Golan and the future transformations which might affect the existing relations between Syria, Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Islamic resistance movement Hamas if the Syrian regime were to collapse.
But despite their realization of the threats, the Israeli papers considered that regardless of the outcome, what was happening in Syria served Israel as long as it weakened President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Saud al-Faysal’s meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu
The Israeli Yediot Aharonot newspaper, mentioned that a secret meeting was held in Moscow between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faysal, head of the Saudi intelligence Prince Mokren Bin Abdul-Aziz and head of the Palestinian authority Mahmud Abbas. Some sources mentioned that Al-Faysal’s and Netanyahu’s meeting in Moscow coincided with the developments in some Arab countries, while it seemed that Riyadh and Tel Aviv were dissatisfied with the Western military intervention in Libya.
Facts confirming the implication of the Future Movement
The Future Movement and its leader Saad al-Hariri condemned the reports talking about its involvement, along with its allies, in a plan to sabotage Syria and provoke incidents inside of it.
Any ordinary follower of the Future Movement’s television, radio and online media outlets can come out with the clear impression about the extent of the movement’s adoption of the actions inside Syria, as well as the opposition symbols present abroad. Indeed, the enthusiasm is reaching a point where the language of instigation and exaggeration is bluntly prevailing over the facts. One can thus conclude there is a decision issued by the main owner of these outlets to play a role of political instigation inside of Syria, recognizing that neither he nor his political movement are known for their calls for democracy and revolutions in the Arab countries. As for his position within the American hegemony system and beneath the tent of the Saudi absolute and autocratic royal regime, it reveals he is in the camp of Arab backwardness on the intellectual and cultural levels. It is no secret that Hariri is connected to Syrian groups abroad, and that he financed and supported them for years in the context of his involvement in the American project to topple Syria. Therefore, he rendered Lebanon a haven and a base for political and security actions led by Syrian figures and groups such as the team of Abdul Halim Khaddam, who recently met a member of the Future bloc Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah in Paris, the group of Ribal al-Assad which built its dens in the Lebanese northern regions near the Syrian cost or Maamoun al-Homsi who was in charge of the office of the dissident Syrian groups in Beirut, and who left Lebanon on the boat of former Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz Khoja along with two hundred and fifty figures from the Lebanese capital, including Syrians and Saudi officers who were part of the Future Movement’s operation rooms and military activities launched following the decisions of Al-Seniora’s government on May 5, 2009.
Many experts believe that the slogan “The toppling of the arms of the resistance” which was raised by Al-Hariri was originally drawn up in the context of a plan to topple Syria.
Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and the American position
A series of signs surrounding the American behavior towards the region point to the fact that the United States has drew up a comprehensive plan to deal with the Arab developments or the so-called wave of revolutions and protests, in accordance with the priorities guaranteeing its own interest and those of Israel before anything else. In this context, new signs emerged this past week in regard to the situation in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.
The American choice is also linked to the fate of the Saudi regime. The Bahraini regime reached the level of collapse following the Pearl Square protests and the demonstrations which brought together the majority of the Bahraini people under the slogan of the establishment of a constitutional monarchy that would put an end to absolute power in the country. However, the victory of the Bahraini revolution and its ability to establish a constitutional monarchy constitutes a real threat related to the possible transfer of the infection to the Saudi kingdom which has become the only remaining fortification for the so-called Arab moderation following the collapse of Mubarak’s regime and the emergence of signs pointing to major transformations in the Egyptian foreign policy.
The Lebanese file
Deputy Walid Junblatt said to As-Safir newspaper regarding the meeting he held with Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that the meeting was very positive and tackled the governmental file. However, he indicated that the discussions mostly addressed the developments on the Arab scene and that his reading - along with that of Sayyed Nasrallah - were identical. On the other hand, he refused to reveal additional details “because the discussions tackled sensitive issues I do not wish to engage in for the time being.”
On the security level, and in regard to the kidnapping of the seven Estonians in the industrial city in Zahle, the army intelligence and some security forces are deploying extensive efforts to uncover what happened.
A large Estonian delegation arrived to Beirut while headed by Foreign Minister Urmas Paet. The delegation visited President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, Minister of Interior Ziad Baroud, the secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador William Habib, and Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji to learn about the developments related to the kidnapping of the Estonians.
The security bodies investigating the case carried out a wide scale search operation in several areas in central and western Bekaa, with the participation of security officers from France and Estonia. The general director of the Internal Security Services, Brigadier General Ashraf Rifi, assured As-Safir newspaper that some of those who facilitated the kidnapping were arrested, adding that no conclusions could be reached regarding their motives before the end of the investigation.
Lebanese regions witnessed protests staged by Syrian students and workers in favor of President Bashar al-Assad.
Speaker Nabih Berri believed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s speech conveyed a second corrective movement led by the latter, following the first corrective movement led by the late President Hafiz al-Assad. Berri thus contacted President Assad and confirmed: “Our confidence in stability in Syria increases our own self-confidence.”
The American file
The American papers issued this week focused on the Libyan situation and tackled the political goals which the American administration was trying to achieve, and the strategies used to secure a political victory.
The papers carried reports regarding the deployment of CIA elements in Libya, in order to contact the armed oppositionists and guide the strikes of the international coalition.
The American papers also addressed the Yemeni file and the political formula that was reached, according to which President Saleh would relinquish his authorities and surrender power to a transitory council. In the meantime, the American papers shed light on the major problem facing the Yemeni government for the time being, and represented by the presence of Al-Qaeda organization which is responsible for the acts of violence committed in the country and the Arab Peninsula.
The British file
The defection of Libyan leader Moussa Koussa, from Gaddafi’s regime, constituted the main topic in the British papers’ coverage of Libyan affairs. Indeed, the latter papers considered that the defection of the senior official undermined Gaddafi’s authority and gave a moral push to the retreating revolutionaries. They indicated that Koussa’s arrival to Britain, from which he announced that he could no longer deal with Gaddafi’s regime, was followed with his interrogation by the British intelligence.
They also indicated that the revolutionaries in Libya were counting on these defections in the ranks of the pro-Gaddafi team in order to reach the capital Tripoli and topple the regime.
Al-Assad pledges to annul the emergency law
The Financial Times considered that in case the emergency laws are suspended in Syria, this would constitute a dramatic and unprecedented response to the demands of the protesters, seeing how in the past, the analysts excluded the possibility of seeing the Syrian government adopting such a measure.
The Americans need Al-Assad to secure the exit of their remaining troops from Iraq
Robert Fisk wrote in The Independent newspaper an article regarding Al-Assad’s speech in which he said: “He was not a humble President. He did not give way. There were hints, of course – an end to emergency legislation, "reforms" – but when he spoke yesterday, trying to calm a crisis that has seen more than 60 people killed in a fortnight and threatens his very office, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria did not give the impression of a man on the run.”
The writer believed that President Assad had many assets, considering he was young and was able to eliminate the worst excesses of his father. However, he criticized Assad for saying that the recent events were caused by foreign conspiracy but agreed with the analyses saying that the Americans needed Syria to secure the exit of their remaining troops from Iraq.
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