An Event and a Regional Tendency

The well-known Egyptian military expert Salaheddine Salim said there are 80.000 mercenaries in Iraq, who work for the US and Israel and each one of them receives 14 to 15.000 dollars every month.
Salim said, in a forum at the Egyptian journalists’ syndicate headquarters, that Washington and Tel Aviv organize the armies of the mercenaries in the Middle East to set the fires of sectarian conflicts and to carry out a plan that aims at dividing and deconstructing 9 Arab states, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia in order to enable Israel to change into a super power and control the area.
A book was recently published in the US, under the title of Blackwater, which is also the name of the US Corporation that recruits mercenaries in Iraq and directs an army of mercenaries. The book talks about the mercenaries’ involvement in explosions and genocides in order to nurture the civil war among the Iraqis. Some of these groups were named by some Western papers as the death squads, like the one that the CIA organized in Peru and Salvador to fight the leftist and Christian popular movements, which oppose dictatorship. These groups were specialized in blowing up churches and committing massacres against peasants and killed many bishops and ministers.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The UN security council failed yesterday to approve the draft of the presidential statement concerning the implementation of the resolution 1701, while discussions at the council on the submitted draft has witnessed vehement criticisms of the statement’s bias to Israel and its adoption of Israeli stories and claims without citing any evidences or any reference to the Israeli continuous violations and the occupation of Lebanese lands.
The press said that a number of the member states’ representatives, especially Qatar, South Africa, Russia, China and some Latin American states vehemently criticized the proposed text, but the Lebanese foreign minister Tareq Matri and the Lebanese ambassador to the UN did’t say a word.
The reports on the resolutions related to Lebanon are prepared by US and Israeli data coordinated by Terry Roed Larsen, while many security council member states opposed the US approach to any topic, especially the insistence on issuing a new resolution when the topic is related to Lebanon, which is a priority in the US projects in the area.
A leading opponent source said that it is shameful when Arab and foreign representatives talk in defense of Lebanon, while Fouad Siniora press office, which is fluent in the internal contests, keeps silent as the US orders.

Arab and International Press

The Washington Post said in its editorial that the real goal behind the arms deals to the Gulf states stresses, as US secretary of state Rice said, the importance of this area to the US at this difficult stage, because the US may reduce the number of its forces in this region.
The former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke said in a talk to Global Viewpoint Service that the international failure in Afghanistan will result in the return of al-Qaeda and Taliban.
Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said, in an interview with the Saudi paper (Al-Sharq al-Awsat, that the key to solution in Lebanon is in the hands of the Lebanese, pointing out that all the sides should stop intervention in Lebanon.
The Saudi paper Al-Watan said that Saudi Arabia’s attendance of the peace conference that Bush called for, aims at encouraging the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Arab and international press said US secretary of state Rice announced an 80 million dollars aid to the Palestinian authority’s security organs.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej quoted Hamas movement as saying that the US financial support to the authority aims at targeting resistance.
Al-Sahrq Al-Awsat quoted a high ranking Libyan official as saying that the son of the Libyan leader Saif al-Islam does not occupy any political position; therefore what he says does not express the state’s stands. Meanwhile, the French press focused on the issue of the French president’s wife’s two visits to Libya and the deals related to the release of the Bulgarian nurses.
The press said: the socialists criticized president Nicolas Sarkozy for distancing the foreign minister Bernard Kouchner from negotiations with Libya that led to a military deal which should not be signed with a country which was a rogue state.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said: patriarch Sfeir’s mediations have collapsed and this will intensify the electoral battle in al-Matn.
As-Safir said Amine Gemayel sets as a condition for his agreement with General Oun, namely ending the opposition’s set-in and that Tachnag party denies US pressures on it.
Al-Akhbar said the patriarchy’s mediation initiative has failed.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

News Report
Mark Fitzpatrick, the expert in the US defense and foreign affairs said the goal of the US arms deals in the Middle East is facing Iran’s influence.

News Report
US secretary of defense Robert Gates called the Arab Gulf states to exert pressures on Iran to give up its nuclear project.

Television Stations News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said mediations stopped and electoral machines have started to work amid mutual accusations. The NTV said the confrontation will take place on Sunday.
For its part the NBN quoted General Michel Aoun as saying that he will defend the republic’s president’s authorities.
The LBC said violent confrontations took place in Nahr al-Bared camp while the army occupied part of the armed men’s last position.
The Future said the electoral battles’ roar have started to be heard in the northern Matn.

Television Stations News in Lebanon

Program: The People’s Speech
Former president Amine Gemayel said we are in a difficult stage and we do not have an alternative except fighting this battle in order to continue.

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on in Arabic, English and French languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic and English.