An Event and a Regional Trend

The crimes committed by Blackwater Corporation in Iraq required a stand from the Iraqi government this time, but shed light on a file whose treatment was limited to the opponents of war in the US, who wrote studies and reports, which are rich with information about the army of mercenaries, which is led by US companies in Iraq, and Blackwater is the biggest among them.
The US administration admitted this fact for the first time yesterday through justifying the crime, which was condemned by Prime Minister Al-Maleki who decided to withdraw the license of this US company. Washington said this measure is rash and called for waiting for the investigations’ results.
The number of the mercenary army in Iraq is about 120,000, each one of them receives 15-45 thousand dollars a month. They are killers and thugs, mafia men and gang members, who work in the service of the Pentagon and the US intelligence organs, which are coordinated by official of the Middle East in the US national security council Elliot Abrams. The fatalities of this army are not included in the death toll among the US soldiers, and it is equivalent to black death squads that commit massacres and carry out the explosions in Iraq to set the flame of civil war among the Iraqis. And the first public appearance of this dirty military arm was during Falluja battles.
Foreign correspondents in Iraq talked about mass graves for the mercenaries’ fatalities.
They are financed by the black money of the Iraqi oil, which is controlled by the occupation intelligence organs that finance all the operations of sabotage and assassinations in the area.
It is worth mentioning that trained Israeli units and groups from Antoine Lahad proxy militias participate in the mercenaries army through a number of companies.
The Arab satellite television stations started to shed light on this topic and investigate into it. An Iraqi source said that the mercenaries have committed mass killings and carried out explosions that killed thousands of Iraqis since the US invasion.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

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Conférence de presse de Ban Ki-Moon, 18 septembre 2007.

The press conference, held by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday, announced stands that attracted the press’s attention and brought with it two signs about the Lebanese and regional condition that the analysts and experts focused on:
- The UN Secretary General’s denial of Terje Rød-Larsen’s statements concerning the Lebanese presidential merit, which said that the president can be elected through the half plus one formula.
- The UN Secretary General clearly referred to the importance of the Syrian role in the area and declared that he invited the Syrian Foreign Minister to participate in the meeting of the Arab follow-up committee with the international quartet.
Some experts, who consider the Lebanese condition as the thermometer in regional and international tensions, link these statements with the international endeavors, which tried to reduce tension in the area through the strong Russian and Chinese reactions to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s statements on Iran, or through Paris’s attempt to reduce the sharpness of Kouchner’s participation, with former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, in a press campaign against Iran. Israel also tried to cool the situation which resulted from the last Israeli aggression on Syria, which some Israeli circles fear its consequences.
Experts wonder if the US has withdrawn the tools of escalation in order to motivate negotiations or if Ban Ki-Moon responded to US demands and moved on the Syrian and Lebanese arena to diffuse tensions that may threaten the US control of the situation and make compromises difficult and more expensive for the US and its allies in Lebanon and the area.

Arab and International Press

Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the Iranian nuclear file has entered a new stage that may lead to war. And in such circumstances any mistake will lead to a disaster.
International press agencies said the scandal of Blackwater company in Iraq shook the occupation administration in the aftermath of killing 11 Iraqi civilians by the company’s mercenaries.
Arab and International Press Agencies said that Iran has belittled the importance of French Foreign minister Bernard Kouchner’s statements, saying that it does not take them seriously.
Ahmed Al-Qadidi said in an article published in some Arab papers that the French diplomacy witnesses new transformations in the Middle East that opens the way for a new European policy, independent from the unipolar US policy that dominates the world.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said the UN Secretary General said the statements of his envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the implementation of the resolution 1559 do not represent the UN viewpoint.
An-Nahar said House Speaker Berri has welcomed representative Saad Hariri’s warm compliment, pointing out that the Saudi king advised prime minster Al-Siniora to let the presidential merit pass safely.
As-Safir quoted Syrian vice-president Farouk al-Chareh as saying that Lebanon needs a president that holds the file of bilateral relations.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interview

Al-Jazeera
Program : The Day’s Harvest
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said Arab states do not want the US conference on peace in the Middle East to be a formal meeting.

Al-Alam
Program : Special Statement
The leader in Al-Sadr trend sheik Abdel Razzak Neddaoui said it is necessary to find new and real national political blocs that include all the components of the Iraqi arena far from the blocs, which are based on a sectarian basis in order to avoid more disasters in Iraq.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said nothing new has appeared on the level of the presidential merit, except the declared visit of the House Speaker to Bkerké.
The NTV said all the sides agree on conciliation, but only the Americans have the veto.
The NBN said the French charges d’affaires in Lebanon said representative Saad Hariri has an honest intention to continue Berri’s initiative and reach a conciliatory president.
The OTV wondered if the atmospheres of escalation in the area have pushed the sides to find a serious solution for the presidential crisis.
The LBC said Kouchner’s statements on Iran have raised the world’s concern and pushed Russia and China to announce their opposition to military intervention.
The Future said the Maronite patriarchs’ approach to the presidential issue may open the door for new movements.

LBC
Program: With all courage
Representative Salim Aoun said the agreement should be on the political project, although Berri’s initiative has focused on the person, adding that General Aoun is the man who can solve the country’s problems.
Representative Mustafa Alloush said the majority forces will head for the parliament on September 24, hoping that the other side will be there.

Attached documents


Private Security Contractors in Iraq: Background, Legal Status, and Other Issues (CRS Report, July 2007)


(PDF - 229.1 kb)

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