An Event and a Regional Trend

The Blackwater Company, which directs the biggest army of mercenaries in the world, resumed its work by an order from the US administration despite the Iraqi government’s decision to prevent it and withdraw its license. It is clear that the mercenary army, which consists of more than 100 thousand contractors, forms a security and military arm that the US occupation can not give up, and uses it in carrying out the detonation and elimination operations that nurture the sectarian schism among the Iraqis.
This file, which is one of the US occupation scandals in Iraq and inside the US, offers the Arab public opinion a real example for the nature of the US project in the area. After disbanding all the national security and military institutions in Iraq, the occupation replaced them by its forces and the security companies which try to control the mechanisms of building the new organs, while, at the same time, they commit the most horrible murders and looting operations on the Iraqi grounds.
Blackwater is a title for a stage and a project. It is not a mere detail in the US clothes, which are stained with the blood of more than 800,000 Iraqis, who were killed since the fall of Baghdad. This is the example that Bush will offer to the peoples of the area if they submit to their regimes which revolve in the US orbit and adopt the US projects and priorities in all the current affairs of the Arab and Islamic East.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The accusations that targeted Syria immediately after the assassination crime of the Lebanese representative Antoine Ghanem raised an impression that it is part of a plan which started in Lebanon five years ago. The accusations take place within the framework of exerting pressures on Syria and the US attempts to impose tutelage on Lebanon and eliminate resistance.
The accusations are legally groundless, because they come from the same sides that did the same thing during all the security events, but evidences refuted their allegations. This pushed the ruling team to use the political accusation this time, because all its previous campaigns changed into scandals due to their fall in the judicial and security test. They seemed as an investment process in the explosions and assassinations, which is politically motivated, and linked to the US project for controlling the area, which is confronted by Syria’s principled stand towards the Arab-Israeli conflict and the occupation of Iraq.
Some analysts said the baseless accusations that targeted Syria moved on a parallel track with the crimes which were politically used to pressurize Syria and move Lebanon to the US-Israeli bank in the area. This issue became crystal clear on the Lebanese arena where all regional and international centers pressurize Syria to force it to interfere in the presidential merit, while, at the same time, they publicly call it not to interfere.
A leading opponent source said that the Lebanese street did not pay attention to such campaigns after the accumulation of the scandals that surrounded all the stories of March 14 coalition about the assassination crimes, starting off from what surrounded the former premier Al-Hariri’s assassination and the issue of the four officers, which is caught in the cycle of the false witnesses. The British daily, The Observer, said that Serge Bramertz may reveal in his new report the background of buying these witnesses, adding that its sources said that the leader of the Future Trend may be involved in this.

Arab and International Press

The Israeli Radio said yesterday that Israel has raised the state of emergency to its highest degrees, because some migratory birds at the borders with Syria caused turmoil in the Israeli air force which sent its fighters to chase them. Head of the Israeli army staff said the state of emergency aims at avoiding the repetition of 1973 war surprise.
International Press Agencies said that Washington’s embassy in Baghdad announced that Blackwater Company resumed its work in Iraq with a US decision and an Iraqi agreement despite the scandal of killing more than 50 Iraqi civilians.
Agence France Presse said that Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned yesterday from launching war on Iran, saying this will stop oil supplies to the West and cause a displacement movement to Russia.
United Press International said the British Royal Society published a report which says the Britain possesses a reservoir of plutonium, which reaches 100 tons and enough to produce 17 thousand atomic bombs.
The Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar quoted an Arab diplomat as saying that US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice called Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit over the "talk about the development of Egyptian-Iranian relations", and that Rice told him that Egypt will be included in the axis of evil if it develops its relations with Iran.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that the US rejection of the UN general assembly’s resolution to free the Middle East from nuclear weapons was eye-catching. This means that Bush’s administration does not wish to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with the international legitimacy’s resolutions.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said the Lebanese army leadership has decided to announce the surroundings of the Parliament as a military zone in order to protect the representatives.
Al-Akhbar added that the Lebanese army has arrested by chance an Israeli person with German passport, who learned Arabic in Gulf States and visited Lebanon for eleven times in the last two years.
An-Nahar said President Bush will receive representative Saad Hariri at the beginning of next month.
An-Nahar added that the scheduled meeting between Syrian foreign minister Al-Muallem and French foreign minister Kouchner was cancelled.
As-Safir quoted Kouchner as saying that France has received a Lebanese demand to send international police to protect the representatives.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: With the Event
Hamas’s Representative in Lebanon Ossama Hamdane said the Israeli declaration of Gaza as a hostile entity is a declaration of a war which is already taking place.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said that after the burial of representative Antoine Ghanem, the post-crime questions revolve around political and security issues.
The NTV said that Amine Gemayal called for internationalizing the presidential merit.
The NBN wondered if the wave of assassinations will stop here, while the OTV said Lebanon bid farewell to the great man Antoine Ghanem. For its part, the LBC said the shock of the crime has restored the severed relations and the House Speaker Berri called representative Junblat to express his condolences, because Ghanem was a member of the Democratic Meeting.
The Future wondered about the destiny of the session for electing the president.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: The Hour’s talk
Syrian information minister Mohsen Bilal rejected the February 14 accusations against Syria, saying they are linked to a foreign plan and they are groundless, pointing out that Syria’s only candidate for presidency is Lebanese national conciliation.

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.