An Event and a Regional Trend

Arab political sources have stressed that the US administration exerted direct pressures on some governments to prevent them from developing strong communications with Iran during the next three months in order to give enough time to the US to form a map of regional alliances, in which the Arab states, which are friends to the West, will seem close to Israel in confronting Syria and Iran, within the framework of the theory of moderation and extremism that the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice invented during the July aggression on Lebanon.
The Autumn Peace Conference is the station which will crown this arrangement, which coincides with US preparations to launch wide scope aggression on Iran in collaboration with Israel. Informed sources in Paris called for taking seriously the foreign minister Kouchner’s aggressive statements against Iran, because they reflect the discussions between Washington and Paris despite the French attempts to retreat in the aftermath of reactions inside France and in the world when Kouchner visited Washington.
The French sources quoted a former senior officer in the US intelligence as stressing that the US has taken its decision to attack Iran, and that the Pentagon circles started their practical preparations in this respect. Among the steps taken is hiring all the huge cargo airplanes, which are available in the world. Some experts and analysts considered the recent Israeli air raid against Syria as an attempt to explore air paths for the US and Israeli warplanes to Iran, and to touch the pulse of Syria and Turkey in this respect.
Some analysts mock such scenarios and put them in the category of political terrifying, which reflects the US and Israeli stumbling in the area, and consider the leaks and mobilization as a part of the work to create a political climate for pressurizing Iran and Syria, while, at the same time, the US will activate the serious negotiations with the two countries, either directly or through mediation.

An Event and a Lebanese trend

The statement issued by the Security Council on the Lebanese presidential merit has enhanced the belief that the US and its international and regional allies are determined to interfere in this internal constitutional process. The statement aims at building a bridge to internationalize the crisis.
The House Speaker refused this aggression on the authorities of the parliament and continued his efforts that aim at reaching a compromise on this issue, but it seems that the reports on the results are contradictory.
The loyal hawks continued their political escalation and threatened to hold an electoral parliamentary meeting outside the two thirds quorum, a step which will increase the crisis and divide the country.
What raises concern is the talk of the loyal circles and the US ambassador about new assassinations in Lebanon. Some analysts in Beirut considered this as a preparation for operations that aim at accelerating the internationalization of the presidential merit if the US wishes this. They recalled the role of the assassination crimes in issuing international resolutions since the crime that targeted the former premier Rafiq Hariri.
The opposition, which supports the endeavors of the House Speaker, expressed serious fears from the presence of a bloody plan to deal a deadly blow to the conciliatory efforts and put the US hand on the presidential merit through appointing a new president by Washington that serves its plans in Lebanon and the area.
These sources accused the loyal hawks of participating in the US plan and blamed all the European and Arab partners of Washington, especially Saudi Arabia and France. What will make the condition more dangerous in the coming weeks is that the current communications and talks in Lebanon are not far from the interactions of the US stand in the area.
Lebanese personalities, who visited an active Arab state, which is a friend to the US, quoted the first official in this state as saying that he can not refuse any US demand concerning the Lebanese condition, and that his government can not pressurize the loyalists in order to reach a compromise.
An Arab diplomat in Beirut said the coming weeks will be critical and dangerous and the Lebanese are in a constant state of concern and anticipation, as if they are before a race between the solution and the escalation, while the opposition announced that any foreign intervention under any cover will be resisted as a foreign invasion.
It is a paradox that the Security Council statement calls for non-intervention and that the star of the statement is the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, who distanced himself from playing the role of the honest mediator, as he portrayed himself when he came to Beirut, as an opponent Lebanese minister sarcastically commented.

Arab and International Press

The Washington Post said in its editorial that the good news in the US secretary of state Rice’s Middle Eastern diplomacy is that she gathered the Palestinian and Israeli leaders around the table of a serious dialogue for the first time since 2000 to discuss essential issues related to the establishing of the Palestinian state.
Newsweek said in an article that the US vice-president Dick Cheney thought about instigating Iran and Israel to attack each other to give the US a pretext to attack Iran.
Christian Science Monitor said that French President Sarkozy is probably the best friend for the US in France for decades and he offers advise and consultation to America.
The Washington Post published a report, which revealed that the US Pentagon adopted a secret program to encourage some snipers in the US army to target the suspect rebels through spreading pieces of baits and detonation wires, explosives and weapons and killing any Iraqi that picks them.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that the Zionist entity did not stop its racial cleansing against Palestinians for one moment.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the Security Council’s statement concerning the presidential merit indicates a growing international concern over the attempts to achieve the presidential merit in the light of the assassination of Antoine Ghanem.
As-Safir said Samir Geagea considers the House Speaker Nabih Berri as head of Amal movement only.
Al-Akhbar said the House Speaker Berri refuses the intervention of the Security Council and the US administration in his work.
Ad-Diyar said the names of the presidential candidates are limited to four persons: General Michel Suleiman, head of Lebanon Bank Riyadh Salameh, former representative Jean Obeid and former minister Michel Eddé.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program : Special statement
The spokesperson for Hamas, Sami Abu Zahra said the resistance forces are preparing to confront any Israeli aggression and they are ready to make Israel pay a heavy price.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the meeting between Saad Hariri and the patriarch Sfeir may open the door for electing a president before October 23.
The NTV wondered if the political riot will hamper reaching a compromise on the president. For its part, the NBN said the doors of communication and consultations are open to all the directions, while the OTV said it turned out that Saad Hariri is not authorized by his allies in the topic of reaching a compromise on the president.
The LBC said if there are chosen presidential candidates, then what is the aim of the consultations between Berri and Al-Hariri?
The Future said: the French presidency called the Lebanese sides to benefit from the month deadline to reach an agreement on the presidential merit.

Television stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: The People’ talk
Minister Marwan Hamdadeh said that Samir Geagea and Walid Jumblatt do not escalate the situation at all and that Junblat totally supports Saad Hariri’s steps, calling on Hezbollah and all the Lebanese forces to build a new Lebanon.

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.