An Event and a Regional Trend

A number of analysts and experts in the area consider the US president’s statements about the Iranian nuclear program, and his call for world states to prevent the eruption of a nuclear war, as an attempt to raise the level of intimidation, especially after the successful visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran, and the information circulated in the international oil and gas markets about real partnerships that started among Russia, the Caspian Asian Republics and Turkey and Syria in a way that may lead to a qualitative change in the US map for dominating the gas and oil resources and the giant oil pipelines and the markets of the Arab and Islamic Orient. The experts referred to the Iranian pipeline, which will cross Turkey and Syria to the Mediterranean and to the size of the Russian-Iranian economic agreements, which will reach 200 billion dollars in ten years. Meanwhile, the visit made by President Bashar Al-Assad to Turkey lays the foundation of a real and close economic partnership between the two countries, and leads to a Turkish harmony with the Syrian-Iranian alliance, which is not far from the relationship with Russia and its movement in eastern Mediterranean.
Some analysts said the US hysteria resulted from the emergence of a new economic, oil and strategic reality that opposes the US-Israeli plan to redraw the map of the Middle East. In addition to this, the available information say that the result of the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Moscow, and her meeting with president Putin, were sufficient to make President Bush understand that a new period of the cold war has come and it is impossible to avoid it.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The reports about the talks that the US military delegation holds in Lebanon imply dangerous data related to the Pentagon’s goals concerning the plan of the US military deployment in the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin.
The press and political circles in Lebanon said that there is a plan to establish a US military base in north Lebanon that extends from the location of Naher al-Bared camp to the Syrian borders in the north, and with a depth that touches the outskirts of Halba city in Akkar, including Kléat military airport. The US delegation will start condensed explorations related to this plan, which will be carried out, according to identical information, under the title of Lebanese-Us military cooperation. Therefore, the US military base will be established under the title of a joint center for rehabilitating the armed forces.
The US military and political delegation insolently discussed with the Lebanese sides, which are involved in this project, the topic of the fighting the doctrine of the Lebanese army and the necessity of radically reconsidering it and dropping the idea of enmity to Israel through Bush’s conference on the Palestinian cause, and calling for comprehensive Arab-Israeli relations. The delegation also proposed modifying the structure of the Lebanese army on the organizational level to change it into a tool for internal repression, not for national defense, under the title of reducing the combating forces. Some members of the US delegation whispered in the corridors about the necessity of getting rid of thousands of officers and sergeants, who belong to the culture of the relationship between the army and the resistance, which Americans call the culture of the Syrian epoch in the Lebanese army.
Some Lebanese political sources are convinced that Bush’s administration deals with the presidential merit in a way that helps it to get a Lebanese signature on this agreement after ousting the army’s leader and his team in order to open the way for the organizational and structural changes, which will make the army submit to the US experts.

Arab and International Press

The Saudi paper Al-Watan said in its editorial that the independence of the Turkish decision and policy from the US interests is not new, pointing out that this Turkish trend started in 2003 with the US invasion of Iraq and Ankara’s rejection of invading Iraq from its lands, and that is the reason for the US Congress’s tendency to consider the killing of the Armenians as a genocide, and the US opposition of the Turkish invasion of north Iraq.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said preparations for holding parliamentary elections in Jordan started after the declaration to open the door of nomination next week. What is remarkable in the campaign is the political money for buying the votes.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said what is sarcastic is the US talk about democracy and human rights in Iraq, pointing out that these two terms became hateful after the occupation of Iraq, especially when the US officials refer to them when they talk about their achievement in this country.
Al-Bayan paper said in its editorial that as it is anticipated, the Turkish parliament gave the green light to the army to launch an expanded military operation across the borders with Iraq against the PKK fighters, and since Turkey did not set out any date for the invasion, this means the situation entered the circle of diffusion.
Moreen Daod said in an article published in the New York Times that at the beginning of the week of enlightening against Islamic fascism, the republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani accused the democrats of being cowards in using the term of Islamic fascism, ruling out that using this term hurts the Muslims’ feelings.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Special Covering
US President George Bush said that the Iranian president announced that he wants to destroy all Israel. Therefore, if leaders of the world want to avoid a third world war, they should prevent Iran from getting the necessary knowledge to make a nuclear weapon.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said the US officially demanded changing Lebanon into an allied military base, pointing out that there is a plan to sign an agreement that provides the US with facilitations to confront the Russian strategy in Syria.
An-Nahar said Washington proposes an international team to guarantee the presidential elections, while Walid Jumblatt asked the US vice-president Dick Cheney to support Lebanon with all the means.
Al-Akhbar quoted President Emile Lahoud as saying that his option is not forming a second government.
Ad-Diyar said House Speaker Berri prepares for arranging a parliamentary session on November, which means that October 23 session will be delayed.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geagea have revealed their intentions through their reactions on the exchange operation between Israel and Hezbollah and expressed disappointment at Israel, wondering if Israel pays this price for a settler, what it will pay for its two soldiers.
The NTV said the majority’s representatives’ visits to America and the statements which are derived from these visits mean that either the vacuum will appoint a president or the majority will appoint it to pass its projects.
The NBN said Geagea hints at nominating himself and asserts that elections will take place through the half plus one quorum.
The OTV said the Lebanese condition is still under the shock of the exchange operation between Hezbollah and Israel.
The LBC wondered what will happen after October 23, or if Berri will set a new date for the parliamentary session.
The Future pinned hopes on the result of the European ministers’ visit to Lebanon and the anticipated meeting between Berri and al-Hariri.

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.