An event and a Regional Trend

The confusion caused by the US intelligence report on Iran inside the US is still interacting and it seems that the report will be a starting point for redrawing the US policies on the internal and international level.
Analysts observed the following indicators:
- 1. The report is the result of the work of 14 US intelligence agencies. This means that it is produced by the ruling institute and brings to mind Baker-Hamilton’s report which was rejected by Bush’s administration.
- 2. The report was written six months ago but the US administration delayed publishing it in order to rearrange its cards to be ready for a new stage in the Middle East.
- 3. The neocons in the administration (Dick Cheney and Elliot Abrams) described the report as a coup.
- 4. US press reports stressed that the Israeli preventive strike on Syria resulted from the report after the Israeli agents informed their leaders of the content of the report which will change the US policy from war on Syria and Iran to negotiations with them. The strike aimed at suggesting that Iran and Syria work to possess nuclear weapons.
- 5. The Israeli analysts talk about a new strategic stage in the Middle East amid an increase in the US advice in the bilateral talks of experts and analysts about the necessity of adapting with a nuclear Iran and seriously searching the files of compromise with Syria and Lebanon and on the Palestinian track

An event and a Lebanese Trend

The Lebanese people bid farewell today for the martyr of the army and the homeland brigadier general Francois al-Haj. The funeral will move from Harisa church towards his southern town Rmeish which he left in 1976 due to Israeli threats resulted from his rejection of participation in the conspiracy of the officer Saad Hadad who belonged to the Israeli intelligence. He continued visiting his town especially after the liberation of the south in 2000 and established a deep rooted partnership between the Lebanese army and the resistance. This was crowned in 2006 in confronting the Israeli war against Lebanon.
Al-Siniora government did not call for mourning or closing the schools and universities as it did in all the previous events, but an angry televised talk for the martyr’s son imposed this thing on the Lebanese government. Observers said the indicators seem contradictory two days before the electoral session:
- 1. The opposition authorized general Aoun to negotiate with the loyalists. He announced that he has an understanding card which he will reveal later in order to reach an acceptable compromise. This authorization represents a strong card from the opposition which insists on ending the marginalization of the Christians.
- 2. The confusion in the ranks of the loyalists resulted, according to some analysts, from their inability to understand the new balances in the area. Some papers said Saudi Arabia informed France its acceptance of naming a prime minister from outside the Future Trend and distancing al-Siniora from political life, but the information are not confirmed.
- 3. The endeavors are limited to the phone call of Walid Jumblatt with the house speaker Nabih Berry while the press talked about the growing popularity of general oun.
- 4. some pessimistic sources did not rule out a good surprise on the line of communications that may lead to an understanding documented with sufficient guarantees for implementation in accordance with what proposed by general Aoun.

Arab and International Press

The Israeli paper Ha’aretz said that it received documents which confirm that Israel and the Palestinian authority reached in 2000 and 2001 important agreements in issues related to the borders, the refugees and Jerusalem, but the Palestinians refused all Israel’s security demands especially depriving the Palestinian state from weapons.
Shamuel Rozner said in an article published in some Israeli papers that there is now a job vacancy which is investigating into the perplexing US intelligence assessment of the Iranian nuclear file.
The Iranian paper Jam Jam said that defending the principles of the revolution under the leadership of the Imam al-Khomeini preserved Iran’s sovereignty and dignity and the Iranians’ clinging to their rights in the issue of the nuclear file forced the Western intelligence to recognize the peacefulness of the nuclear project.
The Iranian paper Amroz quoted president Nejad as saying that the US intelligence report on the nuclear project represents an Iranian victory on superpowers.
The Iranian paper Goya revealed a new political crisis between president Nejad and interior minister Mustafa Bur Mohamadi concerning the policy of the interior ministry.
The Emirate paper Al-Khalij said in its editorial that Bali conference on the climactic changes revealed that the climate change will lead to dangerous consequences that affect the globe.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that President Bush insists on refining the image of Washington in the world and especially in the Arab and Islamic world but his problem is that he takes all the roads except the road that leads to this goal.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said the family of the martyr brigadier general Francois al-Haj forced the government to participate in the national mourning on the martyr.
Ad-Diyar said a new track emerges concerning the presidential merit’s crisis after the opposition’s authorization of general Aoun to negotiate the loyalists.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the crisis of the presidential merit is stagnant in the shadow of the ruling team’s rejection to embrace a comprehensive compromise for the crisis.
The NTV said leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea cancelled a special televised meeting in a time that requires talking. He decided to keep silent because what he has in his mouth resembles water.
The NBN said that Ain Attineh sources pointed out that the house speaker is still considering that the constitutional topic is not the obstacle but the way of igniting dialogue between the opposition and the loyalists.
The OTV said the aspects of official mourning is absent in the funeral of Francois al-Haj and there is a security vacuum.
The LBC said after the failure of the house speaker’s mediation general Aoun announced that the opposition authorized him to negotiate the loyalists.
The Future quoted the Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora as saying that foreign intervention and the struggle on Lebanon prevent the election of the president.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

The LBC
Program: The People’s Talk
The son of the director of operations in the Lebanese army general Francois Al-Haj, Elie al-Haj wondered why the government did not close the areas of Beirut and the north and the mountain to mourn his father since he is the martyr of all Lebanon.
Minister of defense alias al-Murr said that there is progress in the investigations into the previous crimes.
Editor-in-chief of Ad-Diyar Charl Ayyoub said the Syrian–Saudi dialogue on achieving a compromise in Lebanon is not clear yet.
Minister Jean Ogasbian said the government will not appoint new ministers and the Lebanese intelligence is still too weak to reveal such crimes.

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, French, German, and Spanish languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and Spanish.