An Event and a Regional Trend

Bush Modified Winograd’s Report to Protect Olmert

Political and press circles in the area focused on Winograd’s report which will remain a topic for discussions and comments while predictions surround the secret texts which cover many of the titles and secrets of July war in which Arab and Lebanese sides were involved in its preliminary and executive stages, and the nature of the alliances and partnerships which were led by the US to launch this war. Israel did not admit this as it admitted the victory of Hezbollah. The reactions to Winograd’s report in Israel enhance the deduction which says that the US president George Bush sponsored the version which is allowed for publication and a political process that keeps his partner Olmert in power and curbs the aspirations of his strong competitor inside the coalition Ehud Barak. The Israeli press talked about a violent campaign by the Likud that calls for ousting Olmert , while Barak’s front kept silent concerning the report which said Barak is responsible for withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. The language that describes the political level’s responsibility for Israel’s defeat was gentle. The report added that a semi-military organization that consists of thousands of fighters was able to confront the most powerful army in the Middle East. What is remarkable is that Winograd’s report showed an understanding for many decisions made by Olmert and Amer Beritz concerning directing the war and negotiations which were criticized in the first report which was published before. The report used expressions which said the decisions were made on the basis of the available data without identifying the responsibilities for the failure of the military leadership or the government.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Winograd, the Investigation and the Threat of Internationalization

The press scene in Lebanon covered the following developments:
- 1. Lebanese circles focused on Winograd’s report in the light of the contests on the political arena concerning Israel’s responsibility for the war in 2006 and the reality of the victory of resistance and the defeat of the aggression. It is clear that a new wave of Lebanese discussions will rise in the coming stage after publishing the report of the Israeli investigation committee which confirmed the resistance’s victory, That is what was stressed today by the army’s leader Michel Suleiman who said that the report holds Israel responsible for the launching the war and confirms the victory of resistance through its partnership with the army.
- 2. The investigations into the bloody Sunday events continue and information leaked about arresting a big number of soldiers and 33 civilians, some of them belong to the militias of the Lebanese Forces, while the loyal sources said that Hezbollah and Amal knew that the Lebanese forces are not involved in the events, but informed sources said the quick visit made by Sameer Gagea to prime minister Fouad al-Siniora was stormy and Gagea called for the intervention of the judiciary to stop the arrest of his militia’s members.
- 3. Continuous statements by the Arab league secretary general Amer Musa and the Saudi ambassador in Beirut and the loyalists’ leaders which focus on the call for electing Michel Suleiman as a president without any understandings on the topic of the government and the electoral law and considering the insistence of the opposition on pre-understanding pushed the country to the verge of explosion.
- 4. Press information from Paris that talked about the serious threats to internationalize the Lebanese file and the French cooperation with the Arab league.
- 5. Information about the visit of Junblat to Moscow which will focus on two issues: starting the mission of the international tribunal and exploring the Russian stand towards issuing an international resolution concerning the Lebanese presidency.

Arab and International Press

The Syrian daily Tichrin said the US administration wants to continue its services to Israel through covering the siege of Gaza and nurturing internal schism in Lebanon.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that the UN’s stand towards Gaza’s disaster was not the required one and reflected the domination of the law of the jungle.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Rafah’s crossing changed from a point to break the siege into a new Palestinian complex.
David Brooks said in an article published in al-Qabas that something changed in the US Democratic Party due to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s attempt to distort the image of Barak Obama.
James Glance said in an article published in al-Qabas that the report published by the special inspector for the reconstruction of Iraq talked about the big failure of the US Construction Companies in implementing a number of projects.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian Satellite Station
Syrian foreign minister Mohsen Bilal stressed the cohesion between ending the Israeli siege and achieving the Palestinian national unity.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said Winograd’s report proved that July war on Lebanon was a big a dangerous defeat for Israel.
Al-Akhbar said the Winograd’ report is the official recognition of the defeat of Israel on July 2006 war against Lebanon.
As-Safir said that next week will be crucial in Israel on the level of the conflicting fronts due to the reactions to the publication of Winograd’s report.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the enemies admitted their defeat on July war.
The NTV said that the Israeli judge Elyahu Winograd dealt a deadly blow to the prestige of the Israeli state two times and read a report which seems as if its written by secretary general of Hezbollah.
The NBN said a political storm invaded Israel after the publication of Winograd’s report.
The OTV said that the storm of the general “snow” cut electricity from most of the areas.
The LBC said that it is the day of reports: Winograd’s report will lead to serious consequences in Israel while in Lebanon a committee of five officers will write a report on the condition of electricity in Beirut.
The Future said Arab league secretary general stressed the necessity of electing general Suleiman as quickly as possible.

Television Stations’ Interviews

Program: With the Event
Head of the People’s Movement Najah Wakeem said that Hezbollah prevented schism after the event of the bloody Sunday, pointing out that Lebanon can solve its crisis if the Arabs leave it alone.

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