Editorial

The death of the settlement and the retreat of Western influence

Ever since the June 1967 war, the United States and Europe from behind it linked their influence in the region to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the shape of the action surrounding the settlement process.
Throughout more than forty years, the United States and the European countries were able to reap many gains and spoils in the context of this strategy during its different political stages which were based on the idea of forming a regional system in which Israel would be the central and dominating power. However, in the face of this project, a political, popular and military resistance emerged, its elements accumulated and its strength increased especially during the last ten years in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
The outcome recently reached by the talks along the Palestinian track is considered to be the actual conclusion of a stage of conflicts, wars and negotiations, which were managed by the Israeli-Western alliance with its partners among the Arab governments under the banner of the so-called peace process.
It is clear that the American and Western adoption of the idea of the Jewish state and what it carries in terms of the total liquidation of the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian people, is the main base of strategies to contain the failures of the colonial wars and invasions in the region and the belief that Israel - which is strong and protected by a strategic alliance with the United States and the NATO member states - is a guarantee that cannot be relinquished in the context of the protection of Western influence. The Western governments are ignoring the fact that their violation of the content of the UN decisions issued during the Cold War and the international balances known at the time, and their determination to impose Israeli hegemony based on military prevalence which Israel could never have obtained had it not been for the American and European aid it has been receiving since its establishment, have both constituted the starting point for the current predicament.
It is clear that the Western governments are determined not to reconsider their strategies in the region. Consequently, they must prepare for additional losses since the collapse of the settlement illusion and the wager on a political solution introduced by the American negotiations approach at the level of the Palestinian cause and all the conflict fronts between the Arabs and Israel, will lead to serious and decisive transformations in favor of the resistance forces on the Palestinian, Arab and regional levels. This carries only one meaning: the rise of the liberation and resistance blocs in the region and the collapse of the strongholds of Western influence in the Arab countries in particular. This outcome will come regardless of the delay, as long as the American and European governments are continuing to view the East with Israeli eyes.

International affairs

Obama drowning in Bush’s swamps

The report presented by American President Barack Obama under the headline of the reassessment of the war strategy in Afghanistan, constituted a blunt archetype of the failure of the American empire in its ongoing war.
Firstly: The clear confusion of the American president in describing the status of Al-Qaeda network, in itself points to a serious predicament facing the American administration which pledged to liquidate Al-Qaeda and bring its leaders before justice. It considered that Bush’s greatest mistake was the disregarding of this goal as a priority. Therefore, after two years of escalation in Afghanistan and the enhancement of the American and NATO troops, the American president considered that the accomplishment was the obstruction of Al-Qaeda’s action.
Secondly: The American relationship with Hamid Karzai’s regime is heading towards additional crises while the system of corruption, bribery, warlords, and opium trade remain - according to all the reports and investigations - the features of this authority which was imposed by the Americans through the clear falsification of the Afghan elections. The paradox is that Obama’s recognition of these contradicting facts with the American propaganda, did not conceal the reality of the exchange of accusations between Obama and Karzai over the responsibility for failure.
Thirdly: While the American president considered that the beginning of the pullout from Afghanistan next summer was final, his Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did not hesitate to announce shortly after the end of the president’s conference that there were no final deadlines and that the course of the operations will define the extent of the ability to set the date for the beginning of the American pullout from Afghanistan. Gates had previously said that the war over there could last ten more years.
Fourthly: It is clear that the Taliban movement is expanding its influence and deployment and placing stringent conditions in the face of the negotiations offers presented by Karzai’s regime. Moreover, scandals are still surfacing in regard to the extent of the Taliban influence inside the Afghan governmental forces, the transportation network, and the security companies employed by the Americans and NATO to deliver the supplies of the forces present in Afghanistan. Indeed, it is said that these companies’ moneys are pouring into the Taliban funds.
Obama who pledged to end Bush’s failed wars is now in the swamps due to the determination to continue following the colonial method while turning his back to the economic, social and political facts that are generating additional threats around the world.

The Arab file

The Arab newspapers continued to closely follow up on the repercussions of the announcement of the American failure to freeze the settlement constructions, the dead end reached by the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the new revelations of the Wikileaks documents.

Palestine

On the sixty second anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration, the Arab League reiterated its calls to end the suffering of the Palestinian people. On this occasion the Arab League General Secretariat urged the international community to force Israel to implement the decisions of international law and international human rights law, just like the entire world stood against the apartheid in South Africa, leading to peace and stability in the African continent. In a related context the Israeli occupation authorities escalated their attacks against the Palestinians, as well as the confiscation of lands and the destruction of homes.
It is noticeable that the Americans have recanted their previous position in regard to the establishment of the Palestinian state. They thus announced via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that they have discontinued the pressures on Israel to end the settlement activities, thus changing their priorities and annulling their commitments to the Palestinian authority.
The Palestinian command announced that American Peace Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell proposed new ideas for the re-launching of the halted peace process during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. For his part, Abbas demanded guarantees in any future negotiations with Israel.

Iraq

The Arab League welcomed the Security Council decision to take Iraq out of Chapter VII and lift a number of sanctions whose repercussions have been endured by Iraq and the Iraqis. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa thus said that this decision was an important step toward leading Iraq away from international tutelage once and for all, indicating that what the Security Council’s statement said in regard to the support of national reconciliation in Iraq fell in line with the Arab policy which demanded comprehensive national reconciliation as a key basis for stability in the country. It is worth mentioning that for the last eight years, Kuwait has been getting 5% of the annual oil revenues of Iraq, in order to cover the compensations owed by the latter to Kuwait due to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the country in 1990.

Egypt

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak corroborated ‘the legitimacy’ of the parliamentary elections which were held in his country. These elections had ended last week and resulted in the victory of the ruling National Party. Still, President Mubarak recognized there were violations, expressing sorrow toward the absence of the opposition from the new parliament and pledging that this next parliament will push toward further democracy. In the meantime, around six hundred Egyptian oppositionists demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court in center Cairo in protest against what the opposition described as being ‘a manipulation and falsification of the election results’. In parallel to the staging of the first session by the new People’s Assembly, a number of former opposition and independent deputies formed a ‘parallel parliament’ including 118 members.
The current parliament which includes 535 seats saw the election of only three Coptic candidates while seven others were appointed by the president, although the Copts in Egypt account for more than nine millions people.

Iran

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad ousted Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki from his post, appointing the head of the Iranian nuclear program in his place. The decision of the Iranian president to appoint Ali Akbar Salehi as foreign minister stated: “In light of your commitment, knowledge and valuable expertise, you are hereby appointed as caretaker Foreign Minister.”

Sudan

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir confirmed his willingness to relinquish North Sudan’s share in the South’s oil if the Southerners were to vote in favor of unity. For his part, the deputy foreign minister of the South Sudan government considered that the appeals presented against the measures to register for the South’s referendum did not justify its non-staging on time. On the other hand, the Security Council welcomed the completion of the registration process for the referendum in a peaceful way, noting however the absence of concord over issues related to the post-referendum stage.

The Israeli file

Israeli spy devices in Barouk and Sannin expose Israel once again

Yediot Aharonot revealed that the espionage installations whose uncovering on the Sannin and Baruk summits was announced by the Lebanese army were not new generation systems and that Hezbollah had uncovered them several years ago and not several days or months ago. It said that the statement of the Lebanese army’s command did not for example point to the date of the discovery of the systems or the identity of the side which led Hezbollah’s intelligence to them before the summoning of senior officers in the Lebanese army. It assured that none of the pictures presented by the Lebanese army command proved irrefutably that the talk was not about devices that were left in the area following the second Lebanese war or even about devices left behind by the army troops in their positions inside the Lebanese territories following their pullout in 2000.

Flying object over the Dimona reactor

The papers mentioned that the security unit affiliated with the Dimona reactor detected a balloon which flew in the banned airspace above the reactor, thus prompting its interception. The balloon was thus shut down while the security sides hurried to impose restraints on the civil aviation activity from and toward Eilat. The sources added that after a few minutes of fear and concerns which prevailed over the site, an F16 warplane took off, intercepted and shot the balloon down after making sure there was no one in it.

Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah

The papers quoted Israeli former security adviser Giora Eiland as saying that Israel could not defeat Hezbollah in a direct confrontation and that the party would cause great damage to the Israeli domestic front in case war were to erupt.
He said “Israel does not know how to defeat Hezbollah”. Adding that although the eruption of war between Israel and Hezbollah will cause great losses to the party, Hezbollah will cause more damage to the Israeli domestic front than it did four and a half years ago.

Lebanese file

Parliament speaker Nabih Berri assigned his political aide deputy Ali Hassan Khalil to relay an exit formula adopted by the opposition to President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Deputy Walid Jumblatt. For his part, deputy Khalil said there were attempts being made “so that we (the opposition) do not reach the decision of pulling out from the session.” The Cabinet session lasted around three hours and witnessed discussions and interventions by a number of ministers. Minister of Health Mohammad Jawad Khalife spoke on behalf of the ‘opposition ministers’ and explained the goals of speaker Berri’s proposal. He assured that it stemmed from good intentions to lead the government out of its predicament and help reach a decision in which no team would feel it is the winner or the looser. He added that it would also spare the government form taking the decision of transferring the false witnesses file to the Judicial Council via a new decree. Moreover, speaker Berri’s proposal would uphold the autonomy of the judiciary. Khalifa thus demanded that the issue be subjected to voting, at which point President Suleiman said that the situation had not matured to the point of staging a voting, and ordered the ending of the session.
Following his meeting in Doha with the Prince of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa al-Thani, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assured that Syria could not accept any accusations without evidence, especially if the issue features a tribunal and is related to a national cause such as the assassination of the prime minister of a country like Lebanon, in which there are centuries-old and not just decades-old divisions. He stressed that the presence of evidence was necessary to prevent division.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a meeting with American Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that Israel was concerned about “the ongoing armament of Syria and Hezbollah with sophisticated weapons that could affect the Israeli qualitative superiority and security.”
In a related context, a senior Israeli officer in the Northern command threatened to address strong blows to Lebanon in case war were to erupt following the issuance of the indictment into the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. He said that in case the tensions were to reach the Northern border, the response will be ten times harsher than the July war which he described as being a ‘picnic’ in comparison with the next one. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah bluntly accused the government of protecting the false witnesses. In a speech he delivered on the last night of Ashoura, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the international tribunal was protecting the false witnesses, adding: “Detlev Melhis and his deputy Gerhard Lehmann are partners in their fabrication. This was done with the participation of political and security leaders in Lebanon. For its part, the Lebanese government is protecting these witnesses and those who made them.” He then cautioned that: “the international tribunal will face days that are more difficult then Wikileaks and all those who participated in the conspiracy will face the same fate.” He revealed that when Mehlis was the head of the investigation commission, Lehmann was his deputy. The latter is a German intelligence officer and the one responsible for leaking the investigations. “He is a corrupt man and the proof for that is the fact that he sold documents in exchange for money here in Lebanon and there are people who bought the documents from him and gave them to me.” Sayyed Nasrallah assured: “The tribunal does not concern us and we will not surrender anyone or give up, come what may. Let them do whatever they want.” He added that many among the goals of the indictment were neutralized, including the attempts to disfigure the image of the resistance. He thus made a proposal to the other team by saying: “You should exit the problem between us and the international tribunal instead of defending it, the investigation and the false witnesses day and night.”

News analysis : Lebanon under Israeli electronic occupation

The Israeli occupation of the Lebanese telecommunications network reveals new and highly dangerous facts. As for the two posts which were dismantled by the Lebanese army after they were discovered by the resistance on the Barouk and Sannin summits, they expose a new chapter of Israeli control over telecommunications and the flow of information in Lebanon.
Today, we are discovering a minor part of a comprehensive Israeli telecom and espionage system in Lebanon, used to connect agents and spies, to detect phone calls and electronic communication and information transfer on Lebanese soil, and follow the movements of individuals, institutions and groups whose activities are monitored by Israel and definitely include the resistance and the army.
So far, the government’s action in dealing with this issue has been slow, and insufficient, while the official position is divided between the attention and follow-up shown by the Lebanese army, the Ministry of Telecommunications and the committee regulating the telecom sector and the other official positions which are settling for issuing statements of condemnation, merely to avoid embarrassment.

The American file

The American papers issued last week shed light on the American strategy in Afghanistan, Obama’s recognition of the failure in Afghanistan and his renewed accusation of Pakistan of not doing enough. The New York Times also spoke about the report which was drawn up by the American intelligence apparatus and in which a bleak picture of the war in Afghanistan was put forward.
Moreover, the Wikileaks documents are still getting great attention, as the Los Angeles Times pointed to the fact that Julian Assange was able to elude the American fist and that this will generate the issuance of new secret documents that will not spare anyone.

The British file

The British papers that came out last week addressed several issues, namely the case of the Wikileaks website founder Julian Assange and the decision of the British court to release him on bail. The British papers also tackled the news related to suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly who detonated himself in one of the streets of the Swedish capital Stockholm and who was expressing extremist and violent ideas in Britain.
Consequently, the British security apparatuses opened an investigation to find the link between the perpetrator of the attack and British sides. As for the most prominent report featured in the British press in regard to the Middle East region, it was one carried by The Guardian regarding the international tribunal for Lebanon which was described as being unreliable. It indicated that the investigation which lasted five years will likely accuse elements from Hezbollah and detonate a sectarian division that has not been seen ever since the civil war in Lebanon.
It mentioned that Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and many enthusiasts in favor of the international tribunal now regretted it and hoped they could stop it by any means possible. The paper then pointed to suspicions surrounding the work of the tribunal in light of the reports about leaks and the repeated resignations of members of its team.
On the other hand, the Daily Telegraph shed light on the assassination of Palestinian national Mahmud Abu Rida, the leader in Al-Qaeda who was previously given asylum in Britain during an air raid in Afghanistan.

Source
New Orient News