International affairs

Editorial: Is the West calculating the cost it will pay?
This week, the West is getting filled with multiple media scenarios revolving around a possible Israeli strike targeting Iran. At this level, the experts and analysts agree over the fact that in case it were to take place, this strike could trigger fierce regional war on the various fronts of the Arab-Israeli conflict and might burn the oil wells and passageways in the Arab Gulf region. Consequently, the outcome of such an Israeli adventure would be an international disaster that pushed many analysts to perceive it as being as dangerous as a third World War.
Falsification, lies and deceit are surrounding all the step and campaigns activated by the Zionist lobby in the United States in regard to the Iranian peaceful nuclear program. Indeed, it turned out that the information used by the International Atomic Energy Agency while drawing up its report in regard to the Iranian nuclear program mainly focused on the information provided to it by the Israeli intelligence as it was stated by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. While Israel is holding the only nuclear military arsenal in the Middle East, it is earning unlimited American financial and military support and threatening with a military strike that might set the world on fire. In the meantime, the Americans are trying to please the Israeli government through additional aid despite the economic and financial suffocation witnessed within the US. They are pledging to work alongside Israel to secure the issuance of additional sanctions against Iran. The entire world knows that the Islamic Republic in Iran is engaged in a scientific and technological revolution and trying to acquire nuclear energy for economic purposes related to development. But what is also true is that the entire world knows that the Israeli nuclear arsenal is the one actually threatening regional and global peace. But the United States and the Western European countries are exercising hypocrisy and are targeting Iran and Syria - along with the resistance forces - in order to allow Israel to dominate the region.
The ghost of war in the Middle East, in light of the suffocating economic and financial crisis in the West, ought to summon numerous questions regarding the cost generated by any hostile adventure carried out by Israel within these countries that are drowning in their crises. What if the oil prices were to rise on the threshold of winter to hundreds of dollars per barrel? What if the Gulf and Iranian oil supplies were to stop reaching the global markets? What if a new wave of resistance were to irrupt against the Western presence and interests in the Arab countries, starting with the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia in particular? What if the repercussions of any Israeli war led to uprisings that would put an end to the Wadi Araba and Camp David accords once and for all?
It is up to the Western public opinion to contain the American-Israeli military ogre and restore consideration to the simplest standards of justice and rationality at the level of international policy. There is no doubt that superpowers such as China, Russia and all the independent states around the world are equally responsible, considering that the war thugs and the arms brokers have destroyed this world since 2000 and that one should put an end to their adventures which they are not hesitating to repeat despite the failures and defeats with which they were afflicted at the hands of the people.

Arab Affairs

News analysis: The strategic dimension of Iran’s and Syria’s targeting
The Arab region is about to witness the announcement of the end of the American occupation troops’ pullout from Iraq, at a time when the American-Israeli steps accompanying this major event are focusing on the targeting of the resistance and independence bloc in the Middle East, along with their components. They are mainly focusing on the fronts of the Iranian nuclear file, on interference in Syria, and the escalation of the pressures targeting these two countries.
 Firstly, Barack Obama’s administration led a coup against the Baker-Hamilton document which conveyed the proposed action plan before the American presidential elections, in order to achieve “a safe exit” from the Iraqi swamp. Obama’s administration turned against the Baker-Hamilton document when it became obstructed with the file of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the position of Netanyahu’s government and the Zionist lobby in the United States. Consequently, the American president and the ruling team in the US succumbed to the Zionist will, starting with the issue of the freezing of the settlement activities in Jerusalem and the West Bank and ending with Obama’s blunt adoption of the project to liquidate the Palestinian cause and eliminate the refugees’ right of return.
 Secondly, at the level of the negotiations with Iran and Syria, it has become known that the talks held directly or by proxy were obstructed by the reality of the American position, seen in the calls for Syrian and Iranian commitments that would secure Israel’s protection, prevent its exposure to any existential threat, and discontinue the support offered to the resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine. They were also clear American requests for guarantees regarding its permanent military presence in Iraq. A lot was said about this issue while the American expectations reached the point of planning the establishment of constant military bases under the pretext of the so-called presence of experts and advisers, which would have granted protection for more than one hundred thousand American officers and soldiers. This was rejected by Iran and Syria, insisting that the occupation should withdraw from Iraq without any restrictions, conditions or commitment towards the ongoing presence of the occupation forces.
 Thirdly, amidst this climate, the negotiations between the Iraqi government and the American administration were activated in regard to the cooperation agreement following the withdrawal of the American troops - which is the result of the struggle of the Iraqi people and the national Islamic and resistance factions, but also the outcome of the dangerous predicament in which the United States has found itself since the invasion of Iraq.
 Fourthly, since the issuance of the Baker-Hamilton document, the theoreticians and planners in Washington spoke about scenarios to fill the strategic vacuum following the exit from Iraq. By that, they specifically mean the threat of seeing the Syrian-Iranian alliance, the resistance forces, Russia and China coming together to form a new power in the region at the expense of the American-Western influence. This threat will become a reality at the beginning of 2012, as the rising Iranian power is imposing its presence and forcing the Americans to exercise some sort of political pleading to engage in negotiations. The campaign targeting Iran and the pressures on Syria are a mere preventive measure accompanying the moment of retreat and depletion etched by the United States with the blood of the Iraqis.

The Arab file

• French President Nicolas Sarkozy assured American President Barack Obama that France will not adopt any individual position when the members of the Security Council vote on Palestine’s membership request at the United Nations. Obama responded by saying: “I agree with you. A message must be delivered to the Palestinians saying they must stop that immediately.”
• On the other hand, and following intensive Egyptian efforts, it is expected that President Mahmud Abbas will meet with Hamas’s Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal in Cairo very soon to discuss the pending files between the two movements, as well as the reconciliation agreement.

• The International Atomic Energy Agency assured in a report that Iran conducted tests to develop a nuclear weapon, adding that Iran apparently drew up a design for a nuclear bomb and might still be carrying out secret research for that purpose. The IAEA urged Iran to communicate with it without any delay in order to clarify this information featured in the report’s annex. Following the issuance of the report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. As for the media assistant of the Iranian chief of staff, General Massoud Jazaeri, he said that the Israeli Dimona nuclear reactor will be one of the easiest targets for Iran, threatening to eliminate Israel in case it were to carry out any attack against his country.
• Iranian Supreme Guide Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei also warned the United States and Israel against carrying out any military action targeting Iranian nuclear facilities, saying that any such action will be met with an iron fist.

• Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem addressed a letter to Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi, saying that the American instigation could constitute a justification for foreign interference and economic and political sanctions against Syria with the approval of some Arab countries. He thus pointed to the seriousness of these American statements on the future of joint Arab action under the sponsorship of the Arab League, and confirmed Syria’s commitment to the League’s initiative.
• However, the major surprise was seen on Saturday during the Arab League meeting, as the member states ignored Al-Muallem’s letter and reassurances and adopted a series of measures against the Syrian government, the first of which being the suspension of Syria’s participation in the Arab League meetings. The league also invited Syrian opposition leaders for talks within the next three days to develop a unified vision for Syria’s future, and will hold another meeting on November 16 in the Moroccan capital Rabat to discuss progress in the country as it was stated by Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Ben Jassem al-Thani from Cairo. The League also called on the Arab countries to withdraw their ambassadors from Damascus, while plans are being drawn up to impose economic and political sanctions on it.
• What was noticeable at this level was that this is the first time that the League adopts such strong positions, knowing that it remained silent vis-à-vis much more dangerous issues, such as the ongoing blockade on Gaza and the war on Lebanon in 2006. According to analysts this proved that the League’s actions were prompted by foreign instructions, seeing how it is remaining silent towards bloodier incidents currently taking place in Yemen and Bahrain among others.
• Syria’s representative to the Arab League, Ambassador Youssef al-Ahmad, said following the issuance of the Arab decision: “The suspension of Syria’s membership at the league is illegal and goes against the charter and the internal statute. It marks the clear end of the principle of joint Arab action and constitutes a blunt announcement of the fact that the League’s administration is now controlled by American and Western agendas.” It is worth mentioning that the League’s decision was rejected by Lebanon and Yemen, while Iraq abstained from voting in its favor, assuring later on that the decision was unacceptable and paved the way before the internationalization of an internal Arab issue.
• It is also worth mentioning, that massive marches were organized in the Syrian capital Damascus with the participation of millions of people to corroborate support in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and reject the Arab League’s decisions and the attempts to internationalize the crisis. In this respect, Syria officially called for an urgent Arab summit meeting to discuss the developments in the country and to protest against the latest Arab League decision.

• Violent clashes erupted between the Houthi rebels and armed oppositionists in the province of Hajja in the northwestern part of Yemen, causing the fall of many dead and wounded. Clashes also erupted between military forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and armed tribesmen opposed to him. For its part, the Yemeni Interior Ministry accused tribal leader Sadek al-Ahmar of violating the ceasefire agreement that was announced between the two sides.
• UN envoy Jamal Ben Omar arrived to the capital Sana’a to get the signature of whoever represents the authority in the country on the initiative, before moving to the signing of its implementation mechanism in the presence of all the sides concerned by the crisis. Ben Omar assured in a statement upon his arrival to Sana’s that this will be the last chance to resolve the pending issues between the political sides and reach an agreement with them, in order to sign the initiative and exit this crisis.

Israeli file

• Following the publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report which indicated that Iran was secretly developing nuclear weapons, the Israeli papers issued this week assured that it was expected to see the arrival of two senior officials in the American administration to Israel to discuss the sanctions which will be imposed on Iran. Haaretz thus quoted a prominent official at the British Foreign Ministry as saying that the United States will grant Israel logistic support in case it were to launch a military strike against Iran. As for Yediot Aharonot, it tackled the American concern vis-à-vis Israel’s possible staging of a military attack against Iran without prior warning and without informing it. The Jerusalem Post for its part wondered about the extent of the Arab support which could be offered to such a strike.

• On the other hand, the internal concerns prevailed over the Israeli papers, as the trial of former Israeli president Moshe Katsav and his condemnation in rape cases seized a lot of attention.

Lebanese affairs

News analysis- The sovereign right: Mirza’s non-compliance to the court order and the discontinuation of the funding.
The comparison made by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah between the American position towards the funding of UNESCO and the Lebanese position towards the funding of the international tribunal for Lebanon conveys the reality of the American handling of the Lebanese sovereign issues through repeated threats that have started to prevail over the statements of American Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman. At this level, one must mention that the latter statements are being repeated by the Lebanese politicians who are linked to Western intelligence apparatuses and their agents in the region like parrots.
What Sayyed Nasrallah stated while comparing between the UNESCO and the STL issues is worthy of attention. Indeed, UNESCO is an international cultural organization which exercised a right guaranteed by its internal statute and granted membership to Palestine. As a punishment for this legitimate and natural act, the US government decided to stop its financial contribution to the organization’s budget. The international tribunal for its part is an institution whose legitimacy is the object of doubts based on the Lebanese constitution and the UN charter. Ever since it was founded, it shifted away from the purpose for which it was formed, while the investigations and actions of its prosecutor diverged from the mission which he was assigned to carry out. Consequently, this tribunal was turned into a political and security tool implementing instructions serving the American-Israeli interests and affecting the sovereignty of the Lebanese state.
Its last hostile violation was seen in the request to see the Lebanese prosecutor standing before it to be interrogated about the issuance of arrest warrants in absentia, at a time when the prosecutor himself should have summoned the international tribunal’s prosecutor, investigators and the war criminals operating in its office for investigation, against the backdrop of all the violations they have committed and are still committing ever since the formation of the tribunal against Lebanese security and sovereignty.
This file in particular should be confronted with a Lebanese sovereign decision to discontinue the funding of the tribunal and break the cooperation agreement with it, while informing the Security Council about this decision in an official way and with legal evidence. This is the natural sovereign position that should be adopted by Lebanon instead of falling in the trap of blackmail, pressures, and silly intimidation campaigns being waged by the Americans and their Lebanese agents to limit the action of the Lebanese government and its head.
Many in the majority and among its supporters might say that prosecutor Said Mirza contributed to many steps which surrounded the international investigation, the tribunal’s work and its formation, whether by remaining silent or by collaborating with it based on the wishes of former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. This conception that is supported by many will remain a political conclusion until an honest Lebanese investigation determines the backdrop of the American invasion which targeted Lebanese sovereignty throughout many years. The refusal to send judge Mirza to stand before the STL and the decision to discontinue the funding of this tribunal are the least that could be done to stop this interference that has lasted way too long.

Lebanese file

• Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackled the international tribunal’s funding in a speech he delivered on Friday afternoon during the celebration organized by the party on “Martyrs’ Day,” recalling the American administration’s discontinuation of its funding to UNESCO after the latter recognized the state of Palestine. He wondered: “Why is the American administration entitled to relinquish its international commitments while Lebanon is not allowed to do the same.” Sayyed Nasrallah assured that the South had become a difficult figure in the international equation, saying: “Today, and for the first time, Lebanon and particularly the South are reassured, confident and relieved. Lebanon is no longer a weak country. It is a strong country with its people, army and resistance. It is now capable of turning the table against any assailers.”

• Sayyed Nasrallah continued by assuring all those wagering, relying on illusions and postponing the files while awaiting the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, that this wager will collapse. He said: “They must understand very well that war on Iran and war on Syria will not remain limited to Iran and Syria and will affect the entire region.”

• For his part, former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri tweeted from Riyadh, saying that the collapse of the Syrian regime will solve some of Lebanon’s problems. He hoped President Bashar al-Assad would fall and that change will be seen in Syria imminently. Asked about a possible military interference in Syria, Al-Hariri indicated that the Syrian people needed all kinds of assistance from the international community, considering that these massacres were no longer acceptable.

• On the other hand, and during a visit to the city of Tripoli on Sunday, President Michel Suleiman stressed that Lebanon’s voting against the Arab League’s decisions in regard to Syria was due to the fact that Lebanon was opposed to the isolation of any Arab state from the League and against the internationalization of the crises.

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