T Nation

Rafiq Hariri Next Franz Ferdinand?

The shot (car bomb) that was heard right around the world.

I wonder if the crowned heads of Europe in 1914 would act differently if they had the chance. After all few survived their headlong rush to war after Franz Ferdinand was shot.

I am sure none of them thought that their pursuit of a few rag tag Serbian terrorists (who were of no substantial threat to the Tsar, the Kaiser, the King of England, Wilson etc or the millions of men and women dead and maimed in WW1) into would destroy them.

Baiting a Trap for Bush?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
by Patrick J. Buchanan

If Syria’s Bashar Assad was behind the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon, he is, in the edited version of Gen. Tommy Franks’ phrase, “the dumbest … man on the planet.”

The Beirut car-bombing that killed Hariri smashed Assad’s hope of any rapprochement with the United States, forced him into a collision with President Bush, united the Lebanese in rage at Damascus and their own pro-Syrian government, and coalesced world pressure on Assad to get his 15,000 troops out of Lebanon.

The blowback from this atrocity, fully predictable, is Syria’s isolation. Hence, it makes no sense for Bashar to have done it. Nor is this his style. Unlike his father, Bashar Assad has no history of ordering terror attacks.

Cui bono ? Who benefits? ? is a question that must ever be asked about Middle Eastern terror. Did those who planned and perpetrated this atrocity seek not only the elimination of the pro-Saudi and pro-American Hariri, but a U.S.-Syria confrontation that immediately followed?

If an independent investigation points to Syrian complicity, Assad must be held accountable. But President Bush would be wise to suspend judgment and take no rash action. For this atrocity has the look of a false-flag operation to goad a volatile president into an attack on Syria. And, indeed, the cries are coming from the predictable quarters for Bush to let the missiles fly.

Before following this counsel, President Bush should consult with his father about the greatest blunder of Reagan’s first term.

Following the assassination of Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel and dozens of others by a bomb planted on the roof of his Phalange Party headquarters, Reagan was persuaded to send in the Marines. A massive truck-bombing of their barracks followed, slaughtering 241. After U.S. air and naval strikes, America withdrew in humiliation. Today, the same voices that urged Reagan to go in ? and condemn him still for pulling out ? are whispering in Bush’s ear that war on Syria is the way to win the war on Iraq.

The Syrians, understandably fearful of a U.S. attack, have run to Tehran. This has further infuriated the War Party to urge Bush to attack both and settle our rogue-state problem once and for all. Before Bush walks up this primrose path a second time, he should remember what happened when he took a walk with them before.

If the testimony of CIA chief Porter Goss and the director of defense intelligence, Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, is accurate, we are less secure today than before we invaded Iraq. “Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists,” Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

“These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism. … They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries.”

Jacoby echoed Goss: “Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment. … Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world.”

Here, then, is the abbreviated balance sheet on Bush’s war.

On the profit side, Saddam is gone and we shall soon have a Shia-dominated regime in Baghdad with strong ties to Iran, which will invite us to go home. The future of Iraq is, at this point, unknowable.

But the losses are known. Two years after invading, we have 1,500 dead, 10,000 wounded, and no end in sight to the fighting and dying. We have killed scores of thousands of Iraqis, crippled our alliances and bred hatred of America across the Islamic world. We are $300 billion deeper in debt. And the War Party, which was 100 percent wrong about Iraq, is telling Bush the right thing to do is to attack Syria and Iran.

To double one’s energy when one has lost sight of his goal is a definition of fanaticism. For America’s good and his own legacy, President Bush must cease listening to those who have an agenda ? ideological or otherwise ? other than the national interests of the United States.

There is no vital U.S. interest in Lebanon. There is no vital U.S. interest in the Gulf other than oil, which the Arabs and Iran have to sell to us and wish to sell to us. No Arab nation has attacked the United States since the Barbary pirates, and none wants war with America. Only Osama, Sharon and the neoconservatives look longingly to a “World War IV” and a “clash of civilizations” between America and Islam.

If FDR can negotiate with Stalin and Nixon with Mao, and this White House can deal with Kadafi and Kim Jong Il, George Bush can talk with Assad of Syria and Khatami of Iran to prevent a wider war for which the costs in blood and treasure would be far higher and the benefits even less than from this misbegotten war in Iraq.

A “false-flag operation” No it could never happen? USS Liberty? Levon Affair?

I know I have become too immersed in pop culture when I see franz ferdinand in the title and immediately think “ooohhh…a new rock band???”

time to dust off the history books…

Not the band

“find me and follow me through corridoors and factories…”

“take me out…”

damn catchy.

U.S. Army Officers Say: ‘Mossad May Blame Arabs’

Sometimes “the most likely suspect” in an act of terrorism is actually a “false flag” working for-or otherwise “framed” by- those who are responsible.

Exclusive To American Free Press
By Michael Collins Piper

Top U.S. Army analysts believe Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, is “ruthless and cunning,” “a wildcard” that “has [the] capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

This eye-opening assertion about America’s supposed closest ally was reported in a front page story in The Washington Times on September 10 - just one day before the terrorist attacks in America that are being blamed on “Arabs.”

The Times reported that this serious charge by U.S. Army officers against the Israelis appeared in a 68-page paper prepared by 60 officers at the U.S. Army’s School for Advanced Military Studies, a training ground for up-and-coming Army officers.

Then, just hours after the terrorist tragedies, a well-known pro-Israel analyst, George Friedman, proclaimed Israel as the primary beneficiary.

“The big winner today, intended or not, is the state of Israel,” wrote Fried man, who said on his Internet website at stratfor.com that “There is no question ? that the Israeli leadership is feeling relief” in the wake of the terrorist attack on America as a result of the benefits that Israel will glean.

Considering the U.S. Army’s questions about possible provocations by Israel, coupled with this noted intelligence analyst’s suggestion that Israel was indeed “the big winner” on Sept. 11, a previous report in the Aug. 3, 1993 issue of The Village Voice that Israel’s Mossad was perhaps involved in (or had foreknowledge of) the previous “Arab terrorist” attack on the World Trade Center, takes on new dimensions.

The events of Sept. 11 do require careful attention in light of the fact that Israel has had a long and proven record in planting “false flags”-orchestrated assassinations and acts of terrorism for its own purposes and pinning those atrocities on innocent parties.

Perhaps the best-known instance in which Israel used a “false flag” to cover its own trail was in the infamous Lavon Affair. It was in 1954 that several Israeli-orchestrated acts of terrorism against British targets in Egypt were carried out. Blame for the attacks was placed on the Muslim Brotherhood, which opposed the regime of Egyptian President Gamul Abdul-Nasser. However, the truth about the wave of terror is found in a once-secret cable from Col. Benjamin Givli, the head of Israel’s military intelligence, who outlined the intended purpose behind the wave of terror:

[Our goal] is to break the West’s confidence in the existing [Egyptian] regime. The actions should cause arrests, demonstrations, and expressions of revenge. The Israeli origin should be totally covered while attention should be shifted to any other possible factor. The purpose is to prevent economic and military aid from the West to Egypt.

Ultimately the truth about Israel’s involvement became public and Israel was rocked internally in the wake of the scandal. Competing political elements within Israel used the scandal as a bludgeon against their opponents. But the truth about Israel’s use of a “false flag” had come to international attention and demonstrated how Israel was willing to endanger innocent lives as part of its grand political strategy to expand its influence in the Middle East.
http://www.americanfreepress.net/09_26_01/U_S__Army_Officers_Say___Mossa/u_s__army_officers_say___mossa.html

Wash Times article mentioned above:

MOSSAD Can Target U.S. Forces, Framing Arabs
U.S. troops would enforce peace under Army study
by Rowan Scarborough
The Washington Times
September 10, 2001

An elite U.S. Army study center has devised a plan for enforcing a major Israeli-Palestinian peace accord that would require about 20,000 well-armed troops stationed throughout Israel and a newly created Palestinian state.

There are no plans by the Bush administration to put American soldiers into the Middle East to police an agreement forged by the longtime warring parties. In fact, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is searching for ways to reduce U.S. peacekeeping efforts abroad, rather than increasing such missions.

But a 68-page paper by the Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) does provide a look at the daunting task any international peacekeeping force would face if the United Nations authorized it, and Israel and the Palestinians ever reached a peace agreement. Located at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the School for Advanced Military Studies is both a training ground and a think tank for some of the Army’s brightest officers. Officials say the Army chief of staff, and sometimes the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ask SAMS to develop contingency plans for future military operations. During the 1991 Persian Gulf war, SAMS personnel helped plan the coalition ground attack that avoided a strike up the middle of Iraqi positions and instead executed a “left hook” that routed the enemy in 100 hours.

The cover page for the recent SAMS project said it was done for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But Maj. Chris Garver, a Fort Leavenworth spokesman, said the study was not requested by Washington.

“This was just an academic exercise,” said Maj. Garver. “They were trying to take a current situation and get some training out of it.”

The exercise was done by 60 officers dubbed “Jedi Knights,” as all second-year SAMS students are nicknamed.

The SAMS paper attempts to predict events in the first year of a peace-enforcement operation, and sees possible dangers for U.S. troops from both sides.

It calls Israel’s armed forces a “500-pound gorilla in Israel. Well armed and trained. Operates in both Gaza and the West Bank. Known to disregard international law to accomplish mission. Very unlikely to fire on American forces. Fratricide a concern especially in air space management.”

Of the MOSSAD, the Israeli intelligence service, the SAMS officers say: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

On the Palestinian side, the paper describes their youth as “loose cannons; under no control, sometimes violent.” The study lists five Arab terrorist groups that could target American troops for assassination and hostage-taking.

The study recommends “neutrality in word and deed” as one way to protect U.S. soldiers from any attack. It also says Syria, Egypt and Jordan must be warned “we will act decisively in response to external attack.”

It is unlikely either of the three would mount an attack. Of Syria’s military, the report says: “Syrian army quantitatively larger than Israeli Defense Forces, but largely seen as qualitatively inferior. More likely, however, Syrians would provide financial and political support to the Palestinians, as well as increase covert support to terrorism acts through Lebanon.”

Of Egypt’s military, the paper says, “Egyptians also maintain a large army but have little to gain by attacking Israel.”

The plan does not specify a full order of battle. An Army source who reviewed the SAMS work said each of a possible three brigades would require about 100 Bradley fighting vehicles, 25 tanks, 12 self-propelled howitzers, Apache attack helicopters, Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopters and Predator spy drones.

The report predicts that non-lethal weapons would be used to quell unrest.

U.S. European Command, which is headed by NATO’s supreme allied commander, would oversee the peacekeeping operation. Commanders would maintain areas of operation, or AOs, around Nablus, Jerusalem, Hebron and the Gaza strip.

The study sets out a list of goals for U.S. troops to accomplish in the first 30 days. They include: "create conditions for development of Palestinian State and security of Israel "; ensure “equal distribution of contract value or equivalent aid” . . . that would help legitimize the peacekeeping force and stimulate economic growth; “promote U.S. investment in Palestine”; “encourage reconciliation between entities based on acceptance of new national identities”; and “build lasting relationship based on new legal borders and not religious-territorial claims.”

Maj. Garver said the officers who completed the exercise will hold major planning jobs once they graduate. “There is an application process” for students, he said. “They screen their records, and there are several tests they go through before they are accepted by the program. The bright planners of the future come out of this program.”

James Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said it would be a mistake to put peacekeepers in Israel, given the “poor record of previous monitors.”

“In general, the Bush administration policy is to discourage a large American presence,” he said. “But it has been rumored that one of the possibilities might be an expanded CIA role.”

“It would be a very different environment than Bosnia,” said Mr. Phillips, referring to America’s six-year peacekeeping role in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “The Palestinian Authority is pushing for this as part of its strategy to internationalize the conflict. Bring in the Europeans and Russia and China. But such monitors or peacekeeping forces are not going to be able to bring peace. Only a decision by the Palestinians to stop the violence and restart talks could possibly do that.”

http://billstclair.com/911timeline/2001/washingtontimes091001.html

Sharon says U.S. should also disarm Iran, Libya and Syria
By Aluf Benn
HAARETZ DAILY
February 20, 2003

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. “These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve,” Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen.

Sharon told the congressmen that Israel was not involved in the war with Iraq “but the American action is of vital importance.”

In a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton yesterday, Sharon said that Israel was concerned about the security threat posed by Iran, and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while American attention was focused on Iraq.

Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials that he had no doubt America would attack Iraq, and that it would be necessary thereafter to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Bolton, who is undersecretary for arms control and international security, is in Israel for meetings on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=263941

i think he won a grammy?

“the matinee, find me at the matinee”

I think that how its spelt…

need a dictionary, or a spell checker.

“…just a cross hair, i’m just a shot away from you…”

Too bloody damned catchy.