- Palestine is belligerently occupied. Threats continue
against Iran and Syria as well as Lebanon, specifically Hezbollah, elected
partner in the nation's unity government, bogusly designated a US State
Department Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), what Israel also calls
it, repeating veiled and overt warnings, suggesting violence or an impending
- Why not, after so many earlier in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996,
and 2006. Also numerous incidents besides:
- -- refusing to comply with UN Security Council Resolution
425 by occupying South Lebanon belligerently and illegally for 18 years
until mostly, but not entirely, withdrawing in May 2000 - still holding
Sheba Farms, the 14-square mile water-rich land near Syria's Golan, also
illegally occupied since 1967; in addition, Ghajar, the Lebanese village
- -- during its occupation, using a proxy Christian South
Lebanon Army as enforcer, UNIFIL Blue Helmets giving them and the IDF free
reign instead of maintaining peace, how UN forces always operate, as paramilitaries
against people they're supposed to protect; and
- -- for over 40 years, repeatedly violating Lebanon's
territory, often daily, including 12 Israeli jet overflights on August
- Hezbollah - Israel's Pretext for Incursions, Violence
- Hezbollah was born out of Israel's 1982 Lebanon invasion,
its horrific war slaughtering around 18,000 people, mostly civilians, including
in the Sabra and Shatila camps, what journalist Robert Fisk called "one
of the most shocking war crimes of the 20th century."
- In 1999, it was put on the FTO list, removed after condemning
the 9/11 attack, then added back by Dick Cheney after bogusly linking it
with Al Qaeda.
- Throughout his tenure, George Bush (and other administration
officials) called Hezbollah, Iran and Syria "the root cause"
of Middle East terrorism, despite Israel being the only threat, a notorious
- In mid-July 2010, Rep. Sue Myrick (R. NC) was over the
top accusing the organization of being a threat on the US-Mexican border,
- "Our intelligence sources have really clarified
that they are in Mexico, that there is an operation that is quite large
in place there, and it's very frightening to me because this is national
security. We know some of them have gotten across the border in the past....They
are starting to target the United States and that's my concern."
- She also linked Hezbollah with Mexican drug cartels,
DEA assistant intelligence administrator Anthony Placido saying "There
are numerous reports of cocaine proceeds entering the coffers of Islamic
radical groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas" - reports as credible
as Saddam's WMDs.
- Hezbollah, in fact, is politically legitimate, former
Lebanon President Emile Lahood calling it "an integral part of the
Lebanese government....(also) part of our military (and) social order,"
what former Prime Minister Rafik Harriri confirmed. It's also a social,
charitable, educational, and medical organization, involved in establishing
over 50 hospitals, over 100 schools, many libraries, and providing other
essential social services, why it has broad support, especially among Shiites,
comprising over 35% of Lebanon's population.
- In addition, its military wing is for defense, not belligerency,
but it's prepared to respond effectively when attacked, what Israel learned
painfully in the 2006 war, outfoxed and humiliated despite a vastly superior
force. It's a lesson the IDF never forgot and wants to avenge, as well
as conceal its own terrorist history, by far the region's most extensive
with tentacles reaching globally.
- An early 2007 American University of Beirut study documented
6,672 Israeli terrorist acts against Lebanon and Palestine alone from 1967
- 2007 (plus thousands more since then), unrewarded by inclusion on America's
FTO list, Israeli influence getting others on it, including Hezbollah and
Hamas, Palestine's legitimate government.
- Without evidence, Hezbollah's rap sheet includes the
1983 US Lebanon Embassy and Marine barracks bombings, highjackings, hostage
taking, rocket attacks against Israel, suicide bombings, and more, charges
the organization vehemently denies, saying it responds only in self-defense
against militants, not civilians, its leader Hassan Nasrallah stating:
- "Hezbollah remains on the US and Israel 'terrorism'
list for purely political reasons and to punish the organization for its
resistance to Israeli aggressions against Lebanon and (America's) plans
for the region."
- Expecting its members to be charged with assassinating
former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005, he accused
Israel of the crime, presenting visual and audio material as evidence.
They included Israeli surveillance footage (intercepted in real time) of
routes he used to be able to target his motorcade, Nasrallah saying:
- "We have definite information on the aerial movements
of the Israeli enemy the day Hariri was murdered. Hours before....an Israeli
drone was surveying the Sidon-Beirut-Junieh coastline as warplanes were
flying over Beirut. This video can be acquired by any investigative commission
to ensure it is correct. We are sure of this evidence, or else we would
not risk showing it."
- He also said an Israeli spy "confess(ed) in front
of a camera that he had repeatedly tried to falsely convince Hariri that
(Hezbollah) intended to assassinate him." Though not a smoking gun,
this information warrants serious investigation, especially given Israel's
history of similar acts, inside and outside the region.
- According to Lebanese University Professor Hasan Jouni,
an international criminal law expert, Nasrallah's evidence was exceptional,
- "Logically and legally, in this stage, any new finding
should be investigated by the general prosecutor. Sayyed Nasrallah submitted
tangible evidence of the Israeli potential role in Hariri's assassination."
It appears incriminating. "Furthermore, the previous investigations
which were circulated here and there should be revised."
- Antoine Airout, North Lebanon Bar Association head, agreed,
saying: "Sayyed Hasrallah's revelations are very serious and objective,"
especially given Israel's long-term interest in destroying Lebanon to seize
portions for itself. Hariri's assassination furthered that goal.
- In late July, Nasrallah further disclosed the arrest
of nearly 100 Israeli spies who'd infiltrated Lebanon's military and security
sectors, including Ret. Army Brig. General Fayez Karam, once head of its
- In his recent article titled, "Israel Takes Control
of Lebanon," investigative journalist Wayne Madsen covered the same
- He's "learned from (his) Lebanese intelligence sources
that the Lebanese government is coming to realize that Israeli intelligence
penetration of all political groups in the country is worse than originally
- "The Israeli espionage network also extends to Syria.
Lebanese sources report that former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam,
who accused Syrian President Bashar al Assad of ordering (Hariri's) assassination,
is tactically backed by Israel and the United States." He heads the
National Salvation Front (NSF) effort to oust Assad, getting Israeli, American,
French and German help to do it.
- For decades, the US/Israeli partnership ruthlessly pursued
its joint regional imperial project, including assassinations, state terrorism
and wars. Murdering Hariri indeed furthered their goal, and if an August
28 Press TV report is right, more is planned, the Iranian English language
- "Israel is reportedly preparing to strike arms depots
and weapons manufacturing plants in Syria, claiming they belong to....Hezbollah....Tel
Aviv (having) escalated its military presence in" Golan and Lebanon's
Shebba Farms, according Haaretz, "citing a report in the (August 28)
edition of the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai. (It) quoted European sources as saying
that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights (over) Lebanese and Syrian airspace,
are indications that Israel is ready to start a war in the area (against)
targets....far inside Syrian territory...."
- Targeting Lebanon - Stoking Tensions, Threatening More
- In early 2010, Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak warned
Hezbollah to "avoid entering conflict with us, (adding that) We need
to constantly prepare for a change in the status quo, though we don't know
when it will occur. We don't want for it to happen, and it might not, but
we will not be afraid to react if we have to fight back."
- Thinly veiled fighting words with July 23 elaboration,
provocatively telling the Washington Post that Israel will hold the Lebanese
government responsible for Hezbollah's actions, saying "we will see
it as legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state,
not just to the Hezbollah" - the same 2006 blitzkrieg strategy causing
vast destruction, billions in damage, killing over 1,000, injuring thousands
more, and displacing one-fourth of Lebanon's four million population, the
vast majority being civilians, including 300,000 children, Israel's "Dahiya
- Named after the Beirut suburb destroyed in 2006, it's
how past and future wars will be fought, including Cast Lead, applying
disproportionate force against civilians and non-military infrastructure,
carried out with overwhelming intimidating force in violation of fundamental
international law, prohibiting collective punishment and attacks against
non-combatants, Israel's preferred targets.
- On a mid-April US visit, Jordan's King Abdullah II expressed
concern, telling a "Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus" that
he fears "imminent" conflict again with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
- At the same time, AFP reported that Washington "voiced
alarm" about Syria's "possible sale of Scud missiles to Hezbollah
militants, warning it would put Lebanon at 'significant risk.' " On
April 13, Israeli President Shimon Peres accused Syria of doing it, saying
it "claims it wants peace while at the same time it delivers Scuds
to Hezbollah whose only goal is to threaten the state of Israel" -
false and Peres knows it.
- In response, an unnamed US official said a sale was suspected
but not verified. Syria flatly denies it, and unmentioned was American
aid to Israel, more than to all other nations combined, including annual
billions of dollars in military aid, additional amounts when requested,
plus the latest weapons and technology, enough to destabilize the entire
region and beyond, given Israel's capacity and inclination to wage war
aggressively and illegally.
- It's bloodstained history confirms what US major media
reports suppress - that no outside threat or attack on its territory occurred
since the October 1973 Yom Kippur war, nearly 37 years ago after which
Israel repeatedly attacked Lebanon and Occupied Palestine. It also menaces
the entire Middle East, its goal being to divide, conquer and control it,
a future article dealing solely with that topic.
- At the end of the 2006 Lebanon war, UN Security Council
Resolution 1701 called for a full cessation of hostilities on both sides,
specifically that Hezbollah cease "all attacks" and disarm,
Israel given freedom to respond to perceived threats. In other words, it
can claim bogus ones justify war, Hezbollah denied comparable discretion.
- Since passage, Hezbollah refused to disarm, but committed
no aggressive acts. For its part, Israel breaches the resolution daily,
including regular airspace, territorial, and sea encroachments. In early
2010, Michael Williams, UN special envoy to Lebanon said:
- "To the best of my knowledge, there is probably
no other country in the world which is subject to such an intrusive regime
of aerial surveillance," other intrusions and spying. In fact, none
besides America, Israel's paymaster/partner and early mentor, both countries
the world's most bellicose and aggressive, what Hezbollah understands and
- Lebanon's government also, saying it supports its right
to defend sovereign state territory, Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami calling
Israel a "permanent menace" with good reason.
- Further, Syria said it will act if Lebanon is attacked,
adding it considers a threat to Beirut's security one to its own. Hamas'
Ali Baraka also avowed to back Hezbollah if attacked, stoking more tension,
what Israel's expert at exploiting, manufacturing threats when none exist.
- On August 2, the George Soros-funded International Crisis
Group published a report titled "Drums of War: Israel and the 'Axis
of Resistance,' " saying:
- More war, if it comes, will be "far more devastating
and broader in scope," the regional dynamics dangerously explosive,
so any "miscalculations" may launch it, including against Syria.
- Despite a deceptive quiet, "Beneath the surface,
tensions are mounting with no obvious safety valve." Hezbollah's readiness
and "escalating Israeli threats (could) trigger the very outcome"
so far avoided.
- With "no effective forum for communication, (there's)
ample room for misunderstanding and misperception. Meanwhile, (Israel has
waged) an underground war of espionage and assassinations....now a substitute
for more open confrontation."
- "There is scant reason for optimism on the peace
front," not helped by America talking only with one side (Israel),
"keeping another at arm's length (Syria), ignoring a third (Hezbollah)
and confronting the fourth (Iran)."
- As a result, "the world should cross its fingers
that fear of a catastrophic conflict will continue to be reason enough
for the parties not to provoke one."
- Not explained is that Israel and America alone pose
threats, the same ones for over 40 years, what all regional states know
and fear, hoping they won't end up like Iraq - destroyed by imperial lawlessness,
the fake August 19 "combat" troop pullout just PR cover for permanent
occupation, or as one Iraqi official said: "This is about America's
midterm elections," Washington's presence is here to stay, even Newsweek
calling it a "nonevent," saying:
- "The departure of the last 'combat troops' from
Iraq (more a strategic retreat than victory lap) is hardly the end of American
combat there. (What about the other) 50,000....staying behind? They didn't
exactly send their (formidable weapons arsenal) out with that Stryker brigade.
And they're not going to transform themselves into the Peace Corp overnight,"
or, in fact, ever.
- The region's strategic importance assures permanent war,
America's presence, and continued danger for everyone there - cursed, not
benefitting from oil.
- A Final Comment
- Besides bordering on Israel, Lebanon's resources make
it vulnerable, namely its water and natural gas reserves, one reason for
the 2006 war, South Lebanon to the Litani River especially important. Also
the Wazzini springs feeding into the Hasbani River tributary of the Jordan
River. It flows into Israel two miles downstream from the Wazzini, then
into the Sea of Galilee that's Israel's largest fresh water source.
- Israel covets the 20-mile stretch from its border to
the Litani to use Lebanese water for its own needs, a considerable supply
if controlled, besides what's gotten from Golan, seized from Syria in 1967
and still held.
- The Tamar and Leviathan offshore natural gas fields are
also key, located off Israel's north coast and Southern Lebanon. Tamar
contains an estimated 8.5 trillion cubic feet supply, Leviathan another
16 trillion, and on August 29, Israel National News.com said it may hold
four billion or more barrels of oil, making it a richer than ever prize.
- The London-based Lebanese newspaper As-Safir said if
Israel attempts to siphon gas from Lebanese waters, conflict could result.
The paper's Israel affairs analyst, Hilmi Mousa, said Leviathan "lies
mostly off Lebanese shores and in international waters between the sea
border of Palestine (and Cyprus waters). However, Israel received a guarantee
from Britain, which has no rights in Palestine, to search for oil in the
area near the Lebanese shores. The map of deposits, as published in the
Israeli economic papers, shows the scope of the deviation into Lebanon's
international waters," ones Lebanon surely will protect.
- Yet Mousa headlined, "Israel preparing to steal
gas fields in Lebanon's waters," saying doing so "will quickly
turn into a new conflict (in which) Lebanon....will defend its rights in
the water." Other sites include Rut and Alon, also off Lebanese shores
or in areas far from Israel. The situation bears watching given the possibility
that Israel may attack Lebanon and Hezbollah, needing or inventing a pretext
to do it, an old trick it may use again, Lebanon perhaps the next target.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour
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