Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Eva Dadrian, "Winds of Change in the Middle East?" Pambazuka News, August 31, 2006.

In the very early days of the conflict, As Safir, the Lebanese daily, published the translation of a “secret” report presented by Wayne Madison*, [sic, Wayne Madsen] a journalist at the New Yorker, specialising in the political intricacies of Washington D.C. and the CIA. The report [reproduced and archived in several places. See Axis of Logic. -jlt] preceded an article published by the San Francisco Chronicle (July 21, 2006) under the title: ‘Israel set war plan more than a year ago, Strategy was put in motion as Hezbollah began gaining military strength in Lebanon’. Matthew Kalman, the author of this article, wrote the following: “Israel's military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago....

But the report presented by Wayne Madison has far more to reveal about the recent conflict. 1) The aggression against Lebanon was planned by key Israeli decision-makers and members of the Bush Administration during a meeting organised by the American Enterprise Institute, held at Beever-Creek-Colorado, on 17 and 18 June 2006.

2) During that meeting, US Vice-President Dick Cheney, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehoud Olmert, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehoud Barak, Shimon Pérès and Nathan Charansky were all present.

3) The two parties agreed on the following plan: the American Administration will provide ‘all the necessary assistance’ to Israel so that it (Israel) can put into execution Plan ‘Clear Infiltration’ formulated some 10 years ago. This plan dealt with ‘new strategies’ concerning global ‘matters of security’.

4) Clear Infiltration was in fact the “next” step to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This was to be followed by wars in Palestine, Lebanon, then Syria and Iran.

5) To put the plan into motion, two steps were foreseen: the first was to last for four years and incorporated “secret activities from the Pentagon, the White House and Mossad, inside Lebanon” These secret activities included using booby-trapped vehicles to assassinate high-ranking Lebanese officials. The objective: forcing Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon. The author of the report mentions three names: Elie Hobaïka, former minister who was in charge of the Lebanese Forces and who sided with the Syrians, Georges Haoui, former secretary general of the Lebanese communist party and Rafiq Hariri, former Prime minister.

...those who know how it feels like to be at the receiving end of colonialism have always criticised Israel’s occupation of Palestine. For years, Africans have condemned Israel’s “colonial” policies in Palestine, and the recent conflict was yet another source of debates. Further, people took to the streets. Anti-war demonstrators marched in their hundreds through the streets of Gaborone (Botswana). The African Union strongly condemned what it described as Israel's “indiscriminate bombing”. This was particularly after the bombing of Qena, which the AU said “cannot be justified under any circumstances”.

In South Africa activists often liken Israel to Apartheid South Africa. The African National Congress condemned Israel for its disproportionate military action.

African politicians were not the only protestors. Many artists, writers and media people strongly expressed their views on the issue. At this year’s Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) Israel’s war against Lebanon took centre stage. In its programme ZIFF had included the world acclaimed documentary “Paradise Now” – which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards (Oscars) earlier this year and the winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film (USA).
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