Thwart a Bush/ Did Hezbollah Olmert Attack on
By FRANKLIN LAMB
This week Israel's Military Intelligence Chief, Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that "Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon... stronger than the Lebanese and it had wanted to take the government it could have done it," He said Hezbollah, continued to pose a "significant" threat to Israel as its rockets could reach a large part of Israeli territory."
Yadlin was putting it mildly.
But what Intelligence Chief Yadlin did not reveal to the Israeli public was just how "significant" but also "immediate" the Hezbollah threat was on May 11. Nor was he willing to divulge the fact that he received information via US and French channels that if the planned attack on Lebanon's capitol went forward that Tel Aviv was subject, in the view of the US intelligence community to "approximately 600 Hezbollah rockets in the first 24 hours in retaliation and at least that number on the following day".
The Israeli Intel Chief also declined to reveal that despite
The planned attack on Beirut
According to US Senate Intelligence Committee sources, the Bush administration initially green lighted the intended May 11
In the end, "the Bush administration got cold feet", a Congressional source revealed. So did
Israel was not willing to proceed with the original Bush Administration idea which was to have Bush attend the May 15 Israel anniversary celebrations following the Israeli attack meant to hit Hezbollah hard, and give Bush the credit for coming to the dangerous region. The message was to be that Bush comes to the rescue 'on horseback and leads the US Calvary charge straight out of a B western movie where the bugle would sound and flag would be unfurled and the white hat good guys would show their stuff before riding into the sunset and back to Texas, leaving the results to the likely Obama administration to sort out.
The plan involved Israeli air strikes on South and
Also presumably disturbing to
The Hezbollah rout of the militias in
Clearly frustrated, Cabinet Minister Meir Sheetrit said Israel should not yet take any action now, but warned" those things could change if Hezbollah takes over Lebanon." a few minutes earlier he had declared that Hezbollah had done just that and had treated the Lebanese army as a doormat.
Later in the Sunday cabinet meeting, Minister Ami Ayalon called for an emergency meeting of the political-security cabinet to discuss "the ongoing crisis in
Minister Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) said that "
Finally Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed Israeli supporters in
The Bush administration, also disappointed, switched tactics and is opting for domination of the narrative of the fairly complicated events of the past week and using their media and confessional allies to launch a media blitz (minus Future TV for a few days} to flood the airways with:
·Hezbollah staged a coup d'état. Even
Hezbollah brought it forces from the South and occupied West Beirut: Hezbollah not only did not bring their forces from the South to
Hezbollah broke its pledge not to use Resistance arms against Lebanese militias and shot up
The facts are very different when viewed close up on the streets here.
When the Lebanese Resistance took the decision during the early hours of Friday morning to engage in civil disobedience, it delayed its actions so as not to preempt the Labor movement strike for higher wages which it supported. When the marching Strikers were prevented from moving into
Various militias, including the smartly outfitted Hariri "Secure Plus" with its distinctive maroon tee-shirts and beige trousers, (now know locally by some as "Secure Minus") a hoped for future Blackwater operation in Lebanon disintegrated surprisingly quickly because many of its green recruits brought down from Tripoli felt misled and betrayed regarding their job description as they were handed weapons an instructed to fight Hezbollah. Snipers from anti-Opposition factions killed civilians from rooftops in
Hezbollah, acting in self defense, according to various officials, quickly clamped down on the trouble makers, took control of the streets, within hours handed them over to the army, and virtually evacuated
Meanwhile the Hariri influence has been greatly weekend in Akkar near the Palestinian Refugee camp of Nahr al Bared and in the
Several Salafi al Qaeda admiring movements are present in
Judging from Saad Hariri's confused statements at his subsequent news conference and statements by other parties, the bitterness of promised but unforthcoming assistance was evident.
For two days following the debacle of his forces imploding the head of the Future Movement said nothing. Finally on the 14th he broke his silence. The Halba massacre, committed by Hariri's Mustakbal militiamen which brutally and barbarically murdered 11 people from the opposition did not seem worthy of discussion as he spoke. In a press conference on Tuesday, Hariri simply ignored what all the Lebanese had seen on TV from weapons, ammunition and alcohol found in Future movement offices, and instead listed a series of delusions. "We awaited an open war on
Hariri's original speech was so confused that the Saudi channel al-Arabiyya stopped broadcasting it and only read excerpts from what he said, without showing his recorded speech.
When American criticism resumed, and Hezbollah fighters withdrew from the alleys surrounding his house, Hariri was urged to stand up and speak again, this time with a stronger tone, saying "This has been decided by the Iranian and Syrian regimes that wanted to play a political game in
Anger at the Bush administration and
Courtesy counterpunch : Franklin Lamb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org