5/13/8 Re-Igniting Lebanon's Internal Fire: Not a "Civil War"; Red Flag Over Nepal; "Final Offensive" Against Venezuela

"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude."
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

digest comment:
After some perfunctory phony 'humanitarian' questions the u.s. media gets to the point, arrogantly grilling China's ambassador about the political damage to China and its 'coming out' Olympics party from all the recent assaults it has undergone ... relentless anti-China bashing of its most feared capitalist strategic, rival the u.s. engineered 'dalai lama 'free tibet/darfur' massive psywar propaganda campaign ...now this 'natural disaster. With disingenuous 'concern' NPR interrogated him about China's opinion of Myanmar's refusal of u.s. "aid" [i.e. u.s. military intervention on top of the thousands of pro-u.s. missionaries, NGOs, u.n. personnel, etc. already well-entrenched and actively subverting the regime.]. It's beyond comprehension how nations and their dignitaries tolerate u.s. imperialist propaganda trickery on top of crimes to undermine their national sovereignty. As the digest has pointed out before, the irony is that China was u.s. most feared 'enemy' as a revolutionary socialist country, now it is again enemy #1 because it has too successfully restored capitalism and the inevitable political inequality and contradictions inherent in capitalism.

May 13, 2008
By William Foreman, AP
..Disasters always pose a test for the communist government, whose mandate rests heavily on maintaining order, delivering economic growth, and providing relief in emergencies. Pressure for a rapid response was particularly intense this year, with the government already grappling with public discontent over high inflation and a widespread uprising among Tibetans in western China while trying to prepare for the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics. Wang Bin Wenchuan's Communist Party secretary appealed for air drops of tents, food and medicine. U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said no aid requests had been made by China....

China's Earthquake: A new relief call
...One measure of how China has changed can be seen through the government's handling of natural disasters. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that devastated Sichuan and surrounding provinces was followed by an almost immediate all-hands-on-deck call by the Chinese government and an acknowledgement of a serious emergency.It remains to be seen whether the country accepts foreign aid, already offered by President Bush and European leaders, but the fact that the country is openly addressing the disaster and has not (yet) outright refused all help is itself a sign of progress....We see signs that things are different this time around and we hope that China's doors will be open to any and all needed aid.... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/362775_chinaed.html

Powerful Quake Ravages China, Killing Thousands
An earthquake struck in China, toppling thousands of buildings and killing at least 10,000 people...
The quake was already China’s biggest natural disaster since another earthquake leveled the city of Tangshan in eastern China in 1976, leaving 240,000 people dead and posing a severe challenge to the ruling Communist Party, which initially tried to cover up the catastrophe.This time, officials quickly mobilized 50,000 soldiers to help with rescue efforts, state media said. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao flew to the scene and was shown coordinating disaster response teams from the cabin of his jet. The prime minister was later shown on national television standing outside the damaged edifice of the Traditional Medicine Hospital in the city of Dujiangyan, shouting encouragement at people trapped in its ruins. “Hang on a bit longer,” he said. “The troops are rescuing you. As long as there is the slightest hope, we will never relax our efforts.”
The quake was the latest in a series of events that have disrupted China’s planning for the Olympic Games in August, including widespread unrest among the country’s ethnic Tibetan population, which lives in large numbers in the same part of Sichuan Province where the earthquake struck.

. ..............

Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
from President Bush's address Sept. 20, 2001 to joint session of Congress


VIDEO Hezbollah Sec-General Hasan Nasrallah Address, Lebanon
"The combat today is not between the Sunni and Shia" - "There is a national plan for resistance and an American plan" - "It is up to everyone to choose the camp they want". He says that the news conference will deal with the issue of the telecommunications network; the issue of Brigadier General Shuqayr, director of Beirut Airport's security; and the "current sharp political crisis."

Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism

U.S. Hezbollah a threat to international peace
The United States says Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah poses a threat to international peace...
The US remains vocal in its support for the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora in Beirut, but it is calling on the international community and particularly on countries with influence over Iran and Syria, to help resolve the crisis. A senior US official told reporters it was difficult to see how Hezbollah could have acted without some kind of green light from Iran.

Hezbollah 'proud' to be on the U.S. terrorist list
The Iranian-backed [SIC] Lebanon-based guerilla movement Hezbollah said on Friday it prides itself on appearing on the United States' terrorist list.
"The U.S. administration has no right to give statements on nationalism and terrorism when it is making the peoples of the world, including the American people, pay the price for its wars and bloody policies," said a statement by Hezbollah...in response to the report released earlier this week by the U.S. State Department which accused Iran of providing aid to Palestinian "terrorist" groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, "Iraq-based militants," and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The statement criticized Washington for its Lebanon policy and accused the U.S. of "provoking its allies in Lebanon against fellow citizens who support the resistance and the opposition." Hezbollah slammed the U.S. as the biggest threat to international peace and stability.

There is no civil war in Lebanon; there is a war against the resistance
By Nadia Hasan

What is going on today in Lebanon is an extension of the situation in the entire region. The US and its western allies are trying to show everyone that religion is the main factor of this dispute and they are trying to cover the political motivations and especially economic interests involved in the whole process. There are two main positions in Lebanon today, on one hand a colonialist project supported by the US and its principle ally in the region, Israel, whose spokesman is the Lebanese Government itself, and on the other, a project of sovereignty conducted by the resistance movement. In fact, it is a war between those who are simply patriotic and external agents. That is why both camps are composed of several currents simultaneously; religious, sectarian, ideological, and so forth. It is important to note that Michiel Aoun, the nationalist QS (Qornet Shehwan) and the Communist parties are in line with Hezbollah.

The pro-imperialist western Lebanese government aims at pitting the National Army against the people and the resistance. Their goal is to hide behind the army because they lack popular support. It should be noted that the army establishment is still led by nationalists.

Prior to the Israeli invasion against Lebanon in 2006, there was a series of internal and external pressure to dismantle the legitimate movement of resistance in Lebanon, which is Hezbollah. This pressure increased after this group defeated the Israeli army and restored the hopes of other resistance movements in various parts of the Arab Homeland. This victory demonstrated without a doubt that resistance against globalism on the one hand, and guerrilla war on the other is still possible.

A few days ago, after the longest session in the history of the Lebanese parliament, the pro-western coalition voted to make the communication net of Hezbollah illegal, a communication system that was very effective against the Israeli army during the war last summer. This “Declaration of War” against the resistance is just another example of how the local puppets of the US and Israel are fighting against their own people, because through this action, the government is actually dismantling the main tool the resistance has to fight against the colonialist project in the region. This is not a minor issue, it is the first time since the Taif Accords in 1989 that put an end to the civil war in the country and consecrated the legitimacy of the armed resistance of Hezbollah against Israel, that the government condemns a communication network which is part of the security apparatus of the movement and considers it an “illegal threat against the State”.

What the Lebanese Government is doing today is nothing less than the dirty work of Israel, a few days after the US government declared once again that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, keeping it on the “Blacklist”. The aim here can only be to give to the US the control of the Airport and all the communication systems within the country, with the result of undermining the legitimate resistance of the people against their main target, Israel. They do this by provoking internal fights, which are easy to add to the confusion of religious disputes, just in the way they already have been doing in Iraq and in Palestine. The main reason behind the firing of the leader of the airport is that he declared that al-Hariri secretly met Bandar, the Saudi Amir, in the Airport several days before the government decided to fire him. Bandar was the only Arab who was told by Bush when the invasion against Iraq would start.

The biggest threat for a colonialist project in the region, including both the Arab ruler regimes and the western supporters, are the people and their power of resistance. To undermine this power and to create a constant climate of internal tension is the goal of anyone who is against a unified Arab nationalistic movement in the Arab Homeland.

How we can explain other than in this way the several accusations of Iranian intromission in Lebanon, even asking for the expulsion of its Ambassador and to paralyze all the flights to and from Iran due the support of the Iranian government to Hezbollah, but not a single word has been uttered against the external intromission of the US in Iraq, not a word against the allowance of a third of Qatari land surrendered in order to house a US base, not a word against external forces, armed to the teeth under the false pretext of “safeguarding democracy”, ignoring the respect of Lebanese territoriality and considering as “terrorists” a large number of its population?
France, the “motherland” keeps an important military presence in the area, focused mainly upon imposing the achievement of the recuperation of the colonialist project and once again doing the dirty work of an entity that has been oppressing an entire people for more than 60 years.
A ministerial meeting will take place in Cairo, convened by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, for what reason other than to condemn once again the right of people to resist the oppressor, as Hezbollah is doing successfully in Lebanon? Certainly these ministers will discuss ways to stop the “negative” influence that the supporters of resistance have inside the country.
Finally, it should be noted that Palestine is in the core of the conflict in Lebanon. The termination of resistance has never been devoted to ‘building’ and safeguarding Lebanon, but to protecting Israel and making it a ‘normal’ state in the Arab Homeland. But the first decision of the agents, if they succeed, will be the re-settlement of Palestinian refugees from Lebanon to…anywhere else but Palestine.

Nadia Hasan is a Palestinian activist who was born in Chile and who lives between various nations of South America and the Middle East. Her site is Palestina Resiste! and she dreams of the day when all Palestinians can exercise their Right of Return.

Re-igniting Lebanon’s Internal Fire
Dr. Elias Akleh
Reports about the latest Lebanese conflict talked only about the symptoms of the conflict and ignored its root causes. The Lebanese political infrastructure was deliberately formed, since its independence in 1943, to set up the country for perpetual political conflicts. One also needs to consider the global and regional political dynamics to understand the Lebanese dilemma.
Lebanon was original part of Greater Syria encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Cilicia and Iskandarun Province of Turkey, historical Palestine, Sinai of Egypt, Cyprus, Iraq, Kuwait, and Ahwaz Khuzestan of Iran. After the Great Arab Revolution during WWI and the emancipation of the Arab World from the Ottoman Empire, the British broke their promises to Sherif Hussein ibn Ali to establish a single unified Arab State. They were afraid that such an Arab State with vast areas of land including oil could become a major global power. So they and the French divided the land according to Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. Thus Arab land was divided into smaller chunks under the British and French mandates, and Lebanon was separated from Greater Syria and became a French protectorate.

Arab nations continued their struggle for freedom, and the Lebanese gained their independence in 1943. Yet, due to the lingering French political influence on the country, the Lebanese ethnic groups were still not completely in agreement, and thus a Lebanese confessional system of government, known as National Pact, was established. This form of government is allegedly meant to distribute political and institutional power proportionally among ethnic communities according to its demographic composition. The Pact’s real goal was to plant the seeds of division between the Lebanese factions to keep them divided, weak, and under the mercy of foreign interference. According to the National Pact the President of the Republic will always be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister will always be a Sunni Moslem, the President of the National Assembly will always be a Shi’a, the deputy speaker of the Parliament will always be Greek Orthodox Christian, and the Parliament members will always be in a ratio of 6:5 in favor of Christians to Moslems.
The Pact did not, or intentionally was set up not to, take into consideration the different birth growth between the different groups, where the Moslem birth growth exceeds the Christian birth growth. Also the group holding the most political power, the Christians in this case, would have the opportunity to use government institutions to bolster its power and even to oppress rival groups. Such abuse of power had caused grief among Moslems, which led to modification of the ratio in the Parliament to 50:50 according to the Taif Agreement of 1990 reducing the power of the Maronite Christian president.
Lebanon flourished greatly and was considered the Paris of the Middle East. Yet this did not last long. In 1948 after the establishment of the state of Israel on Palestinian land the Israelis evacuated about 100 thousands of Galilee Palestinians and transferred them to Lebanon. In 1967 Israel occupied the rest of Palestine creating a second wave of Palestinian refugees, some of whom went to Lebanon. Feeling invincible, the Israeli army crossed the Jordan River to invade Jordan but was defeated by the Jordanian army with the help of PLO fighters in Al-Karameh battle in March 1968. To weaken the Palestinian/Jordanian alliance Israel and its American CIA support incited political conflict between the Jordanian King and the PLO. It seemed a deal was struck by which the Jordanian army, armed with Israeli-delivered Uzi machine guns, raided the PLO camps and booted the fighters out of the country during what is known as the Black September of 1970.
The PLO moved to Lebanon, buttressed its bases to avoid its Jordanian-like fate, and continued their struggle against the Israeli occupation. One more time Israel used the same trick to incite conflict between the PLO and the Lebanese. Israel used the Phalanges and the South Lebanon Army as its proxy army to inflame the Lebanese Civil War. The Arab League summit of 1976 in Riyadh proposed sending an Arab Deterrent Force under the leadership of Syria to disentangle the combatant sides. The small forces from other Arab countries soon withdrew leaving about 40 thousand Syrian troops to do the job.
Israel, on its part, invaded north Lebanon several times, and in 1982 reached the southern suburbs of Beirut. International forces intervened to stop the fighting and allowed the PLO to leave Lebanon heading to Tunis. Israel, though, did not withdraw from Lebanon and thus was faced with Lebanese freedom fighters spear-headed by Hezbollah. Eventually Israel was forced to retreat in 2000. Hezbollah became Israel’s number one enemy especially after Palestinian freedom fighters started following Hezbollah’s example in fighting the Israelis.
Rafiq Al-Hariri, a Lebanese self-made billionaire and a business tycoon, who made his wealth in Saudi Arabia, returned to Lebanon, and invested his wealth and loans from the World Bank to rebuild Beirut and make it a world financial center. Al-Hariri served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation in October 2004. He worked closely with the Syrian government, and refused to hand over members of Hezbollah, who were accused by the US of being terrorists. Protecting Israel the Bush administration had declared Hezbollah a terrorist group for their fight against the illegal Israeli occupation of Sheba’a Farms; parts of Lebanon. During his 2001 BBC interview Al-Hariri stated that Hezbollah were protecting Lebanon against Israeli occupation, and called for implementation of all United Nations Resolutions against Israel. According to Bush’s statement of “You are either with us or with the terrorist”, Al-Hariri was viewed as obstacle to American/Israeli expansions, which would set an example to the rest of the Arab leaders. Such an example had to violently disappear to send an intimidating message to the others. Through the use of the most advanced electronic equipment to disable Al-Hariri’s sophisticated motorcade alarm system and the use of explosives equivalent to around 1000 kg of TNT, Al-Hariri’s strongly armored motorcade was blown to smithereens. Syria was blamed for the assassination, although there was no evidence at all for such accusation, and was pressured to pull out its forces from Lebanon.
After the American invasion of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Palestinian Hamas were viewed as the remaining threats to Israel. The Bush administration directed Israel to attack southern Lebanon to destroy Hezbollah after sending an Israeli patrol through Lebanese border as a provocation to be attacked by Hezbollah. The attack and the capture of two Israeli soldiers were used as justification for Israel’s July 2006 war against Lebanon. Despite all the Israeli bombing using illegal rich uranium and cluster bombs, the American pressure to continue the fight, the American arms aerial bridge to Israel, and the accusations of Egypt and Saudi Arabia against Hezbollah, Israel was defeated by Hezbollah. The Israeli Winograd Commission, set up to investigate the causes of the Israeli defeat, pointed also to the incorrect intelligence about Hezbollah’s strength and positions that were supplied by some Lebanese party leaders of March 14th Alliance, who were opposed to the increasing national and political popularity of Hezbollah. These leaders include the French/Saudi puppet Saad Al-Hariri, leader of the Future Movement, the CIA paid operative Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, and the Israeli paid and operative war criminal Samir Geagea, leader of the right wing Lebanese Forces.
Defeating the so-called undefeatable Israeli army, a feat all the Arab armies combined could not accomplish, Hezbollah demanded a change in the Lebanese political structure that will give it a say in the affairs of the country. This victory angered Israel and the American administration. It angered the French, who wanted to get back to its old protectorate, Lebanon, and to play a role in the war on terror so that its military industries can flourish. Hezbollah’s victory had angered the Arab leaders most of all, for it highlighted their lack of political will and their loyalties to foreign countries rather than to their people. All of these were afraid that Hezbollah would become an example for the Arab nations to rise up against their corrupt leaderships and to defeat Israel.
Divide in order to conquer policy that had been used to split Palestinians into Hamas and Fatah combatant rivals has also been used to split Lebanese into Western backed anti-Syrian pro-government loyalists led by the March 14th Alliance vs government oppositional parties led mainly by Hezbollah, and to create Lebanon’s political crisis. The Western media tried to portray the crisis as Sunni vs Shi’a religious conflict even though there are Sunni, Shi’a and Christians on both sides. Hezbollah was accused of being a tool in the hands of Syria and Iran, whose goal is to return Syrian rule to Lebanon and to give Iran free access to the Mediterranean shores. It was also accused of arming and training Iraqi insurgents.
The Jerusalem based Al-Manar Newspaper exposed an American/Israeli/French/Saudi plan to discredit and to weaken Hezbollah by inciting civil confrontation in Lebanon, and then sending international peace keeping troops under the justification of protecting foreigners. The paper had also reported that Israel has been training Lebanese militia loyal to Saad Al-Hariri, Walid Jumblatt, and Samir Geagea. American weapons, bought by Saudi money, have been smuggled through Lebanon’s Al-Hariri international airport to these militias. Israel had lately completed new war games in preparation for another war against Hezbollah anticipated during this summer.
Aware of the danger, Hezbollah had avoided civil confrontation through political process and dialogue with the Siniora government and with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa. But when Siniora’s government was directed to issue orders to dismantle Hezbollah’s installed cameras in the airport to monitor the smuggling of weapons into Lebanon, and its updated pre-2000 ground communication systems, Hezbollah considered the orders a declaration of war and a threat to all Lebanon. It considered the orders as an attempt to sever its leadership from its military groups; a service to Israeli enemy. Al-Hariri’s Future Party militia attempted to ignite a civil war by throwing stones and shooting at civilians, but Hezbollah fighters swiftly and unexpectedly were able to occupy their headquarters, seized cache of weapons, ammunition, and alcohol, and turned them to the Lebanese army. They also surrounded Al-Hariri’s and Jumblatt’s homes causing the government to rescind its orders. One more time, Hezbollah had proved to be the real savior of Lebanon.

NOTES on Lebanon Present & Past
Gary Zatzman
Hizbullah's move is a huge development. Having forged an agreement on the selection of someone acceptable to all political factions to serve as President of Lebanon, Hizbullah this past week chose the time and the place to settle the standoff over his formal installation. They are acting in a manner intended to prevent their enemies from reversing the verdict by force. The circumstances in which they chose to act suggest they are also ending, for now and into the future, a security breach that may have given the Israeli secret services the means to assassinate Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizbullah second in command.

The Zionists seem to believe that Hizbullas's dynamic is coming from Iran and is not directly aimed at them so not to worry, yet.... that everything decisive about Hizbullah comes from Iran and Syria, or even more narrowly from Iran via Syria.
What Hizbullah is doing is demonstrating that the U.S.-Zionist diktat in Lebanon, even aided and abetted by Saudi Arabia, can be reversed at will by the Lebanese nation where and when Hizbullah organises the nation to do so. Although Hizbullah is Shi'a-led, the mass base see it as Lebanese-nationalist in orientation with plenty of Sunni allies.

Beirut is a major Middle Eastern centre, an Arab cultural capital --- for the publishing of books, newspapers, magazines music, video all in Arabic and marketed across the 22 countries and 300-million population of the Arab world. (Although Cairo has about seven times' Beirut's population, the cultural role and influence of the Lebanese capital stands on a par with it.) Multi-ethnic and multi-religious with large minorities of both European and non-European non-Arab peoples, Christian as well as Muslim, Lebanon depends perhaps more crucially than most Middle Eastern countries on Arab language and culture as unifying factors. Many Palestinian clans have long extended into Lebanon. After 1948, tens of thousands more were displaced by the Nakba to refugee camps inside Lebanon. Beirut has 1.17 million of Lebanon's estimated 3.92 million people. This is 29.8 %, or about 2/7-ths, of the country's entire population. Since the 1975-90 civil war and including the July-August 2006 aggression inflicted by Israel, about 600,000 people [out of a total population at the time of 4.5-million, i.e., about 2 Lebanese out of every 15] have become permanent or temporary expatriates. Israeli bombing alone in that last conflict accounted for more than 1,200 killed and hundreds others injured mostly in and around the capital.

Generations of Lebanese have been trained to see such diversity as something either incidental or negative, rather than as something formative, positive or defining. It is historically true that, in order to preserve their positions, the Ottomans, the French colonialists, later French imperialism, and today U.S. imperialist-zionism backed by the leading powers of the European Union, have all depended crucially on exploiting this demographic, religious and cultural diversity to prop up the clans of this or that stooge against the populace as a whole. Hizbullah is the first force to emerge in Lebanon's modern history that actually defends a modern concept of citizenship, whereby the existing Lebanese nation is taken to include all those resident and working in Lebanon, or of Lebanese birth but happening to be living or working elsewhere in the world. Such a conception threatens to put an end once and for all to foreign interference in Lebanese affairs, which has always been premised on one or another community of religious interest [Western countries should intervene to help Christians, Saudi Arabia should intervene to help "true" Muslims, etc]. Not surprisingly, every slander and attack has been directed against Hizbullah's position by imperialism, focusing first and foremost on its Shi'a Islamic supporters in Lebanon and the diplomatic support it enjoys from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

What Hizbullah has specifically and concretely achieved this last several days is the isolation of the Saudi-financed gangleaders who work with the US-Zionist state machinery. This was a carefully planned maneuver, executed with considerable discipline: a total of less than three dozen people have been killed. (The 1975-1990 civil war to which the reactionaries are comparing it killed 150 000 people over 15 years, mostly in the first 7 or 8.) The stakes are huge. Since February 28, the USS Cole was reported to have been stationed off Lebanon's coast. It was subsequently joined by the Nassau battle group. This includes six vessels, including amphibious landing craft, and a contingent of over 2,000 Marines. They are positioned off Beirut, just beyond the horizon (approximately 24 miles / 40 km from shore). The German navy has also sent a warship to join them, tasked to the region as part of the UNIFIL forces authorised by the UN Security Council. (The German vessel has reportedly also menaced the coast of Gaza).

In the wake of Hizbullah's move, none of the imperialist powers could do a thing. They were caught completely flat-footed. Israel has been busy trying to commemorate 60 years, but Hizbullah's move is stealing even these triumphalist headlines from the pro-Zionist and accommodationist forces, while simultaneously highlighting the increasingly organised characters of parts of the resistance to the US-Zionist dictate. So far, contrary to the propaganda from Lebanese reaction and its megaphones in the West, neither Iranian weapons nor Syrian strategic support are playing any role whatsoever. The main action is entirely inside Beirut. This was the zone that the reactionaries arrogantly treated as their preserve except for the Shi'a "slums" of south Beirut that the Israelis bombed in the summer of 2006.

As for the Israelis themselves, they were preparing for weeks apparently against a possible move by Hizbullah forces at or towards the Green Line, the truce line/border between Israel and Lebanon. Tel-Aviv seems to have had no clue that this week's events were coming. The generally high state of its readiness, on the other hand, suggests the Israelis had come to believe — and may even have been conned deliberately by Hizbullah mis-communications, which were effective in deceiving the Israeli army in July 2006 — to expect something else.

Hizbullah says it acted only after the Siniora government called on it to give up its private communications system, and that this pressure from the Lebanese government amounted to a declaration of war. What does this mean? On the available evidence it suggests that the Hizbullah leadership looked deeply into the assassination of their 2-i-C, Imad Mughniyeh, a few months ago in Damascus, almost certainly by Zionist forces. There was a communications leakage that enabled his assassins to pinpoint him. Hizbullah swore they would avenge this event, with Nasrallah warning Israel against any future attacks on Hizbullah outside Lebanon but threatening no Zionist institutions outside Israel. Securing their communications systems seems to have been what Hizbullah actually had in mind.

Hizbullah used the occasion of May Day to make a move against the Siniora government's efforts to interdict and shut down Hizbullah's privately-maintained communications systems. These are not part of the national Lebanese telephone system. The Lebanese national system is a relatively low- to medium technology. It was modernised in recent years under a contract with the Canadian federal postal service Canada Post and SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian engineering outfit also involved in projects of the Israeli Zionists building toll highways in the West Bank. The U.S. and Israel routinely monitor Lebanese communications. However, Hizbullah's system is both satellite-independent & fibre-optic-linked. Hence it is essentially untappable by Mossad or the CIA. The US-Lebanese accusation is that Hzb's independent communications system is a Syrian intelligence conduit, therefore it's spying, therefore they can demand its shutdown and prepare to shut it down.

What the actual developments have proven is that Hizbullah achieved complete freedom of movement and near-total surprise whenever it has acted to secure their communications system from US-Zionist monitoring and penetration. The Mughniyeh assassination was certainly taken as a wake-up call about the degree to which US-Zionist forces had figured out and become able to penetrate their communications since the end of the July-August 2006 war. The key thing about these communications is neither that they enable Syria to spy, as the reactionary Lebanese media have been screaming, nor that they are supplied or financed from Iran, as the US-Zionist forces claim. The key thing is that the cabled, secure portions are now all fibre-optic. An electronic signal sent along a fibre-optic conductor cannot be tapped. (This kind of security, by the way, has been one of the main reasons why, in the United States, outside of the military, the replacement of existing communications systems with fibre-optic cabling — amid record profits among the telecommunications monopolies — has slowed to a crawl since 9-11.)

How long will Hizbullah hold Beirut? Is this for demonstration purposes or a permanent move? The political aim of Hizbullah and its allies (General Aoun et al) is to end the log-jam over installing the new president. They needed to neutralise or shatter or peel off key allies of the Siniora government. They have certainly shattered the Hariri gang, those Saudi-financed props of the Siniora government. The US, its EU-NATO allies and Israel were caught flatfooted by events, unable to agree upon at this moment, and remain in no position tactically to decide, any joint course of military action to end the situation.

By Saturday afternoon it had become clear that Hizbullah had planned and carried out an armed demonstration which placed control of all key tactical and strategic points in Beirut in the hands of their friends from the Lebanese Army. All this comes in advance of the Tuesday, May 13th effort for the 18th time to resolve by parliamentary vote the deadlock over actually electing the agreed President. He is a former Army chief of staff who was proposed by Hizbullah and Gen. Aoun's Christian faction. The main upshot of this week's action is that Sa'ad Hariri's gangs cannot upset or hijack the results of that vote, and that Saudi Arabia's influence on this occasion has been nullified.

Of course this timing — to ensure the result of the May 13th vote — immediately involved as well turning events in Beirut into something that would counter the Zionist anniversary which climaxes on May 14th, marking the 60th anniversary of the day the Zionists declared their so-called Jewish State and the 60th year of the Nakba that resulted from that crime. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there are groups of Palestinians mustering to march towards the borders with Israel to implement their Right of Return on this occasion, so we may have only seen the first shoe drop...

Although we have no idea or way of determining how much Hamas may have known in advance about what was coming, it is a fact that potentially the biggest beneficiaries of the week's developments in Beirut are the Palestinian forces of resistance based mainly in the Gaza Strip. Hamas expressed concerns on Friday that the various Sunni and Shi'a factions retain a basis for ongoing Lebanese-national dialog. As a Sunni-based Islamic movement themselves, their concern is understandable. In any case, the caution may have been directed more at Sunni groups in the Lebanese polity who retain reservations about openly siding with Hizbullah. In any event, if the main net effect is a situation where the main forces threatening the Zionist state are entities that rely on the methods of people's war, this would bode well for the future. Apart from indiscriminately slaughtering civilians, the Israeli military has been shown incapable of fighting against such forces even on one front at a time. Imagine their discomfiture, to put it mildly, if the Zionist junta ended up in a two-front war against such forces.

other matters of background:
Hizbullah itself emerged in the 1981-82 period, in the struggle to overcome the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the bombing and occupation of Beirut, and the subsequent occupation of Lebanese territory between the Litani River and the Green Line / Israeli border. This occupation was facilitated by the Israelis' training something called the South Lebanon Army under the leadership of a goon they trained called Sa'ad Haddad. His thugs terrorised and disappeared the civilian population of southern Lebanon until local resistance organised by Hizbullah broke the back of Haddad's pathetic gang in 2000 and the Israelis hightailed it out of Lebanon.

While the Zionists were occupying Lebanon, a civil war that had begun in 1975 between Christian Maronite fascists of the so-called Phalange, run by the Gemayel and Chamoun clans, carried on against areas populated by Orthodox Christians, Druze and Muslims (both Sunni and Shi'a). The Zionists backed the Maronites. Finally, Hizbullah, Amal and some other forces from Muslim sectors united sufficiently to compel the elites from the various clan-groupings to implement a ceasefire to be guaranteed by the Syrian Army.

The Lebanese state is a confessional state. Specific positions in the executive and legislative branches are reserved for specific religious groups and the whole thing operates by elite accommodation. The Taif Accord of 1990 which brought Syria in as guarantor of a truce was essentially another temporary scheme of elite accommodation. It averted having to deal with the reality exposed by the civil war and the ongoing Zionist occupation, namely, that the days of elite accommodation with zero participation of the Lebanese people in the state was no longer acceptable to the people or sustainable. But the evident decline of the Soviet bloc (it would be gone in another year) meant that no section of these elites could call on the Soviet superpower to counterbalance the U.S. superpower and its Israeli proxy, so Syria was their compromise. The Zionists along with their masters the U.S. expected the Soviets would be gone soon and the presence in Lebanon of Syria, then a major arms client of the Soviets, would also not be long for this world.

With the Gulf War, the U.S. leaned on the Arab Gulf states to pay the bills and conceded the promise of a full peace conference on Palestine and Israel in return. This became the Madrid Conference that morphed into the Oslo Accords of 1991, in which the PLO led by Arafat and his Fateh faction abandoned their longstanding nomadic existence in every other Arab state and became the Palestinian National Authority. The Zionists obtained an arrangement that converted the PLO into policeman for its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the Syrian army presence in Lebanon did not challenge the Zionists' proxy occupation south of the Litani River. It was in this period that Hizbullah vastly expanded its welfare work among the poor workers and farmers of Lebanon, especially in the occupied southern portion. Hizbullah became a political party and national political force in these conditions, filling the void left by the sectarian elites sharing power in the confessional arrangements of the Lebanese state while simultaneously mobilising the Lebanese national movement to unite as one against the Zionist occupation. All those in Lebanon and outside who curse Hizbullah for aligning itself with Syria and Iran are hiding their own shame at never having taking any stand against the Zionist occupation of Lebanon or its continuous pressure to annex Lebanon to Israel. The main (and I believe sole) reason that Lebanon did not become annexed to Israel after the South Lebanese Army and Haddad were ousted in 2000 was Hizbullah's line of political independence based on resisting Zionist occupation and pressure.

It was in the course of becoming a mass organiser that Hizbullah elaborated another position and outlook unprecedented among political parties in the Middle-Eastern portion of the Arab world. It upheld the notion of nationality based on a modern definition of citizenship, in opposition to any narrowly ethnic definition of nationality. They correctly ruled out such definitions of nationality in the Lebanese polity as utterly poisonous and an incitement to resume civil war. This stand is also why almost all the other political elites in the Lebanese state will have nothing to do with them. The disinformation that is fomented is that the problem with Hizbullah is its connections with Iran, but this is a very thin veneer for insinuating the racist view that if you are an Arab Shi'a Muslim born and raised in Lebanon, then you are some kind of traitor or viper in the breast of Mother Lebanon, etc. The Christian group led by Gen. Michel Aoun is the only section from the Lebanese political elite that endorses the modern notion of nationality and citizenship upheld by Hizbullah, and also endorses Hizbullah's call for a reform of the Lebanese state such that its confessional character is shelved once and for all such that never again will the President be religion A, the Prime Minister from Religion B, the Speaker of Parliament from Religion C etc..

Is it true Hizbullah is for an "Islamic state" in Lebanon? Yes — but not a so-called "Caliphate". They are for a state that is no longer confessional, meaning in Lebanon's case a state in which NO religion enjoys preference, and whether the government serves the people cannot be hijacked by any elite from any confessional sector . It would be "Islamic" in the sense that the majority of the citizenry happen to be Muslim. It is the way Hizbullah popularises the notion of a state in which the people have direct means of exercising power without necessarily depending on political parties to mediate their access to the polity. Hizbullah's line against U.S. and Eurocentric political models is not that of a religious fanatic — that the truth is entirely self-contained and already revealed in some Bible or other. Their view is that the thought material of their own people and the ethics taught in the Qu'ran are sufficient for the Lebanese to build a system most suitable for themselves. This is very similar to the effective line of the current Hamas leadership. It is rather different from the lines that are discussed among the Clerical Guardians in Iran.

Regarding U.S.-ISRAELI allegations Iran supplies the weapons:
Syria has backed the Hizbullah campaign since December 2007 to exercise a blocking veto against the Siniora-Hariri bloc's efforts to force a Christian Maronite president down Lebanese throats .

Saudi Arabia that has financed Sa'ad Hariri's "Future"(Mustaqbal) movement, more or less under U.S. strategic direction, to split Lebanese Muslims between Sunni and Shi'a and between the north bordering Syria (majority Sunni, extremely anti-Syria) and the south (vast majority Shi'a, militantly anti-Israel and anti-U.S.). Israel has been handling the assassinations department and has infiltrated the Christian Maronites thoroughly.

Regarding the wide speculation that Iran has been arming Hizbullah: physically this would be an impressive feat, as Syria borders Lebanon, but not Iran. Northeastern Syria
borders Turkey on its north and Iraq on its west. Iran borders Turkey and Iraq each on their eastern side. Between Iran and Syria there's an approximately 200-mile gap,
That border runs through 100% Kurdish territory which is unsympathetic both to Persians and Arabs and somewhat to extremely hostile to the existing governments of Syria,
Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

Hizbullah acquires its weapons unofficially and otherwise "illegally" from the Lebanese army and by purchases in the world market. The American propaganda that Iran supplies Hizbullah's weaponry is probably based on the likelihood that Hizbullah uses Iranian bank accounts to pay these transactions, so that Israel and the U.S. can only make
guesses about what's in Hizbullah's arsenals until an actual conflict erupts. Almost all Hizbullah's heavy weaponry came as news and a surprise to the Israeli forces in July-August 2006. Yet reports collated from around the world showed that Hizbullah had these weapons for years, demonstrating the high security in which Hizbullah had
managed to blanket these transactions
To reiterate with no evidence the tall tales about Iranian dictation of Hizbullah's puts one in mind of the years of propaganda about Saddam Hussein being mainly a U.S. tool.
The truth is plain for all to see now: Saddam played footsie with the U.S., for nationalist reasons, to a dangerous degree, flew too close to the Sun and was disposed of.

Lebanese army chiefs refuse orders to take on Hizbollah
The Lebanese army has defied the country's government and bowed to demands by Hizbollah militants who brought the country to the brink of civil war.

Sunni Arab heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia organized an emergency meeting Sunday of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, days after Iranian-backed Hezbollah took control of most of western Beirut.The two nations are deeply suspicious of the Shiite group, accusing it of sidelining Lebanon's Sunni minority and being a proxy for extending Iran's power in the Middle East. The Arab diplomats also agreed to send a high-level delegation to Beirut immediately to try to mediate a way out of Lebanon's crisis. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani will head the delegation, the Cairo-based organization said in a statement. Israel's Vice Premier Haim Ramon told cabinet members earlier Sunday that Lebanon must be viewed as a "Hezbollah state." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, meanwhile, said during the weekly cabinet meeting that Israel was following the crisis closely, but would refrain from intervening... The European diplomats told Haaretz that although Lebanon asked the U.S. to provide heavy weapons such as antitank missiles and assault helicopters, the U.S. aid has concentrated on training Lebanese army units and supplying light arms and ammunition. They say the U.S. refused the requests because of Israel's fears that heavy arms could be used against it in the future or even fall into Hezbollah hands....

Remember? U.S.-Israeli press forget to mention this is an act of war
12 IAF jets fly over Beirut, Lebanese areas
By The Associated Press
Haaretz 28/04/2008
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Lebanese army said Monday that Israel Air Force warplanes have violated their airspace by flying missions over Beirut and elsewhere in the country. The Lebanese army said in a statement that "12 enemy Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace before noon Monday, four flew over the Mediterranean off the coastal city of Byblos in the north and headed toward the eastern province of Hermel."It added that eight other Israeli warplanes flew over the southern town of Rmeish, then headed north to Beirut, the Chouf mountains, southeast of the capital, and Hermel before flying back.The Israeli overflights lasted about an hour, the statement said.The Israel Defense Forces when asked about the alleged flyover said "it is our policy not to comment on our operations. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/978711.html

Al-Qaeda 'declares war on Hezbollah'
Al-Qaeda has reportedly called on its operatives to go to Lebanon and defend what it called the Sunni community of the country.

American Professor, Ousted From DePaul University, Declares Support for Hezbollah in Lebanon
Controversial Professor Plans to Risk Arrest After University Cancels His Classes.
An ousted American political science professor who believes some Jews have exploited the legacy of the Holocaust recently expressed his support for the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Norman Finkelstein, who resigned from DePaul University last fall amid criticism of his opinions on the Holocaust, told Lebanese television that his view of Hezbollah is "rarely heard" in the United States. "I have no problem saying that I express solidarity with them, I'm not going to be a coward and a hypocrite about it," "It's a choice that the Lebanese have to make — who they want to be their leaders, who they want to represent them." Israel and the United States are resisting Hezbollah's control of the region, Finkelstein said. "That's the problem," he said. "If Hezbollah laid down its arms and said, 'We will do whatever the Americans say,' you wouldn't have a war.... but you would also be the slaves of the Americans. I have to respect those who refuse to be slaves." He said Israel must suffer a defeat to lead to peace in the Middle East.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad warned he would engage his Security Council colleagues to take steps against Syria, including sanctions, if Hezbollah's challenge to the Lebanese Government continues.

Syrian President Bashar Assad says his country won't sever ties with Iran and Hezbollah, despite U.S. and Israel's demands to do so.

Syria: US reactor charges as fake as Iraq WMD claims
"The new US campaign of lies should surprise nobody -- it's a continuation of the same policy of US pressure against Syria that's been going on" for the past five years...

What did Israel bomb in Syria? Real story behind September air strike has never been investigated
Pepe Escobar
Last week's allegation by the US government that an Israeli air strike in Syria last September hit a nuclear facility being developed with the cooperation of North Korea has drawn strong denials from the Syrian government. The real problem here, says The Real News Analyst Pepe Escobar, is that the air strike, and the claims made about it months later, have never been properly investigated by mainstream media.
Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar writes The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online. He has reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He is the author of the recently published Red Zone Blues. Pepe is a regular analyst for The Real News Network. Transcript:[...]

A Quiet US Confession: Weapons Not Made In Iran After All
12/05/08 "ICH" -- - In a sharp reversal of its longstanding accusations against Iran arming militants in Iraq , the US military has made an unprecedented albeit quiet confession: the weapons they had recently found in Iraq were not made in Iran at all. According to a report by the LA Times correspondent Tina Susman in Baghdad: "A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was cancelled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran. A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding that emerged after an Iraqi Army general in Karbala erroneously reported the items were of Iranian origin. When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19908.htm

proving again that political marionettes dance to the ruling class agenda, they don't make it:
The Iran Consensus Grows More Dangerous
William Arkin, Washington Post
The three candidates share a consensus, backed by the national security community, that Iran is the new strategic threat.


Hamas condemns the Holocaust
Bassem Naeem
We are not engaged in a religious conflict with Jews; this is a political struggle to free ourselves from occupation and oppression
The Israeli media and pro-Israel western press are full of views that deny or seek to excuse well-established facts of history including the Nakba of 1948 and the massacres perpetrated then by the Haganah, the Irgun and LEHI with the objective of forcing a mass dispossession of the Palestinians.

But it should be made clear that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality.
And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us - to the point where in February the Israeli deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai threatened the people of Gaza with a "holocaust".

Within 24 hours, 61 Palestinians - more than half of them civilians and a quarter children - were killed in a series of air raids. Meanwhile, a horrible crime against humanity continues to be perpetrated against the people of Gaza: the two-year-old siege imposed after Hamas won the legislative elections in January 2006, which is causing great suffering. Due to severe shortages of medicines and food, scores of Palestinians have lost their lives.

It cannot be right that Europeans in general and the British in particular maintain a virtual silence toward what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians, let alone supporting or justifying their oppressive policies, under the pretext of showing sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust.
The Palestinian people aspire to freedom, independence and peaceful coexistence with all their neighbours. There are, today, more than six million Palestinian refugees. No less than 700,000 Palestinians have been detained at least once by the Israeli occupation authorities since 1967. Hundreds of thousands have so far been killed or wounded. Little concern seems to be caused by all of this or by the erection of an apartheid wall that swallows more than 20% of the West Bank land or the heavily armed colonies that devour Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.

The plight of our people is not the product of a religious conflict between us and the Jews in Palestine or anywhere else: the aims and positions of today's Hamas have been repeatedly spelled out by its leadership, for example in Hamas's 2006 programme for government. The conflict is of a purely political nature: it is between a people who have come under occupation and an oppressive occupying power.

Our right to resistance against occupation is recognised by all conventions and religious traditions. The Jews are for us the people of a sacred book who suffered persecution in European lands. Whenever they sought refuge, Muslim and Arab lands provided them with safe havens. It was in our midst that they enjoyed peace and prosperity; many of them held leading positions in Muslim countries.
After almost a century of Zionist colonial and racist oppression, some Palestinians find it hard to imagine that some of their oppressors are the sons and daughters of those who were themselves oppressed and massacred....http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19913.htm

The Modern Relevance of Nazi-Zionist Cooperation
Editorial, The FREE ARAB VOICE
This issue of the Free Arab Voice (FAV) is dedicated to the examination of different aspects of the relationship between the Nazi and the Zionist movements. You shall find below an important document worth keeping in your records for future reference if you have no time to read it now.
FAV Editorial: The Modern Relevance of Nazi-Zionist Cooperation
This issue of the Free Arab Voice (FAV) is dedicated to the examination of different aspects of the relationship between the Nazi and the Zionist movements. You shall find below an important document worth keeping in your records for future reference if you have no time to read it now.

neoliberal offensive on behalf of imperialist zionism
Taking Back the Debate Over Israel
By Gary Kamiya
Sick of right-wing Jews speaking in their name, progressive American Jews have launched J Street to change the way the game is played in Washington.... J Street's founders boast strong ties to Israel -- essential to deflect attacks from the hawkish pro-Israel right. Executive director Ben-Ami, who in addition to working for Dean was President Bill Clinton's deputy domestic policy adviser, has deep ties to the Jewish state: His grandparents were among the founders of Tel Aviv, his parents were Israelis, his family suffered in the Holocaust, and he has lived in Israel, where he was almost blown up in a Jerusalem terror attack. Daniel Levy, who also played a key role in J Street's creation, is a former high-ranking Israeli official who took part in the 2001 Taba negotiations with the Palestinians and was the lead Israeli drafter of the groundbreaking Geneva Initiative. J Street also boasts the endorsement of some heavy hitters from the Israeli political, military and security establishment, including a former senior member of Mossad, a former foreign minister and the former chief of staff of the Israeli army....
Another key reason that J Street is urgently needed, Ben-Ami said, is to heal a dangerous and growing schism in the Jewish community. "There's a real generational issue here," he said. "Look at the young people. The Jewish community is a fairly progressive community and always has been. If you look at the environmental community today, if you look at the people working on Darfur, on Tibet, a large percentage of them are Jews. So the question is what's going to happen to these people. If we say that in order to be tied to the established Jewish community, either through federations or synagogues or any institutional entity, you have to go through a litmus test of 'do you stand with Israel right or wrong on everything' before we'll let you feel comfortable in our institutions, we're going to drive all these people away. We're going to lose an entire generation."...
The fledgling organization is challenging not only the vast institutional and financial muscle of lobbies like AIPAC, but a daunting array of psychological and emotional hurdles within the Jewish community. But if it succeeds, it could make an significant, perhaps even a decisive, difference in American Mideast policy. It could heal a growing rift within the American Jewish community. And it could help save Israel from itself.... http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19838.htm

Elections in Nepal: Republican Resurgence Led by the Red Flag in Nepal
By Lal Bahadur Singh
Liberation, May, 2008
"Nepal Stuns World, Itself: Poll Peaceful, Turnout 60%" that was the banner of Kathmandu Post, the leading Nepal newspaper, on April 11, the morrow of the historic Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. It was stunning indeed that the CA elections in a Nepal, torn by civil strife, were held in a remarkable peaceful atmosphere and with a huge participation of the people. However the real stunner was yet to come when by the midnight of April 11 itself it became clear that a Red Star was rising in full bloom over Sagarmatha, i.e. Everest,the highest peak of the world, in the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom.... the writing on the wall was there for anyone
willing to see, that the Maoists were set to win in quite a big way... to make Nepal a federal, democratic republic, abolish the monarchy and make Prachanda the
first President of Republican Nepal. ...the Maoist victory was in-built in the very logic of the political developments leading to virtual demolition of the monarchy in Janandolan II in November 2006 and the subsequent elections to the CA. It is obvious that for the Nepalese people reeling under the dead weight of monarchist- feudal regime which had turned Nepal into an extremely backward country and a happy hunting ground for imperialist forces and Indian hegemonism for centuries, resulting in many unequal and humiliating treaties, the central political agenda has for long been the overthrow of monarchy...
As we entered Kathmandu, the first comment we heard from the young conductor of the city bus gave us some hint of things to come...[said] gleefully and confidently, "Yahan to
Maovadi jeetenge" (The Maoists are winning here)....
Let us hail this great victory of the Nepalese people and the republican forces, and warmly wish success for Nepal's communists in facing the many complex challenges that lie ahead on the road to democracy and socialism.

Pakistan opposes US military aide
Pakistan has United States not to appoint former head of US prison at Guantanamo as military envoy in Islamabad.

US tightens grip on Pakistan
By M K Bhadrakumar,
Asia Times
...It is extraordinary that a seasoned diplomat like Negroponte has chosen the NED forum to make such a major speech on Pakistan. But then, "promoting democracy" - the motto of NED - also happens to be a stated objective of US policy towards Pakistan. Over the past quarter century, the US government-funded NED has specialized as a handmaiden of American regional policies. The NED is well known for covertly funding and supporting politicians in Latin American countries with strong support to the military. Its activities in many countries are known to run parallel to those of the Central Intelligence Agency. Its sensational role in conceptualizing and orchestrating the "color revolutions" in Ukraine and Georgia was a high-water mark in the organization's history since its inception in 1983, mitigating to an extent its dismal failures in Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.
Rarely does a top diplomat speak so openly from a public forum as Negroponte did on the centrality of Pakistan for the US's national security. He spoke in Winston Churchill terms. "More than ever, our [US] national security depends on the success, security and stability of Pakistan ... We recognize that our fate - that is, our security, our freedom, our prosperity - is linked to the fate of the people of Pakistan," Negroponte said, echoing the gravitas of the British statesman during World War II. What Negroponte implied was that Washington will categorically assure Pakistan that no matter the change of administration in the White House next year, the US commitment to a "long-term, substantial and comprehensive" partnership with Pakistan will remain a cornerstone of American regional policies.
Negroponte seems to have perceived that allies like Pakistan are increasingly beginning to look beyond the Bush administration and that is not going to do the "war on terror" in Afghanistan any good. In his recent visit to China, President Pervez Musharraf's mind desultorily wandered, inviting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to come and help stabilize the Afghan situation. But, why go to the SCO when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could still do a first rate job? The SCO comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Negroponte, therefore, proceeded to underline that in its remaining months in office, the Bush administration will endeavor to establish a new framework of political, economic and security assistance to Pakistan. He singled out military cooperation as an important feature of that partnership. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19895.htm

Uribe Would Be Involved in U.S. “Final Offensive” Against Venezuela
The so-called “final offensive” against Venezuela (the purpose of which is to take President Chávez out of power) is being planned presumably from Colombia, and would be executed by that country’s army, according to agreements between Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and “the known agent of the intelligence services of the United States,” William Brownfield. This information is recorded in the document titled “Shock and Awe Theory in Venezuela: Provoke a State of Shock In Order to Command Respect,” presented to the Public Ministry by former Venezuelan Attorney General Isaías Rodríguez... Uribe put Francisco Santos in charge of the details “without it looking like the Government is involved because we would go to war. The ambassador ended the discussion like this: ‘this is the best moment, because the electoral season in the United States makes many people think that our country is focused on that juncture, therefore any direct or indirect action by the United States would be ruled out or unsubstantiated. Long live the element of surprise.’” The document also points out that in order to break Chávez down morally it must be planned that paramilitaries already located in Caracas kidnap his youngest son and transport him to an unspecified place in Colombia.http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/3424