CHAIN OF CONFLAGRATION MAY SOON BE IGNITED
 
                     ISRAEL HAS BROUGHT ABOUT THIS WAR
                   Israel Plans to Gain Control of Region with US Help
 
                       "They envision a domino effect, with the fall of
                        Saddam Hussein followed by that of Israel's
                        other enemies: Arafat, Hassan Nasrallah,
                        Bashar Assad, the ayatollah in Iran and
                        maybe even Muhammar Gadaffi."

                                     
MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 2/17/2003:   
    Certain basicly realities need to be clearly stated at this historic moment about what is happening in the Middle East, what is happening in Washington, and what the upcoming war with Iraq is really all about.  
    First, it is Israeli policies in the region that have helped create today's 'clash of civilizations', fueling the tensions and hatreds more than ever.
    Second, it is the powerful influence of the increasingly war-mongering Israeli-Jewish lobby in Washington that has helped push the U.S. toward even greater militarism now summaried as 'pre-emptive' strikes against the 'axis of evil'.
    Third, it is the Israelis more than any other party in the region that are pushing the Americans to attack and conquer Iraq -- using the simplistic logic of 'you are either with us or against us' -- and then to strike harder at the rest of Israel's Arab and Muslim enemies throughout the region.
    The American Empire will have its troops positioned to invade and conquer Iraq in the next few weeks.  The UK and Israel are the two other States primarily involved.  Especially with the influence of the increasingly belligerent Israeli-Jewish lobby in Washington -- where key figures Perle, Wolfowitz, Indyk, Faith, Kissiinger, Lieberman et. al. all now playing their varied roles -- one can expect the war to then escalate beyond Iraq, regardless of what further happens at the U.N. or with the millions of screaming protestors on the streets of the world.
     This important article in today's Ha'aretz helps explain what the Israelis are thinking and planning; and why they have so strenuously worked in the region and in Washington to bring about this escalating 'clash of civilizations'.
     As for Arafat's latest talk about appointing a 'Prime Minister' and a provisional 'Palestinian State' without 'final' borders',  it's all just more miserable deception by the Americans and the Israelis using near-imprisoned Arafat to help them pursue their imperial, subjugation, and domination goals.
     Meanwhile the U.S. and Israel are about to drop more inflamatory militarist matches on a world whose nerves are so dry and tense a chain of conflagration that cannot be easily extinguished for some time may result.
 
               BACKGROUND:  ENTHUSIASTIC IDF AWAITS WAR IN IRAQ
                                 By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent

[Ha'aretz - Tel Aviv - 17 Feb 2003]:   The Prime Minister's Office ascribes little importance to the diplomatic hurdles America must overcome in the UN Security Council on the path to a war against Iraq. Israel estimates that the date of attack depends only on logistical considerations, when the deployment of U.S. troops is complete, and that the war will begin at the end of February or the beginning of March. No delays or any kind of influence are expected from the coalition negotiations.
 
The military and political leadership yearns for war in Iraq, seeing it as an opportunity to win the war of attrition with the Palestinians. According to their approach removing Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat from his position will signify Palestinian surrender. Major General Amos Gilad, Coordinator of Government Activities in the West Bank and Gaza, expressed the army's position Saturday, saying that a U.S.-led attack on Iraq would remove the Iraqi threat, and would be an example for "the removal of other dictators closer to us who use violence and terror."
 
Senior IDF officers and those close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, such as National Security Advisor Ephraim Halevy, paint a rosy picture of the wonderful future Israel can expect after the war. They envision a domino effect, with the fall of Saddam Hussein followed by that of Israel's other enemies: Arafat, Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad, the ayatollah in Iran and maybe even Muhammar Gadaffi. Along with these leaders, will disappear terror and weapons of mass destruction.
 
There is also excitement in the IDF's planning department over the standoff between the U.S. and its NATO allies. A paper distributed to the army's upper echelons even spoke of an opportunity to remove the pro-Palestinian Europeans from the Middle East. A senior source said Saturday that the U.S. will punish the Europeans for their back-stabbing on the road to Baghdad, and will no longer ask them for input regarding Israeli concessions.
 
But the conflict in the Security Council shows that the U.S. is having a hard time controling the international community, and is still focused on transforming the Middle East into an area under U.S. protection, in which Israel will enjoy privileged status.
 
The conflict centers mainly around Iraq, but is also found in the Palestine-Israel arena. The U.S.'s partners in the "Quartet" - representiatives of the EU Russia and the UN - demonstrated their strength Friday when they managed to persuade Arafat to publicly announce his unconditional acceptance of the international "road map" to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as his intention to appoint a Palestinian prime minister. The announcement on the appointment of a prime minister was intended to show the Americans that there is a reason for the insistence of the Europeans, the Russians and the UN to continue to talk with Arafat.
Arafat's announcement was a huge triumph for Sharon who demanded the appointment of a prime minister with authority in the PA, and he even succeeded in enlisting the Europeans and the UN, Arafat's main supporters, to pressure the Palestinian leader to change his tactics. The problematic part, from Sharon's point of view, is in the "road map." The Europeans want to implement the current draft which Qartet representatives are slated to discuss Monday in London. Sharon, however, wants to make some changes and to limit UN and European influence. Gaining Palestinian agreement to the road map will be more difficult after such amendments are made.
 
The Prime Minister's Office will finish Israel's draft of the road map this week, which will be brought for approval before the new government. Head of the Prime Minister's Office Dov Weisglass and representatives of Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz (Military Secretary of the Defense Minister, Brigadier General Michael Herzog) and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Advisor Uzi Arad and Foreign Ministry General Manager Yoav Biran) are working together on the draft.
 
After the document is completed, Weisglass is due to go to Washington to discuss the special aid package that Israel has requested from the U.S. Weisglass is also likely to meet with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for general policy discussions. Before that, however, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon is due to return to Israel for consultation talks, and Sharon is to meet with representatives of the Congress subcommittee on Middle East affairs, scheduled to arrive in Israel Sunday. All the talks this week, and the London summit on PA reform, make up the Israeli-Palestinian part of the preparations for war on Iraq.
 
Israel expects little from the London talks, since the U.S. promised there would be no progress in the drafting of the road map or in discussions about the aims of reforms within the PA. Within the committee of donors to the PA, the Palestinians will face a hostile front demanding that supervision of the how funds are used be improved. They will also be informed of a reduction in the support they received as compensation for the freezing of tax revenues that Israel collected on their behalf. With the renewal of revenue transfers from the Israeli treasury to the PA, the Palestinians are likely to lose the generous "bridging funds" donated by the EU.

                               ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD
                                        By Uri Avnery - Israel, 15.2.03
 
--- A great, civilized nation democratically elected a fanatic demagogue, who preached war. Actually, he did not really receive the majority of votes, but, somehow, his ascent to power was arranged nevertheless.
--- Soon after assuming power, he manipulated a dramatic incident in order to tighten his grip upon the country and prepare for attack on smaller nations. An immense propaganda machine turned "enemies" into devils, the incarnation of evil.
 
--- The call for war enabled him to unite the whole people behind him, to silence all opposition, gradually abridge human rights, overcome the economic crisis and embark upon a voyage towards world dominion.
 
--- He loved being photographed in uniform, walking along lines of soldiers, pretending to be a great military leader ---
 
I mean, of course, Adolf Hitler.
 
The German people, which gave him power and followed him with closed eyes even when he committed heinous crimes, paid a heavy price. It has learned the lesson. Now it abhors war, any war, from the depth of its soul. Hundreds of thousands - young people, children, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren of that generation - march these days through the streets of Germany to protest against Bush's war. Their leader, Schroeder, was reelected solely because he expressed this deep longing for peace. The most warlike people has turned into the most anti-warlike.
 
That's great, isn't it? Not at all! American and British leaders condemn Germany for its refusal to go to war. The Israeli government heap scorn on its head. Wet rugs, these Germans! Damn pacifists! Cowards! Pitiful people who refuse to fight!
 
All this less than 60 years since Hitler's suicide. Who would have believed.
 
And this is not the only miracle that is happening these days. Not by any means.
 
A personal memory (excuse me if you have read it before): when I was 8 years old, two years before my family fled Germany after Hitler's coming to power, I was a pupil in the third class of an elementary school in Prussia, a Social Democratic bulwark at the time.
 
Once the teacher told us about Hermann, the national hero, who had succeeded in 9 AD to lure the Roman army into a trap and annihilate it. The Roman commander, Varus, fell on his sword and Augustus Ceasar uttered his despairing cry: "Varus, give me back me legions!" On the spot where the historic battle was supposed to have taken place, there stands now a huge statue of Hermann.
 
"Hermann stands with his face towards the Erbfeind (hereditary enemy)!" our teacher proclaimed. "Children, who is the Erbfeind?" All the pupils in the class shouted in unison: "Frankreich! Frankreich (France)!"
 
Now Germany and France, the hereditary enemies, stand together, shoulder to shoulder, against Bush's war plans. The Americans curse and abuse them, but they stand firm: Enough of war. Enough of destruction and bloodshed. Other ways to solve problems must be found.
 
That is another miracle. But even this is a minor one compared to the third, historic miracle that is happening in front of our eyes:
President Putin appeared in Berlin and Paris, embraced Chirac and Schroeder and added his voice to theirs. One front from Cherbourg on the Atlantic to Vladivostok on the Pacific. That has never happened before.
 
From earliest times, European history is full of alliances of some states against others. Germany and Russia divided Poland between them. France and Russia allied themselves several times to contain Germany. Napoleon tried to unite Europe and did not succeed. The Texan cowboy is succeeding where the Corsican emperor has failed.
 
Bush has invented the childish term "Axis of Evil" to group together Iraq, Iran and North Korea. That's nonsense. But in the meantime a French-German-Russian axis has come into being and is facing the United States.
 
(The term "axis" to design a coalition of states was also invented at the time of Hitler. The original axis of evil included Germany, Italy and Japan. When using this term, Bush intended to recall that memory.)
 
It is too early to say if this new axis will hold on and if it will be strong enough to face the enormous might of the United States. But even if it will be broken this time, its very birth is a harbinger of things to come.
 
These three countries, contemptuously called by the American Secretary of Defense "Old Europe", are, on the contrary, united by considerations pertaining to the New Europe. This Europe worries the Americans. It is becoming an economic superpower, able to compete with, and perhaps overtake, the United States. A symbol of this is the fact that the euro has indeed overtaken the dollar.
 
As I remarked in a previous article, the war in Iraq is primarily a war against Europe and Japan. The American occupation of Iraq will ensure American control not only over the vast oil reserves of Iraq itself, but also of the Caspian Sea and the Gulf States. The hand on the oil tab of the world can choke Germany, France and Japan, because it can manipulate at will the price of oil throughout the world. Lower the price, and you choke Russia. Raise the price, and you choke Europe and Japan.
 
Therefore, preventing the war is an essential European interest, in addition to the profound longing for peace of the European peoples.
 
Washington does not even hide its desire to bring Europe to its knees. Lately, there is a crude American effort to create a coalition of peripheral countries in order to oust Germany and France from the leadership of the European Union. America is organizing a bloc of the former Communist nations, who are about to join the Union, together with the UK, Spain and Italy. The Paris-Berlin axis, aided by Moscow, is designed as a defense against this ploy, too.
 
This war, then, goes much beyond the Iraqi problem. It is not a war against Saddam's microbes. It is, quite simply, a war for world dominion, economic, political, military and cultural. Bush is ready to spill a lot of blood to achieve this (as long as it is not American blood).
 
Israel is involved in this game without quite knowing what it is doing there, a boy in a game of world-league bullies. It has nothing to gain, it can only lose.

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