November 18, 2005
Another slam dunk forgery is being used
to convict Syria. The United Nations' Detlev Mehlis inquiry into
the murder of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafiq Hairri depends
on a central witness, Zuhir Ibn Mohamed Said Saddik, who has
faced accusations of being a swindler and embezzler. Der Spiegel
exposed Saddik's brags of "becoming a millionaire"
from his testimony to the Mehlis Commission. Saddik was referred
to the Mehlis Commission by Syrian regime critic Rifaat Assad,
the uncle of current Syrian President Bashar Assad. Rifaat has
been lobbying the Bush administration to become the president
of Syria in the event his nephew Bashar is ousted.
The record of the UN's investigator Mehlis does not inspire faith
in his credibility. As Senior Public Prosecutor in the German
Attorney General's office, Mehlis investigated the 1986 LaBelle
Discotheque bombing in Berlin. Relying on alleged National Security
Agency intercepts of coded messages between Tripoli and Libyan
suspects in Germany (later revealed by former Mossad agent Victor
Ostrovsky as false telex signals generated by Mossad itself),
Mehlis provided the 'irrefutable proof' of Libya's guilt that
then justified Ronald Reagan's bombing of Libya.
In the case of the accusations against Syria, Mehlis's case revolves
around a series of questionable phone conversations and intersecting
calling card numbers allegedly dialled by the perpetrators. It
contains no definitive forensics on the car bomb explosives used.
Outside investigators have said it could have been RDX plastique,
not TNT as Mehlis suggested in his report. The German Mercedes
manufacturers were also perplexed at how Hariri's vehicle, reinforced
by the heaviest steel-titanium alloy, was "melted by the
force of the explosion," after-effects usually associated
with high density DU munitions. The car bomb vehicle (stolen
in Japan and never fully traced) was possibly driven by a suicide
bomber, whose identity is still unknown. Mehlis's report then
states: "Another only slightly less likely possibility is
that of a remotely controlled device."
Mehlis conclusions on the case , due on December 15 could justify
an attack on Syria, using the Hariri assassination as justification.
But from Beirut to Damascus, the "Arab Spring" was
a neocon forgery designed to destabilize the Levant and redraw
the map of the middle east.
Near the Mohammad Al Amin Mosque of former Prime Minister Rafiq
Hariri in Beirut, I interviewed a founder of the Martyrs' Square
tent city and asked about US-Israeli sponsorship of the 'Independence
Intifadah'. Surrounded by red and white Lebanese flags, soldier
Michael Sweiden of the Lebanese Forces emphasized he was Christian
"We love Israel",
he told me. "Israel helps us. Israel is like our mother."
Years before its role in the so-called "Cedar Revolution"
(a moniker coined by US Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky,
a signatory to the Project for a New American Century), Israel
awarded citizenship and grants of up to $10,000 to South Lebanon
Army soldiers who collaborated with the Israeli Defense Forces
during Lebanon's civil war. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz
revealed, "Senior officials at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
office were in touch with Lebanese leaders even before the current
crisis." Backed by American and Israeli neocons, a Christian
Lebanese Likud is proxying Israel's second invasion.
One example is the Lebanese Foundation for Peace, a self-styled
"Government of Lebanon in Exile in Jerusalem" founded
by former Lebanese Forces' military intelligence officer Nagi
Najjar. Najjar, a CIA consultant, testified not so long ago in
support of Ariel Sharon's "complete innocence" in the
Sabra and Shatila affair against charges by Human Rights Watch
and regional governments. Najjar has also paired with Mossad
agent Yossef Bodansky while lobbying the U.S. congress to intervene
in Hezbollah-dominated south Lebanon. His NGO, The Lebanese Foundation
for Peace, endorsed the AIPAC-sponsored sanctions against Syria,
known as the Syria Accountability / Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration
Act of 2003. On his LFP website featuring an Israeli flag, Najjar's
"government in exile" issued an official declaration;
"We, the people of Free Lebanon, thank Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom for the campaign launched
by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Afffairs aimed at ousting
Syria from occupying Lebanon."
Another NGO of the Lebanese Likud is the United States Committee
for a Free Lebanon. Its President, Ziad Abdel Nour is the son
of wealthy Lebanese Minister of Parliament Khalil Abdel Nour.
USCFL partners with designated "democratizers" such
as the American Enterprise Institute (created by Lebanese-American
William Baroody, Sr.), Conference of Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations, Jewish Institute for National Security
Affairs, Republican Jewish Coalition, Foundation for the Defense
of Democracies, Middle East Forum, the Hudson Institute and kindred
The USCFL hails former Lebanese president Amin Gemayel for signing
a peace deal with Israel in 1983. (According to the UAE's late
president Sheik Zayed bin sultan Al Nahyan, Saddam Hussein agreed
to leave Iraq before the war in 2003 to halt the invasion. But
Amin Gemayel, the mediator between Saddam and the US administration,
wrongly informed the US that Hussein had rejected all offers
of exile). Abdel Nour's other links include the World Lebanese
Organization, which advocates Israel's re-occupation of south
Lebanon. In 2000, he and neocon Daniel Pipes composed the policy
paper "Ending Syria's Occupation of Lebanon: the US Role"
and together co-author the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin.
The bulletin is a project of the neocon Middle East Forum and
is a frequent resource for American intelligence agencies. On
November 2, 2005 Abdel Nour updated me on the Syrian crisis by
Schuh: What is the future of Syria, of President Bashar
Al Assad's situation?
Nour: Both the Syrian and Lebanese regimes will be
changed- whether they like it or not- whether it's going to be
a military coup or something else... and we are working on it.
We know already exactly who's going to be the replacements. We're
working on it with the Bush administration. This is a Nazi regime
of 30 years, killing ministers, presidents and stuff like that.
They must be removed. These guys who came to power, who rule
by power, can only be removed by power. This is Machiavelli's
power game. That's how it is. This is how geopolitics -- the
war games, power games -- work. I know inside out how it works,
because I come from a family of politicians for the last 60 years.
Look, I have access to the top classified information from the
CIA from all over the world. They call me, I advise them. I know
exactly what's going on. And this will happen.
Q: So would they remove the entire Assad family?
A: Why not? Who is Bashar Al Assad?
Q: I didn't see forensic proof in the Mehlis report
that would legally convict Assad of Hariri's death in a court
A: I don't give a damn. I don't give a damn, frankly.
This Bashar Al Assad-Emil Lahoud regime is going to go whether
it's true or not. When we went to Iraq whether there were weapons
of mass destruction or not, the key is -- we won. And Saddam
is out! Whatever we want, will happen. Iran? We will not let
Iran become a nuclear power. We'll find a way, we'll find an
excuse- to get rid of Iran. And I don't care what the excuse
is. There is no room for rogue states in the world. Whether we
lie about it, or invent something, or we don't... I don't care.
The end justifies the means. What's right? Might is right, might
is right. That's it. Might is right.
Q: You sound just like Saddam. Those were his rules
A: So Saddam wanted to prove to the whole world
he was strong? Well, we're stronger- he's out! He's finished.
And Iran's going to be finished and every single Arab regime
that's like this will be finished. Because there is no room for
us capitalists and multinationalists in the world to operate
with regimes like this. Its all about money. And power. And wealth...
and democracy has to be spread around the world. Those who want
to espouse globalization are going to make a lot of money, be
happy, their families will be happy. And those who aren't going
to play this game are going to be crushed, whether they like
it or not! This is how we rule. And this is how it's going to
be as long as you have people who think like me.
Q: When will this regime change take place?
A: Within 6 months, in both Lebanon and Syria.
Q: Some names of replacements?
A: It is classified. There are going to be replacements
and we know who they are, but I cannot mention the names.
Q: Will this be done peacefully?
A: It doesn't matter. The end justifies the means.
I don't care about how it's done. The important thing is that
it is done. I don't rule out force. I'm not against force. If
it's an option, it will be an option.
Q: But if it's just trading Syrian control for
American or Israeli control?
A: I have -- we have -- absolutely no problem with
heavy US involvement in Lebanon. On an economic level, military
level, political level, security level... whatever it is. Israel
is the 51st state of the United States. Let Lebanon be the 52nd
state. And if the Arabs don't like it, tough luck.
US-Israeli intervention in
Lebanon has a long history. In 1950's Beirut, The U.S. oil companies
and the CIA paid bribes to Maronite Catholic President Camille
Chamoun to buy allegiance against Lebanese Muslims, and the pan-Arab
threat of Nasser. In his book Ropes of Sand, CIA case
officer William Crane Eveland revealed, "Throughout the
elections, I traveled regularly to the presidential palace with
a briefcase full of Lebanese pounds, then returned late at night
to the embassy with an empty twin case" to be refilled again
with more CIA funds. Journalist Said Aburish recalled, "The
convergence of interest between the Camille Chamoun government
and CIA agents produced a bizarre atmosphere which altered Beirut's
character. It became a CIA city..." frequented by such covert
operatives as Kermit Roosevelt (who organized the Iranian coup
against Mohammed Mossadeq). Soon the Israelis joined in, supplying
weapons to Chamoun's son Dany, an arms trader. Dany's weapons
sales to Maronite gangs created a precedent for the country's
civil war militias. ( See Aburish's A Brutal Friendship: The
West and the Arab Elite, 1997)
A more recent US-Israeli role commenced in mid-November, 2004.
A demonstration was called by former Christian General Michel
Aoun. (Aoun testified to the US Congress in 2003, and Congress
favors him as a post-Assad Lebanese president). US diplomats
coached a vanguard of unwitting Lebanese youth in CIA "Triple
U" techniques (uncontrollable urban unrest). Opposition
sources revealed that a downtown rally of 3000 mostly Christian
student activists protesting "Syrians Out!" had been
organized by the US Embassy in Beirut. The Associated Press reported
on November 19, 2004, "One demonstrator appealed to the
US president, holding a placard that read: 'Bush help us save
Lebanon.' Another dressed up as Osama bin Laden but with the
words "Syrian Terror" on his chest. He held a toy gun
to the head of a protester who was wrapped in the Lebanese flag..."
Lebanese riot police allowed this unprecedented pre-Cedar rehearsal
without arrests because of a deal worked out beforehand with
US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman. Feltman, closely linked to Ariel
Sharon and Karl Rove, is an associate of the Pentagon's Office
of Special Plans that created the false evidence and "mushroom
cloud" intelligence used to justify attacks on Iraq. This
2004 rehearsal demonstration was answered by a counter protest
of 300,000 on November 30 against UN Resolution 1559.
When the stage show opened for real after Rafiq Hariri's death,
America's Wag the Flag performance was camera-ready. Janes.com
exposed that the flashy demonstrations and rallies were being
engineered by one of Lebanon's top advertising agencies and the
London-based Saatchi & Saatchi. Michael Nakfour of the corporate
events management company, Independence 05 - Civil Society, helped
manage the Freedom Square tent city by distributing food, flags,
supplies and theatrical effects, prompting American Enterprise
Institute scholar Hedieh Mirahmadi to marvel; "Who would
imagine one could find posters, in downtown Beirut, with the
picture of President Bush in between American and Lebanese flags?"
(NY Sun, 3/18/05)
Reporter Mary Wakefield, of The Spectator was also surprised.
"Only 1,000 or so people? ..it felt less like a national
protest than a pop concert. Bouncers in black bomber jackets
wore laminated Independence '05 cards round their necks, screens
to the left and right of the platform reflected the crowd...
To the left of the main speaker, a man in a black flying suit
with blonde highlights, mirrored Oakley sunglasses and an earpiece
seemed to be conducting the crowd. Sometimes he'd wave his arms
to increase the shouting, sometimes, with a gesture he'd silence
them... 'Out Syria! Out Syria! Out Syria!' Production assistants
with clipboards busied themselves around trucks full of monitors
and amplifiers.... The truth is that the Cedar Revolution has
been presented and planned in just the same way as Ukraine's
Orange revolution and, before it, the Rose revolution in Georgia.
But just because it is in American interests doesn't mean it's
an American production." ("A Revolution Made for TV"
Why not? The New York Post: "US intelligence sources
told The Post that the CIA and European intelligence services
are quietly giving money and logistical support to organizers
of the anti-Syrian protests to ramp up pressure on Syrian President
Bashar Al Assad to completely quit Lebanon. Sources said the
secret program is similar to previous support of pro-democracy
movements in Georgia and Ukraine, which also led to peaceful
On the streets of Beirut, one 'grassroots' project, "Pulse
of Freedom," inadvertently exposed its U.S. origins by utilizing
uniquely American street theater tactics. Then in a slip, reminiscent
of Baghdad's Firdos Square when US troops covered Saddam's statue
with the Stars and Stripes, or when the Republic of Georgia's
military band played the US national anthem instead of its own
during the Rose Revolution, "Pulse of Freedom" portrayed
Lebanon's national Monument of Sovereignty as the Statue of Liberty.
Spirit of America, the NGO that created "Pulse of Freedom"
provided protesters with a billboard-sized electronic 'Freedom
Clock' for 'Freedom Square' to "countdown to freedom."
Spirit of America's tax deductible donations helped maintain
the tent city's food, shelter and other basic necessities "so
that the demonstrators can keep pressure on for political change
and world attention on the struggle for Lebanese independence".
Spirit of America also spawned a plethora of revolution bloggers,
foremost among them Tech Central Station columnist Michael Totten
whose boss was Spirit of America's founder Jim Hake.
A registered charity, Spirit of America exemplifies the regime
change industry. Advised by US Ambassador Mark Palmer, Vice Chairman
of the Board of Freedom House, and co-founder of the National
Endowment for Democracy, Palmer served as speech-writer to three
US Presidents and six Secretaries of State. He also helped the
US government destabilize Slobodan Milosevic and Muammar Qaddafi.
Capitalizing on his color revolution skills, Palmer wrote "Breaking
the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators
Without Firing a Shot."
Another Spirit of America governor is Lt General Mike DeLong,
Deputy Commander, US Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base,
Florida. DeLong manages a budget of $8.2 billion and "conceived
and implemented the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Enduring
Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom." As top Deputy to former
General Tommy Franks, DeLong's listed expertise at places such
as the Army War College, the Department of Defense and the Amphibious
Warfare School included Artillery, military intelligence, coup
dÚtats, supporting democracy. DeLong in his autobiography
Inside Centcom alleged "Syria had been shipping military
supplies, including night vision goggles to Iraq." The New
York Times and Washington Post later revealed that
these data had been fabricated "smoking gun" evidence.
Charles Duelfer of the UN Iraq Survey Group also confirmed that
WMD charges had been "exaggerated" by now-US Ambassador
to the UN, John Bolton, when he was Under-Secretary for Arms
Control in 2002.
Lebanese history professor Habib Malik, affiliated with the Middle
East Forum, defended the anti-Syria protesters to journalist-in-residence
Claudia Rosett of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
as being "utterly spontaneous and coercion-free." (NY
But an American Hezbollah expert in Beirut, Dr. Judith Harik,
informed this writer that the pro-Syria crowds were misrepresented
in the media. "As you are hearing, the Bush administration
is labeling the opposition "the people" and everyone
else as Hezbollah terrorists. Tomorrow's [March 8, 2005] demonstration
will include Sunnis, Druze of the Arslan faction, Christians
of all the leftist nationalist parties and the entire south and
Bekaa, along with Orthodox Christian areas of Mt. Lebanon. Again
the Bush administration is misleading the public by 'mistakenly'
lauding a loud minority that supports its middle east policy."
Each side eventually held a mass demonstration numbered in the
hundreds of thousands, prompting a truce. But the US-Israeli
machine declared war. Using language formerly reserved for Yasser
Arafat, Bush parroted Ariel Sharon. "Syria is an obstacle
to peace" and an "obstacle to change". Rep. Sam
Johnson (R-Texas) advised, "Syria -- put two nukes on 'em";
Jerusalem Post: "Israel hails Bush's Islamist attacks";
Jewish Forward; "US promises Israel to tackle Hezbollah."
A deck of 'Most Wanted' playing cards appeared, a technique used
by the Israeli newspaper Maariv to target Palestinians,
and later used against the Iraqi Baath Party. Likud MK Yuval
Steinetz, head of the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee
crystallized the priorities: "It's a clear Israeli interest
to end the Assad dynasty and replace Bashar Assad." Evoking
the "absurd Arabs with their Arab conspiracy theories"
slur, Geostrategy-Direct headlined: "Is Bashar Assad paranoid
or is the US really plotting to undermine him?"
When Israel's commandeering of US middle east policy became too
overt, defter tongues moved to quell the uproar. "Bush Administration
Advises Israel to be Quiet on Lebanese Politics," said the
New York Times. It wasn't the first reprimand to Israel
by some of its own. In November, 2003 Israel's former head of
military intelligence, Major-General Shlomo Gazit publicly warned
Sharon against threatening Syria and the Israeli "jab, jab
policy orchestrated to incite and humiliate Damascus. It is only
going to be a matter of time until the Syrians are unable to
hold back and then the big blaze will begin." But that was
Sharon's intent and he spoke of Iraq as a justification to attack
Hezbollah; "it will give us a great pretext. But we'll hit
them in any case." (Daily Times, 3/4/03)
The Jerusalem Post wrote; "Rumsfeld considers striking
Hizbullah to provoke Syria," and the Pentagon assessed that
"the time is coming to oust Assad and the ruling generals
by targeting Syria via Lebanon..." Former National Security
Council/CIA analyst Flynt Leverett confirmed Rumsfeld's belief
that by instigating the right crisis in Lebanon, regime change
could be executed in Syria. One Rumsfeld project, P20G, or the
Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group, existed specifically
to provoke terrorist attacks that would then justify "counter-attacks".
Neocons such as Douglas Feith and David Wurmser envisioned this
graduated destablization as the "constructive instability"
of "total war".
Rumsfeld's team had already begun discussions with Israeli intelligence
about assassinating Lebanese officials -- particularly "Hezbollah
and their supporters" in 2002, and intelligence operatives
were dispatched to Lebanon. (This writer was introduced to at
least one Israeli 'student' studying Arabic at AUB in Beirut.
He travelled with an American passport, coming to Lebanon "to
study 'the enemy' to find out how they think.") The Sunday
Times (6/5/05) revealed that Mossad had been using Trojan
Horse email surveillance on President Assad's wife Asma, labelling
her family correspondence a "legitimate soft target".
By January 2005, the Pentagon were preparing for military operations
in Lebanon to destroy "insurgency strongholds along the
Lebanese-Syrian border". Simultaneously, Israeli approval
for a military operation in Lebanon was given after Hezbollah
killed an IDF officer. Political-security cabinet members comprised
of PM Sharon, Deputy PM Ehud Olmert, Vice Premier Shimon Peres,
and FM Silvan Shalom had authorized the action. (Haaretz, 5/3/05).
But then Rafiq Hariri was killed, and the door to Syria swung
Syria may become America's 53rd state, if Farid Ghadry's NGO,
the Reform Party of Syria rushes through that opened door. Ghadry
is a Syrian Christian who worked for EG & G, a Department
of Defense contractor. EG & G assisted in the development
and testing of nuclear weapons and in many of the US military's
top secret atomic projects. Ghadry's Reform Party coordinates
with the Syrian National Council, and transmits Radio Free Syria
from Cyprus and Germany to destabilize Syria. The CIA and Mossad
have long used Kurds to target nations in the region. Journalist
Jack Anderson wrote in 1972 about Israeli envoys delivering $50,000
a month to Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani to destabilize
In March 2004, this writer was approached in Damascus by Kurds
from Qamishli and Hasaka (one whose brother was arrested in the
riots) wanting to "thank Bush for helping us get rid of
Assad". News accounts later verified that the chaos up north
had been orchestrated by the US and Israel, using Turkish and
Iraqi Kurds. 'Protesters' at the height of the melee even waved
posters of President Bush and American flags. The ringleaders
were sponsored by the Department of Defense and the US State
Department. "Let the Damascus spring flower, and let its
flowers bloom," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
So sprouted another color catastrophe -- Syria's "Jasmine
Reform Party of Syria's Farid Ghadry has been a featured speaker
at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and is
himself a member of AIPAC. When repeated calls to his organization
went unanswered, I visited the Washington, D.C. headquarters
of the RFP. Reform Party of Syria is the office of "super-Zionist"
lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Middle Gate Ventures, Abramoff's 'political
advisory company' partners with RFP. Abramoff is a top Beltway
lobbyist now under intensive FBI investigation concerning, among
other things, his proposed $9 million fee to get Gabon's president
an Oval Office session with Bush.
As a College Republican in the 1980s, Abramoff founded the International
Freedom Foundation, a project linked to the South African Defence
Forces. The International Freedom Foundation was the PR branch
of sister NGO Strategic Communications, a covert organization
charged by former spy Craig Williamson in the Weekly Mail
and Guardian for 2/24/95 with being involved with frame-ups,
extreme violence and dirty tricks campaigns.
According to the Weekly Standard (12/20/04), one Abramoff
venture was his organization of a 1985 global "summit"
of underworld thugs. With Citizens for America sponsorship, Contra
leaders, guerilla rebels and right wing 'freedom fighters' from
around the world convened in the African hinterlands to strategize.
During this period, Abramoff's membership/financial transactions
with the secretive Council for National Policy, which included
Oliver North and Richard Secord, became a template for how to
mask money that still remains partially hidden. (Nizkor
Recently Abramoff's interventionism has focused on the Middle
East. Tomflocco.com reveals that Abramoff's long-time employer,
Greenberg Traurig, partially financed a Homeland Security Government
Contract Team trip to Israel for the US House/Senate Armed Services
Committee and defense contractor CACI (accused of Abu Ghraib
torture). The delegation reviewed IDF "resistance to interrogation
techniques" used in Palestine, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
The Lebanon Daily Star reported that the group visited
Beit Horon "the central training camp for the anti-terrorist
forces of the Israeli police and border police" and were
able to "witness exercises related to anti-terror warfare."
Legislators' names were not disclosed.
Abramoff also works with the World Zionist Organization and the
Christian Coalition to bankroll illegal Israeli settlement activities.
According to Israeli prosecutor Talia Sasson they are part of
a larger international problem. Some $60 billion worldwide has
been illicitly funnelled to Israeli settlements via different
foreign donors, quasi-NGOs and secret military accounts.
In one such case, according to Senate testimony and news reports
in Newsweek and The New Republic, an Abramoff charity, Capital
Athletic Fund, underwrote sniper scopes, camouflage suits, thermal
imagers, night vision goggles, hydration tactical tubes, shooting
mats and other paramilitary equipment through Greenberg Traurig
to right wing settler Shmuel Ben-Zvi. Abramoff wanted to help
ultraorthodox settlement Beitar Illit "neutralize terrorists"
and wrote to Ben-Zvi; "Thanks brother. If only there were
another dozen of you the dirty rats would be finished."
Apparently angling for cover and a tax deduction, Beitar Illit
seminar director Ben-Zvi suggested invoicing the weaponry to
the Israeli Defence Forces on 'Sniper Workshop' stationery with
a sniper logo and letterhead to qualify it as an educational
entity. Payments were partially run through "Kollel Ohel
Tiferet," an entity not publicly listed or traceable. Beitar
Illit Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus claims never to have heard of it.
Abramoff dollars may also have found their way to the Israeli
Defense Forces' Lebanon Border Unit, the civilian SF troops that
patrol the Israel-Lebanon border. Yaagal, supposedly disbanded
after Israel's 2000 pullout from south Lebanon, still conducts
clandestine reconnaissance, plans ambushes and carries out cross-border
incursions into Hezbollah-held areas of south Lebanon. As so
often with lobbyist Abramoff's entities, the tools and trails
Indicted AIPAC lobbyist Steven Rosen told the New Yorker;
"A lobby is like a night flower: it thrives in the dark
and dies in the sun." But Abramoff's own words to Ralph
Reed in 1983 are even more apropos; "It is not our job to
seek peaceful coexistance" with opponents. "Our job
is to remove them permanently." Flowery language for forged
freedoms, an "Arab Spring" Machiavelli-style.
Trish Schuh writes about Middle East politics.
She can be reached at: email@example.com