ISRAEL DEMANDS IRAN BE ATTACKED NEXT AFTER IRAQ
For so many years now it has been the Israelis who have manipulated Washington regarding affairs of the Middle East. Much has been and remains in secret. Some spills out into the murky open. When for decades the Israelis insisted the PLO was a 'terrorist' organization and even forbid by law meetings with anyone associated with the Palestinian movement, the U.S. did the same outlawing Palestinian officials, even scholars, from coming to the US. Then, when in the early 1990s the Israelis let it be known they were secretly meeting with the PLO the US did as told, quickly scheduled an extravagant White House ceremony, the President personally attended a Gaza Palestine National Council meeting, and Yasser Arafat with entourage became the most frequent foreign visitor to the Washington and the West Wing throughout the decade. Then, in recent years, when the Israelis decided they hadn't gotten their way with the PLO and had other fish to fry the Americans followed suit once again, Arafat and cronies once again told you're not welcome here and in fact told 'you're out of here' all together! The pressure is on with so many other countries and regimes as well now in the early 21st century -- and the tell-tale signs of the little powerful Israel tag wagging the growling superpower American dog are everywhere. Plans to attack 'Islamic Iran' and destroy its advanced weapons programs have been underway by the Israelis for some time -- both political and military. But now the 'demand' is quite in public view with today's Times of London article. Down the road, in cooperation with India in addition to the U.S., the Israelis are already pushing as well -- as they have in the past -- to do something about Pakistan, to find some way to bring an end, one way or another, to 'the Islamic bomb'. There were joint secret Israeli-Indian attempts to target Pakistani nuclear facilities in the '80s that failed. Any Pakistanis who don't realize that they are already on the target list of the new 'new world order' after Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea -- even if little is said in public at this time -- just don't understand the warpath the USA is now set upon and just how the Israeli/Jewish lobby is capable of twisting the way and turning the screws. The Saudis. Among other reasons, the Saudis are afraid to use their billions to truly build up their own military, and to obtain serious weapons at least to try to help deter the Israelis from what they are doing to the Palestinians, precisely because they have attempted to stay out of the target sites and to work closely behind the scenes with both the US and the Israelis when it comes to geo-strategic matters. But here too...things are now in flux and different fear calculations are being made...at least by some. The Egyptians. Yesterday in Washington, at a smallish but hard-pointed demonstration organized by one of the many branches of the Israeli/Jewish lobby, this one at the Egyptian Embassy, the warning was sent to those who rule in Cairo that they better stop any vociferous opposition to Israeli policies and better restrain any real tangible opposition to American/Israeli designs on the region...or else. The threat was made rather explicit -- to start with the $2 billion yearly allowance might be taken away, along with all the subterraneous support for the regime that comes with it. But that too could be just the beginning should any of the 'powers' in Arabdom decide to really stand up and be counted
ISRAEL REPORTEDLY HELPING WITH U.S. WAR PREPARATION By John Diamond
[USA TODAY, Washington, 4 Nov] — Israel is secretly playing a key role in U.S. preparations for possible war with Iraq, helping to train soldiers and Marines for urban warfare, conducting clandestine surveillance missions in the western Iraqi desert and allowing the United States to place combat supplies in Israel, according to U.S. Defense and intelligence officials.
The activities are designed to help shorten any war with Iraq and keep Israel out of it. But working with Israel on the war effort is highly sensitive. It could undercut already shaky support for an invasion among friendly Arab states.
Because Israel's activities are classified, they have drawn little attention or criticism in the Middle East. "The Americans have asked us to keep a low profile, and we accept that," an Israeli official says.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, members of the Bush administration, intelligence officials and diplomats described Israel's involvement:
* Israeli commandos, using their own satellite intelligence and imagery provided by U.S. intelligence services, have conducted clandestine surveillance missions of Scud missile sites in western Iraq, according to the intelligence official and a senior Pentagon official.
Missiles launched from western Iraq could reach Israel, potentially carrying chemical or biological weapons. That could prompt an Israeli response that would drive Arab nations to Saddam's side.
The teams have mapped concrete launch pads built by the Iraqis to improve the accuracy of their Scuds. They have also conducted reconnaissance that could help U.S. commandos attack the sites.
* Israeli infantry units with experience in urban warfare during the Palestinian uprising helped train U.S. Army and Marine counterparts this summer and fall for possible urban battles in Iraq, a foreign defense official says. The Israelis have built two mock cities, complete with mosques, hanging laundry and even the odd donkey meandering down dusty streets. A defense official said the sites far surpass U.S. facilities. The location of the training centers is classified. * The Pentagon has beefed up stocks of ammunition, fuel and other basic military staples at six storage depots in Israel over the past year, U.S. Defense and intelligence officials say. The material is not part of normal U.S. military aid to Israel but would be held in reserve for possible use by U.S. forces in combat contingencies, such as a threat to Israel by a neighboring state or commando missions into western Iraq by U.S. forces. The location of the depots is classified.
Israel has declared that it "reserves the right to defend itself against an unprovoked attack," according to an Israeli official. But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has told Bush administration officials that only an attack that caused mass casualties would prompt a massive Israeli military response.
ATTACK IRAN THE DAY IRAQ WAR ENDS, DEMANDS ISRAEL From Stephen Farrell, Robert Thomson and Danielle Haas
[The Times of London, UK, 5 November:] ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on the international community to target Iran as soon as the imminent conflict with Iraq is complete.
In an interview with The Times , Mr Sharon insisted that Tehran — one of the “axis of evil” powers identified by President Bush — should be put under pressure “the day after” action against Baghdad ends because of its role as a “centre of world terror”. He also issued his clearest warning yet that Israel would strike back if attacked by Iraqi chemical or biological weapons, no matter how much Washington sought to keep its controversial Middle Eastern ally out of any war in Iraq.
He made clear that western Iraq would be one of the first areas targeted by the US in any invasion, saying that lessons had been learnt from strategic mistakes of the 1991 Gulf War when Iraq successfully fired 39 Scud missiles into Israel.
Mr Sharon, 74, was speaking as he conducted high-level negotiations to keep his Government afloat after the desertion of his centrist coalition partners. Last night he survived three no-confidence votes, giving him more time to forge a coalition with small right-wing parties. He rejected calls for early elections.
The Knesset also approved the appointment of Shaul Mofaz, the hawkish former Israeli Army chief, as Defence Minister.
But even as the Knesset voted, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up inside a shopping centre in central Israel, killing at least one other person and injuring 20.
In other significant changes of tone and policy, Mr Sharon told The Times that:
# Yassir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, could have an ongoing role as a “symbol”, but could not have a role overseeing financial or security functions. This was a departure from previous statements that Mr Arafat was entirely “irrelevant”.
# Mr Sharon himself would continue to lead the country, elections willing, for up to five years. There had been widespread speculation that he would retire within two years.
# The Israeli Government is considering an unprecedented crackdown on the Islamic movement within its own borders, fearing that a “small minority” of Israeli Arabs are turning against the country.
He asserted that while Washington was inevitably focusing on Saddam Hussein — whom he called “insane” — the White House shared his concern that Iran was also seeking weapons of mass destruction, and developing missiles capable of striking Israel and even Europe.
“I talked about these things with Vladimir Putin a few days ago and I have been to Washington and one of the things I talked about was what will be (sic) later, if Iraq is going to be disarmed.
“One of the things I mentioned is that the free world should take all the necessary steps to prevent irresponsible countries from having weapons of mass destruction: Iran, Iraq of course, and Libya is working on a nuclear weapon.”
He accused Tehran of sponsoring the Lebanese Shia militia, Hezbollah, which he claimed had up to 10,000 short-range missiles stationed in Lebanon ready to strike Israeli towns, of smuggling weapons to the Palestinian Authority, and of trying to turn Israel’s one million Arab citizens against the Jewish state. “Iran is a centre of world terror and Iran makes every effort to possess weapons of mass destruction on the one hand and ballistic missiles,” he said. “That is a danger to the Middle East, to Israel and a danger to Europe.
“They are working now on a ballistic missile of 1,300km. They have almost reached this range already. They were talking in the past about 2,500km and even 5,000km.”
Mr Sharon made it abundantly clear that he would not hold back from retaliating, as Israel did at Washington’s behest in 1991, if his nation came under serious attack. “First, we understand the sensitivity. We are living here, we were born here. Israel will make every effort not to interfere,” he said.
But he warned: “If Israel, and I made it very clear, is attacked by weapons of mass destruction . . . Israel will react. Is it clear? I believe that they understand that Israel will not be able not to defend itself.”
Mr Sharon reiterated that he was willing to work toward the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, but demanded that progress toward it be measured by concrete improvements in security on the ground.