, by DR. FATIMA SHAHNAZ
The brutality of the civil war – that has divided the Palestinian Hamas, under Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh, and Fatah led by President Mahmoud Abbas – has not only subverted the Palestinian Unity Government sponsored by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Makkah Agreement last February: the unfolding carnage in the Gaza Strip and West Bank has left most of the Muslim world and other nations stunned, benumbed and confused at this new 'Lebanonisation' of the Middle East, the internal break-up of the Palestinian peoples into two nations.
THE PALESTINIAN TRAGEDY
While the conflict is (falsely) projected as a power-struggle between Fatah's Abbas and the legitimately and democratically elected Hamas, it is in fact much worse: It is a strategy of the United States, the British, EU and Israel to wage a proxy war in Southwest Asia, a new phase of the protracted war in Iraq. The more egregious motivations behind this latest proxy war in the Palestinian territories expose the war-plans by the neo conservatives of the administration of President George W. Bush and the Anglo-Zionists targeting Iran.
The pouring of military and financial aid to Abbas's Fatah faction in recent months, plus enlisting Saudi Arabia's aid in the new plan, is to trigger a sectarian war between Sunni Arabs and Shia Iran. In this new military adventure sponsored by U.S. President Dick Cheney, after his visit to the Mideast countries of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan this spring, the Palestinians have tragically become pawns in a proxy imperialist war targeting Iran, in the long-term.
Already, the besieged Palestinians are facing yet another humanitarian crisis, only one fuelled from within, and refugees are swarming to neighbouring countries. New displaced populations are fleeing Gaza and the West Bank, despite the fraudulent propaganda of the Israelis, EU and U.S. promising support to stabilise the government of Mahmoud Abbas. This delusionary propaganda fails to mention the creation of axiomatic new alliances in the Middle East, the alignment of Hamas driven into the camp of Shia Hezbullah, Syria and Iran.
CARTER CONDEMNS U.S. POLICY
The new militias under these groupings are so well organised, trained and armed in the trenches of Iraq with the 'insurgency' against the Americans that even a former American President, Jimmy Carter, has expressed his alarm at the Bush government's new proxy war in the Middle East. On June 19, Carter accused the U.S., Israel and the E.U. of “criminal” policies to divide the Palestinians by recognising Mahmoud Abbas' self-imposed government in the West Bank while refusing to recognise the democratically elected Hamas government in 2006. In the week of June 14, Hamas routed Fatah's takeover in the Gaza Strip, with Abbas dissolving the power-sharing Palestinian Unity Government.
The split within Palestinian factions sabotaged the Makkah Accords, as the U.S., Israel and EU funnelled aid to the Abbas government in the West Bank while blocking Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which Carter accused of being an “effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples.”
He added, “The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did all they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah.” Also, Carter admitted the U.S. and its allies supplied the Fatah-controlled security forces in Gaza superior weaponry to “conquer Hamas in Gaza”.
However, Hamas had already proved itself to be a far more organised political and military force with “superior skills and discipline,” Carter said, while Fatah had lost elections as its candidates were “divided and corrupt”. What Carter failed to stress was the new American strategy of spreading civil wars in the Middle East. Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq are all evidence of the Anglo-American-Israeli manipulations resulting in globalised chaos and mass murder. Q
WASHINGTON'S 'TRICKY DICK'
In Palestine, when Abbas dissolved the Hamas-led unity government on June 14 declaring an interim government would run the Palestinian Authority, Hamas announced it had near total control by seizing the last security bases occupied by Fatah forces. But both parties failed to attack the real controllers covertly orchestrating the civil war: the rogue's gallery running the war-party includes neo con Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor and colleague of 'Tricky Dick' Cheney. Abrams ran a fund masked as 'democracy promotion' which provided arms for Palestinian factions to instigate the Hamas-Fatah feud.
In January this year, outside interference had already been uncovered when Saudi Arabia intervened with the Makkah Accords. Abrams, determined to sabotage the Accords and subvert the Hamas government, wanted to push early Palestinian elections (parliamentary elections are to be in 2010 and Presidential elections in 2009). This could only benefit the Israelis, whose chronic attitude is to sabotage all peace negotiations and even a covert right-wing Zionist plan to extend to a Greater Israel through the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza. It was Cheney and his toady Abrams who went on to the next phase of their diabolic plan: They created Fatah al-Islami, to escalate irregular warfare in the region.
According to journalist Seymour Hersh, the Cheney-Abrams duo worked in collusion with Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar bin-Sultan to ally U.S. foreign policy with militant Sunni factions (such as the Fatah al-Islami) in preparation for war against Shi'ite forces, namely Iran. Saudi funding was allegedly directed to this cause. However, American State Department officials, Israelis and Lebanese factions supporting the U.S. scenario fingerpoint Syrian intelligence for supporting Fatah al-Islam, although Syrian security forces have been fighting Fatah.
It was in October-November 2006 that Fatah al-Islami reportedly emerged from nowhere (although it had elements in Lebanon). It was also in November that Cheney made one of his 'dirty tricks' visits to Saudi Arabia. Fatah al-Islam set up in the Palestinian refugee camp at Nahr al-Bared, where militias from splinter groups called Fatah al-Intifada and others (even al-Qaeda elements, according to sources) renamed themselves Fatah al-Islami. The Cheney propagandists tried to make the group seem “Palestinian” but it was allegedly formed up by fighters from Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and other places.
According to Journalist Alastair Crooke, “I was told that within 24 hours they were being offered weapons and money by people presenting themselves as representatives of the Lebanese government's interests – presumably to take on Hezbullah” (the Shia militia and political party headed by Hassan Nasrullah). According to sources, Saudi funds from Prince Bandar were pouring into Lebanon, and the small Fatah al Islami (formerly around 50 to 200) expanded by hundreds, buffered by vast funding and weapons.
THE 'LEBANONISATION' OR CIVIL WAR PLAN
However, by March 2007, when Saudi King Abdullah received a visit from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and both made a historic promise to halt Shi'a-Sunni strife in Lebanon (and elsewhere), religious leaders joined to forbid sectarian tensions. When Saad Hariri, son of the former murdered Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, ended funding to Fatah al-Islami, the latter bombed areas near his home in Beirut and robbed the Bank al-Muttawasi owned by Hariri. By May 20, the Lebanese internal security services attacked the Fatah al-Islami, with counter-attacks from the group against the army, causing the Lebanese army's attack on the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian camp. It was around this time that the U.S. government (which pledged $1 billion to the Lebanese government last summer) sent planes with exorbitant amounts of military equipment and weapons to the Seniora government. The pretext (as Washington is notorious for these days) was to fund Lebanon's fight against “terrorism.” But the real goal of this arsenal was to foment a sectarian civil war, which is precisely what is happening behind the intra-Palestinian conflict. One of the peripheral outgrowths of this protracted civil war is to destabilize the Syrian regime as well. The real motivation behind the arms poured into the region by the U.S., its proxies and local puppet governments is to foment a general regional destabilization.
THE NEW BRITISH EMPIRE
To add fuel to the fire, according to The Washington Post, unnamed US and Israeli officials have stated that the Bush neo cons were laying the groundwork for British Prime Minister Tony Blair to be appointed as the new envoy to the Middle East after his retirement on June 27. If appointed, he would replace ex-World Bank president Wolfensohn in the diplomatic quartet for the Middle East (comprising the U.S., Russia, United Nations and European Union).
Under the Bush administration's plan, Blair would focus on Palestinian internal issues. Political negotiations involving the “Palestinian countries” (as some now call the split-state of Hamas-Fatah) would be under US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, who masterminded the 'Blair project'. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert welcomed an Abbas-led Palestinian state. The Arab world seems well on the way to reviving the Sykes-Picot divisions of the old British Empire. Are the humiliating jackboots of Western and Israeli contractors at Abu Ghraib, that threw them back into the Dark Ages, so soon forgotten?l