Date: Sat Jan 10 2009 - 00:37:16 EST
Blue Star Rampage: Israel's dress rehearsal for Lebanon
By Mike Whitney
Global Research, January 10, 2009
The reason the rationale for invading Gaza keeps changing, (from
rocket-fire to Hamas infrastructure to strengthening deterrents to weapons
smuggling to ceasefire violations etc) is because the Israeli leadership
wants to conceal the true objective. The purpose of "Operation Cast Lead"
is to conduct a dress rehearsal for another invasion of Lebanon.
That's the real goal. Israel has never recovered from its defeat at the
hands of Hezbollah during the 33 Day war in 2006, so it is planning to
restart hostilities. The attack on Gaza is just a "dry run" to strengthen
morale and put the finishing touches on the battle plan. That's why there's
such a disparity between the implicit risks of the current operation and
its minuscule strategic gains. It's not really Hamas in the cross-hairs,
but Hezbollah; and this time, Israel hopes to crush them with overwhelming
force. The massive week-long aerial bombardment of Gaza; the pounding by
heavy artillery units, and the deployment of elite troops and armored
divisions, all presage a massive Normandy-type invasion of Lebanon with the
probability of high casualties.
Gaza has also been the testing ground for new Defence Minister Ehud Barak
and Chief of the General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Barak and Ashkenazi replaced
former Defence chief Amir Peretz and Israeli Air Force Commander Dan
Halutz, the two main scapegoats for the failed campaign. The new leaders
are expected to take what they've learned in Gaza and use it in Lebanon. So
far, the invasion appears to have gone according to plan.
Israel's Tonkin Bay?
Two days before Israel began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, UNIFIL (UN
peacekeepers) increased the number of daily patrols along Lebanon's
southern border. According to the Jerusalem Post, "The decision to increase
UNIFIL's patrols had nothing to do with Israel's military operation... but
rather with the international organization's goal to monitor the
implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701."
Hezbollah has been watching the activity on the border with growing concern
suspecting that Israel may be using the invasion of Gaza to divert
attention from their real objective, another war in Lebanon. Presently, the
Shi'ite militia is on its highest alert and is preparing itself for any
sudden flare up. Israeli warplanes have increased their flights over
Lebanon in the last 10 days and the IDF has called up thousands of reserve
troops and placed some of them along the northern border. Naturally, the
tension is rising . Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has publicly rejected
the idea of supporting Hamas militarily, but the Israeli media continues to
portray him as a potential threat.
"We are here, ready for every possibility and prepared for any aggression,"
Nasrallah said on Monday. "We will not weaken, fear or surrender. I tell
Olmert, the loser, the disappointed and defeated in Lebanon, 'You will not
be able to eradicate Hamas and you will not be able to eradicate
THE SMOKING GUN?
According to the Jerusalem Post: "On Monday, Lebanese president Michel
Suleiman suggested Israel was responsible for eight rockets that were found
in southern Lebanon, saying that he fears "it is an Israeli attack to
implicate Lebanon," according to the NOW Lebanon news site."
The eight rockets were on timers and aimed at Israel from Lebanese
territory. Was Israel planning to start a war and make it look Hezbollah
was to blame? The former President of Lebanon thinks so.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Tuesday, former President Emile
Lahoud warned that once Israel is finished with Gaza, it would attack
Lebanon in reprisal for its failure in the 33-day war.
“I'm sure that Israel is thinking after Gaza would turn towards Lebanon,
and after Lebanon it will take every Arab state one by one, and this is
what some of the Lebanese as some Arab leaders are not thinking about,”
said the former Lebanese president....This is while Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert was quoted as telling the French president Nicolas Sarkozy on
Monday that "today Hamas and Tomorrow Hezbollah," will come under attack.
Also, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported this provocative comment by
Head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin: "Yadlin said,
'Hezbollah might carry out a low-profile attack by means of a Palestinian
organization that would be limited and not set the border alight.' He added
that forces also remained on high alert in light of a possible Hezbollah
strike against an Israeli target abroad." (Ha'aretz, 1-6-09)
Who really wants another war; Hezbollah or Israel?
Israel never accepted the outcome of the 33 Day war and will probably use
the UN's failure to implement UN Resolution 1701--which requires the
disarming of all militias--as an excuse for restarting the conflict.
Nicholas Blanford, who authored a report on the 33 Day war, told Press TV:
"Yes, 1701 stopped the war in 2006. It stopped the fighting. I mean it
saved the Israelis, the Israelis were obviously in deep trouble as various
internal investigations and reports and commissions have elaborated....It
was kind of an unfinished war in many respects. Hezbollah, for their part,
recognized Israeli unease and unhappiness with the outcome of the war."
Israel considers the war "unfinished" and has been readying itself for two
and a half years for a rematch. (Al Jazeera reported "Rockets from Lebanon
Hit Israel" hours after this article was written.
The upcoming war with Lebanon has less to do with Hezbollah than it does
with Israel's geopolitical ambitions. Israel wants to establish a new
northern border at the Litani River in southern Lebanon and create an
"Israel-friendly" regime in Beirut. The plan to annex the land south of the
Litani River dates back to the founding of the Jewish state when Israel’s
first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion described the country’s future
borders this way: "To the north the Litani River, the southern border will
be pushed into the Sinai, and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the
furthest edge of Transjordan."
In 1978, the IDF launched Operation Litani with the intention of annexing
the southern part of Lebanon and setting up a Christian client-regime in
Beirut that would take orders from Tel Aviv. Israel said that it needed a
"buffer zone" for its security, the same excuse that it uses today. The
1982 invasion devolved into an 18-year onslaught which ravaged the Lebanese
economy and killed more than 20,000 civilians. In 2000, Israel was driven
from Lebanon by the region's newest guerrilla militia, Hezbollah.
Israel's territorial objectives have not changed. They want to seize more
land to achieve their vision of "Greater Israel" and reduce adjacent Arab
countries to a "permanent state of colonial dependency".
This explains why Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and communications
network were intentionally targeted. Israel requires its neighbors to
languish in abject poverty and hopelessness. By destroying Lebanon's
life-support systems, Israel figured it would eliminate a potential rival
while establishing itself as the dominant power in the Middle East. This
same template for "total war" is being used in Gaza where mosques, schools,
media offices, sea ports, girl's dormitories, ambulances and vital
infrastructure have been destroyed while international media, doctors and
the Red Crescent have been refused entry. The rules of war have been
BLUEPRINT FOR REBUILDING ZIONISM
"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" provides the neocon
blueprint for "rebuilding Zionism in the 21st century" and redrawing the
map of the Middle East in a way that promotes Israeli interests. The
"Securing the Northern Border: Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An
effective approach, and one with which America can sympathize, would be if
Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by
engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principle agents of aggression
in Lebanon, including by: paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing
the precedent that Syria is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by
Israeli proxy forces striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and
should that prove to be insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria
proper." (A Clean Break; Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser)
Eventually, Syria will be dragged into the war so that Israel can move
forward with its plans to build a oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa. Israel
wants to be a major player in the global oil trade. In Michel
Chossudovsky’s article "Triple Alliance: US, Turkey, Israel and the War
on Lebanon", the author says:
"We are not dealing with a limited conflict between the Israeli Armed
Forces and Hezbollah as conveyed by the Western media. The Lebanese War
Theatre is part of a broader US military agenda, which encompasses a region
extending from the Eastern Mediterranean into the heartland of Central
Asia. The war on Lebanon must be viewed as ‘a stage’ in this broader
‘military road map’".
Chossudovsky shows how the recently completed Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline
has strengthened the Israel-Turkey alliance creating an opportunity to
establish "military control over a coastal corridor extending from the
Israeli-Lebanese border to the East Mediterranean border between Syria and
Turkey." Lebanese sovereignty is likely to be one of the casualties of this
Most of the oil from the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline will be transported to
Western markets, but a percentage of the oil will be diverted through a
"proposed" Ceyhan-Ashkelon pipeline which will connect Israel directly to
rich deposits in the Caspian. This will allow Israel to supply markets in
the Far East from its port at Eilat on the Red Sea. It is an ambitious plan
that ensures that Israel will be a critical part of the global energy
distribution system. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the
Battle for Oil, July 2006)
Oil is the main reason the US and Israel want regime change in Syria. An
article in the UK Observer, "Israel Seeks Pipeline for Iraqi Oil", notes
that Washington and Tel Aviv are hammering out the details for a pipeline
that will run through Syria and "create an endless and easily accessible
source of cheap oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than
Saudi Arabia." The pipeline "would transform economic power in the region,
bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria, and
solving Israel’s energy crisis at a stroke."
The Israeli Mossad is operating in northern Iraq where the pipeline will
originate and their agents have developed good relations with the Kurds.
The Observer quotes a CIA official who said, "It has long been a dream of a
powerful section of the people now driving this administration and the war
in Iraq to safeguard Israel’s energy supply as well as that of the US.
The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected as a dream,
and is now a viable project — albeit with a lot of building to do."
NATURAL GAS OFF THE COAST OF GAZA
Ironically, the invasion of Gaza was in part motivated by vital energy
resources, too. According to an article by Jake Bower, "Why It Rains: Hamas
holding Israeli gas reserves hostage":
"GAZA: Plans for proposed $400,000,000 offshore natural gas field
development project....The deposit reportedly contains an estimated 50 to
60 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The field... is considered to be
the largest in the area north of Egypt....
Estimated at 100 billion cubic meters of proven reserves, these discoveries
potentially offer enough gas to meet Israel's goal of supplying 25% of its
energy needs for more than 20 years - even without further imports. The
discovery has also raised realistic expectations of locating oil deposits
beneath the gas fields.
Unfortunately for Israel, 60% of these reserves are in waters controlled by
the Palestinian Authority, which has signed a 25-year contract with British
Gas for further exploration in the area.... Keen to secure the gas for its
domestic market but unwilling to submit its sensitive energy supplies (and
their profits) into the hands of the Palestinians, Israel has for the past
6 years pursued a policy of non-commitment, stalling and obstruction."
(Jake Bower, "Why It Rains: Hamas holding ?Israeli? gas reserves hostage")
The natural gas deposits are just one more reason why Israel plans to
remove Hamas and replace it with Mahmoud Abbas and the corrupt Palestinian
The Middle East is being reshaped according to the ideological aspirations
of Zionists and the exigencies of a viciously-competitive energy market.
That's a combo that makes peace nearly impossible.
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