Greater Middle East
Just as Bush is trumpeting claims that Syria is planning to re-intervene in Lebanon, comes a disturbing June 8 story from the New York Sun, claiming that the familiar "regime change" formula is about to be applied to Damascus:
At the State Department, the Bureau of Near East Affairs and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor have asked Congress for explicit legal authority to fund liberal opposition parties inside Syria through regional initiatives that have hitherto focused on reforming American allies such as Jordan and Egypt, two administration officials told The New York Sun.
President Bush says today he has receieved reports of covert Syrian interference in Lebanon, and the White House charged that it had information that Damascus had drawn up an assassination hit list targeting Lebanese political leaders. "Obviously we're going to follow up on these troubling reports, and we expect the Syrian government to follow up on these troubling reports," Bush told reporters. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said afterward that Washington had received information about a "Syrian hit list targeting key Lebanese public figures of various political and religious persuasions, for assassination."
In recent weeks, we've been following Washington's current regime change offensive, in which the White House is seeking to encourage--and, presumably, co-opt--opposition activists in countries which really are unhappily authoritarian, but (more to the point) insufficiently compliant with US interests. Now there are signs that even Egypt, a top global recipient of US aid, could be next.
During the Turkish National Day celebration in the eastern city of Siirt this week, helicopter gunships circled over the stadium and sharpshooters stood watch on rooftops--signs of the rising tension in southeast Turkey as Kurdish separatists rekindle an insurgency after a five-year lull.
Here's a textbook case in how the reigning anti-Semitic propaganda system works, with the paradoxical complicity of certain powerful (and deluded) Jews. This propaganda system is all the more effective for being nearly universally unrecognized.
At least 20 Kurdish guerilla fighters are dead in an assualt by Turkish army troops backed up by US-made Cobra attack helicopters near the Iraq border, AP reported April 15. Three Turkish soldiers and a village guardsman were also killed in the fighting in Siirt and Sirnak provinces. Turkish authorities said the guerillas infiltrated Turkish territory from Iraq, where they had taken refuge across the border.
Lebanon's Omar Karami has resigned a second time, after Parliament refused to accept his February 28 resignation. This time Najib Mikati, a Sunni perceived as a moderate, has been chosen to succeed him. Mikati hailed the opposition--especially Druze leader Walid Jumblatt--for breaking a boycott of the political process to approve his nomination, and said he wanted to "personify national unity." The opposition is said to have supported his nomination because he is less pro-Syrian than his chief rival for the post, Abdel-Rahim Mrad.