May 22, 2007
The Raw Story

U.S. Supported Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon

by David Edwards and Muriel Kane

In an interview on CNN International's Your World Today, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh explains that the current violence in Lebanon is the result of an attempt by the Lebanese government to crack down on a militant Sunni group, Fatah al-Islam, that it formerly supported.

Last March, Hersh reported that American policy in the Middle East had shifted to opposing Iran, Syria, and their Shia allies at any cost, even if it meant backing hardline Sunni jihadists.

A key element of this policy shift was an agreement among Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, whereby the Saudis would covertly fund the Sunni Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah. . . .

[Hersh says] "We're in the business of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia. ... "We're in the business of creating ... sectarian violence." And he describes the scheme of funding Fatah al-Islam as "a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger, broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia world . . ."


Robert Fisk, "Lebanon: A French Colonial Legacy of Despair," Independent, November 25, 2006

"Lebanon forces besiege Palestinian refugee camp," Electronic Intifada, May 20, 2007

Robert Fisk, "Scores dead as Lebanese army battles Islamists in bloodiest day since civil war," Independent, May 21, 2007

Sally Buzbee, "Hezbollah backs Lebanon army in standoff," Associated Press, May 22, 2007

[ . . . many Lebanese blamed Syria for the events in Tripoli. Nevermind that a secular Ba'athist regime like that in Syria loathes nothing more than Salafi radicals, whom they regard as a threat to their own existence--Ranni Amiri, "The Complicity of the Siniora Government: The Great Bank Heist of Tripoli,", May 23, 2007]

[The leader of the Shia militant group Hezbollah has urged Lebanon's government not to storm a refugee camp to root out Sunni radicals--"Hezbollah head warns against raid," BBC News, May 26, 2007]

Robert Fisk, "Can the Lebanese army fight America's war against terror?," Independent, June 3, 2007

Clancy Chassay, "Bush Policy Pushes Lebanon to the Brink of Civil War,", July 26, 2007

[Just as the Palestinians voted for Hamas when they were supposed to vote for the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, so the Christian Maronites of Lebanon appear to have voted for a man opposed to the majority government of Fouad Siniora in Beirut.--Robert Fisk, "Lebanese strike a blow at US-backed government," Independent, August 7, 2007]

[Beyond the massive destruction of the homes from three months of bombing, room after room, house after house have been burned. . . . They were burned deliberately by people entering and torching them.Michael Birmingham, "What Happened in Nahr al-Bared?,", October 26, 2007]

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