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
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
Complicity of the Siniora Government: The Great Bank Heist of
Tripoli," counterpunch.org, 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," counterpunch.org, July
[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?," antiwar.com, October 26, 2007]