Who is a Nasibi (dissenter)?? – UPDATE: Video now added!

My latest video post dealing with the hypocrisy and contradictions of the wahabi scholars and those who follow them, with respect to their claim to loving Ali (as) and his Holy Progeny (Ahlul Bayt). Seyyed Kamal Al Haydari, as always, has the final say. 

Enjoy! Credit must go to ‘shiadefenceforce’.   

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Free Syrian Army commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli

Thierry Meyssan – Voltairenet.org

The UN Security Council members are at loggerheads over the interpretation of the events that are rocking Syria. On one hand, France, the United Kingdom and the United States claim that a revolution has swept the country, in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring”, and suffering a bloody crackdown. On the other hand, Russia’s and China’s take is that Syria is having to cope with armed gangs from abroad, which it is fighting awkwardly thereby causing collateral victims among the civilian population it seeks to protect.

The on-the-spot investigation undertaken byVoltaire Network validated the latter interpretation [1]. We have collected eyewitness testimonies from those who survived an armed attack by a foreign gangs. They describe them as being Iraqis, Jordanians or Libyans, recognizable by their accent, as well as Pashtun.

In recent months, a certain number of Arab newspapers, favorable to the Al-Assad administration, discussed the infiltration into Syria of 600 to 1,500 fighters from the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya(IFGL), rebranded Al Qaeda in Libya since November 2007. In late November 2011, the Libyan press reported the attempt by the Zintan militia to detain Abdel Hakim Belhaj, companion of Osama Bin Laden [2] and historic leader of Al Qaeda in Libya, who became military governor of Tripoli by the grace of NATO [3]. The scene took place at Tripoli airport, as he was leaving for Turkey. Finally, Turkish newspapers mentioned Mr. Belhaj’s presence at the Turkish-Syrian.

Such reports have been met with disbelief on the part of all those who regard Al Qaeda and NATO are irreconcilable enemies between whom no cooperation is possible. Instead, they reinforce the thesis which I have defended since the attacks of September 11, 2001, that Al Qaeda fighters are mercenaries of the service of the CIA [4].

Who is telling the truth?

For the past week, the Spanish royalist newspaperABC has published a daily report by photographer Daniel Iriarte. This journalist is with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the north of the country, right on the Turkish border. Iriarte champions the cause of the “revolution” and can never find words harsh enough against “Al-Assad regime.”

The Free Syrian Army is made up of more than 20 00 people, according to its political chief Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, but of only a few hundred when listening to the Syrian authorities [5].

However, in the Saturday edition dated 17 December 2011, Daniel Iriarte describes an encounter that shocked him. While his FSA friends were taking him to a new hideout, he came across some foreign insurgents: three Libyans [6].

The first one among them was al-Mahdi Hatari, a Libyan who lived in Ireland before joining Al Qaeda. At the end of the Libyan war, he was named commander of the Tripoli Brigade, then number 2 of the Tripoli Military Council headed by Abdel Hakim Belhaj. He resigned from this function, according to some because of a dispute with the Transitional National Council, according to others because he wanted to go back to Ireland to join his Irish wife [7] The truth is that he headed for Syria.

Even stranger: a member of Al Qaeda was among the pro-Palestinian activists, in June of last year, on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. Numerous secret service agents, especially US, had infiltrated the “Freedom Flotilla” [8]. He was wounded and held prisoner for nine days in Israel.

Finally, during the Battle of Tripoli, al-Mahdi Harati commanded the Al Qaeda group that besieged and attacked the Rixos hotel, where I was staying with myVoltaire Network companions and the international press, and whose basement served as a shelter for the leaders of the Jamahiriya under the protection of the custody of Khamis Gaddafi [9]. According to the latter, Mahdi al-Harati was being briefed by the French officers on the ground.

The second Libyan that the Spanish photographer in the Syrian army is none other than Kikli Adem, a lieutenant of Abdel Hakim Belhaj. As for the third Libyan, nicknamed Fouad, Daniel Iriarte was not in a position to identify him.

Iriarte’s testimony dovetails with what the Arab anti-Syrian press has been claiming for weeks: the Free Syrian Army is overseen by at least 600 “volunteers” from Al Qaeda in Libya [10]. The entire operation is run by Abdel Hakim Belhaj in person with the help of the Erdogan government.

How can it be explained that a daily newspaper as anti-Assad as ABC has decided to publish the testimony of its special envoy, who sheds light on the nauseating methods employed by NATO and confirms the Syrian government’s thesis of armed destabilization? The fact is that for a week, certain advocates of the clash of civilizations have been riling against a set-up which includes Islamic extremists in a “free world” strategy.

Writing on CNBC Guest Blog [11], former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar revealed on 9 December 2011 that Abdel Hakim Belhaj was suspected of complicity in the attacks of 11 March 2004 in Madrid [12], an event that put an end to Aznar’s political career.

Mr. Aznar’s outing goes hand in hand with the intervention made by his friends from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the think tank headed by former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold [13]. They publicly voice their doubts about the validity of the current CIA strategy to place Islamists in power throughout North Africa. Their criticism is aimed against the secret society of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also against two Libyan figures: Abel Hakim Belhadj and his friend Sheikh Ali Al-Salibi. The latter is regarded as the new leader of Libya [14]. The two men are deemed to be the pawns of Qatar in the new Libya [15]. It was also Sheikh Salabi who distributed $ 2 billion of Qatari funds to help Al-Qaeda in Libya [16].

Thus the contradiction that was desperately kept hidden for the past decade returns to the surface: the mercenaries, formerly paid by Osama Bin Laden, have never stopped working in the service of US strategic interests since the first war in Afghanistan, including the period of the September 11 attacks. Yet they are portrayed ​​by Western leaders as implacable enemies.

It is likely that the objections of Mr. Aznar and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs will be overridden by NATO, as were those raised by AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham. At the beginning of the war Libya, he was incensed at having to protect jihadists who had gone to slaughter GIs in Iraq.

Detached from reality, the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (aka “Committee pursuant to resolution 1267”) and the US Department of State still have on their black list the organization of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sheik Salabi under its former label of Islamic Fighting Group in Libya. It would appear that is it the duty of every State to arrest these individuals if they enter their territory.

[1] “Lies and truths about Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 28 November 2011.

[2] “Libya’s Powerful Islamist Leader,” by Babak Dehghanpisheh, The Daily Beast, 2 September 2011.

[3] “How Al Qaeda men came to power in Libya”, by Thierry Meyssan,Voltaire Network, 7 September 2011.

[4] “Once NATO enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, now NATO allies in Libya,” by Webster G. Tarpley, Voltaire Network, 24 May 2011.

[5] “Syria’s opposition, rebels hold talks in Turkey,” by Safak Timur, AFP, 1 December 2011.

[6] “Islamistas libios se desplazan a Siria para “ayudar” a la revolución,” by Daniel Iriarte, ABC (Spain), 17 December 2011.

[7] “Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council,” by Mary Fitzgerald, The Irish Times, 11 October 2011.

[8] “Freedom Flotilla: The detail that escaped Netanyahu”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 8 June 2010.

[9] “Thierry Meyssan and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya under death threat in Tripoli”, Voltaire Network, 22 August 2011.

[10] “Libyan fighters join “free Syrian army” forces,” Al Bawaba, 29 November 2011.

[11] “Spain’s Former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on the Arab Awakening and How the West Should React,” CNBC.com., 9 December 2011.

[12] “March 11, 2004 in Madrid: Was it really an Islamist attack?”, by Mathieu Miquel, Voltaire Network, 28 November 2009.

[13] “Diplomacy after the Arab uprisings,” by Dore Gold, The Jerusalem Post, 15 December 2011.

[14] “Meet the likely architect of the new Libya,” by Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, 9 December 2011.

[15] “Libyans wary over support from Qatar,” by John Thorne, The National (United Arab Emirates), 13 December 2011.

[16] John Thorne, op. cit.

NATO suspends military projects to wage all-out economic war on Syria

Thierry Meyssan

NATO is currently reviewing its strategy for Syria. After eight months of low intensity war and despite the infiltration of many Arab and Pashtun fighters, Syrian society has not fractured. To be sure, some religious clashes took place in Deraa, Homs and Banias, but they were not widespread and were short lived. For the Alliance, it is no longer realistic to think that it can rapidly foment a civil war to justify an “international humanitarian operation.”

This realization comes at a time when the ad hocmilitary coalition is in the throes of a crisis. During the war against Libya, the initiative had been spearheaded by France and the UK. However, the two European heavyweights proved they were incapable of mobilizing the necessary resources. In fact, three quarters of the war effort was provided or funded by the Pentagon. Above all, the deployment of inadequate devices could have wrought disaster had Libya decided to attack NATO’s ships and helicopters [1]. The problem is much worse in the case of Syria, which boasts a population four times larger than that of Libya, and an army seasoned by previous regional conflicts.

It was therefore decided to strengthen the Franco-British duo by bringing in Germany. A tripartite agreement was to be negotiated on December 2 to mark, albeit belatedly, the anniversary of the Lancaster House Treaty [2] which laid down the organizational framework for the joint British and French expeditionary forces and sealed the fate of Libya [3]. However, the event was canceled. In the middle of the Western economic crisis, Berlin is loath to underwrite war expenses without a guaranteed return on its investment.

Germany’s budgetary rationality has shattered the epic dreams of the US-Israeli military-industrial complex. The departure of Robert Gates and the rise of Hillary Clinton have signaled the revival of the project for the “remodeling of the Greater Middle East” and its extension to North Africa. However, this doctrine – which stems from the imperial ideology of Leo Strauss – reeks of a perpetual headlong rush, the war having no other aim than itself. It may ideal for the war economy of the United States, but it hardly suits Germany’s peace-based economy.

The plan of a conventional war against Syria raises many economic issues. No European nation would have anything to gain either in the short or medium term, while many are likely to lose a few feathers. In the case of Libya, whereas British and French businessmen were swift to cash in on their dividends by renegotiating the oil concessions to their advantage, the Turks and the Italians were left holding the bag, losing nearly all their markets in the former colony.

Pending the creation of an ad hoc military coalition, NATO has temporarily turned to the economic war scenario. It intends to besiege Syria by cutting it off from all import-export trade, and sabotaging its means of production. Behind the moralistic label of “sanctions,” the Alliance member states and their Arab League vassals have already imposed a bank freeze that prohibits commodity trading. They are currently concentrating on shutting down lines of communication, including airlines, and the pull out of multinational companies, mainly oil companies. Thus, following in the footsteps of Shell and Total, Petro-Canada is on its way out, closing behind it the plant that supplies electricity to the city of Homs.

In particular, the first major act of sabotage was perpetrated against the pipeline supplying the same power plant, to make sure it could not operate once the Canadian engineers had gone. This terrorist act was claimed by the Syrian Free Army, although it is not possible to verify who was really behind it: military felons, Al Qaeda mercenaries or NATO commandos.

With the exception of fuel and electricity, no shortage has so far been reported in Syria. To mitigate the impact of the siege, Damascus is busy establishing new exchanges with Beijing. Because of the bank embargo, they have to be conducted on a barter basis, as China is already doing with Iran. This system should allow Syria to save its economy, apart from the tourist industry which has already been severely affected over the long term.

At any rate, the siege of Syria has already claimed many economic victims in Turkey, whose cancellation of the free trade agreement with Syria and the introduction of prohibitive tariffs have devastated the border regions. And although the Syrians are prepared to endure deprivations to save their country, the Turks are not willing to suffer the same fate on behalf of NATO’s ambitions.

In addition, this strategic reorientation has placed the Syrian National Council in an awkward position. Those political figures who endorsed a form of nonviolent action inspired by Gene Sharp’s orange revolutions [4] are now forced to subscribe to acts which have been claimed by members of the Syrian Free Army. The conflict is all the more acute considering that both groups are based in Istanbul and expected to work side by side.

The suspension of the international military intervention plan was confirmed by the return to Damascus of the US, French and German Ambassadors. It imposes a change in the media campaign. Already, the Anglo-American media have dropped references to the most outrageous and less credible accusations leveled against Bashar al-Assad, such as the allegation concerning the torture of children. The State Department itself no longer describes the Syrian President as a monster, but as a man “out of touch with reality” (sic) ” [5]. His case, therefore, no longer requires an urgent treatment. Moreover, the revelations made by several journalists about the situation in Syrian, belying the image conveyed by Western propaganda for the past eight months [6], calls for an indispensable lull.

[1] “Accidental Heroes. Britain, France and the Libya Operation” by Michael Clarke, Malcolm Chalmers, Jonathan Eyal, Shashank Joshi, Mark Phillips, Elizabeth Quintana and Lee Willett, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Octtobeer 2011, 13 p, 1,4 Mo.

[2] “Déclaration franco-britannique sur la coopération de défense et de sécurité », Réseau Voltaire, 2 November 2010.

[3“’Operation Odyssey Dawn’ breaking for Washington”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 20 March 2011.

[4] “The Albert Einstein Institution: non-violence according to the CIA”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 4 January 2005.

[5Daily Press Briefing,” U.S. Department of State, 6 December 2011.

[6Запад и ближневосточные монархии жаждут сожрать Сирию,” by Thierry Meyssan, Komsomolskaia Pravda, 29 November 2011.

Lies and Truths about Syria

by Thierry Meyssan

Four NATO lies

- 1. According to NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, for eight months mass demonstrations have taken place in Syria to demand more freedom and the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.

Not true. There have been demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad’s, in some cities, at the call of Saudi and Egyptian preachers speaking on Al-Jazeera, but which rallied only some 100 000 people at the most. They were not claiming more freedom, but the establishment of an Islamic regime. They demanded the resignation of President al-Assad, not because of his politics, but because these protesters adhere to a sectarian strand of Sunni power, Takfirism, and they accuse Assad of being a heretic (he is Alawi) and of usurping power in a Muslim country, which they claim can only be legitimately governed by a Sunni from their theological school.

- 2. According to NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, the “regime” responded by using live ammunition to disperse the crowd, leaving at least 3,500 dead since the beginning of the year.

Not true. In the first place, it is not possible to suppress demonstrations that never existed. Then, from the outset, the authorities realized that efforts were afoot to provoke sectarian strife in a country where secularism has been the mainstay of the state since the eighth century. Consequently, President Bashar al-Assad prohibited security, police and army forces from using firearms in any circumstance where civilians might get hurt. The purpose is to prevent that the injuries, or even death, of a person belonging to one creed or the other, be exploited to justify a war of religion. This prohibition is respected by the security forces at the risk of their own lives, as we shall see later. As for the dead, their number should be cut in half. The majority are not civilians, but soldiers and police, as I was able to observe during my visits to hospitals and morgues, both civilian and military.

- 3. After we managed to break the wall of silence and got the big Western media to acknowledge the presence in Syria of death squads from abroad, setting up ambushes against the army and murdering civilians in the heart of the cities, NATO and its Gulf allies reported on the existence of an army of deserters. According to them, a group of military (not police) who had received the order to fire on the crowd allegedly rebelled. They apparently went underground and constituted the Free Syrian Army, already 1500 men-strong.

Not true. The deserters are only a few dozen, having fled to Turkey where they are supervised by an officer associated to the Hakim Rifaat el-Assad/Abdel Khaddam clan, famously linked to the CIA. There is, however, an increasing number of young people who refuse to do military service, more often under pressure from their families than by personal decision. Indeed, those soldiers who are caught in an ambush don’t have the right to use their firearms to defend themselves if civilians are on the scene. They have no choice but to sacrifice their lives if they are unable to escape.

- 4. According to NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, the cycle of revolution/repression has paved the way for the start of a “civil war“. 1.5 million trapped Syrians would be suffering from hunger. It is therefore essential to set up “humanitarian corridors” to deliver food aid and allow civilians to flee the combat zones.

Not true. Considering the number and the cruelty of the attacks by death squads from abroad, population displacement has been minimal. Syria is agriculturally self-sufficient and its productivity has not declined significantly. On the other hand, with most of the ambushes taking place on major roads, traffic is frequently interrupted. Moreover, when attacks spring up inside the cities, merchants shut down their shops immediately. This results in serious distribution problems, including food. The real issue lies elsewhere: economic sanctions have wrought disaster. While for the past decade Syria had registered a growth of around 5% per year, it can no longer sell its oil to Western Europe and its tourist industry has been hit hard. Many people have lost their jobs and income, having to save on everything. They are subsidized by the government, which distributes free food and heating fuel. Under such circumstances, it would be more fitting to say that if it were not for the Al-Assad government, 1.5 million Syrians would be suffering from malnutrition because of Western sanctions.

Ultimately, while we’re still in the stage of unconventional warfare, with the use of mercenaries and special forces to destabilize the country, the narrative spewed out by NATO and its Persian Gulf allies has already strayed from reality. This gap will widen more and more.

As far as you are concerned, dear reader, there is no reason why you should believe me rather than NATO, since you are not on the spot. However, there are several elements that should send up a red flag.

Four clues carefully hidden by NATO

- 1. One would think that the charges concerning the alleged repression and the number of victims were carefully looked into. But not at all. They originated from a single source: the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, based in London, whose leaders demand anonymity. What is the validity of such grave accusations if they are not cross-checked and why do institutions such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights rubber stamp them without verifying their authenticity?

- 2. Russia and China vetoed a draft Security Council resolution meant to pave the way for an international military intervention. NATO political leaders have forlornly explained that the Russians are protecting their naval base at Tartus and that the Chinese will do anything to scrape together a few barrels of oil. Should we accept the Manichean view that Washington, London and Paris are guided by good intentions, while Moscow and Beijing are essentially selfish and insensitive to the martyrdom of the population? How to avoid noticing that Russia and China have much less of an interest in defending Syria than Westerners have in destroying it?

- 3. It is somewhat bizarre to observe who makes up the coalition of so-called well-intentioned states. How can it escape anyone’s notice that the two main sustainers of the Arab League and promoters of the “democratization” of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are puppet dictatorships in lockstep with the United States and the United Kingdom? Should not one wonder how credible the West can be – after having successively ravaged Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and killing more than 1, 2 million people in ten years, thus showing how little value they attach to human life – when it waves a humanitarian banner?

- 4. To avoid being manipulated on the events unfolding in Syria, the best thing is to put them in context. For NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, whose armies invaded Yemen and Bahrain to savagely quell peaceful demonstrations, the “Syrian Revolution” is an extension of the “Arab spring“, perceived by them as peoples in the region who dream of a market democracy and the comfort of the American Way of Life. On their part, the Russians and Chinese, apace with the Venezuelans and the South Africans, recognize the events in Syria as the continuation of Washington’s plan “to remodel the Greater Middle East“, which has already claimed 1.2 million lives and which anyone truly concerned about protecting human lives must strive to put an end to. They haven’t forgotten that on 15 September 2001, President George W. Bush green-lighted a plan to wage seven wars.

Preparations for the attack on Syria formally began on 12 December 2003 with the adoption of the Syrian Accountability Act in the wake of the fall of Baghdad. Since that day, the president of the United States – today Barack Obama – is under an order from Congress to attack Syria and is dispensed from any further clearance before launching hostilities. Therefore, the question is not whether NATO has found a divine justification for going to war, but whether Syria will find a way out of this situation, in the same way she outmaneuvered all the previous pitfalls and defamatory accusations leveled against her, such as the assassination of Rafik Hariri and the Israeli raid against an imaginary nuclear military plant.

Big Business in Libya

West sees Libya as ripe at last for businesses – Firms from NATO countries hope gratitude will be a factor in awarding contracts

‘.. A week before Colonel Qaddafi’s death on Oct. 20, a delegation from 80 French companies arrived in Tripoli to meet officials of the Transitional National Council, the interim government. Last week, the new British defense minister, Philip Hammond, urged British companies to “pack their suitcases” and head to Tripoli..’

“There is a gold rush of sorts taking place right now,” said David Hamod, president and chief executive officer of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce. “And the Europeans and Asians are way ahead of us. I’m getting calls daily from members of the business community in Libya. They say, ‘Come back, we don’t want the Americans to lose out.’ ”

Terrorist and Hostages

‘Many of the released hostages never took up arms. Some are elected members of the Palestinian parliament who were illegally abducted by Israel. Those who did take up arms did so for a very good reason – they were resisting ethnic cleansing, apartheid and occupation. This makes them freedom fighters, not terrorists. One of the prisoners, Nael Barghouti, was held hostage for 33 years. Several others have been imprisoned for over thirty years.

Why is it that one Israeli appears to be worth a thousand Palestinians?When it comes to prisoner swaps, the disproportion works in the Palestinians’ favour. When it comes to anything else, it doesn’t. Obviously. One day a Palestinian will be counted the equal of an Israeli Jew. Until then, the resistance would be well advised to do all it can to capture more terrorists to exchange for the remaining five thousand freedom fighters languishing in the Israeli gulag.

In this comment I’ve chosen my words carefully. I’ve called the Palestinian prisoners ‘hostages’ because they’ve been held as leverage for a ransom – the ransom being Palestinian submission. (This isn’t all; they’ve been held also to satisfy the narrative of Israeli innocence and Palestinian criminality). I’ve called the Israeli prisoners ‘terrorists’ because they operated in an organisation which applies physical and psychological violence against civilians for political purposes.’

Provoking a Path to Persia – The Saban Center’s prescient paper on war with Iran

by Maidhc Ó Cathail, October 20, 2011

In June 2009, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy published “Which Path to Persia?—Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran.” Writing in a tone strikingly reminiscent of the Project for a New American Century’s infamous pre-9/11 paper “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” the six co-authorsnoted that, “It seems highly unlikely that the United States would mount an invasion without any provocation or other buildup.” For a think tankspecifically established by media mogul Haim Saban to protect Israel, this could prove to be a formidable obstacle impeding their desired march—of U.S. troops—to Tehran.

“In fact, if the United States were to decide that to garner greater international support, galvanize U.S. domestic support, and/or provide a legal justification for an invasion, it would be best to wait for an Iranian provocation, then the time frame for an invasion might stretch out indefinitely,” Saban’s think-tankers ruefully observed.

With only one real exception, since the 1978 revolution, the Islamic Republic has never willingly provoked an American military response, although it certainly has taken actions that could have done so if Washington had been looking for a fight. Thus it is not impossible that Tehran might take some action that would justify an American invasion. And it is certainly the case that if Washington sought such a provocation, it could take actions that might make it more likely that Tehran would do so (although being too obvious about this could nullify the provocation). However, since it would be up to Iran to make the provocative move, which Iran has been wary of doing most times in the past, the United States would never know for sure when it would get the requisite Iranian provocation. In fact, it might never come at all.

Seemingly undeterred by Iran’s frustrating unwillingness to provide the requisite provocation, the analysts continued to examine this option:

As noted above, in the section on the time frame for an invasion, whether the United States decides to invade Iran with or without a provocation is a critical consideration. With provocation, the international diplomatic and domestic political requirements of an invasion would be mitigated, and the more outrageous the Iranian provocation (and the less that the United States is seen to be goading Iran), the more these challenges would be diminished. In the absence of a sufficiently horrific provocation, meeting these requirements would be daunting.

Ruling out the likelihood of “an overt, incontrovertible, and unforgivable act of aggression—something on the order of an Iranian-backed 9/11 … given Iran’s history of avoiding such acts,” the authors went on to explore where “the question of provocation gets murky.”

“Most European, Asian, and Middle Eastern publics are dead set against any American military action against Iran derived from the current differences between Iran and the international community—let alone Iran and the United States,” they wistfully noted. “Other than a Tehran-sponsored 9/11, it is hard to imagine what would change their minds.”

Even Iran’s long-time Sunni rival in the region appeared recalcitrant to the idea. “Saudi Arabia is positively apoplectic about the Iranians’ nuclear program, as well as about their mischief making in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories,” the pro-Israeli analysts empathized. “Yet, so far, Riyadh has made clear that it will not support military operations of any kind against Iran. Certainly that could change, but it is hard to imagine what it would take.”

Would a dastardly plot to blow up King Abdullah’s “hand-picked, trusted envoy” in a D.C. restaurant suffice, perchance?

At least, the lead author of “Which Path to Persia?” seems to think so. On October 11, Kenneth Pollack opined on “Iran’s Covert War Against the United States”: “It’s shocking, but not entirely surprising to learn that the United States government has evidence that the Iranian regime was trying to kill Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir.”

Posing as a responsible skeptic regarding the ludicrous plot, Pollack concluded that the ultra-cautious regime he analyzed for the Saban Center two years previously—relevant information not provided to the reader—may have changed for the worse: “But, if this incredible claim is proven true, it should remind us that Iran also is not a normal country by any stretch of the imagination, and that in a Middle East already in turmoil we now face a more aggressive, more risk-taking Iran that may be looking to stir the pot in ways that it once found imprudent.”

As Stephen M. Walt remarked about an earlier Tehran-baiting paper by the Saban Center director, “It is hard to read this piece without hearkening back to Pollack’s The Threatening Storm, the book that convinced many liberals to support the invasion of Iraq in 2003. What made that book especially persuasive was Pollack’s depiction of himself as a former dove who had oh-so-reluctantly concluded that there was no option but to go to war.”

Interestingly, The Daily Beast/Newsweek which published Pollack’s op-ed is partly owned by Jane Harman, whose service in Congress reportedly included a quid pro quo with an Israeli agent, involving political donations from billionaire Haim Saban, to lobby the Department of Justice to reduce espionage charges against two officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Pollack, a former member of the National Security Council, wasmentioned in the indictment against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman as one of the government officials who provided information to the two former AIPAC employees about—you guessed it—Iran.

When asked “who would want to create the impression” that the United States needs to engage in military activity against Iran, former CIA operative Michael Scheuer replied, “If I was looking at a counterintelligence operation to decide where this information came from, I’d be very interested to see if I could find an Israeli hand or a Saudi hand.”

Thanks to Kenneth Pollack, that search can now be narrowed.

Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. He also edits The Passionate Attachment blog(http://thepassionateattachment.com/). Read more articles by .
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