Attempts to trigger Sunni-Shi’ia strategy of tension
by Tony Cartalucci @ Land Destroyer
May 21, 2012 -The United Nations has been inexplicably silent over revelations that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other “Gulf States,” are arming militants in Syria in direct violation of a UN brokered ceasefire. Additionally, the US has openly threatened to arm Kurd militants in Syria to “rise up” against the government. While in reality this constitutes a greater threat to neighboring Turkey, and perhaps an attempt to motivate Ankara to take a more aggressive stance against Syria, the threat of purposefully inciting more violence in a conflict that has allegedly claimed “10,000” lives, seems not only grossly irresponsible, but a violation of international peace.
The West’s meddling in Syria does not end there. Recently, clashes have broken out in Lebanon, revealing a large base of operations supporting the destabilization in neighboring Syria, located along the Lebanese-Syrian border. The significance of this discovery, and extremist groups in Lebanon being directly involved, highlights the veracity of a 2007 New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh titled, “The Redirection,” which exposed a joint US-Israeli-Saudi operation to create a violent extremist front and direct it at Hezbollah in Lebanon, President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and at the Iranian government.
In the article, the fact that these extremist forces had direct ties to Al Qaeda was noted, including the fact that many of these militants either participated in fighting US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or were affiliated with groups that did:
“In 2005, according to a report by the U.S.-based International Crisis Group, Saad Hariri, the Sunni majority leader of the Lebanese parliament and the son of the slain former Prime Minister—Saad inherited more than four billion dollars after his father’s assassination—paid forty-eight thousand dollars in bail for four members of an Islamic militant group from Dinniyeh. The men had been arrested while trying to establish an Islamic mini-state in northern Lebanon. The Crisis Group noted that many of the militants “had trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.”
According to the Crisis Group report, Saad Hariri later used his parliamentary majority to obtain amnesty for twenty-two of the Dinniyeh Islamists, as well as for seven militants suspected of plotting to bomb the Italian and Ukrainian embassies in Beirut, the previous year. (He also arranged a pardon for Samir Geagea, a Maronite Christian militia leader, who had been convicted of four political murders, including the assassination, in 1987, of Prime Minister Rashid Karami.) Hariri described his actions to reporters as humanitarian.
In an interview in Beirut, a senior official in the Siniora government acknowledged that there were Sunni jihadists operating inside Lebanon. “We have a liberal attitude that allows Al Qaeda types to have a presence here,” he said. He related this to concerns that Iran or Syria might decide to turn Lebanon into a “theatre of conflict.”” -“The Redirection,” Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker 2007
The report also made mention of extensive US funding behind Hariri’s faction, led then by Fouad Siniora, augmenting the creation of this militant force:
“The United States has also given clandestine support to the Siniora government, according to the former senior intelligence official and the U.S. government consultant. “We are in a program to enhance the Sunni capability to resist Shiite influence, and we’re spreading the money around as much as we can,” the former senior intelligence official said. The problem was that such money “always gets in more pockets than you think it will,” he said. “In this process, we’re financing a lot of bad guys with some serious potential unintended consequences. We don’t have the ability to determine and get pay vouchers signed by the people we like and avoid the people we don’t like. It’s a very high-risk venture.”
American, European, and Arab officials I spoke to told me that the Siniora government and its allies had allowed some aid to end up in the hands of emerging Sunni radical groups in northern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and around Palestinian refugee camps in the south. These groups, though small, are seen as a buffer to Hezbollah; at the same time, their ideological ties are with Al Qaeda.” -“The Redirection,” Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker 2007
It becomes clear then that Lebanon’s recent unrest is a result of a greater gambit targeting not just Syria, but the Hezbollah-Syrian-Iranian sphere of power, following the US-engineered “Arab Spring” installing proxy leaders across the Arab World to specifically support this last leg of geopolitical reordering. Such support has manifested itself as political support from US-proxy president Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia, and similar support from US-installed Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib, who’s nation has also committed not only arms and cash to Syrian terrorists, but fighters as well.
Now, it is reported that “anti-Assad clerics” have been shot by Lebanese soldiers – and just as was seen during the assassination of Rafic Hariri, demagogues are attempting to draw Sunni Muslims into a conflict with Shi’ias. A strategy of tension is being used to divide the Lebanese people into a deadly conflict mirroring the sectarian, not “democracy,” driven unrest ravaging Syria. With Saad Hariri, the US, and Saudi Arabia overtly working to undermine Syrian stability, it appears that all of the characters described by Hersh in 2007 are now openly implementing their plans.
The purposefully nebulous coverage by the Western media over violence in Lebanon so far, and a disingenuous depiction of it being “spill over” from Syria is meant to portray a general sense of chaos consuming the region. In reality, it is a premeditated destabilization dependent on fostering violence between Sunni and Shi’ia Muslims, just as was purposefully done in Iraq to balk an effective Sunni-Shi’ia alliance that achieved initial success fighting a foreign occupation led by the US starting in 2003.
While exposing the premeditated nature of the destabilization consuming Lebanon and Syria is essential, as well as calling for international condemnation of the US for openly attempting to escalate violence in the middle of a mediated ceasefire, calling on people across the Islamic World to refrain from falling into this sectarian trap, and being used as tools of their own division and subjugation by the West is equally important.
Saad Hariri portends that his alliance with the US, Israel, and the Saudis is simply an attempt to protect “Sunnis” from a “Shi’ia threat.” In reality, as empires have done all throughout history, Hariri’s invitation to the West to meddle in his own nation’s affairs will open the door to the destruction and dismemberment of not only his enemies, but inevitably his own movement as well. A faction too weak to fight its rivals is certainly too weak to fight an invited foreign imperial power that decides to overstay its welcome. A strategy of tension is at play in the Islamic World, the trap set, hatred for Israel and rival ideologies the bait. Time will answer the question, “have the people of the world learned enough collectively to avoid it?”