by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, September 10, 2007
It is apparent after careful examination, that there has been longstanding intent to attack Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Alleged reasons or pretexts are merely a form of justification to implement otherwise unjustifiable intentions and actions. These intentions (mens rea) and the subsequent actions (actus reus), meaning aggression and war, against Lebanon, Syria, and Iran are criminal acts.
There is enough direct and circumstantial evidence, including the Winograd Commission in Tel Aviv, Israeli activities prior to the 2006 attacks on Lebanon, White House statements, and NATO operations, to demonstrate the premeditated nature of the war against Lebanon as part of a broader war campaign.
Longstanding War Plans against Lebanon, Syria, and Iran out in the open from 2000 and 2001
In January of 2001, according to Daniel Sobelman, a correspondent for Haaretz, the U.S. government warned Lebanon that the U.S. would take action against the Lebanese in 2001. The White House made these threats to Lebanon at the start of the presidential term of George W. Bush Jr., approximately eight months before the events of September 11, 2001. According to Daniel Sobelman, quoting Al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned newspaper in London, the White House sent a message to Lebanon that the U.S. government regarded Hezbollah next on their list for elimination after Al-Qaeda. This was before Al-Qaeda became a household name. By the start of the presidential term of George W. Bush Jr. the Clinton Administration had established the blue prints for the so-called global war against Al-Qaeda.
Wesley Clark, a former Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe, also said that in 2001 that the U.S. government had already decided to attack Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran, amongst several other states. The retired American general’s statements complement various other assertions that Iran is the last objective of the first stage of the “long war.” This includes a correlation with war plans drawn during the Clinton Administration that indicated Iraq would be invaded, followed by attacks against Iran, sometime later.
While being interviewed in New York City, Wesley Clark stated candidly that he was told on September 20, 2001 that the U.S. would attack Iraq, aside from Afghanistan. He went on to say that only a few days later in the Pentagon he was told that “we’re [meaning the U.S.] going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”  It should be noted that, in 2003, Syria was immediately accused of having weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and Damascus was also threatened with invasion after the fall of Baghdad by the U.S. government. 
Richard Perle’s 2002 Hints: U.S. Preparing to Attack Lebanon, Syria, and Iran
In 2002, Alexander Meigs Haig Jr., another former Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe with close ties to the White House, alleged that Syria should be the next nation to be attacked after Afghanistan.  Haig was also heavily involved in playing Iraq and Iran against one another during the Iraq-Iran War and was aware of the long-term strategy of the U.S. and Britain in the Middle East. Also in late-2002, Richard Perle, the top advisor on the Pentagon’s policy board, stated that the U.S. was also prepared to attack Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Richard Perle made the forecast to Steven Paikan and a panel of Canadian international affairs experts in an appearance on Diplomatic Immunity, a program on TV Ontario. 
Eric Margolis, one of Canada’s most respected writers on international affairs, was also present when Richard Perle talked about future American-led wars against Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Consequently, Eric Margolis wrote about the hawkish assertions of future wars by Richard Perle in a November 8, 2002 editorial, Next Target: Iran. In his syndicated column Eric Margolis notified his readers that Richard Perle asserted that the Pentagon was planning on attacking Lebanon, Syria, and Iran after an invasion of Iraq. In 2002, before Iraq was even invaded Eric Margolis predicted that Iran would be a future target of hostilities after the subjugation of Iraq because of his encounter with Richard Perle.
Iran, Syria, and Lebanon Expected Hostilities in 2003
The Washington Post reported that in 2003, during the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq that the Pentagon had also prepared war planes in regards to attacking Iran.  The Iranians were not startled by U.S. war plans, but believed that the U.S. would go after the Syrians and the Lebanese. After the fall of Baghdad, Lebanon was the weakest of the last three Middle Eastern nations outside of the orbit of the Anglo-American alliance. The Washington Post and Tehran’s predictions were also substantiated by Seymour Hersh in 2006.
Seymour Hersh reported that the U.S. and Israeli militaries jointly collaborated on the bombing of Lebanon before the 2006 war occurred as part of a larger campaign that would ultimately target Tehran.  As Seymour Hersh quotes one U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel in regards to the attacks on Lebanon, “It would be a demo for Iran.”  While holding talks with Israel, Condoleezza Rice triumphantly declared that the bombardment of Lebanon was the “birth pangs of a new Middle East,” which would be shaped by the interest of America, Britain, and Israel.
In 2006, the Syrian military immediately went on standby when the Israeli campaign against Lebanon started based on the well-established assumption by Damascus that Syria could also be attacked. Iranian, Syrian, and Lebanese leaders publicly expected some form of “New Crisis” to take shape in Lebanon and Syria since 2003.  The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also reported in 2003 that the Syrian, the Iranians, and the Lebanese understood that the Levant would be targeted in some form or another by the U.S. government and its allies. 
In fact on October 8, 2003, months after the fall of Baghdad to U.S. tanks, Israel launched air raids into Syria.  The Syrians restrained themselves and refused to be baited into a war by the Israelis on behalf of the Americans, especially while the Anglo-American momentum for war was strong. Damascus knew that the White House wanted to extend the war from Iraq into Syria. The Syrian President gave a rare and direct televised public response in regards to the Israeli air raids inside Syria. Syria accused Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government of trying to drag Syria and the entire region into a “new war,” following the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.  It would also be under Ariel Sharon that the blue prints for the 2006 Israeli attacks on Lebanon would be drawn after careful consultations with the White House.
Looking into the Abyss: Syria’s Acquaintance with the Pentagon’s War Agenda
Even on the eve of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Syrian President warned the Arab World that the U.S. had initiated a roadmap to redraw the borders of the Middle East starting with Iraq. He stated that the U.S. would deliberately plunge Iraq into chaos so that it would become a “brainless” nation that could not think independently. While in chaos Iraq would be exploited for its energy resources. Since 2003, the Syrians have proven that they are fully aware of the neo-colonial project unfolding before them and opening the doors into the abyss, so to speak, from the Middle East. This is also one of the reasons the Syrians quickly left Lebanon after the Hariri Assassination. It should be noted that the Syrians also left at a time when there was intense Israeli and NATO military movements near Syria that signaled possible strikes in a scenario that could have been portrayed like the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq in 1991.
During the Israeli war against Lebanon in 2006 when Baalbek was being attacked by Israeli jets, 10 kilometres (approximately 6.21 miles) from the Syrian border, there was anticipation in Washington D.C., London, Paris, and Berlin that Syria would enter the war. There was also the hope that Iran would no get involved if Syria were to be dragged into the war by Israel. Dr. Sami Al-Khiyami, the Syrian ambassador to Britain, joined Anna Jones, a Sky News anchorwoman, for an interview in regards to Syria’s military provision during the war. What Dr. Al-Khiyami said during his interview with Sky News was dismissed by U.S., British, and Israeli officials, but is important.
The Syrian diplomat told Sky News in an overtly predisposed televised interview that “Syria is making preparations to defend itself; the idea is that Israel really wants to involve Syria [in the war].”  Dr. Al-Khiyami also added, “The American administration probably really wants Syria to be involved, but Syria is paying a lot of attention not to be drawn in to this type of conflict.”  When asked by Anna Jones why he believed the U.S. and Israeli governments were trying to drag Syria into the war, the Syrian diplomat austerely responded: “Because they want a ‘new Middle East,’ however not a Middle East of democracy and peace, as some of them say, but a Middle East of violence— and a Middle East that is torn apart.”  This was a connotation for new borders and the projection of weaker states in the region.
“The war has been prepared for a long time; Israel has been planning for this for a long time, and the capture of the soldier[s] was only used as a pretext,” Dr. Al-Khiyami told Ms. Jones who swiftly changed the direction of the conversation.  His statements revealed the existence of advanced Syrian knowledge of a military roadmap that has been drawn for controlling the Middle East. According to Damascus the capture of the two Israeli soldiers was merely used as a justification for the bombardment of Lebanon in 2006 or an Israeli “trump card” for a pre-planned war.
The Syrian statements have proven to be correct. Israeli reserve units had mobilized weeks before Israeli troops were captured and a justification was created for the Israeli military to start its attack on Lebanon. It just happened that the mobilized reserve units were necessary to the Israeli war effort and the thwarted Israeli invasion of South Lebanon. The impeccable timing of the mobilization of Israeli reservists was not a case of serendipity. The Jerusalem Post reported during the beginning of the campaign on July 12, 2006 that “weeks ago, an entire [Israeli] reserve division was drafted in order to train for an operation such as the [current] one.”  It would be months later that the Winograd Commission in Israel would finally reveal that the war was preplanned and involved “foreign powers.” 
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
For media inquiries: email@example.com
© Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6659