Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Lebanese civil war: Similarities with Iraq?

Researching for my dissertation, I've been reading a book by Hezbullah's Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Na'im Qassem and found an interesting account of US involvement in assassination attempts against al-Sayyed Fadlallah. Not only that, but according to Qassem the United States was cooperating with Lebanese army intelligence units and a faction "operating under the banner of the Lebanese forces" in conducting assassinations against key figures in Lebanon and certain public places to spread confusion. Most notably, they had carried out a car bomb explosion in Bir al-Abed where 256 people, mostly women and children, were killed. This event was reported by the Washington Post, which also revealed how the US President Reagan had authorised the CIA to work with "counter-terrorism" units to strike at potential "terrorists" before they attacked US targets.

Qassem describes:

"..the Lebanese army had indeed established the 'Foreign Work and Analysis Unit' under the leadership of Major Adonis Nehme" and that "The major had set the assassination of al-Sayyed Fadlallah at the top of his agenda".

Hezbullah needed about a year of investigative work to uncover this CIA sponsored network and information uncovered during the investigation revealed plots to assassinate the Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss and minister Walid Jumblatt. Furthermore, a number of targets such as Cinema Salwa; the Druze Centre; the Egyptian embassy;the al-Rafidein Bank; the Raouche Market; Sabra Street; the Abu Nawwas restaurant were discovered. The total damage caused by this network according to Sheikh Qassem amounted to 277 dead and 1,111 injured.

From Qassem (2005), Hizbullah: The Story Within, Saqi Books, London

Very interesting, but also because of something Sheikh Qassem didn't mention in his book, and that is the unconfirmed reports that the Saudi's were also involved in this and allegedly tried to paid off al-Sayyed Fadlallah not to directly point them out and make them targets of a reprisal. My question is: If this happened on such a level in Lebanon over twenty years ago, how do we know the United States isn't behind some of the key attacks and causes of sectarian tension in Iraq today?

Quick note: In spite of much allegations, I've found no evidence in any of my research that al-Sayyed Fadlallah has any involvement with Hezbullah. This view is based on readings by Saad-Ghorayeb, Hala Jaber and even Sheikh Qassem himself denies the links.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mashallah iam impressed. very intresting brother wassim.

best regards

from Sweden