Berlin: A few days ago our chancelor, Angela Merkel, dealt out harsh criticism on Syria, for not taking steps in direction of the "international community".
In fact, that would be a step out of the trench, hands up, please.
Syria is surrounded by unfriendly forces. Turkey, a close ally to Israel in the north, Jordan in the south, the U.S.-occupied Iraq east and Lebanon west of it.We know from Seymour Hersh (and in fact, "we" does mean "6 Billion Jurors in the Court of Puplic Opinion"), that the Bush Administration and the royal dynasty of Saudi Arabia, in coordination with the Israeli Government, are funding Sunni islamists and terrorist militias in the north of Lebanon and all over the middle east, allegedly to prevent the so-called "Shiite crescent".
We know, that the Lebanese Leader of the Druze, Walid Jumblatt, met with Dick Cheney in Washington last fall and advised him, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be "the ones to talk to".
We also know by the New Yorker journalist, that "there is evidence that the Administration`s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood," that there is Saudi money and American involvement.
THE GERMAN INVOLVEMENT
Last week on Monday, the 05th, the German Deputy Interior Minister August Hanning said "his country" (in fact: the German military, in cooperation with German intelligence, BND, and the military intelligence MAD) would set up a "modern" project to monitor the Lebanese-Syrian border in north Lebanon, so press reports.
August Hanning is not a honourable man. He led the illegal observation of German journalists as the BND-chief from 1998 to December 2005.
Last week he received tough questions from German Lawmakers in a committee investigating the case "Murat Kurnaz", because of his decision to bar the German resident held in Guantanamo Bay from returning to Germany for over 4 years, saying the man was still considered a security risk (16), while even the U.S. were considering Kurnaz as innocent, according to former U.S. special envoy, Pierre Prosper (17).
Foreign minister Frank Steinmeier is also deeply involved in this case, Lawmakers already claimed his retirement. Steinmeier is due before the committee on March 29. His appearance has been delayed after key documents needed for the inquiry were withheld by the Ministry of Interior, Lawmakers protested harshly.
August Hanning (Chief of BND in 2001 and direct subordinate of Frank Steinmeier at that time) was also responsible for not averting the 9/11 attacks by the alleged "Al Qaeda"-cell in Hamburg, despite of prior knowledge of the plot by german authorities and U.S.-intelligence, according to many news sources, also informing about the alleged CIA-informant and Syrian businessman Mamoun Darkazanli (4)(5).
According to CIA documents, U.S. intelligence first became aware of Mamoun Darkazanli in 1993. He had ties to one of Osama bin Laden's finance chiefs, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who was arrested in 1998.
From 1995 to 1998 a Saudi company called the "Twaik Group" deposits more than $250,000 in bank accounts controlled by Mamoun Darkazanli. In 2004, the Chicago Tribune will reveal evidence that German intelligence has concluded that Twaik, a $100 million-a-year conglomerate, serves as a front for the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency (so as "Rawasin Media Productions",8). It has ties to that agency`s longtime chief - Prince Turki al-Faisal. (6)
Before 9/11, at least two of Twaik`s managers were suspected by various countries` intelligence agencies of working for al-Qaeda/Al Qaeda. One Twaik employee, Reda Seyam, who is later accused of helping to finance the financing of the 2003 Bali bombing, repeatedly flied on aircraft operated by Saudi intelligence. In roughly the same time period, hundreds of thousands of additional dollars were deposited into Darkazanli`s accounts from a variety of suspicious entities, including a Swiss bank owned by Middle Eastern interests with links to terrorism and a radical Berlin imam. Darkazanli were later accused not just of financially helping the Hamburg 9/11 hijackers, but also of helping to choose them for al-Qaeda.(6)
According to reports, Reda Seyam was a veteran of jihadist activism in the Balkans who spent much of the 1990s in the region. He is known to have "worked" in Bosnia during the Bosnian Civil War as an agent for an Islamic "charity" and to have produced propaganda videos for the Bosnian-Muslim cause. The most notorious of these videos includes a scene depicting the executions of three Bosnian Serb prisoners, one by decapitation. Seyam remained in Bosnia after the war as manager of a subsidiary of the Saudian firm Twaik. A second Balkan subsidiary of Twaik in Albania was managed by Mamoun Darkazanli.(7)
Darkazanli is a close friend to a man, who called himself on of the architects of September 11th - Mohammed Haydar Zammar.
THE GERMAN-SYRIAN PRISONER IN DAMASCUS
Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a German citizen, was born in 1961 in Syria, according to wikipedia. At ten he moved to Germany with his family. Even among his very religiously conservative family, Mohammed Zammar impressed many with his extreme devotion at an early age. He became well-known at many of the mosques in Hamburg, Germany. While still in high school, Zammar began to be associated with Jihadists through Mamoun Darkazanli.
He worked as a translator in Saudi Arabia, and then took a job as a truck-driver back in Hamburg. But in 1991, he (suddenly) decided to make jihad his full-time job.
In 1996, after he returnded from from a training-camp in Afghanistan, German police began to formally investigate him.
In 1998 Germany intensified their surveillance of Zammar. He was occasionally trailed, his phone was tapped, and all his calls were recorded. German authorities shared much of this information with the CIA, including Zammar's phone conversations with hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi, Mohammed Atta, Ramzi Binalshibh, and the (former) German Soldier Said Bahaji.(9)
While Said Bahaji has strangely disappeared since September 4, 2001, without beeing held at the german border when leaving Germany (despite the fact that he was on a border watch list and that his aunt, Barbara Arens, had become suspicious and pleaded to German police "to do something,10), Zammar also was able to leave Hamburg and fly to Morocco on October 27, 2001.(9)
Recent news tell us - he were under surveillance by the Federal German Police (BKA), who informed the U.S.-intelligence from his departure and his whereabout.(11)
Instead of being deported to the U.S. or Germany, Zammar was secretly sent to Syria for indefinite detention in the notorious Far`Falastin detention center in Damascus, where he got also interrogated by the German BKA, despite the German government denied that categorically, until the media reported it.
Zammar gets tortured. His jail is said to be a "terrible place". It´s even in the U.S.-newspapers, like the Washington Post of , January 31, 2003 (12), but the German Government constantly denies any knowledge of the prisoner, while German police and intelligence is visiting the prison and interrogating Zamar, the one who they had actually led flown out of Hamburg after 9/11.
They even agree with the Syrian Government to discontinue the lawsuit against 6 Syrians, just to get access to the German Zammar in the prison of Damascus.
The Syrian businessman Mamoun Darkazanli, though his name appears on a U.S. terror list after 9/11, is never accused of anything in Germany. The German intelligence "Verfassungsschutz" in Hamburg denies knowledge of anything but "not enough" for anything, the German Federal Attorneyship (BAW) even denies shutting down 2 of his bank accounts days after the attacks and just let him go.(13)
He still lives in Hamburg, apparently.
There are reports, that Zammar and Darkazanli not only came in touch which "jihadists", when they had become friends in Syria. Some news indicated, that they joined the Muslim Brotherhood there...(4)
Indeed, in February 2007 Zammar gets convicted of membership in that islamist and terrorist organisation, an organisation that benefitted from U.S. and Saudi money, according to Seymour Hersh.
If so, than Zammar probably worked more than once for the Saudis, not only as a translator during his time in Saudi Arabia.
THE SAUDI-IRANIAN DEAL
The President of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad, was said to be quite angry about the agreement between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the iranian President Ahmadinejad regarding their deal about the future developement in the Middle East, particularly on the issue of the international tribunal for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri (18). Even the "missing part" of Syria in the Lebanese peace process is reported (15).
But these are western sources. They fit to the new remarks of Angela Merkel (nearly halfway through her six-month stint in the EU presidency) and of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Lebanon on Monday, while meeting Fuad Seniora. Solana told the press, he wants "a change in Syria's behavior". (20)
The Syrian news agency Al-Manar reports today, that a group belonging to the so called "Fatah al-Islam" confessed of carrying out the Ain Alak bombings east of Beirut, which targeted two buses and killed and injured scores of people.
According to Seymour Hersh the "Fatah al-Islam" group received an offer by representatives of the western-backed Lebanese government, headed by the Fuad Seniora, to arm and finance them (19). An explanation, not only by EU authorities can be expected.
Solana has been in Riyadh today, meeting Saudi Arabia's long-term foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal, and is expected to arrive in Damascus Tuesday night.
In recent months the Washington-based Think Tank "Brookings Institution" published two memorandums about possible future developements in Iraq, "The Bosnia Option" by Michael E. O'Hanlon and Edward P. Joseph , and "Things Fall Apart", by Kenneth Pollack and Daniel Byman. Pollack worked for the Clinton Administration, the CIA and CNN, Byman was involved in 9/11 "investigations" and worked for the right-wing RAND Corporation.
Both memos deal with a split of Iraq, ethnical cleansing, millions of refugees and camps for "centered" civilians. No good news - especially from a German point of view.
This "Polish Partition"(30) of Iraq into 3 parts, a kurdish, a shiite and a sunni one is included in those scenarios, and that´s exactly what Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah predicted in Hersh´s interview with him last December.(1)
Unfortunately, that kind of scenario also is part of a strategy paper by the U.S. military, which were disclosed last summer in the "Armed Forces Journal" (graphics, 25).
That "New Middle East Order", so to speak, could contain only small and confessional states, weak and disordered, their ressources an easy swag.
With one certain exception - Iran.
In fact, the Ahmadinejad regime could benefit from a crushed Iraq. The southern oil fields, with the concentrated, sorry, "centered" shiite people and refugees could fall to Iran, to be under its direct control, at least.
In case of an attack on Iran by "the West" (and that means "Bush and his Sancho Pansas", maybe even from Old Europe, God damn it) the Ahmadinejad Presidency would be stabilized for nearly a decade, a perfect enemy would have been born, for War Presidency without end, all over the world. Democracy, Freedom and Civil Rights could fall in the "Big Pit of War", and Germans had their share of that already.
"Speculative estimates for total reserves potential of the region are between 12 billion and 45 billion barrels of oil, and 100 (trillion cubic feet) of gas, which would put Kurdistan on a par with prolific producing regions such as the Caspian and North Sea," Iain Brown, manager of Middle East Upstream Research for Edinburgh, Scotland-based Wood Mackenzie said yesterday.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has already signed five production deals with international companies, with more expected this year.(26)
U.S. military and intelligence has trained, armed and funded the kurdish PEJAK (PJAK) militia in the north of Iraq, Israeli involvement is reported (27,28). Massive Turkish Forces has been deployed in the south, but what are they actually targeting? Could there be a sudden turn to the southwest?
"We told Cheney that the basic link between Iran and Lebanon is Syria - and to weaken Iran you need to open the door to effective Syrian opposition", the Lebanese Druze-Leader Walid Jumblatt said to Seymour Hersh (1).
But what if there´s only Syria and Hezbollah left to weaken?
THE CHANCE FOR PEACE
Just let us forget about Afghanistan for a moment, even the uprising war in East-Africa, even about oil and uranium in Darfur (in the region "Hofrat Al Nihas",29). Just let us think about Palestine, Israel, Lebanon.
There IS an option for real agreement. The Saudi-Iranian deal could induce the desperately needed end of senseless bloodshed in the region. But at what price?