Friday 20 September 2002

Sharon in 9/11 War Provocation?

by Jeffrey Steinberg

Among senior intelligence analysts in the United States, the Arab world, and Israel, the fear is growing that Ariel Sharon is about to covertly launch a Sept. 11-type terrorist attack targetting the United States—in order to drag President Bush into war against Iraq.

Two factors may be impelling Sharon to take such provocative steps.

First, there is a growing chorus of leading U.S. military figures, active duty and retired, and prominent Republican Party foreign policy mandarins, who are voicing opposition to the war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. On Aug. 25, former Secretary of State James Baker III added his name to the list of opponents of a unilateral American attack on Iraq on the op ed page of the New York Times. The previous day, the Tampa Tribune had reported that Gen. Anthony Zinni (USMC-ret), who was the previous Commander-in-Chief of the Central Command, and now an adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, came out strongly against an Iraq attack, warning of grave strategic consequences.

Zinni also assailed the group of Bush Administration neo-con war advocates who never served a day in uniform. This whole grouping—including Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and even Vice President Dick Cheney—is being widely referred to as the "chickenhawks."

"It's pretty interesting," Zinni told an audience in Tallahassee, Fla., "that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war, see it another way."

The second factor driving Sharon perhaps to launch a false-flag 9/11-type terror attack on the U.S. is his falling popularity in Israel. It is almost a certainty that there will be a government crisis before the end of the year, and early elections, perhaps over Israel's dire economic crisis and the inability of the Sharon government to agree on a budget.

Full article...

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