Israeli soldiers secure the gate at the Rosh Hanikra border crossing between Israel and Lebanon October 15, 2007.
Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters
Is Israel laying the ground for pre-emptive air strikes against targets belonging to the militant Shi’ite group Hizballah in Lebanon?
Tensions have been building along the Lebanon-Israel border in recent days. The Israeli army was engaged last week in large-scale military exercises in northern Israel, close to the border with Lebanon, putting into practice the lessons learned from last year’s 34-day war against Hizballah. The exercises took place at the same time as Israeli jets conducted a growing number of mock air raids and overflights in Lebanese airspace. Israeli aircraft fly in Lebanese airspace on a near daily basis, but last week Lebanese army anti-aircraft units fired at the jets for the first time since the end of the war.
So now we have a groups of loonies helped by a crazy rich guy with a private army running around causing mayhem in the part of the world that they deem to be the theater of the coming Armageddon.
Today, Blackwater founder Erik Prince defended all of his company’s actions in Iraq to the Congress (and to the American people) as being as close to earthly perfection as humans can achieve on god’s earth. Prince, who is a also a founder of a right-wing foundation called “Freiheit,” which is German for “liberty,” aimed a laser-like scowl at the forehead of Chairman Henry Waxman and the other Democrats as they dared to ask questions of a CEO who has clearly grown accustomed to operating without oversight.
Herr Prince’s appearance before the committee led me to wonder what he has been discussing behind closed doors lately as a member of the super-secret “Council for National Policy.” Other right-wing luminaries who belong to the Council for National Policy include the Armageddonist novelist Tim LaHaye, and the right-wing evangelical leaders Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Ralph Reed. The late Jerry Falwell was also a member. There also close ties between the CNP and the beer magnate Holland Coors, the NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, Phyllis Schlafly, Oliver North, Grover Norquist, and Frank Gaffney.
The Council for National Policy recently held a top-secret meeting in Utah that Vice President Dick Cheney attended. “The media should not know when or where we meet,” the Council instructs its members, “or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting.”