by Stephen Lendman
America and Israel use them strategically. Timing is key. Innocent victims suffer. Fingers point the wrong way. Cui bono matters most.
Israel benefits greatly from Sunday's incident. Sixteen Egyptian soldiers were killed in Sinai. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (MB) blamed Mossad. More below on separating rhetoric from policy.
MB's English language web site headlined "Muslim Brotherhood Statement on Unprovoked Aggression Against Rafah Border-Guards," saying:
"Yesterday, a group of criminals and terrorists attacked an Egyptian security checkpoint in Rafah, killing nearly twenty of our brothers, our sons, and stole one car and one truck, and tried to crash their way into Israel."
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya is Palestine's legitimately elected prime minister. He also blames Israel for Sunday's incident. It's "responsible, one way or another, for this attack to embarrass Egypt's leadership and create new problems at the border in order to ruin efforts to end" Gaza's siege.
He added that "(n)o Palestinian wants to kill anybody in Egypt. Any attack against Egypt's security is also against the security of Palestinians."
An official Hamas statement said:
"Hamas condemns this ugly crime that killed a number of Egyptian soldiers and extends its deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the leadership and the people of Egypt."
Israel blamed unidentified Gaza militants. A supportive Haaretz article headlined "Armed militants attack Egyptian army outpost, try to infiltrate Israel border," saying:
"Armed attackers" stole an armored personnel carrier. They "killed around 15 Egyptian policemen." Israeli air strikes destroyed their APC. IDF officials claimed it avoided a "large-scale terror attack."
"A second personnel carrier exploded at the Kerem Shalom border terminal." It connects Israel, Gaza and Egypt. The vehicle didn't penetrate Israeli territory. No injuries were reported.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said:
"IDF forces, under the command of Maj. Gen. Tal Russo, and on the orders of Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, and with the assistance of the Shin Bet, showed alertness, sharpness and purposefulness, and prevented a terror attack that could have caused many casualties."
"The way the attackers operated once again raises the necessity of resolute Egyptian action to impose security and prevent terror in Sinai."
Egypt said about 35 militants dressed as Bedouins opened fire on border guards. Some entered Israel. Clashes followed. No Israeli casualties were reported.
MB said a major border problem for Egypt was created. It "drives a wedge between" Egypt's new government and its people.
It's more about disrupting Hamas/Cairo relations, manufacturing threats, closing Rafah's border crossing, maintaining Gaza's siege, destroying its tunnel economy, legitimizing IDF land, air and sea attacks, and continuing to suffocate its people ruthlessly.
MB said Israel "sought to abort the revolution ever since its launch." Days earlier, it urged Israelis in Sinai to leave. Warning were issued about alleged Gaza-based terrorists planning abductions. Israeli tourists were called targets.
"(E)very time a warning like this is issued, a terrorist incident" follows, said MB.
"This crime also draws our attention to the fact that our forces in the Sinai lack the personnel and the equipment to protect the region or guard our borders, which makes it imperative to review the terms of our accords with Israel."
Days earlier, Israel claimed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sent a letter expressing his desire to help relaunch peace talks. Morsi denied Israel's claim. He took office in June.
He and Israel collaborate strategically. Hostile rhetoric masks more cooperation than friction. Junta leaders hold supreme power. General Mohammed Hussein Tantawi heads Egypt's military. Close ties to Washington are maintained.
Morsi said his government "control(s) all parts of Sinai."
General Tantawi calls Hamas part of the problem. Saying so shows relations with Washington are close. He showed it by closing Rafah Crossing indefinitely. Two weeks earlier, Morsi extended operating hours and facilitated easier cross-border movement both ways.
Overall, he's more figurehead than power broker. Tantawi decides what matters most. Each supports a common agenda. It's linked to Washington's imperial interests.
MB members are involved in Syria. They're counterrevolutionaries against Assad. Their hostile Israeli rhetoric masks more cooperative relations.
Sinai's attack bears classic Mossad fingerprints. Militants are easily recruited. Al Qaeda is used strategically. They waged war on Gaddafi. They're active in Syria.
Perhaps they're responsible for Sunday's attack. Similar ones could happen any time. Timing is always key. Cui bono matters most. Sunday's attack benefits Israel and Washington. Smart money blames them for planning it.
A Final Comment
On August 8, for the first time since 1973's Yom Kippur war, Egypt launched air strikes in Sinai. The state Al-Ahram daily said 33 suspected militants were killed.
Officially, Egypt claims Gaza and Sinai-based "rebel" groups killed 16 Egyptian border guards. Egyptian General Intelligence Service head Murad Muwafi said GIS had information about a possible attack.
Unnamed Cairo security sources said:
"There are states behind what the terrorists are doing in Sinai. It is far beyond Sinai groups' level."
Without saying so, fingers pointed at Israel. How this incident affects relations remains to be seen.
On the same day, Egypt's MENA state news agency said:
"Unknown armed men opened fire on a checkpoint on the main road between Al-Arish and Rafah."
MENA said it was the 29th incident since Mubarak's ouster. In response to Sunday's attack, Egypt began closing tunnels Gazans use for food, fuel, and other vital supplies. Siege conditions just got harder.
A Final Comment
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile(DF) suggested Iran's involvement in Sunday's incident.
Doing so points fingers the wrong way. It diverts attention from Mossad.
DF claims Tehran "put Gaza Strip Islamists and/or Palestinian proxies together with a Sinai al Qaeda cell for a coordinated attack on Egyptian and Israeli military targets to avenge the presence of al Qaeda" in Syria.
The accusation is ludicrous on its face. Iran has no ties to Al Qaeda. Both sides are enemies, not allies. Washington uses Al Qaeda to advance its imperium. Tehran strongly opposes it. So do other nations seeking peace.
Nonetheless, accusations persist about Iranian/Al Qaeda ties. Bush administration officials repeated them. So do members of Obama's administration, congressional neocons, and Israeli extremists. Evidence isn't presented because none exists.
Big Lies repeated enough gain traction. Truths are suppressed or ignored. Churchill once said "(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth (gets) its pants on." Today it circulates instantly.
Goebbels said "(i)f you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
"(T)ruth is the mortal enemy of the lie," he added, "and thus by extension, (it's) the greatest enemy of the State."
Manufactured reality and fake enemies go hand in hand. Washington and Israel get away with murder.
On August 5, ahead of the 67th anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age, Francis Boyle called Hiroshima and Nagasaki criminal nuclear deterrence.
Humanity flirts with "self-extinction as a species" along with other forms of intelligent life, he warned. Atom-bombing Japan twice lawlessly "constituted crimes against humanity and war crimes...."
International law is clear and unequivocal. Responsible officials should have been prosecuted as war criminals. Instead they're extolled as heros.
Humanity "has been victimized by an international conspiracy of ongoing criminal activity carried out by the nuclear weapons states under the doctrine known as 'nuclear deterrence,' which is really a euphemism for 'nuclear terrorism.' "
Doing so again may be the last time. Humanity may perish in the process. It may go the way of dinosaurs, and "planet earth will become a radioactive wasteland."
Waging war against Syria and Iran could precipitate it. Will cooler heads stop crazed leaders from risking it? The stakes are much too great not to try.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.