Posted By: Rosalinda

Rumor Mill News

Date: Friday, 10 October 2003, 12:30 a.m.

PARIS, Oct. 8--According to this week's Le Canard Enchaine,
last week, even prior to the Israeli raid on Syria,
Chirac was telling people he feared a general explosion in the Middle East.

According to Le Canard, he said this to several people.

One of them expressed the fears of Chirac in the following terms:

"Chirac is expecting the worst, especially next November.
He said he expected Israeli raids against Syria and Lebanon,
accused of supporting the Hamas and the Jihad.
He affirmed also that, according to him,
the murder of Arafat is in Sharon's program.
And that he is envisaging the launching of preventive raids against Iran."

The Canard quotes a diplomat who declared he was not
astonished by this analysis: "The Israelis accuse Teheran of
developing nuclear weapons and disposing of missiles -- the
Shahab 3 -- able to reach Tel Aviv."

Then adding: "If Sharon decides to launch a raid over Iran,
he would not do it without first consulting Washington.
Just as he did, in spite of the American UN ambassador's denial,
before launching his planes over Syria."

Even though he is worried about Iran's nuclear ambitions,
Chirac is mistrusting of the Bush/Sharon duo, while deploring the
softness of European reactions against this alliance:

"The Israelis want to be Washington's "armed hand" in the region"
stated Chirac confidentially, "because Bush cannot allow himself
to act militarily in all directions and to bombard here and there."

The Canard further reports on a note by the French secret
services, which is probably the cause of Chirac's pessimism, in
which they announced an increase of Israeli raids above Lebanon
and Syria, an the possibility of a coming raid against the
nuclear installations in Teheran.