Adonis Diaries

The International Tribunal for Lebanon

Posted on: October 8, 2008

May 20, 2007

The International Tribunal for Lebanon


            It is becoming urgent to express my opinion on the International Tribunal for Lebanon.  Stavros’ caricature in Al Balad of May 20 is about a team of Lebanese officials spreading the red carpet leading to the UN for anticipation on the agreement of the UN council on the International Tribunal for Lebanon under chapter seven.  The immediate response in Lebanon was a dangerous outbreak of mayhem in the Palestinian camps of Nahr El-Bared close to Tripoli; so far by 10 a.m. there are over 10 dead and dozens of injured; the army lost seven soldiers and the security forces 3 men and many killed from the Fateh Al-Islam and many civilians.  This outbreak has been spreading in the north outside of the camps.

            The daily Al Diyar caricature, a few days ago, shows Seniora’s PM returning the key of the UN Tribunal to George W. Bush saying: “My mission is done” and then the daily Al Nahar showing Seniora singing “New York, my way” which I interpreted as seeking a post at the UN in New York after he is out of a public job in Lebanon.

            All the political parties in Lebanon, including the opposition, had asked and agreed on an International Tribunal after the assassination of Rafic Hariri.  Seniora’s government and allies were interested to file it under chapter seven so that the court would be outside the control of our governments and would have the responsibilities to prosecute, in addition to Rafic Hariri, the other 15 assassinations of our personalities since the martyr of Hariri.  Seniora and his allies made sure not to offer the ministers of Hezbollah the opportunity to discuss and modify the articles of the draft resolution to the International Tribunal claiming that the opposition is not serious about this resolution and is intending to delay its ratification.  The ministers of the Shiaa sect of Hezbollah and Nabih Berry resigned from the government and Lebanon has been in limbo ever since. 

Seniora has taken advantage of this confusing situation of constitutional illegitimacy or illegal decrees to press on with the alternative of filing the International Tribunal under chapter seven on ground that the government in Lebanon is too weak and the political standstill is too divisive to carry on the Tribunal resolutions on its own, which was the main purpose for this long delayed standstill.  We have to recall that the Red Khmer slaughtered one third of the Cambodian population but the new government refused to allow more than one foreign judge in the International Tribunal and retained its full rights as an independent Nation; the same is true with Rwanda, an African Nation, with more than a million killed in a racial genocide within three weeks period.

            I have written an article in March 31, 2005 with the conjecture that the assassination of Rafic Hariri was the mastermind of the US, France, and Israel that had interest in getting done with Hariri for specific reasons and I provided the rationales and circumstantial evidences.  I stated that the USA, France and Israel were the sole culprits in this assassination and 1559 UN resolution that was sponsored by the USA and France was the tip of the iceberg of the package deal between these two powerful States and among the little secret agreement between them was to contract out Israel to eliminate Hariri with utmost prejudice.  Israel was overjoyed that the opportunity finally came to erase her enemy number one off her black list. Hariri not only attempted several times to undermine Israel plans in Lebanon and in the region but succeeded hands down in all his political counter offensives against Israel and was still capable of doing Israel great political damage.

Chirac was relieved from an overbearing friend who kept reminding him of what were the right things to do toward Lebanon.  Chirac knew better that doing the right things is not necessarily the right political decisions at this crucial time of his political career.  Chirac was paying dearly from his prestige and France political positions by opposing the persistent pressures from the European Union and the USA to list Hezbollah as one of the terrorist organizations.  Unperturbed, Hariri kept showing at the Elysee door and taking photos with Chirac that said “My dearest friend Chirac” as the Egyptian President Sadat used to say of Kissinger, the USA Secretary of State during Nixon, “My dear friend Henry”.

The USA and France had already agreed on plans for the Greater Middle East after an initial reluctance from Chirac for the Iraqi invasion; time was of the essence for the execution of this project.  These plans could not succeed for certain and on time with Hariri still alive and active. France, for now, is winning big: it managed to reaffirm her protectorate rights over Syria and Lebanon like during the colonial times, secured her oil rights in Iraq and removed the American veto to selling military hardware to China.

Israel managed to put the squeeze on Hezbollah and to diligently attempt again to circumvent the rights for the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland with secret deals with, hopefully, the enfeebled new Lebanese governments after the election.  The USA is succeeding in destabilizing Syria and weakening any resolve that Syria might still have to counter the plans in the Greater Middle East.

             The timing was masterful in executing resolution 1559 which would have been delayed far beyond the intended schedule if Hariri was alive.  Hariri was in constant communications with Hezbollah and its General Secretary Hassan Nasr Allah, he had excellent connections and business enterprises with the Assad clan in Syria, had wide connections with many leaders in many countries and could delay the execution of resolution of 1559 under duress.

It is by now clear that the investigator Bramertz, even after extending his mandate several times, could not find any incriminating evidences on the Syrian leadership that could be presented to an International Court, and the real culprits refused to cooperate as Syria did.  The US and France are not interested in finding the real criminals, just need to put the squeeze on the Syrian leadership or any Iranian connections.  The US and France will focus on the assassinations of the 15 Lebanese personalities because they might have a better leverage to accusing Syria and harassing this Baathist regime for many years to come.  This Syrian regime might be behind many of the bombing in several quarters in Lebanon after the March 14 mass demonstration as a reaction to the betrayal of most of its former allies backing the US and French initiatives in Lebanon but I doubt that the assassinations of Samir Kassir, Jubran Tuweini and George 7awi were the doing of Syria.

            These three personalities were credible in their positions, not sectarians in their ideas and programs, not attached or affiliated with any sectarian and isolationist organizations and had their supporters among the youth, the intellectuals and the University students. These personalities were a serious threat to the sectarian and feudal political leaders that gathered under the umbrella of the March 14 movement, also labeled the Cedar movement.  They had to be silenced and used as scapegoats for the Syrian disenchantment with the new turning of affairs.

            It would be great that the US/Iranian negotiations by the end of this month be fruitful and eliminate this threat of chapter seven, or one major superpower with veto rights turn down the latest draft so that the Lebanese would not have to face another hot, hot summer and the eradication of hope for a stable Lebanon.

            It would be great to have a unity government for the sole purpose of having a new Parliamentary election and a decent Presidential transition.  We want so much but we are content of the bare minimum for the time being.

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October 2008

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