Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Bashar Assad

Syria. Robert Fisk’s alternative piece of intelligence: It is all oil and gas…

Robert Fisk claims in a piece published in the British daily The Independent that Bashar Assad of Syria is to finish his presidential term in 2014, two years from now. Why?

The USA, France, Germany…and other European States are fine-tuning a deal with Russia and China to permit the construction of oil and gas pipelines originating in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to cross Jordan and Syria…

Actually, what started the anger of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey against the Syrian regime was the preference of Syria to giving priority to the Iranian and Iraqi pipeline project that would cross Iraq and Syria…

Fisk would like us to believe that the European States, dependent on 60% of its energy needs on Russia (the first exporter of oil and gas in the world of about 11 million barrel a day...) is planning to cut down on this unilateral energy dependence and facilitate the export of cheaper oil and gas from Saudi Arabia and Qatar…

Fisk wrote (with slight editing of a few extracts):

“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria may last far longer than his opponents believe – and with the tacit acceptance of Western leaders anxious to secure new oil routes to Europe via Syria before the fall of the regime.

According to a source intimately involved in the possible transition from Baath party power, the Americans, Russians and Europeans are also putting together an agreement that would permit Assad to remain leader of Syria for at least another two years in return for political concessions to Iran and Saudi Arabia in both Lebanon and Iraq.

For its part, Russia would be assured of its continued military base at Tartous in Syria and a relationship with whatever government in Damascus eventually emerges with the support of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Russia’s recent concession – that Assad may not be essential in any future Syrian power structure – is part of a new understanding in the West which may accept Assad’s presidency in return for an agreement that prevents a further decline into civil war.

Information from Syria suggests that Assad’s army is now “taking a beating” from armed rebels, who include Islamist as well as nationalist forces; at least 6,000 soldiers are now believed to have been murdered or killed in action since the rebellion against Assad began 17 months ago.

There are even unconfirmed reports that during any one week, up to 1,000 Syrian fighters are under training by mercenaries in Jordan at a base used by Western authorities for personnel seeking ‘anti-terrorist’ security exercises.

The US-Russian negotiations – easy to deny, and somewhat cynically hidden behind the current mutual accusations of Hillary Clinton and her Russian opposite number, Sergei Lavrov – would mean that the superpowers would acknowledge Iran’s influence over Iraq and its relationship with its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon… while Saudi Arabia and Qatar would be encouraged to guarantee Sunni Muslim rights in Lebanon and in Iraq.

Baghdad’s emergence as a centre of Shia power has caused much anguish in Saudi Arabia whose support for the Sunni minority in Iraq has hitherto led only to political division.

But the real object of talks between the world powers revolves around the West’s determination to secure oil and particularly gas from the Gulf States without relying upon supplies from Moscow.

A US source says: “Russia can turn off the spigot to Europe whenever it wants – and this gives it tremendous political power. We are talking about two fundamental oil routes to the West – one from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Jordan and Syria and the Mediterranean to Europe, another from Iran via Shiaa southern Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean and on to Europe. This is what matters. This is why they will be prepared to let Assad last for another two years, if necessary. They would be perfectly content with that. And Russia will have a place in the new Syria.”

Diplomats who are still discussing these plans should, of course, be treated with some skepticism. It is one thing to hear political leaders excoriating the Syrian regime for its abuse of human rights and massacres – quite another to realize that Western diplomats are quite prepared to put this to one side for the proverbial ‘bigger picture’ which, as usual in the Middle East, means oil and gas supplies.

They are prepared to tolerate Assad’s presence until the end of the crisis, rather than insisting his departure is the start of the end. The Americans apparently say the same. Now Russia believes that stability is more important than Assad himself.

What Assad is still hoping for, according to Arab military veterans, is a solution a-l’Algerie.

After the cancellation of democratic elections in Algeria, its army and generals – ‘le pouvoir’ to Algerians – fought a merciless war against rebels and Islamist guerrillas across the country throughout the 1990s, using torture and massacre to retain government power but leaving an estimated 200,000 dead among their own people.

Amid this crisis, the Algerian military actually sent a delegation to Damascus to learn from Hafez el-Assad’s Syrian army how it destroyed the Islamist rebellion in the city of Hama – at a cost of up to 20,000 dead – in 1982. The Algerian civil war – remarkably similar to that now afflicting Assad’s regime – displayed many of the characteristics of the current tragedy in Syria: babies with their throats cut, families slaughtered by mysterious semi-military ‘armed groups’, whole towns shelled by government forces.

And, much more interesting to Assad’s men, the West continued to support the Algerian regime with weapons and political encouragement throughout the 1990s while huffing and puffing about human rights. Algeria’s oil and gas reserves proved more important than civilian deaths – just as the Damascus regime now hopes to rely upon the West’s desire for via-Syria oil and gas to tolerate further killings.

Syrians say that Jamil Hassan, the head of Air Force intelligence in Syria is now the ‘killer’ leader for the regime – not so much Bashar’s brother Maher whose 4th Division is perhaps being given too much credit for suppressing the revolt. It has certainly failed to crush it.

The West, meanwhile has to deal with Syria’s contact man, Mohamed Nassif, perhaps Assad’s closest political adviser. The question remains, however, as to whether Bashar al-Assad really grasps the epic political importance of what is going on in his country.

Prior to the rebellion, European and Turkish leaders were astonished to hear from him that Sunni forces in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli were trying “to create a radical Moslem Sunni Salafist State” that would threaten Syria. How this extraordinary assertion – based, presumably on the tittle-tattle of an intelligence agent – could have formulated itself in Assad’s mind, remained a mystery.” End of article

It might sound pretty logical that oil and gas is the main reason for this upheaval in Syria: This established cause has been valid and demonstrated over and over in the last century…but things are different now. There are questions:

1. It is how to maintain the US dollar as the main exchange currency for oil and gas import/export that has been the main strategic goal of the US since 1973.

2. Why Russia would easily surrender its strategic energy hold on Europe by allowing Saudi oil to circumvent the hard work done in monopolizing export of oil and gas to Europe?

3. Why would Iran permit Saudi Arabia to bypass the Hormuz Straight bottle neck (50% of all world oil shipment passing through and can be easily controlled by Iran) before a comprehensive understanding on its nuclear rights and finishing the construction of its pipeline through Iraq and Syria?

4. How China can be satisfied? China has its own space station…and more than 200 million Chinese are middle class and wanting the same luxuries as the US and European standard of living…

5. What about the Syrian people urge and determination to changing the political system? As if all revolts in the Arab World cannot be successful without Saudi petro-dollar...

Note: In this June 2013, the US is operating military maneuvers in Jordan, and will leave the F16, and Patriot missile launchers in Jordan after the exercises are over… The idea is to secure a de-facto no-fly-zone on Syria southern borders

Bashar Assad, President and dictator of Syria, is supposed to be delivering a public speech very soon, maybe today.  Many of his ministers said that Bashar is to speak on the current upheavals in Syria.  The Prime Minister of Turkey said that he encouraged Bashar to personally deliver the good news to the Syrians, hopefully something related to political reforms, but not necessarily any radical changes.

So far, what officials have released pertain to deleting a stupid clause in the “Constitution” saying that the “Baath party is the leading party in Syria”…

I tried to imagine what a young and educated dictator would say to his people, and how honest he would sound.  Here we go:

“Dear compatriots, Syrian citizens, women and men; peace be upon you…I was greatly pained that a few of our beloved citizens fell “martyrs” the last week in Daraa, Latakieh, Banias, Damascus…They are all martyrs, common citizens, internal security officers, and soldiers…I will personally care for all the injured citizens and I wish them well.

You might rightly think that my speech is going to be as lengthy as the ones I deliver during the Arab League conventions or the one that I had the honor of opening new parliamentary sessions.  Rest assured;  I am not here to teach you, educate you, or going into boring details: It is you, the Syrian people who are my teacher and mentor.  I have been hearing you, clearly and perfectly.

The last two weeks have been the most trying during my six years of power:  I am pained, taken aback, diminished, awed, and proud that the Syrian people are no longer afraid and scared of this never-ending Emergency Law regime that endured since 1963.

I here declare that the Emergency Law is nul and void. I here declare that news-people will no longer go to jail and interrogation first, but will enjoy the rights of defending their cases in civil courts.  As You all know, I am the one who opened up the era of social platforms in Syria and made fast communication a reality.

I know deep in my heart that your uprising is different from the uprising in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain.  Your uprising is of a qualitative type:  You want more than what we could deliver in good conscience.  You want far-reaching freedom of expressions and greater liberty to meet and organize.  It is your fundamental right:  You are a very educated people who have something to say to the world, especially the western world that made a mockery of democracy with their biased election laws that favor the rich and the elite classes.

I am hearing you:  We can do much better and I feel sorry that I failed to have confidence in your well-balanced mind and yearning for applying the vast mental potentials that you acquired during three decades of peace and stability.

As you know, my father Hafez had deleted the clause in the Constitution that said: “Islam is the religion of the Syrian Republic State”.  Obviously, in order to calm the vast majority of the Sunni religious people, he was forced to re-include this clause that didn’t sent the proper image of a civil political structure that my father intended to apply.

Aside from this clause that was never applied (the Assad family never relinquished power for the clause to be revisited) Syria society was governed and ruled in a secular fashion irrespective of religious affiliations.

I here declare that the clause on any religion being the religion of the State is nul and void.  This time around, we the Syrians, have gone a long way to instituting a civil society and we will not turn back to theocratic or sectarian systems in governing our versatile communities.  We are ready to fight any factions planning to get back to medieval dark ages.  Syria will be the leading society in the Arab World into modern time.

It is from Syria that all major changes were initiated and it is from the Syrian example in reforms that the new world order in the Awab World will take shape and flesh.

You all know that Syria is maybe the only society were women take part in the political system and the organizational apparatus.  Our women are the freest among the Arab and the Islamic States.  Our women enjoy the same opportunities to work as men…

We maybe the only State that extend quotas to the workers and women in the Parliament and government institutions…

Citizens. women and men, your demonstrations are different:  Damascus has always been the “palpitating heart of the Arab World” and the Syrians are the Arab conscience of their glorious past in culture, sciences, art, literature, dignity…

You have never bowed to occupiers, to the colonial power of France, to the US pressures in favor of our enemy the Zionist State of Israel.  You were the main support to the Palestinian rights to return to their home, and you fought several valiant wars to liberate your occupied lands.

You all follow the news.  The US is planning to redraw the maps in the Arab World according to ethnicity and religious minorities.  We declare that Syria will not be divided and Syria will not be intimidated by Hillary Clinton threats and Syria is not a bunch of tribes and clans…

I order the Parliament to meet in continuous sessions until a new modern Constitution is written and approved in a referendum.  I hope that the main three political positions of Presidency, Prime Minister, and head of Parliament be elected on a rotational basis among the Sunni, Alawi, and Christian sects… (to be continued)

Note:  Finally, Bashar has spoken.  Nothing.  I expected that, strong with the support of million in all Syrian cities, chicken Bashar will lay a few major reform ideas.  Nothing.  What a let down!  Is Bashar thinking that the Syrians supported his dictator and one-party regime? for his relative youth and handsome face? Unless Bashar realizes his mistake, the real people will be back on the streest demanding drastic changes.

Who is the “Palpitating Heart of Arabism”?  What’s going on in Syria? Part 3

US State Secretary Clinton declared “No one is to think that we are to repeat exactly the same involvement in Syria as we did in Libya”.

This implicit threat to Syria for the latest mass upheavals is meant to encourage more “peaceful” demonstrations and test Syria’s reactions.  The purpose of that declaration is to offend the Syrian regime and push it into violent counter-offensive.

Syria has already extended many reforms in response to the uprising in Daraa, Banias, and Latiquieh.  For example, the Baath Party is no longer to be the leading party in Syria as mentioned in the Constitution.

The Emergency Law, enforced since 1963, has been canceled.

A packaged of reforms on salary increases, loosening of prison terms, taking news-people to court instead of being imprisoned first, the release of  political prisoners, laws on forming political parties to be reviewed, and more freedom of expressions…are to be sent to the Parliament for approval and ratification.  Only after the turmoil is over, and all the armed people deliver their weapons to the State…!

President Bashar Assad is expected to deliver a televised speech…Already 260 political prisoners from the various demonstrations, mostly Islamists, have been set free.

The last two weeks could be accounted as the longest and most terrifying events for the Syrian president, Bashar Assad.

External interventions could not scare the Syrian regime, but vast internal unrest is a serious different story:  Internal uprisings are to be considered very seriously, since they are not that frequent in Syria, at least in news media.

Vast internal uprisings mean that the people have broken the barrier of fear: 

The revolted citizens are willing to fight for regained dignity at the price of blood; and that exactly what many demonstrators said: “We are no longer afraid of the regime brutal tactics

That the recent demonstrators are not that afraid of the Syrian regime is not earth chattering:  Since Bashar succeeded to his father Hafez in 2000, the regime did not exhibit violent repressions, not in any scale for the media to cover.

At best, the repressions were judged mild compared to the other Arab dictatorial and absolute monarchy political systems.  Though the image of an all-encompassing internal security hold on power has been demonstrated frequently.

Young dictators who emerged from lower social classes like Qadhafi, Abdel Nasser, Abdallah Saleh of Yemen…were very promising figures of their period.

Bashar Assad is a young dictator, power inherited from the oligarchic class, and is serious about reforms for developing his country. Bashar and his wife scoured the Syrian countryside and listed about 40,000 families of the poorest in the State and allocated monthly stipend for them.

Bashar is not living in any palace, but in an apartment in Damascus.  Bashar and his wife occasionally mingle with the people …

The uprisings in Syria are qualitatively different from other Arab States:  Syria has demonstrated during this century that it is in fact the heart and mind of the Arabic concept.

Actually, Damascus was the Capital of the first Arabic/Islamic Empire (around 650 AC) and was the main bedrock for the development of the Arabic language and the dissemination of the new Empire civilization.

Syria was constantly steadfast for the dignity of Arab identity and civilization.  Syria has so far refused a peace treaty with Israel unless the Palestinian people recover their independent State…

We expect many reforms, but it would be tough for Bashar to reconsider giving away the oligarchic interests of the Assad extended family.

For example, the Syrian people might expect that a new modern Constitution be redrawn deleting the clause that “Islam is the religion of the State“.  Actually, Hafez Assad, after his successful military coup, deleted that clause in 1972, only to re-attach it as he was faced with monster protests.

I say, State should oppose protests by extending on the ground vaster civic reforms.

I say, if protest should be quelled, let it be for rotation of the highest positions of Presidency, Prime Minister, and Head of Parliament among the Sunni, Alawi, and Christian sects.

I say, if protest should be faced head on, let it be for democratic equitable election laws.

There are tacit blackout of information by most media channels, western, and Arab States for disseminating useful intelligent pieces on the uprising.

A few cable news mention over 100 killed, particularly in the southern city of Daraa, on the borders with Jordan.  The Syrian media displayed arms stocked in the Daraa mosque and denunciation of violent infiltrated elements.

Syria has grown to 20 million in population.

Amid the turmoil in the Middle-East, Syria of the “Assad/Baath party” socialist regime managed to bring a semblance of stability and security.  It maintained a steady currency and invested in decent infrastructure and schooling for all.

Invariably, oligarchic regimes ends up getting involved in widespread corruptions and considering the State Treasury as family holdings.

Most probably, the Syrian people want a moratorium on dictators, oligarchies, and absolute monarchies.

Sort of “it is okay, a decade later, for these forms of governance to return to the front scene?”  For the time being, most people are exhausted with decades of dictatorial regimes and want some fresh air to blowing away layers of technocrats that were trained to be amoral and unethical by serving the enduring power-to-be.

The steadfast and determined mass protests in the Arab States are the result of the population knowing full well the vengeful tribal mentality of their rulers:  The masses know that if they relent before the entire structure is gone, that any reprieve to the oligarchic system, means the reorganization and launching of mass arrests, summarily executions, humiliation tactics, and an open climate of terror.

Determination of the masses is the result of innate survival process:  Either they win or they are massacred.

Do you think that the Ben Ali and Mubarak would have learned the lesson of respecting their people desires and wants?

In Yemen, the people are not relinquishing their marches since the uprising started a month ago:  They know the reactions of the kinds of Abdullah Salef if he is given a breathing space.

Anyone doubt that Qadhafi would not have wiped out a third of the Libyan population if the UN postponed indefinitely any resolution for imposing a “No fly zone”?

You have an excellent demonstration of what’s happening in Bahrain:  The King has arrested all the leaders of the uprising, is readying to hire one thousand Pakistani soldiers, cut diplomatic relations with Iran and Lebanon on the basis that Hezbollah denounced the strong-arm tactics of this monarchy, and prohibited the Lebanese immigrants, legally working in Bahrain, from returning home and considering every Lebanese as enemy to their stupid monarchy, and on…

Do not be surprised when you hear news of blatant atrocities and crimes against humanity are perpetrated openly in Bahrain.

The main problem in the Arab World of dictators is not how rich the country is in natural resources, but the demographic explosion.

The process goes as follows:  Every dictator has his intimate sources of insider pieces of intelligence on the wealth of the other members of the “club of scums”.  They are jealous and want to be implicitly the number one on the list of the richest families hoarding wealth.  The leftover in the treasury has to be spent on the growing mouths to feed.  Thus, Egypt with over 80 million, the Egyptian is far hungrier than say the Syrian or Tunisians, and the odds for volatile tensions far higher.

Syria maintained a strong alliance with Iran for three decades and currently established firm alliance with Turkey.  The regimes of Mubarak of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan kept the squeeze on Syria by orders from the USA for two decades.

Syria had close ties with Libya of Qadhafi and is still supporting Qadhafi with jet pilots, until the “No Fly Zone” was established.

The Syrian regime masterfully kept diplomatic dialogue with the US  Administrations and reached many tacit agreements in cooperating with the US in Iraq, even though Syria is included in the “black list” as a “rogue State” not entirely supporting the US policies.

It is obvious that no foreign alliances can withstand the new wrath of the people for everlasting regimes of dictators, one-party regimes, and absolute monarchies.

Lebanon youth have been demonstrating for a secular political structure.  The monarchy in Morocco is witnessing mass upheavals in 40 cities.  Time for outraged is not going to subside any time soon.

Can Bashar push forward to substantial reforms?  Does he has the will and the charisma to shake off decades of lethargy in this bureaucratic regime?  The coming two weeks will inform us of “What is next to Bashar”.

What’s going on in Syria? Any insider pieces of intelligence? Part two

That may have been the longest and most terrifying week for the Syrian president Bashar Assad.  External interventions could not scare the Syrian regime, but vast internal unrest is another different story to consider very seriously.

For example, since 2005, the French president Jacques Chirac had a priority and a fixation to dismantle the one-party rule in Syria, especially the Assad oligarchy that ruled Syria since 1971.

Chirac blamed Syria for the assassination of ex-prime Minister Rafic Hariri and did his best to condemn Syria via the International Court on Lebanon.

US President Bush Jr. also wanted this occurrence as Syria initially refused to support the unilateral US invasion of Iraq in 2003, until Bush discovered that he badly needs the cooperation of Syria with the open vast borders with Iraq.

France Sarkozy and Obama  are no longer interested in exercising any seriuos pressures on Syria: Syria is entirely off the hook from the International Court on Lebanon.

Obviously, Israel relied on the Assad family and did its best convincing rhetorics for that clan to remain in power:  The Israeli occupied Golan Heights were the most secure and safest place on earth since 1973.

Information on the two-week long uprising and demonstrations in several Syrian cities and the Capital Damascus are controversial and not covered in details.  There are intended blackout by most media channels, western, and Arab States for disseminating useful intelligent pieces.

A few cable news mention over 100 killed, particularly in the southern city of Daraa, on the borders with Jordan.  The Syrian media displayed arms stocked in the Daraa mosque and denunciation of violent infiltrated elements.

The Syrian dictatorial regime responded with promises of vast reforms from instant increase in wages, the release of  political prisoners, laws on forming political parties to be reviewed, and more freedom of expressions… The Syrian Baath party faction is to meet today for critical analysis of the situations and considering alternative reforms.

Bashar Assad is a young dictator and serious about development reforms, as all young dictators think.  For example, Qadhafi, Abdel Nasser, Abdallah Saleh of Yemen…were very promising figures of their period.

It would be tough for Bashar to reconsider giving away the oligarchic interests of the Assad extended family.

Most probably, the Syrian people want a moratorium on dictators, oligarchy, and absolute monarchies.  Sort of it is okay, a decade later, for these forms of governance to return to the front scene?

For the time being, most people are exhausted with decades of dictatorial regimes and want some fresh air to blowing away layers of technocrats that were trained to be amoral and unethical by serving the enduring power-to-be.

The steadfast and determined mass protests are the result of the population knowing full well the vengeful tribal mentality of their rulers:  The masses know that if they relent before the entire structure is gone and that any reprieve to the oligarchic system means the reorganization and launching of mass arrests, summarily executions, humiliation tactics, and an open climate of terror.

The Determination of the masses is the result of innate survival process:  Either they win or they are massacred.

Do you think that the Ben Ali and Mubarak would have learned the lesson of respecting their people desires and wants? In Yemen, the people are not relinquishing their marches since the uprising started a month ago:  They know the reactions of the kinds of Abdullah Salef if he is given a breathing space.  Anyone doubt that Qadhafi would not have wiped out a third of the Libyan population if the UN postponed indefinitely any resolution for imposing a “No fly zone”?

You have an excellent demonstration of what’s happening in Bahrain:  The King has arrested all the leaders of the uprising, is readying to hire one thousand Pakistani soldiers, cut diplomatic relations with Iran and Lebanon on the basis that Hezbollah denounced the strong arm tactics of this monarchy, and prohibited the Lebanese immigrants, legally working in Bahrain, from returning home and considering every Lebanese as enemy to their stupid monarchy, and on… Do not be surprised when you hear news of blatant atrocities and crimes against humanity are perpetrated openly in Bahrain.

In 1980, Hafez Assad encircled the city of Hama with his special troops, entered the city, and never ever left the city.

There were no serious coverage of what happened.  Every now and then, when the US is unhappy with the regime of Hafez, innuendos would circulate that Assad slaughtered 20,000 Syrians living in Hama.  It is an unbelievable number to take seriously:  Just disposing of the bodies of a number of that magnitude in a short time would overthrow any regime, even Hitler and Stalin.

In any case, many Sunni Moslems in Hama, expressing dislike for the Alawi regime, disappeared.  No international court or any indictment by the UN ever materialized.  Nobody know, even today, the number of casualties:  Not the exact number but the scale; is it in the dozen, hundreds, or thousands…?

On Friday of last week, mass upheavals were spreading in Syria; from the city of Daraa by the borders with Jordan, to Banyas, Tartous, Homs, and way to the north in the Kurdish region.  Last week, there were a couple of shy demonstrations localized in Damascus demanding the liberation of political prisoners.  Four demonstrators were killed in Daraa.

President Bashar Assad sent two official delegates to pay condolence to the bereaved families of the dead citizens.  As they finished their visit, the two delegates had three more casualties on hand.

The Syrian government blamed “infiltrators” disguised in internal security outfit to ordering live ammunition shooting on peaceful marchers.  The infiltrators also burned the headquarter of the one-party Baath regime and the court of justice in the city.  You have to admit that the “infiltrators” are awfully skilled:  The government security specialists have proven to be no match to infiltrators.

The President Bashar Assad had decreed last week the liberation of most prisoners, political and non political, those over 70 years and the terminally sick…Maybe it was just a promise?  As all promises that the people have been hearing for decades?

I guess Bashar forgot to mention that the political system needed to be reformed and that the Assad regime, father to son, since 1971, has to make rooms for democratic succession and away from a “one-party” rule.

Syria has grown to 20 million in population.  Amid the turmoil in the Middle-East, Syria of the Assad socialist regime managed to bring sort of stability and security; it maintained a steady currency and invested in decent infrastructure and schooling for all.  Invariably, oligarchic regimes ends up getting involved in widespread corruptions and considering the State Treasury as family holdings.

Bashar succeeded to his father in 2000.  Israel unilaterally retreated from south Lebanon in 2000, quickly and never turning back to facing the deadly blows of the Lebanese resistance forces.  Instead of announcing a timetable for the retreat of Syrian troops from Lebanon, the new Syrian President got immersed resolving side problems and affirming his power, until Hariri was assassinated in 2005 and the Syrian troops felt it wise to retreat from all Lebanon.

The Assad regime is based on the minority Alawi sect, a kind of Shia sect, and most of the sensitive positions in the army and internal security system are in the hands of the extended family members.  The Syria Baath party made alliance with a few political parties for the Parliament, but there is a deep sense that the structure of this regime is fundamentally an oligarchic system.

The Syrian regime masterfully kept diplomatic dialogue with the US  Administrations and reached many tacit agreements in cooperating with the US in Iraq, even though Syria is included in the “black list” as a “rogue State” not entirely supporting the US policies.

Syria maintained a strong alliance with Iran for three decades and currently extended firm alliance with Turkey.  The regimes of Mubarak of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan kept the squeeze on Syria by orders from the USA for two decades.  Syria had close ties with Libya of Qadhafi and is still supporting Qadhafi with jet pilots, until the “No Fly Zone” was established.

Two days ago, Syria announced its support to the expeditionary Saudi forces in Bahrain on the premises that these forces were legitimate since they were demanded by the King of Bahrain!  In the meanwhile, Iran vehemently denounced these incursions into Bahrain and is against Qadhafi.  Thus, Syria flaunted Iran’s policies in the region twice in less than two days.  Syria is wooing the alliance of Egypt and Saudi Arabia in order to ward off the current mass Arab uprising everywhere.  Maybe Syria made a hasty move away from Iran before securing its internal stability with new political reforms.

It is obvious that no foreign alliances can withstand the new wrath of the people for everlasting regimes of dictators, one-party regimes, and absolute monarchies.

Lebanon youth have been demonstrating for a secular political structure.

The monarchy in Morocco is witnessing mass upheavals in 40 cities.

Time for outraged is not going to subside any time soon.

“Storms come and go”: Bashar Assad (Syria’s President); (July 11, 2009)

 

            During the gathering of Arab States’ leaders in Beirut on April 2002, Bashar Assad said: “Storms come and go but if State’s rights and fundamentals of independence and liberty go then they are gone for ever.  We cannot ask the world community to pressure Israel to return land for peace if the Arab States are not doing their homework and staying steadfast and consistent.”

            Hafez Assad died in June 10, 2000 after over 30 years of reign.  Bashar was appointed President in June 18 for 7 years after revising a clause in the Constitution on age limits: Bashar was 35 and the constitution required the President to be 40 or over.  He proclaimed in a speech: “I am not after any position and will not shirk any responsibility.  A position is not a goal but a mean for achieving goals. If we have no sense of responsibility then a position becomes power for encouraging lawlessness and embezzlement.

 

            Bashar Assad was born in September 1965 in a traditional family; he was the third child of a large family. Bashar became an officer in the army in 1985 and then received his diploma in eye medicine in 1992 from the University of Damascus and resumed higher specialization at Western Eye in London. The elder son Bassel died in a car accident in January 1994 which prompted Bashar to return to Syria; he headed the committee of computing and information sciences.  Bashar visited the Jeita Grotto in Lebanon when he was 9 years old.

            Bashar lives with his family in an apartment and commute to the Presidential Palace; he walks the streets and mingles with the people.  He knew more Lebanese deputies than Syrian deputies before he became Syria’s President because his older brother Bassel had a wide network of connections in Lebanon.  Bashar knew Nabih Berry, head of Lebanon Parliament, since 1985 and many of the gatherings were done in company of the Syrian General Muhammad Nassif.  He also knew Suleiman Frangieh and Talal Erslan.  Bashar had met President Lahoud in 1996 when Lahoud was army chief who complained about the interference of many Syrian officers and named a few of these officers.

            Bashar visited Lebanon officially in March 3, 2002 and he intentionally landed in the airport and the protocols of two independent States were applied.  This official visit was meant to confirm Syria’s full recognition of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

 

            In February 14, 2005, President Assad was giving an interview to Seymour Hirsh when the news of Rafic Hariri’s assassination was relayed to him; he knew that this assassination was planned to force the application of UN resolution 1559.

            In March 4, Bashar announced in the Syrian Parliament his decision to with draw the troops from Lebanon. He admitted of errors committed in Lebanon by excluding contacts with many Lebanese political factions and many of the beneficiaries of Syria’s presence turned over their coat when Syria was pressured by the US and France to withdraw.  By November 10, 2005 Bashar had to give a national speech asserting that the price of resisting foreign pressures is far lower than succumbing to anarchy and declared Syria’s readiness to oppose foreign interventions to changing of its regime.  Bashar said: “Globalization is ignoring the civilizations and destinies of people; this is the best opportunity for the Arab people to coordinate their policies to affecting change.

 

In June 8, 2006 Bashar Assad sent a letter to the meeting of the Lebanese “Table of Dialogue” designed to study a strategic defensive plan saying: “Syria has no problem of opening an Embassy in Lebanon.  The distance between Beirut and Damascus is shorter than Damascus to its closest main city Homs.  Syria is ready as long as this demand is not attached to any foreign pressures and conditions.  Syria is ready to resolve all border disputes that are not under Israeli occupation such as the Sheba3a Farms”  The Syrian President went on “Syria has more cards to influence Lebanon after the withdrawal of its army (April 2005).  Previously we had to deal with all the negative aspects of the mandate.  We know now that Syria’s actual presence was not the main problems to Lebanon’s current dilemma.  The decision to withdraw our army from Lebanon was not hard but the circumstances were.  When a large portion of the Lebanese citizens started to imagine that Syria was the main problem for the assassination of Rafic Hariri then every Syrian citizen was wounded deeply. 

            If you ever ask any Syrian soldier whether he would have liked to remain or return to Lebanon then he would refuse this hardest of assignments. Syria would never relinquish its duty to preserve the integrity of the State of Lebanon when pressured by foreign interests.  When Lebanon is no longer after “foreign western mothers” for political support then Lebanon will enjoy a par status with Syria. Syria has proven during difficult periods in the region that it can be on a par status with France and the USA.  I personally visited Lebanon by plane in 2002 and I listened to the Lebanese anthem and I discussed the issue of diplomatic relations.  Is my visit not a practical recognition of Lebanon as an independent State?”

 

            President Bashar Assad learned two golden rules in international politics. First, the superpowers tend to convince smaller States that they are weak and need badly their aid.  The superpowers claim that smaller States have no valuable products to trade so that State logic and values cannot be exchanged in the market.  “We in Syria we won the battle because we were convinced that we had a priceless cause”.  Second, superpowers take no account of other States except when in need.  “When superpowers realize that a State can contribute to its interest then the past “misunderstandings” are forgotten”.

 

            After meeting with Russia Putine, Bashar said “Who attempt to isolate Syria will realize that he is isolating himself from the Middle East issues”. In fact, France and the USA are diligently communicating with the Syrian regime and exchanging ambassadors.

What is Legitimate, Temporary, and Necessary ?(June 5, 2009)

            On June 7, 2009 the Lebanese will vote for a new Parliament. Two groups of citizens will vote: The group constituted of the patriotic, secular, and reformists and the group of an amalgam of statue-quo confessionals, feudalists, isolationists, and “colonial minded” mentalities. The “colonial minded” citizens follow leaders who invariably rely on foreign interventions (regional or superpower States) to balance out a broken alliance among the confessional castes system and perpetrate the conditions for weak central governments.

            A brief current history might elucidate this drastic splitting among the Lebanese citizens. In May 24, 2000, Ehud Barak PM of Israel withdrew from most of south Lebanon with no preconditions, the first ever decision in Israel 61 years history. The joint strategy of Lebanon President Lahoud and Hafiz Assad of Syria enabled Hezbollah a resounding victory.  

The Arab League decided to hold its annual meting in Beirut in August 2002 as a good gesture for its acknowledgment of the victory in 2000 of this tiny State.

In 2003, Syria had plans for partial withdrawal to the Bekaa Valley but the vehement rhetoric from the Druze leader Walid Jumblat and the Patriarch of the Maronite Christian sect slowed down the execution process. 

Before the assassination of Rafic Hariri in February 14, 2005, the Bush Jr. Administration and Jacque Chirac of France issued the UN resolution 1559 for the retreat of the Syrian forces from Lebanon and the dismantling of Hezbollah’s military wing and the return of its heavy armament. 

The withdrawal of the Syrian troops was not the main objective because the international community and the main Arab States wanted and kept high hopes that Syria will ultimately be pressured to do the dirty work of taming Hezbollah.

            The Syrian government factored in many variables to opposing the frequent lures and pressures of what is expected of her to do in order to remain in Lebanon.  The targeting of Rafiq Hariri for assassination by the US, France, Saudi Arabia, and Israel was not one of the variables considered; and Syria strategy was shaken violently. In fact, Rafic Hariri received so many encouragements and acted in such confidence that the Syrian government forgot to contemplate such an evil and drastic eventuality.

The mass demonstration on February 14 was not a threat to Syria; General Aoun was still in exile in France and was pressured by the French government not to return to Lebanon.  What Syria comprehended the loudest was the mass demonstration by Hezbollah on March 8, 2005.  Hezbollah thanked Syria for its sacrifices, which meant “Now it is time for your complete withdrawal”:  Hezbollah was always nervous of the Syrian presence in Lebanon because it was the only power capable of restraining its activities.  Hezbollah was sending the message to Bashar Assad “We can take care of ourselves and still continue the resistance against Israel if you definitely put an end to the international pressures by getting out of Lebanon” 

The mass demonstration in March 14, fortified by the supporters of General Aoun (The Tayyar Horr), was not even a threat to Syria.  It was the realization of Syria that its continued presence in Lebanon will ultimately confront its army directly as the Lebanese government lost control over events and cowered under uncertainties.

Syria withdrew quickly to the frustration of the US and France who realized that they wasted Hariri for nothing in return: Hariri could still be of greater benefit to their policies in the Middle East region alive rather than dead. 

The International Community, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia fell back to plan B: re-kindling the civil war in Lebanon.  They initiated a series of bombing in Christian quarters hoping that the Christian will side en mass with the Sunni/Mustakbal/Hariri clan.  Plan B petered out. 

They came back with more vigorous scare tactics by assassinating Christian personalities.  Samir Kassir, George Hawi, and Jubran Tweiny were marked as potentially not reliable and could shift sides because they were independent minded and honest characters.  This wave of select assassination backfired because General Aoun signed a pact with Hezbollah and de-activated a potential civil war targeting the Christians.

Plan C also failed and civil war did not flare out.  Thus, direct intervention from outside was considered and Israel trained its forces for incursion into Lebanon with the US total aids and support in all phases of war preparation.  Hezbollah, intentionally or by coincidence, preempted the completion of the plan in June 12, 2006. 

Israel launched its offensive for 33 days and failed miserably in all the goals.  The attack backfired and the stature of Hezbollah ballooned and overflowed to all the Arab and Moslem populations.

The International Community, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia did not desist.  Plan D was to re-enforce the Sunnis with a military wing of extremist salafists called “Jund Al Sham” and financed by Bandar Bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia.   In the summer of 2007 a few ignorant and violent Sunni extremists preempted the timing by slaughtering Lebanese soldiers; the army pride and dignity reacted with an all out attack and crushed this insurrection in Nahr Al Bared Palestinian camp after many months and many martyrs. 

The International Community, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia studied for two years to dismantle Hezbollah’s secured communication lines and to start a mini civil war in Beirut between the Shiaa and Sunnis.  Plan E backfired again on May 8, 2008 and the Lebanese leaders had to meet in Dowha and agreed on the election of a President to the Republic, an election law for the Parliament, and the constitution of a national government.

Lebanon has suffered for 4 years of an incompetent and illegitimate government; the Lebanese lived in a totally insecure political vacuum; the economy was farmed out to the size of the Hariri clan and the financial debt skyrocketed to $60 billions.  This “political” debt is intended to pressure the Lebanese government into accepting the settling of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon in return for debt cancellation.

We need to compare four categories of leaders along the two dimensions of principled leaders and pragmatists.  In the dimension of principled leaders we can discriminate the hate monger isolationist leaders versus the principled for the public and State good. In the pragmatic dimension we have the individual interest oriented and the public/State pragmatists.  For example: Walid Jumblat, Merwan Hamadeh, Amine Gemayel, Samir Geaja, and the Patriarch of the Christian Maronite sect can be categorized in the isolationist, confessional, and personal minded leaders.  Ex-President Emile Lahoud, General Michel Aoun, Suleiman Frangieh, and Hassan Nasr Allah could be classified as the principled and public/State oriented pragmatists.  The classification of the remainder of the semi-leaders I leave it to the readers as exercises. The Mufti of Beirut is a non entity: he is the bugle of Saad Hariri.  Saad Hariri is a non entity: he re-edited the slogan of the chairman of General Motors to say “What is good for the Saudi Monarchs is good for Lebanon”.  General Motors has declared bankruptcy; the Hariri/Seniora clan will declare bankruptcy on June 8, 2009.

With the exception of General Aoun who refused any kind of occupation, all leaders welcomed the mandate of Syria for 20 years; they kept repeating the mantra “The presence of Syria in Lebanon is “Legitimate, Temporary, and Necessary”; Merwan Hamadeh and all the actual ministers were the ones repeating this mantra to the nauseating public.  The Maronite Patriarch Sfeir was against the Syrian presence but was pretty cool regarding Israel’s occupation.   The members of the Seniora PM government did not voice out their refusal of Israel’s occupation of part of south Lebanon and constantly conspired to weaken the resistance forces against the Israeli occupiers on the basis that only international diplomacy can pressure Israel! 

Only President Lahoud stood steadfast with Hezbollah and refused to deploy the army in areas of the resistance’s operations.  Thanks to Hassan Nasr Allah and President Lahoud Lebanon managed to secure its integrity and unify its army.  Thanks to Hassan Nasr Allah and General Michel Aoun Lebanon buried any likelihood for the resurgence of a civil war. 

My spirit went to statesman General Aoun who said, once the Syrian troops crossed the borders back to Syria, “Syria is now out of Lebanon.  I have no qualms with Syria anymore. This is the time to open a new page in our relations”.  This position stands in contrast to those who begged Syria for crumbs and privileges for 20 years and once Syria withdrew they refrained from normalizing relations with Syria; the fictitious excuses to antagonizing Syria were dictated by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  What kind of state leadership is that?

The election results of June 7, 2009 should fortify Lebanon as a Nation and project the image of a solid central government with serious reforms and changes to the archaic political system.  That are my wishes but I know the struggle will be long and protracted.  Sweet revolutions need time to mature in this diversified Lebanon.

How Superpowers behave toward the smaller States (June 1, 2009)

 

The ex-French Foreign Affairs, Hubert Vedrine once told Lebanon ex-President Lahoud: “When our relations with the US Administrations are closer to cooperation than competition we communicate our information to them but they fail to return the honor.  When our relations are fine then the US tends to horde the solution.  When world politics deteriorate then the US asks us to resolve the problems on their behalves, on conditions that the signing of any agreement is done in Washington, DC.

Bill Clinton insisted on the sick and dying Hafez Assad for a month to meet him in Geneva in February 2000 on the ground that a deal is ready for the return of the occupied Golan Heights.  The two Presidents met in March.  Clinton knew very well that Assad is not ready to negotiate for less than 100% on the returned land. Clinton proudly declared “Ehud Barak is willing to return 98% of the Golan Heights”.  The meeting was over in ten minutes.  Clinton lost a golden opportunity for peace in the Middle East.

Madeline Albright, US Foreign Affairs during Clinton tenure, met in Beirut with Lebanon’s Salim Hoss PM in September 1999.  It was the first high ranking US emissary in 16 years.  Without preambles, Albright ejaculated “The USA wants the two highjackers of the TWA of 1985; the USA wants the perpetrators for the blowing up of the Marines headquarter in 1984; the USA wants those who demolished the US embassy in Beirut and the one who assassinated our Ambassador” Our Prime Minister retorted “When the TWA was high jacked I was subjugated to an assassination attempt and three of my bodyguards died.  At the time of this civil war Lebanon witnessed 150,000 civilian victims’ dead and over 400,000 severely injured” The same Albright confronted President Lahoud to desist demanding an accurate demarcation line (The Blue Line) on the southern borders after Israel withdrew in May 24, 2000.  

The Syrian young President Bashar Assad described the superpower games saying “The first fundamental principle is that superpowers and especially the USA try hard to convince the smaller States that they are too weak and need urgent aids.  They claim that the smaller States have practically no “products” to transact.  They insist on “market demand and offer” and barely care about State values or the logic of Statehood.  The second principle is that superpowers care to the extent they need to resolve a problem.  It does not matter the level of rhetoric or the squeeze of economical and financial embargo on the smaller State; once a superpower is in need then everything is forgotten and relations resume normally.”

 

In October 2000, Hezbollah took prisoners three Israeli soldiers in the Shabaa Farms and then lured the retired Israeli Colonel El Hanane Tanenboum to Beirut.  Israel had withdrawn from south Lebanon unilaterally in May 24, 2000 but had failed to vacate the Shebaa Farms. Albright demanded the release of the Israeli prisoners and Ehub Barak gave an ultimatum of 4 hours. Lahoud answered the US Ambassador Satterfield “Consider the 4 hours have ended.  I will not negotiate the release of the Israeli prisoners” Lahoud was in strong position because the Lebanese army was not on the borders so that Israel could not exercise any pressures on the President and Lahoud won his bet and Israel refrained temporarily from any incursions.

Foreign diplomats and officials view the problems of Lebanon from the outside in; they never consider the precarious social and political conditions of Lebanon.  Emile Lahoud refused to deploy the army across the Litany River since he was appointed army chief in 1989 and then President of the Republic till July 2006 when Hezbollah agreed under UN resolution 1701 to withdraw his military presence behind the Litany River.  During all these years the international community and the Arab States had constantly pressured Lahoud to send the Lebanese army to the borders with Israel.  Lahoud kept steadfast and never obeyed any of these orders and he was completely right; he had said: “As long as there are no guarantees that Israel will not violate Lebanon’s integrity and security then the Lebanese army will refrain playing the police force and antagonizing our resistance to easing Israel’s security at the expense of jeopardizing Lebanon internal security.” (To be continued)

Bi-Weekly Report (#24) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 28, 2009)

 

            The weekly “Courrier International” failed to do its job on analyzing Syria’s policies.  Instead of investigating and doing leg works it opted to rely on the Washington Post and Now Lebanon, totally biased against anything related to Syria, for spreading its nonsense.  This weekly publishing is repeating the old story of what the successive US Administrations want from Syria with respect to facilitating the job of US military presence in Iraq. As usual, the catchy “Damascus does not get it” and “Could we have confidence in Bashar Assad ” summarizes the topic. As if the job and responsibilities of President Assad is to cajole and obey the US dicta for nothing in return, such as the Golan Heights that was captured by Israel since 1973.

The Washington Post and supposed “reporter” Karen De Young would like us to believe that the increase of “terrorist activities” in Iraq and in Mossoul last month can be linked to the laxity of Syria’s border patrols.  It seems that Al Qaeda has been active shipping “martyr terrorists” from northern African Arab States to blow up Iraqi Shiaa. What about the other sects, such as the minority Christian sects? The report stated that the Iraqi border patrols cannot do effectively their jobs because of lack of carburant. The Iraqi government has a depleted budget because of low oil prices on the international market and thus the border patrols drive along the vast borders with Syria 15 days out of 30; thus, Syria is to be blamed for the US insufficient funding for borders control.

 

The monthly “Le Monde Diplomatique” did its job concerning Albania and Kosovo. The US Administration is pushing to finish quickly the fast highway linking Pristina (the Capital of Kosovo) to the Adriatic Sea at the Albanian seaport of Durres. Apparently, the OTAN needs this strategic highway so that the 5th fleet could discharge military hardware and soldiers.  Close to the highway in Kosovo there is the largest US Camp Bondsteel military base by the town of Urosevac.  Close to the highway in the town of Kukes in Albania the US has finished a functional airport used by military cargo and denied access to civilian use and at the expense of the Albanian tax payers.  The story boils down to a Greek bank Alpha lent the Albanian government 300 millions Euros (guaranteed by the US) to build the super highway; the trick is that 65% of the Albanian budget is reserved for the infrastructure ministry and 75% of the budget of this ministry is allocated to this super highway.  The bombshell is that the US  Bechtel multinational will reap 44% profit on the cost of this super highway. The newly “independent” States of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia are quickly becoming the dumping ground for the NATO and the European Union economic, military, and environmental policies.

 

I watched the highly informative interview of retired General Jameel Al Sayyed with Maggie Farah on the OTV channel.  Jameel Al Sayyed was released recently from 4 years of detention with no formal court cases after the International Tribunal judged his imprisonment illegal and ordered him out along with 3 other officers. General Al Sayyed returned two day ago from France after resuming his depositions on Millis (former investigator to the assassination of Rafic Hariri) and Johnny Abdou (former retired Lebanon military intelligence chief) who fabricated the climate for Al Sayyed unjustified detention.   Al Sayyed will also work out the courts in Germany with respect to Millis.  Al Sayyed is a highly interesting character and a well spoken intelligent and honest personality. Al Sayyed said that it was the Lebanese officials who drew the Syrian counterparts into suspect transactions and corruptions.  Although every political leader in Lebanon has dealing with foreign States, Al Sayyed lambasted Saad Hariri and Samir Geaja for their incapacity in using proper “valves” that can shut down foreign interests to destabilizing Lebanon.

 

 The German daily Der Spiegel reported excerpts from internet blogs posted by Syrian dissidents six months ago claiming that a special team of Hezbollah masterminded the assassination of late Lebanon Rafic Hariri PM.  The timing of that report, which the International Tribunal denied any knowledge, was evidence that the real perpetrators were scared shit of the victory of the opposition in Lebanon at the next Parliamentary election on June 7.  It meant that the opposition is not about to let the assassination case linger any longer and will pursue its own investigation or force the International Tribunal to move swiftly and close the doors to further political manipulations of that case. What exacerbated the political climate is that Lebanon has started dismantling systematically Israel’s spy webs and dangerous intelligence are accumulating relative to Israel involvement in many of the string of assassination cases in Lebanon since the murder of Rafic Hariri.in 2005. 

The US Vice President Biden visited Lebanon for 6 hours before the publishing of the report and met with the leaders of the government alliances.  Lebanon has to expect the worst every time a US official pay us visit to give orders that Lebanon cannot satisfy.

Thanks to Walid Jumblat, one of the principal allies to the government, he quickly and adamantly lambasted this chimerical and fabricated report and proclaimed that the report was intended to draw Lebanon into another civil war between the Shiaa and the Sunni Moslem sects.  Saad Hariri (leader of the Future movement) and Seniora PM were forced into suspect silence; proof that they were aware of the plan that backfired on them, a plan that is backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and the USA.

Who Assassinated Former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in 2005? (March 7, 2005)

Since the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri, thousands of citizens have been gathering, every day and night, in Downtown Beirut demanding to know who assassinated Hariri.  Not many believe that the government has enough credibility to investigate properly this political crime. 

The UN has sent a team headed by a former Irish police officer and then later, the Lebanese government asked the help of several crime experts and investigators from Switzerland and Denmark.

So far, how the blast occurred and what kind of explosive was used is still not conclusive and pretty much vague and divergent.  The government is claiming that it was a suicide car bombing done by Abu Adass who sent a video to Al Jazira channel, one hour after the incident, claiming the responsibility of an unknown group. The government hinted that it analyzed genetically remnants of the perpetrator.  A political scientist, Dr. Nakash, believes that the video is real and that two similar simple terrorist techniques were successfully used in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Nakash produces documents published in the New York Times of many serious threats to King Fahd, owner of Al Arabiya channel and the main mentor of Hariri. 

Apparently, Al Arabiya was toning down information in Iraq that could damage the US presence there and Saudi Arabia bribed Alawi (Iraq’s prime minister) with two billion dollars to shut down the offices of Al Jazira channel and to crack down on the militia of Al Sadr in Najjaf, which Alawi did effectively.  Hariri was for some time following the political lines of Saudi Arabia in Iraq but had a change of position lately: Was it too late?

The Hariri’s deputies in the Parliament affirm that the detonating charge was planted underground and the material is so new that the labs have failed to determine its composition until now.  One of the surviving bodyguard claims that the street was clear and no visible obstructions was evident before the blast.

May be the people want to know but the powers to be, locally, regionally and internationally are not that excited to divulge the parties behind this barbaric crime, if we set aside all the rhetoric from President Bush, Chirac and the European Union.  It is hardly credible that any Lebanese political party is behind this assassination.

It seems that Syria has much to lose from the death of Hariri because of his wide range of connections and the many favors he enjoys with Saudi Arabia, the main financial backer of Syria and stabilizing power within the Lebanese political system. I am leaning toward an Israeli/USA connection for several reasons:

1) The next day to the assassination, Sharon dismissed or refused to extend the appointment of Yaalon as head of the army and appointed the head of Israel’s secret services to replace him. Was Yaalon against this assassination decision or was he not informed and expressed his position accordingly?

2)  Hariri failed many Israeli attempts to internationally cast Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and he succeeded in Europe and in France.

3)  Hariri was behind snubbing Israel for the failed May 17 agreement to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1983.

4)  Hariri was behind the April understandings in 1997, with the direct involvement of the USA, on the procedures of conducting war between Hezbollah and Israel.  This agreement seriously hampered Israel in waging its devastating traditional attacks on civilians’ targets in the South and carrying out mass detentions.

5)  Hariri was for the return of the Palestinian refugees to Palestine and could certainly block any UN resolution to the contrary.  The timing of the assassination was appropriate because Israel was under pressures to negotiate with Adu Abbass (The recently elected Palestinian prime minister).  Israel wanted a free hand to pressure Abu Abbass into a flexible understanding about the refugees’ problems and Hariri could very well exercise effective counter attacks when he was to return as prime minister after the April election.

6)  Israel has a history of eliminating every enemy to its plans of expansion and the timing was perfect because Hariri was no longer a prime minister, the political discourse within Lebanon was very heated for blaming Syria of the many current setbacks, especially for generating the UN resolution 1559.  The unfounded rumors that Hariri was behind this resolution could divert the guilt for the assassination to Syria for an extended period of time.

7)  Since Israel never makes such serious decisions before receiving the green light from Washington and France, it is obvious that the USA  and France governments had an interest in eliminating Hariri at this junction.  Hariri was to be reelected in April and be appointed prime minister again. 

Hariri was a heavy weight internationally;  his personal friendship with President Chirac of France was putting Chirac in a corner: Chirac had decided to connect openly with Israel and didn’t want any exacerbations with the US after the two States agreed on main critical diffculties, especially commercial and economical.  It was France that coaxed Bush Jr. for passing the 1559 resolution in the UN that demanded Syria to withdraw from Lebanon.

As newspapers in Israel rightly analyzed the situation: Syria is very probably not directly the guilty party in the crime, but Syria is certainly the party to pay the price and the consequences.  Bashar Assad gave Israel the proper ammunition and the excellent timing for his inexperience and his hubris responses to international pressures.   I am certain that it is the Lebanese citizens who are and will pay the price for years to come.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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