Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘civil war

Answers to the secrets of how Daesh and Al Nousra were created:

Bashar al Ja3fari, Ambassador of Syria to the UN, submitted the documents

The Syrian government met with Syrian oppositions in Moscow and reached agreement on several points in order to resolve the civil war politically.

Bashar al Jaafari, heading the government delegation, released this document on how ISIS and the various Islamic extremist movements fighting in Syria and Iraq were created.

What Italian PM discovered in Iraq Kurdistan when he visited this province in 2009?

Who are the US organizations that planned for the Syrian upheavals under the name of aiding the democratic process in Syria?

Why the Turkish prosecutor Aziz Takji and 5 judges were released from their functions?

Who is this British media company located in central London is officially promoting the Islamic extremist movements of Daesh (ISIS) and Al Nusra?

What is the relationship between Administrative Contact in Texas and the ISIS news bulletins?

A user's photo.
Syria ambassador to UN: Dr. Bashar al Jaafari

هاااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااااام
أجوبة مفاجئة عن أسرار داعش والجهاديين في بيان السفير الدكتور بشار الجعفري في اللقاء التشاوري
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ماذا اكتشف وزير الدفاع الإيطالي السابق السيناتور “ماريو مورو” عندما كان يقوم بزيارة إلى كردستان العراق عام 2009؟؟
من هي المنظمات غير الحكومية المرتبطة بالمخابرات الامريكية التي خطّطتْ للثورة السورية تحت اسم مساعدة برنامج سورية للديمقراطية؟؟
لماذا أقيل النائب العام التركي السابق “عزيز تاكجي” من منصبه مع خمسة من وكلاء النيابة؟؟
من هي الشركة البريطانية وسط لندن صاحبة التسجيل الرسمي لموقع “منبر الأنصار” في سنتر لندن، وهو الموقع الإلكتروني الذي يصف نفسه علناً بأنه المنبر الإعلامي للجهاد والجهاديين؟؟
ماهي علاقة شركة “سوفتلاير تكنولوجيز” الاميريكية في دالاس وموقع “المؤمنون” الذي ينشر أخبار داعش والنصرة والتنظيمات التكفيرية الأخرى ؟؟؟
ماهي العلاقة بين شركة “أدمينستراتيف كونتاكت” في ولاية تكساس الاميريكية والموقع الرسمي لداعش ؟؟
في أي شارع من غزة هو العنوان المسجل لموقع “المنبر الإعلامي الجهادي” لصاحبه طارق عبد الذي ينشر أخبار داعش؟؟
هذه أسئلة ستجدون أجوبتها في بيان الدكتور بشار الجعفري رئيس وفد حكومة الجمهورية العربية السورية في اللقاء التشاوري .. وأجوبة هذه الأسئلة تكشف لكم نكتة محاربة داعش التي تدعيها دول الغرب التي ترضع داعش والنصرة وكل منظمات الجهاد الدموي وتربيها كل شبر بندر وتغير لها حفوضاتها وتلقنها ابجدية الارهاب وتقوم بتجنيد القتلة في داعش وتحميها كما تحمي الأم ولدها
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بيان السفير الدكتور بشار الجعفري
رئيس وفد حكومة الجمهورية العربية السورية
في اللقاء التشاوري – موسكو
السيد ميسر اللقاء التشاوري الثاني في موسكو،
البروفسور فيتالي نعومكن،
يطيب لي أن أتوجه إليكم، باسم وفد حكومة الجمهورية العربية السورية، بكل الشكر والتقدير للجهود الكبيرة التي بذلتموها للتحضير لعقد هذا اللقاء. والشكر موصول لأفراد فريقكم المميز وللأصدقاء الروس ممثلين بوزارة الخارجية لوقوفهم إلى جانب الشعب السوري ولدعوتهم الكريمة لنا جميعاً للحضور إلى العاصمة الجميلة موسكو، وكذلك لتنظيم وتيسير هذا اللقاء التشاوري.
كما وأغتنم هذه الفرصة، أيضاً، لتقديم التهاني بمناسبة عيد الفصح المجيد.
أستهل كلمتي بموافقة الحكومة السورية على جدول الأعمال المُقدّم من الميسر وفقاً للتسلسل الوارد فيه.
السيد الميسر،
السيدات والسادة الحضور،
لم يعد يخفى على أحد أنه، بعد مضي أربع سنوات ونيف على بداية الأزمة في سورية، أضحت صورة ما يجري فيها واضحة للجميع بأبعادها
وللأصدقاء الروس ممثلين بوزارة الخارجية لوقوفهم إلى جانب الشعب السوري ولدعوتهم الكريمة لنا جميعاً للحضور إلى العاصمة الجميلة موسكو، وكذلك لتنظيم وتيسير هذا اللقاء التشاوري.
كما وأغتنم هذه الفرصة، أيضاً، لتقديم التهاني بمناسبة عيد الفصح المجيد.
أستهل كلمتي بموافقة الحكومة السورية على جدول الأعمال المُقدّم من الميسر وفقاً للتسلسل الوارد فيه.
السيد الميسر،
السيدات والسادة الحضور،
لم يعد يخفى على أحد أنه، بعد مضي أربع سنوات ونيف على بداية الأزمة في سورية، أضحت صورة ما يجري فيها واضحة للجميع بأبعادها الداخلية، والعربية، والإقليمية، والدولية، وبات الجميع يعلم أنّ ما تتعرض له بلادنا، سورية، من إرهاب منظم يرتكب أبشع أنواع الجرائم بحق البشر والحجر ويدمّر البنية التحتية إنما يرمي أساساً إلى تقويض الدولة وبنيانها السياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي والثقافي بما يخدم أجندات أعداء الوطن الذين يريدون تصفية حساباتهم القديمة – الجديدة معه….
والسؤال الذي يطرح نفسه اليوم هو التالي: هل هناك بيننا من يختلف معنا في توصيف حقيقة ما يجري أنه إجرام وقرصنة وإرهاب منظم بحق الشعب السوري ومكتسباته؟ هل الاعتداء على الشعب السوري بكافة مكوناته، وسرقة المتاحف والآثار والنفط والغاز، واستهداف محطات وخطوط الكهرباء ووسائل النقل، وتدمير البنية الصناعية للبلاد بما في ذلك تفكيك وسرقة المصانع ونقلها إلى تركيا، والاعتداء على دور العبادة، واختطاف الآلاف من المواطنين، ونهب الممتلكات العامة والخاصة، وتدمير المشافي والمدارس وحرمان مئات الآلاف من أبنائنا من الحق في التعلم والرعاية الصحية، وتجنيدهم، بدلاً من ذلك، في صفوف الجماعات الإرهابية، وذبح البشر من قبل قطعان الإرهابيين والمرتزقة، هل هذا كله يندرج تحت عنوان ثورة شعبية؟
منظم بحق الشعب السوري ومكتسباته؟ هل الاعتداء على الشعب السوري بكافة مكوناته، وسرقة المتاحف والآثار والنفط والغاز، واستهداف محطات وخطوط الكهرباء ووسائل النقل، وتدمير البنية الصناعية للبلاد بما في ذلك تفكيك وسرقة المصانع ونقلها إلى تركيا، والاعتداء على دور العبادة، واختطاف الآلاف من المواطنين، ونهب الممتلكات العامة والخاصة، وتدمير المشافي والمدارس وحرمان مئات الآلاف من أبنائنا من الحق في التعلم والرعاية الصحية، وتجنيدهم، بدلاً من ذلك، في صفوف الجماعات الإرهابية، وذبح البشر من قبل قطعان الإرهابيين والمرتزقة، هل هذا كله يندرج تحت عنوان ثورة شعبية؟
لا يمكن لعاقل أن يقتنع بأن ثورة تقوم في دولة ما ومن قادتها “أبو عمر الشيشاني” و”أبو صهيب الليبي” و”أبو بكر البغدادي” و”أبو جون البريطاني” و”أبو عبد الله الأردني” و”أبو طلحة الكويتي” و”أبو غوثان السعودي” و”أبو الزهراء التونسي” و”أبو حفصة المصري” و”أبو أيوب العراقي” و”أبو حفتر الأفغاني” و”أبو عبد الرحمن الكندي”، و” أبو الوليد الأسترالي”، و”أبو مروة الفرنسي” و”أبو حذيفة الإيرلندي” و”أبو هريرة الأمريكي” والقائمة تطول …؟ ويأتيك بعد كل ذلك من يتحدث عن “ثورة سورية” …!
ألا يدلّ ذلك على وجود تدخل إرهابي خارجي في الشأن السوري الداخلي، في إطار مخطط مُعدٍّ مسبقاً لتفكيك الدولة السورية؟ وإذا كان هناك من ما زال يشكّك بهذه الحقيقة، فبإمكانه العودة إلى الرأي العام الغربي الذي بدأ يفضح حكوماته الواحدة تلو الأخرى، إذْ صدر مؤخراً في فرنسا كتابان مهمّان، الأول بعنوان “الطرق إلى دمشق” من تأليف كل من “جورج مالبرونو” و”كريستيان شينو” يثبت فيه هذان الكاتبان ضلوع المخابرات الفرنسية ووزير الخارجية الفرنسي الحالي في استخدام السلاح الكيميائي في غوطة دمشق في آب 2013، والثاني بعنوان “عاصفة على الشرق الأوسط الكبير” بقلم السفير الفرنسي السابق “ميشيل رينبو” الذي أورد في الصفحة 397 منه ما يلي، وأقتبس: “أنه في شهر كانون الثاني من العام 2014 روى وزير الدفاع الإيطالي السابق السيناتور “ماريو مورو” أنه كان يقوم بزيارة إلى كردستان
السورية؟ وإذا كان هناك من ما زال يشكّك بهذه الحقيقة، فبإمكانه العودة إلى الرأي العام الغربي الذي بدأ يفضح حكوماته الواحدة تلو الأخرى، إذْ صدر مؤخراً في فرنسا كتابان مهمّان، الأول بعنوان “الطرق إلى دمشق” من تأليف كل من “جورج مالبرونو” و”كريستيان شينو” يثبت فيه هذان الكاتبان ضلوع المخابرات الفرنسية ووزير الخارجية الفرنسي الحالي في استخدام السلاح الكيميائي في غوطة دمشق في آب 2013، والثاني بعنوان “عاصفة على الشرق الأوسط الكبير” بقلم السفير الفرنسي السابق “ميشيل رينبو” الذي أورد في الصفحة 397 منه ما يلي، وأقتبس: “أنه في شهر كانون الثاني من العام 2014 روى وزير الدفاع الإيطالي السابق السيناتور “ماريو مورو” أنه كان يقوم بزيارة إلى كردستان العراق عام 2009 فزار ورشة بناء وسأل عن الغاية من تشييد كل هذه المباني فكان الجواب إنها للاجئي الحرب في سورية …”، انتهى الاقتباس، أي أن ذلك حصل قبل عامين من بداية الحرب على سورية. وبمعنى آخر فإن التخطيط للعدوان على بلادنا كان قد بدأ قبل كل ما وصف بالربيع العربي. وأورد الكاتب أيضاً، وأقتبس: “أن الثورة السورية قد خُطّطتْ بمساعدة برنامج سورية للديمقراطية الذي تموّله إحدى المنظمات غير الحكومية المرتبطة بالاستخبارات الأمريكية”، انتهى الاقتباس.
ألم نطّلع مؤخراً على ما قاله النائب العام التركي السابق “عزيز تاكجي” أنه أُقيل من منصبه مع خمسة من وكلاء النيابة المسؤولين بسبب كشفهم عمليات إرسال شاحنات السلاح إلى الإرهابيين في سورية، كما أنه تم اعتقال الضابط الذي قام بتفتيشها وهي في طريقها من مدينة أضنة إلى أنطاكيا ومنها إلى الإرهابيين في سورية، وأنه فُصل ستة من ضباط وعناصر الشرطة الذين أشرفوا على عملية التفتيش. وقد أكد محافظ أضنة “حسين عوني جوش” أن تلك الشاحنات تتبع فعلاً لجهاز المخابرات التركي وأن أردوغان هو الذي اتصل به حينها وطلب منه إنهاء احتجازها فوراً بعد أن زعم أردوغان أن تلك الشاحنات تنقل مساعدات إنسانية إلى سورية؟
ألم نستمع إلى إقرار قادة الدول الغربية خلال جلسة اعتماد مجلس الأمن للقرار 2178 بأن الآلاف من مواطنيهم قد توجهوا إلى سورية للقتال فيها؟ ألم نقرأ التقرير الذي أصدره فريق الخبراء الخاص بليبيا والمنشأ بموجب قرار مجلس الأمن 1970 وكذلك تقرير لجنة قرار مجلس الأمن 1267 حول تنظيم القاعدة بشأن السفينتين اللبنانية “لطف الله 2” والليبية “انتصار” اللتين كانتا تنقلان السلاح للإرهابيين من ليبيا إلى سورية عبر لبنان؟
ألم نلحظ حجم الترويج الإعلامي غير المسبوق لبعض أشكال الإرهاب من خلال تسجيل شركات تابعة لتنظيمات إرهابية تملك مواقع علنية مكشوفة وبأسماء جهادية مثل “منبر الأنصار” وهو الموقع الإلكتروني الذي يصف نفسه علناً بأنه المنبر الإعلامي للجهاد والجهاديين، والشركة صاحبة التسجيل الرسمي للموقع هي شركة بريطانية تدعى “هارد أنترنت” مقرّها في “تريسترام سنتر” بلندن، وموقع “المؤمنون” الذي ينشر أخبار داعش والنصرة والتنظيمات التكفيرية الأخرى وتملكه شركة أمريكية تدعى “سوفتلاير تكنولوجيز” مقرها في دالاس بولاية تكساس الأمريكية. وأمّا الموقع الرسمي لداعش فهو مسجل في ولاية تكساس الأمريكية باسم شركة “أدمينستراتيف كونتاكت”. وكذلك “المنبر الإعلامي الجهادي” وهو موقع إلكتروني ينشر أخبار داعش مسجل باسم شخص فلسطيني يُدعى “طارق عبد” وعنوانه غزة شارع الثلاثين مركز الطيران، والشركة تحمل اسم صاحبها ومسجلة في تشيلي- سانتياغو، والقائمة تطول أيضاً …؟
أليس من المستغرب عدم إغلاق بعض الحكومات العربية والإقليمية والدولية لمواقع إلكترونية تروّج وتحرّض وتجنّد إرهابيين للقتال في سورية علماً بأن هذه الحكومات قادرة على إغلاق هذه المواقع بكبسة زر؟ وماذا عن عدم التزام حكومات السعودية وقطر والأردن وتركيا وإسرائيل وفرنسا والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وبعض الدول الأخرى بتنفيذ قرارات مجلس الأمن ذوات الأرقام 2170 و2178 و2199 ذات الصلة بمنع تجنيد وتمويل وتدريب وتسليح وإيواء وتسهيل عبور الإرهابيين إلى الأراضي السورية والعراقية؟
هل الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية على سورية هي لمصلحة الشعب السوري؟ أليس العدو الإسرائيلي هو المستفيد الأول مما يجري في سورية؟ أليس الغطاء الإسرائيلي لإرهاب جبهة النصرة في منطقة فصل القوات في الجولان السوري المحتل وجنوب سورية يبعث على التساؤل حول هوية المحرك والمستفيد مما يجري؟
نقولها وبكل وضوح أنه إذا لم تلتزم تلك الحكومات بتنفيذ مضمون قرارات مجلس الأمن آنفة الذكر فإن الإرهاب سيقوّض تنفيذ أيّ حل سياسي ويطيل من معاناة الشعب السوري.
أيها السيدات والسادة،
إذا كان ما نطمح إليه هو الوصول إلى الأفضل فهل ما شهدته البلاد من كوارثٍ ودمارٍ ومصائبٍ وسفكٍ للدماء واستقدام ونشر الإرهاب وتهجير للمواطنين واستهداف للجيش والقوات المسلحة هو انتقال نحو الأفضل؟ وهل ما وصلت إليه بلادنا اليوم هو أفضل مما كانت عليه؟
إن بوصلة اجتماعنا هذا هي مصلحة الشعب السوري وإنهاء معاناته، فالحكومة السورية عملت وما زالت تعمل لتحقيق ذلك عبر مكافحة الإرهاب لعودة الأمن والأمان وإجراء الإصلاحات الضرورية لإحداث الانتقال نحو الأفضل، وهو ما نفترض أن يكون نقطة التقائنا مع شركائنا في الوطن من أصحاب النوايا الحسنة.
إن الحكومة السورية تنتظر من شركائها في المعارضة موقفاً واضحاً لا لبس فيه وأفعالاً ترقى إلى مستوى المسؤولية الوطنية، لنعمل معاً لإقامة الحوار الوطني الذي يتم فيه البحث عن الصيغ والآليات المناسبة والملائمة لتحقيق المصالح الوطنية العليا للدولة السورية إيماناً منّا بأن الحوار الوطني هو الطريق الوحيد للوصول إلى حل سياسي يهدف إلى إعادة الأمن والاستقرار للعباد وللبلاد.
أيها السيدات والسادة،
إن الواقعية السياسية والانتماء الوطني يقتضيان منا جميعاً العمل بصدقٍ وجدٍّ لمواجهة الأزمة وتداعياتها الخطيرة على وطننا. وقد يكون المخرج لذلك أن نوحد جهودنا للوصول إلى قواسم مشتركة
إن الحكومة السورية تنتظر من شركائها في المعارضة موقفاً واضحاً لا لبس فيه وأفعالاً ترقى إلى مستوى المسؤولية الوطنية، لنعمل معاً لإقامة الحوار الوطني الذي يتم فيه البحث عن الصيغ والآليات المناسبة والملائمة لتحقيق المصالح الوطنية العليا للدولة السورية إيماناً منّا بأن الحوار الوطني هو الطريق الوحيد للوصول إلى حل سياسي يهدف إلى إعادة الأمن والاستقرار للعباد وللبلاد.
أيها السيدات والسادة،
إن الواقعية السياسية والانتماء الوطني يقتضيان منا جميعاً العمل بصدقٍ وجدٍّ لمواجهة الأزمة وتداعياتها الخطيرة على وطننا. وقد يكون المخرج لذلك أن نوحد جهودنا للوصول إلى قواسم مشتركة وقراءة موحدة تضمن الانتقال إلى حوار سياسي ذي مصداقية يُتوّج بحلٍّ سياسي يحقق تطلعات جميع السوريين بالحفاظ على سيادة سورية ووحدتها أرضاً وشعباً واستقلالها السياسي بعيداً عن أي تدخل خارجي.

The native woman: How to change the Maktoub?

“Contre le mur il veut changer le maktoub.

Ses doigts sur ma peau, ses dents dans la coupe de ma main il retrace les nouvelles lignes de mon destin.
Dans le musée de mon enfance, les murs tremblaient une seconde après la chute d’un obus.

Une ou deux secondes? Ils continuaient à trembler jusqu’à ce que les toiles qui y sont accrochées tombent une à une. C’est la guerre contre l’art, contre Gauguin, Renoir et tout ce qui est beau.

C’est la guerre contre les couleurs, contre la sérénité de ce portrait de femme dans le canevas de ma tante, contre les cadres des photos de famille en noir et blanc, contre mes grands-parents, leurs enfants, leurs petits-enfants,

la guerre contre les diplômes accrochés, contre le savoir et l’éducation, contre les aiguilles de l’horloge qui ne marquent plus le temps, mais son arrêt.

C’est la peur que les murs ne s’écroulent et qu’il ne me reste aucun souvenir des miens, aucune preuve de mes origines, aucune preuve d’existence.

J’étais trop jeune pour mourir, mais les souvenirs, eux, étaient si vieux, agonisants sur les murs de notre maison.

Je me cachais souvent sous la table de la salle à manger. Elle était en bois d’ébène.

(Mother used to remind everyone when talking about the latest round in civil war that I did hide under a table. I had forgotten this event)

Je me disais que si je grandissais encore un peu plus, je ne pourrais plus m’y mettre dessous. J’ai décidé alors de ne pas grandir.

Et si je grandissais malgré moi, je serais géante et je soutiendrais les murs pour les empêcher de s’écrouler.
Je suis le musée de la guerre de mon pays.

En ce moment, je suis contre le mur par mon propre choix, un homme appuyé sur mes reins. Puis sur la table, pas en-dessous, par révolte.

Prends-moi mon amour, contre tous les murs de la ville, sur les tables de toutes ces maisons où le bonheur fut très longtemps desservi, prends-moi avant que la peur me reprenne, fais-moi l’amour avant qu’on nous fasse la mort.

Nous avons fait trembler les murs…”

Extrait de Femme Natale.

Note: I would love to read the details of how the walls trembled before they fall down from too much love making, leaning on these condemned walls.

Which Beirut are you talking about?

Beirut. Beirut. Beirut. I have been distant and cold from the news of Beirut

Rouba Mhaissen posted
When the civil war happened in Lebanon, my parents moved to Syria, and so did my grandparents in July 2006 war.
When the Syrian Revolution (uprising?) turned into a war, my Syrian family moved to Lebanon. My lebanese friends cheered for Syrians for years now, and today I see my Syrian friends supportive and optimistic after their hearts had died.
After our hearts had died. (For the devastation of Syria and the emptying of cities and villages?). Beirut, I am not distant. But as you can see from my writing, just disoriented.
Just watching silently and cheering at times, crying at others. It’s like my heart can no longer deal with images of beating or blood or injustice.
It’s like I am hidden behind the screen and the like buttons scared… And optimistic…
I am sorry Beirut, Syria has drained us and scared us.
You are giving us hope today but we are wounded and scared. We stand with you Beirut.
And I stand with my beautiful fellow citizens of a Lebanon calling for dignity and justice heart emoticon you are beautiful, just be safe. 
Be safe. We can’t take any more sadness… Or heart break. Just hope and resistance.

 

A history of cities in 50 buildings: Holiday Inn in Lebanon

Though Lebanon has been swept by a gentrifying and disfiguring development rush, some older monuments still stand tall.

Strolling downhill from the Clemenceau neighbourhood for a coffee on the seaside Corniche, you’ll see the towering building of the Holiday Inn: bullet-riddled and rocket-pierced.

The once-plush hotel, which opened for business just two years before the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975, has remained in Beirut’s collective memory – not for its glamour or architectural design, but as a front-line, a demarcation between east and west, and a symbol of war.

Beirut’s bullet-riddled Holiday Inn

A history of cities in 50 buildings, day 28

The once-plush hotel stands empty as a reminder of the city’s brutal civil war, while the surrounding districts are swept up in glitzy redevelopments

Today, entry to Beirut’s Holiday Inn is forbidden to the public. The building’s 24 floors are desolate.

 

The Holiday Inn represented an affluent time for the city: the building became part of a luxury developmental bubble at a time when Beirut’s banks were growing fat on deposits from the region’s petrodollars.

However, the civil war obliterated the hotel’s ambitions of becoming a social hub, with cinemas and restaurants crowned by a rooftop rotating restaurant towering over the district.

In October 1975, just months into the Lebanese civil war, the hotel became part of an epic battle dubbed “the war of the hotels”.

It lasted until March 1976 and mobilised around 25,000 fighters from both sides, resulting in more than 1,000 dead and 2,000 injured.

Holiday Inn, Beirut

Pinterest
A pro-Palestinian fighter in the destroyed Holiday Inn hotel, after militias dislodged Lebanese Christian forces from the hotel. Photograph: Xavier Baron/AFP/Getty Images

The Holiday Inn was the biggest in an area already jammed with hotels – an area that became strategically important because of its proximity to the sea: it was located between the coastal neighbourhoods of Ain el-Mresi and Mina al-Hosn, on top of a hill overlooking the city.

As the civil war began to polarise the city into east and west, the two main antagonists – the Lebanese Front (Christian rightwing militias backed by the Lebanese army) and the National Movement (Lebanese leftist parties backed by Palestine’s PLO) – raced to capture the district.

Seen by militants as a strategic military asset, the Holiday Inn became a trophy in the battle.

“We descended on the hotel district from three directions,” recalls Abu Ali, 66, a veteran of the war on the side of the National Movement. “The battle to take the Holiday Inn dragged on. That building felt like an unshakable castle. The Christian fighters who had raced us to it managed to create supply lines that kept feeding their fighters barracked in the hotel, and positioned their snipers on the upper floors and rooftop.”

Heavy artillery was fired from surrounding rooftops, pounding the Holiday Inn and creating the damage that is still visible today.

“Shortly after the battle, hordes of scavengers entered the building and stripped it down to its bones,” Ali said. “The Holiday Inn was then sold on the streets of Beirut: beds, silver spoons, curtains.”

Later, after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Beirut – in the second phase of the civil war – the Holiday Inn building was once again disputed turf, this time between former allies; with the al-Mourabitoun losing control of the building to the Amal Movement.

These battles were, in a sense, an introvert war fought by the city’s occupants who turned their own homes into an open battleground – a war fought from alley to alley, building to building.

A symbol of Lebanon's golden age, but also its brutal civil war, the empty shell of the Holiday Inn hotel could soon be redeveloped.

Pinterest
A symbol of Lebanon’s golden age, but also its brutal civil war, the empty shell of the Holiday Inn hotel could soon be redeveloped. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP

Since the conflict’s end, the shareholders of the bullet-riddled building have been locked in a dispute over its future.

The Lebanese partners Compagnie Immobiliere Libanaise wanted to renovate the building and set up luxury lofts for rent or sale. However, the Kuwaiti group that owns half wanted to demolish it, and build a new tower block similar to those in the surrounding downtown area.

Today, entry is forbidden to the public. The building’s 24 floors are desolate: shrubs sprout from the concrete floors, the grey mouldering walls still bearing scars of countless bullet holes and political graffiti from a bygone era. Its Lebanese and Kuwaiti owners recently declared their intention to put the building up for auction.

Many years after the fighting ceased, the building has become a popular site for underground dance parties. On a Saturday night in 1998, many Lebanese mingled in the same building where 23 years earlier their parents had fought each other. I was one of the revellers: we snuck out of our parents’ homes and drank and danced until the early hours on a site still vividly synonymous with the 15-year civil war.

In spite of the postwar efforts to resurrect Lebanon’s elusive golden age, the country once more teeters on the edge of an abyss. Lurking in the background of the glitzy, redeveloped downtown district, the disfigured façade of the Holiday Inn stands as a reminder that Lebanon’s civil war politics are far from resolved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four years in the Syrian civil war: Repercussion on Unemployment in Lebanon

Former minister Charbel Nahas said:

“The Syrian crisis deepened inequalities in Lebanon society”

« La crise des réfugiés a rendu la société libanaise encore plus inégalitaire qu’elle ne l’était. »

Depuis le début du soulèvement en Syrie, l’économie libanaise, affectée par l’instabilité régionale et locale, tourne au ralenti.

Les taux de croissance annuels d’environ 2 % enregistrés ces quatre dernières années (contre 8 % en 2010) masquent une sombre réalité socio-économique dans les régions périphériques, où s’est installée la majorité des réfugiés syriens, en particulier dans le Akkar, Tripoli, la Békaa, et le Liban-Sud.

Car si l’économie a pu s’adapter à la baisse des exportations, du tourisme et des investissements, le marché de l’emploi absorbe très difficilement le choc démographique que représente l’accueil d’environ 1,2 million de refugiés.

Selon la Banque mondiale, la population active a augmenté de 15,4 % au Liban depuis le début de la crise syrienne. Photo Joseph Eid

Quatre ans après le soulèvement en Syrie, la guerre civil en Syrie a eu un impact globalement mitigé sur l’économie libanaise qui continue de résister tant bien que mal.
En revanche, le choc démographique que représente l’afflux des réfugiés syriens a bouleversé le marché de l’emploi.

La population du Liban a ainsi augmenté de près de 30 % en quatre ans.

Cet afflux s’est accompagné d’une aide humanitaire internationale, estimée à 800 millions de dollars par an.  (The minister of finance has no formal reliable data on any kinds of aids)

En soutenant la demande, les aides versées aux refugiés ont permis, à elles seules, de générer 1,3 % de croissance en 2014, souligne l’économiste Kamal Hamdan.
Ces aides sont insuffisantes pour permettre aux réfugiés de vivre décemment, ne serait-ce que pour payer des loyers qui ont flambé sous la pression de la demande.

Une enquête menée par l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT) en 2013 auprès de 2 000 réfugiés avait révélé que près de la moitié d’entre eux travaillent pour compléter leurs revenus.

Plus de main-d’œuvre pour autant d’emplois
La population active, c’est-à-dire l’ensemble des résidents en âge de travailler (employés ou chômeurs), a augmenté de 15,4 % en quatre ans, selon les estimations de la Banque mondiale.

Étant donné le contexte économique morose, il est admis que les créations d’emplois n’ont pas suivi, même si les statistiques manquent cruellement dans ce domaine.

« Le taux de chômage (toutes nationalités comprises), qui était estimé à environ 11 % avant la crise, est passé à 18 voire 20 % », affirme l’économiste Kamal Hamdan.

« Si l’on ne considère que les Libanais, le nombre de sans-emplois a sans doute doublé, avec au moins 150 000 chômeurs de plus en quatre ans. »

En cause : le marasme économique, mais surtout la concurrence de la main-d’œuvre syrienne, prête à accepter des salaires largement inférieurs à ceux des Libanais.
Contrairement aux idées reçues, les qualifications des travailleurs libanais et syriens ne sont pas très éloignées.

« Le chômage au Liban ne touche pas essentiellement les personnes qualifiées comme on le pense, puisque de nombreux jeunes diplômés trouvent du travail à l’étranger et émigrent. Les personnes non qualifiées en revanche n’ont pas d’alternatives. On estime que 48 % de la population active libanaise a un niveau d’études élémentaire », indique l’économiste et ancien ministre du Travail, Charbel Nahas.
Pour ces derniers, la concurrence syrienne n’est pas un phénomène nouveau.

Bien avant 2011, les ouvriers syriens avaient déjà largement remplacé les Libanais dans les emplois non qualifiés du secteur agricole et celui de la construction.

« Les Libanais non qualifiés s’étaient alors tournés vers le secteur des services qui représente 60 % de l’économie. Ils travaillaient essentiellement dans les petits commerces, en tant que vendeurs, serveurs, cuisiniers, coiffeurs, etc. Mais aujourd’hui on observe un effet de substitution aussi dans ce secteur », constate le directeur de l’Institut du Levant pour les affaires stratégiques (LISA), Sami Nader.

Effet de substitution à tous les niveaux
Étant donné l’abondance de l’offre, la concurrence s’étend également aux emplois semi-qualifiés. Selon l’enquête de l’OIT, 45 % des réfugiés occupent un emploi non qualifié (agriculture, construction, concierge, chauffeurs…) et 43 % occupent un emploi semi-qualifié (menuisier, forgeron, industries agroalimentaires..), à des salaires imbattables.

Le revenu mensuel moyen d’un ouvrier syrien était de 418 000 livres par mois en 2013, la moitié de celui d’un Libanais non qualifié.
Cette forte concurrence a tiré le niveau des rémunérations à la baisse.

Toujours selon l’OIT, le salaire moyen d’un travailleur non qualifié a reculé de 30 % à Baalbeck et de 50 % à Wadi Khaled.

Près de 90 % des ouvriers libanais interrogés par l’OIT dans la Békaa ont constaté une baisse de leurs revenus. En moyenne, la Banque mondiale parle d’une baisse de la richesse par habitant au Liban d’environ 11 % depuis le début de la guerre en Syrie. Mais tous les habitants ne sont pas logés à la même enseigne.
En réduisant les coûts de production, la baisse des salaires a bénéficié aux entreprises.

En l’absence d’investissements, « cela s’est traduit par une hausse des profits du capital », souligne Kamal Hamdan.

L’OIT conclut dans son rapport que « les propriétaires de terrains et d’entreprises, et les autres membres de la classe moyenne et aisée profitent de la crise des réfugiés, tandis que les ménages libanais les plus pauvres et les plus vulnérables sont les plus menacés ». Charbel Nahas dresse le même constat : « La crise des réfugiés a rendu la société libanaise encore plus inégalitaire qu’elle ne l’était. »

4 000 nouveaux agents des FSI
Par manque d’opportunités de travail, les Libanais les plus défavorisés se dirigent donc vers le seul secteur qui leur est encore réservé : la fonction publique.

Et le gouvernement n’hésite pas à utiliser ce levier pour absorber le choc. Au début de l’année, les Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI) ont embauché 4 000 nouveaux éléments et s’apprêtent à en recruter 4 000 autres.

« Par rapport à un million d’actifs libanais ce chiffre est énorme, souligne Charbel Nahas. C’est comme si la France, qui compte 30 millions d’actifs, recrutait 120 000 policiers d’un coup. » Selon lui, 120 000 Libanais travaillent aujourd’hui dans les services de sécurité de l’État (armée, FSI, Sûreté générale).

Proportionnellement, cela représente 7 fois les effectifs actuels de la France.

Pistes de réflexion
Pour le moment, c’est l’une des deux seules solutions qu’a trouvées le gouvernement pour réguler le marché de l’emploi.

La deuxième  solution étant de limiter l’octroi de permis de travail à la main-d’œuvre étrangère.

Le ministre du Travail a fait de la régularisation des travailleurs syriens son cheval de bataille. Mais ses ambitions sont limitées par les moyens dont il dispose, sachant que près de 90 % des refugiés interrogés par le BIT en 2013 travaillaient sans contrat, et que le ministère du Travail compte une dizaine d’inspecteurs sur le terrain.
« Il faut faire pression sur les entreprises, les menacer de sanctions », estime Kamal Hamdan.
Le directeur de LISA, Sami Nader, plaide, lui, pour des « solutions créatives » en considérant qu’il faut canaliser la main-d’œuvre syrienne dans le secteur de la construction et dans l’agriculture. « Pourquoi ne pas employer les réfugiés dans des unités de production offshore financées par des bailleurs internationaux et destinées à l’export vers les pays du Golfe par exemple? »
De son côté, Charbel Nahas propose une politique de relance de l’emploi à l’échelle nationale. « Il faut un sursaut à la hauteur du choc.
Le Liban doit se tourner vers la communauté internationale pour financer un mécanisme de subventions à l’investissement au lieu de se contenter des aides humanitaires. » Mais pour cela, ajoute-t-il, « il faut sortir du déni et reconnaître que le pays est au bord de l’implosion ».

#WhatDoesItTake to end the #SyriaCrisis

Kinda Younes shared this  link on FB.

Take Action

In 2013, the heads of UN agencies sent a message saying “ENOUGH” to the crisis in Syria.

But the crisis continues — it enters its fifth year on 15 March.

With no end in sight, we ask what does it take for those with political influence to end this senseless suffering once and for all?

Join IN

Join us and express your frustration about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, and send a message of solidarity to the people of Syria.

Take a photo holding the sign #WhatDoesItTake.

Post the photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WhatDoesItTake and adding a message of solidarity for Syria’s people.

Example: #WhatDoesItTake to end the #SyriaCrisis

Note: All that it takes is for the policies of the USA, England and France to view the people in the Middle-East as valued human beings and their lives worth as much as the wealthy citizens in their countries.

Join us and express your frustration about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, and send a message of solidarity to the people of Syria.

 

Is Yemen On the brink of civil war?

As if Yemen ever stopped being on the verge of civil wars for over a century.

If the problems were just fighting among themselves.

The collapse of the US-backed government in the 2,500-year-old capital city of Sanaa, and the takeover by a Shiite-like sect, Houthi rebels from the north, has left the country in turmoil, amidst the threat of yet another regional conflagration along sectarian lines.

Britain, the United States and France have already closed down their embassies, but less clear is how they can respond to a crisis that looks ready to spiral out of control.

Most Gulf Emirate States and Saudi Arabia have transferred their embassies to Aden, to where the deposed President Hadi fled and is seeking support to his position.

Yemen’s collapse is a taste of things to come #InsideYemen

Author Info Wrap Nafeez Ahmed, Friday 20 February 2015

The war pundits have been out in force offering all manner of stale recommendations, largely rehashed from the last decade of failed counter-terrorism policies.

We are running out of options, but the reason for this is more nuanced than some might assume.

The core drivers of state failure in Yemen are neither Islamists, al-Qaeda jihadists, nor Houthis: they are structural, systemic, and ultimately, civilisational.

Yemen’s crisis serves as a grave warning for the looming risks to states in coming years and decades, not just in the region, but around the world

Welcome to the post-oil future

Yemen’s story is one of protracted, inexorable collapse.

Around 2001, Yemen’s oil production reached its peak, since then declining from 450,000 barrels per day (bbd), to 259,000 bpd in 2010, and as of last year hitting 100,000 bpd. Production is expected to plummet to zero in two years.

This has led to a drastic decline in Yemen’s oil exports, which has eaten into government revenues, 75% of which depend on oil exports.

Oil revenues also account for 90 percent of the government’s foreign exchange reserves. The decline in post-peak Yemen revenues has reduced the government’s capacity to sustain even basic social investments. (And how the former dictator managed to stash $9 bn in overseas banks?)

Things are looking bad now: but when the oil runs out, with no planning or investment in generating another meaningful source of government revenue, the capacity to sustain a viable state-structure will completely collapse.

Water woes

It’s not just oil that’s disappearing in Yemen: it’s water.

Yemen is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world.

In 2012, the average Yemeni had access to just 140 cubic metres of water a year for all uses, compared to the regional average of less than 1,000 cubic metres – which is still well below adequate levels.

Now in 2015, Yemenis have as little as 86 cubic metres of renewable water sources left per person per year.

The water situation in Yemen today is catastrophic by any reasonable standard. In many cities people have only sporadic access to running water every other week or so. In coming years, Sanaa could become the first capital in the world to effectively run out of water.

Climate change has already played a role in aggravating regional water scarcity.

From 1974 to 2004, the Arab world experienced rises in surface air temperature ranging from 0.2 to 2 degrees Celsius (C). Forecasting models generally project a hotter, drier, less predictable climate that could produce a 20-30% drop in water run-off in the region by 2050, mainly due to rising temperatures and lower precipitation.

According to the World Bank, while “climate change-induced alterations of rainfall” have worsened Yemen’s aridity, this has been compounded by the rapid growth in demand due to the “extension and intensification of agriculture; and fast growth in urban centres.”

Demographic disaster

At about 25 million people, Yemen has a relatively small population. But its rate of growth is exorbitantly high. More than half the population is under the age of 18 and by mid-century its size is expected to nearly double.

Last year, at a conference organised jointly by the National Population Council in Sanaa and the UN Population Fund, experts and officials warned that within the next decade, these demographic trends would demolish the government’s ability to meet the population’s basic needs in education, health and other essential public services.

But that warning is transpiring now.

Over half the Yemeni population live below the poverty line, and unemployment is at 40 percent generally, and 60 percent for young people. Meanwhile, as these crises have fuelled ongoing conflicts throughout the country, the resulting humanitarian crisis has affected some 15 million people.

A major impact of the high rate of population growth has been in the expansion of qat cultivation. With few economic opportunities, increasing numbers of Yemenis have turned to growing and selling the mild narcotic, which has accelerated water use to around 3.9 billion cubic metres (bcm), against a renewable supply of just 2.5 bcm.

The 1.4 bcm shortfall is being met by pumping water from underground water reserves. As these run dry, social tensions, local conflicts and even mass displacements are exacerbated, feeding into the dynamics of the wider sectarian and political conflicts between the government, the Houthis, southern separatists and al-Qaeda affiliated militants.

This has also undermined food security. As around 40 percent of Yemen’s irrigated areas are devoted to qat, rain-fed agriculture has dropped by about 30 percent since 1970.

Like many other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Yemen has thus become evermore dependent on food imports, and its economy increasingly vulnerable to global food price volatility.

The country now imports over 85% of its food, including 90 percent of its wheat and all of its rice.

Between 2000 and 2008, the year of the global banking collapse, global food prices rose by 75 percent, and wheat in particular by 200 percent. Since then, food prices have fluctuated, but remained high.

But rampant poverty means most Yemenis simply cannot afford these prices.

In 2005, the World Bank estimated that Yemeni families spend an average of between 55 and 70 percent of their incomes just on trying to obtain food, water and energy.

And while 40 percent of Yemeni households have got into food-related debt as a result, most Yemenis are still hungry, with the rate of chronic malnutrition as high as 58 percent, second only to Afghanistan.

Slow collapse

For more than the last decade, then, Yemen has faced a convergence of energy, water and food crises intensified by climate change, accelerating the country’s economic crisis in the form of ballooning debt, widening inequalities and the crumbling of basic public services.

Epidemic levels of government corruption, contributing to endemic levels of government mismanagement and incompetence, have meant that what little revenues the government has acquired have mostly disappeared into Swiss bank accounts.

Meanwhile, much-needed investments in new social programs, development of non-oil resources, and infrastructure improvements have languished.

With revenues plummeting in the wake of the collapse of its oil industry, the government has been forced to slash subsidies while cranking up fuel and diesel prices.

This has, in turn, cranked up prices of water, meat, fruits, vegetables and spices, leading to food riots.

There can be no doubt, then, that the rise of violent and separatist movements across Yemen, including the emergence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been largely enabled by the protracted collapse of the Yemeni state.

That process of collapse has been driven primarily by trends that are at play across the world: the peak of conventional oil production, intensifying extreme weather events due to climate change, the impacts on water and food scarcity, and deepening economic crisis.

As the government has failed to deliver even the most basic goods and services, it has lost legitimacy – and the vacuum left behind has been exploited by militants.

The ‘war’ on starved, thirsty and unemployed Yemenis

The US “war on terror” in Yemen is thus an ideal case study in failure: the failure of the “war on terror” as a strategy; the failure of the Yemeni state; the failure of neoliberal economic prescriptions; and, ultimately, the naval-gazing failure to understand how and why we are failing.

For the last few decades, successive US administrations have subsidised these failures by propping up corrupt, authoritarian regimes. Instead of recognising the fundamental drivers of state collapse, the approach has been to deal with the surface symptoms by propping up the police and military powers of a doomed and illegitimate state-structure.

The previous government of Abdullah Saleh was effectively toppled under popular protests in 2011, which forced Saleh to hand over the reigns of power to his vice-president, Mansour Hadi.

But Saleh, now blacklisted by Washington for sponsoring “terrorism” and “destabilising” Yemen by conspiring with the Houthis, was a staunch US ally, who even voluntarily took the blame for US drone strikes in the country, which have killed large numbers of civilians.

Saleh saw his main task as consolidating state coffers at the expense of the rest of Yemen, and deploying overwhelming indiscriminate military force to put down popular rebellions.

Throughout his rule, Saleh was supported by tens of millions of dollars in US aid annually – which reached a height of $176 million for military training and counter-terrorism assistance in 2010.

Yet as documented by groups like Human Rights Watch (HRW), US military aid was used to ruthlessly crush secessionist and opposition movements. Massive aerial bombardment and artillery shelling regularly inflicted consistently “high civilian casualties,” according to HRW. Government forces routinely opened fire on unarmed protestors years before 2011, usually “without warning” and from short-range.

Why do our friends love al-Qaeda?

Our blossoming love affair with Saleh was justified by the need to fight al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which of course recently claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris.

But Saleh’s regime had harboured al-Qaeda terrorists for decades, and largely with US knowledge. Since 1996 at latest, the National Security Agency (NSA) had been intercepting all of Osama bin Laden’s communications with his al-Qaeda operations hub in Yemen, based in Sanaa, which functioned as a logistics base to coordinate terrorist attacks around the world, including the US embassy bombings in East Africa and the bombing of the USS Cole.

But much of this terrorist activity also occurred under the patronage of the Saleh regime, as candidly described by a US Congressional Research Service report in 2010.

The report explains how in 1994, “President Saleh dispatched several brigades of ‘Arab Afghans’ to fight against southern late secessionists,” with US backing. In the same period, al-Qaeda-linked militants “began striking targets inside the country.”

Despite this, the Congressional report points out that “Yemen continues to harbor a number of al-Qaeda operatives and has refused to extradite several known militants on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists” – including people who had been convicted of targeting Yemeni oil installations.

Former FBI special agent Ali Soufan said: “If Yemen is truly an ally, it should act as an ally. Until it does, US aid to Yemen should be reevaluated. It will be impossible to defeat al-Qaeda if our ‘allies’ are freeing the convicted murderers of US citizens and terrorist masterminds while receiving direct US financial aid.’”

The rabbit hole goes much deeper than this, though. Almost immediately after AQAP formally declared its existence through a partnership between al-Qaeda operatives based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Saleh “struck a deal with Ayman Zawahiri,” al-Qaeda’s incumbent emir, according to Yemen analyst Jane Novak.

“In the latest round of negotiations, Saleh reportedly asked the militants to engage in violence against the southern mobility movement,” wrote Novak, whose blog www.armiesofliberation.com was banned by the Yemeni government in 2007.

“The deal has reportedly included the supply of arms and ammunition to al-Qaeda paramilitary forces by the Yemen military.”

A copy of an internal AQAP communiqué obtained by a Yemeni news publication revealed that al-Qaeda legitimised fighting for the state by referencing the 1994 war.

“Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula explained to its followers that President Saleh wants jihadists to fight on behalf of the state, especially those who did already in 1994, against the enemies of unity – southern oppositionists,” reported Novak. “AQAP in return will gain prison releases and unimpeded travel to external theatres of jihad, the letter explained.”

Protecting our oil

US support for Yemen’s authoritarian, terror-toting state structure continues. Since the arrival of Saleh’s successor, Mansour Hadi – deposed in the wake of the recent Houthi coup – Obama had authorised nearly $1 billion in aid to the Yemeni government. The support was supposed to be a model success for political transition, offering a blueprint for how to take on the “Islamic State” (IS).

Yet Hadi, like his predecessor, was no reformer. He came to power in a phony “democratic” election in which he was the only candidate, a US-backed process brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consisting of some of the world’s most brutal dictatorships, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Now, in the wake of the GCC powers threatening a joint invasion to remove the Shiite Houthis, the Houthis have agreed to form a “people’s transitional council” with rival parties to resolve the political crisis.

For the US, the real issue in Yemen is its strategic position in relation to the world’s oil supply. Yemen controls the Bab el-Mandeb strait, through which 8 percent of global trade travels including 4 percent of global oil products. The Houthi coup threatens the Yemeni government’s ability to control the strait, and could even force it to close if violence worsens.

The closure of the strait would increase transit times and costs with severe implications for global oil prices that could potentially trigger an economic crash.

The biggest problem with the strategy in Yemen, then, is its obsession with sustaining business-as-usual, no matter how defunct. Our global chronic dependence on fossil fuels is driving climate change, which in turn is accelerating regional water and food scarcity.

But it also means that we must maintain a pliant authoritarian regime in Yemen to ensure that an anti-US government cannot come to power, undermine our access to this strategic region and destabilise the global economy.

Yet it is precisely the execution of this very strategy that has intensified instability in Yemen; fuelled the grievances that feed dissent, rebellion and even terrorism, and culminated in the Houthi coup that we are now desperate to find a way to quell and accommodate.

Until all actors in the crisis are willing to recognise and address its deeper causes, the new “transition council” in Yemen will solve nothing. In coming years, Yemen’s state will crumble, and US-led efforts to shore it up by empowering its most repressive structures will merely accelerate the collapse.

Yemen’s crisis, in that respect, serves as a grave warning for the looming risks to states in coming years and decades, not just in the region, but around the world.

Yet there is an alternative. If we want a stable government in Yemen, we would do well to re-think the efficacy of focusing so much of our aid on corrupt and repressive regimes in the name of countering terrorism, a process that has contributed to the wholesale destruction of Yemeni society.

We need a new model, one that is based on building grassroots community resilience, facilitating frameworks for mutual inter-tribal political and economic cooperation, and empowering communities to implement best practices in clean energy infrastructure, local water management and sustainable food production.

That we would rather shoot, bomb and kill our way to victory instead, in cahoots with regimes that sponsor terrorism under our noses and with our support, reveals how neck-deep in self-induced delusion we really are about the unsustainable nature of our chosen course.

– Nafeez Ahmed PhD, is an investigative journalist, international security scholar and bestselling author who tracks what he calls the ‘crisis of civilization.’

He is a winner of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian reporting on the intersection of global ecological, energy and economic crises with regional geopolitics and conflicts.

He has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist. His work on the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Armed Yemeni tribesmen from the Awlaki tribe, the largest clan in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province (AFP)

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/yemen-s-collapse-taste-things-come-456530551#sthash.wRIy07vW.dpuf

Story of another civil war: Syrians on their knees?

Almost 200,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the escalating conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule.

Syria’s bloody internal conflict, which started in 2011, has destroyed entire neighbourhoods and forced more than 9 million people from their homes.  The UN declared that 11 million Syrians (out of 20 million) need urgent aids to survive this catastrophe.

This is the story of the civil war so far, in eight short chapters.

1. Uprising turns violent

Syrian protesters

Pro-democracy protests erupted in March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa after the arrest and torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. After security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing several, more took to the streets.

The unrest triggered nationwide protests demanding President Assad’s resignation. The government’s use of force to crush the dissent merely hardened the protesters’ resolve.

By July 2011, hundreds of thousands were taking to the streets across the country.

Opposition supporters eventually began to take up arms, first to defend themselves and later to expel security forces from their local areas.

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2. Descent into civil war

Grieving Syrian man and injured girl

Violence escalated and the country descended into civil war as rebel brigades were formed to battle government forces for control of cities, towns and the countryside. Fighting reached the capital Damascus and second city of Aleppo in 2012.

By June 2013, the UN said 90,000 people had been killed in the conflict. However, by August 2014 that figure had more than doubled to 191,000.

The conflict is now more than just a battle between those for or against President Assad. It has acquired sectarian overtones, pitching the country’s Sunni majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect, and drawn in neighbouring countries and world powers. The rise of the jihadist groups, including Islamic State, has added a further dimension.

Syria death toll chart
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3. War crimes

Barrel bomb victim

A UN commission of inquiry, investigating alleged human rights violations since March 2011, has evidence that those on both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes – including murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances. Government and rebel forces have also been accused by investigators of using civilian suffering, such as blocking access to food, water and health services, as a method war.

In the city of Aleppo, an estimated 3,000 people have been killed by barrel bombs dropped by the regime on rebel-held areas since December last year. The UN says that in some instances, civilian gatherings have been deliberately targeted, constituting massacres.

The jihadist group, Islamic State, has also been accused by the UN of waging a campaign of fear in northern and eastern Syria. Its fighters have beheaded hostages and carried out mass killings of members of the security forces and religious minorities.

We’re just living on the edge of life. We’re always nervous, we’re always afraid

Mother-of-nine, Mariam Akash, whose husband was killed by a sniper
Getty Images
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4. Chemical weapons

Syrians in masks

Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with the nerve agent sarin were fired at several agricultural districts around Damascus. Western powers, outraged by the attack, said it could only have been carried out by Syria’s government. The regime and its ally Russia blamed rebels.

Facing the prospect of US military intervention, President Assad agreed to the complete removal or destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal as part of a joint mission led by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The destruction of chemical agents and munitions was completed a year later.

Despite the operation, the OPCW has since documented the use of toxic chemicals, such as chlorine and ammonia, by the government in attacks on rebel-held northern villages between April and July 2014.

Map showing alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria in 2013
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5. Humanitarian crisis

Syrian refugees

More than 3 million people have fled Syria since the start of the conflict, most of them women and children. It is one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history. Neighbouring countries have borne the brunt of the refugee crisis, with Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey struggling to accommodate the flood of new arrivals. The exodus accelerated dramatically in 2013, as conditions in Syria deteriorated.

A further 6.5 million people, 50% of them children, are believed to be internally displaced within Syria, bringing the total number forced to flee their homes to more than 9.5 million – half the country’s population.

An estimated 10.8 million are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, with 4.6 million living in areas under siege or hard to access.

The UN launched its largest ever appeal for a single crisis in December 2013, seeking $6.5bn (£4bn) to provide medical care, food, water, shelter, education and health services.

Map showing Syrian refugee numbers across the region
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6. Rebels and the rise of the Islamists

Nusra Front fighter

The armed rebellion has evolved significantly since its inception, with as many as 1,000 groups commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters. Secular moderates are now outnumbered by Islamists and jihadists, whose brutal tactics have caused widespread concern and triggered rebel infighting.

Capitalising on the chaos in the region, Islamic State (IS) – the extremist group that grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq – has taken control of huge swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria. Its many foreign fighters in Syria are now involved in a “war within a war”, battling rebels who object to their tactics as well as Kurdish forces.

In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Iraq and Syria in an effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” IS.

In the political arena, rebel groups are also deeply divided – with rival alliances battling for supremacy. The most prominent is the moderate National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, backed by several Western and Gulf Arab states. However, the coalition’s primacy is rejected by other groups – including the powerful Islamist alliance, the Islamic Front – leaving the country without a convincing nationally supported alternative to the current Syrian regime.

Map showing Islamic State territory across Iraq and Syria
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7. Peace efforts

Peace talks on Syria

With neither side able to inflict a decisive defeat on the other, the international community long ago concluded that only a political solution could end to the conflict in Syria. However, a number of attempts by the Arab League and the UN to broker ceasefires and start dialogue have failed.

In January 2014, the US, Russia and UN convened a conference in Switzerland to implement the 2012 Geneva Communique, an internationally-backed agreement that called for the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria formed on the basis of mutual consent.

The talks, which became known as Geneva II, broke down in February after only two rounds.

The then UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi blamed the Syrian government’s refusal to discuss opposition demands and its insistence on a focus on fighting “terrorists” – a term Damascus uses to describe rebel groups.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the organisation’s long-term strategic objective remains a political solution based on the Geneva Communique.

The new UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura has also proposed establishing a series of “freeze zones”, where local ceasefires would be negotiated to allow aid deliveries in besieged areas.

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8. Proxy war

Rebel fighter

What began as another Arab Spring uprising against an autocratic ruler has mushroomed into a brutal proxy war that has drawn in regional and world powers.

Iran and Russia have propped up the Alawite-led government of President Assad and gradually increased their support, providing it with an edge that has helped it make significant gains against the rebels. The regime has also enjoyed the support of Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement.

The Sunni-dominated opposition has, meanwhile, attracted varying degrees of support from its main backers – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Arab states along with the US, UK and France. However, the rise of radical Islamist militia in rebel ranks and the arrival of Sunni jihadists from across the world has led to a marked cooling of international and regional backing.

The disappointment caused by the West’s inaction created a fertile recruiting ground for extremists, who told those who had lost their loved ones that they were their only hope

Majed, a 26-year-old civil society activist

How warlords in Lebanon got filthy rich from civil war?

Let me name a few of the warlords during the civil war, and many of them are still running the country and abusing the citizens as their own chattel.

The living warlords still  controlling the State of Lebanon are:

Nabih Berry, AMAL movement of the Shiaa sect, and the Head of Parliament for 3 decades

Walid Jumblat, political leader of the Druze sect, and deputy for ever. He admitted assassination, mutilating the victims and throwing the corps in deep wells

Samir Geaja, leader of the Lebanese Forces and candidate to the Presidency. Where ever he lead his forces, the Christians ended up relocating to other districts. He served 11 years in a military prison for series of assassinations and was released on political ground.

Joanna Choukeir Hojeily shared this link showing the amount of money generated by the warring factions:

This is shocking, no wonder it was in no one’s interest to end the war.

Who would want to close down their own thriving business?

This is shocking, no wonder it was in no one's interest to end the war. Who would want to close down their own thriving business?

 

 

In hindsight: “What could have happened if Beshir Gemayel was not assassinated in 1982?”

Beshir Gemayel was assassinated on Sept. 14, 1982 along with scores of other people who came to the meeting in Achrafieh.  Beshir was elected President of Lebanon under the bayonets of the Israeli army that occupied the Capital Beirut. He was to officially take on his duties the next day as President.

On April 13, 1975, the civil war started in Lebanon and lasted 18 years: It was a Palm Sunday. This year Palm Sunday was on April 13, and even the people in the second largest city of Tripoli celebrated in the streets, after 20 street battles last year.

This coincidence got me into thinking:

“what could have happened if Beshir Gemmayel was not assassinated in September 14, 1982, a single day before the official ceremony inducting him as President of the Republic of Lebanon?”

What if he governed for at least a year before being assassinated?

Probably:

1. Israel would not have entered West Beirut and sacked the city and stole all kinds of documents and artifacts…

2. The genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila might Not have taken place. Over 3,000 elder people and children (Palestinians and Lebanese) were slaughtered in 2 nights, under the watch of a Lebanese army stationed in the nearby and claiming to be helpless.

3. Israel would have retreated to the 40 km “buffer zone” in the south, far quicker than it did, after the fighters of the Palestinian Resistance Movement (PLO) were evacuated from Lebanon.

4. The massacres in the Chouf province between the Christians and the Druze would not have happened (Samir Geaja and his militias The Lebanese Forces entered the Chouf at the instigation of Israel)

4. The massacres in East Saida between the Christians and the Sunnis would have been spared (Samir Geaja militias entered the Saida province at the instigation of Israel)

5. The thousands of new Christian refugees to the Christian canton would not have fled their towns and villages, at least not in such a hurry

6. The division of Lebanon into sectarian cantons would have been slower in the formation

7. The regular army would have assisted the UN forces in the south and the militias associated with Israel would have been disbanded.

8. A “peace treaty” with Israel would have been ratified with better terms than what was written during Amine Gemmayel tenure, and which failed to be ratified any way.

9. The Syrian troops would have stayed in the Bekaa Valley and refrained from approaching Beirut.

10. The sieges and massacres perpetrated against the Palestinian camps by the Amal militias of Nabih Berry (instigated by Syria) would have been delayed, at least.

11. The civil war would have taken another turn and saved Lebanon further deeper chasm among the sectarian forces

12. The Druze militias of Walid Jumblat would not have invested Mazra3a in Beirut with their tanks

13. Amine Gemmayel would not have been elected president and the Lebanese currency would not have devalued quickly to 1,500 times less

14. The second largest city of Tripoli would not have turned extremist Islamist, and the secular parties of the Communists and Syrian National Social would have retained stronger presence in that city

15. Yasser Arafat might not have returned to Tripoli and re-armed the Palestinian camps and cause thousands to be killed during two months of siege.

16. And most likely, Samir Geaja would not have ended up leader of the Lebanese Forces militia and left trails of calamities for the Christian population everywhere he got engaged militarily

In hindsight, which governments or political organizations were behind the planning of the assassination of Bashir Gemmayel? Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Resistance, any of the Lebanese resistance factions… All of them had a reason for this assassination

Mind you that Islamic Iran was engaged in a protracted war with Iraq of Saddam Hussein that lasted 9 long years of savage fighting.  The cease fire for that war was decided by Ayatolla Khomeini as he learned that he had a few months to live: He decided to extend a survival breathing space for his Islamic regime that was on the verge of collapse.

Question: Would Hezbollah be created?

Yes.

1. Hezbollah would have been instituted simply because the question of Palestine opens the door wide to Islamist Iran to tamper with our internal affairs. The peace treaty would have been an excellent excuse to rally the Shiaa around Iran positions.

2. The frequent tampering of Israel in South Lebanon would have inevitably alienated the Shiaa against the Israeli occupiers.

Note 1: In hindsight, the administrative institutions would have been re-structured and a semblance of a State re-constituted for a while, instead of the current militia/mafia political system

Note 2: Most probably, the Lebanese based “Syria National Social Party” took seriously the decision of Bashir to target their members and responded in kind.

Note 3: Israel tasted the spirit of resistance of the National coalition to any invaders and occupiers of Lebanon, after the Shiaa in the south welcomed Israel army with rice and flowers to get rid of the Palestinian “resistance” forces of Arafat. Arafat didn’t care of fighting Israel: He was content on settling in Lebanon and control it politically. This warmonger Sharon aided the Lebanese of ridding them from a Palestinian army and helped us breath more freely.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2022
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