Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘sectarian cantons

This historical wrong-timing calamity mistake: Late Hafez Assad troops crosses Lebanon borders in 1976

This historical error of judgement by Syria late Hafez Assad in 1976: Lebanese are still paying its dear price, 50 years later.

The Lebanese “progressive” movement of political parties, allied with Palestine Liberation Organization, were massed in the town of Dhour Shouweir and ready to enter Bikfaya and descend on Jounieh (supposedly a stronghold of the Christian militias forces).

The US ambassador hurried to Damascus to convince Hafez to cross the borders and prevent the defeat of the Christian militias.

The US and Israel gave Syria the green light and dangled all kinds of opportunities for Assad to move quickly, a one-life opportunity to take control of a big chunk of Lebanon.

The “Leftist” alliance needed barely 3 weeks to end their plan of attack.

Hafez didn’t give them that reprieve and ordered them to stop the attack.

Surely they resisted the onslaught of the Syrian army and delayed for 6 months the Syrian army to deploy.

But the “Christian” militias were saved and given fresh opportunities to resume their traditional treacherous activities before and after Lebanon independence of begging the colonial powers and Israel to continue their international support and weapon transfer.

The “Christian” leaders have always been the confirmed stooges to the colonial powers, on the faked and untenable assumption that their survival is linked to the firm colonial support. Though previous experience and successive later ones proved to be wrong and the colonial powers didn’t give any weight for the minority Christian forces, militarily and politically

So, what convinced Hafez, this level headed and patient leader, to cross in the wrong timing?

It was easy to surmise that in critical periods, the clan and minority spirit overcome the general concept of unity of the nation.

A minority “Muslim” Alawi sect in power in Syria, coming to the rescue of a minority Maronite “christian” sect that was in power a year ago, before the start of Lebanon civil war.

Kind of minorities in power rescuing one another in critical junctions.

Obviously, Hafez was Not about to state this inclination and he proclaimed that the decision was taken months ahead of US demand to cross the border.

Israel agreed for the Syrian army to cross Lebanon borders with easy conditions: that the army stay clear from Lebanon southern borders with Israel (a “buffer zone” of about 40 km deep) and Not to transfer quality weapons that might constitute threat to Israel security.

Consequently, the Lebanese christian militias had an easy propaganda to resume their cooperation with Israel: Hafez was guaranteed a life-long power over Syria and is Not independent in his foreign decisions and affairs.

This historical decision to cross the border, 3 weeks before taming the christian militias, exacerbated the situation and let the civil war continue till 1992.

From 1976 til 1984, the Christian forces harassed militarily the Syrian troops in location they had a majority population: They forgot that it was the Syrian troops that saved them from oblivion.

The Lebanese civilians paid the heaviest of prices: mass transfer to newly created sectarian cantons.

Syrian controlled Lebanon til 2005 before withdrawing its troops. From 1991 and on, military activities by Christian forces against the Syrian stopped since the world community agreed on a peaceful transition, but street demonstrations flurried now and then.

There were No Victors in this protracted civil war and the militia “leaders” of all religious sects returned to power and they rule Lebanon til now.

Since 2001, Lebanon has been declining economically, financially, politically and administratively: transformed into an anomie system where every deputy owns a basic business in Lebanon and swap shares without paying a dime in the transactions.

No public institutions function normally: No public electricity, potable water, polluted rivers and sea, and one third of the families relying on public services paychecks.

Israel also committed a strategic historical mistake by crossing Lebanon borders in 1982, entered Beirut, and forced the PLO to vacate Lebanon.

Since then, Israel had no valid lame excuses of trespassing the borders to attack Palestinian incursions within its borders. Lebanon national movement to resist and kick out Israel occupation was constituted and Hezbollah was organized after Islamic Iran came to power in 1979.

Israel could no longer rely on the Palestinians refugees to destabilize Lebanon society.

Israel is currently on the defensive and unable to pre-empt any war on Lebanon, since its defeat in the 2006 war.

Wrong timing is accelerated by faulty and difformed idea-fix passions.

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The Secular Free Syria Nation Movement: A synthesis of a popular political resolution?

The “citizens” of the “independent” recognized States in the Middle East are not enjoying this UN status.

Since after WWII, the citizens in the States of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine and Kuwait have experienced calamities in military coup, dictatorship, absolute monarchies, civil wars, foreign preemptive wars and occupations…

If the citizens in each one of these States (recognized or not by the UN) has to fathom “What wrong with us”  and try to take stock of his strengths and weaknesses, his capabilities and limitations… the citizen will feel totally desolate, helpless and dillusioned about the future in any which way he projects himself in the future and the “State of Union“.

One excellent alternative is to consider the perspective of sharing the experiences of the last 8 decades among the citizens of these States, communicate our idiosyncrasies that we acquired for centuries, and reach a resolution for tight cooperation among all these States.

The political leaders in these countries mostly failed to walk the tight rope between affirming self-autonomy and negotiating the “interests” of the many former mandated powers.

The “citizens” in the Near East and Middle East (ME) in general, experienced many military coup d’états since 1949, and the kinds of democracies they expected were short-lived, baffled by the foreign colonial powers, which didn’t appreciate any forms of smooth transition of powers and the establishment of durable State institutions.

A century ago, the people in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Iraq identified themselves as one people and called themselves Syrians, even if they had the Ottoman passport.

The colonial powers of France and England tried hard for over 2 centuries to deconstruct the unity of the Syrian people in their customs, traditions and life style: They succeeded in dividing the Syrian Nation into smaller States such as in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Kuwait (supposedly based on religious sects), but failed in further subdivisions in Syria and Iraq, though the political will of the colonial powers was there.

The refusal of the people in Syria and Iraq to be citizens in small entities (sectarian cantons) foiled the grand strategy.

The colonial powers, including the US, the Soviet Union and the nascent Israeli State in the last half century, managed to destabilize these States for another century, prevented the establishment of democratic and institutional structures by various economic, military and political interventions.

And frequent preemptive wars, and frequent embargoes on foodstuff and financial transactions…

A popular political resolution among the secular political parties and associations is making inroads amid this tumultuous period of recurring civil wars and frequent superpower preemptive wars in this region.

A popular political resolution is fed up of the defunct notion of Arabic Nation and surely refuse this novelty of Islamic Umma, which is reminiscent of the archaic Arabic empires.

A popular political resolution is endeavoring for a long-term political and economic education:

1. Any military strike on any of these States is an aggression on every one of the 6 recognized States

2. Any military coup on a State is a foreign intervention in every one of the 6 States

3. Any set of economic and financial embargo on a State is an internal meddling with the 6 States

4. Every attack on the currency of a State is an attack on the currencies of the 6 States

The resolution is not meant to constitute a political entity, but a unity in the realization that targeting citizens in one State is targeting every one of the 60 million citizens in their dignity and daily welfare.

The resolution is to open up the internal market for the 60 million for free trade in order for emerging companies and industry to take off.

Otherwise, all the innovation, development, opportunities and intellectual potentials are vain without the support of a substantial internal market to boost any economy…

The trend is to encourage frequent meeting by parliaments and governments in the 6 States to negotiate legislation and decisions that open up the internal market of the 6 States and facilitate transport, communication and free travel of the citizens…

Internal Free-Trade Zones

Why free-trade zones?

Most of the recognized States by the United Nations in the Middle East were not naturally and normally constituted, and the borders are artificially delimited:

The States  were divided up by the mandatory European nations of Britain, France and the active participation of the USA, after the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire lost the war in the WWI by siding with Germany.

There are many ethnic, emotional, economic, linguistic, and historical intermingling and rivalries among these States, and free trade zones are transitional zones for frequent easy and efficient ways among the traders and companies to meet, mingle and share ideas and plans for the internal market.

The free trade zones ARE OPPORTUNITY FOR GOVERNMENT TO negotiate common trade laws and facilitate interrelationship

The internal free trade zones could be:

One: The Basra region between Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait could alleviate recurring conflicts.

Two: Between Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, where their frontiers intersect artificially, a free-trade zone would encourage commerce in that desolate area.

Three: Daraa, the Golan Heights and Houran between Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon share borders

Four: Between Syria and Lebanon there are potential two zones (the northern Lebanese frontiers of Akkar, and the south-eastern Bekaa Valley with Shebaa Farms).

Five: The Deir Zur region in north east Syria on the Euphrates River can be an good free zone between Iraq and Syria

I like to envision the creations of external free-trade zones among the States of Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Cyprus.

Since military confrontations are out of the question, and since daily trade and social relations are binding certain bordering zones then, creative alternatives should be studied to form viable trade zones that otherwise would be left unmanaged and precariously volatile.

First, between the States of Turkey and Syria there are many legitimate claims that should be resolved on their borders.  There is the possibility of several free-trade zones such as (Cilicia, Iskandaron, and Lazkieh (Latakieh)) and the Kurdish common zone of Hassakeh and Diar Baker and Van.

Second, between Turkey and Iraq there is an ideal free-trade zone in their common Kurdish region around Mosul.

Third, between Iraq and Iran two zones can be contemplated (the common Kurdish region, and the region around the Persian/Arabic Gulf).

Fourth, between Iraq, Iran, and Kuwait the Basra region could alleviate recurring conflicts.

Five:, Between Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus a free-trade zone in Cyprus would iron out differences and encourage maritime commerce and the oil production and processes.

What are the processes for initiating these free-trade zones?

After a period of three years of ironing out details and instituting regulations with special passports or identity cards for the inhabitants of the zones, then all the zones between two states can be merged.

It is only normal that contiguous zones common to three States could eventually be merged and a belt of uninterrupted contiguous zones would form the natural borders of the Middle East.

As was done in Europe, let commerce and industry form the basis for these zones, which should generate rational cooperative decisions for our future.

What kinds of Free-Trade Zones?

The concept of a free-zone is to create magnate cities, self-autonomous city, with laws and regulations agreed upon among the States.

Ultimately, an economic union could emerge, based on a set of procedures and processes that works, which form a firm ground to negotiating common interests, and disseminating common laws and regulations valid in the various lands.

The potential “Free trade zones” with neighboring States could be: in Iskandaron (Alexandretta) between Turkey and Syria on the coast,

Another one at the junction among Turkey, Iraq, and Syria (in the Kurdish populated zone),

Another one between Syria and Iraq in the desert region on the Euphrates River,

Another one among Jordan, Syria and Iraq, one in Gaza between Egypt and Palestine, and

One in Aqaba between Jordan, Saudi Kingdom and Egypt.

Read: Potential Free Trade Zones in the Syrian Nation: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/free-trade-zones-in-the-middle-east/

Note 1: A partial map showing how the gas pipelines are meant to converge to Syria, bypassing Turkey, and why Saudi Kingdom and Qatar are angry that Assad refused their preconditions… Take three minutes to listen (3 minutes pour comprendre) : les enjeux énergétiques de la guerre en Syrie

Note 2: Mandated France attached Syrian lands to Turkey, the size of current Syria.

Note 3: Britain/France and USA created on purpose a colonial occupation entity in Palestine, named Israel

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

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