Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Twin Towers

Is Afghanistan Strategic? Ever more so, though too late for the USA… 

Did you hear of Carlos Bulgeroni?

There is great avidity for the oil and gas originating from Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirghistan, and particularly Kazakhstan)

He is an Argentine entrepreneur, founder of Bridas, the 4th largest oil company in Latin America.

In 1992, Carlos snatched a couple of pipeline oil and gas concessions from Turkmenistan. One of the pipeline was to end in Multan (Pakistan port) and must cross Afghanistan from north to south and passing in the valleys of Afghanistan close to Kandahar. This was the $3 bn Daulatabad project.

Unocal (12th largest US oil company) and founded by Roger Beach join in the project. Unocal brought in the Saudi oil company Delta Oil in order to bypass the signed deal with Bridas.

Another planned pipeline was the Chardzhou pipeline joining Turkmenistan to Gwadar (Pakistan port on the Gulf) and crossing Afghanistan and passing close to Herat.

Otherwise, the pipelines had to cross Russia, Iran, and pass by Azerbaijan and eventually end on the Mediterranean Sea (Turkey and Syria)

In 1994, the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan fully supported the new militia forces of Taliban (Students in religion) in Kandahar on the premise that this force is not tribal and can bring security and stability to Afghanistan.

These students attended religious madrassa tightly linked to the Indian Koranic school of Deobandi, a sect that prohibits the cult of saints. This sect is mainly a Wahhabi brand of Sunni sect as predominant in Saudi Arabia.

Taliban did bring security and stability at the expense of everything else: freedom of opinion, of expression, of education, and denial of women’s basic rights… and demolishing all the monuments that are not related to their Wahhabi brand of Islam.

The only lukewarm condition of the US was to kick out Ussama bin Ladden and his Qaeda from Afghanistan.

The Taliban were happy to oblige, but they failed to reckon with the large web of Ussama in the Afghan’s fabrics.

Ussama decided to punish the US and started to plan the blasting of the World Trade Center (1996) and partially succeeded.

In September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers fell. Most of the kamikaze were Saudi Wahhabi.

Mind you that Ussama made sure that the strong leader Massoud of the Tajik forces in North-East Afghanistan is assassinated: He was trying to prevent the US from finding a unified front to launch its ground invasion.

Too late. Russia got hold of 90% of the oil and gas concessions in central Asia and signed deals with China to buy of the oil and gas for the next decade.

The central Asia pipelines are crossing Russia toward china and many of them are done and functional.

Note: The late Saudi Turki Al Faisal was the chief of Saudi secret services GID at the period and this monarchy has been supporting the terrorist Islamic factions for over 3 decades.

Currently, these factions are pissed off with their “monarchy and the 5,000 princes” who used and abused of them for so long and refuse to admit them back home after serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria… Saudi Arabia is about to brace for a civil war, with trained and extremists “revolutionaries”, more obscurantist than their monarchy.

Yesterday, the monarch Abdullah announced that the former minister of the interior and GID chief Mokri, the youngest son (35 of them) of the founder Saud bi Abdul Aziz, to become the third in line for the monarchy.

 

 

 

Voices of the time: In very short stories by Eduardo Galeano

1) It is in a course of intensive care, at a Buenos Aires hospital, that Ruben Omar Sosa studied the case of the patient Maximiliana. This case would be the most important lesson that Ruben learned in his medical career.

Every day, and at every encounter with Ruben, Maximiliana would ask him to take her pulse.  Ruben would hold Maximiliana wrist for a couple of seconds, just faking of taking her pulse, and say: “Your pulse is 78. Excellent”   Maximiliana would instantly forget that Ruben has taken her pulse and repeat the demand, and Ruben would oblige.  Ruben got convinced that Maximiliana is a mental case.

It was years later that it dawned on Ruben that Maximiliana wanted someone to touch her.

2) Trees of golden fruits.  Black hands collect the white grains in large green leaves.  The grains are spread in the sun to ferment and acquire the color of copper.

The cocoa grains are dispatched to European and US factories for treatment.  Cadbury, Mars, Nestle, Hershey…sell the chocolate bars to supermarkets around the world.  For every dollar of chocolate sold, less than 4 cents are paid to African villages that little hands gathered the cocoa, grain by grain.

I was covering Ghana as correspondent to a European daily and I visited one of the cocoa plantations.  I was eating a chocolate bar and the kids were curious how it tasted.

They loved chocolate: It never crossed their mind that they were in the chocolate business.  They have never tasted chocolate.

3) Muhammad Ashraf never set foot in school. Up before dawn, he has been working since the age of 6.  Muhammad is 11 year-old, cutting, perforating, patching, and sewing soccer balls.

Soccer balls are produced in the Pakistani village of Umarkot and seen in every soccer field around the world.  Muhammad also has to glue a sticker that read “This soccer ball was not made by kids

4) It is 1984 in the prison of Lurigancho at Lima (Chili).  Luis Nino is inspecting the prison for the count of a human rights organization.  Luis is crossing sick prisoners, vomiting blood, agonizing, open wounds, with fever…Luis meets the chief medical staff and ask why the physicians are not making any routine health rounds…

The physician replies: “We, physicians, intervene at the calls of nurses…”  And where are the nurses? The chief retorts: “The budget for the prison didn’t allocate funds for nurses…”

5) It is 1964.  US capitalism propaganda are frightening the citizens of Chili of the Communist hydra, its seven mouths ready to devour them.  Salvador Allende lost the election that year and explained: “In the poor quarter of Providencia, a maid hid a suitcase of her cloths and utensils in the garden of her employer. She had never owned any land or houses, and her comprehension of private properties was very limited”

6) A few months after 9/11 attack on twin Towers, Ariel Sharon PM of Israel entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Jennine in the West Bank (under Israel occupation forces) that crowded ten of thousands of civilians. Israel pounded the cordoned-off camp with canons, and tanks overran live bodies.

This genocide opened a crater in the camp deeper and larger than Twin Towers, and killed many folds the number of victims in Twin Towers.  The Towers went down within an hour, the civilians in the camp had to suffer genocide for an entire week. Where was this global information network?

Can anyone claim he witnessed or saw what happened in Jenine?

(This same Sharon who committed the genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut (1982).  Instead of facing international court for crimes against humanity, Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel, to repeat his series of genocides he committed in his life.  When Sharon went into coma in 2005, and still is, hideous voices proclaimed “Here goes the last Prophet of Israel”)

Note: Eduardo Galeano is an author and poet from Urugway

Law of silence: CIA; (Oct. 28, 2009)

On September 18, seven ex-CIA chiefs exhorted President Barak Obama to emulate former Presidents and cover up the serious infringements to laws and regulations.

The CIA and FBI during the two Bush Junior Administrations committed excesses by the operators in anti-terrorist interrogations; the CIA chiefs claim that opening public investigation may jeopardize State security. 

 Brigadier General John Magruder has stated the objective of the CIA by 1947: “Clandestine operations constantly implicate infringement of internal laws and regulations. The Pentagon and the State Department cannot take risks for covering such operations.  A new service for clandestine actions has to take charge for covering up the official institutions.” 

This statement is fundamentally the main reason for establishing the CIA: it was meant to execute unlawful orders and decisions taken by the Executive Administrations.

Allen Dulles, chief of the “Agency” from 1953 to 61, confirm the doctrine that the “CIA is to execute what the President authorizes it in the wide gamut of political assassinations and destabilization of countries. The CIA main job is to cover for the President; all plausible denials should be extended to cover the involvement of the President in the decision process.  Thus, the President can securely admit that he ignored any failed operations overseas.”

John Prados noted: “Thirty years ago the public perception of the CIA was of a lone and solitary elephant that escaped all kinds of control; that the CIA was running amuck with clandestine operations all over the world.  It is now clear that the Agency and its phalanges were just following presidential orders.  It is the Presidency that is the lone elephant because the Agency was not doing its publicly declared mission of providing intelligence to the President.  All the revealed documents show that Presidents had no intelligence of the imminent coming to power of Khomeini in Iran in 1979, the potential disintegration of the Soviet Union, or the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.”

Gordon Thomas said: “The Agency never managed to implant a spy in the higher circles of the Soviet Union decision makers. Bill Casey just took the risk of misinforming Ronald Reagan and systematically overestimated whatever intelligence he had”

At every new Presidency, the CIA got worse in control and management: it was overwhelmed by paramilitary operations than doing intelligence gathering; intelligence was thus relegated to non-human operators of remote control data from satellites and computer processing of images.

 The newly sacked CIA chief Porter Goss pronounced an allocution at Tiffin University and gave a sound counsel to new recruits “Never admit, deny everything, and take the best strategy of launching counter accusations when targeted within the CIA and the political circles.”

 The engraved motto of the CIA at Langley is St. John pronouncement “And you will know truth and truth will set you free”. 

Apparently, to setting you free to assassinate and get away with it; to lie on State interests and get away with it; to cover up Evil Presidents and Administrations who follow orders from lobbying powerful interest groups.

The US had agreed to finance the Nile dam during Nasser but reneged on the deal. It was learned later that the lobby of the cotton producers in the US South put the squeeze on the ground that Egypt would later compete with US cotton.  The Soviet Union was invited to Egypt and many other regions.        

The CIA and FBI think that they can get away with a lot of crimes on the premise that the US citizen believes that intelligence gathering cannot be performed without breaking a couple of eggs in a democratic society in order to preserve citizen from further hardship and secure him more liberty. 

It is becoming evident that the more power you let a government gets the less liberty you should expect.  If the last eight years did not exhibit this fact then do not blame anyone for further slavery and totalitarianism.

It is a good thing to have more than two superpowers: extreme fundamentalism (i.e., religious and liberal capitalism) would be checked, cultural life would rejuvenate and people would enjoy more opportunities and choices instead of a gigantic financial crisis and global mass ignorance floating all over our planet.

For further declassified evidences read my post “The critical decade of Islamic extremism

State highest interest: usurping Public Opinion; (October 17, 2009)

 

            In a previous post “The critical decade of Radical Islam” I stated as conclusion:”

As the Soviet Union was disintegrating in 1991, the US and Europe were busy with a new world order and intentionally forgot radical Islam for an entire decade.  The US was after the financial domination of the world and playing the role of International Police Force; Europe was busy re-unifying East Germany, managing the Eastern European States seeking independence of Russia, controlling the Slavic question of Yugoslavia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia, and finding an appropriate resolution for expanding the European Union.

            Radical Islam got under way in organization and proliferation and performed many operational activities in Indonesia, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Chechnya, Pakistan, India, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (the Khobar bombing of the hotel where the American aviators had residence) to end up with the 9/11/ 2001 attack on the Twin Towers.  During the decade, after the dismantlement of Russia, the US Administrations toned down every terrorist’s activities to its public opinion in order to focus on world financial domination and the restructuring of Europe.”

            Many evidences from outdated archives are surfacing that shed strong lights on the many instances that US Administrations usurped its public opinion on the ground of the “Nation Highest Interests”. The cult for secrecy in the various data (intelligence) gathering services in the US is not a recent discovery after the 9/11/ 2001 attack of the Twin Towers.

            Roosevelt had set his mind in joining the war against Germany and Japan since 1940 and was frequently deliberately provoking the navies of Germany and Japan.  Truman initiated clandestine contacts with Mao Tse Tong in 1948 that Stalin disrupted by purposely starting the Korean War.  Many nuclear American scientists were secretly permitted to flee to other foreign nations in order to appease public opinion after the debacle of the execution of the innocent Rosenberg couple in 1953. The US Administrations deliberately minimized the health risks of open ground nuclear testing and later the under ground testing.  The CIA was controlling experiments on brain manipulation and biological war fare.  President Reagan buried the conclusions of the committee of the Chamber of representatives that the assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King were organized works. Irangate was the transfer of arms to Iran against the resolutions of the Parliament which also prohibited destabilizing Nicaragua.

            Two factors impress on the Executive branch to act in secrecy: Stock exchange and public polls. Two days after 9/11 the stock devalued 60%.  Greenspan injected several billion dollars in the private economy; trade level stabilized in four months. The reach this goal the tetanized public opinion was to be reassured of no further catastrophes. Thus, a quick victory in Afghanistan was urgent as well as mass disinformation on the danger of bacteriological warfare and the proliferation of the Pakistani nuclear threat. The anthrax affairs before and after 9/11 was quickly buried and toned down as related to a lunatic. Two kinds of anthrax were used; a high quality used in the US military and a rough quality. The Tcheck President Vaclav Havel confirmed publicly that the Iraqi Embassy in Prague got in contact with Al-Qaeda leader Saif Al Adl and anthrax was delivered.  The CIA promptly demanded that the Tcheck security services deny that fact. 

            Timothy Mac Veigh, one of the bombers of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995, was quickly executed and 150 pages of the instruction disappeared in order not to go further in the investigation: the second suspect Terry Nichols had secret contacts in the Philippine with a girl friend who was also in close contact with Ramzi Youssef (another leader of Al Qaeda and in Manila at the time).  The downing of the TWA 800 by a small missile off the shore of Manhattan was attributed to a stray Navy missile on maneuver.  All these cover-ups were done with the close cooperation of both Republican and Democratic parties, the FBI, and the CIA. When the main superpower permits the widespread exercises of disinformation to its public opinion then this practice is capted instantly by the rest of world States.

 

            All these operations by Al Qaeda were backed by the triumvirate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq of Saddam Hussein.  In Saudi Arabia, the financial backer of Al Qaeda and the Pakistani nuclear program, Prince Sultan was Defense Minister and his cadet brother Nayef was the Minister of the Interior (Bandar, the Ambassador to the USA and semi-brother of Sultan, was later appointed chief of the security services). In fact, all Saudi diplomats were sneaked out in secrecy after 9/11 even when evidences piled up high of their cooperation in the attack; two princes of the “Royal Family” were high ranking in Al Qaeda: They were disposed off shortly after the attack. Saudi Arabia sovereign fund was effectively cash money for the US Administration to use when the US Senate refused funding of any programs.

            Pakistan was in charge of training (the pilots of Al Qaeda received two years of training there).  Pakistan was the real threat for arms of mass destruction, nuclear, biological, and chemical, and no longer Iraq but Pakistan vital as base for attacking Afghanistan and for supply and logistics. Saddam Hussein cooperated and delivered the biological and chemical tools.   Thus, the US targeted Iraq as next pre-emptive objective after the economic fundamentals in the US stabilized; (Read my post “Why massive occupation of Iraq”).

            When the main superpower permits the widespread exercises of disinformation to its public opinion then this practice is capted instantly by the rest of world States.

 

Note: I extensively used information from a chapter in “The world is a kid playing” by Alexandre Adler.

Radical Islam: the critical decade (1977-1989); (October 11, 2009)

 

            Sadate of Egypt visited Jerusalem in 1977 and spoke at the Knesset and sighed a peace treaty with Israel.  The Arab and Islamic world is angry.  The Arab League rejected Egypt as member for ten years. The Moslem Brotherhood movement in Egypt stopped cooperating with Sadate and an extremist faction proclaimed “Takfir wa Hejrat” which means repentance and refuge from the urban centers and isolation into communities for the Moslems abiding by the Charia. 

            The religious dogma of Sayyed Qotb whom Nasser had hanged in 1966 resurfaced with acute power.  Qotb was studying in the USA and returned to preach that Islam has been weakened because it has forgotten the notion of “Jihad” and is cooperating with the infidels the “monafikeen” or hypocrites whom the Prophet Muhammad lambasted for being ready to rally with the Jews or to returning to “Jahiliya”; thus, Qotb encouraged Jihad against the Moslems consorting with the policies and traditions of the infidels.

            A retired Palace Guard in Saudi Arabia, Juhaiman Otaibi, got wind of the message of “Takfir wa Hejra” and started Friday preaches in that vein: He warned the Moslems that 1979 is the 15th century of the Moslem Hijra and that the most awaited Mahdi is coming to unite Islam.  A Yemenite from Assir, Abdallah Kahtani, who broke up from his master Ben Baz (still the formal actual cleric to the Saudi Kingdom), became the theologian for Otaibi.  The Egyptian Muhammad Elyas joined forces and the recruits of these three leaders invaded Al Kaaba in the autumn of 1979 and captured it.  The Saudi monarch paid the French paratroopers to retaking Al Kaaba; hundreds were massacred in that fight.

            The “Royal Family” in Saudi Arabia got the message clear and loud; Saudi Arabia was slightly inching from the Dark Ages before it re-sank even further in the darkest of ages.  The two monarchs Khaled and Fahd were staunch Wahhabits and hated the Chiaa sect. The minister of the Defense was Sultan and his cadet brother Nayef was the minister of the Interior, and their half-brother Bandar from a Sudanese mother was the eternal Ambassador to the USA.  This trio had vast contacts with Sunni radical Islamic Pakistan, Iraq of Saddam Hussein, and they financed the El Qaeda; they even asked the US to dismantle their bases in Saudi Arabia in order to keep the face of radical Moslems toward the widespread feeling in the Arab and Islamic World. It is to be understood that the Saudi sovereign fund is practically cash money for the US Administrations to use when the US Senate denies any funds to the Executive branch.

            In 1977, the Islamic forces in Iran were virulent and sympathized with the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood movement.  The US, France, and Britain permitted the overseas Iranian parties against the Chah to organize and demonstrate: these three States wanted to put the squeeze on the overbearing Chah of Iran because he was leading OPEC and had increased oil prices 160% within a couple of years. I recall that during my study in Oklahoma the Iranian parties kept constant demonstrations and gathering all of 1977 until Khomeini came to power in 1979.  There were the Khomeini movement, the Islamic Moujahedeen Khalq, and the secular communist leaning Fedayeen Khalq.  What the Western powers started as a simple squeeze ended up in catastrophe: The Chah decided that the game is over and didn’t even put up a fight before the superpowers planned a counter-attack.

            In 1979, Iran of Khomeini, Syria of Hafez Assad, and President Bakr of Iraq decided on a rapprochement of Islam (Sunni and Chiaa).  Saddam Hussein was chief of security and Vice President of Bakr; Saddam hated the Chiaa and also Hafez Assad.  At the instigation of Saudi Arabia and the green light from the USA Saddam deposed Bakr and swiftly executed all the Iraqi Baath members who supported this entente; these prominent members of the Iraqi Baath were mostly Chiaa. Thus, Saddam and the Saudi monarchs joined forces to destabilize Iran of Khomeini.

 

            President Sadade was becoming a dead weight for the USA Administration; the Vice-President Housni Moubarak received the green light from the US to cooperate with the Moslem Brotherhood to eliminate Sadate. Lieutenant Islambouli, brother of Muhammad Elyas who invaded the Kaaba, shot dead Sadate during the yearly military parade.  Moubarak pleased the Moslem Brotherhood for a year and tightened the application of Charia and froze the peace treaty for a short while.

            The Saudi Monarchs financed and instigated Saddam to invade Iran in 1980. The US disturbed the electronics of a plane carrying the entire Iranian chief of staff inspecting the Khuzestan which crashed with no survivors.  After a swift advance in Khuzestan the Iraqi troops were halted, defeated, and then retreated into Iraq by 1982.  During that war Iraq received all the military logistic, support, and aerial intelligence from the USA, France, and Britain. France sold Saddam a nuclear reactor that Israel would bomb in 1983.  The US supplied Saddam with bacteriological and chemical arms of mass destruction. Iran wanted the war to continue in order to re-structure its political system and thus this insane war lasted till 1989 before Khomeini died.  The leaders of the strong Iranian movement for entente between Sunni and Chiaa were blown up during a convention; among the dead was Ayatollah Montazeri.  Rafsanjani, later to become President of Iran, hated the Sunni sect and made sure to arrive 15 minutes late to the convention: he was the right hand man of Khomeini at the time.

            With the Chah out the Soviet Union was encouraged and then sucked in militarily into Afghanistan; the same process as the US was gradually sucked in Viet Nam.  Iran of Khomeini arranged a deal with the Soviet not to interfere in the North and West of Afghanistan with Chiaa majority. Saudi Arabia recruited radical Moslem Sunnis from around the world to fight communist Soviet Union; Pakistan was the State to supply arms, logistics, and training to the Moslem “mujahideen”.

 

            As the Soviet Union was disintegrating in 1991, the US and Europe were busy with a new world order and intentionally forgot radical Islam for an entire decade.  Radical Islam got under way in organization and proliferation and performed many operational activities in Indonesia, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Chechnya, Pakistan, India, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (the Khobar bombing of the hotel where the American aviators had residence) to end up with the 9/11/ 2001 attack on the Twin Towers.  During the decade, after the dismantlement of Russia, the US Administrations toned down every terrorist’s activities to its public opinion in order to focus on world financial domination and the restructuring of Europe.

Mr. President: Biography of a period (1989-2009); (June 4, 2009)

 

Note:  This is a biography of ex-President of the Republic of Lebanon Emile Lahoud from 1989 to 2009.  I had already reviewed “Shock and Steadfastness” (Sadmat wa Soumoud) by Karim Bakradouny in two posts and I decided to combine the two posts in tighter historical chronology and further expansion.

 

 

Before 1989

 

The mother of Emile Lahoud is from Armenia and his wife is Armenian and he speaks Armenian. In 1954 Emile miraculously recovered from meningitis while studying in London and thus decided to enjoy life to the hilt.  He spent his adolescent years riding a convertible white jaguar; he had a chalet on the beach and partied all night long. Lahoud married Andree Amadony in 1967.

Emile Lahoud would repeat this anecdote, countless times, for whoever cares to listen; when a schoolboy, he got into a fight and had his regulation school overcoat ripped. His father, General Jamil Lahoud, asked him “Is your conscious at peace?” The reply was affirmative and the father said “Don’t you worry then; you will have another coat made”  

Emile Lahoud used to never wear any coat or jacket during the coldest seasons until a friend was once shocked to see him swimming and asked him “Have you got hit on your head as a kid?”  Since then Lahoud wears a simple black leather jacket in winter time just to save appearances of normalcy.  Lahoud’s breakfast is a piece of banana and a cone of ice cream for lunch.  The main eating session is dinner.  Lahoud records on a tape the topics that he wants to approach in a discussion or matters to follow up on.

           

 

General Emile Lahoud, Army Chief

 

Emile Lahoud ascended the military ranks normally and was the first Chief of the army who came from the ridiculously tiny navy. He was appointed Chief in November 1989 after General Aoun was forced into exile to France.  General Lahoud had the task to re-unite the dismantled army after over 15 years of civil war; he combined the regiments so that they represent all the Lebanese sects and ordered the regiments to relocate every 9 months to different parts of Lebanon so that every soldier knows his country.  He negotiated the best deals for arms, medicine, and insurance.

            General Lahoud refused political deals with President Hrawy and Rafic Hariri PM for transferring officers and followed the strict military procedures.  Any high officer who refused to obey orders for the re-organization of the army was dismissed and Syria never tried to pressure Lahoud to rescinding his orders.  The billionaire Rafic Hariri used to offer the army cash money every month but General Lahoud refused saying “The State is responsible for the budget of the army” so that he can exercise his functions without undue political pressures.

            There was an international decision to contain the Islamic resistance in south Lebanon and General Lahoud refused to confront the army with the resistance fighting the Israeli occupiers.  President Hafez Assad of Syria decided to meet Lahoud for the first time; General Lahoud told Hafez Assad “I am re-building the army to resist Israel and my conscience refuses to fight those who are fighting Israeli occupation” Since that meeting the political pressures on Lahoud faded away and he could focus on the re-organization of the army and freeing the resistance from political pressures and its freedom of movement in areas not in the army control.  When Israel bombed Lebanon for 7 days in 1993, General Lahoud ordered to return fire and Israel stopped its shelling.

Walid Jumblat, leader of the Druze sect in the district of Shouf, offered General Lahoud a bullet proof car on account that their fathers were close friends.  Lahoud returned the car a few months later when he realized that Jumblat is in the habit of blackmailing for political gains.  The government had ordered the army to recuperate all public facilities and Lahoud recaptured the palaces of Al Amine and Beit El Dine to the growing angst of Jumblat. Another time General Lahoud sent an army support to accompany the Druze Sheikh Akl Bahjat Ghaith to his home because Jumblatt forbade the Sheikh from entering his hometown.

 

Mr. President of the Republic

 

Lahoud was elected President of the Republic by the majority of 118 out of 128 deputy votes after revising an item in the Taef Constitution. Item 49 in the Constitution denied candidacy to any a high ranked employee before resigning his post for a period. General Lahoud was elected President on October 15, 1998 and his first public oath in the Parliament said: “The President of the Republic is the only official to swear allegiance to the nation and to obey the law.  Thus, since I will be under the Law then I expect everyone else to emulate my subordination to the Law of the Land” President Lahoud had a program of fighting corruption and made it clear and loud in his speech that didn’t mention the ex-President Hrawi or the ex Hariri PM in any sections of the speech.

When ex-President Hrawi urged Hafez Assad to change his choice Asad said: “The Lebanese public polls selected Emile Lahoud for President and I want him there” The Syrian President had complete confidence in the former Army Chief that he will first, resume his policy of strengthening and unifying the Lebanese army and will refrain from drawing the Lebanese army in internal infighting such as with Hezbollah and thus save the Syrian army any uncalled for problems, and second, that Lahoud will never contemplate unilateral negotiation with Israel.

Hafez Assad was not concerned with the Lahoud’s program for drastic reforms and fighting corruption.  Thus Lahoud had to deal with a rotten political system in Lebanon that constituted an insurmountable barrier to change: the Taef Constitution robbed the President of valuable powers that were transferred basically to the Prime Minister and the cabinet combined. 

Hariri had proclaimed three months ago that “I will return Prime Minister whoever is elected president to the Republic” Hariri had returned from a long trip visiting important capitals and secured assent to be accepted as Prime Minister but only 83 out of 128 deputies selected him directly and the remaining deputies allowed the President to vote for them.  Cocky Hariri went publicly asking that another round of consultation takes place because he wanted as many representative votes as the President of 118 deputies.  Lahoud reacted by publicly accepting Hariri refusal and appointed Salim Hoss as prime Minister with 95 deputy votes. This tactic of Hariri backfired as he realized that Syria could easily deal with another Prime Minister.  Hariri was positioning himself for a vaster role as co-partner in the coming Middle East peace accord that he sincerely believed was almost agreed on.

It was a tradition since independence for the newly elected President of Lebanon to pay an official visit to France first of all.  Chirac was highly displeased that Lahoud did not mention France contribution to the April 1996 agreement to localize the confrontations in south Lebanon and for not consulting him on the government that excluded Rafic Hariri.  Consequently, Chirac took it personally and canceled the appointment for a formal visit to France.  Later Chirac was pressured to dissociate France interest in Lebanon from his personal animosity with Lahoud and the Francophone convention took place in Beirut in 2000.

In June 1999, assassins of the extremist Sunni movement “Osbat al Ansaar” killed four judges within Saida Court House and fled to the nearby Palestinian camp of Ain Helwi.  Lahoud understood that it was a trap to inciting the Lebanese army to start a war on the Palestinian camps and instead Lahoud focused on encircling the camp to apprehend the assassins.

As this nasty trap failed to divide the government then Israel launched destructive raids on Lebanon’s infrastructure targeting the electrical power plants and water pumps. Lahoud asked the Lebanese to contribute to a bank account in order to support the State treasury to rebuild what was demolished; (I remember that I contributed $100 while in the USA).  The Lebanese overseas contributed 50 millions dollars to that fund.

 

The president of the Parliament Nabih Berri told Lahoud “You are an excellent soldier but lack political acumen”.  Lahoud replied “If I managed to become Chief of the army and President of the Republic with lack of political acumen then how my path you have unfold if I was much more clever in politics?”.  In another moment Berri told the author “Lahoud plays it dumb but he is aware of all the political details and smarter in politics than most Lebanese politicians.  For example, Lahoud retains General Jamil Al Sayyed, Director of the General Security in Lebanon, in all his discussions with foreign personalities so that Al Sayyed would testify to the Syrian officials.”  Berri had no liking for the strong Shiaa man Al Sayyed.

 

Lahoud finally met with Rafic Hariri in the summer Palace of Beit El Dine after months of avoiding face to face encounter. Lahoud told Hariri “From the first moment I knew that you wanted as much weight among the deputies as I obtained in my election for the presidency so that you may force on me your conditions. I kept the honest and performing high officials that you appointed and will dismiss anyone that is not up to his responsibilities.  I intended you to be my first Prime Minister but I was in no mood to be subjected to any conditions.  I know that you are spending lots of money on the media to ruin the image of this government but this not the way to behave with me.”  Two days later president basher Assad paid Lahoud a quick visit to Lebanon and publicly supported the president and Hoss PM.

President Lahoud decided to spend part of summer in the Presidential Palace in Beit El Dine and for that purpose had to relocate the bust of Kamal Jumblat off the entrance and waited for Walid to ship it somewhere else at his own responsibility. Walid said “I will never forget what Lahoud did for the duration of my life!”  Walid Jumblat tried scare tactics on Lahoud by assuring him that the Syria President is terminally ill and that his son Bashar will not succeed his father Hafez and that General Hekmat Shahaby and Abdel Haleem Khaddam will take over the regime.  Lahoud retorted “Bashar will be the next appointed President and I am trying my best to take on the responsibilities of the President and to recapture the dignity of the State under one leader”  Jumbalt said “I don’t like the military”.  Lahoud replied “I don’t like the militias”.  Once, Lahoud saw on the TV Hoss PM meeting Jumblat who was in jeans.  Lahoud sent his assistant to inform Jumblat that he will not be welcomed in the Presidential Palace if he ever arrives not wearing a tie.   President Lahoud comprehended that Walid Jumblatt’s attitude, as his father Kamal, amounted to a historical trend of blaming the Christian Maronite sect for having robbed the Druze out of the leadership of Mount Lebanon.

In November 1999, the French Foreign Affairs Hubert Vedrine had a lengthy discussion with President Lahoud.  Vedrine had toured several capitals and his impression was that a resolution of the Middle East crisis was less ripe as he expected.  Ehud Barak of Israel was sending tactical contradictory messages hoping for starting any kinds of negotiations with either Lebanon or Syria so that he won’t have to withdraw unilaterally from Lebanon and give Hezbollah the impression of defeating Israel by acts of resistance.  Barak would not pronounce on the complete withdrawal from the Golan as requested by Hafez Assad and President Lahoud would not negotiate without Syria approval. Consequently, Barak was forced to withdraw from Lebanon without any pre-conditions in May 24, 2000 because Israel was in fact paying a high price in Lebanon for insisting on keeping the Golan Heights.

Vedrine and Lahoud discussed the Palestinian problems.  Vedrine was offering the suggestion that Lebanon refrains from adamantly proclaiming that every Palestinian in the refugee camps should leave Lebanon  and just be satisfied maintaining the Constitution requirement of the Palestinian rights to return.  Lahoud stated that the Palestinians are procreating three times faster than the Lebanese and constitute now 10% of the population or 400,000 and this fact is a highly “explosive bomb” that has the potential to destabilize the Lebanese social and political fabrics. Lahoud confirmed that the Palestinians in the camps are suffering a harsh life but arms in the camps are no longer directed toward Israel since the Oslo Agreement.  It appeared that the financial compensation was already settled among the donating powers but the potential Palestinian State would be small and economically fragile to sustain the relocation of all the Palestinian refugees.

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.  Albright demanded the release of the Israeli prisoners and Ehub Barak gave an ultimatum within 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.

            In August, 2001, Patriarch Sfeir visited the Shouf for 3 days and was welcomed with mass rallies. On his last stop in the town of Kahaleh demonstrators jeered the names of Bashar Assad and Syria.  A few demonstrators were incarcerated. On August 7, confrontations in front of the Palace of Justice in Beirut resulted in ugly visual brutality by security forces wearing civilian clothes.  Both Lahoud and Hariri realized that they were targeted and that any impressions of loss of control over the security services is bad omen.

 

            In the morning of September 11, 2001, Larsen and De Mistoura (UN representative in Lebanon) met with Lahoud.  De Mistoura told Lahoud that Ariel Sharon is preventing his Foreign Affairs minister Shimon Peres to meet with Arafat.  Larsen asked Lahoud how he foresees the coming events.  Lahoud replied “The reactions of the Palestinians to the brutality of the Israelis are the consequences of despair for any peaceful resolution. It is no longer acceptable that Israel control the world”  Lahoud went on “Reactions of despair might reach the USA as what happened to the Twin Towers previously” By the afternoon, the Al Qaeda was blowing the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and Bush Jr. was taken to hiding for the day.. Larsen called and asked “How did you know what will happen this afternoon?” Lahoud replied “If I knew then I would have been more powerful than the USA”. (To be continued)

July 22, 2006 (continue)

I tried to go to bed early but kept getting up and switching the TV on:  There were allusions that Israel is amassing more reserve soldiers and regular army on its northern front, most probably for imminent large-scale land invasion.  So far, Israel claims that it has entered in two points for only a mile and lately has retreated from one point. Around 1 pm we heard loud and close blasts:  air strikes on the LBC TV channel and Alfa mobile antennas on Sannine and Turbol.  Hasbayya was hit and this area was isolated from the town of Marjeyun.

Ashley got her surprise birthday party; five of her best friends woke her up in the morning; I went up late to join the party for breakfast of “mankoush” bi zaatar and bi kishk, tea, three kinds of cakes and fruit.

More refugees are heading toward the districts of Mount Lebanon; so far, more than 700 thousands have been displaced.  The US embassy is evacuating 5,000 of its citizens today on private ships; it has evacuated 7,000 yesterday.  A Greek war ship brought 13 tons of supplies in addition to 3 tons from Cyprus and 2 tons of medicine from the organization of “physicians with no frontiers”.  The radio is appealing to all the retired army officers to volunteer in the operations of rescue missions.  I did not yet tell Victor about this piece of information because I do not want to be responsible for the anxiety of his family.

Hezbollah sent another wave of missiles into Haifa, kibbutz Kiryat Shmouna, and Naharia; a big fire in Kiryat and Haifa is a dead city on this Sabbath day and shops are closed and no circulations..

A paragraph from the book I’m reading “the Lexus and the olive tree” captured my attention; it said that the “Qaeda” leader Osama Bin Laden was consistently haranguing his followers to get the US from the Arabian Peninsula because its culture was defiling the Islamic homes.  The book was published in the year 2000 before the September 11 attack on the nerve centers of the Twin Towers in Manhattan; Bin Laden got quickly on the globalization bandwagon of fast communication and Internet facilities and managed to utilize this new and fast freedom of knowledge and action to hit the US where it hurts most.

I bartered 10 home-grown eggs for fresh ground meat; I am selling one egg for 15 cents. There are good demands for home egg,s not only because of the war but also for the wave of fear of chicken influenza.  A month ago we had surpluses of eggs and could not figure out what to do with the surplus; we certainly consumed more omelets and bake cakes. Now the chicken are not laying that many eggs and people are starting to suspect that we might be favoring other customers.

William got hooked to meditation this semester: he copied all sort of metaphysical books, spent an hour each morning on a version of yoga meditation and started trying his hands on Chinese calligraphy.  He practically let go of his studies and assignments ; the family got hysteric; anxiety, anger, and depression got hold of all of us because William will fail to graduate in graphic design after he dropped the idea of finishing his last year project to graduate in architecture.  As the first-born son who suffered from heart problems at his birth, William was constantly pampered by his father who never denied him any request: in fact , everything that he needed was to be new and top performing, from cars, to computer equipments, and to digital camera.  William fully realizes the advantages that he benefited from being the first-born and appreciates them, but somehow he tends to forget to return the favors in the critical moments. His family claims that he takes after me in craziness not in genius.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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