Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Bolton: The Arsonist," by Mark Boldberg

Here is an excellent article by Mark Goldberg about John Bolton's role at the UN and his struggle with Condoleezza Rice. I gave a bit of an assist on some of the "Qadhafi Deal" information. Mark has been researching this story for some time. Hats off to him.

The Arsonist

From the January issue of the "American Perspective": In his first six months at the UN, John Bolton has offended allies, blocked crucial negotiations, undermined the Secretary of State -- and harmed U.S. interests. We expected bad; we didn’t expect this bad.

By Mark Leon Goldberg
Web Exclusive: 12.14.05
The American Perspect

There is an excellent coffee shop in the basement of the United Nations building in New York. The espresso is served bitter and strong, Italian style. Sandwiches can be bought on hard French baguettes, and the pastries are always fresh. Whenever a meeting lets out in one of the conference rooms adjacent to the shop, diplomats make a beeline to the cash registers. Others light cigarettes: Though the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-smoking crusade has not yet penetrated the complex, which sits on international land; so, beneath conspicuous no-smoking signs, diplomats routinely light up, creating a hazy plume that gives the Vienna Café a decidedly European feel.

The European way of doing things, in the weeks preceding the mid-September 2005 United Nations World Summit, could not be stretched to include the 35-hour workweek. For days, frantic negotiations on the substance of far-ranging UN reforms dragged on from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. But the one UN ambassador who generally arrived earliest and stayed latest always looked more upbeat than his bleary-eyed counterparts. “All night -- all right!” quipped John Bolton to a press stakeout.

There was a reason for Bolton’s cheer: He was the man most responsible for the complexity of these negotiations. A month earlier, the newly minted, recess-appointed U.S. ambassador had sent negotiations into a tailspin when he submitted some 750 alterations to a 39-page text known as the “summit outcomes” document. Bolton’s most eye-popping suggestion at this summit, billed as a renewal of the UN’s 5-year-old pledge to help poor countries, was that all 14 references in the document to the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) be deleted.

The MDGs grew out of a global agreement on poverty eradication known as the Millennium Declaration, which was signed at a UN summit in September 2000. The “goals” that Bolton tried to nix include, among other things, reducing by half the number of people who live on less than a dollar a day -- right now, 1.3 billion -- by 2015. While the United States had never signed the agreement, the goals were never a target of Bush administration animus before Bolton came aboard.

Bolton’s stance on the MDGs caused an uproar. In addition to the G-77 bloc of developing nations that had the most to lose from the elimination of MDGs, the British, who had recently played host to a G8 summit focusing on African poverty, were particularly livid. Even the United States itself seemed to back away. In a meeting with representatives of nongovernmental organizations shortly after Bolton’s edits were leaked to The Washington Post for an August 25 story, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns refused to confirm or deny that, per Bolton, the United States was dropping its support of the MDGs. To those in the room, wise to the oblique lingua franca of the diplomatic world, Burns’ pullback hinted that Bolton had forged his own policy on the MDGs -- ahead of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The Prospect has learned that, in the end, it took Rice’s personal intervention to set things right. On September 5 she participated in a conference call with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw on the subject of UN reform. The next day, Bolton sent a letter to his UN counterparts relenting on the issue. Finally, to put all lingering questions about U.S. support of the MDGs to rest, President Bush himself stated America’s firm commitment to them in his September 14 speech to the UN General Assembly.

When Bolton was nominated in March 2005, the Bush administration seemed invincible at home and abroad. Having won an election based on his handling of a war to which the UN had refused to grant its imprimatur, Bush started his second term with a self-proclaimed mandate to impose his aggressive doctrine to the far reaches of the globe. Flying high, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney sent Bolton, a combative State Department official and longtime Cheney confidant, to do to the UN what their two previous ambassadors to Turtle Bay could not: make the world body a wholly owned subsidiary of Bush foreign policy.

That was the plan. But over the past 10 months, Bush’s poll numbers have plummeted while Iraq has taxed every ounce of American diplomatic and military resources. Bolton, meanwhile, never seems to have gotten the memo that times have changed; he remains a fire-breathing caricature of Bush’s first-term, “shoot first, do diplomacy later” outlook. And that approach is no longer sustainable. At least one comparatively saner Bush administration official knows this. And so the tension between Rice and Bolton has grown dramatically in several areas, most notably with regard to Syria: The Prospect has learned that Bolton was the source of an October leak to the British press that submarined sensitive negotiations Rice was overseeing with that country.

By December, a looming crisis over the UN budget was testing Bolton and Rice’s relationship once again. At the time of this writing, the United Nations was in chaos. Kofi Annan had just canceled a trip to Asia to oversee negotiations over the UN’s biennium budget, which was being derailed by an American threat to withhold support for the UN’s two-year operating budget until a number of management reforms are passed. With a December 31 deadline looming, Bolton proposed that the world body adopt a three- or four-month interim budget -- just enough time to force other member states to accept the reforms.

These reforms are backed by Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the secretary-general himself. Yet Bolton’s strong-arm tactics led their representatives to warn that his proposal would starve the United Nations and disrupt other important UN business like peacekeeping operations.

The rumor mill at the Vienna Café has suggested that Bolton must have bypassed Rice and received support for holding the UN budget hostage from the president himself -- a view widely held as the truth among UN diplomats. Regardless of the accuracy of this rumor, Bolton’s move is paradigmatic of his self-defeating approach to the UN: Instead of banding together with powerful allies, he alienates them. And in doing so he empowers adversaries like Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other spoilers content with a UN that is tied in knots. Critics feared that Bolton’s tenure would be problematic for American interests. The evidence suggests it’s been even worse.

* * *

For progressive washington, bolton’s nomination was a dagger in the heart. In his two decades in and out of public service, Bolton had earned a well-deserved reputation as one of Washington’s least diplomatic figures. How could the United States send a man to the United Nations who quipped that if the UN building lost 10 of its 38 floors, “it wouldn’t make a difference”? Progressives knew -- indeed, everyone knew -- that Bolton’s role at the UN would not be merely to represent U.S. interests but to bully the international body into subservience.

Buoyed by an outpouring of grass-roots support and sustained media pressure, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee fought hard against the nomination. During the six-month confirmation process, Bolton was repudiated by a large bipartisan coalition of former American diplomats, and new tales of Bolton’s browbeating of subordinates were emerging by the day. The opposition culminated with a former State Department intelligence official testifying that Bolton is a “quintessential kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy.” Overnight, Bolton became a national symbol of the boss from hell. Eventually Senator George Voinovich of Ohio broke ranks with his Republican counterparts on the committee, refusing in a May 13 vote to support Bolton’s nomination. (Later he choked back tears on the Senate floor when he invoked the image of his grandchildren living in a world where Bolton was the ambassador to the UN.) But the Bush administration, still riding its bellicose high, pushed on. On August 1, to circumvent the stalled nomination, Bush gave Bolton a recess appointment, the first time that that constitutional maneuver had been used for an ambassador to the United Nations.

The next day, Bolton arrived at work, already living up to his boss-from-hell reputation. Eight months before, he had sent shivers down the spine of staffers at the United States Mission to the United Nations with an e-mail from his chief of staff saying he required a copy of everyone’s résumé. By the time he set foot in his new office, morale was already low.

The Prospect has learned that Bolton’s first staff meeting did little to improve things: He told the roughly 100 people present that he wanted to personally sign off on every cable from the mission to Washington. There can be up to five of these cables sent to Foggy Bottom each day, and though the ambassador technically signs them, in practice previous UN ambassadors would not normally read them all. “He wanted to get in the weeds,” said someone present at that meeting. “It seemed to be his way of scaring people.” (Despite repeated requests, Bolton’s o∞ce would not comment for this article.)

In a move that further disturbed some of the staff at the mission, the Prospect has also learned, Bolton put the kibosh on routine visits to Washington, where mission staffers often travel to consult with colleagues at Foggy Bottom who share a similar portfolio. And he has consolidated his oversight of the expenditure of so-called representational funds, the petty cash that the mission gives to staffers to take people out to lunch and otherwise “do diplomacy.”

* * *

The maltreatment of bolton’s staff, however, was nothing compared with the bullying of the United Nations that would follow. When he arrived at Turtle Bay, Bolton stepped into the middle of negotiations on the most extensive set of UN reforms since the world body’s founding 60 years ago. On the table was a wide-ranging set of reforms, most of which had been championed by the United States: replacing the discredited Human Rights Commission (notorious for including such beacons of freedom as Sudan) with a new and improved Human Rights Council; increasing administrative oversight in light of the oil-for-food scandal; creating a new “Peace Building Commission” to help with postconflict reconstruction; working toward a strong definition, and condemnation, of terrorism; and making a forceful statement on nuclear nonproliferation.

Bolton, however, has been unable to deliver on most of these reforms. When he submitted his 750 edits to the working draft of UN reforms two weeks after arriving, he had insisted on going line by line through the document as a way to maximize U.S. gains. But rather than bolstering the United States’ bargaining position, the approach largely backfired. It gave spoiler countries like Pakistan, Cuba, and Venezuela the opening they needed to pursue maximalist positions on their own pet issues, and allowed countries with less-than-stellar human-rights records to undermine America’s insistence that the new Human Rights Council must exclude countries under UN sanction.

To make matters worse, once the negotiations devolved into a painstaking process of debating each word of the document, spoiler countries were rewarded by striking temporary bargaining alliances on single issues, or sometimes even on single sentences. Again, this was largely to the detriment of U.S. interests. For example, when Bolton tried to purge the section concerning nonproliferation of any mention of disarmament, the alliance of Israel, India, and Pakistan—nuclear powers that are not parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons—retorted by introducing language emphasizing disarmament and deleted references to the non-proliferation treaty. “We could not get back the balance between nonproliferation and disarmament [from earlier drafts],” a European diplomat told Jim Wurst of the Global Security Newswire. Eventually the entire section was scrapped. By the time heads of state signed on to reforms, the document contained not a single word on nuclear nonproliferation, and had even lost its pledge to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists.

To be sure, the reform agenda was ambitious. But well before the summit, Secretary-General Annan had outlined a basic strategy in which member states with competing interests could work together to pass all the reforms as a package. In a seminal Foreign Affairs article published in May, Annan called for a “new San Francisco moment,” referring to the location where the treaty creating the UN was signed 60 years before, and conceptualized a framework in which rich and poor member states could strike a grand bargain that would address their respective needs. But in the end, the document signed by the assembled heads of state was the bland culmination of a last-minute sprint to the lowest common denominator on nearly every major issue. “It became a salvage operation,” said David Shorr of the Stanley Foundation. And with the notable exception of adopting the principle that the international community has the “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations threatened by genocide or crimes against humanity, all the contentious issues, such as the mandate and makeup of the Human-Rights Council, were kicked to the General Assembly for further discussion.

At a press conference the day after the assembly agreed to a set of reforms, Annan tried to put a positive spin on the outcome, but he looked uncharacteristically deflated. His notion of grand trade-offs between rich and poor counties ran square into Bolton’s zero-sum negotiations. A San Francisco moment this was not.

With the summit ingloriously concluded, the focus of the world’s diplomats and the press that covers them turned across town. Over sushi at the swanky Nobu restaurant and wine receptions at the Museum of Modern Art, they celebrated Bill Clinton’s new Clinton Global Initiative to help lift developing countries from poverty. But back in the far less comfortable confines of the UN building, the difficult task of implementing the reforms still lay ahead. And, once again, Bolton complicated that task. He did not recalibrate strategy by, say, teaming up with allies to strong-arm countries that are hostile to shared reform priorities. Rather, he set up a confrontation with the very same countries that might have been our best partners in the implementation of those reforms.

Bolton achieved this feat just a few short weeks before the December 31 deadline by threatening to withhold U.S. support for the UN’s $3.9 billion budget. Since the 1980s, the UN’s biennial budget has been adopted by consensus, a system encouraged by none other than the Reagan administration to ensure that poor countries could not frivolously increase the budget, the bulk of which is paid for by a handful of wealthy nations. Now that fear has been reversed: The UN’s largest contributor is threatening to use the consensus process to block the UN’s budget. Bolton has argued against passing the new biennial budget which begins January 6, without implementing management reforms that are generally opposed by the G-77 bloc of developing countries and favored by Annan and the Western world. Instead, he proposed an interim budget that would last a few months, during which time he would be able to push through the managerial reforms.

The reforms that Bolton advocates are badly needed; they would at once streamline the UN’s ossified bureaucracy and expand the office of the secretary-general to ensure greater accountability and oversight on the part of UN programs. Bolton, however, is alone in the view that the budget need be delayed until these reforms are passed. Annan and his staff forcefully oppose any budgetary postponement—as does virtually every other UN member state. On November 30, The New York Times reported that Warren Sach, assistant secretary-general and controller of the UN, said that Bolton’s interim budget would give the UN a deficit of $320 million in the first quarter of 2006. Among the options to close the deficit is taking money from the separate peacekeeping budget. “This place does not run on air,” he lamented. Should an interim budget be adopted, the United Nations would have to significantly curtail expenditures for the first quarter.

Bolton’s budget proposal was also the subject of a rare public dispute between the United States and one of its closest allies at the UN. On November 23, Britain’s habitually soft-spoken UN ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, openly rebuffed Bolton’s overture to have Britain join him in opposing the budget. “We are not in favor of holding any individual items or the budget hostage to other issues,” he announced. Echoing his concern was the UN’s second-largest financial contributor and staunch advocate of managerial reforms, Japan, which contributes 19 percent of the total UN operating budget. Not to worry: As one South American diplomat dryly ridicules, “[Bolton] can probably still bring along his usual allies—Palau and the Marshall Islands.”

* * *

In announcing the president’s nomination of bolton, then the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, Secretary Rice donned a happy face. Despite her enthusiastic exterior, though, this moment would mark the start of a new phase in their rocky relationship—one in which Rice shadowed the heavy-handed Bolton with her own lighter diplomatic touch.

Indeed, it was Rice, not Bolton, who achieved the one significant success of Bolton’s first 100 days at the United Nations: a unanimous October 30 Security Council vote requiring Syria to fully cooperate with a UN investigation into the suspected Syria-sponsored assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The Prospect has learned that in the days and weeks leading up to the late October UN report on Hariri’s assassination, Rice sought to sideline Bolton from the negotiations over the Security Council resolution that the report inspired. She also made the State Department, not the U.S. Mission to the UN, the central address for discussions on the resolution.

One of the first signs that a bureaucratic battle was brewing between Bolton and Rice over Syria came on October 18, when the State Department press corps was shocked to find that Rice had unexpectedly flown to New York to meet Annan. A State Department spokesman explained that the two met to “compare notes” in advance of a widely anticipated report by Detlev Mehlis, the secretary-general’s special investigator for the Hariri assassination. Yet Bolton, the man in charge of the United States’ day-to-day operations at the UN, was conspicuously absent from that meeting. In what appears to have been less of an accident than a matter of intentional timing, Rice made her trip to New York on the very morning that Bolton had to be in Washington, testifying before the Senate on the progress (or lack thereof) of UN reforms.

The Prospect has further learned that, rather than forging Security Council strategy with America’s European allies at the UN building in New York, much of the diplomatic legwork has been carried out in Foggy Bottom. On October 22, a French delegation from the UN traveled to Washington for initial discussions on the Syria resolution (later called Security Council Resolution 1636), of which the French were the original authors. According to a diplomatic source, Bolton was not initially invited to that meeting. The French, however, insisted on his presence. So Bolton attended, but not without three chaperones: Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch, Welch’s deputy (and vice-presidential daughter) Elizabeth Cheney, and National Security Council Middle East chief Michael Doran. “It’s like they stuck a strong team from the [State Department and National Security Council] to watch him,” said the diplomat.

Despite Rice’s tight oversight of the resolution negotiations, the unanimity of the council was still in doubt one day before the Security Council meeting. Finally, in a last-minute lunch meeting with her foreign-minister counterparts from the veto-wielding permanent five Security Council members, Rice personally removed references to sanctions that had been inserted by the United States. With those obstacles to unanimous consent gone, Resolution 1636 passed 15 to 0.

Rice’s involvement came after Bolton had won round one in the Syria battle. Bolton and Rice’s bureaucratic tiffs over Syria had actually boiled over two weeks prior to the Security Council vote. Journalist Ibrahim Hamidi, writing in the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, reported -- and the Prospect has independently confirmed -- that Bolton had leaked to British newspapers that the Bush administration had signaled its willingness to offer Syria a “Libya-style deal” -- a reference to Libyan President Muammar Quaddafi’s decision last year to give up pursuing weapons of mass destruction and renounce terrorism in return for a restoration of relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. According to The Times of London, Syria responded positively to the secret U.S. offer, which was made through a third party. But after Bolton publicly aired the details of the potential deal -- which would require Syria to cooperate with the Mehlis investigation, end interference in Lebanese affairs and alleged interference in Iraqi affairs, and cease supporting militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah—Damascus quickly denied that such a deal was in the offing.

“It is no secret that Mr. Bolton and Dr. Rice are not the closest friends,” a well-placed UN official told the Prospect. “Indeed, I’ve heard it said that the main reason he came here was that she didn’t want him in Foggy Bottom.” The animosity between the two is, in fact, well established, as they locked horns on Iran. On April 18, 2005, The Washington Post reported that Bolton let Rice go on her first trip to Europe as secretary of state without briefing her on European opposition to his one-man campaign to seek the ouster of the International Atomic Energy Agency Chief Mohammed ElBaradei. ElBaradei was a popular diplomat -- and would later win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work -- but Bolton thought ElBaradei was too “soft” on Iran.

Rice was playing hardball with Bolton, too. During the first Bush term, Bolton had effectively blocked U.S. support for a French, German, and British plan for confronting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Soon after Rice moved to Foggy Bottom, she sought to keep Bolton out of key policy discussions about Iran. In June, The Washington Post reported that Rice sought to keep secret from Bolton a meeting of French, British, German, and American officials who flew to Washington for a “brainstorming session on Iran.” Of the Iran meeting a European diplomat told the Post, “It was the American side that didn’t want him there.”

* * *

Bolton has consistently portrayed himself as a man on a mission: to save the UN from itself. But for all his reformist rhetoric, he continues with his wrecking-ball ways, knocking down America’s alliances while our diplomatic adversaries only stand more firmly.

Bolton’s tenure at the United Nations will last at least until his recess appointment concludes in January 2007, and until then we can expect to see more of the same. On November 14, Bolton treated the Jesse Helms Center at Wingate University, 35 miles east of Charlotte, North Carolina, to a lecture on UN reform. The venue could not have been more appropriate: During his long and destructive reign as the Republican leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Helms was the Senate’s chief UN antagonist-in-residence (a title that now belongs to Minnesota’s Norm Coleman). Helms was a key booster of Bolton early in his career: Bolton began his public service as Helms’ aide, and the two share a warm -- some might say eternal -- relationship. During Bolton’s 2001 confirmation hearing as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, Helms famously referred to him as “the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon.”

As the featured “Jesse Helms Lecture Series” speaker, it was Bolton’s turn to return the favor. He launched into a point-by-point critique of the United Nations that took one of Helms’ most famous invectives against the world body -- that it is full of “crybabies [who] whine about not receiving enough of American taxpayers’ money” -- one giant rhetorical step further. “Being practical, Americans say that we either need to fix the institution or we’ll turn to some other mechanism to solve international problems,” Bolton told the audience. Two days later, he clarified his remarks for the Financial Times. “The UN is simply one of many competitors in the global marketplace for problem solutions and problem solvers,” he told reporter Mark Turner. “If it is not good at solving problems, Americans will look to some other institution; some other organization; some other framework.”

As if in a nod toward diplomacy, he added that he hoped that those who want a stronger UN would “see the logic of our argument.” But his remarks to another British reporter just one week prior were probably more to the point. After listening to a tirade from Bolton against ine∞ciency, corruption, and supposed anti-Americanism at the UN during a private dinner, a Sunday Telegraph reporter in the audience asked him what he enjoyed most about the UN, to which Bolton replied, “It’s a target-rich environment.”

Mark Leon Goldberg is a Prospect writing fellow.


At 12/15/2005 09:33:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Dr. Landis,

When you post an article praising its author, I think it would help if you offer a little bit more background and color. If one visits the site of Mt. Goldberg’s employer at, the political motivations of the site are at least in full public display.
The site claims that it was founded in 1990 as an “authoritative magazine of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics. We explore and challenge the conservative views of policy and politics that have been so seductive in this era. Political leaders and journalists look to the Prospect to see what smart, resolute liberals have to say. Our conservative counterparts have played a critical role in pulling the entire national debate to the right. We intend to take it back”.

Sir, anyone who reads this introduction before reading your post realizes that the source is not exactly objective. From your own introduction, it is not hard to see that you agree with the site’s political leanings. Your liberal tendencies are clear. It would help if you also clarify them to your own readers.

Bolton is a staunch conservative. The author and his employers are die-hard liberals. What is so special about the article?

At 12/15/2005 09:48:00 AM, Blogger ol'son said...

Neocon's & Mossad = SOCOM @ "OSP" DIA.

"The significance of this masterpiece is not only the divulsion of facts,
but the focus it's made on the covert cooperation between the parties who
are enemies...., thanks to the organized " Smear Campaign by ..X..?,
and the deliberate resonance it received in Damascus...and Beirut Lebanon "

Special Investigation.

DEC., 2005- On September 15, 2001, just four days after the 9-11 attacks,
CIA Director George Tenet provided President [sic] Bush with a Top Secret
"Worldwide Attack Matrix"-a virtual license to kill targets deemed to be a
threat to the United States in some 80 countries around the world. The Tenet
plan, which was subsequently approved by Bush, essentially reversed the
executive orders of four previous U.S. administrations that expressly
prohibited political assassinations.

According to high level European intelligence officials, Bush's counselor,
Karl Rove, used the new presidential authority to silence a popular Lebanese
Christian politician who was planning to offer irrefutable evidence that
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon authorized the massacre of hundreds of
Palestinian men, women, and children in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra
and Shatilla in 1982. In addition, Sharon provided the Lebanese forces who
carried out the grisly task. At the time of the massacres, Elie Hobeika was
intelligence chief of Lebanese Christian forces in Lebanon who were battling
Palestinians and other Muslim groups in a bloody civil war. He was also the
chief liaison to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) personnel in Lebanon. An
official Israeli inquiry into the massacre at the camps, the Kahan
Commission, merely found Sharon "indirectly" responsible for the slaughter
and fingered Hobeika as the chief instigator.

The Kahan Commission never called on Hobeika to offer testimony in his
defense. However, in response to charges brought against Sharon before a
special war crimes court in Belgium, Hobeika was urged to testify against
Sharon, according to well-informed Lebanese sources. Hobeika was prepared to
offer a different version of events than what was contained in the Kahan
report. A 1993 Belgian law permitting human rights prosecutions was unusual
in that non-Belgians could be tried for violations against other
non-Belgians in a Belgian court. Under pressure from the Bush
administration, the law was severely amended and the extra territoriality
provisions were curtailed.

Hobeika headed the Lebanese forces intelligence agency since the mid- 1970s
and he soon developed close ties to the CIA. He was a frequent visitor to
the CIA's headquarters at Langley, Virginia. After the Syrian invasion of
Lebanon in 1990, Hobeika held a number of cabinet positions in the Lebanese
government, a proxy for the Syrian occupation authorities. He also served in
the parliament. In July 2001, Hobeika called a press conference and
announced he was prepared to testify against Sharon in Belgium and revealed
that he had evidence of what actually occurred in Sabra and Shatilla.
Hobeika also indicated that Israel had flown members of the South Lebanon
Army (SLA) into Beirut International Airport in an Israeli Air Force C130
transport plane, in full view of dozens of witnesses, including members of
the Lebanese army and others. SLA troops under the command of Major Saad
Haddad were slipped into the camps to commit the massacres. The SLA troops
were under the direct command of Ariel Sharon and an Israeli Mossad agent
provocateur named Rafi Eitan. Hobeika offered evidence that a former U.S.
ambassador to Lebanon was aware of the Israeli plot. In addition, the IDF
had placed a camera in a strategic position to film the Sabra and Shatilla
massacres. Hobeika was going to ask that the footage be released as part of
the investigation of Sharon.

After announcing he was willing to testify against Sharon, Hobeika became
fearful for his safety and began moves to leave Lebanon. Hobeika was not
aware that his threats to testify against Sharon had triggered a series of
fateful events that reached well into the White House and Sharon's office.

On January 24, 2002, Hobeika's car was blown up by a remote controlled bomb
placed in a parked Mercedes along a street in the Hazmieh section of Beirut.
The bomb exploded when Hobeika and his three associates, Fares Souweidan,
Mitri Ajram, and Waleed Zein, were driving their Range Rover past the
TNT-laden Mercedes at 9:40 am Beirut time. The Range Rover's four passengers
were killed in the explosion. In case Hobeika's car had taken another route

through the neighborhood, two additional parked cars, located at two other
choke points, were also rigged with TNT. The powerful bomb wounded a number
of other people on the street. Other parked cars were destroyed and
buildings and homes were damaged. The Lebanese president, prime minister,
and interior minister all claimed that Israeli agents were behind the

It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist
incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on
Hobeika and his party. The White House wanted to ensure the attack was
censored from the report. The reason was simple: the attack ultimately had
Washington's fingerprints on it.

High level European intelligence sources now report that Karl Rove
personally coordinated Hobeika's assassination. The hit on Hobeika employed
Syrian intelligence agents. Syrian President Bashar Assad was trying to
curry favor with the Bush administration in the aftermath of 9-11 and was
more than willing to help the White House. In addition, Assad's father,
Hafez Assad, had been an ally of Bush's father during Desert Storm, a period
that saw Washington give a "wink and a nod" to Syria's occupation of
Lebanon. Rove wanted to help Sharon avoid any political embarrassment from
an in absentia trial in Brussels where Hobeika would be a star witness. Rove
and Sharon agreed on the plan to use Syrian Military Intelligence agents to
assassinate Hobeika. Rove saw Sharon as an indispensable ally of Bush in
ensuring the loyalty of the Christian evangelical and Jewish voting blocs in
the United States. Sharon saw the plan to have the United States coordinate
the hit as a way to mask all connections to Jerusalem.

The Syrian hit team was ordered by Assef Shawkat, the number two man in
Syrian military intelligence and a good friend and brother in law of Syrian
President Bashar Assad. Assad's intelligence services had already cooperated
with U.S. intelligence in resorting to unconventional methods to extract
information from al Qaeda detainees deported to Syria from the United States
and other countries in the wake of 9-11. The order to take out Hobeika was
transmitted by Shawkat to Roustom Ghazali, the head of Syrian military
intelligence in Beirut. Ghazali arranged for the three remote controlled
cars to be parked along Hobeika's route in Hazmieh; only few hundred yards
from the Barracks of Syrian Special Forces which are stationed in the area
near the Presidential palace , the ministry of Defense and various
Government and officers quarters . This particular area is covered 24/7 by a
very sophisticated USA multi-agency surveillance system to monitor Syrian
and Lebanese security activities and is a " Choice " area to live in for its
perceived high security, [Courtesy of the Special Collections Services.]
SCS...; CIA & NSA & DIA....etc.

The plan to kill Hobeika had all the necessary caveats and built-in denial
mechanisms. If the Syrians were discovered beforehand or afterwards, Karl
Rove and his associates in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans would be
ensured plausible deniability.

Hobeika's CIA intermediary in Beirut, a man only referred to as "Jason" by
Hobeika, was a frequent companion of the Lebanese politician during official
and off-duty hours. During Hobeika's election campaigns for his
parliamentary seat, Jason was often in Hobeika's office offering support and
advice. After Hobeika's assassination, Jason became despondent over the
death of his colleague. Eventually, Jason disappeared abruptly from Lebanon
and reportedly later emerged in Pakistan.

Karl Rove's involvement in the assassination of Hobeika may not have been
the last "hit" he ordered to help out Sharon. In March 2002, a few months
after Hobeika's assassination, another Lebanese Christian with knowledge of
Sharon's involvement in the Sabra and Shatilla massacres was gunned down
along with his wife in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A bullet fired at Michael Nassar's
car flattened one of his tires. Nassar pulled into a gasoline station for
repairs. A professional assassin, firing a gun with a silencer, shot Nassar
and his wife in the head, killing them both instantly. The assailant fled
and was never captured. Nassar was also involved with the Phalange militia
at Sabra and Shatilla. Nassar was also reportedly willing to testify against
Sharon in Belgium and, as a nephew of SLA Commander General Antoine Lahd,
may have had important evidence to bolster Hobeika's charge that Sharon
ordered SLA forces into the camps to wipe out the Palestinians.

Based on what European intelligence claims is concrete intelligence on
Rove's involvement in the assassination of Hobeika, the Bush administration
can now add political assassination to its laundry list of other misdeeds,
from lying about the reasons to go to war to the torture tactics in
violation of the Geneva Conventions that have been employed by the Pentagon
and "third country" nationals at prisons in Iraq , Guantanamo Bay,
Morocco, and various East European locations, among others....

It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist
incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on
Hobeika and his party.... But Listed a small Hand Grenade thrown at
a U.S. franchise....? The White House wanted to ensure the attack was
censored from the report. The reason was simple: the attack ultimately had
Washington's fingerprints on it....

This is some of the evidence for you and for the World .... article=1052
~encrypted/logs/access ====>> INTELLIGENCE Agencies Servers footprints.


Not to mention hundreds of private companies and governments........!
See Below :

Lines 10-36 of my logfiles show a lot of interest in this article: =1052

# grep sid=1052 /encrypted/logs/access_log|awk '{print$1,$7}'|sed-n'10,36p'. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Soviet/Russian Intelligence services... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
NATO Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Nato Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Strategic Air Command US Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
European Parliament Intel. Unit /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Department of Justice... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Department of Justice... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Treasury Department /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Treasury Department /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
CIA Langley /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
CIA Langley /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
CIA Langley /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Department of Homeland security Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
British Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Pentagon US. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Intel.... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Intel..... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
British Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Marine Corps Quantico Virginia Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Marine Corps Quantico Virginia Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
US Intel SIS. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Intel.... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
US Intel. OSIS. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
British Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Ukrainian Intelligence.

"The significance of this masterpiece is not only the divulsion of facts,
but the focus it's made on the covert cooperation between the parties who
are playing enemies.... " At the very Least in Lebanon since the 1970s...!!!

At 12/15/2005 10:16:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Here is another example. Instead of this entire pasting. Why don’t you just refer us to? One can click on “The Mission” on the left and then learn about the article’s author Gaith El Lawzi by clicking on his name below.

When you do this, please enlighten me on how this Gentleman knows that Asef and Karl Rove colluded together in this spectacular operation.

I guess one can post anything.

At 12/15/2005 10:20:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Mr. Landis
Are you aware that visitors to your site get loaded with 3 spywares:

1-Total Control
and 3 a hidden file called
USER.DAT but could not be

Google and see what these do.
we expected nasty spyware but
not that bad.

However, this may effect unsespected users of your site
but not us, beacuse we are used to
this kind of shit and use it to
our advantage to manipulate those
that are spying.

At 12/15/2005 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Delete this Olson comment, he's been pasting this on the blogosphere for monthis.

Bolton is fit for the job. He's the guy that is fed up with UN's failure to act and who will shake the bureaucrats.

At 12/15/2005 02:11:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

Funny how two different ideologies (or I should say, seemingly different ideologies) somehow overlap when it comes to pushing the same [sinister] agenda (good catch EHSANI2). It doesn't matter whether they're die-hard conservatives, or bleeding-heart liberals, they both somehow see eye to eye when it comes to Zionism (for example). Last Tuesday's episode of The Opposite Direction on al_jazeera, discussed a similar phenomenon in Iraqi neo-politics where both the allegedly secular Shiites, and the religious Shiites, overlapped in their subservience to the turbaned Iranian Mullahs in pushing their agenda. These are not my words, they're adopted from the interviews.

At 12/15/2005 03:51:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

I actually believe that Bolton is a dysfuntional, obnoxious "kiss up, kick down" kind of guy.

I am glad he is not my boss. But I am very glad he is the boss of people working for the UN. I have been stunned at the poor qualifications and low calibre of some of the people I have met with swan-around-the-world jobs with the UN. And I'm referring to westerners here.

And I've been even more stunned to discover the generous pension-for-life benefits they get. I know a woman who worked there for only a few years in the 1970s who still receives a nice monthly cheque from them.(To give her credit, she tells the story against the UN).

Everyone recoiled when they recently lifted the lid to reveal the person in charge of their entire election division, a coarse, defiant woman from Latin America being marched out of the building, sacked after a long history of formal complaints against her for sexual harassment.

This was the person the UN entrusted with bringing the democratic process to the long suffering and hopeful peoples of East Timor, Sierra Leone and Iraq?

Like the $billions for lifelong holiday pensions, one yearns for it to be not true, a hoax.

Quick, shut the lid and leave them to Bolton.

At 12/15/2005 05:48:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"I actually believe that Bolton is a dysfuntional, obnoxious "kiss up, kick down" kind of guy."

Exactly, that's what makes him so good. That's what the UN need.

At 12/15/2005 10:55:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


I noticed that you always complain big time when the article's source is liberal, but you don't seem to mind conservative-leaning authors. Also, you seem to think that liberal = unreliable (as you pointed out re: and finally, you seem to think that Neocon/Israel bashing is a crazy CD in all of our heads, and is not rooted in reality. Why is that???

At 12/15/2005 11:06:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Because IHSANI2 is a newcon american who visits the US embassy in Syria and thinks that is visiting Syria.

At 12/15/2005 11:10:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


If the UN needs someone who presses the US agenda on everyone else thru all means possible, including bribes, lies, and threats, and if the UN needs someone who has very little respect for international law, except when "it serves the interests of the US and its allies", and if the world needs someone who called for the bombing of the UN building, then yes, Bolton is your man.

At 12/16/2005 12:28:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Bolton is my man indeed. BTW, Michael Totten is a liberal and a reliable one. Hawkish liberals are good.

At 12/16/2005 01:22:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


yeah, I can tell you are fond of war-mongerers and criminals, not to mention hate-filled idiots. People like Mike Totten espouse the Maronite, Anti-Syrian, and generally anti-Islamic stance very well. He's also very very far from being 'anybody'. Here's a sampler of Mike's 'professional' writing:

"The lying fascist scumbag of a regime in Syria denies having anything to do with this [Tueni's murder]. If they were smart they would bump off one of their Lebanese stooges once in a while just to make it look slightly less obvious to the gullible."

He goes on to describe Hizbullah people as uncivilized goons. Mike, let me break it to you: security guards are not exactly the friendliest people around. I get harassed and my stuff gets inspected very offensively by US Customs goons every time I fly back to the States. It doesn't mean America is the devil. These morons do not represent America.

But Michael "Nobody" Totten aside. Vox I know what would make you happy: the destruction of Hizbuallah, the normalization of relationships b/w Lebanon & Israel, and maybe an independent Maronite nation.

Come on, admit it, or do you have a different ideal in mind?

At 12/16/2005 04:43:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

No DamasceneBlood you are right on the money there. Sorry for answering on your behalf Vox but the man is right.

At 12/16/2005 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"Come on, admit it, or do you have a different ideal in mind?"

My dear DB, I have said this several times on my blog, you didn't discover anything. What is strange is that you make it sound like a bad thing.

"People like Mike Totten espouse the Maronite""

It's not Maronite, it's Lebanese. It amuses me. It gives you the illusion that you are not racist because you're implicitly saying that the other Christian communities are pro-Syrian (an illusion that is frequently repeated in the Syrian press). I am sorry man, but today's Orthodox, Druze and Sunni advocate the same policy when it comes to Syria. Tueni an Qassir were orthodox. Hariri was Sunni. And the only leader who have openly called for overthrowing your regime is Jumblat.

At 12/16/2005 09:43:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Actually I didn't read your complete sentence you said:

"I know what would make you happy: the destruction of Hizbuallah, the normalization of relationships b/w Lebanon & Israel, and maybe an independent Maronite nation."

I want Hizbullah to be disarmed not to be destroyed (that's the decision of the voters, not mine) or to be more accurate, I want the Lebanese law and the Taef agreement to be applied on all the Lebanese territory. Only idiots or people who wish to destabilize Lebanon (in which category do you classify yourself DB?) can wish that a fundamentalist party with a terrorist past remained armed. HA already established mini-Islamic states in the area it controls, I want it to stop.

I don't want a Maronite nation because I am not Maronite. And I don't see any problem with signing a peace to Israel. Why shouldn't we? Almost all the Arab states already have relations with Israel and even Syria opened negotiation with Israel in the past. If Syria did not sign a peace with Israel, it's not because it didn't try. Why shouldn't Lebanon si? I thought that peace was a desirable thing (and you dare to accuse me of being a war-monger)? Why should we sacrifice ourselves for Syria? I think we gave enough. Golan is not our responsibility, period.

At 12/16/2005 02:02:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

EHSANI2 said:

"Bolton is a staunch conservative."

That's an insult to conservatives. He is an extremist neocon.

At 12/16/2005 02:06:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Syrian Republican Party Said:

"Are you aware that visitors to your site get loaded with 3 spywares:"

If you're using Internet Explorer stop. Switch to firefox

At 12/16/2005 02:25:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Actually, Vox, I want a real Democracy to rule in Lebanon. How come the Shia are one of the least represented groups in the government, when they comprise the biggest demographic in Lebanon?

You call HA a fundamentalist party with a terrorist past. That's very telling of your inclinations: frankly, you are lower on the moral scale than Bush and Orthodox Jews. Suit yourself, but siding with the political whore Jumblatt or Saad the crackhead is not exactly a sign of intelligence. Not to mention accusing Syria of killing Tueni on the eve of the Mehlis report. You guys are so gullible, it's quite scary.

Finally, I leave you with this little story about where Lebanon is heading under the new Mafias in town, keep it up guys, and your joke-country will be bankrupt in no time, since no one will dare to visit anymore.

Elaph article: Saudis attacked by Lebanese youth

At 12/16/2005 03:04:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

DB, just to answer your question of why the Shia are not well-represented as they should (according to your evaluation). Maybe when they pick better representatives, they'll stand a better chance at appealing to the masses, and not just to those who happened to admire Iran and its agenda in the Arab world. In other words, they need representatives who are interested more in what's good for Lebanon than what's good for Iran. If you say the Barri faction has nothing to do with Iran, then I wish they did. At least Barri would have known better than to proclaim the Western education provided to his son is actually an achievement for the South when the people there were asking for more education. I am sure you know more stories about this than I do.

At 12/16/2005 06:02:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

I am on my way for a one week visit to Syria. I guess a number of you will not miss my so-called Neo-Con comments for a while. Incidentally, this "Neo-Con" is fast becoming one of the most over used words uttered by English writing/speaking Arabs. When a Syrian Arab starts to be labelled as a Neo-con, you know something is starting to look wrong. Labels aside, I am indeed a free marketer who tries to think of issues as black and white. I also strongly believe that our country will be best served by aligning itself with the west in an attempt to dramatically improve the standards of living of my people. I am tired of empty slogans. If all this makes me a Neo-Con, then an Arab Neo-Con I must be. See you all in a week.

At 12/16/2005 07:15:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


I am not accusing you of being a Neocon, but your positions on many issues on Syria are puzzling to me: you want change by the US to be forced down our throats, yet you think the change should come from within. You seem to think that the Syrian regime is evil incarnate, yet you defend Israel indirectly every time someone points the finger at the Mossad being involved. You seem to conservative-leaning, so I don't know, maybe you voted for Bush and are now subconsiously trying to justify your support for this guy. Either way, I respectfully disagree with many of your ideas. On the other hand, I think you are a very civilized person in the way you present yourself (unlike many here on SC).

Have a good journey home.

At 12/16/2005 09:09:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

If HA or the Shias are not OK with their current representation, then they have to quit the government and vote against it. The 14th of March showed that their numbers weren't as high as they expected.

If you think that a community (Shia or other) will rule Lebanon by itself, then you don't understand my country. Lebanon has a consensual system based on power sharing, if you had the same mechanisms in Syira, maybe you wouldn't have an Allawi dictatorship kicking your ass. It will never happen, that's what the national pact is about, that's what Lebanon is about. Lebanese will prefer to dismantle their country instead of replacing it by a sectarian dictatorship like yours. By the way, your assumption that the Shias are the majority in Lebanon is based on no evidence.

It's a pity to see how dumb you are. Now you claim that Tueni was killed by the Zionist? You're despicable. Idiots like you deserve Bashar.

At 12/16/2005 09:33:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Vox said

"By the way, your assumption that the Shias are the majority in Lebanon is based on no evidence."

Yeah, it has a lot of evidence, just not 'official' evidence. Why? because no official census has been conducted in Lebanon since the 40s. Why? because, believe it or not, in your 'democratic' joke-country, it's illegal to conduct a census. Yep, that's right, ILLEGAL. Gee, I wonder why...

"it's a pity to see how dumb you are. Now you claim that Tueni was killed by the Zionist? You're despicable. Idiots like you deserve Bashar."

I didn't claim to know who killed Tueni, but the timing is very telling, at least it tells me that it's not Syria. Oh, and idiots like you in your Banana Republic deserve morons like Saad & Jumblaat.

At 12/16/2005 09:38:00 PM, Blogger zobahhan said...

Vox constantly proves he is a retard and that he takes it up the ass.

Unfortunately the shias dont have the money that allowed "followers" of the future group and druze communities to fly to lebanon for a "paid" weekend of voting, sex and entertainment...very representative. Also, the last consensus was carried out in the early 1900's and no more have been carried out...why? Well because they will make it official that the lebanese in power are in fact the minority, with the majority underrepresented...balance will shift and those who dont want to see that happen (hariri et al.) will make sure it doesnt. So your fuckin country wont carry out any "evidence" for certain reasons.

Powersharing? I think its more like power-BUYING. Just like they do it in syria with power, you do it in lebanon with money...because the lebanese sell out reeaaaal quick.

Oh yeah you moron, its CONFESSIONAL and not consensual. I dont remember any of the members being there by consent. (if you know what that means)

The national pact was supposedly between men and a "mans word." Knowing you all in lebanon are tantat (ladies) you wont stand by your word so no difference.

Good luck A-hole

At 12/16/2005 11:23:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

My, dear DB and zob, you showed once again that you know nothing about Lebanon. While it is certain that Muslims in Lebanon are a majority today, it does not mean however that the Shias are the majority. There is no evidence of that, neither offical nor officious. The highest natality rates in Lebanon have been observed in Akkar, a Sunni area and the Shia community is very prone to emigration, unlike the Sunnis or the Druze. The demonstration of the 8th March showed that HA could barely gather more than half the demonstrators gathered by the indpendence coalition, despite the fact that many bus full of Syrian demonstrators were dispatched from Damascus to support and HA, and many Sunni & Christians or freedom-loving Shias living in predominantly HA areas were prevented from coming to Beirut on March 14th.

At 12/16/2005 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"Good luck A-hole"

You're jealous of Lebanon. I can tell.

At 12/16/2005 11:41:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...


I could not resist answering you with the last few minutes that I have.
I hate Israel as much as you do. Having said this,I do think that Arab regimes have used the existence of Israel to justify their unjustifiable policies. They have drilled into our minds the concept that since Israel exists amongst us; don’t hold us accountable to anything. The state of our domestic economies, civil rights, standards of living and our dignity can all be trumped because of the higher cause of fighting Israel. I just cannot accept this.

On the Syrian regime, it is easy for us to sit on our laptops and criticize it from afar. But these guys need to survive in a treacherous environment. Were any one of us in power, we may also resort to all sorts of means to ensure our survival. Where I do fault the regime, however, is in there tremendous mismanagement of the economy and this is why I keep talking about this topic. I am not in favour of labeling in politics. I am indeed an ardent supporter and believer in free markets. I have read every book of Adam Smith and Ayn Rand. I happened to strongly believe in both.

Lastly, as you can imagine by now, I strongly disagree with the Baath party and what it stands for. Their record has been abysmal. I am afraid Syria cannot reform itself with a party like this in power. Bashar knows this. Everyone knows this. Their problem is the security of the regime. Between 1970 and 1979, the regime handed the country its golden economic years. What did they get in return? The Moslem Brotherhood’s attempt to topple it and take over. Starting then, the regime decided that survival is paramount. The Baath is one its tools to survive.

In conclusion, time is not on Syria’s side. Bashar needs to turn to the west and ask for help in building his nation. I am not sure the latter trusts him any longer to deliver. With all Basher’s faults, I think Fundamental Islam will be even worse. This is why this country is in turmoil. None of us have the answers. My gut feel is that it is unnatural for a minority to rule so ruthlessly for so long and with such a bad record. They have done for the past 40 years because it has suited the big powers and Israel. With every day that passes by and Bashar is still in power, one cannot help but think that nothing has changed. Wish me luck with my trip.


At 12/16/2005 11:53:00 PM, Blogger zobahhan said...

My dear Vox. I am not jealous of lebanon. Infact, i am more than pleased that a country in the region is finally breaking away from the pack and becoming independent. Unlike other people (such as yourself) I do not wish destruction to those who have it better than I do. My stance isnt, "if i dont have it, they shouldnt either."

Secondly; Using logic and common sense (which the lebanese are using to accuse the syrians of every crime committed in lebanon)it shouldnt get past you that using these two, it would show that shia's are the majority. -If not the majority, within the majority. Hence, this would lead to more than 5seats in parliament dont you think?

But on another note, you dont seem to have a reply to a possile conducting of a survey. What you also seem to insinuate is that the reproductive ability of the christians is far greater than that of the shia'/muslims in lebanon. There is a clear defenite division in the makeup of the religions in lebanon. By your standards, the division would be 40/40 sunni/shia or 35/35 and 30christian. These numbers do not make sense based on the last given numbers or common sense.

Any ideas?

At 12/17/2005 12:17:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Dearest Zob, I wrote that

"While it is certain that Muslims in Lebanon are a majority today"

and you replied :

"What you also seem to insinuate is that the reproductive ability of the christians is far greater than that of the shia'/muslims in lebanon. "

At 12/17/2005 12:42:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


I wonder why so many Christian and Sunni politicians have come in public and said that the Shia procreate like 'rabbits'. It is known to every observer of Lebanese demographics that Muslims are the majority in Lebanon, and any neutral (or unhappy) observer will tell you that the Shia are a majority. Again, that's why the-powers-that-be in the Banana Republic refuse to conduct a census. What are they afraid of, really?

At 12/17/2005 12:45:00 AM, Blogger zobahhan said...

Since you studied finance in france lets do some comparison

"muslims are a majority today" then you go on to say, "it does not mean however that the Shias are the majority."

To achieve a balance between the sunni and shia population, it requires a huge drop in birthrates and a rise in the birthrate of the christians to make up for this lost space.

40/30/20 -maybe?
30/30/25 -your take on it?

-does that make sense? For the shia's to be equal in representation (with no evidence for this) they need to drop from their previous levels while the christians would have to increase productivity and make up for the loss.


At 12/17/2005 02:46:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"I wonder why so many Christian and Sunni politicians have come in public and said that the Shia procreate like 'rabbits'. It is known to every observer of Lebanese demographics that Muslims are the majority in Lebanon, and any neutral (or unhappy) observer will tell you that the Shia are a majority. Again, that's why the-powers-that-be in the Banana Republic refuse to conduct a census. What are they afraid of, really? "

No, a neutral observer will not tell you that. He won't tell you anything because there's no reliable data. Sunni are not afraid of a census, only Christians and Druze are. The possibility that the Sunni commmunity is larger than the Shias cannot be rejected, especially since the Shias (with the Christians) emigrate more than the rest of the country. As I said the March demonstrations showed that HA couldn't bring as much demonstrators as the Lebanese opposition, despite the fact that the people in the opposition were afraid of state repression at the time.

True, some Lebanese are afraid of a census because they think that it will bring HA to power. Personally I don't care. Lebanon is a state with many communities, it is not a nation. Therefore, majoritarian democracy cannot be applied. It's true that the Shia community is under-represented in the government, but so is the Christian community because the Christian minsters are actually Lahoud or Hariri militants. There's only 3 representative Christians in this government (one LF and 2 Qornet Shehwan), which give them less than 15% of the ministries.

I have never heard a politician publicly call the Shia rabbits. Personally I am a federalist,therefore I am not afraid of a census because I don't believe in an majoritarian rule anyway. I think that each community should be given some space to breathe. Let the HA beat women and cut hands if it turns them on. As long as I can go to night clubs, I don't really care. I don't care if the Shias are a relative majority (and when I say the Shias it's a gross simplification since Shia and HA are not the same thing. I apologize to the Shia patriots but it's for the sake of the argument), they will not rule the country alone.

Your problem is you suppose that all Lebanese Shias are all HA. It's wrong. There's also patriot Shias in Lebanon. The HA-Amal coalition is monopolizing the Shia representation because of the electoral law that was created by Ghazi Kanaan. But the next electoral law will likely introduce a proportional system and will break the monopoly of HA-Amal. So even if the Shia representation is increase, HA will lose a lot of seats.

And by the way Zob, Christian in Lebanon are likely to be in the 35-40% range. And even more if you take into account those who live outside and who are deprived from their voting right.

At 12/17/2005 04:25:00 AM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...


some of what you say is true, but keep in mind that Saad, Ga3ga3, 3oun, and Jumblatt are each monopolizing, as you say, the representation of their groups. This is just life, and HA is not alone in this.

What I find amusing is that you separate HA-Amal and 'Patriotic' Shia. So are you claiming that HA are not patriotic? I find that very strange. After all, it was Hizbullah's men & women (who don't get beaten or their hands cut as you so prejudicely claim) who pushed the Israelis out, NOT Charbel and Tony who where getting wasted in the night clubs while their compatriots were getting killed on the battlefields. Well, actually, it's even worse, people like Ga3Ga3 and SOME Christians were helping the Israelis as we all know. That just strikes me as grossly UNPATRIOTIC.

It's funny that Tueni and others have recently said: "We all liberated Lebanon from Israel, the Resistance doesn't belong to Hizbullah alone". Didn't see many of your people down there fighting, Mr. Tueni. But oh well, the guy is dead now.

At 12/17/2005 05:13:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

EHSANI2 wrote:
"our country will be best served by aligning itself with the west in an attempt to dramatically improve the standards of living of my people".

As a person who sees things in black and white, you should also know that "aligning" yourself with the West to achieve prosperity is not a black or white issue. Firstly, the West is no longer a monolithic concept, so whom do you mean? (rhetorical question, no need to answer) Secondly, when you're the underdog, your relationship with the stronger nation is not an equal-parity affair, but rather one of subervience, especially when you are no one, really.

Thirdly, the acceptance of this alignment by the host country is a part of the grander foreign policy of that country and is, therefore, a subject of interest, approval, and bottom line value to THAT country, not yours. Also, this alignment with the West is not a one-size-fits-all deal. For example, you're NOT extended the same deal when you align yourself with the West as say, Israel would, or as Lebanon would, or as Iran would, etc. It depends on what value they see in you, if any.

To conclude, alignment with the West is not the key to salvation and prosperity of the people (case in point: Egypt). When you're a credible, democratic, and a strong country, you can dictate your own alignments, including with the West or even the East. Anything else is not called an alignment, but rather subservience (be it economical, political, social, or all of the previous). The West has its own interest in mind, and for centuries it has not crossed roads with ours. I will leave it up to the readers to figure out why. So far, during my life time that is, the only interest I have seen by the West, is to install and protect puppet oppressive regimes upon the entire Arab World.

At 12/17/2005 01:56:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

DB. It was HA and the Syrians who kept Israel in Lebanon so long. It was HA supported by your government who rejected any kind of agreement with Israel, and who declared that the war would continue untile Palestine is liberated.

It was Iran who requested that, unlike Amal and the leftist militias, HA remaisn armed. Syria agreed of course. HA wanted this war to continue forever because this party build its popularity on war. It wanted this war to go on forever because it's the only thing that legitimize its (illegal under Lebanese law) militia. And it needs these arms because one day, they will try to use them to establish Sharia law in Lebanon.

So spare me your BS.Without HA, Israel would have left Lebanon ten years ago.

At 12/17/2005 01:59:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12/17/2005 03:31:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Not to mention that Hafez el Assad did everything to keep Israel in Lebanon so that he could justify his own occupation and have a card to trade for the Golan.

At 12/17/2005 03:53:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Vox, that'a a very cynical approach on your part. So you're saying Syria WANTED Israel to stay in Lebanon for its own interests. Hmmmm, well if that was the case, then I must say that Syrians are true geniuses, and the Israelis were just puppets in their hands.

From your above premises, we conclude that Israel is a dumbass ocuntry who's been played by Syria and HA for their own advantages. Of course, this couldn't be further from reality: Israel wanted to stay in Lebanon for several reasons, including the water resources, as well as creating a buffer zone OUTSIDE Israel proper to fight Syria over, not to mention its expansionist appetites.

Your problem, as many Lebanese Christians, is that you think you can survive in the Middle East on your own. That you are not an Arab, just Lebanese. That each Arab country should try to manage itself in isolation, making peace with Israel when it's convenient for her. I must admit here, Hafez Assad was a genius when it came to foreign policy (even though he was terrible internally), and he realized that:

"We will hang together or hang separately" - Ben Franklin


Thank you, that's a very articulate description of how our relation with the West would look like: pure subservience, if we even had anything to present to them other than labor force...

At 12/17/2005 03:54:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

I bet that Josh has been spending the last few days sleeping in OK, suffering from severe jetlag.

Wake up, Dr. Landis ;)

At 12/17/2005 04:34:00 PM, Blogger Alterion said...

DB, something tells me Dr. Landis has been held up in D.C. for debriefing :)

At 12/17/2005 06:44:00 PM, Blogger DamasceneBlood said...

Hehe, could be. But joking aside, people like Dr. Landis should be considered indespensable allies to the Syrians working in the US, but I'm sure our government in its infinite wisdom will find a way to waste this resource somehow.

At 12/18/2005 01:10:00 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Bolton is fit for the job. He's the guy that is fed up with UN's failure to act and who will shake the bureaucrats.

If you define UN Reform as “removing constraints on America’s ability to kick the rest of the world’s ass”, then, yes John Bolton is your man. On the other hand, if you define UN reform as making the UN stronger in stopping genocide, confronting human rights abuses, reconstructing conflict-ridden areas, eliminating the spread of nuclear proliferation, etc., well, then, Bolton is probably not the best man. Bolton’s concern is with the former – after all, he doesn’t accept the legitmacacy of international law. The fact that he spent his time during the UN Summit trying to eliminate references to foreign aid, corporate responsibility, and environmentalism in the draft declaration (as opposed to, say, the Human Rights Council or the Peace Building Commission) gives you a good insight into his priorities.

By the way, it’s amusing to see all the Bolton defenders ignore how he screwed up on Syria. Wouldn’t Lebanon be better off if a more diplomatic, less confrontational UN Ambassador had been in place and not sabotaged a “Libya-style deal” with Syria (e.g. no interference in Lebanese affairs in exchange for restoring diplomatic relations with the United States)?

At 12/18/2005 01:32:00 PM, Blogger Peter said...

And I don't see any problem with signing a peace to Israel. Why shouldn't we? Almost all the Arab states already have relations with Israel and even Syria opened negotiation with Israel in the past. If Syria did not sign a peace with Israel, it's not because it didn't try. Why shouldn't Lebanon si? I thought that peace was a desirable thing (and you dare to accuse me of being a war-monger)?

Personally, I see nothing wrong in seeking peace, but it all depends on the context in which it's done. Syyia's peace treaty with Israel was contingent on getting the Golan Heights back. Same thing with the Beirut declaration in 2002 - the Arabs would fully normalize relations provided Israel withdraw to the borders of June 4, 1967 and reach a just solution to the Palestinian refugees.

But making peace with Israel without any withdrawal from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights removes any reason for Israel to end its occupation of its territories. It allows Israel to have its cake and eat it too.

Anyway, this is a moot argument because Lebanon is not going to make a peace treaty with Israel in the near future. Everybody knows Lebanon will be the last Arab country to make peace with Israel. The only people talking about an Israel-Lebanon peace treaty are (a) a few overexcited Israelis (b) Syria, when it's trying to paint the Lebanese opposition as an Israeli front.

At 12/21/2005 01:18:00 PM, Blogger Yabroud said...


At 1/03/2006 09:11:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

EHSANI2 said...

"...I also strongly believe that our country will be best served by aligning itself with the west in an attempt to dramatically improve the standards of living of my people. ..."

I completely agree that Syria needs to align itself more with the West; however, I would not include the US in that category. Its schizophrenic relationship to Zionism disqualifies it. The EU would be a more civilized entity to align with.

At 1/09/2006 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Yabroud said...

agreeeed with all

At 1/09/2006 04:05:00 PM, Blogger Yabroud said...

fix the blog


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