Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What is at Stake in Lebanon's National Conference?

The national conference of sectarian leaders in Lebanon, which has been meeting all week in an attempt to fix Lebanon, broken off their talks until Monday.

Walid Jumblatt, who rejects the basic premise of the deal being hammered out, quit the meeting after its first day to head for Washington. He believes that only Washington can help Lebanon succeed in ousting President Lahoud and disarming Hizbullah, the two requirements for destroying Syrian influence in Lebanon. He wanted nothing to do with the national dialogue.

Why? He explained that "the pro-Syrian Amal-Hizbullah coalition had hoped to strike a deal with the anti-Syrian [Hariri led] coalition that would allow Hizbullah to keep its arms in return for letting them name the next president." Jumblatt further said the dialogue had reached a deadlock because participants disagreed over the Shebaa Farms issue and Hizbullah's disarmament. Jumblatt is not content to get rid of Lahoud at the price of continuing Hizbullah's immunity.

The Daily Star's Nada Bakri and Nafez Qawas have a good article on this. They explain how the impasse came about. Hizbullah is blaming the conference's failure on Jumblatt's perfidy, claiming he is an agent of the West and doesn't have Lebanon's best interests at heart. Jumblatt blames Hizbullah for being non-Lebanese. They are Syrian tools, according to his assessment, thus the National Dialogue that might have led to Hizbullah's legitimization, had to be sabotaged. He blames the failure of the National Dialogue on President Assad.

Hizbullah's Al-Manar television said the Druze leader's outspoken comments had been a factor in the conference's adjournment.

"It seems Jumblatt's comments have had an impact on the meeting, forcing a reaction from those who are opposed to him," the channel reported.

Political sources close to a participant in the dialogue told The Daily Star Jumblatt's comments were strongly opposed by Berri and Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Rumors emerged that an argument erupted when participants began discussing Hizbullah's arms and the Shebaa Farms, with Nasrallah and Berri questioning the point of such dialogue when Jumblatt was only trying to derail them.

Nasrallah then allegedly stormed out of the room. Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun and Hariri failed to convince Nasrallah to rejoin the talks, the rumors say. As a result, the talks were postponed.

MP Elie Skaff, representing Lebanon's Greek Catholic community and the first to leave the dialogue, hinted in comments to reporters that the dialogue was postponed over Jumblatt's remarks. "It has been adjourned until next week to allow time for additional contacts and await the return of MP Walid Jumblatt."

Democratic Gathering [Jumblatt's party] MP Wael Bou Faour told The Daily Star a Syrian decision to break off the dialogue has been passed.

"The pro-Syrian coalition does not have the authority to oust Lahoud, only President Assad can take this decision and he is not yet ready to give up on this card without receiving an outstanding price for it ... therefore they decided to end it," Bou Faour said, refusing to elaborate further.

Reports also emerged that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal will arrive in Beirut on the weekend to complete preparations for an Arab initiative that will sort out the situation. The initiative is expected to be announced during the Arab Summit to be held in Sudan this month.
Saad Hariri and members of his coalition, such as Geagea, are being much more upbeat about the National Dialogue, insisting that it is not over. Although, they refuse to repudiate Jumblatt -- which is clearly what Nasrallah wants them to do, they continue to court Hizbullah and Amal. Hariri and his allies can only be frightened by the Aoun-Shiite understanding. They want to nip it in the bud in order to assure that they get to name the next president of Lebanon. This means being nice to Hizbullah (and Syria), which is anathema to Jumblatt.

Since the National Pact was first hammered out in 1943, the Sunni-Christian alliance has been at the heart of Lebanon's political arrangement and stability. When it fell apart, the country burst into civil war. Rafiq Hariri was able to rebuild the alliance. The wild card is the emergence of the Shiites as a well-oiled political machine. They demand a change in the basic structure of Lebanon's National Pact. As the largest sect, they are no longer content to be treated as the dirt farmers and coffee boys to the country's Christian and Sunni za'ims.

The Aoun - Hizbullah entente, worked out some weeks ago, suggests that a Christian - Shiite alliance could be formed that would effectively squeeze out the Sunnis. Saad Hariri and his group must fear this possibility. They want the Shiites to form a Sunni - Shiite alliance, which would squeeze out the Aoun's FPM. Hariri has promise the Christians that they will not be squeezed out if they back him, rather that their true strength and interests can only be realized by working with him. The Kornet Shahwan group, along with Geagea's Lebanese Front and the Patriarch have accepted this logic. Aoun has not.

Syria can live with either combination, so long as the pro-Syrian Shiites are ensconced in power and can protect Syrian interests in Lebanon. Syria's interests are two-fold. First, Lebanon must remain on the side of anti-Israeli resistance to ensure the return of the Golan. Second, Lebanon must not go headlong into the Western camp, allowing it to be used as a bridgehead in the region for over-turning or pressuring the Syrian regime. Syria will demand that whichever party gets to dance with the Shiites should soft-peddle the Hariri murder investigation, which remains France's and America's main hope for putting the screws to Syria.

This is why Jumblatt so adamantly opposes either combination. First the Druze would be cut out by either deal. Second, Asad, who hates Jumblatt more than any other Lebanese, would also be cut out along with his ally, Hizbullah. The Druze would prefer for the Shiites to be excluded from real power and to continue with the traditional Sunni - Christian combination. Because the Sunni - Christian combination is inherently weak - it represents little more than 50% of the population - the Druze community and Jumblatt would remain an important swing vote in government.

The US government is remaining very tight lipped. Reporters have asked for clarification, but both Rice and the President's spokespeople are being laconic. The only thing they will say is that US support for resolution 1559 is firm and well known, but insist that the National Dialogue is a Lebanese decision. The US doesn't want to interfere.

Meanwhile, the patriarch Sfeir is busy trying to patch up relations between pro and anti-Syrian Christian leaders. This may undercut Aoun's future support if more Christian leaders can be brought into the Future Movement, or at least, if divisions between them are healed.

»Chouf MP takes Lebanon's concerns to Washington: This is a pro-Jumblatt piece.


At 3/08/2006 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Good post Josh.

Jumblatt’s thinking is spot-on and he understands what’s at stake. But his actions have been moronic and extremely dangerous. The gamble that he took in his 180 degree turn to become the head of the anti-Syrian spear has violent conclusion written all over it. Which I am sure he doesn’t mind if the alternative is his party’s demotion.

Some might argue that to squeeze Assad vis-à-vis Washington might push Damascus into asking the Hizb and co to quietly step down. But I highly doubt it for a couple of reasons; first, Damascus has been confrontational in its stance so far and there are no signs of it changing that behavior. Second, Hizballah might be a tool for Syria as long as its strategic interests in Lebanon are preserved. But have no doubt that if Damascus under any circumstance would ask Nassrallah and Berri to weaken their hand in Lebanese politics the Shia’a parties would decline.

Jumblatt might be hoping that Assad will be toppled but that is highly unlikely. So the only remaining conclusion IMHO if all parties remain stubborn is violent clashes between the major Lebanese players. Which would weaken every coalition/parties but no one more so than Hariri’s. So it’s a tricky situation to say the least and if the Sunni’s wont dump/defuse Jumblatt soon, they might allow him to lead them and the whole country into another battle no one, especially the Sunnis, want.

At 3/08/2006 09:13:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

I think Syria has decided Syria is with Hizballa Amal Iran Hamas and part of the christian Lebanese and the conflict is comming to Lebanon and i think syria and allies will win because they are fighting for their lives and nobody can fight more than sombody fighting for his life.

At 3/08/2006 11:49:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Norman, It is a formidable alliance. Not even a coalition of Israeli, French and American can challenge it. You also need to count Russia to greater extent and China to a lesser one. Any challenging coalition will surely have to contend with these Two supper powers fighting for their interests ferociously as well.

Short of imminent use of Nuclear weapon (ARMAGEDEON), it will be better off to stop playing paper tiger and live with this alliance, weather someone like it or not.

The alliance is also counting on DPRK in case of a heated conflict to split the West forces apart from one end of Asia to the other. Recent U.S. ploy to gain a footing in India will bring gains to India, not to the U.S.. India already been warned this week what it can expect if it goes out of line. Doubt, they will risk an incredibly violent upheaval across India to please the West, they know India’s best interest is keeping friendship with local neighbors, especially the main arm supplier and economic partner Russia. Iran is also targeting oil as the number one weapon. Not just it’s oil, but the whole region, which is within its reach (just 30 minutes) or those of its local surrogates. Most of the oil in the gulf is in Shia land and they been strategizing with Iran for couple of years now.

It will come down to this: A Sobering time ahead for this planet or a retreat for the U.S.
Don’t ever count on Iran, DPRK or the Alliance to back down and buckle under the West / U.S. demands, it will never ever happened.

If I was in charge of Washington, I would have adopted a very different strategy, a longer term one, but since so much time wasted and in fact time now is not on U.S. / Israel sides, it is way too late to do anything but to pull the nuke threat or back down and live with the new powers that are built upon past, faulty, U.S. strategies.

Looks like the Israeli already came to an accurate assessment and are adopting the retreat and back to withdrawing from Gaza and West Bank settlements, back to building walls and MASSADA cities. At the same time, they want to keep using Oklahoma and Omaha National Guards to do the fighting for them for the rest of the decade.

At 3/08/2006 11:52:00 PM, Blogger why-discuss said...

Josh, very good analysis. The sunni should definetely dump Jumblatt if they want to enter into the Nasrallah-Aoun train, which is the only train that can take Lebanon away from chaos.
The druze community, unless they get another leader may loose they power despite the agitation of Marwan Hamade. And if they loose their power? so what? the druze represent a very small part of the population, totally outnumbered by the Shia. I expect Jumblatt to receive a cold shower on monday.

At 3/09/2006 06:33:00 AM, Blogger Inverse constant said...

Sir your opinions in this story are not well researched or well thought through. Moreover your opinions appear to blinkered by a pro Syrian stance. To all other readers - you should read a broader selection of the news to have a better understanding of the Lebanon-Syria situation.

At 3/09/2006 07:53:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

Those university students are a tool in the hand of the security forces and the Baath. Shame on them, Shame on the regime, Shamefull act,

At 3/09/2006 08:24:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Naharnet now reports that Taha's cell was affiliated with al-Zarqawi:

"In January, authorities arrested an al-Qaida cell affiliated with the notorious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and charged its members with attempting to stage terrorist operations."

U.S. Offers to Equip Army with Surveillance Gear to Stop Infiltrations From Syria/Naharnet

It is unclear, however, if this new claim is based on solid information. It could also be a case of sloppy reporting as the article also misrepresents a recent statement by Ahmed Fatfat:

"Acting Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat recently told the French Liberation newspaper that al-Qaida has been looking to establish itself in Lebanon and had sent fighters to the country where it was also searching for local recruits. He said the group had several factions, including one controlled by Syrian intelligence."

Here is what he really said:

"Je pense qu'il y a plusieurs tendances au sein d'Al-Qaeda et que l'une d'elles pourrait être manipulée par les services de sécurité syriens."

(my emphasis)

I'm currently reading Bernard Rougier's Le jihad au quotidien, an excellent book that may hold the clue to the Hariri murder if the piste islamiste is confirmed.

It turns out that Sheikh Jamal Khattab and Sheikh Abdullah Hallaq are the co-founders of the Islamic Struggle Movement (al-Haraka al-Islamiya al-Mujahida). They were both disciples of Sheikh Ibrahim Ghunaym, as was the founder of Usbat al-Ansar, Hisham Shreidi, and also its current leader, Abu Mohjen. According to Rougier, Sheikh Jamal Khattab's group is working closely with Usbat al-Ansar. Khattab also had links with Sheikh Abdullah Azzam in Pakistan, the mentor of Osama bin Laden. All these Sunni extremist groups are opposed to Syria, open collaboration with Syrian intelligence is therefore highly unlikely.

Another example of sloppy reporting:

Lawyers demand release of jailed generals

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The source also claimed: "For the last six months, the suspects have not been interrogated again by Eid. He only interrogated them on September 3, when they were arrested. So what is the point of keeping them in prison?"
The Daily Star

How about asking the "source" why this claim is in contradiction with an earlier report by the Daily Star, based on other "sources"?

Jamil Sayyed interrogated for five hours

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Investigating Magistrate Elias Eid interrogated Jamil Sayyed, the arrested former chief of the Surete Generale, "for five-and-a-half hours Saturday," according to Lebanese judicial sources. Sayyed is one of four former top security chiefs who have been charged with planning, or executing the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri and of carrying out terrorist acts. ...

The sources added that Azar, Hajj and Hamdan will also be questioned "based on new information," without elaborating on what that information was.
The Daily Star

At 3/09/2006 08:50:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

The free people of Syria should protest this shameful ACT by the Agents. This kind of shameful ACT should not be tolerated, and it must be deplore and protested.


Assad supporters disrupt rights demo in Syria
156 words
9 March 2006
Agence France Presse
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006 All reproduction and presentation rights reserved.
DAMASCUS, March 9, 2006 (AFP) -

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday disrupted an opposition protest against the emergency laws in force in Syria, witnesses said.

Dozens of human rights activists were gathered outside the main courthouse in Damascus for a sit-in when young demonstrators carrying Syrian flags and portraits of Assad intervened, they told AFP.

"They sent students and security agents and tried to prevent the sit-in," which still took place and lasted almost an hour, said Hassan Abdel-Azim, spokesman for the Democratic National Rally coalition of five banned parties.

He said that several of the rights activists were "attacked, beaten and accused of treason and of conniving with the United States" by the young counter-demonstrators.

Similar incidents took place in March 2005 when a protest took place against the emergency laws which have been in force since 1963.


At 3/09/2006 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

Another “HIGH LEVEL” meeting of Syrian oppositions is now held in Europe. This one is very important and could lead to the demise of President Assad because a Pentagon representative and Sumer were also present in addition to Ghadri. Watch out for the upcoming BAYANAT and TAKARIR that will be launched at the meeting end. Now all they need is 60,000 men fighting force and popular Syrian support.

Hold your horses, I counted the number of attendees and for some odd reason I found the number of supporters inside Syria is much less the number of attendee, here goes the popular support part. As to the number of armed resistance fighter the attendee muster, it is no way close to the minimum 60k needed. Well, the Pentagon offered the Israeli army help in Lebanon and Syria and the Syrian oppositions were trying to recruit the Somali doormen at the Hotel to dress up in Israeli army fatigue.

At 3/09/2006 12:14:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Very interesting background report on the burning of the Danish embassy in Damascus:

» Witness » A Damascene conversion

We knew still less the next day, because the feeling of faith had broken its banks and submerged its own precepts. Even walked with the crowd that set fire to his own embassy. Pretending to be a Swede, manhandled and accused, at one stage he feared the crowd would turn on him. Teargassed by the police, he sought refuge with the wounded in a mosque. But when he returned to my flat, the detail that had impressed itself on him was that the crowd had prayed in the street before attacking the embassy, crying, "Our soul, our blood, kind and gentle is our Prophet."
Aatish Taseer

So it was a genuine protest that got out of hand and turned violent. UPI confirms the participation of foreign students in the demonstration:

Dozens of Pakistanis, Indians, Indonesians and other Asian students joined the thousands of Syrians in the protest against a Danish newspaper that published cartoons ridiculing Prophet Mohammad, the founder of Islam.
UPI, Feb. 4, 2006

At 3/09/2006 01:02:00 PM, Blogger patriot2sy said...

"So it was a genuine protest that got out of hand and turned violent."

I am not quite sure about that. A friend of mine told me that young guys after burning the embassy were saying "HalaQ HaraQna Alkufar" with an alawi accent.
This points clearly that security was there and indeed they may be the ones responsible for burning the embassy.

Although there were many muslims(sunnis) in the protest, it wasn't them who burned the embassies.

At 3/09/2006 02:15:00 PM, Blogger 10452 said...

And more fallcies from Mr. Landis.

"Walid Jumblatt, who rejects the basic premise of the deal being hammered out, quit the meeting after its first day to head for Washington."

Mr. Joumblat did not quit the meeting, he had planned to leve for Washington way before the dates for the National Dialogue were ever decided.

"He wanted nothing to do with the national dialogue"

Then why did he attend the first day, why did he ask Aridi to replace him, while he was away on his planned trip, and why di dhe call from Washington to say that he is very interested in the National Diaolgue, and that he will participate when it restarts on Monday?

Given that the opening phrase that sets the mood for the whole article is a complete fallacy, the rest of your post is "caduque".

Dear Josh, while I dont' understand your pro Baath attitude, you have every right to hold it, and you are solely responsible for those beliefs, but please don't start slipping into an Anti Lebanon mood, it doesn't suit you well.

At 3/09/2006 02:56:00 PM, Blogger Doha said...

Why Discuss,

Lebanon was never about majoritarianism; it's about a democractic system that protects minorities. The Druze community, despite its small size, has a long history in Lebanon and cannot be sidelined in the fashion you're talking about.

At 3/09/2006 03:15:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...


that is possible, of course, but the whole report by Aatish Taseer describes an atmosphere conducive to the outbreak of violence such as the burning of an embassy. The Norwegian who took part in the demonstration was even impressed by the religious fervor of the people who attacked his embassy. This strongly suggests that their anger was genuine.

Khaddam for hispanohablantes: a new interview.

"Fue Assad quien mató a El Hariri"

- ¿Quién mató a su amigo, el ex primer ministro libanés Rafiq El Hariri?

- Bashar El Assad fue quien le mató... Este asesinato tiene pruebas y raíces profundas. Antes de hacerlo se expresó al respecto en el seno del partido Baas y todos entendimos que había adoptado una posición peligrosa. Agentes de seguridad sirios y libaneses cooperaron en el asesinato de El Hariri.

- Usted había acusado hasta ahora del asesinato al régimen pero nunca directamente al presidente Assad. ¿Qué le lleva ahora a hacerlo por primera vez?

- Yo tengo mucha información. Assad nos dijo en el partido que había una conspiración entre Hariri, Chirac y Bush contra Siria. Cuando le definió como colaboracionista estaba claro que quería su muerte. Dos semanas antes del asesinato, Assad llamó a sus seguidores en Líbano y les pidió que empezaran a acusar a El Hariri de colaborar con Israel. El objetivo era crear una atmósfera que justificara el asesinato.

- Usted afirma ahora que Assad dio la orden personalmente. ¿Informó al respecto a la comisión internacional de investigación de la ONU?

- Así es. Todas las decisiones, incluso mucho más pequeñas, pasan por él. Es un crimen de tal magnitud que exige muchos preparativos y especialistas. Un trabajo con mil kilos de explosivos, tan potentes como el C-4, no es trabajo de un individuo ni de un grupo sino de un Estado. Sé que hay oficiales sirios y libaneses que lo hicieron según las órdenes del presidente.
La Vanguardia

Khaddam argues that a terrorist group could not have used 1,000 kilograms of explosives in the attack.

1,000 kilograms is indeed a very large amount. Most car bombs used in terrorist attacks are smaller, but not all: for example the explosion that killed Sergio Vieira de Mello in the attack on the UN Mission in Baghdad. According to some reports, the truck was loaded with 2,200 pounds of high explosives.

At 3/10/2006 12:49:00 AM, Blogger why-discuss said...

Doha, I do not wish any of the minorities in Lebanon to be side lined but I believe that choosing a leader whose priority is his community and not his ego is essential to have the community play a constructive role in Lebanon. Unfortunately the druze community well lead by Kamal Jumblatt, have now inherited Waleed Jumblatt who does not have any leadership capabilities and whose contribution to the lebanese society has proven until now destructive.
I wish the druze community find a more worthwhile leader so the community can play the glorious role than it did in the history of Lebanon.

At 3/10/2006 07:04:00 AM, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Members of the elite Druze regiment of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) even have their own “syncretist” flag combining Hebrew and Durzee theological symbols… No wonder Druze war criminal Walid Jumblatt got the red carpet treatment in Washington and was effusively greeted by a phalanx of Neocon grandees!!
Jumblatt met Secretary of State Condi Rice earlier this week ostensibly to discuss peaceable topics such as “regime change” in Syria and neo-colonial Western interference in Lebanese affairs...

But, like him or not, President Bashar Al-Assad is the only (relatively) secular/modernist ruler left standing between Istanbul and Delhi: toppling the Baathist regime of Damascus at this precise juncture would surely wreak havoc across the whole Middle-East- precisely what Paul David Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld must have had in mind when they decided to invade Iraq 3 years ago…

Anyhoo, for what it’s worth, below is my own Neo-Wilsonian five points plan to save Lebanon:


1. Jail and try Hariri, Saniura and the bloodthirsty Wahhabi collaborators of Saydah and Dinnieh who rampaged their way through East Beirut's upscale Achrafiyyeh district last month, burning consulates and churches

2. Nullify the ill-acquired SOLIDERE shares held by « generous Saudi investors », and give back their full property right to the lawful Lebanese landowners who were illegally expropriated by Rafic Hariri and Gen. Ghazi Kanaan in 1994

3. (Re)send to jail notorious war criminals who have massacred tens of thousands of innocent Lebanese civilians from 1975 to 1990: top of the wanted list is a certain Walid J. « Beyck » who, after having supervised the ethnic cleansing of the Chouf area, was rewarded with the “ministry of refugees” by Hariri père so he could better siphon out all the money earmarked for the orphans of Damour and Souk el Gharb- it’s kind of as if Adolf Hitler had been nominated « minister of death camps survivors » back 1945 ! but I’m digressing…

4. Adopt a new Gerrymander-free electoral law based on the sound principle of the “mid-size district” that would allow for a free and fair parliamentary representation of the people of Lebanon i.e. the precise opposite of the illegal 2000 electoral law imposed at gunpoint by King Fahd Ibn Saud and General Hafiz el-Wahech

5. Proceed with the election of a new president only AFTER transparent parliamentary elections are held across the country, under the supervision of European Union and UN observers

At 3/10/2006 07:05:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Damascus optimistically welcomes UN inquiry chief
by Jihad Issa

The Syrian press has expressed certainty that Brammertz will exonerate the country from accusations linked to Hariri’s murder, and will say instead that “Islamic fundamentalists” were behind the murder.

Damascus (AsiaNews) – Today, Damascus is voicing optimism and confidence about the first visit to Syria of Serge Brammertz, the Belgian judge appointed by Kofi Annan to lead the UN Commission of Inquiry into the murder of the former Lebanese premier, Rafic Hariri, on 14 February last year.

The government-controlled Syrian press has since yesterday been comparing the new head of the Commission – praising his objectivity – to his predecessor, a German, Detlev Mehlis, accused even by political authorities of having pre-conceived anti-Syrian views. According to newspapers, the first report of Brammertz, to be presented to the UN on 15 March, is sure to present another, very valid point of view, not least because of the total silence which has characterized his work, as opposed to his predecessor “who wanted to manipulate his legal mission to serve the Americans, abusing his prestigious responsibility”. Mehlis was even challenged of having woven friendships with many people in Lebanon and elsewhere, going against the discreet nature of a judge’s work.

The Syrian press is also flaunting the conviction that the Brammertz report will dismantle accusations against Syria put forward by Mehlis, indicating unidentified “fundamentalists” as being responsible for Hariri’s murder. The Belgian judge has been promised a warm welcome by all Syrian leaders, including the president Bachar El Assad.

In reality, the visit of Brammertz was preceded by tiring negotiations, which he undertook in Lebanon with the Syrian legal advisor, Riad El Daoudi, and his assistant Ahmad Arnous, on the modalities of his movements during his Syrian visit and about the nature of his meetings with Syrian leaders.

Damascus insists there is an increasing likelihood that “fundamentalists” will be accused of being primarily guilty of Hariri’s murder, and hence the innocence of four Lebanese officials, jailed for more than four months, will be recognized: Jamil El Saiid, Raymond Azar, Ali El Hajj and Moustafa Hemdane. The officials have asked to be released, committing themselves to remain in Lebanon.

This is just speculation, of course. Only very view people know what Brammertz is going to say in his report, but I hope that he addresses the question of possible Islamist involvement in the crime and Khaled Taha's role in it.

At 3/10/2006 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

AP (Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented a sweeping vision for Israel's future in interviews published Friday, saying he will dismantle most West Bank settlements, fortify remaining settlement blocs and set the nation's borders by 2010).

MASSADA, JERICHO….OK that is really original, never tried before in Israel.

At 3/10/2006 06:08:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had a training camp near Tripoli in late 2004, early 2005 !

"When they dismantled a network of Islamic militants linked to Abu Musab al Zarqawi's "Al Qaeda in Iraq" last fall, French authorities made a startling discovery.

One of the militants, Kaci Warab, had spent several months in a facility operated by Zarqawi followers near Tripoli, Lebanon, to be trained on detonator designs far more complex than anyone had seen thus far."
Al Qaeda's Web of Terror

"Another police official said a second suspected cell member, Kaci Ouarab, returned from Lebanon in early 2005 after a few months of training in weapons and explosives, and possibly, ways of detonating bombs by using mobile phones.

Ouarab left for Lebanon either in late 2004 or early 2005, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his agency does not allow him or the agency to be identified by name."
AP, October 11, 2005

It could be just a coincidence, but the mobile phones used in the Hariri bombing were all activated in the Tripoli area:

"145. Further investigation has revealed that these six lines --- along with two others --- were put into circulation on the 4 January 2005, after calling number 1456 activated them. They were all activated at the same location in northern Lebanon between Terbol and Menyeh."
Mehlis Report

At 3/10/2006 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

We don't normally comment, in fact we never commented on Hariri case before and not even now. What we are commenting on is the obsession t-desco have with Hariri case and more his constant introduction to Syriacomment this kind of innuendo, in an apparent attempt to show that it was Al-Qaida or an Islamic group associated with it that is responsible for Hariri death.

Sir, there are no truth to all these fabricated evidences you constantly find inserted in newspapers and bring it here.

Why don't you wait and see the investigator report on the 15th of March and see the hundreds of professional investigators from all over the world that are working on finding the truth and the result of millions of Dollars spent on it.

Your attempt to steer the investigation (it appear that way) into the realm of fabrications, "paid for" reports and news articles may win you a moment of feeling safe and secure but considering the facts the investigators has, we assure you that this is a false sense of security and a desperate attempt. Keep on hopping that cash may buy the result of the investigation.

At 3/11/2006 03:20:00 AM, Blogger Abu Lanjri Al-Farran said...

Your organization badly needs a change of name
“Hebrew Monarchist Party” would be a far more fitting appellation!

At 3/11/2006 05:49:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

SRP, I can assure you that I am eagerly awaiting the first report by Serge Brammertz, but I also like to think for myself and draw my own conclusions.

Report: Lebanon uncovered terror cell that fired rockets at Israel (Army Radio)

Report: Qaida-linked cell in Lebanon fired rockets at Israel

The Lebanese army has arrested a terror cell linked to Al Qaida, suspected of firing Katyusha rockets from Lebanon at Israel, Israel Radio quoted Lebanese newspapers as saying Saturday.

According to the reports, the cell is made up of four Lebanese and four Palestinians, and is led by a Palestinian man with links to Al Qaida leaders.

The cell stored weapons in different areas of Lebanon in order to carry out attacks and for weapons trade purposes, the report said. Lebanese security forces found explosives, missiles, rockets and rifles in the possession of the cell members. The cell members are to stand trial before a military court in Beirut, the report said.

Army Unveils Lebanese and Palestinian Armed Network, Arrests Members

The army has uncovered a network of Lebanese and Palestinian militants, arrested its members and confiscated their weapons and ammunition stashed in hideouts in different regions of the country.
An army command statement published in newspapers Saturday said military intelligence had arrested the ring members who were spread out in regions across the country including Beirut, the Bekaa and the South.

The army found caches of explosives, rockets, arms and ammunition that had been collected from various areas and hidden in remote caves and groves. It said the purpose of the group was to "commit acts of sabotage or (arms) trade."

As Safir newspaper quoted security sources as saying that those arrested include suspects believed to have launched rocket attacks against Israel from south Lebanon.

It said they are four Lebanese and four Palestinians who belong to an Islamic fundamentalist group that it did not name. They were arrested in Beirut, Saida and the Bekaa town of Majdal Anjar, a Muslim fundamentalist hotbed.

The newspaper said the suspects were handed over to the military tribunal where the government's commissioner Jean Fahd was examining their case ahead of issuing charges against them.

Démantèlement d’un groupe armé subversif formé de Libanais et de Palestiniens
L'Orient-Le Jour

Army Intelligence cracks crime network hoarding arms
The Daily Star

Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat spoke of "criminals" and "arms dealers". As we know he had told Libération that the FPLP-CG was responsible for the rocket attack on Israel:

"Al-Zarqaoui a effectivement revendiqué l'attaque et d'après les renseignements dont nous disposons, c'est bien Al-Qaeda qui l'a commanditée. En revanche, nous avons des éléments indiquant que ce sont des hommes du Front populaire de libération de la Palestine-Commandement général (FPLP-CG) qui l'ont exécutée."

Yet the report by as-Safir indicates that the men are members of an "Islamic fundamentalist group".

At 3/11/2006 06:17:00 PM, Blogger ghada said...

Les politiciens qui tantôt aiment, tantôt détestent sont incapables de construire une Nation. Leurs intérêts personnels prévalent et ils perdent trop facilement de vue les intérêts des citoyens. Ceci dit, l'histoire récente montre bien que ces attitudes mènent à l'impasse.
C'est trop simplifier les faits que de parler de "communautés" qui s'allient ou s'entendent avec telle ou telle faction. La raison est que les dernières élections ont eu lieu sur l'insistance de l'ambassadeur des USA au Liban, qui a refusé de les remettre, malgré une loi reconnue injuste par tous, et sous l'influence des émotions suscitées par l'attentat contre R. Hariri. Dans les pays développés, des élections n'auraient jamais été autorisées sous l'emprise des émotions.
Tout ceci pour dire que les députés actuels sont peu représentatifs. Les alliances étaient plus qu'artificielles, basées sur des intérêts personnels que se sont promis de partager les différents acolytes.
Par contre, le rapprochement entre le Hezbollah et le Courant National Libre du général Aoun qui a eu lieu après une multitude de réunions et discussions qui ont commencé dès le mois de Mai 2005, sont autrement crédibles.
D'abord les personnages: Hassan Nasrallah a un discours clair et net. Il ne fuit pas les questions, il a le courage de ses idées, il est engagé dans ce en quoi il croit. N'oublions pas que son propre fils est compté parmi les martyrs. Quant au général Aoun, son discours foncièrement anti-syrien avant le départ des troupes syrienne, est devenu rationnel après leur départ. Cela réconforte. Il n'a pas de haine mais une conduite rationnelle pour l'avenir du Liban et des libanais. De plus, c'est le seul qui réclame la lutte contre la corruption. Aucun leader politique ne l'a fait . Il semble bien qu'ils ne pourraient plus survivre à une telle demande. Où sont passés les 40 milliards??? Evidemment cela ne conforte pas un grands nombre de politiciens.
Enfin, il n'est pas vrai que la communauté sunnite soit derrière la politique de Hariri. Mais les dernières élections ont faussé les données, grâce au désir américain.
Pour y voir plus clair, c'est de nouvelles élections qui seraient souhaitables avec une loi qui assure la vraie représentativité et qui élimine les candidats qui achètent les voix des citoyens.
Le Liban est dans l'orbite américaine. Mais il est des peuples qui résistent et qui arrivent malgré tout à imposer leurs propres choix.


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