Saturday, July 22, 2006

Here is an anonymous note I received from a reader explaining why he believes the Lebanon-Israel confrontation may spin into a regional war

Josh,

I do not pretend to be an expert, but as a casual observer, and frequent reader of your column, I have the feeling that what we are witnessing today in the middle-east, is a gathering storm. The climax of which, is a perfect storm.

In order for a perfect storm to happen, a lot of factors have to be in the right place, and at the right time.

I am arguing here that all the regional actors, as well as the international actors, that can have an impact on where things are heading, no longer can accept or afford the status quo, and they believe that escalation and confrontation is the way to change the status quo.

1. America:

1.1. American plans for the middle-east, and the war on terror are not going according to the administration's plan. The war in Iraq, and to some extent Afghanistan, are not going very well, and therefore the American public support for wars is declining, and the window of opportunity for any military adventurism, is closing rapidly. Therefore, if anything needs to be done, it needs to be done now.

1.2. Bush ratings are at their lowest, and the odds are that the democrats will come to power. It could be as early as this fall by capturing the congress, House or Senate, or both. Or it could be in two years by capturing the white house. Another reason why the neocons need to push their agenda now, or never.

1.3. Even if Republicans maintain control on congress and Whitehouse, the Neocon faction of the republican party are losing their grip due to the performance in the first term. Yet another reason for the urgency to do something now.

1.4. There are currently 130,000 US troops in Iraq. That number will certainly go down over the next 12 months, and the next 2 years, as we come closer to US elections. Therefore the time for any military adventurism is now.

2. Israel:

2.1. The failure of the peace plan, prompted Israel to come out with its own unilateral disengagement plan, similar to what happened in Lebanon in 2000. However, the whole plan falls apart when the opposing party continues to lob rockets even after the disengagement. Furthermore, we are seeing that these rockets are becoming more lethal, and can attain increasing distances. Therefore, the status quo needs to change before it is too late.

2.2. There is an administration in Washington that can only be described as the most friendly administration to Israel ever. A big part of this very close relationship, is the president own religious beliefs, and we know that is going to change in 2 years. Thus the urgency to do something.

2.3. Iran is gaining more strength due in large part to the Iraq war, and the removal of the Iraqi thereat, as well as the rise to power for the Shiites. Its own nuclear program is progressing at a worrying pace. Another reason why something needs to be done before Iran goes Nuclear.

2.4. Forces hostile to Israel are on the rise in the region. Hamas won elections in the Palestinian territory. Hezbollah won more seats in the Lebanese parliament, than ever before, an indication of a growing popularity among Shiites. Muslim brotherhood party won seats in the Egyptian parliament. All these Islamic forces, although they were present 10 and 20 years ago, have never been as popular as they are today. The trends indicate that fundamentalist Islam is on the rise everywhere. Therefore something needs to be done now, before the opposing force gather too much steam.

2.5. There is a new leadership in Israel that is not proven. Both the Prime Minister, and the Defense Minister do not come from a military background, and therefore they have to cede the decision making to the military, which is why this war is called the "generals wars".

3. Syria:
3.1. Economically Syria, is isolated, and under siege, regionally and Internationally. The economy is suffering as more and more suffocating measures are enacted by the US and its allies. Syria cannot withstand the impact of all these measures, as it is not rich in petroleum, like Iraq or Iran. The decision makers in Syria do not want to repeat the Iraq experience, where 12 years of sanctions, reduced Iraq's economy to tatters, despite its vast petroleum resources.

3.2. Politically Syria has never been as isolated as it is today. Not only it is isolated internationally, but also regionally, as evidenced by the Arab league meeting last Saturday.

3.3. The impact of Lebanon debacle, and the Hariri investigation that ensued, have still to play out completely. There is the economic impact of all these Syrians losing their jobs. There are strong indications that the Hariri investigations will end up with indictments of high level Syrian officers.

3.4. Syria has reached the conclusion that it cannot reach out to the US, even if it closes the borders, and pull out of Lebanon, and stop fermenting problems in Lebanon, because the US is not interested in reaching an accommodation with Syria.

4. Iran:
4.1. Iran is facing a major showdown with the west over its nuclear program. The Security Council is moving towards imposing sanctions on Iran.

4.2. Iran wants to engage Israel and America, in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, rather than Iran.

4.3. Iran is fighting for the leadership of the whole Moslem word. If it was to back down now, it will loose all credibility in the Moslem world.

4.4. Hezbollah is an extension of Iran. Hezbollah, although a totally Lebanese party, was in fact supported and started by Iran. Hezbollah is in fact the only triumph of the Iranian revolution, in its quest to export the revolution. Furthermore, Iran is counting on Hezbollah to create trouble for Israel, when the showdown over its nuclear weapons comes to a boil. Therefore, Iran will not let Hezbollah lose, in this showdown with Israel.

5. Hamas:

5.1. Clearly with the isolation and economic siege that they were under, they could not go any more. Something needed to happen, to break with the status quo, and produce a new reality.

5.2. Even though Hamas was not a party to the peace process, they were sitting back and waiting to see if Mahmoud Abbas can deliver. If he can they were ready to jump on board. However, the peace process died, and was buried, and there is no alternatives.

6. Lebanon:

6.1. The dialog was going nowhere. They could only agree on things that are controlled by others, such as for Palestinians to disarm, and Syria to exchange embassies, and mark the border. There was a deadlock, and an external event was needed to break the deadlock.

6.2. Hezbollah needs to prove that they are relevant in the new Lebanon.

For all the above reasons, I see this confrontation evolving, albeit slowly, into a major regional war.

Israel military encouraged by the neocons in the US administration may attack Syria, thinking that Syria is too afraid or too weak to respond, and that the outcome would be to bring Syria to heel.

Syria will respond as the regime cannot sit idly by, and retain any semblance of legitimacy.

Iran will get involved, and, we have a regional war.

I do hope I am wrong, and that this whole issue will get resolved diplomatically very soon.

I just wanted to know your opinions.

34 Comments:

At 7/22/2006 10:06:00 AM, Blogger My Syria's Comments said...

This is not plagiarism. But I am using a similar name out of admiration for your column. I wanted to share the following with you and hear your thoughts on it if you have any:

http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm

A Clean Break:
A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000." The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.
Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist institutions—which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, "New Middle East"—undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s "peace process." That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical mass— including a palpable sense of national exhaustion—and forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was illustrated best by Israel’s efforts to draw in the United States to sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in buses.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can:
§ Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.
§ Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
§ Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform.
This report is written with key passages of a possible speech marked TEXT, that highlight the clean break which the new government has an opportunity to make. The body of the report is the commentary explaining the purpose and laying out the strategic context of the passages.
A New Approach to Peace
Early adoption of a bold, new perspective on peace and security is imperative for the new prime minister. While the previous government, and many abroad, may emphasize "land for peace"— which placed Israel in the position of cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, and military retreat — the new government can promote Western values and traditions. Such an approach, which will be well received in the United States, includes "peace for peace," "peace through strength" and self reliance: the balance of power.
A new strategy to seize the initiative can be introduced:
TEXT:
We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent. Peace depends on the character and behavior of our foes. We live in a dangerous neighborhood, with fragile states and bitter rivalries. Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading "land for peace" will not secure "peace now." Our claim to the land —to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years--is legitimate and noble. It is not within our own power, no matter how much we concede, to make peace unilaterally. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace," is a solid basis for the future.
Israel’s quest for peace emerges from, and does not replace, the pursuit of its ideals. The Jewish people’s hunger for human rights — burned into their identity by a 2000-year old dream to live free in their own land — informs the concept of peace and reflects continuity of values with Western and Jewish tradition. Israel can now embrace negotiations, but as means, not ends, to pursue those ideals and demonstrate national steadfastness. It can challenge police states; enforce compliance of agreements; and insist on minimal standards of accountability.
Securing the Northern Border
Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by:
§ striking Syria’s drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.
§ paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.
§ striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper.
Israel also can take this opportunity to remind the world of the nature of the Syrian regime. Syria repeatedly breaks its word. It violated numerous agreements with the Turks, and has betrayed the United States by continuing to occupy Lebanon in violation of the Taef agreement in 1989. Instead, Syria staged a sham election, installed a quisling regime, and forced Lebanon to sign a "Brotherhood Agreement" in 1991, that terminated Lebanese sovereignty. And Syria has begun colonizing Lebanon with hundreds of thousands of Syrians, while killing tens of thousands of its own citizens at a time, as it did in only three days in 1983 in Hama.
Under Syrian tutelage, the Lebanese drug trade, for which local Syrian military officers receive protection payments, flourishes. Syria’s regime supports the terrorist groups operationally and financially in Lebanon and on its soil. Indeed, the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has become for terror what the Silicon Valley has become for computers. The Bekaa Valley has become one of the main distribution sources, if not production points, of the "supernote" — counterfeit US currency so well done that it is impossible to detect.
Text:
Negotiations with repressive regimes like Syria’s require cautious realism. One cannot sensibly assume the other side’s good faith. It is dangerous for Israel to deal naively with a regime murderous of its own people, openly aggressive toward its neighbors, criminally involved with international drug traffickers and counterfeiters, and supportive of the most deadly terrorist organizations.
Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan "comprehensive peace" and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting "land for peace" deals on the Golan Heights.
Moving to a Traditional Balance of Power Strategy
TEXT:
We must distinguish soberly and clearly friend from foe. We must make sure that our friends across the Middle East never doubt the solidity or value of our friendship.
Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria's regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq. This has triggered a Jordanian-Syrian rivalry to which Asad has responded by stepping up efforts to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom, including using infiltrations. Syria recently signaled that it and Iran might prefer a weak, but barely surviving Saddam, if only to undermine and humiliate Jordan in its efforts to remove Saddam.
But Syria enters this conflict with potential weaknesses: Damascus is too preoccupied with dealing with the threatened new regional equation to permit distractions of the Lebanese flank. And Damascus fears that the 'natural axis' with Israel on one side, central Iraq and Turkey on the other, and Jordan, in the center would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula. For Syria, this could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria's territorial integrity.
Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq, including such measures as: visiting Jordan as the first official state visit, even before a visit to the United States, of the new Netanyahu government; supporting King Hussein by providing him with some tangible security measures to protect his regime against Syrian subversion; encouraging — through influence in the U.S. business community — investment in Jordan to structurally shift Jordan’s economy away from dependence on Iraq; and diverting Syria’s attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon.
Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.
King Hussein may have ideas for Israel in bringing its Lebanon problem under control. The predominantly Shia population of southern Lebanon has been tied for centuries to the Shia leadership in Najf, Iraq rather than Iran. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophet’s family, the direct descendants of which — and in whose veins the blood of the Prophet flows — is King Hussein.
Changing the Nature of Relations with the Palestinians
Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel’s efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian-controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize.
A key element of peace is compliance with agreements already signed. Therefore, Israel has the right to insist on compliance, including closing Orient House and disbanding Jibril Rujoub’s operatives in Jerusalem. Moreover, Israel and the United States can establish a Joint Compliance Monitoring Committee to study periodically whether the PLO meets minimum standards of compliance, authority and responsibility, human rights, and judicial and fiduciary accountability.
TEXT:
We believe that the Palestinian Authority must be held to the same minimal standards of accountability as other recipients of U.S. foreign aid. A firm peace cannot tolerate repression and injustice. A regime that cannot fulfill the most rudimentary obligations to its own people cannot be counted upon to fulfill its obligations to its neighbors.
Israel has no obligations under the Oslo agreements if the PLO does not fulfill its obligations. If the PLO cannot comply with these minimal standards, then it can be neither a hope for the future nor a proper interlocutor for present. To prepare for this, Israel may want to cultivate alternatives to Arafat’s base of power. Jordan has ideas on this.
To emphasize the point that Israel regards the actions of the PLO problematic, but not the Arab people, Israel might want to consider making a special effort to reward friends and advance human rights among Arabs. Many Arabs are willing to work with Israel; identifying and helping them are important. Israel may also find that many of her neighbors, such as Jordan, have problems with Arafat and may want to cooperate. Israel may also want to better integrate its own Arabs.
Forging A New U.S.-Israeli Relationship
In recent years, Israel invited active U.S. intervention in Israel’s domestic and foreign policy for two reasons: to overcome domestic opposition to "land for peace" concessions the Israeli public could not digest, and to lure Arabs — through money, forgiveness of past sins, and access to U.S. weapons — to negotiate. This strategy, which required funneling American money to repressive and aggressive regimes, was risky, expensive, and very costly for both the U.S. and Israel, and placed the United States in roles is should neither have nor want.
Israel can make a clean break from the past and establish a new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership based on self-reliance, maturity and mutuality — not one focused narrowly on territorial disputes. Israel’s new strategy — based on a shared philosophy of peace through strength — reflects continuity with Western values by stressing that Israel is self-reliant, does not need U.S. troops in any capacity to defend it, including on the Golan Heights, and can manage its own affairs. Such self-reliance will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure used against it in the past.
To reinforce this point, the Prime Minister can use his forthcoming visit to announce that Israel is now mature enough to cut itself free immediately from at least U.S. economic aid and loan guarantees at least, which prevent economic reform. [Military aid is separated for the moment until adequate arrangements can be made to ensure that Israel will not encounter supply problems in the means to defend itself]. As outlined in another Institute report, Israel can become self-reliant only by, in a bold stroke rather than in increments, liberalizing its economy, cutting taxes, relegislating a free-processing zone, and selling-off public lands and enterprises — moves which will electrify and find support from a broad bipartisan spectrum of key pro-Israeli Congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
Israel can under these conditions better cooperate with the U.S. to counter real threats to the region and the West’s security. Mr. Netanyahu can highlight his desire to cooperate more closely with the United States on anti-missile defense in order to remove the threat of blackmail which even a weak and distant army can pose to either state. Not only would such cooperation on missile defense counter a tangible physical threat to Israel’s survival, but it would broaden Israel’s base of support among many in the United States Congress who may know little about Israel, but care very much about missile defense. Such broad support could be helpful in the effort to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
To anticipate U.S. reactions and plan ways to manage and constrain those reactions, Prime Minister Netanyahu can formulate the policies and stress themes he favors in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the Cold War which apply well to Israel. If Israel wants to test certain propositions that require a benign American reaction, then the best time to do so is before November, 1996.
Conclusions: Transcending the Arab-Israeli Conflict
TEXT: Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them.
Notable Arab intellectuals have written extensively on their perception of Israel’s floundering and loss of national identity. This perception has invited attack, blocked Israel from achieving true peace, and offered hope for those who would destroy Israel. The previous strategy, therefore, was leading the Middle East toward another Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s new agenda can signal a clean break by abandoning a policy which assumed exhaustion and allowed strategic retreat by reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than retaliation alone and by ceasing to absorb blows to the nation without response.
Israel’s new strategic agenda can shape the regional environment in ways that grant Israel the room to refocus its energies back to where they are most needed: to rejuvenate its national idea, which can only come through replacing Israel’s socialist foundations with a more sound footing; and to overcome its "exhaustion," which threatens the survival of the nation.
Ultimately, Israel can do more than simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict though war. No amount of weapons or victories will grant Israel the peace its seeks. When Israel is on a sound economic footing, and is free, powerful, and healthy internally, it will no longer simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict; it will transcend it. As a senior Iraqi opposition leader said recently: "Israel must rejuvenate and revitalize its moral and intellectual leadership. It is an important — if not the most important--element in the history of the Middle East." Israel — proud, wealthy, solid, and strong — would be the basis of a truly new and peaceful Middle East.
Participants in the Study Group on "A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000:"
Richard Perle, American Enterprise Institute, Study Group Leader
James Colbert, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Johns Hopkins University/SAIS
Douglas Feith, Feith and Zell Associates
Robert Loewenberg, President, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies
Jonathan Torop, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
David Wurmser, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies
Meyrav Wurmser, Johns Hopkins University

 
At 7/22/2006 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

True, those who WANT war to happen will try to make it happen, but I would say, out of all the players you mentioned, Israel decides if the whole region will go to war or not. The Americans and Iranians can not do it, the Syrians certainly do not want to do it.

And, assuming there are some logical and peace-loving leaders out there, one would hope that all these dead ends in their current confrontational policies might make them think of different, calmer, approaches to solving the Mideast issues... "learning from your mistakes"?

 
At 7/22/2006 10:57:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

The Russians are already reacting to this scenario:

Russia now opposes key parts of Iran draft

... But it could be as simple as Moscow's belief that Tehran would not give up its right to enrichment. If so, any resolution demanding it do so and threatening penalties if it does not would escalate the confrontation — something the Russians fear could lead to military action.
AP

 
At 7/22/2006 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Saudi Arabia’s Pilates Help President Bushmert Destroy Lebanon

“The Forward”, a leading Yiddish-language US newspaper has an interesting article in its latest issue praising “Saudi Arabia’s strong support in the war against Lebanese terrorism” [sic].

After having washed their hands of the daily carnage taking place in Palestine and Iraq, Saudi Arabia’s Pontius Pilates chose to offer a bleeding Lebanon as sacrificial lamb to the people of Israel.
This “new friendship” bringing together bloodthirsty Bin-Ladenites and other Wahhabi Islamic fundamentalist thugs and rightwing Israeli fascists should come as no surprise to those who know the history of the Middle-East, and the profound influence ancient Jewish Sicarism always had on Saudi Arabian culture and civilization.

But I’m sure the Saudi government will eventually meet the retribution it deserves, for, as Winston Churchill famously said:

"They've been given a choice between dishonor and war. They've chosen dishonor and they shall have war."

 
At 7/22/2006 11:56:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2006 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2006 12:13:00 PM, Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

The suffering of Lebanon (modern, wealthy, largelly pro-Western and Israel's beating boy) could be like the foreshadowing of a generalized conflict represented by the Spanish Civil War before WWII.

 
At 7/22/2006 12:13:00 PM, Blogger optimistic said...

And, assuming there are some logical and peace-loving leaders out there, one would hope that all these dead ends in their current confrontational policies might make them think of different, calmer, approaches to solving the Mideast issues... "learning from your mistakes"? -ALEX

Alex, the Israelis are learning from their mistakes.......don't trust an Islamic extremist unless you plan to convert to Islam.

It wasn't a state sponsored attack against the Jews; it was a small part of the human spirit, once wallowing in desperation, that has found strength and self respect in radical, religious fervor.

Think: How Israel is supposed to sign a peace treaty when their religious cultural belief is their enemy's enemy?

Consider the current death and destruction as another page in humanity's slow march to learning how to fully accept the radical differences in the multitude of cultures around the world.

On an emotional level the way I handle the current slaughter of innocent children and their family members

[...........offensive as it may be to some, I apologize]

is to think about it as the 3rd front in "the crusades to end all crusades."

..........Afghanistan and Iraq being the other two.

Certainly there are Muslims out there who see the same thing; Al Qaeda is the tip of a single radical Islamic ice burg, separate from the rest of Islam, that simply will have no peace with groups, including other Muslims, that don’t believe and practice the same fundamental Islamic values as they do.

Hezbollah and Iran sit on that same ice burg.

Iran being a big brother to Hezbollah has slowly dripped the thoughts of hate, like a transfusion (the same blood of hate that flowed through the veins of the Nazis) into the mindset of valiant Hezbollah warriors.

It may take both Allah and that other God to save their ass now.

But don't waste your thoughts on "small potatoes."

All should pray to the God of their choice that the Iranian people get out of the shopping malls long enough to vote and reclaim their country; pull it back from the nuclear catastrophe that it’s current government is hell-bent on leading it into……….millions will die or slowly & painfully die over many years.

(I've been praying harder and more often just thinking about what the price of gas would gp to)

Iran will no more be allowed to develop an atomic weapon than I will get to fulfill a long sought dream:

Leave this crazy plant beind me and move to the dark side of the moon.

 
At 7/22/2006 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

"They've been given a choice between dishonor and war. They've chosen dishonor and they shall have war."

very true!


300 Million Arabs led by retarded men who got rich not because of any intelligence they have, but because this wealth is designed for them and allowed to them by foreign powers to keep their population retarded and poor for as long as possible. I shouldn't blame foreign powers alone, and Foreign powers wouldn't have succeeded with these 300 millions if theese 300 millions were not ready (by their historical sicknesses they already possess, such as sectarianism) to be oppressed this way, and kept fighting with each other. The following pisture speaks loud about those Saudis and other Arabs:

http://www.modon.org/uploads/post-1112-1128228870.jpg

 
At 7/22/2006 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Shivaerus said...

I agree with the original anonymous poster's warning of a regional war. See my blog http://shivaerus.blogspot.com/ for a similar analysis.

 
At 7/22/2006 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

قالت مصادر في مدينة القدس المحتلة إن هناك تقرير سري أدته الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وإسرائيل لشن حرب إبادة ضد اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين. بتواطيء من بعض الجهات العربية والأوروبية. وذكرت صحيفة المنار الصادرة في القدس أنها تمكنت من الحصول على هذا التقرير وأنها ستنشره قريبا. وقالت الصحيفة إن

هذا التقرير السري يؤكد ما تشهده الساحتان الفلسطينية واللبنانية من حرب إبادة وعدوان مدمر هو ترجمة لخطة عسكرية سياسية شاملة وضعتها أمريكا وإسرائيل وتشارك فيها جهات وقوى عربية بموافقة وتواطؤ أوروبي.

ويكشف التقرير أن هذه الخطة وضعت نهاية العام 2005، ودور كل جهة مشاركة، وهي مرفقة بخرائط لساحات مستهدفة، وحتى استمرارية بعض الأنظمة والحكام وإزاحة البعض الآخر. ويتضمن التقرير أسماء الجهات الممولة لهذه الخطة، ويتحدث التقرير عن تهجير مجموعات سكانية من مكان إلى آخر، وأيضا تصفية كاملة لبعض القوى في لبنان وتوسيع العدوان في فلسطين، واغتيال رموز محددة، ويكشف التقرير أيضا عن موافقة لدول عربية على إرسال مائة آلف جندي عربي إلى العراق، وثلاثين ألف من وحدات خاصة إلى الأراضي اللبنانية تكون داعمة لقوات من حلف الأطلسي ترابط على الحدود اللبنانية الإسرائيلية، والحدود السورية اللبنانية.

وتحدث التقرير السري عن تشكيلات وتدريبات وإجراءات تسليح سرية وعلنية في بعض الساحات، كجزء من الخطة الأمريكية الإسرائيلية وتحدث التقرير عن خطة إسرائيل لرسم الحدود دون اعتراض بل بموافقة عربية دولية.

 
At 7/22/2006 12:53:00 PM, Blogger optimistic said...

Some Syrian "Comedians-R-Us" group posted the following:

Further information obtained from reliable sources ...blah, blah,blah, ... has agreed to deliver substantial crude to be refined into jet fuel at an Israeli refinery in Haifa (Palestine). An American oil conglomerate was contracted for the massive deliveries to Israel.

There are no confirmed reports to determine if the Iraqi have knowledge of the destination of the pumped oil

(...DAMN! Iraq can't even get oil pumped to its own borders let alone to a refinery outside the country....)

It is now confirmed that Saudi, Egyptian and Libyan are knowingly delivering the fuel used by the Jewish enemy fighter jets

(Don’t forget to say who made those awful flying “teachers of the lesson:”.....DON’T MESS WITH ISRAEL, GET A REAL JOB)

that are killing thousands of Moslem men, women and helpless children in Lebanon.
=======================================
PLEASE!

I thought this was a serious blog, I didn't know it also "did" comedy.

I haven't seen stuff at this level of humor since the heydays of Eastern European Communist propaganda

-------let's see now---

........wasn't that just before communism collapsed as a political system because
it wasn't able
to face,
look,
see,
understand, and
learn to adjust
and deal with political reality?

 
At 7/22/2006 01:00:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

An attack is an indication of viable reports and a mean to cover it's truth and effects.

 
At 7/22/2006 01:02:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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4.30 AM
As long as there are traitor regimes in the Middle East like those Axis of the Devil Ammonite States of Egypt, Saudi and Jordan, the noble countries of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran and it’s people are in big danger from barbaric Jews and Christian Crusaders, the graves and oil robbers, women rappers.

Israel by itself, as an entity and military power without the Axis of Devil behind it, is a small potato, marginal and irrelevant one. Jews and Judaism are irrelevant minority on the faith of the earth and are destined shortly for extinction.

Once Egypt ruled by the Moslem Brotherhood, the whole Axis of Devil nations will fall like dominos, starting with Egypt and ending slowly but surely with the evil Yehwite clans in Palestine. A Moslem Federations of Independent States and Nationality can be formed without any obstruction whatsoever from such Crusaders backed traitor Ammonite States. The Islamic Republic of Iran, have the means to bring this to fruition and the failure to do so is a crime against all Moslems, it is a tertiary.

It is imperative for Syria and Iran to consider regime change in those Axis of Devil countries, as the first step in winning the coming Middle East war. Taking control of 70% of the worlds oil reserve or shutting its output, and controlling the most vital strategic sea locations in Suez and Bab al Mandab, controlling fully the Straight of Hermouz, these are the type of strategic options that the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria should be considering.

This coming war in the Middle East is a final struggle between the Children of Darkness and the Children of Light. Between those that are diligently working to enslave mankind and number them as a numbered beasts, using a grand deceptive ideology (Christianity) concocted by the beast Amen /Marduk millennia ago, and between that value the human being as an independent sovereign entity. It is Allah’s army vs. Satan the devil army.

It is not your ordinary Six Days War, nor some dumb Gypsies shock and Awe campaign. It is a war of destiny, it is time for Bashar Assad and Mahmood Ahmadi Nizhad to understand that this is not the time to play in their people destiny. A failure of these Two leaders to see the threat, comprehend the master plot and work to nullify it is tantamount to treason.

Iran and Syria needs to see that that what some calls conspiracy theory is more like a conspiracy facts. It is already too late. Immediate mobilization required now, immediate action on the Egyptian front is a most, otherwise assured defeat for Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and all Moslems.

Cut through all the crap and secure Egypt and within days secure all the gulf oil, then bargain with the West over the miserable lives and existence of the Gypsies.


STOP WASITING TIME, stop hoping that it is not conspiracy facts and hoping it is conspiracy theories. There are those that spend a life time learning religion and are trained in religious practices, we respect that, but this is not a spiritual war, it is a material and physical war that needs the experience of those that are trained not only in religion, but in Strategies, weapon and wars. It is time for the ASKARI to take over now to win the day. Follow all that he said and ordered to the letter or slaves for the Gypsies and backers the Christian Crusaders, the little girls rappers, you shall be.



12.30 PM
It is useless to have a cease fire now. If you evaluate the Jews previous wars and conflicts you will discover that the top of the bell curve is right on the 6 days mark. After all, we have nothing to loose and all others have everything to loose. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq have nothing to loose, they have been utterly economically, socially and humanely destroyed over and over again. Even Iran took their share of the evil West tyranny for nearly a decade. Loosing nearly half a million Iranians in an unjust war imposed on them by the West puppet regime Saddam the Beast.

Jews are cowards, weak, their cowardly campaign in Lebanon is evidence of that. The brainless idiots takes their cue from one of the most evil monsters ever born on this planet, who else Dr. Mengele Rumsfeld and evil Jewish cronies, Yep, the plotters of Iraq shock and awe Democracy camp pain that the illiterate Texan peasant and his colored ranch hand keeps on peddling even to this day, believe it or not, believe it or not. Shocking, that these ignorant think we are that stupid that we will believe them.

Coward Jews will not dare to invade Syria. And should be fooled by Geek god Yahweh ( or is it god of the geeks) to go and take the Cedar land, aggggaiiin, ( I am praying that they will do just that) they will find out how hardware in Hizbullah arsenal has dramatically improved from the 80’s stock piles. Lets talk straight, there is nothing Hizbullah dream about than a land invasion by these Jews. Doubtful, they will do that, they tried to get Omaha boys to do the walking on foot as mules for them in the Middle East. They like to drop bombs from way, way high.

A continual conflict in Lebanon, will destroy the Jews economy, demoralize them, dehumanize them ( as if they are humane in the first place) and most importantly, it will put great pressure on the Bastard Arabs that made peace with the enemy and could act as the catalyst to mobilize the streets in these countries. In fact the street, the poor, the unemployed, the disfranchised should now be organized in these countries and get ready. The Moslem Brotherhood will most likely be the one in charge of this mobilization. Freedom from Tyranny of evil ruler in the Gulf and North Africa could very well come not on the hand of the deceivers but on the hand of a great leader Mahmoud Ahmadi Nizhad and the premier Islamic ruler today his eminence Ayatollah Khemenei.

Now that the coward Jews and their western backers had proven unable or unwilling to challenge Iran, the conflict that can trigger the Islamic World Liberation from the Western Crusaders stooges could very well be this one in the land of the Cedar.


5.30 PM
Intelligence reports are surfacing that Kaddafi, Iraq’s Jewish puppet government, Mubarak and the Saudis ruling Bedouin clan, (desecrater of the haramaine), are allowing direct deliveries of Jet Fuel shipments from their refineries to Israel. Confidential sources at Aramco reporting that the massive deliveries where approved by the ruling Saudi Bedouin Abdullah to Jordan, eyewitness reports massive caravans of petrol transporters are making the speedy round trip from the Jordanian port in the Gulf of Aqaba inland to the Israeli side for the past 3 days and night, non stop.

Further information obtained from reliable sources that the delivery of Jet Fuel from the Egyptian refineries are making direct delivery to Israel. There are scant reports that shipment of Iraqi crude are currently on the way from the Turkish port to Tel Aviv. Libya’s Western Crusaders installed evil dictator Kaddafi has agreed to deliver substantial crude to be refined into jet fuel at an Israeli refinery in Haifa (Palestine). An American oil conglomerate was contracted for the massive deliveries to Israel.

There are no confirmed reports to determine if the Iraqi have knowledge of the destination of the pumped oil. However, the Saudi and Libyan were in complete knowledge and have demanded a cover. Egyptian officials, confronted with the news, claimed that the deliveries are routine and it is under previously signed Agreements with Israel. While such an Agreement is well known, it does not cover the delivery of refined Jet fuel, and at such grade that are used by fighter jets

It is now confirmed that Saudi, Egyptian and Libyan are knowingly delivering the fuel used by the Jewish enemy fighter jets that are killing thousands of Moslem men, women and helpless children in Lebanon.

 
At 7/22/2006 01:04:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

SYRIAN REPUBLICAN PARTY
www.ssprs.com

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I don’t know why someone keeps deleting my comment. I have not used any bad language in it.

Agree with SNP, Egypt for sure is a low hanging fruit. No doubt about that. Hundred Thousand Moslem Brotherhood members can be armed put on the streets initially, with the help of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Within hours, few Million Egyptian peasants can be armed with rifles and lead by the Moslem Brotherhood forces. It is a done deal.

This will take the pressure of the helpless and poor Palestinians and Lebanese and split the Jewish forces to worry about a far more reaching situation down south. XOM will soon telephone Cheney and tell him to ease off or else our buddies in Arabia are alone and have few hours left now.

Jordan, may be little harder because Moslem Brothers are not as numerous in Amman and local Palestinian population is pacified by the marriage to that Palestinian chick. But you do have Millions of poor and angry Palestinians languishing in Lebanon and Syria that can be armed and sent down to help the Jordanian Moslem brotherhood forces.

At the end of the day, when the dust settle, America will be happy, it will freezes all the cash, security and investments that the Bedouins stole from the Moslem Nation and, never to be ever returned again, just like the Iranian one. And they can have it all, it is a fair price for letting go with the favorites blood-suckers in the region, that the rule of which, is the source of all the terrorism and instability in the Greater Middle East region.

Iraq too will be quieter and get on the road on normalcy, now that the Saudi and other Bedouins are stateless and penniless, they can’t afford financing the Sunni insurgent in Iraq to confront Iran’s threat to them.

Lets face it, any National Government that will arise in place in the Arabian region will for sure make a more attractive oil and commercial deal with the West than this entrenched monoliths blood suckers. They may even open that Tapeline pipe line to Haifa.

It is a misnomer to think that Moslem Governments will be anti American or Anti Jewish, even Islamic Republic of Iran is not really so. Most of those in Arabia are fluent in English and hundred of thousands of the young cadre that will be running the Governments are U.S. educated.

America needs a foreign policy that is less relying on outdated gangster and occupations system and more reliant on Mutual respect and cooperation.

Would like to remind President Assad with the very first letter I sent to him in 2001. Worth reading again.

 
At 7/22/2006 01:09:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Optimistic,

I hope you look at the strong possibility that Hizbollah would not have been there if Israel did not try the same "let's go and teach them a painful lesson" mentality in 1982 ... a lesson that Israel ended up teaching itself.

I also suggest that you realize that a lot of you who are justifying to yourself that you are doing the reigion (or humanity) a big favor by fighting the fundamentalists today (including the cool tactical move of systematically destroying a whole country, Lebanon), is simply an indication that power got to your head and that you are now the biggest danger on youerself and on your neighbors... Israel shares as much responsibility for the madness, and the generation of more madness as any fanatic on the other side.

But this is a hopeless discussion I'm sure. Sadly, only time will tell (over the next few years) how foolish you are.

 
At 7/22/2006 01:25:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Despite the multitude of stupid and murderous acts Shimon Perse has done when he was still capable of doing things, was a remark he made. It goes something like this:" I do not believe in what experts say, because things are changing so fast that expert opinion in no longer applicable, because experts are facing situations that they have not confronted befor". That is the general direction of his remark anyway. And it never held more true than it does today.

What are we predicting? How much of predictions hold true on the tenth day of the Israeli Invasion of Labanon which was "initiated" by Hizbullah capture of the two israeli soldiers?

-Did anyone expect such an Israeli reaction? Or the apparent failure of this reaction so far? Be it on acount of the rockets that are actually bringing Israel's mind and heart to a srandstill? or on acount of the grave intelligence failures they are facing?

-Did anyone "expect" the publically unusual green light given by the Saudies, followed by the Egyptians and Jordanians?

-Why do you keep assuming that Syria is "afraid" of being drawn into war, and not the opposit? If Israel set a trap for Hizbullah and planned the whole thing to indirectly weaken Iran and Syria, and in the light of the escallation it is facing now, why does it not go for the true culprit which is Syria (with its rusted and ineffective Army)? Can Israel afford the cost of such a war? or is Israel a peace loving nation that wants a stable middleast, hence it is holding back? Or is Israel smart enough to know that the cost of fooling around with the Syrian Army can have dire consequences some of which could prove irrevocably unpleasant to Israel. True, its planes flew over Assad palace, could that been an attempt to draw in a reaction from Syria to assess certain capabilities and Syria did not fall for it? I am talking about Syria that fought the 1973 war, and the Syria which took the couragoues step of sending its air force against the Israelies in thier invasion of lebanon in 1982 and lost tens of fighters in one day? The Syria which has certain ideological, national, and regional calculations that do not always conform with the "cool and calculating" arithmatic of others.

-Why is Siniora and his gang and foriegn supporters including the US and France seem so frustrated in thier effort to stop the war at any cost? And for God's sake, its not sthe spilled blood of the civilians. Have they become real statesmen who really care about thier country all of a sudden? Thier double-sided statements does not point to such an awakening. And if I guess right, I think they are trying to figure out how the reconstruction contracts awarding process would be caried on to thier financial benifit once the fighting stop.

- Could the anti-Hizbullah camp be fooling themselves again (if you consider developments in the after math of 1982, 1992, and 1996). What if a shiet Zarqawi appeares out of the ruins of Hizbullah?

- Could Israel not be really searching for a face saving way to get out of the trap it either fell into, or was stupidly drawn into. Neo-cons encouragement of further escalation notwithstanding.

- Could Syria and Iran -to parrot the current conventional wisdom- afford to let Hizbullah and Lebanon down if bad comes to worse?

- Has Nasrallah exhsusted all the surprises he promissed?

- Why is the 14 March or February group seem apppologetic and are on the deffensive every time they appear on TV? Shy of the blood on thier hands?

- BUT MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL IS:

First, Who will go and "physically" disarm Hizbullah in any given scenario?

and,

Secondly, Who will have the stomach to fool around with a ten-fold more dangerous Syria?

The 64 dollars riddle!

So far, I would bet on and buy into Nasrallah's analysis, the future would never be the same again. The rules of the game have changed, but in Israel's favore.

Regional war or not.

And as we Arabs have always been asked and "encouraged" by friend and foe to be "realistic", now I really think its time the same type of such advice be directed at -and considerd- by Israel. For a change, to say the least. If might is right, Rome would still be rulling the world, and Saigon would still be the capital of South Vietnam, and Gaza and the Palestinian flag would not be flying over the West Bank and Gaza. Remember when the TV screens showing Palestinian Fighters waving goodbye from the ships destained to Cyprus, Yemen, Tunisia and points beyonde. A mere twenty some years ago????

 
At 7/22/2006 01:55:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

The anonymous note is an articulate illustration of why the region is where it is today. One can add the state of affairs in Egypt, Saudi and Jordan to help expand on their role in the current situation.

In the end, the note makes it clear that a so-called peaceful resolution is more difficult to achieve given the opposing objectives of the various actors.

Were a regional war to actually break out, how would the different actors define final “victory”?

The new buzzword from the White House is that they seek a “New Middle East”.

One can only interpret this to mean a Middle East where Israeli and American national security (this includes economic security) is never threatened again.

Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas have taken on the responsibility of spoiling this plan.

Why?

Every actor in the above axis has very little to gain and a lot to lose if the American plan succeeds. After all, agreeing to the New ME will presumably be made on America’s terms. This is likely to take the shape of a forced dictation rather than a two-party negotiation.

Accepting the terms of this new ME will mean that Nasrallah would likely go from a God-like figure to a modest Shia cleric in Southern Lebanon. What is it in for him? He figures that he has Zero incentive to go along.

Similarly, accepting the terms of the new ME will also mean that Hamas is effectively out of a job. If they can no longer promise the destruction of the State of Israel, what are they good for?

Again, accepting the terms of the New ME will mean that Iran’s clerics will abort their long-term dream of exporting their brand of Islam in the region and beyond. It will also mean that they will have to forgo their nuclear dreams and the accompanying leverage, prestige and respect that will come with that.

Finally, accepting the terms of the New ME will mean that his rejectionist and resistance credentials will no longer be how Bashar is judged. He will have to explain to his people why he caved in and sold out on the cheap. He will also start to become accountable to his people on the performance of his country’s economy as well as the civil rights afforded to his citizens. It is extremely unlikely that he can hold on to power for long in this new order where fighting Israel is no longer the country’s main occupation.

The only possible way out for Bashar is to jump into the American camp with both feet. Only a total sell out that would in turn have the U.S. guarantee the survival of his regime may do in his case. Clearly, the odds of this happening are close to nil.

One can argue of course that it is the New ME initiative that will fail and that the above four party axis will survive and claim victory instead.

Were this to happen, Syria will be forced into further isolation. Its economy will continue to languish. More of its people will slip into poverty. The latest projections are that by as early as 2008, Syria is likely to be a net importer of oil. When this happens, the country’s economic challenges will become even more daunting if not impossible to manage.

In sum, our country faces enormous geopolitical and economic challenges in the near as well the long tem. I wish that I was not as pessimistic as I feel today about our chances to weather the upcoming storms. Anyone that understands basic economic and demographic projections cannot help but be alarmed at what awaits this country’s economy going forward. Syria’s population doubles every 22 years. By 2020, it will have 34 million people. In order to stop unemployment from rising further, it needs to create 300,000 jobs today. By 2020, it will need to create close to 500,000 jobs per year to absorb its ever-expanding labor force. Unless the current economic policies are reversed immediately, creating this number of jobs will be impossible. Anyone that tells you that tourism may help to pick up the slack is being disingenuous at best. When oil runs out as early as 2008, how will the country cope?

Even the pessimists about the future prospects of the Syrian economy were not pessimistic enough in my opinion. Dramatic change was urgently required. The recent crisis and the country’s likely isolation will only exacerbate and already alarming situation.

 
At 7/22/2006 02:42:00 PM, Blogger optimistic said...

Alex,

You said:

I also suggest that you realize that a lot of you who are justifying to yourself that you are doing the religion (or humanity) a big favor by fighting the fundamentalists today (including the cool tactical move of systematically destroying a whole country, Lebanon), is simply an indication that power got to your head and that you are now the biggest danger on yourself and on your neighbors...

You may be correct; however, I know of no other time in history were civilization has faced such an uncompromising religious political force.

How does a nation such as Israel handle an attack, roll over and play dead so they aren't called murders?

How does Western Civilization handle the fundamentalist? Convert to Islamic fundamentalism?

Poor Europe is already being held hostage to their Muslim community and don't march in the same step as their “Anglo-Saxon brothers”; I call it the price of political extortion paid in reverence to the ever present possible outbreak of terrorism.

The poor spineless Euro-bastards are frozen stiff and unable to do a thing as the percentages of Muslims continue to rise across the continent.

The whole lot of Europeans might as well begin having their children learn to read and write Arabic.

You said:
Israel shares as much responsibility for the madness, and the generation of more madness as any fanatic on the other side.

Agreed. Such is war.

Let them fight it out while we pray they soon stop momentarily to turn around and see the sorrow and pain to last a lifetime that they have brought to their children. It’s a consequence of war. Why do generations following these lessons of war forget that you don’t go to war unless it’s a last resort because of the extreme toll on the human spirit that it extracts?

You said:
But this is a hopeless discussion I'm sure. Sadly, only time will tell (over the next few years) how foolish you are.

Hopeless only rises when prayer stops.

The foolishness in the thought that the crusade to end all crusades was occurring [on three fronts] lies only in believing that militant Islamic fundamentalism can ever be eradicated.

The lifestyle these guys have attracts way too many people; it requires no thinking, no job, and the world is always seen through rose-colored glasses. Anything that threatens to ruin that view simple gets exterminated. The Nazis were good at this and making VWs.

Let's all step aside in a Frenchly fashion and be run over by militants.
We can watch as our children’s throats are slit open and the men and plugged between the eyes with a bullet after being tortured and butchered by animals acting beneath the level of heathens. Think 9-11……this vermin spares not one “heathen.”
Then, with the last ounce of mental cognizance we have, we can smile and think to ourselves, “at least we weren't ugly to them while they destroyed our way of life.”

Humanity doesn't have many options against the threat of militant extremist.

Think back into the history of mankind and it's wars. The timid are shown no mercy; the pigheaded do not stop until dead.

What's your suggestion on how to handle the regional militancy being fermented by Iran?

Embargo the country's Rolex watch shipments?

 
At 7/22/2006 02:58:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

This breaking story was just published. The full article has more interesting details. What you see below is a good summary.


>U.S. Plan Seeks to Separate Syria From Iran, N.Y. Times Reports
>2006-07-22 15:34 (New York)
>
>
>By Dan Hart
> July 22 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government plans to enlist
>Saudi Arabia to convince Syria to break away from Iran, and end
>its support of the militant Shiite group Hezbollah, the New York
>Times reported, citing unidentified senior Bush administration
>officials.
> The Bush administration has devised the beginnings of a
>plan to prod Saudi Arabia and Egypt to convince Syria to abandon
>support for Hezbollah, which sparked the Israeli bombing
>campaign of Lebanon, the newspaper said in a story published
>online for tomorrow's edition.
> That effort will begin with tomorrow's Oval Office meeting
>between President George W. Bush and Saudi foreign minister Saud
>al-Faisal and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Saudi
>ambassador to the U.S. until late last year, the newspaper said.
>U.S. officials expect that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan
>would be better able to convince Syria to help in the current
>crisis, the newspaper said.
> The Bush administration has no plans to have direct talks
>with the Syrians, the newspaper reported. Margaret Scobey, the
>U.S. ambassador to Syria, was recalled following the February
>2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik
>Hariri, the Times said, citing the unidentified administration
>officials.
>
>(New York Times 7-23)

 
At 7/22/2006 03:09:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Mr. President.......

Please accept this American plan.

Please breakaway from Iran and jump at this opportunity.

The future of the country is not bright. This is your chance to turn the situation around.

Assuming this so-called deal is true, please do us all a favour and lead down this path before it is too late.

 
At 7/22/2006 03:26:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

A "choice between dishonor and war", indeed.

I doubt that the Syrian government would survive such a move.

I also doubt that this is an honest effort by the Bush administration: you see, they do not even plan to have "direct talks with the Syrians" (!). This is not serious, this is designed to be rejected.

 
At 7/22/2006 03:32:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

t_desco,

I am not so sure. The ultra secretive White House has no incentive to leak this to the NYT on the eve of the meeting. I think that the story has legs. It will be in the print section tomorrow. Most major news organizatiosn are already runnign witht the story.

Let us hope it is true.

This is the chance for Bashar to be THE MAN of the moment.

If "big if I know" the story is true, this could be a major turning point

 
At 7/22/2006 03:42:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Ehsani habibi, do you expect a serious US opening offer? ... not yet.

These things succeed when the Americans TALK TO THE SYRIANS DIRECTLY ... If they do ... I KNOW they will succeed.

But this indirect messaging through Syria's competitors (yes, Saudi and Egypt ARE competitors to Syria regionally) simply does not work.

 
At 7/22/2006 03:55:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Saudis requested the sunday meeting. This would not have ben done if they did not feel Damascus out already.

Rice delayed her trip by one day to attend this meeting. She would not have done so if it was not serious enough.

I could be acting too naive to believe it all.

Again, if true, Bashar must jump on the opportunity and grab it.

Overnightm he will go from most isolated Arab leader to the King of the Arab world......

 
At 7/22/2006 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Dear Optimistic,

I have had this same sequence of opinion and counter opinion with many Jewish friends. We need about 3 hours of talking to find common grounds ... that's why I started by telling you I feel this is useless to discuss here.

Anyway ... you need to understand the fundamentalists a bit better. For that you need to be neutral. You are not. You feel you are a potential victim. Trust me, that sort of thing would distort things for you.

The right approach is not all Sharon-style, and it is not all Gandhi-style ... you need to be much more sophisticated than that.

 
At 7/22/2006 04:04:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Alex,

One step at a time.

Saudi also wants Syria back in the fold and away from Iran's influence. I am not sure that it is necessarily a competitor.

Direct talks will of course follow in due course once Bashar shows the courage and willingness to make the switch.

As t_desco said, can Bashar's governemnt survive such a dramatic shift?

My answer is yes.

The Syrian people want to put food on the table. They want to improve the standards of their lives and that of their children. If their leader says enough is enough.......they will jump behind him with both feet.

 
At 7/22/2006 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2006 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Ehsani,

Bashar and the people around him are not the type. He will not dump Iran. There are solutions that can solve the problem while giving Iran a carrot too (indirectly)... these are the ones they should be looking at. Syria is not into those 180 degree flips.

Anyway, it all depends on the details. We'll see what is on the table. I am not optimistic though. Unless they are being adviced by Richard Murphy and other former US ambassadors to Damascus, I don't think they understand the Syrians enough to appeal to them.

Besides, look at how much Lebanon benefited from the United States' friendship ... you think Syria would be encouraged to switch friends?

 
At 7/22/2006 04:44:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2006 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Philip I said...

EHSANI2

A deal has almost certainly been struck already between the Assads and the Americans to sell Hizbullah down the river.

Syria does not pose a real threat to the US or Israel but, with Iran, it could do. The Israelis and Americans know how vulnerable the regime feels, so they extend a lifeline to it providing its alliance with Iran does not go beyond rhetoric.

Yet again, the regime has succeeded in saving its skin. Don't hold your breath for democracy to flourish in Syria. Washington has lost its appetite for such silly ideas.

 
At 7/23/2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger Deal Broker said...

Redox in Deal Making With Syriastan
1st Report:
The head of Syriastan, Mr. Bashar Al-Fassad, just came out from behind the scenes meeting with a prominent deal broker with offices in Washington, London, Paris, Moscow, Brussels and Riyadh,.

It has been observed that, immediately following the meeting, Mr. Al-Fassad acquired a withdrawn outlook indicating some sort of absent mindedness which required some psychiatric intervention in order to assess the sudden behavioral change of the head of Syriastan.

Several world renowned psychiatrists were involved in the diagnoses. Each psychiatrist proposed a theory. Reports have leaked that all the theories are concerned with interpreting Al-Fassad’s strong attachment to a strange rose, presented to him by the deal broker, and which has great many petals. It has been observed that Bashar is constantly plucking the rose petals away while murmuring certain words. We will keep you updated on the story as it unfolds.

 
At 7/23/2006 01:50:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

"Mr. President,please take the lifline the US has thrown to ypu, with Saudi blessing, and do not waste this opportunity",
Oh, and "Please, please, Mr. President, dump the adventurous Hizbullah, dump Fateh, Hamas and the terreorist Al Jihad, and enlist in the "US/Saudi/Jordanian/Egyptian Democratic, Peace-loving, stability-seeking, Israel-dupporting camp".

"And dump Syria's dignity, defiance, national hopes, and the occupied Golan even while you at it..."

Please Mr. President.... Please, pretty please!!!!

And then, Mr. President, go to the airport and await USAID and IMF funds and Arab Economic Aid, await Democracy, Shafafyia, await the arrival of a Development...await peace and prosperity. A full lucrative package is being prepared for Syria, and its people. Please Mr. President.!!!!

If that is what they tell you Mr. President, Please, Please. Please; do exactly the opposite. "They" have niether Syria's interest, nor the Arab interst at the heart of "they" are doing. They just want us to join the league of the morally corrupt and defeated capitals and rulers. And you are the first to know Mr. President; that this is not in our Arab and Syrian nature, nor is it in our blood. They are running to you Mr. President for the defiant "NO" that you have managed to say to thier face. They moved from threatning you and Syria, to avoiding mentioning Syria's name, to asking you to the "please join us" phase. Only because you said NO to them and to thier plans. Mr. President, you know more than me or them that Pain, Hardships and Suffering are short passing moments in the History of Nations, what remains in the Historical and the Geopolitical presepectives is how far a Nation stands in the face of the threats it encounters. And you are standing. Despite what they claim in the civilized conversations while sipping from thier scotch glasses in thier cushy seats listening to CNN and Fox and ABC parroting the elegant opinions of our enemy, and away from thier financial and economic projections, away from thier 'realistic analysis' and elegant, well-chosen, seemingly informed political opinion and thier misleading, or misled opinions.And how empty, maliscious, and prefunctory all thier talk sounds.

Mr. President, YOU are the last NO that we have, you and Nassrallah's resistance and the Intifada in Palestine. You are the last standing wall. Please, Mr. President. Keep saying NO...if only because this NO is what they understand, and what they are after. They are after our WILL, no more no less. And they shall never have it. That is the only language they understand, and that is the only language that will bring them back to your door step, but without the sowards they threatend you with a few months ago.

Thank you Mr. President.

 
At 7/23/2006 09:12:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

God bless you Ausama.and Bashar.

 

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