Saturday, July 22, 2006

U.S. Plan Seeks to Wedge Syria From Iran

The NY Times claims that the US seeks to wedge Syria from Iran. It is difficult to see how Syria will be able to abandon the allies it has cultivated for 20 years. The first two questions Syrians may well ask themselves is: What is in it for us? and What convinces us to trust the US?

Washington has just let down the Lebanese. Moreover, both Clinton and Uri Sagi, the head of Israeli intelligence for the IDF in the 1990s, have said that the US let Syria down during the Golan dealings. Uri Sagi, as quoted a few days ago on these pages, said: "The United States did not stand by its word to Assad and Barak got cold feet at the last minute." Finally, the US promised it would bring democracy and prosperity to Iraq. It did not. Why should Asad believe that Bush can deliver?

What would Syria need Bush to deliver? Syria would have to be promised a healthy economic package for abandoning its allies and supporters. It would need assurances that all efforts to isolate it will be stopped. It would need to have guarantees that Israel will return the Golan. The US cannot make such promises. President Bush will not reward Syria for good behavior. He has made this clear for years. It has been a cardinal principle of his policy.

It is hard to see how the plan in the following New York Times article, which mentions no quid pro quo, will convince Syria to split from its traditional allies and set out on an adventure of such risk. The Syrian regime is extremely conservative.

U.S. Plan Seeks to Wedge Syria From Iran

Published: July 23, 2006

WASHINGTON, July 22 — As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads to Israel on Sunday, Bush administration officials say they recognize Syria is central to any plans to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, and they are seeking ways to peel Syria away from its alliance of convenience with Iran.

Turmoil in the Mideast
Go to Complete Coverage » In interviews, senior administration officials said they had no plans right now to resume direct talks with the Syrian government. President Bush recalled his ambassador to Syria, Margaret Scobey, after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister, in February 2005. Since then, America’s contacts with Damascus have been few, and the administration has imposed an array of sanctions on Syria’s government and banks, and frozen the assets of Syrian officials implicated in Mr. Hariri’s killing.

But officials said this week that they were at the beginning stages of a plan to encourage Saudi Arabia and Egypt to make the case to the Syrians that they must turn against Hezbollah. With the crisis at such a pivotal stage, officials who are involved in the delicate negotiations to end it agreed to speak candidly about their expectations only if they were not quoted by name.

“We think that the Syrians will listen to their Arab neighbors on this rather than us,’’ said one senior official, “so it’s all a question of how well that can be orchestrated.’’

There are several substantial hurdles to success. The effort risks allowing Syria to regain a foothold inside Lebanon, after its troops were forced to withdraw last year. It is not clear how forcefully Arab countries would push a cause seen to benefit the United States and Israel. And many Middle Eastern analysts are skeptical that a lasting settlement can be achieved without direct talks between Syria and the United States.

The effort begins Sunday afternoon in the Oval Office, where President Bush is scheduled to meet the Saudi foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, and the chief of the Saudi national security council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Prince Bandar was the Saudi ambassador to Washington until late last year and often speaks of his deep connections to both the Bush family and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Ms. Rice is delaying her departure to the Middle East until after the meeting, which she is also expected to attend, along with Mr. Cheney and Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser. The session was requested by the Saudis, American officials said.

The expected outcome of the session is unclear. “We don’t know how patient the Saudis will be with the Israeli military action,’’ said one senior official. “They want to see Hezbollah wiped out, and they’d like to set back the Iranians.”

But in the Arab world, the official added, “they can’t been seen to be doing that too enthusiastically.’’

Several of Mr. Bush’s top aides said the plan is for Mr. Bush and other senior officials to press both Saudi Arabia and Egypt to prod Syria into giving up its links with Hezbollah, and with Iran. The administration, aside from its differences with Iran over nuclear programs and with Syria over its role in Lebanon, also has objected to both nations’ behavior toward their common neighbor, Iraq.

“They have to make the point to them that if things go bad in the Mideast, the Iranians are not going to be a reliable lifeline,’’ one of the administration officials said.

Another said, “There is a presumption that the Syrians have more at stake here than the Iranians, and they are more exposed.”

The American officials are calculating that pressure from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan may help to get Syria on board.

But so far, there appears to be little discussion of offering American incentives to the Syrians to abandon Hezbollah, or even to stop arming it. The Bush administration has been deeply reluctant to make such offers, whether it is negotiating with Damascus or with the governments of Iran or North Korea.

Nor did President Bush sound any conciliatory notes in his radio address on Saturday. “For many years, Syria has been a primary sponsor of Hezbollah and it has helped provide Hezbollah with shipments of Iranian-made weapons,’’ he said. “Iran’s regime has also repeatedly defied the international community with its ambition for nuclear weapons and aid to terrorist groups. Their actions threaten the entire Middle East and stand in the way of resolving the current crisis and bringing lasting peace to this troubled region.”

The State Department lists Syria as a country that sends money to terrorist organizations. Syria’s ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, has spent a lot of time on television in recent days, but he is often described as one of the loneliest ambassadors in Washington.

In the months after 9/11, Syria provided important assistance in the campaign against al Qaeda. But relations soured as American officials complained that Syria did little to crack down on associates of Saddam Hussein who funneled money to the insurgency in Iraq through Syrian banks, or to stop the flow of insurgents across its border to Iraq. The United States imposed sanctions on Syria in 2004, and took further measures after Syrian officials were accused of involvement in Mr. Hariri’s assassination.

The idea is to try to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran, who have recently been drawn closer together by standoffs with Washington. Syria and Iran have been formally allied since the Iran-Iraq war began in 1980, but historically they were suspicious of each other.

“Historically and strategically, they are on opposing sides — the Arabs and the Persians,” Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said in an interview on Thursday. Now, he added, “the only Arab country to ally with Iran is Syria,” a position that has angered Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Syria, along with most of the Arab world, is largely Sunni. Iran and Iraq are largely Shiite.

One Western diplomat said Arab leaders had had trouble getting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to come to the phone when they called to express concern about Hezbollah’s actions.

In 1996, when Israel and Hezbollah were fighting each other and bombs rained down on civilian populations, Secretary of State Warren Christopher spent 10 days shuttling around Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem before brokering a cease-fire that got Israel and Hezbollah to agree to leave civilians out of the fighting.

Ms. Rice has said she has no intention of duplicating Mr. Christopher’s approach. “I could have gotten on a plane and rushed over and started shuttling and it wouldn’t have been clear what I was shuttling to do,” she said Friday. “I have no interest in diplomacy for the sake of returning Lebanon and Israel to the status quo ante.”

Rather, the administration’s declared aim is the implementation of United Nations resolution 1559, which calls for the disarming of Hezbollah and the deployment of the Lebanese army to southern Lebanon. Syria, which was forced to withdraw its troops from Lebanon last year, may well balk at efforts to enforce it.

But while analysts say it is possible for the Bush administration and Israel to work out a solution without including Syria in the diplomatic wrangling, it would be difficult to do. Some Bush administration officials, particularly at the State Department, are pushing to find a way to start talking to Syria again.


At 7/22/2006 08:10:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

From the children of Israel to the children of Lebanon

At 7/22/2006 11:09:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/22/2006 11:10:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/22/2006 11:15:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/23/2006 01:41:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Haaretz reports:

"Syria willing to enter talks with U.S. to defuse Lebanon crisis (Israel Radio)"

So much for the feeble excuse “We think that the Syrians will listen to their Arab neighbors on this rather than us". It is clear that we are witnessing another example of the famous "Bush diplomacy" at work: diplomacy by not talking to people...

At 7/23/2006 02:13:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Nice wishfull thinking by the NY Times. And Dubbya.

Dream on, Dream on.

The only thing missing in the article and the accompanying comments is that the the "Syrian Regime" will also relinquish its demands for the return ot the Golan, hand over Khalid Mishaal to the Mossad, convince Nassrallah to join the 14 March or February camp, and change Syria name from the Syrian Arab Republic to the American Supporters Republic of Syria.While you at it. At least have a worthwhile and complete dream.

How dump and self-elluding some US analysists and policy makers can be, especially when watching Hizbullah's rockets falling at the rate of 150 "harmless" Katuysha rockets per day on Israel, and with Israel on the verge of getting "welcomed" into Southern Lebanon by the welcoming population of Hizbullah?. Same writers and analysists who expected the Iraqies to shower US Army with flowers in the streets of Baghdad back in good-ol-promissing-then 2003.

Syria to break up with Iran? NOW ? and give up its "Satanic Dreams" as our dear "wise" brother said during the last Cairo conference???

Dream on....... and, welcome to reality. If you can face reality.

At 7/23/2006 02:43:00 AM, Blogger VIVA LIBAN said...

I just donnoo how these idiots make a living shelling out this worthless crap. Maybe they think that if President Assad read this stuff in the New York time, he somehow will interprets it as Washington words and come crawling to Bush and the fat lady that handles his foreign policy. Oh yes, she has some accomplishment record to show for the past few years in office. Can someone please mention ONE. Or lets make it easy, can someone mention just Ten failures.

At 7/23/2006 03:02:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Viva Liban,

For God's sake,come on and let us at least try to be objective: SHE,is not a fat lady. She is a skinny one at that, never mind her acting as a dump-cute readhead most of the time, but for the sake of objectivity,even sharon had admired her legs.Other Arab leaders have done the same I am sure, but they are not as extrovert as Sharon was.

Accomplishments: She stole the camera flash lights from Rummy. And THAT is a real accompishment and a reliefe as well. Where is that one hiding now any way.. ?

At 7/23/2006 03:13:00 AM, Blogger VIVA LIBAN said...

Hiding in Ehud Olmert Change pocket. Thanks Ausama, no I know why Sharon got a strock and laying brain dead, eternally dreaming about thse legs. She is probably dreaming about his belly too.

At 7/23/2006 04:04:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

The first example of "Bush diplomacy" (apart from the prior disengagement from the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process") was the adoption of a confrontational approach towards North Korea against the explicit wishes of the South Korean president and which effectively ended the peace process (known as "sunshine policy") on the Korean peninsula (see Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty, New York 2004, p.71-72 and p.114-115 respectively). As a result, the North Koreans did indeed acquire nuclear weapons.

I am honoured to see that my earlier analysis matches that of Professor Cole:

"2. Some of Hizbullah's missiles might have been able to hit sensitive Israeli chemical or nuclear sites, or just cause panic by hitting Israeli cities. There was zero likelihood of Hezbollah launching such a strike unprovoked. But this capacity formed at least a slight drag on the Israeli ability to strike Iran and the Palestinians with impunity. The destruction of the Hizbullah arsenal may be the precursor of even more drastic action against the Palestinians and perhaps a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear research facilities near Isfahan."

War on Lebanon Planned for at least a Year
The Bush Administration's Grand Strategy and the Birth Pangs of Terror

Informed Comment

At 7/23/2006 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...


FUI, Iraaan has more than one site not only your proposed Asfaham Research facilit. And if the "all-mighty" IDF could not pinpoint the sites that the "Hifa" missiles are coming from, why should we expect tht the not "so-mighty" CIA, NSA, DIA, NSA, and the rest of that pack to know where Iraaaaan's other sites are located??

Do not feel sorry for Sharon on any account, it is confirmed that he has had an secrete relationship with his brother's wife, which has led to his brothers' divorce or death. He was having a good time while he was going around murdering Lebanese and Palestinians anmd acting as war hero.

t_disco again,

Have you ever thought what form agenda of the Lebanese shie'ats would take or adopt or pursue once Nassrallah aesenal rocket is exhusted, and and once Hizbulla -god forbid- is defeated.
I leave that to your
Also, do you thinkk Lebanon is more important to the US than the Iran of the Shah, or is Lebanon more important than any of thier other left-to-their-demise stoogs.
Wake up man.....

At 7/23/2006 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Syrian minister: We will join conflict if IDF approaches Syria

MADRID - Syria will enter the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah if Israel Defense Forces ground troops enter Lebanon and approach Syria, Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal said in an interview published on Sunday.

"If Israel invades Lebanon over ground and comes near to us, Syria will not sit tight. She will join the conflict," he told "ABC" newspaper.

"U.S. ally Qatar is involved in mediation to end the war between Israel and Hezbollah, senior political sources said Sunday"

At 7/23/2006 01:05:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Syria is very weak politically, Syria lost all of its regional powers and influences, and currently losing one of its most valuable cards. Why the Syrian regimes keep on miscalculating? Getting trapped in its own faults and blind irresponsible tactics?
The regime mouth in DC “ Dr Imad “ Keeps on pegging for a line of communications and some kind of sponsored US peace conference between Syria and Israel at this bad time? At what price the Assad regime can secure another lifeline form the US and Israel?
What Do the Syrian regime see We don’t SEE?

At 7/23/2006 01:11:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

One more thing, do feel the WIND of CHANGE blowing in the region? Who will be steeping up to fill the power vacuum left by the desecrations of Hezbollah?
Who will be leading the Shiia in Lebanon?

At 7/23/2006 01:11:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

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At 7/23/2006 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Philip I said...

New Post:

Spectator sport

At 7/23/2006 01:15:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Why Iran Is not Cheering? - Time -

At 7/23/2006 01:19:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

I am not sure why the link I have posted points back to a page inside Joshua's blog?

here is the link:,9171,1218020,00.html

At 7/23/2006 01:20:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Bolton dismisses Syria offer for dialogue

Ausamaa, first of all I was quoting Professor Cole and I am sure that he mentioned the "nuclear research facilities near Isfahan" just as a metonymy for all nuclear installations in Iran.

He will be aware that the plans forsee that "the air war in Iran will be one of overwhelming force" and "against a multitude of widely dispersed targets" as Seymour Hersh wrote in his latest article, LAST STAND, The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy, 2006-07-03.

That an attack on Iran seems unreasonable may not be enough to stop the Bush administration. Was it reasonable to leave bin Laden in Tora Bora and to go after Iraq instead...? Also, the real aim may be "regime change", not to destroy the nuclear facilities.

I am not so sure that the rocket arsenal has such a great military value for Hizbullah anyway, at least when the rockets are not used against military targets, but I am in no way a military expert...

Sorry, I don't understand your last question. Iran is much more important to the US than Lebanon, of course, for one obvious reason: oil.

At 7/23/2006 02:15:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Have a good look at Gideon Levy's article in Haaretz. Very rational and intelligent piece:

Levy piece

Thanks to BeirutToBeltway for bringing it to our attention.

At 7/23/2006 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/23/2006 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

my last question was an attempt to indicate the "current political insignificance of political Lebanon" in US calculations.
They left Iran and the Shah to fend off for themselves despite their Oil/ So, for how long does anyone think that the US will hang on to the act of "supporting, enforcing and promoting" Democracy, Independence and Soverignity in oil-less Lebanon.
It is not Syria and Iran who are using Lebanon, the neo-cons are forcing and luring Israel to use Lebanon as a pawn in thier greater designes for the area. Syria and Iran, if they chose so, can retaliate to the this, which they are entitled to as per Lebanon's standing motto: Lebanon can not be goverened by Syria, nor can it be goverened against Syria. That is what I meant.
For the US/Israel, as soon as Lebanon proves its inability to "play" such role, and its government and its internal balances have proven this, then the US will discared Lebanon which is much less inportant than the Shah, South Vietname and others.
The only reason which may comple the US/Israeli access to pay attention to Lebanon would be tow fold: 1)Protecting the stability on Israel's northern boarder and 2) Naturalising the Palestinian regfugees and settleing them in Lebanon once the issue becomes relevant.
DO NOT count on a continuous US support of the "Cedar Revolution", to be fair, the US believed Siniora's government promisses, which the Chalabies of Lebanon could not deliver, now they US knows better. And they have to look for some one who can deliver.
I leave it to you ti guess who is capable of doing that? I do not mean Syria, on the opposite, I forsee a Hizbullah-Aoun coalition as a primary candidate for such an wanted but necessary role.
Unless the US decieds that a new civil war is a good lesson for the defiant and inefficient Lebanese. Otherwise, Israel would be in the shithouse, once again. The final other option left, is to draw Syria into this mess and suffer the the consequences.
That was the meaning of my question and the answer to it.The ineffectiveness and irrelevance of the current governmental "illusion" in Lebanon considered in the wider scope of the US interests in the area.

My advice, Siniora are Co. are best to develope a serious illness that requiers treatment in Jhon Hopkins or the German Saudi Hospital in Jeddah before they are forced to carry the blood of a new civil war or a regional war on thier hands. Nasrallah was very direct when he said: once this is over, we might forgive and we might not. And he is backed with at least 60% of Labanon'as population. Some one should get the hint.

At 7/23/2006 03:45:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I deeply regeret an oversight which I have committted in my rsponse to the NY Times article; It was the question listed in the last sentence of the first pargagraph, the bazar-like seemingly innocent question which will be -according to the writer- to the des[perate, supposedly week, disoriented and brainwashed people of Syria. It took the seemingly trustsekking form of: SYRIANS WILL ASK THEMSELVES IS: WHAT IS IN IT FOR US? AND WHAT CONVINCES US TO TRUST THE US?

To answer those questions, we in Syria have a very sipmle answer: YOU Support our enemy, Your chose to be Syria's enemy, and Syrian's would be stupid if they even entertain the notion that the US intentions can be trusted.

Heck, is the writer living on planet Earth or has he just arrived from planet Crypton. Or is it merely a test baloon which Bolton just denied.

Syria is spelled as in S, Y, R, I, and not as in :D.E.F.E.A.T.E.D. P.O.P.O.L.E. A.W.A.I.T.I.N.G. US forgiveness and goodwill.

Newyork Times??? Huh....! The answer in short is, We do not Trust you. Never will. We will play you, but we will never trust you.
You got us way past that stage.

Meanwhile, have a nice Middle Eastern safari.

At 7/23/2006 04:37:00 PM, Blogger Deal Broker said...

Redox on Deal Making With Syriastan
2nd Report
Mr. EngineeringChange
As of this moment Al-Fassad continues to murmur as he plucks more and more petals of the secret rose presented to him by the invisible international deal broker reported in our 1st report of this redox (mysteriously deleted for some invisible reason!). It seems that this particular rose has a mysterious ability to re-grow petals as they get thrown aimlessly by Al-Fassad on the destiny of Syriastan. Al-Fassad seems confident he has an endless supply of petals. It has been observed that the discovery of this fact by Al-Fassad may have had an effect on him regaining some composure as opposed to the absent mindedness described in our first report.

On the psychiatric front, efforts are underway by the psychiatric care takers of Al-Fassad to decipher his incessant mutterings as he plucks more petals. Some psychiatrists are beginning to envisage enlisting expert support from different areas especially from those involved in the coding and decoding technologies. TI, MS, Intel and other corporations of interest have been contacted for an advice.

At 7/23/2006 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Joshua, what do you think of the prospects of NATO taking over the area south of the Litani, while the Lebanese army attempts to take control of areas north of that.

In this manner, can Hezbolla be disarmed and forced to abide by 1559?

If the Shias of southern Lebanon are liberated from Hezbolla, and serivices are provided to them by the central government and the international community, and they are allowed to taste an open an civil society, would this not destory the ideological advantage of Islamists with their Sharia doctrine?

At 7/23/2006 06:07:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

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At 7/23/2006 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Well, SRP, if you had knowledge of Iraq, you would know it is the Sunni Islamists (Salafis) who are bombing the Iraqi power plants and the transmission lines - even while the US and the central government is trying to repair them.

Abu Ghraib was a case of a few deaths, and some torture (feeding ham sandwich for example). Only a morally deficient would compare Abu Ghraib to the 40 tortured filled killings PER DAY committed by Shia Islamists (mostly Sadr-Mahdi), and 60 tortured filled killings PER DAY committed by Sunni national-Islamists.

Hezbolla is a mafia death-squad organization that monopolizes the southern economy, robbing the inhabitants at the point of a AK-47, and without the half a billion dollar of oil money assistance, it would not be able to even provide for a soup kitchen, much less needed services.

The Lebanese government is providing better services in the North, with legit money - much better than anything Hezbolla could provide in the south. The Hezbollahi Shias are much more poorer than the Sunnis and Christians.

Your ignorance of Iraq and your moral deficiency is revealing. And Oh BTW, Prophet Mohammad raped a 9 year old girl, and enjoyed that very much. Now go figure.

At 7/23/2006 06:52:00 PM, Blogger VIVA LIBAN said...

نقلت شبكة "سكاي نيوز" البريطانية عن وزير سوري ان بلاده مستعدة لمساعدة الولايات المتحدة في تحديد مواقع تنظيم القاعدة في لبنان، وذلك بهدف أن تكون "وسيطا مع ايران" و"تؤدي دوراً مهما في العراق". ونقل مراسل الشبكة عن وزير الاتصالات السوري عمرو سالم قوله "نعلم اين هي (مواقع القاعدة) ونستطيع ابلاغكم بذلك". واضاف المراسل نقلا عن الوزير ان "سوريا تملك معلومات فعلية ملموسة". وتابع الوزير السوري بحسب الشبكة البريطانية ان "سوريا تقترح ان تكون وسيطا بين ايران والولايات المتحدة"، ويمكنها أيضاً ان "تؤدي دوراً مهماً في العراق".

Did he (Assad) sell out Hizbullah first. I think he is done now. Americans has no use for his regime. He is a gonner.

At 7/23/2006 07:16:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

SRP, your analytical deficiency and ignorance is astonishing.

Hezbolla is controlling southern Lebanon by the force of arms. Hezbolla has amassed bombs, guns, and RPGs, and runs an army of paid and ideological right-wing thugs. There is no way for NATO or the Lebanese government to come into southern Lebanon, because they will be attacked by this mafia-death squad force.

Hezbolla has declared that the Lebanese government cannot be in charge of their areas.

Israel is not destroying Lebanon. It has not hit any Lebanese targets. It has only hit Hezbolla illegitimate targets.

If Hezbolla would drop its arms, and turn them in, you will see the Lebanese government take over southern Lebanon and provide much better and legitimate services to the Shias - like they are already provding in the north.

If you are an Atheist Humanist, then you must agree with me that Prophet Mohammad was a sleezebag to assassinate people he did not like. Right?

If you are an Atheist Humanist, then how come you support Hezbolla, a theocratic, armed and oppressive band of religious opportunists, hell bent on enslaving the Lebanese?

At 7/23/2006 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Rev. Mike Nahas said...

To the Syrian Ntlist Party person,

I am a protestant pastor, born in Brazil, pastoring in the US. As a Syrian descent (my 4 grandparents were from Homs) I support Syria, and These Hizbollah actions for that matter,because they are just.
I am appalled though with your complete ignorance about Christian theology.
We, rest of the world Chistians, or if you prefer non-fundamentalist, non-American Christians, are ALL against Israel and American midle east policies. Luther, for example, was very anti-jewish, and so are all the new testament writings written by St. John.

We all know (well, I guess not all of us) that the problem is that Shi'ism is growing. Alawites, are kind of semi-Christians, semi-shiites, definitely not Sunis.

But in any case do not go about denegrating other faiths, specially if you do not shit about them ! I will respect your Prophet Muhhamad (PBUH), even if I do not believe in one line of His sayings, writings or traditions.

Just don't go on exhibiting your apparent ignorance so loudly. People might actually believe in this crap, you know. Show a little bit of a millenar Arab wisdom, and do not attack those who might be on your side...despite individuals like you !

Sallam to all,

The Rev. Michel Nahas

At 7/23/2006 09:07:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

REV, I thought Nahas from Homs/Syria are ROM Orthodox.I agree with what you said .

At 7/23/2006 09:45:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Rev. Mike Nahas says: "As a Syrian descent, I support Syria and Hezbolla ...."

I see, in all your wisdom and intelligence, you support the self-appointed death squads of Hezbolla, not because they provide equality, justice, democracy, civil society, security or freedom. But simply because your ancestors happen to be Syrian.

The amount of ignorance and shallowness displayed by Hezbolla supporters on this forum is simply astounding.

May I add that enlightened protestants are the first to support the Shias' god given rights to freedom, security and humanity - and the first to oppose the right wing death squads of Hezbolla. You seem to be the exception - probably has to do with your religious upbringing by your politically backward Syrian parents.

BTW, I am also a Muslim, and say SHAME on pedophile Prophet Mohammad the megalomaniac, that bestowed a backward anti-human ideology on a bunch of poor and miserable people using the sword.

At 7/23/2006 09:57:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/23/2006 09:59:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

may I recommend this excelent article?

At 7/23/2006 10:07:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

SNP said this:"All this proves that the Evil Jews

I oppose such racist language.

I find that all of SNP, Javadis, and the Syrian reverand Nahas have good points, not that I agree with much of what SNP is saying...(possibly because of his/her style, and may be he means well...Yet his language is unacceptable.

Religion, any religion has nothing to do with a god, and everything to do with relationships, self interests, exploitations of the concept of a god/one god/etc... I belive that only Jesus christ for example had no self interest in what he sacrificed his life for, yet the people who pretend to believe in his message and act if they are christians do exactly the opposite of what he called for!@

I may agree with javadis that the life of Mohammad as inscripted in the books of his followers (officially ) is not that of a prophet, but of a gangster.

At 7/23/2006 10:21:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

NO matter what you think of the prophet Muhamed he tranformed the world especialy the midleast and propably you can not do that without devine intervention.

At 7/23/2006 10:22:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Ameen, pls. check out the book "23 years" by Iranian Ali Dashti - on some of the unsavory episodes in Prophet Mohammad's conduct.

The irony is that at the time of Mohammad, wedding and sleeping with 9 year old children was actually a rather common practice by the heads of tribes and affluent persons. Frankly I do not fault Mohammad for performing to the culture. It only shows that he was human and a product of history. That what he has done and what has said must be viewed in its historical context.

The irony begins when he goes and says that he has a walkie-talkie with angel Gabriel, and therefore, what he says is absolute, immutable, and must be obeyed, not today, not tomorrow, BUT FOR ETERNITY, not just by his tribe, or Arabs, but by AL OF HUMANITY.

Reason dictates that if a person claims his word is good for eternity, and must be obeyed for all times at the risk of punishment, then he should behave in a manner that is correct for all times. Obviously, sleeping with a 9 year old is not considered virtuous in our time - unless one happens to belong to the Talibans or most probably Hezbolla. 9 years old is the legal age of marriage for girls in Iran.

Sorry - this is taking us far from the thread.

I wonder if Joshua can comment on the NATO solution for Litani?

At 7/23/2006 10:29:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Norman, no doubt Mohammad transformed the world. So did Hitler. If simply transforming the world is a measure of virtue or wisdom, then I suppose Mohammad got it.

And per your logic, Marx, Hitler, Immanuel Kant, John Locke, and Newton all must be divinely inspired. More Hezbollahi method of thinking on this forum.

At 7/23/2006 10:37:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/23/2006 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/23/2006 10:51:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/24/2006 12:23:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

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At 7/24/2006 12:56:00 AM, Blogger Philip I said...

While everyone here is arguing about religion, the Assads are quietly negotiating with the Americans, Turks and Egyptians surrender terms.

One Syrian minister offers the Americans help in pinpointing Al Qaeda positions in Lebanon while another brags that Syria will not sit idly by if Israeli forces come too close to the Syrian border (That warning no doubt sent shivers down Ehud Olmerts' and Bush's spines).

The Americans have offered the Assads safe passage and enough economic goodies to keep the regime's thugs on a short enough leash. They will be well advised to take the offer. But for the rest of us who are seeking a democratic and honourable future for Syria, the wait could be longer than we ever imagined.

The Assads have won yet another battle against the Syrian population! Bravo.

At 7/24/2006 02:07:00 AM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

small deals may pass unnoticed,major deal like this will be exposed, if it is true, HA leaders are smart enough to prevent deal like this. This is too big fireball to play with.

At 7/24/2006 04:44:00 AM, Blogger SimoHurtta said...

If NATO would send troops to Lebanon it would be an extremely bad decision for European nations and UN. For UN it would be a bad decision, because again it would undermine again UN’s role as solver in these kinds of problems. Lebanon / Hizbollah has given already a bloody nose in military “terms” to Israel, USA and France. NATO has even now difficulties to find troops willing to fight in Afghanistan. Lebanese Shias would certainly not see US lead NATO, in which Israel wants to join and what some European right wingers fiercely advocate (for example Jose Maria Aznar), as an impartial “peacekeeping” force. Why would Germany and France risk their rather good relations to the Arab world in this mission impossible? Only in an effort to stop an even bigger war. NATO is a defence union and so its European members want to keep it. The European members do not want NATO to be changed as a clean-up army in USA’s colonial wars. The European “west’s” public opinion shares very few opinions of the Israel and American “west” what comes to the means in building peace in Middle East.

The religious propaganda, which Javadi is in his comments spreading, is simply childish. Even with a Christian upbringing I must say that the destruction and killing done during the centuries in the world in the name of Jesus beats the deeds done in the name Mohamed by at least ten to one. PLO, Hamas and Hizbollah did not surface from “non-existence”. They were created because of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and Lebanon, not for fun. With some irony could be said, that if the main “excuse” of creating Israel has been in religion, why the occupied and cowed people can’t use religion in their resistance. Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, hate the Israeli occupation. The Finnish national television showed a story made by a Finnish reporter from Nazareth where the two Israeli Arab boys were killed by a Hezbollah rocket. The local Israeli citizens (Arabs) told in the reporter
a) The state doesn’t care about them (Arab citizen), there are no bomb shelters and the sirens were not working when the bombs fell (now the sirens are working).
b) Many of them (mostly Christians) in Nazareth support Hezbollah and Hamas. Like one interviewed person said that these organizations are fighting for Their cause.

Still after almost 60 years Israeli Arabs seem to feel more loyalty towards Palestinian resistance groups than towards their “democratic” state. But is the cause for that their “religious extremism” or how the Jewish majority treats Israeli Arabs, Palestinians and Arab neighbours? From a pure logical point it is difficult to understand how Israel and USA can think that 5 million Jews in Israel could for a longer period dominate the area of hundreds of millions. That is simply not possible. That is equally lunatic than a situation where Finland, Norway or Latvia would be the dominate powers in Europe.

At 7/24/2006 05:24:00 AM, Blogger Javadi said...

SimoHurta - most of what you say are typical pro-Islamic leftists talking points, which I will not bother to refute - and are designed to denigrate democracy while upholding medieval era religious government. I tend to believe unlike you, that Arabs actually do prefer democracy over oppressive religious government - and we have seen this in Lebanon, to the extent which Sunnis, Christians, Druz, and Kurds/Armenians despise Hezbolla and its leader.

Its so silly whenever Prophet Mohammad is criticized, leftists quickly lose their nerves and try to divert the criticism to a religious clash, by comparing Christianity to Mohammedanism. As if Mohammed gets any better, if Jesus or some Christian has done something wrong. This reflects the intellectual and moral poverty of your typical talking post-colonial leftist, who has renounced the liberal ideals of the enlightenment, and now wishes to impose fascism and religious dictatorship on a bunch of hapless people in the Middle East - just so that it can hurt America - but at the cost of Arabs and Persians, while for himself he prefers to live in that very democracy that he wishes to deny to Arabs.

And oh, BTW, the Mohammedans managed to kill 80 million Hindus in India over time. But I suppose in your impoverished, primitive, and Hezbollahi method of thinking, this is absolutely just fine, as long as it can be shown that Christianity was somehow worse.

At 7/24/2006 06:32:00 AM, Blogger SimoHurtta said...

Well Javadi who killed Jesus? How many millions of Jews were killed by Christians and how many by Muslims? How many millions were killed in Americas or given the option become a Christian or die? Isn’t drinking Jesus blood and eating his flesh in Lords Supper – little “cannibal”?

Religion (all of them) has always been used an excuse in political manoeuvres, wars and colonisations, but religion in the end had nothing to do with those exercises. Did Jesus really command millions of women to be burned as witches?

Javadi I like many other liberal or conservative Europeans do not approve what Israel is doing. It is not a leftist opinion. Do you approve imprisonment, exploitation, humiliation and occupation of millions for decades? I certainly do not, regardless if they are Christians, Muslims, Jews etc.

Javadi, is the “free-(weapon) trade”, “democratic” Israel really an example to Arabs? Heaven help us all that they do adapt the means and policy of Israel. Javani do not loose you over stressed nerves and concentrate to real issues. Bush is a living proof that radical extreme Christianity and democracy can walk hand in hand. Why couldn’t religious Muslims be democratic?

BTW do you know how many Hindus and Muslims English managed to get killed during times in India? What is the religion of Englishmen?

At 7/24/2006 08:50:00 AM, Blogger Ivanka said...

Israel is the most religious fundamentalist country in modern times. Racism and religious hate in Israel are a mainstream point of view.

Give me another country where a demosntration can shout in the street A GOOD MUSLIM IS A DEAD MUSLIM. This is an open expression of religious hate and a justification for genocide. Indeed Israel has practised genocide for a long time.

Israel is the beacon of fundamentalism in the middle east. Israel and Saudi Arabia are the beacons of fundamentalism, racism and hate. Naturally they are the best allys of Washington, as Bush would love to turn the US into a religious autocracy just like KSA.

At 7/24/2006 02:51:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Ivanka - In Britain, Muslim extremists shout in demonstrations "Europe you will pay, your extermination is on the way."

In Iran, in official government demonstrations, government officials at the podium shout "Death to America, Death to Denmark".

Obvioulsy you post-colonial intellectually impoverished leftists have a very selective sense of inquiry. That is why few people accept your version of society.

A free society has no problem accepting a few deranged people shouting "A good Muslim is a dead Muslim" or "Europeans to be exterminated". The real question is why do the lefto-fascists wish to shut down free expression?

At 7/24/2006 03:06:00 PM, Blogger Javadi said...

Simohurtta - why is it that Prophet Mohammad cannot be criticized without somebody coming out of the woodwork and saying Jesus was a bad person (thus trying to imply that Mohammad was infalliable), and turning it into a religious discussion? In your mind, is it possible that Mohammad could have committed atrocities, irrespective of Jesus Christ?

And then you go and say "religion has nothing to do with (wars and miseries)" - contradicting yourself.

I have noticed this sort of deranged thinking among most of my Muslim friends. That is why Muslims will never be able to enter the modern age, without first learning how to reason and how to think like a human being. If you want to see the root cause of poverty and misery in the Middle East, with all the oil over there, just look into the mirror.

At 7/24/2006 04:05:00 PM, Blogger SimoHurtta said...

Well Javadi, if your opinion is that religion is and can be blamed, then after your logical thinking it is a fact that Jewish religion is to be blamed for the torture of Palestinians. And Christianity is to be blamed for supporting that torture. Jews occupy Muslims and Christians not vice versa. When you begin to blame the religion of one side for in a conflict you should remember that also the other sides in the conflict have their religion. I suppose also you have some religion in which you believe. Obviously not Islam.

At 7/25/2006 06:02:00 AM, Blogger Javadi said...

Simohurtta - Islam has destroyed my country Iran. This has nothing to do with Christianity or Palestine/Israel.

Why is it that backward Muslims can never understand the simple fact that Islam is a reactionary regressive force that enslaves the population and oppresses the people? Why is it that you are so ignorant about Iran and the Talibans and Hezbollah and religious government in general?

At 7/25/2006 03:00:00 PM, Blogger SimoHurtta said...

Javadi it was the Shah who destroyed Iran. If Americans had not supported that mad monarc with his secret police, the wasted oil billions in weapons etc. the history of Iran would be completely different. Not to mention Mohammad Mosaddeq and his "eraising" by CIA.

The Shah and American behaviour were the ticket for religious extrimists to power.


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