Friday, August 25, 2006

Bashar and Siniora Both Come Out Winners in the Post War Diplomacy

Syria seems to have maneuvered well in the post war wrangle over Lebanon. Lebanon's PM Siniora says foreign peace keeping troops will not police the border with Syria. Chirac seems to have gotten guarantees from Israel that it will stop bombing Lebanon. He also says that on 6,000 and not 15,000 foreign troops are needed to police Lebanon. With no policing of the Syrian border and fewer foreign troops in Lebanon, Syria has diminished the likelihood that it will be challenged by Washington in the UN or Israel in the air.

Siniora has wisely decided that foreigners should not decide Lebanon's future and that only some form of political deal between the March 14 crowd and Hizbullah will pave a way out of the terrible situation Lebanon finds itself in as the man in the middle. He has effectively elbowed both Syria and Israel aside as much as he can in order to leave himself room to maneuver. He has done about as much as he can to preserve Lebanese sovereignty by playing all sides off against the other in Lebanon's interest.

US Blasts Syria on Lebanon Peacekeeping By David Gollust, 24 August 2006

The United States Thursday welcomed apparent progress in Europe toward fielding an upgraded U.N. peacekeeping force for Lebanon. At the same time, the State Department condemned as "preposterous" Syria's stand that the U.N. force should not be allowed to patrol its border with Lebanon.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Israel told her Italian counterpart, Massimo D'Alema, yesterday that Israel will not end its current military blockade of Lebanon until an effective weapons embargo against Hezbollah is in place, Ha'aretz reported.

Syria has said it will oppose patrols of foreign troops to prevent arms smuggling along its border with Lebanon. President Assad said earlier this week that he would consider any deployment of foreign troops along the border "an act of aggression."

Prime Minister Siniora yesterday reiterated his unwillingness to confront Damascus. A diplomat familiar with the meeting between Mr. Siniora and U.N. representatives Vijay Nambiar and Terje Roed-Larsen earlier this week told The New York Sun that Mr. Siniora refrained from asking that foreign troops patrol the Syrian border.

"We want amiable relations with Syria and we are concerned about the border matter to prevent any infiltration into Lebanon," Mr. Siniora told France's TV5 yesterday. "We have deployed the Lebanese army and we have no intention of showing any animosity toward Syria."

Mr. Siniora said the force will not disarm Hezbollah. "It's clear that the Lebanese army will carry out this mission," he told an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica." The multinational force is not supposed to do that and should not bother itself with it. Hezbollah is a political party represented in the government and it agreed to the seven-point plan presented to the U.N. by the Lebanese government."

French President Jacques Chirac, whose diplomats helped draft the August 11 Security Council resolution that authorized up to 15,000 peacekeepers to deploy in Lebanon, said he was unsure how many troops were needed but that 15,000 was too many.

The number was "completely excessive", Chirac told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris.

"It doesn't really make sense. So what is the right number, 4,000, 5,000 or 6,000? I don't know," he said.
More than 60 pct of Israelis want Olmert to quit: poll

An excellent summary of the wrangle going on in Israel over whether or not to engage Syria appears in the Jewish News: Calls for Talks With Syria Increase in U.S., Israel Olmert Says Not Now, Bush Also Seen as Being Opposed. The conclusion is that Israel will have to push for talks over US objections if it wants to plum the possibilities of peace with Syria, because Washington wants war. Here is the conclusion of the article.

“There is so much static that it would make more sense for Israel to find its own lines into the Syrians,” said Edward Walker, who has served as the American ambassador to both Israel and Egypt.

Theodore Kattouf, a former American ambassador to Syria, said the only way the United States would ever overcome its resistance is if Israel pushed hard. “Without the Israelis urging it, it’s not going to happen,” Kattouf said.

The tone in Israel has not been about moving forward, but rather on evaluating the military failures in Lebanon, said David Makovsky, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has been in Israel for the past week.

“Right now Israel is traumatized and is looking inwards, not talking about diplomatic initiatives,” Makovsky said.

But Makovsky also said that given the lack of hope in negotiations with the Palestinians, the attention may return to Syria when the period of introspection is over.

“I don’t think anything is going to happen soon on Syria,” he said, “but I wouldn’t rule it out, in a way that was ruled out until very recently."


Russia blew American plans to sanction Iran out of the water by announcing that it will not support sanctions on Iran for the time being. Russia is finding a way back into the Middle East as the protector of the resurgent Shia bloc. It is a powerful combination at a time when the US can only pressure local states through multilateral action in the UN. From French pronouncements, it looks as if the Europeans are delighted to have Russia run interference for them with Washington. America's stand on Lebanon disgusted most European leaders. They don't trust the US to do the right thing with its leading role in the UN. France undercut US plans in Lebanon. Now Russia will take the heat for Karate chopping Washington on Iran.

Russia ruled out on Friday any discussion for now of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, saying these had proved ineffective internationally in the past and there was still room for diplomacy.

"I know of no instances in world practice and previous experience in which sanctions have achieved their aim and proved effective," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

"Moreover, I believe that the question is not so serious at the moment for the U.N. Security Council or the group of six to consider any introduction of sanctions. Russia stands for further political and diplomatic efforts to settle the issue."
Gareth Porter, writing in Asia Times, deftly explains how Washington has undermined European efforts to engage Iran and to head off the confrontation that has now emerged between Iran and Washington over its nuclear plans. The Europeans wanted Washington to promise that it would not attack Iran in exchange for rolling back its nuclear program. Washington refused.

Rice denied on Fox News on May 21 that the US was being "asked about security guarantees", but that was deliberately misleading. As a European diplomat explained to Reuters on May 20, the only reason the Europeans had not used the term "security guarantees" in their draft was that "Washington is against giving Iran assurances that it will not be attacked".


At 8/25/2006 12:53:00 PM, Blogger Dubai Jazz said...

Listen to George Galloway's interview on Dubai Eye radio station.
A must-listen one!

At 8/25/2006 07:10:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

I wouldn’t have put it so optimistically. If I wrote the title it would have been something along these lines “Siniora cuts his gains and Basher cuts his losses”

At 8/26/2006 05:14:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

"The president said he agreed with Merkel's assessment that Damascus lacked "a constructive attitude" toward the UN resolution on Lebanon.

"Germany is not ready to have contacts at any level and under any conditions," Merkel said."

France, Germany take aim at Syria

So Merkel is basically adopting the Bush administration's position on Syria (as I said, firmly in the grip of the American president...).

One should think that "a constructive attitude" toward conflict resolution in Lebanon would have to take the realities on the ground and the hopes and aspirations of the Lebanese people into account. Doesn't Lebanon also have a "right to defend itself"?

At 8/26/2006 07:10:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

German bomb plot - links to Ain al-Hilweh and al-Qa'ida?

Lebanon's acting Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat suggested yesterday that Jihad Hamad may have worked for al-Qa'ida, albeit unknowingly (!):

"There is nothing clear now, but in his computer, we found something that can be related to al Qaeda, some contacts. He denied any contact till now with al Qaeda, but maybe he was working without knowing (it) himself under the umbrella of al Qaeda," he added.

The German news magazine Focus reports that Jihad Hamad grew up in Ain al-Hilweh. This seems unlikely, given that his family is from Akkar and lives in Tripoli.

However, some days ago ARD correspondent Golineh Atai mentioned some "unconfirmed reports" saying that the other suspect in German custody, Youssef Mohammad al-Hajj Deeb, actually hails from Ain al-Hilweh. The (not very reliable) German tabloid Bild also reported that he had "lived in a Palestinian refugee camp".

At 8/26/2006 01:46:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"I wouldn’t have put it so optimistically. If I wrote the title it would have been something along these lines “Siniora cuts his gains and Basher cuts his losses”"

I would write the exact opposite thing. I doubt that Lebanon or the Hariri family has 'gained' anything.

At 8/26/2006 02:05:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

the arabs are deeply divided,about HA,about Lebanon goverment,about what to do with Iran,there is no way to unite them without changes in leadership.

At 8/26/2006 02:27:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

By having Lebanese army personnel on the Syrian border monitoring arms shipments to HA they have gained brown-nosing points to their American/French sponsors. And once shipments are caught they can justify bringing in more foreign troops. So that they can reinforce their patrons influence of Lebanon.

At 8/26/2006 03:15:00 PM, Blogger why-discuss said...

When is the lebanese army going to get modern weapons???? It sounds like US and Israel want just border security officers and not an army that may down israelis planes violating Lebanon border all the time!

At 8/26/2006 11:34:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

It is becoming obvious. The quality of your articles is reflected in the quality of the comments!

At 8/27/2006 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Inverse constant said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/27/2006 01:59:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

Inverse constant,
OK. You're saying cheerleading is your way of expressing your incompetence?!

At 8/27/2006 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Philip I said...

New post

You cannot teach a donkey to play the piano!

At 8/27/2006 04:37:00 PM, Blogger Philip I said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/27/2006 06:21:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

Hey Josh, after going through your article I failed miserably to fathom your logic. You may have to excuse my 'backwardness'. How could bashar have won? Even Nasrallah himself admitted miscalculating:

حسن نصر الله: لو علمت بحجم رد إسرائيل لما خطفنا الجنديين

So the main actor faulted and admitted fault. How could a secondary 'non acting actor' who claims to have calculated meticulously win?

You may also be interested in what Khaddam has to say. I will guide you to his interview when it becomes available.

At 8/27/2006 07:45:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

Khaddam: Bashar's speech his last - Bashar is saying goodbye.

خدام: تحقيق براميرتس يطال الأسد وبرّي هُدد وهُمش من النظام السوري

At 8/27/2006 07:51:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

If you don't understand Arabic, here is what Nasrallah had to say in English:

I'll see if there is an English version of Khaddam - just for your own benefits!!!

At 8/28/2006 08:53:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

I am in desperate need for a big huge cock to enter my asshole. I have the grease warmed up to help you get it fast and deep. Afterward I will suck your big dick really hard and clean it up thoroughly from that oozing shit that is stuck on it. If you are interested click on my profile and email me. My real name is Innocent Criminal, my last name I am not sure, my mother was fucked by 6 men when I was born. I guess you may call me bastard, that is my last name, it is my family name, I am not so proud of this name for sure.. Well now you have it, I am out of the closet and I am the big fagot, an Innocent Criminal would like to think. Although I am in fact a guilty Criminal AID spreader that have caused the death of Millions of being.

At 8/28/2006 08:54:00 AM, Blogger Innoceent-Criminal Scum said...

You asshole Innocent Criminal, you were honest letting me know that. You were honest about the AID thing and that is a relief, glad for that protection WOOOHHH. But you JERK, why did you lie to me about STD questions before you rammed my 12 incher hot, thick and drippy dick into your oozing shit filled asshole. Now my STD Doctor is saying that I have the CRAB, Clymedia and HPV you JERK. Are you going to pay for my medical bills and all the treatments costs from your $200 monthly wage, are you. What really piss me off is that you charged me for that fuck. Now, I am fuming mad, that to get into your oozing shit filled asshole to have little fun for my 12 incher hot, thick and drippy dick, it coasted me Two Fucking Dollars, JERK. You should be paying me couple of hundreds for that ramming action that you enjoyed so much, you were fucking swallowing the toilet bowl for Mary’s sake.

At 8/28/2006 08:55:00 AM, Blogger Amsterdam Fagot with BIG unit said...

Innocent Criminal is a slime of a fagot, a total fraud. I met him at “Club Rouge in Amsterdam”, I thought he is sophisticated since he told me that he is a Lebanese fagot, son of a wealthy Middle Eastern businessman and that he is in the fashion business for cover, selling his ass for several Arab sheikh in Dubai. My suspicion that he is a liar and a fake was from the start. I got my first hint when he could not pay for the last drink he ordered at the bar and left no tip for the waiter. I had to cover for him and he promised me fun night. Making the story short, what a disappointment, he was not the sophisticated Lebanese he said he is but a peasant, in fact a poor minority Syrian from boon dog village near Tartous area. His dad was not the wealthy businessman, but a clerk who does not even know how to sign his name, he just ink his thumb and press for proof of signature. That fashion design business, turned out to be a stolen identity and so as the picture he is showing on his blog. His fantasy of being in the limelight, he fantasizes about this every waking and sleeping hour. The looser working as gas station attendant in one of Amsterdam seedy neighborhood in the morning and spend most of his evening club hopping to sell his ass for small petty cash.

You run into those every now and then. Next time, learn from your experience when you bar hop in Amsterdam gay bars. If someone can’t pay a tip at the bar, get a clue dammed, don’t be scammed like me.


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