Monday, September 11, 2006

News Round UP (11 September 2006)

A number of noteworthy articles have appeared this past week debating the pros and cons of engaging Syria. The most hard hitting on the con side are articles by Michael Young and Lee Smith.

On the pro side is Flynt Leverett. "Illusion and Reality: The violence in the Middle East shows the negative consequences of the administration’s contempt for engagement. But the tough talk has failed," in The American Prospect, 09.12.06.

Needless to say, I find Leverett, much more convincing than I do either of the con articles. They never explain how they are going to stop Syria from meddling, without regime change, and they don't explain how they hope to change the regime, which, at the end of the day, is the only solution for them.

The Daily Star's editorial blasts Blair on the occasion of his Lebanon visit. They laud the Lebanese statesmen who refused to meet him, claiming, "Blair openly positioned himself as Hizbullah's enemy - and therefore Lebanon's."

This small article on how Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from even discussing an Iraq postwar plan is revealing.

Army official: Rumsfeld forbade talk of postwar
By Stephanie Heinatz
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

FORT EUSTIS, Va. - Long before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists to develop plans for securing a postwar Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said Thursday.

In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a postwar plan.

Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff in 2003, after Shinseki told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure postwar Iraq.

Scheid, who is also the commander of Fort Eustis in Newport News, made his comments in an interview with The Daily Press. He retires in about three weeks.

Scheid's comments are further confirmation of the version of events reported in "Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq," the book by New York Times reporter Michael R. Gordon and retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor.

In 2001, Scheid was a colonel with the Central Command, the unit that oversees U.S. military operations in the Mideast.

On Sept. 10, 2001, he was selected to be the chief of logistics war plans.

On Sept. 11, he said, "life just went to hell."

That day, Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of Central Command, told his planners, including Scheid, to "get ready to go to war."

A day or two later, Rumsfeld was "telling us we were going to war in Afghanistan and to start building the war plan. We were going to go fast.

"Then, just as we were barely into Afghanistan, Rumsfeld came and told us to get ready for Iraq."

Scheid said he remembers everyone thinking, "My gosh, we're in the middle of Afghanistan, how can we possibly be doing two at one time? How can we pull this off? It's just going to be too much."

Planning was kept very hush-hush in those early days.

"There was only a handful of people, maybe five or six, that were involved with that plan because it had to be kept very, very quiet."

There was already an offensive plan in place for Iraq, Scheid said. And in the beginning, the planners were just expanding on it.

"Whether we were going to execute it, we had no idea," Scheid said.

Eventually other military agencies like the transportation and Army materiel commands had to get involved.

They couldn't just "keep planning this in the dark," Scheid said.

Planning continued to be a challenge.

"The secretary of defense continued to push on us that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave," Scheid said. "We won't stay."

Scheid said the planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4," or the piece of the plan that included post-invasion operations like security, stability and reconstruction.

Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said.

"I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.

"He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."

Even if the people who laid out the initial war plans had fleshed out post-invasion missions, the fighting and insurgent attacks going on today would have been hard to predict, Scheid said.

"We really thought that after the collapse of the regime we were going to do all these humanitarian type things," he said. "We thought this would go pretty fast and we'd be able to get out of there. We really didn't anticipate them to continue to fight the way they did or come back the way they are.

"Now we're going more toward a Civil War. We didn't see that coming."

While Scheid, a soldier since 1977, spoke candidly about the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq, he remains concerned about the U.S. public's view of the troops. He's bothered by the nationwide divide over the war and fearful that patriotism among citizens will continue to decline.

"We're really hurting right now," he said.
Cyprus finds air defense systems on Syria-bound ship: Washington Post. Interpol told Cypriot authorities the ship, the Gregorio I, which had been loaded in China and North Korea and was destined for Latakia, was carrying ballistic missile components. Cyprus searched the ship only to discover that it contained air defense systems and not weapons. They are trying to figure out what to do with it now. This is the first indication of the power of UN resolution 1701.

Assad, Lahoud ordered Hariri murder: former Syrian officer
Agence France Presse

BEIRUT, Sept 10, 2006 (AFP) - An exiled former Syrian intelligence officer has claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese counterpart, Emile Lahoud, ordered the assassination last year of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.

"Bashar al-Assad and Emile Lahoud gave the orders for Hariri's murder," Mohammed Zuhair as-Saddiq was quoted by the Beirut daily An-Nahar Sunday as saying in an interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite television channel.

"No other Syrian or Lebanese officer could have done this," he said in the interview broadcast Saturday night.

Saddiq also claimed that "former Lebanese officials and certain Arab officials", whom he did not identify to Al-Arabiya, "also participated in this crime".

Saddiq, a former colonel in Damascus' intelligence service who was speaking from Paris, also claimed that he had seen the car used to kill Hariri and 22 other people in a massive explosion on the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005.

"I saw it with my own eyes," Saddiq said of the car, which he said had been prepared for the attack at a camp in Zabadani, near Damascus.

"I gave photos of it to Detlev Mehlis," who was the first head of a United Nations probe into the assassination, widely blamed on Syria and its allies in Lebanon, and roundly denied by both. "I kept the negatives."

Saddiq also claimed to have a tape recording of a conversation in which a Damascus official had encouraged him to recant.

He said he had been promised "better arrangements" than those offered to Hassam Taher Hassam, another Syrian who had retracted similar claims to those of Saddiq in testimony to the UN panel.

Saddiq, whose extradition Syria is seeking from France, also refuted Syrian media claims that there were 64 arrests warrants pending against him.

He was arrested by French police at the request of Lahoud but was later released.

"The French judiciary was convinced that I was a witness and not a criminal," he claimed.

The UN probe has already implicated senior officials from Syria, which for decades was the power broker in its smaller neighbor.

The United Nations is currently working with the Lebanese government to create an international court to try suspects in the case.

UN Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel was in Beirut this week to discuss the mechanics of that proposal. He left on Friday, saying progress had been made but that a number of issues had been identified that still needed clarification.

Abdul Halim Khaddam's National Salvation Front has published a condemnation of Farid Ghadry's Syria Reform Party circular, demanding that Alawites head for the hills. Ghadry has latched onto a new strategy of late, which is to exploit the sectarian mistrust in Syria. He has condemned the Alawite religious sect for most of Syria's problems and is warning that the Alawite led regime will be toppled by November 8. He insists that Alawites must resign from their positions in government and head for the Coastal Mountains, should they wish to save their lives. Why November 8th? We don't know.

Khaddam' group claims that this effort to provoke sectarian civil war in Syria goes against national interest and plays into the hands of Israel. Here is his full report. بيان صادر عن جبهة الخلاص الوطني

نشرت بعض وسائل الإعلام تصريحات تضمنت دعوة المواطنين السوريين الذين
ينتمون إلى الطائفة العلوية بمغادرة المدن والعودة إلى مناطقهم، كما تضمنت الطلب من
المسؤولين العسكريين والمدنيين الذين ينتمون لهذه الطائفة، بمغادرة مراكز عملهم قبل
الثامن من تشرين الثاني القادم، موعد سقوط النظام كما حددته هذه التصريحات التي
زعمت أنها معلومات استقتها من أرفع المصادر الأميركية.

إن جبهة الخلاص
الوطني في سورية إذ تستنكر هذه التصريحات، وتدينها جملة وتفصيلاً.. لتؤكد مايلي :

أولاً - إن إطلاق مثل هذه التصريحات يضرّ بالمصلحة الوطنية العليا، ومن
شأنه إثارة فتنة طائفية في البلاد تخدم المصالح والأهداف الإسرائيلية.

ثانياً - إن المواطنين السوريين، بغض النظر عن الطائفة التي ينتمون إليها،
هم جزء أصيل من مكونات الشعب السوري ومن حقهم أن يعيشوا في أي مكان من وطنهم، وأن
يتبوّأوا أيّ منصب يصلون إليه نتيجة الاختيار الشعبيّ الحر. وليس من حق أحد، كائناً
من كان، فرداً أو دولة، أن يتجاوز هذا الحق الدستوري، ويمليَ على السوريين مكان
إقامتهم أو طبيعة عملهم.

ثالثاً - إن جبهة الخلاص الوطني في سورية، تطالب
الحكومة الأميركية بإعلان موقفها من هذه التصريحات التي زعم صاحبها أنه استقاها من
مصادر أميركية رفيعة المستوى .

إن جبهة الخلاص الوطني في سورية، إذ تؤكد أن
التغيير الديمقراطي في سورية، مشروع وطنيّ خالص، وترفض أيّ تدخّل أجنبيّ في الشأن
الوطني السوري.. لتأمل من كلّ البعثيين ورجال النظام الشرفاء، أن يكونوا على مستوى
الوعي والمسئولية، فيقفوا في صف الشعب، إلى جانب القوى الوطنية، للمشاركة في عملية
التغيير الديمقراطي

10 أيلول (سبتمبر) 2006 جبهة الخلاص الوطني في سورية


At 9/11/2006 08:51:00 PM, Blogger Fares said...

Joshua/Alex, anyone who can,

I need your help in writing a common message to be published on all blogs demanding the freedom and release of our political prisoners. Thanks

Syrians need to do something

At 9/11/2006 09:04:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

On this day i look around and find that the US has not been honest and truthfull to it,s people about the facts behind this awfull day the fact that 9/11 took place not because Arabs and Muslems Hate democracy or our way of life or Chistians or Jews ,9/11 took place as revenge for a century of attacks by the west against Arabs and Muslems started with the betrays of the Hounarable Hussen for standing by the west against Muslem Turky in return for an indipendent state only to see the west deviding Arab land into small state devided by different politecal and economic systems so unity could not be acheived without dificulty ,that was followed by the Belfor decleration and the estabishment of Israel the the support that ISrael received over the years of billions of dollars to keep the occupation of Arab lands and the refusal to implement the UN resolution calling for the return of the Palestinians to their homes and the return of Arab occupied land these are the real reasons for the attack on 9/11 and untill the west correct these injustices the war between the Muslem world and the west will not end.

At 9/12/2006 12:11:00 AM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

The wind of dividing the Levant is blowing hard,Iraq will be divided into three parts, the northeast part of Syria,being Kurds,will be given to iraqee kurds, the alawite area will get idependent part, and even Lebanon they want it to be divided,this is very dangerous plan.

At 9/12/2006 01:28:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/12/2006 02:37:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Bush's Latest Speech and Zawaheri's Latest Statement

Well, well, well. Good morning and welcome to the New Middles. Thanks go of course to President George W. Bush and his master strategists. The only catch is that we are being welcomed to a "different" New Middle east than the one Dubbya & Gang claimed to seek or "envisioned". Totally different.

While Dubyya & Gang are still "hypnotized" and under the influence as was apparent in his speech on the fifth anniversary of September 11, someone else is realizing the changes that area is going through and is swimming with the tide. The current US Administration has unnecessarily picked the wrong tide, rode it and has ended in deep murky and hostile waters (the irony is that Dubbya still does not realize this yet; he continues to boost about staying the course without knowing that this is will bring joy to his adversaries who love to see him staying the course in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is exactly where they want him to be). I hope that he did not also mean "staying the same successful course" in Lebanon, Syria and Iran as well, although with this guy, things are difficult to predict. He has proven once again that he could be soooo "unimaginative".

On the other hand, "someone else" is LEARNING fast, and is changing "their" course. And guess who? Guess again! The answer is: Al Qaida. A marginal and an "unpopular" force that did not really exist before Dubbya & Gang endowed it with the honor of being America's and the civilized world Public Enemy Number 1.

How so????

One can find the answer in Zawahri's last statement in which he said that they will now focus on Israel and the Traditional regimes in the Arab world (easier targets, nearby, and may attract popular support especially after their miserable handling of the last Israeli invasion of Lebanon). While I have not heard all the fancy details, but I believe his latest message does carries serious strategic implications within on outside the area. A major change of direction. A change or a statement from which one can draw certain messages:
1- Primarily, and by implication, the message subtly reiterates what everyone knows which is that the US has effectively lost the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and squandered whatever credit it has had with friend and foe. That is their conclusion. And seeing the results –as well as the position of the US military in Iraq and Iran- one must conquer with it.
2- A part of the message is –again subtly- directed at the US electorate by extending to them a sense of security. Hey Guys, you are not on the top of our list anymore! You are safe now, by our choice not through your President's actions. The enemy is some one else. Relax, and, do not give Bush and Gang or their Camp your votes come election time. We defeated you by surviving, and we will give you a break, so go back to bed, we are looking elsewhere now.
3- Al Qaida, quick on its feet, and with it's strategic goal of creating a rift between the West and the Muslim -and the especially the Arab world has been achieved- with the unwelcome assistance of the neocons, has now decided to ride a more beneficial tide and a more popular venue by announcing that it will "focus on targeting Israel and the pro-Western Arab Camp". Which is more in line with the popular sentiment of the Arab and Muslim street? Wow, you gotta give it to those guys; they do see the changes and they can adapt their strategy to those changes!
4- Not only that. The Zawahri statement reflects their belief that they are capable of choosing the place and deciding the direction of the battle. They have not only survived, but they are now taking the initiative.
5- How would this be received in Arab Capitals and Tell Aviv would be a thriller to watch. The "half men" as called by Bashar Al Assad must be wondering about how in the hell their friends in the US Administration got them in such a position. A lot of worrying must be going on there. More of it will be going on in Tell Aviv which seems to regret having been "lured" or "encouraged" by the US into its humiliating July war against Hezbollah. A loosing act whose strategic ramifications have not yet been fully digested by them.
6- Need we go on…..?

Now definitely, the result of Bush Speech and Al Zawahiri statement can be seen as mere acts of bravado. But the real difference is that while the Bush Speech was a mere recital of the same broken recode, that did not demonstrate any signs of waking up to the disastrous results of his administrations stupid, shooting from the hip, policies, the Al Zawahiri statement "ascends" to the position of presenting a new action plan that takes into account the "changes" and new "the direction of he tide" and translates all into a more coherent course of action. Al Qaida is on the move, while Dubbya is still in his deep trance, leaving the US Administration and its local supporting camp scratching their head and wondering how they got there and what should they do.
Meanwhile, Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and their own camp are waiting for the coming Knock at their doors. Someone will be calling on them soon to get them out of this mess. It might take sometime, defeat would not be admitted easily by the Lone Super Power and its camp, and the "half men" will have to swallow their pride and go hug Bashar once again….

Now, and keeping in minds that "hope springs eternally" in some hearts, of course the option of nuking Iran and "conquering" Syria and its "rusted" army and "enforcing" USS resilou ..., ooops, UNSC resolutions 1595, 1680, and 1701 are still "on the table" as Condi keeps saying…..but is anyone still buying that nowadays????? Never mind the Saudi financed media, the Lebanese you-know-who, the 14 Feb circus and the Condi Last Supper lunch table. For them, it's now time to scramble to safer shores guys. The quicker the better. Al Haqiqa and Al Istiqlal or Not.

For the more serious minds; its time for a Peace Conference with serious intentions to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. And "useless" Israel seems ready now – maybe with little encouragement from the big boss or if from its own politicians if they do not have confidence in US intentions anymore-.Time for peace??? Yes and high time as all sides are in semi- equilibrium right now. Then, we can really talk about Democracy –I mean remind Dybbya about it-, economic developments, transparency, liberalism and joining the civilized world on the bath to a better future for all.

Otherwise, welcome to more of the same in Lebanon, Iraq, Occupied Palestine, and many other "exciting" places……and again, we will wait and see who will cry "enough" first.

And, here, the central question remains, was all that was done, done in the in the true interests of all, or was it done in the interest of a certain self-serving octopus that does not give a damn about the true interests of US, Israel, the Arab World, and everyone else except "its own interests". And is such an octopus controllable. Or wise enough???

At 9/12/2006 02:46:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

10:35 Witnesses say explosions heard near U.S. embassy in Damascus (AP)

10:32 Damascus witness: It appears U.S. embassy is coming under attack (Sky News)

10:25 Witnesses: Syrian forces surround U.S. embassy in Damascus, seal off area (Reuters)

10:22 Witnesses: Heavy gunfire heard in central Damascus (Reuters)

10:21 Black smoke said rising from area around U.S. embassy in Damascus (Reuters)

What is going on there?

At 9/12/2006 02:56:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Gunfire near U.S. embassy in Damascus

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Smoke rose from the Rawda area housing the U.S. embassy in central Damascus on Tuesday and the sound of heavy gunfire was heard around the complex, witnesses said.

The witnesses said Syrian security forces had surrounded the embassy building and sealed off the area.

No other details were immediately available.

The area also houses vital security installations and the houses of the most senior officials in the Syrian government.

"It appears that the embassy is coming under attack," one resident in the area told Reuters.

At 9/12/2006 03:41:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Four armed men attacked the United States embassy in Damascus on Tuesday but the assault was repelled and Syrian officials said all diplomats were safe.

The officials said the four men shouted religious slogans, threw a grenade into the yard of the embassy. One official said the four attackers were killed and witnesses said at least one Syrian guard was killed.

The officials said all U.S. diplomats were safe.

At 9/12/2006 03:52:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Three killed in attack on US embassy: minister

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Three assailants were killed by security forces in an attack Tuesday on the US embassy in the Syrian capital, the interior minister said.

"A terrorist operation targeted the US embassy. Security forces have brought the situation under control. Three terrorists were killed and one was wounded," the minister, General Bassam Abdel Majid, said on state television.

An embassy guard, contacted by telephone, confirmed the mission had been attacked. "This is not the right time," he said, declining to answer questions.

At 9/12/2006 04:11:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

I'm not an expert on these matters, but CNN is showing pictures from the scene and there is a minivan right at the entrance of the US embassy and it is full of gas canisters, it looks like a car bomb. Thank God it did not go off.

At 9/12/2006 05:33:00 AM, Blogger Philip I said...

Attempted attack on the US embassy in Damascus

At 9/12/2006 05:38:00 AM, Blogger Torstein said...


This circular of Farid Ghadry about the Alawis, do you have any other details on that or the wording of the circular itself?


At 9/12/2006 05:38:00 AM, Blogger Philip I said...

Another source:

At 9/12/2006 08:30:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

"There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but an al Qaeda offshoot group called Jund al-Sham -- or Soldiers of Lebanon -- is suspected, said Imad Moustapha, Syrian ambassador to the United States.

The radical fundamentalist group has been blamed for several attacks in Syria in recent years, Moustapha said."

At 9/12/2006 08:34:00 AM, Blogger Idaf said...

Apart from the news and analysis on the attack on the American embassy (you can find some photos and details from the attack here and here), I would like to share this excellent article. It's by an emerging Syrian journalist "Nidhal Maalouf" about the "third way" that the majority of Syrians follow on their political tendencies. I subscribe to Maalouf's argument that the majority of Syrian people are neither pro nor anti regime. Most prefer to live with it compared to all other available alternatives and have decided to simply ignore the regime and work to make their lives better. Nidhal's article is insightful and entertaining..

سوريون على الطريق الثالث ؟
كان من عزم الخطاب وثقل الكلمات يهبط بعد ان تنثني ركبتاه في زاوية قائمة باتجاهين متعاكسين لتشكلا شكلا هندسيا اقرب الى المعين فيعود ويجمعهما الى بعضهما البعض فيرتفع،

وهكذا يراه الجمهور الغفير يطول ويقصر، يظهر ويختفي وراء مايكرفون مهترئ يتيم رسمت عليه اشارة التلفزيون الوطني .. وترتفع الصور واللافتات التي تصلح لكل مناسبة وتظهر في كل حدث وتدور اسطوانة الهتافات الحماسية التي بعد ان ظهرت "كُسر القالب " ، يرددونها اصداراً وحيداً لم يتبعه اية نسخة جديدة منذ عقود طويلة..

وهو يُصلِح بين الفينة والاخرى "عقاله " الذي يتزعزع من الحركة " الطالعة النازلة " والبدن المنتفض والعروق "النافصة" والصوت الذي بُحّ بعد اول جملتين ..

اما مضمون الخطاب فهو من "النغمة" الشائعة ، ويمكن لاي ممن لا يمتلك اذناً موهوبة يعزف اللحن مجرد سماعه، ان يستعين بالجرائد المحلية والقناة الارضية ، او الاجتماعات الصباحية ، المسائية الحزبية ، او حتى الليلية (الاسطهاجية) ..

واذا فاته هذا كله يستمع الى الرسميين واشباه الرسميين في القنوات الفضائية .. ( وان شئتم يفتح على موقع سيريانيوز ) .. و"قصْ والزق" .. "اطول واقصر" .. مبحوح الصوت .. وسط الضجيج والتصفيق المتقطع المتلاشي الواهن .. والهتافات التي تسير على خط بياني هابط .. الأرجل المتململة التي تنتظر الحرية لتنطلق باتجاه البيت لتكسب ساعات قليلة من الدوام الرسمي .. وتنتهي المهمة

والمشهد متكرر ولم يعد يزعج او يفرح احدا هو اشبه بالفلكور الذي اعتدنا عليه وألفناه .. كالوقوف على إشارة المرور ، زحمة الناس في الشوارع ، الدخان الكثيف في اجواء المدينة .. ننظره ولا نراه ولا نناقشه ولا يناقشنا هو بحاله "ونحنا بحالنا" ..

وفي النظرية السياسية السورية ، من هو ليس هنا فهو هناك .. وهناك تعني على مقاعد "المعارضة" .. والمعارضة في عرف اهل الساحات فعل اكثر من ناقص .. هو تهمة بحد ذاتها .. وفعل جرمي يحاسب عليه اللاقانون ..

واذا لم تكن معارضة .. فهي ايضا تهمة من قبل المعارضين .. فانت اما فاسد صاحب سلطة او بعثي متسلق او عميل مخابرات متآمر على حرية الشعب وقوت يومه ..

ولكي تنال شرف المعارضة وتكون فارسا من فرسان مائدتها المستديرة التي لا تعترف بوجود الرأس ، يجب ان تلعن وتشتم كل ما تراه ، وتستهجن وتستنكر ، وتمتلك مهارة اصدار البيانات وارسال الايميلات وانشاء مواقع الردح والتشهير والسخرية التي تصل الى حد الميوعة ، وان تقضي يومك تتصيد وتتحين كل ما هو سلبي وتتجاهل وتقفز فوق كل ما هو غير ذلك ..

و"تُسَّوِدُ صورة البلاد في اعين اهلها اكثر مما هي سوداء .. و"تتبروظ" بانك معارض كلقب النبيل في عصور الظلام في اوربا ، او لقب باشا في زمن الاقطاع في مصر ..

ليس هناك كبير في قاموسك حتى الجمل .. ويجب ان تقتنع بانك الفهمان الوحيد ، وكل من يخالفك الرأي هو " البعيد حمار " او عميل للسلطة .. وتبدأ الفتاوي تصدر في المزاد ، وتطرح البيانات كصكوك غفران الكنيسة الكاثوليكية في العصور الوسطى التي تقودك الى جنة المعارضة ، وشرف البطولة والممانعة .

بيان مضاد في اليوم الثاني .. وجلسة وجلسة في الناحية الاخرى .. تصريح فتكذيب .. انا "الديك" .. " وين المزبلة "

وبينما المغفلون امثالي يبحثون في البيانات والكلمات والموشحات الالكترونية على رائحة الوطن .. تفوح روائح الفساد المالي ، والخلافات والزعامات والشتائم وتطفو من جديد كلمة " الانا " التي هي عند الطرفين اكبر .. اكبر بكثير من الوطن ..

في الحقيقة هناك طريق ثالث يمشي عليه معظم السوريين بصمت وسلام وعزيمة ،.. يعملون لغد أفضل لاطفالهم .. يمتد من حذاء اول يوم في المدرسة الى قبعة يوم التخرج في جامعة (خاصة) معتبرة .. فعمل مشرف ووطن مزدهر يقوم على انقاض الخطابات الرسمية والبيانات الالكترونية ..

اول مشهد في ذاكرتي التي تشكلت منذ عقود .. ترتسم صورة تذكارية لي وامي وجدي وجدتي واخوالي الستة .. ربما سبعة .. نرفع رؤوسنا للسماء ونرقب طائرة اسرائيلية تحترق في حرب تشرين .. ويشوبنا القلق على والدي المحارب على الجبهة ..

والمشهد الثاني .. صحن بطاطا مقلية وفروج مشوي (على السيخ) .. تتنازعه ايدينا في "ارض الديار " لبيت عربي في حي شعبي فقير.. عندما تبدأ بتعلم مهارة تناول الطعام في ثوان معدودة معتمد على سياسة دفاعية هجومية محسوبة بدقة ، تضرب بعرض الحائط آداب الطعام والاتيكيت المترف .. لانك ان فكرت مجرد فكرت .. سوف تخرج بدون طعام ..

هذا البيت ( بيت جدي ) الذي عشت فيه الانتصار والفقر كان دافئاً على الدوام .. وهذا الدفء ينمو في الانسان ويزرع الامل .. ليشرق وسط الركام .. من جديد المستقبل ..

بعد اكثر من ثلاثين عاما زرت بيت جدي وكان في يدي فروج (على السيخ ) وبطاطا مقلية وعلبة ثوم ونصف كيلو (مسبحة) ، هذه المرة تناولنا الوجبة بهدوء و " تحلينا " بكيلو كنافة (خشنة ) التي يحبها جدي كثيرا ,, وخرجت من هناك يملؤني الامل و تدغدغني سعادة خفية ترافقت مع دعوات العجوزين التي رافقتني حتى نهاية الشارع العتيق ..

نضال معلوف

At 9/12/2006 10:51:00 AM, Blogger norman said...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States, which has long had tense relations with Syria, expressed gratitude on Tuesday to the Syrian government for going after men who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Damascus.

"Syrian officials came to the aid of the Americans, the U.S. government is grateful for the assistance the Syrians provided in going after the attackers," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking during a trip to Canada, thanked Syrian security forces, and expressed condolences over the death of the guard.

"I do think that the Syrians reacted to this attack in a way that helped to secure our people, and we very much appreciate that," she said.

At 9/12/2006 12:22:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

the attackers must not be from Damascus,probably from Banyas,they attacked the wrong building,surrounded by troops.

At 9/12/2006 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/12/2006 02:33:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

the timing suggest made in mukhabarat,telling USA we help you, you help us,only naive believes it.

At 9/12/2006 03:07:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

To All;
We hope this is an isolated incident, and it will not be a new trend in our beloved Damascus, We regret the loss of innocent lives. And hope that peace will keep its place in this country for ever.
As I was watching the CNN clips for this Incident; I could not help but to feel that, it looks and smells
As if it’s the work of armatures!!
I wonder, did the perpetrators really intend to damage the embassy? Or harm anyone inside it “Night Time!!” The embassy outer walls are three meters high!! My dog \ cat can throw hand grenades over a wall that high. But they did not!!
Are they a skilled people!! I don’t think they are.
Are they coned individuals? Yes for sure.
Who is behind it?

At 9/12/2006 04:14:00 PM, Blogger Fares said...

This incident is very very suspicious and is designed and excuted by the Syrian regime desperate for International attention.

Like the past 2-3 years, Whenever the regime is in trouble or has to bend down to international pressure, some bombing or attack is staged that helps no one but the regime. It is becoming so boring and so old news, my friend called me today to tell me about it and from the news I was able to dismiss it as a joke, then watching and listening to the media I became more convinced.

Why there was little damage despite all these weapons, and why did not the car explode, and why only in Syria all the attacks produce little results, it is all a circus. The american media are buying it because they are hungry for terror news and anything bad i nthe middle east gets coverage.

The problem is Syrians are bent on increasing the dose of terrorism until they are taken seriously. But Rice hinting that the Syrian regime is losing control is good because it makes them think twice before staging attacks to attract attention.

The Syrian accusation of the US formenting terror is destined to quiet the street and push the people more and more toward the regime which can do whatever they want at this stage, no question asked.

We are so lucky nowadays to be Syrians played by a smart but useless regime. They only help themselves and destroy the country in the process. Syrian cinema is good but the security apparatus dramas are so badly conceived...

Syrians need to do something

At 9/12/2006 04:22:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Assad: Syria is ready (for) peace, but Israel is unwilling

By Jackie Khoury, Haaretz Correspondent

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday told three Israeli Arab MKs visiting Damascus that Syria is ready to establish peace with Israel based on the Arab League's 2002 plan, saying it was Israel who was not willing to accept the initiative.

Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka, Azmi Bishara, and Wassel Taha met with Assad Tuesday night for nearly two hours to discuss the peace process, developments in the Palestinian government and the war with Lebanon.

Speaking to Haaretz from the presidential palace in Damascus, Zahalka said that Assad was firmly opposed to any attempt to change the clauses in the Arab League's plan and urged Israel to accept it according to its exact wording when it was drafted.

The Arab League's plan calls on Israel to retreat to 1967 borders and for a multi-lateral agreement on a solution for the refugee plan. In return, all Arab countries would be required to recognize Israel and maintain diplomatic ties with it.

During the meeting, Assad reaffirmed his opposition to the deployment of international forces along the border between Syria and Lebanon, but expressed a willingness to accept what he defined as "help" from the Europeans in inspecting the border.

Zahalka said Assad reacted positively to the establishment of a Palestinian unity government. He also said that a number of Palestinian officials are scheduled to visit Damascus in coming days in order to update the Syrian leadership on recent developments.

At 9/13/2006 03:44:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Joshua Landis on the BBC's The World Today (click under "LISTEN AGAIN" on the "06:00 GMT" link; the interview begins at 11:05 min). There is also a longer interview with Imad Mustapha in the "23:00 GMT" segment, beginning at 32:55 min.

Fourth attacker on U.S. embassy in Syria dies

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - A fourth man who took part in Tuesday's attack on the U.S. embassy in the Syrian capital has died of his wounds, a Syrian official said on Wednesday.

"He died in hospital last night. We could not interrogate him before that," the official told Reuters.

Syrian TV showed the bodies of the 3 other attackers yesterday. They were so badly burned that it will be difficult to identify them.

At 9/13/2006 07:39:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Al-Arabiya on al-Qa'ida in Lebanon.

The journalist forgets to mention the Dinniyeh uprising and also the fact that Ahmed Salim Miqati, the head of the "the Ahmed Miqati and Ismaíl Al-Khatib network" (Mehlis I, §81), "confessed to planning and preparing to target the Italian Embassy in downtown Beirut with a car loaded with 300 kilograms of TNT" (The Daily Star, September 23, 2004).

At 9/13/2006 07:02:00 PM, Blogger Fares said...

To all Syrians and Syrianists,

Appreciate your input on this and please feel free to repost it, very important. Thanks
Syrians Refuse to be Silenced

At 9/13/2006 08:59:00 PM, Blogger Amr T said...

Check this article ( attack on Damascus), on Watanan

At 9/21/2006 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Lady Jane said...

The devil is in the details Joshua:

"No other Syrian or Lebanese officer could have done this," he said in the interview broadcast Saturday night.

Now, eye witnesses to crimes do not say "could" have done this.

Alot of people "could" have done this in the chaotic environment of Lebanese politics.

More importantly, Lahoud is a lame president in a de facto Islamic state. He is a figurehead that they call, La vache que ri. The laughing cow.

To continue to state that Syria controls Nasrallah is ridiculous in light of the man's success stories against the fouth largest military power on earth. Ridiculous.

Syria syria syria. Did anyone investigate the Al Qaeda links to Mr. Abou Addas? Never hear about that poor man who was kidnapped and it is suggested, killed. He is the culprit it seems and a dead one to boot.

So, should we also suggest that Syria KNEW what the future was to be for them? They were already demobilizing from Beirut and vacated almost all the posts in my neighborhood at least six months prior to the Hariri "Valentine" party. Wha? Maybe Ghazi Kanaan knows but he too is dead.

The first assassination in this "cycle" of Mossad inspired plots is Hobeika, but he too is dead from a car bombing and unlikely to testify regarding Jumblatt and Hariri's "Syrian connection".

And old Jumblatt up there, the only survivor strangely enough. Why, they even took out the Communist party leader (what the hell did he do?). Afterall, the Communist Party in Lebanon was leaning towards a pro US policy and had kindly changed their name to: social democrats. Wonder what they'll call each other now in light of obvious US terror and Zionist pogroms against the Shi'i?

Well, start with Hobeika and work your way to Hamdan. He literally moved the evidence within twenty four hours of the Valentine being executed. Is HE on the list of suspects? Now, he is the security guard of Lahoud and what better person to find hiding the murder weapon that a person who, if discovered would lead right to the front door step of Lahoud.

Lahoud isn't the criminal here.

The Mossad and the US killed Hariri and the FAILURE to investigate the number one and two suspects in this is the moral of this story.

The truth will not be found. Jumblatt won't allow that because lets face it, the guy owns the bricks. He is set to get very, very rich in post war Lebanon.

The man belongs in prison or somewhere on Elba. He is a traitor to Lebaon par none and I have little doubt, associated with the Mossad plot from the beginning to the very, very bitter end of it.


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