Sunday, September 17, 2006

"The UN Report will be a Bust," by Idaf

"The UN Report will be a Bust"
by Idaf, published on Syria Comment
September 16, 2006

The most interesting paragraph for me in Kaplan's article was this:
This is a lot to bite off. It's not at all an appealing idea, whatever the trade-offs, to legitimize the resumption of Syrian influence in Lebanese politics or the stiffening of Hezbollah's political power. But those things are going to happen anyway. Should they happen with Syria in an alliance with Iran—or in a security arrangement that involves the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union?
I agree with Kaplan that this seemingly is going to happen anyway. I'm betting that Mr. Brammertz's upcoming report would be more focused on Al-Qaida's role in the assassination. Two reasons for my assumption:

1 - Two days ago, the former interior minister Suleiman Franjieh said in a TV interview that the 13 Al-Qaida suspects held by Lebanese security forces HAVE CONFESSED to plotting to kill Hariri and working with Abu-Adas.

The newly formed Information Branch of the Lebanese security (which was formed specifically to investigate the Hariri assassination, under the direct political influence of Saad Hariri) has admitted to torturing them. Franjieh said in the interview that he spoke to the head of the branch about whether this was true. The answer he got was: “it is not credible as the confession was made under torture”! The head of the branch also admitted that the suspects confessed that they sneaked Abu Adas into Syria through the normal border crossing point with Syria (as per the records of the Lebanese border point). When asked why the Syrians did not smuggle Abu Adas across the "military line" when they still controlled it, the answer was that he was snuck into an Al-Qaida stronghold! Hence the growing insistence today that the Syrian authorities control Al-Qaida! Personally, I think that this is pathetic. Franjieh continued with a bombshell: “The 14 February group has refused to allow the Brammertz team to meet with the 13 suspects so far!!!”

2- Saudi and Egypt seem to have decided to reach out to Syria, despite the deterioration of relations during the Lebanon War. The Syrian information minister visited Saudi a few days ago, met with his counterpart, and gave a very friendly press conference following the meeting in Saudi. Mubarak recently said that Egypt's relations with Syria would always be "brotherly," no matter what. Bilal (the Syrian information minister) also gave an interview to the very pro-Mubarak Al-Ahram (which had attacked Assad after his famous speech of August 15). Furthermore, if anyone is following the Saudi media recently, he/she will have noticed that attacks on Syria were halted about a week ago. (read Al-Sahrq Al-Awsat and Al-Arabiya in the last week).

My interpretation of this is that the Saudis and the Egyptians have received information that the Brammertz report is a bust (or maybe that it is re-focusing on Al-Qaida). If so then this might strengthen the pro-Syria political powers in Lebanon and they most likely will be back in power very soon, or will at least join the government. I recently spoke to the head of a polling company in Lebanon, which is regularly commissioned by Zogby International and he said that post-war polling showed that the so called March 14 group's popularity is at an all time low. Nasrallah tops the "national leader" poll followed by Michel Aoun. Saniora comes fourth!

Posted by Idaf
Also don't miss t_desco's comments about the meaning of the embassy bombing here
It begins:

Don't miss the symbolic dimensions of this attack:

1. It says "look, we are able to strike in the heart of the Syrian capital."

2. The Syrian security forces are seen defending Americans, thus undermining (at least symbolically) "President Asad's policy of opposing the United States."

3. had the attack been successful, it would have increased tensions between Washington and Damascus.

Don't forget that al-Qa'ida wants the US to attack Iran and Syria. See, for example, the excellent article by Lawrence Wright, "The Master Plan, For the new theorists of jihad, Al Qaeda is just the beginning." (continue...)


At 9/17/2006 07:04:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

the 14 of march group did not allow Bramertz team meet with the 13 suspect", any one would believe this?
check Al Seyaseh newspaper,Asad sickness may have been hyperventilation due to anxiety.

At 9/17/2006 09:06:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Majed ,please do not mention what the Siassa news paper writes ,that undermindes your arguements.

At 9/17/2006 09:11:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

When is the report coming out.

At 9/18/2006 04:59:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

There is a saying in Arabic that goes something like thais: "When the merchant bankrupts, he goes back to his old ledgers".
So, the "Haqiqa" again and again and again. And where, in Lebanon!!! Where everyone usually scrambles to hide many "Haqiqas" about their past and present. And championed by who? The Ali Baba and the 14th Feb gang, hand in hand with the good Old Bush Administration who has become the world authority on twising, fabricating, and manufacturing "Haqiqas"!!!!!

Well, I am afraid a lot of you guys will be dissapointed sooner or later. Why??

1- To convict anyone, let alone a Country and it's leadership,You will most likely need clade-proof evidence, serious motives that will really stand up in court, a conviction beyound reasonable doubt, witnesses, and the rest.... as we see on TV. And if the CIA, MOssad, MI6, Mehlis, Brammertz, Fatafito, and the rest have not been able to produce such essentials facts by now despite all they have tried.Imagine, they could not prove a thing even with the help of such high placed ex-regiem insider like Khaddam! Hence, reason dictates that the stuff is baloony; and that they know it. Again, hopes springs eternal for those waiting to get a conviction of the Syrian leadership, army intelligence or whoever and whatever provided it caries a "Syrian" lable attached to it. Keep the fires burning....
2- If, and as large an IFFFFFF as the US Administration's frustration with the Syrian leadership, some sort of "dammning" circumstantial evidence turns up in the International Court years from now, then things will depend on the political situation and on the "higher national intersts" of the parties involved. By then Bashar Al Assad may well be exchanging niceties with the US Administration of the time, and things will most likely be seen in a "different light".
3- Within a year or two, Bush, Blair, Chirac, and last but of course not least (!!!??) the Hariri gang will have relocated to Jedda or Paris to manage thier normal economic ventures and. Why? Because my "educated guess coupled with my prayers for a real Lebanon" leads me to forsee that an Amal-Hizbullah-Aoun-Karami-Frangieh-Al Huss and the rest of the "Syria's sarrogates" (as they are now called by some i.e., the Half Men) will have shoved the 14 Feb "majority" to the side and taken over both parliment and Government. Democratically of course in the well established traditions of Lebanon and al Taif accords. Now mind you, Egypt, Saudi and Jordan will be dissappointed and/or busy sorting out thier own backyard, but, this is life! What can we do?
4- The only remote possibility that Syria bashers can gling to is solid evidence of actions by lower level intelligence operatives penetrated by Israel or someone similar. But this and the "False Flag" scenario remaine a very remote possibility, and the ideal and most opportune times to "uncover it" and "taint" Syria had come and passed repeatedly. So such scenarios may be a little far fetched after all.

So, why do we not put this story behind us and move on to more useful things and discussions.

Unless, Mesmar Jeha is the real Haqiqa some are falling over themselves to find it. Even this, is not really producing results, so guys aint time we put this little thing behind us and leave it to the due processes of Law and International Politics???

At 9/18/2006 06:50:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

The claims made by Franjieh are not new. I think they were first mentioned in an article by Addiyar in early February 2006. Nibras Kazimi also quoted a source making similar claims (Attempted Cover-Up of Al-Qaeda Role in Hariri Murder?, Talisman Gate).

And Franjieh himself made similar comments in a press conference some days later:

"Évoquant l’enquête sur l’assassinat de Rafic Hariri, Sleimane Frangié a accusé « la majorité » de vouloir l’orienter dans un seul sens et d’étouffer des informations lorsqu’elles ne s’inscrivent pas dans ce sens-là. Il s’est demandé comment Khaled Taha, l’un des 13 prévenus du réseau el-Qaëda récemment arrêtés, a-t-il pu s’enfuir après avoir reconnu avoir filmé Abou Adass ?"
(Sleimane Frangié : Zghorta n’est pas un refuge de hors-la loi et m’accuser d’entraîner el-Qaëda est grotesque, L'Orient-Le Jour, Mercredi 08 Février 2006).

Currently all sorts of wild claims are flying around... It's probably best to wait for the publication of the new Brammertz report (coming out at the end of the month, I believe).

At 9/18/2006 07:18:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

For the record:

Sleimane Frangié accuse implicitement la majorité d’être derrière les attentats à la voiture piégée

«Il existe une partie politique qui souhaite exploiter la question du tribunal international pour maintenir une épée de Damoclès au-dessus de la tête d’autres parties politiques qui contestent sa domination sur le pays », a indiqué M. Frangié, dans un entretien accordé à la chaîne de télévision al-Manar.
Selon lui, les treize personnes appartenant à el-Qaëda qui ont été arrêtées au Liban « ont avoué avoir tué Rafic Hariri le jour même de leur arrestation. Sauf que les inspecteurs internationaux n’ont pas pu les voir ». Et d’ajouter que le juge Élias Eid avait indiqué par la suite qu’elles avaient avoué avoir assassiné Hariri, « mais sous la torture » pratiquée par le ministère de l’Intérieur, selon lui, « qui dépend politiquement de Saad Hariri ». « Ils les ont frappées pour qu’elles ne disent pas publiquement qu’elles ont tué Rafic Hariri. Ils ne veulent pas qu’il y ait des preuves que ce sont elles qui ont tué Hariri », a-t-il dit. « Ces 13 personnes ont avoué qu’elles connaissaient Abou Adass », selon M. Frangié, qui a ensuite ajouté que « Khaled Taha, également arrêté, avait disparu comme par enchantement ». « Saad Hariri n’accepte pas que ce soit quelqu’un d’autre que la Syrie qui ait tué Rafic Hariri », a-t-il indiqué.
Concernant la tentative d’assassinat du lieutenant-colonel Samir Chéhadé, M. Frangié s’est demandé « pourquoi les assassinats ne sont sur le point de reprendre qu’avant le rapport Brammertz, comme s’il y avait à chaque fois une volonté de pratiquer une sorte de terrorisme intellectuel contre Brammertz avant la parution de son rapport ». Dans le même ordre d’idées, Sleimane Frangié a rappelé que Gebran Tuéni avait été assassiné peu avant le rapport Brammertz. « Quelques heures plus tard, le Conseil des ministres s’est réuni et a décidé de créer un tribunal international, profitant du choc. La Syrie aurait-elle assassiné Gebran Tuéni pour qu’on lui crée un tribunal international ? » s’est-il demandé, non sans ironie.
L'Orient-Le Jour

At 9/18/2006 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/18/2006 11:53:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

READ THIS.. IRAN calling protester in SYRIA. They are testing the water in damascuse ..What next?


Muslims stage sit-in at Damascus shrine to protest Pope's remarks
263 words
18 September 2006
Associated Press Newswires
(c) 2006. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - More than 200 Muslims staged a sit-in Monday at the Sayydah Zeinah Shrine in Damascus to protest Pope Benedict XVI's remarks that sparked Muslim anger around the world.

The protest was called for by the Damascus office of Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, despite the pope saying Sunday that he was sorry his remarks about Islam and holy war had been misinterpreted and had caused offence.

Some Muslims considered this as inadequate, and demanded an outright apology by the pontiff.

A statement issued by the representative office of Khamenei, who has a big following among Shiites worldwide, urged the pope to "openly and plainly apologize for his remarks."

Banners hanging from the walls of the shrine read: "The pope's sorrow was equivocal" and "We condemn the pope's disappointing statements and we tell the world: We are proud of the jurisdiction of Prophet Muhammad."

Sheikh Mustafah Zakariya, a mosque preacher, said the pope's remarks "have political reasons and are aimed at pressuring the Arab and Muslim world." He reiterated calls on the pontiff to apologize.

During a speech last week in Germany, the pope, quoting from an obscure Medieval text, cited the words of a Byzantine emperor who had characterized some of the teachings of Islam's Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman."

Benedict on Sunday said that he was "deeply sorry" about the angry reaction and said the remarks came from a text that didn't reflect his own opinion.

At 9/18/2006 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Flash News to the usual "Syria lovers and Well Wishers": Al Qaida will never find a solid on Syrian soil. So save your brain powers and try another more "promissing" track.

The nature, culture and sophistication and ideological leaninings of both the regime and the people runs contrary to all what Al Qaida stands for and represent. Syrians were the first to learn what religious extremisim can bring to country as it was manifisted during the bloody actions of the Muslim Brotherhood in eighties in Aleppo, Hamah and even Damascuse. The regime reacted fast and smart by crushing such violent movements. And well done, otherwise, we could have had an experience similar to the Algerian one.
And Syria is not Jordan with it's inherent contradictions between the Jordanian Authority and Palestinian Population. And it is not Saudi where Movie Theaters are an act of the Devil and where women are treated they way they are under the pretext of adhering to traditions.And Syria is not Lebanon where greed, money, internal divisions and "welcomed" outside involvement is a matter of daily life.

Apart from the above, Syrian security forces are more than capable of controlling and crushing such movements.

So, for those who are "afraid" about Al Qaida overtaking Syrian society, it is better to take the thought out of thier mind.

It is amazing how many contributors to this site are so ignorant about the country they fall over themselves trying to "rescue". I am not talking about Badran, Young, and others like them. The agendas and political inclinations are well known. I am really concerned about the good intentioned ones who claim to possess so much knowledge about Syria, and who seem seriously interested in its well being and progress. Do you guys really know Syria??? Hell, in Syria you can get a beer anywhere in Ramadan and you can smoke openly in the street and no one will give you a second glance. I did not know that I was a Sunni untill I was 22 years old and I could not care less. Niether then nor now.

Al Qaida in Syria??? It is a lot more logical to expect women to be allowed to drive cars in Saudi or that the US Administration will bring peace, security and democracy to Iraq, or even that the Seniora Troupe will manage an honest reconstruction plan of thier country, than to see Al Qaida even contemplating establishing a stronghold in Syria.

Come on gyus, or is anti-Syria "good wishers" syndrome so contagious???

P.S. And incidentely, forget about uncoupling Syria and Iran. This relationship goes years and years back. If I recall corectly, all the "Half Men" were on Saddm's side during that time, so was the whole world, and Syria did not give a damn and did not join that fiasco. And Mehlis was still trying to earn his degree at that time. So do not count on this other "promissing" option niether. Got what I mean????

Have a nice time watching the Beirut rally on Friday. It will be watched lovingly and admiringly by the whole Arab World. It is rated PG by the way and all family members can view it.

At 9/18/2006 01:29:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Sorry, but for God's sake, leave the Pope alone also. We know that he did not mean what he said in the manner some of you are jumping to portray it. And after all, he is entitled to express opinions. Or is that right reserved only for crooks like Olmert,Jumblat,Jaja'a and Saado. At least he is the Pope and has made some anti Isreali remarks in the past. Or are we always in search of enemies to attack since we can not identify the real enemy and its friends and cheer leaders.Let angry Egyptian and Saudi clergy men beat up on Bush in this regard, or is he exempt??

At 9/18/2006 02:07:00 PM, Blogger why-discuss said...

The pope made a very pretentious and irresponsible move in presenting his theories on the 12 of septembre where he could have mentionned also that Church itself used coercion to convert moslems and south american indians. He could have mentionned the wars against the protestants... no he chose to talk about a fourteeen century chat about the horrors of Islam.
I say and I repeat it: History of religions is a can of worms, it has better stayed closed. And a pope is not a journalist or a academy professor.. He seems to have forgotten that!

At 9/18/2006 03:41:00 PM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said...

[Former Interior Minister] Suleiman Franjieh is an essential pillar of the pro-Syrian element in Lebanon and so his comments have to be taken with a bucketfull of salt.

As to whether or not Al-Qaeda killed Harriri, I think thats preposterous. The Islamic Extremist groups in Lebanon have nowhere near the capabilities needed to conduct an operation of this scale. This whole avenue of speculation is a complete fabrication by pro-Syrian elements in Lebanon aimed at taking the heat off of Syria.

The importance of controlling Lebanon to Syria is well known, and since their expulsion from Lebanon they have been desperately trying to destabilize the country - either through assassinations, or border closures, or their support of armed Palestinian and Lebanese groups in Lebanon.

I have to say I'm pretty disappointed with this post. If it seems that Saudi and Egypt are in the process of reconciling with Syria, I think one needs to take a closer look at events over the past year. Lebanon is currently in the process of an 'attempted' realignment away from confrontationalist countries such as Iran and Syria, and towards more moderate regional regimes such as Egypt and Jordan. Saudi Arabia is heavily involved in this process, and although they (along with the Egyptians) provided the Syrians with a degree of cover from US pressures, I think their patience has expired and they are prepared to let western countries make significant advances in Lebanon in the hopes that it will bolster the moderate regime there while weakening Syria's and Iran's influence in the region.

As to the results of Brammetz's probe, we'll have to wait and see.

At 9/19/2006 09:32:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Blacksmith Jade, you write:

"The Islamic Extremist groups in Lebanon have nowhere near the capabilities needed to conduct an operation of this scale."

Well, they did have the necessary manpower, and al-Qa'ida in Iraq did have the necessary amount of explosives (thanks to the American invasion), but would they have been able to transfer the explosives all the way to Lebanon without anybody noticing? I don't know.

At 9/19/2006 03:04:00 PM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said...

I find the theory that Hariri could have been killed by Sunni extremist groups (I saw Sunni because of your reference to Al Qaeda) to be completely ridiculous. I don't think they had the ability to manufacture, import, or conceal 1,000 kg of explosives, I don't think they could have monitored his movements, and I don't think they had the will do it either. Why Hariri? Of all the religiously sensitive targets in Lebanon why Hariri? Furhtermore, the suspect advanced by Franjieh as having commited the bombing was a mentally handicapped young man who's family claimed had disappeared earlier in the company of a new friend: enter Syrian Intel. setting a guy up to take the fall.

Anyway theres two points I want to make, no way could this supposed Al-Qaeda cell have operated in Lebanon without the security services' knowing about it (Lebanon doesn't exactly have the same privacy laws as Sweden); the only way explosives could have been brought in from Iraq - supposing that the cell was so well organised as to even hope of success in pulling this operation off - they only way they could have made it all the way to Lebanon would've been with the Syrian regime's blessings.

At 11/08/2006 02:44:00 PM, Blogger debate said...

THE criminal ALAWTITE regime in syria killed Hairiri all the other free lebanese politicians, stop dedending them!

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