Monday, July 24, 2006

Damascus Moves Back into the Center as Lebanon is Turned into a Failed State

If the US should have learnt one thing over the last several years, it is that failed and weak states cannot halt militias and "terrorists" from filling the vacuum of absent state authority. They become breading grounds for the widespread anger that has taken root in Middle Eastern societies. Afghanistan and Iraq are the two obvious examples of this.

Lebanon may well join this category. The weak state could not close down Hizbullah. The national dialogue of March and April failed to place the state on the firm footing needed to guarantee that Hizbullah would not provoke the conflict we are seeing today. In fact it did the reverse. It angered Hizbullah and Syria's allies by excluding them from Lebanon's future, without taking any steps to weaken them. This was the worst of all worlds, because it angered the government's enemies without rendering them incapable of taking their anger out on Lebanon's Future Movement.

The other choice for the Future Movement would have been to accept Aoun as the future president of Lebanon, even though he is now slightly pro-Syrian. This would have brought the broad coalition of pro-Syrian and pro-Hizbullah forces into the center of the government and given them a stake in peace and quite. Had Siniora, Hariri and the pro-American forces in Lebanon been able to bridge the terrible divide in Lebanon's political geography, Israel would not be on the march today.

The US must bear some of the blame for Hariri's unwillingness to compromise with the other half of Lebanon, the pro-Hizbullah half. Hariri was being told by the US not to accept efforts by Egypt and Saudi Arabia to patch up relations between Syria and Lebanon. Hariri was being promised US aid and eventual victory over Hizbullah, if he stood fast in opposing Syria. Now look where he stands. The US has abandoned him for an Israeli solution to its problems. One that is surely to fail. And one that will bring the Syrians back into Lebanon - not as a military force, but as a political force. Many Lebanese will forget their anger at Syria in their anger at Israel and America. They will forget the UN investigation into Rafiq Hariri's murder. They will ask themselves if they weren't better off under Syria's protective umbrella, which they exchanged for a US umbrella only to bombed into backwardness by Israel.

The US promised democracy and security, but has delivered death and ruin. This will not be easily forgiven. The Hariri-Siniora government has failed horribly. There will be a reckoning. Many Lebanese will look back at the old sour embrace of Damascus as a better and safer state than the one the US has given them. Bashar al-Asad told Lebanon that it would regret leaving its alliance with Syria for a future with Washington. Most Lebanese believed that Asad would break Lebanon for its betrayal. The Irony is that Syria is not breaking Lebanon. Israel and the US are.
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The Israeli bombardment is not only destroying Lebanon's economy, it could also have a huge impact on the whole region, writes Massoud A. Derhally in his article The sound of war in Arabian Business, 23 July 2006. He explains how Lebanon is likely to become a failed state and how the present government will be even more incapable of taking control of the country than it was before Israel's intervention.

But for Lebanon, whether Hezbollah succeeds or fails, the government of Fouad Siniora has been proven to be impotent, and is likely to be dissolved at the end of the crisis.

"The weakness of this government has been exposed flagrantly to the entire world. Not only is it weak, its main patron the United States has clearly turned its back on it. The US democracy promotion agenda is false and inconsistent," says Ghorayeb.

"What kind of democracy are they trying to build when they don't give a damn about how our economy in a matter of days has been destroyed? By refusing to call a ceasefire they are not bolstering the Siniora government. It's very much an apocalyptic war, because of the profound impact it's going to have on many levels."

Rami Khouri, editor at large of Lebanon's Daily Star believes Israeli policies are inherently flawed. "If there is a Nobel Prize for promoting terrorism it should be given for the last quarter century to the Israelis. They are the masters at implementing policies that generate a counter policy of increasingly militant resistance, and hard-line Islamist politics," says Khouri.

"We are such a divided and polarised society that it is virtually impossible for any group in Lebanon in such a sectarian society to really cater to all the different sects," points out Ghorayeb. "There is no public in Lebanon. When you talk about a public opinion in Lebanon you presuppose a unified nation. We don't have a nation. We have many publics and Hezbollah has support of its public.

On July 20, the U.S. House of Representatives, by an overwhelming 410-8 margin, voted to unconditionally endorse Israel's ongoing attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Senate passed a similar resolution defending the Israeli attack earlier in the week by a voice vote.

Condoleezza Rice has described the plight of Lebanon as a part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" and said that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire.

Robin Wright in the Post explains that the Saudi ambassador threw a wrench into Washington's go-slow-on-diplomacy tactics and attempt to use the pro-American Arab states against Iran and Syria.
Although the Saudis had initially criticized Hezbollah's actions in triggering the new violence, diplomats say the kingdom's leaders have become increasingly distressed about the growing humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, where Israeli airstrikes have produced numerous civilian casualties and vast devastation.

One senior European diplomat said the Saudis were also concerned that the package they expect the United States to present to European and Arab allies in Rome later this week will be too heavily anti-Iran and anti-Syria.

At a dinner last week, Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser in the Carter administration, derided Rice's trip as "sitting in front of a mirror, talking to herself" if she does not deal diplomatically with the major players.

On CBS's "Face the Nation," Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, said his country is open to a new dialogue with the United States. "What we are calling for is de-escalation, diplomatic engagement and for the United States to restart playing the role it used to play in the past, the role of the broker of peace," he said.

But that idea was shot down by Bolten, who said the administration had close, direct contacts with Syria in Bush's first term, to little effect. "They continued to allow terrorism to flourish," Bolten said. "They supported Hezbollah."

Meanwhile Syria is moving to center stage as the bombing phase comes closer to an end and the diplomacy stage begins.

Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal warns Israel that a major ground incursion into Lebanon would draw his country into the conflict.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Syria is ready to open a "dialogue" with the United States to resolve the crisis in Lebanon.

July 24, 2006 NEW YORK TIMES
Diplomacy
U.S. Must Deal With Damascus and Hezbollah to Ease Mideast Crisis, Syrian Says
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
DAMASCUS, Syria, July 23 — The Bush administration's approach of indirectly pressuring Syria to end its support for Hezbollah is doomed to failure, a top Syrian minister said Thursday.

Buthaina Shaaban, the minister of expatriates and a close adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, said the chaos engulfing the region could be reduced only if Damascus and Hezbollah were directly involved in any negotiations. Washington has a policy of isolating Syria.

Further, she said, Washington is ignoring reality if it thinks groups like Hezbollah and Hamas can be purged by allowing Israel to bomb at will, or that extremism can be curbed in any way besides solving the Arab-Israeli dispute.

"The United States has to get realistic about addressing issues in the region instead of taking steps that only make things worse," Mrs. Shaaban said in an interview. "They don't have a vision about what is happening in the Middle East. They don't have a plan for the region. They are losing credibility."

Both President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have warned Syria that it must rein in Hezbollah, not least by cutting the supply line for the missiles the organization fires into Israel, which they say Iran ships through Syria.

"Do you want to step on the supply line or do you want to solve the big problem in the Middle East?" Mrs. Shaaban said. "That is the main issue. Do they want to end the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, that is the question."

One Syrian official issued a strong warning against a proposal that was gaining momentum on Sunday for an international force to guard the Lebanon-Israel border. Deploying such a force without the cooperation of Syrian and Hezbollah, the official said, will risk repeating 1983. That was a pointed reference to the 241 United States service members and 58 French soldiers killed in attacks on military installations by suicide bombers. It has long been considered likely that the bombers were dispatched by Hezbollah with Syria's blessing.

Support for Hezbollah is clearly swelling across the Arab world, with many people enraptured that the militant organization can still launch missiles across the border nearly two weeks after Israel unleashed some of its fearsome military muscle. Syria evidently feels the tide is running in its favor, particularly since crucial American allies like the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are noticeably edgy about how, in contrast, much of the public in their own countries has scorned them for supporting Washington and criticizing Hezbollah.

The region is drifting away from the Americans and moderate Arab states and toward those supporting Hezbollah, Syrians say, because the United States has showed callousness toward civilian deaths in Iraq, and now in Lebanon.

"It is unbelievable that the U.S. will say to Israel you have one more week to wipe out Hezbollah — can you imagine someone saying you have one more week to kill Americans?" the official asked. "You can't imagine the impact of this on the region."

STEVEN ERLANGER in the NY Times writes that Israelis are beginning to see Syria as a key in the diplomacy that must end this in his article: "Weighing Foreign Forces: Sea Change for Israel." (July 24, 2006)
"The current crisis will create a new situation between Israel and the Arabs," said Yoram Meital, chairman of the Herzog Center for Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University. "Most Arabs and Israelis agree that the previous status quo, including the so-called peace process and Israeli unilateralism, is a failure. The challenge today is how to form a new environment."

Like Mr. Alpher, he said he thought this might be a good moment for Israel to respond favorably to regular calls from Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, for peace talks that could include the Lebanese dispute.

Syria, with a secular government and a Sunni majority, "is the weak link in the Iranian Shia arc," Mr. Alpher said.

Israel’s defense minister says he supports the deployment of an international force sponsored by NATO on the Lebanese side of the border

Israeli airstrikes on Saturday blasted communications and television transmission towers in the central and northern Lebanese mountains, knocking the LBCI off the air and killing one person at the station. "The Israelis are looking to destroy sound and image in Lebanon -- the last weapons this country has -- after bombarding infrastructure," said Minister for telecommunications Marwan Hamadeh.

President Bush said in his weekly radio address that his administration's diplomatic efforts would focus on finding a strategy for confronting Hizbullah and its Syrian and Iranian backers.

Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent

BEIRUT, July 23 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush may have to set aside his hostility to Syria if he wants its help in ending the war between Israel and Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Here is a smart Israeli analyst on Syria.
SYRIA’S ROLE IN THE ISRAEL-HIZBULLAH CONFRONTATION

Aiman Mansour
Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies
July 23, 2006

The confrontation between Israel and Hizbullah that has unfolded since the abduction of two soldiers on July 12 has prompted considerable speculation about future Syrian policy. One school of thought argues that Syria under President Bashar al-Asad will not stop at the brink and will actively support Hizbullah. However, the regime’s behavior in this confrontation suggests that a rational calculation of vital interests will prompt Asad to adopt a pragmatic stance.

In contrast to the recklessness sometimes attributed to him in Israel and elsewhere, Asad has thus far managed to stop at the brink. Hizbullah has certainly tried to implicate Syria in the conflict by circulating reports that Israel has bombed targets deep inside Syria, by firing rockets at the Golan Heights, and by using Syrian-supplied missiles (Ra’ad 1) against Haifa. But those efforts have failed to achieve the desired result. Determined to avoid a confrontation with Israel, Syria immediately denied that it had been bombed and it has refrained from any direct intervention. Moreover, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal al-Mikdad has strenuously refuted charges that Syria was the source of trucks carrying supplies of ammunition for Hizbullah that were attacked by the Israeli Air Force, and the Syrian regime has even asked that the U.S. and the international community involve it any negotiations to end the fighting. Finally, the political support Syria has given Hizbullah has been relatively restrained and, as Syria’s behavior at the Arab Summit Conference suggests, whatever support is does provide stems largely from the regime’s desire to preserve its ties with a leading element in domestic Lebanese politics. Maintaining a link with Hizbullah allows Syria to remain a relevant actor in the Lebanese system.

Syrian behavior points to two main conclusions. The first is that the regime is determined to continue playing a major role in domestic Lebanese affairs, consistent with the Syrian belief that developments in Lebanon are critical to Syrian national security as well as the historical conviction that Lebanon is actually part of Syria. The second is that Syria wants to show a pragmatic face that could help extricate it from the international isolation it is currently experiencing and eventually even from the Iranian bear-hug. It is possible that Iran, through its commitment to come to Syria’s aid in the event of an Israeli attack, was trying to prompt Asad’s regime to intervene more actively to defend Hizbullah, lest its missile capabilities be destroyed (according to some analysts, Hizbullah missiles are a component of Iran’s deterrent against an Israeli or western attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure). If so, Syria’s refusal to become actively involved in hostilities indicates that the regime is not prepared to sacrifice itself for the sake of either Hizbullah or Iran.

Notwithstanding the criticism leveled by Israel and the west at Asad’s leadership and decision-making, the very fact that he heads a secular and minority regime under domestic threat forces him to behave with a certain degree of restraint and to confront domestic extremists who aspire to replace his regime with an Islamic republic, and in this he shares a common interest with Israel. If the regime were overthrown, its successor would not be led by enlightened liberal democrats. Any political vacuum would almost surely be filled by the same sort of extreme Islamists now embittering the lives of Iraqis. And even if this scenario does not oblige others to come to terms with the regime’s support for Palestinian and Hizbullah terror, the current Syrian reality nevertheless appears preferable to the reality of Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Alawi-controlled regime in Syria is in a very delicate position. On one hand, the Alawis are widely perceived as heretics among the Sunni majority, which would like to replace them with a Sunni-dominated regime. At the same time, the regime is very sensitive to regional developments, and especially to the Lebanon issue. There is a basic understanding in Syria that if the regime becomes too closely aligned with one faction in Lebanon, it will invite more vigorous opposition from the other factions (and their external backers). Various considerations do not permit the regime to cut Syria off completely from Hizbullah; that explains the expressions of verbal encouragement and the organization of public demonstrations of sympathy. But even if Syria has sent some weapons to Hizbullah, that falls far short of the openly-declared and uncompromising assistance one might expect for a real strategic ally. At the same time, moreover, Syria refuses to sever links with all other factions and confessional groups in Lebanon.

Israel will find it difficult to completely disarm Hizbullah through its own military means. Accomplishing that objective will require a determined effort by the Lebanese army, and the chances of that happening are minimal. Furthermore, the mere introduction into Lebanon of another multi-national force is unlikely to persuade Hizbullah to voluntarily give up whatever weapons it retains, and the attempt to do so may well stimulate Hizbullah to step up terrorist attacks against western targets in Lebanon and abroad.

The withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon led Hizbullah to build up its forces and, at the ideological level, to stress the Islamist character of its activities, and the idea of exporting the Islamic revolution to Lebanon will not fade away if Hizbullah, as seems likely, survives the current Israeli military campaign. Consequently, there is not a high probability that Hizbullah can be disarmed without active Syrian intervention. What could prompt Syria to undertake such an intervention is a package of incentives, of which the most appealing would be the reassertion of Syrian political hegemony in Lebanon, while preserving the domestic balance as outlined in the Ta’ef Agreement (although those who agree to such a “carrot” might well demand that Syria disarm the Palestinian militias along with Hizbullah). However, the moment for a Syrian intervention of this sort may be “ripe” only if the domestic Lebanese contest between the Christian-Druze-Sunni coalition and Hizbullah turns violent.

Rice continues to insist that Syria is the problem and not the solution

With Israel and the United States saying a real cease-fire is not possible until Hizbullah is reined in, Arab heavyweights Egypt and Saudi Arabia were pushing Syria to end its support for the guerrillas, Arab diplomats in Cairo said. Israel signaled a policy shift, saying it would accept an international force -- preferably from NATO -- on its border to ensure the peace in southern Lebanon.

On route to the region, Rice discussed the possibility of working with Syria on a solution. In recent weeks, the Bush administration has blamed Syria, along with Iran, for stoking the recent violence by encouraging Hizbullah to attack northern Israel.

"The problem isn't that people haven't talked to the Syrians. It's that the Syrians haven't acted," she said.

"It's not as if we don't have diplomatic relations," she said. "We do."

Rice has tried to walk delicately between supporting the Lebanese government, while also not dictating to its ally Israel how it should handle its own security. Her posture has frustrated numerous allies.

"We all want to urgently end the fighting. We have absolutely the same goal," Rice said. But she added that if the violence ends only to restart within weeks, "then all of the carnage that Hizbullah launched by its illegal activities -- abducting the soldiers and then launching rocket attacks -- we will have gotten nothing from that."

49 Comments:

At 7/24/2006 12:37:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Rice: "The problem isn't that people haven't talked to the Syrians. It's that the Syrians haven't acted," she said.

"It's not as if we don't have diplomatic relations," she said. "We do."

Well...

"Syria would be happy to talk to the United States, Landis says. “But the United States has refused to talk to Syria for the last two years, and for three years has been squeezing Syria, trying to ruin its economy.”

Landis says that American diplomats are strictly forbidden from talking to their Syrian counterparts; even the U.S. attaché there (the ambassador was withdrawn last year) is not allowed to talk to any Syrian officials."
SyriaComment

(my emphasis)

 
At 7/24/2006 01:16:00 PM, Blogger syrian said...

The whole notion of not stopping the violence because it might start again in a few weeks is ridiculous. Where does it say that a more permenant solution can only be found while the killing continues.

Bush and Rice continue to claim to want to address the root cause of the problem, then identify the root cause as the capture of the Israeli soldier and not the occupation.

Israel insists on the full implementation of 1559. Its time somebody asks them when they started respecting UNSC resolutions so much.

The floating proposal of a NATO peacekeeping force is doomed to failure. Not because NATO cannot do the job; on the contrary, they can do the job really well. So well, in fact, that the only option that would remain for the resistance is to transform into multiple splinter groups with their own codes and ideologies and their own identification of what would be permissible targets.

 
At 7/24/2006 01:23:00 PM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Josh,

“Many Lebanese will look back at the old sour embrace of Damascus as a better and safer state than the one the US has given them.”

I am not sure that is the case yet. The difference is that Israel & Hizbullah/Shia’a now share Lebanese detestation with Syria but that doesn’t mean some Lebanese hate Syria any less. It so happens to be that their new (march 14) leaders have proven they’re useless. Hence your point about a failed state which no one can argue with. And in true Lebanese fashion started blaming EVERYONE else but their men. I know Beiruti Sunnis that cursed the “dirty Syrians” a year ago but now the Shia’a are being called “an infestation” & “cockroaches”. The situation is fermenting towards sectarian strife and none one, let me repeat, NO ONE will be able to neutralize HA except Syria. But since the price for that is too high for Israel, you should expect HA to stay around for a while.

 
At 7/24/2006 01:30:00 PM, Blogger George Ajjan said...

Rhetoric aside, the US has still been reaching out to Syria to achieve its objectives, including as a go-between to reach Hamas.

Alberto Fernandez of the State Department confirmed that during a recent conference call with the Arab American Institute, which is summarized here.

 
At 7/24/2006 01:32:00 PM, Blogger Zenobia of the East and West said...

EXCELLENT post!.... Joshua.... much appreciated.

 
At 7/24/2006 02:22:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

And Thomas Freidman is going to Damascus today apparently ... true?

Also, this Haaretz article


Syria also has a price, and it too is apparently measured in square kilometers. The only way to find out about it is through talks. Is Bashar Assad not a partner because he is a "scoundrel," like the late Palestinian Authority chair Yasser Arafat, or because he is weak, like present PA chair Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas)? Is that why the plan for expanding the settlements on the Golan Heights is barely mentioned in the news? In response to Hezbollah's claim that Shaba Farm belongs to Lebanon, Israel claims that it is Syrian territory. Then why don't we return this superfluous territory to its legal owner, as a gesture of good will?

 
At 7/24/2006 02:45:00 PM, Blogger Rev. Mike Nahas said...

Please consider the following, and clarify my ignorance:

The government of Syria is dominated by Alawites. Alawites in my understanding are in power because they had a very strong presence in the military, on the early 70s. (this seems awkward to me, since Alawites are the least bellicose group in Islam). If there is no war or threat, there is no need for a military oriented strong government (I am from South America, I lived through various military dictatorships).

When talks with Israel were held, Hafez Assad always found a way to include things as his desire that Israel should solve the problems with the Palestinians first, and only then come talk with him about peace. When conversations finally lead to the brink of peace (Wye Plantation talks), there was the issue of the Syrian access to the shores of the Tiberiades. It seems that there is always something.

So my first question: Considering the facts above, is Assad REALLY into making peace with Israel? It seems to me that it would be political suicide to Assad’s group.

Second: Would a peace with Israel be acceptable without the Palestinian Issue at the table? I mean, would the TOTAL return of the Golan satisfy Assad, and more important, the Syrian people? If not (which doesn’t make any practical sense to me) why not?

Thanks for the comments,

The Rev. Michel Nahas

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

"Many Lebanese will forget their anger at Syria in their anger at Israel and America. They will forget the UN investigation into Rafiq Hariri's murder. They will ask themselves if they weren't better off under Syria's protective umbrella, which they exchanged for a US umbrella only to bombed into backwardness by Israel."

This argument defies logic. Does anyone really believe that people would jump out of the frying pan into the fire and then back into the frying pan? Even dumb animals would rather jump off a cliff than risk being panfried or scortched with fire again.

Aiman Mansour's analysis is also so sterile that it ignores completely Syria's motives in sparking off the current conflict. Regime survival was the prime motive. The regime has certainly survived but at what cost to Lebanon's people and economy?

Syria's intricate relationship with Lebanon will certainly outlive any US administration. The point here is that domination and exploitation are no longer acceptable and the Lebanese will fight harder than ever before any attempt by Syrians to manipulate their political system or trample over their lives and national identity ever again.

 
At 7/24/2006 03:07:00 PM, Blogger blowback said...

Israel's military is up to its usual racist shit again. Claiming the Hezbollah militia that they are fighting, so far without great success, can't really be Lebanese Shi'ites but must be Iranian Special Forces.

An unnamed senior defence source told Janes Defence Weekly: "We should consider that what we are facing in Lebanon is not a militia but rather a special forces brigade of the Iranian Army.

"They are extremely well trained and equipped and charged with high motivation to continue fighting."

The Hezbolloh militia's motivation, to defend their homes from the land-grabbing Israelis, seems quite a strong one to me.

 
At 7/24/2006 03:12:00 PM, Blogger syrian said...

Rev,

Syria and Israel had a treaty concluded and all it needed was signatures. Ehud Barak backed out. How different would the Middle East be today if they had concluded the agreement?


Philip,

There is not much doubt that some lebanese will fondly remember the days of the Syrian presence, at least for the moment. Syria had plenty of supporters in Lebanon even after they left (Lahoud, HA, and Aoun). The current conditions should cause plenty of people to re-evaluate their relationship to Syria.

The Syrian regime was not going anywhere. Saying that Syria sparked the current violence reduces HA to puppets which, by practically all expert accounts, they are not.

 
At 7/24/2006 07:43:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/24/2006 08:00:00 PM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Rev,

Syria wouldn't think twice forsaking the Palestinians for the Golan back. Hamas and IJ offices in Damascus are nothing but bargaining chips in this effort. Ideally and officially there would solidarity with the Palestinians, but in reality I don't think there is any deep connection with Hamas or IJ or Iran for that matter. These are nothing but temporary strategic alliances.

But Syria wants every single inch of what was taken back in Syrian hands. I believe it is a matter of principle for Syrians--because we feel this land was stolen from us in 1967--a war which Israel started against us and plundered our territory.

So maybe some Assad regime elements have some motives to stay in a state of war with Israel. I don't think this is the concensus though. I believe the Bashar is following his father's stubborness and insistence that every inch is returned--and if this is offered he will take this deal in a heartbeat.

Now is the time the return of the Golan takes place. For the Syria's sake, Lebanon's and Israel's sake. I pray Olmert has the strength and wisdom to realize this.

 
At 7/24/2006 08:10:00 PM, Blogger laminar_flow said...

It is always laugable to hear U.S talk about disarming militias.

U.S Government can't and won't even disarm National Rifle Association.
Most of the members reside in red states. Would that make the N.R.A, a gang of bloods?

 
At 7/24/2006 08:16:00 PM, Blogger Eternal Lebanon said...

The contradictions of Landis:
1) The Lebanese national dialogue did not exclude any Lebanese groups. Hezbollah and Aoun were represented. Hezbollah even has ministers in government. It chose however, to serve the interests of Iran.
2) Mr. Aoun was not rejected as a Presidential candidate. He will surely not win in an election.
3) The US does not bear any responsibility for the failed Egyptian/Saudi initiative. In fact, it was killed by Mr. Jumblat for very valid Lebanese national interests.
4) The Syrians will not return to Lebanon – neither politically nor militarily. In fact, the recent events further prove the failure of the Syrian regime by relying on Hezbollah to create a confrontation clearly against Lebanese interests.
5) The Lebanese people will not forget their anger at Syria. The investigation into the terror bombing which killed Mr. Harriri and his companions will continue until those who plotted and carried out the plot are incarcerated. In fact, Lebanese anger at Syria goes way back before Mr. Harriri was assassinated. The assassination simply triggered an irreversible divorce between the two countries. The Lebanese people have a famous saying “Min jarrab lmjarrab kan aklo akl mkharrab.” It can be translated as follows: “He who tries twice that which had been tried is brainless (or has corrupt brain).
6) Lebanon does not need any US promised Democracy. Lebanon had been a Democratic State for at least 70 years. Democratic rule is the FINAL CHOICE of the people of Lebanon.
7) The reckoning that will occur later on will be dealt with by the people of Lebanon and their representatives. The people of Lebanon are intelligent enough to see the hands of Syria and Iran in the current storm. This will further widen the gulf between Lebanon and Syria.
8) Mr. Massoud A Derhally is advancing the Syrian regime’s proposition that economic development should precede liberalization. We will not comment on the Syrian perspective. Lebanon has been a democracy for at least 70 years as mentioned above and will not recede towards despotism. The concept of Despotism is anathema to all Lebanese.
9) Syrian foreign minister uttered his statement in typical Syrian propaganda style for internal consumption. The purpose is of course to placate Syrian public. Syrian regime knows very well that it will be annihilated in no time were regional war to break out.
10) New York Times article is nothing more than conjectures. One may say it is no more than a juxtaposition of statements made by some political figures for the purpose of psychological warfare.
11) Finally, the whole article is a typical Landis promotional propaganda for a failed Syrian regime. The regime in Damascus is clearly bankrupt since it can only rely on igniting flares in Gaza and South Lebanon in a desperate attempt to break its isolation.

 
At 7/24/2006 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

'Eternal Lebanon' has brought up many valid and good points, and I probably agree with all of what he said whole heartedly. However, the alternative to the present Syrian regime scares me a lot more, and though I hate this regime, and despise every thing it stands for, and every thing it does, I can tell you, and out of long contacts with different opposition groups, and especially the Moslem Brotherhoods on the Internet boards that they will/would be much more irrational and dangerous than the present Assad regime. I feel that for the time being we are stuck, and I feel that Aoun has understood the danger of letting Sunnis take control of Lebanon. Aoun had fought the Assad regime more than any one else, and yet, he hesitated after Harriri's death of letting Sunnis take total control. It is a dangerous game in the countries of the ME where Sunnis believe they have God's orders to subjugate other citizens based on ethnicity/religious backgrounds.

 
At 7/24/2006 10:29:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

The Syrian orthodox church leader Zakka is calling for support to the Lebanese resistance ,I wonder if that will embarrace the Saudies and Egyptians and the Lebanese Sunnies into supporting the only Arab resistance to force Israel out of Arab land and the only resitance standing in the way of the Israeli dominence in the Middleast.I doubt it they are not as Arabs as the Chistian Arabs.

 
At 7/24/2006 11:13:00 PM, Blogger Eternal Lebanon said...

Ameen Always

To my knowledge Mr. Aoun has very good relations with many Lebanese Sunni leaders. You may say that his differences with Mr. Jumblat curtail his dream of becoming President. I am a Shia from a very large Shia tribe and I don’t see any problem living with Sunnis. I can assure you I am not the only Lebanese Shia with such views and Hezbollah’s constituency in the Shia community of Lebanon is limited.
The argument about the lack of alternatives to the Damascus regime is ridiculous. My experience indicates to me that Syrian opposition is very diverse and therefore forms a good base for initiating liberalization. Furthermore, making economic development a prerequisite for liberalization is false. You can see a living proof in the largest Democracy in the world, India. The diversity of India is immense and yet they created a Democratic State prior to their current economic progress. In fact, you can argue the opposite; i.e. democratic government is a prerequisite for economic progress. Look at Lebanon. Despite thirty years of bloody upheavals it still maintains a per capita income six times that of Syria!

 
At 7/25/2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

I think that history will record that the Arab countries let lebanese down,I am surprised that Syria is not involved,if syria get involved,other arabic countries will be involved, and the conflict will be different,rather than Syria get involved,they are looking for a deal,with one purposes, get rid of Harriri investigation.

 
At 7/25/2006 07:21:00 AM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

majedkhaldoun,

Unfortunately, history has recorded too many instances where the Arab governments did not get involved, even when they publically wanted to. Today, which Arab country do you count on to get involved?
Egypt and Jordan has a signed peace treary that takes precedence over the "signed" Arab Deffence Cooperation Pact, Iraq is where Iraq is now and out of the game, Saudi has recently found the unguided courage of criticising Adventurisem. So Who is left to get involved if and when Syria gets involved???

I posted here before favouring Syria's involvement in this crisis at one point or another, and I still believe that any such move can be in Syria benifit in the end and despite the heavy price to be incurred. But one has also to consider that Syria, should it be forced to, or should it find in its interest to respond to -or initiate- action. However, in that case Syria would have a lot of "brothers" to worry about, and not only the IDF. What changed the situation??? The remarks of the "responsible source in KSA" for one, coupled by the "supportive" hints fanned during the latest Mubarak-Abdullah meeting in Cairo. The sum of the above messages was that this new alliance "may" not support the reconstruction of destroyed Syrian facilities should Syria undertake an "adventure" like Hizbullah. Shamefully, that message was to Syria, not only to the Lebaneses resistance.....

Surprisingly to the many, Israel is now doing its best to keep Syria out. And I do not think this is happening because Israel is waiting for the requested replineshment of it's empty jet-fule tanks!! Few months ago, we used to go to sleep only to wake up and find that the Israeli and US armies storming Damascus, all that talk has now evaporated to the desmay of many. Same as the evaporation of search for the truth about Harriri's assasination which seems to be heading on its way to the File and Forget file after it has exhusted its role.

However, I think that Syria is ready and is keeping an open eye on the situation and will intervene once it feels that Hizbullah is under serious presuure.

In the end, Syria, and Hizbullah can NOT come out of this defeated, supported by other Arabs or not. No matter what the costs to them might be.

So, let us wait and see.

 
At 7/25/2006 08:29:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

'Eternal Lebanon':

You said that there is an alternative to the present Syrian regime, and that alternative is being some Syrian Liberals? Please name them to me? Yes, there are many liberal syrians from all sides of the Syrian society, but they have no power, and they are not organized, and let;s take the example of Dr. Labwani, a true liberal who went to Washington and alligned himself with Moslem Brotherhood, because it is the MBs that are organized and those MBs will have the greatest opportunity to profit from the Assad demise.. Khadam did the same and so did many others...(not saying that Khadam is a liberal)...but that shows you where the expectations are!!

Yes, Aoun has relationships with Sunnis, and Sunnis were not such fanatic MBs not in Syria, nor in Lebanon, but they are being led right now by crazy MBs who play the tune of Islam and religion to the ordinary Sunni, and work on the emotional level of the masses. They cite "Cura'nic" verses in ther sermons and in any discussion they have with any body, and cover their illogic and criminal minds with the Curan, and I 've been listening to them in many of their sites.

 
At 7/25/2006 08:56:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

""In the end, Syria, and Hezbollah can NOT come out of this defeated, supported by other Arabs or not. No matter what the costs to them might be."" Why should the Syrian People pay dearly for the FAILED policy of the SYRIAN regime, Why should the regime force a fight NOT of the SYRIAN national interest,
Syrian are one people, one hand against any aggressions against SYRIA. As I told Alex three weeks ago, the Hammas saga may backfire !! And it did ..

 
At 7/25/2006 09:43:00 AM, Blogger Eternal Lebanon said...

Ameen Always
You are more aware of the diversity of the Syrian opposition than me. I am a Lebanese after all and this is a Syrian issue first and foremost. You only need to look at Syrian jails to satisfy yourself. Why do you keep bringing up the issue of Sunnis and so-called MB's? You have to realize that Shias and Sunnis lived in the ME for thousands of years. Other minorities also lived with the Sunnis for centuries at peace. The Sunnis happen to constitute the largest Muslim sect but they are not a monolith. In fact, there is a lot of diversity within the Sunnis themselves. So if you chose to live in the Muslim world you have to come to terms with them. I did meet with many MB's. Even though I don't agree with them, I don't find them threatening as you claim.

 
At 7/25/2006 10:01:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

{I did meet with many MB's. Even though I don't agree with them, I don't find them threatening as you claim.} Eternal Lebanon


Where did you meet them? In London's night clubs, streets, schools? We know what they did in Syria in the 70's and 80's. Their crimes still stand. Their websites speak for their sick mentality and criminal minds. Are you saying that they were nice to you when you met them? Did you expect them tto kill you upon meeting you? Of course, in their daily lives in the West they have to meet others and pretend to be nice. It is their hearts that are sick, and that sickness is reflected in the times they get some power, or in their talks on internet sites that are abundant for any body to see and understand.


Plus: We do not live in Moslem lands as you have insenuated. Syria was Christian, conquered by Arab Muslims and people were forced to convert to Islam. Syria is not a Moslem land. again, what kind of logic are you using in this centurey to call a land, a Moslem land? isn't that a shame?

 
At 7/25/2006 10:04:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

{You have to realize that Shias and Sunnis lived in the ME for thousands of years} Eternal Lebanon:


The first falasy in your argument is to exaggerate!! Islam by itself is not more than 1300 years, and we know the massacres that took place by Sunnis against all kinds of Sia Moslems throughtout those 1300 years. The history is there also for you to read. Are you denying it?

 
At 7/25/2006 10:05:00 AM, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

The Washington Post tells us that:
“Rice told her Lebanese counterparts that she was ‘deeply concerned about the Lebanese people and what they are enduring.’ She brought blankets to prove it.”

Hmm… Guess it all depends of your definition of “concern”!
Quite ironically, Ms Rice was also concerned the Israeli armed forces might run out of ammunitions and other banned weapons used liberally against Lebanese civilians such as cluster bombs and phosphorus-enhanced shells:
“The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign. … The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said.”

Rice.
A predestined name.
“Never sticks.”
Like Madison Avenue’s favorite Uncle Tom marketing icon (see picture).

Funny how the tag-line on the box even says “Converted Rice”.

And I thought Israel’s ancient Pharisaic Law forbade proselytism…

But hey, as a leading Dixie intellectual famously said, miracles do happen!

“Praise be to Yahweh, the God of Yisrael, for he has shown us his marvelous loving kindness”

 
At 7/25/2006 11:38:00 AM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

I agree Syria,and HA will not come out of this crisis defeated, but they will be weaker, HA will be pushed up 20 miles, Syria will be isolated further from Egypt and Saudia kingdom,wait for the arab summit that will follow the crisis, also Syria will have 150,000 lebanese,who will need food, shelter,clothes,and security,plus political support.
Also, I believe it is too early to say that Syrian policy has FAILED, furthermore,I think Syria were informed about HA intention, prior to the provocation,,they approved it hoping for a deal,they did not forced it, nor they anticipated Isreal reaction,in this way.

 
At 7/25/2006 11:40:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Larijani: Iran Informed of Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani said that Tehran was informed of the impending Israeli invasion of Lebanon in advance.

"We had reliable information that Israel intended to launch an attack against Lebanon," Larijani said, while addressing the 23rd nationwide meeting of the directors of Education and Training Bureaus.
Fars News Agency

So either Nasrallah's first "low-key" press conference was just rhetoric or Larijani's claim is. Then again, if the claim is correct this has interesting implications for Hizbullah's strategy.

 
At 7/25/2006 12:52:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

I think you will like this ,This is not our warBy PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
www.creators.com
My country has been ''torn to shreds,'' said Fouad Siniora, the prime minister of Lebanon, as the death toll among his people passed 300 civilian dead, 1,000 wounded, with half a million homeless.

Israel must pay for the ''barbaric destruction,'' said Siniora.

To the contrary, says columnist Lawrence Kudlow, ``Israel is doing the Lord's work.''

On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon?

No, Israel is doing this, with the blessing and without a peep of protest from President Bush. And we wonder why they hate us.

U.S. has not been attacked

''Today, we are all Israelis!'' brayed Ken Mehlman of the Republican National Committee to a gathering of Christians United for Israel.

One wonders if these Christians care about what is happening to our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza, who have had all power cut off by Israeli air strikes, an outlawed form of collective punishment that has left them with no sanitation, rotting food, impure water and days without light or electricity in the horrible heat of July.

When summer power outrages occur in America, it means a rising rate of death among our sick and elderly, and women and infants. One can only imagine what a hell it must be today in Gaza City and Beirut.

But all this carnage and destruction has only piqued the blood lust of the hairy-chested warriors at The Weekly Standard. In a signed editorial, It's Our War, William Kristol calls for America to play its rightful role in this war by ``countering this act of aggression by Iran with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?''

''Why wait?'' Well, one reason is that the United States has not been attacked. A second is a small thing called the Constitution. Where does President Bush get the authority to launch a war on Iran? When did Congress declare war or authorize a war on Iran?

Answer: It never did. But these neoconservatives care no more about the Constitution than they cared about the truth when they lied into war in Iraq.

Dead or hostages

''Why wait?'' How about thinking of the fate of those 25,000 Americans in Lebanon if we launch an unprovoked war on Iran. How many would wind up dead or hostages of Hezbollah, if Iran gave the order to retaliate for the slaughter of their citizens by U.S. bombs? What would happen to the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, if Shiites and Iranian ''volunteers'' joined forces to exact revenge on our soldiers?

What about America? Richard Armitage, who did four tours in Nam and knows a bit about war, says that, in its ability to attack Western targets, al Qaeda is the B team, Hezbollah the A Team. If Bush bombs Iran, what prevents Hezbollah from launching retaliatory attacks inside the United States?

None of this is written in defense of Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran.

But none of them has attacked our country, nor has Syria, whom Bush I made an ally in the Gulf War, and to whom the most decorated soldier in Israeli history, Ehud Barak, offered 99 percent of the Golan Heights. If Nixon, Bush I and Clinton could deal with Hafez al-Assad, a tougher customer than son Bashar, what is the matter with George W. Bush?

The last superpower is impotent in this war because we have allowed Israel to dictate to whom we may and may not talk. Thus, Bush winds up cussing in frustration in St. Petersburg that somebody should tell the Syrians to stop it. Why not pick up the phone, Mr. President?

What is Kristol's moral and legal ground for a war on Iran? It is the ''Iranian act of aggression'' against Israel and that Iran is on the road to nuclear weapons, and we can't have that.

The constitutional way

But there is no evidence Iran has any tighter control over Hezbollah than we have over Israel, whose response to the capture of two soldiers had all the spontaneity of the Schlieffen Plan. And, again, Hezbollah attacked Israel, not us. And there is no solid proof Iran is in violation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, which it has signed, but Israel refuses to sign.

If Iran's nuclear program justifies war, why cannot the neocons make that case in the constitutional way, instead of prodding Bush to launch a Pearl Harbor attack? Do they fear they have no credibility left after pushing Bush into this bloody quagmire in Iraq that has cost almost 2,600 dead and 18,000 wounded Americans?

No, Kenny boy, we are not ''all Israelis.'' Some of us still think of ourselves as Americans, first, last, and always. And, no, Mr. Kristol, this is not ''our war.'' It's your war.

©2006 Creators Syndicate

 
At 7/25/2006 01:05:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Thanks Norman for the article. I have high esteem for Pat Buchanan.

 
At 7/25/2006 01:15:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

As'ad AbuKhalil on the "fanatical right-wing anti-Semite" Pat Buchanan:

"Given some (or many) emails that I have received from readers in the last week, and given that many Arabs have been forwarding an article (or more) by Patrick Buchanan (who is in my diciontary a fanatical right-wing anti-Semite whose support I reject) I feel obligated to repost a previous post from a few days ago:
A Note of Caution. It is very important that we don't turn this conflict into an Arab-Jewish conflict, which it is not, and it has never been, and it should never be. I say this not only due to my stiff opposition to anti-Semitism since I got active in the Palestinian cause in my teens, but also because this is partly an Arab-Arab conflict. I mean, there are American and European Jews I know who are more supportive of the Palestinians and their struggle than many Arabs--certainly more than Arab regimes and their paid "intellectuals" and propagandists. So at a time like this, with emotions running high on "our" side, it is important that we don't allow anti-Semitic kooks to infiltrate the ranks of Palestinian struggle, here or there. This is a conflict between Zionism and Arab reactionary forces on one side, and those who are opposed on the other side. Those of us on the left should also not forget our progressive ideals and leftist goals, but Israel is now bombing not fundamentalism or reaction, but the whole of Lebanon. And you should remember--as leftists--that the mother/father of Islamic fundamentalist fanaticism (the House of Saud) is on the side of Israel in this conflict."
As'ad AbuKhalil

 
At 7/25/2006 02:14:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Pat Buchnon according to people who know him he is not antisemite yes he is conservetive and that is proppably difficult for As,ad to take but if he were antisemite he would not have been able to publish his vews in major newspapers and be a comentater on MSNBC only zionist call Pat an antisemite because of his critisism of the Israeli conduct in the west bank ,Gazza and now in Lebanon,his vews which should be all american,s vews (America First) and if that is the case Israel would have been forced out of Arab land ,that happened during Eisenhouer in 1956.

 
At 7/25/2006 02:21:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Aussama:
I said I am surprised that Syria is not involved, I did not mean that Syria initiate an attack on Isreal,that would be a mistake,what I meant is that Isreal invade Lebanon,and attack Syria getting it involved,you see, limiting itself to accross the border invasion,will keep HA ,HA will be more popular,and with Iran help,will come out more powerfull,and this situation is loosing as far as Isreal,of course if Isreal invade Lebanon and attack Syria other arab countries will be forced to participate,causing Isreal to loose,in both ways Isreal will come out at the loosing end of the stick.

 
At 7/25/2006 03:12:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Hezbollah leader: Didn't expect such response to abductions

By Yuval Azoulay, Amos Harel, Yoav Stern, and News Agencies

BEIRUT, Lebanon - A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrilla group did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers on July 12.

Mahmoud Komati, the deputy chief of the Hezbollah politburo, also told The Associated Press that his group will not lay down arms.

"The truth is - let me say this clearly - we didn't even expect (this) response.... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.

He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel.

In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending in commandos into Lebanon and kidnapping Hezbollah officials or briefly targeting specific Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon.

He said his group had anticipated there would be negotiations on the exchange of the soldiers with three Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it did before.
Haaretz

This is in line with Nasrallah's first press conference, but obviously not in line with the comments made by Larijani today...

 
At 7/25/2006 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

majedkhaldoon,

I understand what you really meant. Syria's going to war is a mistake when you do it by the numbers and use conventional wisdom, when the psychological, historic and national interests are involved, the equation changes. I disagree that Syria is merely seeking a deal. A deal will come no matter what. HA and Syria has already won in my book if we remember who and what they are facing. And they have not budged, and they will not.Syria is not perfect, but stop demonizing Syria for the sake of its enemies or for past grudges.

For now, and for the sake of Syria and Lebanon, the only thing that keeps coming to my mind is Fairuz words:

لي ربيع فيك خبأته
ملء دنيا قلبي التعب
يوم عيناها بساط السما
و الرماح السود في الهدب

I know my people, I know what they are capable of, and I know that they know that this is the most crucial stand.

I love you Nassrallah for your stand And I love you Bashar for being behind them and behind Fateh, Hamas, Jihad. For being against Sadam when the world was with Sadam. And I love you Syria for the NO that is ingrained in your people, Army and Leadership. You could have sold out, but you chose the other way. May God and the strength of your will be your gaurdian.

Let us see what Nassrallah has to say in a few moments. To Israel, the US, and the Arabs. Bet on Rice and Olmert loosing sleep tonite.

 
At 7/25/2006 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Hizbulllah and Iran's remarks regarding the "unexpected heavy response" by Israel might be an addmission of facts as they are, and to win over World Public Opinion as well world.
The true "message" however, is to show that Israel has over-reacted, hence, the response of Hizbullah would be in type.

It is a WARNING of what to come from Hizbullah and its allies.It is not a way of only saying that they were surprised. It is saying, Israel over reacted, and it will get its answer for doing so. This is their intention of such remarks.

Let us wait and see..

 
At 7/25/2006 07:52:00 PM, Blogger Eternal Lebanon said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/25/2006 07:56:00 PM, Blogger Eternal Lebanon said...

Did I misread you Ameen Always? Where do you live Mr.? On planet Mars? Of course Syria is Muslim land and Jesus spoke Arabic!!!

 
At 7/26/2006 01:36:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Nasrallah contradicts Komati and agrees with Larijani:

"Hasan Nasrallah's new TV message. ...

His main point was to respond to the charges that Hizbullah erred by capturing the occupation soldiers. To that he said: that there is evidence that Israeli troops have been conducting maneuvers and exercises for a large-scale attack on Lebanon to begin in September or October of this year. He did not cite sources for the information. He said that this on-going large-scale attack could not logically be a spontaneous response to the capture of the occupation soldiers. He said that the plan--if the timing was giving to Israel to execute in September or October--aims at destroying the command and leadership of the party, to cause paralysis in its rank. He said that the capture of the soldiers gave Hizbullah a tactical advantage--my words. That if the timing was left to Israel to determine, the Party would have been caught by surprise. It seems that Hizbullah, like Israel, does contingency plans. He also said that he would not accept (and he read that part) any settlement that would be insulting to the dignity of the country and of the resistance. He also said that the timing of the war was determined by the US: he said that the US has been sending one military delegation after another in the last year, trying to determine the ability and willingness of the Lebanese Army to fight against Hizbullah. He said that this was part of a plan against Hamas, Hizbullah, Iranian regime, and the Syrian regime."
As'ad AbuKhalil

 
At 7/26/2006 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

“[Prime Minister] Fuad Sanyoura gives Rice a huggy-huggy and a kissy-kissy in this photo from Assafir. What is this all about?” asked a leading Lebanese resistant.

As the man famously said on June 23, 1942:
The last veils behind which enemies and traitors operated have been torn apart. The stakes are clear for each and every citizen of our nation: the outcome of that war will be complete independence or eternal slavery. […] I am confident that we shall prevail … and that traitors [in government] who collaborate with our enemies will be punished…Such a victory is worth all the efforts and sacrifices we are making today

 
At 7/26/2006 01:12:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

You got to give the guy some credit for at least trying to justify the " bad timing" he was accused of. As if those who did not like the timing are interested or capable of finding such a thing as a "better" timing.

Actually, the Sep/Nov claimed date made sence apart from that it did catch Israel/US and Siniora/KSA unaware. A Sep/Nov date would fit in nicely with the re-election campgain in the USA,so it would on the "truth" front, condisdering that a third Bremmeretz report would be out by then with the "hopefuls'" expectations against some bad news for Syria, add to this that Sep/Nov would be the time when the US IRAN impass would have reched a climax.

Never mind the above, the important thing is was Nassrallah subtly trying to hint that his latest move (the capture of the soldiers) was more of an pre-emptive one (Nevermind it being unknown to HA at the time!!!). Then, would this imply that HA, Syria and Iran -either now, or on the other expected date Sep/Nov, were -are- prepared to come in should things get bad???

The other not so subtle message was that Israel/US & Partners are not the only ones who can dictate when things happen, or not happen. So far, it has been thier -they thought- it's God given right.

Damn! Olmert was right after all when he said the "rules would change"...One should be carefull of what he wishes. That is what they call Learning on the Job.

 
At 7/26/2006 02:49:00 PM, Blogger HARBOOK said...

Berri's Amal and the Lebanese Communists have apparently joined the resistance in the South. I wonder whether at the end of this, they may provide a more than adequate repel to Israeli aggresion...especially with the Lebanese Army vowing to fight. This may indeed be a moment to show the world what comes from within.

 
At 7/26/2006 03:50:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

The Syrian Nationalist Front
Syrian Nationalist Party
Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Syrian Republican Party

Comment left at websites of:

Ayatollah Khamenei,
President Mahmood Ahmadi Nizhad
Minister of Defense, Russia
President, Russian Federation

Here is one comment that is typically left on the internet-blog sphere by thousands of posters. This is indicative of the general opinion among Moslem Population globally. The blog comment recorded here is preceded by our comment:

As I (Metaz) said before, nations don't win wars using known weapon system that everyone has defense system against it, or know how to defeat it. Wars are won using secret weapons and an effective geopolitical strategy.

Syria and Iran acquisitions of expensive, useless, Russian missiles, radars and weapon systems are a waste of Moslems money, in addition to its Political impairment. The deployment of these technologically worthless Russian defense systems is pure negligence. It provides false sense of capabilities and security, not to mention a exposing your valuable trained soldiers to assured harm

Both Syria and Iran needs effective defense systems that can debilitate the enemy, an effective geopolitical strategy, backed by an effective campaign that is put into action to implement the strategy, just as the enemy is doing.

Otherwise, why not have Muallem and Asefi-Muttaki declares surrender to Israel and the Neocon now, please spare us all the destruction and coming humiliating defeat.

The effective weapons and the winning strategy available, and are at your disposal, use it now. The strategy takes time to implement and put into action, concurrently, the weapon systems production can start immediately, so that at the right moment, both meet and are available to win the battle.

Here is the comment mentioned earlier:



GMT 12:14:19 2006 الأربعاء 26 يوليو


مع كرهي الشديد من لبنان
لبناني و فخور جدا

“the good thing is that iran and syria applauds and give arms to hezballah...and they stay away from the war...only viewers from far apart... 1)I suggest that syria and they have the least dignity to free Al jolan heights,,,but al assad is a coward and never won a war and never will 2) the psychopath Najad to strike israel in tel aviv since he keeps on talking and saying bullshits about destroying and eleiminating israel....why does not he acts now ..but he is a psycho coward person...he only talks...or he only give arms to hezballah to fight from lebanon... and at the end we only the lebanese are paying the price.... SHAME ON U ASSAD AND NAJJAD from LEBANON with hate”

 
At 7/26/2006 03:58:00 PM, Blogger Pascal The Fucking Arab Barbarian said...

الرياض: قدم خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود لحملة التبرعات الشعبية التي وجه بها وانطلقت اليوم في عموم مناطق المملكة للمساهمة في عون الأشقاء اللبنانيين للوقوف معهم ومساعدتهم في الأزمة الحالية تبرعا بمبلغ عشرة ملايين ريال


No one needs your charity you fucking Abdullah, no one needs your trinity you asshole.
CUT THE FUCKING OIL PIPELINES NOW. Curses your ALLAH, piss on your Kabba.
Fucking subhuman Moslem Arab traitor.

 
At 7/26/2006 06:33:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Genetlmen,
I have spent fifteen years in the states during which I had the opportunity to meet with many decent respectable people, and I had the chance to have a casual beer at unknown bars in little towns next to nowhere on this or that interstate. And it is a big country. Full of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.And the most ugly of all, I have discovered, are those who make up for the things they lack bu foul language and muchismo. Unfortunately, two of the above posts belong to that group. This site I think is for voicing opinions, arguing, making and scoring points even. But I do not believe it is set up to give foul mouthed people a chance to "exhibit" how bad they can curse.

If this is the only way can express your ideas and thoughts, then people would wounder what your "unexpressed" thoughts are.They will sure question your ability to have thoughts and ideas.

Forgive me for saying this, but from first hand experience, I have noticed that two things distinguish Arabs who fail to succeed in the United States and the West in general;
1) they use foul language extensively,
2) they try to adobt an American accentwhen they talk in English.
The result is that every time they do those two things, people who know what is happening raise thier eyebrows and say "aaah, here is another one". And we see through it faster than you think. We discard such people without a second thought.

The true problem arises when non-Arabs -who are not so knowledgable about us as we are about ourselves-
hear someone whome they might to think of as being from Arab origin, say such things, then those Non-Arabs would be fooled and they would think that if an Arab who has lived in the west for so long -as apparent by his cursing ability- thinks they way, then it takes them a while to figure those foul nouthed people for what they are, and they may form the misleading opinion that those fould mouth people are a true representative sample. A sample that claims to be western-educated.

Please take it easy,the minute your over do it, people spot it quickely and you loose your argument even if you have some thing valid to say. And remember, war is not fought on this site, and wherever it is fought, it is never fought with foul mouthed words and ugly language.

Sorry to name names, but I am actually referring to the two above posts by the "pascal the fucking arab barbarian" and the one by the so called "syrian nationalist party". At least I have to admire the first one, for his posedo name indicates that he knows what he is. Anyway, you achieved your subconscious goal, you got the attention of many people for your ability to express yourself in "that" manner, can you now move on and get your other points across in a less creative manner? If you can.

 
At 7/26/2006 06:48:00 PM, Blogger VIVA LIBAN said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/26/2006 06:54:00 PM, Blogger VIVA LIBAN said...

Where is the bad language in SNP comment above Ausama? The lower quoted comment text is, in fact, an actual quote from Eilaf website, you can read it at Eilaf website in the comment section related to the story (King Abdullah …), they cut and paste it as a quote. Why are you attacking them, they make a lot of sense. Or is that why you are attacking them? You need just the blabbers in here, not someone effective comments

 
At 7/26/2006 06:56:00 PM, Blogger I rather born Syrian or a dog said...

Ideot Ausama, real ideot. Where is the foul language motherfucker.

 
At 7/26/2006 06:58:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

I will not wipe my dog ass with your soul Ausama.

 
At 7/31/2006 02:49:00 AM, Blogger Zenobia of the East and West said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

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