“Bush White House Wanted to Destroy the Syrian State by Force and With Urgency,” Tony Blair

Tony Blair confirms in his memoirs, A Journey, that Bashar al-Assad was correct to believe that George W Bush’s White House was deadly serious about destroying the Syrian state. Phils Sands of the National writes:

Describing the former US vice president as an advocate of “hard, hard power”, Mr Blair said Damascus was next on Mr Cheney’s hit list.

“He would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it – Hizbollah, Hamas, etc,” Mr Blair wrote in his autobiography, A Journey. “In other words, he thought the whole world had to be made anew, and that after September 11, it had to be done by force and with urgency.”

Syria’s correct assumption that powerful US forces wanted to attack it had profound implications, domestically and in Iraq. Although no friend of Saddam Hussein, Damascus had every reason to want the American occupation to fail and, therefore, no incentive to stop Islamist militants crossing the border to fight US troops. For years, US military officials complained that insurgents entering from Syria were among their most deadly opponents, playing a key role in undermining US attempts to build a Washington friendly Iraq.

Faced with this very real US threat, the Syrian authorities also moved to quash growing domestic dissent, arresting and jailing dozens of pro-democracy activists. That crackdown continues to this day.

We do not know who killed Rafiq Hariri, but President Bush’s intention to overturn the balance of power in the region included convincing Hariri to act as a spearhead in the US led attempt to make the world anew. We can only conclude that US ambitions had a lot to do with Hariri’s murder. The White House wanted to  destroy Hizbullah, weaken Iran and Syrian, and eventually overturn their states.  This gave all three regional powers a compelling interest in thwarting American plans. The fastest and most sure method of doing this was to eliminate Lebanon’s Prime Minister. After all, was he not the tent-post holding up the modern Lebanese state? Rafiq al-Hariri was Mr. Lebanon. He had been the architect — almost single-handedly — of the modern Lebanese state. He patched up the age old alliance between Sunnis and Christians that had formed the original cornerstone of the Lebanese National Pact, but had come apart with the civil war. He found an accommodation with the Shiite community and Hizbullah within that framework. He used gobs of Saudi money, his ample personal charm, and uncommon international connections to grease the wheels of Lebanon’s new convivienda.

Destroying Hariri dissolved the glue that held together Lebanon’s waring communities. Hariri knew that President Bush and Jacque Chirac were gambling with his life. His reluctance to face down Syria and Hizbullah is well documented.  Of course, Bush and Chirac coated their entreaties with promises of aid, assurances that they would bring along the Saudis, and insistence that this time, realities had changed. Syria was a house of cards, they insisted; Bashar al-Assad, a paper tiger; and Hizbullah, a puppet that could be easily eliminated. America would follow through. 9-11 had changed America and changed the world. President Bush and Dick Cheney’s soaring ambition did not ignite the car bomb that killed Hariri, but in many ways it set the region on fire. For Hariri, it was the beginning of the end. Fortunately for Lebanon, the insecurity that followed Hariri’s death enduring for only a short period. In Iraq, the instability that engulfed the country following the destruction of its state continues today; the killing is far from over.

In 2006, Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech in January 2006 in which he tried to explain the context of Hariri’s murder. This is the first paragraph of the post I wrote about it, entitled: “Who Killed Hariri? The “Pushed Against the Wall” Thesis” as elaborated by Nasrallah”

Who killed Hariri? This is the question that runs through Hassan Nasrallah’s interview with al-Hayat. Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, absolves Syria of responsibility, but he also tries to explain the context which led to Hariri’s murder. He blames Walid Jumblatt’s intransigent refusal to reconcile with the Syrians in December 2004 and join a Hariri government under Lahoud for leading to Hariri’s death. It is in this context that Hariri’s murder, according to Nasrallah, becomes understandable. In his explanation of the context, Nasrallah elaborates the “Pushed to the Wall” thesis…..

It is well worth going back to that speech today in the light of the International investigation and revelations made by Tony Blair.

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Syria Holds Lebanon Shiite Cleric As Suspected
2010-09-02

BEIRUT — A Lebanese Shiite cleric known as a critic of Syrian-backed Hezbollah has been arrested in Syria on suspicion of spying for Israel, a high-ranking Lebanese security official said on Thursday.

“Sheikh Hassan Msheymish was arrested in July in Syria based on data Lebanese police intelligence had sent to Syrian authorities indicating that he was implicated in collaborating with Israel,” the official told AFP.

Msheymish was still being interrogated by Syrian authorities as preliminary information gathered by Lebanese intelligence indicated he may have spied on targets in Syria, the official said.

The cleric’s son, Ali Msheymish, told AFP there was no proof to the allegations against his father.

“These are unfounded accusations. How come we still know nothing of the results of the investigation two months after his arrest?” he asked, while confirming the Shiite cleric was a vocal critic of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

“His continued arrest is with the approval of political parties, especially Hezbollah,” he said.

The sheikh’s family told AFP in July that Msheymish had been detained while on his way for a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia.

A judicial source, meanwhile, said two Lebanese nationals and two Palestinians have been charged in military court with collaboration with Israel, including a telecom ministry official, Toni Boutros.

The other Lebanese, Joseph Kassis, is on the run, he said.

More than 100 people have been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of espionage since April 2009, including several telecom employees, members of the security forces and active members of the military.

Many of the suspects are accused of having helped Israel identify targets during its devastating 2006 war with Hezbollah.

Five of those tried have been sentenced to death for spying for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, and convicted spies face life in prison with hard labour or the death penalty if found guilty of contributing to Lebanese loss of life.

Comments (6)


1. Norman said:

Blair probably read that on SC , If you look back you can see that we said that and justified the lack of help from Syria to the fact that The US was planing a turn left and attack Syria , so it was justified for Syria to do everything to keep the US busy in Iraq and that is what happened ,

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September 3rd, 2010, 11:51 am

 

2. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…………..Rafiq al-Hariri was Mr. Lebanon. He had been the architect — almost single-handedly — of the modern Lebanese state. He patched up the age old alliance between Sunnis and Christians that had formed the cornerstone of the Lebanese National Pact. He found an accommodation with the Shiite community and Hizbullah within that framework. He used gobs of Saudi money, his ample personal charm, and uncommon international connections to grease the wheels of Lebanon’s new convivienda………”

Common Landis, what! You are looking for a payola check from his son or what!!! Got gobs of Saudi debt to drown Lebanon, not money. Total debt of Lebanon during his service totaled in access of 40 Billion Dollars, for a state that practically owns no assets other than mountain snow. He was a newly rich, rag to riches Saudi Bedouin stooge that made his career and money from defrauding the State of Lebanon and instituting the worst case of State corruption to compete with Nigeria. He gave Hizbullah control of the Lebanese State, when ligit hairs Christians and Moslems held them back for decades, you call that Lebanese National Pact!!! When Shia Nasrallah gets up and barks down everyone in Lebanon from President to dishwasher. He single handedly corrupt the Syrian Officials and was responsible for the cronyism in that country that is now suffering under severe class, have and have not pressure, ripe for counter revolutionary move. He became a purse handler for drug dealers and corrupt One Worlders who looked for a safe haven for all the stolen billions, blood money and billions Iraqi funds from stolen cash to illicit earnings via the oil for food program, all crooks found willing lowlife handler to wash it off in Solidaire and other Al Medina type banking conglomerate. He patched not a crap, Lebanon is anything but patched. And the worst you said in desperation for that Payola check; is that he is the Architect of the modern Lebanese State, just as many politically ignorant say that Hafez Assad is the founder of Modern Syrian State. The day will come when the bankrupters and imposters are put in place, left with the real corrupt history to the kids to know about and the real Architects of Lebanon Modern State are glorified and their principals taught, that info is obscure to you because to you Middle East history start when you graduated college and Syria’s history starts from when you said “I DO”.

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September 3rd, 2010, 1:52 pm

 

3. Akbar Palace said:

The Ghost of Dick Cheney: Tony’s “Regime Change” Part Deux?

Surprise! Professor Josh left out some information about Tony Blair’s Memoirs:

Tony Blair memoirs: we must be prepared for attack on Iran

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/tony-blair/7974819/Tony-Blair-memoirs-we-must-be-prepared-for-attack-on-Iran.html

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September 3rd, 2010, 8:33 pm

 

4. Badr said:

Professor Landis said:
“We do not know who killed Rafiq Hariri”

but the analysis of this post leaves room for only one conclusion; i.e., the one(s) who was/were “Pushed to the Wall” did it. And again the analysis made it abundantly clear who was/were “Pushed to the Wall”.

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September 4th, 2010, 6:29 am

 

5. Ghat Al Bird said:

It is very evident that the posture of Syria has protected it from the fate of what is taking place under the direction of the US usage of the Netanyahu, Perle, Wolfowitz, plan for a “Clean Break…” (check out wikipedia) in the “endless and crooked road to peace”.

Excerpts: In asymmetric diplomacy the Palestinians are guaranteed to lose

by News Source on September 2, 2010

The status quo, though sub-optimal, presents no imminent danger to Israel. What Israelis want from an agreement is something they have learned either to live without (Palestinian recognition) or to provide for themselves (security). The demographic threat many invoke as a reason to act — the possibility that Arabs soon might outnumber Jews, forcing Israel to choose between remaining Jewish or democratic — is exaggerated. Israel already has separated itself from Gaza. In the future, it could unilaterally relinquish areas of the West Bank, further diminishing prospects of an eventual Arab majority. Because Israelis have a suitable alternative, they lack a sense of urgency. The Palestinians, by contrast, have limited options and desperately need an agreement.

In any event, Abbas will return to a fractured, fractious society. If he reaches a deal, many will ask in whose name he was bartering away Palestinian rights. If negotiations fail, most will accuse him of once more having been duped. If Netanyahu comes back with an accord, he will be hailed as a historic leader. His constituency will largely fall in line; the left will have no choice but to salute. If the talks collapse, his followers will thank him for standing firm, while his critics are likely in due course to blame the Palestinians. Abbas will be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Netanyahu will thrive if he does and survive if he doesn’t. One loses even if he wins; the other wins even if he loses. There is no greater asymmetry than that.

The Ma’an news agency reports:

Videos of Palestinian leaders asking the Israeli public to join them as “partners for peace” were coordinated and co-implemented by the Palestinian arm of the Geneva Initiative, the organization’s director confirmed.

The first phase in a mass-media campaign – funded by USAID – “aims to counter the myth that there is no partner on the Palestinian side,” director of the Israeli branch Gadi Baltiansky explained.

Three clips were released on Israeli TV on Sunday featuring Palestinian members of the peace delegation to Washington, each declaring themselves a “partner for peace.”

“Shalom to you in Israel, I know we have disappointed you, I know we have been unable to deliver peace for the last 19 years,” chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat says in his short appearance, while Yasser Abed Rabbo warns of the “dangers for both of us” if talks fail.

Following attacks on Israeli settlers in the West Bank on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Mahmoud Ramahi, a Hamas lawmaker based in the West Bank, said he believes this week’s attacks were likely calculated to cause a rift between Palestinian Authority security forces and Israeli forces and show that Hamas is still a vibrant force on the ground that cannot be ignored.

“This proves that the only way to deal with Hamas is for the Palestinian Authority to sit with Hamas and make a reconciliation deal to build a common strategy. Hamas is a reality,” he said. “The United States and the Palestinian Authority have to sit and talk with it.”

Hamas’s political leaders, such as Mr. Ramahi, say they aren’t privy to discussions within the group’s military wing. That apparent division underscores the diffuse power structure the group cultivates. Hamas’s military wing claimed responsibility for both of this week’s attacks and on Thursday promised more.

The orders to carry out the attacks could have come from any number of different power centers. The group’s top leaders are based in Damascus. The leadership there tends to adopt a harder, more militant line. But it is also thought to be heavily influenced by Syria, which can, if it desires, rein the group in, according to analysts.

The group’s leadership in Gaza, which has to live with any retaliation from Israel, has tended to be more pragmatic and moderate. Just hours before Tuesday’s attack, Hamas authorities in Gaza arrested a group of militants from another faction inside the territory trying to fire rockets into Israel.

This week’s attacks could also have been ordered or carried out by a militant cell operating on its own initiative. Israeli security officials believe a small number of militants in the West Bank are directly controlled by Hezbollah or Iran. In the past, Hamas’s leadership has claimed responsibility for attacks carried out by other factions, said retired Brig. Gen. Shalom Harari, a former Israeli intelligence officer who has been studying Hamas for a quarter century.

“Hamas’s infrastructure in the West Bank has been very heavily hurt by ongoing operations by the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli army the last two or three years, and not many cells are left there that can operate,” said Gen. Harari. “If it’s really Hamas, then this is a sleeping cell that they kept for special occasions.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reported:

Hours before peace talks were set to begin in Washington, Jewish settlers defiantly announced plans on Thursday to launch new construction in their West Bank enclaves in a test of strength with Palestinian Islamists.

Naftali Bennett, director of the settlers’ YESHA council, told Reuters settlers would begin building homes and public structures in at least 80 settlements, breaking a partial government freeze on building that ends on September 26.

“The idea is that de facto it (the freeze) is over,” Bennett said, criticizing the U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian talks as aiming for a “phony peace” and rejecting Palestinian demands for a halt to settlement building on land they want for a state.

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September 4th, 2010, 8:10 am

 

6. Ghat Al Bird said:

Akbar Palace said:

The Ghost of Dick Cheney: Tony’s “Regime Change” Part Deux?

Surprise! Professor Josh left out some information about Tony Blair’s Memoirs:

Tony Blair memoirs: we must be prepared for attack on Iran

AP is the Tony Blair you quote the one who is deathly afraid of
Iran the same Tony Blair who was received in Ireland the way George W. Bush was received in Baghdad at the receiving end of shoes,eggs, plastic bottles thrown at them?

When you also quote Tony Blair as stating that, “we must be prepared for attack on Iran” does this mean the British will attack Iran on behalf of Israel or does the word WE mean England, Israel and the US will attack Iran on behalf of the UN?

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September 5th, 2010, 11:04 am

 

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