Centre for Syrian Studies Call for Papers on Reform

Prof. Raymond Hinnebusch, the directory of the new Center for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews, UK.

THE CENTRE FOR SYRIAN STUDIES, University of St. Andrews, invites submission of papers on reform and security issues in contemporary Syria. We are especially keen on submissions by young scholars nearing or having recently completed a Ph.D on Syria. The papers are meant to be given at a series of on-going conferences or workshops held over the next few years in St. Andrews, London or Damascus and for publication, either in a projected book length series on Syria in Transition, or in other formats, such as working papers. Those whose papers are selected will be invited to present them, with travel expenses paid; additionally a $250 (£125) honorarium will be paid when papers are delivered and another $250 (£125) if they are accepted for publication. For information on the website and how to apply click here, or e-mail Adham Saouli, at as575@st-andrews.ac.uk

All the best,
Raymond Hinnebusch

Comments (215)


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1. majedkhaldoun said:

we see conflict is brewing between AlMaliki,and bush,he wants more weapons, less advise,I doubt Maliki will split from Muqtada Al Sadr, Bush will have to abandon Maliki.

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January 18th, 2007, 4:49 pm

 

2. Ehsani2 said:

(AP)–Syria is serious about resuming peace talks with
Israel, and during the summer’s Lebanon war even proposed holding a secret
emergency meeting with Israeli officials in Europe, a retired Israeli diplomat
said Thursday.
Israel’s leaders quickly distanced themselves from unofficial talks the
Israeli, former Foreign Ministry director general Alon Liel, held with a
Syrian. Liel, going public for the first time Thursday, said he briefed
government officials every step of the way.
He said he believed his counterpart, Syrian-American businessman Ibrahim
Suleiman, also had channels to the Syrian government.
“Our testimony is that it is very clear to us that Assad wants to talk,” said
Liel, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
On Tuesday, when the talks were leaked in a newspaper report, Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert dismissed the talks. “I knew of nothing. No one in the
government was involved in this matter. It was a private initiative on the part
of an individual who spoke with himself,” Olmert told reporters. “From what I
read, his interlocutor was an eccentric from the United States, someone not
serious or dignified.”
Syrian officials said Tuesday that reports of an agreement were “baseless.”
On Thursday a Syrian official again denied the reports.
In June, the participants wrote a two-page “non-paper” to sum up their talks,
Liel said. The centerpiece was a proposal to turn part of the Golan Heights,
captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed in 1981, into a “peace
park.” Syria would be the sovereign in all of the Golan, but Israelis could
visit the park freely, without visas.
The Israeli side proposed a Golan pullout over 15 years, the Syrians over
five.
Previous peace talks collapsed in 2000 because of a dispute over where the
Israeli-Syrian border should run. Syria said any peace deal would have to
restore Syrian sovereignty over all the territory captured in 1967, while
Israel feared a complete withdrawal could endanger its security and access to
water sources, noting that the international border does not reach the shore of
the Sea of Galilee.
Liel and Suleiman were brought together by Geoffrey Aronson, head of the
Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington. Eight meetings were held, Liel
said, including several reportedly under the auspices of the Swiss.
Liel would not say who his hosts were, but said he believed they used their
own diplomatic contacts to check whether the messages coming out of the talks
were reaching the Syrian government.
The last meeting took place in late July, during the Israel-Lebanon war, Liel
said. On that day, several Israelis were killed by rockets fired by the
Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which Israel says is backed and funded by Syria and
Iran.
“It was a very difficult day, and the Syrian party suggested that since it’s
a war and an emergency situation, let’s have a very quick track one meeting,
high-level meeting, on the level of deputy ministers … with an American in
the room,” Liel told a conference at the Netanya Academic College.
Liel said he told Israeli government officials of the offer, and pleaded with
them to accept. “And the answer was `no, no we don’t want to meet them’,” he
said.
He said he believes the Israeli government is reluctant to resume peace talks
with Syria because the idea of giving up the Golan is unpopular in Israel and
because it would counter Washington’s policy of trying to isolate Syria.
Liel said he made it very clear at the beginning of each meeting that he did
not represent the Israeli government, but that he routinely updated Israeli
officials, as well as the Turkish government, after each round. The Turkish
government had initially been approached by the participants as a possible
sponsor, but turned them down.
Aronson said the time is ripe for a resumption of peace talks, though he
acknowledged that Syria could just be feigning interest in resuming talks to
get into Washington’s good graces. “There is a reasonable basis to assume that
well-intentioned official representatives have something to talk about when
they sit down,” he said.

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January 18th, 2007, 7:00 pm

 

3. Atassi said:

Spurning an olive branch – Israel and America

20 January 2007
The Economist

America should not tell Israel to reject an overture from Syria

YOU are 6m Jews living in a sea of hostile Muslims. Fortunately you happen to be a good friend of the world’s only superpower. Israel’s interest is accordingly to stick closely to the policies of the United States. It stands to reason, doesn’t it?

Perhaps not. America is constantly accused, and often with justice, of being uncritically supportive of Israel. What is less often noticed is that Israel is too often uncritically supportive of America. And although this may at first look as if it makes strategic sense for the Jewish state, it doesn’t always.

Here is a case in point. Bashar Assad, Syria’s dictator, appears to have been signalling lately that he is willing to hold peace talks with Israel. It seems that he is not even insisting, as his father Hafez used to, on Israel promising before any talks to give back the whole of the Golan Heights. Furthermore, according to revelations this week in Haaretz, Israel’s liberal daily, some people from each side have already engaged in several years of secret, unofficial “track-two” diplomacy, going so far as to have produced a draft peace treaty (see page 63).

Sorry, but Uncle Sam says no

Plainly, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, should grab any opportunity to talk. For many decades most of Israel’s enemies denied its right to exist, let alone to enjoy normal neighbourly relations. The Palestinians’ Hamas movement and Iran still take that line. So even if talks with Syria did not lead immediately to peace—and they probably wouldn’t unless Israel gave up the Golan—they would at least knock a mighty hole in the idea, once again spreading in the wider Muslim world, that the very existence of Israel is illegitimate and not to be accepted in any circumstances. And yet Mr Olmert has so far said no to talks. In saying no, moreover, he gave Israelis a singular reason. He said that by talking to the president of Syria Israel would upset the president of the United States.

Right now George Bush has reasons to be unfriendly to Mr Assad. Syria helps the insurgents in Iraq, is trying to topple the government of Lebanon and is desperate to evade whatever responsibility it may have had for killing Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, in 2005. To the degree that peace talks with Israel would ease Mr Assad’s isolation—and ingratiating himself with the West may well be the cynical extent of Mr Assad’s intentions—they might indeed complicate America’s present strategic calculations in the Middle East.

If you are a superpower, however, your strategy has a habit of changing, along with conditions, regimes and fashion. America has the luxury of being able to reassess its interests, drop old friends and find new ones, promote autocracy one day and emphasise democracy the next. Sometimes its attention swivels right away from the Middle East. Israel, on the other hand, has a permanent and perhaps existential interest in finding a way to get along with its neighbours. It really cannot afford to pass up any opportunity, however cynically motivated, to break the encircling wall of enmity.

If Mr Bush continues to instruct Israel to rebuff Mr Assad’s overtures, Mr Olmert will no doubt obey orders. Strong Israeli prime ministers have in the past occasionally refused to take American instruction, but Mr Olmert was never strong and has been further weakened by his inept handling of last summer’s war in Lebanon. He may, moreover, have his own cynical reasons for refusing a Syrian olive branch—such as an unwillingness to pay for peace by giving up the Golan, or to make his domestic problems worse by broaching the possibility.

If that is his reasoning, it is short-sighted. A land-for-peace deal in the West Bank and Golan remains Israel’s best hope of security. It should be tireless in its quest for peace, even when its great ally is preoccupied elsewhere. In the long run, after all, resolving this conflict is in America’s interest, too.

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January 18th, 2007, 9:33 pm

 

4. Ehsani2 said:

Atassi’s article above is excellent.
Here is another one by the same publication

The Economist
PUBLICATION DATE: 01/20/2007

Those seemingly minor inconveniences that make life hellish
DURING 2006, according to B’tselem, an Israeli human-rights group,
Israeli forces killed 660 Palestinians, almost half of them innocent
bystanders, among them 141 children. In the same period, Palestinians killed
17 Israeli civilians and six soldiers. It is such figures, as well as events
like shellings, house demolitions, arrest raids and land expropriations, that
make the headlines in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What rarely get into
the media but make up the staple of Palestinian daily conversation are the
countless little restrictions that slow down most people’s lives, strangle the
economy and provide constant fuel for extremists.
Arbitrariness is one of the most crippling features of these rules. No
one can predict how a trip will go. Many of the main West Bank roads, for the
sake of the security of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, are off-limits to
Palestinian vehicles-only one road connecting the north and south West Bank,
for instance, is open to them-and these restrictions change frequently. So do
the rules on who can pass the checkpoints that in effect divide the West Bank
into a number of semi-connected regions (see map).
A new order due to come into force this week would have banned most West
Bankers from riding in cars with Israeli licence plates, and thus from getting
lifts from friends and relatives among the 1.6m Palestinians who live as
citizens in Israel, as well as from aid workers, journalists and other
foreigners. The army decided to suspend the order after protests from
human-rights groups that it would give soldiers enormous arbitrary powers-but
it has not revoked it.
Large parts of the population of the northern West Bank, and of
individual cities like Nablus and Jericho, simply cannot leave their home
areas without special permits, which are not always forthcoming. If they can
travel, how long they spend waiting at checkpoints, from minutes to hours,
depends on the time of day and the humour of the soldiers. Several checkpoints
may punctuate a journey between cities that would otherwise be less than an
hour’s drive apart. These checkpoints move and shift every day, and army jeeps
add to the unpredictability and annoyance by stopping and creating ad hoc
mobile checkpoints at various spots.
According to the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA), the number of such obstacles had increased to 534 by
mid-December from 376 in August 2005, when OCHA and the Israeli army completed
a joint count. When Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, agreed last month
to ease restrictions at a few of these checkpoints as a concession to Mahmoud
Abbas, the Palestinian president, human-rights people reported that not only
did many of the checkpoints go on working as before; near the ones that had
eased up, mobile ones were now operating instead, causing worse disruption and
pain.
It is sometimes hard to fathom the logic of the checkpoint regime. One
route from Ramallah, the Palestinian administrative capital, to Jerusalem,
involves a careful inspection of documents, while on another the soldiers-if
they are at their posts-just glance at cars’ occupants to see if they look
Arab. Israeli law strictly forbids Israeli citizens from visiting the main
Palestinian cities, but they can drive straight into Ramallah and Hebron
without being challenged, while other cities, such as Jericho and Nablus,
remain impermeable. In many places the barrier that Israel is building through
the West Bank for security purposes (though in Palestinian eyes to grab more
land) is monitored with all the care of an international border, while around
Jerusalem the army turns a blind eye to hundreds of people who slip through
cracks in the wall as part of their daily commute.
Because of the internal travel restrictions, people who want to move from
one Palestinian city to another for work or study must register a change of
address to make sure they can stay there. But they cannot. Israel’s population
registry, which issues Palestinian identity cards as well as Israeli ones, has
issued almost no new Palestinian cards since the start of the second INTIFADA
in 2000. And that means no address changes either. This also makes it
virtually impossible for Palestinians from abroad to get residency in the
occupied territories, which are supposed to be their future state, never mind
in Israel.

No-through-roads galore

On top of that, in the past year several thousand Palestinians who had
applied for residency in the West Bank and were living there on renewable
six-month visitor permits have become illegal residents too, liable to be
stopped and deported at any checkpoint, not because of anything they have done
but because Israel has stopped renewing permits since Hamas, the Islamist
movement, took control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) a year ago. (Israel
says it is because the PA isn’t handing over the requests.)
Like Israelis, Palestinians who commit a traffic offence on the West
Bank’s highways have to pay the fine at an Israeli post office or a police
station. But in the West Bank the only post offices and police stations are on
Israeli settlements that most West Bank Palestinians cannot visit without a
rare permit. If they do not pay, however, they lose their driving licences the
next time the police stop them. They also get a criminal record-which then
makes an Israeli entry permit quite impossible.
Some of the regulations stray into the realm of the absurd. A year ago a
military order, for no obvious reason, expanded the list of protected wild
plants in the West Bank to include za’atar (hyssop), an abundant herb and
Palestinian staple. For a while, soldiers at checkpoints confiscated bunches
of it from bewildered Palestinians who had merely wanted something to liven up
their salads. Lately there have been no reports of za’atar confiscation, but,
says Michael Sfard, the legal adviser for Yesh Din, another Israeli
human-rights body, the order is still in force. As he tells the story, he
cannot help laughing. There is not much else to do.

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January 18th, 2007, 10:41 pm

 

5. Alex said:

Here is an interesting one!

Saddam’s #2, Mr. Al-Duri, who was supposedly in Syria (according to US administration’s always useless “information”) is probably, according to President Talabani, in Yemen.

Syria was supposedly coordinating with him the terrorist attacks in Iraq.

Today Al-Duri issued a press release accusing Syria of trying to establish new leadership for Iraq’s Baath party through its invitations to Iraq’s top Baathists to a conference in Damascus.

So lets see now. Who has more useful friends and allies in Iraq? Syria? Iran? the United States?

Yet Condoleezza Rice wants to visit Bahrain instead of Damascus.

عزة الدوري يتهم سوريا بالتآمر على حزب البعث العراقي

جلال الطالباني رجح وجود عزة الدوري في اليمن وليس في سوريا كما كان يعتقد (رويترز-أرشيف)

ندد الرجل الثاني في النظام العراقي السابق عزة إبراهيم الدوري بما اعتبره مؤامرة على حزب البعث العراقي المنحل، متهما سوريا باحتضان مؤتمر يهدف إلى اختيار قيادة جديدة للحزب.

وقال الدوري في بيان ذيل بتوقيع القيادة القومية لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي “إن معلومات وردت عن دعوة بعض المفصولين من الحزب إلى عقد مؤتمر قطري غير شرعي في دمشق”، مضيفا أن مجرد احتضان سوريا لهذه الدعوة يؤكد أنها جزء مما سماه مؤامرة الاحتلال الأميركي لتصفية رمز نضال العراق ضد الاحتلال وهو الحزب، ودمجه في الحكومة السورية الحليفة الطبيعية للحكومة الإيرانية.

وهاجم الدوري، وهو أكبر مسؤول في النظام العراقي السابق مازال فارا، “المفصول محمد يونس الأحمد” أحد الأعضاء السابقين في البعث العراقي، داعيا “جميع مناضلي الحزب خارج العراق إلى التصدي لهؤلاء المتآمرين مع الاحتلال والمخابرات السورية وعزلهم”.

الطالباني يرجح
وفي السياق ذاته رجح الرئيس العراقي جلال الطالباني أن يكون الدوري موجودا في اليمن وليس في سوريا كما كان يعتقد، مشيرا إلى أن السلطات العراقية تتعقب تحركات الدوري ولم تبحث بعد المطالبة بتسليمه.

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January 19th, 2007, 12:00 am

 

6. G said:

[……..] edited by blog administrator. 

>>In an interview with a Chronicle correspondent in Iraq, a former division general of the Republican Guard, Saddam Hussein’s most elite military corps, dismissed the widespread assumption that Syria’s tribal links to the Sunni-led insurgents would give it leverage.

“We still remember how Syria sided with Iran during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, when they closed the Iraqi oil pipeline passing through its territory and provided Iran with ground-to-ground missiles to attack Baghdad,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.< <

[........] edited by blog administrator. 

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January 19th, 2007, 12:19 am

 

7. Alex said:

Thank you G

I’m happy my brain waves and yours have a perfect 180 degree phase shift

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January 19th, 2007, 12:29 am

 

8. Gibran said:

Ban’s UN concerned about the International Tribunal:

Asked by reporters whether he would convey the UN’s commitment to establish an international tribunal when he meets Siniora in Paris, Ban said, “It is important that the Security Council has decided to establish a special tribunal.”
“It is a source of concern for me as secretary general that we are not being able to conclude this and establish a special tribunal, as was mandated by the Security Council,” he said.
“At the same time, I was encouraged by the willingness of the Lebanese government to work together for the establishment of a special tribunal, including President Lahoud and Parliament Speaker Berri.” – The Daily Star, with agencies

Looks like a prelude to forming the tribunal under Chapter 7 of the UN. Hezbollah and Berri may have done some good to the tribunal after all (of course by following Syrian dictates) despite their ‘best intentions’.

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January 19th, 2007, 1:27 am

 

9. norman said:

Alex, Joshua, you both seem ready to represent us , Syria comment and Syria think tank in this excercise.

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January 19th, 2007, 3:52 am

 

10. youngSyria said:

alex;
regardless of source phase shift and time delay would give same result (using appropriate values)?

sorry SyriaComment … :)

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January 19th, 2007, 6:16 am

 

11. youngSyria said:

alex,
“180 degree phase shift”…nice link.. thanks

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January 19th, 2007, 6:27 am

 

12. Charles G. Coutinho, Ph. D. said:

Would first like to comment, not having been on this site for a few weeks, that the latest postings, again shows the excellence of Professor Landis’s choice of topics and articles for elucidation and discussion. So hats off!

Now as per specifics: I am afraid that I share the
overall pessimistic outlook of Professor Lesch. The year 2007 is not likely to see much in the way of positive news in the entire Near East, much less on the Israeli-Syrian front. The Bush regime, as I predicted both here, as well as my
own site on several occasions, has decided to in essence, go ‘va banque’. Instead of following up the diplomatic line of the James Baker (engage Syria, engage or try to, Persia, begin to dis-engage or redeploy forces from Iraq, at least away from the urban areas, push hard on Tel Aviv
to negotiate with the Palestinians, `a la the Madrid Conference of 1991), Bush and Cheney, et. al., have instead taken a script from the neo-conservative, pro-Israeli ideologues and instead, we see a mini-offensive of sorts in various parts of the region. The ‘surge’ (the most prominent but in actual fact, perhaps the weakest element
of this offensive) of additional troops into Iraq; the hardline (including perhaps covert operations?) diplomatic stance towards the
political conflict in the Lebanon; the continuing
cold war (non-recognition, no assistance of any sort, etc.) towards the Hamas government, with
the now revealed sub rosa arming of Fatah elements; the increased belligerency towards Persia, with the arrests of the Persian agents in
Kurdistan, the beefing up of American ships in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, and, the
attempts to get EU countries to impose more de facto financial sanctions on Teheran; the diplomatic pas de deux, with all the important Sunni Arab countries recently: Saudi Arabia and Egypt in particular, as all talk of ‘democratization’ is dumped overboard almost entirely.

In the above context, it is completely illusory to either expect or anticipate, that this government, the Bush regime, will ever endorse or
encourage Tel Aviv to reach some type of peace
agreement with Assad Fils. And, while I myself seriously doubt that there are any concrete plans
afoot, in Washington to try an “Operation Straggle” # 2, I am sure that if the means were available, that Elliott Abrams and friends would
love to try it. However in the absence of even any ‘assets’ in Syria proper (remember that when
MI-6 and the CIA, thought up, Straggle in 1955-1956, they at least possessed some, elements in the Syrian military who could be used and or co-opted), it is highly doubtful that anything will
come of such thinkings but day dreams. Particularly since, it is widely apparent, that
Tel Aviv, has absolutely no wish to overthrow the
Assad regime.

In fact I think that the latter aspect is perhaps the light at the end of this particular tunnel. If, as the Bush regime goes off in the sunset, those elements in the Israeli establishment (admittedly more of the Labour Alignment types), who favor a renewal of negotiations with Syria, may, be able to reverse Sharon-Olmert, non-negotiations policy. Admittedly this in turn will depend upon the ouster of the current (very weak) government in Tel Aviv, and, that there not be another Lebanon War `a la that of 2006. Still it does appear to be the case, that unlike many in official Washington, much of the ‘official mind’
in Israel regards the Assad regime in Damascus as the best thing going for Syria. And, it could very
well be the case, that with a change of regimes in both Washington and Tel Aviv, that this particular point of view, will regard a peace
deal with Assad as the best means of ensuring that
Syria remains politically stable, and, does not
undergo a process of ‘Iraqization’, id est, political instability leading to civil war.

Admittedly, this does not sound like a very optimistic scenario, but, I do think that it is
probably the one most likely to succeed. One needs to remember here that, it was not Washington which prevented a peace agreement coming off in 1999-2000, it was the two parties themselves (with probably Tel Aviv more sinning than sinned against). All Washington did, was to allow the negotiations to proceed, and, to assist in the mechanics of the negotiations. But, it was the decisions taken by the two parties themselves, which sabotaged a possible agreement. Similarly, it will be, in the final analysis, decisions made in Tel Aviv, and, I should add (following up on the erste-klasse commentary of Professor Leenders) in Damascus which will ensure that a peace agreement is eventually arrived at between these two countries.

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January 19th, 2007, 7:37 am

 

13. Alex said:

Thanks Norman, we can do that, but only after G and Gibran approve. Although they both went out of their way to tell me how much they admire me, yet for some reason … I have a feeling they don’t.

YoungSyria, I’m glad you enjoyed the link … everything, including a signal phase shift tutorial, is nicer than Mideast politics.

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January 19th, 2007, 7:41 am

 

14. Alex said:

Here is a story (Arabic again) from Annahar about a possible Syria-Saudi Arabia “deal”

المملكة اتفقت مع فرنسا على مخارج للبنان
ملامح تقارب سعودي – سوري

ونبّه السفير الى عامل جديد ايجابي يمكن ان يساعد بقوة في الوصول الى حل للازمة السياسية، وقد يطرأ خلال الاسابيع المقبلة، ويكمن في زيارة يقوم بها الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد للرياض قبل انعقاد القمة العربية العادية في 28 آذار المقبل او ارجاء هذه الزيارة الى موعد انعقادها، فيلبي بذلك الرئيس السوري دعوة العاهل السعودي الى حضور القمة، علماً ان المعلومات الديبلوماسية المتوافرة تشجع على توقع انهاء الفتور في العلاقات السعودية – السورية، وتفيد بأن ايران ادت دوراً لا يمكن الاستهانة به في هذا المجال.

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January 19th, 2007, 8:05 am

 

15. Innocent_Criminal said:

Alex,

I fail to see these political balloons as anything positive when you have something much more important to the Saudis and that much more contradictory. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/93585/Saudi_Arabia_Openly_Supports_U_S_New_Strategy_in_Iraq

G,
watch your choice of words please.

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January 19th, 2007, 9:11 am

 

16. 3antar said:

Sarcasm is surely the best outlet.

كم نحن السوريون أنانيون ومتكبرون…! … بقلم : م.هادي النحلاوي

مساهمات القراء

يقولون سوريا هي قلب لجميع العرب ومن يريد ان يزور سوريا فليأتي اهلا وسهلا لست بحاجة الي فيزا لانك ستأتي الى سوريا ، اما نحن اذا اردنا الذهاب حتى الى جهنم الحمراء ستحتاج الى مئة توقيع من مئة سفارة وسنسأل مئة سؤال عن سبب الزيارة والمدة الزمنية ،

فاذا كتبت لنا زيارة احد البلدان الشقيقة ، سنكون كالمنبوذين والمكروهين كاننا نحن السوريون المسؤولون عن قنبلة هيروشيما في الحرب العالمية الثانية أم لأن مجاعات افريقيا سببها استغلال السوريين لموارد افريقيا ام لان مرض الايدز انطلق من سوريا ام لان السوريون يودعون اموالهم في البنوك السويسرية ويستثمرون اموالهم في بلاد العم سام وغير السام ويحرمون اشقائهم العرب المحرومين ام لان السوريون هم اول من باع القضية الفلسطينية ولم يربى اولاده واحفاده وحتى احفاد احفاده ان فلسطين هي ارض لجميع العرب ولن نكون بخير حتى تعود فلسطين الى اهلها مطلقين شعارات انا ومن ورائي الطوفان ام لان السوريون ينعمون برخاء اقتصادي وزهد في الاسعار فقط بسبب ان الحاجات الاساسية لنا السوريون ممنوع تصديرها الى بلدان مجاورة كالعراق بسبب ان الاخوة العراقيين بحاجة الى نقف بجانبهم ونحن لسنا بحاجة الى ان يقف معنا احد ام لان الكهرباء في سوريا لا تنقطع ابدا عن المواطن البسيط بحجة ان الشبكة الكهربائية السورية مسؤولة عن امداد لبنان الشقيق ضاربين بعرض الحائط ومتناسين مقولة فيروز (سوا ربينا) ام لان الهواية المفضلة والمحببة لدى السوريون هي التظاهر امام الساحات العامة وامام عدسات الكاميرا منشدين الشتائم ومترنمين بالاهانات للشعب اللبناني شيبة وشبابا نساء ورجالا تحت شعارات (حرية ، سيادة ، استقلال) ام لان السوريين شعب نقاق فأي مصيبة تحدث في سوريا حتى اذا المواطن العادي تشاجر مع زوجته يكون لبنان وشعب لبنان هو المسؤول الاول والاخير عن تلك المشاجرة وبطالب فورا بتدخل دولي حتى يخرجه من بين انياب ذلك اللبناني المتوحش ام لان اسعار العقارات في سوريا زهيدة جدا ومناسبة لجميع الشباب السوري حتى يدخل الى ما يسمى القفص الذهبي حتى اصبح اسمه في سوريا القفص التنكي بسبب سهولة ويسر ان يحصل السوري المغرور المتكبر على نصفه الحلو ام لأن لاموال المسروقة والمنهوبة من العراق لم تدخل ولم تهرب ابدا الى سوريا بسب ان الحدود تغلق في وجه اي عربي يريد ان يزور سوريا ولم تبيض أبدا بشراء العقارات والاراضي حتى اصبح المواطن السوري لم تراوده ولو بأي شكل من الاشكال اي نوع من الاحاسيس انه غريب في ما كان يعتقد انه وطنه فأصبح وطن لغيره، ام لأن الشباب السوري لا يحلم ابدا بالهجرة وترك وطنه واهله لمن هو غير سوري بحثا عن راتب ولو كان يكفي فقط ثمن اربع عجلات ولو حتى سوزوكي يحلم باقتنائه ام لان الاخوة الفلسطينين في سوريا محرومين من ابسط حقوق الحياة ولا يجدون فرصة عمل ولا يستطيعون التملك او حتى السفر اما في بلاد العرب اوطاني فيعاملون باحترام شديد ولا يعاملون كلاجئين منبوذين بل على العكس يمنحون بطاقات شخصية لا تميزه عن اهل البلد الاصلي حتى انهم يوظفون في الدوائر الحكومية ويدرسون في الجامعات أم الشباب في تلك البلاد لا يحلم بنصف تلك الميزات …. والكثير الكثير الكثير

(فهل رأيتم كم نحن السوريون جبارون ومتكبرون
)…

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=46283

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January 19th, 2007, 10:34 am

 

17. Akbar Palace said:

Charles G. Coutinho, Ph. D. said

“Tel Aviv, has absolutely no wish to overthrow the
Assad regime.”

Wouldn’t be the first time Israel made an error in judgement.

“One needs to remember here that, it was not Washington which prevented a peace agreement coming off in 1999-2000, it was the two parties themselves (with probably Tel Aviv more sinning than sinned against).”

“Tel-Aviv more sinning than sinned against”? Of course! What else is new in the strange world of anti-Israel “Wacademia”? Arafat never provided a counter proposal, and instead reinstituted “armed struggle”. The lastest Israeli offer of sharing Jerusalem, leaving Gaza, and over 95% of the WB and promises of over $90 Billion dollars is “more sinning”? I suppose on this website it is.

And when did Arafat ever stop violence? Or incitement in his media?

An acquaintance of mine writes about a recent trip to Syria:

“I think I told you back then, that I found Syria to be the only place around where upon arriving one feels like back in Soviet times entering the countries of Eastern Europe, an obvious, unpleasant, threatening and corrupt police state.”

Perhaps, one day, the news media will take a closer look at this story instead of the usual anti-Israeli crap.

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January 19th, 2007, 12:04 pm

 

18. 3antar said:

but thats it AP , people are only willing to criticize Israel , unjustifiably, on this blog. As its clearly obvious. And most if not all of the media is Anti-Israeli and perhaps even anti-semitic. whats your point? the world condones it. and once again, you and your ilk are victimized, as its Israel versus the rest of the world. Israel practically bent backwards for Arafat, but that son of a b*** pissed on the deal.
whats new?
you want sympathy? … perhaps a cookie would suffice.
$90 billion????? if i was offered that much, i would buy a beautiful tropical island, call it Palestine and end this nightmare.

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January 19th, 2007, 12:21 pm

 

19. 3antar said:

but thinkin about this… would i have to pay any royalty fees for using the “Palestine” name?
I suppose Israel might own the copy right for “Palestine”.
perhaps i would need to share control the capital city. Dedicate the southern portion as a park so that Israelis could spend their holidays, without requiring a VISA…. for a period of 15 years. making sure of course unlimited access to water wells or rivers for the welcomed tourists.
its only fair. after all, if it wasnt for those tourists, where would i cuff up $90 billion from?

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January 19th, 2007, 12:40 pm

 

20. ugarit said:

3antar said: “Israel practically bent backwards for Arafat, but that son of a b*** pissed on the deal.”

Practically but not really. This is simply inaccurate.

I recommend that everyone read

The Myth of the Generous Offer

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January 19th, 2007, 2:41 pm

 

21. Atassi said:

Syrian opposition figure cautions against “sudden” internal change
19 January 2007
10:16

English
(c) 2007 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved. No material may be reproduced except with the express permission of The British Broadcasting Corporation.

Text of report by Bahiyah Mardini in Damascus entitled: “Syrian oppositionist Usamah al-Munjid: sudden change is not suitable for Damascus”; carried by Elaph website on 15 January

In exclusive statements to Elaph, Usamah al-Munjid, head of the Media Bureau of the opposition Justice and Construction Movement, has said that “a sudden and violent change in Syria is not suitable and it does not serve the interests of the Syrian people”.

He added: “Any country whose people have lived for many decades under tyranny, suppression and corruption, cannot comprehend a sudden, violent and quick change.” He pointed out that sociology indicates that communities which lived under such totalitarian regimes need a quiet, scientific and studied change in order to benefit from all available margins [of freedom]. It also indicates the need to make maximum utilization of these margins in order to expand these margins and win further public support gradually.

Al-Munjid, who has been living in Britain since 2004, said: “The Justice and Construction Movement was established on 10 May 2006. It is part of the Damascus Declaration for national democratic change in Syria.” He expressed the belief that what he mentioned above is the policy of the Damascus Declaration and its strategy for national democratic change.

Al-Munjid, whom Elaph met with in Brussels, said: “During university days, a group of youth had the idea of establishing a movement with a political trend. The idea began to take shape gradually until the movement found that this trend exists among Syrians outside and inside Syria who have qualifications and experience. This encouraged all of us to agree on the need to work for the sake of the country and its interest because, regrettably, we find that the more the Syrians are preoccupied with their jobs, future and careers, the less interested they become in public affairs.”

Al-Munjid noted that “Syria needs all its sons”. He said: We have thought about economic reform, but the intellectual structures have always been, and are still, a barrier. He asserted the need for reform in the political, judicial and human rights fields in Syria.

Asked about what the Syrian opposition abroad can do, in the light of some views that it cannot offer much to the Syrians, Al-Munjid said: This is a part of the Syrian regime’s strategy for cancelling and excluding others [who hold opposing views] and giving public opinion in Syria and abroad the impression that there is no effective, large or organized Syrian opposition. He added: However, I say that this impression is wrong. This method of misleading public opinion will not be useful from now on. The opposition, praise be to God, has changed its method and developed itself. It has conducted self-criticism and a real review of its methods and strategy. The best evidence of this is the Damascus Declaration and the committees stemming from it outside Syria, especially in Europe. This provides most of the opposition forces with a real umbrella for joint cooperation and action to show the real picture of the suffering of people in Syria and to convey this suffering to international public opinion. In our age, the Syrian regime’s practices, including repression, tyranny, suppression of public freedoms, denial of civil rights and gagging people, are unacceptable in any circumstances. Regrettably, we do not see any glimmer of hope or positive steps by the regime to provide the Syrian people with the hope of a change or real reform.

Al-Munjid said: “We bade farewell to 2006, which was the worst year for Syria since 2000, according to many statistics.” He added: “In 2000, we were hopeful that there would be a real way out of the crisis experienced by Syria economically or socially, but we found that the problem is political par excellence. However, we hope that this new, young generation, which masters the language of its age, scientifically and technologically, will change the elements of the equation. This generation is not governed by the complexes of the past or by the failure of the attempts [to bring about a change] in the past. It is not governed by that suppressive, bloody history, and it has a lot of faith in freedom. It will defend this and will work hard to achieve it [freedom] in Syria, because this generation has realized that freedom is acquired and wrested, and is not given or granted.”

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January 19th, 2007, 9:22 pm

 

22. Atassi said:

OPED
The speaker outcast – or just disarmed?
Michael Young
1108 words
18 January 2007
Daily Star
English
(c) 2007 THE DAILY STAR, BEIRUT, LEBANON.

Beirut — Spare a sardonic thought for Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Only last summer he was being feted by March 14 for having helped the Cabinet majority railroad Hizbullah into approving a Lebanese Army deployment to South Lebanon and endorsing Security Council Resolution 1701; now they’re depicting him as the scoundrel of the moment, increasingly marginalized for failing to hold a parliamentary session to approve the mixed tribunal in the Hariri assassination. Oh when that trapdoor opens.

Berri has done himself few favors in recent months. He alienated Hizbullah and its secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, during the summer war, but also when he seemed to be trying to open an independent line to Iran last November. As you might recall, he had just wrapped up a series of national dialogue sessions and flew to Tehran for a conference. While he was there the Shiite ministers resigned. Berri initially declared that the government remained constitutional, but then abruptly backtracked – under Iranian pressure, some speculated. This angered the majority, and in a matter of days the speaker was sitting atop the detritus of a failed dialogue that he had sponsored, with Hizbullah and March 14 united on a single thing: that it did no good to trust Nabih Berri.

For a time, after the opposition descended on Downtown Beirut in protest, it looked like Berri might devise a new role for himself. Who else could play middleman to help break the deadlock? That was too optimistic a reading of the speaker’s capacities. By then, Hizbullah was unwilling to grant him any of the leeway it had during the July-August conflict. The majority, meanwhile, was still only interested in seeing whether Berri would summon Parliament to vote in favor of the Hariri tribunal. Caught in a vise, the speaker discerned a faint ray of hope in the Arab League proposal peddled by Secretary General Amr Moussa. And what did the normally cunning Berri do? He tied a rope around his neck and leapt.

Moussa sought to promote a package deal that, among other things, would have formed a new government with 19 ministers from the majority, 10 from the opposition, and one independent. The idea was to prevent the majority from imposing its writ by a two-thirds vote, while denying the opposition veto power. The majority also agreed to the creation of a committee of judges to discuss amendments to the draft tribunal proposal. Berri, not wanting to oversee a vote in Parliament on the tribunal, set a condition for his acceptance: that the amended draft be returned to the new government for approval. This effectively denied the majority a means to pass a proposal with which the opposition disagreed. Suddenly, Berri became enemy number-one for March 14, but also angered Moussa and his patrons in Cairo and Riyadh.

That wasn’t all. In the period between Christmas and New Year, Berri came up with a plan of his own to resolve the crisis, one that proved to be dead on arrival. Walid Jumblatt dismissed it as “the latest merchandise,” and Moussa saw the scheme as an underhanded effort to supplant his own ideas. The Arab League secretary general reacted by indefinitely delaying his return to Beirut. It was no coincidence that last Monday the Kuwaiti newspaper As-Siyassa, citing an adviser to Siniora, spoke of the possibility of Saudi Arabia’s hosting a reconciliation conference on Lebanon, at which Berri would not be invited. The likelihood of that happening is negligible; after all, Berri represents Parliament. Still, the leak was designed to warn that the speaker may become irrelevant.

Berri is a target because the majority views him as the weakest link in Syria’s effort to derail parliamentary approval of the Hariri tribunal. March 14 politicians will admit he has been threatened – but everyone has, they promptly add. That Berri remains Syria’s man is hardly

surprising for anyone who has followed his decades-long political gymnastics. But more disturbing for the speaker, Saudi Arabia and Egypt apparently regard this as a problem when dealing with him. The Saudis are said to oppose bringing Syria into any discussion of Lebanon. If that’s true, then Berri did himself few favors by telling As-Safir on Saturday, after meeting with Saudi Ambassador Abdel-Aziz Khoja, that “any efforts exerted to bring about a breakthrough in Saudi-Syrian relations will speed up the opportunities for a resolution in Lebanon, before it is too late.”

This kind of talk, particularly Berri’s recent statement that Lebanon is “a time-bomb preparing to explode,” is open to various interpretations. Some see the comments as a threat; others, more benignly, assume the speaker is playing up a sense of impending doom to pave the way for his return as mediator. The visit by Amal representatives to the Phalange headquarters on Tuesday lends credence to the latter view. But Berri, like Nasrallah, is paying a heavy price for his alliance with Syria, and more specifically for Syria’s refusal to grant its Lebanese comrades any latitude to negotiate what, for the Assad regime, could be a less dangerous tribunal framework.

Difficult times lie ahead for Berri. The parliamentary majority has already signed a petition asking President Emile Lahoud to open an extraordinary session of Parliament. The decision is binding on Lahoud, but Berri has yet to transmit the request to Baabda. If the speaker gets over this hurdle, in late March he must convene the first regular session of Parliament for 2007. If a parliamentarian formally asks that the tribunal law be dealt with as “fast-track” legislation, Berri, at least according to a member of the Hariri bloc, must put it to a vote. In addition, Article 44 of the Constitution allows the majority to hold a vote of confidence in the speaker two years after legislative elections, in the first regular annual session. If he loses by a two-thirds margin, Berri can be replaced.

These maneuvers are unlikely to change Berri’s behavior, get the tribunal approved, or bounce the speaker. However, they are politically embarrassing. One thing must be dawning on Berri: It was the March 14 leadership that was instrumental in returning him to power last year. Having lost the majority’s backing and little trusted by Hizbullah, the speaker must be wondering if he’s gone beyond his expiry date. More pertinently, Berri must sense that he may be the latest target in a broader effort to dismantle what remains of the Syrian order in Lebanon.

Michael Young is opinion editor of THE DAILY STAR.

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January 19th, 2007, 9:29 pm

 

23. Alex said:

Nasrallah spoke today to NBN for almost 3 hours.

He says he is confident the new escalated moves that will be announced the next few days by the opposition will be enough for them to reach their goals, or “get very close to them”.

They now want a temp coalition unity government that will

1) discuss and approve the terms of the Hariri case’s international court.

2) call for early elections (Parliament)

3) conduct new presidential elections.

So … where does this announcement leave the Saudi and Arab League plans?

بيروت: قال الامين العام لحزب الله حسن نصرالله الجمعة ان اولوية المعارضة اللبنانية اصبحت المطالبة باجراء انتخابات نيابية مبكرة، مشيرا الى انها ستعلن قريبا عن “تحرك مهم وكبير” لتحقيق هدفها. وتحدث نصرالله في مقابلة طويلة استغرقت حوالى ثلاث ساعات مع تلفزيون “المنار” التابع لحزب الله عن مضي المعارضة في تحركها في مواجهة الحكومة برئاسة فؤاد السنيورة، متهما فريق الاكثرية بانه “لا يصغي الى صوت الشعب”. كما تناول مطولا حرب تموز/يوليو بين اسرائيل وحزب الله والوضع في العراق.

وقال نصرالله “الليلة تنتهي المشاورات بين كل قوى المعارضة” التي يشكل حزب الله الشيعي ابرز اركانها وتضم ايضا التيار الوطني الحر برئاسة النائب المسيحي الجنرال ميشال عون واحزابا موالية لسوريا. واضاف “من المفترض ان يصدر بيان السبت او الاحد” للاعلان عن التحرك الجديد. وتابع نصرالله “اعتقد ان التحرك سيكون فعالا ومهما جدا وكبيرا جدا وادعو كل اللبنانيين الى المشاركة في فعالياته”، متابعا “اعتقد انه سيكون مهما جدا ومؤثرا جدا وان لم يوصلنا الى الهدف سيقربنا بقوة من هذا الهدف”.

ورفض الرد على سؤال يتعلق بتفاصيل التحرك وما اذا كان سيشمل قطع طرق واقفال مرافىء كما تتناقل وسائل الاعلام. الا انه قال “انا واثق بان المعارضة ستتمكن من تحقيق هدفها”. واوضح نصرالله ان المعارضة “لم تعد تكتفي بمطلب حكومة وحدة وطنية ومطلبها الان انتخابات نيابية مبكرة وهذه اولوية”. واضاف “نقبل بحكومة انتقالية تجري انتخابات مبكرة، ونقبل بحكومة وحدة وطنية” تعمل على تنفيذ الآتي: “اولا اقرار المحكمة الدولية (في قضية اغتيال رئيس الحكومة اللبناني الاسبق رفيق الحريري)، ثانيا وضع قانون انتخابي جديد، ثالثا اجراء انتخابات نيابية مبكرة، رابعا اجراء انتخابات رئاسية”.

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January 19th, 2007, 11:04 pm

 

24. Gibran said:

This is Nasrallah’s last bullet. He will fire it and then he will be powerless to even fend for himself. Rest assured that his gamble will fail and his failure will make Syrian and Iranian dreams vanish. I expect that he will evetually get deported to Iran where the Wilayat he is seeking already exist to the detriment of the majority of Iranians. His mask has fallen and the vast majority of the Lebanese have lost all faith in him. His so-called allies are losing constituency at such a rate that one can safely say they hardly represent themselves.

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January 20th, 2007, 1:10 am

 

25. Alex said:

After the Iraqi and Palestinian presidents this week … now the Pakistani president is coming to Damascus

ضمن جولة في المنطقة : الرئيس الباكستاني برويز مشرف يزور دمشق الاسبوع المقبل

يزور الرئيس الباكستاني برويز مشرف سورية الاسبوع المقبل ضمن جولة له على عدد من دول الشرق الاوسط لاجراء محادثات مع القادة العرب تتعلق بالعلاقات الثنائية والاقليمية ذات الاهتمام المشترك. الاعلان عن زيارة مشرف جاء من خلال تصريحات لمسؤول بارز في الخارجية الباكستانية ومن غير ان يؤكد او ينفي الاعلام السوري خبرالزيارة ، مسؤول في الخارجية الباكستانية اشار الى “ان جولة مشرف في الشرق الاوسط تشمل المملكة العربية السعودية ومصر والاردن وسورية” ، واضاف ان مشرف” سيعقد مباحثات تتناول العلاقات الثنائية بين باكستان وتلك الدول اضافة الى القضايا الاقليمية والدولية مثل الصراع الفلسطيني الاسرائيلي ، والقضية الافغانية ، و الوضع في كشمير ، وعملية السلام بين الهند وباكستان” .

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January 20th, 2007, 2:35 am

 

26. Alex said:

Really?

الرياح ترسل أسرارا عسكرية من إسرائيل إلى سورية

غزة: صالح النعامي تل أبيب: نظير مجلي
كشفت مصادر اسرائيلية امس ان أوراق سرية عن تكنولوجيا حربية أميركية متطورة طارت من هضبة الجولان السورية التي تحتلها اسرائيل، باتجاه سورية. ونقلت صحيفة معاريف الاسرائيلية عن جنرال في الجيش قوله انه عقب حرب لبنان تقرر اعادة تفعيل وحدات قتالية سرية للجيش الاسرائيلي في الجولان، وتجديد أسلحتها بتزويدها بصواريخ أميركية حديثة وسرية. وعندما تسلمت الوحدة هذه الصواريخ بالصناديق قررت فتحها في الهواء الطلق، ما أدى الى تطاير الاوراق التي تفسر تركيبة الصواريخ وكيفية عملها وتوجيهها ومراقبتها. وقال ان الجنود تراكضوا وراءها وهم يضحكون. لكن الضحك توقف عندما دخل قسم منها عمق الأراضي السورية شرقي الحدود.

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January 20th, 2007, 5:13 am

 

27. Akbar Palace said:

“$90 billion????? if i was offered that much, i would buy a beautiful tropical island, call it Palestine and end this nightmare.”

3ANTAR –

I guess you’re not Yassir Arafat or Hamas. The tropical island could have been Palestine.

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January 20th, 2007, 2:20 pm

 

28. Akbar Palace said:

$90 Billion dollars or an NRA paradise?

Not a difficult decision…

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/pictures/PalestinianChildAbuse/

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January 20th, 2007, 3:04 pm

 

29. Gibran said:

So Alex what do you make out of this wind revealed Isreali military secrets in the Golan? Do you mind commenting on what you posted. It looks like it has some significance!

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January 20th, 2007, 4:54 pm

 

30. Ford Prefect said:

“An acquaintance of mine writes about a recent trip to Syria:
“I think I told you back then, that I found Syria to be the only place around where upon arriving one feels like back in Soviet times entering the countries of Eastern Europe, an obvious, unpleasant, threatening and corrupt police state.””

If the “acquaintance” would like to experience real freedom, see real progress, welcoming girls with flowers, no intimidating looks from police, and no search and seizure of anything printed maybe it is better for the “acquaintance” to visit one of the “moderate” and “US-friendly” states’ airports. Heck, a visit to Tel Aviv airport might be even a better example. Sorry, “acquaitance,” your buddy should have pointed you to the right place!

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January 20th, 2007, 6:28 pm

 

31. Gibran said:

FP,
I’m a frequent flyer. I’ve been to almost every major city (and very many minor ones) in the US, East Asia and Europe. I also happened to visit Damascus last October. I understand exactly what your “acquaintance” is talking about. The Damascus visit was indeed as your “acquaintance” described. I advise you to travel to the US and other world cities without having any fears whatsoever of getting intimidated because there is none! It could be hectic though and time consuming at times. But that is part of traveling these days.

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January 20th, 2007, 8:08 pm

 

32. Alex said:

Gibran, it was an extremely important piece of news .. I am shocked you did not realize its value.

Ford PREfect,

No need to explain .. everything in Syria is uniquely Black, the rest of the universe is white.

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January 20th, 2007, 10:18 pm

 

33. simohurtta said:

I advise you to travel to the US and other world cities without having any fears whatsoever of getting intimidated because there is none!

Hmmm … Swedish prince “held for questioning” in USA

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January 20th, 2007, 10:30 pm

 

34. Gibran said:

Alex, I did realize its value and that’s why I asked for your comments. So, how do you understand this incident? Could you provide some insight?

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January 20th, 2007, 11:05 pm

 

35. Gibran said:

Iran will implode socially, economically etc… due to sanctions, Iranian analysts contend.

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0, 1-0@2-3218,36-857591,0.html

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January 20th, 2007, 11:42 pm

 

36. Ford Prefect said:

Gibran, In the Middle East, you have the hapless, backward, authoritarian, secret police-driven, women-can’t-do-anything, stinking airport, corruption, low GDP, bigoted religious extremist, and father-appoints-son style of leadership in Syria and you have all others. Hamdella, all others have glittering solid democracies, civil liberties, and liberal economies. A little and quick rip-and-replace here and there in Syria, we will have ourselves another outstanding example. Got Milk?

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January 20th, 2007, 11:46 pm

 

37. Gibran said:

Go for it FP. Rip and replace is the answer. You’ll get all the milk you need.

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January 20th, 2007, 11:49 pm

 

38. Alex said:

Its ok Gibran, I was joking.

Here is the message President Talabani sent to his Syrian counterpart at the end of his one week visit to Syria

Nice words, plus some hints to what they discussed and hope to achieve

دمشق/سانا تلقى السيد الرئيس بشار الاسد برقية من الرئيس جلال طالبانى رئيس جمهورية العراق بعد مغادرته دمشق اليوم جاء فيها… الاخ العزيز الدكتور بشار الأسد رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية.. ان شعورا بالامتنان والعرفان بالجميل يغمرنا.. ونحن نغادر سورية الحبيبة.. التى لطالما تغنيت بها باعتبارها وطنى الاول المكرر. وليس هذا الشعور مجرد تعبير عابر يخالجنا ونحن تحت تأثير كرم الضيافة والاهتمام الاخوى الذى أحطتمونا به منذ لحظة وصولنا ارضكم المعطاءة..وبين اشقائنا ابناء الشعب السورى الكريم..بل هو تجسيد لعاطفة لم تفارقنا وانعكاس لوفائنا وتقديرنا لاحتضانكم كل مكونات شعبنا ايام مقارعتنا للديكتاتورية والاستبداد وهو تأكيد لعدم نسياننا لوقفة الراحل الكبير حافظ الاسد الى جانبنا يوم كنا نبحث عن ملاذ امن ونتطلع الى تفهم الاخرين لمعاناتنا وعذابات شعبنا وتدمير وطننا بيد الطغيان المنفلت. ايها الاخ الكريم.. نحن فى العراق اوفياء لاصدقائنا وهكذا ستجدوننا كما عبرنا لكم فى لقاءاتنا المثمرة جادون فى بناء علاقات تعاون فى سائر الميادين السياسية والاقتصادية والثقافية والامنية مستعدون للتفاعل معكم فى كل خطوة ايجابية تجسد مصالح بلدينا وشعبينا وتطلعاتنا المشتركة فى تحرير اراداتنا من كل ما يحدها عن ارساء الامن والسلم الاهلى والتصدى للارهاب والعنف والقتل على الهوية واى ظاهرة مرضية تنخر فى مجتمعاتنا وتحول دون تحقيق امانينا فى الحرية والديمقراطية ودولة القانون والسيادة والاستقلال الوطنى الناجز. وفى طريق نضالنا المشترك سنضع نصب اعيننا العمل معا لمعافاة الحياة السياسية فى البلدان العربية وفى الجوار الاقليمى من كل ما يعكر امنها ومصالح شعوبها والتصدى لاى محاولة للتدخل فى شؤوننا والاخلال بامننا وسيادتنا وسنقف الى جانبكم لتحرير الجولان والدفع باتجاه اعادة المفاوضات لتحقيق السلم العادل الوطيد بما يحقق لكم وللشعب الفلسطينى الحقوق الوطنية المشروعة. اننا نتطلع الى تحويل مواقفنا المشتركة التى عبرنا عنها فى لقاءاتنا الى حيز التطبيق بما يساعدنا مثلما نتطلع الى اشقائنا الاخرين على نجاح مبادرة حكومتنا لتحقيق المصالحة الوطنية وجذب كل المكونات الوطنية المخلصة الى العملية السياسية التى تتخلى عن العنف والارهاب وتنطلق من المصالح الوطنية العليا بدلا من استخدام السلاح وتتخلى عن اساليب الهيمنة باعتماد العمل السياسى الديمقراطى والانخراط فى العملية السياسية الديمقراطية. ان تعميق مسيرتنا الديمقراطية باستكمال بناء دولتنا ومؤسساتها واجهزتها الامنية والعسكرية وتجهيزها بكل مصادر القوة الايجابية التى تؤمن لها القدرة على اجتثاث مصادر الارهاب وتخفيف مصادرها وتصفية الميليشيات ووضع حد لاعمال الشقاوة والتعدى على المواطنين وممتلكاتهم وثروات البلاد..ان ذلك كله هو الكفيل بأخذ زمام الامور من كل الجوانب فى بلادنا وتمكيننا فى المحصلة النهائية من انهاء اى تواجد عسكرى على اراضينا. اشكركم ايها الاخ العزيز و اسمح لى ان اوجه التحية من خلالكم الى الشعب السورى الباسل الكريم والى اخوتكم فى القيادة السياسية الذين غمرونا بمودتهم.

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January 21st, 2007, 12:01 am

 

39. Alex said:

So, does this mean Turki al-faisal is back as the Saudi Ambassador to Washington?

Did prince Bandar promise to not interfere in his job?

تركي الفيصل: السعودية تتطلع إلى عراق حر ومستقر
واشنطن الحياة – 20/01/07//

جدّد سفير خادم الحرمين الشريفين في واشنطن الأمير تركي الفيصل، تأكيده على عمق العلاقات بين الرياض وواشنطن، مشيراً إلى أهمية تواصل الحوار والتفاهم بين الجانبين، الأمر الذي يُعد مهماً لعلاقات الصداقة والتعاون.

وأكد الفيصل، في كلمة ألقاها أول من أمس، خلال حفلة الاستقبال التي أقامها الكونغرس الأميركي على شرفه، في حضور عدد من كبار الاعضاء ورؤساء اللجان في مجلسي الشيوخ والنواب، استمرار التزام بلاده بمساعدة الشعب العراقي بجميع فئاته، والوقوف مع حكومة عراقية ذات سيادة، موضحاً ان «ما تريده المملكة هو وجود عراق حر مستقل ومستقر، تتمثل فيه جميع الطوائف العراقية».

وقال ان تحقيق ذلك يقع في المقام الأول على عاتق العراقيين أنفسهم.

وتطرّق الفيصل إلى عملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط، وقال ان «المملكة العربية السعودية لا تزال تؤكد ان حل النزاع العربي – الإسرائيلي هو الأساس لحل جميع القضايا العالقة في المنطقة، التي ترتبط بعضها ببعض» معرباً عن دعم السعودية الجهود الأميركية المؤدية إلى ذلك الهدف.

وأعرب عن شكره وتقديره لجهود أعضاء الكونغرس لحفز وزيادة علاقات التعاون والتفاهم بين المملكة العربية السعودية والولايات المتحدة الأميركية، واصفاً تلك الجهود بأنها «كانت ايجابية ومشجّعة».

ونوّه عدد من أعضاء الكونغرس ممن حضروا الحفلة بجهود الأمير تركي الفيصل في دفع مسيرة علاقات الصداقة السعودية – الأميركية، التي أثمرت المزيد من التعاون والتفاهم بين البلدين وشعبيهما الصديقين.

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January 21st, 2007, 12:10 am

 

40. Alex said:

Hamas: Abbas, Meshal meeting postponed over unity gov’t rift

By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and News Agencies

A meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal was postponed on Saturday after aides failed to solve a rift over a unity government that could help stop communal violence.

The meeting scheduled in the Syrian capital late on Saturday was postponed after officials failed to reconcile differences over the proposed government and how it would deal with Western demands, a senior Hamas official said.

“Efforts are under way to convene the meeting tomorrow (Sunday). Disagreements persist on the manifesto and the proposed letter to form the government,” Hamas politburo member Izzat al-Rishq said.

Asked if Abbas could leave Damascus as scheduled on Sunday without meeting the Hamas leader, Rishq said: “Everything is possible.”

Ramadan Shallah, head of Islamic Jihad, met Abbas late into the night to try to mediate a deal.

“There are vital issues that remain unresolved. Neither Hamas nor Fatah have a timetable to reach a deal,” Shallah said after the meeting.

Abbas arrived in Damascus on Saturday where he met Syrian President Bashar Assad, and was set to meet Meshal, the head of the Hamas political bureau, late on Saturday.

The two politicians were expected to discuss the names of ministers for interior, finance and foreign affairs in a proposed unity government, al-Rishq said.

Following Abbas’ meeting with Assad, Palestinian Parliament member Nabil Amar, who participated in the meeting, said that Assad expressed his willingness to support “efforts to achieve Palestinian unity.”

Upon his arrival at the Damascus airport, Abbas was greeted by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem and then went to the presidential palace for talks with Assad.

He said there were many common issues to be discussed with the Syrians “and it’s high time to discuss these issues.”

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January 21st, 2007, 12:15 am

 

41. Alex said:

Lebanon opposition to call general strike
Fri 19 Jan 2007 10:57 AM ET

BEIRUT, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah-led opposition will call for a general strike next week, stepping up a campaign to topple the government, a senior opposition political source said on Friday.

“After the failure of political initiatives, the opposition has decided to escalate its campaign,” the source said. “It will call a comprehensive general strike for Tuesday.”

The strike would come two days before an international donor conference in Paris which Prime Minister Fouad Siniora hopes will bring billions of dollars of aid to an economy reeling from Hezbollah’s war with Israel in July-August.

Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, and its allies have been carrying out a seven-week-old anti-government campaign.

Protesters have camped outside Siniora’s offices in central Beirut since Dec. 1 to try to force him to cede veto power to the opposition in a unity government or call early elections.

Siniora, who has Western and Saudi backing, has resisted those demands, instead announcing an economic reform package to be presented at the Paris conference.

عون..المعارضة الوطنية ستنزل بقوة الى الشارع يوم الثلاثاء القادم
السبت, 20 كانون الثاني , 2007 – 09:40

أكد رئيس تكتل التغيير والاصلاح النائب اللبنانى ميشال عون ان المعارضة الوطنية اللبنانية ستنزل بقوة الى الشارع يوم
الثلاثاء القادم موكدا ان الاضراب سيكون شاملا فى كل المناطق اللبنانية.
وقال عون بعد انتهاء الاجتماع التنسيقى الذى عقد فى منزله اليوم وحضره رئيس تيار المردة الوزير السابقسليمان فرنجيةورئيس الكتلة الشعبية فى زحلة النائب ايلى سكاف والنائب ميشال المر والنائب اغوب بقرادونيان اضافة الى الامين العام لحزب الطاشناق ان الاضراب سيكون سلميا وشاملا ناصحا بعدم نزول البعض الى دوائرهم لان الشوارع ستكون مزدحمة بالمعتصمين
والمتظاهرين والمضربين فى هذا اليوم.
يشار الى ان المجتمعين سيعقدون غدا اجتماعات تنسيقية لكوادرهم تحضيرا لاضراب الثلاثاء وتنسيق تحرك الكوادر فى هذا اليوم.

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January 21st, 2007, 12:20 am

 

42. Ford Prefect said:

Alex, the clip about Turki in al Hayat is peculiar. It seems like it is an old story with current date. The same event happened, I remember, when Turki was oppointed to Washington. Your clip, however, has not been reported anywhere else that I can find today. Maybe someone will shed more light into this important event. Thanks for posting. FP

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January 21st, 2007, 12:47 am

 

43. Akbar Palace said:

Ahed Azzouz said:

“Just couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine, was reviewing his latest anti-anti-missile defense system that he developed, the one that will take out the stolen technology built into Israeli Arrow system…”

Ahed,

What, pray tell, has your friend called “his latest anti-anti-missile defense system”?

Let me guess, “The Zionist Entity Neutralizer”?

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January 21st, 2007, 12:57 am

 

44. Alex said:

Don’t know … I can’t find it anywhere either. Remember the whole affair is somewhat embarrassing to the Saudis and it is possible that they asked the Americans not to publicize it too much.

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January 21st, 2007, 1:05 am

 

45. Alex said:

This is more interesting. Ibrahim interviewed President Talabani for Alhayat again just before he left Damascus. Talabani told him that he believes the general atmosphere in Damascus makes it possible to start American Syrian dialog and that is what he will tell president Bush.

He also said that when he met the American ambassador just before going to Damascus, the ambassador wished him good luck! .. no opposition to working with Syria.

نقاش حول فقرتي الإرهاب وانسحاب القوات الأجنبية في البيان السوري – العراقي … طالباني لـ«الحياة»: سأطلب من بوش فتح حوار مباشر مع دمشق حول العراق وغيره
دمشق – ابراهيم حميدي الحياة – 21/01/07//

قال الرئيس العراقي جلال طالباني لـ «الحياة»، انه سيطلب من الرئيس جورج بوش «المبادرة الى فتح حوار مباشر مع سورية حول العراق وباقي القضايا»، وذلك بعدما وجد «الجو في دمشق مناسبا لاجراء حوار كهذا». ومع تأكيده ان وزيري الداخلية السوري اللواء بسام عبد المجيد والعراقي جواد البولاني وقعا اتفاقاً امنياً نص على «تبادل تسليم المطلوبين قضائيا»، قال انه يتوقع تنفيذ جميع الاتفاقات الموقعة وان «يساعدنا الجانب السوري في تسهيل مهمتنا في مكافحة الارهاب».

وتحدث طالباني الى «الحياة» في ختام الزيارة الاولى لرئيس عراقي الى دمشق منذ تأسيس الدولتين. وصدر بيان ثنائي، تضمن الدعوة الى «جدولة انسحاب القوات متعددة الجنسية من العراق، وفقاً لقرار مجلس الامن 1546 وانهاء الوجود العسكري الاجنبي فيه» مع التأكيد على ان «امن اي من البلدين الشقيقين يؤثر في امن البلد الآخر».

وقالت مصادر عراقية لـ «الحياة» امس ان نقاشاً جرى بين الطرفين في شأن صياغة الفقرات المتعلقة بانسحاب القوات الدولية والموقف من الارهاب.

وتضمن البيان الختامي «ادانة الجانبين لكل اشكال الارهاب التي تطول العراقيين ومؤسساتهم وبنيتهم التحتية ودور العبادة» من دون ذكر للمؤسسات العسكرية والامنية، كما اقترح الجانب العراقي. لكن الجانب السوري وافق على اقتراح عراقي لذكر القرار 1546 واضافة كلمة «العسكري» الى المطالبة بانهاء «الوجود الاجنبي» في العراق.

وقال طالباني لـ «الحياة»، في منزله في حي المزرعة، ان زيارته مع وفدين، وزاري ونيابي، «ارست اسساً راسخة للعلاقات الاقتصادية والامنية والسياسية. وللمرة الأولى يتكاشف المسؤولون الامنيون مع بعضهم بعضا لوضع الاسس اللازمة والضرورية لتطوير العلاقات في مختلف المجالات وعلى مختلف المستويات».

وزاد ان اتفاقاً امنياً وقع بين وزيري الداخلية «اذ ان الهدف الاساسي للزيارة، مع الاهداف الاخرى، تحقيق الامن وكسب مساعدة سورية للعراق لتحقيق الامن والاستقرار فيه»، مشيرا الى ان الاتفاق تضمن «بنداً لتبادل (تسليم) المحكومين قضائيا».

واوضح، رداً على سؤال، ان الطرفين السوري والعراقي «يؤكدان ضرورة التعاون الامني والاقتصادي والسياسي بينهما. لكن ايهما اولاً وايهما ثانياً؟ الموضوع مختلف بالنسبة الى البلدين. بالنسبة الى العراق، الموضوع الامني هو الاهم. الامن هو مفتاح العلاقات على كل المستويات. والاخوة في سورية، يشيرون الى مساعدة سورية في تحقيق الامن والاستقرار. لكن القضيتين السياسية والاقتصادية، هما الاهم. في النتيجة. الامران وجهان لعملة واحدة».

وسئل عن مضمون لقائه مع السفير الاميركي زلماي خليل زاد، في شمال العراق قبل ثلاثة ايام من حضوره الى دمشق، فاجاب: «نعم كان هناك لقاء بيني وبين الصديق والاستاذ زلماي الذي جاء للسلام علي بعد عودته. اللقاء كان ودياً وصريحاً وهو لم يطلب ابداً منا عدم زيارة دمشق ولم يعترض على الزيارة، بل تمنى لنا النجاح فيها». واضاف رداً على سؤال آخر: «لم يحملنا اي رسالة… لكننا سنبذل من جانبنا كل ما استطعنا وكلما وجدنا فرصة لتحسين العلاقات السورية – الاميركية، ان اميركا حليفتنا وهي التي تساعدنا في النضال ضد الارهاب وضد المخاطر التي يتعرض لها العراق. وسورية ايضا حليفتنا واصبحنا على علاقة جيدة معها. ومن مصلحتنا ان تكون العلاقات بين حليفتينا، جيدة. بالتالي لا تكون منازعات ومشاكل بين هذين الصديقين السوري والاميركي».

وعما سيقوله للرئيس بوش بعد عودته من دمشق، اجاب طالباني: «ساخبره ان هناك جواً مناسباً في سورية لاجراء الحوار والنقاش معها، وساشرح له ان الجو مناسب لاجراء حوار بين دمشق وواشنطن، وساشجعه على اخذ المبادرة لفتح الحوار مع دمشق» حول عدد من القضايا بينها العراق.

وزاد: «عندما اتكلم مع الاخوة الاميركيين، اقول لهم ان من مصلحتهم ومصلحتنا اجراء حوار مع ايران وسورية وساواصل هذه السياسة».

وعن الخطوات المقبلة في البرنامج السوري – العراقي، قال طالباني انه سيوجه دعوة رسمية الى الرئيس بشار الاسد لزيارة بغداد. وزاد ان اللجان الثنائية «ستستمر في محاولتها لتفعيل وتنفيذ الاتفاقات الموقعة. نتوقع ان يساعدنا الجانب السوري في تسهيل مهمتنا في مكافحة الارهاب. ونتوقع ان يكون الموقف السوري لاشراك المزيد من القوى في المصالحة الوطنية في العراق. اعتقد ان مؤتمر المصالحة سيعقد في بغداد، والمساعدة السورية واردة».

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January 21st, 2007, 1:19 am

 

46. Ford Prefect said:

Alex, the irony is that he officially resigned. Unless he is still covered under the 30-day Return Policy, a restocking fee might be charged by the US.

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January 21st, 2007, 1:26 am

 

47. Alex said:

G, I’m delighted to see you this happy.

FP … that was funny :)

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January 21st, 2007, 1:30 am

 

48. Ford Prefect said:

G, don’t forget me. I am as dumb as Alex. All the smart people are unfortunately hard at work instilling democracy in Iraq and then Syria.

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January 21st, 2007, 1:30 am

 

49. Gibran said:

مواجهة عسكرية

جاء ذلك في وقت لم يستبعد سكرتير مجمع تشخيص مصلحة النظام الايراني القائد السابق لحرس الثورة الاسلامية محسن رضائي ان يؤدي التوتر بين ايران والولايات المتحدة الى مواجهات عسكرية، مشيراً الى ان «بوادر هذا الامر ستبدأ بالظهور في الشهرين المقبلين».

رضائي اعتبر ان مظاهر التصادم الايراني – الاميركي «ستظهر في شكل اقتصادي وسياسي وأمني»، ولم يستبعد ان تلجأ اميركا الى استغلال المعارضة الداخلية ومجاهدين خلق (المنافقين) لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وأن تقوم بهجوم صاروخي على المنشآت النووية.

في غضون ذلك (رويترز)، قال محلل اميركي سابق لمعلومات الاستخبارات ان الخطط الاميركية الطارئة لشن عمل عسكري ضد البرنامج النووي الايراني تتجاوز توجيه ضربات محدودة وقد تؤدي في شكل فعلي الى حرب ضد البلاد.

وقال واين وايت الذي كان احد كبار محللي الشرق الاوسط في مكتب معلومات الاستخبارات والبحوث في زارة الخارجية حتى آذار (مارس) 2005: «رأيت بعضاً من هذا التخطيط… انك لا تتحدث عن ضربة دقيقة، بل عن حرب ضد ايران، من المرجح ان تؤدي الى زعزعة استقرار الشرق الاوسط لسنوات».

وأضاف متحدثاً أمام مجلس سياسة الشرق الاوسط وهو معهد بحوث في واشنطن: «نتحدث عن تمهيد ممر الى الأهداف» بتدمير كثير من القوة الجوية الايرانية وغواصات كيلو والصواريخ المضادة للسفن والتي يمكن ان تستهدف التجارة او السفن الاميركية في الخليج وربما حتى قدرات ايران في مجال الصواريخ الذاتية الدفع».

وقال خبير الشرق الاوسط كينيث كاتزمان ان «الهيمنة الايرانية لا يمكن السيطرة عليها فحسب بل وقفها ايضاً» اذا فهم المرء نقاط ضعف ايران الكثيرة، مشيراً إلى أن «الاقتصاد يدار في شكل سيئ وبدائي تماماً ولا يصدّر شيئاً تقريباً سوى النفط».

وكان البيت الأبيض أعلن مجدداً رفضه الدخول في اي حوار مع ايران قبل ان تعلق نشاطاتها النووية الحساسة، مؤكداً ايضاً انه لا يمكن ان يتساهل مع التصرفات الايرانية التي تهدد الجنود الاميركيين في العراق.

وقالت مساعدة الناطق باسم البيت الابيض دانا بيرينو ان الرئيس جورج بوش والمسؤولين المدنيين والعسكريين الاميركيين قالوا جميعاً انه اذا تبين ان «النفوذ الايراني في العراق يؤذي جنودنا او المدنيين العراقيين او الجنود العراقيين فسنعالج هذا الامر».

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January 21st, 2007, 1:56 am

 

50. Gibran said:

المعارضة ارتبكت بحسابات خاطئة وما أنجزته الحكومة
بيروت – وليد شقير الحياة – 20/01/07//

قالت مصادر وزارية لبنانية لـ «الحياة» ان أحد أسباب تحرك المعارضة المرتقب يوم الثلثاء المقبل والمتمثل بالإضراب العام هو شعور قيادتها بأن الاعتصام الذي بدأته في الأول من كانون الأول (ديسمبر) الماضي لم يحقق النتائج المرجوة منه لأن حسابات القوى الرئيسة فيها كانت أن الحكومة ستسقط بعد أيام على بدء الاعتصام وأن الحسم حتمي في هذا المجال. وهو ما أعلنه الأمين العام لـ «حزب الله» السيد حسن نصرالله في مقابلته التلفزيونية عندما ربط عدم سقوطها «بحجم الدعم الخارجي والخطاب المذهبي».

وأضافت المصادر: «الأزمة السياسية التي يعيشها لبنان وضعت جميع الفرقاء في الأكثرية والمعارضة في مأزق لأنها أدت الى شلل في البلاد، لكن مأزق المعارضة أخذ يزداد بفعل خطأ حساباتها حول قدرتها على إسقاط الحكومة ولأنها لم تأخذ في الحسبان أن وراء الأكثرية جمهوراً واسعاً في المناطق اللبنانية كافة أدى تحركه منذ الأسبوع الأول لاعتصام المعارضة وحشدها الشعبي حول السراي الحكومية، الى حماية الحكومة أيضاً، وليس صحيحاً أن الدعم الخارجي وحده، على أهميته، هو الذي حال دون تحقيق هدف اسقاطها».

وتعتبر المصادر نفسها أن على رغم ان المعارضة نجحت في تأجيل اقرار المحكمـــة ذات الطابـــع الدولي لمحاكمة المتهمين فـــي جريمة اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رفيق الحريري ورفاقه وسائر الجرائم المرتبطة بها، وهو كان الهدف الأساس لتحرك القوى الرئيسة فيها، إضافة الى شل الوسط التجاري والحؤول دون عقد المجلس النيابي، فإن صمود الحكومة واتخاذها المبادرات أديا الى حشر المعارضة لأنها لم تستطع ترجمة أهدافها السياسية في شكل عملي وواضح.

ورأت المصادر أن الأكثرية والحكومة أفشلتا سعي المعارضة الى تجريد الحكومة من الشرعية، فاتخذت قرارات بات من الصعب الرجوع عنها أو تغييرها وأصبح مفروغاً منها. وتعدد المصادر هذه القرارات على سبيل المثال لا الحصر كالآتي: اقرار مشروع المحكمة في مجلس الوزراء مرتين ونشره في الجريدة الرسمية. وحتى لو أعيد النظر ببعض المواد فيه فإنه أمر سبق لرئيس الحكومة فؤاد السنيورة أن سلّم به كمبدأ شرط عدم إفراغ المحكمة من جوهرها، في مناسبات عدة، حين طلب ملاحظات المعارضة حول المشروع واقترح تأجيل جلسة مجلس الوزراء مرتين لبضعة أيام، ثم في مشاريع المخارج للأزمة وفي الاتصالات التي يجريها جميع الوسطاء سواء مع المعارضة أم مع القيادة السورية – صرف المساعدات والأموال لإعادة الإعمار للمتضررين في الجنوب، التي يوقع عليها رئيس الحكومة في الحسابات المفتوحة لهذا الغرض في مصرف لبنان المركزي، إضافة الى دور وزارة المال في ذلك – مرسوم بصرف منحة شهر للعسكريين نظراً الى الاستنفار الأمني الذي يخضعون له منذ بدء تحرك المعارضة على الأراضي اللبنانية كافة وهو مرسوم رفض رئيس الجمهورية اميل لحود التوقيع عليه بحجة عدم شرعية الحكومة، لكن المهلة (15 يوماً) التي تنص عليها المادة 56 من الدستور كي يصبح القرار نافذاً انتهت أول من أمس الجمعة ويبقى أن يجتمع مجلس الوزراء ليؤكد قراره، وفق هذه المادة لتكريس نفاذه – التعيينات الإدارية في الكثير من المؤسسات في قرارات مجلس الوزراء والتي هدفها تسيير شؤون الإدارات بما فيها تلك التي في المناطق التي يعود النفوذ فيها لـ «حزب الله» و «حركة أمل» (مستشفيات – مصالح مياه إضافة الى الهيئة الناظمة للاتصالات والتي تضم موظفين شيعة كباراً). وهي تعيينات اعتمدت في بعض منها أسماء كان طرحها وزراء التحالف الشيعي قبل استقالتهم من الحكومة. والتزم هؤلاء الموظفون قرارات تعيينهم، خصوصاً أن تسيير المؤسسات التي هم فيها هي جزء من الخدمات للمواطنين – إقرار البرنامج الاقتصادي الى مؤتمر «باريس – 3» الذي اعتمد في ما يخص قطاعات الصحة والكهرباء والضمان الاجتماعي الخطط المقدمة من وزراء «أمل» و «حزب الله» قبل استقالتهم، مع تأجيل زيادة بعض الضرائب ورسوم القيمة المضافة الى العام 2008 وتصاعدها حتى العام 2010.

وتضيف المصادر نفسها أن ما زاد في إرباك المعارضة وانزعاجها من مواصلة الحكومة نشاطها أنها لم تتمكن من تحقيق أهدافها قبل عقد مؤتمر «باريس –3»، خصوصاً أن زعيم «التيار الوطني الحر» ميشال عون كان وعد جمهوره بحسم الأمر قبل رأس السنة إضافة الى توقع «حزب الله» الحسم في 10 أيام، فيما جعل الزخم الدولي والعربي عقده مسألة محتومة، في وقت لا تستطيع القوى الرئيسة فيها معارضة عقده كونه سيتقدم بمساعدات مالية للبنان، فاضطرت لمواقف متناقضة الى: تأييد المؤتمر ورفض البرنامج الإصلاحي، في وقت هو يُعقد على أساس هذا البرنامج.

وذكرت المصادر الوزارية أن هذه الأسباب وغيرها، وحاجة المجتمع الدولي والدول العربية الى دعم استقرار لبنان وسط الوضع المتفجر في المنطقة، هي التي دفعت المعارضة الى تصعيد خطواتها، بالتزامن مع «باريس – 3» كرسالة الى المجتمع الدولي والدول العربية بأن هذا الدعم لا يعني أن الساحة خالية للحكومة.

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January 21st, 2007, 2:00 am

 

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