Fatah al-Islam Finished as Political Battle Heats UP

AbsiShaker Youssef Al-Absi (also spelled Abssi), the fugitive leader of the Fatah al-Islam militants was killed today as he was trying to flee the Nahr el Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon. The army victory today brings to an end the Fatah al-Islam organization, and the life of of its leader Shaker Youssef Al-Absi. Naharnet leads with this:

The Lebanese Army has finished off the Fatah al-Islam legend, killed its leader Shaker al-Abssi and 31 other terrorists and rounded up 20 in the 106th day of the confrontation at the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared. Security agencies have launched a nationwide manhunt for 10 terrorists who escaped the battle Sunday by infiltrating through the al-Bared River stream.

Prime Minister Saniora, in a televised message to the Lebanese screened late Sunday, praised the army's "sacrifices" and said that its victory against terrorists was equal to the "heroic acts" registered by "resistance fighters" against Israel in south Lebanon. He was referring to the 34-day war between Hizbullah and Israel in the summer of 2006. He stressed that "we are determined to enable the state and its legal forces to be the protector … of the people's security."

Syria Rushed to Applaud the Army Seizure of Nahr al-Bared  

(Naharnet) Muallem also reaffirmed Damascus' vehement denial that it had any link to the militant Fatah al-Islam group that had taken over the camp. "This is rejected. We were the first to announce that Fatah al-Islam are terrorists and its leaders are wanted by our security forces," he said.

Syria dominated Lebanon militarily for almost three decades but pulled its troops out under international pressure in April 2005 following the assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri in February that year. The United States has pointed the finger at Syria for the spate of political assassinations that have dogged Lebanon since then although Damascus has always vehemently denied involvement.

Interestingly, none of the Lebanese sites now say that Absi or Fatah al-Islam are Syrian agents or controlled by Syria; rather, they stress the al-Qaida links of Absi. This is interesting, of course, because most Lebanese officials stated with certainty at the time of the uprising at Naher al-Bared, that the violence was inspired by Syrian hands in order to destabilize Lebanon.

Lebanese troops happy in victory

When Army Chief of Staff, Michel Suleiman, stated only two weeks ago that no indication existed that Syria was behind Fatah al-Islam; but rather, it was an al-Qaida inspired organization, (see Fatah Al Islam 'linked to Al Qaeda' ) government officials and Lebanese pundits raised their voices in horror. They lambasted Suleiman for being a Syrian toadie and suppressing the truth in order to position himself as Syrian friendly in order to inherit the presidency in the event that parliament cannot agree on a candidate.

Here are several biographies of Absi by pro-March 14 outlets that appeared yesterday: Lebanon Now, Naharnet, Ya Lubnan. None make the Syrian link outright. On August 20th, the Lebanese courts accused 107 prisoners of belonging to Fatah al-Islam. Among them, there were 62 Lebanese, 36 Palestinians, 5 Saudis, 2 Syrians, 1Tunisian and an Algerian. (See L'Orient Le Jour for the figures.)

Patriarch Sfeir, the Maronite Leader with greatest moral authority, may be responsible for this shift in opinion. Ever since Suleiman suggested he would be prepared to step in as a compromise candidate for the presidency and that he would not permit Lebanon to be have two elected presidents, (which would be the case if one is elected by the governing coalition and another by the opposition), Sfeir has welcomed the idea. He announced that he is not against amending the constitution if the purpose was to rescue Lebanon. He told as-Safir,

"We are living in the heart of the danger, and when we talk about two governments, two presidents and two Lebanons, then we are in danger." He also said that if General Suleiman is the only available solution then he is all for it.

The United States and most elements of the March 14 governing coalition have come out against the Suleiman option, standing on constitutional principle. US Ambassador Feltman said Washington supported a Lebanese President in line with 1559, within the constitutional schedule, and in line with the constitution. At the same time, Feltman said that Washington does not want to get involved in what should be a Lebanese decision.  

Suleiman has tweaked the US on a number occasions. In the midst of the fighting at Naher al-Bared, he accused the United States of refusing to assist Lebanon with heavy weapons, which might have ended the fighting weeks earlier and saved Lebanese soldiers' lives. The US has for decades adhered to an unofficial policy of not arming the Lebanese military with heavy or sophisticated weapons for fear they may be used against its ally Israel, former senior Lebanese military commanders pointed out. He also indicated that Lebanon would be forced to purchase heavy weapons from Russia, if the US insisted on protecting Israeli interests over Lebanese.

A second reason why the US and March 14 leaders would not be happy with a Suleiman solution is that they would see it as a Syrian victory and failure for themselves. Although Syria has remained largely silent about Suleiman's candidacy, March 14 politicians have placed him in the Syrian camp.

Lebanon's pro-Syrian president Lahood, appointed Suleiman Chief-of-Staff and has recently used Suleiman's statements to announce that He Would Name Suleiman as a Provisional Successor, if the warring political sides fail to agree on a permanent head of state.

"The constitution is clear and so are our constitutional norms: a President can be elected only if two-thirds of the number of deputies attend the session," the pro-Syrian Lahoud said in a statement issued by his office on Thursday. "Otherwise I have already made a suggestion to appoint a transitional cabinet headed by army commander General Suleiman and comprising six or seven civilians. "The goal of this cabinet would be to draft a new electoral law, hold parliamentary elections and pave the way for the holding of presidential elections."

This suggestion, which goes far beyond anything Suleiman signed onto, seems designed as a tactical ploy. Nabil Bou Monsef of the An-Nahar newspaper, said:

"By making this suggestion he is hinting that the elections are not likely to take place and that it would be out of the question for Saniora's government to take over."

Gen. Suleiman has not said whether he would accept such an appointment, but a high-ranking military official said he was unlikely to agree to anything that would divide the army.

Salim Hoss, a much respected ex-Prime Minister, who has often gained Syria's backing in the past and headed the first government under President Lahood, wrote in an open letter to the president, carried by the state-run National News Agency (NNA): "We believe you are wrong in this choice … You are committing a deadly sin." Proposing an interim cabinet under Gen. Suleiman "would lead to an explosive situation … it would lead to two colliding governments" that of Premier Fouad Saniora and the interim cabinet. Hoss said a solution to the ongoing political crisis lies in "the formation of a government of national unity."

Pro-Hariri papers denounced Lahood's suggestion as tantamount to a coup. Al-Mustaqbal charged on Friday: "Lahoud unveils a plot for a coup: a mixed civilian-military interim government."

Sfeir has not ruled out a Suleiman compromise because his first concern is to maintain a strong presidency. To allow the appointment of two presidents or the continuation of a diminished presidency, as has been the case under Lahood since Syria withdrew its forces, would undermine Maronite authority in the government. The President must be a Maronite, according to the constitution. Since the Taif Accord of 1989, which ended the Civil War, the powers of the presidency were diminished in favor of the office of the Prime Minister, who must be a Sunni.

Having the powers of the presidency further diminished because of on-going political wrangling will weaken all Lebanese, but none more than the Maronites.

Addendum: On the subject of the four Lebanese generals who have been imprisoned without charges since 2005, on suspicion of being involved in the murder of Rafiq Hariri, Patriarch Sfeir has this to say: They must be dealt with immediately, either by bringing charges against them or by "releasing them immediately, … because their incarceration without looking into their matter and without charges is a travesty of Justice."

Even Brammertz, the head of the UN investigation, has criticized the continued imprisonment of the four generals without charges.

Comments (31)


1. Z said:

Here are several biographies of Absi by pro-March 14 outlets that appeared yesterday: Lebanon Now, Naharnet, Ya Lubnan. None make the Syrian link outright.

All of these are versions of an AFP story. It has nothing to do with “pro-March 14 outlets” and your conspiracy theory. Everyone in Lebanon from the March 14 camp, as well as intelligent observers there and elsewhere, know that Syria played a role in facilitating the access of these people and their weapons into Lebanon, and know that Absi was released by the Syrians early and sent to Lebanon for this purpose.

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September 3rd, 2007, 3:13 pm

 

2. Joshua said:

Dear Z.

How do they “know” Syria inspired this group? Yes, all the outlets used the AFP story, but they had all previously run their own stories on Absi’s and Fatah al-Islam’s background. They made a choice not to cut and paste.

I grant you that laziness may have gotten the better of their judgement. It will be interesting to read the analysis of the Fatah al-Islam phenomenon that will be produced in the coming weeks.

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September 3rd, 2007, 3:37 pm

 

3. t_desco said:

Georges Malbrunot: Comment “les martyrs” d’al-Qaida affluent en Irak

Le Figaro a interrogé des volontaires pour des opérations suicides et des djihadistes rentrés de Bagdad. Comment s’organisent les filières de recrutement des combattants étrangers ? Comment, ensuite, s’opère sur place le choix des kamikazes ? Enquête.

LORSQUE les deux frères se sont retrouvés sur la nouvelle terre promise du djihad, Amjad (1), le vieux routier de la guerre sainte contre l’Occident, a prévenu son cadet Ibrahim, qu’il n’avait pas revu depuis cinq ans : « N’écoute pas tes sentiments, n’oublie jamais que tu es venu à Bagdad combattre au nom de l’islam, et non pas pour défendre une simple terre. » Les chemins du djihad, qui transcende les nationalismes, ont fini par réunir ces deux Jordaniens d’origine palestinienne. En 2000, Amjad avait quitté la petite ville de Salt pour les maquis afghans d’al-Qaida, avant de rallier l’Irak pour lutter aux côtés de la mouvance terroriste après la chute du régime de Saddam Hussein. Ibrahim, lui, a tout plaqué à cause de la guerre. « Personne ne m’a lavé le cerveau, dit-il, j’ai simplement décidé qu’il y avait trop d’injustice, l’occupant américain doit être expulsé d’un pays musulman. »

Ibrahim a longtemps guerroyé de l’autre côté de la frontière avec la Syrie, d’où il s’était infiltré. Puis, « un jour, les Américains nous ont encerclés. Sous les bombardements, on a été obligés de revenir clandestinement en Syrie. Dieu merci, des moudjahidins syriens familiers du secteur nous ont permis d’échapper à la police secrète de Damas ».

Depuis, Ibrahim, qui a repris des études, ressasse son retour en Jordanie comme étant un « échec ». « Je voulais faire subir le maximum de pertes à l’ennemi, et à la fin seulement savourer la shehada (littéralement»mourir pour Dieu*) ».

Ce goût du sacrifice, Amjad, lui, l’assouvira un an plus tard à Mossoul, lorsqu’il attaquera un convoi américain. Quelques jours après, ses parents reçurent un appel téléphonique. « Félicitations à toi et à ta famille, ton frère est mort dans une opération martyre », annonça laconiquement un correspondant anonyme.

En réponse, Ibrahim ne prononça que ces mots : « Al-Hamdulillah » (« grâce à Dieu ») ; la volonté de son frère de mourir en martyr avait été exaucée. Le lendemain, les voisins organisèrent une fête.

« La shehada vous garantit la montée au paradis. Qui n’aimerait pas y accéder ?, explique l’imam d’une mosquée du quartier. Quand vous mourez en martyr, la première goutte de sang jaillie du corps lave tous vos péchés ! »

« Exploits » diffusés sur le Net

En quatre ans, malgré les sévères restrictions imposées par les autorités (voir ci-dessous), environ 600 Jordaniens sont allés en Irak participer au djihad, selon des responsables du mouvement salafiste à Amman. Mais il y a aussi ces centaines d’Algériens, de Saoudiens, des Yéménites, des Palestiniens réfugiés du Liban ou des Syriens. « Les djihadistes sont issus de toutes les couches sociales», note le chercheur Mathieu Guidère, auteur d’un livre sur les Martyrs d’al-Qaida. Abou Oussama le Marocain, patron d’un restaurant à Tanger, côtoiera l’ingénieur libyen Abou Moussab al-Libi, ou encore Murielle Degauque, cette jeune boulangère belge qui se rendit en Irak – en voiture ! -, avec son ami, avant de se faire exploser au nord de Bagdad.

Endoctrinés de longue date ou exaltés en quête d’adrénaline, tous partent « combattre l’occupation d’une terre musulmane ». Mais à cette motivation première s’ajoute « la conviction que Bush et l’Occident ont déclaré la guerre à l’islam », jure Sleiman, cadre de la mouvance djihadiste, et discret recruteur pour l’Irak. « Il y a aussi la corruption des régimes arabes, soutenus par les Américains, leurs pressions contre nos idées, tout est contrôlé, surveillé, et à la fin, on se radicalise. » Sleiman n’a pas été prévenu de notre arrivée, chez lui, à Zarqa, ce vivier djihadiste à la périphérie d’Amman. Son téléphone est sur écoute. « Malgré tous les bâtons mis dans les roues des moudjahidins, nous assistons à un éveil des musulmans », se félicite ce compagnon de cellule d’Abou Moussab al-Zarqaoui, le Jordanien, fondateur d’al-Qaida en Irak, tué l’an dernier par les troupes américaines.

La diffusion des « exploits des martyrs » sur Internet n’a cessé de nourrir le flot des volontaires. En avril 2006, Ayman al-Zawahiri, le numéro deux d’al-Qaida, estimait à 800 le nombre d’attaques suicides perpétrées en Irak depuis août 2003. On avoisine sans doute le chiffre de mille aujourd’hui, c’est-à-dire presque une par jour. Et même si la Syrie a renforcé la surveillance des voies d’accès à l’Irak, chaque mois, entre 60 et 80 combattants étrangers y pénétreraient encore, via l’Iran surtout, en provenance d’Afghanistan et du Pakistan, où leurs ennemis les pourchassent.

Peu à peu, les filières de recrutement se sont organisées. Deux cas de figures se présentent. Ceux qui bénéficient du réseau des anciens d’Afghanistan. « Pour ceux-là, il y aura toujours quelqu’un qui les attendra quelque part », résume Hassan Abou Hanyeh, responsable d’une association salafiste, qui a envoyé une cinquantaine de Jordaniens en Irak. À Damas, rendez-vous est pris avec un intermédiaire, de préférence dans un lieu public, pour dissiper les soupçons. Un autre « guide » conduira ensuite le candidat djihadiste jusqu’à Abou Kamal, près de la frontière, où un passeur bédouin le convoiera, pour 100 ou 200 dollars, de l’autre côté. En Irak, il sera confié à un « facilitateur », auquel il remettra son passeport, qui pourra être recyclé par les terroristes. Pour des raisons de sécurité, les contacts téléphoniques entre « guides » et djihadistes se font le plus souvent via une carte prépayée, qu’ils jetteront sitôt utilisée. Le « facilitateur » conduira ensuite le volontaire, parfois les yeux bandés dans le coffre d’une voiture, jusqu’à un repère, à l’intérieur des terres irakiennes. « C’est le scénario idéal », reconnaît Hassan Abou Hanyeh.

Les candidats spontanés, eux, doivent surmonter quantité d’obstacles. Tel Hani, ce dessinateur graphiste installé à Dubaï, qui s’envola pour Damas fin 2004, lorsque les Américains voulurent soumettre le bastion rebelle de Faloudja. « Je ne pouvais plus rester inerte avec ce qui se passait là-bas, dit-il. Pendant une semaine, j’ai entendu Dieu m’appeler, j’ai décidé d’aller lutter contre l’agresseur. » Pour ce quinquagénaire, l’aventure s’est terminée dans une prison syrienne. « Soixante jours de voyage en enfer, se souvient-il. Nous étions cinquante dans une minuscule cellule, des islamistes saoudiens, algériens, mais aussi des Syriens en partance pour l’Irak. Pour nous humilier, il était interdit de prier », raconte Hani. Puis il sera remis aux services de renseignements jordaniens, qui l’interrogeront sévèrement un mois durant.

Première chair à canon

L’afflux des djihadistes internationaux a conduit al-Qaida à introduire une certaine « sélectivité » dans la désignation de ses futurs « martyrs ». À leur arrivée en Irak, seront choisis en priorité ceux qui n’ont pas été recommandés par les « parrains » d’al-Qaida à l’étranger. La mouvance terroriste se méfie des « taupes » infiltrées par les services de renseignements arabes ou occidentaux. Ces novices, sur lesquels pourrait planer un doute, constitueront la première chair à canon des terroristes. Après avoir reçu une nouvelle identité, ils sont regroupés dans « la brigade d’al-Barra Ben Malek », du nom du premier martyr en Islam, compagnon du Prophète, à laquelle est venue s’ajouter l’an dernier une seconde brigade, composée exclusivement, celle-là, d’Irakiens. « Ensuite, le système de conditionnement est rodé avec une alternance de périodes d’immersion dans le groupe des candidats en attente d’opérations, et des temps d’isolement total par la prière et la formation théologique », explique Mathieu Guidère.

Les autres, ceux qui disposent de « références » ou qui n’expriment pas leur désir de mourir en martyr, vont suivre une formation militaire sommaire, dispensée souvent par des anciens de l’armée de Saddam Hussein. « Il n’existe pas de véritables camps, reconnaît Ibrahim. On s’entraînait dans le désert ou dans des fermes isolées, nous apprenions le maniement des armes et des explosifs. »

Outre les kamikazes, indispensables aux attentats suicides, la mouvance terroriste a besoin de moudjahidins, dotés d’un minimum de formation militaire, pour lui permettre de mieux frapper ses cibles. « Au début, il y avait énormément de romantiques, comme ces Français, originaires de Tours, qui se sont fait arrêter en Europe centrale. On en trouve encore, mais al-Qaida n’en veut plus », note un expert de la lutte antiterroriste. « Prenez contact avec des sympathisants, organisez bien votre départ ; le djihad purement passionnel est inutile », lançait récemment un djihadiste palestinien. Face à l’armée américaine, les terroristes finissent par acquérir une réelle capacité militaire. « Regardez comment ils ont sauvé un pied nickelé français, qui avait perdu un oeil et un bras pendant des combats face aux Américains », souligne l’expert. Sous le feu, les hommes d’al-Qaida ont réussi à le sortir de sa position puis à le transporter à leur hôpital de campagne pour le soigner.

D’où le danger que fait peser le retour dans leur pays d’origine de cette légion de djihadistes étrangers.

(1) Les noms des djihadistes cités ont été modifiés à leur demande.

(Le Figaro, 03 septembre 2007)

English translation:

How Al-Qa’idah ‘martyrs’ enter Iraq

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September 3rd, 2007, 4:42 pm

 

4. Z said:

You have a reputation of putting words into people’s mouths, so I will try this again. The term “inspired” was not used by anyone but you. The terms used were “facilitated access,” and “released Absi early.” We “know” that Absi, who was wanted in Jordan was released by the Syrians after serving barely 3 years, which you, as a Syria “expert,” know is not a “real” sentence. He then emerged amidst Syrian controlled militia, trained there, and “took over” (without a single shot being fired) that operation. Countless of confessions and other reports speak to this. Other experiences with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere speak to this. This is something the Syrians did in Iraq as well. We “know” all that.

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September 3rd, 2007, 5:43 pm

 

5. Z said:

but they had all previously run their own stories on Absi’s and Fatah al-Islam’s background.

Yes, and their own stories all made the Syria link. It is difficult not to make that link, as you well “know.” The difference is that these outlets do not alter a news story they pick up, which is not originally theirs.

These outlets already ran the Syrian link. The major Arab papers did this too. They all made the Syria link. Just like Syria acts like a transit point (with the active consent of the authorities) and training ground and safe haven for Jihadists going into Iraq, it does so with Lebanon and Jordan. Everyone “knows” that. You have admitted it before. After all, this is what Maliki talked with the Syrians about.

Furthermore, if there is any laziness here, it’s from your end. All you did was recycle easily accessible second-hand English reports from Naharnet mixed with the usual polishing of the Syrian regime. How impressive.

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September 3rd, 2007, 5:50 pm

 

6. Z said:

The reputation about you seems quite accurate. Sfeir did not make those statements. Sfeir, according to the report you link, was quoting what the lawyers of the 4 generals told him. Figures you would be advocating on their behalf as well.

Secondly, where did Brammertz say what you claim he says?

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September 3rd, 2007, 6:18 pm

 

7. Joshua said:

Z.

Here is the Daily Star article:

The UN probe into the assassination represented by its head Serge Brammertz “has, five times, officially declared that the arrest of the four former security generals falls strictly within the responsibilities of the Lebanese judiciary and the [UN] committee was not to be held responsible for it.

The lawyers of the four generals have been pointing out for some time that neither the Lebanese constitution nor its law permits holding suspects for over two years without evidence. The reason Sfeir was reiterating these questions is because they are legitimate.

Despite the reiteration of your accusations, you seem reluctant to offer any proof, despite being quick to demand it yourself.

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September 3rd, 2007, 8:41 pm

 

8. Nour said:

Z,

The only link you have provided to Syria is that Shaker el-Abssi was released from Syrian prison. The same argument then could be used to link Zarqawi to Jordan, because he was released from Jordanian prison. Then you go on to say that Shaker el-Abssi was sentenced for 3 years, “which is not a real sentence in Syria.” And just how exactly do you know what a real and not so real sentence in Syria is? Do you have precedence? Do you have a list of all sentences in Syria? Shaker el-Abssi was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment back in 2002. Are you suggesting that the Syrians, back in 2002, knew that in 2005 they would have to withdraw from Lebanon and therefore decided to sentence el-Abssi to 3 years in prison so that they can send him to Lebanon just in time?

As for the link to Fate7 el-Intifada, this group actually expelled Abssi and his men from 3 Palestinian camps in Lebanon; namely Shatila, Burj el-Barajneh, and Baddawi. They were then installed in Nahr el-Bared. Most Palestinians I know from Nahr el-Bared have indicated to me that they believe Hariri brought Abssi and his group into their camp. Let us also not forget that Fate7 el-Intifada is a secular Palestinian group, while Fate7 el-Islam is a salafi takfiri group made up of mainly Saudis and Lebanese.

You continually make unfounded claims, and then say everyone “knows” it. Who is everyone? Most western journalistic and intelligence sources have actually linked Fate7 el-Islam to Hariri and KSA, with an indirect connection to the US. The only people who have accused Syria of backing Abssi’s group are Hariri and KSA funded propaganda outlets. Next time you want to make such categorical statements, at least provide some proof other than obviously biased media sources.

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September 3rd, 2007, 10:03 pm

 

9. Kamal said:

Whether Fath al-Islam came from Ba’thist Syria or al-Qa’ida – 2 enemies of Lebanon – or some combination of the two, this is a time of celebration for Lebanon over the forces of evil.

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September 3rd, 2007, 10:29 pm

 

10. 3antar said:

“this is a time of celebration for Lebanon over the forces of evil.”

is George W Bush in the house or something??

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September 3rd, 2007, 11:38 pm

 

11. Enlightened said:

“Why have the M14 group and other prominent officials backed away from the claim that That Fateh al Islam has Syrian connections, or inspired by Syria? One word PRAGMATISM !

The bigger battle than Naher el Bared is just over the horizon, and that is the battle for the Presidency! Can anyone just notice or is it just me that the rhetoric of both sides has died down quite significantly in the last month? Why?

This is significant because both sides in the Lebanese political arena have reached a dead end. M8’s sit in, and paralysis of the government has fizzled, M14’s political bluster has ran out of puff, there are no new riots, no new assasinations, and no body wants the specter of the civil war to rear its ugly head- again.

Maybe the New Army hero Suleiman will be president, it now all seems that this victory by the army ( and note its a national army now) might have some useful consequences. Heres one for all you conspiracy theorists out there.

Syria stages the Fateh Islam insurrection, gets its man in Lebanon to crush it and appear as its national hero, then Syrias man gets the Presidency again! Sounds good, now we just have to wait for the rumour mill!

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September 4th, 2007, 2:59 am

 

12. Joshua said:

Enlightened,

Perhaps you are a double agent? Curiouser and curiouser.

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September 4th, 2007, 5:18 am

 

13. Enlightened said:

LOL Josh

maybe, but just perhaps of the Maxwell Smart variety! I have always wanted to talk into my shoes!

President Bush arrived in Australia today, going to the demonstration!

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September 4th, 2007, 5:50 am

 

14. Akbar Palace said:

President Bush arrived in Australia today, going to the demonstration!

Enlightened,

And I will be demostrating in favor of John Howard, Australia’s Prime Minister and friend of George Bush and the USA.

Yes, it looks like the Lebanese Army broke the back of another “non-Zionist” terrorist organization. Yippee!

My Question:

Why is everyone here so sad (everyone except Z)??

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September 4th, 2007, 10:51 am

 

15. THOMAS said:

Might as well change the name of this blog to “LebanonComment.” Lebanon gets more coverage on this blog than Syria does. All the Syrian apologists welcome the opportunity to remove the spotlight from Syria and place it on the Lebanese. A great example of this is the discussion of the 4 Lebanese generals who are in jail being suspected of collaborating in the Hariri murder. No comment about the countless political prisoners rotting away in Syrian prisons with little hope of every being released. No accounting of the many Lebanese who disappeared during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

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September 4th, 2007, 12:44 pm

 

16. SimoHurtta said:

My Question:
Why is everyone here so sad (everyone except Z)??

We are Akbar sad because 1.65 million Israelis are living below poverty line. These poor Israelis may include some of the Holocaust survivors who survive with that laughable pension Israel has paid. Where did Akbar those billions Germany and companies have paid for compensation vanish? To corruption or to illegal settlements for bearded women beating fanatics?

We are also broken-hearted because the famous Israeli citizen Platon Elenin (better known as Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) wants “orange revolution” money back from Ukraine. Did Elenin (sounds almost like Lenin doesn’t it) donate money to Cedar revolution and if he did is he planing suing them if the wrong president is elected?

PS
Akbar John Howard, Australia’s Prime Minister, is know for his good sense of humour. He just said that George Bush is an intelligent man. Is a man who appoints a man (Bremmer) to lead Iraq who appoints a man to answer from Iraq’s healtcare who sees as his most important task to start an anti smoking campaign. An English general, Sir Mike, described the policy of that intelligent man as “intellectually bankrupt”.

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September 4th, 2007, 12:52 pm

 

17. Fatah al-Islam Finished as Political Battle Heats Up « Report on Positivity said:

[…] Posted by Nima Maleki on September 4th, 2007 Joshua Landis writes in Syria Comment: […]

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September 4th, 2007, 3:23 pm

 

18. why-discuss said:

Malaki is a good guy ( sorry good man!), Poutine is a good man, Ahmadinejad is a bad guy.. Saddam was a bad guy. Bush is a good guy!! Who is the ugly one? This is 21th century politics!

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September 4th, 2007, 3:53 pm

 

19. Joshua said:

Antoun has pointed out that Syria has every reason to celebrate the demise of Fatah al-Islam and success of the Lebanese military.

Not only because Syria has been a front-line opponent of al-Qaida, but because Syria helped supply the Lebanese army with weapons in the fight against Fatah al-Islam. He directed us to this post on the discussion board, the Orange Room, which confirms that Lebanese authorities thanked Syria for their assistance in supplying weapons.

The Army Generals in a press conference confirmed Syria supplied the Lebanese army with weapons during the war… Reporters pressed the Generals on why they did NOT single out Syria when he thanked the countries who helped Lebanon, his answer was, we have a long standing agreement with Syria to supply the Lebanese army with weapons, and this did not change or stop during the war…

For those of us who have been around know that the word “shakika” in Lebanese politics means Syria. In which Elias Murr did say, nashkor Egypt, Jordan, Saudi, US, EU, Emirates, US and dowal al shakika.

The generals in their closing speech, started off with thanking dowal al shakika before ending the conference today.

So this is not a rumor, its confirmed, i liked how they handled themselves in the conf, i’m proud of our army.

Eddie.

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September 4th, 2007, 4:21 pm

 

20. t_desco said:

“The army’s head of intelligence said Fatah al-Islam was directly linked to al Qaeda.

The group has said it has no organizational ties to Osama bin Laden’s network and that its aims were to spread its hardline interpretation of Islam among Palestinians and to fight Israel.

But Brigadier General George Khoury told the same briefing: “All the investigations have confirmed that the Fatah al-Islam organization is linked to al Qaeda and is in continuous link and contact with it.”

“This was revealed through all the investigations that were carried out of captured elements, communications that occurred between al Qaeda cells outside Lebanon and confessions of captured people,” he said.”
Reuters

“Backing Lebanese suspicions that Fatah Islam has ties to al-Qaida, an Islamist Web site that usually carries al-Qaida statements has opened a special page to receive “congratulations on the martyrdom of the holy warrior Sheik Shaker al-Absi.”

“The Islamic nation is bidding farewell to one of the greatest holy warriors,” said a contributor, calling himself Abu Bilal Seif.

“May God let down those who betrayed Fatah Islam,” wrote another commentator.”
AP

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September 4th, 2007, 4:33 pm

 

21. Akbar Palace said:

Dear Professor Josh –

How are the Syrians celebrating the demise of Fatah al-Islam?

Let me guess, they’re celebrating by arming Hezbollah with more missiles?

BTW – Why is it the Syrians can’t keep terrorists locked up in jail for any substantial amount of time? Are the jails that crowded??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah_al-Islam

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September 4th, 2007, 4:34 pm

 

22. Observer said:

This is from some Lebanese commentators: It is in French and clearly shows that some are seeing through the political of managed chaos
Liban
> Le nouveau commandant des forces américaines au
> Moyen-Orient, le général William Fallon, s’est
> entretenu mercredi 29 août 2007 avec Fouad Siniora
> sur le rééquipement de l’armée libanaise
>
> Concrètement, notre Fouad Siniora, à travers ses
> discussions avec ce haut responsable de l’armée
> américaine, cherche à rééquiper notre armée dans
> l’unique objectif de la plonger encore plus dans
> l’engrenage d’une guerre d’usure interminable contre
> le terrorisme continument provoqué sur notre
> territoire et financé par tous ceux qui souhaitent
> transformer notre pays en une mare de chaos à
> l’afghane ou à l’irakienne.
> Cette ultime situation chaotique, écrasant sur son
> chemin notre Résistance, devra être ensuite le
> prétexte à la partition du Liban que souhaitent
> désespérément le duo Joumblatt – Geagea.
> Voilà ce que recherche Siniora ; il est ainsi en
> parfaite contradiction avec le souci de renforcer
> notre armée à travers une réelle politique de
> défense nationale basée sur une logique de
> dissuasion.
> Notre armée éteindra le feu à Nahr El Bared et eux
> s’attelleront à le rallumer à d’autres endroits et
> ainsi de suite infiniment.
> Nous crions très fort :
> Nous ne voulons plus de cette logique chaotique tant
> souhaitée par BUSH
> Il est temps que Siniora soit démis de ses fonctions
>
> 31 août 2007
> Raymond RICHA

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September 4th, 2007, 5:26 pm

 
 

24. norman said:

testing
Middle East: Invite Syria to peace conference, urges Italian minister

Cairo, 4 Sept. (AKI) – Italian foreign minister Massimo D’Alema said Tuesday that Syria should be invited to a Middle East peace conference being organised by Washington for November.

“All nations involved should be invited, including Syria”, D’Alema said after meeting Arab League president Amr Moussa in Cairo.

“I think it would be good for this conference to be attended by those countries in the international community most involved in finding peace in the region, hence the main European countries, besides the European Union”, D’Alema said.

Washington has signalled that the conference aims to include Israel in face-to-face talks with representatives of what it calls ‘moderate’ Arab nations, such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states.

The Bush Administration has branded Syria a “rogue state” in the past and has repeatedly accused it of sponsoring terrorism in Lebanon and militant activity in Iraq.

D’Alema on Tuesday said it should be remembered that the proposal of a peace conference “first came from the Arabs and the Europeans”, adding that “we are now happy that the proposal has been re-launched by President Bush”.

The Italian foreign minister warned that to succeed the conference would have to “define a platform on a way and time-frame to achieve peace”, and that participants would have to be “encouraged to make brave decisions”.

Moussa, also speaking after the meeting, said he agreed with D’Alema that the “conference will be useful if carefully prepared so as to allow progress towards a solution of the [Arab-Israeli] conflict”.

D’Alema, who is on a regional tour, was scheduled to attend a working dinner which will open a meeting of foreign ministers from the 22 Arab League member states on Tuesday evening.

suoneria
Scarica Gratis la tua Suoneria preferita. Tutte le Ultime Hits.

http://www.lemigliorisu...
visa

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September 4th, 2007, 6:54 pm

 

25. t_desco said:

“The daily As-Safir newspaper reported on Tuesday that Fatah al-Islam had been plotting to assassinate Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir. The paper said security reports also linked the group to the assassination of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel last November.

The army also confirmed Fatah al-Islam’s involvement in the twin bus bombing in Ain Alaq on February 13.

Judicial sources told The Daily Star that there is a link between a senior member of the group, Abu Yazen, three other members – whose fates are unknown – and the Gemayel assassination, but added that investigations are still under way.”
The Daily Star

Months of surveillance, planned targeting of the Patriarch’s convoy, one can’t help but notice certain similarities…

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September 4th, 2007, 8:22 pm

 

26. ausamaa said:

Well, the victorious General Michael Sulaiman said recently that Fateh Al Islam is not connected to Syria? Did he not? Now we are told that they were behind the Ain Alaq busses exp[olsions and the Gemayel assasination. Can some now tell us who is behind Fateh Al Islam? Should someone at least “appologieze” to the Syrians for prematurely acusuing them of the two murders mentioned above and for whome Syria was blamed then?

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September 4th, 2007, 8:43 pm

 

27. Enlightened said:

Akbar I played Tennis last night, I was being sarcastic I didnt go demonstrating!

I dont think that everyone is sad about the demise about Fateh Islam, I think that you have it wrong on this occasion, anyone that perpetrates violence on Arab or Jew does not curry favour in my eyes or anyone on this site.

It is high time my brother that you stop this sensless baiting, it is pointless!

As to John Howard , unfortunately for him, the opinon polls came out yesterday he is 19 points behind the opposition, and we have a election due in 3 months, he used to be called honest John, but his sensless backing of everything Bush has done has not gone down well with the Australian public, where he is know seen post 9/11 as dis honest , mean and tricky by a majority of the Australian public.

Ps welcome back you havent been on for a while!

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September 5th, 2007, 12:30 am

 

28. Akbar Palace said:

I dont think that everyone is sad about the demise about Fateh Islam, I think that you have it wrong on this occasion, anyone that perpetrates violence on Arab or Jew does not curry favour in my eyes or anyone on this site.

Enlightened,

I beg to differ. A number of the participants on this website fully support organizations which refuse to recognize a Jewish State (aka Israel) and whose method of “resistance” is the indiscriminate firing of misslies at civilian targets.

Co-website “manager” Alex has stated numerous times that he is a Hezbollah and Hamas supporter. I’ll just assume you speak only for yourself.

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September 5th, 2007, 11:18 am

 

29. Akbar Palace said:

AP:

Why is everyone here so sad (everyone except Z)??

SimoHurtta:

We are Akbar sad because 1.65 million Israelis are living below poverty line.

SimoHurtta (cc: Observer):

At least you don’t apologize for your Fatah-al-Islam depression, however, in typical fashion, you change the subject a redirect us to a liberal hebrew news outlet (Ha’aretz) whose readership is the least popular in the Zionist Entity.

Of course, I don’t mind. Democracy allows anybody to speak without fear of retribution. One day the Arab world will figure that one out.

But I’m glad you switched the subject to “poverty”. Let’s look at some statistics. I will present both the per capita GDP of 3 nations as well as the percentage of the population living below the “poverty line”, and percent GDP for military spending. Please refer to the CIA Factbook for these numbers.

Israel: $26,800/21.6%/7.3%

Syria: $4,100/11.9/5.9%

USA: $44,000/12%/4.1%

So when Mr. Ha’aretz delights you with his complaints about Israeli “poverty” it all has to be compared “apples-to-apples”. Unfortunately, Ha’aretz readers are not savy enough to do that.

Being “Poor” in one country is different than being “Poor” in another country. Tell us about the poor in Syria, Lebanon, and Eygpt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States

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September 5th, 2007, 11:35 am

 

30. SimoHurtta said:

Akbar today we are sad that ‘Israel gives US unreliable intel’. (This news is not from the anti-Israeli, anti Semitic Haaretz).

We are also deeply sad about 10 children family Born in Lakeland; detained by Israel. (This news is not from the anti-Israeli, anti Semitic Haaretz).

We are furious of the “Jihadi” military training camps Israel organizes for foreign countries citizens children. (Needless to say that news is not from the anti-Israeli, anti Semitic Haaretz).

Everyday new reasons to be sad. Why Akbar?

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September 5th, 2007, 1:19 pm

 

31. Akbar Palace said:

SimoHurtta –

You’re doing a good job side-stepping the issues you brought up and refuse (or can’t) to defend.

The terror supporters on this website should be proud of your selfless work against the evils of Zionism. q:op

Meanwhile, the fight against terror continues, and surprisingly, this time a 3 month war with hundreds dead doesn’t seem to bother anyone. Moreover, some say the Syrians are “celebrating”…

Mr Murr added that “an undetermined number” of Fatah al-Islam members were buried in mass graves in the camp by their comrades.

“This victory allowed us to put an end to the worst threat ever faced by the Lebanese,” he said.

“Fatah al-Islam could have spread throughout the country like cancerous cells.”

What a difference a day makes!

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September 5th, 2007, 4:19 pm

 

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