France Urged Israel to Bomb Syria

I will be traveling for several days to give a talk in Florida. Here is a departing news roundup.

Ibrahim Hamidi, explains "Solana’s incentives to bring Syria back into Arab ranks and pry it away from Iran” (Trans. by mideastwire.com)

In the March 17 issue of al-Hayat Hamidi wrote: “If the recent war between Hezbollah and Israel last summer opened cracks in the wall of isolation that America and Europe tried to build around Syria following the assassination of the ex Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri, then the visit by the supreme coordinator of foreign policy in the European Union Javier Solana to Damascus a few days ago opened the doors wide in front of the European-Syrian path but with conditions concerning the “development of the [Syrian] behaviour”. The European Union had re-evaluated its policies following the July war last year which led to revoking the policy of isolating Damascus. Thus Damascus was visited by the Spanish, German, Dutch, and Belgian foreign ministers as well as by the foreign policy a dvisor to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair…”

Hamidii added: “Concerning the “contradictions in the European messages [to Damascus]”, an official meeting for the foreign ministers of the European Union in Brussels was tasked with the possibility of sending Solana to Damascus. According to the information available to Al Hayat, the French foreign minister Philip Douste-Plazy announced in this meeting that the situation in Lebanon is still critical and that there are divisions in its community and in the political regime and concluded that “a settlement is necessary to correct the political regime and ratify the statute of the international tribunal on the basis of no winners, no losers”. Thus he called for sending a clear message to Syria to support the tribunal and what the Lebanese want concerning a unity government capable of operating to the end of its mandate according to the previous elections…”

Hamidi continued: “Thus Solana went on his tour which included Beirut, Riyadh, and Damascus where he met with the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, his deputy Farouk Al-Shar’a, and the foreign minister Walid Al-Muallem…It was noteworthy that the meetings included a session with Al-Assad which lasted for 50 minutes in which there was a detailed discussion of the Syrian-European relations…Concerning the details of the behaviour expected by Solana “for Damascus to return to the Arab ranks”, these include: “Lebanon first of all. Lebanon is an important country and is passing currently through some political troubles. It is an obligation to support stability, implement the international resolutions, and play a positive role there” in implementing resolution 1701, monitoring the Syrian Lebanese borders, and supporting the unity government.”

Hamididi added: “The second issue concerns applying pressure on Hamas to force it to take more pragmatic stances to facilitate dealing with the Palestinian track. In this context, it was noteworthy that Solana talked for the first time about the line of the 4th of June 1967 as borders to regain the Syrian Golan Heights but he considered at the same time that top priority should be given to the Palestinian track which would be followed by discussing the Syrian track. The third issue pertains to “continuing to develop the behaviour” towards Iraq and “translating talk into actions” to monitor the borders and support the political process while registering the positive developments on the Damascus-Baghdad line…What is Solana offering in return? He is working on a basket of incentives that include economic and political offerings such as signing the [Euro-Med] partnership deal, focusing on the Golan Heights and presenting aid to the Iraqi refugees…” – Al Hayat, United Kingdom

Michael Young of the Daily Star writes: "Syria's 'engagers' can't ignore Brammertz," Thursday, March 22, 2007

France Urged Israel to Invade Syria During War by Ezra HaLevi

France urged Israel to invade Syria during the war against Hizbullah this past summer.

Army Radio reported Sunday that French President Jacques Chirac contacted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert via a secret channel at the very beginning of the war in Lebanon. He informed him that France would support an Israeli invasion of Syria.

Chirac asked that Israel act to topple the Assad regime, and promised in return to block any moves against Israel within the United Nations or European Union.

"Chirac saw Syria as the primary one responsible for the [arming of Hizbullah]," Israel’s former Ambassador to France Nissim Zvili told Army Radio. "He saw Syria as directly responsible for the attempt to undermine the Lebanese regime and for the murder of [Lebanon’s former prime minister] Rafik al-Hariri.”

France administered Lebanon from 1920 until 1943, and President Chirac was a personal friend of al-Hariri’s.

Chirac warned Syria in March 2006 that destabilizing Lebanon would “trigger a response from the international community.”

The Maariv daily quoted a “senior Israeli official” who claimed that Chirac “misunderstood Israel’s interests,” which, he said, were to “end the war.”

Chirac’s proposal, tacitly supported by the US as well, according to Maariv, was discussed at several Foreign Ministry meetings.

Just last week Chirac threw his full support behind a conciliatory visit to Syria by EU Foreign Minister Javier Solana. "I back it without reservation,” Chirac said. “Europe speaks with one voice."

Mohammed Ali Atassi has written a moving tribute to Syria's most acclaimed filmmaker, Omar Amirlay: Thirteen Hours of Interrogation.

Omar Amirlay, an outspoken and prolific Syrian filmmaker and intellectual, is internationally acclaimed for his many films, and has helped put contemporary Syria on the artistic map.  So why is the Syrian government treating this cultural treasure like a common criminal?  Mohammed Ali Atassi reflects on the government’s complicated relationship with Amirlay and with the nation’s rapidly dwindling intelligentsia.   

Harry Clark in his “Thrice-Told Tales: Those Israel-Syria Peace Talks", gives an overview of the history of peace talks between Syria and Israel.

Gabriel Kolko’s work as a historian casts a giant shadow, but his recent account of “Israel, Iran and the Bush Administration” (CounterPunch, February 10/11) is open to challenge. The Israeli peace talks with Syria, which Kolko finds of “enormous significance,” are a thrice-told tale which has not yet come true, least of all because of intervention by the United States. ……”

Jacob Weisberg at Slate gives a summary of Bernard Lewis' talk at the American Enterprise Institute bash last week in his, "Party of Defeat: AEI's weird celebration.

In his address, the 90-year-old Lewis did not revisit his argument that regime change in Iraq would provide the jolt needed to modernize the Middle East. Instead, he spoke at length about the millennial struggle between Christianity and Islam. Lewis argues that Muslims have adopted migration, along with terror, as the latest strategy in their "cosmic struggle for world domination." This is a familiar framework from the original author of the phrase "the clash of civilizations"—made more famous by Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington. What did surprise me was Lewis' denunciation of Pope John Paul II's 2000 apology for the Crusades as political correctness run amok. This drew applause. Lewis' view is that the Muslims started it by invading Europe in the eighth century. The Crusades were merely a failed imitation of Muslim jihad in an endless see-saw of conquest and re-conquest.

Turkish DNA is less than 9% from Central Asia, according to a provocative study done on the genetic structures of over 500 Turks from the various regions of Anatolia. An earlier study, based on a much smaller sampling, claimed that roughly 30% of Turkish DNA had Central Asian origins. This newer and more scientific study has gotten Turks talking. See Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in Anatolia, PubMed.

High resolution SNP analysis provides evidence of a detectable yet weak signal (<9%) of recent paternal gene flow from Central Asia. The major components (haplogroups E3b, G, J, I, L, N, K2, and R1; 94.1%) are shared with European and neighboring Near Eastern populations and contrast with only a minor share of haplogroups related to Central Asian (C, Q and O; 3.4%), Indian (H, R2; 1.5%) and African (A, E3*, E3a; 1%) affinity.

I wonder what one would find in Syria, if a DNA study like this were undertaken.

Comments (135)


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101. Alex said:

The lovely Hisham Melhim trying to squeeze out of the interview anything that can sound bad for the Syrians so that he can send a “good” news piece back to Annahar.

Here is a list of some of the most pathetic Syria haters among the distinguished and
intelligent” Lebanese journalists:

1) Hisham Melhim (Washington, for Annahar)
2) Raghida Dergham (New York, for AlHayat)
3) Michael Young (Opinion writer, Daily Star)
4) Randa Takieddin (Paris, for Alhayat)

From these I would exclude Michael Young for now as he usually writes opinion pieces and he is theoretically free to have whatever foolish opinions he has. But the other three are NEWS REPORTERS .. they are supposed to report the news in a neutral way leaving it up to the readers to form their own conclusions about those news stories of the day.

Yet throughput the past few years, Raghida, Hisham and Randa have somehow managed to achieve a 95%+ (and Probably a perfect 100%) set of stories that are clearly negative in regards to Syria… you can be sure that if you read the word “Syria” in their news reports that they managed to find something negative to report that day, and if it is not clearly negative, well then they will tweak it a bit until it is negative… the “negative” is usually: weak, evil, stupid, boycotted.

Thanks to these pillars of Arab journalism this is the way readers are led to understand the middle east problems … from an ALjazeera cartoonist this week.

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March 24th, 2007, 5:48 am

 

102. Alex said:

مصدر فرنسي: دمشق تحاول «تمرير القمة» بهدوء

أكد أن أجندتها في لبنان مختلفة عن إيران

باريس: ميشال أبونجم
دعا مصدر فرنسي رفيع المستوى أمس الى مواصلة الضغوط على سورية والامتناع عن إرسال «إشارات خاطئة» اليها، معتبرا أنها «مسؤولة الى حد كبير» عن استمرار تأزيم الوضع في لبنان واستمرار دورانه في حلقة مفرغة.
وحذر المصدر الفرنسي ـ في لقاء ضيق في باريس مع عدد من الصحافيين ـ من «مناورة» سورية غرضها «تمرير القمة العربية بأقل قدر من الخسائر لتحاشي الضغوط والعودة بعدها الى سياستها التقليدية في اللعب على حبل التناقضات اللبنانية». وفيما اتهم دمشق بـ«اللعب على الوقت وتقطيعه» بانتظار انتهاء ولاية الرئيس شيراك في أواسط مايو (أيار) المقبل وبعدها ولاية الرئيس جورج بوش، قال إن باريس تعتبر أن هناك ثمة إمكانية لفك التحالف القائم بين سورية وإيران على اعتبار أن الأجندة السورية في لبنان مختلفة عن الأجندة الإيرانية.

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March 24th, 2007, 6:17 am

 

103. ausamaa said:

Alex,

Something does not add up:

The Bush Admin needs Syria’s help in getting out of the mud in Iraq, while the Bush Admin locals in the area are still “playing” with Syria. What is your take on this?

Have your cake and eat it too?

Or is it that the local agents have been telling everyone about how “lonely” and “weak” Syria is, that they have now come to “believe” what they say?

Or, is there a spoiler somewhere? How come Saudi clout is not yet capable of resolving the Lebanon stalemate but have been able to resolve the much more tougher one between Hamas and Fateh with Syria’s help?

If that is what is happening, will they not be in for a big surprise. Syria may recoil.

In the end, have the Arab brothers volanteered to get from Syria what Bush’s threats and actions could not get? And on what basis is such an approach based? Why would they succeed where Bush did not?

Hot Summer ahead? Are they not tired yet?

What gives?

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March 24th, 2007, 6:41 am

 

104. ausamaa said:

Alex, Self Censored !

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March 24th, 2007, 6:57 am

 

105. Alex said:

Ausamaa,

Zvi Bar’el from Haaretz (article linked above) is a good email friend of mine for 5 years now. He told me then, and told me now the same thing: Don’t expect “a final solution” to all the problems in the Middle East, everyday it is another chapter in the book.

Syria might agree to talk to Washington about Lebanon or about Iraq .. but Syria is convinced (very rightly) that at the end of the day … nothing will work unless there is a comprehensive solution. Washington is not prepared to talk to Syria about everything… because that will imply a recognition by Washington that Syria will have THE central role in the area… look at the map.

THAT kind of a Syrian role is simply too much for Washington or its Arab allies to accept … they have very different plans … plans that Syria will continue to oppose both because they are not good for Syria and because they would not work.

So we get those “let’s talk to Syria on a limited basis” and “let’s offer Syria a few small carrots and demand a few concessions” … we are kidding ourselves if we have high hopes.

But since America is in Iraq and since Lebanon is in a big mess, and since Saudi Arabia is not “slow” anymore, rather than the standstill of the old days, this time we should expect more serious efforts to make the environmental conditions more friendly to the Americans and Saudis and Lebanese March 14th group

There might be a summer war … especially if they do not get their “international tribunal” designed in a way that guarantees they can implicate Syria in the Hariri murder… they need to weaken Syria until it is happy with the small carrots they are willing to offer.

The Syrians on the other hand decided that they are going to wait until Chirac and Bush are both out, and until the Saudis and their Lebanese allies are tired and more realistic in their expectations after they lose their enthusiastic Neocon backers.

But everything is possible … two years is a long time in this dynamic Middle East. Lahoud’s term will expire (Again) in few months, the Arab summit will restate its backing for “the right of return” and Olmert will need to distance himself from the positive position he took so far regarding the Saudi peace efforts, something terrible might happen in Iraq just like UN secretary general almost got blown up in Iraq this week …. many challenges that will make those two years quite stressful.

And it does not help that too many strong leaders have their personal ego on the line… It will be a mistake to expect all parties to behave in a logical way… especially when you have the Michael Young and Raghida and Hisham Melhem and Randa distorting reality and believing this distorted reality and making the Americans believe it to. There was once an article in Le Monde Diplomatique which stated that Washingtn gets its perception of the Arab world mostly from Asharq Alawasat … that’s partly why it believed it can safely invade Iraq and be welcomed by all Arabs there who surely think the same way Asharq’a Saudi commentators think. They are dangerous .. and they are enjoying the addictive power trip .. they won’t stop.

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March 24th, 2007, 7:35 am

 

106. ausamaa said:

In the End do they expect Syria to sit tight and wait for them? Keeping in mind the cards Syria can play if it had to? Do they want another “adventure”?

And when do you think that Syria will shout: Foul!?

As to Zvi Bar El, like others over there (despite his being light years ahead of many), they either “slip” on the cliches they have molded for their political satisfaction, or they end up, subconciously perhaps, imposing their wishfull thinking and their propaganda themes on how the Arab side will react and what really motivates such a reaction. So I will buy their judgement on Israeli internal political matters, but I will not buy their analysis or assessment as it relates to Arab intentions or motivation. In this area, at the most they have proven to be mediocre after-the-fact apologists. They often give credibility to the word “Paradigms”.

Have you seen the Yousi Sarid article “Israel, victim of the Iraqi adventure”? (22/3/2007) He knows better than many others, considering his Arab background.

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March 24th, 2007, 8:28 am

 

107. ausamaa said:

Aint this cute? Condi wants Arabs to “recommit” to the Fahed peace plan. Perhaps as in the Arab Groom repeating again “I do”, while the Israeli bride is still silent!

Condiiiiiii, the poor intiative is still awaiting the Israeli and the US blessing! Since 2002!

“Rice urges Arab states to recommit to Saudi plan

By News Agencies

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, heading to the Middle East on her third trip since the start of the year, on Friday urged the Arab states to recommit to a 2002 Saudi peace initiative, and said that there should be room for negotiation.

The plan should be revived “in a way that leaves open the possibility for active diplomacy based on it, not just putting it in the middle of the table and leaving it at that”

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March 24th, 2007, 8:42 am

 

108. ausamaa said:

And Condi’s usage of “room for negotiation” is the signal to Arabs that the 2002 Plan is not mellow enough. Water it down please, and we shall “try” to do our best, she says “reassuringly” to the Arabs!

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March 24th, 2007, 8:47 am

 

109. Alex said:

Ausamaa, I agree about the Israelis and their way of perceiving what goes on in each Arab country. But what a relief to read Zvi Bar’el who understands Syria much better than the Al_Hayat LBC or Aslharq alawsat distinguished Arab analysts and journalists.

Here is an example of what Zvi Wrote a year ago when the Lebanese abnd Saudis where cheering President Bush’s Syria lines enthusiasticaly:

This inflation of the Syrian doll has been so successful that today, without a doubt, if there is someone to blame for the failure of the war against terror in Iraq, it is Assad. If there is someone who threatens the peace of the region, it is Assad. And if there is a leader whose deposal would make all of the U.S.’s problems in the region vanish – lo and behold – it is Assad. Thus, a head of state who is considered a weakling in the eyes of several important Arab leaders and whose deposal the administration in Washington allows itself to publicly contemplate has managed to become such a global threat that he is the subject of complete paragraphs in all of Bush’s declarations. And not only in these declarations.

For example, when the president of Turkey visited Washington in June, Bush scolded him for his warm relations with Syria. A substantial part of the conversations Bush conducts with Putin revolve around “the problems Assad is causing in Iraq.” And Washington has forged close ties with its rival, France, on the Lebanon issue, for one, because France agreed to cold shoulder Assad. American officials have been leaking information for several weeks about “examining the role of President Assad.” And now Washington is building high expectations about the international commission of inquiry chaired by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis on the murder of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Assad brought President Hosni Mubarak the transcripts of the investigations conducted by Mehlis in Syria, which according to Assad, clearly indicate his regime was not involved in the murder of Hariri. But even if Assad emerges from this inquiry as pure as snow, he will still be guilty.

I did not read Yousi Sarid’s article, I will google it now. Thanks.

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March 24th, 2007, 8:47 am

 

110. Alex said:

That’s right Ausamaa … Condi hopes that with these incremental positive steps they can actualy go far. But for every positive step there is a negative step … eventually we ain’t going nowhere.

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March 24th, 2007, 8:57 am

 

111. Alex said:

And since “G” wanted to analyze pictures, I finally found him from my old database this interesting link Enigma of Damascus

Another demo of how our Lebanese and Saudi Arab “brothers” are a million times more negative than our Israeli and American “enemies”.

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March 24th, 2007, 9:03 am

 

112. Ford Prefect said:

Akbar,
Your response above was a rare one. I sense in it that you put your biases and superiority complex aside and you typed a rational and respectable opinion.

As a follow up, I have three questions for you:

1. Is Israel a secular country? Do Israelis wish to have a secular and tolerant society?

2. You mentioned that “[Israel] left Lebanon and Gaza without ANY guarantees for security.“ In your opinion, did Hezbollah or Hamas have anything to do with this Israeli unilateral withdrawal? Would Israel have withdrawn any earlier if there was no “armed” resistance?

3. And lastly, as an American, do you believe that people have the right to resist occupation by all means available (including armed resistance)?

As I said before, irrespective of our “IP addresses”, I do not share your ideas, but, nerveless, value and respect your rational opinion.

Cheers

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March 24th, 2007, 10:43 am

 

113. t_desco said:

How Beirut Police Fingered Syria in Hariri Assassination
By JAY SOLOMON
March 20, 2007; Page A1
WSJ

The article is basically a rehashing of the… first Mehlis report – breaking news indeed… – and it contains serious factual errors, notably:

“In particular, the U.N. believes users of six phones with prepaid cards were actively tracing Mr. Hariri’s motorcade. Many of these numbers were then in touch with officials either in or close to the top of Lebanese and Syrian security services.”

Mehlis I, §144 clearly states that the “six calling cards … made numerous calls with each other and only with each other”. This is repeated in §145: “Since they were first purchased in early January 2005, until the time of the explosion, the lines only had calls with each other.”

Yet the WSJ article is not devoid of interesting information:

“Shortly after the attack, the ISF’s chief investigator on the case, Lt. Col. Samir Shehade, and his staff issued an arrest warrant for an Arab man (sic) suspected of involvement in the Hariri murder and two other attacks on anti-Syrian officials. Days before police were to make the arrest, the suspect fled to Syria, after getting word that his fiancée had been arrested.”

Did you notice that Syrian extremists are always referred to as Syrians, but when the nationality of the terrorist could be a source of embarrassment for our “moderate” allies (like the most extremely moderate country of them all, Saudi Arabia), they are simply referred to as “Arabs”)…?

Bernard Rougier’s article from January 2007 is now accessible online:

Islamismes sunnites et Hezbollah
Le Monde diplomatique

It turns out that there was some animosity towards Rafik Hariri in the “milieux salafistes d’Aïn Héloué”:

“C’est la raison pour laquelle les milieux salafistes d’Aïn Héloué dénoncent les résolutions internationales qui exigent le désarmement des milices libanaises et palestiniennes, tout en veillant à empêcher le Hezbollah de s’installer dans les camps de réfugiés, au nom de la défense de l’identité sunnite. De même, ils bloquent toute forme de solidarité confessionnelle avec les sunnites libanais mobilisés derrière la famille Hariri, en imputant à Rafic Hariri le régime d’exclusion dont les réfugiés palestiniens avaient fait l’objet pendant les années 1990.”

(my emphasis)

An English translation of Rougier excellent study, “Everyday Jihad, The Rise of Militant Islam among Palestinians in Lebanon”, will be published in May.

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March 24th, 2007, 11:09 am

 

114. G said:

Another demo of how our Lebanese and Saudi Arab “brothers” are a million times more negative than our Israeli and American “enemies”.

Yes indeed, especially in how they send bombs, and weapons, and killers and assassinate people, etc. etc.

But in fact, i’m glad you said this. This is precisely how the Lebanese, the Iraqis, and the Jordanians feel about you.

****THIS COMMENT WAS EDITED DUE TO IRRESPONSIBLE, RACIST, OR HATEFUL LANGUAGE ****

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March 24th, 2007, 2:10 pm

 

115. ausamaa said:

G.

And we have to assume that you speak for all Lebanese??

Including Murabitoon, Amal, Karami, Frenjieh, SSNP, Hizbullah, Miqati, Lahoud, Al Huss, Aoun, Wahhab and many others. Right?!

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March 24th, 2007, 3:22 pm

 

116. Alex said:

T_DESCO, the WSJ is predictable when it comes to the Middle East. Before I read an artcle I have the lowest expectations.

G, I think Innocent Criminal was right about you, although I will not repeat what he said. I have edited your last sentence and replaced it with “We love Syria”… maybe this will work instead of banning you for your continued insults.

From now on, every time you can not control your language, I will remove your comments completely and replace them with something that expresses how much you love Syria and Bashar.

I’m helping you learn to become a better person G, …to learn the challenging skill of debating, without always resorting to the use of bad language and name calling when you have no good argument.

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March 24th, 2007, 3:33 pm

 

117. Alex said:

And G, if you hate Syria that much because “Yes indeed, especially in how they send bombs, and weapons, and killers and assassinate people, etc. etc.

You know, it would be great if you can base your hate of a country next door on facts, and not on charges from Assyasa and almustaqbal.

And if the 5 bombs and the 10 Lebanese killed is what made you hate your neighbor to the east and north, then I assume (since you are a logical person) that you have a million times more of the same hate to the neighbor to the south? … Ford Prefect will be happy to remind you how many bombs they dropped on Lebanon and how many people they killed … proven fact, not accusations.

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March 24th, 2007, 4:01 pm

 

118. Ford Prefect said:

I happened to see the insult comment by G before Alex replaced it. Shameful. Thanks Alex for enforcing a sense of civility to this forum. Obviously there is still some highly uncivilized and recycled remnant of the Lebanese Civil War around. Their use of offensive language to project personal insults is indicative of the personalities behind them. Cheers Alex.

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March 24th, 2007, 4:18 pm

 

119. ausamaa said:

FP,

Put yourself in their place for a moment. Now, they hate SYRIA and that is a fact!, so how would they feel, or have been feeling, during the last 5 years? Their type must have felt as if their team had a first and Goal at the one yard line with thirty seconds left. Then they began realising that their team was actualy at their own one yard line on the other side of the field, with half the players disgusted with the sneaky QB, and that it was still early in the second quarter only..

They have been promissed that once Syria leaves Lebanon, all will be Ok in Lebanon and this has not happened!
They told them that once Syria is gone, taking care of Hizbullah and the Palestinans will be a peice of cake, and this has not happened!
They told them Syria will be borken and then they can enjoy taking their revenge, and this has not happened!
They told them that American tanks will soon take care of Syria and this has not happened!
They told them Syria will be hit by the blitz of Mehllis, then Brammertz, then the Tribunal and what have you, and this has not happened!
They told them, Syria would be so cornered and so chastised that it will be a pariah, and this has not happened!

They were told many stories and they told a lot of stories in return,

Then they wake up… and booooffff…!!

How would you feel if you were in their place? And with their mentality?
And with their options?

If I was them, I would start reconsidering – something they are very good at! But, my favorit saying: Some people never learn!

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March 24th, 2007, 4:53 pm

 

120. anonymous said:

Hi Josh,
I love your forum and I would like to keep following
up on your blog, however I posted a comment under:
anonymous said: (March 22nd, 2007, 2:14 pm, it was
directed to you and unfortunately I got a respond from
Alex, I have nothing against the gentleman but I if my
question was to you I would expect in case of a
respond to be from you.

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March 24th, 2007, 7:43 pm

 

121. Alex said:

Well, I am not replying to anyone in particular who does not want me to reply to him : )

But Josh is in Florida for a week.

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March 24th, 2007, 7:56 pm

 

122. syrian said:

Alex,

When are we going to see a new topic on CreativeSyria

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March 24th, 2007, 9:07 pm

 

123. Alex said:

Syrian,

Write me an email and I will give you an interesting answer.

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March 24th, 2007, 9:25 pm

 

124. ausamaa said:

Is it what I think it is? a JV ?

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March 24th, 2007, 9:35 pm

 

125. Ford Prefect said:

Ausamma,
The points you are making are valid ones. In fact, realizing that they are on their own 1 yard line with less than 5 seconds to go, their quarterback (the 14 March Monday Morning Quarterback) threw a Hail Mary pass. Betting the whole game of on that final pass.

They were mislead, as were the Iraqi Shiite, the Israelis, and many others who will eventually come to realize how they used and abused by a narrow-minded “sect” of American ideologues who can see the world only through American military power.

If we look holistically at the entire sequence of events, the Hariri crime would fit properly a part of a whole series of “events” that, so thought the brilliant minds behind it, would in fact re-arrange the Middle East, once and for all, in favor of Israel and under complete American hegemony over the region. This agenda, driven by ideologies established in the early nineties, wouldn’t have been too bad actually, had they been coming from real conscientious Americans who have the US interests aligned with the aspirations of the people of the Middle East for freedom and democracy.

Here is your quiz for the day, Ausamaa. Who said the following?

“…with this Lebanese-Syrian solidarity and alliance, for the sake of dialogue and civil peace … for the sake of Lebanon’s Arabism, consolidating the Taif Accord and defending the national and Islamic resistance, we are not afraid, no matter how great the storms and clouds [affecting the region].”

The answer is http://www.lebanonwire.com/0205/02052308DS.asp

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March 24th, 2007, 9:47 pm

 

126. Alex said:

: )

Maybe … what is a JV?

Actually it is nothing negative. Email me too.

info aaat creative syria dot com

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March 24th, 2007, 9:48 pm

 

127. ausamaa said:

FP

Sounds like Junblat before he had the brain surgery!

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March 24th, 2007, 9:53 pm

 

128. ausamaa said:

FP

I guessed it before the link appeared! Junblat! لأن حارتنا ضيقة و بنعرف بعضنا

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March 24th, 2007, 10:14 pm

 

129. Ford Prefect said:

Ausamaa, the sad part in the whole fiasco is the incompetence of the brain surgeons. The patients needed the surgery anyway.

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March 24th, 2007, 10:28 pm

 

130. ausamaa said:

FP

Do not worry, he will come back once all this over, he is harmless after all.

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March 24th, 2007, 10:33 pm

 

131. norman said:

THe good thing about G Gibran and Akbar is that they unite us Syrian , the bad thing is that they are distracting us from discussing real points important to Syria.

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March 25th, 2007, 4:20 am

 

132. Ford Prefect said:

Ausamaa, agree. He usually sway with the wind.
Norman, good point. Let’s not loose focus on who the real enemy holding our land and swearing on destroying Syria.

Here is the latest. The Israeli war machine spent almost a whole year finding a name for its agression on Lebanon (duh!). They conveniently forgot to insert the word “loosing” in the title. (And they lost to no more than 3,000 true Lebanese heroes)

JERUSALEM, March 25 (Reuters) – Israel’s government on Sunday officially named last year’s conflict with Hezbollah guerrillas “The Second Lebanon War”.

The cabinet approved the name after relatives of some of the 117 Israeli soldiers and 41 civilians killed during the fighting lobbied for the inscription of the word “war” on their headstones as a fitting tribute.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla group, which abducted two Israeli soldiers in a deadly border raid on July 12 sparking the 34-day conflict, calls the war “The Divine Victory”. Ordinary Lebanese generally refer to it as the “July War”.

About 1,200 people, most of them civilians, were killed in Lebanon, Lebanese officials have said. Some 270 Hezbollah guerrillas, 15 other gunmen, 35 Lebanese soldiers and police and five U.N. peacekeepers were among the dead.

Israeli cabinet minister Yitzhak Cohen said the government chose “The Second Lebanon War” because the name “had sunk into the public consciousness” — although Israel never designated as a war its 1982 offensive in Lebanon.

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March 25th, 2007, 11:22 am

 

133. t_desco said:

More confirmation of the story first reported by Seymour Hersh:

Sunni militants target Lebanon as ‘soft target’

Michael Hirst In Beirut, Sunday Telegraph
25/03/2007

Sunni militants are moving into Lebanon from Iraq because they regard it as a soft target for terrorist attacks, a British government minister has warned.

Several cells, each with up to 12 members, are said to be operating out of the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon.

Sunni groups are reported to be funded by individual contributions from oil-rich Saudis, seeking to offset the influence of Hezbollah, the militant Shia group whose popularity in southern Lebanon was bolstered by its perceived victory in last summer’s war against Israel.

Jawad Adra, the managing partner of the Beirut-based independent research body Information International, said that the increasing polarisation was providing a fertile breeding ground for anti-Western extremism among Sunni communities around Tripoli and Sidon.

“Western countries need to be careful that their political support for Lebanon’s Sunni leaders, to offset the supposed Shia threat posed by Iran through Hezbollah, does not play into the hands of Sunni extremists,” he said.

“The growth of Sunni extremism, not just in the Palestinian camps but also in impoverished areas of Lebanon, is a ticking time-bomb that is waiting to explode, and could sweep all moderates out of its path.”
Sunday Telegraph

See also this earlier report:

Gulf Arabs boost aid to Sunni militants in Lebanon
20 Mar 2007

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – Oil-rich Saudis and other wealthy Arabs have increased private contributions to Sunni militants in Lebanon that could fuel new violence in a growing regional struggle between Sunnis and Shi’ites, experts say.

The latest flow of money began in December in an attempt to create a counterweight to the Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah, according to former U.S. intelligence officials and independent analysts who view it as part of a Saudi effort to bolster Sunni Islam in the face of growing Shi’ite activism across the Middle East and in Africa.

“There is Saudi money coming in to Sunni extremist groups with the specific intention of confronting the Shi’ites and Hezbollah in Lebanon,” said a former senior intelligence official who closely monitors the Middle East.

The former officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cited Saudi and Syrian officials but declined to be more specific on the source of their information.

They were also reluctant to quantify the value of the contributions in a country known for smuggling and porous borders. But one analyst said the amounts could run into the millions of dollars.

In Lebanon, which is struggling with its worst political crisis since the 1975-90 civil war, donations to emerging Sunni militant groups have also raised concerns for sectarian conflict and the potential for a new hub of anti-Western extremism.

“Lebanon is on the verge of civil war,” said As’ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanon expert at California State University.

“The danger is, you have Lebanon very likely emerging as a place where (al Qaeda) supporters and copycats can find a haven.”

Hezbollah’s success against Israel last summer has bolstered the militant group at a time when its main Shi’ite benefactor, Iran, is experiencing a renaissance of influence in the Middle East.

Sunni Arabs from the Gulf, who have been funding Sunni causes in Lebanon since the 1980s, stepped up support after the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, a Sunni leader.

In the latest influx, contributions have gone to Sunni-run charities and institutions. But experts said significant sums have also been given to militant groups in northern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley and Palestinian refugee camps.

The recipients included Usbat al-Ansar, which the State Department describes as a Palestinian terrorist group linked to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, according to former intelligence officials and independent analysts.

Money has also gone to the Sunni group Fatah al-Islam, which was accused of bombing two buses in a Christian village near Beirut in February, they said.

Experts said loyalty to the Saudi and Al-Hariri family political agendas in Lebanon is expected in return. “The most important aim is to articulate a Sunni political agenda that is critical of the Iranian role in the region,” AbuKhalil said.
Reuters

Of course, Seymour Hersh added that this was being done with the tacit approval of the Bush administration (and, in particular, the old Iran-Contra gang).

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March 25th, 2007, 12:28 pm

 

134. Ford Prefect said:

Thanks t_desco, very interesting! Here is another interesting story from the Toronto Star regarding Michele Kilo and how technology is changing old practices.
(Side note: All prisoners of conscious should be set free.)

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/195802

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March 25th, 2007, 1:13 pm

 

135. Akbar Palace said:

Ford Prefect asks:

“As a follow up, I have three questions for you:

“1. Is Israel a secular country? Do Israelis wish to have a secular and tolerant society?”

Israel is a secular country. There is freedom of religion. Anyone can pray to whomever they want, build of house of worship, etc. Most Israelis are secular.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Israel#The_secular-traditional_spectrum

“2. You mentioned that “[Israel] left Lebanon and Gaza without ANY guarantees for security.“

In your opinion, did Hezbollah or Hamas have anything to do with this Israeli unilateral withdrawal?”

Absolutely. Israel was tired of paying the price of occupation as well as Israel also believed she would benefit politically from the withdraws. Has Israel benefited politically from the withdraws? IMHO, very little.

“Would Israel have withdrawn any earlier if there was no “armed” resistance?”

No. Israel did not withdraw from occupied territory after the Six Day War. Israel’s old policy was land for PEACE. Now Israel’s policy is land for Katyushas and Qassams.

“3. And lastly, as an American, do you believe that people have the right to resist occupation by all means available (including armed resistance)?”

As an American and as a human being, people have the right to resist occupation. Going by international standards for war, this does NOT include the use of TERRORISM (the willful targeting of non-combatants) and does NOT include using the civilian population for cover.

BTW – Lebanon is not occupied, and neither is Gaza.

“As I said before, irrespective of our “IP addresses”, I do not share your ideas, but, nerveless, value and respect your rational opinion. Cheers”

Shukran/Toda/Thanks

Norman said:

“THe good thing about G Gibran and Akbar is that they unite us Syrian , the bad thing is that they are distracting us from discussing real points important to Syria.”

BTW – Is there a way one can measure how united the Syrians are or is this just your feeling? Are there polls? Did the Syrians feel more united when the Syrian soliders returned home from Lebanon?

BTW – Can you list the “REAL points” important to Syria besides keeping Dr. Bashar in power?

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March 25th, 2007, 10:06 pm

 

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