“Hizbullah Recruits Sunni Palestinians and Lebanese to Bolster Arabness,” by Hugh Macleod

Lebanon's militant Hezbollah forging new ties
Shiite group recruits from other sects to help build strength
Hugh Macleod, San Fran Chronicle, November 1, 2007 

Ain Al-Hilweh, Lebanon

Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group, is expanding its military power by recruiting Sunnis, Christians and Druze in preparation for another conflict with Israel, according to sources close to Hezbollah.

In addition to its yearlong political campaign to bring down Lebanon's pro-Western government, Hezbollah has ignored U.N. and Lebanese government calls for disarmament and remains focused on bolstering its military strength by recruiting non-Shiites. The Islamic organization wants to allay fears that it is strictly a sectarian militia, these same sources say.

Former Lebanese Brig. Gen. Amin Hotait, an expert on Hezbollah, says the nonsectarian strategy began after Hezbollah declared a "divine victory" over Israel in a monthlong war in July 2006. Since then, its fighters have increased by several thousand, the analysts say.

"After the July war, the numbers of Shiites joining Hezbollah as fighters doubled, but the group has also expanded by appealing to other sects under the banner of the political opposition," said Hotait. "They are preparing for a future role in conflict against Israel."

In recent months, Hezbollah and its political allies have led a protest to topple the government coalition of Sunnis, Christians and Druze known as March 14. The crisis ensued last year after Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called a Cabinet meeting to discuss disarming Hezbollah. In response, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused Saniora of being a traitor and working for the United States and Israel. Last November, all five Shiite ministers and a Christian ally resigned from the government.

"Before the July war, Hezbollah had called for a national unity government," said Amal Saad Ghorayeb, an expert on Hezbollah at the Carnegie Endowment's Middle East Center in Beirut. "But after the war, they became much more vocal and hard-line because they saw that there was a clear U.S. policy to utilize March 14 to disarm Hezbollah and weaken Iran and Syria in the process."

Intelligence experts widely believe Hezbollah – defined as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department – receives most of its weapons from Iran. The arms are then smuggled across the Syrian border with the approval of Damascus.

Although exact figures are impossible to come by, experts estimate that Hezbollah had several thousand professional fighters and about 10,000 second-rank troops before the war with Israel.

Hotait says Hezbollah has since re-established the Lebanese Brigades for Resisting Occupation, which had been scrapped in 1999 and whose ranks included Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Druze and Christians.

Hezbollah is also courting Sunni religious scholars known as sheikhs to shore up its military support, according to Patrick Haenni, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

"Hezbollah is in desperate need of the Sunni sheikhs and went to meet as many as they could," said Haenni. "They are eager not to make the resistance against Israel a Shiite cause."

Moreover, Hezbollah is arming and training a Sunni militia group inside the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near the southern port of Sidon, ostensibly to counter al Qaeda fighters. It is the largest of a dozen Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, with an estimated 75,000 residents.

Sheikh Abu Ayoub, the commander of some 300 Sunni Palestinian fighters of Ansar Allah (Followers of God), acknowledges his group's affiliation with Hezbollah.

"Everything comes from Hezbollah – financial support, weapons and training," said Abu Ayoub, inside the run-down camp. "Palestine is an Islamic issue. Hezbollah are Islamic. We are Islamic."

Ansar Allah members say they will monitor and expel foreign fighters to prevent a repeat of the devastating summer conflict between the Sunni al Qaeda-inspired militants of Fatah Islam – many of whom were Saudi extremists – and the Lebanese army in the northern Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. The three-month-long conflict was the worst internal violence since the end of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. The fighting destroyed much of the camp and killed 168 soldiers, more than 200 militants and 47 civilians.

"Hezbollah has an interest in preventing the rise of al Qaeda when you see what has happened in Iraq," said Abu Ayoub.

Hezbollah's media office ignored several requests to comment for this story. However, in an earlier interview, the group's foreign affairs spokesman, Nawaf Mousawi, blamed the rise of Sunni extremism in Lebanon on Washington and the government coalition, which sees such groups as a bulwark against Hezbollah. Washington and Beirut adamantly deny the allegation.

In a March article in the New Yorker magazine, reporter Seymour Hersh quoted a former British intelligence officer saying the Sunni extremist group Fatah Islam was "offered weapons and money by people presenting themselves as representatives of the Lebanese government's interests – presumably to take on Hezbollah."

After the end of the civil war in 1990, Hezbollah became the only militia allowed to retain its weapons to resist Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. In 2000, Israeli troops withdrew after a 22-year occupation and a war of attrition with Hezbollah fighters.

Although the Lebanese government confirmed Hezbollah's right to liberate an Israeli-occupied border area called the Shebaa Farms in 2005, international attention on the militant organization has been mounting since 2004, when the U.S.-French sponsored Security Council resolution 1559 called for disarming all Lebanese militias.

Few observers here dispute that Hezbollah is preparing for another confrontation with Israel after last summer's war ended in a stalemate and U.N. peacekeepers and Lebanese army replaced Hezbollah fighters in the south.

Hezbollah leaders say that they are setting up hidden military zones north of the Litani River, the waterway that marks the boundary of U.N-patrolled territory. Government officials say Hezbollah is also fortifying positions in the Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria.

But these same analysts say Hezbollah is unlikely to provoke another war as it did last July, when a cross-border raid killed two Israeli soldiers and captured two more, who were taken to Lebanon and remain captive.

"Hezbollah knows that in the case of Round 2 with Israel, they will not only lose the support of their Christian allies, but also the support of many Shiites, who know that if they have to flee the south again they will have nowhere to go in Lebanon," said Haenni of the International Crisis Group. "Hezbollah knows they have lost the southern border with Israel and it will be closed to them for a very long time, but that is not because Hezbollah can't make operations in the south through U.N. and Lebanese army lines – those will always be possible."

This article appeared on page A – 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Rumsfeld Flees France, Fearing Arrest
Oct. 29, 2007 By IPS News
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.
U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.
Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.
According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld, shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, U.S. embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".
Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activists point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.
"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when U.S. forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.

Comments (18)


1. Shual said:

I noticed already the rise of pro-Hezbollah figures in Fatah-ranks and PLO like the new position of Munir Makdah [published by Daily Star on October 23]. A quite dangerous concentration of powers for Israel, I think.

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November 1st, 2007, 11:35 pm

 

2. norman said:

Look at this , Time is running out for Israel;

Last call for a two-state solution
By Immanuel Wallerstein

Thursday, November 1, 2007
The prevailing worldwide view of how to resolve politically the conflict of two nationalisms in Israel/Palestine is the so-called two-state solution – the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine, within the boundaries of the onetime British Mandate of Palestine.

Actually, this position is not at all new. One might argue that it was the prevailing worldwide position throughout the 20th century.

The Balfour Declaration of the British government in 1917 called for the establishment of a “Jewish national home” within Palestine, which implied the idea of two states. When the United Nations passed its resolution in 1947, it called explicitly for the establishment of two states, with a special status for Jerusalem.

The partition was supported at the time by both the United States and the Soviet Union. The Oslo accords of 1993 called for two states. And today, Condoleezza Rice insists that a final agreement on two states is an urgent matter that she hopes to see advanced at a conference to be convened in Annapolis, Maryland.

What was the historic reaction of the Zionist movement (and the state of Israel) on the one hand and of successive representatives of the Arab Palestinians on the other to the idea of two states?

In practice, neither side ever liked the idea. Among the Zionists/Israelis, there were originally three different positions, none of them favorable to partition. There were the so-called Revisionists who called outright for an exclusively Jewish state.

There was at the other end of the spectrum a small group of intellectuals who called for the establishment of a unitary Arab-Jewish binational state, a position that died out after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

And then there were the mainstream Zionists who became the mainstream political leaders in Israel. They accepted the idea of partition as a necessary reality, while seeking to foster a creeping expansion of the frontiers of the Jewish state, hoping one day to occupy most or all of the country. This was essentially the position of such major figures as David Ben-Gurion and later of Ariel Sharon.

The only Zionist/Israeli groups that ever called for two states as a permanent and definitive solution were movements such as Peace Now, which emerged after 1967, which proposed to exchange “land for peace.” These groups were never able to win a clear majority in Israeli elections, and today their position is more than ever a minority one.

On the Arab/Palestinian side, the resistance to the idea of two states has always been great. At first there were no advocates whatsoever of the idea. This is why, when the United Nations decided on partition in 1947, there were no takers on the Arab/Palestinian side.

The Palestine Liberation Organization was created in 1964 as an organization specifically opposed to the idea. The PLO did slowly change its position in the 1980s and, as part of the Oslo accords of 1993, formally accepted the idea of two states.

For many Israelis, nonetheless, this change was seen as tactical and not genuine – a sort of mirror image of the Ben Gurion-Sharon pragmatic acceptance of partition as the realism of the present, while always hoping to move from there to a later one-state solution.

Today, however, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is a loud and strong proponent of a two-state solution. And the Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, are ready to endorse this position.

On the other hand, today, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel seems at best a very lukewarm proponent of actually creating a Palestinian state.

So what are the prospects of arriving at an accord?

Not very strong, as is acknowledged in the statement of eight heavyweight American public figures who have just published in The New York Review of Books what might be termed a last call for a two-state solution.

They entitle this statement, somewhat ominously, “Failure Risks Devastating Consequences.” The first name is Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor and is a key advisor to Barack Obama. Three other signers are also Democratic notables: Lee Hamilton, who co-chaired the Iraq Study Group; Thomas Pickering, Bill Clinton’s Under-Secretary of State; and Theodore Sorenson, special counsel to John F. Kennedy.

The Republican side is equally eminent: Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to both Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush; Carla Hills, the U.S. trade representative for George H. W. Bush; former Senator Nancy Kassenbaum-Baker; and Paul Volcker, former chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The members of this distinguished group have one feature in common: They have had nothing to do with the current administration of George W. Bush. Their letter was sent to President Bush and to Condoleezza Rice. They offer a detailed proposal, the one that everyone knows is the only plausible two-state solution: two states based on the 1967 frontiers, two capitals in Jerusalem with special arrangements for the holy places, and “a solution to the refugee problem that is consistent with the two-state solution, addresses the Palestinian refugees’ deep sense of injustice, as well as provides them with meaningful financial compensation and resettlement assistance.”

They also call for including both Syria and Hamas in the settlement negotiations, and an immediate freeze on Israeli settlements.

This was the proposal almost adopted at the Taba meetings in December 2000 in the last days of the Clinton administration. But almost is not good enough. This proposal is one that is no doubt acceptable to Abbas, and even quite possibly to Hamas. But it is one that has long been publicly and strongly excluded by Olmert’s government.

Why the tone of desperation? Because the authors know that it is unlikely that the proposal will be accepted either by the Israeli government or by President Bush. The Israeli Parliament has been dragging its feet on any agreement, and there are no signs it is ready to shift position. Nor is there any sign that the Bush administration is ready to think about really twisting their arm to do so. Quite the contrary.

Why then do the eight signatories bother to make this last call? Because the 20th-century international consensus on the two-state solution is fading away. Sympathy for Israel, once so strong, is declining even in quarters once strongly sympathetic to the Israeli position, and with this there are increased calls for a unitary state.

Given the present state of mutual fear and antagonism, the Israelis will never accept a one-state outcome. They would no doubt rather continue the cycle of unending violence. What Brzezinski and the others are implicitly warning is that failure of the Israelis (and of the U.S. government) to accept this proposal right now would have the devastating consequence of much-escalated violence that could go on for another 30 years, with a very uncertain outcome for the survival of the state of Israel.

Immanuel Wallerstein, a senior research scholar at Yale University, is the author of “The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World.” Distributed by Agence Global.

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November 2nd, 2007, 12:20 am

 

3. ausamaa said:

“Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when U.S. forces were hunting him down”

Who would have imagined this happening a few months ago??!! And the neo-cons dam has not fully broken yet.

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November 2nd, 2007, 7:16 am

 

4. ausamaa said:

Interesting!!!!

http://www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/52521

«صدمة الحرب» طالت كلاب إسرائيل!

يبدو أنّ للتداعيات النفسيّة، التي خلّفها عدوان تمّوز في إسرائيل، تأثيراً على
كلاب الدولة العبريّة، حيث أصبحت تتصرّف «بشكل وحشي» كلّما سمعت صافرة إنذار أو أصوات مفرقعات، حسبما ذكر تقرير نشرته صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت» أمس (التفاصيل).
فكلاب المناطق التي طالتها صواريخ الـ«كاتيوشا»، التي أطلقها حزب الله، تعاني «صدمة الحرب»، مثلما يفعل عدد كبير من جنود الاحتلال، الذين وصل الحال بقيادتهم في الفترة الأخيرة إلى إرسالهم لحضور برامج إعادة تأهيل خاصّة، كان أبرزها في هولندا.
لكن معالجة الكلاب المضطربة تتمّ في «الوطن»، وتعتمد أساساً على دواء «البروزاك».
ويشير أحد المدرّبين إلى أنّه رغم «مرضها»، قد تكون الكلاب المذعورة أكثر إفادة لأنّها تكيّفت مع الأحداث المفاجئة، وبالتالي فإنّ تصرّفاتها هادئة… إلّا عند استعادة «الذكريات المخيفة».

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November 2nd, 2007, 7:55 am

 

5. ausamaa said:

The coming meeting in Istanbul; Is Rice comming to “tell” or to “listen” this time?

Imagine the look on of amazement on the face of the Iranian delegation while listening to Rice “requesting” everyones help in getting her out of the neo-con mess in Iraq, while some in her Administration continue to “consider” attacking Iran!!!!

Beggers can not be chosers; The Syrian, Turkish and Iranian delegates would be thinking while listening to her!

Lets see…

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November 2nd, 2007, 10:46 am

 

6. norman said:

Shadow of the gun looms over Lebanon crisis

By Tom Perry
Reuters
Friday, November 2, 2007; 6:59 AM

BEIRUT (Reuters) – For arms dealer Abu Walid, political crisis in Lebanon means profit. He says he can’t keep up with customer demand.

“The market is very prosperous. If there were weapons factories in Lebanon today, they would not be able to meet the demand,” he said, adding that the price of a good Kalashnikov — his best selling gun — had trebled to more than $1,000.

Weapons buying by rival political factions is ringing alarm bells for Lebanese who fear a bitter power struggle in their country will turn violent unless it is settled soon.

Demand had been “unusually strong” over the last five months, said Abu Walid, declining to give his full name. “I don’t care who’s buying. What is important is who pays more.”

He said he buys his supplies from Palestinian factions while others smuggle weapons into the country.

In a country already awash with guns, the distribution of more weapons has raised the stakes in efforts to resolve the standoff between the governing coalition backed by the United States and its opponents, who are supported by Syria and Iran.

The rival parties are now trying to agree on a president to replace Emile Lahoud, whose term expires on November 23. But they have yet to make progress towards a deal seen as vital to defusing Lebanon’s worst internal crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week expressed concern that militias were arming to prepare for a “constitutional void” if there was no agreement.

Politicians from both sides have accused each other of arming and training supporters, casting a shadow over talks to end the crisis.

Hezbollah, which has its own guerrilla army, is accused of conducting military training for its allies in the opposition — a claim the group denies. Backed by Syria and Iran, Hezbollah says its weapons are only for use against Israel.

Security officials have acknowledged training by factions on both sides. Security sources say the problem is still limited in scale and could be dealt with by the army, which has managed to maintain its neutrality during the year-long crisis.

GUNS APLENTY, TENSION HIGH

But with guns aplenty and animosity running deep among followers of rival leaders, a deterioration in the political situation could bring guns into the streets and spark violence.

Sectarian mistrust is high between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim supporters of the rival sides and between Christians whose leaders stand on opposite sides of the political chasm.

“We have asked the young men to use their money to buy weapons,” said a Sunni political activist from Beirut.

“There are meetings — cells of 20 in each — we tell them that anyone who has money should buy because the gun can only be fought with the gun,” he said, declining to give his name.

Residents of his Sunni area with military experience had also been contacted and primed for action if needed, he said. “Gifts” of weapons have been received from local donors.

Deeply suspicious of Shi’ite group Hezbollah, he described how residents of his district had formed what amounted to a paramilitary neighborhood watch. “Our area will be turned into a complete fortress,” he said.

Such preparations are in part a result of clashes which killed 10 people earlier this year in some of Lebanon’s worst civil strife since the 1975-1990 war.

But although weapons sales are soaring and tensions high, analysts do not see the potential for a conflict on the scale of that war, which began with fighting between Christian and Muslim Lebanese, backed by Palestinian factions.

In the civil war, the combatants had well-organized militias and extensive arsenals, including heavy weapons. Now, only Hezbollah has such resources at its disposal. Some argue that the group’s dominant position precludes any conflict.

“I still haven’t figured out who is going to fight who,” said Timur Goksel, an expert on security affairs in Lebanon. “If there is training going on, I don’t think it’s happening on a massive scale that we can call a militarization.”

“What we are mostly hearing about is small groups getting together for a weekend of firing their weapons,” he said.

But the emergence of “neighborhood watch” groups was one sign of “a conflict in the making,” he said. “If not checked, it could in time lead to the formation of militias.”

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November 2nd, 2007, 12:46 pm

 

7. Observer said:

May I pose a question to the estmeed commentators on this blog: what is the current policy of the KSA and by extension the GCC in view of the following news:
1. The decision to build the King Abdallah University for Science and Technology through Aramco as a heaven for a modern and free Academic institution separate in style and substance from the Saudi society; i.e women can drive on campus and dress the way they want and work without permission from family members.
2. The deal to buy Typhoon aircraft for an Air Force that is essentially technically backward in terms of human resources. Is this a deal to enrich the Family or to protect against outside powers and if so whom.
3. The decision to buy Helicopters from Russia rather than from France 150 of them. Usually deals are done not on the merit of the weapon but also on the political alliance that it can bring.
4. The visit by the King to the UK and on to Germany; is this a shopping spree, an effort to engage the Europeans now that the US ally has proven incompetent or unwilling to deliver.
5. The proposal to have enriched uranium be done outside of the ME for all parties concerned while remaining mum on the Israeli nuclear arsenal.
6. The silence regarding the Lebanese crisis and the demand by Hariri to have Egypt re assert its role in Lebanon indicating perhaps that the KSA may have decided that Lebanon is lost for the time being.
7. The declaration that Iran and Syria will dominate Iraq after the US withdraws and how terrible this would be for the Gulf region
My reading of the situation is that the Kingdom is flailing and trying desperately to find a minimum of stability and shore up alliances. I belive that their actions are too little and way too late for any meaningful results. They are not even talking about the upcoming talks in Annapolis. I also think that the KSA and the GCC have come to realize that the influence of Iran is on the increase and that Iran will continue to do so in such a way that will never provoke a reason for a military confrontation with the US. In essence the GCC members see that by acting slowly, on the social and religious and economic levels, Iran is slowly increasing its influence and that the fleets of aircraft carriers are powerless against such activities. Iran is slowly becoming a master of asymetric warfare both diplomatically and militarily as it develops its armed forces with a budget equivalent to that of the Swedish Defence budget and 90 times smaller than that of the US into an effective deterrent force. It also achieved significant technical expertise despite the sanctions. I hope I can get a lot of debate about this.

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November 2nd, 2007, 5:14 pm

 

8. Seeking the truth said:

Regarding http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58438, I’m willing to bet that the American presence in Iraq will be for a very long time if not permanent.

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November 2nd, 2007, 5:36 pm

 

9. norman said:

I wonder if the KSA is buying weapons and storing them for the attack by the west against Iran , so they can use these weapons instead of transferring them when the war starts so it could be a surprise .

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November 2nd, 2007, 5:46 pm

 
 

11. Leila said:

Re: Rumsfeld running away in France

I have been saying for some time now, first as a joke, but now as a genuine prophesy:

Next year in the Hague!

Next year is figurative – it will take more time than that. But I heard a civil liberties lawyer on the radio analyzing the war crimes and broken treaties committed by this Bush crowd. He said they are working on getting an indictment in Europe that will allow them to place Bush under arrest as soon as he leaves office, and send him to the Hague.

These guys need to be prosecuted under the rule of law, in order to save the rule of law, in the USA and in the world. No man or government can suspend the rule of law or binding international treaties.

BTW Bush and co. have passed numerous laws in recent years granting themselves and their henchmen immunity for committing torture and other war crimes. Just passing such immunity laws is in itself a war crime. In the case of the Argentine generals, who tried this, they eventually came to justice.

O let us not forget that the Syrian government, in its eagerness to please Bush and Company after 9/11, tortured suspects on behalf of the CIA, in order to keep American hands clean. Torture is a war crime and everyone who commits it needs to be indicted, put in the dock, tried, and if found guilty, punished. Let’s make an example of all of these warmongers. They are fools because they think they are making “us” safe when actually they are destroying the fabric of true civilization.

Insha’allah Next Year in the Hague!

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November 2nd, 2007, 6:31 pm

 

12. Youssef Hanna said:

Leila,

As expressed by the award rendered by the International Court of Justice in the Hague on Feb.14, 2002, in the matter Yerodia, Heads of State and Ministers of Foreign Affairs continue to enjoy immunity. The rule may extend to other ministers, but only when they are still in exercise and making an official visit.

Thus, Rumsfeld could be subject to arrest, in France, for inciting/ordering torture against french citizen in Guantanamo.

Justice will check barbarians.

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November 2nd, 2007, 7:31 pm

 

13. ugarit said:

“The night began, daringly, with six paintings from a single collection belonging to Edwin and Traudis Kennedy, who arrived in Damascus in 1961 when Edwin was named cultural attache at the US Embassy there. Outstanding canvases by Fateh Moudarres and Louay Kayyali, two late painters considered to be Syria’s preeminent modern masters, sold swiftly and well above their pre-sale estimates. The first lot, Moudarres’ “The Last Supper” from 1965, sold for $145,000, more than twice the high estimate, setting the tone for the sale.”

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=4&article_id=86475

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November 2nd, 2007, 9:48 pm

 

14. ugarit said:

“Rice moves quickly to pre-empt a truce in Lebanon’s power struggle”
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&article_id=86479&categ_id=17

It’s time for one or two “anti”-syrian figures to be targeted so the blame will “naturally” go to Syria.

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November 2nd, 2007, 9:58 pm

 

15. why-discuss said:

The observer

I believe, like many arab countries, KSA has no strategic plan. The only one they have is possibly the propagation of wahabism to keep the kingdom under religion control and the Saud family. For the rest, they continue to work in reaction mode.
KSA were the first surprised that the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudis. Saudi Arabia seem to breed terrorists ( nahr el bared recently) and that is the result of years of financing islamic medresseh in their country and in Pakistan to propagate Wahabism. After the shock, they claim they are controlling better where the charity money goes but this seem to produce no result as at every corner of a terrorist attacks, we find Saudis.
The kingdom is mined from the inside by a generation who resorts to violence to express themselves as the country social and religious atmosphere is suffocating.
In conclusion, I think KSA is still traumatised by the monsters they have help to create and need time to recover. They are loosing any influence they may have had in the past. Remember that after 9/11 the US were thinking that Iraq would be a better place to move their bases.
Iran has been consistent and creative in their politics. They do not have young citizens involved in terrorist attack, they are not openly trying to spread Shiism, they are taking a firm stand against the US and Israel hegemony and they have surprising foreign policies in expanding economical links in christian countries in South America. It is obvious that their influence will grow even more when the US troops will withdraw from Iraq, a depressing prospect for the wahabbist KSA and sunni Egypt and Jordan who consider Shias as heretics and Iran as an hegemonist power.

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November 3rd, 2007, 2:56 am

 

16. Youssef Hanna said:

UGARIT,

During the Syrian-Regime government of Lebanon, the then-Syrian-regime-opponents, i.e namely:

Salim Laouzi (pro-Saudi editor of al Hawadess; his body was found near the airport, tongue and right hand cut),

the mufti Hassan Khaled, Sobhi Saleh, MP Nazem Kadri (the three were negotiating with Aoun to mend fences between Xtians and Moslems and restore a lebanese consensus for self-government),

President Bashir Gemayel (on the verge of exercising power and finalizing the expelling of the SR),

President René Moawad (elected as a result of a SAUDI-US-SYRIAN REGIME compromise, objecting to an expulsion of Aoun by armed force from the presidential palace, replaced with compliant Hrawi),

Kamal Joumblatt (he stubbornly argued with Hafez el Assad during a 7-hour meeting against the latter’s decision to enter Lebanon and stop the former’s thrust to power),

Rafic Hariri (in the internal language of the Syrian Regime moukhaabaraat: “the Baghl”, persecuted by the SR’s Lahoud over years, guilty of working for UN resolution 1559),

Samir Kassir (virulent anti-SR journalist), and George Hawi (a communist anti-SR),

and relatives of numerous victims whom i forgot will forgive me,

were assassinated.

These murders were followed by no investigation, throughout the 3-decade Syrian-Regime government of Lebanon.

During the Syrian Regime government of Lebanon, also a Pro-Syrian, PM Rachid Karamé, was assassinated.

For the latter murder however an investigation was opened, an efficient and forceful investigation which resulted in the condemnation and imprisonment of the opponent Samir Jaajaa.

Based on the above, is it honest, as you do, regarding the murder and mutilation of the 2005 and onwards Syrian Regime opponents Rafic Hariri, Marwan Hamadé, Samir Kassir, Georges Hawi, May Chidiac, Elias el Murr, Pierre Gemayel, Antoine Ghanem, Gebran Tuéni, Walid Eido, to claim that they were assassinated/mutilated by Israel (or the US, or France) “so that the blame will go “naturally” on Syria”?

Is it logical that anti-Syrian-regime Lebanese are castigated as Israeli agents, while alive, and painted as israeli victims when murdered?

Is it logical, and humane, to accuse these politicians/journalists of always making Israel’s case, willingly while alive, then as well when they are murdered?

Do you honestly contend that the anger of their sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, is stupidly misdirected as you know better?

Is it reasonable to maintain that those politicians and journalists who were mutilated and survived after numerous surgical operations continue foolishly to support the party that tried to assassinate them, and to oppose the innocent party that was unfairly framed in the accusation box?

Are they who are blinded by their passion, or are you? is it reasonable to claim that though the murdered/mutilated were all adversaries, the Syrian Regime past practice proves that it is all too averse to moukhaabaraat murder, all too committed to ethical political struggle limited to political means, to be guilty?

Based on incontrovertible presumptions accumulated, every honest, and fair, and humane, and balanced, and reasonable person shall admit that the relatives of these who were murdered, and the mutilated survivors themselves, rightfully suspect that they were not murdered/mutilated by their friends/allies, but by the moukhaabarati Syrian Regime that they fought.

But reasonable and fair suspicion does not mean conviction; it only means that the Syrian regime shall be the culprit, or cleared, as a result of a trial, but not by a Syrian court (the Syrian court in charge of the Hariri murder does not appear to make a noticeable progress), not by a Lebanese court either (the Lebanese court judges may be assassinated, or the Lebanese court decision may be too easily tainted or accused of bias).

You are left with (i) either claiming that the murdered’s relatives, and the mutilated survivors themselves, are too blinded by their passion to see, as you dispassionately do, that although the murdered/mutilated victims are all anti-Syrian-Regime, the Syrian regime is all too committed to ethical struggle through pure political means, all too averse to moukhaabaraati violence and murder, to be guilty of the murder of its adversaries (ii) or fairly and honestly accepting the the Hague International Tribunal.

Best regards

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November 3rd, 2007, 7:44 am

 

17. ugarit said:

Dear Youssef Hanna:

No doubt the Syrian government has done terrible things and will do terrible things. That wasn’t my point. My point is that the situation is ripe for the US/Israel to exploit via violence and have Syria to blame. At this juncture Syria has no advantage in using violence but the US and Israel do.

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November 3rd, 2007, 2:20 pm

 

18. Youssef Hanna said:

Ugarit,

Though clear advance warnings were sent regarding Hariri, it now appears indeed that the most influential members of the six-member family gang proved no smarter than Saddam (when he invaded Q8), grossly underestimating again the U.S reaction. I do believe A. Shawkat’s gamble of 14 February 2005 will turn out to be a loss.

Murderers shd be equal, in a fair world; though, some have a passport to kill, others don’t. With the international tribunal soon to uncover the truth, the US hold the regime at the throat; never ever wd there have been an international tribunal, were Israel the culprit. Yet we citizens shd not be unhappy as the big nations fight lets justice pass, occasionally though, selectively.

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November 3rd, 2007, 8:49 pm

 

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