Radio: Bolton, Landis, Mazzetti, & Khouri Discuss Bombing of Syria and Peace Process

Middle East Peace and a Divided Administration
o the Point:  Host: Warren Olney at KCRW the NPR station of Santa Monica: Tue. Oct 16
Listen here. Advance radio button 1 centimeter to start with Bolton.


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has scheduled an Israeli-Palestinian peace conference for sometime next month, but not all the players have agreed to show up. Rice, who says the time has come for a Palestinian state to be founded, is shuttling around the Middle East, but Israel won't promise to address the tough issues, and the Arab states are playing hard to get. Meantime, Israel's still-mysterious midnight bombing raid on Syria last month has created problems for the Secretary of State. Syria will be crucial to regional peace, but hard liners within the Bush Administration want to get tough. Was Syria trying to build a nuclear weapon? How will last month's raid impact plans for next month's peace conference?

Condoleezza Rice says a Palestinian state is at hand, but organizing a peace conference for next month is problematic. We hear about differences between Israel and its neighbors, and within the Bush Administration. Also, Russian President Putin has strong words for the US, and an insider trading case reveals new information about wiretapping in the interests of national defense.

Comments (104)

Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh,

Are you going to tell NPR you thought the whole nuclear facility thing was “fishy”?

October 17th, 2007, 2:40 am


Habib said:

Has anyone read the Fida’ `Itani articles in Al-Akhbar?

Does anyone have any idea about what’s passing here?

October 17th, 2007, 5:02 am


SimoHurtta said:

Jerusalem Post

Syria admits: Target hit by IAF jets was a nuclear facility

In its first admission by a state official, Syria confirmed that an air raid carried out by Israeli fighter jets deep in Syrian territory on September 6 was, indeed, an attack on a Syrian nuclear facility, Israel Radio reported Wednesday morning.

A Syrian envoy disclosed the nature if the target during a meeting of a UN committee where Israeli envoys were also present.

A senior source in the Foreign Ministry confirmed the statement made in New York by the Syrian official.

October 17th, 2007, 5:54 am


t_desco said:

Indeed, why is this being ignored? I don’t know if all the details are correct, but the mere fact that Ahmed Abu Adass was linked to this group (confirming all the earlier reports about this) should be sufficient reason for a discussion.

Syria denies reports that its UN ambassador said Israel hit a nuclear facility

Syria denied on Wednesday reports that its representatives to the United Nations said that a nuclear facility was hit last month by Israeli warplanes, and added that “such facilities do not exist in Syria,” state-run news agency said.

The Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, quoting a foreign ministry source, said that Syria had made it clear in the past that there are no such facilities in Syria.

“A Foreign Ministry official source denies reports by some media organizations that the Syrian ambassador in New York, Bashar al-Jaafari, said Israel carried a raid on a nuclear facility,” SANA said.

“Such facilities do not exist in Syria and this is what Syria has already explicitly clarified,” SANA said.

A transcript of the meeting in New York was not immediately …

October 17th, 2007, 11:48 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

The source of the Syrian admission is this UN document:

The admission is the following passage which reports what the Syrian amabassador says:
“Moreover, Israel was the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction and a violator of other nations’ airspace, and it had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria. He vowed that whenever a right of reply was exercised, Syria would expose the underlying goals of the Zionist entity.”

I think the Syrian ambassador will be replaced soon.

October 17th, 2007, 1:55 pm


Alex said:


That part of the statement does not make sense. read it:

Moreover, Israel was the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction and a violator of other nations’ airspace, and it had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria.

I would assume that whoever summarized the Syrian rep’s words did not understand that part.

And … 6 July attack??

The U.N. document, which summarized minutes of the meeting but was not an official record.

October 17th, 2007, 2:20 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

The ambasador was confused and angry and made a mistake. He meant of course Sept 6. It was an inadvertent slip of the tongue that exposed the true nature of the attack. It is just another piece of evidence that completes and is consistent with the whole picture. The fact he said July 6 just confirms his state of mind and it is reasonable that in this state he would make a mistake and divulge too much. But please Alex, do continue denying.

October 17th, 2007, 2:30 pm


Friend in America said:

There are serious factual errors in the comments made in this radio boadcast. First, reactors do not produce electricity. Reactors produce the nuclear fuel. One use of this fuel is to fuel nuclear electrical power plants (most power plants are fueled by coal or oil). In a power plant nuclear energy is used only to convert water into steam; it is the steam that operates the huge generators. fresh or spent nuclear fuel is not useful for conventional nuclear weapons. It must be enriched through a second process to become explosive.
Another error is the misuse of the word “legal.” There is no trans national “law” that establishes legality of a nuclear facility. There is an obligation (found in a United Nations resolution and a Nuclear Treaty ) to report to the IAEA in Vienna construction of reactors, nuclear power plants and enrichment facilities but the IAEA does not search for violators or early stages of construction. The reporting obligation has been ignored by Iran and North Korea until exposed by other countries.The task of the IAEA is to confirm existng facilites are in comformace with the treaty.

– If it takes several years to build a reactor, why the need act now? Why the sense of emergency? And where had Syria planned to get the needed uranium if the reactor had been built? Another question is why the continued silence in the ME capitals?
– The second is easiest to answer, Iran. Possibly North Korea in the short term.
– As to the first and third, there are no clear answers. A 3 to 5 year time line for constructing a reactor is inconsistent with an imminent sense of danger but Isreal interpeted the activity as posing an imminent danger to its security. The continued silence in the ME capitals signals the topic is so highly sensitive that public discourse could lead to dangerous position taking (the Sarajavo effect), or an unwillingness to publically admit the Israeli strike removed a danger to their countries.
– Both inconsistencies support the conclusion there is more to this story to be revealed. My hypothesis remains (1) there was nuclear activity at that site but the activity was not enrichment or early stage construction of a reactor; (2) there was a genuine fear that the materials at that site might be used in the near future; (3) that the State Department’s desire to delay the strike stemmed from a fear the strike would disrupt the pending agreement for dismantling North Korea’s nuclear facilities and/or destroy the planned ME peace conference; (4) the activity was not financed by Syria.
– One lesson Damascus learned, or should learn, is it is not wise to stick you finger in the eyes of your Arab neighbors. There will be times when you will need their support.

October 17th, 2007, 3:00 pm


SimoHurtta said:

The fact he said July 6 just confirms his state of mind and it is reasonable that in this state he would make a mistake and divulge too much. But please Alex, do continue denying.

From where comes AIG this anonymous source the Israeli reports mention

A senior source in the Foreign Ministry confirmed that the statement was made in New York by the Syrian official.

Seems that US and Israeli press have nowadays only anonymous sources. Why doesn’t the senior “source” dare not to speak using his name if the claim is true? He doesn’t use his real identity because he is lying or is not authorized to speak with the press?

After Google News seems that only Israeli papers picked this Syria “admitted” story. Hmmmmm…

October 17th, 2007, 3:26 pm


why-discuss said:

Why is Israel not passing the information they have about that ‘nuclear facility” to the IAEA,? or they prefer to ignore IAEA requests as they prefer to police themselves the area…
By doing so, they are exposing the world to the “nuclear North Corean rockets”
I think the whole thing is a mistake that Israel made and by remaining silent and letting the media speculate, they are trying to make it appear a success.

Friend in America

Arab support has shown to be useless: Israel is trespassing Lebanon airspace on a daily basis, Israel is hitting at Gaza on a daily basis. I dont think anyone in the arab world believe that the Arab support is worth anything… In the area, Iran and Turkey support are much more effective. That’s what Syria is doing.

October 17th, 2007, 3:39 pm


sofia said:

Charles Levinson says the Syrian envoy’s words were mistranslated.

October 17th, 2007, 3:46 pm


norman said:

Syria denies press reports of nuclear site
10.17.07, 8:08 AM ET

DAMASCUS (Thomson Financial) – Syria denied today reports that an Israeli air strike in the northeast of the country last month had targeted a nuclear site, saying there was no such thing on its soil.

‘The Syrian foreign ministry denies reports that Israel carried out a raid on September 6 against a nuclear plant, because no such centre exists in Syria,’ it said in a statement.

According to a New York Times report on Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed a site that Israeli and US intelligence believe was a partly built nuclear reactor possibly modelled after one in North Korea.

Citing unnamed US and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports, the report said it appeared Israel carried out the raid to demonstrate its determination to snuff out even a nascent nuclear project.

The facility that the Israelis struck in Syria appears to have been much further from completion than the Osirak nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed in Iraq in 1981, the paper said.

But the UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday it had no information about any ‘undeclared nuclear facility in Syria’ and that it was investigating the media reports.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who is currently in Turkey, has said only that the target was an ‘unused military building’ and that the bombs hit ‘nothing of consequence.’

In Israel, the raid has been shrouded in secrecy and information restricted to a few officials. Israeli media has been allowed to publish only the fact that a raid occurred, without comment from Israeli officials.



October 17th, 2007, 4:01 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Well Syria denied it. It didn’t happen then.:)

As for your weird question Sim, the Israeli source was not saying anything new about the attack. He was merely bringing to light the UN document and the statement of the Syrian ambassador. The source was just continuing the Israeli and American line of not responding officially as to not embarass Syria and North Korea more than necessarry.

How long do you give the Syrian ambassador? I wonder if he will seek asylum in the US.

October 17th, 2007, 4:09 pm


IsraeliGuy said:

Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007

Check out the updated list:

October 17th, 2007, 5:01 pm


Friend in America said:

Why-Discuss –
Thank you for the interpetation. Very interesting. Question: It is not clear to me whether the supposed unwillingness of Syra’s Arab neighbors to support Syria comes from disagreements with what Syria wants support for, or is it just because it is Syria? Your thoughts?

On the News Dispatches about the alleged disclosure at the UN:
My assessment (which is always subject to change) is there is no nuclear plant that was bombed. But there is, or was, activity of a nuclear weapons nature there. Also there is, or was, a small research nuclear reactor in Dayr az Zawr. That is no secret. Syria’s responses are parsing its words, which mislead readers into drawing conclusions that are not accurate.
Note again, there was no explanation of what was bombed. No nation has access to the true information better than Syria. Damascus still is not ready to disclose with verifiable information. So this issue continues to have more life for blog sites.

October 17th, 2007, 7:06 pm


ausamaa said:

Is it possible to castrate people like Bolton so that such sleezy breeds become extinct???

THe guy is HATERED, STUPIDITY and DUPLICITY all put into one. People in the US are contemplating performing similar things to serial rapists and repeat offenders, why not consider including guys like Bolton with his black heart and dead brain cells in that catagory? In one day, he can cause more dammage to America, American Society and the World than repeat offenders can do in a life time.

October 17th, 2007, 7:51 pm


idaf said:

Al-Dunia, a private Syrian satellite TV station is reporting from an “informed source” in the Syrian delegation to Turkey that Gul told Bashar that Israeli president tried to pre-empt Bashar’s visit when it was announced with a “self-invitation” to Turkey but the Turks rejected him to give way to the Syrian “state visit” to be the first State visit to the new Turkish president (and Bashar to be the first president to visit the new president).. a symbolic gesture and a privilege that is usually given to the closest ally in the country.

Israel is getting nervous. Earlier this month the AIPAC struggled to stop the “Armenian genocide” law in the US as it will impact Turkey-Israel/US relations. A month ago, Israel violated Turkey’s air space. A couple of weeks ago, the US did not allow Turkey to attack the PKK in Iraq. Now Turkey has decided that Europe, Israel and the US are playing it around. Full alliance with Syria appears to be its answer to them.

It seems that Turkey has decided to form a full alliance with Syria. The press conference today between the 2 presidents clearly displays some sort of strong alliance. Turkey has finally figured out that Syria is its “strategic depth” that needs to be kept in alliance. In return, and as a quick catch, Syria has just gave Turkey the Arab legitimacy to strike Kurdish PKK in north Iraq.

It seems that the Syrian foreign policy is finally becoming pragmatic and interest-oriented rather then ideology-driven. Apparently, Syria decided to cut all support to the Kurds. After decades of supporting Kurdish movements, activists and opposition figures in Iraq and Turkey (who in return turned against Syria with total obedience to the neo-cons on anti-Syria policy), Syria finally and wisely decided that Turkey is much more important. One could argue that Syria’s alliance today with Turkey is more concrete than that with Iran. It is definitely more popular in both countries. Turkish people I met in the last few years could not hide their affection with Syria and -hold your breath- Syrian president (and his wife). They keep going on and on about the “family ties”, “identical culture” and my favorite.. the “shared cuisine”!

The 2 countries just signed an MoU today on oil, water and free trade agreement. Bilateral trade is expected to be around $1.5 billion in 2007, more than triple the figure when the AKP came to power.

Gareth Jenkins has a good analysis on the DEEPENING RAPPROCHEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND SYRIA

Personally I think many in Israel are seriously getting nervous.

October 17th, 2007, 7:56 pm


ausamaa said:

On Al Harriri Assasination from the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper.

السعودي أكبر يتراجع عن اعترافاته ويدلي بما هو أخطر
فداء عيتاني

يعترف السعودي فيصل أكبر بتفاصيل دقيقة عن تنفيذ أحمد أبو عدس عملية اغتيال رفيق الحريري، وهو يصف الأيام السابقة على الاغتيال، كما يصف حركة الاتّصالات بين المجموعات الراصدة وجميل الذي يتولّى تحضير المجموعة المنفّذة وأحمد أبو عدس. كذلك يصف أكبر في إفادته كيفيّة تنفيذ الاستطلاع الأخير وقيادة الشاحنة بأحمد أبو عدس نحو النهاية المعروفة. إلا أنّ أكبر يتراجع فجأة عن إفادته، وخلال جلسة التحقيق نفسها، فيتحدث عن تأليفه الكامل لكل المعلومات الواردة من قبل ويشير إلى نقطة قد تكون أشد أهمّية من تكرار سياق التحقيق الدولي للقاضي ديتليف ميليس

بعد اعتراف الموقوف السعودي فيصل أكبر بتفاصيل عملية اغتيال رفيق الحريري، يعود ويتراجع عن كامل روايته في جلسة التحقيق نفسها:

ملف خاص
مجموعة الـ ١٣ وجريمة اغتيال الحريري س: من خلال متابعة الأحداث ما قبل الانفجار، ونعني كاميرات المراقبة المركّزة في محيط مكان الانفجار، وبناءً على معطيات متوافرة لدينا، وما ورد في إفادتك هذه، يتبيّن أنّ الشاحنة كانت تسير قبيل الانفجار. وهناك معلومات تفيد بأن أبو عدس لا يسوق، ولم تذكر لنا خلال الدورة التي أخضعته لها أي درس عن السَوق قد أعطي له، إضافة إلى أنّ الحديث عن السَوق، وفي هكذا ظروف، لن يتمكّن من السيطرة على سَوق شاحنة بمعدّل السرعة التي شوهدت بها على كاميرا المراقبة. ثم إن هناك خطورة نوعاً ما في استعراض أبو عدس في المدن السورية، دمشق وحلب وحمص، وتهريبه عبر الحدود البرية ووضعه في وسط العاصمة، التي هو منها، وإمكان تعرّف أي شخص إليه بالصدفة وإفساد مخططكم. كما أنه قد ثبت أنه لم يتبيّن وجود أي حمض نووي DNA يشير إلى وجود أحمد أبو عدس في مسرح الجريمة. المؤكد أنك خبير بالعمليات التفجيرية، وقد لاحظنا ذلك عند تفتيش شقة الروشة، حيث عثرنا على سدادات للأذن وعلى قطرة للأذن خاصة بك، وتعاني أعراضاً في أذنيك، كما أفادنا طبيبكم المرافق شفهياً. والواضح أيضاً أنّ أبو عدس قد سجّل شريط الفيديو، لكن من غير المعلوم ما حدث بعد ذلك.
الآن أخبرنا كيف جرت عملية التفجير، وأين انتهى الأمر بأبو عدس، ومَن هم المشاركون الحقيقيّون والمنفّذون والفاعلون والمراقبون والذين تدخّلوا في إعداد السيارة والمتفجّرات وكلّ لوازم الجريمة؟. أخبرنا عن ذلك بكلّ صدق، وعن المكان الذي لبثتم فيه؟
ج: الحقيقة أنّ أحمد أبو عدس قام بتسجيل شريط الفيديو، وقد أحضره خالد الطه من بيروت بتاريخ 16/1/2005 إلى الشيخ راشد، إلى مقره في حلب. وفي هذه الأثناء، كنت أنا في بيروت قبل شهرين مع فريق العمل، وكان معنا جميل وعدنان وفواز وثامر وبسام ومهند، وكنّا نقيم في شقّة في الضاحية. لحق بنا ـــــ بعدها ـــــ خالد الطه لإكمال عملية المراقبة، علماً بأنّ مَن قام بعملية التفجير هو شاب سعودي، حضر من قاعدة الجهاد في بلاد الحرمين، وقد أُرسل من جانب أبو هاجر، وهو مَن قام بعملية اغتيال الحريري بالشاحنة نفسها التي ذكرتها لكم. بعدها أقدمنا على كسر الشرائح العائدة لهواتفنا الخليوية، وغادرنا الأمكنة التي كنّا فيها، ثمّ عبرنا إلى سوريا عن طريق التهريب.
وكان الاستشهادي يدعى أبو مقاتل الأسدي، علماً بأنّ الشاحنة قد جُهّزت في مخيّم عين الحلوة من أبو عبيدة.
س: هل باستطاعتك تذكّر أيّ من الأرقام التي استعملتموها خلال فترة الشهرين التي ذكرتها لنا؟
ج: كلا، لا أستطيع تذكّر أي منها.
س: نعرض عليك لائحة بأحد عشر رقماً، هل باستطاعتك تذكّر أيّ رقم من الأرقام التي استعملت في ما ذكرت؟
ج: إنّ الأرقام التي استعملت هي سبعة، وليست أحد عشر، وبعد الاطلاع عليها لم أستطع تذكر أي منها.
س: هل باستطاعتك إفادتنا عن عنوان أو كامل هوية أبو مقاتل الأسدي؟
ج: كلا لا أستطيع إفادتكم بذلك.
س: هل بالإمكان إذا ما اصطحبناك معنا أن تقوم بالدلالة إلى الشقة التي مكثتم فيها خلال مراحل الإعداد للعملية التي ادّعيت أنك شاركت في فصولها؟
ج: كلا لا أذكر كيف أصل إلى تلك الأماكن.
س: لماذا إذاً تنسج أحداثاً ربما من خيالك أو من مصدر قد سمعته عن تفاصيل لم تشارك فيها؟
ج: أفيدكم بأن الشيخ راشد، ومنذ حوالى أسبوعين وكنا في لبنان في شقة الشاطئ الذهبي، قد طلب مني إعلام الشباب بأن الأجهزة الأمنية في لبنان لا تعرف أي معلومة عن موضوع أحمد أبو عدس. وأضاف أن أعلمهم بأنّه إذا أوقف أيّ منهم لدى هذه الأجهزة، ألا يعترف بموضوع أحمد أبو عدس. وعلى هذا الأساس، ولمعرفتي وعلاقتي الوطيدة بأميري الشيخ راشد، تخيّلت أن تكون التفاصيل كما ذكرت لكم، وقد وضعت نفسي في هذه التفاصيل لكوني اعتقدت بأنّكم لن تصدّقوا عدم مشاركتي إذا ما أخبرتكم بهذه التفاصيل من دون وجودي في مراحلها.
س: طلبنا منك تكراراً إفادتنا بكلّ صدق ورويّة، علماً بأنّك أنت مَن أوردت أنّ أبو تراب هو لقب أحمد أبو عدس، وأنّه حضر إليك في سوريا عن طريق خالد الطه. والثابت أن الأخير مرتبط فيك، وقد عمدت إلى تهريبه إلى مخيم عين الحلوة. وبسؤالنا لك عن أبو تراب هذا، أفدتنا بأنك علمت اسمه الحقيقي لاحقاً لدى مشاهدتك أبو عدس يظهر على التلفاز.
أنت مَن أردت الإدلاء بهذه المعلومات المفصّلة، التي تقاطعت مع نتائج تحرياتنا وتطابقت مع جوانب عدة من التحقيقات حتى الآن. فهل تعرف أحمد أبو عدس، وهل قمت بتهريب خالد الطه إلى المخيم، وهل مرّ في دوراتك الأمنية كل من: خالد الطه وهاني الشنطي وعامر حلاق وسليم حليمة وبلال زعرورة؟
ج: لقد كذبت عليكم في موضوع مقابلتي لأحمد أبو عدس. أما عن هاني الشنطي الملقّب بمروان، وبلال زعرورة الملقب بجلال، وعامر حلاق الملقب بوسيم، وسليم حليمة الملقب بسامر، فقد خضعوا لديّ لدورات أمنية، ومن ثم قاموا بمبايعة الشيخ راشد.
س: لمَ هذا الاستثناء، كون المذكورين جميعاً على معرفة وعلاقة بأحمد أبو عدس، ولماذا هو المستثنى من لائحتك، علماً بأنه يتبع النهج نفسه. ما الغاية من حذفه خارج اللائحة؟
ج: أؤكد لكم أنني لم أرَ أحمد أبو عدس في دوراتي الأمنية.
س: أخبرنا عن معدل الدورات التي أقمتها لطالبيها خلال السنتين الأخيرتين؟
ج: أفيدكم أنني أخصص الدورات لحوالى أربعة أشخاص كل أسبوع، على امتداد السنتين المنصرمتين، على أنه يحضر شباب من كل جنسيات الدول الإسلامية، ومنها لبنان والمقيمون فيه من فلسطينيين.
س: هل شغلك أي شاغل خلال الفترة التي تحدثت عنها، ما ألهاك عن موضوع تدريب المجاهدين. في الحالة الإيجابية، أخبرنا متى ولكم (من الوقت) ولماذا؟.
ج: كلا لم أترك عملي بإلقاء المحاضرات في الدورات الأمنية سوى مرّة واحدة ولمدّة أسبوع في شهر حزيران 2005، حيث قصدت العراق لمقابلة الشيخ أبو مصعب الزرقاوي لمناقشته في أمر الحدود السورية العراقية.
س: هل باستطاعتك تذكّر شبّان حضروا إليك خلال الشهر الأول والثاني من عام 2005، وخاصة أي لبناني أو فلسطيني مقيم في لبنان وتسميته؟
ج: لا أذكر أيّاً من هؤلاء الشبان في تلك الفترة.
س: بالتدقيق في لوائح الاتصالات العائدة لسبعة خطوط هاتفية استخدمت من 4/2/2005 لتاريخ 14/2/2005 حتى الساعة الثالثة عشرة، أي توقيت اغتيال الشهيد الرئيس الحريري، لم تتصل هذه الأرقام إلاّ في ما بينها، وقد ظهرت حركتها الجغرافية الموازية بتواريخ مختلفة لتحرّكات الموكب الخاص بالشهيد ومحيط مجلس النواب وفندق السان جورج والأماكن المطلة عليه، وقد أقفلت في وقت الانفجار أو بعيده بثوانٍ ولم تعد تنشط لتاريخه، بالإضافة إلى انقطاع نشاط هذه الخطوط بعد ظهر يوم 14/1/2005 لتنشط مجدداً صباح 20/1/2005، علماً بأن أحمد أبو عدس اختفى صباح 16/1/2005 وتزامن ذلك مع حضور خالد الطه مساء 15/1/2005 ومغادرته لبنان عن طريق المصنع صباح 16/1/2005.
أضف إلى ذلك توزيعك لعناصر المراقبة والرصد، كما سمّيتهم في إفادتك، على الأمكنة التي ذكرتها والتي طابقت تحركات مستعملي الخطوط ومواعيد استيقاظهم مع الأوقات التي ذكرتها لنا عن حركتكم في الشقة في الضاحية. كما أننا، وللتأكيد، عرضنا عليك لائحة هذه الأرقام لتتذكّر الأرقام التي استعملت كما أفدتنا، وقد أضفنا عليها أرقاماً وهمية أربعة، فأفدتنا بأن الأرقام المستعملة هي سبعة، وليست أحد عشر، ممّا يطابق الألقاب التي ذكرت: خمسة مراقبين وأنت وجميل تصبحون سبعة، وهذه حقائق لم تظهر لا في نشرات الأخبار ولا في وسائل الإعلام. كيف تفسر معرفتك بهذه التفاصيل، وكيف باستطاعتك وصف شوارع بيروت وعلاماتها. أيكون ذلك كله عن طريق الصدفة؟
ج: لقد خطر في بالي تسمية خمسة أشخاص مراقبين، فذكرت لكم ألقاباً خيالية، وأنا وجميل نصبح سبعة. لذا خطر الرقم 7 على بالي فذكرته لكم، ولا علم لي أبداً بأنّ الأرقام التي تقولون إنّها استعملت في مراحل اغتيال الحريري هي سبعة.
كما أنني ابتكرت الأمكنة التي أفدتكم بها، وأن فريق الرصد تمركز فيها، وكان (ذلك) من نسج خيالي، وقد اعتمدت على معرفتي بتلك الشوارع وفندق السان جورج لكوني كنت أتردّد إلى لبنان في تواريخ سابقة وأعرفها منذ ذاك الحين، وهي تصلح لأن تكون مراكز مراقبة لمكان الاغتيال الذي شاهدته على شاشات التلفزيون. أما بالنسبة لاختفاء أحمد أبو عدس، فلا أعرف عن هذا الموضوع أي شيء، إلا ما ذكره راشد لي مؤخّراً كما ذكرته لكم، أي بتحذير الشبان مروان وخالد طه من البوح للأجهزة الأمنية بأي شيء يخصّ أبو عدس.

غضب في صيدا بعد اغتيال الحريري (ارشيف – يونس الزعتري)
س: كونك مُلقّن دورات أمنية للعديد من الشبان، وقد اطّلعنا على مضمون الدروس التي تعطيها في هذا الشأن من محفوظات الموقوفين المضبوطة، تبيّن لنا بأنّ هناك دروساً عن تشتيت المحقّقين وأساليب أخرى، ونصائح للدارسين في حالات التحقيق معهم بتحوير مسار التحقيق لتضييع الوقت وعدم إظهار الحقائق، وقد وضح هذا جلياً بإفادتك. فلمَ تعمد إلى هذا الأسلوب؟
ج: لم يكن قصدي أن أضيع التحقيق أو إخفاء المعلومات، إنّما الآن أقول ما لديّ بصدق.
س: تتراجع إذاً عن إفادتك بمشاهدة ومقابلة أبو عدس؟
ج: نعم أتراجع عنها وإنني لم أرَه ولم أقابله في أي فترة سابقة. وقد شاهدته فقط على التلفاز لثلاث مرات، وبالتأكيد بعد الانفجار.
س: عمَّ تتراجع في إفادتك أيضاً؟
ج: أتراجع عن معرفتي ومشاركتي بمراحل اغتيال الحريري في 14/2/2005.
س: لاحظنا أثناء ضبط إفادتك بمراحل التحقيق أنّك تحتفظ بألقاب لأشخاص وتحذف الألقاب لأشخاص آخرين. لمَ هذا الأمر؟
ج: لقد اعتدت مثلاً على قول الشيخ أسامة بن لادن أو الشيخ أبو عبد الله، لكون الاسم بلقبه يردد أمامي على الدوام، وخاصة أنه من صلب عملي كمجاهد في القاعدة. أما بالنسبة للحريري، فأقول ذلك من دون لقبه لكونه لا توجد أية نية أو قصد معيّن لذكر هذا اللفظ بهذه الصورة.
س: لماذا تعمّدت اتخاذ إجراءات أمنية، كما تذكر لنا، متدرّجة من ناحية الأهمية، وذلك بإخفاء خالد الطه في المخيم، بينما عزلت مروان، أي هاني الشنطي، في شقة البسطة وعامر حلاق وسليم حليمة في شقة طريق الجديدة، دون أن يهتدي بعضهم إلى سبيل البعض الآخر. ما الغاية من هذه الإجراءات، ولمَ يتمتّع خالد الطه بدرجة عالية من الأهمية الأمنية؟
ج: لقد كنت أتبع أوامر الشيخ راشد كما هي في الترتيب الأمني، لكون خالد على علاقة بزياد رمضان، والأخير قد ذكر اسمه في تقرير ميليس.
س: ذكرت لنا أنك تتبع وتنظّم، بالإضافة إلى آخرين، حركة جهادية مقصدها القتال في العراق. أما في لبنان، فقد ضبطنا من الشقق التي تديرها أسلحة وصواريخ وقنابل وأجهزة اتّصال ومسدّسات وقناعاً وأحزمة يستدلّ منها أنها أحزمة ناسفة، وأدوات لصبغ الشعر وشرائح كهربائية للتفجير، وضبطنا أيضاً أجهزة لاسلكية. ومن الموقوفين الذين اتصلوا بك وأوقفناهم، ضبطنا برامج قتاليّة وتدريبيّة تفوق المستوى الأمني الذي نعرفه نحن. أفدنا عن سبب حيازة هذه المذكورات، وخاصة أنه قد تبين لنا أن الحركة لم تحدث من سوريا للعراق، بل من سوريا للبنان. فلماذا هذا الوجود بطريقة حذرة مع تزويد كل فرد منكم، أقلّه، مستند هوية مزوراً. كما تبيّن أنّ لكل واحد من رفاقك، وأنت ضمناً، عدة بطاقات «تلي كارت»، يستعمل كل بطاقة شخص واحد، وقد سُجّل لقبه على ظهر البطاقة. إضافة إلى طلبنا منك إفادتنا باسم شخص واحد من الذين تابعوا دورات وبايعوا، قد تمكّن من الوصول إلى العراق للقتال لتحقيق هدفه؟
ج: لقد قدمنا إلى لبنان هرباً من الحملات الأمنية السورية ومتابعة العمل الجهادي المسلح في لبنان وتوابعه من القنابل والصواريخ. أما بالنسبة إلى الأحزمة الناسفة، فهي تدخل في عملنا أيضاً. أما أدوات صباغ الشعر فهي للتنكر، ويستعملها الشيخ راشد لا أنا. أما الشرائح الكهربائية، فهي تخص قسم الإلكترونيات في الجماعة بإدارة جميل. أما الدراسات المحفوظة في كومبيوترات الإخوة، فهي دراسات قتالية حديثة، مثل دورة الشهيد إسماعيل الخطيب لتركيب دوائر إلكترونية لتركيبها على المتفجرات، ودورات صناعة المتفجرات، ودورات في أجهزة الاتصال المتقدم. أما عن الإخوة الذين قاتلوا في العراق وقد قدموا من لبنان، أذكر لكم الشهيد أبو عمر اللبناني، أي والد محمد رمضان الذي استشهد ابنه أيضاً في العراق، وذلك منذ سنتين. أما حالياً فقد أقفلت الحدود منذ حوالى شهر ونصف.
س: ماذا شاهدت في التلفاز لدى ظهور أحمد أبو عدس وما تتذكّر منه؟
ج: أذكر أنني شاهدته على قناة «الجزيرة» بفيلم مقطّع إلى جزأين أو ثلاثة، يتلو فيه بياناً لجماعة النصرة والجهاد، متبنّياً عملية اغتيال الحريري. ولا أذكر كلّ الأسباب، إنّما أذكر منها انتقاماً لشهداء الحرمين وسرقة أموالهم. والشائع بيننا نحن الجماعة أن الحريري قد وقّع على إعدامات بعض المجاهدين السلفيين في لبنان.
س: هل يمكن أن تكون حياة خالد الطه في خطر الآن لكونه، وكما ذكرت، يعاني مشاكل؟
ج: إن خالد موجود في مخيم عين الحلوة لدى عصبة الأنصار، وهم إخوة لنا وبيننا وبينهم تنسيق، وهم يعتنون به، كما كان اتفاق الشيخ راشد مع الملقب بأبو بصير، وهو مسؤول الجماعة. وأفيدكم بأن خالد الطه قد ترك مسدّسه في شقة عين الرمانة لدى هاني الشنطي، لشعوره بالأمان، لكونه يعلم أنه سينتقل إلى مخيم عصبة الأنصار.
س: من الاطّلاع والتدقيق في حاسوبك المحمول، شاهدنا رسائل إلكترونية مرمّزة محفوظة في ملفّ سرّي. فسّر لنا هذه الرسائل، وما المقصود بها وبالرموز الموجودة فيها؟
ج: هذا الملف الذي يتضمّن رسائل إلكترونية مرمزة هو خاص براشد، ولا أستطيع فك أو حل أو ترجمة الرسائل لكم. وراشد هو الوحيد القادر على قراءة الرسائل هذه، لكونه يملك الشيفرة ونحن لا نملكها.
س: كيف ذكرت لنا خلال إفادتك أن سعر شاحنة الميتسوبيشي هو سبعة آلاف دولار، وقد تطابق هذا الثمن مع سعر الشاحنة المذكورة في الأسواق اللبنانية؟
ج: لقد حدث ذلك صدفة.
س: اللائحة بأدوات التزوير والرسائل والكومبيوتر المحمول وتوابعه والأسلحة والمبالغ المالية وبطاقات الهواتف والأشياء الأخرى المضبوطة من شقة الشاطئ الذهبي لمَن تعود؟ أخبرنا عنها بالتفصيل؟
ج: إنّ الورقة المدوّن عليها أدوات الكترونية وقرطاسية وخريطة بيروت وطرابلس هي طلب من جلال، الملقب بسلطان أو مراد، وهو مَن يجيد التزوير في الجماعة. وقد طلبها مني على أن أشتريها له لكونه يريد العمل بها في مخيم عين الحلوة. أما الكومبيوتر المحمول فهو لراشد، وتعود توابع هذا الكومبيوتر أيضاً لراشد. أما الرسائل، وبعد أن عرضتموها عليّ، تعرفت عليها وهي رسائل إلى أبو مصعب الزرقاوي من الإخوة في عصبة الأنصار في مخيم عين الحلوة، من خلال راشد. وإن الرسالة الموجهة إلى الحجي، وهو لقب أبو مصعب الزرقاوي، ورسالة أبو الليث النجدي الذي استشهد، فهاتان الرسالتان لراشد. علماً بأنني، ولدى تلقّي أي رسالة وبعد قراءتها، أقوم بإحراقها، ولا أعلم لماذا لا يزال راشد يحتفظ بهذه الرسائل.
أما عن المسدّسين والقنبلة، فقد أحضرهم معه الطبيب الملقّب بموفّق، والموقوف لديكم. والمبالغ المالية هي للتنظيم، وهي بيد راشد. والبطاقات البلاستيكية نوع فيزا بأسماء أشخاص سعوديين هي لراشد، حيث يكون بإمكانه سحب المبالغ منها بعد أن يودع أصحاب البطاقات مبالغ تبرّعات للتنظيم. وبطاقات الهاتف هي للاتصال بيننا وبين الشباب في لبنان وسوريا. أما الأحزمة فلا أعرف استعمالها، باستثناء واحد هو لتقويم الظهر. والهويات والبطاقات المزوّرة هي باستلام راشد لتوزيعها على الشباب.
إنّ عدّة الصباغ المضبوطة من شقّة الشاطئ الذهبي هي خاصة راشد، لكونه أراد تغيير شكله، لأنه معروف ولأسباب أمنية. أما القناع فقد أحضره الطبيب معه.
س: لماذا تعمد إلى تغيير الألقاب؟
ج: للظروف الأمنية تغيّر الألقاب كل فترة.
س: متى أبدل خالد الطه لقبه من بدر إلى نور، وبأية ظروف؟
ج: لا أعلم.
س: هل قام مروان بتغيير لقبه منذ انتسابه إلى الجماعة، ونعني هاني الشنطي؟
ج: كلا لم يغيّر مروان لقبه، بل بقي كما هو.
س: هل أبدل عامر وسليم لقبيهما منذ ذاك الوقت؟
ج: كلا لم يبدّلا لقبيهما.
س: هل أبدل بلال زعرورة لقبه؟
ج: نعم لقد أبدله من جلال إلى رمضان.
س: لمَ هذه الخصوصيّة والظروف الأمنية التي دفعت فقط خالد الطه وبلال زعرورة لتبديل ألقابهما، وخاصة أنّهما أُرسلا إلى المخيم للاختفاء؟
ج: إنّها ضرورة أمنية.
س: هل باستطاعتك تفسير هذه الضرورة الأمنية فيما خلا موضوع ارتباطهما بأحمد أبو عدس؟
ج: ليس لديّ إجابة على هذا السؤال.
س: ما رأيك بتنكّر راشد لأي إمارة أو مبايعة أو نشاط أو علمه بالنشاطات التي أقرّ بها رفاقك بكل رحابة صدر؟
ج: إن راشد هو أمير، وأعتقد بأنه يفكر للمدى الطويل كي لا يبقى مدة طويلة في السجن، فيخرج ليتابع نشاطه الجهادي. ولكونه أميراً، يحقّ له ادّعاء وقول ما يراه مناسباً.
س: في مرحلة من مراحل هذا التحقيق، أدليت لنا بإفادة صريحة عن استقبالك للمدعو أحمد أبو عدس، ومن ثم مشاركتك في تصوير فيلم الفيديو، وشرح تفاصيل دقيقة خلال التصوير، لجهة تقسيم تصريح أبو عدس على الفيلم إلى أربعة أقسام، ومن ثم إفادتنا بالأسباب والدوافع التي ذكرها أبو عدس في الفيلم، ومن ثم أدليت بهذه الإفادة شفوياً أمام المقدم رئيس الفرع، ومن ثم تراجعك عنها. فسّر لنا هذا الأمر؟
ج: لقد ذكرت لكم أموراً ابتكرتها من نسج خيالي، ولا تمتّ إلى الواقع بصلة، وهي تقسيم الفيلم إلى أربعة مقاطع، وهي المقدمة الشرعية، وتتضمن آيات قرآنية، ثم حديث شريف، والثالثة وهي الأسباب السياسية التي تتضمن سرقة أموال لبنان، وإن الحريري وقّع على إعدامات للشباب المجاهدين في لبنان الذين أقدموا على اغتيال نزار الحلبي وانتقاماً لشهداء الحرمين مثل أبو هاجر عبد العزيز المقرن، والرابعة وهي الوصية لوالدته وللمسلمين عامة. وأؤكد لكم أن جميع هذه التفاصيل قد اعتمدتها من خيالي وليست حقيقية.
س: تتطابق التفاصيل التي تبتكرها مع حقائق لا تقبل الدحض، تبيّنت في تحقيقات كثيرة عن موضوع محضرنا هذا بجريمة اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رفيق الحريري واختفاء أحمد أبو عدس، ما يستدل به على أنك على معرفة بأمور ودقائق أفدت بها أو حوّرتها، ومن ثم تراجعت عنها. ننصحك بقول الحقيقة كما هي، وإفادتنا عن الأشخاص الذين قد تراهم، ولأسبابك الخاصة، رؤساء شرعيين أو إخوة في الجهاد؟
ج: إن السبب الحقيقي الذي ذكرته وأنا متأكد منه هو أمر عام وشائع بين المجاهدين، وهو أمر توقيع الحريري لإعدامات المجاهدين في لبنان. وقد سمعت هذا الأمر من راشد بعد اغتيال الحريري، ومتابعتنا الأخبار على التلفزيون في المكتب الأمني في سوريا في النهار نفسه الذي اغتيل فيه الحريري.
س: هل كان ذلك في 14/2/2005، وفي أي وقت إن كنت تذكر؟
ج: نعم لقد كان هذا الأمر بمشاهدة التلفزيون وسماع بيان أبو عدس في 14/2/2005، وأذكر أنه كان بعد صلاة العصر.
س: ماذا قال حينها راشد، ومَن كان معكما؟
ج: لم يكن معنا أي أحد، وقد قال راشد حينها، بعد عرض الفيلم على قناة الجزيرة، «إن الحريري متورط ومسؤول عن توقيع الإعدامات للمجاهدين في قضية نزار الحلبي»، ولم أكن أعرف هذا الأمر قبل أن يخبرني به راشد.
س: هل أنت مستعد لمواجهة راشد بهذا القول، وماذا إذا طلب منك الانصياع لأمره لكونه الأمير كما تذكر؟
ج: نعم إنني مستعد لمواجهة راشد حسن النبعة في ما قاله بذلك التاريخ، ولن أنصاع لأمره إذا طلب مني أن أمتنع عن الإفادة أو موافقة أقواله، لأنني الآن أتكلم بكل صدق ولا مراوغة في كلامي.
س: ماذا عن تراجعك بعد قليل عما ذكرته الآن إذا سألناك سؤالاً آخر؟
ج: إنني أؤكد لكم أن ما ذكرته الآن هو صادق وحقيقي، وأن ما ذكره راشد بخصوص إعدام المجاهدين في قضية نزار الحلبي قد علمته منه. أما الشائع، فقصدت به أن الإعدامات عموماً، التي وقع عليها الحريري، هي بأمور اللبنانيين المجاهدين القدامى مثل بديع أو وديع. وهذا أمر يختص باللبنانيين، ومعروف من جانبهم مثل راشد، ولا علم لي فيها. وقد أدليت بإفادتي هذه بملء إرادتي وبكل صدق، وليس لديّ ما أقوله خلاف ذلك.
تُليت عليه إفادته فصدّقها ووقّعها معنا.


أبو هاجر أمير «القاعدة» في بلاد الحرمين

يقول السعودي فيصل أكبر في إفادته أمام المحقّق «علماً أن من قام بعملية التفجير هو شاب سعودي، حضر من قاعدة الجهاد في بلاد الحرمين، وقد أُرسل من قبل أبو هاجر وهو من قام بعملية اغتيال الحريري بالشاحنة نفسها التي ذكرتها لكم، بعدها أقدمنا على كسر الشرائح العائدة لهواتفنا الخلوية، وغادرنا الأمكنة التي كنا فيها (…) وكان الاستشهادي يدعى أبو مقاتل الأسدي (…)».
وأبو هاجر هو عبد العزيز بن عيسى بن عبد المحسن المقرن، الملقّب بأبو هاجر، يبلغ من العمر 33 سنة، ومتزوج.
ولد عبد العزيز المقرن في جزيرة العرب عام 1971، وتوقفت دراسته عند المرحلة الثانوية بسبب التحاقه بالمجاهدين العرب في أفغانستان.
وتلقى عبد العزيز المقرن تدريبات مكثفة في معسكر «وال» القريب من مدينة خوست الأفغانية قبل أن ينتقل إلى الجزائر في منتصف التسعينيات للقتال إلى جانب المجموعات المسلحة التي أعلنت رفضها تدخّل الجيش الجزائري، وإعلانه إلغاء نتيجة الانتخابات، لكي لا تتمكن الجبهة الإسلامية للإنقاذ التي فازت بأغلبية الأصوات من تأليف الحكومة.
بقي في الجزائر إلى أن استطاعت قوات الأمن الجزائرية القبض عليه في عملية تهريب أسلحة. لكن أتباعه استطاعوا تهريبه خارج الجزائر. عاد المقرن للتنقل بين المملكة العربية السعودية وأفغانستان ومنها انتقل إلى البوسنة والهرسك للمشاركة في عمليات تدريب وقتال ضد القوات الصربية هناك.
شارك أبو هاجر في الحرب في البوسنة والهرسك خلال الفترة من عام 1992 حتى 1995، ثم عاد بعدها إلى بلاد الحرمين.
بعد فترة قصيرة استطاع التسلّل إلى الجمهورية اليمنية ومنها إلى الصومال حيث شارك في القتال ضد القوات الإثيوبية في إقليم أوغادين الذي تسكنه أغلبية مسلمة. لكنّه وقع أيضاً ـــــ كما حدث له من قبل في الجزائر ـــــ في يد القوات الإثيوبية، التي حبسته لمدة عامين ونصف عام قبل تسليمه إلى سلطات الأمن السعودي عام 1998.
حكمت عليه محكمة سعودية شرعية بالسجن مدة 4 سنوات، لكنه لم يمض في السجن غير نصف المدة فقط، بعدما أفرج عنه «لحسن أخلاقه وإتمامه حفظ القرآن الكريم».
بعد شهر واحد فقط من إطلاق سراحه، قرر المقرن مغادرة جزيرة العرب متوجهاً إلى أفغانستان، وقد نجح في الوصول إليها عبر عدة عواصم أجنبية عام 2001، وهناك التحق مع مجموعة من الشباب السعودي للقتال جنباً إلى جنب مع قوات طالبان والقاعدة ضد الجيش الأميركي، الذي قرر غزو أفغانستان وإسقاط نظام حكم طالبان بعد أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول.
بعد سقوط نظام حكم طالبان، عاد المقرن إلى منزل أهله في حي السويدي بالرياض في بلاد الحرمين ثم اختفى عن أنظار الأمن السعودي قبل 13 شهراً.
اتّهمه الأمن السعودي بتدريب معارضين للنظام في مناطق وعرة بالمنطقة الوسطى والمنطقة الغربية في بلاد الحرمين وأعلن عزمه القبض عليه.
بدأ اسم عبد العزيز المقرن «قائد تنظيم القاعدة في جزيرة العرب» يلمع في وسائل الإعلام، وخاصة بعد العمليات المسلحة التي استهدفت حياة الأجانب الموجودين على أرض المملكة، ولا سيما الأميركيّين والبريطانيين.
ونشط الأمن السعودي في البحث عنه وأصبح محط الاهتمام بعد اختطاف الرهينة الأميركي بول مارشال جونسون، المهندس في فرع شركة لوكهيد مارتن، المتخصصة في صناعة طائرات الأباتشي بالرياض.
منح تنظيم القاعدة سلطات الأمن السعودي مهلة 72 ساعة للإفراج عن معتقليه في سجون بلاد الحرمين مقابل الإفراج عن الرهينة الأميركي، لكن الحكومة السعودية رفضت هذه الصفقة.
نفذ تنظيم القاعدة وعيده بقتل الأميركي وظهر رأسه المفصول عن جسده.
في 19 حزيران من عام 2004 أُعلن مقتل أبو هاجر، أو عبد العزيز المقرن.
وعلى رغم هذه الواقعة المسجّلة إعلامياً، إلا أن المحقق اللبناني لا يلحظ أن الماثل بين يديه يضلله بهذا الاعتراف، هذا إذا كان فيصل أكبر قد أدلى بالاعتراف هنا.


إرسال السيوف إلى العراق

س: ورد في إفادة أحدهم في هذا المحضر بأنه كلف مرة بشراء سيف من بيروت وتحديداً من الدورة، وأرسله إلى راشد في سوريا، ما صحة هذا الأمر؟
ج:: إن راشد يقوم بإرسال السيوف إلى العراق لأبي مصعب الزرقاوي، ولا علم لي بمَن يحضرها من لبنان من الشباب.

س: مَن هو برأيك؟
ج:: إن أميري المباشر هو راشد.

س: بماذا يُلزمك هذا الأمر، فصّل لنا ذلك؟
ج:: أُلزم بالسمع والطاعة في ما يقول لي ويوكل إلي من قبله وعدم رفضها إلا بمسوّغ شرعي.

س: بحكم ما ذكرته هل يُلزمك هذا الأمر بإخفاء بعض الحقائق لعدم الإضرار بالمجموعة أو بأميرها أو بالنهج العام؟
ج:: نعم ألتزم تنفيذ الأوامر، وخاصة إن كانت صادرة عن الأمير، بإخفاء حقائق أو تفاصيل.

س: أين تعرّفت براشد وكيف ومتى؟
ج:: لقد تعرّفت براشد الموقوف لديكم وعلمت الآن أنه يدعى حسن نبعة، في أفغانستان خلال عام 2000 في أحد معسكرات التدريب وبقينا معاً لحوالى خمسة أشهر، ثم أرسله أبو مصعب الزرقاوي إلى لبنان لتنظيم مجموعات لتهيئة الأرضية للجهاد في لبنان، فحضر راشد وكان حينها يلقب بـ«أبو مسلم».


رحلة فيصل أكبر في شوارع بيروت

يتحدث فيصل أكبر عدة مرات عن شوارع بيروت، ويشرح للمحقق كيفية إجراء الاستطلاعات في شوارع عدة من بيروت من عين المريسة حيث استهدفت عملية التفجير موكب الرئيس رفيق الحريري، إلى فردان حيث «مكتب» رفيق الحريري كما يقول أكبر في اعترافاته، ويحاول المحقق الاستفهام عن مدى معرفة أكبر بالطرق، علماً أن المحامية مهى فتحة تتحدث عن عجزه عن التعرف بمناطق في محيط الأماكن التي يصفها في محاضر التحقيق.

س: ذكرت لنا أنك تعرف شوارع بيروت لكونك حضرت في فترات سابقة إلى لبنان، متى حضرت وأين مكثت وما الغاية من حضورك في تلك الأوقات؟
ج: لقد حضرت إلى لبنان في أواسط عام 2001 مكلفاً من قبل أبو مصعب الزرقاوي للقاء جماعة جند الشام الموجودة في مخيم عين الحلوة. قدمت من تركيا إلى لبنان، ومكثت في فندق وايت هاوس ـــــ الحمرا باسمي الحقيقي لمدة ساعة فقط، بعدها انتقلت برفقة الملقب معين إلى مخيم عين الحلوة للتباحث مع جند الشام في موضوع المبايعة والخروج للجهاد في أفغانستان، وبقيت في المخيم لحوالى أسبوعين. سافرت بعدها إلى تركيا ومن ثم إلى أفغانستان، ونزلت في العام نفسه من سوريا إلى لبنان عن طريق المصنع باسمي الحقيقي أيضاً وانتقلت مباشرة إلى مخيم عين الحلوة. التقيت مجدداً بالإخوة جند الشام لحوالى أربعة أيام لمراقبة موضوع الخروج للجهاد وتفحص إمكانية جماعتهم وجهوزيتهم.
في ذلك الحين، أصبحت مطلوباً في لبنان للقضاء اللبناني لكون معين قد أوقف في سوريا وسُلّم إلى لبنان بجرم تزوير، وكنت ألقّب في حينها بـ«قويظ» «قوس». تمكنت من الخروج إلى سوريا وعدت إلى لبنان بعدها في تواريخ لا أذكرها لحوالى ثلاث مرات أيضاً إلى مخيم عين الحلوة. بعد هذه الفترة أصبحت أدخل لبنان بجواز السفر السعودي المزور باسم فهد اليماني، وكنت أحضر فقط ليوم أو يومين من أجل الأختام لدى الأمن العام السوري لأظهر أن الجواز عليه أختام وهو المزور، وكنت أستخدم لدى حضوري إلى لبنان شققاً مفروشة في الحمراء والروشة، ونزلت في محلة الشويفات في شقة برفقة نبيل الملقب بـ«أبو الغادية»، الذي استشهد في العراق. مكثت ليومين هناك، رجعت بعدها لسوريا بينما بقي نبيل هنا، وذلك في عام 2003، فأكون قد حضرت إلى لبنان حوالى ثماني مرات، ولذا أعرف شوارع بيروت.

[في حلقة الغد: مختصر لباقي المحضر بما يتعلّق باغتيال الحريري]

October 17th, 2007, 8:09 pm


Trish Schuh said:

Neither Syria nor Israel have been completely forthcoming on this issue. I contacted the State Dept, IAEA in Vienna, WSJ, the NYT and Washington Post to request they send an expert with radiation detectors over there to get some actual proof- for once- and settle this issue for good.
Syrian Ambassador to the UN Dr. Bashar Jaáfari told me Syria welcomes full IAEA inspections at any time- and always has.
Recall initial press accounts from the Sun Times claiming Israeli commandos on the ground “seized nuclear material in Syria raid”?
Where is it? and why hasnt the IAEA inspected it? Or the NYT report that “Israel photographed Syria’s nuclear facility.” At night? In the dark? Someone please show some basic sense here. The press that makes/”reports” these accusations must start doing their (purported)jobs by substantiating their accusations- or issue full disclosure that they simply function as stenographers for the government. And that government objective hasnt changed. It was and still is- Syrian regime change. Whether it is via trumped up “Iraqi insurgent” claims, the Hariri murder, or a “North Korean nuclear facility” is irrelevant to them. The ends justify the means.

October 17th, 2007, 8:24 pm


Trish Schuh said:

Addendum to above: Syrian Ambassador to the UN Dr Bashar Jaáfari denied saying Israel had bombed a nuclear site in his country. He told me the UN report referred to had not even been presented by him. He also said a UN retraction regarding the misquote is forthcoming.

October 17th, 2007, 8:28 pm


Abraham said:

We do not oppose Syria for having or not having nuclear facilities.

We hate Syria way before this issue, we attack them simply for their support of terrorist like Hizballah and Hamas.

Once Syria stops suppoting these groups and their attack on our territory than we will not have any problem with Syria.

Until then however, we have a right to destroy the whole country if it means protecting one Jewish life in Israel.

October 17th, 2007, 8:35 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

we are pleased with the improved syrian turkish relations,this could lead to closure of Incirlic american base, however, it is disappointing to hear that Lebanon , with march 14 in power, could allow USA to build american military base in Qulai-at, in northern Lebanon, I doubt Seniora and Hariri will allow this,but if they approve,under a deal to continue the tribunal, then Seniora and Hariri will loose a lot of supporters, and could collapse.

October 17th, 2007, 8:55 pm


89 said:

Israel’s ‘Syria problem’ is the Golan’s WATER. Hezbollah/Hamas are an excuse. Without the terrorists, how would Israel keep playing victim and getting billions $$$ in American donations?

October 17th, 2007, 9:05 pm


t_desco said:

UN says Syrian didn’t mention nuke site

The United Nations on Wednesday backtracked on a report that had quoted a Syrian official as saying an Israeli airstrike hit a nuclear facility in Syria, blaming an interpreter’s error for the purported comment that made headlines across the Middle East.

Syria’s government had reacted angrily to the U.N. document released Tuesday night. It denied one of its diplomats told a General Assembly committee that Israel had attacked a Syrian nuclear facility last month, adding that “such facilities do not exist in Syria.”

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry official as saying the representative was misquoted.

After more than seven hours of investigation Wednesday, U.N. officials agreed that was the case.

“There was an interpretation error made yesterday when the First Committee was in session,” U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said. “There was no use of the word nuclear.”

The original report, which brought widespread media attention in the Middle East and heightened concerns over Syria’s nuclear ambitions, came in a U.N. press summary of the disarmament committee’s meeting Tuesday.

The paper paraphrased an unidentified Syrian diplomat as saying that “Israel was the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction and a violator of other nations’ airspace, and it had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria.”

Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike in northeastern Syria near the border with Turkey on Sept. 6, not July 6.

Israel’s government has not commented on the target, but there have been reports from unidentified sources saying the attack was aimed at nuclear facility in northern Syria. Syrian leaders deny they have any such site.

At U.N. headquarters, the spokesman’s office said the Syrian representative spoke to the disarmament committee in Arabic.

Haq said the exact words of the English interpreter were: “An entity that is the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction in the world, an entity that violates other countries’ airspace, and that takes action against nuclear facilities, including the attack on 6 July this year on a nuclear facility in my country — that entity has no right to lie, which it has done consistently.”

After studying the Arabic comments, U.N. officials released a corrected English translation late Wednesday afternoon.

According to the new text, the Syrian delegate said: “… the (entity) that is ranking number four among the exporters of lethal weapons in the world; that which violates the airspace of sovereign states and carries out military aggression against them, like what happened on Sept. 6 against my country, such entity with all those characteristics and even more, has no right for its representative to go on lying without shame.” …

October 17th, 2007, 9:58 pm


why-discuss said:

The rapprochement between Turkey and Syria may turn out to be beneficial to both.
Syria will benefit from energy coming from Iran through Turkey and Turkey can sell more of its industrial goods and expertise to all the arab countries. Both countries have a strongly non-religious political system. They offer a healthy counterbalance to religious Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, Shia Iran, “maronite-sunni-shia” Lebanon, without forgetting Jewish Israel.

October 17th, 2007, 10:43 pm


Nour said:


When you stop occupying people’s lands, then maybe resistance groups won’t rise and fight you. Syria did not create Hizballah or Hamas, Israeli aggression did. Syria merely stood by the Lebanese and Palestinian people’s right to struggle against foreign occupation and oppression.

October 17th, 2007, 10:58 pm


t_desco said:

Nibras Kazimi is translating the Al-Akhbar articles on his blog, Talisman Gate:

Narrative of a Conspiracy, Part 1

I decided to translate the roller-coaster testimony made by Faisal Akbar—the Saudi citizen (…we think) who first confessed to a role in the Hariri assassination after he was arrested in January 2006 but then retracted his statement—which was published in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar over the last week.

It’s a lot of material, so I am dividing it up into four parts. This is a fascinating window into jihadist tradecraft that we don’t usually see in such open-source detail, and it should be of value to analysts interested in jihadism and related security issues. This is not the generic material in jihadists manuals, this is the real stuff.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2. I tried to adhere as much as possible to the original Arabic so that the tone and wording is not lost in translation. This makes it a bit of a clunky read.

This first translated chunk appeared in Al-Akhbar on October 10, 2007, under the byline of Fida’ ‘Itani.



[My name is] Faisal Asa’ad Hashim Hussein Akber; mother is Sheikha Hussein Ali Al-Hussein; born in the Eastern [Province] in Saudi Arabia in 1397 A.H., that is 1976 AD. I use a forged Saudi passport under the name Fahed Muhammad Hassan Al-Khadim al-Yamani, mother’s name Fatima. I also use a Syria identification card in the name (Faris Waleed) Abdel-Ghani Waleed Faris, mother’s name Khulood, born 1978, Syrian. I also use a special permit for Palestinians issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Interior in the name Hassan Nassir ‘Isa, mother’s name Hamida, born 1972, Sidon, Palestinian. I currently live in Beirut, the Ramla al-Beidha neighborhood, the Shati’ al-Dhahabi Building, 10th Floor, my Lebanese numbers are 03/938610 and 70941510, and I live in other apartments in Beirut, in Al-Besta al-Tahta, and two apartments on Tariq Jdeideh and Ain al-Rummaneh and al-Oza’i. I previously resided in Syria, in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo, and at different addresses. I have a Syrian cell phone, but I don’t know its number, and it is in your possession. My address in [Saudi Arabia] is the Eastern [Province], Ras Tanoura City. I left [Saudi Arabia] seven years ago, my no. there is 0096636672750, Saudi citizen, I lost my Saudi passport in Afghanistan in 2001. I hold a university degree in the principles of religion from the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Qasim, and I am single. Unemployed. A mujahid in the Al-Qaeda organization.


“You approached me in the ‘Ain al-Rummaneh neighborhood, in the street in front of the Sumood Building, near the Al-Huda school, you declared your official identity and the purpose of your coming. Then you insulted me, and did not find any contraband on me, and you confiscated my two cell phone and memory flash disks and my personal diary. You brought me to your headquarters, and continued taking the calls to my phones, and you arrested those who called me and who are known by me, then I showed you to the apartment that I use in Beirut, then you informed me of my right to make a phone call and to see an attorney and to undergo medical examination, and I am ready to answer your questions. Furthermore, nothing was lost or damaged or went missing of my belongings as a result of the arrest and the search, which occurred over several phases.

Q: What are the aliases that you have used for yourself and why did you use them and under what circumstances?

A: I used many aliases, of which I remember Tariq and Rani and Abu Suleiman and Salih and Fahed and Faris and Abdul-Ghani and Hassan and Al-Sheikh. And I used these aliases for security work, to disguise [myself] and not to reveal my real identity.

Q: We found on you a forged Saudi passport and a Palestinian identification [card] and a Syrian identification [card] and other papers all of them forged with different names but carrying your picture. In addition, you have told us that your real identity is Faisal Akbar, Saudi citizen, and that you had lost your original identification [card] in Afghanistan, and that you had resided in Syria, and were arrested in Lebanon?

A: I will tell you that I left my home in 1999 from Saudi Arabia and headed to Afghanistan with the purpose of [joining the] jihad, where I pledged allegiance to Sheikh Osama Bin Laden since I was a Salafist by creed. I participated in the fighting alongside the Taliban against the forces of Ahmad Shah Masoud, of course that after undergoing many military courses in the organization I belong to.

Q: Who is Jamil?

A: Jamil is a Syrian youth, approximately 27 years of age, an official in Al-Qaeda in the Levant.

Q: Didn’t this Jamil, who you mentioned, get pursued in Syria [by the authorities there]?

A: Yes, Jamil was pursued, but he was not found.

Q: Why didn’t he head to Lebanon as you and your comrades did?

A: Jamil stayed in Syria so that the organization would continue to have a presence there, and to follow-up on some matters.

Q: Tell us about the roles of your comrades who are with you in Lebanon, especially since we found two military pistols and a hand grenade and a mask and many other materials that we exhibit in front of you and which were confiscated from the Ramleh al-Beida apartment?

A: I will tell you that Marwan opened our organization’s electronic mail, and renting houses for us in Lebanon. As for Nidhal, he is a mujahid who was being pursued and he managed to arrive to Lebanon. Samer and Wasim are two mujahids from Lebanon. As for the doctor, he is our group’s doctor who was arrested with us, he was our personal physician, and he was pursued too. And you arrested Sheikh Rashid along with the doctor, and he is the head of our group, and the rest are pursued members whom we housed in our apartments to protect them, and there are others who have not been arrested. And they are in other areas of Lebanon, such as Faraj and Dani and Jalal and Nour, and all these aforementioned use aliases, so these are not their real names.

Q: Give us the identities of these persons whom you mentioned by their aliases, and we will show you pictures and personal identification [cards] for those who are in our [custody]?

A: After seeing the pictures in your possession, I can say that the doctor is Tariq al-Nasser, and that Jawher is Faysal Hassan, and that Nidhal is Jamal al-Babily, and that Sheikh Rashid is Hussam Mneimneh, and that Marwan is Hani al-Shenti, and that Samer is Amer Hallaq, and that Wasim is Salim Halimeh, and that Nour is Khalid Taha, and that Jalal—also known by the name Ramadhan—is Bilal Za’aroureh, and he who is known as Abdullah is Ziyad Ramadhan, and let it be known that all those who are in your custody were given forged identification cards through a man known by Murad, who is a Syrian and whose real identity I do not know, and his specialty is forgery and montage.

Q: According to our information, there is an activist who resided in Syria, who is called Sheikh Rashid, who used to head the organization in Syria, and testimonies were recorded saying that those who left Lebanon to fight in Iraq would pledge allegiance to this Sheikh Rashid. Is the aforementioned the same person who is in our custody, who we detained when he tried to call you under normal circumstances?

A: The person you arrested while he was trying to call me from a call center in front of Mazin Pharmacy, and this is a pre-agreed upon place that we call “maram”, is the same Sheikh Rashid who [others pledge allegiance to], and he is also known as Al-Sheikh or Muayyad or with other names that he used during his three year stay in Syria. But the Levant means Syria and Lebanon, so all the mujaheddin coming from Lebanon would pledge allegiance to the Emir in the Levant. Most of those who came from Lebanon would pledge allegiance to Sheikh Rashid, and in some other instances would pledge allegiance to Jamil or Nabil. I want to add that I do not know the full identities of Jamil or Nabil, and I do not confirm to you that Husam Mneinmeh is the real name of Sheikh Rashid, because we do not reveal our real names to each other for security reasons.
I do not know Jamil’s current whereabouts, and he is hiding in Syria, and I spoke to him last from a pay phone in the Verdun neighborhood, which I can lead you to, and his number was 096710528 and it was in the evening time, and that was two days before I was arrested, that is Saturday December 31, 2005. As for Nabil he was martyred in Iraq seven months ago in the city of Al-Qaim when he resisted an American airborne raid there.

Q: You told us that Nabil was who [others would pledge allegiance to], so how is it that he moves to join the fighting in Iraq while the rest of the Emirs who [others pledge allegiance to] don’t?

A: Nabil went to Iraq to fight due to a request from Abu Musa’ab al-Zarqawi. In such a case, orders are not rejected. He was informed of this by Sheikh Rashid.

Q: Tell us about the stages that you’ve witnessed concerning the movement of fighters from Lebanon via Syria to Iraq, by way of procedures?

A: Usually, the mujaheddin from Lebanon are received after they have been vouched for from persons who are already members in the group, and they are activists who have already pledged allegiance, and they are trustworthy. After someone arrives from Lebanon, he is received in Syria, and is taken to a place that we call a ‘madhafeh’ [guest house], without letting him know the route or address, and they procedures are called ‘secure transfer’. Then this person usually undergoes a security seminar, and if the reasons for an immediate transfer to Iraq are satisfied, then he is transferred. And if he isn’t transferred to Iraq, then he remains at the guest house until there is an opportunity to get him into Iraq. During this time, he pledges allegiance to the Emir, which binds him to working with the group. I should add that it the right of a mujahid to stipulate during his pledge of allegiance whether he would be a fighter or a suicide bomber, or to stipulate that he is only to fight the Americans, or to set any conditions that the mujahid may want.

Q: Tell us more about pledging allegiance, inform us is there a way to break one’s pledge, and do you have firsthand experience with anyone who has?

A: Yes, [one can] break the pledge, and that in only specific cases, such as when one of the conditions that were set are not met. As such the pledge is broken and the mujahid is liberated from the pact of allegiance. And this happened with Samer and Wasim.
The approved wording of the pledge is: أبايعك على السمع والطاعة في المنبسط والمكره

Q: After we showed you one of our photographs, you identified Khalid Taha, who you stressed was known to you as Nour, and before that by another name. Do you know where Khalid is now, and when did you last see him or talk to him?

A: After perusing the photograph in your possession, and it is a color photograph of Nour who was previously known by the name Badr, I learnt from you that his name is Khalid Taha, and he was the one who vouched for many of mujaheddin who came from Lebanon. The last time I saw him was 13 days ago in the Corniche Al-Mazra’a neighborhood near the Abdel-Nassir Mosque, and I took him to the Al-Oza’i Mosque, and delivered him to a man named Ali, who transferred him with a man named Murad to the Ain al-Helwah [Palestinian Refugee] Camp to hide there.

Q: Were you in regular contact with Khalid Taha, that is Nour, before the time you are telling us about?

A: Khalid Taha was throughout this last period in Syria with he who is known as Jamil. But after the security sweeps that were conducted by the Syrian security services, he escaped to Lebanon with Jalal towards the end of December 2005. He stayed at the Ain Rummaneh apartment with he who is known as Jalal, that is Bilal Za’aroureh, at Marwan’s, that is Hani al-Shenti, for three days. I received him from Hani in front of the Abdel-Nassir Mosque, and I delivered him to Ali with Murad who was in the Al-Bastah apartment, and Ali got them moved to the Ain al-Helwah Camp. After about four days, I received from Hani al-Shenti he who is known as Jalal and also Ramadhan, in front of the Abdel-Nassir Mosque and I took him to Kheldeh after the bridge near the Bata stores, where Ali arrived and received from me Bilal Za’aroureh and he moved him with two Syrian individuals named Abi al-Rou’a and Ahmad who had stayed in the Al-Oza’i apartment with Nidhal who is currently detained by you. The three of them were moved in Ali’s car to Ain al-Helwah Camp to hide there, per Rashid’s instructions.

Q: Who is Ali, how did you meet him, and since when have you known him?

A: Ali is his alias, I don’t know his real name. He is a Palestinian youth, about 27, from the people of the Ain al-Helwah Camp, and he works for Usbet al-Ansar. Appearance: stout, tall, black fine hair, combs his hair back, thin beard and mustache, wears jeans and sneakers. I saw him for the first time when he arrived to pick-up Khalid Taha and Murad, and I saw him next when he received Bilal Za’aroureh, Abul Rou’a and Ahmed from me. I met him for the first time per Jamil’s instructions from Syria, and I didn’t know him before. Jamil gave me his description and the place where he will arrive in front of the Al-Oza’i Mosque. I will specify to you that Jamil told me that Ali will wait for me in that neighborhood by standing in the street and carrying a small nylon bag with a unique pink color. And so it was: when I arrived in front of the Al-Oza’i Mosque, I saw a young man with such a description, carrying a small pink bag. I approached him and asked him: “Ali?” He answered: “Yes.” Then I delivered Khalid Taha and Murad to him and he left. I met him for the second time as I already told you.

Q: At both times when you delivered Khalid Taha and his companion, and in the second time when you delivered Bilal Za’aroureh and his two companions, tell us what each of them was carrying?

A: In both cases the guys were carrying their bags or nylon bags containing their personal items. Khalid Taha too his personal HP computer on the first time, and at the second time Bilal Za’aroureh took his personal Toshiba computer.

Q: Were Khalid Taha and Bilal Za’aroureh hidden away at the camp based on orders?

A: Yes, the order to hide Khalid al-Taha and Bilal Za’aroureh in the Ain al-Helwah Camp came from Rashid. Jamil coordinated with his acquaintances in the camp to hide them there. As for Murad and Abul Rou’a and Ahmad, they are wanted in Syria, and an order to hide them in the camp was also issued. Usually, an order would arrive for the youth to hide if they meet a security problem, and when the route was open from Syria to Iraq, they would be asked to move to Iraq. But lately, and since the route to Iraq has been closed and security sweeps continue in Syria, the move has been to Lebanon. This is what happened to me and Sheikh Rashid and the other guys like the doctor and others.

Q: Was any order issued to Hani al-Shenti, who is known as Marwan, or to anyone else, to hide and not show up at our headquarters when instructed to do so by us? Who issued the order and to whom?

A: The orders were issued by Jamil and Rashid when they were in Syria, and I was still there, to Marwan, that is Hani al-Shenti, to hide and not to go to the security HQ so as not to take his statement and detain him. This was told to me lately by Hani al-Shenti while I was in Beirut. Wasim and Samer, that is Amer al-Hallaq and Selim Halim[a], had hid at Hani’s in the Al-Besta apartment in expectation that they may be called to any security body in Lebanon, and that is to make sure that what information they know about the activities of the group are not divulged.

Q: Do you know a person called Ziyad Ramadhan, especially since you know Khalid Taha and Hani al-Shenti and Amer al-Hallaq and Selim Halima and Bilal Za’aroureh and others who know this Ziyad character?

A: I have never made the acquaintance of Ziyad Ramadhan, but I had heard about him when I came to Lebanon. I found out that he used to be called Abdullah, and he used to know Amer al-Hallaq and Selim Halima, as I was told by Amer and Selim, and that he used to know Khalid Taha according to what they said.

Q: How did you mention this topic?

A: During my recent stay in Lebanon, Amer and Selim told me that they are hiding because they knew Ziyad Ramadhan, and that they are worried to be called in for questioning, and in this course we talked about the details.

Q: What ties together the individuals in your statement, and when did you meet them?

A: I met Khalid Taha, who was initially known as Badr, two years ago approximately from what I recollect, when he came to Syria and underwent a security seminar that I administered to him in the city of Aleppo. Later he met Nabil and Rashid in that order to give his allegiance, and then Khalid Taha began to recruit the brothers to work with us. Thus arrived Abu Turab who I gave a security seminar to like the rest of the brothers, then Nour, that is Khalid Taha, took him to pledge allegiance to Rashid, and then Marwan, that is Hani al-Shenti, arrived after being vouched for by Khalid Taha, and also underwent my security seminar, and then gave his allegiance to Rashid. Hani vouched for Amer Hallaq and Selim Halima who came to Aleppo and took the security seminar, and then pledged allegiance to Rashid or Nabil. Amer arrived before Selim by two months as far as I remember, and the last person who arrived to pledge allegiance and to take the security seminar was Jalal, that is Bilal Za’aroureh, and that is after Samer and Halim. A while after that the security sweeps began in Syria so we moved to Lebanon and Jamil stayed back and Nabil was martyred in Iraq.

Q: You mentioned Abu Turab to us. Can you remember his appearance or will you recognize him if you see a photograph of him. Do you know his identity?

A: Yes I know the description of Abu Turab because after undergoing my security seminar he was taken by Khalid Taha to Nabil and Rashid to pledge his allegiance, and he is the same person who appeared on TV on 14/2/2005 and read the statement taking credit for the Rafiq Hariri assassination. Khalid Taha told me that his name is Ahmed Abu Ades.

Q: Is this the reason why Khalid Taha and Hani al-Shenti and the others went into hiding after we started looking for them?

A: A week after the assassination, Khalid Taha disappeared and he was not seen, as was usual, at our guest houses. I think he changed his alias from Badr to Nour in that period as far as I remember.

Q: When did Ahmed Abu Ades arrive in Syria, and through whom did you meet him and conduct the seminar that you mentioned?

A: I remember that Ahmed Abu Ades who is known as Abu Turab came to Syria in the beginning of 2005, in [January] of that year. I went to Damascus at the time, where I met him there. With me was Khalid al-Taha. Ahmed Abu Ades traveled with the smuggler that we deal with whose name is Ahmed and he is from the town of Majdel Anjar.

Q: How were you informed that Ahmed Abu Ades had arrived in Damascus, and how did you identify him, and was this the first time you see him or had you seen him before?

A: I had never met him before this time, and Khalid Taha told me that Abu Turab had arrived, and Khalid al-Taha came with me because he knew him, and we met him in Merjeh Square in Damascus whereby the smuggler handed him over to Khalid, and then the smuggler, Ahmed, left us, and Khalid, Ahmed Abu Ades and I took a taxi to a guest house in Damascus, in the Rukn al-Din neighborhood. Abu Ades spent a week there approximately, and then Khalid al-Taha took him to meet Nabil and Sheikh Rashid.

Q: Is it usual for you to personally receive arrivals from Lebanon?

A: No, usually I never receive a person coming from Lebanon in the street, and usually the person comes to the guest house where the seminars are administered.

Q: Then why was it in the Ahmed Abu Ades case that you traveled to meet him?

A: Nabil and Rashid gave me orders to go personally and receive Ahmed Abu Ades.

Q: Why this uniqueness?

A: At the beginning it was not clear to me.

Q: What became clear to you after that, and how did you justify their request of you to personally receive and accompany him?

A: Later, when Abu Ades was shown on TV, I understood the importance of receiving him because he pulled off the operation.

Q: Why are you giving information, which if true could show your culpability and your possession of further details. We advise you to answer in all truthfulness and objectivity and clarity, and to tell all the minutest details about your meeting with Ahmed Abu Ades?

A: After you detained me and detained Sheikh Rashid and members of the group, I could not hide the information that I knew about Ahmed Abu Ades and other details that we know about me and Khalid Taha and Sheikh Rashid. Therefore I will tell you with all honesty and detachment my knowledge of my meeting with Abu Ades and what happened between us.

Q: Are you undergoing any coercion or guidance, and are you giving your statement for some [unknown] purpose, or are you giving your statement in all honesty?

A: I am giving my testimony with my full consent, and without any pressure or any hints. I am telling the truth as it is.
No, I have no more to say, and this is my statement.

[The statement was read back to him, he confirmed it and signed it along with us.]
Talisman Gate

October 17th, 2007, 11:00 pm


Alex said:

oh AIG … what should we do now? … fire the UN interpreter?

I was enjoying my first point scored on the denial skills game, but I guess the UN “denial” means I wan not in denial after all … that leaves you and and Akbar as the denial champions.

Your willingness to believe that the Syrian ambassador was a total idiot today instead of leaving some doubt in your mind regarding the possibility that maybe there was a translation mistake … that showed us a clear example of your, and others’ problem with Syria …

While we are here … did you notice how I was always insisting that Syria’s closest ally is Turkey? that it is not “under Iranian control”?

But you prefer to imagine that Syria is weak and evil and stupid … so you prefer to imagine that Syria is simply the junior thug in the Axil of evil.

October 17th, 2007, 11:06 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The improved relation between Syria and Turkey is not to counterbalance KSA ,Iran ,Or Lebanon, in fact I hope it will improve relations with all arabic countries,it is to improve the conditions of all arabic and turkish people,after all we are one people,and neighbors,I am talking about economical,and social conditions, Turkey is going through major change, and european countries are not going to allow Turkey to join EU,Erdogan and Gull are both young,smart,ambitious,with good ideas.
Small countries around this alliance,will find it hard not to join them, also it will be harder to divide Iraq,if this alliance got stronger, and USA will find it harder to go along with their idea of new middle east, drawing maps as they wish.

October 17th, 2007, 11:14 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Perhaps it was a translation mistake. Let the UN provide the recording though. The UN has a history of cover up as was the case when they insisted there were no tapes of a certain Hizballah kidnapping only to be embarrassed when the the tapes were disclosed. It seems to me that the Arab translator was coerced until he admitted that he hadn’t heard the world “nuclear”. But I may be wrong. Let’s wait for the actual voice recording.

Of course Syria is weak and evil and under the thumb of the Iranians. One trip to Turkey does not change anything. In Turkey, as you may have forgotten, it is the Army that calls the important shots and they are firmly pro-western. In fact, the Israeli air force practices in Turkey. Relations are measured over time. The fact that you put so much weight into one visit just proves how weak and isolated Syria is.

Reality check: Did the Turks condemn that attack on Syria by Israel? No. They just complained about the fuel tanks dropped in their territory. Syria’s only substantial friend is Iran. Big mistake.

October 18th, 2007, 12:41 am


why-discuss said:

Of course Syria is weak and evil and under the thumb of the Iranians.

Of course Israel is strong and good and free from any thumb. A very manichean view of the region, is Bush your mentor?

October 18th, 2007, 1:59 am


Abraham said:

Nour, we do not occupy anybodys land, all this land is Jewish land. Even the West Bank and Gaza is Jewish land, even the Golan Heights and parts of Lebanon.

Stop saying we occupy this and that, you the Arabs occupy these lands that belongs to us.

October 18th, 2007, 3:07 am


norman said:

Palestine or what you call Israel is just the southern western part of Syria , sooner or later and with your fanaticism it will be back with the mother land ,Syria .

October 18th, 2007, 3:29 am


Nour said:


The idea that this land ever belonged to the Jews is a complete fabrication. The people of this land, which you call “Arabs”, are the original inhabitants of this land and have lived there since the dawn of history. They preceded the Jews there by more than a thousand years and continued to inhabit it after most of the Jews either left or lost their Jewish identity. Just because Jews may have lived there at some point in history does not justify the creation of a state exclusively for Jews. There are Jews living in New York today, does that give them the right to create a state there exclusively for them?

October 18th, 2007, 3:45 am


Abraham said:


You are a typical anti-semite.

Israel will hopefully bomb all you barbarians into the stone age or just wipe you off the map period, Syria, Lebanon and Iran should be taught a lesson once and for all.


We will bomb the motherland, do not think we are not capable, we are just waiting for the right moment.

Honestly at one point i thought peace was possible even with that stinky terrorist Arafat, but now i am sure no peace can come with the Arab filth, they need to be stepped on like roaches and that is what we will do.

October 18th, 2007, 3:56 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Why wipe anybody of the map? That is ridiculous.
Take it easy habibi. On this blog you just get the privileged Syrians that can connect to the internet. They are all part of the regime. Most Syrians are just poor people that have been sufferring for decades. What needs to be done is give these people a chance to prosper by removing the regimes that suffocate them.

October 18th, 2007, 4:45 am


Alex said:


Again, you don’t want to read.

“The fact that you put so much weight into one visit just proves how weak and isolated Syria is.”

Here, for your review is my opinion from August 2006. .. way before this one visit.

Read the part about Turkey and Iran.

By the way, besides the symbolic value of the visit, this visit was probably more about discussing Syrian Israeli peace talks. Assad met mostly with the new foreign minister, and the former foreign minister (current President) .. both of them played a role in communicating between Syria and Israel.

October 18th, 2007, 4:48 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


For 60 years the Arabs have been talking trash. That is what Norman and Nour are doing. That is not the Israeli way. We build and develop, we do not just talk. That is why Israel has the strongest army in the region and the strongest economy by far. That is why the average Israeli is 6 times richer than the average Syrian.

So let them talk. I always chuckle when I read their stuff. They are so busy finding fault with Israel they have no time to develop their own countries. Meanwhile, we will work as we always have on making Israel stronger and richer.

October 18th, 2007, 4:59 am


ausamaa said:

Anitherisraliguy accuses:

“You are a typical anti-semite”,

Well, Mr. Antorher…., Arabs are semite. Are you saying that you Do not know that?

See, you got used to playing games with the minds of the American Public, that when you start talking “outside the box” who KNOW WHO KILLED WHO AND WHEN, you are still under the impression that you are FOOLING the innocent US PUBLIC as usual.

You guys….!!!!

October 18th, 2007, 5:04 am


Nour said:


Obviously you are on this forum building and developing rather than talking trash. We should all take lessons from you on how to “build and develop” on internet sites.

October 18th, 2007, 5:05 am


why-discuss said:

Frankly, I thought israelis were civilized people despite their illegal ocupation of part of palestine, but when i read hysterical and narrow minded comments from Abraham and other isrealis on this site, i am beginning to wonder if the stereotype of aggressive israelis is a stereotype or a reality. i really hope these are not representative of the majority in Israel, otherwise i just don’t see any chance for peace. What the Israelis should realize is that they need this peace much more than the Arabs for the safety and the future of their children.

October 18th, 2007, 5:06 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Be serious, in 1998 there was almost a war between Syria and Turkey because Syria was supporting the PKK. You think the Turks forgot that?

Israel will not make peace with Syria until the Iranian problem is solved and after it is solved, why make peace with a weak dictator that has nothing to trade and does not represent his people? Bashar has overplayed his hand and he and Syria will pay the price over the next few years. What is sad is that the price Syria will pay will be much higher than the price Bashar will pay. But that is what you get for accepting and supporting a dictatorship.

October 18th, 2007, 5:10 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


The results speak for themselves. Look what Syrians achieved in 60 years and compare to what Israelis achieved. The truth is always painful.

We have heard that pathetic mantra for 60 years. Try something new. If you want to scare us, show us you can develop and become first world countries. Until then, you are just making fools of yourselves.

October 18th, 2007, 5:14 am


Alex said:

ok, AIG,

You are the boss. What do I know about Syria.

Good night.

October 18th, 2007, 5:17 am


Alex said:

For those who decided that the Syrian regime is criminal because it supports Hamas.

Here are the two countries who are helping Hamas get their weapons.

Egypt: IDF troops behind arms smuggling to Gaza
By Shmuel Rosner

WASHINGTON – An Egyptian document distributed in Congress asserts that Israeli soldiers cooperate with smugglers in allowing arms and military equipment into the Gaza Strip. The document was relayed to senior Israeli officials where it has served to intensify concerns in Jerusalem about Egypt’s willingness to stem the flow of weapons from its territory into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Srip.

The Egyptian document was circulated among congressmen by a group of Egyptian generals visiting Washington for meetings. The document was also given to legislators serving in the House Appropriations Committee. Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), who chairs the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee was the driving force behind a freezing of $200 million worth of American aid to Egypt for reasons that included Cairo’s refusal to act more forcefully to prevent smuggling. The official reason given for freezing the funds is Egypt’s human rights record.

During briefings made to congressmen by the Egyptian delegation, it was argued that most of the smugglings into the Gaza Strip are carried out from the sea, not through Egyptian territory. They also maintained that Israeli soldiers collaborate with smugglers and allow them to cross into the strip. The Egyptians are also charging that Israel is exaggerating in its assessment of the amount of smuggling activity.

News of the content of the document has stirred considerable ire in Jerusalem, where the issue of smuggling and the impression that Cairo is not doing enough to stop it has raised significant concerns in recent weeks. The issue is of central importance to Israel and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee visiting Washington this week, discussed the matter with their American hosts.

In the draft of foreign aid appropriations, approved by the House Appropriations Committee chaired by David Obey (D-Wisconsin), and by Congress, $200 million out of a total aid package of $1.7 billion to Egypt are frozen. The draft proposal brought before the Senate does not note the frozen sum. The final version of the appropriations bill on foreign aid will be decided during a conference of both houses. In an effort to affect the result in its favor, Egypt is lobbying hard to convince legislators to adopt the Senate version of the bill.

Officially, Israel has not adopted a position regarding the frozen funds, and has not asked U.S. legislators to carry out any cuts in the aid provided to Egypt. However, Israel continues to argue before Congress that Egypt is not doing enough to block smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

Two weeks ago, several dozen Hamas activists and militants were allowed to cross into the Gaza Strip from Sinai, and senior Israeli officials stressed in talks with their counterparts in the U.S. government that the smuggling is not “a technical problem but a strategic threat.”

Israel maintains that the Hamas militants who crossed into the strip received advanced training in sabotage and terrorist activities in other countries, and are now poised to create in Gaza an armed “terrorist state.” Israeli intelligence assessments say that each month, several tons of explosives are smuggled into the Gaza Strip for the production of rockets and explosive devices.

A source in Congress told Haaretz yesterday that “Israel’s message will carry significant weight in the final decision.”

October 18th, 2007, 5:26 am


Alex said:

And a last one:

The leader of Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood told Alhayat today that they will never accept Israel… Israel will only experience resistance.

He said there is freedom among the brotherhood’s members to discuss everything, but when it comes to deciding things, it is he who decides.

مرشد «الإخوان» لـ «الحياة»: ليس في قاموسنا شيء اسمه إسرائيل
القاهرة الحياة – 18/10/07//

قال المرشد العام لجماعة «الإخوان المسلمين» في مصر مهدي عاكف إن التعبير عن الرأي متاح للجميع داخل الجماعة، لكن القرار يصب في النهاية عند المرشد، مشيرا إلى أن «الإخوان» لا يعترفون ولن يعترفوا و «لا يوجد في قاموسهم شيء يسمى إسرائيل». واضاف: «ما نعترف به هو: عصابات صهيونية احتلت أرضاً عربية وطردت أهلها، وإذا أرادوا أن يعيشوا بيننا فسيكون داخل إطار فلسطين، وإذا أرادوا دولة فليس لدينا إلا المقاومة».

وجاء موقف عاكف رداً على سؤال لـ «الحياة» عن إمكان اعتراف «الإخوان» بإسرائيل، بعدما قال رئيس المكتب السياسي للجماعة الدكتور عصام العريان أن «الإخوان» – في حال وصولهم إلى الحكم – «سيعترفون بإسرائيل ويحترمون المعاهدات، لكن اتفاقية كامب ديفيد ستطرأ عليها تغيرات وفقاً لما يناسبنا، ولا يعني هذا أننا نعلن الحرب ولكن سنقوم بمراجعة الاتفاقات والمعاهدات بما يتواءم مع المصلحة المصرية».

وعن الانتقادات التي وجهت إلى برنامج «الإخوان»، قال عاكف: «إن الإخوان عندما طرحوا البرنامج إنما أرادوا أن يستمعوا إلى وجهات النظر المختلفة، واستمعنا إلى آراء كثيرة، وسنعقد حلقتين نقاشيتين للتباحث في النقاط محل الخلاف ونعرض وجهة نظرنا ونستمع إلى وجهة النظر الأخرى ثم نطرح البرنامج في صورته النهائية». وأكد أن كل الخيارات مفتوحة أمام «الإخوان» ويمكن تعديل النقاط محل الخلاف، مشيراً إلى أن اقتراح تشكيل «هيئة العلماء» (إحدى أكثر النقاط إثارة للجدل) كان «هدفه الإصلاح» وان أعضاءها سيكونون منتخبين.

وفي الإطار ذاته، قال حبيب، صاحب فكرة «هيئة العلماء»، إن الفكرة جاءت في الأساس لإعطاء الأزهر مزيداً من الاستقلال، لكن الصياغة أفقدتها المعنى المراد. وأضاف إن هذه الفكرة «موجودة بالفعل في حياتنا السياسية الآن، فمجلس الشعب (البرلمان) يسأل الأزهر كثيراً في قضايا عدة، ولكن أعضاء مجمع البحوث معينون، وما طرحناه هو جعلهم منتخبين. وهي بذلك نقطة تحسب للإخوان وليس عليهم».

October 18th, 2007, 5:32 am


abraham said:


You are right my brother about us developing and being richer than the Arabs but it infuriates me that they can’t see us living on this little piece of land in peace and happiness.

I have to be honest, yes the Syrian regime oppresses the Syrian people but if there was true democracy in Syria i believe we will have even a more anti-Israel gov’t.

The same in Lebanon, this little terrorist Nasrallah can get a million Lebanese on the street to shout Death to Israel. How can i respect these people.

The fact is the Arab people cannot be lived with or trusted, we must keep them scared for the rest of our existence or they will take us over one day.

October 18th, 2007, 5:34 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


I followed the links from creative Syria and found this on the blog Decentering Damascus:
“I have been living in Syria over a month now ever since I left Lebanon, and no one has mentioned these incidents. Unlike in Lebanon, Syrians know nothing about what’s happening in Syria, if it wasn’t for her blog, or international human rights, or opposition sites, no one would ever know about these violations of human rights. If I mentioned this in front of some friends they will probably not believe me for these things are abnormal to the Syrian consciousness and psyche. The Syrian government is not just detaining these amazing Syrian citizens in prison, but also detaining the “discussion” about them-the right to know, to think, and to wonder!”

Unless you have free press, you cannot know what is happening in Syria. You may think you know, but all you can see is your small environment. You can claim that you are an “expert” all you like but without a free press, you know as much as me. All we can do is read SANA. Big help that is.

What are the Kurds in Syria really thinking? What about the Sunnis? How much is the unemployment really in Syria? How many people are on the government payroll but work with very low productivity? What about the gay community in Syria? How are the relations between the Druze and Alawites?

I can fill one hundred pages with such questions. Until you have a free press, you yourself will not understand Syria. All you will be able to do, is parrot the regime lines.

October 18th, 2007, 5:36 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Two wrongs don’t make a right. The peace with Egypt is a done deal. Sadat asked Hafez to join the peace deal. He would not. Big mistake by Hafez.

Let the Muslim Brotherhood talk as much as they want. You know by now that I am not impressed by what they say. Once they have the responsibility of feeding 70 million (i think) Egyptians, they will talk differently.


Once there is a democracy, the Arabs will talk in a different tune. We should not be scared of democracy in Arab lands. We should welcome it. Wars are not popular with anybody, and any democratic regime that pushes to unessential war, will not stay long in power. Any democratic government that does not produce economic development, will be voted out. That is the beauty of democracy.

October 18th, 2007, 5:46 am


Alex said:


She is right (the girl from Decentering Damascus). She is a friend of mine. I linked her site on Creative Syria because I know she is an honest and smart girl. She is doing her masters on Iraqi Jews by the way. She is taking a very sympathetic position towards them .. and she hates Israel’s criminal actions.

I read all Syrian views and I don’t need SANA to tell me what is going on in Syria … Syrians today have many ways to know the news … LBC (Saudi owned anti Syria Satellite station) is much more popular than SANA… no one reads SANA.

Look at the 30 authors on Creative Syria … more than half are regime critics. Each one had a million stories to tell me …

Did you notice that I also linked Israeli bloggers site?

We read everything … no need for SANA believe me.

October 18th, 2007, 6:08 am


Enlightened said:

Abraham Said;

“The same in Lebanon, this little terrorist Nasrallah can get a million Lebanese on the street to shout Death to Israel. How can i respect these people.

The fact is the Arab people cannot be lived with or trusted, we must keep them scared for the rest of our existence or they will take us over one day.”

With attitudes like these, it is no wonder we have seen sixty years of no piece! Tell us your real thoughts they might be more shocking!

October 18th, 2007, 6:25 am


SimoHurtta said:

AIG do the opinions your brother Abraham writes in these comments not bother you? Why are you not calling him a racist? He certainly would deserve it. However Abraham’s Nazi (national religious) opinions are not a rarity in Israel. On 5 Cheshvan 5768 Canadian (obviously Jewish and Israeli citizen because he uses in his other opinion writings the word WE) Barry Winters writes Let Slip the Dogs of War

Now is the time for an Israeli government to take the offensive against the enemy. It is time for this government to actively encourage and support Jewish settlement everywhere, and take what historically and geopolitically is Israeli land. Use this bloodless weapon, which will drive Arabs out of all that is Israel and needs to be Israel, to make Israel forever strong, secure and viable. Close Israel to the “Palestinians,” isolate them in their already untenable enclaves, and let them continue to tear each other apart. And buy them out. That will make Israel more secure and render her more future tranquility than anything that would or could transpire at the future Annapolis “peace talks.”

It is clear. For Israel to be strong and secure – agriculturally, economically and politically – as a viable Jewish State, Israel must be larger and demographically Jewish. Israel must always be “the Jewish State.” The very existence of Eretz Israel depends on there being no so-called “right of return” for the descendants of Arabs who ran away.

It is past time for Israel to mount an offensive that will end this war the “pan-Arab nation” started on behalf of the “poor Palestinians.” They will destroy each other, sell out or perish.

The Arab world cares not for the “poor Palestinians” and, since 9/11, neither does the civilized world. “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” – and turn loose Israeli settlers and Israeli enterprise.

AIG painting a picture that Syria is dark North Korean or your favourite Burma type dictatorship is simply “unproductive”. Nobody besides Israeli rightist and some Lebanese will believe it. Certainly Syria is no democracy, but no different than Egypt and far more open than Saudi Arabia.

This your, peace will come when they are democratic, is complete bullshit and nobody even in Israel believes that. Palestinians had a democratic election, which even Israel doesn’t deny, but they choose the wrong party. So where is peace with democracy?

Amusing isn’t it AIG? Never pass the opportunity to make a buck
Egypt: IDF soldiers are aiding arms smuggling to Gaza Strip
not even when it is selling arms to Palestinians or Uzis to gemstone child guerillas in Africa and Asia.

Syrian US ambassador at the University of Oklahoma
Syrian envoy decries lack of diplomacy

October 18th, 2007, 7:26 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Boy are you sick. Really, really sick.

Couldn’t let go of an opportunity to take a fabricated report about a few Jews and generalize it to the conclusion that all Jews are immoral money grabbers. You are one vile antisemite. Man, you are the lowest of the low.

The story of Hamas is exactly why democracy is the solution. Let’s say the Muslim Brotherhood gets elected in Egypt and starts a war with Israel. The US and Europe will stop support for Egypt and Egypt will be in in a dire economic situation. Next elections, the Muslim Brotherhood will lose just as Hamas is losing force now because the Palestinians realize that their policy does not make sense. And if the Brotherhood become dictators, well, it is not a democracy then is it?

Without democracy, what is peace worth anyway? It is just forced down the Arab’s throat by dictators. Peace will only be meaningful when Arab’s truly elect their leaders.

One of the following is true:
1) Most Egyptians don’t want peace with Israel
2) Most Egyptians want peace with Israel

If 1 is true then there is no real peace with Egypt and Mubarak does not represent the Egyptians. The peace is a sham, an illusion and is only temporary. I don’t want this kind of peace. This is what turned out to be the case with Hamas and the Palestinians. I don’t want Oslo if the Palestinians don’t want it. You cannot make peace by force. It has to have popular support.

If 2 is true, then the Egyptians will only elect a government that supports peace and Israel has nothing to worry.

October 18th, 2007, 10:42 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Mikko Ellilä the Finn writes among other things:
“Rationalism and individualism, along with the support for private property and free enterprise which inevitably follow from them, are the quintessential hallmark of European thought. This is why the Industrial Revolution came about in Europe, and not in Asia.

Asians are able to live in a European society because they experience no difficulty following its rules. However, Asians do not want to uphold the values of the Enlightenment in their own societies, because they simply fail to see the need to do so.

From the Asian perspective things like freedom of thought, religion,conscience and association, and free elections, appear to be superfluous nonsense. Asians consider the absolute authority of the leader, uncritical support for the official state dogma and persecution of dissidents to be normal, self-evident and indispensable.”

See it all at:

Boy, aren’t Finns a bunch of racist idiots! (right Sim?)

October 18th, 2007, 10:52 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


To understand how antisemitic and sick Syrians are take a look at this:

The Syrians sanctioned a book written by the defense minister no less that argues that Jews in Damascus killed Christian children and used their blood to make Matzoh (the Passover unleavened bread):
In the footnotes to the introduction, Tlass mentions several other cases: “An incident of this type took place in Algeria in the mid-18th century. The Jews abducted a Christian child and drained his blood, but because of the money they paid the Turkish ruler of Algeria, they managed to obscure the matter.” Another example is, “A Christian child named Henri Abd Al-Nur was abducted and his blood was drained. The investigation proved the Jews’ responsibility [for the crime] but they bribed the rulers and obscured the signs of the crime.” To document such cases, Tlass mentions Yusuf Hana Nasrallah’s Treasures of the Talmud, which is actually a translation of the notorious antisemitic professor August Rohling’s 1871 book Der Talmudjude.

Boy Alex, the Syrians are sick. Why would we want peace with such awful people?

Please tell me if Tlass is a vile racist or not? How about Sim?

October 18th, 2007, 11:03 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


What do you think about this? Watch the clip also and enjoy.

Syrian Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Sattar Calls for Jihad and States Jews ‘are the Descendants of Apes and Pigs’

This guy is in the Syrian government. Bashar did not bother to fire him.

Why would we want to make peace with you, if you are a raving antisemite?

October 18th, 2007, 11:13 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


How about your friend Mash’al?
Take a look at:

Why do you support hosting such a racist in Damascus? Is it because all Syrians are racist?

Why would we want to make peace with the Syrians if that is what they think of us? Would that kind of peace have any meaning?

October 18th, 2007, 11:16 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Let me sum it all up for you using your and Sim’s way of reasoning:

High ranking Syrian representatives have stated recently that Jews are apes and pigs and that they kill Christians and drain their blood for ritual purposes. Therefore Syrians are antisemitic, racist, primitive, stupid and barbaric people that no one should even talk to.

I rest my case.

October 18th, 2007, 11:25 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Me eifo ata ba’aretz? Kashe li leha’amin she ata be’emet israeli. Hashtoyot she ata kotev rak mezikot. Ta’ane li be’ivirt bevakasha.

October 18th, 2007, 11:51 am


SimoHurtta said:

AIG indeed Mikko Ellilä is a racist, though a racist mostly against Muslims and Africans.

Ellilä says: “Erityisesti en halua, että ne Suomessa asuvat miljoona ulkomaalaista olisivat afrikkalaisia, arabeja, kurdeja, turkkilaisia ja iranilaisia.”

Especially I do not want that those one million foreigners in Finland would be African, Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Iranians.

The irony is that one of Ellilä’s heroes he quotes in his present blog is Harry Bogomoloff. The speaker of the Helsinki town council and a though anti-immigration right wing republican, is a Jew and his family came from Russia.

If you AIG watch closer Mikko Ellilä, he has considerable equalities and links with Israeli right wingers. In his old blog(which is deactivated because ADVOCACY OF RACIALIST POLICIES) there you can find an interesting letter:

I am writing to you because I received a letter from [a Finnish] municipal police department saying they want to interrogate me because of the anti-Muslim, pro-Israeli, pro-European, pro-American posts in my blog. According to the letter, I am suspected of “hate speech” merely because I have pointed out that Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc.

I hope you will not submit under the yoke of censorship that the Muslims want to impose on us. Do not delete any of my blog posts without an explicit order from an Australian court of law. I am assuming your server is based in Australia and is therefore under Australian jurisdiction.

I live in Espoo, a suburban municipality in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland, and I am certain that the municipal police will never take this case to court in Australia. But they might send you some e-mail “politely” asking you to delete my blog. Don’t do this if you value freedom.

This is a very important symbolic case, the first of its kind in Finland. No one has ever been interrogated before in this country for blog posts criticising Islam. Probably thousands of people will be following this case already before I will visit the police station for the interrogation next Monday, because I have told about the ongoing police investigation to several other bloggers whose pages get thousands of visitors per day.

This is an extremely important case, a litmus test for the freedom of speech, a landmark case, a historical milestone.

The Finnish government is apparently trying to impose Chinese-style totalitarian censorship on the internet.

Mikko Ellilä

As you see AIG the Finnish system works. It is not allowed to make hate-speech, not against Jews or Muslims. With Finnish standards many of those readers commenting in Jerusalem Post and Haaretz would be in court and face severe fines.

Sorry AIG, you picked a wrong candidate to show Finnish racism from your point of view. You picked one of the most determined pro Israelis in Finland. Yes there are a few of them in Finland. The possibility that guys like Ellilä get their opinions published in Finnish newspapers and other media is zero. That is the big difference between our societies.

AIG slow down, you are obviously hyperventilating badly.

October 18th, 2007, 12:17 pm


idaf said:

Here’s the latest Op-Ed from Rami Khouri.. This captures the current view of the young masses in the Arab countries and compliments what Rami Khouri said in the radio interview..

The U.S. has run out of tricks
By Rami G. Khouri
International Herald Tribune
October 18, 2007

What does it mean when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says it is time to establish a Palestinian state within a year, for the sake of Palestinian, Israeli and U.S. national interests, and that, “We are not going to tire until I have given my last ounce of energy and my last moment in office [to working for a two-state solution]”?

There is an unreal yet intriguing quality to America’s newfound enthusiasm for an instant Palestinian state. It is a welcomed goal – if it were sincere.

Rice’s first big problem is that few people in the Middle East believe the United States is sincere because every aspect of Washington’s policy during the past seven years flatly contradicts everything President George W. Bush and Rice have stated in recent months about their commitment to creating a Palestinian state.

They seem not to realize that they are now finally paying the price for years of policies of disdain and neglect of Palestinian and Arab rights in favor of broadly supporting Israeli positions.

The United States haughtily gambled on getting away with pursuing a policy of nice words that gravely contradicts its actual destructive policies on the ground. Consequently, most people in the Middle East no longer believe the United States, respect its policies, or fear its power. Anyone who cares to live in the real world can observe this in the defiant behavior of Iran, Syria, Turkey, Hezbollah, Hamas and many other states and popular mass movements that probably comprise 75 percent of the people of this region.

This is not the first time that American presidents and Israeli prime ministers have tried to salvage their damaged reputations by pulling an Arab-Israeli peace rabbit out of the hat at the last minute. It will not work, just as it did not work in the past.

Negotiated, durable peace accords and Palestinian states cannot be ordered like a late night pizza to meet an urgent physical or emotional craving by disoriented fraternity boys.

If the United States suddenly decides it needs Arab partners to help it get out of its messes throughout the Middle East, it will not get them by a change of rhetoric without a change in policy that sheds its years of contempt and disregard for Palestinian and Arab rights.

Washington would be more convincing if it were to commit to the known elements of a negotiated peace that are firmly grounded in UN resolutions and international law. A consistent American affirmation of the illegal and destructive nature of Israeli colonies, settlements and land expropriations, for example, would be a much more effective way to secure Arab respect and diplomatic cooperation than the Bush-Rice policy of supporting in writing Ariel Sharon’s colonial policies on settlements and refugees, and then standing by Ehud Olmert’s perpetuation of those positions.

The Arab people, and perhaps even a few of their leaders, are totally fed up with being asked to play the role of the rabbit that is pulled out of the hat by American illusionists.

Remarkably, Washington and others still have not grasped perhaps the single most important strategic change that has occurred in the Arab world in the past generation: Many – perhaps most – ordinary Arabs and their political movements have crossed the threshold of fear and passive acquiescence to the power of the United States, Israel and entrenched Arab regimes.

The United States is happy to recognize, laud and ride this phenomenon when, say, Lebanese citizens rally against Syria; but it refuses to see the same defiant, fearless spirit among many more Arabs who rally against the U.S. itself.

Through a combination of strains of resistance – Islamist, nationalist, tribal, sectarian, ethnic, revivalist, democratic and other indigenous movements – most ordinary Arab men and women now behave in a totally different manner than the previous three generations, since the birth of the modern Arab world around 1920: They refuse to bow to foreign ultimatums and threats; refuse to cringe in fear of American, Israeli or British military attacks; refuse to waste time sending petitions to Western leaders asking them to adhere to global rights norms; and they refuse to play smoke-and-mirror deception games designed in Washington and Tel Aviv – or in Tony Blair’s wandering mind.

The Arabs will no longer be treated like rabbits to be pulled out of American hats on demand. Grasping this fact, and designing a peace process that is equitable and anchored in law, rather than illusionary and driven by colonial mind-sets and power imbalances, is the right way to get to both a Palestinian state and Israel’s secure acceptance in the Middle East.

Rami G. Khouri is director of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut and editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star. This article was distributed by Agence Global.

October 18th, 2007, 2:14 pm


why-discuss said:

My God! this blog is becoming a scene for Israelis to vent their frustrations, hatred, racism and furors against the Syrians and the Arabs. If Israel is the paradise they describe that all arab country should envy, I wonder why they are so bitter and enraged…
Maybe they should join and open another blog where they can, without any response, stimulate each other in verbal hysteria.

October 18th, 2007, 2:19 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


You are as dense as could be in addition to being a racist. You understand nothing and will learn nothing if your reaction is what you wrote. Of course the Finnish system works. The Israeli system works also. There are exactly the same laws in Israel and they are enforced to all. For example, Kahana’s party was disqualified from running to the Israeli parlaiment. Try publicly advocating killing Arabs and you will land promptly in jail.

And by the way: Are the rules in Syria working, or do you support Abu-Sattar and Tlass? Do you find what they said and the Syrian reaction to it normal?


Khouri is delusional. Alex, Nour and you have have agreed to another 200 years of Asad rule. What has changed? Nothing. All the Arab dictatorial regimes are doing quite well and Arabs live in fear of them. How can you say he is right when he DIRECTLY contradicts your view?

October 18th, 2007, 2:26 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Can’t stand your own medicine can you?
Do you stand behind what Tlass and Al-Sattar said?

October 18th, 2007, 2:30 pm


why-discuss said:


Question: It is not clear to me whether the supposed unwillingness of Syra’s Arab neighbors to support Syria comes from disagreements with what Syria wants support for, or is it just because it is Syria? Your thoughts?

There are many reasons why arab countries are snubbing Syria, (except for Qatar)
– Bashar has been treating Saudi arabia and other arabs leaders as ‘non-men’ after the July 2006 Lebanon war, for not recognizing the victory over Israel from the resistance movement of Hezbollah.
– Saudi Arabia is suspecting that Syria’s inteligence may be behind the murder of Hariri Sr who is a saudi citizen and very close to the royal family.
– Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt (3 sunni countries) have been very vocal about their fear of the Shias empowered by Iran’s growing influence. The King of Jordan is terrified by the “Shia Crescent”. They look with anxiety at Syria flirting openly with Iran and allowing it to establish itself close to them.
– Syria’s open support for Hezbollah is also a source of concern as it disrupts Saudi Arabia’s plan to increase its influence in Lebanon through its sunni proxies.
– Saudi Arabia’s official foreign policly is highly dependant on the US. Therefore they tend to follow the present trend in isolating Syria.
I believe that after the probable failure of the November conference about Palestinians, we may see a shift in the attitude towards Syria. Syria is the only bridge between Shia Iran and the Sunni Arab countries. If a dialog is to start after the realization that antagonism and the US support lead nowhere, Syria is the key.

October 18th, 2007, 2:43 pm


why-discuss said:


I don’t stand behind any racist, demeaning, or hateful statements coming from either side.

October 18th, 2007, 3:11 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Were the statements by Tlas and Al-Sattar racist, demeaning, or hateful statements? Could I get a direct answer please?

October 18th, 2007, 3:30 pm


why-discuss said:


If they are true, they are not only racist, demeaning and hateful, but also stupid, because they don’t reflect at all Syrian’s traditionally very liberal attitude towards all religions.

Excesses of languages that attack people on their ethnic origin or their religion are not acceptable. Yet, if these particularities are used as pretexts for aggression and political gains, it is not surprising that they will provoke excesses of languages. I would like to remind you what your colleague Abrahnam has written:
but now i am sure no peace can come with the Arab filth, they need to be stepped on like roaches and that is what we will do.

Between a roach and a pig what do we prefer to be treated of? 🙂

October 18th, 2007, 3:53 pm


Akbar Palace said:

abraham said:

The fact is the Arab people cannot be lived with or trusted, we must keep them scared for the rest of our existence or they will take us over one day.


The fact really is the Arab people have made 2 lasting peace treaties with the State of Israel. And the Israelis are not “scaring” Eygpt or Jordan or any other Arab or Muslim country that is not at war with Israel.

Salaam, Habibi

October 18th, 2007, 4:24 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

Abbas refuses to go to Annapolis!

“It is a waste of time because and serves no one’s interests. We are not willing to to attend, the cost is too high…The Israelis are not serious.”

October 18th, 2007, 5:04 pm


Nour said:


Why does Israel allow a shrine to be built for Baruch Goldstein? While Israel pretends to be anti-racist in theory, it is vehemently racist in practice. The referral of your friend Abraham to Arabs as “roaches” is nothing new to the vocabulary of Israel, as your own prime minister referred to them as such.

Sure, we have many individuals who will make racist, stupid comments, but we do not practice racism toward anyone. The Syrian state treats everyone equally and does discriminate between one ethnic group and another. Israel denies the indigenous people of Palestine the right to live on their own land, while it opens the door for Jews from all corners of the world to come and settle on Palestinian land. How is that not a racist policy? How is that not criminal? Unfortunately, while you sit here and judge us for allegedly blindly supporting our government, it is you who blindly supports your regime, regardless of the actions it takes and the crimes it commits. Not once have you criticized Israel of any wrongdoing and not once have you admitted to crimes and unjustices that Israel has committed. So spare us your patronizing tone.

Finally, no one here is criticizing Israel for the sake of it, or due to our inability to build and develop our country as you have demeaningly asserted. You have no idea what goes on in Syria and what we’re doing there, so don’t bring us your conclusions and analyses, which you pull right out of your ignorance. Most of our criticisms directed at Israel are directly in response to your insulting and demeaning tone and your claim of moral superiority. We are responding to you and not just whining out of the blue.

October 18th, 2007, 5:11 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Abraham is an anonymous poster. He may not even be Israeli.

Tlas was how many years defense minister? The guy believes that we kill Christians and use their blood. Why would such a person want to live in peace with us? If it is true we are truly monsters.

And what about what the Syrian deputy minister said? He called us pigs and apes. He is a Syrian official. Does this all make sense to you? After we hear him, why should we want to have peace with Syria?

October 18th, 2007, 5:12 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Which Israeli prime minister called Arabs roaches? Care to give a reference?

As for Baruch Goldstein, he is a despicable person. Can you say the same about Tlas or Hafez? He has a grave and not a shrine. And yes, extremist go to his grave site. There are extremists in Israel, who has ever denied that?

Everyone is treated equally in Syria? I read what true Syrians post and people are living in fear of crticizing the regime. I don’t know what is happening in Syria and neither do you because there is no free press. Why? Because there is a lot to hide. There is no other reason. So if you want to sound credible, at least call for freedom of press in Syria.

Judaism is also a nation and not just a religion. Just as there are laws on who can enter any country and for example only someone born to two Japanese parents can be a Japanese, Israel has citizenship laws. Israel is a Jewish state just like Hungary is a state for Hungarians, and the laws of citizenship are not racist but inline with the laws that are common all over the world.

Most Syrians don’t care about Israel. They just want a better life. You and other regime lackeys are trying to excuse the dismal situation in Syria by pointing a finger at Israel. Nobody is buying this act anymore. Israel is far from perfect but this has NOTHING to do with the dismal situation in Syria caused by a tyranical regime that has been oppressing the Syrians.

And the most depressing thing is that people like you and Alex have accepted this regime as the only unchangable thing. Everybody else must change, but not Bashar and his regime. Why? No good answers are forthcoming. Just denial and finger pointing.

Don’t you want to live in a democracy? Don’t you want your children to live in one? Why are you accepting another 200 years of Asad like rule?

October 18th, 2007, 5:29 pm


Nour said:


Again, you duck the main issues and go straight at attacking us personally for allegedly being regime “lackeys” without knowing anything about us, or deliberately ignoring it.

Jews are like Hungarians? Hungarians didn’t move from all four corners of the world to a land that was inhabited by others in order to set up their own state there, and expel the indigenous people. Jews are not a nation; they are a group with strong religious bonds. They cannot be a nation, as they are scattered all over the world with no country of origin. Palestine has always been inhabited by its indigenous people since the dawn of history. What gives you the right to create a state there exclusively for your particularistic group? What about those people who have forever lived on that land? Why are they denied the right to live on their homeland?

As for the prime minister’s quote, here’s an excerpt of the article from the New York Times on April 1, 1988: “As Israel prepared to lift a three-day blockade of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir warned today that rioters would be crushed “like grasshoppers.””

October 18th, 2007, 6:01 pm


Alex said:


There are many racists in the Middle East. Tlass said many stupid things. I even remember he wrote something in his most recent book about Syrian Christians which was … not flattering at all. I will try to find it.

Remember what he said about Arafat in the 90’s? .. he called him “the son of 60 whores”.

Why did Syria keep him as defense minister all that time? For different reasons.

Why do I not speak against racists in Syria?

1) Because I do not “speak against”. I prefer to listen and try to understand.

2) Because most Syrians are not racists. Most have very negative opinions regarding Israel, but they protected Syrian Jews and their properties and they welcome Jewish tourists more than they welcome an Arab tourist. Josh Freed of the Montreal Gazette went to Syria with his family … when he came back he wrote “I wish Syria becomes one of the greatest nations. Because the Syrian people deserve it.”. He told everyone he met in Syria that he was Jewish and he got nothing but dinner invitations at home and gifts to his baby daughter (or son, I can’t remember).

Maybe this article can explain to you what Syria is

Syria is not perfect (with tlass and others like him) but is is still THE place to escape the racism of the Middle East…

There is no “regime supporter” and “The poor Syrian people” who are supposedly two mutually exclusive groups … the 18 million Syrians are all over the place when it comes to their opinions of their regime, and their opinions of Bashar Assad… some hate them, some love them, the majority are in-between … if you do not have the open mind to understand, please don’t try. It is not simple.

No one here accepts the regime rule for the next 200 years … we know that democracy is a long road … the destination is so far that very few nations on earth reached it or near it… but we hope and expect to move forward along that direction.

And please spare us your Memri links to racist Arabs. If you want me to do the same thing you are doing, I have much more racist comments by many more senior Israeli leaders. I don’t think you can find many racist comments by Hafez and Bashar (there is one borderline racist)

Here is the nice collection from Israel’s top political and national leaders:

“We must expel Arabs and take their places.” — David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”– Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

“How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.”– Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.

“This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy.”– Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971

“We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!”– Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

“[Israel will] create in the course of the next 10 or 20 years conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the Gaza Strip and the west Bank to Jordan. To achieve this we have to come to agreement with King Hussein and not with Yasser Arafat.”– Yitzhak Rabin (a “Prince of Peace” by Clinton’s standards), explaining his method of ethnically cleansing the occupied land without stirring a world outcry. (Quoted in David Shipler in the New York Times, 04/04/1983 citing Meir Cohen’s remarks to the Knesset’s foreign affairs and defense committee on March 16.)

“[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.”– Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the ‘Beasts,”‘ New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

“The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.”– Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine.

“The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the Sea to the River Jordan for future generations, for the mass aliya (=Jewish immigration), and for the Jewish people, all of whom will be gathered into this country.”– Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir declares at a Tel Aviv memorial service for former Likud leaders, November 1990. Jerusalem Domestic Radio Service.

“The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It’s that simple.”– Yitzhak Shamir, Maariv, 02/21/1997.

”(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.”– Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

“Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.”– Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

“The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”…. — Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

“If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force….”– Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.

“It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”– Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

“Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”– Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.”– Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online.

Let us count how many Israeli top leaders were in this list. Now go out and find me Hafez and Bashar’s racist quotes to continue playing this game.

Or, better, find something more constructive to say.

October 18th, 2007, 6:02 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


You are missing the pont. I was just responding to what Sim was doing which you condone. Do any of these quotes say anything about the Israeli or Syrian people? No. The moment you generalize from them as Sim does, you become a racist. His argument basically is that if some Jews did something bad then all Jews do that bad thing. A very racist argument.

I am willing to listen. Please answer the following questions:
1) What is the difference between Bashar and the regime? Isn’t he the leader and has the last say? Isn’t he responsible for what is happening in Syria?

2) Why are all the solution you are contemplating involve leaving the Syrian regime as fixed and changing Israel, the US and the Syrian people? What is so holy about the regime that it can’t change?

3) How is Israel or the Palestinian issue an excuse for Syria not to democratize?

4) Many countries are on the road to democracy. Why is Syria one of the ten most oppressive regimes in the world? I mean, it is one of the farthest in the world in democratization and freedom.

5) You want peace but tell me that most Syrians hate Israel. So why have this artificial peace? A non-war state is good enough.

6) Why don’t you think it is in the interest of the Syrian people to live in a democracy, and if you think it is, why isn’t this an important part of your strategy?

October 18th, 2007, 6:56 pm


abraham said:

To everybody,

AIG is his own person with his own opinions and i am an individual with my own opinions, he doesn’t have to defend me or make excuses for me.

That is the beauty of Israel which you Arabs will never understand, we have democracy, we have different opinions, we have left wing parties and right wing parties while you Arabs in Syria have to follow one party and cannot have a diversity of views.


You want to criticize our hero Baruch Goldstein while you glorify those who kill Israeli civilians like Hamas and Hizballah, this is war, people will die, Hebron is our city and the Arabs are occupying it, Baruch Goldstein did the right thing but because of this political correctness environment we cannot speak the truth.

I will not risk my security and hide my opinion in the name of political correctness and so the Arabs don’t judge us, i don’t care what these grasshoppers think, i care about Israel only, the Arabs have already judged us. We must defend ourselves and not worry about bad press.

We will not allow ourselves to be forced to give up an inch of our territory to the Arabs. They should all be transfered to Syria, their motherland as you call it where they belong.

October 18th, 2007, 7:39 pm


Bashmann said:


Take my advise and give it up. You will never succeed into convincing the likes of Alex and Dr. Landis for this matter, (after I heard his NPR interview I’m convinced he is an avid regime apologist) that the heart of the matter is the dictatorship being practiced by the President of Syria. What really saddens me is that people of such intelligence and high academic credentials can so blatantly ignore the fact how Bashar ascended to his inherited Presidency in a country that is supposed to be a republic.

You might want to ask them how they define republicanism in their dictionary, as I’m certain they have another definition that would fit their agenda.

As for this present discussion, I do believe, racism exists in both cultures Arabs and Jews. However, my personal belief is that the foundation for this is simply rooted in their respective religions. As both societies mature, secularize, and eventually come to terms how to live with each others in a peaceful manner, I’m certain most of these taboos will eventually be exposed and uprooted from both cultures. The important thing here is to find the common ground, which in my view is vast yet being eclipsed by extremist elements on both fronts.

I believe the reason for Israel current limited success in setting up a democratic government is simply ‘cause the Jewish people have gone through a secularization process through centuries of oppression and dehumanization, while on the other hand the proud and victorious Arab Islamic nations after tasting the humiliation of defeat on the hands of the Berbers, the Mongols, and finally the Ottoman Turks, have opted for revisionist ideologies to define their national identities which were mainly driven from the pride of them(Arabs) being the founders of Islam.

This certainly does not mean that Israel style of government is the perfect and only democracy in the Middle-East. Certain elements of the identity of the Jewish state and who can immigrate to it speak volumes about the racist issue being discussed here and are being worked out today in your Knesset as we speak.

I agree with you in the need for democratization in Syria, and unlike my friend Alex and Dr. Landis, I believe NOW more than ever, as it is the only way to solidify pluralism and start the foundation for true peace between Israel and Syria, however, I strongly disagree with you on democratization as the main condition for peace and the return of the Golan.


October 18th, 2007, 8:19 pm


why-discuss said:


Why are so you concerned about the welfare of Syrians and that Syria should be a democracy a la Israel?. Are you trying to lure Syria to follows the “efficient” Israeli governements that, since the creation of the state, have allowed its citizens to live in fear with a dark future of recurrent wars and violence. I find your interest in Syrian’s fate very puzzling. Are you by any chance envying them for not having to run in the shelters every now and then, and not having traumatized children and youth destined to indefinite wars. But you obviously are stuck with the uncompromising obsession that you own this land because of your religion and this encompasses all notion of justice, morality, and peace among human beings.
I just don’t envy you.. This is a recipee for frustrations and bitterness and I can read that in your comments.

October 18th, 2007, 8:20 pm


ANOTHER A. said:

Personally, I think you are wasting your time replying to AnotherIsraeliGuy. He is just a troll, of fixed prejudices, setting out to cause trouble. You would do better to just ignore him.

October 18th, 2007, 8:32 pm


Jamal said:

Alex, I love it when you are in top gear and flying fast. Great stuff!

The words of the Israeli leaders are mild on paper compared with the the sneers and swaggers when delivered, which can be seen in countless documentaries.

It’s unpleasantly fascinating to look closely at the life histories and characters of Sharon and Dayan and other Israeli “heros”. Cruel, morally vacant and frighteningly contemptuous (and peasant-ignorant) of law, their own army’s rules, history, civilised norms and humanity in general. Both would have earned criminal records if they lived anywhere else. Killers and thieves whose behaviour was okayed by most Israelis because they were useful in “nation building”.

Israel deserves to fail as a nation on character grounds.

Unlike Syria.

October 18th, 2007, 8:50 pm


Jamal said:

Apologies AIG. I am not putting you in the same box as those guys, but what they did forms the foundation stones and ongoing fuel and impetus for Israel today.

Friend in America – Thanks for your cool commonsense (above). I have been thinking about what you said a lot since I read it.

October 18th, 2007, 9:20 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

What you say makes sense to me in general.
As for Israel, is it a perfect democracy? No. Is it a working democracy? Yes. And that is good enough for me.

Our main disagreement would be regarding the Golan. What benefit would you see of Israel returning it to Bashar, thus making him stronger and delaying democracy in Syria? If Israel makes peace with Bashar, this will buy him international legitimacy and keep him in power forever and a day.

October 18th, 2007, 9:29 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Context is important. When you have Haj Amin el Husseini drinking tea with Hitler, you appreciate having someone like Ben-Gurion on your side. When Nasser says he is going to throw the Jews in the sea repeatedley, you need people like Sharon and Dayan to stand up to him. You cannot judge one side alone. You have to look at the action-reaction sequence and form a more nuanced view. You also cannot forget the role the British and French played in screwing up the middle east.

There are no saints in the Arab-Israeli conflict. There are no Israeli saints and no Arab saints. But take Ben-Gurion, he could have set up a communist type regime but chose to found a democratic state. He had more character and integrity than any Arab leader. And his choice made all the difference in my opinion. Israel could not survive except as a democracy.

October 18th, 2007, 9:48 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


I explained to you once but you don’t seem to understand: I own my land because I have an ownership certificate from the country of Israel which is part of the UN and recognized by 150 countries or so.

Don’t you wonder why the residents of Ghajar want to become Israelis? To me this is the ultimate proof which country takes better care of its citizens. Rhetoric is fine, but when Alawites prefer to be Israeli rather than Syrian, the truth is layed bare for all to see.

Look, if you think democracy is not important fine. Let Syria stay a dictatorship. I find it strange because all humans I believe want to live in freedom. I’m just trying to figure out if you guys are thinking rationally. What is your plan? What do you want to achieve? Does it make sense? Once people understand each other they can communicate better.

As things stand I am truely and seriously confused.

Let me write what I hear you say:

1) You want democracy.
2) You don’t want to change the Assad regime or don’t expect it to change in the next 50 years.
3) You don’t want anybody from the outside to change the regime.

Do you realize that the 3 statements are contradictory? I am keeping an open mind but how can one believe at the same time something and its negation? Can you help me here?

October 18th, 2007, 10:04 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

wil3aan ya Alex, wil3aan.

October 18th, 2007, 11:08 pm


why-discuss said:


You, Israelis, have been imported from countries of which some of them were european democracies or emerging democracies. You are jewish but your roots are Germany, Holland, France, Poland, Russia etc..
You have started a country from scratch in 1948, like Canada or Australia and you have carried with you values that are jewish but that are also europeans. The arab countries and Iran are not new countries. They have thousands year of civilization on the same land. They have a long modern history in the area, they have been colonized by Europeans, treated like nothing, their ressources abused. If you have been abused and murdered by the Europeans, the middle east has too. The difference is that the europeans feel guilty about their crimes towards you, but they continue to exploit shamelessly the middle east and the fractures they have done by splitting the countries to their own interests.
Therefore arab countries must recover form the legacy of colonialism before finding their own identity and a form of democracy that fit their religious and traditionnal values. So, trying to impose a western democracy from outside like what was attempted in Iraq will sooner or later create a backlash. Iran is looking for its own form of democracy, with ups and down but ultimately it may find the right balance. The impatience of the western countries (and Israel who, not long ago, supported appartheid south africa, and the tyrannic regime of the shah of Iran) is cynical because they supported and they still support dictatorships and they want to impose democracy on the dictators who do not serve them…
So, don’t believe, like inept Bush, that democracy can just appear like the sun after a storm. It need years and years of ups and down for many arab countries to find their own democracy.

October 18th, 2007, 11:44 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


When you say “recover from colonialism” do you mean the formation of a pan arab state? If not, what do you mean?

How many years do you envision the process taking and can you afford to wait so long? The lack of democracy also hinders economic development and will cause a wider gap between the Arabs and the rest of the world? An elongated process leads to millions of Arabs not developing to their potential

Countries tend to their own interests and do not always act morally. But I don’t see how this is important. The question I want to understand is what you view as good for YOU. If the US is against Asad, does this making him automatically good for Syria? If the US is pro-Mubarak does this make him good for Egypt? No.

Forget the US or Israel and their interests. What do you want? Why do you view Asad as a good compromise for the next 30 years?

October 19th, 2007, 12:01 am


Bashmann said:


There are two camps of thoughts being discussed here that can answer your question regarding the return of the Golan.

The first, where Alex and company seem to peddle here on Syria Comment, the official blog of the Syrian Regime Apologists:-), is lets have Israel return the Golan to Bashar first and then Democracy movements would eventually prosper from within and the regime would lose the excuses of security and stability for its outragous human rights abuses and would have to answer to the Syrian peoples demands to lift the emergency laws and allow for multiple political parties, free elections, and reforms to go through.

The second, would be don’t reward the regime by giving the Golan back ’till true signs of political freedom and reforms have been taken, end to its support of terrorism, and release of ALL political prisoners and an end to its interfernce in neighboring countries.

I can understand the logic of the first option only if we were dealing with REASONABLE and OPEN MINDED person, however, judging from the past 40 years of the Assad’s rule, I doubt very much that it would loosen its grip on power and allow true democracy and institutions to be built in Syria anyone here who is telling you this is the case would be deluding himself.

I perfer the second option, which put me in the same camp of your argument. But, were we disagree is how we approach the issue.

Its one thing to demand democracy of your enemy on a negotiating table for a piece of land as it makes you the aggresive party where concensus and good-faith measures with your enemies should be your priorities. Its another thing to push the demand ever so gently to the end of the list and tie it with time-table of the withdrawl and a verifying mechanism or process for political reforms on the other side. This in fact will win you lots of respect and admiration from the Syrian people who you seem to care so much about their freedom. So in a way, I see Israel playing a positive role in bringing reforms and political freedom inside Syria. Yet, I’m afraid the conservative hawks in your government are still having the bigger influnce on the Israeli decision making when it comes to peace with Syria and the return of the Golan.


October 19th, 2007, 12:06 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


I see what you mean. Yes, the process you suggest, while making a lot of sense, is too subtle and would give the upper hand to the hawks in the internal Israeli debate. Perhaps if it starts with a dramatic move such as evicting Hamas there is a chance, but I’m not sure.

I don’t think also that Bashar would buy into it. Why would he agree to bring an end to his own regime? What would make him want to agree to such a deal?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I always envision Asad, the regime and the Alawites as riding a tiger. The moment they get off, they get eaten (by the sunnis and others). Their only option is to keep riding.

October 19th, 2007, 12:25 am


Alex said:

Thank you Jamal,

eeh … I plagiarized : )

I copied and pasted those quotes. They are available many places online.



“Democracy” means different things to different people.

1) Some will be satisfied if Bashar can do a better job in fighting corruption. They are satisfied with bashar’s achievements (or efforts) in general but they can not accept his excuses for not doing much about corruption.

2) Others want your “Democracy” … freedom of speech, freedom to demonstrate, to star a newspaper … to play the game of politics and to try to help their country.

3) Some want power … democracy or not. They want to get rid of the regime and take its place. These are often the loudest ones who pretend they are democracy fighters.

4) Some want revenge from the regime because of Hama, and/or because they know someone who was thrown in jail for political reasons .. these are also very active in opposition”

5) Others want economic achievements … they don’t care about politics. If the regime can do well in creating a better environment for investors, then they will be satisfied with the regime.

6) some want a regime that will protect Syria from outside threats, and keep Syria safe and immune from political and religious violence. Most Syrians, especially after Iraq and Lebanon and Palestine, are convinced that this is not something they can take for granted.

7) Some Syrians have a vision for the neighborhood …. some care about the whole Arab world, others are interested in “Greater Syria” … some care about any Islamic country (including Iran and Turkey)…

8) Some religious minorities (30% of Syrians) are worried about losing their religious and cultural freedoms in Syria if “democracy” brings fundamentalists into power … like Hamas, Ahmadinejad, Egypts popular Muslim Brotherhood …

As I said before … you will not have one answer from all of us, and definitely not from all Syrian people (if you could ask them).

So, we will not sit and watch the regime enjoy power for the next 50 years. Each one of us has priorities. The regime can for 2008 enjoy wide support, as long as the idiots, the crooks, and the killers in the Middle East are working hard against the regime. It makes the regime’s case much more convincing.

Give us a Rabin in Israel, a James Baker in the White house, Prince Faisal in Saudi Arabia and a Salim Hoss in Lebanon … you will see a more demanding group of Syrians who do not accept the regime’s excuses for not reforming Syria’s economy and political system.

But with Jumblatt and Geagea in Lebanon, Prince Bandar in Saudi Arabia, all the neocons in DC … all working together against he Syrian regime (and against Syria really) … Bashar is sounding much more convincing.

I know you believe it is not relevant, but it is relevant big time the past few years … if Mr. Cheney was not busy full time rearranging the Middle East then you could have been right. But this is not the case.

Did you hear about Pakistan today? … you know, the Syrian regime was not behind that one … the Middle East is genuinely in a bad shape. You know that Pakistan has the bomb, right?

So please be patient with your Democracy cause for now… not for 50 years.


The regime will not be able to not move faster on reforms after peace … after Europe send back the economic advisers, after the Hariri investigation is not a daily issue in Washington and Paris and Beirut … after Saudi Arabia invests in Syria like it is investing in Egypt and Jordan …

We will not have sudden democracy after we get the Goan back … we will have faster reforms, taht’s all.

I’m OK with that … let it take years as long as there is movement in the right direction and with reasonable speed … when the wind direction is helping us, I would expect faster movement.

October 19th, 2007, 12:26 am


t_desco said:

Nibras Kazimi, Talisman Gate:

Narrative of a Conspiracy, Part 2

Today’s excerpts come from the October 10th and the and the October 15th issues of Al-Akhbar.



Q: Tell us in detail all your observations and recollections since the first moment you received instructions to meet Ahmed Abu Ades until the last moment you saw Ahmed Abu Ades?

A: I hadn’t heard any information about Ahmed Abu Ades’ arrival to Syria until Tuesday, the date of which I don’t remember, actually I think it was 18/1/2005 and specifically in the evening, until Khalid al-Taha arrived in Damascus, to Merjeh Square, and I had received a phone call from Jamil on my mobile number that I don’t remember, whereby Jamil told me that Khalid al-Taha is due to arrive and he will discuss a certain topic with me which [Jamil] did not mention on the phone, which is what we do usually when calling each other. And verily, Khalid al-Taha got to Merjeh Square and I was waiting for him near the Victoria Cinema and the flyover.
Khalid arrived alone, and he greeted me, and told me that Jamil says that we are to receive a person coming from Lebanon the next day, and who I would have to administer to the security seminar that I give to the guys. We agreed to meet at noon on Wednesday, the next day, in Merjeh Square near the Khayyam Hotel. Then Khalid al-Taha left and I returned to my apartment in Damascus, in the Mezzeh neighborhood.
The next day, at [2:30 PM], I took a ‘service’ to [somewhere] near the Khayyam Hotel. I met Khalid there and he was wearing black jeans and a bright blue shirt. Me and Khalid conducted a surveillance check as we usually do when meeting in public streets, that is when meeting members of our group. At [3 PM], a Syrian taxi, it was yellow I think, and a compact make, stopped before it reached us, and two persons got out who approached us. I understood that the other person is the smuggler who transported Ahmed Abu Ades, and Khalid introduced me to the newcomer without giving his name, and that this is the person we are supposed to meet, and then the smuggler left us on foot. I should add that the smuggler did not get any money from us and neither I nor Khalid knew him and it is possible that Ahmed Abu Ades was the one who pointed us out to the smuggler because [Abu Ades] already knows Khalid al-Taha; Khalid told me that he was the one who had vouched for this person, that is Ahmed Abu Ades; the three of us took a Syrian Iranian-made Sapa taxi.
Me and Ahmed Abu Ades sat in the back, while Khalid sat in the front seat next to the driver, and we took this taxi without previously knowing the driver; we were in the car for about 15 minutes for the trip from Khayyam Hotel to the Rukn al-Din neighborhood. Khalid paid the taxi fare which was 35 Syrian Lira, and he was the one who gave the driver directions to the guest house. It was a white building, with an elevator, and the apartment was on the second floor, and it was the first time that I had been taken to this guest house. We got to the door of the guest house, that had a wooden door white in color, Khalid rang the bell, and the door was opened to us by he who is known as Shakir, and I knew Shakir from before since he was the one who rented apartments for us and managed the guest houses.
We entered the apartment which consists of three rooms and a salon, and it has floor coverings and mattresses (approximately six) and two brown-colored plastic chairs. We sat in one of the rooms furthermost from the door of the apartment, and we sat on the mattresses all four of us. I introduced myself to him with the name Tariq and told him that I will be the one administering the security seminar; later on Shakir went downstairs and bought some [rotisserie] chicken and we had dinner the four of us around 7 in the evening.
I left the guest house and went to my apartment in Mezzeh. Shakir also left to get breakfast supplies for the next morning, and came back and slept in the apartment. I was to return in the morning to commence giving the seminar to Ahmed Abu Ades who I had not known his name or alias to that point.


Q: We ask you to give us your testimony in the fullest and truest details, since we have managed through our searches and investigations over a period of months to prepare a study encompassing photographs of individuals, and correlating phone calls with geographical movements, and conclusions from previous investigations, in addition to detaining persons currently in our custody, which we shall show you; and we ask you to answer all these questions?

A: After Ahmed Abu Ades arrived to the guest house in the Rukn al-Din neighborhood, as I told you in my statement, and after we had had dinner in the apartment, me and Ahmed Abu Ades and Khalid al-Taha and Shakir, I left to sleep in my apartment and I returned in the morning at around 7, where I found Shakir and Ahmed Abu Ades and Khalid al-Taha. I began to give Ahmed Abu Ades the lessons of the security seminar, and this lasted until the afternoon. As such the first day of the seminar was over. We had food and we sat to chat.
Meanwhile Khalid had left to Homs to meet Jamil. This situation lasted for three days, and I had moved to live in the guest house, that is I began to sleep there with Shakir and Ahmed Abu Ades.
The seminar ended after four days when Khalid al-Taha returned from Homs, and he had black clothing with him and the cloth banner with the writing on it that appeared later behind Ahmed Abu Ades in the video film, when he declared the Hariri assassination and took credit for it. He also brought with him a Sony video camera, and Khalid al-Taha sat alone with Ahmed Abu Ades, and I think he was preparing him psychologically for the filming, and teaching him what to say. The Khalid al-Taha sat with us and told us that an order for an assassination had been issued, and that we must film that.
We began to prepare a room to film the tape. We picked an appropriate room, and it was the room where I gave the lessons, then we ate and talked between the four of us, and then we went to sleep.
On the next day, that is 24/1/2005, we woke up late. We ate, then we entered me and Khalid and Shakir to the lessons room, while Ahmed Abu Ades entered a different room, and I think he was writing parts of the statement. We had moved a wooden table to the lessons room, and had it covered with black sheets, and we put it on the wall using small black nails from the top left and right hand sides, and we put a plastic chair (brown color) behind the table, thus the room was ready for filming. We locked the door of the room after we left it, and we entered a different room. Meanwhile Khalid al-Taha received the clothes and the white turban and the paper that contain parts of the speech, which he had gotten from Jamil.
Later Ahmed Abu Ades wore the black clothes and the turban, and we entered the room where he sat behind the table and we performed a test run and filmed it. The filming wasn’t good the first time around, then we tried again for a second time on the next day. During the filming, Ahmed Abu Ades coughed, so we decided not to use this film. We stopped filming for that day, and the four of us stayed in the guest house, we didn’t leave it and no one visited us. Khalid was instructing Ahmed Abu Ades about the filming. On the third morning, we began to film, and Shakir was holding the camera, and me and Khalid were standing next to him, me on the right and Khalid on the left.
Talisman Gate

October 19th, 2007, 12:45 am


t_desco said:

US to build “strategic partnership” with Lebanese army, says Pentagon official

A senior Pentagon official said Thursday the U.S. military would like to see a “strategic partnership” with Lebanon’s army to strengthen the country’s forces so that Hezbollah would have no excuse to bear arms.

The comments by Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, in an interview aired on Lebanese television two days after his visit, followed a published report in Beirut that Washington is proposing a treaty with Lebanon to make it a strategic partner to counter increased Russian influence in neighboring Syria.

The report, published by the opposition-leaning newspaper As-Safir, was at the time vigorously denied by the government and ridiculed by the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon.

“This is totally untrue, said Ahmed Fatfat, a leading member of the government team who holds the youth and sports portfolio, adding that Lebanon neither sought nor had the Americans asked for such a treaty.

Edelman’s remarks, however, shed a new light on the emerging relationship between the Lebanese and U.S. militaries two months after the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam group was crushed in a 3-month long battle.


October 19th, 2007, 12:53 am


t_desco said:

UN envoy: Shaba Farms area may belong to Lebanon

The United Nations is becoming increasingly convinced that the Shaba Farms area belongs to Lebanon, according to UN envoy Geir Pedersen.

During a meeting recently with Amos Gilad, the head of the Political-Military Bureau at the Defense Ministry, Pedersen said that “the UN believes that there is merit in the Lebanese claims of sovereignty over Shaba Farms.”

The Norwegian diplomat stressed it would be beneficial if Israel initiated negotiations over this issue.

Nonetheless, in Israel officials are confident that Pedersen’s upcoming report to the Security Council will not require Israel to carry out significant steps in the matter.

“From our point of view this issue is off the agenda for good,” senior political sources said. “There is no point in talking about this any more. We have no room to show flexibility on this matter because that only strengthen’s Hezbollah and does not serve [Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad] Siniora.”

October 19th, 2007, 1:56 am


Akbar Palace said:

Bashmann –

Good post above. To make a long story short (and yes, I rarely have the patience to post more than kilobyte levels), there will never be any reform in Syria. Period. Bashar is young healthy and well-protected. He’ll be sitting on the lonely Syrian throne until Israel reaches her 90th birthday.

Reform, peace and prosperity is the Assad death wish. You can forget it.

For Alex:

October 19th, 2007, 2:10 am


SyriaComment - Syrian politics, history, and religion » Archives » Turkey and Lebanon said:

[…] Gareth Jenkins has a good analysis on the DEEPENING RAPPROCHEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND SYRIA October 17th, 2007, 7:56 pm […]

October 19th, 2007, 2:39 am


norman said:

A P ,
Most of the notes about antisemitism are from Turkey, Iran , Egypt ,KSA and Jordon , there was only one note from Syria in 2006 and about 3 from 2003 and 1 from 2002, So all of all Syria is your most understanding country, take that that deeds are more important than words but unfortunately you seem to think that you have peace with Egypt and Jordon , In fact you have one friend in Egypt ( Mubarak) and one in Jordon ( King Abdalla).

October 19th, 2007, 2:41 am


Enlightened said:

Story from Haaretz:

Titled “Bitter Olive Harvest- Justice falls short in the West Bank”

October 19th, 2007, 2:56 am


why-discuss said:

you say “recover from colonialism” do you mean the formation of a pan arab state? If not, what do you mean?

After the fall of the ottoman empire, arab countries were divided and became colonies or protectorate of France, Great Britain and Italy. They were abused by this powers and they need time to reconstitute an identity, especially that the idea of a pan arab state is repulsive to the western powers who prefer to deal with divided countries than with block in order to get the best deals for access to its ressources. Therefore as they are promoting ‘democracy’ they are realizing it may backfire and they may loose their grip on the ressources. They also recently saw that a democratic election does not necessary bring allies: Hamas, Algeria moslem brothers etc.. So now they are in dissaray with these contradictory aims: promote democratie, yes , but only if it brings governenmnt who are ready to submit to the westwen power desiderata..

No wonder moslem countries labelled ‘rogue’ by the west reject that double standard.
Israel happens to be caught in the middle of that painful quest and its ‘western’ color and aggressive behavior does not contribute to help the situation, but in the contrary it is making it even more radical and violent. Israel represent for many arabs the continuation of the colonization of the region by Western powers… For Israel, it would be like having german or polish militarily powerful colonies as direct neighbors.

October 19th, 2007, 4:31 am


Alex said:

For Akbar Palace

I don’t know how else I can illustrate it to you.

Maybe I’ll use pictures.

Look at the cover of Ronald Florence’s Blood Libel book. It is a book that tries to prove that Jews did NOT sacrifice father Thomas and his assistant who disappeared after visiting the Damascus Jewish quarter in 1840.

So, this is an anti-anti-semitics’ book.

Do you know who donated (for free) the cover image of that book? it is a rare and valuable image of Via Recta in Damascus.

You want a hint?

Or you can read the reviews on the top right of this page, and wait until you read the author’s name.

October 19th, 2007, 5:10 am


Akbar Palace said:

Alex, Norman,

I’m here to counter the myths and excuses posted on this website. Like you, I am also here to listen and read what the other side has to say about the current Arab-Israeli conflict. Then, I can then better formulate my own opinions.

Anti-semitism is a sickness that has infected the Arab/Muslim media, Arab/Muslim educational institutions and the highest levels of Arab/Muslim government. This is no accident. As Arab and Muslim governments have for decades, allowed this occur, terrorist organizations continue get a steady stream of recruits so these “martyrs” can do their dirty work.

When these Arab or Muslim countries show a willingness to prevent this phenomenon from permeating into their state-run media and educational institutions, then, I believe, this will signal an opportunity for peace.

For example, “incitement” in the PA media was part of the Oslo peace process. This part of the peace process was never complied with. A good example that Arafat was never truly interested in peace.

I have no reason to believe that the people in one country are more inherently racist than another, but with government sponsored hate, government sponsored incitement, and government sponsored demonization, it certainly doesn’t help the casue of peace. It only promotes violence and war.

October 19th, 2007, 10:48 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


I was asking a simple question. I am not sure what you are saying. Is a pan arab state a pre-condition for democracy in your mind?

October 19th, 2007, 2:27 pm


why-discuss said:

Is a pan arab state a pre-condition for democracy in your mind?

Not necessarily. The arab and moslem countries need to invent or find and adapt models of democracy suitable to their values and traditions. I do not know of any arab country that has a model worth imitating! But Turkey and Iran offer some hope as they have elections, parlement, institutions, check and balance processes and they seem to develop forward despite some mistakes and excesses.

October 19th, 2007, 9:04 pm


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