Syria Squashes Coup Attempt, Die Welt claims

SYRIA SQUASHES COUP ATTEMPT, GERMAN NEWSPAPER SAYS

2008-06-06 12:28 (New York)

Berlin (dpa) – A coup plot against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was quietly crushed without the world noticing, the German newspaper Die Welt was set to report Saturday, quoting German and “foreign''

intelligence sources.

It said Syria's military intelligence chief, Assef Shaukat, had plotted to seize power while Assad was hosting an Arab League meeting in Damascus in February. Shaukat, who is an in-law to the president, and 100 intelligence officers had been arrested.

Die Welt said Assad had been tipped off by Imad Mughniyah, a senior member of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization in Lebanon.

Mughniyah was killed a few days later in a bomb blast on February 12 in Damascus.

The sources said it was possible that associates of Shaukat had assassinated him in revenge. Releasing the story Friday in advance of going to print, Die Welt said some of the plotters were allegedly linked to violent Islamist groups.

Die Welt said the Syrian embassy in Berlin had rejected the coup story as utterly untrue. Without naming a source, the newspaper said German diplomats were aware of the coup story but had not been able to confirm it as fact. dpa jbp sc

-0- Jun/06/2008 16:28 GMT

Landis Comment:

It is hard to know what to make of these rumors that have been circulating for months. Copied below are two March reports by "Stratfor," a Texas based private "intelligence" firm, run by Dr. George Friedman. Both are related to the Die Welt claims. The one common thread is that Asef Shawkat is no longer the head of Military Intelligence in Syria.

I have been reluctant to copy these stories in the past because they seem like such speculation, based on unconfirmed reports. For two years we have been hearing stories that the Asad family is at daggers drawn and ready to kill one another. Never were they true in the past. Invariably they were spread by disreputable sources. Die Welt is not disreputable. We have not seen any sign of Asef Shawkat in months. Also, several people I trust tell me that Asef is no longer the head of Military Intelligence – at least that part of the story seems true.

Here are the earlier pieces from Stratfor:

Syria: Lead Mughniyah Investigator Replaced
March 25, 2008 | 1524 GMT

Syrian President Bashar al Assad has named his cousin Rami Makhluf to replace Gen. Asef Shawkat as the chief investigator in the assassination of Hezbollah operative Imad Mughniyah, over the protests of Hezbollah, a Stratfor source in Syria reported March 25. Hezbollah reportedly has accused Shawkat of having a key role in Mughniyah’s assassination and has demanded to interrogate him as a primary suspect. Syrian investigations have already revealed involvement in the assassination by a Syrian army officer who collected detailed intelligence about Mughniyah’s movements in Syria and in the Bekaa Valley, the source said.

New Sratfor Article: Mar 11 2008

Syria:Trouble in Damascus (lots of rumors by the way)

Syria’s ruling al Assad family is experiencing an internal struggle, as the Feb. 12 assassination of top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah in Damascus revealed. Syrian allies Iran and Hezbollah seem to have growing suspicions that certain elements of the Syrian regime might have been involved in Mughniyah’s death, and Syrian President Bashar al Assad appears to be building a case against his brother-in-law, the director-general of Syrian intelligence.
Analysis

The Feb. 12 assassination of Hezbollah top commander Imad Mughniyah in Damascus has exposed what appears to be a massive power struggle afflicting Syria’s ruling al Assad family. Since the assassination, Stratfor has received reports from a variety of sources that indicate the death of Hezbollah’s most seasoned operative might not have been a surprise to certain elements of the Syrian regime. These suspicions appear to be shared by Syria’s allies Hezbollah and Iran.

As Stratfor has discussed previously, even if the Israeli Mossad orchestrated the operation to take out Mughniyah, it likely had an inside source — perhaps in Syria’s security apparatus — that facilitated the operation.

And Hezbollah does not appear to be taking any chances. A reliable source revealed to Stratfor that, in the past week, Hezbollah forces apprehended a group of Syrian concierges working in Beirut’s southern suburbs. The concierges were blindfolded, interrogated and released the following morning after they and their families were threatened and told to keep quiet about the incident. Hezbollah was supposedly seeking to find out if the concierges knew any details about Mughniyah’s travel to Damascus the night of Feb. 10 — two days before his assassination. According to the source, Hezbollah is highly suspicious that elements of Syrian intelligence either assisted in or acquiesced to Mughniyah’s liquidation.

The extent of Syrian intelligence’s involvement in the Mughniyah assassination could even reach up to the highest echelons of the al Assad family, with Syrian Director-General of Intelligence Asef Shawkat at the center of the conspiracy. The stability of the Syrian regime rests upon a delicate balance of close-knit clan relations within the al Assad family, the Alawite religious minority and the underlying rule of the Baath party. Any blows to this power structure could spell doom for the government, making it all the more critical for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to adroitly navigate the Byzantine maze of Syrian family politics.

Shawkat became a part of the al Assad clan through a marriage to Bashar’s sister, Bushra al Assad. Though Bushra and Shawkat faced heavy resistance from the al Assad family when the two eloped, they have since amassed a great deal of power and influence in the al Assad regime, making them a force to be reckoned with in any major family dispute. In addition to being a prime suspect in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, Shawkat could have had something to do with the Mughniyah assassination, several signs indicate. Shawkat apparently felt threatened by Mughniyah’s influence within the Syrian security apparatus and came to blows with his long-time foe Maher al Assad, the president’s brother and head of the Republican Guard, over the issue.

There is an unverified rumor circulating that, prior to his assassination, Mughniyah had informed the Syrian president of meetings held between Shawkat and a CIA officer in a European city, where the two supposedly discussed a strategy for Shawkat to seize control of the regime. Al Assad then apparently confronted Bushra about Mughniyah’s allegations, which then prompted Shawkat to organize an operation to take out the Hezbollah commander. Another source claims that Bushra has now moved with her children to Paris and is seeking to relocate to the United Arab Emirates for a long sojourn — a possible indication that the major female power broker of the al Assad clan has lost her bid to spare her husband’s political and intelligence career within the ranks of the Syrian ruling elite.

Though the details of these rumors cannot be verified, there appears to be a case building against Shawkat behind the palace walls in Damascus. Stratfor has already learned of rumors of an impending military reshuffle that could very well remove Shawkat and wash the regime’s hands of the al-Hariri assassination. But Shawkat is unlikely to go quietly into the night, and any attempt to remove him from the Syrian political scene could further complicate the regime’s already intensely bitter power struggle. Similar rifts emerged in the wake of the al-Hariri assassination when former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam and former Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan schemed to topple the regime. The Syrian president managed to wade his way through that crisis rather adeptly, but this current power struggle reaches deep into the al Assad clan. And with Israel signaling that it is readying itself for another showdown with Hezbollah, the clock is ticking for al Assad to get his house in order.

Comments (28)


1. Akbar Palace said:

You mean an Arab may have killed another Arab and not Israel?

This may cause outrage in the Arab world, heavy condemnation at the UN, and “anger” at the Hezbollah politburo …

(sarcasm intended)

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June 6th, 2008, 8:02 pm

 

2. Qifa Nabki said:

Upbeat in Syria

Jun 6th 2008
From the Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire
Why President Bashar Assad is feeling cock-a-hoop

Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, is reaping substantial benefits, both economic and political, from the Lebanese political deal agreed in Doha last month, for which he has modestly claimed much of the credit. The ruler of Qatar visited him in Damascus to thank him for his role in the Doha agreement, and Mr Assad followed this up with visits to the UAE and Kuwait, from which he obtained generous promises of aid, including 500,000 tonnes of wheat to be purchased on Syria’s behalf by Abu Dhabi. The rehabilitation of his political reputation—which had been tarnished by association with brutal events in Lebanon and repression at home—is set to be completed by an appearance at the Mediterranean summit to be hosted by France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy on July 13th.

Assad to the rescue

What has Mr Assad done to deserve this unaccustomed adulation? By his own account, he has done no more than to remain consistent, waiting patiently for others to see sense. At a forum in Dubai Mr Assad said that when the Doha talks seemed to be on the brink of collapse, the ruler of Qatar called on Syria to provide some suggestions. “The ideas we provided were the exact same ideas we provided the French last year when they were mediating”, Mr Assad said, according to a transcript provided on the Syria Comment blog. “However, the French then did not comprehend or did not implement the ideas correctly.” He attributed this failing on the part of the French government to the mistaken assumption that Syria could speak and act on behalf of its allies in Lebanon, whereas in fact Syria was merely interested in furnishing practical solutions.

Mr Sarkozy had declared at the end of December that he would have no further dealing with the Syrian government until he was convinced that Mr Assad was prepared to allow Lebanon to have a consensus president. Following the election of Michel Suleiman as president of Lebanon, Mr Sarkozy has been true to his word, and has been in contact with Mr Assad once more, calling him on the telephone and dispatching two of his senior advisers to Damascus, presumably with an invitation to the Paris summit.

Sarkozy’s prize

If Syria is to be reclassified as a force for stability in the Middle East, France clearly wants to derive some credit. The benefits for Mr Sarkozy include both securing a potentially valuable new recruit to his Mediterranean union project and the prospect of major commercial deals—a French consultant is working on engineering designs for the Damascus metro, a project that would appear to be tailor-made for French contractors, and the Toulouse-based Airbus Industrie could be in line for a contract to re-equip Syria’s national airline, whose fleet is now down to just six serviceable aircraft, according to the transport minister, Yarob Badr.

Economic considerations are likely to have played an important part in Syria’s recent push for international respectability—which has included embarking on peace talks with Israel and inviting the International Atomic Energy Agency (somewhat belatedly) to visit Syria and examine US claims that the building bombed by Israel last September was intended to house a covert nuclear reactor. The Syrian economy performed relatively well in 2005 and 2006 thanks to the beneficial effects of the Gulf boom, good harvests and capital inflows from Iraqi refugees. However, the picture does not look so bright now following two poor harvests, further depletion in oil production and a drop-off in Iraqi funds, as refugees have by now largely used up their savings.

Syria already spends considerably more on petroleum imports and on royalties to foreign operators than it earns from crude oil exports, and it is now on the point of becoming a net oil importer in volume terms as well. As oil prices surged over US$100/barrel, the government has finally summoned up the resolve to reduce diesel subsidies, which had become a ruinously heavy burden on the state’s finances. This was a long overdue and necessary step, but it will only add to the inflationary pressures that Syria is experiencing.

Syria’s nascent economic reform programme needs to be buttressed by a significant increase in foreign direct investment and development aid. The EU and Gulf aid agencies and corporations are providing a degree of assistance, but they have been constrained by Syria’s poor political relations with key Arab states and Western powers. Mr Assad now seems to be intent on creating the right political environment for a resurgence of external economic support for Syria.

Pitfalls

However, Mr Assad’s progress is subject to a number of risks. His current success will be perceived by some as an unearned reward for political blackmail. He will need to go much further if he is to stand a chance of fully capitalising on his achievements to date and securing more solid benefits such as ratification of Syria’s EU Association Agreement, a lifting of US sanctions and reconciliation with Saudi Arabia. Mr Assad has been somewhat evasive on the question of whether he is prepared to establish normal diplomatic relations with Lebanon, although he did helpfully point out in remarks to journalists in Kuwait that Syria recognised Lebanon’s sovereignty in 1976. He said that setting up embassies in Beirut and Damascus was conditional on a national unity government being established in Lebanon, to the satisfaction of all parties, and on there being good relations between the two governments. Establishing normal relations with Lebanon would necessarily entail resolving a number of sensitive issues to do with border security, including supply lines to Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shia movement that continues to insist on its right to maintain an autonomous military force backed by Iran. Another looming challenge for Mr Assad is the tribunal on the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon’s former prime minister, and a stream of subsequent political murders in Lebanon. If Syrian officials figure on the charge sheet when the tribunal’s prosecutor presents his case, Mr Assad would risk jeopardising his hard-won political gains if he were to stand by his threat to refuse to allow his citizens to appear before the court.

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June 6th, 2008, 8:12 pm

 

3. Qifa Nabki said:

U.S.: We will address Iran nuke threat diplomatically
By Reuters
Tags: Shaul Mofaz

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday that the United States was committed to solving the Iranian nuclear threat through diplomatic multilateral means.

Perino was responding to comments made earlier Friday by Transportation Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who said that an Israeli attack on Iran appeared “unavoidable” given the apparent failure of sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential.

“I understand that Israel is very concerned about their future and their safety when they have a neighbor in their region – Iran – that says they want to wipe them off the map,” Perino told reporters. “We are trying to solve this diplomatically,” she explained.

keep reading

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June 6th, 2008, 8:27 pm

 

4. Innocent_Criminal said:

this is very strange and shocking if true.

The Stratfor source didnt do its homework. It starts off with “Syrian President Bashar al Assad has named his cousin Rami Makhluf to replace Gen. Asef….”

well obviously they didnt mean the businessman Rami Makhluf but probably his brother Hafez Makhluf who’s an officer in the presidential guards.

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June 6th, 2008, 8:31 pm

 

5. Qifa Nabki said:

(One thing that should be mentioned: both Die Welt and Le Figaro are very conservative papers. Die Welt is owned by Axel Springer, a strong supporter of Israel, and Le Figaro is run by Serge Dassault, a conservative businessman/politician who is also a major military supplier.)

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June 6th, 2008, 8:48 pm

 

6. norman said:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-israel-iran,0,18765.story

chicagotribune.com
Israeli minister: Israel prepared to attack Iran
By AMY TEIBEL

Associated Press Writer

3:35 PM CDT, June 6, 2008

JERUSALEM

Israel will attack Iran if it doesn’t abandon its nuclear program, a Cabinet minister hoping to replace embattled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted Friday as saying.

Shaul Mofaz, a former chief of staff and defense minister, also said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel’s destruction, “will disappear before Israel does,” the Yediot Ahronot daily reported.

Mofaz’s spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment on the remarks, which were more explicit than what Olmert has said.

Olmert has gone no further than hinting Israel was prepared to use force against Iranian nuclear facilities, saying this week that “the Iranian threat must be stopped by all means.”

According to the newspaper report, Mofaz — who is now transportation minister — has concluded international sanctions haven’t curbed Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

“If Iran continues its nuclear arms program — we will attack it,” he was quoted as saying. “The sanctions aren’t effective. There will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program.”

There is a precedent for Israeli military action: In 1981, Israeli planes destroyed an unfinished Iraqi reactor.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and designed to produce energy.

In Washington this week, Iran dominated Olmert’s meetings with President Bush, the prime minister told reporters.

Bush sought to reassure Israelis who are worried about the U.S. commitment to keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, saying, “It’s very important for the world to take the Iranian threat quite seriously, which the United States does.”

Mofaz’s bellicose comments on Iran coincide with the launching of his campaign to replace Olmert as head of the Kadima Party if a corruption probe pushes Olmert out of office.

A recent poll of Kadima members showed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni easily besting Mofaz in a party leadership race.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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June 6th, 2008, 9:39 pm

 

7. majedkhaldoun said:

The story that Asef attempted a coup during the summit is absolutely false, if he truely did, them he would be dead immidiately, not kept in his house under house arrest, the exchange of Zuhair Al Siddiq, with Mughnieh, was arranged by Asef, and to prevent Israel from taking advantage of the syrian regime,Asef was placed under house arrest, so they claim that the regime was not aware of Asef deal with Israel.

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June 6th, 2008, 10:41 pm

 

8. EHSANI2 said:

Dr. Landis is right not to speculate too much. People claim that Asef has not been seen since stories of his removal from the post started to circulate. Until he appears in a TV footing proving otherwise, the story seems to have legs.

Anything beyond this however is pure speculation. It is next to impossible to know anything with certainty beyond that. This is one of the tightest and most opaque group of people one can find. Doing things in utmost Secrecy is their hallmark.

Since the Syrian Embassy in Berlin was contacted for comment, one would think that Damascus will need to offer some resolution to the question of the man’s whereabouts. Then again, they are more likely to go on with business as usual.

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June 6th, 2008, 10:56 pm

 

9. ausamaa said:

“Syria Squashes Coup Attempt”, Die Welt claims

A Coup no less???!!

Well, unless the story is reported and incorporated and endorsed by the Al Jarallah, in the Kuwaiti Al Siyassah newspaper,and by the Debka site then I will not beleive it.

BTW, the Army Divisions are where REAL power rests in Syria, not in the various Intelligence agencies.

So, you go figure!!!

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June 7th, 2008, 12:02 am

 

10. Ghassan Karam said:

I find out , for the first time that the explanation for the elimination of Moughanieh makes sense.
But what is even equally important is to find out whether Assif Shawkat is under arrest or whether he has been conveniently liquidated since his name has often been directly related to the Hariri International Tribunal. Did Bashar decide to wipe the slate clean and cooperate in a diabolical way with the tribunal by in essence eliminating one of its major suspects. The plot thickens.

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June 7th, 2008, 1:15 am

 

11. Observer said:

This is hogwash. The whole group is extremely tight and they have as well alienated others within the ruling community and made the power circle smaller. They will not go about feeding on each other at this crucial moment. Keep ¥our eyes on the Iran issue and the SOFA agreement in Iraq. This is where the action is, not Damascus and certainly not Beirut nor Paris.

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June 7th, 2008, 2:07 am

 

12. Enlightened said:

Speculation, Speculation and MORE Speculation.

The last “Serious” Coup attempt by Riffat Assad was visible. This one, if it happened was maybe the invisible one, that was alluded to by some as having “Saudi backing”.

I hate to say this but I have to concur with Ausamma on this one, the Real power in Syria rests with the Generals and their Divisions, not the Intelligence Services, it is them and their men and Equipment that will have to be deployed on the ground, if ever any successfull coup attempt gets off the ground. And that will be damn hard if not outright impossible to achieve.

The Defence Brigades of Riffat were disbanded and dispersed after his attempted coup, if any threat were to eventuate it will need the acquiescence of The Republican Guard, They are better equipped and trained than the regular divisions of the Army. But they are led by the Presidents brother, and he is very loyal. I cant see him or his men rebelling.

We can speculate, but outside of a concerted people push the regime will not be dislodged by the army or its security services. And as Ausamma and Alex tell us The President is very popular, and this is not going to happen.

Out of curiosity I want to issue a challenge to everyone!

We had the Velvet Revolution ( Czech), the Orange revolution
( Ukraine), The Cedar Revolution ( Lebanon also dubbed the Hummous revolution by the Cynics ) If there was a people revolution in Syria what would you name it?

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June 7th, 2008, 2:10 am

 

13. trustquest said:

The Jasmine Revolution equally ” Flafel Revolution”
Damascus been waiting for long, ask Nizar Kabani and ghada Samman,
http://www.dctcrs.org/s2844.htm

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June 7th, 2008, 2:26 am

 

14. Enlightened said:

Trust Quest:

“Jasmine Revolution” has a nice ring to it. I should have stated my preference.

The first ever Syrian show I watched as a young man was “Souk el Harrir” or as the subtitles told me at the Time “The Silk Market” it was set in the 50’s , 60’s.

That would be my favourite ” The Silk Revolution”, now with all its connotations that should get tongues wagging on “Syria Comment”, what say you QN ? Can you see the irony?

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June 7th, 2008, 3:33 am

 

15. Qifa Nabki said:

: ) Good one, Enlightened.

I am partial to foodie revolutions (hummus, etc.)

How about Inqilab al-Maqlubi? 😉

Or the Cherry Revolution? Kafta Revolution?

(Better yet, one of my favorites, the old Aleppan standby: Kafta bi’l-Karaz.)

On the subject of revolutions, a disgruntled Lebanese guy had the following, rather amusing, thing to say about the Cedar Revolution:

Geagea: For the first time, the effect of the Cedar Revolution will be visible in the coming government.

Yes. The effect(s) will be visible:

Warlords as MPs and ministers.

The same names behind the same civil war, leading to the same intervention and same old shit.

The same Lebanese people voting for the same sons of bitches who did the same thing they did back before 1975.

The same lunatic generals returning from exile to request the same ministries they fucked up ages ago.

The same prime minister returns to make the same mistakes over and over again.

The same army sends its head to take the same seat his predecessors sat it and do the same shit again.

The same murderer returns from jail to head the same party.

The same warmonger and thug-sponsor remains as Speaker.

The same children and wives of martyrs get seats in parliament and possibly ministries.

The fucking truth remains unknown; the same investigation used as a fucking political tool to achieve the same fucking results year after year.

Dear Mr./Dr. Geageageageageagea,

The Cedar Revolution is really nothing more than that. A revolution.

Revolution:

1. a turning round or rotating, as on an axis.
2. a moving in a circular or curving course, as about a central point.
3. a single cycle in such a course.

The Cedar Revolution is all about Lebanon doing a full 360° rotation around the same fucking axis, ending up exactly where it fucking began!!

So fuck you and fuck your revolution.

Sorry for the profanity… Pretty funny though.

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June 7th, 2008, 3:50 am

 

16. Enlightened said:

QN:

A rather dull day at work, good one! I did laugh hard, I remember reading it but cant remember where.

Profanity aside, and humour aside , the guy hit it in a nutshell. You just have to wonder how much longer the Lebanese populace will stand for this shit!

Oh i Just remembered it was Shunkleash on Abu Kais blog, the dude is seriously funny, he should have his own TV show, he provided some very funny comments over the last two years.

I think there is a very strong undercurrent that feels the way he does, unfortunately these are fleeing the country in a huge way. I remember my father always wanted to go back and see out his retirement days in Lebanon, every time he went back he found the people had degenerated even more than his previous visits, and the political situation was always the same, same characters, same empty words, and his comments were always came back to this ” Its not the Lebanon I knew or grew up in”.

One pertinent comment I read last week sums up the exasperation, some love Lebanon too much, some love it little, some have no love for it at all. But it is a love that it is slowly killing it.

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June 7th, 2008, 4:04 am

 

17. why-discuss said:

Strange that no one recognizes that Bashar has opened to door to hundred of thousands of iraqi refugees, exposing his country to terrorists threats and financial pressure to accomodate the refugees medical and schooling requirements. In the meantime Europe and the US and their arab ally Saudi Arabia were just looking the other side instead of contributing actively to solve the problem they have contributed to create. Bashar should be rewarded for that humanistic gesture that has saved so many iraqi lives, and it good he received an award in the Gulf.
His position about exchange of ambassadors is logical. How long was Qatar without a Saudi Arabia ambassador? Having an ambassador from a country that insults you and threatens you is not acceptable. When the Lebanese medias and ‘officials’ will stop insulting Syria and calling for a regime change (in fact they have slowed down their attacks now that France and Israel are flirting with Syria), then it would be possible to exchange ambassadors.

Could the story of Assef Shawkat be the first act of indicting him for Hariri’s murder? He may be one of the responsibles but he does appear to be be the ideal culprit to present to the tribunal.

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June 7th, 2008, 4:26 am

 

18. Alex said:

Enlightened, Qifa, Trustquest,

They all sound good. But to make them “Syrian” we need to delete one letter.

Silk evolution
Jasmin evolution
Karaz evolution

That way, our Syrian movement will be much more .. silky, sweet, or jasmin-like, no?

7-14 years : )

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June 7th, 2008, 4:27 am

 

19. Enlightened said:

Alex:

Ya Habib, you are such a party pooper!

Why Discuss:

The Iraqi refugee issue is a stain on the Arab consciousness. It is appalling that no Arab country has “offered” to help, with the petro Dollar intake most budgets would be flush with cash.

If “Tiny Israel” can mobilise its resources to help in world wide disasters like the Asian Tsunami, and the Major earthquakes of past years, The Arab effort to help the Iraqi refugees, or even to send “Humanitarian Supplies” to Gaza is unconscionable.

I was surprised that the Iraqi refugee issue was not brought up at the las Arab summitt.

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June 7th, 2008, 4:36 am

 

20. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

The Arab world does not do well with refugees in general, whether they come from Iraq, Darfur or Palestine.

What will the democratic revolution in Syria be called? It will be called the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. Why? Because Bashar is not smart enough to initate the revolution himself.

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June 7th, 2008, 4:51 am

 

21. Majhool said:

AIG,

“Because Bashar is not smart enough to initate the revolution himself”

Let’s hope Bashar does it. He would be my hero and I would want to see him continue as president.

I had these hopes in 2000 and I am no longer hoping.

I am daydreaming again

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June 7th, 2008, 8:24 am

 

22. ausamaa said:

And the new slogans will be:

صباح الورد يا معلم صباح الفل يا معلم

أو

يا زهرة في خيالي رعيتها في الليالي

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June 7th, 2008, 9:32 am

 

23. ausamaa said:

Sarkozy in Lebanon: Role Searching by a Con Artist

What was Sarkozy doing in Labanon, trying to claim that the Illigitamate child is his after all? Swindle a couple of hundred thousand Euros from Mini Harriri? Get a pass to Saudi or to some uncertain destination?

Or trying to act smart and put the new Administration in DC on notice that Farnce can be independent from Bush pressures. Especially when Bush is busy packing his bags to leave the white house.

France; that is where some Lebanese politicians must have learned Political Opportunisem 101. And then tried to re-write the text book on their own, but failed miserably, as usually happens with them!!!!

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June 7th, 2008, 12:14 pm

 

24. Joshua said:

Jasmine Revolution was coined by Syria Comment in May 2005, read:

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The Jasmine Revolution?

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June 7th, 2008, 3:35 pm

 

25. Joshua said:

Although I am partical to Maqloubi or even the eggplant revolution.

How about the Maqdous Rev.? Spicier and who can resist the standbys of Middle Eastern cuisine: olive oil and walnuts?

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June 7th, 2008, 3:38 pm

 

26. ugarit said:

How about Shankleesh Revolution? 😉

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June 7th, 2008, 4:10 pm

 

27. ugarit said:

AIG: “The Arab world does not do well with refugees in general, whether they come from Iraq, Darfur or Palestine.”

Yeah I think Israel should help out by letting the Palestinian refugees go back to their homeland.

BTW, there are Palestinian refugee camps that Israel controls and occupies. When will those Palestinians be granted Israeli citizenship?

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June 7th, 2008, 4:14 pm

 

28. Akbar Palace said:

Ugarit said:

BTW, there are Palestinian refugee camps that Israel controls and occupies. When will those Palestinians be granted Israeli citizenship?

Ugarit,

Can you list all of them for us? We all may not be aware of this. I’m not.

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June 8th, 2008, 12:50 am

 

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