Syrian Israeli Peace Process

Posted by Qifa Nabki

There is a new topic over at Creative Forum, and many of Syria Comment's regulars have weighed in. The theme of discussion is:

The Syrian-Israeli Peace Process 

Question: "Syria and Israel have embarked upon peace negotiations. How optimistic or pessimistic are you about their chances of success? If you had to lay out the terms for an acceptable deal, taking into consideration expectations and worries of Syria's allies, as well as other regional powers, what shape would it take?"

There are many noteworthy contributions; here is just a little sampling:

Alon Liel: "In 2000, it was still possible to trade the Golan for a peace agreement with Syria without discussing the overall regional situation; today, eight years later, that simple bilateral equation seems totally inadequate. Since then, Syria has allied itself with Iran, and with other reactionary terrorist forces of the Islamic world. Detaching it from the extremist embrace will be difficult—difficult, but not impossible…"

Ayman Hakki: "Syrians and Israelis love to talk politics, and that’s why this peace initiative is being discussed, but at heart they are mercantile people who share a y-chromosome that resonates to the music of cha ching."

AnotherIsraeliGuy: "As for Syria, it is unlikely that it is interested in peace with Israel. It is much more interested in a peace process only and with peace (or at least a cease fire) with the US. As the self proclaimed leader of the Arab resistance, Asad has much to lose from a peace deal with Israel."

Abufares: "My first concern is the consequences of a Syrian Israeli peace treaty on the Palestinians. They must not pay for our peace in any shape or form. Then I certainly would not accept a humiliating peace, not for myself nor for my enemy. “Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar!” The Golan Heights must be returned to Syria."

Offended: "If I am to conjure up a physical metaphor to the conflict between Syria and Israel; I can only think of it as a devastating oil spill that is spread miles and miles across an exquisite seaside. It’s disastrous by all means. But while the proprietor of the oil carrier and the GreenPeace activists are stomping the snots out of each other, the spill grows bigger and bigger. And this is indeed what we’ve got in our hands at the moment: a terrible mess that requires nothing less than the efforts of all those involved to contain it."

Shai: "On Wednesday, May 21st, 2008, the ground shook in the Middle East. Two separate and significant conflicts suddenly and simultaneously headed in the right direction – that of peace. The warring Lebanese factions meeting in Doha at last reached an agreement, after 18 months of great tension, and Israel and Syria announced the restart of formal peace talks, after 8 years of near-silence… Is there room, therefore, for optimism? Certainly there is."

Nour Chammas: "The Syrian position has been clear and consistent throughout; namely that they have adopted peace as a strategic choice and that the Golan will be returned to Syria one way or another. Syria has consistently maintained an open door for any potential negotiations over a just peaceful settlement with respect to the return of its occupied land and the preservation of its national rights."

Be sure to read the rest of the articles, leave comments, and don't forget to vote!

Comments (129)

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51. Shai said:


This Tom-Clancey-type vision, of ambiguous nuclear bombs going off in a soccer stadium in Ashkelon, leaving our smartest intelligence officers (and those of all the rest of our international allies) baffled, is really not serious recipe for future planning. We cannot, because we fear this scenario, assume that it will happen as such. But let’s even, for the sake of argument, assume it did. First, 100,000 people wouldn’t die. Maybe 10,000 would, if the bomb was placed at just the right location, at just the right time of day. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ensuing fires caused most of the fatalities, not the actual bomb. Both cities were built mostly of wooden structures, and the fire simply consumed much of it almost immediately. Most buildings in Israel are built out of concrete, and are therefore going to slow the effects of the bomb, not expand them. Plus, with the exception of downtown Tel-Aviv, at a very particular time of day, on a particular day of the week, there is hardly any place in Israel that has such a great concentration of people within a radius of 1-1.5 kilometers. There is a reason why Ephraim Halevy, ex-head of Mossad, also claims that an Iranian nuclear bomb cannot destroy Israel, and it is not based on wishful thinking. In fact, Ahmadinejad’s OWN engineers and physicists have very likely told him this as well.

If anyone in Iran takes a chance, and gives an order (or does the Tom Clancey thing), he is risking not only his own life and that of his family, but indeed many more people and the future of his own nation. If Iran could miraculously deliver 5 or 10 nuclear bombs to the center of Israel at the perfect time of day, I imagine Israel would retaliate with quite a few more (at least, according to Jimmy Carter as of recent), and send Iran back a few decades in time. No one in Iran is foolish enough to do this, not “even” Ahmadinejad of Khamenei. Their first goal, after all, is to survive and spread their beliefs. Killing 10,000 Israelis, or even 100,000, would not destroy Israel, but would risk producing a very different Israel afterwards.

It is not inevitable that Israel will attack Iran, especially if a solution is found, or if Dubya does it (kind of a Hail Mary… at the end of the 4th quarter). But if Israel should be foolish enough to attack Iran, we will not only bring about a new regional war (with thousands of missiles landing in every major city in Israel, launched from 3 different directions), but will indeed almost guarantee that a future Iranian retribution will be in the making. No Israeli will need to speculate on this, as you and I are about a nuclear device being planted in Ashkelon. The chances will be increased tenfold.

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May 30th, 2008, 8:04 pm


52. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

First of all, why do you assume that an Iranian bomb would not be much larger than the one used in Nagasaki or Hiroshima? It could easily be 100 times potent and the same size with today’s technology.

Second, it is easy to call every scenario that you think will not happen a Tom Clancey scenario. But that is begging the question. The question is, how likely are the Iranians to use a terrorist organization to blow an atom bomb in Israel? I am not saying it is likely that this will happen. I am saying that even if there is 1% chance this will happen, Israel has to attack Iran. What is your assessment of how likely this is to happen? Zero chance?

Third, even if the bomb does not destroy Israel but “only” kills 10,000 people should it not be preempted?

Fourth, why do you not believe crazy people when they tell you their intentions? Are you not just repeating the mistake of many Jews and others in the world that just would not believe what Hitler was clearly telling them? Iran is speaking clearly. I am listening and using common sense to understand them. Are you?

Fifth, your excuse that atacking will ensure future retribution was also used in the Iraqi case and proved to be wrong. Fragile societies like Iran tend to break under pressure.

Sixth, there will not be thousands of missiles fired at Israel because Hizballah and Syria will not join the war and because Iran does not have thousands of missiles that can hit Israel. And if thousands of missiles will be fired, Israel will quickly rebuild but Syria and Lebanon will be in ashes for a long time. It is a risk we have to take. If we have learned anything from history it is not to ignore crazies that have at their disposal the resources of a country. Who said building a Jewish state is going to be easy?

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May 30th, 2008, 8:23 pm


53. Shai said:


I’m not ignoring Ahmadinejad, and neither is Ephraim Halevy. There are rational reasons to believe that Iran cannot produce a nuclear device 100 times, or 10 times more potent than the atomic bomb used in Hiroshima. Nor can they produce a Hydrogen bomb, for that matter. But I am not suggesting that a nuclear bomb scenario is an impossibility. I’m merely calling it “unlikely”. This is NOT the same case as with Hitler. Jews, including about 90-95% of my own family in Poland, stayed at home instead of running off to Russia (as my grandmother did, which is why I’m now typing this to you), because they thought the rumors about Hitler were exaggerated. But they knew, that if true, there was nothing they could do about it, except for run. They chose wrongly, and they’re no more. That’s not the case with Israel, no matter how much brainwashing we’d like to conduct on Israeli minds. Indeed, waiting for such eventuality to occur might cause the deaths of a few tens of thousands, and that’s a terrible thing. But when I consider what kind of world and region I’m going to be living in (and forming) after I attack tens of installations in Iran, and bring about a regional war, I think at least twice. There is not a doubt in my mind that an attack on Iran will prompt HA and Hamas, at least, to react severely. After all, what the hell is Iran supplying HA thousands (if not tens of thousands) of rockets for? Just to get the Shebaa Farms back… 🙂 No, it’s to resist Israel when necessary.

You may be right, Syria may indeed not enter such a war, though if Israel attacked Iran now, Syria will undoubtedly pull out from talks, and not re-enter perhaps for decades, feeling the betrayal and manipulation to a degree that won’t disappear so quickly. It may choose not to attack us, just to save itself from being destroyed, but HA and Hamas will have nothing to lose. Plus, Iran certainly has capabilities, maybe not 10,000 Shihabs, but even a couple hundred, landing smack in the middle of Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and a few other population centers, could cause huge fatalities. So in one scenario, we “sit and wait” to see if your fear comes true, and risk 10,000 dead. In the other scenario, we attack first, and bring upon ourselves another few decades of war, and a destroyed region. Which is better for our children? I have not a shred of doubt in my mind. If I would accept your 1% chance of an Iranian nuclear bomb on Israel, I hope you would agree there is a far greater chance of a large scale regional war if we attack Iran first. We don’t need to speculate on thousands of rockets into Israel. It already happened, just two years ago, with a militia that was far less equipped than it is today!

There are no guarantees for anything in life, but we constantly have to take chances. We can never eliminate all our dangers, but we can try to influence them positively or negatively. I’d always rather be the 2nd to introduce nuclear weapons to the region. Even if it means having 10,000 of my own people die. Because the alternative is worse.

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May 30th, 2008, 8:45 pm


54. Qifa Nabki said:


The author of that piece that you posted about the Golan had a very unfortunate name… Joshua MITNICK 😉

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May 30th, 2008, 8:53 pm


55. Alex said:

Qifa Nabki,

Only a Lebanese can notice these things!

: )

I did not pay attention until you mentioned it.

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May 30th, 2008, 8:58 pm


56. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


You believe that Iran is not likely to use an atom bomb against Israel but have no problem believing that if Israel attacks nuclear installations in Iran, Iran will retaliate against Israeli civillians.

You believe Hizballah is a Leabanese party but have no problem believing they will attack Israel for Iran thus putting all of Lebanon in great jeopardy.

You elevate the chances of a fierce Iranian retaliation and the consequences of it and diminsh and ignore the risk of causalties in Israel.

If we attack Iran, and Iran retaliates against us using missles, we will be fully justified to take out their oil facilities. That will be the end of Iran since 50% of their GDP is based on oil. If we attack military facilities and they attack civillians, public opinion will be against them. If they are as rational as you believe, then they will not retaliate after an Israeli/US attack. If they are not rational as you believe, then attacking them is justified.

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May 30th, 2008, 9:00 pm


57. SimoHurtta said:

You are so wrong you could not be more wrong. Leaders always do crazy things. There are countless historical examples. I am quite sure that the Iranians do not believe that we will nuke all their cities if a they smuggle an atom bomb into gaza and they blow up Ashkelon killing 100,000 people. After all how could we prove that the bomb was Iranian and even if we could, they think that the West will not let us do it because after all the Iranian citizens are not responsible for what their regime does.

AIG you must be completely crazy. Why on earth would Iran smuggle its only atomic bomb, a bomb which Iran could create in lets say five years, to Gaza. The Hamas members (and Palestinians) certainly are educated enough to know the impacts if the nuke Israel. What would they do with a radioactive wasteland which their home country would then be? AIG your lunatic childish propaganda doesn’t make any sense.

I could equally speculate that the orthodox Jews smuggle an Jewish Nuclear bomb to Rome and Mecca and blow those places up. The difference is that the Jews could do it tomorrow, the Iranians “your act” in a very distant future. AIG as you know your people are already now burning New Testaments. It is easy to make propaganda as you see AIG.

Iranian can “destroy” much more easily Zionist Israel using their financial and fast growing strategical influence than using a nuclear bomb. It could for example offer to pay 15.000 Euro (not USD) for every new child Israeli Arabs make and then 2.000 Euro per year for their upbringing and ideological training. Costs for one million babies would be 15 billion Euro, the price of a couple of aircraft carriers. With present oil prices development trend not an impossible strategy. In a couple of decades Jews would be a minority in Israel, if US doesn’t pay more for “mass producing” Jewish babies in Israel. 🙂

Seriously speaking the only reason why US / Israel will attack Iran is control of Iran’s and Iraq’s oil resources (= much of the worlds cheaply and fast explainable oil resources). Syria is “needed” to get the oil cheaply and safely out to the west. Iran’s nuclear program is not a reason. Most Middle Eastern nations will have the capacity in a couple of decades to create nukes if they want / need them. And as long Israel has them they have very good reasons to want them, no matter are they US friends or no-friends or what is their “regime style”.

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May 30th, 2008, 9:20 pm


58. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Are Hiroshima and Nagasaki “radioactive wastelands”? No they are vibrant cities. There are clean bombs in which the half life of the radioactive material is very short.

Alsp, if the Palestinians support suicide as a means to attack the enemy, they would surely accept losing one city such as Ashkelon in order to get the rest. I am sure there would not be volunteers lacking to take the bomb to Ashkelon.

I really like your plan of paying the Israeli Arabs to have kids. I hope Iran implements it soon. What a boon this will be for the Israeli economy!

If you or anybody else are worried about Israel having a bomb, then please, do your best to stop Israel from having nuclear weapons. You have every right to do so.

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May 30th, 2008, 9:33 pm


59. Qifa Nabki said:


Just curious, why did you choose this particular moniker (Simo Hurtta)? Wasn’t he some kind of mean tax collector, much reviled, in Finland? Doesn’t fit your personality.


What did you think of the articles by Sami Moubayed that I pasted? (Esp. on different regional agendas for Syria vs. Iran, and Syria vs. Hizbullah?)

Remember, these are Sami’s opinions, a good respected SYRIAN commentator, so you can’t just sic Ausamaa on me. 😉

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May 30th, 2008, 9:37 pm


60. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Specifically, I wonder what Alex thinks about this pearl from Sami:
“The Syrians have strongly stressed, however, that they will not abandon their allies, although logic states that if and when a peace treaty materializes, Syria will have to cease its support for Hamas and Hezbollah.”

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May 30th, 2008, 9:45 pm


61. SimoHurtta said:


Just curious, why did you choose this particular moniker (Simo Hurtta)? Wasn’t he some kind of mean tax collector, much reviled, in Finland? Doesn’t fit your personality.

Well for “fun”. I know a Simo (which is a Finnish forename) and who has a dog (Hurtta is a slang word for a dog) with an Israeli character (rather violent and agressive – the dog not the Simo I know). It is “good” to invent a nick name which doesn’t describe yourself. Also all the Finnish heroes nick names were reserved. Mabye I chance some day to AnotherFinnishGuy. 🙂

Simon Affleck alias Simo Hurtta (about 1660-1725) indeed was a Swedish tax collector working in Finland (then part of Sweden).

By the way how did you choose Qifa Nabki and what does it mean?

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May 30th, 2008, 10:52 pm


62. Qifa Nabki said:


Thanks for the info.

The words “qifa nabki” mean: “halt you two, and let us weep…”

They are the first two words of perhaps the most famous Classical Arabic poem, by a pre-Islamic poet named Imru’ al-Qays.

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May 30th, 2008, 11:06 pm


63. Nidal said:

Is Israeli society on the path of change? Two successful and well-received books by Israelis Shlomo Sand and Avraham Burg show that there is some hope for reformists and seculars in the region. Here’s a couple of articles summarizing those books:

“Are the jews an invented people?”

“Judaism is universal”

What say you, AIG?

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May 30th, 2008, 11:22 pm


64. SimoHurtta said:

Are Hiroshima and Nagasaki “radioactive wastelands”? No they are vibrant cities. There are clean bombs in which the half life of the radioactive material is very short.

Alsp, if the Palestinians support suicide as a means to attack the enemy, they would surely accept losing one city such as Ashkelon in order to get the rest. I am sure there would not be volunteers lacking to take the bomb to Ashkelon.

AIG you are simply crazy. I could write equal speculative stories as you how the ultra orthodox bible burners from Israel nuke European cities with their “clean” nuclear bombs. As I have said several times before the religious nuts of Israel are hundred of times more dangerous to the world as the Iranian nuts. You AIG certainly do not understand this because you are the member of those dangerous nuts.

AIG if you would sometimes bother to collect some facts about the Israeli military spending and weapon arsenal contra Iranian you would find the embarrassing (for you) reality. Iran is as dangerous for Middle East in a military sense as Algeria would be. Egypt and SA have much more military muscles than Iran has.

What I can’t understand your Israelis hypocrisy with this nuclear issue. You as several other Israelis, also in official posts, openly speak about possible Israeli nuclear attacks against Muslim countries. Your country had attacked Egypt (1956) and as reward got the nuclear technology which has allowed it to create a larger nuclear arsenal than China, a huge country, has. This all in secret. Now you “honest democratic secular peace lovers” of Israel are demanding others not to do what you have been doing for decades.

From where did you AIG invent that Hamas/Iran nuke with their “future bomb” Ashkelon? Why not Tel Aviv? I must say AIG that even Akbar is a intellectual giant compared to you.

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May 30th, 2008, 11:24 pm


65. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Books like these have always been published and reflect fringe thinking in Israel. Very soon we will have elections in Israel and you will know exactly how Israelis think. Or look at the distribution of members in today’s Knesset.

For some reason many Arabs think that the change in the middle east will come from Israelis changing. But of course, if it comes, it will come from Arabs changing and accepting liberal democracy.

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May 30th, 2008, 11:34 pm


66. ausamaa said:


There is a more famous Classical Arab poem by Amro:

و أيـام لنـــا غـــر طـوال ابينا الملك فيها أن ندينا
ورثنــــاهن عـــن أباء صدق و نورثها اذا متنا بنينا
ألا لا يجهـــلن أحــــد علينا فنجهـل فوق جهل الجاهلينا
و أنــا التاركون اذا سخطنا و انا الأخــذون اذا رضينا
اذا ما الملك سام الناس خسفا ابينــا ان نقر الذل فينا

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May 30th, 2008, 11:44 pm


67. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

First, I’d like to tell you I loved your racist slur:
“a dog (Hurtta is a slang word for a dog) with an Israeli character (rather violent and agressive – the dog not the Simo I know)”

Generalizing about Israelis and in the bargain comparing them to dogs. Quite inventive. You certainly are a luminary compared to me.

As for being hypocritical, I specifically wrote in my post that you have every right to stop Israel from having nuclear weapons if you really think we are even more dangerous than Iran. In fact, it would be your duty if that is what you believe exactly as it is my duty to make sure that the Iranians don’t get a nuclear weapon. So you do what you have to do and I will do what I have to do.

As for the Ashkelon scenario it is quite probable. Hamas has shown that it is able to smuggle weapons into the Gaza strip, therefore smuggling a bomb there is quite possible. And then, a very rudimentary rocket would be required to deliver it to Ashkelon. This is a very possible scenario. Iran would then try to argue that the bomb came from Pakistan or that Al-Qaeda bought it from the Ukraine or some other BS. And after Israel retaliates you would of course complain about how we know where the bomb came from. No thank you. Preemption is the way to go.

And where have we ever threatened another nation with annihilation? We will only use our weapons if we have them in self defense.

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May 30th, 2008, 11:45 pm


68. ausamaa said:

“And where have we ever threatened another nation with annihilation? We will only use our weapons if we have them in self defense.”

See, what a little cute trustworthy and peacefull neighbour Israel is. Arabs should count their blessings..

BTW, is it true that peace-loving Israel and the democracy-infectious US were the only two countries to refuse to sign the Cluster Bombs Ban Agreement in the England conference yesterday?

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May 30th, 2008, 11:52 pm


69. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

No, the Arabs should become democracies and then beat Israel. Otherwise they have no chance. However, you choose to ignore this advice.

As for being peaceful, it is you who believes that Israel will be attacked in the next 2 years and it will change the balance of power. So if you say that, shouldn’t we take you seriously and defend ourselves? I certainly plan to. After all, you are not a simple day laborer but a distinguished businessman.

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May 30th, 2008, 11:57 pm


70. ausamaa said:

Don’t you worry. Many Arabs are experimenting with many approaches to this problem at the same time.Incidently, when Israel beat the Arabs in 1948, it was not a democracy then, was it?

And please, go ahead and keep defending yourself, just dont get yourself in trouble big time as in 1973 or as in July 2006. Things seems to catch up with some people at the end.

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May 31st, 2008, 12:12 am


71. Qifa Nabki said:

Good reading, from Rami Khouri.

Nour, if you’re around, check your email.


Hizbullah is less credible. So now what?
By Rami G. Khouri
Daily Star staff
Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Doha agreement that ended the latest round of political tension and armed clashes in Lebanon has, at best, bought 18-24 months of calm for the country, and an opportunity for the largely discredited political elite to start acting responsibly. Hizbullah remains the focus of discussion about the challenges ahead, given its military strength relative to the other Lebanese factions, including the central government and its armed forces.

The dilemma for Hizbullah is that its strength since its inception a quarter of a century ago in the early 1980s is now its weakness when it comes to its political engagement inside Lebanon. Its combination of military prowess, links with Syria and Iran, and domestic strategic political ambiguity about its ultimate aims for Lebanon are all issues that have rallied significant opposition to it among a growing circle of Lebanese.

This is not purely a question of “What does Hizbullah want?” or “Will Hizbullah give up its arms?” Hizbullah’s power and aims cannot be analyzed in a vacuum, because the party did not emerge as the most powerful military force in the country in isolation of the behavior of other national actors. Two issues are at play here: Hizbullah’s status, and the quality of Lebanese statehood. The strength and status of Hizbullah and the weakness of the Lebanese state are symbiotic developments that feed off each other, and can only be resolved together. The coming era of calm political adjustment in Lebanon, including the national unity government and the summer 2009 parliamentary elections, must address very difficult core disputed issues. The central one is the Hizbullah-state relationship, which is directly or indirectly linked to other tough issues such as Syrian-Lebanese ties, and the role of external powers such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

If Lebanon does not make progress on these issues in the coming years and instead falls back into a pattern of stalemate and street fighting, a civil war is likely, and no country I know of has survived two civil wars intact. A resumption of fighting on a large scale will see the country slip into a slow and steady pattern of dysfunctional statehood and patchwork sovereignty, somewhere between the Yemen and Somalia examples.

The challenge remains to construct a state built on equal citizenship rights in which all Lebanese have the opportunity to improve their quality of life in the context of the rule of law, rather than tribal or communal self-defense. The manner in which the parties at Doha haggled over electoral districts in Beirut and other parts of the country suggests that concepts of Lebanese statehood and citizenship rights remain subsidiary to powerful forces of sectarianism and tribalism that define both the affirmation of identity and the exercise of power. This is not unique to Lebanon. Most of the Middle East suffers the same problem, but elsewhere it is camouflaged beneath the stultifying calm of the modern Arab security state.

Hizbullah has proven to be very good at most of the things it does, including social service delivery, communal mobilization, military resistance and appealing to wider public opinion around the region. It is the culmination of one of the most impressive and compelling political sagas of the modern Arab world – the journey of the Lebanese Shiite community from marginalization, abuse and subjugation to dominant power, in a span of just over a generation, starting in the early 1970s.

Yet Hizbullah has proved to be very weak in domestic political engagement, mainly because it is inexperienced; some of its strongest critics say it is insincere, and does not care to engage politically or share power, because it reflects Iranian-Syrian rather than Lebanese priorities. The arguments here are fierce. We shall soon find out. Politics, however, remains new territory for Hizbullah.

Its 18-month-long political challenge to the government was a stalemated failure, and, such as its downtown tent encampment, occasionally an embarrassment. It seemed to gain the upper hand only when it responded to the government’s challenge to two aspects of its security system by sending armed men into western Beirut. But to fight instead of bargaining is not a sign of political prowess or sophistication.

Hizbullah and the Lebanese state both must now grapple with basic issues of their own legitimacy, efficacy and reach. It is clear that the existing balance of power is not sustainable. More and more Lebanese are openly challenging Hizbullah, which responds with familiar arguments about the centrality of its resistance role – arguments that sound increasingly less credible to many compatriots. There is no easy answer to this dilemma of how to reconcile a weak state with a strong parallel state structure. But an answer must be found, or both will pay the price in the years ahead.

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May 31st, 2008, 12:44 am


72. offended said:

I really liked a ‘qaseedat ta3ared’ (but a poem with the same ryhme but with a slightly different approach) to Amr Bun Kolthoom composed by a talente Palestinian poet (Tamim Al Barguthi). Who orated it last year at the “Pricne of Poet” contest in Abu Dhabi. Have a look : ) :

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May 31st, 2008, 1:05 am


73. Nour said:


I replied to your email.

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May 31st, 2008, 1:06 am


74. JustOneAmerican said:

I have a few comments re: nukes.

First, if Israel had the capability to destroy Iran’s nuclear program they would already have done so. Israel has long had a doctrine that dictates it can only influence the capabilities of its enemies, not their intentions. In the case of Iran, it is too late for Israel to preempt, even if it had the capability to do, which it doesn’t. As some have said, you can’t bomb knowledge and even if Natanz was destroyed, Iran still has the ability to produce centrifuges and can hide them anywhere. If Natanz is destroyed it will be like Osirak – the program will be fully driven underground and won’t be detected until a fait accompli confronts Israel.

Second, Israel cannot attack Iran without US support. It’s part of the reason why Israel has been pushing the US to do it. Israel will need, at the very least, codes for it’s aircraft so they don’t get shot down by the US as they are coming out of Iran being chased by Iranian aircraft. Besides, Israel knows that attacking Iran will mean that Iran will attack the US. Israel could kiss US support goodbye if an aircraft carrier is sunk and thousands of Americans are killed because Israel failed to warn the US of what it was doing. In reality though, there are too many targets in Iran and they are too far away for Israel to strike them all, so such an attack is actually quite remote.

Third, it is impossible for Iran to get a bomb 100 times as powerful as Nagasaki/Hiroshima. There are limitations imposed by physics, particularly for a uranium weapon. At best Iran could get 20 kilotons, about 80% more than Hiroshima, but even that is unlikely. A weapon around 10-12 kilotons is the most likely.

Fourth, both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks were air bursts, which maximizes both the thermal and pressure damage from nuclear weapons. A weapon delivered through Gaza would likely be a ground detonation which would cause a lot less initial damage (fire/pressure), but would greatly increase fallout and the long-term effects caused by the fallout. It’s likely that just as many Arabs as Israelis would be the victims of such fallout.

Finally, I think Iran is rational enough to understand the dangers of allowing one of it’s nuclear weapons (when/if it does get them) outside of its control. Giving such a weapon to Hamas is fraught with danger for Iran, particularly if the weapon is intercepted before it could be delivered. It’s home address would be discovered and Iran would pay a huge price for nothing in return.

I think Israel will have to learn to live with the possibility and reality of a nuclear Iran. There has already been some discussion in some circles of how Israeli strategic doctrine might change. In fact, if reports are to be believed, Israel is already working on a nuclear “2nd strike” capability through it’s submarine fleet. Such a capability is only necessary when an adversary has or might have nuclear weapons. That Israel is developing such a capability now says quite a bit by itself I think.

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May 31st, 2008, 1:11 am


75. ausamaa said:


Thanks, That is a good one.

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May 31st, 2008, 1:25 am


76. SimoHurtta said:

First, I’d like to tell you I loved your racist slur:
“a dog (Hurtta is a slang word for a dog) with an Israeli character (rather violent and agressive – the dog not the Simo I know)”

Generalizing about Israelis and in the bargain comparing them to dogs. Quite inventive. You certainly are a luminary compared to me.

AIG it was Moshe Dayan who said that Israel must be like a mad dog. So my comparison to Israeli character is valid. Here is the quote from General Moshe Dayan: ‘Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’ Our armed forces…are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that will happen, before Israel goes under.”

Do you AIG understand what your country’s former “hero” said? I doubt that. He is speaking about destroying the planet. Well how would you describe politicians who all the time threaten the world and neighbours? When Livni was in Finland during Finnish EU presidency, she was asked by a Finnish journalist what will Israel do if it doesn’t get the captured soldiers back. “We will destroy our neighbours” she said with a big smile. My friend who was witnessing the event a couple of meters away said that the Finnish reporters watched her after that “peaceful” message with open mouths. They were not used that “democratic” countries foreign ministers use such agressive language. The mad dog attitude is living and kicking strongly in modern days Israel. Even more stronger when Moshe Dayan was on the top.

As for the Ashkelon scenario it is quite probable. Hamas has shown that it is able to smuggle weapons into the Gaza strip, therefore smuggling a bomb there is quite possible. And then, a very rudimentary rocket would be required to deliver it to Ashkelon. This is a very possible scenario. Iran would then try to argue that the bomb came from Pakistan or that Al-Qaeda bought it from the Ukraine or some other BS. And after Israel retaliates you would of course complain about how we know where the bomb came from. No thank you. Preemption is the way to go.

AIG I heard rumours that the Israeli bible burners are going to smuggle an Israeli nuclear suitcase bomb to Vatican. Naturally the orthodox Jews are leaving to place a van full of Qur’ans and other Islamic religious stuff and blame Iran or Pakistan. This is a very possible scenario. Also a very possible scenario is that Israeli orthodox Jews are smuggling a nuclear bomb to Mecca and leaving on the site evidence with US and Christian symbols. And after the world retaliates you would of course complain about how we know where the bomb came from. No thank you. Pre-emption is the way to go. So what do you think AIG should “we the world minus Israel” act when there is still time?

AIG you are really in need of serious medical counselling if you in reality believe in the astonishing nuclear rubbish you have been writing in your last comments. As I have shown it easy to write equal “nuclear” nonsense also about the modern days Israeli bible burners possible action. The difference is that I tried to show to you how stupid your propaganda is, you seem to believe in the childish rubbish you have been writing lately.

France vows to help Jordan develop nuclear technology

Soon AIG there will in Middle East nuclear scientist and technicians with the ratio of 100 to 1 compared to Israel. They will have the know how and financial resources to produce nuclear weapons when they want. The step from being able of running peaceful nuclear programs to less constructive efforts is not big. Maybe Israel should rethink its “pre-emptive strategy” when there is still time. No nuclear weapons in Middle East would mean no nuclear weapons in Israel.

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May 31st, 2008, 1:52 am


77. norman said:

Syria Seeks U.S. Role in Talks
By Jay Solomon
Word Count: 735
WASHINGTON — As Syria and Israel begin pursuing peace negotiations, Damascus is calling for the U.S. to play a direct role in brokering the talks, arguing that a successful outcome is unlikely without American participation.

To date, the Bush administration has offered only lukewarm support for the dialogue announced in May, breaking from decades of American foreign-policy doctrine that has sought to actively encourage any engagement between Jerusalem and an Arab state.

In an interview, Syria’s ambassador to Washington, Imad Moustapha, said Damascus believes the U.S. is the only country that could realistically deliver a peace deal between the two …

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May 31st, 2008, 2:58 am


78. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Oh my God! Syria accepts US hegemony. What other humiliations are around the corner?

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May 31st, 2008, 4:02 am


79. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Moshe Dayan was wrong in what he said but he was speaking about Israel as a country. You on the other hand generalized about all Israelis individually. But it is ok. The more I point out your racist comments the more opportunity you will have to get over them and change your ways.

As for your story about Livni it is a lie. If she would have said it, there would have been a huge story around it.

You see Sim, no Israeli prime minister has lately said that Israel is going to bomb Rome or annihilate another country. The Iranian leadership says it all the time. Not only that, they are religious fanatics that believe in the seventh Imam. It is a matter of fact that most countries in the world are much more worried about the Iranian bomb than about the Israeli one. Why? Becuase they view things with common sense unlike you. Why does the UN keep sanctioning Iran, including China and Russia?

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May 31st, 2008, 4:10 am


80. why-discuss said:


“And in today’s world, the Iranians want to create an Iranian satellite state in Iraq, which the Syrians do not want. They want to empower the religiously driven Shi’ite politicians, while the Syrians want to see secular nationalists in control of Iraq. The Iranians want autonomy for the Shi’ites in southern Iraq; the Syrians do not. The Iranians want a regional war of liberation against Israel, refusing to recognize any peace talks with the Jewish state…”

I disagree with Moubayed’s article. It is a very superficial and misleading analysis of the Iranian’s strategy in the region.
– Iran does not want Irak to be a satellite, but after having suffered 8 years of war from a sunni Iraq, they surely want to make sure this will not happen again. Do you blame them?
Syria and Iran have hosted most of the present iraqis leaders, it is natural that they will be closer to Iran than to Saudi Arabia.
Using the world satellite is giving little respect to the Iraqis.

– Iran has never asked autonony of the south of Iraq, where did he get that? but it is Iran’s closest neighbour and the one who could create harm and infitrations, no wonder they want to have influence on them.
– Iran has clearly said that they will accept any decision made by the palestinians on their relation with Israel. They have also clearly stated that they are in favor of one single country for Jews and Palestinians, but they will go along with the Palestinians decisions. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly predicted the demise of the zionist entity, not the eradications of the jews. This goes along with Irans’s view.
It is very disapointing that Mobayed looks at Iran as a Shia hegemonic power while Iran has never threatened or invaded any arab country.
This is exactly what the western media worried about: finally the emergence of a power that has the means to challenge the hegemony of the US and the western power in the region.
Their efforts in trying to crush it emergence have created the exact opposite. With more PR and more clumsy attacks from the unpopular western countries, Iran will be easily dominating the middle east region and extend it toward Asia, diluting the arab factor.
Politically, Syria and Iran have been much more in line with the events of the area that the “brilliant” PHD strategists of the Pentagon who gave us ridiculous demonstration in the UN of the WMD proofs and the amateurish dealings in the after Saddam Irak. The Iran and Syria predictions of the US quagmire in Iraq turned to be true. Mobayed is underestimating the pragmatism approach of both Iran and Syria that are bringing more fruits than the illusionary and doomed approach of the US in the region.
The extension of the middle east to include Turkey and Iran may be the salvation of the Arab world after decades of being humiliated by the West (Remember the 1952 Egypt war and all the Israelis humiliations to the arabs). Maybe after Hezbollah slap on the IDF’s face and the panick-striken Israelis in front of Iran, this time may be over.

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May 31st, 2008, 4:12 am


81. Alex said:

More reactions from Arab journalists to the alleged Saudi attempt to overthrow the regime in Syria.

الحرب الباردة…عربياً ؟!
عريب الرنتاوي: مركز القدس للدراسات الاستراتيجية
إن صحت الأنباء، فإن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد فاتح الأمين العام للجامعة العربية عمرو موسى أثناء زيارته الأخيرة لدمشق، بما قيل أنه محاولة سعودية لقلب نظام الحكم وتشجيع المعارضة على النظام، وتحريض العواصم الدولية على سوريا، في إشارة إلى أن الخلاف السعودي – السوري، أو خلاف (س – س) على حد تعبير رئيس مجلس النواب اللبناني نبيه بري، قد بلغ مرحلة تذكر بالخلافات العربية البينية في خمسينيات القرن الفائت وستيناته، حين كانت كل عاصمة تبادر إلى تكثيف اتصالاتها مع “معارضات” البلد الآخر عند اندلاع أول خلاف أو سؤ فهم بين دولتين عربيتين.
جديد المعلومات التي أدلى بها الأسد لموسى، يتعلق بقائلها ومتلقيها، أما المعلومات بحد ذاتها، فليست جديدة أبدا، فنحن نعرف أن رموز المعارضة السورية الأبرز، يترددون إلى السعودية، وتحديدا في مواسم الحجيج، ويجري استقبالهم رسميا في مكة المكرمة إلى جانب زعماء الدول وقادتها، وعادة ما يحظى عم الرئيس السوري الدكتور رفعت الأسد باستقبال متميز في مواسم الحج، كما أن لعبد الحليم خدام، نائب الرئيس المنشق علاقات وثيقة – على خلفية سنيّة – مع القادة السعودية، وكذا الحال بالنسبة لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين السوريين، أو بعض أركانهم على أقل تقدير.
وقد شجع ذلك، رموز تحالف 14 آذار على استقبال قادة المعارضات السورية في بيروت، واستضافتهم على ساحات منابرهم الإعلامية النافذة، من مقروءة ومكتوبة ومسموعة ومرئية، ولقد شهدنا “إخوان سوريا” يجولون على قيادات الموالاة اللبنانية، ويدلون بتصريحات نارية ضد نظام دمشق، كما أن مواكب التأييد لرفعت الأسد، تجوب طرابلس (شمال لبنان) بحرية تحت مرأى ومسمع وحماية القوى ذاتها.
وقبل أشهر عدة، كانت الأنباء تتحدث عن حماس سعودي لتدويل الأزمة اللبنانية، حتى أن الوزير / الأمير سعود الفيصل، وفي معرض التقليل من شأن الأنباء التي تحدثت عن ميل بلاده للتدويل، سخر من اتهام كهذا، بحجة أن الأزمة اللبنانية “مدوّلة” فعلا، في حين كانت الأنباء التي رافقت آخر جولاته على عواصم القرار الدولي تشير إلى مسعى سعودي لنقل ملف الأزمة اللبنانية إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، وربما تحت البند السابع من الميثاق، ودائما باعتبار سوريا وإيران المسئولتان عن تفاقم الأزمة اللبنانية وإطالة أمد الفراغ الرئاسي وتفشي مسلسل العنف والاغتيالات، وهو المسعى الذي لم يقابل بتشجيع أوروبي أو روسي أو صيني.
نحن إذن، لسنا أمام معلومات جديدة، بل أمام مستوى جديد في تداول هذا المعلومات القديمة، الأمر الذي يعني أن لا دخان من دون نار، وأن العلاقة بين دمشق والرياض بلغت أسفل درك، بل ووصلت أسفل سافلين، وأن جهود المصالحة بين (س – س) باتت تحتاج إلى ما هو أبعد من التوافق على شخص الرئيس التوافقي وانتخابه.
زمن الحرب الباردة، كانت الدول العربية تتآمر على بعضها البعض، ولطالما استقوت بالغريب على الشقيق، وبذاك الحلف الدولي على هذا الجار القومي، وكانت “المعارضات العربية المهاجرة” تستخدم كرؤوس جسور لمد النفوذ وتحضير الانقلابات وتنفيذ المؤامرات الهادفة للإطاحة بهذا النظام أو ذاك، ولقد تراجعت معظم، إن لم نقل جميع الأنظمة والحكومات العربية عن هذه الممارسات والأساليب، بعد أن تأكد بؤسها وانعدام جدواها، وخصوصا بعد أن ثبت بأنها سلاح ذو حدين، وأنها لعبة يمكن أن ترتد على أصحابها، وأن لكل نظام “معارضاته” التي يمكن استخدامها بوسائل مماثلة، إن لم يكن لقلب الحكم فلضرب الأمن والاستقرار داخل حدوده، الأمر الذي خلق بعض الهدوء وأعاد بعض التوازن والاتزان إلى العلاقات العربية البينية.
انتهت الحرب الباردة دوليا، لكن يبدو أنها لم تنته عربيا، فها نحو نستعيد بعض أساليبها، ليس من خلال المحاور والمعسكرات التي يجري إحياؤها وبعثها، فحسب، بل ومن خلال المؤامرات والألاعيب الصغيرة التي يقوم بها جيل جديد من القادة والزعماء، لم يتعلم على ما يبدو، من تجربة من سبقوه

مؤامرة تغيير النظام السوري
القدس العربي
ان ينفي مصدر اعلامي سوري ما نقلته صحيفة الاخبار اللبنانية عن وجود مؤامرة سعودية ـ مصرية علي سورية والعمل علي قلب نظام الحكم فيها، فهذا أمر متوقع، وليس جديدا، ولكن هذا لا يعني ان العلاقات بين القاهرة والرياض من ناحية، ودمشق من ناحية اخري، ليست متوترة، ولا نبالغ اذا قلنا ان القطيعة هي الوصف المهذب لهذه العلاقات في الوقت الراهن.
حكومتا البلدين تخوضان مواجهة دبلوماسية علنية مع النظام في سورية، علي اكثر من جبهة، خاصة في لبنان، فمصر والمملكة العربية السعودية تؤيدان جماعة الرابع عشر من آذار، بينما تقف سورية بحزم خلف المعارضة التي يقودها حزب الله الحليف الاوثق لدمشق علي الساحة اللبنانية.
فقد اتهم الامير سعود الفيصل وزير الخارجية السعودي الحكومة السورية اكثر من مرة بتعطيل انتخاب رئيس للجمهورية، وتعقيد الازمة الدستورية في لبنان، من خلال رفضها استخدام نفوذها لدي المعارضة لعقد مجلس النواب وانتخاب الرئيس ميشال سليمان. وبلغ الخلاف ذروته عندما حاولت كل من مصر والسعودية افشال مؤتمر القمة العربية الذي انعقد في العاصمة السورية اواخر شهر آذار (مارس) الماضي، وتخفيف تمثيلهما فيه الي الحدود الدنيا.
ولا نعتقد ان حدة الخلافات هذه يمكن ان تصل الي تآمر البلدين لتغيير النظام في دمشق، لما يمكن ان تمثله خطوة كهذه من اختراق لكل الخطوط الحمراء في العلاقات بين الحكومات العربية، لعدة اسباب ابرزها تحسب الدولتين للعواقب الوخيمة التي يمكن ان تترتب علي مثل هذه المؤامرة علي شؤونهما الداخلية اولا، وعدم وجود فرص حقيقية مضمونة لنجاح اي تحرك في هذا الخصوص.
صحيح ان الحكومة السعودية استضافت شخصيات سورية معارضة للنظام في الرياض مثل السيدين عبد الحليم خدام ورفعت الاسد نائبي الرئيس السابقين، وصحيح ايضا ان بعض الاعلاميين المقربين من النظام السعودي قد قالوا صراحة ان النظام السوري خرج عن الاجماع العربي ويجب ان يتغير، ولكن الصحيح ايضا ان هذه المشاحنات والمكايدات من الممارسات العربية المألوفة في حال نشوب خلافات بين الدول.
النظام السوري يعيش حالة من العزلة من حلفاء الامس، الذين باتوا يستعينون بالادارة الامريكية لتشديد الخناق عليه، من خلال استصدار عقوبات من مجلس الامن الدولي ودعم انعقاد المحكمة الدولية المتعلقة بمحاكمة المتورطين في اغتيال الرئيس الراحل رفيق الحريري، ومن بينهم متهمون سوريون بعضهم يتولي مناصب رفيعة في الدولة. ويظل من غير المستبعد ان تكون سياسة العزل هذه ضمن اطار استراتيجية امريكية عسكرية لتوجيه ضربات لما تسميه واشنطن محور الشر الذي يضم سورية وايران وحزب الله اللبناني وحركة حماس الفلسطينية.
لعل تسريب انباء حول مؤامرة تغيير النظام في سورية الي صحيفة لبنانية مقربة من المعارضة هو بمثابة رسالة تحذير الي المتورطين فيها من قبل النظام السوري او بعض المحسوبين عليه في الساحة اللبنانية، وهذا تقليد معروف في بعض الاوساط الصحافية والرسمية العربية، بل والاجنبية ايضا. فالنظام السوري ربما يريد ان يقول انه واع لمثل هذه المؤامرات، والمتورطين فيها، ويمكن ان يرد عليها بشكل اكثر ايلاما، بما يملكه من اوراق ضغط، وخبرات يشهد لها الكثيرون في استخدام جماعات معارضة لتعكير صفو جبهات داخلية تتسم بالهشاشة.
اللافت ان هذا التراشق الاعلامي الذي يمكن ان يتطور في الايام، او الاسابيع المقبلة، يأتي في وقت من المفترض ان تكون الاوضاع في لبنان، ساحة المواجهة الحقيقية، تتجه نحو المصالحة والهدوء، الامر الذي يجعلنا نتنبأ بصيف لبناني ساخن اذا لم يحدث انفراج للاحتقان الحالي في العلاقات بين اطراف المثلث السعودي ـ المصري ـ السوري.

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May 31st, 2008, 5:46 am


82. Alex said:

And another one from a Syrian writer

مؤامرة سعودية؟.. صح النوم يانظام!
أُبيّ حسن: ( كلنا شركاء ) 30/5/2008
لم نتفاجأ مما ورد في صحيفة “الأخبار” اللبنانية بتاريخ 28 الجاري, إذ “كشف مصدر دبلوماسي عربي بارز في المنامة أن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد اتهم قيادة المملكة العربية السعودية بالتآمر على سوريا, وبالعمل لقلب نظام الحكم فيها”, فاللمملكة العربية السعودية باع طويل في التآمر على “أشقائها” العرب, وهذا ماسنسلط الضوء عليه قليلاً, بمعزل عن نفي مصدر إعلامي سوري للخبر الذي ورد في الصحيفة اللبنانية.
لكن مكمن الغرابة أن ينتظر بعض المعنيين بالأمر كل هذه المدة للكشف عن المؤامرة(دعونا نتناسى نفيها)!. وحال كانت لذلك البعض اعتباراته السياسية حتى صمت كل هذه المدة دون الإفصاح عنها, فهذا يعني –من بعد إفصاحه- أن علاقته بالسعودية انتهت إلى غير رجعة على المدى المنظور, وحبذا أن يحصل ذلك. وحال لم يكن من نعني يعلمون بالمؤامرة إلا مؤخراً, فهنا ينبغي أن نقول لهم: صح النوم!.
مما يلفت الانتباه أن المصدر ذكر أسماء قيادية سعودية مشاركة في التآمر على النظام السوري منها: الملك عبد الله(العربي الذي لايجيد اللغة العربية ولا النطق من دون شماتة!) ووزير خارجيته سعود الفيصل ورئيس الاستخبارات مقرن ومسؤول الأمن القومي بندر بن سلطان الذين لم يتوانوا عن تحريض الخارج على ضرب سوريا وقلب النظام فيها وفقاً للمصدر ذاته!.
لاغرابة في تآمر النظام السعودي على النظام السوري, بمعزل عن نفي رسمي أو تأكيد لمثل ذلك التآمر, فللسعودية تاريخ “مشرّف” هي وحكامها في هذا المنحى. وللتذكير, أنه في آواخر عهد الرئيس السوري الراحل أديب الشيشكلي, وبُعيد سقوط حكمه وهروبه خارج البلاد منتصف خمسينات القرن الماضي, إن أول من استضافه هو المملكة العربية السعودية (سراً). وقد أقام الشيشكلي في القصر الملكي السعودي سنتذاك, وبقي في السعودية إلى أن رحل إلى البرازيل, حيث قضى نحبه مقتولاً هناك على يد أحد أبناء معروف من جبل العرب. وإيواء السعودية للشيشكلي ليس سوى دليل قاطع على أن انقلاب الأخير على خلفه سامي الحناوي, هو في جوهره انقلاب سعودي, تماماً كما هو انقلاب أمريكي.
وفي النصف الثاني من خمسينات القرن الماضي كان للملكة ذاتها, حضورها “المشرّف” في إعداد مؤامرة لاغتيال جمال عبد الناصر إبان زيارته لسوريا في بداية الوحدة السورية- المصرية(غير المأسوف على انفصام عراها), وقد كان ذلك في عهد الملك سعود بن عبد العزيز.
ومن المصادفات التي تستحق أن تروى, أن زوجة الملك سعود(أو إحدى زوجاته) كانت سورية من الساحل السوري وتحديداً من قرية سطامو, ذهبت عن طريق الشيخ يوسف ياسين(موظف الديوان الملكي سنتذاك وهو من مدينة اللاذقية, وعلى مايبدو انه كان يعمل قواداً لآل سعود “الكرام” في الوقت نفسه) بصدد العمل كخادمة فانتهى بها المطاف ملكة!, ومن خلال تواجدها في القصر علمت بالمؤامرة, فأخبرت والدها الذي كان في زيارة لها والذي بدوره وشى بذلك للمحامي عزيز عباد الذي كان يشغل قائم مقام منطقة الحفة, ومنه إلى عبد الحميد السرّاج الذي أحبط المؤامرة. وكان من نتائج افتضاح تلك المؤامرة, التي تحدث عنها جمال عبد الناصر من على شرفة قصر الضيافة في دمشق, أن استقال الملك سعود من الحكم(لمزيد من المعلومات حول هذه المؤامرة يمكن للقارئ العودة إلى كتاب مطبوع سنة 1967 في البرازيل بعنوان”من صميم الأحداث” للدكتور عبد اللطيف اليونس).
وللسعودية دورها الرائد في محاربة جمال عبد الناصر(شقيقها في العروبة) في اليمن في ستينات القرن الماضي!, فأي متابع يعرف جيداً الدور السعودي شديد السلبية في دعم الرجعية اليمنية بقيادة الإمام البدر ضد ثورة عبد الله السلال الذي كانت تدعمه مصر التي أرسلت جزءا من جيشها لمساندته.
ولم يقف دور “المهلكة” الوهابية(تعبير المهلكة لنضال نعيسة) في محاربة عبد الناصر في اليمن, بل تخطت ذلك بكثير, إذ حرّضت إسرائيل لضرب الرئيس عبد الناصر الذي كان حضوره يكاد يحجّم دورها في المنطقة العربية, وقد أتت تلك التحريضات أُكلها في هزيمة العرب في كارثة حزيران 1967, وهذا ما أشار إليه الدكتور كمال خلف الطويل في مقاله عن كمال أدهم الذي أعادت نشره “كلنا شركاء” منذ أيام قليلة.
والسعودية هي من دعمت الراحل صدام حسين في حربه العبثية ضد إيران(الخميني لا الشاه), وهي التي انقلبت عليه من بعد انتفاء الحاجة إليه, وهي التي حرّضت أمريكا على ضربه في مايُعرف بحرب الخليج الثانية!, ووسائل إعلامها أول من تباكى عليه يوم إعدامه إلى أن جعل منه شهيداً!.
ومما يحزّ في النفس, أن هذه المملكة التي كانت وماتزال تصدّر الجهل والإرهاب إلى أربع رياح الأرض, وما تزال تعيش فيها المرأة حياة دون البهيمة, استطاعت من خلال إرهابها الوهابي أن تنتصر على دولة عظيمة ومتحضرة كالاتحاد السوفييتي في أفغانستان, من خلال إرسالها لطلائع لإرهابيين الذين تفرّخهم الإيديولوجية الوهابية, بغية محاربة “الإلحاد” الشيوعي!.
مفاسد المهلكة الوهابية ورجال الحكم فيها, فاقت مفاسد الناصريين والبعثين السوري والعراقي مجتمعين وبأشواط, إذ أين الثرى من الثريا! ومع ذلك لايجد بعض الكتّاب البعثيين(كما يدّعون) حرجاً بوضع الكتب التي تمجّد مملكة أولئك الهمج(مثال الكتاب الذي وضعه البعثي المخضرم منذر الموصللي).
كانت عائدات السعودية من النفط كانت تبلغ سنويا مابين 250 إلى 300 مليار دولار, ذلك عندما كان سعر برميل النفط يتراوح بين 60 و70 دولار, أما الآن فقد أصبحت عائداتها تفوق 500 مليار مليون دولار من بعد أن تجاوز سعر البرميل الواحد 130 دولار, ولكم أن تتصوروا أين سيصرف آل سعود هذه الأموال الطائلة!, طبعاً من بعد الغرق في ملذاتهم التي تفوق ملذات ومجون بني أمية وبني العباس(رضوان الله عليهم), حتماً ستوظّف تلك الأموال كي “تنعم” البشرية, أو على الأقل منطقة الشرق الأوسط وفي مقدمتها سوريا ولبنان, بالحقبة السعودية الثالثة, تلك الحقبة التي تحدّث عنها مطولاً أسعد أبو خليل في جريدة “الأخبار” اللبنانية. كأنه لايكفينا في سوريا من نكبات سعودية هذا التمدد الفاضح للوهابية في المحافظات السورية بذريعة الدين والذي يزداد يوماً إثر يوم؟ كأنه لايكفينا من شرور الوهابية وجهلها أن احتلّت الفضاء, فبتنا منكوبين بفضائيات من قبيل “الرسالة” و”إقرأ” الهادفة إلى إلغاء العقل والقضاء عليه, وسلسلة روتانا المختصة بالخلاعة/الحداثة على الطريقة الوهابية الخ…؟. كأنه لايكفينا من شرورها هذه الجمعيات التي تدعمها في مناطق محددة من سوريا ولبنان, وأيضاً شراء العقارات والأسواق التجارية التي تُشترى بأموال وهابية, أيضاً في مناطق محددة من سوريا ولبنان؟.
قبل الختام, ينبغي أن أوجه شكري الشخصي للسيدين الفاضلين سايسكس وبيكو تغمدهما الله بواسع رحمته, إذ أنهما جعل بيننا وبين السعودية حدوداً جغرافية, وإلا لكان الله في عون السوريين. وعلى كل سوري يدرك قيمة سوريا وحضارتها ويغار عليها.. سوريا التي أبدعت أبجد وهوز.. سوريا مهد الحضارات قبل أن ينكبها الله بأولئك البدو الغزاة البرابرة الذين لم يتركوا أي اثر حضاري أو معماري في بلاد الشام كلها(وحتى مصر) سوى الجامع الأموي(شخصياً نعتقد أنهم حولوه إلى جامع لأنه كان كنيسة ومن قبل هذا كان معبداً يهودياً وربما لولا ذلك لم كنا رأينا أي أثر معماري), أن يشكر أولئك السادة أعني سايكس وبيكو.
مؤامرة سعودية؟.. صح النوم يانظام.. المؤامرة كانت ظاهرة للعيان منذ بدأ ماعُرف بحلف الرئيس رفيق الحريري والسيد عبد الحليم خدام والسيد غازي كنعان والنائب وليد جنبلاط من جهة في مواجهة شخصيات محددة في النظام السوري. وكان من المفترض أن يلتقط النظام السوري خيوط هذه المؤامرة منذ انتقد السيد خدام السيد فاروق الشرع بمثل تلك الطريقة في المؤتمر القطري الأخير قبيل انشقاقه, فشخص مثل السيد عبد الحليم خدّام بالتأكيد لم تكن دوافع انتقاده ونقده الغيرة على سوريا ومستقبلها(بالمناسبة قصص فساد السيد خدام تعود إلى عام 1958 سنة حل حزب البعث لصالح الوحدة ولهذا الحديث مقام آخر).. مؤامرة سعودية!.. صح النوم.

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May 31st, 2008, 5:55 am


83. Akbar Palace said:

AIG said:

Why does the UN keep sanctioning Iran, including China and Russia?

And the UN sanctioned Saddam’s Baathist Iraq 17 times in 12 years. The last one, UNSC Resolution 1441 was voted upon unanimously (including Syria). And let’s not forget Hillary’s vote…

People forget so quickly.

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May 31st, 2008, 6:19 am


85. wizart said:

First Housing, Now Oil

“A True Energy Crisis”

The twin blows of housing and oil are causing a headache for the Federal Reserve. Fed policymakers know how to deal with one shock at a time, but it’s hard to devise a policy that addresses both at once. The housing bust is deflationary because it makes people feel poorer. That argues for easier monetary policy. The oil spike also makes people poorer, but it has an inflationary impact as well. On May 28, Dow Chemical (DOW) announced price increases of up to 20%, precipitated by what CEO Andrew Liveris called “a true energy crisis.”

Ideally, the Fed would like to ease interest rates to get housing back on its feet and offset the deflationary effects of higher spending on fuel without making investors and the public worry that it’s going soft on inflation. Says Mark Gertler, a New York University economist: “A lot of the discussion coming out of the Fed is aimed at shoring up credibility.”

The risk for the Fed is that the economy gets stuck in slo-mo, but surging inflation expectations prevent the central bank from providing monetary relief. That could be bad news, especially if high gas prices soak up disposable income at the same time that Americans decide to save more to compensate for their abrupt loss of housing wealth. A higher savings rate is good for the U.S. economy’s long-term health, though it would be deadly for short-run economic growth if it rose too suddenly.

It seems strange that oil prices are soaring at a time when the housing slump is killing economic growth. One explanation, of course, is that the appetite for oil is still strong in China and other parts of the world where growth is stronger. But even in the U.S., high oil prices have done little so far to suppress demand. That’s because there’s no ready substitute. People are consuming nearly as much gas now as when it cost half as much because they don’t have much choice if they want to buy groceries and get to work. Meanwhile, production of oil hasn’t gone up much, either, because companies are already producing flat-out from existing fields. The result is that the soaring price hasn’t caused a glut, as you would expect if oil were overpriced. And that has emboldened speculators to keep bidding the price higher, testing what the market will bear.

Just Another Fact of Life

Gradually, though, the U.S. economy shows signs of doing what the textbooks predict it will, namely adjusting to higher oil prices. Airlines are starting to cut routes and raise fares, which is likely to reduce fuel use by simply discouraging air travel. With diesel even pricier than gasoline, some truckers are parking their rigs. Dan Little, president of Little & Little Trucking in Carrollton, Mo., hasn’t driven since March and says he’s spending his time trying to organize protests against the high price of diesel.

And gasoline consumption is finally starting to going down, albeit only slightly. That trend should continue as long as oil prices remain high. “In the last gas crisis in the 1970s we saw a tremendous ability to adjust,” says Edward Glaeser, a Harvard University economist. In the long run, says Glaeser, “the car fleet is just very malleable.”

Some sectors even stand to benefit from higher oil prices. American-made steel, for example, is becoming cost-competitive because of the high energy cost of shipping steel from places like China, notes Jeff Rubin, chief economist of CIBC World Markets. Says Rubin: “Now distance costs money.”

Eventually, then, costly oil could become just another fact of life. As for housing, the fall in prices will make houses affordable to a new generation of buyers. Right now, though, it’s hard to see past the pain.

With David Kiley in Detroit

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May 31st, 2008, 7:47 am


86. offended said:


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May 31st, 2008, 9:26 am


87. SimoHurtta said:

Moshe Dayan was wrong in what he said but he was speaking about Israel as a country. You on the other hand generalized about all Israelis individually. But it is ok. The more I point out your racist comments the more opportunity you will have to get over them and change your ways.

AIG you small minded militaristic “atheistic” Zionist extremist, I did not compare individual Israelis to dogs. I clearly did speak about Israeli general attitude in their (the country’s) handling external and internal problems with “non-chosen people”. Israeli strategy is still a pit bull behaviour as it was in the days of Moshe Dayan. And the the actions on the ground prove that the minimal peace seeking items in Israeli politicians speeches are only a camouflage in the “Jewish Reich’s” expansive attempts. How else can it be justified that the roadblocks and settlements in West Bank only are growing when there should be “peace negotiations”.

AIG your pit bull country has no intention to find peaceful solutions. Iran, Hizbollah, Hamas etc are only excuses in building Eretz Israel. If you would really want peace you would tomorrow allow creating Palestine based on 1967 borders, give Golan back and demolish your wast nuclear arsenal. Your country’s strategy is to make insane ever shifting demands (perfectly well knowing that the demands can’t be approved) and play time. You demand others to recognize Jewish Israel, but you do not recognize the Palestine and their rights. That is simply absurd.

As for your story about Livni it is a lie. If she would have said it, there would have been a huge story around it.

Well the story was told to me personally by a Finnish reporter who was a couple meters away from the event. I can’t see any reason he lied to me. As the Moshe Dayan quote shows the destroy, react and retaliate with force theme has been and is constantly present in Israeli politicians speeches. Nowadays your leaders (political and military) even hint more or less openly using nuclear bombs in pre-emptive actions. Also the Israeli actions in Lebanon in summer 2006 favour the “destroy neighbours” quote. So I have every reason to believe that my friend told what Livni said.

Read what Livni said in Israeli TV.
What Does Israel Want? Ilan Pappe

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May 31st, 2008, 9:54 am


88. wizart said:

Friends of the Earth Finland is a membership organization and a coalition of individual members, action groups, local FoE organizations and like-minded Finnish NGOs. It was founded in June 1996 in Turku. The objective of the organization is to promote
the creation of a democratic and ecologically sustainable society,
locally oriented economy, social, economic, political and intergenerational equality, protection of Earth from further destruction, preservation of the World’s ecological, cultural and ethnic diversity, work against military structures, human and animal rights and co-operation of organizations and progressive groups.

The power of the organization rises from broadminded thinking and a vast diversity of people. The scope of activity varies from national to regional and from global campaigns to everyday issues of way of living. Local action relies on the activity of creative individuals. National campaigns are planned in annual meetings. The amount of members and sub-organizations is growing rapidly. FoE Finland has no official relations with the government, political parties, churches/religions or companies other than through its individual members. FoE Finland is both politically and religiously impartial. However, FoE Finland may work closely with such interest groups especially when engaged in lobbying and advocacy work. Moreover, FoE Finland works closely with other progressive organizations, such as the Finnish Society for Nature Conservation and the Service Center for Development Cooperation. The activity is financed mainly by membership fees and private donations, and also by the government.

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May 31st, 2008, 10:37 am


89. wizart said:

Lessons From Peace Diplomacy Inspire US Representative Keith Ellison On Visit To Norway

Keith Ellison, a Minnesota representative (D) in the House, visited Norway in early January. Ellison wanted to learn from Norway’s peace efforts, as well as about the roots of his constituents.

In an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Ellison spoke warmly of Norway’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation. Ellison emphasized that peace processes create hope: “When there is no process, hopelessness will surface, followed by despair and then by murderous thoughts. Processes keep the hope going.” Ellison is supporting legislation seeking to establish a cabinet-level Peace Department in the U.S. In another interview with Star Tribune, Ellison stated, ”This trip … helps me to see that it is an important part of legislation that I’ll push with renewed energy and vigor … I intend to continue to organize community around peaceful resolutions of conflict.” He also pointed out that Norway has established what he called a “culture of peace.” If the U.S. would acquire the same kind of peace-making skills Norway has, Ellison continued, conflicts such as the war in Iraq could be avoided.

In Norway Keith Ellison (right), a Minnesota representative (D) in the House, meets with former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik (left) who is now President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. Photo by Erling Rimestad

Ellison said he is very much aware of the Norwegian-American heritage in Minnesota, and how much it means to his constituents. According to Ellison, this heritage puts emphasis on social responsibility and on “the public interest.” The most important matters on Ellison’s political agenda are the promotion of peacekeeping work, improving conditions for America’s poor, extending health insurance to those who cannot afford it, maintaining equality of law and the prevention of human rights violations. The trip to Norway thus seemed fitting.

In Norway, Ellison met former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who is now president of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. The congressman also met with representatives from the International Peace Research Institute and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), headed up by Jan Egeland, a former undersecreatary-general for Humanitarian Affairs at the United Nations. Egeland has been described by Time Magazine as one of the individuals who shape our world. Ellison was impressed by Norway’s peace efforts, and by its willingness to communicate with parties with which it disagrees. In that respect, he was also impressed by the open dialogue between the Norwegian government and Norwegian Muslim communities.

Norway is strongly committed to environmental protection and fighting climate change, something that did not escape Ellison on his trip. He met with the Dean of the Norwegian University of Life and Sciences, which works with the University of Minnesota on climate change issues. “This oil-rich nation has not sacrificed its commitment to renewable energy,” Ellison told Star Tribune.

Ellison is not the first U.S. government official to visit Norway. Each year, the Norwegian government hosts a group of representatives from the U.S. Congress and their staffers, through the Norwegian-American Parliamentary Exchange Program (NAPEP). On the American side, these programs cater in the most part to members of the Norway Caucus, of which Ellison is a member.

Ellison is the first member of Congress to declare himself a Muslim, and he created quite a bit of commotion when he insisted on being sworn into office with his hand on his Quran. Ellison represents the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), and calls himself a true Democrat. “Its your values and your political platform that decides whether you get people’s support,” Ellison told Aftenposten, explaining why his constituency of Norwegian, Swedish and German ancestry had chosen him to represent them in Congress.

Caroline Schonheyder

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May 31st, 2008, 11:16 am


90. Qifa Nabki said:


Thanks for your thoughts. Most useful.

I wonder if Sami’s around, and if so, maybe he could respond to you?

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May 31st, 2008, 11:36 am


91. Honest Patriot said:

Debate this:

If Barak Obama becomes president the greatest challenge to his success in the Middle East will not be under his control. It will be whether Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and to a lesser extent Syria understand and take advantage of the significant and unique opportunity they have to become partners in realizing a just peace in the Middle East and thus retain an important status in the new established order, or whether they will persist in the extreme position of refusing an accommodation with the existence of Israel as a state with a Jewish character. The real agents for peace – if they choose to do it – will be those countries/groups. They will have a willing partner in Obama. For certain, there will be quite a few saboteurs, extremists from both camps: al-Qaeda-types in the Arab camp and fanatically religious Jews in the Israeli camp. The challenge will be for everyone to prevent them from spoiling the opportunity. Will wisdom prevail? Will Obama be the next US President? Will Iran/Hamas/Hezbollah/Syria cooperate with Obama?

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May 31st, 2008, 11:39 am


92. Qifa Nabki said:

A proper civil state is all that can cure what ails the Lebanese

By The Daily Star
Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lebanon’s feuding politicians managed a last-minute escape act by agreeing to a temporary fix in Doha earlier this month, but they have yet to address the primary cause of this country’s troubles: The great majority of the Lebanese have outgrown the tribal mishmash that passes for their political system. The general population cannot be “re-educated” in such a way that it again embraces (or ignores) the essentially apartheid principles upon which the current order was based – and which continue to defy all the tinkering that has taken place. The solution, therefore, lies in updating the machinery of governance so that all Lebanese can feel safe and secure in their own country: Lebanon must start developing a civil state to replace the sectarian monstrosity that inexorably turns its citizens against one another.

True, there is an obvious contradiction here because while most individual Lebanese are consistently damaged by the sectarian system, most of the politicians would be lost without it. They cannot be enthusiastic about scrapping a set-up that has endowed them (as it did their fathers and grandfathers) with unearned powers and undeserved riches, but even they are running out of choices. The broadly Christian-Muslim split that typified the 1975-1990 Civil War has been succeeded (at least for now) by an intra-Islamic one between Sunnis and Shiites, but the focus of intolerance can only shift so many times – especially in the face of an increasingly sophisticated population. Eventually, a critical mass of Lebanese will not be so easily fooled, and they will demand real change. The only question is whether the neanderthals will remain in the ascendant long enough to have another war.

Doha was better than nothing, and all Lebanese should be grateful for the time its has bought them. But the causes of the crisis remain untouched, even unacknowledged, and the electoral component of the agreement demonstrates that the politicians have not been cured of their instinctive reliance on sectarian formulas and back-room plotting.

President Michel Suleiman is very new to the job, but he enjoys the rare distinction of being trusted by large numbers of all Lebanese. He is a natural candidate, therefore, to champion the dismantling of the sectarian fetters that have bound this country from its birth. Circumstances have made Prime Minister Fouad Siniora a more polarizing figure, but he can start to fix that by joining the president. Speaker Nabih Berri’s reasons for taking part should be obvious: It his community that suffers most – and so is most in danger of being radicalized – under the current system.

There is, of course, an alternative: more dead people.

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May 31st, 2008, 11:40 am


93. Honest Patriot said:


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May 31st, 2008, 12:01 pm


94. ausamaa said:

The Daily Star prophecy:

“Circumstances have made Prime Minister Fouad Siniora a more polarizing figure, but he can start to fix that by joining the president”

..and the innocent poor guy could do nothing but go with the Current. Or what he thought to be the Current!

That is how people Sin, right? By going with the current.

Then they can go into a short confessional and they become Saints and trusted again and we can count on them to bulid a State!

That is a gross oversemplication by to say the least by the highly objective and unbiased Daily Star. And if Lebanon hope for a brighter future rests with a born-again Siniora. Then good luck every one…

What does the Daily Star think of the intelligence of its readers?? They must think they are certified uninitiated Idiots.

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May 31st, 2008, 1:34 pm


95. Qifa Nabki said:


You of all people should have faith in the healing power of time.

After all, you express great admiration for people like Michel Aoun (once an advocate of regime change in Syria because of its support for “terrorist” organizations like Hizbullah and Hamas, just a few years ago).

If Aoun can “see the light”, surely Saniora can, right…

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May 31st, 2008, 3:50 pm


96. Friend in America said:

I am more optimistic than any time in the last 3 years, but it is in Syria’s interests, and Israel’s, to come to an agreement soon. Time is not on Syria’s side nor on Israel’s. At present it is politically possible.

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May 31st, 2008, 4:11 pm


97. why-discuss said:


In my eyes , Siniora reelection is a convenient facade, agreed upon by both parties for the US and donors who were worried by the forcing and the success of Hezbollah.
Siniora’s presence will give an impression of continuity and a ‘success’ for majority. This will ensure the flow of economical support, key for Lebanon recovery.
If Siniora gets rid of his hysterical and uncompromising advisors, Geagea, Jumblatt, Fatfat, Hamade and his useless ministry of interior, Sabeh, then he could very well get recognition from more lebanese and with the help of Sleiman put the country on the right track.
If he does not then I think the country may crack again.

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May 31st, 2008, 4:16 pm


98. Friend in America said:

Regarding the gossip story about pending reshuffling of leadership in Washington,
Condellesa Rice is positioning herself to become John McCain’s running mate. A smart political move that I would support. The Christopher Hill situation is serious. The Hill (and Rice) strategy was to get a full disclosure of North Korea’s international nuclear dealings as well as dismantling its nuclear facility. The documents on international activity were turned over about 2 weeks ago. They were incomplete and there appears to be some fabrication. So, the military in Pongyang again triumphed and the White House leaders, who reluctantly went along with the Hill-Rice strategy, are “pulling the plug on that strategy. Another indication of the military getting an upper hand is the nuclear scientist in Pakistan just “recanted” his confession of 4 years ago.
He is getting support to do so internationally and domestically. Domestically it is the military. It does not take much guessing to identify the international party.

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May 31st, 2008, 4:37 pm


99. Qifa Nabki said:


What do you see as the top priorities for the next Lebanese government? (Not this one, the 2009 one).

It’s not possible to say for certain what the alliances are going to look like, but let’s say that Hizbullah/Amal and the FPM gain more seats such that they possess a 55% majority, or something like that.

In that case, what should the priorities be, in your opinion?

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May 31st, 2008, 4:40 pm


100. Qifa Nabki said:

My God, a Rice vice-presidency?!

What a nightmare.

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May 31st, 2008, 4:41 pm


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