“Syrians Were Not Behind the Hariri Assassination,” Former US Offical to as-Safir

The Hariri Murder Investigation:
T_desco
has provided this report on as-Safir’s treatment of news that Hizbullah members will be named in the Hariri Investigation. I thank him. Even if Hizbullah members are implicated in the murder, many questions will still be asked: Did Hizbullah initiate the assassination planning? How much did either Iran or Syria know or approve of the action.

As Safir: Ex-U.S. Official: It Was Obvious Syrians Were Not Behind Hariri Killing

A former high-level U.S. official has said that Washington was lately aware that no Syrian stood behind the assassination of ex-Premier Saad Hariri. “It was lately obvious to us that the Syrians were not behind the assassination. However, they probably knew about it (sic!),” the former official told As Safir daily.

Asked about the political intentions of Hizbullah, the official said: “We don’t know yet. We have thought about many scenarios.” (…) Naharnet, July 20, 2010 (my emphasis) There is certainly some creative talent required to figure out the ‘motive’. Perhaps they should ask Hollywood.

As Safir: Bellemare Said Army Won’t Arrest Hizbullah Member in Case of Involvement in Hariri Murder

As-Safir quoted Bellemare as saying that the announcement of his findings would include two rounds. They will start in September and last till end of 2010.

The first round will involve 3-5 names from Hizbullah while the second will include the naming of around 20 party members, according to the report.

However, the Hizbullah leadership will not be blamed for the killing, As-Safir said, adding that his findings do not include names of Syrians.

Naharnet, July 20, 2010:

By not implicating the leadership they would cunningly manage to avoid all the hard questions concerning the alleged motive of the attack.

Iraqi cleric meets with PM candidate in Syria

By REBECCA SANTANA (AP) – 8 hours ago

BAGHDAD — Anti-American Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took a rare, public step into the political arena Monday, meeting in neighboring Syria with the man directly challenging Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his office.

The talks between al-Sadr, who is nominally allied with al-Maliki, and former premier Ayad Allawi, who heads the heavily Sunni-backed Iraqiya coalition, appeared to be as much about showing al-Maliki that al-Sadr is keeping his options open as it was about any firm political agreement between the two men in the offing.

Al-Sadr rarely travels outside of his home base in Iran, where he lives in self-imposed exile. His followers won 39 seats in the 325-seat parliament in Iraq’s national election in March, giving him considerable sway over who becomes the next prime minister.

Following the ballot, al-Sadr joined a coalition with al-Maliki’s list, but the deep-rooted hatred many in the Sadrist camp feel toward the prime minister — who’s jailed thousands of their supporters — has stalled any further development of their alliance.

In Damascus, al-Sadr and Allawi appeared complimentary of each other following their meeting — a shocking development considering the past animosity between the two and a clear signal in Iraq’s rough-and-tumble political scene that all options are on the table when it comes to forming a new government….

But the two leaders’ appeared to put aside their differences in the meeting that was arranged by the Syrian president. In pictures, the pair sat side by side, with Allawi in his business suit and al-Sadr in his flowing robes and black turban…..

The director general of MI5 between 2002 and 2007, Eliza Manningham-Buller at the Iraq inquiry explains that:

• Saddam posed ‘limited threat’ inside UK before 2003
• CIA didn’t believe Iraq was responsible for 9/11
• Toppling of Saddam allowed Bin Laden to enter Iraq
• MI5 ‘overwhelmed’ with home-grown threats after 2003
- 20 July – The Guardian

Gareth Porter at IPS/ [thanks FLC]

“… Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism official, told IPS that his sources are CIA officials with direct knowledge of the entire Amiri operation.
The CIA contacts say that Amiri had been reporting to the CIA for some time before being brought to the U.S. during Hajj last year, Giraldi told IPS, initially using satellite-based communication. But the contacts also say Amiri was a radiation safety specialist who was “absolutely peripheral” to Iran’s nuclear programme, according to Giraldi.

Amiri provided “almost no information” about Iran’s nuclear programme, said Giraldi, but had picked up “scuttlebutt” from other nuclear scientists with whom he was acquainted that the Iranians have no active nuclear weapon programme.

Opinion: “Future of the region made in Damascus” Mideastwire.com translation

On July 20, the state-controlled Al-Watan daily carried the following opinion piece by political editor Ziad Haidar: “The most prominent thing that came out from Damascus amid the intensive diplomatic activities it witnessed yesterday was probably the statement in which the local news agency SANA quoted a Syrian presidential spokesman. During President Bashar al-Assad’s meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as SANA focused in its coverage of the meeting on the “wish to exploit this exceptional relationship (between Turkey and Syria) to secure peace and stability in the region,” he was stressing the necessity (and this is the main point) “for the solutions to the problems in the region to come from its states and not from abroad.”

“Therefore, what was noticeable in Davutoglu’s visit was that it coincided with the presence of three extremely important guests, which would probably explain why this visit, that was supposed to be held last Friday, was postponed until this day, i.e. so that he is present during President Al-Assad’s lunch for Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’d al-Hariri, and so that he could meet with the head of the Iraqi list that won the elections, Iyad Allawi, after the latter had met with President Al-Assad and leader of the Sadrist Movement Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr who had also been visiting Damascus for the last two days. The presence of the Turkish element in Damascus’ activities could be understood as a summit meeting which brought together the leaders of the region, or those who represent them, in order to draw up its future and add more factors of stability…

“In that same context, these contacts emerged as outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dispatched envoys and messages to Damascus, expressing “the wish to correct the course of relations between Damascus and Baghdad,” and calling for “forgetting the past and looking toward the future.” These messages coincided with the discussion of Iraqi affairs in Damascus, as part of the visit of American Senator John Kerry a while ago, especially in light of the American coldness that surfaced in regard to pushing for a prompt solution in Iraq based on the outcome of the elections. Later on, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited Baghdad and came out with a result “stressing the necessity for the government to include all the political sides that participated in the electoral process.”


“Find a Middle Ground: Armenian Church and the Getty Should Work Together,”

By Heghnar Watenpaugh, Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2010

Comments (31)


1. Innocent Criminal said:

Let’s wait and see what happens in september. but i can’t help but wonder, what is more plausible. That a rogue element of Hizbullah a well trained and disciplined organization managed to pull off a very sophisticated assassination? or that the powers that be have struck a deal?

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July 20th, 2010, 1:52 pm

 

2. Nour said:

It is pretty clear to me that “Israel” and the US were behind Hariri’s assassination and that this entire international tribunal has been a circus freak show from day one. Its intent is to create chaos and instability inside Lebanon in order to weaken or destroy the resistance. All the recent arrest of spies all over Lebanon working on the behalf of that criminal, cancerous entity to the south give a clear indication that “Israel” has had a hand in all assassinations inside Lebanon. The STL should at least be questioning these spies and looking into the possibility that “Israel” stood behind Hariri’s assassination, but apparently this has never been their mandate. Their instructions have been to pin the blame on Syria and/or Hizballah in order to serve the interests of the Jewish entity in the region.

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July 20th, 2010, 2:05 pm

 

3. Jihad said:

Rather by trying to implicate in anyway Hezbollah, they would cunningly manage to avoid all the hard questions concerning the alleged motive of the attack and those who are really beind it.

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July 20th, 2010, 2:51 pm

 

4. majedkhaldoun said:

not too fast,T Desco

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July 20th, 2010, 5:59 pm

 

5. majedkhaldoun said:

Is Mandeel Niqab?

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July 20th, 2010, 10:58 pm

 

6. Hassan said:

All the evidence points to Syria. The Detleve Mehlis report nearly comes out and says this.

Of course, this is in keeping with Syria’s modus operandi in Lebanon. The Baathist regime has brutally murdered many of Lebanon’s politicians. It is clear that the regime murdered Kamal Jumblatt and Bachir Gemayel. In addition, the long list of Lebanese politicians who have been assassinated via powerful car bombings after advocating for Lebanese independence from Syria’s occupation further indicates that the regime views murder as a political tool.

As we focus on Rafiq Harriri’s murder let us not forget those other Lebanese who were brutally murdered after advocating for independence from Syrian occupation forces: Pierre Amine Gemayel, Samir Kassir, George Hawi, Gebran Tueni, Walid Eido, and Antoine Ghanem.

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July 21st, 2010, 12:53 pm

 

7. Nour said:

There is not a single piece of evidence that points to Syria, other than that Syrian troops were in Lebanon at the time of the assassination. The Detlev Mehlis report was a comical report based on the testimony of what proved to be false witnesses planted by certain forces who have not been held accountable for deliberately attempting to obstruct the investigation.

All real evidence points to “Israel” and the US. All the spies that have been uncovered and the type of work they were tasked with point to clear “Israeli” involvement in not only Hariri’s murder but also all subsequent assassinations. The only true criminal, cancerous entity in the region is “Israel.” And it is the one entity that has been a source of instability since its very inception.

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July 21st, 2010, 2:10 pm

 

8. t_desco said:

As I argued before, it seems unlikely that Assad knew anything about the attack. So if ‘Syria’ knew, as the former US official suggests, why didn’t the Syrian president…?

I always doubted that Syria was behind the Hariri assassination because it was obviously so disadvantageous for Syria. It would have been an extremely bad move by Syria, but for Hizbullah to do it would have been sheer madness.

There are so many problems (‘motive’, anyone?), so many questions (e.g. about ‘Ghamlush’). I hope we will hear some answers in the coming days, starting tomorrow at 7 p.m. (Beirut time). ;)

Seen from a purely Syrian perspective, Hizbullah and Hamas are major ‘trumps’ in any future negotiations with Israel. So what we are seeing right now is (among other things) an attempt to severely weaken Syria’s hand prior to any negotiations over the Golan Highs. A weakened Syria is more likely to make concessions.

BTW, as much as I appreciate Gareth Porter, I have a massive problem with his take of the Amiri case: if the CIA suspected him of being a new Yurchenko, why did they let him go after the first video?

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July 21st, 2010, 5:10 pm

 

9. t_desco said:

One metaphor too far

Michael Young: New Yorkers are not keen to see their buildings turned into parking space by bin Laden (just as he did with the WTC).

How much disdain for your fellow countrymen do you have to have to even think of using that metaphor in a column?

It should be rather obvious even to those following Young’s contrived reasoning that two parties clearly benefited from the Hariri assassination and the developments that ensued (cui bono): Israel and Sunni extremists:

“According to As Safir, the Hizbullah secretary-general told Jumblat that a top official informed him about fears from a violent reaction from Sunni fundamentalism in case the STL indicts Hizbullah members.”
Naharnet, July 22, 2010

I got the time of the press conference wrong:

“Nasrallah will hold his conference at the Shahed school hall on the airport road at 8:30 pm.
As Safir daily said that the Hizbullah secretary-general will make a well-toned stance that could also include a “big surprise” for the Lebanese.

It added he will unveil new information about the international tribunal and spy networks.”
Naharnet, July 22, 2010

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July 22nd, 2010, 11:48 am

 

10. epppie said:

of course, with Israeli spies having very likely manipulated the ‘intel’ re. the Hariri assassination, the investigation is probably bogus. In the end, it’s hard to see how Hezbollah benefitted or stood to benefit. As relentless as US and Israeli smears against Hezbollah are, they have been working hard for a decade now, successfully, to establish themselves WITHIN Lebanese politics, not outside them.

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July 23rd, 2010, 1:36 pm

 

11. Hassan said:

Eppie,

It is true that the Iranian and Baathist sponsored terror group Hezbollah has worked to place itself within the Lebanese political system. It has been quite successful at slowly taking over Lebanon. As we saw in May 2008, Hezbollah is not afraid to kill fellow Lebanese in order to subjugate the country. What you say is correct, they have worked to position themselves as actors within Lebanese politics, but for Hezbollah the ballot box is not the preferred mechanism of political success. The AK-47 and shooting fellow Arabs is how they have chosen to become politically successful.

There is an important distinction to be made here. We ought to be in favor of terror groups becoming political actors, but only if they relinquish violence, otherwise they end up using their guns in the political process.

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July 23rd, 2010, 2:09 pm

 

12. Nour said:

Eppie:

You are right, the most likely culprit in the Hariri assassination is “Israel” and there is no doubt that the investigation is bogus, as it has been a complete charade from day one. But in my opinion all this is just a ruse to try to create chaos in Lebanon in a bid to destroy the resistance. It is a strategy, however, that has proven to be a failure and will fail once again. The resistance will not allow anyone to destroy it, and when traitors and collaborators attempted to attack the resistance in May of 2008, they were quickly disarmed and stability and normalcy were returned to Lebanon. The resistance is ready to play that role again, and regardless of the wishes of “Israel” and the US, as well as some political opportunists inside Lebanon, Lebanon will be saved once again by the nobility of the resistance.

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July 23rd, 2010, 6:21 pm

 

13. almasri said:

You guys have got all this thing about HA and STL wrong.
Israel is not going to destroy HA and muqawama
Syria will be doing that.
Anyone who carefully listened to Nasrallah, will conclude he was as much upset with Syria as he was with all the other players.
Wait until King Abdullah visits Damascus and Beirut soon and ready yourselves for the surprises.
Bashar sold Iran already.
Even Egypt had some ‘positive’ words about him lately: ‘becoming realistic’.
In short, Syrian regime = opportunism par execellence That is the only way it can survive.

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July 23rd, 2010, 9:57 pm

 

14. Norman said:

Almasri,

I am disappointed ,I didn’t expect to see that from you ,

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July 23rd, 2010, 11:18 pm

 

15. almasri said:

Norman,

I am an observer just like everybody else.
Listen to nasrallah and judge for yourself.

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July 24th, 2010, 12:33 am

 

16. Norman said:

Where al masri i can find what he said

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July 24th, 2010, 8:28 am

 

17. almasri said:

Norman,

You could have googled المؤتمر الصحفي لسماحة السيد حسن نصرالله. You get links to latest videos by the Sayyid. It is video number 1. But here’s the direct link,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y44IPaA_4tQ&feature=related

Here are also links to related articles,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/22/AR2010072204296.html

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=196693

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9A8A056A-4524-4D8E-BBF6-A9A63A559DE5.htm?GoogleStatID=1

http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2010/07/24/114693.html

Also take into consideration the composition of the delegation that accompanied Hariri in his latest visit to Damas. Some of the figures were previously persona non-grata. Hariri met Nasrallah right after the visit.

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July 24th, 2010, 1:08 pm

 

18. Husam said:

Almasri:

I don’t get how you came to your conclusion @ 13, I listened to all his speaches of 22 July, nothing there in relation to your conclusion.

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July 24th, 2010, 2:20 pm

 

19. almasri said:

Husam,

Are you well versed in Lebanese politics?

The sayyid wants those who accompanied Hariri to Damas to have apologized to Syria before being allowed in. That passage in the speech is also a reminder to Bashar (3atab) of the Sayyid’s favors towards him (Bashar) after 2005, and now is being ‘rewarded’ by being left alone to face the STL. There were also news, which I read recently but failed to keep a record of, of Iranian leadership displeasures with Syria. At the time of reading, I thought they were irrelevant until the press conference came about.

Things will become clear after the King’s visit(s). There is a ramadan holiday coming up.

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July 24th, 2010, 2:51 pm

 

20. Averroes said:

To the many wishful thinkers out there …

So Syria will be the power that destroys HA. So, Syria, having withstood the incredible pressures in the past few years to break its ties with Iran and HA, and having been proven correct in its bets, now suddenly has decided to become “moderate” and is on its way to “sell” Iran and HA?

هل من إمكان لفهم هذه «التحشيشة»

An article for Ibrahim Al-Amin in Al-Akhbar 22-Jul-2010

دمشق للحريري: حزب الله هو الخطّ الأحمر

أوردت الأوساط القريبة من رئيس الحكومة، سعد الحريري، أنه عاد من دمشق بتفاهم مع القيادة السورية على أمور كثيرة، تخص تطوير العلاقات بين البلدين. لكن ما أضافه المقربون من الحريري أن الأخير عاد مرتاحاً إلى موقف الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد للتطورات الجارية في لبنان، لكن من دون تفاصيل. إلا أن التوضيحات الإضافية من جانب مساعدي الحريري أخذت بعداً من نوع آخر، وخصوصاً عندما صار الحديث يتناول تعليقات وتفسيرات من النوع المختلف. منها التحليلات المبالغ فيها لمعنى الصورة الثلاثية التي جمعت الأسد والحريري ووزير خارجية تركيا داوود أوغلو.
وفي سياق التحليل السياسي والإعلامي لهذه الصورة، يعود هؤلاء إلى الصورة التي سبق أن جمعت الأسد مع الرئيس الإيراني أحمدي نجاد والأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله. وأخذت المقارنة بعداً إضافياً عندما أجاد هؤلاء في البحث واعتبار الصورة الجديدة بديلاً مقترحاً من الرئيس السوري للصورة القديمة. ولمزيد من التوضيح، يذهب أحد أبرز أمنيّي 14 آذار إلى القول إن سوريا لم تكن في أجواء ما أعلنه نصر الله في خطابه الأخير، وإنها لا تتفهم ما يجري، وهي قلقة على السلم الأهلي وتدعم إعادة التوحد والحوار. ثم يترك فريق الحريري للعموم استنتاج أن دمشق هي إما تتفهم «نقزة» رئيس الحكومة وفريقه من مواقف نصر الله، وإما أنها على الحياد.
سبق هذه الاستنتاجات تحليل آخر رافق زيارة الحريري الأولى لدمشق، مفاده أن سوريا هي صاحبة المصلحة في هذا النوع من التواصل، وأنها تسعى إلى توسيع دائرة التواصل مع الفريق القريب من السعودية، وأن الأسد في صدد الابتعاد عن التحالف مع إيران وحزب الله.
كيف يستوي التحليل بأن سوريا تريد الابتعاد عن المقاومة العربية التي كانت مصدر الرهان والقوة؟

إلا أن الأمر لا يتوقف عند هذا الحد؛ لأن في هذا الفريق من يقود تناقضاً داخلياً هو الأغرب من نوعه في سياق مقاربته العلاقة مع سوريا. فمن جهة، يتحدث هؤلاء عن أن دمشق نجحت واستطاعت تجاوز كل دوائر الضغط التي تعرضت لها على مدى السنوات الخمس. ومن جهة ثانية، هم يعتقدون أن سوريا تواجه أزمة وتريد التخلص من عبء التحالف مع إيران. فيما يعرفون أن سوريا عندما تعرضت للضغط خلال تلك الفترة كانت أمام خيار الابتعاد عن إيران، مقابل أخذ موقع متقدم في الوضع الإقليمي، وكان عليها كذلك الابتعاد عن الدور الراعي لقوى المقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق، وتحديداً وقف التواصل مع حزب الله وإقفال بوابة الدعم العسكري والعمل على إبعاد قادة حماس والجهاد الإسلامي وقوى المقاومة الفلسطينية من دمشق. ومع ذلك، فهي لم تقبل بذلك، وواجهت الضغوط على مختلف أنواعها. حتى إن صحافياً إسرائيليا كتب أخيراً تعليقاً لافتاً عن الأمر، قائلاً إن الأسد رفض مشورة كثيرين طالبوه بالتعاون مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وقرر المغامرة بالعلاقة مع المقاومة، لكنه فاز في هذه المغامرة.
والسؤال هنا: كيف يستوي التحليل؟ والآن بعدما ربحت سوريا خياراتها، كيف ستعود عن التحالفات التي قامت عليها سياستها في الفترة الصعبة، وهي ذاهبة نحو تحالفات مع الفريق الذي خسر الرهانات، وهو الآن يعيد ترتيب مواقعه والنظر في حساباته؟
وبالعودة إلى آخر التحليلات، فإن المنطق الذي يريد فريق الحريري وبقية قوى 14 آذار العمل عليه، هو القائل بأن سوريا الآن تفضل مقاربة الأمور من زاوية الحفاظ على ما حققته من مكاسب في السنوات الأخيرة، وأنها لن تتأخر في اختيار العلاقة مع الدولة اللبنانية إذا ما أُجبرت على الاختيار بينها وبين حزب الله.
هل من إمكان لفهم هذه «التحشيشة»؟
بدايةً، ولناحية المعلومات، فإن المحادثات التي أجراها الرئيس الحريري في سوريا، أو تلك التي أجراها معاونوه مع مساعدين للرئيس السوري، ركزت على ملفات كثيرة من بينها الملف الأكثر حساسية الآن والمتصل بمواقف السيد نصر الله، والخشية من لجوء المحكمة الدولية إلى خطوة غبية تستهدف المقاومة، وقد سمع الحريري ومساعدوه موقفاً واضحاً، فيه الآتي:
إن سوريا تريد تأكيد موقفها الداعم للسلم الأهلي في لبنان، وهي ترى في الانقسام مصدر خطر على سوريا نفسها، وإن تجربة سنوات الانقسام الأخيرة دلت على ذلك. كذلك تعتقد سوريا أن الأمور تحتاج إلى حوار يقوم على حد أدنى من الثقة المتبادلة التي تتيح التوصل إلى تفاهمات على الأمور الاستراتيجية، كما على الأمور الحياتية اليومية في لبنان. لكن سوريا تحتفظ بثوابتها:
أولاً: إن قوى المقاومة العربية، وفي طليعتها حزب الله، وعلى رأسه السيد نصر الله، هي خط أحمر يطابق الخط الأحمر المرسوم حول النظام في سوريا.
ثانياً: إن سوريا تعيد التأكيد أن التحالفات في لبنان يجب أن تقوم على حوارات وتواصل ومصارحة.
ثالثاً: إن سوريا لا تثق بالعمل الجاري في ملف التحقيق الدولي الخاص بجريمة اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، وهي تلفت انتباه من يهمه الأمر إلى أن ما يحفظ الاستقرار هو الابتعاد عن الفبركات وخلافه.
ثمة قاعدة واضحة لدى المسؤولين السوريين، تقول إن الأمور قد تكون متجهة إلى مزيد من التعقيد، لكن الأهم في المسألة هو أن الحريري وفريقه يظهرون تفهماً لهواجس حزب الله، لكنهم عندما يصلون إلى مرحلة الإجابة يقفون مرتبكين: ليس في يدنا ما نقوم به، كل الملف عند الولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا وفرنسا والسعودية.

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July 24th, 2010, 5:35 pm

 

21. Husam said:

Syria will not sell out Iran or HA unless the price is right.

Almasri: Reality and politics are 2 different things. Some things we will know, and some things we will never know. No, I don’t know Lebanese news and politics all that much, but I don’t think Syria is on a verge of divorce. And, I don’t believe Syria’s relation with HA is such that requires both leaders to throw lines in between speaches. Perhaps Nasrallah is bringing out Bashar’s flexibility that did not require a formal apology as good thing ((he (Bashar) should have asked, but he did not)).

Call me crazy, but Nasrallah’s speeches seems to me more clear, confident and sincere than all the other clowns in the Lebanese circus.

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July 24th, 2010, 5:46 pm

 

22. Norman said:

Syria will not stop Hezbollah , one , because she does not want to and second because she can not ,

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July 24th, 2010, 6:21 pm

 

23. almasri said:

I wouldn’t call you crazy Husam. But to say that nasrallah’s speech shows more calm than other players (i wouldn’t call it circus anymore because there seems to be quite a bit of sobriety on their parts) is a stretch of a statement.
1) Hariri offered Nasrallah his father’s blood and the saving of HA’s head (and party) for the sake of internal stability. Nasrallah, briefly rejected the offer in his speech. Hariri scored big on that. Be careful where the circus may lie from now on.
2) That is as much as Hariri and his Arab backers can offer. The rest is not up to them. Syria here MUST do its part. We do not know what the consequences will be.
3) Iran’s sanction are under chapter 7. STL is under chapter 7. Syria is in the middle. You go figure.
4) I do not know what Abdullah will say to Bashar in light of the above. We can only speculate. He could be carrying a final message as in 2005 when Bashar was called to Riyad and didn’t get past the airport. Bashar’s soldiers left Lebanon within one week.
5) I agree with you. Syria will sell for the right price. That is probably why Egypt is ‘positive’ about Bashar becoming realistic recently. It could be the price is now set at realistic levels. Egypt stood against KSA in recent attempts for Arab reconciliation.

Some so-called ‘philosophers’ capable of only making disparaging comments and incapable of making retractions due to arrogance now are telling us that al-Akhbar speaks for Syria and its regime. WOW. I raise my hat to that.

May be such ‘philosophers’ can make sense out of al-amin’s assertion
ثالثاً: إن سوريا لا تثق بالعمل الجاري في ملف التحقيق الدولي الخاص بجريمة اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، وهي تلفت انتباه من يهمه الأمر إلى أن ما يحفظ الاستقرار هو الابتعاد عن الفبركات وخلافه.
with what Syria recently announced about its determination to try any Syrian indicted by the STL. Also, how does Syria feel about the Sayyid claiming Hariri told him that he (Hariri) already knows the contents of the STL upcoming indictment statement. Where in fact Hariri only spoke of circulating rumors in the media to Nasrallah? Is Syria going to admonish the sayyid and tell him to shut up and stay away from fabrications in order to preserve internal peace?
Glad to know alamin recognizes the implications of Lebanese stability upon Syria’s own.
Go read some empty philosophy books. How pathetic?

Norman, I hope you are right. But the fall is going to be full of surprises.

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July 24th, 2010, 7:52 pm

 

24. Husam said:

Alamasri:

I don’t like jumping to conclusions. Why are you dismissing the Israeli involvement in Hariri’s killing?

I need to see hard evidence, not phone records because these can be fabricated.

Aren’t you at least patient enough to wait until Nasrallah shows us the supposedly “so much interesting breakdown” of the complex details he promised he will do in his next speech?

I am not saying you are wrong, I am saying hold your horses.

As for the circus in the middle east, like everywhere else, a circus showing is scheduled daily.

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July 24th, 2010, 8:18 pm

 

25. almasri said:

Husam,

I am not dissmissing any scenario including the Israeli one.

Either Hariri is lying or Nasrallah is.

1) if Hariri is telling the truth, then nasrallah jumped to conclusions based on rumors and hastily made a press conference which only serves to heighten internal tension.

2) Hariri is lying and he indeed told nasrallah he knows what is in the indictment. In this case nasrallah fell into the trap and prematurely rejected a ‘reasonable’ offer pending further evidence.

In either case case who is the clown in this circus?

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July 24th, 2010, 9:23 pm

 

26. Norman said:

Al masri,

you must remember what they said about a taping of President Assad threatening Hariri and that Maher and Asef are involved and the only way for Bashar Assad to save himself is to admit and surrender Maher and Assef and Ghazali, he refused and he was right to do that because it was a trap to convect Syria , now they are doing the same thing to Nasrallah , If Hariri J offered what you said , it was also a trap to see if Hezbollah will full into it and accept which means that he is guilty in the first place , we should remember that indictment does mean guilty or convection and Hariri should be careful that any attempt at discrediting Hezbollah and Nasrallah will be faced with an overthrow of his government ,

The problem that in Lebanon and the wide Mideast is that there does not seem to be a decisive victory for anybody and that keeps the area in a chronic conflict without future , a win by a party and reconciliation afterward is better for everybody ,

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July 24th, 2010, 10:11 pm

 

27. Asaad Sultan said:

The one who killed former Lebanon PM is technically, physically, and politically Israel. Anyone believes differently must prove it by only showing beyond doubt evidence. Simply no one can because no one has any evidence that would implicate Syria. Israel did it beyond doubt.

Israel created itself through terrorism, can only survive by using terrorism, and it has been doing so since its creation in 1948. Today, Israel is the only remaining apartheid regime in the world. The question is how long Israel can survive?

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July 25th, 2010, 12:46 am

 

28. almasri said:

Norman,

I think there is a big difference between what happened when the investigation was going on at the time Assad was asked to hand over certain people and what we have right now. There was no tribunal at that time. At one point after Mehlis was dismissed, everyone seemed to be satisfied with the impartiality of the investigation including Syria and HA. If I recall correctly, there was a deal to stay away from certain personalities in Syria and Syria would support the investigation and later on the tribunal. HA was not part of this deal at that time. But nobody was talking about HA being involved then. So, there was no need to include HA in that deal.

Besides what do you mean by this,

“we should remember that indictment does mean guilty or convection and Hariri should be careful that any attempt at discrediting Hezbollah and Nasrallah will be faced with an overthrow of his government ,”?

Well, by Western standards, we know an accused is innocent until proven guilty. Is it impossible for Nasrallah to understand and accept this concept? Could he not teach his followers that this is how those accused would be looked at until proven otherwise? After all he can just make a command and all of his followers would be happy to oblige!

Finally, the issue does not need such a press conference which would only serve to heighten internal tensions. And this applies in either case whether Hariri knows the actual indictment statement or whether he was just discussing rumors with Nasrallah.

So, I believe Hariri is keeping around him some good qualified advisers, while Nasrallah seems to be out of touch.

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July 25th, 2010, 12:48 am

 

29. Averroes said:

King Abdallah’s visit to Syria will bring nothing new. No dramatic changes are expected. The Saudi monarch is being pragmatic and is in fact cozing up the winning side.

Syria has not changed any of its stands: it has not broken its ties with Iran, not with HA or Hamas. It has not surrendered any of its officers to the international tribunal investigation, and it has built bridges with Turkey, and a number of international powers.

Saudi Arabia reached a frenzy in 2006/2007 and the Saudi press and its Lebanese employees were openly calling for the dismantling of the regime. Now all of those have shut up against Syria. It was the Saudi king that made his famous U turn, not Syria.

I do not see any compelling reasons for Syria to sell out on HA. HA has been a responsible, rational, and formidable force on Syria’s side. Those who see Syria dropping HA at this stage for no reason at all are not painting a coherent picture. The extrapolation seems to draw on little other than wishful thinking.

In fact, one might in 2005 have doubted that Syrian elements may have had some involvement with Hariri’s assassination, and that has been proven incorrect now. But to try to use Hariri’s Qamees (shirt) to frame HA defies all logic and all reason. Hariri S and Nasralla had the best of relations and HA gained nothing at all from the events that followed. Where is the motive? (please answer without the aid of narcotics)

I have seen this just too many times: Some people begin with unfathomable loath towards HA and the Syrian leadership, and just allow their hatred to take advantage of their better judgment, reading every single piece of news as a definite step towards the demise of those forces. Green envy just eats them up as they watch the discipline, commitment, and success of HA and Syrian policy, while they’re preaching hot air from behind their thick argeeleh smoke clouds.

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July 25th, 2010, 12:56 am

 

30. t_desco said:

Some ideas:

-1-
- the sectarian danger is even greater than some people (e.g. E. Muhanna) seem to realize: the STL indictment will not be about Hariri alone!

SPIEGEL (Follath): “And, once again, there was evidence of involvement by the Hezbollah commando unit, just as there has been in each of more than a dozen attacks against prominent Lebanese in the last four years.”

UN 8 (Brammertz): 78. In addition (…) the Commission’s findings suggest that there may be a link between the group claiming responsibility for the Hariri killing and the group that claimed responsibility for the attacks on Samir Kassir, Gebran Tueni and Pierre Gemayel.
81. Communications analysis conducted so far has helped confirm the Commission’s hypothesis that a number of individuals may be relevant to the Hariri case and one or more of the other cases.

UN 10 (Bellemare): “25. The Commission can now confirm, on the basis of available evidence, that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out the assassination of Rafiq Hariri and that this criminal network, the “Hariri network”, or parts thereof, are linked to some of the other cases within the Commission’s mandate.”

(my emphasis)

- in short, Shi’ites seen targeting leaders of all other sects

- however, this leads to an additional motive for these attacks (1. revenge on behalf of Syria): 2. stirring up sectarian tensions to ignite a civil war

-2-
- STL may be adopting ‘lobster cooking’ strategy (first indicting 3, then 20, then…?), expecting Hizbullah to sit still while the heat is being turned on
- ‘rogue elements’ theory is obviously absurd
- final indictments could still target leadership
- or a construct like ‘International Hezbollah’ (Mughniyah)
- or even Revolutionary Guards (Iran)!

-3-
- expect new Siddiqs!

- the ‘findings’ will be based on more than just communication analysis
- e.g. the link between phones and ‘secret’ commando unit has to be human intelligence
- witnesses could also identify the person who bought the 8 phone cards (Ghamlush)
- or the 2 persons who bought the van, etc.

- as a result the indictment will be convincing for March 14, Saad Hariri, the Western media, etc.

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July 25th, 2010, 7:25 am

 

31. Norman said:

They are trying to destroy Hezbollah by legal means after Israel could not do that by force , It might be time for Hezbollah to take over call for one man one vote and opportunity for anybody in Lebanon to be president , prime minster or a parliament speaker

anybody can be in any position , countrywide election , and equality to all , investigation in Lebanon rebuilding scam which made Hariri a billionaire while inflicting significant debt on Lebanon ,

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July 25th, 2010, 8:23 am

 

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