The soldiers of truth are back

Posted by Alex 

In November 2005, US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton warned the Syrians "What we want are not speeches or words," . "We want cooperation, full and complete, and immediate". The same week, French President Jacques Chirac added "It is not conceivable, admissible, acceptable for the international community … that Syria refuses to cooperate," … Chirac warned of sanctions if al-Assad "persists in not wanting to listen or understand". The United States described Assad's speech that month as "appalling".

Serious warnings to Bashar … the "Evil Moron who's running Syria

The past few days we found out that the civilized world has given up on Syria again, long time ago in the case of President Bush, more recently in the case of President Sarkozy who earlier gave Damascus a public deadline (until Saturday) to interfere in an effective way in Lebanon. Syria missed the deadline and failed to interfere… or "help" as they call the desired Syrian interference lately. Syria refused to (failed to) "help"… not to be confused with American/French/European/Moderate Arab demands last few years for Syria to stay away completely from Lebanon.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on the Near East on November 8, 2007, David Welch explained how his administration is

"working with our partners in Europe and in the Middle East to coordinate efforts so as to maximize effectiveness, especially in the run-up to Lebanon's elections. As an example of this coordination, Secretary Rice led a meeting on the margins of last week's Expanded Neighbors Conference in Istanbul with the Foreign Ministers of France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, as well as the Secretary General of the Arab League to discuss the upcoming elections in Lebanon. We expect to consult more closely with our partners in the region on this subject in the coming weeks"

Syria's foreign minister who was in Istanbul that day was not invited. Apparently his presence was not as necessary to "maximize effectiveness" as that of the UAE's foreign minister.

Yet it was Syria, and not Saudi Arabia or Egypt (or the UAE) that disappointed the French and Americans in its failure to enable them to announce that they (The French and the Americans) succeeded in making the Lebanese democratic presidential elections a success.

Since we did not witness any new assassination of anti Syria Lebanese politicians for many months (El-Hajj was pro Syria) and since Syria got credited more than once by American generals in Iraq for its seemingly effective efforts in helping calm the violence in Iraq, Syria's evilness is not the issue these days. The apparent main (new for 2008) reason why the two presidents gave up on Syria seems to be related to their impression that Bashar is not very honest or trustworthy… he promises things that he does not deliver.

You can't trust the Syrians. Sarkozy has been dealing with Assad (by phone) for about a month now. Assad had a whole month to deliver a solution in Lebanon. He did not. He lost the confidence of the civilized world (Which includes Saudi Arabia by the way).

No one put any such deadlines on the numerous Saudi, Egyptian, French, American, Arab League, Italian, Spanish, or Russian initiatives that were promising to help Lebanon. Since Syria was ordered out of Lebanon in 2005, the other countries had sufficient time (and influence) to demonstrate, collectively, that they can replace Syria in dealing with Lebanon's considerable challenges and difficulties. They did not. Instead, they came back to Syria in the last minute to ask for a quick solution to all the mess they created the past two years. A mess that is not only limited to Lebanon. Syria was expected to deliver a solution in Lebanon without the luxury of being able to even have an active direct discussion with Lebanon's new management: The United States and Saudi Arabia.

Two years ago, the Syrian President offended and outraged many people when he called Lebanese Prime minister Fouad Seniora "abdon moussayar li-abden moussayar" (led slave of a led slave). He was referring to his impression of Seniora's place in the real hierarchy of Lebanese politics: Seniora's boss is young billionaire Saad Hariri (who picked Seniora for the job), Hariri's boss is Saudi King Abdullah.

In case any reader is still saddened by Bashar's unfair characterization of the leader of the truly independent and democratic Lebanese M14 government, here is what Mr. Fouad Seniora, President Bush's one and only acceptable Lebanese, wrote in Saudi Newspaper Asharq al-Awsat last August:

أمّا الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز، الإنسان الكبير، والقائد الكبير، والفارس النبيل، فرعى الله ودَّه، وأطالَ عهدَه، ومتَّعَنا بوجوده وعملِه، جزاءَ ما قدَّم وأسهم، وجزاءَ ما سعى وكافح، من أجل عزَّة وتقدُّم المملكة، حصن العرب والمسلمين، ومن أجل خير الأمة العربية، وسلامِ لبنان وحريته وعروبته وسيادته واستقرار نظامه الديمقراطي وعيشه المشترك .

Translation: "As for King Abdullah Ben Abd alaziz (King of Saudi Arabia), the grand human being, the grand leader, the noble knight, may god preserve his friendliness and prolong his rule, and allow us to continue enjoying his presence and his work, reward him for all that he provided and participated in, reward him for his struggle and hard work for the success and progress of the kingdom … citadel of all Arabs and Muslims, and his struggle for the benefit of the Arab world and for peace and freedom and Arabism and independence and stability of Lebanon's democratic system and its successful coexistence."

Given how highly Mr. Seniora thinks of the Saudi King and his indispensable role in Lebanon (and the whole universe actually), wouldn't it be fair to not expect much from the Syrians given that the Saudi King can not even receive a phone call from their President? Where is the hard working Saudi King when you need him?

But apparently, even the Saudi King has given up on the Syrians.

Here is a quote from Michael Young's column this week:

"This week, a story in the Kuwaiti daily As-Siyassah quoted a Lebanese diplomat in Cairo as saying the Saudis believe Syria has sponsored anti-regime Salafists in the kingdom itself. As-Siyassah is close to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and no Lebanese diplomat would have made such a charge on the record without getting a Saudi green light to do so."

Michael Young, opinion editor of the Lebanese Daily Star, is one of the more determined Syrian regime fighters in the media. In this opinion piece he is concluding that "Damascus may have just lost the Arabs". And he is quoting the Kuwaiti daily As-Siyassah.

The amazing As-Siyassah … the Kuwaiti newspaper "close to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia".

Few month ago, after the neocons and their friends in Israel started to "leak" on a daily basis stories to Murdoch-owned media (the London Times, the WSJ …) that Israel hit a Syrian/Korean nuclear reactor during its mysterious and "top secret" mission over the Euphrates, I received a phone call from an Israeli journalist who told me: "My editor just informed me that while researching the subject he uncovered a year-old story published in Kuwait's As-Siyassah newspaper in which they reported that Syria was already working with North Korea on a nuclear reactor!". The Israeli newspaper was about to publish this shocking discovery as its main headline story.

I told my Israeli friend that I will email him something that will make his editor forget about this story.

Since we just switched to 2008, this is a good time for me to share with you some of my collection of the most honest anti-Syrian-regime news and analysis that I have been saving over the past few years.

The sources are: Saudi owned media, Lebanese March 14th media and blogs, "Syrian oppositions" sites and blogs… some independent and many Neocon/Saudi financed, supported or promoted.

But most of these creative stories started from the Kuwaiti As-Siyassah … the newspaper "close to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia" newspaper. The stories are hilarious. But at from 2004 until today many Syrian regime adversaries (journalists, politicians, readers …) were quoting them and cross referencing them as if they are facts. If you argued with any regime opponent on any blog you probably noticed that these stories were quite successful in convincing many people that the regime is about to fall .. that Mehlis got the perfect smoking gun … that Syria, Iran, hizbollah, Bashar, the Alawite army officers are all ready to stab each other in the back out of their desperation.

I wish President Bush can read these examples of all the honesty, productivity, objectivity, reliability, independence, and professionalism of his favorite side in the Middle East… then to remind us again why he is fed up with the Syrian regime.

From Beirutletter.com

وتقول المصادر المطلعة وشديدة الخصوصية في هذا الصدد , ان رئيس النظام بشار الأسد, الذي يعاني من المرض والهزال النفسي, والأرق الليلي, قد استشعر خطورة هذه التطورات فسارع لأول مرة وعلى غير عادة منه , الى قادة الفرق العسكرية العشر , وبدأ يتودد اليهم بالهدايا , واعطى كل واحد منهم سيارة مرسيدس وخمسة ملايين ليرة سورية (100 ألف دولار) وقال لهم ان هذه المبادرة جاءت منه بمناسبة قرب حلول عيد الأضحى , ومكافأة منه على ولائهم واخلاصهم له وللنظ

Bashar, who is suffering from grave sickness (both physically and mentally) and can not sleep at night, was very worried that Khaddam is becoming too powerful and that the Syrian people in all the mosques are getting restless … therefore, he rushed to buy expensive gifts to the generals in charge of each of the divisions of the Syrian army … Bashar bought each one of them a Mercedes and gave each one $100,000 as a bonus for their loyalty… and for the Eid! (which Bashar never did before he got this scared)

From Levant News (widely quoted opposition site), more bad news for Bashar:

طلبت طهران من رئيس النظام الحاكم في سورية بشار أسد تأجيل زيارته الى وقت آخر لان الظروف الراهنة التي تشهد توترات في العلاقة مع أميركا، ووساطات سعودية يقودها الامير بندر بن سلطان رئيس مجلس الامن الوطني السعودي حول الازمة الراهنة في لبنان .. لان هذه الظروف لا تسمح باتمام الزيارة والعمل على نجاحها .

Tehran asked Assad to delay his visit .. they just met with Saudi Prince Bandar and they were about to dump Syria for the more profitable relations with Saudi Arabia!

(No wonder he was a nervous wreck at this point)

Even more bad news for Bashar: From CedarGuards.org
ان وزير خارجية النظام السوري فاروق الشرع , الذي حضر اجتماعاً للجامعة العربية مخصصاً لاحتواء الوضع العراقي المشتعل, وادخال جميع أطياف الشعب في العملية السياسية الجارية, وانهاء مقاطعة المقاطعين , ولتطويق التدخل الإيراني السافر في جنوب العراق.. ان فاروق الشرع استغل انعقاد الاجتماع في جدة, وحاول لقاء خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز , إلا ان محاولاته هذه, التي رمت الى فتح قناة حوارية بين دمشق والرياض, باءت بالفشل , إذ قوبل طلبه بالرفض من قبل السلطات السعودية المختصة, وأكدت المصادر ان الشرع غادر جدة مكتئباً ومحبطاً

Farouk Sharaa tried to meet with the Saudi King but his request was turned down. Sharaa left the Kingdom even more depressed …

Also

على صعيد اخر ذي صلة غادر العماد حكمت الشهابي, رئيس اركان الجيش السوري السابق, باريس يوم الاثنين متوجهاً الى واشنطن التي اجرى فيها مشاورات عميقة مع قادة البنتاغون من عسكريين ومدنيين , تناولت مجمل الاوضاع في سورية وكيفية تغيير النظام , بما في ذلك تأمين انتقال سلس للسلطة من دون اراقة دماء, او مواجهة مضاعفات امنية.

والعماد الشهابي الذي أمضى 25 سنة في رئاسة اركان الجيش السوري, يعرف بدقة هيكلية وتراتبية هذا الجيش, ومن كم فرقة يتشكل , ومن هم قادة الفرق, والى اي الاطياف ينتمون , واين يجتمعون في الخفاء وما هي مخططاتهم السرية, والمحت المصادر المقربة وشديدة الخصوصية الى ان مشاورات الشهابي في البنتاغون قد لا تكون معزولة عن اجراءات يجري ترتيبها الآن للتخلص من الاسد ونظامه , والتي قد لا تكون بعيدة عن ضربة عسكرية تعلن هبوب » عاصفة شتاء« في دمشق , على غرار »عاصفة الصحراء « وما تلاها, التي اقتلعت صدام حسين من الكويت ومن الحكم في وقت لاحق.

Former Syrian Chief of Staff Hikmat Shihabi who knows everything about the Syrian army is now working with the Americans to help them overthrow Bashar through a swift American military operation … it is practically a done deal.

Poor Bashar.

Defending Sunnah reported:
الأسد المحاصر" يخسر 8 كيلو من وزنه وعاجز عن تسليم أقربائه

قلق ومضطرب لا يلاطف أبناءه ومختلف مع أخيه ماهر ويخشى من انقلاب شمشوني

Assad lost 8 kilos! … worried … unsettled … does not play with his children. 

Leb4all.yix.org (another Lebanese anti Syria forum) has this one:

أكدت المصادر المطلعة وشديدة الخصوصية ان بشار أسد رئيس النظام السوري لم يعد قادرا على إدارة شؤون الدولة قبل الرجوع إلى السفير الإيراني في دمشق محمد حسن اختري الذي أصبح يعتبر الحاكم الفعلي لسورية .

The Iranian ambassador in Damascus became the true ruler of Syria … Bashar the Iranian puppet does not know what to do!

A Kurdish site quotes this story:

وعلى صعيد آخر ذي صلة ذكرت المصادر ان أركان النظام السوري, بعد ان فوجئوا بقلم التسجيل الذي سجل عليه الحريري كل تهديدات الأسد له, وبأنه سيدمر لبنان فوق رأسه, اذا لم يقبل التجديد للحود .. بعد ان فوجئوا بوجود هذا القلم, وبأن الشريط المسجل عليه قد أصبح في عهدة القاضي ميليس, اخذوا يتنبهون اكثر فأكثر الى زوار الأسد .
وفي هذا المجال, كشفت المصادر أنه وبعد جريمة اغتيال الحريري بأيام توجه جميل السيد, وكان مديراً عاماً للأمن العام اللبناني لمقابلة الاسد في دمشق, وأثناء دخوله اعترضه المدعو ابو سليم , مدير مكتب الرئيس, وقال له: ساعتك حلوة وجميلة يا جميل , فأجابه لا انها ساعة عادية يرتديها كل الرجال. فقال ابو سليم في كل الاحوال دعني أرها.. خلع جميل السيد ساعته وأعطاها الى ابو سليم الذي ارسلها بدوره الى آصف شوكت مدير الاستخبارات العسكرية ليفحصها . وكانت المفاجأة ان ساعة جميل السيد لم تكن ساعة بل جهاز تسجيل حاول الدخول به بهذه الطريقة المموهة الى الأسد , وعندما انكشف الامر تعرض جميل السيد الى حملة توبيخ غاضبة من الرئيس السوري , متهماً اياه بخيانة العلاقة, وبأنه رجل غير موثوق وأمر بانتهاء المقابلة, حيث خرج بعدها السيد متوجهاً الى بيروت وبداخله براكين من الهواجس والمخاوف سرعان ما تحققت فيما بعد , اذ رفعت الحماية عنه, وأجبر على الاستقالة من منصبه, ومثل أمام تحقيقات ميليس واعترف بكل شيء وانتهى الى الاقامة في الزنزانة …

Basically … Assad and his other regime thugs panicked when they realized that Hariri had a recording pen when he met Assad and that pen has a recording of Assad's voice telling Hariri that he will kill him. Assad's panicky reaction was to meet with Lebanon's Berri and Nasrallah to tell them that they need to help him escape the Mehlis investigation by "setting Lebanon on fire"

The Lebanese Kataeb official site (Amin Gemayel's) quotes this story:

أكدت المصادر المقربة وشديدة الخصوصية ان نائب الرئيس السوري عبدالحليم خدام يتجه الان بعد مقابلته التلفزيونية الشهيرة نحو تشكيل حكومة سورية في المنفى وسينضم اليه في هذا المسعى اللواء حكمت الشهابي رئيس الاركان السابق والضباط العلويون الكبار الذين ابعدهم الاسد عن دائرة المقربين ولم يعد يتصل بهم او يهاتفهم او يجتمع بهم والذين يبدون تذمرا شديدا من الجحود الذي لاقوه من رئيس النظام رغم الخدمات الجليلة التي اسدوها له وتنصيبه في مركز الرئاسة وتمهيد الطريق له للوصول الى اعلى منصب في البلاد .
وقالت المصادر ان هؤلاء الضباط العلويين الكبار ومعهم ضباط اسماعيليون بدأوا ينسقون مع خدام للتخلص من الاوضاع السيئة الراهنة والمسؤول عنها الاسد نفسه. ويتهم الضباط الاسد بأنه تخلى عنهم واهملهم وانفرد لوحده بالسلطة بمشاركة اخيه ماهر وصهره آصف شوكت .

Abdul Halim Khaddam will be joined by Alawite and Ismaeli commanders of the Syrian army in his new government in exile. Former Syrian chief of staff Hikmat Shihabi will also join.

This Assyrian opposition site says:

في هذه الأجواء الضاغطة , وبعد ان تحولت سورية الى ساحة مكشوفة لكل أنواع الاستحقاقات المحلية والعربية والدولية بحيث أصبح النظام السوري فاقدا لادواره الإقليمية , وعرضة للاستغناء .. في هذه الأجواء العصيبة أفادت المصادر المقربة وشديدة الخصوصية ان وجهاء الطائفة العلوية من مختلف الاجيال والأعمار , بمن فيهم المسنون على كراسيهم المتحركة , قابلوا أمس بشار الأسد , وتباحثوا معه في الوضع الصعب الراهن وكيفية الخروج منه بلا خسائر .

Alawite people met Bashar (many on their wheelchairs) to beg him to give his brother and brother in law to the Mehlis investigation to save the Alawite people. But Bashar told Hosni Mubarak that his sister Bushra (Asef Shawkat's wife) did not allow him to do so … and what she decides is final as far as Bashar is concerned… even if it meant the destruction of Syria.

14march.org official site told us:

وتشير المصادر المقربة ان النظام السوري يتهافت الان من اجل الفوز بتعويم علاقاته مع الولايات المتحدة, ومستعد, لهذه الغاية, ان يتنازل عن كل اوراقه ومبادئه, والسبب في ذلك عائد الى قناعته بأن ترميم العلاقات مع واشنطن هو سبيله الوحيد الباقي من اجل ان يستمر, ولا يسقط, ويصبح جزءا من التاريخ الاسود للوطن السوري وللمواطنين السوريين.

That Bashar is telling the Americans he is ready to sell Hizbollah in exchange for establishing relations with him.

From Walid Jumblatt's Party's official site:

واوضحت المصادر ان المعارضة العلوية كسرت الطوق الطوعي الذي فرضته على نفسها حيث خرجت في بداية الاسبوع الماضي عدة تظاهرات ضد الرئيس الاسد وضد سياساته ورفعت في هذه المظاهرات صور رفعت الاسد وشعارات تطالب بعودته من المنفى وتسلمه لزمام السلطة قبل ان يقود الرئيس الاسد البلد الى التهلكة ويفقد العلويون سيطرتهم على الحكم

Alawites in Bashar's hometown of Qurdaha demonstrated for Rifaat Assad and Bahsar ordered Asef Shawkat to shoot at the demonstrators to teach them a lesson.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood site:

كشفت مصادر مطلعة وشديدة الخصوصية لـ "السياسة" أن سورية و"حزب الله " لم يعودا يريان في النائب ميشال عون مرشحهما إلى منصب رئاسة الجمهورية, وأوضحت المصادر أن دمشق تعمل بشكل حثيث عبر حلفائها المعلنين والمستترين لتعديل الدستور اللبناني لكي تتيح لقائد الجيش ميشال سليمان إمكانية تولي منصب الرئاسة , تماماً كما فعلت قبل تسعة أعوام تقريبا للمجيء بقائد الجيش آنذاك إميل لحود رئيساً للجمهورية.

Hezbollah and the Syrian regime are secretly planning to dump Aoun and to appoint General Sleiman as Lebanon's next president (few months ago)

Khaddam's Free-Syria … a very popular opposition site:

بعد أن رمى كل ثقلـه في السـلة الإيراينـة ، رجع وتـردد كعـادة الأطفال الذين يتصرفون بدون رويـة وقناعـة ، لذلك يتراجعون عن مواقفهم ويغيرونها بسرعة ، وهذا هو حال بشار الأسـد اليوم …فقد رمـى كل بيضـه في السـلة الإيرانيـة ، وباع سـوريا الأرض والشعب للصفويين ، ظنـاً منه أن إيـران تحميـه من حبل المشنقة الذي يقترب من عنقـه ، ثم فكر ، ثم عبس وبسـر ، ثم أدبر واستكبر ، لما رأى أن إيـران مهددة هي الأخـرى من أمريكـا ، وإيـران تتـاجر بحزب الله ، وسوريا ، معاً ، من أجل الوقوف في وجـه الإدارة الأمريكيـة …وإيـران أيضاً يمكن أن تبيع سوريا وحزب الله ، وكل أوراقها إذا رضيت عليها الإدارة الأمريكية وسمحت لها بامتلاك التقنية النووية التي ترهب بها إيـران دول الخليج خاصة والمنطقة عامـة

After he threw all his weight towards the Iranians, Bashar (like a typical child) hesitated. After he sold Syria to the Shiites thinking that Iran will save his neck, he started to think … then he got arrogant … then when he realized that Iran itself is about to be threatened by the Americans, Bashar realized that Iran is about to sell Syria and Hizbollah to the Americans … so he decided to switch to America.

Comments (17)


1. Mustapha said:

Although I disagree with your bias, I think that you have done an impressive research. Thanks for all those links!

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January 3rd, 2008, 7:04 pm

 

2. Friend in America said:

I picked up this London Telegraph article from Global Security Newswire. Smuggling radioactive materials out of Russia is far greater enterprise than most had believed. Could there be a connection with the facilty at Dayr az Zawr? Previously I had assumed the potential source for uranium or ractoactive material was Iran, North Korea or the Pakistani smuggling ring. Maybe the Pakistanis are now getting their supplies from Russia? But who are the buyers?

Russia Stops 120 Nuclear Smuggling Attempts in 2007

Russian customs officials last year blocked more than 120 attempts to move “highly radioactive” material out of the nation, the London Telegraph reported (see GSN, Oct. 25, 2006).

Officials also found 722 separate incidents in which such material was illicitly brought into Russia, Moscow said.

The announcement could heighten fears regarding the possible number of successful nuclear smuggling attempts as well as Russia’s failure to prevent smugglers from acquiring highly radioactive materials that could be used in radiological “dirty bombs,” the Telegraph said (Will Stewart, London Telegraph, Jan. 2).

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January 3rd, 2008, 9:10 pm

 

3. T said:

Alex,
You forgot to include one of those well-timed Osama-type videos in your propaganda link line-up. There must be at least one floating out there somewhere… Would FOX news have alien footage of nuclear fissile material abducted from Russia, & delivered to Deir Ez Zor? That would be a smoking gun, for sure!

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January 3rd, 2008, 9:55 pm

 

4. Riemer Brouwer said:

To be fair, you should also publish a list of all the false stories brought forward by Syrian newspapers.

I remember reading the Syrian Times the day after the huge March 14 demonstration in Beirut. interesting enough, the newspaper had a picture of a demonstration so I bought it to see what it wrote about the demo. Turned out to be a picture of a demonstration to thank the great Syrian leader Assad. The location of the demo: Homs! (i kid you not)

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January 4th, 2008, 9:32 am

 

5. Alex said:

RB,

I can’t do the other list … The last time I read a Syrian newspaper was in 1980 I think

: )

Unlike the known Syrian government newspapers, the problem with the others I listed is that in Washington and Paris, there are journalists and analysts and even some government officials who trust them, read them, and even base their policies on what they read.

When Asharq Alawsat made up a story about Syria working on its Iranian financed nuclear program, a couple of months later we had a neocon supported Israeli “mission” to take out Syria’s alleged nuclear facilities… which gave them more ideas on how to create “Syria is evil” momentum.

You know that opinion pieces in Asharq Alawsat were used in Washington to gather support for, and facilitate approval for the Iraq war … those opinion pieces were telling us that Iraqis will welcome American soldiers with flowers and roses.

If Syrian newspapers wrote it, no one reads them. The damage comes from the Mamoun Fandis and Michael young inventions and opinions.

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January 4th, 2008, 2:54 pm

 

6. Friend in America said:

Alex, my friend,
Sometimes things seem clearer from a distance…like a distance of about 6,000 km. The sense I get from this post is that many in Syria once again feel beseiged….and agin because, I submit, from its own conduct.
Consider just two observations:

– Assad calling Prime Minister Seniora ‘a led slave of a led slave’ is hardly the way to establish a relationship to Syria’s benefit with its neighbor or its fellow Arab countries. Where is the wisdom? What does Assad gain from that?

– You noticed that at the Istanbul Conference the Syrian Ambassador was left out of a meeting with middle east ambassadors to discuss progressing the Lebanese election. One does not get invited to a meeting if one has nothing to contribute and declaring Syria’s intransigence means Syria had nothing to contribute to that meeting. That’s a no brainer. I can think of many legitimate benefits Syria can gain by normalizing Lebanon, so what does Syria have to gain by manintaining the impass in Lebanon?

It does not further healthy discussion by debating the series of grips in this article. What is more interesting is what is Syria going to do now? Perhaps you could inform us.

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January 4th, 2008, 4:12 pm

 

7. Alex said:

FIM,

You already decided that the egg always comes before the chicken, right?

By the time Bashar described Seniora as a slave to the Saudis, both Seniora and the Saudis already demonstrated beyond any doubt that they are working with Washington to remove Bashar.

Bashar spoke at the end of 2005 … a lot happened before he finally spoke.

And what he said was true wasn’t it? .. the Saudis appointed their man as head of Lebanon’s government. And you read how he worships the Saudi king … it s one thing to expect Syria to respect Lebanese sovereignty (which it should) but it is another to allow a far country (the Saudis) to buy/control Lebanon .. which was part of Syria for a thousand years… look at the natural map my friend.

As for the Istanbul conference and Syria’s lack of contribution … no problem. I am not complaining. But when Sarkozy and Bush come back this week telling us that they are soooo disappointed that Syria did not solve their Lebanon problems then they can’t have it both ways .. if Syria is as useless as you suggested (not to deserve to be in the Istanbul meeting) then why did they have the unrealistically high expectations a month later? … why didn’t they get disappointed with the countries they met with in Istanbul?

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January 4th, 2008, 4:40 pm

 

8. Friend in America said:

ALEX-
I just do not think name calling creates friendly relations with leaders of other countries. That’s all.
Thank you for pointing out the chicken and egg problem. I accept your description. But, is it not an excellent example of the futility of
‘my conduct is the other guy’s fault,’ which maybe found world wide but seems to be very popular in the middle east? I think the mother of all excuses is Adam’s reply to God when asked why he ate from the apple which was ‘she made me do it.’
2 questions:
1. Are we really claiming Assad had no responsibility for his own words?
2. How do we break through this constant circularity of blaming that gets us no where?
And thank you for your comments on the Instanbul meeting. Maybe I got my timing off. Regards.

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January 4th, 2008, 10:19 pm

 

9. Alex said:

FIA

I did not like Assad’s words for Seniora by the way. But I liked the rest of his speech.

Even if he did not say a thing about Seniora, it would not have made a difference … at that point, Syrians (including me) were asking for Assad to reply to all the madness from Lebanon. There were daily attacks .. daily lies … like the ones I linked in this post … I knew they were all lies. Assad was totally quiet for many months. We wanted him to come out and say something.

the issue is not, and did not start with, what Bashar said … it is about Saudi Arabia taking over management of Lebanon and Syria later … the result of Prince Bandar’s “strategizing” with Mr. Cheney.

Let me give you an example of timing and of irrelevance of words.

Walid Jumblatt from the M14 group in Lebanon expressed his disappointment at Assad for calling Arab leaders “half men” in another speech in 2006.

Guess who first used the same expression “ansaf alrijal” a year of two before… The gentleman was defending the strategic Lebanese Syrian Iranian coalition at the time.

Blaming is not a big problem … King Hussein tried to assassinate Hafez Assad, Arafat tried to overthrow King Hussein … and they all talked to eah other eventually.

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January 4th, 2008, 10:34 pm

 

10. Honest Patriot said:

Yikes,

Alex, now you have me confused:
“King Hussein tried to assassinate Hafez Assad, Arafat tried to overthrow King Hussein … and they all talked to eah other eventually.”
Is this true ? If so, I guess I am not only naive, but mine is the mother of all “naivetés.”

Secondly, I don’t understand your accusation that Siniora was “appointed” by the KSA. Wasn’t Siniora asked by Lahoud to form a Government that won Confidence in the Lebanese parliament ?? How can such a democratic process be the result of an “appointment” by the King ??

Now, having Lahoud’s term extended by sheer threats to parliamentarians through the Syrian secret service (a very well known and acknowledged fact), now that means Lahoud’s second term was an “appointment” by Assad. A step that degenerated into assassinating Hariri Sr. I don’t get the KSA argument with Siniora.

Finally, on the chicken-and-egg cycle, given the full conviction the Lebanese had (and still have) of the culpability of the Syrian regime in the assassination of Hariri, regardless of whatever other good the Syrian presence may have brought to Lebanon (if indeed there was such good), isn’t it normal for the Lebanese to ask for justice and indicate their beliefs and suspicions? Instead of countering with facts and claims of innocence, we get the name calling of Siniora. Now, did Siniora use name-calling of Assad first ? does he do it now ? has he ever done it? please find and share the quote. I stand by my objective assessment of the superior ability, decency, and statesmanship of Siniora. I have absolutely no link to him. I’m honestly judging what comes out of the news. That’s how I see it.

Your genuinely confused Lebanese expatriate cousin HP

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January 4th, 2008, 11:20 pm

 

11. Alex said:

HP

Sorry about the confusion : )

1) As I said, I did not like Bashar’s verbal attack on Seniora. But I liked and supported everything else in his speech.

I find Seniora much more decent than most of the politicians I don’t like in Lebanon. But please forget the formalities about his appointment, you know that his name was picked by the Saudis and by Saad Hariri… his quote in Asharq Awsat is more than clear about his loyalty.

But again .. he is not a bad man. I would not attack him personally.

2) King Hussein supported the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in their 3 year campaign to overthrow Hafez Assad. June 26 1980 they tried to assassinate him .. machine gun and two hand grenades. Few years later King Hussein came to Damascus and apologized to Hafez for everything … that’s it. He was not the only one behind trying to get rid of Hafez … Saddam Hussein was also a supporter, and many Saudis and other rich Arabs. Assad’s siding with the Christians of Lebanon against the Muslim side was one of the main reasons.

As for Arafat … read this page if you like

3) Lahoud was obviously appointed by Syria .. the same way Seniora was appointed by KSA … I am against both forms of Lebanese political systems. Hopefully we will see a truly independent Lebanon after all this mess .. one day.

As for the Lebanese KNOWING that Syria killed Hariri and demanding justice … I hope all the lies I linked to can at least give you a little bit of doubt about how you can be manipulated to form the impression they want you to form.

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January 5th, 2008, 12:03 am

 

12. Honest Patriot said:

Thanks Alex, I’ll keep an open mind … To the extent that I can read hopefully objective media. Keep up the good work and give my best regards to Josh. One day he’ll figure out who I am 🙂

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January 5th, 2008, 12:23 am

 

13. Sophia said:

Alex,

This is a much needed analysis of the valses that are taking place now in the US diplomacy toward Syria and the ME in general. But I remind you that reading the folowing press review from Josh Landis some time ago:
http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=528
it appeared to me that at a certain point Muallem was playing the game of Bush and Sarkozy. I thought that this was nonsense or at least not a serious attitude from Muallem. I think Syria must show its firmness in the absence of any solid direction to US policy in the region or to any solid proposal, whatever the direction of its foreign policy. And up to now, showing a willingmess to be flexible on completely non serious ground makes Syria accomplice in the blame game.
This was my reaction to Muallem’s valse with Bush and Sarkozy:
http://lespolitiques.blogspot.com/2007/12/lebanon-and-puppeteers.html#links

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January 5th, 2008, 11:49 pm

 

14. Alex said:

Hi Sophia : )

I wouldn’t be able to come up with a specific measure of the relative weight of Mouallem compared to Sarkozy and Bush.

You probably agree that after 2005, the strength and significance of Syria’s role in Lebanon is not a constant. Part of it is a constant that will never change … History and Geography. But the Syrian army is out, many Lebanese politicians and leaders do not want to be seen contacting their Syrian allies because it is still a sensitive issue in Lebanon (to be called an ally of Syria).

I think I agree that Syria will not want to interfere at this point in Lebanon, but I don’t agree that they can not do a thing.

I think Nasrallh put it perfectly accurately in his interview this week on NBN:

Syria can not put pressure on us and force us to accept solutions that are not in our interests, but Syria as a friend could have asked us for a favor, since we owe them a lot.

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January 6th, 2008, 12:03 am

 

15. SyriaComment - Syrian politics, history, and religion » Archives » “President Bush to make first trip to Syria,” by Alex said:

[…] To find the extent of the fabrication of negative Syria news, read my earlier post below which has numerous shocking examples. […]

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January 6th, 2008, 2:49 am

 

16. Sophia said:

Hi Alex,

I am not saying Syria is no longer a player. However any role it might play, it cannot play it on its own, and needs to cautioned by imperial powers acting in the region. But imperial powers are at the same time saying one thing and doing another toward Syria and Lebanon. The gap is huge. Anyone who might be tempted to fill it as in classical diplomacy might fall in it…

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January 8th, 2008, 7:47 pm

 

17. Alex said:

That’s correct. Syria can only influence (and to variable degrees) half the Lebanese … the other half are influenceable by no one (those who hate all politics by now) or by a combination of the United States, France, and Saudi Arabia.

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January 8th, 2008, 8:00 pm

 

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