Al-Qaida Arrests in Lebanon

t_desco reports in an earlier discussion thread:

Brammertz resigns from Hague court to concentrate on Hariri probe. dpa

Al-Akhbar and the Daily Star report that the Bar Elias cell had planned to use the car bombs in an (Iraqi style?) attack on “a crowded festival … in the Bekaa town of Zahle” (Daily Star), anticipating that it would be blamed on Syria (Al-Akhbar).


From Naharnet, As-Safir

“The military official said Abu Omar is believed to have left the ranks of Esbat al Ansar and is now a member of a splinter faction called Jund as-Sham.”

I think we can assume that the earlier reports about him killing a member of Jund al-Sham were wrong.

14 Charged with Setting Up Terrorist Cell as Qaida Believed Swelling

The daily As Safir on Tuesday said Lebanon’s military prosecutor Judge Jean Fahd has charged 14 people with setting up a terrorist cell in east Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley town of Bar Elias.
It said among the detainees were a Saudi, two Syrians and six Lebanese.

In a related event, As Safir branded as “invasion” the spread of the Islamic paramilitary al-Qaida organization in Lebanon.

The arrests came a few days after three detainees, apprehended in Bar Elias, testified that they belonged to al-Qaida. A statement by the General Directorate for State Security had said the detainees also confessed to rigging three vehicles with explosives.

Lebanese troops had discovered the booby-trapped cars during a raid on a hideout in Bar Elias.

As Safir said the three detainees were “very dangerous.”

An Nahar newspaper had identified them as Fahd Bin Abdulaaziz al-Meghamis, from Saudi Arabia, and Syrians Ahmed Mohammed Osseili and Mohammed Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahim.

As Safir said Lebanese military experts were surprised at the way the bombs had been “very delicately assembled” and at the use of “unfamiliar digital techniques.”

Lebanese security forces were only able to dismantle the rigged cars with the help of Meghamis, the daily said.

A big amount of 500-Euro bills, apparently planned to be spent on recruiting young men with “terrorist tasks aimed at destabilizing security,” was found and confiscated from the Bar Elias network, according to As Safir.

It said further evidence that al-Qaida was swelling in Lebanon came from another source — the alleged confessions made to the police by Saudi detainee Abdullah Beeshi, who was arrested a few hours after the Feb. 13 Ain Alaq bus bombings.

As Safir said Beeshi, who left Saudi Arabia for Iran towards the end of July 2006 upon instructions from two al-Qaidi members, met with Abu Mohammed, a Kurdish-Iranian, in the presence of Saudi Abdul Rahman al-Yehyi in an Iranian city.

About one month later, Beeshi traveled to Lebanon, where he was met by Abu Baker, a Lebanese, upon arrival at Rafik Hariri airport, As Safir reported.

It said Abu Baker escorted Beeshi to the house of sheikh N.R. in the northern port city of Tripoli, where Yehyi, who goes by his nom de guerre of Talha, was waiting for him.

The daily said Talha had landed in Lebanon two weeks ahead of Beeshi.

At that meeting Beeshi was introduced to the brother-in-law of Fatah al-Islam’s leader Shaker Abssi as well as to Saudi Abu Rishaj, who was recruiting young Saudis to join Abssi’s terrorist group at the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, according to As Safir.

It said that while preparations were underway to send Beeshi to Iraq, the Saudi detainee, together with Abssi’s brother-in-law, identified as Syrian Hani al-Sankari, were “transporting weapons and explosives” provided by Abssi, who was hiding in Nahr al-Bared, to Talha.

As Safir said only three hours after the Ain Aalq twin blasts, authorities arrested Beeshi and Sankari as they tried to cross into Syria through the northern border crossing at Abboudieh.

However, the paper said, in contrast to earlier belief that the two men had been arrested in connection with the Ain Alaq bomb attack, investigation showed that Beeshi and Sankari were not linked to the bus bombings.

It said testimonies of four other detainees uncovered their involvement in the Ain Alaq assault.

Comments (39)

ausamaa said:

As if Lebanon needs additional challenges!!!

Who in the hell is behind all this mud Lebanon finds itself in? Can they not stop and think for a second? When the hell would the Lebanese wake up to the fact that the Feb 14 government-gang is no more than a bunch of dump boy scouts acting as if they are on an adventure in the woods? Would Lebanon -as we know it- still be there when such an awakening happens? Does anyone in Lebanon care about Lebanon? Or are their Egos and their pockets more important?

For God’s sake, if you really beleive Syria is behind all this, and if you think Syria is that powerfull and vendictive, then go and kiss Syria’s hand and feet and ask for help before your country disappears. But, if you can contemplate the possibility that Syria may not behind it all, then go do something about it before whoever got you there shortsells you as a failed project. Stop hiding behind your fingers or the fingers of those using you. Wake up for God’s sake if you realy care about your country. You are an addict that is in a state of denial. Get Help.

Huh.. and all is done in the name of al-Syada wa al-Istiqlal and the HARRIRI TRUTH of course! Or so they claim to their “bright” followers! Wake up God dammit.

June 19th, 2007, 3:30 pm


ugarit said:

What a strange world that we live in.

Hariri is murdered and the UN creates a special court to determine who his assassins were, while Bush and his gang killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and facilitated the deaths of another million civilians and helped create over 4 million displaced civilians, and yet no justice is to be applied to the White House and the Congressional gangs.

I guess the life of a billionaire is more valuable.

June 19th, 2007, 4:06 pm


t_desco said:

“Ed Schultz: What about arming Sunni insurgents to fight Al Qaeda? Is that a good idea?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, that’s one of the issues, and certainly if we can strengthen localities inside Iraq, and if we can be sure they’re actually fighting Al Qaeda, that’s a good thing. But what if, in doing that, they’re bringing Al Qaeda in and not simply strengthening the resistance to Al Qaeda? That’s what we don’t know about. Apparently, some of the weapons that were-, I’m told that some of the weapons that ended up in the refugee camps in Lebanon, that the Lebanese Army’s been fighting against, because the weapons were being used by Al Qaeda in Lebanon, those weapons were paid for as part of the Saudi initiative to arm the Sunnis to fight against Iran.”
General Wesley Clark on The Ed Schultz Show – 6/18/07

(my emphasis)

June 19th, 2007, 4:38 pm


G said:

It’s funny to see regime agent Landis now starting to peddle the Syrian line that Syria indeed is not to blame, and somehow al_Qaeda is trying to “frame” it.

June 19th, 2007, 5:09 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Talking to the press prior to their private meeting:

Q And I would like to ask you, the Prime Minister of Israel calls for negotiation with no precondition with Syria; so does President Assad of Syria, and he asks for U.S. mediation. Will you do it?

PRESIDENT BUSH: They can handle their own negotiations with Syria.
If the Prime Minister wants to negotiate with Syria, he doesn’t need
me to mediate.

Q Do you think it’s a good idea?

PRESIDENT BUSH: It’s up to the Prime Minister. I haven’t had a
chance to talk to him about that. I don’t know if you’re putting words
in his mouth, or not. But I’m looking forward to having a discussion
about Iran and Syria and the neighborhood. But this man is plenty
capable of conducting his own negotiations without mediation.

PRIME MINISTER OLMERT: I will answer your question, right? We have
been very, very attentive to the needs of the — humanitarian needs of
Gaza and we will continue to provide everything that is necessary in
order to meet these humanitarian needs. Israel will not be indifferent
to the human suffering in Gaza. Israel will be different from the
Palestinians, themselves, because the reality is that all this
suffering is caused by Palestinians against their own people. What the
Hamas was doing in Gaza is absolutely atrocious and intolerable. And
I’m sure that many who had some hopes that maybe Hamas can be more
reasonable and more restrained I think lost these hopes because of
what they have been doing to their own people — killing innocent
civilians, pulling out from hospital beds Fatah people that were
wounded and dropped them off fifth story building to kill them in the
street, and terrible other things.

We will not be indifferent. We already are taking care of many of
the Palestinians in Gaza during the last few days, and we will
continue to deal with it as it comes. Of course, they are not
interested in staying in Israel, they want to be amongst Palestinians,
and they will be treated in this manner.

Q So you will let them go?

PRIME MINISTER OLMERT: So as I said, we will check every single
case and we’ll see how we can help them and I’m sure that we will help

As for Syria, I’m afraid that you may have not have understood
correctly what the Syrian leader said. The Syrian leader said that he
is against any preconditions from the Israeli side, but he’s certainly
for preconditions from the Syrian side. One of the preconditions is
that he wants President Bush to work more than he does already in
regional issues and to be the mediator. And the President said
correctly, this is not the — I think — the job for the President of
the United States. He’s got many other things to do. And I don’t
think, if someone wants to speak directly, he needs the involvement of
America in order to allow these negotiations to take place.

I am not certain that the understanding of the President of Syria
can lay the foundations for immediate discussions between Syria and

June 19th, 2007, 5:25 pm


Alex said:

this is becoming more and more pathetic! .. but funny : )

The leaders of Israel and the United States on how to make peace with Syria:

Prime minister Olmert: “One of the [Assad] preconditions is
that he wants President Bush to work more than he does already in
regional issues and to be the mediator.”

Translation: Israel will not make peace with Syria as long as the evil Syrians are asking the US president to work harder.

President Bush: “this man [Olmert] is plenty
capable of conducting his own negotiations without mediation.

Translation: “Please don’t force me to meet Bashir, YOU meet with him if you want to make peace with the Syrians”

June 19th, 2007, 5:58 pm


G said:

As always, Alex’s political prowess is as sharp as a butter knife.

What this means is that Israel understands that Bashar is not serious about peace, but only wants to use the talks in order to open channels with the US to escape accountability and break isolation and pressure.

That’s why he has put a precondition that talks with Israel have to be met with talks with the US as well.

Bush said no way. And Israel said, we know what Bashar is up to.

Only Alex is stupid enough not to understand.

June 19th, 2007, 6:12 pm


Alex said:

Sure, and there was a French author who accused the US administration of planning 9/11 … and a German journalist who wrote that it was King Fahd’s son who got rid of Hariri because he refused to return the four billions that hte late King trusted him with.

Believe whoever you want to believe.

You are the genius, no one can argue with you.

June 19th, 2007, 7:04 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I am tired of abusive language,where is IC

June 19th, 2007, 7:19 pm


ausamaa said:

No, no, please keep IC away and let G do his act. He is doing the best he can to dammage the troubled cause he thinks he represents.If IC shuts him out he may take it out on his family or niegbhours and it will sure be nasty. At least here the dammage is somewhat contained and minimized.

June 19th, 2007, 7:30 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:

i am only deleting insults.

June 19th, 2007, 7:33 pm


ausamaa said:

What an exciting job!

June 19th, 2007, 7:40 pm


Alex said:

Here is one for all the Syria Comment readers .. believe it or not .. you are all an invention of the evil Dr. Landis .. you are not real.

Akbar .. you are an invention too!

From Rime Allaf’s blog, a reader comment

Here it is:

Munir Yassin
Monday, June 18, 2007, 23:14
To the servant of Joshua Landis, the liar, ALex:

No body among the readers here knows that you control your blog site to the extent that no one ever sees a name you have not approved posting. I posted many replies, many times, and always saw the message “Your message is awaiting to be moderated”, and then it disappeared. What I was not fully aware of was that no one else was seeing my messages in any way, and how I wondered that no one ever reponded to me, or asked why my messages were being deleted. Then, I relalized that there is something else going on. I delted my cookies, and temp files, and could not see whatever I posted. That means that while you have people pretending to be opposition, they are in fact Pro Regime acting that way, and making all the discussion revolve around the points Joshua wants his blog to look like. He makes the Syrian propblems look like different points of views regarding how to improve the economy, how to return the Golan Heights, etc,.. but at the core of all of that, he is succeeding in presenting Syrians as pro – regime. Also, they have created a poster pretending to be an Israeli to stir the discussion toward senseless debate between Syrians and Israelis that are in fact meaningless and fall all in Joshua’s plan.

What is more ridiculous and shameful is that Possters (Who are all Joshua’s creation, including the so called Evonomist, Ehsani2) would post praise to Joshau wondering how his blog is such a free blog permitting all kinds of even bad posts to be posted and shown. The American real readers of this blog who do not post, and even if they post, do not know that this is all a facade, and trickery. How will they know that opther opinions have been always prevented from appearing? No way in hell would they know!

I started by calling Alex a liar because I saw what he had written here before pretending that he permits all opinions to be published.

June 19th, 2007, 7:48 pm


G said:

Oh yeah? Well, here’s my quote to you, in response to this last comment:

Sure, and there was a French author who accused the US administration of planning 9/11 … and a German journalist who wrote that it was King Fahd’s son who got rid of Hariri because he refused to return the four billions that hte late King trusted him with.

Believe whoever you want to believe.

You are the genius, no one can argue with you.

now you know how ridiculous you sound. you terrorist apologist for killers.

June 19th, 2007, 7:59 pm


ausamaa said:

Oh my God Alex, you -sorry, we- have all been caught Red Handed!! Even the G, AP and K acts are now blown!

What will Josh do now? Start a new blog site under a different name?

June 19th, 2007, 8:04 pm


Alex said:

I don’t know Ausamaa … this is really bizarre. I mean, now I feel awkward talking to an obviously non-character… you.

Joshua, we need to talk I guess.

June 19th, 2007, 8:26 pm


Alex said:

Actually there is more bad news, at the same time G exposed our terrorist supporting act, and our stupidity, and at the same time Munir explained how this blog is designed, there was another one at Ammar’s blog who nailed it … we are all one person!

الناس التي تكتب عند جشوا بيناتنا كل واحد من الثاني
مثلا السيد اخبار بالاس هو نفسه السيد فور بوفيكت انه مضحك مبكي يدل على مدى ضعف الشخصية وقلة الثقة بالنفس ولا اسامة هل تعرف اسامة ومدى استعداده ليمسح ويمسح من هو بالسلطة
انا لا ارى عند جشوا ناس تكتب اكثر من من يكتبوا لدى عمار
كلهم كام واحد عم يبسطوا بعض بشي سخيف وبلا قيمة

Posted by: anon | June 17, 2007 at 10:28 PM

June 19th, 2007, 8:32 pm


ausamaa said:

Yeh. It was good while it lasted

June 19th, 2007, 8:32 pm


Ford Prefect said:

Darn it, I knew my secretive cover was not going to last, but at least not that fast! Now that my cover is blown and I am identified as Akbar Palace, Alex as Joshua, Ausamaa as Alex, and Ehsani as Haifa Wehbe, what should I do, guys?

What is truly regretful is that my cover was blown by some ultra smart geniuses like Ammar who also figured out who killed Hariri some 15 years before the crime even happened. I mean Ammar did some real investigative work and finally came up with a conclusion worthy of filing a patent. Ada boy, Ammar. I hope that not all people are as smart as you are so that we can keep our hypocrisy.

Now that the entire whole world knows that I am the ultra right wing, Likud-hugging, cluster bomb throwing, civilian killer, and war monger Zionist I would like to make a final confession. On a second thought, no! I just changed my mind. No confession. Keep guessing.

June 19th, 2007, 9:31 pm


K said:

I admit I am an invention of Prof Landis, created to play the role of token “M14 supporter (civil)” 🙂

Part of the problem here is the problem with posting on the site, which happens periodically, where you post and the comment never appears. It happened me to a lot a while back, and still happens on occasion, and I’ve read other posters complaining about it, and it also happened to Michael Young, if you remember.

June 19th, 2007, 9:57 pm


3antar said:

“…. The US Embassy in Beirut and the CIA will neither confirm nor deny involvement in the plan to use Al Qeada to confront Hezbollah

Everything seemed to be falling neatly into place. Much like the US/Saudi supported Osama Bin Laden operation in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, cash was committed (apparently it did not dawn on the Welch Club that history sometimes repeats itself and that their creation may not be easily returned to Pandora’s Box). In addition there were other deep pockets that could be tapped. As Forbes magazine documents, the Hariri family fortune skyrocketed from a measly 4.1 billion in 2002 to 16.7 billion and counting, as of early last year- a stellar performance even by Saudi standards.

Surely some seed money was in order and Bahia Hariri wasted no time in funding Fund al Sham in the Taamar neighborhood just outside of Ain el Helweh, whose PLO factions objected to the group inside its ‘jurisdiction’ while her nephew arranged funding for Fatah al-Islam and already existing Sunni Salafist groups including Osbat al Ansar and Jund Allah, both mainly staffed by Lebanese and beefed up with outsiders brought in for the purpose. Mohammad Kobanni, the Grand Sunni Mufti and Hariri aide, is accused of chipping in with “religious scholar visas” to ease entry into Lebanon of al Qeada affiliated Salafists
Hezbollah is the mortal enemy of al Qeada, who considers Shia apostates. In return, Hezbollah acuses al Qeada of subverting the Koran and conducting terrorism, as they made clear in their denouncements of Al Qeada following 9/11. But many observers here do not expect them to fight each other. ….”

June 19th, 2007, 10:26 pm


ugarit said:

I also have had my postings not appear. However, I think it’s a technical problem. This site should really be using a more robust Content Management System (CMS) such as Drupal ( I hope this posting appears 🙂

June 19th, 2007, 10:42 pm


Enlightened said:

This morning I woke up to the fact that I also am not real. I also admit that I am a disciple of that cult leader Joshua Landis, and forever pay subserviance to that growing cult called Syriacomment.

I also admit under no duress and torture, or mind drugs that I too am a supporter of The Syrian Regime, and working diligently to keep them in power, all the way from the far end of the galaxy in Sydney , Australia.

Just when I thought that Akbar also was not real, but yes the Zionist is also a regime supporter.

Time to take off the straight jacket, and take my medicine.

June 19th, 2007, 11:26 pm


ugarit said:

Enlightened said: “Time to take off the straight jacket, and take my medicine.”

I’ll be right over to help you take your fake straight jacket off. What medicine will it be today? Hmm.

June 19th, 2007, 11:57 pm


norman said:

Is Bashar Asad writing here too , I hope so.

June 20th, 2007, 1:25 am


Alex said:

Norman, I mean, Joshua,

You think you are joking? …. I remember about two years ago that someone thought I was Bashar posting as Alex.

Fares, was it you?

Anyway, this week we seem to have an organized attack of the conspiracy theorists.

You can’t fool these guys.

Enlightened, your Australia story was the most creative invention here, but its over now.

Ehsani = Haifa? : )

June 20th, 2007, 1:45 am


norman said:

What i see in Lebanon today reminds with the seventies when the war was raging in Lebanon and nobody knew who was killing whome , That enbded with the intervention of Syria to stop that war , I hope Syria will not make the same mistake again for the sake of these ungratfull Lebanese .( Not you Enlighted one).

June 20th, 2007, 1:56 am


Enlightened said:

LOL Alex given the time constraints I thought it important to add my spiel to the theory!

June 20th, 2007, 3:32 am


Alex said:

Enlightened, remember when you pretended that you had a baby? .. and we all wrote to give you our best wishes?

We ARE creative, they have to admit that at least.

June 20th, 2007, 4:36 am


Enlightened said:

Yes my pretend son who i waited over 14years for, yes he is very pretend.

What this is a gobsmack of is the traditional siege mentality/conspiracy theory mind of most of the Arab masses, two things come to mind here

1. The death of Princess Diana and how she was murdered because she was going to marry a muslim

2. Sept 11 was a jewish conspiracy ( this one will get tongues wagging)

NOw we can add another beauty to these two. Syria comment is really The Matrix and all of us are computer generated, wait time for that medicine again.

June 20th, 2007, 5:12 am


Alex said:


And these wild theories appear when we, in the Middle East, are raised on Good and Evil … we are told we are “good” and the others are “bad”.

So when things are not going our way, we have to come up with a story to help us blame the others .. the bad ones, for our undesirable situation.

Unfortunately, this also applies to the wonderful people in Washington today … they also do not know how to correct a misguided strategic policy … they also believe they are always on the side of Good… Iraq would have been a successful democracy today if the Syrians controlled their border. Ending the Palestinian Israeli conflict? piece of cake … if only Syria was not supporting Hamas.

June 20th, 2007, 5:46 am


Amr said:

Hey Guys,

Lets try to keep Arab Governments and the Arab-Israeli conflict aside for a moment and attempt to answer few crucial questions:

1. What are two attributes/characteristics of Arab Societies (trickling down to individuals) that if acquired on a wide scale, would propel and transform Arab societies into prosperous and healthy societies.
2. What is the one thing that constitutes the highest risk/danger facing Arab Societies today.
3. How do we want to position our selves as Arab societies 50 years from today? Do we want to become Knowledge based societies, Open Markets and borders, or Socialistic societies.
4. Do we want our governments to enforce the practice of Islam (Al-’ebadat) and be ruled by clergy? Or given that most Arab laws are already inspired by Islamic Law, do we assert personal freedom of faith and practice and leave the role of running the government for bureaucrats??
5. Given that Arab culture- a subset of Muslim civilization- blended with regional and local cultures is the dominant cultural force in the region. How do we envision our relationships with religious and ethnic minorities. Do we endorce a policy of Arabization, or do we excerice a plicy of promoting minority sub-cultures.
6. What do we envision and aspire to be the rule of women in Arab Societies? fully Working,educated, competitive moms? or quasi-educated semi-employed houswifes.
7. Are Islamic institutions in need for reform? Are we satisfied with those in charge of thse institutions? Are we with/against promoting progressive Ijtihad?

8. What is our positions of (” Takferi islamists”) who advocate intolerance and even violence against those whome they disagree with? Should that (advocating such as a school of thought) be a crime by itself? or should they just be?

I am trying to articulate some fundamental questions necessary ( in my mind) to start reform..your input/ additions will be welcomed..


kefek ya benet? are you in Syria now?

June 20th, 2007, 7:15 am


Fouad said:

As an outside occasional observer of this site, I see all the syrian regime supporters (including the owner f the site) as exercising cyber-intellectual masturbation, this is not dialogue this that kind of tennis that you play with a wall (I don’t know what it’s called) where you keep throwing the same ball back to yourself.
As for your joking about your reality, you milked it till it became nauseating, “saret el nekteh baykha”.
For those of us who realy know how this regime has functioned for 40 years, how it endoctrinated evrybody, how it sucked the life out of as many people as it could and is now pretending to give back the appearences of life, how it produces loyal followers..for us, you’re just an improved version of those. More educated, living abroad (major asset!!), with access to new tech…We’re in the age of PR, communication, debate…the old version of the obvious crude moukhabarat type and the ignorant cheer leaders doesn’t work anymore (atleast not on the web and in international forums), it has to be “new and improved” and all western capacities (Joshua type) are wellcome to lead the way.
Example of functioning: the usual “arab” cultivated conspiracy theories are ridiculed by “educated” minds, so let’s go along with that “elite” attitude and qualify all accusations against Syria as “unproven rumors” and “conspiracy theory”.
Keep playing if that makes you happy.

June 20th, 2007, 8:00 am


ugarit said:
دفاعاً عن نظريّة المؤامرة

June 20th, 2007, 11:24 am


norman said:

It is time,

Officials: Syria closes border with Lebanon
Posted 22m ago | Comment | Recommend E-mail | Save | Print |

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian authorities on Wednesday closed a border crossing with northeastern Lebanon without giving a reason, Lebanese security officials said.
The closure of the Qaa-Jousseh crossing left only one land border crossing between the two countries open — the main Beirut-Damascus link at Masnaa in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Syrian authorities closed two other crossing with northern Lebanon after the May 20 outbreak of fighting in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared where Lebanon troops are battling Fatah Islam militants.

At the time, the Syrians said the two crossings were closed for safety reasons.

Since the Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005 under international pressure, Syria has used the flow of goods and people across the border as a pressure tactic against Lebanon, Lebanese opponents of Damascus have said.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Lebanese | Syrian | BEIRUT | Damascus | Arab League
In late 2005, slow processing of trucks carrying goods led to long lines on the crossings, prompting prompting calls from the United States and other countries on Syria to end it.

Wednesday’s closure came as an Arab League delegation was in Beirut meeting with Lebanese leaders, dispatched here after Lebanon’s anti-Syrian parliamentary majority demanded the Arabs act to end Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs and alleged smuggling of weapons and militants into this country. Syria denies the accusations.

The Arab team was sent to Lebanon after a foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo last week following the assassination of a pro-government Lebanese lawmaker which his supporters blamed on Syria.

Lebanese security officials, speaking on condition of anonimity because they were not authrized to give media statements, said drivers coming from Syria earlier in the day have been told by Syrian officials that the crossing would be closed.

The closure also was reported by the official Lebanese news agency. It said vehicle and passenger traffic in both directions was closed by the Syrians and that no reason was given.

Damascus, which did not officially confirm the move, has in the past threatened to close its land border with Lebanon if an international force is deployed alonng the boundary to prevent the illegal transfer of weapons to Lebanon, as was envisaged in a U.N. Security Council resolution that ended the Hezbollah-Israel war last year.

A full closure of Lebanon’s border with Syria would sever Beirut’s land links with the Arab world and could severely hurt its economy.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted 22m ago E-mail | Save | Print |
To report corrections and clarifications, contact Reader Editor Brent Jones

June 20th, 2007, 3:46 pm


ausamaa said:

AMR, very good questions, and food for the thought.

However, I have to disagree as usual with something, this time it is with your Classification of Arab Culture as a subset of Muslim civilization. despite being a Muslim, I still do not see Arab Culture as a subset of Islam. Islam came from Arabisem and succeeded in having its strong imprint on Arab Culture, same as Arab Culture imprinted by Islam had its own imprint on the non-Arab countries conquered by Arabs during the early Islamic period.

And to start reform? That is a good one….!!! I really do not think we are in a position to even contemplate such an issue. We need an Attaturk or a Peter the Great or a Bismark. Lacking such a catalyst, maybe we just have to depend on Globalisation, the Internet (to bring us close to it without being aware we are getting there, otherwise we will spoil it) or on a Noah’s style flood to change the whole scene and then we can start all over anew.

We simply have not tried hard enough, and have not paid the real price that can get us there like other Nations did.

Maybe the Islamists will get us there, but they are so dump, opportunistic and narrow minded that it is impossible to see any good coming at thier hands.

Besides, do you think we really care????? We are too busy just “living”. We are kept at an “acceptable-survival level”, so that we are not “crushed” hard enough to seek a change, and we are week enough not to be able to initiate one on our own.

June 20th, 2007, 3:56 pm


Amr said:


Defining what constitute Arab culture today is a tricky question, but I think it’s safe to say that Arabs contribution was mainly Islam as a Faith and the creation of a political identity and nation from the Atlantic Ocean to central Asia. However the centers of power quickly shifted outside Arabia to Syria, Iraq, and Egypt all of which had strong existing cultures that are still present today one way or the other in spite of the fact that they underwent a process of arabization ( in terms of language and ethnic makeup) and later to Iran, Central Asia, and Anatolia. This all led to the creation of one “international” culture which we call today Muslim Culture and civilization. Take for example Muslim Architecture, Medicine, Philosophy, its heavily influenced by Persians, etc.. Anyhow this is not the issue here, I believe that unless we clearly define what we really want as a nation and start engaging in debates about fundamental issues, we will continue to operate without a plan and will be prone to manipulation, propaganda, and a never ending cycle of actions-reactions.

June 20th, 2007, 6:49 pm


ausamaa said:


Right, but we lack the tools and the channels which such a “debate” needs.. The ruling authoreties are not providing it, and there is no other alternative political or civil plateform where such a debate can be conducted.

That is why sometimes the idea of joining any ruling party in the Arab countries becomes attractive if only as a means of working from within such a party (existing structure) to slowly achieve change from within would seem much more productive than sitting and waiting for such a platform to develope, or by going in the opposite direction and trying to overpower the existing system even if it means attempting to shuffle society upside down in the “hope” of ending up with such a platform.

Anyway, what you say about the need for the debate is correct. But how to get a “platform” for such a debate that can lead to the needed change is the real problem.

June 20th, 2007, 9:57 pm


Amr said:


I think defining the questions is only a starting point, the goal is not for me and you to answer these questions rather engage the nation in wide scale debate. You are right. The tools for debate are absent. So before we even attempt to answer these questions we need to answer one question :

What does it take to engage the nation in the wider debate?

What if we turned our attention from analyzing, apposing, or supporting one entity/leader or another and pressed to have the tools for debate available?

I say instead of wasting our time waging lost causes we simply tackle legal issues in a lawful manner. for example we only would peacefully press and campaign to eliminate provisions in the law today such as “Etharat Al na’rat al- ta’efeyyah” and “spreading false news” “ weakening national feelings” et..

You could easily be accused and charged with various crimes if you start a debate. However If you think about it, it’s perfectly lawful to advocate changes in the law. Once these changes take place, the debate can start and the reform process will follow.

Plus TV outlets could absolutely help, for example what If Aljazeera changed its priorities and engaged it’s viewers in a systematic constructive top notch debate??!!!

If I was the director of Aljazeera i would bombard all Arab governments with daily scrutiny of such provisions of law and raise awareness to that issue.

June 20th, 2007, 11:53 pm


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