CIA Gets the Go-Ahead to Fight Hizbullah

T-desco has written an excellent much of summation of the news in the last comment section. I have copied it below. (Thank you TD!)

CIA gets the goahead to take on Hizbollah – Telegraph

The Central Intelligence Agency has been authorised to take covert action against Hizbollah as part of a secret plan by President George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the spread of Iranian influence. Senators and congressmen have been briefed on the classified “non-lethal presidential finding” that allows the CIA to provide financial and logistical support to the prime minister, Fouad Siniora.

The finding was signed by Mr Bush before Christmas after discussions between his aides and Saudi Arabian officials. Details of its existence, known only to a small circle of White House officials, intelligence officials and members of Congress, have been passed to The Daily Telegraph.

It authorises the CIA and other US intelligence agencies to fund anti-Hizbollah groups in Lebanon and pay for activists who support the Siniora government. The secrecy of the finding means that US involvement in the activities is officially deniable.

The finding was signed by Mr Bush before Christmas after discussions between his aides and Saudi Arabian officials. Details of its existence, known only to a small circle of White House officials, intelligence officials and members of Congress, have been passed to The Daily Telegraph. advertisement

It authorises the CIA and other US intelligence agencies to fund anti-Hizbollah groups in Lebanon and pay for activists who support the Siniora government. The secrecy of the finding means that US involvement in the activities is officially deniable.

The Bush administration hopes Mr Siniora’s government, severely weakened after its war with Israel last year, will become a bulwark against the growing power of the Shia sect of Islam, championed by Iran and Syria, since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Mr Bush’s move is at the centre of a fresh drive by America, supported by the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt as well as Israel, to stop Iranian hegemony in the Middle East emerging from the collapse of Iraq.

Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington, is understood to have been closely involved in the decision to prop up Mr Siniora’s administration and the Israeli government, which views Iran as its chief enemy, has also been supportive.

Daily Telegraph

Bandar is rumored to become the next Saudi FM:

“Saudis who have intimate knowledge of the discussions regarding the possible reshuffle said Al Faisal, who has had health problems, might be replaced by Crown Prince Sultan’s son Prince Bandar, a former ambassador to Washington and current secretary of the National Security Council.”

AP

Asia Times: Neo-cons are still calling the shots. Jim Lobe on deputy national security adviser J D Crouch II: The superhawk behind the surge

Is Palestinian Chaos a Road to Peace? Time Magazine, Karon

The U.S. strategy appears to have missed what many Middle East analysts long ago concluded: that Hamas is now an intractable part of the Palestinian body politic that represents close to half of the population, and cannot simply be wished or blown away. For any U.S. peace plans that are predicated on giving it a knockout blow, the group's mass support — to borrow a phrase from Al Gore — is an inconvenient truth.

Russia, US differ on states impeding Lebanon probe:

ReutersRussia wants the U.N. Security Council to find out which nations are not cooperating fully with an investigation into political murders in Lebanon, Moscow’s U.N. ambassador said on Tuesday.But France and the United States, among other Western council members, disagree with putting such a request to Serge Brammertz … .

In Lebanon, the opposition has claimed it will begin phase II of its attack on the Siniora government, meant to bring it down. Saad Hariri is picking up the batton from Jumblat in defending the government and attacking what he calls Hizbullah's "political terrorism."

Hariri says Lebanon is Facing ‘Political-Intellectual Terrorism’

Parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri on Sunday accused Hizbullah of being the “spear head” of an alleged Syrian-Iranian assault on the Paris III conference and pledged to confront what he described as political-intellectual terrorismNaharnet

Egypt frets dire consequences if Lebanese deadlock intensifies

BEIRUT: On the eve of the preparatory meeting for the Paris III donor conference, Egypt issued a harshly worded statement warning the Lebanese of "dire consequences" if the political deadlock intensifies with the escalation of anti-government protests. 

US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman also made his rounds Tuesday by visiting a representative from the March 14 Forces camp, Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh, and Omar Karami from the March 8 camp.

"The US expressed its support for Lebanon and will be one of the main donors at the Paris III conference and will help Lebanon in the preparations and its success," said Hamadeh after the meeting with Feltman.

For our tea leaf collection

UPI: “There is no doubt that Israel`s fighter-bombers have been training for a long-distance mission; NATO sources say they have for weeks been watching Israeli warplanes running flights the length of the Mediterranean to Gibraltar — and nobody expects an Israeli strike on Gibraltar.”

Are Bush’s Wars Winding Down or Heating Up? by Paul Craig Roberts

Most Americans believe that Bush’s Iraqi misadventure is over. The occupation has lost the support of the electorate, the Congress, the generals and the troops. The Democrats are sitting back waiting for Bush to come to terms with reality. They don’t want to be accused of losing the war by forcing Bush out of Iraq. There are no more troops to commit, and when the “surge” fails, Bush will have no recourse but to withdraw. A little longer, everyone figures, and the senseless killing will be over.

Recent news reports indicate that this conclusion could be an even bigger miscalculation than the original invasion.

On January 7 the London Times reported that it has learned from “several Israeli military sources” that “Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report.

The Times reports that “Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.”

In other news reports Israeli General Oded Tira is quoted as follows: “President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran. As an American strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure.”

Former EU External Affairs Commissioner Calls for Dialogue with Syria, Iran on Iraq

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 – 02:00 PM

London, Jan. 10- (SANA)- Former EU Commissioner for External Affairs Chris Patten stressed importance of the recommendations of the U.S. Baker-Hamilton Panel on calling for opening dialogue with Syria and Iran to get out of the bloody chaos in Iraq.

In an article published Wednesday by the British Financial Times daily newspaper, Mr. patten said Damascus and Tehran were ready to help the U.S. to escape the catastrophic consequences of its policy in Iraq. 

He criticized British Prime Minister Tony Blair's unlimited support to the policy of U.S. President George Bush on Iraq, saying that throughout 2002 and 2003 Mr Blair's support for US policy hamstrung those in and outside the administration who were trying to re-strain the neoconservative hawks. 

Mr. Patten added that support from Syria and Iran will require Washington to make clear that its policy is not directed towards them.

UN wants $60M to help scattered Iraqi refugees

CNN International – Jan 8, 2007

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) — As up to 50,000 Iraqis flee their homes every month, the U.N.'s refugee agency said Monday that it will seek $60 million this year to help the roughly 3.7 million people displaced by violence in the war-ravaged nation.

The problem is larger than mere displacement, a U.N. news release states, as women are increasingly forced to resort to prostitution and reports of child labor problems are on the rise.

Also, in Syria, where hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are seeking refuge, about 30 percent of Iraqi children are not in school and more than 10 percent of Iraqi families are headed by women.

About 300,000 refugees have been displaced both internally and externally just since November, according to UNHCR reports. About 2,000 a day were arriving in Syria and about 1,000 a day were arriving in Jordan, according to a November report.

In a nation of about 26 million, "the current exodus is the largest long-term population movement in the Middle East since the displacement of Palestinians following the creation of Israel in 1948," according to the UNHCR Web site. 

An Open Letter to the UN Chief – by Sami Moubayed – a moving letter by Sami, summing up the feelings of many Arabs about the UN and the problems of the Middle East, particularly the Palestinian problem.

Comments (116)


ausamaa said:

“The Central Intelligence Agency has been authorised to take covert action against Hizbollah as part of a secret plan by President George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the spread of Iranian influence”.

That is NEWS, BIG TIME!!!!!!

If ISRAEL & CO. could not take care of Hizzbullah, can the CIA funds? What if Hizbullah & Co. decide to take care of US targets and friends in the area and across the Globe.

Provided the above is true and not merely a propaganda buff, is it a solution or is it a new visionary reckless disaster in the making? And are they saying that the CIA was a mere bystander in the past as far as Hizbullah is concered?

The whole of the US intelligence and military might have been after an orphaned Bin Laden for six years and they got nowhere even with such a reckless ammature. Can they fare better against an immensly more popular, more sophistacted, better supported and more determined higher caliber Hizbullah?

Who the hell dreams up such clumsy approaches?

Incidently, isn’t Israel supposed to handle similar “locaL disorders”, or has things changed so much in the past year or so?

As to Funds, is Saad al Harriri becoming little tight with spending money to support the 14 Feb gang and Siniora? HE can FUND the CIA if he wanted to. He and his mentors in KSA can even FUND the entire US intelligence community if they thought that will get them any where.

For heaven’s sake……

January 10th, 2007, 7:33 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

Lebanon has become the battleground for the Syria/Iran camp on the one hand versus the U.S. on the other.

As I said before, the U.S. cannot afford to lose Lebanon after its Iraq debacle. If it cannot win a 10,400 sq km country where almost half the population supports it, what possible hope does it have in the rest of the Middle East?

Were the U.S. to lose Lebanon to the supporters of Syria and Iran, its already damaged status in the region will take a massive further hit (if that was possible).

With this in mind, it would not surprise me that the White House would use all the tools at its disposal to stop the above possibility from ever becoming a reality.

As the U.S. readies itself to take on Iran’s nuclear ambition (real or puffed up), it cannot afford to have its adversary (and is closest allies) claim a win in a country like Lebanon.

In sum, the stakes are very high. No one party can afford to lose. The Lebanese politicians are by standards in this geopolitical chess game. They will either watch the events unfold around them or choose to be manipulated by the more powerful regional and international players who have made it their habit to use their powerless country as their favourite battleground.

January 10th, 2007, 7:53 pm

 

ausamaa said:

It is not about what the US can or can not afford to lose. It is about what the US can or can not achieve.

We all know what it thinks it wants to achieve!

As to getting ready to hit Iran. I really doubt that POTUS is that recless or that powerfull (at home)to go for it. He is having diffuculties trying to send a few thousands troops to broken-up Iraq. Can he convince anyone to support him in attacking Iran? I mean can he convince any “sane soles” who seem to be mushrooming in the US nowadays? I doubt it; the guy is just trying to massage his ego while he can, no more no less.

As to the many Lebanese politicians, that is exactly what they are..Politicians! That is if Jaja and Janblat (to name the more enthusiastic ones) can be called politicians!

January 10th, 2007, 8:02 pm

 

Alex said:

IDF predicts possible conflict with Lebanon, Syria in 2007

By Amos Harel and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents

The Israel Defense Forces strategic assessment for 2007 warns of the possibility of a conflagration with Lebanon and Syria in the coming year. The assessment is based on the IDF’s working plan for the year, which takes into account the lessons learned in the 2006 Lebanon War.

A senior military source said Wednesday that the IDF has identified a decline in regional stability in the Middle East, giving rise to the possibility of hostilities involving Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran.

The source also said that the presence of Global Jihad movement has been detected in the region. The head of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General Amos Yadlin, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that Al-Qaida agents have arrived in Lebanon from Iraq and Pakistan with the intention of attacking United Nations troops and Western interests in the country.

January 10th, 2007, 8:46 pm

 

The CIA in Lebanon « The Classroom and the World said:

[…] 10th, 2007 · No Comments Joshua Landis has a discussion about the CIA’s decision to take covert action againstHizbollah in Lebanon on his Syria Comment blog. The posting looks at a recent secret decision authorized by the White House and some Saudi Arabian officials to fund anti-Hizbollah activity. It’s not clear if this story is an actual leak or propaganda, but it is a sad commentary about the affairs of Lebanon. The state has its own internal problems, but these are less important than the larger conflict being played between the US/Israeli/Saudi axis and the Iranians. There is also the question of whether the CIA can be any more effective than the Israeli army was in the summer. […]

January 10th, 2007, 8:58 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

The new Iraq policy is best illustrated by the following quote by the country’s Prime Minister (just announced):

“The Mehdi army must disarm or face US onslaught”

January 10th, 2007, 9:15 pm

 
 

Enlightened said:

What is happening in the Lebanese school system about the war also happened in the Japanese school system which glosses over Japans involvement and atrocities in world war 2. This is not surprising! Lebanon has no sense of itself, but this is not unique to lebanon in the middle east, a close look at any country in the middle east will reveal this problem, even with the different religious groupings in israel (Akbar please comment lol )

January 11th, 2007, 1:02 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

all what Bush wants is to kill Saddam Hussein, now that Saddam is dead ,Bush may find it easier to come out of Iraq,Bush neither care about the Kurds,nor Al Maliki,or the rest of the traitors,he expects King Abdullah of Jordan,to take over Iraq.

January 11th, 2007, 1:06 am

 

Abhinav Aima said:

The escalation of the US stance against Hizbollah really took place in the summer of 2006 when the US openly backed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon with the singular aim of destroying Hizbollah… When that option failed, they sought out the option of using money to contest the group… It would be interesting to see if the money is also being used to discredit Amal and Michel Aoun…

The US has repeatedly sought to kill Arabs in order to extend its hegemony through Israel… In his book “The One Percent Doctrine” Ron Suskind describes how the Bush administration shared its post-9/11 financial databases with the Israelis, which is how Israel identified Hamas members for targetted killings…

Essentially, the Israelis tracked money coming in to West Bank or Gaza from certain accounts and then followed the people who picked up this money to their residences to set up the kill… This is the reason why Israel, for a while, had such spectacular success with its targetted killings in the post-9/11 period…

Now, of course, both Hamas and Hizbollah know that they can not retaliate against the US directly – if the US could find even one recent Hamas and Hizbollah operation that sought to target Americans that would give the Bush admn the material for propaganda to justify American strikes against Hamas and Hizbollah… So, for now, Hamas and Hizbollah have to shut up and take a beating…

That would, of course, change if the US bombed Iran… Then the gloves will come off.

January 11th, 2007, 2:31 am

 

Habib said:

I really think that Congress should give Mr. Bush the troops, meaning more rope to hang himself with. haha. pun is fun.

January 11th, 2007, 2:55 am

 

norman said:

President Bush has just decleared his intentions to confront Syria and Iran not deal with them , The US has decleared it’s intention to fight Hizballa ,now I wounder if we are going to see an open war for the controle of Lebanon and Iraq .

some people feel that the video of Saddam hanging was allowed to be released by the US to intice the sunnies against the Shaiaa and Hizball to decrease the support that Hizballa has in the Arab world after the summer war and that is done at the request of Egypt saudi Arabia and Jordon.

January 11th, 2007, 3:22 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Bush said he will counter the syrian and iranian, what does this mean?, would he attack syrian army?

January 11th, 2007, 3:33 am

 

norman said:

This is a preload to attacking Iran and Syria by the US and Israel.I expect something by the end of the summer.

January 11th, 2007, 3:41 am

 

Ehsani2 said:

(From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)
By L. Paul Bremer

[Editor’s note: Mr. Bremer was head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in
Iraq in 2003-04.]

“Looking back, I think that if we had then realized the confusion and chaos
which existed we would indeed have thought ours a hopeless task. Certainly the
authorities in Washington who had prepared (the occupation policy) did not
visualize these conditions.”
— Gen. Lucius Clay (1950).

As in Germany a half-century ago, the American experience in Iraq has proven
more difficult than anticipated. Mistakes were made — including my own.
Denying government positions to officials in the top 1% of Saddam’s Baath party
was correct. But it was a mistake to turn implementation over to Iraqi
politicians rather than to judges. And in requesting American money to help
rebuild Iraq’s economy, I put too much emphasis on large-scale projects when
smaller ones would have shown quicker results to the average Iraqi.
The president has frankly acknowledged the need for a new approach. He has
assessed the various options and has courageously, and in my view wisely,
rejected the politically popular course of withdrawing. Over the past four
years, progress in Iraq has always depended on the interplay among the
political, economic and security sectors. Clearly only Iraqis can design the
necessary means to bridge their sectarian and ethnic divisions. The Shiites
need to show they understand that democracy involves the proper respect for
minority rights. The Sunnis must be brought to understand that while there is a
place for them in liberated Iraq, their centuries-old domination of the country
is over. The Kurds, with longer experience in elected government, must show
patience as their Arab brothers wrestle with these and other issues.
Iraqis cannot make the necessary political compromises in an atmosphere of
sustained violence. And although Iraq’s economy has done well since the
liberation, reconstruction, too, has been severely hampered by the lack of
security. So security for Iraq’s population is the sine qua non for success. By
committing additional American forces, the president’s new approach recognizes
this fundamental reality. It is no secret that I would have preferred that we
would have sent in more forces much sooner. But we are where we are today.
Now the Iraqis must step up to the plate. For months, they have promised
additional Iraqi forces for Baghdad, forces which until now have never arrived.
And Iraqi and Coalition forces operating in the capital have been subjected to
constant political interference, hampering the effectiveness of those
operations. An early test of the new approach will be whether Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki now makes good on the promised Iraqi reinforcements, and on his
commitment to allow them to deal with the militia, especially those of the
radical Moqtada al-Sadr.
Even a successful campaign in Baghdad will not end violence there. But a
significant reduction in attacks in the capital would give the Iraqi government
the political latitude needed to broaden its political base. The prime minister
will also be watched carefully in Washington and in Iraq, to ensure that he
delivers on his promises to move on the sensitive issues of oil policy and
provincial elections, both important to encouraging an atmosphere of
reconciliation. If he does not, then surely the Iraqi people will hold his
government accountable, as is provided in the Iraqi constitution.

The president’s new approach is bold, unpopular and risky. But he is right to
reject calls for American withdrawal. Those who advocate such a course need to
be frank about the drastic consequences of such a course.
First, it would abandon 27 million Iraqis to broader and much bloodier
violence. Some Americans seem prepared to accept this outcome, arguing, “It’s
their country. Let them sort it out.” This is shortsighted and uninformed.
Broader sectarian violence between Iraq’s Arabs would certainly provoke the
Kurds to declare their independence from Iraq. Over the past four years, I have
often spoken about this issue with the Kurdish leaders. They have made clear
that their decision to join a liberated Iraq depends on a government which can
provide security for all its people and which is not dominated by sectarianism.
An independent Iraqi Kurdistan would have an irresistible attraction for the
millions of Kurds living in Syria, Turkey and Iran, and would surely lead to a
wider regional war. Such a war would threaten American interests and allies
throughout the region and lead to American military re-engagement, probably on
a very large scale.
Most importantly, an American defeat in Iraq would immediately endanger
Americans. By confirming Osama bin Laden’s analysis that America is a “weak
horse” driven out of Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia a decade later, defeat would
be a major recruiting poster for Islamic extremists everywhere. If force again
rules Mesopotamia, there is a real risk that extremists will establish
themselves there as they had done in Afghanistan, but this time with major
economic resources and an operating base not on the periphery of the Middle
East, but at its heart.
These, then, are the stakes in Iraq. The president has acknowledged the need
for new leadership and a new strategy. He is to be commended for rejecting the
easy popular course.

January 11th, 2007, 3:43 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Dear Professor Josh,

Where the heck did you get this article?? I didn’t see who wrote it and who the writer interviewed in order to obtain all this “secret” information (LOL).

Meanwhile, I see your forum supporters are all in a frenzy now that Bush and all the other “traitors” are challenging the Iranian anti-semite terror king.

(Frankly, it’s about time.)

Abhinav Aima informs us:

“Essentially, the Israelis tracked money coming in to West Bank or Gaza from certain accounts and then followed the people who picked up this money to their residences to set up the kill… This is the reason why Israel, for a while, had such spectacular success with its targetted killings in the post-9/11 period…”

That’s strange, I always thought the targeted killings were carried out using special tele-kinetic, zionist-controlled mind-reading x-ray vision goggles.

It was either that or a network of Palestinian collaborators who haven’t been so keen on the jihadist PA.

January 11th, 2007, 3:45 am

 

Dubai Jazz said:

On GWB address:
“Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads.”
Isn’t this the first time GWB acknowledges the existence of death squads?

“American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods.”
Does that mean that they will now clear up the Sadr city from Al Hahdi army and its notorious death squads?

“To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.”
This one is good, provided it gets implemented ofcourse.

“America’s men and women in uniform took away al-Qaida’s safe haven in Afghanistan — and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq.”
Iraq has become a safe haven for Al Qaida only after the American invasion.

”And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.”
Does that mean giving a green light to Israel to strike on Iran nukes?

“On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.”
Unfortunately, GWB still sees things from a black and white perspective.

January 11th, 2007, 5:38 am

 

Alex said:

Norman were you surprised?

Mr. Bush’s new strategy:

USA+Israel+Jordan+Saudi Arabia+Egypt+Abbas+Seniora+Jeajea against Iran+Syria+Hezbollah+Aoun+Hamas.

But, the only two sources of hope remain:

1)He is allowing the Iraqis to work with the Syrians, despite his intention to confront hte Syrians.

2) Democratic congress will oppose him supposedly (We’ll see)

On the other hand, today Farouk Sharaa had a calmer tone as he answered questions to Arab journalists

اتهم نائب الرئيس السوري فاروق الشرع امس الإدارة الاميركية بالسعي الى «دفع اللبنانيين لاتخاذ مواقف متشنجة تؤدي الى عدم استقرار لبنان»، قائلاً ان «عدم وقوف اميركا على مسافة واحدة من جميع الأطراف يسبب الاستعصاء وعدم التوصل الى حكومة وحدة وطنية»، قبل ان يشير الى ان «بعض اللبنانيين» يريد استخدام المحكمة ذات الطابع الدولي لـ «الاستهداف السياسي بوحي خارجي».

الى ذلك، اعتبر الشرع ان العلاقات السورية – السعودية تاريخية» وان «التشاور مستمر وإن كان متقطعاً» وان «سورية لم ولن تخرج عن السرب العربي»، قائلاً إن العلاقة بين دمشق والرياض «مهمة لنا ولغيرنا ومهمة لاستقرار الشرق الأوسط ولمنع محاولات خلق فتنة يترتب عليها شرذمة المنطقة»، قبل ان يؤكد ان هذه العلاقات ستكون «ضمانة الاستقرار» اذا اضيفت اليها العلاقة مع مصر وايران.

Also, Hams leadership from Damascus showed some serious moderation by practically accepting Israel.

And In Lenbanon, the opposition is taking a slower long-term approach.

And finally, the conference in Madrid has some interesting potential outcomes. Our freinds Rime Allaf and Murhaf Jouejati will be part of the Syria delegation.

January 11th, 2007, 5:48 am

 

Dubai Jazz said:

Alex, is this Madrid conference official or non-official?

January 11th, 2007, 5:57 am

 

Alex said:

Nothing official. The “officials” who are going, are there NOT in their official capacity.

🙂

always complicated when Syria is involved.

January 11th, 2007, 6:04 am

 

sam said:

I dont think anything will happen this summer. Bush would probably be going through sensure by that time, or better yet impeachment. As soon as he really ticks of the Dems, like vetoing the minimum wage bill, or another veto on stem cell research. Polosi will come out swinging using the disinformation to go to war in Iraq. That’s going to be Juniors impeachment.

January 11th, 2007, 6:39 am

 

Richard Silverstein said:

Oh, I’d say announcing to the world & esp. Syria and Hezbollah itself that the CIA will try to prop up the Siniora gov’t. will go a LONG way to increasing the latter’s credibility in the eyes of all Lebanese and the Arab world? Don’t you??

The Bushites are idiots–they’ve always been idiots and will remain so forever. Where do they pick up these idiotic notions that the CIA can help Siniora esp. with the news spread publicly fr. here to kingdom come?

January 11th, 2007, 9:05 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Where do they pick up these idiotic notions that the CIA can help Siniora esp. with the news spread publicly fr. here to kingdom come?”

Dear Mr. Silverstein,

I see you believe everything you read too.

IMO, the best thing that can help the Lebanese is UN and French involvement. And we can thank the “Bushites” for helping to implement it:
http://www.un.org/depts/dpko/missions/unifil/mandate.html

Sam said:

“Polosi will come out swinging using the disinformation to go to war in Iraq. That’s going to be Juniors impeachment.”

Inshallah! We can only hope and pray. However, if Bush gets impeached, you may as well impeach the CIA, the UN, and UNSCOM.

Anyway, thank Allah for photoshop. It provides hope to the troubled masses, Bush-haters, and the Saddam lovers everywhere.

http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD141607

January 11th, 2007, 11:54 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-7.html

January 11th, 2007, 1:07 pm

 

Daily Dog said:

“will become a bulwark against the growing power of the Shia sect of Islam, championed by Iran and Syria, since the fall of Saddam Hussein.”

Could you turn that into “the Syrian government”? The majority of the Syrians are Suni and definitely not pro Shia.

January 11th, 2007, 1:15 pm

 

Saladin said:

CIA gets the go-ahead in Lebanon?
am i the only one getting a sense of Deja Vu or what?
Didn’t they read history books across the atlantic? the last CIA involvment in Lebanon in ’83 was … well, diabolical to say the least.

http://www.counterpunch.org/bovard10082003.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_1983_U.S._Embassy_bombing

it must be true. Bush IS the gambler of 21st century.

January 11th, 2007, 2:26 pm

 

t_desco said:

There was one clear sign in last night’s speech that preparations for possible air strikes on Iran are under way:

Bush: “We will … deploy Patriot air defence systems to reassure our friends and allies.”

I don’t see any other explanation for the deployment of Patriot missiles in the region. You certainly don’t need them to fight an insurgency.

January 11th, 2007, 3:30 pm

 

Saladin said:

“But still he talks of victory, as ignorant of the past as he is of the future.”

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article2144057.ece

January 11th, 2007, 4:15 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

AP)–Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday rejected anew
proposals for opening a diplomatic dialogue with Iran and Syria as a way to
help stabilize Iraq.
Rice said Iran would demand U.S. concessions on its nuclear program in
exchange for cooperation on Iraq. As for Syria, she said President Bashar Assad
would demand an easing of the U.S. opposition to Syrian policies in Lebanon as
his price for cooperation.
Rice testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee barely 12 hours
after President George W. Bush outlined a new approach to Iraq in an address to
the U.S.
Bush’s strategy for the Iraq war calls for clamping down on what the U.S.
sees as Iran and Syria’s support for insurgents and trying to get more help
from American allies in the region.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democrat, noted that the Baker-Hamilton report on
Iraq policy recommended robust U.S. engagement with Iran and Syria.
Dodd said Syrian officials told a visiting Senate delegation recently that
Syria “does not want a Shiite-dominated state on its border,” referring to
Iraq. Such statements, Dodd suggested, could offer a basis for a dialogue.
Rice said that a parade of senior U.S. officials conferred with Syria during
Bush’s first term, naming former secretary of state Colin Powell; his top
deputy, Richard Armitage; and Powell’s senior aide for the Middle East, William
Burns.
Those talks, she said, “got nowhere.” She added that diplomats from the U.K.,
Germany and Italy tried to engage with Damascus with equally fruitless results.

The Syrians, she said, “know how to stabilize Iraq. They just have to stop
infiltration across borders.”
She also said the U.S. has made a conditional offer to Iran to open
discussions. “If they are prepared to suspend their enrichment capability, I’m
there,” Rice said.

January 11th, 2007, 4:51 pm

 

norman said:

The US seems to think that talking to Syria is in itself a reward for Syria , That is not the case ,the US needs Syria’s help and the price is the Golan Lebanon and economic assistance ,The Us know that and is will ing to have more American killed for the Sake of the Israeli occupation and the Lebanese.The conflict in the midleast is not between Shiia and Sunni although the US and it.s freind the Saudi, Egyptians and Jordenians want Arabs to think ,The conflict is between a surrender camp giving the US and Israel all the say in midleast peace and refusal camp that want tangible and legal rights the Arabs and muslems are entiteld to under international law.The west is not willing to play by the rules and wants to impose their will.

January 11th, 2007, 5:22 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

The Robert Fisk article by Saladin leaves readers with no doubt that Bush’s strategy will not be able to defeat the insurgency.

Borrowing a quote by Pat Buchanan, Mr. Fisk writes:

The one endeavor at which Islamic peoples excel is expelling imperial powers by terror and guerrilla war. They drove the Brits out of Palestine and Aden, the French out of Algeria, the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Somalia and Beirut, the Israelis out of Lebanon… We have started up the road to empire and over the next hill we will meet those who went before.”

I could not help but think of how successful our “home-grown” powers are relative to the “imperial” ones when it comes to fighting insurgencies.

Bush must look with envy at how Hafez Assad dealt with his own insurgency back in the early 1980’s. He must also have developed some respect for how the late Saddam had been able to tame a country like Iraq now that he saw first hand what it really takes to accomplish the task at hand.

Pat Buchanan’s quote is valid but he fails to explain why it is so. The truth is that our homegrown powers play by a different code when it comes to fighting their own domestic insurgencies. Imperial powers are not saints but are clearly not as “effective”.

If Bush wanted to put an early end to the insurgency, all he needs to do is to outsource that job to say Mr. Shawkat. Give the man a month. Results will be guaranteed to follow.

The so-called imperial powers come to our region and play half-pregnant. They talk tough and try to act tough. Yet, our local populations see through that bluff. They know that any time the ante is pushed up, the cameras and the world public opinions will follow suit. In reality, the summer battle that Hezbollah encountered is not dissimilar. Is any “imperial power” really capable of disarming HA? I think it is highly unlikely. Can a Mr. Assad/Shawkat team accomplish the task should they decide to? I would bet my money on them to succeed.

Foreign imperial powers cannot succeed in our region because they cannot play by the rules of our region. Our Home grown powers do.

If I were Bashar, I would offer Bush an outsourcing contract to take care of Iraq’s insurgency. A month later, his inevitable success there would mean that he could rule that country and take Lebanon as a bonus too.

January 11th, 2007, 5:38 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Al Maliki is a weak PM,it is wrong for Bush to depend on him,dividing Iraq will leave three countries that will fight each other for oil revenue,and due to their hostile feeling,the Kurd area is landlocked,surrounded by enemies,how can they,then,export oil or communicate with other countries,they have no ally arround them to give them help,they are bound to fail,and they know it,that is why they did not declare independence so far.if USA needs to pull out of Iraq,due to failing policy, Usa ran out of Iraqi traitors,to govern Iraq,they have to depend on Jordan king,he is the only traitor they can trust 100%.

January 11th, 2007, 6:35 pm

 

3antar said:

“The stated rationale for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon was nonsense. Ostensibly, Israel invaded “–Lebanon because Hizb’allah captured two IDF soldiers that violated the Lebanese border.1 Later reports in Western media were changed so that Hizb’allah was entering Israel in an unprovoked attack; this is the generally understood scenario in the West, though it conflicts with the original reports and Lebanese police. Hizb’allah asked for a prisoner exchange—like the exchanges Israel has engaged in before2—but instead, Israel’s Kadima PM Ehud Olmert promised a “very painful and far-reaching response.” Israel’s army chief of staff, General Dan Halutz, said the war would “turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years.” ”

http://anthropik.com/2006/08/israels-water-wars/

January 11th, 2007, 6:46 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

T_Desco is correct; the Administration has already sealed its plan for attacks on either Syria, or Iran, or both. The deployment of the Patriot air defense systems is only meant to counter aerial or missile attacks and not to fight Iraqi insurgents. This hapless and grossly incompetent Bush Administration is still bent of jeopardizing the lives of Americans and many others with its reckless behavior. As if the mess they have produced is not quite enough (and not to mention the mess they got Israel into), they are now sending more troops and promising attacks.

Luckily, however, this time around is not going to be easy for such a duplicitous and inept Administration. Gone is the rubber stamp Congress and with it, the endless fear that the administration instilled in the American people successfully. The terror alerts colors somehow do not scare the American people into submission anymore – what is scarier for us now is the monumental ignorance and arrogance of the Administration. Thnkfully, my vote last November did not go to waste as many self-correcting Americans have rationally voted.

Bush is trying to convince us that Iran and Syria are the source and the root cause of all that is ailing Iraq today. Really? Has he forgotten Saudi Arabia where al Qaeda is so well and alive it even infiltrated the highest ranks of the Saudi Society? Just about how many 9/11 hijackers did come from Iran and Syria, exactly? Saudi Arabia shares with Iraq more than 1000 miles of al Qaeda-porous borders that most Sunni insurgents are coming from. It is time for this Administration, if it wants to level with the American people, to focus its attention at precisely where the religious intolerance and extremism is actually preached and practiced every day – legally and in the open.

While I am not a big fan of turban-wearing men with messages synchronously delivered from God, the fact of the matter is that Iran never invaded anyone. Does it have regional and nuclear aspirations? Yes. But these aspirations are nothing new; they were at their peak when the Shah ruled Iran with the support of the CIA.

Military solutions never achieve their objectives. Just look at Israel today: as unsafe and turbulent as it ever was. And of course, they claim that they have won all their wars!
God Bless Syria.

January 11th, 2007, 6:55 pm

 

Alex said:

Ehsani,

I would also remind you that Syria managed Lebanon “successfully” without any violence since the late 80’s till they left in 2005.

As Joshua always reminds me, Iraq is bigger than Lebanon. True. But Syria’s reading of the area have been so far near impeccable. So if they try to consult the Americans onIraq, they will certainly be very useful.

Here is something I suspect (for some reason): those young men going through the border to fight the Americans, many returned to Syria and from their rich stories the Syrian moukhabarat now has the best knowledge of how those fighters operate in Iraq, as well as their latest news. The Americans would love to have this info, but they won’t get it.

Another thing: Walid Moualem said that when he went to Baghdad, he stayed three full days and he met with and listened to leaders of all sides. He compared that to the way the American offcials visit Baghadad for few hours and meet only with the people they like to listen to and boycott the ones they don’t like … which is consistent with the stupid stupid American policy of boycotting Syria, Hizbollah, Iran, Hamas …

Dr. Rice will once again come to the middle East to meet with people who already agree with her. How useful.

January 11th, 2007, 7:00 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

Alex,

Unless I misunderstood you, nothing of what you wrote contradicts my comment. “Syria managed Lebanon without any violence” because the Lebanese know that it does not pay to mess around with Syria. The rule by which Syria plays the game leaves no doubt to the party facing it that it means business. As I said, Bush must only look in awe.

The article that appeared in the WSJ one day before Bush’s speech and which I copied in the last thread confirms what t-Desco highlighted above. Set below is what was mentioned in that excellent piece:

“The Pentagon has proposed sending a second carrier battle group to the Gulf region. There are also advanced plans under way to knit together the air-defense systems of the
six smaller Gulf States, including Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and
to build a U.S.-administered missile-defense system. Similarly, the Air Force
is laying plans to step up exercises with Arab allies in the region. One
proposal calls for the U.S. to hold combined air exercises with Oman and the
UAE.”

Clearly, fireworks are expected.

As to whether Iran is capable of weathering shocks to its economy from possible further economic sanctions over its nuclear program, John Negroponte replied:

“Record oil revenues and manageable debt suggest that Iran is capable, for now, of weathering shocks to its economy”

In other words, he told the Senate intelligence committee that this would not work.

January 11th, 2007, 7:27 pm

 

John Kilian said:

Ehsani2 said: (January 11th, 2007, 5:38 pm / #)
Foreign imperial powers cannot succeed in our region because they cannot play by the rules of our region. (end quote)

A goal of the Bush Administration is to change the rules of the region. Democracy rooted in guarantees of civil liberties allow for a peaceful process of political opposition and regime change that provide continuity of overarching relationships. The fall of Tehran is a lesson in how fragile dictatorships can be.

The democratization of the Middle East would serve to undermine Islamic fundamentalism that thrives as a reaction to corrupt secular dictatorships. If the US leaves behind an Iraq that is just another dictatorship waiting to fall, then the mission is not accomplished.

January 11th, 2007, 7:37 pm

 

Alex said:

Ehsani

The thing that worries me the most (after the administration’s combination of stupidity and foolish pride) is the incredibly attractive possibility of getting all the rich Arab states to buy tons of new weapons because they are by now scared to death from Iran, or if they have to, to go to war and be destroyed by Iran .. can you imagine how much money American companies will make when they have to rebuild Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti cities? … that will pay back the 400 billions cost of the Iraq war.

Iran, in case war starts, will try to get the Muslim world on its side, so they will try not to hit Saudi Arabia, although if the Saudis publicly push the Americans to hit Iran then they shoudl expect to be an early target.

January 11th, 2007, 7:41 pm

 

ugarit said:

“Cyber-dissident freed under presidential amnesty

Reporters Without Borders today hailed the release of academic and cyber-dissident Ali Sayed al-Shihabi yesterday after five months in detention. Arrested on 10 August for articles posted on a far-left website, he was freed under a presidential amnesty marking the Muslim Eid celebrations.

“We hope this pardon will open the way for more releases, because we have not forgotten that two other cyber-dissidents and a journalist are still imprisoned in Syria,” the press freedom organisation said. “Shihabi was subjected to appalling prisons conditions and torture during interrogation sessions, which highlight the violence and lack of humanity of the Syrian authorities towards prisoners of conscience.”

Prior to his arrest, 52-year-old Shihabi was interrogated several times by the security services about the articles he was posting on the Internet, especially on the far-left website http://www.rezgar.com, in which he said he wanted to create a new political party to be called “Syria for Everyone.”

A collection of his online articles were published in 2005 as a book entitled “Where is Syria going?” It was widely sold in neighbouring Lebanon.

Shihabi was previously imprisoned for a year in 1975, and against for nine years, from 1982 to 1991, for being a member of the banned Communist Party of Syria (PCA).

The two cyber-dissidents still in prison are Habib Saleh and Muhened Abdulrahman. Saleh was arrested on 29 May 2005. Abdulrahman was arrested on 7 September 2006. Journalist and writer Michel Kilo has been detained since 14 May 2006.

Source

January 11th, 2007, 7:42 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

John Killian,

Agreed. In theory what you said is the noble cause. In practice, it has not exactly worked perfectly.

So that one does not hype the war drums, few quotes today pointed otherwise (believe them or not).

“Iraq is central to the future of the Middle East,” Ms. Rice said at the news conference. She described the region, where she will travel on Thursday, as one of great strategic opportunity as well as peril, a region whose security “is an enduring vital interest for the United States.”

The region’s potential explosiveness was underscored as General Pace said it was essential to go after those Iranians who supply weapons to insurgents in Iraq.

“Are you going after them in Iran?” the general was asked at the news conference. “Why not go to the source?”

The general said the security of American troops could be protected “by doing the business we need to do inside of Iraq,” and that there were non-military means to pressure Iran.

“Has anyone in the military recommended operations inside Iran?” the questioner persisted.

“No,” the general replied.

January 11th, 2007, 7:50 pm

 

ugarit said:

John Kilian said “A goal of the Bush Administration is to change the rules of the region. Democracy rooted in guarantees of civil liberties allow for a peaceful process of political opposition and regime change that provide continuity of overarching relationships. …”

The Bush Administration is not interested in Democracy. To say that they are is to be ignorant of the USA’s and this administration’s history. I recall, and I hope you do too, that bringing democracy was not one of the stated goals of this administration until things started going sour in Iraq.

BTW, I do support liberal democracy.

January 11th, 2007, 7:58 pm

 

norman said:

Ehsani2 ,What do you think Syria’s help should cost the US ,I hope you do not think that it should be free like the Bush adminstration.I think you know Syria’s price and for that i think Syria will junp hands and feets to help the Iraqi people.

January 11th, 2007, 8:04 pm

 

Alex said:

John … please. If this administration really believed in democracy, the first thing they would have done would be to listen to, and accept different points of view. Instead, they are only capable of listening to and working with their allies.

If this is democracy, then our dictators already have the right mentality, no need to change.

January 11th, 2007, 8:12 pm

 

Gibran said:

Syria is going down the drain under Alawi rule:

دبي- حيان نيوف

فتح نشطاء حقوق الإنسان في سوريا ملف حقوق المرأة على مصراعيه منددين بجملة من الانتهاكات التي تقع عليها كإتجار الآباء بعقود زواج بناتهم، وجرائم الشرف والتعرض للعنف والاستغلال الجنسي.

وفي سياق احتجاجهم على ما تتعرض له المرأة السورية ، نددوا أيضا بما تتعرض له الخادمات الأجنبيات في سوريا من استغلال وأحيانا الاغتصاب . ونقرأ في الصحف الإعلانية السورية: “اغتنم الفرصة واحصل على خادمة فلبينية مسلمة بكفالة حقيقية ثلاث سنوات”. وخلف هذا الإعلان، بسطوره الملونة، تنمو قصص سوداء ومعاناة إنسانية تنتهي بالخادمة إلى الدعارة والاستغلال من قبل بعض مكاتب التشغيل، أو من قبل عائلات ثرية في حالات أطلقت عليها هيئات حقوقية “الرق الحديث” بسوريا.

الاتجار بالنساء

وبخصوص الاتجار بالنساء، حذّر ناشط حقوقي سوري من تفاقم ظاهرة الاتجار بالنساء السوريات من خلال قيام الآباء بالتحكم المطلق بعقود نكاح بناتهم وقبض المهر الذي يصل أحيانا إلى نصف مليون ليرة وفي حال تطليقها يزوج ابنته مرة أخرى وبنفس الطريقة مما يؤدي لهروب ابنته.

ويقول القيادي في المنظمة العربية لحقوق الإنسان (فرع سوريا) المحامي السوري أحمد منجونة لـ”العربية.نت” إنه “من واقع عمله كمحامٍ اطلع على قصص كثيرة خاصة من المناطق الشرقية مثل الرقة والحسكة حيث يزوّج الأب ابنته لمن يشاء ويقبض مهرها دون أن يمنحها أي شيء وهذا لايجوز لا من الناحية الشرعية ولا القانونية ولا الانسانية “.

ويوضح متحدثا عن إحدى الضحايا: كمحام لجمعية حماية الأحداث في حلب: أتتنا فتاة هربت من أسرتها لأن والدها زوجها بالقوة وقبض كل حقوقها كالمهر وأمور أخرى. وهذا تقليد عندما يتكرر مع بنت عمرها 26 بتزويجها لشخص فوق الستين، يتحول إلى اتجار بها.

ووفقا للمحامي السوري أحيانا تصل قيمة المهر الذي يستحوذ عليه الأب إلى نصف مليون ليرة سورية (حوالي عشرة آلاف دولار) كما أن معظم الأزواج غير مؤهلين للزواج من الناحية الاجتماعية وغير أكفاء لهن وهذا هو السبب الرئيسي لهروب الفتاة وليس الاستحواذ على مهرها.

الدعارة ..

ويكشف المحامي أحمد منجونة عن أن معظم نزيلات مركز ملاحظة البنات في حلب الذي يعمل فيه هن ضحايا جرائم تشرد أي الهاربات من منازلهن نتيجة تفكك أسري، أو تعرضهن للعنف أو الاستغلال الجنسي.

ويشرح آلية عمل هذا المركز بالقول: تتعرض البنت القاصر لاسغلال عاطفي من قبل أحد الاشخاص فيخطفها ويستغلها عاطفيا ويفض بكاراتها على اساس الوعد بالزواج، ويحصل ادعاء عليه من النيابة التي تحول الفتاة إلى مركزنا بينما يحول الشاب إلى السجن المركزي، ونحن بدورنا نحاول اقناع الشاب بالزواج من ضحيته وحل المشلكة قانونيا فتخرج البنت من عندنا متزوجة.

ويشير منجونة إلى أن الدعارة صارت مشكلة كبيرة وقد اطلع على قصص يشغّل الزوج فيها زوجته أو تتعرض الفتاة للعنف في عائلتها فتهرب ويستغلها بعض الناس في الشارع وتتحول لداعرة، مشيرا إلى أنها حالات كثيرة جدا.

جرائم الشرف

كما يعترف المحامي السوري بأنه لا توجد قدرة على علاج مشكلة جرائم الشرف في صلبها “بسبب وجود عقلية قديمة جداوهي أنه بمجرد ارتكاب البنت لأي خطأ لا يبحث كيف ارتكبته ولماذا فيقومون بانتهاك إنسانيتها ويقضون عليها”.

وأضاف “نحن نحمي هؤلاء البنات ولكن قتلت عندنا عدة بنات.. نحن نحمي البنت عندنا حتى نطمئن لوضعها الاجتماعي وبعدها نخرجها أو نزوجها.. ولكن إحدى البنات أخبرناها أن والدها سيقتلها و أصرت وخرجت فقتلها. وفتاة أخرى زوجناها من ابن عمها فتبين أنه متآمر مع والدها الذي أطلق النار عليها فاصيبت بحالة عجز بقدميها”.

من جهة أخرى، قال الناطق باسم المنظمة العربية لحقوق الإنسان بسوريا د. محمود العريان إن ظاهرة الرق تنتشر في سوريا من خلال استغلال الخادمات القادمات من إثيوبيا وإندونيسيا وتايوان، لافتا إلى استخدامهن في ظروف عمل قاسية جدا مشيرا إلى أن الدعارة كانت في البداية عندما قدمت الفليبينيات وعملن في دور اللهو والدعارة والآن غطى عليهن عمل الروسيات. علما أن ظاهرة الخادمات الأجنبيات هي ظاهرة جديدة في سوريا إذا ما قورنت بالمجتمعات العربية الأخرى.

وذكر محام سوري فضل عدم نشر اسمه أن بعض مكاتب التشغيل توسعت بأعمالها بفضل ما يدر عليها تشغيل الخادمات في الدعارة، وقال: صاحب إحدى المكاتب اشتهر في أوساط معينة في هذا العمل وكوّن حوله مجموعة من الخادمات اللواتي بسبب قساوة الظروف وضغط صاحب المكتب يعملن بالدعارة ويطلقن على مديرهن “السيد سيكسي” عندما يرسلهن إلى زبون ما.

عبودية ..

وبشأن “العبودية” يوضح الطبيب محمود العريان أن مظاهرها تتجلى في: العمل 24 ساعة بدون عطلة وبلا أوقات راحة وتعمل أعمالا مجهدة، يفرض عليها التطبع بطباع أهل البيت فإذا كانت سيدة المنزل متدينة تجبرها على لبس الجلباب والصلاة وإذا كانت تلبس الجينز تجبرها على ذلك، أو تجبرها على الرقص، بحيث يفرض عليها سلوك يختلف مه بيئتها.

كما يبرز الاستغلال في مكاتب التشغيل، ويقول العريان إن المكتب يتقاضى على الخادمة 2000 دولار فيما تذهب لصاحبه ألف دولار إضافة إلى أجر شهرين أو 3 من أجر الخادمة الذي يكون بين 100 و 125 دولارا ، وأي شكوى على الخادمة من قبل رب العمل يتولى المكتب التحقيق فيها فيضربها ويهينها ويعيدها لصاحب المنزل.

ويشدد العريان على أن مسألة الدعارة ليست السمة الظاهرة في سوريا وإنما الاسترقاق، ويستطرد “وعندما تصبح الفتاة رقيقة قد تصبح داعرة وما خفي كان أعظم خلال الممارسات اليومية بين الخادمات والأهالي”.

حوامل من بيوت الأثرياء

ويروي العريان تجربته من الحالات التي شاهدها في عيادته للطب النسائي، ويقول: اكتشفت أمورا مريعة تتم عمليات اعتداء جنسي على بعض الخادمات في كثير من البيوت من العائلات الثرية لكن مستواها الاخلاقي منخفض حيث يعتدون على الخادمات، وعندما تصلنا حالة نخبر الأمن الجنائي. ولا يمكن معرفة عدد الحالات لأنه هناك مجتمع محافظ يحاول التستر، أي اسرة لديها خادمة يعتدي عليها وتحمل يتسترون عليها ويتجهون إلى الإجهاض. وأحيانا تشك سيدة المنزل في الخادمة من خلال أوضاعها الصحية وتحضرها هنا للفحص إذا كانت عذراء أم لا فنتكشف أنها حامل وليست عذراء.

وأشار العريان إلى أن الخادمات بالآلاف في المدن الكبيرة والصغيرة وهن مسيحيات ومسلمات، وكان سابقا التوجه للفيلبينيات وأما الآن الاعتماد على الاندونيسيات أما الدفعة الطاغية فهي الاثيوبيات من مسيحيات ومسلمات .

وكانت الحكومة السورية أصدرت قانونا ينظم عمل مكاتب استقدام واستخدام العاملات والمربيات في المنازل من غير السوريات، ويحدد أجور هذه المكاتب بنسبة 10% من عقد العمل.

ويضع القانون ضوابط التشغيل وبنود العقد بين العاملة والمستفيد (صاحب المنزل) على أن يتعهد الأخير بحسن معاملتها وتسجيلها في مكتب إصابات العمل لدى التأمينات الاجتماعية علاوة على التعهد بتأمين المأكل والملبس والدواء والمسكن الملائم وإجازة سنوية وأوقات راحة كافية.

وحظر القانون على المكاتب استقدام العاملات على أساس أسماء وهمية بغية تشغيلهن بأجر يومي أو شهري في أماكن متعددة أو استخدمهن لدى جهات أخرى.

January 11th, 2007, 8:13 pm

 

3antar said:

“The democratization of the Middle East would serve to undermine Islamic fundamentalism that thrives as a reaction to corrupt secular dictatorships. If the US leaves behind an Iraq that is just another dictatorship waiting to fall, then the mission is not accomplished.”

JK, how does Islamic Fundamentalism corrupt Secular dictatorships? i would have thought a dictatorship in its essence is prone to corruption with out much help. Do you really believe the US can leave behind democratic Iraq or any other nation with a mission accomplished slogan? US portfolio stands witness to anything but that. In fact, its well known and accepted that US policy has always been geared towards supporting allied governments regardless of how dictatorial or corrupt they are. Why would Iraq be any different? How did general Pinochet come to power i ask you? democratic election? i think not. In an ideal world, where the superpower is concerned with the well being of people it governs or aiming to influence…. perhaps your formula can be reasoned with. otherwise, wishful thinking.

January 11th, 2007, 8:23 pm

 

Alex said:

Imad Moustapha was live on the BBC. He was asked about Dr. Rice’s comments today that Syria shoudl not be bargaining about what it wants in return for helping in Iraq, he said: “tell her to get real and thank her for advice. While she is accusing us of these sinister positions, we are already working to help Iraq, the Iraqis acknowledge it, We visited them, their ministers visited us, we signed a security agreement with them, their president is coming to Damascus soon, and we know what we need to do together. Let the Americans continue to criticize us”

He also said that it is very unlikely the Americans will attack Syria. He said the administration lost one more opportunity to fix its mistakes.

January 11th, 2007, 8:23 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

Gibran,

What does this have to do with “Alawi rule”?

Are you aware of how foreign domestic workers are treated in Saudi, Kuwait or Bahrain?

Do you think that they also should go down the drain?

January 11th, 2007, 8:27 pm

 

ausamaa said:

I am really baffled as to how a great nation like the United States of America, with all its government branches functioning properly, with all the necessary checks and balances in place, with all the intelligence, analysis and experties availlable to it, with all of its supposedly caring and free press, and with its vast intersts (looked after by the relevant interest groups)in this area, can allow itself to be put on an undefined course of action that threatens not only its own interests in this vital area of the world, but also its clout and credibility in the whole world in such a jeopardy by following such a reckless, confused and confusing approach to what it faces here.

What in the hell is happening in the US?

This US Administration has fu…d up big time on everything it had tackled since it took office. It took office with a ready agenda, took advantage of the Sep 11 tragic event to implement it, and then a nose dive in the persuit of things impossible in a savage and a reckless manner by the admission of its own pillars.

Where are the think tanks, where is the congress and the senat, where is the press, where is the military-industrial complex’s power and clout, where is the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where is the whole nation? A lot of people have been crying FOUL. But all stops there. Is it the Adminstration’s fault OR has the whole nation lost balance with the execuse that all later can be blamed on POTUS and the newcons??? Blame Israel and AIPAC? Blame the whole world who is not responding in a favourable manner to such ventures? Blame God? Fine, but Where does the buck really stop nowadays?

Are all Americans, all American Institutions and American decision making bodies so disintersted in what is happening and so uncaring about what dammage is being done to their Nation their name? not?

Is this crisis management or is it a management crisis? Or is the blunt truth simply is that while hiding behind the screen of accepting that this is reckless Bush’s hail mary pass, the real truth is that the whole American Nation is “subconsiously wishing” that something good comes out of this mess at the end? If so, then no one should blame the Germans for supporting Hitler’s actions in the thirties and in what followed next then.

Is this the example America -the Nation, not only the President- want to present to the whole world? Is this really America?

OR does this America know something that we all do not know?

January 11th, 2007, 8:30 pm

 

Alex said:

Gibran, I have a new idea for 2007.

Every time one of you links here a story form one of those “we hate the Syrian regime” sources, I will link another one from the official Syrian News agency. Maybe it will help you understand how impressed the rest of us are with your dramatic news stories:


مغامرة.. أم غباء سياسي؟!……بقلم: عصام داري

الأربعاء, 10 كانون الثاني , 2007 – 08:40

تشرق الشمس على مذبحة في العراق، وتغرب على مجزرة في الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة كلياً أو جزئياً، وتتوالى الساعات والدقائق بين فوضى وعدم استقرار في لبنان، وحروب ودمار في الصومال، وإثارة نعرات هنا وهناك فوق كامل الأرض العربية.. والفاعل واحد، وتدور الطاحون الأميركية لتعصر شعوب الأرض: تدميراً وقتلاً وحصارات وعقوبات وتدخلات لاحصر لها.

هذه هي «تباشير!» الديمقراطية الموعودة المصنّعة في معامل صنع القرار الأميركي بدءاً بالبيت الأبيض، وصولاً إلى البنتاغون. ‏
وهذا هو المشروع الأميركي «الحضاري!» لشرق أوسط جديد مصبوغ بلون الدم، وممهور بخاتم المحافظين الجدد، أصحاب الخيال الخصب في فبركة النظريات العجائبية وغير المسبوقة في تاريخ البشرية التي تدعو للسخرية والرثاء معاً. ‏
أمس، دخلت الولايات المتحدة على خط الصومال مباشرة وليس بالإنابة، فقصفت الطائرات مواقع «يُشتبه» في أنها لتنظيم القاعدة!.
واليوم يعلن رأس الهرم الأميركي، وواجهة المحافظين الجدد والناطق بلسانهم ـ الرئيس جورج بوش ـ استراتيجيته الجديدة للعراق، وما حول العراق.. ولا نظن أنها ستكون أفضل حالاً من كل استراتيجيات «النصر» التي أطلقتها إدارة بوش طوال سنوات ست خلت. ‏
لا يبدو أنّ المحافظين الجدد يريدون الاستماع إلى صوت العقل والمنطق. فهم يكابرون في وقت لم تعد المكابرة مجدية أو لها ما يبررها، بل أضحت تكلّف شعوب المنطقة والعالم خسائر فادحة، وتكلّف الشعب الأميركي نفسه خسائر في الأرواح والسمعة الى درجة نظن معها أن الرئيس بوش غير قادر اليوم على تكرار سؤاله الأشهر: لماذا يكرهوننا؟! ‏
فالرئيس بوش وأركان إدارته من مدنيين وعسكريين، بعد التعديلات و«المناقلات» في الوظائف العليا والتضحية بأكباش فداء من عتاة المحافظين، الرئيس بوش هذا لا يريد أن ينصت إلى صوت العقلاء في الداخل الأميركي وفي العالم، ولا يبدو أنه فهم ماذا يعنيه تقرير بيكر ـ هاملتون أكان لجهة وضع جدول زمني للانسحاب من العراق، أم لجهة مجمل قضايا الشرق الأوسط،وفي مقدمتها قضية السلام التي أضحت من المنسيات ولم يعد لها وجود على الأجندة الأميركية منذ وصولها إلى البيت الأبيض. ‏
بل إن بوش تعمّد السير في الاتجاه المعاكس تماماً: فهو من جهة أراد أن يسفر عن الدور الأميركي العسكري في الصومال، ومن جهة ثانية أن يزجّ بأعداد إضافية من الجنود الأميركيين في العراق تقدر بعشرين ألفاً، متبنياً ومكرِّساً خيار القوة، وتوجيه رصاصة الرحمة لخيار الحوار مع الشعوب، ومتجاهلاً بالمطلق عملية السلام التي كانت الإدارة الأميركية الراعية الأولى لها في عهد الرئيس جورج بوش الأب. ‏
بكل بساطة نستنتج أن بوش لم يخرج من جلده، ولا نظنّه سيفعل، وأن المحافظين الجدد المؤمنين بالأساطير التوراتية ـ التلمودية المنقرضة لم يلحظوا بعد أن العالم اليوم لم يعد كما كان بالأمس، وأن الشارع الأميركي سحب البساط من تحت أقدامهم، وأعلن نبذه لهم ولسياساتهم التي لم تجلب للعالم إلا الكوارث والويلات والحروب والدمار، وللشعب الأميركي إلاّ العار والكراهية والأحقاد. ‏
لم يسأل بوش وأركان إدارته أنفسهم لماذا تحولت معظم دول أميركا اللاتينية من حديقة البيت الأبيض الخلفية، وفق مبدأ مونرو الشهير، إلى دول معادية للسياسات الأميركية؟!.. ولم يسأل هذا الفريق «الحربجي» نفسه لماذا تزداد كراهية شعوب العالم لكل ما هو أميركي؟.. ولم يبحث صنّاع القرار في واشنطن عن أسباب هذا الفشل الذريع للسياسة الأميركية الخارجية من أفغانستان الى العراق وصولاً إلى ملفات الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان والإرهاب الذي نما وترعرع في أحضان وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية، وتشعّب وانتشر في أربع جهات الأرض بفضل السياسة الطائشة والمتهورة لحفنة من المحافظين الجدد الذين يقودون العالم الى مزيد من المحن والكوارث. ‏
أهي روح المغامرة لدى هذا الفريق الحاكم أم رغبة في تركيع الشعوب وسلب ثرواتها وخيراتها وفي مقدمتها الذهب الأسود؟..أم تنفيذ لنصوص تلمودية بالية تتحدث عن نهاية العالم، ومعركة «مقدسة» ستجري في منطقتنا؟.. أم إنه غباء سياسي متحكّم في أذهان فئة تمتلك القوة والسلطان وتريد أن توظف ما تملك للسيطرة على ما لا تملك؟! ‏
نظن أن كل ذلك معاً يشكل الخلطة العجيبة للسياسة الأميركية.. وهي وصفة مجربة لتدمير العالم ودفعه نحو عصور الظلام والفوضى غير الخلاقة!. ‏

January 11th, 2007, 8:32 pm

 

ausamaa said:

We are really baffled as to how a great nation like the United States of America, with all its government branches functioning properly, with all the necessary checks and balances in place, with all the intelligence, analysis and experties availlable to it, with all of its supposedly caring and free press, and with its vast intersts (looked after by the relevant interest groups)in this area, can allow itself to be put on an undefined course of action that threatens not only its own interests in this vital area of the world, but also its clout and credibility in the whole world in such a jeopardy by following such a reckless, confused and confusing approach to what it faces here.

What in the hell is happening in the US?

This US Administration has fu…d up big time on everything it had tackled since it took office. It took office with a ready agenda, took advantage of the Sep 11 tragic event to implement it, and then took a predictable nose dive into oblivion in the persuit of things impossible in a savage and a reckless manner by the admission of ,not only us but, its own pillars.

Where are the think tanks, where is the congress and the senat, where is the press, where is the military-industrial complex’s power and clout, where is the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where is the whole nation? A lot of people have been crying FOUL. But all stops there. Is it the Adminstration’s fault OR has the whole nation lost balance with the execuse that all later can be blamed on POTUS and the newcons??? Blame Israel and AIPAC? Blame the whole world who is not responding in a favourable manner to such ventures? Blame God? Fine, but Where does the buck really stop nowadays?

Are all Americans, all American Institutions and American decision making bodies so disintersted in what is happening and so uncaring about what dammage is being done to their Nation their name? not?

Is this crisis management or is it a management crisis? Or can the blunt truth simply be that the American Nation (while knowingly hiding behind the screen of accepting that this is reckless Bush’s hail mary pass but keeping silent about it) is “subconsiously wishing” that something good comes out of this mess at the end? If so, then no one should blame the Germans for supporting Hitler’s actions in the thirties and in what resulted from this support, or silence then.

Is this the example America -the Nation, not only the President and his Administration- want to present to the whole world? Is this really America?

OR does this silent America know and see something that we all are failing to see?

January 11th, 2007, 8:32 pm

 

Gibran said:

I must admit Alex that you finally came up with a good idea.

Syria goes down the drain under alawi rule:

ي- حيان نيوف

فتح نشطاء حقوق الإنسان في سوريا ملف حقوق المرأة على مصراعيه منددين بجملة من الانتهاكات التي تقع عليها كإتجار الآباء بعقود زواج بناتهم، وجرائم الشرف والتعرض للعنف والاستغلال الجنسي.

وفي سياق احتجاجهم على ما تتعرض له المرأة السورية ، نددوا أيضا بما تتعرض له الخادمات الأجنبيات في سوريا من استغلال وأحيانا الاغتصاب . ونقرأ في الصحف الإعلانية السورية: “اغتنم الفرصة واحصل على خادمة فلبينية مسلمة بكفالة حقيقية ثلاث سنوات”. وخلف هذا الإعلان، بسطوره الملونة، تنمو قصص سوداء ومعاناة إنسانية تنتهي بالخادمة إلى الدعارة والاستغلال من قبل بعض مكاتب التشغيل، أو من قبل عائلات ثرية في حالات أطلقت عليها هيئات حقوقية “الرق الحديث” بسوريا.

الاتجار بالنساء

وبخصوص الاتجار بالنساء، حذّر ناشط حقوقي سوري من تفاقم ظاهرة الاتجار بالنساء السوريات من خلال قيام الآباء بالتحكم المطلق بعقود نكاح بناتهم وقبض المهر الذي يصل أحيانا إلى نصف مليون ليرة وفي حال تطليقها يزوج ابنته مرة أخرى وبنفس الطريقة مما يؤدي لهروب ابنته.

ويقول القيادي في المنظمة العربية لحقوق الإنسان (فرع سوريا) المحامي السوري أحمد منجونة لـ”العربية.نت” إنه “من واقع عمله كمحامٍ اطلع على قصص كثيرة خاصة من المناطق الشرقية مثل الرقة والحسكة حيث يزوّج الأب ابنته لمن يشاء ويقبض مهرها دون أن يمنحها أي شيء وهذا لايجوز لا من الناحية الشرعية ولا القانونية ولا الانسانية “.

ويوضح متحدثا عن إحدى الضحايا: كمحام لجمعية حماية الأحداث في حلب: أتتنا فتاة هربت من أسرتها لأن والدها زوجها بالقوة وقبض كل حقوقها كالمهر وأمور أخرى. وهذا تقليد عندما يتكرر مع بنت عمرها 26 بتزويجها لشخص فوق الستين، يتحول إلى اتجار بها.

ووفقا للمحامي السوري أحيانا تصل قيمة المهر الذي يستحوذ عليه الأب إلى نصف مليون ليرة سورية (حوالي عشرة آلاف دولار) كما أن معظم الأزواج غير مؤهلين للزواج من الناحية الاجتماعية وغير أكفاء لهن وهذا هو السبب الرئيسي لهروب الفتاة وليس الاستحواذ على مهرها.

الدعارة ..

ويكشف المحامي أحمد منجونة عن أن معظم نزيلات مركز ملاحظة البنات في حلب الذي يعمل فيه هن ضحايا جرائم تشرد أي الهاربات من منازلهن نتيجة تفكك أسري، أو تعرضهن للعنف أو الاستغلال الجنسي.

ويشرح آلية عمل هذا المركز بالقول: تتعرض البنت القاصر لاسغلال عاطفي من قبل أحد الاشخاص فيخطفها ويستغلها عاطفيا ويفض بكاراتها على اساس الوعد بالزواج، ويحصل ادعاء عليه من النيابة التي تحول الفتاة إلى مركزنا بينما يحول الشاب إلى السجن المركزي، ونحن بدورنا نحاول اقناع الشاب بالزواج من ضحيته وحل المشلكة قانونيا فتخرج البنت من عندنا متزوجة.

ويشير منجونة إلى أن الدعارة صارت مشكلة كبيرة وقد اطلع على قصص يشغّل الزوج فيها زوجته أو تتعرض الفتاة للعنف في عائلتها فتهرب ويستغلها بعض الناس في الشارع وتتحول لداعرة، مشيرا إلى أنها حالات كثيرة جدا.

جرائم الشرف

كما يعترف المحامي السوري بأنه لا توجد قدرة على علاج مشكلة جرائم الشرف في صلبها “بسبب وجود عقلية قديمة جداوهي أنه بمجرد ارتكاب البنت لأي خطأ لا يبحث كيف ارتكبته ولماذا فيقومون بانتهاك إنسانيتها ويقضون عليها”.

وأضاف “نحن نحمي هؤلاء البنات ولكن قتلت عندنا عدة بنات.. نحن نحمي البنت عندنا حتى نطمئن لوضعها الاجتماعي وبعدها نخرجها أو نزوجها.. ولكن إحدى البنات أخبرناها أن والدها سيقتلها و أصرت وخرجت فقتلها. وفتاة أخرى زوجناها من ابن عمها فتبين أنه متآمر مع والدها الذي أطلق النار عليها فاصيبت بحالة عجز بقدميها”.

من جهة أخرى، قال الناطق باسم المنظمة العربية لحقوق الإنسان بسوريا د. محمود العريان إن ظاهرة الرق تنتشر في سوريا من خلال استغلال الخادمات القادمات من إثيوبيا وإندونيسيا وتايوان، لافتا إلى استخدامهن في ظروف عمل قاسية جدا مشيرا إلى أن الدعارة كانت في البداية عندما قدمت الفليبينيات وعملن في دور اللهو والدعارة والآن غطى عليهن عمل الروسيات. علما أن ظاهرة الخادمات الأجنبيات هي ظاهرة جديدة في سوريا إذا ما قورنت بالمجتمعات العربية الأخرى.

وذكر محام سوري فضل عدم نشر اسمه أن بعض مكاتب التشغيل توسعت بأعمالها بفضل ما يدر عليها تشغيل الخادمات في الدعارة، وقال: صاحب إحدى المكاتب اشتهر في أوساط معينة في هذا العمل وكوّن حوله مجموعة من الخادمات اللواتي بسبب قساوة الظروف وضغط صاحب المكتب يعملن بالدعارة ويطلقن على مديرهن “السيد سيكسي” عندما يرسلهن إلى زبون ما.

عبودية ..

وبشأن “العبودية” يوضح الطبيب محمود العريان أن مظاهرها تتجلى في: العمل 24 ساعة بدون عطلة وبلا أوقات راحة وتعمل أعمالا مجهدة، يفرض عليها التطبع بطباع أهل البيت فإذا كانت سيدة المنزل متدينة تجبرها على لبس الجلباب والصلاة وإذا كانت تلبس الجينز تجبرها على ذلك، أو تجبرها على الرقص، بحيث يفرض عليها سلوك يختلف مه بيئتها.

كما يبرز الاستغلال في مكاتب التشغيل، ويقول العريان إن المكتب يتقاضى على الخادمة 2000 دولار فيما تذهب لصاحبه ألف دولار إضافة إلى أجر شهرين أو 3 من أجر الخادمة الذي يكون بين 100 و 125 دولارا ، وأي شكوى على الخادمة من قبل رب العمل يتولى المكتب التحقيق فيها فيضربها ويهينها ويعيدها لصاحب المنزل.

ويشدد العريان على أن مسألة الدعارة ليست السمة الظاهرة في سوريا وإنما الاسترقاق، ويستطرد “وعندما تصبح الفتاة رقيقة قد تصبح داعرة وما خفي كان أعظم خلال الممارسات اليومية بين الخادمات والأهالي”.

حوامل من بيوت الأثرياء

ويروي العريان تجربته من الحالات التي شاهدها في عيادته للطب النسائي، ويقول: اكتشفت أمورا مريعة تتم عمليات اعتداء جنسي على بعض الخادمات في كثير من البيوت من العائلات الثرية لكن مستواها الاخلاقي منخفض حيث يعتدون على الخادمات، وعندما تصلنا حالة نخبر الأمن الجنائي. ولا يمكن معرفة عدد الحالات لأنه هناك مجتمع محافظ يحاول التستر، أي اسرة لديها خادمة يعتدي عليها وتحمل يتسترون عليها ويتجهون إلى الإجهاض. وأحيانا تشك سيدة المنزل في الخادمة من خلال أوضاعها الصحية وتحضرها هنا للفحص إذا كانت عذراء أم لا فنتكشف أنها حامل وليست عذراء.

وأشار العريان إلى أن الخادمات بالآلاف في المدن الكبيرة والصغيرة وهن مسيحيات ومسلمات، وكان سابقا التوجه للفيلبينيات وأما الآن الاعتماد على الاندونيسيات أما الدفعة الطاغية فهي الاثيوبيات من مسيحيات ومسلمات .

وكانت الحكومة السورية أصدرت قانونا ينظم عمل مكاتب استقدام واستخدام العاملات والمربيات في المنازل من غير السوريات، ويحدد أجور هذه المكاتب بنسبة 10% من عقد العمل.

ويضع القانون ضوابط التشغيل وبنود العقد بين العاملة والمستفيد (صاحب المنزل) على أن يتعهد الأخير بحسن معاملتها وتسجيلها في مكتب إصابات العمل لدى التأمينات الاجتماعية علاوة على التعهد بتأمين المأكل والملبس والدواء والمسكن الملائم وإجازة سنوية وأوقات راحة كافية.

وحظر القانون على المكاتب استقدام العاملات على أساس أسماء وهمية بغية تشغيلهن بأجر يومي أو شهري في أماكن متعددة أو استخدمهن لدى جهات أخرى.

January 11th, 2007, 9:17 pm

 

t_desco said:

In line with the presidential finding:

Negroponte: Hezbollah a Growing Threat

Al-Qaida still poses the gravest terrorism threat to the United States, and an emboldened Hezbollah is a growing danger, the U.S. intelligence chief said Thursday.

In his annual review of global threats, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte highlighted an increasingly worrisome posture of Hezbollah _ backed by Iran and Syria _ since its 34-day war with Israel in July and August.

“As a result of last summer’s hostilities, Hezbollah’s self-confidence and hostility toward the U.S. as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against U.S. interests,” Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee in written testimony.
AP

Despite all the talk from Ahmadinejad, is Iran actually slowing down its nuclear program? –

Iran Nuke Work Seems Slow, Puzzling West

Iran’s uranium enrichment program appears stalled despite tough talk from the Tehran leadership, leaving intelligence services guessing about why it has not made good on plans to press ahead with activities that the West fears could be used to make nuclear arms, diplomats said Thursday.

IAEA inspectors arrived at Natanz on Wednesday for a routine round of monitoring. But one of the diplomats said they were unlikely to find anything but the status quo two small pilot plants assembled in 164-centrifuge “cascades” but working only sporadically to produce small quantities of non-weapons grade enriched uranium and other individual centrifuges undergoing mechanical testing. That has essentially been the situation at Natanz since late November, he said.

There have been no signs of any activity linked to Iranian plans to assemble 3,000 centrifuges at Natanz and move them into an underground facility as the start of an ambitious program foreseeing 50,000 centrifuges producing enriched material, said the diplomats.
ABC News

News on the train bombers from Tripoli:

Lebanese judge demands life in prison for 6 suspects held in German train bombing attempt

A judge demanded life imprisonment on Thursday for six Lebanese suspects accused of being involved in a failed train bombing attempt in Germany, court officials said.

Five of the six suspects are in Lebanese custody and have been referred to a criminal court for trial. …

The sixth, Youssef Mohammed el-Hajdib, 21, is in German custody after he was arrested Aug. 19 in the German city of Kiel.
AP

The German magazine FOCUS reported recently that Youssef Mohammed el-Hajdib was “part of a network” with links to Iraq and Londonistan.

January 11th, 2007, 9:30 pm

 

Alex said:

Sure Gibran,

The is no shortage of useless articles in this world, yalla go get some more of your useless articles.

Actually I have to also match your “Syria goes down the drain under alawi rule”

So:

Syria in safe hands under the wise leadership of President Assad.

هل حسبها بوش00 بقلم عز الدين الدرويش

الخميس, 11 كانون الثاني , 2007 – 09:35

نعم.. هل حسبها الرئيس بوش ومؤيدوه في الحرب على العراق جيداً هذه المرة قبل إرسال المزيد من القوات إلى هناك؟ أم إن هذا القرار الرئاسي كسابقيه يقوم على نظرية النصر الذي لم يتحقق ولن يتحقق وفق الخبراء العسكريين الأميركيين أنفسهم؟

معطيات الواقع العراقي بتعقيداته المتكاثرة المتشعبة تؤكد أن احتمالات الإخفاق لـ استراتيجية بوش الجديدة في العراق أكثر بكثير من احتمالات النجاح فالعشرون ألف جندي الذين تقرر إرسالهم إلى العراق لن يتمكنوا من إنجاز ما عجز عن إنجازه المئة والخمسون ألف جندي الموجودون هناك منذ أربع سنوات والمليار دولار التي قرر بوش صرفها في العراق لن تغيّر شيئاً ملموساً في واقع مزرٍ يحتاج إلى عشرات أضعاف هذا المبلغ ويتطلب قبل المال الإرادة الوطنية وحسن الأداء، والقرار الحر ‏

الوضع في العراق الآن كارثي واستراتيجية بوش وفق ما ظهر منها ستكون بمنزلة كارثة على كارثة والخاسر الوحيد هو الشعب العراقي الذي يفقد يومياً منذ بداية الحرب الأميركية العشرات إضافة إلى الجرحى والمعاقين والدمار الشامل والعوز غير المحدود والأهم من ذلك الفقدان الكامل لمقومات الدولة ‏

القادة العسكريون الأميركيون الميدانيون الذين خدموا في العراق وقادوا العمليات فيه وعانوا ما عانوا أعلنوا على الملأ أن القضية معقدة أكثر مما يظن الرئيس وأنها لا تحل بزيادة عدد القوات حتى لو وصل العدد إلى نصف مليون جندي وأكدوا أن الأمر يتطلب مراجعة شاملة لأسباب الحرب والاستعانة بدول الجوار وخاصة سورية وإيران لضبط الوضع العراقي ‏

ومجموعة بيكر ـ هاملتون التي اعتمدت على تقويمات هؤلاء القادة العسكريين واستعانت بخبراء محايدين ودرست الوضع عن كثب وصلت إلى قناعة تامة بأن الحل لن يكون كما يفكر بوش وأنه يجب تخفيض عدد القوات وليس زيادته والاعتماد على سورية وإيران في هذا الشأن ولكن بوش نأى بنفسه عن هذه التوصيات كما يبدو واختار الطريق الآخر‏

والمشكلة أن الديمقراطيين الأميركيين الذين فازوا في الانتخابات التشريعية على أساس معارضتهم للحرب في العراق يعارضون الآن استراتيجية بوش الجديدة في العراق ولكنهم لا يقدمون بديلاً منها ولم يظهر من تحركهم المعارض سوى إشارة إلى أن بعض زعمائهم في مجلس الشيوخ يدرسون سن تشريع يعارض تصعيد الحرب في العراق أما على الصعيد النظري الكلامي فقد قالوا الكثير ‏

العراق ينزف من كل الجهات على مدار الساعة وعدد ضحاياه تجاوز السبعمئة ألف أما المهجرون إلى الخارج فبالملايين وإمكانيات الحياة فيه تكاد تصبح معدومة ومع ذلك فالرئيس بوش وهو المسؤول الأول عن كل هذه الكوارث الإنسانية والمادية يريد أن يجرّب استراتيجية ثبت إخفاقها قبل الإعلان عنها فإلى أين يريد أن يأخذ العراقيين؟ ‏

تشرين

January 11th, 2007, 9:36 pm

 

MSK said:

Dear all,

behold, I thought I would never see the day when the Israeli Likud Party is calling for a Knesset session to defend the honor & dignity of the Israeli Arabs against … RACISM.

Btw, before anyone jumps to conclusions, this isn’t a ploy – they really do have those convictions. Now. In 2007.

–MSK

http://www.aqoul.com

Lieberman calls on Peretz to quit over appointment of first Arab minister

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/812447.html

Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday called on Amir Peretz to resign the defense portfolio over his appointment of Israel’s first Arab minister, saying Peretz was unfit to hold the post.

Lieberman said that Peretz had abused his role as defense minister, and used the apparatus of the state for his own ends in the Labor Party primaries, and as such was not worthy of holding the position.

Lieberman’s comments followed condemnation of the appointment by the chairman of Knesset faction of his Yisrael Beiteinu party, MK Esterina Tartman, who lambasted the move as “a lethal blow to Zionism.”

She told Israel Radio that Labor MK Raleb Majadele’s appointment as minister of science and technology damages “Israel’s character as a Jewish state.”

“We need to destroy this affliction from within ourselves. God willing, God will come to our help,” she said.

Tartman’s remarks were widely condemned by lawmakers from across the political spectrum. Majadele later said that her comments did not merit a response.

Tartman also said Peretz only made Majadele minister of because the MK is an Arab, and to strengthen Peretz’s power within Labor.

“Peretz is making a sacrifice of Zionism,” she said. “He has crossed all the red lines. Israel is a Jewish state and should be run according to Jewish principles.”

Tartman insisted that she did not have anything personal against Majadele, but objected to his appointment in principle.

“This is assimilation,” She said. “I call on the prime minister not to approve this appointment, not for personal reasons, but in order to protect the state of Israel’s interest as a Jewish and Zionist state.”

MK Michael Eitan (Likud) called for a Knesset debate on what he termed Tartman’s racist comments.

He said that he “rejected with disgust Tartman’s racist pronouncements. The Zionism of Herzl, Jabotinsky and Begin always advocated the integration of Arabs who are loyal to the state in all of its institutions on the basis of equality. Tartman’s statements are such that no believer in equality and democracy can accept them being on the agenda.”

Labor MKs, including Danny Yatom and Yoram Marciano, called for Peretz to convene party institutions to reconsider Labor’s continued participation in the coalition following Tartman’s remarks.

Yatom said her comments show that Peretz and the ministers erred in choosing Knesset seats over ideology.

Marciano, head of the Labor faction in the Knesset, called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to oust Yisrael Beiteinu from the coalition, and for Labor to reconsider whether it can “sit in the government with this racist party.”

“These remarks are an insult to the Knesset, to democracy and to the state,” MK Nadia Hilo (Labor) said. “If they are acceptable to Yisrael Beiteinu, then it should leave the government. Arab citizens did not receive citizenship through the grace of Yisrael Beiteinu.”

Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin called on Labor to condition its participation in the government on the removal of Yisrael Beiteinu.

He added that the racist remarks that Tartman made, an issue which Yisrael Beiteinu should “confront internally,” are extremely serious, and urged Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to check whether there is legal justification for opening a criminal investigation over the remarks.

MK Magali Wahaba (Kadima) said, ” I regret that there are still people who instead of speaking of cooperation, continue to speak in a racist tone. Such people must be removed from our midst,” he said.

January 11th, 2007, 9:36 pm

 

Gibran said:

You see Alex you admitted the uselessness of your own sources by your own zeal.
So all these Syria articles are useless. So is the so-called alawi rule of Syria.
I don’t need to search for more articles if you already admitted your beloved regime runs such useless media full of garbage … Tichrin and all the scum of so-called official news agency of Syria down the drain republic.

January 11th, 2007, 9:49 pm

 

sam said:

The bottom line is,the road to true Peace in the Middle East, has to go through Damsacus. Whether it be from the north,south,east, west. It is a reallity, all you Assad haters have face the facts. You are living in denial, if you think otherwise. His grip on power is overwhelmingly stronger than his first year. The father didn’t handle his first five years, better than the son. Considering the hand he was dealt, and Bushs blunders, Assad family will rule well after were gone.

January 11th, 2007, 9:57 pm

 

sam said:

So all you dreamers, better act like you know!

January 11th, 2007, 9:58 pm

 

Atassi said:

Negroponte: Hezbollah a Growing Threat
By KATHERINE SHRADER
Associated Press Writer

11 January 2007
17:07
Associated Press Newswires
English
(c) 2007. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Al-Qaida poses the gravest terrorist threat to the United States and an emboldened Hezbollah is a growing danger, the U.S. intelligence chief said Thursday.

In his annual review of global threats, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte highlighted an increasingly worrisome assessment of Hezbollah — backed by Iran and Syria — since its 34-day war with Israel last year.

“As a result of last summer’s hostilities, Hezbollah’s self-confidence and hostility toward the United States as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against United States interests,” Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

He depicted a more multifaceted terrorist threat than in years past. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. spy agencies have stressed the threat from al-Qaida and associated Sunni extremist groups, rather than from Hezbollah and other Shiite Muslim groups.

Hezbollah has a global fundraising network, but has not directly attacked U.S. interests in years. It was responsible for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed hundreds of American servicemen. The group’s Saudi wing, in coordination with the larger Lebanese Hezbollah, is blamed for the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996.

A separate report by government task force predicted that attacks against America and its allies probably would increase in the next few years because terrorists’ intentions have not diminished and their methods are “very nimble and very complex.”

The panel said al-Qaida is a diminished organization overall with a core that is “resilient and in some respects resurgent,” according to the chairman, former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind.

Negroponte said Iraq is at a “precarious juncture” and the Baghdad government needs to establish secular institutions that can bridge sectarian differences. The flow of weapons and fighters from Iran and Syria in support of Shiites must be stemmed, he said, and al-Qaida in Iraq must be stopped.

The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency painted a picture of unchecked bloodshed in Iraq that has led more people to turn to sectarian groups for their basic needs and threatened the country’s unity. Robust criminal networks are exacerbating the situation, Lt. Gen. Michael Maples said.

His agency believes the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq “is the primary counter to a breakdown in central authority,” Maples said.

Al-Qaida is America’s top concern among terrorist groups, he said. Osama bin Laden’s network maintains active connections “that radiate outward from their leaders’ secure hide-out in Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, northern Africa and Europe,” Negroponte said.

Conventional explosives are the “most probable” means of attack from the group, he said, but there are reports al-Qaida is trying to obtain chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.

In his written testimony, FBI Director Robert Mueller said al-Qaida’s choice of targets and methods most likely will focus on the aviation, energy and mass transit sectors. The group is interested, too, in attacks against large public gatherings and symbolic targets such as monuments.

Their testimony came as President Bush pursues a revised course in Iraq and overhauls his national security team. Last week, the president nominated Negroponte to the No. 2 State Department post and asked former National Security Agency Director Mike McConnell to succeed Negroponte.

Senate Democrats were skeptical that Bush’s decision to send 20,000 more U.S. troops would improve security in Iraq.

The Senate committee chairman, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, said he was concerned that “misguided policies of the administration” have increased the threat to the United States. “I believe our actions in Iraq have placed our nation more at risk to terrorist attack than before the invasion,” said Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

The committee’s top Republican, Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri, said now that Bush’s has detailed his plan, “It is time for the Iraqis to step up to the plate or we will obviously consider other options.”

In his first hearing as chairman, Rockefeller took issue with counterterrorism programs undertaken by the Bush administration, including secret CIA prisons. He pledged to hold hearings and said the administration can “no longer stonewall” requests for information now that Democrats control Congress.

Outlining other global threats, the intelligence officials told senators:

–The DIA believes attacks in Afghanistan from the Taliban-led insurgency will increase this spring. “Nearly five years after the Taliban’s fall, many Afghans expected the situation to be better by now and are beginning to blame President (Hamid) Karzai for the lack of greater progress,” Maples said.

–In Somalia, where the Islamic government has collapsed, the transitional U.N.-backed government faces the same obstacles that have prevented political stability since 1991. “More turmoil could enable extremists to regain their footing. … Al-Qaida remains determined to exploit turmoil in Somalia,” Negroponte said.

–Iran and North Korea raise the greatest concerns regarding weapons proliferation. Iran, he said, “is determined to develop nuclear weapons — despite its international obligations and international pressure.” He said the country “is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations than reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution.”

–The U.S. has identified 21 countries — Iran, North Korea and China are of highest concern — that can develop weapons of mass destruction or acquire sensitive weapons technologies, Mueller said. The FBI and other agencies have conducted joint investigations that have led to both arrests and intelligence.

The separate report by a task force of the Homeland Security Advisory Council said the most significant threat to the U.S. arises from the radicalization of Islam, particularly in underdeveloped societies.

The council, which advised the Homeland Security secretary, recommended that the government curb the Islamic radicalization of inmates in U.S. prisons; hire more people from different cultures and more people who speak more languages; and study attacks abroad and design domestic tactics to counter those methods

January 11th, 2007, 10:52 pm

 

3antar said:

مقال من مثقف شيعي عراقي

عشرة أسباب لإعدام صدام وسبب واحد لإبقائه حيا

” مقال للأستاذ علي الصراف ”

كتابات – علي الحمـداني

lalhamdani@yahoo.com

أنقل فيما يلي مقال الكاتب العراقي المعروف ألأستاذ علي الصراف ، والأستاذ الصراف هو معارض سابق لنظام صدام حسين ومن مثقفي الشيعة العرب العراقيين . وقد كتب هذا المقال قبل إعدام صدام وبعد صدور الحكم عليه في قضية الدجيل الطائفية ، وتقريبا مع بدء المرحلة الثانية من محاكمته . وإذ أنقل المقال اليوم لقراء (كتابات) أود أن أسجل تقديري لإلتفاتة الأخ الكريم أُستاذنا علي الصراف ونتطلع الى قلمه لمزيد من الإبداعات .

– – – – – – – – – – – –

{ لن نجادل ، فالرئيس العراقي صدام حسين كان ” ديكتاتورا ” . حسنا . ولكن ، ماذا بعد ؟ هو نفسه لم يكن يزعم أنه ” أبو الديمقراطية ” . والرجل لم يخدع أحدا على ألإطلاق في أنه صاحب قرار وكلمة . وكان واضحا بما فيه الكفاية ، خلال محاكمته عندما ألقى عبء جميع الإتهامات الموجهة الى رفاقه على نفسه . قال ” أنا قررت ، وأنا أتحمل المسؤولية ” . هذا ماكان . وكان من حقه بحكم منصبه أن يقرر .

لم يكن العراق ، قبل صدام ، جمهورية أفلاطونية ، لكي تتحول ” ديكتاتوريته ” الى قضية . ولا كانت توجد أسس لجعل الديمقراطية ، بالمقاييس الغربية معيارا لما يمكن أن يفعله رئيس في أي بلد عربي آخر . ومثل غيره من بلدان العالم النامية ، فإن الكثير من متطلبات الإدارة في العراق كانت ، وماتزال ، وستظل ، تتطلب سلطات صارمة فردية ، وأحيانا مطلقة .

الديمقراطية ليست على أي حال هبة ، إنها مشروع . ومثل كل مشروع ، فإنها تتطلب أسساً ومقدمات إجتماعية وإقتصادية وثقافية ، ومالم تتوفر هذه الأسس والمقدمات ، فإن الديمقراطية لن تكون سوى هراء ، لايختلف عن هراء الإنتخابات التي كان يجريها بلا مبرر نظام صدام نفسه . وهي هراء ، لايختلف عن هراء الإنتخابات التي يجريها ، بلا مبرر أيضا ، نظام الإحتلال .

الأسس لبناء ديمقراطية لم تتوفر في العراق بعد . نعم هناك أسس ،كما هو واضح الآن ، لكل بلية وكارثة طائفية ، ولكل أعمال السلب والنهب والقتل والتعذيب ، ولكن لاتوجد أسس لبناء ديمقراطية . لاالإقتصاد ولا الثقافة ولا طبيعة العلاقات الإجتماعية تسمح بقيام ديمقراطية . برلمان الترهات والإمّعات والتفاهات ، ليس هو الديمقراطية . ولا إنتخابات النصب والفتاوى وشراء الضمائر .

إذا كان الحال كذلك ، لاأحد يجب أن يلوم صدام على ديكتاتوريته .

في الواقع يجب أن يقال له شكراً حتى ولو مع مليون ” ولكن ” تالية ، ثم ماذا كان نوع تلك الديكتاتورية ؟

لقد كان الرجل صارما ، ولايريد لكلمته أو هيبته أن تنكسر . هذا كل مافي الأمر . وكسر الكلمة أو الهيبة قد يعني الموت ، ولكن أحدا لايستطيع أن يزعم أنه ، بعدهما ، لم يكن يصغي . كان يريد أن تحترم سلطته ، وأن توضع فوق الرف وخارج الجدل . هذا كل مافي الأمر . هل هذا كثير ..؟ أمن أجل هذا إنقلبت على رأسه ، ورأس العراق الدنيا ..؟

إذا كان العراقيون يرتكبون اليوم ، وفي ظل ” الديمقراطية ” ، بحق بعضهم البعض جرائم بشعة ، فلماذا يجب أن يلام نظام صدام على ماكان يرتكب في ظله من جرائم ..؟ . ماذا كان يمكن للمرء أن ينتظر في بلد تعوزه إمكانيات وآليات الحوار وقبول الإختلاف والتعددية ، غير القتل والإنتهاكات ..؟ وعندما تكون المرجعيات الثقافية للسلطة هي ذاتها المرجعيات الإسلامية ، فهل من الكثير على أي رئيس أن يتصرف كخليفة ..؟ . هل كان مطلوبا من صدام أن يستورد مرجعيات ثقافية وسياسية من الخارج ، هل يكون نظامه مقبولا ؟ ومن من العراقيين كان سيقبله أصلا ..؟ إيهما أقرب للثقافة العربية والإسلامية : أن يكون الرئيس العراقي تجسيدا لسلطة هارون الرشيد المطلقة ، أم تجسيدا لسلطة برلمان أثينا ..؟ هل يجب هكذا لأسباب عجيبة أن نحول النقاش بشأن الديمقراطية والديكتاتورية ، الى لغو فارغ ، لايأخذ في نظر الإعتبار المرجعيات الثقافية للمجتمع ، ولا يراعي متطلبات إرساء بنية تحتية للديمقراطية ؟ أهي كلمة يقال لها ” كن فتكون ” ؟ فإذا لم تكن .. فلماذا إذن نحاسب صدام على ديكتاتوريته وجرائم نظامه ؟ ثم بأي معنى ؟ ووفقا لأي نموذج ؟

ماهو الأساس المرجعي الذي يجيز لمحكمة ، جاءت من زمن مابعد العولمة ، أن تحاكم هارون الرشيد على ماكان يفعله في مجلسه ..؟ .

طبعا المحكمة التي تحاكم الرئيس صدام ، ليست بطبيعة الحال ” عولمية ” ولا بأي معنى ، وهي تفتقر للأسس القانونية إفتقارها للقيم ، ولكنها مع ذلك تجرؤ على أن تحاكم رئيسا بقانون تم سنه بعد وقوع الجريمة ، بل ومن دون أن تأخذ بعين الإعتبار أنه كان يمارس سلطته أو يدافع عنها .

وهكذا ، ففي حين يجوز لحكومة مابعد الإحتلال أن تسحق مدنا بكاملها لوقف أعمال المقاومة ضدها فإنه لايجوز لرئيس أن يقرر إعدام خونة ـ أو قل مقاومين ـ نصبوا كمينا لقتله بالتعاون مع دولة أجنبية كانت تخوض ضد بلدهم حربا . كيف يمكن لسخف كهذا ، ألا يكون سخفا ..؟

مع ذلك ، فإن صدام يستحق أن يعدم ، وإنما لأسباب لاعلاقة لها بدكتاتورية ولا بجرائم نظامه المماثلة لجرائم النظام الذي خلفه ..!

هناك على الأقل 10 أسباب أهم ، وهي مايجعل جرائمه ذات طبيعة مختلفة ولا يجوز التسامح معها….!

هنا قائمة الجرائم الحقيقية التي إرتكبها صدام ، ويجب الإعتراف بأنه فعلها كلها بمفرده وهو يتحمل عنها كامل المسؤولية لأنه كان عندما إرتكبها ، حاكما مطلقا وديكتاتورا ويقتل كل من يعارضه فيها :

أولا : صدام ، حتى عندما كان نائبا للرئيس ، أمم النفط العراقي ، بقرار فردي جائر .. أعاد للعراقيين ثروتهم المنهوبة ، مما تسبب بالكثير من الأذى والضرر للشركات النفطية الأجنبية .

ثانيا : شن حملة ظالمة لمحو الأمية . حتى أن نظامه المخابراتي ، كان يراقب ليس جميع الأطفال من أجل الذهاب الى المدرسة فحسب ، بل وحتى آباءهم وأمهاتهم أيضا ، وذلك حتى إنخفض معدل الأمية الى أقل من 10% في بلد كان ثلاثة أرباعه يعيشون سعداء من دون قراءة وكتابة . ومعظمهم من أبناء مايسمى اليوم ( بالأغلبية الشيعية ) ويبدو أن الوقت قد حان لهذه ( الأغلبية ) لكي تنتقم منه لقاء العذابات والمرارات التي تكبدتها خلال تلك المرحلة المظلمة من تاريخ الديكتاتورية ، خاصة وأن الكثير من أبنائهم صاروا ، بسبب تلك الجريمة البشعة ، دكاترة ومهندسين من دون أن يرتكبوا أي ذنب ..

ثالثا : أصدر قانونا يجعل التعليم إلزاميا حتى المرحلة الثانوية ، مما حرم مئات الألاف من العوائل العراقية من الإستفادة من تشغيل أبنائها في بيع السجائر في الشوارع ..

رابعا : منح الأكراد حكما ذاتيا ، يقال أنه كان ” شكليا ” منحهم من خلاله سلطات أكثر مما تمنح انجلترا لمقاطعة ويلز ، وذلك من دون وجه حق ، خاصة وأن الأكراد في الدول المجاورة يتمتعون بحقوق أكبر بكثير ولا يتعرضون للإضطهاد والتمييز .. وزاد على ذلك بأن حول اللغة الكردية الى لغة ثانية يتعلمها العراقيون إجباريا ، وأعاد بناء منطقة كردستان ، ولكنه شدد المراقبة على الحدود مما حرم ( قجقجية ) الأحزاب الكردية من العيش على أموال تهريب البضائع . وهو منحهم صحفا تصدر باللغتين العربية والكردية ، الأمر الذي كان يعد بمثابة إنتهاك صارخ لحقوق الأكراد في مواصلة الأمية . وعين نائبا كرديا له ، بينما كانت (الأغلبية) أيضا الكردية في العراق تريد أن يكون منصب الرئيس من حقها ، مع منصب وزير الخارجية وتشكيل وزارة خاصة ( للقجقجية ) لتهريب النفط اذا أمكن ..

خامسا : حول ثروات العراق لبناء منشآت صناعية ، بينما كان من اللازم التركيز على الإستيراد من الخارج ..

سادسا : منح الفلاحين ، وفقا لقانون ينتهك جميع الأعراف الدولية ، أراض زراعية أكثر مما يستطيعون فلاحتها . وعندما عجزوا ، زودهم بالقوة ، بمعدات ومكائن وآليات ، حتى أنه كان يوزع ثلاجات وتلفزيونات على الفلاحين مجانا لمتابعة برامج التلفزيون ، ولكي يجبرهم على شرب ماء بارد في الصيف ، الأمر الذي حرمهم النوم مبكرا . وكانت أجهزة مخابراته تنظم عمل الفلاحين في جمعيات وتراقب بعضا من الفلاحين الأبرياء الذين إعتادوا انتاج بعضها ، مما شكل ضغوطا غير إنسانية ، والإكتفاء فقط بزراعة مايحتاجونه ..

سابعا : جعل التعليم الجامعي مجانيا ، وحول الجامعات الى مؤسسات علمية تستقطب الخبراء وأسفرت عن ظهور علماء في مختلف مجالات الطب والهندسة والكيمياء والكهرباء والألكترونيات وغيرها من الحقول العلمية مما يعتبر النظر اليه بمثابة تشويه متعمد للأمكانيات الوطنية والذي يعد محاولة خبيثة لغسل الأدمغة .

ثامنا : أصدر قانونا يضمن الحقوق المدنية للمرأة ويكفل مساواتها بالرجل ، الأمر الذي لايمكن النظر اليه إلا على أنه إهانة للتقاليد والقيم العربية والإسلامية العريقة .

تاسعا : أراد للعراق أن يكون قوة إقليمية عظمى ، تملك أسلحة دمار شامل وتشكل عاملا للتوازن مع قوى دولية عظمى والقوة الإسرائيلية وتتحدى غطرستها مما كان يشكل جريمة ..

عاشرا : صحيح أنه كان ينفق على مشاريع البناء من دون حسيب ولا رقيب إلا أنه لم ينهب درهما واحدا ، ولم يسمح لأي من مسؤولي نظامه أن تكون لهم حسابات في بنوك أجنبية ، مما حرم الكثير من المناضلين والوطنيين والديمقراطيين من الإستفادة من أموال بلدهم وعائداته ..

ألا يجب بالنسبة لمحاكمة عادلة أن تأخذ هذه الجرائم في نظر الإعتبار ؟ ألا يستحق مجرم وديكتاتور وطاغية كهذا الإعدام عشرين مرة ..؟

مع ذلك ، فإن هناك سببا واحدا يجيز إبقاءه حيا : تعذيبه بأخذه في جولة تفقدية ليرى بأم عينيه الجثث التي يتم حرقها في وزارة الداخلية . وليرى بأم عينيه كم أستاذا جامعيا بقي حيا في العراق . وليرى بأم عينيه كيف تعمل المستشفيات . وليرى بأم عينيه الأطفال المشردين الذين عادوا ليبيعون السجائر في الشوارع . وليرى بأم عينيه كم ساعة كهرباء تحصل المنازل عليها يوميا بعد إنفاق 20 مليار دولار على مشاريع ( إعادة البناء ) البول بريميه . وليرى بأم عينيه كيف يتم تحويل المليارات الى حسابات خارجية لقاء صفقات خردة . وليرى بأم عينيه المذابح الطائفية التي يقع ضحيتها العشرات يوميا . وليرى بأم عينيه ماذا بقي من حقوق ” الماجدات ” . وليرى بأم عينيه ماذا يفعل ” القجقجية ” في كردستان وكيف يكون الحكم الذاتي مشروعا إنفصاليا . وليرى بأم عينيه احزابا تسمي نفسها “شيعية” و “سنية” وتقول أنها ” غير طائفية ” . وليرى بأم عينيه كيف يتم تقاسم العراق حصصا . وليرى بأم عينيه كيف يجري التمثيل حتى بجثث القتلى . وليرى بأم عينيه ماذا تعني الديمقراطية …!

ساعتها ، سيموت والدمعة في عينيه قهرا . ساعتها ، سيموت وفي قلبه غصة . ولكنه سيعرف أنه لم يكن بعد ديكتاتورا بما فيه الكفاية . وأن العراقيين الذين يستحقون زبانية الإحتلال ماكانوا ليستحقون صدام أصلا. }

إنتهى مقال الأستاذ علي الصراف .. والشئ بالشيئ يذكر ..

فقبل أيام كنت أراقب احد البرامج الحواريه على إحدى الفضائيات العربية ، وكانت مع استاذ فاضل آخر كان ايضا معارضا لنظام صدام ، وقد عانى التعذيب في العراق وقد شرد لسنوات طويلة خارج العراق ، شيعيا عربيا مثقفا ، إنه الصحفي اللامع حسن العلوي يتكلم من دمشق . قال والأسى يملأ نبرة صوته ( أتمنى أن أموت كما مات صدام .. ) و (لقد تم إعدام صدام ” السني ” وليس صدام ” الديكتاتور” ..) وأضاف ( أخشى أن يأتي اليوم الذي يمنع فيه الشيعي من دخول البلاد العربيه ..) وهو يشير بذلك الى الدور الإيراني ومرجعيتهم في ضرب الشيعة العرب .

ولكن لحساب من يتم كل ذلك …؟ ( وسَيَعْلَمُ الذينَ ظَلَمُوا أيَ مُنْقَلَب يَنْقَلبوُنْ ) .

January 11th, 2007, 10:57 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

president Bush plan in Iraq (the surge) is more than stay the course, it is escalation,this man must be sick,his plan is nothing but reaction to his defeat in the election, and his defeat in Iraq,even if his plan succeeded in Baghdad, Iraq is not only Baghdad,it is much larger,he will need 300,000 soldier to control Iraq,further 72% of american want to see an end to this war now,if the democrat go along with him,and approve the fund needed,they will discover their mistake,there is not enough time to win,newt gingrich is stunned by bush decisions,more republicans are abandoning bush.

January 11th, 2007, 11:18 pm

 

t_desco said:

Steve Clemons is worried:

Did the President Declare “Secret War” Against Syria and Iran?

Washington intelligence, military and foreign policy circles are abuzz today with speculation that the President, yesterday or in recent days, sent a secret Executive Order to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director of the CIA to launch military operations against Syria and Iran.

The President may have started a new secret, informal war against Syria and Iran without the consent of Congress or any broad discussion with the country.

Adding fuel to the speculation is that U.S. forces today raided an Iranian Consulate in Arbil, Iraq and detained five Iranian staff members. Given that Iran showed little deference to the political sanctity of the US Embassy in Tehran 29 years ago, it would be ironic for Iran to hyperventilate much about the raid.

But what is disconcerting is that some are speculating that Bush has decided to heat up military engagement with Iran and Syria — taking possible action within their borders, not just within Iraq.

Some are suggesting that the Consulate raid may have been designed to try and prompt a military response from Iran — to generate a casus belli for further American action.
The Washington Note

Josh Marshall:

“I’m getting some hints that this raid on the Iranian consulate in northern Iraq may be part of something much bigger. Is there a classified presidential directive to the CIA and DOD to take down Syrian and Iranian operations inside Iraq, even so far as operations into Iranian and Syrian territory? And is the aim here to provoke a conflict with one or the other of these states? To provoke an attack from Iran perhaps? The plan from the neocons was always to build the chaos outwards. Never too late, I guess. Watch this. Something’s up.”
TPM

January 12th, 2007, 12:06 am

 

Gibran said:

It is more than just 20000 soldiers. It is a floating armada taking shape and getting ready to unleash its wrath upon the outlaws. All gloves off to force Iran and consequently Syria to submit. It is Armageddon in the making and you better take cover! Guess what. Isn’t it true that in the final days people will pass by somewhere in what used to be Damascus and will say there used to be a Damascus somewhere here? And by the way, don’t the Shia believe that an Assad will get killed before their messianic hopes get fulfilled? Ask those who know!

واشنطن تخلع «القفازات الناعمة» في مواجهة إيران

بوش يبحث مع العاهل السعودي استراتيجيته > رايس: حكومة المالكي تجاوزت مهلتها > جدل في أميركا حول زيادة القوات

لندن: منال لطفي ومينا العريبي واشنطن: طلحة جبريل
وجهت الولايات المتحدة رسالتين، دبلوماسية وعسكرية، الى ايران بعد ساعات من إعلان الرئيس الاميركي جورج بوش استراتيجيته الجديدة بشأن العراق التي تركز على البعدين الامني والاقتصادي، وتتضمن تضييق الخناق على العناصر الايرانية والسورية في العراق، إذ قامت القوات الاميركية بمهاجمة القنصلية الايرانية في أربيل واعتقال 6 من العاملين فيها، وقال مسؤول عسكري اميركي لـ«الشرق الاوسط» ان الولايات المتحدة قررت خلع القفازات الناعمة في التعامل مع ايران في العراق بينما قال مصدر دبلوماسي اميركي لـ«الشرق الاوسط» ان الغارة لا يجب ان تفهم على انها تصعيد قادم، .
في غضون ذلك اعلن المتحدث باسم مجلس الامن القومي الاميركي غوردون جوندرو أن الرئيس بوش بحث مع خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز استراتيجيته الجديدة في العراق، وكذلك جولة وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية كوندوليزا رايس الى المنطقة.

وكان بوش قد ذكر في خطابه، الذي اذيع في ساعة مبكرة من صباح امس، 4 دول عربية قال إن مصلحتها ان تكون في العراق دولة ناجحة. وان دولا مثل السعودية ومصر والاردن ودول الخليج يجب أن تدرك أن هزيمة الولايات المتحدة من شأنها إيجاد ملاذ آمن للمتطرفين في العراق وتهديد وجودها.

وكانت الاستراتيجية الجديدة التي اعلنها بوش للعراق، والتي تتضمن زيادة القوات الاميركية بنحو 21.5 الف جندي وتخصيص مليار دولار من اجل خلق فرص عمل للعراقيين، قد ركزت ايضا على اقرار قانون عراقي لمشاركة جميع العراقيين في عائدات النفط. وبينما يتعين على بوش خوض معركة داخلية لكسب الرأي العام المتشكك في الولايات المتحدة والكونغرس الذي يسيطر عليه الديمقراطيون قال مسؤولون وخبراء انه يراهن في نجاح استراتيجيته الجديدة على تعاون حكومة المالكي في الايفاء بالتزاماتها. وبينما اشار مسؤولون الى ان حكومة المالكي والاحزاب الشيعية متشككة في خطة زيادة القوات الاميركية قال بسام رضا مستشار المالكي «إن خطة بوش تحمل املا. وبعد تحذيره في خطابه بان الاستراتيجية الجديدة ليست التزاما مفتوحا مطالبا حكومة المالكي بالعمل قالت كوندوليزا رايس امس ان حكومة المالكي تعرف انها تجاوزت المهلة التي منحت لها لحل المشكلات. وقد تباينت امس مواقف الديمقراطيين تجاه استراتيجية بوش، وسيحاولون التوفيق بين موقفين هما الاستمرار في معارضة ارسال قوات اضافية، وعدم دفع مسألة اقرار الاعتمادات المالية الى اقصى نقطة. وتعتزم نانسي بيلوسي رئيسة مجلس النواب تنظيم تصويت رمزي في المجلس ضد إرسال القوات.

January 12th, 2007, 1:47 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

ausamaa said:

“I am really baffled as to how a great nation like the United States of America…(blah, blah, blah)… What in the hell is happening in the US?”

This may come to a shock to you, but I believe it was 9-11.

January 12th, 2007, 2:44 am

 

swerv said:

hi:

long time lurker. josh, keep it up.
i wondered if anyone might think this little item might be interesting. it popped into my inbox tonight from the Economist online edition.

just a little blurb:

“Khaled Meshal, the overall leader of Hamas, the Islamist PALESTINIAN movement which governs the West Bank and Gaza, hinted that he might recognise ISRAEL at some point, should a Palestinian state be established on the 1967 ceasefire lines. “It is true that in reality there will be an entity or state called Israel on the rest of Palestinian land,” he said.”

Anybody else see this anywhere, and does it seem significant?

also, maybe AKBAR PALACE could whip up a comment for us. hopefully it can start with some quoted text. that would be fun.

thanks.

January 12th, 2007, 4:31 am

 

Dameem said:

I think David Ben-Gurion said It best:
“The United Nations Ideal Is a Jewish Ideal”
(A Boys Perspective)

January 12th, 2007, 4:47 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

george bush is not only risk taker,he is worse, he is gambler,watch out isreal,armageddon is coming

January 12th, 2007, 6:01 am

 

Alex said:

Gibran,

That’s good … try to remember next time you show your true concern for the future of democracy in Syria, how you also seem to enjoy the thought of the destruction of the City of Damascus…You know what is in common between the two? seeing your Alawite (minority) enemies punished even if Damascus is destroyed.

What an advanced soul you have in there. Good for you.

January 12th, 2007, 6:11 am

 

Alex said:

Talibani in Damascus this weekend

جلال طالباني يبدأ الاحد زيارة رسمية الى دمشق
دمشق – ابراهيم حميدي الحياة – 12/01/07//

يبدأ الرئيس العراقي جلال طالباني الاحد المقبل زيارة رسمية الى دمشق تستمر اسبوعاً لاجراء محادثات مع كبار المسؤولين السوريين لتطوير العلاقات الاقتصادية والامنية.

ويرافق طالباني في الزيارة، وزيرا الدولة للشؤون الخارجية رافع العيساوي والموارد المائية عبداللطيف جمال رشيد ومستشار الامن القومي موفق الربيعي، اضافة الى رؤساء الكتل البرلمانية.

وكان مقررا ان تبدأ الزيارة الجمعة. لكن انعقاد المؤتمر الاستثنائي لـ «الاتحاد الوطني الكردستاني» بزعامة طالباني، ادى الى ارجائها الى الاحد.

وهذه اول زيارة لرئيس عراقي الى دمشق منذ انقطاع العلاقات الديبلوماسية في بداية الثمانينات كما انها الزيارة الاولى لطالباني بصفته رئيساً للعراق، وان كان زار العاصمة السورية العام 2004، قبل تسلمه رئاسة مجلس الحكم الانتقالي.

ويتوقع ان يجري طالباني لقاءات مع الرئيس بشار الاسد ونائبه فاروق الشرع ووزير الخارجية وليد المعلم، اضافة الى مسؤولين سوريين حاليين وسابقين، نظراً الى العلاقة الشخصية التي تربطه بمعظم السياسيين والمثقفين السوريين باعتبار ان دمشق قدمت له دعما كبيرا عندما كان في المعارضة، بدءا من استضافة احد مقاهي دمشق المؤتمر التأسيسي لـ «الاتحاد الوطني» في بداية السبعينات.

January 12th, 2007, 6:19 am

 

Alex said:

Blast rips through U.S. embassy compound in Athens

By Karolos Grohmann

ATHENS (Reuters) – An explosion ripped through the U.S. embassy compound in central Athens on Friday but no one was hurt, a U.S. embassy spokesman said.

Greek anti-terrorist officers were on the scene and investigating. It was not clear what caused the blast.

“There are no injuries from the blast. The investigation of the cause is continuing,” the U.S. embassy spokesman said.

“We are investigating the cause of the explosion. We are not ruling anything out,” a senior police official told Reuters.

Dozens of police cars surrounded the embassy and police cordoned off all roads in the area, including a major boulevard in front of the mission.

“Police have cut off all traffic. I am standing right here but there does not seem to be any damage. Greece’s anti-terror squad are now investigating inside the embassy,” a U.S. embassy employee at the scene told Reuters.

The senior police official did not say whether the explosion was set off inside the compound or whether something might have been thrown into the embassy grounds.

Police officials at the scene said that whatever caused the explosion damaged the official embassy sign outside the mission, but there was little other indication of the extent of damage inside.

The tightly guarded building is surrounded by a 3-meter (9-feet)-high steel fence. Guards are posted at every entrance and at street corners around it.

Embassy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Local residents called in to state television saying they had felt the explosion, which shattered some windows.

Greece’s biggest domestic security threat, the leftist November 17 guerrilla group, which had in the past killed U.S. and other foreign diplomats in Greece, was dismantled in 2002.

In November last year, Greek riot police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators marching to the U.S. embassy in Athens who chanted slogans including “Bush the butcher, out of Iraq” and “The USA is the real terrorist”.

In February 1996, unidentified assailants fired a rocket at the U.S. embassy compound in Athens, causing minor damage to three diplomatic vehicles and some surrounding buildings.

January 12th, 2007, 6:21 am

 

Gibran said:

Alex,
I really do not understand what upsets you about me. What I said about Damascus and Assad is common belief among your Shiites friends! There is not much I can do about it! Ask any Shia that you may know and he will confirm it. These are beliefs supposedly written in their so-called holy book al-jafr. Make sure, however, that you ask someone knowledgeable about their beliefs as well as trustworthy and sincere. You may be aware that most Shia practice Taqiyya or dissimilution! That means concealment of real beliefs when speaking with people of other faiths if you have fear of them.

January 12th, 2007, 6:31 am

 

Alex said:

Gibran, thanks for the advice about those “Shia”. I’ll check that new word in wikipedia.

More presidents visiting Damascus before Gibran enjoys watching it being destroyed.

الرئيس الفلسطيني في دمشق الأسبوع القادم
الجمعة 2007-01-12

نقلت صحيفة القدس عن مصادر فلسطينية مطلعة أن الرئيس الفلسطيني، محمود عباس، سيزور دمشق وبيروت الأسبوع القادم دون أية ترتيبات للقاء يجمعه الرئيس عباس برئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة »حماس« خالد مشعل؛ حيث سيلتقي عباس مع الرئيس السوري، د.بشار الأسد، ونائبه فاروق الشرع وعدد من كبار المسؤولين، بينما يلتقي في بيروت الرئيس اميل لحود، ورئيس الوزراء فؤاد السنيورة، ورئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري.
يذكر أن الزيارة المرتقبة للرئيس الفلسطيني تأتي في سلسلة زيارات نظرائه لسوريا؛ حيث تستضيف دمشق غداً الجمعة الرئيس العراقي جلال طالباني

January 12th, 2007, 7:09 am

 

Saladin said:

Akbar Palace said:
“This may come to a shock to you, but I believe it was 9-11.”

oh yeah, that which got orchestrated by the mossad

http://www.memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=873

http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=10364

of course, its all making sense now. how did it escape us?

January 12th, 2007, 8:29 am

 

Ford Prefect said:

From the Washington Post January 12, 2007.

Five Flaws in the President’s Plan
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
Friday, January 12, 2007; Page A19
The president’s speech gives rise to five broad observations:

• It provided a more realistic analysis of the situation in Iraq than any previous presidential statement. It acknowledged failure, though it dodged accountability for that failure by the standard device of assuming personal responsibility. Its language was less Islamophobic than has been customary with President Bush’s rhetoric since Sept. 11, though the president still could not resist the temptation to engage in a demagogic oversimplification of the challenge the United States faces in Iraq, calling it a struggle to safeguard “a young democracy” against extremists and an effort to protect American society from terrorists. Both propositions are more than dubious.
• The commitment of 21,500 more troops is a political gimmick of limited tactical significance and of no strategic benefit. It is insufficient to win the war militarily. It will engage U.S. forces in bloody street fighting that will not resolve with finality the ongoing turmoil and the sectarian and ethnic strife, not to mention the anti-American insurgency.
• The decision to escalate the level of the U.S. military involvement while imposing “benchmarks” on the “sovereign” Iraqi regime, and to emphasize the external threat posed by Syria and Iran, leaves the administration with two options once it becomes clear — as it almost certainly will — that the benchmarks are not being met. One option is to adopt the policy of “blame and run”: i.e., to withdraw because the Iraqi government failed to deliver. That would not provide a remedy for the dubious “falling dominoes” scenario, which the president so often has outlined as the inevitable, horrific consequence of U.S. withdrawal. The other alternative, perhaps already lurking in the back of Bush’s mind, is to widen the conflict by taking military action against Syria or Iran. It is a safe bet that some of the neocons around the president and outside the White House will be pushing for that. Others, such as Sen. Joseph Lieberman, may also favor it.
• The speech did not explore even the possibility of developing a framework for an eventual political solution. The search for a political solution would require a serious dialogue about a joint American-Iraqi decision regarding the eventual date of a U.S. withdrawal with all genuine Iraqi political leaders who command respect and wield physical power. The majority of the Iraqi people, opinion polls show, favor such a withdrawal within a relatively short period. A jointly set date would facilitate an effort to engage all of Iraq’s neighbors in a serious discussion about regional security and stability. The U.S. refusal to explore the possibility of talks with Iran and Syria is a policy of self-ostracism that fits well into the administration’s diplomatic style of relying on sloganeering as a substitute for strategizing.
• The speech reflects a profound misunderstanding of our era. America is acting like a colonial power in Iraq. But the age of colonialism is over. Waging a colonial war in the post-colonial age is self-defeating. That is the fatal flaw of Bush’s policy.
The writer, who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is the author of the forthcoming book “Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower.”

January 12th, 2007, 9:32 am

 

Ford Prefect said:

Gibran,
I am a Sunni who attended the most prestigious Shia boarding school in Damascus for almost all of my pre-college life. Many of my dear friends today are Shia whom I have known since childhood. I lived and breathed what they think and preach; what you are saying about the Shia is incorrect, however. You said “Ask any Shia that you may know and he will confirm it,” I did, and your statement is again incorrect. You can find splinter groups everywhere having weird and demonic beliefs – just watch Pat Robertson on TV. Even if what you say is true, that does not constitute generalization to the entire Shia beliefs – and most certainly the highly pateriotic Syrian Shias. Would you generalize what the Wahhabis preach to cover the entire Sunnis? Let’s be pragmatic: No conscientious Syrian will ever think of a demolished Damascus. These demonic thoughts are reserved for the exclusive use of the neocons, Zionists, some known bloggers here, and of course the way-too-many brain-washed Lebanese.
God Bless Syria.

January 12th, 2007, 10:45 am

 

MSK said:

Dear Swerv,

subsequently, Hamas “clarified” that this didn’t mean a “recognition” of Hamas …

Currently, the general Hamas attitude (both in Palestine and among the leadership in Damascus) is that, since we live in the real world, of course they recognize the fact that there is this political entity called “Israel” and they deal with it as such. This might even include a hudna, a truce, that could be signed to run for the next 50 years or so. During that time … well, I imagine, Hamas plans to develop Palestinian society in Gaza/WB to a level that either it can militarily defeat Israel or maybe that it would be such a model that all inhabitants of Israel are voluntarily joining or that by that time the Arab Israelis outnumber the Jewish ones … or something else. The Hamas leadership isn’t clear about what exactly will change until then.

What Hamas is – so far – NOT ready to do (publicly, and that’s what counts) is to recognize Israel as a sovereign state and thus its legal (under U.N. Charta) right to exist.

In a way, it’s like China and Taiwan.

–MSK

http://www.aqoul.com

January 12th, 2007, 12:06 pm

 

aussamaa said:

FORD PERFECT,

Do not waste your time on Akbar Palce. His is an open and shut case. Worry about the others. The ONES WHO KNOW IT ALL. Mind you, they all know what the hell is happening, yet…. I mean the select elite in their comfortable jobs abroad, the puritanical enlightened economists, the peace lovers who do not feel the heat of Israel’s bombs taking away the breath of life from Palestinian and Lebanese children, and all others who see just what they want to see, the ones who want to cleanse our hearts and brains from any notions of Arabism, Nationalism, and Patriotic thoughts, the ones who enjoy lecturing us about Sunnis, Alawies, Kurds, Christians and Shia’a in Syria, the ones who are eager to sell all, so that some sympathetic western journalist can heap praise at them and at their enlightened anti-terror and their illusionary pro-democracy gibbrish. They all know. And if they do not, it is a Disaster. They claim enlightenment, and they claim candid thought, and they claim unbiased points of view. While all what they offer is crtisism and despaire, when they truly are Monday morning quarterbacks, backseat drivers and armchair generals. They are the super intellectuals of our time. They know what is good for Syria, and the “regime” as they like to call it, does not. Yeh, how funny can you get; all the other free and democratic places have governments: Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Siniora/Hariri and the forty thieves in Lebanon, even Israel, they all have “governments”, but we in Syria have a “regime”! Makes one wonders about how many new Chalabies and Karazais are in the making. Knowingly or unknowingly.

They have lost the will, the beliefe in even in themselves, the clarity of thought, and the ability to analyse things rationally. I just await the day when -if sanity does not come down on Bush and regional associates- they get a wake up call similar to the one they had on the afternoon of 6 October 1973 which destroyed all pillars of conventional wisdom of that time, or another unthought-of Hizbullah victory, or another Hamas election victory, or a newspaper picture of a helicopter lifting off the roof of a US embassy in Baghdad, Jordan, Saudi or wherever Political Freedom, Democracy, Economic Progress and Civil Liberties ala-Bush has reigned. Or until, through their argumentive and enlightened contributions, they give enough justification to someone who can then turn the whole area into another Iraq or Algeria or in the name of all of the above.

If this is a sample of what they promise to bring Syria and the Arab world, I will take a pass….

January 12th, 2007, 12:20 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

I said:

“This may come to a shock to you, but I believe it was 9-11.”

Saladin replied:

“oh yeah, that which got orchestrated by the mossad”

Saladin,

The extent of arab denial and conspiracy theoretics shows no limits. Thank you for contribution to this website where academics and professors can learn from such insight and knowledge.

January 12th, 2007, 12:20 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

Aussamaa,
I couldn’t have said it any better. Thanks for speaking your mind and mine. God Bless Syria and Arab Patriotism.

January 12th, 2007, 12:31 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

Mr. Aussamaaa,

Are you by any chance referring to me in your above comment?

January 12th, 2007, 12:35 pm

 

aussamaa said:

A small note which has appeared in Al Diyar newspaper, a must read for all who lay things at the door step of the Syrian “regime”!!!!

أين كانت الإستخبارات الأميركية والفرنسية والبريطانية عند اغتيال الحريري ؟!‏
أوساط ديبلوماسية : عدم تسمية براميرتز «للدول غير المتجاوبة» يتّهمها !‏

الكرة في ملعبه وعليه أن يجيد اللعب حفاظاً على صدقيّته أمام مجلس الأمن

دوللي بشعلاني

في حين بدا التقرير الأخير للقاضي البلجيكي سيرج براميرتز المتعلّق بما توصّلت اليه لجنة ‏التحقيق الدولية في جريمة إغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري «باهتاً» نسبة الى ما كان منتظراً ‏منه، بأن يكون إتهامياً للجهة التي يعتقد من خلال تحقيقاته أنها أقدمت على التخطيط ‏والتنفيذ للجريمة.. وكان السبب الأساسي في عدم صدور القرار الإتهامي، عدم توقيع الإتفاقية ‏التي ستقوم عليها المحكمة ذات الطابع الدولي التي سيُحال اليها هذا القرار الظنّي، بين الأمم ‏المتحدة والحكومة اللبنانية لتعثّر الإتفاق على مشروع النظام الأساسي للمحكمة من الجانب ‏اللبناني. عاد اليوم الحديث عن هذا التقرير الى الواجهة، من زاوية ذكره بأن سوريا قد ‏تعاونت مع لجنة التحقيق، في حين أن دولاً أخرى مجاورة لم تتعاون.. من هنا برز الإقتراح ‏الروسي الداعي الى توجيه رسالة من مجلس الأمن الى براميرتز لمطالبته «بكشف أسماء الدول ‏العشرة التي لم تتجاوب مع طلباته بعد»، على ما أورد في تقريره. وقد جوبه بمعارضة قوية ‏من قبل ثلاث دول هي الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا وبريطانيا مقابل تأييد من ثلاث دول هي الصين ‏وقطر وجنوب أفريقيا، ما اضطر روسيا الى سحب اقتراحها على أن يقوم براميرتز بذكر أسماء ‏هذه الدول في تقريره المقبل بعد اقل من ثلاثة أشهر.‏
أوساط ديبلوماسية بارزة رأت انه لا يحقّ أولاً لبراميرتز كمحقق دولي على مستوى كبير من ‏الحرفية والمهنية أن يقدّم تقريراً في كلمات مبهمة وخالية من الدقة، فقوله بأن سوريا ‏تعاونت يعفيها من العقاب الدولي، لكن الحديث عن دول أخرى لم تتجاوب لا يفرض عليها ‏عقاباً، وعدم ذكرها قد أعفاها أيضاً من هذا العقاب. من هنا فإن براميرتز قد يصبح هو ‏نفسه في دائرة الشك وعدم الثقة الموضوعة فيه إذا لم يقدّم إيضاحات لمجلس الأمن..‏
فمن هي هذه الدول، وما هو المقصود من إغفال أو شطب أسمائها من التقرير ومنع براميرتز ‏من فرض التعاون معه عليها، تجيب الأوساط بأن معارضة الدول الثلاث الكبرى لذكر الأسماء يدلّ ‏بشكل واضح على أنها معنية شخصياً بهذه العبارة «دول لم تتجاوب»، إضافة الى التغطية ‏العمياء التي تحاول الولايات المتحدة الأميركية اعتمادها لحماية حليفتها الأولى في المنطقة ‏‏«إسرائيل». فلا عجب من عدم إكتراث كل من الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا وبريطانيا للعبارة التي ‏ذكرها براميرتز لاسيما وانها تعلم تماماً الدول المعنية بها، وهي مجتمعة تحاول تعمية لجنة ‏التحقيق الدولية عن الحقيقة منذ البداية. فالكلّ يعلم مدى حجم إستخبارات هذه الدول ‏الثلاث في لبنان الى جانب إسرائيل وبعض الدول العربية، وكيف أنه باستطاعة أقمارها ‏الصناعية الكشف عن أمور عدة قامت هي بإخفائها على لجنة التحقيق الدولية، ما جعل هذه ‏الأخيرة تتساءل أين كانت هذه الإستخبارات وأجهزتها أثناء اغتيال الرئيس الحريري والجرائم ‏الاخرى. وفي هذا الأمر، إدانة واضحة وصريحة لهذه الدول وعددها عشرة، لأن إخفاء المعلومات ‏يعني «التغطية» على جهة معينة او جهات.. وبراميرتز غير المرتبط من خلال رئاسته للجنة ‏التحقيق الدولية بأي إتفاقيات تعاون مع «الدول غير المتجاوبة» ولا يسعه شيئاً. اما مجرد ‏ذكرها أو الإشارة اليها فيساعد التحقيق كثيراً في كشف الحقيقة، لكنه قد يفقده منصب رئاسة ‏لجنة التحقيق، كما قد يؤثر سلباً على عمله الأساسي في بلجيكا، لأن الدول المعنية قد ‏تستعمل حق النقض «الفيتو» في وجه اللجنة، على اعتبار أنه لا يجوز الشك بها أو التحقيق ‏معها على أنها متهمة بتنفيذ جريمة الحريري والجرائم الأخرى.‏
ولهذا فالكرة في هذا السياق، اصبحت في ملعب برامـيرتز، وعليه أن يجيد اللعب حفاظاً على ‏مصداقيته أمام الرأي الــعام العالمي ومجلس الأمن الدولي الذي لا يمكن أن تختصره الدول ‏الثلاث.‏
وفي حين صرّحت مصادر روسية أن هذا الإقتراح يهدف الى دعم التحقيق وصدقية اللجنة الدولية ‏وحيادها، ترى مصادر ديبلوماسية من نيويورك أن الاقتراح الروسي يهدف الى تخفيف الضغوط ‏على سوريا وإزاحة التركيز عنها، سواء عبر الطلب الى مجلس الأمن ممارسة الضغوط على الدول ‏العشر الأخرى غير المتعاونة، وليس على سوريا وحدها أو عبر ربط تشكيل المحكمة ذات الطابع ‏الدولي باستكمال عمل لجنة التحقيق.. أما الأوساط الديبلوماسية فتجد أنه بمعزل عن هذا ‏الرأي أو ذاك ـ حيث تتدخل السياسة بالدرجة الأولى لتحريك الفريقين، في مجلس الأمن ضد ‏بعضهما البعض، لاسيما، وأن كل فريق يدعم جهة دون أخرى ـ فإنه اذا أراد مجلس الأمن فعلاً ‏والحكومة اللبنانية الداعمة للتحقيق الدولي والمحكمة الدولية بالدرجة الأولى، كشف الحقيقة ‏‏«المغفلة» عنهما، يجب عليهما عدم ترك خطأ ـ مقصود أو غير مقصود ـ ارتكبه براميرتز يمرّ ‏مرور الكرام، والطلب منه إيضاحات عن هذه الدول وعن أسباب عدم تعاونها مع لجنة التحقيق ‏الخ.. ومعاودة الطلب إليها أن تتعاون، وفي حال رفضت للمرة الثانية تصبح عندها موضع شك ‏كبير ومن الممكن ان يشكل هذا الأمر بمثابة إتهام لها. والكل يعلم بأنه عندما لم تتعاون ‏سوريا مرة على النحو المطلوب مع اللجنة، كيف اجتمع مجلس الأمن واتخذ قراراً فرض عليها ‏وجوب التعاون الكامل والشامل مع اللجنة الدولية، والطلب اليها وقف التدخّل في الشؤون ‏الداخلية اللبنانية. وقد رأينا كيف بدّلت فيما بعد تصرّفها مع براميرتز الذي قال أنها ‏تعاونت معه.‏

January 12th, 2007, 12:41 pm

 

Saladin said:

are you implying that you’re an academic and a professor AP? you certainly made me crack a smile.

It takes one to recognize one, sunshine. your right, Im not an academic or a professor, and neither are you. the fact that you take the time to post such comments is the ultimate proof.
If anything, your the punch-bag in this blog.
keep it up. 🙂

January 12th, 2007, 12:51 pm

 

aussamaa said:

Here is a good one by Reobert Fisk..

Bush’s new strategy – the march of folly

So into the graveyard of Iraq, George Bush, commander-in-chief, is to send another 21,000 of his soldiers. The march of folly is to continue…

By Robert Fisk

01/11/07 “The Independent” — — There will be timetables, deadlines, benchmarks, goals for both America and its Iraqi satraps. But the war against terror can still be won. We shall prevail. Victory or death. And it shall be death.

President Bush’s announcement early this morning tolled every bell. A billion dollars of extra aid for Iraq, a diary of future success as the Shia powers of Iraq ­ still to be referred to as the “democratically elected government” ­ march in lockstep with America’s best men and women to restore order and strike fear into the hearts of al-Qa’ida. It will take time ­ oh, yes, it will take years, at least three in the words of Washington’s top commander in the field, General Raymond Odierno this week ­ but the mission will be accomplished.

Mission accomplished. Wasn’t that the refrain almost four years ago, on that lonely aircraft carrier off California, Bush striding the deck in his flying suit? And only a few months later, the President had a message for Osama bin Laden and the insurgents of Iraq. “Bring ’em on!” he shouted. And on they came. Few paid attention late last year when the Islamist leadership of this most ferocious of Arab rebellions proclaimed Bush a war criminal but asked him not to withdraw his troops. “We haven’t yet killed enough of them,” their videotaped statement announced.

Well, they will have their chance now. How ironic that it was the ghastly Saddam, dignified amid his lynch mob, who dared on the scaffold to tell the truth which Bush and Blair would not utter: that Iraq has become “hell” .

It is de rigueur, these days, to recall Vietnam, the false victories, the body counts, the torture and the murders ­ but history is littered with powerful men who thought they could batter their way to victory against the odds. Napoleon comes to mind; not the emperor who retreated from Moscow, but the man who believed the wild guerrilleros of French-occupied Spain could be liquidated. He tortured them, he executed them, he propped up a local Spanish administration of what we would now call Quislings, al-Malikis to a man. He rightly accused his enemies ­ Moore and Wellington ­ of supporting the insurgents. And when faced with defeat, Napoleon took the personal decision “to relaunch the machine” and advanced to recapture Madrid, just as Bush intends to recapture Baghdad. Of course, it ended in disaster. And George Bush is no Napoleon Bonaparte.

No, I would turn to another, less flamboyant, far more modern politician for prophecy, an American who understood, just before the 2003 launch of Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, what would happen to the arrogance of power. For their relevance this morning, the words of the conservative politician Pat Buchanan deserve to be written in marble:

“We will soon launch an imperial war on Iraq with all the ‘On to Berlin’ bravado with which French poilus and British tommies marched in August 1914. But this invasion will not be the cakewalk neoconservatives predict … For a militant Islam that holds in thrall scores of millions of true believers will never accept George Bush dictating the destiny of the Islamic world …

“The one endeavour at which Islamic peoples excel is expelling imperial powers by terror and guerrilla war. They drove the Brits out of Palestine and Aden, the French out of Algeria, the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Somalia and Beirut, the Israelis out of Lebanon… We have started up the road to empire and over the next hill we will meet those who went before.”

But George Bush dare not see these armies of the past, their ghosts as palpable as the phantoms of the 3,000 Americans ­ let us forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis ­ already done to death in this obscene war, and those future spirits of the dead still living amid the 20,000 men and women whom Bush is now sending to Iraq. In Baghdad, they will move into both Sunni and Shia “insurgent strongholds” ­ as opposed to just the Sunni variety which they vainly invested in the autumn ­ because this time, and again I quote General Odierno, it is crucial the security plan be ” evenhanded”. This time, he said, “we have to have a believable approach, of going after Sunni and Shia extremists”.

But a “believable approach” is what Bush does not have. The days of even-handed oppression disappeared in the aftermath of invasion.

“Democracy” should have been introduced at the start ­ not delayed until the Shias threatened to join the insurgency if Paul Bremer, America’s second proconsul, did not hold elections ­ just as the American military should have prevented the anarchy of April 2003. The killing of 14 Sunni civilians by US paratroopers at Fallujah that spring set the seal on the insurgency. Yes, Syria and Iran could help George Bush. But Tehran was part of his toytown “Axis of Evil”, Damascus a mere satellite. They were to be future prey, once Project Iraq proved successful. Then there came the shame of our torture, our murders, the mass ethnic cleansing in the land we said we had liberated.

And so more US troops must die, sacrificed for those who have already died. We cannot betray those who have been killed. It is a lie, of course. Every desperate man keeps gambling, preferably with other men’s lives.

But the Bushes and Blairs have experienced war through television and Hollywood; this is both their illusion and their shield.

Historians will one day ask if the West did not plunge into its Middle East catastrophe so blithely because not one member of any Western government ­ except Colin Powell, and he has shuffled off stage ­ ever fought in a war. The Churchills have gone, used as a wardrobe for a prime minister who lied to his people and a president who, given the chance to fight for his country, felt his Vietnam mission was to defend the skies over Texas.

But still he talks of victory, as ignorant of the past as he is of the future.

Pat Buchanan ended his prophecy with imperishable words: “The only lesson we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.”

January 12th, 2007, 1:04 pm

 

aussamaa said:

Mr. EHSSANI2,

By God, shoud I??!! I was most probably referring to Jhon Maynard Keynes…

January 12th, 2007, 1:10 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

Very well.

I prefer that you address me directly instead of those long winded words below. It would have been better to just say then

EHSANI2

Instead of:

“The ONES WHO KNOW IT ALL. Mind you, they all know what the hell is happening, yet…. I mean the select elite in their comfortable jobs abroad, the puritanical enlightened economists, the peace lovers who do not feel the heat of Israel’s bombs taking away the breath of life from Palestinian and Lebanese children, and all others who see just what they want to see, the ones who want to cleanse our hearts and brains from any notions of Arabism, Nationalism, and Patriotic thoughts, the ones who enjoy lecturing us about Sunnis, Alawies, Kurds, Christians and Shia’a in Syria, the ones who are eager to sell all, so that some sympathetic western journalist can heap praise at them and at their enlightened anti-terror and their illusionary pro-democracy gibbrish”.

I am sure that you very proud of your above commentary. Well done. Very cute.

January 12th, 2007, 1:19 pm

 

Gibran said:

Ford Perfect,
I am also a Sunni and grew up in a Shia community. I also have very many Shia friends just like yourself – I’d say even a lot more than yourself. I even have Shia relatives through marriage relations. My information is accurate and comes from reliable Shia sources. Neocons and other so-called Lebanese brain washed groups have nothing to do with what I said. It is time for you to wake up.

January 12th, 2007, 1:49 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

well, Gibran, then they must be all on the fringes of mainstream. When I hear of such beliefs, I immediately igonore it. It is not the norm nor it should be advocated. And by the way, I am fully awake.

January 12th, 2007, 2:00 pm

 

Swerv said:

MSK,

Thanks for the input. I concur with your assesment. There were several aspects of this tidbit that I thought where somewhat odd. One is that it came from Meshal and not a member of the “more moderate” Gaza Hamas. Second, that it came now- is this part of the ongoing Syrian ‘charm offensive’ (or is that now effectively dead)? Is it a little bit of positive spin thrown in by the Damascus faction in advance of Rice’s arrival? And finally that it would be reported in something like the Economist.

In anycase it probably is, as you say, insignificant.

Thanks again for the response.

January 12th, 2007, 2:07 pm

 

3antar said:

Gibran and Ford P, please check:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiyya

“When one is guilty and is trying to conceal his or her guilt, in Islam, he is not said to be using taqiyya, he or she is considered a debauchee.”

please, cut it out.
yes, there is such a thing but as with many mis-understood and mis-interpreted laws in the Islamic faith, things are taken out of context.Both of you have a strong point. That sort of thing does exist yet is out of the norm and is not as wide spread as some communities might perceive.

January 12th, 2007, 2:11 pm

 

Gibran said:

Thanks 3ANTAR for the clarification. By the way, FP, Where I grew up the Shia did not need to use Taqiyya. They felt secure perhaps because they were majority. Every one knows Damscene Shia constitute a tiny fraction of the population.

January 12th, 2007, 2:18 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

Thanks 3ntar and Gibran. Taqiyya or not, where I grew up in Damascus, we were all one unit – we put all the naming conventions in the can and we just learned secularism, Arabism, played football, and chased pretty girls. We still do. I agree with 3antar, I am cutting it out and let’s be focused on the real detrimental threats facing us. God Bless Syria.

January 12th, 2007, 2:54 pm

 

t_desco said:

Patriots Called To Deploy

Officials at Fort Bliss and 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, 11th ADA Brigade have received notification that the unit will deploy to Southwest Asia in 4 to 6 weeks.

The Patriot unit has 500-600 Soldiers, and was previously in the theater of operations from August 2002 to May 2003. 3-43 along with the USS Stennis Carrier Strike Group will deploy to the region to bolster security.
KFOX News

August 2002 to May 2003, I wonder what happened during that period. Hm…

Note from Flynt Leverett: Most Important Parts of Bush Speech About Iran — Not Iraq

According to the President, the Iranians are providing “material support” to attacks on U.S. forces. That is a casus belli. It fits in with the administration’s escalating campaign — encompassing rhetoric and detentions of Iranian officials in Iraq — to blame Iran for a strategically significant part of the ongoing instability and violence in Iraq.
In the context of describing the deployment of additional U.S. forces to Iraq, the President also noted the importance of securing Iraq’s borders. I suspect that at least some of the additional U.S. soldiers going to Iraq will end up on the border with Iran.

Moreover, the President strongly implied that the U.S. military would start going after targets in countries neighboring Iraq to disrupt supply networks for insurgents and militias.

The deployment of a second carrier strike group to the theater — confirmed in the speech — is clearly directed against Iran. Since, in contrast to previous U.S. air campaigns in the Gulf, military planners developing contingencies for striking target sets in Iran must assume that the United States would not be able to use land-based air assets in theater (because of political opposition in the region), they are surely positing a force posture of at least two, and possible three carrier strike groups to provide the necessary numbers and variety of tactical aircraft.

Similarly, the President’s announcement that additional Patriot batteries would go to the Gulf is clearly directed against Iran. We have previously deployed Patriot batteries to the region to deal with the Iraqi SCUD threat. Today, the only missile threat in the region for the Patriot to address is posed, at least theoretically, by Iran’s Shihab-3.

In sum, the administration is laying the rhetorical and operational foundations for implementing a presidential decision to initiate military operations against Iran. No wonder the White House wants Hillary* and me to shut up.

(*Hillary is Hillary Mann Leverett, a former State Department official who also served on President George W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She is married to Flynt Leverett)
The Washington Note

US senators fear Iraq war may spill to Iran, Syria

U.S. Democratic and Republican senators voiced strong concern on Thursday that the Iraq war could spread to neighboring Iran and Syria if the U.S. military were to chase militants across the border.
Reuters

The US moves to confront Iran and Syria

A similar reaction may take place in Syria. “I keep hearing from Syrians that President Bush has lost touch with reality,” says Andrew Tabler, a Damascus-based fellow with the Institute of Current World Affairs. The continued tough US stance against Syria, he says “is only going to strengthen the hard-liners in Syria, who have already come into the ascendance in the last year-and-a-half or so.”
Christian Science Monitor

Russia Runs Into More Opposition on the Hariri Murder Probe
Naharnet

US: Some countries fear revealing intelligence secrets to Hariri probe
AFP/The Daily Star

Correction: four suspected train bomb plotters in Lebanese custody, one fugitive.

Prosecutor seeks life sentences in German train-bomb plot

While the first four accused were arrested in Lebanon, Saddam (Mohammad El-Hajj Dib) is still at large … .
The Daily Star

BTW, the last sentence (about Fadi al-Saleh) is completely wrong (he has been released in September!).

January 12th, 2007, 3:42 pm

 

Atassi said:

ello PF,
Why are you ending your comment with the expression
“God Bless Syria”?
I think most of the commentators on this board are “True Syrian” and very nationalists. I don’t think by using this ““God Bless Syria “ will make you more nationalist \ care about Syria more then others.
It’s like Hezbollah having a copy right for “Allah “ …. As we all Trust and believe that GOD “ Allah” is not exclusive !!!
Please let’s try to avoid the sectarian stigma as much as possible.

January 12th, 2007, 4:05 pm

 

norman said:

Atassi, What is wrong with GOD BLESS SYRIA ,you can just add AMEN.they use that in the west about God blessing the USa , I think Syria is as worthy.

January 12th, 2007, 4:28 pm

 

aussamaa said:

Ehsani2,

Cute or not is irrelevant. If and when I want to address one of your comments -not you as a person- directly I would.. Actually, if I had the time I would have shot holes through your various economic arguments first of all because you do not have the full data, and second, because you always link the purely economic issues to one end: The Actions of the Government, without giving full consideration to other factors affecting the whys and hows those things are what they are. Politics is Intensified Economics, Remember.And since I also do not have a true picture of the details of the economic statistics of Syria, hence I chose not venture into Your claimed area of experties. What I simply know, is that Syria has been under political and economic constraints ever since I can remember and is continuously intended to be in such a situation on acount of its political orientation. Any analysis of Syria’s economic, financial, and commercial behavior, or any advise or prediction regarding the same, in isolation of an understanding of how official Syria “sees” its position and options, and the rational behind its choices remains a mere waste of time. This apparently is unacceptable to you. For you, it is either Black or White, and for you usually very Black. For me, I simply do not know what your proposed White is. So, I steer Clear.

And if you think you are the only Economic Commentator around as far as Syria is concerened, I assure you that you are wrong. There are many around, which is a very
good thing indeed.

Finaly, if some people get upset over certain expressions or critisism on a blog, what should we expect them to do once they have things in their own hands in Syria or elsewhere.

January 12th, 2007, 4:37 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

Atassi,
I will keep “God Bless Syria” in my heart and will remove from my future postings. You have a valid point.

January 12th, 2007, 4:40 pm

 

aussamaa said:

Is it just a bad day or what??

ATTASI says:
“Please let’s try to avoid the sectarian stigma as much as possible”.

What Sectarian Stigma???? Using the Name of GOD is Sectarian? Why ? No one called upon the Muslims GOD or the Chrisian GOD, or the Jewish God, or the Budhist GOD. The comment was addressed to GOD period. The only sectarianism I see here would be between the beleivers and the non-beleivers and we do not have many of them in Syria or the Arab world, the non-beleivers I mean, so what is the harm?? I am a secular person anyway, but when some one uses the God word it does not upset me at all.

Or, are we just Shooting the Messenger?

God bless you.

January 12th, 2007, 4:47 pm

 

Alex said:

I agree with Flynt Leverett … it is mostly about Iran (and Syria perhaps).

At some point the “Syrian allies” in Lebanon (Which is not entirely a correct statement) will make a bold move to create a parallel government … then what will Dr. Rice say? will they only issue a condemnation?

President Bush is positioning the US to support an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear targets.

How far can President Bush go without the approval of congress? far … all he needs is some intelligence that says “Iran is about to attack some US ship in the area” … or a shia suicide attack in Iraq on US troops that kills 100+ soldiers … he can blame it on Iran and/or Syria and he has his moral obligation to take action.

January 12th, 2007, 5:19 pm

 

Alex said:

FORD and Atassi

I think it is great to end with GOD BLESS SYRIA.

Let’s not edit each other too much.

Ausamaa, I agree with much of what you said earlier, but you were a bit too harsh.

January 12th, 2007, 5:22 pm

 

Atassi said:

Aussamaa,
I meant the Shia Sunni discussion. Between PF and Gibran may lead to a Sectarian stigma .. Nothing more ..God bless you all.. Invoking God’s ” name” at convinces or to gain more political support form the mass, is not healthy practices ” Dr Bashar invoked the term ” Syria is protected by God” when he sensed weakness in his political position, the aim was blustering support form the mass…

January 12th, 2007, 5:29 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

“How far can President Bush go without the approval of congress?”

Alex –

I’m guessing Bush can’t go as far and the Syrians or the Iranians. Is there an equivalent opposition party in Syria and Iran? (LOL)

January 12th, 2007, 5:38 pm

 

Alex said:

Akbar,

a quarter of Lebanon’s population (a million) demonstrated against the current govenment in Lebanon, yet the American administration has the nerve to call this “Syria is attempting to regain its influence in Lebanon” .. if 75 million Americans demonstrated (quarter) would they be able to brush it off that easily? no. Why? because American democracy and the great American system works for internal affairs. When it comes to foreign policy, anything goes … all you need is to create a situation or a “threat” where any representative or journalist will sound less than patriotic if he criticizes the administration’s actions.

January 12th, 2007, 5:46 pm

 

Atassi said:

Alex,
It is great to end your comment with “God bless Syria”, but with the understating that IT WAS NOT INTEANDED TO MAKE ANYONNE MORE “SYRIAN” THEN OTHERS, YOUR VIEWS ARE NOT NATIONALIST THEN OTHERS,

January 12th, 2007, 5:48 pm

 

Alex said:

My friend Atassi,

I just don’t understand the need to switch to MORE DRAMATIC TONE that you often do.

Was there anything specific that FP did that made you feel he is trying to claim an exclusive ownership of the “I am the most patriotic Syrian” title?

January 12th, 2007, 5:55 pm

 

Alex said:

On the road to Damascus

By Elie Podeh

In an article in Haaretz (“Markers on the road to Damascus,” Dec. 29, 2006), Itamar Rabinovich states that the Israeli government has two political options – progress along the Syrian track or progress along the Palestinian one – and that a discreet clarification with Syria would enable it to decide which option is preferable. In my view, progress along the Syrian track is in any case preferable to progress along the Palestinian one at this time, for several reasons.

First, the way things look today, the prospects for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are not promising. The Palestinian political scene is in crisis. The Hamas government cannot control Palestinian society because of its struggle with Fatah, which is challenging its authority. The dispute between Hamas and Fatah is not just political; it is also ideological, touching on fundamental issues such as recognition of Israel and the willingness to negotiate openly with it. As long as Hamas – which represents at least 40 percent of the Palestinian electorate – refuses to negotiate with Israel, the chances of Israel conducting serious talks with the Palestinians are slim. Although Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is trying his best to convey a willingness to enter into a dialogue with Israel, apparently his ability to control and influence Palestinian society and politics is limited. Thus, it must be concluded that any political initiatives regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict might fail because of internal rivalries and rifts within the Palestinian camp – irrespective of the Israeli government’s readiness to make concessions.

The second reason for preferring the Syrian track is the fact that a peace treaty with Damascus would help Israel deal more effectively with the heart of the problem: the conflict with the Palestinians. A treaty with Syria, which would likely lead to a major breakthrough in Israeli-Lebanese relations, would close the circle of Israel’s conflict with its neighbors and help improve its relations with Arab states, in the outer circle. If that happens, the Palestinians would be isolated and, naturally, weaker, vis-a-vis Israel.

The third reason for preferring the Syrian track is that it would affect, directly or indirectly, Syria’s relations with Iran and Hezbollah. Since Syria is a major player in the axis of radical states in the region, its removal or increased distance from it would necessarily weaken the axis. Some experts estimate that talks with Syria would not necessarily distance it from Iran or Hezbollah; however, practically speaking, it seems reasonable to assume that Syria’s participation in diplomatic talks with Israel, European countries and perhaps even the United States would affect its relationship with Iran and Hezbollah.

The fourth reason for preferring the Syrian track is that a political solution vis-a-vis Syria appears less complicated than a political solution in the Palestinian track. Most of the components of a peace settlement were discussed in secret talks in the 1990s and only a few issues (the final boundaries of the Israeli withdrawal, the Sea of Galilee issue and the early-warning installations) have not yet been worked out. However, they can be solved with some creative thinking. A solution in the Palestinian track is more complex because of the refugee question, the Jerusalem problem and the need to contend with a tough ideological core of settlers.

To what extent is Syria prepared to dialogue with Israel? The signals Damascus is sending out apparently indicate a willingness to initiate dialogue. The motive behind this readiness might not be the “right one” – that is, a willingness to recognize Israel – and may rather be the need to deal with various challenges in the regional and international spheres. Nevertheless, the reasons that would bring Syria to the negotiating table are of interest to historians, not to decision-makers. The late Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, launched his peace initiative not because he recognized Zionist claims, but rather because of his domestic political and economic difficulties.

Like the talks with the Palestinians in the previous decade, the negotiations with Syria could collapse. However, if the Israeli government embarks on this dialogue with sufficient determination, and on the assumption that there really is a partner on the other side, the prospects of success exceed the risk.

The writer heads the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

January 12th, 2007, 5:59 pm

 

Alex said:

Syria diplomat: No preconditions to negotiations with Israel

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent in Madrid

Damascus will not accept any preconditions over entering negotiations with Israel, Syrian delegation head to a Middle-East conference in Madrid, Riad Daoudi, said on Friday.

Daoudi, the top legal adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad and to the Foreign Ministry in Damascus, responded to MK Ophir Paz-Pines’ (Labor) criticism of Syria’s support of Palestinian Islamic group Hamas and close ties with Iran.

He said that those issues could be discussed in the future as part of possible talks, but that in any case Hamas and Iran play a significant role in the area and cannot be ignored

January 12th, 2007, 6:06 pm

 

Alex said:

Iranian president is visiting Iraq!

نجاد يزور العراق وفي جعبته رزمة أمنية

GMT 17:00:00 2007 الجمعة 12 يناير
يوسف عزيزي

صفوي يحذر دول المنطقة من مصير كصدام
نجاد يزور العراق وفي جعبته رزمة أمنية

يوسف عزيزي من طهران: يزور الرئيس الايراني محمود احمدي نجاد بغداد قريبا بهدف تعزيز العلاقات الثنائية بين ايران و العراق. وتتم الزيارة التي لم يعلن عن موعدها المحدد حتى الان تلبية لدعوات رسمية مكررة من الرئيس العراقي جلال الطالباني.

وعلمت ايلاف ان احمدي نجاد يحمل معه رزمة تتضمن حلولا للمشكلات الامنية التي يواجهها العراق حاليا حيث سيقدمها الى نظيره العراقي. وقد ابرم وزيرا الداخلية الايراني و العراقي قبل اشهر اتفاقا امنيا بشأن يقضي الى التعاون الامني بين البلدين غير ان ذلك لم يؤد الى ضبط الاوضاع في المناطق الحدودية بصورة كاملة

January 12th, 2007, 6:27 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

what would stop US forces from arresting M.A.Najad,as he vist Iraq, since US arrested iranian in Erbil?

January 12th, 2007, 6:39 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

“Politics is Intensified Economics, Remember.”

Can someone explain this profound statement please?
It is just too deep for me to understand.

“What I simply know, is that Syria has been under political and economic constraints ever since I can remember and is continuously intended to be in such a situation on acount of its political orientation.”

First, I am not a professional economist. It does not pay enough. You should be happy to know that my profession is significantly more financially rewarding.

Second, your statement above is the perfect party line for accepting failure and economic under-achievement. If your political orientation is going to continue to cause economic hardship for the vast majority of your people, then you ought to move away.

Third, you accuse me of being one “who want to cleanse our hearts and brains from any notions of Arabism, Nationalism, and Patriotic thoughts, the ones who enjoy lecturing us about Sunnis, Alawies, Kurds, Christians and Shia’a in Syria, the ones who are eager to sell all, so that some sympathetic western journalist can heap praise at them and at their enlightened anti-terror and their illusionary pro-democracy gibberish”.

I guess this is the difference between you and me. I think of priorities. Mine is higher standards of living, sustainable economic growth, moderate level of government regulation and taxation and support for the private sector at the expense of the public sector. Your list of priorities is “Arabism, Nationalism and patriotic thought” among others. You want a government and a leader that can support those notions. You seem more than willing to accept sub-par economic existence for your people in the interim.
I don’t. Indeed, I resent your attempt at “takhween”.

I also agree with Atassi above. Ford-Perfect’s God bless Syria is the same as hearing Americans call their ultra conservative talk show hosts (Sean Hannity) and telling him “you are a great American”. It is unwarranted. Is there y harm in saying it? No. But, by choosing to insert every time, you seem to want to believe yourself that you somehow love your country more than Atassi or me who choose otherwise.

January 12th, 2007, 6:45 pm

 

Alex said:

Ausamaa,

If only you knew how much Ehsani makes … he makes more than all of us combined. And he is certainly not clueless about Syrian idiosyncracies.

Having said that, Ehsani:

You know that Syria’s economic performace is highly correlated to an external factor: who is in the White House and how much of a cowboy is he.

During Reagan’s 8 years and during this administration’s ugly 8 years, Syria’s attempts to reform its economy had to slow down dramatically… the Europeans got convinced that it was Syria who killed Hariri and they decided to halt their cooperation with Syria. Same happened int he eighties when they were convicned that Hindawi was paid by Hafez to blow up a civilian Israeli airplane leaveing from London. Again, Syria was boycotted and its economy went through some very bad years (much worse than today)

So, it is partially, and not entirely “the Syrian regime’s fault” … I am sorry if the two cowboys (Reagan and W. Bush) did not know what is a “Syria” when they took office and they were scared to go there and do business with that country … Syria is too complicated for them to understand, so they decided to boycott Syria instead.

You know that during Carter and Bush senior things got better.

January 12th, 2007, 7:08 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

Dear all, there are people on this blog who are anti-Syrian and not just anti Syrian government. Their comments hit hard the very core of any Arab, let alone Syrian. In most of my comments, where i said repeatedly I am not a Government or regime beneficiary, I view the Syrian Government, with many of its ills, as an integral part of the Syrian society. Therefore, and at the end of each of my comment, I concluded with the sentence that I genuinely believe in: “God Bless Syria.” While I am a secular Syrian, I still believe Syria will benefit from God’s blessing as much as it deserves the blessings of its people.

Atassi did make his point clear, and I respect him for that. The sentence might have offended him or made him feel uncomfortable. So, with great respect and continued pride, I removed it (note, I do keep it, however, in my own personal copy of the postings!) I know most of you and I know how genuinely and deeply patriotic you are (and you know who you are too). There is no need for clichés – lets continue with our commitment to the Mother Syria. [Closing signature removed by request.]

January 12th, 2007, 9:06 pm

 

Ehsani2 said:

Ford perfect,

Well said. Bravo

January 12th, 2007, 9:08 pm

 

Atassi said:

Ford Prefect,
Ford Prefect,
As you may know, I have been admiring you intellectual assists, your smart logical thinking for so many years. You have earned my respect in the past, and I am grateful for your understanding. I hope to see you soon when you are in town 

January 12th, 2007, 11:09 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

Thanks Atassi. I am still hitchicking rides across the Universe. If my spaceship that is propelled by the Infinite Improbability Drive ever drops me in town, you will be the first to receive a call from my Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic telephone 😉

January 12th, 2007, 11:45 pm

 

sam said:

Kudos Ford

God Bless Syria.

Too bad we are not in Damascus (Tijara section) Sandwiches, and Yogart milk for all, and for those that don’t like it in a sandwich, you can have it ARAAAB!

January 13th, 2007, 1:32 am

 

aussamaa said:

Dear EHSANI2

I do not know why you have misunderstood me and thought I was intending you in my remarks. You mainly address economic issues, so whatever I mentioned about Patriotism, Arabism and Nationalism etc..,was definitly not directed at you at all. Perhaps what I directed at you (and K.M.Keynes) was the Economic bit. So, there is no “Takhween” or anything like that. Who am I anyway to use that against anyone on this blog? A “Khae’in” is some one who has practically conspiered with the enemy against his own country, not someone who has a different approach, or has harsh criticism, to a given goverment action, approach or set of policies. With such points of view, anyone can agree or disagree, accept or refuse, and chose wether to let it pass or to shoot holes through it.

And you are right, I stand corrected; Politics is “Condensed” Economics, that is the right term I beleive, by Marx perhaps..

Heck, ALEX should have mentioned that thing about how much money you make erlier so I would have been more selective in my choice of responses and words…

Anyway, about Takhween again, I think we have enough Clear and well Identified adversaries around us so we do not really need to “invent” new ones, so rest assured that none of remarks in that regard was directed at you. Why should it be, anyway?

Regards,,

January 13th, 2007, 8:47 am

 

Ford Prefect said:

Thanks Sam,
I love every falafel sandwich, every glass of Laban 3iran, and every street vendor ever lived in Sham, Homs, Hama, Halab, Idlib, BoKamal, Quamishli, Tudmor, Dar2aa, and everthing in between. While two Pepto-Bismols will help with the eating, nothing will erase the great memory and that indigenous resolute of Arabism and patriotism in Syria that fills the Syrian air. Tijaara it is – let’s all meet there and tell the planners at EAI that it might be a bit too difficult to change that air by stirring up Lebanon and adding 20,000 soldiers to the fiasco in Iraq. Aint’t happening in Syria.

January 13th, 2007, 10:55 am

 

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