Summitry (26 March 2008)

“14 Arab leaders heading to Damascus, Abdullah & Mubarak to boycott it” (

Arab Summit in Khartoum 2006Al-Akhbar, an independent pro-opposition newspaper, wrote on March 25: “The Saudi announcement about decreasing the level of Saudi representation in the Arab summit to the level of ambassador caused negative repercussions among the Syrian leadership and other Arab leaderships. Knowledgeable Syrian sources informed Al-Akhbar that more than 14 Arab leaders will participate in the summit and that Egypt has yet to announce its final attitude despite leaks about the intentions of the Egyptian president Husni Mubarak to follow Saudi Arabia’s lead by boycotting the summit and tasking a high ranking Egyptian official to represent him in it. According to the same sources, Damascus was informed that the leaders of Kuwait, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Sudan, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, Palestine, Mauritania, Djibouti, and the Islands of the Moon will attend.

“The sources added that the Bahraini king will issue his decision today or tomorrow and pointed out that the Bahraini king had already held communications with the Syrian leadership in which he announced that he endorses the summit. The sources pointed out that the Sultan of Oman is accustomed to boycotting the summit along with the Moroccan king who will send his crown prince and a large delegation. It seems that the special protocol issues concerning the opening session have been solved as there are precedents that allow the president of the host nation to receive the presidency of the summit automatically and to head the sessions of the summit in case the previous head of the summit was absent. Thus the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will not receive the presidency of the summit from the Saudi delegate, who might not get a chance to speak in the opening session.

“The sources added that the guests of the summit who are present at the level of foreign ministers were informed that they will not be allowed to recite speeches in the opening session where only the secretary general of the Arab League Amr Moussa and President Al-Assad are expected to speak. It has not been settled yet whether other leaders will recite speeches in the opening session. While Lebanon’s seat in the meetings of the Arab delegates to the Arab League being held in Damascus to discuss the economic and political issues to be discussed in the summit remained vacant, official Lebanese sources announced that the decision of the Lebanese government headed by Prime Minister Fu’ad Al-Sanyurah to participate or boycott the summit will be taken within the next 24 hours. The sources postulated that Lebanon will more likely boycott the summit.

“Arab diplomatic sources announced that Al-Sanyurah held a series of talks with Riyadh in which he was informed of the Saudi decision to decrease the level of Saudi representation in the summit. The sources discounted the possibility that the “ruling team in Lebanon might dare take a decision contrary to the Saudi decision despite the fact that several Arab factions advised Al-Sanyurah to send a representative”… Damascus seemed unconcerned about the absence of the Saudi king. A high-ranking Syrian official announced to Al-Akhbar that King Abdullah’s absence “was expected”. He refused to link Saudi Arabia’s attitude to the complications in the Lebanese crisis. He pointed to the necessity “of sitting together to solve the problems” and added that “Syria can’t appoint a president for Lebanon”. He stressed that the Lebanese crisis “is on the list of thorny issues in the region that might not be solved quickly”…” – Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon

Egypt, Saudi lower Arab summit representation as success unlikely
by Ibrahim Hamidi in al-Hayat
25 March 2008
BBC Monitoring Middle East

Excerpt from report by London-based newspaper Al-Hayat website on 25 March

[Report by Ibrahim Humaydi in Damascus and Muhammad Salah in Cairo: "Start of Preparations for Arab Summit in Damascus in Lebanon's Absence. Riyadh and Cairo Do Not See 'Conditions for Success'. Saudi Arabia To Be Represented by its Envoy to Arab League and Egypt and Jordan Expected to Attend at Ministerial Level"]

Ambassador Ahmad Abd-al-Aziz Qattan, the Saudi envoy to the Arab League [AL], announced yesterday he would be representing his country at the Arab summit which is scheduled to be held in Damascus on 29 and 30 March. Meanwhile, Egyptian sources in Cairo reported that Egypt and Saudi Arabia believe the conditions in which the summit is held "cannot guarantee its success" and "are surprised by the Syrians' insistence on seizing Lebanon by the neck and preventing the election of a Lebanese president and a solution for the crisis." [Passage omitted on Saudi cabinet statement on situation in Lebanon and other Arab countries]

Qattan delivered, in his capacity as his country's representative who will chair the summit before chairmanship is handed over to Syria, a written speech at the start of the Arab envoys' preparatory meeting for the summit and from which Lebanon's envoy Khalid Ziyadah was absent after asking the AL Secretariat General to postpone discussion of the Lebanese issue until the ministerial meeting on Thursday. It is believed that this meeting will determine the decision of Lebanon and other countries about the level of representation in the summit. The Saudi envoy considered "the continuing postponement" of the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies' sessions for electing General Michel Sulayman as the consensual president "unjustified" and urged all concerned parties "to avoid the dangerous vacuum and speed up" the election of Sulayman "while hoping for an active Syrian role to achieve national accord on the Arab initiative's basis."

Informed sources in Damascus told "Al-Hayat" that the envoys' agenda included 22 items, one of which dealt with the "Arab-Israeli conflict", and four points, among them "solidarity with Lebanon" without mentioning the Arab initiative for solving the crisis and pointed out that agreement was reached by the concerned parties to refer the hot dossiers to the meetings of the ministers and leaders. [Passage omitted on Qattan's statements after the meeting]

The sources expressed their belief that the Saudi representation at the AL envoy's level would affect the level of Egypt and Jordan's representation. They said Hazim Khayrat, the Egyptian envoy to the AL, would most probably lead the Egyptian delegation to the foreign ministers' meetings and Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu-al-Ghayt would lead the delegation to the summit. It was learned that an argument broke out yesterday between Khayrat and Yusuf al-Ahmad, the session chairman and Syria's envoy, because of the clear instructions to the Egyptian delegation that the Arab peace initiative "should not be harmed."

The sources stressed that between 12 and 14 leaders would attend the summit, among them Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir, Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih, Palestinian [National] Authority President Mahmud Abbas, United Arab Emirates President Shaykh Khalifah Bin-Zayid Al Nuhayyan, Qatari Amir Shaykh Hamad Bin-Khalifah Al Thani, Kuwaiti Amir Shaykh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah while Bahraini King Hamad Bin-Isa Al Khalifah has a date at the White House on Thursday. It was learned that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika would be the first to arrive in Damascus on Friday morning. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will lead the Iraqi delegation while Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi linked his participation to the issue of Imam Musa al-Sadr's disappearance. It was also learned that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would not attend the summit's opening session.

In Cairo, informed Egyptian sources asserted that President Husni Mubarak would not attend the summit and the delegation would be headed by the foreign minister. The sources disclosed that there was Egyptian-Saudi coordination about the participation issue and that the two countries concluded that the conditions in which the summit would be held "cannot guarantee its success" and "are surprised by the Syrians' insistence on seizing Lebanon by the neck and preventing the election of a Lebanese president and a solution for the crisis" in Lebanon.

The sources told "Al-Hayat" that King Abdallah and President Mubarak "are dissatisfied with Damascus's insistence on imposing its desire to hold the summit on time while at the same time impeding a solution of the Lebanese crisis." They pointed out that all the Syrian stands on this issue "were received with much surprise" (in Egypt and Saudi Arabia) which decided "to lower the level of representation at the summit since Lebanon will not be represented by a president of the republic because of the Syrian stand." The sources added that the two countries "concluded that the discussions inside the summit are not going to be effective, particularly as the Lebanese crisis remains exerting pressure on the Arab order and the crisis cannot be solved without a president for Lebanon."

The sources pointed to the tacit criticisms by officials in both countries of the close rapprochement between Syria and Iran even though the Arab agendas differ from the Iranian ones and concluded that Cairo and Riyadh decided that Damascus "has not taken constructive stands that ensure success for the first summit to be held in its territories." [Passage omitted on AL Secretary General Amr Musa's interview with Reuters]

Source: Al-Hayat website, London, in Arabic 25 Mar 08

Syria's Finance Minister supports continuing the public industries and argues that the public sector is compatible with the new social market economy. He has also delayed the opening of the bond and money market.

الاخبار الاقتصادية

قال وزير المالية محمد الحسين إن "موضوع تصفية القطاع العام الصناعي أو خصخصته أمر غير وارد", مشيرا إلى أن هذا الأمر مضمون "بقرارات سياسية كان آخرها قرار المؤتمر القطري العاشر لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي المنعقد في حزيران من عام 2005 الذي أقر التمسك بالقطاع العام وخاصة الصناعي منه"

واعتبر الحسين في مقال له نشرته الصحف المحلية يتضمن توضيحه حول مشروع قانون إعادة تأهيل القطاع العام الصناعي, اعتبر أن "التوجه نحو اقتصاد السوق الاجتماعي وفق مفهومنا له لا يلغي أهمية القطاع العام ولا يعني تراجع دوره ولا دور الدولة في الحياة الاقتصادية مطلقا".


الاخبار الاقتصادية

قال وزير المالية محمد الحسين الحكومة السورية قدمت سلفة مالية بقيمة 250 مليون ليرة سورية لتجهيز سوق دمشق للأوراق المالية وشراء برنامج التداول, نافيا دخول أي جهة خارجية كشريك في هذا السوق.

ونقلت صحيفة "الثورة" الرسمية عن الحسين أن "التوجه هو أن يكون سوق دمشق للأوراق المالية مشروع وطني 100% ".

وكانت هيئة الأوراق والأسواق المالية وقعت في تشرين أول الماضي مذكرة تفاهم مع سوق أبو ظبي المالي تتضمن شراكة إستراتيجية بين السوقين, وأن تقدم سوق أبو ظبي تكاليف برنامج التداول والبرمجيات الأخرى اللازمة لسوق دمشق إضافة إلى تدريب كوادر من سوق دمشق.

وقال رئيس هيئة الأوراق والأسواق المالية راتب الشلاح مؤخرا إن اتفاق الشراكة الإستراتيجية بين سوق أبوظبي المالي وسوق دمشق للأوراق المالية "لم يكتمل وتم تجاوزه بسبب تمويل الحكومة السورية للمشروع".

وفي السياق نفسه, فضل وزير المالية عدم إعطاء موعد محدد لانطلاق العمل في سوق دمشق للأوراق المالية "نظراً لعدم تحقق الوعود السابقة", معربا عن أمله بأن تكون انطلاقة السوق قريبة "لحاجة الاقتصاد السوري الكبيرة لها".‏

وتم تأجيل انطلاقة سوق دمشق للأوراق المالية عدة مرات رغم مرور نحو عامين على قرار إنشائها, ولم يتم تحديد موعد نهائي لهذه الانطلاقة بعد مرور الموعد الأخير والذي كان مطلع العام الحالي.

Cheney accuses Iran and Syria of sabotaging peace process

US Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday hit out at Iran and Syria as he wrapped up a Middle East peace push, saying the two countries were undermining the renewed but faltering Israeli-Palestinian talks. Iran and Syria "are doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process," Cheney told reporters in Occupied Jerusalem as he wrapped up a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories before heading to Turkey.

During his talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, "I reaffirmed the president's commitment to help the process forward," Cheney said.

US President George W. Bush has said he hoped the two sides could strike a deal before he ends his term in January 2009.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who met twice with Cheney during his visit, "reaffirmed his commitment to the president's vision and his willigness to do everything he can to achieve a result in 2008 although he is well aware of the difficulties," Cheney

Comments (30)

Enlightened said:

So what does this entail, are we going to see a de facto Arab cold war emerge?

I was really looking forward to the summit, and especially the Saudi Kings attendence, I was hoping that he might give us a rendition of the famed Saudi sword dance, and frighten the Syrians so much that they might actually start to take this brotherly Arab Solidarity seriously.

So Disappointed. Ah well maybe next summit.

March 26th, 2008, 5:00 am


MSK said:

Dear all,

A question to the esteemed SC crowd: What are the regulations for inviting “guests” to an Arab League Summit?

Can the host invite anyone they want or do guests have to be approved by the Arab League secretariat or is there any other mechanism whereby the other member states have some sort of say or at least give their opinion on which guests are halal?


March 26th, 2008, 7:58 am


SimoHurtta said:

The Syrians and Iranian must have astonishing intelligence, military, logistic and political skills and resources to be able to do everything Cheney & Co accuse them.

Almost halve of Lebanese parliament members are remote controlled by Syria / Iran, Syria and Iran manage to finance and train all possible “mafia gangs” in Iraq (and elsewhere) and smuggle there weapons despite the US troops and technology. And now Syria and Iran are blamed for sabotaging the Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Well soon they say that Iran and Syria are building more roadblocks to West Bank, allowing Hebron settlers to move more mobile homes and Iran is actually controlling the settlers.

How are Syria and Iran sabotaging Israel-Palestinian negotiations, when Israel and USA do not talk with Hamas and have sidelined it. Does Cheney mean that also Abbas and PLO are controlled by Syria?


Obama advisor: US Jews hinder peace

More trouble for presidential hopeful: Inquiry by conservative US media outlets reveals that Obama advisor Merrill ‘Tony’ McPeak is a longtime anti-Israel critic who slammed American Jews for acting against US interests

According to the magazine, beyond his affinity for alcohol, which saw him detained for drunk driving a year ago, McPeak also appears to take great pleasure in slamming Israel and pro-Israel Jews.

Strange but so familiar journalism linking two unrelated subjects. Well a different paper could equally write

beyond his affinity for alcohol and drugs, which saw him detained for drunk driving years ago, George Bush also appears to take great pleasure in praising Israel and pro-Israel Jews.

but writing like that would naturally be seen as anti-Semitic by the same writes who wrote original McPeak “analysis”.

March 26th, 2008, 8:48 am


Kooki said:

Excellent piece in the LA Times regarding Cheney’s spin on Iran. Doesn’t “shorthand” remind you of WMD?,1,7973825.story

March 26th, 2008, 10:16 am


why-discuss said:

What are the Syrians keeping in their pocket about the Mughniyeh murder that they will divulgate only after the arab summit?

March 26th, 2008, 10:22 am


Qifa Nabki said:


Don’t spill the beans about Syria’s powerlessness to control Hizbullah and Hamas!

Otherwise, why would Israel and the next U.S. administration bother talking to the Syrians?

March 26th, 2008, 11:48 am


Qifa Nabki said:


Are you in Beirut at the moment?

What’s the mood like?

And where have you been?! SC has been empty without you!

March 26th, 2008, 11:50 am


MSK said:

Dear QN,

Am I in Beirut? Uhhh … I live here.

Been too busy with work and social life but will – soon, insha’allah – answer Josh’s reply to me a few posts back …

The mood in Beirut is split. Last night a service driver, after a long conversation about all sorts of things asked me “Now, what do you think of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah?” and, after my very diplomatic answer “I still don’t really know if his goal is power, like Aoun who thinks it’s his way or chaos, or the good of the nation, even if that would mean to admit criticism.” went into a five-minute spiel on how he is the only good politician in the country & that it’s all about protecting Lebanon from Israel. Sadly, my dinner was waiting & I had to exit the service … 😉

At this point, the majority of people has become apathetic – the crisis has been going on for over a year and these days most people don’t care on a day-to-day basis. Nothing’s really happening & after the umpteenth postponement of the parliamentary elections … people just don’t pay attention anymore.

It seems to have reached a situation where the various parties’ partisans are still excitable (after Berri’s speech a few days ago, AMAL supporters one-upped their HA colleagues by bringing out AA guns to celebrate) but they, too, do not believe that any solution can be found anytime soon.

Overall, the city appears bereft of its spirit. It’s not like it’s gloomy per se, but there’s little hope or confidence. And it has become more aggressive. Service drivers are a good indication & these days they’re not a happy lot.

One thing that just won’t stop is the rumor-mill. If I had a dime for every time I’d hear sentences like “My American friends have received messages from the embassy that they should leave as the war will happen in April” or “Hizbullah has moved all its fighters out of the South because Israel will attack soon” … I’d be a millionaire by now, probably even in Pounds Sterling.

So … on a day-to-day basis we’re just ignoring the %&^@# political situation as best as we can & look forward to going to the beaches soon.

Drop by anytime you like.


March 26th, 2008, 12:17 pm


norman said:

مقاطعو القمة هم الخاسرون
عبد الباري عطوان


ربما تتميز قمة دمشق العربية، التي ستعقد يومي السبت والاحد المقبلين، بأنها الاكثر وضوحا بين كل سابقاتها، سواء من حيث الهوية او حجم ومستوي المشاركة، او المواقف السياسية التي ستنجم عنها.
الغالبية الساحقة من القمم العربية السابقة، عادية او طارئة، كانت تعقد اما بايعاز امريكي، للتقدم بمبادرة سلام، تتضمن تنازلات مغرية كبيرة لاسرائيل، مثلما كان حال قمتي بيروت والرياض، وإما من قبيل الضرورة واللياقات والروتين.
فالقمم الثلاث الاخيرة التي انعقدت تباعا في تونس والجزائر والخرطوم، جاءت مثل الماء بلا لون او طعم او رائحة، ولم تناقش اي قضايا جدية، وخرجت قراراتها باهتة، وبعضها انعقد لبضع ساعات فقط، وبعض الزعماء المشاركين، مثل الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك، او الليبي معمر القذافي، غادر بعد اختتام الجلسة الافتتاحية.
قمة دمشق نجحت قبل ان تبدأ، بل وقبل ان تتبلور مستويات المشاركات فيها، لسبب بسيط وهو مناصبتها العداء من قبل الولايات المتحدة الامريكية، وتحريض القيادة الامريكية لحلفائها العرب علي مقاطعتها.
ولا نبالغ اذا قلنا ان المملكة العربية السعودية اسدت معروفا كبيرا للحكومة السورية، وقدمت لها صكا بالوطنية لم تقصده عندما قررت المشاركة في هذه القمة بوفد متدن، وكذلك فعل الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك، لان الشارع العربي سينحاز لسورية ضد محور ما يسمي بـ الاعتدال العربي الذي يمثل رأس حربة المشروع الامريكي في المنطقة.

بوصلتنا، التي نعتقد انها بوصلة الاغلبية الساحقة في الوطن العربي، والعالم الاسلامي، واضحة تماما، فمن يحظي بالرضا الامريكي من الزعماء العرب، هو نقيض للمشروع التحرري العربي، وشريك مباشر في كل حروب امريكا الكارثية في العراق وافغانستان وفلسطين، وما يترتب عليها من كوارث بشرية واخلاقية.
وعندما يقاطع حلفاء امريكا قمة عربية ويستنكف زعماؤهم عن المشاركة فيها ومهما كانت اسبابهم، فهذا يعطي انطباعا فوريا للمواطنين العرب المحبطين والمجوعين والمهانين بأن هذه القمة جيدة او مختلفة، وغير مهيمن عليها امريكيا.
فاذا كانت الزعامات العربية التي قاطعت هذه القمة تعتقد انها تعزل سورية بهذه المقاطعة، وتفشّل اعمال القمة، فإنها مخطئة، لانها في واقع الحال تعزل نفسها عن العمل العربي المشترك اولا، وعن الجماهير العربية ثانيا.
موقف هذه الدول، والحكومتين السعودية والمصرية علي وجه الخصوص، سيكون مختلفا لو انها قررت في اجتماع وزراء الخارجية العرب الذي انعقد مؤخرا في القاهرة، سحب مبادرة السلام العربية التي اعادت اطلاقها قمة الرياض، ووجهت نقدا لواشنطن التي لم تلتزم بتفاهمات مؤتمر انابوليس للسلام من حيث فرض عقوبات علي الطرف الاسرائيلي بسبب انتهاكاته الفاضحة لها باستئنافه الاستيطان في الضفة الغربية، والاقدام علي حصار نازي تجويعي لمليون ونصف مليون انسان عربي في قطاع غزة، ولكن هذه الحكومات لم تفعل ذلك للأسف، وقررت معاقبة سورية، وليس اسرائيل والولايات المتحدة، بالعمل علي افشال القمة العربية. وليت هذه القمة تصلح هذا الخلل بالبحث في سحب هذه المبادرة رسميا بعد ازدراء اسرائيل وامريكا لها ولهم.

السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه بقوة حاليا في اوساط الرأي العام العربي، هو عما انجزته دول الاعتدال العربي بارتمائها في احضان المشروع الامريكي بالكامل، غير المشاركة في حرب ادت الي مقتل مليون عراقي وتشريد خمسة ملايين آخرين، واحداث خلل استراتيجي خطير في موازين القوي بتسليم هذا البلد لإيران وحلفائها من الطائفيين الحاقدين علي كل ما هو عربي؟
ماذا جنت هذه الدول المعتدلة مقابل كل هذه الخدمات الجليلة للولايات المتحدة، والتي كان آخرها زيادة السعودية لإنتاجها النفطي تلبية لطلب ديك تشيني نائب الرئيس الامريكي، لتخفيض اسعار النفط وانقاذ الاقتصاد الامريكي من حالة الكساد التي دخلها مؤخرا نتيجة ارتفاع تكاليف الحرب في العراق (600 مليار دولار حتي الآن) وارتفاع اسعار البترول (110 دولارات للبرميل) بسبب حال عدم الاستقرار وتصاعد خطر الارهاب عالميا؟ هل حصلت علي تسوية عادلة للقضية الفلسطينية او تطبيق لخارطة الطريق او حتي تفكيك مستوطنة واحدة غير شرعية في الضفة الغربية؟
لنسأل عما جنته حكومة الرئيس حسني مبارك بالذات من هذه التبعية المهينة والمذلة للولايات المتحدة من خلال مساندتها لكل حروبها الفاشلة في المنطقة، والتحول الي وسيط تتفاوض نيابة عنها واسرائيل لتهدئة الاوضاع في قطاع غزة، ووقف صواريخ المقاومة، مختصرة دور مصر الدولة العظمي في شريط حدودي لا يزيد طوله عن اربعة عشر كيلومترا بين قطاع غزة ومصر!
ماذا استفادت مصر من هذه التبعية ومن اتفاقات الهوان في كامب ديفيد غير طوابير الخبز والجوع والفاقة لنحو ثمانين مليون مواطن من اشرف العرب واكثرهم طيبة ورجولة وكرما وتضحية؟

قبل ثلاثين عاما من الانخراط في المشروع الامريكي وتوقيع اتفاقات السلام، كانت الصحافة المصرية تتندر علي طوابير الدجاج واللحوم والاسماك، ولم يخطر ببالها انه سيأتي يوم يموت فيه مواطنون وهم يقفون في طوابير خبز معجون بالخيطان والمسامير وبالكاد يصلح للاستهلاك البشري.
الدول توزع البطاقات التموينية علي مواطنيها عندما تكون في حال حرب، الا في مصر وبعض البلدان العربية الحليفة لواشنطن، او التي احتلتها القوات الامريكية ووعدت بتحويلها الي جنات عدن مثل العراق. فآخر حرب خاضتها مصر كانت قبل 35 عاما، ومع ذلك البطاقة موجودة والاوضاع تزداد سوءا.
القمة العربية المقبلة في دمشق ستكرس حالة استقطاب هي الأقوي وغير مسبوقة في المنطقة، وستحدث فرزا واضح المعالم من حيث تقسيم الحكومات، وليس الشارع العربي، الي معسكرين:
الاول: يتكون من الأنظمة والحكومات المساندة بالكامل للولايات المتحدة وحروبها الحالية، وربما حربها المقبلة ضد سورية وايران وحلفائهما في لبنان (حزب الله) وفلسطين (حماس والجهاد وكتائب الاقصي وألوية الناصر صلاح الدين). وتقف في المكان الابرز في قيادة هذا المعسكر المملكة العربية السعودية ومصر والاردن.
الثاني: يضم سورية التي تقف في الخندق المقابل للخندق الامريكي وحروبه، وكنا نتمني ان نسمي دولا اخري غيرها، ولكن معظم الزعامات السابقة التي كانت تحسب علي المعسكر القومي مثل ليبيا والجزائر واليمن تضع رجلا في المعسكر الامريكي وربع رجل في معسكر الممانعة العربي، وتسعي لنيل الرضا الامريكي ولو الي حين.
قد يقول البعض انها نهاية مؤسسة القمة العربية في شكلها الحالي، نقول فلتكن، لانها كانت مؤسسة فاشلة متعفنة متأكسدة تشكل عبئا علي العمل العربي المشترك، وتقدم صورة مزورة له. ولا أسف عليها اذا انهارت. ولعل هذا الانهيار يكون مقدمة لعملية اصلاح جذري شاملة لها وللجامعة العربية تعيد للعمل العربي المشترك فاعليته وتأثيره.
بقي ان نقول ان هذا التأييد الذي تحظي به سورية في الشارع العربي بسبب موقفها ضد امريكا واسرائيل، نأمل ان يشجعها علي تحسين ملفها علي صعيد حقوق الانسان، والافراج عن معتقلي الرأي في السجون السورية.

كاظم العراقي – مقاطعو القمة “أم حاضروها” هم الخاسرون..!!
يومي السبت والاحد المقبلين، ستعقد “نقمة” دمشق العربية، وكثير من المسلمين لا يدركون حقيقة هذا الأمر ، وكيف سوقه الغرب الكافر لنا، فقد احتل بلادنا عسكرياً ثم خرج منها بعد أن خلف وراءه حكاماً عملاء يديرون مصالحه، ويحافظون على تقسيم العالم الإسلامي كما قسمه الغرب، فقد قسموا بلاد الشام إلى سوريا ولبنان وفلسطين وأوجدوا الأردن بعد أن لم يكن موجوداً، كما قسموا شبه الجريرة العربية إلى كيانات وشراذم صغيرة وكبيرة، وكذلك فعلوا بأرض الكنانة مصر، فقد قسموها إلى مصر والسودان، وفعلوا ذلك في كل العالم الإسلامي. وإذا عدنا إلى السبب الحقيقي وراء تقسيم العالم الإسلامي من قبل الاستعمار، لوجدنا أن السبب الرئيس هو عدم وجود دولة واحدة قوية تجمع الأمة الإسلامية وتحكم بما أنزل الله، وتحمل الإسلام للعالم بالدعوة والجهاد، وتحافظ على ثروات ومقدرات البلاد، وتدافع عن مقدسات المسلمين ولا ترضى بمواقف الذل والهوان، ما جعلها الدولة الأولى في العالم حيث كانت مرهوبة الجانب لا تجرؤ أية دولة أن تتطاول عليها أو على مقدساتها. إن وجود هذه الدولة كان يهدد مصالح الدول الاستعمارية لسنوات طويلة وخصوصاً بريطانيا، مما جعلها تقدم على التخطيط لهدم دولة الخلافة التي كانت تجمع الأمة الإسلامية تحت قيادة واحدة وإمام واحد يحكمهم بالإسلام. فبدأت بنشر سموم الوطنية والقومية لإيجاد التفرقة والعصبية بين صفوف المسلمين. وحمَل هذه السموم المثقفون المضبوعون بالثقافة الغربية وشكلوا رأس حربة ساعدت في هدم دولة الخلافة عام 1924 م بقيادة عدو الله أتاتورك، وبعد ذلك قامت باحتلال العالم الإسلامي عسكرياً ومزقته

March 26th, 2008, 12:29 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Thanks for the update. I’ll be in Beirut in a few months, and we should get together.

You’re right about the service drivers. They are, for my money, the best political commentary in the land. You never know what you’re going to get. Nasrallah lover, Nasrallah hater, Hariri lover, Hariri hater, etc.

March 26th, 2008, 1:04 pm


MSK said:

Dear QN,

As long as they are entertaining it’s fine. But once they start telling you “how it really is” I just tune out. History and politics are the fields where everyone thinks they’re an expert & called upon to pontificate. I don’t start telling bankers how to leverage funds (whatever that means) or engineers how to construct a power plant …

The sheer brashness of cabbies always amazes me – on the basis of a few news reports (of questionable quality) they concoct a whole elaborate politics. Actually, what’s even more amazing (disturbing?) is that people believe them …

Oh well.


PS: Looking forward to meet up.

March 26th, 2008, 1:15 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Don’t get me wrong: it’s pure entertainment. But then, are the cabbies any different from anyone else in Lebanon? Every Sunday afternon at my grandparents’ place in the mountains means two hours of “geopolitics” after lunch with my relatives. (It’s better than coffee, apparently, at fighting indigestion).

In other news, and for those who missed it, Sami Moubayed had an excellent piece in Asia Times about the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran, and next year’s presidential elections. As Moubayed shows, things do not look good for the reformists.

Here’s an excerpt:

Battle of the conservatives

With elections taking place in Iran on Friday, the popular joke among Iranians says: Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (current and former conservative presidents) are in an airplane over Tehran. Ahmadinejad says, “I am going to throw down $100, and let 10 Iranian citizens get them and pray for me.” Rafsanjani, who is richer by far, replies, “I am going to throw out $1,000, and let 100 citizens pray for me.” Provoked by the bravado of both men, the pilot mumbles, “I am going to throw both of you out, and let 65 million Iranians pray for me.”

It is no wonder that Iranians are not enthusiastic about voting for the 28th parliamentary elections. Instead of heading to the ballots, they are shopping for the Iranian New Year (the March 20 holiday of Nowruz). The reasons vary, including lack of inspiring candidates, along with lessons learned – the hard way – being that the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) cannot deliver real change in Iranian society.

(Read the rest on Sami’s website, )

March 26th, 2008, 1:32 pm


Shai said:


Given that undoubtedly the Lebanese people, as others in this region, attribute most of the region’s instability to Israel, and assuming that they view the Arab-Israeli conflict as the most crucial and urgent issue to be dealt with (either peacefully, or otherwise), why aren’t the Lebanese trying to unite the Arab world (including Syria, KSA, Egypt, etc.) at least in order to pose a single front to the US/Israel? Won’t such a push or dialogue bring Lebanon and Syria closer to understandings and, in particular, ease Syria’s fears that Lebanon is fast becoming anti-Syria?

March 26th, 2008, 1:33 pm


MSK said:

Dear QN,

Yeah, it’s a national trait but I don’t have to listen to your relatives … 😉

As for Sami’s piece – the elections are already over & his was only one in a plethora of articles on how apathetic the Iranian voters are. Btw, all three groups – conservatives, not-so-conservatives, and reformers – claimed some sort of victory.

Dear Shai,

I don’t understand your question. What could/should the Lebanese do, in practical terms? Last time I checked, they’re the least powerful ones in the region so how do you think they could get anyone to do anything?


March 26th, 2008, 1:46 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


In order for Lebanon to unite the Arab world, the Lebanese would have to be united themselves! Who would you have represent Lebanon in this effort to unite the Arab world? Fouad Siniora? Hasan Nasrallah? Samir Geagea? Michel Aoun? It’s not so straightforward.

The Arabs have presented some semblance of a “united front” in the past, notably with the Arab peace initiative, but nothing really came of it. Lebanon was part of that initiative, both in 2000 and 2004 (when the summit was held in Beirut and the initiative was renewed).

I don’t think that a substantial proportion of the Lebanese are really too interested in cooperating with Syria because they don’t feel that Syria has Lebanon’s interests at heart. That proportion of the population deeply distrusts Syria and regards it as sharing in the responsibility for the perpetuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Of course, Israel is regarded as public enemy #1, but Syria contributes to the instability by promoting Hizbullah and allying with Iran… how do you expect Lebanon to change these facts?

Syria’s fears are justified… Perhaps 40% of Lebanon is deeply anti-Syrian at the moment, with another 20% that is guarded and occasionally suspicious (i.e. the Aounists). That will take time to change, and the current standoff is not helping matters.


So they are. Shows how up-to-speed I am. Thanks.

March 26th, 2008, 2:00 pm


norman said:

The problem in the Mideast that personalities not common interest or sense decide policy , and that is a problem.

March 26th, 2008, 3:44 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

In the 6 March issue of the London Review of Books, Patrick Cockburn penned an article entitled, “Who is Whose Enemy?”, in which he says this (irony of ironies):

“In many ways the US position in Iraq is like Syria’s status in Lebanon between 1976 and 2005, when it partly occupied the country. The Syrian army prevented the civil war from escalating, but also stopped anything being resolved between the different communities.”

March 26th, 2008, 4:19 pm


Seeking the Truth said:

Norman says:
The problem in the Mideast that personalities not common interest or sense decide policy , and that is a problem.

Would this; if true, also apply to the current rulers of Syria, Norman, or would you make an exception here?

March 26th, 2008, 6:18 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

Let’s see…I recognize Erdoğan(Turkey), Zebari(Iraq), Gheddafi(Libya), Bouteflika(Algeria) front and center….

This is really funny. If you google ‘arab summit damascus’, you get the following headlines:
Egypt snubs, Lebanon not going, Egypt snubs, Lebanon not going, Egypt snubs, Lebanon not going, Egypt snubs, Lebanon not going…but not a word on about the major participants. I see they have adopted the lapel pin, like all those US congressmen (as if one didn’t know they were American!)

March 26th, 2008, 6:35 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Are you sure that’s a photo from this year? I see Lahoud also front and center, and unless he’s been invited as some kind of guest of honor, there’s no reason why he should be there.

Or maybe he’s carrying Bashar’s briefcase or something

March 26th, 2008, 7:26 pm


ghat Albird said:

From purely a spectators point of view the pre-summit goings on attest to a certain spirit that attests to the “joi de vivre” of the Arab/muslim populations in the Middle East. Reminiscent of some of the goings on in recent years in Italy.

Also pertinent are the facts that notwithstanding the over 2000 years onslaughts of so-called western civilizing conquests the core values of the Middle Easterner is still growing in its own home grown way.

In any human get together one gets out of it as much as one puts into it. Those who participate at least show a deference to their fellow men. Those who dont will miss out on that deference.

Lets hope that those who attend decide on actions that are positive and fullfilling to the extent that those who did not attend wish that they should have.

March 26th, 2008, 8:10 pm


Observer said:

This article in clearly shows that the US is moving behind the scenes to work with Iran on sharing control of the region. The so called moderates are going to come out of this with egg on their faces and pain in their behinds. Read it slowly and carefully. I predicted this a long time ago as Iran and Turkey have emerged as the only two serious countries in the ME with a clear strategy and plan of action for their future. By the way, does anyone what is being served for dinner at the illustrious Arab Summit; that would be an important piece of news.

March 26th, 2008, 8:36 pm


Shai said:


Thanks for the explanation. Lebanon’s situation is a bit clearer to me now. But I guess I wondered if even those 40% of the Lebanese that support Syria, or the 20% that aren’t sure, considered using this conference as a podium for using another significant issue (PE#1) to unite and bring Syria closer to Lebanon (or to the 40% that are against Bashar). After all, Syria is not interested in a Lebanon that is anti-Syria, but clearly Lebanon is also not interested in a Syria that is anti-Lebanon. But I do understand there are many complexities involved.

March 26th, 2008, 8:40 pm


Naji said:

What an astute “Observer”… and Ghat Albird… really…!!
Perhaps it also shows that, in this day and age, all is obvious and we should, perhaps, stop fooling around…!??

March 26th, 2008, 8:45 pm


ghat Albird said:


The only way to stop fooling around is to Stop. And what better time is there than now and by those who believe its time to stop fooling around.

The only instance that comes to mind and is most relevant is trace the history of Saddam Hussein and who he played with and who played him in the end.


March 26th, 2008, 9:35 pm


Naji said:


March 26th, 2008, 9:53 pm


norman said:

Seeking the Truth

I mean , everybody.

March 26th, 2008, 10:25 pm


norman said:

The picture from 2006

March 26th, 2008, 10:26 pm


trustquest said:

While concentrating on Arab summit at the time of big events like current week operation against the Saddr in Iraq, in Bagdad and in Basra, is like blurring or missing the big picture. Which country support Saddr movement, and where Iran stands from him and from Al Malki who is destroying him right now?. Who is the true nationalist and who is the traitor? Now, this is a big event, Shia against Shia, isn’t strange? Why one side of the same sect siding with USA and the other taking opposite position? Is this can happen in any Arab Country with different sects as hate against sects have higher order than hate against foreigners or outsiders? Why there is no Arab Country especially the hardliners like Syrians, ever mention these events in their news, it looks like it is something of no concern to them?. What is their position, against or with the Iraqi government, against or with the coalition forces, all these important question goes by like nothing happening while the area is rearrange and big power like the Saddr Militia is disappearing.
It seems after all that the summit is more important than even war?
To me the summit is like those football games which grab population attention to divert their mind from a bad political scheme going underway.

March 27th, 2008, 12:56 am


Naji said:

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

ANALYSIS: Isolating Syria serves to highlight its importance
By Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update – 07:46 28/03/2008

“In the name of merciful and compassionate Allah, I hope you solve just one Arab problem,” begged a surfer on television network Al-Arabiyah’s Internet site. His supplication, which will apparently go unanswered, was directed at the heads of state convening in Damascus on Friday for an Arab League summit, or at least those heads of states bothering to attend after Egypt and Saudi Arabia neutered it.

The pair seek to punish Syria for continually thwarting any political solution in Lebanon by not allowing the appointment of General Michel Suleiman as president and not forcing Hezbollah to accept a reasonable division of cabinet posts. Syria rejected, albeit politely, the Arab League’s compromise proposal, positioning itself as the victor over the united Arab front.

But the Saudi-Egyptian penalty could become an own goal. It does not promote a resolution to the crisis in Lebanon and it highlights the chasm between the camps. This is no longer the well-known split between “moderates” and “extremists,” but between the “Arab circle” and the “Iranian circle” and has emphasized the power of organizations like Hezbollah, and to some extent Hamas, to set the Arab agenda.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are frustrated that Iran succeeds in influencing Arab policy no less and maybe – regarding Lebanon – more than the Arab countries themselves. The attendance of the Iranian foreign minister – not a member state and not an Arab state – emphasizes Tehran’s role in this rift.

It is possible that Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s partial embargo of the summit will turn Syria’s isolation into a source of power. The Arab states know that the solution to the two most severe crises in the Middle East pass through Syria, yet they don’t have the means to force its hand. Syrian agreement to the suggested solution would gnaw away at Hezbollah’s political maneuvering power, which could lead to Syria losing control in Lebanon.

This summit will be considered the Arab League’s largest failure, but could clarify how Syria, in spite of its isolation, is becoming the most significant state in the region’s diplomatic processes. The question now will be what option Egypt and Saudi Arabia will have to resolve the Lebanon crisis and how they can extract Hamas from the Iranian-Syrian circle to resolve the Palestinian crisis.

March 28th, 2008, 3:11 pm


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