Friday, April 07, 2006

"Illegal but Working: Civil society in Syria," by Glada Lahn

Middle East analyst in London Glada Lahn just returned from Damascus, where she spoke to many civil society leaders. She wrote this assessment for "The World Today".

Illegal but Working: Civil society in Syria
By Glada Lahn
A version of this article was published in The World Today, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), London April 2006 Vol 62, No. 4

The opposition crop up a lot in conversations with Syrians. This would have been unthinkable six years ago. But in a state that has remained under Ba'ath party rule and in the grip of one of the most pervasive intelligence services in the world for over 40 years, it is not opposition in the way that we know it. Rather, the term is applied to a disparate group of government critics and nascent NGOs who are making the best of the breathing space that opened up and then contracted following the death of Hafez al-Assad in 2000. There is a big question mark over how this movement - loosely termed 'civil society' - can best progress in an unpredictable poliscape. There is a pattern in the region: regimes have been efficient in disabling liberal and secular opposition, while the Islamic parties gained ground quietly through the mosques. All eyes are on the electoral success of Hamas in Palestine and the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt. Is it too late for Syria to shape up?

Former member of parliament and businessman turned opposition leader, Riad Seif, was released from a 5-year prison term in mid-January. He was at the heart of what became known as 'the Damascus Spring' - a watershed moment in the early days of Bashar Al-Assad's reign which briefly bloomed with political debates, publications and petitions amongst urban liberals. The regime soon clamped down on critics who 'went too far' and the back-tracking has generated cynicism.

Around the beginning of 2005, opposition figures stopped using the word 'islah' - indicating reform under the present government, opting instead for 'taghyeer' - change of the system. Seif and his colleagues have adopted this rhetoric and set about challenging the one-party system. Political parties are banned, except for the Ba'ath and a coalition it dominates, in spite of repeated promises to legalise them. The Liberal Party they want to establish is ambitious. It calls for a multi-party democratic system and seeks a membership with over 50% under the age of 40. When asked how they plan to publicise their manifesto, they admit it won’t be easy. "We will use modern technology …and hope the international media will pay us more attention" said Seif.

Considering that groups with a political orientation cannot advertise, publish articles in the domestic press, speak to students or the army and face arrest for holding a meeting of more than five people, they are from attracting a mass following. The men and women of the Damascus Spring are referred to as ‘musaqqifiin’ (intellectuals) with high ideals but no connection to the common people. Commenting on Seif and friends, the director of the government-aligned Centre for Strategic Studies said "they speak only for themselves". The question is, can they speak to anyone but themselves? Seif and his fellow ex-prisoners told me they had tried to arrange a small press conference upon their release but 200 policemen turned up to stop it, one of whom knocked Seif to the ground.

Even economist Ayman Abdelnour, a prominent Ba'ath Party member who runs the Kullanaa Shurakaa - All4Syria - project to lobby for change in a less provocative way, has had his website blocked. “You could hold an election tomorrow with all the free and fair monitoring you like,” said Abdelnour “and the opposition would not [stand a fair chance] because they would not have been able to run a campaign”. Nevertheless, he believes a 'silent majority' may simply vote for any party that is not the regime.

Meanwhile, fearing a second clampdown, a small raft of rights and governance initiatives is navigating a less conspicuous route.

Dr. Radwan Ziadeh, a softly-spoken young man, is director of one of the unauthorised human rights organisations. He used to work for the Human Rights Association in Syria (HRAS) but decided to set up his own centre for human rights research - avoiding the political overtones that he believes disadvantage others. I met Ziadeh in the Havana Café, a renowned meeting place for coup plotters in the 1940s and 50s and where the Ba'ath Party was allegedly founded. The faded smokey décor still lends a conspiratorial air but there are no young revolutionaries here. As we leave, Ziadeh greets three middle-aged men at a window table, two of whom were imprisoned for over 20 years for their opinions.Ziadeh published a collection of essays on civil society in Syria last October. This is banned in Syria but he has been able to travel abroad to promote it. At the time, Ziadeh was both excited and nervous about the forthcoming visit of Arab regional representative to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Faraj Fneish. He had written a report on human rights in Syria to be presented at a meeting in which government officials would be present. It covered three topics: the relationship between home-grown and international organisations, the position of human rights organisations and the case of political prisoners. All are sensitive, particularly the last. But, in the end - and with some editing - it went ahead.

There is more freedom than there was six years ago but no one quite knows where the new boundaries lie. The lighter government image, satellite television and the alternatives available in a more open market encourage civil society to grow. At the same time, it is restricted - sometimes to the point of strangulation - by emergency laws and the difficulty of obtaining funding. If, like most, an organisation is illegal, nationals will not want to jeopardise their reputations by donating money. On the other hand, if a group accepts money from abroad, the charge of treachery will smear both the organisers and their cause. To Ziadeh, creating links with similar NGOs globally is key to empowering Syrian civil society. He was cautiously optimistic about the significance of January's visit of an Amnesty delegation - the first in nine years - and believes that capacity building and networking are the way forward for organisations such as his own.

Bashar's apologists say that, compromised by the nature of the regime he inherited and his own inexperience, the president has found it impossible to carry out the reforms originally hoped for. He continues to emphasise liberalising economy rather than polity. This is not without impact. The influx of new money is striking. Syria now has two mobile phone networks, internet cafes have sprung up even in the narrow alleyways of the old city and there are foreign banks with ATMs. However, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Ask about the newfound wealth and people are quick to point out that it is concentrated in the hands of the few – the big new companies are mainly owned by relatives and associates of the president – and there are no visible means of redistribution such as publicly traded shares.

Opposition parties like Seif's and monitoring NGOs like Ziadeh's, face the difficult task of bridging the gap between elites and the masses, of speaking to and on behalf of those without a voice under a government that claims more freedom of speech and association will lead to an Islamist revolt. Episodes such as the recent torching of the Danish Embassy over the cartoon controversy are held up as glimpses of the landmine beneath the regime’s feet. The new iconography unites the Ba'athist government with Islam. In place of the communist-style portraits of the old patriarch are photographs of his son with slogans such as “Suriat Allah haamiihaa” (Syria, God is protecting her) or juxtaposed with Hizbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. This symbolism, like similar revisions in the secular regimes of Egypt and Libya and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, aims to neutralise the appeal of religious forces ready to enfranchise those at bottom of the social scale.

The popularity of the outlawed Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) and the tolerated Al-Qubbaysiya, an estimated 50,000-strong secretive Islamic women’s movement, is growing. As one taxi driver said, rolling up his windows anxiously, "The Ikhwan? I love them, they are sincere and uncorrupt. And they don't use violent means like the ones in Egypt". According to journalist, Ibrahim Hamidi, who has been studying the phenomenon, "Al-Ikhwan are patient. They depoliticised their movement after Hama and worked quietly through social work in the poorer communities, they know this government won't last forever and they are waiting". Islamist movements are of particular concern to the Allawi community, many of whom were targets of a violent campaign against the regime before the army’s 1982 massacre in Hama. “For the last 40 years the people have [lived with] far from democratic practises,” said writer Ghada Al-Yousuf “if you give them in one push, the secularists will be the losers”.

However, the example of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government in neighbouring Turkey has persuaded many secularists that including Islamists’ in a democratic system would not be a disaster.

Free speech and an independent judiciary might not be a priority for the average Syrian. But in their absence, one problem is common to all: corruption.

Corruption is not so much endemic in Syria as it is the system itself, and it works. Such a system runs in favour of those wanting to keep the status quo as it stifles ambition and facilitates the cooption or blackmail of anyone who might challenge it. On the other hand, corruption breeds cynicism and makes a mockery of success. Another taxi driver complained of being regularly stopped by traffic police for bribes in order to avoid losing his license. He knew that he wouldn’t have a hope in court if he couldn’t afford to pay yet more bribes and feared for the future of his children in a climate where opportunities came only through wasta or large backhanders. His solution? “Democratic elections monitored by the UN”. But he did not believe his own dream. The next moment he was explaining that in any case people would be bribed to vote for regime candidates, boxes checked and punishments meted out to those who ticked the wrong box.

During my visit, a national transparency society – the first of its kind in Syria - was founded by a small group of lawyers, led by 84-year old Mazhar Shurbaji. Shurbaji served as Minister of Justice during the 1940s and 60s and as a member of the Majlis al-Umma in Cairo in the days of the United Arab Republic. “In developed countries, corruption only takes place amongst the elites“, he said “the need for strong [transparency] initiatives is greater in developing countries because here corruption touches every aspect of life and every class”.

While elements of government are blamed for fostering a corrupt system, it is by its very nature beyond their control. “The problem is, everyone is involved,” said lawyer Anwar Al-Bunni, “we would need to have a kind of ‘corruption amnesty’ where everyone’s slate could be wiped clean so long as they were committed in earnest to reforming the system”. Al-Bunni has drafted a new constitution in which he recommends this type of approach.

It appears that Bashar's ambition is to make Syria a global economic competitor. Ironically, civil society - one of his greatest assets in achieving this - is treated as criminal. In the wake of the negative attention that has dogged Syria over the last three years, there is some recognition of the trade-off that might be made to improve the country's democratic credentials. But fear of losing control has lead to a bizarrely paradoxical stance. As the president said in a recent interview, "we have human rights organisations in Syria - they are illegal, but they can work".


At 4/07/2006 12:57:00 PM, Blogger patriot2sy said...

Getting back to the last topic.
Today, in certain areas in Damascus, there were big posters about the anniversary of the prophet which happens to be next week.
This is the first time we see such posters.

The interesting point is, that the anniversary of the party which also happens to be during the next week is receving little coverage, no posters, nothing on tv, etc....

At 4/07/2006 01:24:00 PM, Blogger souria el hora said...

In order for syria to advance, a change in the government is crucial. If it takes the Muslim brotherhood or khaddam to do it, well let it be. Poverty in syria is soaring, the country is moving backwards. We should definitely give the opposition a chance. They can't be worse than the present regime after all.
But all the people should join this resistance in a way or another; we can't just stand there and expect everything to change for the best if we don't put our hands together.

At 4/07/2006 02:48:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

patriot2sy said... (((The interesting point is, that the anniversary of the party which also happens to be during the next week is receving little coverage, no posters, nothing on tv, etc....)))

The baath party is a Wolf dressed as a sheep.. They will be hitting back very soon.
A weakened U.S. will lead Syria to reinvigorate its involvement in Lebanon, and hit back on the internal opposition !!

Syria marks Baath party's 59th birthday
143 words
7 April 2006
Agence France Presse
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006 All reproduction and presentation rights reserved.
DAMASCUS, April 7, 2006 (AFP) -

Syria on Friday marked the 59th anniversary of the founding of the Arab nationalist Baath party which rules the country, against a backdrop of growing US pressure for Damascus to change its policies.

To celebrate the occasion, military barracks and buildings were decorated with Syrian flags, banners and portraits of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian television broadcast an entire day of patriotic songs and documentaries about the history of the Baath party and the country's armed forces.

The Baath party, inaugurated officially in 1947 in Damascus, preaches Arab unity. It seized power in Iraq on February 8, 1963 in a coup d'etat. One month later, another coup saw it installed in Syria.

The Baath, which means "resurrection" in Arabic, promotes pan-Arab nationalism and socialism.

At 4/07/2006 08:19:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Bashar Asad can be trusted more than the oposition ,If we look at where they come from we should know where they are trying to take Syria ,until now the only thing we hear is that they are beleivers ,no platform no plans for the economy or the deffence of the country, minority rights, woman rights peace with Israel and we know what the MB did in the seventies and early eighties when they killed many of our university teachers because of their religion ,Alqaida is doing the same thing in Iraq killing shaea Iraqies every day and driving the country to cevil war,should we trust khadam who was in power during the wost of Hafez Asad rule and did nothing to show his displeasure ,could be because he was stealing enough and did not want to change a good thing for him ,when people are not politecaly mature they tend to vote for people they associate with in Syria religous association.election in Syria when the people are not ready will lead to problem like Algeria and Syria can live without a problem like that.

At 4/07/2006 11:21:00 PM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Syria ought to be mourning instead of celebrating the founding of the Baath party. This has been a disastrous 59-year period during which this party has presided on the destruction of two nations rather than one. A combined total of close to 50 million people have been lied to for 59 straight years. They were promised the three goals of Wahda, Hurriya & Ishtiraciya but failed to deliver on a single one of them.

The Moslem Brothers and the Islamists on the other hand would most likely deliver an even worse showing should they ever reach power. Syria needs to move forward and not backwards. The Moslem Brothers will do nothing but inflict more damage on this torn country. Were they to reach power, religious zealots ruling our everyday lives will waste another 59 years of our lives. I say thanks but no thanks.

In a nutshell, our choices suck. We are getting poorer by the day. The world is in fifth gear while our economy and society is caught in reverse. We inherited a young President who has delivered precious little after six years in office. We all know that we deserve better but we seem to have no viable alternatives. It is hard to think that a country of 20 million people cannot produce a single man to lead it out of this predicament. As my own old father said upon hearing of Bashar’s inauguration,” Syria must have no other men left to lead it”. I know that I am rambling on but I am sure that I speak for the millions of my fellow countrymen when I sound as confused, frustrated, ashamed, hopeless, and powerless as I do tonight. Celebrations? What a joke!

At 4/08/2006 06:46:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?


The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.


Speaking of President Bush, the House member said, “The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision.”


One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.


“Nuclear planners go through extensive training and learn the technical details of damage and fallout—we’re talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit. These politicians don’t have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it out”—remove the nuclear option—“they’re shouted down.”


The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the Administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles. He called it “a juggernaut that has to be stopped.” He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue. “There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,” the adviser told me. “This goes to high levels.” The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran. “The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks,” the adviser said. “And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.”
The adviser added, however, that the idea of using tactical nuclear weapons in such situations has gained support from the Defense Science Board, an advisory panel whose members are selected by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “They’re telling the Pentagon that we can build the B61 with more blast and less radiation,” he said.


Any American bombing attack, Richard Armitage told me, would have to consider the following questions: “What will happen in the other Islamic countries? What ability does Iran have to reach us and touch us globally—that is, terrorism? Will Syria and Lebanon up the pressure on Israel? What does the attack do to our already diminished international standing? And what does this mean for Russia, China, and the U.N. Security Council?


“The best terror network in the world has remained neutral in the terror war for the past several years,” the Pentagon adviser on the war on terror said of Hezbollah. “This will mobilize them and put us up against the group that drove Israel out of southern Lebanon. If we move against Iran, Hezbollah will not sit on the sidelines. Unless the Israelis take them out, they will mobilize against us.” (When I asked the government consultant about that possibility, he said that, if Hezbollah fired rockets into northern Israel, “Israel and the new Lebanese government will finish them off.”)
The New Yorker

(my emphasis)

At 4/08/2006 07:00:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

George W. Bush - the perfect embodiment of the Madman theory...

At 4/08/2006 08:34:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Saniora to Hold Talks with Bush in a Show of U.S. Support to Lebanon

An Nahar newspaper reported from Washington Friday that Bush is scheduled to hold talks with Saniora on April 18 at the White House, to reaffirm that his administration still considers Lebanon one of the top priorities in the region.

An Nahar's sources said the Bush administration believes the time is ripe for Saniora's visit to the U.S. to discuss the situation in Lebanon in light of regional developments.

The sources said that Rice's recent statement on Hizbullah's relationship with Iran and Syria and the role that the two regional powers are playing in the country, is an indication that the situation in Lebanon is now a major U.S. concern.

Rice has said that the Party of God's ties with Tehran and Damascus "are the biggest problem that the Lebanese are facing at this time." She expressed concern about the two counties' intervention in Lebanon.

(my emphasis)

Just coincidence?

At 4/08/2006 11:34:00 AM, Blogger EHSANI2 said...

Let us assume that we are George W. Bush. What would we do? Let Iran proceed with its alleged program by ignoring the issue? Sit down to negotiate? Negotiate what? I had just returned from an extensive trip to the Gulf. I got the sense that they are as worried about Iran as Israel seems to be. The long-term risk that Iran poses to the Arab Gulf monarchies is seen as real. I sure would not want to handle this hot potato. The article clearly shows the horrific options that the U.S faces when it comes to this growing danger. It could well turn out in the end that Iran is bluffing about its capabilities just as Saddam did in the hope that it will deter the Americans for ever taking them on.

At 4/08/2006 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Ehsani2: Iran can not be bluffing. The country is huge. You just can not invade it or destroy it militarily. And the Americans are not bluffing. They will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

So were do we go from here?

The Middle East can only go out of its numerous conflicts through creative courageous leadership. Sadat, love him or hate him, tried it and it worked (for Egypt, not for the "Arab cause"). Unless George Bush is willing to come out and say that they made big mistakes and that they will now work with all the Iraqis and Iraq's neighbors (including Syria and Iran) to do what is best for Iraq, Unless Syria appeals directly to the Israeli people (organize cultural events to celebrate the contributions of Syria's jews throughout history, invite moderate Israeli peace activists and journalists to visit Syria...), unless Jumblat thanks Syria for the heavy price it paid over 30 years for ending the Lebanese civil war and making the country safe, unless the Americans and Saudis put their billions to good use in building the poorer Middle Eastern countries, ...

What's the chance any of the above will happen? Small. We will probably continue to go for muscle flexing followed by some more violent conflicts.

Syria is powerful these days. It has the priceless Palestinian card back, it has the strong Iran as a close ally, it proved it remains a key to Lebanon's stability. With Charlie Rose, president Assad shifted to "you see? I told you" instead of the defensive answers to the "you made a big mistake by not joining the Americans on the Iraq war" ... with this perceived power, Syria can now afford to make friendly gestures to both internal opponents, and external "enemies" .. this is the time, not last year when we re-iterated for he 10th time our willingness to engage Israel in peace negotiations. At that time, everyone brushed it off as a last attempt from the dying regime to stay in power.

For those who do not see it: just remember again if the strong and popular Syria withdrew from Lebanon in 2001 when it could have gotten a tremendous P.R. as well as real rewards from Europe and others.

At 4/08/2006 10:41:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

If i were president Bush i will not attack Iran and be resposible for Armadodon but will make it clear that an Iran with nuclear weapons will be destroyed if it trys to intimidate or attack it,s neibours and use untrustworthy Iran to justify our presence in the area to our Arab friends who are scared of Iran nuclear or not.

At 4/09/2006 04:39:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

no leak yet as far as Brammertz meeting with Assad,however I sense the syrian goverment is not happy.

At 4/10/2006 06:05:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Lebanon thwarts plot against Nasrallah

As-Safir reports Hezbollah chief was target of assassination planned for April 28 involving anti-tank rockets.

BEIRUT - Nine Lebanese and Palestinian nationals were arrested for plotting to kill Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the daily As-Safir reported Monday.

The assassination of the head of armed Shiite fundamentalist party was planned for April 28 when Nasrallah was due to attend the next session of Lebanon's ongoing national dialogue, the paper said, citing security sources.

Lebanon's intelligence service and military broke the network last week, it added.

The cell "had been tracking Nasrallah's movements for March and April and had put in place a thorough plan to assassinate Nasrallah during the next meeting of the national dialogue."

The attack would have been carried out against the Hezbollah chief's vehicle convoy and would have involved anti-tank rockets.
Middle East Online

At 4/10/2006 06:36:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

More details:

The suspects are eight Lebanese and one Palestinian, a senior security official said. Security forces also seized an unknown quantity of weapons with the suspects, officials said.

The gang has been monitoring Nasrallah's movements for more than a month, and prepared to strike under the motto "mistake is forbidden."

The sources said the would-be assassins planned to attack Nasrallah's convoy with LAW rockets capable of penetrating bullet-proof cars, allowing the attacker to hit the target from up to 1,000 meters away.

Beirut's leading daily As-Safir reported that the gang included professional killers and was highly trained in the use of sophisticated arms and carrying out organized crimes. ...

They said army intelligence raided the suspects' hideouts, where they seized LAW rockets, hand grenades, Kalashnikov automatic rifles, pump-action rifles, guns with silencers and computers.

Controversy Around Reported Assassination Plan Against Hassan Nasrallah

Authorities have foiled a plan to assassinate Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on April 28, the date of the next session of national dialogue talks between the country's top rival political leaders, As Safir newspaper said Monday.
While judicial sources denied the reported assassination plot, a military spokesman said it was in "the phase of intentions" and had not reached "the phase of implementation."
As Safir quoted security sources as saying that army intelligence last week arrested nine suspects including Lebanese and Palestinians who have been tracking Nasrallah's movements over the last month and a half in order to assassinate him.

"Army intelligence was able to thwart a plot that was scheduled to be implemented on the day of the next session of (national) dialogue talks and has arrested the highly-trained members of the network who are Lebanese and Palestinian," the sources said.

Agence France Presses said judicial sources confirmed the arrests but denied that the suspects had been plotting to kill Nasrallah. They said As Safir's report was "exaggerated."

However, military spokesman Brig. Saleh Suleiman told The Associated Press the intended plot had not yet been put into implementation. He said that the detainees, some of whom are related, would be handed over to a military prosecutor on Tuesday for further questioning and indictment.

The newspaper said its sources described the suspects as "a group of organized, professional and well-trained individuals who deal with security issues."

The suspects have allegedly been tracking Nasrallah's movements since the beginning of March that coincides with the opening of the meeting in the heart of the capital.

The assailants were equipped with LAW anti-tank missiles that would be able to penetrate the Hizbullah chief's armored vehicle, As Safir's sources said.

They said authorities also seized a weapons cache which includes B-7 rocket launchers, pump action shotguns, hand grenades, AK-47 automatic rifles, revolvers, silencers, computers and CDs. They did not say where the arms depot was found.

They said police arrested the ring members after they were observed acting suspiciously near Nasrallah's headquarters in Haret Hreik in the southern suburbs.

Authorities are still searching for other possible suspects and attempting to identify the party or country that has financed, trained and equipped the network.

Suleiman told the AP that some of As-Safir's details were true, "but others are not so accurate." He would not elaborate.

At 4/10/2006 10:05:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

The people of Syria must hold up their Shoes AS A Banners and waive them in the face of the Baath PARTY OFFICIALS and say:
With the anniversary of the baath party ..We the people of Syria demands
You The dinosaurs, blood suckers, wealth hungry liars, stoned minds baath party officials GO away for ever….GO away for ever….GO away for ever….GO away for ever….GO away for ever….

At 4/10/2006 10:27:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Fatfat "refutes" the "assassination rumours":

London, April 10, (BNA) Lebanese Acting Interior Minister, Ahmed Fatfat, described the news about the arrest of members who were scheming to assassinate Hizbullah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, as exaggerated.
Speaking to the BBC, Fatfat dismissed the assassination attempt news, published in Beirut today, by "Al Safeer" Lebanese newspaper, as overstated, explaining that the rumours came after the arrest of a group of ten Lebanese and Palestinian people, including one claiming to be a clergyman, who were trying to collect arms and had nothing to do with an attempt to murder Nasrallah though they might have been planning to spark sedition or carry out an assassination operation.

(my emphasis)

Why am I not surprised?

More details:

They used taxi cars in Beirut's southern suburb, particularly around the periphery of Hezbollah's secretariat-general in Haret Horeik, so as to determine the time Sayyed Nasrallah's convoys leave and return.

The police caught the would-be assassins after following them and locating their place of residence. The Lebanese press noted that four members of the cell belonged to the same family.
Jerusalem Post

At 4/10/2006 12:40:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Sunni extremists, just as I suspected:

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese authorities have arrested nine Sunni Muslim men suspected of planning to assassinate Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Shi'ite group Hizbollah, security officials said on Monday.

The suspects are eight Lebanese and one Palestinian, security and judicial sources said. Their plot could be seen as an evidence of the rising tension between both sects in a country yet to fully recover from a 1975-1990 civil war.

"They had placed him (Nasrallah) under surveillance and were targeting him for pure sectarian and radical reasons," a senior political source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A prosecution source said the suspects' motive was to defend the Sunnis "in case the tension between both sects escalates."

A senior security official told Reuters: "The plot was at an early stage. It had not reached the phase of implementation."

He said the suspects' training and ability to carry out such an attack was not clear.

At 4/10/2006 12:49:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Shiites in Iraq,did not participate in fighting american occupation, infact they encourage it, making them accopmlice in killing sunni iraqees, what a shame.
I think Mubarak is right in saying they are loyal to Iran, and that they abandoned their arabic loyalty.

At 4/10/2006 12:53:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

my previous comment was not complete, I must say there are good Shiites like honorable
Nassrellah of Lebanon, and Muktada Al Sadre of Iraq,but Sistani is dead wrong.

At 4/10/2006 10:05:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Majed ,The shaiaa of Iraq were bein persecuted for years by Saddam who brutelised them engaged Iraq in a war with Iran for the benifit of the west and the corrupt Arab states in the gulf to stop the Islamic revolution of Iran causing the death of many iraqies then he attacked Kuwait to set a stage for the destruction of Iraq when the US for it,s own was going for the removal of Sadam they took advantage of the opportinity and sided with US ,If the sunies of Iraq rememberd what the prophet said when they asked him about helping you brother when he is abusive and bad ,he said by preventing him and that what the sunnies of Iraq did not do and that is the reason for the Iraqi,s shaiaa to side with the American untill they are comfortable that they are safe ,the only country which occupying syrian land is Israel and Iran in the Arab side is much better than a hostile Iran like the time of the Shah ,Mubarak is a fool the big taiter that the Arab had was Sadat ,do you remember Sadat who stabed Syria in the back after 1973 war or King Husain who told the israelies the day of that war ,they were both suinie ,look what is happening now in palestine and how the palesteniens ae being starved while the rich corrupt arab states are listening to the Us adminstration to force Hamas to surrender,these are your loyal sunnies ,please wake up to facts and the real traiters.

At 4/11/2006 12:09:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

ok, let's change the topic


I think Mubarak's comments are one more indication Syria has the upper hand for now ... Mubarak lost the Palestinian card to Syria, and he never had any Lebanese card, so he is now in need of a more visible role in Iraq.

They accused Syria of "interfering in its neighbors' business" but the fact is: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and and Saudi Arabia always need to play a regional leadership role ... these brotherly states have the

شعرة معاوية

between them, but they sure compete full time for the "cards" in the area ... those cards make the Americans and Europeans want to talk to you and ask you for favors.

At 4/11/2006 08:26:00 AM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

I believe ,in Iraq, you cannot have security,without appeasing the sunni arab, the pressure to pull american troops out is going to be strong that the republican will call for it, cost is huge, dead troops are getting high, popularity of Bush is low, election is coming,democrat may win the congress. After pulling out Iraq will be weak, this will invite outsiders to invade Iraq,the sunni officers in the iraqee army will take over and, then Syria will be the winner,Shiites Sistani supporters, who cooperate with America, friend of Isreal, will be the loosers

At 4/11/2006 12:29:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Lebanese authorities arrest 9 out of 15 plan to assassinate Sayyed Nasrallah

Political background still unclear.

At 4/11/2006 01:06:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

BBC's Arabic TV channel said military intelligence arrested 10 days ago in Beirut 10 Lebanese and Palestinian suspects who confessed to belonging to a previously unknown Muslim fundamentalist group called "Ahl el Da'wa."

It said they also revealed the names of other members who are still at large and are believed to be hiding in Palestinian refugee camps.

At 4/11/2006 09:31:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Here is what Rafsangani said today to a Kuwaiti newspaper:

In the past Iraq stood between Iran and Syria, but today, if things move the direction we are hoping for, we expect a new constructive regional group of Iran, Iraq and Syria to emerge.

Hmmm ....

منذ الثورة الاسلامية (1979) وليومنا هذا ، كانت لنا علاقات حسنة مع سورية، وان علاقاتنا هي علاقات استراتيجية ، ومصيرنا متشابه، وطالما اعتبرنا سورية الخط الامامي للنضال الفلسطيني ، ونعلم انهم وبسبب المسؤولية التي على عاتقهم يتكبدون الضرائب الجسام ، وان الظروف الاقليمية والجغرافية جعلتهم يكابدون مشاكل حقيقية، ولكون مواقفنا كانت متقاربة فلذلك كان لنا تعاون وثيق ، وفي الظرف الراهن وفي ظل المستجدات فان القضايا التي بيننا وبين سورية اصبحت اكثر تقاربا ، وان الطرفين يواجهان تهديدات مماثلة ولديهما فرص مماثلة ايضا ، وفي الماضي كان العراق يمثل حائلا بين البلدين، وان شاء الله اذا مضت الامور بصورة جيدة في العراق وتمت تسوية المشاكل في هذا البلد، فاننا الى جانب سورية والعراق سنشكل مجموعة اقليمية جيدة تعمل على ضمان وامن وسعادة وتطور بلدان المنطقة الاسلامية والعربية.

وكما تلاحظون الان ان الاوضاع الفلسطينية تمر بمراحل جديدة ومهمة ، ما يعني ان التعاون مع سورية اصبح ضروريا جدا ، وان التعاون الثنائي دخل مراحل جيدة

At 4/11/2006 09:41:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Intresting,iran can be trusted to help Syria more than Saudi Arabia ,Egypt and the other Arab state whose loyalties are with the enemies of Arab natinalism.

At 4/11/2006 10:00:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Norman, the situation in the Middle East today is sensitive. Egypt's regional role can not be ignored. And the Sunni/Shia balance is a redline for many countries in the Middle East.

If Shia Iran and Shia-friendly Syria will try to mold Iraq into a Shia ally, then to control Lebanon (partially through Hizbollah who has the veto over anything in that country), and to hold the Palestinian card (with Hamas in power) ... you would be pushing Mubarak and other influential Arab Sunni states into the Anti-Syria, Anti-Iran Anti-Shia-crescent camp. You simply can not sidestep Egypt's regional role.

Iran is an asset to Syria, but so is Egypt and Saudi Arabia, even if they are not always trusted allies.

At 4/11/2006 10:13:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

With Egypt peace treaty with Israel Egypt took itself out of the militery equasion with Israel ,the peace between Israel and Egypt made it easy for israel to brutilised the Palestenians and ignore Syria,s goal of peace in the Middleast ,the only reason Israel is still there is because of the lack of the will to fight that Arab gov seem to seek .the only languege Israel understand is force and untill Syria and the other Arab states understand that Israel will not leave the Golan Hights or the palestenian terotery occupied in 1967.

At 4/11/2006 10:44:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Would USA attack Iran with nuclear power,what are the cosequences,what then,after that?
this is the most important question .

At 4/11/2006 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

No, he will not. No one is allowed to use them. Not even the Americans.

Will they strike Iran? .. maybe. But for what purpose? ... Iran is a big country. few strikes will go nowhere and will result in nothing but retaliation in Iraq.

The Americnas will tolerate the Iranians as long as they are not going totally out of line.

In the long run ... think tanks in the United States are busy preparing their studies of the best way to deal with Iran.

Carrots are their best bet ... but not now. They need to see some conciliatory moves from Iran first. Otherwise it looks like the Americans are scared from Iran.

At 4/12/2006 04:03:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...


There is no such scenario where America is "scared" of Iran, it never happened and probably never will. The point will be whether it will be in America's strategic interests to attack Iran or not and if the answer is yes will it use limited nuclear weapons.

These last reports are just political test balloons which Hersh was more than willing to inflate through the New Yorker. But it's nothing but a contingency plan part of many other plans the pentagon takes into consideration. Lets not kid ourselves here, Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. The west knows and Tehran knows that they know, the rest is just a TV sham. And if the situation develops into a scenario where Iran will not cease its nuclear development (i.e. the carrots don’t work) then the US will attack Iran with no hesitation.

At 4/12/2006 06:31:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

I don't think that they will use nuclear weapons to attack Iran. Cheney is probably the reason why the nuclear option is still on the table, although the military wants to get rid of it. Just look at what Colin Powell wrote about Cheney's fascination with tactical nuclear weapons in his autobiography.

An attack using conventional weapons may seem unreasonable at this point in time, but the US is certainly capable of doing it. As Seymour Hersh told Wolf Blitzer: "We have plenty of air power. We can do it. We have great precision bombings. There's been a lot of planning going on. It's more than planning, it's operational planning."

Equally worrisome is President Bush's "messianic vision" of his mission. Hersh: "He thinks, as I wrote, that he's the only one now who will have the courage to do it. He's politically free. I don't think he's overwhelmingly concerned about the '06 elections, congressional elections. I think he really thinks he has a chance, and this is going to be his mission."

An attack may be unreasonable, but the question is how resonable President Bush's decisions are (hence my little joke about the "Madman theory").

Josh Marshall speaks of Bush's "dimwit megalomania" and "grandiosity". Responding to a reader who asks if it could just be "saber-rattling", he writes:

With any other administration, I'd agree with that. Hinting at a potential military option would actually make sense as a backdrop to serious diplomatic discussions. It would make sense for an administration that wanted a diplomatic solution.

But this isn't any administration. This is an administration that demonstrated in a fairly analogous situation a preference for war over diplomatic solutions. So the 'threats as a way to spur diplomatic flexibility' argument makes perfect sense in the abstract. But there's no reason to assume it applies to this situation.

For myself, I still find it really, really hard to believe that the adminstration is seriously considering military action against Iran. At one level, I don't believe it. But I've thought the same thing with these guys too many times and been wrong. It's a situation where I set logical analysis aside and rely on experience and the administration's track record.

We know these guys. Why get fooled again?

Paul Krugman also thinks that an attack is possible:

"Yes He Would"

"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn't want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace.

Now people with contacts in the administration and the military warn that Mr. Bush may be planning another war. The most alarming of the warnings come from Seymour Hersh, the veteran investigative journalist who broke the Abu Ghraib scandal. Writing in The New Yorker, Mr. Hersh suggests that administration officials believe that a bombing campaign could lead to desirable regime change in Iran - and that they refuse to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

"But he wouldn't do that," say people who think they're being sensible. Given what we now know about the origins of the Iraq war, however, discounting the possibility that Mr. Bush will start another ill-conceived and unnecessary war isn't sensible. It's wishful thinking.

Does this sound far-fetched? It shouldn't. Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again?
NYT, April 10, 2006

It is perhaps reassuring that at least Karl Rove is against a war, according to this report:

Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counter-terrorism operations chief said Mr Bush had not yet made up his mind about the use of direct military action against Iran.

"There is a battle for Bush's soul over that," he said, adding that Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser is adamantly opposed to a war.

However, Mr Cannistraro said covert military action, in the form of special forces troops identifying targets and aiding dissident groups, is already under way.

"It's been authorised, and it's going on to the extent that there is some lethality to it. Some people have been killed."

He said US-backed Baluchi Sunni guerrillas had been involved in an attack in Sistan-Baluchistan last month in which over 20 Iranian government officials were killed and the governor of the provincial capital was wounded. The Iranian government had blamed British intelligence for the incident.
The Guardian

In our context, we should perhaps discuss the possible repercussions of such an attack for Syria and Lebanon/Hizbullah. How would they react? And would Israel actually wait until it is attacked, or would it rather act "preventively", as usual?

At 4/12/2006 07:58:00 AM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

no one mentioned the consequences?
Bush is an audacious person,reckless daring,he will not stop till his actions destroy him,he is surrounded by two kinds of people,first religious people who believe they are God driven,and second by people who are loyal to
isreal,I think he will attack Iran, if he does not, he will open himself to democrats criticism,under his tenure a moslem country (Iran) obtain nuclear power,what is that going to do with his image ,the one who secure america, and fight against terrorism.he will , he will.

At 4/12/2006 10:04:00 AM, Blogger zobahhan said...

Bush has his hands tied...he needs to get on board with syria for the sake of the monarchies in the gulf. Now whether that means returning of lebanon or removing pressure (which we are seeing signs off) i dont know but the us is defenitely acknowledging syria's importance in dealing with its enemy and ally's in the region.

At 4/12/2006 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...


I think my last paragraph was written in a hurry. This is what I meant to say:

Carrots are their best bet ... but not now. They need to see some conciliatory moves from Iran first. Otherwise, if the Americans use Carrots now, it could give THE IMPRESSION that they were scared from Iran.

I agree of course that the United States should not be scared from Iran. But I was trying to list the only way the Americans can afford to use carrots ... only if Iran is asked to do the necessary conciliatory theatrics before the Americans can afford to appear in public with their reciprocal carrots.

And frankly, these carrots can not be small carrots ... I suggest a serious effort to solve the Lebanese and Golan problems in a way that could make Iran claim that their nuclear research was one of the reasons the Americans decided to help Syria get back its Golan and help Lebanon have more legitimate elections where the Shia get a larger share of the power in Lebanon (based on their numbers) ... That sort of reward will be worth it for Iran to drop its nuclea program. Nothing silly and cosmetic. And the Americans would not look like they did that in any direct way because of Iran's threat ... there is nothing wrong with helping establish peace between Syria and Israel, and in helping Lebanon become a true democracy. Another possibility is for the Americans to put pressure on Israel to REDUCE its nuclear capabilities … cut it in half (that still leaves them 100+ nuclear heads, but it gives Iran an extra incentive to compromise)

Will that happen with this administration? ... probably not. But if we have a Clinton type in 2.5 years in the White house, then it might not be too late to find a last minute solution ... Iran should be at least 5 years away from their nuclear bomb.

Until then, the Americans will not launch a war ... Iran will continue to act arrogantly, and they will get limited sanctions at max. The American system will not allow a second costly war ... it is not possible, logically and economically.

But that is not to say that a war can not start locally .... the Sunni Shia conflict can get out of control and Iran might get quite busy in that. Pakistan has nuclear weapons, no?

Maybe Syria was right all along .. solving any Mideast problem is only possible by looking at solutions for ALL mideast problems at once… everything is linked.

Also, read David Ignatius's take on the Iran challenge today at the WaPo.

At 4/12/2006 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

I totally disagree with you on the notion that Iran will be able to resolve the Mideast problems using the nuclear card option, even if they Did, at what price for the Arab? Do you believe it will be Free of charge, because the Iranian happen to look like us and are in love with us!!! .. No sir .. It's going to be a heavy price for the " Amma El Arabia " for sure. We keep on saying Syria was right on this and Syria was right on that, Syria for god sack must wakeup and get it's act straight. Life can't continue around Bashar and his royal family. Syria need to move forward and escape the Assad Domain. If they do, Syria can get back the Golan ..Trust me..

At 4/12/2006 02:16:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Atassi, you do not disagree with me on the Iran issue, becuase I did not imply that Iran will do things PURELY for our sake. I mentioned that everything in the Middle East is related, and by that I was partially referring to Iran's needs. Iran, and Turkey, both have needs and hopes and requests that the Arab world will be asked to try to accomodate. Of course everything has its price and if Iran can trade its nuclear research program for a package that benefots its Arab allies (Lebanon and Syria), it will surely expect somehting in return ... everything is related.

As for the Assads ... I understand all your frustrations, and I'm sure I share many (not all), but all I was referring to in my previous comment was the fact that the two Assads were right on the strategic requirement of solving all remaining mideast issues, not isolating one at a time.

As for the Golan ... if you look at Ajjan's poll results so far, it shows that most Syrians are more pre-occupied with security and economic issues for now ... again, this sounds like the regime's line, but that does not make it wrong. Sadly, in the coming few months, events in the middle east will probably make you change your focus and priorities as well. Are you optimistic about Iraq? Lebanon? Pakistan? Iran? Sunni/Shia conflicts?

I just wish the Syrian regime would take this opportunity when it is much stronger than last year, to act from a position of strength and to implement some of the delayed reforms ... more press freedoms, limited human rights concessions for the Kurds, fighting corruption ...

At 4/12/2006 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Alex, Thank you for youre reply

""Of course everything has its price and if Iran can trade its nuclear research program for a package that benefits its Arab allies (Lebanon and Syria), it will surely expect something in return""". The Iranian will get something in returns form Syria and Lebanon, no illusion, nothing is free.
""the fact that the two Assad were right on the strategic requirement of solving all remaining Mideast issues, not isolating one at a time"".
This wasn’t to be expectable by the Israeli nor by some the other Arab regimes, The idea's and thinking in part of the older Assad was smart and part of his nationalistic ideology, He though, since Syria was strategically strong, Mr Assad will have the upper hand, and maybe impose his wells on other Arab leaders. Please remember, at that time, Mr Assad had the backing of a superpower and strategic Allie ( USSR ) behind him.

We all recall “”Askandarona”” !! It's presently part of Turkey, during my study years, I met a person form that part of Turkey, I decided to ask him a qustion which I know I had the answer already, I asked: Would you vote for “Askandarona” to go back under the Syrian control if you were given a choice ? He gave me a funny look, as if I am out of my mind, He told me politely. I am a proud Turkish man.:-)
How long can we expect the Syrian people in the Golan hold the Syrian Flag? 30, 40 more years!! Until Hezbollah or Iran liberate it for us. It seems that we are too busy doing something else! If you know what I mean

At 4/12/2006 04:21:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Rashomon in Syria/Lebanon:

Three reports, three mutually exclusive versions, each one giving different reasons for why the scheduled meeting between Brammertz and Assad did not take place.

Brammertz remet son voyage à Damas pour fin avril

Selon une source « digne de foi » citée par l’agence de presse al-Markaziya, le chef de la commission d’enquête internationale sur l’assassinat de Rafic Hariri, Serge Brammertz, a remis son voyage à Damas pour la fin du mois courant.
La source en question aurait révélé que la visite a été reportée sur une demande de M. Brammertz, qui lui-même aurait reçu des conseils l’invitant à remettre son voyage en Syrie.
La visite surviendra donc après la remise par Terjé Roed-Larsen du rapport semestriel sur l’application de la résolution 1559 (prévu pour le 19 avril) au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU.
L'Orient-Le Jour

Meeting Between Brammertz and Assad Cancelled After Disagreement Over Protocol

A scheduled meeting between chief U.N. investigator Serge Brammertz and President Bashar Assad related to the assassination of ex-premier Rafik Hariri was cancelled after disagreement over the protocol of such a procedure.
Al Liwa newspaper reported Wednesday that the meeting failed to take place after Damascus rejected Brammertz's request to include issues that had not been previously agreed on in a provisional protocol understanding reached between both parties.

The paper quoted Damascus-based sources as saying that according to Syrian law, discussing issues with Assad that had not been agreed on beforehand would violate the country's sovereignty as the session would turn into an investigation.

They said Assad would only agree to hold talks with Brammertz and his team under the provisions of the understanding between the two parties.

It was not clear what protocol agreement the sources were referring to. Syria has been adamant on signing such an accord with the U.N. commission before agreeing to a meeting with the Syrian leader. However, there has been no announcement of such an agreement by Brammertz or his German predecessor Detlev Mehlis.

Al Liwa's sources said Syrian authorities asked the chief investigator to consolidate all his demands in one written memorandum adding that verbal requests were unacceptable.

The newspaper said the sources were referring to a new demand by Brammertz for meetings with Syrian officials other than Assad and his Vice President Farouk al Sharaa.

Meanwhile, Lebanese sources said Wednesday Syrian President Bashar Assad cancelled his meeting with the UN probe team chief, Serge Brammertz, mere hours before its scheduled time.

The sources, which are close to the UN probe team, told The Daily Star a judicial Syrian source informed Brammertz Assad would only welcome him as a UN delegate but would not accept to be asked any question related to Hariri's assassination.

The Syrian judicial figure said interrogating Assad contradicts international protocols followed in dealing with a president of a sovereign and independent country. He added that questioning Assad in a case of such importance would have negative political consequences.

The Lebanese sources added Brammertz was surprised with the Syrian decision - which challenges Syria's former pledge to fully cooperate with the international probe team.

UN sources in New York told The Daily Star that Damascus knew of Brammertz' intention to ask Assad and Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa more than 10 questions related to the Hariri's murder - some of them based on records of phone conversations between Syrian and Lebanese top officials.

The sources further added that the Belgian investigator had been planning to ask the Syrian government for copies of the records of all the meetings that took place between Hariri and Assad in 2004, especially the alleged meeting where Assad had reportedly threatened to "break Lebanon over the heads of Hariri and [Druze leader MP Walid] Jumblatt."

These records are all stored in the presidential archives department, according to former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam, who has now aligned himself as the Syrian opposition.

On Tuesday, news reports said that Brammertz has postponed his visit to Damascus until the end of this month.

The reports added that the visit was rescheduled at Brammertz' request and upon international advice.
The Daily Star

Which one is correct?

At 4/12/2006 07:15:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

When to comes to Lebanese-Syrian relations, Annahar and the Daily Star are as reliable as Teshreen and al-thawra.

So all three might be wrong. They love to show Syria in trouble with the internaional community, or that it is acting in a bizarre non-professional way.

We will know when we know.

Atassi, your point about "askandaroun" is right. But why stop there? what is Syria? does it necessarily include the Golan? Eskendurun? what about Lebanon? and Southern Turkey?

Where do you logically draw the line on what lands Syrian needs to get back? .. is it the one they lost most recently (the Golan)? ... is it the ones that are easier to get back? (Golan? Lebanon?) ...

We lost Eskendurun in 1939, the Golan in 1967 ... in 1967 (28 years after the loss of eskendurun) we did not try to liberate it by force, even though it was a much more significant loss to Syria. Yes today, 39 years later we still insist on getting every square cm back from the Golan.

I am surely not calling for forgetting the golan, I want it back. But I am trying to address your point about the delay in getting back the Golan.

At 4/12/2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

the country belong to the people who live on it, if the people of iskandaron want to join syria then they should decide, apparantly they did nothing, with

isreal the situation is different they want to join Syria.
historically iskandaron, and part of turky up to the mountain areas are arabic, this will get back as turkia divide into kurds and turk,it is not to our advantage to push the issue now since we are very week

At 4/13/2006 08:21:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

Again, Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
Let's get back to the original subject, Please read this article by Rami Khouri ( I think Daily Star more useful then Teshreen )
Arab reform, a boxer in between rounds
Rami G. Khouri
12 April 2006
Daily Star
Beirut -- If political and economic reform are supposed to "drain the swamp" and lead to a more peaceful, prosperous Arab world, we should be prepared to be patient for the process to bear fruit. The swamp - like all organic phenomena that hate oblivion - is fighting back, and showing its considerable muscle.
The swamp of the contemporary Middle East is fed by homegrown political discontent, chronic abuse of power, economic stress, social inequity, and sustained abuse by foreign powers. The swamp will only retreat when more wholesome forces are able to mobilize effectively and push it back. This has yet to happen, but an important learning process is under way.
Arab reformers throughout the region are slightly dazed, and a bit down, but not out. Like boxers who come out fighting but have been battered in the middle rounds, they are pausing between rounds. They will refocus and come back into the ring with a more effective strategy that corresponds more to reality than to their idealism.
I say this after an intensive week of meetings and discussions on political-economic reform issues in the Arab countries. This included two days of discussions with civil society activists from throughout Iraq, a World Bank-sponsored gathering in Beirut of several hundred specialists from the Middle East and North Africa, and a day of talks with reform champions and skeptics in Amman, Jordan.
It is crucial not to make the mistake of judging Arab reform and historical change through the distorting lens of American and British politicians. Many of the problems of the modern Middle East since the end of World War I can be traced in part to the imperial, presumptuous tendency of Western powers to implement policies that respond more to their own goals than to the interests and rights of the region's people. As an example, we can point to the American-engineered coup against the Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadegh in the 1950s, British-engineered duplicity that carved Israel out of Arab Palestinian land between 1915 and 1948, and French colonial manipulation of Syria and Lebanon in the inter-war period.
Many today will look at the stalled Arab reform and democracy effort and conclude that it has failed and will be shelved because the patience of the United States and the United Kingdom are limited and their problems in Iraq are growing. It is also easy to write off democratic reform efforts in the Arab region as hopelessly naïve - powerless in the face of strong police states, marginal in the face of widespread local disinterest, or deeply flawed due to association with American and Western goals.
A more complex dynamic is at play, in fact, as reform-minded activists throughout the Middle East digest the lessons of the flaccid first generation of reformers and prepare to re-launch and re-engage more effectively. The discussions underway are intense, probing, self-critical, action-oriented and realistic. How do we change state behavior by using the law? How can we partner with like-minded colleagues around the world? Should reform-based mass political parties be established? How can Islamists, democrats and other natural constituents of reform movements work together coherently? How do we control the military and police power of the state? How do we break the hold of individual families over entire countries?
This is a crucial moment in the modern Arab world's destiny. The region is in the midst of extensive change, defined by forces eyeballing each other with concern and predatory intent: security-centered regimes and governing elites; opposition Islamists who are gaining power through grassroots organization and electoral politics; expanding private business sectors that need rule of law-based good governance to achieve their potential and generate jobs and wealth for their people; small clusters of democracy and human rights activists; equally small numbers of terrorists; and a massive center of largely apathetic ordinary citizens who watch all this on television and are concerned mainly with taking care of their families. Foreign interests also play a role, whether in the form of Anglo-American, Israeli, Turkish, or Iranian armed forces, or their political operatives and agents.
In recent years, Western governments and Arab reformers have sometimes joined forces to pressure Arab regimes to accept the inevitability of change in the exercise of political and economic power. So, in the past two decades we have seen more open press and political systems, greater dynamism in civil society, new political parties, numerous parliamentary elections, and more recourse to courts for redress of grievances. Real power, however, continues to be closely held in the hands of small ruling elites that have remained largely impervious to the impact of these trends. We have changed political forms, but not the substance of how power is wielded.
Today, the liberalization dynamic has stalled partly because Arab and Western governments have together slowed down the pace of change. Some of this reflects fear of Islamist victories, and some the unwillingness of entrenched Arab elites to give up their privileges and power. At the same time, Arab democracy advocates and mainstream Islamists who want faster reforms are busy defining where and why they failed in recent years, and how to avoid the mistakes of the past when the bell for the next round sounds - as it will.
Rami G. Khouri writes a regular commentary for THE DAILY STAR.

At 4/13/2006 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

That's right Atassi, The Daily Star can be very good when not dealing specifically with Syria.


I agree with Rami Khoury in the fact that there was a considerable amout of valuable learning taking place in the Middle East. For that alone it might be worth it.

But I disagree with his degree of optimism. Things could go either way ... it is far from certain which way the Mideast will go ... I am more pessimistic these days. I feel we would be lucky if things stay as good (or as bad) as they are now.

At 4/13/2006 12:56:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Alex,I am leaning more to the optimistic side, in my humble opinion, the reformers are building a good base and gaining a sustainable mass support, this kind of formations, will allow the reform forces to lash out when the Mideast reach the breaking point, then the regime will bow the reformer demands. I am actually more optimistic then ever...

At 4/13/2006 12:57:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

The controversy over the alledged plot to assassinate Nasrallah is growing:

Le Hezbollah reproche à Fatfat de minimiser le complot terroriste contre Nasrallah

Les réactions à l’information sur l’arrestation de plusieurs membres d’un réseau terroriste se poursuivent. Le clivage apparu le premier jour sur l’appréciation de l’importance de ce réseau se précise et alimente la tension dans le pays. D’un côté, il y a ceux qui sont convaincus qu’il s’agissait bel et bien d’une tentative d’assassinat du secrétaire général du Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, planifiée pour le 28 avril. À leur tête le chef de l’État, Émile Lahoud, mais aussi le général Michel Aoun, ainsi que les membres du bloc du Hezbollah et des groupes et des personnalités prosyriens ou pro-Hezbollah. De l’autre, il y a ceux qui restent plus circonspects, se contentant d’affirmer qu’il s’agissait d’un réseau d’activistes qui projetait des attaques terroristes dans le cadre d’une tension entre chiites et sunnites, c’est le cas du Premier ministre Fouad Siniora, mais aussi du ministre de l’Intérieur par intérim, Ahmad Fatfat.
De son côté, le quotidien as-Safir, qui avait été le premier à publier l’information détaillée dans son édition de samedi, a affirmé hier que six des membres du réseau sont encore en fuite. Le quotidien a ajouté que le chef de ce réseau, un certain Ghassan Chéhab Soleimane as-Solaïby, aurait demandé à l’un des membres de surveiller les déplacements de sayyed Hassan Nasrallah en vue de l’assassiner. Selon les mêmes informations, l’enquête tourne actuellement sur la partie qui se tient derrière ce réseau et sur la manière dont les membres de ce réseau se sont procuré des armes offensives, notamment les missiles de type Law, introuvables sur le marché local.
L'Orient-Le Jour

(my emphasis)

Explosive information: Ad-Diyar newspaper is reporting that the network that was arrested in Lebanon (and which is being accused of plotting to assassinate Hasan Nasrallah) includes among its members somebody in Jumblat's party, and that members were able to obtain weapons through Hariri Inc.
As'ad AbuKhalil

I would say "wild speculation", but the term has been somewhat discredited lately...

At 4/13/2006 01:44:00 PM, Blogger BlogsBasket said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/13/2006 01:45:00 PM, Blogger BlogsBasket said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/13/2006 01:45:00 PM, Blogger BlogsBasket said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/13/2006 04:24:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

What is the role of the new Iran-Syria Operations Group (ISOG) headed by Cheney's daughter?

Lawrence F. Kaplan writes:

Although a spokesman for the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) declines to comment on its existence, and the press has yet to carry a single mention of it, last month the administration formed something called the Iran-Syria Operations Group (ISOG)--a group headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Liz Cheney, the purpose of which is to encourage regime change in Iran. It's no secret that Cheney has over $80 million at her disposal to promote democracy in Iran. But ISOG isn't simply about promoting democracy. It's about helping to craft official policy, doing so not with one but two countries in its sights, and creating a policymaking apparatus that parallels--and skirts--Foggy Bottom's suspect Iran desk.
The New Republic

At 4/14/2006 04:58:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Nasrallah said he will not accuse any party of planning to murder him until the results of the official investigation are out.

He also criticized officials and party leaders who exaggerated the assassination plot, saying: "They should have at least said we will not comment before the investigation is over."
Nasrallah insists dialogue only option/Daily Star

At 4/15/2006 01:14:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

The Hizbullah leader sought to appease fears that the foiled attempt on his life would spark Shiite-Sunni violence after the group was reported to include Lebanese and Palestinian Sunni extremists.

He also reprimanded Lebanese officials for downplaying the plot to assassinate him by saying it was in the stage of planning not implementation.

"Even if this group had carried out its plan, the Sunnis in Lebanon should not be held responsible. This is unjust and contradicts Koranic teachings," said Nasrallah referring to Islam's holy book.
Nasrallah: Lebanon's Only Option is Dialogue Whatever the Cost/Naharnet

At 4/16/2006 07:46:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

for all who read arabic,


: دمشق لا تتوقع مفاجآت من تقرير لارسن : رئيس مجلس الوزراء يزور تونس الخميس القادم : قبرص لم تتلق طلب استضافة المحكمة الدولية في اغتيال الحريري : مبارك : الاتصالات مستمرة لحل الازمة بين سورية ولبنان : مصرع شخص وجرح 12 في هجوم على كنائس مصرية : سورية: أنباء عن نية الأسد زيارة الكويت : فيلتمان يجدد نفي وجود صفقة أمريكية - سورية : رفسنجاني يلتقي نصرالله ومشعل وشلّح خلال زيارته سورية : اللجنة السورية اللبنانية تبحث في إشكالات حدودية بين مزارعي البلدين : رفسنجاني من دمشق: الضغوط لن تثني الشعب السوري عن مواقفه

English جديدنا أكثر المواضيع قراءة اسرة الموقع خدمات المركز من نحن
الصفحة الرئيسية

تابعوا معي اخبار سورية اول باول في صفحات موقعكم سيريا نيوز .. فهو يشعر بشعور السوريين وينبض بنبضهم وبتواصلكم معنا تعطوا جميع مواضيعه حياة وغنى


إلى وزارة //النقل//....

من الضروري إعادة تأهيل السائقين وفحص سلامة المركبات....إعادة تأهيل طرقات البلاد بالكامل , والموضوع بيد وزارة النقل , فهل من تحرك حقيقي؟؟!!.......

دعوة لوقف الموت الحمد لله على السلامه

الميدان " شارع المطبخ الشامي" بشهادة دوق ولا تدفع
الرئيس الأسد يستقبل طفل سوري عمره خمس سنوات
أحدث الرياضات الشعبية في دمشق
الوجه "الأسود" للتعامل "الرسمي" مع سكان البناء المنهار في دف الشوك
بوتوماك الأمريكية تفضح معاناة استثمارها في ملف الغاز السوري
عصابة خطيرة لسرقة السيارة الكبيرة في سوريا مازالت خارج القضبان

العنف ضد المرأة في سوريا
محمد الماغوط .. وداعاً

بحث سريع

بحث متقدم


كتاب ألماني يؤكد تورط الموساد في اغتيال الحريري وتورط أمريكا وميليس في التضليل الاخبار السياسية

الشركة التي وردت أجهزة التشويش لموكبه إسرائيلية وهي الوحيدة التي تستطيع تعطيله

كشف كتاب ألماني جديد تورط جهاز المخابرات الإسرائيلي (الموساد) في اغتيال رئيس وزراء لبنان الأسبق رفيق الحريري ..

بالإضافة إلى تورط الإدارة الأمريكية ورئيس لجنة التحقيق السابق ديتليف ميليس، ونقلت مصادر صحفية متطابقة إن كتاب " ملف مقتل الحريري – إخفاء الأدلة في لبنان" لمؤلفه "يورجن كاين كولبه" الخبير في علوم الجرائم السياسية ، أثبت أن أجهزة التشويش التي استخدمها موكب الحريري بشكل دائم ، تعطلت قبل ساعة واحدة من حدوث عملية الاغتيال, حيث توقف عمل الجهاز الإلكتروني لموكب الحريري والخاص بتعطيل استقبال وإرسال أية ذبذبات، ليس فقط لأجهزة التليفون المحمول، بل وأية أجهزة تحكم عن بعض يعرفها العالم وتستخدم للتفجير عن بعد.

ويضيف الكتاب أن تلك الخاصية ، حسبما بينت الاختبارات التقنية بعد ذلك لا يمكن تعطيلها إلا من الشبكة المركزية للتحكم في النظام الإلكتروني لتلك الأجهزة، والتي لا تملكها إلا الشركة الموردة لها والتي يؤكد الكتاب أنها شركة إسرائيلية أغفل ميليس ذكرها نهائيا. ويذكر الخبير"كولبه" مؤلف الكتاب أنه تحدث مع أحد أصحاب هذه الشركة الإسرائيلية واكتشف أنه عمل حتى سنوات مضت في جهاز المخابرات الحربية الإسرائيلية.
ويطرح الكتاب تساؤلات حول استخدام واشنطن للأنظمة العربية من أجل الترويج لفرضية تورط سوريا في اغتيال الحريري, ولماذا لم تعلن لجنة التحقيق كامل الحقائق عن أجهزة التشويش الإسرائيلية التي استخدمها موكب الحريري, وما هي الدوافع وراء تصوير سوريا أمام العالم وبشكل دائم على أنها راعية للإرهاب, وما هي العلاقة بين اللبنانيين المهاجرين ومقتل الحريري, ولماذا تورط أبناء الحريري في اتهام سوريا، برغم المعلومات التي وضعها أمامهم جهاز مخابرات أوروبي غربي " والتي تنفي تورط سوريا".

ويقول الكتاب الصادر عن دار نشر Kai Homilius Verlag والذي أثار ضجة كبيرة في الأسبوع الأول من صدوره إن اغتيال الحريري هو سبب استندت عليه الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية لخلخلة الأوضاع بشكل كامل في لبنان، وحصد المزايا السياسية عن ذلك في كل المنطقة إلى جانب تسخير الأمم المتحدة لتبني الرؤية الأمريكية وتحريك الشارع اللبناني على نحو عاجل لصالح إسرائيل بالدرجة الأولى، علاوة على التهديدات التي وجهتها واشنطن والدول الغربية لسوريا، استناداً إلى فرضية تورطها في مقتل الحريري مشيرا إلى أن هذه الفرضية "انتشرت فور حدوث العملية في بيروت، وحتى قبل أن تُجمع أشلاء القتلى .. دون برهان جنائي أو علمي حول ذلك".

ويذكر المتخصص الألماني أنه حاول البحث عن الأدلة الجنائية التي تثبت تورط النظام السوري في ذلك الحادث منذ وقوعه وحتى نشر الكتاب ذاكرا أنه "كان متشككا في الأمر, خاصة وأن المحافظين الجدد في واشنطن، وضعوا نصب أعينهم هدف تغيير النظام السوري منذ ما قبل اغتيال الحريري بسنوات" إلا أنه بعد طول بحث وتنقيب ولقاءات وتحليلات توصل إلى نتائج معاكسة لتلك الفرضية تماماً .
ويتهم الكاتب الألماني أمين عام الأمم المتحدة بتبني فرضية الولايات المتحدة في وقت " لم تكن الجثة قد بردت بعد" بالرغم من انعدام الأدلة التي تؤكد تورط سوريا في الأمر مشيرا إلى أن هذه كانت فرصة أنان الوحيدة " لإنقاذ سمعته ومنصبه من الضياع بعد الاتهامات المبرهن عليها الخاصة بتورط ابنه في فضيحة رشاوي النفط مقابل الغذاء" معتبرا أن أنان قد جرى ابتزازه "ولم يجد امامه مخرجاً آخر سوى الموافقة الكاملة على ما تطلبه واشنطن" مدللا بطلب واشنطن صراحة من أنان تفويض القاضية العامة في لاهاي كارلا ديل بونتي، المسؤولة عن ملف الرئيس الصربي سلوبودان ميلوسيفيتش، في تحديد رئيس لجنة التحكيم، فيما لم تجد الأخيرة برغم فرق لجان التحقيق الجنائية المتخصصة التي تملكها المحكمة الدولية سوى "صديقها" المدعي العام الألماني ديتليف ميليس ، لتنفيذ المرحلة الأولى من " الأعمال القذرة " على حد تعبير الباحث الألماني.

ويضيف كولبه أن ميليس "وتماما كما طلب منه" استكمل "تقريرين مؤلفين عائمين لا يصلحان حتى كسيناريو متواضع لأحد الافلام البوليسية للهواة" لم يتضمنا أية براهين حقيقية "برغم التحقيقات الشكلية والاستجوابات التي قام بها هنا وهناك"، مع تضمنهما " اعترافات " من أشخاص "ليسوا فوق مستوى الشبهات وثبت قطعاً بعد ذلك بأدلة راسخة تعرضهما للتعذيب، أو للابتزاز، ما دفعهما لاحقاً لسحب اعترافاتهما والإقرار بكذبها".

ويعبر المتخصص الألماني عن اعتقاده بأن هذا "ما أجبر ميليس الألماني على التراجع والانسحاب بعد ثبوت مشاركته في أسخف كذبة عرفتها لجان التحقيق في المحكمة الدولية في تكرار لسيناريو رئيس لجان التفتيش في العراق".

من جهة أخرى يشير الكتاب إلى "العلاقات الخفية التي جمعت بين بعض أعضاء تيار المحافظين الجدد في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، واليمين المتطرف في إسرائيل، وبعض المهاجرين اللبنانيين في الولايات المتحدة من المتورطين منذ زمن في عدة محاولات لاغتيال سياسيين لبنانين نجح بعضها وفشل البعض الآخر".

ويقول الخبير الألماني إنه تحدث مع أحد المهاجرين اللبنانيين في الولايات المتحدة وهو رئيس اللجنة الأمريكية لتحرير لبنان و "رجل البنوك اللبناني" زياد عبد النور "الذي تضمنت قائمة السياسيين لديه، الواجب التخلص منهم رفيق الحريري" مكتشفا "ما يعرفه اللبنانيون والعرب منذ أمد وهو أن لعبد النور اتصالات مع الإدارة الأمريكية وأجهزتها المختلفة ، إلي حد انه معروف في الأوساط السياسية والمالية اللبنانية، بأنه احمد الجلبي اللبناني، بل هو الصديق الصدوق للأمريكي المحافظ كاره العرب" Daniel Pipes. .

ويستغرب الخبير الألماني أن "الكثير من أجهزة المخابرات في العالم ,ومنها أجهزة عربية, كانت تعلم منذ البداية حقيقة اتجاه سير التحقيقات، ودوافعها وأهدافها..ما يعني أن بعض أنظمة المنطقة العربية كانت تعلم الحقيقة منذ البداية أيضا، لكن تلك الأنظمة فهمت على الفور الرسالة التي أراد الأمريكيون والإسرائيليون إرسالها، خاصة وأنهم يستخدمون في مواكبهم نفس أجهزة التشويش التي استخدمها الحريري، والتي يمكن تعطيل عملها في أية لحظة" معتبرا أن هذا " يفسر المطلب السخيف الذي طلبته تلك الأنظمة من بشار الأسد، بضرورة خفض رأسه أمام الريح ولو إلى حين ".
ويؤكد كولبه أن أبناء رفيق الحريري " لأسباب عاطفية وغيرها" لم يرغبوا تصديق عدم تورط سوريا في الأمر، "برغم المعلومات التي وفرها لهم جهاز مخابرات غربي، لدولة كان رجلها الأول صديق وفي لأبيهم وفضلوا تصديق الرواية الفرنسية والأمريكية – الإسرائيلية ، والعوم مع التيار وتجاهل القاتل الحقيقي، على التورط في خوض طريق كشف الحقيقة، لعلمهم بأنه لن يمكّنهم من الأخذ بثار أبيهم، وسيجر عليهم عداوات دولية قد يخسرون فيها أكثر من المال".

يذكر أن الكثير من المختصين الألمان شككوا في نزاهة ديتليف ميليس وأشاروا إلى عمله المثير للشكوك في قضية تفجير مقهى لابيل الألماني بالإضافة إلى عدة قضايا أخرى حاول فيها ميليس تضليل التحقيق مثل قضية تفجير مقر الجمعية الألمانية العربية وقضية اغتيال زوجة عصام العطار بمنزلها في بون، والتي حُملت حينها المخابرات السورية مسؤوليتها.


* بحسب المعلومات الاولية لدى سيريانيوز فان ما ورد في المادة اعلاه هو محتوى مقدمة الكتاب الالماني ، وقد تمت ترجمته وتناقلت العديد من الصحف والمواقع المضمون ذاته مؤخرا ، دون ان يتسنى لنا التأكد مما جاء في الكتاب من مصادرنا الخاصة ، حيث نقوم حاليا بتأمين نسخة من الكتاب لعرض تفاصيل اكثر عنه في اقرب وقت ممكن.

2006-04-17 00:50:07

طباعة المقال
ارسل الموضوع الى صديق
شارك بالتعليق

2006-04-17 03:03:21 الســـــــوري للأبد
رفيق الحريري
أحيانا...أظن أن رفيق الحريري لم يمت...و هو نفسه متورط بكل ما جرى....و فقط توارى عن الأنظار ليكيد للحبيبة ســـوريا مع بقية الحاقدين

2006-04-17 02:39:12 ثعلب سوريا
هل تعرفون ماذا أحس؟؟
أحس أنهم كلهم كانوا كاذبين.. كانوا طوال الوقت يطالبون سورية "بالتعاون" وأنها "متهمة" لكنهم وهذا "المخيف" كانوا يعرفون من "المتورط الحقيقي".. من شيراك إلى بوش إلى عائلة الحريري إلى ملك السعودية إلى حسني مبارك إلى الملك الأردني وبقية الدول العربية.. كلهم كانوا يعرفون الحقيقة لكنهم كانوا يطلبون من سورية أن تنتحر..تركيا كانت تعرف وروسيا فهل سورية كانت تعرف؟
سوريا أولا وأخيرا

2006-04-17 02:36:09 محمد
شكراً لكم ...ولتحيا سوريه حرة أبية ...والله حاميها... قيادة وشعباً و رئيساً...
الحمد لله على السلامه -

2006-04-17 02:05:09 سجين الحرية
واثق من البراءة ولكن.........
هل ينفي الكتاب نورط السوريين أم تورط سورية؟ إن كان هناك متهمين سوريين فإلى أي مدى يمكن استخدام تحقيقات الكاتب كدليل براءة في المحكمة الدولية المزمع عقدها؟ وبشكل عام كيف يمكن أن تستفيد سوريا من الكتاب ومعلوماته؟ وهل سنقوم بترجمته للعربية و الانكليزية ونشره؟أم هل سيبقى الكتاب مجرد خبر على صفحات سيريانيوز؟
سوريةد -

2006-04-17 02:09:47 المتوشلخ
احلى خبر
مساء الخير سعادتي لا توصف لاننا نعلم الحقيقة لكن نبحث عن الدليل وانشاء الله ستكتمل الصورة قريبا جدا وهذه الحقيقة المؤسف فيها تورط انظمة عربية لكنها غير مفاجئة لنا تحياتي لثعلب سوريا من زمان ما شارك لكن تعليقاته تعجبني ووحبه لسوريا يجمعنا
المانيا من غربتي سوريا جنتي

2006-04-17 02:14:17 1
الكتاب لا يمكن اختصاره في هذا العجالة ، لكنه في حقيقته صفعة لنظم عربية كثيرة، فضلت فقدان الشرف والعفة ومجاراة الوهم والكذب والخداع الأمريكية، مع البقاء في اماكنها، على الشرف والمقاومة وكشف الزيف والكذب، ولو ادى ذلك الى الرحيل
تخلف الباب العالي مذلة الباب العالي

2006-04-17 02:13:21 نادر
يا عيب الشوم ع هالانظمة العربية الفاسدة.....
- -

2006-04-17 02:00:02 sami
since always, I had the impression that it was the truth i thank you syria news
- -

2006-04-17 01:49:53 ثعلب سوريا
لقد سمعت بهذا الكتاب أيضا وأشكر سيريانيوز على نشر مقدمته ونتمنى نشر تفاصيل أكبر عن "أكبر مهزلة" حدثت بالمنطقة إسرائيل على يد أيد لبنانية ومن ثم إستثمار سياسي وتورط "أنظمة عربية" عرفت الحقيقة لكنها ساهمت بالضغط على سورية والسير مع أبناء الحريري بفبركة الشهود والإعلام المسعور لإبتزاز سورية وحتى تغيير المنطقة كلها لا أعرف أصبت بالإحباط من كل هذا "الشر"
سورية أولا وأخيرا

2006-04-17 01:52:11 شامي
الفلم واضح و معروف بس هلق صار في دليل، يعني خادم الماسونية العالمية قتلتو الصهيونية و هلق اولاده عميكملو خيانه
- -

2006-04-17 01:41:09 shark
ولله ياعيني
لكن البدن ياه بصيرالحمد لله اخيراطلع واحد صاحب ضمير ا بس شو بدنا نحكي الشباب ما بدن يصدقو انو الي اغتال ابوهم مو سوريا العظيمة وما حابين انو يصدقو وهي طلعلهم واحديقلن انو انتو ما بتفهمو و السيد سعد كان جاي على سوريا منشان يطري قال ولله عيب ولله مسخرة حلو عنا ياه
- -

2006-04-17 01:41:54 مغترب
هي الحئيئة يلي عم يطالب فيها الشعب اللبناني الواعي و نحن منقلهم انو لسى لح تكشفلكم الايام حقائق مرعبة
- -

2006-04-17 01:24:33 احمد
عقبال تكشف حقائق 11 سبتمبر
لأن احداث 11 سمبتمبر حصلت في عقر دار الارهاب فسوف تتأخر النتائج و لكن الأمور واضحة بأن السبب كان فتح طريق للبترول عبر أفغانستان من بلدان روسيا

2006-04-17 01:19:02 جبليوي
أول الغيث قطرة
يالله بلش هر المشمش , واول الغيث قطرة لنشوف شو نهاية هالفلم البوليسي
دولة الاكابر والأوادم والمنيحين والكويسين والمعدلي -

في عيد الجلاء

في عيد الجلاء انا مجنون بشيء واحد .. والى الابد ..

الأخبار السياسية
الاخبار الاقتصادية
الاخبار المحلية
مقالات واراء
صحافة واعلام
مقالات مترجمة

المجتمع والاسرة
الاحزاب والحركات
قضايا الشباب
تكنولوجيا واتصالات
أخبار الرياضة
مساهمات القراء
صورة وتعليق
أخبار القراء

أدخل بريدك واشترك معنا بالنشرة الإخبارية

جميع الحقوق محفوظة
2005 للمركز الاقتصادي السوري
البرمجة والتطوير
شركة الانظمة المتجددة
المنقذ للبرمجيات

At 4/18/2006 09:22:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

For your reading !! What do you think ot it?
Mehmet Ali Birand: Iran issue will cause us many a headache
18 April 2006
Turkish Daily News
(c) 2006 The Turkish Daily News (TDN)
We are not taking it seriously, but Iran declaring itself a nuclear power will cause us a lot of problems. If one of the sides does not back away, escalation will lead to a huge upheaval in Iran. Among the countries that will have to pay for the cost will be Turkey. Mehmet Ali Birand

We are not taking a development occurring right next to us seriously.

Iran took a courageous decision and declared itself a member of the nuclear club. It means it has succeeded in enriching uranium that will be used for producing nuclear energy. It does not mean it has a nuclear bomb. If it further develops its technology and enriches the uranium enough, it may produce a nuclear bomb. Some say this will take between one to two years to accomplish.

Nuclear weapons are not produced to be used. If it is ever used in the Middle East, the entire region will be destroyed. It is mostly used in a deterrent capacity.

If you have a nuclear bomb, you can scare the countries near you. If you make demands, countries think before rejecting them. “The guy has a nuclear bomb. Let's not make him angry,” is the first though that comes to their minds. They either cave in or at least do not put too much pressure on you.

Iranian people are celebrating on the streets and are proud of their country's accomplishment. However, an important portion of the public is aware how risky this development is for the country.

Iran became the first Muslim country in the region with the potential to develop a nuclear bomb. Moreover, it is a country that wants to destroy Israel, perceives the United States as the devil, discriminates against the Sunni Muslims and is governed by a president that believes in the supremacy of Shiite Islam.

What will we do if it achieves its objective?

For example, one consequence may be Iraq being ruled by the Shiites the way Iran, not the United States, wants. In the future, Shiites may become more influential in the region than the Sunnis. It may offer protection to Hamas and become a key country in the solution of the Palestinian issue. It may use Hezbollah to dominate Lebanon. It may also expand its influence in Syria. It may become the most influential player in the Kurdish issue. It may both eliminate Turkey's regional influence at a stroke and ask Turkey to comply with its demands.

In summary, Iran may become the bully of the region.

This is exactly what Turkey, the United States and even Russia is nervous about. This is why efforts are aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring this power. There is one common stance, but there are alternate ways put forward to achieve the objective.

The United States has no intention to leave the Middle East to Iran.

Russia does not want Iran to take the lead in the region.

It may not become a second Iraq, but a huge upheaval awaits Iran. Signs coming from Moscow and Washington are not very encouraging.

We will be caught in between and have to pay a part of the cost.

US credibility damaged:

Credibility is as important as wealth, technology and intelligence capabilities when it comes to a super power. No matter how good a country's intelligence capabilities are, if it has no credibility, no one will be convinced.

This is what we are witnessing right now.

The United States is leading global efforts against Iran becoming a nuclear power. Only a few countries have the capability of finding out what is happening in Iran. Everyone is looking to the United States to see what is going on.

However, the statements coming from the Bush government is persuading no one due to its attitude before the war in Iraq. There are quite a few who say: “The United States deceived us on Iraq. Why should we believe it now?”

Washington's credibility is damaged and now it is paying the price.

Iran becoming a regional power makes everyone nervous, especially Turkey. However, the record of the Bush government is limiting the United States' room to maneuver.

No one wants Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. However, everyone has a different way of addressing this threat. This difference of opinions is due to the past transgressions of the United States.

Why is Iran taking such a risk?

Iran's desire to enter the nuclear club cannot be explained away just with its wish to acquire nuclear energy. A country rich in oil and natural gas seeking nuclear energy creates doubts.

So why is it taking such a risk?

It is obvious that it is preparing for a huge gambit.

It is trying to secure itself while ensuring the United States is not free to do anything it wants in the region.

What Hans Blix told Mithat Bereket last week was important in this respect. The United Nations' former chief nuclear inspector in Iraq said Iran wanted something, but the world was blind to this fact.

“Iran is constantly being shown the stick. This will not lead to anything positive. It is about time some carrot is shown too. Something needs to be given in exchange,” he said.

The United States initiates dialog with Iran on Iraq, but refuses to negotiate when it comes to nuclear development.

I wonder how long the United States, which made Israel a nuclear power, turned a blind eye on North Korea's ambitions and helped India join the club can persist in following such an attitude.

The Bush government acts solely in accordance with its own policies, ignoring give and take.

No matter how one looks at it, the recent developments are both dangerous and complex.

At 4/18/2006 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

Thanks Atassi. interesting article.

So you probably are referring to what I said earlier in response to your fear that Iran will be demandng things from us. I said that both Iran and Turkey will have their demands for influence. And what I meant was that despite Shia Iran's newly boosted power, Sunnis should not fear being devoured by some kind of Shia domination of the area. Big Turkey is still there, and things will have to reach some kind of balance if the Europeans and Americans want the Middle East to remain functional.

Syria will both benefit from, an be challenged by, this relative power-shift in the area. We will see how they play it. it could be a strong card int heir hands, but it might turn out to be a burden.

At the end of the day, Iran is still the same country. Assuming it will not bomb Saudi Arabia in two years when it gets the A-bomb... what changed?

And another thing in the article that I also refered to earlier: I wish the Americans talked to the Iranians and offered them carrots when Iran was considered weaker last year before this whole atomic show-business. If they offer them carrots now it will look like they are scared from them (look like), so it won't happen.

Sadly, many conflicts in the Middle east will have to wait until the American administration changes. The current administration can not appear like it had to reverse policies under pressure.

At 4/18/2006 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

(Syria will both benefit from, an be challenged by, this relative power-shift in the area.)..
I hope you will be correct on this one, the Arabs can't afford another USSR disastrous outcome !! the Arabs were mislead for a long time, then sold for little !!

At 4/18/2006 12:56:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Iran is not a bully, to say no one want Iran to have atomic bomb is wrong,Syria is a friend of Iran and Turkey,so it will benefit from both acquiring bombs,Turkey has the right to develope nuclear power, if Iran does, so turkey like to see Iran has a bomb. Rafsangani staement, that he doubts the arabic gulf states will be the site where america will use it to launch attacks on Iran, this statement imply a threat to these countries, it is not that the oil pass thru gulf area, it is that 17 million barrel a day is produced there, and this will stop, causing the oil prices to reach several hundred dollar a barrel, Usa must pull out of Iraq if they plan attack on Iran, 150000 soldier may die if they dont,this mean Usa lost the Iraq war.
finally it is a shame that Iran help the palasinian with 50 million dollars, and the arab countries like Saudia arabia do not, they can donate the arab league who then donate to Hamas.

At 4/18/2006 01:01:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Brammertz to Meet Assad after His Talks at U.N.

At 4/19/2006 02:54:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I guess Joshua is busy correcting finals?


At 4/20/2006 03:20:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

with Iran developing nuclear power, it is a matter of short time that Isreal has to concede to arab demand,Isreal will soon get very weak, and the arab presidents and kings are sure to go away one after the other, this is new era.thanks God.

At 4/20/2006 03:38:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Can you check with your crystal ball if Hafiz Assad will be Resurrected? :-) just kidding

Majed.. Be realistic man..

At 4/20/2006 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

The real danger is not Iran, it's the Bush Administration

21 April 2006
The Age

Donald Rumsfeld cannot be trusted to run anything competently.

IF THESE are the only choices, which would you rather have: a nuclear-armed Iran or an attack on Iran's nuclear sites that is carried out and sold to the world by the Bush security team, with Don Rumsfeld at the Pentagon's helm?

I'd rather live with a nuclear Iran.

While I know the right thing is to keep all the options open, I have zero confidence in this US Administration's ability to manage a complex military strike against Iran, let alone the military and diplomatic aftershocks.

As someone who believed - and still believes - in the importance of getting Iraq right, the level of incompetence that the Bush team has displayed in Iraq, and its refusal to acknowledge any mistakes or remove those who made them, make it impossible to support this Administration in any offensive military action against Iran.

I look at the Bush national security officials much the way I look at drunken drivers. I just want to take away the Administration's foreign policy driver's licences for the next three years. Sorry, boys and girls, you have to stay home now - or take a taxi. You will not be driving alone. Not with my car.

If the US were a parliamentary democracy, the entire Bush team would be out of office by now, and deservedly so. In Iraq, the President was supposed to lead, manage and hold subordinates accountable, and he did not. Condoleezza Rice was supposed to co-ordinate, and she did not. Donald Rumsfeld was supposed to listen, and he did not. But the US does not have a parliamentary system, and while some may feel as if this Administration is over, it isn't. So what to do? We can't just take a foreign policy time out.

At a minimum, a change must be made at the Pentagon. Rumsfeld paints himself as a concerned secretary, ready to give our generals in Iraq whatever troops they ask for, but they just haven't asked. This is hogwash, but even if the generals didn't ask, the relevant question, Mr Rumsfeld, is: what did you ask them?

What did you ask them when you saw the looting, when you saw Saddam's ammo dumps unguarded, when you saw that no one had control of the Iraq-Syria border and when you saw that Iraq was so insecure that militias were sprouting everywhere? What did you ask the generals? You didn't ask and you didn't tell, because you never wanted to send more troops. You actually thought we could just smash Saddam's regime and leave. Insane.

So if our choice is another Rummy-led operation on Iran or Iran's going nuclear and our deterring it through classic means, I prefer deterrence. A short diplomatic note to Iran's mullahs will suffice: "Gentlemen, should you ever use a nuclear device, or dispense one to terrorists, we will destroy every one of your nuclear sites with tactical nuclear weapons. If there is any part of this sentence you don't understand, please contact us. Thank you."

Do I wish there was a third way? Yes. But the only meaningful third way would be to challenge Iran to face-to-face negotiations about all the issues that divide us: Iraq, sanctions, nukes. Such diplomacy, though, would require two things.

First, the Bush team would have to make up its mind on something that has divided it for five years: does it want a change of regime in Iran or a change of behaviour? If it will settle only for regime change, then diplomacy has no chance. The Iranians will never negotiate, and our allies will be wary of working with us.

Second, if the Bush team is ready to live with a change in Iran's behaviour, diplomacy has a chance - but only if it has allies and a credible threat of force to make the Iranians negotiate. The only way Iran will strike a grand bargain with the US is if it thinks America has the support at home and abroad for a military option (or really severe sanctions).

The main reason Rumsfeld should leave now is because we can't have a credible diplomatic or military option vis-a-vis Iran when so many people feel, as I do, that in a choice between another Rumsfeld-led confrontation or just letting Iran get nukes and living with it, we should opt for the latter.

It may be that learning to live with a nuclear Iran is the wisest thing under any circumstances. But it would be nice to have a choice. It would be nice to have the option of a diplomatic deal to end Iran's nuclear program - but that will come only with a credible threat of force. Yet we will not have the support at home or abroad for that threat as long as Rumsfeld leads the Pentagon. No one in their right mind would follow this man into another confrontation - and that is a real strategic liability.

Thomas Friedman is a columnist for The New York Times.

At 4/20/2006 07:44:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/20/2006 10:54:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

to Farhan Atassi;
Mr Gorbatchov in recent interview predicted the end of Isreal

At 4/20/2006 11:15:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Majed is right, Atassi ... everything has an end at some point. Things eventually do reach an end.

And we never know when.

That was my mediocre philosophical peace-making attempt.

Joshua where are you?

At 4/21/2006 08:18:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

Farhan Atassi!!! Interesting ..This man was executed by the Baath party for treason ( accused of being an agent to the American) ..Majed , is this a threat or an accusations
Please clarify

At 4/21/2006 08:41:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/21/2006 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

I agree, and my first reaction was the same, but then I reminded my self that everything we see in the middle east is only partially real, the rest is theatrics... the Syrians are reacting to Israeli, Lebanese, American, French muscle flexing of last year ... Everyone tried to intimidate them. So it is an expected reaction in that sense.

The confidence (or over confidence, in your opinion probably) that you are seeing today is more than the simple "Our friend Iran can protect us". Look at what changed:

Last year the message was:

1) From Jumblat and friends: Syria should be 100% out of Lebanon. India can have intelligence agents there, but not neighboring Syria.

2) Syria has no role in the Palestinian Israeli "peace process" either. Egypt and Jordan can play that role instead.

3) Syria seriously miscalculated by leading the opposition to the American war in Iraq, and they will therefore lose the most as a result of this strategic error.

so now that

1) Syria proved that LEbanon will always need Syria's "help" to function properly

2) The Palestinian people overwhelmingly elected Syria's allies to power, and

3)The failed war in Iraq is making the Syrians look again like the wisest long-term strategists in the area.

So what will happen next? ... if you look at Syria's role in the Middle East since 1977 when Sadat went to Israel, it is a cyclical series of periods of perceived success followed by periods of perceived failures and isolation.

If Iraq dos not go into civil war, we will probably continue that pattern for the next few years.

At 4/21/2006 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

) Lebanese's never said they will divorce Syria for ever!! I do disagree that Lebanon will not be able to function properly without Syria, I even think,
Syria will have a hard time overcoming the lost love with Lebanon (for the short term)
I am sure Dr Bashar is eager to keep his promise to his late father “to take good care of Lebanon"

2) Hamas: This was not planed by Syria... it’s just luck. The Hamas card was used for other agenda, it never accrued to the Syrian, that Hamas will be elected to head the Palestinians!!
By the way,
HAMAS knows it MUST deliver to people of palatine, and to be able to do so, they have to get in bed with the Israeli and the US. The HAMAS polices and agendas will change as they become more established

3) This is a surly a very difficult birth of a new Iraq, We all hoped for a better outcome. But, I would not write it off yet!!

At 4/21/2006 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Good note.. study author and neurologist Mohammad Alhalabi of Damascus University
Parkinson Disease; Parkinson disease increases risk of osteoporosis
347 words
27 April 2006
Health & Medicine Week
(c) Copyright 2006 Health & Medicine Week via
2006 APR 27 - ( -- People with Parkinson disease are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, according to research presented at the American Academy of Neurology 58th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. Osteoporosis is the loss of bone mass that leads to increased risk of fractures.

The study of 166 Parkinson disease patients found that 51% of the female patients had osteoporosis; the rate of osteoporosis among women of the same age without Parkinson is about 25%. Among the males with Parkinson disease, 29% had osteoporosis, compared with about seven percent of men without Parkinson.

Large percentages of the Parkinson patients also had osteopenia, which is low bone mass that puts them at risk of developing osteoporosis. Of the women, 45% had low bone mass; 48% of the men had low bone mass.

Parkinson disease affects people's gait, or manner of walking. The study found that people whose gait was affected also were more likely to have osteoporosis.

"Once people with Parkinson disease start having trouble with their gait, they should have a bone mass density scan to look for osteoporosis and get treatment if needed," said study author and neurologist Mohammad Alhalabi of Damascus University in Syria. "Current guidelines do not list Parkinson disease as a risk factor for osteoporosis, but this study suggests that it should be included."

Alhalabi suggests that the increased risk for osteoporosis could result from the decreased mobility people with Parkinson experience as the disease progresses. Exercise can help prevent osteoporosis.

"People with Parkinson disease also become more susceptible to falls, which can result in a higher risk of fractures," Alhalabi said.

For the study, Alhalabi and his colleagues conducted bone mass density scans of all Parkinson patients (both newly diagnosed and already established patients) at the university over more than four years. Those with a known risk for abnormal bone mass were excluded from the study.

This article was prepared by Health & Medicine Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2006, Health & Medicine Week via

At 4/21/2006 07:08:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...


1) One can argue that Syria knew Hamas is very popular and that it is bound to win the next elections ... opinion polls did show them to be highly popular, the only difference is that they won in a land slide. So yes, you have to give the Syrians credit for resisting everyone's pressure last year to kick Hamas leadership out of Syria.

2)The Iraqi war has been painful to the degree that even if it eventually results in an Iraqi democracy ... too late! the price paid already is too high, for the Iraqis, for the Americnas, and for the Sunni-Shia relations in the area. Syria can already claim that they were right in 2003 when they said that this will be a costly chaotic war.

3) Lebanese politicians are indeed saying they want ZERO Syrian interference in their country's affairs ...from now on. And regardless of that, last year was about taking revenge from Syria and showing the Syrians how the Lebanese can now hurt them.

You know the new Italian prime minister is going to reverse his county's Syria policy and will probably visit Syria. Spain already opened up to Syria, England to a lesser degree ...

conclusion: Things changed. It is not only Iran that is making Syria confident these days.

It remains to be seen how responsible and creative the Syrian leadership will be in its new, more powerful position.

Extending an olive branch to Israeli people and the moderate elements in the new Israeli government might be more effective now that Syria is taken more seriously.

At 4/21/2006 11:11:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

By hte way, you might have figured out by now my debating strategy: post longer and longer boring comments until everyone else falls asleep.

At 4/22/2006 07:55:00 AM, Blogger Atassi said...

Hammas "as a social movement" has been populars for many yeas for it's wonderful social works, for it's resistance of the occupation in the Palestinian territory, but not in the political arena.
We all know for fact, NO one " not even the US nor the Israeli predicted that Hamas would win the elections". I would not give the Syrian regime a credit for being lucky with the Hamas card. Syria has been holding on to the Hamas card as a bargaining chip to be used in any Israeli\Syrian future negotiations.
2- SOME Syrians officials done great harm for the Lebanese over the years. I would not be too worried about the revenge attitude we seen last year. The future will hold a better and healthier relations between the two states when the Syrian regime truly accept the notion of "ZERO Syrian interference in other regional country's affairs"
3- I agree with you Iraq is a mayhem.
"I seen this kind of comments and analyzes before from Dr. Bouthina Shabban" -:)

Alex, Your comments are not long and boring "They are great :-)". Thank you

At 4/22/2006 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

That's why I added the last paragraph, otherwise I did sound a bit like a Syrian official, true.

I have to totally disagree with one of your wishes: the ZERO Syrian interference in Lebanon. That won't happen, and it can not happen, even if it sounds like a good thing, it is not.

The Saudis will still interfere in Lebanon (through Hariri and his allies for now, and through their investments and loans) the Iranians interfere through you know who, the French interfere through their "historic role and responsibility towards Lebanon", the Americans interfere through their Superpower status where no one can question them if they say "we are doing this for national US interests", the Israelis have covered Beirut with their spy network and God knows who is working for them in Lebanon ... And Syria, that surrounds Lebanon from everyside, who has the same families they have in Lebanon, is expected to have ZERO influence, ZERO intelligence agents, ZERO everything.

the "New World Order" has less visible borders and more interaction between neighboring countries ... anyway you look at it, Syria will have the same, or probably much more influence in Lebanon that all the others mentioned above have. It is only natural.

Through its economic experience (Banking, services industry, tourism, press institutions ...etc) Lebanon (or Lebanese individuals) will also have some influence in Syria when it opens up to them.

Conclusion: Lebanon, like any small country, is bound to coordinate its politics up to a point with its bigger neighbor. Canada, the huge Canada, often takes into account US interests and wishes in its policies. I understand the bad memories Lebanon has of some of the excessive Syrian army behavior in their country, but for the sake of their country, they have to get over that and be realistic.

At 4/22/2006 12:36:00 PM, Blogger why-discuss said...

Alex, you are right, Lebanon is small, weak country that would have been forgotten like the Andorre republic if it hadn't be in a strategic geographical location with a trigger happy population and a history of murders, treasons, occupations etc..
Lebanon needs a total overhaul, not only of its institutions but of its mentality, especially the dismissive attitude about its painful past and the visceral attachement to inept leaders, just because they come from a famous family... So much to do, if they start now, it may take a generation or two. In the meantime, it will have to deal with the influences of its more powerful neighbours.

At 4/22/2006 12:52:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

You made a strong and good points on to how the Lebanese and Syrian relation should be based on. ( now I wish you are Dr. Shanan, Dr Imad)
I have no doubt, both STATES needs each other, politically and economically.
But we can NOT force the Lebanese to forget what the Syrian regime ( with the help and coordination's of some Lebanese officials) made many grave mistakes in Lebanon.

The Syrian regime MUST admit and insure any future influence on Lebanon, will be based on a fair and realistic political facts and it should NOT be based on the old mentality of the inapplicable"Hafiz Assad set rules"


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home