Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bombing the US Embassy - What Does it Mean?

The attempted bombing of the US embassy in Damascus has stirred up a debate over whose fault it is that the attack took place.

On Sept 12, four militants attempted to bomb the US embassy with a car bomb, which did not go off. One Syrian officer was killed; three of the attackers were killed and the forth wounded in a shoot out with Syrian guards. He has since died in hospital of his wounds.

Eleven innocents were wounded including seven Syrian telephone company employees working in the area, as well as an Iraqi man and woman. A senior Chinese diplomat was hit by shrapnel while standing on top of a garage within the Chinese Embassy compound.

Imad Mustapha, Syria's ambassador in Washington speculated that Jund al-Sham may have been responsible for the attack because it has been involved in several previous botched attacks over the past two years. Here is a bit of background on the group published by the Toronto Star. But we don't know what the group represented.

According to the NYTimes, one of the attackers first tried to gain access to the embassy by brandishing a bouquet of flowers and telling the guard that he wanted to deliver them to the embassy staff as a gesture of condolence for the September 11 attacks. When the ruse didn't work, the attackers began to yell, "God is Great" and opened fire with machine guns and grenades. My good friend Ayman Abdelnour witnessed the attack and describes what happened to the NYTimes.

Although secretary of State Rice thanked Syria for helping to save American lives, the usual enmity between Syria and the US quickly returned. Imad Mustapha blamed the US for "fuelling extremism" in the region. US officials shot back that Syria supports terrorist and must stop it.

Mr. Bush's "policies in the Middle East have fuelled extremism, terrorism and anti-U.S. sentiment," the Syrian government said in a statement issued by its embassy in Washington. It said Syrian security forces fought bravely to defend the U.S. embassy.

Describing it as "a heinous terrorist attack by an extremist group," Damascus also said it was about time the Bush administration reassessed its Middle East policies.

The White House shot back, suggesting it was up to Damascus to change.

"Syrian police forces did their job, and they were professional about it," said Mr. Bush's spokesman Tony Snow. "Now the next step is for Syria to play a constructive role in the war on terror: Stop harbouring terrorist groups, stop being an agent in fomenting terror and work with us to fight against terror."
Mohammad Habash, an MP and head of the Islamic Studies Center, said it was not surprising that extremist groups would emerge to fight 'the US project in the (Middle East) region' and that there was widespread exasperation over the 'absolute US bias towards Israel' in that country's recent fighting with the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

Time Magazine's Scott McCloud has a good article, explaining that this event really means that Syria has a growing terror problem like all the other states of the region. But in the conclusion he adds a paragraph pitched to please his US readers. He says the attack can be read as "reaping what you sow" or chickens coming home to roost. As he writes:

Another way to look at it is that the Syrian regime may be reaping what it sows. Among Arab leaders, Assad is alone in his outspoken support for Islamic militant groups like Hizballah in Lebanon, and the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. U.S. officials believe that the Assad regime has secretly aided the three-year-old Sunni insurgency in Iraq, providing passage for jihad volunteers and funds, and safe haven for insurgency leaders.
But this doesn't make much sense. The al-Qaeda type jihadist groups are not emerging in Syria because Syria encourages them in other countries.

Syria has been one of the most skillful and successful opponents of al-Qaeda related jihadists. There have been no successful jihadist operations in Syria in the last 20 years. This is an excellent record when compared to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco, and we won't mention American occupied Iraq. Are all these states sowing what they reap? I think not.

Why has Syria been successful against al-Qaeda-type groups? Either it is because the Syrian mukhabarat (security services) are better and more skillful then their counterparts in neighboring countries, or it is because President Asad's policy of opposing the United States has been popular and has protected Syria from the wrath of takfiri groups, despite the regime being secular and dominated by Alawites, who are considered Kufr by Salafis. It is probably a combination of both. Syria is a stricter and controlled police state than its neighbors, which gives the mukhabarat wider latitude to impinge on civil society. Also, Asad’s policies have generally been lauded by the public. Both have protected Syrians from terrorism.

If we are to follow the logic of "chickens coming home to roost." We would have to conclude that Syria has fewer chickens than other Arab regimes, the United States, Britain, Spain, Indonesia and Turkey, which have all been subject to more devistating attacks than Syria.

As for the conspiracy theorists who suggest that the attack on the Embassy was a Syrian government inspired job, it doesn't make sense.

1. Why would Syria allow a police officer to be killed and seven other Syrians to be wounded, in an unsuccessful attack?

2. To assume that the recrudescence of jihadist groups in Syria over the last two years is inspired by the regime doesn't make sense. The spread of jihadist groups throughout the region has been dramatic. Why would one assume that Syria was somehow magically spared this same phenomenon?

3. Since the end of the Lebanon War, Asad and his entire cabinet have been insisting that it is time for the peace process to be set into motion. Asad has been asking for engagement with the US and land for peace. Why would he blow up the US embassy?

4. The entire axis of "bad," or whatever it is being called these days, is lying low and trying to attenuate tensions with the West. Iran is talking with the Europeans and trying to be accommodating. Hizbullah has not made a peep in 3 weeks as it tries to get its feet back on the ground. It is complying with the ceasefire much better than Israel is. Hamas has just created a government of national unity with the PLO so that it can speak to the Israelis through a veil. Syria is insisting it wants negotiations with Israel and has accepted 1701 and accommodated Kofi Annan. There is a pattern of accommodation among the anti-American countries in the region. They are trying to patch up relations that were frayed during the war. It does not make sense for Syria to diverge from what is clearly a unified game plan on the part of the anti-American front. Why would it bomb the US at a time that it is pushing for engagement?

The success of the Syrian authorities in thwarting the terrorist operation against the American embassy underlines the usefulness of the Syrian regime in the fight against al-Qaeda and takfiri organizations. We the regime to be toppled, there would be a lot more of them in Syria.

Americans like to say that Syria is one of the worst supporters and proliferators of terrorism because it supports Hizbullah, Hamas, and other militant Palestinian organizations, lumping both al-Qaeda type jihadists in with Hizbullah and the like. This is one of the great weaknesses of American policy. It represents the blindness of American analysts.

Like it or not, there is a big difference between Salafist groups and Hizbullah or even Hamas. The latter two have fairly concrete goals that are limited to liberating land they claim as theirs. Bin Laden and associates are much more radical and have global scope and goals. Syria is not wrong to distinguish between the two. Washington would be well served to do the same. That does not mean that Washington need grant Hizbullah and Hamas all their demands - of course not. Nonetheless, Washington is foolish to believe that it cannot bargain with them and must destroy them rather than search for a political solution. There is a political solution to Hizbullah and Hamas. Bin Laden would be much more difficult to satisfy.

Farid Zakaria explains why this is a big mistake in his excellent article:

Mao & Stalin, Osama & Saddam
By Fareed Zakaria
Newsweek
Bush is starting to repeat one of the central errors of the cold war: treating our enemies as one entity.

Sept. 18, 2006 issue - I'm glad George W. Bush is using the bully pulpit to clarify the war on terror. Many of Bush's basic ideas—such as the need for reform in the Arab world—are sensible; it's their simplistic and botched execution, coupled with a mindless unilateralism, that have derailed his foreign policy. But in the past week the president, seeking to shore up domestic support for his policies, has been redefining the nature of the enemy. In doing so he is making a huge conceptual mistake, one that could haunt American foreign policy for decades. (Continue)

17 Comments:

At 9/13/2006 09:45:00 PM, Blogger Joshua Landis said...

Test Comment. Please disregard or delete. Thanks!

 
At 9/14/2006 01:57:00 AM, Blogger qunfuz said...

Well said, Joshua. The inability or unwillingness of some to discriminate between different forms of islamism keeps their analysis very superficial. Alexander Cockburn had a good piece in Counterpunch recently on how conspiracy theorists let the Sept 11th perpetrators off the hook. He's a journalist who noone would accuse of supporting the neocon agenda, but a realist. Likewise, conspiracy theories about the Syrians staging this embarrassing attack are way out on a limb.
I've started my own blog, not specifically about Syria. Please visit, everybody. It's at www.qunfuz.blogspot.com

 
At 9/14/2006 03:04:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

While i still haven't made up my mind yet on whether this recent incident was a theatre show or real. But I would like to play the devil's advocate here on the reasons you have set out for why it was NOT a show. Because, to be honest, they did not convince me. My points are in bold.

1. Why would Syria allow a police
officer to be killed and seven other Syrians to be wounded, in an unsuccessful attack? Why should they care about the life of Syrian police officer? Unfortunately our officers are some of the poorest and insignificant citizens. Not to mention that civilian casualties would add realism to the “show”

2. To assume that the recrudescence of jihadist groups in Syria over the last two years is inspired by the regime doesn't make sense. The spread of jihadist groups throughout the region has been dramatic. Why would one assume that Syria was somehow magically spared this same phenomenon? I can't confute this argument but one would wonder why have all Jihadists in the regional countries been able to wreak havoc and serious casualties while the Syrian version is compromised of incompetent morons?

3. Since the end of the Lebanon War, Asad and his entire cabinet have been insisting that it is time for the peace process to be set into motion. Asad has been asking for engagement with the US and land for peace. Why would he blow up the US embassy? Critics would argue that while the Syrian president has been vocal about peace his actions have been hostile. Or he was hoping that by appearing to save their embassy the graditude would be the catalyst to the mending of relations. The latter is unlikely since it was our ambassador in Washington who shot first in the recent war of words.

4. The entire axis of "bad," or whatever it is being called these days, is lying low and trying to attenuate tensions with the West. Not if you ask anti-HA, Hamas and Jihad Middle Easterners. Or the Leaders of Saudi, Egypt, Jordan and March 14 who have been on the receiving end of an unprecedented verbal assault.

 
At 9/14/2006 05:49:00 AM, Blogger Amr T said...

Check this article at Watanan.

Attack in Damascus:

Acrosssyria.blogspot.com

 
At 9/14/2006 06:45:00 AM, Blogger Philip I said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/14/2006 06:55:00 AM, Blogger Philip I said...

There is hardly anyone who believes the incident to be genuine.

In Damascus, they never seem to let an opportunity pass without making themselves look like absolute fools. I am beginning to think they ARE fools. Clearly the infamous Mukhabarat has lost its touch. The CIA used to think of them as a bunch of thugs but useful and effective in fighting Islamic extremists and torturing prisoners on the CIA's behalf. Now they probably think of them as a useless bunch of amateurs reduced to acting out the regime's childish tactics. Please grow up and stop embarrassing us and insulting our intelligence!

Prisoners Of Conscience

 
At 9/14/2006 07:49:00 AM, Blogger Muhammad Ali said...

It's easy for the regime to fabricate such horrible movie.And it was not the first time.

 
At 9/14/2006 08:01:00 AM, Blogger trustquest said...

Josh, Although you may have a good argument in analyzing the embassy incident, but still I’m inclined to innocent_criminal views. I would like to add another point in this argument, which make a lot of people think it is a staging act. The couple of months ago the attack on the Danish embassy and other embassies, is a clear point that the regime can defend the embassies any of them when he wants to.

 
At 9/14/2006 08:56:00 AM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Kissinger warns of possible "war of civilizations"

 
At 9/14/2006 09:32:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Don't miss the symbolic dimension of this attack:

1. it says "look, we are able to strike in the heart of the Syrian capital";
2. the Syrian security forces are seen defending Americans, thus undermining (at least symbolically) "President Asad's policy of opposing the United States";
3. had the attack been (more) successful, it would certainly have increased the tensions between Washington and Damascus.

Don't forget that al-Qa'ida wants the US to attack Iran and Syria. See for example the excellent article by Lawrence Wright (which I had already quoted earlier):

THE MASTER PLAN
For the new theorists of jihad, Al Qaeda is just the beginning.
...

Based on interviews with Zarqawi and Adl, Hussein claims that dragging Iran into conflict with the United States is key to Al Qaeda’s strategy. Expanding the area of conflict in the Middle East will cause the U.S. to overextend its forces. According to Hussein, Al Qaeda believes that Iran expects to be attacked by the U.S., because of its interest in building a nuclear weapon. “Accordingly, Iran is preparing to retaliate for or abort this strike by means of using powerful cards in its hand,” he writes. These tactics include targeting oil installations in the Persian Gulf, which could cut off sixty per cent of the world’s oil supplies, destabilizing Western economies.
...

“The military campaign against Iran will begin when the United States and Israel succeed in disarming Hezbollah,” Hussein predicts.
...

Al Qaeda, he writes, also expects the Americans to go after Iran’s principal ally in the region, Syria. The removal of the Assad regime—a longtime goal of jihadis—will allow the country to be infiltrated by Al Qaeda, putting the terrorists within reach, at last, of Israel.
The New Yorker

Syria is already in the sights of al-Qa'ida's long term strategic planning:

The third stage, “Arising and Standing Up,” will last from 2007 to 2010. Al Qaeda’s focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.
ibid.

This was written in 2005. There are some signs that al-Qa'ida has already begun implementing "stage three" of this strategic plan.

Ayman al-Zawahiri in his most recent video interview:

“And I tell them you shouldn't bother yourselves with defending your forces in Iraq and Afghanistan because they are doomed to defeat and are all but defeated fighting their last battles. Rather, you should reinforce your defenses in two regions. The first is the Gulf, from where you will be expelled, Allah willing, after your defeat in Iraq, at which point your economic ruin will be achieved. And the second is Israel, because the Jihadi reinforcements are getting closer to it, with Allah's Help and Power, and your defeat there will put an end to contemporary Zionist/Crusader superiority....”
SITE Institute

In the same interview, al-Zawahiri also rejected resolution 1701 and called the new UN force in Lebanon an "enemy of Islam"(AKI; cf. also Qaida's Ayman al-Zawahiri Lashes Out at UN Role in Lebanon, Naharnet).

Given al-Qa'ida's presence in Lebanon, the UN should not take this warning lightly. Remember the fate of Sergio Vieira de Mello.
BTW, AKI has translated parts of the Al-Arabiya article on al-Qa'ida in Lebanon:

LEBANON: AL-QAEDA POINTMAN REVEALED
AKI

The American president seems happy to follow the al-Qa'ida playbook:

Bush cites concern on Iran, Syria "threat"

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush discussed concerns about a "threat" posed by Syria and Iran as he met on Wednesday with a senior Israeli official, the White House said.

Bush joined a meeting that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was having with White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

"The president reiterated his strong support for the security of the state of Israel and sent warm personal regards to Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert," said Frederick Jones, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

"He discussed the threat posed by the Iranian and Syrian regimes," Jones added.
Reuters

Fareed Zakaria forgets that, at least in this case, the ideology follows the policy and not vice versa. Hizbullah, Syria, Iran and al-Qa'ida are being treated as "one entity" because Bush wants to be able to present a possible attack on Iran as part of the "war on terror", just as he did with Iraq.

Lebanon aid frozen
...
The US House of Representatives froze USD 10 million in aid to Lebanon, saying Beirut failed to observe the embargo as weapons are being smuggled from Syria to Hizbullah.

Democratic Senator Tom Lantos told Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Defense Minister Elias Murr that funds will be funneled once UN peacekeeping forces are deployed along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Ynetnews

The Heritage Foundation also thinks that any US aid to Lebanon should be conditional. Regarding Hizbullah's popularity, Heritage proposes the following "solution": simply prevent them from running in elections (they are genuine believers in democracy, these neocons...):

Allowing Hezbollah to compete in elections without having disarmed and renounced terrorism was a huge mistake. ... To be eligible to participate in future elections, such groups should be required to disavow terrorism and dismantle their militias permanently.

The U.S. should condition its offer of aid for Lebanon’s postwar reconstruction on the expulsion of Hezbollah from the ruling coalition. This will help to force Lebanese political leaders to do what they can to curtail Hezbollah’s political power. Many leaders of Lebanon’s Christian, Sunni, and Druze sects resent Hezbollah’s hijacking of Lebanon’s future and want to see its political power reduced. Putting strings on U.S. economic aid gives these leaders political cover to insist that Hezbollah must disarm as required by Security Council Resolu tion 1559 and the 1989 Taif Accords that helped to set the terms for ending Lebanon’s bloody civil war.
Heritage

Divide et impera:

Reconstruction efforts in the south should be coordinated with the rival Amal movement to curtail Hezbollah’s role in the international rebuilding effort. A stable peace is possible only after the Lebanese Shiites in the south see that their government, not Hezbollah, can help them attain security, prosperity, and a return to normal life.
ibid.

The follwing plan is already under consideration (cf. US to arm, train Lebanese army, Ynetnews):

The United States should also help to bolster Lebanon’s army and police so that the central government can reassert its authority along the southern border more effectively. The Pentagon recently has studied how to enhance the train ing and equipment of the Lebanese army. This plan should be put into effect, and a similar one should be drawn up for the Lebanese police.
ibid.

Heritage also calls for "economic and diplomatic sanctions" to be imposed on Iran and Syria:

- Penalize Iran and Syria for supporting terrorism in Lebanon.
...
The United States should strongly urge that its allies impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on Iran and Syria for their continued support of terrorism and meddling in Lebanon. Both countries have economies that are hampered by mismanagement and corruption and that sorely need Western technology, investment, and trade. Washington should ask that its allies join it in withholding these to the greatest degree possible.

At a minimum, Washington should insist that the U.N. peacekeeping force report any violations of the arms embargo or the presence of prohibited foreign forces in Lebanon to the Security Council for possible action.
ibid.

 
At 9/14/2006 10:18:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Walker's World: No Iran strike -- Rumsfeld

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The iron triangle may be bending. According to military and former high-level administration sources, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is raising serious objections to what President George W. Bush calls "the military option" that could prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. ...

The Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington shorthand for Rumsfeld and his immediate staff, is not so much saying 'No' directly, the sources told United Press International, as listing a series of important objections to the military option.

By contrast, added the sources who asked to remain anonymous, Cheney has stepped up his advocacy of the military option by saying that the recent hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon have made it more feasible, by weakening the prospect that Iran could retaliate by pressing Hezbollah to unleash a wave of rocket attacks against Israel.
...

The first objection is that the OSD is not convinced that U.S. and friendly intelligence have yet assembled a complete target list of Iran's clandestine and underground nuclear research and development facilities. ...

The second objection is that Iranian retaliation against the 130,000 U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq, and other U.S. bases in Central Asia and the Middle East, could both complicate military operations and the political stabilization program in Iraq, and inflict serious casualties on U.S. personnel. ...

The third objection being cited by the OSD is a somber warning from the State Department that a military strike before all diplomatic options have been explored would have serious political consequences among the NATO and other U.S. allies. ...

The fourth objection is that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons is not imminent. ...

The fifth objection is that the very prospect of the military option is itself a powerful diplomatic tool, a constant threat as the diplomacy proceeds without any immediate need to use it. ...

But Cheney's office, along with supporters of the military option outside the administration, claim that there is strong time pressure for a firm decision to be taken, since Iran is expected to deploy a new Russian-built anti-aircraft and anti-missile system next year.
UPI

 
At 9/14/2006 10:54:00 AM, Blogger why-discuss said...

The threat of attacking Iran is like an empty balloon. Obviously the US administration is short of arguments and desperate to show some kind of strenght after the chaotic Iraq experience.. Israel is doing the same, claiming they want to attack Syria after repeatedly pledged during the 33 days war that they did not want to attack Syria. These claims start to sound so repetitive and empty..

 
At 9/14/2006 01:21:00 PM, Blogger Atassi said...

Josh,
It means that the US will be closing it's embassy in Damascus very soon. The us government already started to reduce the embassy staffs to the essential level !!. The Syrian regime Never failed us, Miscalculation is the name of the game in Damascus.

 
At 9/14/2006 01:40:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Analysis: No peace for Israel and Syria
...

Tel Aviv and Damascus may have exchanged hints about a veiled wish to restart peace talks during the war on Lebanon, but adamant opposition by the United States and France put an end to such a possibility.

"Negotiations with Syria are not on the agenda of the Israeli government at the moment," a Foreign Ministry source told United Press International in a telephone interview.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, pointed out that even if Israel wanted to resume contact with Syria, "the United States and France oppose such endeavor for the time being."
...

Noting that the United States and France oppose such a move at present, the source said "Israel will not get international backing for a step towards Syria, but U.S. President George Bush and French President Jacques Chirac will stop Israel from even making any contacts with Damascus."

"For President Chirac, the matter has become a personal issue and a personal stance on Syria and Assad," the source said.

Chirac, a close friend of Hariri, strongly suspects Syria and Assad of being behind Hariri's assassination, which occurred when Damascus was still in control of security in Lebanon.
UPI

Sami Moubayed on the "conspiracy" debate:

Syria, US shrouded in the fog of war
...
It would be very difficult for armed terrorists to penetrate a security zone like Rawda, (Baynouni) said, had they not been helped by Syrian security. This argument, popular among some in the Syrian opposition, is difficult to believe for a variety of reasons.

Terrorists can, and have, previously infiltrated heavily guarded compounds not only in Syria but all over the world. In Syria, during the heyday of tight security in the 1970s and 1980s, the Muslim Brotherhood carried out a series of armed attacks in similar heavily guarded neighborhoods of Damascus, assassinating prominent members of the Ba'athist regime. The most famous Brotherhood attack was on army headquarters in Omayyad Square in central Damascus, and another on the Azbakiyye neighborhood, both conducted in the 1980s.

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein once famously sent Palestinian militants to seize the Semiramis Hotel in Damascus, in September 1976, and they managed to take many hostages. Nobody said then that the attacks were staged by Syrian security.

More recently, terrorists who had been to Iraq returned to Syria and carried out a failed military operation in Mezzeh, a posh residential neighborhood in Damascus, facing the Ministry of Information. Two people were killed in the gunfire.

In July 2005, terrorists preaching militant Islam were arrested after a shootout with Syrian security in Mount Qasiyoun, overlooking the Syrian capital. Shortly afterward, a terrorist group was apprehended in Mu'arret al-Nu'man village, and another group was caught while preparing to detonate a bomb at peak time inside the Damascus Palace of Justice.

This year, a terrorist group launched a failed attack on the Syrian Television Compound, located in Omayyad Square and surrounded by army headquarters, the Damascus opera house, the General Customs Department and the Assad National Library.
The bottom line is that terrorism can and does happen in Syria. Just because Syria has a reputation for tight security does not mean it can prevent Islamic fundamentalists from striking inside the country.
Asia Times

 
At 9/14/2006 02:31:00 PM, Blogger Muhammad Ali said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/14/2006 02:35:00 PM, Blogger Muhammad Ali said...

t desco and other propagandist of the qardahi regime are trying to explain that the remaining of the ultra minoritarian regime in Syria is the less bad choice for the israeli interests and their security,unfortunately they are not wrong.Israel prefer to have oppressed syrians than syrians living under prosperous democracy.Syria is not Iraq ,90% of the syrians are not alawites...so there is no room for civil war in Syria and Syria is naturaly very receptive for a democratic regime.

 
At 9/21/2006 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Lady Jane said...

Well, Hezbollah is staging a very large protest in Beirut tomorrow. Doubt the Western press will cover the brilliant man's speech willingly but it seems, they have to open the doors to this strategist par none.

The most important question to be answered is the Valentine's Day assassination of Rafik Hariri. You see, picking that type of date is curious and not one of Arab origin. It is a mafia technique...a love note and those that investigated the claims are the perpetrators and as Noam Chomsky comments, "The powerful never investigate their own crimes."

The truth is, the US and their vile Zionist sponsors and partners are trying to instigate a civil war in Lebanon and they have been doing so since the notorious Valentine was sent to us. Unfortunately, the Shi'i of Lebanon didn't agree and agreed instead to be PATIENT (as they are told to do by their Imam, Ali Mu'mineen). Israel and the US simply got sick and tired of waiting and if it wasn't this 'event' (the taking of POWs by the southerners) it would have been something else. There were isolated events of Al Qaeda in the south and Palestinians launching rockets into Israel...Israel was not missing an opportunity but choosing carefully WHICH opportunity to launch an effort to weaken the Lebanese just like the US weakened Saddam in Iraq. It is so obvious as to be written on the walls of bar-rooms next to Lolita's phone number.

Until Israel is held accountible for its decades of murder, terrorism and illegal torture and imprisonment of tens of thousands of Arabs (mostly muslims) plus, the commission of crimes related to collaborative practices that force impoverished peoples to commit treason against their own countries, there will be no peace.

Zionism is evil. It is bigotry and racism of the worst kind hiding behind the concept of "Judaism". Well, when and if the Jews come to some conclusions about their rejection of the word of Allah, then they will be a blind and lost, wandering tribe.

As they were condemned to be. And those who really do practice Judaism to the nth degree are the only true authorities that should be heard. Those that live on stolen land are exactly that, conspirators in the worst war crimes in history and even more guilty than Hitler himself who wasn't the victim of a pogrom.

They have to answer to Allah one day as we all do.

Salaam wa alaikum wa rahmatu'allah wa bara'kathu.

Enjoyed your blog. Interesting stuff Joshua.

 

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