Former Lebanese president elaborates on Rafik Hariri’s bribe to bomb southern Lebanon


By  Fadi Boudieh and Mehdi Azizi

May 8, 2020 – 11:24

TEHRAN– The former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud referred to Rafik Hariri’s half a million-dollar bribe to bomb southern Lebanon which made Lahoud demand his own resignation.

Emile Lahoud is the 15th President of Lebanon from Nov. 24, 1998, to Nov. 23, 2007. He was born on January 12, 1936, in the town of Baabdat. He is the son of General Jamil Lahoud, who played a key role in establishing the Lebanese army and strived to achieve independence for the country.

In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Emile Lahoud discussed a number of regional and global issues. This is the second and final part. The first one was previously published on Monday.

What is your assessment of the latest events in Lebanon? Are there still efforts to destroy the weapons of The Resistance and Hezbollah in Lebanon? Especially since all the plans and scenarios for disarming the Resistance failed?

Since the beginning of 2005, when Rafiq Hariri was assassinated, I have only spoken to the media once a year, after the anniversary of Lebanon’s independence, because I was the army commander at the time and was speaking on the anniversary of the army’s feast.

Rafiq Hariri was a businessman and was always looking for making more profit. When I was commander of the army, he offered me half a million dollars a month to buy army officers, but I strongly opposed him. When I became president, he offered me the same thing again, but as someone who believed in the rights and interests of the Lebanese people and the importance of resistance to deter Israeli threats, I strongly opposed the offer. Due to my thorough familiarity with military affairs, I strongly opposed the merger law (Hezbollah’s integration into the military), while the Lebanese authorities at the time insisted on doing so.

In 1993, I was the commander of the army, and I did not know Hafez al-Assad, the then president of Syria, and all Lebanese politicians opposed the merger of the army and complained to Hafez al-Assad. He further told them that Lahoud is right and that the merger should take place.

In 1993, when bombing Israel was planned, Rafik Hariri, Abu Jamal, al-Shahabi, and Ghazi al-Kanaan said that it was the right of the Lebanese government to get rid of Hezbollah. Hariri told me that the Lebanese Supreme Council of Defense was going to pass a resolution in order to terminate Hezbollah and that all I had to do was to hit (bomb) Hezbollah in the south.

My conscience would not allow me to bomb the Lebanese in their homes, and I demanded my resignation and told them to find someone else as commander of the army. Of course, I had predicted that they would not be able to pass the resolution in the Supreme Council of Defense. Despite this, they made their decision and informed me of the order to attack Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

After the order was issued, as I entered my office, I saw a map prepared by the commander of the international forces for the destruction of Hezbollah. The commander of the international forces was affiliated with the intelligence service in which Jamil al-Sayyid and Michel Rahbani were playing a part in. I asked them to ignore the plan, but they refused, then I told them to look for another commander for the army.

The then foreign minister Farès Boueiz called and asked me to launch a missile attack on Hezbollah’s positions. I told him I was no longer in the army. During a trip to Damascus, Jamil al-Sayyid met with Mohammed Nasif and informed Hafez al-Assad of this issue, which surprised him. It was later revealed that Abu Jamal, al-Shahabi, Ghazi Kanaan, together with Rafik al-Hariri had made the decision.

For the first time, Hafez al-Assad wanted to meet with me. At that time, if this decision was made, Hezbollah could only resist for 2 hours. I said this to show that Lebanon is built on a mountain of corruption and commercial profit. Here, I need to mention the election law in Lebanon. I consider the election law in Lebanon to be a purely Israeli because each of the foreign parties, including France, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, is working to secure Israel’s consent to support their tribes in the Lebanese elections. I believe that the new election laws in Lebanon can save the country politically from the shackles of religious tribalism.

Can the government of Hassan al-Diab make a serious change? Given your political experience and knowledge of Lebanese political leaders, can the new prime minister implement these changes, especially since the region is undergoing new developments?

Hassan Diab is able to make changes, and he is an honorable man and follows a school that has taught us responsibility. It should be noted that the credentials of the cabinet ministers have been approved by Parliament, which has come to power on the basis of religious divisions. Most cabinet members are out of politics, and each has its own authority in parliament. Therefore, al-Diab had no choice but to make some concessions. In my opinion, Hassan al-Diab has done 100 times better than al-Hariri. If Hariri remained prime minister, things would certainly not have gotten any better.

In the tenth month of last year, when the entire Lebanese nation sought the survival of al-Hariri as prime minister, I explicitly stated that Hariri should leave because, due to his presence, the country’s affairs would not improve. So I announced that he should be replaced by al-Diab whom I didn’t know well at the time. However, after watching him closely for a while, I realized that he is a very good person and has taken the right path. I also stated that we must form an interim government to assume certain duties and responsibilities.

These tasks include monitoring individuals who have transferred their money out of Lebanon and whose assets must be transferred to Lebanese banks and the Lebanese economic cycle; the policy brings in $ 20 billion in foreign currency to the country. Unfortunately, they deny this today. Recently, Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salamé falsely claimed that there was no such amount, despite the $ 20 billion. Therefore, I believe that returning such money to Lebanon could solve the problem of the dollar or foreign currency in the country and reduce prices.

Today, decisions are being made in the Lebanese cabinet, but it is clear that cabinet members will not be able to prosecute the powerful corrupted individuals and punish them. It seems that today everyone is satisfied that we cannot provide the necessary foreign currency for our country; We have not borrowed money for seven months, and this is due to the fact that the Lebanese authorities have decided to use the deposited property instead of borrowing.

Here, I warn the government and the country’s political rulers not to encroach upon people’s property, because protecting this property is part of the people’s sacred rights. If the government plays with this property, I will be the first to stand up to it. We did not allow Israel to take our rights, so how can we allow government officials to oppress the rights of the people with their corruption.

End of part 2 of the interview

ماذا عن مفهوم الوصاية والنأي بالنفس مع طاعة وليّ الأمر؟

Image result for ‫الحريري وبن سلمان‬‎

يونيو 1, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– ليس جديداً على لبنان واللبنانيين حجم الاهتمام الدولي والإقليمي بما يجري في بلدهم، وهو الواقع على الحدود مع سورية الدولة الإقليمية الأهم في الجغرافيا السياسية للمنطقة من جهة، وعلى حدود فلسطين التي أقيم فيها الكيان الاستيطاني الأشدّ أهمية في حسابات الغرب لمفهوم المصالح الاستراتيجية وحمايتها. ولا بجديد على اللبنانيين اكتشاف توزّعهم الدائم بين معسكرات دولية وإقليمية تحاول كل منها فرض رؤيتها للمنطقة وتوازناتها وتبادل الأحلاف اللبنانية الداخلية مع الأحلاف الخارجية بعضاً من المكاسب والخسائر. وقد اعتاد اللبنانيون على رؤية هذا المشهد وتصالحوا معه واعتباره غير مخالف لمفهوم السيادة، وحصروا في مصطلحات السياسة الرائجة منذ تشكّل الكيان السياسي اللبناني بعد الاستقلال، تسجيل المواقف والإدانات بتحوّل هذا النوع من التموضع والتحالفات والتأثر والتأثير إلى صيغة مباشرة لإدارة خارجية للشؤون الداخلية اللبنانية.

– لا يُنكِر حلفاء سورية في لبنان أنّه في فترة ما بعد الطائف وبتغطية دولية وإقليمية مثّلها الرضا الأميركي والسعودي تمّ تكليف سورية بإدارة ملف إعادة تكوين السلطة في لبنان. ولا ينكرون أيضاً، كما لا تنكر القيادة السورية نفسها، أن هذه الإدارة قد ضاعت فيها الحدود بين إعادة بناء مؤسسات الدولة بسماعدة سورية، وهو أمر لا يجب التنكر لمساهمة سورية حقيقية فيه خصوصاً في المؤسسات العسكرية والسياسية، وبين توظيف الدور السوري في حسابات الزواريب اللبنانية الطائفية والحزبية والشخصية أحياناً، وصولاً لتدخلات لا علاقة لها بضبط الأداء السياسي أو السقوف الإقليمية المتفق عليها للمعادلة اللبنانية. وتداخل هذا الدور أحياناً مع شبكة مصالح تقوم على صرف النفوذ، الذي لا يمكن تسميته بغير الفساد، وصولاً لما يمكن وصفه بتلازم الفسادين اللبناني والسوري، وتنكّر بزيّ لا يشبهه هو تلازم المسارين المتصل بالصراع مع «إسرائيل»، والذي جسّدته القوى الملتزمة بالمقاومة، وقد كانت الأبعد عن مكاسب السلطة المحميّة بقوة الحضور السوري.

– أطلقت القوى التي ناوأت سورية، خصوصاً بعد خروجها من لبنان على هذا الدور السوري وحقبته زمن الوصاية السورية، رغم إدراكها أنه زمن وصاية مثلث سوري سعودي أميركي. وقد انتهى مع نهاية التفاهمات التي جمعت سورية بكل من السعودية وأميركا وذلك معلوم أنّه عائد لتمسّك سورية بخيارات إقليمية رفضت التسليم بما توافقت عليه السعودية وأميركا، من مقتضيات الأمن الإسرائيلي لكن يبدو أن البعض تقصّد تبرئة أميركا والسعودية من الشراكة حماية لانتقاله إلى وصاية ثنائية أميركية سعودية حكمت لبنان بين عامي 2005 و2008، مع عودة التوازن الداخلي والإقليمي بعد حرب تموز 2006 وما نتج من تفاهمات الدوحة عام 2008. وربما كانت المرّة الوحيدة التي تفرّدت فيها سورية، هي التمديد لرئيس الجمهورية السابق إميل لحود، ومنذ عام 2008 بدأ مصطلح النأي بالنفس عن أزمات المنطقة بالرواج، بصفته علامة على الموقف السيادي والخروج من كل أنواع الوصاية والتدخلات.

– دون العودة للسنوات العشر وما فيها، تكفي الإشارة إلى واقعتين نافرتين:


أن مفهوم النأي بالنفس لم يكن إلا السلاح السياسي الذي أُريد من خلاله منع حزب الله من المشاركة في مواجهة تنظيم القاعدة وتنظيم داعش في سورية. وهي مواجهة لا يمكن لأحد إنكار عائدها اللبناني المباشر في حماية لبنان من الإرهاب.


أن الدور السوري خلال هذه الفترة كان يعادل صفر تدخّل في السياسة اللبنانية واستحقاقاتها الرئاسية والنيابية والحكومية.

وبالمقابل واقعتان،


أنه للمرة الأولى يُحتجز رئيس حكومة لبنان في دولة عربية يجري الإصرار على نفي تهمة الوصاية عنها هي السعودية، وأن الموضوع كان على صلة مباشرة بكيفية إدارة السياسة اللبنانية وإجبار رئيس الحكومة على طاعة ولي الأمر السعودي،


أن السعودية مارست علناً وبصورة نافرة تدخّلاتها في مراحل الاستحقاق الرئاسي. فكان الفيتو السعودي علنياً، مانعاً تفاهمات باريس التي جمعت الرئيس سعد الحريري بالتيار الوطني الحر وجمّدتها عامين، ومن ثم الاستحقاق النيابي. وكان كلام وزير الخارجية السعودي علنياً حول رفض قانون الانتخابات، كما كان الكلام السعودي علنياً عن ربط التمويل الانتخابي لتيار المستقبل بتحالفات تعيد إنتاج جبهة لبنانية بوجه المقاومة، وصولاً للاستحقاق الحكومي الذي يعيش لبنان تعقيداته اليوم.

– ليس خافياً أن زيارة الرئيس الحريري إلى الرياض ليست عائلية ولا للاستجمام، بل هي على صلة مباشرة، بتشكيل الحكومة الجديدة والسعي السعودي لفرض حصة متضخّمة لحساب القوات اللبنانية، واستثنائها من كل معايير التشكيل التي ستحكم تمثيل القوى الأخرى بما فيها كتلة التيار الوطني الحر. وهو التيار الذي يترأس البلاد زعيمه ومؤسسه، ويملك الكلمة الفصل في توقيع مراسيم تشكيل الحكومة. وهو التيار ذاته الذي بنى رصيده على كونه رغم تفاعله مع المناخات الإقليمية والدولية، بوقوفه بعيداً عن التموضع الكامل في ضفة من ضفافها، محتفظاً بهامش أتاح له أن يكون قادراً على الحديث عن زمن وصاية سورية، من موقع سيادي لبناني، يوضع اليوم على المحك في مواجهة ما هو أبشع من الوصاية، وهو طاعة ولي الأمر. فالتشكيلة الحكومية الجديدة إذا ضمنت تلبية للطلب السعودي بحجم تمثيل القوات ستكون إعلان انتقال للبنان إلى مرتبة أقلّ من المشيخة. ويبقى السؤال مشروعاً هل سنسمع خطاباً سياسياً عن خطر الوصاية المستفحلة التي تبدو التحدي الأهم الذي يواجهه لبنان، حتى صار للنأي بالنفس معنى واحد، هو مهاجمة إيران وسورية ومديح السعودية.

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في مقال مزلزل , تجدونه في الرابط اسفل المقال , بمناسبة ذكرى رحيل الرئيس السابق حافظ الاسد اعلن القيادي السوري المعارض والحقوقي هيثم المناع عن خيبة امله من الثورة الحادثة في بلاده. وعبر عن تحسره لوقوعها اصلا مؤكدا ان خيارات الرئيس الراحل الذي وصفه ب“الاعظم” هي الاعمق والانسب في ادارة الشان السوري ( مقال هيثم المناع)… ولئن لم يكن ما صرح به هيثم المناع جديدا من حيث السخط على ما وصلت اليه الاوضاع في سوريا والتعبير عن الخيبة من ثورة علق عليها العديدون امالا كثيرة ,والتأكيد على ان نظريات الديمقراطية وحقوق الانسان بالمفهوم الغربي لا تتناسب مع الحالة الراهنة للمجتمعات العربية التي ما زالت تحتاج الى انساق الزعامة والمستبد المستنير العادل …مع ان مثل هذا الموقف من الشائع المألوف عند فئات عديدة عربية وغير عربية , فان اهمية ما قاله المناع تتأتى من الجوانب التالية

اولا هو مثقف عربي درس الطب وعلوم الاجتماع ومتحصل على الدكتوراه في الانتروبولوجيا , كما الف العديد من الكتب والدراسات واشتغل مع عدة مؤسسات عالمية لحقوق الانسان والمجتمع المدني …وبالتالي فهو منطقيا يستند في نظرته وتقييمه للاشياء الى تجربة قيمة و كفاءة بحثية وعمق اكاديمي لا يستهان به

ثانيا انه احد القياديين السياسيين المشرفين على الثورة السورية , انخرط عن قرب في مطابخها الداخلية واطلع على خوافيها وما يدور حولها لا سيما وهو الذي تقلد خطة رئيس هيئة الانفاذ المعارضة .

ثالثا , وهذا هام جدا حسب عديد المتابعين , وهو ان ما قاله هيثم المناع لا ينطبق على الحالة السورية فحسب , بل يستقيم مع اكثر من وضع من اوضاع ثورات بلدان الربيع العربي على غرار الحالتين الليبية واليمنية تحديدا ثم الحالة التونسية الاقل هلاكا نسبيا رغم تعثرها الواضح..

لاشك ان العناصر السالفة الذكر تجعل مما كتبه هيثم المناع (وهو صديق مقرب للمنصف المرزوقي) اكثر من مجرد ردة فعل غاضبة , او مزاج متعكر من الثورات وارتداداتها..لان القيمة العلمية والاعتبارية للرجل لا تسمح له بذلك ..وهو اكثر مما يردده العوام في السر وفي الجهر..فيفهم منه اذن محاولة اولى من نوعها لنقد ذاتي , لا شك انه سيهز النخب القاعدة التي تقف عليها النخب الفكرية والسياسية الجديدة في بلاد ما يسمى ب”الربيع العربي”

اضغط على الرابط :

(انقلاب ب180 درجة) – شاهد ماذا كتب ابرز معارض سوري في الاسد :”انت الاعظم”


كتب د. هيثم المناع احد ابرز معارضي النظام السوري و رئيس هيئة الانفاذ المعارضة بذكرى رحيل حافظ الأسد النص التالي

 رسالة إلى حافظ الأسد من كاره للنظام

بعد كل ما جرى .. وبعد التعرف على شعبي السوري .. وعلى مثقفيه وفئاته وحدود تفكيرها..أقر أنا الكاره السابق للنظام.. و الهارب من الخوف والذل.. والعائد إليه لاحقا بإرادتي.. أن حافظ الأسد أعظم رجل في التاريخ السوري..فهو أفهم من الأدباء والمثقفين بأنفسهم.. أدرى من المتدينين بربهم وأعلم من الخونة… والقتلة بما في صدورهم.

حافظ الأسد عرف السوريين جيدا.. وعرف أفضل طريقة ممكنة لسياستهم ..فحاسب كلا كما يستحق تماما بحسب أثره في المجتمع دون أدنى ظلم..عرف كيف يرضي المتدينين ويضحك على عقولهم ويكسبهم..أجبر الدين أن يبقى حيث يجب أن يبقى.. في البيت والجامع..فلا يخرج إلى الحياة السياسية.. وأشرك بالمقابل كل الطوائف في الحكم

طهر الأرض من المجرمين والقتلة.. وجفف منابعهم الطائفية بالقوة..وكسب البيئات الدينية المعتدلة التي تسمح لغيرها بالحياة..و إندمج فيها فأحبته من قلبها وأغلبها لا تزال مخلصة له حتى الآن

لم أكن عرف ما هي الطائفية على أيامه و قضيت أغلب سني عمري لا أجرؤ على التلفظ بأسماء الطوائف حتى بيني وبين نفسي..كم كان ذلك جميلا .. أن يقمع رجل عظيم الشر الكامن فينا حتى قبل أن ينبت

عرف نوعية المثقفين لديه.. فعامل كل منهم كما يستحق..إحترم بعضهم وقال له أفكارك لا تنفع هنا فاص

مت أو ارحل وعد متى شئت..مثل نزار قباني والماغوط وممدوح عدوان وأدونيس..ومن لم يفهم أو كان حالما وربما كان سيستسبب بالبلبلة فقد جنى على نفسه وسجن حتى لو كان من طائفته فلا فرق عند هذا الرجل العادل.. مثل عارف دليلة وعبد العزيز الخير و مئات أخرين

ميز المثقفين الطائفيين والحاقدين المخربين للمجتمع كما أثبت الزمن اللاحق فسجنهم..و  إن لم يكونوا قد استحقوا سجنهم وقتها -و لا أعتقد – فقد استحقوه بجدارة لاحقا..مثل ياسين الحج صالح وميشيل كيلو وحازم نهار وفايز سارة ولؤي حسين وأمثالهم

طوع المثقفين الدنيئين الذين يبحثون عن مستأجر..ووجد لهم عملا يتعيشون منه طالما هم تحت الحذاء..حيث مكانهم المستحق.. مثل حكم البابا وعلي فرزات وأمثالهم

إهتم بالفنانين والشعراء السوريين والعرب الذين يستحقون الاهتمام ..مثل مصطفى نصري والجواهري والرحباني. وغيرهم

حصر الدعارة في أماكن مخصصة لها بدل أن تنتشر في الشوارع والمقاهي وأماكن العمل والصحف

عرف كيف يستقر الحكم ويتوازن دون مشاكل .. استعمل الوطني كالشرع ..والوطنيين المؤلفة قلوبهم..أي من يحتاج للمال حتى يبقوا وطنيين كخدام والزعبي وأمثالهم

أطعم الفاسدين بميزان دقيق.. وصرامة.. فكانوا لا يجرؤون على القضم أكثر مما يسمح لهم..أرضى التجار والعائلات الكبيرة

كان رجلا ترتعد له فرائص أعدائه وأصدقائه في الداخل والخارج.. فحكم أطول مدة في التاريخ السوري الحديث

كان حافظ الأسد الحل الأمثل لسورية مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار طبيعة الشعب وثقافته وظروف البلد والأخطار المحيطة به..فبنى سورية الأمن والأمان..سورية المنيعة في مواجهة أعدائها.. سورية المدارس والمستشفيات المجانية .. سورية السلع المدعومة ..سورية الفقر الموزع بالتساوي بين الجميع.. ولو كان الغنى ممكنا لوزعه بالتساوي..عاش بسيطا فقيرا.. ومات فقيرا لا يملك شيئا..

كان رجال دولته يتمتعون بالنساء والمال والاستجمام في أجمل مناطق العالم وهو يعيش في شقته المتواضعة.. لا يفكر إلا بمصلحة الشعب.

عرف كيف يضع حذائه في فم إسرائيل والغرب وأعوانهم ملك الأردن وعرب البعير والميليشيات اللبنانية..

عادى عرفات والسادات وكل من فرط بشبر من أرض فلسطين

ضبط الميليشيات الفلسطينية بالقوة و بنى مقاومة لبنانية و دعم الفلسطينية ووجهما تجاه العدو و بنى توازن رعب يعمل الأعداء وعملاؤهم في الدخل والخارج منذ سنوات على تفكيكهما..

بنى لسورية قيمة أكبر من مساحتها وقدراتها قبل أن ينقض عليها أعداؤه بعد مماته لاعنين روحه

فعل كل ذلك باللين والحب عندما كان ينفع.. وبالشدة والبطش تارة أخرى

لا يزال كارهوه يخشونه حتى الآن..لن يستطيعوا هزيمته في رؤوسهم.. ومهما حدث سيبقى ذلا أبديا لهم.. لن يستطيعوا تجاوزه..

كثير كثير .. لا مجال يتسع لتعداد مناقب هذا العظيم العظيم..كان رجل دولة من أرفع طراز.. لا يتكرر إلا كل بضعة قرون

أقول هذا.. أنا مناصر الإنسانية والحريات وحقوق الإنسان..بعد تجربتي مع شعبي السوري ومثقفيه وموالاته ومعارضته..لاقتناعي أن سياسة حافظ الأسد هي السياسة الأمثل التي تخفف الألم السوري الكلي إلى حده الأدنى..والدليل ما يحدث الآن

وأعلن أني مستعد للعيش في سورية تحت حكم رجل مثله بغض النظر عن طائفته طالما أنه على عهده لا يجوع فقير ولا يجرؤ أحد على استباحة دم أحد .. ولا تستطيع الكلاب أن تفلت في الشوارع

تعلم أنك ولدت في المكان الخطأ والزمن الخطأ بين الناس الخطأ.. عش بسلام كما يليق بك بين الانبياء

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الفنانة رغدة: أستغرب كيف يستطيع الأسد النوم!


وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

يقال عادة عن شخص مشهور بأنه “غني عن التعريف”، أما الفنانة السورية رغدة، فرغم شهرتها، لا يمكن إلا أن يعاد التعريف بها مرة تلو مرة، فهي امرأة لا تهدأ، ولا تكفّ عن خوض الحياة لحظة بلحظة. ” أنا الإنسان الذي صادف أنه يتكلم العربية، وصادف أنه تربى تربية عسكرية، صادف أنه لا يهمل ما يقوله قلبه وإحساسه حتى إن تعارض مع العقل، كما صادف أنه يخاف، لكن خوفه لا يمنعه من التصرف” تقول رغدة بثقة في لقائنا بها إبان زيارتها لدمشق، الزيارة التي لم تكن سوى محطة مؤقتة في مشروعها الخاص لهذه الزيارة : حلب!

من دمشق إلى حلب حملت رغدة إرادتها الصلبة، وراحت لتلتقي جنود سورية الذين حرروا أرضها، تقبّلهم، تتحدث معهم، تأخذ منهم الإرادة والثقة، وتمنحهم كل ما فيها من حبّ.

ليس لحاقها بـ”الخطر” جديدا عليها، فحين ضرب الأمريكان العراق بقذائف اليوارنيوم المنضب كانت رغدة هناك، وكانت أيضا في خضم الإنتفاضة الفلسطينية الثانية، كما كانت في مقدمة المظاهرة التي اتجهت إلى قطاع غزة لفك حصار الصهاينة عنه، و في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت حين كانت القاذفات الصهيونية تحاول تدمير إرادتها (2006).

وفي سورية ظهرت مرارا وتكرارا في مناطق قريبة من الميدان، أو إثر عمل إرهابي ما لتقول أنها هنا مع شعبها وجيشها في حرب قسمت السوريين، قسمت حتى العائلة الواحدة.
قبل أن تمضي لما تعده أجمل ما في زياراتها لوطنها، لقائها جنوده الأبطال، التقت وكالة أنباء آسيا بالفنانة السورية وأجرت معها هذا الحوار:

غياب عن الشاشة السورية
– منذ زمن طويل لم تنجزي أعمالا في الدراما السورية، ونادرا ما تظهرين على الشاشات الوطنية، هل هناك ما يعيق؟
* لم يعرض علي أحد من سورية مثل هذا العمل!.. ربما كنت سأرفض أو أوافق.. كأي فنان آخر، ولا أعرف سببا لهذه المقاطعة، ربما تكون بعض شركات الإنتاج مرتبطة بالتمويل الخليجي في تسويق أعمالها، وبالتالي تخضع لشروطه، وفي القطاع العام لم أتلق أيضا أي عروض، ولهذا القطاع ومشاكله المعروفة على كل حال.

أما فيما يخص استضافتي، فلأقل أنني أقمت “جبهة إعلامية” للدفاع عن وطني خارج سورية. لكن ما الذي سأقوله على الشاشة الوطنية للناس الذي يعيشون هنا؟ يعيشون الحرب بكل تفاصيلها ويعرفونها أكثر مني وهم الصامدون على أرضها؟ اعتذرت أكثر من مرة لهذا السبب.

لكن، للأسف، بعض الإشكاليات تبقى غير مفهومة، فمثلا حين أنجزت فيملي الوثائقي عن المليحة (ريف دمشق) بعيد أن حررها الجيش، رفض التلفزيون السوري عرضه رغم أنني قدمته هدية! وحتى الآن لا أعرف لماذا قاطعه؟

رغدة المحجبة !
Image result for ‫الشيخ الصوفي الشهير محمد عبدالله الشامي‬‎– رغدة الروحانية التي كانت في حلب، هل ما زالت في داخلك؟
* في حلب التقيت الشيخ الصوفي الشهير محمد عبدالله الشامي، كنت ما زالت في الجامعة، الشيخ الشامي علمني الكثير، وهو الذي جعلني أعرف وأحب ابن الفارض والحلاج ومن مثلهما.
دأبت على متابعته حتى صرت من أتباعه، وارتديت الحجاب وقتها لبعض الوقت.

هذا الشيخ البسيط الرائع لم يوافق أهواء الأخوان المسلمون وقتها، فاغتالوه في المسجد، تلك الروح الصوفية ما زالت في داخلي، وحتى اليوم أمارس بعض تلك الروحانيات بطريقتي.

– لماذا ذهبت إلى مصر وكيف بدأت مسيرتك هناك؟
* لعدة أسباب، منها اغتيال الشيخ الشامي، وحرب الأخوان ضدي، والصعوبات الأمنية الكثيرة التي واجهتها، كل ذلك ساهم باتخاذي القرار بالذهاب إلى مصر، إذ لم يعد هناك ما أفعله هنا.
في القاهرة بدأت عملي كمتدربة في مؤسسة “الهلال” العريقة بـ 17 جنيه شهريا، أمضيت فيها سنوات طويلة تعرفت خلالها على قامات الأدب العربي: نجيب محفوظ ويوسف إدريس وصلاح عبد الصبور وأمل دنقل وغيرهم.. صرت تلميذتهم.. كانوا أناسا دافئين ممتلئين.

ومن الهلال المصرية إلى الشرق الأوسط السعودية والحياة اللندنية وزهرة الخليج الإماراتية والكثير من الصحف المصرية، أمضيت وقتا طويلا في عالم الصحافة، كتبت في السياسة والمجتمع والأدب والفن، أما الشعر فقد كان رفيقي منذ طفولتي، وأصدرت ديوانين منه.

رحل أكثر هؤلاء من عالمنا، والآن يمر الوطن العربي بحالة خواء في هذا المجال، لكن أيضا هناك ما يمكن الأمل به، فشباب جدد يشقون طريقهم بصعوبة، بعضهم تلاميذ أولئك الذين رحلوا، وربما سيعوض هؤلاء ما خسرناه.

خدعة لوكربي!
– قمت بالتحقيق الوحيد الذي قدمته الصحافة من داخل قاعة “محاكمة لوكربي”، كيف فعلت ذلك؟
* ببساطة، خدعتُ القضاة، كان القرار بمنع الصحفيين من دخول القاعة، والجميع انتظر خارجا، لكنني كنت على علاقة طيبة مع نبيل العربي (قبل أن يتلوث)، فاتصلت به واتفقنا أن أدخل القاعة بصفتي من فريقه، وفعلا هذا ما حدث، وكنت الوحيدة التي تمكنت من نقل وقائع المحاكمة من داخل القاعة، حتى تفاصيل ثياب القاضي.
أذكر أن السفيرة الأمريكية كانت تتسلى بـ”طق العلكة” بطريقة مزعجة، نبهتها أن تتوقف عن ذلك، فاضطرت لرميها.

الدولة وليس النظام..
– لقبك البعض بـ”الشبيحة” لشدة دفاعك عن سورية وشعبها وجيشها في كل محفل، لكنك قلما انتقدت النظام فيها، هل أنت راضية عنه؟
* دافعت دائما عن سورية وشعبها وجيشها، عن وطني، وليس عن أي نظام، حتى رجال النظام هنا يعرفون رأيي وبعضهم يوافقوني الرأي أيضا، وسبق أن انتقدت سلوكيات محددة كثيرا، خاصة الأمنية منها، بل واصطدمت أيضا مع هذه الأجهزة.

اعتقل أخي نكاية لأنني رفضت زيارة شخص ظن نفسه إلها، واعتقلوا زوجة أخي بسبب “تقرير كيدي”، وحتى ابن اخي اعتقل بتقرير كيدي أيضا. مع ذلك رفضت التدخل في كل المرات رغم توفر العلاقات الشخصية، فهذه قضايا يعانيها شعبي ويجب أن تحل حلا عاما، لا عبر معرفة فلان أو فلانة.
في إحدى المرات كان عبد الحليم خدام في زيارة لمصر، وصادف أنني كنت حاضرة. رفضت أن أقوم من مكاني لأسلم عليه، فغضب ومنع ذكر اسمي لسنوات طويلة، حتى مجرد ذكر في الإعلام السوري!

مؤامرة.. ولكن
– هل تتعرض سورية لمؤامرة كونية؟ ألا تعتقدين أننا مسؤولون عما وصلنا إليه؟
Image result for ‫مجلس قطر فاونديشن‬‎* لا شك بأنها مؤامرة، مؤامرة محبوكة قبل 2011 بزمن طويل.
عملت لعدة سنوات في “مجلس قطر فاونديشن”، وأتاح لي عملي فرصة الإطلاع على كثير من القضايا من داخلها، أعرف جيدا ماذا كان يحضّر داخل البلاط القطري لسورية. وحاولت مساعدة بلدي قدر ما أستطيع، حتى أنني في إحدى المرات حملت أسماء أشخاص سوريين سيدخلون سورية عن طريق مطار دمشق لينشروا أفكارهم التخريبية فيها، إلى الأجهزة المختصة، لكن أحدا لم يفعل شيئا لمنعهم من الدخول، دخل هؤلاء الأشخاص علنا، ومارسوا دورهم، وما زالت تلك الجهات تنكر أنهم دخلوا من مطار دمشق، لا سرا ولا تهريبا!.

إنها مؤامرة بالتأكيد، لكن الوضع السيئ في الداخل لعب دورا أيضا، دور لا يمكن بحال أن يصير مبررا لمن خان وطنه، أنا شخصيا تضررت كثيرا، وأنت اعتقلت مرارا وتكرارا، الآلاف من السوريين تضرروا بأشكال مخلتفة من هذه الممارسات، وجميعنا رفضنا أن يكون هذا الضرر “مطية” لنطعن وطننا، فالوطن هو المعيار.

لم ولن أدافع عن دويلات داخل الدولة، لا أمنية ولا مافياوية. أدافع عن وطني وشعبي، عن وجودي كمواطنة وإنسان، وسيأتي يوم لنخلص فيه من كل تلك الظواهر السلبية.
قد لا يكون بالإمكان الخلاص اليوم من كل تلك الفوضى، فنحن في حرب طاحنة منذ 7 سنوات، وأضرت كثيرا بنا نحن المدافعين عن سورية وشعبها وجيشها، لكن السلطات ليست وحدها من يتحمل المسؤولية، نحن أيضا نتحمل المسؤولية، لدينا ما يمكن تسميته “ثقافة شعبية” تقوم على الحسد والكيدية ومراقبة بعضنا البعض وو..
هذه الثقافة شكلت أساسا للفوضى، وحرمتنا من أن نكون كغيرنا من البلدان التي كان لها تجارب مماثلة لحالتنا ، لكنها خاضت حروبا وجودية بأقصى الإلتزام والنزاهة.

النخب وعمرو خالد!
– كأنك تقولين بأن الديموقراطية ليست حلا مناسبا لنا؟
* قلتها مرارا بكل وضوح: نحن لسنا مؤهلين لحكم ديموقراطي، النخب تتشدّق بالديموقراطية لأسباب كثيرة ليس من بينها إيمانها بها. هي أصلا لا تفقه الديموقراطية ولا تمارسها، هم يختلفون حتى على من يترأس جلسة، وما إن يستلم أحدهم لجنة تافهة في أمر ما حتى يبقى مسيطرا عليها حتى مماته أو طرده، يدّعي أحدهم الحرية ويمارس دور الطاغية تجاه أسرته!

هل تصدق: في كل زياراتي السابقة إلى سورية، قبل الأزمة، كانت تلك “النخب” تطلب شيئا واحدا مني : أشرطة الداعية الإسلامي عمرو خالد، نخب مثقفة تدعي الديموقراطية والحرية وكل ما تهتم به هو هذه التسجيلات؟!

قلقة.. ولكن متفائلة
-تصاعد الحديث عن تقسيم سورية.. هل تخشين ذلك؟
* هناك ما يقلق بالتأكيد، الأمر لم يعد مسألة أنبوب غاز هنا أو هناك، أو قضية حرية وديموقراطية، الأتراك يحتلون بعض أرضنا شمالا، نزعات انفصالية في الشمال الشرقي، ضغط شديد غير واضح في الجبهة الجنوبية، مسائل كثيرة تثير القلق بالتأكيد، خاصة أن من استثمر كل هذه الأموال والسنوات في دعم تدمير الدولة السورية لن يقبل بسهولة أن ينتصر جيش سورية وشعبها. القوى الكبرى لن تتركنا بهذه البساطة.

مع ذلك لا أستطيع العيش بلا تفاؤل، تفاؤل ينبع من داخلي وتفاؤل يفرضه الواقع، فحتى لو خربت البلد حتى آخر حجر، سيعيد شعبنا بناءها، ستعيدها حلب الصامدة كأسطورة، سيعيدها أهالي الشهداء الذين انزرعوا في ترابها، سيعيدها ذلك الرجل العجوز الذي كان “يشكّ التبغ”، قدماه ممدودتان ومشققتان، دفن أبناءه الثلاثة في سبيل وطننا، وقال بكل ثقة: “والله سأقاتلهم حتى بهذه (مشيرا إلى “المسلة” المستخدمة في شك الدخان)، وأموت على هذه الأرض، ولا أسمح لهم بتدنيسها”.
هؤلاء من أثق بهم. إلى جانب جيشي الذي لا أشك لحظة أنه لن يتخلى عن ذرة من تراب من وطني.

– بعيداً عن الأضواء، دخلت الكثير من المناطق والبيوت في سورية، ماذا رأيت؟

* لأختصر على النحو التالي: تجولت لأكثر من 13 يوما متواصلة في عشرات القرى السورية، رأيت قرى للنساء والعجائز والأطفال، قرى خالية من الشباب الذكور، رأيت أمهات الشهداء وزوجاتهم وأخواتهم وبناتهم وهم من أبقوا الحياة في هذه المناطق، رأيت حبال غسيل ليس عليها سوى ثياب الحداد السوداء!
رأيت ما جعلني أقول بثقة: أولى أولوياتنا هنّ هؤلاء النساء، ذوي الشهداء.

كلنا نعرف أن الشهداء وذويهم يباعون ويشترون في سوق أسود من قبل بعض السلطات المحلية، ويتم ابتزازهم، إذلالهم، سرقتهم، الشهداء يموتون مرة في الحرب، ومرات على أيدي هذه السلطات المحلية. الجنود الجرحى والمعوقون يرمون دون أي اهتمام، أعداد كبيرة اليوم في وطننا من اليتامى والأرامل والمطلقات وجرحى الحرب وو.. ، هؤلاء ما يجب أن يكونوا على رأس أولوياتنا.

السوريات ضحايا النخاسة

– ادّعى السلفيون أنك شتمت مقدسا لهم في أوبرا مصر، ما الذي جرى؟
* لطالما فضحت السلفيين والأصوليين، وهذه المرة رأيت بعيني ملصقا على جامع “الحصري” يدعو الرجال كي “يتزوجن” النساء السوريات مثنى وثلاث ورباع كي “ينالوا ثوابا”.
أنا امرأة سورية وأرفض أن أسكت على هذا الترويج لسوق نخاسة حقيقي، فكتبت قصيدة وألقيتها في أوبرا مصر، فضحتهم فيها وأظهرت حقيقة ما يؤدي إليه الخضوع لهؤلاء الأصوليين، ولأنهم عاجزون عن الرد على الحقيقة تلاعبوا ببعض الكلمات التي كتبتها بالعامية، كي يظهروا الأمر كما لو أنني تعرضت لشخص محدد بشتيمة، وهذا غير صحيح، فالنص منشور ومن يقرأه يفهم جيدا ما أقوله.

القصيدة وما قلته عن هؤلاء ليس سوى “رأس جبل الجليد” فيما أفعله في هذا المجال، يوميا أساعد نساء سوريات في جوانب مختلفة، وفي إحدى المرات قمت بتهريب فتاة سورية (16 عاما) كان أهلها على وشك بيعها بـ 500 جنيه لسلفي عجوز، وساعدت آخرين على العودة إلى سورية.

بل عرضت على السلطات السورية، حين كان الطيران السوري ما زال ينزل في مطار القاهرة، أن يمنحوا مقاعد مجانية في رحلة العودة إلى دمشق للسوريين والسوريات الراغبين بالعودة إلى سورية، أصلا كانت الطائرة تعود فارغة إلى مطار دمشق. لكن تلك السلطات رفضت بكل بساطة، وبلا أي مبرر!
يصعب إنهاء الحديث مع رغدة السورية الأصيلة، يصعب أيضا أن تمنع نفسك من الذهاب معها في كل تفصيل من حياتها الغنية ورؤاها المثيرة، يصعب أن لا تبحش أكثر وأكثر في عمقها ونبضها، ومع ذلك أنت مضطر لتضغط زر إيقاف التسجيل في لحظة ما!

قبل أن تحين هذه اللحظة، خطر لي سؤال تقليدي: ما أول قرار تتخذينه لو صرت رئيسة لسورية اليوم، في هذه اللحظة من الحرب؟
“شوف”، ترد رغدة بجدية مطلقة: “لو أعطوني الرئاسة اليوم وفوقها الكثير الكثير من الامتيازات، لقلت: لا، شكرا، الجبال التي تحمل مسؤوليات أكبر من طاقاتها تنهار، أما الرئيس بشار الأسد فتقول رغدة بدهشة وإعجاب: “حقيقة لا أعرف كيف ينام؟ كيف يأكل ويشرب ويضحك ويمضي بعض الوقت مع أسرته وأولاده؟ هذا الرجل الذي يحمل المسؤولية اليوم يواجه العالم كله في حرب معقدة، حصار اقتصادي وسياسي من كل مستوى، فساد وأزمات داخلية، حرب تدخل سنتها السابعة، ومع كل ذلك تراه شخصا متزنا لا يكتفي بالقيام بمهماته كلها على أكمل وجه فحسب، بل أيضا لا تفارق الإبتسامة وجهه، من هذا الرجل؟ كيف يستطيع ذلك؟”

في زمن آخر، بعد الحرب، سترحب بأن تكون رئيسة، وسيكون أول قرار تتخذه من منصبها هو أن تأتي بهؤلاء الذين “باعوا البلد متوهمين أنهم سيستولون على سورية ببضعة أيام كما حصل في تونس ومصر، سأجمعهم وأضعهم في معرض عام مسوّر، وسأدعو السوريين ليأتوا مع أطفالهم في نزهة كي يتفرجوا عليهم، يرمون لهم البذر والموز وفتات الخبز، هذا أفضل ما يجب أن يحصل لهؤلاء، فأن ضد عقوبة الإعدام على كل حال”!

بسام القاضي – انباء اسيا

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Syria Sheikh Nawwaf al-Bashir: Many of So-called “Syrian Opposition Coalition” Members are Corrupt

Syria Sheikh Nawwaf al-Bashir: Many of So-called “Syrian Opposition Coalition” Members are Corrupt


Leader of the prominent al-Baqara tribe in Syria Sheikh Nawwaf al-Bashir, unveiled Wednesday that the so-called “opposition” figure Riad Hjab had received $47 million from Qatar and gave the amount to the UN-blacklisted Jabhat al-Nusra in order to launch a major attack on Aleppo.

Al-Bashir told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television channel that there is so much corruption among the ranks of the “opposition” staying in Turkey.

“A former head of the coalition stole $ 116 million and went to an Arab country where he formed a party. Another opposition coalition figure embezzled $ 18 million and went to Britain where he obtained British citizenship,” the tribal leader asserted.

 Besides, no one has so far get information about where an amount of $51 million has gone, al-Bashir added.

“The aid, which come for the Syrian people, go to the funds of the [Muslim Brotherhood Movement],” al-Bashir said, describing the movement as ‘the greatest danger’ because its members promote themselves as moderates, keep storing weapons, get their forces ready for the battle and think only about power.

According to al-Bashir, Qatar and Saudi Arabia fund war on Syria in order to destroy it in implementation of foreign agendas. He pointed out that a lot of “opposition” figures visited ‘Israel’ and they thought they were ‘heroes’.

The tribal leader indicated that the so-called “opposition” figure Nazir al-Hakim forged passports for Syrians with the approval of a European country. These forged passports helped many people including ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra affiliates enter Europe. Revenues of passport forgery processes reached up to $400 million.”

However, Sheikh al-Bashir said: “We are working now to mobilize tribesmen to fight alongside the Syrian Arab army in order to liberate Syria from terrorism and to prevent its fragmentation .. Our brave army has carried out heroic operations in Deir Ezzour Province over the past four days.”

“99% of al-Baqara tribesmen are with the Syrian state,” he concluded.

Last Tuesday, Sheikh al-Bashir announced his return to Syria willingly. He  was one of the founders of ‘Damascus Declaration’ in 2005 and he joined opposition in 2011.

Basma Qaddour


Top Opposition Figure Nawaf al-Bashir Repents and Returns to Syria

Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, the highest figure in the western fabricated opposition in Syria, the chief of Baggara Tribe in northeast Syria, returned to Damascus and declared his loyalty to the Syrian people, the Syrian leadership and praised the Syrian Arab Army and put himself under the command of the Syrian president Dr. Bashar Al-Assad.

With 1.2 million tribesmen and women in his Der Ezzor base, he left them behind and joined the ranks of makeshift opposition individuals convinced by Qatari officials that the days of the ‘regime’ are numbered and if they defect now they’ll reserve a place for them in the future Syria. Some were bribed with tens of millions of dollars, others were seduced with leading post-Assad posts, and the vast majority who couldn’t be bought or deceived were intimidated, only few fell for any of those.

A parliament member 1990 – 1994, the 63 years old who heads his large tribe since he was 28 after his late father, had a very controversial political career, served as an ambassador to Iraq and yet was a member of the first ‘Arab Springing‘ of the Syrians the so-called ‘Damascus Declaration’.

Sheikh al-Bashir in a statement he personally read before a group of people who went to greet him at his home said: “I return to Syria and I publicly declare that we stand with our people, and with our homeland, and with its leadership against the obscurantist terrorism, which is represented by ISIS, Nusra and the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters, and to restore the security of the country, its safety and its territorial integrity.”

He was an essential figure in the ‘regime’ he denounced and now returned to. Most of the leaders of the opposition who fled abroad were essential figures of the ‘regime’ but the ones who were mostly corrupt: Abdul Halim Khaddam, the long-serving vice president of Syria and the one with the worst record of corruption in the country when he was relieved from his office he became an opposition figure and sought refuge in France, like Rifaat Assad (president Bashar’s uncle and his father’s deputy and foe!!), Tlass and his sons Firas and Manaf, and so on.

When he joined the opposition in Turkey, they celebrated him being the most prominent person in the country to join and who leads a huge tribe, when he returned now and almost instantly he became in their eyes: ‘opportunist’, ‘dumb’, ‘thug’, ‘traitor’.. and all similar descriptions.

This could be a game-changer for many in his province Der Ezzor which borders the ISIS declared capital Ragga and borders the hotbed and birthplace of Al-Qaeda Levant and ISIS itself in Iraq Anbar province. Der Ezzor countryside and parts of the city itself is infested with herds of ISIS.

A U-turn in politics is not unusual when a power shift occurs and the traitor does not wish to remain a loser in exile.  When this one realized he would not return to Syria on a parade float, he chose to offer an apology, hoping to get back some of what he forfeited.

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Exclusive: The Man Who Orchestrated the Arab Opposition to President Assad

Abdel-Haleem Khaddam


At the end of 2005, the Syrian Government experienced a series of drastic changes, but none greater than the transition from the old Ba’athist guard that once thrived under the late Syrian President, Hafezh Al-Assad, to the newly appointed Ba’ath Party’s Regional Command that included the likes of Maher Al-Assad, Assef Shawkat, and Manaf Tlass.

Of course, loyal Ba’ath Party members from the old guard like ‘Abdullah Al-Ahmar, Rustom Ghazaleh, Wa’el Mu’allem, and Farouq Al-Sharaa’ retained their respectful roles in the future government; however, for the first time in three decades, men like Mustafa Tlass and ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam were not included in any governmental position – why?

It was not clear at the time because Dr. Bashar Al-Assad was still relatively new to his position, but the defection of the former Syrian Vice President, ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam, would not only deteriorate Saudi-Syrian relations, but also, pave the way for future Syrian Opposition figures to find political and financial support from the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Why Saudi Arabia?

‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam has a long-standing history with the Saudi Royal Family: from the time he spent in Saudi Arabia during the 1989 Taif Agreement, to his friendship – both politically and monetarily – with the late Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri; Khaddam gained considerable influence over the Saudi royals, who viewed him as a trusted friend and ally.

When Rafic Hariri was assassinated in 2005, Khaddam blamed Rustom Ghazaleh and Hezbollah for the murder of his best friend; this was followed by his publicly stated antipathy for the Lebanese Resistance and their allies.

The man who was undoubtedly loyal to the late Syrian President, Hafezh Al-Assad, was now the biggest opponent to his son.

What happened?

Yes, the uncertainty of who was behind the assassination of Rafic Hariri had greatly affected Khaddam’s demeanor, but his discontent with Dr. Bashar Al-Assad did not begin overnight; in fact, his earliest objections to President Assad’s policies began in 2001, when Syria shifted away from their Gulf alliances in order to strengthen ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

Infuriated by the prospect of a strong Syria-Iran alliance, the Saudis expressed their disappointment in President Assad’s political decisions to their good friend, ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam, who was not shy about his dissatisfaction over this new policy to distance Syrian affairs from the helm of the Gulf states.

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam facilitated the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Syria to allow for Sunni insurgents to be trained and armed by the Syrian Intelligence apparatus; this eventually created a rift between the two countries after Syria withdrew their support.

It became clear to Saudi Arabia that President Bashar Al-Assad was not a politician they could partner with in the Arab World; his unwillingness to support the Saudi’s foreign endeavors furthered the latter’s discontent with his government and policies.

Khaddam’s Departure:

Similar to exiled politicians like Salahaddeen Bitar, Michel Aflaq, Amin Al-Hafezh, and Rifa’at Al-Assad, ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam fled Syria to Paris in late 2005, where he was later tried and found guilty by the Syrian Courts in absentee for the crime of “Treason Against the State.”

Not surprising, Khaddam immediately formed an opposition group to the Syrian Government – funded by none other Saudi Arabia – in early 2006, which was profiled and promoted by the Saudi-owned “Al-‘Arabiya” Broadcast News Channel.

Khaddam’s political prospects were appearing bleak in 2007, as the Syrian Government began the process of liberalizing their economy, making Syria’s commercial real estate open for business in early 2008; this was followed by the creation of the Damascus Stock Exchange at the end of the year.

2011 – Present-Day

When protests began in Dara’a in March of 2011, one of the first “political activists” to speak out against the Syrian Government was none other than ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam, who later encouraged more members of the Syrian Government to defect.

Abdul Halim Khaddam with leader of the Muslim brotherhood in Syria Ali Sadreddin Bayanouni at the start of the founding conference of National Salvation Front in Syria at a London hotel, 04 June 2006. 

Sources close to Al-Masdar News reported that members of ‘Abdel-Haleem Khaddam’s camp had contacted and invited them to hold talks with him in Saudi Arabia.

Khaddam is now 83 years old and while his political aspirations may have taken a backseat to his health issues, his long standing ties with the Saudi Royal Family has paved the way for Saudi Arabia to stake their place in the Syrian political spectrum through their influence over the enemies of the Syrian Government.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!


Posted on March 1, 2013 by

Tony Cartalucci

The US State Department, and to a greater extent, US foreign policy itself, having exhausted completely their collective credibility, has attempted yet another “reset.” By bringing in John Kerry to pose as the next US Secretary of State, it is hoped global opinion will see US foreign policy in a new, more tolerant light. Kerry, however, has wasted no time attempting to simply resell verbatim the same failed, absurd policy US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton destroyed her career peddling, spinning, and covering up – as finalized in the case of Benghazi, Libya.
Image: US Secretary of State John Kerry talks with pro-Al Qaeda Mouaz al-Khatib, who heads the militant front set to receive an additional $60 million in US aid claimed to be “non-lethal.” The UK, and more astonishingly, France who is fighting terrorists in Mali created by a similar intervention in Libya in 2011, have announced similar plans to further aid and abet terrorists in Syria.
The Washington Post’s piece, “U.S. announces expanded battlefield aid to Syrian rebels, but not arms,” rehashes the same tired, patently false narrative that has been used throughout the duration of the US-fueled Syrian conflict. The Washington Post reports:

The Obama administration will provide food and medicine to Syrian rebel fighters, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday, announcing a cautious U.S. foray into front-line battlefield support that falls far short of the heavy weapons or high-tech gear the rebels seek.
“The stakes are really high, and we can’t risk letting this country — in the heart of the Middle East — be destroyed by vicious autocrats or hijacked by the extremists,” Kerry said following discussions among a group of Western and Arab nations that are funding, and in some cases arming, the fighters.

The United States will, for the first time, send supplies through the rebels’ central military headquarters, with U.S. advisers supervising the distribution of food rations and medical supplies, U.S. officials said. The shift is intended to give the U.S.-backed Syrian Opposition Coalition greater say over the aid, but it is also a test of the rebels’ ability to keep donated supplies out of the hands of extremists in their midst.

The Washington Post report is a verified lie. US assistance, cash, weapons, and covert military support had been ongoing in Syria since 2007 – in other words – before the current conflict even began. And the US has been providing this support not for moderates, but specifically and intentionally for the ideological foundation of Al Qaeda itself, the sectarian extremist Muslim Brotherhood, since the Bush administration.
Outright admissions by administration officials, Saudi and Lebanese officials working in tandem with the US, and US intelligence agents have outlined a criminal conspiracy that has now transcended two presidencies and provided the clearest example yet of the corporate-financier driven “continuity of agenda” that truly guides Western foreign policy. This criminal conspiracy has also incurred a staggering list of egregious crimes against humanity, crimes we are reminded of daily by the very interests responsible for them, including the 70,000 alleged dead in the Syrian conflict so far.

Secretary John Kerry’s Narrative is a Verified Lie

Secretary Kerry’s “desire” to keep weapons out of the hands of extremists is willfully disingenuous misdirection. It has been extremists the US has been, on record, purposefully propping up in Syria years before the conflict even began in 2011.
Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?“stated explicitly that:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

Hersh’s report would also include:

“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.”

Hersh also reported that a supporter of the Lebanese pro-US-Saudi Hariri faction had met Dick Cheney in Washington and relayed personally the importance of using the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in any move against the ruling government:

“[Walid] Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be “the ones to talk to,” Jumblatt said.”

The article would continue by explaining how already in 2007 US and Saudi backing had begun benefiting the Brotherhood:

“There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.”

At one point in Hersh’s report, it is even admitted that officials from US ally Saudi Arabia admitted to “controlling” the “religious fundamentalists.” The report states specifically:

“…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

While Kerry, as did Clinton before him, and others throughout the Western establishment attempt to portray the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its armed front, Al Qaeda, in Syria as an unforeseeable, unfortunate consequence of an equally unforeseeable, unfortunate conflict – it is clear that in 2007, such “consequences” were essential elements of a premeditated conflict the West had poured cash, weapons, and logistics into the creation of, along with its partners in the Middle East, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
Also in 2007, the Wall Street Journal would publish a report titled, “To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers.” In this report, it was revealed that even in 2007, Syrian opposition groups were being created from whole-cloth by the US State Department and paraded around in front of Syria’s embassies in the West. The article begins with one such protest, stating:

On a humid afternoon in late May, about 100 supporters of Syria’s largest exile opposition group, the National Salvation Front, gathered outside Damascus’s embassy here to protest Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule. The participants shouted anti-Assad slogans and raised banners proclaiming: “Change the Regime Now.”

Later in the article, it would be revealed that the National Salvation Front (NSF) was in contact with the US State Department and that a Washington-based consulting firm in fact assisted the NSF in organizing the rally:

In the weeks before the presidential election, the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, which promotes regional democracy, and NSF members met to talk about publicizing Syria’s lack of democracy and low voter turnout, participants say. A Washington-based consulting firm, C&O Resources Inc., assisted the NSF in its planning for the May 26 anti-Assad rally at the Syrian embassy, providing media and political contacts. State Department officials stress they provided no financial or technical support to the protestors.

And while the Wall Street Journal then, just as the US State Department and the Western media houses are now portraying the Syrian opposition as representing a wide range of interests across Syrian society, it was admitted then, just as it is plainly obvious now, that the sectarian extremist Muslim Brotherhood was in fact at the very center of the “uprising:”

One of the NSF’s most influential members is the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — the decades-old political movement active across the Middle East whose leaders have inspired the terrorist groups Hamas and al Qaeda. Its Syrian offshoot says it has renounced armed struggle in favor of democratic reform.

It was evidently clear, even in 2007, that extremists would play a leading role in any future armed conflict to overthrow the Syrian government, and now, years later, that engineered conflict has been executed verbatim and to horrific consequence – consequences the West not only refuses to take responsibility for, but seeks to further compound with increased aid to the forces of armed sedition it itself created.
Absurdity of Kerry’s Narrative Only Outdone by Proposed Solution
The solution Kerry proposes is to flood Syria with more cash, equipment, training, weapons, and other aid, either directly, or laundered through proxies such as Al Qaeda’s chief financiers and arms providers, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Washington Post’s report states:

The goal of the new money is to counter the increasingly effective network of services provided by militants.

Unfortunately, the so-called “Syrian Opposition Coalition” handcrafted by the US, and founded in Doha, Qatar, is led by an extremist, Mouaz al-Khatib, who openly embraces Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front in Syria, credited with some of the most heinous atrocities committed during the 2 year conflict, as well as systematic abuse, oppression, and subjugation in all areas along Syria’s border with NATO-member Turkey it controls.
In late 2012, al-Khatib demanded that the US reverse its decision to list al-Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization. Reuters quoted al-Khatib as saying:

“The decision to consider a party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed. We might disagree with some parties and their ideas and their political and ideological vision. But we affirm that all the guns of the rebels are aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical criminal regime.”

The more recent Washington Post article, in fact, reaffirms al-Khatib’s support for extremists groups, stating:
Coalition chairman Mouaz al-Khatib angrily appealed for a humanitarian corridor to the besieged city of Homs and said the rebels are tired of Western complaints about extremists in their ranks. He argued that the real enemy is the Assad regime but said too many outsiders are worried only about “the length of a beard of a fighter.”

“No terrorists in the world have such a savage nature as those in the regime,” Khatib said in Arabic.

The Syrian opposition leader’s finger-jabbing anger was in marked contrast to Kerry’s clipped and measured tone. Kerry looked at Khatib without expression as the Syrian spoke.

And yet this US-created “opposition” movement, run by a leader openly embracing and defending Al Qaeda, will be the recipient of some $60 million in “non-lethal aid” and “training” to allegedly “undermine” Al Qaeda. The Washington Post indicated that France and the UK were even considering sending armored vehicles to the openly pro-Al Qaeda front.
The face-value absurdity of current Western foreign policy in the wake of a decade-long “War on Terror” that has left it bankrupt, thousands of its soldiers dead, tens of thousands more maimed or mentally ill, is perhaps so profoundly acute, it is hoped it is easier to instead believe US Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated lies.
And astonishingly, even as French soldiers die fighting militants in Mali – armed, trained, and funded by NATO’s similar intervention in Libya in 2011, and allegedly still funded and armed by US, UK, and French ally Qatar – the Washington Post article indicates France will be eagerly making the same “mistake” in Syria, and will be further assisting terrorists there, including the training of rebel forces “outside Syria.”
The exhausted legitimacy of the West, punctuated by unhinged hypocrisy, and rapidly unraveling financial and military might, would seem a perfect opportunity for the United Nations to prove its relevance or legitimacy by condemning the purposeful expansion of an already intolerable proxy war initiated by Western interests. Instead, it remains silent, or worse yet, complicit in the premeditated, documented assault on Syria under the increasingly tenuous guise of “democracy promotion,” “revolution,” and “humanitarian concern.”
Nations existing outside the West’s unraveling international enterprise would do best to continue resisting, and increasingly condemning the overt state-sponsorship of terrorism that is destroying Syria. For the rest of us, we must identify the corporate-financier interests driving this agenda – interests we most likely patronize on a daily basis, and both boycott and permanently replace them to erode the unwarranted influence they have used to both plan and execute this assault on Syria’s people.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Made in Syria by Khaddam

For those who don’t know, Khaddam was in charge for Lebanon’s file till middle 1990’s

 “Made in Syria”

‘Bite the hand ….!’
“… Also in Akkar is Future Movement coordinator Hussein al-Masri, formerly a very active member of the Baath’s student wing. As for former Future MP, Mustafa Hachem, it is said that he sat in General Mufleh’s office the longest and drank his coffee the most. Until a few weeks ago, Mufleh himself was commending Hachem’s “political line,” praising his writing skills, and recommending his investigative expertise to journalists.

But Syria’s main “creation” in Akkar is none other than MP Khaled al-Daher. All that he knows, he learned from the Syrian intelligence that ruled Lebanon. After the annulment of the elections results contested by MP Mikhael al-Daher against Faouzi Hobeich and Jamal Ismail, by-elections for two seats were held in North Lebanon in 1997.
Out of the blue, Khaled al-Daher’s name filled the ballot boxes, gaining 90 percent of the Alawi vote. The Christians seemed to be enamored by him. Some forget, but some don’t, that al-Daher used to “serve coffee” in Mufleh’s office.
From Akkar to Zgharta. Following the Syrian leadership’s blessing of the “election” of President Rene Moawad, and his martyrdom, their intelligence services appointed his widow Nayla Moawad as MP in 1991.
Her relationship with former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam and General Mohammad Nassif got her a first-place position in the 1992 elections in the north, only to be surpassed by MP Boutros Harb in 1996.
During the reign of the Syrian intelligence, Harb had received more votes than Frangieh, Syria’s top man in Lebanon, as March 14 likes to call him. This happened even in Zgharta, Frangieh’s stronghold. Moawad also received more votes than Frangieh in all Alawi ballot boxes.

Well into the 2000s, Nayla Moawad never hesitated to invite Syrian generals to the commemorations of President Moawad’s assassination. Frangieh can recall more than 20 cases where Moawad gave information about him to the Syrian authorities, while she cannot remember even one case where he did the same to her….” (Continue, Here)

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!


WikiLeaks logo


Created 2006-12-13 16:03
Released 2011-08-30 01:44
Classification SECRET
Origin Embassy Damascus

Appears in these articles:

DE RUEHDM #5399/01 3471603
O 131603Z DEC 06




E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2016

Classified By: CDA William Roebuck, for reasons 1.5 b/d

¶1. (S) Summary. The SARG ends 2006 in a much stronger position domestically and internationally than it did 2005.
While there may be additional bilateral or multilateral pressure that can impact Syria, the regime is based on a small clique that is largely immune to such pressure.
However, Bashar Asad’s growing self-confidence )- and reliance on this small clique — could lead him to make mistakes and ill-judged policy decisions through trademark emotional reactions to challenges, providing us with new opportunities. For example, Bashar,s reaction to the prospect of Hariri tribunal and to publicity for Khaddam and the National Salvation Front borders on the irrational.
Additionally, Bashar,s reported preoccupation with his image and how he is perceived internationally is a potential liability in his decision making process. We believe Bashar,s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as a the
conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists.
This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities
arising. These proposals will need to be fleshed out and converted into real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities. Many of our suggestions underline using Public Diplomacy and more indirect means to send messages that influence the inner circle. End Summary.

¶2. (S) As the end of 2006 approaches, Bashar appears in some ways stronger than he has in two years. The country is economically stable (at least for the short term), internal opposition the regime faces is weak and intimidated, and regional issues seem to be going Syria,s way, from Damascus, perspective. Nonetheless, there are some long-standing vulnerabilities and looming issues that may provide opportunities to up the pressure on Bashar and his inner circle. Regime decision-making is limited to Bashar and an inner circle that often produces poorly thought-out tactical decisions and sometimes emotional approaches, such as Bashar,s universally derided August 15 speech. Some of these vulnerabilities, such as the regime,s near-irrational views on Lebanon, can be exploited to put pressure on the regime. Actions that cause Bashar to lose balance and increase his insecurity are in our interest because his inexperience and his regime,s extremely small decision-making circle make him prone to diplomatic stumbles that can weaken him domestically and regionally. While the consequences of his mistakes are hard to predict and the benefits may vary, if we are prepared to move quickly to take advantage of the opportunities that may open up, we may directly impact regime behavior where it matters–Bashar and his inner circle.

¶3. (S) The following provides our summary of potential vulnerabilities and possible means to exploit them:
— Vulnerability:

THE HARIRI INVESTIGATION AND THE TRIBUNAL: The Hariri investigation ) and the prospect of a Lebanon Tribunal — has provoked powerful SARG reactions, primarily because of
the embarrassment the investigation causes. Rationally, the regime should calculate that it can deal with any summons of Syrian officials by refusing to turn any suspects over, or, in extreme cases by engineering “suicides.8 But it seems the real issue for Bashar is that Syria,s dignity and its
international reputation are put in question. Fiercely-held sentiments that Syria should continue to exercise dominant control in Lebanon play into these sensitivities. We should seek to exploit this raw nerve, without waiting for formation of the tribunal.

— Possible action:

— PUBLICITY: Publicly highlighting the consequences of the ongoing investigation a la Mehlis causes Bashar personal angst and may lead him to act irrationally. The regime has deep-seated fears about the international scrutiny that a tribunal — or Brammertz accusations even against lower-echelon figures — would prompt. The Mehlis accusations of October 2005 caused the most serious strains in Bashar’s inner circle. While the family got back together, these splits may lie just below the surface.

— Vulnerability:

— THE ALLIANCE WITH TEHRAN: Bashar is walking a fine line in his increasingly strong relations with Iran, seeking necessary support while not completely alienating Syria,s moderate Sunni Arab neighbors by being perceived as aiding Persian and fundamentalist Shia interests. Bashar’s decision to not attend the Talabani ) Ahmadinejad summit in Tehran following FM Moallem,s trip to Iraq can be seen as a manifestation of Bashar’s sensitivity to the Arab optic on his Iranian alliance.

— Possible action:

PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business.
Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue.

— Vulnerability:

— THE INNER CIRCLE: At the end of the day, the regime is dominated by the Asad family and to a lesser degree by Bashar Asad,s maternal family, the Makhlufs, with many family members believe to be increasingly corrupt. The family, and hangers on, as well as the larger Alawite sect, are not
immune to feuds and anti-regime conspiracies, as was evident last year when intimates of various regime pillars (including the Makhloufs) approached us about post-Bashar possibilities.
Corruption is a great divider and Bashar’s inner circle is subject to the usual feuds and squabbles related to graft and corruption. For example, it is generally known that Maher Asad is particularly corrupt and incorrigible. He has no scruples in his feuds with family members or others. There is also tremendous fear in the Alawite community about retribution if the Sunni majority ever regains power.

— Possible Action:

— ADDITIONAL DESIGNATIONS: Targeted sanctions against regime members and their intimates are generally welcomed by most elements of Syrian society. But the way designations are applied must exploit fissures and render the inner circle weaker rather than drive its members closer together. The designation of Shawkat caused him some personal irritation and was the subject of considerable discussion in the business community here. While the public reaction to corruption tends to be muted, continued reminders of corruption in the inner circle have resonance. We should look for ways to remind the public of our previous designations.

— Vulnerability:

— THE KHADDAM FACTOR: Khaddam knows where the regime skeletons are hidden, which provokes enormous irritation from Bashar, vastly disproportionate to any support Khaddam has within Syria. Bashar Asad personally, and his regime in general, follow every news item involving Khaddam with tremendous emotional interest. The regime reacts with self-defeating anger whenever another Arab country hosts Khaddam or allows him to make a public statement through any of its media outlets.

— Possible Action:

— We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media outlets, providing him with venues for airing the SARG,s dirty laundry. We should anticipate an overreaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbors.


— DIVISIONS IN THE MILITARY-SECURITY SERVICES: Bashar constantly guards against challenges from those with ties inside the military and security services. He is also nervous about any loyalties senior officers (or former senior officers) feel toward disaffected former regime elements like Rif,at Asad and Khaddam. The inner circle focuses continuously on who gets what piece of the corruption action.
Some moves by Bashar in narrowing the circle of those who benefit from high-level graft has increased those with ties to the security services who have axes to grind.

— Possible Action:

The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Khaddam and Rif,at Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime,s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.


Bashar keeps unveiling a steady stream of initiatives on economic reform and it is certainly possible he believes this issue is his legacy to Syria. While limited and ineffectual, these steps have brought back Syrian expats to invest and have created at least the illusion of increasing openness.
Finding ways to publicly call into question Bashar,s reform efforts )- pointing, for example to the use of reform to disguise cronyism — would embarrass Bashar and undercut these efforts to shore up his legitimacy. Revealing Asad family/inner circle corruption would have a similar effect.

— Possible Action:

— HIGHLIGHTING FAILURES OF REFORM: Highlighting failures of reform, especially in the run-up to the 2007 Presidential elections, is a move that Bashar would find highly embarrassing and de-legitimizing. Comparing and contrasting puny Syrian reform efforts with the rest of the Middle East would also embarrass and irritate Bashar.

— Vulnerability:

— THE ECONOMY: Perpetually under-performing, the Syrian economy creates jobs for less than 50 percent of the country,s university graduates. Oil accounts for 70 percent of exports and 30 percent of government revenue, but production is in steady decline. By 2010 Syria is expected to become a net importer of oil. Few experts believe the SARG is capable of managing successfully the expected
economic dislocations.

— DISCOURAGE FDI, ESPECIALLY FROM THE GULF: Syria has enjoyed a considerable up-tick in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last two years that appears to be picking up steam. The most important new FDI is undoubtedly from the Gulf.

— Vulnerability:

— THE KURDS: The most organized and daring political opposition and civil society groups are among the ethnic minority Kurds, concentrated in Syria,s northeast, as well as in communities in Damascus and Aleppo. This group has been willing to protest violently in its home territory when others would dare not. There are few threats that loom larger in Bashar,s mind than unrest with the Kurds. In what is a rare occurrence, our DATT was convoked by Syrian Military Intelligence in May of 2006 to protest what the Syrians believed were US efforts to provide military training and equipment to the Kurds in Syria.

— Possible Action:

— HIGHLIGHT KURDISH COMPLAINTS: Highlighting Kurdish complaints in public statements, including publicizing human rights abuses will exacerbate regime,s concerns about the Kurdish population. Focus on economic hardship in Kurdish areas and the SARG,s long-standing refusal to offer citizenship to some 200,000 stateless Kurds. This issue would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria could be a liability for our efforts at uniting the opposition, given Syrian (mostly Arab) civil society,s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.

— Vulnerability:

— Extremist elements increasingly use Syria as a base, while the SARG has taken some actions against groups stating links to Al-Qaeda. With the killing of the al-Qaida leader on the border with Lebanon in early December and the increasing terrorist attacks inside Syria culminating in the September 12 attack against the US embassy, the SARG,s policies in Iraq and support for terrorists elsewhere as well can be seen to be coming home to roost.

— Possible Actions:

— Publicize presence of transiting (or externally focused) extremist groups in Syria, not limited to mention of Hamas and PIJ. Publicize Syrian efforts against extremist groups in a way that suggests weakness, signs of instability, and uncontrolled blowback. The SARG,s argument (usually used after terror attacks in Syria) that it too is a victim of terrorism should be used against it to give greater prominence to increasing signs of instability within Syria.

¶4. (S) CONCLUSION: This analysis leaves out the anti-regime Syrian Islamists because it is difficult to get an accurate picture of the threat within Syria that such groups pose.
They are certainly a long-term threat. While it alludes to the vulnerabilities that Syria faces because of its alliance with Iran, it does not elaborate fully on this topic. The bottom line is that Bashar is entering the new year in a stronger position than he has been in several years, but those strengths also carry with them — or sometimes mask ) vulnerabilities. If we are ready to capitalize, they will offer us opportunities to disrupt his decision-making, keep him off-balance, and make him pay a premium for his mistakes.


التأثير على حكومة النظام العربي السوري في نهاية عام 2006

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Syria: A Conspiracy Revealed

We have met the enemy and he is us.
— Walt Kelly, 1913-1973

It was political analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, in November 2006, who wrote in detail of US plans for the Middle East.

“The term ‘New Middle East’, was introduced to the world in June 2006, in Tel Aviv,†by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East’”, he wrote.
Sanity dictated that this would be a U.S. fantasy rampage too far and vast – until realization hit that the author of the map of this New World, planned in the New World’s “New World Order”, was Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters, who, in one of the most terrifying articles ever published, wrote in 1997:

There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines …The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. (My emphasis.)

At the time, Peters was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he was responsible: “for future warfare.” His plans for Iraq worked out just fine – unless you are an Iraqi.
A month after Nazemroaya’s article was published, William Roebuck, Director for the Office of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, was composing an end of year strategy for Syria from his study in the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, where he was been based between 2004-2007, rising to Deputy Chief of Mission.

The subject title was: “Influencing the SARG (Syrian Arab Regime Government) in the end of 2006.”
“The SARG ends 2006 in a much stronger position domestically and internationally (than in) 2005.” Talking of President Assad’s “growing self-confidence”, he felt that this might lead to “mistakes and ill-judged … decisions … providing us with new opportunities.” Whilst “additional bilateral or multilateral pressure can impact on Syria”, clearly he had even more ambitious plans:

This cable summarizes our assessment of … vulnerabilities, and suggests that there may be actions, statements and signals, that the USG (US Government) can send that will improve the liklihood of such opportunities arising.

The proposals would need to be “fleshed out and converted in to real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities.” (no, not le Carre, Forsyth, or Fleming, “diplomat” in Damascus.)

“As the end of 2006 approaches” wrote Roebuck, “Bashar appears … stronger than he has done in two years. The country is economically stable …regional issues seem to be going Syria’s way.”

However, “vulnerabilities and looming issues may provide opportunities to up the pressure on Bashar … some of these vulnerabilities “(including the complexities with Lebanon) “can be exploited to put pressure on the regime. Actions that cause Bashar to lose balance, and increase his insecurity, are in our interest.”

The President’s “mistakes are hard to predict and benefits may vary, if we are prepared to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities …”

A “vulnerability”, wrote Roebuck, was Bashir al Assad’s protection of: “Syria’s dignity and international reputation.” Pride and “protection”, clearly a shocking concept.

In the light of the proposed Tribunal into the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri (14 February 2005) killed with his friend, former Minister of Economy Bassel Fleihan and twenty colleagues and bodyguards in a huge bomb detonated under his motorcade, this “vulnerability” could be exploited.

Unproven allegations have pointed the finger at Israel, Syria, Hezbollah and myriad others as behind another Middle East tragedy, but Roebuck regarded it as an “opportunity to exploit this raw nerve, without waiting for the formation of the Tribunal.”

Another idea outlined under a further “vulnerability” heading, was the growing alliance between Syria and Iran. “Possible action”, was to “play on Sunni fears of Iranian influence.” Although these were “often exaggerated”, they were there to be exploited:

Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here … are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should co-ordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention to the issue.

Concerned Sunni religious leaders should also be worked on. Iraq-style divide and rule model, writ large.

The “divide” strategy, of course, should also focus on the first family and legislating circle, with “ targeted sanctions (which) must exploit fissures and render the inner circle weaker, rather the drive its members closer together.”

The public should also be subject to “continual reminders of corruption … we should look for ways to remind …”

Another aspect to be exploited was “The Khaddam factor”.

Abdul Halim Khaddam was Vice President from 1984-2005, and acting President in 2000, during the months beween Bashir al Assad’s accession and his father’s death.

Thought to have Presidential ambitions himself, there was a bitter split between Khaddam and al Assad after Hariri’s death. Allegations of treasonous betrayal by Khaddam have validity.
The ruling party, writes Roebuck:

…follow every news item involving Khaddam, with tremendous emotional interest. We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media … providing him with venues for airing the SARG’s dirty laundry.

As a result, anticipated was “an over reaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbours.”

On January 14th, 2006, Khaddam had formed a government in exile, and had predicted the end of the al-Assad government by the year’s end.

He is currently regarded as an opposition leader, and has claimed, on Israel’s Channel 2 TV, receiving monies to help overthrow the Syrian government from the U.S. and E.U.

The ever creative Mr Roebuck’s further plans included, “Encouraging rumours and signals of external plotting.” To this end “Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Kaddam and Rifat (sic) al Assad, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This … increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.”

Rifaat al Assad, Bashir’s uncle, was in charge of the Defence Brigade, who killed up to thirty thousand people in, and flattened much of, the city of Hama, in February 1982. So much for endlessly trumpeted concerns for “human rights violations.” Rifaat al Assad lives in exile and safety in London. Khaddam lives in Paris.(v)

Here is a serious cause for concern for the overthrow-bent. “Bashar keeps unveiling a steady stream of initiatives on reform and it is certainly possible he believes this is his legacy to Syria …. These steps have brought back Syrian expats to invest … (and) increasing openness.”

Solution? “Finding ways to publicly call in to question Bashar’s reform efforts.” Indeed, moving heaven and earth to undercut them, is made clear.

Further, “Syria has enjoyed a considerable up-tick in foreign direct investment”, thus, foreign investment is to be “discouraged.”

In May of 2006, complains Roebuck, Syrian Military Intelligence protested: “what they believed were U.S. efforts to provide military training and equipment to Syria’s Kurds.” The Iraq model yet again.
The answer was to “Highlight Kurdish complaints.” This, however, “would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria, could be a liability for our efforts … given Syrian … civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.”

In “Conclusion”, this shaming, shoddy document states, “The bottom line is that Bashar is entering the New Year in a stronger position than he has been in several years”, meaning “vulnerabilities” must be sought out. “If we are ready to capitalize, they will offer us opportunities to disrupt his decision-making, keep him off balance – and make him pay a premium for his mistakes.”

The cable is copied to The White House, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Treasury, U.S. Mission at the UN, U.S. National Security Council, CENTCOM, all Arab League and EU countries.

The only other U.S. Embassy copied in is that in Tel Aviv. When William Roebuck worked at the Embassy in Tel Aviv (2000-2003) embracing the invasion of Iraq year, he “narrowly missed assassination.” Perhaps someone there too thought he was hard to warm to.

In 2009, he was Deputy Political Consul In Baghdad “leading efforts to support the critical 2009 Iraqi elections.” The “free and fair, democratic” ones, where people were threatened with the deaths of their children even, if they did not vote the “right” way.

The result was Nuri al Maliki’s premiership, complete with his murderous militias, the man under whose Ministry of the Interior, U.S. soldiers discovered tortured, starving prisoners.

The Damascus cable comes courtesy Wikileaks. Lt. Colonel Peters called, on Fox News, for founder, Julian Assange, to be assassinated. The forty second clip is worth the listen.

The Colonel also writes fiction and thrillers under the name Owen Patterson. Perhaps he is living the dream.

Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger’s Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) Read other articles by Felicity.

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The West, Turkey and UN are “terrorist supporters”

(Lisa Karpova | DP-News – Pravda)

Photo illustration by Amarjit Sidhu

Who are you? What are you? The recent UN condemnations against Syria raise the question: Does the western media or the UN even ask that of whoever these people are that are telling wild stories about events in Syria? No, they don’t. They just promote them as they present themselves (for example claiming to be Syrian soldiers defecting because they refuse to kill civilians).

Even the Qatari propaganda organ, Al-Jazeera, has finally admitted that the opposition has lied and exaggerated about casualties and protest numbers.

The FUKUS axis has used as its agents the ex-Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam, AIPAC member Farid al-Ghadry, Brookings Institution Fellow Ammar Abdul Hamid, Jeffrey Feltman from the US State Dept and multiple Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leaders to fund, incite, train, guide, organize and direct their agents within Syria to bring down al-Assad government.

The latest scene was on the Syria-Turkey border where terrorists are being trained, armed and funded…then placed into Syria to perform their murderous deeds. Perhaps the western media and the UN should ask these clowns how many civilians they have killed in terrorist acts.

What better proof would anyone need that terrorists are targeting the Syrian government than the fact that hundreds of Libyan rebels, commanded by the admitted Al Qaeda operative in Libya, Abdulhakim Belhadj, a jihadist who fought with the Taliban against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, were airlifted into Syria to aid the opposition in carrying out attacks against government forces?

Syria will hold a referendum on the country’s new draft constitution late in March. If the new constitution is adopted, Syria will hold multi-party parliamentary elections in May and the next Presidential election is due to occur in 2014.

These actions are fundamental and serious steps to address the people’s demands. However, this isn’t discouraging the west and their terrorist stooges who falsely present themselves as supporting or fighting for “freedom and democracy in Syria” and for the interests of the Syrian people.

So do these “rebels” and “freedom fighters” acknowledge the efforts at reform, do they think that perhaps they should or could negotiate or compromise or is slit something else?

They would more properly be referred to as mercenaries and terrorists, working not for the interests of the Syrian people, who support President Bashar al-Assad overwhelmingly, but for foreign interests. They have been given instructions by their western sponsors not to negotiate with al-Assad government under any circumstances.

Now why would the west give such instructions if this were a legitimate opposition? On the other hand, this deceptive statement was released:

“We still believe that a political solution is what’s needed in Syria and there is still a chance for it if the international community acts quickly,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

How can there be any sort of “political solution” when they have ordered the opposition not to negotiate under any circumstances with al-Assad government?

It’s rather obvious what’s going on. These “opposition” individuals are playing a power game where they hope that the west will send foreign troops in to give them the “gift” of power and money.

Then Syria can be turned into a no man’s land where no one is safe, just like they did to Libya with that NTC terrorist gang. And they would all be competing with each other, as in Libya, to see which gang of criminals will please and provide for western interests the best.

Interestingly, they don’t even try to disguise their new stooges, who for the Syrian scenario are called the Syrian National Transitional Council, so confident are they of their media disinformation campaign. This self-appointed government in exile is based in Turkey.

Turkey’s role in the anti-Syria campaign is obvious. Terrorist training camps have been set up in Turkey. Terrorist insurgents in Syria were trained and armed on Turkish territory to infiltrate into Syria as defectors from the Syrian army.

These armed marauders and invaders from Turkey, loosely calling themselves the “Syrian Free Army” claim to be “the only thing standing between the tanks and the civilians.” But a closer look easily removes this cloud of deception and lies.

The SFA is operating throughout Syria, both in urban areas and in the countryside. Forces are active in the northwest (Idlib, Aleppo), the central region (Homs, Hama, and Rastan), the coast around Latakia, the south (Daraa and Houran), the east (Dier el-Zour, Abu Kamal), and the Damascus area. The largest concentration of these forces appears to be in the central region (Homs, Hama, and surrounding areas), with nine or more battalions active there.

They attack and set up incidents all through these areas, fire upon and draw out the army, as well as fire upon pro-government and other Syrian civilians. Then they scream in front of the cameras about “atrocities and human rights abuses.”

It seems that as in Libya, the Syrian Army is expected to sit and fold its arms while people are murdered and personal and public properties are destroyed. Smile and wave at the terrorists and do nothing.

One of the leaders of the “Syrian Free Army” has already promised the French Foreign Minister that if France intervenes, he will name his son after him.

The Syrian Free Army leaders have indicated that they will cut Syria’s ties with Iran and with the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements once they are in a position of “power” in Syria.

Turkey is in charge of providing terrorist groups with information on Syrian troop movements. Turkish ‘intelligence’ conducts radio-electronic reconnaissance on Syrian military communications as well.

Seven Turkish intelligence officers were arrested in Syria. They confessed that they have been trained in special assassinations, bombing and explosions operations by the Mossad in Israel.

Additionally, a month ago, 49 Turkish intelligence officers were arrested in Syria. Seven of them are high ranking officers of ‘intelligence’ services of Turkey.

A recent incident being fraudulently reported by western media has that “Syrian” forces fired on a funeral. Interestingly, the funeral was for martyrs from among Syrian forces killed by terrorists, and the shooters were these so-called defectors, attempting to blame the incident on al-Assad government once again and so it goes, one false flag after another, after another.

The hypocrite, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said. “No regime can survive by killing or jailing. No one can build a future over the blood of the oppressed.”

That’s rich coming from the country that is responsible for the murders and terrorist activities in Syria and from the country that was built on a Genocide which they deny , against Armenian and Greek Christians who are the original inhabitants and owners of the land that comprises the artificially created entity known as “Turkey.”

Turkey has long fancied resurrecting the Ottoman Empire, and cooperating with western garbage and their machinations goes hand in hand with this long sought after goal. It is also noteworthy that the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire is also looked upon favorably by many Zionists in Israel.

Turkey is even quite anxious to openly invade Syria if Ankara can receive the green light from Washington.

According to Michel Chossudovsky, “the road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (‘regime change’) including covert intelligence operations in support of rebel forces directed against the Syrian government.”

My PhotoStephen Lendman’s investigations are helpful in order to understand the real picture in the Middle East: “Israel wants regional rivals removed. Washington and key NATO partners want independent regimes ousted, replaced with subservient ones.”

Russia must consider Syria the ultimate, final line in the sand against western imperialism and global domination goals.

Dmitry Rogozin, who was Russia’s representative to NATO, told reporters that an attack against Iran is the same as an attack against Russia. “Iran is our neighbor,” Rogozin emphasized. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security. But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran.”

Russia has taken a firm, principled stand on the situation in Syria and Iran. Working tirelessly to facilitate dialogue and discussion, the only stumbling block to such talks are the west and the “opposition” that hardly qualifies as being referred to as any sort of opposition.

I am reminded of one Obama campaign promise that won the admiration and respect of the world community. On July 24th, 2007; he was asked, “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”

Obama responded, “I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.”

However, all of Iran’s offers for talks have been beset with nothing but preconditions and demands, so Obama is nothing but a bald-faced liar, even worse than his predecessor because of it.
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The Destructive Madness of Extremism: First McCarthyism, Then Radical Zionism

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Time to choose up sides, folks: Are you with us or against us?

(CHICAGO) – The right-wing government leaders of the state of Israel, bolstered by their powerful US allies, are trembling with excitement at the prospect of a military attack against Iran.

Everything is in place for Iraq Redux. This time the Extremists are determined to get it right. No ground troops, just highly sophisticated bombing runs that will target nuclear targets in Iran.

The American public is being manipulated by Israel’s Zionist extremists to believe that Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear arms which will be able to “wipe Israel off the map”.

Time to choose up sides, folks: Are you with us or against us?

Republican candidates for president, congressional Republicans and conservative Democrats, with the active encouragement of the always predictable Israel Lobby, are all spoiling for a fight for “our side”.

Truth of the matter, as Paul Pillar reported in the website , The National Interest, Israel has already launched its war with Iran through stealth assassinations of Iranian scientists, who may have, or more likely, did not have, a part in developing nuclear military capability. Pillar’s source is a report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, developed for NBC news:

Although the assassinations of Iranian scientists have until now been followed by no indication of responsibility other than smug comments of satisfaction from officials of the most likely foreign state perpetrator, now NBC offers something more specific.

According to a report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, the assassinations have been the joint work of Israel and the Iranian cult-cum-terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq.
According to the report, the partnership has involved Israel providing financing, training and arms to the MEK to accomplish the hits, as well as to commit other acts of violent sabotage inside Iran. The story tracks with accusations from officials of the Iranian government, who say they base most of what they know on interrogations and captured materials from a failed assassination attempt in 2010.
Such accusations by themselves would be easy to dismiss, of course, as more of the regime’s propaganda. But the NBC story cites two senior U.S. officials, speaking anonymously, as confirming the story. A third official said “it hasn’t been clearly confirmed yet,” although like the others he denied any U.S. involvement. The Israeli foreign ministry declined comment; the MEK denied the story.
No one is fooled by the Israeli denials. In fact, as the NBC report suggests, Israel deflects attention away from its involvement in all things nefarious, by suggesting that Iran is the aggressor here with its “attacks” on Israeli diplomats, a case dutifully made by the Washington Post here and here.

Juan Cole, a Middle East scholar, writing on his Informed Comment blog, is not persuaded by the Israeli spin. He finds Indian sources more credible than Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman:

American media that just parrot notorious thug, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in [these] unlikely allegation are allowing themselves to be used for propaganda. Why not interview Indian authorities on this matter? They are on the ground and have excellent forensic (“CSI”) abilities. Stop being so lazy and blinkered; that isn’t journalism.

Deflect attention from reality, create fear, and take the “high road”. This is the way extremists operate. It has always been so. We need only to travel back to the post WWII days of the 1940s and 1950s, when the US public was transfixed by a Washington drama that pitted suspected Communists against the American Way of Life.

The drama was launched in 1947 Congressional hearings.

Looking back to those days,the extremist side of that conflict became known in 1950 as McCarthyism, after Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy, a Republican who served in the US Senate from 1947 until 1957. He became a media star because he was horribly simplistic as he peddled fear. Finally, the Senator overreached and ran afoul of an honest judge named Joseph Welch. After that he spiraled downward.

But for a time it was the McCarthy era, where the sides were clearly defined, no room for ambiguity. The times demanded good versus evil, darkness against light, the powerful against the weak. This 4 minute film clip below, from the 1947 hearings, shows both “friendly” and “unfriendly” witnesses. One of the friendly witnesses was an actor named Ronald Reagan, who later became President of the United States.
Those with the power of the Law behind them asked the question: “Are you now or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party”? It was a question which, with the wrong answer, could send a person to jail.

Ten of those who testified as “unfriendly” witnesses, became known as the “Hollywood Ten.” Because they originally refused to cooperate with House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) they were cited for contempt of congress.

They were subsequently fired and blacklisted by the Motion Picture Association of America. All ten served up to a year in prison, were fined $1,000 and faced great difficulty working in Hollywood again.

Some worked under assumed names. The blacklist was finally broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films Spartacus and Exodus. (Could Trumbo have anticipated that the Israel he celebrated in his script for Exodus, would one day be asking “Are you now, or have you ever been”?)

The oppression of the Hollywood Ten operated on a McCarthyite battle of simplistic good versus evil. The battle is repeated whenever extremists hold absolute power, or think they do. Give the “wrong” answer and you are doomed to an indefinite time of incarceration, or at the very least, a permanent banishment from polite society.

Fast forward to the Palestine of 2011-12, where a dying young Palestinian man lies chained to a hospital bed in Israel’s Ofer Prison in Palestine. In an earlier Wall Writings posting, I examined what happened to bring this young man into the Israeli military prison.

After he was seized on December 17, 2011, Kahder Adnan was asked the contemporary variation of the 1940s’ Communist question, under torture in an Israeli jail nine weeks ago this weekend.

Adnan was asleep with his family when he taken by the Israeli Occupation Forces from his home near Jenin, in Area A, that part of the Palestinian Occupied Terrorities which the Oslo Accords mandated “the Palestinian Authority has sole civil jurisdiction and security control, while Israel retains authority over movement in and out of the area”.

The questions put to the 33-year old baker and Bir Zeit University graduate, are probably not recorded. Israeli officials have made no effort to be specific as to why Adnan had been placed in “administrative detention”, the bland terminology used by Israel for “disappearing” a Palestinian into the darkness of the absolute control of its military prison system.

Israeli occupation forces subsequently have let their friends in the media know that the question put to Adnan was a variation of the old 1940s American “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party”. I am reasonably certain no one asking that question had ever heard of Joe McCarthy.

For Khader Adnan, the question was more along the lines of, “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of Islamic Jihad”?

From the McCarthy era to the time of Israel’s military occupation, the questions resonate through the decades. We, the all powerful, the all good, demand that you confess that you belong to a “party” that is evil. How does the public know that the Islamic Jihad is evil? Because the “only democracy in the Middle East”, declares it to be so.

Communism in the 1940s and 1950s did bad things; the 2012 Islamic Jihad is fighting military occupation by the means it has, none of which are attractive. Extremism from the top of the power pyramid, engenders extremism from below.

In Israel, and indeed, in the United States, where the definition of evil is dictated by Israel, Islamic Jihad is an “illegal terrorist organization”. But is Khader Adnan a “member” of Islamic Jihad? He might have answered with a biblical statement, “you say I am”. Or maybe he simply remained quiet, waiting to be charged with membership is an illegal organization, a charge that is yet to come.

Khader Adnan is no stranger to an Israeli jail cell. He has already spent six years in one. He had, however, been a free man until nine weeks ago when he was once again hauled away into “administrative detention”, a colonial means of control the British, the original colonial power, bequeathed to Israel, the current colonial power.

Israel has put in jail more than 40% of the male Palestinian population, at one point in their lives. The purpose is to subdue the population. Sometimes they sit for years in administrative detention. At other times, they serve prison terms, and then reenter society under the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers and informers.

Khader Adnan responded the only way left to a prisoner whose future rests entirely in the hands of his jailers; he began a hunger strike that could lead to his death. In spite of numerous calls from Israeli and Palestinian organizations that Adnan be charged or released, the state of Israel remains silent, watching a man dying in one of its military prisons.

Most Americans are ignorant of Adnan’s impending death. If, or when, he dies, the American media may record his death as a small news item that will almost certainly, identify him as a leader of the “radical terrorist Islamic Jihad group”, a charge never leveled against Adnan except by implication.

And most Americans will not see that yet another Palestinian has died because the powerful are in control with the power to ask the question: “Are you now or have you ever been”, a member of whatever group that is not approved by the rulers.

Variations of the McCarthy Era question will continue as a part of our national discourse. It crops up even within the American Jewish community, as it did in a strange bit of inter-tribal conflict reported this week by Adam Horowitz on his blog, Mondoweiss.

Someone has said that great minds run together. I don’t know about that, but I say to you that by all things sacred, earlier in the week I was working on this post which links the McCarthy Era to Zionism.

I had even searched for, and found, the short congressional grilling of the Hollywood Ten, including Dalton Trumbo, above. Suddenly, there was Horowitz beating me into on line with the McCarthy connection. The least I can do is permit him to give the background of the story.

It all started when the New York Times transferred Ethan Bronner, its long-time Jerusalem bureau chief, back to the US. The irony of this personnel shift lies in the fact that Bronner finally may have become too much of a Zionist for even his editors to tolerate. For his part, Bronner says he had requested the transfer.

Bronner had been criticized by peace activists for his softness in covering the Occupation, soft that is, as in not being critical enough of the Israeli IDF tactics. When the story broke that his son had, until last year, served in the Israeli Defense Forces, even the Times‘ Public Editor suggested it was time for a transfer.

Jodi Rudoren, the new Jerusalem bureau chief is, like Bronner, Jewish. But her ethnicity was not enough to satisfy some on the Zionist team. Acting as a journalist should, she had reached out to sources on both sides of the issue in Israel/Palestine. Talking to the “enemy” immediately triggered a radical Zionist reaction.

Adam Horowitz on Mondoweiss, tells what happened next, writing under the headline: “Right wing to Rudoren: Are you now, or have you ever been, a Zionist?”

Judi Rudoren continues to hold her ground against the right-wing onslaught against her for tweeting Mondoweiss and Ali Abunimah, as well as recommending Peter Beinart’s new book (these are really the charges?). The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo interviews her and begins in the most (appropriately) McCarthyite way possible:

The New York Times’ incoming Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, won’t say if she is a Zionist.
“I’m going to punt on that question,” Rudoren, who is Jewish, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview yesterday. “I’m not really interested in labels about who I am and what I think.”
He later presses her on the fact that she retweeted a mention from Sami Kishawiof the “Love Under Apartheid” campaign.
On the issue of her journalistic objectivity, Rudoren said her tweets do not reveal an innate bias against Israel.
Asked if she considers Israel an apartheid state—as critics of the Jewish state so often do—Rudoren declined comment.
“I don’t have an assessment yet,” she said. “I’m not sure I’ll ever answer that question in the way you’ve just framed it.”
Adam Horowitz and his Mondoweiss site, along with Richard Silverstein’s Tikun Olan blog, have been two of the very few US-based web sites or publications, to provide a day by day account of the Khader Adnan ordeal as he lies chained to an Israeli military bed near Ramallah.

Whether the unjust administrative detention of Khader Adnan ends in his last minute release or in his death by self-starvation, Adnan will have registered his protest against the injustice and humiliation of Israel’s military Occupation, and in his case, especially, its administration detention.

Somehow I have to believe that new New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief will report on the final outcome of Adnan’s protest. She should, because in a much less serious moment in her life, Rudoren has also been asked the McCarthy Era question by her inquisitors.

The drawing at the top of this posting originally appeared on the website of The Association for Human Rights in Israel. The video of the HUAC hearings is from this site.

This week’s Wall Writings posting is being released a few days earlier than usual because I wanted to add my voice to those around the world who have demanded that Israel release Khader Adnan before he dies in an Israeli military prison, where he was incarcerated without any charges made against him.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Lies and truths about Syria

For eight months, Western leaders and some public media have been agitating for a war in Syria. The extremely serious accusations leveled against Assad intimidate those who question the justification for a new military intervention. But not everyone, because – on the initiative of Voltaire Network – some came to Syria to investigate for themselves and were able to measure the extent of NATO’s propaganda. Thierry Meyssan reports on the state of the media war.
Voltaire Network | Damascus (Syria) | 28 November 2011

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Created in Paris under French sponsorship, the Syrian National Council aims to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It is chaired by Burhan Ghalioun, professor of sociology at Sorbonne University (he is seen here with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, 23 November 2011).
In 1999, during the Kosovo war, Voltaire Network was outraged that France could be going to war alongside NATO without a vote from the National Assembly, with the passive complicity of the parliamentary group leaders. We considered that the refusal by the President and the Prime Minister to hold an open debate portended the opacity with which this war would be conducted. So, we took the initiative of publishing a daily bulletin on the conflict. The Serbian government websites having been immediately destroyed by the Atlantic Alliance, we had no access to the Serbian version of events. In the absence thereof, we took out subscriptions to news agencies in the region (Croatian, Bosnian, Greek, Cypriot, Turkish, Hungarian etc.).
Throughout the conflict, we presented a daily summary of NATO’s press conferences in Brussels and a summary of the reports by journalists from neighboring countries, some of which were engaged in a serious dispute with Serbia, but whose governments gave a mutually consistent account of the events. Eventually, NATO’s version and that of the local journalists drifted apart to the point of having nothing in common.

In the end, we were dealing with two radically different stories. We had no way of knowing who was lying and whether one of the two sources was telling the truth. Our readers had the impression of being schizophrenic, especially since the West European media were relaying exclusively NATO’s version; our readers, therefore, were only exposed to the two parallel versions when reading us. We continued this exercise for the three months of fighting.

When the guns fell silent and it was possible for our colleagues and friends to go there, they noted with astonishment that the “propaganda was not on both sides.” No, NATO’s version was entirely false, while that of the local journalists turned out to be entirely true.
In the months that followed, parliamentary reports were released in several Member States of the Alliance establishing the facts. In addition, several books were published on the method developed by Tony Blair’s media adviser that enabled NATO to manipulate all of the Western press: the “story telling“.

Indeed, it is possible to intoxicate Western journalists en masse and to hide the facts from them if they are told a children’s tale, provided the narrative is never interrupted, that it is charged with references stirring up buried emotions, and that its consistency is maintained.

I did not have the reflex to visit Serbia before the war started and I could not do so after the fighting broke out. However, dear reader, today I am in Syria, where I took the time to investigate and from where I am writing this article. With full knowledge of the facts, I can say that NATO’s propaganda is currently operating in the same way Syria as it did in Serbia.

The Alliance began telling a story out of touch with reality, which aims to justify a “humanitarian military intervention,” according to the oxymoron coined by Blair. The parallel ends there: Slobodan Milosevic was a war criminal who had to be portrayed as a criminal against humanity so that his country could be dismembered; Bashar al-Assad is an opponent of imperialism and Zionism, who backed Hezbollah when Lebanon was under attack and supports Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in their quest for the liberation of the Palestinian homeland.

Four NATO lies

- 1. According to NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, for eight months mass demonstrations have taken place in Syria to demand more freedom and the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.
Not true. There have been demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad’s, in some cities, at the call of Saudi and Egyptian preachers speaking on Al-Jazeera, but which rallied only some 100 000 people at the most. They were not claiming more freedom, but the establishment of an Islamic regime. They demanded the resignation of President al-Assad, not because of his politics, but because these protesters adhere to a sectarian strand of Sunni power, Takfirism, and they accuse Assad of being a heretic (he is Alawi) and of usurping power in a Muslim country, which they claim can only be legitimately governed by a Sunni from their theological school.
- 2. According to NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, the “regime” responded by using live ammunition to disperse the crowd, leaving at least 3,500 dead since the beginning of the year.
Not true. In the first place, it is not possible to suppress demonstrations that never existed. Then, from the outset, the authorities realized that efforts were afoot to provoke sectarian strife in a country where secularism has been the mainstay of the state since the eighth century. Consequently, President Bashar al-Assad prohibited security, police and army forces from using firearms in any circumstance where civilians might get hurt. The purpose is to prevent that the injuries, or even death, of a person belonging to one creed or the other, be exploited to justify a war of religion. This prohibition is respected by the security forces at the risk of their own lives, as we shall see later. As for the dead, their number should be cut in half. The majority are not civilians, but soldiers and police, as I was able to observe during my visits to hospitals and morgues, both civilian and military.
- 3. After we managed to break the wall of silence and got the big Western media to acknowledge the presence in Syria of death squads from abroad, setting up ambushes against the army and murdering civilians in the heart of the cities, NATO and its Gulf allies reported on the existence of an army of deserters. According to them, a group of military (not police) who had received the order to fire on the crowd allegedly rebelled. They apparently went underground and constituted the Free Syrian Army, already 1500 men-strong.
Not true. The deserters are only a few dozen, having fled to Turkey where they are supervised by an officer associated to the Hakim Rifaat el-Assad/Abdel Khaddam clan, famously linked to the CIA. There is, however, an increasing number of young people who refuse to do military service, more often under pressure from their families than by personal decision. Indeed, those soldiers who are caught in an ambush don’t have the right to use their firearms to defend themselves if civilians are on the scene. They have no choice but to sacrifice their lives if they are unable to escape.
- 4. According to NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, the cycle of revolution/repression has paved the way for the start of a “civil war“. 1.5 million trapped Syrians would be suffering from hunger. It is therefore essential to set up “humanitarian corridors” to deliver food aid and allow civilians to flee the combat zones.
Not true. Considering the number and the cruelty of the attacks by death squads from abroad, population displacement has been minimal. Syria is agriculturally self-sufficient and its productivity has not declined significantly. On the other hand, with most of the ambushes taking place on major roads, traffic is frequently interrupted. Moreover, when attacks spring up inside the cities, merchants shut down their shops immediately. This results in serious distribution problems, including food. The real issue lies elsewhere: economic sanctions have wrought disaster. While for the past decade Syria had registered a growth of around 5% per year, it can no longer sell its oil to Western Europe and its tourist industry has been hit hard. Many people have lost their jobs and income, having to save on everything. They are subsidized by the government, which distributes free food and heating fuel. Under such circumstances, it would be more fitting to say that if it were not for the Al-Assad government, 1.5 million Syrians would be suffering from malnutrition because of Western sanctions.
Ultimately, while we’re still in the stage of unconventional warfare, with the use of mercenaries and special forces to destabilize the country, the narrative spewed out by NATO and its Persian Gulf allies has already strayed from reality. This gap will widen more and more.
As far as you are concerned, dear reader, there is no reason why you should believe me rather than NATO, since you are not on the spot. However, there are several elements that should send up a red flag.

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Bernard-Henry Levy, who boasted of having embroiled France in the war on Libya to serve Israel’s interests, told “Le Parisien” that he has a hit list of countries.

Four clues carefully hidden by NATO

- 1. One would think that the charges concerning the alleged repression and the number of victims were carefully looked into. But not at all. They originated from a single source: the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, based in London, whose leaders demand anonymity. What is the validity of such grave accusations if they are not cross-checked and why do institutions such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights rubber stamp them without verifying their authenticity?

- 2. Russia and China vetoed a draft Security Council resolution meant to pave the way for an international military intervention. NATO political leaders have forlornly explained that the Russians are protecting their naval base at Tartus and that the Chinese will do anything to scrape together a few barrels of oil. Should we accept the Manichean view that Washington, London and Paris are guided by good intentions, while Moscow and Beijing are essentially selfish and insensitive to the martyrdom of the population? How to avoid noticing that Russia and China have much less of an interest in defending Syria than Westerners have in destroying it?
- 3. It is somewhat bizarre to observe who makes up the coalition of so-called well-intentioned states. How can it escape anyone’s notice that the two main sustainers of the Arab League and promoters of the “democratization” of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are puppet dictatorships in lockstep with the United States and the United Kingdom? Should not one wonder how credible the West can be – after having successively ravaged Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and killing more than 1, 2 million people in ten years, thus showing how little value they attach to human life – when it waves a humanitarian banner?
- 4. To avoid being manipulated on the events unfolding in Syria, the best thing is to put them in context. For NATO and its Persian Gulf allies, whose armies invaded Yemen and Bahrain to savagely quell peaceful demonstrations, the “Syrian Revolution” is an extension of the “Arab spring“, perceived by them as peoples in the region who dream of a market democracy and the comfort of the American Way of Life. On their part, the Russians and Chinese, apace with the Venezuelans and the South Africans, recognize the events in Syria as the continuation of Washington’s plan “to remodel the Greater Middle East“, which has already claimed 1.2 million lives and which anyone truly concerned about protecting human lives must strive to put an end to. They haven’t forgotten that on 15 September 2001, President George W. Bush green-lighted a plan to wage seven wars.
Preparations for the attack on Syria formally began on 12 December 2003 with the adoption of the Syrian Accountability Act in the wake of the fall of Baghdad. Since that day, the president of the United States – today Barack Obama – is under an order from Congress to attack Syria and is dispensed from any further clearance before launching hostilities. Therefore, the question is not whether NATO has found a divine justification for going to war, but whether Syria will find a way out of this situation, in the same way she outmaneuvered all the previous pitfalls and defamatory accusations leveled against her, such as the assassination of Rafik Hariri and the Israeli raid against an imaginary nuclear military plant.

Western mainstream media testify

At the end of this article, I would like to underscore that Voltaire Network facilitated a press visit to Syria, organized at the initiative of the Catholic Information Center of Middle East Christians, as part of the opening towards Western media announced by President al-Assad at the Arab League. We assisted mainstream journalists to travel to combat zones. At first, our colleagues were wary of our presence, both because they had negative preconceived ideas about us to us and because they thought we were trying to brainwash them. They eventually came to realize that we are normal people and that the fact of having chosen our camp did not mean we had renounced our critical spirit. In the end, though still convinced of NATO’s benevolence and while failing to share our commitment to anti-imperialist, they opened their eyes and ears to the truth.
Currently, their reports honestly reflect the actions perpetrated by the armed gangs that are terrorizing the country. Of course, they have refrained from openly contradicting the Atlantic version and tried to reconcile it with what they saw and heard, which called for some awkward contortions around the concept of a ’civil war’ allegedly pitting the Syrian army against foreign mercenaries. Nevertheless, reports by Télévision Belge (RTBF) and La Libre Belgique, to name a few, now clearly reveal that for eight months NATO has masked the actions of death squads and falsely attributed their crimes to the Syrian authorities.

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Truth and Falsehood in Syria

Truth and Falsehood in Syria

By Jeremy Salt – Ankara

As insurrection in Syria lurches towards civil war, the brakes need to be put on the propaganda pouring through the western mainstream media and accepted uncritically by many who should know better. So here is a matrix of positions from which to argue about what is going on in this critical Middle Eastern country:

1. Syria has been a mukhabarat (intelligence) state since the redoubtable Abd al Hamid al Serraj ran the intelligence services as the deuxieme bureau in the 1950s. The authoritarian state which developed from the time Hafez al Assad took power in 1970 has crushed all dissent ruthlessly. On occasion it has either been him or them. The ubiquitous presence of the mukhabarat is an unpleasant fact of Syrian life but as Syria is a central target for assassination and subversion by Israel and western intelligence agencies, as it has repeatedly come under military attack, as it has had a large chunk of its territories occupied and as its enemies are forever looking for opportunities to bring it down, it can hardly be said that the mukhabarat is not needed.

2. There is no doubt that the bulk of people demonstrating in Syria want peaceful transition to a democratic form of government. Neither is there any doubt that armed groups operating from behind the screen of the demonstrations have no interest in reform. They want to destroy the government.  

3. There have been very big demonstrations of support for the government. There is anger at the violence of the armed gangs and anger at external interference and exploitation of the situation by outside governments and the media. In the eyes of many Syrians, their country is again the target of an international conspiracy.  
4. Whatever the truth of the accusations made against the security forces, the armed groups have killed hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians, in total probably close to 1000 at this stage. The civilian dead include university professors, doctors and even, very recently, the son of the Grand Mufti of the Republic. The armed gangs have massacred, ambushed, assassinated, attacked government buildings and sabotaged railway lines.
5. Bashar al Assad has a strong base of personal popularity. Although he sits on top of the system it is misleading to call him a dictator. The system itself is the true dictator. Deeply rooted power in Syria – entrenched over five decades – lies in the military and intelligence establishment, and to a lesser degree in the party structure. These are the true sources of resistance to change. The demonstrations were Bashar’s opportunity to pass on the message, which he did, that the system had to change. 
6. In the face of large scale demonstrations earlier this year the government did finally come up with a reform program. This was rejected out of hand by the opposition. No attempt was even made to test the bona fides of the government.

7. The claim that armed opposition to the government has begun only recently is a complete lie. The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, has been going on virtually since the beginning.

8. The armed groups are well armed and well organised. Large shipments of weapons have been smuggled into Syria from Lebanon and Turkey. They include pump action shotguns, machine guns, Kalashnikovs,RPG launchers, Israeli-made hand grenades and numerous other explosives. It is not clear who is providing these weapons but someone is, and someone is paying for them. Interrogation of captured members of armed gangs points in the direction of Saad al Hariri’s Future Movement. Hariri is a front man for the US and Saudi Arabia, with influence spreading well beyond Lebanon.   
9. Armed opposition to the regime largely seems to be sponsored by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. In 1982 the government ruthlessly crushed an uprising initiated by the Brotherhood in Hama. Many thousands died and part of the city was destroyed. The Brotherhood has two prime objectives: the destruction of the Baathist government and the destruction of the secular state in favor of an Islamic system. It is almost palpably thirsting for revenge.   
10. The armed groups have strong support from outside apart from what is already known or indicated. Exiled former Syrian Vice President and Foreign Minister, Abd ul Halim Khaddam, who lives in Paris, has been campaigning for years to bring down the Assad government. He is funded by both the EU and the US. Other exiled activists include Burhan Ghalioun, backed by Qatar as the leader of the ‘national council’ set up in Istanbul. Ghalioun, like Abd ul Halim Khaddam, lives in Paris and like him also, lobbies against the Assad government in Europe and in Washington. Together with Muhammad Riyad al Shaqfa, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, he is receptive to outside ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Syria on the Libyan model (others are against it). The promotion of the exiles as an alternative government is reminiscent of the way the US used exiled Iraqis (the so-called Iraqi National Congress) ahead of the invasion of Iraq.  
11. The reporting by the western media of the situations in Libya and Syria has been appalling. NATO intervention in Libya has been the cause of massive destruction and thousands of deaths. The war, following the invasion of Iraq, is yet another major international crime committed by the governments of the US, Britain and France. The city of Sirte has been bombarded day and night for two weeks without the western media paying any attention to the heavy destruction and loss of life that must have followed. The western media has made no attempt to check reports coming out of Sirte of the bombing of civilian building and the killing of hundreds of people. The only reason can be that the ugly truth could well derail the whole NATO operation.   
12. In Syria the same media has followed the same pattern of misreporting and disinformation. It has ignored or skated over the evidence of widespread killings by armed gangs. It has invited its audience to disbelieve the claims of government and believe the claims of rebels, often made in the name of human rights organisations based in Europe or the US. Numerous outright lies have been told, as they were told in Libya and as they were told ahead of the attack on Iraq.

Some at least have been exposed. People said to have been killed by state security forces have turned up alive. The brothers of Zainab al Husni claimed she has been kidnapped by security forces, murdered and her body dismembered.
This lurid account, spread by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyya amongst other outlets, was totally false. She is still alive although now, of course, the propaganda tack is to claim that this is not really her but a double. Al Jazeera, the Guardian and the BBC have distinguished themselves by their blind support of anything that discredits the Syrian government. The same line is being followed by the mainstream media in the US. Al Jazeera, in particular, having distinguished itself with its reporting of the Egyptian revolution, has lost all credibility as an independent Arab world news channel.  
13. In seeking to destroy the Syrian government the Muslim Brotherhood has a goal in common with the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose paranoia about Shia Islam reached fever pitch with the uprising in Bahrain. Wikileaks revealed how impatient it was for the US to attack Iran.

A substitute target is the destruction of the strategic relationship between Iran, Syria and Hizbullah. The US and the Saudis may want to destroy the Alawi-dominated Baathist regime in Damascus for slightly different reasons, but the important thing is that they do want to destroy it.
14. The US is doing its utmost to drive Syria into a corner. It is giving financial support to exiled leaders of the opposition. It has tried (and so far failed thanks to Russian and Chinese opposition) to introduce an extensive program of sanctions through the UN Security Council. No doubt it will try again and depending on how the situation develops, it may try, with British and French support, to bring on a no-fly zone resolution opening the door to foreign attack. The situation is fluid and no doubt all sorts of contingency plans are being developed. The White House and the State Department are issuing hectoring statements every other day. Openly provoking the Syrian government, the US ambassador, accompanied by the French ambassador, travelled to Hama before Friday prayers. Against everything that is known about their past record of interference in Middle Eastern countries, it is inconceivable that the US and Israel, along with France and Britain, would not be involved in this uprising beyond what is already known.
15. While concentrating on the violence of the Syrian regime, the US, European governments (especially Britain) have totally ignored the violence directed against it. Their own infinitely greater violence, of course, in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, doesn’t even come into the picture. Turkey has joined their campaign against Syria with relish, going even further than they have in confronting the Syrian regime. In the space of a few months Turkey’s ‘zero problem’ regional policy has been upended in the most inchoate manner. Turkey eventually lent its support to the NATO attack on Libya, after initially holding back. It has antagonised Iran by its policy on Syria and by agreeing, despite strong domestic opposition, to host a US radar missile ‘defence’ installation clearly directed against Iran. The Americans say its data will be shared with Israel, which has refused to apologise for the attack on the Mavi Marmara, plunging Israeli-Turkish relations into near crisis. So from ‘zero problems’, Turkey now has a regional policy full of problems with Israel, Syria and Iran.

16. While some members of the Syrian opposition have spoken against foreign intervention, the ‘Free Syrian Army’ has said that its aim is to have a no-fly zone declared over northern Syria. A no-fly zone would have to be enforced, and we have seen how this led in Libya to massive infrastructural destruction, the killing of thousands of people and the opening of the door to a new period of western domination.
17. If the Syrian government is brought down, every last Baathist and Alawi will be hunted down. In a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood the status of minorities and women would be driven backwards.

18. Through the Syria Accountability Act, and through sanctions which the EU has imposed, the US has been trying to destroy the Syrian government for twenty years. The dismantling of unified Arab states along ethno-religious lines has been an aim of Israel’s for decades. Where Israel goes, the US naturally follows. The fruits of this policy can be seen in Iraq, where an independent state in all but name has been created for the Kurds and where the constitution, written by the US, separates Iraq’s people into Kurds, Sunni, Shi and Christian, destroying the binding logic of Arab nationalism. Iraq has not known a moment’s peace since the British entered Baghdad in 1917. In Syria ethno-religious divisions (Sunni Muslim Arab, Sunni Muslim Kurd, Druze, Alawi and various Christian sects) render it vulnerable in the same way to the promotion of sectarian discord and eventual disintegration as the unified Arab state the French tried to prevent coming into existence in the 1920s.   
19. The destruction of the Baathist government would be a strategic victory of unsurpassed value to the US and Israel. The central arch in the strategic relationship between Iran, Syria and Hizbullah will have been destroyed, leaving Hizbullah geographically isolated, with a hostile Sunni Muslim government next door, and leaving Hizbullah and Iran more exposed to a military attack by the US and Israel. Fortuitously or otherwise, the ‘Arab spring’ as it has developed in Syria has placed in their hands a lever by which they may be able to achieve their goal. 
20. It is not necessarily the case that a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government in Egypt or Syria would be hostile to US interests. Wanting to be seen as a respectable member of the international community and another good example of ‘moderate’ Islam, it is likely and certainly possible that an Egyptian government dominated by the Brotherhood would agree to maintain the peace treaty with Israel for as long as it can (i.e. until another large scale attack by Israel on Gaza or Lebanon makes it absolutely unsustainable).  
21. A Syrian government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood would be close to Saudi Arabia and hostile to Iran, Hizbullah and the Shia of Iraq, especially those associated with Muqtada al Sadr. It would pay lip service to the Palestine cause and the liberation of the Golan Heights but its practical policies would be unlikely to be any different from the government it is seeking to destroy. 
22. The Syrian people are entitled to demand democracy and to be given it, but in this way and at this cost? Even now, an end to the killing and negotiations on political reform is surely the way forward, not violence which threatens to tear the country apart. Unfortunately, violence and not a negotiated settlement is what too many people inside Syria want and what too many governments watching and waiting for their opportunity also want. No Syrian can ultimately gain from this, whatever they presently think. Their country is being driven towards a sectarian civil war, perhaps foreign intervention and certainly chaos on an even greater scale than we are now seeing. There will be no quick recovery if the state collapses or can be brought down. Like Iraq, and probably like Libya, looking at the present situation, Syria would enter a period of bloody turmoil that could last for years. Like Iraq, again, it would be completely knocked out of the ring as a state capable of standing up for Arab interests, which means, of course, standing up to the US and Israel.
23. Ultimately, whose interests does anyone think this outcome would serve? 
– Jeremy Salt is associate professor in Middle Eastern History and Politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Previously, he taught at Bosporus University in Istanbul and the University of Melbourne in the Departments of Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. Professor Salt has written many articles on Middle East issues, particularly Palestine, and was a journalist for The Age newspaper when he lived in Melbourne. He contributed this article to

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Syria Under Fire: Zionist Destabilization Hits Critical Mass

Syria is in the final stages
of a Zionist-engineered
destabilization operation;
can the Arab nation of
Resistance survive?

by Jonathan Azaziah

Since 2004, the Zionist entity’s Mossad and its American partners in the Zionist-founded, Zionist-run National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have funded, armed and trained various opposition factions in Syria, spawning an army of ‘democracy-seeking activists’ ready to mobilize on command. An operations team was assembled by the House of Saud and the usurping Israeli regime, working together with a closeness most would have never imagined to be possible, and an HQ was established in Brussels with various satellites inaugurated in America and Britain just prior to the inception of the ‘Syrian Revolution.’ Leading this team are Zionists US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffery Feltman and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, former Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri, influential, US-based Zionist Syrian exiles Farid al-Ghadry and Ammar Abdulhamid, the well-connected ex-Syrian VP, Abdel-Halim Khaddam and of course, the powerful Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (1).

Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s immensely popular President, is in the crosshairs of an axis bent on transforming the Middle East into an extension of the illegitimate entity currently occupying al-Quds. He, along with the Islamic Resistance of Lebanon, the Islamic Republic of Iran and what is left of the Islamic Resistance of Gaza, make up the counter-axis; the Axis of Resistance standing in the way of Zionism and its aims of conquest. Syria is under the heaviest fire it has ever been under; even heavier than the plot that the Israeli-Saudi partnership attempted to execute against Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father, from 1976-1982 (2). And as the fire continues to burn through Syrian society, Zionist destabilization has hit critical mass. The plot to take down Syria which the usurping entity has actively and vigorously pursued for decades is dangerously close to coming to fruition.

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Wikileaks: ‘US not doing enough for Syria regime change!’


“… A cable from December 13, 2006, opens with the conclusion that the Syrian government has ended 2006 “in a position much stronger domestically and internationally than it did [in] 2005.” It features a collection of possible actions that could be taken to undermine the Assad regime.
The vulnerabilities listed include: the Rafiq Hariri investigation and tribunal (Hariri was a Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in a major car bombing); the alliance with Tehran; the regime’s “inner circle”; divisions in the military-security services; the corrupt Baathist elites; previous failures of reform; the economy; the Kurds; extremists and the “Khaddam factor” (Abdul Halim Khaddam is an exiled former Syrian Vice President, whose name appears in a number of the cables released thus far.)
Some of the proposed actions for exploiting these vulnerabilities are outlined in the cable:
“…ENCOURAGE RUMORS AND SIGNALS OF EXTERNAL PLOTTING: The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Khaddam and Rifat Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime,s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.
THE KHADDAM FACTOR: …We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media outlets, providing him with venues for airing the SARG,s dirty laundry. We should anticipate an overreaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbors…
HIGHLIGHT KURDISH COMPLAINTS: Highlighting Kurdish complaints in public statements, including publicizing human rights abuses will exacerbate regime,s concerns about the Kurdish population. Focus on economic hardship in Kurdish areas and the SARG,s long-standing refusal to offer citizenship to some 200,000 stateless Kurds. This issue would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria could be a liability for our efforts at uniting the opposition, given Syrian (mostly Arab) civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.
PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue. (more,here)…”

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Posted on July 7, 2011 by Alexandra Valiente
Yoshie Furuhashi

Bernard-Henri Lévy, well known for his devotion to humanitarian military interventions, organized a conference to “stop the massacre” in Syria, “SOS Syrie,” in Paris on the fourth of July. There is no doubt that BHL is eager to replicate his Libyan success in Syria. Given the clear Russian opposition to any military intervention in Syria, however, his goal, at this stage in the game, is to manufacture the Western public’s support for a UN Security Council referral of the Syrian leadership to the International Criminal Court and for yet more economic sanctions against the country.

The call for the conference, issued through BHL’s journal La Règle du Jeu, was joined by France-Syrie Démocratie and “Change in Syria for Democracy,” the latter being a group that had emerged from the Syrian opposition conference held in Antalya, Turkey on 31 May-2 June 2011. On the “Change in Syria” Web site, posters for SOS Syrie are prominently displayed.

On the French side, SOS Syrie featured such participants as Bernard Kouchner, André Glucksman, Axel Poniatowski (a member of the Union for a Popular Movement and the president of the foreign affairs commission of the French National Assembly), and Frédéric Encel, “who cut his teeth in the Betar youth organization of Likud.” As if that is not enough, former Knesset member Alex Goldfarb was also included.

What Syrians would want to join hands with the who’s who of French Zionism and imperialism? Most of the prominent Syrian invitees named in the conference advertisements are the leaders of the aforementioned organizations that backed BHL’s call. According to As-Safir‘s Paris correspondent Mohammad Ballout, among the invitees were many of the Executive Council of “Change in Syria”: Amr Al-Azm, Ahed al-Hendi, Abdel Ilah Milhem (a leader of the Anza tribe), Ammar al-Qurabi (chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria), Sondos Sulaiman (of Al Hadatha Party). Lama Atassi, the president of France-Syrie Démocratie as well as a participant in the Antalya conference, took credit for linking up the Antalya opposition with BHL in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur.

What happened at the conference itself, where “the obscure faces of the Antalya opposition and of the Muslim Brotherhood” were seen among about 200 like-minded friends of BHL who filled the very much bobo Saint-Germain-des-Prés cinema?

According to La Règle du Jeu itself, Goldfarb, of all people, acted as “spokesman, in Paris, of Change in Syria for Democracy.”

There was also Ashraf al-Moqdad, a member of the “National Salvation Front in Syria” led by Abdul Halim Khaddam. Moqdad, says As-Safir, bragged that, once “democracy” comes to Syria, “Hezbollah, ‘Iranian agents,’ and Palestinians” will be made to “pay the price.” The As-Safir reporter says Moqdad went on to threaten him as well.

Radwan Badini and Muhammad Karkouti, both members of the “Change in Syria” Executive Council, also spoke, as did Atassi. A post-conference report in BHL’s journal claims that Qurabi was there, too, but time ran out and he couldn’t give his speech. (It curiously has nothing to say about the rest of the initial invitees.)

Perhaps the most intriguing participant in SOS Syrie was Mulham al-Droubi, who is in charge of international relations of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood as well as a member of the “Change in Syria” Executive Council. As the Muslim Brotherhood came out in favor of “normalization” with Israel without an end to the Israeli occupation and backed the monarchy in Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Arab states, the United States and the European Union have made their support for the Muslim Brotherhood public, to the delight of the Brothers. Droubi’s presence there is yet another sign of the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Unlike in the case of Libya, though, the path of the Syrian exiles who team up with BHL and his ilk may be a lonely one. As-Safir reports that Farouk Mardam-Bey, Burhan Ghalioun, and Subhi Hadidi issued a joint statement against BHL and his collaborators, telling them to “spare the Syrian people the solidarity that they don’t want.” Haytham Manna, spokesman for the Arab Commission for Human Rights, is quoted by As-Safir as condemning SOS Syrie thus: “It’s a conspiracy against young people, who have upheld not only the cause of freedom but also that of the liberation of Palestine, waving the flags of Palestine and Syria at the same time.” The conference itself couldn’t get going without first escorting out one Arab man and one Arab woman who stood up and denounced it, and outside the cinema there was a loud protest of pro-government Syrians heckling the conference-goers, calling them “fascists, Zionists, terrorists.”

The currents of the Syrian opposition represented at SOS Syrie — and others like them (see, for instance, the transcript of a Syrian opposition conference “Envisioning Syria’s Political Future — Obstacles and Options,” especially “National Initiative for Change” Communications Director Ausama Monajed’s demand for an ICC referral and more economic sanctions) — won’t be a threat to Syria and its legitimate homegrown opposition . . . if leftists in the West and Turkey see to it that there will be no further Western or Turkish intervention in the country. However, SOS Racisme President Dominique Sopo spoke at the conference, and Martine Aubry, Bertrand Delanoë, François Hollande, and so on sent messages of support to it. Such are among the ominous signs that the center left in the West is ready to step onto yet another slippery slope.


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

The Zionist lobby toppled the Baker-Hamilton policy

Via Voltaire Network 

• Collapse of Western hypocrisy over settlement
• The coup of the Information Branch and the hidden facets of the Telecommunications Ministry
• Syria and the defeat of the sabotage plan

Arab affairs

Editorial: Collapse of Western hypocrisy over settlement

Since the 1967 war and the issuance of resolution 242 and 338 by the Security Council, the international attempts to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict became the headline of the American and European strategy. And ever the since the signing of the Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel and the Israeli army’s occupation of Lebanon while supported by the North-Atlantic Alliance led by the United States, the content of these Western peace projects became the framework for Israeli hegemony over the region and the attempts to consecrate the facts imposed by the Israeli occupation over the Arab territories in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the occupied Arab Golan. Consequently, the negotiation efforts and the peace initiatives became political maneuvers, while the Oslo accord became a tool to liquidate the Palestinian cause. For their part, the Palestinians experienced the Western position which is in support of Israel, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the expansion of the settlements in the West Bank throughout twenty years of futile negotiations.
The new Palestinian awakening seen in the May 15 action on the Lebanese and Syrian borders with the occupied territories and the signs of popular resurgence in Egypt and Jordan over the Palestinian issue, point to the fact that the Arab=Zionist conflict will take new forms in light of the reality produced by the victories of the resistance forces which inspired the Palestinian youth to defy the Israeli security wall.
In his speech before AIPAC, American President Barack Obamatoppled the last illusion over the possibility of activating initiatives under the headline of the just and permanent settlement which constituted the content of the Western rhetoric that was filled with political hypocrisy during the last forty years. The truth is that the American empire is a mere Israeli colony whose major decisions are controlled by the Zionist lobby. Consequently, the Arab people and the powers of resistance and independence in the Arab countries must deal with the occupation of the land and the violation of the rights via popular and armed resistance which has already proven its efficiency and will prove it even further in the near future in Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

International affairs

Editorial: The Zionist lobby toppled the Baker-Hamilton policy

In light of the American failure in Iraq and the region following Israel’s defeats in Lebanon and Gaza, and in light of the depletion with which the Iraqi resistance afflicted the occupation army, the ruling institution in Washington produced the Baker-Hamilton document that set a framework to contain the failure based on two ideas. The first is to reach an agreement with Syria and Iran over the arrangement of the pullout from Iraq and the second is to try to get Israel to accept the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the establishment of the Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan and the withdrawal from the remaining Lebanese territories that are under occupation.
When Barack Obama was elected as president of the United States, there were expectations in the region that Washington will immediately start implementing these inclinations. But now, following Obama’s speech before AIPAC and in light of the American hostile policies toward Iran and Syria, one could say that the Zionist lobby led by Netanyahu has completed the coup against the Baker-Hamilton document and made the United States adopt an aggressive policy to serve the project of the Jewish state and bury the idea of a just and comprehensive solution, by eliminating the Palestinians’ right of return and holding on to the new facts imposed by the Judaization of Jerusalem and the settlement activities in the West Bank. In other words, all the foundations for the talk about a Palestinian state were eliminated while the pressures exerted on Damascus, Tehran and the resistance movements aim at subjecting them all to the logic of Israel’s hegemony over the Middle East.
Between the popular turmoil in Egypt, the American-Israeli alliance at the level of the Palestinian cause and the clear failure of the attack on Syria, it seems that Washington will witness an uncomfortable stage, especially if the popular opposition voiced against the stay of the occupation forces in Iraq were to lead to a climate that would contribute to the escalation of the military resistance following the crowded marches organized by the Sadrist Movement and many national forces.
The next few months will force Washington and the Western capitals to urgently draw up a new document that would contain the failure, especially since the tests will be more difficult after Syria’s victory over the crisis and the Palestinian uprisings inside the occupied territories and along the Arab borders.

The Arab file


• The Muslim Brotherhood absent from the Tahrir Square demonstrations. Egyptian activists organized crowded demonstrations on Tahrir Square on Friday, in order to demand what they called the fast transition toward a civil system of governance. For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood group rejected the demonstrations in Tahrir Square staged in the center of the capital Cairo to demand the hastening of the trying in court of the symbols of the former regime, thus warning against the possible eruption of clashes between the people and the army.
• The activists called for what they dubbed ‘a second revolution’ in protest against the slowness of the reforms and the trials of former officials charged with corruption and abuse of power.


• Yemeni sheikhs and politicians warned against “A dangerous plan which might lead Yemen toward civil war in order to annihilate the peaceful revolution through the escalation of violence and infighting.”
• At this level, the secretary general of the Nasserist Party, Sultan al-Atwani, said that what was happening in Al-Hasba region between the authorities and the Al-Ahmar family fell in the context of a dangerous plan undertaken by the authorities to target the family and lead the situation towards confrontation that would achieve its plans to secure the breaking out of civil war.
He added that “this is a dangerous move by the authority to thwart the peaceful popular revolution. But this will not happen because this revolution is peaceful and will remain so no matter how hard the authorities try to generate confrontations and acts of violence.”
• For his part, Yemeni tribal leader Sadek al-Ahmar assured there was no room for mediation with Yemeni Oresident Ali Abdullah Saleh, pledging that Saleh will leave the country barefoot.
• In the meantime, tribal dignitaries allowed the shedding of the blood of President Saleh following the confrontations which have been ongoing in Sana’a since last Sunday and have left dozens of dead and wounded.


Opening of the Rafah Crossing indefinitely

The Egyptian authorities have decided to open the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip that is blockaded by Israel starting next Saturday, as it was revealed by the official Egyptian Middle East News Agency. Hamas welcomed this decision and considered to be “a courageous and responsible decision that is completely in line with the pulse of the Arab, Egyptian and Palestinian streets.”
• On the security level, Israel violated the prevailing security situation by opening fire on three Palestinian fishermen from a boat off the shores south of Gaza.
• In the town of Salwan south of the holy Al-Aqsa mosque, confrontations erupted in parallel to the inauguration of the Har Hazeetim settlement in Ras al-Amoud neighborhood, with wide participation from Israeli leaders headed by the parliament speaker, a number of extremist right wing Knesset members, a number of ministers and heads of extremist Jewish settlements associations.
• And while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on denying the Palestinians’ rights while exploiting the blunt American support offered to his entity, the Palestinian official and factional levels agreed over the necessity to unify the domestic front as it was expressed by Islamic Jihad politburo member Nafez Azzam.
• In this context, Hamas said via its spokesman Sami Abu Zahri: “The practical response to Netanyahu’s speech is through the ending of the negotiations and the increase of the efforts to implement reconciliation as soon as possible.”


Libya under NATO’s bombardments

NATO sources indicated that the decision to use Apache helicopters –as it was leaked by French sources- was confirmed during the G8 summit in France.
The Libyan television announced that NATO was continuing to bomb targets in the Libyan capital Tripoli, while the pro-government Al-Jamahiriya television quoted a military source as saying: “Civilian positions in the city of Tripoli, including a technical school, were bombarded which caused human and material losses.”
• In the meantime, intelligence reports conveyed to British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had become very paranoid, that he was hiding in hospitals at night and that his senior officials could not communicate with him.

Libyan sources: Gaddafi’s wife and daughter are still in Tripoli

Asharq al-Awsat newspaper carried an article in which a source denied that Gaddafi’s wife and daughter had fled Libya, after reports claimed that Gaddafi’s wife and daughter left the country via Tunisia and headed to Poland or Belorussia. Indeed the source said to the daily: “The reports of the international agencies are inaccurate. The two women are currently present in Tripoli and never left the country. The statements delivered by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this regard are a mere propaganda campaign against Colonel Gaddafi. As usual, Mrs. Clinton is getting her information from international news agencies and satellite channels. It is unfortunate to see the foreign minister of the most powerful state in the world relying on these sources.”


Between the destruction of the mosques and the arrests of civilians

The director of the Jaafari endowments in Bahrain, Ahmad Hussein, sent a letter to King Hamad Ben Issa al-Khalifa regarding the mosques and worship places that were subjected to sabotage during the last stage. According to the Bahraini Al-Wasat newspaper website on Wednesday, “the letter includes the names of 45 worship places that were vandalized and destroyed, in addition to the names of two burial grounds that were sabotaged.” A Bahraini martial court sentenced four oppositionists to one year in prison due to their participation in the demonstrations demanding reform, while the Bahraini youth association for human rights conveyed its concerns over a fifteen-year old young man who was detained and being tortured for that same reason.


Qatar provides Israel with gas

Mohammad Basiouni, the former Egyptian ambassador to Israel, said that Egypt exported gas to Israel at much higher prices than the gas it exported to Jordan. In one of the national dialogue sessions, Basiouni said: “The gas and oil agreements will not be long-term ones due to their high cost.” He pointed to the emergence of voices in Egypt following the revolution calling for the annulment of the Camp David agreement and the banning of the exportation of gas to Israel, saying he recommended the continuation of this agreement to achieve a bond of interests between the two countries. He said that Egypt supplied Israel with 40% of its gas needs and that in case the agreement were to be annulled, Israel had other alternative countries from which it could import gas such as Qatar and Russia, indicating that Israel was willing to supply Israel with gas.


Call for Friday of wrath in Kuwait

The Kuwaiti Al-Rai al-Am daily assured that while youth groups were preparing to organize protests next Friday with parliamentary support from different, the Interior Ministry assured it will not hesitate to hold accountable and pursue all those who try to undermine security, whether through illegal gatherings, the blocking of the roads or the obstruction of the work of the citizens.
And while a number of deputies announced their support of the demonstration which was dubbed by Deputy Muslem al-Barrak as ‘the Friday of wrath’, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ali Rashed assured that the government believed in freedom as guaranteed by the constitution, hoping that this freedom of expression will not undermine others.

The Israeli file

President Obama’s speech before the AIPAC conference was the most prominent topic tackled by the Israeli papers issued last week. For its part, Haaretz pointed to a noticeable rise in Netanyahu’s popularity following his speech before Congress, adding on the other hand that the opening of the Rafah crossing was one of a series of benefits which the new regime in Cairo was offering Hamas in exchange for its approval of reconciliation with Fatah.
• On the other hand, Maariv revealed there were secret negotiation channels between President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
It added that Peres and Abu Mazen had secretly met in London before Peres met with his American counterpart, a meeting which most likely carried an impact on Obama’s speech. The newspaper added that Peres became extremely angry when he learned about the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

The Lebanese file

UNIFIL targeted again

In a fourth incident targeting UNIFIL since 2007, 6 soldiers from the Italian contingent were wounded following an explosion which targeted a military vehicle on the coastal road in Rmayleh north of Saida. The security forces estimated that the size of the bomb was between 10 and 12 kilograms of TNT.
The incident was met with great condemnation on the Lebanese political, official and partisan levels, especially from Hezbollah that issued a brief statement in which it considered that the explosion was a criminal act and called on the specialized Lebanese authorities to investigate it, expose the perpetrators and sanction them.
For his part, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon harshly condemned the incident and believed it was unfortunate, especially since it coincided with the international day for the UN peace keeping forces.
Italy condemned via its defense minister and its ambassador in Lebanon the cowardly terrorist attack which prompted comprehensive and strong condemnation from the different Lebanese political forces that believe in peace, stability and democracy and reject violence as a means to settle a political conflict.

Nahhas prevented from entering his ministry

Minister of telecommunications in the caretaker government Charbel Nahhas, was prevented by forces affiliated with the Information Branch on Thursday from entering a building that is part of his ministry in Al-Adliye area, to monitor the equipment of the third Chinese GSM network. Indeed, the Internal Security Forces directorate did not respect the commands of the authority to which it is affiliated, i.e. the Interior Ministry, which had ordered it to evacuate the building.
This raised a massive wave of reactions, following which Minister of Interior and Municipalities Ziad Baroud indicated: “It seems to me that logic is on vacation after the law has become a matter of viewpoint. It has become clear during the last few days that the problem is much greater than it appears to be.”
He thus announced he was liberating himself from the Interior Ministry because he did not wish to be a “false witness” in the absence of the language of reason and not because he was eluding the responsibility.
• Lebanon celebrated the eleventh anniversary of the liberation and resistance while recollecting the historical accomplishments achieved on May 25, 2000 when the resistance – and in light of numerous sacrifices – was able to get the Israeli enemy to withdraw from most of the occupied territories in the South and West Bekaa without any restraints and conditions. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during a celebration in the Bekaa: “The resistance will remain loyal to its goals, its path, its sufferings and the blood of its martyrs.” He added: “Fear was in Netanyahu’s eyes two days ago when he was speaking before Congress about Hezbollah’s and Hamas’s missiles… we are neither frightened by Netanyahu nor by Obama and all their fleets. We belong to a land that has vanquished all the fleets and we are not scared by anyone’s threats, intimidations or accusations.”

The Lebanese affairs

Editorial: The coup of the Information Branch and the hidden facets of the Telecommunications Ministry

What happened at the Lebanese Telecommunication Ministry was a military coup or a rebellion against the law and the regulations in place, carried out by the Internal Security Forces or rather the Information Branch. In this context, the stringent position of Interior Minister Ziad Baroud revealed the reality of what happened, after a general director in his ministry refused to implement his decision to pull out from the building whose occupation he had ordered. It thus became clear that a security apparatus in the state is receiving its orders from a political authority, i.e. the leader of the Future Movement.

Had it not been for the stringency of Minister Nahhas and General Michel Aoun, no decision would have been issued to extinguish the rebellion and assign the Lebanese army to gain control over the situation, while the militia-logic would have continued to impose itself and raise dangerous questions over the future of the state and the institutions in Lebanon. This file with all its dimensions requires the formation of a parliamentary-judicial committee enjoying wide prerogatives, based on which it would be able to summon whoever it wants, interrogate them and open a comprehensive file that would pave the way before the instatement of accountability. If this is not done, the country will face more deterioration toward anarchy and the law of the jungle.

News analysis: Syria and the defeat of the sabotage plan

All the signals seen on the Syrian street this past week, point to the fact that the security incidents that were provoked in several areas were retreating after the state was able to extinguish the armed rebellion and fight the gangs of Takfir and anarchy. The rebellion attempts, as well as the acts of violence and terrorism erupted in light of protests which were provoked by objective factors and incentives but were exploited by political opposition forces representing a minority to turn them into an opportunity to impose a military control that would lead to a foreign interference which was revealed by Abdul Halim Khaddam in his recent statements.

The opposition which is linked to the United States and the plan aiming at sabotaging Syria fell in the weapons trap, thus provoking an overwhelming popular insistence on the national centralized state and stability. In the meantime, this opposition had dangerously fell in sectarian instigation exposed by the presence of Takfiris fatwas and satellite channels airing form the Gulf and targeting Syria through mobilization and the instigation of civil war. This led the opposition towards failure and the exchange of accusations and would explain the presence of major disputes within its ranks despite the American, Turkish and Qatari efforts deployed to form a political entity that would combine all its elements.
The retreat of the incidents and the emergence of new facts regarding the sabotage plans and the external and internal forces involved in it imposes the progress of the dialogue led by President Bashar al-Assad over reform in the next stage, in order to consecrate partisan and media plurality and instate new foundations for the parliamentary and local elections


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Ex-Syrian official Khaddam’s interview with Israeli channel 2

Silver Lining

Posted by realistic bird on May 14, 2011
Today Al Manar TV showed Abdel Karim Khaddam, ex-Syrian official turned “opposition”, having an interview with an Israeli reporter from the Israeli channel 2. When the reporter was asked if Khaddam knew about it being  an Israeli TV he said the latter knew who he was since he interviewed him 6 years ago.
I found two sources in Arabic but I couldn’t find this in English for some reason but I couldn’t wait until it is translated.
The first source says that Khaddam claimed that the Assad regime will fall quickly and it won’t last (he accused Assad of being a dictator funny he should say that since Khaddam is a despot himself, just ask the Lebanese, even the Israeli commentator said the same thing).
The second source says that he was funded and helped (media) by the US and other European countries to remove the regime and in return the new “democratic” regime will commit to a peace with “Israel”. He added that there is a plan for a military intervention by NATO in Syria.

What is not understandable is why he did it? This surely is not going to make the Syrian people support any of it and discredits anyone allied with him.
Khaddam to Israeli Channel2: “NATO & Turkish forces will finish the Assad regime in weeks!”

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Syria .. In the Eye of the Storm – Part III

By Nidal Hmede

Translated by: Eslam al-Rihani

Lots of Syrian opposition parties inside and outside the country – rely on a western military interference against Syria, similar to what is happening now in Libya and previously in Iraq.

Farid el-Ghaderi (left), Abdul-Halim Khaddam (right)

That stance had been officially delivered to France, the US, and the UK, in a form of wishes by groups belonging to “Farid el-Ghaderi” and the “Damascus Declaration Abroad.”
The here above words were quoted from a French academic source.

That stance – demanding foreign interference – intersects with an old Saudi desire to interfere militarily against Syria; it had been repeatedly delivered by Saudi officials to western and French parties.

According to the French academic, “it seems that the stance was not rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, as Abdul-Halim Khaddam (former Syrian VP) reiterated in his communications with the players whom he knows in the west, and which have resurfaced after a period of isolation and frustration.”

However, that desire collides with a difficult reality for the West, especially in the Syrian case which is different from other Arab cases for several reasons:

A– The independence of the Syrian regime from the United States, with which it entered in direct and indirect conflicts over the past years in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine; contrary to the regimes of ousted presidents “Hosni Mubarak” of Egypt and “Zein El Abidine Ben Ali” of Tunisia, and Yemeni President “Ali Abdullah Saleh.”

B- The notorious western military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, emergence of the signs of faltering in Libya despite the weakness of the Libyan case compared with Syria, and the West’s unwillingness to get involved in a new conflict; a conflict with unguaranteed results.

C- The presence of Syria within a regional alliance that had achieved great victories in the ongoing conflict since the American invasion of Iraq.

D- The US need for Syria in Iraq, and the American unwillingness to face another chaos in the vicinity of the already exhausted U.S. military in Iraq.
E- The possibility that Syria would redirect the conflict towards a war against Israel, in case it sensed threat of interference by the NATO, which will give Damascus a large popular support in both the Arab and Muslim worlds.

F- The inevitable Russian and Chinese objection in the Security Council, because of the radical difference between the Syrian and Libyan situations in terms of importance to Russia.

G- The Turkish position which is fears chaos in Syria, given the common ethnic and sectarian composition between both countries.

Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan (left),
Syrian President – Bashar al-Assad (right)
In this sense, a radical change in Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan\’s attitude can be noticed, especially after the Syrian President\’s chancellor Bothayna Shaaban was quoted as saying that “Syria had been targeted on sectarian grounds.” However, after Turkey’s position was to closely monitor events in Syria, it evolved into support to Damascus. It was here where the impact of the Kurdish, Alawi and Sunni factors, along with their overlaps in both countries had emerged.

As for the possibility of military interference, Girard Bapt – Socialist Party MP and the head of Syrian-French Friendship Committee in the French Parliament – stressed in a phone call with Al-Manar Website that “there won\’t be any Western military interference against Syria.”

“The current situation is not serious. Western military interferences are looking for easy spots in the Arab world and black Africa. The year 2012 will witness the presidential elections in the US, France and Spain. All three countries are participating in the NATO military interference in Libya. Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy have benefited from the opinion polls on the war against Libya, which veterans and experts in military and political affairs agree that it is an easy war in this country that has little if no support in the Arab world, yet the operation is financially, politically and militarily impeded. If Qatar and the UAE didn\’t pledge to pay the full costs of the war, we wouldn\’t have seen NATO planes bombing Gaddafi\’s forces.”
On the other hand, Alan Qorvis – the former colonel in the French army and the former military adviser to the French prime ministry – told Al-Manar Website that the situation in Syria is difficult and complicated.

“The regime in Damascus has retreated, made pledges, and is promising more,” a French source said, adding that the persistence of the Syrian opposition\’s neo-conservatives in their imported Saudi intransigence, will only lead to a Syrian bloodshed in a battle of sabotage in the most important Middle-Eastern country.

“It\’s a losing battle in all standards,” the source concluded.

Parts 1 and 2 here

In case you missed it: “The Syrian regime must change, or it will be changed” by Khalid Amayreh 

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