This theory comes courtesy of Abbas, who works as an office boy at a consulting firm in Ras Beirut, and uses the first person plural pronoun (“we”) when speaking about the Hizb.
Abbas: The Damascus bombing was a message to Syria from the Salafists operating in north Lebanon. The message stated, loud and clear: “Keep out of Lebanon or be prepared to pay the price.” Furthermore, Monday’s bomb attack on an army truck in Tripoli was a similar message, sent to Beirut: stay out of north Lebanon, etc.
Abbas continued: The near future will bring a Syrian military return to Lebanon. Not all of it: just the north, which has become the haven for a growing Salafist militant community. The goal will be to end the Salafist problem. Syria will do this with full diplomatic cover from Europe (especially France) and the Americans will stay quiet about it because it will be part of the “war on terror”. Most importantly, it will have the sanction of a Lebanese government that desperately needs to gain the upper hand over a festering problem.
“Why the Syrians?” I asked, perhaps a bit naively. “Why not just have the Lebanese army go in and deal with these people.”
Abbas smiled and said conspiratorially: “The Syrians are the only ones who can do it. They have … an expertise, shall we say, in such operations. They can end the entire issue.”
I stared back blankly, not exactly sure of what he was saying — and not really wanting to know.
“What do you mean ‘end the entire issue’?” I asked tentatively.
“What do you think?” he smiled back.
“You mean… like Hama?”
“But Abbas, are you suggesting the Syrian army is going to buldoze all of Tripoli?”
“No, but certain neighborhoods, why not? The Syrians know how to do this. In fact, they are the only ones who can do it. No one in Lebanon will assume this responsibility because it’s a sectarian powder keg. The Syrians will do it, and they’ll do it very relaxed (murtaaheen). They will be happy to do it. First of all, it’s in their interests, second of all it will win them points in Lebanon, Europe, and the U.S.”
“So if it is so much in their interests, then how do we know that they are not the ones funding these guys in the first place, i.e. in order to make a fire and then be paid to put it out?”
“Who told you they’re not funding them? Anything is possible.”
Mabrouk the new blog Mr. Qifa Nabki : )
Tell Abbas that he is doing well but … Why Stop there? tell them (since he uses “we”) to learn something from the international coalition of 9/11 conspiracy theorists.
The Syrians did the Damascus bombing too! … To use it as an excuse to go back into Lebanon!!!!
Ask Abbas these questions:
1) Will Bashar (and the regime) risk a furious reaction from their own Syrian Sunni majority? Aren’t they already accused by many of being sectarian and of being Iranian tools … Etc
2) Can Abbas imagine what Almostaqbal and AlArabiya will be like when they report 24/7 on this savage Syrian Alawite massacre against the Sunni innocent mou2moneen? … How many times will they play back documentaries about Hama?
3) Does Abbas think the Syrian regime is CONFIDENT ENOUGH in Sarkozy’s long term backing of such a highly unpopular move? … Or that “the Americans will be silent”?
Does Abbas think that the Syrians forgot Saddam’s deadly mistake that led him to assume that he had an American Green light to enter Kuwait after a short meeting with an American Ambassador?
By next year (not anytime soon), if the next American Administration proves it has what it takes for the Syrians to trust it, and if there are many clear public statements from both Europe and the United States in support of a Syrian active role in ending Bandar & Hariti’s Salafi mistake, THEN … Syria will consider going in there for a mini Hama … More like what happened in Nahr Elbared … Hundreds of casualties, not thousands.
For “the international community” to reach that stage, it will take many more mistakes from the Salafis … Until everyone is convinced that they have to be undone no matter what it takes.
And finally, Syria will also need Arab (Sunni) cover … The Saudis and Egyptians had a symbolic presence next to the Syrian troops who entered Lebanon in 1976.
And … In 1976, president carter and his administration, just like president Bush Senior’s administration (Baker) were personality types that the Syrians (Hafez) could trust.
If Condy hinted to Mouallem in NYC that her administration will understand if Syria sends it’s army back into Lebanon … It will take an Anwar Sadat type is risk taker to go for it.
Tell Abbas … Not yet.
Actually Abbas loves to quote the international coalition of 9/11 conspiracy theorists! He often begins an argument by referring to how the U.S. was behind 9/11… i.e., just like Hariri was killed by proto-March 14, etc.
QN, mabrook this interesting blog. I will come back and read more later inshallah, I just dropped in to voice my concerns over the cow that is smoking argileh on the top. Do you really hate argelih smokers that much? 🙂
I have no problem with argileh smokers!
Do you have a problem with cows?
oops just noticed i pasted below in the previous post instead of this one.
i’m very excited that my favorite SC commentator has his own blog now.
As for your friend i will have to respectively disagree as i have been disagreeing with the notion of Syria re-entering Lebanon in the near future with several syrian and lebanese friends. I think there is still the option of striking a deal with several world or regional powers to convince Riyadh to cease their support of the salafist groups/
That said I believe the possibility of such a move into Tripoli is not out of the ordinary, in fact its quiet plausible considering that Tripoli’s salafist movements are a threat to Syria’s national security. might sound like an excuse to some, nevertheless it’s a fact. But there are several factors that will at the very least delay such a move.
1- US elections – any move into lebanon will require US green light to syria which is difficult to be given with a lame duck administration in power.
2- Saudi Arabia – A DIRECT deal with the Saudis over this is nearly impossible especially since the Syrians are blaming Riyadh and Prince Bandar specifically with endorsing these movements. And while a full blown war of words has long been raging between the two countries, a move into tripoli will take this conflict to a new level which obviously will need extra consideration. That’s where a new US administration or other common friendly states can intervene with the Saudis
3- Hariri- obviously this links up with the Saudis and if they won’t bless an entry into lebanon then neither will Hariri. Especially considering that these groups are his closest thing to an armed militia. He cannot afford losing his sunni base in the north by striking a deal with Syria and staying hush about such moves. And its in Syria’s interest to have Sunni blessing against what can be called “Rogue Elements” before committing to what will be a very unpopular move in Lebanon.
Sorry to only come in now… Been quite busy in recent days (preparing my lungs for the Biden-Palin debate). I join the good fellas above in congratulating you on starting this, what seems to already be a wonderful blog. Mabrook ya habibi! You just got yourself another avid reader… From down south… 🙂