Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, March 14, Syria

Israel and the Hariri Assassination: An Equal-Opportunity Scapegoat?

Tha’ir Ghandour has an interesting exclusive interview in today’s Al-Akhbar newspaper with an unnamed “security source close to Saad al-Hariri”. (There’s an English summary of the story here.) The gist of the source’s testimony is the following:

  1. In 2006, the Lebanese intelligence services uncovered evidence of the involvement of certain Hizbullah members in the Hariri assassination.
  2. A delegation was sent to speak to Hassan Nasrallah, advising him of the evidence, and suggesting that the party announce its willingness to prosecute any of its members that were implicated, just as Walid al-Mouallem had made the same promise with regard to any Syrian citizen connected with the crime.
  3. The source also apparently suggested that Hizbullah hide or liquidate these individuals so that they could not identify who they got their orders from.
  4. The offer was rejected by Nasrallah, which surprised Hariri’s delegation.

As you will recall, we heard something like this story from Hassan Nasrallah himself a couple months ago. What is most interesting about it, from my perspective, is the folowing quote:

فوجئنا يوم أقفل السيّد نصر الله الباب وقال إنه مسؤول عن أي عمل يقوم به أي عنصر من عناصر حزب الله، وكأن جسم الحزب غير مخترَق، ونحن نعرف تماماً أنه اختُرق وأعطيناه الأدلة على ذلك، وجرت تصفية المسؤولين الثلاثة في الحزب الذين أبلغنا الحزب عن تعاملهم مع إسرائيل.

Translation: “…We were surprised the day that Sayyed Nasrallah locked the door [on our offer to find an exit strategy to the problem] and said that he was responsible for any action carried out by any member of Hizbullah, as though the party were not infiltrated, and we knew precisely that it was infiltrated and we gave him evidence of that. The three members of the party whose collaboration with Israel we had notified Hizbullah about were then liquidated.

Just a few days ago, I wondered aloud as to what Hariri’s strategy was going to be in the face of Hizbullah’s hardline position on the STL. If we are finally getting a glimpse of it, then it’s quite savvy. Rather than pushing back against Nasrallah with his own maximalist position (i.e. that Hizbullah pulled the trigger, with Syrian and/or Iranian assistance), Hariri is signaling that he would be (or at least had been) willing to help sell the “Israel-did-it” theory, but at a cost: that Hizbullah give up the members who had been “infiltrated” by the enemy.

This mechanism would fulfill the favored “no victors, no vanquished” formula that is the unspoken rule of Lebanese politics. It would give everyone a way to save face: Hariri would get to say that he had avenged his father’s death and Hizbullah would be able to say it was right all along about Israel. Of course, no one’s mind would really be changed: M14ers would continue to believe that Hizbullah committed the crime on Syria’s instructions, while M8ers would continue to believe that Hizbullah was being framed by Israel. But none of this would really matter.

Political historians (like detectives) are supposed to take into account the testimonies of all relevant parties when reconstructing their accounts of political developments. In this case, however, a pan-optic approach leads to an absurd and yet somehow fitting conclusion: that Israel infiltrated Hizbullah to assassinate Rafiq al-Hariri (the Sunni Premier who had been unknowingly infiltrated by Israel to disarm the infiltrated Hizbullah through UNSCR 1559) and then infiltrated the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon to pin the crime on Hizbullah.

I feel safer already.
wordpress stats

Discussion

175 thoughts on “Israel and the Hariri Assassination: An Equal-Opportunity Scapegoat?

  1. If this continues, coverage of Lebanon will move from CNN to the SciFi channel. We are entering the twilight zone.

    Is there no limit to the amount of BS that people in Lebanon can tolerate?

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 9:55 am
  2. AIG: no, there is no limit.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | October 1, 2010, 9:56 am
  3. “In this case, however, a pan-optic approach leads to an absurd and yet somehow fitting conclusion: that Israel infiltrated Hizbullah to assassinate Rafiq al-Hariri (the Sunni Premier who had been unknowingly infiltrated by Israel to disarm the infiltrated Hizbullah through UNSCR 1559) and then infiltrated the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon to pin the crime on Hizbullah.”

    Can this be the next 007 movie?? Morgan Freeman can play Nasrallah

    Posted by Won | October 1, 2010, 10:02 am
  4. AIG,

    People in Canada too, and I am the first to proudly “tolerate” this kind of “BS”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm

    “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the “Clean Break” report) is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel.[1] The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East”

    ” …the new government can promote Western values and traditions. Such an approach, which will be well received in the United States, includes peace for peace, peace through strength and self reliance: the balance of power”

    “Securing the Northern Border”

    “Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which Americans can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon … Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan comprehensive peace and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction programs, and rejecting land for peace deals on the Golan Heights.”

    “Moving to a Traditional Balance of Power Strategy”

    “Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

    The mass criminals who proposed those recommendations to Prime minister Netanyahu in 1996 (Richard Pearl, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser …)had to wait few years, until there was a compatible stupid right wing leader in the White house before they could start pushing their new strategy.

    And if Netanyahu’s strategists removed Saddam mainly in order to weaken Syria, why should we be so surprised that they would assassinate Rafiq Hariri by infiltrating Hezbollah?

    For the past few years I have been saying (and writing) that whoever killed Hariri did not send his own people to do it … Assassinations are not done that way … If Syria wanted to assassinate Hariri, it would not ask its allies (Hezbollah) to do it, it would infiltrate Some pro-Israel christian group in Lebanon or some Salafi Saudi group. Similarly, Israel would infiltrate an Iranian and Syrian group in order to establish a protective layer in case the assassins are found… and it would not send an Israeli officer to communicate with them … it would send some Iranian friend of Israel for example, … the infiltrated will not know they are working for Israel.

    This is not science fiction. This is typical “a clean Break” material … the authors and their master, Netanyahu are mass murderers who were instrumental in leading America to Iraq … a war they wanted in order to weaken Syria … enough to convince America (Clinton’s America at the time) to stop pressuring Israel to give back the Golan Heights, and other lands, to the Arabs

    Likud’s ultimate objective is to keep most of the lands Israel stole from the Arabs … and Netanyahu stops at nothing in order to achieve that objective.

    We still do not KNOW who killed Hariri, it could have one of many different suspects. But logic (and not science fiction) says that those who sacrificed millions of Iraqis would not stop at murdering a Lebanese Prime minister in order to make sure America (and France, and Saudi Arabia..) would not ask Israel to give the Golan Heights to that evil “Syrian regime”

    And while we are here, don’t forget Clean Break’s recommendation to portray Syria as a builder of mass destruction weapons …

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 10:54 am
  5. The mask has fallen definitively this time. V and BV are right. It’s a lost cause in Lebanon for at least another generation. HA is like a spilled container of ink which is slowly, but surely, going to cover the whole country.
    The only victims are the Lebanese.
    I have no doubt that Israel rejoices at any and all problems in Lebanon, mainly because it knows Lebanon will never be able to make peace until after everyone else does and so, the weaker it is, and the more justified an eventual erasure of all its infrastructure, the better.
    Syria will find some accommodation with Iran while working on its relations with the U.S.
    The culprit? religious fanaticism, no more, no less.
    Not until a true nationalistic feeling of belonging to a proud people and a proud country with the resources, intelligence, and savvy operations to promote the self-interest of the country by successfully playing all the external factors (instead of the opposite), not until then, will a successful Lebanon begin to emerge.
    It will be up to future generations, probably from the diaspora folding back into the home country, to make this happen.
    Now I’m depressed.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 10:56 am
  6. Alex,

    What is the probability, in your opinion, that all these events are masterminded and plotted by Israel as you describe? How likely is that scenario vs. the fratricide scenario of folks in the Arab world seeing only short-term interest in a temporal and geographic manner?
    Assuming we have no certainty for any scenario I’d be interested in folks’ assessments of the probability of one vs. the other.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 11:14 am
  7. AIG,

    How do you say chickpeas in Hebrew? (some kind of english-pronounciation so we can say the word, please)

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 11:14 am
  8. This article is absolute Hogwash….since the issue of these supposedly Israeli agents within Hizbullah…brought about to Nasrallah by Al-Ma3loumat in 2006…was expanded upon by Nasrallah himself in one of his appearances, and he said categorically that they thoroughly investigated this affair and found it to be totally FALSE, and no one was eliminated by anybody within Hizbullah.

    Posted by j.bamford | October 1, 2010, 11:41 am
  9. HP,

    Chickpeas in Hebrew are usually referred to as hummus. If one is not sure that the listener can distinguish between the raw chickpeas and the paste from the context one would refer to chickpeas as “gar-ge-rei hummus” which is literally hummus grains.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 11:44 am
  10. thanks AIG

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 11:50 am
  11. HP

    Obviously there is no way to estimate probabilities beyond “highly likely” precision.

    I find it “highly likely” that:

    In 1996 the cruel “moral clarity” coalition of dangerous egoists in Israel and in the US were energized again after their hawkish Likud friend Bibi Netanyahu manged to finally remove Labor from power in Israel. They had to act decisively in order make sure that no future set of leftist (peace loving) coalition, like the Clinton-Rabin combo of the years before, would come close to seeking a solution based on land for peace.

    Their 1996 “A Clean Break” strategy is beyond clear.

    It is also clear that President Clinton and his assistants could not stand the ultra arrogant Netanyahu who lied to them endlessly. (see my “the case for Syria” on Syria comment).

    It is also clear that in 2000 George Bush was convinced to hire many of the authors of “a clean Break” and he adopted their ideology as well as their tactics

    It is also clear that Likud was back in power in Israel after 2000

    And it is also clear that Likud’s allies in the US (AIPAC etc) ignored the opinion of the majority of American Jews while they lobbied for the Iraq war.

    It is also clear that Netanyahu is on the record making use of what he perceived in 2004 as a success of the Clean Break strategy of weakening Syria (through the Iraq war) in order to avoid giving her back the Golan Heights:

    “The world had changed,… [my] offer to cede the Golan in return for peace is no longer valid … After the American war in Iraq, Syria had become an insignificant and isolated backwater, on the verge of expulsion from the international community. Thus, there’s no reason to make a deal that
    entails major Israeli concessions”

    And it is also clear that Israel has tremendous experience in managing high tech assassinations (see Dubai’s operation as a recent example)

    And it is also clear that in 2005 when Hariri was assassinated, Likud and its right wing allies in the US were on the offensive while Syria was already struggling to avoid the by-then obvious attempt of the US/Israel to build enough regional and international support to a planned invasion of Syria (read Tony Blair’s memoirs about what Cheney told him). And we know the Syrians are good at calculating risks and at avoiding unnecessary additional ones,such as the assassination of Hariri at a time when the risks they were dealing with (US invasion) were more than difficult to handle.

    We also know that both the Bush administration and Israel regularly lied to justify their need to implement the wild strategies in “A clean Break” (remember Colin Powell’s UN performance)

    We know that every possible recommendation in “A clean Break” was followed … removing Saddam .. using that to stop offering the Golan to the weaker Syria … humiliating “the Syrian regime” and portraying it as a group of thugs who are so stupid and out of control … trying to empower the Hashemite king … getting Syria out of Lebanon … talking about peace for peace instead of land for peace …

    The only, and major part, of “A Clean Break” that was not possible in 2003 was the expected role Turkey was supposed to play in cornering Syria … unfortunately for Netanyahu and friends, at that time Turkey was not governed by Israeli allies anymore … Erdogan preferred to be Syria’s friend and protector.

    If all the above is not enough to reach a “highly likely” probability estimate that the Hariri assassination was planned and ordered by Likud and its friends, I don’t know what is.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 12:00 pm
  12. And how will the remaining assassinations into 2007 be explained away ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 1, 2010, 12:05 pm
  13. Alex,

    What would you stoop to believe in order to protect your beloved mafia regime in Damascus? I am quite sure though that you do not believe your own BS. You are just playing the “Arab card” in order to agitate the masses and portray the Syrian regime as a “defender of Arab rights”. But this is a Lebanese blog, and the Lebanese know who is “a Lion in Lebanon and a rabbit in the Golan”. You want the Golan? Come get it. Don’t send the Lebanese to do your dirty work. Of course, you also let other Syrians do your dirty work. How much does your family pay in bribes not to go to the Syrian army?

    We all know what is really bothering you. With Hizballah weakening, Syria has no cards left to play. What can you offer Israel for peace? Nothing. The Lebanese border is quiet and the Golan is quiet. No only that, Syria is desperately trying to attract foreign investments. But, nobody would investment if Syria would go to war. So, it is clear to everybody that Syria’s only option is diplomacy. Good luck with that. The only thing I and 80% of Israelis would agree to give Asad II, a ruthless butcher from a line of butchers, is a poke in the eye. In short, accept the fact that the Golan is Israeli or get rid of the mafia ruling your country.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 12:07 pm
  14. “And how will the remaining assassinations into 2007 be explained away ?”

    The most convincing part of Nasrallah’s presentation was not the video clips but the details he gave us about the findings of Lebanese Police investigations of Israel’s Lebanese collaborators… Is it too difficult to accept that it is possible that those Israeli commando teams that spent weeks in Lebanon, engaged in assassinations or the planning of assassinations?

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 12:11 pm
  15. I wasn’t addressing your post Alex.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 1, 2010, 12:15 pm
  16. Alex,

    AIPAC did NOT lobby for the war in Iraq. That is just a blatant lie.

    The reason Syria murdered Hariri using Hizballah was exactly to reduce risks. The last thing they needed as a strong and competent Sunni leader with strong international backing and with the intent of becoming more independent. That would not only have put their influence in Lebanon in jeopardy, it could even put the stability of the regime in Syria in jeopardy since Hariri could have motivated or even mobilized a strong Sunni movement in Syria itself.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 12:15 pm
  17. To Alex:
    You are quite right in your analysis of the Clean Break run down etc., and a lot of experts think that the assassination of RABIN came in that vein also…
    But, remember that after 2000, there was major covert operations in play…starting with 9/11 onwards…most centering on the ME and Central/South Asia…
    The assassinations in Lebanon started in earnest in 2002…and the Hariri assassination was the major one, obviously midwifed by the NEOCONS…who were able to Bamboozle SYRIA into carrying it out…simple covert operations 101…you trick your enemy into doing your dirty deeds unknowingly…
    Then, in 2008, SYRIA redeemed itself by offering Imad F. MOUGHNIEH’s head on a silver platter to CIA/MOSSAD/DGSE… and they were redeemed, nurtured and protected from STL and more….
    The Lebanese are so gullible, they will never fathom that reality and keep arguing because of total ignorance of the reality of covert operations and disinformation campaigns and cut-outs and plausible deniability etc.
    Cheers

    Posted by j.bamford | October 1, 2010, 12:22 pm
  18. AIG,

    You and the rest of right wing Israelis are reduced to nothing more that generalities and arrogant threats.

    So Bashar Assad is a butcher? 🙂

    A fine Israeli intellectual that you despise I am sure, Gideon Levy was here in Montreal. He said that it will have to get much worse before it gets better … that Israel’s population is hopelessly right wing that only a disastrous failure will wake them up to reality.

    AIG … the Golan will go back to its owner, Syria. That will take place after the next war that Israel’s racists will start or push the United States to start (under a future idiot’s leadership, such as Sarah Palin) … that war will be a military draw but it will be very painful to all … including Israel who lost the 2006 war to 3000 Hezbollah fighters at a time when Israel had the perfect environment for its “let’s rearrange the Middle East to Israel’s liking” … GWB led America .. Chirac on board (convinced that Syria killed his friend Hariri) … Saudi Arabia and Egypt on board … M14 led Lebanon on board … Iraqi leadership mostly anti Syria … Jordan … Europe …

    Now you have no strongly committed partners. Good luck reinventing “a clear Break”

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 12:24 pm
  19. Alex,

    Glad you’re contributing here at QN. We may not agree but it is very instructive to hear counter-arguments, especially when clearly explained along with references and links, etc.

    AIG,

    You have shown a lot of distinction here in many of your analyses and opinions. However, going into personal attacks as part of making a point does NOTHING to your arguments and persuasion and contributes to dragging this blog standards down. You don’t need to say half the things you say above to make your points. We want to hear your point of view and we learn from it. But I have to condemns the personal attacks which drown any valid point you’re making. Emotions run high sometimes but it serves no one to channel them into put-downs. Let’s respect each other and keep things civil.

    Remember the rules here at QN which are no different than those (and actually are borrowed from) SyriaComment:

    “”The purpose of the comment section is to promote informed debate, share pertinent information and news items, and encourage constructive criticism and analysis. Although we hope to avoid any censorship, experience has taught us that it is sometimes necessary. The comment section is monitored. Messages containing any of the following elements will not be tolerated:

    – Personal attacks against other contributors;
    – Racist, sexist, obscene, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful language;
    – Provocations designed to derail discussions away from substantive debate into dead-end arguments;
    – Links to commercial sites or posting of commercial messages;
    – Threats of death or violence;

    Comments that violate these guidelines may be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderating team. Furthermore, commentators who repeatedly violate the site regulations may be warned, temporarily suspended from posting, limited to a set quantity of daily posts, or permanently banned. The moderators reserve the right to ban anyone who annoys or badgers them excessively.

    Finally, we ask that commentators bear in mind that even well-intentioned humor or sarcasm can be “lost in translation” on an online discussion forum. As such, commentators should maintain a respectful tone with others and be tolerant of opinions that may differ from their own.””

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 12:25 pm
  20. Ya Alex: So let me get this right: Israel, in order to keep up the illusion of Syrian responsibility for the assassination of Hariri, kept commando teams in Lebanon over the next several years to systematically assassinate Syria’s Lebanese enemies?

    Do you really believe that?

    Posted by sean | October 1, 2010, 12:27 pm
  21. Alex,

    Actually AIG has also opined that “it will have to get much worse before it gets better” but that was in the context of Lebanon and of course implying different scenarios.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 12:31 pm
  22. I’m kidding, of course, but here goes:

    Hey, Alex and AIG, take your fight outside Lebanon, will ya?

    (No offense, just thought some might find it funny).

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 12:36 pm
  23. Syria, North Korea ?

    What’s the difference ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 1, 2010, 12:40 pm
  24. OK, on a more serious note, Alex, remember Josh’s analysis of “pushed against the wall?”
    http://tinyurl.com/24fuo8v
    What’s your opinion of its probability??

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 12:40 pm
  25. Iranian, Canadian, Baathist, Michael Moore style BS that knows no limit

    Posted by V | October 1, 2010, 12:45 pm
  26. AIG,

    You do understand that “AIPAC” to us is a symbolic label … remind me to stick to my “Likud’s allies in Washington” next time.

    “AIPAC” is made of Likud allies (agents) like war advocate Senator Lieberman:

    As for your relatively reasonable explanation of why it is possible that Syria assassinated Hariri … I accept that it is indeed possible, and this is one of the reasons I am not 100% sure “Israel did it” … I also accept other possible (but not very likely) stories … that Salafi groups acted alone, or that personal motives were the reasons hariri was assassinated.

    But nothing comes close to the “highly probable” Israel hypothesis. It fits Israel perfectly.

    Syria did not need to kill Hariri … Syria could have asked a few of its Lebanese friends in the media to leak dirt about Hariri … they could have discredited him enough until he understood not to stand up to the Syrians too much.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 12:48 pm
  27. Alex,

    The Golan may return to Syria in about 50 years after the Muslim Brotherhood rule Syria for several decades and the Syrians decide that maybe democracy is better than Bath’ism or Islamism. Of course, and this is what worries you most and is behind your support for Assad II, there will not be any Christian community left in Syria by then. You will have only yourself to blame for that and your short sighted strategy.

    Neither Israel nor the US is pushing for a war. In fact, Israel is very happy with the status quo. It is the Syrians that are trying to find useful idiots to fight their wars for them. But the Lebanese are not buying that any more. Fight your own wars. But of course you can’t, because war and economic development do not go hand in hand. That is why if Syria wants to avoid a disastrous failure by not developing fast enough, it must make sure that there is no war. You have no credible threat against anybody.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 12:52 pm
  28. ok, my last (long and boring) comment for today.

    1) My old friend HP:

    Happy to meet you here! (unlike FB where you rarely show up 🙂

    2) Sean

    Please go back to Nasrallah’s presentation. He said that Israel’s Lebanese agents testified to the Police that Israeli commandos spent weeks at a time in Lebanon … arms and explosives were purchased on their behalf …

    What is so “silly conspiracy theory” about linking them to a number of assassinations that took place in Lebanon? … especially that those assassinations conveniently took place often just a day before the security council was meeting to discuss Lebanon and to punish or threaten Syria for the assassination that took place the day before.

    I get the feeling that some of you want me to accept that Israel can not possibly engage in such dirt but Syria can.

    Do you need Dubai style security cameras recordings of tens of Israeli assassins who stayed for weeks in Dubai in order for you to accept that Israel kills?

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/dubai-police-chief-says-mossad-behind-death-threats-1.316449

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 1:00 pm
  29. Alex,

    The Syrian regime has to be pretty dumb for them not to have realized how the Likud party orchestrated Hariri’s assassination while they were controlling every inch of Lebanon.

    I guess they had to wait 5 years for you and Hassan Nasrallah to figure it out.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 1, 2010, 1:03 pm
  30. Peter,

    I “realized” what I realized from day1 … Qifa Nabki knows that I always accepted the possibility that someone in Syria wanted Hariri dead but I was convinced that most likely it was Likud and neocon strategists who planned it and ordered it.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 1:09 pm
  31. Alex,

    What a convenient position you have taken. Even if the STL convicts Hizballah of killing Hariri you will say that really Israel did it by infiltrating Hizballah. It is really easy to use one conspiracy theory to support another.

    Israel could not know what would happen from assassinating Hariri. Nobody could predict that this would lead to the Syrians leaving Lebanon. Just be honest with yourself and ask the simple question, did you think right after Hariri was assassinated that this would lead to the Syrians leaving? I certainly did not, and believe it or not, neither did the Israeli security establishment. If one understands anything about Lebanon, it is that it is VERY unpredictable.

    Israel had no benefit from assasinating Hariri because it could not predict the results of this assassination. In fact, the scenarios I could think of were mostly negative for Israel. Just imagine if Israel was implicated in the assassination. This would badly hurt our ties with the Arab countries and the US.

    You are trying to build a case based on the fact that people forget events that actually happened may have had a small probability a priori (before the events occurred). This is like a gambler saying “I knew 4 would be rolled” after seeing the throw. Or, someone looking at a person that bet on 4 and asking, “How did you know that 4 will be rolled?” Of course, no one knew that 4 would be the result. In fact, most people would have thought that 7 would be a much more likely result.

    The most probable explanation by far to the Hariri murder is that Syria, just like everybody else, did not foresee the results that actually happened. Lebanon is so complex that even the Syrians get it wrong sometimes.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 1:09 pm
  32. Do you honestly think if Syria had nothing to do with Hariri’s assassination they would have allowed the Lebanese Judiciary to handle it the way it was ?

    “Nothing to see here. Carry on !”

    Just another Lebanese tragedy … they happen all the time here.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 1, 2010, 1:13 pm
  33. Wow,

    All this conspiracy covert, overt and invert operations; to kill Hariri. Several of you here have expressed the twilight zone addle headed belief that Lebanon somehow is the centre of the universe and all these intelligence agencies are tried to capture the golden goose.

    Back to the piece in Al Akhbar. The newspaper being a mukhabarati/Syrian leaning:
    A.Why is this story now implicating HA?
    B. Has there been any comments from the Hariri camp? I certainly am very suspicious of these anonymous ‘sources”.
    C. If true; this means Syria has had enough of HA’s crap and is throwing SHN under the fast moving train and at the same time ratcheting up the heat. both would be beneficial in bringing Syria in as an “honest” broker.
    D. If false. Well same old BS conspiracy doodoo from Soviet trained PR machines.

    Alex, we are all certain that Bashar and the murderous Syrian regime have been maligned wrongly always! They are the new prophets sent by God/Allah!!! Is there a movie idea in the works?

    Posted by danny | October 1, 2010, 1:16 pm
  34. Do you need Dubai style security cameras recordings of tens of Israeli assassins who stayed for weeks in Dubai in order for you to accept that Israel kills?

    More to the point, do you really think that the same incompetent assassins who carried out the Dubai hit while pasting their faces all over Emirati security cameras (and consequently all over youtube) and have been caught by the ISF and Hezbollah in Lebanon (again and again) were both willing and able to whack Hariri, Kassir, Eido, Hawi, et al. without leaving a trace?

    Posted by sean | October 1, 2010, 1:41 pm
  35. AIG “Lebanon is so complex that even the Syrians get it wrong sometimes.”
    Welcome to the club!
    Back in kindergarten, when computers were a novelty and there was a myth that they could answer any question, we had a joke in Lebanon that, at an event featuring the best computer, folks were challenged to pose a question that the computer couldn’t answer. No one succeeded until the Lebanese person approached and asked: “Chou fi ma fi?” (which is an expression meaning essentially “What’s up” but with a literal translation as “what goes on does not go on?”). The computer exploded.
    So, yes, AIG, “Lebanon is [indeed] so complex.”

    Cheers!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 1:51 pm
  36. Folks,

    I still say one should go back to motive.

    There certainly was motive for the architects of the assassination to be elements from Syria or HA. [Just go back to the SyriaComment link I gave above on “pushed against the wall.”

    I, for one, do not see a rational motive for Israel, because I don’t see how they could have predicted any of the consequences (agreeing with AIG, here).

    The subsequent assassinations are further validation of the motive, methinks, since they were trying to take away the dominant majority in the cabinet at the time in order to make it fall. And, why would Israel have it in for Marwan Hamadeh? May Chidiac?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 1:56 pm
  37. QN, is Michael Young in danger, given his opinions and writing?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 1:57 pm
  38. I’m not sure why you would take any “unnamed” security source reported by Al-Akhbar seriously enough to bother translating this stuff. Their track record is lamentable. Unfortunately, I know some of the Akhbar people. They are relatives. They are also idiots.

    Posted by Oussama Hayek | October 1, 2010, 1:59 pm
  39. Sean,

    Exactly. Assassinations are a risky business and Israel has certainly made mistakes in that arena. For example the assassination attempt of Meshaal in 1997 in Jordan that was very costly to Israel.

    Hizballah and Syria did not have to worry about staging a perfect operation because they knew their allies would “take care” of any evidence. For Israel, the risks would have been much higher than for Hizballah and Syria. And with the gain not clear at all, it would not make sense for Israel to attempt to assassinate Hariri.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 2:06 pm
  40. HP,

    We had to get May Chidiac because she was hurting the ratings of Israel’s Arabic broadcasts…

    As for Hamadeh we tried to kill him because he was really a double agent used by the Syrians to infiltrate the M14 movement…

    You have been away from the middle east too long as you forgot how to answer these questions yourself.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 2:16 pm
  41. Sean said:

    “do you really think that the same incompetent assassins who carried out the Dubai hit while pasting their faces all over Emirati security cameras (and consequently all over youtube) and have been caught by the ISF and Hezbollah in Lebanon (again and again) were both willing and able to whack Hariri, Kassir, Eido, Hawi, et al. without leaving a trace?”

    1) Are you saying the Syrians are more competent than the Israelis?

    2) “without leaving a trace” is not it … The Mehlis investigation (and beyond) decided to stick to investigating possible Syrian traces … they are not into tracing Israeli assassins.

    3) There is a huge difference between the Dubai assassination and the Hariri assassination (if Israel indeed ordered it).

    In Dubai it was a typical “Israel can and will reach its enemies where ever they are” message… Israel wanted the Palestinians and other “resistance” leaders to watch those videos and to be scared to death.

    Hariri’s assassination had another objective … and that objective requires not leaving Israeli traces … the same day Hariri dies, the Bush administration and soon later Israel started to accuse Syria and to use the term “Syrian thuggish regime” …

    Go back to “A Clean Break” … it is all about making America and the world see Syria as a thuggish state that does not deserve the Golan back.

    Read AIG’s propaganda from the first day he showed up on Syria Comment … his main message is that the main reason Israel can not give Syria the Golan is that Syria is not a democracy … that Syria is run by a group of Baathist thugs … terror supporters …

    Sean … if you are trying to imply that all the assassinations that took place throughout history that remain until today unattributed … without leaving traces that lead to those who ordered them, were doable, but the poor Israelis can not possibly succeed in doing the same, then I will question your logic even further.

    It is easy to ridicule the whole thing through the generic “oh come on! … do you believe conspiracy theories?” … I hope you can (all) do better than that.

    In this case, a conspiracy theory is the one that says “Syria Killed him” … the common sense theory says “A Clean Break” is very clear … the people who wrote it were part of the Bush admin and they did all they could to implement each of its recommendations … and weakening and humiliating Syria was the corner stone of “a Clean Break”

    May I suggest that some of you are still victims of standard perceptual errors … in this case it is “the primacy effect” error:

    … “A perceptual error in which we quickly form an opinion of people based on the first information we receive about them.”

    In this case, you started by hearing the whole world saying “Syria did it” .. Bush said it, Chirac said it, the false witnesses said it, Saad Hariri and Jumblatt said it … and the Press repeated it …

    So to you, it is impossible to change your mind … your initial impression is hard to erase.

    You are forgetting that the whole thing was based on the testimony of paid false witnesses and on widely spread initial impressions such as:

    1) Hariri had a recorder-pen in his shirt pocket that was a git from Chirac … it recorded Bashar Assad’s threats to kill him

    2) Only Syria could have killed him … the bomb was underground … only Syrian intelligence had access to that area below the road.

    Both (and many others) turned out to be wrong … they were discredited. But you cant discredit the initial conclusion you made.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 2:23 pm
  42. AIG said

    “Hizballah and Syria did not have to worry about staging a perfect operation because they knew their allies would “take care” of any evidence.”

    Hmmm … assuming this is the case for Hariri, when Syria and its allies were in charge. How can you justify the many other assassinations that took place years later … when Israel’s friends, M14, and their friends and advisers in the US embassy and intelligence and security service, were in charge of Lebanon?

    Many were assassinated in Christian areas that are pro America all the way. No Syrian allies showed up to clean any evidence.

    Let us not be too creative here … Your arguments and that of HP is really:

    Syrians are dirty thugs and Israelis are civilized gentlemen.

    Good for you!

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 2:29 pm
  43. Alex,

    On Syrian soil, which Lebanon was in 2005, of course the Syrians are much more competent than the Israelis. It was a much simpler operation for Syria than for Israel.

    Don’t put words in my mouth. What I said on SC before you started censoring me, is that I personally would not give the Golan to Bashar but would be happy to do so to a democratic regime in Syria as a gesture of goodwill.

    It is true though that Syria is run by terrorist thugs. Facts are facts. Just the number of Lebanese who have “disappeared” in Syria is astonishing. Would you say that there is some possibility that the Syrian regime just killed them? Or maybe the Israelis infiltrated the Syrian jails and killed the Lebanese prisoners in order to portray the Syrian regime as a bunch of terrorist thugs? Yes, that is more likely.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 2:35 pm
  44. Alex,

    Do you think that after the Syrian army left that the security infrastructure changed overnight and that Syria’s numerous lackeys in the Lebanese security forces also left? Don’t play us for fools. Lebanon is still “home turf” for Syria in many respects. Most likely, the following murders were also conducted by Hizballah for the Syrians with support of local agents and with the use of Hizballah and Syrian supporters in the Lebanese security forces to make sure that no real investigation could happen.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 2:41 pm
  45. AIG said:

    “On Syrian soil, which Lebanon was in 2005, of course the Syrians are much more competent than the Israelis. It was a much simpler operation for Syria than for Israel.”

    Again … if this is the case, then what about the many other assassinations that took place in Lebanon later when Syria was out and America’s allies M14 were in power?

    Israel had the clear advantage there.

    This point is … useless. Otherwise, we will assume Syria Killed Hariri but Israel killed all the other ones?

    As for the number of Lebanese killed by Syria or Israel, … I don’t know how far back we need to go but if we look at the past ten years, Israel killed and injured thousands of Lebanese and destroyed Lebanon in 2006, but Syria killed no one and hosted 250,000 Lebanese who escaped Israel’s invasion in 2006 to Damascus.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 2:49 pm
  46. It feels like old times (i.e. Syria Comment, circa 2007).

    Now all we need is Ehsani, Idaf, Norman, Shai, Ausamma, Offended, Why-Discuss, and Naji, and the party will be complete.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | October 1, 2010, 2:52 pm
  47. ya Alex, the last thing I want to do is get in the middle between you and AIG. Yalla ya jama3a, I told you before go fight outside Lebanon 🙂

    Anyways, I, for one, have developed the notion that the president himself, Bashar Assad, is sincere when he denies involvement. I just can’t see, in light of his (back then) interview with Charlie Rose that he would be so devious and so criminal as to be able to pull off something like this and keep a straight face in denying it. On the other hand, Syrian intelligence and military operations are a different story. Why, just like Israel justifies assassination on the basis of national interest, I would allow that Syria would do the same. Smartly, though, by having appropriate deniability, involvement of allies (HA) in Lebanon, etc.
    The “suicide” of Ghazi Kanaan is, to me, a kind of somking gun.
    The false witnesses had connections with Syrian intelligence, another decoy factor.

    Also, Alex, I’m still waiting for your comment on the old 2006 posting on SC of “pushed against the wall,” link above.

    To be fair, I will also admit that we simply don’t know. We may know a bit more once we get some kind of report from the tribunal. My percentages, however, weigh as 1 minus your percentages as far as the various possibilities 🙂

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 2:58 pm
  48. QN, we all now that you are the master conspirator. Did all this to steal the SyriaComment contributors, huh? and you think we haven’t uncovered that fact?
    We did, but we LIKE it!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 3:01 pm
  49. Alex,

    Since it was Hizballah that killed Hariri and the other people, they were on “home turf” before and after the Syrians “left”. Can Hizballah organize an assassination in Tel-Aviv? No. But in Beirut? Very simple. Yes, Israel can assassinate in Beirut but it is so much simpler for Hizballah.

    Israel could not predict that it could gain anything from killing Hariri. On the contrary, the memories of the result of trying to kill Meshal were fresh. Killing Hariri made no sense for Israel.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 3:10 pm
  50. QifaNAbki

    Our friend Naji is in Switzerland enjoying a glass of wine by a nice lake, he won’t be back unfortunately.

    HP,

    – Syrian intelligence does not act against the President’s will. The President is simply not the type who kills people he meets with as friends days before.

    – Ghazi Kanaan had bigger issues with the Syrian leadership … it is purely the product of a personal assumption to conclude that his suicide (or request to kill himself) is directly related to the Hariri investigation.

    If you and others find it so obviously related, then why would Syria do it? … I hope the old 2006 impression that the Syrians are simply stupid, is not good enough today to explain everything. The Syrians are excessively cautious, they are anything but foolish.

    Please try a bit harder to estimate your probabilities in a way that is thoroughly consistent with any logical argument you chose to use, instead of producing any number of random logical arguments that are not compatible with each other.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 3:11 pm
  51. Alex, the explanation I’m subscribing to (with a likelihood, not certainty) is the “pushed against the wall theory” from SyriaComment. What was wrong with that analysis?
    http://tinyurl.com/24fuo8v
    Definitely NOT that “the Syrians are simply stupid.” Never thought that, and never said it (that I can remember or imagine saying).

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 3:16 pm
  52. Then again, the theory and alleged proof emerging now are those of HA’s guilt. This may possibly be without Syrian knowledge nor acquiescence. There, the argument would be to take out Hariri and, along with him, any danger of mounting pressure to disarm.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 3:19 pm
  53. Actually, here’s a good question, Alex:
    Do you have any opinion about the independence and professionalism of the folks making up the STL?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 3:19 pm
  54. Waw indeed.
    Hoping that the stench of testosterone has cleared by now, I still ask the question, like Danny in point A of #34, why was this “information” published today in Al Akhbar?

    As for Israel’s possible hand in the assassination, I don’t know better than any of you. But I know their love for international investigations is scarce. And I know they could have killed off the embryo of the STL without anybody “noticing”. Why would they have taken such an unnecessary risk?

    Posted by mj | October 1, 2010, 3:24 pm
  55. Alex,

    You think we don’t remember that this is not the first time Syria has done something really stupid and tried to blame Israel?

    How about the Hindawi affair?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindawi_affair

    The Syrians tried to blow up an El-Al plane in the UK. They luckily failed but of course blamed Israel. At least a British court of law outed their lies. But you will of course deny that Syria was behind this terrorist act. Things don’t change much do they? Syria was and is a terrorist state.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 3:25 pm
  56. “Syrian intelligence don’t act against the president”
    Syrian intelligence is an oxymoron

    Posted by V | October 1, 2010, 3:38 pm
  57. The following is a must read:
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLNE68T02X20100930?pageNumber=1

    And for anyone who thinks Asad II is better than Asad I:

    “The number of people living in extreme poverty — deprived of food, clean drinking water, sanitation, health, proper shelter, education and information — has increased to as much as 3 million from 2 million six years ago, it said.”

    Alex, it is time you put the Golan on the back burner and started helping your country where it really counts. If you want “resistance” your country will just continue to go down the tubes. Take 50% of the time that you devote to whining about Israel and apply it to internal Syrian problems.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 3:54 pm
  58. AIG

    Upon reading that article, I think that the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that breaking away from the Ottoman Empire was perhaps not the best idea in the world.

    Maybe if we ask really nicely, the Turks will take us back?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | October 1, 2010, 4:14 pm
  59. mj,

    It seems they are all preoccupied in marking their territory. I am disappointed in the lack of any analysis of why the Akhbar article came up now?

    While Alex spins the Syrian angle and AIG Israeli (although I agree with his most points); we are left with no tactical analysis.
    Well have a great WE

    Posted by danny | October 1, 2010, 4:16 pm
  60. AIG,

    Were you reading “Syria Comment” right before you gave the link to Reuters article? 😉

    Posted by Badr | October 1, 2010, 4:37 pm
  61. AIG is still spinning the American Zionist angle more than the Israeli one. Just be clear on which sector you are supporting.

    The two are farther from being identical than most know; in particular, Israeli opinions about which “enemies” can be engaged are not as hardline as those coming from their all-knowing Uncle Sammies in the US.

    Israelis with the more “progressive” ideas about cutting deals come from the highest professional ranks of those who have served in the defense of Israel. The politicals are a whole ‘nother can of worms.

    BTW, QN, Your upcoming interviewee and his book have been running all day in an MSNBC set piece about HA’s (IRAN!!!!!) theme park.

    Fancy that.

    Posted by lally | October 1, 2010, 4:50 pm
  62. Tsk tsk tsk … You know AIG, Israel’s online soldiers are amazing.

    http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9474.shtml

    Wikipedia’s article on the Hindawi affair for years had also a part that you do not like to see:

    Read it below … I saved it two years ago knowing that your online crooks will manipulate wikipedia to rewrite Israel’s dirty history so that wonderful Likudniks like you can come here and try to brainwash those who were not there during the Hindawi affair with “proof” from Wikipedia!

    Here is the part that Israel’s friends managed to remove from the Wikipedia article, even though it is backed by a New York Times and a Jacques Chirac statement:

    “The second story emerged during his trial, when he alleged that he was not working for the Syrians after all, but was being manipulated by Israeli intelligence, which wished to damage and embarrass the Syrian government. While the jury decided against this version of events, French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac later told “The Washington Times” that he thought it possible Israeli intelligence and anti-Assad Syrians could have been involved in the plot.

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50713F63B5E0C7B8CDDA80994DE484D81&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/B/Bombs%20and%20Explosives Chirac Remarks on El Al Plot Irk Israel

    “The New York Times”. November 8, 1986. p. 3] According to Gordon Thomas’s book “Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad”, Mossad agents took advantage of Hindawi’s personal troubles with Anne Murphy, tricking him into carrying out a plot he believed was aimed against Israel, all the while planning for the discovery of the explosives before takeoff. Other possibilities have emerged that suggest that certain members of Syrian intelligence first named by Hindawi were Israeli spies themselves, allowing Israel to have prior knowledge of the plot Fact|date=February 2007.”

    I also have more interesting stuff on the Hindawai affair AIG … you will see it in a couple of months when I am done. If I were you I would not use this story again.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 6:16 pm
  63. Alex,

    Wow, you are amazing.
    In 2004 Hindawi was denied parole in the UK
    One argument presented by his solicitors was that the Syrians do not longer support terrorism. Nobody was even trying to deny he was working for the Syrians!
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article493799.ece

    Hindawi admitted working with the Syrians and being in the Syrian embassy in London. He gave details that brought to the arrest of other terrorists in Germany and they were linked to the Syrians also. Hindawi even sent a letter from jail (it was intercepted) in which he asked his cousin to tell the Syrians to take hostages and bargain for his freedom!

    This is all information the BRITISH provided to the court. So, the Israelis were able to fool the ultra sophisticated British secret services? Of course not.

    As for Chiraq, he was angry that he looked like an idiot for being a supporter of Syria.

    The Hindawi case is clear cut. Syria is a terrorist state. But you can’t even bring yourself to accept the results of a British court. You should ask yourself why.

    Yes, let’s see your new information. I can hardly wait. You are learning from Nasrallah I see. When you have nothing to say, you just say “wait a few months and you will see”. Well, we are waiting. I put this on my calendar and will remind you.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 7:40 pm
  64. AIG, If it is so clear that Hindawi (who did work for the Syrians, but was not asked to blow up a plane) was not converted into an Israeli double agent then why did your Israeli friends need to remove that part of the Wikipedia article … why not let people read both sides and decide for themselves?

    I am glad you find me amazing, in fact I am.

    I just want you to know something … Hafez Assad was not an idiot … if he wanted to put that bomb on an Israeli plane he would have been a total idiot .. everyone knows ElAl has the best security in the world … you are almost guaranteed to be caught if you plan to send a bomb onboard EL-Al … the first thing investigators would find out is that one of the passengers had a boyfriend who was a Syrian embassy employee!

    As for England, … Margaret Thatcher at the time was just like Ronald Reagan .. a “Moral clarity” ideologue, besides, … when the Brits go ahead and arrest Israeli war criminals who were responsible indeed for committing crimes by the thousands (Livni and Sharon for example) then I will respect the British legal system.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3820389,00.html

    The Hindawi affair was a successful Israeli attempt to frame Syria … so was the Hariri affair 20 years later.

    Posted by Alex | October 1, 2010, 7:55 pm
  65. ALEX,
    You are not only a dreamer but a misguided one on Syrian affairs:-)

    Back to the STL and HA;
    Most of those that think that the STL is not real or that there will be an “Ex Deus Machina” moment that will save HA are living in a fantacy world. I ,for one, am getting bored of having to repeat the same mantra. The train has left the station, no one can stop the coming indictments. I have never claimed to know who is to be indicted but it appears that HA is so sure that its people will be indicted that it is willing to try anything to divert attention . Guess what, it simply will not work.
    Both paradigmatics and dialectics tell us that history only moves forward. The small bumps in the road , a la HA, do not count and never change the course of events. I have been proposing for some time that something will come about to reverse and even possibly eradicate an undemocratic movement that is religiously based , is dependent on its illegal militia and answers to foreign dictates. But I never dreamed that this organization will be the major cause of its own destruction. Well, I guess overconfidence , especially by bullies, never fails to bring those who feel that they are above the law and that they are invincible down. After all they managed to convince many that the huge cost in blood and treasure was a divine victory:-) If these are the victories then I shudder to think what are the defeats.
    HA’s reaction to the potential indictments would never have been so desparate had they been as innocent as they claim. They fear the indictments only because they know that the case will be strong and tight. Furthermore a tightly woven case against HA is bound to amount to a tainted image in the court of public opinion. HA can pull out of the cabinet and even bring it down but they cannot form their own government and they know it. As to the threats of sedition, they are one sided and eminate only from the HA camp. They have forgotten that it takes two to tango.
    HA’a reaction reminds me of the French story about the frog who inhaled and inhaled to become bigger and more fearsome ,only to explode. The faster they rise the harder they fall especially when the foundation is illegitimate to start with.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 1, 2010, 8:12 pm
  66. Alex,

    You are again mistaking the actual results with what people thought would happen. Asad I did not think he would get caught because he was using a pregnant Irish woman that didn’t even know she was carrying a bomb! It was the perfect plan that in no way could lead to Syria. The only reason the bomb was detected was because the person asking her questions at the airport suspected something was wrong and decided to manually check her luggage. She then gave up Hindawi to the British police because she was mad that he had no problem killing her and her child in the process of blowing up an El-Al plane.

    If Hindawi was a double agent, why couldn’t he give even ONE name of an Israeli agent he met? All he could give as contact people are people associated with Syria. If Assad I is not stupid, then why was Hindawi such a frequent guest at the Syrian embassy in London?

    All the evidence was examined first by the British police and secret services, then provided to the court and a jury convicted him. In order to frame Hindawi Israel had to fool the whole British law enforcement system. Yeah, right.

    You have nothing to offer but what some people did or did not do on wikipedia as evidence of anything? What Chiraq said had zero evidence behind it. He did not provide ANY evidence. Just like what you are doing. That is why it is not relevant in the article. It is not fact, but pure conjecture.

    Assad I was a lousy leadr by the way. His legacy is Syria as it looks now. He was a great tactician but a lousy strategist. During his reign the gap between Israel and Syria widened to the point where we are now. He supported socialism, picked the wrong allies (the Russians over the Americans), and did not join the Camp David initiative that Carter led. The results are clear for all to see. Just compare Syria to Turkey or Israel.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 8:21 pm
  67. “On Syrian soil, which Lebanon was in 2005, of course the Syrians are much more competent than the Israelis. It was a much simpler operation for Syria than for Israel.”

    Well, presumably the Syrians would be even more competent in Syria proper. And yet Imad Mughniye is dead. Now that is hardly proof that the Israelis killed Hariri, but it is certainly evidence that it’s within Israel’s capability.

    Posted by Lysander | October 1, 2010, 8:25 pm
  68. Lysander, has it been established beyond doubt that Israel killed Mughniye?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 8:37 pm
  69. GK, I follow all your reasoning but I don’t see HA agreeing to their downfall without a vicious fight that might take down Lebanon into another deep abyss. The article by Michael Young outlined the scenario of putting leaders under arrest on pretext of being Israeli collaborators setting up the STL. They don’t need to have others fight them. They’ll just take over. No?
    Then we have the GMA card. If he sides with them, then what?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 8:40 pm
  70. AIG, how do you acquire your seemingly deep knowledge of all this stuff, as well as the strategic view of history and the countries of the region, etc.? I thought you were a technologist of sorts.
    Also, to what extent is the level of knowledge you display typical of the average Israeli?
    Just curious, no agenda behind these questions.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 8:44 pm
  71. HP,

    I just don’t see why the indictments or even the conviction of HA in the STL will lead to its downfall. Yes, they will be weakened. But downfall? Who is going to take their weapons and how? Is Iran going to stop supporting them? Do you really believe that whatever the results of the STL that the Shia will vote differently? As for Aoun, he already stated that he views the STL as corrupt.

    This is the middle east. You want to take care of a militia, you need a Black September or the First Lebanon War. All other methods are partial at best.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 9:07 pm
  72. HP,

    I was in the IDF for about 10 years and I am also well read. I like history very much. So I have the inside scoop and knowledge of the academic works.

    Unfortunately, the average Israeli is not interested in history as much as I am. But I can assure you that there are wide swaths of Israelis who are and are much more knowledgeable than me. This stuff is not a hobby for them like it is for me.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 9:14 pm
  73. AIG @#71, I wasn’t arguing that the indictments will bring HA’s downfall, but rather taking exception to GK’s prediction of such (if indeed I understood his post correctly). By saying “I don’t see HA agreeing to their downfall without a vicious fight that might take down Lebanon into another deep abyss” I implied that, in avoiding the abyss, some accommodation will eventually be achieved, or, if abyss it is, then it is the abyss of full HA domination along with GMA as partner, as Michael Young’s one of many scenarios painted.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 9:53 pm
  74. AIG, another question. If you take a distant look at all that happened in the last 75 years or so, would you say it was worth it for Israel or would some other start have been a better course? Now this is admittedly a vague question since I don’t know what other courses there may have been but perhaps you do, and the question really is aimed at whether the whole thing was worth it, by thing meaning the creation of the state of Israel and all the fighting and tragedies that ensued and in many ways still continue in one way or the other.
    It’s almost like a brilliant inventor who insists on staying and fighting folks in his company instead of actually starting a new one which might be more successful and prosperous.
    Maybe I’m rambling (?). Anyway, if the question makes sense, maybe you can give some opinion.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 9:58 pm
  75. We need reinforcements for Alex. Where is “quelqu’une?”

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 1, 2010, 10:00 pm
  76. “Lysander, has it been established beyond doubt that Israel killed Mughniye?”

    No. And I’m open to the possibility he was simply betrayed. However, few would argue that it’s implausible that Israel would be capable of doing such a thing.

    Posted by Lysander | October 1, 2010, 10:06 pm
  77. HP,

    History has no rewind button and also is ultra complex. We can never know what could have happened and perhaps even a small change would have resulted in huge differences (the butterfly effect).

    If I look at what actually happened with my family, then Israel was a huge blessing. Not one of my relatives that stayed in Europe survived WWII. My grandparents came to Palestine during the British Mandate with nothing and now all of their descendants are comfortable middle class. As for the Jews from Arab countries, clearly they are doing much better than the average citizen in those countries and very few would return if they could.

    By the way, was founding Lebanon worth it given the awful civil war?
    How about the US, given the extermination of the indigenous population? My point is that historical events are good for some and bad for others. Even the Black Death was very good for those that survived it in Europe. Their standard of living went way up.

    Posted by AIG | October 1, 2010, 11:25 pm
  78. QN,

    I heard you ,

    To all of you ,

    The Assassination of Hariri was a highly sophisticated operation that bypassed his security and electronics ,

    so is the Syrian Mukhabarat sophisticated enough to do that or as stupid as most the people who blame Syria claim ,

    It looks to me that only the people that are sophisticated enough to know his defenses can commit the crime ,

    We all know who these people are ,

    See the movie Syriana and you can see that it is not a big stretch for the US or Israel to commit the crime to advance their agenda ,

    Posted by Norman | October 1, 2010, 11:43 pm
  79. There is nothing “sophisticated” about a suicidal brainwashed fanatic young guy pressing a button to blow up the Truck he is driving as the convoy passed by the St. George Hotel.
    The detonation mechanism was not wireless so any electronic counter measures Hariri had didn’t make a difference.

    Perhaps to kill Hariri the CIA/Mossad had to use one from their cadre of suicidal jihadists that they have used in 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Posted by V | October 2, 2010, 12:24 am
  80. V,

    Good point. Also, Israel has never used a suicide attack in any assassination.

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 1:38 am
  81. I like this discussion .. so now we are trying to say

    1) that the assassination was too difficult and risky for Israel to try it in Lebanon so it must have been Syria/Hezbollah who did it

    and

    2) The assassination was so simple that anyone, including Syria, could have done it.

    Again, I wasn to remind all of you what arguments you were using to also be sure Syria did it … it was the Chirac recording pen in Hariri’s pocket and the fact the bomb was placed under the street and only Syrian moukhabarat had access to that area!

    Posted by Alex | October 2, 2010, 2:56 am
  82. Alex:

    I’m afraid that your worldview, at least as far as Israel is concerned, is one that, like conspiracy theories in general, is unassailable. Israel is, to put it bluntly, not only purely malicious but also nearly omnipotent and omniscient. If Israel gets caught doing something, it’s because Israel wants to get caught. If something bad happens and there is no real evidence to link Israel, it’s because Israel wants to keep the matter secret.

    There’s something beautifully tautological in the idea, since any evidence to the contrary is actually evidence that supports the theory. It’s like a Chinese finger trap of reasoning.

    Many Lebanese have exactly the same feelings about Syria, as do many Iraqis about the US. If there are electricity cuts in Baghdad, it’s not because the Americans might be incompetent or are in over their head or hired a former ice cream struck driver to be in charge because of his sound views on Roe v Wade, it’s because they don’t want my child to be able to do his homework at night, because they want to keep Iraq uneducated.

    This is not to say that there is no Israeli, Syrian or American skulduggery. On the contrary, there’s plenty of it. But it’s never the terrain of just one player, and any unified theory that holds a single, demonized actor responsible for all of our woes is, to my mind, automatically suspect.

    So in short, I find it unconvincing that Israel had either the capability of executing all those assassinations undetected or the foresight to know that it would result in a Syrian exit. (I’m not actually convinced that a Syrian exit is necessarily what Israel wanted to see in Lebanon.) I find the much more mundane explanation of Syrian short-sighted intimidation coupled with 15 years of hubris in Lebanon much more convincing.

    What about Hezbollah? Who knows? But before we make assumptions about what lines of inquiry the STL has looked into or not, and what it’s going to say or whom it’ll indict, it seems much more reasonable to actually wait for the indictments before passing judgment, does it not? Unless, of course, Alex and Mo have some sort of direct line of communication with the Hague that the rest of us obviously lack.

    Posted by sean | October 2, 2010, 3:02 am
  83. Also: there seems to be a confusion of strategy and tactics here. The mechanics of setting up an assassination are a question of tactical sophistication, which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with strategic sophistication.

    The 2003 invasion of Iraq, for instance, was an example of successful tactics and terrible strategy. Likewise, it’s not at all a contradiction to suggest that Syria would have the tactical and technical wherewithal to assassinate Hariri while still totally misjudging the consequences of that action.

    Posted by sean | October 2, 2010, 3:11 am
  84. Sean

    I have a simple one for you:

    From 2005 until 2008 the whole western world +Saudi Arabia and Egypt and M14 Lebanon tried their best to link Syria to the Hariri assassination.

    Did they find anything?

    You and others here now want to come up with your own ways of proving Syria guilty … I am sorry but I will not shy away from my opinion even if you feel that I am only a conspiracy theorist…. I think it is the rest of you who still insist to blame Syria (even if the investigation did not) who need to review your biases.

    Posted by Alex | October 2, 2010, 3:46 am
  85. Alex, habibi:

    So far, there have been exactly zero indictments. I just find it curious that you’re willing to dismiss the STL out of hand before it’s even made proper indictments or presented a case to prosecute those indicted.

    To be honest, you sound a lot like the Israelis who were trying to dismiss the Goldstone report even before it came out. But I imagine that you probably supported that UN investigative body since it conformed to your political leanings.

    About Hariri, I’m not certain of anything. I find the Syrian hypothesis to be the most logical, but I’m not an investigator; nor am I privy to any special information. That makes my view, at the best, barstool hypothesizing, and presented with proper evidence that contradicts my best guess, I’m more than willing to revise my reading.

    But until that time, I’ll tend to go with Occum’s razor, which would point to Syria, not Israel. To this date, nothing I’ve seen or read leads me to believe that Israel killed Hariri, pace Nasrallah’s “evidence.” If Hezbollah or anyone else has actual evidence of Israel’s involvement, then I’m all ears. Until then, the idea that Israel is both malicious and all-powerful (coupled with a 15-year old policy paper written by Americans) is not going to cut it.

    Posted by sean | October 2, 2010, 5:38 am
  86. Oops: Occam’s razor, that is.

    Posted by sean | October 2, 2010, 5:39 am
  87. And to answer your simple question: I don’t know what they’ve found. All I have to go by are preliminary reports and unsourced quotes in newspapers. Until the case has been presented in a court, none of us will know. If you think this has been dragging on for too long, take a look at the tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia. These things take time.

    Whether the time, money and political turmoil are worth it is a totally separate question, one that I have deeply ambivalent feelings about.

    Posted by sean | October 2, 2010, 5:43 am
  88. Alex and all:
    You are quite right in your analysis of the Clean Break run down etc., and a lot of experts think that the assassination of RABIN came in that vein also…
    But, remember that after 2000, there was major covert operations in play…starting with 9/11 onwards…most centering on the ME and Central/South Asia…
    The assassinations in Lebanon started in earnest in 2002…and the Hariri assassination was the major one, obviously midwifed by the NEOCONS…who were able to Bamboozle SYRIA into carrying it out…simple covert operations 101…you trick your enemy into doing your dirty deeds unknowingly…
    Then, in 2008, SYRIA redeemed itself by offering Imad F. MOUGHNIEH’s head on a silver platter to CIA/MOSSAD/DGSE… and they were redeemed, nurtured and protected from STL and more….
    The Lebanese are so gullible, they will never fathom that reality and keep arguing because of total ignorance of the reality of covert operations and disinformation campaigns and cut-outs and plausible deniability etc.
    Cheers

    Posted by j.bamford | October 2, 2010, 6:01 am
  89. @J.Bamford

    You left out Iran in your plot.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 6:28 am
  90. Hmm, sean makes the most sense here, and we have to also remember that GK has made some of those same points before. “Wait and see” is really his basic message. Hard to disagree with that.

    Impressive style also and only one typo – self-corrected immediately. Kudos.

    I did notice the use of the phrase “beautifully tautological.” Now, I cannot be sure 100% whether sean was inspired by earlier postings but I do want to lay claim for the first use on the QN blog of the word “tautology,” use that was followed by many others using the word or variations of it.

    Alex, j.bamford, (mostly Alex) you offered good arguments, and importantly, from Alex, references and documents that are food for thought. The rebuttals then attempting to refute some of these arguments, combined with your further responses, are truly quite educational for some of us who lack the expertise and depth in these matters. However, j.bamford, it is not a matter of gullibility for the Lebanese and those of Lebanese origins, but rather the kind of probabilistic reasoning that sean outlines, while remaining open to all possibities, none of which has zero probability.

    Cheers!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 6:33 am
  91. PeterinDubai, how does the coffee taste where you are? Do they use cardamon in it?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 6:35 am
  92. … we still need a couple more posters on Alex’s side to make it fair. Is “quelqu’une” anywhere to be found?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 6:36 am
  93. “The West “won” the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion… but rather by its superiority in applying, orchestrating, inciting, planning dreadful covert operations and organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do….”

    Posted by j.bamford | October 2, 2010, 6:38 am
  94. I don’t drink coffee 😦

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 6:38 am
  95. Some of the problems with the STL is reliability , in the beginning they blamed Syria without evidence to push Syria out of Lebanon and now they are trying to blame Hezbollah to push for disarmament and to do what Israel could not do with war or the UN , they are trying the legal way , The only reason that Israel does not have more free hand in Lebanon is Hezbollah so the goal is to disarm Hezbollah and Lebanon , The Lebanese should understand and remember that Israel did not leave Lebanon because they have good relation with the Lebanese forces but because Israeli soldiers were being killed in Lebanon ,

    It is hard to know who killed Hariri but it seems that Hariri junior has inside information which raises the possibility that the whole thing is just a tool to advance the plan for the Mideast that Alex mentioned and that is to divide the region into ethnic and religious state-lets of the liking of Israel , Sunni against Shia, Christians against Shia and Sunni , Druz in the mixed and can change depending on the weather , The plan for the Mideast is still underway ,

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 6:42 am
  96. Norman,

    STL has not “blamed” anyone.

    So far we have heard argument and counter of nauseatingly conspiracy tainted analysts…

    I will agree with Sean and GK, BV among the majority to wait for the indictments. What’s happening now; as I have mentioned before; smells like a Syrian and HA collaboration to muddy the waters and minds as well as blatant crass intimidation.

    It will NOT work unless you are a HA apologist or an Israel hater. The excuse of the false witnesses (which I still need someone to explain the meaning of it)or sedition is so juvenile; I’d laugh if the lives of ordinary people in Lebanon were not being threatened by HA.

    Again, why Al Akhbar(the Syrian leaning newspaper) published so called reliable article blaming HA now? I guess most of you will go to the grave coming up with inconceivable movie plots of assassination scenarios till you fade away. It would be nice to step out and try to detach your feelings from the case and breathe the fresh air and come up with better ideas.

    Posted by danny | October 2, 2010, 7:44 am
  97. Danny,

    Don’t you think that from the beginning that Syria was accused prosecuted and convicted in the Lebanese public opinion , didn’t many Syrians die in Lebanon because of the hatred that these accusations produced , I do not hate Israel , i just hate what Israel does and interfere in it’s naibours to the point that it is difficult to know the intentions of the parties in these countries ,

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 8:02 am
  98. Norman,

    I really do not have any number of Syrian workers dieing(I guess you mean murdered) in Lebanon because of these accusations. If you have any statistic I would like to know. If they did die then I hope the perpetrators are punished according to the crime.

    Syria, had dominated Lebanon for 30 years; specifically between 1990 to 2005. Do you know how many people were killed; maimed and beaten by the Syrian mukhabarati agents? Beau Rivage hotel? Anjar?…

    I do not want to get off topic. But please spare us the “victimization” of Syrians by Lebanese. Seriously you cannot believe that.

    As for Israel I condemn them for their barbaric attacks on Lebanese infrastructure and civilian centres. However, Syria had meddled in Lebanese affairs daily and has not been any less murderous or brutal then Israel.

    Posted by danny | October 2, 2010, 8:30 am
  99. danny, I hereby convey upon you the title of True Patriot

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 8:56 am
  100. ~ confer instead of convey

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 8:56 am
  101. WOW! 😀

    Posted by danny | October 2, 2010, 9:07 am
  102. We all know what is really bothering you. With Hizballah weakening, Syria has no cards left to play. What can you offer Israel for peace? Nothing. The Lebanese border is quiet and the Golan is quiet. No only that, Syria is desperately trying to attract foreign investments. But, nobody would investment if Syria would go to war. So, it is clear to everybody that Syria’s only option is diplomacy. Good luck with that. The only thing I and 80% of Israelis would agree to give Asad II, a ruthless butcher from a line of butchers, is a poke in the eye. In short, accept the fact that the Golan is Israeli or get rid of the mafia ruling your country.

    QN,

    Thank you for allowing AIG to post here on your forum.

    It’s much more interesting and colorful than Syria Comment (which has become an Islamist blog).

    AIG,

    Syria is interested in peace again. (LOL)

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=188512

    Posted by Akbar Palace | October 2, 2010, 9:19 am
  103. I have no choice but to allow AIG to comment on this blog since Israel has infiltrated WordPress… the matter is out of my hands. 😉

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | October 2, 2010, 9:35 am
  104. Well, this blog has been accused by some of being dominated by “rabid M14ers.” One never wins!
    At any rate, I think the debate is very good and important. However, the overriding rules of civility and respect and complete elimination of any obscenities or wantonly disparaging epithets MUST be upheld. Otherwise, it all gets lost.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:03 am
  105. AIG, why is the scenario of Syria getting taken over by the muslim brotherhood and then, after a period, finally discovering democracy, the only path to peace? Doesn’t that risk turning Syria into an Iran of sorts? Why is it that Bashar Assad, who is well educated, intelligent, and clearly wanting the best for his country, not able to navigate all the constraints and eventually find a path to peace with a willing partner while maintaining control and slowly loosening the reigns so that true democracy does emerge in the country?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:08 am
  106. Danny ,

    Syria made many mistakes in Lebanon but they did not treat the Lebanese different than what they did in Syria to keep peace and security , If the Lebanese were persecuted so badly as you say , wouldn’t there be attacks on the Syrian security forces in Lebanon , that did not take place which indicate that your accusation of Syria’s deeds in Lebanon is highly exaggerated , Don’t you think ?

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 10:11 am
  107. AP, the link you posted points to another one where Barak also sounds an optimistic tone about peace with Syria (with Lebanon of course lumped in!). So why the cynicism? Is Barak not sincere?

    I have a ton more respect for former military folks who know what war means than for purely political ideologues. In fact, even PM Netanyahu has sounded strongly positive notes (and his official position on the settlements is well understood to be constrained by his coalition).

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:12 am
  108. Here’s that other link:
    http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=188303

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:13 am
  109. What about me and my no good English. Am I allowed too? Will the fact that part of my family came from Hasbaya ( Hazbaya ? ), South Lebanon, the land of the resistance, help? Oh, how I wish I could write English like most of you.

    Posted by Rani | October 2, 2010, 10:14 am
  110. 3ammo Norman, greeting!
    I have to disagree with your analysis in #107 because, having lived in Lebanon during difficult times including years of Syrian presence (1975-1980) I can tell you that Lebanese fratricide was so severe that however imperfect the Syrians were they were viewed in the early years as saviors (of the Christians). Later, horrors were committed by everyone. The poor general populace had no voice and no will and no scintilla of ability to mount any kind of protest.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:16 am
  111. HP,

    Because AIG and AP do not want peace and prefer hostility and endangerment of Israel future , the Democracy trail they are on is just an excuse to do nothing , I can not blame them , Israel is not being pushed to do anything , no war , no world court , no economic sanction , so why should it do anything ,

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 10:18 am
  112. “It would be nice to step out and try to detach your feelings from the case and breathe the fresh air and come up with better ideas.”

    It was Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick in the Music room.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 10:21 am
  113. HP ,
    So you agree that Syria had to do what it had to do to save Lebanon and secure the safety of the Lebanese , All of them at different times , Syria changed sides to keep everybody safe as their hate to each other was endangering the fabric of Lebanon and world crimes and ethnic cleansing would have taken place ,

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 10:23 am
  114. HP AIG,

    The Hebrew term for Hummus is “Khimtza” (חימצה).

    Here’s the Israeli guy, Ami Blashkovski, who tries to ketchupize the Hummus for the Americans. Squeeze Z Hummus. ‘Z’ for Zohan… the movie.

    http://www.squeezezfood.com/
    .

    Posted by Amir in Tel Aviv | October 2, 2010, 10:24 am
  115. @Amir

    He might be on to something 🙂

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 10:27 am
  116. Brilliant! Thanks, Amir!

    Actually, the Zohan movie gave me what I think was the deepest and longest laughs I have ever had, all from the incessant scenes of creative uses of Hummus, particularly at the hair salon.

    and, also, (lightheartedly), AHA!
    The word “hummus” was adopted then from its true Lebanese (or Arabic language) origin, proving to the world (and validating the scene in “Hung”) that indeed the origin is Lebanese 😉

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:28 am
  117. 3ammo Norman, in 1976 when the Syrian army first entered, my late uncle hung the picture of Hafez Assad in his living room! I honestly don’t know what to make of all that. Clearly the sentiment, for a time, was that the Syrians were saviors. On the other hand, countries don’t act out of altruism but out of self-interest and the whole politics in that area (as in many areas) is often dirty and full of intrigue.
    Certainly the essential adoption of Lebanon by Syria to the point that there was no true independent country from 1990 to 2005 is regrettable and left a bad taste for many Lebanese (and of course, reports are that crimes and squashing was perpetrated against some).
    So, it’s a mixed bag. Hope is always for the future being better.
    Certainly the 2 people of Lebanon and Syria have much in common and should eventually help each other in many ways.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:32 am
  118. Rani, just write in Lebanese. We’ll translate 😉

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 10:34 am
  119. j.Bamford,
    I always feel that I should know the source of quoted material that I am reading. As a result the Googled your last post which consisted only of an unidentified quote . Google led me to a Blog devoted to the glorification of Elie Hobeika that is supposedly authored by a self described Lebanese Christian fundamentalist. Furthermore the blog carries articles that claim that Rusia is totally controlled by the Jews and Mossad etc… And last but not least the blog promotes unabashedly the books by James Bamford.
    Would you care to comment on your relationship/authorship of this blog that seems to be devoted to the promotion of conspiracy theories and the glorification of Elie Hobeika. Let me make one thing clear, I do not question your right to hold anyviews and to your right to promote them but it would be helpful to have a clear idea about who one is exchanging ideas with.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 2, 2010, 10:59 am
  120. HP,

    Don’t AHA prematurely.

    Your “proving to the world … that indeed the origin is Lebanese”, must still be investigated.

    Notice that the two words ‘Hummus – Khimtza’ are phonetically similar. What is the meaning of Khimtza? According to Hebrew-Wiki, Khimtza is close to the word sour (the taste sour, and sour for sour milk – spoiled milk). The explanation is that Hummus-Khimtza spoils quickly.

    So who knows what’s the meaning of Hummus in Arabic? Does it suggest something “sour” ?
    .

    Posted by Amir in Tel Aviv | October 2, 2010, 11:04 am
  121. About Humus. I am remotly involved now with studies on Humus genetics and domestication which are being done in the Ag. University in Rehovot, that is not the official name.
    It was most probably domesticated near where Iraq, Turkey and Iran meet about 12.000 years ago, close to the time wheat and barely were. As for the contemporary name in Israel it is Humus from colloquial Arabic, as told here by AIG.
    The story of the “pure” Hebrew name Himtza-Himzi, or some thing like that, cited by Amir, is interesting.It was borrowed in modern times from Eastern Arameic but never caught and the Arabic form took over. In Syriac, Western Arameic, it is Himza. I have it before me in Aramic letters, the ones used by the Maronite Church, Brockelmann C. 1928. Lexicon Syriacum. Halle. p. 240. So that could have been the old Lebanese name.

    Posted by Rani | October 2, 2010, 11:09 am
  122. Norman/Alex,
    Since no one knows who is going to be indicted and on what basis all of these speculations do not rise to more than guesses on everyone’s part. These discussions are not any different than the heated arguments about which football team is going to win the world cup.
    Syria was never indicted by anyone and so cannot be exonerated by anyone except the court of law that has jurisdiction in this matter. Everything else is not material.
    So you think Syria was not involved in this matter. That is fine, it is your opinion. But it is no more than an opinion, a guess. I and many others, on the other hand find it difficult, and maybe impossible, to suggest that this operation was planned and executed without the knowledge of the Syrian and Lebanese Mukhabarat no matter who pulled the trigger.
    Whose reading is more accurate? Let us wait until the indictments and then the rulings come out. Everything else is a waste of time. ( I t is ironic that i have misallocated so much of my time on this
    isn’t it?:-)).

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 2, 2010, 11:13 am
  123. It’s not a very reassuring sign that Gebran Bassil is in Iran while Bashar is there, is it ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 11:26 am
  124. Amir,

    I will go to the super tomorrow and ask for himtsa… I wonder what they will get me.

    Seriously, do we have a word for chickpeas (what hummus is made of)? I always hear and use “gar’ge’rei hummus”.

    According to milon, chikpea is hummus or himtsa also.
    http://www.milon.co.il/general/general.php?term=chickpeas

    This discussion has made me think that perhaps Hebrew is missing a word.

    Let me be the first to invent it then.
    What do you think of חימצונים as the word for chickpeas? (chim’tsu’nim)

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 11:44 am
  125. AIG, if you don’t mind my asking, what is your interest in a Lebanese Political blog?

    I understand you’re from Israel?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 11:47 am
  126. HP,

    Let me explained what your late did , in 1976 i was in Medical school in Syria and i still remember the night before the Syrian army entered Lebanon , Pier Al Gemayel of the Kataeb was calling all christian 16 year old and older to arm to save the christian presence , Yes Syria might have entered Lebanon because it did not want the US or Israel to do that and to satisfy it’s christian population and guarantee their safety , Syria did not want another religious state , But many Syrian died saving Lebanon , Syria always opened it’s border to other Arabs , Palestinians , Iraqis, Lebanese , and offered them health care , education as they were Syrians ,

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 11:49 am
  127. HP,

    Why does Asad II need the Golan to undertake all the wonderful reforms you mention? Why has he not started them already? Why has he instead allowed Syria to turn even more religious while suppressing almost all reforms?

    The answer is simple. Assad II is in the business of staying in power, not in the business of making Syria a better place for its people. All Asad II has to do in order to get large amounts of foreign aid and investment is adopt a foreign policy like Turkey. But of course, if he does so, he is afraid he will lose power.

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 11:53 am
  128. AIG,
    It appears to me that some are under the impression that Humus means the fixed dish Humus Bitahini. The word humus means chickpeas and the Tahini is the sesame seed paste. It is true that most often the term Humus is used to describe the dish Humus with tahini but that does not have to be the case. There are many dishes in the Lebanese kitchen that are made either with humus or of humus and that is why there is a need to spell out what kind of a humus dish one is describing.This leads me to believe that the use of the term humus in Israel to mean Humus with Tahini while they use a different term for the chickpea is a clear indication that the dish Humus Bitahini is not of an Israeli origin. 🙂 But does it really make any difference? Some of my freinds swear that the best Tahini in the world is made in the West Bank by a Palestinian company that was bought 2 years ago by an Israeli food corporation.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 2, 2010, 12:07 pm
  129. Peter,

    It is interesting that you ask that question. Israel has leading departments for Arab and Muslim studies in its universities while there is not one Israel department or Jewish department in the Arab world (if anyone knows of one, please correct me, I checked a few years ago). For me it is natural that we would want to learn from one another. Why waste time on a blog with people I meet everyday?

    I find the reluctance to learn about Israel in the Arab world very strange. Even for the people that hate us, doesn’t “know thy enemy” apply?

    Norman and Alex read Ha’aretz and think they understand Israel. You don’t learn about a country by just focusing and reading texts that support your point of view. That is why I like blogs where people do not have my views.

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 12:09 pm
  130. So you work for the Mossad ?

    🙂

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 12:15 pm
  131. GK,

    As only a third generation convert to the hummus religion, I have no dog in the fight of what is its origin… I’m pretty sure the Cossacks didn’t eat it. I hold hummus as a universal self evident truth and an inalienable right for each person in the world, especially when accompanied by pita straight from the tabun. As such, hummus has transcended into a universal heritage and cannot be claimed by any one culture.

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 12:23 pm
  132. AIG … if at all, the one thing that unites Lebanese is Hummus.

    From Hassan Nasrallah to Samir Geagea.

    Hummus is Lebanese.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 12:29 pm
  133. Peter,

    I am in the high tech business.

    What do you do by the way? Are things in Dubai changing for the better economically?

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 12:31 pm
  134. AIG, “I hold hummus as a universal self evident truth and an inalienable right for each person in the world.” Hence you’re NOT an atheist! You’re a Hummussian. Amen.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 12:34 pm
  135. Peter, Hummus is Lebanese, but Khummus is Israeli 😉

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 12:35 pm
  136. I was in the high tech business. On the printing side.

    At one point an Israeli firm on the NASDAQ bought out the company I was working for. It was a circus 🙂

    Now I’m into organic farming back in my home country.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 12:39 pm
  137. HP,

    Have you ever been to the Cedars?

    I say we replace the cedar with a plate of hummus on our national flag.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 12:44 pm
  138. Peter,

    Israeli companies have a lot to learn about how to integrate businesses they purchases. We are much better at being bought…

    I had many friends in Scitex.

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 12:54 pm
  139. Here is the composition of one brand of Commercial Iseaeli Humus cream or spread.
    Cooked beans 45%
    Thiny 15% counted nutritionally as veg.oil.

    The Chemical composition per 100g.
    Energy in Cal. 335
    Proteins 6.5 g
    Carbohydates 12 g
    Lipids 29 g
    Cholesterol 0
    Sodium 0.435 g
    as it is industrial product it contains preservatives and must be refrigerated.

    There are several tahiny factories in the West Bank practically all belong to Palestinians, you can check the container label. All make supper exellent product. If you live in the USA or Canada please always demand Palestinian tahiny only !. The story about Israel buying these factories was spread by competitors living in a country north of Israel and it is not true.

    Posted by Rani | October 2, 2010, 12:57 pm
  140. Peter, I’ve been to the Cedars as a child. My favorite dish is mlookhieh. I served it to an Israeli Professor once and he related it to solid state physics because of the layer-by-layer serving, calling it multilayer superlattice!
    As much as we are energized to fight the Israelis on the claim to Hummus it is hardly our only best dish. I’d stick with the Cedars but encourage an acceleration of its reforestation.
    So, you do organic farming in Lebanon but travel to Dubai?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 12:58 pm
  141. You’re pretty clever AIG.

    How did you associate printing and Scitex with me ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 1:00 pm
  142. As long as we’re into nerdy stuff, notice, Rani that the nutrition “Cal” is actually “kcal,” i.e. 1,000 calories. Hence if you convert the nutritional “Cal” to Joules, note that 1 such “Cal” is about 4186 Joules!!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 2, 2010, 1:02 pm
  143. HP,

    Thank God I don’t have to anymore.

    The dessert is just not for me.

    PeterinDubai just happens to be the handle I got used to using during my 10 year stint in Dubai.

    I’m having a hard time switching to my new one. Citizen Zero.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 1:05 pm
  144. Correction …. The desert

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 2, 2010, 1:20 pm
  145. Peter,

    Just playing the odds… You wrote that you were in the high tech industry on the printing side and the company was bought by an Israeli nasdaq traded company. Scitex was by far the most likely to be the company that bought you.

    Did you get a chance to meet Efi Arazi?

    Posted by AIG | October 2, 2010, 3:31 pm
  146. Peter,
    If my memory serves me correctly Scitex sold itself to EK and HP but that was 5-6 years ago at least.
    I bet that organic farming is keeping you busy.I also hope that whatever crop you are relying on is a crop that does not call for too much irrigation.
    What would you say in your defense if I were to tell you that I have been a “tree Hugger” for decades yet I am not the strongest advocate of organic farming on the grounds that it allocates resources to the benefit of the well off. Ultimately organic farming should become the only method of farming but only once the global population is stablized at 2.5 billion, not a day sooner.

    Posted by ghassan karam | October 2, 2010, 4:55 pm
  147. Norman,
    “Syria made many mistakes in Lebanon but they did not treat the Lebanese different than what they did in Syria to keep peace and security ,”

    You are right! They erased Hama from the face of the earth to “cleanse” the Muslim Brotherhood. Correct? They tried to do the same to Zahleh and Achrafieh! They did not succeed. I guess you are happy the way your leaders keep the peace and security.

    ” If the Lebanese were persecuted so badly as you say , wouldn’t there be attacks on the Syrian security forces in Lebanon , that did not take place which indicate that your accusation of Syria’s deeds in Lebanon is highly exaggerated , Don’t you think ?”

    Either you chose not to follow the events in Lebanon during the Syrian occupation or you are in total denial. Syrian regime infiltrated every aspect of Lebanese life. From military institutions to everyday life. I guess you have forgotten that so called Lebanese “leaders” used to go Anjar and Damascus almost weekly to get their directives. Christians were beaten daily as the LF were declared an illegal entity and the leadership of Kataeb was assigned to Pakradouni by Ghazi Kanaan.
    Lest we forget the assasinations of the Mufti Khaled,the presidents Bachir Gemayel and Rene Mouawad. Kamal Jumblat?

    Yes your answer along with alex and al would be the zionists did it! They must have some grudge against the Christians since Jesus Christ!
    HP already addressed this point more eloquently then I could.

    “Yes Syria might have entered Lebanon because it did not want the US or Israel to do that and to satisfy it’s christian population and guarantee their safety , Syria did not want another religious state ”

    They really wanted to guarantee the Christians safety by bombing them for years! …and they didn’t want ANOTHER religious state? What the heck does that mean? Are you inferring that the Christians (Maronites) were trying to establish a “CHRISTIAN” state?

    Posted by danny | October 2, 2010, 5:55 pm
  148. Danny,

    You are wrong about Hama , what happened in Hama was terrible but needed to save Syria , I am from Hama , our house was destroyed in Hama , my cousins still live in Hama , Destroyed is not the case the areas where the MB were hiding were destroyed by not the city erased as you say ,
    bout Lebanon , If it were not for Syria , all the Christians would have done what my uncle and his family did , moved to Canada after staying in Syria for six months
    So do not patronize me , the LF do not represent the Christians in Lebanon or anywhere else , didn’t Gaga kill Rash id Kara mi, ? I might be wrong but that is my understanding while all the other killing were not pinned on anybody , let alone Syria , so stop blaming Syria , you are probably too young to have first hand experience on how Syria saved the neck of the Christians in Lebanon when Kamal jumblatt was going for elimination as he and Arafat had the upper hand ,

    Posted by Norman | October 2, 2010, 7:57 pm
  149. norman,

    Kamal Jumblat going for elimination? NO my friend Kamal J, was assassinated between two Syrian army checkpoints by your mukhabarat! and he did not have upper hand on anyone!
    It was the Kataeb fighting then. No LF.
    I am not defending Geagea or anyone else. There has been no proof or trial on who killed Karami. Only speculation.
    As for Hama, a close friend of mine was in the Syrian tank forces when they opened up indiscriminately on Hama. What I am saying is that I have a first hand info on it. Maybe it is ok with you to kill people who have a different ideology or opinion then you; however it is not with me.
    Again, Syria saved the neck of Christians by wringing it. Please re read your chain of events through another glass.
    Regardless, let’s hope we move on and try not to justify all the injustices perpetrated by one group or another. I care about my country and its citizens and hopefully you care about yours. Not the leaders only.

    Posted by danny | October 2, 2010, 9:00 pm
  150. I leave you guys for a day and this blog becomes about Humus and organic farming 🙂 I like that.
    My dream is to smash my laptop and cell phone into a million piece and go back to my village in the very south of Lebanon where i own land and become a farmer or at least plant a vegetable garden and become self suficient.

    GK said “once the global population is stablized at 2.5 billion”

    Ghassan, how on earth is this gonna happen !

    Posted by V | October 2, 2010, 10:09 pm
  151. V,
    I am not in the habit of making statements that cannot be substantiated 🙂

    World population can be more than cut in half if fertility rate is to drop to around 1.4 and stay there for decades. Take my word for it, this can be done without too much pain and without nuclear war. I would even argue that it is a must ifor the survival of the specie, but that is a different tale for a different forum.

    Posted by ghassan karam | October 3, 2010, 1:46 am
  152. And there I was planning for 12.0 to help me with the farm! but since the survival of the specie is at stake am gonna have to settle for the 2.0 i have 🙂

    Posted by V | October 3, 2010, 2:03 am
  153. G K
    “this can be done without too much pain”
    That is exactly what I told my tom cat. Man, does he hate me now !

    Posted by Rani | October 3, 2010, 4:09 am
  154. Looking for the root cause of overpopulation? look no further than religion! Some more so than others depending on which time period in history we’re talking about. Certainly for today, in Lebanon, for the Shia in general, 12 children is the mode! The pope, of course, continues to forbid contraception (except for the cycle method). Virtually every religion has some form of “go and multiply” admonition.
    That is not to say that religion is bad, but that its implementation is often flawed and driven by the desire to dominate other religions and to stand out as the true one.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 3, 2010, 4:17 am
  155. 3ammo Norman, I think we have to all make a very clear distinction between the people of a country and its government, especially in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel — happy now, AIG?).
    There is no question that Syrian people have sacrificed their life while operating in Lebanon. There is also no question about the family ties and cultural and other affinities between the Syrian and Lebanese people. This, however, does not mean that there haven’t been devious political decisions made by minority governments – or for that matter by tribal leaders in Lebanon – which lead to division and fratricide and massacres and horrors. I think many of us have a great sensitivity to your sentiments, your patriotism, and your defensiveness when it seems that the characterization of government actions are generalized to “The Syrians.” This is wrong. But equally wrong is also glossing over the unprincipled political decisions taken at various times by the Syrian government to the detriment of Lebanon. Aside from crimes, etc., which regrettably have no evidence nor reasonable expectation of accountability, it is truly the complete swallowing of any Lebanese independence in the years 1990 to 2005 that was a smothering of that small countries chances during that period.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 3, 2010, 4:25 am
  156. Peter, as manager of a niche development company that specializes in establishing feasible agro-enterprises, I wish you the best of luck with your organic farm.

    Organic is currently very marketable with the city-folk in Lebanon. There are great opportunities. However, until there is a greater level of trust between Lebanese consumer and Lebanese producer I worry organic will remain in the realm of niche marketing for the well off.

    Perhaps focusing on fresh, healthy and local is the best way to start. Educating small rural farmers on the importance of pesticide residues will get us healthy. Otherwise just about everything (but the politics of course) is fresh and local in Lebanon.

    V, where in the south are you from? Anywhere close to Jabal el Sheikh? Am currently developing a project there and we are interested in expanding cultivation areas.

    Posted by Johnny | October 3, 2010, 4:55 am
  157. H P ,
    I Agree with you that Syria made many mistakes , mistakes that were made for not knowing better more than intentionally undermining Lebanon , we can see the same things in Syria , the governors of the counties are assigned by the president and they are from different areas , Syria made the same mistakes but night be at a smaller scale that Egypt made in Syria , Decentralization is the way to have everybody happy , i just hope they will figure it out ,

    Posted by Norman | October 3, 2010, 7:11 am
  158. I said before that I am working in the main Ag. university in Israel.
    Is there a standard for Organic products in Lebanon ? is there an organization of producers of such products? As you know it is not only pesticides.
    Is there a a paying market for free range chickens and eggs? Are consumers ready to pay for such eggs? Is there anybody looking for and growing local breeds of Chickens? White Leghorn do not do well on free range. Probably a study and then a development of local artisan (small farmers) breeds would be an interesting UN project. Such project could be conducted on a working organic farm and will give partial support to some body who was in high tech.
    What about other domesticated birds, ?. Any body looking for and preserving local breeds of red-brown cows?
    Any exotic, little known, local vegetables? There are some good studies on the use of wild plants in Lebanon, probably some of these can be cultivated on organic farm.

    Oh, if we could only make peace, so many cultivated plants came from this area. I am sure that some of the wild, naturally disease resistant, relatives of these could probably do well in organic farming all over the world.

    Posted by Rani | October 3, 2010, 7:31 am
  159. It may not be always thus, but it is often thus….. Wars have a way of spreading…. The chaos of violence is not containable…. This is what’s happening in Lebanon on account of a war that Presidents Bush/Obama really wanted to fight in the first place in 2006…, and again nowadays…. USA/NATO can’t win this coming war….. Lebanon, as a state can’t win it….. But Hezbollah sure cannot lose it….no matter what Israel and its Amen corner in March14th skunks utter with daily Bravados, insults and repetitive Israeli/American threats…and no matter what Israel throws at us in Lebanon…we will defeat them ALL combined. Just wait and see….

    Posted by cvghfx | October 3, 2010, 9:45 am
  160. Allahu Akbar !

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 3, 2010, 11:00 am
  161. Johnny,
    My house in South Lebanon (which I have rebuilt twice already)overlooks one of the most beautiful views of Jabal el Sheikh, the Golan and the Galilee. I am from the once small town of Khiam.

    cvghfx, give peace a chance man why this love for War and destruction? let us enjoy our land, lives and whatever is left of our sanity.

    Posted by V | October 3, 2010, 12:17 pm
  162. V, It ain’t us man…Lebanon will attack no one…but we will defend ourselves tooth and nail….

    Posted by cvghfx | October 3, 2010, 12:59 pm
  163. Glad the thread veered toward farming. yes Lebanon has great potential in this field, as the country is blessed with great mild weather, very good soil and various elevations to accomodate a wide variety of crops.

    The biggest issue I see is water. Although water is plentiful, most of it is wasted. Lebanon needs a series of reservoirs to collect the melting snow and an infrastructure to deliver it to farms eficiently. Ofcourse this requires substantial investment, and above all peace and quiet to pursue these projects.

    Recently, there has been some success stories, like the expansion of the wine production, and I see no reason why it can’t be replicated for other crops.

    Rani,

    Lebanon has a wealth of wild planst, I can tell at least in the Metn mountains where my mom is from (and they were farmers by the way)below the parasol pine canopy, you can find wild lavendar (the french type variety), zaatar, zhoorat plants, wild blue & white bluberry, thyme, oregano, coquelicot, wild tulips, on and on and on.

    Just wish the country moves on to a peacefull era, the rest will be somewhat easy in comparison.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | October 3, 2010, 1:00 pm
  164. God Dang !

    Must be the picture of the cow and the plant on this site that’s getting all these farmers on here ?

    Where’s the academics? 🙂

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 3, 2010, 1:08 pm
  165. This is an interesting development.

    The Syrian Judiciary Has Issued 33 Arrest Warrants in Absentia in False Witnesses Case

    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&104E0DD8C22ECD61C22577B10058BE47

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 3, 2010, 1:18 pm
  166. The peace process is dead.

    The current Israeli regime is not a peace government. Assad knows it. March 14 is going down one way or the other obviously.

    I don’t think we’ll have a government in November.

    Looks like it’s time to pack the bags again.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | October 3, 2010, 1:25 pm
  167. How can we have organic farming if the land and the water are so polluted?
    Pollution is the greatest threat to Lebanon. Water resources are so scarce in the Middle East and Lebanon is considered one of the richest in water. In addition to letting all this water go to waste we also managed to pollute the rivers and aquifers to a degree that the levels of pollution are the highest in the region. Corruption, lack of awareness and regulations contributed to all this.
    Our one and only “Jihad” should be to clean up the land we claim to love so much to defend with our blood.

    Posted by V | October 3, 2010, 1:29 pm
  168. What’s taking the STL so long?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | October 3, 2010, 6:41 pm
  169. To V and Ras Beirut
    I hope you will see it. NO !! LEBANON IS NOT POLLUTED THAT BADLY.
    Most of the polution is transient. No heavy industrial ages long contamination as in Europe and east USA. It is generally in the coastal area. In the snow area it is less poluted than any place in Europe because the air carry little industrial polution. I worked on air polution all over Israel. It was better than Europe. It must be better in Lebanon, The melting snow water in Lebanon must be better than Switzeland. Also the land under traditional farming is not heavily contaminated by pesticides.
    As for the wild plnts mentioned. It is a real treasure. There is endless market for these in the cities and the oil countries. In few years they can be half cultivated and connected to tourism and health resorts.
    Man ! dont make peace with Isreal, just stop making war. The mountains of Lebanon can be the garden of eden of organic farming, milk products included. A lot of good people can make a lot of good money from doing good deeds. Oh just dont make war.

    Posted by Rani | October 4, 2010, 12:15 pm
  170. I’m curious. Alex, how did the overthrow of Saddam “weaken Syria”? (That’s the statement you made in your rather “interesting” expose at the top of this page).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | October 4, 2010, 6:23 pm
  171. Gosh, I really don’t know where to begin.

    “The only, and major part, of “A Clean Break” that was not possible in 2003 was the expected role Turkey was supposed to play in cornering Syria … unfortunately for Netanyahu and friends, at that time Turkey was not governed by Israeli allies anymore … Erdogan preferred to be Syria’s friend and protector.”

    So. According to this template, expect a CIA/Mossad (through unwitting intermediary) to assassinate Erdogan soon.

    Also, I still fail to see what assassinating Hariri AND the others (Gemayel, Eido, Hage, Hawi, Tueni, etc.) can be explained by this “Clean Break” theory stated above. What do any of those people have to do with “peace for peace” or the Golan or whatever else?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | October 4, 2010, 6:30 pm
  172. “Exactly. Assassinations are a risky business and Israel has certainly made mistakes in that arena. For example the assassination attempt of Meshaal in 1997 in Jordan that was very costly to Israel.”

    No no no. You got it all wrong.
    You know, in the middle east, up is down and down is up. It’s bizarro world.
    Israel assassinated anti-Syrian in Lebanon to cast some kind of suspicion and blame on Syria. Wouldn’t it stand by this logic that Syria was behind the assassination attempt on Meshaal through unwitting “infiltrated” Mossad agents?
    I think it’s high time to re-evalue these assassinations going back historically to find brand new explanations of why powers assassinate their own sympathizers.

    – Israel assassinated Sadat, blaming it on the Muslim Brotherhood in a failed attempt at scuttling peace with Egypt.
    – Israel assassinated Bashir Gemayel. Again, in an attempt at scuttling a pro-Israeli leader in Lebanon. Cause it’s too easy that way.
    – Syria assassinated Mughnieh, OBVIOUSLY.
    – Syria was probably behind the assassination of Abbas Moussawi, as well as the attempts on Hassan Nassrallah’s life.
    – Israel is behind the M14 killings.
    – Syria is clearly behind antagonizing its own allies in Lebanon (case in point the Ahbash-HA clashes of late).

    I think, i summation, Bashar Assad is on the payroll of AIPAC, while Samir Geagea and Avigdor Lieberman are OBVIOUSLY on the payroll of the Mullahs.

    It makes perfect sense!

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | October 4, 2010, 6:49 pm
  173. Alex #42 “Go back to “A Clean Break” … it is all about making America and the world see Syria as a thuggish state that does not deserve the Golan back.”

    Syria’s done a good job all its own showing the world what a thuggish state it can be. It doesn’t need help from Israel/America for that.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | October 4, 2010, 6:54 pm
  174. Sorry if this is getting old. But I’ll continue shooting holes in Alex’s rantings, because frankly, these holes are wide enough to drive a truck through. I’ll be sure to use the word “obvious” as often as I can.

    Alex #43 “Hmmm … assuming this is the case for Hariri, when Syria and its allies were in charge. How can you justify the many other assassinations that took place years later … when Israel’s friends, M14, and their friends and advisers in the US embassy and intelligence and security service, were in charge of Lebanon?”

    M14 was in charge of the Lebanon? When did this happen exactly? In fantasy la-la-land?
    M14 has never been in charge of Lebanon.
    All security branches had been under Syrian control from the 90s through 2005. After that, HA still infiltrated or controlled a large number of these services and branches.
    Lebanon had no functional executive between 2005 and 2007. (Parliament not meeting. A government not recognized and besieged, etc) and no president for over a year.
    HA also controlled the airport security. An attempt to remove the officer in charge at the time was behind the May 7th events, if you recall.
    Oh yeah. And HA ran its own telecom network.

    Again. Explain to me on what planet “M14 and its American allies controlled Lebanon”.

    Long elaborate posts, peppered with references to “Clean break” and links to youtube videos only serve to give an “academic” feel to the theories presented. One can still find holes the size of fists in these careless statements.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | October 4, 2010, 7:04 pm

Are you just gonna stand there and not respond?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Browse archives

And the people say…

Akbar Palace on Assad and ISIS
Vulcan on Assad and ISIS
Steve Keville (a.k.a… on Bistraynti `Alaykun
Disjunktion unmöglic… on Assad and ISIS
From the Potomac to… on Assad and ISIS

wordpress stats plugin
%d bloggers like this: