Friday, February 29, 2008
NSC's Johndroe: "NO, I would say we have regular consultations with Prime Minister Siniora and his government..."
"Hamas must decide if it is acting as a government for all Palestinians or at least the Gazans, as some of its leaders have claimed, or as a militant group dedicated to fighting Israel. If it is the first choice, then it must show that it is concerned with the fate of its citizens who are enduring a huge humanitarian ordeal. If they choose the latter, then they must part ways with political grandstanding and accept to hand over responsibility for the welfare of Gaza to the PNA."
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Jumblatt: "Siniora does not mind attending the Damascus summit, ...as he is Lebanon's President & Prime Minister"
Abdallah of Jordan 'with his intelligence Chief in entourage, on scheduled visit next week to meet Bush, Congress & Jewish leaders..'
The Coast of Lebanon has not been kind to foreign ships with bravado!
On the other hand, the only people who seem to 'believe' in him are the cohort of Arab monarchs, dictators, and other despots. These are the ' allies' of America. The Bush Adm has managed to get an almost unanimous unity among Arabs (population) in opposing US policy whereas its only support is the association of thugs, mass murderers, despots, embezzlers, gamblers, drug addicts, and state terrorists (Bandar and his surrogates of Fath el Islam and Al Qaeda) and other 'apprentis sorciers' (their allies in Lebanon and in 'moderate' countries).
The question is: will the next administration have enough sense to reestablish some form of balance and equity in its dealings with the region? Will the double standards (raised to unprecedented levels of hypocrisy and lies) be curbed in order to reestablish US credibility in the region? Will the advisors of the new administration will have something as an agenda representing the true interests in the region and not the expansionists desires of Israel.
Already Barak Obama has set the tone by saying that the support of Israel does not mean the support of the Likud, even if the latter manages to snatch victory in the next elections.
Many questions remain up in the air but it will be nice to see a movement in the US asking for a judicial accountability of the Bush adm. and the crimes it committed in the name of the American people."
MEPGS: "...With expectations low for a third UNSC resolution on Iran,.. Administration Officials are calling for 'more concessions'..."
ability to recruit, train and maintain US force structure." When the process works well, says this official, there is a strong Secretary of Defense who can help channel all this information to a ready President....
elected President, veteran US officials are counting on two early decisions that will set the US on a navigable course. First, for the Democrats, will be the realization that there can be, in the words of one senior official, "no precipitate withdrawal" from Iraq. Second, in order to gain public backing for this course, a wide range of officials fervently hope the new President will downplay to purely Iraqi aspects of the US involvement and instead focus on the regional and homeland security implications of the war and our attempts to extricate ourselves from it......
the next couple of weeks US and (yet to be named) Iraqi officials will attempt to negotiate a status of forces agreement ("SOFA"), which will institutionalize the US presence in Iraq. ......retaining the right to conduct combat missions, maintain detention centers and have special, if not sole jurisdiction over the action of US forces in Iraq. "Doesn't look much like the arrangements the US has with Japan or Germany," notes one European diplomat....
"... we have been scaring ourselves into exaggerating the terrorism threat -- and by our unwise actions in Iraq making the problem worse..."
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Damascus to publish findings of investigation into Mughniyeh's assassination until after Arab League Summit..
.... and Jumblatt to Reuters: "Nasrallah ..is just fixing the trigger on your head and telling you: I'm making you an offer you cannot refuse,"
In GulfNews, here
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"... Sharon and Jumblatt,... had mutual friends, including the current head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan..."
.... terror "'inevitable consequence of Israeli occupation and laws that resemble South African apartheid" says UNHRC
The 'New' Middle East: "...US should work towards 'compromise' rather than promote 'confrontation'....
Washington, D.C., February 21, 2008 -
The George W. Bush Administration is set for an official meeting in March with a convicted Lebanese warlord, widely recognized for planning, ordering and committing war crimes that left permanent scars on the minds and bodies of thousands of Lebanese citizens. Mr. Samir Geagea was the leader of the "Lebanese Forces militia" during the Lebanese war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. His bloody history against the people and the national army of Lebanon has shaped Lebanon's modern history, leaving behind thousands of widows, orphans, handicapped and displaced people, as well as destroyed public and private property. If for any reason Samir Geagea should be in the United States, it should be to stand trial for his war crimes against the families and friends of many Lebanese-Americans who either lived or witnessed the Lebanese war.
As of 1994, Geagea was tried and convicted for four crimes – only a small portion of his long list of war crimes that we have listed below for your reference. He was convicted for:
1. The assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Mr. Rachid Karami
2. The assassination of a former leading figure in the Lebanese Forces militia, Elias Zayek
3. The assassination of Christian leader Dany Chamoun with his wife and two young children (ages 5 and 7)
4. The assassination attempt against Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of the Interior Michel Murr
[5. The cold blooded murder of Tony Frangieh, his wife and baby daughter and 35 hapless Lebanese***]
[6. Murder of Ghaith Khoury (head of the kataeb militia in Jbeil) and Emile Azzar (LF fighter)... And the assassination attempts of Fouad Abou Nader (LF commander) and ... Elie Hobeika.****]
[7. Geagea also killed Brigadier General Khalil Kanaan (Army officer) and Rizkallah (Razouk) Atik (LF fighter), brother of Hanna Atik (Hanoun, chef of the former Saddem elite LF unit) and tried to kill Assaad (Asso) Shaftari (the second of Elie Hobeika).****]
Zayek was a Christian leader who posed a threat to Geagea's dreams of the militia leadership. Dany Chamoun, son of late Lebanese President Camille Chamoun, was one of the most active and independent Christian leaders during the Syrian invasion of 1990, and was also a threat to Geagea's ambition of being the sole Christian leader. In 1990, Geagea commenced his collaboration with the brutal Syrian regime at the expense of the Lebanese people.
Although he was not convicted, Geagea was suspected of bombing the Maronite Catholic church of Saydet Najat in Jounieh, in which tens of worshipers were killed in 1994. The judges could not convict him "for insufficient evidence" as per the official verdict. Geagea was sentenced to death for his assassination crimes, and the sentence was later reduced to lifetime in prison.
Geagea only spent 11 years in jail, and was pardoned in a special bill passed by the Lebanese parliament on July 18, 2005. An interesting condition about this "special pardon" is that it not only included Geagea, but also included a score of Al Qaeda-inspired extremists who were captured after conducting terrorist attacks against the Lebanese army and civilians in 2001. Geagea's release is perceived by many people as a cover up and distraction for the release of these Islamist extremists.
A leader of a relatively insignificant political party, Geagea holds no public official or representative status. This criminal and insignificant party leader holds no official title or position in the Lebanese government to be received by the Bush Administration or the Republican Party.
To grant a US entry visa to a convicted war criminal such as Samir Geagea, and to permit him to defile the land of the free is not only against US law, but is also an unacceptable deed, and a great insult to the American people and to the values inherent in the American Constitution (Please see note below from Department of Homeland Security). Criminals such as Geagea should not set foot on the soil of the United States, not to mention that of the White House or the Capitol Building. The eyes that enjoyed gazing coldly at the grief of hundreds of thousands of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandfathers and grandmothers from all over the world, should never be allowed to look toward the home of the brave.
We trust that the Congress and the Administration of the United States will take the proper measures to put an end to this ill-conceived visit.
Lebanese Americans for Justice
[***addition by GPC, after a reader's reminder]
[**** addition II by GPC, after a reader's reminder:
"... sorry but you also forgot the assassinations of Ghaith Khoury (head of the kataeb militia in Jbeil) and Emile Azzar (LF fighter)... And the assassination attempts of Fouad Abou Nader (LF commander) and ... Elie Hobeika...."
[**** addition IIIby GPC, after a reader's reminder]
Monday, February 25, 2008
MEMRI, bless their hearts, has a translation of Al Sharq Al Awsat's story, here
(At the behest of Gran' Mufti Qabbani, Lebanese Salafis "descended" on the Christian Borough of Achrafieh ... and went on a "Cartoon" rampage...")
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
"...En dépit des derniers incidents, qui sont le reflet de la tension sur le terrain, on se retrouve dans une sorte de guerre froide larvée ..."
Friday, February 22, 2008
(A Palestinian man hurls stones at Israeli troops (unseen) during a violent protest against Israel's security fence, Feb. 22, 2008, where it cuts off Palestinian farmers from their land at the West Bank village of Bil'in. Hundreds of villagers backed up by foreign and left-wing Israeli supporters marked three years of demonstrations against Israel's controversial barrier.) FP/Passport, here
"...The new titans are coming to the rescue, if that's the right word for their mortgage on America's future"
Thursday, February 21, 2008
"....The assassination of Mughniyeh should be seen as an alternative to a large-scale war, and not a prelude to one..."
If this analysis is correct, the assassination of Mughniyeh should be seen as an alternative to a large-scale war, and not a prelude to one -- as many Arabs fear. Israel is seeking to deter Hizbullah not to provoke it into another conflict on the scale of the ill-fated 2006 war...."
Mr. Clemons this is Damien Corsetti we meet at the screening for taxi to the dark side I found your card in my wallet yesterday and remembered you wanted me to contact you. Please pardon my tardiness, just wanted to let you know that I would be happy to help the cause in any way possible.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
But the killing of Imad Mughniyeh, one of America's most-wanted fugitives, in the Syrian capital shows how costly the regime's traditional hospitality toward Arab hard-liners can be.
"The Syrian security agencies have a lot of explaining to do as to how a hit like this could be carried out in a city that's remarkably secure," said Jon Alterman, head of the Middle East program at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies..."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sa'ud Al-Faisal's "visits" aimed at thwarting the Arab League summit in Damascus & internationalizing the Lebanon crisis?
Al Akhbar: "Mughniyeh's assassination is a prelude to an Israeli assault on Lebanon, Syria & Palestine"
Sunday, February 17, 2008
"For the first time, we revealthat moderate Arab states and the people close to the Lebanese government have conveyed messages to the Israeli government via different sides demanding Israel continue the war until Hezbollah was completely crushed."
"It is highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton is going to finish the primary season with a lead in pledged delegates. It is virtually impossible. The goal for her is to somehow lessen the difference in the number of delegates to like 30-200. If it's a small number, this may be a pipe dream, they will argue that they can use the super delegates to make up the difference. But the bigger that number is, the more difficult that is to do... and risks a storm inside the Democratic party." It's time for Hillary to get out the knives for Bam. More likely, the voters will get out the fork.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Michel Sleiman told his 'hosts' today that he believes that Mughnieh's killers are the same as those who assassinated Gen. Francois El Hajj (Purpose/method & timing) Al Balad here...and ...........Ali Hashem writes at the BBC, "When a Shadow Dies", here
Friday, February 15, 2008
Much of the fall in numbers was due to countries barring young men from flying to the Syrian cities of Damascus and Aleppo on one-way tickets, said Petraeus.
The U.S. government has long urged Syria to take steps to stop foreign fighters crossing its long land border with Iraq. Damascus says it has stepped up security on the frontier after the U.S. criticism.
"The flow of fighters is down, we think by about 50 percent," Petraeus told Reuters in an interview.
"It’s a result not just of Syrian activity, although there has been some. It’s the result of source countries making it tougher to fly as a military age male," he added....."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
They don't have the operational capacity..(the stomach) or intelligence capacity. It is unlikely that anyone in Lebanon has anything to do with this"
Steve Clemons asks "presidential hopefuls if they agree with the President's action against Syria or not? If so, why? If not, what reasons would they as President use to undo our counter this action............."I'll give you my answer" says Clemons. "Bush's move is reckless -- and threatens to add further stress to a region that is wondering whether Bush's initiative to achieve some kind of Israel/Palestine deal is real or contrived. ............Syria must be a party to any arrangement with the broader Arab world -- and thus far, Syria has been on the whole reasonably behaved with regard to Israel. When Israel attacked some warehouses that Seymour Hersh argues were not nuclear weapons related, Syria restrained itself from attacking back and did not unleash agents into Israel to create domestic strife....................But beyond that, I have no idea if terrorists are really moving between Iraq and Syria or not -- but I do know that the Syrian government itself sees zero benefit to hosting insurgents or Islamic radicals in its country. The Syrian government is as worried about the impact of anti-government Islamist militancy within its borders as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states...." Read more, here